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Ziegander
2014-01-17, 01:20 PM
The Questellan

http://copypast.ru/uploads/posts/1225385972_21fb12df5cdc.jpg

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: 1d8

Class Skills: All skills are class skills for a Questellan.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) × 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier




Level
BAB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special


1st
+1
+1
+1
+1
Extraordinary Expertise (Tier 0)


2nd
+2
+1
+1
+1



3rd
+3
+2
+2
+2



4th
+4
+2
+2
+2
Extraordinary Expertise (Tier 1)


5th
+5
+3
+3
+3



6th
+6/+1
+3
+3
+3



7th
+7/+2
+3
+3
+3



8th
+8/+3
+4
+4
+4
Extraordinary Expertise (Tier 2)


9th
+9/+4
+4
+4
+4



10th
+10/+5
+5
+5
+5



11th
+11/+6/+1
+5
+5
+5



12th
+12/+7/+2
+6
+6
+6
Extraordinary Expertise (Tier 3)


13th
+13/+8/+3
+6
+6
+6



14th
+14/+9/+4
+6
+6
+6



15th
+15/+10/+5
+7
+7
+7



16th
+16/+11/+6/+1
+7
+7
+7
Extraordinary Expertise (Tier 4)


17th
+17/+12/+7/+2
+8
+8
+8



18th
+18/+13/+8/+3
+8
+8
+8



19th
+19/+14/+9/+4
+8
+8
+8



20th
+20/+15/+10/+5
+9
+9
+9
Extraordinary Expertise (Tier 5)



Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A Questellan is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the longsword, rapier, sap, short sword, shortbow, and whip. A Questellan is proficient with light armor as well as shields (but not Tower Shields).

Extraordinary Expertise (Ex): A Questellan can learn to use any extraordinary ability (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#extraordinaryAbilities) of creatures that share her creature type (http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/typesSubtypes.htm) (though, if her biology would not ordinarily support such an ability, then she may learn it but she can't use it until and if her body is capable of performing the ability; for more details see below). She begins play with the knowledge of a single extraordinary ability and automatically learns one more at every Questellan level beyond the first. She may select these extraordinary abilities from all those available to creatures whose total Hit Dice do not exceed her class level. If she selects an ability that improves with class level (such as Sneak Attack) or HD, then she uses that ability with an effective class level or HD equal to her Questellan level minus four.

Starting at 4th level, choose one of the following creature types: Aberration, Construct, Humanoid, Outsider, or Undead. You may select extraordinary abilities from creatures of that creature type regardless of your own creature type.

Starting at 8th level, choose one of the following creature types: Animal, Giant, Monstrous Humanoid, or Vermin. You may select extraordinary abilities from creatures of that creature type regardless of your own creature type.

Starting at 12th level, choose one of the following creature types: Fey, Magical Beast, or Plant. You may select extraordinary abilities from creatures of that creature type regardless of your own creature type.

Starting at 16th level, choose one of the following creature types: Dragon, Elemental, or Ooze. You may select extraordinary abilities from creatures of that creature type regardless of your own creature type.

At 20th level, a Questellan may select extraordinary abilities from creatures of any creature type.

Learning extraordinary abilities never changes the Questellan's form (she does not spontaneously grow claws with which to Rake, for example). This does not stop her from using extraordinary abilities which change her form when used (such as Mimic Shape). Extraordinary abilities are not natural abilities (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#naturalAbilities) (things like a creature's speed and movement forms, natural armor bonus, or natural attacks). When in doubt, if an ability is not labeled "(Ex)" then it is not an extraordinary ability (this is not always true, example: most feats; ask your DM any time you are unsure whether an ability is or isn't extraordinary).

A Questellan may learn extraordinary abilities beyond the ones automatically granted to her through her class levels. To do so, the Questellan must experience it in some way (most of the time just seeing the new ability is sufficient, but at the DM's discretion the Questellan may also hear, taste, smell, or touch an ability and will occasionally need to in order to learn an ability) and succeed with a modified level check (1d20 + class level + Int modifier), DC 15 + total Hit Dice of the creature using the ability. The HD of the creature using the ability cannot exceed her Questellan level. If her check fails she may not attempt to learn that extraordinary ability again until she gains a new Questellan level. However, if her check is successful, then she may spend time, gp, and XP to learn the ability. The whole process requires 8 hours of practice per HD of the creature she learns it from (this practice needs not be taken consecutively, but must be completed within one month) as well as 200 × HD experience points and 200 × HD² gold pieces.

Though there is no strict limit on the number of extraordinary abilities a Questellan may learn with this ability, a Questellan may only utilize a number of extraordinary abilities at one time up to her class level. She may change which abilities she is currently using once per day with an hour of practice and study.

Many feats are extraordinary abilities and can be learned in this way, though the Questellan must meet any such feat's prerequisites. While "systems" such as spellcasting or maneuvers are generally considered extraordinary abilities, those abilities, which grant other classes the meat of their power and versatility, are beyond a Questellan's grasp, and thus she may never use Extraordinary Expertise to learn them. On the other hand, a Questellan may learn many other class features available to creatures with class levels at the lowest HD they would become available, provided the class feature is an extraordinary ability (for example, she could learn Uncanny Dodge at 2nd level, if she chose). A Questellan may not learn the same extraordinary ability more than once, except in the case of abilities that share a name but that function differently (as is the case with various forms of Regeneration, Improved Grab, etc).

Grod_The_Giant
2014-01-17, 11:38 PM
Interesting. I'd like to see some fluff abilities at higher levels-- that table is painfully bare-- but it'd definitely have a lot to do.

It might be helpful to go through the SRD and pull out (Ex) abilities and the lowest level that they're available, to save players/DMs some time in evaluating the class. You probably also want to include some language about what is and isn't an (Ex) ability. (An eagle gets 80ft flight with 1 HD. Can I get a huge fly speed with a one-level dip?)

I note that there's only a one-ability difference between your abilities known and your abilities available; is that intentional?

Ziegander
2014-01-18, 12:07 AM
Interesting. I'd like to see some fluff abilities at higher levels-- that table is painfully bare-- but it'd definitely have a lot to do.

I am still considering fluff-like features at higher levels, but for the nonce it definitely does get something powerful and useful at every class level, so I don't think it's necessary.


It might be helpful to go through the SRD and pull out (Ex) abilities and the lowest level that they're available, to save players/DMs some time in evaluating the class.

For the record, I fully acknowledge this is probably Tier 1, or some sort of shadow figment Tier 1.5 that only nebulously exists in dream-stasis...

Anyway, moving on, I agree. I was looking for a list of EX abilities on the internet, but sadly no such thing exists. I may work on it, but definitely not tonight or tomorrow.


You probably also want to include some language about what is and isn't an (Ex) ability. (An eagle gets 80ft flight with 1 HD. Can I get a huge fly speed with a one-level dip?)

I probably should at least note the difference between an extraordinary ability and a natural ability, you're right (I know you know the answer to your eagle question, but others may not).


The Archer (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Archer_%283.5e_Class%29)
The BSAA Agent (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/BSAA_Agent_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Battle Shinigami (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Battle_Shinigami_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Beastfighter (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Beastfighter_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Gardags Berserker (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Berserker,_Gardags_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Biotic Vanguard (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Biotic_Vanguard_%283.5e_Class%29) (What is going on with the fluff/flavor of this class? With a more guided hand the mechanics might be interesting and useful).
The Black Crystal Lord (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Black_Crystal_Lord_%28Judge_variant%29_%283.5e_Cla ss%29) (Not only do the Judges deserve a better class, but the concept in general can apply to other settings and be much better executed).
The Dual Blade (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dual_Blade_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Empusar (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Empusar_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Heaven Striker (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Heaven_Striker_%283.5e_Class%29) Seriously... this thing sounds like it should be cool, but... those mechanics... wait, there are none.
The Heavy Gunner (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Heavy_Gunner_%283.5e_Class%29) I'mma hit this one up Frank Trollman style.
The Jewelmancer (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Jewelmancer_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Myrmidon (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Myrmidon_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Ochremancer (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Ochremancer_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Self-Telekineticist (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Self_Telekineticist_%283.5e_Class%29)
The Weapon Summoner (http://www.dandwiki.co/wiki/Weapon_Summoner_%283.5e_Class%29)
The White Guard (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/White_Guard_%283.5e_Class%29)





I note that there's only a one-ability difference between your abilities known and your abilities available; is that intentional?

I'm not sure what you're talking about here. You have potentially unlimited abilities known with a built in one known per class level. You are limited to a number of abilities available equal to your class level.

Alent
2014-01-18, 12:28 AM
We were sort of hijacking that thread, but I think that thread hasn't been on topic since the second post. ;P


Well, it specifically can learn feats, so in theory it could learn ALL of the maneuvers through learning the feat 100 times, with the ability to use a number up to her Questellan level each once per encounter. But it cannot learn "Maneuvers," "Maneuvers Readied," or "Stances Known." Though that is still potentially troublingly powerful, so is nigh-unlimited feat access. At least the clause limiting her to only class level abilities at a time helps curb the power/versatility.

Thinking about it, the core rules offer a possible balancing mechanic that comes out of a strict ruling: I would rule that there's no specific exemption of qualifying for the feats, and that the Questellan's class feature emulation doesn't apply as martial study is a feat not a class feature. So you would have to meet the initiator level (Using 1/2 questellan level = IL) and discipline maneuvers known requirements. I would further insist on you actively meeting the prerequisites of each feat to have it active, so if you had a martial study (4th level maneuver), I would insist on you having the 3 maneuvers from that school on your active Ex list to qualify for the feat.

That would shut you out of higher level maneuvers entirely and force you to devote a healthy number of your ability slots towards being a ghetto initiator if you wanted to be one. That seems roughly equivalent to a fighter taking martial study as his bonus feat every level, with a dip into martial monk for some extra feats.

The only issue I see with that ruling is that shuts you out of learning Ex feats that you don't qualify for... seems like a feature rather than a bug, depending on how you look at it?

Ziegander
2014-01-18, 12:51 AM
Thinking about it, the core rules offer a possible balancing mechanic that comes out of a strict ruling: I would rule that there's no specific exemption of qualifying for the feats, and that the Questellan's class feature emulation doesn't apply as martial study is a feat not a class feature. So you would have to meet the initiator level (Using 1/2 questellan level = IL) and discipline maneuvers known requirements. I would further insist on you actively meeting the prerequisites of each feat to have it active, so if you had a martial study (4th level maneuver), I would insist on you having the 3 maneuvers from that school on your active Ex list to qualify for the feat.

That would shut you out of higher level maneuvers entirely and force you to devote a healthy number of your ability slots towards being a ghetto initiator if you wanted to be one. That seems roughly equivalent to a fighter taking martial study as his bonus feat every level, with a dip into martial monk for some extra feats.

Indeed. Good points all.


The only issue I see with that ruling is that shuts you out of learning Ex feats that you don't qualify for... seems like a feature rather than a bug, depending on how you look at it?

I definitely call it a feature. I will emphatically include the ruling in the official rules.

Grod_The_Giant
2014-01-18, 01:18 AM
I'm not sure what you're talking about here. You have potentially unlimited abilities known with a built in one known per class level. You are limited to a number of abilities available equal to your class level.
...I'm so sorry, apparently I should have gone to bed, like, two hours ago, because I've lost my ability to critically read. Somehow I entirely missed that the "automatically learns a new one at every Questellan level beyond the first" mechanism wasn't the only way you learn (Ex) abilities.

Ziegander
2014-01-18, 01:32 AM
That's okay. I have attempted to make it clearer. Upon examining the (Ex) abilities of creatures in the SRD I already see a few incredibly broken abilities (that I will not list here), and one or two that would be broken regardless of what level you learned them to say nothing of the low level that they become available. But this can be said of some spells as well, so I see no reason to alter the class at the moment.

Virdish
2014-01-18, 07:19 AM
Btw. Probably an error but elf traits are listed as ex on the drop entry. Not the most powerful set of traits but still probably not the type of stuff your thinking for this class.

Ziegander
2014-01-18, 01:23 PM
Btw. Probably an error but elf traits are listed as ex on the drop entry. Not the most powerful set of traits but still probably not the type of stuff your thinking for this class.

Ha! That is interesting, and definitely what I would have normally imagined to be the poster child for "natural ability," but nonetheless, I don't mind the Questellan having access to ALL of the racial traits. After all, he has access to a lot of "monster racial traits," such as a Magmin's Fiery Aura or an Ettin's Superior Two-Weapon Fighting.

EdroGrimshell
2014-01-18, 02:40 PM
There is a problem of some abilities not being available that should, like the Grafted Armor of a Ragewalker (which has 22 HD but is a CR 16-17 IIRC), which is a fairly weak ability late game.

Amnoriath
2014-01-18, 10:41 PM
At the very least this class screams of being a know it all and story teller. As such some knowledge and gather information oriented abilities would seem appropriate.

Zweisteine
2014-01-18, 11:31 PM
This class looks really cool, and perfectly playable in hold hands (and either useless or broken in other hands). It's got a rather lower optimization floor, and an extraordinarily high one, but it looks like it'd no ally be somewhere in the middle.

My one suggestion is adding an XP/time cost for learning new abilities, similar to a psionic character who wants to learn extra powers. That prevents anyone from actually trying to learn all of the extraordinary abilities at once, while not being unreasonable (might need to come with a few extra free abilities, though; maybe one every three or four levels).

Ziegander
2014-01-18, 11:59 PM
There is a problem of some abilities not being available that should, like the Grafted Armor of a Ragewalker (which has 22 HD but is a CR 16-17 IIRC), which is a fairly weak ability late game.

Should I change it to CR? I don't know that it would help anything, and I know it would cause different issues. The one thing I knew going into this was that I needed the Questellan not to learn other classes' class features before those other classes got them.


At the very least this class screams of being a know it all and story teller. As such some knowledge and gather information oriented abilities would seem appropriate.

Not the worst ideas in the world, I grant you. But, then, it can just learn abilities like Lore, Dark Knowledge, etc... so I go back and forth on whether I feel like the class needs anything like that.


My one suggestion is adding an XP/time cost for learning new abilities, similar to a psionic character who wants to learn extra powers.

I think I will add that in, yes, that makes sense. Thank you.

TuggyNE
2014-01-19, 12:40 AM
Should I change it to CR?

Specific references to CR anywhere other than purely metagame rules like encounter difficulty, XP, or rewards always seem to me to be inelegant in the extreme. CR is not supposed to be visible in-game at all in any fashion.

HD is not necessarily a super-great limitation, but it's more suitable.

roko10
2014-01-19, 03:52 AM
Holy cow, an kinda mundane class that is tier 1?

That's kind of awesome, actually.

Heliomance
2014-01-19, 05:07 AM
At what level can you learn abilities pulled from PrCs?

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 05:39 AM
At what level can you learn abilities pulled from PrCs?

By a strict reading, since it's based on HD, you can learn them based on the earliest entry level. So if you could enter a PrC at 3rd level, then that's when a Questellan could first learn that PrC's 1st level class feature (presuming its (Ex)).

Heliomance
2014-01-19, 06:53 AM
By a strict reading, since it's based on HD, you can learn them based on the earliest entry level. So if you could enter a PrC at 3rd level, then that's when a Questellan could first learn that PrC's 1st level class feature (presuming its (Ex)).

But for many (most?) PrCs, earliest possible entry level is dependent entirely on optimisation skill. So many PrCs have early entry tricks - do they count?

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 07:32 AM
But for many (most?) PrCs, earliest possible entry level is dependent entirely on optimisation skill. So many PrCs have early entry tricks - do they count?

Yes. The earliest entry level available in the campaign for any given PrC is the earliest that the Questellan could possibly get PrC (Ex) abilities.

Waddacku
2014-01-19, 08:08 AM
You could limit the types of creature's you can learn abilities from by level. Not sure whether that would do much large-scale or not, but it could put a hamper on shenanigans like hardness, splitting, and such things, postponing them to later levels.

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 08:33 AM
You could limit the types of creature's you can learn abilities from by level. Not sure whether that would do much large-scale or not, but it could put a hamper on shenanigans like hardness, splitting, and such things, postponing them to later levels.

Well, I could really drop the gavel down and say that a Questellan can only learn (Ex) abilities from creatures that it shares a creature type with, but that (almost) seems unreasonably restrictive. When you consider that it can still learn just about any feat, any (Ex) class features, and still many other (Ex) monster abilities aside (depending on creature type), it's definitely still a very, very versatile class (just maybe not quite so much fun).

The Dragon
2014-01-19, 10:03 AM
I'm wondering whether you could pull a pun-oun with this.

Anyone want to pull out Secrets of Sarlonia and check what type the bird-creature's bestow ability(or whatever it's called) is?

Edit: it's supernatural, sadly.

Now I want to play this in a game.

Zweisteine
2014-01-19, 10:27 AM
That experience cost gets rather steep at higher levels. 20,000 to copy a 20 HD creature's abilities. You could level up on that.

Perhaps something more linear, like 200 or 250 per HD. Those give 4,000 and 5,000 as costs at level 20, respectively (I recommend 250).

The Dragon
2014-01-19, 10:40 AM
Personally, I'd rather see a gp cost than an xp cost.

Heliomance
2014-01-19, 10:54 AM
I'm wondering whether you could pull a pun-oun with this.

Anyone want to pull out Secrets of Sarlonia and check what type the bird-creature's bestow ability(or whatever it's called) is?

Edit: it's supernatural, sadly.

Now I want to play this in a game.

Serpent Kingdoms, not Secrets of Sarlona. And it's called Manipulate Form.

Keledrath
2014-01-19, 12:16 PM
I would remove copying class features. If you can copy a barbarian's class features and put them on a class with other stuff, why have barbarians?

Also, it needs to change form. As I recall, either raptoran, dragonborn, or both have wings as an ex ability (listed) that give flight. So, you can copy them, and fly without wings. As an ex.

On the same point, rend with human fingers is useless.

Maybe give it a connection to doppelgangers, kind of like DFA does to dragons. Like a Doppeltouched feat that makes you an ex shapechanger.

The Dragon
2014-01-19, 12:37 PM
I would remove copying class features. If you can copy a barbarian's class features and put them on a class with other stuff, why have barbarians?

Also, it needs to change form. As I recall, either raptoran, dragonborn, or both have wings as an ex ability (listed) that give flight. So, you can copy them, and fly without wings. As an ex.

On the same point, rend with human fingers is useless.

Maybe give it a connection to doppelgangers, kind of like DFA does to dragons. Like a Doppeltouched feat that makes you an ex shapechanger.

I believe the reasoning is this: when you have druids and wizards, does it matter that you made something that replaces the barbarian?

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 02:07 PM
That experience cost gets rather steep at higher levels. 20,000 to copy a 20 HD creature's abilities. You could level up on that.

Perhaps something more linear, like 200 or 250 per HD. Those give 4,000 and 5,000 as costs at level 20, respectively (I recommend 250).

You're right. I did want it to be expensive, but I don't want people to lose a level learning a single new ability. I'll go back down to 250 per HD.


Personally, I'd rather see a gp cost than an xp cost.

If I do that, then I'll change the way it learns new abilities, but it's not a bad idea and I've been thinking of doing it anyway. I could add a gp cost (a rather steep one) and make it take actual time to learn the new abilities too.


Also, it needs to change form. As I recall, either raptoran, dragonborn, or both have wings as an ex ability (listed) that give flight. So, you can copy them, and fly without wings. As an ex.

Odd that they don't reference the wings. Technically this works, and it isn't working as I intended, but I don't see it as overwhelmingly useful, and definitely not an argument that it needs to change form.

I don't want the Questellan suddenly gaining claws to rend with. That's the point.


I believe the reasoning is this: when you have druids and wizards, does it matter that you made something that replaces the barbarian?

The Dragon has it right. This is meant to be a Tier 1 class not a Tier 4 or 5 class.

Keledrath
2014-01-19, 02:39 PM
So this [b]mundane[\b] class sees something flying (using wings), and acquires the ability to fly without wings, nonmagically? Do you see my objection?

My objections aren't balance based, but thematic.

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 02:50 PM
So this [b]mundane[\b] class sees something flying (using wings), and acquires the ability to fly without wings, nonmagically? Do you see my objection?

My objections aren't balance based, but thematic.

I do, like I said, that's not working as intended, but editing the class to patch up one error will screw it up far worse for other things that I do intend for it to do.

I've added more limitations on what creature types it can learn new abilities from, and at what levels, but also added a gp cost and a time limitation to learning the non-free (Ex) abilities.

Jack_Simth
2014-01-19, 08:09 PM
For the record, I fully acknowledge this is probably Tier 1, or some sort of shadow figment Tier 1.5 that only nebulously exists in dream-stasis...As I understand it... if you dump the ability to spend cash to learn things, it'd be tier-2. Lots of gamebreaking abilities available, but the Questellan would have to pick a small number of them (however, most of them are defensive in nature, which is... strange, but workable). With that... very high tier-2, or very low tier-1. However, it's got a gamebreaker available at level 1 - Warforged Questellan grabbing the Aleax's Singular Enemy (Book of Exalted Deeds). As a template, you can theoretically run across an Aleax of a 1 HD (or less!) creature. As a Warforged, the Aleax has the same type as the Questellan. Of itself not a big deal, as this is more an issue with the Aleax, but something to keep in mind.

Also:
Something that could use clairification:
The abilities automatically gained on level up: Do those also need to be encountered and/or paid for, or are they more like the Wizard's level up spells known?


Oh, and another oddity: The abilities of the standard races (Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-orc, et cetera) when listed in the Monster Manual, are all one big Ex ability (ditto for the variant races, such as the Drow). This means a humanoid Questellan could pick up some pretty serious ability modifiers fairly quickly. Focusing on Con, for instance, a Questellan could grab:
Hill Dwarf Traits: +2 Con, -2 Cha
Deep Dwarf Traits: Again, +2 Con, -2 Cha
Druegar Traits: +2 Con, -4 Cha
Gnome Traits: +2 Con, -2 Str
Forest Gnome Traits: +2 Con, -2 Str
Netting: +10 Con, -4 Str, -8 Cha (also a bunch of other nifties, such as racial bonuses to various things, a few spell-like abilities, et cetera). Could also do things with Strength or Dex the same way using Orcs/Elves.

Edit:
Other fun stuff: Familiars (Magical Beasts) get a natural armor adjustment based on level, which the Questellan could nab. Likewise, Psicrystals get that as well, but the Psicrystal also gets a scaling Int, which would be helpful to the Questallan.

Virdish
2014-01-19, 09:40 PM
Ha! That is interesting, and definitely what I would have normally imagined to be the poster child for "natural ability," but nonetheless, I don't mind the Questellan having access to ALL of the racial traits. After all, he has access to a lot of "monster racial traits," such as a Magmin's Fiery Aura or an Ettin's Superior Two-Weapon Fighting.

My main issue with it is that this class seems to me to be about being mainly about abilities that come from nature where as some races (like the drow) would give him Su and Sp abilities. Just seems a little out of context. I do however like the ability to change stat adjustments on the fly though. Need to be a dex monkey today? Sure just load the X race package...

Edit: Would love to see how one of these holds up against a wizard or other tier one. Going through some basics it seems to compare decently to tier 2 classes but I'm not sure how it truly compares to a tier 1. Sure it can have a crazy amount of abilities and swap them daily but it is still lacking some of the cornerstone abilities of a true tier 1. Well, unless you start getting into exotic splat books... nvm, yep he's at very least high tier 2.

Jack_Simth
2014-01-20, 10:57 AM
Edit: Would love to see how one of these holds up against a wizard or other tier one. Going through some basics it seems to compare decently to tier 2 classes but I'm not sure how it truly compares to a tier 1. Sure it can have a crazy amount of abilities and swap them daily but it is still lacking some of the cornerstone abilities of a true tier 1. Well, unless you start getting into exotic splat books... nvm, yep he's at very least high tier 2.
Well, a level 1 Warforged Questallan could potentially be immune to attacks from everything except one specific creature (thanks to Singular Enemy, from the Aleax template, in the Book of Exalted Deeds) (a Questallan of any other race could pick that up at level 4). Thus a 2nd (or 5th) level Questallan could potentially be immune to attack completely (get Singular Enemy twice, with different enemies).

So in an arena fight, a Questallan can avoid losing, flat out. If we ignore that, a high level Questallan can still be immune to pretty much everything. The Zodar (Fiend Folio) gets Invulnerability to every attack except Bludgeoning damage... the Ocean Giant (MM II) gets immunity to bludgeoning damage. Then get yourself regeneration with an alignment attached to avoid damage from non-attacks (natural hazards and things - lots of critters have alignment-based regen), immunity to nonlethal (Gheden's Dead Nerves, Dragon 313), and immunity to lack of things like air (go Warforged, air subtype critter, or just pick up said ability from somewhere) and again, you've got straight-up immunity to everything except DM fiat, and only need to worry about your offence and mobility (so you want to pick up Flight, a few ranged attacks, et cetera). That said... a Wizard using similar levels of optimization, at high level, could ALSO avoid losing, flat out.

So really, in stacking up vs. a Wizard, you're mostly concerned with how well it can do other tasks. With that... Midguard Dwarf (Frostburn, 8 HD) has an ability to craft magic weapons, armor, rings, and wondrous items without meeting the requirements - so this class can make most magic items. Earth Elementals have Earth Glide (Ex) to get around most obstacles, monstrous spiders get tremorsense (to navigate underground), there's a few critters that get Fly as Ex abilities (Astral Constructs and animated objects are handy that way), the gibbering mouther has a 1/round free action ranged blinding attack to negate enemies, et cetera. The lilitu (Fiendish Codex I) gets the ability to auto-succeed all UMD checks... and also cast as a 9th level Cleric (Mock Divinity, Ex) for the occasional divine utility spell.

He's not *quite* as useful as a Wizard (much less adept at info gathering, travel, and raw offensive ability), for the most part, but they can come very close. It really does have the potential to be tier-1, in the same general category as the wizard, but how to do it is less obvious. Gamebreaking abilities, and able to change out gamebreaking abilities, make this tier-1.

Ziegander
2014-01-20, 12:02 PM
Able to match or beat a Wizard is not the definition of Tier 1. This will almost always lose, depending on level and build, to a Wizard. Even unbeatable Spell Immunity isn't enough of an obstacle to deter a well-optimized Wizard. But that doesn't mean this class doesn't function at a Tier 1 level. It can thoroughly have an answer to basically any and every challenge, and at a very high power level.

Jack_Simth
2014-01-20, 12:35 PM
Able to match or beat a Wizard is not the definition of Tier 1.
Correct, it's not, but depending on amount of optimization, this class can.

This will almost always lose, depending on level and build, to a Wizard.
There are a number of different tricks available that make it flat-out immune to some/all of a wizard's tricks. Depending on level and build? Sure, but that's always the case. I would not say 'almost always lose', myself.

Even unbeatable Spell Immunity isn't enough of an obstacle to deter a well-optimized Wizard.
Correct that normal spell immunity (infinite SR) isn't enough of an obstacle. With enough sources, this class has better options, however.

But that doesn't mean this class doesn't function at a Tier 1 level. It can thoroughly have an answer to basically any and every challenge, and at a very high power level.Yes, although it has fewer options for information gathering and long-distance travel (I'm unaware of any Ex version of Scrying, Contact Other Plane, teleport, et cetera, although this issue can be solved via items it can create itself by grabbing a particular ability from the Midguard Dwarf in Frostburn).

I'd say it's a weak tier-1 as currently written, myself.

Zweisteine
2014-01-22, 09:43 AM
I would pin this at tier 2. It has a hgh optimization ceiling, but it's floor is just AI low that it shouldn't be in tier 1.

Virdish
2014-01-22, 02:53 PM
I would pin this at tier 2. It has a hgh optimization ceiling, but it's floor is just AI low that it shouldn't be in tier 1.

I don't know if you've looked at spells lately but I could make a pretty useless wizard fairly easily

Zweisteine
2014-01-22, 03:26 PM
I don't know if you've looked at spells lately but I could make a pretty useless wizard fairly easily

Good point, but a wizard can also learn all of the spells, and without paying experience.

What I mean is that this class is easier to have weak if you aren't trying to optimize. As a wizard, picking the "cool" spells will still leave you pretty powerful. With this, you could end up near useless, though I suppose this is the type of class only an optimizer* would even try to use...

*In this case, an optimizer is someone who knows what abilities are particularly powerful, and has extensive (access to) knowledge from the many books out there.

Jack_Simth
2014-01-23, 08:38 AM
Good point, but a wizard can also learn all of the spells, and without paying experience.

The costs would be why it's a very low tier-1. But it does fit the requirements, if barely. Many gamebreaking abilities available, it can theoretically learn all of them, and it can swap them out on at least a daily basis.


What I mean is that this class is easier to have weak if you aren't trying to optimize. As a wizard, picking the "cool" spells will still leave you pretty powerful. With this, you could end up near useless, though I suppose this is the type of class only an optimizer* would even try to use...

*In this case, an optimizer is someone who knows what abilities are particularly powerful, and has extensive (access to) knowledge from the many books out there.
...

You don't need all of the books to make it strong. All of the books makes it basically unbeatable without DM fiat, but you don't need all of the books to make it strong. Let's see what we can do with just Core for a moment - the monster manual, the player's handbook, and the DMG.

Let's start at level 10. Human Questellan, picked... Constructs and Giants.

An Animated Object of, say, a +5 Adamantine Dagger would be a 1 HD critter, and have Hardness 30. For animated objects, it's an Ex ability. The Questellan has hardness-30, which applies to both physical and energy attacks.

Another Animated Object (handkerchief) grants Fly 10 (Poor).

A Flesh Golem grants magic immunity.

A Zelekhut grants Fast Healing 5.

A Troll grants Regeneration 5(Acid/Fire)

A Troll grants Rend

An Ettin grants Superior 2-weapon Fighting

A Rogue grants Sneak Attack

A Barbarian grants Rage.

He uses his actual feats to make your basic charger - Weapon Proficiency, Power Attack, Cleave, et cetera.

Is he invulnerable? No. Is he a really hard target to take down under similar restrictions? Yes. High AC, can deal a lot of damage, can soak even more, and most status effects don't work (some do). He makes use of UMD and scrolls to get a number of utility effects.

Splat really helps with his power. Of course, it does for any tier-1. He's a very low tier-1, but he has gamebreaking abilities available, can make several other classes feel redundant, and can be better at some specialties than the specialists. And he can change out what he's doing.

The Dragon
2014-01-24, 06:08 AM
Keep in mind that rend requires claw attacks.

This class is really interesting in that its gamebreaking abilities are mainly defensive in nature, since offensive (ex) abilities are mainly geared towards natural attacks, and thus 1) Can't be used without said natural attacks and 2) are scaled rather tightly in how much damage they deal, relative to the level of the monster.

Jack_Simth
2014-01-24, 08:33 AM
Keep in mind that rend requires claw attacks.

So we grab Pounce from a Weretiger instead. Not really all that big of a deal, and it goes well with the improved two-weapon fighting. We could, of course, also skip the improved two-weapon fighting and replace it with, say, the Homunculus' poison (sleep, injury, no mention of it being tied to a specific attack in the ability description, so works on his Greatsword, theoretically). Gives him a con-based Save-or-lose on every hit.


This class is really interesting in that its gamebreaking abilities are mainly defensive in nature, since offensive (ex) abilities are mainly geared towards natural attacks, and thus 1) Can't be used without said natural attacks and 2) are scaled rather tightly in how much damage they deal, relative to the level of the monster.
Yeah. It's a very low-end Tier-1. Gamebreaking abilities, can trade them out and theoretically learn them all.

EdroGrimshell
2014-01-24, 02:38 PM
So we grab Pounce from a Weretiger instead. Not really all that big of a deal, and it goes well with the improved two-weapon fighting. We could, of course, also skip the improved two-weapon fighting and replace it with, say, the Homunculus' poison (sleep, injury, no mention of it being tied to a specific attack in the ability description, so works on his Greatsword, theoretically). Gives him a con-based Save-or-lose on every hit.

No poison does, it's listed on the attack line.


Bite +2 melee (1d4-1 plus poison)

If the poison is listed on an attack, only that attack delivers the poison.

Virdish
2014-01-24, 07:18 PM
Keep in mind that rend requires claw attacks.

This class is really interesting in that its gamebreaking abilities are mainly defensive in nature, since offensive (ex) abilities are mainly geared towards natural attacks, and thus 1) Can't be used without said natural attacks and 2) are scaled rather tightly in how much damage they deal, relative to the level of the monster.

As a Questellan Rend does not require claw attacks. It is specifically mentioned in the class that the Questellan does not need the anatomy normally necessary to use the ability. Rend is specifically called out in fact.

Ziegander
2014-01-24, 08:48 PM
As a Questellan Rend does not require claw attacks. It is specifically mentioned in the class that the Questellan does not need the anatomy normally necessary to use the ability. Rend is specifically called out in fact.

Actually, that is the opposite of my intention. I will try to make it more clear but the point is supposed to be that if a monster's ability calls for a natural weapon the Questellan does not possess, she can learn it but she can't use it until she gets that natural weapon, if ever.

Agrippa
2014-01-24, 09:32 PM
Actually, that is the opposite of my intention. I will try to make it more clear but the point is supposed to be that if a monster's ability calls for a natural weapon the Questellan does not possess, she can learn it but she can't use it until she gets that natural weapon, if ever.

Would daggers, sickles, khopeshes, kukris and bagh nakha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagh_nakha) count as claws for the purpose of rending?

Virdish
2014-01-24, 10:09 PM
Actually, that is the opposite of my intention. I will try to make it more clear but the point is supposed to be that if a monster's ability calls for a natural weapon the Questellan does not possess, she can learn it but she can't use it until she gets that natural weapon, if ever.

Ah. I understand that.

Ziegander
2014-01-25, 12:19 AM
Would daggers, sickles, khopeshes, kukris and bagh nakha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagh_nakha) count as claws for the purpose of rending?

I'm going to sound terse here, unfortunately. Are those claws? That was a rhetorical question, since the obvious answer is, no, they are not claws. As they aren't claws, the Questellan may not use them to Rend with by gaining, for example, a Troll's Rend (Ex) ability.

Agrippa
2014-01-25, 04:46 PM
I'm going to sound terse here, unfortunately. Are those claws? That was a rhetorical question, since the obvious answer is, no, they are not claws. As they aren't claws, the Questellan may not use them to Rend with by gaining, for example, a Troll's Rend (Ex) ability.

So a human can't rend with two of these?
http://wiki.cantr.net/images/b/bb/BaghNakh.JPG

Or if you want to go fantastic/rediculous, a pair of these.
http://www.trueswords.com/images/prod/c/skull_bones_hand_claw_540.jpg

If so then rending is the least useful [ex] monster ability a questellan can learn.

Milo v3
2014-01-25, 08:47 PM
If so then rending is the least useful [ex] monster ability a questellan can learn.

You could just grab a soulmeld, play a race with a claw attack, get a graft, or get a magic item that grants a claw attack.

It's not like natural attacks can't be possessed by Player Characters.

Just to Browse
2014-01-25, 10:40 PM
I like the concept of this class, but I have some problems with it:

A lot of cool archetypes are locked out
Restricting the questellan to creature types is sort of thematic (I can understand animals being all one type, but things like aberrations and magical beasts are literally all over the place) but it doesn't really stop questellans from optimizing and it requires them to hit high levels before they can feel really cool (by pulling off combos across disparate creature types). You might want something in here about not allowing templated effects to be gained.

In addition, not being able to get (Ex) abilities like "you grow a pair of wings, now you have a fly speed" makes me very sad. That sort of stuff is awesome. I recommend either including feat support or granting a list of those kinds of powers in the class.

Learning more than the standard set of abilities is up for abuse
The XP cost on learning new (Ex) abilities is kind of a pain. XP costs will put you behind in levels in the short-term, and then you catch up because you double your XP and now you've gained power in the long run for losses in the short run.

I would recommend upping the gold cost. If each new (Ex) ability costs you some large chunk of gold based on when you learn it, both optimizers are happy (they trade wealth for power, just like buying an item) and regular adventurers don't have to be lower than their friends for 1 session and outshine them afterwards.

Hit Dice are a bad power metric
Monster power level is done by CR, and HD just exist to grant a bunch of hit points to beefy tanks. As is, certain monster abilities are locked out (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direWolf.htm), even if they would totally be level-appropriate. This makes outsider- or mbeast-oriented questellans godly, and it kind of unfairly shafts undead ones.

I know CR is super abstract and it feels bad to use it as a mechanic, but doing otherwise fills this class with needless trap options.

ALSO, every self-respecting questellan will go Aberration and take choker at level 4. Or be an Elan/Synad and get it at level 3. I'd probably be a Synad, since then I could pick up moderately useful level 1-2 powers.

EdroGrimshell
2014-01-25, 10:57 PM
Hit Dice are a bad power metric
Monster power level is done by CR, and HD just exist to grant a bunch of hit points to beefy tanks. As is, certain monster abilities are locked out (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direWolf.htm), even if they would totally be level-appropriate. This makes outsider- or mbeast-oriented questellans godly, and it kind of unfairly shafts undead ones.

I know CR is super abstract and it feels bad to use it as a mechanic, but doing otherwise fills this class with needless trap options.

ALSO, every self-respecting questellan will go Aberration and take choker at level 4. Or be an Elan/Synad and get it at level 3. I'd probably be a Synad, since then I could pick up moderately useful level 1-2 powers.

Rust Monster's Rust Ability, CR 3, makes all metal weapons useless against you.

Ziegander
2014-01-26, 12:35 AM
A lot of cool archetypes are locked out
Restricting the questellan to creature types is sort of thematic (I can understand animals being all one type, but things like aberrations and magical beasts are literally all over the place) but it doesn't really stop questellans from optimizing and it requires them to hit high levels before they can feel really cool (by pulling off combos across disparate creature types).

Trust me, I feel your pain. It definitely shuts down some cool low-level builds, but it also helps to curb some serious abuse. It was tough decision for me, but I feel like it was the right one.


I recommend either including feat support or granting a list of those kinds of powers in the class.

Feat support for this class is kind of silly since they can learn ALL of the feats (or rather, most of them), unless I make any Questellan feats supernatural abilities which just doesn't really jive.

However, I do really like the idea of granting them anatomy "boosters" let's say, every few class levels as a class feature. I will offer a choice between straight ability boosts, natural weapons or other features (such as wings), and, I dunno, something else, every few levels. That's a perfect class feature to add to the rather barren table to increase usability.


Hit Dice are a bad power metric
Monster power level is done by CR, and HD just exist to grant a bunch of hit points to beefy tanks. As is, certain monster abilities are locked out (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direWolf.htm), even if they would totally be level-appropriate. This makes outsider- or mbeast-oriented questellans godly, and it kind of unfairly shafts undead ones.

I know CR is super abstract and it feels bad to use it as a mechanic, but doing otherwise fills this class with needless trap options.

I don't know how it fills the class with trap options any moreso than using CR would, but I'd have to look into this much more closely before I change it. I don't want the Questellan gaining access to even more potent stuff than she already does at even lower class levels.


ALSO, every self-respecting questellan will go Aberration and take choker at level 4. Or be an Elan/Synad and get it at level 3. I'd probably be a Synad, since then I could pick up moderately useful level 1-2 powers.

You're forgetting that Quickness is a supernatural ability. Though, its Improved Grab is actually pretty solid.

Just to Browse
2014-01-26, 01:22 AM
However, I do really like the idea of granting them anatomy "boosters" let's say, every few class levels as a class feature. I will offer a choice between straight ability boosts, natural weapons or other features (such as wings), and, I dunno, something else, every few levels. That's a perfect class feature to add to the rather barren table to increase usability.Anything that gives wings makes me happy. You could have each of those grant a set of utility-ish abilities (so flight, water breathing, telepathy, charmyness) so that the out-of-combat optimization floor for the questellan isn't quite so low.


I don't know how it fills the class with trap options any moreso than using CR would, but I'd have to look into this much more closely before I change it. I don't want the Questellan gaining access to even more potent stuff than she already does at even lower class levels.I shouldn't have said trap options, that was the wrong term. I mean that there are cool and level-appropriate abilities for the questellan to learn on 10+ CR beasties, but will never be able to obtain because they're coupled with 20+ HD. And that kind of sucks, but increasing the HD cap is just going to let questallans abuse high-CR/low-HD monster abilities. So I really think CR is the way to go.


You're forgetting that Quickness is a supernatural ability. Though, its Improved Grab is actually pretty solid.Oh thank goodness you're right.


Rust Monster's Rust Ability, CR 3, makes all metal weapons useless against you.But she's got 5 hit dice.

If I were an aberration questellan, I'd go something like:
1. Elan/Synad [Anything]
2. Grick's "DR 10/magic"
3. Choker's "Improved Grab"
4. Gibbering Mouther's "Amorphous"
5. Rust Monster's "Rust"
6. Cloaker's "Moan"
7. Mimic's "Mimic Shape"
8. I dunno about this one
9. Will-o-Wisp's "Immunity to Magic"

Jack_Simth
2014-01-26, 11:11 AM
Anything that gives wings makes me happy. You could have each of those grant a set of utility-ish abilities (so flight, water breathing, telepathy, charmyness) so that the out-of-combat optimization floor for the questellan isn't quite so low.

Maybe... at 2nd and every 4 levels thereafter, let the Questellan pick a single natural ability (which they can't change out), at 3rd and every 4 levels thereafter, pick a single Su ability (likewise, with the added caveat that it can't be something that would cost XP/GP if it were a spell, and that the critter it comes from must have HD of 1/2 your class level or less), and at 5th and every 4 levels thereafter, pick a single Sp ability (likewise, with the added caveat that it can't be something that would cost XP/GP if it were a spell, and that the critter it comes from must have HD of 1/3 your class level or less). Use a specific list if you're feeling nervous (Flight/Claw/Swim/Water Breathing/Bite/Wings/et cetera for natural, for instance), rather than let it be open ended, and maybe put a class level limit on the Sp/Su abilities - like 1 round per class level per day for things that are constant effects (such as a Nymph's Grace) - subject to any existing maximum use that the critter has, or 1 use per level per day - likewise. So if you pick up the Choker's Quickness, you're only going to be able to use it a few fights per day.

That would get the Questellan getting something very new every level (either access to more monster types, or a specific strange monster ability).

Edit: Maybe something like....
Naturecraft(Ex): A questellan of 2nd level or higher studies monsters in detail, and learns how to craft facsimiles of their claws, wings, talons, and teeth that the questellan can wear and use. At 2nd level the questellan picks a single natural attack of a monster they have encountered with a number of hit dice equal or less than the questellan's class level (note that if a creature has an attack that says something like '2 claws' in the attack line, then selecting that creature's claws gets you both of them) and crafts a device of wood, bone, metal, and leather to duplicate that natural attack. If the natural attack is a claw, slam, or tentacle attack, then the device goes over the questellan's hands, and the questellan cannot wield a weapon while also wielding the device as a weapon (although the questellan's hands are not otherwise restricted, so the questellan can still use wands or staves, pick things up, climb ladders, etcetera; note that if the creature with the natural attack was capable of using weapons, then the questellan can use weapons with similar restrictions - such as when a troll wields a longsword in one hand, the troll cannot use that hand's claw attack). Other forms of natural attacks (such as tail slaps, bites, gores, wing attacks, etcetera) do not encumber the hands in this way (although the device still gets harnessed to an appropriate body part specific to the attack). The device can be sundered (hardness = questellan's class level, HP = 4 times the questellan's class level), but is otherwise treated as a natural weapon while equipped (primary if it was the primary natural attack of the creature it came from, secondary otherwise). Note that the damage from the device is scaled appropriately to the questellan's size. If the device is lost or destroyed, it can be replaced by making a Craft (Weapons) check, DC 15 + the Hit Dice of the monster from which the natural attack came, at a cost of 100 gp times the square of the hit dice of the creature. While equipped, this device fills one of the Extraordinary Expertise slots. Unlike the Extraordinary Expertise class feature, the questellan cannot learn as many of these as the questellan can afford - the choices the questellan makes for this class feature are fixed (while the questellan can set the device aside to make room for another Extraordinary Expertise slot, the questellan cannot build both the claws of a lizardfolk and the bite of a wererat to swap back and forth; the questellan must choose one suitable attack).

At 6th, the questellan may build a device to duplicate another sort of natural attack, or may build a device that grants a swim or climb speed, using the same rules as above.

At 10th, the questellan may build a device to duplicate another sort of natural attack, or may build a device that grants a swim, climb, or burrow speed, using the same rules as above.

At 14th (and every four levels thereafter), the questellan may build a device to duplicate another sort of natural attack, or may build a device that grants a swim, climb, burrow, or fly speed, using the same rules as above.




I shouldn't have said trap options, that was the wrong term. I mean that there are cool and level-appropriate abilities for the questellan to learn on 10+ CR beasties, but will never be able to obtain because they're coupled with 20+ HD. And that kind of sucks, but increasing the HD cap is just going to let questallans abuse high-CR/low-HD monster abilities. So I really think CR is the way to go.

Oh thank goodness you're right.

But she's got 5 hit dice.

If I were an aberration questellan, I'd go something like:
1. Elan/Synad [Anything]
2. Grick's "DR 10/magic"
3. Choker's "Improved Grab"
4. Gibbering Mouther's "Amorphous"
5. Rust Monster's "Rust"
6. Cloaker's "Moan"
7. Mimic's "Mimic Shape"
8. I dunno about this one
9. Will-o-Wisp's "Immunity to Magic"
How about the Gibbering Mouther's Spittle? At-will save-or-blind that still lets you use the Cloaker's Moan.

Also, as you can learn new abilities, at 9th you also pick up the Will-o-Wisp's Invisibility - Great for sneaking places - as well as maybe Blindsight, and trade a few things out periodcaly. Oh yes, and as you pick up other types at 4th and 8th, you could also grab some Outsider alignment-based Regen, or maybe some Vermin's Web.