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View Full Version : The Avenger [3.5, Base Class Divine Skillmonkey]



Ziegander
2010-10-19, 01:45 AM
Because I noticed, "Hey, there isn't one of these as a base class in 3.5!" How does it compare to a Rogue, and if it's too powerful, help me edit it to be more of a balanced alternative.

The Avenger
http://www.olaclan.com/assassin.jpg
"I am called to a higher purpose. You, my friend, are not. May Death find one for you," -- Sethrin, Human Avenger of Wee Jas.

Requirements: Must worship a deity
Alignment: Must be within one step of worshipped deity's alignment
Hit die: d8

{table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+0|+2|+2|Trapfinding, Divine Censure 1d6

2nd|+1|+0|+3|+3|Armored Stealth, Aura of Anonymity

3rd|+2|+1|+3|+3|Trap Sense +1, Divine Censure 2d6

4th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Faith Rewarded (1st), Armored Evasion

5th|+3|+1|+4|+4|Divine Censure 3d6

6th|+4|+2|+5|+5|Trap Sense +2

7th|+5|+2|+5|+5|Divine Censure 4d6

8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+6|Faith Rewarded (2nd)

9th|+6/+1|+3|+6|+6|Trap Sense +3, Divine Censure 5d6

10th|+7/+2|+3|+7|+7|Nondetection

11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+7|Divine Censure 6d6

12th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8|Faith Rewarded (3rd), Trap Sense +4

13th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+8|Divine Censure 7d6

14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+9|Slippery Mind

15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+9|Trap Sense +5, Divine Censure 8d6

16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10|Faith Rewarded (4th)

17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+10|Divine Censure 9d6

18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+11|Trap Sense +6

19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+11|Divine Censure 10d6

20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+12|Deific Censure, Faith Rewarded (5th)[/table]

Class Skills (6 + Int modifier): Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (history, local, religion, planes), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.

Proficiencies: All simple weapons (also see Divine Censure), as well as light, medium, and heavy armor, and finally all shields (except Tower Shields).

Trapfinding: As Rogue.

Divine Censure (Su): Avengers are the deliverers of divine punishment and as such are experts in the instruments of war most closely associated with their deity. All Avengers gain the Weapon Proficiency feat for their deity's favored weapon (if they don't have it already). If they are already proficient in that weapon they gain the Weapon Focus feat for it instead.

Furthermore, as a swift action an Avenger may designate a single foe as the target of his divine wrath. Anytime that foe willingly moves out of one of your threatened squares, until the end of your next turn attacks you make deal an extra 1d6 damage to that foe. Anytime a foe other than the designated foe damages you with an attack it is dealt 1d6 damage.

Alternate Divine Censure possibility

Once per encounter, as a swift action, an Avenger may designate a single foe as the target of their divine wrath. Doing so fills them with powerful divine energy causing their attacks to deal an extra 1d6 damage to the designated foe, and dealing any other foes that damage them with attacks 1d6 damage. This effect lasts until the end of the encounter or until the designated foe is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points.


Every two levels after 1st the extra damage added by Divine Censure increases by 1d6. This extra damage is divine damage and not subject to damage reduction or energy resistance of any kind. It is not precision damage and therefore damages creatures immune to critical hits normally.

Armored Stealth (Su): Starting at 2nd level, granted guidance from their deity, Avengers ignore armor check penalties to Hide and Move Silently, as well as gaining a sacred bonus to those skills equal to 1/2 his class level while wearing armor heavier than Light.

Aura of Anonymity (Su): At 2nd level an Avenger is able to conceal his alignment to effects that might detect it. The Avenger is considered True Neutral for all effects that would detect alignment and has Spell Resistance 13+Class Level, but only against Divination spells and effects. If a Divination effect fails to penetrate the Avenger's SR it is automatically redirected via divine power to another suitable creature within 60ft (if there is such a creature; this new creature gets a saving throw as normal).

Trap Sense (Ex): As Rogue.

Faith Rewarded (Sp): At 4th level, an Avenger begins to wield divine spell power in his crusade. After 8 hours of rest choose a number of spells from the Cleric spell list equal to your Wisdom modifier. At 4th level you may only choose 1st level spells, but every four levels thereafter you may choose spells one level higher. You are able to cast these spells during the day as spell-like abilities each usable 1/day. You may choose the same spell more than once each day gaining additional uses of that particular spell-like ability. The saving throw against these spell-like abilities is 10+spell level+your Wisdom modifier.

Armored Evasion (Su): Starting at 4th level an Avenger is able to avoid unusual attacks with ease, even while wearing heavier armor. This ability functions as a Rogue's Evasion, but the Avenger continues to benefit even while wearing medium or heavy armor or while using a shield. Against the effects this ability applies to the Avenger gets a sacred bonus to his Reflex saves equal to 1/2 the combined total of his armor bonus + his shield bonus (enhancements included).

Nondetection (Su): Starting at 10th level an Avenger benefits constantly from a Nondetection effect as the spell.

Slippery Mind (Ex): As Rogue (special ability).

Deific Censure (Su): A 20th level Avenger is a terrifying instrument of their deity's wrath. Anytime a foe you've designated via Divine Censure willingly moves out of one of your threatened squares that foe must succeed on a Will save (DC 12+1/2 Avenger level+Wisdom modifier) or be Immobilized for 1 minute. During that time your attacks deal extra damage to that foe as indicated in the Divine Censure entry in the table above. Anytime a foe other than a foe designated via Divine Censure damages you with an attack that foe must succeed on a Will save (DC 12+1/2 Avenger level+Wisdom modifier) be Frightened for 1 minute. During that time, at the beginning of your turns, that foe is dealt 5d6 divine damage (not subject to DR or Energy Resistance).

Lix Lorn
2010-10-19, 02:42 AM
I'm not completely sure on balance; I think it might be a little strong. But I definitely like it.

Kellus
2010-10-19, 04:06 AM
F-ing forum ate my enormous post about the class. I'll try to summarize it quick.

Good idea. Weak execution. Strange and eclectic class features that don't really work very well. Uninteresting capstone. Useless spell-like ability casting comes too late in the class to be useful. I mean, even bards get 6th level spells, and that's before level 20. Aura of Anonymity, though, is seriously the coolest thing in the entire class.

Divine Censure is weird and not in a good way. I don't think you really have any idea what you want this class to be doing in combat. As it is, it's spike damage that activates in one of two ways:

a) A designated foe leaves a threatened square or

b) Someone who isn't your designated foe damages you while you HAVE a designated foe.

A few things jump out at me about this. First, it really sucks if your deity's favored weapon is a bow, since you don't threaten any squares. Second, I'm not sure why the mechanics activate the ability when you take damage. The class is based on the idea of wearing heavy armour, so presumably you want to reward people for NOT taking damage. With d8 HD it's not like you can seriously survive in melee combat that long taking hits.

The biggest problem with this class feature is that it's entirely dependant on enemy tactics. If the monster just decides to slug it out with you and doesn't get anyone to help, you're dealing weak damage, and have few hit points. You don't even have full base attack bonus. Monsters will steamroll over you and proceed to the rest of the party. I understand the basic concept of protecting the rest of the party sort of like a knight, but the mechancis don't support that idea. Like, at all. The only way it works is if the DM decides to play the monsters so that they activate your class feature on purpose.

Armored stealth is good but it still doesn't explain why a sneaky and dextrous character should be wearing heavy armour. You really need to raise the max Dex on heavy armours and remove speed restrictions for those characters too.

Trap sense is not a real class feature. Nobody actually cares about trap sense. You cannot actually fill a class level with Trap Sense +1 and expect anyone to think it's worth taking. Same thing for the divine censure +xd6. It's such a strange and situational ability that extra damage for it is not interesting as the sole class feature.

It sucks especially because there are so many things you can do with the idea of a divine thief. Stealing magic from the gods? Defiling your god's rival's temples? Playing tricks for them on clerics of other faiths? Stealing artifacts for them? There's a ton of cool abilities or ideas you could use for the class, but it's just a weird mish-mash of stuff that doesn't work together.

It's a neat idea, but it really needs some exciting and interesting things to do, in combat and also outside of combat.

None of this is intended to be mean, but I'd really like to see this class shine! :smallwink:

If you're interested, I made a similar concept class here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75181) that might have some use for you.

(NB: Sorry if this is a little harsh, I'm just really annoyed at retyping everything after it was deleted. I think I covered everything, if I think of anything else I miss I'll post it.)

Analysis
2010-10-19, 06:32 AM
In my opinion, these guys should instead of Faith Rewarded have actual divine spellcasting, probably progressing like a bard and drawing from some suitable sets of divine spells (might be alignment-dependant). That would also make prestige class interaction easier.

Realms of Chaos
2010-10-19, 09:04 AM
You guys seem to be missing the line of text up on top where it states that this guy is not being balanced against ToB, Duskblades, or Factotums but against rogues (and apparently not TWF-rogues at that).

I actually applaud that someone is willing to make a class below tier 3 on these boards as we see far too few classes intended to be on that level. :smallsmile:

That said, the current wording of divine censor may actually be a bit too powerful against mobs (targetting one creature on the opposite side of the room so that you benefit when anyone else hits you) and very weak against solo creatures (who have little reason to run from you).
I would probably rework it as a duel of sorts, choosing a single enemy and gaining extra damage against them until the end of the encounter but taking a -4 penalty to attack rolls and AC against other creatures. Let the avenger choose a new target once per encounter at 5th level and one additional time every 4 levels afterwards and you have something solid there.

Faith Rewarded is actually perfectly powered right where it is, I think, as any more would deffinitely push it ahead of the rogue by a pretty big amount.

Armored Stealth gives me a mental image of knights in full plate tip-toing around that strikes me as a bit silly, as does the armored evason. Maybe these abilities would seem more plausible if they were limited to light or medium armor but I can't tell.

Anyways, this is a pretty balanced base class, ressembling one that WotC might've produced back in the day. Good job making it. :smallwink:

Ziegander
2010-10-19, 12:59 PM
I see no one here keeps up on 4e. :smalltongue:

4e is where the inspiration, and most of the mechanics of the Divine Censure ability comes from, because 4e also has an Avenger class, which is a Divine Striker.

Anyway, I was worried this was too powerful compared to the Rogue (better HD, better saves, a sneak attack mechanism that isn't shut down by crit immunity, etc), so I nerfed Divine Censure. I'll work on it.

Anyway, the stuff like armored stealth/evasion has existed in 3.5 for a very long time now, I was borrowing concepts from all sorts of 3.5 divine skill classes when I wrote this (Shadowbane Inquisitor/Stalker, Divine Oracle, and Ruby Knight Vindicator to name the most influential). I don't find it silly, but I should probably make them supernatural and emphasize that the Avenger is able to do it through divine assistance.

Kellus makes a good point about it being "dex-based." At first I wasn't imagining it as Dex based, but then if it's supposed to be sneaky and actually get the benefit out of Evasion, it still needs high-dex. So, maybe I'll try and work in a way to keep these features but negate the need for dexterity.

Zaydos
2010-10-19, 02:07 PM
What I keep wondering is why does it wear armor since 4e's Avenger gains a bonus to AC for not wearing armor and isn't proficient in much in the way of armor. And yeah Divine Censure is too strong against mobs but fairly useless against a single target.

Mulletmanalive
2010-10-19, 03:05 PM
Well, I have a way of making Divine Censure work but i'm not sure if it might make the class Dip-tastic...

Basically, Divine Censure gains the ability that any target you threaten is considered flanked for purposes of your allies flanking him [i.e. they count as flanking him but you do not] and you gain the extra damage if they move to avoid this. If this cost the Swift action to actually get it working each round, it might work as a trade off, especially if you use skill tricks

There might be a better way of doing this but i can't see it.

To be honest, the Rogue [3.5] and the Avenger aren't really comparable as the Avenger is more like a cross of classic assassin and the Slayer of Domiel class [possibly you could scrape that for ideas...]

Ziegander
2010-10-20, 01:28 AM
Made a few changes which should make the class a bit more effective without adding a whole lot of extra power. The basics:

-- Divine Censure now automatically deals the damage to foes that hit you that aren't the designated foe, and it no longer requires you to use your deity's favored weapon.
-- Aura of Anonymity doesn't work against opponents that are higher level than you.
--Clarified Faith Rewarded so that each time you choose a spell you get it as an SLA 1/day.
--Armored Stealth adds 1/2 your class level to Hide/Move Silently while wearing medium or heavy armor.
--Armored Evasion adds your armor and shield bonuses to Reflex saves.

Kellus
2010-10-20, 05:16 AM
Okay, I sort of get what you're going for, but now this version of the divine censure makes even less sense. The optimal strategy now is to pick the strongest monster as your designated foe, wear no armour, and stand out in front as a punching bag since people take damage every time they hit you.

Ziegander
2010-10-20, 05:36 AM
Okay, I sort of get what you're going for, but now this version of the divine censure makes even less sense. The optimal strategy now is to pick the strongest monster as your designated foe, wear no armour, and stand out in front as a punching bag since people take damage every time they hit you.

I'm not sure how you're looking at it, but I feel like it makes perfect sense if you look at it from a roleplaying sense and not from an optimization sense. Sometimes the "optimal strategy" is stupid and something that merits you getting killed.

Fail
2010-10-20, 04:14 PM
Without UMD, the risk of this overtaking a rogue's very low - and I mean with modifications: as-is, it just doesn't. On favored ranged weapons: at least in Core, none exists, and there is a reason (well - at least one): spiritual weapon already assumes melee. Also, is it just me, or the censure actually says that, if the target moves at all (since that's ... leaving a square), it already triggers? If yes, intentional? Lastly, something entirely subjective: why another class that happens to have the divine power source also using power armor?

Ziegander
2010-10-20, 04:45 PM
Without UMD, the risk of this overtaking a rogue's very low - and I mean with modifications: as-is, it just doesn't. On favored ranged weapons: at least in Core, none exists

I've already altered it in a couple of ways from the original. It no longer requires the deity's favored weapon to Censure. As I've already posted about.


Also, is it just me, or the censure actually says that, if the target moves at all (since that's ... leaving a square), it already triggers? If yes, intentional?

Yes, if the target moves at all, and yes this is intentional.


Lastly, something entirely subjective: why another class that happens to have the divine power source also using power armor?

What? If you're asking why is this another divine class that uses armor, I'm not sure why it matters. Cleric is the only divine class that uses armor in any substantial way (well, Favored Soul, I guess. I forgot it existed for a second) and I like the idea of an armored skill monkey, that's the only reason.

What are your thoughts on the alternative Divine Censure spoiled in the original post?

Fail
2010-10-20, 05:06 PM
That it'd be more interesting to have censure activate at "target leaves threatened area" and "non-target attacks". Yes, it does require "cooperation" from the enemy - that's where leaving the enemy little other options/having other abilities would ideally come up. BTW, it likely should have better ability to track its target (by which I mean, through teleportation and so on), and teleporting's a big part of being an avenger.

Ziegander
2010-10-20, 10:43 PM
So everyone's saying that the version that works almost exactly like you're talking about, the version I already wrote to work that way, is drastically underpowered, and from what I can tell you agree with that sentiment, but you're saying that's how it should work anyway and that to "balance" that I should give them some more abilities?

I'm not trying to antagonize, I'm just trying to make sure I've got your critique figured out.

Fail
2010-10-21, 07:29 AM
Yes.




.

Ziegander
2010-10-21, 07:55 AM
Yes.

Then perhaps you'd like the idea I just thought up a few minutes ago to make a "Paladin fix" which basically amounts to giving the Knight class Divine Censure (set up the way you're talking about) marrying it to and overwriting to an extent the existing Knight's Challenge feature, and then giving the Knight class the Faith Rewarded ability as well. After that, I'd probably want to choose either Wisdom or Charisma to base all of the abilities and spellcasting on as to reduce MAD, but otherwise that seems to be an effective Paladin class for sure. More powerful than this class maybe, but nothing extraordinary compared to the Crusader.

Fail
2010-10-21, 09:19 AM
2 things: as you say, it doesn't reach crusader level, and a knight/paladin likely wouldn't wanna punish people for piling up on them - one could say that's pretty much doing its job. And I assume you know the RoW knight, BTW.

Ziegander
2010-10-21, 09:29 AM
2 things: as you say, it doesn't reach crusader level, and a knight/paladin likely wouldn't wanna punish people for piling up on them - one could say that's pretty much doing its job. And I assume you know the RoW knight, BTW.

Well, first I'm not trying to balance the Avenger against Tome material, or against the higher powered stuff I often make (such as the Fighter I've been working on and off on), I'm just trying to keep it balanced compared to a solid Rogue.

Second, you might say a Paladin might want to punish all of his enemies equally. I've always seen the Paladin class as much less of a "goodytwoshoes" and much more of a "I'll Smite your ass!!" kind of a guy. Combining Test of Mettle with Divine Censure=doing a paladinly job of protecting his friends AND awesomely smiting the hell out of all foes at once. Gotta love it.

Fail
2010-10-21, 04:06 PM
Well, first I'm not trying to balance the Avenger against Tome material (...)I'm not that dense, at the very least. :P But reference purposes do exist, and it was mentioned with regards to the paladin (which, BTW, would likely not be as good as even the current avenger, if only because the latter has stealth).


Second, you might say a Paladin might want to punish all of his enemies equally. I've always seen the Paladin class as much less of a "goodytwoshoes" and much more of a "I'll Smite your ass!!" kind of a guy. Combining Test of Mettle with Divine Censure=doing a paladinly job of protecting his friends AND awesomely smiting the hell out of all foes at once. Gotta love it.My reckoning was that the knight doesn't offer enough incentive for multiple enemies to attack them if they had censure. That said, it's easy to solve: delete test of mettle's 3rd paragraph.

Ziegander
2010-10-21, 04:16 PM
My reckoning was that the knight doesn't offer enough incentive for multiple enemies to attack them if they had censure. That said, it's easy to solve: delete test of mettle's 3rd paragraph.

Heh. Exactly. :D