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Paulus
2010-04-03, 01:29 PM
Well well, in my ever quest for the perfect class to suit all my needs I come to you today with the third version of the poet class! I've chucked the arcane and divine out the window in favor of invocations, why? Well I thought "I wonder what a melee class with Invocations would be like?" So I added them in instead of spells. Besides if all a poet has to do to cast his spell is recite poetry, might as well have them work the same as invocations on a limited basis. A few key points to ponder.

*I'm on the fence about letting the poet use both warlock AND Dragonfire Adept invocations. Use Warlock Invocations by default.

*I wanted his spells casting/magical abilities to be mostly defenses/utility.

*As for his offense to be mostly physical combative, hence the full bab.

*Saves are as is just because I can't decide which save is best. Heck, maybe all of them should be good?

*Deflection bonus ability. Would Insight or Dodge be better or is Deflection fine?

*Simple weapons and light armor only. Controversial? Dunno, trying to balance survivability in melee with trying not to out strip the other melee classes because he gets invocations.

Anyway, thanks for any advice you give!


All the fluff!

POET______________________________________________ _________________

Poets are unique in their perceptions of the world around them, they often see the fantastic or mundane in far different lights than others. A poet finds wonder and profound lessons in magic, combat, and skills. Because of this a poet is not as direct in his methods of expression as other classes. Like a Wizard the poet's Spellcaster soul is expressed through magical abilities, like Rouges the poet's Expert mind is expressed in a wider range of skills, and like a Fighter a Warrior Poet's body is expressed through combat. Some would say the Poet simply lacks focus and that his broad range of abilities hinders excelling on any specific path, but it is the Poets focus in expression itself that proves his greatest ability.
Throughout his life a poet creates a number of poems written in his Book of Poetry, every now and again he creates a poem so insightful it broadens his understanding to the point of changing him in the creating. From this a poet connects to and expresses his soul in a very tangible way, influencing his adventures and helping those who adventure with him with his art.
It is true the poet may never be as magically superior as a true Wizard, or as astonishingly skilled as a true Rogue, nor even as capable of amazing feats as a true Fighter, but the Poet's focus and perceptions allow for enhancement in any circumstance. Where the Wizard would lack combat ability the Poet provides protection and defense, where the Rogue would lack magical ability the Poet provides support and versatility, where the Fighter would lack skill the poet provides variety and utility.

Adventures: Poets conduct themselves with a rich appreciation for all facets of life, they see thing differently, and have an everlasting wonder because of this. Even if a poet is reserved in his attitude, the abilities that flow from him are just as enchanted or sometimes melancholy as the words that flow from his pen. A poet adventures to find more inspiration, influence, or outright impact for their poetry. A poet is second only to the wizard in his obsession with a single tome. A poetís book of poetry. No two poets are alike in their interests, reasons, or motivations. But the one thing all poets have in common if their love of expressing themselves through poetry.

Characteristics: A Poet is far more specialized than a sorcerer or wizard; their invocations are nothing more than poems encompassing some aspect of focus on a certain school. Spells of Evocation are merely poem influenced by creation, destruction, and the natural world; Necromancy is poetry influenced by life, death, and the supernatural world; Divination is poetry influenced by seeing things as they are, the reality of what is; Illusion, poetry influenced by seeing things as they could be, the reality of what isn't; Transmutation, poetry influenced by perceptions and views through changes of body and Spells of Enchantment are poems influenced by perceptions and views through changes of mind. Abjuration and Conjuration do not lend themselves easily to expression and are seen as more purely magical pursuits but if anyone can be inspired by such aspects of magic, a poet can. Everything a poet does is influenced by his expression in poetry; whether through magic both wondrous and mundane, or precise and practiced skill, or even graceful and terrible combat, the poet is never short on ways to expand his expression. A poet can search for and disarm traps, hold his own in combat, and cast a variety of useful and powerful Invocations. He also learns a great deal about certain subjects which interest his work and can be very knowledgeable about a variety of topics.

Alignment: A poet can come from any walk of life, the single driving feature of any poet is his need to express his poetry and find inspiration for further expression. A good poet can be just as inspired by the everyday or extraordinary as an evil poet, and it matters not if a poetís poetry is chaotic or lawful, so long as he is able to express it, a poet feels fulfilled.

Religion: Poets and deities get along very well, for who else can better write divine poetry? A poetís choice of religion usually has a lot to do with his favored school of expression. Poets who are influenced by Evocation, creation or destruction, and the natural world can revere Obad-Hai, Ehlonna, Moradin, or Hextor, Weejas, Erythnul for example. But in truth a Poet can worship any deity, or none at all, such are their varieties as different as alignment or background.

Background: Poets donít have a typical or stereotypical beginning that identifies them or binds them together. Any person who feels so infused by the world around them and feels an unrelenting urge to express his views, perceptions or perspectives on it can become a poet. A poet can have a dark past and be so inspired to write about the morose and explore its possibilities, reasons and outcomes. Or a poet could be inspired by a grandiose life of riches and find it a terrible bore with only his poetry as a true outlet of enjoyment. Or a poet can come from the poorest and humblest of beginnings, and seek only to share the appreciation of the simpler things in life with others. Or a poet can be a tortured soul driven by sheer loneliness into the near outreaches of madness with barely structured words and sentences the only ties to sanity he has left. A poet is as varied in his background as he is in his race, alignment, religion, and ideas. The only limitation a poet knows is the end of a page, and that is usually followed by the beginning of a new one.

Races: A poets race usually only decides a few things, the initial language he writes his poetry in and the experiences upon which he has to drawn from to write his works. Even illiterate races born from the deepest wilds find sound, rhythm, and motion a form of poetic expression. From the deepest darkest abyss where dread demons muse of living in the light or relish their dark existence, to the highest archon writing praise of beauty and hope in good, to the very far reaches of the ocean where mermaids sit in rapt attention to a Dragonís latest limerick, poetry can come from any being who has the soul or inclination to explore it.

Other Classes: Poets love adventuring with other classes for, though a poet may be able to hold his own, he can only hope to reach the deepest darkest dungeons or forbidden temples or lost holy shrines or ancient groves with the help of others. Plus more people means more possibility for inspiration, not to mention an audience. Poets get along very well with Clerics, Rangers, Druids, and Paladins particularly, who like themselves are a mix of skills, combat, and magic, but are of a divine inspiration which the poet magically lacks, further complementing each others own skills by their strengths and weaknesses. Poets also find Fighters, Barbarians, Sorcerers and Wizards inspiring for their pure focus in combat or Magic alone. Poets have a special appreciation for Rogues and Monks however, Monks for their like minded focus into perfection of a part of themselves, and Rogues for their sheer variety of background and potential. Poets and Bards donít really see much of a difference between themselves and will often exchange works, perform together, or simply enjoy each otherís company.

Role: The poetís role is ultimately support oriented. A Poetís limited selection of Invocations and skills allow them great versatility, but they lack the spell casting power of centered wizards or sorcerers. Their combat defense and offense is impressive, yet they are only proficient with simple weapons and light armor and thus lack the focus and diversity of combat abilities the fighter or barbarian would have. Finally, while they have access to more skills than a rouge, their lack of skill points forces them to make select choices in which skill to focus in. Altogether, for an average group of four adventures the Poet is one of the best fifth members and can serves as secondary support to any class with his varied, skills, Invocations, and combat prowess.



Poet
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Invocations known
1st|+1|+2|+2|+2|Poetic License(traps), Invocation (least)|1
2nd|+2|+3|+3|+3|Poetry in Motion +2|2
3rd|+3|+3|+3|+3||2
4th|+4|+4|+4|+4||3
5th|+5| +4|+4|+4||3
6th|+6/+1| +5|+5|+5|New Invocation (least or lesser)|4
7th|+7/+2| +5|+5|+5||4
8th|+8/+3| +6|+6|+6|Poetry in Motion +3|5
9th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+6| Poetic License (items)|5
10th|+10/+5| +7|+7|+7|| 6
11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+7|+7|| 7
12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+8|+8| New Invocation (least, lesser, greater)|7
13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+8|+8| Poetry in Motion +4|8
14th|+14/+9/+4| +9|+9|+9| |8
15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+9|+9| |9
16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+10|+10|New Invocation (least Ė dark|10
17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+10|+10| |10
18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+11|+11|Poetry in Motion +5|11
19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+11|+11| |11
20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+12|+12| |12 [/table]

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Poets have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Charisma determines how hard a poetís invocations are to resist (see Invocations, below). Dexterity provides extra protection for the lightly armored poet. Intelligence is important for many of the poetís skills. A high Strength score would also serve a Poet well in combat.
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills
All. Poets have a huge repository of knowledge, treat any skill as a class skill
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ◊ 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the poet.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Poets are proficient with all simple weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields. Because the somatic components required for poet invocations are relatively simple, a poet can use any of his invocations while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like arcane spellcasters, a poet wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure (all invocations have a somatic component). A multiclass poet still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from levels in other classes.

Invocations: Same as warlock:
A poet does not actually cast spells the way a wizard or sorcerer would. Instead, they create poetry encompassing some feature of a certain school and through this find the energy and ability to focus the wild energy that suffuses his soul. A poet can recite any invocation he knows at will, with the following qualifications: A poetís invocations are spell-like abilities; using an invocation is therefore a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity. An invocation can be disrupted, just as a spell can be ruined during casting. A poet is entitled to a Concentration check to successfully use an invocation if he is hit by an attack while invoking, just as a spellcaster would be. A poet can choose to use an invocation defensively, by making a successful Concentration check, to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity. A poetís invocations are subject to spell resistance unless an invocationís description specifically states otherwise. A poetís caster level with his invocations is equal to his poet level.

The save DC for an invocation (if it allows a save) is 10 + equivalent spell level + the poetís Charisma modifier. Since spell-like abilities are not actually spells, a poet cannot benefit from the Spell Focus feat. He can, however, benefit from the Ability Focus feat (see page 303 of the Monster Manual), as well as from feats that emulate metamagic effects for spell-like abilities, such as Quicken Spell-Like Ability and Empower Spell-Like Ability (see pages 303 and 304 of the Monster Manual). The four grades of invocations, in order of their relative power, are least, lesser, greater, and dark. A poet begins with knowledge of one invocation, which must be of the lowest grade (least). As a poet gains levels, he learns new invocations, as summarized on Table 1Ė1 and described below. A list of available invocations can be found following this class description, and a complete description of each invocation can be found in Chapter 4 of this book. At any level when a poet learns a new invocation, he can also replace an invocation he already knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade. At 6th level, a poet can replace a least invocation he knows with a different least invocation (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be either least or lesser). At 11th level, a poet can replace a least or lesser invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, or greater). At 16th level, a poet can replace a least, lesser, or greater invocation he knows with another invocation of the same or a lower grade (in addition to learning a new invocation, which could be least, lesser, greater, or dark). Finally, unlike other spell-like abilities, invocations are subject to arcane spell failure chance as described under Weapon and Armor Proficiency above. Poets can qualify for some prestige classes usually intended for spellcasters; see Poets and Prestige Classes, page 18, for details.

Poetic License: Poets can analyze a reality presented to them and choose to skillfully alter it to their whims. At 1st level Poets can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a non magical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. Poets can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A poet who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it. At 12th level a poetís ability to alter reality applies to item creation as well as destruction. He can use his supernatural power to create magic items, even if he does not know the spells required to make an item (although he must know the appropriate item creation feat). He can substitute a Use Magic Device check (DC 15 + spell level for arcane spells or 25 + spell level for divine spells) in place of a required spell he doesnít know or canít cast. If the check succeeds, the poet can create the item as if he had cast the required spell. If it fails, he cannot complete the item. He does not expend the XP or gp costs for making the item; his progress is simply arrested. He cannot retry this Use Magic Device check for that spell until he gains a new level.

Poetry in Motion: Poets lack the diversity of combat feats a pure warrior may have but make up for this with an almost mystical ability born of poetic insight into battles. Many a foe has perceived theirs blows missing a warrior poet as if deflected by their fluid grace in melee. At 2nd level a poet gains a +2 Deflection bonus to Ac. At 8th level this increased to +3, and at 18th the Deflection Bonus to Ac increases to +5.

Jack of Spades
2010-04-03, 10:02 PM
Seems like poets would have high Will, middling Reflex and low Fortitude saves.

For flavor, maybe drop the BaB to mid and make Poetry in Motion give a bonues to it? Dunno, just an idea.

Paulus
2010-04-04, 12:00 PM
Seems like poets would have high Will, middling Reflex and low Fortitude saves.

For flavor, maybe drop the BaB to mid and make Poetry in Motion give a bonues to it? Dunno, just an idea.

Thanks for the reply!

As far as saves go, I'm still on the fence about which should be most important. Truthfully I've been leaning toward Will and Fort, in that order. I want the poet to be able to withstand melee since his invocations are mainly for defense and they don't get Dragon Breath or Eldritch Blast like the other invocation classes.

Which brings me to BaB: if I lower the bab it will make them far weaker in combat. My initial reasoning was they have Invocations for utility and defense, but not much offensive options there. Nor do they have any damaging skills like Sneak or Skirmish and they don't have the feats to spare for combat specialization. So I though all of this was offset at least by the fact they get full bab. But to keep it balanced with other melee, since no one else gets Invocations in melee, I though to further hamper his combat selection by giving them only Simple Weapon prof. Meaning if one couldn't go crazy with super powerful weapons without spending a feat or two.

So thereby, the poet has some of the utility and crowd control of the warlock, some of the skill ability of the Factotum (yet to keep it balanced I gave him less skill points so as to not outshine the rouge or bard) and to make him at least viable in melee I gave him d8 hit die, full bab, and I want at least two good saves perhaps all three if utterly needed, and the ability to make his own armor and weapons.

All and all the poet can specialize in one area of weaponry really well, utilize it with his good hp, bab, and saves. Use his invocations for utility or defense for the party or himself, and crowd control. Select a fair number of skills to fill any role and fill in any gaps with Use Magic Devices or His own created items, weapons, armor. With the right feat of course.

On the face of it, it looks a bit over powered to me still. And in some ways underpowered. Pure stat power vs. less ability power. I don't know if I'm over valuing Invocations, under valuing full bab, good saves, and d8hd, or just plain have a mess on my hands. But I least I got 1 reply! Thanks again by the way!

Jack of Spades
2010-04-04, 01:50 PM
Hm, I think I'm reading a bit to much into the actual name of the class. Y'see, to me 'poet' would mean this guy:

http://needcoffee.cachefly.net/needcoffee/uploads/2008/01/ktale1.jpg

Which would probably come out to a Bard prestige class of some kind.

Paulus
2010-04-04, 03:10 PM
Hm, I think I'm reading a bit to much into the actual name of the class. Y'see, to me 'poet' would mean this guy:

http://needcoffee.cachefly.net/needcoffee/uploads/2008/01/ktale1.jpg

Which would probably come out to a Bard prestige class of some kind.

As many have suggested, and previous incarnations were just that, a 'better bard'. But I was also going for the "Warrior Poet" and the Japanese Samurai Warrior who was also intellectual and poetic in his art, as well as the well the sheer potency of poetics in battle. Basically, I was unhappy with the bard, he doesn't do what he is suppose to very well. All classes rolled into one. And I don't like the Factotum's need for inspiration points. For the same reason I don't like Psi stuff in D&D, the point system.

Invocations are the closest thing to 'easy but not over powered' magic system I've found in D&D, and it shares much in common with Arcane and Divine magic (descriptively and fluff wise, not systems) Thereby a class which utilizes Invocations as well as being effective in melee and with skills to help out became the goal because it supports all three key roles. Spell caster, Warrior, and Expert.

Apparently either I've done a great job, a really poor job, or people really aren't interested enough to actually comment on it. If I don't get much more critiques and what not I'll just have to play test him and find out.

Lix Lorn
2010-04-04, 07:22 PM
I like the look of it. But I don't know enough to give critique, so... bump. XD