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    Default The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    The Monstrous Initiate

    There is a beast lurking inside everyone

    Deep within the psyche of every creature exists bestial, primal force. Rangers touch on this force, Druids harness the more peaceful power of nature – The Monstrous initiate seeks to gain the pure primal power inherent in every animal. By becoming one with the inner beast, the Monstrous initiate becomes a force to be feared.
    Like druids, Monstrous initiates are often cast out from society by their own choice. As they gain levels in the class and become more at one with the inner beast, they become more and more outwardly changed. Eventually, many are not recognizable as their original race, but rather as a “bigfoot” or “sasquatch” creature.

    Inspiration: The ranger, while getting the “wilderness” part of fighter down, doesn’t seem to really harness the inner beast aspect of nature, and the druid’s wild shape is okay, but a bit too powerful for me.

    Game Rule Information

    Alignment: Like druids, Monstrous initiates must have at least one neutral component in their alignment, to respect nature’s lack of morals.
    Hit Die: d8. Nature’s power itself strengthens a Monstrous Initiate.
    Starting Gold: As Druid.

    Class Skills:
    The class skills for a Monstrous Initiate (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Wis), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6+Int Mod) x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (6+Int Mod)

    The Monstrous Initiate
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |Claw(1d2), Natural Armor +1

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |Bloodmagic (0,1)

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |Bite (1d2), Evasion

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Bloodmagic (2)

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |Claw (1d4), Uncanny Dodge

    6th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |Bloodmagic (3), Aligned Natural Weaponry

    7th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    | Bite(1d4), Natural Armor +2

    8th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    | Bloodmagic (4), Venom Immunity

    9th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |Claw (1d6), Natural Armor +3

    10th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |Bloodmagic (5)

    11th|
    +11/+6/+1
    |
    +7
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    | Bite (1d6), Natural Armor +4

    12th|
    +12/+7/+2
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    | Monstrous Ability, Natural Armor +5

    13th|
    +13/+8/+3
    |
    +8
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    | Claw (1d10), Bloodmagic (6)

    14th|
    +14/+9/+4
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    | Monstrous Ability, Improved Uncanny Dodge

    15th|
    +15/+10/+5
    |
    +9
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    | Bite (1d10), Bloodmagic (7)

    16th|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |Monstrous Ability, Improved Evasion

    17th|
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    | Claw (1d12), Bloodmagic (8)

    18th|
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    | Monstrous Ability, Natural Armor +6

    19th|
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    |
    +11
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    | Bite 1d12, Bloodmagic (9)

    20th|
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    |
    +12
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |Monstrous Apotheosis[/table]

    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monstrous Initiates are proficient in the use of longbows and shortbows. They are proficient in light armor.

    Claw: A Monstrous Initiate gains 2 claw attacks that deals the amount of damage shown. This damage value overrides any previous damage values. This is a natural attack. The damage dealt is slashing damage and has a critical range of 20/x2. This is a primary attack.

    Bite: A Monstrous Initiate gains a bite attack that deals the amount of damage shown. This damage value overrides any previous damage values. This is a natural attack. The damage dealt is piercing and slashing damage and has a critical range of 20/x2. In addition, it is a secondary attack.

    Bloodmagic (Sp): Once per day for each spell level, a Monstrous initiate can cast any druid spell, up to the level given, as a druid of a level equal to the Monstrous Initiate’s level. The Monstrous Initiate must pay all costs associated with the spell, but need not have a focus. The Monstrous initiate can add bonus bloodmagic spells from a high wisdom score. (For instance, a 2nd Level monstrous initiate with a wisdom of 14 would be able to cast 1 0th level spell and 2 1st level spells)

    Aligned Natural Weaponry (Ex): A Monstrous Initiate's natural weaponry, including armed and unarmed attacks, are counted as magic and aligned with the Monstrous Initiate's alignment for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.

    Evasion (Ex): As the rogue ability of the same name.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the Barbarian ability of the same name.

    Venom Immunity (Ex): As the druid ability of the same name.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the barbarian ability of the same name.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): As the rogue ability of the same name.

    Monstrous Ability (Ex): The Monstrous Initiate gains one ability from the list of Monstrous Abilities. Abilities may only be gained once unless noted with a *.
    Monstrous Apotheosis (Su): Having reached the pinnacle of natural power, a Monstrous Initiate is now a Magical Beast and gains DR 10/-.

    Monstrous Abilities:
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    {table]Name of Ability|Effect
    Monstrous Strength|+2 to STR
    Monstrous Dexterity|+2 to Dex
    Monstrous Constitution|+2 to CON
    Monstrous Intellect|+2 to INT
    Monstrous Wisdom|+2 to WIS
    Monstrous Charisma|+2 to CHA
    Monstrous Reflexes*| +4 to Reflex saves
    Monstrous Fortitude*|+4 to Fortitude saves
    Monstrous Will*|+4 to Will saves
    Eagle’s Gift*|Gain a fly speed equal to base land speed (Average maneuverability). Gaining this ability more than once will improve manueverability by one step.
    Spider’s Gift|Gain a climb speed equal to ½ base land speed, take 10 on climb checks freely, +8 on climb checks
    Fish’s Gift|Gain a swim speed equal to base land speed, take 10 on swim checks freely, +8 on swim checks
    Mole’s Gift|Gain a burrow speed equal to ½ base land speed
    Keen Bite|Double bite critical range
    Keen Claws|Double claws critical range
    Cold Iron Bones|Your natural attacks are treated as cold iron for damage reduction.
    Silver Bones|Your natural attacks are treated as silver for damage reduction.
    Adamantine Bones|Your natural attacks are treated as adamantine for damage reduction.
    Snake’s Gift|Bite gains venom (Fort Save DC 10+1/2 Monstrous Initiate Level+Con modifier, d6 Con/d6 Con)[/table]



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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacarath View Post
    Inspiration: The ranger, while getting the “wilderness” part of fighter down, doesn’t seem to really harness the inner beast aspect of nature, and the druid’s wild shape is okay, but a bit too powerful for me.
    A while ago I reworked the ranger class playing up the bestial aspects, seeing more of it i approve of.

    Class Skills:
    The class skills for a Lifeweaver (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Wis), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (6+Int Mod) x4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (6+Int Mod)
    Emphasis mine.

    Also d10 and a high skill focus strikes me as counter to precedent. (even warriors tend to sacrifice a little bit hp for moar skills, likely to keep skillcharacters appealing. As such I'd suggest a d8 hd with the monstrous abilities allowing a greater focus on HD\HP if desired)

    {table=head]16th|
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    |
    +10
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |BMonstrous Ability, Improved Evasion[/table]
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Lifeweavers are proficient in the use of longbows and shortbows. They are proficient in light and medium armor and light shields.
    Claw: A Monstrous Initiate gains 2 claw attacks that deals the amount of damage shown. This damage value overrides any previous damage values. This is a natural attack. The damage dealt is slashing damage and had a critical range of 20/x2.

    Bite: A Monstrous Initiate gains a bite attack that deals the amount of damage shown. This damage value overrides any previous damage values. This is a natural attack. The damage dealt is piercing damage and had a critical range of 20/x2.
    Which is treated as primary\secondary attacks?

    Bloodmagic (Su): Once per day, a Monstrous initiate can cast any druid spell, up to the level given, as a druid of a level equal to the Monstrous Initiate’s level. The Monstrous Initiate must pay all costs associated with the spell, but need not have a focus.
    Uh supernatural doesn't really fit.

    Also kinda cool way of giving it some magical awesome without traditional spellcasting. Like a once day spell like ability that can be anything until you use it.

    Should probably clarify if or not preperation is required.

    Aligned Natural Weaponry (Ex): A Monstrous Initiate's natural weaponry, including armed and unarmed attacks, are counted as magic and aligned with the Monstrous Initiate's alignment for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.
    Maybe consider allowing natural attacks to bypass material damage reduction as a monstrous ability aswell?

    Evasion (Ex): As the rogue ability of the same name.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the Barbarian ability of the same name.

    Venom Immunity (Ex): As the druid ability of the same name.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): As the barbarian ability of the same name.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): As the rogue ability of the same name.
    yea yea yea appropiately beastly, though it is starting to step on barbarian and rogue toes.

    Monstrous Apotheosis (Su): Having reached the pinnacle of natural power, a Monstrous Initiate is now a Magical Beast and gains DR 10/-.
    Not sure Apotheosis ('to become divine') fits in this case(is it just pulled from red dragon disciple or like without knowing what it means?)

    Magical Beast is a weird type to become. Monstrous Humanoid is probably more fitting. DR 10\- is pretty awesome, is there no way you can think of to give it some way of overcoming? (if so probably bump it up depending on how)

    Monstrous Abilities:
    {table]Name of Ability|Effect
    Monstrous Strength*|+2 to STR
    Monstrous Dexterity*|+2 to Dex
    Monstrous Constitution*|+2 to CON
    Monstrous Intellect*|+2 to INT
    Monstrous Wisdom*|+2 to WIS
    Monstrous Charisma*|+2 to CHA
    Monstrous Reflexes*| +4 to Reflex saves
    Monstrous Fortitude*|+4 to Fortitude saves
    Monstrous Will*|+4 to Will saves
    Eagle’s Gift|Gain a fly speed equal to base land speed (Average maneuverability)
    Spider’s Gift|Gain a climb speed equal to ½ base land speed, take 10 on climb checks freely
    Fish’s Gift|Gain a swim speed equal to base land speed, take 10 on swim checks freely
    Mole’s Gift|Gain a burrow speed equal to ½ base land speed
    Keen Bite|Double bite critical range
    Keen Claws|Double claws critical range
    Thick Skin*|+1 natural armor bonus
    Snake’s Gift|Bite gains venom (Fort Save DC 10+1/2 Monstrous Initiate Level+Con modifier, d6 Con/d6 Con)[/table]
    Repeated ability boosts, especially in +2 steps is bad. I'd recommend only allowing taking each once.

    Movement modes. The skill checks are generally +8 not +10 (for the sake of versimilitude) It wouldn't be too much to allow extra takings of flight to improve maneurability imo.

    You already have a fairly impressive natural armor from class levels, allowing you take more is probably too much. You will also have access to things like improved natural armor feat too so I'd suggest just leaving that off.


    Overall I like it quite a lot, only a few things i'd change. Apart from a few errors it looks about right too.
    Last edited by Latronis; 2010-02-03 at 04:21 AM.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    This doesn't seem like a class that would use shields or medium armor.

    Bloodmagic (Su): Once per day, a Monstrous initiate can cast any druid spell, up to the level given, as a druid of a level equal to the Monstrous Initiate’s level. The Monstrous Initiate must pay all costs associated with the spell, but need not have a focus.
    ANY druid spell? This seems a little much...

    As Latronis said, +2 stat boosts are a bit much at a time. Also see his highlights of your copy/paste errors.

    I like your concept -- it is very similar to my Beast Warrior, as well as a Lycanthrope 20-level progression I did several years ago. Keep working on this one -- it has good potential.
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Melayl View Post
    I like your concept -- it is very similar to my Beast Warrior, as well as a Lycanthrope 20-level progression I did several years ago. Keep working on this one -- it has good potential.
    Yes but Jacarath did not subject us to 12 million spoiler buttons . He gets my appreciation for that alone.


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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Hey! It was only 11 million. Get it straight.

    Honestly, I thought that would make it easier to review. I could be incorrect.
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    It's a delicate balancing act finding the right mix between spoilers and wall o textness

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    ANY druid spell? This seems a little much...
    If it functions as a spell-like ability and not supernatural ability I think it's fine given that it's only once a day. The max spell level is dependant on your class level after all. (and at a progression slower than even spirit shaman at least for the higher levels)

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    I like this.

    It has possibilities...
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Updated. :3
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Bump for more potential reviews. :3
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Why do you start the natural attacks of with 1d2 damage? That seems frightfully low, even for first level. Do you plan on increasing the numbers of monstrous abilities? The list you provided is rather underwhelming. And the Bloodmagic... Can they only cast a single druid spell per day? Or are they limited a single spell of each level per day?
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    @Primal Fury: They're 1d2 at first, grow in damage, and are natural weapons, which means no attacks of opportunity when you attack. You lose a maximum of 1pt of damage at first so you don't have to spend a feat on improved unarmed combat, not to mention it's lethal even without special attack gear.

    As for natural attacks, I think the progression is on spot. 1d6/1d6/1d6/1d6/1d4/1d4 keeps the balance with a wild-shaped druid and a ranger with TWF, although 12 such attacks at 1d12 at 20th level makes the capstone something you'd definitely want (something around 144 + STR x 10 top damage in a round, not counting criticals). Of course, that's only if you handle typical claw/claw/bite attack routines.

    The blood magic can make for much variation. A monstrous initiate who chooses Magic Fang/Greater Magic Fang can get a huge boost in attack and damage, and choosing spells that impede enemy movement or give the initiate an extra boost could mean you're leaping from enemy to enemy without being touched. Feats like Power Attack and cleave when put together with something like Greater Magic fang could mean you're whopping out an extra 10 damage per attack at no penalty per attack. And that's not counting the Con-damaging poison Snake's Gift gives. A lot of tougher enemies would just drop because their Con went to 0.

    Then if we tack on cleave, great cleave, and superior cleave, you're wading through most enemies. I could see one of these guys at 19th-level being able to take out the Tarrasque single-handedly with a couple lucky rolls, full buffs, light-to-medium armor and a use of their 9th-level blood magic to miracle it to permanent death.

    As for the Natural Armor, if you get high-AC equipment, you can get...
    +5 Darkleaf Breastplate = +11 +4dex
    +5 Ring of Protection = +5def
    Force Shield Ring = +2
    +5 Amulet of Natural Armor = +5
    +5 Cloak of Protection = +5res
    Boots of Haste = +1dodge
    Natural Armor buff = +4~ish
    Insight Bonus= +3~ish
    Natural armor because of class= +6
    46AC at around cap with just basic strategy and buffs. Even a high-level fighter would have to roll 10-15ish to hit the Initiate with their first attack. Add that with damage reduction, and... he's gonna be taking awhile to kill, even with a d8 HD.

    So, I think that while not as overpowered as the druid, they certainly can be with some planning, or even more so if your DM caters their campaigns to allow melee fighters to shine. I'd say it's a good class, although some late-level balance issues are kinda iffy.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Thank you for the thoughts, Meirnon. It's nice to see some new voices in the thread. :3
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    I think the class is fine, a little underpowered at lower levels. The stat boost thing doesn't matter as by high levels, you're expected to do crazy **** anyway...

    The blood magic seems fine too given it's limited to a few scaled times per day. All and all I'd say it's like a nerfed druid, which is a class that needed to be nerfed anyway and is tier 3. Maybe tier 4 if people know what they're doing in the build.

    All in all, good job. I'm going to look over all your classes and look forward to helping you playtest them in your game ad.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Just curious, what's the purpose of giving them proficiency with bows? It seems more appropriate to give them proficiency with simple weapons and nothing more.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Apropos View Post
    Just curious, what's the purpose of giving them proficiency with bows? It seems more appropriate to give them proficiency with simple weapons and nothing more.
    The purpose of this was to push the player into using his natural weapons ASAP. The bows were mainly meant to provide some kind of distance option.
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Ahh, I see. Also, Bloodmagic seems pretty useless at once per day, it really isn't much of an ability.

    Now that I've read the class, I just wanted to say that it might be weaker than the Soulknife, for exactly the same reason. It's 20 levels of natural weapons. Granted you get more of them, but these don't even get enhancement bonuses! He won't be lasting long enough to get into the higher levels because of this.

    Also, since you'll only be getting monstrous abilities at 12th levels, I think its safe to allow the ability modifying and natural armor increases to be taken multiple times.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    The blood magic allows you to get enhancement bonuses to all of your natural weapons for a small amount of time with Magic Fang.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    But that's once per day...

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    While Apropos is currently correct, I've been considering making Bloodmagic 1/day per spell level. Thoughts?
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Which makes it so they don't overpower anything. Besides, most DM's have a one-encounter per-day in between dungeons and during big, long treks. So by the time he can make use of it, the Initiate won't need it too much.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    This is a pretty cool idea. Nice work here.
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Thank you, Zexion.
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Perhaps add in some sort of Rage ability here? Or Animal Mind?
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    So I got around to glancing at this one again and I was wondering what your thoughts on giving monstrous abilities every even level would be. Offer some sort of level requirement like Dragonfire Adept Breath Effects for some you want to be delayed to later levels and give people the taste of monstrous power earlier on. Perhaps even have the abilities scale to your level so they aren't overpowering at low levels and remain relevant throughout.

    I could see some fun stuff with this class by bringing in Totemist soulmelds, whether by gestalting, feats, or dipping.

    Problem is, some people will dip even just for the 1d2 claws. The first level looks DAMN delicious for anyone who gets anywhere near this class. As is, there doesn't seem much that compels me to take 20 levels when I can get most of the abilities better from taking this class at first for the skill points and then going Totemist for 19.

    Aren't claws usually slashing and piercing while bites are all three? >.>
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Claws are slashing, biting is piercing and slashing.

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    @Zexion: What exactly would this accomplish?

    @Tacitus: They get plenty of nice things at lower levels, I figured I'd save the nice stuff for those who went through the class, similar to rogue abilities.

    As for going totemist instead of this, you present a good point. What could I do to make the class more attractive?

    @Meirnon: Will fix. ;3

    EDIT: Fixed.
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    I personally think more variety in the beastly bonuses. Maybe a full-fledged line of enhancements. Just a bit more variety and specialization for flavor.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    this class doesn't look very exciting as far as available options.... after that one spell for the day, all he does is auto attack with claws and a bite attack that he cannot enchant to make them stronger. In terms of relative power level, this really does make him much weaker than other melee classes.

    As for Bloodmagic, I feel that you should give the option for the character to gain bonus spells based off of the wisdom modifier even though it would be considered (MAD) for this class and make the spells per level progression eventually become 3/3/2/2/1/1/1/1. This way the character can have access to most of the known buffing spells and would be more self reliant.

    Also, does Monstrous Apotheosis only give the change in subtype and the damage resistance? Or is there more tied to being a magical beast?
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    Default Re: The Monstrous Initiate [3.5 Base class; PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Averagedog View Post
    this class doesn't look very exciting as far as available options.... after that one spell for the day, all he does is auto attack with claws and a bite attack that he cannot enchant to make them stronger. In terms of relative power level, this really does make him much weaker than other melee classes.

    As for Bloodmagic, I feel that you should give the option for the character to gain bonus spells based off of the wisdom modifier even though it would be considered (MAD) for this class and make the spells per level progression eventually become 3/3/2/2/1/1/1/1. This way the character can have access to most of the known buffing spells and would be more self reliant.

    Also, does Monstrous Apotheosis only give the change in subtype and the damage resistance? Or is there more tied to being a magical beast?
    I really like the idea to give him bonus spells based on Wisdom. The MAD shouldn't be TOO big of an issue.
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