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View Full Version : The Spellthief is dead! Long live the Spellthief! [Feats]



Treblain
2011-08-17, 10:58 PM
The spellthief class, in addition to being weak and not that interesting, suffers from Crippling Overspecialization (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CripplingOverspecialization). Yeah, it has other abilities besides spell theft, but they were just thrown in to make it a full class. The bottom line is that itís a gimmick class. I turned the key ability into a feat that rogues can take, which gives a nice ability for rogues instead of creating a whole class for the purpose.

Feats:

Spellthief [Ambush]
You have studied certain arcane secrets that grant you the ability to steal spells from casters with a surprise attack.
Prerequisites: Spellcraft 4 ranks. +2d6 Sneak Attack or Cunning Strike
Benefit: You gain Spellcraft as a class skill for any class that grants sneak attack, Sudden Strike, or Cunning Strike.
If you hit an opponent with a successful sneak attack, you can steal a spell, or the potential to cast a specific known spell, from your target. If the target is willing, you can steal a spell with a touch as a standard action.
Stealing a spell requires forgoing one die of sneak attack damage per spell level of the spell stolen. You cannot sacrifice all of your sneak attack dice, meaning that you can only steal spells of a level equal to or less than one less than your sneak attack dice, even if the target is willing. You do not have to sacrifice any sneak attack damage to steal 0th level spells.
The target loses a spell from memory if they prepare spells ahead of time, or a spell slot if they are a spontaneous caster. If the target has no spells prepared (or has no remaining spell slots, if they are a spontaneous caster), this ability has no effect. You can choose which spell to steal, otherwise, the DM determines the stolen spell randomly. If you try to steal a spell that isnít available, the stolen spell or spell slot is determined randomly from among those the target has available.
You then gain the spell, and can cast it at any time. You cast it as if you were the original caster, using their caster level, save DC, and so forth. If a stolen prepared spell had a metamagic feat applied, you cast it with the metamagic feat applied; otherwise you cannot apply metamagic to stolen spells. Alternately, if you are capable of casting spells, you can use the spell energy to cast any spell of the same level that you know spontaneously. However, if you cast divine spells using arcane spell energy or vice versa, the spell energy is treated as a spell slot of one spell level lower.
The stored spell energy of any spells you steal dissipates after 12 hours.

Psithief
You are capable of leeching psionic energy from your foes with a surprising attack.
Prerequisites: Spellthief, a reserve of at least one power point
Benefit: You can use the Spellthief feat to siphon psionic energy instead of spell energy. Instead of stealing a spell, you can choose to steal a number of power points equal twice your character level.
You can use the stolen power points only to manifest a psionic power you already know. You must use these power points within 12 hours of stealing them; otherwise, the extra psionic energy fades harmlessly away.
This feat otherwise follows the rules for the Spellthief feat.
In addition, Knowledge (psionics) and Psicraft are class skills for you.
Adaptation: In campaigns heavy on psionics and light on magic, this feat may be adapted to grant this ability without requiring the Spellthief feat as a prerequisite.

Master Spellthief [Tactical], [Ambush]
You have learned more advanced spelltheft techniques.
Prerequisites: Spellthief, 10 ranks in Spellcraft
Benefit: You gain three new abilities based on your Spellthief ability.

Steal Spell-like Ability: When you hit with a sneak attack, you can forgo 1d6 damage to steal a spell-like ability from the target. If the target is willing, a spellthief can steal a spell-like ability with a touch as a standard action. This spell-like ability can originate from the targetís class, race, template, or any other source, and can be of any level up to a maximum of your class level. You can select a specific spell-like ability to steal; otherwise, the DM chooses the ability at random. If the ability has a limited number of uses per day, the target must have at least one such use left, or you canít steal the ability. If the target canít use its ability at the present time (such as a summoned demonís summon ability), you canít steal it. You can use a stolen spell-like ability once. For all purposes (caster level, save DC, and so on), treat the spell-like ability as if it were being used by the original possessor of the ability. You must use the stolen spell-like ability within 1 minute of acquiring it, or it is lost harmlessly. Until you use the ability (or until the minute elapses), the target cannot use the stolen ability.
Discover Spells: When you steal a spell, you immediately learn the names of all other spells of that level that the caster has prepared or can cast.
Steal Spell Effect: When you hit with a sneak attack, you can steal a spell effect that is currently active on the target instead of stealing a spell. You can steal a spell effect from a willing target with a touch as a standard action.
You can choose the effect to steal, or else the DM chooses it randomly from the effects currently affecting the target.
The same rules as Spellthief apply to stealing this spell effect; you must forgo sneak attack di(c)e in the same way and you cannot steal higher level spell effects than you are able to steal spells.
When you steal a spell effect, the target loses the effect for one minute and you gain the effect. After the minute ends, if the duration of the effect has not expired, the effect returns to the target.
You cannot steal spell effects that would not be affected by a Dispel Magic spell. You cannot gain the effect of a spell that could not be cast on you normally, with the exception of personal range spells.


Absorb Spell:
You can resist magical attacks and then absorb the energy for your own use.
Prerequisites: Spellthief
Benefit: If you successfully save against a spell that targets you (you are specifically designated as a target, as opposed to an area of effect spell), you can attempt to absorb the spell energy. You can make a Spellcraft check versus the caster level of the caster. If successful, you store the spell as if you had stolen it.

Notes:


I considered making spelltheft an ACF since rogues need their feats for other things, but I couldnít think of a good way to implement it.
Craven has no effect on the ability. I didnít think I needed to put that in the description, but if anyone thinks itís necessary, I will.
I raised the amount of time the spells can be stored and removed the maximum number of spell levels stolen entirely because I didnít like those restrictions and felt removing the limits doesnít imbalance the ability too much. If you disagree, let me know, and Iíll consider changing it.
Absorb Spell uses a Spellcraft check vs. CL. For a player with a maxed out skill, that would probably be easy, but rogues donít exactly have incentive to max Spellcraft otherwise, so they probably wouldnít bother maxing ranks. Maybe, I dunno.
By RAW Sudden Strike counts as Sneak Attack for this purpose, so ninjas and so forth can qualify too.

Eldest
2011-08-18, 10:53 AM
Rouge with absorb spell would be scary when people throw fireballs at her...

Treblain
2011-08-18, 01:46 PM
Rouge with absorb spell would be scary when people throw fireballs at her...

First of all, Rouge with Absorb Spell would indeed be very scary. I'm pretty sure makeup isn't allowed to have feats.

Second of all, Absorb Spell wouldn't work on Fireball, because it's an area-of-effect spell, and the ability only works for spells that are targeting you. That means it doesn't work against a lot of reflex-based spells, unfortunately for rogues. I guess I'll make that more clear, like CAdv did.

Third of all, yeah, it can be powerful, but it has flaws, the aforementioned targeting issue being a prime one. Also, it requires two feats and putting a lot of ranks in Spellcraft, which is otherwise a fairly useless skill to noncasters.

Cieyrin
2011-08-18, 02:41 PM
Spellthief may have been a niche class but this forces your sneak attackers into that niche by sucking up half their feats of their base feats, which doesn't leave a lot of room for other things that that original Spellthief could get away with, like TWF chain so he can rob unwary casters of their spell potential that much quicker. Plus, you're missing one of the key strengths of Spellthief for allied casters, in that the willing touch lets your casters throw that much more magic might across the battlefield through the Spellthief's actions and should never be discounted. Your feat includes it, yes, but that doesn't mean the Spellthief is merely a one-trick pony, he's focused around that concept of magical manipulation that makes him actually really useful to have around. Magic is the great equalizer in 3.5, one should never discount it. :smallwink:

ShiningStarling
2011-08-18, 06:02 PM
Spellthief may have been a niche class but this forces your sneak attackers into that niche by sucking up half their feats of their base feats, which doesn't leave a lot of room for other things that that original Spellthief could get away with, like TWF chain so he can rob unwary casters of their spell potential that much quicker.
All that is true, but if that is a problem for you, then run a Spellthief instead. :smallwink:

Also @Treblain, could there maybe be a really high level feat with harsh requirements to be able to use Absorb Spell on area effects and ongoing effects? Just for those who are willing to have a rough build to get a cool ability. :smalltongue:

Cieyrin
2011-08-19, 10:52 AM
All that is true, but if that is a problem for you, then run a Spellthief instead. :smallwink:

The main problem is the fact that it sucks up so many feats. As he had trouble with making appropriate ACFs, why not shift Spellthief into a PrC? He made these due to his thoughts of it as a base class was that it wasn't better than a one-trick pony (even if I think the one trick is versatile enough but I digress), that's the solution I see that doesn't suck up an invaluable resource (feats) and plays nicely with other classes. Take a look at how Unseen Seer does it and I'm sure Spellthief could be boiled to a 10 level, perhaps even a 5 level PrC fairly easily. :smallwink:


Also @Treblain, could there maybe be a really high level feat with harsh requirements to be able to use Absorb Spell on area effects and ongoing effects? Just for those who are willing to have a rough build to get a cool ability. :smalltongue:

The main issue there is that Absorb Spell takes its basis from Spell Turning, which does nothing for area spells, either. Area spells don't target you, they catch you in the effect, which is a tad less magical, I guess the reasoning is. I could see a Greater Absorb Spell that let you suck up ongoing spells as a standard action, area spells as an immediate, which seems to me to be adequate. Put it up around 12th-15th if that's your cup of tea for keeping the feat solution.

137ben
2011-08-19, 01:21 PM
But as feats, you don't HAVE to use all your feats on spell stealing. You could just use a few, and use some on other feats. Yes, you wouldn't get the last few spellthief feats, but you get more than if you didn't take any of these feats at all. In other words, if you WANT to have nothing but spell stealing, play a spellthief. But if you want a rogue who can steal a few spells but is more than a one-trick pony, then take some of these feats.

Treblain
2011-08-19, 01:50 PM
A rogue gains new abilities by taking these feats. They're pretty powerful feats, too. If that gets in the way of TWF, boo hoo. It sucks that rogues have to go TWF to be effective anyway. And you're not forced to take all of these.

I thought about making this an ACF or PrC, but I didn't really like it. Feats as opposed to ACFs can be taken by any class that has sneak attack, not just rogues. And for PrCs, well, class levels are even more valuable than feats, and while a PrC could advance sneak attack and other rogue-y abilities, it can't account for all the possible combinations of rogue and other classes. For instance, it probably wouldn't advance spellcasting, which would ruin any attempt to make a rogue/caster spellthief. With feats, that concept is much easier.

I like to make homebrew that fits into the system, so you can do interesting things in unexpected ways, like many of the options in 3.5. There's a lot of cool things you can do with these feats.

If you want to steal more powerful spells earlier, you can go dip-happy with Rogue, Ninja, Sneak Attack Fighter, and Swordsage. You can PrC into Dread Commando and Nightsong Enforcer, take Mage Slayer, and be the ultimate mage-killer. Go Rogue 1/Wizard 5/Unseen Seer, and be able to convert stolen spells into wizard spells. You can dip Spellwarp Sniper and be able to steal spells with your rays and then shoot them back. You can PrC into assassin and get SA and spells. Play a swordsage with Spellthief, Assassin's Stance, and one level of Trapsmith, and you can steal 1st level spells to cast Haste! Go Sneak Attack Thug Fighter/Paladin of Tyranny 2/Blackguard and get double your CHA on saves, making you an Absorb Spell monster.

Cieyrin
2011-08-19, 04:18 PM
A rogue gains new abilities by taking these feats. They're pretty powerful feats, too. If that gets in the way of TWF, boo hoo. It sucks that rogues have to go TWF to be effective anyway. And you're not forced to take all of these.

I thought about making this an ACF or PrC, but I didn't really like it. Feats as opposed to ACFs can be taken by any class that has sneak attack, not just rogues. And for PrCs, well, class levels are even more valuable than feats, and while a PrC could advance sneak attack and other rogue-y abilities, it can't account for all the possible combinations of rogue and other classes. For instance, it probably wouldn't advance spellcasting, which would ruin any attempt to make a rogue/caster spellthief. With feats, that concept is much easier.

I like to make homebrew that fits into the system, so you can do interesting things in unexpected ways, like many of the options in 3.5. There's a lot of cool things you can do with these feats.

If you want to steal more powerful spells earlier, you can go dip-happy with Rogue, Ninja, Sneak Attack Fighter, and Swordsage. You can PrC into Dread Commando and Nightsong Enforcer, take Mage Slayer, and be the ultimate mage-killer. Go Rogue 1/Wizard 5/Unseen Seer, and be able to convert stolen spells into wizard spells. You can dip Spellwarp Sniper and be able to steal spells with your rays and then shoot them back. You can PrC into assassin and get SA and spells. Play a swordsage with Spellthief, Assassin's Stance, and one level of Trapsmith, and you can steal 1st level spells to cast Haste! Go Sneak Attack Thug Fighter/Paladin of Tyranny 2/Blackguard and get double your CHA on saves, making you an Absorb Spell monster.

Hey, I was just making my suggestions, feel free to ignore them. Your homebrew, your rules. Just presenting alternatives, as feats aren't always the best solution. Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will. :smallsmile: