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gooddragon1
2015-01-07, 01:34 AM
Exterminator
For those times when you want a base class with an incredibly simple progression that isn't the sneak attack fighter who took toughness at every level (you should still take toughness at every level though... just imo).

Alignment: Any
Starting Age: As Wizard
Starting Gold: As Fighter
Hit Die: d10


LevelBABFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial


1st

+1

+2

+0

+0

Sense Weakness +2


2nd

+2

+3

+0

+0

Armor Piercing +1


3rd

+3

+3

+1

+1

Sense Weakness +4


4th

+4

+4

+1

+1

Armor Piercing +2


5th

+5

+4

+1

+1

Sense Weakness +6


6th

+6/+1

+5

+2

+2

Armor Piercing +3


7th

+7/+2

+5

+2

+2

Sense Weakness +8


8th

+8/+3

+6

+2

+2

Armor Piercing +4


9th

+9/+4

+6

+3

+3

Sense Weakness +10


10th

+10/+5

+7

+3

+3

Armor Piercing +5


11th

+11/+6/+1

+7

+3

+3

Sense Weakness +12


12th

+12/+7/+2

+8

+4

+4

Armor Piercing +6


13th

+13/+8/+3

+8

+4

+4

Sense Weakness +14


14th

+14/+9/+4

+9

+4

+4

Armor Piercing +7


15th

+15/+10/+5

+9

+5

+5

Sense Weakness +16


16th

+16/+11/+6/+1

+10

+5

+5

Armor Piercing +8


17th

+17/+12/+7/+2

+10

+5

+5

Sense Weakness +18


18th

+18/+13/+8/+3

+11

+6

+6

Armor Piercing +9


19th

+19/+14/+9/+4

+11

+6

+6

Sense Weakness +20


20th

+20/+15/+10/+5

+12

+6

+6

Armor Piercing +10



Class Skills
(4+INT modifier per level): Balance, Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Jump, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Listen, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope.

Weapon & Armor Proficiency

An Exterminator is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Sense Weakness (Ex)

At 1st level, an exterminator gains a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against creatures with damage reduction or hardness (applies twice if they have both). This bonus increases by +2 at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter.

Armor Piercing (Ex)

At 2nd level, an exterminator gains a +1 bonus on weapon attack rolls against creatures with natural armor or a deflection bonus to armor class. This bonus increases by +1 at 4th level and every 2 levels thereafter.

Note: If absolutely necessary... for lower power campaigns, reduce damage bonus vs DR and Hardness from 2 to 1 per 2 levels.

Epic Progression: Bonus Feat list as fighter. +1 bonus feat/3 levels.

Incredibly simple. Got a monster problem? Call the exterminator :D.

Note: Mostly cribbed from my monster slayer base class homebrew I made a while back. This is what I really wanted to make though. Something simple.

Almarck
2015-01-07, 02:37 AM
Well, I wrote up a paragraph stating that I thought the class was so unbelievably simple, but I lost it oh well.

I do actually think Sense Weakness might be too... number heavy. I mean, the big problem with it is if a character has so much as a single point of damage reduction, the amount of bonus damage they take because of Sense Weakness's effect is a tad... high.

Then again, maybe I am over thinking it and it's really quite balanced because it's quite conditional.

I do kinda wonder then why isn't it just a flat bonus that applies all the time?

gooddragon1
2015-01-07, 02:43 AM
Well, I wrote up a paragraph stating that I thought the class was so unbelievably simple, but I lost it oh well.

I do actually think Sense Weakness might be too... number heavy. I mean, the big problem with it is if a character has so much as a single point of damage reduction, the amount of bonus damage they take because of Sense Weakness's effect is a tad... high.

Then again, maybe I am over thinking it and it's really quite balanced because it's quite conditional.

I do kinda wonder then why isn't it just a flat bonus that applies all the time?

So that the DM can throw monsters at you that can get around it by having wads of hit points. Which is where your twf guy who normally gets the short end of the stick comes in. I've always felt that the 2 problems fighters have are DR and Natural Armor. I've made base classes, prcs, and feats to fix those. But sometimes people want something simple. This is that.

Also, now when your DM says: Your rangers arrows plink off it's incredibly tough hide.
You respond with: I yank the bow from the ranger's hands and "give it a shot".

Note: I'm getting this visual of a rifle trooper firing his m16 rifle at a tank and doing no damage. Then a rocket trooper pulling out his rocket launcher and saying 'I got this' (not sure if that would actually happen). Sometimes however, you need the rifle trooper more than the rocket trooper. Also, normally a warlock is my go to for anti armor (ignores natural armor and DR outright), but I want something that is a lot simpler and available to everyone (not just people who have chaotic or evil alignments).

Almarck
2015-01-07, 03:02 AM
Except that analogy doesn't exactly work. The reason Rockets don't work often is because of collateral damage the the sheer expensive of the rockets compared to say 5.66's. But I digress.

I think it's a valid reason to want to build an a martial "Tank buster". Though I just will scratch my head when I see someone take the weapons someone else has and do so much better with them because the enemy they are facing is immune to scratches from a cat. But, that's game logic at its finest.

I do think that it's kinda strange Warlock is C or E only, but that might have been because WotC needed a class to act as a polar opposite to Paladin.



Strangely, I actually think that porting this into pathfinder is as simple as making Sense Weakness apply all the time. There is a martial class that basically does Precision (as in considered the same damage type as Sneak attack) damage equal to level as one of its features. It only applies to one handed melee weapons though and when not TWFing. Outside of say archery, Exterminators wouldn't be overpowered making full attacks.

gooddragon1
2015-01-07, 03:41 AM
Except that analogy doesn't exactly work. The reason Rockets don't work often is because of collateral damage the the sheer expensive of the rockets compared to say 5.66's. But I digress.

I think it's a valid reason to want to build an a martial "Tank buster". Though I just will scratch my head when I see someone take the weapons someone else has and do so much better with them because the enemy they are facing is immune to scratches from a cat. But, that's game logic at its finest.

I do think that it's kinda strange Warlock is C or E only, but that might have been because WotC needed a class to act as a polar opposite to Paladin.



Strangely, I actually think that porting this into pathfinder is as simple as making Sense Weakness apply all the time. There is a martial class that basically does Precision (as in considered the same damage type as Sneak attack) damage equal to level as one of its features. It only applies to one handed melee weapons though and when not TWFing. Outside of say archery, Exterminators wouldn't be overpowered making full attacks.

If it helps, think of it like the ranger's favored enemy damage (which isn't precision damage btw) except that it affects a different category altogether. He's just better against targets that have armor (in one way [DR] or another [natural armor] and often both). Not even unique in game design either. Naix the lifestealer from dota 2 can deal 7% of the enemies current HP and heal that amount in addition to whatever damage he normally does. This makes him very nasty against tanks. Not so much against squishier but higher dps and also vampiric targets (like mortred the phantom assassin).

Whenever I played a warlock I abused the hell out of the fact that there's no such thing as an ex-warlock. So I was "chaotic good" for all of a few seconds in my backstory and then went straight to neutral good ever since. Even chose fey as the reason I had my warlock abilities. Was lucky that no DM came after me for those alignment gymnastics.

Being good at both archery and melee requires both MAD and feat investment (which this guy gets no bonus feats to help with). He can be passable at archery. However, true archers can take improved precise shot (can come up a lot since enemies like to grapple) which can make the difference between archery being a good or bad idea. It should be noted that with the bonus damage vs DR this class could make a pretty good dedicated archer who can mix it up in close combat. Take the shadow blade feat from tome of battle and use a short sword when enemies close in or use a bow for long range combat as much as possible. As it is, I'm not sure there is a class that does a particularly good job at archery in published material on it's own merit (the cleric can do many things because it's tier 1). Though I did make a jade archer class (http://dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Jade_Archer,_Revised_for_Ayron_%283.5e_Class%29) for dedicated archery (worried about tornadoes, antimagic, etc? Hi, Billy Mays here with the Jade Archer class.).

nonsi
2015-01-07, 11:59 AM
Hey gooddragon1.

I believe that if you have the chance to play this class, even if you'd do fine in attack & damage, you wouldn't enjoy it too much for the long run.
The main reason is that the class is virtually featureless. It can do nothing special beyond attacking....... and use game options that are already available to every commoner out there.

gooddragon1
2015-01-07, 01:14 PM
Hey gooddragon1.

I believe that if you have the chance to play this class, even if you'd do fine in attack & damage, you wouldn't enjoy it too much for the long run.
The main reason is that the class is virtually featureless. It can do nothing special beyond attacking....... and use game options that are already available to every commoner out there.

Still always nice to have options.

Extra Anchovies
2015-01-07, 04:27 PM
This class seems a little low-powered. I would bring its Reflex save up to Good and replace every even-numbered instance of Sense Weakness (those at 3/7/11/15/19) with a bonus feat (not a fighter bonus feat, but any feat for which qualifications are met). Also possibly 6+Int skill points.

gooddragon1
2015-01-07, 09:42 PM
This class seems a little low-powered. I would bring its Reflex save up to Good and replace every even-numbered instance of Sense Weakness (those at 3/7/11/15/19) with a bonus feat (not a fighter bonus feat, but any feat for which qualifications are met). Also possibly 6+Int skill points.

I figure that if a DM feels its low powered it's easier for them to add extra benefits than to take away stuff if it's too high powered.

T.G. Oskar
2015-01-09, 02:18 AM
I tend to make complex stuff (sometimes really complex stuff), but this is one moment where it's not bias.

Compare an Exterminator with a CW Samurai. The CW Samurai, despite being essentially a build (TWF, uses Katana and Wakizashi almost exclusively, excels at Intimidation, gets a few free attacks where it adds Charisma) has more options than the Exterminator, despite the lower skill points per level. My measure of quality control is "never better than a Wizard, never worse than a CW Samurai", and this is my main complaint. Sense Weakness and Armor Piercing are not class features at all. They're not options.

Think about it: a Thug Fighter that replaces bonus feats with Sneak Attack has almost the exact same amount of options as your class, and just about as many restrictions. That doesn't make a good class at all.

A class can be simple and still have options. If you think about it, the Warlock is incredibly simple, but with a good amount of options: there's about 60-69 invocations, and you have access to about 8-12 of them in your entire career. Some are so good they're must-haves (Vitriolic Blast, Fell Flight), others are good because of their properties (Eldritch Glaive), and some are just pointless. While you don't have the overwhelming choices that a Wizard has despite its apparent simplicity (as in, the only thing a Wizard chooses is its familiar, its spells and its bonus feats), the only other things you get from your class is energy resistance, Eldritch Blast (which is always useful), Fiendish Resilience (free fast healing a few times per day) and Deceive Item. That's 5 class features, all of them pretty much fixed, and they offer more color and variety than the Exterminator's class features, but they're also pretty simple; there's not much book-keeping to do except unless you have a lot of wands. Write up the invocations on the back of your character sheet, a brief description, and you're golden. That's simple.

However, to make a good Warlock, you need to make some build-based options, see what works and what doesn't. In the case of the Warlock, there's very few choices to make: you only get a few Least Invocations, and you need to choose two at 1st level, then one more every few levels. Making a wrong choice can be bad, but not overwhelmingly so, since you're always capable of doing something (if anything, at least spend every round shooting your Eldritch Blast). In other words; even if you make a bad choice, unless you're making that many bad choices deliberately, you shouldn't be at a spot where you're effectively worthless. Thus, a Warlock build, unless deliberately done wrong, can be effective. That's another point for the Warlock.

Now, when a solution is considered correct, simple and effective, it's considered an elegant solution. It's a clean solution, that doesn't need a lot of explanation to understand, doesn't need a lot of tinkering to work, and can apply to multiple situations at once. The Exterminator is simple, sure (as simple as it can be), but can't apply to multiple solutions, so it's not entirely effective; your Intelligence can only take you so far so as to deal with skills, and you barely have the depth of skills as a proper skill-monkey would, or the support those classes tend to have (i.e. Factotum with font of inspiration for additional bonuses). Your class features are dealing lots of damage to opponents with specific defenses (i.e. Damage Reduction, Hardness, Natural Armor or Deflection bonus to AC), but if a character has none (i.e. an incorporeal creature, anyone with concealment, or just someone that has a non-Adamantine suit of armor and a shield), your potential isn't as great. Against them, you're essentially a Fighter without Bonus Feats, but with a few more skill points and skills to spend. Of those skills, you really don't have an incentive to be a scout (no use for Wisdom to get better at Listen/Spot), and while you have a lot of Str- and Dex-based skills, you can only spread on both so far. If you spend some points on Intelligence, then you can use the bunch of Knowledge skills and probably take Knowledge Devotion for extra damage, but that's as much incentive to Intelligence as you'd get. Thus, you get a class that requires some Intelligence (to get good skills, and maybe get enough Knowledge skills to tap into Knowledge Devotion), plus Strength/Dexterity and Constitution (because every build requires Constitution), and with no Heavy Armor proficiency, you need more than enough Dexterity. That's dangerously MAD as it goes. Against out-of-combat situations, it has almost as many tools as a Fighter (read: little to none), and IN combat, it has less tools than the Fighter other than a huge boost to damage. If the enemy has high AC, at least high enough that you simply can't hit, your damage bonus won't ever apply. Thus, even on the occasions where your unique solutions would apply, you have the chance that they don't. Thus, your proposed solutions are largely ineffective against what they're meant to work with. That makes the Exterminator an inelegant class.

You want to see a simpler solution? Turn Sense Weakness and Armor Piercing into feats. Say that they scale based on your BAB. Add that to a Fighter; in fact, add that to a Thug Fighter, which happens to get 4 skills per level and a good amount of skills, but at the expense of Medium armor. That, right there, is a simple solution (instead of a complete class, you get 2 feats). It works towards an existing class, and as feats, they can apply to multiple classes; why not Warblade, or CW Samurai, or Paladin, or Swashbuckler? They're still not exactly elegant solutions (they're just a bunch of numbers), but the method used to deal with the bonuses is more elegant than building a class. Just by shifting their two class features into feats, the entire class is pretty much invalidated, since you end up with a Fighter chassis that replaces bonus feats for extra skill points and a few extra skills, which isn't reason enough to choose a class.

Simplicity is always something to strive for. Every solution has to be refined until it reaches simplicity and eventually elegance. Sometimes, the simplest solution is not exactly as simple as you'd like to - sometimes, the simplest solution is still complex. In this case, what seems to be a "simple" solution isn't that effective as you'd like to think. I'm not exactly a fan of Pathfinder (in fact, quite the opposite, though I've taken a laissez-faire approach and let them do what they desire, so as long as I'm not forced to play the system), but I find that the Slayer (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedClassGuide/classes/slayer.html) is a pretty simple approach to the "Exterminator" problem: Sneak Attack dice, Studied Strike isn't that complex to deal with (+1/5 levels bonus to Bluff, Knowledge, Perception [Listen/Spot/Search], Sense Motive, Survival, weapon attack and damage rolls against one target, plus one more every 5 levels) and eventually expands (to Disguise, Intimidate and Stealth [Hide/Move Silently], some tracking bonuses, the ability to move twice their speed once or twice per day, Quarry (i.e. a bonus to Survival checks to track and to the attack bonus of your quarry) and a cool capstone. That's really fixed, but the Slayer Talents give it a depth of choices that make each Slayer feel unique. It shouldn't be so difficult to take ideas from it for a 3.5 homebrewed class, and even without the Slayer Talents, it'd still be more efficient than your Exterminator. And that's a pretty simple class to play with (has some fiddly numerical bonuses, but nowhere near as much bookkeeping as playing a Ranger with its spells and Animal Companion).

So, in short: your attempt to make a simple class doesn't really make for an effective one. You can do simple without having to do things so simple they break up at the first check-up.

gooddragon1
2015-01-09, 03:58 AM
I tend to make complex stuff (sometimes really complex stuff), but this is one moment where it's not bias.

Compare an Exterminator with a CW Samurai. The CW Samurai, despite being essentially a build (TWF, uses Katana and Wakizashi almost exclusively, excels at Intimidation, gets a few free attacks where it adds Charisma) has more options than the Exterminator, despite the lower skill points per level. My measure of quality control is "never better than a Wizard, never worse than a CW Samurai", and this is my main complaint. Sense Weakness and Armor Piercing are not class features at all. They're not options.

Think about it: a Thug Fighter that replaces bonus feats with Sneak Attack has almost the exact same amount of options as your class, and just about as many restrictions. That doesn't make a good class at all.

A class can be simple and still have options. If you think about it, the Warlock is incredibly simple, but with a good amount of options: there's about 60-69 invocations, and you have access to about 8-12 of them in your entire career. Some are so good they're must-haves (Vitriolic Blast, Fell Flight), others are good because of their properties (Eldritch Glaive), and some are just pointless. While you don't have the overwhelming choices that a Wizard has despite its apparent simplicity (as in, the only thing a Wizard chooses is its familiar, its spells and its bonus feats), the only other things you get from your class is energy resistance, Eldritch Blast (which is always useful), Fiendish Resilience (free fast healing a few times per day) and Deceive Item. That's 5 class features, all of them pretty much fixed, and they offer more color and variety than the Exterminator's class features, but they're also pretty simple; there's not much book-keeping to do except unless you have a lot of wands. Write up the invocations on the back of your character sheet, a brief description, and you're golden. That's simple.

However, to make a good Warlock, you need to make some build-based options, see what works and what doesn't. In the case of the Warlock, there's very few choices to make: you only get a few Least Invocations, and you need to choose two at 1st level, then one more every few levels. Making a wrong choice can be bad, but not overwhelmingly so, since you're always capable of doing something (if anything, at least spend every round shooting your Eldritch Blast). In other words; even if you make a bad choice, unless you're making that many bad choices deliberately, you shouldn't be at a spot where you're effectively worthless. Thus, a Warlock build, unless deliberately done wrong, can be effective. That's another point for the Warlock.

Now, when a solution is considered correct, simple and effective, it's considered an elegant solution. It's a clean solution, that doesn't need a lot of explanation to understand, doesn't need a lot of tinkering to work, and can apply to multiple situations at once. The Exterminator is simple, sure (as simple as it can be), but can't apply to multiple solutions, so it's not entirely effective; your Intelligence can only take you so far so as to deal with skills, and you barely have the depth of skills as a proper skill-monkey would, or the support those classes tend to have (i.e. Factotum with font of inspiration for additional bonuses). Your class features are dealing lots of damage to opponents with specific defenses (i.e. Damage Reduction, Hardness, Natural Armor or Deflection bonus to AC), but if a character has none (i.e. an incorporeal creature, anyone with concealment, or just someone that has a non-Adamantine suit of armor and a shield), your potential isn't as great. Against them, you're essentially a Fighter without Bonus Feats, but with a few more skill points and skills to spend. Of those skills, you really don't have an incentive to be a scout (no use for Wisdom to get better at Listen/Spot), and while you have a lot of Str- and Dex-based skills, you can only spread on both so far. If you spend some points on Intelligence, then you can use the bunch of Knowledge skills and probably take Knowledge Devotion for extra damage, but that's as much incentive to Intelligence as you'd get. Thus, you get a class that requires some Intelligence (to get good skills, and maybe get enough Knowledge skills to tap into Knowledge Devotion), plus Strength/Dexterity and Constitution (because every build requires Constitution), and with no Heavy Armor proficiency, you need more than enough Dexterity. That's dangerously MAD as it goes. Against out-of-combat situations, it has almost as many tools as a Fighter (read: little to none), and IN combat, it has less tools than the Fighter other than a huge boost to damage. If the enemy has high AC, at least high enough that you simply can't hit, your damage bonus won't ever apply. Thus, even on the occasions where your unique solutions would apply, you have the chance that they don't. Thus, your proposed solutions are largely ineffective against what they're meant to work with. That makes the Exterminator an inelegant class.

You want to see a simpler solution? Turn Sense Weakness and Armor Piercing into feats. Say that they scale based on your BAB. Add that to a Fighter; in fact, add that to a Thug Fighter, which happens to get 4 skills per level and a good amount of skills, but at the expense of Medium armor. That, right there, is a simple solution (instead of a complete class, you get 2 feats). It works towards an existing class, and as feats, they can apply to multiple classes; why not Warblade, or CW Samurai, or Paladin, or Swashbuckler? They're still not exactly elegant solutions (they're just a bunch of numbers), but the method used to deal with the bonuses is more elegant than building a class. Just by shifting their two class features into feats, the entire class is pretty much invalidated, since you end up with a Fighter chassis that replaces bonus feats for extra skill points and a few extra skills, which isn't reason enough to choose a class.

Simplicity is always something to strive for. Every solution has to be refined until it reaches simplicity and eventually elegance. Sometimes, the simplest solution is not exactly as simple as you'd like to - sometimes, the simplest solution is still complex. In this case, what seems to be a "simple" solution isn't that effective as you'd like to think. I'm not exactly a fan of Pathfinder (in fact, quite the opposite, though I've taken a laissez-faire approach and let them do what they desire, so as long as I'm not forced to play the system), but I find that the Slayer (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advancedClassGuide/classes/slayer.html) is a pretty simple approach to the "Exterminator" problem: Sneak Attack dice, Studied Strike isn't that complex to deal with (+1/5 levels bonus to Bluff, Knowledge, Perception [Listen/Spot/Search], Sense Motive, Survival, weapon attack and damage rolls against one target, plus one more every 5 levels) and eventually expands (to Disguise, Intimidate and Stealth [Hide/Move Silently], some tracking bonuses, the ability to move twice their speed once or twice per day, Quarry (i.e. a bonus to Survival checks to track and to the attack bonus of your quarry) and a cool capstone. That's really fixed, but the Slayer Talents give it a depth of choices that make each Slayer feel unique. It shouldn't be so difficult to take ideas from it for a 3.5 homebrewed class, and even without the Slayer Talents, it'd still be more efficient than your Exterminator. And that's a pretty simple class to play with (has some fiddly numerical bonuses, but nowhere near as much bookkeeping as playing a Ranger with its spells and Animal Companion).

So, in short: your attempt to make a simple class doesn't really make for an effective one. You can do simple without having to do things so simple they break up at the first check-up.

Sometimes you'd rather not page through all the options of which feats to take, which class features to take and which not to take, how to ensure you deal X amount of damage by eeking out one or two more points from a PRC that you had to do some borderline TO to qualify for.

Have you seen where most of the AC on high AC monsters comes from? It's natural armor. Pretty much across the board it's natural armor. It's possible for a DM to construct a scenario where their AC comes from neither deflection nor natural armor sources... but that's likely going to be a specific choice. The other side of the coin is that if your bonus damage doesn't apply, that still means that every time you hit you're getting unreduced damage. It's just a nice scenario where you get things with less DR than you have bonus damage. This class can't handle every scenario (classes shouldn't be able to but some do), but against "monsters" it manages to get around their most common primary defenses while being a very short amount of paperwork.

If you want the more complicated version of this class which this derived from: Monster Slayer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?356609-Monster-Slayer-%283-5%29%28peach%29).

It's just that, people tend to have fun in different ways. I'm providing something for each way that comes to mind.