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View Full Version : How broken is this class, and can it be salvaged? [3.5]



Grod_The_Giant
2011-09-22, 10:50 PM
I was sorting through some old documents on my laptop this afternoon, and I found a base class I made a while ago. I still like the flavor, but... well, the basic idea was to make an arcane class that copied the Spirit Shaman's spells known mechanism. I suspect that it might be a tiny bit overpowered when it potentially knowing every single wizard spell.

I would be interested to know if anyone can think of a way for the mechanism NOT to be broken

Throughout the world, many beings wield arcane power. For some, the ability is in their blood. Others gain it through study and meditation. Some, though, choose to bypass this route. Instead, they seize their magic, wrenching spells from the Weave by sheer force of will. These gifted few are known as Weavers.


The Weaver

http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Everyone%20Else/images-9/sorcerer.jpg

Abilities: Charisma determines how powerful a spell a Weaver can cast, how many spells he can cast per day, and how hard they are to resist, as well as powering his special abilities. Like a wizard, a Weaver benefits from high Dexterity and Constitution due to the fact that they don't wear armor.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d4

Class Skills:
The Weaver's class skills (and the key ability for each skill are: Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at 1st level: (2+Int Modifier) x4
Skill Points at each additional level: 2 + Int modifier.

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort.|Reflex|Will|Special
1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Sense the Weave
2|+1|+0|+0|+3
3|+1|+1|+1|+3
4|+2|+1|+1|+4
5|+2|+1|+1|+4|Damage the Weave|
6|+3|+2|+2|+5
7|+3|+2|+2|+5
8|+4|+2|+2|+6
9|+4|+3|+3|+6
10|+5|+3|+3|+7|Sunder the Weave
11|+5|+3|+3|+7
12|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8
13|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8
14|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9
15|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Overpower the Weave
16|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10
17|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10
18|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11
19|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11
20|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Rend the Weave[/table]


Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Weavers are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with his connection with the Weave, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: A Weaver casts arcane spells from the Sorcerer/Wizard list. He can cast any spell he has retrieved, much like a bard or sorcerer can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time.

To retrieve or cast a spell, a Weaver must have a Charisma score of at least 10+ the spell level. The DC for a saving throw against a Weaver spell is 10 + the spell level + the Weaver's Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, a Weaver can cast only a certain number of spells per day. Because I'm too lazy to fill out a proper table, I'll just state that his allocation of spells/day is equal to that of the wizard. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

Like a sorcerer, a Weaver knows only a certain number of spells (see the below table). However, each day a Weaver may change the spells he knows. When a Weaver mediates to regain his daily allotment of spells, he chooses which spells he wants to pull from the Weave. He can cast any spell he has retrieved at any time, assuming he hasn't used up his daily spells of that level.

If a Weaver knows metamagic feats, he applies them when choosing his spells for the day. He cannot alter his spells on the fly, but his metamagic-affected spells don't take longer to cast.

A Weaver must spend one hour in meditation to wrest new spells from the weave and replenish his spells per day allotment. He can do this at any time, provided he has rested for at least 8 hours first.

Spells Retrieved:
{table=head]Level|0 lv|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th
1|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
2|3|2|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
3|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
4|3|3|1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
5|3|3|1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-
6|3|3|2|1|-|-|-|-|-|-
7|3|3|2|1|1|-|-|-|-|-
8|3|3|2|2|1|-|-|-|-|-
9|3|3|3|2|1|1|-|-|-|-
10|3|3|3|2|2|1|-|-|-|-
11|3|3|3|3|2|1|1|-|-|-
12|3|3|3|3|2|2|1|-|-|-
13|3|3|3|3|3|2|1|1|-|-
14|3|3|3|3|3|2|2|1|-|-
15|3|3|3|3|3|3|2|1|1|-
16|3|3|3|3|3|3|2|2|1|-
17|3|3|3|3|3|3|3|2|1|1
18|3|3|3|3|3|3|3|2|2|1
19|3|3|3|3|3|3|3|3|2|1
20|3|3|3|3|3|3|3|3|2|2[/table]

Sense the Weave (Sp): As part of his training, a Weaver learns to sense the flow of magic around him. He can use Detect Magic as a spell-like ability at will.

Damage the Weave (Su): At 5th level, a Weaver can weaken a spell's connection with the Weave. If he succeeds on a caster level check (1d20+ caster level*) with a DC of 10+ the target spell's caster level, he can reduce the spell's duration by a number of units (rounds, minutes, etc) equal to his Charisma modifier. For example, if Beren the Weaver cas a Charisma modifier of +3, and he targets a Bull's Strength spell (duration measured in rounds), if he succeeds on his check the duration of the spell is reduced by three rounds. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

Sunder the Weave (Sp): At 10th level, a Weaver's command of the Weave is strong enough to totally cut off a spell's connection to the Weave. He can use Greater Dispel Magic a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

Overpower the Weave (Su): At 15th level, a Weaver is powerful enough to force the Weave to work even when it should not. If he is in a situation that would normally prevent him from casting spells (for example, an antimagic field), he can attempt to overpower the effect with a caster level check. The DC of said check is equal to 10 + the effect's equivalent spell level + the creator's primary casting stat. If the effect is permanant, add 10 to the DC. If he is stronger, he can cast spells normally for 1d4 rounds. This is a move action, and can be used a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.

Rend the Weave (Su): At 20th level, a Weaver has near complete control of the Weave. His connection is powerful enough to shatter its connection to the world, creating a field dead magic 10 feet in diameter. Inside this field, no magic works- not spells, spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities (although a Weaver's Overpower the Weave ability works), not enchanted items. Area spells exclude this area. Spells with durations instantly end when they enter the field. Enchanted items don't work in the field, but resume working when they leave it. The field persists a number of days equal to the Weaver's Charisma modifier. The field can be placed anywhere in the Weaver's line of sight as a standard action usable a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier. He can also remove it as a standard action.

A spellcaster can attempt to repair the field, but it is a complex process. First, he must make a DC 40 Spellcraft check to access the remaining fragments of the Weave. Doing so takes 1d4 minutes. To fill in the rest, he must make a DC 50 concentration check and use up 10 levels of spells. For every additional 10 levels of spells he uses, the DC of the check is reduced by 5 (to a minimum of 30). This process takes an hour.

Yitzi
2011-09-22, 11:03 PM
You didn't actually post the spells/day list. You also didn't say what the check for Overpower the Weave is opposed to when the interfering effect has no level (e.g. armor).

As for whether it's broken...I'd say that it's slightly more powerful than somewhere between a wizard and a sorcerer. Anything that fixes wizards should keep this under control as well (unless it's by taking advantage of something that wizards have but this lacks).

Mr.Bookworm
2011-09-22, 11:07 PM
The base mechanic (spontaneous prepared casting like the Cleric/Druid) but with the Wizard list is pretty much irreparably broken, and I can't think of anything that would fix it. This is effectively a Wizard whose spellbook contains every spell in the game, which is just hideously overpowered.

Sorry, but thems the breaks.

Princess
2011-09-22, 11:28 PM
I'd recommend creating a defined theme of the sorts of spells they can cast, in order to add flexibility within an area rather than in general. Spirit Shaman works because the Druids list is, compared to the Wizard list, thematically limited. Full access to Transmutation, Enchantment, Conjuration, and Illusion is game breaking - even wizards push the limits of the system, and I wouldn't even run a game in which 3.5 core wizards were running amok.

Develop an idea of what the theme might be, such as "summoner" or "reality shaper." If you look at the Beguiler class, which is essentially a specialized sorcerer with a much bigger spell list, you can see something along the lines of this. War Mage and Dread Necromancer attempted this to what I'd say was a less successful extent. All of these, however, mesh better in a party with rogues and paladins than a wizard that can kill them all in 12 seconds or less.

The best examples of terrible class design I'd use in 3e are the wizard (too powerful) and the samurai in complete warrior (hopelessly far behind). Try to make any class you design fall close to the middle of that spectrum as you can.

If the players are all reasonable enough in being fair to everyone's satisfaction, however, go nuts :)

Grod_The_Giant
2011-09-22, 11:34 PM
Fixed the spells per day and Overpower Weave effects.

To clarify, I am aware that this class is hideously overpowered, and I would probably never allow it in a game of mine. I do find it interesting how ridiculously broken things get when you copy a mechanic from divine to arcane, though. Not sure why I posed it... amusement at my earlier stupidity, mostly.

Princess, you're probably right about a beguiler-style specialized casting list being the only way to salvage the class.

Elfstone
2011-09-23, 05:01 PM
Changing the spells per day to sorcerers would certainly be a start. Also noting(unless I missed it) how many times the capstone can be used.

137ben
2011-09-24, 10:40 PM
Changing the spells per day to sorcerers would certainly be a start.
No it wouldn't, that would make it even MORE powerful. I think the real key to balancing it is to fix broken spells (which would also effectively fix most other casters). Baring that, I'd say a limited spell list would be the only way to go. Additionally, require that to be able to use/get a spell, you must first spend time meditating on it (similarly, a wizard must spend a lot of time scribing spells before he can cast everything). Once you have obtained a spell once, it is available for you to prepare on any subsequent day.

Prime32
2011-09-25, 07:05 AM
Try limiting it to one school of magic.

Yitzi
2011-09-25, 10:14 AM
I came up with a similar idea, a manifester/caster that manifests spells like a psion, learns them like a wizard (approximately), and has the wizard spell list.

My idea for balancing it? Anything with a spell level more than half his maximum takes 2 rounds to cast.

Elfstone
2011-09-25, 11:45 AM
No it wouldn't, that would make it even MORE powerful. I think the real key to balancing it is to fix broken spells (which would also effectively fix most other casters). Baring that, I'd say a limited spell list would be the only way to go. Additionally, require that to be able to use/get a spell, you must first spend time meditating on it (similarly, a wizard must spend a lot of time scribing spells before he can cast everything). Once you have obtained a spell once, it is available for you to prepare on any subsequent day.

Errr... No.. Lessening the number of spells per day would be decrease in power. Notice I did not say the sorcerers mechanics for spells, simply the amount of spells.

I disagree about fixing spells, there are simply TO many to fix, and rewriting the game will NOT fix a class.(well, it would, but it's time prohibitive.. And people who advise changing mechanics of a system when asked about a class are in the wrong thread. I would say that at any given time, only half the spells in a school of magic are available at one time. Roll a d2 to see if you can prepare said spell after meditating for a small amount of time. Once you fail, you may not try for the same spell in 36 hours.

Shadow Lord
2011-09-25, 11:57 AM
Maybe only use spells from Arcana Evolved?

SlashRunner
2011-09-25, 12:01 PM
Errr... No.. Lessening the number of spells per day would be decrease in power. Notice I did not say the sorcerers mechanics for spells, simply the amount of spells.

I disagree about fixing spells, there are simply TO many to fix, and rewriting the game will NOT fix a class.(well, it would, but it's time prohibitive.. And people who advise changing mechanics of a system when asked about a class are in the wrong thread. I would say that at any given time, only half the spells in a school of magic are available at one time. Roll a d2 to see if you can prepare said spell after meditating for a small amount of time. Once you fail, you may not try for the same spell in 36 hours.

Sorcerers have more spells per day than wizards. Sorcerers have far less spells known than wizards.

Grod_The_Giant
2011-09-26, 09:29 PM
Hmm... for spellcasting, how about sorcerer style, but with +1 spell/level known and -1 spell/level/day.