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    Default Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Background- Around a year ago, I read Savage Species, and fell in love with the monster classes in the book. As I wanted some way to gain the abilities of such classes, and preferably more than one of them, I made this class, my very first. Please enjoy, and PEACH:

    Student of the Weird
    "I tell you, he may look like a freaky bugger, but trust me: there are few handier in a fight than Jeckel."
    Glortek, Dwarf Fighter, when talking to someone about his Student of the Weird companion


    Students of the Weird are scholars who are obsessed with one thing: The strange creatures of the world. Angels, demons, and savage beasts alike all fascinate the Student of the Weird equally. Students of the Weird often wish to be like these creatures, and do everything they can to learn these creatures abilities and be like them, often seeing them superior to regular humanoids on at least one level.

    Alignment: Students of the Weird can be found to be equally good, evil, or neutral, most often having their alignment being influenced by what creatures they seek to imitate. However, on the law vs. chaos field, most are either found to be either lawful or chaotic, depending on how they learned a monster's abilities. This is because while all Students receive training in their abilities from at least one admired monster, and must look at books for reference, Students either learn most of their abilities from structured books or directly from the monsters themselves.

    Ability Scores:
    The most handy ability score for a Student is his Constitution score, which helps keep him alive in combat, and is the main score used in his class abilities. The next most handy score is his Intelligence score, which helps the Student research things on monsters and whatever other topics the party may wish to know about, and also boosts his meager amount of skill points.
    The importance of the rest of the scores is mainly dependent on which monster classes he or she chooses for his or her Student of the Odd class feature.

    Races: Most often, humans and half-elves take this class, due to their natural curiousity and drive. Less commonly, gnomes or halflings might take this class in order to find out more about monsters from the monster's perspective, or half-orcs and elves might take this class in order to gain monster abilities to help defend their home or tribe.

    *Note: All references to "monster class" refers to the monster classes as written in Savage Species

    Student of the Weird
    HD: d8
    Skill points: 4 + Int mod (4 + Int mod x 4 at first level)
    Skills: Appraise, Balance, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Forgery, Knowledge(all), Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival, Use Magic Device

    Student of the Weird
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Unusual Anatomy, Slightly Magical(0)

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Aberrant Twist

    3rd|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Unusual Anatomy

    4th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Slightly Magical(1)

    5th|
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Unusual Anatomy

    6th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Student of the Odd

    7th|
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Slightly Magical(2), Unusual Anatomy

    8th|
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Student of the Odd

    9th|
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Aspect of the Odd(1), Unusual Anatomy

    10th|
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Student of the Odd, Slightly Magical(3)

    11th|
    +8
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Increasingly Odd

    12th|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Student of the Odd

    13th|
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Aspect of the Odd(2), Slightly Magical(4)

    14th|
    +10
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Student of the Odd

    15th|
    +11
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Aberrant Soul

    16th|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Student of the Odd, Slightly Magical(5)

    17th|
    +12
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Aspect of the Odd(3)

    18th|[center]+13/center]|
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Student of the Odd

    19th|
    +14
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Slightly Magical(6)

    20th|
    +15
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Student of the Odd, Full-Blown Monstrosity[/table]


    Class Feature Descriptions:
    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Students of the Weird are proficient with simple weapons and light armor

    Unusual Anatomy(Ex): Students of the Weird often so obsessed with the odd creatures of the world that this manifests on their form. They begin to grow appendages they never had before, gain defenses they never before had. At 1st level, and every two levels after until 9th (3rd,5th,7th), Students of the Weird gain a special ability that distinguishes them from all normal members of their race. At each level, they choose one of the abilities below. Abilities chosen more than once stack:
    Spoiler
    Show

    - +1 to Natural Armor
    - Resistance 5 to one energy type, energy types stack, but may only build to resistance 10
    - Alternate Movement: Each may only be selected once. All movement speeds are equal to the base land speed of the character. Select one of the following: Flight (maneuverability clumsy, character grows wings), Swim speed (character grows a tail), Climb, Burrow.
    - Natural Attack: Each natural attack form may only be selected once. All damages are based on a Medium-sized creature. Select one of the following when the ability is taken: 2 Claw attacks (1d4 damage, or 1d6 damage if Climb Speed is selected), 1 Bite attack (1d6 damage), 1 Tail Slap (1d8 damage, may only be taken if Swim Speed is selected), 2 Wing Buffets (1d3 damage, may only be selected if Flight Speed is selected)

    Slightly Magical(Sp): As part of their studies to become more like the monsters they observe, Students of the Weird often come across arcane knowledge and spells. While they study these spells somewhat, they are not quite as good as a normal spellcaster because they do not concentrate on spells, instead preferring to learn more about monsters. Thus, they do not learn to handle a wide range of spells, thus, the Student may only cast spells of the Transmutation, Conjuration, or Evocation schools, as well as one other school of spell. Still, they do acquire the ability to cast a few spells in an odd manner, as befits them. At 1st level and every three levels after(4th,7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 19th), Students of the Weird gain the ability to cast one spell of the level listed in parentheses on the table, or lower, as a normal spell once per day. Thus, XP and component costs must be paid, focuses are also needed.

    For example, a 4th level Student of the Weird could gain the ability to cast one 1st level spell or cantrip as a spell, while a 7th level Student of the Weird could gain the ability to cast a 2nd level, 1st level, or a cantrip as a spell once per day.

    These spells count as spells known for the purpose of entering a prestige class or qualifying for and being affected by a feat. For all spell-like abilities, the caster level is equal to 1/2 the Student's class level(minimum one). All spells are chosen from the sorcerer/ wizard spell list.

    Aberrant Twist: At 2nd level, the Student's body begins to subtly reflect the changes that it will undergo as the Student continues to journey into the world of monsters. The Student gains Abberation Blood as a bonus feat (from Lords of Madness).

    Student of the Odd:
    After a while, the Student of the Weird's studies of monsters and such have given way to more abilities. At 6th level and every two levels after, the Student may gain the class features only of any monster class, with the following restrictions:
    Spoiler
    Show

    -The Student gains no ability score boosts, nor natural armor increases of the
    monster class. The only case in which a Student may gain an ability score boost is if, due to the restrictions of this class features or the monster level's design, it would not gain anything else from the monster class at that level.
    -The Student gains the class feature levels as first a 1st level monster, then 2nd level and so on. Students may choose to enter more than one monster class, but after taking a level in another monster class, may not take any more effective levels in that monster class. For example:

    A 6th level Student of the Weird decides to gain the class features of the Minotaur monster class(with the restrictions listed here). At 8th level, he or she decides to continue the path of the Minotaur, and gains the class features(with the restrictions listed here), of a 1st level Minotaur. At 10th level, he or she decides to enter into the Drider class, thus gaining the class features of a 1st level Drider(with the restrictions listed here). From here on, the Student may continue to progress in the Drider class, or switch to another class, never returning to the Drider or Minotaur classes
    - The Student may not gain the class features of any monster with the Construct, or Elemental type. In addition, the Student cannot gain levels in any Undead monster with the incorporeal subtype
    -The Student gains no weapon proficiencies, immunities, or feats, unless the feat is specifically named (for example: Improved Initiative)
    -If a class grants subtypes, the Student may not gain any alignment subtypes that would contradict his or her alignment (For example, a Good Student can't gain the Evil subtype)
    -The Student may only gain one of the following subtypes: Archon, Angel, Fire, Cold
    -For any affects that depend on monster HD, instead use the Student of the Weird uses their class level.
    - The Student may not gain the swarm subtype, nor can he or she gain the shapechanger subtype unless he or she has the ability to change form.
    -If a class grants a natural attack and the Student already has it, then the Student uses whichever version has the highest damage die.
    -If a class grants a natural attack, the weapon deals damage as appropriate to the Student of the Weird's size.
    -Any effective spellcasting levels stack if more than one class offers effective spellcasting levels in the same class. Whichever class has more effective levels counts. For example: A Student has two effective levels in Drider, and selected cleric as the spellcasting class, and has taken three levels in Ghaele, which also offers effective cleric spellcasting levels. Since the Drider class grants two levels of spellcasting, and the Ghaele three, the Student can cast spells as a 5 level cleric
    -If a monster class grants resistance to one or more energies, the Student may only gain one resistance.
    -If a monster class grants spell resistance, the Student does not gain it.
    -Lastly, if a monster class grants multiple spell-like abilities, the Student may select a number of these abilities equal to either his or her Constitution or Intelligence modifier, whichever is higher. The Student gains all improvement s to these abilities, but does not gain any other spell-like abilities.


    With each new monster class that the Student adventures into, his body changes to reflect his or her similarity to the monster that the Student is trying to become, twisting the Student's form more and more, eventually (depending on how many monster classes are taken), becoming what looks like a human with dozens of monster traits. To give some examples of cosmetic form changes, say a Student has taken levels in the Minotaur, Drider, and Ghaele class. The Student might have started growing thick hair on parts of his or her body, or all over his or her body (Minotaur), have a slight skin color change to match that of a drider's, or started growing chitin on some parts of his or her body (Drider), and have a slightly noble and elegant look despite of this (Ghaele), obviously looking very strange. Students of the Weird often get strange looks because of this, and some folk of a religious bent may view them with suspicion.

    Aspect of the Odd: As he travels more along his odd path, the Student of the Weird becomes even more odd. At 9th level, and every four levels after that, the Student gains the ability to change his type (usually humanoid), to another type he has chosen, for a number of rounds equal to 1/3 his class level + his or her Con modifier. At each level this ability is gained, the Student learns to change into one type, and gains all abilities of having that type. For example:

    A 9th level Student first gains this ability. He chooses one type (Giant), and may change into solely that type when using this ability. At 13th level, he decides to add another type (Fey) to his list of types known.

    When affected by this change, the Student's outward appearence does not change except to slightly hint at his temporary type, such as a sunken face for Undead, and looking slightly larger for Giant.

    Increasingly Odd:
    At 11th level, the Student of the Weird's physical oddness increases. The Student gains a subtype from the following list:

    Air, Aquatic, Chaotic, Dragonblood, Earth, Evil, Goblinoid, Good, Lawful, Reptilian, and Water.

    Abberrant Soul(Ex): By 15th level, the Student's body has become so odd and possibly freakish, his or her type changes to Aberration, and she gain all the traits of that type.

    Full-blown Monstrosity: At 20th level, the oddness of the Student hits its peak. For a number of rounds equal to his Constitution modifier + 5, he effectively assumes the physical form, and all the abilities and modifiers of a monster that he choose monster level class features from, effectively becoming that monster. When in this form, the Student gains the physical appearance of, spell-like abilities, extraordinary and supernatural abilities, Base Attack Bonus, and Saves of the monster, and cannot use any of his abilities derived from class levels.

    A good bit of text, but worth the read, I think.

    Please PEACH
    Last edited by Pyromancer999; 2010-10-24 at 08:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Seriously? No one has anything to say about this?

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    i'm no expert, but the first thing i can think of is that giving fly at 1st level is a bit strong...
    Stay out of the shadows, they bite.


    Check out Camp Archimedes, a (slightly homebrew) mercenary camp full of interesting units. A great addition to any campaign (in my very biased opinion)

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    True, but it's not like they're getting much else. Plus, it has (clumsy) maneuverability, so it's not like they're going to be able to turn much. So, I think it is fair enough to allow at 1st level. If you really want it at some other level, you could just tack on a level prerequisite, but I prefer not to.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Anyone want to comment on the other aspects of this class?

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    I don't play dnd, but I really like this class.
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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Gourtox View Post
    I don't play dnd, but I really like this class.
    Thanks. If you tell me what RPG you do play, I can always try to manage a quick conversion, if you like. No guaranteeing that it'll be anything but rough, though.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Giving away flight at 1st level isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, but it's generally a no-no. While it's not amazingly overpowered, the vast majority of 1st-level encounters have no ranged attacks or flight, essentially making the character invincible. In addition, there's a grace period when the party doesn't have flight where the canyon of death or the evil forest can itself be a credible challenge. Having this character in the party means that a canyon can never be a threat to the party, which limits the sorts of things a DM can do in the adventure. It's not gamebreaking, but it's generally accepted that levels 1-5 flight is hard to come by so that these kinds of challenges can exist in the game.

    For comparison, the warlock and dragonfire adept get flight at level 6. Fly is available as a level 3 spell.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Thanks. If you tell me what RPG you do play, I can always try to manage a quick conversion, if you like. No guaranteeing that it'll be anything but rough, though.
    I play SWSE(Star Wars Saga Edition) almost exclusively so I don't think it would fit, but thanks for the offer.
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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellus View Post
    Giving away flight at 1st level isn't necessarily a dealbreaker, but it's generally a no-no. While it's not amazingly overpowered, the vast majority of 1st-level encounters have no ranged attacks or flight, essentially making the character invincible. In addition, there's a grace period when the party doesn't have flight where the canyon of death or the evil forest can itself be a credible challenge. Having this character in the party means that a canyon can never be a threat to the party, which limits the sorts of things a DM can do in the adventure. It's not gamebreaking, but it's generally accepted that levels 1-5 flight is hard to come by so that these kinds of challenges can exist in the game.

    For comparison, the warlock and dragonfire adept get flight at level 6. Fly is available as a level 3 spell.
    Just put some limits on the flight so that it won't be fully functional until 7th level, and definitely not a overpowered at 1st.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    The difference with the warlock, DFA, and wizards' flight is that all of them have something to do once they're up in the air. With no ranged attack abilities, simple weapons only, and cleric BAB, this guy isn't exactly raining death from above - a sling bullet every round or a crossbow bolt every other round isn't exactly amazing.

    If anything, this guy seems kind of underpowered until Student Of The Odd kicks in, and even then he only catches up with particular very front-loaded monsters. The main saving grace would be a potential boatload of natural attacks, but I'm not sure he's sturdy enough to slug it out. Maybe if there's a monster progression that grants Pounce early on, but I don't remember one off the top of my head.

    Is there a reason he can only take the natural armor Anatomy once? For that matter, is there a reason he stops getting Anatomies at 9? He starts getting Aspect Of The Odd at that point, but honestly I'd rather have more Anatomies.

    While I'm thinking about it, is there a reason his monster class progression is so tightly limited in terms of maximum "levels" gained? Any abilities he picks up would be long past the point where they're level appropriate anyway, so all this does is restrict him even more to the most front-loaded monsters.
    Last edited by Benly; 2010-10-24 at 09:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    The difference with the warlock, DFA, and wizards' flight is that all of them have something to do once they're up in the air. With no ranged attack abilities, simple weapons only, and cleric BAB, this guy isn't exactly raining death from above - a sling bullet every round or a crossbow bolt every other round isn't exactly amazing.

    If anything, this guy seems kind of underpowered until Student Of The Odd kicks in, and even then he only catches up with particular very front-loaded monsters. The main saving grace would be a potential boatload of natural attacks, but I'm not sure he's sturdy enough to slug it out. Maybe if there's a monster progression that grants Pounce early on, but I don't remember one off the top of my head.

    Is there a reason he can only take the natural armor Anatomy once? For that matter, is there a reason he stops getting Anatomies at 9? He starts getting Aspect Of The Odd at that point, but honestly I'd rather have more Anatomies.

    While I'm thinking about it, is there a reason his monster class progression is so tightly limited in terms of maximum "levels" gained? Any abilities he picks up would be long past the point where they're level appropriate anyway, so all this does is restrict him even more to the most front-loaded monsters.
    So, are you saying that the flight as it is is overpowered, underpowered, or just okay? Not clear on that one.

    The reason for the NA Anatomy once is that one guy in the playtesting version of the class did the Natural Armor for all of his Anatomies, and also became super-armored. The main reason for the Anatomies getting stopped at level 9 is that, if continued with the current bundle of options, everyone would just end up with all of the options, without any diversity. Maybe if I can ever think of some more, I might extend the progression of Unusual Anatomy. Also, Don't underestimate Aspect of the Odd, as it usually turns out to be pretty useful.

    On the monster "levels", the reason I restricted the maximum levels because some of the monster classes with lower amounts of total levels could be used to make the Student of the Weird way more powerful than the other members of the party, or, more importantly, the monsters the party will be facing. This is seen in such examples as the Ghoul and Aranea classes. Both can be used quite lethally in combat, or even out of it.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    So, are you saying that the flight as it is is overpowered, underpowered, or just okay? Not clear on that one.
    I'm saying it's fine; it's an okay utility and the guy doesn't have much to do with it.

    The reason for the NA Anatomy once is that one guy in the playtesting version of the class did the Natural Armor for all of his Anatomies, and also became super-armored. The main reason for the Anatomies getting stopped at level 9 is that, if continued with the current bundle of options, everyone would just end up with all of the options, without any diversity. Maybe if I can ever think of some more, I might extend the progression of Unusual Anatomy. Also, Don't underestimate Aspect of the Odd, as it usually turns out to be pretty useful.
    The reason I suggested letting it stack is specifically because, as things stand, the player will end up with just about all of them anyway. Having something you can actually build up is nice. I don't see a decently high AC bonus as being gamebreaking on a melee-heavy class with only light armor proficiency, especially since each one is a natural weapon pick you're putting off (presumably to pick up with monster levels.)


    On the monster "levels", the reason I restricted the maximum levels because some of the monster classes with lower amounts of total levels could be used to make the Student of the Weird way more powerful than the other members of the party, or, more importantly, the monsters the party will be facing. This is seen in such examples as the Ghoul and Aranea classes. Both can be used quite lethally in combat, or even out of it.
    I assume you're talking about Create Spawn and Alternate Form (Humanoid)? Create Spawn is a gamebreaker, but it would make more sense just to ban Create Spawn from the available abilities.

    Here's the thing about Alternate Form: with the way the class progresses, it's coming in at level 14 at the absolute earliest. This is a level when Summon Monster VII, Prismatic Spray, Reverse Gravity or Limited Wish is considered a level-appropriate ability. I am absolutely not saying that the Student Of The Weird should be getting Limited Wish at this level, let's get that out of the way. However, at that level forcing the character to reset to another progression and get first-level abilities as his ability for that level (1 point of heat damage! Detect Magic 1/day! WHOO) is a seriously raw deal.

    The whole point of this class, as far as I can tell, is to go into the interesting and weird abilities monsters have. For the most part, the "half levels or level 4, whichever comes first" restriction prevents the player from getting the actual interesting abilities and restricts him to more natural attacks and first-level spell-likes with a very few exceptions.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    I'm saying it's fine; it's an okay utility and the guy doesn't have much to do with it.



    The reason I suggested letting it stack is specifically because, as things stand, the player will end up with just about all of them anyway. Having something you can actually build up is nice. I don't see a decently high AC bonus as being gamebreaking on a melee-heavy class with only light armor proficiency, especially since each one is a natural weapon pick you're putting off (presumably to pick up with monster levels.)

    Actually, with the NA, the player mentioned turned it into a deadly combo: first he had the character get as much NA as possible, then bumped up his Dexterity score as much as possible, resulting in a ridiculously high AC. There were few situations where he could be hit.

    I assume you're talking about Create Spawn and Alternate Form (Humanoid)? Create Spawn is a gamebreaker, but it would make more sense just to ban Create Spawn from the available abilities.

    Here's the thing about Alternate Form: with the way the class progresses, it's coming in at level 14 at the absolute earliest. This is a level when Summon Monster VII, Prismatic Spray, Reverse Gravity or Limited Wish is considered a level-appropriate ability. I am absolutely not saying that the Student Of The Weird should be getting Limited Wish at this level, let's get that out of the way. However, at that level forcing the character to reset to another progression and get first-level abilities as his ability for that level (1 point of heat damage! Detect Magic 1/day! WHOO) is a seriously raw deal.

    The whole point of this class, as far as I can tell, is to go into the interesting and weird abilities monsters have. For the most part, the "half levels or level 4, whichever comes first" restriction prevents the player from getting the actual interesting abilities and restricts him to more natural attacks and first-level spell-likes with a very few exceptions.
    Actually, I flat-out banned the Create Spawn. With the Ghoul, it was the Paralysis that became a problem. At the lower levels, it was good enough, but as it progressed, it became a problem. When I allowed full levels of monster classes, the playtest group would simply land a hit on each monster and leave, in some encounters, and in others would just paralyze the monster and beat up on it.

    With the Aranea, I actually changed the Alternate Form(Humanoid) to Alternate Form(Aranea), replacing the Humanoid racial traits with those of the Aranea. This class was "taken" by another Student of the Weird in the playtest group, and was used to help immobilize creatures, to augment what the Ghoul-focused Student did. Again, this was much more effective at higher levels than the low levels.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Actually, with the NA, the player mentioned turned it into a deadly combo: first he had the character get as much NA as possible, then bumped up his Dexterity score as much as possible, resulting in a ridiculously high AC. There were few situations where he could be hit.
    It wouldn't be enough higher than a character wearing plate to constitute a serious problem in an absolute sense. +1 AC every other level is nice, but it's one of the weaker options for the class; I was recommending it as a way to keep up a bit of durability.



    Actually, I flat-out banned the Create Spawn. With the Ghoul, it was the Paralysis that became a problem. At the lower levels, it was good enough, but as it progressed, it became a problem. When I allowed full levels of monster classes, the playtest group would simply land a hit on each monster and leave, in some encounters, and in others would just paralyze the monster and beat up on it.
    That's odd, because the minute-long duration that ghoul already gets should be enough for the party to lay a serious beatdown anyway. Longer paralysis is a convenience more than anything.

    With the Aranea, I actually changed the Alternate Form(Humanoid) to Alternate Form(Aranea), replacing the Humanoid racial traits with those of the Aranea. This class was "taken" by another Student of the Weird in the playtest group, and was used to help immobilize creatures, to augment what the Ghoul-focused Student did. Again, this was much more effective at higher levels than the low levels.
    ..well, okay, if you change the powers around arbitrarily then yes, things may play out differently. I was assuming the class was actually as you had written it. That said, even with your Aranea Alternate Form, the web and poison are Ex special attacks and so have been available to a wizard for seven levels already by the time the Student gets it. Personally, I would rather have the humanoid alternate form ability the Aranea gets, as a much more versatile ability. Alternate form as a combat power is a pretty bad idea for a Student anyway, because it means pretty much all your other class features (as physical attributes of your previous form) go away, so an alternate form with utility applications is better.

    My point remains: if your level 14 class feature is that you get a level 1 class feature, that's a bad thing.

    Incidentally, another thought: the save DCs of monster abilities should probably be keyed to 1/2 the Student class level rather than the monster HD, or else they are never going to work on appropriate-level enemies.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Alright.

    Changes now made:

    -Flight restored to original use
    -No restriction on monster class "levels" taken
    -DC mechanic thing incorporated
    -NA is now not restricted to being taken once

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Since I was bored earlier I went through the Savage Species progressions and looked at which ones seemed like good picks under the 4-or-half restriction, by the way. I operated on the assumption that movement types granted at first level but not on the table were granted by the class, since at least one or two progressions don't actually make any sense otherwise (abilities keying off of movement types that aren't on the table). I went with the levels that a Student would get the abilities assuming he went right into that monster type and stuck with it.

    Djinn: Perfect-maneuverability flight and telepathy right off the bat at 6, at-will Invisibility at 10. Good for a more sneaky type of Student.

    Drider: There's a bit of wackiness with the wording of its abilities: as written, Drider casting is keyed off its hit dice and not its class level or even specifically its monster hit dice. As written that means Drider turns the Student into a full caster. This is almost certainly not intended. Other than that Drider is okay but nothing special.

    Efreet: Telepathy and Fire subtype at 6, heat for extra damage on natural attacks, a couple of at-wills at 10 and flight plus a heat upgrade at 12. At-will Produce Flame and Pyrotechnics won't win any Most Amazing awards but they're nice party tricks.

    Flamebrother: Mostly notable because it gives a relatively decent amount at its first level: tail slap, heat, fire subtype, and weapon familiarity. Heat is a fairly nice thing for a class as heavy on natural attacks as this one. Not really worth continuing unless you're really into Constrict.

    Ghoul: Two steps of this for paralysis is good. The rest is meh.

    Green Hag: The Str-damage touch attack at 12 is the main draw. There are some cute at-wills but nothing really impressive otherwise.

    Griffon: One of the best options for a melee Student. Bite, claws, flight, and most importantly Pounce at 12. Scent is a nice bonus.

    Imp: Stinger, an alternate form, a perfect fly speed, and at level 12 DR and at-will Invis. Probably better than Djinn if you're a little patient. Still not hugely impressive at these levels, but better than a lot of options out there.

    Kyton, Medusa, Mind Flayer: Only noteworthy if you want to maximize your number of natural attacks, since they get weird attacks that nothing else really does.

    Rakshasa: Alternate form is nice. Spell Immunity 1 is noteworthy but probably next to useless at the level you'll get it (seriously, at level 12 who's worried about level 1 spells?)

    Succubus: Tongues, claws, and an alternate form on the first level is not bad. Not amazing either.

    Troll: Regeneration 1 at level 12. Pretty good as Student picks go, kind of meh as any other class at this level goes.


    With the level limit removed, a few others become useful, mainly the low-ECL creatures with odd special abilities: notably pixie becomes an excellent choice for sneakier Students, Imp can get its better abilities, Grig can get its fiddle, genies can get Plane Shift and aranea can get its Humanoid Form.


    One way or another, the class's primary function is likely going to be as a natural-attacks beatstick with a few stylish tricks. Maximizing the beatstick element would probably involve either going for griffon and ghoul or dipping Barbarian 1 (lion totem) to get pounce and save your monster picks to pile on more esoteric natural attacks that you can't get through Unnatural Anatomy. The other obvious route to go is to live with not having Pounce and pick up sneaky/magical tricks from grig, pixie, imp, and/or genies.

    Mechanical problems this highlights:
    First, there absolutely need to be more Unnatural Anatomy options. Nearly every possible monster you can pick already has bite, claws, or both, so those two are functionally wasted picks. A lot of them have flight speeds with much better maneuverability than the Anatomy pick, so what was a nice trick at low levels becomes another wasted pick at higher levels. I would suggest giving some benefit to someone who gets the same feature from multiple sources within the class: off the top of my head, I would suggest perhaps that a character who gets a flight speed from his monster picks after taking the Unnatural Anatomy for it gets Wing Buffet for free, and that someone who gets the same natural weapon from multiple SotW abilities should get Improved Natural Attack on that weapon. Even with that, there need to be more options.

    Second, as written you make it possible to get poison onto attacks that duplicate Unnatural Anatomy picks but not onto attacks that can't be taken as Unnatural Anatomy. This is kind of a weird dichotomy, and means that Medusa snakes or Imp stinger will always just have their terrible basic damage. Personally, I don't see the problem with letting the character just have the dang poison from his monster picks, but that's me.
    Last edited by Benly; 2010-10-24 at 01:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Mechanical problems this highlights:
    First, there absolutely need to be more Unnatural Anatomy options. Nearly every possible monster you can pick already has bite, claws, or both, so those two are functionally wasted picks. A lot of them have flight speeds with much better maneuverability than the Anatomy pick, so what was a nice trick at low levels becomes another wasted pick at higher levels. I would suggest giving some benefit to someone who gets the same feature from multiple sources within the class: off the top of my head, I would suggest perhaps that a character who gets a flight speed from his monster picks after taking the Unnatural Anatomy for it gets Wing Buffet for free, and that someone who gets the same natural weapon from multiple SotW abilities should get Improved Natural Attack on that weapon. Even with that, there need to be more options.
    I agree with you that there need to be more options, and would be glad if you had any you could suggest. I'm also considering the Improved Natural Attack feat, but am unsure on the rest.

    Second, as written you make it possible to get poison onto attacks that duplicate Unnatural Anatomy picks but not onto attacks that can't be taken as Unnatural Anatomy. This is kind of a weird dichotomy, and means that Medusa snakes or Imp stinger will always just have their terrible basic damage. Personally, I don't see the problem with letting the character just have the dang poison from his monster picks, but that's me.
    I get your point, and removed the poison restriction. However, depending on how it pans out, I may have to restrict poison in some other way.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    I agree with you that there need to be more options, and would be glad if you had any you could suggest. I'm also considering the Improved Natural Attack feat, but am unsure on the rest.
    Well, at the least I think a character who gets a Student Of The Odd ability that supercedes a previous Unusual Anatomy bonus should get the Unusual Anatomy refunded and get a new pick out of it. Of course, this also comes back to the "not enough Unusual Anatomy options" issue.

    An odd idea I had, influenced by noticing some similarities to binder pact bonuses, would be giving the Student Of The Weird a class feature that lets him once per day spend some chunk of time (presumably during the party's "spell prep" block, ideally a bit too long to do conveniently mid-dungeon) and rearrange his Unusual Anatomy.

    Possible Unusual Anatomy perks that came to mind with that are +5 HP, Improved Natural Attack for an existing natural attack, darkvision (although they'll likely have that from one of their monster picks anyway, just about everything has it), water breathing, short-range blindsense (possibly requiring already having the darkvision perk active), and +10' to an existing movement type. Other than the first two, these are fairly specialized but become more appealing if you're setting them up in anticipation of a particular need for them; the same applies to the existing energy resistance perks. With the added flexibility, it also seems more reasonable for Unusual Anatomy progression to stop so relatively early, but maybe that's just my personal weird tastes.



    Anyhow, off the subject of my particularly farflung ramblings, two main things that come to mind. First, it would probably be worthwhile to have for Student Of The Odd a note that ability calculations using HD in general (with the exception of monster spellcasting, which is just weird) use the Student class level, since that closes the questions that come up for weird edge-case abilities and yield values all around that are in line with the normal calculations for DCs and power effectiveness at a given level.

    The other is that natural attacks' damage should probably be scaled appropriately to the Student's size. Although it is amusing to imagine a human trying to attack with a wee tiny little imp stinger on his backside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Well, at the least I think a character who gets a Student Of The Odd ability that supercedes a previous Unusual Anatomy bonus should get the Unusual Anatomy refunded and get a new pick out of it. Of course, this also comes back to the "not enough Unusual Anatomy options" issue.

    An odd idea I had, influenced by noticing some similarities to binder pact bonuses, would be giving the Student Of The Weird a class feature that lets him once per day spend some chunk of time (presumably during the party's "spell prep" block, ideally a bit too long to do conveniently mid-dungeon) and rearrange his Unusual Anatomy.

    Possible Unusual Anatomy perks that came to mind with that are +5 HP, Improved Natural Attack for an existing natural attack, darkvision (although they'll likely have that from one of their monster picks anyway, just about everything has it), water breathing, short-range blindsense (possibly requiring already having the darkvision perk active), and +10' to an existing movement type. Other than the first two, these are fairly specialized but become more appealing if you're setting them up in anticipation of a particular need for them; the same applies to the existing energy resistance perks. With the added flexibility, it also seems more reasonable for Unusual Anatomy progression to stop so relatively early, but maybe that's just my personal weird tastes.
    These are worth considering, I'll check them over and see which ones I like.

    Anyhow, off the subject of my particularly farflung ramblings, two main things that come to mind. First, it would probably be worthwhile to have for Student Of The Odd a note that ability calculations using HD in general (with the exception of monster spellcasting, which is just weird) use the Student class level, since that closes the questions that come up for weird edge-case abilities and yield values all around that are in line with the normal calculations for DCs and power effectiveness at a given level.
    Already incorporated that.
    The other is that natural attacks' damage should probably be scaled appropriately to the Student's size. Although it is amusing to imagine a human trying to attack with a wee tiny little imp stinger on his backside.
    I assumed that that was already the case

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    I assumed that that was already the case
    As you have the class written, you get the exact damage die of the monster class - so the Imp gives a Tiny-sized stinger, for instance.

    The thing with the HD = class level is that (a) it's currently written to apply only to save DC, whereas it should also probably be used for spell-like ability CL calculations and so on, and (b) as written, you use half class level for the HD, which is then halved again as part of DC calculations, so DCs are ridiculously low. That's probably a typo, but bears mentioning.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Alright, that has been changed. I think it is mostly suitable now.

    Anyone have more comments?

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    By the way, I've been thinking of some prestige classes for this, but am wondering if anyone has any ideas for this class. If anyone has an idea, feel free to post it.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    A prestige class idea that comes to mind would be a specialist of sorts: you get more Student Of The Odd picks, but they can only be from monsters of the type or subtype you specialized in.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    A prestige class idea that comes to mind would be a specialist of sorts: you get more Student Of The Odd picks, but they can only be from monsters of the type or subtype you specialized in.
    So, essentially a specialist Student of the Weird, Good idea. I've also been thinking of one that allows you to take template classes for Student of the Odd picks (see WOTC archives). Good idea, or no?

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    So, essentially a specialist Student of the Weird, Good idea. I've also been thinking of one that allows you to take template classes for Student of the Odd picks (see WOTC archives). Good idea, or no?
    Aren't those essentially savage progressions already? I would let them be picked normally in that case, but that's just me.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Aren't those essentially savage progressions already? I would let them be picked normally in that case, but that's just me.
    Well, some of them have a race as a sort of prerequisite, like Aasimar -> Half-Celestial, or Feytouched -> Half-fey, or Dwarf -> Dueregar. So, it'd be a bit unbalanced to just let anyone take picks from those classes. Also, if you want to go that way, if you take away the prerequisites and extra spells from the Dragon Disciple, you get essentially the Half-Dragon template class, so Students could take that too.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Just wanted to post an update for the Playground's Monster Classes. In this case, the replacing of the character's racial stats is optional.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    How would this work in conjunction with This? I'm tempted to say that it works, but I know the abilities are more spread out in this version than in SS, and the balance may be skewed weaker as a result.

    But this could be a cool way to meld the projects into an enourmously varied and expandable class, using the tools already available.

    Edit: never mind, I think you just answered my question in the previous post. The abilities are given out as per the normal listed progression, but losing your original racial abilities are optional, correct?
    Last edited by Rennard; 2010-12-12 at 02:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Student of the Weird[3.5]-PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Rennard View Post

    Edit: never mind, I think you just answered my question in the previous post. The abilities are given out as per the normal listed progression, but losing your original racial abilities are optional, correct?
    Yes, although I'm thinking that if you do change your racial stats, it might be mandatory to keep your current type. That would be because if you chose a new monster class at every level, you could change the racial stats and your type every couple levels, so, yeah.
    Last edited by Pyromancer999; 2010-12-12 at 04:02 PM.

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