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View Full Version : Agents of the Fae: Winter Court Emissary and Summer Court Warden [3.5, PrC, PEACH]



Adam1949
2014-01-28, 01:29 AM
BACKGROUND FLUFF

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2SMWuHkn4io/T1ZKJ5pNrLI/AAAAAAAAAGw/uwoYK4IlnSE/s1600/Seelie_Unseelie.JPG
The Fae are a capricious, odd lot; one day, they may be helpful to a man, and yet the very next day they will make it their mission to ruin his life for no good reason. However, one constant in their life is the allegiance they hold to one of the faerie courts; that of the Seelie, or Summer, or that of the Unseelie, Winter. To a normal mortal, these two may seem nearly identical to each other; they operate in much the same ways, run the same schemes, and even outright look nearly identical. However, the subtle and sometimes incomprehensible differences between the two are enough to cause both sides to take up arms... if their alien laws did not prevent this.
That's where their mortal agents come into play. These hapless individuals are invited to join one or the other as a sort of 'mercenary', so that the courts may wage their shadow war through intermediaries, not soiling their own hands. Warden or Emissary, these folk are a potent mixture of spellcasting and martial skill, each as determined as their patrons to eliminate their equal in number.

BECOMING AN AGENT OF THE FAE
Agents of either the Seelie or the Unseelie can come from any walk of life, although those most in touch with nature (Druids, Rangers, and Barbarians) are most likely to encounter the fae that would offer their services. Anyone with combat experience, like Rogues and Fighters, can meet the requirements fairly easily. Wizards and Sorcerers (especially Evokers, Enchanters, and those with a bit of faerie blood in their veins) enjoy the more sturdy aspects of the class.

PLAYING AN AGENT OF THE FAE
An agent of the fae realm is, at the end of the day, very similar in play and in style to a Ranger/Sorcerer, or perhaps a Bard; someone who mixes arcane skill with combat prowess. They are very much focused on Cold or Fire effects, with a secondary theme on the fey world.

Combat: Agents are nominally diplomats, not combatants; however, being that their patron is one of the Fae Courts, they are nonetheless skilled at warfare, especially when subterfuge is on their side.
Advancement: Agents that focus more on the anti-enemy aspect of the class often advance in Ranger or Rogue, while spellcasting minions of the Fae prefer to improve their chances by taking levels in Wizard or even Cleric.
Resources: Although an Agent of the Fae has a good amount of tools at her disposal, her real boon is something implied, rather than given; by virtue of her class, she has the patronage of an entire Fae Court, including the Queen of Air and Darkness herself (or, in Summer's case, the King of Earth and Light). Such a force is best left unimpeded, allowing the agents much more freedom on certain things than normal members of society could access.

AGENTS OF THE FAE IN THE WORLD
Agents are a solitary lot, at least among each other. By virtue of their jobs, emissaries and wardens who don't know each other rarely team up except under special orders, and then don't bother making niceties with their ally. This isn't always the case, though; some folk, bored or lonely, feel most comfortable when there's someone to talk to nearby, even if that someone is an animal, or a hand-carved statuette.
Organizations: Obviously, a Winter Court Emissary is aligned with the Unseelie, and a Summer Court Warden with the Seelie; they might be seen traveling with a member. However, any group that would appreciate a dabbler of the arcane when mixed with their skill-set can count to have an agent in their ranks. Interestingly, emissaries and wardens are often allies with, or might even be, Assassins; to be sure, they fill similar, if differently-focused, roles...

NPC REACTIONS
Assuming that the average person is unaware of the shadow war between Summer and Winter (which, as they've proven for the last several centuries, they are very good at hiding the war's existence), then they are likely to assume that an Agent of the Fae is merely a magically-inclined warrior, or perhaps a combat-focused spellcaster. Those that are in the know, but are unaffiliated, often are wary of the agents due to their notoriously fanatical reputation. Their patrons laud them as heroes, while their opposite number see them as insolent threats to be exterminated.

AGENTS OF THE FAE IN THE GAME
An Agent is most effective when fighting Fey, although any creature weak to one of the elements offered is fair game. Emissaries and Wardens are not front-line warriors, and their nearly single-minded theme makes them reliant on others to have staying power. When in their element, though, they are without equal.
Adaption: Who's to say that the shadow war between two nearly-identical weirdos is necessary to have a good old-fashioned 'equal-yet-opposite' dynamic? Perhaps the Wardens and Emissaries are minions of two seasonal cults, each of them bound to fight each other for dominion of the entire year (while seemingly ignoring the existence of Fall and Spring). Alternatively, the two classes can be merged into one; a year-round Agent, who has access to more spells regarding the natural world as a whole instead of a certain element, making it more of a Druid Prestige instead of an 'evergreen' class.
Encounters: Under normal circumstances, a party might never know that their traveling companion is under orders from faeries to hunt down their equal and opposite number. However, if the characters end up tangled in the war between the two courts, then the Agent will make an elite ally (or enemy).

And now, on to the actual classes...



The Winter Court Emissary
"Though you may lay claim to the oppressive heat of Summer, remember, too, that all things end in my season."

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) OR Knowledge (Nature) 8 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.
Feats: Any Metamagic feat, any Fighter Bonus Feat.
Special: The character must survive an entire week alone in the dead of winter, or otherwise in an extremely cold (32 degrees or less) area. (Please note that "survive" is shorthand for "is not killed, or otherwise destroyed, nor leaves the area, for a continual week"; therefore, undead and other nonliving beings can become a Winter Court Emissary as well.)
Special: The character must have been approached by a member of the Winter Court, or by someone associated with them, and offered a position as an agent to their whims.


Class Skills:
The Winter Court Emissary's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana, Geography, Nature, Nobility and Royalty, The Planes) (Int, each taken separately), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Any) (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier

Hit Dice: d8

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th

1st|+0|+2|+2|+0|Armored Casting, Cold Focus, Cold Resistance +5 Forbidden Arcana|2||||||

2nd|+1|+3|+3|+0|Bonus Combat Feat, Trackless Step, Unseelie Training|3|2|||||

3rd|+2|+3|+3|+1|Cold Resistance +5, Resist Nature's Lure|4|3|2||||

4th|+3|+4|+4|+1|Bonus Combat Feat, Energy Substitution (Cold), Greater Cold Focus, Unseelie Training|5|4|3|2|||

5th|+3|+4|+4|+1|Feyhunter, Cold Resistance +5|6|5|4|3|2||

6th|+4|+5|+5|+2|Bonus Combat Feat, Overcome Forbidden Arcana, Unseelie Training|6|6|5|4|3|2|

7th|+5|+5|+5|+2|Agent of Ice, Cold Resistance +5|6|6|6|5|4|3|2
[/table]


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Winter Court Emissaries are proficient in all simple weapons, and the following martial weapons: Halberd, Light Shield, Longbow, Longsword, Rapier, Scimitar, Shortbow, and Shortsword. They are also proficient in light armor (and see Armored Casting, below).

Spells: A Winter Court Emissary casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the spell list below. When you gain access to a new level of spells, you automatically know all the spells for that level on the emissary's spell list. You can cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells known list.
To cast a winter court emissary spell, you must have an Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an emissary's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the emissary's CHA modifier. Like other spellcasters, a winter court emissary can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The base daily spell allotment is given on the table table. In addition, you receive bonus spells for a high Charisma score (PH 8).
A Winter Court Emissary need not prepare spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your spells per day for that spell level.

Armored Casting (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcaster's gestures, which can cause your spells to fail if those spells have a somatic component. A Winter Court Emissary, however, is specially gifted by the Unseelie as an agent of their will, and thus allow you to avoid any chance of arcane spell failure as long as you restrict yourself to light armor and shields. This training does not extend to any other form of armor, nor does this ability apply to spells gained from other spellcasting classes.

Cold Focus: A Winter Court Emissary gains this feat for free at first level.

Cold Resistance (Su): Starting at 1st level, a Winter Court Emissary gains the supernatural ability to ignore some of the damage from cold effects. Every odd level including the first, the emissary increases their Cold Resistance by 5, if they had any (if they did not, they do now).

Forbidden Arcana (Ex): Even though the Winter Court Emissary has more freedom in her choices compared to her Unseelie masters, she is still bound by duty to uphold some of their most basic laws. The foremost of these is a banning of certain spells; except for any spell that appears on the Winter Court Emissary spell list, the character may not cast any spell that has the Fire descriptor. This is not so much a preference as it is a metaphysical law; even if the emissary attempts to use a spell from a different class, if it would break this taboo then they instead find themselves unable to cast it (although they do not waste their action or spell slot for doing so).

Bonus Combat Feat: At 2nd level, and again at 4th and 6th level, a winter court emissary gains a Fighter Bonus Feat for free; they must meet the prerequisites for it, however they may treat their fighter level as equal to their levels in fighter (if any), plus half the rest of their class levels, rounded down (So, a Fighter 4 / Sorcerer 4 / Winter Court Emissary 2 may gain feats as a 7th level fighter.)

Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a winter court emissary leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Unseelie Training (Sp): At 2nd level, and again at 4th and 6th level, a winter court emissary chooses a single spell with the Cold descriptor in it that is of a level equal to or less then your level(s) in Wizard, Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer, plus half the rest of your class levels (rounded down), and gains the power to use it as a spell-like ability. They may use it a number of times per day equal to half their class level, rounded down, plus their Charisma modifier.

Resist Nature's Lure (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a winter court emissary gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey (such as dryads, pixies, and sprites). This bonus stacks with similar bonuses, including the druid class feature of the same name.

Energy Substitution (Cold): A winter court emissary gains this feat for free at 4th level.

Greater Cold Focus: A winter court emissary gains this feat for free at 4th level.

Feyhunter (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, a winter court emissary begins to master the second major part of her job: finding and eliminating other fey, especially Seelie Court members. They gain Favored Enemy (Fey) +4, as the ranger ability. In addition, all attacks that the emissary makes, including magical ones, are treated as though they were made with a cold iron weapon.

Overcome Forbidden Arcana (Ex): Once a winter court emissary reaches 6th level, she has proven herself loyal to the Unseelie, and as a reward is granted back a portion of their power. The emissary may once more cast spells with the Fire descriptor as normal, without the use of Energy Substitution (Cold).

Agent of Ice (Ex): At 7th level, a Winter Court Emissary transcends their mission, and becomes a living extension of the Unseelie Court's will. She gains a +1 bonus to Charisma and Dexterity, and is forevermore treated as a fey rather than as a humanoid for the purpose of spells and magical effects; for instance, Charm Person does not affect her. She also gains a flight speed equal to her move speed plus 10 (good maneuverability). Finally, she gains Fast Healing 5, but only in snow or other cold areas (below 40 degrees, even indoors).


Winter Court Emissary Spell List

1st Level: Charm Person, Chill Metal, Conjure Ice Beast I, Darkness, Disguise Self, Faerie Fire, Mage Armor, Sleep.

2nd Level: Blacklight, Conjure Ice Beast II, Corona of Cold, Fire Shield, Icicle, Ice Knife, Obscuring Snow.

3rd Level: Armor of Darkness, Blizzard, Charm Monster, Conjure Ice Beast III, Control Temperature, Shivering Touch, Waterball, Woodland Veil.

4th Level: Column of Ice, Conjure Ice Beast IV, Defile Snow and Ice, Eye of the Hurricane, Frostburn, Hibernal Healing, Invisibility, Tree Stride.

5th Level: Blizzard, Conjure Ice Beast V, Dispel Fire, Frostbite, Ice Storm, Mislead, Nightmare.

6th Level: Animate Snow, Cone of Cold, Conjure Ice Beast VI, Control Weather, Freeze, Freezing Glance, Snowsong, Storm of Fire and Ice, Teleport.

7th Level: Conjure Ice Beast VII, Death Hail, Energy Absorption, Ice Assassin, Limited Wish, Polar Ray, Weird.



The Summer Court Warden
"A blow against me is a blow against my lords. For, what is more potent then the might of my domain?"

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Base Attack Bonus: +3.
Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) OR Knowledge (Nature) 8 ranks, Survival 5 ranks.
Feats: Any Metamagic feat, any Fighter Bonus Feat.
Special: The character must survive an entire week alone in the height of Summer, or otherwise in an extremely hot (98 degrees or more) area. (Please note that "survive" is shorthand for "is not killed, or otherwise destroyed, nor leaves the area, for a continual week"; therefore, undead and other nonliving beings can become a Summer Court Warden as well.)
Special: The character must have been approached by a member of the Summer Court, or by someone associated with them, and offered a position as an agent to their whims.


Class Skills:
The Summer Court Warden's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Arcana, Geography, Nature, Nobility and Royalty, The Planes) (Int, each taken separately), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Any) (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier

Hit Dice: d8

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th

1st|+0|+2|+2|+0|Armored Casting, Fire Focus, Fire Resistance +5 Forbidden Arcana|2||||||

2nd|+1|+3|+3|+0|Bonus Combat Feat, Trackless Step, Seelie Training|3|2|||||

3rd|+2|+3|+3|+1|Fire Resistance +5, Resist Nature's Lure|4|3|2||||

4th|+3|+4|+4|+1|Bonus Combat Feat, Energy Substitution (Fire), Greater Fire Focus, Seelie Training|5|4|3|2|||

5th|+3|+4|+4|+1|Feyhunter, Fire Resistance +5|6|5|4|3|2||

6th|+4|+5|+5|+2|Bonus Combat Feat, Overcome Forbidden Arcana, Seelie Training|6|6|5|4|3|2|

7th|+5|+5|+5|+2|Agent of Flames, Fire Resistance +5|6|6|6|5|4|3|2
[/table]


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Summer Court Wardens are proficient in all simple weapons, and the following martial weapons: Battleaxe, Light Shield, Longbow, Longsword, Ranseur, Rapier, Shortbow, and Shortsword. They are also proficient in light armor (and see Armored Casting, below).

Spells: A Summer Court Warden casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the spell list below. When you gain access to a new level of spells, you automatically know all the spells for that level on the warden's spell list. You can cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells known list.
To cast a summer court warden spell, you must have an Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an warden's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the emissary's CHA modifier. Like other spellcasters, a summer court warden can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The base daily spell allotment is given on the table table. In addition, you receive bonus spells for a high Charisma score (PH 8).
A Summer Court Warden need not prepare spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your spells per day for that spell level.

Armored Casting (Ex): Normally, armor of any type interferes with an arcane spellcaster's gestures, which can cause your spells to fail if those spells have a somatic component. A Summer Court Warden, however, is specially gifted by the Seelie as an agent of their will, and thus allow you to avoid any chance of arcane spell failure as long as you restrict yourself to light armor and shields. This training does not extend to any other form of armor, nor does this ability apply to spells gained from other spellcasting classes.

Fire Focus: A Summer Court Warden gains this feat for free at first level. It works exactly as Cold Focus, except that it modifies spells you cast with the Fire descriptor.

Fire Resistance (Su): Starting at 1st level, a Summer Court Warden gains the supernatural ability to ignore some of the damage from fire effects. Every odd level including the first, the warden increases their Fire Resistance by 5, if they had any (if they did not, they do now).

Forbidden Arcana (Ex): Even though the Summer Court Warden has more freedom in her choices compared to his Seelie masters, he is still bound by duty to uphold some of their most basic laws. The foremost of these is a banning of certain spells; except for any spell that appears on the Summer Court Warden spell list, the character may not cast any spell that has the Cold descriptor. This is not so much a preference as it is a metaphysical law; even if the warden attempts to use a spell from a different class, if it would break this taboo then they instead find themselves unable to cast it (although they do not waste their action or spell slot for doing so).

Bonus Combat Feat: At 2nd level, and again at 4th and 6th level, a summer court warden gains a Fighter Bonus Feat for free; they must meet the prerequisites for it, however they may treat their fighter level as equal to their levels in fighter (if any), plus half the rest of their class levels, rounded down (So, a Fighter 4 / Favored Soul 4 / Summer Court Warden 2 may gain feats as a 7th level fighter.)

Trackless Step (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a summer court warden leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. He may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Seelie Training (Sp): At 2nd level, and again at 4th and 6th level, a summer court warden chooses a single spell with the Fire descriptor in it that is of a level equal to or less then your level(s) in Wizard, Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer, plus half the rest of your class levels (rounded down), and gains the power to use it as a spell-like ability. They may use it a number of times per day equal to half their class level, rounded down, plus their Charisma modifier.

Resist Nature's Lure (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a summer court warden gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against the spell-like abilities of fey (such as dryads, pixies, and sprites). This bonus stacks with similar bonuses, including the druid class feature of the same name.

Energy Substitution (Fire): A summer court warden gains this feat for free at 4th level.

Greater Fire Focus: A summer court warden gains this feat for free at 4th level. This works exactly like Greater Cold Focus, except that it modifies spells you cast with the Fire descriptor.

Feyhunter (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, a summer court warden begins to master the second major part of her job: finding and eliminating other fey, especially Unseelie Court members. They gain Favored Enemy (Fey) +4, as the ranger ability. In addition, all attacks that the warden makes, including magical ones, are treated as though they were made with a cold iron weapon.

Overcome Forbidden Arcana (Ex): Once a summer court warden reaches 6th level, he has proven himself loyal to the Seelie, and as a reward is granted back a portion of their power. The warden may once more cast spells with the Cold descriptor as normal, without the use of Energy Substitution (Fire).

Agent of Flames (Ex): At 7th level, a Summer Court Warden transcends their mission, and becomes a living extension of the Seelie Court's will. He gains a +1 bonus to Charisma and Strength, and is forevermore treated as a fey rather than as a humanoid for the purpose of spells and magical effects; for instance, Charm Person does not affect him. He also gains a flight speed equal to his move speed plus 10 (good maneuverability). Finally, he gains Fast Healing 5, but only when on sand or other hot areas (above 80 degrees, even indoors).


Summer Court Warden Spell List

1st Level: Charm Person, Heat Metal, Conjure Fire Beast I*, Dancing Lights, Disguise Self, Faerie Fire, Mage Armor, Sleep.

2nd Level: Animate Fire, Boiling Blood, Burning Brand (as a Swordsage equal to your Summer Court Warden level), Combust, Conjure Fire Beast II, Produce Flame, Thaw, Fire Shield.

3rd Level: Body Blaze, Charm Monster, Conjure Fire Beast III, Control Tempurature, Darkfire, Evergreen, Fireball, Woodland Veil.

4th Level: Blast of Flame, Bright Worms, Conjure Fire Beast IV, Firestride Exhalation, Fire Wings, Invisibility, Metal Melt, Tree Stride.

5th Level: Circle of Flame, Conjure Fire Beast V, Daltim's Fiery Tentacles, Dispel Cold, Fire Breath, Mislead, Nightmare.

6th Level: Conjure Fire Beast VI, Control Weather, Delayed Blast Fireball, Imperious Glare, Geas/Quest, Storm of Fire and Ice, Teleport, War Cry.

7th Level: Conjure Fire Beast VII, Energy Absorption, Final Rebuke, Limited Wish, Phoenix Fire, Simulacrum, Weird.

*The "Conjure Fire Beast" line of spells works exactly like Conjure Ice Beast, except that any instances of "Cold" or "Ice" are replaced with "Fire", and the limitation about creatures with the Fire subtype is instead changed to not allow creatures with the Cold subtype.

Debihuman
2014-01-29, 07:03 AM
Thematically these are really interesting but I see a number of problems.

My first thought was that these are just overpowered prestige classes. After taking a closer look, I realize that what you've actually done is crammed too much into each level. Furthermore, these need to have some unique features. Almost every special ability is taken from an already existing base class. That means that a PC could already have many of the features of these classes. This makes these classes less desirable.

Your writing is good but needs to be a lot more concise. Just say what the ability does and don't give unnecessary examples.

Cold Resistance (Su): At first level, a winter court emissary gains Cold Resistance 5. This increases to Cold resistance 10 at third level and to Cold Resistance 15 at fifth level.


Unseelie Training (Sp): At 2nd level, and again at 4th and 6th level, a winter court emissary chooses a single spell with the Cold descriptor in it that is of a level equal to or less then your level(s) in Wizard, Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer, plus half the rest of your class levels (rounded down), and gains the power to use it as a spell-like ability. They may use it a number of times per day equal to half their class level, rounded down, plus their Charisma modifier.

Spells: A Winter Court Emissary casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the spell list below. When you gain access to a new level of spells, you automatically know all the spells for that level on the emissary's spell list. You can cast any spell you know without preparing it ahead of time. Essentially, your spell list is the same as your spells known list.
To cast a winter court emissary spell, you must have an Charisma score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an emissary's spell is 10 + the spell's level + the emissary's CHA modifier. Like other spellcasters, a winter court emissary can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. The base daily spell allotment is given on the table table. In addition, you receive bonus spells for a high Charisma score (PH 8).
A Winter Court Emissary need not prepare spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your spells per day for that spell level.

If they are already spellcasters, they should just gain +1 level of their existing spellcasting class. You've needlessly complicated it. Instead of all the rigmarole with the spell lists, why not make it easier? You could just say that the winter court emissary casts spells with the Cold descriptor at +1 caster level and the summer court warden casts spells with the Fire descriptor at +1 caster level.

I'd recommend making the 1st level bonus feats actual prerequisites. You give out far too many bonus feats instead of actual special abilities. For example, at 4th level the classes give out 3 bonus feats. Do you not see the problem with this?

Armor Casting can be gained from the Battle Caster Feat in Complete Arcane for example. It is wasted as a supernatural ability.

The capstone for both winter court emissary and agent of flames makes no sense since you don't require a race to enter the class. What if the PC isn't Humanoid to start? There's nothing to prevent a Fey PC from taking this class either.

If you are going to use non-core material, you should cite to it. Not everyone has Frostburn or Sandstorm.

FYI, I hate the spelling "fae."

Debby