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    Default Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Background- I was looking over the Dread Necromancer after encountering a mention of something in it in a discussion thread, when I noticed something: the Dread Necromancer has a pretty random Familiar. Not only is it randomly gained at 7th, but the choices are between two mini-demons(Imp and Quasit), a face-bat creature(Vargouille), and a ghost face(Ghostly Visage). While the last option makes the most sense, it's not really that great. After all, wouldn't it be better if it had a zombie or Skeleton for a companion? So I came up with this ACF, with the feat as a remotely related after-thought.

    Corpsecrafted Companion
    Sometimes, a Dread Necromancer eskews the use of a puny familiar, and instead makes use of a more suitable minion
    Class: Dread Necromancer
    Replaces: Summon Familiar
    Level: 1
    Benefit: You gain a Corpsecrafted Companion. A Corpsecrafted Companion is a zombie or skeleton version of any creature with two or less HD. A Corpsecrafted Companion starts out with one Corpsecrafter trait, and follows all your commands. At 2nd level, you may treat this companion as a familiar, with your class level being treated as one lower than it is for this purpose. Also, instead of an empathetic link, it gains the ability to channel its master's Charnel Touch. When it gains the ability to speak to others of its kind, it may speak to intelligent undead creatures. Additionally, whenever it would become capable of adding on another Corpsecrafter trait, you may add another trait at half-cost.


    New Feat

    Animator
    Prerequisites:
    Knowledge(Arcana) 4 ranks
    Benefit: You learn how to animate undead. By using ten minutes forcing your arcane will into dead bodies, you may animate corpses as per the Animate Dead spell, except that it requires no material components. However, this comes with some limitations. You may only animate your HD + 1 in undead this way. This source of undead does not stack with other undead control pools(ex. Spellcaster with Animate Dead), and should the other undead control pool be larger, this feat can not be used to animate more than your HD + 1 worth of undead. You may never animate any creature with HD greater than yours.

    Please comment and PEACH!
    Last edited by Pyromancer999; 2011-04-09 at 08:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Right now the Corpsecrafted Companion is kind of weak compared to the existing options. (Bear in mind that their special attacks' DCs scale with their HD, which is in turn determined by their masters' level. All of them are good flying scouts, the ghostly visage is a flying incorporeal scout, and so on.)

    I would suggest letting the choice of creature you have as a Corpsecrafted Companion scale up the same way a druid's Animal Companion does. That way the Corpsecrafted Companion gets some moderate combat punch to make up for the loss of the normal dread familiars' special abilities.

    I like the idea of Animator, but there are some problems with the wording. What is the sentence "should the other undead animation limit be greater, this feat be used to animate more than your HD in undead" supposed to mean? Also, reading absolutely strictly, the last sentence means you can't animate big creatures even with Animate Dead.

    My suggestion for Animator would be to have it use its own separate control pool. It avoids confusion about a control pool that overlaps but still has built-in and unique limitations, and I don't think it's especially overpowering.

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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Right now the Corpsecrafted Companion is kind of weak compared to the existing options. (Bear in mind that their special attacks' DCs scale with their HD, which is in turn determined by their masters' level. All of them are good flying scouts, the ghostly visage is a flying incorporeal scout, and so on.)

    I would suggest letting the choice of creature you have as a Corpsecrafted Companion scale up the same way a druid's Animal Companion does. That way the Corpsecrafted Companion gets some moderate combat punch to make up for the loss of the normal dread familiars' special abilities.
    If you want more combat punch, then how about BAB advances as Undead? Still, I don't really see much of a problem with the ACF in terms of combat. You get it earlier, and the undead still gets a lot of HD, and even gets Corpsecrafter Traits added on. Really, I think it's just as good as the existing options. The thing is while, yes, the existing options are good flying scouts, not really everyone wants those. And if people want that and not this, well, they don't take it. Hence, the Alternate part of Alternate Class Features.
    I like the idea of Animator, but there are some problems with the wording. What is the sentence "should the other undead animation limit be greater, this feat be used to animate more than your HD in undead" supposed to mean? Also, reading absolutely strictly, the last sentence means you can't animate big creatures even with Animate Dead.

    My suggestion for Animator would be to have it use its own separate control pool. It avoids confusion about a control pool that overlaps but still has built-in and unique limitations, and I don't think it's especially overpowering.
    The point is to keep it so that Necromancers don't go and just increase their pool of undead to be controlled by a bunch just with one feat. This is more of a feat for PCs who are thinking,"Yeah, I want to do some Necromancy, just not take all of those levels in a casting class to do it."
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    If you want more combat punch, then how about BAB advances as Undead? Still, I don't really see much of a problem with the ACF in terms of combat. You get it earlier, and the undead still gets a lot of HD, and even gets Corpsecrafter Traits added on. Really, I think it's just as good as the existing options. The thing is while, yes, the existing options are good flying scouts, not really everyone wants those. And if people want that and not this, well, they don't take it. Hence, the Alternate part of Alternate Class Features.
    BAB advancing as undead is the worst BAB advancement in the game. Undead have wizard BAB.

    The thing is that yes, Alternate Class Features should be different, but ideally they should also be about equal or comparable. The player shouldn't feel like he's being forced to play a weaker character because he wants to do something a little different. Ideally you should go "Okay, this is a pretty fair deal in exchange for the ghost face."
    Zombies and skeletons aren't really good at anything except fighting, and no matter how corpsecrafted it is, a zombie raven is not going to be getting much fighting done. Animal companion advancement is still weaker than the ghost face's paralyzing gaze, but it gives the zombie some sticking power as a solid class feature.


    The point is to keep it so that Necromancers don't go and just increase their pool of undead to be controlled by a bunch just with one feat. This is more of a feat for PCs who are thinking,"Yeah, I want to do some Necromancy, just not take all of those levels in a casting class to do it."
    A necromancer won't get very strong undead out of it, since the undead you can create with this feat only have half the HD of undead you can create with Animate Dead. It has its uses, but it's not a significant boost to a dedicated necromancer's control capabilities and giving it a separate pool makes the mechanics a lot tidier.

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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    BAB advancing as undead is the worst BAB advancement in the game. Undead have wizard BAB.

    The thing is that yes, Alternate Class Features should be different, but ideally they should also be about equal or comparable. The player shouldn't feel like he's being forced to play a weaker character because he wants to do something a little different. Ideally you should go "Okay, this is a pretty fair deal in exchange for the ghost face."

    Zombies and skeletons aren't really good at anything except fighting, and no matter how corpsecrafted it is, a zombie raven is not going to be getting much fighting done. Animal companion advancement is still weaker than the ghost face's paralyzing gaze, but it gives the zombie some sticking power as a solid class feature.
    So, you're saying it should advance as an animal companion instead of a familiar? How would that be better?

    A necromancer won't get very strong undead out of it, since the undead you can create with this feat only have half the HD of undead you can create with Animate Dead. It has its uses, but it's not a significant boost to a dedicated necromancer's control capabilities and giving it a separate pool makes the mechanics a lot tidier.
    It's a little over half, actually, and I've been considering making it a bit bigger. Also, to a dedicated necromancer, it DOES have its uses. Quite many, in fact.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    So, you're saying it should advance as an animal companion instead of a familiar? How would that be better?
    My suggestion is that it gets familiar abilities but the types of animals you can select advance as an animal companion does. The way in which this is "better" is that the animal companion lists of creatures are more physically oriented, which works better with the limitations and abilities of zombies and skeletons.



    It's a little over half, actually, and I've been considering making it a bit bigger. Also, to a dedicated necromancer, it DOES have its uses. Quite many, in fact.
    Oh, yeah, it's useful (although I really don't know what the sentence "should the other undead animation limit be greater, this feat be used to animate more than your HD in undead" is supposed to mean. Did you typo something important that I'm not seeing?), I'm just saying that giving it a separate control pool would be mechanically tidier without being overpowered.

    Let me see if I understand what it does correctly: "You may animate corpses with HD up to your own HD as if using Animate Dead. If you do not have other abilities that let you animate corpses, you may animate up to your HD + 1 in HD of undead. If you do, undead animated with this feat count against that ability's control pool. At any one time, you may have no more HD of undead animated by this feat under your control than your own HD + 1."

    Is that an accurate rephrasing of it, or did I misunderstand something? Your phrasing wasn't totally clear. As it stands, it's useful to a necro for having an expendable-but-weak minion or two on hand that doesn't cost anything so you can save onyx for better corpses.

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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    My suggestion is that it gets familiar abilities but the types of animals you can select advance as an animal companion does. The way in which this is "better" is that the animal companion lists of creatures are more physically oriented, which works better with the limitations and abilities of zombies and skeletons.
    Why limit yourself to animals? It can be a creature of any type.




    Oh, yeah, it's useful (although I really don't know what the sentence "should the other undead animation limit be greater, this feat be used to animate more than your HD in undead" is supposed to mean. Did you typo something important that I'm not seeing?), I'm just saying that giving it a separate control pool would be mechanically tidier without being overpowered.

    Let me see if I understand what it does correctly: "You may animate corpses with HD up to your own HD as if using Animate Dead. If you do not have other abilities that let you animate corpses, you may animate up to your HD + 1 in HD of undead. If you do, undead animated with this feat count against that ability's control pool. At any one time, you may have no more HD of undead animated by this feat under your control than your own HD + 1."
    ......You really should re-read this. It's just rude not to. It was updated before this comment.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Why limit yourself to animals? It can be a creature of any type.
    Any creature with one or less HD will still make a pretty bad skeleton or zombie, though.





    ......You really should re-read this. It's just rude not to. It was updated before this comment.
    I'm sorry, I'm reading it now and I see the phrase:

    "This source of undead does not stack with other undead control pools(ex. Spellcaster with Animate Dead), and should the other undead control pool be larger, this feat be used to animate more than your HD + 1 in undead."

    I really don't understand what you mean by the clause after the last comma. I'm not trying to insult you, it just doesn't grammatically make sense to me. When I posted that wording I was asking if I understood it correctly and you didn't answer. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm trying to understand what you're saying. Does "this feat be used" mean "this feat may be used?" Does it feat "this feat may not be used" because the last clause was "does not"?

    I genuinely don't know what that clause is supposed to mean.

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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Any creature with one or less HD will still make a pretty bad skeleton or zombie, though.
    True enough. Changed to two or less HD, to encompass animals on Druid's list, plus some other types of creatures.



    I'm sorry, I'm reading it now and I see the phrase:

    "This source of undead does not stack with other undead control pools(ex. Spellcaster with Animate Dead), and should the other undead control pool be larger, this feat be used to animate more than your HD + 1 in undead."

    I really don't understand what you mean by the clause after the last comma. I'm not trying to insult you, it just doesn't grammatically make sense to me. When I posted that wording I was asking if I understood it correctly and you didn't answer. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm trying to understand what you're saying. Does "this feat be used" mean "this feat may be used?" Does it feat "this feat may not be used" because the last clause was "does not"?

    I genuinely don't know what that clause is supposed to mean.
    Changed the wording so that it's hopefully more clear right now.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    Changed the wording so that it's hopefully more clear right now.
    Okay. So undead created with Animator occupy your normal control pool if you have one, but should be marked down on your character sheet or whatever as being Animator'd undead. You can't have more than your HD + 1 of Animator'd undead under your control at any given time. Is that a correct reading?

    (This is the interpretation I thought it was earlier and typed up a more detailed wording for, but you refused to tell me whether it was accurate or not.)

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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Benly View Post
    Okay. So undead created with Animator occupy your normal control pool if you have one, but should be marked down on your character sheet or whatever as being Animator'd undead. You can't have more than your HD + 1 of Animator'd undead under your control at any given time. Is that a correct reading?

    (This is the interpretation I thought it was earlier and typed up a more detailed wording for, but you refused to tell me whether it was accurate or not.)
    This would be correct.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Hey, Wizards did this already!

    I would, however, add that it is considered to have been 'created' by you, and as such, receives the benefits of all Corpse Crafter (or similar) feats you have.

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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by NineThePuma View Post
    Hey, Wizards did this already!

    I would, however, add that it is considered to have been 'created' by you, and as such, receives the benefits of all Corpse Crafter (or similar) feats you have.
    Eh, it's true they're similar, but there's a lot of difference between them. For one, Skeletal Minion doesn't gain familiar benefits, and is mainly just a beefy combat tool. However, in the case of Corpsecrafted Companion, it receives some beefing up, but can start out as any creature, not just as a skeleton, and also gets some altered familiar benefits.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Regarding the ACF: It seems a bit inherently ovepowered for a rather simple reason. If you are creating a 1st level Dread Necromancer and take this ACF, you are effectively getting something for nothing. Only in the offhand chance that you reach 7th level do you actually end up "paying" for that ability. Generally speaking, an ACF gives up something at the same level that it grants something (even shapeshifting Druids give up their animal companions along with their wild shape). That said, I'd also exchange a single spell slot of your highest spell level available (like stalwart sorcerer from complete mage).

    furthermore, you should probably provide a link in the first post to whatever source of corpsecrafter traits you are talking about. Otherwise, I don't really have much clue what you are talking about when you refer to them.

    Regarding the Feat: So you are trying to provide animate undead (a 3rd-4th level spell)... at will... without components... for everybody... starting at 1st (or at the very most 6th) level?

    It seems to me that the prerequisite should be raised to 6 ranks, though making an exception for dread necromancers might be acceptable (Prerequisites:Knowledge [arcana] 6 ranks or charnel touch class feature?). As the flavor of the feat suggests that you need arcane (or at least magical) power to start with, perhaps put in an additional prerequisite of caster level 1st or the ability to cast at least one necromancy spell or something of the kind.
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    Default Re: Corpsecrafted Companion(ACF + Feat)

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Regarding the ACF: It seems a bit inherently ovepowered for a rather simple reason. If you are creating a 1st level Dread Necromancer and take this ACF, you are effectively getting something for nothing. Only in the offhand chance that you reach 7th level do you actually end up "paying" for that ability. Generally speaking, an ACF gives up something at the same level that it grants something (even shapeshifting Druids give up their animal companions along with their wild shape). That said, I'd also exchange a single spell slot of your highest spell level available (like stalwart sorcerer from complete mage).
    Hmmm...that could be viable, if it were done until 7th level.
    furthermore, you should probably provide a link in the first post to whatever source of corpsecrafter traits you are talking about. Otherwise, I don't really have much clue what you are talking about when you refer to them.
    Just search Corpsecrafting on Google. It's the first thing that comes up.
    Regarding the Feat: So you are trying to provide animate undead (a 3rd-4th level spell)... at will... without components... for everybody... starting at 1st (or at the very most 6th) level?
    Basically, yes. For basically your HD's worth in undead.
    It seems to me that the prerequisite should be raised to 6 ranks, though making an exception for dread necromancers might be acceptable (Prerequisites:Knowledge [arcana] 6 ranks or charnel touch class feature?). As the flavor of the feat suggests that you need arcane (or at least magical) power to start with, perhaps put in an additional prerequisite of caster level 1st or the ability to cast at least one necromancy spell or something of the kind.
    This feat is really more aimed at non-casters than it is for regular spellcasters, so that kind of requirement really wouldn't work with what I have in mind.
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