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Brickroad
2013-10-29, 09:08 PM
This class is part of a campaign setting I am designing. The campaign revolves around 11 base classes (loosely based upon the 3rd edition core base classes) each with extraordinary super powers. It is intended to be inspired by, but not a copy of such super-hero plots like Heroes or BG2: Throne of Bhaal, in which ordinary people are given dangerous and wondrous power over others and then burdened with destiny.

A common theme in superhero stories is the moral dilemma of being powerful and the tragedy and corruption inherent in such positions. I have tried to stay as close to those themes as possible in designing these classes.
This is more a variation on spellcasting than a dark, unsettling theme. If anyone can help me twist this particular class around into being morally questionable, I'd love to hear it.

Also, this is one of the most arbitrarily backwards classes I've ever devised. Any criticism on what effect the mechanics would have, how they can be broken, how they can be fixed are of great interest to me.

Latent
[insert description].

Alignment
Any.

Hit Die
d4.

Class Skills
A latent's class skills are concentration, craft(any), knowledge(arcana) and spellcraft.

Skill Points at 1st Level
(2 + Int modifier) x4.

Skill Points at Each Additional Level
2 + Int modifier.

{table=header]LVL|Base Attack Bonus|Frt|Ref|Will|Special
1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Arcane Prodigy, Spellcasting
2|+1|+0|+0|+3|Spell Hyperfocus
3|+1|+1|+1|+3|Augment Spell
4|+2|+1|+1|+4|Heightened Spellcasting
5|+2|+1|+1|+4|
6|+3|+2|+2|+5|Quickspell (1/day)
7|+3|+2|+2|+5|Recursive spell (2nd)
8|+4|+2|+2|+6|Heightened Spellcasting
9|+4|+3|+3|+6|
10|+5|+3|+3|+7|
11|+5|+3|+3|+7|Quickspell (2/day)
12|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Heightened Spellcasting
13|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Recursive spell (3rd)
14|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|
15|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|
16|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Heightened Spellcasting, Quickspell (3/day)
17|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|
18|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|
19|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Recursive spell (4th)
20|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Heightened Spellcasting[/table]

{table=header]Latent Spells-Known|Latent Spells Per Day
{table=header]Level|0|1st|2nd|3rd|4th
1|-|5|-|-|-
2|-|4|-|-|-
3|-|3|-|-|-
4|-|2|5|-|-
5|-|1|5|-|-
6|-|1|4|5|-
7|-|1|3|5|-
8|-|1|2|5|5
9|-|1|1|5|5
10|-|1|1|4|5
11|-|1|1|3|5
12|-|1|1|2|5
13|-|1|1|1|5
14|-|1|1|1|4
15|-|1|1|1|3
16|-|1|1|1|2
17|-|1|1|1|1
18|-|1|1|1|1
19|-|1|1|1|1
20|-|1|1|1|1[/table]|{table=header]Level|0|1st|2nd|3rd|4th
1|-|3|-|-|-
2|-|4|-|-|-
3|-|5|-|-|-
4|-|6|3|-|-
5|-|6|4|-|-
6|-|6|5|3|-
7|-|6|6|4|-
8|-|6|6|5|3
9|-|7|6|6|4
10|-|7|6|6|5
11|-|7|6|6|6
12|-|7|6|6|6
13|-|8|7|6|6
14|-|8|7|6|6
15|-|8|7|6|6
16|-|8|7|6|6
17|-|9|8|7|6
18|-|9|8|7|6
19|-|9|8|7|6
20|-|9|8|7|6[/table][/table]

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

Legendary
In any given campaign there is only one instance of the latent class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
The latent is proficient with all simple weapons. The latent is not proficient with any armor or any shields.

Spellcasting
When selecting his known spells, the latent may pick spells from the spell list of any arcane caster class. If he has taken levels of a divine caster class, that classí spells list is added to his latent spells list. The latent cannot receive additional known spells from another class, a feat or class abilities.

He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, the latent must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against one of his spells is 10 + the spell level + his Charisma modifier.

Like other spellcasters, the latent can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Latent Spells per Day. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

The latentís selection of spells starts off more varied than other spellcasters but becomes increasingly limited as he gains levels. When a new spell level becomes available to the latent he begins with five known spells of the given level. At each new level, he loses one of his lowest level spells, as indicated on Table: Latent Spells Known.

Unlike a wizard or a cleric, the latent need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells heíll cast.

Arcane Prodigy
The latent adds his intelligence and wisdom modifiers to the caster level of his latent spells.

Spell Hyperfocus
Starting at 2nd level, the latent begins to hone down his list of known spells. He selects one spell to forget from his list of known spells from the lowest level of spells that has more than one spell remaining. When there are four remaining spells for that level, each receives a +1 bonus to its effective caster level. When three remain, the bonus is +3. When two remain, the bonus is +6. Finally, when only one spell remains, it receives a +10 bonus to its effective caster level.

Augment Spell
The latent knows his spells so intuitively that at 3rd level he is capable of altering their inner workings when applying metamagic to them. When using a metamagic feat he may, instead of using up a higher level spell slot, reduce the effective caster level of the spell being cast. For every one level higher the metamagic would make his spell, the effective caster level is instead reduced by 2.

He may not partially exchange a metamagic feat cost in this way (for example, casting a maximized spell as two levels higher with the caster level reduced by 2 is not allowed). However, when applying multiple metamagic feats, he may choose which ones to exchange individually.

This ability still does not allow the spontaneous casting of quickened spells (see quickspell).

Heightened Spellcasting
Every fourth level, all of the spells the latent casts from his spell list are treated as being one level higher for the purpose of calculating DCs and other spell effects. His 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th are treated as 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, respectively. His spells continue to improve to a maximum of 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th at level 20.

Quickspell
At 6th level the latent learns how to roll one spell per day off his fingertips with the ease of a cantrip. He may cast one spell per day as a swift action as though it had been modified by the quicken spell metamagic feat. At 11th and 16th level, he gains an additional quickspell per day. The restriction of which spells may be altered are the same as for the quickened spell metamagic feat.

Recursive Spell
Starting at 7th level, the latent learns how to incorporate sequencers and spell triggers into his spells. Recursive spellcasting is an advanced form of metamagic that enables spells to be stored within one another such that one spell is completed by another. So masterful are the latentís designs that a multitude of spells may be released in a single casting without advanced knowledge or preparation.

The spell being cast as a recursive spell is called the Ďbaseí and must have a casting time of one full-round action or shorter. It takes a full-round action to cast a recursive spell. At 7th level, the latent may only select a 2nd level spell as the base. At levels 13 and 19, he may also choose from 3rd and 4th level spells, respectively. The base spell can not be altered by any metamagic feats because of the extreme complexity of a recursive spellís design.

A recursive spell carries within it an Ďinnerí spell, determined by the latent when he begins casting the spell. The inner spell must be of a spell level lower than the recursive spell, including any level adjustments from metamagic. Each time a creature is affected by the base spell, the inner spell is fired immediately at the creature (using the base spellís position as the point of origin). The conditions under which the inner spell is fired depend on the nature of the base spell and the casterís determination before he begins casting the recursive spell.

For a harmful spell, possible triggers include:
A target is dealt damage successfully
A target is affected by a magical effect after a specific failed save (not including damage)
When a creature enters the spellís area (for non-damaging spells without a saving throw)
When the spell expires (for non-damaging spells that affect only one target)
For a helpful spell, possible triggers include:
The target receives the spellsí benefit
A harmful effect is removed.
When the spell expires
Only one trigger may be chosen for the inner spell, even though some spells may qualify as both harmful and helpful.

Initially when the recursive spell is cast, it counts toward the latentís spells per day as a single casting of the base spell. Whenever the inner spell is triggered, he loses one of his spells per day as if he had immediately cast the inner spell. If the inner spell is triggered and he has no remaining spells per day of that spellís level, the inner spell fails and the base spell immediately ends. If the base spell affects multiple targets simultaneously and would trigger more inner spells than the latent has remaining, the latent selects which inner spells fail.

(Logically, this last case would take the form of an additional constraint provided when casting the spell, but for ease of implementation it can be decided at the moment of failure by the player.)

Once an inner spell is triggered, it is treated as a separate spell from the base spell. If the base spell expires or is dispelled, any active inner spells remain unaffected.

Brickroad
2013-10-30, 05:10 PM
Example of a Recursive, Recursive, Recursive Spell

Cast by a 19th level Latent whose only spells are Magic Missile, Acid Arrow, Fireball, and Ice Storm. With items, possessing 18 Intelligence, 18 Wisdom, 28 Charisma. Effective caster level for his four spells is 37.

The Spell
Recursive Ice Storm [Recursive Fireball [Recursive Acid Arrow [Empowered Maximized Twinspell Magic Missile (CL-18)]]]

The Hypothesis
The icestorm (CL 37) hits first. For the one round the Ice Storm remains active, creatures passing through the storm suffer 3d6 bludgeoning and 2d6 cold damage.

Creatures damaged by the storm become the center of a fireball (CL 37) spell, inflicting 10d6 fire damage with a reflex saving throw for half.

Creatures damaged by each fireball become the target of an acid arrow (CL 37) spell. If the Acid Arrow's touch attack succeeds the target suffers 2d4 acid damage for up to 13 rounds.

Each time the Acid Arrow inflicts damage, the target is struck by the twin empowered maximized magic missile (CL 19) spells (dealing 74 damage total).

Target Example

Against a group of four adjacent targets. The best case scenario involves 1 Ice Storm, 4 Fireballs, 16 Acid Arrows, 16 Uber Magic Missiles per round for 13 rounds (totaling 208 MM).

Obviously, the acid arrows and magic missiles will run out before finishing the third fireball (it requires 12 2nd level spells), so the maximum output is hampered somewhat.

Round 1:

The spells per day for this character are: 12, 10, 9, 8.

Ice Storm -> 1st Fireball -> 1st-4th Acid Arrow -> 1st-4th Magic Missile

2nd Fireball -> 5th-8th Acid Arrow -> 5th-8th Magic Missile

3rd Fireball -> 9th & 10th Acid Arrow -> 9th & 10th Magic Missile

3rd Fireball ends abruptly
4th Fireball ends abruptly

Two targets suffer 3d6 Bldg + 2d6 Cold + 20d6 Fire + 4d4 Acid + 148 Force
Two targets suffer 3d6 Bldg + 2d6 Cold + 30d6 Fire + 6d6 Acid + 222 Force.

Round 2:

Ice Storm ends.

Repeat 1st-2nd Acid Arrow -> 11th & 12th Magic Missile

3rd-10th Acid Arrow end abruptly

Two targets are dealt 2d4 Acid + 74 Force.

Remaining Spells: 0, 0, 5, 7.

Total Damage
3d6 Bldg + 2d6 Cold + 30d6 Fire + 8d4 Acid + 296 Force.
3d6 Bldg + 2d6 Cold + 20d6 Fire + 6d4 Acid + 148 Force.

Breakdown
Average: 436.5 damage (fail all saves, fail SR, no resistances)
Average: 250.5 damage (ditto)