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View Full Version : Pathfinder Druid Archetype - Sister of Nature's Wrath (PEACH)



wyldlock
2014-09-19, 09:44 AM
The basic idea of the archetype was basically inspired by the 'nuns with guns' trope, but due to some of the details of my setting, it made more sense to make them druid casters than clerics. They do a bit of skulking about and manipulating people, so they went up to 6 skills/lvl and got an expanded skill list. They are built with a good chunk of the urban druid in their base. I have debated back and forth between restricting them to moderate casting, but in the end I feel that the firearm tricks they gain are probably actually LESS powerful than wildshape, even with the special spell shell deed line.

Note: Firearms are simple weapons in my setting, and I've made the rules modification that while attacks in the first range increment resolve as touch attacks against light/medium armor for pistols, they do not for heavy armor. Rifles still penetrate against all armor types in the first increment.

As a side note, this is the first class/archetype I've ever built, so please be gentle!

Sister of Natureís Vengeance
Druid archetype
Skills per level 6
Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Diplomacy (Dex) Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (religion) (int) and Knowledge Planes (Int), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Sisters are proficient with all simple weapons including Firearms. They are proficient with light armor, but not shields. They can use metal armor normally, but they cannot use any grit related abilities unless unarmored or in light armor.

Special:
A Sister's spell-casting is not affected by the use of any weapons of armor, however she suffers from non-proficiency penalties normally, and cannot use grit abilities with any weapons other than firearms, or when wearing any armor heavier than light.

Imbued Spell-Shells:
A Sister may spontaneously create the following spell shells by sacrificing an appropriate level spell. The Sister must still expend a point of grit to fire the shell as normal.

1 Touch of Combustion
2 Pox Pustules
3 Fungal Infestation
4 Flame Strike
5 Baleful Polymorph
6 Sirocco
7 Fire Storm
8 Sunburst
9 Tsunami

Unlike a standard Spell Shell, these shells may have areas of effect. When a spell shell carrying a spell that has an area rather than a target, the following special rule applies: If the spell is centered targeted on a creature, and that spell normally permits a reflex save, that creature is denied a saving throw if the attack hits. Furthermore it may critically affect the creature as a standard Spell Shell. If the area targeted is not centered on a creature, a touch attack is made against AC10, and may also result in a critical check. Any time a critical is confirmed on a spell shell that affects an area, enemies within range who are allowed a save take a -2 penalty on their saving throws.

Nature Bond (Ex): A sister does not gain an animal companion. Instead they choose a single domain from Charm, Liberation, Protection, or Repose.

People Person (Ex): A sister gains a +2 bonus on Bluff and Sense Motive. This ability replaces Nature Sense.

Grit (Ex): A sister favors trickery and magic over violent confrontation, but when her hand is forced, she fights with wildness and ferocity, battling their enemies boldly. Sisters have grit. In game terms, grit is a fluctuating measure of a sisterís ability to perform amazing actions in combat. At the start of each day, a Sister gains a number of grit points equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). Her grit goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), though some feats and magic items may affect this maximum. A Sister spends grit to accomplish deeds (see below), and regains grit in the following ways.

Critical Hit with a Pistol: Each time a sister confirms a critical hit with a pistol attack while in the heat of combat, she regains 1 grit point. Confirming a critical hit on a helpless or unaware creature or on a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the sister's character level does not restore grit.

Killing Blow with a Pistol: When a sister reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points with a firearm attack while in the heat of combat, she regains 1 grit point. Destroying an unattended object, reducing a helpless or unaware creature to 0 or fewer hit points, or reducing a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the sister's character level to 0 or fewer hit points does not restore any grit.

Grit and associated deeds replace Wild Empathy, Trackless Step, Woodland Stride and Wild Shape.

Spell Shell Deed (Sp): At 1st level, as a full round action, a sister can Ďfireí any of her prepared spells that normally has a range of touch. This is resolved as a ranged touch attack against the appropriate target type out to the weaponís maximum range (with appropriate range penalties applied.) The spell resolves normally, with the following exceptions: If the shot would normally resolve in a misfire, the spell is expended normally, but fails to take effect. If the shot results in a critical threat it resolves as a normal critical, however the critical multiplier is x2 rather than the weaponís multiplier. Special: When used against a target that is not resisting (For example, to deliver a heal or buff effect to an ally) the attack roll must still be rolled, however it can be critically applied. spells that do not normally heal, grant temporary hitpoints, inflict damage, or inflict ability damage that crit in this way cause healing or damage equal to the level of the spell cast x the sisterís level + her wisdom modifier in addition to the spellís normal effects. Using this ability costs 1 grit point.

Focus on the Fight Deed (Ex): At 2nd level, a sister treats any firearm she is holding as a divine focus for any spell she casts requiring one. She may also holster and draw her guns as needed to perform somatic components for spellcasting as if she had the quick draw feat. This ability functions as long as the sister has at least one point of grit.

Deft Shootist (Ex): At 4th level, a sister gains the Deft Shootist feat, even if she would not normally qualify for it. This ability replaces Resist Natureís Lure.

Thousand Faces (Su): This ability functions as the standard 13th level druid ability, but is gained at 6th Level.

Healing Shells (Sp): At 6th level, a sister can sacrifice a prepared spell to ready a spell shell that heals 1d6 points of damage per level of the spell sacrificed in this way.

Deadeye (Ex): At 8th level, the sister can resolve an attack against touch AC instead of normal AC when firing beyond her firearm's first range increment. Performing this deed costs 1 grit point per range increment beyond the first. The sister still takes the Ė2 penalty on attack rolls for each range increment beyond the first when she performs this deed.

Mental Strength (Ex): At 9th level, the sister gains immunity to charm and compulsion effects. This ability replaces venom immunity.

Marksmanís Focus (Ex): At 10th level, the sister with least 1 grit point and a firearm readied can cast a spell within an enemyís threatened area without provoking attacks of opportunity without making a concentration check.

Startling Shot (Ex): At 12th level, a sister with least 1 grit point can spend a standard action to purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit with a firearm attack. When she does, that creature becomes flat-footed until the start of its next turn.

Blasting Spell (Sp): At 14th level, the sisterís spell shell deed improves to work with spells that normally permit ranged touch attacks. Spells that do not normally heal, grant temporary hitpoints, inflict damage, or inflict ability damage that result in a critical hit when fired as a spell shell cause healing or damage equal to the level of the spell cast x the sister's level + her wisdom modifier in addition to the spellís normal effects.

Bleeding Wound (Ex): At 16th level, when the sister hits a living creature with a firearm attack, she can spend 1 grit point as a free action to have that attack deal extra bleed damage. The amount of bleed damage is equal to the sister's Wisdom modifier. Alternatively, the sister can spend 2 grit points to deal 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution bleed damage (sister's choice) instead. Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to these types of bleed damage.

Greater Beneficial Spell Shell (Ex): At 18th level, when the sister utilizes the spell shell deed, she no longer automatically loses beneficial spells on a roll of 1 (Although she can still miss the targetís touch AC). Furthermore critical threats on beneficial spells are automatically confirmed.

Guncaster (Su): At 20th level the sister fully integrates her skill with firearms and her skill with magic. She no longer expends grit when firing a Spell Shell. Furthermore, the sister can choose to expend one grit point in order to prepare spell shells in advance. A sister can have 1 shell per 8 levels prepared in this way.

wyldlock
2014-10-17, 07:06 AM
Bumped. Is there any special protocol I'm missing for requesting feedback, or did I just post this while the forum was quiet?

The main things I'm looking for feedback on are the functionality of the spell shell deed progression, and overall balance (IE does the deed chain feel balanced with losing wildshape)

gr8artist
2014-10-17, 10:17 AM
List the differences in skills, not the ones she shares with a normal druid.
I am unsure about gunslinger balance so I'll just point out what seems weird to me.
Why allow metal armor? Most light armor isn't metal, and I don't think you've changed the druid's no metal armor while casting rule.
Weird domain choices.
What exactly does the 18th ability do?
Capstone is sub par
Druids don't use a lot of single target offense spells. They need to be able to fire area spells centered on the point of impact.
Good berry bullets?

This archetype needs some fluff, because right now the abilities don't really seem to mesh with a normal druid's philosophy.

Almarck
2014-10-17, 12:13 PM
I like the concept, I myself like Grit, gunplay, and druids and I like that you combined them.

I'm going to agree, Spell Shell needs... more offense to be really viable. Perhaps consider giving the class specific spells that it can only access using the feature by expending prepared spellslots, kinda like replacing spontanously casting summon nature's ally.

I can see people seriously considering using Fireball via Shell Spell. for instance.

I also don't see how Spontanous Domain casting is "on theme" and would rather it and Spell Shell be linked together, somehow.

wyldlock
2014-10-18, 09:47 AM
List the differences in skills, not the ones she shares with a normal druid.
I am unsure about gunslinger balance so I'll just point out what seems weird to me.
Why allow metal armor? Most light armor isn't metal, and I don't think you've changed the druid's no metal armor while casting rule.
Weird domain choices.
What exactly does the 18th ability do?
Capstone is sub par
Druids don't use a lot of single target offense spells. They need to be able to fire area spells centered on the point of impact.
Good berry bullets?

This archetype needs some fluff, because right now the abilities don't really seem to mesh with a normal druid's philosophy.

As far as the listing differences thing goes... Timeless body is the only druid ability gained at the normal level in the normal way. I suppose I should have just left it out though. My mistake. ;)

I allowed metal armor because they're based more on the urban druid, and the concept of having embraced the idea that using technology is 'natural' for sentient beings with tool use. Hide armor is also really out of place within my setting, so allowing them to use chain shirt gives them access to the same level of AC without feat expenditure while preserving more of their dex bonus, which is going to be important for obvious reasons. I suppose I should have said explicitly that the wearing of metal armor and wielding of firearms does not prevent their casting.

The domain choices are mostly taken directly from the urban druid, although modified somewhat to reflect their philosophy about freedom being a person's natural state.

The level 18 ability is meant to enhance their ability to heal using spell shells, so on a natural 1 they no longer lose a spell cast through a spell-shell if it's beneficial. (So if she's using it for offense a natural 1 still auto-fails, but if she's trying to heal an ally, she basically can no longer miss as long as they're not trying to avoid it for some reason.) It also allows her to auto-confirm critical hits with beneficial spells used through spell-shell, so a natural 20 results in automatic double healing.

Honestly my original concept for spell-shell was primarily focused around using it as a way to 'fire heals' across the battlefield, with a bit of fun flavor allowing them to get critical hits and to get some free healing if they got a lucky roll while casting a buff on a (presumably lightly injured) ally. I was mostly thinking of its offensive function in terms of allowing them to deliver some of the nasty debilitating effects at range while still dealing some damage at the same time.

Most area of effect druid spells already have a medium or long range, so it never really occurred to me to allow firing them through a spell shell. Also, given the fact that they would often be targeting an unoccupied square, it wouldn't really make sense to keep the crit mechanic with AE spells, which would be the only real benefit they would derive... I suppose if we think of the spell-shells as providing 'penetration' it could give the effects of Spell penetration instead of crit chance on area spells or something. I'll ponder that one for a while.

Upon reading it again, I'm forced to agree that the capstone feels underpowered as written. I'd also prefer to reduce spell-shell to a standard action earlier on. I'll take a closer look at that as I work on revision 2.

As for the fluff explaining why the sisterhood has the views that it does goes, the main reasons I didn't include it was the fact that explaining some of it requires a ton of context specific to my campaign world and I'm not ready to write that level of essay just yet :P

wyldlock
2014-10-18, 10:20 AM
I like the concept, I myself like Grit, gunplay, and druids and I like that you combined them.

I'm going to agree, Spell Shell needs... more offense to be really viable. Perhaps consider giving the class specific spells that it can only access using the feature by expending prepared spellslots, kinda like replacing spontanously casting summon nature's ally.

I can see people seriously considering using Fireball via Shell Spell. for instance.

I also don't see how Spontanous Domain casting is "on theme" and would rather it and Spell Shell be linked together, somehow.

Given that you both agreed on that point, I'll look at the offensive potential of spell shell a bit. I had thought of the archetype as being more focused on control/debuff and healing/buffing, with good accuracy and some incidental damage by virtue of the focus on using firearms.

So you mean something like giving them in essence a 'spellshot' domain list and replacing their spontaneous casting ability with the ability to sacrifice spells for spells on that list provided it is being done via spellshot? I actually rather like that idea. I think I'll use that for revision 2 of the class. I honestly like the idea a lot better than the spontaneous domain casting from urban druid.

One reason I was very conservative with how much effectiveness I wanted to give via Spell Shell was the fact that I've heard repeatedly how much weaker Wild Shape is in PF than 3.5, but I haven't had a chance to play a mid/high level druid in PF yet to get personal experience with it.

Other than various means of acquiring a familiar and risking it getting splatted while delivering touches in combat for you, there are very few ways of healing at range that I'm aware of, and even fewer that let you heal from as far away as a spell shell would permit, which was another reason I was cautious about improving the damage too much.

wyldlock
2014-10-19, 04:11 AM
Okay, updated to a new version.

Almarck
2014-10-19, 08:54 AM
Wildshape in PF is simplier because it's treated as a buff instead of completely replacing your scores. And while the otherhand, it means your attribute matter and you need to be strong yourself to use it, it still allows you to go for insane levels of flexibility as soon as level 5. I'll admit, it's not for combat as much as the old version was, but it still is more or less better than most other polymorphs and consider the durations.

You're trading insane flexibility for more blasting power, so don't hesitate.