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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Advanced Critique: The Cartomancer PrC (3.5)

    Ed Note: This is my attempt at turning Fax Celestis' Cartomancer base class into a Prestige Class. I'd love to get some critique to avoid potential brokenness. I'm putting it here in addition to the campaign setting 'cause separate threads tend to get more feedback. Thanks for you help!

    Cartomancer

    -Image by volven.

    Cartomancers draw the energy of fate itself when casting their magics, bringing pure destiny into being with sweeps of their hands. However, Fate is a fickle mistress, and even the most skilled cartomancers occasionally err. Still, a trained cartomancer is capable of amazing magical feats, some that others are entirely incapable of.

    Hit Die: d6
    Requirements: To qualify to become a cartomancer, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
    Skill: Cartomancy 8 Ranks
    Spells: Ability to cast 2nd-level arcane spells.

    Table: Cartomancer{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Hand|Spells

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |Cartomancy, Scribe Card|
    1
    |

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Card Throwing, Read Magic|
    2
    |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |Manipulate Personal Fate|
    2
    |

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Adept Shuffling +1|
    3
    |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |Pull From The Deck (1/day)|
    3
    |

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Adept Shuffling +2|
    4
    |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |Manipulate Personal Destiny|
    4
    |

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Adept Shuffling +3|
    5
    |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |Pull From The Deck (2/day)|
    5
    |

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |Adept Shuffling +4, Stacking The Deck|
    6
    |+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class[/table]

    Class Skills
    The cartomancer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Cartomancy (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Forgery (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Profession (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), and Spellcraft (Int).
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int Modifier

    Class Features
    All the following are class features of the cartomancer prestige class.


    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cartomancers gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

    Cartomancy: A cartomancer may perform divinations using the cartomancy skill. See the skill description. Further, a cartomancer may use cards that she has scribed spells onto in order to cast spells. These are arcane spells, not spell-like or supernatural abilities. Spells cast in this manner have no daily limit, although the cartomancer must still rest for 4 hours in order to cast spells the next day. Casting a spell through cartomancy requires a cartomancy check of 15 + 3 for each effective level of the spell. For example, a DC 15 cartomancy check would be required for a cantrip, while a DC 18 cartomancy check would be required for a 1st-level spell. Each card possesses two spells available from it, from both the face up and reversed positions. On a successful check, the cartomancer affects her intended target as desired.

    On a failed check, where the difference between the result and the check is five or less, the cartomancer's spell activates but the cartomancer takes a number of nonlethal damage equal to twice the spell's effective level. Damage resistance and similar damage-reducing effects do not apply against this damage.

    On a failed check, where the difference between the result and the check is six or greater, the cartomancer's spell fails and the cartomancer takes a number of nonlethal damage equal to twice the spell's effective level. This damage is instead lethal damage if the cartomancer fails the check by ten or more. Damage resistance and similar damage-reducing effects do not apply against this damage.

    The base save DC for a cartomancer's spells is equal to 10 + 1/2 her Cartomancer level (round down) + her Charisma modifier.

    A cartomancer is affected by arcane spell failure chance in armor or if wearing a shield. She is also affected by arcane spell failure in heavier armor or with a heavier shield. A cartomancer cannot use spells while in an Antimagic Field or a similar effect (unless she casts a spell as an extraordinary ability; see the Cartomancy skill for details). Casting a spell is a standard action unless otherwise noted in the description of the spell. For the purposes of determining a card's spell effects, a cartomancer's caster level is equal to her ranks in the Cartomancy skill -3 or her cartomancer level, whichever is lower. A cartomancer does not need to make a Concentration check while casting when threatened. Instead, the DC of the spell she is currently trying to cast increases by 2 per threatening opponent.

    Additionally, a cartomancer must forsake a school of magic of her choice as if she had specialized in another (although this does not count towards spell specialization). Spells of this prohibited school are not available to the cartomancer, and she canít even cast such spells from scrolls or fire them from wands. She may not change this prohibited schools later and cannot pick a school to prohibit that she prohibited in the past (such as a wizard's school specialization).

    Hand: A cartomancer prepares specific cards at the beginning of the day to cast her spells from. This starts out as one card, but as the cartomancer's prowess increases, so does her hand size. The number of cards a cartomancer can have in her hand increases by one at 2nd level and again every two levels thereafter (4th, 6th, 8th, and 10th). A cartomancer can cast spells from the face up and reversed versions of each card she has in her hand. If any card from the cartomancer's hand is lost or destroyed, she may simply replace the two spells from the original card onto another, effectively destroying the original card if it is still around, without expending another spell slot.

    Scribe Card: A cartomancer gains the opportunity to scribe arcane spells onto mundane cards by permanently eliminating one existing arcane spell slot (she cannot eliminate a spell slot of higher level than the highest-level spell she can cast). By doing so, she may now make a cartomancy check to cast the spell. See the cartomancy description above.

    A cartomancer can only scribe a number of spells onto cards equal to twice the cards she has in her hand. Each card can hold two spells, one on the face up side and one on the reversed side. Spells with XP costs cannot be scribed onto a card. Scribing spells onto a card is a swift action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

    Card Throwing (Ex): At 2nd level, a cartomancer can throw a card from her hand as a ranged weapon that functions as a dart for purposes of determing damage, range, and critical damage. A cartomancer is considered proficient with her cards.

    Since cards tend to get lost when thrown, a cartomancer will likely keep many non-magical cards in a deck and will quickly scribe the spells of the card she just threw onto a new card.

    Read Magic (Sp): At 2nd level, a cartomancer can use Read Magic at-will as the spell.

    Manipulate Personal Fate (Su): A cartomancer understands how to manipulate her own fate through cartomancy to a minor degree. At 3rd level, a cartomancer receives a +1 insight bonus to saving throws.

    Adept Shuffling (Ex): Due to many hours spent practicing with their cards, cartomancers tend to have very lithe and fluid hand movements. At 4th level and every second level thereafter (6th, 8th, and 10th) a cartomancer receives a competence bonus on Sleight of Hand checks equal to the bonus shown on Table: The Cartomancer. In addition, this competence bonus is added to attack and damage rolls made by throwing cards from a cartomancer's deck.

    Pull From The Deck (Ex): A cartomancer of 5th level can randomly pull a card she did not prepare at the beginning of the day from her deck and cast a spell from it as a standard action. She receives a +5 inherent bonus on the check to cast this spell, but must designate her intended target and roll the check before pulling the card. The spell cast is the maximum unmodified spell possible within the range of the check. If a card is selected randomly that the cartomancer prepared at the beginning of the day, roll again.

    Manipulate Personal Destiny (Su): As their skills improve, cartomancers further their abilities to forsee fate. At 6th level, a cartomancer can add her Charisma modifier as an insight bonus to her AC, but only if she is not wearing any armor and not carrying a shield.

    Stacking The Deck (Su): At 10th level, a cartomancer can trade any card she did not prepare at the beginning of the day for one she did prepare as a swift action. This ability is usable once per day.
    Last edited by Lappy9000; 2009-08-09 at 05:23 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Broken Damaged Worthless

    Default Re: Advanced Critique: The Cartomancer PrC (3.5)

    Ok, only thing I see as it stands now is the interaction between Scribe Card and Card Throwing. No one will EVER use Card Throwing, since by doing so, you lose one spell slot forever, in exchange for getting... a dart. Not even a magic dart! Just a dart. Yeah, that's not a good exchange at all.

    Perhaps, if you make it so that if a card you've scribed on is destroyed, you get that slot back for scribing again? And perhaps give Card Throwing a slight bonus based on the level of the spell on the card?

    Otherwise, I like the flavor (just like the original Cartomancer) and the mechanics are pretty solid.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Strawman's Avatar

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    Default Re: Advanced Critique: The Cartomancer PrC (3.5)

    Gambit, in Dnd form? I can die happy.

    If the BAB gain were higher, it could make for a great magic user/ranged attacker.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Advanced Critique: The Cartomancer PrC (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Ok, only thing I see as it stands now is the interaction between Scribe Card and Card Throwing. No one will EVER use Card Throwing, since by doing so, you lose one spell slot forever, in exchange for getting... a dart. Not even a magic dart! Just a dart. Yeah, that's not a good exchange at all.

    Perhaps, if you make it so that if a card you've scribed on is destroyed, you get that slot back for scribing again? And perhaps give Card Throwing a slight bonus based on the level of the spell on the card?
    The not-losing-a-spell-slot thing is already included, but I'll specify it a bit more.

    Also, cartomancers already get a bonus to attack and damage for their card throwing. What more do you want added?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strawman View Post
    Gambit, in Dnd form? I can die happy.
    Then I'm doing my job right

    Quote Originally Posted by Strawman View Post
    If the BAB gain were higher, it could make for a great magic user/ranged attacker.
    Well, they already get two forms of magic, a d6 hit dice, and two forms of saves. A higher BAB may be boosting things too much.
    Last edited by Lappy9000; 2009-08-09 at 05:24 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fax Celestis's Avatar

    Join Date
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    Location
    Fairfield, CA
    Gender
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    Default Re: Advanced Critique: The Cartomancer PrC (3.5)

    One problem: this class effectively gets 1+Int skills/level, because of the Cartomancy dependency. It also means that cartomantic casting is going to be really hard unless there's some way to get Cartomancy as a class skill before this PrC. So, perhaps a bonus to the cartomancy skill in some form is in order (like, say 1/2 CL as an inherent bonus that specifically overrides the "no bonuses" clause of cartomancy), or perhaps more skill points per level.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Advanced Critique: The Cartomancer PrC (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    One problem: this class effectively gets 1+Int skills/level, because of the Cartomancy dependency. It also means that cartomantic casting is going to be really hard unless there's some way to get Cartomancy as a class skill before this PrC. So, perhaps a bonus to the cartomancy skill in some form is in order (like, say 1/2 CL as an inherent bonus that specifically overrides the "no bonuses" clause of cartomancy), or perhaps more skill points per level.
    This version is 3.5 compliant for easier review. The real one is here: [link]

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