View Full Version : Pathfinder Homebrew Shadowhunter Class for Homebrew setting

2017-12-06, 04:54 PM
Hi all.
This class I designed based on Shadowhunters from the Mortal instruments series. I have built it for my little sister who is also a fan of this series as my first ever class I have built.
I was hoping that I might get some pointers as to whether it's balanced.
Basically the concept is martial fighter who uses runes blesses by celestial beings to augment themselves and their fighting so that they can better hunt evil creatures.The other thing to keep in mind is that they keep themselves hidden so that the things they hunt don't recognise the symbols on their skin and flee, or attack immediately. The special requirement will be met as a part of the story when I do this.

To qualify to become a Shadowhunterr, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +4.
Feats: Martial Weapon proficiency
Spells: Able to cast 1st level Divine spells.
Special: Must be accepted and trained by a Shadowhunter (Will happen in my home campaign)

Class Skills
The Shadowhunter class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Knowledge (planes), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

BAB - Full progression
Fort Save - Poor
Reflex Save - Good
Will Save - Good

1st level

Runes of Power, Glamour

2nd level

Exotic weapon proficiency
+1 level of existing spellcasting class

3rd level

Favoured Enemy

4th level

Activation augment
+1 level of existing spellcasting class

5th level

Bonus Feat

6th level

Favoured Enemy
+1 level of existing spellcasting class

7th level

Activation augment

8th level

Bonus feat
+1 level of existing spellcasting class

9th level

Favoured enemy

10th level
Permanent Rune, Activation augment
+1 level of existing spellcasting class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A shadowhunter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor and medium armor.

Stelae: Upon becoming a shadowhunter, they are given or must craft a stelae. These take 50 Gp of metal and crystals and take a shadowhunter 12 hours to craft. In most hands they are inert rods, but shadowhunters use them to draw powerful divine runes.

Spells per Day: At the indicated levels, a shadowhunter gains new spells per day as if he had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class he belonged to before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if he is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming an arcane archer, he must decide to which class he adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day. Shadowhunters can not gain spells with a range further than close.

Runes of power: At first level shadowhunters gain the ability to draw times of power. Shadowhunters do not cast spells as most classes do. They spend 1 full-round (or the spell's casting time if longer) drawing a rune on a creature or area using a stelae, which provokes an attack of opportunity. After the rune is drawn, the Shadowhunter can spend a standard action to activate the rune, causing the effect of the spell to take place. These runes disappear after 24 hours or if the Shadowhunter who created them rests long enough to regain their spellslots. Activation range starts as touch and does not require the stelae. These runes can never be used to cast arcane spells. Creating a rune uses a spell slot and activating it uses a spell slot of the spellís level -1 or of first level (whichever is higher) otherwise the rune disappears. If the extra spell slot is spent, the rune can be used after a 5 round cool-down effect has taken place. A rune will not respond during this period. If an extra spell slot is not used, the rune takes effect, but must be drawn again before being used.
If a rune is drawn for a 0th level spell, it doesn't cost a spell slot to activate and the cool-down period only lasts until the start of your next turn.

Glamour: At first level shadowhunters learn to hide their true face and their runes from others. Shadowhunters can activate a permanent glamour rune on their body to benefit from a disguise self spell with unlimited duration. This use of disguise self cannot be used to impersonate a specific individual but otherwise functions as per the spell description.

Exotic Weapon proficiency: At second level, a shadowhunter gains proficiency with an exotic weapon of their choice, to represent their training in unusual and varied weaponry.

Favoured Enemy: At third, sixth and ninth levels, Shadowhunters gain the favoured enemy trait as per the ranger trait of the same name, with the exception that Shadowhunters can only choose Outsider subtypes as their favoured enemy.

Activation Augment: At fourth level, a shadowhunter is becoming comfortable with utilising tinted in the heat of battle, it now only takes a move action to activate a rune.
At seventh level they can activate a rune 5x their shadowhunter level away from them as a standard action.
At tenth level a shadowhunter can activate a rune at touch or self range as a swift action at the cost of using the rune and a spellslot of the spells level -2. A ranged activation now only takes a move action.
Bonus Feat: At, fifth and eighth level, shadowhunters gain proficiency with an exotic weapon. This represents their ability to use any weapon that comes to their hands. If a character has every exotic weapon proficiency they can instead gain a combat feat, treating their shadowhunter levels as fighter levels if relevant.

Permanent Rune: At tenth level a shadowhunter is able to conjure a powerful rune like the glamour rune they're given on initiation. A shadowhunter can place a rune that emulates a 3rd level spell or lower or two 1st level spells on themselves. These runes have unlimited duration, though they can be suppressed by dispel magic or an anti-magic field. these effects can also be suppressed or reactivated by the shadowhunter as a free action.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

2017-12-06, 05:43 PM
Alright, let's see.
Prerequisites: Paladin 4, Ranger 4, or one level in a divine casting class and (full BAB class 4), essentially.

Looking through the features:
Full casting advancement is... good. Too good. It means that Cleric or Druid 6 is a totally legitimate entry, and this class is almost strictly superior to going straight Cleric. That's a problem, because you want there to be reasons not to take this class.

Class features...
Runes of Power is pretty cool looking, but I'm having a little trouble working out how it works. Do you lose all spellcasting you had up until this point? That is, you could cast regular spells up until this point, but now can't? That's problematic design-wise, and I'll give some alternatives.
I do very much like how it actually functions, in that it lets you use spare spell slots to "re-use" spells you use a lot. In this regard, I suggest upping the required "bonus" spell slot to one of level-1 or even spell level, because it effectively increases the number of max-level spells you can use each day.

Glamour: This is a permanent hat of disguise. Nuff said- it's basically fine, and nice flavor.

Bonus feats aren't actually bonus feats- they're extra proficiencies. This isn't very good. In general, there are rarely ever going to be more than one exotic weapon you'll want for your character, and you'll have taken it already. I suggest general bonus combat feats, and maybe throw a free exotic proficiency into the chassis.

Weapon Training: I don't like this here. It feels more like a decision to put "something weapon-related" in than something that makes sense for the class. I suggest replacing it with something that makes your weapon magic (like the Magus does), if that makes sense with regard to the fluff, but

Activation Augment: This is basically Quicken Spell for self-only spells, with no cost. This is extremely busted... but if you cut spellcasting to half or even to 1/3 (maybe with a caster level bonus on self-only spells to make up for it), you'd be... not fine, but unusual. It would be better to add an additional cost, really.

Permanent Rune is fine, sure. Self only makes it pretty balanced as a capstone.

So, general remarks:
-Spellcasting needs to be cut pretty hard to make up for Activation Augment, and just in general, because otherwise it's strictly better to be a Cleric 6/This x than a Cleric 6+x.
-It seems, to me, that there are really only a few things that really make this class mechanically unusual, and it completely replaces some aspects of your character from before it was entered. Have you considered writing it as an alternate spellcasting method?

A cleric or druid with the Shadowhunter archetype loses all access to their spellcasting. Instead, they gain the Runes of Power ability, a set of spells per day as follows, and spells known as follows (copying the table of the sorcerer completely, -1 spell known per level, +1 domain spell).
At Xth level, they gain Activation Augment (whatever). At Yth level, they gain Permanent Rune. This replaces spellcasting.

2017-12-11, 04:33 PM
Cheers Aimlesspolymath.

I might alter the spellcasting to half and maybe make the rune activation level -1 in general, with level equal for the quicker activation. As well as specify that runes replace all spellcasting for the class used for entry, even if levels are taken in that class later. In combination I will specify that only one rune can be activated per round, thus preventing the high level I activate all the buffs in one turn.

I will also replace at least 2 of the three exotic proficiency feats with general combat feats.

What your thoughts on replacing the weapon training with Ranger's Favoured enemy Trait. Shadowhunters are meant to tack down and kill Demonic type entities. So for fluff, restrict it to taking outsider types as their favoured enemies?

2017-12-13, 02:42 PM
In order:
Cutting spellcasting to half makes sense for a martially focused class.
Spell level-1 makes sense, but I'm not entirely sure what you mean by equal level for faster use. Does that cost only apply if you want the rune to stay reusable?

Actually, stepping back a bit, I just realized I'm not sure how long the runes last. Can you create a whole bunch every day for a week, and then use a bunch of them later on to blow through a dungeon?
I'm wondering about this line:

activating it uses a spell slot of the spellís level -2 or of first level (whichever is higher) otherwise the rune disappears. If the extra spell slot is spent, the rune can be used after a 5 round cool-down
So if the additional spell slot isn't spent... you still get the spell's effect, but the rune disappears?

Free quicken spell is still preeeetty good for a martial character, but it's less blatantly overpowered.

Yes, swap out for combat feats.

Gaining favored enemy makes sense for the class, yeah.

2017-12-14, 12:11 AM
Okay, So I have edited the original post to implement the changes and do some minor clarification of the runes ability.