View Full Version : By Oath and Honour (3.5 Classes, PEACH)

2012-04-22, 01:02 AM
Knight (3.5)

Abilities: Strength and Constitution are by far the most important scores for the knight. He needs to be able to both dish out damage and take large amounts. Intelligence will help his pitiful skill points and charisma will affect the saves of a few abilities he may or may not pick up, but wisdom and dexterity are the least important.


Alignment: Knights work for the causes of good, but aren't necessarily exemplars of good in themselves. Some knights may simply be fighting for their captain or owe a debt to their country. Nonetheless neutral knights are rare and evil knights do not exist at all.



Races: Anyone may become a knight at heart, but usually knights are part of some order or another. As such organized races such as humans and elves are the most common knights, with a few dwarves here and there. Orc and gnome knights are unheard of.

Other Classes:

Role: The knight is essentially a tank, able to take large amount of damage and control the field. He can deal a considerable amount of damage, but usually only in one on one battles, where he truly shines.

Class Features

Hit Die: d12

Starting Gold: As Fighter

Skills: Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points: 2 + Int mod (x 4 at first level)

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special
1st|+0|+2|+0|+2| Knight's Oath, Lionhearted, Special Maneuver
2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3| Fair Fight +1d6/+1, Shieldmaster +1
3rd|+2|+3|+1|+3| Second Wind 1/day
4th|+3|+4|+1|+4| Knight Ability
5th|+3|+4|+1|+4| Special Maneuver
6th|+4|+5|+2|+5| Turtle (10%/25%), Fair Fight +2d6/+2
7th|+5|+5|+2|+5| Second Wind 2/day, Shieldmaster +2
8th|+6/+1|+6|+2|+6| Knight Ability
9th|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6| Special Maneuver
10th|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7| Fair Fight +3d6/+3
11th|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7| Second Wind 3/day
12th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8| Knight Ability, Shieldmaster +3
13th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8| Special Maneuver
14th|+10/+5|+9|+4|+9| Turtle (20%/50%), Fair Fight +4d6/+4
15th|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+9| Second Wind 4/day
16th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10| Knight Ability
17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10| Special Maneuver, Shieldmaster +4
18th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11| Fair Fight +5d6/+5
19th|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11| Second Wind 5/day
20th|+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12| Martial Mastery

Weapons and Armor Proficiencies: The knight is proficient with the bastard sword, dagger, gauntlet (including the spiked version), lance, longspear, longsword, morningstar, rapier, short sword, shield (light or heavy, includes spiked version), spiked armor, spiked chain, and warhammer. The knight is also proficient with armor (light, medium, and heavy) and shields (including tower).

Class Abilities
Lv1 > Knight's Oath:
All knights have an oath they have sworn to, even if they have no allegiances. This ability has no mechanical application, but should have consequences as determined through roleplaying.

Lv1 > Lionhearted (Ex):
The knight knows fear better than anyone else. As such he gains a +4 bonus to saves against fear effects. Additionally, anytime the knight succeeds on a save against a fear effect he gains a +2 moral bonus to attack and damage rolls for 1 round. This bonus does not stack with itself.

Lv1, 5, 9, 13, 17 > Special Maneuver (Ex):
At each indicated level the knight gains a new maneuver, from the following list, that he does not already benefit from.

Whirling Death
Action: Full Round Action
The knight may make an attack against every foe within reach as part of a single melee attack roll. He need only make one attack roll, at his highest attack bonus, against all targets, but must confirm critical hits individually.

Brutal Assault
Action: Full Round Action
The knight may make a single, and exceptionally, brutal melee attack by sacrificing his chance at movement. His target must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 his knight level + his strength modifier) or be dazed for 1 round.

Rapid Strikes
Action: Standard Action
The knight may make a number of attacks equal to half his knight level (minimum of 2 attacks). He does not add any modifiers or alter this attack with or benefit from any feats, spells, or any abilities. Each strike the knight makes as part of this attack gains a +4 bonus to confirm any critical hits.

Action: Full Round Action
The knight makes a special attack agaisnt his target, that is designed to break through defenses. In addition to dealing damage it may also have a secondary effect.
The knight's foe must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 his knight level + his strength modifier) or their armor takes damage equal to the knight's weapons hardness, ignoreing half of their armor's hardness (round remaining total to nearest whole number).

Reflexive Twitch
Action: Immediate Action
The knight may make a will save in place of a single reflex save that this is used in response to. He does, however, become flatfooted until he next moves. A 5ft step does not end this status.

Action: Immediate Action
The knight may use this ability in response to a melee or ranged attack made against his, with a physical weapon as long as the attack is also physical. He makes an attack roll. If the knight's attack roll exceeds his opponents he negates the attack. He may still make his attack of opportunity before using this, as normal, but takes a -4 to this check if he does so.
If the knight's opponent didn't make an attack roll he must exceed a check of 10 + their HD.

Action: Full Round Action
In addition to a single melee attack, the knight is granted a free sunder attempt against his opponents shield (if applicable) if his attack deals damage. This sunder attempt does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Eagle's Claw
Action: Full Round Action
As part of this action thhe knight may make a single attack with incredible accuracy. The knight gains a bonus to his attack roll equal to half his knight level (to a minimum of 1).

Knight's Zeal
Action: Standard Action
The knight may shake off the effects of a single spell, special attack, or other attack that is currently hindering him. He gains a new save against the effect in question, but makes a fortitude save instead.
If the effect normally doesn't have a save the DM must determine one appropriate for the knight to make, usually the spell DC or 10 + 1/2 level + relevant modifier.

Action: Swift Action
The knight may enter a state of resolve 3/day for 3 + constitution modifier rounds (minimum of 4 rounds).
While in a state of resolve the knight gains a +4 to concentration checks, will saves, attack rolls, any dexterity based skill check, and any strength based skill check. Furthermore he gains immunity to enchantments and illusions for the duration.
Resolve may not be activated for 2d4 minutes since it was last activated by the knight. If he enters a state of resolve while already affected by an ongoing enchantment or illusion it is ignored (though its duration still continues) until the end of resolve, at which point the knight may still be affected by it.

Lv2 > Fair Fight (Ex):
When attacking an opponent who is not being flanked or flat-footed, while the knight is also not being flanked, he gains the listed bonuses to damage and attack rolls, in corresponding order, with all melee attacks against that foe. Opponents that can flank with themselves, such as through spells, do not count for this purpose.
Extra damage from this ability is of the same type as his attack and is not multiplied on a critical hit or by any other ability.

Lv2 > Shieldmaster (Ex):
The knight has not only trained extensively with the blade, but also with shields. He gains DR/- equal to the amount of AC his shield provides plus the bonus listed (see table) while wielding a shield, to a maximum of his knight level.
The knight loses this DR/- anytime he wouldn't apply his AC from his shield, such as against touch attacks.

Lv3, 7, 11, 15, 19 > Second Wind (Ex):
A certain number of times per day (as indicated) the knight may spend a swift action to recover from his wounds and continue to fight.
The use of second wind immediatly heals the knight an amount of hit points equal to half his knight level + his constitution modifier.

Lv4, 8, 12, 16 > Knight Ability (Ex):
At each indicated level the knight gains a new ability, from the following list, that he does not already benefit from:
Lord of War
The knight's mere presence makes his foes hesitate. 5ft steps provoke attacks of opportunity from him. Additionally foes treat any space adjacent to the knight as difficult terrain.
Because the knight's ability is actively maintained effects such as freedom of movement and flawless stride do not negate this penalty. Lord of War is not in effect while the knight is immobilized or prone.

Daunting Presence
The knight's mere presence makes his foes hesitate. Anyone within 30ft of the knight who witnesses the knight successfully make a melee attack must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 his knight levels + his charisma modifier) or be shaken. Fear from daunting presence does not stack with itself.
Anyone who succeeds on a save against the knight's daunting presence ability is immune to further instances of daunting presence for 10 minutes.

Bulwark of Defense
If the knight is currently benefiting from AC from a shield, any ally of the knight that is adjacent to the knight gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to the knight's shield's AC bonus and DR/- equal to the knight's shieldmaster bonus, to a maximum of his shield's AC bonus.

Knight's Challenge
As a standard action, that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, the knight may challange a single opponent (this action is wasted if his foe doesn't have an intelligence of 3 or higher) to a duel.
If the knight's foe accepts:

A 'barrier' of their honour protects their dual. Anyone who purposefully attempts to interfere with their duel must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 his knight level + his charisma modifier) to successful perform such an action (each individual attempt; a full attack would be considered a single attempt). The duel continues until one of them is dead, unconscious, or admits defeat.
If his foe declines:

The knight's foe takes a -4 penalty to attack rolls against the knight until the challenge is accepted or the knight issues a challange against a new opponent.

Courage of the Commander
All of the knight's allies within 30ft, who can see the knight, gain the benefits of his lionhearted ability. The knight's allies may not benefit from it if the fear effect was caused by the knight himself.

One for All
Anytime the knight uses his second wind class ability, he may spur his nearby allies onward. If he does, the knights allies, as long as they are within 30ft and can see the knight, gain temporary hit points equal to half his knight level. Multiple uses of this do not stack temporary hit points.

All for One
The knight may treat any adjacent ally's adjacent spaces as being threatened by himself. More importantly he may make melee attacks of opportunity into this area, even if his reach normally wouldn't be this far.

Until the Very End
The knight remains conscious and may continue to act normally regardless of the hit points he has lost until he is dead.
Furthermore the knight may continue fighting until an additional number of points below 10 equal to his constitution modifier. Keep in mind that at -10 points he is technically still dead and so may not be healed normally beyond that point.
Until the Very End does not stack with the die hard feat and in fact overides it.

Over Here!
As a standard action, that doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity, the knight may taunt an opponent within 60ft of him, within line of sight, into attacking him.
The knight's target must make a will save (DC 10 + 1/2 his knight level + his charisma modifier) or, for the next 2d4 + 1 rounds, are treated as flatfooted versus all attacks not made by the knight.
Creatures immune to mind-effects gain a +4 bonus to their save.
more or less from bobthe6th's shield

Sword and Board
The knight may add twice his strength bonus and the benefits of power attack to melee attacks made one-handed, as if he were wielding a two-handed weapon with two-hands, as long as he is wielding a shield in his off-hand.

Lv6, 14 > Turtle (Ex):
The knight is provided with a miss chance while wielding a shield, though this miss chance starts of slightly limited. He gains the first bonus for all shields, except tower shield, for which he gains the second miss chance, and bucklers, for which no bonus is given.
These bonuses improve at level 14.
more or less from bobthe6th's shield

Lv20 > Martial Mastery:
The knight gains an additional special maneuver and an additional knight ability of his choice.

2012-04-22, 01:04 AM
Assassin (3.5)

Abilities: Dexterity and Intelligence are the Assassin's most important scores. The former affects her defense and reflexes, while the latter increases her utility and ability DCs. Strength and Constitution, as always, are necessary for combat. Wisdom and Charisma are the Assassin's least important abilities.


Alignment: Assassins are usually of natural alignment, as many are employed as mercenaries. Evil assassin are common as well, though they are usually hunted down before they can revel in too much slaughter. Assassins of good alignment are almost unheard of, but do exist. They usually employ themselves as hidden bodyguards.



Races: Drow and Humans are the most common assassins. Their penchant towards calculated greed and killing above the other races is the reason for this. Dwarven and Elven assassins are rare, as these races usually look down on that sort of thing.

Other Classes:

Role: An assassin excels when she is unseen, but can manage melee combat if she has to. The assassin can also replace a rogue in the skill monkey and trapfinding division, though nowhere near as well.

Class Features

Hit Die: d8

Starting Gold: As Rogue

Skills: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill Points: 4 + Int mod (x 4 at first level)

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special
1st|+0|+0|+2|+0|Creed, Uncanny Footing, Trapfinding
2nd|+1|+0|+3|+0|Assassination +1d6, Fast Movement +10ft
3rd|+2|+1|+3|+1|Deathstroke (x2) 1/encounter
4th|+3|+1|+4|+1|Assassin Ability
5th|+3|+1|+4|+1|Guerrilla Tactic
6th|+4|+2|+5|+2|Silent Attack, Assassination +2d6
7th|+5|+2|+5|+2|Deathstroke (x2) 2/encounter, Fast Movement +20ft
8th|+6/+1|+2|+6|+2|Assassin Ability
9th|+6/+1|+3|+6|+3|Guerrilla Tactic
10th|+7/+2|+3|+7|+3|Assassination +3d6
11th|+8/+3|+3|+7|+3|Deathstroke (x3) 3/encounter
12th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+4|Assassin Ability, Fast Movement +30ft
13th|+9/+4|+4|+8|+4|Guerrilla Tactic
14th|+10/+5|+4|+9|+4|Death Attack, Assassination +4d6
15th|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+5|Deathstroke (x3) 4/encounter
16th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+5|Assassin Ability
17th|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+5|Guerrilla Tactic, Fast Movement +40ft
18th|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+6|Assassination +5d6
19th|+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+6|Deathstroke (x4) 5/encounter
20th|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+6|Tactical Mastery

Weapons and Armor Proficiencies: The assassin is proficient with all simple weapons and all light melee weapons, as well as the sap, spiked armor, the whip, and short bow. The assassin is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Class Abilities
Lv1 > Creed:
Though assassin's are far from honorable they have to abide by certain rules or they will never be hired. This ability has no mechanical application, but should have consequences as determined through roleplaying.

Lv1 > Uncanny Footing (Ex):
The assassin can't be flanked, as she can react to opponents on multiple sides as easily as she can react to a single opponent.
Furthermore the assassin gains an additional +2 bonus to attack rolls, in addition to the normal bonuses, when Flanking a Defender or On Higher Ground.
The assassin loses this benefit if she is carrying heavier than a light load, is wearing medium or heavy armor, or is wielding a shield.

Lv1 > Trapfinding (Ex):
The assassin may find and disable traps, as the rogue. She may not, however, find and disable magical traps as the rogue does.

Lv2 > Assassination (Ex):
When she attacks an opponent who was unaware of her location, but whose location she is aware of, the assassin gains the listed bonus to damage rolls against that opponent and may treat her attack(s) as a touch attack(s).
Extra damage from this ability is of the same type as her attack and is not multiplied on a critical hit or by any other ability. Deathstroke has no affect against oozes, undead, or aberrations.

Lv2 > Fast Movement (Ex):
The assassin has not just trained in the art of killing, but also in that of stealth. And speed is essential to catching your opponent by surprise and for fleeing.
The assassin gains the listed bonus to her base land speed. She loses this bonus if she is carrying heavier than a light load, is wearing medium or heavy armor, or is wielding a shield.

Lv3, 7, 11, 15, 19 > Deathstroke (Ex):
A certain number of times per encounter (as indicated) the assassin may spend a full round action to deliver a deadlier blow than normal. Though she may only make one attack as part of this action, her target must make a reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 her assassin level + her intelligence modifier) or the damage the assassin deals is multiplied (as listed on the table).
Extra damage from this ability is of the same type as her attack and is not multiplied on a critical hit or by any other ability. Deathstroke has no affect against oozes, undead, or aberrations.

Lv4, 8, 12, 16 > Assassin Ability (Ex):
At each indicated level the assassin gains a new ability, from the following list, that she does not already benefit from:
Without A Trace
The assassin may hide in groups of people (of 20 or more). Though others can still see her, those who fail their spot checks don't associate the assassin as being separate from the crowd. The assassin may not hide in a crowd that is actively hostile towards her.

Lightening Step
Action: Immediate Action
The assassin may move up to half her base land speed. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
If the assassin uses this ability to avoid an attack or the area of an attack it has a 50% chance of still hitting her.

Steal the Light (Su)
Action: Immediate Action
The assassin may snuff out all light within 60ft of her as a swift action. This does not actually create darkness and the owner any effect that is maintained is granted a caster level or level check against a DC of 10 + your assassin level to prevent their light from being put out.
If you put out any magical light within this area you gain Darkvision out to 60ft. You can see through even magical darkness with this darkvision.

Vanishing Act
Action: Immediate Action
Make a bluff check. Anyone watching is allowed a sense motive or spot check (their choice).
You gain total concealment, and become effectively invisible, from any target who failed to beat your check.

+6 more, these should be passive abilities or active abilities that don't apply to attacks

Lv5, 9, 13, 17 > Guerrilla Tactic (Ex):
At each indicated level the assassin gains a new tactic, from the following list, that she does not already benefit from.
Whenever the assassin successfully deals extra damage with either her deathstroke ability or with her assassination ability she may select a single tactic she knows to apply to her attack. If she has already used a tactic since the start of her last turn, she may not use another one.
Crippling Strike
The assassins target must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 her assassin level + her dexterity modifier) or have their movement speed halved and they are unable to stand (penalties as prone, but effects that normally remove proneness do not remove this effect). These penalties lasts until her target is next healed.

Poisoned Blade
With her amazing forethought the assassin remembered to bring along a bit of poison. Her target takes 1d4 acid damage each round, for 3 rounds.
Furthermore the assassin's target must make a fortitude save (DC 15 + 1/2 her assassin level) or be afflicted with one of the following conditions

> Take 1d4 ability damage to a score of the assassin's choice. Ability damage of the same type does not stack from this ability.
> Be dazed for 1 round.
> Begin to suffocate for the next 2d4 + 1/2 assassin level rounds

Silencing Strike
The assassin goes for the throat, causing her target to gag. Her target becomes unable to speak for 1 round and must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 her assassin level + her strength modifier) or be unable to speak and begin to suffocate for the next 1d4+1 rounds.

Your target must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 her assassin level + her strength modifier) or be knocked unconscious. Targets who are immune to nonlethal damage or that have regeneration are immune to this ability.

Requires: Silent Attack ability
If a target failed their save from silent attack you may select anyone who is within 30ft of yourself and your opponent, if any. Your target thinks that this person attacked them.

You may sacrifice any number of assassination die for ambush feat effects, for any number of ambush feat effects.
Special: You qualify for ambush feats as if your assassination damage die were sneak attack die.

Sap Life (Su)
You recover hit points equal to the number of assassination die present in your attack.
Special: If you also have sneak attack, ambush, and/or sudden strike, you may also add the total number of these die; as long as you dealt that extra damage.

+3 more

Lv6 > Silent Attack (Ex):
Anytime the assassin makes an attack from hiding, her opponent and anyone watching must make a reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 her assassin level + her dexterity modifier)
Upon a failed save they fail to notice the assassin and are unaware of where the assassin is and where attack came from.

Lv14 > Death Attack (Ex):
Any target who fails the save against the assassin's deathstroke ability must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 her assassin level + her intelligence modifier) or die.

Lv20 > Tactical Mastery (Ex):
The assassin no longer needs to meet the conditions normally required for guerrilla tactics. She may apply a tactic to any attack she makes, as long as she has not used a tactic since the start of her last turn.
Furthermore the assassin gains an additional guerrilla tactic and an additional assassin ability of her choice.

2012-04-22, 04:25 PM
still pending...


Death Knight





leftovers from samurai class
Kiai Shout
Action: Swift
The samurai releases 15ft burst of sound with a load shout. She gains a free check to intimidate any opponent who can hear her and gains her wisdom modifier as a morale bonus to her next attack roll.
Swift Draw
Action: see text
The samurai may draw a katana or wakazashi as an immediate action and make a single attack with it.
The samurai catches her opponent flat-footed and automatically gains the benefits of iajutsu, even if she does not meet its requirements.
This ki power may only be used against any specific target once per encounter.
Special: If the samurai does not already benefit from the Quick Draw feat she gains it, but only for the purpose of drawing a katana or wakazashi.
Lunging Strike
Action: Swift
After activating this ki power the samurai gains a 5ft bonus to her reach on her next melee attack. If she makes a full attack she may add this bonus to all attacks in that attack sequence.
A Moment's Respite
Action: Standard Action
The samurai may take a deep breath preparing herself for battle. This grants the samurai temporary hit point equal to her wisdom modifier, to a maximum of her samurai level, until the end of her next turn.
The newest iteration of this ki power takes precedence.
Shockwave (Su)
Action: Full Round Action
With a single swing of her melee weapons the samurai releases a blast of energy.
The samurai deals her weapons damage in a 15ft cone, applying a single attack roll to all her targets. She can't score a critical hit with this ki power.
One Cut
Action: Swift Action
The samurai takes a 10ft step, that is treated as 5ft step for the purposes of provoking attacks of opportunity, before using this technique. She may make a single melee attack with a katana or wakazashi against any opponent that she passes.
The samurai's opponent(s) must make a sense motive check (versus her attack roll + 10) or be unaware her attack was made. Opponents unaware of her attack are also treated as being flatfooted against the attack.
Regardless her opponent doesn't take damage from the attack until the samurai's next turn.
Lv2 > Iajutsu (Ex):
If the samurai drew a katana or wakazashi while adjacent to an opponent her next attack, as long as it is made before the start of her next turn, gains the listed bonus to damage.
Furthermore the samurai doubles her threat range and gains the listed bonus to confirm critical hits, with such an attack.
Extra damage from this ability is of the same type as her attack and is not multiplied on a critical hit or by any other ability.

2012-04-22, 04:44 PM
Design Notes:
Anyways I think, if I remember correctly, this is the first time I've done completely mundane classes (not only that, but I usually focus on skill-monkeying rather than combat), so I'm not sure about the balance. I'm hoping these fit squarely in tier 3.
The assassin and the knight are designed specifically to be the antithesis of each other. Many of each of their abilities is set up to counter the others.
The hope for the ACFs is that they actually allow the two classes above to function as 8 different archetypes, with only swapping out one or two sets of abilities.
As for the chassis, I stumbled upon it when making the knight and realized I really like the layout so I decided to make all of the classes based on that chassis.

2012-04-22, 10:48 PM
The knight is pretty much done now, just a few more descriptions to add in. The assassin is also up and formatted, but doesn't have any abilities to choose from yet. The samurai is nowhere near complete enough to post yet (I'm debating whether or not I want to use the same chassis as the other two, so I might have to completely rewrite it).
Also ACFs section has been added.


Samurai is up, and with enough abilities to be peached. The Assassin is still in the works. Now I just have to figure out how to do their codes of honor.
Furthermore I have figured out 3 ACFs (not that they're done or even started for that matter, yet) for each class, except the samurai for which I will have to come up with two more.

Edit > Anyways 200 some views, but nobody has any thoughts?

2012-04-22, 11:31 PM
I subscribe to the philosophy that a class should be able to do something. As in, one should have abilities to draw from that aren't simply adding bonuses to the same standard assortment of options that a commoner gets. This is important not only because it impacts the viability of a class (look at the tier lists and you'll see that available options have a strong correlation to the power of a class), but because it's fun. A class that's mainly a chassis for a bunch of passive modifiers that lets you do something special and flavorful maybe once or twice a day (or nothing special?)? That's not good.

With this in mind, I feel that the classes are among those cases that are really chock full of passive bonuses and don't really get much to sell them as something exciting you could pull off in combat.

The Knight has an exception in the combat maneuvers, which are more active & engaging, but it takes a pretty horrifically long time to actually recover from, say, a fight where you use two maneuvers (If combats last 2-4 rounds, then you'd need 2-4 encounters to replenish your points - or half a day to a day's worth of adventuring). This leads to a syndrome where your players will artificially prolong combat where possible -- that is, leave the enemy alive, and/or cripple them, hang back a few rounds to let the knight recover maneuvers -- which is problematic both in a 'is this class fun to have at the table?' context and in a flavor context (it's very unknightly to wound and blind your enemies and then let them stagger around, rather than giving them a merciful death).

Suggestion: Have it recover every 24 hours. I'd encourage making them more freely available for use (rather than a once or twice a day thing until mid-high levels) - keep in mind that other party members like warlocks, warblades and sorcerers will be able to actively use their class features constantly, while you're waiting for stuff to recharge. Further, 5th level is a long time to wait for a class feature you can actually use.

Assassin is, again, sort of dry. Uncanny footing has an issue where you can theoretically be worse off because (RAW) you're removing any potentially superior flanking bonuses from multiclassing, items or feats. The 'attack from hiding' thing has some potential issues in that it doesn't necessarily work RAW (attacking reveals yourself unless you use the snipe action, whereupon you don't qualify for the bonus). Reword to 'when she attacks an opponent who was unaware of her location'? Can't review further as you haven't detailed the skills.

Samurai is distinctly subpar compared to the others, and really, really subpar compared to tier 2-3 classes. The level 1 and level 2 bonuses are really minor -- weapon proficiencies for X weapons, treat them as light? Not the kind of thing that convinces one to take a level in the class. A chance in a specific situation to maybe get a more likely crit? And a 5% higher chance to make your crit chance confirm? Ditto. Same issues as knight otherwise (combat points, etc).

2012-04-22, 11:44 PM
My really quick suggestion for the Samurai: make it just double the Crit range and give a bonus to your crit confirmation roll equal to the bonus to attacks that a knight gets.

I would suggest having a Knight recover a number of Combat Points equal to 1/4 their class level (so they start with 1 at 5th level, then by the time you reach 20th, you are getting back 5 at the beginning of combat.)

As for the Knight's Oath, it is generally agreed that a Code of Conduct is really more of a hindrance than anything. Maybe add in a provision that, much like WotC's Knight, every time you perform an act against the code, your maximum daily combat points are reduced by X (with a great act of chivalry removing the lowering) and a daily use of your Second Wind ability, and whenever you perform a chivalrous act (allowing an enemy the chance to get out of flank, being merciful to a fallen foe (i.e., knock 'em out rather than kill them), or other acts, as a DM might arbitrate), you regain X Combat points.

In other words, you are better in a fight when you act like a knight in your day-to-day life, while when you don't act like a knight, you end up doing worse in a fight.

2012-04-22, 11:57 PM
I will reword uncanny footing and the assassinate ability. What about just removing the combat point and ki point limitations altogether then? Completely removed limitations. As a point of note though, there was nothing restricting the combat points to being recovered only during an encounter.

But do they really come across as that boring Hyudra? Each of them has at least 5 special abilities that they can use actively, plus some battlefield control. Then again I guess I'm used to making gishes and spellcasters (which innately have more options), so maybe I just don't know what I'm doing with combat/melee classes...

As far as the code of conduct I was thinking of doing something like thecipher3vil did with the eternal knight (I'll have to find it again), but yours might work better for these classes Amechra. I'll have to think on it.

Edit > Just found it, guess the eternal knight's ability was similar to what you said anyways. Made changes to samurai.

2012-04-23, 07:34 AM
But do they really come across as that boring Hyudra? Each of them has at least 5 special abilities that they can use actively, plus some battlefield control. Then again I guess I'm used to making gishes and spellcasters (which innately have more options), so maybe I just don't know what I'm doing with combat/melee classes...

Look at it this way.

On average, assuming 4 encounters of equal CR a day, it takes 13.333 encounters to gain a level. 3 and adventuring days.

Let's say I'm playing your knight. My group starts at level one...

13.3 encounters (3 adventuring days) the class feature I do have grants me a bonus vs. fear, which might come up once a level. The rest of the time, I effectively have no class feature. Then I hit level two.

Progressing to level three, I rack up 26.6 encounters in total (6 adventuring days) of doing nothing a commoner couldn't do. I get a small bonus for not-flanking, but I'm still behind a rogue in combat effectiveness and my class features are not only nudging me towards using a shield, which would (even with bonuses) set me behind any martial combatant with the sense to use a two handed weapon, but they're pushing me to not-flank, which is hurting my team, that gets a bonus from my flanking. I'd even go so far as to suggest that using a two handed weapon & flanking anyways could be more effective in the long run (ie. ignore your class features).

I've hit level 3. Moving on to level 4. Reaching a total of ~40 encounters in total (9 and three quarter adventuring days) where, again, nothing is really pushing me to change my gameplay (maybe changing positioning or choosing a different foe based on flanking) or make different calls in the heat of battle. My ability to heal with a swift action doesn't change anything, beyond using it when I've taken at least 7-8 hitpoints of damage. It's a swift action, so the combat round I use it, I'm still going to be doing the same things I was doing at levels 1-2, the same things a commoner could do.

Level 4! Here's where I could finally make a choice that sets me apart, or even get an ability (Knight's Challenge) that I can pull off mid-combat to break up the tiresome flow of standard attacks & full attacks. Is it a good ability? Maybe. It's situational. If I don't pick that ability, 53.3 encounters in total with no active abilities.

And then I hit level 5, and I finally get a selection of active abilities. Some campaigns have begun & ended by that point.

But even at level 5, you're still way behind the pack in terms of overall power. You stated in the design notes that you wanted tier 3, but you really need to look at other tier 3s -> you want to be able to compare to crusader, swordsage and warblade... and you don't. Keep in mind that they get more maneuvers, starting at an earlier point in time, which are arguably stronger, and they scale better into higher levels. The options of a class directly correlate with its viability. The options here are few, and that hurts in terms of power level and it hurts in terms of fun level.

Assassin is slightly better off as the need to attack from darkness does set it apart & change the flow of gameplay, but I haven't seen the maneuvers so I can't really say how it plays out in the big picture.

2012-04-23, 08:39 PM
The knight and samurai now gain their first special ability at level 1. I also upped bonus from shieldmaster (as it was sort of lacking). Am now working on their codes.
I definitely see your points, Hyudra, with the fair fight and shieldmaster abilities, so I'll try to think of something to make them more viable.
I guess these did sort of end up tier 4ish, but I don't think they are that unappealing. Actually I did a sweep through of the 3.5 classes, and most of them, particularly in core, only get passive bonuses until level 4 (and sometimes longer, if at all (the rogue gets its first real option at level 10)). I'm not saying core is a great balance point, but I think you are being a little harsh even if your point isn't entirely invalid (and so an option is now available from first onward).
Beyond that do you (or anyone else) have any suggestions to raising these to tier 3?

2012-04-23, 08:57 PM
most of core is not tier 3, so most of the classes there aren't good points of reference. good points are ToB, dread necromancers, warmages, and bugilers. all of them get some kind of active abilaties from level one, and something passive...

2012-04-23, 09:15 PM
I was by no means arguing that (in fact I agree with what was said). I just felt like Hyudra's last post was unnecessarily inflammatory (more a "I'm right your wrong"; than trying to help).
Anyways, I really would like suggestions on how to up the tier to 3. I was having a bit of trouble doing that and I really wanted to avoid ToB mechanics (not because I have any problem with them, but because it seems like the catch' all solution anymore) or making a whole new sub-system (my dedication to keeping it simple is truly what's making this a challenge).

2012-04-23, 09:23 PM
some liquid power to the heart of each class.
If the knight is meant to tank, give it real tanking abilaties(see the shields look at me for an idea), or some monuted combat help. make the samurai more in the vein of the tome samurai(see frank and K), with magic/reality slicing. make the assasins death stroke x/per encounter ect...

2012-04-23, 10:06 PM
Do you mind if I steal your defensive mastery and look at me abilities (with some edits of course), bobthe6th?

Alright I guess the samurai can afford a few more supernatural abilities (I want to have the more anime feel (the because I'm awesome feel) than overt magic so I'm trying to be careful here).

And I will make your suggested change to deathstroke (it really isn't that extremely powerful anyways).

2012-04-23, 10:09 PM
I have no real complaints, as they are pretty much needed for a real tank...

2012-04-23, 10:10 PM
As far as the classes in core, remember that these were the classes WotC designed first, coming relatively fresh off the back of 2e. Note, instead, the trend that they tended towards with the later sourcebooks, and the active abilities in each of those.

Re: The Knight, remember that being tough means very very little if the enemy has no reason to attack you. Being the kind of guy who lasts through every fight doesn't mean that much when every major combat sees the rest of your group dead & you dragging them to the nearest temple for resurrection (and possibly getting killed by sheer numbers/the perils of being alone en route).

2012-04-24, 11:43 PM
Updates have been made. Removed set code, and decided to leave it to the fluff and the DM.

As to your first point, Hyudra, I already realize that (I have over a dozen source books basically memorized, trust me I know), but you also can't build a class without any mechanical bonuses. Besides that, these class have plenty of options for combat-oriented classes (with 6 or 7 active abilities a piece).
I suppose these are still tier 4, but I think they are by far more interesting than most tier 4's in the books and could at least stand beside tier 3's a bit easier. Besides that it was also an experiment to see what could be done with a single chasis without a subsystem. The only thing I can think of doing to bring these up, without unnecessary clutter, is to add a 'maneuvers/tactics/powers' table to the side and offer 12 abilities (warlock pattern style), which I might still do.

While what you say about surviving without nobody else around is true on some level. You also have to realize the knight is a threat. Ignoring him leaves them with penalties from both his passive and active abilities, as well as damage (which on average isn't terribly bad even with the penalties you stated, though I'm tempted to up the damage to a max of 10d6 (which results in a few more points of damage than two weapon fighting)). Just because he is focused on defense and control doesn't mean he can't dish out damage.

2012-04-25, 07:50 AM
I'm not saying you should build a class without mechanical bonuses, only that a class that's 90% mechanical bonuses comes across rather flat in terms of actual gameplay, unless those mechanical bonuses affect your turn-by-turn decision making. The Rogue, for example, has sneak attack, which is 'always on', but requires you to set up situations where it can activate. You have similar things with the flank/notflank, but I do question just how much that really impacts gameplay (not least because the bonuses are small and notflanking as a knight is rather unintuitive - ignoring the class features may be more advantageous).

So, analyzing the class as it's been changed: Giving maneuvers from level one with no strict limit is a strong step forward and does a lot for the class. I still think you get more overall damage contribution from using a two handed weapon & flanking your enemies. The numbers are better, and I'm thinking I'd just take the Brutal Assault at level one and bash them with my greatsword to try and chain-daze the enemy. All the better if I go half orc/water orc and boost my strength to raise the DC. Defense be damned!

In fact, going for that alone makes it a pretty strong 1 level dip for low level games (where you're unlikely to ever get iterative attacks). I don't see a pressing reason to take any further levels - Defense is a losing game in 3.5 unless it's an exceptionally versatile & effective defense (You get abilities to patch some weaknesses, like allies getting taken out & spells, but progression here is slow and I'd have to take 8 or 12 levels to cover only some of the issues). The daze on hit is the kind of active defense that does work in D&D - hit first, hit harder, and leave them reeling so they can't hit back. Problem is it's not terribly knightly. There's the oath to support some roleplay in that fashion, but that's almost purely DM arbitration, and no penalties or bonuses are outlined.

I could see a 2 level dip, if I really did want to sacrifice that offensive capability for defense (DR 5 is pretty powerful at low levels), but again, no pressing reason to go 18 more levels into the class. Like the daze, the DR scales poorly enough that I wouldn't dip for it in a game expected to go beyond 6th level.

Outside of strictly low level games? TBH, I wouldn't play this, and I'd probably encourage players at my table to play a Crusader instead.

2012-04-25, 11:53 PM
I entirely disagree with you. I have made defense a viable option over two-weapon fighting. A 50% miss chance to trade in less than half your damage seems viable to me (if you die you can't deal any damage anyways). Or are you trying to argue that damage output is all that matters?
As I said fair fight might need upped to a 10d6 progression, but then again that might be too much (as the knight class has other options to make up for the lower damage). I'm even tempted to raise the BAB to 20.
Beyond that I don't understand why you think my class features are a waste of time. One effectively extends reach, another enhances allies, and there are many more. Just because it isn't as good as the initiators isn't a reason to say it doesn't work or shouldn't exist. I'm really not sure what you are getting at here.
Daze isn't particularly unknightly either. Classic knight's weren't beacons of good like paladins. Sure they wouldn't maim or poison their enemies, but making an enemy flinch or hitting them so hard they stagger isn't particularly evil or unsightly.
As to the DR, it could get as high as 8 with a tower shield and since some magic shields have a higher AC bonus this could reach much higher totals even that. And since it has a cap based on knight level it gives incentive to take more levels.
And as to your last point, crusader is an unfair comparison. While the initiators are clearly tier 3, they also tend to dish out damage at sorcerer comparable strength and higher (+100 damage to a single attack, really?; that's the equivalent of a 30d6 spell being channeled through your weapon). This among other reasons is why many DMs don't allow them. For example I think the warblade is broken because of its recovery method and while I would allow the other two initiators I would not allow the warblade (that or I would remove its method of mid-battle recovery).

Does anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions?

2012-04-26, 12:39 AM
Does anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions?

Hm, well, I'd offer my suggestions, but I don't think I could say it better than Hyudra.

2012-04-26, 12:58 PM
In my opinion, I would give this to a new player.

While Initiators are far more versatile, this is just far easier to use; kinda like how I would suggest a Warlock over practically any other spellcasting system, because they are easy as hell to use; them and shadowcasters are my favorite for their newbie-friendlyness.

In other words, this is the kind of class I like, since there is almost no chance of decision paralysis, which is always a big problem to me.

You know, I would like you to fill out the Assassin abilities; maybe one that increases range on ranged weapons (because they make able snipers), and maybe a variation on the Mosquito's Blade skill trick as a Guerrilla Tactic (in other words, the creature you attacked does not notice that they got injured until a round has passed. Gives you a little time to move before they notice that they are bleeding out.), maybe with the change that when you attack someone as a full-round action, you do it in such a way that they think someone else attacked them?

An Assassin Ability that would allow them to qualify for things as if they had Sneak Attack dice equal to Assassination dice, and giving them the ability to sacrifice Assassination dice for Ambush feats could be pretty cool.

If you aren't adverse to a supernatural Assassin ability, may I suggest the ability to suppress nearby lights, combined with Darkvision? Could be useful.

Guerrilla Tactics ideas:
-One where they stab a mage in the throat, preventing them from casting spells with verbal components, preventing breath weapons, etc.
-One where they hamstring an enemy, rendering them prone.
-One where they just generally smash an enemy's skull, knocking them unconscious.

2012-04-28, 11:12 PM
I removed the samurai, because, well, it just wasn't working. But the ninja ACF, once I make it, should make up for it.

I also updated the assassin, who now only needs a few more abilities. Thanks for the help Amechra and the compliment (especially since that was sort of what I was going for, even if I am still a bit unhappy about not reaching tier 3).

Anyways, for those who like complicated and more than a handful of choices, I have a new class I am halfway through that will be a bit more complicated than these (I'll have it up by the end of the week). Keep an eye out for the Disciple of War, who will use a system that combines concepts from both the warlock and the initiators (let see if I can streamline and/or improve the initiator system), with a dose of 20 classes in one. Though primarily reminiscent of a gish, playing a pure spellcaster or pure mundane will still be possible.