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drack
2012-05-16, 12:57 PM
The Medicine Man
http://paizo.com/image/content/PathfinderModules/PZO9521-Ghoul.jpg
Becoming a Medicine Man: Medicine men are raised from a young age by other Medicine Men. they remain in their mentor's cave for melenias sustaining themselves off of shadow and necromantic energy from Ka-Dul which slowly twists them into negative energy creatures who's notion of family time is hunkering down next to a large pile of cadavers.
So the idea of this class is to utilize the bodies of fallen foes in a variety of ways allowing the class much flexibility as to how to do whatever it's doing. Traditional these creatures serve as "medicine men" for a remote area in a far away multivers. Basically they serve the purpose of old wise man, crazy loon who lives in the mountains, village creep, healer, and the dude to whom you give the deceased to be taken care of (such that they don't bread disease, take up space, etc.), and from this members of the the class, are commonly referred to as medicine men (plural) or the Medicine Man (singular) They resemble ghouls with ghostly pale skin stretched over a hunched and boney form. In truth they are large but they are more comfortable hunched and therefore their size is effectively decreased to small for the vast majority of their lives not revealing the full grotesqueness of their true figure, but all the same giving them an immensely disturbing air.

Adventuring: Medicine Men rarely ever leave their caves (which commonly contain many deceased left about. When they do go they usually are as a representative of their people backing a cause (usually used as a form of temporary exile), they go out to gather new information about the world around them (gathering maps and cultures, as well as more commonly than not getting hopelessly lost despite any maps), or if they simply go mad and decide to embark on their Dul-Kazar in which they embark from their home to wonder the earth seeking death and spreading the teachings of Ka-Dul (or spreading the shadow)

Characteristics: Medicine men aren't proficient with many weapons or armors relying solely on their ability to control the dead in ways never dreamed of by "the outside races". They tend to be gaunt hunched over forms constantly murmuring their atrocious tongue from the shadows.

Alignment: Medicine Men tend to be aloof from the world concerning themselves solely with concern for the villages to which they are Medicine Men to, therefore they tend to be considered neutral by common standards. though they could also be considered evil by others in that they channel power very similar to divine Necromancy (though it is not wholly divine).

Religion: Medicine Men are the only true worshipers of Ka-Dul which is a shadowy creature in a multiverse so far away that even devoting their entire lives to it none could reach Ka-Dul, and knowing this none attempt to do so. Despite this Ka-Dul is slowly devouring the plane of shadow binding all multiverses together. fortunately (yet unfortunately to the Medicine Men) Ka-Dul will not reach anywhere close to the material plane within hundreds of generations of Medicine Men, though they still feel Ka-Dul's slow approach throughout their many millennia long lifespan.

Races: any humanoid

Other classes: as the cleric is the glue holding the party together and everyone's friend, Medicine Men tend to unnerve the party and cause severe agitation. This is because in a room of the creepiest adventurers in the aria Medicine Men would still appear disturbing.

Role: Though Medicine Men specialize in Knowledge and healing checks as would be expected of a village healer a Medicine Man's combat style tends to be fairly aggressive and involve a few too many flying bone fragments for most people's comfort. Medicine Men tend to favor the rear in combat summoning, casting, and commanding their way out of difficulties, though they will not hesitate to take a more frontward stance usually still able to maintain their naturally long lifespan.

Hit Die
d4

Clas skills
Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate, Spellcraft, Gather Information, knowledge (The planes), knowledge (Religion), Desipher Script, Bluff
skill points at first level
(2+int modifier)x4

skill points at each additional level
2+int modifier





Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special


1st
+0
+2
+0
+2
rebuke undead, Warped speech


2nd
+1
+3
+0
+3
Greater Grave


3rd
+1
+3
+1
+3
Plentiful Graves


4th
+2
+4
+1
+4
Greater Grave


5th
+2
+4
+1
+4
lift undead 1


6th
+3
+5
+2
+5
Greater Grave, Plentiful Graves


7th
+3
+5
+2
+5
unnatural life, raise the grave


8th
+4
+6
+2
+6
Greater Grave, eyes of the dead


9th
+4
+6
+3
+6
Plentiful Graves, Crypt of the Dead


10th
+5
+7
+3
+7
lift undead 5, Greater Grave


11th
+5
+7
+3
+7
Guardian of the crypt


12th
+6/+1
+8
+4
+8
Greater Grave, Plentiful Graves


13th
+6/+1
+8
+4
+8
The Hounds of Death


14th
+7/+2
+9
+4
+9
Greater Grave, Marionette of Living Undeath


15th
+7/+2
+9
+5
+9
lift undead 10, Plentiful Graves


16th
+8/+3
+10
+5
+10
Greater Grave, Aura of Hanging Death


17th
+8/+3
+10
+5
+10
Shadows From Beyond


18th
+9/+4
+11
+6
+11
Plentiful Graves, Eye of Death


19th
+9/+4
+11
+6
+11
bone-clusters


20th
+10/+5
+12
+6
+12
lift undead 20, Death is no reprieve



medicine men are proficient with daggers and light armor (though they seldom bother with either).


Class features:
Warped speech due to the alterations to their anatomy they are only physically capable of one language, but they can get the jest of any language that they hear for a short while,allowing them to understand any languages after hearing it a bit. As a result they tend to need a medium to translate for whomever happens to be talking to them. The one language they do speak is called "The Whisper of Ka-Dul", Ka-Dul is their deity and an immensely powerful creature capable of crushing gods, far enough away that they only get as much power from their deity as others can give. The language it's self consists of many low moans and screeches which settle into the background unnerving all who hear them. This is their native language that no other spices can naturally imitate, and when intentionally directed at undead it's meaning slowly sinks into their bones chilling them more than death its self had, such that slowly the meaning becomes clear to them.
rebuke undead as of 1st level Medicine Men can rebuke and command undead as evil clerics.
Greater gravesEvery two levels A Medicine man may control an extra HD of undead per level of Medicine man, at level 16 a Medicine Man is able to command HD of undead equal to its Charisma modifier times its level in Medicine Man, for a minimum of seven times it's Medicine Man level.
Plentiful gravesEvery three levels a Medicine Man gains an additional 3+Cha mod uses of Rebuke undead per day.

spells: Medicine men prepare spells through channeling negative energy into a deceased body with HD equal to or greater than the spell level of the desired spell. Through this process all but the skull withers into dust, and within the skull resides the ball for negative energy that is the fully prepared spell. The skull must be commanded (through the rebuke undead ability) in order to be cast, therefore excess spells can be prepared in order to be commanded later. In many regards Commanding the skull it's self is preparing the spell, and sculpting the necromantic energy within the skull could be seen as scribing a spell into a spellbook for a single future casting.(just another way to view it to help people get it). Each spell has HD equal to its spell level, 5 Hp/HD and 5 hardness. The skull is consumed in the casting. Level 0 spells count as half HD. Also when the skulls are broken they release a negative energy burst equal to 1d8/spell level damage. A Medicine Man can only create or command spells of a spell level equal to or less than half their class level, and to all others the skull acts an an immobile undead of it's HD until broken. This process takes ten minutes per spell prepared. Furthermore a medicine man's spells cannot be cast if commanded through the features of another class.

Lift Undead: At 5th level they gain the ability to 'lift' one undead. This number than progresses to 5 at 10th level and henceforth doubles at level 15 and 20, and every five levels thereafter, such that at level 25 it may lift 40 undead. "Lifting an undead" allows medicine men to channel negative energy through other bones making the equivalent of swords and shields out of different bones rather than making spells out of the creature's skulls. This too consumes the body and the swords/shields have 5 HP/HD of the body used over the same time frame a creating spells. The swords deal 1d6 damage per round and have DR5/-, keep in mind this is less health and attack than a skeleton of any HD would do so long as they are at least medium size. The shields have DR10/- and can lock on to any one creature (one per shield) and wield themselves to deflect any attack that creature may perform. /both can move at a speed of 20 ft per turn (though attacking or blocking is regarded as a swift action of sorts since any skeleton could move as fast and still attack (or move double that). Each such one counts as one lifted undead and their HD is taken from the total one could command with the animate dead spell. This ability allows it to survive a more forward roll despite its lowered con and d4 HP. All lifted undead must stay within 60í of the Medicine Man, or instantly be destroyed. Lifted undead follow the Medicine Man through any travle magic as if they were its own limbs. Spells may also be lifted, but they may only be cast within the Medicine Manís space square.

unnatural life: At level seven Medicine Men become immune to poison, sleep, disease, and death effects (they don't sleep and they eat through preparing their magic (see below)), they can see in any darkness, as they adapt to death. Medicine Men are negative energy creatures that count as neither alive nor undead.

raise the grave: A Medicine Man of level seven can summon the dead. Focusing for ten minutes the Medicine Man can call one long forgotten humanoid corpse with HD equal to half the Medicine Man's hit dice to him wherever he is.

eyes of the dead: A Medicine Man of eighth level can use his lift undead ability to cause a body to shatter into countless shards before restitching it's self together through the power of the necromantic flows that surround Medicine Men. Rather than regaining it's initial form the corpse instead forms into four skeletal ravens per HD of the initial corpse, all ravens count only towards a single use of lift undead, though their HD come from the animate dead limit. These ravens can fly freely within 15'/HD of the Medicine Man, and while they cannot attack, the Medicine Man sees all that these ravens see.

Crypt of the Dead At ninth level the Medicine Man gains the ability to as a standard action open or close the gates to his own crypt. This functions similar to the Mageís Magnificent Mansion spell, except that the medicine man may not enter the mansion, only interacting with it through the commanding of undead. This crypt is used to store both corpses and undead minions that are not immediately requires. While a Crypt of the Dead can only exist within 60' of the medicine man, they are commonly summoned during combat to allow the Medicine Man's hordes to rise from nowhere to its aid.

Guardian of the crypt One's crypt is not something to be left unguarded. At eleventh level a Medicine Man can set one of its undead minions to guard its crypt. This undead gains turn immunity, two extra HP per hit die of the undead, and the ability to receive commands telepathically within 120' as a free action. This undead is also bound to the crypt existing only when the crypt exists, and it may not travle more than 60' from the crypt at any time.

The Hounds of Death: None truly escape death, and it's hounds will ever chase those that do. At thirteenth level a Medicine Man gains the ability to use the Eyes of the Dead ability to create hounds instead. Rather than four ravens/HD of the corpse, the Medicine Man may now call one skeletal wolf per two HD of the corpse consumed in this ritual. Skeletal wolves created in this manner are called the Hounds of Death. As a standard action the Medicine Man may name one creature deaths chosen, and the hounds will give chase, avoiding all other targets, but ruthlessly attacking any obstetrical that they can not maneuver around. The Hounds of Death do not count against any HD limits on undead commanded, as such things are never truly controlled, and any Medicine Man can only sustain twice their charisma modifier of such hounds at a time. The hounds of death gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage roll for each other Hound of Death that was sent with them, though those sent by another Medicine Man do not give any bonus. At level 21 this bonus doubles.

Marionette of Living Undeath A Medicine Man of level 14 gains the ability to place undeads back into their lives. The undeads forget their deaths, and all thereafter resuming life as if they had never died. Any who see the must make a spot check DC20 in order to determine that something is wrong, and a spot check DC 30 to see that they are indeed undeads. This ability instantly fails if applied to those more obviously undead such as sectors or skeletons.

Aura of Hanging Death: At sixteenth level an image of death its self hovers over the Medicine Man. This image gives undeads within a hundred feet a +1 moral bonus on attack and damage rolls. The living on the other hand feel the crushing despair of their doom and take a -1 moral penalty to attack and damage rolls. Medicine Men may suppress and activate this ability as a free action.

Shadows From Beyond: A Medicine Man of level 17 can make the undeads he commands seem ore numerous than they truly are. This is not so much an illusion as that the veil between life and death grows thinner around a Medicine Man, allowing normal people to see the dead whenever they see the undead. This ability causes any attempt to attack an undead within sixty feet of a Medicine Man prone to a 50% miss chance. (This does not apply to shields created through the lift undead ability)

Eye of death Medicine Men can see death. At level 18 Medicine men can see both how far people are from death as well as how much power they hold over it. This ability functions similarly to the Power Sight spell depicted in Masters of the Wild, except that it is always active, and also tells the Medicine Man how many tenths of their total HP creatures have.

bone-clusters On the battlefield sometimes numbers aren't enough. Sometimes one needs deception. At level 19 Medicine Men gain the ability to create bone clusters, and at any one time a Medicine Man can have one Bone Cluster per ten points of charisma modifier. A Bone Cluster is in fact much as it sounds. In combat Medicine Men appear as clusters of bones with all the skeletons circling about them, and a bone cluster is much the same. Bone clusters are replicas of all the skeletons controlled around the Medicine Man by lift undead. At the center is a zombie of the Medicine Man's exact appearance and HD. Bone clusters take 48 hours to make, though this may be done in parts so long as it sums to the full 48 hours.

Death is no reprieve When a Medicine Man of level 20 or higher dies it's presence does not simply vanish from the earth, it's vary consciousness sinks into all those under it's command allowing it to command them all as part of it's body, even better in death than in life. The Medicine Man cannot be brought back to life by any means, nor can its soul be sealed until all of the undead are killed.

SPELLS:
level 0:
cure minor wounds
detect magic
inflict minor wounds
know direction
light
flare
Prestidigitation
Mage hand

(All spells with light cast an eerie purple light which I for got to state above is also the color of their eyes, but their eyes don't glow. They are also hare less.)

level 1:
bane
cause fear
command
cure light wounds
deathwatch
detect undead
doom
entangle (with shadows rather than vegetation)
inflict light wounds
obscuring mist
Pass without trace
comprehend languages
Reaving aura (CM)
summon undead I
Unseen servant
(rather than going with the standard summon undead my DM has allowed me to simply follow the summon spell trend of anything with CR equal to or down to one less than the summon undead number (ex I means CR 0-1) rather than the tiny summon undead lists provided therefore allowing up to summon undead IX, the DM may veto any specific undead at will)

level 2:
Bonefiddle (CR)
cure moderate wounds
darkness
death knell
desecrate
detect thoughts
enthrall
Genital repose
Ghoul glyph (SC)
Hold person
Inflict moderate wounds
Invisibility
See Invisibility
Suggestion
Summon undead II
Undetectable alignment
Zone of truth
Boneskin (as stone skin)
Chill metal
Escalating enfeeblement
Whispering Wind
Ghoul Glyph (SC)

level 3:
Animate dead
bestow curse
blindsight (MoF)
contagion
cure serious wounds
deeper darkness
deep slumber
dispel magic
glyph of warding
helping hand
inflict serious wounds
meld into stone
Phantom steed
remove curse
Skull watch (PGF)
speak with dead
summon undead III
poison
bottle of smoke (CD)
Undead torch (MoF)
Vampiric touch

level 4:
black tentacles
blindsight, greater(MoF)
cure critical wounds
death ward
divination (consults bones like a fortune teller)
enervation
inflict critical wounds
Shadow Conjuration
status
tongues
rusting grasp
wither limb (LM)
poison needles (OA)
wall of bones (CA)
Vecna's Malevolent whisper (CM)
Skull of Secretes (MoF)
touch of years (CM)

level 5:
break enchantment
circle of doom
Death throes
greater command
permanency
raise dead
Shadow Evocation
slay living
summon undead V
true seeing
unhallow
Awaken undead (LM)
Night's caress (LM)
revive undead (LM)
quillblast (bone fragments instead of quills) (CD)
freezing fog (CA)
Crawling Darkness (MoF)

level 6:
Animate objects
anti-life shell
bone barrier (as blade barrier but with bones)
create undead
greater dispelling
greater glyph of warding
harm
heal
suggestion mass
summon undead VI
word of recall
Miasma of entropy
stone tell
ghoul gauntlet (LM)
arrow of bone (CA)


level 7:
blasphemy
creeping doom
cure serious wounds, mass
finger of death
inflict serious wounds, mass
regenerate
repulsion
resurrection
scrying greater
Shadow Conjuration, Greater
summon undead VII
Blood to Water (SC)
Brain Spider (SC)


level 8:
anti-magic field
create greater undead
Greater undead ally (as greater plainer ally, but undead)
horrid wilting
Shadow Evocation, Greater
summon undead VIII
symbol
unholy aura
finger of death
veil of undeath (LM)
Death Pact (MoF)
Phantom Wolf (SC)
Heat drain (SC)

level 9:
Astral projection
energy drain
Gate (may call undeads)
heal, mass
Power word kill
Shades
soul bind
summon undead IX
time stop
true resurrection
sympathy
foresight
shadow Landscape (SC)
Phantom Bear (SC)
Plague of Undead (SC)

Epic: one epic feat every 3 levels, abilities that advance every X levels continue to do so

Madara
2012-06-05, 08:21 PM
Well, this is obviously supposed to be a necromancer class. Are you going to put the spells/day vatican casting on your class table, or can they cast spells indefinitely?

The spells section confuses me. So you make the skulls for each spell, but they are used up on casting? So it requires crazy preparation to cast spells?


The skull must be commanded (as in command undead) i

Replace with "commanded via rebuke undead"
otherwise it could be confused with the spell, which this class can't cast without a skull which they can't control without the spell...ect

Commanding undead(via rebuking) is a weak ability normally, and requires quite a bit of optimization to use. I'm glad you gave it a boost :smallsmile:

The class name "Medicine Man" is deceiving. Just sayin :smalltongue:
Also, the class needs more abilities, rather than Greater Grave being the 'new' ability every few levels. I suggest spreading out the undead immunities that you get at level 7. In addition, I've seen classes that are evil doctors use diseases for good effect. Maybe put that in as an ability or two?

drack
2012-06-05, 08:39 PM
Speaking in bold
Well, this is obviously supposed to be a necromancer class. Are you going to put the spells/day vatican casting on your class table, or can they cast spells indefinitely? they are limited by spells they have, time, and turn/rebuke through which they can command new spells. ToB casters have a similar ability to cast "infinite" spells per day, but they aren't limited by turn/rebuke limits, nor by prior preparation.

The spells section confuses me. So you make the skulls for each spell, but they are used up on casting? So it requires crazy preparation to cast spells? Yes, and after you create the "spell" you must command it to cast it


Replace with "commanded via rebuke undead"
otherwise it could be confused with the spell, which this class can't cast without a skull which they can't control without the spell...ect
Ah yes, that similarity always gets me :smallsigh:
Commanding undead(via rebuking) is a weak ability normally, and requires quite a bit of optimization to use. I'm glad you gave it a boost :smallsmile: Yup, though they don't get as much as clerics because giving them those handy necromancy spells that give you boatloads of undeads would give a infinite loop on spells prepared, which wouldn't be happy, hence the command undead is rather high even compared to classes based on it.

The class name "Medicine Man" is deceiving. Just sayin :smalltongue:
Yes and no, they do get cure spells, and they'll get you back on your feet again one way or another. :smalltongue:

Also, the class needs more abilities, rather than Greater Grave being the 'new' ability every few levels. I suggest spreading out the undead immunities that you get at level 7. In addition, I've seen classes that are evil doctors use diseases for good effect. Maybe put that in as an ability or two?
Hmm, perhaps I should brainstorm a few :smallbiggrin:Edit: so are we thinking the last ten levels look a bit dry, or the last fifteen?

added the following abilities

raise the grave: A Medicine Man of level seven can summon the dead. Focusing for ten minutes the Medicine Man can call one long forgotten humanoid corpse with HD equal to half the Medicine Man's hit dice to him wherever he is.

eyes of the dead: A Medicine Man of eighth level can use his lift undead ability to cause a body to shatter into countless shards before restitching it's self together through the power of the necromantic flows that surround Medicine Men. Rather than regaining it's initial form the corpse instead forms into four skeletal ravens per HD of the initial corpse, all ravens count only towards a single use of lift undead, though their HD come from the animate dead limit. These ravens can fly freely within 15'/HD of the Medicine Man, and while they cannot attack, the Medicine Man sees all that these ravens see.

Crypt of the Dead At ninth level the Medicine Man gains the ability to as a standard action open or close the gates to his own crypt. This functions similar to the Mageís Magnificent Mansion spell, except that the medicine man may not enter the mansion, only interacting with it through the commanding of undead. This crypt is used to store both corpses and undead minions that are not immediately requires. While a Crypt of the Dead can only exist within 60' of the medicine man, they are commonly summoned during combat to allow the Medicine Man's hordes to rise from nowhere to its aid.

Guardian of the crypt One's crypt is not something to be left unguarded. At eleventh level a Medicine Man can set one of its undead minions to guard its crypt. This undead gains turn immunity, two extra HP per hit die of the undead, and the ability to receive commands telepathically within 120' as a free action. This undead is also bound to the crypt existing only when the crypt exists, and it may not travle more than 60' from the crypt at any time.

The Hounds of Death: None truly escape death, and it's hounds will ever chase those that do. At thirteenth level a Medicine Man gains the ability to use the Eyes of the Dead ability to create hounds instead. Rather than four ravens/HD of the corpse, the Medicine Man may now call one skeletal wolf per two HD of the corpse consumed in this ritual. Skeletal wolves created in this manner are called the Hounds of Death. As a standard action the Medicine Man may name one creature deaths chosen, and the hounds will give chase, avoiding all other targets, but ruthlessly attacking any obstetrical that they can not maneuver around. The Hounds of Death do not count against any HD limits on undead commanded, as such things are never truly controlled, and any Medicine Man can only sustain twice their charisma modifier of such hounds at a time. The hounds of death gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage roll for each other Hound of Death that was sent with them, though those sent by another Medicine Man do not give any bonus. At level 21 this bonus doubles.

Marionette of Living Undeath A Medicine Man of level 14 gains the ability to place undeads back into their lives. The undeads forget their deaths, and all thereafter resuming life as if they had never died. Any who see the must make a spot check DC20 in order to determine that something is wrong, and a spot check DC 30 to see that they are indeed undeads. This ability instantly fails if applied to those more obviously undead such as sectors or skeletons.

Aura of Hanging Death: At sixteenth level an image of death its self hovers over the Medicine Man. This image gives undeads within a hundred feet a +4 moral bonus on attack and damage rolls. The living on the other hand feel the crushing despair of their doom and take a -4 moral penalty to attack and damage rolls. Medicine Men may suppress and activate this ability as a free action.

Shadows From Beyond: A Medicine Man of level 17 can make the undeads he commands seem ore numerous than they truly are. This is not so much an illusion as that the veil between life and death grows thinner around a Medicine Man, allowing normal people to see the dead whenever they see the undead. This ability causes any attempt to attack an undead within sixty feet of a Medicine Man prone to a 50% miss chance. (This does not apply to shields created through the lift undead ability)

bone-clusters On the battlefield sometimes numbers aren't enough. Sometimes one needs deception. At level 19 Medicine Men gain the ability to create bone clusters, and at any one time a Medicine Man can have one Bone Cluster per ten points of charisma modifier. A Bone Cluster is in fact much as it sounds. In combat Medicine Men appear as clusters of bones with all the skeletons circling about them, and a bone cluster is much the same. Bone clusters are replicas of all the skeletons controlled around the Medicine Man by lift undead. At the center is a zombie of the Medicine Man's exact appearance and HD. Bone clusters take 48 hours to make, though this may be done in parts so long as it sums to the full 48 hours.

Death is no reprieve When a Medicine Man of level 20 or higher dies it's presence does not simply vanish from the earth, it's vary consciousness sinks into all those under it's command allowing it to command them all as part of it's body, even better in death than in life. The Medicine Man cannot be brought back to life by any means, nor can its soul be sealed until all of the undead are killed.

BelGareth
2012-07-13, 06:28 PM
Alrighty then, I'm going to start from the top and work my way down.



Hit Die
d4

I dont think a class should ever have a d4 HD, but thats me. Because of the restricted spell list you could easily change this over to a d6. But its in line with the classical wizard/sorcerer power scale, so be it.



Clas skills
Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate, Spellcraft, Gather Information, knowledge (The planes), knowledge (Religion), Desipher Script, Bluff
skill points at first level
(2+int modifier)x4

skill points at each additional level
2+int modifier

Seems a little sloppy, its not alphabetical and no craft? I would think craft would be a no brainer for an undead menagerie caster. Also, it looks like its all over the place, make it look nicer, people are sticklers (including me) for homebrew that 'looks' nice.



medicine men are proficient with daggers and light armor (though they seldom bother with either).

This should be simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields. Make it coincide with the standards that have already been set. Reducing it from simple weapon prof to just knives is unnecessarily complicated. Is there a fluff reason that they don't get something wizards get, do they have less time than they do?


Warped speech - Interesting, purely fluffy, which is good. I see this as a good NPC/BBEG class.

rebuke undead - standard ability. ok

Greater graves - Thats a lotta undead, cool.

Plentiful graves - Hmm...HOLy crap! that a lot of rebukes! But I understand why.

spells: - I think this is overly complicated, Its cool, really cool, but why can't you dumb it down. Say, when they preapre spells they manifest as small skulls that float by the Medicine Man and crumble to dust when he unleashes them on his foes. This would create great images of small skulls floating around touching people delivering touch spells or being sent forth to turn into spell affects. This would effectively remove the need for so much of the rebuke undead, and make it much more fluffy. (oh and cool, lets not forget that)
EDIT: oh and remove the need for skeletons to cast spells.

I imagine this (but with blue fire and no tech):
http://www.deviantart.com/download/246296483/servo_skulls_by_skirill-d42mzkz.jpg

Lift Undead: - this is truly a unique ability, albeit named somewhat misleadingly (like the class name), renaming and simplifying the ability might go a long way, maybe stagger the affects that it can do? Another reason why the medicine man should have simple weapon prof, it would be awesome if he armed himself with the blood drenched bones of his fallen foes. Great fluff and the possibilities are endless. break it down, in simplicity and progression.

unnatural life: - good stuff, but its a lot to take in all at once. Stagger the affects out much like the shadowcaster does with relying on shadowstuff for nourishment and sleep.

raise the grave: - why does he need this if he has spells? Adding this ability is redundant, IMHO, as lower level spells would be used for this instead, perhaps free undead summoning extend? or free Augment summoning?

eyes of the dead: - this is a cool ability but seriously lacking, why the strict range limit? why not one bird of bone that can travel for X hours? Sweet ability, but needs some fine tuning.

Crypt of the Dead - This is interesting, but again a spell like ability (or is the other way around?) that is not needed, dead levels are not dead levels when you are a spellcaster. I would remove this. Maybe turn this into a mundane ability to establish a crypt?

Guardian of the crypt - This is cool, i like it. Ties well with the crypt ability above.

The Hounds of Death: - This is a cool idea, but I would just turn it into a free summons, some undead wolves that you can send out. But then you get the redundant spell like ability again, why not a special ability, like tracking? They provide the ability to track someone or can stand as sentries for x hours? Unique abilities are always cool.

Marionette of Living Undeath - this is interesting, albeit a little OP. at this level you shouldn't be able to true res skeletons at will. Maybe in conjunction with a raise dead like spell and set this ability to a higher level?

Aura of Hanging Death: - Woah! thats better than a marshal....maybe +1...you ARE a spellcaster (I know that argument gets old, but theres a reason for it) maybe change the bonus to being immune to fear affects and bolstering undead within it? But I don't see why it would provide such a huge bonus....

Shadows From Beyond: This is overpowering, maybe a 20%? 50 is too much, otherwise its a sweet ability.

Eye of death - Cool.

bone-clusters - This...is....whu...i.dont.get.it.

Death is no reprieve - Interesting....

Spells, they look fine, but people like tables!

All in all a good class, but it needs some formatting, and some abilities need editing.

To reiterate, raise dead definitely needs to be renamed and should be the staple power of the class, I don't think the items created from it should move under their own power, it should be used to make armor, shields and weapons for you and your horde of undead, which get better and better as you progress (better DR, damage, AC...etc....)

Oh, and I really like the floating horde of skull/spells. (if you don't use that, I will)

drack
2012-07-13, 07:06 PM
Lets see here...

d4HD is both because it's a caster class and lifting undeads for protection grants you extra padding.

skills: yeah, I've kinda been meaning to give the whole class a going over and straightening up, I just haven't gotten around to it :smallredface:

weapons: I suppose you have a point. I suppose I was just emphasizing their lack of dependence on weapons while still giving them a last resort and playing on that daggers are commonly ritualized, I guess I could change it.

Warped speech: also good for PC RP,, you either use an undead translator, or rely on those communication spells.

rebuke&greater/plentiful graves: I think you mostly get the idea. As a casting system it sorta fails without it.

Spells: I could, but for a few things. first when I think of summoning little spell skulls they are cute puffy little things that better fit in a joke class. And second because I had sort of planned it as more of a foresight class. you can't instantly prepare a spell you hadn't considered before combat, and that makes you think carefully before converting them to spells :smallwink:

lift undead: not really seeing how this can be simplified and broken down... :smallconfused:

raise the dead: dead not undead, you get dead cadavers with which to make your spells so that you're not always pilfering graves :smallwink:

eyes of the undead: two reasons, one the class is necromancy based, not summoning based, and two because most of the abilities requite the use of a corpse, and having them do so every few hours is silly. It also means the player needs to choose more carefully how many to have at once least it crowd out other stuff.

crypt of the dead: so that you don't always need a bag of holding to stow all the dead blokes, also makes for easy cover up in the case that the players murder someone, or if you don't want to leave your undead vulnerable and unattended to gate in at a later time.

the hounds of death: again this way it involves rationing your undeads, and the more you put in the better they get keeping it from getting out of hand. I mean if you kept cranking out more and they lasted, even just one hour then you could use this ability 600 times/hour allowing you to swarm most anyone to death.

Marionette of Living Undeath: admittedly partially just because I thought it'd be interesting, but the idea isn't to resurrect people, but to place your undeads back to their everyday lives allowing a massive undead legion to hide in plane sight as laughing children, grumpy old drunks, and the like.

Aura of Hanging Death: +1 works, I'm not as familiar with the standard aura mechanics. :smallbiggrin:

Aura of Hanging Death: do you think it should be? I mean the ability mechanically equivalents to mass invisibility that doesn't affect the caster, and fluffwise it is that there are simply so many dead people visible around it that if you try to attack one you are essentially shooting blind as most of them are just spirits, not actual undeads.

bone clusters: basically you get to make decoy yous :smallbiggrin:
Basically look at all the undeads tied to the medicine man. You replicate them all and center them around a zombie that looks like you. Ideally you are fighting in a horde or something at this point in the game, and since most of the other abilities play off that animation limit it becomes rather crowded and you can't really get that horde if you go for the class features. So you can make more of the class feature ones.

death is no reprieve: yup, chances are you'll die sooner or later, so now you stay in the game loosing those cool class benefits.

I used tables :smallconfused: or do you mean I should make a table of the spell list...? I've never really seen anyone do that....

do it's denied for it's formatting... :smallsigh:

... if I made it all equipment I may as well use a non-homebrew class... :smallconfused: this is altering the skeletons to preform these functions on their own making them more like augmentations to the character then undeads to flop about on their own...

... Aren't I already using the horde of floating skull/spells and weapon/shield/ect-skeletons? :smalltongue: that's what this class is, no copying. find your own wicked awesome idea to base a class around :smalltongue:

drack
2013-02-05, 08:52 PM
Exploiting forum loop hole to bump without necromancy :smallwink:

Djinn_in_Tonic
2013-02-05, 10:02 PM
This has some interesting abilities in it, and many of them could probably use a once-over for clarity and mechanics. Posing this to remind myself to give you a solid critique when I'm not typing on an iPhone. :smallbiggrin:

Djinn_in_Tonic
2013-02-06, 05:38 PM
Alright! Comments and critique, as pormised!




Becoming a Medicine Man: Medicine men are raised from a young age by other Medicine Men. They remain in their mentor's cave for millennia, sustaining themselves off of shadow and necromantic energy from Ka-Dul which slowly twists them into negative energy creatures who's notion of family time is hunkering down next to a large pile of cadavers.
So the idea of this class is to utilize the bodies of fallen foes in a variety of ways allowing the class much flexibility as to how to do whatever it's doing. Traditional these creatures serve as "medicine men" for a remote area in a far away multiverse. Basically they serve the purpose of old wise man, crazy loon who lives in the mountains, village creep, healer, and the dude to whom you give the deceased to be taken care of (such that they don't bread disease, take up space, etc.), and from this members of the the class, are commonly referred to as medicine men (plural) or the Medicine Man (singular) They resemble ghouls with ghostly pale skin stretched over a hunched and boney form. In truth they are large but they are more comfortable hunched and therefore their size is effectively decreased to small for the vast majority of their lives not revealing the full grotesqueness of their true figure, but all the same giving them an immensely disturbing air.

...interesting. Not sure I'd call this Base Class material though: the concept is extremely narrow. It feels more like a template or a monster from this description. However, if you do this very well, you should be able to pull it off.


Religion: Medicine Men are the only true worshipers of Ka-Dul which is a shadowy creature in a multiverse so far away that even devoting their entire lives to it none could reach Ka-Dul, and knowing this none attempt to do so. Despite this Ka-Dul is slowly devouring the plane of shadow binding all multiverses together. fortunately (yet unfortunately to the Medicine Men) Ka-Dul will not reach anywhere close to the material plane within hundreds of generations of Medicine Men, though they still feel Ka-Dul's slow approach throughout their many millennia long lifespan.

I have an intense dislike for this, because you're binding it exclusively to the class. I would be much more interested in this god as a suggestion, perhaps with a description and write-up for use in other campaigns. It could also make a fairly interesting Vestige, if you felt like writing it up as one of those.

Otherwise I don't like being forced by the flavor of a class into using a specific thing. I don't know why I need an inordinately powerful McGuffin GodMonster in my campaign world in order to use this class.


Other classes: as the cleric is the glue holding the party together and everyone's friend, Medicine Men tend to unnerve the party and cause severe agitation. This is because in a room of the creepiest adventurers in the aria Medicine Men would still appear disturbing.

So why does a party want one of these things? This is less of a design problem and more just honest curiosity. What will this contribute to the average adventuring party, and how will it contribute to general fun at the gametable?


Clas skills
Skills: Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Intimidate, Spellcraft, Gather Information, knowledge (The planes), knowledge (Religion), Desipher Script, Bluff
skill points at first level
(2+int modifier)x4

skill points at each additional level
2+int modifier

Looking further down the class, I can see it can't normally communicate. Why, therefore, does it have Decipher Script, Bluff, Knowledge (Religion), Gather Information and Diplomacy, all of which either require the ability to communicate, the ability to read, or a studied knowledge of religion? The flavor behind the class make it seem like all of these things should be alien for it: I'm surprised it's even literate.

Finally, skills are typically listed in alphabetical order, with the relevant ability modifier in parenthesis behind them: Bluff (Cha), for example, or Knowledge (the planes) (Int).



medicine men are proficient with daggers and light armor (though they seldom bother with either).

Only daggers? Odd choice. Not necessarily bad, but definitely very unusual.




Warped speech due to the alterations to their anatomy they are only physically capable of one language, but they can get the gist of any language that they hear for a short while,allowing them to understand any languages after hearing it a bit. As a result they tend to need a medium to translate for whomever happens to be talking to them. The one language they do speak is called "The Whisper of Ka-Dul", Ka-Dul is their deity and an immensely powerful creature capable of crushing gods, far enough away that they only get as much power from their deity as others can give. The language it's self consists of many low moans and screeches which settle into the background unnerving all who hear them. This is their native language that no other spices can naturally imitate, and when intentionally directed at undead it's meaning slowly sinks into their bones chilling them more than death its self had, such that slowly the meaning becomes clear to them.

More flavor being forced on us here. While it isn't bad, it does make me less inclined to ever let this class see play: this ability especially, while flavorful, makes the class incredibly difficult to work into a campaign world, and especially an adventuring party. It can't function in a normal society: it's only means of communication unnerves people (apparently...there is no mechanical effect associated with it, which is fine).

I'd much rather this not be A: their only means of communications, and B: flavored to be so supernaturally unnerving. Both those things make this untenable in most campaign worlds.


rebuke undead as of 1st level Medicine Men can rebuke and command undead as evil clerics.

Alright. We're starting on our Necromancer feel. Cool.


Greater gravesEvery two levels A Medicine man may control an extra HD of undead per level of Medicine man, at level 16 a Medicine Man is able to command HD of undead equal to its Charisma modifier times its level in Medicine Man, for a minimum of seven times it's Medicine Man level.

This ability can be nicely simplified by cribbing the Dread Necromancer's ability: it basically just sets Undead control to 4 + Charisma modifier HD worth of undead creatures per class level when using Animate Dead, rather than the usual 4, and 2 + Charisma modifier HD worth of undead creature per class level when using Control Undead. Give it a bit after level 1 (Dread Necromancer uses level 8, as even weak minions get overpowering in large numbers in the early levels), and you save yourself both bookkeeping and table clutter. It's a much simpler and more elegant way to achieve a similar end result.


Plentiful gravesEvery three levels a Medicine Man gains an additional 3+Cha mod uses of Rebuke undead per day.

GAH!?! :smalleek:

This is rather insane. Rebuking can be used to power some insane Divine feats. I hope there's a damn good reason you're giving this much potential power.


spells: Medicine men prepare spells through channeling negative energy into a deceased body with HD equal to or greater than the spell level of the desired spell. Through this process all but the skull withers into dust, and within the skull resides the ball for negative energy that is the fully prepared spell. The skull must be commanded (through the rebuke undead ability) in order to be cast, therefore excess spells can be prepared in order to be commanded later. In many regards Commanding the skull it's self is preparing the spell, and sculpting the necromantic energy within the skull could be seen as scribing a spell into a spellbook for a single future casting.(just another way to view it to help people get it). Each spell has HD equal to its spell level, 5 Hp/HD and 5 hardness. The skull is consumed in the casting. Level 0 spells count as half HD. Also when the skulls are broken they release a negative energy burst equal to 1d8/spell level damage. A Medicine Man can only create or command spells of a spell level equal to or less than half their class level, and to all others the skull acts an an immobile undead of it's HD until broken. This process takes ten minutes per spell prepared. Furthermore a medicine man's spells cannot be cast if commanded through the features of another class.

This is awesome and incredibly unique. However, it would gain a lot from two things.

First, although requiring you to command the skull is cool, losing it isn't that big a deal, and helps you return to reasonable amounts of Rebuke attempts. This is especially because the HD of the spells is soon vastly surpassed by the average check, to the point where requiring Rebuke attempts is meaningless.

Secondly, there's one issue with this: by destroying bodies to power each spell you cast, you're ultimately either reducing your ability to cast spells or reducing your ability to have undead minions. As the class has a focus in both aspects, forcing it to have one at the expense of the other seems like a poor design. I'm not sure quite how to fix this issue.

Finally, the ability needs rewording, as I'm not ENTIRELY sure how the average day of spellcasting is supposed to function. Clarify it a bit, and make sure that the average reader can tell exactly how the ability is supposed to function.


Lift Undead: At 5th level they gain the ability to 'lift' one undead. This number than progresses to 5 at 10th level and henceforth doubles at level 15 and 20, and every five levels thereafter, such that at level 25 it may lift 40 undead. "Lifting an undead" allows medicine men to channel negative energy through other bones making the equivalent of swords and shields out of different bones rather than making spells out of the creature's skulls. This too consumes the body and the swords/shields have 5 HP/HD of the body used over the same time frame a creating spells. The swords deal 1d6 damage per round and have DR5/-, keep in mind this is less health and attack than a skeleton of any HD would do so long as they are at least medium size. The shields have DR10/- and can lock on to any one creature (one per shield) and wield themselves to deflect any attack that creature may perform. /both can move at a speed of 20 ft per turn (though attacking or blocking is regarded as a swift action of sorts since any skeleton could move as fast and still attack (or move double that). Each such one counts as one lifted undead and their HD is taken from the total one could command with the animate dead spell. This ability allows it to survive a more forward roll despite its lowered con and d4 HP. All lifted undead must stay within 60í of the Medicine Man, or instantly be destroyed. Lifted undead follow the Medicine Man through any travle magic as if they were its own limbs. Spells may also be lifted, but they may only be cast within the Medicine Manís space square.

...so do these swords automatically hit, and do these shields automatically prevent damage? If so, this thing can potentially deal 10d6+ damage to anything automatically each round (not overpowered in and of itself, but still pretty good if it doesn't require an action, or requires one Swift action to make all the attacks...it's unclear quite how it works), and blocking 10+ attacks outright is insanely overpowered in all ways.

So do these require rolls? Can they be attacked? What are their defenses? Do they count as HD of controlled undead? If so, how many?

I don't really like this ability. It's potentially cool, but in practice it seems like it will bog down play with dozens of tiny things that may or may not occupy space, may or may not be attacked separately, and are generally more trouble than they're worth.

Have you considered making a scaling Swarm of undead creatures that serves a similar purpose, but can be treated as a single entity instead, or a non-creature based ability that is flavored as being animated bones without requiring such extensive bookkeeping? Both seem like superior alternatives.


unnatural life: At level seven Medicine Men become immune to poison, sleep, disease, and death effects (they don't sleep and they eat through preparing their magic (see below)), they can see in any darkness, as they adapt to death. Medicine Men are negative energy creatures that count as neither alive nor undead.

Define what a "negative energy creature" is (I assume you mean "healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy") and this is fine.


raise the grave: A Medicine Man of level seven can summon the dead. Focusing for ten minutes the Medicine Man can call one long forgotten humanoid corpse with HD equal to half the Medicine Man's hit dice to him wherever he is.

...is the corpse still dead? If so, it technically doesn't have HD. I think a better phrasing might be this:

By focusing for ten minutes, a Medicine Man of seventh level or higher can summon forth a long-forgotten corpse from the bowels of the earth. At the end of the ritual, a humanoid corpse unearths in a square adjacent to him. This corpse may be the corpse of any LA +0 Humanoid.

If raised as an undead, the Medicine Man may treat this corpse as having any number of Hit Dice, up to a maximum of half his class level.

A Medicine Man may only use this ability when a square adjacent to him is exposed dirt, gravel, or other natural, non-solid terrain.

[/quote]eyes of the dead: A Medicine Man of eighth level can use his lift undead ability to cause a body to shatter into countless shards before restitching it's self together through the power of the necromantic flows that surround Medicine Men. Rather than regaining it's initial form the corpse instead forms into four skeletal ravens per HD of the initial corpse, all ravens count only towards a single use of lift undead, though their HD come from the animate dead limit. These ravens can fly freely within 15'/HD of the Medicine Man, and while they cannot attack, the Medicine Man sees all that these ravens see.[/quote]

Interesting. I rather like this, although, like many of your abilities, you should revise this with clarity of rules in mind. Does this use normal Skeletal Raven statistics? I doubt it, since they can't attack. How exactly do these things work?


Crypt of the Dead At ninth level the Medicine Man gains the ability to as a standard action open or close the gates to his own crypt. This functions similar to the Mageís Magnificent Mansion spell, except that the medicine man may not enter the mansion, only interacting with it through the commanding of undead. This crypt is used to store both corpses and undead minions that are not immediately requires. While a Crypt of the Dead can only exist within 60' of the medicine man, they are commonly summoned during combat to allow the Medicine Man's hordes to rise from nowhere to its aid.

...are you aware you just gave a 7th level spell as an at-will ability to a 9th level character? This is insanely powerful: as written, the Medicine Man can't enter it, but his allies CAN. Just cut the Magnificent Mansion ability, and make this an effective extradimensional space where he can store undead. Alternatively, make it a basic summoning effect or sometime similar. The spell description being in the ability is making this needlessly complex if all you want is a way to summon his armies.


Guardian of the crypt One's crypt is not something to be left unguarded. At eleventh level a Medicine Man can set one of its undead minions to guard its crypt. This undead gains turn immunity, two extra HP per hit die of the undead, and the ability to receive commands telepathically within 120' as a free action. This undead is also bound to the crypt existing only when the crypt exists, and it may not travle more than 60' from the crypt at any time.

Is this necessary? It seems that one can summon/banish the Crypt at will, meaning protecting it isn't much of an issue. I'd rather see this removed, and the Crypt ability cleaned up to make this not necessary.


The Hounds of Death: None truly escape death, and it's hounds will ever chase those that do. At thirteenth level a Medicine Man gains the ability to use the Eyes of the Dead ability to create hounds instead. Rather than four ravens/HD of the corpse, the Medicine Man may now call one skeletal wolf per two HD of the corpse consumed in this ritual. Skeletal wolves created in this manner are called the Hounds of Death. As a standard action the Medicine Man may name one creature deaths chosen, and the hounds will give chase, avoiding all other targets, but ruthlessly attacking any obstetrical that they can not maneuver around. The Hounds of Death do not count against any HD limits on undead commanded, as such things are never truly controlled, and any Medicine Man can only sustain twice their charisma modifier of such hounds at a time. The hounds of death gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage roll for each other Hound of Death that was sent with them, though those sent by another Medicine Man do not give any bonus. At level 21 this bonus doubles.

Don't include things about levels over 20 in Base Classes. Leave that for any Epic rules you need to have. Also, at this level, skeletal wolves are nothing more than funny hairless mooks. So it's a fun and flavorful ability, but ultimately pretty useless.


Marionette of Living Undeath A Medicine Man of level 14 gains the ability to place undeads back into their lives. The undeads forget their deaths, and all thereafter resuming life as if they had never died. Any who see the must make a spot check DC20 in order to determine that something is wrong, and a spot check DC 30 to see that they are indeed undeads. This ability instantly fails if applied to those more obviously undead such as sectors or skeletons.

Interesting. What counts as a non-obvious undead? Also, anyone interacting with them on a regular basis will discover pretty quickly that something is wrong: DC 20 can be achieved 5% of the time with no modifier, after all.


Aura of Hanging Death: At sixteenth level an image of death its self hovers over the Medicine Man. This image gives undeads within a hundred feet a +1 moral bonus on attack and damage rolls. The living on the other hand feel the crushing despair of their doom and take a -1 moral penalty to attack and damage rolls. Medicine Men may suppress and activate this ability as a free action.

A Medicine Man's allies must not like him much. :smallfrown:

Interestingly, this also affects the Medicine Man. Was this intended?


Shadows From Beyond: A Medicine Man of level 17 can make the undeads he commands seem ore numerous than they truly are. This is not so much an illusion as that the veil between life and death grows thinner around a Medicine Man, allowing normal people to see the dead whenever they see the undead. This ability causes any attempt to attack an undead within sixty feet of a Medicine Man prone to a 50% miss chance. (This does not apply to shields created through the lift undead ability)

...50% miss chance out of nowhere? :smalleek:

Interesting ability, I suppose. I just worry about the power of this when you consider the several high-HD bruiser undead this necromancer might have with him. Still, at the moment, I guess I'll call it fine for level 17.


Eye of death Medicine Men can see death. At level 18 Medicine men can see both how far people are from death as well as how much power they hold over it. This ability functions similarly to the Power Sight spell depicted in Masters of the Wild, except that it is always active, and also tells the Medicine Man how many tenths of their total HP creatures have.

Masters of the Wild is an old 3.0 book, and many people don't have access to it. What does the spell do, approximately? I don't know off the top of my head. I'd either write out a rough explanation, or use a different spell as a basis.


bone-clusters On the battlefield sometimes numbers aren't enough. Sometimes one needs deception. At level 19 Medicine Men gain the ability to create bone clusters, and at any one time a Medicine Man can have one Bone Cluster per ten points of charisma modifier. A Bone Cluster is in fact much as it sounds. In combat Medicine Men appear as clusters of bones with all the skeletons circling about them, and a bone cluster is much the same. Bone clusters are replicas of all the skeletons controlled around the Medicine Man by lift undead. At the center is a zombie of the Medicine Man's exact appearance and HD. Bone clusters take 48 hours to make, though this may be done in parts so long as it sums to the full 48 hours.

I do not understand this ability at all. Are you saying you look so much like a cluster of bones that you make another cluster of bones to pretend to be you? That seems rather silly to me, especially since you'd notice that it doesn't move the same way...

Does this bone cluster take up actual space? Does it have health and defenses? Can it make attacks? There are so many holes in this ability that it effectively needs a complete rewrite.


Death is no reprieve When a Medicine Man of level 20 or higher dies it's presence does not simply vanish from the earth, it's vary consciousness sinks into all those under it's command allowing it to command them all as part of it's body, even better in death than in life. The Medicine Man cannot be brought back to life by any means, nor can its soul be sealed until all of the undead are killed.

...my character is dead and now I'm playing a bunch of weak minions until all of them are dead? I'd happily take a level of Fighter over this class feature. At least the capstone feat will be useful.



(All spells with light cast an eerie purple light which I for got to state above is also the color of their eyes, but their eyes don't glow. They are also hare less.)


It is necessary to the class that you dictate spell visuals, hair, and eye colors to the potential players of said class? :smallconfused:


[CENTER]******

Conclusion and Analysis

You have some interesting ideas here. The casting mechanic is fun, but the potential for going nova with the corpses of a town and unloading dozens of 9th level spells without an effective limit is worrying. There are a number of elements of the class that I almost liked, but your mechanical implementation severely weakened in my eyes.

I feel you really need to sit down and decide why this is a base class, and whether or not, as a base class, you need to consider broadening the concept to be more inclusive. I think it might be to the class's benefit to be broader, and have a specific Prestige Class attached.

Regardless, you have some serious editing to do before I'd come close to calling this finished. Its casting and its undead controlling are at odds (since both use up the bodies of enemies), and most of the meaningful abilities aren't fully realized mechanically. Either really re-read and re-analyze your creation, or find yourself a decent editor on these forums or elsewhere who can help you get your ideas into shape: there are spelling and grammar errors throughout this creation and, while that is not a major issue, it does make your already poorly detailed abilities that much harder to comprehend.

There's some potential here, but you need to do some hard work to make it shine.

Hope this helped.

-The Djinn

drack
2013-02-06, 08:26 PM
Guess I'll go for bold, and break the quote script such that it isn't un-quotable.[QUOE=Djinn_in_Tonic;14663455]Alright! Comments and critique, as pormised!
Cooleo


...interesting. Not sure I'd call this Base Class material though: the concept is extremely narrow. It feels more like a template or a monster from this description. However, if you do this very well, you should be able to pull it off.
Perhaps. In general it's more a common background element than anything, though will concede that it sounds almost like a race. Initially when I posted it on the forums it was a race/class. Sort of like a monster class, but without the focus on ability scores. As at the tie this was a radical idea that nobody was all that comfortable, it switched back to a base class.


I have an intense dislike for this, because you're binding it exclusively to the class. I would be much more interested in this god as a suggestion, perhaps with a description and write-up for use in other campaigns. It could also make a fairly interesting Vestige, if you felt like writing it up as one of those.

Otherwise I don't like being forced by the flavor of a class into using a specific thing. I don't know why I need an inordinately powerful McGuffin GodMonster in my campaign world in order to use this class.
Hmm. Well the initial idea was that back when I was doing pen and paper writeups for this chain nearly a decade ago it was to be a god with nine aspects, and these classes for each aspect. The "god monster" as you put t was going to be in truth a giant tree of every element that were in truth a single tree, though viewed as decided to those perceiving them from other realms. This was to be a creature powerful enough that it's influence reached many worlds beyond it's own, and that with even a lifetime of traveling (note how long their lifetimes are), one would be unable to reach it. There were various other aspects of this "god monster" that came into play, but when I typed them up the first time, they ended up distracting from the class it's self, so I got rid of most of it, deciding that it might be better to simplify it to this.

Medicine men are old beyond time, from another world, have a religious furor to spread the teachings of an odd god that nobody has heard of, and are overall a bit out of place. You know, in order to make it more general use.


So why does a party want one of these things? This is less of a design problem and more just honest curiosity. What will this contribute to the average adventuring party, and how will it contribute to general fun at the gametable?
They have healing, can fill a necromancy roll, and for that alone they make more sense in a party than an ozodrin, or some form of plane of madness monster that people play all the time these days :smalltongue: Fluff-wise they fill a similar roll with a more undeathy tone.


Looking further down the class, I can see it can't normally communicate. Why, therefore, does it have Decipher Script, Bluff, Knowledge (Religion), Gather Information and Diplomacy, all of which either require the ability to communicate, the ability to read, or a studied knowledge of religion? The flavor behind the class make it seem like all of these things should be alien for it: I'm surprised it's even literate. Read it more carefully. It understands, not speaks with the living. the dead can understand it normally, it has spells with which to communicate, and it can communicate using an undead as a medium.

Finally, skills are typically listed in alphabetical order, with the relevant ability modifier in parenthesis behind them: Bluff (Cha), for example, or Knowledge (the planes) (Int).
Ah, thank ye.


Only daggers? Odd choice. Not necessarily bad, but definitely very unusual.
Both because they're not a bad weapon, and because they have the more occultist ton to them where one might expect them in blood rights and the like.



More flavor being forced on us here. While it isn't bad, it does make me less inclined to ever let this class see play: this ability especially, while flavorful, makes the class incredibly difficult to work into a campaign world, and especially an adventuring party. It can't function in a normal society: it's only means of communication unnerves people (apparently...there is no mechanical effect associated with it, which is fine).

I'd much rather this not be A: their only means of communications, and B: flavored to be so supernaturally unnerving. Both those things make this untenable in most campaign worlds.
Truly? I've found it rather easy to integrate in the past. :smallconfused:


Alright. We're starting on our Necromancer feel. Cool.
Yup


This ability can be nicely simplified by cribbing the Dread Necromancer's ability: it basically just sets Undead control to 4 + Charisma modifier HD worth of undead creatures per class level when using Animate Dead, rather than the usual 4, and 2 + Charisma modifier HD worth of undead creature per class level when using Control Undead. Give it a bit after level 1 (Dread Necromancer uses level 8, as even weak minions get overpowering in large numbers in the early levels), and you save yourself both bookkeeping and table clutter. It's a much simpler and more elegant way to achieve a similar end result.
Admittedly it stems from there but this helps balance the power on the spell system so that you can't have a mountain of spells at low levels. :smallwink:


GAH!?! :smalleek:

This is rather insane. Rebuking can be used to power some insane Divine feats. I hope there's a damn good reason you're giving this much potential power.
Honestly I play clerics often, and could do much better were I just after attempts. (Then again I shun nightsticks for their inefficiancies, so I may not be the right person to talk to about this...) No, these are here because one is required for every spell/day that the medicine man prepares, and casters generally have lots of spells/day. :smallcool:


This is awesome and incredibly unique. However, it would gain a lot from two things.
pray tell
First, although requiring you to command the skull is cool, losing it isn't that big a deal, and helps you return to reasonable amounts of Rebuke attempts. This is especially because the HD of the spells is soon vastly surpassed by the average check, to the point where requiring Rebuke attempts is meaningless. Incorrect. Rebuking perhaps, but in order to command an undead one must have a rebuking level equal to or greater then twice the HD of that which they want to command. As such first level they can command level 0 spells, level 2 they can command level 1, level 4 they can command level 2, and so on. you'll note that they can also command skulls to prepare spells mid day to add versatility to compensate for this loss.

Secondly, there's one issue with this: by destroying bodies to power each spell you cast, you're ultimately either reducing your ability to cast spells or reducing your ability to have undead minions. As the class has a focus in both aspects, forcing it to have one at the expense of the other seems like a poor design. I'm not sure quite how to fix this issue.
Yes and no. In general it does mean that the character is encouraged to have a means of trucking bodies, and getting them, though for low level spells a graveyard of commoners will suffice, and at higher levels they get an ability that eliminates this disadvantage.
Finally, the ability needs rewording, as I'm not ENTIRELY sure how the average day of spellcasting is supposed to function. Clarify it a bit, and make sure that the average reader can tell exactly how the ability is supposed to function.
Yeah, I've tried a few times... can't really think of a better way to reword it, any advice.


...so do these swords automatically hit, and do these shields automatically prevent damage? If so, this thing can potentially deal 10d6+ damage to anything automatically each round (not overpowered in and of itself, but still pretty good if it doesn't require an action, or requires one Swift action to make all the attacks...it's unclear quite how it works), and blocking 10+ attacks outright is insanely overpowered in all ways.
Note that they're essentially refluffed/glorified skeletons. They are offered a bit of versatility, but otherwise all their stats can be generated the same way. The skulls are the same way.

So do these require rolls? Can they be attacked? What are their defenses? Do they count as HD of controlled undead? If so, how many?
above
I don't really like this ability. It's potentially cool, but in practice it seems like it will bog down play with dozens of tiny things that may or may not occupy space, may or may not be attacked separately, and are generally more trouble than they're worth.
Same could be said of the standard skeleton you create with animate dead. Still granting yourself cover from a given creature, or bringing some concealed attack minnions in somewhere is handy at worst.
Have you considered making a scaling Swarm of undead creatures that serves a similar purpose, but can be treated as a single entity instead, or a non-creature based ability that is flavored as being animated bones without requiring such extensive bookkeeping? Both seem like superior alternatives.
This is when you just animate a bigger one the same way as most necromancers do anyways... :smalltongue: In essence this ability is one of the two things that allows this kind of caster to survive close combat despite having d4 HD :smallwink: It may seem an odd place for a pure caster class, but it provokes interesting ideas, does it not?


Define what a "negative energy creature" is (I assume you mean "healed by negative energy and harmed by positive energy") and this is fine.
yup


...is the corpse still dead? If so, it technically doesn't have HD. I think a better phrasing might be this:
you have a point here. Will change it to a creature that once had RHD____ since it's really RHD that counts once it's dead anyways.

Interesting. I rather like this, although, like many of your abilities, you should revise this with clarity of rules in mind. Does this use normal Skeletal Raven statistics? I doubt it, since they can't attack. How exactly do these things work?
Nope, you were right the first time. All the same stats, they just lack the ability to attack. :smallwink:


...are you aware you just gave a 7th level spell as an at-will ability to a 9th level character? This is insanely powerful: as written, the Medicine Man can't enter it, but his allies CAN. Just cut the Magnificent Mansion ability, and make this an effective extradimensional space where he can store undead. Alternatively, make it a basic summoning effect or sometime similar. The spell description being in the ability is making this needlessly complex if all you want is a way to summon his armies.
Probably a good idea. Plus I had sort of forgotten the food/servants that accompany it at the time. I recall there was a spell more like what I was thinking way back when, but people are like not to recognize it, so I suppose I'll just go with extra-dimensional space.


Is this necessary? It seems that one can summon/banish the Crypt at will, meaning protecting it isn't much of an issue. I'd rather see this removed, and the Crypt ability cleaned up to make this not necessary.
This is partially there to give them a more bulky warrior since spells and smaller undeads eat up HD rather easily with this class. Note that the Crypt can't be open far away from the Medicine Man anyways.


Don't include things about levels over 20 in Base Classes. Leave that for any Epic rules you need to have. Also, at this level, skeletal wolves are nothing more than funny hairless mooks. So it's a fun and flavorful ability, but ultimately pretty useless.
Yup. If you look most of the abilities from the ravens to the dogs is more fluff then mechanics. You know, more a fun and balanced class then a powergaming class.

Anywho you really think it's worth making a whole epic section for the one half a line? :smallconfused::smalltongue:



Interesting. What counts as a non-obvious undead? Also, anyone interacting with them on a regular basis will discover pretty quickly that something is wrong: DC 20 can be achieved 5% of the time with no modifier, after all.

True, I had been thinking of jacking this up, but I'm still somewhat unsure what would be a fare range. I mean it could always default back to 10+class level+cha mod or something I suppose...

Anywho non-obvious. It's pretty hard for a decapitated skull hovering in the air to pretend to be farmer Joe. A zombie or something like a visage, wraith, or even a demilich making use of alter self could probably pass as farmer Joe, the stranger passing through, his cat, and his the farmhand Raynold.



A Medicine Man's allies must not like him much. :smallfrown:

Interestingly, this also affects the Medicine Man. Was this intended?
Yup, though it's suppressible. As I said mostly for fun. :smalltongue:


...50% miss chance out of nowhere? :smalleek:

Interesting ability, I suppose. I just worry about the power of this when you consider the several high-HD bruiser undead this necromancer might have with him. Still, at the moment, I guess I'll call it fine for level 17.
Yup, though by this level it's not uncommon to be sightless in some form be it magical darkness, mist, or a blizzard. :smalltongue:


Masters of the Wild is an old 3.0 book, and many people don't have access to it. What does the spell do, approximately? I don't know off the top of my head. I'd either write out a rough explanation, or use a different spell as a basis.
Just gives you level or HD of those seen.


I do not understand this ability at all. Are you saying you look so much like a cluster of bones that you make another cluster of bones to pretend to be you? That seems rather silly to me, especially since you'd notice that it doesn't move the same way...

Does this bone cluster take up actual space? Does it have health and defenses? Can it make attacks? There are so many holes in this ability that it effectively needs a complete rewrite.
you make a "cluster of bones", or a small group of undeads in the likeness of you and the small horde that follows you through class abilities (hounds, birds, swords, shields, with a zombie in the center that looks like you that you can command around. This, as a whole looking much like the skeletal things floating about a medicine man. you'll notice that many of the abilities don't allow the undead to go far from the medicine man...


...my character is dead and now I'm playing a bunch of weak minions until all of them are dead? I'd happily take a level of Fighter over this class feature. At least the capstone feat will be useful.
You have seen the kinds of horde that those of this level commonly command right? I mean I'll admit I've intentionally crippled this class' abilities in that area to balance the spell mechanics, but for necromancers their undeads are commonly stronger then them to a large extent, and are only at a disadvantage were that to face off in that necromancers are designed as much to kill undeads as to command them, and both these elements help in such a conflict.


It is necessary to the class that you dictate spell visuals, hair, and eye colors to the potential players of said class? :smallconfused:
Yes because a ray of holy light is so much more fitting? :smallconfused: Mate, wizards already dictates spell visuals. If you're gonna deviate from that, you can deviate from this just as easily.


******

Conclusion and Analysis

You have some interesting ideas here. The casting mechanic is fun, but the potential for going nova with the corpses of a town and unloading dozens of 9th level spells without an effective limit is worrying. There are a number of elements of the class that I almost liked, but your mechanical implementation severely weakened in my eyes.
In what way?
I feel you really need to sit down and decide why this is a base class, and whether or not, as a base class, you need to consider broadening the concept to be more inclusive. I think it might be to the class's benefit to be broader, and have a specific Prestige Class attached.
There are specialize base classes out there mate, both in wizards and in homebrew. no need to be so biased about the scope of applications.
Regardless, you have some serious editing to do before I'd come close to calling this finished. Its casting and its undead controlling are at odds (since both use up the bodies of enemies), and most of the meaningful abilities aren't fully realized mechanically. Either really re-read and re-analyze your creation, or find yourself a decent editor on these forums or elsewhere who can help you get your ideas into shape: there are spelling and grammar errors throughout this creation and, while that is not a major issue, it does make your already poorly detailed abilities that much harder to comprehend.

The abilities are at odds because the system was not designed to be used for casting, and these balance it without crippling it, making it not worth perusing both avenues, or unbalancing the class and allowing people to as you say, run around with endless level 9 slots. The spell selection was decided with this in mind, though as a result it does make it harder to be a successful necromancer without these staple spells, and as such balances have been made.



Hope this helped.

-The Djinn[/QUOTE]
[B]Honestly though I am a bit disappointed at the degrading nature of some of the remarks. I've found that it generally doesn't hurt to go three rounds with the brewer when critiquing homebrew so that you better understand the nature of it before forming an opinion of it as a whole, else you are just stabbing yourself in the foot with an intentionally misinformed judgement. Now I'll admit I myself have some of that overpowering nature since I've Dmed some pretty big epic games and maintained balance, but it is a good habit to temper it when giving advice. :smallwink: After all I've always seen the brewing boards more as a place where the brewer and another discus the class for a while, supporting each other and offering advice such as "there's no apostrophe in its in this context.", or "I would add "per an attack" onto that one so that someone doesn't apply that bonus fifty times to the attack." rather then comment such as "find yourself a decent editor" and the overall tone of hating on the fluff just because it constrains character concepts. I mean after all all classes have that. :smallbiggrin:

Hope this helps.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2013-02-06, 11:33 PM
Honestly though I am a bit disappointed at the degrading nature of some of the remarks. I've found that it generally doesn't hurt to go three rounds with the brewer when critiquing homebrew so that you better understand the nature of it before forming an opinion of it as a whole, else you are just stabbing yourself in the foot with an intentionally misinformed judgement. Now I'll admit I myself have some of that overpowering nature since I've Dmed some pretty big epic games and maintained balance, but it is a good habit to temper it when giving advice. :smallwink: After all I've always seen the brewing boards more as a place where the brewer and another discus the class for a while, supporting each other and offering advice such as "there's no apostrophe in its in this context.", or "I would add "per an attack" onto that one so that someone doesn't apply that bonus fifty times to the attack." rather then comment such as "find yourself a decent editor" and the overall tone of hating on the fluff just because it constrains character concepts. I mean after all all classes have that. :smallbiggrin:

My apologies. My suggestion to find an editor was purely one of reading comprehension: you are dealing with complex abilities, and thus ease of readability is an issue. That shouldn't be taken as personal criticism: many of the greatest authors required editors to make their ideas accessible. It's one of written implementation, not a comment on you or the quality of your ideas. I'm sorry if you took that statement in a way it wasn't intended. :smallfrown:

As for the acerbic nature of my criticism: I tend to be a bit blunt. I'll critique small mechanical additions and fixes when I see the need for them (recommending the removal of the Magnificent Mansion spell in favor of other, less confusing wording, for example), but I will paint in broader strokes when I feel they are necessary. Note that if I didn't see merit in the class, I wouldn't bother to post at all: a comment from me, even if it seems abrasive, means that either my presence was specifically requested or that I like the creation and want to see it perfected.

I also see the boards as less of a place for "here is a minor error to fix" and more a place of "Hm. Nice idea. Let's implement this better, because X, Y, and Z are issues, and A, B, and C could be more interesting." I guess I'd always rather have people tear into my creations and pull out their guts, so I can put them together to be better than before. When people start nit-picking details like limits on uses and apostrophe placement, I know I'm close to having a finished product, because it means they're not finding other things to be issues. Apologies again if I'm overstepping my bounds by trying to do the same for others. :smallfrown:

Anyway, serious apology time over. On to class discussion!


*****

General Thoughts (No Mechanics)
So that was indeed an initial conclusion: I do stick around, but I feel it worth summarizing my initial thoughts. Now that I've seen your response and some reasoning, I can dig my teeth into it a bit more. :smallbiggrin:

On Ka-Dul: I would recommend putting this in a sidebar, so DMs can feel free to use or ignore it at their leisure. No abilities in the class seem inextricable from the concept, so making it optional but including the full flavor will give DMs some great ideas without making them seem mandatory for the class. I also really recommend making or finding someone to make a Vestige of this class, as that really fits the "Distant Powerful Entity" concept and will make Ka-Dul that much easier to fit into a campaign.

Don't get me wrong: it could be a pretty cool concept. Making it mandatory, however, does severely limit the class's potential to fit multiple archetypes. Without that specific tie-in, you've got the initial draft of a really unique tribal Necromancer, and I'd play that up: this class can be what you imagine it to be and a tribal Necromancer that can fit into campaigns that don't want to touch Ka-Dul. :smallbiggrin:

On Specific Fluff: The fluff you have is quite interesting. However, as I said above, Iíd dial this back to ďTribal NecromancerĒ because the only Ka-Dul specific class feature you have is Warped Speech. We can definitely keep that feature, but I think the class can be improved by expanding it and having the focused nature (which will still retain the Ka-Dul flavor) be a DM option. More players will be interested, and those that like Ka-Dul as well can pick up that aspect by reading the sidebar on the figure. Thoughts? I think it will make for a stronger, more versatile class in the end.

On a Possible Name Change: Maybe rename it from Medicine Man to something a bit darker: a Medicine Man was typically a spiritual healer and often clan wise man (or even clan leader). This class seems darker and less social, so the name is a bit deceptive: Iíd expect a Medicine Man to have buff spells, weather manipulation, and healing, along with some Divination and nature magic. If weíre looking at potential name changes, Iíd guess that Witch Doctor, Dark Shaman, and other such names might be more evocative of this classís focus.


*****

Mechanical Implementation

Mechanical Core
Iíd recommend buffing the Hit Dice to d6 or even d8, since our guy is a tough, monstrous son-of-a-gun with a high Fortitude save. Iíd probably even give him the Clericís Base Attack Bonus, because this seems like a guy who could be wading into melee, even if heíd rather avoid it.

Warped Speech
Alright. First thoughts: this ability is cool. Second thoughts: this ability makes interaction with the game world extremely difficult. Thirdly, not all players will enjoy having physical alterations forced upon them, especially if these make communication difficult. I think we can find a middle ground that allows for this sort of role-playing opportunity for those who wish to only use Warped Speech, while still allowing other players who prefer to be less insular to interact more with the world at large.

Iíd strongly consider the following changes:

Warped Speech (Ex): Medicine Men learn the primal language of the deadóa guttural, howling, screaming language that mortal tongues find nearly impossible to replicate. When a Medicine Man speaks in the Warped Speech, they are incomprehensible to all but other Medicine Men and the undead. It costs 2 skill points for another creature to learn to understand the Warped Speech, and a further 2 skill points for another creature to learn to speak the Warped Speech. This is an exception to the usual rule that understanding, written proficiency, and verbal proficiency in a language can be purchased for 2 skill points.

Animals will not willingly approach within 30 feet of a creature intoning in the Warped Speech, and must succeed on a Will save (DC 15) to do so if forced to approach (or if the speaker approaches them). On a failed save the animal is panicked, and it strives to leave the area as quickly as possible.

Undead suffer a -1 penalty to attack rolls against creatures intoning in the Warped Speech, as the language of death itself enforces its will upon them.

Many Medicine Men are so ostracized from society that they forget all languages aside from the Warped Speech, but exceptions abound.

With this, the ability has an effect (albeit a minor, flavorful one), but players are free to communicate if theyíd prefer to play the character that way. Our flavor line at the end tips the player off that ďHey! It might be fun to play someone who has forgotten other languages!Ē to the idea is in their minds, but it doesnít demand it of them.

Greater Graves
This ability should be standardized one way or the other. If you donít like the way the Dread Necromancer did it, Iíd try this:


Greater Graves (Ex): At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20), a Medicine Man may control one extra HD of undead per level of Medicine Man, to a maximum of an additional 10 HD of undead per level of Medicine Man. This does not allow any undead to surpass his normal maximum HD limit for a single controlled undead.

This simplifies it a bit by removing the ability change at level 16, although the value remains roughly equivalent with the expected Charisma increase over 20 levels. Itís a change for clarity that has very little mechanical effect, although it helps us balance edge cases where races with templates end up stacking huge Charisma bonuses and getting out of control. In short, itís now simpler and consistent, without altering the power or balanced except in edge cases. :smallbiggrin:

Rebuke Undead and Casting
Iíd really recommend that you divorce casting from Rebuking undead. You have an awesome casting idea, but tying it to other mechanics is making it far clunker than it needs to be. Additionally, Rebuking attempts tie into a bunch of other mechanics that, ideally, we donít have this class power-gaming. The easiest way to do that is to change how itís casting works so it can have a normal amount of Rebuke attempts. We also eek a second advantage in now spellcasting doesnít have to track spells, Rebuking attempts, Rebuking checks, skull minions, and HD of undead controlled (thatís 5 separate things to track just for spellcasting!).

Hereís a suggested fix:


Spells (Sp): Medicine Men prepare spells by channeling magical energy into a deceased body with HD equal to or greater than the spell level of the desired spell. The body targeted must have belonged to a living, non-outsider creature with an Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma score, or have belonged to an undead (mindless or otherwise) created from such a creature: while a Medicine Man could utilize the body of a human or a humanoid zombie, he could not use the body of a plant, construct, ooze, elemental, or outsider.

A Medicine Man casts spells from the Medicine Man spell list, and is considered to know every spell with a spell level equal to or less than half his class level (rounded down, minimum 1).

As a standard action, a Medicine Man may perform a quick ritual to bind a spell he knows to the skull of a creature with HD equal or greater than the spell level in question, creating a Totem*. A Totem is a shrunken skull that contains a single use of the spell in question. Treat each Totem as an Undead creature with HD equal to the level of the contained spell (minimum Ĺ for 0th level spells): these HD count against the limit of controlled undead a Medicine Man typically has. Each Totem is otherwise treated as an item that has 5 HP per level of the spell contained and 5 hardness.

As a Swift action, a Medicine Man can conjure all his existing Totems to himself, causing them to swirl around his body. Only when his Totems are active may he command them to unleash their effects.

Commanding a Totem to unleash a spell requires a standard action on the part of the Medicine Man. Treat the Medicine Man as the caster of the spell. The save DC against a Medicine Manís spells is 10 + spell level + the Medicine Manís Charisma modifier.

*Note that the use of this ability does not destroy the body: the body of a creature whose skull has been used as a Totem focus can still be animated as any form of undead that does not require a head to function. This is typically limited to Skeletons and Zombies, but other forms of undead may be permissible pending DM approval.

This ability is now separate from Rebuking undead: you can automatically cast spells youíve gathered, but only if youíve actually killed enemies. Itís simpler, but retains the same flavor and benefits from being easier to run at the table, and having less to track. You also donít lose the bodies: while you can only make mindless minions (and you might have wanted more powerful minions), you at least get some utility in having a few headless zombies in your legion. Now youíve still got a choice (spells vs. more powerful minion potential), but itís a less painful choice (and it leads to the cool flavor of a caster who uses the skulls of his enemies, surrounded by the headless animated corpses of said enemies).

Thoughts?

Lift Undead
Alright. This one is a bit complicated. Iíd recommend abstracting this one for clarity, and so you have fewer minions types to track: tracking a number of minions is hard enough. If youíre willing to sacrifice exact mechanics for a similar flavor, Iíd recommend simplifying it to something like this:


Whirling Bones (Su): A Medicine Man of 5th level and higher can conjure a swirling cloud of bones to surround himself and lash out at his enemies. He may command these bones to be offensive or defensive at his choosing. It requires a Swift action to conjure the bones in either mode, and an additional Swift action to change their form.

Offense: The bones ravage the Medicine Manís enemies, dealing damage equal to his class level to any creature who damages him in melee combat. Additionally, once per round as a standard action, the Medicine Man may fire a lance of bone at a creature within 60 feet. This is a ranged touch attack that threatens a critical hit on a roll of 20. If it hits, the target takes Xd6 damage, where X is the Medicine Manís class level.

Defense: The bones deflect incoming attacks, granting the Medicine Man a +X bonus to Armor Class, where X is 1/5th his class level (rounded down, minimum 1). Additionally, once per round as an immediate action, the Medicine Man may grant himself DR equal to his class level against any single attack.


The disadvantage is that you probably lose some damage. The advantage is that your allies have more room to move, you donít need to track 20+ minions who follow different rules, and you donít need to remember which shields are attacked to who, and how and/or when they move. You also donít use up precious HD of controlled undead. All in all, while this fix may not work for you, I think it captures a similar feel in a simpler manner, and you may want to consider something like it.

Again, not confident this one works, but I think itís at least a slight improvement.

Raise the Grave
Weíve already discussed this one: I donít think I need to go over it again. :smallbiggrin:

Crypt of the Dead
Other than our discussed alteration, Iíd actually recommend bumping this up to be a more core ability. I just like the idea. I might consider actually leaving the visual blank though: some players might like a crypt, but I personally like the idea of a legion of undead magically crawling up from the floor.


*****


Iíll write more later if this was helpful/interesting/insightful/at all useful, but I think thatís a lot of text to digest just now.

That said, I noticed something potentially crucial: [b]This class cannot make undead until it gets Animate Dead.[b] You might want to fix that, as a bunch of its low-level abilities are useless until you get that spell. It could also use a bit of early level love, as those first few levels are sadly lacking.

Iíd also consider removing a lot of the Save-or-Die spells from its list at higher levels, and giving it more ritualistic and/or utility spells: I think that fits the theme of someone who is primarily an undead-controller, but binds spells to skulls to cast them. Somehow ritualistic spells seem to fit better than blasty-death spells. But your mileage may vary.

drack
2013-02-07, 09:48 AM
Same style

My apologies. My suggestion to find an editor was purely one of reading comprehension: you are dealing with complex abilities, and thus ease of readability is an issue. That shouldn't be taken as personal criticism: many of the greatest authors required editors to make their ideas accessible. It's one of written implementation, not a comment on you or the quality of your ideas. I'm sorry if you took that statement in a way it wasn't intended. :smallfrown:
Nah, were it a professional career or the like I would probably agree, though as far as I have heard there aren't many editors running around the boards, and then they are they aren't as much requested by players as they are people who happen upon their homebrew and point out all the errors, so the comment it's self comes off as less productive when you conciser that finding an editor it's elf in such circumstances proves unlikely. After considering the unlikelihood of such a solution being found it remains as just a comment on the errors with little in the way of useful information off which said errors can be fixed.
As for the acerbic nature of my criticism: I tend to be a bit blunt. I'll critique small mechanical additions and fixes when I see the need for them (recommending the removal of the Magnificent Mansion spell in favor of other, less confusing wording, for example), but I will paint in broader strokes when I feel they are necessary. Note that if I didn't see merit in the class, I wouldn't bother to post at all: a comment from me, even if it seems abrasive, means that either my presence was specifically requested or that I like the creation and want to see it perfected.
I know, and honestly I'm the same way. (even more so for the fact that I've had to read through and brutally hack out all the broken mechanics of several hundred homebrew in the last few months alone for a quite large epic game I've been running. That bit was more advice for when dealing with the more in regards to that people can take a vary hostile approach to it, or sort of crumple under it. Neither of which ends all that productively.
I also see the boards as less of a place for "here is a minor error to fix" and more a place of "Hm. Nice idea. Let's implement this better, because X, Y, and Z are issues, and A, B, and C could be more interesting." I guess I'd always rather have people tear into my creations and pull out their guts, so I can put them together to be better than before. When people start nit-picking details like limits on uses and apostrophe placement, I know I'm close to having a finished product, because it means they're not finding other things to be issues. Apologies again if I'm overstepping my bounds by trying to do the same for others. :smallfrown:
Nah, it's cool mate. More just general advice. :smallbiggrin:

Anyway, serious apology time over. On to class discussion!


*****

General Thoughts (No Mechanics)
So that was indeed an initial conclusion: I do stick around, but I feel it worth summarizing my initial thoughts. Now that I've seen your response and some reasoning, I can dig my teeth into it a bit more. :smallbiggrin:
As is ever the case

Switching to purple with all the bold around here
On Ka-Dul: I would recommend putting this in a sidebar, so DMs can feel free to use or ignore it at their leisure. No abilities in the class seem inextricable from the concept, so making it optional but including the full flavor will give DMs some great ideas without making them seem mandatory for the class. I also really recommend making or finding someone to make a Vestige of this class, as that really fits the "Distant Powerful Entity" concept and will make Ka-Dul that much easier to fit into a campaign.
Truth be told I wrote this class up before vestiges were thought up, and in honesty I don't like them that much...
Don't get me wrong: it could be a pretty cool concept. Making it mandatory, however, does severely limit the class's potential to fit multiple archetypes. Without that specific tie-in, you've got the initial draft of a really unique tribal Necromancer, and I'd play that up: this class can be what you imagine it to be and a tribal Necromancer that can fit into campaigns that don't want to touch Ka-Dul. :smallbiggrin:
Yup, like the hand of Thorm spell (who is this obscure god "Thorm" that I have to worship to use this cool spell), or the countless PRCs. Why o I even need to be illiterate as a barbarian, it'd be so cool to have a barbarian wizard or a holy paladin that kicks children. Unfortunately just as the Medicine men draw their strange powers from a strange god Ka-Dul, Hand of Thorm doesn't work without a Thorm for the spell to have been made under, and a barbarian needs all his focus on skull bashing, and the paladin from their sense of justice. Is the whole nature constraint too much for a druid? :smalltongue:
On Specific Fluff: The fluff you have is quite interesting. However, as I said above, Iíd dial this back to ďTribal NecromancerĒ because the only Ka-Dul specific class feature you have is Warped Speech. We can definitely keep that feature, but I think the class can be improved by expanding it and having the focused nature (which will still retain the Ka-Dul flavor) be a DM option. More players will be interested, and those that like Ka-Dul as well can pick up that aspect by reading the sidebar on the figure. Thoughts? I think it will make for a stronger, more versatile class in the end.
Perhaps, but in truth other features such as the spell system also rely on Ka-Dul. You know, the whole channeling a massive amount o necromantic energy to the extent that it consumes most of the body allowing you to prepare a spell, ect. In essence Ka-Dul is as much it's source of power as any other god is to a cleric.
On a Possible Name Change: Maybe rename it from Medicine Man to something a bit darker: a Medicine Man was typically a spiritual healer and often clan wise man (or even clan leader). This class seems darker and less social, so the name is a bit deceptive: Iíd expect a Medicine Man to have buff spells, weather manipulation, and healing, along with some Divination and nature magic. If weíre looking at potential name changes, Iíd guess that Witch Doctor, Dark Shaman, and other such names might be more evocative of this classís focus.
Witch doctor would probably fit it, but if you glance at the spell list they do have all the standard PHB heal spells. I'll admit I've been meaning to rework that list to be more up to date, but they do heal quite well. I'll admit I kinda like calling them Medicine Men as much to see what players will do with it as to name it. As such I ended up with medcine man between the two.

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Mechanical Implementation

Mechanical Core
Iíd recommend buffing the Hit Dice to d6 or even d8, since our guy is a tough, monstrous son-of-a-gun with a high Fortitude save. Iíd probably even give him the Clericís Base Attack Bonus, because this seems like a guy who could be wading into melee, even if heíd rather avoid it.
I'll admit the main reason why I didn't do this was because you have to remember that the ability to use the shields to give yourself full cover allow for an extra bump in HD from minions. As such I'm not all that sure they'll need more HP. But hay, if you still think so, sure.
Warped Speech
Alright. First thoughts: this ability is cool. Second thoughts: this ability makes interaction with the game world extremely difficult. Thirdly, not all players will enjoy having physical alterations forced upon them, especially if these make communication difficult. I think we can find a middle ground that allows for this sort of role-playing opportunity for those who wish to only use Warped Speech, while still allowing other players who prefer to be less insular to interact more with the world at large.

Iíd strongly consider the following changes:


With this, the ability has an effect (albeit a minor, flavorful one), but players are free to communicate if theyíd prefer to play the character that way. Our flavor line at the end tips the player off that ďHey! It might be fun to play someone who has forgotten other languages!Ē to the idea is in their minds, but it doesnít demand it of them.
I had that in there as a price to pay for the power. Overall I prefer it as it is. If they wish to play without it they can ask their DM when they request the class to drop the ability, or they can rely on a translator or a spell like tongues when they get to that level.
Greater Graves
This ability should be standardized one way or the other. If you donít like the way the Dread Necromancer did it, Iíd try this:



This simplifies it a bit by removing the ability change at level 16, although the value remains roughly equivalent with the expected Charisma increase over 20 levels. Itís a change for clarity that has very little mechanical effect, although it helps us balance edge cases where races with templates end up stacking huge Charisma bonuses and getting out of control. In short, itís now simpler and consistent, without altering the power or balanced except in edge cases. :smallbiggrin:
Nah the way that I have it is the best way to balance it so far. Think of it like how monks ignore falling damage from set distances until they can fall any distance.
Rebuke Undead and Casting
Iíd really recommend that you divorce casting from Rebuking undead. You have an awesome casting idea, but tying it to other mechanics is making it far clunker than it needs to be. Additionally, Rebuking attempts tie into a bunch of other mechanics that, ideally, we donít have this class power-gaming. The easiest way to do that is to change how itís casting works so it can have a normal amount of Rebuke attempts. We also eek a second advantage in now spellcasting doesnít have to track spells, Rebuking attempts, Rebuking checks, skull minions, and HD of undead controlled (thatís 5 separate things to track just for spellcasting!).

Hereís a suggested fix:



This ability is now separate from Rebuking undead: you can automatically cast spells youíve gathered, but only if youíve actually killed enemies. Itís simpler, but retains the same flavor and benefits from being easier to run at the table, and having less to track. You also donít lose the bodies: while you can only make mindless minions (and you might have wanted more powerful minions), you at least get some utility in having a few headless zombies in your legion. Now youíve still got a choice (spells vs. more powerful minion potential), but itís a less painful choice (and it leads to the cool flavor of a caster who uses the skulls of his enemies, surrounded by the headless animated corpses of said enemies).

Thoughts?

Hmm, may take your advice on some of the formatting, still not really liking the change to mechanics much, nor the totem bit. Note that this includes the body bit as it makes it really that much more of a choice to the caster if they want that high level spell, or that bulky minnion.

Lift Undead
Alright. This one is a bit complicated. Iíd recommend abstracting this one for clarity, and so you have fewer minions types to track: tracking a number of minions is hard enough. If youíre willing to sacrifice exact mechanics for a similar flavor, Iíd recommend simplifying it to something like this:



The disadvantage is that you probably lose some damage. The advantage is that your allies have more room to move, you donít need to track 20+ minions who follow different rules, and you donít need to remember which shields are attacked to who, and how and/or when they move. You also donít use up precious HD of controlled undead. All in all, while this fix may not work for you, I think it captures a similar feel in a simpler manner, and you may want to consider something like it.

Again, not confident this one works, but I think itís at least a slight improvement.
Well I'll give you this much. With this fix I would defiantly need to bump up the HD... still it looks to me to be going in the other direction. Not only are we making it a warlock on steroids, but we're removing it's heaviest defenses which commonly acts as a check on it's casting ability.

As to the room to move and tracking, they cannot leave said radius, and I think I should clarify in text that they move relative to the medicine man... Anywho allies can pass through friendly spaces.

Raise the Grave
Weíve already discussed this one: I donít think I need to go over it again. :smallbiggrin:

Crypt of the Dead
Other than our discussed alteration, Iíd actually recommend bumping this up to be a more core ability. I just like the idea. I might consider actually leaving the visual blank though: some players might like a crypt, but I personally like the idea of a legion of undead magically crawling up from the floor.
I'd agree. I had been following the ling of thought that many cultures have different "crypts" be it being buried under a tree where an opening might form to a large tree about which undead rise from the ground to emerge to even a simple coffin. Should probably make that bit clear.

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Iíll write more later if this was helpful/interesting/insightful/at all useful, but I think thatís a lot of text to digest just now.

That said, I noticed something potentially crucial: [b]This class cannot make undead until it gets Animate Dead.[b] You might want to fix that, as a bunch of its low-level abilities are useless until you get that spell. It could also use a bit of early level love, as those first few levels are sadly lacking. Yes and no. you'll notice the spellcasting lets you make skulls at the time. they can be used for summon undead I if you need actual minion, or can be used for casting other spells. Casters are renown for weakness at low levels, so if anything I think it rather strong at those levels considering how any spell it can cast. (a few over the norm)

Iíd also consider removing a lot of the Save-or-Die spells from its list at higher levels, and giving it more ritualistic and/or utility spells: I think that fits the theme of someone who is primarily an undead-controller, but binds spells to skulls to cast them. Somehow ritualistic spells seem to fit better than blasty-death spells. But your mileage may vary.
Gonna have to agree here. Been meaning to get around to reworking the list. It's just that it's a whole day projet to dig through all the newer books.

May also be worth nothing here that over the years I've had a solid few comments on the class (this is the third thread in which I've posted it to prevent necromancy), and often Ill get conflicting viewpoints. Just the other day I was PMed by someone who was saying how much they liked many of the abilities you suggest changing, and how others you like aren't as good. Overall it's just one of those classes that people disagree on. Still it's nice to get input, and there's always something else to change.

On another note I was playing an epic one of these recently and noticed how significantly my horde was lacking when compared with a mainstream one. As such I'm considering one of three things. 1) On a high level add an ability that lets them control more, limited to non-spell undeads gained through the rebuke undead feature. 2) Expand on the crypt idea to add "dormant undeads" that are made/commanded/ect beforehand, and can rise as command HD frees up. 3) Add an epic progression after all shuffling some stuff there, and make a nice bundle of new abilities with it. Thoughts?

Djinn_in_Tonic
2013-02-07, 11:02 AM
Well, I hope I was somewhat helpful. After two posts of having all major suggested changes dismissed with effectively an "I like it how it is" (often without an acknowledgement of why I might have suggested a change) however, I feel I have nothing more to contribute. I do not feel the class is polished enough to start minor nit-picking, and thus I have nothing to say after my analysis, reasoning for changes, and suggested alterations have all been summarily dismissed.

Hopefully someone else can offer you more advice. You and I clearly have different ideas of what make for good mechanics, and what makes for a good base class. I feel the class is still a mechanical (and, in some cases) balance nightmare, and I cannot in good conscious attempt to fix minor issues when I see glaring mechanical and conceptual ones. That said, that is, of course, my opinion.

Good luck in finishing this class up!

drack
2013-02-07, 01:42 PM
Ah, my apologies for that. Which would you prefer explained. The refluffing bit is mostly just as simple as that every class has their own fluff, and just as I don't see for instance the elemental class fluffed/having the mechanics to throw hellfire or pure divine energy, I fail to see why I should take away flavor just to appeal to a wider crowd.
The Whispers of Ka-Dul are part of this, and beyond that I've seems a few minor one that I've agreed with as well as ones commenting they the class has abilities all clawing for a place (which I have explain is a balancing factor, as were any sacrificed for another by the player it would weaken the character as a whole, and therefore be fail-powergaming if used as such), and suggestions to remove the complicated mechanics which would in many ways unbalance it. For instance the lift dead simplification that lets it either use an invocation for twice the damage of a warlock invocation, or get a half decent AC bonus. Still AC isn't HP, and while it would let it either be an unbalanced blaster, or a decent tank, it looses that element of being a flimsy caster, yet able to charg into combat with your undeads as your only shield. The replacing spellcasting with totems does a few thing. First it removes much of the fluff through two mechanisms. First the word makes everyone think totem barbarian. Now I see why you'd think that a fitting name, but you're thinking that because you're thinking of it as a tribal caster, not as a caster that lives that much closer to necromantic energies and death. Second by allowing them to be instantly summoned out of mid air there is no longer that element of being constantly surrounded by death that the class had before. In terms of mechanics themselves it removes the decision between higher level spells or stronger minions when you do kill a big monster which is one of the many things that limits this class (and intentionally so I might add as necromancy will ever give you plenty of minions, hence why so much competition for the HD spaces is introduced. The flavor of the spell creation (body burning, ect) is lost. Beyond all that my only complaint would be that shrunken skulls are tiny and unintimidating :smalltongue: (though thet may not be a bad idea for larger skulls... On the other hand having a dragon skull as large as you from which you cast your spells... I could see that one going either way. :smalltongue:)

Still not really sure which ones you want elaboration on... :smallconfused:

Edit: Whoops, came out as wall of text. :smalltongue: Sorry.