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The_Dodger
2017-02-18, 05:27 PM
So I'm working on building a class that is focused on the creation of a "puppet" that the owner uses to fight and perform other tasks. However, I'm in need of some additional brain power because I'm having trouble coming up with abilities for the class.

At the moment all I have is that the class will have some minor spell casting, something similar to a bard in the number of spells they have, and like a sorcerer in their ability to spontaneously cast from their list of known spells. However, the focus of the class will be on the creation and enhancement of their "puppet". At first level they will gain the ability to create a lesser puppet, a construct of small size with limited combat potential. As they progress in level they will gain the ability to add enhancements to their puppet, making it stronger, faster, more armor or more attacks. Eventually they will gain the ability to make a stronger puppet, and then at higher levels a greater puppet. Or, alternatively, they can choose to create multiple lesser puppets with fewer enhancements.

So, as you can see I have a basic frame work for what I want this class to be, but I'm having some trouble with the mechanics of it. Obviously the ability to create their first lesser puppet will be a first level ability, but I'm not sure at what level they should be able to create a normal puppet and then greater puppet. Alternatively, instead of getting rid of their lesser puppet in favor of a normal one, they might choose to create a second minor puppet instead, giving them two lesser puppets, or at the greater puppet level they could have two normal puppets or four lesser puppets.

I'm also having some trouble coming up with suitable enhancements that will be balanced, and how many at each level they will be able to use. Also, I would like to include enhancements that go beyond just combat, making the puppets more useful out of combat for skills and roleplaying use.

This is the basic level breakdown I've come up with to start. But it feels lacking and unbalanced. I feel like they should have more abilities than just enhancing the puppet.

1 Craft Lesser Puppet, Spellcasting
2 Enhance Puppet I
3
4 Enhance Puppet II
5
6 Enhance Puppet III
7
8 Enhance Puppet IV
9
10 Craft Puppet
11
12 Enhance Puppet V
13
14 Enhance Puppet VI
15
16 Craft Greater Puppet
17
18 Enhance Puppet VII
19
20 Enhance Puppet VIII

For abilities I've only managed to come up with a small handful of ideas

Boost Ability - raises one of the puppet's base abilities by +2
Boost Speed - raises the puppet's base speed by 10ft.
Add Attack - adds one additional attack per turn at half the BAB
Add Armor - raises the puppet's AC by +2

I also have not settled on what the base statistics of each type of puppet will be. I might use an existing monster as a base to build off of but I'm not sure what would work best.

I'm looking for any kind of brain storming help. Suggestions, ideas, comments, criticism.

This class is being build for a homebrew clockwork/magicpunk setting with a Victorian esthetic.

Braininthejar2
2017-02-18, 05:30 PM
So, are you looking for something like Kankuro? I think Anima: Beyond Fantasy explored a similar concept - you could look there for inspiration, if you can chew through their game mechanics.

Braininthejar2
2017-02-18, 05:40 PM
Okay, so the first question - how do you want the class to differ from:

1 an artificer specialised in battle homunculi?

2 effigy master prestige class

The_Dodger
2017-02-18, 05:52 PM
So, are you looking for something like Kankuro? I think Anima: Beyond Fantasy explored a similar concept - you could look there for inspiration, if you can chew through their game mechanics.

I don't know what any of those things you said are.


Okay, so the first question - how do you want the class to differ from:

1 an artificer specialised in battle homunculi?

2 effigy master prestige class

Well

1. I want the puppets to be good for more than just battle. I want them to almost be characters unto themselves, developing personalities the longer they exist. I'm not really familiar with the artificer so I can't say exactly how I would make it different, but I might remove the puppeteer's spellcasting and focus only on the puppets.

2. Also not familiar with this class. But I don't want this to be a prestige class. I want it to be a base class.

Braininthejar2
2017-02-18, 06:59 PM
Anima: Beyond Fantasy, is an animesque rpg game system, full of scantily dressed NPCs, and infamous for the charts it requires for everything.

Kankuro is this guy:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDfY51knA40

Now, back to the topic, I will try to brainstorm stuff for this, but if you want to play in a magicpunk setting, do familiarize yourself with the artificer, because a "magical engineer" is likely to be the first 'caster' choice your players will think of.

Kaskus
2017-02-18, 07:01 PM
You should check out the Summoner from Pathfinder. They do more or less what you are describing with their Eidolons. They use a point system to buy "Evolutions" for their Eidolon and get more points as they go up in level.

aimlessPolymath
2017-02-18, 07:45 PM
I dug through my bookmarks to find past "puppeteer"-type classes. There are fewer than you might think- most "crafter"-type classes let their minions act semi-autonomously.

The Imagineer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?503609-Base-Class-Contest-XXXVI-Contest-Under-Construction&p=21324778&viewfull=1#post21324778)
It's a martial initiator class which relies on its puppets to initiate maneuvers for it. An impressive array of semi-specialized constructs to pick from. More Pokemon-based than you'd expect- check the L7 class feature.

The Doll Maker (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?319803-Base-The-Doll-Maker-(PEACH)&p=16613112)
Spellcasting oriented class- goes up to 4th level spells. You direct and command your "dolls", which are customizable minions which you organize into Platoons (to save on action economy). Includes the ability to customize how you control the dolls- the ability to give them general orders like "guard" or "scout".

The Salvager (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?228049-Scrap-SCRAP!-These-are-my-BEST-FRIENDS!-3-5-Base-Class-PEACH)
Nonmagic class. Specialized in improvising and upgrading weapons. Creates Miniature Golems, which are basically tiny golems made out of random junk- there's an ink golem, a stick golem, a flower golem, a rubble golem, etc. Upgrades them with archetypes, which grant them the class features of other classes- may cause system bloat due to the archetypes. Lets the golems act autonomously.

Braininthejar2
2017-02-20, 12:34 PM
The biggest problem I see is obviously how ridiculously equipment-dependant the class would be.

So any puppeteer class needs something to use in a pinch if the puppets are not available - and some way of efficient repair - a human-sized puppet might be an artisan masterpiece requiring months of work, but could be busted with a single greataxe full attack.

And something for inspiration:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVHawH0V6EQ

Braininthejar2
2017-02-24, 06:46 AM
Thoughts I've had so far have been something along the lines of "build yourself a cohort"

That is, a group of "animated object" fodder, and a small number of elite dolls that develop with you and become more life-like, gaining limited access to class abilities depending on their assigned roles.

You'd lose on pure power compared to other classes, but gain on action economy.

Also, I imagine the capstone ability turning the elite puppets into phylacteries of sorts, allowing the doll maker to persist inside them if killed, allowing control, and making him resurectable without level loss as long as one of them survives.

nonsi
2017-02-25, 05:09 AM
Thoughts I've had so far have been something along the lines of "build yourself a cohort"

That is, a group of "animated object" fodder, and a small number of elite dolls that develop with you and become more life-like, gaining limited access to class abilities depending on their assigned roles.

You'd lose on pure power compared to other classes, but gain on action economy.

Also, I imagine the capstone ability turning the elite puppets into phylacteries of sorts, allowing the doll maker to persist inside them if killed, allowing control, and making him resurectable without level loss as long as one of them survives.

This one gets my vote.