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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    dspeyer's Avatar

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    Default [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    I posted this a while ago, got some feedback, started reworking it, got distracted.... You know the drill. Here it is reworked.

    Student of Nine Claws
    Swords are crutches for those lacking their own weaponry. The sublime way does not require such things.

    Long ago, a master swordsage went looking for students, and a copper dragon went looking for entertainment. They met, and the dragon said, "Teach me something interesting." Two years later they parted, and the dragon had much to ponder.

    In time, she developed these techniques. Since then, they have spread to many creatures who desire an edge in combat, but their roots with an inquisitive copper dragon still show.

    Prerequisites: 2 claws and one other natural weapon, flyby attack, a 2nd level tiger claw maneuver, at least 10 ranks in at least 2 of balance, concentration, jump, or hide.

    HP: d10
    Skills: 4+int
    Class Skills: Appraise, Balance, Jump, Knowledge(self)*, Listen, Martial Lore, Sense Motive, Search, Spot

    Knowledge(self) means whichever knowledge skill or skills applies to the creature taking the class. For example, a dragon would have knowledge(arcana), a demon would have knowledge(the planes), and a dracolich would have both knowledge(arcana) and knowledge(religion)

    {table]BAB|Ref|Fort|Will|Man K|Stances|Man R|Features
    1|2|2|0|1|0|1|Natural Weaponry, Double Claw
    2|3|3|0|0|1|0|Easy Throw, Leaping Dragon
    3|3|3|1|1|0|1|Pouncing Charge, precise breath
    4|4|4|1|0|1|0|Swift Throw, Improved Defensive Casting
    5|4|4|1|1|0|1|Swooping Attack, Multithrow, Crush of Stone, Protected Body[/table]

    Schools: Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw

    Definitions: For the purposes of this class, a "throw" maneuver is a Setting Sun strike which begins with a melee touch attack resolved as a trip attempt and results in your target being in a different square. Most of these maneuvers have descriptions that begin "this maneuver is like mighty throw except". Similarly, a "jumping" maneuver is a Tiger Claw strike that requires you to make a jump check and for which you gain no benefit (either nothing happens or you make a normal attack) if the check fails.

    Natural Weaponry (ex): You may treat all of your natural weapons as tiger claw weapons

    Double Claw (ex): When you make a single attack, you may use two of your claws together. This does damage like a claw of one size category larger, and counts as two-handed for power attack, sunder and similar effects. It does not enable rend.

    Easy Throw (ex): You may use throw maneuvers on creatures smaller than you which you have already grappled. Skip the opposed roll -- you automatically succeed.

    Leaping Dragon (su): You may use Stone Dragon maneuvers if you have touched the ground in the past minute. (Normally you must be currently touching ground to use Stone Dragon maneuvers.)

    Precise Breath (ex): If you have a breath weapon that can function as a line, you may treat it as a weapon. You attack a single target, which gets no save, but you must make a ranged touch attack. There is no half damage. A breath attack of this sort has a critical multiplier of 20x3, like a longbow, and can be used for precision damage. Since this is a weapon, you can use it for weapon-related feats and abilities, such as Weapon Focus or most of Falcon's Eye.

    Pouncing Charge (ex): You can make a full attack on a charge.

    Swift Throw (ex): When you successfully initiate grapple, you may immediately use a throw maneuver as a swift action. As with Easy Throw, no check is necessary.

    Improved Defensive Casting (su): Whenever you cast a spell, you may do so defensively, even in the presence of an enemy that would normally prevent this. Each such enemy causes a cumulative -4 penalty to the concentration check.

    Swooping attack (ex): You may execute jumping maneuvers by flying directly over the target. You must move before and after attacking. This counts as succeeding on your jump check.

    Multithrow (ex): If you are grappling multiple creatures smaller than you, you may execute a single throw maneuver against all of them. The maneuver is expended as if used normally. You may combine this with Easy Throw and Swift Throw.

    Crush of Stone (ex): If you have a crush attack, you may use it with Stone Dragon strikes. Treat anyone who fails the initial reflex save as hit for purposes of the maneuver (the maneuver may then allow a separate save, see description).

    Protected Body (su): You gain access to the Protected Body maneuver. It does not count against your maneuvers known but must be readied like any other. Treat it as a Diamond Mind counter of 4th level. When an enemy attempts to cause you ability damage or an ability penalty to a physical stat, you may use the Protected Body counter. Make a concentration check, divide the result by 5, and subtract it from the damage or penalty. For example, if a 10th level sorcerer casts Maximized Ray of Clumsiness on you for a dex penalty of 9, and your concentration check is 32, the actual dex penalty you suffer is 9 - floor(32 / 5) == 3.

    Metagame notes:
    Spoiler
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    There are a lot of abilities in this class. It is not intended that a taker be able to use all of them. A Wyrm Copper Dragon with the multisnatch feat who followed this with Master of Nine would have the best chance. Nevertheless, there should be something useful for everyone at every level, and something nifty at level 5.

    The abilities are intended to be grouped 3 by school. It's a bit of a stretch with the diamond mind ones.

    The skill prerequisites are mostly there to make this difficult for unintelligent monsters.
    Last edited by dspeyer; 2010-01-05 at 12:46 PM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    Precise Breath seems a bit out of place since it doesn't combine well with any particular maneuver or stance I can thick of... perhaps chaining BW damage onto a bite, at the cost of it being single target and still requiring the 1d4 round wait if you hit (if you don't hit, you are assumed not to breath)?

    Also, Diamond Mind doesn't seem to get anything until the last level. Although the "treat attack as touch attack" maneuver could chain well with Improved Snatch and "Quick Throw".

    Turning the 9th level Stone Dragon maneuver into an AoE is... actually not too bad for the levels it would take to actually be able to use it...

    Speaking of which, you do realize that most members of this class would probably be Epic CR or at least near it?
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2010-01-04 at 11:07 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    I'm not exactly sure what the leaping dragon ability is supposed to do. can you give me an example of what you mean?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Precise Breath seems a bit out of place since it doesn't combine well with any particular maneuver or stance I can thick of...
    It fits the general "what a copper dragon might learn to be more effective in combat" theme. There are a lot of shadow hand maneuvers (and other violent stuff) that depend on precision damage. That's useful (for example) to a wyrmling brass dragon who's mostly a scout but would like to do some damage too. Also, turning it into a weapon qualifies for falling star maneuvers and the like.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Also, Diamond Mind doesn't seem to get anything until the last level. Although the "treat attack as touch attack" maneuver could chain well with Improved Snatch and "Quick Throw".
    It's true. Diamond mind seemed very right for a dragon (since they're also spellcasters) but I was seriously strapped finding good abilities for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Speaking of which, you do realize that most members of this class would probably be Epic CR or at least near it?
    Not necessarily. Sure the most iconic members will be great wyrm dragons, but it's useful to younger ones too, and really low-cr stuff like Quasits and Giant Eagles. Low ECL candidates are a bit harder to come by, but there are wyrmlings, gargoyles, and large half-dragons.

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    I'm not exactly sure what the leaping dragon ability is supposed to do. can you give me an example of what you mean?
    Everything. It bugged me that the only discipline named after a dragon was so useless to dragons, since you have to touch the ground and dragons want to fly. I'll add a "normally" clause to clarify this.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    no no, what I was asking for is an explanation as to what the ability is supposed to do. Was it meant to be a means for dragons to be able to use the stone dragon maneuvers while in air? Just by reading the name and the fluff alone, it read like it was meant to be a hybrid between tiger claw and stone dragon, that's why I was confused.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    Ah, this is why you wanted my cold iron dragon to have a flight speed.

    Well, I certainly like the idea of this PrC, but I'm going to have to deprive my dragon and leave it for others.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    Precise Breath (ex): If you have a breath weapon that can function as a line, you may treat it as a weapon. The target gets no save, but you must make a ranged touch attack. There is no half damage. A breath attack of this sort has a critical multiplier of 20x3, like a longbow, and can be used for precision damage.
    Only one target for this ability? Or does the attack roll apply to everyone in the line?

    It fits a rather specific niche, but it seems to fit it well, and looks fun enough for DMs to use, at the least.
    Currently DMing Dawnforge.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [ToB] Student of Nine Claws (PrC for monsters)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim4488 View Post
    Only one target for this ability? Or does the attack roll apply to everyone in the line?
    One target. It's a weapon now. I'll clarify that.
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