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Enlong
2007-07-08, 11:57 AM
Puppet Master: The Puppet Master is a class that revolves around the manipulation of inanimate objects to do one's fighting and dirty work. Using his powers, a puppet master takes control of inanimate objects and makes them move according to his will. This class rewards creative people who can craft useful objects to move. But before I get too confusing, let me move on to the class itself.

Prerequisites:
Craft (Carving); 8 ranks, Craft (Sculpting) 8 ranks
Intelligence of 14 or more, Charisma of 14 or more.

Hit die: D6s

Class Skills are:
Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Craft (any), Diplomacy, Disable Device, Knowledge (local), Move Silently, Perform, Profession, Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft and Use Rope.

Skill points at each level: 4+(int Modifier)

Puppet MAster
{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+0|
+0|
+0|
+2|Puppet Mastery

2nd|
+1|
+0|
+0|
+3|Puppet Senses (sight)

3rd|
+2|
+1|
+1|
+3|Tripwire

4th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Puppet Senses (Hearing)

5th|
+3|
+1|
+1|
+4|Speak with my voice, Spell Sending

6th|
+4|
+2|
+2|
+5|Puppet Senses (Smell)

7th|
+5|
+2|
+2|
+5|Deft Fingers

8th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+2|
+6|Puppet Senses (taste), Living Key

9th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+3|
+6|Marionette Chain, Perfect Puppetry

10th|
+7/+2|
+3|
+3|
+7|Puppet Senses (Touch), Puppet Host[/table]

Puppet Mastery:
Starting at 1st level, a puppet master can control a number of inanimate objects up to his Puppet Master level. This control is done by use of invisible strings of magic protruding from the Puppet Masterís hands; these strings have a maximum length of 10 feet times the Puppet Masterís Puppet Master Level; anything that is outside of this range cannot be controlled. Attaching his magic strings to an object takes a move action and can be performed anywhere within his range of control. A Puppet Master can control an object for a period of time equal to 2 rounds per level, and may sever the connection at will. When control is broken, a Puppet Master must wait 1D4 rounds before controlling that object again. A Puppet Master cannot use his hands for anything else while utilizing this skill, and must have both hands free in order to use it: if his hands become unusable during control, then the control is immediately severed. If either the Puppet Master or an object under his control is placed inside an Antimagic Field, then the control is suppressed, but not severed, until both subjects are out of the field. All objects under the control of a Puppet Master roll for initiative separately from the Puppet Master (however, they still use the Puppet Masterís Initiative bonus). Any objects under a Puppet Masterís control that make an attack use the Puppet Masterís Attack Bonus when doing so. Any object controlled by a Puppet Master can only be moved in ways that they would normally be able to, i.e. a solid statue (without joints) cannot be moved in the same ways as a marionette (with movable parts). In addition to moving any movable parts on an object, a Puppet Master can also lift and throw the object his strings are attached to (The Puppet Master must be able to physically lift the object in question, however); any object thrown by a Puppet Master has a range equal to the maximum length of the Puppet Masterís strings +10 Feet. All objects affected by Puppet Mastery are treated as Animated Objects, but may have altered stats based on their construction (I.E. a marionette with bladed nails could have claw attacks rather then just the standard slam attack). All Will saves for this object are made by the Puppet Master. The objects controlled by a puppet master cannot have combined HD that exceeds the Level or HD of the Puppet Master controlling them.

Puppet Senses:
Starting at second level, a Puppet Master can use the senses any object he controls. The Puppet Master transfers his senses temporarily into one object under his control; in effect, he loses that sense in his normal body, and starts to use that sense as if he were that object (if there is no discernable feature on an object that that sense would use, such as eyes or a nose, then this ability cannot be used on that object). At second level, a Puppet Master can transfer his sight; at fourth level, his hearing; at sixth level, his sense of smell; at eighth level, his sense of taste; and at tenth level, his sense of touch. If the Puppet Master smells any toxic or noxious fumes with a puppetís senses, his real body does not incur any of the effects, unless the smell is so strong that it overloads his senses. Any effect incurred from seeing or hearing something that does not effect the physical body seeing or hearing it, but rather the mind of the creature who sees or hears it (such as a Symbol of Death) is incurred normally by the Puppet Master. The Puppet Master can use this ability for as long as the object is under his control.

Tripwire:
Early in his training, a Puppet Master discovers that his magical strings can also be manifested slightly into the Material Plane. A 3rd level Puppet Master can make ranged trip attacks with his magic strings. This counts as an unarmed ranged touch attack, using a dexterity check opposed by the opponentís Strength or Dexterity check (whichever is higher) if the attack roll succeeds.

Speak With My voice:
A sufficiently advanced Puppet Master has learned a form of magical ventriloquism. At 5th level, a Puppet Master can throw his voice, as the ventriloquism spell, to any object under his control


Spell Sending:
All puppet masters already adept in the ways of magic discover that an object under their control is magically connected to them, giving them more range for what spells they can cast while controlling them. A 5th level Puppet Master may choose to have any of his spells originate from any one object currently under the effects of his Puppet Master ability.

Deft Fingers:
A sufficiently advanced Puppet Master can replicate superhuman feats of strength with precise and perfect twitches of his fingers. A 7th level Puppet Master may substitute his Dexterity bonus for his Strength bonus on all attack and damage rolls made by objects under his control.

Living Key:
Further along in his research, the Puppet Master gains an incredibly fine use of his magic strings. Starting at 8th level, a Puppet Master gains a +5 competency bonus on all Open Lock checks, if he would be able to use Puppet Mastery on the lock in question at the time.

Marionette Chain:
Nearing the pinnacle of mastery, a Puppet Master learns to command an army of puppet followers within ranges that would normally be impossible. At 9th level, a Puppet Master may choose to have the range of influence of his Puppet Mastery Skill originate from any object already under his control. When he loses control of the object that those particular strings are originating from, then he loses control of all objects tied to those strings.

Perfect Puppetry:
A full-fledged master of the puppetry craft has learned how to move his puppets as easily as moving his own body. A 9th level Puppet Master using Puppet Mastery can control as many objects as he has fingers, and only needs to have one finger free per object.

Puppet Host:
The final step in a Puppet Masterís quest to perfect his craft is to put his faith, and very soul, into one of his creations. At 10th level, a Puppet Master may place his spirit into one nonmagical inanimate object made from inorganic or plant-based material. This requires a magical ceremony that takes 24 hours and materials worth 1000 GP. Once complete, the Puppet Masterís soul is permanently transferred into the chosen object, and his original body is reduced to ashes. You keep your Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, level, class, base attack bonus, base save bonuses, alignment, weapon proficiencies, feats and mental abilities. The body retains its Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, hit points, natural abilities, and automatic abilities. You lose any racial abilities (except for skill points and feats already acquired due to race). The body gains the Construct template; however, you continue to gain skill points, base save bonuses, and base attack bonuses depending on class. The body is assumed to have an HD equal to your level at the time of transfer. You may make use of this body as if it were the subject of the Puppet Mastery skill, however it does not count toward your limit on concurrent targets for Puppet Mastery, you do not need any hands free to move with this body, and there is no time limit on use. If this skill is used, it cannot be used again. If a Puppet Master who has used this skill is killed, then he can only be revived by use of Wish or Miracle, and only in the new body he inhabited with this skill.



What do you think? Too complicated? To easy to cheese? Too many not-dead levels? Any constructive criticism would be nice.

Edit: Fixed my table.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-08, 12:40 PM
The concept is sound. Rather creative, actually. The BAB is to high; I'd lower it to 3/4's, tops. Also, I would give them poor Reflex saves; they don't need them. Only bards, monks, rangers & rogues have good reflexes, & a puppeteer doesn't really fit that mold. Finally, dead levels are a big pet peave of mine (& a sign of poor/incomplete design), so good job there. You might want to move either Perfect Puppetry or Puppet Host to 9th level, just so you don't gain 3 special abilities in 1 level, but I'd much rather see too much than too little.

Enlong
2007-07-08, 12:57 PM
Fixed. I decided to downgrade the level of Perfect Puppetry, so that the Puppet Master would know what kind of body they'd want to create (like one with four hands, mabeye.

How does this sound to you as a BBEG?

Zeta Kai
2007-07-08, 01:40 PM
What are the skills? What HD do they gain at each level? And which prerequisites are required to become one? These are solid abilities, but the class needs some more fluff & crunch before it can even be playable.

Enlong
2007-07-08, 02:33 PM
Fixed, but as for skills, I'm not too sure. I've never thought about that. I know Craft is obvious, but do you have any suggestions?

SydneyLosstarot
2007-07-08, 03:04 PM
I'd suggest Sleight of Hand, Use Rope, Move Silently and obviously Perform.

Just for the fluff reasons =)

Dragor
2007-07-08, 03:18 PM
Cor Blimey. I just made 'The Puppet-Master' for one of my quests. I made him a Level 10 Wizard though.

Great work, I think it's cool. Although if one of my players sees this, he's going to think I copied the idea off you.

And his catchphrase was just that- "Dance, puppets, dance!"

Enlong
2007-07-08, 05:23 PM
All right, all skills added.

Nice coincidence Dragor. If you'd like, I give you full permission to use this class in your campaign.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-08, 07:28 PM
For skills, I'd add: Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Knowledge (local), Profession, & Spellcraft.

Also, a Puppet Master does not need a larger HD than the bard or the rogue. I'd use d6's only. Intelligence 16 as a prerequisite is awfully restrictive; that should be lowered to 14 or so. High Charisma could also be a prerequisite.

Lastly, how many skill points do they get at each level? I'd suggest 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Enlong
2007-07-08, 07:33 PM
Fixed. Ye olde puppet Master is now ready, I think. (I want high INT so that the Puppet Master can craft good puppets).

Dragor
2007-07-09, 08:07 AM
All right, all skills added.

Nice coincidence Dragor. If you'd like, I give you full permission to use this class in your campaign.

Thanks, that'd be awesome. He never really shone to me as a Wizard, so this class is nigh-on perfect. Great work!

--EDIT--

However, there is one thing that my Puppet Master which didn't 'agree' with yours- he actively tested his puppeteering on organic material- this usually consisted of replacing human parts with machinery (he tested this on himself, giving himself clockwork legs and part of his nervous system clockwork- the party always know when he's nearby because of the ticking it makes.

He also was darn good at climbing up walls and onto ceilings. An agile villain is a formidable villain.

Enlong
2007-07-09, 04:58 PM
Hrm, well the wording could be changed, but I just didn't want to create a person who could be a necromancer without any necromancy spells (I.E. deciding to simply manipulate a corpse with Puppet Mastery). Unless I'm completely off-base and moving a cadaver would be completely different from animating undead. If that's the case, then I'd be happy to change the description of the objects to be controlled with Puppet Mastery to "inanimate". And I think a few tweaks in Puppet Host could allow the semi-clockwork body you described... Perhaps an alternative to the Puppet Host ritual that involves replacing one's own body parts with mechanical versions? Perhaps doing that allows the person to retain racial bonuses and the ability to be raised, but is offset by a higher cost overall, and the chance of Constitution damage if he does the ritual wrong? What do you think?

JackMage666
2007-07-09, 05:07 PM
Aside from the obvious cheese of build-a-body at level 10, there is some problems in the pre-reqs. There should be some arcane component in the pre-requisite (Arcane Caster Level 1st, or Prestidigitation as a spell-like ability seems good) will increase the magical feel of the class. Throw on half-casting progression, as well. It'd make a fun bard.

Other than that, looks good.

Poppatomus
2007-07-09, 05:10 PM
Well, the differnce would be the animating force of the creature. A flesh golem, as I understand their operation, is not considered to be undead because, unlike a zombie or a lich, it is not animated by negative energy. Rather, it is able to act because of more mundane magics (though creating one still requires a spell with the evil descriptor.)

So long as you aren't creating creatures that survive on negative energy, you aren't creating undead and are thus not making some kind of crap necromancer. I rather like the idea of someone being able to create the assassin from Hellraiser, or turn themselves into one, without necessarily dabbling in necromancy.

Enlong
2007-07-09, 05:28 PM
Aside from the obvious cheese of build-a-body at level 10, there is some problems in the pre-reqs. There should be some arcane component in the pre-requisite (Arcane Caster Level 1st, or Prestidigitation as a spell-like ability seems good) will increase the magical feel of the class. Throw on half-casting progression, as well. It'd make a fun bard.

Other than that, looks good.

I'm not so certain that the build-a-body is too cheesy. I specified that the body you inhabit is automatically counted as having HD equal to your level, so that you cannot create a body that is more powerful then you were. I also ruled out any magical materials, and you do not gain any extra feats from taking on the new body; so if you say, crafted a multi-armed thing, you'd still need to blow a feat on Multiattack to be useful with them. I really don't think it's any more powerful then the Dragon Disciple's final form (with wings, tons of Natural Armor, a Breath Weapon, extra natural weapons, and a breath weapon). Besides, I think it'd be fun seeing what kind of bodies the PCs can come up with (the image of a PC turning them self into a giant mechanical spider just crossed my mind for some reason)

JackMage666
2007-07-09, 05:51 PM
It's a munchkin's hunt to find the best HD body.. Let's see, 15 HD, at the lowest...
MM only...

Plantar Angel
Delver
Retriever
Horned Devil (I declare this the winner)
Juvenile Blue Dragon
You Adult White Dragon
Juvenile Copper Dragon
Fire Giant
Stone Giant
Stone Golem (provided it was inanimate before)
Twelve-Headed Hydra
Marut Inevitable (provided it was disabled)
Cauchemar Nightmare
Death Slaad

In the hands of a responsible player, though, this is a fun class. If you know the players a munchkin, avoid at all costs.

Poppatomus
2007-07-09, 05:57 PM
are natural and automatic abilties defined somewhere?

JackMage666
2007-07-09, 06:01 PM
Even just gaining the Str and Dex (Constructs don't have a Con score, so the puppet for shouldn't, either...) makes any of my suggestions formidable opponents.

Enlong
2007-07-09, 06:07 PM
*ahem*. Or there's the fact that the Puppet Host ability specifies that the body you inhabit must me made from nonmagical inorganic or plant-based material; so all those suggestions are unusable (that is, I believe that a former construct would be considered magical).

JackMage666
2007-07-09, 06:21 PM
The body wouldn't be. It was made just the same as the puppet would be, it just wouldn't have any magical abilities and such.
Also, the muscles for the Horned devil could be substituted with wood, iron, adamantine, mithral, darkwood, ect., materials. With a high enough Craft check, you'd eventally construct it.

Also, theres the Effigy creature template in Complete Arcane. If I remember correctly, you can build any sort of creature, and it's nonmagical before you begin casting spells on it (which is why you can pay someone else to build the body, even the 4 Int, Wis, and Cha Half-Ogre who doesn't believe in magic but has wonderful ranks in Craft.)

Enlong
2007-07-09, 06:28 PM
4 int half-ogre? So.... how does he construct it? LOTS and LOTS of materials and performing Craft checks through trial and error? Or does he just have godly ranks in Craft? Perhaps I'll alter it to say that the body may not have HD that exceeds your level, and that if its HD would be lower... I'm not sure. I guess that the PC would have to be stupid to create a body to inhabit that's weaker then himself. What I'm driving at is that I want to try to munchkin-proof it, by making it illegal to make the body overly powerful to the point where it should be at a higher level. Does that make any sense?

As for the thought that just ocurred to me, being "how the heck does the body gain more levels and HP?" I'm thinking that it's assumed that the Puppet Master is making small improvements and repairs all the time, to get more HP.

Quick question. Should the HP gain for a Puppet Master in an artificial body be based off of class, or be Construct HP (D10s)?

Poppatomus
2007-07-09, 06:39 PM
Quick question. Should the HP gain for a Puppet Master in an artificial body be based off of class, or be Construct HP (D10s)?

Class. HP isn't just the toughness of the material, and when you gain a class level its assumed that its HP from training/expertise as much as callouses and scars. If you wanted to do provide some additional HP bonus owing to the material that would be fine, or you could give the player the option of leveling in a class or as a construct, but there's no reason to provide construct HD to character gaining class levels.

I am still a little unclear on the ability. If the material is inorganic or plant based, then where do the ability scores and special abilities come from? Is it just from the Golem list, or can I mimic other creatures? If so, what are the rules for that?

(For some reason, after reading this thread, I can't get the image of an "apiary golem" out of my head. I think I might have to stat it out at some point.)

Enlong
2007-07-09, 07:21 PM
Well, see, when I wrote it up, I was looking at the Soul Jar spell. It said that you can't use the special abilities of the body, and one thing it specified was not using any extra limbs to fight. I didn't want that restriction, as I wanted a bit of real benefit for the irreversible choice, so I copied the text and removed "not".

JackMage666
2007-07-09, 07:38 PM
Quick question. Should the HP gain for a Puppet Master in an artificial body be based off of class, or be Construct HP (D10s)?
I'd recommed Construct HP, personally. Just like a Lich. Remember, no Con score means you already are at a disadvantage in HP, so d6 and d4 HD (Puppet Master and Wizard, respectably) will mean you are very, very short on HP. So, a Wizard 5/Puppet Master 10 would only have 49 HP (as opposed to still a mere 87 HP with the Construct HD).

As for Munchkin proofing......... Toughy. I would say the ability score of the constructed body, both added together (really, only Str and Dex) could not exceed your character level X 2. So, if they hold til 20th level, the body can have a 20 Dex and Str, or the Dex/Str can be weighted one way or the other. That should help balance.

Poppatomus
2007-07-09, 07:52 PM
I'd recommed Construct HP, personally. Just like a Lich. Remember, no Con score means you already are at a disadvantage in HP, so d6 and d4 HD (Puppet Master and Wizard, respectably) will mean you are very, very short on HP. So, a Wizard 5/Puppet Master 10 would only have 49 HP (as opposed to still a mere 87 HP with the Construct HD).


It seems like a compromise might be preferred, perhaps something like:


Though she Lacks a Con Score, the puppet master can gain a bonus to their hit points when they level based on the material from which their new body is constructed. For every 6 HP/per inch of thickness (round up) of the material that forms the bulk of the new "body" the puppet master gains an additional hit point per level on top of the class HD.



This would give an effective CON score of 24 for a puppet made of pure adamantine, not unreasonable I think given the expense, a CON score of 14 for one made of wood, and a score of 10 for one actually made of flesh or hide.

(you also could key this to hardness, or add hardness to it.)

JackMage666
2007-07-09, 08:00 PM
I was assuming Hardness would be converted to Damage Reduction in some way. I was just wondering when it would come up.

ringsnake
2007-07-09, 09:47 PM
First and most, a major nitpick. You need to chop up the descriptions into more paragraphs and chop up some of the longer sentences into smaller ones. The first ability is particularly unreadable.

Second, characteristics (especially even numbered ones) make for poor prereqs. It creates an arbitrary limitation to entry, rather than one that the players can control. To the best of my knowledge WotC has no prestiges that have that sort of requirement.

At the first level of this prestige you provide an effect that replicates animate objects, which is a sixth level spell. The only difference seems to be that your version has a shorter range by 100 feet, requires continuous gestures, and lasts longer. And of course there's the hideously broken detail of being usable an unlimited amount each day!

I'd suggest instead:

Prerequisites:
Craft (Carving); 8 ranks, Craft (Sculpting) 8 ranks
Able to cast at least six transmutation spells, one of which must be at least sixth level.

Effectively providing unlimited use of a spell restricted to thirteenth level clerics and 16/17th level bards is way the hell over the the top. Especially when you've provided it to every single class in the PHB at a mere sixth level. I'd suggest a ground up rework, and I'd like to see one because I like the concept. Animate objects is restricted to Clerics and Bards, and it would be cool for a suitably dedicated Wizard or Sorcerer to pull off the same tricks.

You need to either dramatically weaken this Prc's powers so they're more in line with what sixth level characters can do in their own classes, or jump up the prereqs. You'd still have to weaken the powers granted I think, and that last power needs a major rework and more definition.

I'd suggest using the Thaumaturgist (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/thaumaturgist.html)as a template for what you want. Somthing that advances a spellcasting class while also providing access to some modestly boosted and less complex animation powers.

Enlong
2007-07-10, 06:24 AM
First and most, a major nitpick. You need to chop up the descriptions into more paragraphs and chop up some of the longer sentences into smaller ones. The first ability is particularly unreadable.

Second, characteristics (especially even numbered ones) make for poor prereqs. It creates an arbitrary limitation to entry, rather than one that the players can control. To the best of my knowledge WotC has no prestiges that have that sort of requirement.

At the first level of this prestige you provide an effect that replicates animate objects, which is a sixth level spell. The only difference seems to be that your version has a shorter range by 100 feet, requires continuous gestures, and lasts longer. And of course there's the hideously broken detail of being usable an unlimited amount each day!

I'd suggest instead:

Prerequisites:
Craft (Carving); 8 ranks, Craft (Sculpting) 8 ranks
Able to cast at least six transmutation spells, one of which must be at least sixth level.

Effectively providing unlimited use of a spell restricted to thirteenth level clerics and 16/17th level bards is way the hell over the the top. Especially when you've provided it to every single class in the PHB at a mere sixth level. I'd suggest a ground up rework, and I'd like to see one because I like the concept. Animate objects is restricted to Clerics and Bards, and it would be cool for a suitably dedicated Wizard or Sorcerer to pull off the same tricks.

You need to either dramatically weaken this Prc's powers so they're more in line with what sixth level characters can do in their own classes, or jump up the prereqs. You'd still have to weaken the powers granted I think, and that last power needs a major rework and more definition.

I'd suggest using the Thaumaturgist (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/thaumaturgist.html)as a template for what you want. Somthing that advances a spellcasting class while also providing access to some modestly boosted and less complex animation powers.

Thank you so very much for your input. I will take this advice to heart and start work on a better version of this class, though it may be a while before I come back with a new version.