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    Default [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    CEREBRAL STALKER


    a cerebral stalker at work

    The cerebral stalker is both a warrior of the night and of the mind. A cerebral stalker utilizes physical and mental swiftness in battle, perfected by long hours of training and meditation. The stalker’s main source of power is his intelligence and telepathic powers, allowing him to quickly analyze a situation and gain the benefits of his knowledge in combat, as well as being able to read his opponent’s thoughts in order to gain an advantage. Cerebral stalker’s are known for being swift and deadly, both physically and mentally.

    Cerebral stalkers can range from hired assassins, infiltrating the most secure locations by breaking into the very minds of the guards themselves, or simple thieves, gaging the threat of a location with their mindsight, or even as vigilantes, bringing justice to criminals of the night by breaking down their minds and bodies.

    Game Rule Information

    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: d6
    Starting Gold: As rogue.

    Class Skills
    The cerebral stalker’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Knowledge (local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Psionic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x4.
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.

    Level
    BAB
    Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Telepathy
    AC Bonus
    Special
    1st
    +0
    +0
    +2
    +2
    10 ft.
    +0
    Mind strike +1d6, trap finding, wild talent
    2nd
    +1
    +0
    +3
    +3
    15 ft.
    +0
    Uncanny dodge
    3rd
    +2
    +1
    +3
    +3
    25 ft.
    +0
    Mind strike +2d6, mental acuity +1 (skills)
    4th
    +3
    +1
    +4
    +4
    30 ft.
    +0
    Mindsight, evasion
    5th
    +3
    +1
    +4
    +4
    40 ft.
    +1
    Mind strike +3d6, improved uncanny dodge
    6th
    +4
    +2
    +5
    +5
    45 ft.
    +1
    Mental acuity +2 (initiative)
    7th
    +5
    +2
    +5
    +5
    55 ft.
    +1
    Mind strike +4d6, mind vision
    8th
    +6/+1
    +2
    +6
    +6
    60 ft.
    +1
    Mental leap
    9th
    +6/+1
    +3
    +6
    +6
    70 ft.
    +1
    Mind Strike +5d6, mental acuity +3 (saves)
    10th
    +7/+2
    +3
    +7
    +7
    75 ft.
    +2
    Mental shock
    11th
    +8/+3
    +3
    +7
    +7
    85 ft.
    +2
    Mind Strike +6d6, unconquerable mind
    12th
    +9/+4
    +4
    +8
    +8
    90 ft.
    +2
    Mental acuity +4 (speed)
    13th
    +9/+4
    +4
    +8
    +8
    100 ft.
    +2
    Mind strike +7d6, improved evasion
    14th
    +10/+5
    +4
    +9
    +9
    105 ft.
    +2
    Cloud senses
    15th
    +11/+6/+1
    +5
    +9
    +9
    115 ft.
    +3
    Mind strike +8d6, mental acuity +5 (damage)
    16th
    +12/+7/+2
    +5
    +10
    +10
    120 ft.
    +3
    Mind blank
    17th
    +12/+7/+2
    +5
    +10
    +10
    130 ft.
    +3
    Mind Strike +9d6, mental overload
    18th
    +13/+8/+3
    +6
    +11
    +11
    135 ft.
    +3
    Mental acuity +6, mental acuity (spell resistance)
    19th
    +14/+9/+4
    +6
    +11
    +11
    145 ft.
    +3
    Mind strike +10d6, improved mental shock
    20th
    +15/+10/+5
    +6
    +12
    +12
    150 ft.
    +4
    Destruction of the mind

    Class Features

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Cerebral stalkers are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the hand crossbow, kama, kukri, nunchaku, sai, shortbow, short sword, longsword, rapier, sap, shuriken, and siangham. Cerebral stalkers are proficient with all light armor, but not shields.

    Telepathy: A cerebral stalker’s mind is empowered, allowing him to communicate with any creature that has a language. The telepathy’s range is dictated on the table above.

    AC Bonus (Ex): A cerebral stalker’s swift mind allows him to react to attacks much more quickly. When unencumbered and with no more than light armor equipped, the cerebral stalker adds his Intelligence bonus (if any) as an insight bonus to his AC. In addition, a cerebral stalker gains a +1 insight bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five cerebral stalker levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).

    Mind Strike: The cerebral stalker’s intelligence and telepathic ability allows him to increase the damage he deals against targets affected by his telepathy (although the creature does not need to speak or comprehend a language for this ability). If a cerebral stalker can catch an opponent when it is unable to defend himself effectively from mental attack, he can strike a vital or unguarded spot for extra damage. This extra damage dice is added any time the cerebral stalker’s target would be denied their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any), or when the cerebral stalker flanks his target.

    Alternatively, this extra damage may be added when the cerebral stalker forcefully intrudes on the target’s mind instead of simply catching them off guard. If the target fails on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save, then the extra dice may be added to any attacks made that round. Activating this ability is a free action. Only one target may be affected by the extra dice incurred in this manner, and only the target that failed its Will save.

    The extra damage is 1d6 at level 1, and it increases by 1d6 every odd cerebral stalker levels thereafter. Should the cerebral stalker score a critical hit with a mind strike, this extra damage is not multiplied.

    Ranged attacks can count as mind strikes only if the target is within 30 feet.

    Creatures immune to critical hits are still affected by this ability, but only if they are not mindless or immune to mind-affecting abilities. A cerebral stalker cannot use mind strike to deal nonlethal damage. Weapons capable of dealing only nonlethal damage don’t deal extra damage when used as a part of a mind strike.

    The extra damage from the mind strike ability stacks with the extra damage from sneak attack or sudden strike whenever both would apply to the same target. Additionally, this ability counts as sneak attack for the purposes of qualifying for prestige classes that require it. This ability also counts as sneak attack for the purpose of feats that require or affect it (when applicable).

    Trapfinding: A cerebral stalker can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and he can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magical traps. See the rogue class feature (PHB 50).

    Wild Talent: A cerebral stalker gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat. Additionally, the cerebral stalker may learn psionic powers through the use of feats or similar. For this purpose, add the cerebral stalker's level to any manifesting class levels he has for the purposes of manifester levels.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At level 2, the cerebral stalker gains the uncanny dodge ability. This functions as the rogue ability of the same name.

    Mental Acuity (Ex): A cerebral stalker’s mental powers allow him to react to danger quickly, as well as use his intelligence in areas that would not normally require it. At level 2, the cerebral stalker gains a +1 insight bonus on initiative rolls. This improves to +2 at level 5, and an additional +1 at levels 9, 13, and 17. Additionally, the cerebral stalker may use his Intelligence modifier for attack rolls instead of the normal ability score.

    In addition, the cerebral stalker may use his intelligence as an additional modifier an amount of times per day equal to one-half his class level (minimum 1) plus his Intelligence bonus (if any). This ability may be used in the following ways:

    At level 3, the cerebral stalker can utilize his high intelligence to aid non-intelligence based skill checks. Whenever the cerebral stalker attempts a skill check where the key ability score is not Intelligence, he may expend a mental acuity use to add his Intelligence modifier to the roll. Mental acuity uses used in this fashion may only function once per round.

    At level 6, the cerebral stalker can use his telepathy and intelligence to further enhance his reflexes, and even slightly foresee events. At the beginning of combat, he may expend a mental acuity use to add his Intelligence modifier to his initiative modifier. Activating this ability is an immediate action. This ability is only usable once per encounter.

    At level 9, the cerebral stalker can use his mental prowess to foresee events, hinder bodily harm, and increase his force of will. Whenever the cerebral stalker is subject to an effect that incurs a Fortitude, Reflex, or Will save he may expend a mental acuity use to add his Intelligence modifier to the roll. This ability only affects a single roll, and does not affect any subsequent rolls even when incurred by the same ability. This ability is only usable once per round.

    At level 12, the cerebral stalker can boost his speed by expending a mental acuity use. The cerebral stalker’s base speed increases by 30 feet for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier. This ability stacks with any other instances of itself (up to a maximum of 3 uses expended (90 ft.)). At any point in which more than one mental acuity uses are expended, the cerebral stalker may, instead of increasing his speed, gain an additional attack each round (one additional attack maximum). For example, if a cerebral stalker chose to expend 3 uses of mental acuity, he may increase his speed by 90 ft., or increase his speed by 60 ft. and gain an additional attack. This additional attack stacks with all other effects that grant additional attacks. Activating this ability is a swift action.

    At level 15, the cerebral stalker may perceive weaknesses in his opponents physical and mental defense, and use these weaknesses to his advantage. By expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker may add his Intelligence modifier to all damage rolls made during the round this ability was activated. Activating this ability is a swift action. This ability does not stack.

    At level 18, the cerebral stalker can enhance his resistance to spells and spell-like abilities. By expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker gains 10 + class level spell resistance for a number of rounds equal to his Intelligence modifier. In addition, the cerebral stalker can even reflect spells back at the caster. If the caster’s caster level check fails to overcome the cerebral stalker’s spell resistance, the spell has a chance to reflect. Subtract the caster’s caster level check result from the cerebral stalker’s spell resistance. This number is the highest level spell the cerebral stalker can reflect. For example, if a level 18 cerebral stalker is affected by a level 17 wizard’s finger of death, and the spell is negated due to the cerebral stalker’s spell resistance (28) due to the wizard’s caster level check of 21, the spell is reflected (28 - 21 = 7, the level of the spell). If the caster rolls higher than the number needed to reflect the spell, the spell is still negated but not reflected. This ability requires a swift action to activate. However, the cerebral stalker may also activate this ability as an immediate action, but the duration is halved.

    A maximum of 5 uses of mental acuity may be expended per round.

    Mindsight: At level 4, the cerebral stalker gains Mindsight (LoM 126) as a bonus feat.

    Evasion (Ex): At level 4, the cerebral stalker gains the evasion ability. This functions as the rogue ability of the same name.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At level 5, the cerebral stalker gains the improved uncanny dodge ability, as the rogue ability of the same name.

    Mind Vision (Su): At level 7, the cerebral stalker may enter its target’s consciousness and see the world as they do. Once per minute, the cerebral stalker may target any creature that is currently being affected by his telepathy. The creature must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or be affected. Upon a failed save, the cerebral stalker enters the mind of the target, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling what the target does, as well as hearing surface thoughts. The cerebral stalker does not literally enter their mind as with mental leap, but instead retains his current state and gains the effects detailed by this ability. The target is not aware of this ability. This ability can be used for a number of rounds equal to 3 + Int modifier. If the target goes out of range of the cerebral stalker’s telepathy, the cerebral stalker may continue mind vision for 1 additional round before it fails. If the creature succeeds on the Will save, then they are immediately aware that someone tried to access their mind, but nothing more. Activating this ability is a full-round action and is treated as a spell for Concentration checks (spell level equal to class level divided by 2, max 9). Mind vision is usable a number of times per day equal to the cerebral stalker’s Intelligence modifier.

    Mental Leap (Su): At level 8, the cerebral stalker can fully and completely enter the minds of his opponents. As a standard action, expending a use of mental acuity, the cerebral stalker may, upon a failed DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save, enter the mind of an adjacent opponent completely. The cerebral stalker appears to disappear, his body entering the target's mind. The cerebral stalker may remain in the target’s mind until the end of his next turn, at which point the cerebral stalker must exit. He may exit either through the same mind he entered, or instead traverse to another creature’s mind within range of his telepathy. This creature must also succeed on a Will save, or the cerebral stalker enters their mind (dealing no damage). This ability may be used continuously, a number of times equal to the cerebral stalker’s Intelligence modifier, but only once per round.

    Both the initial entering and the final exiting deals 1d6/class level damage (max 15d6). When exiting a mind, the cerebral stalker must choose an open, adjacent square or suffer equal damage to the target each round he remains inside their mind past his limit. While inside an opponents mind he can read both surface and subconscious thoughts, as well as being able to converse with the target. The cerebral stalker can choose to negate the damage dealt upon entering or exiting his opponent’s minds, also negating any possible damage to himself.

    If the cerebral stalker is caught inside their target’s mind when the target is killed, the cerebral stalker must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier (all using the target's stats) Will save or be killed as well (a successful check removes the cerebral stalker from the target’s mind without harm). If their target is affected by a mind-affecting effect, the cerebral stalker must make a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or also be affected (incurring separate saves from the target). A creature may not be affected by this ability more than 1/round/Int modifier.

    Mental Shock (Su): At level 10, whenever the cerebral stalker is able to deal additional damage due to a critical hit, he may also deal a swift, mental attack. The target receives a -4 penalty on Will saves until the end of the cerebral stalker’s next turn. This ability does not stack with itself, but is refreshed upon any additional critical hits made by the cerebral stalker.

    Unconquerable Mind (Ex): At level 11, the cerebral stalker’s mind becomes nigh impenetrable. The cerebral stalker gains a +4 bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting effects. Additionally, any mental attack or intrusion attempted against the cerebral stalker has a 30% chance of being reflected back upon the attacker (whether successful or not, and even if the cerebral stalker is immune to the ability) as if the cerebral stalker had used the ability.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): At level 13, the cerebral stalker gains improved evasion, as the rogue ability of the same name.

    Cloud Senses (Su): At level 14 the cerebral stalker gains the ability to confound the minds of his opponents. For a number of targets in telepathy range up to 3 + Int modifier, the cerebral stalker may attempt a Hide check even when being watched. In addition, he gains a +4 bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks against targets included in this ability.

    Mind Blank (Sp): At level 16, the cerebral stalker’s mind becomes completely impenetrable. The cerebral stalker is considered under the effects of a constant mind blank ability, with the spell’s caster level equal to the cerebral stalker’s class level. This ability may be suppressed or resumed at will, as a swift action.

    Mental Overload (Su): The cerebral stalker can infiltrate his opponent’s minds and render them incapable of action. At level 17, by expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker can reach out telepathically to the enemies surrounding him and stun them. All enemies in a 30 foot range must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or be stunned for 1d4+1 rounds. Activating this ability requires one standard action.

    Improved Mental Shock (Su): The cerebral stalker may decrease his opponent’s mental faculties even more than before. At level 19, by expending a mental acuity use, the cerebral stalker can daze his opponent’s mind, causing them to suffer a -10 penalty on Will saves for 3 + Int mod rounds. This ability does not stack with itself, but stacks with Mental Shock. In addition, the opponent is dazed for 1 round. Activating this ability requires one swift action.

    Destruction of the Mind (Su): At level 20, the cerebral stalker gains the ability to use his telepathic might to completely destroy a creature’s mind. Once per day, the cerebral stalker may manifest microcosm as a psion of equal level. This power may only be used on a single target, using the cerebral stalker’s Intelligence modifier as the primary casting stat.


    New Feats

    Improved Mental Acuity
    Your mental acuity ability gains additional uses.
    Prerequisites: Mental Acuity class feature
    Benefit: You gain 3 extra uses of mental acuity each day.
    Normal: You are limited to a number of mental acuity uses equal to one-half class level + Int modifier.
    Special: You may gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Mental Finesse
    Your focused intellect allows you to find the weakest points to strike.
    Prerequisites: Mental Acuity class feature, Int 15
    Benefit: By expending a use of mental acuity, and when using any weapon that the cerebral stalker class grants proficiency in, you may add your Intelligence modifier to your attack roll.

    For Use in a Low-Tier Game
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    A cerebral stalker does not belong in a game with monks and samurai, and is much more at home as a powerful martial class in upper-tier games. If a player wishes to play a cerebral stalker in a less powerful game, the DM can adopt these easy changes in order to reduce the power of the cerebral stalker to that of a lower tier.

    First, reduce the cerebral stalker's mind strike progression to +1d6/three levels instead of +1d6/two levels.

    Additionally, the cerebral stalker must now be completely unarmored in order to gain use of his AC bonus and other encumbrance-dependent class features.

    Introduce the following feat:

    Improved Mind Strike
    Your mind strike is even more devastating than normal.
    Prerequisites: Mind Strike +1d6
    Benefit: Whenever a creature takes damage from your mind strike class feature, if must succeed on a DC 10 + 1/2 class level + Int modifier Will save or receive an additional 1d8 points of damage.
    Special: This feat can be taken multiple times, its effects stack.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2014-09-05 at 05:37 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    So it's like a gestalt rogue\monk but better that uses intelligence for everything and a dash of psion thrown in for good measure?

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    So it's like a gestalt rogue\monk but better that uses intelligence for everything and a dash of psion thrown in for good measure?
    Yes, that's the general idea, and I don't really see the fact that it's better than a rogue/monk to be a problem. Constructive criticism, perhaps? I was thinking that if it was too overpowered I could get rid of the evasion/uncanny dodge progression, even though it fits the flavor pretty well and I wouldn't like to get rid of it.
    “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him
    the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read;
    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Keep in mind that I'm not the best at balancing, but...

    1) I would, perhaps, put a limit on how many uses of Mental Acuity they can expend per round (per level).

    2) Mind Vision seems fairly powerful. I'd either put a total number of uses per day for it, or have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to use it.

    3) Ditto for Mental Leap. This does seem exceedingly powerful -- an awful lot of things in one package. And it can be used continuously (up to the total number of uses)? Wow. Also, is this a teleportive effect? Does the cerebral stalker disappear while he's Leaping?

    4) I'd have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to power Cloud Senses as well.

    5) Mind Blank seems to make Unconquerable Mind useless.

    6) Destruction of the Mind seems awfully powerful. A No Save (I'd at least give it a Will save) encounter-ending ability. I realize that it is a capstone ability, but it is still a bit much (a 9th level power). I might also have a Mental Acuity cost for this.

    I like the flavor and the idea of the class, but I do find it powerful. What were you trying to balance it against?
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Being more powerful isn't a problem.

    But what it does is render the rogue obsolete. Hell the intelligence focus even insures, that the 6 skill points makes them BETTER skill monkeys, so they don't even have that going for them anymore.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Being more powerful isn't a problem.

    But what it does is render the rogue obsolete. Hell the intelligence focus even insures, that the 6 skill points makes them BETTER skill monkeys, so they don't even have that going for them anymore.
    Not that factotums didn't already do that.
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    Hoopy Frood in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Melayl View Post
    Keep in mind that I'm not the best at balancing, but...

    1) I would, perhaps, put a limit on how many uses of Mental Acuity they can expend per round (per level).
    Good idea, I'll add that in. I meant to do it originally but I think I just limited each ability instead.

    2) Mind Vision seems fairly powerful. I'd either put a total number of uses per day for it, or have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to use it.
    Well it doesn't last that long and requires the cerebral stalker to do nothing else, but I'll definitely add a use limit (equal to Int mod).

    3) Ditto for Mental Leap. This does seem exceedingly powerful -- an awful lot of things in one package. And it can be used continuously (up to the total number of uses)? Wow. Also, is this a teleportive effect? Does the cerebral stalker disappear while he's Leaping?
    Well maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough. As a standard action you jump into an adjacent opponent's mind, dealing damage. You can't do anything else that turn. Next turn, you can either exit their mind, or travel to another mind within range (you don't actually enter the real world). You can keep jumping once a turn, but eventually are forced to leave when the time is up, also dealing damage. It does less than a fireball of equal level, and is basically just combined with dimension door. I'll make it expend a use of mental acuity, and also if the person's mind they're in is killed, or they are affected by a mind-affecting effect, it will kill or also affect the cerebral stalker as well. Maybe that will make them a bit more wary about using it.

    4) I'd have them expend a use of Mental Acuity to power Cloud Senses as well.
    It's a less powerful version of hide in plain sight, I don't really see a reason to. I'll think about it though.

    5) Mind Blank seems to make Unconquerable Mind useless.
    I'll word it more clearly, the chance to reflect the spell still works even with mind blank, I state that it is a chance whenever an attempt is made, not a successful attempt.

    6) Destruction of the Mind seems awfully powerful. A No Save (I'd at least give it a Will save) encounter-ending ability. I realize that it is a capstone ability, but it is still a bit much (a 9th level power). I might also have a Mental Acuity cost for this.
    It's a 1/day ability that mimics a single, nerfed 9th level power. You also get it three levels later than a psion would. While definitely powerful, it's not even close to a caster's power level, so I don't think this will be a problem.

    I like the flavor and the idea of the class, but I do find it powerful. What were you trying to balance it against?
    I started with a ninja but got rid of their ki abilities and the poison use, adding in both rogue/monk abilities with a bit of telepathic flair. I was consciously making it more powerful than the rogue, monk, or ninja, all classes I consider underpowered.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-01-26 at 01:18 AM.
    “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him
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    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
    ~Stoner, John Williams~
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei221 View Post
    Not that factotums didn't already do that.
    well with the exception of the sneak attack stuff beguilers too. Still even with precedent i think it's a bad design choice to offer something that complete overshadows something else.

    If they were no rogues in the campaign however...

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    #1 and 2 -- Both good clarifications, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    Well maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough. As a standard action you jump into an adjacent opponent's mind, dealing damage. You can't do anything else that turn. Next turn, you can either exit their mind, or travel to another mind within range (you don't actually enter the real world). You can keep jumping once a turn, but eventually are forced to leave when the time is up, also dealing damage. It does less than a fireball of equal level, and is basically just combined with dimension door. I'll make it expend a use of mental acuity, and also if the person's mind they're in is killed, or they are affected by a mind-affecting effect, it will kill or also affect the cerebral stalker as well. Maybe that will make them a bit more wary about using it.
    I think those changes help balance it nicely. Although the cerebral stalker is still basically untouchable while he's Leaping (unless you know who he's Leaped into and kill them).

    It's a less powerful version of hide in plain sight, I don't really see a reason to. I'll think about it though.
    Good point. I guess I didn't read that one well enough.

    I'll word it more clearly, the chance to reflect the spell still works even with mind blank, I state that it is a chance whenever an attempt is made, not a successful attempt.
    True, I guess.

    [quuote]It's a 1/day ability that mimics a single, nerfed 9th level power. You also get it three levels later than a psion would. While definitely powerful, it's not even close to a caster's power level, so I don't think this will be a problem.[/quote] It's a power that a psion has to spend 17 points (a significant cost) on, limiting his ability to use other powers. However, it is your class, so it is your decision.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Melayl View Post
    I think those changes help balance it nicely. Although the cerebral stalker is still basically untouchable while he's Leaping (unless you know who he's Leaped into and kill them).
    Yeah but he also can't do anything when he's in there, and is quite vulnerable.

    It's a power that a psion has to spend 17 points (a significant cost) on, limiting his ability to use other powers. However, it is your class, so it is your decision.
    Yeah well, equate it to a 9th level spell, of which a wizard gets a few per day, even just at level 17. This is just 1 spell, and its uses are limited. I'm not going to change it at the moment, I think it's fairly balanced.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Actually it is fairly specific a class, as a sort of mentalist hunter\assassin. Any reason why you decided to make it a base class and not a PrC?

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    I'm not sure honestly, I guess I can fit a lot more of the features that I wanted to in a base class as opposed to a prestige class.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    I don't know it just seems a little superfluous. Had abilities fitted in to fill out the base class.

    I could be mistaken though, there's not a whole lot of fluff to go bby

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    I don't know it just seems a little superfluous. Had abilities fitted in to fill out the base class.

    I could be mistaken though, there's not a whole lot of fluff to go bby
    Yeah, I'll add some more fluff. Basically just warriors who use their intelligence and telepathy to combat their enemies instead of their physical dexterity and strength. Not terribly specific in my opinion.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    You know, Vaynor, I really like this. It feels like a Monk rewrite, one that I really like. I think the biggest thing about this class I liked was that it a) gets Mindsight at level 3; and b) that Mind Strike can be activated as a swift action on normal opponents. That really gives the Stalker the ability to do some impressive stuff. I don't have much to say, other than "wow, nice job".

    I did have a single question though: why the lack of all armor at all? I know they get Int to AC and a scaling AC bonus, but that's not all that much in my mind (though, two stats to AC IS nice). Was there a reason for that, or was it just following in the footsteps of the Monk/Ninja?

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    You know, Vaynor, I really like this. It feels like a Monk rewrite, one that I really like. I think the biggest thing about this class I liked was that it a) gets Mindsight at level 3; and b) that Mind Strike can be activated as a swift action on normal opponents. That really gives the Stalker the ability to do some impressive stuff. I don't have much to say, other than "wow, nice job".

    I did have a single question though: why the lack of all armor at all? I know they get Int to AC and a scaling AC bonus, but that's not all that much in my mind (though, two stats to AC IS nice). Was there a reason for that, or was it just following in the footsteps of the Monk/Ninja?
    I'm actually going to remove the requirement to be unarmored for the AC bonus, I copied it over from the monk and I left the change to last minute and forgot about it. They're not trained in any armor but I'm going to let them wear light armor all they want (or mithral medium armor ).

    Thanks for the comments, that's kind of what I was going for. I felt that all the options for stealthy melee characters were a) too bland, or b) not powerful enough to compete with spellcasters, so I thought this would be a good alternative. Plus, their mind-affecting abilities and optional save bonuses make them pretty effective against spellcasters themselves, while still being useful against melee characters. Thanks a bunch!

    Edit: I also added a bit more fluff to give people a better idea of the class.

    Edit Deux: Changed my mind and gave them light armor proficiency.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-01-26 at 03:09 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Wild Talent. They need it. With all the stuff they're doing, they need Wild Talent as a bonus feat at level 1.

    Also, this I like. A gestalt lurk/rogue telepath thing, good combat abilities. I'd like to put this in the Tier 4 range, upper range. Perhaps lower Tier 3, does have some significantly nice abilities. Definitely does its role. Good stuff.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    I'd agree that they need Wild Talent somewhere, and I don't think it would be too dipworthy to grant that at level 1. But, yeah. I really, really like these guys. They fit into a niche without being too overdone, have some nice flavor and fleshed-out mechanics that look fun to play. Great work on all parts

    Also, I wouldn't worry about it replacing the rogue. You could make that argument about most well-made skillmonkey classes.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    My only concern is that it seems more like PrC material rather than base class material. That's hardly the end of the world, but you might want to read Djinn in Tonic's excellent homebrewing guide (What To Make, And How To Make It Special) for some discussion on the differences between the two.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappy9000 View Post
    I'd agree that they need Wild Talent somewhere, and I don't think it would be too dipworthy to grant that at level 1. But, yeah. I really, really like these guys. They fit into a niche without being too overdone, have some nice flavor and fleshed-out mechanics that look fun to play. Great work on all parts

    Also, I wouldn't worry about it replacing the rogue. You could make that argument about most well-made skillmonkey classes.
    Like I said, I'm not terribly worried about replacing the rogue. I think that people who want to play a rogue will still do so.

    I'll definitely add Wild Talent in, I honestly hadn't even thought about it.

    Thanks for the compliments guys.

    And as far as the PrC vs. base class thing goes, I think this is kind of what you'd see if the EPH had a rogue class, not actually psionic but with psionic flavor. I think maybe I'll make a psion or psychic warrior//cerebral stalker gish PrC for the next PrC contest (if it works for the contest), I think that could be pretty cool.
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-01-26 at 02:28 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    This is really quite good.

    Some (I hope) helpful feedback:

    Skill List: Put Autohypnosis on the skill list. It fits the flavor.
    Mind Strike: This still refers to rogue in one place (copy/paste error). Add text stating that it counts as sneak attack for the purpose of qualifying for prestige classes that require xd6 of sneak attack. Increase the damage progression to +1d6 per odd-numbered level -- a rogue's sneak attack already scales poorly with level; don't make it worse. If you feel that makes it too powerful, nerf the ability to bypass sneak attack immunity by making that benefit only apply if the target fails the save.
    Mental Acuity: I really like the ability to use Int with Weapon Finesse. Kudos. I dislike that the bonus scales according to an irregular progression. This ability also begs for
    1. a feat granting extra uses of Mental Acuity per day or the ability to use more Mental Acuity per round, and
    2. something else to use your Mental Acuity uses on past level 13.
    Uncanny Dodge/Improved Uncanny Dodge: An unwritten rule of these abilities is that Uncanny Dodge is always received at 2nd level and Improved Uncanny Dodge is always received at 5th level.
    Mind Vision: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
    Mental Leap: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
    Mental Shock: Do you mean to say that the ability does not stack, or that it does not stack with itself? The latter is more fitting with standard D&D rules, as untyped penalties from different sources always stack.
    Improved Evasion: Nice, but gained a little late.
    Mind blank: Very nice, but gained a little late.
    Destruction of the Mind: As you mentioned, this is a weak capstone because it's a nerfed version of an ability other classes gained three levels ago. However, using it as a supernatural ability, not subject to counterspelling or spell/power resistance, saves it.

    Overall I'd say that this is a great class, flavorful and well-envisioned, with a number of unique abilities. It does not feel like rogue-plus. It feels like a unique creation, although I recognize influences from the rogue, ninja, monk, and factotum. It is well-synergized and has tons of style.

    However, while the class starts strong, it has a weak finish, and is gasping its way to level 20 as it reaches Destruction of the Mind. I'd recommend the following to improve your endgame (table shows proposed changes):
    1. Better mind strike progression
    2. Uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge gained at the typical levels
    3. More regular progression of Mental Acuity (gained at 3rd level, improving 1/3 levels thereafter)
    4. Improved evasion and mind blank gained closer to the level that other classes gain them
    5. New powers at levels 17, 18, and 19. You need more abilities that are competitive with 8th and 9th level maneuvers/spells/psionic powers. A nerfed microcosm 1/day is insufficient.


    {table=head]Level|
    BAB
    |Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save| Telepathy |
    AC Bonus
    |Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    10 ft.
    |
    +0
    |Mind strike +1d6, trap finding, wild talent

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    15 ft.
    |
    +0
    |Uncanny dodge

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    25 ft.
    |
    +0
    |Mind strike +2d6, mental acuity +1 (skills)

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    30 ft.
    |
    +0
    |Mindsight, evasion

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    40 ft.
    |
    +1
    |Mind strike +3d6, improved uncanny dodge

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    45 ft.
    |
    +1
    |Mental acuity +2 (initiative)

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    55 ft.
    |
    +1
    |Mind strike +4d6, mind vision

    8th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    60 ft.
    |
    +1
    |Mental leap

    9th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    70 ft.
    |
    +1
    |Mind Strike +5d6, mental acuity +3 (saves)

    10th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    75ft.
    |
    +2
    |Mental shock

    11th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    85 ft.
    |
    +2
    |Mind Strike +6d6, unconquerable mind

    12th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    90 ft.
    |
    +2
    |Mental acuity +4 (speed)

    13th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    100 ft.
    |
    +2
    |Mind strike +7d6, improved evasion

    14th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    105 ft.
    |
    +2
    |Cloud senses

    15th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    115 ft.
    |
    +3
    |Mind strike +8d6, mental acuity +5 (damage)

    16th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    120 ft.
    |
    +3
    |Mind blank

    17th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    130 ft.
    |
    +3
    |Mind Strike +9d6, NEW POWER

    18th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    135 ft.
    |
    +3
    |Mental acuity +6 (NEW USE FOR ACUITY)

    19th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    145 ft.
    |
    +3
    |Mind strike +10d6, NEW POWER

    20th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    150 ft.
    |
    +4
    | Destruction of the mind[/table]
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-01-27 at 11:50 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    This is really quite good.

    Some (I hope) helpful feedback:
    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback a lot.

    Skill List: Put Autohypnosis on the skill list. It fits the flavor.
    Mind Strike: This still refers to rogue in one place (copy/paste error). Add text stating that it counts as sneak attack for the purpose of qualifying for prestige classes that require xd6 of sneak attack. Increase the damage progression to +1d6 per odd-numbered level -- a rogue's sneak attack already scales poorly with level; don't make it worse. If you feel that makes it too powerful, nerf the ability to bypass sneak attack immunity by making that benefit only apply if the target fails the save.
    Done. Fixed, added. And yeah I was worried about it being too powerful, and that's already how it works (unless my wording is confusing) just checked and you're right, it doesn't say that but I meant it to, I'll change it so you can only bypass sneak attack immunity if the target fails the Will save. I'll change the progression, good point.

    Mental Acuity: I really like the ability to use Int with Weapon Finesse. Kudos. I dislike that the bonus scales according to an irregular progression. This ability also begs for
    1. a feat granting extra uses of Mental Acuity per day or the ability to use more Mental Acuity per round, and
    2. something else to use your Mental Acuity uses on past level 13.
    Thanks! Well, the progression of mental acuity is fairly regular except that it progresses at 5th level from 2nd, but after that it's every 4 levels. I didn't want to leave levels empty by putting mental acuity with other abilities, I think I'll leave the initiative boost progression of it as is.

    I couldn't think of much more to use mental acuity on, and I gave it to them early so they'd have more things to use it on early on. But now that I've given it to other abilities not listed in mental acuity (due to suggestions from people) I think I do need to add some more abilities and give more uses to them, as it's now used for too much. I'll figure that out.

    Uncanny Dodge/Improved Uncanny Dodge: An unwritten rule of these abilities is that Uncanny Dodge is always received at 2nd level and Improved Uncanny Dodge is always received at 5th level.
    I gave it to them a little later so they wouldn't be too top-heavy, and then spaced it out where it fit later on. I'll see if I can move it around.

    Mind Vision: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
    Mental Leap: Save DC should be 10 + 1/2 class level + Int.
    Simply an error when typing it up, fixed.

    Mental Shock: Do you mean to say that the ability does not stack, or that it does not stack with itself? The latter is more fitting with standard D&D rules, as untyped penalties from different sources always stack.
    I meant it does not stack with itself, reworded.

    Improved Evasion: Nice, but gained a little late.
    Mind blank: Very nice, but gained a little late.
    Like I said, I fit it in where I could. And while I know a rogue could gain it as early as level 10, it's not an immediately granted ability (they have to choose it) so I figured the levels could be a little looser on that one. As far as mind blank goes, I tried to give it to them around the time a wizard would get it, and I also didn't want to give it to them immediately after unconquerable mind. I'll put it where unconquerable mind is and move that ability lower down the progression.

    Overall I'd say that this is a great class, flavorful and well-envisioned, with a number of unique abilities. It does not feel like rogue-plus. It feels like a unique creation, although I recognize influences from the rogue, ninja, monk, and factotum. It is well-synergized and has tons of style.
    Thanks a bunch!

    However, while the class starts strong, it has a weak finish, and is gasping its way to level 20 as it reaches Destruction of the Mind. I'd recommend the following to improve your endgame (table shows proposed changes):
    1. Better mind strike progression
    2. Uncanny dodge and improved uncanny dodge gained at the typical levels
    3. More regular progression of Mental Acuity (gained at 3rd level, improving 1/3 levels thereafter)
    4. Improved evasion and mind blank gained closer to the level that other classes gain them
    5. New powers at levels 17, 18, and 19. You need more abilities that are competitive with 8th and 9th level maneuvers/spells/psionic powers. A nerfed microcosm 1/day is insufficient.
    I like the ideas, and I'll incorporate most of them, but I'm not quite sure what I should put for the last mental acuity use, I have some ideas for additional powers but I don't know what else they could add their Int to. New powers soon, just gotta work out the specifics.

    Class will be altered in a bit.
    Alterations complete. What do you think?
    Last edited by Vaynor; 2010-01-27 at 04:48 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    I would say you are ready to kick ass and chew bubblegum.

    Sadly, chewing bubblegum doesn't seem to be one of your class features, so I guess you'll just have to settle for kicking ass.

    Further feedback:

    Mental Overload: Good choice. An AoE adds some much-needed versatility, but by making it short-ranged, you force the cerebral stalker to stay close to the action, where it belongs.
    Mental Acuity (resilience): All that legalese you added about how the temporary hit points go away is unnecessary, because that's how temporary hitpoints already work anyhow. However, I dunno, I just can't wrap my head around using your brain to double your hit point total. How about the ability to gain spell/power resistance, or even spell/power turning, of class level + Int modifier? Activated as an immediate action, 1d4 round duration? That's probably more useful anyhoo.
    Improved Mental Shock: A decent upgrade, but less impressive. Maybe instead of doubling the penalty, it could add the usual -4 penalty and also daze the opponent for one round? This is more useful.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-01-27 at 06:14 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Mental Acuity (resilience): All that legalese you added about how the temporary hit points go away is unnecessary, because that's how temporary hitpoints already work anyhow. However, I dunno, I just can't wrap my head around using your brain to double your hit point total. How about the ability to gain spell/power resistance, or even spell/power turning, of class level + Int modifier? That's probably more useful anyhoo.
    Like I said, I couldn't really think of anything. Spell resistance is a great idea, I'll give them 10 + class level spell resistance, and if the amount the caster fails by is the highest level of spell the cerebral stalker can reflect the spell back on the caster (if that makes sense). So if a caster rolls 15 against a cerebral stalker's 17 spell resistance (hypothetical), the cerebral stalker can reflect the spell if it's level 2 or lower. Sound good?

    Improved Mental Shock: A decent upgrade, but less impressive. Maybe instead of doubling the penalty, it could add the usual -4 penalty and also daze the opponent for one round? This is more useful.
    I don't know, a -8 on Will saves can make or break a fight, especially for a class that relies on them so heavily. I'll make it -4, have it stack with Mental Shock but not itself, and have it daze.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    All of those things you said are good.

    I suppose it's largely a matter of taste, but the original version of improved mental shock had me thinking of mind fog, except that mind fog has a larger penalty, affects multiple targets, has a duration, can be activated on purpose, and is available ten levels sooner.

    The reason that I am meh about the -8 to saves is that for it to have any impact on the outcome of a combat,
    1. you must confirm a crit your target
    2. your crit must fail to kill your target
    3. the target must fail a Will save
    4. you or an ally must subsequently hit the target with another effect requiring a Will save
    5. The target must roll within 40% of the DC of the save.


    For a 19th level ability, I want a shorter chain of probability between me and the payday.

    But really, I'm just nitpicking because I'm bored at work. Your class is interesting, well-balanced and effective, and I'm basically planning to steal this and use it on some members of a githyanki raiding party to kill my players!
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I suppose it's largely a matter of taste, but the original version of improved mental shock had me thinking of mind fog, except that mind fog has a larger penalty, affects multiple targets, has a duration, can be activated on purpose, and is available ten levels sooner.

    For a 19th level ability, I want a shorter chain of probability between me and the payday.

    But really, I'm just nitpicking because I'm bored at work. Your class is interesting, well-balanced and effective, and I'm basically planning to steal this and use it on some members of a githyanki raiding party to kill my players!
    How about -10 on Will saves for 3 + Int mod rounds, no save, stacks with Mental Shock. Sounds pretty fair and can still give them a big boost.

    Thank you, that sounds like fun.
    “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him
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    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Still activates on a crit, right? I can totally see the cerebral stalker dual-wielding his trusty keen kukris in combat. I can also see players running in fear from him, shouting "Oh gawd, look what he just did to Bob!"

    Bwahahaha!

    Edit: Nice pic by the way. Sets a good mood.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2010-01-27 at 11:48 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaynor View Post
    And as far as the PrC vs. base class thing goes, I think this is kind of what you'd see if the EPH had a rogue class, not actually psionic but with psionic flavor.
    WotC has already made a psionic rogue class on their website (you can probably find it via google), not to mention the lurk.

    That said, this class seems to fill a new niche and do so very well. I've never figured out what type of class would get telepathy as a class feature but I guess that I know now. It is the perfect infiltrator/spy/hunter/rogue/jack-of-all-trades class.

    That said, I must agree with what was said earlier about this class being strictly better than the rogue. Right now, there are plenty of classes better than the rogue. However, a rogue with two weapons and the right build is at least somewhat competative (like a fighter specialized in tripping with a spiked chain). Your build squashes that, being better than the rogue in just about every measurable way (especially since you increased the damage dice to every other level rather than every 3). Even though this has been done in the past, it never feels quite right to me.
    Don't get me wrong, now. When other posters say that more powerful isn't overpowered, they're quite right. Unless you turn this into a caster or full psionicist, I doubt it would be overpowered even if you added a new class feature to every level.
    No matter what you do, this class is likely to be too powerful or too weak in relation to certain groups, depending on how the group plays. In the end, it is up to you whether you want this played alongside factotums, beguilers, and bards or with ninjas, paladins, and fighters.
    Even though it irks me something fierce to see a class strictly better than another, this is your decision so don't let us talk you out of it.
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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Agree with this class being good (and screw this PrC nonsense), and agree with it being strictly better than the rogue (a decent class in itself). My solution: take UMD out. Seriously, that's all.

    EDIT: actually, forgot to say - it'd also need something to do in combat besides precision damage, and that worked in enemies immune to it, both for variety and balance reasons.
    Last edited by Fail; 2010-01-28 at 02:20 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5; Class] The Cerebral Stalker

    Quote Originally Posted by Fail View Post
    Agree with this class being good (and screw this PrC nonsense), and agree with it being strictly better than the rogue (a decent class in itself). My solution: take UMD out. Seriously, that's all.

    EDIT: actually, forgot to say - it'd also need something to do in combat besides precision damage, and that worked in enemies immune to it, both for variety and balance reasons.
    Thanks, I think I will take out UMD, it's not that important to the class and it would give rogues a leg up. Also, mind strike actually does work against enemies immune to precision damage as long as they fail a will save.
    “Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him
    the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read;
    and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the
    little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”
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