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View Full Version : An Effective Mageslayer (3.5 Base Class)



Realms of Chaos
2013-07-09, 07:01 PM
Short Introduction
Understand that this class was built to kill spellcasters. This includes relatively optimized spellcasters using contingency, celerity, timestop, wings of cover, planar binding, mindr*pe, gate, astral projection and the rest of the standard stable of tricks. It can survive a locate city bomb, rip you right out of your rope trick, and kill you through the trauma of having your astral projection killed (even when hiding in your own demi-plane). That is not to say that this guyís existence somehow makes casters less broken or that there are no caster strategies that would work on this guy (infinite money through walls of iron, candle of invocation loops, etc. can be used to get anything and kill anything with enough time) but I feel that this guy is capable of taking care of most stuff casters can throw at it with far more skill than most other attempts at magekillers Iíve seen (official or otherwise). Before being anything else (even being a usable class), this is a thought experiment in mage-slaying very much like my old abolisher (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117233) class. I just ask you to keep that in mind when appraising this thing.

With that said, I did have a secondary purpose with this class. My old abolisher class was nothing more than an off-switch for magic with an HD attached. It was basically magical (continuing the trend that only magic can defeat magic) and had the flavor of a raw rice cake. With this class, I decided to make the class distinctly non-magical and give it more of a place in the party while trying to save as much of the power as I could. I still believe that the abolisher is more effective (itís one big off-switch for everything magical) but this guy plays nicer with the rest of the party, can use buffs and magic items, and feels a bit more organically flavored for a D&D game as a party skillmonkey (taking the place of an average rogue) who is well-trained in counteracting just about any spell effect through careful preparation. In a theoretical rock-paper-scissors setup, this is meant to be the rogue that beats the caster but is beaten by the fighter (which the caster handily defeats to close the loop).

With that said, this creation of a mundane mage killer (as with most mage killers) relies on a certain set of assumptions that I feel are worth spelling out in this case so nobody gets confused and you can tell in advanced if this class just isnít for you or your campaign.

My Assumptions:
Assumption 1: Links Between Magic and Mundane: This is a bit of a weird assumption but I think that it can be argued either way. Both in game and in historical ďmagicĒ, there have always been certain links between magical creatures or rituals and otherwise perfectly mundane objects. We can see this in the material components and foci that spells use as well as relationships like silver and werewolves or mirrors and vampires or even lead and divinations or toenails with scrying. In order to propose the possibility of a mundane mageslayer, I am putting forth the assumption that there is at least one mundane way in which any given spell can be countered or warded off without personally using magic (though maybe a bit of para-magical stuff like minor alchemical tinctures or lucky charms). It is further assumed that even knowledge of these counters is relatively useless without the skill and timing to put them to use, with more powerful spells needing more skill to shut down effectively (explaining why everybody doesnít just counter every spell the moment this knowledge is gained).
Assumption 2: Simplicity Requires Abstraction: I did not want to create a spell-by-spell list of possible specific countermeasure for every spell in existence. For the sake of parsimony, I instead created a single system by which somewhere around 95% of spells can be functionally negated. How exactly the mageslayer counters each spell, by default, is left to the imagination (unless a creative DM or player wishes to describe) and the ability to negate spells is itself assumed to be uncounterable (if you disrupt a spell one time by shouting or using an item, being trapped in silence or being robbed wonít stop you from halting the spell again), likely involving multiple possible techniques. Like any system involving abstraction, there will inevitably come times where following the rules may strain suspension of disbelief (http://www.demotivationalposters.org/index.php?start=296). If this potential may disrupt the ability of players to have fun at the table, I do not recommend using this class (this level of abstraction isnít for everyone).
Assumption 3: Mage Slaying Requires Minimizing Interaction: This is a mage slayer class. This class is not designed to be fun for random mages to fight against (it might be fun to build casters specifically to beat this guy if you enjoy build challenges but otherwise, ehÖ). My personal ideology is that mage slaying requires shutting down the mage in a way that allows them to do as little as possible (preferably nothing) in response. If I let casters make concentration checks, caster level, or will saves checks to avoid the mage slayer, builds would come out that literally couldnít fail.

Hell, there are enough buffs in 3.0 and 3.5 that no sane roadblock you could put in the way of casters could really slow them down. Instead of bothering with those roadblocks at all, therefore, Iíve decided to blow up the entire goddamn bridge. In this way, I feel that punish less optimized and more optimized casters approximately equally instead of implicitly encouraging more broken builds. This is why the mageslayer doesnít allow for saves or checks to resist and why it verges on the edge of mind-control at times. If being able to shut something down with no direct defense doesnít appeal, this probably doesnít belong in your games.
Assumption 4: Mage Hunting is a Thing: This isnít anything that Iíve heard anyone say directly but Iíve sometimes felt that some people seem almost offended by the idea of a mageslayer. To an extent, I can see why some people would see it as so unlikely. First, most mages can warp reality to their wishes. Secondly, prepared casters have high Intelligence or Wisdom scores and they stay alive through careful planning so making it to high levels implies that they are very good at it. While this class carries little direct need for a high Intelligence or Wisdom score, it does require that everyone accepts the existence of a being who is always one step ahead of even casters but who either was unable to or chose not to become one personally. If this is something you have a hard time swallowing or if you secretly really enjoy having casters exist as the undefeated kings of the world, this guy might not be for you.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-09, 07:06 PM
The Mageslayer

ďYou see, this archmage always resides in one of those gigantic floating spheres of force. Five of them in all, each miles apart and each guarded by a different set of wards, not to mention the simulacra and constructs. Seems to teleport between them all at random to keep his enemies guessing, keeping illusions and doppelgangers everywhere else. And if we guess right, thatís just to get at his astral projection... Donít you just love a good challenge?Ē
-Mordechai Singer, Mageslayer

As the old saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. While many mages resist the temptation to abuse their powers or even act to serve the common good, there are always exceptions who put themselves above those without magic, above those without any means to protect themselves. While a stronger mage might be capable of removing such a threat, even this solution carries the risk of the new mage simply supplanting the old. Rather, most communities dealing with dreadful casters or mystical creatures would rather have ďone of their ownĒ take on such problems, someone trained to deal with the problem at hand without possessing the same mystic powers as their oppressor or boogeyman.

Unfortunately, very few forces (if any) that mortals can wield can truly exceed magic in its potential. Capable of reworking the world into its userís ideal, there are precious few things that magic cannot do and many assume with good reason that casters of a certain caliber are nigh invincible. Indeed, there are few who could take on a caster in a straight-on fight. Few, but not none.

There are methods in the world, difficult and obscure though they may be, of countering nearly any magical effect without the use of magic. Collecting and compiling these methods, a few mundane individuals have risen to the title of mageslayer. Skilled at fighting casters and most forms of magical beast, mageslayers are among the few with the training, luck, and forethought required to stay a step ahead of those who rely on magic.

Adventures: A mageslayer may possess any number of reasons to keep moving and adventuring. A good many end up working as mercenaries or as elite (or at least specialized) members of armed forces, finding work through his unique talents and moving on when no more work remains. A few use their talents to claim revenge of some sort (whether against a specific creature or all who use magic) or to further agendas that grant more power to common folk. Others still are forced from place to place by enemies on their trail or uneasy casters trying to rush them along.
Characteristics: A mageslayer, though possessing no skill at spellcasting, possesses an incredible depth of knowledge regarding magical matters and experience fighting both monstrous beasts and magical opponents. Combining this knowledge and experience with specialized training, equipment, and procedures proven to help cancel or interrupt spellcasting, mageslayers are a formidable foe for a good many casters on the battlefield.
Alignment: Mageslayers may be of any alignment with no particular lean towards one alignment over the other. Good mageslayers may resemble heroes of legend while evil mageslayers frequently end up as murderers, poachers, or assassins capable of killing a wider array of targets.
Religion: Despite possessing the power to counter what abilities they provide, most mageslayers donít possess any particular views towards deities as a group (except perhaps deities of magic such as Boccob). There are few gods of particular relevance to mageslayers, however, and many follow larger religious trends for their area and race.
Background: Mageslayers are neither made nor born, instead being taught their skills in some manner. For some, these skills are self-taught by one with enough motivation to fight against magic (such as one who has faced great sorrows or embarrassment at the hands of magic) or by one with a strong intuition about magical matters who lacked the necessary talent to actually become a caster or who was dissuaded from such a path. Other times, one mageslayer starts its career as an apprentice (either alone or as part of a small group) to a senior mageslayer who leads them on hunts and takes responsibility for their education in the art, if not their safety. Being the rarity that they are, most mageslayers see one another as kindred souls to some degree but mageslayers possess no formal organization beyond the rare specialized attachment to a larger army.
Races: The frequency with which a race produces mageslayers depends in large part both on the prevalence of mages in a society and the view of the race towards those mages. Most races from the playerís handbook produce nearly equal numbers of mageslayers, with gnomes and elves providing slightly fewer. Savage races who frequently raid magical societies are more likely to produce mageslayers than their intellect would otherwise suggest. Otherwise, only a few small anomalies (such as higher frequency among male drow) stand out.
Other Classes: Against what their title may suggest, most mageslayers have relatively little problem with mages or other casters and all but the most zealously anti-magic will accept magical aid or the assistance of a proven magical ally when offered. Spellcasters, however, rarely return these feelings, often feeling threatened by the rare presence of a being that could defeat them in pitched combat. Mageslayers get along more than well with members of most martial classes, knowing that their abilities in combat remain relatively limited in spite of their training and practice.
Role: Mageslayers occupy a combination of roles, possessing a good many skills and helping to suppress magical effects and opponents. Further, they possess some talent as secondary combatants, though their relative weakness compare with fighters or barbarians often leads them to fight at range.

Game Rule Information
Mageslayers have the following game statistics
Abilities: Mageslayers rely upon a high intelligence or charisma score to gain them the necessary information to keep them ahead of spellcasters. In the heat of battle, however, mageslayers rely on their strength, dexterity, and constitution much like any other combatant.
Alignment: Any
Hit Dice: d8

Class Skills
The mageslayerís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (8 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 8 + Int modifier


The Mageslayer
{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special

1st|+0|+2|+0|+2|Countermeasures (Counter Spell, Disruption, Immunity), Trapfinding, Urban Tracking

2nd|+1|+3|+0|+3|Countermeasures (Research Caster), Face the Unnatural (Exploit Complacency)

3rd|+2|+3|+1|+3|Hunter's Familiarity (Hunterís Lore)

4th|+3|+4|+1|+4|Countermeasures (Spell-Like Countermeasures)

5th|+3|+4|+1|+4|Face the Unnatural (Feign Weakness)

6th|+4|+5|+2|+5|Countermeasures (Share Immunities)

7th|+5|+5|+2|+5|Hunter's Familiarity (Hunterís Intuition)

8th|+6/+1|+6|+2 |+6|Countermeasures (Supernatural Countermeasures)

9th|+6/+1|+6|+3|+6|Face the Unnatural (Lethal Strike)

10th|+7/+2|+7|+3|+7|Countermeasures (Marginalize Minions)

11th|+8/+3|+7|+3|+7|Hunter's Familiarity (Hunterís Awareness)

12th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|Countermeasures (Overcome Enhancement)

13th|+9/+4|+8|+4|+8|Face the Unnatural (Catch Off-Guard)

14th|+10/+5|+9|+4|+9|Countermeasures (Share Countermeasures)

15th|+11/+6/+1|+9|+5|+9|Hunter's Familiarity (Hunterís Arsenal)

16th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Countermeasures (Sabotage Items)

17th|+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Face the Unnatural (Anticipate Casters)

18th|+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Countermeasures (Lingering Reversion)

19th|+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|Hunter's Familiarity (Improved Hunterís Awareness)

20th|+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Countermeasures (Spontaneous Workaround), Unmake Artifact[/table]

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: You are proficient in light weapons as well as ranged martial weapons. You possess proficiency in light armor and shields (but not tower shields).

Trapfinding: A Mageslayer can use the search skill to find traps with a DC higher than 20 and can use the Disable Device skill to disable magical traps. A mageslayer who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study it, figure out how it works and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

Urban Tracker: While a good many beasts live out in the wilderness, most casters fit into civilized society relatively well, requiring different skills to track them down. You gain Urban Tracking (Cityscape, p. 64) as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Countermeasures: Even in a world filled with spells and wonders, nearly any mystical obstacle can be overcome by some (relatively) mundane counter. Just as werewolves are weak against mundane silver and vampires are helpless to approach garlic, so too might one overcome an arcane lock by knocking a tuning fork on the hinges or mislead a scrying spell by changing his name or wearing the pungent clothes of another. The secret to the undoing of wizardry, however, like the secret to performing it, is careful preparation. Combining a surplus of herbs, alchemic items, lucky charms, and various other accoutrements with extensive physical and mental training and tactical experience, a mageslayer possesses the limited ability to stop spellcasters and other users of magic.

Each day, a mageslayer may spend one hour rifling through his supplies and supplementing them with what he can find in his immediate surroundings in order to prepare countermeasures for 4 spells/level. Countermeasures last for 24 hours or until they are prepared once more (whichever comes first), though some uses may decrease this duration. A mageslayer of first level can only counter first-level and lower spells; for each 2 levels beyond first, he gains the ability to counter spells one level higher, thereby keeping pace with the mages he fights. If one spell is used to imitate another (such as using shadow evocation to create a fireball), it can be countered by the countermeasures to either of the two spells. While no specific supplies or materials are absolutely required to prepare countermeasures, it is assumed under normal conditions that a mageslayer maintains a decent collection of materials for this purpose and that he has trained while carrying these materials long enough that they no longer count towards his carrying capacity.

While the target of countermeasures is normally referred to as a "spell", psionic powers and mysteries may be likewise selected.

A mageslayer who has prepared countermeasures to a spell gains a number of important benefits:

Immunity: Perhaps most importantly, a mageslayer's countermeasures effectively provide him with immunity from the selected spells, which can manifest in a number of ways depending on the spell in question.
If the spell targets creatures, the mageslayer may not be targeted as the lodestones in his pocket cause rays to swerve, the poultice he has spread on his skin harmlessly absorbs a touch effect, and so forth. Other creatures the spell may target are still affected normally.
If the spell targets an area, all squares the mageslayer occupies are exempt from that effect as the bags of water on your person explode to protect him in a fireball, the holy symbols of a dozen righteous gods help ward off a desecrate effect, and so forth.
If the spell creates a non-instantaneous effect, the mageslayer uses a potent charm to repel its presence similarly to how one may repel a vampire with a mirror, preventing the effect or any further effects that it would produce (such as the heat from a wall of fire) from moving or functioning within 5 feet of him. Even dimensional portals and interfaces are suppressed if the mageslayer is within range of the portal; immunity to dispel magic and similar effects likewise gives no protection. If a mageslayer forces himself within 5 feet of the effect or an effect it has produced and remains within that range at the end of his action, this protection is lost against that effect until he again passes at least 5 feet away from the effect and all effects it produces.
This immunity is entirely passive, functioning continuously even while unconscious or dead and needing no action to activate. A mageslayer may not willingly drop this immunity to allow helpful uses of a spell to connect.

Counter Spell: By spreading itching powder, making loud noises, throwing all manner of devices and concoctions, or through clever use of the environment, a mageslayer can disrupt the casting of a spell by an enemy. Unlike a counterspell attempt, he need not ready an action to counter a spell in this way, reacting on pure instinct and capable of countering multiple spells in a single round. Otherwise, this ability functions much as a normal counterspell attempt with two other major exceptions. Firstly, this attempt may be made at any distance, regardless of the spell being countered, so long as the mageslayer possess line of sight and line of effect to the caster. Secondly, even if the spellcraft check to identify the spell being cast is successful, a mageslayer can only counter the spell if it is one he has prepared countermeasures for, and doing so reduces the remaining duration of that countermeasure by 1 hour (this ability cannot be used if less than one hour remains). A mageslayer cannot use this ability while unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless. This class feature does not enable a mageslayer to counter spell-like or supernatural mysteries (but see spell-like countermeasures and supernatural countermeasures, below).

Several other class abilities grant additional uses to this ability; these uses also cost 1 hour of prepared time to the countermeasure used.

Disruption: A mageslayer can end most ongoing spell effects in a similar manner to how he might protect himself from the same spell. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a mageslayer can dispel a single active spell if at least part of the area or effect or at least one of its targets is within 5 feet of some location he can reach. A mageslayer can only disrupt spells for which he has prepared countermeasures, and doing so reduces the remaining duration of the countermeasure by 2 hours (this ability cannot be used if fewer than two hours remain). Magic items cannot be dispelled in this way. A mageslayer cannot use this ability while unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless. This ability does not enable a mageslayer to dispel supernatural mysteries (but see supernatural countermeasures, below).

Several other class abilities grant additional uses to this ability; these uses also cost 2 hours of prepared time to the countermeasure used.

Research Caster: Starting at 2nd level, a mageslayer possesses the ability to learn about casters and their mannerisms before a fight. Whenever a mageslayer prepares countermeasures within a community, he may use some of the hour to learn about a single spellcaster either within the community or within 1 mile/class level of it, learning a bit about what spells he or she favors, what strategies he or she uses, and so forth. In effect, a mageslayer may choose to leave any number of your countermeasures effectively undesignated, though the duration of your immunity to each undesignated spell counts down from 24 hours as normal. While in an encounter with the chosen spellcaster and a successful Spellcraft check made with your counter spell class feature reveals that you do not possess countermeasures against the spell being cast, a mageslayer may spend an immediate action to designate one of his undesignated countermeasures as being against that spell. (When doing so, the mageslayer brings out his preparations at the last moment, so Counter Spell cannot be used on that particular casting but Immunity still applies.)

Spell-Like Countermeasures: Starting at 4th level, a mageslayer can fight back not just against spells but against more ingrained spell-like abilities. His countermeasures now apply against spell-like ability versions of the same spell effects, but the cost of countering or dispelling a spell-like ability is double that for countering or dispelling a spell. In addition, a mageslayer of 4th level or higher may prepare countermeasures against invocations as he would against spells.

Share Immunities: Starting at 6th level, a mageslayer can help protect his allies against the effects of magic, stretching his supplies out among all those he wishes to help. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a mageslayer may reduce the remaining duration of his countermeasures against one spell by any number of hours, granting a single willing, touched ally the Immunity ability against that spell for an equal amount of time.

Supernatural Countermeasures: Starting at 8th level, a mageslayer may even fight against the unformed power of supernatural abilities. His countermeasures now apply against supernatural versions of the same spell effects. Countering or dispelling a supernatural ability costs three times as much as countering or dispelling a spell. Furthermore, when preparing countermeasures, a mageslayer may choose to select any number of specific kinds of creature (such as Kytons or Couatls) with HD equal to or less than his class level instead of selecting an equal number of spells. The mageslayer then effectively gains the benefits of countermeasures against all racial supernatural abilities of the creatures of that type when used by that type of creature. A mageslayer may now choose to prepare countermeasures to fundamentals of shadow as well as vestiges or utterances as he would against spells; if a vestige is prepared, all granted abilities of the vestige are subject to the countermeasure.

Marginalize Minions: Mageslayers know well that casters unable to fight you directly may use their magic to make other foes fight you in their place. Starting at 10th level, a mageslayer's studies and techniques for fighting against spells now extend in part to the minions they result in, keeping such minions subdued and docile in a similar ways to how a mageslayer keep spell effects at bay. Creatures summoned, called, or created by a spell for which a mageslayer has prepared countermeasures, or whose construction or reanimation involved such a spell, are incapable of taking aggressive actions (whether involving spells, blades, or other means) against the mageslayer unless he takes one against it first. Likewise, if any creature is under the effect of charming, compulsive, or otherwise baneful mind-affecting effects which the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against, that creature cannot take aggressive actions against the mageslayer unless the mageslayer attacks first. Familiars, animal companions, and special mounts are likewise affected by this ability regardless of what spells (if any) the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against.

Overcome Enhancement: Starting at 12th level, a mageslayer knows not only how to fight against a spell directly but how to counter the advantage that an opponent may gain from a spell. Spells the mageslayer has prepared countermeasures for provide no bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks made against the mageslayer (even indirect bonuses such as through ability score bonuses are negated); such spells likewise provide no damage reduction, bonuses to armor class, cover (including total cover), concealment (including total concealment), or other miss changes against the mageslayer's attacks. Furthermore, if the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against divination spells that do not directly target anyone (such as augury or commune), such spells fail to account for or reveal the mageslayer's presence or actions, reveal any information about him, or to grant any benefits against him or his attacks. In addition, a mageslayer may, as a standard action, use his disruption class feature to remove any number of ongoing spell effects from a single target or, as an immediate action, remove a single ongoing spell effect on a target making a melee attack against him. Finally, a mageslayer can halt spell effects that trigger contingently (such as clone or effects set to contingency) through his counter spell class feature.

Share Countermeasures: Starting at 14th level, a mageslayer can use his allies to help him end more magical effects when desired, granting the target not only the supplies he/she needs to protect themselves from spells but instruction on how to use those supplies him/herself. When a mageslayer uses his share immunity class feature, any ally targeted also gains the ability to use the Disruption and Counter spell abilities with the granted countermeasure.

Sabotage Item: Starting at 16th level, a mageslayer may fight not only against direct magic but also against objects made from magical might. He may use his counter spell class feature to counter the activation of any magic item (knocking a potion from oneís hand with a rock, interrupting a command word, and so forth), may disrupt any non-artifact magic item as well as any effect created by such an item (with disruption of the item itself lasting for 1d4+1 rounds), and gains the benefits of his immunity ability (but not Overcome Enhancement) against the effects of all magic items (including artifacts), provided he has prepared countermeasures against the spell imitated by the item. (If the effect of a magic item doesnít perfectly imitate any spell, any spell used in the itemís construction may be used instead. If it does not require any specific spells, any spell may be used instead.)

Lingering Reversion: Starting at 18th level, a mageslayer knows how to take advantage of the lingering auras left behind even after supposedly ďinstantaneousĒ effects, allowing him to end or resist effects that all but the strongest of mageslayers would dismiss as inescapable. For the purposes of the mageslayer's class features, instantaneous spell effects that deal hit point damage, ability damage, ability drain, and/or negative levels, that slay targets outright (such as implosion), or that return them from the dead (such as reincarnation) possess a duration of 1 round. The aftermath of these effects does not vanish at the end of this duration, but the mageslayer may disrupt such effects during this time just as any other non-instantaneous effect.

Furthermore, all other instantaneous effects are treated as lasting as long as their direct repercussions last (a wall of stone lasts for as long as the stone remains, a greater teleport lasts until the target returns to its point of origin, etc.), allowing even normally nonmagical products of these spells (such as pools of magma brought in through a gate effect) to be resisted and negated (or sent back from whence they came) if the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against the relevant spell. Indirect repercussions, such as the death of someone slain by magma falling through a gate, are not affected.

Spontaneous Workaround: At 20th level, a mageslayer can truly appreciate the need to adapt when your opponents will likely always possess a trick or two that he has not prepared for. As a result, he prepares himself to cannibalize his defenses against other spells in the face of new threats. As an immediate action, a mageslayer may sacrifice his countermeasures against two spells to gain countermeasures against a single new spell of his choice; the duration of the new countermeasure is equal to the lower of the durations of the sacrificed countermeasures.

Face the Unnatural: A mageslayer may well be expected to face casters as well as a wide array of other unusual creatures. Relying as they do upon magical powers or unique strengths, however, a good many opponents become sloppy in their form, providing openings the mageslayer can exploit to mitigate their advantage.

Exploit Complacency: Starting at 2nd level, all enemies of take a -1 penalty to attack rolls against you and to AC against your attacks. These penalties increase by -1 at 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards. Against medium or smaller foes, this penalty may not exceed the sum of all magical bonuses that the subject receives to attack rolls or to AC. Against enemies affected by this class feature, you may add your Intelligence modifier as a bonus to weapon damage rolls (up to a maximum bonus equal to your class level).

Feign Weakness: Starting at 5th level, a mageslayer can feign frailty or weakness to prevent targets from wasting their full power on him. As a swift action, a mageslayer may feign weakness against a single creature. That creature will not expressly target the mageslayer with attacks or spells if other foes are available and will not make a full attack against the mageslayer or target him with spells, powers, or mysteries of the highest two levels it has available even in such a situation (unless it possesses no other reasonable means of attacking you). Once the mageslayer has taken an aggressive action within an encounter, he may only use this ability again once the encounter ends, or he is successfully struck by an enemyís attack, or he fails a save against an enemyís spell or ability. Enemies may freely place the mageslayer within area effects and may direct spell effects to attack the him even while affected by this ability.

Lethal Strike: Starting at 9th level, a mageslayer can take some of the same supplies he utilizes to protect himself and use them in a more aggressive manner, preventing most curative magic as well as the fast healing and regeneration that some monstrous foes are known to possess. Whenever the mageslayer makes a successful attack, he may reduce the duration of any of his countermeasures by 1 hour (see countermeasures, above) to make that attack a lethal strike, capable of inflicting shock and great physiological distress even if the physical wounds technically heal. In effect, hit point damage dealt by the attack ignores regeneration and can only be restored through natural healing. Further, if the mageslayer delivers the felling blow to a creature with a lethal strike, the trauma of the experience carries over every time they would be returned to life in some fashion within the next 24 hours (death pact, or clone), killing the target once more (with no save allowed). Similarly, if the mageslayer delivers the felling blow to a creature that contains another creature's consciousness (such as an astral projection or a creature possessed by magic jar), the creature whose consciousness was in the slain creature is slain as well by the trauma, and this experience kills them immediately if they are returned to life within 24 hours.

Catch Off-Guard: Starting at 13th level, a mageslayer knows not only how to lull foes into a false sense of security through feigned weakness but also how to catch them off-guard with his strength or stealth, stunning them with his resilience or ability to get the drop on them. The first time in an encounter that a non-mindless enemy either misses the mageslayer with an attack made at its full base attack bonus or uses a spell or ability against him that he either succeeds on a save against, counters, or completely resists through his immunity ability, that targetís action ends immediately and it loses its dexterity bonus to AC and is staggered for 1 round.

Furthermore, if the mageslayer successfully attacks an opponent that is not entitled to its Dexterity bonus to AC and which he has not affected earlier in the same encounter with this ability, the attack automatically threatens a critical hit if the target is susceptible to critical hits.

Anticipate Casters:Starting at 17th level, the mageslayer begins to learn how to read the attacks of others, often knowing what theyíll do even before they do, thereby giving him room to plan and maneuver. At the end of each enemyís action, the mageslayer learns what spells they intend to cast on their next action and/or what creatures they intend to target with spells on their next round. If the target wishes to deviate from their choices on their next action (either because the selected action is impossible or because it would be unwise), they are effectively staggered during that round as the mageslayer was able to counter their plans too late for them to fully recover. A target may not select more spells or targets than it is capable of casting or attacking in a single round, and failing to cast even one spell or target even one creature counts as deviation for this purpose.

Hunterís Familiarity: Starting at 3rd level, the mageslayer has accumulated a large repository of lore regarding mystical items, spells, and creatures that he can put to work.

Hunter's Lore: Starting at third level, the mageslayer may make a special lore check with a bonus equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. This check may be used in place of any spellcraft check other than those made to identify spells being cast or those made to learn or prepare spells from spellbooks, and may also be used in place of any knowledge check made to identify and learn about creatures or magic items. This check may be made even if another skill check of the same kind has been performed and failed, though this class feature only grants you one additional attempt.

Hunter's Intuition:Starting at 7th level, the mageslayer obtains something of a sixth sense when it comes to spellcasting, anticipating what spell will be cast with a well-honed intuition and years of experience. In effect, he may attempt to use his counter spell class feature even when lacking a line of sight to his target, albeit with a -5 penalty to his spellcraft check to identify the spell, so long as he possesses a line of effect to his target.

Hunter's Awareness:Starting at 11th level, the mageslayer possesses the acute ability to pick out signs of spellcasting in his immediate surroundings. He may use his Hunter's Lore and spellcraft checks to identify active spell-like abilities (such as invocations or spell-like mysteries) as easily as spells. Furthermore, as a move action, he may make separate lore checks to identify each spell effect active on a target person or object or to identify each area effect active within a 10-foot cube. Even spells that normally canít be seen or detected directly leave small signs that a mageslayer can pick up, so long as the spell is ongoing. In addition to learning what spells are active, the mageslayer further learns all decisions made for the spells, such as passwords and conditions.

Hunter's Arsenal: Starting at 15th level, the mageslayer possesses enough familiarity with most magical devices to be able to fool them into activation when a challenge at hand simply exceeds mortal means. The mageslayer may now use his lore check in place of a Use Magic Device check. If he possesses countermeasures against a spell, he may take 10 on any such check made to utilize a wand or scroll with that spell and may target himself as if he did not possess immunity against that spell effect due to his countermeasures.

Improved Hunter's Awareness: Starting at 19th level, the mageslayer gains the ability to pick out even the smallest remnants of magic. He may use his lore and spellcraft checks to identify supernatural abilities with levels such as vestiges, utterances, supernatural mysteries, and fundamentals of shadow as if spells of the appropriate spell level. Furthermore, when he spends a move action to identify spell effects, he also pick up any remaining remnants of instantaneous effects (as with lingering reversion) and gains a general idea of all decisions made with all detected spells.

Unmake Artifact: Starting at 20th level, the mageslayer possesses the incredible power required to destroy even a source of magical power as powerful as an artifact. With 24 hours of continuous work, he may either destroy a minor artifact or learn of a way in which a major artifact may be destroyed.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: A big thanks to Yitsi who helped take this class and reworded it to make it readable.

Vadskye
2013-07-09, 07:18 PM
This has the most enjoyable fluff and gameplay style of any anticaster I've seen. A few thoughts:

Are there any range limits on countering a spell, or any other way for a mage to mitigate the effect?

One major thing the class seems to be lacking is an ability to counter flight.

I can only imagine how many potential rules complexities and oddities are created by such broadly defined abilities. That isn't really a problem with the class exactly - it's more a problem with the immense variety of the spell system - but this class can only be played in a game who knows the nuances spells very, very well.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-09, 07:40 PM
Ooh, a reply. That was fast.


This has the most enjoyable fluff and gameplay style of any anticaster I've seen. A few thoughts:

Thanks a lot. I've noticed that lots of other attempts (including my own past attempt) tend to turn anticasters into passive slabs of immunities and I thought the preparation method would at least be a change.


Are there any range limits on countering a spell, or any other way for a mage to mitigate the effect?

I... honestly don't know. I was trying to piggyback the mechanics off of normal counterspelling in part because these rules are REALLY vague (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/castingSpells.htm). I honestly couldn't tell if counterspelling requires a range... or a line of sight, for that matter.

Wait a moment, I might see something...


If you are able to cast the same spell and you have it prepared (if you prepare spells), you cast it, altering it slightly to create a counterspell effect. If the target is within range, both spells automatically negate each other with no other results.

Does this mean that the distance between the two casters can't exceed the spell's range? Would that make personal and touch spells pretty much impossible to ever counter? Really? I never looked too closely at counterspell as a maneuver until this project so I may need some clarification on this matter (and may need to reword it as a result).

As far as not giving other means to resist, that was partially intentional (see my third creation assumption in the first post).


One major thing the class seems to be lacking is an ability to counter flight.

Yeah, flying. The conceptual problem with flying in general is that when you're talking about 1000+ feet elevation, there is no way in hell a normal person on the ground has any chance of hitting it no matter how you try to describe the attack... unless... yeah, that might just do it.

This guy is getting the ride skill. :smallcool:
It's not much, sure, but riding atop a pegasus or something of the kind is the ONLY way I could picture nonmagical, nonwuxia flight. I can think of literally no other way.


I can only imagine how many potential rules complexities and oddities are created by such broadly defined abilities. That isn't really a problem with the class exactly - it's more a problem with the immense variety of the spell system - but this class can only be played in a game who knows the nuances spells very, very well.

I would counter that if you've got players bringing out the obscure spells that cause friction with these class features to such a great degree, you've probably already got someone with a good knowledge of spells. :smallwink:

Seriously, though, I'll start an FAQ on the bottom of the second post as specific questions come up.

Edit: just found the rulings I was looking for (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050524a). Modifying Counter spell appropriately.

Vadskye
2013-07-09, 08:51 PM
Thanks a lot. I've noticed that lots of other attempts (including my own past attempt) tend to turn anticasters into passive slabs of immunities and I thought the preparation method would at least be a change.
Indeed. And it's a good change - it means that this guy can be about as interesting the play as the casters he counters. My one concern is that it does make him very, very preparation-dependent. In-character, he shouldn't need the Intelligence of a wizard to counter a wizard, and out of character, this class is even more newbie-unfriendly than a caster. Obviously, you don't want him to be able to be totally spontaneous, though - otherwise it takes the "not just a slab of immunities" part of the class away. What if he prepared against descriptors/subschools/schools instead of individual spells? That way, I don't have to know every single different "nuke me" spell that a caster could have, and it scales much better as you add extra books that multiply the number of spell options.

I... honestly don't know. I was trying to piggyback the mechanics off of normal counterspelling in part because these rules are REALLY vague (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/castingSpells.htm). I honestly couldn't tell if counterspelling requires a range... or a line of sight, for that matter.

Wait a moment, I might see something...

Does this mean that the distance between the two casters can't exceed the spell's range? Would that make personal and touch spells pretty much impossible to ever counter? Really? I never looked too closely at counterspell as a maneuver until this project so I may need some clarification on this matter (and may need to reword it as a result).[/quote]
Haha. I love discovering weirdness in the core rules. (For example, did you know that undead can waive their immunity to mind-affecting spells? See p. 177, Voluntarily Giving Up A Saving Throw.) And yes, it does seem fairly unambiguous about the range limitation. So you'll need to define a range for his counterspelling ability. Maybe start at 30' (roughly Close range) and increase with level?


As far as not giving other means to resist, that was partially intentional (see my third creation assumption in the first post).
As long as a mage can do something, I'm okay with it. I would say that if this class doesn't function as an NPC antagonist, it would deserve adjustment; you shouldn't completely destroy the possibility for interaction, just make sure that it swings in the mageslayer's favor. With that said, I think the design of the class already accomplishes that goal, so I don't mind.


Yeah, flying. The conceptual problem with flying in general is that when you're talking about 1000+ feet elevation, there is no way in hell a normal person on the ground has any chance of hitting it no matter how you try to describe the attack... unless... yeah, that might just do it.

This guy is getting the ride skill. :smallcool:
It's not much, sure, but riding atop a pegasus or something of the kind is the ONLY way I could picture nonmagical, nonwuxia flight. I can think of literally no other way.
Haha. That's definitely one solution. I was thinking more along the lines of hovering 20' above the mageslayer's head and peppering him with spells until he runs out of immunity. My idea would just be to let him potentially craft (or otherwise use) projectiles that would allow him to shut down a flight spell just like he could if he was adjacent to the mage. That keeps the fluff intact, instead of giving him directly magical ranged abilities or flight, which is just weird (as you noted).


I would counter that if you've got players bringing out the obscure spells that cause friction with these class features to such a great degree, you've probably already got someone with a good knowledge of spells. :smallwink:

Seriously, though, I'll start an FAQ on the bottom of the second post as specific questions come up.
Heh, makes sense. My first thoughts go to some of the most weird and complex spells in core - how does the mageslayer interact with an astral projection or a magic jar?

Yitzi
2013-07-09, 10:25 PM
Question: How is he going to deal with a caster who has enough archery-boosting buffs up that even the ones he hasn't prepared countermeasures for are sufficient to let the caster kill the Mageslayer in a single round?

Vadskye
2013-07-09, 10:34 PM
Question: How is he going to deal with a caster who has enough archery-boosting buffs up that even the ones he hasn't prepared countermeasures for are sufficient to let the caster kill the Mageslayer in a single round?
I think that if the caster has had to tailor his build/spell selection to combat the mageslayer, the mageslayer has already accomplished his goal. You will never build a class that can deal with a spellcaster who has decided that his life goal is to ruin your day.

With that said, I could see an argument that it's too easy for the caster to deal with the mageslayer's ranged attacks. One idea would be that (at sufficiently high level; probably not when the mageslayer first gets the ability to put the negation abilities on ranged attacks) the mageslayer could make negation "combos": the first part of the combo to negate a defense (such as wind wall) and the second part of the combo to negate the flight itself. That would mean, in theory, that the spellcaster would have to put serious effort into it to become invincible. I think this is only feasible if the mageslayer can spell categories instead of individual spells, but it should work.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-09, 11:33 PM
Question: How is he going to deal with a caster who has enough archery-boosting buffs up that even the ones he hasn't prepared countermeasures for are sufficient to let the caster kill the Mageslayer in a single round?

Edit: I understand that the term mageslayer is thrown around far more than others have any right to. Especially when someone claims to be countering the big boys, throwing out the more extreme methods makes sense. With that said, putting up a post with a single counterexample as if to say that the entire class fails strikes me as a bit disheartening.

First, I have specifically stated that it doesn't counter every mage maneuver so saying "mages get through, try again" is kind of frustrating on my end.

Secondly, even you must realize that what you propose is no mean feat. You're talking about loading up on 80+ archery buffs and having the weakest ones kill you in one round, even with all attack bonuses lowered by face the unnatural. At that point, you are talking about the solution to a theoretical optimization puzzle more than anything that would see the light of day.

I'm not going to stick my fingers in my ears and ignore any direct criticism of the class but neither do I intend to keep building it up until this class becomes an incomprehensible mess (well, more of one) to cover every potential shortcoming or give up at the first sign of weakness. I would like to develop this class with feedback.

I apologize if your question was earnest. I am bad at reading internet sarcasm at time but as a question out of left-field, it seemed to be a simple dismissal of the idea based on one of the more hyperbolic situations that I specifically stated that it would not last in. Again, frustrating.

Vadskye
2013-07-09, 11:36 PM
Also, due to Face the Unnatural, each and every attack bonus granted is individually reduced by -5. :smallconfused:
Now that you mention it, you will probably want to put a "minimum 0" clause in there. Yes, we want him to be good against casters. No, it doesn't make sense that the cleric gets worse at hitting him after putting on divine favor.

Yitzi
2013-07-10, 09:38 AM
I think that if the caster has had to tailor his build/spell selection to combat the mageslayer, the mageslayer has already accomplished his goal. You will never build a class that can deal with a spellcaster who has decided that his life goal is to ruin your day.

But he doesn't have to tailor it all that much to do it. He just needs to use a fairly common (as I understand it) build type which also is good for beating many others.


First, I have specifically stated that it doesn't counter every mage maneuver

Yes, but your examples of ones that it doesn't counter are the extreme ones like infinite loops. When it's nothing more than "pretend to be a fighter far better than a fighter can", i.e. the very thing that makes mages tier 1, I'd say that's a bigger problem to the claim to be a mage-slayer.


Secondly, even you must realize that what you propose is no mean feat.

Belial the Leveler, in this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=15521229&postcount=19) post, seemed to imply that it's fairly common. Of course, that's without getting to knock out the 4 strongest, but that shouldn't make it that much harder.


I apologize if your question was earnest. I am bad at reading internet sarcasm at time but as a question out of left-field, it seemed to be a simple dismissal of the idea based on one of the more hyperbolic situations that I specifically stated that it would not last in. Again, frustrating.

It was earnest; perhaps I misunderstood how uncommon strong CoDzilla builds are in the sort of optimization level where a mageslayer is needed.

Vadskye
2013-07-10, 11:41 AM
But he doesn't have to tailor it all that much to do it. He just needs to use a fairly common (as I understand it) build type which also is good for beating many others.

Agreed. I definitely think the mageslayer needs a way of dealing with the relatively standard flight+defensive buffs combo.

JBPuffin
2013-07-10, 01:35 PM
If mageslayers are able to deal with psions, warlocks and...whatever utters, don't remember, sholdn't be able to counter some of the other weird things? Like, for example, incarnum? Or gramarie (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291019) even? I know that might get a bit ridiculous, but they are magic-tpe things...yeah.

The way that this class counters the "fighting-wizard" is by reducing their buffs against him; this class ends up reqiing that the DM set up casters with a limited amount of obscure spells, as he should if he wants the mageslayer to be happy with hs class choice.

You know what, though? Take a few levels of rogue on top of this, and you end up with a character that can simply assassinate mages, which seems like the best plan.

Actually, that needs to be the prestige class for this; give the mageslayer who takes said prestige class continued progression in his mageslayer stuff however you wish and give him some sneak attack bonuses instead of, say, the bff reduction boosts or the artifact destruction. Then you could have a prestige class focused on fighting in close (better hit die and BAB with less countering potential, perhaps?).

And feat potential! You could add more spells to prepare against (seems like a good base feature, actually), and if the answer to my first question is no, then you could have the ability to counter them, as well as maybe an extra "type-exclusive" slot to do reduce problems with option bloat.

This seems to be okay; might need some retooling for it to do its job to the best of its potential, but I like the idea of one of these travelling with heroic mages so he can look at what they're preparing and what he needs to be able to counter. Good luck!

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-10, 03:29 PM
But he doesn't have to tailor it all that much to do it. He just needs to use a fairly common (as I understand it) build type which also is good for beating many others.

I'm not questioning that the tactic is fairly straitforward. Self-buffing is what CoDzilla is there for. The insane part (in my mind) is finding 80+ buff spells and having just the weakest kill you (especially considering that most attack bonuses are all but nullified to begin with).

To put things in perspective, Here (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19866830/The_Cleric_Handbook?post_id=338230022#338230022) are two (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=420.0) Cleric handbooks, each of which lists just over 80 suggested spells for the player across all spell levels. The idea of having that many good spells that nobody mentions online all designed for one task has me a bit dubious, though it may just be because I haven't seen a full list yet.

Gating in a mindr*ped foe is just good common sense for an evil mage. Preparing 40 versions of each spell just to ensure that one of each gets through a specific enemy who has in turn prepared for you to specifically use this one tactic is what verges on the insanely and undully dedicated in my mind.

Yitzi
2013-07-10, 03:41 PM
I'm not questioning that the tactic is fairly straitforward. Self-buffing is what CoDzilla is there for. The insane part (in my mind) is finding 80+ buff spells and having just the weakest kill you (especially considering that most attack bonuses are all but nullified to begin with).

Oh, I see the problem...you wrote 4 countermeasures per level, but the lengthy interjection between about different types resulting in me missing the "per level", so I thought you'd need only 4 plus enough to kill, not 80+. :smallredface:

Ok, that does solve the problem quite nicely (and in a way that nicely parallels the wizard's ability to choose spells), though you might want to consider rewriting that sentence to avoid other people making the mistake I did.

Actually, would you like me to go over it and rewrite things for clarity in general? I noticed a few places where your phrasing can probably be improved. (I used to have a problem with the same thing.)

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-10, 03:52 PM
Some help with wording might be nice. The problem with lots of magic is that there are no terms in existence that really mean what I mean to say. Makes trying to word an ability quite frustrating. :smallyuk:

And again, glad that you like my strategy. After years of hearing discussions about mages ending with "Well, obviously the wizard would prepare spell X", I figured that I'd make someone who could say the exact reverse. :smallwink:

Just to Browse
2013-07-10, 04:30 PM
Effective, but requires a lot of planning for encounters (and this guy has no scouting/divination abilities) with little slack for people who don't prepare appropriately. Thank you for letting this cover SLA and Su-using monsters, because that makes it a lot more useful. The guy still seems to be screwed by fly-kiting (since he can't dispel outside of 10' range, correct?), and I really don't like the quasi-mind-control ability granted by Feign Weakness because it doesn't mesh with the rest of the class and can railroad creatures into actions they might not normally take.

Your magical creature designation appears to let the Mageslayer designate an infinite number of magic beasties with his abilities. Do you mean to let him substitute spell immunities for creature immunities?

I'd like to see this class focus more on mobility (so he can close gaps made by mages) and either give it more abilities for fighting non-magical closet trolls or at least bump the BAB/hit die. Right now he's awesome against magic things but he feels worse than a rogue against anything else. 8 + Int skill points also seems to be overdoing it, considering the only other classes like that are the Factotum and Rogue, it feels like stepping on their toes.

Rakoa
2013-07-10, 04:49 PM
I think this class is the best Mageslayer type thing I've ever seen. Bookmarked for later use.


Effective, but requires a lot of planning for encounters (and this guy has no scouting/divination abilities) with little slack for people who don't prepare appropriately.

I think that Research Caster fulfills this need, by allowing the Mageslayer to leave his slots empty as TBA, though he has to be within a certain distance of a certain caster. It allows him to more than adequately prepare for a single spellcaster though, without any guesswork necessary.

I agree with your other points though. Flight is still an issue, as is versatility.

Yitzi
2013-07-10, 06:50 PM
By the way, powers can't normally be countered, and I'm not sure about mysteries. Any thoughts on whether the mageslayer's countering should still work on them?

Exploit Complacency seems overpowered, as it means the mageslayer can use buffs while negating his opponents'; with that, he could probably even beat a fighter in a straight fight, which I know you don't want. I've rewritten it to remove that; let me know if you want it changed to how it worked before.

Likewise Anticipate Casters, simply because it can be used against non-casters to know who they'll attack and stagger them if that person moves out of range. (Which will really hurt flexible-tactics builds/players, which I doubt you want). So I've rewritten that too; let me know if you want it changed back.

Hunter's Arsenal is also a bit concerning, as it means that a mageslayer can buff himself while ignoring the buffs of the fighter he's trying to fight. Any ideas on how to deal with that?

In the case of a non-instantaneous area spell, is the area that the mageslayer occupied at the time of casting unaffected even after he leaves the area?

Likewise, am I correct that if a mageslayer is moved toward a lasting effect, and then moves away, it returns to its normal state once he leaves?

Am I correct that when Dispel is within his reach, that's his normal reach, and he can't use a reach weapon or 10-foot pole to extend it?

Finally, my rephrasing technically would allow someone to prepare double countermeasures to a single spell, allowing them to use one for countering and dispelling while leaving the other to provide immunity. Is that a good thing, or should it be changed?


Some help with wording might be nice. The problem with lots of magic is that there are no terms in existence that really mean what I mean to say. Makes trying to word an ability quite frustrating. :smallyuk:

Ok, here goes. Major changes, and those that I think are what you meant but am not sure, are in bold, whereas minor changes are just posted. (I've cut out the stuff I'm not changing at all, so you'll have to cut and paste if you want to put it in the original post):

Game Rule Information
Mageslayers have the following game statistics
Abilities: Mageslayers rely upon a high intelligence or charisma score to gain them the necessary information to keep them ahead of spellcasters. In the heat of battle, however, mageslayers rely on their strength, dexterity, and constitution much like any other combatant.

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Mageslayer is proficient in light weapons, ranged martial weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Trapfinding: A Mageslayer can use the search skill to find traps with a DC higher than 20 and can use the Disable Device skill to disable magical traps. A mageslayer who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study it, figure out how it works and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

Urban Tracker: While a good many beasts live out in the wilderness, most casters fit into civilized society relatively well, requiring different skills to track them down. A mageslayer gains Urban Tracking (Cityscape, p. 64) as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Countermeasures: Even in a world filled with spells and wonders, nearly any mystical obstacle can be overcome by some (relatively) mundane counter. Just as werewolves are weak against mundane silver and vampires are helpless to approach garlic, so too might one overcome an arcane lock by knocking a tuning fork on the hinges or mislead a scrying spell by changing his name or wearing the pungent clothes of another. The secret to the undoing of wizardry, however, like the secret to performing it, is careful preparation. Combining a surplus of herbs, alchemic items, lucky charms, and various other accoutrements with extensive physical and mental training and tactical experience, a mageslayer possesses the limited ability to stop spellcasters and other users of magic.

Each day, a mageslayer may spend one hour rifling through his supplies and supplementing them with what he can find in his immediate surroundings in order to prepare countermeasures for 4 spells/level. Countermeasures last for 24 hours, though some uses may decrease this duration. A mageslayer of first level can only counter first-level and lower spells; for each 2 levels beyond first, he gains the ability to counter spells one level higher, thereby keeping pace with the mages he fights. If one spell is used to imitate another (such as using shadow evocation to create a fireball), it can be countered by the countermeasures to either of the two spells. While no specific supplies or materials are absolutely required to prepare countermeasures, it is assumed under normal conditions that a mageslayer maintains a decent collection of materials for this purpose and that he has trained while carrying these materials long enough that they no longer count towards his carrying capacity.

While the target of countermeasures is normally referred to as a "spell", psionic powers and mysteries may be likewise selected.

A mageslayer who has prepared countermeasures to a spell gains a number of important benefits:

Immunity: Perhaps most importantly, a mageslayer's countermeasures effectively provide him with immunity from the selected spells, which can manifest in a number of ways depending on the spell in question.
If the spell targets creatures, the mageslayer may not be targeted as the lodestones in his pocket cause rays to swerve, the poultice he has spread on his skin harmlessly absorbs a touch effect, and so forth. Other creatures the spell may target are still affected normally.
If the spell targets an area, all squares the mageslayer occupies are exempt from that effect as the bags of water on your person explode to protect him in a fireball, the holy symbols of a dozen righteous gods help ward off a desecrate effect, and so forth.
If the spell creates a non-instantaneous effect, the mageslayer uses a potent charm to repel its presence similarly to how one may repel a vampire with a mirror, preventing the effect or any further effects that it would produce (such as the heat from a wall of fire) from moving or functioning within 5 feet of him. Even dimensional portals and interfaces are suppressed if the mageslayer is within range of the portal; immunity to dispel magic and similar effects likewise gives no protection. If a mageslayer forces himself within 5 feet of the effect or an effect it has produced and remains within that range at the end of his action, this protection is lost against that effect until he again passes at least 5 feet away from the effect and all effects it produces.
This immunity is entirely passive, functioning continuously even while unconscious or dead and needing no action to activate. A mageslayer may not willingly drop this immunity to allow helpful uses of a spell to connect.

Counter Spell: By spreading itching powder, making loud noises, throwing all manner of devices and concoctions, or through clever use of the environment, a mageslayer can disrupt the casting of a spell by an enemy. Unlike a counterspell attempt, he need not ready an action to counter a spell in this way, reacting on pure instinct and capable of countering multiple spells in a single round. Otherwise, this ability functions much as a normal counterspell attempt with two other major exceptions. Firstly, this attempt may be made at any distance, regardless of the spell being countered, so long as the mageslayer possess line of sight and line of effect to the caster. Secondly, even if the spellcraft check to identify the spell being cast is successful, a mageslayer can only counter the spell if it is one he has prepared countermeasures for, and doing so reduces the remaining duration of that countermeasure by 1 hour (this ability cannot be used if less than one hour remains). A mageslayer cannot use this ability while unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless. This class feature does not enable a mageslayer to counter spell-like or supernatural mysteries (but see spell-like countermeasures and supernatural countermeasures, below).

Several other class abilities grant additional uses to this ability; these uses also cost 1 hour of prepared time to the countermeasure used.

Disruption: A mageslayer can end most ongoing spell effects in a similar manner to how he might protect himself from the same spell. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a mageslayer can dispel a single active spell if at least part of the area or effect or at least one of its targets is within 5 feet of some location he can reach. A mageslayer can only disrupt spells for which he has prepared countermeasures, and doing so reduces the remaining duration of the countermeasure by 2 hours (this ability cannot be used if fewer than two hours remain). Magic items cannot be dispelled in this way. A mageslayer cannot use this ability while unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise helpless. This ability does not enable a mageslayer to dispel supernatural mysteries (but see supernatural countermeasures, below).

Several other class abilities grant additional uses to this ability; these uses also cost 2 hours of prepared time to the countermeasure used.

Research Caster: Starting at 2nd level, a mageslayer possesses the ability to learn about casters and their mannerisms before a fight. Whenever a mageslayer prepares countermeasures within a community, he may use some of the hour to learn about a single spellcaster either within the community or within 1 mile/class level of it, learning a bit about what spells he or she favors, what strategies he or she uses, and so forth. In effect, a mageslayer may choose to leave any number of your countermeasures effectively undesignated, though the duration of your immunity to each undesignated spell counts down from 24 hours as normal. While in an encounter with the chosen spellcaster and a successful Spellcraft check made with your counter spell class feature reveals that you do not possess countermeasures against the spell being cast, a mageslayer may spend an immediate action to designate one of his undesignated countermeasures as being against that spell. (When doing so, the mageslayer brings out his preparations at the last moment, so Counter Spell cannot be used on that particular casting but Immunity still applies.)

Spell-Like Countermeasures: Starting at 4th level, a mageslayer can fight back not just against spells but against more ingrained spell-like abilities. His countermeasures now apply against spell-like ability versions of the same spell effects, but the cost of countering or dispelling a spell-like ability is double that for countering or dispelling a spell. In addition, a mageslayer of 4th level or higher may prepare countermeasures against invocations as he would against spells.

Share Immunities: Starting at 6th level, a mageslayer can help protect his allies against the effects of magic, stretching his supplies out among all those he wishes to help. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a mageslayer may reduce the remaining duration of his countermeasures against one spell by any number of hours, granting a single willing, touched ally the Immunity ability against that spell for an equal amount of time.

Supernatural Countermeasures: Starting at 8th level, a mageslayer may even fight against the unformed power of supernatural abilities. His countermeasures now apply against supernatural versions of the same spell effects. Countering or dispelling a supernatural ability costs three times as much as countering or dispelling a spell. Furthermore, when preparing countermeasures, a mageslayer may choose to select any number of specific kinds of creature (such as Kytons or Couatls) with HD equal to or less than his class level instead of selecting spells. The mageslayer then effectively gains the benefits of countermeasures against all racial supernatural abilities of the creatures of that type when used by that type of creature. A mageslayer may now choose to prepare countermeasures to fundamentals of shadow as well as vestiges or utterances as he would against spells; if a vestige is prepared, all granted abilities of the vestige are subject to the countermeasure.

Marginalize Minions: Mageslayers know well that casters unable to fight you directly may use their magic to make other foes fight you in their place. Starting at 10th level, a mageslayer's studies and techniques for fighting against spells now extend in part to the minions they result in, keeping such minions subdued and docile in a similar ways to how a mageslayer keep spell effects at bay. Creatures summoned, called, or created by a spell for which a mageslayer has prepared countermeasures, or whose construction or reanimation involved such a spell, are incapable of taking aggressive actions (whether involving spells, blades, or other means) against the mageslayer unless he takes one against it first. Likewise, if any creature is under the effect of charming, compulsive, or otherwise baneful mind-affecting effects which the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against, that creature cannot take aggressive actions against the mageslayer unless the mageslayer attacks first. Familiars, animal companions, and special mounts are likewise affected by this ability regardless of what spells (if any) the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against.

Overcome Enhancement: Starting at 12th level, a mageslayer knows not only how to fight against a spell directly but how to counter the advantage that an opponent may gain from a spell. Spells the mageslayer has prepared countermeasures for provide no bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks made against the mageslayer (even indirect bonuses such as through ability score bonuses are negated); such spells likewise provide no damage reduction, bonuses to armor class, cover (including total cover), concealment (including total concealment), or other miss changes against the mageslayer's attacks. Furthermore, if the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against divination spells that do not directly target anyone (such as augury or commune), such spells fail to account for or reveal the mageslayer's presence or actions, reveal any information about him, or to grant any benefits against him or his attacks. In addition, a mageslayer may, as a standard action, use his disruption class feature to remove any number of ongoing spell effects from a single target or, as an immediate action, remove a single ongoing spell effect on a target making a melee attack against him. Finally, a mageslayer can halt spell effects that trigger contingently (such as clone or effects set to contingency) through his counter spell class feature.

Share Countermeasures: Starting at 14th level, a mageslayer can use his allies to help him end more magical effects when desired, granting the target not only the supplies he/she needs to protect themselves from spells but instruction on how to use those supplies him/herself. When a mageslayer uses his share immunity class feature, any ally targeted also gains the ability to use the Disruption and Counter spell abilities with the granted countermeasure.

Sabotage Item: Starting at 16th level, a mageslayer may fight not only against direct magic but also against objects made from magical might. He may use his counter spell class feature to counter the activation of any magic item (knocking a potion from oneís hand with a rock, interrupting a command word, and so forth), may disrupt any non-artifact magic item as well as any effect created by such an item (with disruption of the item itself lasting for 1d4+1 rounds), and gains the benefits of his immunity ability (but not Overcome Enhancement) against the effects of all magic items (including artifacts), provided he has prepared countermeasures against the spell imitated by the item. (If the effect of a magic item doesnít perfectly imitate any spell, any spell used in the itemís construction may be used instead. If it does not require any specific spells, any spell may be used instead.)

Lingering Reversion: Starting at 18th level, a mageslayer knows how to take advantage of the lingering auras left behind even after supposedly ďinstantaneousĒ effects, allowing him to end or resist effects that all but the strongest of mageslayers would dismiss as inescapable. For the purposes of the mageslayer's class features, instantaneous spell effects that deal hit point damage, ability damage, ability drain, and/or negative levels, that slay targets outright (such as implosion), or that return them from the dead (such as reincarnation) possess a duration of 1 round. The aftermath of these effects does not vanish at the end of this duration, but the mageslayer may disrupt such effects during this time just as any other non-instantaneous effect.

Furthermore, all other instantaneous effects are treated as lasting as long as their direct repercussions last (a wall of stone lasts for as long as the stone remains, a greater teleport lasts until the target returns to its point of origin, etc.), allowing even normally nonmagical products of these spells (such as pools of magma brought in through a gate effect) to be resisted and negated (or sent back from whence they came) if the mageslayer possesses countermeasures against the relevant spell. Indirect repercussions, such as the death of someone slain by magma falling through a gate, are not affected.

Spontaneous Workaround: At 20th level, a mageslayer can truly appreciate the need to adapt when your opponents will likely always possess a trick or two that he has not prepared for. As a result, he prepares himself to cannibalize his defenses against other spells in the face of new threats. As an immediate action, a mageslayer may sacrifice his countermeasures against two spells to gain countermeasures against a single new spell of his choice; the duration of the new countermeasure is equal to the lower of the durations of the sacrificed countermeasures.

Face the Unnatural: A mageslayer may well be expected to face casters as well as a wide array of other unusual creatures. Relying as they do upon magical powers or unique strengths, however, a good many opponents become sloppy in their form, providing openings the mageslayer can exploit to mitigate their advantage.

Exploit Complacency: Starting at 2nd level, a mageslayer gains a +1 insight bonus to his Armor Class against touch attacks, increases the size penalty (if any) of creatures attacking or attacked by him by -2, and decreases each magical bonus to attack rolls against him or to AC against his attacks by -1. For every point by which an attacked creatureís AC is reduced by this ability, the mageslayer gains a +1 bonus to his damage roll if successful. At 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards, the insight bonus increases by +1, the size penalties increase by -2, and the penalties to attack and AC bonuses increase by -1 (though no bonus can go below 0 through this ability).

This ability is not effective against humanoids, animals, oozes, plants, or vermin, nor against giants who lack spell-like abilities.

Feign Weakness: Starting at 5th level, a mageslayer can feign frailty or weakness to prevent targets from wasting their full power on him. As a swift action, a mageslayer may feign weakness against a single creature. That creature will not expressly target the mageslayer with attacks or spells if other foes are available and will not make a full attack against the mageslayer or target him with spells, powers, or mysteries of the highest two levels it has available even in such a situation (unless it possesses no other reasonable means of attacking you). Once the mageslayer has taken an aggressive action within an encounter, he may only use this ability again once the encounter ends, or he is successfully struck by an enemyís attack, or he fails a save against an enemyís spell or ability. Enemies may freely place the mageslayer within area effects and may direct spell effects to attack the him even while affected by this ability.

Lethal Strike: Starting at 9th level, a mageslayer can take some of the same supplies he utilizes to protect himself and use them in a more aggressive manner, preventing most curative magic as well as the fast healing and regeneration that some monstrous foes are known to possess. Whenever the mageslayer makes a successful attack, he may reduce the duration of any of his countermeasures by 1 hour (see countermeasures, above) to make that attack a lethal strike, capable of inflicting shock and great physiological distress even if the physical wounds technically heal. In effect, hit point damage dealt by the attack ignores regeneration and can only be restored through natural healing. Further, if the mageslayer delivers the felling blow to a creature with a lethal strike, the trauma of the experience carries over every time they would be returned to life in some fashion within the next 24 hours (death pact, or clone), killing the target once more (with no save allowed). Similarly, if the mageslayer delivers the felling blow to a creature that contains another creature's consciousness (such as an astral projection or a creature possessed by magic jar), the creature whose consciousness was in the slain creature is slain as well by the trauma, and this experience kills them immediately if they are returned to life within 24 hours.

Catch Off-Guard: Starting at 13th level, a mageslayer knows not only how to lull foes into a false sense of security through feigned weakness but also how to catch them off-guard with his strength or stealth, stunning them with his resilience or ability to get the drop on them. The first time in an encounter that a non-mindless enemy either misses the mageslayer with an attack made at its full base attack bonus or uses a spell or ability against him that he either succeeds on a save against, counters, or completely resists through his immunity ability, that targetís action ends immediately and it loses its dexterity bonus to AC and is staggered for 1 round.

Furthermore, if the mageslayer successfully attacks an opponent that is not entitled to its Dexterity bonus to AC and which he has not affected earlier in the same encounter with this ability, the attack automatically threatens a critical hit if the target is susceptible to critical hits.

Anticipate Casters:Starting at 17th level, the mageslayer begins to learn how to read the attacks of others, often knowing what theyíll do even before they do, thereby giving him room to plan and maneuver. At the end of each enemyís action, the mageslayer learns what spells they intend to cast on their next action and/or what creatures they intend to target with spells on their next round. If the target wishes to deviate from their choices on their next action (either because the selected action is impossible or because it would be unwise), they are effectively staggered during that round as the mageslayer was able to counter their plans too late for them to fully recover. A target may not select more spells or targets than it is capable of casting or attacking in a single round, and failing to cast even one spell or target even one creature counts as deviation for this purpose.

Hunterís Familiarity: Starting at 3rd level, the mageslayer has accumulated a large repository of lore regarding mystical items, spells, and creatures that he can put to work.

Hunter's Lore: Starting at third level, the mageslayer may make a special lore check with a bonus equal to his class level + his Intelligence modifier. This check may be used in place of any spellcraft check other than those made to identify spells being cast or those made to learn or prepare spells from spellbooks, and may also be used in place of any knowledge check made to identify and learn about creatures or magic items. This check may be made even if another skill check of the same kind has been performed and failed, though this class feature only grants you one additional attempt.

Hunter's Intuition:Starting at 7th level, the mageslayer obtains something of a sixth sense when it comes to spellcasting, anticipating what spell will be cast with a well-honed intuition and years of experience. In effect, he may attempt to use his counter spell class feature even when lacking a line of sight to his target, albeit with a -5 penalty to his spellcraft check to identify the spell, so long as he possesses a line of effect to his target.

Hunter's Awareness:Starting at 11th level, the mageslayer possesses the acute ability to pick out signs of spellcasting in his immediate surroundings. He may use his Hunter's Lore and spellcraft checks to identify active spell-like abilities (such as invocations or spell-like mysteries) as easily as spells. Furthermore, as a move action, he may make separate lore checks to identify each spell effect active on a target person or object or to identify each area effect active within a 10-foot cube. Even spells that normally canít be seen or detected directly leave small signs that a mageslayer can pick up, so long as the spell is ongoing. In addition to learning what spells are active, the mageslayer further learns all decisions made for the spells, such as passwords and conditions.

Hunter's Arsenal: Starting at 15th level, the mageslayer possesses enough familiarity with most magical devices to be able to fool them into activation when a challenge at hand simply exceeds mortal means. The mageslayer may now use his lore check in place of a Use Magic Device check. If he possesses countermeasures against a spell, he may take 10 on any such check made to utilize a wand or scroll with that spell and may target himself as if he did not possess immunity against that spell effect due to his countermeasures.

Improved Hunter's Awareness: Starting at 19th level, the mageslayer gains the ability to pick out even the smallest remnants of magic. He may use his lore and spellcraft checks to identify supernatural abilities with levels such as vestiges, utterances, supernatural mysteries, and fundamentals of shadow as if spells of the appropriate spell level. Furthermore, when he spends a move action to identify spell effects, he also pick up any remaining remnants of instantaneous effects (as with lingering reversion) and gains a general idea of all decisions made with all detected spells.

Unmake Artifact: Starting at 20th level, the mageslayer possesses the incredible power required to destroy even a source of magical power as powerful as an artifact. With 24 hours of continuous work, he may either destroy a minor artifact or learn of a way in which a major artifact may be destroyed.[/QUOTE]

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-10, 09:33 PM
Okay, now time for a massive reply for all of the things.


If mageslayers are able to deal with psions, warlocks and...whatever utters, don't remember, sholudn't be able to counter some of the other weird things? Like, for example, incarnum? Or gramarie (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291019) even? I know that might get a bit ridiculous, but they are magic-tpe things...yeah.

I doubt that I'd specifically target gramarie as it's homebrew (and I probably won't do supernatural maneuvers) but soulmelds are something that I've totally forgotten. Not sure how it would work as resisting the effects of a soulmeld might work but dispelling the soulmeld would hose the user too completely.


The way that this class counters the "fighting-wizard" is by reducing their buffs against him; this class ends up reqiing that the DM set up casters with a limited amount of obscure spells, as he should if he wants the mageslayer to be happy with hs class choice.

While this seems pretty accurate for the rare one-on-one fight, keep in mind that most campaigns will have the mageslayer traveling with a party who remain unprotected against the buff spells of the "fighting wizard".


Actually, that needs to be the prestige class for this; give the mageslayer who takes said prestige class continued progression in his mageslayer stuff however you wish and give him some sneak attack bonuses instead of, say, the bff reduction boosts or the artifact destruction. Then you could have a prestige class focused on fighting in close (better hit die and BAB with less countering potential, perhaps?).[/url]

That actually sounds like a pretty good idea. I may make a PrC like this and advancing countermeasures in a PrC seems easy enough to do.


And feat potential! You could add more spells to prepare against (seems like a good base feature, actually), and if the answer to my first question is no, then you could have the ability to counter them, as well as maybe an extra "type-exclusive" slot to do reduce problems with option bloat.

I'm probably going to be somewhat sparse on new feats, though countermeasure feats will each grant an additional countermeasure per day (much like luck feats and rerolls). I'll see if I can think of any tomorrow.


This seems to be okay; might need some retooling for it to do its job to the best of its potential, but I like the idea of one of these travelling with heroic mages so he can look at what they're preparing and what he needs to be able to counter. Good luck!

Foolish Mages! I know all you can do! :smallamused:


With that said, I could see an argument that it's too easy for the caster to deal with the mageslayer's ranged attacks. One idea would be that (at sufficiently high level; probably not when the mageslayer first gets the ability to put the negation abilities on ranged attacks) the mageslayer could make negation "combos": the first part of the combo to negate a defense (such as wind wall) and the second part of the combo to negate the flight itself. That would mean, in theory, that the spellcaster would have to put serious effort into it to become invincible. I think this is only feasible if the mageslayer can spell categories instead of individual spells, but it should work.

So you're talking about having ranged attacks each able to negate a spell... That might be doable. In fact, I think that I might end up using this ability once I find a way to properly word it.


Effective, but requires a lot of planning for encounters (and this guy has no scouting/divination abilities) with little slack for people who don't prepare appropriately.

As mentioned above, you do get research caster relatively early on and I can't really imagine much more forethought than a blank check to counter whatever. that said, I know that more or better knowledge-gaining abilities could be used here but can't think of how they would function in a convincingly mundane manner. As I AM looking to improve this thing, feel free to suggest any ideas that come to mind. :smallwink:


Thank you for letting this cover SLA and Su-using monsters, because that makes it a lot more useful. The guy still seems to be screwed by fly-kiting (since he can't dispel outside of 10' range, correct?), and I really don't like the quasi-mind-control ability granted by Feign Weakness because it doesn't mesh with the rest of the class and can railroad creatures into actions they might not normally take.

Again, I really don't see any one good mundane answer to flight other than riding up on a pegasus or roc or something (and an anti-caster getting a magical pet seems wrong). I plan to implement dispelling by ranged attacks, which does increase your range by a good deal, but I apparently lack the imagination to come up with how a mundane individual could reach casters relying on enlarged long-range spells.


Your magical creature designation appears to let the Mageslayer designate an infinite number of magic beasties with his abilities. Do you mean to let him substitute spell immunities for creature immunities?

Yes, that was indeed the intention. Thanks for pointing that out. :smallredface:


I'd like to see this class focus more on mobility (so he can close gaps made by mages) and either give it more abilities for fighting non-magical closet trolls or at least bump the BAB/hit die. Right now he's awesome against magic things but he feels worse than a rogue against anything else. 8 + Int skill points also seems to be overdoing it, considering the only other classes like that are the Factotum and Rogue, it feels like stepping on their toes.

To be clear, the bolded statement was my original mission statement in creating this class, though I've made it more versatile than most mage killers by 1) letting it stop supernatural/spell-like abilities (as you've pointed out), 2) giving it some combat ability against more monstrous foes through fight the unnatural, and 3) giving it the skills you mention.

As for those skills, I don't feel that I could reduce them right now as lots of this class' skills are relatively inflexible. You need search and disable device for trapfinding, gather information for urban tracking, and spellcraft in order to counter spells. That's half of your skills right there. To give the class some real wiggle room and emphasize it as a skillmonkey, I did go into rogue territory (though, as you point out, the rogue is a better fighter).

I'd make this class more of a fighter and less of a rogue but then it would step on the toes of martial classes like the ranger. I'm not implying that classes like the fighter shouldn't be stepped on but just that this guy will step on someone's toes no matter where I place it so I've decided to go with skillmonkeys.


By the way, powers can't normally be countered, and I'm not sure about mysteries. Any thoughts on whether the mageslayer's countering should still work on them?

Regarding mysteries, spell mysteries can be countered but spell-like and supernatural mysteries cannot. As far as powers, I guess I'd say to stay the course unless there's any particular problem with countering them.


Exploit Complacency seems overpowered, as it means the mageslayer can use buffs while negating his opponents'; with that, he could probably even beat a fighter in a straight fight, which I know you don't want. I've rewritten it to remove that; let me know if you want it changed to how it worked before.

I originally wrote exploit complacency in response to a comment my old magekiller received, a view that a mage-killer, while weaker than a fighter in combat, shouldn't crumple like toilet paper in front of one.

As you say, though, I've probably gone too far. I'll keep your rewording for the moment, though there is another initial design that the ability had that may work better for what I was working for but that I abandoned when I couldn't figure out how to word it (I might have a better wording now).

Initially, the ability gave a -1 penalty to all attack rolls made against you and to all AC against your attacks, -1 at level 5 and every 4 levels afterwards. Against medium and smaller foes, this penalty could not exceed the sum of all bonuses added to the target's attack roll or AC through magical means.

In short, it was meant to cancel the enhancement bonuses of a fighter's armor and weapon or give you a slightly better chance when fighting large opponents such as giants or dragons.


Likewise Anticipate Casters, simply because it can be used against non-casters to know who they'll attack and stagger them if that person moves out of range. (Which will really hurt flexible-tactics builds/players, which I doubt you want). So I've rewritten that too; let me know if you want it changed back.

Yeah, I originally wanted the Face the Unnatural abilities to affect both large or larger creatures as well as casters so that you could still face monsters and seem competent even if they didn't cast spells (I realized early on that a mage slayer needs some ability to help in "normal" battles and this was how I chose to go about it). Would restricting the "who they intend to attack" passage to large (or even huge) or larger creatures still seem overly restrictive? In any case, I'll go with your wording until I get your response on the matter.


Hunter's Arsenal is also a bit concerning, as it means that a mageslayer can buff himself while ignoring the buffs of the fighter he's trying to fight. Any ideas on how to deal with that?

How to deal with that? Hmmmm... honestly, probably just take out that very last part about overcoming your own immunity. I really should have known better than to have tried to have my cake and eat it, too. That's homebrew 101, right there. :smalltongue:



In the case of a non-instantaneous area spell, is the area that the mageslayer occupied at the time of casting unaffected even after he leaves the area?

Intention is more that the 5-foot area around him isn't affected, this area moving along with the mageslayer.



Likewise, am I correct that if a mageslayer is moved toward a lasting effect, and then moves away, it returns to its normal state once he leaves?

It does indeed.



Am I correct that when Dispel is within his reach, that's his normal reach, and he can't use a reach weapon or 10-foot pole to extend it?

Yes, that was the intent.



Finally, my rephrasing technically would allow someone to prepare double countermeasures to a single spell, allowing them to use one for countering and dispelling while leaving the other to provide immunity. Is that a good thing, or should it be changed?

This was actually a feature that I had thought to include at one point but forgot about. Rock on. :smallbiggrin:


Ok, here goes. Major changes, and those that I think are what you meant but am not sure, are in bold, whereas minor changes are just posted. (I've cut out the stuff I'm not changing at all, so you'll have to cut and paste if you want to put it in the original post):

Game Rule Information
Mageslayers have the following game statistics
Abilities: Mageslayers rely upon a high intelligence or charisma score to gain them the necessary information to keep them ahead of spellcasters. In the heat of battle, however, mageslayers rely on their strength, dexterity, and constitution much like any other combatant.

More to the point. Nice.

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Mageslayer is proficient in light weapons, ranged martial weapons, light armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Trapfinding: A Mageslayer can use the search skill to find traps with a DC higher than 20 and can use the Disable Device skill to disable magical traps. A mageslayer who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study it, figure out how it works and bypass it (with his party) without disarming it.

Urban Tracker: While a good many beasts live out in the wilderness, most casters fit into civilized society relatively well, requiring different skills to track them down. A mageslayer gains Urban Tracking (Cityscape, p. 64) as a bonus feat at 1st level.

So far, so good. Most of the modifications make it in.

Yitzi
2013-07-10, 10:20 PM
So far, so good. Most of the modifications make it in.

Thanks. Any thoughts on how to deal with the power boost that comes with Hunter's Arsenal? A buffed mageslayer would probably be able to beat a fighter (or even T4 equivalent) who just lost all his buffs to countermeasures, and I know you're aiming for a rock-paper-scissors sort of thing.

I'm leaning toward saying that as long as he is being affected by a spell through Hunter's Arsenal, he loses the benefits of his countermeasure to it (particularly Overcome Enhancement).

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-10, 10:31 PM
As suggested above, I'm thinking about just taking the language away that lets you ignore your own immunity, preventing this guy from having his cake and eating it as well.

Just to Browse
2013-07-11, 02:23 AM
1) fix quote tags please. Pleaaaaaase.

2) Let him keep his buffs. Becoming unbuffable is a real kick in the shins for anyone who wants to cut down buffed casters.

3) Is there any way for him to cut through fireballs? Because I think that needs to be a thing.

Yitzi
2013-07-11, 07:10 AM
2) Let him keep his buffs. Becoming unbuffable is a real kick in the shins for anyone who wants to cut down buffed casters.

Except he's not fully unbuffable; he's only unbuffable by those buffs that the casters can't use against him...and with an unbuffed medium-BAB class against an unbuffed caster, the medium-BAB class should win.


Although it occurred to me...what about clerics and druids? Even without magic, they're a match for this guy, as whatever buffs he uses, they can use too, and they've got comparable martial capabilities. He probably should get a combat boost, small enough to lose to a fighter, but still enough to beat a nonspellcasting cleric or druid.

Just to Browse
2013-07-11, 08:44 AM
I mean, maybe? If you put a medium BAB fighter-ish and a weak mage right next to each other, and somehow got lucky enough for the medium BAB fighter-ish character to dispel all the mage's buffs, and also the mage didn't have any other buffs running that the slayer didn't account for, then it would be likely. But in the mean time, the slayer sucks versus everything that is far away which can spam attack spells on him, sucks when he's up against the mage because he needs to take the time to get rid of all those buffs, and he might still suck after doing all that because the mage could have some other contingent defense that the slayer hasn't prepared for.

And yes, being unbuffable to the extent that you can't be buffed in the way a mage would be buffed, is "unbuffable", because the mageslayer and the mage will be using almost precisely the same buffs since he can't cast spells on himself.

Yitzi
2013-07-11, 04:53 PM
I mean, maybe? If you put a medium BAB fighter-ish and a weak mage right next to each other, and somehow got lucky enough for the medium BAB fighter-ish character to dispel all the mage's buffs

He doesn't have to dispel them; starting at level 12, he just ignores them.
That might be a bit too late, though, and I'm not sure if it would work against Mirror Image.


But in the mean time, the slayer sucks versus everything that is far away which can spam attack spells on him

If he's got countermeasures, he's immune. And he's got range too.


and he might still suck after doing all that because the mage could have some other contingent defense that the slayer hasn't prepared for.

Well, he's not guaranteed a win, but if he predicts the mage's actions well or uses his "floating countermeasures" wisely, he should have the advantage.


And yes, being unbuffable to the extent that you can't be buffed in the way a mage would be buffed, is "unbuffable", because the mageslayer and the mage will be using almost precisely the same buffs since he can't cast spells on himself.

Well then both he and the mage are unbuffed, so his medium BAB should give him the win against wizards and sorcerers.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-12, 07:43 AM
A few points;

1) Carried item AC is pathetic. The wizard uses his bow to destroy the specific countermeasure item against the spell he wants to cast and then casts it as a quickened effect (or any other ability that allows him extra actions).

2) Casters tend to have high speeds. They can move behind a natural obstacle giving them cover and then cast their spells. They could even carry a Tower Shield (especially an animated one) simply to gain the cover required - or have a large or larger minion position itself between them and you to give them cover, too.
2b) And once they get natural cover to block you, their goggles of x-ray vision will allow them to see through it (their immunities will prevent the ability damage) and Burrowing Spell metamagic will allow them to send their spells through cover if required.
2c) The cover could even be invisible but still there and if it is natural invisibility you'd never even know why your abilities fail.

3) A wizard does not need to use his magic against you in order to kill you - only to contrive an effect that kills everyone, then have his magic protect himself. For example, a wizard with Fire Immunity who faces a mage hunter will get close enough (but not within 5 feet) then smash the 50-lb container of alchemist's fire. He will remain unscathed by the 500 fire damage but the mage hunter will be dead. Similarly for the wizard with poison immunity and those doses of inhaled poisons or any other such situations.
3b) You aren't surviving a wizard's private home without magic for the simple reason that it is in a plane with lethal environment that requires magic to survive. And if the wizard is smart, you aren't getting in without magic either because the rooms have no doors between them, requiring magic to get in and lacking any locks to unlock.


4) The mage hunter's special abilities are by definition nonmagical. An incorporeal wizard will thus ignore them. Now, if you can somehow justify nonmagical items affecting incorporeal entities...

5) Minions don't need to be used offensively for the wizard to win. He could simply have them ready actions to interpose themselves each time you attacked. And once they took an arrow from you, they'd be free to attack back. Alternatively, they could be healing him, magically creating obstacles of their own to stop your attacks, buffing the wizard and so on and so forth to either stop you from attacking without offense or eating through your countermeasures.
For example, if a wizard has called two dozen low-level creatures that can cast darkness on him so you have no Line-of-Sight while he still has due to his true seeing and stuff, you'd burn through your entire countermeasures for darkness in one round.




@the mage hunter's main premise;
Not buying it. First, it is very vague. Secondly, if mundane objects that don't cost anything and have no encumbrance and that never run out after stopping repeated spells conferred passive immunity to magic like that, why do you need to be Mage Hunter to use them as passive immunity? Someone would simply write a book of what item works against what or it will be transmitted via word of mouth and everyone, regardless of class, would have the same immunities. Third, the class can effectively sense magic, up to and including the details chosen of every spell. Sorry, this is no mundane ability. If that could be done for magic, why not for other abilities and situations?

Last but most important, in a world where mundane objects could stop magic, spellcasters would research their own spells and refrain from sharing the details. One spellcaster could have a Wall of Iron spell while another would have a Wall of Brass, a third a Wall of Crystal, or a Wall of Ironwood. One could have a fireball. Another could have a freezing sphere or a venomball. Or even a fireball that exploded into a cube rather than a sphere.
In short, each individual caster would research their individual spells with different material components and material counters, making it impossible for anyone but themselves to know what item to use - and thus negating a mage hunter's abilities. Not to mention that they would research specific spells to destroy such objects safely.




PS: Flasks of water to make yourself immune to fireball? You do realize fire spells can be cast underwater with a caster level check, right?

Yitzi
2013-07-12, 10:25 AM
A few points;

1) Carried item AC is pathetic. The wizard uses his bow to destroy the specific countermeasure item against the spell he wants to cast and then casts it as a quickened effect (or any other ability that allows him extra actions).

Hmm...perhaps say that each countermeasure has redundancy built in, so that destroying a single item won't do it? Sound good, Realms of Chaos?


2) Casters tend to have high speeds. They can move behind a natural obstacle giving them cover and then cast their spells. They could even carry a Tower Shield (especially an animated one) simply to gain the cover required - or have a large or larger minion position itself between them and you to give them cover, too.
2b) And once they get natural cover to block you, their goggles of x-ray vision will allow them to see through it (their immunities will prevent the ability damage) and Burrowing Spell metamagic will allow them to send their spells through cover if required.

And if the mageslayer has countermeasures against the spell, he's immune anyway. "Attack from behind cover" is a lot less effective against an enemy that is rejecting the rocket tag game rather than trying to win at it.


2c) The cover could even be invisible but still there and if it is natural invisibility you'd never even know why your abilities fail.

Well, when your arrow (the mageslayer's primary offensive "ability") hits an invisible barrier, it's not that hard to figure out.


3) A wizard does not need to use his magic against you in order to kill you - only to contrive an effect that kills everyone, then have his magic protect himself. For example, a wizard with Fire Immunity who faces a mage hunter will get close enough (but not within 5 feet) then smash the 50-lb container of alchemist's fire.

50 lbs of alchemist's fire costs 1000 gp, which is fairly high for a single-use weapon, will slow down the caster, and makes it fairly obvious what the caster is planning to do (at which point the mageslayer can break the container with an arrow; sure, the wizard wasn't hurt, but he's just lost his weapon.


Similarly for the wizard with poison immunity and those doses of inhaled poisons or any other such situations.

High-quality poisons are expensive in any case, and not that easy to release.

The thing keeping a wizard from using "kill everything, but get immunity first" approaches is the same thing keeping anyone else from using "get an expendable minion and have him use a 'kill everything' method"; methods to insta-kill everything in an area are generally expensive, easily detected and countered, or both.


3b) You aren't surviving a wizard's private home without magic for the simple reason that it is in a plane with lethal environment that requires magic to survive. And if the wizard is smart, you aren't getting in without magic either because the rooms have no doors between them, requiring magic to get in and lacking any locks to unlock.

I'll let Realms of Chaos figure out how to deal with this.


4) The mage hunter's special abilities are by definition nonmagical. An incorporeal wizard will thus ignore them.

That's ok, they're almost all defensive or ride-ons to attacks anyway. The incorporeal wizard will worry more about the mageslayer's magical bow.


5) Minions don't need to be used offensively for the wizard to win. He could simply have them ready actions to interpose themselves each time you attacked. And once they took an arrow from you, they'd be free to attack back.

Yeah, Realms of Chaos, you probably should specify that a minion putting itself into the path of harm does not enable it to attack the mageslayer.


Alternatively, they could be healing him

That's what lethal strike (or just waiting for them to run out of heals) is for.


magically creating obstacles of their own to stop your attacks

These would be no worse than obstacles the wizard himself created.


buffing the wizard

No worse than the wizard's own buffs.


or eating through your countermeasures.

How so? Immunity doesn't actually expend any countermeasures when it is used.


For example, if a wizard has called two dozen low-level creatures that can cast darkness on him so you have no Line-of-Sight while he still has due to his true seeing and stuff

Er...darkness does not block line-of-sight (it only gives concealment), is not affected by true seeing, and if it has a countermeasure then it can be ignored without expending anything.


Last but most important, in a world where mundane objects could stop magic, spellcasters would research their own spells

Researching spells is hard. Probably harder as researching how to stop those spells.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-12, 01:16 PM
Hmm...perhaps say that each countermeasure has redundancy built in, so that destroying a single item won't do it? Sound good, Realms of Chaos?
If there's redundancy, why do the countermeasures run out? For that matter, if an item costs nothing and has no encumbrance, what prevents you from preparing any amount of it, effectively getting permanent immunity regardless of how many times you counter? What prevents you from spreading the counters every five feet over large areas, making even entire countries immune to magic? See why the mechanics of the class clash with it being based off mundane items and don't really make sense?


And if the mageslayer has countermeasures against the spell, he's immune anyway.
No, he isn't. The wizard doesn't really care about you being immune to his spells. He only cares about you countering spells like Telekinesis that can pick up a 300-pound boulder fifty feet to your left and throw it at your head, doing indirect harm. Or any of the bazillion other spells with which he can indirectly kill you without ever throwing magic near you.



Researching spells is hard. Probably harder as researching how to stop those spells.
True. But say there are ten different versions of "Fireball" out there. A single mage-slayer would need to use up ten of his counter "slots" to make sure fireballs can't hurt him. Now, imagine that spellcasters habitually carry 4-5 different "good" spells at least. How many "counters" does the mage slayer use up just to cover his bases?

Yitzi
2013-07-12, 03:28 PM
If there's redundancy, why do the countermeasures run out? For that matter, if an item costs nothing and has no encumbrance, what prevents you from preparing any amount of it, effectively getting permanent immunity regardless of how many times you counter?

Basically, you're asking for a justification of the mechanics. I'll leave that question for Realms of Chaos, since it's his design.


No, he isn't. The wizard doesn't really care about you being immune to his spells. He only cares about you countering spells like Telekinesis that can pick up a 300-pound boulder fifty feet to your left and throw it at your head, doing indirect harm.

Good point. Realms of Chaos, you'd better add in something to block Telekinesis and that sort of thing.


Or any of the bazillion other spells with which he can indirectly kill you without ever throwing magic near you.

Name them, and perhaps Realms of Chaos will find a way to apply Immunity to them.


True. But say there are ten different versions of "Fireball" out there. A single mage-slayer would need to use up ten of his counter "slots" to make sure fireballs can't hurt him.

No, he would just need to find out which ones the mages he's fighting are using, and counter those.


Now, imagine that spellcasters habitually carry 4-5 different "good" spells at least. How many "counters" does the mage slayer use up just to cover his bases?

Depends how many mages he wants to fight in a single day.

Just like a mage has to use up a lot of spell slots if he wants to be prepared for a lot of different possible opponents.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-12, 06:26 PM
Regarding Buffing vs. Non-Buffing: How about this for a possible solution. We could allow the mageslayer to effectively spend an extra countermeasure to ignore one of his own countermeasures when beneficial. In this way, the mageslayer would be able to stop less stuff that the enemy has in total but would be able to ensure that the best buffs affect only the mageslayer. Might not be the best solution but I really need to think more on the matter.


A few points;
*insert deep insights here*

Ah, I've actually been waiting for your arrival here on the thread. Make yourself at home. This type of trial by fire, while not something I've been wanting, really is valuable to me as a homebrewer.

I'm seeing from your commentary 1) that this class was made under assumptions that you seem reluctant to accept and 2) that you have discovered weaknesses within the class that it would be wise for me to fix.

To answer most matters in turn:

In regards to items being easily broken: Getting this criticism was only a matter of time and is entirely my fault, seeing as I've greatly overplayed the usage of items in the fluff of this class. However, I do mention further benefits of training in the description of countermeasures and the phrase: "While no specific supplies or materials are absolutely required to prepare countermeasures..." is in the feature. As even that language is ambiguous, however (it only talks about preparing countermeasures rather than using them, making it language I need to change), the following can be found in the OP.


the ability to negate spells is itself assumed to be uncounterable (if you disrupt a spell one time by shouting or using an item, being trapped in silence or being robbed wonít stop you from halting the spell again), likely involving multiple possible techniques.

The only reason that the class still references items at all is because I think that using items (some examples of which, as you've spotted, are pretty poor examples) makes for a far more iconic default than assuming that the character is howling like a monkey whenever anyone starts casting a spell. In short, I wanted the ability to continue functioning in the absence of equipment but wanted to flavor equipment as being the norm. May seem a bit out there but I was going for something not far from Pathfinder's Alchemist (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advanced/baseClasses/alchemist.html), who, to my knowledge, doesn't risk having its bombs sundered in advance. If you have any ideas as to how I could better implement abstracted equipment (other than "don't"), I would welcome your suggestions.

On an unrelated note, this point made me realize that all of the protection that the mageslayer gets should probably extend to his or her equipment as well, something that will be updated shortly.

Regarding why everyone doesn't counter everything:
Again, the answer to this question, for some reason, appeared not in the class but in the OP (though I'll elaborate on the idea in a moment).


It is further assumed that even knowledge of these counters is relatively useless without the skill and timing to put them to use, with more powerful spells needing more skill to shut down effectively (explaining why everybody doesnít just counter every spell the moment this knowledge is gained).

So, yeah, even if you know intellectually how to counter a spell (which is much harder for more powerful spells), knowledge and application are two different matters and a mageslayer has dedicated a good amount of time into practice that few others would even dare. When the mageslayer expends countermeasures, what is being lost, while equipment by "default", ultimately ends up as the mental and physical responsiveness required to properly research a spell.

The incredible vagueness of this class
For some (including yourself, it would seem), the level of abstraction in this class is a bit infuriating. At the same time, however, anything nonmagical attempting to fight magic requires abstraction and at least a couple of your points demonstrate the need for this abstraction. If I said that countering things needed items, you shoot them with ranged weapons from afar. If I said that it involves shouting, you'd find yourself in a silence effect. If I said that one hand needed to be free, minions would be grabbing you everywhere. Therefore, I am forced by necessity to specify that you can use your powers through speech OR movement OR items OR any number of pointedly undetermined methods. This method may be cheap but when you build something other than magic to face magic, there is no way to stop magic from deactivating it other than to strictly say "magic can't deactivate it".

Again, though, I may simply be lacking imagination in this department. If you can think of a more organic way to accomplish the same end-result, I will gladly consider it for inclusion.

A Related Note: Implications for a Campaign
While this issue isn't one that you have brought up directly, I feel that it may blend into related issues so I might as well bring it up. This class carries one more assumption that I forgot in the OP. Because magic on its own doesn't have any particular weaknesses, this class goes about creating these weaknesses. Not actively mind you. Instead, the very existence of even one mageslayer in your campaign assumes that magic within that campaign has a rather complex series of weaknesses that are always there but that few have the skill and knowledge to abuse (not much different in my mind from the way in which meeting a truenamer retroactively implies that everything you've met so far in the campaign has a truename).

When this guy uses Improved hunter's awareness to deduce that a mage plane shifted to the city of brass judging by a preponderance of pure elemental ashes that backdrafted into the area, each fragranced as if with the heady perfumes found only out on the Melting Tin marketplace, this guy isn't doing something supernatural. Rather, it is assumed that his very existence in a campaign has already dragged down the entirety of magic in the campaign to assume that backdraft occurs, although useless for identification by most.

Regarding Matters of Cover: Hmmm... these points have really made me ponder what the limits I place should ultimately be. In the end, what seems doable is setting Hunter's Intuition to apply to any casting of the spell by a spellcaster who possesses a line of effect with the mageslayer rather than the other way around.

For most purposes, this doesn't change anything about gameplay unless a mageslayer is involved.

Regarding Noncaster Killing Methods: Emptying a vat of contact poison on the mageslayer or blowing up a crate of explosives next to one are indeed legitimate strategies. A bit expensive (unless you rely on magic for money, in which case I've already acknowledged that the mageslayer loses) and easy to anticipate or counter depending on how you set it up, perhaps, but certainly effective. To pretend that these are "caster" methods, however, seems a bit disingenuous. Any old ogre can chuck the vat of poisons or crate of explosives. The only real advantage that a caster possesses is the ability to lead a kamikaze assault with these tactics (and really, why would they want to? :smallconfused:).

On being unable to enter the caster's home: I personally don't know of many (if any) mundane barriers that can't be overcome through mundane means. If you've got some buffs to keep you alive and can counter any attempt to dispel them, I'd think you were in pretty good shape against around 90% of defenses (and all I'm really shooting for here is the 90th percentile). Then again, I don't really know what specific defenses you're proposing.

On incorporeal casters: My failure to label the class features as extraordinary was a purposeful omission on my part. This was made to be as effective on incorporeal foes as nonmagical diplomacy checks (and depending on your response to this, I may have learned a neat little RAW trick :smalltongue:). I should specifically state that it functions on incorporeal creatures, however, so that's a good change to make.

On Minions: A bunch of little notes here. First of all, readied actions can't be used to interpose yourself in front of an attack. Shooting into melee (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm) no longer works like that unless I'm missing something. Secondly, hunter's intuition would let you continue counterspelling the caster even in darkness so weird counterexample right there.

In the end, however, you do possess a good point. My immediate response is to treat all spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities of "minions" as if you possessed countermeasures against them. Still imperfect against huge hordes of healing/buffing minions but more capable of doing what the class feature was intended to do.

This class' ability to detect magic is not mundane: While about as vague as the rest of these class features, I would still say that it's possible through mundane ways as per the example above of Plane Shifting (or, rather, greater plane shifting) to the City of Brass. Again, these abilities require on an encyclopedic knowledge of arcane phenomenon, combined with a the campaign-wide assumption that magic actually does leave some traces behind but that only you possess the skill to interpret what you get.

On spell research beating the mageslayer
Well, duh! :smalltongue:

Seriously, though, I can almost see what you mean. A few problems, though.
1. to reiterate, only a few individuals possess the skill needed to counter even a cantrip with these means and researching a new wish or gate probably wouldn't be worth the time for anyone unless you have a very high power campaign.
2. Every researched spell represents an investment of time and money. Without supplementing money through magical means (again, an automatic avenue of victory for mages), filling your spellbook with ONLY custom spells seems a bit too inconvenient.
3. This is what spontaneous workaround and (in some cases) research caster are theoretically there for. Also, one witnessing of a single spell and a spellcraft check is all that is needed to "recognize" a spell (and therefore prepare countermeasures against it). Unless your wizards are so paranoid as to NEVER cast their spells and leave witnesses... yeah.
4. Again, you're talking about researching custom spells. You know, the same type of stuff that leads to the epic spellcasting system. When has that type of mechanic ever not been broken to hell.

Regarding tactics such as tossing boulders at your head:
This type of tactic DOES WORK but not necessarily as you've intended. Once the mageslayer gains lingering reversion, it becomes impossible to toss a boulder at your head and that caster has to settle for casting one spell in a way that causes a separate change in your environment that hurts you (such as slamming that boulder into the roof over the mageslayer's head so it causes a cave-in). In the end, the environment and a whole lot of ad hoc rulings from your DM play a pretty big part in the encounter.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-12, 09:48 PM
My main problem with the class is the countering of it being mundane or at least an extraordinary ability. You have a class ability that requires inexplicable preparation, using vague and/or glossed over material/verbal/somatic or other components, that has its own arbitrary ruleset, that is not stopped by holding someone up or divesting them of all items, has multiple varied effects, and who is accessible only through a specific class and not a skill one could get via other means.
If you can convince anyone such an ability is mundane or extraordinary, congratulations; your class abilities may be nonmagical but then so are the wizard's spells - after all, the description perfectly fits both.


The mechanical problems are less of an issue than the flavor problems of passing such things as mundane.

Just to Browse
2013-07-13, 12:44 AM
... So you don't like that the flavor makes him nonmagical? Isn't that what Tome of Battle does? (and doesn't RoC endorse ToB, so criticisms in the same vein will be discounted either way)?

EDIT: And I have to repeat this: If you require the mageslayer to expend resources in order to get buffs, you make the anti-buff mageslayer weaker than the anti-attackspell mageslayer by an even larger margin. That doesn't seem to be your goal, so I really really don't recommend it. The only argument in favor seems to be flavor, which can be discounted entirely.

Rakoa
2013-07-13, 09:59 AM
Belial definitely seems to have a problem with the flavour. I don't think a debate about whether or not the Mage Slayer should have Y as a mundane ability or why X doesn't actually require reagents. More important matters should be the focus of discussion, yes?

Yitzi
2013-07-13, 09:49 PM
Regarding Buffing vs. Non-Buffing: How about this for a possible solution. We could allow the mageslayer to effectively spend an extra countermeasure to ignore one of his own countermeasures when beneficial. In this way, the mageslayer would be able to stop less stuff that the enemy has in total but would be able to ensure that the best buffs affect only the mageslayer. Might not be the best solution but I really need to think more on the matter.

Still has the same problem as before: It lets the mageslayer beat a fighter in a straight fight, by having an advantage in buffs.


My main problem with the class is the countering of it being mundane or at least an extraordinary ability. You have a class ability that requires inexplicable preparation, using vague and/or glossed over material/verbal/somatic or other components, that has its own arbitrary ruleset, that is not stopped by holding someone up or divesting them of all items, has multiple varied effects, and who is accessible only through a specific class and not a skill one could get via other means.
If you can convince anyone such an ability is mundane or extraordinary, congratulations; your class abilities may be nonmagical but then so are the wizard's spells - after all, the description perfectly fits both.

I would say that the wizard's ability to cast spells is indeed a mundane ability; it's really just specialized knowledge, which is a mundane ability.

The spells themselves, however, are magic. Likewise, the spells that the mageslayer is dealing with (and countering) are magic. The difference is that the wizard is using a mundane skill to make magic happen (and so without magic his abilities are useless), whereas the mageslayer is using a mundane skill to make magic not happen (and so without magic his abilities are unneeded.)

Just to Browse
2013-07-13, 10:08 PM
Oh my god. Oh my god. OH. MY. GOD.

THIS:


Still has the same problem as before: It lets the mageslayer beat a fighter in a straight fight, by having an advantage in buffs.

SHOULD NOT BE A CONTENTION. THE FIGHTER IS NOT A VIABLE CLASS.

Of course this class isn't meant to face a fighter, because it's designed to be actually useful against a significantly larger portion of the monster manual than the fighter is. If you notice the difference between this and a warblade, you'll see that the warblade can steal eat the slayer alive.

Yitzi
2013-07-13, 11:30 PM
Oh my god. Oh my god. OH. MY. GOD.

THIS:



SHOULD NOT BE A CONTENTION. THE FIGHTER IS NOT A VIABLE CLASS.

Of course this class isn't meant to face a fighter

Actually, it is:


In a theoretical rock-paper-scissors setup, this is meant to be the rogue that beats the caster but is beaten by the fighter

That said, I'll grant that perhaps it's gone far enough that the rest is better done by bringing the fighter up to a more warblade-like level.

Kiren
2013-07-14, 12:41 AM
A couple of thoughts ran through my head as I was reading this:

The issue of flying casters can be solved simply by allowing a Mageslayer to apply countermeasures to his/her's weapons, armor, projectiles, traps, walls, etc. It puts an interesting tactical element to how to effectively use your countermeasures, allows the Mageslayer to negate flight with projectile-launched countermeasures and protect areas from teleportation and such by pre-treating the area. Wether a countermeasure operates in a field or activates by touch, applying a countermeasure to an object can augment it's range and it's delivery method.
-Personally, this makes me want to see a Mageslayer armed with 2 boomerangs with negation properties.

-Mixing countermeasure mixtures with explosives seems like an interesting idea as well, as long as it spreads the countermeasure instead of destroying it

The idea that normal counter-spelling range is dependent on spell range does not necessarily mean that touch spells cannot be negated. What is brings to mind is a magical fistfighter punching with fire and ice while a Mageslayer blocks and counters, negating the fire and vanquishing the frost, leveling the battle to normal fisticuffs.

It might me a good idea to future proof this class and make it more homebrew friendly by adding a clause about being able to prepare countermeasures against non-standard magic types. True naming, incarnum and vestige binding come to mind. What about psionics? Home brew material would be harder to account for, but if a Mageslayer can prepare countermeasures against specific threats, it could help to add the ability at some level to combat odd, new and stange uses of magic and magic-like systems.

(I love the idea of your class and how it is forming out! I'm worried about wether or not it has enough to combat non-mages, but at least in higher levels it offers defense against magic item effects, right? In any case, this is great work!)

Just to Browse
2013-07-14, 01:20 AM
Yitzi, there is a huge word in that statement, and in the name of the class. That name is caster. Now if you could find me a base class called "caster", this would be obviously a wotc-sanctioned RPS game, but there is no class called caster. So as you can see, it is metaphorical. RoC's work is basically always Tier 3, and I'm 90% sure he supports tome of battle, so there is really no way you can take that sentence as a non-metaphor unless you're really trying to obfuscate.

Yitzi
2013-07-14, 07:17 AM
Yitzi, there is a huge word in that statement, and in the name of the class. That name is caster. Now if you could find me a base class called "caster", this would be obviously a wotc-sanctioned RPS game, but there is no class called caster. So as you can see, it is metaphorical. RoC's work is basically always Tier 3, and I'm 90% sure he supports tome of battle, so there is really no way you can take that sentence as a non-metaphor unless you're really trying to obfuscate.

You know what, let's ask him:

RoC, did you mean this class to lose to the actual Fighter class, or just a tier 3-4 fighter-sort?

Rakoa
2013-07-14, 02:46 PM
It's an interesting question. To have a viable class that can actually beat a Wizard but lose to a Fighter strikes an interesting, and difficult to achieve, balancing point. I would sooner argue that the Warblade should be the balancing point aimed for, not the Fighter. But it is, of course, for RoC to decide.

Rolep
2013-07-15, 03:03 AM
Soz If I'm interrupting a discussion but there are too many comments for me to read. This is just my take on the class, and a lot of it may have already been mentioned.

Why does exploit complacency not target humanoids, the race of almost EVERY cliche spellcasting villain?

How does this class actually do damage, at the end of the day. Barring UMD, it can barely scratch its foes, and relies on the fighter and wizard to do damage. Once it has de-buffed a spellcaster, there is close to nothing that it can do. And if the spellcaster kills the other party members before it can be fully dispelled by this guy, what can this guy do to harm it? This is as much a point of thought as it is a criticism.

Another point of discussion is that you say that it is not meant for mage's to have fun fighting, but what aboujt this class? How much fun is this class in combat, when it comes down to it? Sure, out of combat its all stealth and working out the right countermeasures and finding out what spells its foe is using, which is certainly fun, but in combat all it seems to do is: I'm immune, I'm immune, I dispel, I dispel. Surely, from a combat perspective, the other classes are more fun to play?

Finally, a wizard could just wait until the countermeasures run out then attack while the mage-slayer prepares his new ones. Is this intentional?

Yitzi
2013-07-15, 07:16 AM
Soz If I'm interrupting a discussion but there are too many comments for me to read. This is just my take on the class, and a lot of it may have already been mentioned.

Why does exploit complacency not target humanoids, the race of almost EVERY cliche spellcasting villain?

Because humanoids are also the race of all the notable non-spellcasters. Perhaps it would make sense for it to apply to casters of any race, though.


How does this class actually do damage, at the end of the day.

A composite bow does 1d8+STR bonus damage. Which is more than the wizard will be doing to a well-prepared mageslayer.


Another point of discussion is that you say that it is not meant for mage's to have fun fighting, but what aboujt this class? How much fun is this class in combat, when it comes down to it? Sure, out of combat its all stealth and working out the right countermeasures and finding out what spells its foe is using, which is certainly fun, but in combat all it seems to do is: I'm immune, I'm immune, I dispel, I dispel. Surely, from a combat perspective, the other classes are more fun to play?

Depends on your style.


Finally, a wizard could just wait until the countermeasures run out then attack while the mage-slayer prepares his new ones. Is this intentional?

At 24 hours apiece, by the time they run out the mageslayer should have new ones up.

Ghilz
2013-07-15, 10:01 AM
Mageslayers know well that casters unable to fight you directly may use their magic to make other foes fight you in their place. Starting at 10th level, a mageslayer's studies and techniques for fighting against spells now extend in part to the minions they result in, keeping such minions subdued and docile in a similar ways to how a mageslayer keep spell effects at bay. Creatures summoned, called, or created by a spell for which a mageslayer has prepared countermeasures, or whose construction or reanimation involved such a spell...

Does this extend to Summoning/Calling/Whatever spell-like abilities via Spell-Like Countermeasures? Since Spell-Like Countermeasures only says it specifically affects countermeasures.

Does ordering someone else to take aggressive actions count as an aggressive action? Or setting conditions which the mageslayer has a choice of not triggering such as "Defend X"?

Since then the obvious way to beat a Mageslayer would be to summon a minion with Spell-Like charming, compulsive, or otherwise baneful mind-affecting effects. Or do a calling spell and have THAT called minion use Summoning spell-like abilities (Since Calling spells don't prevent further summonings) to sick minions on you, while they stand back.

Similarly, what of undeads controlled by an evil cleric's rebuke undead? Since it's a supernatural ability, those can continue attacking the Mageslayer?

Similarly, what about minions with auras? Does it count as an aggressive action if they move and put you in the range of the aura? what if you move into the range of said aura?


EDIT: Further thoughts...


Lethal Strike: Starting at 9th level, a mageslayer can take some of the same supplies he utilizes to protect himself and use them in a more aggressive manner, preventing most curative magic as well as the fast healing and regeneration that some monstrous foes are known to possess. Whenever the mageslayer makes a successful attack, he may reduce the duration of any of his countermeasures by 1 hour (see countermeasures, above)

That is a cost so low, I wonder why you ever bothered with it... Contingencies last 24 hours, and you have multiple of them. You could use the ability every round for every attack you make during an entire day and still never notice the cost. At level 9, the level you gain this power, your Mageslayer has a wooping 864 hours (4 spells * 9 levels * 24 hours) worth of contingencies. Loosing 1, 2, 3 or 50 of those isn't going to make a lick of difference.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-15, 01:22 PM
REGARDING THE BUFF-WARS: Okay, this is a difficult thing for me to answer. I'm going to have to tackle this in several steps, I think.

Point 1: My intentions To be as explicit as possible here, this is a class that was built with utter disregard for any tier standard, built to kill clerics, druids, and wizards using decently optimized builds while getting pummeled by fighters, monks, and samurai (yes, that samurai).

To that end, this guy fights a larger part of the monster manual by taking out magical creatures and monstrously large creatures, still leaving a gap in its defenses that any average warrior could overcome.

With that as the (perhaps foolish) goal of the class, giving this guy one-sided advantage of buffs against martial characters would definitely upset the balance that I'd be going for.

Point 2: Tome of Battle: I don't have any particular problem with tome of battle, as stated earlier. With that said, I'm still not quite sure how magical buffs compare with maneuvers. Certainly, maneuvers would let a warblade outpace the mageslayer in terms of damage.

On the other hand, Yitzi and Browse seem to be talking about different levels of optimization here. In an average match, warblade rips through mageslayer even with a few buffs. The problem that Yitzi mentions, however, may still exist when things are taken to extremes, when the mageslayer enters the fray with all of the buffs that a cleric would possess and almost all of the identical buffs that the warblade possesses are nullified. I might be wrong here but the last time I checked, I was moderately sure that a melee cleric beats up an unbuffed warblade.

Point 3: Anti-buff as "too weak": This is a point that Browse has made that I'm not altogether sure I understand. My intentions with this class were that you can't use blasts you gain immunity against and that you can't use buffs you suppress in others. As such, the claim that anti-attack is stronger than anti-buff is something that I'm not entirely sure I understand. It's true that stopping insta-gibs may prove more vital in a given encounter but buffs seem more wide-spread in their use than attack spells from what I've seen.

Point 4: A rewritten ability: Given that eating all buffs while keeping them for yourself may not have been what I was after, I decided to rewrite exploit complacency so 1) it can affect humanoids using magic, and 2) so it doesn't nullify 30% of all buffs all by itself. Here is what I have at the moment.


Exploit Complacency: Starting at 2nd level, all enemies of take a -1 penalty to attack rolls against you and to AC against your attacks. These penalties increase by -1 at 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards. Against medium or smaller foes, this penalty may not exceed the sum of all magical bonuses that the subject receives to attack rolls or to AC. Against enemies affected by this class feature, you may add your Intelligence modifier as a bonus to weapon damage rolls (up to a maximum bonus equal to your class level).

Thoughts?

Regarding Spell-like countermeasures and marginalize minions: Yup, spell-like countermeasures and supernatural countermeasures make ALL of your countermeasure abilities apply against spell-like or supernatural versions of the same spells.

Regarding Preparation Time: One thing that had been left very vague in the text so far is whether this ability was something you could use 1/day like preparing spells or whether you could prepare several sets of countermeasures at once or what. For now, I am allowing mageslayers to change their selection with one hour of work to see what the common views on such an approach are. This language is very susceptible to change in the near future.

Ghilz
2013-07-15, 02:59 PM
Regarding Preparation Time: One thing that had been left very vague in the text so far is whether this ability was something you could use 1/day like preparing spells or whether you could prepare several sets of countermeasures at once or what. For now, I am allowing mageslayers to change their selection with one hour of work to see what the common views on such an approach are. This language is very susceptible to change in the near future.

That makes the "cost" Lethal Strike all the more pointless. Since "spent" hours can be replenished... in one hour.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-15, 04:35 PM
No, they can't. Preparation would require the Mage Slayer to have some relatively calm time for himself - I doubt they could start preparing while combat is going on for example.


Question:
How does the class work with supernatural or spell-like abilities that do not replicate spells such as a dragon's breath, a wight's energy-draining touch, a nymph's stunning gaze and so on and so forth?

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-15, 06:27 PM
As far as Supernatural abilities, Supernatural Countermeasures specifically allows you to prepare yourself against all racial supernatural abilities of a specific species.

The only reason I didn't do the same thing for SLAs is that I really can't think of any outside of the ability of fiends to summon each other and adding the text just for that seemed like a waste.

It also doesn't handle supernatural class features that don't imitate spells, though, again, those are pretty darn rare.

zorenathres
2013-07-16, 01:04 PM
While I'm no homebrew or balance expert, I can say that I enjoyed looking this over & would like to try it out.

& though I have not seen much else in terms of "mage-slayers", I can say that, IMO, this a great class to achieve that end, & I am subscribing to see how it turns out.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-16, 01:19 PM
If you guys want, I could run a game-conditions playtest, provided some people ran the Mageslayer, the fighter, the cleric and the mage in the group.

Just to Browse
2013-07-16, 06:25 PM
Let me explain my position:

How anti-attack plays: If you are an anti-attack mageslayer, you load up on immunities to SoDs and damage spells, so against evokers you're fireball and lightning bolt resilient while against necromancers you're immune to fear and bone fiddle. That restricts your access to attacks, but you don't care because you don't have any spells anyways--you just stab things. Losing access to fireball means nothing to someone that isn't at least a level 5 arcane caster.

The best thing about anti-attack is that you don't need to try to be immune to attack spells--enemy casters just can't hurt you. You expend no effort as a mageslayer beyond that which is normally required of you.

How anti-buff plays: If you are an anti-buff mageslayer, you load up on buff immunities and then spend those immunities on your disrupt ability. The disrupt ability is a standard action and provokes attacks of opportunity, and it only dispels a single effect 10' away from you. That means that instead of spending a turn whacking at something with your weapon, you get rid of a single magical effect (and you don't even get to know if the effect is actually there or not!).

The worst thing about anti-attack is that the action economy laughs at you. Either you contribute to the party and dispel a single spell that may or may not be in existence (if you prepared for it), or you could spend a turn helping the warblade and cutting down the enemy.

Now anti-buff has a wasted action economy, plays the guessing game, and gets terrible range for a d8 class. If you don't allow it to accept the buffs it dispels, then it goes to total crap. Your survivability is almost zilch because in order to combat buffcasters, you need to become immune to the same defensive buffs that let you survive in melee combat.

RoC, if you're OK blending the tier system up, at least make the class internally consistent so one style of mageslaying isn't laughably weaker than the other.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-16, 06:40 PM
Yes, but with that many immunity options per level, the class can do both. There's no dichotomy between the two, especially since neither countering neither immunity actually take an action or resources.

Just to Browse
2013-07-16, 07:24 PM
But the two don't work together. One is focused on being immune to attacks, then running up and hacking at enemies with your axe while laughing as casters attempt to stun you. The other is focused on running up to a high-priority target and removing its defenses so that your allies can hack with their axe. If you specialize in attacking, buff dispelling is useless because it makes you immune to buffs. If you specialize in buff dispelling you're going to want as many debuffs as possible because if you don't have the right dispel, then you are less helpful than a monk.

EDIT: And yes, countering buff immunities does take resources (actions, since you dispel as a standard action), and countering attack immunities does take resources as well (attack buffs, since you're a 3/4 BAB class). Specializing in one makes it less favorable to branch out into another.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-16, 11:11 PM
Would it help if I've taken the suggestion proposed multiple times and allowed disruption to be carried on successful weapon attacks, letting your ranged weapons enhance the rage to stop more effects?

Andion Isurand
2013-07-16, 11:20 PM
I would add Poison Use as an ability for any Mageslayer.

Just to Browse
2013-07-16, 11:23 PM
That would really really help and would bring anti-buff much closer to anti-attack, but it raises problems of its own (multiple attacks per round that just need to hit, ranged is god mode) and I don't think it's quite enough. I could certainly go either way.

Also, what would the mageslayer do against battlefield control effects (e.g. wall of iron, obscuring mist)? In some sort of fog or darkness effect, I can spell immunity letting him see normally, but what about instantaneously conjured heaps of terrain?

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-17, 02:05 AM
His abilities alter reality so that instantaneous effects are not instantaneous for him. Someone creates a Wall of Iron? For as long as the Wall of Iron lasts (which can be forever) he treats it as magical and can "dispel" it. Someone raises you from the dead or heals you? He can "dispel" the effect, making your wounds reappear or you falling over dead, no save. You use magic to teleport? Fifty years later, unless you have returned to your original location, he can "dispel" the effect and you'd be pulled back to where you came from. :smallconfused:


This is one of the reasons that, as much as I'd want to have a mage-hunter class in my games, I'd never use this one. But that's more of a personal issue with the flavor than anything else.

Just to Browse
2013-07-17, 02:08 AM
Neither dispelling nor immunity were written or (I believe) intended that way.

So... no?

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-17, 02:19 AM
A lot of things don't make much sense with the class. Take obscuring mist for example. It might be magically conjured mist but it physically stops light from crossing it and thus provides nonmagical concealment that things like True Seeing can't penetrate. And yet, a Mageslayer that has prepared countermeasures against it will be able to see through it without dispelling it or suppressing it.

Ditto with wall of stone. A Mageslayer that has prepared countermeasures against it can see through (he ignores the concealment it provides) it and even shoot or walk through it (he ignores the cover it provides) without needing to dispel it at all - and can dispel it even though it is instantaneous, however ludicrously nonsensical that sounds.


That is why I am not buying the "mundane countermeasures" flavor of the class.

Just to Browse
2013-07-17, 02:35 PM
Right, and when a person uses white raven tactics the only explanation is that he's breaking timestream to let his comrades move faster, and when he uses iron heart surge he needs magic powers to remove stuns because that's not how life really works.

And when a barbarian rages and only does so once per day it doesn't make sense because the barbarian would just be fatigued and that doesn't work with normal behavior, and when someone has a natural movespeed of 60' per round that must be because of magic because that's faster than the world's fastest sprinter and... and... and...

That's why I don't buy this "mundane anything" shtick D&D is trying to portray. If that were really the case they would only use REALISM as a basis for it. And white raven tactics breaks REALSIM and con damage without a poison (mountain tombstone strike) breaks RLEAMSI.

Belial_the_Leveler
2013-07-17, 06:28 PM
It's not about how life works. It's about how fantasy works.

When in any fantasy book you see a guy that can lift a ton and a half overhead or act three-four times faster than a normal guy or resist various effects through sheer toughness, you know he's not a mundane guy. But that doesn't mean his abilities stop being natural or at most extraordinary. After all, a gorilla can lift a ton and a half so if you got a man built like one, there's no issue. And an effect that could bring low the average human isn't going to do much against someone who is an order of magnitude tougher, is it?
So despite the lack of any humans in real life that could do things like that, this doesn't strike you as odd in fantasy because you do have a frame of reference for it and it could happen if the human in question was not a common human.

Take the general that, through the right decisions and anticipating his enemies could easily outfight forces twice the size every single time and, given the right sort of terrain to work with or advantages to exploit, could beat them five to one or more. The Tome of Battle calls that by the silly name of "White Raven Tactics". I have a problem with the name but not the effect so I call this man "Miltiades" and what he does "superior tactics". I mean, if in a fight where you're outnumbered nearly three to one you manage to kill six thousand enemies while taking 127 losses, you put the effect of "White Raven Tactics" to shame.
And that happened historically. No need to break reality or anything.

Take the guy who with a word and a gesture uses his magic to bring large amounts of stone from another dimension. Again, not a problem because it is magic and this is why we call it fantasy; some people are supposed to do impossible things if they use magic.





And now take the guy who, with a bit of mundane preparation, can see through that wall as if it didn't exist. Not only that, but anyone sitting behind that wall he can shoot at, with his mundane arrows going through the wall totally unimpeded. And despite the fact that magic was only used many years ago to bring the stone there and shape it into the wall and the stone itself is not magical, that guy can make it vanish entirely with a word and a gesture - and that is a totally natural ability that isn't magic at all.

See, here is where my reasonable suspension of disbelief does not buy it. It won't buy it because it is even more impossible than making the wall in the first place so it has to be magic.

Just to Browse
2013-07-17, 06:59 PM
But, like I've already said, that's not how spells with an instantaneous duration even work. Read the description of the ability before you repeat falsehoods please.

So what you're telling me is that you can suspend disbelief for absolutely inhuman abilities by rationalizing them in handwavey ways (white raven tactics makes people move twice as fast is rationalized by TACTICS!), yet when confronted with the need to handwave something equally fantastic you refuse to suspend belief.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-17, 09:45 PM
My justification for lingering reversion, in case it wasn't clear:

as stated before, this class invents weaknesses for magic where none exist, weaknesses so obscure and hard to spot and operate on that they essentially don't come into play for any but the mageslayer.

For lingering reversion, the "flaw" in magic being exploited is quite simple. In essence, magic is rendered completely incapable of causing any "mundane" effect. A conjured iron wall isn't naturally there because magic created there. You aren't naturally standing there because, by all rights, you should be on the plane you just teleported from. Magic lingers on even the most "instantaneous" of magic and the mageslayer, at the pinnacle of its prowess (note that the class feature comes at 18th level), can take advantage of that by treating these "instantaneous" effects as the unnatural spells that they are, ready to be negated just like any other spell.

Just to Browse
2013-07-18, 05:04 AM
... Perhaps I missed it, but I don't think it's actually possible for the mage slayer to disrupt either of those anyways, since they don't fall under the categories that Lingering Reversion draws up.

Realms of Chaos
2013-07-18, 09:18 AM
Overcome enhancement lets you ignore the cover/concealment that spells like wall of iron provide so that is there.