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View Full Version : The Channeler -It's like a Warmage, but not... (3.5 PEACH)



Ilriyn
2010-05-12, 05:00 PM
I have a weakness. I love to play blaster wizards. Who can deny how much fun it is. Well, of course until batman starts playing, or the cleric stops being a heal-bot, or ToB is introduced, or really, until anyone starts playing optimized.

The warmage was a start, but I dislike it for two reasons. First, it frankly sucks at being a blaster mage. It's only marginally more effective at dealing damage through evocation then a wizard of the same level, and it loses all of the other fun spells. I also don't like it's flavor. I envision blaster mages not as modern tanks, clad in armor with a big gun, rather, I envision them as powerful energy wielders, that flit through the battlefield, leaving destruction behind them.

An ideal blaster should not only be able to do lots of damage, preferably through metamagic, but she should also be capable of some limited battlefield control. I mean, if I shoot a maximized fireball at you, you will probably be blind for a while, not to mention on fire.

So, I decided to create a class that would properly represent my vision, in addition to making that vision viable. So, without further ado, I present the Channeler.

Channeler

A channeler is the master of elemental energies. Fire, ice, acid and many other energies lie at her fingertips, waiting only for her command to be used against her enemies. A channeler will lithely move through the battlefield, dodging melee attackers, and intercepting ranged attacks before they can strike her. Wherever she goes, destruction will be left in her footsteps.

Abilities: A channeler's key ability will definitely be Charisma, as it is her key spellcasting ability. Her channeler's edge makes intelligence very worthwhile as well. Dexterity is important for her active defense and her pierce resistances ability, as well as to make up for her lack of armor. Constitution is naturally important, as a channeler's d6 hit die won't suffice for a full day's adventuring alone.

Races: Humans make for very balanced channeler's. Their extra feat can be used to improve their casting ability, or to broaden their horizons with metamagic. Elves, especially grey elves, are also very good as channelers, as their high dexterity and intelligence improve the channeler's abilities. Any race that improves Charisma will also lend itself naturally to the channeler.

Alignment: Any. A channeler usually exists out of a structured command, and thus is usually chaotic. But many exist as specialists in the military, leading to them being lawful. Channelers can be both self serving and altruistic.

Starting Gold: As a Sorcerer
Starting Age: As a Sorcerer

Hit Die:
D6

Class Skills

The channelerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at 1st Level
(2 + Int modifier) ◊ 4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level
2 + Int modifier.

Channeler
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th| 9th

1st|
+0|
+0|
+2|
+2|Channeler's Edge, Elemental Ray, Eschew Materials|5|3

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+3|
+3|Active Defense, Energy Substitution|6|4

3rd|
+1|
+1|
+3|
+3|Energy Substitution|6|5

4th|
+2|
+1|
+4|
+4|Advanced Learning, Debilitating Energy|6|6|3

5th|
+2|
+1|
+4|
+4|Bonus Feat, Energy Substitution|6|6|4

6th|
+3|
+2|
+5|
+5|Discriminating Spell (One Ally)|6|6|5|3

7th|
+3|
+2|
+5|
+5|Energy Substitution|6|6|6|4

8th|
+4|
+2|
+6|
+6|Advanced Learning|6|6|6|5|3

9th|
+4|
+3|
+6|
+6|Energy Substitution, Improved Active Defense|6|6|6|6|4

10th|
+5|
+3|
+7|
+7|Bonus Feat, Peirce Resistances|6|6|6|6|5|3

11th|
+5|
+3|
+7|
+7|Improved Debilitating Energy|6|6|6|6|6|4

12th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+8|
+8|Advanced Learning, Circumvent Resistances|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

13th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+8|
+8|Improved Metamagic|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

14th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+9|
+9|Discriminating Spell (All Allies)|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

15th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+9|
+9|Bonus Feat|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

16th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+10|
+10|Advanced Learning|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

17th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+10|
+10|Improved Channeler's Edge|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

18th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+11|
+11|Superior Debilitating Energy|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3

19th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+11|
+11|Metamagic Enhancement|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4

20th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+12|
+12|Superior Metamagic, Advanced Learning, Bonus Feat|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6[/table]

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Channelers are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a channelerís gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

Some might be thinking, woah, no armored mage stuff? That's right, channeler's wear robes, just like most arcane casters. The channeler is not supposed to be a mithral full plate tank with a big gun. Rather, a channeler is a dexterous glass cannon, who relies on hitting first and hard.

Spells: A channeler casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the channeler spell list. When you gain access to a new level of spells, you automatically know all the spells for that level on the channeler's spell list. You can cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells known list. You also have the option of adding to your existing spell list through your advanced learning class feature as you increase in level.

To cast a channeler spell, you must have a Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a channeler's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the channeler's Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, a channeler can case only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The base daily spell allotment is given on the above table. In addition, you receive bonus spells for a high Charisma score.

A channeler need not prepare spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your spells per day for that spell level.

Tl dr: A channeler casts spontaneous charisma-based spells from the channeler spell list. She knows all spells on the spell list. Spell DC's and bonus spells are determined by her charisma modifier. No surprises here.

Channeler's Edge: At 1st level, a channeler can deal extra damage with spells that deal hit point damage. A channeler adds damage equal to her caster level plus her Intelligence modifier, to all targets of a spell. For spells that hit multiple times, the target receives the extra damage once. At 10th level, a channeler now deals extra damage equal to her caster level plus (Int modifier x 2). At 20th level, a channeler would deal extra damage equal to her caster level plus (Int modifier x 3)

In addition, channeler's receive a bonus to their initiative equal to their channeler level divided by 2. (Minimum 1) This bonus is not applied if the channeler has no remaining spell slots above 0th level.

A channeler also receives the ability to cast metamagicked spells without increasing the casting time, as is normal for spontaneous casters. This ability allows channeler's to make use of the quicken spell feat. In addition, at 5th level, a channeler may apply the bonuses from the spell focus (evocation) feat to all channeler spells that deal hit point damage.

So here is the iconic warmage edge, re-flavored slightly, and improved. The channeler's edge provides a needed boost to spell damage at lower levels, while not being entirely looked over at high levels. Also, the channeler is supposed to be fast acting, and this moderate boost to imitative insures that she can do that.

As far as normal metamagicking goes, I am aware that there is a feat that allows this, but I don't know where it is. So if someone will be so kind as to point me in the right direction, I could substitute this feature for the feat, or take out this feature entirely.

Elemental Ray (Su): At 1st level, a channeler learns the basics of evoking energy rays. As an at-will ability, a channeler may fire a energy ray at 1 target within close range, the channeler must make a ranged touch attack to hit. The channeler may choose what energy type the ray is. The ray deals 1d3 + the channeler's Int modifer damage. This is a supernatural ability.

This is supposed to be a replacement for the channeler's lack of weapon proficiencies. If a normal caster runs out of spells at low levels, she can always pull out a crossbow and keep plugging away. I suppose a channeler could do that too, but why not give her a small energy ray instead, it's more in keeping with the flavor. It doesn't do too much damage, and as a supernatural ability, it doesn't get the other channeler goodies, so it won't unbalance a low-level game.

Eschew Materials: At 1st level, a channeler receives the eschew materials feat as a bonus feat.

A small bit of flavor. Spell components are for wizards with their spellbooks. Masters of elemental energy don't need any bat guano to blow something up.

Active Defense (Su): At 2nd level, a channeler gains the ability to intercept and destroy incoming small projectiles with blasts of energy. A number of times per round, equal to her dexterity modifier, a channeler may fire a blast of energy at an incoming projectile who's target is within (10 ft x channeler's caster level) of the channeler. This ability functions only on small projectiles, such as arrows, bolts, sling bullets, vials, and shuriken. A channeler may not use this ability is she has no remaining spell slots. Using this ability is a reaction, and does not disrupt concentration.

Here is one of my favorite abilities for the channeler. The limited ability to destroy arrows before they hit her or her allies. This ability is balanced out by its reliance on her dexterity modifier, which will certainly not be as high as her charisma, intelligence, or even constitution modifers. This ability is designed to allow the channeler to protect herself from most ranged attacks directed at her, or protect a hurt ally from ranged attacks, or protect a more vulnerable caster against said attacks.


Energy Substitution: At 2nd level, a channeler receives the energy substitution metamagic feat as a bonus feat. She gains this feat again at levels 3, 5, 7, and 9.

Here we get to one of the main flavor points of the channeler, the ability to cast damaging spells with any energy type. While some may be thinking that 5 bonus feats over 9 levels is a little too much, the energy substitution feat is not a powerful feat. (Unless your DM allows you to powergame with Arcane Thesis and Sanctum Spell, but most DM's don't allow that.)

Advanced Learning: At 4th level, and every following 4th level, a channeler may add one evocation spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list to her spell list.

This ability may also be interchanged with eclectic learning, as a warmage.

Advanced learning and/or eclectic learning. Nothing special, just adds more spells to a channeler's already short spell list. The only abnormal thing here is that the progression is non-standard. (4,8,12,16,20 vs. 3,7,11,15,19 or something) I did this because, well, it's more logical. And if I did do the normal progression, most channeler's would take a 1 level dip in a PrC that improves her caster level.

Debilitating Energy (Ex): At 4th level, a channeler becomes adept with evoking and manipulating energy. Her fire burns brighter, her ice is colder, and so on. Whenever a creature fails its saving throw against a channeler's spell with the Fire, Cold, Electricity, Sonic, or Acid descriptor(s), that creature is also affected with one (or more) of the following effects.

Spells with the [Fire] descriptor: Target is set on fire, spell is cast a +1 caster level.

Spells with the [Cold] descriptor: Target's move speed is halved for 1 round per caster level, spell is cast at +1 caster level.

Spells with the [Electricity] descriptor: Target is knocked prone, spell is cast at +1 caster level.

Spells with the [Sonic] descriptor: Target is deafened for 1xInt modifier rounds.

Spells with the [Acid] descriptor: Target is dealt 2 points of ability damage to Dexterity or Strength, at the caster's choice.

Up until now, the channeler was like the warmage, having only 2 options. Dealing damage, and dealing more damage. These abilities allow the channeler the option of engaging in some battlefield control, while dealing her damage. While other classes are more effective damage dealers than the channeler, and other classes are far more effective battlefield controllers, the channeler can do both at once, in a flavorful way.

Bonus Feat: At 5th level, a channeler receives a free bonus feat which must be a metamagic feat. She gains an additional metamagic bonus feat at levels 10, 15 and 20.

Just some additional metamagic feats, since that is what provides the channeler power in her later levels.

Discriminating Spell (Ex):At 6th level, any spell that deals direct damage cast by a channeler from her class spell list can, at her discretion, not affect one creature within the spell's area. At 14th level, this benefit extends to all of the channeler's allies. A channeler may decide to include an ally in the area of the spell if it so desires.

First off, this is an idea I took from T. G. Oskar's improved warmage homebrew. Full credit and thanks to him.

This is a nice ability that allows the channeler to use her spells in more situations, which is very nice. It also fits the channeler's flavor quite well. (If a channeler is supposed to have power over the elements, shouldn't she be able to shield her and her allies from their effects?)

Improved Active Defense(Su): At 9th level, a channeler becomes more effective at destroying incoming projectiles with blasts of energy. By expending a spell slot of any level, a channeler may destroy 1 large projectile, such as a flying rock, or a chair thrown as an improvised weapon. Using this ability is a reaction, and does not disrupt concentration.

This is an improvement to the lower level ability that will not be used often, but will be nice to have in certain situations. It also improves the flavor of the class, as it makes sense that powerful channelers would be able to intercept large projectiles, such as catapult rocks fired during a siege. This ability is balanced by the fact that it expends a spell slot each time it's used.

Peirce Resistances (Ex): At 10th level, a channeler becomes more able to find holes in an enemy's spell resistance, and maneuver her spells accordingly. A channeler may add her Dexterity modifier to any caster roll to overcome spell resistance. This ability stacks with the bonuses provided by Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration.

A flavorful little ability that allows the channeler to be more effective against monsters that she will soon be encountering at later CR's. This shouldn't be overpowered, as it's dependent on Dexterity, which won't be as high as intelligence or charisma.

Improved Debilitating Energy (Ex): At 11th level, a channeler becomes more adept with evoking and manipulating energy. Her fire burns brighter, her ice is colder, and so on. Whenever a creature fails its saving throw against a channeler's spell with the Fire, Cold, Electricity, Sonic, or Acid descriptor(s), that creature is also affected with one (or more) of the following effects. These effects stack with the effects provided by the Debilitating Energy class feature.

Spells with the [Fire] descriptor: Target is blinded for 1 round per caster level.

Spells with the [Cold] descriptor: Target is slowed as the slow spell for 1 round per caster level. (Does not stack with Debilitating Energy)

Spells with the [Electricity] descriptor: Target is knocked back up to 10 ft. in any direction, taking an additional 2d6 points of damage.

Spells with the [Sonic] descriptor: Target is dazed for 1 round, and deafened for 1 round per caster level.

Spells with the [Acid] descriptor: Target is dealt 4 damage per turn for 1 round per level.

A useful improvement to the lower level ability. It upgrades the effects, and makes them more useful against higher level opponents.

Circumvent Resistances(Ex): At 12th level, a channeler becomes adept at casting her spells so as to circumvent any resistances and immunities a target may have. All spells with an energy descriptor cast from the channeler spell list ignore energy resistance, and targets with energy immunity still take half damage from a channeler's spells.

Thanks to PairO-Dice Lost for the idea. This allows the channeler to still be able to do her primary feature, (dealing damage), against creatures with energy resistance and immunity.

Improved Metamagic (Su): At 13th level, a channeler has mastered metamagic to such an extent that whenever she uses a metamagic feat, the feat's level increase upon a spell is reduced by one (this can't reduce an increase to less than one level, or less than zero levels if the increase is already +0).

Here we have the incantatrix's iconic metamagic ability. It is presented at level 13, when a wizard would normally be able to get it. Coupled with the channeler's ability to use metamagic without increasing the casting time, this ability allows the channeler to become a very fine damage dealer.

Improved Channeler's Edge (Su): At 17th level, a channeler can enter a state of mind where she is more in tune with elemental energies than any wizard or sorcerer could hope to be. Once per day, for 1 minute, a channeler can enter a attuned state of mind as a move action. While in this state, she may remove all caster level based damage caps from evocation spells on her spell list, and spells that fire a fixed number of projectiles, such as magic missile, have the total number of possible projectiles fired increased by 50%. She also receives a +1 bonus to her caster level during the duration of this ability, and may use the sudden quicken feat once, even if she does not have that feat.

So once per day, a channeler can pull out all the stops and become the ultimate damage dealer. I'm not sure about the balance level of this ability, but I don't think it's more overpowered than some 9th level spells that wizards are getting at this level.

Superior Debilitating Energy(Ex): At 18th level, a channeler obtains mastery at evoking and manipulating energy. Whenever a creature fails its saving throw against a channeler's spell with the Fire, Cold, Electricity, Sonic, or Acid descriptor(s), that creature is also affected with one (or more) of the following effects. These effects stack with the effects provided by the Improved Debilitating Energy class feature.

Spells with the [Fire] descriptor: Target is wracked with pain, suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, skill checks, ability checks and saving throws for 1 round per caster level.

Spells with the [Cold] descriptor: Target is exhausted for 1 round per caster level.

Spells with the [Electricity] descriptor: Target is stunned for 1d4 rounds.

Spells with the [Sonic] descriptor: Target is confused for 1d4 rounds.

Spells with the [Acid] descriptor: Target is nauseated for 2d4 rounds.

Another improvement to the lower level ability. It further upgrades the effects, and makes them more useful against higher level opponents.

Metamagic Enhancement(Su): At 19th level, a channeler may select 2 different metamagic feats. These feats now adjust the level of a spell by 1 less than normal. This ability stacks with the improved metamagic feat, and may bring the total metamagic adjustment to 0. This ability only works when used to modify spells from the channeler's spell list.

In addition, any spell that is modified by a metamagic feat now ignores all energy immunities. This ability is an improvement to the circumvent resistances class ability.

A high level increase to the channeler's power. This ability allows up to two metamagic feats to be consistently applied to all spells the channeler casts. However, this ability is balanced by the fact that it can only improve spells in this manner with a +1 or +2 metamagic feat, unless extra feats are used.

Superior Metamagic (Su): At 20th level, a channeler may select 2 different metamagic feats, which can not be the same ones selected for the metamagic enhancement class feature. From now on, these feats adjust the level of a spell by 2 less than normal. This ability stacks with the improved metamagic ability, but can not be used to bring the metamagic adjustment below 1. This ability only works when used to modify spells from the channeler spell list.

So here's the channeler's capstone ability. Very nice for a few metamagic feats, but not overpoweringly nice. This will probably be used with feats like quicken spell, persist spell, twin spell, or energy admixture.

Spell List:

0th- Resistance, Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Mage Hand
1st- Shield, Mage Armor, Burning Hands, Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, Lesser Orb of Acid, Lesser Orb of Cold, Lesser Orb of Electricity, Lesser Orb of Fire, Lesser Orb of Sound
2nd- Resist Energy, Acid Arrow, Darkness, Scorching Ray, Shatter, Dimension Hop, Seeking Ray
3rd- Protection from Energy, Explosive Runes, Daylight, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Energy Vulnerability, Dimension Step, Regroup, Deeper Darkness
4th- Fire Trap, Dimension Door, Shout, Wall of Fire, Wall of Ice, Enervation, Channeled Fireburst, Assay Resistance, Orb of Acid, Orb of Cold, Orb of Electricity, Orb of Fire, Orb of Force, Orb of Sound
5th- Cone of Cold, Wall of Force, Telekinesis, Dimension Shuffle, Radiance, Teleport
6th- Chain Lightning, Contingency, Freezing Sphere, Shadow Walk, Disintegrate
7th- Power Word Blind, Delayed Blast Fireball, Forcecage, Mage's Sword, Prismatic Spray
8th- Prismatic Wall, Power Word Stun, Polar Ray, Greater Shout, Sunburst
9th- Prismatic Sphere, Power Word Kill, Meteor Swarm, Energy Drain, Etherealness, Detonate
It's a solid spell list, composed mostly of evocation spells of course, but it includes some other goodies such as the teleportation spells, mage armor, contingency, the power words, and a few others.

Change Log:
Added in Orb Spells
Fixed Debilitating Energy class feature
Added the Elemental Ray ability
Added in new abilities suggested by various playgrounders
Changed reflex save progression to full

demidracolich
2010-05-12, 05:24 PM
Why no orb spells? A blaster style class should have some instantaneous conjurations.

Ilriyn
2010-05-12, 08:16 PM
Mostly because I don't have that splatbook, so I didn't immediately think to add them in. They're on crystal keep though, and they are logical to have. Thanks for reminding me.

Ilriyn
2010-05-13, 09:17 AM
Shameless bump.

But seriously, almost 100 views and only 1 comment? Does my class suck that bad?

Anonymouswizard
2010-05-13, 11:28 AM
Briefly skimmed the class, and I prefer it to the warmage (get blasting on track with other spells, I say). I cannot say if it's balanced or not, but looks like it would stand it's ground against batman casters (although I don't have any experience).

Ilriyn
2010-05-13, 08:00 PM
Another bump, but this time because I added an ability. It's call Elemental Ray. It's a small ability, but it is nice for low level campaigns, before the channeler has lots of spell slots. Tell me what you think. (About that, and about the entire class preferably:smalltongue:)

demidracolich
2010-05-13, 08:24 PM
Also I may use this in place of warmage for my base class in a 15th level evil campaign. My party needs a blaster and my dm is specifically making an adventure where we will be up against an army.(which I will annihalate)

Also, I just notice the interesting save progression, first time I've seen a class with one good save and one average save.

Third of all, in your comments you mentioned give an irregular progression for advanced learning, its the same progression dread necromancers get.

Ilriyn
2010-05-13, 08:59 PM
Third of all, in your comments you mentioned give an irregular progression for advanced learning, its the same progression dread necromancers get.

Really? I've never played with the dread necromancer. That's good too know.

Fortuna
2010-05-14, 03:25 AM
I like it, and will likely steal it.

Lix Lorn
2010-05-14, 04:40 AM
I like it. Take that, optimisation. Now I can blast things. XD

See? Average save. XD It's a good idea to do things Outside the box!

Ilriyn
2010-05-14, 12:13 PM
Thanks guys. Anything I can do to improve the class?

Forever Curious
2010-05-14, 01:46 PM
Eh... I don't particularly like the "average save". To my knowledge, NO other class has it, and while I appreciate innovative ideas, I much prefer consistency. Plus I think Energy Ray is a tad superfluous. Not a bad ability, just unnecessary.

Other that that i really like the class. Know I can play a blaster that isn't a warlock! :smallbiggrin:

Ilriyn
2010-05-15, 12:39 AM
Would you recommend switching it to a full reflex save? Or a poor reflex save?

Lix Lorn
2010-05-15, 03:44 PM
I like it myself. I think it fits the flavour.

Forever Curious
2010-05-15, 03:51 PM
Would you recommend switching it to a full reflex save? Or a poor reflex save?

Eh...I'd say Poor, only because it's a caster. I recommend a second opinion on that, though.

arguskos
2010-05-15, 04:04 PM
I dislike average saves as well. I vote for full Reflex, being a blaster mage and all.

Knaight
2010-05-15, 04:23 PM
I would say full reflex. I would also allow Active Defense to work against larger projectiles at later levels, or allow either shooting down as many small projectiles as desired or taking out one large projectile from early on.

That said, a highly optimized Channeler would be Cha-Dex-Con-Int, and able to take advantage of all the dex stuff well, there is no reason to expect a high intelligence, and stuff like Active Defense makes dexterity replace constitution to some extent.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-05-15, 08:35 PM
1) The Debilitating Energy ability for sonic is out of line with the other effects--dazing is much better than the other effects, not least because very little makes you immune to dazing whereas becoming prone, ability damage, reduced move speed, and extra fire damage are much easier to negate or heal. Also, deafening isn't a strict upgrade to dazing, as the Improved ability claims. I would switch the two, making the first one deafened for a round and the later one dazed for a round.

2) I would phrase Improved Channeler's Edge as removing "level-based caps," because as written it doesn't remove things like magic missile's missile limit or scorching ray's ray limit that technically add damage but aren't strict XdY damage caps.

3) I'd make Elemental Ray an at-will ability, to be honest. A channeler using ray of frost with the Energy Substitution feats and Channeler's Edge actually gets more damage than this ability, so you're giving it 3+Int per day uses of something worse than a cantrip. At lower levels it's only a difference of a few points, true, but at those levels it's effectively a reserve feat's worth of power anyway. Plus, the channeler's flavor implies someone who can just chuck energy around all day, so it would fit thematically as well.

4) 18th and 19th are dead levels. Another improvement to Debilitating Energy would fit the pattern at 18th level, and another Improved Metamagic at 19th wouldn't be too over-the-top, I think.

5) Some way to ignore energy immunities and resistances is called for. You can ignore resistance and halve immunity with a single metamagic feat, as long as you're using fire or cold (Searing Spell or Piercing Cold, respectively), but (A) the latter doesn't affect cold-subtyped creatures and (B) that limits your energy choices. An ability letting you ignore resistances and halve immunity would be appropriate around the time it gets the first Improved Metamagic (since you could get a free Searing Spell on every spell anyway) and then ignoring all immunity would be a good higher-level ability, perhaps filling one of the dead levels.

Lix Lorn
2010-05-15, 08:40 PM
Hmm... do you think Energy Ray would be overpowered if it did 1d3+class level? Cause it seems pretty pointless at high levels...

demidracolich
2010-05-15, 08:56 PM
I certainly don't think so because the damage would be pitiful at high levels and casters don't really run out of spells at high levels.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-05-15, 09:19 PM
Yeah, it's more like a reserve feat--something to do if you don't want to cast a spell, but not something you really care about as a primary damage-dealer.

Ilriyn
2010-05-16, 01:34 AM
I like it myself. I think it fits the flavour.

I like the flavor too, but I think the other points are valid that it doesn't really fit into DnD. Average saves are used much more extensively in other RPG's such as SWRPG. I think I'll switch it to a full save, it fits the concept of a light quick damage dealer.


I would say full reflex. I would also allow Active Defense to work against larger projectiles at later levels, or allow either shooting down as many small projectiles as desired or taking out one large projectile from early on.

That said, a highly optimized Channeler would be Cha-Dex-Con-Int, and able to take advantage of all the dex stuff well, there is no reason to expect a high intelligence, and stuff like Active Defense makes dexterity replace constitution to some extent.

Shooting down as many projectiles as desired would be nice, but at high caster levels, it basically means that the entire party is immune to nearly all ranged attacks. I do think that it should be able to shoot down bigger stuff though, I'll add in something about that.

Intelligence will primarily be used at lower levels, when the channeler's edge is all-important for damage output. It does slack off in importance at later levels though, perhaps the channeler's edge ability should scale better?


1) The Debilitating Energy ability for sonic is out of line with the other effects--dazing is much better than the other effects, not least because very little makes you immune to dazing whereas becoming prone, ability damage, reduced move speed, and extra fire damage are much easier to negate or heal. Also, deafening isn't a strict upgrade to dazing, as the Improved ability claims. I would switch the two, making the first one deafened for a round and the later one dazed for a round.


That does make more sense, I'll switch it around.


2) I would phrase Improved Channeler's Edge as removing "level-based caps," because as written it doesn't remove things like magic missile's missile limit or scorching ray's ray limit that technically add damage but aren't strict XdY damage caps.

Good catch, I'll change it. Though I think I'll add in something about increasing caps on magic missile and stuff by 50-100%.


3) I'd make Elemental Ray an at-will ability, to be honest. A channeler using ray of frost with the Energy Substitution feats and Channeler's Edge actually gets more damage than this ability, so you're giving it 3+Int per day uses of something worse than a cantrip. At lower levels it's only a difference of a few points, true, but at those levels it's effectively a reserve feat's worth of power anyway. Plus, the channeler's flavor implies someone who can just chuck energy around all day, so it would fit thematically as well.

Another good idea. It really does fit the flavor, and doesn't do anything to unbalance the class at high levels. At low levels, its only nice ability is that it's a touch attack, but that's mitigated by its low damage.


4) 18th and 19th are dead levels. Another improvement to Debilitating Energy would fit the pattern at 18th level, and another Improved Metamagic at 19th wouldn't be too over-the-top, I think.

I was thinking that too. 18th isn't technically a dead level, as the channeler gains a spell level, but debilitating energy could use a boost at that level.

Another -1 modifier to metamagic could, combined with the 13th level ability and with the easy metamagic feat, make it so that you could quicken/twin spell any spell on your list with only a +1 spell level adjustment. Add in arcane thesis for even more breaking... However, a -1 modifier to only one or two metamagic feats might be in order.


5) Some way to ignore energy immunities and resistances is called for. You can ignore resistance and halve immunity with a single metamagic feat, as long as you're using fire or cold (Searing Spell or Piercing Cold, respectively), but (A) the latter doesn't affect cold-subtyped creatures and (B) that limits your energy choices. An ability letting you ignore resistances and halve immunity would be appropriate around the time it gets the first Improved Metamagic (since you could get a free Searing Spell on every spell anyway) and then ignoring all immunity would be a good higher-level ability, perhaps filling one of the dead levels.

I was thinking about this a while back, and it would definitely be a good ability to have. I'll add something in.

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-05-16, 01:51 AM
I was thinking that too. 18th isn't technically a dead level, as the channeler gains a spell level, but debilitating energy could use a boost at that level.

When designing casters, you really have to decide whether a new spell level is a major feature or not. If "gets 9th level spells" is enough of a feature to fill a whole level, why would a caster get any other abilities at other spell levels (or in the channeler's case, 2 new features when gaining 3rd- and 5th-level spells)? Having dead levels in a caster class just gives them a good point to hop out into a PrC for a few levels--even an amazing capstone like Superior Metamagic might pale in comparison to 3 levels of Fatespinner or Archmage, depending on the character's playstyle. That's why I always advocate that homebrew classes get something at every single level in addition to spell progression, even if it's something minor.

Lord Loss
2010-05-16, 07:51 AM
This is great. In fact, it fills in a niche that I'd been trying to find a class for in my campaign, but was unable to find a WotC supplement detailing a caster that fit it. It seems balanced, fun and novel.