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GnomeWorks
2013-06-24, 05:35 PM
This class is heavily inspired by the mechromancer from Borderlands 2. I found the idea of a ranged combatant whose ability to contribute to combat is based on her inability to hit things rather amusing, and found it a bit of a different take on the traditional approaches to ranged combat.

It was also something of an intriguing design challenge: can I take something from one game, and port it to another? While there were some aspects of the original concept that were not translatable, I did my best to keep the feeling accurate.

For maximum hilarity, combine this class with Ken Hood's firearm rules (or probably with any reasonable set of firearm rules, for that matter).

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Discordant
"Meedly-meedly-mowwww... I know, I'm so bad at this!"

For some anarchists, merely channeling raw chaos is not enough. They seek out expressions of chaos in the world at large, rather than bringing it through force, and for most, the clearest expression of chaos is found in the art of combat. After attaining a connection to the forces of entropy, they seek to bring this to the battlefield, engendering even more chaos than most would have thought possible.

The discordant is a dangerous combatant, not just to others, but to herself, as well. Using and manipulating the forces of chance and chaos to devastating effect, the discordant cannot be called a master of ranged weapons, but uses them as a means to an end, relying upon them only as a means to channel their inner entropic power.

Many discordants prefer to use firearms, as the destruction they can wreak is even greater when in their hands. However, a discordant is not restricted in her choice of ranged weapon, and even something as simple as a sling can become incredibly dangerous in her hands.

{table=head]Table D-1: The Discordant | Anarchy
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special
1|+0|+0|+2|+1|Anarchy, Discord, Style over Substance
2|+1|+0|+3|+2|Ordered Chaos
3|+2|+1|+3|+2|Ordered Chaos
4|+3|+1|+4|+2|Ordered Chaos
5|+3|+1|+4|+3|Ordered Chaos
6|+4|+2|+5|+3|Ordered Chaos
7|+5|+2|+5|+4|Ordered Chaos
8|+6/+1|+2|+6|+4|Ordered Chaos
9|+6/+1|+3|+6|+4|Ordered Chaos
10|+7/+2|+3|+7|+5|Discordant Talent
11|+8/+3|+3|+7|+5|
12|+9/+4|+4|+8|+6|Discordant Talent
13|+9/+4|+4|+8|+6|
14|+10/+5|+4|+9|+6|Discordant Talent
15|+11/+6/+1|+5|+9|+7|
16|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+7|Discordant Talent
17|+12/+7/+2|+5|+10|+8|
18|+13/+8/+3|+6|+11|+8|Discordant Talent
19|+14/+9/+4|+6|+11|+8|
20|+15/+10/+5|+6|+12|+9|Discordant Talent[/table] | {table=head]Attack | Damage | Max Tokens
-1 | +2 | 2
-1 | +2 | 3
-2 | +4 | 3
-2 | +4 | 4
-3 | +6 | 4
-3 | +6 | 5
-4 | +8 | 5
-4 | +8 | 6
-5 | +10 | 6
-5 | +10 | 7
-6 | +12 | 7
-6 | +12 | 8
-7 | +14 | 8
-7 | +14 | 9
-8 | +16 | 9
-8 | +16 | 10
-9 | +18 | 10
-9 | +18 | 11
-10 | +20 | 11
-10 | +20 | 12
[/table] [/table]

Game Rule Information
Discordants have the following game statistics.

Abilities: While Dexterity can be helpful to a discordant, many of her abilities are based off of Charisma, and some abilities also key off of Intelligence. As a discordant, she also benefits from a specifically low Wisdom score.

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: The Discordantís class skills are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Open Lock (Dex), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at First Level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Alignment: Any chaotic.

Starting Age: As a rogue.

Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10gp.

Favored By: None.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the discordant.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: The discordant is proficient with simple weapons, martial ranged weapons, and light armor, but not shields.

If discordant is a character's first class, she may also select one exotic ranged weapon with which she is proficient. If she does so, she begins play with the selected weapon.

Anarchy (Su): The principle power of discordants is simply referred to as "anarchy," and it is the art of imbuing ranged weapons with chaotic power. This is an effect intrinsic to the discordant, not the weapon she wields.

After each ranged attack a discordant makes, if she is under stress (in a situation in which she cannot take 10 on skill checks), she gains an anarchy token unless an anarchy token was spent as part of the attack (such as using the Discord ability; see below). Each anarchy token a discordant has gives her the listed penalty as a luck penalty to ranged attack rolls, and the listed bonus as a luck bonus to ranged attack damage rolls.

The maximum number of anarchy tokens a discordant can have is listed on the table, and further modified by her Wisdom score: a discordant subtracts her Wisdom modifier from her max anarchy tokens (minimum 1). Thus, a negative Wisdom modifier gives her more max tokens, while a positive Wisdom modifier reduces how many she may have.

If you fall unconscious or go to sleep, you lose all accumulated anarchy tokens. If you are wielding a weapon that holds more than one piece of ammunition at a time, you lose all accumulated anarchy tokens if you reload your weapon before it is empty while under stress.

Discord (Su): Discordants can expend their accumulated chaotic power to improve their accuracy - in effect, trading accuracy for many shots taken for greater accuracy with fewer. When she makes a ranged attack, she may spend an anarchy token: if she does so, each anarchy token she has instead provides a luck bonus to attack rolls, instead of a penalty, equal to the penalty it would have given her.

Example: Gaige is a 6th-level discordant, so her anarchy tokens are each giving her a -3 penalty to attack and a +6 bonus to damage. She presently has six tokens, giving her a total of -18 to attack and +36 to damage. She spends an anarchy token to activate Discord on her next attack, leaving her with five, so she instead gains a +15 bonus to the attack roll, and +30 to damage.

Style over Substance: A discordant can use her Charisma modifier instead of her Dexterity modifier for ranged attack rolls.

Ranged attack rolls a discordant makes that benefit from her Charisma modifier cannot benefit from the Precise Shot feat, or any feat that requires it.

Ordered Chaos: At each level from 2nd to 9th, the discordant acquires a deeper understanding of the chaotic ebb and flow of combat, allowing her to "improve" her battle prowess. Choose one of the following abilities; unless otherwise noted, each ability can only be taken once.

Close Enough (Su): If you make a ranged attack that misses, if the natural result of the attack roll was at least 19 - one-half your class level, you can spend an anarchy token to make your attack instead hit your target (ignoring everything but total concealment or total cover), but deal half damage; if the attack would have threatened a critical, you may roll to confirm, and if confirmed, the attack instead deals normal damage. A natural one never hits, even with this ability, and this ability does not affect attacks that miss due to cover or concealment.
Aim For The... Or Not (Ch): You may intentionally make a ranged attack against an object, including the ground. If you do, make an attack roll and spend an anarchy token; if the natural result of the roll is at least 20 - one-half your class level, the attack ricochets and hits the nearest target within the range increment of the weapon, dealing half damage, even if you cannot see that creature or are even aware of it. If your attack roll would have threatened a critical against that creature, you may roll to confirm; if confirmed, the attack instead deals normal damage. (Prerequisites: Close Enough)
Cooking Up Trouble (Su): If you are wielding a weapon for which you no longer have ammunition, you can spend a standard action and an anarchy token to "find" one unit of standard ammunition for that weapon (arrow, bolt, bullet, etc) on your person for every two class levels you have. You can take this ability twice; the second time you do, you "find" an amount of ammunition equal to your class level.
Evasion (Ex): You gain evasion.
Fancy Mathematics (Su): You gain a dodge bonus to your AC equal to the number of anarchy tokens you have against ranged attacks. This bonus cannot exceed your class level.
I Want It!: Choose a ranged weapon with which you are not proficient. You gain proficiency with that weapon.
Interspersed Outburst (Su): Each round you do not make a ranged attack, one anarchy token becomes an outburst token, up to a maximum of one-quarter your class level. Outburst tokens behave as anarchy tokens, but the next time you make a ranged attack, you automatically spend all outburst tokens. If you spend at least one outburst token in this way, you ignore the luck penalty to attack rolls from anarchy tokens, and instead gain that penalty as a bonus to attack rolls. For each outburst token spent, you gain double the damage bonus provided by your anarchy tokens. You cannot combine this effect with your discord ability.
Example: If you have three outburst tokens and two anarchy tokens, on your next attack, you automatically spend three outburst tokens. Because you have two anarchy tokens remaining, you gain double the anarchy attack penalty as a luck bonus to your attack roll. Because you spent three outburst tokens and have two anarchy tokens, your damage bonus is eight times the anarchy damage bonus ([3 x 2 = 6] + 2 = 8)
More Pep (Su): If you are wielding a ranged weapon that deals bonus energy damage (such as through the shocking weapon ability), increase the bonus energy damage by your Charisma modifier. You can take this ability multiple times; its effect stacks.
Rapid Reload: You gain the rapid reload feat. You can take this ability multiple times; each time you do, choose a new weapon with which you are proficient.
Smaller, Lighter, Faster (Ex): You can reload any weapon for which you have the Rapid Reload feat as a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. (Prerequisites: Rapid Reload)
Rational Anarchist (Su): If you would gain at least one anarchy token and currently have none, you gain an additional number of anarchy tokens equal to your Charisma modifier.
The Better Half (Ex): When you are wielding a ranged weapon that holds more than one piece of ammunition at a time, while there is less than half the maximum amount of ammunition remaining in the weapon, you gain the flurry ability with that weapon (when you make a full attack action with that weapon, you can make one additional attack at your highest attack bonus, but all your attacks suffer a -2 penalty). If this ability would become active in the middle of a full attack action for which you were not under a flurry or similar effect (such as haste), you gain an additional attack at your highest attack bonus, with that attack and all remaining attacks taking a -2 penalty.
The More Better Half (Ex): While the better half is active, you can make another additional attack at your highest attack bonus, but increase the penalty to all attacks by -4. You can take this ability twice; its effect stacks. (Prerequisites: The Better Half)
Typecast Iconoclast (Su): When you make a ranged attack, if the natural result of your attack roll is less than your Charisma modifier, you gain an additional anarchy token. You can take this ability up to three times.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): You gain uncanny dodge. Levels in classes that grant uncanny dodge stack for purposes of determining the level required to overcome your improved uncanny dodge, if you have that ability.
Unstoppable Force (Su): When you drop a creature, you gain a +10 luck bonus to your movement speed for 1 round/2 class levels. You can take this ability up to three times; each time you do, increase the bonus by +10 feet.
Your Face Is Stupid (Su): You can expend an anarchy token as a move action to challenge a creature that you can see within one range increment of the weapon you wield (if you are not wielding a ranged weapon, you cannot use this ability). The target of this effect must be of above animal intelligence and be able to understand you. The target must make a Will save against DC 10 + one-half your class level + your Charisma modifier. If the target fails, you enrage it, causing it to suffer a -4 penalty to attack rolls against creatures other than you, and until you or the target drop, your ricochet effects (such as from close enough) automatically target that creature if possible. If the target succeeds on the Will save, you cannot use this ability on that creature again for 24 hours. You can only have one creature targeted by this ability at a time. This is a sonic, mind-affecting, language-dependent effect.
Discordant Talent: At tenth level, and every two levels thereafter, the discordant's "abilities" with ranged weapons "improve." She may select one of the following talents.

Calculating Anarchist (Su): While you have less than half your maximum hit points, each time you gain at least one anarchy token, you gain a number of additional anarchy tokens equal to your Intelligence modifier.
Chaotic Order: You gain another ability from the ordered chaos list of your choice. You can take this talent multiple times.
Discordian Zen: You may add, rather than subtract, your Wisdom modifier to the max number of anarchy tokens you can have at a time (that is, regardless of whether your Wisdom modifier is negative or positive, it is now always beneficial to you).
Elemental Anarchist (Su): Whenever you drop a creature, all energy damage caused by ranged weapons you wield is empowered (deals half again as much damage) for one round. You can take this talent multiple times; each time you do, the duration of the effect increases by 1 round.
Extreme Anarchy: Increase the attack penalty from anarchy tokens by -1, and the damage bonus by +2. You can take this talent multiple times; its effects stack.
Improved Evasion (Ex): You gain improved evasion. (Prerequisite: Evasion)
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): You gain improved uncanny dodge. Levels in classes that grant uncanny dodge stack for purposes of determining the level required to overcome your improved uncanny dodge. (Prerequisite: Uncanny Dodge)
Preshrunk Steampunk: Increase your maximum number of anarchy tokens by 2. You can take this talent multiple times; its effect stacks.
The Nth Degree (Su): Each time you make a ranged attack, also roll d%. If your attack hits (whether naturally or through close enough), and the result of the d% is less than or equal to 10%, you may spend an anarchy token; if you do, the attack ricochets from the target and also potentially hits the nearest target within one range increment of your weapon of your original target. The attack roll of your attack is used to determine whether or not you hit both your original target and the ricochet target. Note that if you have the close enough ability, that effect can occur on both the original target and the ricochet target. You can take this talent multiple times; each time, add 10% to the chance that this effect occurs, to a maximum of double your class level or 50%, whichever is lower.
Hax (Su): When your the nth degree effect occurs, you can choose to cause the ricochet shot to target a nearby wall or object, including the ground, causing it to potentially ricochet back to your original target. The natural roll on your attack roll must have been at least a 20 - one-quarter your class level for this to occur; if such was the case, the ricochet shot hits your original target, dealing half damage. (Prerequisites: The Nth Degree)
Feat: The discordant may select a bonus feat in place of a talent.

Elricaltovilla
2013-06-24, 05:54 PM
So this class is kind of complicated, I'm still reading through it, but I like it a lot so far! It makes the PF gunslinger seem boring and underpowered (which it is, but whatevs).

The resource management seems a little intense, but there are a lot of nice options for combat. I think you could do with some related noncombat abilities as well, maybe some way for anarchy tokens to affect knowledge or social checks?

EDIT: Maybe you should move the more better half down to the Discordant Talent section. Also, what does it mean when you say its effects stack? Does that mean if I take it a second time, I get a -8 penalty to all attack rolls, but I get 3 additional attacks, or do I just get the 3rd additional attack and a -4 penalty?

Moreover, do the penalties from the better half and the more better half stack?

GnomeWorks
2013-06-24, 06:21 PM
So this class is kind of complicated, I'm still reading through it, but I like it a lot so far! It makes the PF gunslinger seem boring and underpowered (which it is, but whatevs).

Good to hear that it looks interesting.

In general, my design approach is informed by Szatany and Iron Heroes: high level of customization, with a lean towards resources that actively encourage a particular playstyle.

It is a significantly more complex class than most others, most definitely. My chaos-inspired classes all tend towards very strange, somewhat intense mechanics that require keeping a close eye on resource management and action economy.


The resource management seems a little intense, but there are a lot of nice options for combat. I think you could do with some related noncombat abilities as well, maybe some way for anarchy tokens to affect knowledge or social checks?

Hmm... well, this is a combat-centric class. If you want to do other things, like know things or be social, you should probably venture into other classes. Using anarchy tokens for things other than shooting "at" things is counterproductive to their purpose.


Maybe you should move the more better half down to the Discordant Talent section.

That is a possibility... and probably a sensible thing to do, thinking about it.


Also, what does it mean when you say its effects stack? Does that mean if I take it a second time, I get a -8 penalty to all attack rolls, but I get 3 additional attacks, or do I just get the 3rd additional attack and a -4 penalty?

All of the effects stack.

So if you have the better half, you get one extra attack, with -2 on everything. If you have the more better half once, you get two extra attacks, with -6 on everything. If you have TMBH twice, you get three extra attacks, with -10 on everything.

Elricaltovilla
2013-06-24, 06:36 PM
Good to hear that it looks interesting.

In general, my design approach is informed by Szatany and Iron Heroes: high level of customization, with a lean towards resources that actively encourage a particular playstyle.

It is a significantly more complex class than most others, most definitely. My chaos-inspired classes all tend towards very strange, somewhat intense mechanics that require keeping a close eye on resource management and action economy.

I don't have a problem with complexity per se, I just think that the payoff for increased complexity should be proportionally higher. That's a personal opinion of mine, though. And based on that opinion, I'm not sure the payoff is always worth it in this case.



Hmm... well, this is a combat-centric class. If you want to do other things, like know things or be social, you should probably venture into other classes. Using anarchy tokens for things other than shooting "at" things is counterproductive to their purpose.

My thoughts on that are tied into what I said above. I like the classes I play to be good (or at passable) at multiple things, that way I spend less time sitting at the table while other people do fun stuff. I don't mean to imply that your class doesn't sound fun, it really does, I just like having access to a variety of class features.

But I think you've got the "good at shooting things" aspect down.



That is a possibility... and probably a sensible thing to do, thinking about it.

Yay! I was Helpful! :smalltongue:



All of the effects stack.

So if you have the better half, you get one extra attack, with -2 on everything. If you have the more better half once, you get two extra attacks, with -6 on everything. If you have TMBH twice, you get three extra attacks, with -10 on everything.

I'm not sure I like that... although I guess the outburst tokens would probably go a long way towards mitigating that. The only problem is that requires you to pretty much sit there and do nothing for multiple rounds.

GnomeWorks
2013-06-24, 06:48 PM
I'm not sure the payoff is always worth it in this case.

20th-level discordant with interspersed outburst. Assume a +3 (or -3) Wis mod, so 15 max tokens. Assume full pool of anarchy tokens, with max outburst (so 5 outburst tokens, 10 anarchy tokens).

First attack: +100 to hit, +600 damage.

Not sure what you're running into, but a +100 bonus to hit should be... a hit. And if you do manage to somehow miss, you probably have close enough, so if you roll anything above an 8, you still hit anyway (for half damage, but still).

Now, that is obviously an optimal situation, so probably won't happen all that often. But even so, lesser amounts of anarchy will still yield very large numbers.


I don't mean to imply that your class doesn't sound fun, it really does, I just like having access to a variety of class features.

This indicates a difference in opinion regarding class design. For me, classes are focused: they tend towards one thing, and doing it well. If you want more options, you multiclass.


I'm not sure I like that... although I guess the outburst tokens would probably go a long way towards mitigating that. The only problem is that requires you to pretty much sit there and do nothing for multiple rounds.

Ideally, with this class, you will want to be making as many attacks as you can possibly manage, regardless of the penalty to attack rolls. If you have close enough and aim for the... or not, your ability to hit is actually irrelevant: you are relying on ricochet shots hitting your target, and while the damage is halved, the damage bonuses from anarchy tokens should more than make up for the deficit.

Interspersed outburst's outburst tokens accumulate whether or not you are in combat. If you end a fight with anarchy tokens, they will turn into outburst tokens for the next combat, and you retain anarchy tokens throughout the day (provided you don't go unconscious or reload while in combat).

That ability is also there to help in situations where you can't make an attack every round. Maybe you need to maneuver to get into position, maybe you want to make a melee attack instead... there are many cases in which you can't make an attack for a round, and this gives you an edge in those cases.

Elricaltovilla
2013-06-24, 07:12 PM
Well if you're trying to make a focused ranged damage dealer, then I think you've succeeded, exceptionally even. It's definitely better in that role than any other classes with similar focus.

GnomeWorks
2013-06-24, 09:06 PM
It's definitely better in that role than any other classes with similar focus.

Hrm.

I generally aim for rough balance with Bo9S levels of damage output, presuming a minimal level of optimization. Not sure what tier that is (I've long since abandoned anything resembling the core classes, so my notion of balance is severely skewed these days), but I'm curious as to whether or not a DM would let someone use this class in a game with more "standard" classes.

I'm fairly certain that no one using standard 3.5 fighters would let this class in their game.

anacalgion
2013-06-24, 09:40 PM
Alrighty, cool stuff! After a quick read through, and having recently finished playing Borderlands 2 with a friend playing a mechromancer, I can say for sure that you captured the spirit of the class, and it looks great. Few quick bits of feedback though. It does a lot of damage. It should. That being said, it does a lot of damage. There's some cool ways to make sure you get that damage, even if you could never hit something by normally attacking it though, which is good. My biggest concern is that all you can really do is shoot stuff. Your options outside of combat are pretty limited, and that can be really annoying from a players perspective. Maybe you could add something to make it more viable beyond just killing things?

GnomeWorks
2013-06-24, 09:53 PM
It does a lot of damage. It should. That being said, it does a lot of damage.

I am somewhat concerned about the damage output, at present. It does seem high, but I haven't had time to develop my benchmark to determine if the damage is too high yet.


My biggest concern is that all you can really do is shoot stuff. Your options outside of combat are pretty limited, and that can be really annoying from a players perspective. Maybe you could add something to make it more viable beyond just killing things?

Think of this class like a barbarian. Barbarians do one thing very well: get very angry and hurt things.

Elricaltovilla
2013-06-24, 10:36 PM
For comparisons, I'd say look at stuff like the Dungeoncrasher/Zhentarim Fighter or a charge specced Paladin. Both of those can do hundreds of damage per attack, but they're generally hitting once per round, whereas your damage ceiling was something like +100 to hit and +600 to damage, and that's... per attack. Of which you can have up to 8. The Tarrasque has 858 HP.

GnomeWorks
2013-06-24, 10:46 PM
For comparisons, I'd say look at stuff like the Dungeoncrasher/Zhentarim Fighter or a charge specced Paladin. Both of those can do hundreds of damage per attack, but they're generally hitting once per round,

Comparisons to core classes won't work for me. I've entirely abandoned core classes, and every class I use in my games is homebrew. I need to check against my own maths.


whereas your damage ceiling was something like +100 to hit and +600 to damage, and that's... per attack. Of which you can have up to 8. The Tarrasque has 858 HP.

That was not per attack, that was for the first attack. Later attacks would do significantly less damage.

But yes, I'm pretty sure the discordant can deal with the tarrasque in one round, given proper preparations for doing so.

Erik Vale
2013-06-25, 12:26 AM
Combine this with some sort of rules for a gatling gun and your set.

Bookmarking for laughs.

More seriously, why did you reduce the speed at which the Discordant gained abilities after level 9? I could imagine +10 bonus feats possibly being a problem though...

GnomeWorks
2013-06-26, 06:25 AM
More seriously, why did you reduce the speed at which the Discordant gained abilities after level 9? I could imagine +10 bonus feats possibly being a problem though...

My general class design theory is to, generally, have the first 10 levels moderately well-defined, with a preset progression (perhaps some options, but usually not nearly as open-ended as the discordant, here), with the last ten levels being where the big options and customization come in.

The discordant is a poor example of this because I had a rather large list of abilities that were useful, but - because of the nature of the fluff for the class - did not want to shoehorn them into any one particular progression in early levels. Thus, rather than have a preset progression, they get to choose how that part of the class's development plays out. There is - hopefully - at least a moderate distinction between the abilities granted through talents, and the abilities granted earlier.

Discordants, being a non-casting class, get at least one ability every level through the first ten. If they were a casting class, they would probably get around half that.