PDA

View Full Version : Werewolf [3.5 base class]



Heliomance
2010-04-21, 08:21 AM
Werewolves are a highly specialised form of spellcaster. In essence, they know one spell, which lets them transform into a wolf, and they learn to utilise this spell in ever more effective ways.

Hit Die: d10

Skill points per level: 4+Int mod, x4 at first level

Class skills: Balance, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble

Werewolf
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Bite|Claw|Speed bonus|Natural Armour Bonus|Maneuvers Known|Maneuver Readied|Stances Known

1st|
+1|
+2|
+2|
+0|Aspect of the Wolf, Wolf Form 1/day, Improved Trip, Scent, Track, Low-light vision|1d6|-|+0ft|+0|2|2|1

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+0|Trackless Step, Wolf Form 2/day, DR 1/silver|1d6|-|+0ft|+1|2|2|1

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+3|
+1|Uncanny Dodge, Blind-Fight|1d6|-|+10ft|+1|3|2|1

4th|
+4|
+4|
+4|
+1|Wolf form 1/hour, DR 2/silver|1d8|-|+10ft|+1|3|2|1

5th|
+5|
+4|
+4|
+1|Vigilant Defender, Skirmish 1d6|1d8|-|+10ft|+2|3|2|1

6th|
+6|
+5|
+5|
+2|Flawless Stride, Improved Uncanny Dodge, DR 3/silver|1d8|1d4|+20ft|+2|4|2|1

7th|
+7|
+5|
+5|
+2|Flowing Movement, Evasion|1d8|1d4|+20ft|+2|4|2|2

8th|
+8|
+6|
+6|
+2|Opportunistic Harrier, DR 4/silver|1d10|1d6|+20ft|+3|4|3|2

9th|
+9|
+6|
+6|
+3|Spring Attack|1d10|1d6|+30ft|+3|5|3|2

10th|
+10|
+7|
+7|
+3|Aspect of the Wolf (Ancient Wolf), Wolf form at will, DR 5/silver|1d10|1d6|+30ft|+3|5|3|2

11th|
+11|
+7|
+7|
+3|Skirmish 2d6|1d10|1d6|+30ft|+4|5|3|2

12th|
+12|
+8|
+8|
+4|Leap at the Moon, DR 6/silver|2d6|1d8|+40ft|+4|6|3|2

13th|
+13|
+8|
+8|
+4|Crippling Bite|2d6|1d8|+40ft|+4|6|3|2

14th|
+14|
+9|
+9|
+4|DR 7/silver|2d6|1d8|+40ft|+5|6|3|3

15th|
+15|
+9|
+9|
+5|Hide in Plain Sight|2d6|1d8|+50ft|+5|7|3|3

16th|
+16|
+10|
+10|
+5|DR 8/silver|2d8|1d10|+50ft|+5|7|4|3

17th|
+17|
+10|
+10|
+5|Skirmish 3d6|2d8|1d10|+50ft|+6|7|4|3

18th|
+18|
+11|
+11|
+6|DR 9/silver|2d8|1d10|+60ft|+6|8|4|3

19th|
+19|
+11|
+11|
+6||2d8|1d10|+60ft|+6|8|4|3

20th|
+20|
+12|
+12|
+6|Aspect of the Wolf (Wolf Incarnate), DR 10/silver|2d10|2d6|+60ft|+7|8|4|3[/table]

Weapon and Armour proficiencies: Werewolves gain proficiency with their natural weapons only. They do not gain proficiency with any armour or shields.

Aspect of the Wolf (Su): At first level, a Werewolf learns to change their shape to that of a wolf as a move action. The number of times per day they can do this is limited, as shown on the table. While in wolf form, their size becomes Medium, and they gain a +2 racial bonus to Strength, +4 racial bonus to Dexterity and a +2 racial bonus to Constitution. They gain a bite attack and, at 6th level, two secondary claw attacks as shown on the table. They also gain natural armour and a racial bonus to speed.

At 10th level, a Werewolf becomes more in touch with the feral spirit inside them, and can become a wolf the like of which has not been seen since the last Ice Age. Their stat adjustments in wolf form change to +4 Strength, +6 Dexterity and +4 Constitution. Their natural weapons now count as magic for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction.

At 20th level, they unlock their inner beast fully, and can choose to become an incarnation of the very concept of "wolf". Whenever they take on wolf form, they can choose to become this avatar, in which case their size changes to Large, and the racial bonuses to their statistics become +8 Strength, +6 Dexterity, +6 Constitution. The Werewolf's damage dice also increase appropriately, and their natural weapons count as Epic for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction. They retain the ability to change into the earlier forms, however, and this is often recommended - a wolf the size of a horse is not inconspicuous and will cause widespread panic if seen. While in this form, a Werewolf gains the Frightful Presence extraodinary special ability. Any opponent within 30 feet who sees you charge, attack, or snarl must make a Will save (DC 10+1/2 Werewolf level+CHA modifier) or become shaken for 5d6 rounds. Failure by 5 or more results in the opponent becoming frightened instead. Failure by 10 or more results in the opponent becoming panicked. A natural 1 on the saving throw does not automatically result in panicked status; calculate the result normally to determine the degree of failure. This ability does not stack with itself. An opponent who saves against the Werewolf's Frightful Presence cannot be affected by the same Werewolf for 24 hours.

Few of the werewolf's class features are usable unless they are in wolf form - in human form, only Scent, Damage Reduction and the maneuvers and stances are retained, along with attack bonus and saves. There is no time limit on how long the werewolf can stay in wolf form, however it carries some serious drawbacks. In wolf form, speech is impossible, and paws are unsuitable for holding anything.

Items can be carried in the mouth or strapped to the back, but nothing can be wielded. Any items worn meld with the werewolf's form.Any magic items providing passive bonuses continue to provide them, but bonuses inherent to the equipment, such as the base armour bonus provided by a suit of armour, do not continue to take effect.

Any player claiming that they could hold a pen in their mouth to produce written communications will be handed a pen and paper and asked to demonstrate. If a legible message is produced, it will be deemed acceptable.

There is also the fact that you are a wolf, and thus are likely to cause panic in the streets. Any werewolf who wears the wolf shape in public is likely to find the authorities called to contain the dangerous animal.

Maneuvers: You begin your career with knowledge of two martial maneuvers. The disciplines available to you are Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon and Tiger Claw.
Once you know a maneuver, you must ready it before you can use it (see Maneuvers Readied, below). A maneuver usable by werewolves is considered an extraordinary ability unless otherwise noted in its description. Your maneuvers are not affected by spell resistance, and you do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you initiate one.
You learn additional maneuvers at higher levels, as shown on the table. You must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it.
Upon reaching 4th level, and at every even-numbered werewolf level after that (6th, 8th, 10th, and so on), you can choose to learn a new maneuver in place of one you already know. In effect, you lose the old maneuver in exchange for the new one. You can choose a new maneuver of any level
you like, as long as you observe your restriction on the highest-level maneuvers you know; you need not replace the old maneuver with a maneuver of the same level. For example, upon reaching 10th level, you could trade in a single 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd- or 4th-level maneuver for a maneuver of 5th level or lower, as long as you meet the prerequisite of the new maneuver. You can swap only a single maneuver at any given level.

Maneuvers Readied: You can ready both of the maneuvers you know at 1st level, but as you advance in level and learn more maneuvers, you must choose which maneuvers to ready. Your maneuvers are automatically readied when you shift between wolf and human form. The maneuvers you choose remain readied until you shift again and change them. You need not sleep
or rest for any long period of time to ready your maneuvers; any time you change form, you can change your readied maneuvers.
You begin an encounter with all your readied maneuvers unexpended, regardless of how many times you might have already used them since you chose them. When you initiate a maneuver, you expend it for the current encounter, so each of your readied maneuvers can be used once per encounter (until you recover them, as described below).
You can recover all expended maneuvers with a single swift action, which must be immediately followed in the same round with a trip attempt or using a standard action to do nothing else in the round (such as a quick pounce forward and back). You cannot initiate a maneuver or change your stance
while you are recovering your expended maneuvers, but you can remain in a stance in which you began your turn.

Stances Known:
You begin play with knowledge of one 1st level stance from any discipline open to werewolves. At 7th and 14th level, you can choose additional stances. Unlike maneuvers, stances are not expended, and you do not have
to ready them. All the stances you know are available to you at all
times, and you can change the stance you are currently using as
a swift action. A stance is an extraordinary ability unless otherwise stated in the stance description. Unlike with maneuvers, you cannot learn a new stance at higher levels in place of one you already know.

Improved Trip: A Werewolf gains Improved Trip as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

Scent (Ex): A first level Werewolf gains the Scent special ability.

Track (Ex): A Werewolf gains Track as a bonus feat.

Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at second level, a Werewolf leaves no trail and cannot be tracked except by scent. He may choose to leave a trail if he so desires.

Damage reduction (Ex): At 2nd level, a Werewolf gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the Werewolf takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack, unless it is made of silver. Every two levels after, this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Blind-Fight (Ex): At third level, the Werewolf is learning to process the smells he receives more accurately, and can now navigate by scent. He gains the benefits of Blind-Fight against any opponent with a scent. Incorporeal creatures, and most constructs, among others, do not have scents and so cannot be located in this manner.

Uncanny Dodge: See the Barbarian class feature

Vigilant Defender (Ex): Your quick reactions and superb agility make it very hard for enemies to slip past you. If an opponent attempts to use the Tumble skill to move through your threatened area or your space without provoking Attacks of Opportunity, the Tumble check DC to avoid your attacks of opportunity increases by your class level.

Skirmish (Ex): A Werewolf relies on mobility to deal extra damage. He deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks he makes during any round in which he moves at least 10 feet. The extra damage applies only to attacks taken during the Werewolf’s turn. This extra damage increases by 1d6 for every six levels gained (2d6 at 12th, and 3d6 at 18th level). The extra damage only applies against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures
immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. The Werewolf must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot.

Flawless Stride (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a Werewolf can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment.
This ability does not let him move more quickly through terrain that requires a Climb or Swim check to navigate, nor can he move more quickly through terrain or undergrowth that has been magically manipulated to impede motion.

Flowing Movement (Ex): A Werewolf moves with incredible economy of movement. Starting at 7th level, any time they would take a 5-foot step, they may choose to take a 10-foot step instead. This functions identically to a 5-foot step except for the distance moved and that it provokes attacks of opportunity.

Evasion: At 7th level and higher, a Werewolf can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. A helpless Werewolf does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Opportunistic Harrier (Ex): A Werewolf is excellent at making small harrying attacks designed to keep an opponent's attention focused on them. Any opponent in the threatened area of a Werewolf of 8th level or higher is unable to make attacks of opportunity against any target other than that Werewolf. If two or more Werewolves threaten the target, they may not make attacks of opportunity at all.

Spring Attack (Ex): A 9th level Werewolf received Spring Attack as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the prerequisites. If they already have Spring Attack, they may select any other feat for which they meet the prerequisites.

Leap at the Moon (Ex): A Werewolf's hind legs are phenomenally powerful, capable of propelling it great distances. At will, you may make a special Jump check. To use this ability, you must take a 20-foot run-up, unless you have another ability that removes the penalty from standing jumps. The DC of this jump check is equal to 1 for every 2 feet moved vertically or horizontally. Thus, a result of 10 on your Jump check would take you 20 feet vertically, or 20 feet horizontally.

Crippling Bite (Ex): A Werewolf may choose to take a -2 penalty to their bite attack to attempt to cripple their opponent. If the attack is sucessful, the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to the damage dealt) or have their base land speed halved for the next 24 hours, or until a DC 15 Heal check is made to treat the damage, whichever is sooner. This penalty does not stack with itself. Alternatively, he can choose to attack the wings of a creature that flies through natural means. In this case, if successful, the creature's manoeuvrability drops by two categories, to a minimum of Clumsy. If the save is failed by 10 or more points,it also loses the ability to fly for 1d4 rounds. If in mid-air, it spirals towards the ground as if affected by a Feather Fall spell.

Creatures immune to precision damage and creatures with no legs or more than four legs can’t be slowed down with a Crippling Bite. It takes two successful hamstring attacks to affect quadrupeds.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): A 15th level Werewolf is a patch of moving shadow. They may make a hide check without cover or concealment, even when being observed. In non-natural terrain, this check is made at a -10 penalty, but is still possible.



This is my first ever homebrew, so I'm sure there's masses that could be improved. It's for a campaign setting I have percolating in my mind - modern day setting, D&D level heroic fantasy - but WoD style secrecy. Only those actively involved in the supernatural community know that it exists. Thus a wolf wandering the streets, especially after 10th level when it's obvious that they're not a normal wolf, is not going to go down well, and police have guns :D

The Tygre
2010-04-21, 08:32 AM
Hrmm... I like this class, and its concept, I really do. But it seems to me that you get claw attacks a little late. I can understand your reasoning for maybe not wanting them right off the bat, but why wait all the way to sixth level?

Eldonauran
2010-04-21, 10:51 AM
I like the class too, though I am a little disappointed in the lack of a hybrid form (ie, like lycanthropy).

If you want to add it, I would suggest having it become an option at level 6, such as a normal wolf lycanthrope that would begin play as a character. I would advise to keep the inability to talk and give a certain % to spell failure while in this form. Wielding weapons also a no go, but simple manipulation should be ok.

gooddragon1
2010-04-21, 11:15 AM
*Issue Addressed*

Heliomance
2010-04-21, 11:36 AM
The reason claws wait until 6th level is because that's when full BAB classes start to get iterative attacks. I didn't want it to be getting multiple attacks until normal people were.

As for the hybrid form, I'm not a major fan. I quite like the idea that it is just a sentient wolf. The abilities are all based on trying to capture the way a wolf fights. The class, and indeed the setting, is somewhat based off the Dresden Files.

Magikeeper
2010-04-21, 11:45 AM
I think Aspect of the Wolf should start out once per day and then become once per hour at level 4. Actually, have it be once per hour at level 1. Right now the PC has two choices in any game where combat happens unpredictably and interspaced with roleplay:

A) Stay in wolf form at all times.
B) Spend multiple combats without any class abilities.

Does that sound like fun? It really doesn’t sound much like fun to me. Heck, at level 10 the ability could be at-will without unbalancing anything. Perhaps even lower.


Edit: Hybrid Form would also work, I guess.

Heliomance
2010-04-21, 12:11 PM
Something I'm worried about is if I've given it too much stuff,made it overpowered.

J.Gellert
2010-04-21, 12:46 PM
Make the transformation a free action after a certain level, otherwise they will always lose one round of (unexpected) combat.

A few things that can make them useful while they are in human form would be nice. Would be interesting, for example, if they could use scent (and thus be decent "spotters") in human form.

Heliomance
2010-04-21, 06:29 PM
I put in the feat at the bottom which shortens the transformation time, I didn't want to put it in as a class feature. I think they get enough already. Aside from the uses/day, which I'm not sure how best to fix, I think on the whole it's probably overpowered as is, and I'm looking for advice on how to tone it down.

Magikeeper
2010-04-21, 06:54 PM
Something I'm worried about is if I've given it too much stuff,made it overpowered.

Even if you have, the day thing isn't going to solve it. Being overpowered during some combats and useless at others isn't balance. It means you and the party take turns being unhappy! All of your class features depend on one ability. If you want to put a heavy restriction on when they get to use that one ability you really need to give them class features that don't depend on it. I'd go with less restrictions on when they get to transform.


As for power, what are you trying to balance it against? Assuming a uses/day fix I think this is tier 3-4 myself. I want to say tier 3, but it is probably tier 4 at the moment. The issue is that class doesn't leave much room to be screwed up, so it might be way stronger than other players with weaker classes if they aren't making good choices.

Jack of Spades
2010-04-21, 07:12 PM
I agree with Firkraag that at least some benefits should carry over to human form. For instance, given that wolves are pack hunters, why not a bonus to flanking? Another example is that things like Trackless Step and Flawless Stride are really more about the way you go about moving than what abilities your body has. On the same page, Track is mainly a mindset-intensive ability, and could be added to a list of things for which it would make sense to use in human form.

Also, there is the problem of what is effectively a large block of near-dead levels from 10th-20th level. While certain abilities do improve, nothing new is being brought to the table at that time. This could cause the same problems that dead levels do in their natural habitat.

A few nitpicks:
You should really differentiate between the different levels of the Aspect ability in the table. "Aspect of the Wolf (Ancient Wolf)" or "Improved Aspect of the Wolf" Would work fine for the second progression, for instance.

To differentiate from lycanthropes, it would probably be a good idea to rename this class into something that suggests your intentions a bit better: Wolf-Soul, or something. You can probably think of something better than that :smallwink:

You should probably write out the extra attacks gained in the BAB progression, even if you must write "+5/+1(claw)/+1(claw)" or the like.

Heliomance
2010-04-21, 07:21 PM
Is Opportunistic Harrier too strong? It makes any monster with reach suddenly a lot less scary, and completely shuts down any AoO-based build.

As for abilities kept in human form, which ones would make sense to keep?

The Anarresti
2010-04-21, 07:38 PM
I'd say as many as possible. The ones that aren't just from gross physical form. At the very least, scent and the movement abilities. I think that this is a bit underpowered, sort of a one-trick pony. Maybe things like a speak with animals ability to communicate with canines, always active?
And about being able to sneak around in a modern-day city, you said that after level ten it was obvious that they weren't just a dog, but at level 20 they retain the ability to transform into lesser forms. Why not have that at level 10 too, so they can sneak around without a second glance? And I'd like to point out that most modern-day cities aren't as militant about stray dogs as you seem to think.

Magikeeper
2010-04-21, 07:44 PM
Is Opportunistic Harrier too strong? It makes any monster with reach suddenly a lot less scary, and completely shuts down any AoO-based build.


Not so much, no. 15ft+ reach is still an issue for the wolf itself and AoO builds are somewhat rare (and would also get to do their thing to the wolf). In anycase a AoO centric build could simply delay its action and step out of the wolf's reach or just focus all of its attacks on the wolf. The ones who take AoOs to the extreme might even provoke from the wolf just to move away.

The ability mostly lets the wolf lead the attack and everyone else take whatever position they want. Which is a strong ability, but not brokenly so. Most PCs that really need the positioning will have enough ranks to auto-tumble anyway.

Heliomance
2010-04-21, 08:05 PM
I'd say as many as possible. The ones that aren't just from gross physical form. At the very least, scent and the movement abilities. I think that this is a bit underpowered, sort of a one-trick pony. Maybe things like a speak with animals ability to communicate with canines, always active?
And about being able to sneak around in a modern-day city, you said that after level ten it was obvious that they weren't just a dog, but at level 20 they retain the ability to transform into lesser forms. Why not have that at level 10 too, so they can sneak around without a second glance? And I'd like to point out that most modern-day cities aren't as militant about stray dogs as you seem to think.

Dogs, no. Wolves are a little different, though.

Jack of Spades
2010-04-21, 09:33 PM
Dogs, no. Wolves are a little different, though.
Yes, but most people don't know enough, want to know enough, care enough, want to care enough, or simply aren't allowed by their brains to differentiate between a well-groomed wolf and a well-built husky mutt :smallbiggrin:

An issue that I feel need addressing: methinks you're possibly being a bit too frugal/timid with your class. I'd say start your negotiations high and make this class exactly as you personally envision it, which I imagine is a great deal more powerful than its current iteration (given that people have a tendency to envision things that way), and then let us tell you whether or not it's overpowered. But that's just my opinion. What I mean to say is: don't be so apologetic. We don't bit, we just nibble really hard in a loving way (like a baby dragon, for instance). :smallsmile:

Rainbownaga
2010-04-22, 12:30 AM
Compare this to a first level shape-shifter druid.

I really don't see an issue with giving them at-will shape-shifting.

Random_person
2010-04-22, 12:50 AM
Compare this to a first level shape-shifter druid.

I really don't see an issue with giving them at-will shape-shifting.

No. Comparing with a broken class is unhelpful.

Compare a first level werewolf with a first level ranger (Tier 4, IIRC). You get Scent and a couple of minor stat boosts (primarily Dex, which looses half its usefulness without weapons) over them, and they get much larger potential damage, the fact that they're not a wild animal, the ability to attack from a decent range and better skills.

Unlimited shapeshifting would not be overpowered at all.

Rainbownaga
2010-04-22, 02:26 AM
No. Comparing with a broken class is unhelpful.

Compare a first level werewolf with a first level ranger (Tier 4, IIRC). You get Scent and a couple of minor stat boosts (primarily Dex, which looses half its usefulness without weapons) over them, and they get much larger potential damage, the fact that they're not a wild animal, the ability to attack from a decent range and better skills.

Unlimited shapeshifting would not be overpowered at all.

The reason I suggest looking at the shapeshifter druid is that it is basically trying to do the same thing as you, but has the benefits of spells in place of a decent BAB.

Notably, look at the way the SS druid variant gets magic enhancement bonuses to its natural weapons: This is good for two reasons: not only does it help you keep up with weapon users, but you can get past that annoying DR/magic and incorporable enemies.

Additionally, SS druids get bigger sized forms. I think the large sized wolf is cool, but you still only get 5' reach (I assume wolf form is quadrupedal).

Finally, SS druids can shift forms at will (albeit as a move action) which is not unbalanced as a full spell caster and is definitely not unbalanced as a melee only monster. The only reason not to allow unlimited shape shifting is if changing form can cure you (which doesn't appear to be the case).

I really like the idea of the class, and I'm going to continue to watch, but I think you went way too far in keeping it from being overpowered and made something on par with a monk.

Heliomance
2010-04-22, 03:51 AM
Really? Huh, that's odd. One of my RL friends who does a lot of homebrew, I showed it to him and he said tone it WAY down - nerf Opportunistic Harrier, drop the bonus feats, and change the DR progression to be on par with a Barbarian and BAB to 3/4.

One thing that I did mean to put in and completely forgot is to make the level 10 form's natural weapons count as magic for the purposes of overcoming DR, and the level 20 form count as epic.

What do you think of the way I've handled magic items? I didn't really want the Druid's "nothing works", but the idea of a wolf wearing gauntlets, a suit of armour, etc, is rather silly.

Random_person
2010-04-22, 04:35 AM
The magic item solution is nice, but remove the bit about pen and paper. That's just silly. The DR overcoming is all but required.

Your problem here, as far as I see, is that about all you do is dish a little damage and at later levels control AoOs. There's just nothing that you can do. For that reason, you either need something to do well or lots of things to do competently (although that still needs to be better than how it stands). Personally, I'd start by making the shape-shifting at will. That's important at lower levels, and nice at higher levels.

Next step is either to focus or diversify. For a focus, you can try for battlefield control or for damage, within the confines of the class. Damage is done, and done better, by other classes, so I'm going to assume you want control. You've already got an ability that controls actions, and that's nice, but you need more. You can basically only control a few things and be useful: movement, full attacks, attacks of opportunity (covered quite nicely) and spellcasting. A few ideas:
1. An ability that makes tumbling past you harder.
2. An ability that permits you to treat terrain around you as difficult for enemies.
3. An ability that lets you knock people around while you hit them.
4. An ability that lets you inflict status conditions on those who you hit with an attack of opportunity.

One more thing: that feat should be a class feature. Otherwise you're just collecting a feat tax. I'd suggest early, with the reduction to a move action being at level three or before.

Heliomance
2010-04-23, 05:17 AM
Okay, I've improved the number of times you can shift, dropped it to a move action, and given the higher forms the ability to overcome DR. I still have the dead level problem at higher levels, I'm not sure what to put in there.

Incidentally, what kind of builds am I likely to see with this? And is it worth taking to 20? I'm slightly concerned that level 10 gets far too much stuff in one hit - should I split the second form and the at-will shifting to different levels?

EDIT: Added in a new ability at 13. What do you think?

Lix Lorn
2010-04-23, 06:43 AM
It looks okay from what I see-could I suggest the Multiattack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsterFeats.htm#multiattack) feat?

Heliomance
2010-04-24, 08:16 AM
Added in Tumble denial, still stuck on high-level abilities. Anyone got any ideas?

Oh, and I also fiddled with the stat adjustments a bit.

Lix Lorn
2010-04-25, 12:06 PM
I have one:
Allow them to make spectral copies of themself once or twice a day, so they can surround you on their own.
You could name it something along the lines of the Pack.

itastelikelove
2010-04-25, 01:37 PM
Here's a high-level ability for you:

Leap at the Moon (Ex)- You gain the ability to fly for the rest of your turn, up to twice your normal land speed, with good maneuverability. If you are still in the air at the end of your turn, you fall and land safely, as though under the effect of a feather fall spell.

I kind of think this ability should be somewhere around level 15-17, despite that inviting dead level at 19. Not because it's not good enough - just because you don't really have much to do against flying enemies. You can't even use a bow without giving up most of your good class features. Not sure how often this should be available. 1/day is definitely not enough, 3/day might work, 1/encounter is probably good, but you don't have any other abilities that use that mechanic. 1/hour could work. The benefit of 3/day is that you can use it more than once in a single battle, if you are fighting flying opponents. Which could be really important. Maybe once per wolf transformation? Then you could shapeshift, jump, bite, shapeshift, grab your bow, shoot, shapeshift, jump, bite, repeat. Maybe once for each enemy you or your allies down...but then it wouldn't work in single-enemy boss fights.

On those lines...maybe you could have a Frightful Howl fear effect that activates every time you down an enemy.

Lix Lorn
2010-04-25, 01:52 PM
How about some kind of howling ability, like TBAM said, that mimics shout, and any flying creature hit by it is forced to land? (Stunned in flavour, whether that makes sense for rules I don't know.)

Heliomance
2010-04-25, 02:59 PM
Hmm, a crazy bonus to jump checks x/day might be good, but I'm slightly leery of giving them supernatural stuff. The idea is that they turn into a completely mundane - albeit crazy badass - wolf, and learn to fight the way a wolf fights.

On the other hand, the level 20 form could easily justify Frightful Presence :P

Mulletmanalive
2010-04-25, 03:52 PM
There's absolutely nothing to stop Frightful Presence being an Ex ability, so go for it. Might be better to make it a multi-target Intimidate use instead though, possibly with a "win by 10, they wet themselves and flee" clause.

I like the basic idea of the class so i'm going to rehash this as a prestige class for my games, though i'll be using the Loup de Noir legend to help, with the taking a beast's skin and becoming them bit...

thanks.

EDIT: Oh, and neither the description nor the table give how often a first level character can used Wolf Form [which isn't actually a defined feature]. First entry is at level 2...

itastelikelove
2010-04-25, 10:20 PM
I'm slightly leery of giving them supernatural stuff.


Werewolves are a highly specialised form of spellcaster


Aspect of the Wolf (Su)


Werewolves

*shrug*

That's pretty much what I was thinking, but at the end of the day it is your class. The name does come with some expectations, though...

I originally had it labeled as (Ex), but yeah, it probably would have to be (Su). The idea, though, was a mostly vertical leap with enough control to catch a flying target. Alternate version: Maybe quadruple your Jump check result, always considered running for the check, 3/day + 1/day/extra three levels? That should let a level 10 wolf hit a target 20 feet up without much trouble, maybe even 25 or 30 feet, if they pump up their Jump check with items and/or feats.

Have you considered giving them the Improved Grab ability? I'd love to see a wolf jump 30 feet into the air, grab a baby dragon, and wrestle it to the ground.

Heliomance
2010-04-26, 02:33 AM
That sounds like it could work.

Regarding supernatural stuff, the idea is that they have precisely one magical ability: how to turn into a wolf. Everything else is just learning to be a better and better wolf.

itastelikelove
2010-04-27, 01:05 AM
Regarding supernatural stuff, the idea is that they have precisely one magical ability: how to turn into a wolf. Everything else is just learning to be a better and better wolf.

Fair enough.

Heliomance
2010-04-28, 06:06 AM
I've added Leap at the Moon as an insanely good jump, and also given the level 20 form a (probably horribly overpowered, advice appreciated) form of Frightful Presence.

Heliomance
2010-05-19, 08:14 PM
No more comments? I've now started planning the game that this class is first going to appear in, and I'd like to make sure it's as polished as it can be before then.

Dilb
2010-05-19, 10:17 PM
First, I'd clarify exactly what equipment they're allowed to wear. It makes a huge difference exactly how much gear a character can wear, and going from armour/cloak/bracers/2 rings/amulet/weapon/boots/belt to just amulet/bracelets (whatever bracelets are), is a big step down in power.

The biggest thing I see is that it's rather underpowered at high levels. By level 20, in a full attack he does about 2/3 the damage of a fighter (non-shocktrooper kind), assuming he can still wear a belt of giant strength and gets +5 from greater magic fang. That's if he takes improved multi attack, which as a 2 feat investment is annoying. I'd give multiattack around level 11, and improved multiattack around 16, and then still add on something to boost damage. Giving him pounce, and letting him use skirmish to add damage to all his attacks, is roughly balanced with a fighter.

Also, they get the ability to bypass DR/magic really late. That should kick in around level 5 (or earlier, monks get it as level 4). They really need some way of bypassing materials and alignments. Their attacks should count as both natural and manufactured weapons so they can benefit from align weapon, for example.

Conceptually, limited shifting per day makes it a lot less fun at low levels. I'd suggest make shifting unlimited, but take a small amount of time, like 2 rounds which provoke AoOs, and have it get faster at higher levels. Maybe add in something like
"a loud yell/howl accompanies the transformation, which alerts anyone nearby. At level 10, the transformation can be performed silently"

Similarly, leap at the moon really doesn't need to be limited. By the time you get it wizards are casting overland flight which is like leap at the moon, but better, and usable a few thousand rounds per day.

Heliomance
2010-05-20, 04:46 AM
Hmm, do you think I should have all equipment melding with their form but continuing to function? Also, they have Flowing Movement to keep them mobile and still let them full-attack.

Made Leap at the Moon at will, though.

Mulletmanalive
2010-05-20, 05:31 AM
It's still not statedly possible to actually adopt wolf form at level one, despite this being a key class feature of the level.

Also, i made a prestige version of this Loup de Noir

Dilb
2010-05-20, 06:10 AM
Hmm, do you think I should have all equipment melding with their form but continuing to function? Also, they have Flowing Movement to keep them mobile and still let them full-attack.

Letting all equipment work when melded is certainly the easiest way of balancing it. The one thing I don't think they need is armour, between DR and the natural armour bonus and the bonus to CON, they should be about as tough as a fighter getting 13 AC from +5 fullplate. The ability to bypass DR is essential though.

If you can skirmish with a 10 foot step and full attack that's puts them about even, yes, but pounce would still be nice as a way to let them be a real threat to something that's on the move, seeing as how they aren't going to be firing a bow in wolf form.

Heliomance
2010-05-20, 09:41 AM
So how should I word the magic items clause? Everything stays functional except armour? I suppose I could say that it still gives the armour bonus for being magic, but not the mundane bonus for being armour.

Lix Lorn
2010-05-20, 10:04 AM
All magical abilities of items continue to function?

Dilb
2010-05-20, 07:40 PM
So how should I word the magic items clause? Everything stays functional except armour? I suppose I could say that it still gives the armour bonus for being magic, but not the mundane bonus for being armour.

Off the top of my head, yeah, weapons lose their inherent abilities, but retain their material properties and their magical enhancement. So transforming while wielding a silver knife gives you silvered teeth and claws, for example.

I don't think they particularly need the armour bonus, but you should build a couple of characters at different levels and see how they compared to a bog-standard fighter. Roughly speaking, DR is worth slightly more than AC at low levels, and worth maybe half as much as AC at higher levels.

For example, at level 20 it's pretty common to do about 40 damage per hit, and have a full attack +40/+35/+30/+25. Against AC 35, that's about
40 + 40 + 30 + 20 = 130 damage
against AC 40 it's roughly
40 + 30 + 20 + 10 = 100 damage
and with DR/10, AC 35
30 + 30 + 20 + 10 = 90 damage

So by getting DR/10 and 10 AC, they keep up pretty well with a fighter in full plate (8 + 5 + 3 = 16), and the werewolf can invest in more DEX to come out further ahead.

I'd actually suggest making their class features not work if they wear armour, just in case someone wants their werewolf to wear barding.

Heliomance
2010-05-21, 04:55 AM
The Amulet of Natural Attacks from Savage Species, which I plan on making available, can also help overcome DR, without it needing to be a class feature. Fighters have to buy magic weapons, why shouldn't a werewolf have to buy something to make their claws magic?

What do people think of the Frightful PResence ability I gave the level 20 form? Should I tone it down?

Changed the magic item clause. Does it work as it is? The wording seems a bit awkward.

Dilb
2010-05-21, 03:39 PM
Frightful presence is fine, unless they have a silly build where they pump CHA very few CR appropriate things are going to fail.

I think the wording about items is okay. It prevents using magic items that need to be activated, but that's not a huge loss.

Heliomance
2010-06-02, 05:22 PM
Bumped HD to d10, added in Improved Trip, Uncanny Dodge, and Evasion.

Heliomance
2010-06-15, 09:55 AM
Having playtested this, we found that it was somewhat lacking in damage output, and that a lot of its battlefield control ability came from feats that a fighter could have taken to much the same effect. What thoughts do people have on giving it a maneuver progression?

ori_natic
2010-06-15, 02:31 PM
I think a severely limited maneuver list could be good. Definitely tiger claw maneuvers, and maybe a few from shadow hand?

Also, damage output might be helped by making the level 10 form large and the 20th level form huge. Or moving the level 20 form to level 15 and adding a new (huge) one at level 20. That would add an extra higher-level ability, and increase damage output. (and would give a 10 ft reach at level 20, which is nice)

One other thing: do enhancement bonuses on weapons carry over into wolf form? (for example, if I have a +2 keen longsword and then shift, are my attacks +2 and keen?) Because if not, they really should - it puts the class at a major disadvantage that a fighter can go out and spend 50,000 gp on a +5 weapon that they can make up to four attacks with, while a werewolf would have to spend 150,000 gp for that same +5 bonus and make only three attacks.

Zore
2010-06-15, 02:51 PM
Diamond Mind might also fit thematically. I say give it the Warblade's maneuvers known and stance progression (Though maybe bumping the second stance back to fifth level) and Swordsage recovery. Give them access to Tiger Claw, Diamond Mind and Shadow Hand with Stone Dragon a possibility.

ori_natic
2010-06-15, 08:38 PM
I don't think it would be particularly balanced to give it full maneuver progression. Then you have a warblade that is missing a few class features but has werewolf abilities, which (to me at least) are a lot more powerful than the missing class features. Some maneuvers could work, but I think full progression on top of the other class features is overpowered. A maneuver progression like Ruby Kight Vindicator or Shadow Sun Ninja would be more balanced.

DMofDarkness
2010-06-15, 10:51 PM
...just curious have you read the book 'fool moon'? That has plenty of inspiration for werewolves and werewolf powers..

Heliomance
2010-06-16, 07:04 AM
Says right there in the OP that the campaign setting is inspired by the Dresden files :P

As for maneuvers, I agree that giving them full progression would be rather strong. As for schools available, definitely Tiger Claw. I haven't actually looked at Diamond Mind much to know what's in there. I was probably also going to give it Stone Dragon, as it seems to be the main damage dealing school.

EDIT: Having looked at Diamond Mind, it does seem highly appropriate. Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon, and Tiger Claw sound good?

Heliomance
2010-10-06, 12:07 PM
Okay, I now have a player interested in playing one of these, which means I need to get it playable in a hurry. I think maneuvers are the way to go, but it has enough class features that I definitely don't want to give it full progression. How would you recommend giving a limited maneuver progression?
I was thinking for a recharge mechanic, make it similar to the Warblade, but have to make a trip attempt to recharge. Thoughts?

Heliomance
2010-10-13, 05:25 AM
Class edited. Added in maneuvers, low light vision, and allowed a few of the abilities to work in human form.

zyborg
2010-11-03, 03:07 PM
Does the Leap At the Moon work while human? I would assume so, but I'm not sure how that would work. As a human, your legs are stronger than normal? Sorry about the stupidity of this post, I'm sure that I'm just asking a question that is already answered.

Heliomance
2010-11-03, 03:08 PM
No, unless specifically called out, none of the abilities work in human form.

zyborg
2010-11-03, 03:23 PM
Oh. Okay. I was wondering, because Scent specifically state that you must be in wolf form, while the others don't.

Heliomance
2010-11-03, 03:25 PM
It says in the Aspect of the Wolf description.

And Scent says you must be in wolf form? Oops. I decided to call that out as one of the ones you can use even as a human. I'll go fix that now.

boomwolf
2010-11-03, 08:39 PM
Ok, what I'm thinking is this:

The idea was nice (I love lycans)
The balance is fine (don't know my ToB much so hard to judge it for me.)
The playability looks nice, fluid and fun.

But I would not play it, nor let it enter one of my games for the following reason:

A werewolf is a race, and this is a class. its like a step back to 1st edition where elves were a class. feels wrong to me.


If you ignore that (read: if both player and DM see no issue with that fact, and I assume this WILL happen) then my main concern is this:

The abilities, although fluid and nice, seem a bit random and out-of-the-place. he lacks a focus, on one hand he is a tracker-skirmisher, on another hand he is a blocker-two counter-initiative roles.
Martial maneuvers don't feel right with werewolves being brutal beasts who by all fluff and all myths are barely capable of logical thinking, and maneuvers requires steady practice and intense self-control.
Some levels are stuffed beyond belief while others are empty, that's not right.

If it way MY class, I would have removed the blocking abilities (defender and harrier), got rid of the ToB things, spread the abilities around more and filled any remaining dead levels with new abilities to compliment his existing tracker-skirmisher role. maybe that swashbuckler ability to charge throw difficult terrain? maybe something entirely new? dunno, haven't given to it more then a moment's thought.

Heliomance
2010-11-03, 08:57 PM
It depends which werewolf myths you're looking at. The design philosophy behind this was to create something that became a wolf, and rather than becoming bestial, ferocious, and uncontrolled, gradually learns to emulate a wolf's cunning and fighting skill. Wolves are fantastic hunters, and far from being "barely capable of logical thinking", they work together incredibly well and use actually quite advanced tactics.

boomwolf
2010-11-03, 09:06 PM
I'm fully aware of wolf tactics, I actually studied the subject quite a bit (don't ask.), but this is a WEREwolf we are talking about, not a real wolf.

Once you attach yourself to a thing with exsisting fluff you cannot just overwrite it and make something unrelated.

And, even if you DO ignore the fluff, the mechanical issues still stand. (dead levels and flood levels, the counter-synergy between defending and skirmishing, and maneuvers still feel wrong. its a shpeshifter tracker-skrimisher, not a martial artist, why dabble instead of focusing on shapeshifting and tracking-skrimishing?)

Heliomance
2010-11-03, 10:07 PM
Werewolf is just an old word for man-wolf, that is, any person that can become a wolf. And werewolf legends vary hugely, just like all legends. There are stories, especially from Germanic Europe, of people becoming werewolves intentionally to feed themselves in winter. Besides which, if it's good enough for Harry Dresden, it's good enough for me.

The class isn't designed to be a tracker-skirmisher. Tracker isn't even a party role, and the skirmish damage is too small and infrequent to be more than flavourful. What it is is a battlefield control class. The maneuvers were added in because without them it's underpowered, determined by playtesting. They help it to do what it's supposed to and control the battlefield.

wayfare
2010-11-04, 10:55 PM
I'm fully aware of wolf tactics, I actually studied the subject quite a bit (don't ask.), but this is a WEREwolf we are talking about, not a real wolf.

Once you attach yourself to a thing with exsisting fluff you cannot just overwrite it and make something unrelated.

And, even if you DO ignore the fluff, the mechanical issues still stand. (dead levels and flood levels, the counter-synergy between defending and skirmishing, and maneuvers still feel wrong. its a shpeshifter tracker-skrimisher, not a martial artist, why dabble instead of focusing on shapeshifting and tracking-skrimishing?)

I may not be understanding you entirely (its been a long day), but he's not attaching misc. werewolf fluff to the class. Rather, the op is using a very specific kind of fluff -- the type of shapeshifting that billy the werewolf can do in dresden files. Billy is not a natural werewolf, he is a kid with a really minor magical ability who has learned to do one spell really well. It might not be a really awesome spell, but in the later books, billy was able to use it to fight a magical creature that was nearly immortal to a standstill.

Ithink this class does that decently, even w/o the ToB stuff.