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Jenia
2008-01-04, 05:16 PM
Heh. Been trying to create a world from scratch. I have so many things customized. I'm not sure if I should post them all in one thread or make a thread for each one. Oh well, I only have issues with this one for now so I'll post this one...
This is a prestige class which I have two major problems with.
If anyone can come up with a better name than "Spirit Smith", please share.
Same for the "Extension".
The second thing is the saves. I think I made them overly balanced, but I didn't know where to focus development...
Of course, any other sort of comment&critique will be welcome, too.



"When I forged this blade, I put all my feelings into it... Literally."


Spirit Smith
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Extension

1st|
+0|
+2|
+2|
+0|Craft Extension

2nd|
+1|
+3|
+3|
+0|Weapon Focus (Extension)

3rd|
+2|
+3|
+3|
+1|Alignament Adaption

4th|
+3|
+4|
+4|
+1|Weapon Specialization (Extension)

5th|
+4|
+4|
+4|
+1|Overcome Damage Reduction +5

6th|
+5|
+5|
+5|
+2|Greater Weapon Focus (Extension)

7th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+5|
+2|Overcome Damage Reduction +5

8th|
+7/+2|
+6|
+6|
+2|Greater Weapon Specialization (Extension)

9th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+6|
+3|Overcome Damage Reduction +5

10th|
+9/+4|
+7|
+7|
+3|Transcendance[/table]

HD: d8

Prerequisites:
-Feat: Craft Magic Arms And Armor
-Skill: Knowledge (Arcana) 8 ranks
-Special: Character must study how to create the Extension for a week prior to taking the class from either texts or by spending time with another character who has levels in the class.

Class Skills (4+Int modifier per level):
Appraise, Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Intimidate
Jump, Forgery, Gather Information, Knowledge (all skills taken individually), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight Of Hand, Spot, Survival, Tumble, Use Magic Device

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies:
Gains proficiency with the Extension.
Gains no armor proficiencies.

Craft Extension:
A Spiritsmith forges an aspect of themselves into the shape of a weapon.
This aspect can be physical(example=one's arm), metaphysical(example=one's identity) or mental(example=an emotion).
Such weapons are called "Extensions", although most Spiritsmiths give their Extension a unique name of their own.

The Spiritsmith's Extension
The Extension is a magical weapon that is literally an extension of the creator. As such, it cannot be damaged or used by anyone other than the creator. Only the creator can choose the extension's shape (PCs selects any normal weapon and treats their extension as selected weapon type, dealing damage normally).
Extensions usualy look somewhat ghastly, as if made of crystal-clear, flat glass. They are transperant and often appear misshapen.

The aspect used to forge the Extension is lost upon being forged into a weapon, but can be regained or replaced. The penalties for the loss of the aspect are determined by the DM/GM.
To determine the Extension's power, use the penalties for refference:
For every -3 in a skill, +1 enchantment bonus
For every -2 on a save, +1 enchantment bonus
For every -2 to an ability score, +4 enchantment bonus
For every -1 to a wide range of skills not caused by ability score loss, +2 enchantment bonus
For every -1 to EVERY action, +3 enchantment bonus
Other penalty values are up to GM to decide.

Unlike regular magic weapons, the +10 bonus limit does not apply. The Spiritsmith can choose to turn the enchantment bonus into special abilities (however, once these are "bought", they cannot be turned back to an enchantment bonus) each time she levels up.
Regardless of type or bonus, an Extension gets the Ghost Touch special ability for free.
Whenever the Extension is damaged, the damage transfers to the owner.

The Extension gains an extra +1 enchantment bonus per class level

Call of the Extension (su):
A Spiritsmith can make the Extension vanish from whatever location it is in and reappear in her hand as a free action.

Weapon Focus (Extension):
At 2nd level, a Spiritsmith gains the Weapon Focus feat for her Extension.
If she already has the feat, she gains a bonus feat instead.

Alignament Adaption:
At 3rd level, the Extension takes the Spiritsmith's alignament upon itself.
The damage dealt becomes of the same alignament as the Spiritsmith, bypassing the appropriate damage reduction.

Weapon Specialization (Extension):
At 4th level, the Spiritsmith recieves the Weapon Specialization feat for the Extension, even if she does not meet the prerequisites for this feat.
If the Spiritsmith already has the feat, she gains a bonus feat instead.

Overcome Damage Reduction:
At 5th level and every two levels thereafter, the Extension becomes able to bypass a cumulative extra 5 points of damage reduction.

Greater Weapon Focus (Extension):
At 4th level, the Spiritsmith recieves the Greater Weapon Specialization feat for the Extension, even if she does not meet the prerequisites for this feat.
If the Spiritsmith already has the feat, she gains a bonus feat instead.

Greater Weapon Specialization (Extension):
At 4th level, the Spiritsmith recieves the Greater Weapon Specialization feat for the Extension, even if she does not meet the prerequisites for this feat.
If the Spiritsmith already has the feat, she gains a bonus feat instead.

Transcendance:
At 10th level, the Extension transcends it's limitations as a weapon and is becomes able to bypass all types of damage reduction.

Kellus
2008-01-04, 08:18 PM
Well, it's certainly interesting. I like the idea of a guy who forges himself into a weapon... Have you ever looked at the soulknife from the XPH? It seems like it would be a hand with designing this class.

Anyway, on to comments!

Prerequisites: Don't use an ability score as a requirement for a prestige class. Instead, use a feat which requires said ability score. The idea behind this is that to enter a prestige class you don't need to have a certain IQ, you need to be able to do something most people can't (ie, a feat). It's just the way it is. :smallsmile:

5 ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can be reached at level 2. This seems a tad early for entry into the prestige class? I'd toss in a BAB requirement of +5 or so, since its a martial class, and at least one feat, while bumping the skill requirement to 8 ranks.

Vital Statistics: These make no sense. It has worse BAB than a caster to start with, while its a presumably melee focused class. I'd bump this up to at least 3/4, and probably 1/1.

Your saves are also messed up. There are only two real saving throw progressions, good and poor:

{table=head]Good Save|Poor Save
+2|+0
+3|+0
+3|+1
+4|+1
+4|+1
+5|+2
+5|+2
+6|+2
+6|+3
+7|+3[/table]

The game works far better if all classes use these shared saving progressions. Hit Die looks fine, as do skills.

Extension: Oookay. Some problems. First, what IS the weapon? How much damage does it deal? Is it melee or ranged? Critical threat? In the text you mention it's a supernatural ability, so this should be in the name; it should say "Extension (Su)".

You give weapons enhancement bonuses, not enchantment bonuses. And this thing is ridiculous, not to put it too bluntly. A base +1 per level, and by sacrificing things they don't need they get huge bonuses on top of that, with no cap. :smalleek:

First of all, take away the +1/level. That's completely unnecessary. Next, put in restrictions on what they can sacrifice. As written, the guy can take a -300 penalty in Decipher Script for a +100 enhancement bonus. And you DO put a cap on it, and rightly so. Enhancement bonuses are expensive for a reason.

You need to put text in, something like this:


The spirit smith's extension can be improved by sacrificing aspects of the smith himself. By assuming a penalty to another attribute, you may add an enhancement bonus to your extension. The bonus granted by this ability may not exceed your class level + your Wisdom modifier. Once you assume a penalty, you may not rescind it unless you get an atonement spell cast on you, at which point you may reduce your extension's bonus by up to 3 points, and regain your lost abilities. You may reduce the following attributes to gain an enhancement bonus:

You may select a skill which you have at least 8 ranks in, aside from Knowledge (arcana). You may trade all ranks invested in this skill for a +1 enhancement bonus. You may not take ranks in this skill if you have assumed this penalty. You may penalize multiple skills in this manner to gain a higher enhancement bonus.

By assuming a -3 penalty in any one saving throw, you may gain a +1 enhancement bonus. You may not select the same saving throw more than once. You must have at least a +3 base save in this saving throw to select this penalty.

You may take a -2 penalty in any one ability score in which you have a modifier of at least +1 to gain a +1 enhancement bonus. You may not select the same ability score more than once.

You may take a -1 penalty on every roll you make, to gain a +3 enhancement bonus. You may not take this penalty more than once.

The enhancement bonuses provided by this ability do not stack with other enhancement bonuses. When you level up in the spirit smith prestige class, you may reallocate your total enhancement bonus to special weapon abilities, as normal. You must always have at least a +1 enhancement bonus on your extension to have any special abilities, as normal for magic weapons. You may select new a new penalty, if you desire, when you level up.

You always make sure to spell everything out, and leave nothing up to chance. You never leave something open-ended, because it can be abused. In this case, very very easily.

Weapon Focus & Co.: Okay. If you want to give them these for free it's fine. The only thing I'd change is compensation if they already have it. Why wouldn't they be able to get another feat they qualify for? It's not unbalancing or anything, since it's the same result they'd have ended up with if they hadn't taken the Weapon Focus previously. Most bonus feats provided by prestige classes allow a bonus feat if you already have it, since you can't predict what feats a character might already have.

Alignment Adaptation: A bit clumsy to read, but fine.

Extra Damage Types: Kind of silly, really. Why does it get treated as cold iron? That really makes no sense when you think about it. What you could do is just say that it gets a progressive bonus to overcome all kinds of damage reduction, culminating in ignoring all damage reduction at 10th level. That would certainly be reasonable. The way you have it, the weapon forged from your soul suddenly becomes silver at a certain level. :smallconfused:

Transcendance: B-R-O-K-E-N. Way way way too powerful as written, let alone at 12th (!) level. Overcoming all damage reduction? Okay, that would be a reasonable capstone by itself, since almost everything at higher levels has DR. Touch attacks? That's a +4 bonus by itself (brilliant energy). No. If they want it, let them buy it with their enhancement bonuses they already get. And the last ability (only roll 15+) is completely ridiculous. Heck, a reasonable capstone for a melee class could be to treat a natural 1 (automatic miss) on attack rolls as a 2 (not necessarily an automatic miss). This ability only lets you roll 15+ on attack rolls, which is CRAZY! That basically means never missing, which is (believe it or not) not a good thing. You can rewrite this ability however you like, but if you want a suggestion, I'd go just straight with overcoming all kinds of DR or (if you're feeling really daring) bypassing some points of regeneration.

Finally, all abilities need a descriptor: Ex, Sp, or Su.

An interesting idea for a class, and I really like the idea of taking penalties to make your weapon better. Good start! :smallwink:

salmonking2
2008-01-04, 08:21 PM
for a name how about soul forger

Jenia
2008-01-08, 03:09 PM
Alright, most of the suggestions have been noted and appropriate changes have been made.

Theres one little problem, however...


And this thing is ridiculous, not to put it too bluntly. A base +1 per level, and by sacrificing things they don't need they get huge bonuses on top of that, with no cap.

First of all, take away the +1/level. That's completely unnecessary. Next, put in restrictions on what they can sacrifice. As written, the guy can take a -300 penalty in Decipher Script for a +100 enhancement bonus. And you DO put a cap on it, and rightly so. Enhancement bonuses are expensive for a reason.

This point that has already been discussed on this side.
The players do NOT - I repeat - do NOT choose what are the penalties for their sacrifice. They give up an ACTUAL ASPECT (a player saying "I give up four points of strength!" will be told that he doesn't have that since it's part of the statsheet, not an actual aspect).
The GM/DM is the ONLY ONE who can determine the penalties. (it says so up there).
What sort of GM/DM would give someone a negative several hundreds in ANYTHING?

This is more than just a penalty to stats.
This is, first and foremost, a roleplay penalty. A +10 enhancement bonus cap is rediculously low for a high-level character of this class...

Kellus
2008-01-08, 09:17 PM
Alright, most of the suggestions have been noted and appropriate changes have been made.

Theres one little problem, however...



This point that has already been discussed on this side.
The players do NOT - I repeat - do NOT choose what are the penalties for their sacrifice. They give up an ACTUAL ASPECT (a player saying "I give up four points of strength!" will be told that he doesn't have that since it's part of the statsheet, not an actual aspect).
The GM/DM is the ONLY ONE who can determine the penalties. (it says so up there).
What sort of GM/DM would give someone a negative several hundreds in ANYTHING?

This is more than just a penalty to stats.
This is, first and foremost, a roleplay penalty. A +10 enhancement bonus cap is rediculously low for a high-level character of this class...

But that's just silly. Why would a character take this class if he didn't have control over its class features? :smallconfused:

Your best bet is to let the player choose their penalties, but heavily limit what they can select.

And no, a +10 enhancement bonus should NOT be "rediculously low". A +10 enhancement bonus costs 200,000 gp. You don't give this away like candy. There's a reason the price scales exponentially on these bonuses.

More extensive critique of your changes to come in a few hours; I'm homebrewing something of my own right now.

Jenia
2008-01-08, 11:16 PM
But that's just silly. Why would a character take this class if he didn't have control over its class features?

I'll answer that one really quickly...
My players really like surprises :smallwink:

Vadin
2008-01-09, 06:55 PM
While your players might love a class that is walking, talking, DM fiat in which they have no real control of their main class feature, its hardly conducive to post a class for use by other players online and then justify refusing give the players any input by saying "Your DM will do it."

That was a long sentence. Here's what I mean: A class with no control is a bad idea. If your main class feature is completely up to the DM, what have you really gotten? Nothing. You aren't your own character, you're this other character the DM made. He can punish you with it or force you into paths of action with it.

"Do this thing, or I'll take 2 points off your strength and give you this homebrew +1 enhancement. It casts Prestidigitation every time you get a critical hit." or "Don't do that, thats dumb. I think you should do this instead, and, if you don't, I'll make you take -1 on every roll you ever make from now on."

Both terrible scenarios from the player's perspective.


The players do NOT - I repeat - do NOT choose what are the penalties for their sacrifice. They give up an ACTUAL ASPECT (a player saying "I give up four points of strength!" will be told that he doesn't have that since it's part of the statsheet, not an actual aspect).

What on EARTH do you mean by "actual aspect"? How is it different than 'part of the statsheet', the summation of the character in his entirety (including his items, classes, powers, spells, and, sometimes, titles and honors)? Please elaborate for the benefit of the rest of us.

Tyonisius
2008-01-09, 10:04 PM
While reading over this I was trying to come up with something to say that hasn't been said...

First for the name... I like Soul Smith. Soul Forger (which someone has suggested) is also better than Spirit Smith.

I like the idea of the class and kind of think that the Soul Forger should be able to give his allies his weapons if he so chooses. In some cultures it was believed the sword smiths forged a piece of their soul into each sword they made. Yuuummmm! Flavor.

I believe you are being a little bit to harshly flamed for your "The penalties for the loss of the aspect are determined by the DM/GM" statement. Personally, I read it as more of a "The DM and player can come to terms on the penalties for different enhancements, however, here are some suggestions". And since I read it this way, I saw no reason to flame you over it. Might want to change it to something along those lines or even possibly just come up with a "set in stone" list of penalties for any enhancement amount.

If you choose to do this you may want to remember what some else said...

There's a reason the price scales exponentially on these bonuses.
This is a very valid point.

With the proper penalties and a change of the BAB (Yes I realize someone else suggested changing it to 1:1) to that of 1/2 or 3/4 it would be feasible to give this class some form of spell progression. If you go with 1/2 BAB I'd probably go with 1/2 spell progression, with the 3/4 BAB I'd go with 1/4 for a total of 3 levels of spell progression.

The above changes could make a very flavorfilled gish PrC. I don't think it would be overly powered... considering full casters can cast spells that alter the universe in unimaginable ways.

I might have more to say later, but I forgot what else I wanted to say now. Hope I helped.

Kellus
2008-01-09, 10:21 PM
With the proper penalties and a change of the BAB (Yes I realize someone else suggested changing it to 1:1) to that of 1/2 or 3/4 it would be feasible to give this class some form of spell progression. If you go with 1/2 BAB I'd probably go with 1/2 spell progression, with the 3/4 BAB I'd go with 1/4 for a total of 3 levels of spell progression.

Heh. I said to switch it up to 1/1 on the assumption that an enhancement bonus cap would be put on, at about +1/level. A BAB of 20 with a +10 enhancement bonus for free isn't overpowered so long as the character pays for it, but again the important thing is to give the control to the player and define specifically how the whole thing works.

I'd say more, but I'd really just be repeating what Vadin said. He summed up my thoughts nicely. :smallamused:

jindra34
2008-01-09, 11:00 PM
I think the 'best' way to do it would be for the player to chose the end result and aspect they sacrifice and then the DM assigns penalties ad hoc afterwards based on guidelines and tells them to the player.

Jenia
2008-01-15, 03:18 PM
...While your players might love a class that is walking, talking, DM fiat in which they have no real control of their main class feature...

No, no, no!
You got it wrong. Jindra got it right.
The player chooses which aspect of themselves to sacrifice and the DM assigns penalties.

Heres an example...

Player:"I'll take the Soulsmith class!"
GM:"OK, what will you forge into your weapon?"
Player:"My hair!"
GM:"...Alright, you get a -4 on charisma for being bald."
Player:"Nah, I was just kidding. I will forge my pride into a weapon! How about that?"
GM:"Sounds good. With the loss of your pride, you take a -3 penalty on intimidate checks and a -4 on will saving throws. That's a +3 weapon. Are you happy with that?"
Player:"Why didn't you put penalties on diplomacy as well?"
GM:"It shouldn't affect your ability to talk to people."
Player:"Nah, forget it. My barbarian will give up his PASSION! How about that?"
GM:"Whoa, how do I work with that? I guess you'd lose your ability to rage, but how many pluses would that give you... Argh, curse these incomplete guidelines!"


The above is a possible scenario that did not actualy happen demonstrating the sacrifice of an aspect.

Vadin
2008-01-15, 04:59 PM
I now understand what you mean.

Regretfully, it seems that we have wildly divergent ideas of how characters should be built and how classes should function. In its current incarnation (where the player has minimal control over the weapon and the penalties they take), I feel there is little more I can contribute.

What more I can contribute relates to balance. Have you seen the Kensai prestige class? I believe its from Complete Warrior. It gives a player a +1 bonus to a chosen weapon (even natural weapons and fists) every level for a nominal penalty to xp. At the end, you end up with lots of handy bonus abilities and a +10 weapon that you have invested yourself in heavily. You might want to compare the two classes to get a perspective of a more balanced level of power.