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Nyt
2015-03-16, 06:51 PM
So after much effort put into my search, I've discovered nothing.

Let me explain: I've been looking for a class that would allow me to play as a person who has the ability to make pacts. Not as the one selling his soul, but the one buying. Has anyone ever tried this before? At lower levels, his abilities would be limited to creating contracts that enforce themselves(at first with something bad happening to those who break a contract, then compelling them as if under the effects of Command, Gaes, etc. and lastly by killing those who violate). Perhaps deals that promise wealth, skill, or strength. Any thoughts?

Nyt
2015-03-16, 06:52 PM
Reserved for The Actual Class

Faustian
Alignment:
Hit Die: d6
Class Skills
The Faustianís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Speak Language (None), Spellcraft (Int) and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points: 4 + Int Modfier


Faustian


[b]Level
Base Attack Bonus
Fort Save
Ref Save
Will Save
Special
Contract Cost Max


1st

+0

+0

+0

+2
Contract, Least Boon
2


2nd

+1

+0

+0

+3
Detect magic
3


3rd

+2

+1

+1

+3
-
3


4th

+3

+1

+1

+4
-
3


5th

+3

+1

+1

+4
Creator, Lesser Boon
4


6th

+4

+2

+2

+5
-
4


7th

+5

+2

+2

+5
-
4


8th

+6/+1

+2

+2

+6
Greater Boon
5


9th

+6/+1

+3

+3

+6
-
5


10th

+7/+2

+3

+3

+7
-
5


11th

+8/+3

+3

+3

+7
-
6


12th

+9/+4

+4

+4

+8
Mortal Boon
6


13th

+9/+4

+4

+4

+8
-
6


14th

+10/+5

+4

+4

+9
-
7


15th

+11/+6/+1

+5

+5

+9
-
7


16th

+12/+7/+2

+5

+5

+10
Binding Boon
7


17th

+12/+7/+2

+5

+5

+10

8


18th

+13/+8/+3

+6

+6

+11
-
8


19th

+14/+9/+4

+6

+6

+11
Soul Bargain
8


20th

+15/+10/+5

+6

+6

+12
CAPSTONE!!!!
10




Class Features: All of the Following are features of the Faustian Class.


Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Faustian.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A Faustian is proficient with all simple weapons. Faustian are proficient with light armor but not shields.

Scribe Scroll: As their power stems from that found within the written word, it should come of no surprise that the very first thing an aspiring Faustian learns to do is scribe magic into scrolls.

The Contract

The Contract
At the center of the Faustian is his ability to forge magically binding contracts. These contracts arenít enforced by fate, the universe, a diabolical patron, or some other outside force; they are as much a part of the Faustian as a sorcererís spells. A Faustian does not truly deal in souls, but his magic is bound up in his own. The method by which a Faustian forges a contract is unique to the individual, and in spite of itís name, is not always focused around a written pact. Early in their careers, a Faustian must rely on the written pact, but he will eventually rise above this requirement. Some Faustian use a ritual of blood-binding (intermingling his blood with that of his other signatory). Others may use spoken vows, which must be spoken and agreed to.

One fact remains supreme in the ritual of the Contract. All signatories must agree to the terms of the contract without magical coercion. Any attempt to magically coerce a signatory into the original agreement messes with powers no one fully understand; and as such will have dangerous ramifications.
Once per day, you may write up a contract between any two parties, one of which may be yourself. Writing the contract takes thirty minutes and requires you to make a Craft(writing), Forgery, or Decipher Script check(DC 15, you can take ten on this check, causing the process to take twice as long). Once both parties have signed the contractĖand they must sign it of their own free willĖit is enacted.The contract need not necessarily be free of loopholes and escape routes. You may choose to have the contract be as ambiguous or as specific as you choose when you write it up, though both signing parties are entitled to an opposed Decipher Script check against the check you made when writing up the contract, to notice any potentially exploitable parts of the contract.
Binding a Contract with a Gesture of Agreement is tricky, and requires a DC 20 Diplomacy check, rather than a Craft(Writing) check.

Mechanical Format:
(Contract Name)
Medium: Written Contract(no cost), Gesture of Agreement(2), or Spoken Word(4)
Duration: Short(-1), Enduring(0), or Permanent(+3(minimum 5)), and Instantaneous(+4).
Boon:(What the signatory gains)
Price: (What the holder of the contract gains)
Terms: What is required of each party for the Contract to be fulfilled, and other terms of the agreement.


Backlash:
Anyone who fails to violates the terms of a Contract, who fails to complete a task required of them through a contract, magically coerces someone into signing/agreeing to the terms of a contract or who attempts to(whether they succeed or not) destroy a written contract becomes cursed, as the bestow curse spell, with a curse of the Faustianís choice, usually specified at the creation of the Contract. The curse is unavoidableĖthe member may not make a save against it, and spell resistance does not apply. A remove curse or break enchantment spell with a caster level equal to, or higher than, the class level + Charisma modifier of the Faustian at the time of the contractís creation can remove the curse, and the curse is lifted if its subject can fulfill the terms of the contract.
Failure: Failing to properly codify the terms of a contract
Violation: Failing to complete the terms of a contract or intentionally breaking any limitation placed on oneself by a Contract provokes a bestow curse effect on the one who transgressed. Additionally, the Writer can place additional punishments upon those who would renege on his deals; agreement to these terms renders the signatory unable to resist; they may make no save against effects placed within the contract, but a Faustian choosing to do so must be careful to avoid these effects himself: add 4 to the dc of the craft check to create a Contract for each minor effect(equivalent to a 2nd level spell), 5 for each strong effect(spell level 3rd or 4th), and 10 for each effect equivalent to a 6th level spell. Caster Level is determined at the time the contract is made, and can be no higher than that of the Faustian who creates the pact.
Destruction: Any mundane attempt to break a contract is unsuccessful- one can tear a contract to shreds, light it on fire, and bury it in an antimagic vault only to find the blasted thing tucked neatly into their jacket, assuming that is, that they have procured the original(Faustians typically keep their contracts either safely stored away, or on their person at all times). The destruction of a contract can only be completed safely by use of a wish or miracle spell, unless the document is present, the signatory is present and desires itís destruction, in which case a(relatively) simple break enchantment effect will suffice. A targeted dispel magic, succeeding against a DC(10 + the Faustianís Class Level + The Faustianís Cha Mod), will disable this magical protection, but further attempts to destroy the Contract provoke backlash on the one attempting to destroy it. The one attempting to destroy it takes 2d6 Cha damage, and is knocked dazed for three rounds. The signatories suffer as well; they are dazed for 1d4 rounds as their souls reintegrate.
Signatory Compulsion: Anyone forcing a person to sign a contract through magical coercion of any kind must roll a Will save vs DC(10 + the Faustianís Class Level + The Faustianís Cha Mod), or come under the effects of a bestow curse spell, which targets that characterís Primary Casting ability score. If the person is not a spellcaster, but a creature with spell-like abilities, they suffer the -4 to all attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks. Any contract signed under these conditions fails- though the person under compulsion may not realize that they are not actually bound. The person under magical compulsion is immediately freed from whatever effect held him, knows he was compelled, and is not dazed for one round.
Components:
Every contract consists of six components: Their Medium, Duration, Boon, Price, and Terms. Below is an in-depth description of each.

Medium:
In this usage, the Medium is the proof of the contract; how it is bound into existence. Most Faustian bargainers prefer to write out a contract, as it is the easiest method of binding. It is not the only way, however:
Written Contract: The contract is inscribed in a language both the Signatory and the Faustian understand. It is then signed by both, using a specially prepared ink, or their own or just the Faustianís blood. This specially prepared ink is always unique to the Faustian creating it, and typically not costly for them to create.

Duration:
The Duration of a contract can be either Short, Enduring,Permanent, or Instantaneous.
Short: Most bargains are at least enduring, but a Short Contract can be created, and putting such a deadline on a contract decreases itís cost by 1. Short contracts last anywhere between 24 hours and a month.
Enduring: Most contracts fall somewhere under this category, lasting somewhere between one month and their maximum duration, a Yeare and a Day(366 days). Contracts of this length do not have any additional cost for duration.
Permanent: A bit of a misnomer, a Permanent contract lasts until itís Terms are met or violated. Permanent Pacts Cost no less than five points, including their additional cost of 3, thus a 5 point contract would cost eight once extended to permanence.
Instantaneous: As itís name would suggest, an instantaneous contract takes effect immediately, requires a written proof, and persists unless the proof is destroyed, or the faustian who scribed it dies.

Boons:
In each contract, lies a Boon. This is usually what drives a signatory to accept a bargain. At first level, a faustian has access to all minor boons, which he can bestow upon those who sign a Contract(including himself). At fifth level, he gains access to lesser boons, at tenth, standard boons, and at fifteenth he gains access to Greater boons. He is able to write Binding Contracts at 18th level, and is therefore able to grant Binding boons at that level.
A Faustian benefits from every contract he signs, in at least some small way. A Faustian can activate a boon as a swift action, though he can only benefit from up to two boons at a time, and multiple counts of the same Boon do not count.
At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, he can benefit from an additional contractís boon, up to a maximum of 5 boons at 20th level.
A Boon grants a Contract bonus equal to the 1/2 Faustianís level, minimum +2 unless otherwise noted.

List of Example Boons:
Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and other boons of a similar power level should be possible. Regardless, this bonus lasts only as long as the Contract persists.
Least Boons: (Cost 1 Point)
Ability: The signatory receives +2 bonus to a single ability.
Skill: Grants a bonus equal to twice the Faustianís charisma modifier.
Flanking: Increases the bonuses related to flanking.
Expert Luck: +20 on one craft, profession, or perform check.
Mobility: The signatory receives a contract bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity.
Masterwork Tool/Weapon: subject receives a masterwork set of tools, or a single masterwork weapon.
Save: The signatory gains a bonus to one save.
Lesser Boons: (cost 2 points)
Edge: Grants a bonus to Attacks and Damage with bladed weapons.
Ability: as Least, but +4
Defense: The subject gains a untyped bonus to his armor class
Resistance: Resistance 10 against one energy type.
Feat: Subject gains the benefit of one Feat, ignoring one requirement of that feat: For example; Spring Attack without meeting the BAB +4 Requirement, though having Dodge, Mobility, and a Dex of 13+.
Flight: Subject gains a fly speed (30 ft) with Average Maneuverability.

Greater Boon: (Cost 3)
Ability: As Least, but +6
Magic Tool/Weapon: any tool worth no more than 2,000 gp, or any weapon gains either a +1 enhancement bonus, or a magical enhancement worth no more than the cost of a +1 Enhancement(if the weapon already has a +1 bonus)
Saves: The signatory gains a bonus to all Saves.
Feat: The subject gains use of a sing feat, for which they need not meet the prerequisites.
Greater Boons:
Ability: As least, but +10
Grant Wish: grants the signatory one limited wish, as per the spell.
Item: Grants the signatory a single item worth no more than 50,000 gp which will remain in his possession unless the contract is violated; if the signatory fulfills the terms of his contract it will remain, though the item vanishes upon his death.

Mortal Boons: (cost 5)Similar to any other boon, except that breaking a contract with a Mortal boon slays the creature that violates.

Ability: As least, but +10
Grant Mortal Wish: grants the signatory onewish, as per the spell.

Binding Boons: Cost 7Binding boons can only be granted in a Binding Contract, which are always written into a physical contract in a language both the Faustian and signatory can understand. In order to qualify as a Ďholderí, a creature must be able to read the contract, and have it in his possession. Activating an ability as a holder is a full-round action, but can be maintained with a swift action. A Binding contract can only be revoked by A) the Death of the Faustian who wrote it, B) the Death of the signatory, or C) the Faustian who wrote the Contract destroying it. Any other attempts to destroy the written contract fail. all negative effects of this contract are unavoidable.
Ability: a +15 bonus to the Ability, and can take 10 on ability checks and related skill checks, the holder of this contract can debilitate the chosen ability (effectively reducing it to 0), and keep it that way.
Will: A signatory granted this boon is immune to all forms of compulsion and domination, and is immune to any mind-affecting effect. He is, however, bound holder of his contract, and is therefore under a constant Dominate Monster effect.

Fortitude: A signatory granted this boon is granted Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and necromancy effects, any effect requiring a fortitude save, are not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain, and are not at risk of death from massive damage. In addition, they gain bonus hit points according to their size as if they were a construct. However, their health is dependant upon the holder of their Contract- if they displease him, he may kill them simply by wishing them dead, death in this fashion is unavoidable and irreversible, short of a wish or miracle.

Reflex: The signatory falls under a freedom of movement effect, is granted use of the Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack feats, and is considered to have succeeded on a reflex save on any effect that would require one. However; the holder of their contract can will him into paralysis, causing him to stop moving, and negating the freedom of movement effect at will.
Combat Mastery: The Signatory is granted a +10 bonus to all attacks and damage, and can use a true strike effect 3/day. He also gains a +5 dodge bonus to AC, and +2 hp per hit die they possess. Against the holder of their contract, however, a signatory is impotent: he takes penalties to each of the above traits equal to the bonus granted.
Soul Bind: The signatory's soul is bound into his contract, similarly to how a lichís soul binds to itís phylactery. Unless this Contract is located and destroyed, the Signatory will regenerate in 1d4 days after his apparent death, in the available space closest to his Contract. In addition, the Holder can target him with a True Resurrection effect, at any time before he regenerates. At any time, the holder of his contract can call the signatoryís soul home to itís contract, and take control of itís now inert form as if under the effects of a magic jar.
Wish: Grants the subject a wish, as per the spell. The holder of the contract can pervert the wish; if the signatory wished for wealth, he could make it come to him in the form of a gem to valuable to sell.


Price
In return for the offered boon, it is standard for a Faustian to include his price, which the holder of the contract gains, and the signatory loses. For example, a Faustian may desire access to the dispel magic, that the signatory can cast, so he bargains for it, offering greater intellect in return for the ability to cast a single spell. As long as the signatory leaves the spell prepared and does not cast it, he will maintain his boon(+2 Intelligence, a 1 point boon) and, the Faustian will be able to use Dispel Magic 1/day as a spell like ability.
There are many different kinds of Prices but they tend to fall under two types: Static and Dynamic.
Static: A static Priceis a flat increase in power, such as weapon proficiency, base attack bonus, a bonus on a skill check, or a permanent spell effect. These are limited by the Faustianís Class level,
Dynamic: A Dynamic price, on the other hand is one that requires activation. These are always available, regardless of what other boons a Faustian may have active at the time.

Terms
A contractís terms determine a great deal of what the contract can accomplish. Each signatory can be under a separate set of terms. In addition, placing the Faustian name in place of ďThe HolderĒ in the Terms protects it from being usable by another who comes into possession of the Contract. Terms must be carefully worded to avoid loopholes, or carefully worded to permit them, if that is the desire of the Faustian writing it.

EdroGrimshell
2015-03-17, 10:12 AM
I have a character I call The Merchant who's pretty much this, except he trades for much more than just souls or service. I am most interested in this class concept.

Realms of Chaos
2015-03-17, 11:55 AM
I... don't think that i get it.

I can kinda-sorta understand why someone would want to loan out their soul on a regular basis in an RPG world (like the binder) because there are so many different rewards that you can get from it. Selling your soul to get your heart's desire makes sense because you get your heart's desire.

If you're making the salesman, however... all that you really get are favors. I can totally imagine some players having tons of fun using even plain favors to corrupt others or lead them to their doom but from the perspective of mechanics... favors are weak. Really weak!

I mean... think about it. At the end of the day, what you have is a weaker form of mind control... a form of mind-control that will never be as reliable as a 3rd level spell (suggestion) for short-term affairs. Not only does someone have to be willing to make a deal with you in the first place (meaning that it's completely useless in combat) but creatures can just have a change of heart and say no (even if doing so means death).

That's not the main trouble with this class, however. The problem with a class based on faustian bargains has to deal with is that it robs the player of agency. If you want a specific favor from a specific expert or individual, the DM can simply rule that the paladin you wanted to corrupt recognizes you or that a person is content with their life or that they are superstitious and distrust all forms of magic.

Let me word it this way. If a cleric wants to prepare cure light wounds and has a spell slot to do so, it is assumed that the cleric is able to do so. 99% of clerics aren't forced to RP supplication and negotiation with deities every time they prepare spells. Likewise, the Binder class kind of makes the assumption that vestiges are all desperate to experience the real world and despite nominally having a bargaining phase, the binder is going to get whatever powers it really ends up wanting. Therefore, the clerics and binder have some sense of agency.

What about non-magical classes? Well, a healthy fighter who can get his opponent in range is generally free to attack. While an enemy may have special defenses like regeneration or damage reduction, it wouldn't make sense for a DM and Player to negotiate whether or not the player is able to make an attack in the first place unless there's some serious rules question. Likewise, a skill DC that a rogue might play might be high but a rogue playing by the rules will generally get to at least attempt their skill checks.

This class, though? If you want to make a deal with Dan the town Baker or with the goblin jailor beyond the gate, what you offer and what you want in return is going to differ slightly every time you make a deal. You can't really abstract that away to automatically assume that some entities will always accept a deal in certain situations because that's not how social encounters typically work. As such, this class requires the DM to actively cooperate with you every time that you want to make a deal with someone, making this a class that more or less operates off of DM fiat.

I guess that the big questions I have for you are these:
1. Can bargaining be streamlined in a way that three or fewer d20 rolls will result in a creature automatically accepting or rejecting a deal? Good RP could grant a bonus or penalty on these rolls but it seems unsound for the central feature of a class to rely on RP for the reason provided above.
2. Will this class be able to function outside of a large urban center, seeing how few campaigns remain entirely within cities? In particular, might this class be made to do something effective in a dynamic where you are surrounded with 3-5 other party members, 1-4 actively hostile creatures, and possibly 1 one ally?
3. What different types of deals might your class present? While you have a decent idea for simple transactions, what about level-scaling benefits for party members willing to condemn themselves or temporary buffs made to give a brief taste of power?
4. This answer will probably be the answer to #2 as well but what does the player use souls for? I personally don't think that favors and gifts can make up an entire class so you might want to back it up with something. My first instinct is spellcasting, using souls to get extra spell slots, spontaneous metamagic, save DC increases, and so forth.

Edit: Actually, I might have an idea for you to use if you are looking for ideas. Instead of perfectly fluid deals, you might want to have specific gifts and restrictions that can either have low values (darkvision 60 ft for a gift or "don't hurt me" for a restriction) or high values (true seeing for a gift or "you must not tell anyone of what you have witnessed within the past hour" for a restriction). If you went this route, you might simply state that neither the sum of all gifts nor the sum of all restrictions may exceed your class level.

Favors could be one-time restrictions with a limited duration and the strictness of restrictions could increase as you grow in level as you had planned (from slight distress to geas to death). If you really wanted, you could even open the door to "renegotiation" so that the bargainer could switch out semi-permanent buffs on party members with more fitting semi-permanent buffs on a regular basis.

Nyt
2015-03-18, 08:53 PM
First off, allow me to express my gratitude for both of the responses I have received.


I have a character I call The Merchant who's pretty much this, except he trades for much more than just souls or service. I am most interested in this class concept.

Could you give me an example of how The Merchant does business?




I guess that the big questions I have for you are these:
1. Can bargaining be streamlined in a way that three or fewer d20 rolls will result in a creature automatically accepting or rejecting a deal? Good RP could grant a bonus or penalty on these rolls but it seems unsound for the central feature of a class to rely on RP for the reason provided above.
2. Will this class be able to function outside of a large urban center, seeing how few campaigns remain entirely within cities? In particular, might this class be made to do something effective in a dynamic where you are surrounded with 3-5 other party members, 1-4 actively hostile creatures, and possibly 1 one ally?
3. What different types of deals might your class present? While you have a decent idea for simple transactions, what about level-scaling benefits for party members willing to condemn themselves or temporary buffs made to give a brief taste of power?
4. This answer will probably be the answer to #2 as well but what does the player use souls for? I personally don't think that favors and gifts can make up an entire class so you might want to back it up with something. My first instinct is spellcasting, using souls to get extra spell slots, spontaneous metamagic, save DC increases, and so forth.

Edit: Actually, I might have an idea for you to use if you are looking for ideas. Instead of perfectly fluid deals, you might want to have specific gifts and restrictions that can either have low values (darkvision 60 ft for a gift or "don't hurt me" for a restriction) or high values (true seeing for a gift or "you must not tell anyone of what you have witnessed within the past hour" for a restriction). If you went this route, you might simply state that neither the sum of all gifts nor the sum of all restrictions may exceed your class level.

Favors could be one-time restrictions with a limited duration and the strictness of restrictions could increase as you grow in level as you had planned (from slight distress to geas to death). If you really wanted, you could even open the door to "renegotiation" so that the bargainer could switch out semi-permanent buffs on party members with more fitting semi-permanent buffs on a regular basis.

1: Bargaining will come down to a set of two or three rolls: Craft, Diplomacy, and Bluff. Craft, to build the contract, Diplomacy to sell it, and perhaps Bluff to hide the fine print.

2: Yes, similarily to a warlock, once he's made his contracts, or similarly to a bard or cleric, if he focuses his contracts for buffing his allies.

3: At lowest level, a Contract tends to focus on services and payment. Later, he should be able to 'borrow' bits of the signatories powers/spells/skills/traits. Eventually, a binding contract that gives him a near-permanent minion should be possible.

4: Souls for currency and powers as per the Soul Eater class in BoVD.

@Edit: I think this should be included in the class.

A table and class features to come.

EdroGrimshell
2015-03-18, 10:15 PM
Could you give me an example of how The Merchant does business?

I should say that The Merchant rarely, if ever, bargains for souls, he instead bargains for other things such as a person's strength (ability score) or influence (skills like diplomacy) or past experiences (exp). It should also be noted that the original incarnation was from a psionic town.

His main thing was he was actually a merchant, he sold things within an extraplanar shop found on a pocket dimension he could open to from any door. People within could pay for products with power points, skill points, hit points, ability scores, special abilities, etc.

One of the more memorable moments was when a PC needed a custom power to disrupt the BBEG and she paid The Merchant a large number of power points, two points of Wisdom, a point of Charisma, and a handful of Exp to get a rush job power to aid the project. So, he closed up shop, and created the Power, putting it into a Power Stone, as well as instructions for the particulars in case the PC wanted to learn it (is it was a rather large payment), and gave literally teleported into the fight, freezing time for the PC and The Merchant, and handed her the stone before accepting the payment from her, literally weakening her in the middle of the fight but also giving her the required power to succeed, and left. The PCs won the fight because of the power, but the PC lost a good deal of her power from the effect and she couldn't teleport the party back to town, forcing them to sprint back to the town, or wait a day for the character to regain her power points and hope they could stop the catastrophe that'd come if they didn't get back soon enough. Instead, The Merchant simply offered them travel through his shop as a "Freebie" with the caveat that they consider him again in the future. They got there and stopped an all out war.

The Merchant isn't a bad guy, he doesn't twist the wording to his advantage, he doesn't use technicalities. He's an honest merchant that believes repeat costumers are a better investment than one time deals.

Another thing he can do is a long term deal that makes an effect similar to investing Exp into an Item Familiar. Usually for a set amount of time (though he is more flexible than a Devil would be on when he claims it, especially if doing so would kill the client), though it can be for after a goal is achieved, again with leeway so the client won't be killed afterwards. However, do realize he's a monster with a set of abilities that are unlocked as he progresses, thus, a one of a kind entity.

I based his abilities of the Life Essence Bargaining of the Infernal Curator from the Iron Kingdoms Campaign setting.

Tim Proctor
2015-03-19, 08:56 AM
I would see it as more of a PrC, I would recommend the main mechanic regarding the contract work with a Bluff check against the Sense Motive. I think that covers the contract signing. I would think the contract enforcement would scale along from a simple Lesser Geas spell to a Geas/Quest spell, to a Familial Geas. If you want to scale it for an actual class I would just look at a spells from the Compulsion subschool and scale it out so they get new ones every odd level and gain an extra daily use on the even levels. So I would imagine it would look like this:

1 Lesser Geas 1/day
2 Lesser Geas 2/day, Bonus Feat: Skill Focus Bluff
3 Geas 1/day
4 Geas 2/day, Bonus Feat: Persuasive
5 Familial Geas 1/day

Submortimer
2015-03-20, 04:08 PM
This could work as a sort of symbiotic buffing class.

Think about it: You, the Faustian (I love that name), make deals with each of your party members. They get some sort of otherworldly bonus from you, and you get some something from them. The thing you get changes based on their class, race, and whatnot, and each of the trades scale with each other.

Now, this is 5e, so the other person wouldn't GIVE UP that thing, but you each would only be able to recieve the benefit of the other person agreed to it.

I'd also say that this should be a half casting class, or maybe steal warlock's pact magic so they can do something else aside from just give bargains.

Example:

A sorcerer makes a pact with you. You grant him a supernatural boon, and he gives you the ability to use a number of spell points.
A rogue makes a pact with you. You grant him a boon, he gives you the ability to sneak attack.
A paladin makes a pack with you. you grant a boon, he gives you use of one of his auras.

You can only make a specific number of pacts a day, and the pacts can be either permanent, temporary, or ongoing. Permanent pacts would cost something specific and have an immediate effect, temporary would be a "Duration till used" and still have a specific cost, and ongoing would be the sharing mechanic i posted above.

I like this. this is MUCH more useable than I initially thought.

Edit: Sorry, I missed the 3.5 tag on here. Totally wrote it with 5e on the brain. my idea still stands.

Nyt
2015-03-22, 12:34 PM
This could work as a sort of symbiotic buffing class.

Think about it: You, the Faustian (I love that name), make deals with each of your party members. They get some sort of otherworldly bonus from you, and you get some something from them...

I'd also say that this should be a half casting class,...
First off: Thank you. I'm quite fond of the name, myself.

I've considered it, and I was going to use a spell progression similar to the bard, or something similar to the Spellsong variant bard in the Book of Eldritch Might(spell-like abilities that have somatic components). This would solve the above mentioned problem of the class's lack of agency. I just don't want to have to weaken the Contract ability(the core of the class) because i strengthened the base chassis.



Example:

A sorcerer makes a pact with you. You grant him a supernatural boon, and he gives you the ability to use a number of spell points.
A rogue makes a pact with you. You grant him a boon, he gives you the ability to sneak attack.
A paladin makes a pack with you. you grant a boon, he gives you use of one of his auras.

You can only make a specific number of pacts a day, and the pacts can be either permanent, temporary, or ongoing. Permanent pacts would cost something specific and have an immediate effect, temporary would be a "Duration till used" and still have a specific cost, and ongoing would be the sharing mechanic i posted above......

Yep, pretty much what I'm looking for, but I do think the signatory should probably have to give up what the Faustian gains. if it doesn't there's nothing stopping him from just making a single contract with the whole party to get all their abilities and becoming a sort of one-man army. The goal should be


I should say that The Merchant rarely, if ever, bargains for souls, he instead bargains for other things such as a person's strength (ability score) or influence (skills like diplomacy) or past experiences (exp). It should also be noted that the original incarnation was from a psionic town.

His main thing was he was actually a merchant, he sold things within an extraplanar shop found on a pocket dimension he could open to from any door. People within could pay for products with power points, skill points, hit points, ability scores, special abilities, etc.

One of the more memorable moments was when a PC needed a custom power to disrupt the BBEG and she paid The Merchant a large number of power points, two points of Wisdom, a point of Charisma, and a handful of Exp to get a rush job power to aid the project. So, he closed up shop, and created the Power, putting it into a Power Stone, as well as instructions for the particulars in case the PC wanted to learn it (is it was a rather large payment), and gave literally teleported into the fight, freezing time for the PC and The Merchant, and handed her the stone before accepting the payment from her, literally weakening her in the middle of the fight but also giving her the required power to succeed, and left. The PCs won the fight because of the power, but the PC lost a good deal of her power from the effect and she couldn't teleport the party back to town, forcing them to sprint back to the town, or wait a day for the character to regain her power points and hope they could stop the catastrophe that'd come if they didn't get back soon enough. Instead, The Merchant simply offered them travel through his shop as a "Freebie" with the caveat that they consider him again in the future. They got there and stopped an all out war.

The Merchant isn't a bad guy, he doesn't twist the wording to his advantage, he doesn't use technicalities. He's an honest merchant that believes repeat costumers are a better investment than one time deals.

Another thing he can do is a long term deal that makes an effect similar to investing Exp into an Item Familiar. Usually for a set amount of time (though he is more flexible than a Devil would be on when he claims it, especially if doing so would kill the client), though it can be for after a goal is achieved, again with leeway so the client won't be killed afterwards. However, do realize he's a monster with a set of abilities that are unlocked as he progresses, thus, a one of a kind entity.

I based his abilities of the Life Essence Bargaining of the Infernal Curator from the Iron Kingdoms Campaign setting.

Aside from the extraplanar shop, this is exactly what I'm trying to build. I just can't figure out a balanced way to make it possible at low levels.


I would see it as more of a PrC, I would recommend the main mechanic regarding the contract work with a Bluff check against the Sense Motive. I think that covers the contract signing. I would think the contract enforcement would scale along from a simple Lesser Geas spell to a Geas/Quest spell, to a Familial Geas. If you want to scale it for an actual class I would just look at a spells from the Compulsion subschool and scale it out so they get new ones every odd level and gain an extra daily use on the even levels. So I would imagine it would look like this:

1 Lesser Geas 1/day
2 Lesser Geas 2/day, Bonus Feat: Skill Focus Bluff
3 Geas 1/day
4 Geas 2/day, Bonus Feat: Persuasive
5 Familial Geas 1/day


A good idea, but I think that a "Contracts/Day" Or "Number-of-contracts-at-once" limiting mechanic would be better suited, at least for what I am trying to create. I want to have the contracts to enforce themselves similarly however; At low levels (1-5) failing to fulfill a contract could simply deal damage, inflict pain, or cause them to be wracked with guilt. at Mid levels(5-12), Larger amounts of damage, bestow curse(a scaling version), a suggestion effect(though the HD limit is equal to the Faustian Level). at high levels( 13th through epic) even considering breaking a contract would cause damage, inflict pain or guilt, and the signatory will have to actively pursue the contract as per a gaes. breaking the contract can cause a disintegrate, phantasmal killer, power word(kill) or some similar complete distruction spell-effect.

Naoki00_
2015-03-22, 06:28 PM
I feel like I should point this out to you as well since it's here on GITP lol. The Demented One made a prestige that can do pretty much the thing you asked for in the original post called the Devil's Advocate (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?10192-A-Deal-s-a-Deal-Even-With-a-Dirty-Dealer-PrC). If you wanted to pull ideas from that it's not a bad class.

Nyt
2015-03-23, 09:31 PM
I feel like I should point this out to you as well since it's here on GITP lol. The Demented One made a prestige that can do pretty much the thing you asked for in the original post called the Devil's Advocate (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?10192-A-Deal-s-a-Deal-Even-With-a-Dirty-Dealer-PrC). If you wanted to pull ideas from that it's not a bad class.

Thank you, this does help, and has several useful ideas. I'll keep it in mind as I forge ahead.

@Everyone Else: Sorry I haven't updated the Class. I'm working on it in word.

Naoki00_
2015-03-24, 12:41 AM
Thank you, this does help, and has several useful ideas. I'll keep it in mind as I forge ahead.

@Everyone Else: Sorry I haven't updated the Class. I'm working on it in word.

No problem, I just remembered that one reading your idea. Good luck on finishing it, I'll be looking out for it since I really like the idea :)

ben-zayb
2015-03-24, 07:16 AM
Just a question: why not consolidate the required skill checks to either one forgery check or one forgery for everything done on the contract itself and one bluff/diplomacy for the sales pitch?

faustin
2015-03-24, 04:37 PM
You may want to take a look to "The Deluxe Guide to Fiend Summoning and Faustian Bargains", of Necromancers of the Northwest, if you have the chance (and money). Even if you donīt want to include demons, it has a cool point system for pacts, balancing boons for sacrifices and offerings.
Or better, you could try to adapt the Pledge system of Changeling the Lost for D20.

Nyt
2015-03-24, 05:56 PM
Thank you faustin. I shall have to take another look at Changeling. I knew one of the nWod splats had something pact-related.

faustin
2015-03-27, 05:51 AM
Let me word it this way. If a cleric wants to prepare cure light wounds and has a spell slot to do so, it is assumed that the cleric is able to do so. 99% of clerics aren't forced to RP supplication and negotiation with deities every time they prepare spells. Likewise, the Binder class kind of makes the assumption that vestiges are all desperate to experience the real world and despite nominally having a bargaining phase, the binder is going to get whatever powers it really ends up wanting. Therefore, the clerics and binder have some sense of agency.


I forgot: search for the fan game "Mage the Indebted" (here is a link (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?514065-Mage-The-Indebted)). It describes the relationship between a Mage and his Patron (aka Totem) and the price he must pay in exchange of power... unless he tricks others into paying for it. Think Dr. Facilier in the World of Darkness.

Nyt
2015-03-27, 04:30 PM
All right! I've added a significant amount of stuff to the class, everyone please take a look and see what you think! I look forward to all criticism, as I am pretty darn sure this could get a bit over-powered. I'm looking for Tier 2-3.

faustin
2015-03-27, 05:32 PM
What prices are the standard for signing a contract and gaining acces to the boons?

Nyt
2015-03-27, 05:41 PM
Mechanical Format:
(Contract Name)
Medium: Written Contract(no cost), Gesture of Agreement(2), or Spoken Word(4)
Duration: Short(-1), Enduring(0), or Permanent(+3(minimum 5)), and Instantaneous(+4).
Boon:(What the signatory gains) Least(1 point), Lesser(2 points), Greater(3), Mortal(5), and Binding(7)
Price: (What the holder of the contract gains)
Terms: What is required of each party for the Contract to be fulfilled, and other terms of the agreement.


Just added that in where it belongs.

faustin
2015-03-27, 06:08 PM
if I understand it correctly, the Bargainer have the magical ability to grant boons by contract the same way a sorcercer can cast spells, right? Is there a limit of how many active contracts can have at a time?

Nyt
2015-03-27, 06:19 PM
At the moment, no. When I put up the table, you will see the max Contract Cost, but that is per contract. I might force the contracts to have different limitations on the holder, but there is not currently a limit to the number of open contracts. There is a limit on the number of contracts a holder can benefit from, namely only one at a time at first scaling linearly to 5 at twentieth. It's under "prices". I will add in that there can only be one contract per Signatory, however (so if you make a contract with Krusk, you can't make another with Krusk until the first has been fulfilled/destroyed).

EDIT: Which I just realized I had yet to put in. Fixed!
EDIT: And the Table is up!

Nyt
2015-03-27, 07:40 PM
Just a question: why not consolidate the required skill checks to either one forgery check or one forgery for everything done on the contract itself and one bluff/diplomacy for the sales pitch?

Sorry I didn't respond to this earlier, I missed it before.

I actually don't have a reason not to. I'll do that, thank you.

faustin
2015-03-28, 09:31 AM
In return for the offered boon, it is standard for a Faustian to include his price, which the holder of the contract gains, and the signatory loses. For example, a Faustian may desire access to the dispel magic, that the signatory can cast, so he bargains for it, offering greater intellect in return for the ability to cast a single spell. As long as the signatory leaves the spell prepared and does not cast it, he will maintain his boon(+2 Intelligence, a 1 point boon) and, the Faustian will be able to use Dispel Magic 1/day as a spell like abilit

So, the signatory must give up his ability in exchange for the boon, but the bargainer doesnīt sacrifice anything. Right?.

Nyt
2015-03-28, 07:23 PM
Correct. I see how this could be unbalanced, but I am playtesting it now.

faustin
2015-03-28, 08:27 PM
You could give the Bargainer a pool of "Pact points" which can be exchanged for boons to grant. Also, you could add a mechanic of sacrificing temporary characteristics for when the pool isnīt big enough. That would force the player to calculate the risk and rewards in each contract.