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View Full Version : A 'Focus'-based class for 3.5, need some help.



Venardhi
2010-08-24, 03:48 AM
I'm currently designing a class based around a mechanic similar to psionic focus. I need some help with the mechanics and so come to you veterans of the brew.

This class is primarily a melee fighter with some basic spell-casting for buffs and heals and utility. Best comparison would be a Ranger, but with definite aspects of the psychic warrior and druid involved. Unlike all those classes though, the Focus mechanic limits their ability to do their most powerful abilities as well as their spell casting.

Focus: A character of this class becomes focused through a concentration check much like with a psionic class. They remain in this state until mentally disabled or until they expend it with a Focus-based feat. Some feats require the character be focused for a minimum length of time, and some may offer the character a chance to immediately re-focus if successful. Additional feats may grant focus (or the opportunity to focus as a free action) upon the completion of an action such as damaging an opponent, healing an ally, avoiding an enemy attack, etc. While focused, this class receives bonuses as well as access to 'auras' that grant bonuses to the party.

Focus points: As the character levels up, they gain a pool of focus points, which increases regularly. Focus points are required for many Focus-based feats and Focus casting. Focus points increase slowly each round they remain focused up to the character's max. Some feats will decrease their daily max until the character rests. This daily max would begin around 3 and max out around 20-30.

Focus feats: Focus feats are (mostly) melee attacks that require focus and/or focus points to accomplish. Others may grant extraordinary effects (like insubstantiation, size change or increased speed). Characters of this class are granted a limited amount of Focus feats, but may take them from their normally granted feats as well. Example abilities would be:

Lead the Charge: 4 FP, requires the expense of focus.

The character may charge at any unengaged enemy with a bonus of (main ability modifier) to their attack, AC and damage roll. Any ally who attacks the enemy within the next round deals additional damage equal to (main ability modifier). At the cost of 1 to their daily max focus, the character can increase this damage bonus one additional round.

Echo Strike:10 FP, requires the expense of focus.

The Focused Character may attack as with a full attack. Any damage done is doubled, and will echo into 1d4 rounds, dealing full (non-doubled) damage each round. The character cannot regain focus until this damage has all been dealt. AT the cost of 2 to their daily max focus, the character can increase the echo effect 1 round. The character may spend up to 3 max focus points in this way.

Way of the Spider: 1 FP per round. requires the character remain focused.

The character can climb freely on walls and ceilings as if on the ground at 1/2 speed. If damaged or otherwise effected by an enemy, they must make a concentration check to remain focused. While using Way of the Spider, the character cannot regenerate focus points.

My main worry here is balancing abilities so they scale (since they'll only be getting about 9-12 in their career.) yet don't become too powerful later on when they can more freely use them. Suggestions welcomed.

Focus casting: The way this class casts spells is to expend their focus as well as spend focus points equal to X + 2x spell level. Opportunities may be offered to increase the spell effect through the cost of max daily focus. For example, a character in HP trouble might cast cure light wounds on themself at the expense of their focus (and the bonuses from it) and one max point to add additional healing based on (main ability bonus). Spell access would be limited to level 4 or 5 at high levels. Casting would be mostly utilitarian.

So yeah. I think that clearly gives a basic idea of what Im trying to develop here. I know a lot of it is based around what abilities I create for it, but I'm wondering how the mechanics feel to ya'll, and if this is a system you think would be fun. If anyone has previously encountered such a system that you feel works better, I'd be interested in borrowing it.

Analysis
2010-08-24, 05:22 AM
Have you seen the Factotum from Dungeonscape? It has a very similar Inspiration mechanic.