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ideasmith
2010-03-14, 01:47 PM
Crackerjack

A PC version of the expert class

Hit Die: d6
Alignment: Any.
Starting Gold: As Rogue.
Starting Age: As Rogue.

Class Skills
All skills are class skills for a crackerjack.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Int modifier) × 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier.

Crackerjack
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2| Favored Skill, Bonus Feat

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3| Contemplation 1/day, Bonus Feat

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3| A Touch of Class

4th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4| Contemplation 2/day , Bonus Feat

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4| Favored Skill Mastery

6th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+5| Contemplation 3/day, Bonus Feat

7th|
+5|
+2|
+2|
+5| Lucky Blow (20, 1 round)

8th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+2|
+6| Contemplation 4/day , Bonus Feat

9th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+3|
+6| Ultimate Favored Skill

10th|
+7/+2 |
+3|
+3|
+7| Contemplation 5/day, Bonus Feat

11th|
+8/+3|
+3|
+3|
+7| A Touch of Class

12th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+4|
+8| Contemplation 6/day , Bonus Feat

13th|
+9/+4|
+4|
+4|
+8| Intense Contemplation

14th|
+10/+5|
+4|
+4|
+9| Contemplation 7/day, Bonus Feat

15th|
+11/+6/+1|
+5|
+5|
+9| Lucky Blow (19-20, 2 rounds)

16th|
+12/+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+10| Contemplation 8/day , Bonus Feat

17th|
+12/+7/+2 |
+5|
+5|
+10| Amazing Recovery

18th|
+13/+8/+2 |
+6|
+6|
+11| Contemplation 9/day, Bonus Feat

19th|
+14/+9/+4 |
+6|
+6|
+11| A Touch of Class

20th|
+15/+10/+5 |
+6|
+6|
+12| Total Contemplation, Contemplation 10/day , Bonus Feat [/table]



Class Features
All of the following are class features of the spellbinder PC class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A crackerjack is proficient with all simple weapons, and light armor, but no shields.
Favored skill (Ex): At 1st level, a crackerjack may select one skill. The crackerjack gains a competence bonus on all checks using that skill, equal to his class level.
Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a crackerjack gets a bonus feat in addition to the feat that any 1st-level character gets and the bonus feat granted to a human character. The crackerjack gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd level and every crackerjack level thereafter. A crackerjack must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.
These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels
Contemplation (Ex): At 2nd level, a crackerjack can enter a state of enhanced attention a certain number of times per day. In this state, a crackerjack temporarily gains a +2 insight bonus to all skill checks and may take 10 with his favored skill even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.
This state does not limit the crackerjack's activities. A state of contemplation lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the crackerjack’s Intelligence modifier. A crackerjack may prematurely end his contemplation. At the end of the contemplation, the crackerjack loses the contemplation modifiers.
A crackerjack enter a state of contemplation only once per encounter. At 2nd level he can use his contemplation ability once per day. At 4th level and every two levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day. Entering a state of contemplation takes no time itself, but a crackerjack can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.
A Touch of Class: On attaining 3rd level, and at every eight levels thereafter (11th and 19th), a crackerjack gains a special ability of her choice from among the following options:
Artificer: Choose one spellcasting class. The crackerjack gains the spells known of a caster of that class of the crackerjack’s level, gains a casting level equal to the crackerjack’s level, and treats the classes spell list as a crackerjack spell list. The crackerjack does not gain spellcasting ability, but does gain spells per day as the chosen class for purposes of magic item creation. If the class chosen casts divine spells, all alignment and behavior restrictions apply, although the only class feature lost from non-compliance is this one.
Lore (Ex): This ability functions as the bard ability bardic knowledge, but using the characters crackerjack levels in place of her bard levels. If the character has both lore and bardic knowledge, the levels stack.
Minor Magic: Choose one spellcasting class. The crackerjack casts spells from that class’s spell list. These spells are divine if the chosen class casts divine spells, or arcane if the chosen class casts arcane spells. He can cast such a spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, even if the selected class has to prepare spells.
To learn or cast a spell, he must have at least one ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a crackerjack’s spell is 10 + the spell level.
Like other spellcasters, he can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. He has spells per day as a ranger of the same level. He receives no bonus spells per day for any high ability score.
The crackerjack’s selection of spells is extremely limited. He knows one 0-level spell per level, one 1st-level spell per three levels, one 2nd level spell per five levels, one 3rd level spell per seven levels, and one 4th level spell per nine levels. (Like spells per day, the number of spells he knows is not affected by his ability scores.) These new spells can be common spells chosen from the chosen class’s spell list, or they can be unusual spells from that list that the crackerjack has gained some understanding of by study. The crackerjack can’t use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.
Unlike a wizard or a cleric, the crackerjack need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he’ll cast.
Pet (Ex): The crackerjack gains an pet selected from the following list: badger, bat, camel, cat, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), lizard, owl, pony, rat, raven, snake (Tiny, Small or Medium viper), toad, weasel, or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the following creatures may be added to the crackerjack’s list of options: crocodile, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the crackerjack on his adventures as appropriate for its kind.
This ability otherwise functions like the druid ability called animal companion, except that the crackerjack’s effective druid level is one-half his crackerjack level and the crackerjack may not select from alternative lists of pets.
Trap Expert: The crackerjack has Trapfinder and Trap Sense as a rogue of the same level.
Walking Distraction: Once per day, the crackerjack can cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the crackerjack, and able to pay attention to him. The crackerjack must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other danger prevents the ability from working.
To use the ability, the crackerjack makes a Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creature’s Will save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the crackerjack cannot attempt to distract that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the crackerjack, taking no other actions, for as long as the crackerjack continues to concentrate (up to a maximum of 1 round per crackerjack level). While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the crackerjack to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.
Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Walking distraction is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.
Weapon Knack: The crackerjack treats his class levels in crackerjack as class levels in fighter for purposes of feat prerequisites only.
Feat: A crackerjack may gain a bonus feat in place of a special ability.

Favored Skill Mastery (Ex): At 5th level, the crackerjack becomes so certain in the use of his favored skill that he can use it reliably even under adverse conditions, even when not in a state of contemplation. When making a skill check with this skill, he may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.
Lucky Blow (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a crackerjack who rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll may choose to have the attack function as a lucky blow instead of its normal effects. A lucky blow stuns the target for 1 round. At 15th level, the crackerjack can also inflict a lucky blow on a natural 19, and the target is stunned for 2 rounds.
Ultimate Favored Skill (Ex): Starting at 9th level the crackerjack can use his favored skill superbly under any conditions. When making a skill check with this skill, he may take 20 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so, and without taking additional time.
Intense Contemplation (Ex): At 11th level, a crackerjack’s bonuses to skill checks during his contemplation each increase to +3, and he may take 10 with any skill during contemplation, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so.
Amazing Recovery (Ex): When a 17th level crackerjack rolls a natural 1 (the die comes up one) on a checks using his favored skill, the roll is treated as a natural 20 (as if the die came up 20).
Total Contemplation (Ex): At 20th level, a crackerjack’s bonuses to skill checks during his contemplation each increase to +4 and he may take 20 with any skill during contemplation, even if stress and distractions would normally prevent him from doing so, and without taking additional time.
.
Change Log

Fixed name for Evasive in text (thank you, The Tygre)

Upgraded Contemplation to include skill mastery features (thank you, The Tygre, Realms of Chaos)

Changed duration of Contemplation

Added A Touch of Class (Thank you, Realms of Chaos)

Added bonus feat at 1st level (Thank you, Lappy9000)

Dropped ability score bonuses from contemplation. (Thank you, sreservoir.)

Dropped evasive. (Thank you, Zeta Kai, Balford.)

Added lucky blow.

Combined favored skill with skill intensity.

Added minor magic to touch of class options.

Moved intense contemplation 2 levels earlier.

Fixed lucky blow. (Thank you, 137ben.)

Fixed dead level. (Thank you, Dryad.)

Fixed artificer. (Thank you, Dryad.)

Revised minor magic. (Thank you, Dryad.)

Fixed weapon knack. (Thank you, Dryad.)

Fixed BAB. (Thank you, Fitz10019.)

Clarified minor magic. (Thank you, Mangles.)

Fixed spells known in minor magic. (Thank you, Mangles.)

Corrected embarrassing saving throw error. (Thank you, Fitz10019.)

Slowed down feat progression (Thank you, Morph Bark)

Added amazing recovery.

Kuzimu
2010-03-15, 01:49 PM
Contemplation could be a bit OP'd, because there isn't any disadvantage like there is for rage or anything.

However, this is awesome! I totally want to play a Handle Animal Crackerjack!

arguskos
2010-03-15, 02:41 PM
I like the idea of the "smart man's rage", but... why is it called the Crackerjack? If it's a reference, I don't get it.

The Tygre
2010-03-15, 04:51 PM
I like the idea of the "smart man's rage", but... why is it called the Crackerjack? If it's a reference, I don't get it.

Presumably because it lets you do a 'crackerjack' job at something. At least that's what I got. I just keep thinking of that one Meatloaf song. Any ways, I like it. I never got why there should be exclusively NPC classes. What if one of your PCs wants to be a cobbler or shepherd or something like that, hrm? What if you need some levels in diplomat, or want to dabble in magic enough to be an adept? I understand the theory, that you don't want over-powerful NPCs or classes that are boring, but it's just always irked me.

Zeta Kai
2010-03-15, 06:21 PM
1) Contemplation is essentially a swift action, & should be labeled as such.

2) Contemplation is really underpowered. It's basically a Rage, but to stats that are suboptimal to combat. I suppose some ranged weapon cheese may be possible, but as it's basically an untyped +2 bonus to two ability scores (not STR or CON) for a limited time, it seems rather lame. During this time, you're only slightly better at certain things than you are normally, & few of them are applicable to your primary occupation of killing things & taking their stuff. It needs to be buffed before I'd consider taking a dip, let alone taking this all the way to level 20.

3) AC Bonus is listed as Evasive in the table.

4) More Skill Mastery features should be added, so that the 'Jack isn't just a one-trick pony. I mean, these two features are cool, but they top out at level 9, & are never seen again. A total of 3 or 4 Ultimate Masteries wouldn't be overpowered.

5) Skill Points? Try 10 + your Intelligence modifier.

6) How about a bonus to attack rolls OR damage rolls equal to the 'Jack's Intelligence bonus (minimum 1)? Now that's expertise that an Expert just can't match. It's also something for the 'Jack to do in a fight other than being a psuedo-Monk.

Realms of Chaos
2010-03-15, 11:37 PM
2) Contemplation is really underpowered. It's basically a Rage, but to stats that are suboptimal to combat. I suppose some ranged weapon cheese may be possible, but as it's basically an untyped +2 bonus to two ability scores (not STR or CON) for a limited time, it seems rather lame. During this time, you're only slightly better at certain things than you are normally, & few of them are applicable to your primary occupation of killing things & taking their stuff. It needs to be buffed before I'd consider taking a dip, let alone taking this all the way to level 20.

...

4) More Skill Mastery features should be added, so that the 'Jack isn't just a one-trick pony. I mean, these two features are cool, but they top out at level 9, & are never seen again. A total of 3 or 4 Ultimate Masteries wouldn't be overpowered.

I think I know a way to fix problems 1 and 4 simultaneously. Why not have Contemplation, in addition to granting ability bonuses, grant a +4 competence bonus to all skill checks relying on one of those abilities.
When you gain intense contemplation, you gain the benefits of skill intensity mastery for all such skills.
When you gain ultimate contemplation, you gain the benefits of ultimate skill intensity for all such skills.

...well, it's a start, anyway.

Also, perhaps give this thing trapfinding at 1st level (as that is the one ability expected of all skill monkeys). Unless, you know, you're afraid of this looking too much like the factotum.

The thing about this class is that I get the impression that it is bad at combat by design. This is the guy that guides you to the kobold lair, notices the kobold ambush to warn you, and parlays with the warchief to get a fight between one of you and their strongest warrior.

I can honestly say that I haven't seen many classes like this. Other than using diplomacy/bluff (or clever feat selection), this guy really has no way to remove enemies from combat.
To put that in perspective, even characters with vow of peace gain an aura that calms emotions (removing characters from combat). Building a class that takes care of things between combats is an interesting concept but it ultimately fails.
As campaigns move onwards, they run into problems that require magical answers. Flooded dungeons need exploring, Flying cities need to be reached, and vast distances need to be crossed within an hour to stop impending doom. Use Magic Device is no substitute for the ability to solve a problem yourself, alas.
This guy has a bit of utility but take note that several other "utility classes" like the bard and factotum have a bit of magic. Also note that the bard is considered less than useful and the factotum only enjoys its fame due to the existance of a single feat that easily breaks it.

On the other hand, this class may be far too powerful in a gestalt game as this class complements just about anything.

Wizard/Crackerjack: Both rely on Int. Contemplation boost spell DCs. Far more skills and skill points. Gives wizard good Reflex save, higher HD, and more BAB. Gives the unarmored wizard +5 AC and all of the bonus feats that it could ever possibly desire.

Fighter/Crackerjack: Even without high Int, Crackerjack gives more skills and skill points to the fighter. Gives the Fighter two more good saves, makes builds with lighter armor more feasible, and 30 bonus feats is likely enough to complete every masterful fighter build out there.

If this class were just on its own, raising the skills or giving some minor spellcasting (on par with a ranger or paladin) might be in order. I'm afraid to recommend it, however, because that makes gestalt even more broken.

Lappy9000
2010-03-16, 10:24 PM
Well, one thing you need to do is update the table to reflect what the abilities are. Otherwise, I quite like the class, although I imagine it'll be weak if not built with care (and perhaps even if it is).

I'd like to take advantage of Contemplation to rock some serious psionics (especially with all those bonus feats, yum!), but that doesn't really seem to be the intent of the class. The crackerjack probably gets enough feats to be made useful one way or another, but you'd need to be careful with your build. I do like the idea of mental bonuses to attack/damage, and you may wanna look to psionics to get the mechanics, without the fluff (if necessary).

That said, it really needs something at level 1. Favored Skill is cool, but it only grants you a +1 to a single skill that early on, without much else to offer (although the skills and saves are nice).

For what it's worth, I'd totally like to play one of these guys :smallcool:

ideasmith
2010-03-18, 12:42 PM
Contemplation could be a bit OP'd, because there isn't any disadvantage like there is for rage or anything.

After looking at opinions in this thread, I concluded that it was underpowerd.


However, this is awesome! I totally want to play a Handle Animal Crackerjack!

Thank you. Feel free to contact me if your DM has concerns I might help with.


I like the idea of the "smart man's rage", but... why is it called the Crackerjack? If it's a reference, I don't get it.

After checking a thesaurus, my memory, and a dictionary, 'crackerjack' seemed the best available synonym for 'expert'.


Presumably because it lets you do a 'crackerjack' job at something. At least that's what I got. I just keep thinking of that one Meatloaf song. Any ways, I like it. I never got why there should be exclusively NPC classes. What if one of your PCs wants to be a cobbler or shepherd or something like that, hrm? What if you need some levels in diplomat, or want to dabble in magic enough to be an adept? I understand the theory, that you don't want over-powerful NPCs or classes that are boring, but it's just always irked me.

There are a lot of third party 'NPC class upgrades'. I will mention the Unlikely Heroes line sold by Plot Device, as the most complete and most directly aimed at your concern here.


1) Contemplation is essentially a swift action, & should be labeled as such.

Not sure why? Rage isn't labeled a swift action, and as things stand one could cast a quickened spell in the same round as entering contemplation.


2) Contemplation is really underpowered. It's basically a Rage, but to stats that are suboptimal to combat. I suppose some ranged weapon cheese may be possible, but as it's basically an untyped +2 bonus to two ability scores (not STR or CON) for a limited time, it seems rather lame.

Do you mean a +2 bonus to the ability modifiers? The bonus to the scores is +4.


During this time, you're only slightly better at certain things than you are normally, & few of them are applicable to your primary occupation of killing things & taking their stuff. It needs to be buffed before I'd consider taking a dip, let alone taking this all the way to level 20.

There’s enough agreement that the class needs buffing that have done so.


3) AC Bonus is listed as Evasive in the table.

It should be listed as Evasive in the text as well. Corrected.


4) More Skill Mastery features should be added, so that the 'Jack isn't just a one-trick pony. I mean, these two features are cool, but they top out at level 9, & are never seen again. A total of 3 or 4 Ultimate Masteries wouldn't be overpowered.

Neat idea. Have adapted Realms of Chaos’s adaption of this.


5) Skill Points? Try 10 + your Intelligence modifier.

8+Int is at the top of the standard range. I don't see sufficient reason to break that custom. There are other ways to enhance skill use, if further such be needed.


6) How about a bonus to attack rolls OR damage rolls equal to the 'Jack's Intelligence bonus (minimum 1)? Now that's expertise that an Expert just can't match. It's also something for the 'Jack to do in a fight other than being a psuedo-Monk.

This ability does not seem at all expert-like to me.


I think I know a way to fix problems 1 and 4 simultaneously. Why not have Contemplation, in addition to granting ability bonuses, grant a +4 competence bonus to all skill checks relying on one of those abilities.
When you gain intense contemplation, you gain the benefits of skill intensity mastery for all such skills.
When you gain ultimate contemplation, you gain the benefits of ultimate skill intensity for all such skills.

...well, it's a start, anyway.

A very nice idea. Thank you.


Also, perhaps give this thing trapfinding at 1st level (as that is the one ability expected of all skill monkeys). Unless, you know, you're afraid of this looking too much like the factotum .

Not worried about the factotum (not familiar with the class). Am worried about consistency with concept. I don’t want this class limited to concepts that fit with trapfinding. Allowing limited and optional access to a list that includes trapfinding, however.…


The thing about this class is that I get the impression that it is bad at combat by design. This is the guy that guides you to the kobold lair, notices the kobold ambush to warn you, and parlays with the warchief to get a fight between one of you and their strongest warrior.

I can honestly say that I haven't seen many classes like this. Other than using diplomacy/bluff (or clever feat selection), this guy really has no way to remove enemies from combat.

While being bad at combat isn’t a goal of this design per se, it is likely a result of the design goals.


To put that in perspective, even characters with vow of peace gain an aura that calms emotions (removing characters from combat). Building a class that takes care of things between combats is an interesting concept but it ultimately fails.
As campaigns move onwards, they run into problems that require magical answers. Flooded dungeons need exploring, Flying cities need to be reached, and vast distances need to be crossed within an hour to stop impending doom. Use Magic Device is no substitute for the ability to solve a problem yourself, alas.
This guy has a bit of utility but take note that several other "utility classes" like the bard and factotum have a bit of magic. Also note that the bard is considered less than useful and the factotum only enjoys its fame due to the existance of a single feat that easily breaks it.

There is indeed a lack of high level noncombat problems that can be solved by skills and feats. This seems to be a general problem that impacts on this class, rather than a problem with this class per se. Fixing the problem for this class without also fixing it for other utility classes will leave the players of the other utility classes justly annoyed.


On the other hand, this class may be far too powerful in a gestalt game as this class complements just about anything.

Wizard/Crackerjack: Both rely on Int. Contemplation boost spell DCs. Far more skills and skill points. Gives wizard good Reflex save, higher HD, and more BAB. Gives the unarmored wizard +5 AC and all of the bonus feats that it could ever possibly desire.

Fighter/Crackerjack: Even without high Int, Crackerjack gives more skills and skill points to the fighter. Gives the Fighter two more good saves, makes builds with lighter armor more feasible, and 30 bonus feats is likely enough to complete every masterful fighter build out there.

If this class were just on its own, raising the skills or giving some minor spellcasting (on par with a ranger or paladin) might be in order. I'm afraid to recommend it, however, because that makes gestalt even more broken.

Gestalt is extremely optional and the official rules for gestalt already prohibit mixing various classes with gestalt. I don’t normally consider gestalt when designing a class, and this doesn’t seem the place to start. If you don’t think this class mixes with gestalt, add it to your list of classes you can’t use in a gestalt campaign.


Well, one thing you need to do is update the table to reflect what the abilities are.

So far, the only table/text discrepancy I am aware of is Evasive/AC Class. If you know of any others, please say what they are.


Otherwise, I quite like the class, although I imagine it'll be weak if not built with care (and perhaps even if it is).

The class has been ‘beefed up’ a bit.


I'd like to take advantage of Contemplation to rock some serious psionics (especially with all those bonus feats, yum!), but that doesn't really seem to be the intent of the class. The crackerjack probably gets enough feats to be made useful one way or another, but you'd need to be careful with your build. I do like the idea of mental bonuses to attack/damage, and you may wanna look to psionics to get the mechanics, without the fluff (if necessary).

I hope that the lack of increases to power points/manifester level/new powers keeps that combo balanced. I’m not familiar enough with psionics to say from my own knowledge.


That said, it really needs something at level 1. Favored Skill is cool, but it only grants you a +1 to a single skill that early on, without much else to offer (although the skills and saves are nice).

The crackerjack now has a bonus feat at 1st level.


For what it's worth, I'd totally like to play one of these guys :smallcool:

Thank you. I gather your DM doesn’t allow classes downloaded from internet forums?

Fortuna
2010-03-21, 01:20 PM
Wow, those bonus feats are quite ridiculous. I can see a huge number of non-caster builds dipping this just for that. In fact, just for the record, this class can get you a total of 26 feats plus normal feats plus possible human feat, where the average non-human gets a mere 7. That's almost four times as much. I'll look at the rest of it in a bit, I've got to go now.

sreservoir
2010-03-21, 01:37 PM
because, of course, non-casters can't have nice stuff. the problem is that even some casters might want the second level somewhere in their build. mostly the int-based casters, who get 1/day +2 DCs and to-hit and random insight bonus for ten rounds, which isn't strictly necessary, but it's useful once in a while.

ideasmith
2010-03-28, 10:31 PM
Wow, those bonus feats are quite ridiculous. I can see a huge number of non-caster builds dipping this just for that. In fact, just for the record, this class can get you a total of 26 feats plus normal feats plus possible human feat, where the average non-human gets a mere 7. That's almost four times as much.

Do you suggest reducing the number of feats? If so, how much?


I'll look at the rest of it in a bit, I've got to go now.

Thank you. I look forward to it.


because, of course, non-casters can't have nice stuff. the problem is that even some casters might want the second level somewhere in their build. mostly the int-based casters, who get 1/day +2 DCs and to-hit and random insight bonus for ten rounds, which isn't strictly necessary, but it's useful once in a while.

Now that contemplation gives skill bonuses, the ability score bonuses can be delayed or dropped. I'm not sure that this is needed (giving up to casting levels probably hurts badly enough to discourage this) but it might be a good idea anyway.

Andraste
2010-03-28, 11:40 PM
A slight contradiction:


Evasive (Ex): When lightly armored ...
-
She loses these bonuses ... when she wears any armor ...

ideasmith
2010-04-18, 10:20 PM
A slight contradiction:

Thank you for catching that. Real life life may keep me from fixing that for a while. Apologies.

ideasmith
2011-09-01, 08:36 PM
Revised class.

Yitzi
2011-09-01, 08:42 PM
Presumably because it lets you do a 'crackerjack' job at something. At least that's what I got. I just keep thinking of that one Meatloaf song. Any ways, I like it. I never got why there should be exclusively NPC classes. What if one of your PCs wants to be a cobbler or shepherd or something like that, hrm?

Then he can take levels in commoner, but you can't expect him to be as good at combat as a professional adventurer.

The reason for NPC classes is that most NPCs are supposed to be a lot less powerful than even a 1st level adventurer; that's part of why they're not making a living by riskin their lives.

137ben
2011-09-01, 09:10 PM
I like the idea. One concern, however, is:

Lucky Blow (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a crackerjack who rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll may choose to have the attack function as a lucky blow instead of its normal effects. A lucky blow stuns the target for 1 round per level of the crackerjack. At 15th level, the crackerjack can also inflict a lucky blow on a natural 19.
Does this mean they are stunned for 7 rounds at 7th level? This is essentially an auto-kill. I suggest lowering it to 1 round, which increases to 2 rounds at 15th level.

Dryad
2011-09-01, 09:28 PM
The reason for NPC classes is that most NPCs are supposed to be a lot less powerful than even a 1st level adventurer; that's part of why they're not making a living by riskin their lives.
While true that this is indeed Wizards' intent with NPC classes, the question you should ask yourself is: Is that a valid design philosophy?

I believe I'm not the only one who thinks that NPCs should not automatically be a lot weaker than adventurers. There's no reason a soldier is worse at fighting than an adventurer; the soldier has a lot more training than the adventurer, after all. There's no reason a farmer should be a much worse combatant than a bard. At least the farmer gets in bar-brawls, while the bard only instigates the brawls.
There's also no reason for a hunter to be any less effective than a ranger. The hunter hunts for a living, while the ranger merely roves a lot. Call me when merely walking around a lot gets you lots of prey.

NPCs in DnD can be killed by literally anything. A rat? There you go; the human is dead. Not very representative for the species at the top of the food chain, now is it?

So yes: I fully support the Crackerjack, as well as other classes that make being a commoner just that much more interesting and rewarding, and lessens the divide between 'The Great Hero of Derpadale' and 'Our Sally; she's out back milking goats.'

On the whole, great class. Though I'm also in favour of adding trapfinding at lvl 1. Honestly; it's not something I usually advocate. I'm normally the first to shout 'No! Trapfinding is an iconic rogue ability, and does not belong to your homebrew class!' But in this case, it is warranted. For the Crackerjack, skills should be a lot more important than they are for a rogue, after all. Skills should rule your world. The one thing that skills are really good for in DnD, though, is finding traps, and disabling them. Having the skill master wait for a few levels while the petty thief can just hop along merrily seems a bit unfair to me.

Another thing that makes me wonder is the whole spells deal. There's two optional abilities that grant something along the lines of spells: One ability that grants you the knowledge of spells, but no spells per day, and the other ability that grants you 1 first-lvl spell per day, and one cantrip, and the knowledge of both these spells.
I honestly don't see what these things do. That first level spell per day won't help at all (apart from when trying to get into a prestige class that requires the ability to cast at least first level spells), and when multiclassing/dipping from caster to Crackerjack, you won't be able to benefit from the additional spells known, since you won't be able to cast them, and you'll get the feature at third level Crackerjack.
All in all, either these features should grant some limited casting comparable to the Ranger/Paladin lists, or they're really just rather redundant, in my opinion. Maybe focus more on healing/protection or illusion/enchantment magics, in order to emphasise the utilitarian nature of the Crackerjack.
(I understand that Artificer is meant to allow the Crackerjack to craft magical items, but without any spells to channel into those items, this wouldn't actually work. Items generally have a listed minimum caster level, yes, but without any spells to imbue such an item, they're pretty much mundane.)


Weapon Knack The crackerjack treats his class level in crackerjack as a class level in fighter for purposes of feat prerequisites only.
Hmm... I'd change the phrasing, if I were you. At third level, if the Crackerjack would take this ability, she'd be treating her three Crackerjack levels as a single 1 fighter level for the purposes of taking feats.
Rather, I'd opt for:
'The Crackerjack's Class levels count as Fighter levels for the purpose of feat prerequisites.'

Further comments? Ehm.. Maybe fill up the 13th lvl. Maybe with another bonus feat? I don't know, but such a dead level in a row of filled levels is a bit of a shame.

Otherwise: Great work, and keep it up. :smallbiggrin:

Fitz10019
2011-09-02, 10:22 AM
I don't understand the huge number of bonus feats either. It might fit the theme if the bonus feats were limited to skill-related feats.

The BAB column has an error. At the moment +3 occurs 3 times, and +2 does not occur at all. Level 3 should be +2, I think.

ideasmith
2011-09-02, 11:05 AM
I like the idea. One concern, however, is:

Does this mean they are stunned for 7 rounds at 7th level? This is essentially an auto-kill. I suggest lowering it to 1 round, which increases to 2 rounds at 15th level.
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.


On the whole, great class. Though I'm also in favour of adding trapfinding at lvl 1. Honestly; it's not something I usually advocate. I'm normally the first to shout 'No! Trapfinding is an iconic rogue ability, and does not belong to your homebrew class!' But in this case, it is warranted. For the Crackerjack, skills should be a lot more important than they are for a rogue, after all. Skills should rule your world. The one thing that skills are really good for in DnD, though, is finding traps, and disabling them. Having the skill master wait for a few levels while the petty thief can just hop along merrily seems a bit unfair to me.

I am reluctant to add more 1st level abilities to this class, which is already a good choice for dips.


Another thing that makes me wonder is the whole spells deal. There's two optional abilities that grant something along the lines of spells: One ability that grants you the knowledge of spells, but no spells per day, and the other ability that grants you 1 first-lvl spell per day, and one cantrip, and the knowledge of both these spells.
I honestly don't see what these things do. That first level spell per day won't help at all (apart from when trying to get into a prestige class that requires the ability to cast at least first level spells), and when multiclassing/dipping from caster to Crackerjack, you won't be able to benefit from the additional spells known, since you won't be able to cast them, and you'll get the feature at third level Crackerjack.
All in all, either these features should grant some limited casting comparable to the Ranger/Paladin lists, or they're really just rather redundant, in my opinion. Maybe focus more on healing/protection or illusion/enchantment magics, in order to emphasise the utilitarian nature of the Crackerjack.
(I understand that Artificer is meant to allow the Crackerjack to craft magical items, but without any spells to channel into those items, this wouldn't actually work. Items generally have a listed minimum caster level, yes, but without any spells to imbue such an item, they're pretty much mundane.)
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.


Hmm... I'd change the phrasing, if I were you. At third level, if the Crackerjack would take this ability, she'd be treating her three Crackerjack levels as a single 1 fighter level for the purposes of taking feats.
Rather, I'd opt for:
'The Crackerjack's Class levels count as Fighter levels for the purpose of feat prerequisites.'
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.


Further comments? Ehm.. Maybe fill up the 13th lvl. Maybe with another bonus feat? I don't know, but such a dead level in a row of filled levels is a bit of a shame.
That blank space was due to a type. Thanks for catching that. Fixed.


Otherwise: Great work, and keep it up. :smallbiggrin:
Thank you.

I don't understand the huge number of bonus feats either.
The class has a large number of feats for the same reson it has a large number of skill points. Feats represent mundane abilities and fit a wide variety of concepts.

It might fit the theme if the bonus feats were limited to skill-related feats.
Limiting the feats to skill-related would either make work for the DM (if I left it to the DM to decide which feats were skill-related) or leave odd gaps (because a source I don’t have which the DM uses has skill-related feats).

The BAB column has an error. At the moment +3 occurs 3 times, and +2 does not occur at all. Level 3 should be +2, I think.
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.

Yitzi
2011-09-02, 02:18 PM
While true that this is indeed Wizards' intent with NPC classes, the question you should ask yourself is: Is that a valid design philosophy?

Of course; the PCs (adventurers) are essentially the cream of the crop, which is why they're the ones going dragon-slaying.


I believe I'm not the only one who thinks that NPCs should not automatically be a lot weaker than adventurers. There's no reason a soldier is worse at fighting than an adventurer; the soldier has a lot more training than the adventurer, after all.

If he has more training, give him a higher level, and then he'll be stronger. If he has better training (e.g. he's been trained in half a dozen different fighting styles, or a particularly unusual one), give him a PC class. (NPCs can have PC classes, and vice versa; it's just that "vice versa" almost never happens.")


There's no reason a farmer should be a much worse combatant than a bard. At least the farmer gets in bar-brawls, while the bard only instigates the brawls.

Then you're comparing a level 2 or 3 commoner (since he gets XP from those bar brawls) to a level 1 bard...and sure enough, the commoner is a better combatant.


There's also no reason for a hunter to be any less effective than a ranger.

Depending on the hunter, he very well might be a ranger.


The hunter hunts for a living, while the ranger merely roves a lot.

A ranger who just roves a lot but never fights will only be level 1, in which case even a commoner hunter might very well be substantially more powerful (depending on how much XP he gets from defending himself against wild animals.)


NPCs in DnD can be killed by literally anything. A rat? There you go; the human is dead.

That is a peculiar artifact of the "minimum 1 damage" rule, which definitely needs to be dealt with for any game where commoner vs. rat is something worth modeling accurately. But that's not the normal D&D game, so in a normal D&D game it's not worth the complexity.

Fitz10019
2011-09-02, 02:49 PM
The class has a large number of feats for the same reson it has a large number of skill points. Feats represent mundane abilities and fit a wide variety of concepts.

Limiting the feats to skill-related would either make work for the DM (if I left it to the DM to decide which feats were skill-related) or leave odd gaps (because a source I don’t have which the DM uses has skill-related feats).


A skill-related-feat limit could be simply defined as any feat that refers a skill by name or has a skill prerequisite.

Lots of feats is not a theme, to me. Or it's the failed theme of the fighter. With that many feats, I would build multiple 'expertises' (why choose one?) while waiting for BAB or ability scores to qualify for the good stuff.

Or above 3rd level, each bonus feat has to have one of the previously-chosen bonus feats as a prereq, as a way to require a theme of sorts while still being very adaptive. [Not serious, but that's how crazy it has to be for me to justify 20 bonus feats (as a DM accepting a PC class).]

ideasmith
2011-09-02, 03:31 PM
Of course; the PCs (adventurers) are essentially the cream of the crop, which is why they're the ones going dragon-slaying.

I agree with this sentence, even if the adventuring PC is a "cobbler or shepherd or something". If you agree with it, why were you arguing that such adventuring PCs should be at nonadventuring NPC strength?

ideasmith
2011-09-02, 04:43 PM
A skill-related-feat limit could be simply defined as any feat that refers a skill by name or has a skill prerequisite.
So whether Skill Focus counted as skill-related would depend on which source you used? (The PH version mentions Move Silently, but the SRD version doesn't.) But Mounted Combat would be skill-related either way? (Both versions have Ride as a prerequisite.)

I'm dubious.

Lots of feats is not a theme, to me. Or it's the failed theme of the fighter. With that many feats, I would build multiple 'expertises' (why choose one?) while waiting for BAB or ability scores to qualify for the good stuff.

Why would it matter whether lots of feats is a theme?

Or above 3rd level, each bonus feat has to have one of the previously-chosen bonus feats as a prereq, as a way to require a theme of sorts while still being very adaptive. [Not serious, but that's how crazy it has to be for me to justify 20 bonus feats (as a DM accepting a PC class).]

I'm getting that you dislike the quantity of feats, but your reasons for this dislike are not getting across.

137ben
2011-09-02, 05:41 PM
I think the way to solve this feat argument is to use the same method as other classes' bonus feats: They are selected from a limited list. Homebrew feats can be added to that list at DM discretion.
I would include feats that either
a)give a bonus to a skill, or
b)have a skill as a prerequisite.

ideasmith
2011-09-02, 08:43 PM
I think the way to solve this feat argument is to use the same method as other classes' bonus feats: They are selected from a limited list. Homebrew feats can be added to that list at DM discretion.
I would include feats that either
a)give a bonus to a skill, or
b)have a skill as a prerequisite.


Limiting the feats to skill-related would either make work for the DM (if I left it to the DM to decide which feats were skill-related) or leave odd gaps (because a source I don’t have which the DM uses has skill-related feats).

Your suggestion has both these problems.

I don't see much benefit in this restriction anyway, even if the 'what list' problem were fully solved. Some, but not very much.

137ben
2011-09-03, 03:44 PM
Determining whether a feat gives a bonus to a skill really isn't that much work. The DM doesn't have to look through every feat in every book--the player can do that (and they should already be use to doing that if they are using feats from every book anyways). The DM just has to verify that the feat gives a bonus to a skill, which requires nothing more than reading the feat description (something the DM should do anyways).

ideasmith
2011-09-03, 04:28 PM
Determining whether a feat gives a bonus to a skill really isn't that much work. The DM doesn't have to look through every feat in every book--the player can do that (and they should already be use to doing that if they are using feats from every book anyways). The DM just has to verify that the feat gives a bonus to a skill, which requires nothing more than reading the feat description (something the DM should do anyways).

My apologies, I goofed. Bonus is, indeed, defined in the rules, on page 305 of the Player's Handbook.

Which still leaves the 'odd gaps' problem, and even makes it worse, since Track does not provide a bonus by that definition, and does not have any prerequisites.

Yitzi
2011-09-03, 09:08 PM
I agree with this sentence, even if the adventuring PC is a "cobbler or shepherd or something". If you agree with it, why were you arguing that such adventuring PCs should be at nonadventuring NPC strength?

He'd be a bit stronger than NPC strength due to better ability scores, but a large portion of why the PCs are the cream of the crop is that they are highly trained in encounter-related capabilities, i.e. they are not just cobblers or shepherds.

ideasmith
2011-09-03, 10:40 PM
He'd be a bit stronger than NPC strength due to better ability scores, but a large portion of why the PCs are the cream of the crop is that they are highly trained in encounter-related capabilities, i.e. they are not just cobblers or shepherds.

Ah. A clear case of 'too much reality going on here'. D&D is not based on reality, it is based on fiction. In fiction, a gardener can defeat "Shelob the Great" and a tailor can cut the heads of trolls.

Yitzi
2011-09-04, 07:23 AM
Ah. A clear case of 'too much reality going on here'. D&D is not based on reality, it is based on fiction.

Not really; it is modelling a fantasy universe, which can be as realistic or not as the DM desires. The "standard" D&D setting is somewhat more toward the realistic end; if someone wants a homebrew where PCs get added bonuses, that's up to them.


In fiction, a gardener can defeat "Shelob the Great" and a tailor can cut the heads of trolls.

Not normally; those were special cases, and if you want a game where such can happen you'd want to make use of various other plot-based bonuses for PCs (such as action points). (In fact, you could even play an "unlikely heroes" game, where the PCs are limited to NPC classes to indicate that by all rights they should not be capable of much, and then give them stuff like action points and similar bonuses to make up the difference and make them truly impressive.)

Dryad
2011-09-04, 07:55 AM
Actually, you'll find that not only are PCs the creme de la creme; PCs are absolutely god-mode by the time they hit level three.
If you like Marvel Heroes and such, this sort of power should not be absurd, but for those of us who do not like that sort of thing, this really is a problem.
One of the results of that problem is that GMs often need to place vastly more powerful NPCs in the game to prevent the PCs from going haywire and ruining campaign. Overall, the PCs are so powerful that they can either safely ignore consequences, or NPCs such as guards need to be made so ridiculously powerful that the PCs can just shrug and go 'Well; why don't YOU solve that problem, kill that dragon, steal that ring then?'
Power in DnD is honestly not fine. DnD's power-levels are possibly the best reason to play a different system.

Personally, I'll applaud any attempt to even out the power-distribution in DnD.
I might not actually agree with the philosophy of making other things more powerful; to my mind, the solution is in making PC's léss powerful (and far, fár more mortal.) Still; it's one design philosophy.

ideasmith
2011-09-04, 08:24 AM
Not really; it is modelling a fantasy universe, which can be as realistic or not as the DM desires. The "standard" D&D setting is somewhat more toward the realistic end; if someone wants a homebrew where PCs get added bonuses, that's up to them.


There are games that aim at realism, such as Runequest and GURPS. D&D is decidedly not one of them. For example, anyone even moderately familiar with the D&D hit point system knows that D&D characters already get lots of unrealistic 'bonus' hit points.

If some concepts, such as 'bard' or 'tailer' need more bonuses than other classes, then so be it.


Not normally; those were special cases, and if you want a game where such can happen you'd want to make use of various other plot-based bonuses for PCs (such as action points). (In fact, you could even play an "unlikely heroes" game, where the PCs are limited to NPC classes to indicate that by all rights they should not be capable of much, and then give them stuff like action points and similar bonuses to make up the difference and make them truly impressive.)

The defeats in question were do to the characters being awesome, not luck or special conditions. That is how they are presented in the stories, and it is how they are presented in the stories that counts here.

Yitzi
2011-09-05, 10:50 AM
Actually, you'll find that not only are PCs the creme de la creme; PCs are absolutely god-mode by the time they hit level three.

Not without using the rules in a way that was never intended to happen.


If you like Marvel Heroes and such, this sort of power should not be absurd, but for those of us who do not like that sort of thing, this really is a problem.
One of the results of that problem is that GMs often need to place vastly more powerful NPCs in the game to prevent the PCs from going haywire and ruining campaign.

And then you still end up with what amounts to a Marvel Heroes level thing, just with appropriate villians. (Which can be done even with NPC classes by giving the important villians PC classes and saving NPC classes for mooks and noncombatants; actually, that probably should be done anyway.)

Solving that problem, rather than simply working around it, requires more than just powerful NPCs; it requires cracking down on the overpowered builds and resources.


Personally, I'll applaud any attempt to even out the power-distribution in DnD.
I might not actually agree with the philosophy of making other things more powerful; to my mind, the solution is in making PC's léss powerful (and far, fár more mortal.) Still; it's one design philosophy.

I'd agree with your design philosophy, with the caveat that the PCs should not be made too weak (as otherwise the monsters have to be weaker again and you run into "why don't YOU kill that dragon" again); I'd say the proper level is an unoptimized or mildly optimized (tier 3 or lower) Core character.

But even if one takes the "make other things more powerful to balance them" approach, that's ok for balancing PCs against things that are supposed to challenge them (e.g. guards). But what about the multitude of characters who are not supposed to be able to take care of themselves in a fight? You need something for the storekeeper with the physical capabilities of a first-level wizard and the magical capabilities of a fighter. Or even consider mook guards (not to be confused with important NPCs who happen to be guards); surely they should be somewhat less powerful than a corresponding PC, even if not by the amount found in optimized D&D. For these sorts of purposes, we have weaker classes, known as NPC classes because they are almost never taken by PCs (even though some NPCs, especially important ones who are supposed to be a major challenge, take PC classes.)



There are games that aim at realism, such as Runequest and GURPS. D&D is decidedly not one of them.

I'd say it does, at least within the limitations of epic fantasy.


For example, anyone even moderately familiar with the D&D hit point system knows that D&D characters already get lots of unrealistic 'bonus' hit points.

Anyone a bit more familiar knows that those hit points represent things that are perfectly realistic for major characters in epic fantasy, such as extraordinary toughness or even divine favor.


If some concepts, such as 'bard' or 'tailer' need more bonuses than other classes, then so be it.

Depends what sort of setting you're aiming for. In the standard D&D setting, a tailor (or a bard who can't use his music in a magical manner) is not going to be a valuable member of an adventuring party. Which is how it should be, at least for most people; if tailors are so powerful, why is the village tailor asking professionals to rescue his daughter?


The defeats in question were do to the characters being awesome, not luck or special conditions. That is how they are presented in the stories, and it is how they are presented in the stories that counts here.

And awesomeness is not represented by a more powerful class (that represents training and capability), but rather by abilities that modify the rolls directly (e.g. action points.)

Now, there are other ways to deal with this and make "main characters" get that important advantage, but unless the advantage arises from their normal skillset it should not be their class. (And if it does arise from their normal skillset, they should get the appropriate class, or a homebrew one if none fits.)

The events you mentioned were also largely due to powerful magical items being used, and that's something that even a PC with an NPC class would get.

ideasmith
2011-09-06, 02:12 PM
I'd say it does, at least within the limitations of epic fantasy.
You apparently would.

Anyone a bit more familiar knows that those hit points represent things that are perfectly realistic for major characters in epic fantasy, such as extraordinary toughness or even divine favor.
And the abilities I have given the crackerjack class are also perfectly realistic for major characters in epic fantasy.

Depends what sort of setting you're aiming for. In the standard D&D setting, a tailor (or a bard who can't use his music in a magical manner) is not going to be a valuable member of an adventuring party. Which is how it should be, at least for most people; if tailors are so powerful, why is the village tailor asking professionals to rescue his daughter?
You ask why an expert would ask a party containing a crackerjack for help. Why, for the same reason that a warrior would ask a party containing a fighter for help.

And awesomeness is not represented by a more powerful class (that represents training and capability), but rather by abilities that modify the rolls directly (e.g. action points.)
The distinction you are making, between “training and capability” and “awesomeness” is not really meaningful when it comes to D&D and epic fantasy. Or, really, most fiction.

Now, there are other ways to deal with this and make "main characters" get that important advantage, but unless the advantage arises from their normal skillset it should not be their class. (And if it does arise from their normal skillset, they should get the appropriate class, or a homebrew one if none fits.)
And the crackerjack is a homebrew class that gives expert-types advantages that arise from their normal skillset.

The events you mentioned were also largely due to powerful magical items being used, and that's something that even a PC with an NPC class would get.
The items Samwise Gamgee uses amount to a +1 sword and a glass that glows brightly. The valiant little tailor uses no magic at all. Both use less than most D&D PCs.

Yitzi
2011-09-07, 08:23 AM
And the abilities I have given the crackerjack class are also perfectly realistic for major characters in epic fantasy.

Indeed. I have nothing against this class in particular, just against the claim by The Tygre that NPC classes serve no purpose.


The items Samwise Gamgee uses amount to a +1 sword and a glass that glows brightly.

And in just the right situations where they're needed. Having the right minor magical item for the situation can be a major benefit.

ideasmith
2011-09-07, 11:28 AM
Indeed. I have nothing against this class in particular, just against the claim by The Tygre that NPC classes serve no purpose.

I am surprised to hear that The Tygre made such a claim. In his only post on this thread, he is implying otherwise.

Why did you reply to his claim on this thread, rather than the thread he made the claim on?



And in just the right situations where they're needed. Having the right minor magical item for the situation can be a major benefit.

The +1 sword didn't seem any more effective against Shelob than it would have been against anyone else. And while the glass did eventually drive Shelob away, the key word there is 'eventually'.

Yitzi
2011-09-08, 02:30 PM
I am surprised to hear that The Tygre made such a claim. In his only post on this thread, he is implying otherwise.

Maybe you understand "I never got why there should be exclusively NPC classes." differently than I do.


Why did you reply to his claim on this thread, rather than the thread he made the claim on?

This is the thread he made the claim on.


The +1 sword didn't seem any more effective against Shelob than it would have been against anyone else.

But it did the job.


And while the glass did eventually drive Shelob away, the key word there is 'eventually'.

Eventually or not, it was a major part of what did it.

ideasmith
2011-09-09, 09:18 AM
Maybe you understand "I never got why there should be exclusively NPC classes." differently than I do..

Taking that sentence out of context does change its meaning.




Eventually or not, it was a major part of what did it.

If one counts straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back as major. Shelob had to be critically wounded before the starglass would drive her off.

Yitzi
2011-09-09, 12:12 PM
Taking that sentence out of context does change its meaning.

I don't see it as meaning anything different in context (even though there he accepts it, he still said he doesn't really understand it, hence I explained.)


If one counts straw-that-breaks-the-camel's-back as major. Shelob had to be critically wounded before the starglass would drive her off.

And for that, the magical sword presumably did help some.

Handsome Goblin
2011-09-16, 11:44 AM
So if I took a level 1 dip in wizard would I be able to spell cast at those levels??

ideasmith
2011-09-16, 03:08 PM
So if I took a level 1 dip in wizard would I be able to spell cast at those levels??

None of the crackerjack class features improve wizard spellcasting (except that bonus feat might provide a feat that does so). Class levels in other classes don't improve crackerjack spellcasting unless so specified in the other class'es class description, and wizards have no such class feature.

Mangles
2011-09-16, 05:57 PM
Minor Magic: Choose one spellcasting class. The crackerjack casts spells from that class’s spell list. These spells are divine if the chosen class casts divine spells, or arcane if the chosen class casts arcane spells. He can cast such a spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must (see below).

A wizard and cleric both need to prepare spells. The way your sentence reads it is suggesting that you don't need to do this. It would be better worded. "He can cast such a spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a sorcerer can."


To learn or cast a spell, he must have at least one ability score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a sorcerer’s spell is 10 + the spell level.


It says sorcerer's here. It should say crackerjack's


The crackerjack’s selection of spells is extremely limited. He knows one 0-level spell per level, one 1st-level spell per three levels, one 2nd level spell per five levels, one 3rd level spell per seven levels, and one 4th level spell per five levels. (Like spells per day, the number of spells he knows is not affected by his ability scores.)

The way this reads you get 4th level spells quicker than you get 3rd level spells. I'm pretty sure that wasn't intended.


These new spells can be common spells chosen from the chosen class’s spell list, or they can be unusual spells that the crackerjack has gained some understanding of by study. The crackerjack can’t use this method of spell acquisition to learn spells at a faster rate, however.


What does this even mean? Can he get spells outside his class list. If so how does he obtain them. The same way the class in question would? does this allow him to swap to divine spells if he chooses arcane at the start. It is very ambiguous and that is not good in d&d.


Unlike a wizard or a cleric, the crackerjack need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he’ll cast.

You have this written in twice. If you fix the above statement than this whole section can be deleted.

Also I would never allow any PC in any group I DM'ed to use this. And would leave a group where it was allowed. It appears very OP in comparison to other classes whose roll it takes over

Fitz10019
2011-09-17, 09:14 AM
I'm getting that you dislike the quantity of feats, but your reasons for this dislike are not getting across.
The fighter has a theme -- it gets combat-related feats at every second level. The Scout gets scout-related feats at every fourth level. What is the crackerjack's theme? How does that theme fit getting carte blanche feats at every second level? Also, why the monk-style super saves? Your intro says it's based on the Expert NPC class, but that class has normal saves and no bonus feats. Also note, an expert is an expert at something, not at everything. [If your theme is versatility, then "Crackerjack" is not an apt name, because instead you're making a jack of all trades.]

It seems like your idea for the class is incomplete, so you are stuffing it with gold to make up for it. I'm not saying a Crackerjack would dominate a game. It's just that lotsafeats and supersaves are an artless way to make a base class attractive. It lacks style. Your sauce needs oregano, not more tomato.

Switching metaphors, bonus feats should be support, not foundation; in my opinion.

ideasmith
2011-09-19, 08:08 AM
A wizard and cleric both need to prepare spells. The way your sentence reads it is suggesting that you don't need to do this. It would be better worded. "He can cast such a spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a sorcerer can."
The same wording in the sorcerer class seems to have caused no such confusion.

It says sorcerer's here. It should say crackerjack's
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.

The way this reads you get 4th level spells quicker than you get 3rd level spells. I'm pretty sure that wasn't intended.
Thanks for catching that. Fixed.

What does this even mean? Can he get spells outside his class list. If so how does he obtain them. The same way the class in question would? does this allow him to swap to divine spells if he chooses arcane at the start. It is very ambiguous and that is not good in d&d.
It means the same thing for crackerjacks that the same wording means for sorcerers.

You have this written in twice. If you fix the above statement than this whole section can be deleted.
Since this information is repeated twice for the sorcerer, I figure it bears repeating.

Also I would never allow any PC in any group I DM'ed to use this. And would leave a group where it was allowed. It appears very OP in comparison to other classes whose roll it takes over
What classes would that be? Since other posters on this thread consider the crackerjack to be on the weak side, some explanation of your opinion seems called for.


The fighter has a theme -- it gets combat-related feats at every second level. The Scout gets scout-related feats at every fourth level. What is the crackerjack's theme? How does that theme fit getting carte blanche feats at every second level?
Not sure what you mean by ‘theme’ here, and none of the dictionary definitions I found seem to fit.

Also, why the monk-style super saves? Your intro says it's based on the Expert NPC class, but that class has normal saves and no bonus feats.
That was unintentional. Thanks for catching it. Fixed

Also note, an expert is an expert at something, not at everything. [If your theme is versatility, then "Crackerjack" is not an apt name, because instead you're making a jack of all trades.]
The words ‘expert’ and ‘crackerjack’ both imply ‘very good at something’. Neither word implies lack of skill at other things. Favored skill and contemplation ensure that the crackerjack will, indeed, be very good at something, regardless of feats chosen.

It seems like your idea for the class is incomplete, so you are stuffing it with gold to make up for it. I'm not saying a Crackerjack would dominate a game. It's just that lotsafeats and supersaves are an artless way to make a base class attractive. It lacks style. Your sauce needs oregano, not more tomato.
I am not getting your meaning here.

Switching metaphors, bonus feats should be support, not foundation; in my opinion.
I didn’t intend the feats as ‘foundation’ by any meaning of the word that I am aware of.

ideasmith
2012-06-17, 02:36 PM
Class revised based on advice from Morph Bark on another thread. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245701)