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View Full Version : [3.5, Base] The Nihilist (*insert demotivational*)



Phosphate
2011-10-19, 01:57 PM
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"In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of 'world history' - yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Disclaimer: Nietzsche never was a nihilist, he was actually opposed to nihilism and found it pitiable and monstrous at his time. However, he described it best, so yeah. Actually, this class itself is not about a bunch of people that are nihilis-tic per se, so Nietzsche would actually fit (the class, not ther worldview).

Nihilists are people who see the entirety of existence as it really is: utterly pointless. This is the starting point from which many philosophies spring out: that we shouldn't bother with progress since everything is finite, that we are our own masters, that YES, everything is pointless, but it's even MORE pointless to fight our instincts so we should still eat as much as we need, procreate and stay alive, that this existence is UNBEARABLY pointless and we should end it all and free ourselves from causality. True and high members of the Nihilist order disregard such extremist views, or at most use them to their advantage against others, while keeping a clear mind about their condition as mortals and not letting themselves overcome by conservative dread.

Stats: With a high Int, a Nihilist has more skill points, more uses for his abilities, and higher DCs. Dexterity and Constitution also come in handy as he has virtually no way of defending himself directly. He may also need different stats depending on chosen Archetype.

Background: Nihilists are mostly scholars or highly educated nobles, but anyone that seeks knowledge of the true face of this uncaring world is free to join.

Race: Any race that has fatalistic tendencies and doesn't have the insane materialism and practicality of the dwarf may produce Nihilists, except for races that don't tend to die of old age. Those are completely banned from becoming Nihilists, as they cannot comprehend the true tragedy of mortality.

Alignment: Although the vast majority of Nihilists are True Neutral or become True Neutral throughout their careers, they're not forced into it, and one's alignment has absolutely no effect on one's class features as a Nihilist.

Religion: A Nihilist with levels in a class that grants divine caster levels can no longer gain levels in Nihilist, though he keeps his class features. A Nihilist that has a patron deity, however, can't gain levels in Nihilist, loses all class features, and must break free from the deity and stay that way for a month to regain them.

Hit Die: d6
Age: moderate for humans, complex for all other races
Gold: as wizard

Skill Points: 4+int mod (x4 at first level)
Class Skills: Autohypnosis, Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, Knowledge (History, Religion, The Planes), Profession, Search, Sense Motive

{table=head]Level | Base Attack Bonus | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
1st | +0 | +0 | +0 | +2 | Archetypes, Demoralize
2nd | +1 | +0 | +0 | +3 | Unchosen One
3rd | +2 | +1 | +1 | +3 | Hollowing Gaze (-1), Brutal Logic
4th | +3 | +1 | +1 | +4 | Abyss of Entropy
5th | +3 | +1 | +1 | +4 | Rebellious, Special Ability
6th | +4 | +2 | +2 | +5 | Call to Death
7th | +5 | +2 | +2 | +5 | Meaningless Belonging
8th | +6/+1 | +2 | +2 | +6 | Hollowing Gaze (-2)
9th | +6/+1 | +3 | +3 | +6 | Give up!
10th | +7/+2 | +3 | +3 | +7 | Aura of Doubt, Improved Hollowing Gaze, Special Ability
11th | +8/+3 | +3 | +3 | +7 | Fatalistic Clarity
12th | +9/+4 | +4 | +4 | +8 | Improved Call to Death
13th | +9/+4 | +4 | +4 | +8 | Hollowing Gaze (-3)
14th | +10/+5 | +4 | +4 | +9 | Shared Clarity
15th | +11/+6/+1 | +5 | +5 | +9 | Confinement,Special Ability
16th | +12/+7/+2 | +5 | +5 | +10 | Frailty
17th | +12/+7/+2 | +5 | +5 | +10 | Murderous Desperation
18th | +13/+8/+3 | +6 | +6 | +11 | Greater Call to Death
19th | +14/+9/+4| +6 | +6 | +11 | Evade Reality
20th | +15/+10/+5 | +6 | +6 | +12 | Above All This, Special Ability
[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Nihilist is proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, and no shields.

Class Features

Archetypes: At level 1 a Nihilist may choose one of the archetypes below to apply to himself. This decision is definitive.

Exception: If a character's character level is higher than twice his nihilist level, he does not gain the benefit of an archetype.



The Apathetic

You care little for the world around you, keeping it away from your own, meaningless, yet personal life.

An Apathetic can cast Arcane Spells with the spell progression of a Wizard. However, his spells are spontaneous. In order to cast a spell, an Apathetic must have an Int equal to 10+spell level or more. The save DC for his spells is Int based, and he does NOT gain bonus spells from having a high Int. An Apathetic may cast any sor/wiz spell from the Abjuration school that he has a spell slot for.

Your caster level is equal to your class level.

The Warrior of Ardent Denial

You are frustrated and rage against the pointlessness of your own existence.

A Warrior of Ardent Denial gains Diehard as a bonus feat, ignoring prerequisites, gains proficiency with a martial weapon of his choice, gains a Bonus Fighter Feat at levels 5, 10, and 15, and may Rage as a level 1 barbarian Int mod times per day.

The Sadducee

You condescend the fools that hope for immortality and ask for aid from the gods.

A Sadducee may never be turned into an undead against his will and his corpse does not rot. Also, a Sadducee that kills an opponent with fewer HD than him may choose to destroy that opponent's soul upon death. Additionally, a Sadducee gains Spell Resistance 20 + class level against the divine spells of divine casters that have patron deities.


The Awakened

Your epiphany about the meaninglessness of the universe awakened psionic powers within you.

Choose a discipline (Seer, Shaper, Kineticist, Egoist, Nomad, Telepath). You learn all powers from that discipline and you receive all discipline specific skills as class skills. Use Maximum Power Level Known of a Psion for the purpose of determining when you can use a power.

Your power point total is equal to that of a psion of the same level/2 rounded up, and you don't gain more points from having a high Int.

Your manifester level is equal to your class level.

The Erratic

You liken yourself with the entropy of the universe.

You do not instantly fail saves and attack rolls on a 1, you may treat yourself as mindless whenever is more beneficial, and when an opponent rolls for attack or damage against you, he may not add any Insight bonus.

The Anarchist

You believe that cleansing society of what is wrong with it and burning down tradition and law is more important and a more immediate necessity that figuring out what to build on top of the ruins.

An Anarchist can, once per day, remove any condition from any creature except himself. For this purpose, "dead" is not treated as a condition. If the condition removed was supposed to be permanent (such as the confusion from an Insanity spell, or incorporeality), it is merely surpressed for class level rounds. This ability is extraordinary, requires a free action, and has a range equal to line of sight. Additionally, an Anarchist provides himself and all allies within 60 feet with a +4 bonus to Sunder checks.





Demoralize (Psi): A level 1 Nihilist can use Demoralize once per day, treating his manifester level as class level and without paying any power points. Even if he does have a power point pool, a Nihilist cannot augment this ability.

Unchosen One (Sp): Int mod times per day, a Nihilist may use Unchosen One as a free action on an opponent that is within line of sight, no save. For class level rounds, that opponent cannot deal critical damage and does not instantly succeed on attack rolls and saves on a natural 20.

Hollowing Gaze (Su): A level 3 Nihilist can make his opponents realize the futility of their existence with a mere gaze Int mod times per day. This is a mind-affecting ability that allows a Will Save against a DC of 10 + class level/2 + Int mod. It can be used on any target within line of sight, lasts for the entire encounter, and does not stack with itself. If it is failed, the target takes a -1 morale penalty to saves, skill checks, attack and damage rolls, and the DC of his skills is reduced by 1. This increases to 2 at level 8 and 3 at level 3.

As a Gaze attack, this cannot be used on blind targets.

Brutal Logic: Forcing his foes to see the truth about the world, a Nihilist may add his Int mod to Intimidate attempts.

Abyss Of Entropy (Su): A Nihilist constantly projects an aura of futility around himself, which he can suppress and reactivate at will. This aura has a radius of 10 feet*int mod, and creatures within it, except those that have levels in Nihilist, cannot take 10 on any kind of check, regardless of their feats, features, or traits. This is NOT a mind affecting effect, and therefore mindless creatures are also affected by it.

Rebellious (Ex): For a Nihilist, there is no purpose in anything, especially not in obeying someone else's command. He gains a +6 bonus to resist compulsion effects.

Special Ability: At levels 5, 10, 15 and 20 a Nihilist may choose a special ability from the list below.


Special Abilities are divided into Least, Lesser, Greater, and Ultimate. At level 5 you may pick a Least, at level 10 a Least or a Lesser, at level 15 a Least or a Lesser or a Greater, and at level 20 any ability that is available to your archetype.

Least

Striving
Archetypes: all

You gain full HD (6 points+con mod) for your current level.

Affinity
Archetypes: Apathetic, Awakened

You can communicate telepathically with any willing, friendly target within line of sight.

Exalted Strike
Archetypes: Warrior of Ardent Denial, Sadducee

When performing a melee attack on a target, you may choose to deal maximized damage with your weapon dice. If you are performing a full attack, choose which hit benefits from this bonus. This ability cannot be used for 3 rounds after it was used.

Additionally, if the target was summoned through magic, and is successfully hit, there is a 20% chance that he will get banished.

Perception Scramble
Archetypes: Erratic, Anarchist

Touch attack an opponent as a swift action. If you successfully hit, you can either make that target deaf for Int mod minutes, blind for Int mod rounds or paralyzed for 1 round. This ability can be used at will, but only once per target per encounter.

God is Dead
Archetypes: Sadducee, Anarchist

Int mod times per day, when you strike a divine caster in melee, you can force him to make a Will save against a DC of 15+Int mod. For every point they are below the DC, they lose one of their lowest spell slots and receive 2 more damage from the attack.

Essence of Chaos and Law
Archetypes: Apathetic, Erratic

You can use Detect Law and Detect Chaos once per encounter. If you successfully determine the alignment of an opponent on the ethical scale, and it is not neutral, he is imposed a -4 penalty to attacks made against you permanently.

Second Wind
Archetypes: Awakened, Warrior of Ardent Denial

Once per day, if you are dealt massive damage or drop below 0 hp, you may, as an immediate action, fully heal yourself. The Awakened needs to pay 7 power points to do this, and the Warrior of Ardent Denial is exhausted for 2 rounds afterwards.


Call To Death (Psi): A level 6 Nihilist can use Death Urge once per day, treating his manifester level as class level+1 and without paying any power points. Even if he does have a power point pool, a Nihilist cannot augment this ability.

A level 12 Nihilist using Death Urge as a psi-like ability has its duration increased to 2 rounds and DC increased by 2 (it is not treated as if it was augmented).

A level 18 Nihilist using Death Urge as a psi-like ability has its duration increased to Int mod rounds (minimum 2) and does not allow a save for creatures with lower HD than him.

Meaningless Belonging (Sp): As a standard action ability that has a 60 feet range and can be used at will, the Nihilist can make a foe lose his semblance and racial pride. This ability allows a will save against a DC of 10 + class level/2 + int mod. If the target fails, it loses its special traits and special qualities for int mod minutes.

Give up! (Ex): If a level 9 Nihilist lands a melee or ranged strike on an opponent with 0 hp or less (succeeding on the attack roll), that opponent dies instantly.

Aura of Doubt (Su): A level 10 Nihilist has Demoralize permanently active on him (suppressing and reactivating are full round actions).

Improved Hollowing Gaze (Su): If a Nihilist uses Hollowing Gaze on an opponent affected by Abyss of Entropy, and that opponent fails his Will Save, he receives 1d4 Charisma damage, and 1 Charisma damage even if he succeeds.

Fatalistic Clarity (Sp): A level 11 Nihilist can discern things for what they really are, devoid of personal interpretation. He can cast True Seeing as a wizard of his level Int mod times per day, with a duration of Int mod minutes. Additionally, while he watches an opponent with Fatalistic Clarity, that opponent takes a -2 penalty to all saves.

Shared Clarity (Sp/Psi): When a Nihilist watches a creature with Fatalistic Clarity, he can share his naked view of the world with that creature, which is equivalent to casting either Insanity or Insanity, Psionic using his class level as caster level or manifester level on that creature, Int mod times per day.

Confinement (Sp): A Nihilist makes one of his foes feel alone and secluded. That foe cannot heal, not even naturally, for 1 round. This ability can be used as a free action, once per round.

Existential Frailty (Psi): Glimpse not the glimmer of a dragon's scales, but stare into the millenia his existence has endured. A level 16 Nihilist bypasses any kind of DR. Also, as an immediate action, he can make an ally ignore DR for 1 round.

Murderous Desperation: A high level Nihilist can turn the souls of opponents he kills into vengeful and destructive forces. Int mod times per day, when a Nihilist kills a creature (except with Wail of the Banshee), he can cast Wail of the Banshee, with the following annotations:

The center of the spell's area is the body of the dead creature
For targets (one living creature/level) use the HD of the dead creature (DC is still calculated normally, and so is spell resistance).

Evade Reality (Psi): Once per day, a level 19 Nihilist can use Microcosm with a manifester level equal to his class level. Also, he can give up his Microcosm use for the day to not physically age for a day.

Above All This: A level 20 detaches himself from the pointless cycle of life and death. His type changes to native outsider, he ignores racial requirements for this class, he becomes immune to death effects and can no longer take ability damage or drain to Int, Wis and Con.

Lateral
2011-10-19, 07:04 PM
You have a dead level. Fill it somehow.

Mr.Bookworm
2011-10-19, 08:11 PM
First: This is insanely weak. Unless there's a spellcasting or psionics table that's supposed to be in there, this is running down with the NPC classes.

Second: Put all of the requirements for the class into their own section, instead of sprinkling them out through sections that are always fluff.

Third: Spellcheck the quote in the title. Or find an actual Nietzsche quote. It's kind of jarring. Also, for formatting, I'd put the disclaimer in a spoiler.

Looking at the class, what I would do is give it psionics. Not at full Psion-power, but from a limited list (debuffing mostly, presumably) and up to 9th level.

It has some decent debuffs as class features, but not nearly enough to actually make a class.

Phosphate
2011-10-20, 05:48 AM
You have a dead level. Fill it somehow.

Will do. Class was incomplete when I posted it.

First: This is insanely weak. Unless there's a spellcasting or psionics table that's supposed to be in there, this is running down with the NPC classes.

Class is incomplete, adding Archetypes and Special Abilities now. But to comment on this, even without them it's still reasonably Tier 4.


Second: Put all of the requirements for the class into their own section, instead of sprinkling them out through sections that are always fluff.

This has never been said to me, so...I don't understand what you are talking about?!

The only requirements for entering this class is that you don't have a patron deity, and you are mortal.


Third: Spellcheck the quote in the title. Or find an actual Nietzsche quote. It's kind of jarring. Also, for formatting, I'd put the disclaimer in a spoiler.

Meh, ok. Not like it will take me too much time.


Looking at the class, what I would do is give it psionics. Not at full Psion-power, but from a limited list (debuffing mostly, presumably) and up to 9th level.

It has some decent debuffs as class features, but not nearly enough to actually make a class.

Working on it.

YouLostMe
2011-10-20, 03:50 PM
WABARGL
I have only looked at the archetypes so far, but I noticed that your abilities therein don't appear to be balanced. Rage and a couple fighter feats do not equal wizard-level abjurations (and you get access to all abjurations, not just a few per level). In addition, the different disciplines (Egoist, Kineticist, etc.) aren't very internally balanced, and SR 20+level is ridiculous. That's effectively spell immunity against half of spells cast ever, which is terribly overpowered.

So tell me, what are you going for with these archetypes? Did you want different flavors of power? Because we can do that with a few unique abilities and some disciplines. Were you going for increased complexity? Because we can do that with some more balanced spell lists. Or were you going for an outer shell of nihilist with the meat of the class in the archetype? Because that will take some work.

EDIT: I'm going through the rest. Here is the review.
Demoralize: Ew, psionic AND spell-like powers in the same class? Just make them all Spell-like or all Psionic. Also, listing a psionic power and saying "NO CAN HAS EMPOWER", just give them the ability to force all opponents within 30' to make a Will Save (10+1/2 HD + IntMod) or be shaken for 1r/level. Bam, you've made a version of demoralize that doesn't require looking things up, awkward wording, AND you can disguise it as Sp or Ps. Also, once per day is weak. Find a stat that will encourage MAD (or that plays off of MAD, if the class all ready has that aspect) and have it useable StatMod times per day (so for an Int of 14, you can use it 2/day). That way the nihilist has a moderately useable shtick. I'd personally scale it from 2+(1/day/level) and eventually make it at-will.

Unchosen One: Some people take feats or spend points in Iajutsu Focus or get keen weapons because they want their characters skill to be crits. So getting rid of crits is sort of cheating, like throwing immunity to precision damage against a player with a rogue. I'd personally change this to "players re-roll 20s and take the result of the re-roll instead, unless it's a 20."

Hollowing Gaze: How is this different from a weaker version of Demoralize?

Brutal Logic: I don't get the flavor, but I understand the ability. Cool beans.

Abyss of Entropy: Kay, another flavor ability that just seems random. The nihilist's description sounded like "We're all going to die, so I should just as incredibly badass as I can for the fun of it". But these class abilities seem like "DARK END OF TEH WORLD MAGICKS". That's very different... and awkward. I don't enjoy it, but let's keep going.

Rebellious: Kay, more flavor.

Special Abilities: No comment.

Call to Death: Lolrandom Save or Die. I understand the desire to use this, encouraging people to kill themselves, but the crunch really really doesn't fit with the rest of the class.

Meaningless Belonging: YES! Very interesting, very much based on knowledge beforehand. I'd make it IntMod rounds, so that the Nihilist needs to have good numbers under its belt if it wants to make the ability last an entire combat.

Give Up: Yay, 1-10 extra damage on a foe that you could kill anyway... except now you can't take prisoners at range. Why is this at level 9?

Aura of Doubt: Decent passive.

Abyss Gazes Back at You: A situational, limited-use ability that deals almost no ability damage at all... scrap it.

I end my specific reviews here. The rest of the class is very much the same, situational abilities and flavor sprinkled with powerful abilities and awkward combos. Not much of a pattern developing in the last 10 than it did in the first 10.

This class has some awesome themes and some cool names, as well as a decent foundation. Outside of that, it's mostly a mess. So before I go any farther, I need to ask what do you want out of this class?

Phosphate
2011-10-21, 06:59 AM
WABARGL
I have only looked at the archetypes so far, but I noticed that your abilities therein don't appear to be balanced. Rage and a couple fighter feats do not equal wizard-level abjurations (and you get access to all abjurations, not just a few per level). In addition, the different disciplines (Egoist, Kineticist, etc.) aren't very internally balanced, and SR 20+level is ridiculous. That's effectively spell immunity against half of spells cast ever, which is terribly overpowered.

I can easily balance this by making some special abilities available only to some archetypes, and the weaker archetypes get stronger special abilities. And I didn't say SR 20+level against divine magic, I said SR 20+level against people that have patron deities. mBasically, if you're a cleric that worships a concept, you ignore it. If you are ana rchivist, you ignore it. If you are a druid, you ignore it. That archetype is mainly for the few settings where it would actually prove useful, as alternatives should work that way imo.

Also, it is not my fault that psionic disciplines are different in power. And if anything, it affects the Psion way more than my class.


So tell me, what are you going for with these archetypes? Did you want different flavors of power? Because we can do that with a few unique abilities and some disciplines. Were you going for increased complexity? Because we can do that with some more balanced spell lists. Or were you going for an outer shell of nihilist with the meat of the class in the archetype? Because that will take some work.

Putting it plainly, I want a class with extreme versatility that limits he versatility of its opponents. But again I admit this isn't patently obvious until I add special abilities (will do in a couple hours).


Demoralize: Ew, psionic AND spell-like powers in the same class? Just make them all Spell-like or all Psionic. Also, listing a psionic power and saying "NO CAN HAS EMPOWER", just give them the ability to force all opponents within 30' to make a Will Save (10+1/2 HD + IntMod) or be shaken for 1r/level. Bam, you've made a version of demoralize that doesn't require looking things up, awkward wording, AND you can disguise it as Sp or Ps. Also, once per day is weak. Find a stat that will encourage MAD (or that plays off of MAD, if the class all ready has that aspect) and have it useable StatMod times per day (so for an Int of 14, you can use it 2/day). That way the nihilist has a moderately useable shtick. I'd personally scale it from 2+(1/day/level) and eventually make it at-will.

I see no problem in mixing psionic with magic. I actually find a character that could use both to be quite fascinating (and an idea that wasn't explored enough). Also, I see no issue in making it non-augmentable, since you're getting it permanent at level 10 anyway, and I ALSO don't see a problem with having 1 use per day, since it lasts a minute per level.


Unchosen One: Some people take feats or spend points in Iajutsu Focus or get keen weapons because they want their characters skill to be crits. So getting rid of crits is sort of cheating, like throwing immunity to precision damage against a player with a rogue. I'd personally change this to "players re-roll 20s and take the result of the re-roll instead, unless it's a 20."

So...it's unfair to dimension lock people that specialize in teleporting? I don't agree that having a class who easily dispatches specialists is unbalanced, ESPECIALLY since specialists, being specialists, are inherently and should inherently not be efficient or good in every single situation.


Hollowing Gaze: How is this different from a weaker version of Demoralize?

You use it more often and it has a huge range and being Su it can be used on people that have Power Resistence (one of the great things about Nihilists having both magic and psionics is that NOBODY has both SR and PR).


Brutal Logic: I don't get the flavor, but I understand the ability. Cool beans.

The class quote is a pretty great example.


Abyss of Entropy: Kay, another flavor ability that just seems random. The nihilist's description sounded like "We're all going to die, so I should just as incredibly badass as I can for the fun of it". But these class abilities seem like "DARK END OF TEH WORLD MAGICKS". That's very different... and awkward. I don't enjoy it, but let's keep going.

No, you got the flavor completely wrong. Yes, Nihilists ARE encouraged to not give a damn about the meaninglessness of the universe, so they actually cope BETTER with it than most. Alas, the point of their class's debuffs is that they can take advantage of others not having the same iron will as them.

It's like when someone makes a class based on someone who filled his body with deadly diseases, which he can use on others, but is immune to them himself. Except in this case you replace diseases with ideas, conceptions and epiphanies.

Actually, it could be quite flavorful if I make Nihilists immune to Nihilist abilities...hmm...


Call to Death: Lolrandom Save or Die. I understand the desire to use this, encouraging people to kill themselves, but the crunch really really doesn't fit with the rest of the class.

Please read the above.


Meaningless Belonging: YES! Very interesting, very much based on knowledge beforehand. I'd make it IntMod rounds, so that the Nihilist needs to have good numbers under its belt if it wants to make the ability last an entire combat.

Nah, it's too high level to restrict it like that.


Give Up: Yay, 1-10 extra damage on a foe that you could kill anyway... except now you can't take prisoners at range. Why is this at level 9?

Regeneration. However you make a good point, you should be allowed to suppress it...


Abyss Gazes Back at You: A situational, limited-use ability that deals almost no ability damage at all... scrap it.

It is...not an ability. It's a boost to Hollowing Gaze. :smallannoyed:


This class has some awesome themes and some cool names, as well as a decent foundation. Outside of that, it's mostly a mess. So before I go any farther, I need to ask what do you want out of this class?

I don't really FEEL like a class should be restricted to a couple progressions...that actually reduces versatility. As for what I want from this class, it should be a decent foundation to base varied styles of play on, basically the "how to keep opponents busy and debuffed" is solved by the actual class while "how to kill opponents and do sophisticated stuff" is solved by archetypes and special abilities.

Hope that answered some questions.

YouLostMe
2011-10-21, 02:46 PM
I can easily balance this by making some special abilities available only to some archetypes, and the weaker archetypes get stronger special abilities. And I didn't say SR 20+level against divine magic, I said SR 20+level against people that have patron deities. mBasically, if you're a cleric that worships a concept, you ignore it. If you are ana rchivist, you ignore it. If you are a druid, you ignore it. That archetype is mainly for the few settings where it would actually prove useful, as alternatives should work that way imo.

Also, it is not my fault that psionic disciplines are different in power. And if anything, it affects the Psion way more than my class.Druids can be affected. It's against divine magic used by people with patron deities, so if a Druid worships Obad-Hai, he's boned.

And you cannot divert the problem by saying "it's worse somewhere else!" The problem here is that archetypes need to be balanced. Now, I see that you addressed that by talking about certain special abilities, but that kicks in
once every five levels. There is no way to have a smooth balance for each archetype simply by writing up special abilities---and besides, that's a lot more work on special abilities than its worth. You should change the archetypes instead.


Putting it plainly, I want a class with extreme versatility that limits he versatility of its opponents. But again I admit this isn't patently obvious until I add special abilities (will do in a couple hours).Extreme versatility means either: a) You're weak in all areas, or b) You get buffed in all areas, making you Tier 1.

From the outset, it appears you want to make the class strong, so tell me, what makes this class a better choice than a wizard?


I see no problem in mixing psionic with magic. I actually find a character that could use both to be quite fascinating (and an idea that wasn't explored enough). Also, I see no issue in making it non-augmentable, since you're getting it permanent at level 10 anyway, and I ALSO don't see a problem with having 1 use per day, since it lasts a minute per level.It's just not a normal thing. You may notice that not a single monster nor class by WotC and basically no monsters and classes on these forums have the mixing trait. So there needs to be a good reason for the mixing, flavor-wise, which I really don't see.

1 use per day means 1 combat per day, regardless of whether your ability lasts an hour per level or a minute per level or rounds per level. At this level, without your archetype (which is probably just a support archetype unless your going for wizard abjuration), you are only effective in combat once per day.


So...it's unfair to dimension lock people that specialize in teleporting? I don't agree that having a class who easily dispatches specialists is unbalanced, ESPECIALLY since specialists, being specialists, are inherently and should inherently not be efficient or good in every single situation.Dimension Lock (So this is an artifact from the meteor swarm retooling thread, and it's led me to start thinking about evocation spells. A while ago, Frank Trollman posted an evocation fix on the Paizo forums: Polar Ray is an insult to god and man. It's not a long legacy, it was introduced in 3.5 and before that it was merely one of several options for the much lower level Otiluke's Freezing Sphere. And of course, in Pathfinder, that would have to be called Freezing Sphere for copyright reasons, but that is neither here nor there. The point however, is that in the conversion from AD&D to 3e D&D, the amount of hit points and energy resistance that creatures have has increased literally exponentially. And damage output from Evocations has not kept up in the slightest. And while we could plausibly attempt to push the envelope and pump up damage output to match, that would only be an arms race that no one would win. Evocations in 3rd edition rules are primarily spells which serve to devastate low level opposition or to slowly but surely chip away at the defenses of opponents that pose reasonable threats. These are sometimes valid tactics, but they are not valid tactics to use one's highest level spells to accomplish. It takes a lot of magic missiles to bring down a Shadow, meaning that there is frankly no way that any Wizard is going to have enough spell slots to dedicate to doing that to make it a viable way to eventually beat such an opponent. So here's the solution: reduce the spell level of these underperforming evocation spells. Since they scale in damage to your level, nothing actually bad happens if you get these spells early. Even a dozen or more levels early is perfectly fine because the damage scales to something level appropriate at low level. A polar ray cast by a 1st level character does just 1d6 of damage - half the damage that the same character could achieve by purchasing a vial of alchemist frost and throwing it at a target (same to-hit roll as well at any kind of close range). So here's what the Evocation list should look like: Evocation Cantrips * Burning Hands * Dancing Lights * Light * Magic Missile * Shocking Grasp Evocation 1st Level Spells * Fireball * Floating Disk * Gust of Wind * Lightning Bolt * Polar Ray * Sending Evocation 2nd Level Spells * Chain Lightning * Cone of Cold * Continual Flame * Darkness * Daylight * Flaming Sphere (this spell badly needs to be better than it is, but that's another subject) * Scorching Ray * Shatter Evocation 3rd Level Spells * Delayed Blast Fireball * Ice Storm * Shout * Tiny Hut * Wall of Fire * Wind Wall Evocation 4th Level Spells * Fire Shield * Interposing Hand * Resilient Sphere * Wall of Ice Evocation 5th Level Spells * Forceful Hand * Freezing Sphere * Mage Sword * Sunburst * Wall of Force Evocation 6th Level Spells * Contingency * Grasping Hand * Shout, Greater Evocation 7th Level Spells * Clenched Fist * Force Cage * Prismatic Spray Evocation 8th Level Spells * Crushing Hand * Meteor Swarm * Telekinetic Sphere Evocation 9th Level Spells * 9th level Spells must be written for this discipline. Seriously, timestop? Shapechange? Wail of the Banshee? Astral Projection? Shades? Weird? Most disciplines have two game defining, god-fighting spells to choose from at 9th level. Evocation hasn't been given anything remotely decent for their top tier, so new, mountain leveling spells must be written for Evokers to have. There. It's pretty much completely backwards compatible, but nonetheless puts Evokers in at being able to do something legitimately valuable - Killing Fools. And no, having unlimited magic missiles or shocking grasps is not ungamebalanced at 1st level, or any level. Magic Missile tops out in damage at level 9, when it does 17.5 damage against any opponent who doesn't have concealment, cover, or spell resistance. But at level 9, a Rogue is literally inflicting 17.5 points of sneak attack damage with every single attack. And that's not total damage for the round, that's just the extra damage from a sneak attack. He still gets to do his weapon damage, and make his other attacks for that round. Shocking Grasp is very likely to hit, and it does a d8+1 damage. A Longsword in the hands of a Fighter is also very likely to hit and does a d8+4. While the shocking grasp is quite likely to have a better chance of hitting an orc warrior than the longsword is, it is also much more likely to do insufficient damage to drop the orc. Indeed, the Orc Warrior out of the SRD is more likely to drop in one attack from the 1st level Fighter than he from the 1st level Wizard - even factoring in the discrepancy in hit chances. And no, casting fireballs at 1st level isn't unbalanced either. At 1st level it only does a d6 of fire damage, it's barely worth doing against many opponents. It certainly isn't putting color spray out of a job. Now as you can see there are no 9th-level evocations given, so I wanted to start compiling a few. The stuff I have thus far is taken from The Gaming Den, with one original spell. Abhorent Vortex (midnight_v) Evocation Level: Sor/Wiz 9 Components: V, S, M Casting Time: 1 standard action Range: 40 ft./level Area: Burst 10 ft./Level Duration: Instantaneous Saving Throw: Reflex; special Spell Resistance: No This spell implodes an area with such intensity that a vacum is created sucking the surronding area in. Choose one 5-ft square on the ground in range then this is the origin point.. Creatures (other than the caster) within 10ft per caster level take 150 damage with no save, each creature must then must make a reflex save or be sucked into the point of origin leaving them dazed for one round as well as being knocked prone. Armageddon [Fire] [Earth] (cielingcat) Level: S/W 9 Components: V, S, M Range: 1 mile Area: 20'/level radius spread Duration: Instantaneous Save: Ref 1/2 SR: No You rain destruction down from the heavens, bombarding the area with burning meteors and dealing 3d6/level to all within the area of effect (Ref save for 1/2). This damage is half fire damage and half bludgeoning damage. The spell may cause structures and items to catch fire, and can damage or destroy structures in the area. Spontaneous Combustion [Fire] (ceilingcat) Level: S/W 9 Components: V, S Range: Close (25' + 5'/2 levels) Effect: 1 target/level Duration: Instantaneous Save: Fort 1/2 SR: Yes You inflict 3d6/level fire damage to each target (fort save for 1/2). Any target reduced below 0 hp by this damage is instantly killed (if still alive - no save) and turned to ashes. (This precludes any method of resurrection that requires a body or part of the body). Lightning Strike [Electricity] (ceilingcat) Level: S/W 9 Components: V, S Range: Close (25' + 5'/2 levels) Effect: all enemies within range Duration: Instantaneous Save: Ref Partial SR: Yes You call down a series of lightning strikes one per target, preceeded by a loud crack of thunder. This spell works even underground (the electricity jumps from the floor to the ceiling). All targets take 2d6/level electricity damage and are fatigued, knocked prone, stunned for 2d6 rounds, sickened for 1d4 hours, and deafened for 1d6 days. Flying creatures are stalled instead of being knocked prone (resolve their falling immediately). A successful reflex save halves the damage and negates the being knocked prone and the stunning. Check SR independently for all creatures effected failing to penetrate SR only prevents that creature from being effected by the spell (which otherwise resolves normally). Acid Rain [Acid] (ceilingcat) Level: S/W 9 Components: V, S, M Area: 1 mile radius centered on you Duration: 1r/level Save: Fort partial SR: No You create a brief torrential downpour of acidic rain in a 1 mile radius area centered on you. This storm inflicts 8d6 acid damage each round to everything in the area, including objects, structures, creatures, and plants. This acid damage ignores the hardness of any objects or structures. Creatures in water take 1/2 damage. Creatures at least 50 beneath the water surface can ignore the spell entirely. Note that the caster is affected by the spell normally. In addition, anyone who takes acid damage from the spell is nauseated, reduced to sickened with a successful fortitude save. Acid rain will generally kill any normal animals, will reduce even tall trees to pitted stumps, and turn stone castles to slag. Casting the spell almost certainly earns the enmity of any druids in the area as well as any rulers or good-aligned adventurers. Force Juggernaut Level: S/W 9 Components: S Range: Close (25' + 5'/2 levels) Effect: see text Duration: 1 round per level Save: Reflex; see text SR: Yes You create a 25' by 25' plane of force in front of you, and push it forward. When you cast this spell, you may move it anywhere in range in a straight line and rotate it to any orientation. Any creature that the plane touches is pushed to the end of the plane's movement and takes 1d6 force damage for every 10' moved (no save). At the beginning of their turns, creatures next to the plane of force take 1d6 per caster level damage and must make a Reflex Save or be entangled for the turn. Any creature who takes damage from force juggernaut is slowed for 1 round. As a swift action, you can orient the plane in any way and move it up to 30'. Creatures with Spell Resistance or Spell Immunity apply the Spell Resistance every time at the beginning of their turn.). First off, teleportation doesn't directly affect your usefulness in combat--you don't lose your damage per round potential or your AC; you just can't move. Opposite to that, preventing a crit-specialist from making any crits whatsoever is absolutely definitely hurting their damage per round potential. Now look at dimension lock--do you see how limiting teleportation is high-level, even though it's not as relevant is limiting critical hits?

If that's not enough, there's also the argument of flavor. If a player is specializing in critical hits, when he gets a crit outside of rolling a 20, it's not because he's lucky or "chosen", it's because he's skilled. This ability does not distinguish that, clashing flavor-wise.


You use it more often and it has a huge range and being Su it can be used on people that have Power Resistence (one of the great things about Nihilists having both magic and psionics is that NOBODY has both SR and PR).Right, all of those things with power resistance at level 3...

My point was that you're giving a copy of a class feature two levels after and making it less useful (oh jeez -1 penalties). That makes the class much less tactically sound (read: weaker) and much less interesting, which is not what a nihilist should be--he should be interesting.


No, you got the flavor completely wrong. Yes, Nihilists ARE encouraged to not give a damn about the meaninglessness of the universe, so they actually cope BETTER with it than most. Alas, the point of their class's debuffs is that they can take advantage of others not having the same iron will as them.

It's like when someone makes a class based on someone who filled his body with deadly diseases, which he can use on others, but is immune to them himself. Except in this case you replace diseases with ideas, conceptions and epiphanies.

Actually, it could be quite flavorful if I make Nihilists immune to Nihilist abilities...hmm...I have no place to debate it further, if you think it's appropriate.


Please read the above.
No, please read the comment. I said the crunch. Crunchity crunch crunch crunch. As every ability beforehand has been weak flavor or a mediocre debuff, and this is suddenly a save-or-die. At every level before this, the class features were a flavor chassis, with legitimate tactics decided by the archetype. Then all of a sudden you can KILL SOMEONE WITH YOUR MIND. You're shifting the tactics of the Erratic, Warrior of Ardent Denial, and Saduccee by 180 degrees with this ability (for one combat per day, of course, but that's another problem to address).


Nah, it's too high level to restrict it like that.That argument doesn't make any sense. So implosion should last for hours because it's a 9th-level spell? What?

Making this ability only last IntMod rounds encourages the nihilist to make choices as combat goes on--debuff more creatures for an easier time, or attack the weaker creatures for a potentially quicker fight? You want tactical depth from a class, and you can't get that from minute/IntMod durations.


Regeneration. However you make a good point, you should be allowed to suppress it...So it's at level 9 because you might fight a troll or tendriculous? Yeah, that's definitely not a good reason to make this level 9--you can bump it down to level 3 if you move Hollowing Gaze to level 1 (you could even drop demoralize, then!).


It is...not an ability. It's a boost to Hollowing Gaze. :smallannoyed:That is... not an argument. That's a strawman.
The point is that this ability only works on an opponent within about close range who fails a will save, and THEN the damage is about 2 Cha and what effectively amounts to being shaken. So you can't get it off at those people who care about Charisma like sorcerers and dread necromancers, because they're far away shooting spells or messing you up or sending their minions to dogpile you. You can get it off on someone in melee or perhaps an archer, who will also be in range to stab you, and if they dump Charisma and fail every will save, you can probably take them down in 3 turns (2 if they really dump Cha and you're not unlucky), perhaps 4. That's slightly more time than it will take for them to cut you into tiny pieces.

So the ability is bad, whether it's a boost to hollowed gaze or not. It will only work on close range opponents who are engaged with someone else and care enough about them to not walk over and beat you frail little d6-HP body into a pulp.


I don't really FEEL like a class should be restricted to a couple progressions...that actually reduces versatility. As for what I want from this class, it should be a decent foundation to base varied styles of play on, basically the "how to keep opponents busy and debuffed" is solved by the actual class while "how to kill opponents and do sophisticated stuff" is solved by archetypes and special abilities.If you make the class good at everything, you have created Batman Wizard. Do you want that kind of power? Because then you can just say "this is a wizard devoted to forcing will saves on people to succumb them to his magically-enhanced nihilist viewpoint".

So with your archetypes, I recommend a weak feat advancement progression (like the sohei from Ziegander's Blade and Bow) versus perhaps some maneuvers from a single discipline (player's choice, of course) versus some weak enchantment spellcasting (NOT wizard casting off of the enchantment list). The disciplines will be the most complex, and they offer many different themes for your nihilist, as well as actually giving him something balanced to do in combat.

This big deal here is that one should not be able to take a WotC class that uses specific abilities, skills, or is differentiated by a basic SLA, reflavor it, and say "this is basically your nihilist class". Because then that means that most players are better off using the reflavored class.