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View Full Version : Shell Master [Fantasy-approriate mech class] [3.5]



Admiral Squish
2013-04-20, 07:00 PM
Shell Master

"I'm a seven-foot man in a five-eight body."- Erick Olafsson.

Hit Die: d6
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+0|+0|+0|Shell, Shell Trait

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+0|Shell Trait

3rd|+2|+1|+1|+1|

4th|+3|+1|+1|+1|Shell Trait

5th|+3|+1|+1|+1|Bulky Shell

6th|+4|+2|+2|+2|Shell Trait

7th|+5|+2|+2|+2|

8th|+6|+2|+2|+2|Shell Trait

9th|+6|+3|+3|+3|

10th|+7|+3|+3|+3|Hulking Shell, Shell Trait

11th|+8|+3|+3|+3|

12th|+9|+4|+4|+4|Shell Trait

13th|+9|+4|+4|+4|

14th|+10|+4|+4|+4|Shell Trait

15th|+11|+5|+5|+5|Looming Shell

16th|+12|+5|+5|+5|Shell Trait

17th|+12|+5|+5|+5|

18th|+13|+6|+6|+6|Shell Trait

19th|+14|+6|+6|+6|

20th|+15|+6|+6|+6|Towering Shell, Shell Trait
[/table]
Skill Points: 4+int (x4 at first level)
Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge, Listen, Profession, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble.


Shell (Su):
A shell is a manifestation of the shell masterís soul, an aura given physical presence. Some scholars say that the shell is manifested as it is because the personís soul is actually too big for their body. Some say the shell is manifested because a shell master has excessive magical power but no outlet for it, and the form mirroring the shell masterís own is the easiest to form. Others say the shell masters are being of great power, reincarnated as smaller creatures, such that their essence leaks out to form these shells.

A shell is a separate entity from the shell master, but the two are intricately linked. Any spell, magic item, ability, or other effect that affects the shell master affects the shell, but the shell master can choose to block any effect that affects the shell from passing from the shell back to them. The shell is a construct of sorts, called into being by the shell master and mirroring him closely. The shell has the same base ability scores as the shell master, though they are mindless, and, as constructs, have no constitution score. A shell is treated as having HD equal the shell masterís shell master level, and maximum HP equal to twice the shell masterís maximum HP. As a mindless creature, it does not gain skill points or feats and cannot gain class levels. A shell cannot take actions on itís own. The shell master can take no physical actions, though they can speak through their shell. To move the shell requires a full-round mental action each turn, which grants the shell one round of actions. The shell uses the shell masterís BaB, skill ranks, and feats. It may also use the extraordinary special abilities and attacks of the shell master, provided it is physically capable of doing so. The shell is the same size as the shell master, and moves at the same base land speed. All shells have a slam attack that deals 1d4 points of damage. At first level, the shell master selects the shell type, the basic material their shell is made of.

While a shell is active, it encases the shell master. The shell master can perceive the world through the shell perfectly and has no need to breathe while within his shell. The shell provides total cover to the shell master. This blocks line of effect, meaning the shell master cannot be targeted or affected by attacks or most spells. The largest exception to this is that while a shell is a construct and is thus not subject to critical hits, a critical threat is still rolled for confirmation. A successful critical hit deals the attackís normal damage to both the shell and the shell master, but does not trigger any special abilities that would normally activate on a critical hit, such as a flaming burst weaponĎs extra damage.

A shell master can summon his shell as a full-round action, or dismiss his shell as a move action. In some cases the shell simply shimmers into existence. Sometimes it surges out from the shell master. Sometimes, the shell is created from nearby materials. In all cases the effect is the same. The shell master can create or dismiss their shell at will, but all status effects on the shell remain static. For example, dismissing and reforming a shell does not dismiss a negative spell or ability affecting the shell, or reset the shellís HP. While dismissed, spells and effects affecting the shell wear down their durations as normal.

A shell can wield weapons and wear armor, but the weapons and armor must be sized appropriately. A suit of armor or a shield worn by the shell master does nothing for the shellís AC. A shell master with a sizing weapon or suit of armor can resize their equipment to fit the shell as part of the action used to summon their shell.

If a shell is reduced to 0 HP, it is immediately dismissed. It does not break, but it goes dormant for one hour. After that hour, it can be summoned again, but it has only 1 HP. It can be repaired normally from there.

Shell Traits:
At first level, a shell master selects the type of shell they manifest and their fist shell trait. They gain another shell trait at every even-numbered level.
Shell traits are permanent, and cannot be changed once selected. Unless otherwise noted, a shell master cannot select the same shell trait more than once.

Bulky Shell (Ex):
At 5th level, a shell increases in size and mass enough that it slightly increases in size. The physical stature of the shell lets it function in many ways as if it were one size category larger than the shell master. Whenever the shell is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the shell is treated as one size larger than the shell master if doing so is advantageous to him. A shell is also considered to be one size larger than the shell master when determining whether a creatureís special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect them. A shell can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger than the shell master without penalty. However, the shellís space and reach remain those of a creature of the shell masterís size. The benefits of this ability stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subjectís size category.
The shell gains a +2 size bonus to strength. The shellís slam attack deals 1d6 damage now. A shell master can always choose to summon a Basic Shell instead of a Bulky Shell.

Hulking Shell (Ex)
At 10th level, a shell increases even more in size. The shell becomes one size category larger than the shell master. The benefits of this larger size do not stack with Bulky Shell. Your size bonus to strength increases to +4, and you take a -2 size penalty to dexterity. The shellĎs land speed increases by 10 feet. The shell gains a second slam attack. A shell master can always choose to summon a Basic Shell or a Bulky Shell instead of a Hulking Shell.

Looming Shell (Ex)
At 15th level, a shell becomes larger still. The shell becomes two size categories larger than the shell master. Itís size bonus to strength increases to +6, and the size penalty to dexterity remains at -2. The shellís land speed increases by 20 feet. The shellís slams deal 1d8 damage now. A shell master can always choose to summon a Basic Shell, Bulky Shell, or Hulking Shell instead of a Looming Shell.

Towering Shell (Ex)
At 20th level, a shell becomes larger still. The shell becomes three size categories larger than the shell master. Itís size bonus to strength increases to +8, and the size penalty to dexterity increases to -4. The shellís land speed increase by 30 feet. The shellís slams deal 2d6 damage. A shell master can always choose to summon a Basic Shell, Bulky Shell, Hulking Shell, or Looming Shell instead of a Towering Shell.



-------------------------------------------
Shell Types

Solid:

A solid shell is the strongest type of shell, made of solid, heavy materials. A solid shell offers great strength and protection, but itís slower than other shells. A solid shell can be made of any solid material, ranging from traditional stone or metal shells to shells of ice, wood, glass, or crystal.

{table=head]Level|Str|Dex|Nat. Armor|Special
1-3|+2|-2|+2|Heavyweight
4-7|+4|-2|+4| DR 1/Adamantine
8-11|+4|+0|+6| DR 2/Adamantine
12-15|+6|+0|+8| DR 3/Adamantine
16-19|+6|+2|+10| DR 4/Adamantine
20|+8|+2|+12|DR 5/Adamantine
[/table]

Heavyweight:
A solid shell is extremely heavy. This weight decreases the shellís speed as though it were wearing heavy armor. The shell gains a +4 bonus on ability checks to resist bull rush or trip attempts while standing firmly on the ground.

Damage Reduction:
A solid shell is tough and hard to damage. The shell gains damage reduction as indicated on the table. This damage reduction is subtracted from any physical attack made against the shell. Attacks with adamantine weapons do not have their damage reduced.


Liquid:

Liquid shells are flexible and flowing. Theyíre made of non-solid materials, and while theyíre not as strong or tough as solid shells, theyíre certainly powerful, and theyíre a good balance between strength and speed. Liquid shells can be made of water, or they can be made from more exotic materials, like oil, ooze, or blood.

{table=head]Level|Str|Dex|Nat. Armor|Special
1-3|+0|+0|+1|Swim
4-7|+2|+2|+2| DR 1/-
8-11|+2|+4|+4|
12-15|+4|+6|+6|DR 2/-
16-19|+4|+8|+8|
20|+6|+6|+10|DR 3/-
[/table]

Swim: Liquid shells gain a swim speed equal to the shell masterís base land speed. The shell gains a +8 racial bonus to swim checks made to perform a special action or avoid a hazard, and can always take 10 on swim checks, even if rushed or threatened.

Damage Reduction: Liquid shells are easy to hit but hard to really damage. The shell gains damage reduction as indicated on the table. This damage reduction is subtracted from any physical attack made against the shell. No material or weapon type overcomes this damage reduction.


Gas:

Gas shells are extremely quick and mobile, able to dance lightly over the ground, and eventually lift completely off the ground, soaring the skies. Gas shells can be elemental air, or storm clouds, smoke, or even poisonous gasses.
{table=head]Level|Str|Dex|Nat. Armor|Special
1-3|+0|+2|+1|Float
4-7|+0|+4|+2|Protective Winds I
8-11|+2|+6|+3| Flight I
12-15|+2|+8|+4| Flight II
16-19|+4|+10|+5| Protective Winds II
20|+4|+12|+6| Flight III
[/table]

Float: A gas shell is extremely light, floating about a foot off the ground. The shell ignores difficult terrain, and can even float over the surface of water. However, a gas shell takes a -8 to ability checks made to resist bull rush and trip attempts.

Protective Winds: A gas shell is in turmoil, the substance churning constantly. At 4th level, these winds extend beyond the shell itself, protecting it. Any ranged projectile attack made against the shell has a 20% miss chance. This miss chance does not apply to heavy projectiles, such as thrown weapons or a giantís boulders, and it does not protect against magical attacks, like a scorching ray spell (unless the spell creates physical projectiles). At 16th level, the miss chance increases to 50%.

Flight: Gas shells eventually lift completely from the ground. At 4th level, a gas shell gains a fly speed of 30 feet with perfect maneuverability. At 12th level, this fly speed increases to 60 feet. At 20th, it become 120 feet.


Energy:

Energy shells are widely-varied, composed of forces, not materials. Energy shells can be divine avatars formed from holy power, living infernos, shimmering force, solid light, living shadow, or any other force.
{table=head]Level|Str|Dex|Nat. Armor|Special
1-3|+0|+0|+1|Energy Affinity
4-7|+2|+2|+2| Tempered Shell
8-11|+2|+2|+4| Energy Affinity II
12-15|+4|+4|+6| Tempered Shell II
16-19|+4|+4|+8| Energy Affinity III
20|+6|+6|+10|Energy Immunity
[/table]

Energy Affinity: An energy shell is composed of some sort of energy, which gives it a measure of resistance against that type of energy. At first level, you select an energy type. You gain a +2 bonus to saves against associated effects. At 8th level, this bonus increases to +4, and at 16th level, this bonus increases to +6.
Acid: Acid damage, spells with [acid] descriptor
Cold: Cold damage, spells with [cold] descriptor
Electricity: Electricity damage, spells with [electricity] descriptor
Fire: Fire damage, spells with [fire] descriptor
Negative: Negative energy effects, special abilities of undead creatures
Positive: Positive energy damage, special abilities of deathless creatures
Shadow: Spells with [darkness] descriptor, spells of the (shadow) sub-school
Light: Spells with [light] descriptor, spells of (pattern) sub-school.
Arcane: Arcane spells, spell-like abilities that imitate arcane spells
Divine: Divine spells, spell-like abilities that imitate divine spells

Tempered Shell: A shell becomes in tune with itís energy source at 4th level. Some abilities, spells, and effects that attempt to affect the shell simply have no effect. If a shell makes a successful save against a spell or effect that they gain their energy affinity bonus on, that has a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a reflex save for half damage), the shell does not take the lesser effect, completely resisting the ability.
At 16th level, a shell only takes the lesser effect, even if they fail their save.

Energy Immunity: At 20th level, an energy shell is so in tune with itís energy source that it becomes immune to all effects mentioned under itís energy type.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-20, 07:01 PM
Shell Traits:

{table=head]Name|Benefit
Crystal Shell| Shell acts as a cognizance crystal, storing up to 1 PP/level
-Deep Crystal| Shellís natural attacks are treated as Deep Crystal, and the shell can use power points stored in it to charge them.
-Negating Crystal| Shell gains PR 10+level
-Amplifying Crystals| Shell increases the DC of any psionic power manifested within it by 1.
Ice Shell|Shell gains [Cold] Subtype
-Ice Stride|Shell can glide through ice and snow at half speed
-Ice Glide|Shell can glide through earth or stone at full speed
Iron Shell| Shell gains +4 armor bonus
-Thick Plate| Shell gains +8 armor bonus
-Ancient Plate| Shell gains +12 armor bonus
-Adamantine Shell| Shellís DR becomes /-, natural weapons are treated as adamantine.
Stone Shell|Shell gains [Earth] Subtype
-Earth Stride|Shell can glide through earth or stone at half speed
-Earth Glide|Shell can glide through earth or stone at full speed
Wood Shell|Shell heals naturally.
-Livewood Shell| Shell gains fast healing 1 while active[/table]

Water Shell
Ooze Shell
Oil Shell
Blood Shell

Wind Shell
Cloud Shell
Smoke Shell
Mist Shell

Divine Shell
Fire Shell
Force Shell
Light Shell
Shadow Shell

Rock Hurling
Weapon Limb
Corrosive Touch
Shocking Touch
Searing Touch
Frozen Touch
Magic Resistance
-Reflective Shell
Damage Reduction
Reaching Limbs
Engulf
Venom Touch
Blinding Touch
Energy Resistance
-Energy Immunity
Wings

Admiral Squish
2013-04-21, 04:43 PM
So, yeah. Not exactly sure where the idea came from, but I really like the idea of characters who are protected by shells of various materials. I like mechs, I like superheroes like Armor, or Longshadow, or (the villain)Titan. So I wanted to make a class that would let me play something like that, but something that would fit in your typical D&D setting. So, I'm posting it here to help me come up with details of various traits and suchlike. Plus, the usual reviewing.

EDIT: Come on, nobody? Here's some specific things I'm worried about, maybe that'll get some more review.
I'm thinking that maybe, instead of being your size at level one, it should be powerful build, then large, huge, gargantuan, to colossal at level 20.
Maybe I should add an ability to speed up summoning your shell?
I'm also considering adding some other class features, but I really can't think of anything that fits...

CinuzIta
2013-04-21, 05:39 PM
I like what you've done here, but since I'm not sure on wich style you want these "mechs" to be I can only give you "generical" suggestions. So:

1. What about making them able to carry customizable part on them, like a warforged? Something like an arm bow or a sword attached to their arm or again a case for wands? These improvements could be shaped by the shell master himself when he raise his shell..

2. Mech cores? Something like Adamantium Core [DR from the solid shell doubles or it gain DR as if the shell was a solid one - cannot be applied to Gas shells] or Hydrogen Core [the shell maneuvrability improve by one step (or its fly speed improve) or the shell gain Glide if it's not a gas shell - cannot be applied to Liquid shells]. These cores could come as an amulet that the shell master has to wear (and obviously he can only has one that he has to choose at first level)

3. Maybe some class features that make the shell count as one category lighter for Dex, movement or other purposes?

On a side note, I think that a person used to fight in a giant mech should get full bab

EDIT: in my opinion powerful build at first level instead of the plain medium size would be better!

EdroGrimshell
2013-04-22, 12:24 AM
Thought this would be better than it actually is, honestly. It's nice and gives good bonuses, but making the Shell a separate creature killed if for me. If it were a special suit of armor with an HP Buffer of sorts I think I'd be okay with it, but otherwise the main feature is kinda convoluted.

I DO like the idea. It's just that the way it's executed isn't my favorite.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-22, 01:42 PM
I like what you've done here, but since I'm not sure on wich style you want these "mechs" to be I can only give you "generical" suggestions. So:

1. What about making them able to carry customizable part on them, like a warforged? Something like an arm bow or a sword attached to their arm or again a case for wands?

2. Mech cores? Something like Adamantium Core [DR from the solid shell doubles or it gain DR as if the shell was a solid one - cannot be applied to Gas shells] or Hydrogen Core [the shell maneuvrability improve by one step (or its fly speed improve) or the shell gain Glide if it's not a gas shell - cannot be applied to Liquid shells]

3. Maybe some class features that make the shell count as one category lighter for Dex, movement or other purposes?

On a side note, I think that a person used to fight in a giant mech should get full bab

EDIT: in my opinion powerful build at first level instead of the plain medium size would be better!

Thank you! Your review is most welcome!

1: I wasn't going to go much into the equipment side of things, honestly. I mention that you can get sizing weapons and armor to work with it. But I was also going to create a bunch of traits to imitate weapons. Weapon Hand is already up there on the list of ideas to flesh out.

2: I wasn't going to go with cores, but many traits are going to be first-level-only, allowing you to select the specific material for your shell. I like the ideas you mention, though! Adamantine's already up there.

3: Well, the only shell type that has a weight category is solid. Making a class feature to improve the one specific shell type seems uneven, you know?

As for full BAB, I wasn't sure, you know? You get some pretty serious strength bonuses by progressing through the class, after all. But I suppose the chassis probably should have at least one 'good' progression.

Hmm... Maybe if I put it at 3rd. I mean, powerful build is worth +1 LA on a race, taking shell master as your first level could get it 'cheaper'.


Thought this would be better than it actually is, honestly. It's nice and gives good bonuses, but making the Shell a separate creature killed if for me. If it were a special suit of armor with an HP Buffer of sorts I think I'd be okay with it, but otherwise the main feature is kinda convoluted.

I DO like the idea. It's just that the way it's executed isn't my favorite.

Hmm... Care to elaborate on your thinking? What is a mech if not a seperate entity? I mean, the shell, as it stands, pretty much functions as an extension of your physical body, just with an HP buffer and the ability to prevent effects from passing from your shell to your physical body.

CinuzIta
2013-04-22, 02:19 PM
1-2. Right, seems good!

3. Then a feat maybe?

Mmh, maybe you could change the progression these way medium->powerful build->large, giving the powerful build thing at 3rd level, as you said!

Mmh, other things that come to my mind are "cannons" attacks for the shell, based on their type, like a dragon's breath attack..

Or maybe additional arms or legs for the shell, that can be added via feat or something else

Another thing could be the option of customising the armor of the shell at first level..still taking the warforged as an example here: they have the options of having no armor, a light one or an heavy one so that the player can further improve the shell in the way he prefers more..these way there could be lightly armored solid shells or heavy armored energy shells etc etc..I know that solid shells, for example are already supposed to be tanks while maybe the gas shell is the scout, but who said it must be these way?:p

EdroGrimshell
2013-04-22, 04:10 PM
Hmm... Care to elaborate on your thinking? What is a mech if not a seperate entity? I mean, the shell, as it stands, pretty much functions as an extension of your physical body, just with an HP buffer and the ability to prevent effects from passing from your shell to your physical body.

It's a giant suit of armor that mirrors your movements (as stated in your description). If you leave it as a suit of armor with an added HP Buffer effect and physical bonuses you get the same effect with a less convoluted method of control.