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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Be an Angel - Celestial Initiate [PEACH]



Grek
2014-08-20, 06:15 PM
Celestial Initiate

Adventures: Celestial initiates almost always go on adventures for the chance to do Good. They are guided by messages and omens from the superiors of their orders toward chances to help people and do righteous deeds. Other motives are possible, of course, but ignoring the call of righteousness for too long risks the constant nagging of their angelic superiors.

Characteristics: Low level celestial initiates are warriors with a few angelic tricks up their sleeves. High level initiates rely on their holy powers almost entirely.

Alignment: Any. While most celestial initiates are Good, there is no alignment requirement for becoming one. Just as a Good person may be offered a pact as a warlock to tempt them into wickedness, the higher powers will freely offer Evil the chance to redeem itself. Thus, while Goodness is common and highly recommended, it is in no way a requirement.

Religion: Celestial initiates tend to worship gods of Good, though this is not universal. Others devote themselves to ideals, especially to the ideals represented by their holy orders. Regardless of their religion or even alignment, a celestial initiate always has a firm grounding in morality and the nature of goodness, even if they fail to practice as they preach.

Background: Celestial initiates are recruited from across the planes through a joint effort of all seven orders. The orders of Truth, Valor and Hope work together to identify suitable prospects, who are then approached by a messenger of Revelations (if the prospect has been selected on the basis of their skill or virtue) or by a champion of Mercy (if they are to be offered a chance at reform) and then trained in secret monasteries established by the orders of Creation and Charity. An initiate selects their order only after their training is complete.

Races: All intelligent races have the potential to be selected as celestial initiates, even those who are commonly thought of as irredeemable, such as mind flayers or demons. Even the undead can be accepted, so long as they are willing to be restored to true life by the Order of Mercy.

Other Classes: Initiates of Creation garner the respect of druids, while the camaraderie between paladins and the Order of Valor is the stuff of legends. Initiates of Truth tend to admire wizards, archivists and other scholarly classes, while remaining aloof from rogues and other tricksters. Initiates of Hope and Revelations tend to get along well with bards, but are often viewed as presumptuous by the more dignified individuals.

Role: At lower levels all initiates, regardless of order, tend to fight on the front lines while providing utility effects within their idiom. At later levels, initiates switch toward either disabling foes with their spell-like abilities, or granting their allies a number of allways-on spell effects to aid them.

Adaptation: A celestial initiate can conceivably turn up in any campaign setting, for the powers of Good are just as likely to send their servants to do work in strange and exotic planes as they are to return them to their homeland. When they first exit training, an initiate goes where they are needed, not where they like.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Celestial Initiates's have the following game statistics.
Abilities: A brief description of what ability scores are important to your class.
Starting Gold: None. Celestial initiates arrive on this plane unencumbered by material possessions.
Starting Age: Any. Celestial initiates are immortal and, like good wine, only grow finer with age.
BaB: As Fighter
Saves: All Good
Hit Dice: d8



LevelBaBFortRefWillSpecial


11222Celestial Order, Miracles I, Code of Conduct


22333


33333Ascension


44444


55444Miracles II


66555


77555A Bell Rings


88666


99666Miracles III


1010777


1111777Seniority


1212888


1313888Miracles IV


1414999


1515999Sacred Aura


1616101010


1717101010Miracles V


1818111111


1919111111Miracles Upon Miracles


2020121212Founder



Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level, 4 at 1st level): Appraise, Balance, Climb, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Listen, Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Speak Language, Spellcraft, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble and Use Magic Devise.

Celestial Order (Ex): At first level, the celestial initiate joins a Celestial Order, devoted to one of the following virtues: Creation, Truth, Revelation, Mercy, Hope, Charity, or Valor. A number of times per month equal to the celestial initiate's class level, they will be contacted by a senior angel, priest of an allied church or other holy being via a sending with news, advice, warnings or opportunities to do good deeds. If the initiate prays aloud for at least an hour, they may have their prayers heard - and responded to - in this manner.

Miracles (Sp): In addition to this stream of angelic guidance, the celestial initiate is infused with a measure of holy power of their own. At first level and every fourth level after that, they gain a miraculous ability as listed in the entry below for that order. Unless otherwise specified, all spells or spell like effects produced as a result require a standard action, have a save DC of 10 + 1/2 Class Level + Charisma Bonus and have a caster level equal to the initiate's class level. Unless stated otherwise, no miracle costs experience or material components to use; treat them in all respects as a spell-like ability.

Creation
Level 1: Any light held by an initiate of creation casts twice the normal light. Treat this effect as a spell with a spell level equal to the initiate's class level for the purposes of countering magical darkness. Furthermore, the initiate of creation may create water, calm animals and conjure obscuring mist at will.
Level 5: The initiate of creation may produce minor creations, shape wood and shape stone and control winds, as per the spells of the same names.
Level 9: The initiate of creation may create as much sand, silt, soil and stone as they desire, as if by the true creation spell. Additionally, the initiate may elect to exhale clean, breathable air (as if produced by a bottle of air item or as by a gust of wind) as a swift action. Finally, they can cast a variant of the continual flame spell at will which produces daylight (as the spell) instead of torchlight.
Level 13: The initiate of creation gains the ability to create demiplanes, as if by the genesis spell. Unlike most spell-like abilities granted by this class, the creation of demiplanes requires the full casting time. All demiplanes created by this ability have normal time, magic and morphic traits. To facilitate this ability (which must, as with the spell, be performed on the ethereal plane) they also gain the ability to slip into the ethereal plane, as per ethereal jaunt.
Level 17: The initiate of creation learns to create all things in time. Their true creation ability is no longer restricted in what it can create, even allowing for living plants (though not plant creatures) and wild animals (with the "animal" type) of 12 HD or less. Additionally, the initiate of creation may replicate the effects of meteor swarm and cometstrike spells at will by creating appropriate astronomical objects already in motion.

Truth
Level 1: Any candle held by an initiate of truth is snuffed out by falsehood and rekindled by honesty. If a speaker looks directly at such a candle while speaking, the candle will go out should they make any statement they are not absolutely certain is true. This includes direct lies, unfounded speculation, statements which the speaker doubts and any statement of ambiguous truthfulness. Should the speaker correct their statement into something suitably accurate while still looking at the candle, the candle will reignite without outside aid.
Level 5: The initiate of truth may locate any object, speak with the dead, and see invisible, as per the spells of the same names. Additionally, as a move action, the initiate of truth may recite a prayer to guide their hand, identifying their target by name in the process. Their next attack within one round gains the benefits of true strike against the target named and does only nonlethal damage against anything else.
Level 9: The initiate of truth gains true seeing, as per the spell and the ability navigate all obstacles they encounter on their way as if by a find the path spell directed at their intended destination. If the initiate of truth is thinking of a specific person, anyone looking into the initiate's eyes may view that person, as if they were subject to a greater scrying spell. The initiate of truth may use a mirror or other reflective surface to use this scrying ability for themselves.
Level 13: The initiate of truth gains greatly improved senses, including blindsight, tremorsense and scent all out to 150'. Furthermore, they are granted visions, as per the spell, whenever they make a prayer for insight into a suitable subject.
Level 17: The initiate of truth constantly benefits from both foresight (in relation to all creatures they can sense by any means) and moment of prescience, with the latter refreshing itself automatically exactly one hour after it was last discharged. Additionally, they may discern the location of anyone or anything, as per the discern location spell.

Revelation
Level 1: Neither distance nor door nor castle wall balk the initiate of revelation. Their whispers carry their words as if by a message spell and their knuckles rapping on a door will open it as if by a knock spell.
Level 5: The initiate of revelation may speak with plants, with animals, or in tongues; shout deafeningly or send their voice along a whispering wind, all as per the spells of the same name. Unlike the whispering wind spell, the version produced by the initiate's voice has no maximum duration and cannot be dispelled.
Level 9: The initiate of revelation may choose who hears them and who obeys them. They may manifest or retract a zone of silence (as per the zone of silence spell) at will, appear in dreams as if by the dream spell and, as a swift action, issue an order which carries the weight of a command spell.
Level 13: Whenever the initiate of revelation dons a crown (or other head covering) they are subject to the benefits of a crown of glory spell for so long as their crown (or other head covering) remains in place.
Level 17: The sacred name of the initiate of revelations (as given by the class ability) becomes a sacred incantation. Anyone other than the initiate speaking it louder than a whisper is subject to a holy word spell effecting only them. Their original name and any nicknames, titles and epithets have no such power. This ability ceases to work if the initiate is dead. The initiate may reproduce the effects of holy word, dictum or word of chaos by speaking their own name with various inflections. Most initiates of revelations refuse to reveal their name to those who would misuse it or be harmed by hearing it.

Mercy
Level 1: The touch of an initiate of mercy delays poison, halts undead, grants lesser vigor and calms emotions as if by the spells of the same name. All effects which would apply effect the target with a single touch; the initiate need not (and indeed, may not) pick and choose which to deliver. These effects offer saves normally and may be used on the initiate should they desire. Note that, while calm emotions prevents violence on a failed will save, using this ability is not considered violent despite requiring a touch "attack".
Level 5: The touch of the initiate of mercy now protects from evil, neutralizes poison and removes blindness/deafness, removes paralysis and removes disease in addition to its other effects, all as if by the spells of the same name. Again, they may elect to be effected by any of these effects themselves.
Level 9: The freshly fallen tears of the initiate of mercy revivify the dead and restore the living, as per the spells revivify and restoration. Additionally, their touch now wards off death, as if by a death ward spell, in addition to its other effects.
Level 13: A conversation of at least 10 minutes with the initiate of mercy can offer redemption to all participants, as per the atonement spell, should the initiate make the offer. Additionally, the touch of the initiate of mercy regenerates wounds and lost limbs, as per the regenerate spell. Finally, the initiate may now pick and choose which effects to deliver with their healing touch.
Level 17: The freshly fallen tears of the initiate of mercy resurrect the dead and heal the living, as per the spells resurrect and heal. Undead are effected as per harm. Additionally, the touch of the initiate of mercy protects from death, as per surelife. The initiate may change which condition they and those they touch are immune to as an immediate action.

Hope
Level 1: The initiate of hope constantly benefits from good hope, as per the spell, and may bless others, as per the bless spell, with but a word. Additionally, the initiate may open objects at a glance as per the open spell, save that it also works on manacles, fetters, chains and shackles. Opening objects this way is a free action.
Level 5: The initiate of hope is constantly subject to freedom of movement and may break enchantments and bestow good hope with but a touch, all as per the spells of the same names. Additionally, the initiate's ability to open objects with a glance ignores both locks and weights below a thousand pounds.
Level 9: The initiate of hope may elect to treat any weapon they wield or any touch attack they make as if it had disruption property (DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Charisma bonus). Furthermore, they may grant freedom of movement to others, as per the spell, with a touch and grant the benefits of both sanctuary and find the path to any person they give directions to. This find the path effect always leads toward the nearest reasonably safe shelter.
Level 13: The initiate of hope gains the ability to produce a safe haven for all they rescue. Treat this as an instant fortress item protected by the following spells: "mage's private sanctum", "guards and wards" and "hallow". The initiate selects which spell, if any, the hallow effect generates. All creatures within are subject to a sanctuary spell upon entering which lasts until they leave or the spell is broken. The initiate of hope may only have one such fortress at a time. Additionally, the initiate of hope may produce tokens of refuge, as per the spell, which either bring the user to the fortress (should the fortress be active) or brings the initiate to the user (should the fortress be deactivated).
Level 17: The initiate of hope shepherds others through dark times and dark places on to liberty. Once per hour each, the initiate and anyone they touch may benefit from the effects of a time stop, shadow walk or freedom spell. The initiate and those following suffer no risk of being lost during this shadow walk and always come out precisely where they wish to, with no horizontal shunting.

Charity
Level 1: Any gift given or received by an initiate of charity is subject to the following spells, if applicable: purify food and drink, make whole and good berry. Additionally, anyone giving a gift within 60' of the initiate of charity (including the initiate) benefits from the following spells: longstrider, pass without trace and endure elements for the next 24 hours.
Level 5: The initiate of charity may treat any staff they hold as it were a rod of splendor (including the enhancement bonus to charisma), with the following exceptions: The items produced this way may be freely given away (though still not sold or stolen) and last for one week instead of the usual duration. They may furthermore produce persistent images at will.
Level 9: The initiate of charity may fabricate items, as per the spell and may elect for a willing creature to direct the effect, using that creature's Craft check in place of the initiate's. Additionally, the initiate may also give the twin gifts of sentience and conscience to an animal, plant, undead creature or construct, as per the awaken, awaken undead and awaken construct spells.
Level 13: The initiate of charity gains the ability to send out gifts swiftly and efficiently by shrinking items and teleporting objects as per the spells of the same name. Additionally, they may produce the effects of an amanuensis cantrip merely by placing pen to paper. This allows the initiate to copy out both books as gifts and and letters for those receiving them.
Level 17: The initiate of charity may now give the greatest gift of all: friendship! Treat this as a simulacrum spell, save that the resulting duplicate can be repaired with ordinary snow and is naturally inclined to friendship and camaraderie toward the original. Furthermore, they may treat any bag they hold as if it were handy haversack with unlimited weight and volume limits; treat any bag used this way as if it were the same handy haversack, allowing the initiate to put things into one bag and take them out the other. This property even works if they hold the bag open for someone else to reach into.

Valor
Level 1: Any weapon or armour touched by an initiate of valor benefits from the following spells, assuming the object a valid target for the spell: bless weapon, magic stone, magic vestment and make whole.
Level 5: The initiate of valor constantly benefits from greater magic weapon and shield of faith. Furthermore, both the initiate and any allies within 60' benefit from the effects of heroism.
Level 9: Any meal the initiate of valor takes part in, no matter how humble, counts as a hero's feast, as per the spell. Furthermore, both the initiate and any allies within 60' benefit from the effects of greater heroism.
Level 13: The initiate of valor may benefit from righteous might and may treat any weapon they wield as if it had both the holy and bane properties whenever they wish. The initiate selects what their weapon will be a bane against as a standard action. Furthermore, both the initiate and all allies within 60' benefit from the effects of divine favour.
Level 17: The initiate of valor may treat any weapon they wield as if it had the brilliant energy and speed properties. Any weapon or armour touched by the initiate of valor may be treated as if it were made of silver, cold iron and adamantine all at once for the next week. Finally, the initiate of valor does not die when killed: treat this as a true resurrection effect occurring three rounds after the initiate is slain.

Ascension (Ex): At the third level, the celestial initiate either becomes a celestial being. Their type switches to Outsider (Native, Good) and they gain all of the advantages inherent to that change. This includes, but is not limited to: Darkvision out to 60 feet, proficiency with all simple and martial weapons (but no additional proficiency with armours), the ability to overcome certain types of damage reduction and an indefinite lifespan. The celestial initiate retains their previous appearance, memories, levels (if any) and alignment in the process. As a native outsider, the celestial initiate needs to eat and sleep normally.

Additionally, the celestial initiate gains certain angelic powers: The initiate gains a glowing halo which casts light out to ten feet per class level (and which may be lit or extinguished as a swift action), an aura of sanctity which converts all water within ten feet of the initiate into holy water for one round, and the ability to speak Celestial as a bonus language.

A Bell Rings (Ex): At the seventh level, the celestial initiate is delivered a small ceremonial bell by a minor angel. Upon ringing this bell (or any other) the initiate sprouts a pair of wings, granting them flight with perfect maneuverability at a speed of 120 feet per round. By ringing the bell (or any other) again, they may wish their wings away. Neither of these actions can be done by accident or by force. The original bell, while pretty, is purely symbolic and has no magical abilities of its own: its loss or destruction has no negative effects on the initiate beyond annoying them and possibly causing their superiors to express their condolences with their next sending.

Seniority (Su): As a senior celestial initiate, certain administrative powers are granted. The eleventh level initiate gains the greater teleport ability of an Archon, the change shape ability of a Planetar and the ability to contact any lower ranked member of their order with a sending at will. Finally, the initiate gains the ability to plane shift at will to any plane, as per the spell.

Sacred Name (Su): At fifteenth level, the celestial initiate takes on a sacred name (and, should your campaign use the true name rules, a new true name) which grants them additional powers. The initiate constantly benefits from the effects of dispel evil, death ward and holy aura. If dispelled or discharged, the initiate may restore these spells as a free action on their next turn. Furthermore, anyone who spends an hour in prayer speaking this sacred name can contact the initiate as if by a contact other plane spell (caster level equal to the supplicant's character level) where the initiate chooses their response. The Celestial initiate counts as a demideity for the purposes of mental strain for using this ability. Celestial initiates, and initiates of revelations in particular, are often loathe to reveal their sacred name to non-good creatures or to those who would ask inane questions.

Miracles Upon Miracles (Sp): At nineteenth level, the celestial initiate is further blessed. Once every hour, a miracle occurs, as per the spell. If the initiate has prayed for some specific intervention in the past hour (as a standard action), the miracle does what it can to fulfill the request. Otherwise, a random creature of Good alignment, somewhere in the world, benefits in a manner appropriate to the initiate's order and temperament. Unlike most spell-like abilities, the initiate must pay the experience and material components (if any) for any such miracles they request.

Founder (Ex): At the twentieth level, the celestial initiate founds an order of their own. In addition to the benefits of their original order, they gain the benefits of the order they found. Ask your DM what these benefits might be. You may instead elect to found a chapter of another order detailed above; in this case you gain the benefits of your original order and the order chosen.

Code of Conduct: Once imbued, the celestial initiate may not have their holy powers revoked. As such, the forces of Good require stricter and stricter requirements for greater holy powers. A celestial initiate may not take the 3rd or higher level of this class as an Evil character, nor may they take the 11th or higher level as a non-Good character. A celestial initiate who is not Good draws the attention of other members of the angelic hierarchy. They will take note of initiates acting inappropriately and attempt to steer them back onto the path of Good with their regular sendings. A celestial initiate who is Evil, will additionally be visited by a 13th level initiate of mercy once per month, offering atonement in person. Although the initiate of mercy will never attack the initiate themselves, any attempt to harm the initiate of mercy will result in it using its plane shift power to flee from combat and the celestial initiate being attacked by an initiate of valor (of equal level to the celestial initiate) each month in place of the offers of atonement.

---
To Do List:

-Flavour text for the orders
-Additional Orders?
-A picture and a pithy quote.
-I bet there's a lot of typos I should fix.

Design Notes

This class is designed, conceptually, as a sort of anti-warlock: You're trained by Good Outsiders and granted a variety of benevolent powers in hopes that you'll be tempted (or, as the angels prefer to put it, inspired) to use your powers for good and to help people. It specifically shuns Exalted Deeds-style alignment and ideas about Good, in which you need to adhere to a long and complicated list of legalese or else you lose your powers, and giving you "better" powers to compensate for the strict limits on how you use them.

It also rejects the traditional D&D thinking that you can be Good by opposing Evil, regardless of what you do in your spare time. A Celestial Initiate is given powers that let them go around helping people - not to specifically put a hurting on the bad guys. As such, their combat abilities are designed to look and feel mostly incidental, while still being good enough to remain relevant at the levels you get them. If they player feels like they're "gaming the system" by having their Initiate of Creation wall off a dungeon with a mound of sand, then that means things have gone right.

Finally, this class is built on what I'd like to call the Dragon Disciple Anti-Principle. That is, if if someone says they want to play an angel (or, as the case may be, a dragon), they don't mean, "I want to slowly gain angelic (or draconic) powers over a dozen levels before eventually turning into a real angel (or dragon) at level 20 when the campaign ends". Instead, we're assuming they mean exactly what they said: they want to play an angel (or dragon) right from the start of the campaign, at whatever level the campaign happens to start at. And so with this class, you're an Outsider of (presumably) Good alignment right at level one and simply become a more powerful version as you gain levels in the class.

Weyroc
2014-08-21, 11:45 AM
It's not terrible. It might encourage some...shenanigans at higher level play though.

Grek
2014-08-25, 12:39 AM
Updated the introductory section a bit. I'd love to hear what sort of shenanigans you've thought up, though!

TheTeaMustFlow
2014-08-25, 07:02 AM
Although I like the idea of allowing evil characters to seek redemption and play one, I would give them a code of conduct that forbids them committing evil acts (though probably with atonement opportunities) - At the moment one could play one of these and still act like an unrepentant monster, and I just do not see the upper planes giving their blessings to such a creature. A code of conduct would mean that any evil character who takes this class will put themselves on the path to atonement. At the moment, Asmodeus himself could take this class, and wouldn't have to change his behaviour at all.

With regards to balance it's certainly a very powerful class, especially at higher levels, though perhaps not tier 1. The amount of at-will unlimited use powers he gets is significant, particularly given he doesn't have to pay for some of them when others do.

A creation initiate can create an unlimited amount of stuff, including creatures, use meteor swarm at will, and freely create their own planes during downtime. Given time, he can create and populate his own worlds, without paying one point of xp.

A truth initiate has enough unlimited use divination that he can basically find out anything. By level 13 they can detect anything (there's not much that'll get past them at level 9), and at level 17 can basically never be surprised.

A revelation initiate isn't so horrifyingly powerful, but can get a message to anyone, and freely screw with low level creatures. Can do very amusing things if you can get enemies to holy word themselves (mass suggestion: say my name, b*tch!), or you can just holy word or equivalent anything at will. 17th level rev initiates cause a spate of deaths as neutral commoners or whatever below ninth level tell stories about them and instantly fall down dead - amusing, and an interesting plot hook, but not really a Good thing (remember, Holy Word hits neutrals too). Neutral party members can't say your name I don't see any reason for them to be able to use blasphemy (even if the upper planes could grant that power, why on earth would they), particularly because there's nothing that can't be hit by one of the other three. On that note, I'd forbid initiates from using Word of Chaos or Dictum if their alignments don't match up - if a cleric or outsider can't do that, why can't they?

Mercy initiates can get out of most any encounter at level 1, and as they gain levels can remove more or less any debuff, and bring back allies at no cost. It also seems a bit odd that they gain no healing ability until 17th level, though I suppose that might be a thematic choice.

A hope initiate basically can't be bound, and break enchantment gives him a Get Out of Trouble Free card, particularly because he can do it by touch (it normally has a 10 minute casting time). Disruption can jokeify most undead. The instant fortress can provide a pretty nice defence, and can presumably also be used as an attack (10d10 isn't much, but what happens if you summon a thirty foot adamantine tower inside a building?). Also, you can build a massive adamantine fortress in about an hour if you want (1 tower every six seconds = ten a minute = 600 in an hour. That's 360 thousand square feet of adamantine fortress with serious magic defences.) And at level 17, time stop shenanigans.

A charity initiate can make a massive amount of normal items (really, he could just become rich by selling masterwork swords), make armies of awakened animals and constructs with a bit of diplomacy, teleport away enemies armour, and finally create simulacrum armies and have unlimited extradimensional storage space.

A valour initiate gains some serious buffs, turns any weapon he carries into a +15 cold iron/silver/adamantine weapon by twentieth level, on top of any other abilities, and can only be killed if you manage to soul bind him within three rounds. Don't have that spell? Don't have another way to neutralise him? You're dead, no matter how much damage you throw at him.

Unlimited plane shift and greater teleport at eleventh level is pretty nasty (a truth initiate is a lesser deity of scry and die), but unlimited shapechange blows that out of the water. That screaming sound you hear is a wild shape focused druid killing himself. Unlimited use of a ninth level spell at eleventh level is... suspect, to say the least.

Unlimited miracles at ninteenth level. That's effectively unlimited 7th level and lower spells per day, with every single spell known, same for eighth level cleric spells, all heightened to ninth level, and for the relatively low price of 5000 xp, deus ex machina at will.

At twentieth level, another order, including possibly whatever horrors an enterprising initiate can get by their dm. Not actually too ridiculous, but you can do some very amusing things by combining them.

And all of these things on the very nice outsider chassis - good BAB, good saves, good skill points, decent hd, and martial weapons, albeit with no armour. Still, there's no other reason why you can't wear armour, so if you can find a way to pick up proficiencies, that's fine.

I'd say this class jumps up the tiers as it levels. To start with, it's probably tier 3 or 4 - not exactly amazing in a fight, but still very much able to contribute, along with some nice utility effects and decent skillmonkeying. However, by the time he gets Seniority, he's definitely tier 2 (albeit maybe quite a low one), given that he's got uber wild shape on top of a bunch of other nice class features. And by the time he gets miracles upon miracles, I'd definitely put him in tier 1, if perhaps a little below cleric and wizard, because he can't cast ninth level spells freely.

All in all, a very nice class (I love the themes and such, and it would definitely be great fun to play), but also a powerful one. Though perhaps that's what you were going for.

If you change it though, could you keep the original around for posterity? I have a desire to play a campaign with all the party being celestial initiates of various orders, and to see what awesomeness ensues. Off the top of my head, creation, hope, and charity initiates working together could create their own demiplane, populate it with intelligent dire bears, give them all the nonmagical equipment and such they need, and house them inside enchanted adamantine fortresses.

Actually, ignore everything I just said apart from that, because that's just awesome.

Grek
2014-08-25, 02:02 PM
Although I like the idea of allowing evil characters to seek redemption and play one, I would give them a code of conduct that forbids them committing evil acts (though probably with atonement opportunities) - At the moment one could play one of these and still act like an unrepentant monster, and I just do not see the upper planes giving their blessings to such a creature. A code of conduct would mean that any evil character who takes this class will put themselves on the path to atonement. At the moment, Asmodeus himself could take this class, and wouldn't have to change his behaviour at all.
The idea behind this class is that you're given powers that make it easy to do good and indirectly serve a good cause every time that you use them. Instead of a paladin-style "Do good or you lose your powers" hard sell, it's a "Do good because your powers aren't useful for anything else" soft sell.


A creation initiate can create an unlimited amount of stuff, including creatures, use meteor swarm at will, and freely create their own planes during downtime. Given time, he can create and populate his own worlds, without paying one point of xp.
This is intentional - initiates of creation are supposed to run around creating worlds at high level, since that's their job.


A revelation initiate isn't so horrifyingly powerful, but can get a message to anyone, and freely screw with low level creatures. Can do very amusing things if you can get enemies to holy word themselves (mass suggestion: say my name, b*tch!), or you can just holy word or equivalent anything at will. 17th level rev initiates cause a spate of deaths as neutral commoners or whatever below ninth level tell stories about them and instantly fall down dead - amusing, and an interesting plot hook, but not really a Good thing (remember, Holy Word hits neutrals too). Neutral party members can't say your name I don't see any reason for them to be able to use blasphemy (even if the upper planes could grant that power, why on earth would they), particularly because there's nothing that can't be hit by one of the other three. On that note, I'd forbid initiates from using Word of Chaos or Dictum if their alignments don't match up - if a cleric or outsider can't do that, why can't they?
The intention here is that the initiate gets a Special Holy Name (as granted by the Sacred Name class feature) any old it has the Holy Word effect. They still retain their old, birth name and anyone who wants to talk about them without getting blasted refers to them by that or by a nickname/title. Can anyone think of a better wording to make that clear? The alternative alignment options for this one are mostly there to support non-good members of the class, be they neutral, evil, chaotic or whatever.


Mercy initiates can get out of most any encounter at level 1, and as they gain levels can remove more or less any debuff, and bring back allies at no cost. It also seems a bit odd that they gain no healing ability until 17th level, though I suppose that might be a thematic choice.
It is indeed a thematic choice, for much the same reason as they need to touch people to cure them - it means that they have to actually go around tending to the sick and wounded in order to get anything out of their powers.


A hope initiate basically can't be bound, and break enchantment gives him a Get Out of Trouble Free card, particularly because he can do it by touch (it normally has a 10 minute casting time). Disruption can jokeify most undead. The instant fortress can provide a pretty nice defence, and can presumably also be used as an attack (10d10 isn't much, but what happens if you summon a thirty foot adamantine tower inside a building?). Also, you can build a massive adamantine fortress in about an hour if you want (1 tower every six seconds = ten a minute = 600 in an hour. That's 360 thousand square feet of adamantine fortress with serious magic defences.) And at level 17, time stop shenanigans.The intention is that you get one fortress, not as many fortresses as you like. I shall go clarify that.


A valour initiate gains some serious buffs, turns any weapon he carries into a +15 cold iron/silver/adamantine weapon by twentieth level, on top of any other abilities, and can only be killed if you manage to soul bind him within three rounds. Don't have that spell? Don't have another way to neutralise him? You're dead, no matter how much damage you throw at him.
How is he getting a +15? That isn't supposed to happen. And yes, the idea is that mostly you can't kill an initiate of valour, you pretty much have to find some way to incapacitate or trap them instead. Be that Soul Trap, Imprison, some sort of anti-teleporting prison or what have you.


Unlimited plane shift and greater teleport at eleventh level is pretty nasty (a truth initiate is a lesser deity of scry and die), but unlimited shapechange blows that out of the water. That screaming sound you hear is a wild shape focused druid killing himself. Unlimited use of a ninth level spell at eleventh level is... suspect, to say the least.Shape Change, the monster ability and shapechange the 9th level druid spell are very different things. The one that the initiate gets is the one that lets you assume the appearance (but not stats) of any small or medium humanoid. I will definitely be clarifying that as well.

TheTeaMustFlow
2014-08-25, 04:30 PM
The idea behind this class is that you're given powers that make it easy to do good and indirectly serve a good cause every time that you use them. Instead of a paladin-style "Do good or you lose your powers" hard sell, it's a "Do good because your powers aren't useful for anything else" soft sell.

I can think of a lot of ways to direct these powers towards evil. A creation initiate can destroy an orphanage with stones, wind, or meteors. A truth initiate can act as an informant for a dystopian regime. A revelation initiate can manipulate the minds of the weak, or kill them with a word. A hope initiate can free murderers from their cells. A charity initiate can arm a legion of undead, or grant them sentience to kill more effectively. And a valour initiate can... hit nice people with his sword. These powers are just as applicable for evil ends as, say, a clerics - they just have to be a little more indirect about it. And without any actual checks, anyone, no matter how despicable, can according to RAW become a Celestial Initiate without having any actual intention to reform, and continue on his merry kitten-murdering way. I can see celestials granting power to a neutral or even repentant evil character, and I can see them forgiving such a character, but I can't see them giving power to an unrepentantly evil character so he can go on to commit greater acts of evil. Even the forgiveness of the upper planes has a limit.


How is he getting a +15? That isn't supposed to happen.

+5 (from greater magic weapon) holy (+2 equivalent) somethingbane (+1 equivalent) speed (+3 equivalent) brilliant energy (+4 equivalent) weapon = +15 equivalent. And that's if he's got a nonmagical weapon. Which, obviously, he won't.


Shape Change, the monster ability and shapechange the 9th level druid spell are very different things. The one that the initiate gets is the one that lets you assume the appearance (but not stats) of any small or medium humanoid. I will definitely be clarifying that as well.

To be obnoxiously pedantic, the monster ability is in fact Change Shape, not Shape Change (probably to avoid exactly this kind of confusion).

Otherwise, thanks for the clarifications, and it's still a very nice class, even if I can't house intelligent superbears in massive adamantine fortresses anymore. You might want to tone down the unlimited-miracles-at-will, though.

Grek
2014-08-25, 07:33 PM
Corrected the Shape Change vs Change Shape issue - thanks for catching that. I also adjusted Miracles upon Miracles to cause one miracle to occur per hour instead of being miracle as a standard action.

I'm considering adding a bard-style code of conduct, where you have to be Good in order to gain additional levels, but still retain all powers even if you turn Evil.

weso12
2014-08-26, 03:17 AM
This is a minor thing but the fact they get the outsider subtype at first level, and have all three good saves makes them a amazing high powered 1 level dip, maybe give the planetouched subtype at first then give them full outsider power later, just a thought? And weird question I am 90% sure that template schengins can change in outsiders creature type, does that remove the traits of being in outsider when taking this class?

P.S. Thanks for the advice on my thing still working on some of it.

TheTeaMustFlow
2014-08-26, 05:23 PM
Corrected the Shape Change vs Change Shape issue - thanks for catching that. I also adjusted Miracles upon Miracles to cause one miracle to occur per hour instead of being miracle as a standard action.

I'm considering adding a bard-style code of conduct, where you have to be Good in order to gain additional levels, but still retain all powers even if you turn Evil.

Yeah, these seem like good ideas.

Jeff the Green
2014-08-28, 02:00 AM
First off, weso12's concern is not a trivial one. As is a single dip with the Valor order is amazing for just about any martial character. With shillelagh, a quarterstaff is like a greatsword only better because you can enchant one end with offensive spells and one with defensive ones for relatively little cost. (On the other hand, magic vestment won't do anything until 4th level because it's +1/4 levels, and it's always rounded down.) And it seems like he can do this to other peoples' weapons. Hope and Truth are great for anyone. Basically you've just made a Fighter or Paladin dip for gishes obsolete.

I'm not certain how to fix this. You don't want to make the 1st-level abilities too weak because that's all they get, and I understand the desire to make the chassis like outsider racial HD. Maybe you should consider making the first five levels or so 3/4 BAB and good Fort/bad Reflex/bad Will. It's still fairly competent, but not nearly as attractive as a dip.

Looking at design as a whole, I'm worried that you went for depth of power rather than breadth. That is, the Celestial Initiate is really powerful within a narrow domain, but of little use outside it. This is mitigated by the good skills and chassis, but not sufficiently.

Looking at Miracles:

You don't need to say that you should "treat them in all respects as a spell-like ability." They are spell-like abilities. We know that because you told us by marking it (Sp). The only thing you need to draw attention to is that some of them do have XP and material components, but those are explicitly stated in their descriptions.

Creation
I'm disappointed by the 1st-level ability. Compared to being able to perfectly verify a statement, knock at will, or the awesomeness that is Valor, making light more effective and creating water is not anywhere near as useful. I'd strongly suggest giving them the ability to create other items. Perhaps a stronger version of that function of prestidigitation.

The higher levels are either similarly lackluster or ridiculously powerful. Control winds is powerful but extremely limited. You could easily churn out gold by making a bunch of elukian clay. That works out to 165,400 GP every round. Genesis has shenanigans but otherwise, and particularly with the restrictions you gave it, of somewhat limited use. (More importantly they can't actually us it because they'd need to stay on the ethereal 7,753 times the duration of their ethereal jaunt; they'd need to be level 100,800 to have the necessary CL.) 17 is a bit better. Level 17 is okay.

Truth
First, the grammar of the 1st level ability is off. I assume you want it to detect lies, yeah? What it actually does is detect someone telling you something that they're unsure about. It should read "if the speaker knows their statement to be untrue." It should probably specify an exact words rule. Level 5 is cool. I still worry that it's very limited. 9th is actually good; pretty powerful, but not overly so. Level 13 has the problem that scent has a weird range an you need to be much more specific in what the scent does. Level 13 should absolutely not contain the last sentence. Vision has appropriate restrictions and you should not bypass them, especially when you're also giving it without an XP component; it is entirely plausible for a level 13 character to be interested in any of a good number of level 10 characters, all of whom are inappropriate for vision to work on. 24 moment of presciences per day is probably a bit much, but other than that 17th level is again lackluster.

Revelation
Congratulations, you made rogues irrelevant from level 1! Level 5 is actually decent, with a lot of utility and a quite strong offense. 9's basically the same. Level 13 is strong but not overly so. Level 17's is weird. I really agree with TheTeaMustFlow that blasphemy isn't appropriate for the fluff you've set up. You say you want to make their powers useless for anything but Good, but then you give them a spell that only harms Good and Neutral characters? :smallconfused:

Mercy
I think the level 1 ability is pretty limited. I'd consider also giving them unlimited healing, with a half-of-max cap if you feel the need. Level 5 looks decent. Level 9 is good too. Level 13 is very near useless. PCs rarely cast atonement and there's actually very few things that regeneration is needed for. Level 17... wait, why are we healing undead again? This has a similar disconnect between fluff and crunch that makes me do a double take. I like the rest of it, though. Normally I'd say to keep the material component of resurrection, but since true resurrection comes online by this point you have a choice of eating gold or eating a lost level. I'd choose the gold every time, but some people don't.

Hope
Well, their open ability does diddly squat, unless you think slavers typically leave their slaves' fetters unlocked. Otherwise fine at 1st level but for the dip problem. For 5th level, constant freedom of movement seems like too much, though I may have a bias against it because it makes grapple essentially useless. Otherwise appropriate. 9th level looks good. Level 13 confused me for a bit because I couldn't find an instant fortress spell. It wasn't until I did a search that I found the item. You should explicitly say that. Also, the fact that the refuge tokens can bring you to the user says to me "never give out refuge tokens." Level 17 looks okay.

Charity
So basically at 1st level you can cast an orison, a barely-improved version of an orison, and not starve to death. Except you can't because you have to give them away. It also sounds like if you give someone a pair of socks they can eat it to cure 1 point of damage and serves as a meal. Level 5 looks like it could be fun. Level 9 is only marginally useful, unless you're also a diplomancer and can get a horde of awakened animals, golems, and zombies. At level 13... you get an orison? :smallconfused: I mean, sure, you get a couple other abilities, but do you really think it can't go somewhere earlier? Also, those other abilities are kind of lousy. Level 17...wait, you gave simulacrum without a material component? :smalleek:

Valor
Like I said, this makes a one-level dip pretty attractive. As part of the class, though, it's fine. Level 5 is also decent. Level 9 is maybe a bit too powerful, but not exceedingly so. Level 13 Is better. Level 17 is kind of cool, actually. I'm not sure how useful it is, but it's cool


In general the problem with the miracles is that you're trying to balance infinite use with paucity of choices and then trying to balance paucity of choices with giving them abilities a few levels ahead of when other classes get them. The problem is that a) infinite use isn't as valuable as you might think, b) paucity of choices is far more debilitating than you'd think, and c) the CR system assumes getting certain abilities (magic weapons, flight, mental protections, true-sight, etc.) at certain abilities, and granting them early can throw it out of whack, making some encounters trivial while not helping against any of the others. I'd recommend a couple things that could be tweaked, alone or in concert.

Expand what each miracle can do, but bring the levels closer to what a top-tier caster can do.
Gain more than one miracle, with secondary/primary being weakened (lower CL) or delayed.
Create "minor orders" or something like that with smaller sets of abilities that get picked up periodically.


The other class abilities seem okay. A Bell Rings needs something saying what happens if you lose the bell or it is destroyed. I'd like to see something beyond "ask your DM" what benefits Founder could give. Give some guidelines at least, and some examples of appropriate and inappropriate choices.

All in all, this is an interesting idea and one I'd like to see succeed, but right now you have some fluff/crunch conflicts, imbalance between the miracle choices, and the possibility of being very "swingy", able to defeat some encounters trivially but unable to do much against the rest.

Finally, a note on nomenclature: while I was able to figure it out, it's generally good practice to use spell names exclusively as nouns and to spell them out fully even if one is paired with another of a similar name (e.g. "can use orb of acid or orb of fire as spell-like abilities at will", not "can use orbs of acid or fire as spell-like abilities at will".)

I came here from the PEACH exchange, so when you can I'd appreciate a look at the Haematurge in my sig.

Grek
2014-08-28, 04:13 AM
One level dip: I'm thinking the easiest way to do it is to switch to cleric BaB and saves; swap the order of Ascension and Sacred Font; and have Ascension retroactively change them to be good/full again.

Creation: Agreed, they do need something better to be doing at level 1. Also, I should switch the genesis ability back to standard action instead of the full casting time and just say that you can use it once per week instead of at will.

Truth: "if the speaker does not know their statement to be true" is intended to cover both uncertainty (if you're not sure if something is true or not) and deception (you know it is not true and therefore do not know it to be true). I'll be clarifying that one when I get a chance. The true strike power does worry me, though. I'm open to suggestions for what to change it to. I will change the last line on the level 13 power.

Revelations: The knock power only works on doors. Chests still need unlocked normally and traps still need disarmed. I'll remove blasphemy from the level 19 ability.

Mercy: Their big power at this level isn't healing so much as Calm Emotions, which specifies that "Creatures so affected cannot take violent actions or do anything destructive." making it a "Save or stop fighting" effect. The atonement thing is mostly for NPCs, while the Regenerate spell is mostly for the combat healing rather than the regain lost limbs end of things. The "Undead effected as per harm" is supposed to be a reference to how Heal damages undead. It isn't supposed to heal them and I will go clarify that.

Hope: Open is mostly fluff at level 1; you can do a neat trick where all the containers in the room fly open at once, but it's just a neat trick, not a combat power. Will probably include doors, gates and windows in the next version. Will note that Instant Fortress is an item. Considering changing the refuge to be voluntary, unlike the spell.

Charity: The intent is that the spells work only on appropriate targets for the level one power. It probably needs something combat useful, but what? Shrink/Teleport item is there for you to be cheesy with by teleporting green slime onto people and also to solve the Santa Paradox. I'm interested in changing that to something else if anyone has ideas

Valor: Ideas for downgrading the level 9 power? Also, see One Level Dip above.

A Bell Rings: The bell is ceremonial. Any bell works, and if you lose the original it's like losing your high school graduation cap. It's a little sad, but nothing bad happens to you as a result. Will emphasize that fact in the rewrite.

Multiple Orders: I do like the idea of letting players take a second order at a delayed advancement schedule.

Ask your DM: This is code for "Grek has not yet wrote this power; watch this space for updates."

Grek
2014-08-31, 07:54 PM
change log:
-Ascension has been merged with Sacred Font and moved to level 3
-Ascension now gives you a halo and gives you the Good subtype!
-Creation now gets Obscuring Mist at level 1.
-Truth's level 1 ability has been reworked and the last line of the level 13 ability has been removed.
-Initiates of Revelations no longer get blasphemy.
-Initiates of Mercy now do lesser vigor on a touch as their level 1 power.
-Initiates of Charity now get a bunch of extra benefits at level 1.
-Initiates of Valor now get bless weapon instead of
-A Bell Rings has had a line added to clarify that absolutely nothing happens if you lose the original bell.
-A Code of Conduct as been added!