View Full Version : D&D 3.5 Class-Making Help Needed

2011-11-20, 01:11 PM
Since I utterly suck at coming up with new classes, I need some help with these two. And there might be more, later.
First, I need a new spellcaster base class that uses arcane magic. The Arcanist. In the world I'm going to use them in, Arcanists are descendants of lesser gods and immortals that bred with mortal spellcasters. While they lack the spellcasting power of the Wizard (Actually a separate race in this world) or the Sorcerer, they become closer to their ancestors as they gain experience and undergo duress, until finally they become unto minor deities themselves. At that point, when they die they actually become protege gods to whatever god fits their aspect.
Basically, at the beginning, the player chooses one or two elements or aspects, like fire, water, war, knowledge, love, etc. and can learn and cast spells as a wizard, though not as many a day or as high level as soon. As they level up, they gain powers and spell like abilities pertaining to the two aspects they chose. Once they're fully leveled, they should be on par with wizards of the same level, though in different ways.

I also need a class that can rage and use their voice to manipulate the world. Like a cross between a barbarian and dovahkiin. I don't want the class to have to prepare spells, but they will have less spells per day than most casters, and their spells should be combat oriented. Pretty simple, right? Almost a barbarian/sorcerer with some tweaks?

2011-11-20, 01:53 PM
If you don't have class-building chops, I'd suggest you stick with making small changes to existing classes via mandatory ACFs.

For example, you can create an alternate specialist wizard that specializes in an element, instead of a school of magic. Something like this:

Elemental Specialist
Select one element from among air, earth, fire, or water to be your specialty element, and one to be you your banned element. You gain an additional spell slot at each level of spells you can cast, which can only be used to prepare spells of your specialty element. You cannot prepare or cast spells from your banned element.

Focused Elemental Specialist
Select two elements from among air, earth, fire, and water to be your specialty elements. The other two become your banned elements. You losed one spell slot from each level of spells that you can cast, but gain three bonus slots at each level which can only be used to prepare spells of your specialty elements. You cannot prepare or cast spells from your banned elements.

Alternately, you might take a look at the wu jen class, but it's significantly less powerful than wizard.

For your voice/rage class, why not just replace the barbarian's trap sense and damage reduction with a bardic music progression, then add a bard spellcasting progression from a limited list of combat spells you select? Adding spells to a rage class, or rage to a spell-using class, is a very minor upgrade, since rage and spellcasting are mutually exclusive.

2011-11-20, 05:07 PM
Actually, it sounds like a variation where you're granting domains to a wizard or sorcerer for the first one. I think that'd probably be the simplest implementation of it, though you'd have to balance the tradeoff somehow. The Wu Jen is definitely also an option, if you did a few slight adaptations to change the fluff.

I think the War Chanter (Complete Warrior) is a decent fit for the second, but I could be misinterpreting exactly what you're thinking of in terms of offensive/support use.

2011-11-20, 08:42 PM
The Barbarian/Bard thing might work if tweaked a bit, but the Wu Jen doesn't really work for me. I could tweak the favored soul class a bit and probably wind up with almost the right thing, but I worry about balance.

2011-11-20, 09:34 PM
One method you could try is taking a Favored Soul, giving it domains, but restricting its casting to ONLY those domains (and maybe a handful of other spells). If that's not enough, you could always delay its casting more as necessary. That would probably put it a little bit lower than original, depending on how long much spellcasting is affected.

2011-11-21, 12:42 AM
In the fluff, arcanists can cast spells and learn them like DnD core wizards can, but also have an almost rage like ability where they exhibit an aura corresponding to their domains, and while more powerful, can only cast certain spells in this state.

2011-11-21, 02:31 AM

So, start with a base of Wizard spellcasting, possibly toned down or keyed to another stat...

Then, some number of times per day, spend an action in order to enter a "Channelling" state, or some other term. Under that state... Gain the effects of the domains they have, and they can only cast domain spells?

If you do something like that, the easiest spell level restriction I can think of is that they can normally only cast spells levels one lower than their max, but while channeling, they can cast their maximum. So, if they had 1st level spells, they could only learn/cast 0th level spells, but in that state, they could cast 1st level domain spells?

Sorry if it's a little convoluted. I'm just throwing out the first thing to come to mind.

2011-11-21, 05:43 PM
Hmm...seems good.
I'll try that, and the modified version of favored soul that was suggested and see which works best.

2011-11-21, 09:36 PM
the planar mage (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=10461008) and the priest (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189564) reflavored seem to fit your goals for a weaker caster with wizard-esque-ness, though neither of them work really well. The priest has those devotions that you speak of, but the planar mage is the "arcanist".

I'll think about the other thing. Could I get some more about that? Do you want it to have utility abilities, or for its shouts to have varied effects (almost like spell-like breath weapons)?

EDIT: I was thinking that if we changed the class features, the mageknight (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=197680) would work pretty well. Though the spell list doesn't really work. Either way, I think it'd be nice to use the Spells Known/Ready progression of the Mageknight, and figure out a useful spell list from that.

2011-11-22, 05:53 PM
For the Caller?
I was thinking more along the lines of shout abilities rather than spells, all combat oriented. Like the player in Skyrim, only without fire breath. I was thinking mostly effects that bolster the PC and their allies, stun and frighten enemies, summon animals, and later on, sonic damage. I was also hoping to base the abilites on strength (strong lungs) or charisma (strong attitude and will).

And for the Arcanist, I'm thinking learns spells like a wizard, but casts fewer per day. However, once they reach a certain level, they can cast certain spells (which spells depends on their planar heritage) without preparing them but only while they're in their 'arcane rage', during which time they can cast no other spells.
Also, during their planar rage, I'm thinking they give bonuses to nearby allies or debuff nearby enemies and can make touch attacks that do damage based on their planar heritage. These attacks and bonuses or debuffs would become more powerful as the character levels up.