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View Full Version : [DnD 3.5] prestige class: the guy who shoots slowly (PEACH)



Deaxsa
2013-06-06, 01:22 AM
EDIT: almost at 200 views, an i've only got 2 opinions so far. following this pattern, i fully expect another post once i pass 200. who is it gonna be? you? no? how about YOU? yes? maybe? please? (i just want critique :smallsigh:)

EDIT: this has nearOVER 100 pageviews, and i find it very difficult to believe that no one had any opinions on this. if you think it's well made, say so. if you think it's terrible, say so. just looking for second opinions, which i will gladly listen to.

right, so apart from the fact that i do not know what to call this class, ithink i'm pretty much set to have this class looked over by the forums. before we start, i'd like to establish the goals of this class:
- Shoot slowly for high damage, at long ranges
- Acquire targets through fog
- Hit weak spots
- Not much health
- No spells
- Not good at attacking rapidly

i'd also like to establish a couple of things that i would like the most help on:
- how do spot checks work with concealment?
- class skills
- class requirements
- working on the core mechanism (crucial shot) to make it intuitive yet not too representative

ok, so with that out of the way, here's the class:

The Whatever Mist Warden


The WhateversMist Wardens are a group of nature's protectors that live deep in the foggy rainforests of Wherever, and they strike invisibly through the fog at any adversary dull enough to enter the WhateversMist Warden's sacred territory. they exist to protect the powerful Something, and they take their job seriously. most prospective recruits end up dead in the jungles, so most successful recuits(not that there are many) tend to (not surprisingly) be rangers or scouts.

Requirements


- BAB +6
- Weapon Focus (any projectile weapon)
- Able Sniper
- Far Shot
- Spot 9 ranks, Hide 6 ranks
- Special: make peaceful contact with the Mist Wardens

Class Features

- Hit Die: d6
- Saves: High Reflex/Fortitude, low will[I have no clue which saves would be most fitting. yes, it's a dex based class, so i suppose reflex should be high, but what about fort and will? part of me just wants to grant them high reflex/will because mundanes never have enough will...:smalleek:]
- Medium BAB
- Skill points per level: 6+int
- Class Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Hide, Jump, Knowledge [i have no clue, which ones should i have?(nature, geography, anything else?)], Listen, Move Silently, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope.

The WhateverMist Warden
Level|BAB|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special
1st|+0|+2|+2|+0|Long Shot, Piercing Sight, Low-Light Vision, Crucial Shot +1
2nd|+1|+3|+3|+0|Decisive Shot 1/day, Weapon Specialization
3rd|+2|+3|+3|+1|Hunter's Blind
4th|+3|+4|+4|+1|Decisive Shot 2/day
5th|+3|+4|+4|+1|Improved Precise Shot, Crucial Shot +2
6th|+4|+5|+5|+2|Decisive Shot 3/day, Seeking Hunter, Superior Low-Light Vision
7th|+5|+5|+5|+2|Distant Shot
8th|+6|+6|+6|+2|Decisive Shot 4/day
9th|+6|+6|+6|+3|Penetrating Sight, Crucial Shot +3
10th|+7|+7|+7|+3|Decisive Shot 5/day, Power Hunter

Long Shot (Ex) (1st, scaling)
A Mist Warden's base range for any projectile weapon with which it has the Weapon Focus feat increases by 10' per class level.

Piercing Sight (Ex) (1st, scaling)
A Mist Warden gains a bonus to your spot checks equal to its class level.

Low-Light Vision (Ex) (1st, 6th)
A Mist Warden also receives the Low Light Vision Special Quality, if it did not have it already. This improves to Superior Low-Light Vision at 6th level.

Crucial Shot (Ex) (1st, 5th, 9th, scaling)
After having designated and located a target more than 30 from its current position, a Mist Warden may make the following full round action:
1. First, the Mist Warden makes a ranged touch attack using the range and range increments of the weapon it intends to use in step 3. NOTE: this is not an attack with that weapon. (at least, not yet :smallwink:)
2. If it fails, the Mist Warden may try this action again, with a +1 circumstance bonus to the ranged touch attack referred to in step 1. This bonus can stack up to 3 times. If, after 4 rounds, it has not yet 'hit' the target, than you lose all of your circumstance bonuses.
3. After having successfully made a ranged touch attack on the target, the Mist Warden may make a ranged attack roll. Ignore all concealment(including total concealment) the target may have. Add the Mist Warden's class level to the attack roll, and add the Mist Warden's class levels plus Base Attack Bonus to damage.

For this action to work, the Mist Warden must be more than 30 feet from your target to succeed, and you may only make this action with a projectile weapon you have weapon focus in. Should it lose line of sight to the target at any time, the action immediately fails, it loses all circumstance bonuses, and it must regain it to begin once more.

At level 5, the stacking circumstance bonus increases to +2, and then increases once again to +3 at level 9.

Decisive Shot (Ex) (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th)
At level 2, a Mist Warden may choose to designate step 3 of the Crucial Shot as being "Decisive". In this case, it decides to either make that attack as a ranged touch attack, or double all damage should the attack connect. The usage of this ability increases to 2/day at level 4, 3/day at level 6, 4/day at level 8, and 5/day at level 10.

Weapon Specialization (Ex) (2nd)
At 2nd Level, a Mist Warden gains Weapon Specialization, as the feat, in any projectile weapon in which it also has the Weapon Focus feat, even if it does not meet the prerequisites.

Hunter's Blind (Ex) (3rd, scaling)
At 3rd level, a Mist Warden begins adding it's class level to Hide checks as long as it remains stationary. additionally, you only take a -15 penalty to hiding yourself after having made a shot, and you may make this check as a free action if used in conjunction with the Crucial Shot ability. [is the hide check made after making a shot already a free action?]

Improved Precise Shot (Ex) (5th)
at 5th level, a Mist Warden gains the feat Improved Precise Shot, even if it does not meet the prerequisites.

Seeking Hunter (Su) (6th)
Upon reaching 5th level, all projectile fired from weapons in which a Mist Warden has the weapon focus feat fire as if from a weapon with the Seeking Enchantment (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicWeapons.htm#seeking)

Distant Shot (Ex) (7th)
At 7th level, a Mist Warden reduces the penalty received for every range increment by 1/2 for any projectile weapon with which it has weapon focus.

Penetrating Sight (Su) (9th)
Upon Reaching 9th level, a Mist Warden's Vision grows to be so acute it can pierce any type of concealment(but not cover), from any source(even magical).

Power Hunter (Su) (10th)
Upon reaching 10th level, all projectile fired from weapons in which a Mist Warden has the weapon focus feat continue flying in a straight path after having hit a target. Targets in that path are attacked using the same attack roll as the original target; these additional targets gain a +4 bonus to AC for each previous target in the path.


________________________

:smallbiggrin:
Right! so, that's the class, what do you think? i was thinking of adding a tracking element, but i'm not sure i want to do that. or even if i want to keep the Camo/HiPs thing... but the fluff is important, at least for my game. that's why i've got so much "deny cover/concealment" in the class. at the same time, i want to just give them a generic "sharpshooter" feel.(hell, i even wanted it to work in 20 modern) so... i settled for somewhere in between.

edit: to solve the whole "is this a ranger or a hunter or what?" question, what do people think of going for EITHER camo/HiPS OR track/Swift tracker/Woodland Stride?

edit2: decided to dump Camo/HiPS for a bonus to hide checks, as well as improved "auto-enchantments", and to remove cover/concealment for a bonus to re-hide checks, as well as improving damage based on BAB (so it scales better when you are giving up a bunch of attacks)

edit3: gave more uses of Improved Crucial Shot, as well as adding something to indicate when a class feature is received or upgraded in a significant fashion.

edit4: improved punctuation, and moved "seeking hunter" from level 5 to 6 so that 6 was not such a dead leve, also because that's a pretty darn powerful ability.

edit(like 16 or something): Renamed some abilities so everything isn't just "improved" (Imp. Crucial->Decisive, Imp. Long->Distant, Imp. Piercing->Penetrating)

undead hero
2013-06-06, 04:49 AM
Gunner guy who shoots slowly?

The Chair Whisperer!

Errrr...

Deaxsa
2013-06-06, 12:26 PM
Gunner guy who shoots slowly?

The Chair Whisperer!

Errrr...

haha yea... i have no idea what to call this. i guess it depends on the setting. could be "Something(referring to the macguffin they are protecting in the fluff) Warden," or "fog/mist/otherconcealmentword piercer". or something as basic as "long-range ambusher"

edit: screw it, i'm calling it the "Mist Warden". still willing to take other ideas, though.

undead hero
2013-06-06, 10:45 PM
haha yea... i have no idea what to call this. i guess it depends on the setting. could be "Something(referring to the macguffin they are protecting in the fluff) Warden," or "fog/mist/otherconcealmentword piercer". or something as basic as "long-range ambusher"

edit: screw it, i'm calling it the "Mist Warden". still willing to take other ideas, though.

I just couldn't pass up a good chance to reference Clint Eastwood.

Spiryt
2013-06-07, 07:58 AM
Seems pretty balanced to me.

Why no full BaB, though? Seems fitting.

Deaxsa
2013-06-07, 11:00 AM
I just couldn't pass up a good chance to reference Clint Eastwood.

ah, the reference was over my head, i haven't seen much Clint Eastwood


Seems pretty balanced to me.

Why no full BaB, though? Seems fitting.

No full BAB because Crucial Shot adds class level as well as every other modifier to attack, so it already has huge to-hit, additionally, i didn't want this class to be about being having a bunch of attacks, but rather making attacks slowly, which under the right conditions, hit like a truck. I was thinking about lowering BAB progression to low, but that may be overkill. ...should i?

Debihuman
2013-06-08, 06:14 AM
Since most projectile weapons don't make ranged touch attacks, most of what this class does is lost.


After having designated and located a target more than 30 feet from its current position, a Mist Warden may make the following full round action:
1. First, the Mist Warden makes a ranged touch attack using the range and range increments of the weapon it intends to use in step 3. NOTE: this is not an attack with that weapon. (at least, not yet )

If you are using a bow, it's not a ranged touch attack. This lost me.


2. If it fails, the Mist Warden may try this action again, with a +1 circumstance bonus to the ranged touch attack referred to in step 1.

Why do you get a circumstance bonus for missing your target? This makes no sense to me either.

Why waste a full round when you could fire more than once as a standard action?

Debby

Siosilvar
2013-06-08, 11:33 AM
Ugh, per-day abilities.

9th level ability is a bit redundant with Crucial Shot.

Making arrow attacks into lines is a neat idea.


If you are using a bow, it's not a ranged touch attack. This lost me.

Except for the part where it's specifically a ranged touch attack.

Basically the point of that ability is as follows:


Spend 1-4 rounds making ranged touch attacks to designate a target. You gain a scaling circumstance bonus to the touch attacks for each round you spend. The "attacks" do no damage, they're just there to simulate the prep work for sniping.

Once you hit a touch attack, you may make a single attack as a full-round action. On this attack, you ignore concealment and gain large bonuses to hit and damage.

Debihuman
2013-06-08, 06:16 PM
Except you aren't really making a "touch attack" as you are setting up the preparations for making a sniper attack. And you make no allowances for Circumstance bonuses that would make this easier, having a scope (assuming such an item exists). It's clunky.

Debby

TuggyNE
2013-06-08, 06:54 PM
Except you aren't really making a "touch attack" as you are setting up the preparations for making a sniper attack. And you make no allowances for Circumstance bonuses that would make this easier, having a scope (assuming such an item exists). It's clunky.

I gotta agree with this; I'm not a fan of "touch attacks" that aren't actually attacks in any way.

Instead, give a bonus to the attack roll (and possibly crit range/multiplier, at higher levels) that scales with increased prep time up to a certain max. (I suspect sighting for more than 5 rounds gives you no advantage.)

Fizban
2013-06-09, 05:18 AM
Signing up with tuggyne regarding touch attacks that aren't attacks and extending it any attacks that aren't attacks. If the guy shoots slow then I expect him to roll less dice-heck, the reason I'd make a build or brew a class about shooting slow would be specifically so I could play a ranged character that isn't forced to roll a bajillion attacks every round to keep up.

The mechanic you have is essentially "give up an attack at high BAB to gain a bonus on attack and damage for one at low BAB," except it has a lot of confuddled stuff in it. The part about ignoring concealment is cool, except you already had to roll it for the touch attack so it actually does nothing so it doesn't need to be a thing. I don't like it when people assume that touch attacks always hit (because they don't), but it's really a lot easier here if you just assume that they will and cut that whole part out. Secondly, I can't tell how often you actually attack with this. I think it amounts to one attack as a full round action, but if you only get to attack every other round then it's just not worth it unless you're attacking from so far away they can't see you through the spot penalties (a situation I try to avoid giving players after having used it against them once).

The mechanic I've considered for slow or "sniper" archers is as I stated above: make a full attack and give up higher BAB rolls for more damage on the lower ones. The catch is that you have to make it enough damage for it to be worth giving up both a roll and a bonus (giving up lower rolls for a bonus on the higher is just too good). I'd generally start with double, and you can compare that with Manyshot which does double as a standard action at -4. Manyshot's actually better, but you can add more bonus damage or extra effects or whatever to make it useful, I just think that's the best way to model firing slower for more damage. I suppose you could also just make "give up all other attacks and take penalty/gain bonus" if you wanted to have more control over the penalty and let it reduce with level like flurry.

As for the rest of the class, I really think you should read up on what a lot of that stuff does. You have no less than four different abilities allowing you to ignore concealment, with the last not even the most powerful. I'm pretty sure the entire class could be replicated and outpowered by a Fighter going down Weapon Supremacy, Manyshot, and Precise Shot, maybe with a 5 level PrC that gives the same range increase/range penalty reduction (I know there's more than one in setting books), or a level of ranger to activate some 1st level ranger spells for the same benefit.

Deaxsa
2013-06-09, 04:47 PM
Ugh, per-day abilities.
:smalleek: i know, i don't like them either, but i was trying to come up with a way to give the character the ability to say "ok, i'm going to make this REALLY powerful now"


9th level ability is a bit redundant with Crucial Shot.

not really, the one buffs spot checks, the other buffs a shot you already have lined up.


Making arrow attacks into lines is a neat idea.
:smallsmile: yea, one of my old DMs was a huge fan of the "Exit Wounds" enchantment (i must say, so am i)


Except you aren't really making a "touch attack" as you are setting up the preparations for making a sniper attack. And you make no allowances for Circumstance bonuses that would make this easier, having a scope (assuming such an item exists). It's clunky.

Debby

The idea is that you are not taking the shot until you are sure you can make it. also, circumstance bonuses stack, don't they? :smallconfused:


I gotta agree with this; I'm not a fan of "touch attacks" that aren't actually attacks in any way.

Instead, give a bonus to the attack roll (and possibly crit range/multiplier, at higher levels) that scales with increased prep time up to a certain max. (I suspect sighting for more than 5 rounds gives you no advantage.)

i know, it's clunky, but i really want the character doing things during his round. (see next paragraph). what else could i make the character do to simulate the "waiting until i have a real shot to make a shot." i was thinking spot checks vs. AC, but that would be so tough to balance as i want this to be ability that can be used both in tactical AND in plot combat.

the problem with this is that A) if you have a shot, why would you NOT take it, and B) in tactical combat, this would equate to waiting around for X rounds. i do not want it to be a "wait to charge up damage" mechanic. i want this to be viable in tactical combat.


Signing up with tuggyne regarding touch attacks that aren't attacks and extending it any attacks that aren't attacks.
haha, ok. so touch attacks that are not touch attacks is not people's favorite system. :smalltongue:


If the guy shoots slow then I expect him to roll less dice-heck, the reason I'd make a build or brew a class about shooting slow would be specifically so I could play a ranged character that isn't forced to roll a bajillion attacks every round to keep up.
2=/=a bajillion


The mechanic you have is essentially "give up an attack at high BAB to gain a bonus on attack and damage for one at low BAB," except it has a lot of confuddled stuff in it. The part about ignoring concealment is cool, except you already had to roll it for the touch attack so it actually does nothing so it doesn't need to be a thing.
kinda the point, that you line up the shot before you take it


I don't like it when people assume that touch attacks always hit (because they don't), but it's really a lot easier here if you just assume that they will and cut that whole part out.
i didn't, that's why there is a system set up for what happens if you miss the touch attack. also, if i cut that whole part out, then the character has to sit and wait and watch his friends to cool stuff while he.. lines up his shot for 3 rounds. it'd be the same as trying to get a death attack in tactical combat.


Secondly, I can't tell how often you actually attack with this. I think it amounts to one attack as a full round action, but if you only get to attack every other round then it's just not worth it unless you're attacking from so far away they can't see you through the spot penalties (a situation I try to avoid giving players after having used it against them once).
well, yes. if it's a more DEX-y guy then you would probably be better off just using normal attacks. but i DO want this to be comparable to a normal ranged user's damage. (or maybe, 60-80% of the normal damage if all attacks landed, but much more likely to hit, and with all the other restrictions up there). so the question becomes, how many attacks can a fairly Optimized archer get in a turn(with an unenchanted bow), and at what total attack bonuses/penalties (not including BAB or DEX, so using rapid shot would be -2/-2)


The mechanic I've considered for slow or "sniper" archers is as I stated above: make a full attack and give up higher BAB rolls for more damage on the lower ones. The catch is that you have to make it enough damage for it to be worth giving up both a roll and a bonus (giving up lower rolls for a bonus on the higher is just too good). I'd generally start with double, and you can compare that with Manyshot which does double as a standard action at -4. Manyshot's actually better, but you can add more bonus damage or extra effects or whatever to make it useful, I just think that's the best way to model firing slower for more damage. I suppose you could also just make "give up all other attacks and take penalty/gain bonus" if you wanted to have more control over the penalty and let it reduce with level like flurry.
okay, so this has to do with maths, rather than the mechanic itself. damage can always be adjusted, but i really want to stay away from damage dice, because i really don't like damage dice.



As for the rest of the class, I really think you should read up on what a lot of that stuff does. You have no less than four different abilities allowing you to ignore concealment, with the last not even the most powerful.
well, yes, but they (almost) all do different things. also, i was under the impression improved precise shot only removed cover, not concealment.
the goal is to make it so that the character gets steadily better and better at removing concealment. the first (crucial shot) removes concealment for the real attack, and nothing else. the second (Improved Precise shot) can be removed, as i was under a false impression about it's effects. the third (seeking hunter) was so that A) you could ignore miss chance that did not coem from concealment (such as from etherealness or blinking), and B) so that it would apply to concealment while not using Crucial Shot (:smalleek: this whole "not entirely sure about imroved precise shot" sure covered a lot of bases, didn't it?). the final one, Penetrating Sight, is all about your vision, whether or not you attack. like, for instance, being able to see through that fog cloud, if you so choose. or that deeper darkness over there. or to be able to see through mucky water just fine.


I'm pretty sure the entire class could be replicated and outpowered by a Fighter going down Weapon Supremacy, Manyshot, and Precise Shot, maybe with a 5 level PrC that gives the same range increase/range penalty reduction (I know there's more than one in setting books), or a level of ranger to activate some 1st level ranger spells for the same benefit.
cool, thanks for all the advice here on how to help it do it's job better. i'm surprised you didn't tell me that a wizard could do the same thing, but better. :smallannoyed:



okay, so what if i were to make the class like this(just some ideas i had, which do you think would be the best? also, if you have other ideas, what do you suggest?):

X/day ability replacement
-instead of getting the X/day ability, you get a number of points every time you use crucial shot, dependent on level (up to a max of 3 or 4) which you can spend to EITHER increase the crit modifier by one per point, or increase the crit range by one per point
-instead of getting 3 or 4 points per day, you get a small pool(up to something like 20) , each of which can be used to increase damage dealt by 50%, while using crucial shot. you could only use X points per usage of ability, but you could seriously buff damage, in a modular way, at your choice, which i think would be nice.

Concealment Removal (i think we can all agree i have too many of these in the class)
-I would be keeping the 9th level ability, because it has nothing to do with attack rolls.
-however, the other 3 (2nd part of crucial shot, improved precise shot feat, and Seeking hunter) could be redone. i actually am kind of clueless as to how i should make it an ability that allows you to ignore more and more cover/concealment as you progress in the class, to the point where you ignore miss chance from all sources
-should i even make it so that the character can ignore cover/concealment/miss chance while not using Crucial shot? that may be incentive to use crucial shot.

Crucial Shot
- i want this to have a couple of key concepts that stay. apart from that,though, i am open to any suggestions.
A) they have to be more than X distance away (i think 30 feet is ok, don't you? tactically interesting yet feasible)
B) should be worth the trade(damage-wise)
C) should be able to increase damage every so often (either by increasing crit damage/range or by having a damage multiplier)
D) Should have two parts to the basic action: set up the shot, and take the shot.
E) "set up the shot" needs to be its own action. that way you're not "charging damage" (although lasers ARE cool, they just aren't this class :smallbiggrin:) (also, that way, you can take the shot whenever it's set up, not when your gun is about to explode.)

Sight Improvement
-given the way that spot checks work at distance, i was thinking of removing Piercing Sight, and replacing it with an ability that decreases the penalty for making spot checks at range. like, for instance, "the distance for the penalty spot checks to apply increases by 50% every even level of this class" (so at 2nd level, you accrue -1 per 15 feet, while at 10th level, you accrue -1 for every 35 feet)(the wording could use some help, but what do you think about this change?)
-I like how Penetrating Sight works, not about to change this unless it comes under a lot of flak for good reasons.

EDIT: i'm really more worried about getting a working and intuitive ability than worrying about relative power levels right now. damage/to-hit can always be played around with until it is reasonable.

Fizban
2013-06-09, 07:45 PM
the final one, Penetrating Sight, is all about your vision, whether or not you attack. like, for instance, being able to see through that fog cloud, if you so choose. or that deeper darkness over there. or to be able to see through mucky water just fine.
Ah, I missed that it ignores all concelement, even full. That is more powerful then.

cool, thanks for all the advice here on how to help it do it's job better. i'm surprised you didn't tell me that a wizard could do the same thing, but better. :smallannoyed:
To make it do it's job better, give it something a fighter can't already do. It has low-light vision, hunter's blind, and eventually sees through full concealment without attacks, but even if those are pretty good the main mechanic is worse than normal feats.

i'm really more worried about getting a working and intuitive ability than worrying about relative power levels right now. damage/to-hit can always be played around with until it is reasonable.
And that's why we're going against touch attacks: making attack rolls that don't do anything is counter intuitive. The only feat I can think of off the top of my head that does that is Stormguard Warrior, which uses a much simpler "trade attack for touch attack that deals no damage, get +5 damage next turn for each hit," and it's still fiddly.

You talk about "setting up the shot," but the nature of combat in DnD is that combatants are constantly moving unless they're flat-footed. You're probably using a longbow which as far as I know doesn't have any way for you to set it up on a tripod and point it at a stationary target while you calculate wind factors. Even if you restrict it to crossbows and flat footed targets, spending a round setting up a shot and then being able to move somewhere completely different before you make the attack doesn't make any sense: what were you "setting up" then? As for death attacks, yeah they don't really make sense: it's just a way to stop you from using it in direct combat, making only one at the start of the fight. If anything it's more a restriction on how long it takes for the target to relax after seeing you disappear even when they know you're still there and are staying mobile.

So, if you want to set up a shot it has to fire by the end of your round to make any sense, and rolling attacks that don't do anything doesn't make any sense. Thus my advice for making it more intuitive is: give up a higher bonus attack to increase the damage on a lower one. Instead of shooting as fast as possible you waited for a beat to focus and then took a more lethal shot. It makes sense, it doesn't force people to waste actions sitting around doing nothing, and it can be easily compared to existing abilities.