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    Default Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    This is an ongoing project for an 'Evil Circus' thing i've been designing. It's built for a variant d20 game, but aside from the Defence progression, would probably work ok in D&D. If anything doesn't make sense or you'd like a copy of the Mecha Victoriana rules, just ask nicely.

    So far we have:

    Coming soon:
    • Optional mods for the Master Thrower
    • Master of the Funhouse Bardic Prestige class
    • Feats for Ringmasters and Beast Tamers


    Professor [Puppeteer]:

    Professor is a truly Victorian term for a puppeteer, referring to the highly specialised puppeteers of the Punch and Judy show while such shows were busy becoming a seaside 'tradition.' What most people fail to recognise is that the Professor is an inheritor of a vast amount of theatrical tradition dating to the 'Commedia dell'Arte' of sixteenth century Italy. From the same source as several modern clown archetypes, they tap the classics of comedy and pathos and demonstrate what can be done with set tools.

    The carnival puppeteer has a more sinister edge, using a man-sized mannequin controlled and animated by threads of magic. This primary form is highly resilient and can shift between the masks of the zanni and can even unfold into a 'theatre' allowing more than one puppet to play at once. As time wears on, their ability to distort the glammer of the carnival increases, allowing them to draw their foes into an entire play where every line of the script spells their doom.

    Who?: Amongst the performers, the Professor is unique as they do not 'adopt' new members of the class like the others, instead, they take on apprentices. A prospective Professor is one who realised the providence of the circus and requested to join in the hope of gaining the power to commit some act or another. The luckiest and most wilful occasionally even achieve their vendetta without getting swept away in the malicious currents of Carnival.

    Professor [Puppeteer]
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Defence|Special|Flourishes

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Puppet [Punch], Basic Flourishes|
    2

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Little Hans|
    3

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Puppet [Harlequin]|
    4

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Theatre Macabre [2]|
    5

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |Puppet [Columbine]|
    5

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Hand to Eye|
    6

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |Puppet [The Innamorati]|
    7

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Illusion of Life|
    8

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |Puppet [Pierot]|
    8

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |Advanced Flourishes|
    9

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |Le Chœur Malsain|
    10

    12th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Theatre Macabre [3]|
    11

    13th|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |Puppet [Scaramouche]|
    12

    14th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Le Chœur Mort-Vivant|
    13

    15th|
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |Puppet [Clown]|
    13

    16th|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Le Theatre Souillé|
    14

    17th|
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |Puppet [Croccodillo]|
    15

    18th|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Theatre Macabre [4]|
    16

    19th|
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |Puppet [Death]|
    17

    20th|
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |All the World's a Stage|
    17
    [/table]

    Hit Dice: d4
    Class Skills: Bluff [Cha], Craft [Carpentry] [Int], Craft [Textile], Disguise [Cha], Hide [Dex], Knowledge [Arcana], Knowledge [Europe], Knowledge [History], Knowledge [Nature], Manipulation [Cha], Move Silently [Dex], Perform [Puppetry] [Cha], Perform [Any] [Cha], Sense Motive [Wis], Sleight of Hand [Dex]
    Skill Points per Level: 6 + Int

    Class Abilities:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Weapon and Armour Proficiencies: Professors spend their time hidden away running puppets. While they can use weapons through their puppets, they have no ability to use them themselves. They gain no proficiency with weapons or armour whatsoever.

    Puppets [Su]: The signature ability of a Professor is his control of puppets. Puppets are inanimate mannequins of wood held up with strings of magical energy and controlled by fine motions of the Professor's hands.

    The puppet itself takes the form of a wooden backpack which is thrown onto the ground. From it emerge two arms and two legs which link to the body and then the head emerges with a set of clothing that drops down over the puppet to give it its identity. If the Puppeteer is killed, it repacks itself and yet is completely empty when examined…

    A puppet has a total of 40 HP and being made of near solid wood, possesses a Substantial Hardness of 10. It cannot be sneak attacked, though it is subject to Critical Hits. Additionally, being made of solid wood, those armed with an axe that can catch one Flatfooted may use a Survival check in place of their normal damage against it. One other vulnerability that Puppets possess is that their Fæ strings can be cut with the correct effort. A Fæ string has a Defence of 30, a hardness of 20 and one hit point. When it is cut, the puppet collapses like a ragdoll. The Professor can restore his strings by touching the puppet and spending a Swift action. Even if previously damage, the Professor's puppets begin combat with maximum hp.

    A puppet has a basic Defence equal to 10 + the Professor's ranks in Perform [Puppetry]. Due to their unnatural and jerky movements, puppets never provoke attacks of opportunity when they move. A puppet can move up to 30ft each time they are given an instruction, splitting their movement before and after their attack. They must end their move within 30ft of the Professor.

    When it makes attack rolls, the puppet rolls the Professors Ranks in Perform [Puppetry] plus his Dexterity bonus against the target's Defence rather than making conventional BAB based attack rolls. Each puppet deals a specific amount of attack damage and has a single special ability that differentiates it from other puppets, which may be used at a cost of Flourishes. Having a puppet attack or use its special ability costs a Standard action under normal circumstances.

    Basic Flourishes [Su]: In addition to basic control over a puppet, the Professor can execute a selection of other moves with his puppets that grant other combat benefits. In general, these benefits can be executed as Free actions and grant some generic ability that lasts for a moment. In each encounter, a Professor has a limited number of Flourishes that they may use. Some abilities cost more than one Flourish to activate. Further Flourish abilities are gained later in the Professor's career.
    Dancing Feet [1]: The oddly moving, jerky dance of the puppet is completely out of phase with its movement where it skips over the ground and strikes swiftly. The puppet moves a total of 60ft in its action rather than 30ft and gains a +2 bonus on its attack roll.
    Deadly Flourish [2]: The critical multiplier of your puppets is increased by +1 for their next attack.
    Interpose [1]: Reaction to a successful attack on the Professor; the puppet moves from its current position to the space occupied by the Professor who makes a free Shift. The attack is resolved against the Puppet instead. They cannot use Snap Back or Harlequin's Dance to reduce this.
    Quick Strike [1]: The next attack made by the nominated puppet has a threat range of 18+.
    Snap Back [1]: The Professor yanks on the Fae strings, pulling the puppet out of harms way. Reduce the damage dealt to the puppet by 10 points. The Puppet ends up adjacent to the Professor.
    String Net [1]: The puppet dances past the target, attempting to wrap less useful threads around the limbs of the opponent. The target must make a Reflex save with a DC equal to the Professor's total Perform [Puppetry] bonus or become Entangled for 1d4 rounds.

    Little Hans [Su]: Though it is little more than a child's toy, Little Hans is still more difficult to use effectively than Punch. At 2nd level, the Professor begins to realise the genius that went into Little Hans, despite its tiny size and simplicity. Hans is a mannequin puppet about 8 inches tall with only the simplest face and no digits.

    While not powerful, Hans has good fine control and can be used out to a range of 30ft, where he can lift, carry and drag items weighing up to 5 pounds and can perform complex manipulations such as Disable Device and Open Lock checks or writing at a -4 penalty [no thumbs]. He is also noticeably quieter than other puppets.

    Hans has Hardness 5, 5hp, a +4 bonus to Defence for being Diminutive and can have flourishes used on him as normal. He is distinct in that he is usually carried on the belt and is independent from the puppet chest.


    Theatre Macabre: At 4th level, the Professor gains the ability to host the Theatre Macabre. His primary puppet throws itself onto the ground, pulling its head back into its chest compartment. The lid snaps closed and in the next breath, bursts open again, lying on the ground, with limbs and heads with their gowns spilling out of the torso.

    The most basic form of Theatre Macabre deploys two puppets; activating this ability costs a total of 3 flourishes. The Professor then gains control of any two of his Puppets, controlling them both with the same Standard action. If the Professor moves, the 'chest' that deployed the puppets moves to remain within 30ft of him by the most direct route it can. It has threads connecting it to the Professor which could be severed as normal. This would break the connection with both it and the puppets. The puppets themselves could be severed from the hub as normal. In this case, the other puppet could be directed to reconnect the strings rather than the Professor doing it.

    When choosing puppets, the Professor may only deploy one of each kind of puppet: the singular exception is the Innamorati, of which there were often several pairs in a given play.

    At 11th level, this ability improves again, allowing him to control three separate puppets or pairs of Innamorati at once. This version of the ability costs a total of 7 Flourishes.

    Finally, at 18th level, the Professor attains sufficient control to be able to deploy four separate puppets or pairs of Innamorati at once using this ability. This final version of the Theatre costs 11 Flourishes.

    Hand to Eye [Su]: At their very root, Professors deal with the fæ and this relationship continues as they advance; at 6th level, their friendships with a Fir [gremlin] pays off as the inventive creature gifts him with lenses that connect together through the Hedge. From now on, as long as he wears a pair of pince nez-like spectacles, the Professor can see through the eyes of his puppets if he so wishes. The main effect of this is that he can fight from concealment without hindrance.

    The Illusion of Life [Su]: Having puppets pretend to be people is difficult but not impossible. An 8th level Professor can make the movements of a puppet smooth enough and his fæ strings dim enough for them to pass as humans. All the rest is set dressing. With time and effort, he can apply a Disguise check with a -5 penalty to his puppets [the normal hour] and his puppets can make Move Silently checks using his score. Puppets are still a little awkward and inanimate but the Professor does what he can…


    Advanced Flourishes:Later in their career, the Professor gains new insight into the control of puppets and learns that his Fæ strings allow for a selection of far stranger control options than one would expect a puppet to be able to perform. At 10th level, the Professor gains access to the following flourishes:
    Limb Knot [1]: The puppet sweeps its arms wide, crossing its strings and wraps them around the target, holding it tight. Make an attack against the target. If you hit, they are immobilised until the beginning of their turn, when the puppet returns to your control area automatically.
    Flying Bodies [3]: For one round, your control area increases to 60ft [the puppets must only return to within 60ft of you at the end of their moves] and each gains the ability to Fly a total of 60ft in the execution of its actions.
    Pins and Needles [1/2]: Most Professors realise that they lack brute force [other than Crocodillo and Punch anyway] and strive to make up for this with poison. All are equal before poison. For one round, one puppet may fire poison needles. This attack has a range of 30ft and deals 1 point of damage [1 flourish] or 1d6 damage [2 flourishes]. Characters damaged by this attack take ongoing poison damage equal to the damage dealt [Fort save ends].
    Strings of my Strings [1]: Almost absurdly, the Professor has one of his puppets take up the strings of the other. For a number of rounds equal to half his level, one puppet may not act but another treats his control area as being 60ft. Obviously, this can only function while you're using Theatre Macabre.

    Le Chœur Malsain (The Chorus of Madness): More disturbing by far that Le Theatre Macabre, Le Chœur produces a large number of tiny marionette puppets, each little more than a foot tall, but armed with wicked little eyes and throwing needles that possess a similar effect to paralytic poison.

    More disturbing by far that Le Theatre Macabre, Le Chœur produces a large number of tiny marionette puppets, each little more than a foot tall, but armed with wicked little eyes and throwing needles that possess a similar effect to paralytic poison.

    By spending Flourishes, a 12th level Professor may cause his puppet to throw itself down and absorb its head as if it were preparing for le theatre macabre but this time, the torso arches up on its limbs and convulses horribly. The chest door flies open, releasing a number of Marionettes equal to the Flourishes spent, up to half the Professor's Class Level plus his Intelligence Modifier. Each puppet created in this way has a Hardness of 10 [S], 10 hit points and a Defence of 12+ the Professor's Ranks in Perform [Puppetry].

    Marionettes make attack rolls just like normal puppets, save that they gain a +2 size bonus on their attack roll. When controlling them, the Professor commands them all at once though their argets are assigned separately. Note that Marionettes cannot wait to see how another's attack goes. Use of the marionette Needle Swarm ability can be declared before all marionettes attacking a single target make their attack rolls. A marionette has the following puppet abilities:

    Primary Attack (Needle): The marionette either attacks with their needle or throws it. Either way, if it hits, it's lodged in the target. Needles deal 1d4 damage, have Armour Piercing and stick in the wound. Removing a needle requires a Move action and deals 1 point of damage. For each needle they have stuck in them, a character takes a -2 penalty on all rolls.
    Secondary Ability (Needle Storm)[1]: Marionettes functioning together in exact sync is unnerving at best. It's also more than capable of pegging most targets. The professor may declare ad-hoc units with his marionettes by spending one Flourish per unit before they attack.

    Le Chœur Mort-Vivant (The Choir of Living Death): Possibly the most disturbing trick that a Professor can learn is to make puppets from the flesh of men and beasts. The actual process used in this is inefficient, using a complex and small scale variation of both the Chœur Malsain and Theatre Macabre techniques. Activating this ability requires a number of corpses to be within 30ft of the Professor when he begins. At a cost of 1 Flourish per corpse, to a maximum of ½ the Professor's Level + Int bonus, Little Hans breaks open in a manner exactly alike the Theatre Macabre's chest, deploying blocks similar to the cores of Marionettes into the corpses. These blocks again open, threading fæ wires through the corpses into puppets.

    These dead puppets have 20 hp, DR 10/Slashing and make attacks using a clawing grapple. Unlike other puppets, these creatures can actually grapple as long as they are within 30ft of the Professor, using the Professor's Perform [Puppetry] modifier bonus, as their grapple modifier. They cannot make Pin actions but can deal damage using their claws, which deal 1d8 + the Professor's Str bonus damage.

    Undead puppets are terrifying in a manner unlike others. Those fighting them or witnessing their animation must make a Will save, DC 15 + 1 per doubling of numbers [DC 16 for 2, DC 17 for 4 etc.] or become Shaken. If you both witness their animation and have to then fight them, they must take two saves and the effects would stack.

    Le Theatre Souillé (The Theatre of Dark Delusion): Once per adventure, a Professor of 16th level may dress his own sets. The primary doll hurls itself onto the ground and summons forth its maximum number of Puppets without the Flourish costs of the Theatre Macabre ability. Then, from the arched crab posture that the chest adopts, a small booth or gazebo unfolds, bedecked with coloured streamers. In moments, the surrounding area is filled with the play of light on these streamers and before the viewer knows it, they are stood in the Coliseum of Ancient Rome, being booed by thousands.

    This effect replicates a Mirage Arcana spell with a caster level equal to the Professor's class level. Note that though it cannot create workable illusions of people or creatures at close range, it is perfectly capable of adding them in as background details that move out of sight and vanish when approached too closely. This is usually used to create morale destroying booing crowds and the like.

    All the World's a Stage: At 20th level, the Professor has ceased to be a mere part of Le Cirque Funeste, he has become the act in his very nature. No longer does he require to be within the limits of the carnival to use his powers and he himself projects a much smaller version of the Ringmaster's aura, in this case counting all space within 60ft of himself as Carnival. The Professor becomes effectively Fæ for purposes of what can and cannot hurt him and gains DR 20 against all attacks with refined materials.


    The Puppets:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Punch (Pulcinella): The first puppet that a Professor learns to use is Punch, the bully. His hooked nose and thuggish ways are the easiest of the masks to control and amongst the most powerful attacks.
    Primary Attack (Bashing Frenzy): Punch attacks up to three adjacent characters with his club, dealing 1d8+3 damage with an x2 Critical multiplier.
    Secondary Ability (Smack) [1]: Punch brings his club crashing down on the target. The attack deals 2d6 + 1d6 per 3 levels of the Professor.

    Harlequin (Arlequinne): The Harlequin is the core of the Commedia troupe, varying between an absolute moron and a crafty SOB between troupes and performances. His is known for his red, blue and green checked trousers and his mask's mole and is by far the most athletic of the cast, leaping and jumping merrily.
    Primary Attack (Slapstick): A slapstick is a loud stick made of two plies of wood. A blow from a slapstick deals 1d6 subdual damage, ignores armour and if a '6' is rolled on the damage dice, it knocks the target Prone.
    Secondary Ability (Harlequin's Dance)[1]: Harlequin can make a variant on the Snap Back move. Instead of ending up next to the Professor, he may move up to 30ft as long as he ends up within 30ft of the Professor. When he uses this ability, the attack's damage is reduced by 10 and the attacker must make a Will save against your Perform [Puppetry] bonus or become Confused for their next round.

    Columbine (Columbina): The flirtatious female alternative to Harlequin, Columbine is the love interest of the stories and the servant of the female Innamorati, the instigator of the plots. Her sharp tongue and black and white checked dress are her defining marks.
    Primary Attack (Columbine's Kiss): A blade emerges from Columbine's mouth with great speed making a stabbing motion. Columbine's Kiss deals 1d4 damage and she has a number of Sneak Attack dice equal to 1/3 the Professor's level.
    Secondary Ability (Acting Coy) [2]: [Compulsion] Columbine has a variety of dance roles and is deeply seductive in action. Her most deadly attack is to dance slowly wiggling her hips. One targeted enemy within 20ft must make a Will save against the Professor's Perform [Puppetry] bonus or be drawn 5ft towards her per 5 points or part thereof that they fail the save by. If they ends their action adjacent to her, she may make an attack against the target as a free action, treating them as flatfooted.

    The Innamorati (the Lovers): The plot characters of a scenario, the Innamorati are the lovers, a pair of foolish young characters who are kept apart by their parents and social obligations. They dress as nobles and unlike the other characters, come as a pair. The male lover possesses a sword and the girl possesses a trio of flowers that conceal a metal pin. While the Innamorati are two dolls, they are commanded as a single unit and if one of them is disabled, both cease to function.
    Primary Attack (Flanking Strike): As long as both squares are open, the Innamorati assume flanking positions on a target and attack him. They cannot allow their threads to be interrupted while adopting these positions, however. Their attacks both deal 1d6 damage.
    Secondary Ability (Running Hand in Hand)[2]: The Innamorati run past one target to get at another. Declare a primary target for their attack and if their path crosses another character's square, a secondary attack is made against them. The primary attack is identical to their primary attack. The secondary attack automatically knocks the target prone if it hits.

    Pierrot [Pedrolino]: Not a Vecchi himself, Pierrot is the heartfelt, honest and devoted, if somewhat hapless, servant of Pantalone and La Signora. He wears white with black detailing and is depicted with a single tear beneath his eye, though no mask. He usually carries a ukulele.
    Primary Attack [Cooler]: Pierrot has a habit of getting in the way and being unaware of what is going on. Pierrot makes an attack that deals 1d6 Slashing damage but more importantly remains in place until the end-phase, unlike other puppets. While he remains in place beside a target, all his allies may treat that target as flanked regardless of which direction they attack. The damage is him bumping into you and causing you to cut yourself with your own weapons.
    Secondary Ability [Serenade][2]: Pierrot was ever failing to woo Columbine and forever lamenting his failure in song. Pierrot sings a song so sad, yet humorous, that others get distracted and fail to pay attention to fights. All within 30ft [friend or foe] who can hear him, must make a Will save or be considered Flatfooted against the next attack directed at them before their next turn.

    Scaramouche (Scaramuccia): The poet, braggart and swordsman character, Scaramouche is amongst the most deadly of the puppets in the Professor's Arsenal. Scaramouche is armed with a sword with which he is adept and he is a magnet for attention, fast earning the ire of his foes.
    Primary Attack (By the Sword): Scaramouche's blade attacks deal 1d10+the Professor's Dex and he may accept a -10 penalty to hit adding an automatic disarm to the attack's effects.
    Secondary Ability (Scoundrel)[0]: Love em or hate em, everyone focuses on the mouthy scoundrel. Enemies cannot target any other puppet within 20ft of the Scaramouche puppet. This is a purely passive ability. Scaramouche adds a +2 bonus to his defence per puppet in his aura, Including himself.

    Clown (the Macabre): Clown was a character from Harlequinade, an intermediate stage between the Commedia and the Punch and Judy show. While originally one of the zanni, he fast took on a darker edge, effectively becoming a creature of nightmare played for laughs. Of course, Le Cirque Funeste puts and even more sinister twist on this. While creepy at best, its face is able to unfold into new and horrific shapes through a skilled manipulation by the Professor.
    Primary Attack (Fearsome Prank): The clown surges forwards and strikes at its target, appearing out of the shadows and becoming the epitome of fear. The clown's face unfolds into something completely inhuman and its claws are sharp. The clown deals 3d4+Dex damage on a hit and if one '4' is rolled, the target becomes Shaken, if two '4's are rolled, the target becomes Frightened and if 3 '4's are rolled, the target becomes Panicked.
    Secondary Ability (Terrible Laughter)[5]: The clown tips its head back and laughs a mirthless, cruel laugh that chills the bones of all around it. Every opponent within 30ft of the clown must make a Will save against the Professor's Perform [Puppetry] bonus of become Frightened; those who pass the save are merely Shaken.

    Croccodillo (the Crocodile): The crocodile is a more whimsical character that appears in many of the sillier stories, sort of like a pantomime horse. It is a powerful fighter and more than capable of swallowing a target whole, something it usually does to Punch's sausages for the amusement of children, though it was often at the behest of clown and actually a baby.
    Primary Attack (Vicious Bite): The croc's jaws snap on the target, causing a Massive Damage save with a DC of 10 + 3d6 [no actual damage is inflicted by the blow unless the save is failed].
    Secondary Ability (Swallow Whole)[4]: If the attack hits, the character is instantly swallowed by the croc. They take 3d8 damage each round and count as pinned. They may attempt to break free of the pin in their turn; if they manage to do so, they are free of the croc, having spent their Standard action. The croc itself is free to keep fighting while it has someone trapped within, though it cannot swallow anything more.

    Death [The Grim Reaper]: Not a common character by any stretch, but he is included in some situations, usually more as an obstacle or a dream event. Death is cloaked all in black and armed with a Scythe. He does not move from the point of deployment.
    Primary Ability [Grim Aura]: Death is a static feature, he does not move from his primary location. While he is in play, all Puppets controlled by the Professor gaina +2 bonus to their critical threat range. This includes Death himself [see below].
    Secondary Attack [Reap][1]: Death has a Reach of 10ft and threatens all squares within that range. For one Flourish, he may make an Attack of Opportunity against a viable target, any number of times per round. Attacks are resolved normally and deal 5d10 damage.


    Edit: "The Carnival" is a fae circus that wanders what WAS France in my setting [German sponsored Belgian invasion...messy]. The powers of those it adopts [there are other classes in the works, Strongman's already done], at least the Supernatural ones, function only within the limits of Carnival.

    As with all things Fae, the limits are best understood only to them, but in general extend out to the limits of whatever common land that the circus is pitched on.

    The Ringleader Prestige class comes with an ability early on called, "I AM Carnival" which means that he projects an aura within which Carnival reigns and abilities can be used, even outside Carnival proper. The capstone here is similar but weaker than that ability. Hope that answers a few questions.
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2010-08-17 at 02:31 PM. Reason: New class features...

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kallisti's Avatar

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    This is... really, really freakin' awesome. I'm not familiar with your system, so I can't really judge the balance of the class. I'll try, but bear in mind my advice is from a D&D 3.5 perspective.

    That, and there are obviously more rules. The twentieth level ability says that the Professor can use his abilities outside the Circus and projects a small RIngmaster's Aura, both of which will need explained.

    Still, expect me to follow with great interest...
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Mulletmanalive's Avatar

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
    This is... really, really freakin' awesome. I'm not familiar with your system, so I can't really judge the balance of the class. I'll try, but bear in mind my advice is from a D&D 3.5 perspective.

    That, and there are obviously more rules. The twentieth level ability says that the Professor can use his abilities outside the Circus and projects a small RIngmaster's Aura, both of which will need explained.
    The powers of these classes are intended to be directly bound into the Fae nature of the circus, hence they only function within its boundaries [usually the area of undefined common land that the circus sets up on]. The Ringmaster prestige class' key ability [probably first or second level, i haven't decided, he's in the works] is 'I am Carnival' which allows the others to operate outside the Circus' limits.

    Other things
    • Armour provides Hardness equal to its Defence value, some weapons interact with it by halving, doubling or tripling it's value.
    • Defence comes off Wisdom unless you have class features and is based on class level, as you can see in the table]
    • "Massive" damage refers to damage over your Con score; save vs damage or you fall an hp Threshold [50%, 25%, 10%, 0, -10] multiples of the score drop you further and make the save less useful.
    • "Reactions" cost an Immediate action if you've yet to act this turn or an AoO if you've already done so [you can't make AoOs before you act in a round, Initiative is important and is based on Reflex]
    • Bad saves aren't completely useless, unlike in D&D. [I'd love to find out what the hell Skip Williams was smoking when he decided it was fun for Fighters to be automatically dominated by every half competent wizard in the realm]
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-09-02 at 03:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Fantastic! I love the theme, the abilities everything.

    Can we have a little explanation on the capstone ability? What exactly is the carnival and ring master's aura.
    Never mind on that.

    I wish I could provide something more constructive, but I would have to crunch some numbers and possibly find a comparable class in play.

    Which I believe is going to be difficult, since the idea behind this class is pretty unique in nature.
    Last edited by HereticNox; 2009-09-02 at 03:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Still reading through your rules. Some of the expensive abilities would burn flourishes fast, but that might be the point.

    I'm not exactly sure how Defence balances, but Scaramouche's secondary ability seems very powerful. The aura that literally prevents, flat out, with no save, SR, or legal recourse, attacks against any puppet other than Scaramouche seems powerful enough, or possibly too powerful, but with the defense bonus? That includes a multiplier equal to the Professor's INT, which will almost certainly be +5 or more? That's...a bit much.

    Still, right now, there is no character I'd rather play than a Ringmaster/Professor (or professor with All the World's a Stage), except a gestalt Professor/Puppet master. The classes would mesh together very nicely, both mechanically and in concept...

    Although, it seems to me that the class would be unplayable outside the Cirque. Are there rules elsewhere for the Cirque, or for getting the abilities outside? Was this class intended to be viable only within that area?

    Could you provide me with a link to the complete set of your houserules/system overhall? It just feels like I own't be able to PEACH accurately without them. (or convert your class back to basic 3.5 so DM's will actually let me use it, assuming I can find a way to get the Carnival aura I need...)

    One more nitpick: Is it Fæ or Fae? You use both. Also:

    The symbol æ, called an ash, is pronounced as the a in the word "ash." Which is not how Fae is usually pronounced. People often use the symbol to make anything that has an ae in it look more eldritch and awesome, but they use it incorrectly. Of course, I am one of the all of seven people in this world who both know this and care, so you're free to ignore me on this if you like the look of the symbol. However, if you do, I will be forced to send the Hounds of Tindalos to eat your grandmother. Ia Cthulhu!
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-02 at 04:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
    Still reading through your rules. Some of the expensive abilities would burn flourishes fast, but that might be the point.

    I'm not exactly sure how Defence balances, but Scaramouche's secondary ability seems very powerful. The aura that literally prevents, flat out, with no save, SR, or legal recourse, attacks against any puppet other than Scaramouche seems powerful enough, or possibly too powerful, but with the defense bonus? That includes a multiplier equal to the Professor's INT, which will almost certainly be +5 or more? That's...a bit much.

    Still, right now, there is no character I'd rather play than a Ringmaster/Professor (or professor with All the World's a Stage), except a gestalt Professor/Puppet master. The classes would mesh together very nicely, both mechanically and in concept...

    Although, it seems to me that the class would be unplayable outside the Cirque. Are there rules elsewhere for the Cirque, or for getting the abilities outside? Was this class intended to be viable only within that area?

    Could you provide me with a link to the complete set of your houserules/system overhall? It just feels like I own't be able to PEACH accurately without them. (or convert your class back to basic 3.5 so DM's will actually let me use it, assuming I can find a way to get the Carnival aura I need...)

    One more nitpick: Is it Fæ or Fae? You use both. Also:

    The symbol æ, called an ash, is pronounced as the a in the word "ash." Which is not how Fae is usually pronounced. People often use the symbol to make anything that has an ae in it look more eldritch and awesome, but they use it incorrectly. Of course, I am one of the all of seven people in this world who both know this and care, so you're free to ignore me on this if you like the look of the symbol. However, if you do, I will be forced to send the Hounds of Tindalos to eat your grandmother. Ia Cthulhu!
    The classes are really built inextricably with the Circus. They cannot operate outside the area and i honestly didn't expect this to make it into play as a PC class [much like the MV patch of Warlock] as they involve being tied really closely to a patron and that's a real SOB when you're playing with me.

    I used the 'ash' as that's the version of the spelling that was in the Faerie Queen at university [i remember as it was above my textbooks in the library and i used to have a look through while i should have been working]. The reason they're muddled is because i can't type it on my keyboard but some of the stuff was scooped from a word file where i was able to include it.

    I'll set up the file in my skydrive so you can have a copy of Mecha Victoriana [though if i find it published, i'll be hunting you down]. I'll PM you with the address in a bit.

    Edit: Worth pointing out...There are NO stat boosting magic items in my game. None. Magic items are the stuff of real world legend; Excalibur, the sword of Roland and Aegis. +1 swords need not apply in MV.
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-09-02 at 04:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Well, as I said, it's a long-standing tradition among the ignorant (Read: Those who are not as pedantic as me) to use the ash just because it's, you know, cool, so I'm not surprised you found it used elsewhere.

    My real problem with it is that you've used both spellings, which is annoying to me. I'd also say it's unprofessional to use two different spellings, but you've given me a legitimate reason for it--you copy-pasted the spelling with the ash, couldn't find it to type (you could use Insert Symbol in a word document, but I have no idea how you'd get one on the forum...) I'd like to see it fixed, but unless you publish this in a nice sourcebook, really it just annoys perfectionist pedants like me, not the general populace. [/ramble]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    The classes are really built inextricably with the Circus. They cannot operate outside the area and i honestly didn't expect this to make it into play as a PC class [much like the MV patch of Warlock] as they involve being tied really closely to a patron and that's a real SOB when you're playing with me.

    I'll set up the file in my skydrive so you can have a copy of Mecha Victoriana [though if i find it published, i'll be hunting you down]. I'll PM you with the address in a bit.

    Edit: Worth pointing out...There are NO stat boosting magic items in my game. None. Magic items are the stuff of real world legend; Excalibur, the sword of Roland and Aegis. +1 swords need not apply in MV.
    All right. Makes sense. If I were to use this as a player, I'd request a houserule to let me use it while adventuring, but if it was written from a Dm's perspective, then that's fine.

    I'd like to see your setting, as it sounds very interesting, thank you. And don't worry, I'd never steal another's intellectual property and publish it under my own name. Especially now that between the two of us, we've just created electronic documentation proving that the Mecha Victoriana setting was not, is not, and will probably never be my intellectual property or idea.
    HOWEVER! You may consider this my official request for author permission to use some or all of the setting in my own games (set a gmae in the world, or just steal the setting but not the rules, or the rules but not the setting.) I know that technically it's my right as a DM to make a hodgepodge of anything I want, but it feels like I should ask for your permission first. There's a fair chance I'll end up cannibalizing few of your ideas for my current game before actually using the setting, and I want to make sure that's okay with you before doing it [/long wall of text]

    So...no magic items? Casting (or at least magic, at least for the Cirque) but no items? Did you find a way to balance that for the warrior classes? does tha--you know what? Why don't I read the rules and then ask you my questions?

    Sorry, but I just love homebrew, and I get a little overenthusiatic simetimes nitpicking every tiny detail of anything, especially settings.
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-02 at 04:34 PM.
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    as i said, it was in the Faerie Queen, which was writen in something like the 1500s. I doubt it's intended to impress, but this is just me hacking down the full word Faerie into Fae, the stem word.

    There is a hypertext but i've never been able to get those damn things to work.

    Right, now, back to the class.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    All right. Thank you.

    I might steal parts of it for my current game, or set a new game there, but that's what settings are made for. Usually. Not so sure about Greyhawk, though. I think it was published largely so that Wizards could tell people "We've published a campaign setting!"

    EDIT: Just got the file. Thank you! It'll still probably be a little while before I can PEACH your MV setting creations accurately, but you know what? I have a whole new setting to read. I'm pretty content right about now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Right, now, back to the class.
    As you wish. I noted my concern about Scarmouche earlier (I think...)

    As I said, the flourishes look like they'll dry up pretty quickly, but all the basic attacks work without them, so that's probably not too much of an issue.

    The class skill list is...a little short. You might add Spellcraft and Knowlegde skills, assuming they exist in your world (don't know yet because my computer can't seem to download past 72% of the file for MV...)
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-02 at 05:03 PM.
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    I'll field a couple of those now.

    Magic is covered here more clearly than the handbook http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122664 . I'm working on splitting the rulebook into "Militaries and Mechs" and "Agents and Magic" books as there's little point keeping Spys, Socialites and Brokers in the core rules [You'll understand once you've had a flick through the book]

    There are minor magic items but they're more enchanted tools made by spellcasters on the short term. You might make a wand to improve you casting of Summons, a staff to carry extra spells or possibly even making weapons and armour for your ally if you REALLY trust them.

    Can't show you those rules because they're a pile of notes and look like the rules equivilent of a broken LEGO kit.

    True Magic items appear like they do in real legends. Three of them provides the power to slay titans. Presently the Germans have four [The Spear of Longinus, The Arrow of Indra, The Jotunblut and the Sword of Roland] and the British have control of three [Excalibur, Drake's Drum and The Dogskin Helm].

    The Jotanblut is the name of the Beowulf proxy sword from Eaters of the Dead by Micheal Crichton btw.

    Warriors are slightly better and with guns everywhere and the altered magic system, they didn't need balancing with magic items. Plus, they're the baseline; Everything orbits around them. That's my design philosophy and i'll stick to it.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I'll field a couple of those now.

    Magic is covered here more clearly than the handbook http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=122664 . I'm working on splitting the rulebook into "Militaries and Mechs" and "Agents and Magic" books as there's little point keeping Spys, Socialites and Brokers in the core rules [You'll understand once you've had a flick through the book]

    There are minor magic items but they're more enchanted tools made by spellcasters on the short term. You might make a wand to improve you casting of Summons, a staff to carry extra spells or possibly even making weapons and armour for your ally if you REALLY trust them.

    Can't show you those rules because they're a pile of notes and look like the rules equivilent of a broken LEGO kit.

    True Magic items appear like they do in real legends. Three of them provides the power to slay titans. Presently the Germans have four [The Spear of Longinus, The Arrow of Indra, The Jotunblut and the Sword of Roland] and the British have control of three [Excalibur, Drake's Drum and The Dogskin Helm].

    The Jotanblut is the name of the Beowulf proxy sword from Eaters of the Dead by Micheal Crichton btw.

    Warriors are slightly better and with guns everywhere and the altered magic system, they didn't need balancing with magic items. Plus, they're the baseline; Everything orbits around them. That's my design philosophy and i'll stick to it.
    I'll have a flick through the book as soon as I can (my curiosity continues to mount even as my computer refuses to download).

    Yeah, I totally spaced and forgot that guns would be a big plus for warriors. As long as casters can't just go "Protection from Arrows," that would level the playing field a bit. No matter how subtle and powerful the wizard, a bullet between the eyes will seriously cramp his style...
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
    As you wish. I noted my concern about Scarmouche earlier (I think...)

    As I said, the flourishes look like they'll dry up pretty quickly, but all the basic attacks work without them, so that's probably not too much of an issue.

    The class skill list is...a little short. You might add Spellcraft and Knowlegde skills, assuming they exist in your world (don't know yet because my computer can't seem to download past 72% of the file for MV...)
    Feel free to use, i'm just cautious after something i posted on Wizards ended up in a sourcebook [Complete Adventurer, no, i'm not saying which feat] without even changing a word of the description.

    I've adjusted Scaramouche so that he only has a +2 per puppet including himself. This feature is actually a nod to the Commedia than anything else. Scaramouche became Cyrano de Bergerac, who never lost a duel in company...

    Yeah, the skills i just wasn't sure about, hence why they're dry. Spellcraft is out because of how it interacts with the setting but knowledges would be ok. I'm open to suggestions.

    As to flourishes...that's supposed to leave a choice between multiple puppets or powerful abilities. Perhaps a Move action that allowed a small recovery of Flourishes is in order - Remember that they're per encounter though.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Feel free to use, i'm just cautious after something i posted on Wizards ended up in a sourcebook [Complete Adventurer, no, i'm not saying which feat] without even changing a word of the description.

    I've adjusted Scaramouche so that he only has a +2 per puppet including himself. This feature is actually a nod to the Commedia than anything else. Scaramouche became Cyrano de Bergerac, who never lost a duel in company...

    Yeah, the skills i just wasn't sure about, hence why they're dry. Spellcraft is out because of how it interacts with the setting but knowledges would be ok. I'm open to suggestions.

    As to flourishes...that's supposed to leave a choice between multiple puppets or powerful abilities. Perhaps a Move action that allowed a small recovery of Flourishes is in order - Remember that they're per encounter though.
    Per encounter? Somehow missed that rule...

    As for skills, well, possibly Knowledge (art history). And definitely whatever the Knowledge (Arcana) or Knowledge (Occultism) skills are in your game.

    Yeah, if I were you I'd be really really careful about the Wizards website. No one actually reade the terms of use for the sites they sign up to, so Wizards put in a section about how they reserve the right to steal your ideas and there's nothing you can do about it. I would, after learning that, never post any homebrew on their site. Especially not something that had a lot of work put into it.

    Would Bluff as a skill make sense for a Professor? My instict would be to put it on any character or class that works with performing, especially the shadow-show feel of this class, but that's just me. And profession. But would it be Profession (professor)? Because I'd put ranks in that even if I didn't plan to use it, just so I could tell people, "Yeah, I have 14 ranks of Profession (Professor). Pretty awesome, huh?"
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-02 at 05:22 PM.
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    I really love the flavor of the class, that's really cool. Afraid I'm not going to get into another system for it, though.

    I would comment on the whole "æ" thing - the letter "ash" from Old English is one, but not the only, meaning of that symbol. In fact, the most common use of the letter is for the diphthong "ae", for the transliteration of the Greek "αἰ" (as in "archæology" or "dæmon") or the Latin "ae" (as in "vitæ"), even though the Romans themselves would have just used "ae" (and actually used "æ" for the Greek). When you're talking about this diphthong, the "æ" in a word may be substituted with "ae" freely, and use of the "ae" diphthong in English could easily be substituted with "æ" even if the word does not actually come from Greek or Latin.

    Note that "αἰ" is pronounced, as I understand things, as a long "e" sound (so, "fee" rather than "fay"), while the Romans would pronounce "ae" as a long i (so "figh", as in "fight" without the t). However, as noted above, the Romans didn't actually use "æ"; the ligature was used solely by medieval (or mediæval, though that is the Greek use and is still pronounced as an "e") writers, who would have pronounced the sound as a hard a, as we generally would pronounce "ae". Which generally makes sense, because "fae"/"fæ" is a medieval word, and therefore use of the ligature is entirely up to the writer.

    Alternatively, you have languages that use "æ" as a separate letter - such as Old English, with "ash". Switching such an "æ" to "ae" would therefore be technically wrong - the Norse word "æsir" should not be written "aesir", for example. However, this is relatively uncommon in English, as such words, when adopted into the English language, are usually re-spelled using the usual 26 letters of the English alphabet.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    And this is what I get for learning about that symbol by reading "The Edge on the Sword."
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Okay, we have some knowledges, bluff, manipulation and sense motive on the list because you can't be a showman without knowing your way around people's emotions.

    Some of the knowledges are just flavour [can't deal with nature spirits without Knowledge [Nature]!]

    I presently have two direct questions:

    1) - Should any of the features be moved and if so, to where?

    2) - Do you think it would be better to cut this down into an Advanced Class [relatively easy access psuedo prestige class with 18 levels]? Then again, it's not necessarily necessary in context...

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Okay, we have some knowledges, bluff, manipulation and sense motive on the list because you can't be a showman without knowing your way around people's emotions.

    Some of the knowledges are just flavour [can't deal with nature spirits without Knowledge [Nature]!]

    I presently have two direct questions:

    1) - Should any of the features be moved and if so, to where?

    2) - Do you think it would be better to cut this down into an Advanced Class [relatively easy access psuedo prestige class with 18 levels]? Then again, it's not necessarily necessary in context...
    1. Still not sure about your system's balance, but it seems to me that the fact that the Clown's ability is not listed as allowing a saving throw makes it...very powerful. Even if there is a save and I just missed it, it sepretty powerful. Then again, in D&D 3.5 casters have seventh-level spells by now, so it's not terrible. Le Chœur Malsain doesn't specify a flourish cost, and it sounds like you get...rather a lot of Marionettes, which would be pretty powerful, especially combined with Scaramouche. An army of little archers who can't be attacked unless you kill of their meatshield--who gets a defense bonus per archer?Can I get a "Hell yes"?
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-02 at 06:09 PM.
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    I really love the flavor of the class, that's really cool. Afraid I'm not going to get into another system for it, though.
    Thank you muchly. We aim to please

    I can fully understand, though aside from damage meaning more and armour preventing damage rather than hits, there isn't too much difference. Assume characters need a 10 to hit a copy of themselves and more than 30 damage from a hit will likely cripple a fighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by DragoonWraith View Post
    I would comment on the whole "æ" thing - the letter "ash" from Old English is one, but not the only, meaning of that symbol. In fact, the most common use of the letter is for the diphthong "ae", for the transliteration of the Greek "αἰ" (as in "archæology" or "dæmon") or the Latin "ae" (as in "vitæ"), even though the Romans themselves would have just used "ae" (and actually used "æ" for the Greek). When you're talking about this diphthong, the "æ" in a word may be substituted with "ae" freely, and use of the "ae" diphthong in English could easily be substituted with "æ" even if the word does not actually come from Greek or Latin.
    That's pretty much what i read from Wikipedia...Were Sidhe [Shee in pronunciation] not more specific than Fae, id've been tempted to use that instead

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
    1. Still not sure about your system's balance, but it seems to me that the fact that the Clown's ability is notl isted as allowing a sving throw makes it...very powerful. Even if there is a save and I just missed it, it sepretty powerful. Then again, in D&D 3.5 casters have seventh-level spells by now, so it's not terrible. Le
    Save against the secondary, not the primary. Shaken = very likely, Frightened [i don't have you flee but take a -4 instead] = 3/16, Panicked = 1/64. You'd have to crit for it to seem powerful.

    For three flourishes, you could make it seemingly overpowered. three 4s on 9d4 isn't all that unlikely [Quick Strike and Deadly Flourish], but then, i intended that...

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Actually, because I'm really tired, I misread it. It says 3d4+Dex damage, and I thought I saw 3d4 Dex damage. Which would be overpowered.

    Also, I just ran spell-check on your setting. It took me an hour. I'm deeply impressed, by both the volume and the quality of your homebrew. It's...humbling.
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-02 at 06:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
    Actually, because I'm really tired, I misread it. It says 3d4+Dex damage, and I thought I saw 3d4 Dex damage. Which would be overpowered.
    Yes, that would have been silly.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    This is what I get for reading on low sleep...
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Solved many of the dead level issues later on by shunting everything between 10 and 14 up one to accomodate the Advanced Flourishes feature. I'm now torn between shunting 16 and 18 up one more or creating additional class features to fill these otherwise zero-sum levels.

    I also have another idea for a Puppet:

    Pantalone:
    The miser and schemer of the troupe, Pantalone was occasionally the employer of Clown but often went along with his schemes. As a Vecchi [old character] he had a mean looking mask and dressed as a Venician. Pantalone is armed with a whip of six cords and is notable as the sole user of poison in the collection.
    Primary Attack [Scourge]: Pantalone's Scourge drips with poison and tears flesh mercilessly. the scourge deals 3d6 damage and any character wounded by it suffers 1d6 points of bleeding damage. Note the amount rolled, the character takes this much damage in each end phase. This can be halted by magical healing or a DC 15 Heal check.
    Secondary Ability [Utterly Repulsive][2]:People are driven from Pantalone's cruelty and lack of people skills. This has an aura of effect of 10ft around Pantalone when activate. All characters in the aura are subject to a Bullrush with the puppet's roll being a Perform [Puppetry] check.
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-09-03 at 08:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Solved many of the dead level issues later on by shunting everything between 10 and 14 up one to accomodate the Advanced Flourishes feature. I'm now torn between shunting 16 and 18 up one more or creating additional class features to fill these otherwise zero-sum levels.

    I also have another idea for a Puppet:

    Pantalone:
    The miser and schemer of the troupe, Pantalone was occasionally the employer of Clown but often went along with his schemes. As a Vecchi [old character] he had a mean looking mask and dressed as a Venician. Pantalone is armed with a whip of six cords and is notable as the sole user of poison in the collection.
    Primary Attack [Scourge]: Pantalone's Scourge drips with poison and tears flesh mercilessly. The scourge deals 3d6 damage, and any character wounded by it suffers 1d6 points of bleeding damage. Note the amount rolled, the character takes this much damage in each end phase.
    Secondary Ability [Socially Inept][2]: People are driven from Pantalone's cruelty and lack of people skills. This has an aura of effect of 10ft around Pantalone when activated. All characters in the aura must make a Will save against the Professor's Perform [Puppetry] bonus or be pushed back 5 ft. per 5 points or part thereof by which they fail the save.
    If I were you, I'd leave 16 and 18 right where they are, to make it more likely they'll become applicable to play.

    Pantalone I like, and in fact I'd like to see all of the Vecchi statted out because they're cool and you've done a good job so far, but I have a few rules problems (typos I fixed for you are in bold):
    1. For his primary ability, you never specify how long the bleeding lasts, or how to get rid of it. Usually bleeding abilities include a clause about the bleeding stopping with magical healing or a DC x heal check. If you don't want to make it that easy, I'd say that might be a good call, but you should give some idea of when it stops.
    2. If people fail their save against the secondary, are they literally pushed back, or compelled to move that far back on their turn? Because the way it's written it sounds like you're giving Pantalone Force Push, but since it gives a Will save, I'd think it would be a compulsion.
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2011-03-28 at 02:05 PM.
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Post Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    I'm not good at balance, however, I like it.
    -- The Dragon
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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kallisti View Post
    If I were you, I'd leave 16 and 18 right where they are, to make it more likely they'll become applicable to play.

    Pantalone I like, and in fact I'd like to see all of the Vecchi statted out because they're cool and you've dome a good job so far, but I have a few rules problems (typos I fixed for you are in bold):
    1. For his primary ability, you never specify how long the bleeding lasts, or how to get rid of it. Usually bleeding abilities include a clause about the bleeding stopping with magical healing or a DC x heal check. If you don't want to make it that easy, I'd say that might be a good call, but you should give some idea of when it stops.
    2. If people fail their save against the secondary, are they literally pushed back, or compelled to move that far back on their turn? Because the way it's written it sounds like you're giving Pantalone Force Push, but since it gives a Will save, I'd think it would be a compulsion.
    Actually, there's technically no need to state what stops the bleeding because all bleeding is stopped by either the application of magical healing or a DC 15 Heal check [it's one of the default uses of the skill, and the rule is covered in the DMG glossary]. I'll adjust it to make you happy though. I'm not going to deviate from the Wizards standard abuse of grammer. That and the 'which/that' thing is actually ignored in Britain when speaking.

    I'm constantly dubious about applying the words 'mind-affecting' to anything because WotC overused it to the point where it didn't make sense anymore and then created abilities that rendered people immune to most of the enchantment, illusion and abjuration schools. It's a compulsion. The stock gag is that Columbine keeps moving away from him until he falls off a bench.

    I guess this is a Mind-Affecting, Compulsion though, as is Columbine's ability.

    What other Vecchi are there? I know of only the Senora beyond this and she didn't seem overtly different from Columbine...

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    Actually, there's technically no need to state what stops the bleeding because all bleeding is stopped by either the application of magical healing or a DC 15 Heal check [it's one of the default uses of the skill, and the rule is covered in the DMG glossary]. I'll adjust it to make you happy though. I'm not going to deviate from the Wizards standard abuse of grammer. That and the 'which/that' thing is actually ignored in Britain when speaking.
    Fair enough. Because the bleeding abilities I've seen in Wizards books have all specified that, I was unaware that it was actually the default rule. I thought it was just the default.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I'm constantly dubious about applying the words 'mind-affecting' to anything because WotC overused it to the point where it didn't make sense anymore and then created abilities that rendered people immune to most of the enchantment, illusion and abjuration schools. It's a compulsion. The stock gag is that Columbine keeps moving away from him until he falls off a bench.

    I guess this is a Mind-Affecting, Compulsion though, as is Columbine's ability.
    I asked becasue it would be important in many fights, even ignoring the ease of becoming immune to all mind-affecting effects.

    The Professor activates this ability on his turn. Then what happens? If it's an actual push, then the targets are forced backwards then and there, and can move right back up on their turns. If it's a compulsion to move away, though, then he activates it, will saves are made, end of story. Then on the target's turn, they spend their move action moving away. So do they automatically lose the move action, too?

    Personally, I like the idea of an actual physical force pushing them back. My mental image of Pantalone advancing towards a horrified victim spouting non-sequiturs as the victim slides towards the cliff behind, with the professor in the background grinning...seems to fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    What other Vecchi are there? I know of only the Senora beyond this and she didn't seem overtly different from Columbine...
    Il Dottore, off the top of my head. Maybe Il Capitano, but you're already using the Scaramouche Cyrano de Bergerac version of him...
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Yes, i rather like the idea of someone getting shoved around physically by someone's lack of social skill. Sounds a bit like coherent bad breath.

    The intention was really to use it for area control. The puppet shows up and moves a few people into better positions before snapping back to it's default. Then the Beast Tamer unleashes the bears... or the clown comes out.

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    Or just pushes him over a cliff, etc.

    But with an actual Cirque Funeste troupe performance, I imagine there'd be a little more playing with the victim than that.

    Which reminds me. I'm running a campaign that often includes a pretty dark flavor, and my PC's really need to be knocked down a peg or five. I think the perfect way to beat and humiliate them, without killing them, while giving them at least a chance to come out on top, might well be to send them on a short trip to Le Cirque Funeste. Besides, my PC's actually fulfill several of the Commedia roles. We have Scaramouche as a swashbuckling paladin, our mobster rogue Pulcinello, Il Dottore the druid, our psion is Pedrolino...our wizard could technically be Mezzetino...the only one I can't place is our healer, and that's because he has less personality than the paladin's mount. I really like that idea...

    Have you done any other Cirque homebrew I could rip off playtest for you?


    EDIT: Sorry if that's a stupid question now that I have a copy of Mecha Victoriana that my computer actually saved correctly. I haven't yet had time to look it over, since my parents would rather I didn't print 186 or so pages...
    Last edited by Kallisti; 2009-09-03 at 08:42 PM.
    Hail Eris/All Hail Discordia/Fnord?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn
    ...Kallisti, your table and poem skills are possum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Milskidasith
    I'm not sure whether you are brilliant or insane. I think it's both.
    "Once upon a time, a story was never finished..."

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    Default Re: Le Cirque Funeste: Professor Class [Please PEACH]

    The Stongman:
    The strongman is a classic fixture of the circus; lifting weights, bending bars and crushing bricks in his hands, the crowd adores such deeds; things they wish they could do themselves.

    The strongman of Le Cirque Funeste is something other. His frame is bulky and overbalances, with shoulders seemingly too broad for a man to have and muscles that resemble the buttresses of churches. Each of his veins carries a small taint of green and from beneath his colourful mask spills a beard that resembles black lichen. Most troubling are his eyes, bloodshot beneath the mask. There is no madness to be found there, just hate and as his pupils contract to stare hate at you, they move like branches returning after a gust of wind.

    Most disturbing is that unlike the rest of Le Cirque, the Strongman seems tied to the powers of the Ringmaster. He is directly effected by several of the powers of the Ringmaster, including becoming actively distorted in size by his ability to increase the internal size of the tent. This may lend credence to the idea that the Strongman wasn't originally part of the circus but was evolved after a rough encounter with some German mechs suffered by one of the original circuses.

    Strongman
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Defence|Special|Unarmed Damage

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +1
    |Powerful Build|
    1d6

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +2
    |Bonus Feat|
    1d6

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |+1 Strength|
    1d6

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +4
    |Hurl Object|
    1d8

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |+1 Strength|
    1d8

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +5
    |Bonus Feat|
    1d8

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |+1 Strength|
    1d8

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +7
    |Goliath|
    1d10

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |+1 Strength|
    1d10

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Bonus Feat|
    1d10

    11th|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |+1 Strength|
    1d10

    12th|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +10
    |Greater Hurl|
    1d12

    13th|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |+1 Strength|
    1d12

    14th|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +12
    |Bonus Feat|
    1d12

    15th|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +13
    |+1 Strength|
    1d12

    16th|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +14
    |Colossus|
    2d8

    17th|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +15
    |+1 Strength|
    2d8

    18th|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +15
    |Bonus Feat|
    2d8

    19th|
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +16
    |+1 Strength|
    2d8

    20th|
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +17
    |Atlas|
    2d10
    [/table]
    Hit Dice: d10
    Class Skills: Climb [Str], Intimidate [Str/Cha], Jump [Str], Perform [Cha], Swim [Str].

    Skill Points per Level: 2 + Int

    Class Features:
    Spoiler
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    Weapon and Armour Proficiencies: A strongman is not really taught to use weapons. He is proficient with all Simple weapons, Sledgehammers [Maul] and Warhammers. He has no proficiency in any form of armour.

    Powerful Build [Su]: Strongmen are massive and muscular beings, their muscles bulging under the influence of the weirdness of the carnival. They count as Large creatures whenever it would be beneficial to them, allowing them to wield weapons larger than normal and granting a +4 bonus on Intimidate, Grapple, Bullrush and Trip checks. This is a Profane bonus that applies only within the confines of the Carnival.

    Unarmed Damage [Su]: The huge fists of a Strongman can crush a man's head like an overripe melon. They deal lethal damage with their unarmed attacks and use the damage listed in the chart instead of the norm for a large creature [see Powerful Build]. This does not grant the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, however, so they are still subject to Attacks of Opportunity when making unarmed attacks. This is a Profane bonus that applies only within the confines of the Carnival.

    Bonus Feat: At 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th and 18th level, the Strongman may choose to gain one of the following as a bonus feat. He must still meet the prerequisites of the feat: Always More to Give [MV], Awesome Blow [MM], Brutal Throw [CAd], Diehard, Endurance, Extreme Hustle [MV], Fearsome Presence [LM], Improved Bullrush, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Improved Unarmed Strike, Queensbury Rules [MV] , Power Attack, Toughness [MV].

    Strength Bonuses [Su]: At 3rd level and every subsequent odd numbered level, the Strongman gains a cumulative +1 bonus on his strength. This is a Profane bonus that applies only within the confines of the Carnival.

    Hurl Objects [Su]: While within Carnival, a 4th level Strongman can demonstrate his power by throwing things the size of cartwheels around with great abandon. Such objects are thrown weapons with a range increment of 15ft and deal 2d6 damage, plus the Strongman's strength bonus when they hit. Because they rely on concussive force, these thrown objects have the Armour Piercing quality.

    Goliath [Su]: As of 8th level, the Strongman begins to become more directly affected by the effects of the Ringmaster's In the Big Tent ability. When under the effects of this power, and inside the enlarged tent that it produces, their size increases to Large, though he counts as Huge wherever it would be beneficial to him. He gains a +4 bonus on his Strength score, suffers a -1 penalty on Attack rolls and Defence and his bonus on Intimidate, Grapple, Bullrush and Trip checks increases by a total of +6 [including both size and strength]. Anything that he picks up grows to match his size and deal damage as if they were one size larger than they actually are. The damage from objects that he throws increases to 2d8 [3d8 at 12th level].

    Improved Hurl [Su]: The Strongman continues to gain mass and learns to use it to throw larger and heavier things with greater force and accuracy. At 12th level, he gains a +1 bonus on Attack rolls with thrown objects, deals 2d8 damage when throwing them and their Range Increment is increased to 60ft.

    Colossus [Su]: As of 16th level, the Strongman grows into a mighty giant along with the growing tent. When inside the enlarged tent produced by In the Big Tent, his size increases to Huge, though he counts as Gargantuan wherever it would be beneficial to him. He gains a +8 bonus on his Strength score, Suffers a -2 penalty on Attack rolls and Defence and his bonus on Intimidate, Grapple, Bullrush and Trip checks increases by a total of +12 [including both size and strength]. Anything that he picks up grows to match his size and deal damage as if they were two sizes larger than they actually are. The damage from objects he throws increases to 4d8.

    Atlas [Su]: At 20th level, the Strongman grows utterly massive under the Ringmaster's In the Big Tent ability. When under the effects of this power, and inside the enlarged tent that it produces, his size increases to Gargantuan, though he counts as Colossal wherever it would be beneficial to him. He gains a +12 bonus on his Strength score, suffers a -4 penalty on Attack rolls and Defence and his bonus on Intimidate, Grapple, Bullrush and Trip checks increases by a total of +12 [including both size and strength]. Anything that he picks up grows to match his size and deal damage as if they were three size larger than they actually are. The damage dealt by objects thrown under these conditions increases to 6d8 damage.


    Notes: Less Macabre than the rest, the Strongman is powerful and destructive. It seemed logical to give him the ability to Rage, but this seemed like overkill and can still be added by simply giving him a level of Barbarian should you wish to. I personally thought it was going too far down the "Bane" route...

    More Circus-folks to follow: I got bogged down while trying to refit the Bard into a Fae based character...
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2009-12-14 at 11:55 AM.

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