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Vaynor
2010-01-25, 11:41 PM
CEREBRAL STALKER

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c83/Vaynor/Assassin_by_Skyrioncopy.jpg
a cerebral stalker at work

The cerebral stalker is both a warrior of the night and of the mind. A cerebral stalker utilizes physical and mental swiftness in battle, perfected by long hours of training and meditation. The stalkerís main source of power is his intelligence and telepathic powers, allowing him to quickly analyze a situation and gain the benefits of his knowledge in combat, as well as being able to read his opponentís thoughts in order to gain an advantage. Cerebral stalkerís are known for being swift and deadly, both physically and mentally.

Cerebral stalkers can range from hired assassins, infiltrating the most secure locations by breaking into the very minds of the guards themselves, or simple thieves, gaging the threat of a location with their mindsight, or even as vigilantes, bringing justice to criminals of the night by breaking down their minds and bodies.

Game Rule Information

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6
Starting Gold: As rogue.

Class Skills
The cerebral stalkerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Psionic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|
BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save| Telepathy |
AC Bonus |Special

1st|
+0|
+0|
+2|
+2|
10 ft.|
+0|Mind strike +1d6, trap finding, wild talent

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+3|
+3|
15 ft.|
+0 |Uncanny dodge

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+3|
+3|
25 ft.|
+0 |Mind strike +2d6, mental acuity +1 (skills)

4th|
+3|
+1|
+4|
+4|
30 ft.|
+0 |Mindsight, evasion

5th|
+3|
+1|
+4|
+4|
40 ft.|
+1|Mind strike +3d6, improved uncanny dodge

6th|
+4|
+2|
+5|
+5|
45 ft.|
+1 |Mental acuity +2 (initiative)

7th|
+5|
+2|
+5|
+5|
55 ft.|
+1 |Mind strike +4d6, mind vision

8th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+6|
+6|
60 ft.|
+1 |Mental leap

9th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+6|
+6|
70 ft.|
+1 |Mind Strike +5d6, mental acuity +3 (saves)

10th|
+7/+2|
+3|
+7|
+7|
75 ft.|
+2|Mental shock

11th|
+8/+3|
+3|
+7|
+7|
85 ft.|
+2 |Mind Strike +6d6, unconquerable mind

12th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+8|
+8|
90 ft.|
+2 |Mental acuity +4 (speed)

13th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+8|
+8|
100 ft.|
+2 |Mind strike +7d6, improved evasion

14th|
+10/+5|
+4|
+9|
+9|
105 ft.|
+2 |Cloud senses

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+5|
+9|
+9|
115 ft.|
+3|Mind strike +8d6, mental acuity +5 (damage)

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+10|
+10|
120 ft.|
+3 |Mind blank

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+10|
+10|
130 ft.|
+3 |Mind Strike +9d6, mental overload

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+6|
+11|
+11|
135 ft.|
+3 |Mental acuity +6, mental acuity (spell resistance)

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+6|
+11|
+11|
145 ft.|
+3 |Mind strike +10d6, improved mental shock

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+6|
+12|
+12|
150 ft.|
+4| Destruction of the mind[/table]

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cerebral stalkers are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, kama, kukri, nunchaku, sai, shortbow, short sword, longsword, rapier, sap, shuriken, and siangham. Cerebral stalkers are proficient with all light armor, but not shields.

Telepathy: A cerebral stalkerís mind is empowered, allowing him to communicate with any creature that has a language. The telepathyís range is dictated on the table above.

AC Bonus (Ex): A cerebral stalkerís swift mind allows him to react to attacks much more quickly. When unencumbered and with no more than light armor equipped, the cerebral stalker adds his Intelligence bonus (if any) as an insight bonus to his AC. In addition, a cerebral stalker gains a +1 insight bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five cerebral stalker levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

Mind Strike: The cerebral stalkerís intelligence and telepathic ability allows him to increase the damage he deals against targets affected by his telepathy (although the creature does not need to speak or comprehend a language for this ability). If a cerebral stalker can catch an opponent when it is unable to defend himself effectively from mental attack, he can strike a vital or unguarded spot for extra damage. This extra damage dice is added any time the cerebral stalkerís target would be denied their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), or when the cerebral stalker flanks his target.

Alternatively, this extra damage may be added when the cerebral stalker forcefully intrudes on the targetís mind instead of simply catching them off guard. If the target fails on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save, then the extra dice may be added to any attacks made that round. Activating this ability is a free action. Only one target may be affected by the extra dice incurred in this manner, and only the target that failed its Will save.

The extra damage is 1d6 at level 1, and it increases by 1d6 every odd cerebral stalker levels thereafter. Should the cerebral stalker score a critical hit with a mind strike, this extra damage is not multiplied.

Ranged attacks can count as mind strikes only if the target is within 30 feet.

Creatures immune to critical hits are still affected by this ability, but only if they are not mindless or immune to mind-affecting abilities. A cerebral stalker cannot use mind strike to deal nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damage donít deal extra damage when used as a part of a mind strike.

The extra damage from the mind strike ability stacks with the extra damage from sneak attack or sudden strike whenever both would apply to the same target. Additionally, this ability counts as sneak attack for the purposes of qualifying for prestige classes that require it. This ability also counts as sneak attack for the purpose of feats that require or affect it (when applicable).

Trapfinding: A cerebral stalker can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and he can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magical traps. See the rogue class feature (PHB 50).

Wild Talent: A cerebral stalker gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat. Additionally, the cerebral stalker may learn psionic powers through the use of feats or similar. For this purpose, add the cerebral stalker's level to any manifesting class levels he has for the purposes of manifester levels.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At level 2, the cerebral stalker gains the uncanny dodge ability. This functions as the rogue ability of the same name.

Mental Acuity (Ex): A cerebral stalkerís mental powers allow him to react to danger quickly, as well as use his intelligence in areas that would not normally require it. At level 2, the cerebral stalker gains a +1 insight bonus on initiative rolls. This improves to +2 at level 5, and an additional +1 at levels 9, 13, and 17. Additionally, the cerebral stalker may use his Intelligence modifier for attack rolls instead of the normal ability score.

In addition, the cerebral stalker may use his intelligence as an additional modifier an amount of times per day equal to one-half his class level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence bonus (if any). This ability may be used in the following ways:

At level 3, the cerebral stalker can utilize his high intelligence to aid non-intelligence based skill checks. Whenever the cerebral stalker attempts a skill check where the key ability score is not Intelligence, he may expend a mental acuity use to add his Intelligence modifier to the roll. Mental acuity uses used in this fashion may only function once per round.

At level 6, the cerebral stalker can use his telepathy and intelligence to further enhance his reflexes, and even slightly foresee events. At the beginning of combat, he may expend a mental acuity use to add his Intelligence modifier to his initiative modifier. Activating this ability is an immediate action. This ability is only usable once per encounter.

At level 9, the cerebral stalker can use his mental prowess to foresee events, hinder bodily harm, and increase his force of will. Whenever the cerebral stalker is subject to an effect that incurs a Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save he may expend a mental acuity use to add his Intelligence modifier to the roll. This ability only affects a single roll, and does not affect any subsequent rolls even when incurred by the same ability. This ability is only usable once per round.

At level 12, the cerebral stalker can boost his speed by expending a mental acuity use. The cerebral stalkerís base speed increases by 30 feet for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier. This ability stacks with any other instances of itself (up to a maximum of 3 uses expended (90 ft.)). At any point in which more than one mental acuity uses are expended, the cerebral stalker may, instead of increasing his speed, gain an additional attack each round (one additional attack maximum). For example, if a cerebral stalker chose to expend 3 uses of mental acuity, he may increase his speed by 90 ft., or increase his speed by 60 ft. and gain an additional attack. This additional attack stacks with all other effects that grant additional attacks. Activating this ability is a swift action.

At level 15, the cerebral stalker may perceive weaknesses in his opponents physical and mental defense, and use these weaknesses to his advantage. By expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker may add his Intelligence modifier to all damage rolls made during the round this ability was activated. Activating this ability is a swift action. This ability does not stack.

At level 18, the cerebral stalker can enhance his resistance to spells and spell-like abilities. By expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker gains 10 + class level spell resistance for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier. In addition, the cerebral stalker can even reflect spells back at the caster. If the casterís caster level check fails to overcome the cerebral stalkerís spell resistance, the spell has a chance to reflect. Subtract the casterís caster level check result from the cerebral stalkerís spell resistance. This number is the highest level spell the cerebral stalker can reflect. For example, if a level 18 cerebral stalker is affected by a level 17 wizardís finger of death, and the spell is negated due to the cerebral stalkerís spell resistance (28) due to the wizardís caster level check of 21, the spell is reflected (28 - 21 = 7, the level of the spell). If the caster rolls higher than the number needed to reflect the spell, the spell is still negated but not reflected. This ability requires a swift action to activate. However, the cerebral stalker may also activate this ability as an immediate action, but the duration is halved.

A maximum of 5 uses of mental acuity may be expended per round.

Mindsight: At level 4, the cerebral stalker gains Mindsight (LoM 126) as a bonus feat.

Evasion (Ex): At level 4, the cerebral stalker gains the evasion ability. This functions as the rogue ability of the same name.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At level 5, the cerebral stalker gains the improved uncanny dodge ability, as the rogue ability of the same name.

Mind Vision (Su): At level 7, the cerebral stalker may enter its targetís consciousness and see the world as they do. Once per minute, the cerebral stalker may target any creature that is currently being affected by his telepathy. The creature must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or be affected. Upon a failed save, the cerebral stalker enters the mind of the target, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling what the target does, as well as hearing surface thoughts. The cerebral stalker does not literally enter their mind as with mental leap, but instead retains his current state and gains the effects detailed by this ability. The target is not aware of this ability. This ability can be used for a number of rounds equal to 3 + Int modifier. If the target goes out of range of the cerebral stalkerís telepathy, the cerebral stalker may continue mind vision for 1 additional round before it fails. If the creature succeeds on the Will save, then they are immediately aware that someone tried to access their mind, but nothing more. Activating this ability is a full-round action and is treated as a spell for Concentration checks (spell level equal to class level divided by 2, max 9). Mind vision is usable a number of times per day equal to the cerebral stalkerís Intelligence modifier.

Mental Leap (Su): At level 8, the cerebral stalker can fully and completely enter the minds of his opponents. As a standard action, expending a use of mental acuity, the cerebral stalker may, upon a failed DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save, enter the mind of an adjacent opponent completely. The cerebral stalker appears to disappear, his body entering the target's mind. The cerebral stalker may remain in the targetís mind until the end of his next turn, at which point the cerebral stalker must exit. He may exit either through the same mind he entered, or instead traverse to another creatureís mind within range of his telepathy. This creature must also succeed on a Will save, or the cerebral stalker enters their mind (dealing no damage). This ability may be used continuously, a number of times equal to the cerebral stalkerís Intelligence modifier, but only once per round.

Both the initial entering and the final exiting deals 1d6/class level damage (max 15d6). When exiting a mind, the cerebral stalker must choose an open, adjacent square or suffer equal damage to the target each round he remains inside their mind past his limit. While inside an opponents mind he can read both surface and subconscious thoughts, as well as being able to converse with the target. The cerebral stalker can choose to negate the damage dealt upon entering or exiting his opponentís minds, also negating any possible damage to himself.

If the cerebral stalker is caught inside their targetís mind when the target is killed, the cerebral stalker must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier (all using the target's stats) Will save or be killed as well (a successful check removes the cerebral stalker from the targetís mind without harm). If their target is affected by a mind-affecting effect, the cerebral stalker must make a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or also be affected (incurring separate saves from the target). A creature may not be affected by this ability more than 1/round/Int modifier.

Mental Shock (Su): At level 10, whenever the cerebral stalker is able to deal additional damage due to a critical hit, he may also deal a swift, mental attack. The target receives a -4 penalty on Will saves until the end of the cerebral stalkerís next turn. This ability does not stack with itself, but is refreshed upon any additional critical hits made by the cerebral stalker.

Unconquerable Mind (Ex): At level 11, the cerebral stalkerís mind becomes nigh impenetrable. The cerebral stalker gains a +4 bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting effects. Additionally, any mental attack or intrusion attempted against the cerebral stalker has a 30% chance of being reflected back upon the attacker (whether successful or not, and even if the cerebral stalker is immune to the ability) as if the cerebral stalker had used the ability.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At level 13, the cerebral stalker gains improved evasion, as the rogue ability of the same name.

Cloud Senses (Su): At level 14 the cerebral stalker gains the ability to confound the minds of his opponents. For a number of targets in telepathy range up to 3 + Int modifier, the cerebral stalker may attempt a Hide check even when being watched. In addition, he gains a +4 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks against targets included in this ability.

Mind Blank (Sp): At level 16, the cerebral stalkerís mind becomes completely impenetrable. The cerebral stalker is considered under the effects of a constant mind blank ability, with the spellís caster level equal to the cerebral stalkerís class level. This ability may be suppressed or resumed at will, as a swift action.

Mental Overload (Su): The cerebral stalker can infiltrate his opponentís minds and render them incapable of action. At level 17, by expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker can reach out telepathically to the enemies surrounding him and stun them. All enemies in a 30 foot range must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or be stunned for 1d4+1 rounds. Activating this ability requires one standard action.

Improved Mental Shock (Su): The cerebral stalker may decrease his opponentís mental faculties even more than before. At level 19, by expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker can daze his opponentís mind, causing them to suffer a -10 penalty on Will saves for 3 + Int mod rounds. This ability does not stack with itself, but stacks with Mental Shock. In addition, the opponent is dazed for 1 round. Activating this ability requires one swift action.

Destruction of the Mind (Su): At level 20, the cerebral stalker gains the ability to use his telepathic might to completely destroy a creatureís mind. Once per day, the cerebral stalker may manifest microcosm as a psion of equal level. This power may only be used on a single target, using the cerebral stalkerís Intelligence modifier as the primary casting stat.


New Feats

Improved Mental Acuity
Your mental acuity ability gains additional uses.
Prerequisites: Mental Acuity class feature
Benefit: You gain 3 extra uses of mental acuity each day.
Normal: You are limited to a number of mental acuity uses equal to one-half class level + Int modifier.
Special: You may gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

Mental Finesse
Your focused intellect allows you to find the weakest points to strike.
Prerequisites: Mental Acuity class feature, Int 15
Benefit: By expending a use of mental acuity, and when using any weapon that the cerebral stalker class grants proficiency in, you may add your Intelligence modifier to your attack roll.

For Use in a Low-Tier Game
A cerebral stalker does not belong in a game with monks and samurai, and is much more at home as a powerful martial class in upper-tier games. If a player wishes to play a cerebral stalker in a less powerful game, the DM can adopt these easy changes in order to reduce the power of the cerebral stalker to that of a lower tier.

First, reduce the cerebral stalker's mind strike progression to +1d6/three levels instead of +1d6/two levels.

Additionally, the cerebral stalker must now be completely unarmored in order to gain use of his AC bonus and other encumbrance-dependent class features.

Introduce the following feat:

Improved Mind Strike
Your mind strike is even more devastating than normal.
Prerequisites: Mind Strike +1d6
Benefit: Whenever a creature takes damage from your mind strike class feature, if must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or receive an additional 1d8 points of damage.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times, its effects stack.

Latronis
2010-01-26, 12:34 AM
So it's like a gestalt rogue\monk but better that uses intelligence for everything and a dash of psion thrown in for good measure?

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 12:49 AM
So it's like a gestalt rogue\monk but better that uses intelligence for everything and a dash of psion thrown in for good measure?

Yes, that's the general idea, and I don't really see the fact that it's better than a rogue/monk to be a problem. Constructive criticism, perhaps? I was thinking that if it was too overpowered I could get rid of the evasion/uncanny dodge progression, even though it fits the flavor pretty well and I wouldn't like to get rid of it.

Melayl
2010-01-26, 12:55 AM
Keep in mind that I'm not the best at balancing, but...

1) I would, perhaps, put a limit on how many uses of Mental Acuity they can expend per round (per level).

2) Mind Vision seems fairly powerful. I'd either put a total number of uses per day for it, or have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to use it.

3) Ditto for Mental Leap. This does seem exceedingly powerful -- an awful lot of things in one package. And it can be used continuously (up to the total number of uses)? Wow. Also, is this a teleportive effect? Does the cerebral stalker disappear while he's Leaping?

4) I'd have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to power Cloud Senses as well.

5) Mind Blank seems to make Unconquerable Mind useless.

6) Destruction of the Mind seems awfully powerful. A No Save (I'd at least give it a Will save) encounter-ending ability. I realize that it is a capstone ability, but it is still a bit much (a 9th level power). I might also have a Mental Acuity cost for this.

I like the flavor and the idea of the class, but I do find it powerful. What were you trying to balance it against?

Latronis
2010-01-26, 01:04 AM
Being more powerful isn't a problem.

But what it does is render the rogue obsolete. Hell the intelligence focus even insures, that the 6 skill points makes them BETTER skill monkeys, so they don't even have that going for them anymore.

Temotei
2010-01-26, 01:05 AM
Being more powerful isn't a problem.

But what it does is render the rogue obsolete. Hell the intelligence focus even insures, that the 6 skill points makes them BETTER skill monkeys, so they don't even have that going for them anymore.

Not that factotums didn't already do that. :smallamused:

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 01:11 AM
Keep in mind that I'm not the best at balancing, but...

1) I would, perhaps, put a limit on how many uses of Mental Acuity they can expend per round (per level).

Good idea, I'll add that in. I meant to do it originally but I think I just limited each ability instead.


2) Mind Vision seems fairly powerful. I'd either put a total number of uses per day for it, or have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to use it.

Well it doesn't last that long and requires the cerebral stalker to do nothing else, but I'll definitely add a use limit (equal to Int mod).


3) Ditto for Mental Leap. This does seem exceedingly powerful -- an awful lot of things in one package. And it can be used continuously (up to the total number of uses)? Wow. Also, is this a teleportive effect? Does the cerebral stalker disappear while he's Leaping?

Well maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough. As a standard action you jump into an adjacent opponent's mind, dealing damage. You can't do anything else that turn. Next turn, you can either exit their mind, or travel to another mind within range (you don't actually enter the real world). You can keep jumping once a turn, but eventually are forced to leave when the time is up, also dealing damage. It does less than a fireball of equal level, and is basically just combined with dimension door. I'll make it expend a use of mental acuity, and also if the person's mind they're in is killed, or they are affected by a mind-affecting effect, it will kill or also affect the cerebral stalker as well. Maybe that will make them a bit more wary about using it.


4) I'd have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to power Cloud Senses as well.

It's a less powerful version of hide in plain sight, I don't really see a reason to. I'll think about it though.


5) Mind Blank seems to make Unconquerable Mind useless.

I'll word it more clearly, the chance to reflect the spell still works even with mind blank, I state that it is a chance whenever an attempt is made, not a successful attempt.


6) Destruction of the Mind seems awfully powerful. A No Save (I'd at least give it a Will save) encounter-ending ability. I realize that it is a capstone ability, but it is still a bit much (a 9th level power). I might also have a Mental Acuity cost for this.

It's a 1/day ability that mimics a single, nerfed 9th level power. You also get it three levels later than a psion would. While definitely powerful, it's not even close to a caster's power level, so I don't think this will be a problem.


I like the flavor and the idea of the class, but I do find it powerful. What were you trying to balance it against?

I started with a ninja but got rid of their ki abilities and the poison use, adding in both rogue/monk abilities with a bit of telepathic flair. I was consciously making it more powerful than the rogue, monk, or ninja, all classes I consider underpowered.

Latronis
2010-01-26, 01:14 AM
Not that factotums didn't already do that. :smallamused:

well with the exception of the sneak attack stuff beguilers too. Still even with precedent i think it's a bad design choice to offer something that complete overshadows something else.

If they were no rogues in the campaign however...

Melayl
2010-01-26, 01:38 AM
#1 and 2 -- Both good clarifications, I think.


Well maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough. As a standard action you jump into an adjacent opponent's mind, dealing damage. You can't do anything else that turn. Next turn, you can either exit their mind, or travel to another mind within range (you don't actually enter the real world). You can keep jumping once a turn, but eventually are forced to leave when the time is up, also dealing damage. It does less than a fireball of equal level, and is basically just combined with dimension door. I'll make it expend a use of mental acuity, and also if the person's mind they're in is killed, or they are affected by a mind-affecting effect, it will kill or also affect the cerebral stalker as well. Maybe that will make them a bit more wary about using it. I think those changes help balance it nicely. Although the cerebral stalker is still basically untouchable while he's Leaping (unless you know who he's Leaped into and kill them).


It's a less powerful version of hide in plain sight, I don't really see a reason to. I'll think about it though. Good point. I guess I didn't read that one well enough.


I'll word it more clearly, the chance to reflect the spell still works even with mind blank, I state that it is a chance whenever an attempt is made, not a successful attempt. True, I guess.

[quuote]It's a 1/day ability that mimics a single, nerfed 9th level power. You also get it three levels later than a psion would. While definitely powerful, it's not even close to a caster's power level, so I don't think this will be a problem.[/quote] It's a power that a psion has to spend 17 points (a significant cost) on, limiting his ability to use other powers. However, it is your class, so it is your decision.

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 01:49 AM
I think those changes help balance it nicely. Although the cerebral stalker is still basically untouchable while he's Leaping (unless you know who he's Leaped into and kill them).

Yeah but he also can't do anything when he's in there, and is quite vulnerable.


It's a power that a psion has to spend 17 points (a significant cost) on, limiting his ability to use other powers. However, it is your class, so it is your decision.

Yeah well, equate it to a 9th level spell, of which a wizard gets a few per day, even just at level 17. This is just 1 spell, and its uses are limited. I'm not going to change it at the moment, I think it's fairly balanced.

Latronis
2010-01-26, 01:53 AM
Actually it is fairly specific a class, as a sort of mentalist hunter\assassin. Any reason why you decided to make it a base class and not a PrC?

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 01:57 AM
I'm not sure honestly, I guess I can fit a lot more of the features that I wanted to in a base class as opposed to a prestige class.

Latronis
2010-01-26, 02:04 AM
I don't know it just seems a little superfluous. Had abilities fitted in to fill out the base class.

I could be mistaken though, there's not a whole lot of fluff to go bby

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 02:07 AM
I don't know it just seems a little superfluous. Had abilities fitted in to fill out the base class.

I could be mistaken though, there's not a whole lot of fluff to go bby

Yeah, I'll add some more fluff. Basically just warriors who use their intelligence and telepathy to combat their enemies instead of their physical dexterity and strength. Not terribly specific in my opinion.

arguskos
2010-01-26, 02:51 AM
You know, Vaynor, I really like this. It feels like a Monk rewrite, one that I really like. I think the biggest thing about this class I liked was that it a) gets Mindsight at level 3; and b) that Mind Strike can be activated as a swift action on normal opponents. That really gives the Stalker the ability to do some impressive stuff. I don't have much to say, other than "wow, nice job".

I did have a single question though: why the lack of all armor at all? I know they get Int to AC and a scaling AC bonus, but that's not all that much in my mind (though, two stats to AC IS nice). Was there a reason for that, or was it just following in the footsteps of the Monk/Ninja?

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 03:03 AM
You know, Vaynor, I really like this. It feels like a Monk rewrite, one that I really like. I think the biggest thing about this class I liked was that it a) gets Mindsight at level 3; and b) that Mind Strike can be activated as a swift action on normal opponents. That really gives the Stalker the ability to do some impressive stuff. I don't have much to say, other than "wow, nice job".

I did have a single question though: why the lack of all armor at all? I know they get Int to AC and a scaling AC bonus, but that's not all that much in my mind (though, two stats to AC IS nice). Was there a reason for that, or was it just following in the footsteps of the Monk/Ninja?

I'm actually going to remove the requirement to be unarmored for the AC bonus, I copied it over from the monk and I left the change to last minute and forgot about it. They're not trained in any armor but I'm going to let them wear light armor all they want (or mithral medium armor :smalltongue:).

Thanks for the comments, that's kind of what I was going for. I felt that all the options for stealthy melee characters were a) too bland, or b) not powerful enough to compete with spellcasters, so I thought this would be a good alternative. Plus, their mind-affecting abilities and optional save bonuses make them pretty effective against spellcasters themselves, while still being useful against melee characters. Thanks a bunch! :smallbiggrin:

Edit: I also added a bit more fluff to give people a better idea of the class.

Edit Deux: Changed my mind and gave them light armor proficiency.

ErrantX
2010-01-26, 09:49 AM
Wild Talent. They need it. With all the stuff they're doing, they need Wild Talent as a bonus feat at level 1.

Also, this I like. A gestalt lurk/rogue telepath thing, good combat abilities. I'd like to put this in the Tier 4 range, upper range. Perhaps lower Tier 3, does have some significantly nice abilities. Definitely does its role. Good stuff.

-X

Lappy9000
2010-01-26, 01:36 PM
I'd agree that they need Wild Talent somewhere, and I don't think it would be too dipworthy to grant that at level 1. But, yeah. I really, really like these guys. They fit into a niche without being too overdone, have some nice flavor and fleshed-out mechanics that look fun to play. Great work on all parts :smallcool:

Also, I wouldn't worry about it replacing the rogue. You could make that argument about most well-made skillmonkey classes.

DragoonWraith
2010-01-26, 01:44 PM
My only concern is that it seems more like PrC material rather than base class material. That's hardly the end of the world, but you might want to read Djinn in Tonic's excellent homebrewing guide (What To Make, And How To Make It Special) for some discussion on the differences between the two.

Vaynor
2010-01-26, 02:23 PM
I'd agree that they need Wild Talent somewhere, and I don't think it would be too dipworthy to grant that at level 1. But, yeah. I really, really like these guys. They fit into a niche without being too overdone, have some nice flavor and fleshed-out mechanics that look fun to play. Great work on all parts :smallcool:

Also, I wouldn't worry about it replacing the rogue. You could make that argument about most well-made skillmonkey classes.

Like I said, I'm not terribly worried about replacing the rogue. I think that people who want to play a rogue will still do so.

I'll definitely add Wild Talent in, I honestly hadn't even thought about it.

Thanks for the compliments guys. :smallsmile:

And as far as the PrC vs. base class thing goes, I think this is kind of what you'd see if the EPH had a rogue class, not actually psionic but with psionic flavor. I think maybe I'll make a psion or psychic warrior//cerebral stalker gish PrC for the next PrC contest (if it works for the contest), I think that could be pretty cool.

jiriku
2010-01-27, 11:42 AM
This is really quite good.

Some (I hope) helpful feedback:

Skill List: Put Autohypnosis on the skill list. It fits the flavor.
Mind Strike: This still refers to rogue in one place (copy/paste error). Add text stating that it counts as sneak attack for the purpose of qualifying for prestige classes that require xd6 of sneak attack. Increase the damage progression to +1d6 per odd-numbered level -- a rogue's sneak attack already scales poorly with level; don't make it worse. If you feel that makes it too powerful, nerf the ability to bypass sneak attack immunity by making that benefit only apply if the target fails the save.
Mental Acuity: I really like the ability to use Int with Weapon Finesse. Kudos. I dislike that the bonus scales according to an irregular progression. This ability also begs for

a feat granting extra uses of Mental Acuity per day or the ability to use more Mental Acuity per round, and
something else to use your Mental Acuity uses on past level 13.
Uncanny Dodge/Improved Uncanny Dodge: An unwritten rule of these abilities is that Uncanny Dodge is always received at 2nd level and Improved Uncanny Dodge is always received at 5th level.
Mind Vision: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
Mental Leap: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
Mental Shock: Do you mean to say that the ability does not stack, or that it does not stack with itself? The latter is more fitting with standard D&D rules, as untyped penalties from different sources always stack.
Improved Evasion: Nice, but gained a little late.
Mind blank: Very nice, but gained a little late.
Destruction of the Mind: As you mentioned, this is a weak capstone because it's a nerfed version of an ability other classes gained three levels ago. However, using it as a supernatural ability, not subject to counterspelling or spell/power resistance, saves it.

Overall I'd say that this is a great class, flavorful and well-envisioned, with a number of unique abilities. It does not feel like rogue-plus. It feels like a unique creation, although I recognize influences from the rogue, ninja, monk, and factotum. It is well-synergized and has tons of style.

However, while the class starts strong, it has a weak finish, and is gasping its way to level 20 as it reaches Destruction of the Mind. I'd recommend the following to improve your endgame (table shows proposed changes):

Better mind strike progression
Uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge gained at the typical levels
More regular progression of Mental Acuity (gained at 3rd level, improving 1/3 levels thereafter)
Improved evasion and mind blank gained closer to the level that other classes gain them
New powers at levels 17, 18, and 19. You need more abilities that are competitive with 8th and 9th level maneuvers/spells/psionic powers. A nerfed microcosm 1/day is insufficient.


{table=head]Level|
BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save| Telepathy |
AC Bonus |Special

1st|
+0|
+0|
+2|
+2|
10 ft.|
+0|Mind strike +1d6, trap finding, wild talent

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+3|
+3|
15 ft.|
+0 |Uncanny dodge

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+3|
+3|
25 ft.|
+0 |Mind strike +2d6, mental acuity +1 (skills)

4th|
+3|
+1|
+4|
+4|
30 ft.|
+0 |Mindsight, evasion

5th|
+3|
+1|
+4|
+4|
40 ft.|
+1|Mind strike +3d6, improved uncanny dodge

6th|
+4|
+2|
+5|
+5|
45 ft.|
+1 |Mental acuity +2 (initiative)

7th|
+5|
+2|
+5|
+5|
55 ft.|
+1 |Mind strike +4d6, mind vision

8th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+6|
+6|
60 ft.|
+1 |Mental leap

9th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+6|
+6|
70 ft.|
+1 |Mind Strike +5d6, mental acuity +3 (saves)

10th|
+7/+2|
+3|
+7|
+7|
75ft.|
+2|Mental shock

11th|
+8/+3|
+3|
+7|
+7|
85 ft.|
+2 |Mind Strike +6d6, unconquerable mind

12th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+8|
+8|
90 ft.|
+2 |Mental acuity +4 (speed)

13th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+8|
+8|
100 ft.|
+2 |Mind strike +7d6, improved evasion

14th|
+10/+5|
+4|
+9|
+9|
105 ft.|
+2 |Cloud senses

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+5|
+9|
+9|
115 ft.|
+3|Mind strike +8d6, mental acuity +5 (damage)

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+10|
+10|
120 ft.|
+3 |Mind blank

17th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+10|
+10|
130 ft.|
+3 |Mind Strike +9d6, NEW POWER

18th|
+13/+8/+3|
+6|
+11|
+11|
135 ft.|
+3 |Mental acuity +6 (NEW USE FOR ACUITY)

19th|
+14/+9/+4|
+6|
+11|
+11|
145 ft.|
+3 |Mind strike +10d6, NEW POWER

20th|
+15/+10/+5|
+6|
+12|
+12|
150 ft.|
+4| Destruction of the mind[/table]

Vaynor
2010-01-27, 03:20 PM
This is really quite good.

Some (I hope) helpful feedback:

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback a lot.


Skill List: Put Autohypnosis on the skill list. It fits the flavor.
Mind Strike: This still refers to rogue in one place (copy/paste error). Add text stating that it counts as sneak attack for the purpose of qualifying for prestige classes that require xd6 of sneak attack. Increase the damage progression to +1d6 per odd-numbered level -- a rogue's sneak attack already scales poorly with level; don't make it worse. If you feel that makes it too powerful, nerf the ability to bypass sneak attack immunity by making that benefit only apply if the target fails the save.

Done. Fixed, added. And yeah I was worried about it being too powerful, and that's already how it works (unless my wording is confusing) just checked and you're right, it doesn't say that but I meant it to, I'll change it so you can only bypass sneak attack immunity if the target fails the Will save. I'll change the progression, good point.


Mental Acuity: I really like the ability to use Int with Weapon Finesse. Kudos. I dislike that the bonus scales according to an irregular progression. This ability also begs for

a feat granting extra uses of Mental Acuity per day or the ability to use more Mental Acuity per round, and
something else to use your Mental Acuity uses on past level 13.


Thanks! Well, the progression of mental acuity is fairly regular except that it progresses at 5th level from 2nd, but after that it's every 4 levels. I didn't want to leave levels empty by putting mental acuity with other abilities, I think I'll leave the initiative boost progression of it as is.

I couldn't think of much more to use mental acuity on, and I gave it to them early so they'd have more things to use it on early on. But now that I've given it to other abilities not listed in mental acuity (due to suggestions from people) I think I do need to add some more abilities and give more uses to them, as it's now used for too much. I'll figure that out.


Uncanny Dodge/Improved Uncanny Dodge: An unwritten rule of these abilities is that Uncanny Dodge is always received at 2nd level and Improved Uncanny Dodge is always received at 5th level.

I gave it to them a little later so they wouldn't be too top-heavy, and then spaced it out where it fit later on. I'll see if I can move it around.


Mind Vision: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
Mental Leap: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.

Simply an error when typing it up, fixed.


Mental Shock: Do you mean to say that the ability does not stack, or that it does not stack with itself? The latter is more fitting with standard D&D rules, as untyped penalties from different sources always stack.

I meant it does not stack with itself, reworded.


Improved Evasion: Nice, but gained a little late.
Mind blank: Very nice, but gained a little late.

Like I said, I fit it in where I could. And while I know a rogue could gain it as early as level 10, it's not an immediately granted ability (they have to choose it) so I figured the levels could be a little looser on that one. As far as mind blank goes, I tried to give it to them around the time a wizard would get it, and I also didn't want to give it to them immediately after unconquerable mind. I'll put it where unconquerable mind is and move that ability lower down the progression.


Overall I'd say that this is a great class, flavorful and well-envisioned, with a number of unique abilities. It does not feel like rogue-plus. It feels like a unique creation, although I recognize influences from the rogue, ninja, monk, and factotum. It is well-synergized and has tons of style.

Thanks a bunch! :smallsmile:


However, while the class starts strong, it has a weak finish, and is gasping its way to level 20 as it reaches Destruction of the Mind. I'd recommend the following to improve your endgame (table shows proposed changes):

Better mind strike progression
Uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge gained at the typical levels
More regular progression of Mental Acuity (gained at 3rd level, improving 1/3 levels thereafter)
Improved evasion and mind blank gained closer to the level that other classes gain them
New powers at levels 17, 18, and 19. You need more abilities that are competitive with 8th and 9th level maneuvers/spells/psionic powers. A nerfed microcosm 1/day is insufficient.


I like the ideas, and I'll incorporate most of them, but I'm not quite sure what I should put for the last mental acuity use, I have some ideas for additional powers but I don't know what else they could add their Int to. New powers soon, just gotta work out the specifics.

Class will be altered in a bit.
Alterations complete. What do you think?

jiriku
2010-01-27, 06:08 PM
I would say you are ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

Sadly, chewing bubblegum doesn't seem to be one of your class features, so I guess you'll just have to settle for kicking ass. :smalltongue:

Further feedback:

Mental Overload: Good choice. An AoE adds some much-needed versatility, but by making it short-ranged, you force the cerebral stalker to stay close to the action, where it belongs.
Mental Acuity (resilience): All that legalese you added about how the temporary hit points go away is unnecessary, because that's how temporary hitpoints already work anyhow. However, I dunno, I just can't wrap my head around using your brain to double your hit point total. How about the ability to gain spell/power resistance, or even spell/power turning, of class level + Int modifier? Activated as an immediate action, 1d4 round duration? That's probably more useful anyhoo.
Improved Mental Shock: A decent upgrade, but less impressive. Maybe instead of doubling the penalty, it could add the usual -4 penalty and also daze the opponent for one round? This is more useful.

Vaynor
2010-01-27, 06:24 PM
Mental Acuity (resilience): All that legalese you added about how the temporary hit points go away is unnecessary, because that's how temporary hitpoints already work anyhow. However, I dunno, I just can't wrap my head around using your brain to double your hit point total. How about the ability to gain spell/power resistance, or even spell/power turning, of class level + Int modifier? That's probably more useful anyhoo.

Like I said, I couldn't really think of anything. Spell resistance is a great idea, I'll give them 10 + class level spell resistance, and if the amount the caster fails by is the highest level of spell the cerebral stalker can reflect the spell back on the caster (if that makes sense). So if a caster rolls 15 against a cerebral stalker's 17 spell resistance (hypothetical), the cerebral stalker can reflect the spell if it's level 2 or lower. Sound good?


Improved Mental Shock: A decent upgrade, but less impressive. Maybe instead of doubling the penalty, it could add the usual -4 penalty and also daze the opponent for one round? This is more useful.

I don't know, a -8 on Will saves can make or break a fight, especially for a class that relies on them so heavily. I'll make it -4, have it stack with Mental Shock but not itself, and have it daze.

jiriku
2010-01-27, 07:30 PM
All of those things you said are good.

I suppose it's largely a matter of taste, but the original version of improved mental shock had me thinking of mind fog, except that mind fog has a larger penalty, affects multiple targets, has a duration, can be activated on purpose, and is available ten levels sooner.

The reason that I am meh about the -8 to saves is that for it to have any impact on the outcome of a combat,

you must confirm a crit your target
your crit must fail to kill your target
the target must fail a Will save
you or an ally must subsequently hit the target with another effect requiring a Will save
The target must roll within 40% of the DC of the save.


For a 19th level ability, I want a shorter chain of probability between me and the payday.

But really, I'm just nitpicking because I'm bored at work.:smalltongue: Your class is interesting, well-balanced and effective, and I'm basically planning to steal this and use it on some members of a githyanki raiding party to kill my players! :smallsmile:

Vaynor
2010-01-27, 07:49 PM
I suppose it's largely a matter of taste, but the original version of improved mental shock had me thinking of mind fog, except that mind fog has a larger penalty, affects multiple targets, has a duration, can be activated on purpose, and is available ten levels sooner.

For a 19th level ability, I want a shorter chain of probability between me and the payday.

But really, I'm just nitpicking because I'm bored at work.:smalltongue: Your class is interesting, well-balanced and effective, and I'm basically planning to steal this and use it on some members of a githyanki raiding party to kill my players! :smallsmile:

How about -10 on Will saves for 3 + Int mod rounds, no save, stacks with Mental Shock. Sounds pretty fair and can still give them a big boost.

Thank you, that sounds like fun. :smallbiggrin:

jiriku
2010-01-27, 11:47 PM
Still activates on a crit, right? I can totally see the cerebral stalker dual-wielding his trusty keen kukris in combat. I can also see players running in fear from him, shouting "Oh gawd, look what he just did to Bob!"

Bwahahaha!

Edit: Nice pic by the way. Sets a good mood.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-27, 11:51 PM
And as far as the PrC vs. base class thing goes, I think this is kind of what you'd see if the EPH had a rogue class, not actually psionic but with psionic flavor.

WotC has already made a psionic rogue class on their website (you can probably find it via google), not to mention the lurk. :smallamused:

That said, this class seems to fill a new niche and do so very well. I've never figured out what type of class would get telepathy as a class feature but I guess that I know now. It is the perfect infiltrator/spy/hunter/rogue/jack-of-all-trades class.

That said, I must agree with what was said earlier about this class being strictly better than the rogue. Right now, there are plenty of classes better than the rogue. However, a rogue with two weapons and the right build is at least somewhat competative (like a fighter specialized in tripping with a spiked chain). Your build squashes that, being better than the rogue in just about every measurable way (especially since you increased the damage dice to every other level rather than every 3). Even though this has been done in the past, it never feels quite right to me.
Don't get me wrong, now. When other posters say that more powerful isn't overpowered, they're quite right. Unless you turn this into a caster or full psionicist, I doubt it would be overpowered even if you added a new class feature to every level.
No matter what you do, this class is likely to be too powerful or too weak in relation to certain groups, depending on how the group plays. In the end, it is up to you whether you want this played alongside factotums, beguilers, and bards or with ninjas, paladins, and fighters.
Even though it irks me something fierce to see a class strictly better than another, this is your decision so don't let us talk you out of it. :smallbiggrin:

Fail
2010-01-28, 09:54 AM
Agree with this class being good (and screw this PrC nonsense), and agree with it being strictly better than the rogue (a decent class in itself). My solution: take UMD out. Seriously, that's all.

EDIT: actually, forgot to say - it'd also need something to do in combat besides precision damage, and that worked in enemies immune to it, both for variety and balance reasons.

Vaynor
2010-01-28, 11:09 PM
Agree with this class being good (and screw this PrC nonsense), and agree with it being strictly better than the rogue (a decent class in itself). My solution: take UMD out. Seriously, that's all.

EDIT: actually, forgot to say - it'd also need something to do in combat besides precision damage, and that worked in enemies immune to it, both for variety and balance reasons.

Thanks, I think I will take out UMD, it's not that important to the class and it would give rogues a leg up. Also, mind strike actually does work against enemies immune to precision damage as long as they fail a will save.

Fail
2010-01-28, 11:39 PM
Thanks, I think I will take out UMD, it's not that important to the class and it would give rogues a leg up. Also, mind strike actually does work against enemies immune to precision damage as long as they fail a will save.Damn, forgot to correct the post. But there's still immunity to mind-affecting. And besides, it's good that they get another set of combat options - UMD took out a lot.

ErrantX
2010-01-28, 11:43 PM
Yeah, but Use Psionic Device might not be a bad replacement; after all, less items usually are psionic in nature, but being a psionic character and all, it makes sense that these guys might have it.

Also, what's so wrong about hitting a solid Tier 3 ?

-X

Fail
2010-01-28, 11:52 PM
Yeah, but Use Psionic Device might not be a bad replacement; after all, less items usually are psionic in nature, but being a psionic character and all, it makes sense that these guys might have it.UPD fails to differ from UMD in being a huge list of traps, and still potentially overpowering any rogue that doesn't go straight for broken spells (which is crap for multiple reasons). Also, putting actual class features makes it more distinct from other classes.


Also, what's so wrong about hitting a solid Tier 3 ?Please use terminology that starts to make sense. The original complaint (that I agree with) was that it was blatantly better than the rogue at its own niche, with the latter being a rather fine class. Taking UMD out and replacing it with class features is a better way to be more distinctive and doesn't risk either overpoweredness or the opposite.

ErrantX
2010-01-29, 12:01 AM
UPD fails to differ from UMD in being a huge list of traps, and still potentially overpowering any rogue that doesn't go straight for broken spells (which is crap for multiple reasons). Also, putting actual class features makes it more distinct from other classes.

Please use terminology that starts to make sense. The original complaint (that I agree with) was that it was blatantly better than the rogue at its own niche, with the latter being a rather fine class. Taking UMD out and replacing it with class features is a better way to be more distinctive and doesn't risk either overpoweredness or the opposite.

Fail. Fitting. Please familiarize yourself with the Tier system (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1002.0). It's something that does get bandied around here quite frequently, more regularly on the RPG board but here as well by likes of CharOps.

Rogues fail at their job because there are classes that do it better. Factotum, for example, does the rogue's job and does it far better. In this case, the Cerebral Stalker does the rogue's job better as well. Is this a fault of the Cerebral Stalker or the Factotum? No, it's a fault of the rogue. And that's why it's a lower Tier class. Taking things away from a class that fits for the class's designed role is just plain silly, especially when you use a class that is blatantly worse than it as a reason.

-X

Fail
2010-01-29, 12:07 AM
Fail. Fitting. Please familiarize yourself with the Tier system (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1002.0). It's something that does get bandied around here quite frequently, more regularly on the RPG board but here as well by likes of CharOps.I know it. Better than you do. Because I can see it's retarded.


Rogues fail at their job because there are classes that do it better. Factotum, for example, does the rogue's job and does it far better. In this case, the Cerebral Stalker does the rogue's job better as well. Is this a fault of the Cerebral Stalker or the Factotum? No, it's a fault of the rogue. And that's why it's a lower Tier class. Taking things away from a class that fits for the class's designed role is just plain silly, especially when you use a class that is blatantly worse than it as a reason.JaronK's argument's that factotums are awesome because polymorph. Seriously. Go listen to some better counsel. Also: the game doesn't need anyone to have staffs/dorjes of pretty much every broken spell/power and deal 100d6 damage (conservatively)/round (for the record, that's a rogue - so much for "failing at their job"). Or, alternatively, be useless. That's life with UMD, and JaronK's seems to not notice.

arguskos
2010-01-29, 12:14 AM
Gentlemen, several things.

1. There's already a thread about the Tiers going on right here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139903), over in Roleplaying games. Take it there, please, not in Vaynor's class PEACH thread.

2. JaronK is a poster here, it's probably best to not directly insult him in a medium such as this, and it IS a punishable offense on these boards. Let's not see anyone get smacked for something like that.

3. So, yes, removing UMD is a good idea. Replacing it with UPD is also a good idea, helps with class be more distinctive, which is a good thing.

Doc Roc
2010-01-29, 12:19 AM
At Arg's request, this post has been reduced to its core element:
Frowny Face.

Fail
2010-01-29, 12:19 AM
As for 1 & 2: I'll be happier to see this retardation going out than you, trust me. Anyone actually interested in discussing the comparison of the two classes, please do so.


3. So, yes, removing UMD is a good idea. Replacing it with UPD is also a good idea, helps with class be more distinctive, which is a good thing.No, it makes the class less distinctive than writing a couple extra class features.

Me, "goading X": you sure you read that correctly?

Also, rogues are awesome with little work. This class doesn't need to be better with any amount of work. And doesn't need to touch the point where either rogues or factotums are broken, or the point where either is useless. That's called "give the class the features that do what it needs, period", instead of hiding behind horrendous skill/item design and hoping it works.

Doc Roc
2010-01-29, 12:20 AM
Write the class features then, plox?

Vaynor
2010-01-29, 12:21 AM
Write the class features then, plox?

This. I can't really think of any more class features that would fit the class. Fail, if you have some more brilliant ideas, please, share.


Also, rogues are awesome with little work. This class doesn't need to be better with any amount of work. And doesn't need to touch the point where either rogues or factotums are broken, or the point where either is useless. That's called "give the class the features that do what it needs, period", instead of hiding behind horrendous skill/item design and hoping it works.

If you'd like to give some constructive criticism rather than resorting to ad hominem attacks, please do. Otherwise, well, don't.

I'd prefer not to get my thread locked because of a pretty ridiculous argument that has little to do with my class.

arguskos
2010-01-29, 12:37 AM
No, it makes the class less distinctive than writing a couple extra class features.
Tell me how many non-manifesting classes have Use Psionic Device on their class lists. I can think of only two.

Giving a psionic-flavored class Use Psionic Device seems to be a thematic idea that really isn't a nerf. Seems fair enough to me. It's not like UPD is BAD.

Also, totally off-topic, but Fail, every time I see your username in a sentence, I just giggle uncontrollably. That was probably the idea, and it's working.

Extraspecial also, Doc, your response after mine is awesome.

Lix Lorn
2010-04-27, 04:21 PM
This is a really cool class! It's what I hoped for when i looked up the Psychic Assassin. (Adds to list of classes for my super-strong avatar)

Forever Curious
2010-04-27, 04:37 PM
If only this class was around a few days ago i could have used it for a character...:smallfrown:

I agree it's very Prc material, but I overall really like it. Definitely a solid, not game breaking class. Possibly can be used for INT-based cheese, but I doubt it. Nice work.

Vaynor
2010-04-28, 04:43 PM
This is a really cool class! It's what I hoped for when i looked up the Psychic Assassin. (Adds to list of classes for my super-strong avatar)


If only this class was around a few days ago i could have used it for a character...:smallfrown:

I agree it's very Prc material, but I overall really like it. Definitely a solid, not game breaking class. Possibly can be used for INT-based cheese, but I doubt it. Nice work.

Thanks. :smallsmile:

Also, with the amount of things in D&D that can be used for cheese, I'm not too worried about it.

Realms of Chaos
2010-04-28, 06:07 PM
Ah, I think that I've finally put my finger on it. I can now finally express what it is about this type of class that makes me frown a bit.

Just as there are many tiers of class out there, there are many levels of optimization out there. A good chunk of players out there (let's call them "casual players") have never heard of the tier system, aren't masters of optimization, and have never heard the terms "practical optimization". When these "casual players" get together and play, it can take a very long time for anybody to realize that there just might be gap in strength between the party monk and wizard. Everybody playing at that level is more or less at the same level of power, regardless of what they're playing.

This class has made an interesting trade-off with the rogue, exchanging use magic device with the often less-useful use psionic device skill. From an optimizer's perspective, this is a huge blow to the class as it puts a few glass ceilings on what this guy can accomplish and keeps the rogue at least somewhat viable in certain ways. To help cmpensate for this loss, the class has far more class features than the rogue and a strictly better version of sneak attack. From an optimizer's perspective, this is a-okay.

However, from the perspective of "casual players", the people who don't ever invest in UMD anyways, this class is just a blatant increase in power over the rogue in pretty much every measurable way, messing with the power curve in those games.

As such, even though this class is indeed balanced in the great scheme of things, it only ends up feeling balanced in a moderately optimized and high-powered campaign.

The Tome of Battle kind of did this as well but I'm not a fan of these power classes in my games. This base class is still absolutely brilliant in every way (I even have it bookmarked) but I'd hesitate to allow it in my campaigns.

That said, one thing that I'd change, personally, is to change the mind strike back to every three level while introducing the following feat.

Improved Mind Strike
Your mind strike slashes at the minds of enemies even further.
Prerequisites: Mind Strike +1d6
Benefit: Whenever a creature takes damage from your mind strike class feature, if must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier) or take an additional 1d8 points of damage.
Special: This feat can be taken multiple times and its effects stack. A single saving throw is made against all extra damage dealt in this way.

In this way, the cerebral stalker can become better than what you have currently written with the expenditure of actual resources but comes out of the box at a more reasonable level of power, meaning that sub-par optimization lets it function in the games of "Casual Players".

Vaynor
2010-04-28, 06:35 PM
I'm personally comfortable with the class as is, and I really like the way it progresses so I don't think I'll be changing it at the moment. However, your idea is a good one and I think I'll add a note to the bottom of the class for use in low-powered campaigns. That way a DM can still use this class in a low-tier game if they wish to do so. Mostly because I definitely agree with you, this class belongs in an upper-tier game and would be overpowered otherwise.