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Demidos
2011-10-10, 10:10 PM
The Grandmaster

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Q0lTtPVTG40/Rd8FE8787aI/AAAAAAAAAsg/PHlnmpY8uko/s400/potter_chess.jpg

True, but if my pawn moves there, then he can swap with the knight, allowing my dark bishop to incinerate their flank -Sjakk Mestari, Grandmaster pondering a battle

Adventures: Grandmasters usually travel to hone their activating talents and to gain power, though they also travel for all the reasons other classes travel (fame, wealth, glory, adventure).

Characteristics: A Grandmaster is a cunning opponent who fights by growing figurines to large sizes and using them in combat against his foes. Each figurine has a host of unique ablilites, and the Grandmaster may meld into one, augmenting its powers and making it a force to be reckoned with.

Alignment: Most Grandmasters tend towards Lawful Neutral, with their ordered minds and sense of superiority, but Grandmasters have been known to come from any alignment.

Religion: The most commonly worshiped gods among Grandmasters are Boccob and Wee-jas, as Grandmasters often have a somewhat smug, yet distanced personality, and these characteristics are visible in these deities. However, Grandmasters have been known to worshop almost any deity.

Races: A Grandmaster may come from any race, though more intelligent and more civilized races often produce the most famous. Elves often produce great Grandmasters due to their longevity, though even Dwarf and Orc Grandmasters are not unheard of.

Other Classes: The Grandmaster gets along well with other classes, especially wizards. Though they may come across as somewhat elitist, they are usually willing to work with others to enhance their capabilities.

Role: The Grandmaster works well with different groups depending on his focus. If he focuses on Pawns or Knights, he can provide assistance to other melee classes, while one foucsed on Bishops can provide magical support and one focused on Rooks can defend a caster-heavy party.

Adaptation: The Grandmaster can be incorporated into any medium to high magic setting. Magic Figurines are not uncommon, and the Grandmaster has simply mastered the art of creating and using them.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Grandmaster's have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Int is very important to the Grandmaster to fuel his abilities, followed by dexterity and constitution to protect him (while not melded) in combat.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6
Starting Age: As Wizard
Starting Gold: As Wizard

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|1st|2nd|3rd|4th

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Pawns, Themed Set|-|-|-|-

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Rooks, Intelligent Tactician|-|-|-|-

3rd|
+1|
+1|
+1|
+3|Knights|-|-|-|-

4th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Bishops, Spells|0|-|-|-

5th|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+4|Focused Master|0|-|-|-

6th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Intelligent Tactician|1|-|-|-

7th|
+3|
+2|
+2|
+5|Meld|1|-|-|-

8th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+6|Quick Calling|1|0|-|-

9th|
+4|
+3|
+3|
+6|Swap|1|0|-|-

10th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|Focused Master|1|1|-|-

11th|
+5|
+3|
+3|
+7|Intelligent Tactician|1|1|0|-

12th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|Empowered Figurines|1|1|1|-

13th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+4|
+8|Quick Calling, Meld|1|1|1|-

14th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+4|
+9|Swap, Queen|2|1|1|0

15th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+5|
+9|Focused Master|2|1|1|1

16th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|Intelligent Tactician|2|2|1|1

17th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+5|
+10|Meld|2|2|2|1

18th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|Quick Calling|3|2|2|1

19th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+6|
+11|Checkmate|3|3|3|2

20th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+6|
+12|King-piece|3|3|3|3[/table]

Class Skills
The Grandmaster's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and UMD (Cha).
A Grandmaster specializing in white adds: Forgery (Dex), Gather Info (Cha), and Intimidate (Cha)
A Grandmaster specializing in black adds: Heal (Wis), Diplomacy (Cha),and Decipher Script (Int)

Skill Points at First Level: (6 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Grandmaster.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Grandmaster is proficient in the use of all simple weapons and with light armor but not shields.

Themed Set (Ex): The Grandmaster carries a set of small carved figurines known as a "Set". These figurines are treated as figurines of wondrous power, with stats as noted below. At first level, the grandmaster picks a side and a theme for his figurines. The "side" is either white or black, white being tied in to destruction, and black focusing on protection, though there is no alignment stigma for either. The theme may be anything from "fire" to "darkness" to "winter". This theme has no effect other than adding one point of damage (of a related energy type) to each figurine's attack per level the Grandmaster has in this class. (e.g. A 10th level Grandmaster with the "Winter" theme would add 10 cold damage to each attack his figurines deal). Force may not be selected as an energy type. Those Grandmasters on the white side gain a +2 to initiative, while those of the black side gain +2 to AC.

It takes a standard action (that doesnt provoke) to activate each figurine, the grandmaster must have the figurines at hand to use their power. Each may remain activated for 10 minutes per Grandmaster level per day, after which the figurine becomes inert and may not be used for 24 hours. The Grandmaster may have a number of pieces out at any one time equal to 1/3 his HD (round down). If the Grandmaster loses his pieces then he cannot use his class abilities until he carves a new set. Each piece costs 50 gp for materials and takes 8 hours to carve, though more powerful grandmasters often own much more elaborate sets.

Lastly, a themed set allows a grandmaster to wield the pieces as if they were magic weapons. When holding a piece, a grandmaster may choose to elongate it into a specific magical weapon. Pawns become shortswords, bishops become quarterstaffs, Knights become spears (longspears or otherwise), Rooks become heavy metal shields, and the queen becomes a longbow. This requres a move action. Each weapon has an enhancement bonus equal to 1 with an additional +1 at 10th level, and is treated as the metal or substance that the piece itself is made of (wood is wood, cold iron is cold iron, adamentium is adamentium, etc.). When using a piece of his focused mastery, the pieces instead gain +1 every 5th level (so a 20th level pawnmaster could choose to use a +5 shortsword or a +2 quarterstaff). The weapon does half the normal theme damage (e.g. a 10th level grandmaster with the Thunder theme (sonic) would deal 5 bonus sonic damage per hit). The grandmaster is considered proficient when wielding a piece.

Basic Figurine Traits

A Figurine has immunity to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromancy effects, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. It cannot heal damage, but it can be repaired.

A Figurine also has Hardness equal to 1/2 its HD.

A figurine with class levels may use the heroic stat array, and gains the bonus ability point for every 4 levels it has.

If an activated figurine is destroyed, the statuette of the figurine turns black and cannot be activated for an hour.


Pawns (Ex): The simplest and first of the pieces the grandmaster learns to activate, pawns are sneaky figurines that can serve as scouts and spies. The Grandmaster has 4 of these pieces, and at level 10 gains another 4.
Stats:
A pawn acts as a Scout with 1/4 the Grandmaster's HD in levels (minimum 1). The Grandmaster may customize the pawn, but every pawn must be identical. The pawn starts with the gear standard for a NPC ranger of the appropriate level (see the DMG). The pawn also has the ability to move at twice its speed in the first round it is summoned.

Rooks (Ex): Strong defensive figurines, rooks can protect their masters and allies from harm in various ways. The Grandmaster has two of these pieces.
Stats:
A rook acts as a Shield Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218626) with 1/2 the Grandmaster's HD in levels (minimum 1). The Grandmaster may customize the rook, but every rook must be identical. The rook starts with the wealth standard for a NPC fighter of the appropriate level (see the DMG).

Knights (Ex): Inspiring beacons of courage and strength, Knights roam the battlefield with their huge maces and swords, inspiring allies everywhere. The Grandmaster has two of these pieces.
Stats:
A Knight acts as a paladin with 1/2 the Grandmaster's HD in levels (minimum 1). The Grandmaster may customize the knight, but every knight must be identical. The knight starts with the gear standard for a NPC paladin of the appropriate level (see the DMG). The smite ability functions against creatures of an alignment opposite to the Grandmaster's.

Bishops (Ex): Powerful matched casters, one divine, one arcane, the Grandmaster that focuses on these is to indeed be feared. The Grandmaster has one of each of these pieces.
Stats:
A bishop acts as either a warmage or a healer, depending on the color chosen by the Grandmaster (white is warmage, black is healer.) with 1/2 the Grandmaster's HD in levels (minimum 1). The Grandmaster may customize the bishop, but every bishop must be identical. The bishop starts with the wealth standard for a NPC (wizard or cleric, respectively) of the appropriate level (see the DMG). The bishops may not take metamagic feats.


Spells:
Beginning at 4th level, a Grandmaster gains the ability to cast a small number of arcane spells, which are drawn from the Grandmaster spell list. A Grandmaster may cast spontaneously.

To prepare or cast a spell, a grandmaster must have a Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Grandmaster's spell is 10 + the spell level + the Grandmaster's intelligence modifier.Like other spellcasters, a grandmaster can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Grandmaster. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score. When Table: The Grandmaster indicates that the grandmaster gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on her Intelligence score for that spell level.

A grandmaster prepares and casts spells the way a sorcerer. A grandmaster may prepare and cast any spell on the grandmaster spell list, provided that he can cast spells of that level.

Through 3rd level, a grandmaster has no caster level. At 4th level and higher, his caster level is half his grandmaster level.

Focused Master (Ex): Choose one type of figurine to focus on (bishops is a single focus) You gain bonuses to those figurines as listed below. These bonuses scale at particular levels (5, 10, 15).

Pawnmaster:

At 5th level, the Pawnmaster's pawns learn to flank better. The flanking bonus of pawns is equal to the number of pawns flanking the target at any given time (minumum of +2)
At 10th level, pawns have levels in the scout class equal to 1/2 the grandmaster's level.
At 15th level, the pawnmaster develops the Sicilian defence. The grandmaster may now act as if under the effects of Foresight.


Rookmaster:

At 5th level, the Rookmaster and his rooks become tougher. The rookmaster gains DR/adamentium equal to 1/2 his level, and rooks gain a deflection bonus equal to 1/4 their HD (this stacks with any prior bonuses). Rooks are treated as riverine, regardless of their actual composition.
At 10th level, rooks increase their shield warrior levels to 3/4 the grandmaster's level. They also gain move-speed as a monk of their level.
At 15th level, the Tarrasch rule comes into play. Whenever a rook is within a single move action of another piece, that piece gains the rook's deflection bonus. The Grandmaster's DR becomes hardness, thus stacking with his Iron Body ability.


Knightmaster:

At 5th level, the Knightmaster's knights learn how to better smite their foes. They take no penalty for power attacking their enemies while smiting.
At 10th level, Knights level to 3/4 the grandmaster's level.
At 15th level, the Knights learn Capablanca's Theorem. The Grandmaster may summon the Queen an additional time per week. The Knights also learn to better move around the field. Their paladin mounts are treated as phantom steeds, though they may be ridden by anyone the knight wishes.



Bishopmaster:

At 5th level, the Bishopmaster's bishops learn how to better use their key stat. They gain a bonus to their caster level equal to either their intelligence modifier or their charisma modifier, whichever they use as a casting stat.
At 10th level, Bishops level to 3/4 the grandmaster's level.
At 15th level, the Bishops learn to fianchetto. As a swift action, they may swap (as the Grandmaster abililty) with any other piece. They may do this a number of times per day equal to their key ability modifier.



Intelligent Tactician (Ex): The Grandmaster knows how to activate stronger figurines that are better trained. The Grandmaster adds his intelligence modifier to the figurines health for each hit dice they have. At 6th level, his intelligence modifier is added to the figurines' attack rolls. At 11th level, it is added to their AC and saves, and at 16th level it is added to their initiative (Note: the bonus to saves and to HP does not apply when the grandmaster is melded with that figurine, though it continues working for all other figurines).

Meld (Su):The grandmaster melds into a figurine for protection and strength. The Grandmaster must be adjacent to the figurine and take a move action to "enter" it. Treat the Grandmaster as using the psionic power fusion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/fusion.htm), except it has no cost and can be used as long as the figurine is usable. (The int bonus to saves and to HP does not apply when the grandmaster is melded with that figurine, though it continues working for all other figurines). At level 13 and 17 respectively, the intelligence bonus to HP and the Bonus to saves are factored in to the "gesalt".

Quick Calling (Ex): The Grandmaster knows how to call his figurines faster. At 8th level, he becomes able to call them as a move action (and thus able to activate two per round). At 13th, he learns to activate them as a swift action (allowing three to be activateed in a round), and at 18th he learns to activate two with a single action (swift or move), allowing 6 to be activated in a single round.

Swap (Ex): The grandmaster can swap the places of any two figurines, or that of himself and a figurine as a standard action that does not provoke. At 14th level, he may swap places as a swift action. He may do this a number of times equal to twice his intelligence modifier per day.

Empowered Figurines:All figurines gain +2 class levels


Queen (Ex): The Grandmaster gains a powerful minion that acts as an emergency piece when he is in dire need. The Grandmaster may call upon the Queen 1/week as an immediate action. Every time over that that she is summoned, the Grandmaster takes 2 points of intelligence damage. This damage may only be healed through natural rest. The queen is not empowered via the "Empower Figurines" ability. The queen remains summoned (unless dismissed) for a maximum of one hour.

Stats:

The grandmaster may decide on a queen character. This character is treated as a character of a level equal to the Grandmaster's level -1. This character is customizable, but must meet with DM approval in terms of power and flavor.


Checkmate (Su): The grandmaster learns how to declare their opponent defeated. If his pieces threaten every square around an enemy, the grandmaster may declare checkmate. This is usable 3/day. The opponent must succeed on a fortitude save equal to the Grandmaster's level+Intelligence modifier+5 or instantly suffer the effects of a flesh to stone spell. This is a supernatural effect.


King-piece (Ex): Only achievable by the most powerful grandmasters, the grandmaster takes on the role of the King of Figurines. The grandmaster gains the continual benefits of the Iron Body spell, with the exception that they do not suffer from the spell failure chance. This is suppressible as a free action (not on your turn). In addition, the grandmaster may take the form of the King piece. The Grandmaster may take this form 1/day, and it lasts until the end of the encounter. While in this form, each of the grandmaster's active figurines gains an additional bonus to all rolls equal to the grandmaster's intelligence modifier, while opponents take an similar penalty. The grandmaster must be visible to the creatures taking the bonuses or penalties.

Grandmaster Spell List:

1st:Know Greatest Enemy, Lay of the Land, Phantom Threat,Mass Aid, Checkmate's Light, Warning Shout, Dawn, Omen of Peril, Rary's Telepathic Bond, Targeting Ray, Benign Transportation

2nd: Know Vulnerabilities, Knight's Move, Tactical Precision, Speak to Allies, Divine Protection, Quick March, Detect thoughts, Snake's Swiftness (mass), Dimension Step

3rd: Know Opponent, G'Elsewhere Chant, Speechlink, Resist Energy (mass), Anticipate Teleport, Allegro, Battle Hymn

4th: Resistance, Greater. Implacable Pursuer, Spell Vulnerablility, Hallucinatory Terrain, Freedom of Movement, Dimension Shuffle

Black Spells:
1st: Sleep
2nd: Tongues, Haste
3rd: Lesser Vigor (mass), Aid (mass)
4th: Decoy Image

White Spells:
1st: Disguise Self
2nd: Hold Person
3rd: Cone of Grief, Curse of Impending Blades (mass)
4th: Modify Memory



Construct ACF:


Pieces Stats

Pawn: A basic piece that has a 20-ft. move, decent AC and saves, and a modest attack bonus to deal average damage. Mostly useful as a flanking partner.
Basic Special: A pawn's speed is doubled on the first turn it takes after being summoned. The pawn also has 1d6 sneak attack (as a rogue).

Bishop:Coming Soon...but basically two constructs (one warmage, one healer, both with bard casting progression with 1/2 the Grandmaster's HD in levels (Note: healer spells work as equivalent "repair" spells on constructs). Each may also cast from a domain appropriate to their theme (subject to DM approval)
Note to self: ban sanctified?

Empowered Figurines
Advanced Special: Pawns gain two abilities off the next highest menu (b). A pawn that strikes the killing blow on an opponent can now take a free 5-foot step into any adjacent square. The pawn's sneak attack increases to 2d6.
Masterful special: Pawns gain two abilities off the next highest menu (c). A pawn that strikes the killing blow on an opponent can be promoted to any other non-queen piece. The pawn's sneak attack increases to 4d6 and it gains evasion.

Advanced special: Rooks gain fast healing.
Masterful Special: Rooks can function as daern's instant fortress.

Advanced Special: Charge deals double damage.
Masterful Special: Can teleport its speed as a move action provided that it appears in a position to flank an opponent. Teleport qualifies as a charge. Charge now deals triple damage.

Advanced Special: Bishop spells are treated as heightened 2 levels
Masterful Special: Bishop spells are treated as empowered


Queen Construct:
The queen is treated as a construct with max hp and HD equal to the Grandmaster's +2. Each time that she is summoned, the grandmaster may decide on new abilities for her from the astral construct menu (2 from each menu)
Under construction, moving all references to constructs.

Designer Notes:
Mid-High tier 3ish guy who uses "figurines of wondrous power" in a chess-like manner, and can meld into them to gain benefits. Can also focus on one kind of piece to gain extra benefits. Can choose to meld or cast spells in the back (Hint: Ring of Invisibility + This Guy => I hope you don't have a "rocks fall you die" DM)

Credits:
Special thanks to Merchant, Jiruku, Noctis Vigil, Road_runner...heck, thanks to everyone! :smallbiggrin: You guys made it happen.
Changelog:

Added a domain of casting to the bishops Edit: Deleted a domain:smalltongue: Edit:maybe kept a domain...thoughts? :smallconfused:
Changed bishops from adept and witch to healer and warmage with bard casting
Added both a class level system and a psionic construct system. To stop debate:smalltongue:
Working on spell list now:smallsmile:
Added Checkmate
Changed King piece
Added Queen
Added empowered figurines
DONE! PEACH? :smallbiggrin:
3/9/12
Clarified Meld
5/17/12
Made statuettes not be destroyed, but rather rendered inert for an hour
added Dimension Step and Dimension Shuffle

Pyromancer999
2011-10-10, 10:14 PM
Looks sort of interesting so far. Still, with the chess piece creatures, I believe WoTC statted them up in one of the last 3.5e Dragons, although I forget specifically which one, so you might want to look into that if interested.

Demidos
2011-10-10, 10:17 PM
Looks sort of interesting so far. Still, with the chess piece creatures, I believe WoTC statted them up in one of the last 3.5e Dragons, although I forget specifically which one, so you might want to look into that if interested.

Wow! That was fast!!!

Edit: Ooooh. thanks!

So far im thinking of the Queen as a unit that can't be used every combat, sort of a last resort panic button. Maybe can be used 1/week, and she's like a sorcerer of 2 levels below you, as per a cohort from leadership, maybe with some more cool abilities (like dominate, fast movement, something?)?

Anyone have thoughts for what the Grandmaster himself should be doing during combat other than using "swap"? And or unique chess abilities?

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-11, 12:04 AM
Just a basic observation: this will slow combat down like crazy if he has all those guys active at once. He'd be amazing in a solo campaign, but I would question usefulness when he has no summoning left; perhaps give him some more personal combat bonuses?

I like the idea of picking an element, but it leaves one question in my mind: why not further delineate it by also adding white and black sides? Maybe white focuses on defense/healing, black focuses on offense/blasting?

Also a suggestion: when they specialize in a piece type, maybe make that type of piece be summonable for longer periods of time? Or perhaps have one of your chosen type active at all times, like a guardian or familiar? I would also suggest maybe making them gain aspects of their chosen piece, like maybe an AC bonus for choosing Rook, or attack/damage bonuses for choosing Knight. I would also suggest the option for an unfocused Grandmaster who doesn't specialize in one type; perhaps he could gain tactical bonuses that effect all his units and his combat style as a whole, less powerful and focused but far more broad.

I like the idea of the Queen as an emergency piece, although I think that Sorcerer might be a bit much. Would have to see the class finished then playtest a little to know for sure though.

About the King Piece ability: does it have a duration? A limit on uses per day? Down sides (fatigued after using it or some such)?

Other questions: How does equipment factor into this? Does each piece start with equipment, or do you have to equip each piece individually? That could get pricy.

As far as skills go, this is a tactician class; Knowledges are very needed here. Craft is a good idea if he makes his own figurines. Profession is usually a standard. Heal is a good idea (combat medic). Concentration for flavor. Use Magic Device makes a lot of sense. Possibly Spellcraft.

Biggest suggestion I have: decide if he's more magical or more combat oriented, and make adjustments accordingly. Combat means slightly more equipment, more HP, stuff like that; make him more survivable in combat. If he's more magical, I strongly suggest minor spellcasting, although no more than, say, a Paladin; make a small list of spells that would benefit him as a tactician, leader and combat person.

Overall, this looks amazing, and I look forward to the finished product. I love chess, and I love D&D; the two together are like the ultimate nerdgasm. :smallbiggrin:

Grod_The_Giant
2011-10-11, 12:12 AM
Just a basic observation: this will slow combat down like crazy if he has all those guys active at once. He'd be amazing in a solo campaign, but I would question usefulness when he has no summoning left; perhaps give him some more personal combat bonuses?

This is the single biggest problem I see with the class, but not one that's avoidable. A limit to the number/total HD of the pieces you can have active at the same time might be good from a balance standpoint, if nothing else, but... yeah. Be prepared to drive your party-mates crazy with how long your turn takes :smalleek:

It is, however, a really cool class. I'd love to use it for an NPC villain. I look forwards to seeing what else you come up with.

jiriku
2011-10-11, 01:09 AM
Note: post has been edited.

Wow. This idea has... a lot of potential. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you create.

Couple of notes: I suggest Tumble and Ride as class skills - Ride so you can saddle up with one of your knights, Tumble so you can get clear of the monsters that will inevitably come running to splat you when they realize you're a summoner. If the grandmaster will not cast, you need minimum 6 skill points per level.

To expand on the concern that Noctis and Grod have expressed, time management is going to be a MAJOR concern for this class, and you'll need to keep that in mind as you design every aspect of it. Here are a couple of ideas that should help:

Do not provide any abilities that can be used as swift or immediate actions.
All of the pieces should get only one attack per round, ever.
Attacks made by pieces should not force additional rolls.
Each piece (except caster pieces) should get a special ability, but the specials shouldn't involve making separate die rolls.
Pieces that cast spells should be restricted to one spell per round from a limited list.

Ideas for the pieces:
Pawn: A basic piece that has a 20-ft. move, decent AC and saves, and a modest attack bonus to deal average damage. Mostly useful as a flanking partner.
Basic Special: A pawn's speed is doubled on the first turn it takes after being summoned. Minor sneak attack.
Advanced Special: A pawn that strikes the killing blow on an opponent can enter its space. Better sneak attack.
Masterful special: A pawn that strikes the killing blow on an opponent can be promoted to a queen. Good sneak attack and evasion.

Queen: The queen is a wrecking ball, fast, durable, hard-hitting, and difficult to pin down (perhaps she flies). Can only be promoted from a pawn that has struck the killing blow on an opponent.
Basic Special: The queen's attack automatically delivers a debuff condition of some kind, with no saving throw.
Advanced Special: The debuff gets better.
Masterful Special: The debuff is now really, really crippling.

Rook: I think you're right on here, make it like a shield guardian. Average speed, high AC with DR and energy resistance, simple slam for modest damage. Has reach.
Basic Special: shield other on grandmaster.
Advanced special: gains fast healing.
Masterful Special: Can function as daern's instant fortress.

Knights: Obviously a mounted form, and should always remain mounted. I'd suggest a centaur shape, if you're open to it. The grandmaster could ride a knight as a mount. Excellent speed and high AC, attacks once with sword or axe for average damage.
Basic Special: Weak Aura.
Advanced Special: Charge with lance deals double damage. Aura improves.
Masterful Special: Can teleport its speed as a move action provided that it appears in a position to flank an opponent. Teleport qualifies as a charge. Charge now deals triple damage. Strong aura.

Bishops: Fast speed, poor AC, attacks only with spells and has no specials. I'd suggest an extremely restrictive list of spells, such as the ability to cast only from the one domain. However, you might choose a different domain for each bishop every day.

Grandmaster powers:
Aspect of the King: Grandmaster gains appearance of a king piece, gains hardness and a slam attack, but reduced movement speed. See the iron body spell.
Castling: As benign transposition, but only once per encounter and only between the grandmaster and a rook.
Promotion: Able to promote a pawn to a queen. 1/day, pawn must have dropped an opponent in current combat.
Multiple Summon: Able to conjure up more than one piece at a time, perhaps 1/4 levels.
Grand Strategy: Select one piece at the beginning of the day. No duration limit on summoning this piece. Can't choose a queen.

Hazzardevil
2011-10-11, 01:44 AM
I like Jiriku's ideas for the class, because a level 20 chessmaster could take about 5 minutes to resolve his turn if you treat every chess piece as a PC.

For dealing with Equipment, why not have each piece get half the total wealth of the chessmaster, but they cannot take their armour off?

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-11, 02:04 AM
To expand on the concern that Noctis and Grod have expressed, time management is going to be a MAJOR concern for this class, and you'll need to keep that in mind as you design every aspect of it. Here are a couple of ideas that should help:

Do not provide any abilities that can be used as swift or immediate actions.
All of the pieces should get only one attack per round, ever.
Attacks made by pieces should not force additional rolls unless the piece is using its special.
Each piece (except maybe pawns) should get a special ability, but no piece should have more than one special.
Pieces that cast spells should be restricted to one spell per round from a limited list.

This. Clean, efficient and nicely put.


For dealing with Equipment, why not have each piece get half the total wealth of the chessmaster, but they cannot take their armour off?

This is actually a really good idea, although half might be a bit much. Maybe 1/4? Or perhaps 1/2 for, oh, Knights and Rooks, and 1/4 for Bishops and Pawns?

Question: these pieces are the equivalent of characters at X% of your HD, if I read it right? Does this give each one individual HP, feats, skills, et cetera? That's a lot of book keeping for the player/GM, although this isn't a big deal (the Eidolon Binder on these forums is a ton of book keeping as well, but still a great deal of fun). Still, this is something to keep in mind, as this means keeping at the very least 15 separate character sheets for you to go through at level 10 (1 for the Grandmaster, 8 for Pawns, 2 for Rooks, 2 Knights, 2 for Bishops); add another one in there for the Queen at 14th level for 16. Oh, and then double that for Melded descriptions, bringing you to 31 character sheets if you write it all out. This could get messy fast without an electronic character sheet maker/organizer. As I said, not a huge problem, but one to keep in mind.

jiriku
2011-10-11, 02:12 AM
Rather than having separate equipment, it might be better simply to grant level-based stat boosts. The last thing you want is to have eight pawns running around, each with different stats.

You can use the astral construct as a model. In fact, flavoring these as astral constructs would provide a handy entry for including minor psionic powers, if you were inclined to do so.

Demidos
2011-10-12, 12:25 AM
This is just...wow. There are a ton of really good ideas in here. Wow. Thank you for these super in-depth reviews!

Ok....going through now


Just a basic observation: this will slow combat down like crazy if he has all those guys active at once. He'd be amazing in a solo campaign, but I would question usefulness when he has no summoning left; perhaps give him some more personal combat bonuses?

Yeah, this was one of my main concerns for the class. Although, obviously, an int based caster with even 4+ int skill points can be a skill monkey, the guy himself would be somewhat useless in combat. I tried to fix that with the swap and meld abilities, which give him something to do in-combat, but i guess that wasn't enough? It seems strange fluff-wise for a chess grandmaster to have 3/4 bab or to be fighting in melee in person.

I like the idea of picking an element, but it leaves one question in my mind: why not further delineate it by also adding white and black sides? Maybe white focuses on defense/healing, black focuses on offense/blasting?

This is a....really good idea. Any suggestions on how i could do that? I guess i could use different base classes for the pieces? Like, a black side could have warmage and the white caster could have healers...hey, that works! Ok, will add. Any ideas for the other pieces, or should i just leave them as is?

Also a suggestion: when they specialize in a piece type, maybe make that type of piece be summonable for longer periods of time? Or perhaps have one of your chosen type active at all times, like a guardian or familiar? I would also suggest maybe making them gain aspects of their chosen piece, like maybe an AC bonus for choosing Rook, or attack/damage bonuses for choosing Knight. I would also suggest the option for an unfocused Grandmaster who doesn't specialize in one type; perhaps he could gain tactical bonuses that effect all his units and his combat style as a whole, less powerful and focused but far more broad.

This sounds good.

I like the idea of the Queen as an emergency piece, although I think that Sorcerer might be a bit much. Would have to see the class finished then playtest a little to know for sure though.

I share your concerns. Originally it was meant to be a rogue, but...a rogue isnt particularly impressive as a queen. It seems strange fluff-wise

About the King Piece ability: does it have a duration? A limit on uses per day? Down sides (fatigued after using it or some such)?

Eheh...a'right....I meant to do that :smallbiggrin:

Other questions: How does equipment factor into this? Does each piece start with equipment, or do you have to equip each piece individually? That could get pricy.

Wealth scales exponentially, right? I don't think each piece starting with his ECL would be rigged, but...not sure there

As far as skills go, this is a tactician class; Knowledges are very needed here. Craft is a good idea if he makes his own figurines. Profession is usually a standard. Heal is a good idea (combat medic). Concentration for flavor. Use Magic Device makes a lot of sense. Possibly Spellcraft.

He's not a spellcaster, so i ditched the spellcraft. Heal seems a bit strange. I think i have craft (checks) yep. How does the skill list look now?

Biggest suggestion I have: decide if he's more magical or more combat oriented, and make adjustments accordingly. Combat means slightly more equipment, more HP, stuff like that; make him more survivable in combat. If he's more magical, I strongly suggest minor spellcasting, although no more than, say, a Paladin; make a small list of spells that would benefit him as a tactician, leader and combat person.

I was originally going to have marshal auras, but the knights usurped that:smalltongue: I think he's probably more like to a paladin caster, though i dont know many team bonus spells. Maybe battlefield control?

Overall, this looks amazing, and I look forward to the finished product. I love chess, and I love D&D; the two together are like the ultimate nerdgasm. :smallbiggrin:
Thanks! I always liked the figurines of wondrous power (though a bit overpriced) and themed magic, and I happened to be playing chess...:smallbiggrin:



This is the single biggest problem I see with the class, but not one that's avoidable. A limit to the number/total HD of the pieces you can have active at the same time might be good from a balance standpoint, if nothing else, but... yeah. Be prepared to drive your party-mates crazy with how long your turn takes :smalleek:

At the moment, 1/3 of the Grandmaster's class levels in pieces can be out at once (its in the "themed set" entry. Maybe i should make that more clear.

It is, however, a really cool class. I'd love to use it for an NPC villain. I look forwards to seeing what else you come up with.
Thanks! Feel free to playtest it and give me feedback on balance:smallsmile:



Note: post has been edited.

Wow. This idea has... a lot of potential. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you create.

Couple of notes: I suggest Tumble and Ride as class skills - Ride so you can saddle up with one of your knights, Tumble so you can get clear of the monsters that will inevitably come running to splat you when they realize you're a summoner. If the grandmaster will not cast, you need minimum 6 skill points per level.

Tumble, got it. Ride....hmmm...i always thought if you wanted to be a knight you could simply meld into one. I could go ahead with the White/black idea and make one side have centaurs and the other knights (both constructs, of course.) Thoughts?

To expand on the concern that Noctis and Grod have expressed, time management is going to be a MAJOR concern for this class, and you'll need to keep that in mind as you design every aspect of it. Here are a couple of ideas that should help:

Do not provide any abilities that can be used as swift or immediate actions.
All of the pieces should get only one attack per round, ever.
Attacks made by pieces should not force additional rolls.
Each piece (except caster pieces) should get a special ability, but the specials shouldn't involve making separate die rolls.
Pieces that cast spells should be restricted to one spell per round from a limited list.

Hmmm...ok...the only swift i was thinking of was that knights could use knights move, a spell on page...129 SC...allowing short range teleport...basically exactly the same as your suggested ability:smalltongue:

Ideas for the pieces:
Pawn: A basic piece that has a 20-ft. move, decent AC and saves, and a modest attack bonus to deal average damage. Mostly useful as a flanking partner.
Basic Special: A pawn's speed is doubled on the first turn it takes after being summoned. Minor sneak attack.
Advanced Special: A pawn that strikes the killing blow on an opponent can enter its space. Better sneak attack.
Masterful special: A pawn that strikes the killing blow on an opponent can be promoted to a queen. Good sneak attack and evasion.

Queen: The queen is a wrecking ball, fast, durable, hard-hitting, and difficult to pin down (perhaps she flies). Can only be promoted from a pawn that has struck the killing blow on an opponent.
Basic Special: The queen's attack automatically delivers a debuff condition of some kind, with no saving throw.
Advanced Special: The debuff gets better.
Masterful Special: The debuff is now really, really crippling.

Rook: I think you're right on here, make it like a shield guardian. Average speed, high AC with DR and energy resistance, simple slam for modest damage. Has reach.
Basic Special: shield other on grandmaster.
Advanced special: gains fast healing.
Masterful Special: Can function as daern's instant fortress.

Knights: Obviously a mounted form, and should always remain mounted. I'd suggest a centaur shape, if you're open to it. The grandmaster could ride a knight as a mount. Excellent speed and high AC, attacks once with sword or axe for average damage.
Basic Special: Weak Aura.
Advanced Special: Charge with lance deals double damage. Aura improves.
Masterful Special: Can teleport its speed as a move action provided that it appears in a position to flank an opponent. Teleport qualifies as a charge. Charge now deals triple damage. Strong aura.

Bishops: Fast speed, poor AC, attacks only with spells and has no specials. I'd suggest an extremely restrictive list of spells, such as the ability to cast only from the one domain. However, you might choose a different domain for each bishop every day.

Grandmaster powers:
Aspect of the King: Grandmaster gains appearance of a king piece, gains hardness and a slam attack, but reduced movement speed. See the iron body spell.
Castling: As benign transposition, but only once per encounter and only between the grandmaster and a rook.
Promotion: Able to promote a pawn to a queen. 1/day, pawn must have dropped an opponent in current combat.
Multiple Summon: Able to conjure up more than one piece at a time, perhaps 1/4 levels.
Grand Strategy: Select one piece at the beginning of the day. No duration limit on summoning this piece. Can't choose a queen.

So...you seem to be against using actual classes for the pieces? Also, is using warmage and healer OP (seeing as you say only one domain of casting)? I dont know much about them except that theyre tier 4 healer and blaster. Seeing as they would cast at 1/2 level, it doesnt seem too strong unless you focused alot on them. (metamagic stacking might be outlawed)

Also, question on the grandmaster powers: are these more class abilities? or usable as a kingpiece, or...?

I like the advancing abilities, they will be put in:smalltongue: Thanks:smallbiggrin:




I like Jiriku's ideas for the class, because a level 20 chessmaster could take about 5 minutes to resolve his turn if you treat every chess piece as a PC.

Will address below

For dealing with Equipment, why not have each piece get half the total wealth of the chessmaster, but they cannot take their armour off?

Tempting, but it seems like ALOT of money...i'd have to ponder this:smalltongue:



This. Clean, efficient and nicely put.



This is actually a really good idea, although half might be a bit much. Maybe 1/4? Or perhaps 1/2 for, oh, Knights and Rooks, and 1/4 for Bishops and Pawns?

Hmmm....this could work

Question: these pieces are the equivalent of characters at X% of your HD, if I read it right? Does this give each one individual HP, feats, skills, et cetera? That's a lot of book keeping for the player/GM, although this isn't a big deal (the Eidolon Binder on these forums is a ton of book keeping as well, but still a great deal of fun). Still, this is something to keep in mind, as this means keeping at the very least 15 separate character sheets for you to go through at level 10 (1 for the Grandmaster, 8 for Pawns, 2 for Rooks, 2 Knights, 2 for Bishops); add another one in there for the Queen at 14th level for 16. Oh, and then double that for Melded descriptions, bringing you to 31 character sheets if you write it all out. This could get messy fast without an electronic character sheet maker/organizer. As I said, not a huge problem, but one to keep in mind.

Ok, my thought was, each kind of piece would have an identical sheet (so only one pawn sheet) using the elite array, and maybe there should be limited feats allowable for each type to prevent shocktrooper and such. I usually play druids, so I dont really know much about melee feats. Should their feats be limited?



Rather than having separate equipment, it might be better simply to grant level-based stat boosts. The last thing you want is to have eight pawns running around, each with different stats.

Each pawn would definitely have to be identical. Otherwise...wow what a nightmare.

You can use the astral construct as a model. In fact, flavoring these as astral constructs would provide a handy entry for including minor psionic powers, if you were inclined to do so.

Hmm...I don't know much about those. Sounds good. What is the basic concept?

Edit: I was looking at those. It looks good, but would preclude using classes as the bases for each...it could definitely be included as an ACF. You could pick two powers from each menu with Empowered Figurines giving access to each new menu. (the menu would have to be modified to give rooks the DR, Bishops the energy blasts, Peons the flights, etc.)


Wow. Lots of great ideas to incorporate. Putting them in now!

jiriku
2011-10-12, 12:48 AM
Hmmm...ok...the only swift i was thinking of was that knights could use knights move, a spell on page...129 SC...allowing short range teleport...basically exactly the same as your suggested ability

Yeah, I had that spell in mind. However, by making it replace the knight's normal move rather than be in addition to a normal move, you reduce the number of actions the knight takes and the number of choices it forces the player to make. Even with 6 pieces and a PC to manage in combat, a turn can go by pretty quick if the typical turn for most pieces is"move once, attack once, resolve special ability".


So...you seem to be against using actual classes for pieces? Also, is using warmage or healer OP? I don't know much about them except that they're tier 4.

I would recommend against using real classes. Real classes are very complicated, with many many options to consider. Managing all those character sheets is time-consuming at best and may be impossible for people who lack strong system mastery. Also, it's unfair to the other players if the grandmaster's PC gets a dozen full-fledged characters while they get only one.


Hmm...I don't know much about those. Sounds good. What is the basic concept?

Psionic summoners summon astral constructs instead of outsiders. Astral constructs are highly standardized, but their summoner can customize the base construct by choosing from lists of options. They're powerful, but easy to learn and use.



If you choose to go with a spellcasting grandmaster, I'd actually recommend you cherry-pick the bard list, especially the spells in Spell Compendium. There are a lot of good team-support spells in there.

Demidos
2011-10-12, 01:28 AM
Yeah, I had that spell in mind. However, by making it replace the knight's normal move rather than be in addition to a normal move, you reduce the number of actions the knight takes and the number of choices it forces the player to make. Even with 6 pieces and a PC to manage in combat, a turn can go by pretty quick if the typical turn for most pieces is"move once, attack once, resolve special ability".

I guess...and pounce isnt really required with only one attack.

I would recommend against using real classes. Real classes are very complicated, with many many options to consider. Managing all those character sheets is time-consuming at best and may be impossible for people who lack strong system mastery. Also, it's unfair to the other players if the grandmaster's PC gets a dozen full-fledged characters while they get only one.

Ok. I can see your point. Maybe i'll keep the real classes around as an ACF instead:smalltongue:

Psionic summoners summon astral constructs instead of outsiders. Astral constructs are highly standardized, but their summoner can customize the base construct by choosing from lists of options. They're powerful, but easy to learn and use.

OK.

If you choose to go with a spellcasting grandmaster, I'd actually recommend you cherry-pick the bard list, especially the spells in Spell Compendium. There are a lot of good team-support spells in there.
I'll check them out. Any suggestions on the casting progression? As bard? As adept? as paladin?


Ok. So at the moment, we have a guy summoning astral constructs, who have tailored abilities for each one. I can go for that. Would this leave this at T3 or drop it to tier 4? I think the Bishops might need slightly more power or risk becoming somewhat useless. I also still need a way to differentiate black and white. Perhaps use the themed bonus for white for additional HP and AC instead of damage?

Stuff left to do
Specialized Paths (pawnmaster...etc)
-I'll get those up tommorow

Any other thoughts? :smallbiggrin:?

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-12, 02:33 AM
OK, let me be completely honest here: I like the idea of having the pieces have actual class levels in proportion to the Grandmaster, so the following list of suggestions is based on the idea you use this idea (this should be a good contrast to jiriku's ideas, which may help).

Pawns: Fighters or Rogues of 1/2HD of Grandmaster level, rounded down. Definitely make a short list of feats they would be limited to. I'd say let the first 4 be Fighters and the second set of 4 you get at lvl10 have be Rogues; this provides a little more flexibility, lets you have one set focus on attack and one set focus on defense, and makes it more interesting overall.

Pawnmaster could have their Grandmaster level equal levels in fighter for qualification in feats. Gain bonus feats off the Fighter list at selected levels. Possibly gain small sneak attack damage. Pawnmasters should get weaker abilities to the actual Grandmaster himself, since his bonuses to the pieces will be spread out over 4 times the pieces as other types of Grandmaster.

Rooks: While the idea of defense is great, keep in mind one thing: outside the Queen, a Rook is the most mobile piece on the board, and he also is a powerhouse. My suggestion is to make White Rooks have 1/2HD in Monk or one of the Monk remakes, and Black Rooks have 1/2HD in Barbarian. This obviously goes against your idea of strong defensive pieces, though. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost all my books (they were saved pdfs on a memory stick), so it may be a bit before I can hunt down a good defensive idea for you. Limited feat list, again.

Rookmasters could get Wis to AC as a Monk or unarmored bonus to AC as a Monk, as well as DR like a Barbarian (though not as much as a Barbarian). Give them boosts to move speed.

Knights: White is a Paladin of 1/2HD, Black is a Blackguard of 1/2HD. Big point: remove the casting from them. This makes them very nice front line shock troops and damage dealers, and gives them some good versatility.

Knightmasters could get a Lay On Hands equivalent ability in accordance with their color (White heals, Black damages; see the ability descriptions in Paladin and Blackguard classes). Give them more equipment proficiencies. Give them something vaguely Smite-esque.

Bishops: I have never used the Warmage or the Healer personally, and don't even know where to find them; if you supply a link or a book and page, I could better review this. The concept sounds good in theory, though. Once again, small feat list.

Bishopmasters...this is where I got stumped. They need bonuses to their casting, obviously. Maybe bonus metamagic or item creation feats? Definitely bonuses to spells that fit the theme of their pieces (+1 to caster level on healing spells (White) or fire spells (Black) if you chose Sun as your theme, for example).

Queen: The idea of an emergency piece sounds really good, and that requires flexibility and power; as such, this piece should be useable once a week or so, like you said, and I'd give it 3/4HD compared to the Grandmaster himself. As for what it should have for levels, that should be up to the player, although it should be in fitting with the theme and the color you chose (all Wizard HD with acid specialization when you chose White with a winter theme is vetoed, for instance). Limit the feats (no item creation feats, for example), but other than that, it should be pretty open-ended (pending GM approval, of course).

My suggestion for specialization: simply grant the chosen piece type more HD, maybe 3/4 of the Grandmaster's total, instead of 1/2. Also, as this class is essentially Leadership Light, make the class qualify for feats that require Leadership as a prerequisite at some point.

For actual casting for the Grandmaster himself, I'd say no more than 4th level spells as a Paladin, though not necessarily off the Paladin list. This lets him get the whole cure list, as well as restoration and some nice buffs (Bull's Strength, Eagle's Splendor, et cetera), good shielding spells, et cetera, but doesn't overpower him. In contrast, you may want to make two lists, a White list full of healing and support magic and a Black list full of attack and debuff magic.

Skills: as far as it goes, you seem to have chosen to add small casting ability, so give him Spellcraft. Also, pick, oh, three skill for White and three skills for Black, or somewhere thereabouts, to give more flavor to the color choice. Other than that, skills look good, though I think he needs "Bluff" instead of "Buff", personally. :smalltongue:

Yes, all these suggestions will make the class more complicated, take longer to create, and have slightly longer turns, but they provide way more flexibility than astral constructs (which are a waste of PP, IMHO), and is far more useful in the long run. Also, I don't feel this class as psionic. It feels more magical to me, but that might just be me.

Also, if you use class levels on the pieces, I'd change what the King Piece ability does; just taking on level equivalents makes this feel a little odd. Or, if you do keep this ability as is, make it so you can only take on full levels of the piece type you chose to master (for Pawn, pick either Fighter or Rogue when you get the ability make it unchangeable down the road). This makes your mastery type even more of a big deal in the long run, requires slightly more strategy, and is slightly less broken than "OK, now I'm a Paladin, but if I get tired of that, I'll switch to Healer, or maybe Rogue". Do you see what I'm getting at with this rant, or am I making no sense?

All in all, the above suggestions seem like a well balanced class that would land in, oh, tier 3, if I had to take a wild stab at it; the astral constructs idea would drop it to maybe 4, but I'm no tier expert, so don't quote me on that.

I hope this hugely massive wall of text helps! I can't wait for this class to finish, personally. :smallsmile:

SlashRunner
2011-10-12, 09:51 PM
I like the concept, but I think it would be better as a 10-level PrC, IMHO...

Demidos
2011-10-12, 10:53 PM
OK, let me be completely honest here: I like the idea of having the pieces have actual class levels in proportion to the Grandmaster, so the following list of suggestions is based on the idea you use this idea (this should be a good contrast to jiriku's ideas, which may help).

Pawns: Fighters or Rogues of 1/2HD of Grandmaster level, rounded down. Definitely make a short list of feats they would be limited to. I'd say let the first 4 be Fighters and the second set of 4 you get at lvl10 have be Rogues; this provides a little more flexibility, lets you have one set focus on attack and one set focus on defense, and makes it more interesting overall.

Ok. How about fighters with their bonus feats swapped for sneak attack (Its an ACF)? Makes them more tanky (like they should be) and keeps sneak attack?

Pawnmaster could have their Grandmaster level equal levels in fighter for qualification in feats. Gain bonus feats off the Fighter list at selected levels. Possibly gain small sneak attack damage. Pawnmasters should get weaker abilities to the actual Grandmaster himself, since his bonuses to the pieces will be spread out over 4 times the pieces as other types of Grandmaster.

Rooks: While the idea of defense is great, keep in mind one thing: outside the Queen, a Rook is the most mobile piece on the board, and he also is a powerhouse. My suggestion is to make White Rooks have 1/2HD in Monk or one of the Monk remakes, and Black Rooks have 1/2HD in Barbarian. This obviously goes against your idea of strong defensive pieces, though. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost all my books (they were saved pdfs on a memory stick), so it may be a bit before I can hunt down a good defensive idea for you. Limited feat list, again.

True, but i think a tank piece is required, just cause some players enjoy that:smallbiggrin: Still, feel free to keep sending ideas. You might change my mind yet:smalltongue:

Rookmasters could get Wis to AC as a Monk or unarmored bonus to AC as a Monk, as well as DR like a Barbarian (though not as much as a Barbarian). Give them boosts to move speed.

Knights: White is a Paladin of 1/2HD, Black is a Blackguard of 1/2HD. Big point: remove the casting from them. This makes them very nice front line shock troops and damage dealers, and gives them some good versatility.

I feel okay with leaving their spells. They're self only, and paladins are already tier 5. I'm not too worrried.

Knightmasters could get a Lay On Hands equivalent ability in accordance with their color (White heals, Black damages; see the ability descriptions in Paladin and Blackguard classes). Give them more equipment proficiencies. Give them something vaguely Smite-esque.

I'm liking the proficiencies. The lay on hands...that could work. I dont personally like smite much. It always seemed far too circumstancial, and besides, black doesnt particularly mean evil, just damaging.

Bishops: I have never used the Warmage or the Healer personally, and don't even know where to find them; if you supply a link or a book and page, I could better review this. The concept sounds good in theory, though. Once again, small feat list.

The little i know about them is that its a Evocation class and a healing class. Both tier 4, good at what they do, but at nothing else. It sounded pretty in line with what i was going for.

Bishopmasters...this is where I got stumped. They need bonuses to their casting, obviously. Maybe bonus metamagic or item creation feats? Definitely bonuses to spells that fit the theme of their pieces (+1 to caster level on healing spells (White) or fire spells (Black) if you chose Sun as your theme, for example).

Queen: The idea of an emergency piece sounds really good, and that requires flexibility and power; as such, this piece should be useable once a week or so, like you said, and I'd give it 3/4HD compared to the Grandmaster himself. As for what it should have for levels, that should be up to the player, although it should be in fitting with the theme and the color you chose (all Wizard HD with acid specialization when you chose White with a winter theme is vetoed, for instance). Limit the feats (no item creation feats, for example), but other than that, it should be pretty open-ended (pending GM approval, of course).

I personally would have no problems with that, but it seems somewhat open-ended for a class. Well, i guess its similar to leadership cohort, huh. Ok, sure, why not. I was thinking it should have the levels of a cohort though. It is once per week, and even with cohort levels...well leadership is all day every day.

My suggestion for specialization: simply grant the chosen piece type more HD, maybe 3/4 of the Grandmaster's total, instead of 1/2. Also, as this class is essentially Leadership Light, make the class qualify for feats that require Leadership as a prerequisite at some point.

Hmmm. I didnt mean to be inferior to a single feat. With the queen and all, i'd say its at least equal. Ok, but i was planning on specialization upgrading, to make it more interesting. So i'll need some more stuff

For actual casting for the Grandmaster himself, I'd say no more than 4th level spells as a Paladin, though not necessarily off the Paladin list. This lets him get the whole cure list, as well as restoration and some nice buffs (Bull's Strength, Eagle's Splendor, et cetera), good shielding spells, et cetera, but doesn't overpower him. In contrast, you may want to make two lists, a White list full of healing and support magic and a Black list full of attack and debuff magic.

How's this look?

Skills: as far as it goes, you seem to have chosen to add small casting ability, so give him Spellcraft. Also, pick, oh, three skill for White and three skills for Black, or somewhere thereabouts, to give more flavor to the color choice. Other than that, skills look good, though I think he needs "Bluff" instead of "Buff", personally. :smalltongue:

Heh...thats hilarious. Sounds like a handy skill. oh well:smalltongue:
Yes ok, spellcraft back in, and sure, maybe diplo and heal for white and...something for black. Maybe jump:smalltongue:

Yes, all these suggestions will make the class more complicated, take longer to create, and have slightly longer turns, but they provide way more flexibility than astral constructs (which are a waste of PP, IMHO), and is far more useful in the long run. Also, I don't feel this class as psionic. It feels more magical to me, but that might just be me.

Thats why now we have

Also, if you use class levels on the pieces, I'd change what the King Piece ability does; just taking on level equivalents makes this feel a little odd. Or, if you do keep this ability as is, make it so you can only take on full levels of the piece type you chose to master (for Pawn, pick either Fighter or Rogue when you get the ability make it unchangeable down the road). This makes your mastery type even more of a big deal in the long run, requires slightly more strategy, and is slightly less broken than "OK, now I'm a Paladin, but if I get tired of that, I'll switch to Healer, or maybe Rogue". Do you see what I'm getting at with this rant, or am I making no sense?

I think so? Youre saying that he shouldnt be able to be so many classes at once. Okay. Its not actually broken, since everything is tier 4 or lower, making him tier 2 tops, but yeah...sure...i can do that.

All in all, the above suggestions seem like a well balanced class that would land in, oh, tier 3, if I had to take a wild stab at it; the astral constructs idea would drop it to maybe 4, but I'm no tier expert, so don't quote me on that.

Agreed

I hope this hugely massive wall of text helps! I can't wait for this class to finish, personally. :smallsmile:


I like the concept, but I think it would be better as a 10-level PrC, IMHO...
Maybe. But I didnt really want to go in as a caster. And i didnt think anyone else could really qualify. And i didnt really want to get mixed up in spellcasting levels and stuff. I think his flavor is pretty unique. Maybe you could get in as a paladin or bard, but...dunno. I like it as a class :smallbiggrin:


Thoughts for stuff to add to the spell list?

Road_Runner
2011-10-12, 11:15 PM
I had a random idea for a capstone ability (it may have some balance issues, but can be modified)


Checkmate(Su): The grandmaster learns to use his strategical position to cleverly crush his opponents. If all of the adjacent square of an opponent are threatened by the grandmaster's pieces, which must include the queen, the Grandmaster can call "checkmate" (a verbal free action). The opponent is aware of the conditions for checkmate. The opponent must make a Fortitude Saving throw, DC = 20 + (2 x the number of pieces threatening the opponent) + Int modifier or be instantly turned to stone, as flesh to stone, except spell resistance and immunities do not apply. Many grandmasters chose to display opponents defeated in this way as trophies back at their castles. Usable 1/encounter, 3 times/day

Demidos
2011-10-12, 11:27 PM
I had a random idea for a capstone ability (it may have some balance issues, but can be modified)


Checkmate(Su): The grandmaster learns to use his strategical position to cleverly crush his opponents. If all of the adjacent square of an opponent are threatened by the grandmaster's pieces, which must include the queen, the Grandmaster can call "checkmate" (a verbal free action). The opponent is aware of the conditions for checkmate. The opponent must make a Fortitude Saving throw, DC = 20 + (2 x the number of pieces threatening the opponent) + Int modifier or be instantly turned to stone, as flesh to stone, except spell resistance and immunities do not apply. Many grandmasters chose to display opponents defeated in this way as trophies back at their castles. Usable 1/encounter, 3 times/day

Looks very cool, but do note the queen can only be summoned once per week. However, it sounds good. 2* pieces may be a bit much (especially with the astral constructs path, as they end up as huge sized). This would work for the classes side. Hmm. Thoughts on how to integrate it?

Edit: I actually like this more than the capstone at the moment. Hm.....

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-12, 11:31 PM
For the Pawns: I still like the idea of half Fighter half Rogue; if you go all fighter, maybe make it every 4th level's feat is sneak attack damage, just to keep some of those bonus feats, but personally I really like feats, so do it however you like. I might recommend just straight Rogue if you do just one or the other; a Fighter without bonus feats is pretty much useless.

I'm trying to find a really good defensive class for the Rook, but so far no luck; will post again after some more digging (I have over 120 books to go through here). I do still strongly recommend boosting AC, giving DR/SR, and boosting move speed on a Rookmaster though.

for the Knights: if you don't think the spellcasting is too much, go for it; Paladin and Blackguard are really fun classes.

For Bishops: OK, just looked up the Warmage after finding my books, and it's pretty powerful; I still can't find (and have never seen) the Healer, but it will have to be putting out a lot of healing and buffing power to match the Warmage's damage output; Warmages are pretty powerful blasters. Once again, if someone could tell me where to find the Healer, I'd do a proper comparison.

For Queens: you make a valid point. Once a week is a little weak if it's only 3/4. Maybe make it useable whenever, but deal damage to your caster stat like they did with the Eidolon Binder's emergency summon? If you go that route, make it have levels equal to your own, though.

For the Grandmaster's casting, look at the Paladin, Blackguard, Bard and Warmage lists to start with. Those have a lot of buffs and debuffs, and the Warmage is full of blaster spells.

And I never said this was inferior to the Leadership feat, just that you should qualify for feats that have it as a prerequisite.

Will put some thought into Rook class and spells and post again later.

Road_Runner
2011-10-12, 11:32 PM
Looks very cool, but do note the queen can only be summoned once per week. However, it sounds good. 2* pieces may be a bit much (especially with the astral constructs path, as they end up as huge sized). This would work for the classes side. Hmm. Thoughts on how to integrate it?

Edit: I actually like this more than the capstone at the moment. Hm.....

Oh, I was kind of assuming that all the pieces were medium sized, and therefore had 5 foot reach. This ability would be kind of ridiculous with huge sized astral constructs. Also, the queen thing isn't really necessary at all, I think it could be easily taken out.

Demidos
2011-10-13, 12:16 AM
For the Pawns: I still like the idea of half Fighter half Rogue; if you go all fighter, maybe make it every 4th level's feat is sneak attack damage, just to keep some of those bonus feats, but personally I really like feats, so do it however you like. I might recommend just straight Rogue if you do just one or the other; a Fighter without bonus feats is pretty much useless.

Its like a rogue, with worse skills, but better hand weapon selection. it Does get sneak attack. Why is it useless? :smallconfused:

I'm trying to find a really good defensive class for the Rook, but so far no luck; will post again after some more digging (I have over 120 books to go through here). I do still strongly recommend boosting AC, giving DR/SR, and boosting move speed on a Rookmaster though.

Idk about the move speed, other two, will do:smallbiggrin:

for the Knights: if you don't think the spellcasting is too much, go for it; Paladin and Blackguard are really fun classes.
Okey dokey:smallbiggrin:

For Bishops: OK, just looked up the Warmage after finding my books, and it's pretty powerful; I still can't find (and have never seen) the Healer, but it will have to be putting out a lot of healing and buffing power to match the Warmage's damage output; Warmages are pretty powerful blasters. Once again, if someone could tell me where to find the Healer, I'd do a proper comparison.

Would it be good to ban metamagic you think?

For Queens: you make a valid point. Once a week is a little weak if it's only 3/4. Maybe make it useable whenever, but deal damage to your caster stat like they did with the Eidolon Binder's emergency summon? If you go that route, make it have levels equal to your own, though.

How about 1/week, every extra summon is -2 Int?

For the Grandmaster's casting, look at the Paladin, Blackguard, Bard and Warmage lists to start with. Those have a lot of buffs and debuffs, and the Warmage is full of blaster spells.

How does this look?

And I never said this was inferior to the Leadership feat, just that you should qualify for feats that have it as a prerequisite.

Yeah, I know, sorry if it came off that way

Will put some thought into Rook class and spells and post again later.

Great, thanks!



Oh, I was kind of assuming that all the pieces were medium sized, and therefore had 5 foot reach. This ability would be kind of ridiculous with huge sized astral constructs. Also, the queen thing isn't really necessary at all, I think it could be easily taken out.

Heh, yeah, i assumed so. The queen thing is good though, otherwise it could be abused. The size thing is an issue though. Hmm...will need more thinking time:smallbiggrin::smallwink:


AGh my post was eaten! Okay, heres more or less what it was

YouLostMe
2011-10-13, 12:54 AM
Have sustained passives for your pieces. Like, each piece has some stats and some constant special defensive ability, but you can sustain some number of pieces with a nice offensive passive ability (like bleed or skirmish or Ref Save v. Being lit on fire).

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-13, 01:04 AM
Hmm. That spell list is a lot of buffs and the like. Some of it is good for both, but the individual White and Black lists should be more than one spell each. Also, things like Bull's Strength (+4 to one creature/character's Str) and Cat's Grace (+4 to one creature/character's Dex); there's one for each stat, and I recommend at least the two listed; they're both level 2 spells. Also, you currently have no blasting spells on the Black list; I recommend something like Fireball at least. For White, add some healing, and possibly an ability that lets him use healing spells normally on his pieces.

I've only found one class that looks defensive, and it's kind of meh: Knight, PHB2. Gets lots of bonuses for defending others, but can't flank or attack an opponent who isn't ready for his attack or he loses class abilities/takes stat penalties. It's like a Paladin/Blackguard with no supernatural or magical abilities, pretty poor overall, about on par with a Fighter IMHO. I still think Monk/Barbarian is a good idea, personally; the bonus to AC and the SR that a Monk gets and the DR that a Barbarian gets are the best innate defenses I could find, and the movement speed boosts are there too (Scout gets movement boosts too, but his defensive abilities only work if he moved in a round, whereas Monk and Barbarian are always active).

As for the Pawns, I actually suggest dropping the Fighter/Rogue idea and just using the Scout class (Complete Adventurer). I think it more embodies the idea of the Pawn (the guy out in front of the rest of the army), personally, and it feels like a Fighter/Rogue crossover a little already with no tweaking. Still give some sort of sneak attack to the Grandmaster (possibly the Skirmish ability listen under Scout; less raw damage, but some boost to AC), and possibly bonus feats, but use the Scout bonus feat list shown with the class instead of fighter bonus feats. The Scout is slightly weaker than the Rogue, and slightly more powerful than the Fighter, so his power level is about the same.

EDIT: just noticed, you list Decipher Script twice under Skills.

jiriku
2011-10-13, 01:30 PM
I'd run with paladin casting, and bump it to adept if you feel it needs a boost.

You don't necessarily need to copy astral constructs verbatim, but you might want to mine them for ideas. Astral constructs are introduced in Expanded Psionics Handbook, and there's additional support for them in Complete Psionic.

Merchant
2011-10-13, 03:56 PM
I love this class. I've been thinking of creating a character for a story that uses pieces from chess as his troops and uses strategy. love the flavor

I have a suggestion or two.

First I think there should be more strategic bonuses. Say for example:for every additional 'pawn' adjecent to the same target each gets +1 to flanking.

Maybe if a bishop (is that the healer) then maybe they get fast healing(repair 1)

I personally dislike spellcasting because you see it everywhere. Spell like abilities for the pieces is a different story.

Flavorwise I think White should be more aggressive. In chess White goes first, so if they are a WhiteMaster they get bonuses to initiative and attack bonus or damage bonus.

Black could be the defensive one and perhaps throw in abilities like DR, deflection bonus, maybe self repair, illusions. Maybe more hit points? Maybe the BlackMaster uses tactics to debuff and exhaust his opponents.


If you are thinking of a base ability for all the pieces regardless the color maybe each color could be slightly better in one area.

Also I would like you to consider an ability to create a chess board which may give the pieces a boost in power. Perhaps depending on what square an adjacent enemy is on maybe sets off a debuff or them or a special tactic for the piece.

Also. I see this person ruling battlefield control but I'd hate to see this creation do subpar in other areas. If you are having these rogue levels or simply class levels for the pieces. Then I suggest giving the Grandmaster 'Aspects' of his pieces. Aspect of the 'pawn' would be the Grandmaster gains trapfinding. Aspect of the bishop offers a weaker and limited number of turning/rebukes?

Demidos
2011-10-13, 07:55 PM
Have sustained passives for your pieces. Like, each piece has some stats and some constant special defensive ability, but you can sustain some number of pieces with a nice offensive passive ability (like bleed or skirmish or Ref Save v. Being lit on fire).

Appropriately enough....you lost me:smalltongue: Can you elaborate?



Hmm. That spell list is a lot of buffs and the like. Some of it is good for both, but the individual White and Black lists should be more than one spell each. Also, things like Bull's Strength (+4 to one creature/character's Str) and Cat's Grace (+4 to one creature/character's Dex); there's one for each stat, and I recommend at least the two listed; they're both level 2 spells. Also, you currently have no blasting spells on the Black list; I recommend something like Fireball at least. For White, add some healing, and possibly an ability that lets him use healing spells normally on his pieces.

Yes, I remember you mentioning those, but since they only apply to one person, it seemed out of place. Unless you were thinking he would use them on himself?

The fireball thing. I didn't really see him as a blaster. He's like the guy in the corner doing all the strategy, not the actual dirty work. I'm willing to expand the black and white lists, but i need some spells. I can add the repair chain to the white side though :smallwink: And some healing

I've only found one class that looks defensive, and it's kind of meh: Knight, PHB2. Gets lots of bonuses for defending others, but can't flank or attack an opponent who isn't ready for his attack or he loses class abilities/takes stat penalties. It's like a Paladin/Blackguard with no supernatural or magical abilities, pretty poor overall, about on par with a Fighter IMHO. I still think Monk/Barbarian is a good idea, personally; the bonus to AC and the SR that a Monk gets and the DR that a Barbarian gets are the best innate defenses I could find, and the movement speed boosts are there too (Scout gets movement boosts too, but his defensive abilities only work if he moved in a round, whereas Monk and Barbarian are always active).

Hm. Do note they already get DR better than a barbarian's under the "construct traits". I'll give them the AC bonuses though. How about monks with d12 hd?

As for the Pawns, I actually suggest dropping the Fighter/Rogue idea and just using the Scout class (Complete Adventurer). I think it more embodies the idea of the Pawn (the guy out in front of the rest of the army), personally, and it feels like a Fighter/Rogue crossover a little already with no tweaking. Still give some sort of sneak attack to the Grandmaster (possibly the Skirmish ability listen under Scout; less raw damage, but some boost to AC), and possibly bonus feats, but use the Scout bonus feat list shown with the class instead of fighter bonus feats. The Scout is slightly weaker than the Rogue, and slightly more powerful than the Fighter, so his power level is about the same.

Hey! That was my original suggestion that no one commented on! Hmph. Will add back in then:smallbiggrin:

EDIT: just noticed, you list Decipher Script twice under Skills.
Right. I'll fix that now



I'd run with paladin casting, and bump it to adept if you feel it needs a boost.

As in, the paladin spell list? Because the paladin spell list seems mostly to be self/mount buffs, which isnt really that helpful :smallconfused:

You don't necessarily need to copy astral constructs verbatim, but you might want to mine them for ideas. Astral constructs are introduced in Expanded Psionics Handbook, and there's additional support for them in Complete Psionic.

Ok. I found them. It looks good. Have you seen the stuff i've done so far with them? I introduced most of your ideas, though im planning on tweaking it a bit. :smallbiggrin:



I love this class. I've been thinking of creating a character for a story that uses pieces from chess as his troops and uses strategy. love the flavor

I have a suggestion or two.

First I think there should be more strategic bonuses. Say for example:for every additional 'pawn' adjecent to the same target each gets +1 to flanking.

Good call. Will do.

Maybe if a bishop (is that the healer) then maybe they get fast healing(repair 1)

They are healers though. Why do they need to repair? If anything the rooks should get it, as the tanks :smallconfused:

I personally dislike spellcasting because you see it everywhere. Spell like abilities for the pieces is a different story.

I tried to keep this spell-casting to super limited tactical spells. Still not good?

Flavorwise I think White should be more aggressive. In chess White goes first, so if they are a WhiteMaster they get bonuses to initiative and attack bonus or damage bonus.

Hm. Ok. I can see that. I'd have to switch all the fluff around though:smallfrown:

Black could be the defensive one and perhaps throw in abilities like DR, deflection bonus, maybe self repair, illusions. Maybe more hit points? Maybe the BlackMaster uses tactics to debuff and exhaust his opponents.


If you are thinking of a base ability for all the pieces regardless the color maybe each color could be slightly better in one area.

Also I would like you to consider an ability to create a chess board which may give the pieces a boost in power. Perhaps depending on what square an adjacent enemy is on maybe sets off a debuff or them or a special tactic for the piece.

I really did think of this, but it seemed so metagame to have 5 foot squares delineated on the ground....idk.

Also. I see this person ruling battlefield control but I'd hate to see this creation do subpar in other areas. If you are having these rogue levels or simply class levels for the pieces. Then I suggest giving the Grandmaster 'Aspects' of his pieces. Aspect of the 'pawn' would be the Grandmaster gains trapfinding. Aspect of the bishop offers a weaker and limited number of turning/rebukes?

Aha. Those are good ideas. I'll put them in under the Pawnmaster/Bishopmaster/etc if you dont mind though? That way you could specialize in something fairly well.


Okay. Lots of great new ideas! I'll try to incorporate some (most) of this stuff by tonight, but i'm a bit exhausted IRL. My aim is to finish this by this weekend, so it will be ready for playtesting. Yep...:smallwink:

gabrion
2011-10-13, 08:51 PM
Two things:

1) Awesome concept

2) I want to second the idea of a "check mate" capstone.

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-13, 09:57 PM
OK, I think I found a good class for your Rook: the Shield Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218626), courtesy of the one and only NeoSeraphi. It's a class that specializes totally in shields, which means even without trying to they make great defensive partners.

Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace are great spells to cast on your fellows and yourself in combat, or as utility spells outside of battle; they're good to have as a team buffer. Likewise, Invisibility Sphere is useful. Bestow Curse should be the crown jewel in the combat color's casting repertoire. Not sure what the show stopper should be for the healer/defense class, will have to look into it more. Maybe drop the level on a couple of the Mass spells, like Mass Bull's Strength (I think it's 5th level normally). I'm not good with spell lists at all.

Merchant
2011-10-13, 11:54 PM
I love the checkmate idea as well. But being a lover of games then I would like someone to come up with a 'check' ability too. I see is it as a unique summon/or teleport for the Queen. That way in your next turn you can have checkmate which is how the game works. Not sure if it should do something else as well though.

I know this will mean a little more work but perhaps the class being used for the pieces might be different depending on color. (Sorry just really fixated on the color fluff)

Demidos
2011-10-14, 01:10 AM
Two things:

1) Awesome concept

2) I want to second the idea of a "check mate" capstone.

Three votes, including the OP....guess it'll go in:smalltongue:



OK, I think I found a good class for your Rook: the Shield Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218626), courtesy of the one and only NeoSeraphi. It's a class that specializes totally in shields, which means even without trying to they make great defensive partners.

...ok, thats pretty dang cool. Ok. Unless someone else suggests something, you win the round :smalltongue: Good Job.

Bull's Strength and Cat's Grace are great spells to cast on your fellows and yourself in combat, or as utility spells outside of battle; they're good to have as a team buffer. Likewise, Invisibility Sphere is useful. Bestow Curse should be the crown jewel in the combat color's casting repertoire. Not sure what the show stopper should be for the healer/defense class, will have to look into it more. Maybe drop the level on a couple of the Mass spells, like Mass Bull's Strength (I think it's 5th level normally). I'm not good with spell lists at all.

Maybe. I keep thinking of him as a tactician more than a buffer though. Maybe the Masses and Bestow curse. And maybe the shpere.



I love the checkmate idea as well. But being a lover of games then I would like someone to come up with a 'check' ability too. I see is it as a unique summon/or teleport for the Queen. That way in your next turn you can have checkmate which is how the game works. Not sure if it should do something else as well though.



I know this will mean a little more work but perhaps the class being used for the pieces might be different depending on color. (Sorry just really fixated on the color fluff)

2 paths for color, plus 2 differnt classes (one construct, one class levels...TOO MUCH! :smalltongue:


Will work on this tommorow:smalltongue:

jiriku
2011-10-14, 01:10 AM
Oh, no no no. Paladin spell list is mostly worthless for this class. A quick list of spells I think would be appropriate:

4th: rary's telepathic bond
3rd: allegro, haste, mass curse of impending blades
2nd: battlehymn, curse of impending blades, mass snake's swiftness, harmonic chorus, know opponent, speak to allies, tactical precision
1st: know vulnerabilities, targeting ray

I'm sure there are more as well.

Merchant
2011-10-14, 03:32 AM
There is a manga. Called le passant or something close to that. Anyways. In the manga the main character uses the 'king' piece and it changes into a sword. Maybe each piece can be a specific weapon and as you level the weapons gain unique special properties/enhancements. Pawn = dagger, Bishop = mace, Rook = ?, Knight = lance/spear, Queen =?

Or if weapons are not enough or too much. How about a magic item with relevance to the piece.
Pawns are rogues more or less so stealth-themed items.

I was also wondering about the colors when it comes to fighting against another Grandmaster of the opposite color. Was seeing the White Queen as a shatter, cleave, improve cleaving monstrosity much like the WarMind has that two hit swing thingy. While the Black Queen would have DR or hardness .. whichever it should be seeing as how it is a construct.

I'll have to check about the pieces, are they awakened? What happens if they are?

Demidos
2011-10-15, 12:58 PM
Oh, no no no. Paladin spell list is mostly worthless for this class. A quick list of spells I think would be appropriate:

4th: rary's telepathic bond
3rd: allegro, haste, mass curse of impending blades
2nd: battlehymn, curse of impending blades, mass snake's swiftness, harmonic chorus, know opponent, speak to allies, tactical precision
1st: know vulnerabilities, targeting ray

I'm sure there are more as well.

Phew, you had me worried for a second there:smalltongue:
Oooh, good idea. I already have some of those, but i'll look up/put in the rest:smallbiggrin:

Demidos
2011-10-15, 01:15 PM
There is a manga. Called le passant or something close to that. Anyways. In the manga the main character uses the 'king' piece and it changes into a sword. Maybe each piece can be a specific weapon and as you level the weapons gain unique special properties/enhancements. Pawn = dagger, Bishop = mace, Rook = ?, Knight = lance/spear, Queen =?

Or if weapons are not enough or too much. How about a magic item with relevance to the piece.
Pawns are rogues more or less so stealth-themed items.

I was also wondering about the colors when it comes to fighting against another Grandmaster of the opposite color. Was seeing the White Queen as a shatter, cleave, improve cleaving monstrosity much like the WarMind has that two hit swing thingy. While the Black Queen would have DR or hardness .. whichever it should be seeing as how it is a construct.

I'll have to check about the pieces, are they awakened? What happens if they are?

Whoops, missed this (two pages! yay!). Well, hmm, all the pieces already have Hardness/DR

So the manga thing....when he melds with pieces he gets a weapon?:smallconfused:

Merchant
2011-10-15, 01:38 PM
No no He doesn't merge with the construct piece. he holds the actual game sized piece and it forms into a weapon.

I'm currently looking up chess tactics and phrases to maybe add some more flavor.

There is a move called castling where you can swap a rook and a king. I know you have a swap ability but maybe you can swap adjacent rooks with the king without it counting against the times per/day?

Demidos
2011-10-15, 01:58 PM
No no He doesn't merge with the construct piece. he holds the actual game sized piece and it forms into a weapon.

I'm currently looking up chess tactics and phrases to maybe add some more flavor.

There is a move called castling where you can swap a rook and a king. I know you have a swap ability but maybe you can swap adjacent rooks with the king without it counting against the times per/day?

I see. So it gives him something to do low-level other than stand in the back? Sure, but im just going to point out his low HP and bad BAB will probably not let him hit anything without a meld or something. :smalltongue:

At the moment, there is no limit to the times/day. Should i implement one, you think? I was thinking of moving pawns up, then swapping them with knights, or getting bishops out of danger by sacrificing the pawns, etc. Like, a tactical ability.

A question in general (to the Playground), atm he doesnt really have any ranged options (other than doing it himself). Suggestions? With the classes option he does, but with the constructs...well...

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-15, 10:19 PM
If you make the Pawns the Scout class, he has 8 ranged options. :smalltongue:

With the constructs route...I think that's a sacrifice you'll have to take to go down that road. I honestly can't think of an option other than "he has a bow".

I do think that a daily limit on the Swap ability is a good idea, personally. It could get abusable otherwise.

As for pieces as weapons, my suggestions:
Pawn = shortsword
Bishop = quarterstaff
Rook = shield
Knight = spear
Queen = longbow
Give him the option to enhance these. For an idea on this, see the Soulknife class. He gets some small abilities to enhance his mindblade with; I'd make the Grandmaster's enhancements not as powerful overall, maybe up to +2 enhancements (Soulknife gets up to +4).

nolispe
2011-10-15, 10:40 PM
The sole problem I see so far, of course, is that White is more defensive than black, where in chess, the opposite prevails. White is the agressive side - it has a tempo.

Demidos
2011-10-16, 01:57 AM
If you make the Pawns the Scout class, he has 8 ranged options. :smalltongue:

haha, true

With the constructs route...I think that's a sacrifice you'll have to take to go down that road. I honestly can't think of an option other than "he has a bow".

I do think that a daily limit on the Swap ability is a good idea, personally. It could get abusable otherwise.

Well it was meant to give him something to do during combat. Sort of making him the god on the hill moving his pieces below....huh...that made more sense in my head. Do you get what I mean though?
Are people still in favor of a limit?

As for pieces as weapons, my suggestions:
Pawn = shortsword
Bishop = quarterstaff
Rook = shield
Knight = spear
Queen = longbow
Give him the option to enhance these. For an idea on this, see the Soulknife class. He gets some small abilities to enhance his mindblade with; I'd make the Grandmaster's enhancements not as powerful overall, maybe up to +2 enhancements (Soulknife gets up to +4).

+2 allows a +1 something weapon. Not really very exciting. maybe it just becomes a +2 weapon that deals damage as a piece (that is to say, bonus damage = to his level? Still not exciting, but thematic. :smallbiggrin:



The sole problem I see so far, of course, is that White is more defensive than black, where in chess, the opposite prevails. White is the agressive side - it has a tempo.

Youre the second person to comment on this so far. Ok, if one more person posts agreeing with you guys, i'll change it:smalltongue:


Any comments on the Empowerments/Changes to the Capstone/the Queen/Checkmate?

Edit: and weapons, which just got added into the Themed Set ability:smallbiggrin: ?

Merchant
2011-10-17, 07:36 AM
I was thinking of the term "sacrificing". I was thinking of how one could strategically sacrifice one of your pieces.

I thought of how to sacrifice a pawn for the better of the board. What if the grandmaster or each individual 'piece' has a particular way of sacrificing itself. I thought maybe the pawn itself could have something a kin to the Knights Challenge ability. Causing enemies to attack it while you position your other pieces to attack. Maybe another piece could explode.

The term 'capture' comes up a lot. Could there be an ability similar to 'checkmate' which allows you to capture or subdue opponents.

I was also thinking if the Grandmaster could use a 'captured' opponent as a piece if one of his pieces falls.

(I cant recall is there a way for the pawns to become another piece?)

maybe capture can be done as a saving throw when ever a piece forgoes an attack or an attack of opportunity.

Not sure where to place this as capstone or queen but maybe empower others to be your pieces. The gain certain abilities that are from the respective pieces.

Oooo I thought of a cool for a sacrifice for a pawn. If the grandmaster is dropped below 0 hp as an immediate action one pawn crumbles to dust and the grandmaster takes no damage.

I was wondering wouldn't it be alright if the Grandmaster had more than just one themed deck or even color. Having extra fire damage all the time might not help all the time. I guess we'll just have to see how the blackmaster and whitemaster differ in the end. If they are very different then the sets should remain seperate.

For different abilities maybe the white could move 1 or two more pieces than the black master. But maybe the blackmaster has extra actions that can only be used when on the defense or maybe taking a total defensive stance as an immediate action?

jiriku
2011-10-17, 07:42 AM
A question in general (to the Playground), atm he doesnt really have any ranged options (other than doing it himself). Suggestions? With the classes option he does, but with the constructs...well...

Spellcasting minionmancers don't need ranged weapons. They summon and they buff and every now and then they toss out a utility spell, and that's how they get 'er done.

Merchant
2011-10-17, 01:33 PM
I think that the pawns should have a number 'sacrifice' abilities depending on the number of pawns you have. I think one cool ability would be to do a swap with a willing ally as well as use an illusion to appear as that person as an immediate action. Example: mr wizard is surrounded by enemies you 'swap' a pawn with the wizard and an illusion covers both making them appear as the other.

Queen ability. A ring of anti magic that surrounds it but does not affect the queen. This makes the Queen quite frightening. Is that too much? Should it be limited with number of rounds and number of times per day?

I think you should have the chess board. Trying to figure out how it works I thinking something that helps deal with enemy mobility or boosts to your pieces. The pieces could move outside the board but they loose whatever benefits they would gain.

Again I'm trying to figure out what happens when to grandmaster boards overlap. I think it would be a constant battle of wills and each time an enemy piece is destroyed then you get a +1 bonus to the battle roll.

Demidos
2011-10-17, 03:04 PM
I was thinking of the term "sacrificing". I was thinking of how one could strategically sacrifice one of your pieces.

Okay. That sounds cool. My only worry would be that the table is starting to look a bit full.

I thought of how to sacrifice a pawn for the better of the board. What if the grandmaster or each individual 'piece' has a particular way of sacrificing itself. I thought maybe the pawn itself could have something a kin to the Knights Challenge ability. Causing enemies to attack it while you position your other pieces to attack. Maybe another piece could explode.

The term 'capture' comes up a lot. Could there be an ability similar to 'checkmate' which allows you to capture or subdue opponents.

I was also thinking if the Grandmaster could use a 'captured' opponent as a piece if one of his pieces falls.

Hmm, there could be a clause where the grandmaster can use those statues who have been checkmated. However, im worried about how balanced that would be, especially seeing as its a Fortitude save to negate, which means it would be easiest to target on casters. Perhaps if they lost class levels until they were at 3/4 his HD, he had a cap equal to his intelligence modifier. Then they were only single use? Or maybe just usable on monsters/non-class leveled people, so then he could, say, troubleshoot the enemy casters by unleashing his checkmated beholder? that could work....still sounds abusable though:smallannoyed: hmmm

(I cant recall is there a way for the pawns to become another piece?)

There is. It is their second empowerment.

maybe capture can be done as a saving throw when ever a piece forgoes an attack or an attack of opportunity.

Thats...alot of saving throws....

Not sure where to place this as capstone or queen but maybe empower others to be your pieces. The gain certain abilities that are from the respective pieces.

Oooo I thought of a cool for a sacrifice for a pawn. If the grandmaster is dropped below 0 hp as an immediate action one pawn crumbles to dust and the grandmaster takes no damage.

I was wondering wouldn't it be alright if the Grandmaster had more than just one themed deck or even color. Having extra fire damage all the time might not help all the time. I guess we'll just have to see how the blackmaster and whitemaster differ in the end. If they are very different then the sets should remain seperate.

When i wrote this i was thinking of the cool sets in hobby shops and the like that are, for example, demons vs. angels, or orcs vs. elves, and i wanted some way of customizing the pieces to reflect that. Its not supposed to actually be that powerful. Actually, atm im worried its too powerful with iteratives.

For different abilities maybe the white could move 1 or two more pieces than the black master. But maybe the blackmaster has extra actions that can only be used when on the defense or maybe taking a total defensive stance as an immediate action?


Spellcasting minionmancers don't need ranged weapons. They summon and they buff and every now and then they toss out a utility spell, and that's how they get 'er done.

They could buff their pawns to CODZILLA status, and a raptoran fighter with a bow can still defeat them? i dont get it :smallconfused:


I think that the pawns should have a number 'sacrifice' abilities depending on the number of pawns you have. I think one cool ability would be to do a swap with a willing ally as well as use an illusion to appear as that person as an immediate action. Example: mr wizard is surrounded by enemies you 'swap' a pawn with the wizard and an illusion covers both making them appear as the other.

Hm. Theres a spell in SC that does that. But i cant remember the name:smallannoyed: i'll add it to the list if anyone can find it

Queen ability. A ring of anti magic that surrounds it but does not affect the queen. This makes the Queen quite frightening. Is that too much? Should it be limited with number of rounds and number of times per day?

Again, she can only be summoned 1/week unless youre willing to take int drain. Still, that could be a good idea, though i think it should affect the queen too, so that you cant have a wizard semi-cohort that is immune to spells. That would...wow, that would be scary:smalleek:

I think you should have the chess board. Trying to figure out how it works I thinking something that helps deal with enemy mobility or boosts to your pieces. The pieces could move outside the board but they loose whatever benefits they would gain.

Again I'm trying to figure out what happens when to grandmaster boards overlap. I think it would be a constant battle of wills and each time an enemy piece is destroyed then you get a +1 bonus to the battle roll.
Eh. Still seems a bit metagame.


Is anyone else starting to worry about the table being too full?

Merchant
2011-10-18, 12:58 AM
Sorry if these might be filling the table up and another apology for not checking on it. I just love options and strategy for classes. Especially ones based options and strategy.

Not sure if these can go towards the 'piece'masters
Rook gains two manuevers from the ToB. I don't remember the names but one is Setting Sun and the other is Iron Heart(?) The ones where they redirect an opponents attack (melee i believe) back on to the attacker or an attacker's ally. (rooks were shield users right?)
Knights - extra move action in according to that weird L motion that they make on the board. Or maybe just the ability to make a 90 degree turn as part of their move action

King/board abilities - telepathy(with allies), blindsense(within the board)
------

Demidos
2011-10-19, 08:13 PM
Sorry if these might be filling the table up and another apology for not checking on it. I just love options and strategy for classes. Especially ones based options and strategy.

Not sure if these can go towards the 'piece'masters
Rook gains two manuevers from the ToB. I don't remember the names but one is Setting Sun and the other is Iron Heart(?) The ones where they redirect an opponents attack (melee i believe) back on to the attacker or an attacker's ally. (rooks were shield users right?)
Knights - extra move action in according to that weird L motion that they make on the board. Or maybe just the ability to make a 90 degree turn as part of their move action

King/board abilities - telepathy(with allies), blindsense(within the board)
------

Rooks are shield warriors, yes. I believe its linked on the OP. The two things you mentioned are disciplines, not manuvuers. each includes many maunveurs. Past that...im no TOB expert.
Creatures can already make 90 degress turns

already have telpathy spells, blindsense....maybe

Silva Stormrage
2011-10-19, 11:33 PM
The iron heart maneuver he is referring to is manticore parry. Setting sun has a TON of anti charge maneuvers in it.

Demidos
2011-10-23, 01:58 AM
The iron heart maneuver he is referring to is manticore parry. Setting sun has a TON of anti charge maneuvers in it.

Which does?

Anti-charging....that could be handy. I dont see the equivalent in chess atm...:smallconfused:

Demidos
2011-10-30, 01:49 AM
Okay. FINALLY finished. Bump for final thoughts? :smallbiggrin:
ATM the only thing left is finishing out the construct ACF, and maybe adding a couple spells to white/black lists.

Noctis Vigil
2011-10-30, 02:25 AM
Some things: nowhere in the class description does it say how many Rooks you get (though anyone who knows chess knows you get two, it should still be stated with the piece type).

Second, the Bishop description still states you get one of each caster type like it did originally, then also states you get one or the other later down.

Oh, you should state that he's considered proficient with any weapon that he creates from a piece; that gives him the ability to wield them properly, but doesn't give him lots of extra proficiencies.

It looks pretty good, aside from that. Good work. :smallsmile:

Demidos
2011-11-05, 03:38 PM
Some things: nowhere in the class description does it say how many Rooks you get (though anyone who knows chess knows you get two, it should still be stated with the piece type).

Second, the Bishop description still states you get one of each caster type like it did originally, then also states you get one or the other later down.

Oh, you should state that he's considered proficient with any weapon that he creates from a piece; that gives him the ability to wield them properly, but doesn't give him lots of extra proficiencies.

It looks pretty good, aside from that. Good work. :smallsmile:

Fixed. Thanks all!

Keinnicht
2011-11-05, 05:24 PM
Themed Set (Ex): The Grandmaster carries a set of small carved figurines known as a "Set". These figurines are treated as figurines of wondrous power, with stats as noted below. At first level, the grandmaster picks a side and a theme for his figurines. The "side" is either white or black, white being tied in to protection, and black focusing on destruction, though there is no alignment stigmata for either. The theme may be anything from "fire" to "darkness" to "winter". This theme has no effect other than adding one point of damage (of a related energy type) to each figurine's attack per level the Grandmaster has in this class. (e.g. A 10th level Grandmaster with the "Winter" theme would add 10 cold damage to each attack his figurines deal). Force may not be selected as an energy type. Those Grandmasters on the white side gain a +2 to initiative, while those of the black side gain +2 to AC.

I hate to nitpick, but the word you're looking for is "stigma." "Stigmata" are wounds mimicking those of Jesus when he died on the cross, monks and nuns have them sometimes.

Demidos
2011-11-09, 08:34 PM
I hate to nitpick, but the word you're looking for is "stigma." "Stigmata" are wounds mimicking those of Jesus when he died on the cross, monks and nuns have them sometimes.

rightt......:smallbiggrin: consider it fixed

Zarthrax
2012-07-23, 09:45 AM
Using this in a game, had an idea for an ACF....

Elvish Grandmaster

Race: Any Elf
Alignment Any Lawful

Gains: Racial Weapon Familiarity as a bonus feat. Pawns are treated as Elvish Lightblades, Knights as Elvish Thinblades, Bishops as Elvencraft Longbows, and the Queen as an Elven Courtblade. Rooks instead become Bracers of Armor +3 or Dastana (see Oriental Adventures).

Loses: The ability to ever take Focused Master: Rook.