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    Default Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Something that I initially posted on another thread; feel like cleaning it up and seeing what I can do with it. The class is based around the concept of casting from your Hit Point pool; appropriately, I'm calling it the Blood Mage, because I'm not creative at all.

    Blood Mage - Hit Die: d4
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Bloodletting (GP)|6|
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Stigmata|6|
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |False Life 1/day (standard)|6|
    5
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Toughness|6|
    6
    |
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Vampiric Touch 1/day|6|
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |False Life 1/day (move)|6|
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Great Fortitude|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Bloodletting (EXP)|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |False Life 2/day (move)|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Vampiric Touch 2/day, Blood Pact|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Bloodletting (metamagic), Ritual Blood Bonds|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    12th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |False Life 2/day (swift), Empower Spell-Like Ability|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    13th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Blood Telepathy|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -
    |
    -

    14th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Improved Toughness|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3
    |
    -
    |
    -

    15th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Vampiric Touch 3/day, False Life 3/day (swift)|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -
    |
    -

    16th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Scent|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3
    |
    -

    17th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Blood Calling|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4
    |
    -

    18th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |False Life 3/day (immediate)|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    5
    |
    3

    19th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    -
    |6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    4

    20th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Vampiric Touch 4/day, Blood Mastery|6|
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    |
    6
    [/table]

    Skills at first level: (2+INT modifier) x 4
    Skills at each additional level: 2+INT modifier
    Class Skills: Concentration (CON), Craft (INT), Intimidate (CHA), Knowledge (Arcana) (INT), Knowledge (Religion) (INT), Spellcraft (INT)
    Weapon & Armor Proficiencies: A Blood Mage is proficient in all simple weapons. Blood Magi are proficient with light armor, but not shields. A Blood Mage can cast spells while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. However, like any other arcane spellcaster, a Blood Mage wearing medium or heavy armor or using a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component (most do).

    Spells Per Day/Spells Known: A Blood Mage casts arcane spells which are drawn primarily from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time, the way a wizard or a cleric must (see below). The blood mage may not benefit from any effect that would add additional spells to his class spell list, or list of Blood Mage spells known.

    To learn or cast a spell, a Blood Mage must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Blood Mage’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the sorcerer’s Charisma modifier. A Blood Mage automatically knows how to cast every spell on their spell list, assuming they have the requisite Charisma modifier and caster level.

    Like other spellcasters, a Blood Mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Blood Mage. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score.

    Unlike a wizard or a cleric, a Blood Mage need not prepare his spells in advance. He can cast any spell he knows at any time, assuming he has not yet used up his spells per day for that spell level. He does not have to decide ahead of time which spells he’ll cast.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Blood Mage spell list:
    Level 0 (cantrips): Acid Splash, Amanuensis, Arcane Mark, Create Water, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Flare, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close, Prestidigitation, Purify Food and Drink, Resistance, Sonic Snap, Stick, Touch of Fatigue
    Level 1: Babau Slime, Bane, Blade of Blood, Blood Wind, Burning Rage, Corrosive Grasp, Deathwatch, Delay Disease, Enlarge Person, Horrible Taste, Ironguts, Mage Armor, Obscuring Mist, Reduce Person, Spirit Worm, Summon Monster I, Unseen Servant
    Level 2: Alter Self, Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Cloud of Bewilderment, Delay Poison, Detect Thoughts, Eagle's Splendor, False Life, Fog Cloud, Fox's Cunning, Infernal Wound, Life Bolt, Mirror Image, Owl's Wisdom, Quick Potion, Spectral Hand, Summon Monster II
    Level 3: Alter Fortune, Blink, Contagion, Dispel Magic, Gaseous Form, Haste, Healing Touch, Neutralize Poison, Poison, Rage, Remove Disease, Servant Horde, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Summon Monster III, Unluck, Vampiric Touch
    Level 4: Arcane Eye, Bestow Curse, Bloodstar, Burning Blood, Displacer Form, Enlarge Person, Mass, Minor Creation, Reduce Person, Mass, Remove Curse, Resistance, Greater, Scrying, Solid Fog, Summon Monster IV, Vortex of Teeth
    Level 5: Baleful Polymorph, Cloudkill, Enlarge Person, Greater, Ironguard, Lesser, Major Creation, Panacea, Phantasmal Thief, Reduce Person, Greater, Slay Living, Summon Monster V, Telekinesis, Wall of Limbs
    Level 6: Acid Fog, Bear's Endurance, Mass, Bull's Strength, Mass, Cat's Grace, Mass, Dispel Magic, Greater, Eagle's Splendor, Mass, Extract Water Elemental, Fox's Cunning, Mass, Owl's Wisdom, Mass, Ray of Entropy, Resistance, Superior, Summon Monster VI
    Level 7: Avasculate, Control Weather, Forcecage, Ironguard, Pulse of Hate, Repulsion, Scrying, Greater, Summon Monster VII, Waves of Exhaustion, Word of Recall
    Level 8: Antipathy, Avascular Mass, Discern Location, Flensing, Heat Drain, Incendiary Cloud, Iron Body, Plague, Summon Monster VIII, Sympathy
    Level 9: Astral Projection, Awaken Construct, Energy Drain, Etherealness, Eye of Power, Magic Miasma, Summon Monster IX, Summon Golem


    Bloodletting: In order to cast spells, a Blood Mage must draw from their own life essences to deliver the arcane energies. When a Blood Mage casts a spell from the blood mage spell list, they must take 1 point of drain per spell level of the spell being cast. For instance, to cast a 5th-level spell, a Blood Mage must take 5 points of hit point drain during the casting, infusing their spellcasting with their own blood.

    A Blood Mage can further use their bloodletting in two ways: First, a Blood Mage can use Bloodletting to pay the material components for spells from the blood mage spell list with costly components. A Blood Mage may choose to take 1 hit point of drain per 25gp of the spell's material component cost. At 8th level, the Blood Mage can pay for experience costs with their own blood as well, taking 1 hit point of drain per 5xp of the spell's experience cost.

    Second, at 11th level, a Blood Mage can use their life force to mitigate the spell level cost of metamagic feats when casting spells from the blood mage spell list. Doing so is particularly taxing, however, and thus a Blood Mage that chooses to mitigate metamagic this way takes 1 point of Constitution burn for level adjusted in this way. This damage can only be cured through 8 hours of restful sleep. Creatures without Constitution scores (such as undead or constructs) cannot use this ability, as they cannot pay the Constitution cost. A Blood Mage cannot use this ability to increase a spell's level above the highest level a Blood Mage can cast before mitigating the level adjustment, nor can they use this ability to reduce a spell's level below its starting level.

    Stigmata: At 2nd level, a Blood Mage gains Stigmata (Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 46) as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the prerequisites.

    False Life: At 3rd level, a Blood Mage gains False Life 1/day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to the Blood Mage's class level. The Blood Mage gains an additional use of this ability every six levels beyond 3rd level. At 6th level, the Blood Mage can use False Life as a move action; at 12th level, a swift action; and at 18th level, an immediate action.

    Toughness: At 4th level, a Blood Mage gains Toughness as a bonus feat.

    Vampiric Touch: At 5th level, a Blood Mage gains Vampiric Touch 1/day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to the Blood Mage's class level. The Blood Mage gains an additional use of this ability every five levels beyond 5th.

    Great Fortitude: At 7th level, the Blood Mage gains Great Fortitude as a bonus feat.

    Arcane Healing (Su): A Blood Mage develops the power to turn their arcane energy inward, channeling it through their blood to induce healing in the body. As a full-round action, a Blood Mage can spend an uncast spell to heal damage equal to the level of the spell expended.

    Blood Pact: At 10th level, the Blood Mage can create a bond with a single willing creature. Upon performance of the blood pact, a Blood Mage permanently loses 1 point of Constitution, and the bonded creature gains 1 point of Constitution. As long as both the Blood Mage and the creature are alive, the creature and the Blood Mage are treated as having the Share Pain ability, and when either creature takes damage, both creatures instead take half the damage. If either creature involved in the pact dies, the pact immediately ends. The Blood Mage can only maintain a blood pact with one creature at a time. The Blood Mage cannot initiate a blood pact with the same creature twice, even if one of them dies and is subsequently brought back to life. The blood pact cannot be initiated with a creature that does not have a Constitution score, or is not intelligent enough to consent to the pact.

    Ritual Blood Bonds: At 11th level, the Blood Mage gains Ritual Blood Bonds (Player's handbook II, p. 86) as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the racial prerequisites. To activate the feat's abilities, the Blood Mage must still have the requisite number of ranks in Knowledge (Religion).

    Empower Spell-Like Ability: After much time and patience with the craft, a Blood Mage becomes more attuned to the workings of one's life forces. At 12th level, a Blood Mage gains Empower Spell-Like Ability as a bonus feat, but can only use it on Spell-Like Abilities granted by the Blood Mage class.

    Blood Telepathy: As a Blood Mage advances, their knowledge of the blood pact they have undertaken becomes more refined. At 13th level, the Blood Mage shares a telepathic bond with the creature that they have initiated a blood pact with, as long as they are within one mile of each other.

    Improved Toughness: A Blood Mage's constant conditioning causes them to be more resilient. At 14th level, a Blood Mage gains Improved Toughness as a bonus feat.

    Scent: At 16th level, a Blood Mage becomes so finely attuned to the smell of blood that they can sense it from great distances. In essence, a Blood Mage gains the Scent ability, but can only sense the blood of living creatures; the Blood Mage cannot smell other small odors, and cannot sense undead with their sense ability (as undead do not have blood flowing through them). Living creatures that do not bleed (such as plants) cannot be tracked by this ability. The ability can, however, be used to track recently deceased creatures that formerly had blood flowing through their veins; scent can be used to track a creature which has died in the last 24 hours.

    Blood Calling: At 17th level, a Blood Mage can call a creature with which it shares a blood pact, as long as the creature is willing to be called. This ability functions like Greater Teleportation, with the Blood Mage as the destination point. (There is probably something better to equate this to, but I'm improvising.)

    Craft Homunculus: Over time, a Blood Mage's abilities become so refined that they are able to form a blood pact with a literal extension of themselves. At 19th level, a Blood Mage gains Craft Construct (Monster Manual 3.5, p. 303) as a bonus feat; however, it can only be used to craft homunculi. A Blood Mage can use Bloodletting to mitigate the gold and experience costs of crafting a homunculus, but doing so is physically taxing, and so it must be done over the same amount of time as normal. These rules also apply for the creation of a homunculus with additional Hit Dice. While the homunculus can be created by means of this feat, it cannot be fully brought to life without use of the Awaken Construct spell, or an equivalent ability.

    Since the blood of the Blood Magus is used for the construction of the homunculus, the homunculus is bonded with the Blood Mage, who it regards as its master. Upon awakening of the homunculus, a Blood Mage can decide whether or not to initiate a blood pact with the homunculus, or to retain an existing blood pact (if any). If the Blood Mage does not initiate the blood pact at the point of awakening, they may not do so until any existing blood pacts have disappeared.

    Blood Mastery: At 20th level, a Blood Mage has developed their mastery of the forces of life in a number of ways, making them more resilient and fearsome. First, a 20th-level blood mage gains a permanent +4 bonus to their Constitution score. Further, the Blood Mage becomes immune to ability drain and energy level drain, as their blood makes them completely resilient to such effects.

    Second, the Blood Mage gains fast healing 10, allowing their body to regenerate its life forces as quickly as it loses them through its arcane channeling.

    Third, the Blood Mage learns how to use his very life essence as the focus of its spellcasting. A 20th-level Blood Mage can choose to use their Constitution modifier instead of their Charisma modifier to determine spells known, bonus spells, and save DC of spells. This decision is made at the time of spellcasting, and can change per each casting of a spell (for instance, if a Blood Mage has a high Constitution score at the beginning of the day, they might wish to use their Constitution score to determine all relevant modifiers; however, as they day wears on and they take Constitution damage and drain from various effects, it might be more useful to use Charisma instead).

    Fourth, a Blood Mage is able to distort the pattern and flow of their blood to create a constant stench. While active, all creatures within 30 feet of the Blood Mage that have a sense of smell must make a Fortitude save (DC10+1/2 the Blood Mage's level + CON or CHA modifier) or be nauseated. A creature that succeeds in their save is instead sickened, but must make a Fortitude save each successive round they are in the aura to avoid becoming nauseated. The effect remains in place as long as the creature is within the Blood Mage's aura, and lingers for 3 rounds after. The Blood Mage can activate or deactivate this ability as a free action.

    -----------------------------

    I'm trying to balance the class out well and give it as few dead levels as possible. Hopefully it's not too crowded.

    All right Playground, have at it! Tear my Blood Mage a new hole, so he can bleed out of it and use it to better his spellcasting.

    By the by: If somebody can come up with a better spell list, I would love you for it. I tried to limit from 10-17 each level, starting with more and working down, and avoiding things that just never should have been (Celerity, Polymorph, Contingency, Arcane Fusion, and most shenanigan spells like Gate and a majority of the 9th-level list), but I think the list just looks meh right now.

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2011-06-29 at 09:37 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    It looks solid to me, but the capstone is a bit much. The Fast Healing in particular (though I know a mage could do worse).

    Honestly, why not start the class out as a CON based caster? I don't know that its been done before in any source material, and that's part of what makes it cool. Its literally your life force fueling your spellcasting.

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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    You have neglected to post the caster's Hit Dice, which greatly affects my ability to tell whether bloodletting is viable.

    Now, I think it's not quite powerful enough. The Death Master from Dragon Compendium had the option of using blood as a material component, and when he did, it took the place of the somatic component of his spells. Your spell list is small enough that I think you could get away with doing the same. This would allow the blood mage to wear armor and provide a good reason for doing so (rather than "the somatic components for this guy's spells, when most of them come from the wizard spell list, are relatively simple, so he can cast in light armor" Yes, that makes sense)

    The Blood Telepathy and Scent abilities are both very flavorful to the point of being delicious. In fact, this is probably the most flavorful class I've reviewed in a while, so I really want to see it turn out well. Okay, let's see...

    I agree with Wayfare, that replacing the Bloodletting with Con-based casting would make for an interesting (and very, very SAD) caster. Give him a d8 hit dice, light armor proficiency, and 3/4 BAB and he can even do tertiary melee too. Maybe give him some kind of benefit for drawing blood from someone (like using it to auto-Maximize a Summon spell. That actually sounds so much more awesome than it did in my head.)
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    You have neglected to post the caster's Hit Dice, which greatly affects my ability to tell whether bloodletting is viable.

    Now, I think it's not quite powerful enough. The Death Master from Dragon Compendium had the option of using blood as a material component, and when he did, it took the place of the somatic component of his spells. Your spell list is small enough that I think you could get away with doing the same. This would allow the blood mage to wear armor and provide a good reason for doing so (rather than "the somatic components for this guy's spells, when most of them come from the wizard spell list, are relatively simple, so he can cast in light armor" Yes, that makes sense)

    The Blood Telepathy and Scent abilities are both very flavorful to the point of being delicious. In fact, this is probably the most flavorful class I've reviewed in a while, so I really want to see it turn out well. Okay, let's see...

    I agree with Wayfare, that replacing the Bloodletting with Con-based casting would make for an interesting (and very, very SAD) caster. Give him a d8 hit dice, light armor proficiency, and 3/4 BAB and he can even do tertiary melee too. Maybe give him some kind of benefit for drawing blood from someone (like using it to auto-Maximize a Summon spell. That actually sounds so much more awesome than it did in my head.)
    I think it depends on what he is going for. as it stands, the class is a solid Tier 3. Turning him into an arcane cleric with blood maximizing spells would probably bump it up to Tier 1.

    Suggestion: Blood summoning sounds great, but what about making a limited blood summoning spell list (Like Summon Undead X or Conjure Ice Beast X). It could be something like "Conjure Sanguine Servitor 1-9." Heck, by mid levels you could probably summon vampires!

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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfare View Post
    I think it depends on what he is going for. as it stands, the class is a solid Tier 3. Turning him into an arcane cleric with blood maximizing spells would probably bump it up to Tier 1.

    Suggestion: Blood summoning sounds great, but what about making a limited blood summoning spell list (Like Summon Undead X or Conjure Ice Beast X). It could be something like "Conjure Sanguine Servitor 1-9." Heck, by mid levels you could probably summon vampires!
    I dunno, I mean the cleric gets heavy armor proficiency and auto-ignore somatic casting, with a much wider spell list. I don't think this class could become Tier 1 without branching out more.
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Knows spells like a cleric, casts like a sorcerer...that's some heavy versatility there, even with a small class spell list.

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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    Knows spells like a cleric, casts like a sorcerer...that's some heavy versatility there, even with a small class spell list.
    I refer you to the Warmage, Dread Necromancer, and Beguiler, all of whom know their entire spell lists, cast spontaneously but have a small list.
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    I agree with NeoSeraphi on the d8 HD. Not sure about the 3/4 BAB, I'd probably leave that at 1/2. Maybe give good Fort though.

    I also think that Blood Mastery could be spread out among the levels. Con-based casting from the start should be fine. I'd probably move the stench thing down to 19th, just to kill that last dead level. The other effects make a fine capstone.

    I think somewhere in there should be an ability that lets the blood mage use damage it has taken previously in the round to fuel and/or strengthen spells. And maybe a higher-level ability to let them sacrifice the blood of others to fuel their spells.

    All in all looks cool though. Good job!
    As of now I'm heading out of the country. I'll be gone until October 5. Internet access is again uncertain, so don't be afraid to take control of my chars if I'm unable to.

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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Spell-like abilities of spells the class can already cast seems an odd choice to me.
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfare View Post
    It looks solid to me, but the capstone is a bit much. The Fast Healing in particular (though I know a mage could do worse).
    Yeah, Fast Healing 10 seems like overkill. I wanted something that went something along the lines of "your body regenerates so fast that the wounds you create for bloodletting are cured as quickly as they are created", and figured that Fast Healing 10 is no better than DR10/xx or energy resistance 10/xx considering you still use your health as a resource pool, but I wasn't sure.

    Honestly, why not start the class out as a CON based caster? I don't know that its been done before in any source material, and that's part of what makes it cool. Its literally your life force fueling your spellcasting.
    I'm not sure about this, but I'm of the mindset that CON-based casting is so powerful in concept that it is truly worthy of being a capstone rather than a base ability. Imagine the ramifications of CON-based casting: since casting stats and HP are the only stats that matter for most casters, combining the two makes the single SADdest class ever. Any point buy system will pump CON as high as the DM allows (typically 18), put every point into CON through level progression, and every attribute bonus from equipment goes straight into CON. As a result, you have a caster whose HP progression overpowers everything except the Barbarian, Knight and Warblade (even with the bad Hit Dice, the CON modifier will be the highest in the party), plus even higher save DCs and bonus spells than normal because there is no secondary stat--everything is tertiary to CON.

    It seems like that's a popular opinion though, so I'll test it.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    You have neglected to post the caster's Hit Dice, which greatly affects my ability to tell whether bloodletting is viable.
    Sorry - I had it on the initial stat block, but I must have lost it when I translated everything.

    Hit dice is D4 (D6 for Pathfinder). It seems weak, but then, that's the point--it becomes a powerful ability (allowing you to supercede material and XP components, and even metamagic adjustments) with a high cost, and if you build for CON to become a primary stat, you're going to have a huge resource pool regardless. Remember that the Blood Pact mitigates this at level 10, so you suffer in the beginning (as a caster should) and come through fighting at the end.

    Now, I think it's not quite powerful enough. The Death Master from Dragon Compendium had the option of using blood as a material component, and when he did, it took the place of the somatic component of his spells. Your spell list is small enough that I think you could get away with doing the same. This would allow the blood mage to wear armor and provide a good reason for doing so (rather than "the somatic components for this guy's spells, when most of them come from the wizard spell list, are relatively simple, so he can cast in light armor" Yes, that makes sense)
    Bloodletting as a somatic component was something I *thought* I had included - I had certainly intended for it to replace somatic components. I'll revise that.

    The Blood Telepathy and Scent abilities are both very flavorful to the point of being delicious. In fact, this is probably the most flavorful class I've reviewed in a while, so I really want to see it turn out well. Okay, let's see...

    I agree with Wayfare, that replacing the Bloodletting with Con-based casting would make for an interesting (and very, very SAD) caster. Give him a d8 hit dice, light armor proficiency, and 3/4 BAB and he can even do tertiary melee too. Maybe give him some kind of benefit for drawing blood from someone (like using it to auto-Maximize a Summon spell. That actually sounds so much more awesome than it did in my head.)
    I think CON-based casting with a D8 hit dice is pretty seedy, since it allows you to just pump Hit Points out the wazoo (I suppose you wouldn't be pumping them out of anywhere else, though). I mean, a full caster with CON-based casting can get 20 CON at level 1 easy just by being a Gnome, gets D8+5 out of the gate and just blows up from there. To be honest, I'm scared to pump it above D4 at all, because any smart player is going to have at least +5 from the start; 6-9HP/lvl isn't bad, and that can be considered the baseline. I also have to consider that giving D8 HD with Con-based casting at ANY level, medium BAB progression, and an at-will ability that can do 15D6 damage and heal it all back makes this a much better melee character than a Rogue in a great many situations, which isn’t what I want out of a caster character. (Let Dread Necromancers do the melee thing with Charnel Touch abuse.)

    Light armor proficiency is fine; I imagined bloodletting as being the somatic component, and thus being relatively less strenuous, so being able to cast in light armor isn’t a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by wayfare
    I think it depends on what he is going for. as it stands, the class is a solid Tier 3. Turning him into an arcane cleric with blood maximizing spells would probably bump it up to Tier 1.

    Suggestion: Blood summoning sounds great, but what about making a limited blood summoning spell list (Like Summon Undead X or Conjure Ice Beast X). It could be something like "Conjure Sanguine Servitor 1-9." Heck, by mid levels you could probably summon vampires!
    Solid tier 3 is what I’m going for. Frankly, since the spell list has some respectable results (Summon Monster and Fog lines from Conjuration, Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic, and some other staples) and the class has a built-in feature that lets it bypass metamagic restrictions (Metamagic Bloodletting at level 11), I can see there being huge potential for abuses already.

    Should I make a Blood Summoning SLA? I included the Summon Monster line so that I could work the summoning element a bit, but avoided calling (and all its brokenness and contradiction with flavor) and Summon Undead (I don’t imagine many undead would need blood to summon) and Eidolons (which I believe are a class feature of the PF Summoner that should stay unique). If I should write up a new Summon list (or even just include Summon Monster or Summon Undead as a SLA so it can be used with Empower Spell-Like Ability), what should I include?

    I dunno, I mean the cleric gets heavy armor proficiency and auto-ignore somatic casting, with a much wider spell list. I don't think this class could become Tier 1 without branching out more.
    Blood Mage gets a way to bypass metamagic costs that’s a built-in part of the feature, and some Cleric spells (though I specifically avoided the Cure Wounds and Heal lines, because they trivialize the Bloodletting ability) as well as some Druid, Sorcerer and Wizard spells. Clerics get broader abuses (because I specifically avoided abusive content), but to abuse even Persist Spell, the Cleric needs three feats (Extend, Persist, DMM [Persist]), while ability damage is easily mitigated and can even be controlled by the Cleric.

    Even then, I want something that competes with Beguiler and Dread Necromancer for usefulness and utility; I don’t want to make a God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae
    I agree with NeoSeraphi on the d8 HD. Not sure about the 3/4 BAB, I'd probably leave that at 1/2. Maybe give good Fort though.

    I also think that Blood Mastery could be spread out among the levels. Con-based casting from the start should be fine. I'd probably move the stench thing down to 19th, just to kill that last dead level. The other effects make a fine capstone.
    I still think that D8 HD with CON-based casting out of the gate is quite a bit much. Considering that a CON casting stat will create a huge CON modifier (whether you get it at 1 or at 20) for hit point bonii, even a D4 HD produces a large hit point pool to start with. You’ll also have absurdly high Save DCs and bonus spells; since you don’t have to worry about any other stat (having all the necessary caster statistics handed to you on your CON alone), you can pump your “primary casting stat” and your Hit Points at the same time, allowing for the highest save DCs of any full caster for the same WBL.

    Consider also that there’s a certain benefit to being MAD in this regard; with Bloodletting (metamagic) causing CON damage, your save DCs and bonus spells would be out the window if you only relied on CON for casting. When CON and CHA are interchangeable upon casting, you can burn CON for metamagic when you feel like it, and then afterward fall back on a respectable CHA modifier for your baseline while you continue to abuse metamagics.

    I think somewhere in there should be an ability that lets the blood mage use damage it has taken previously in the round to fuel and/or strengthen spells. And maybe a higher-level ability to let them sacrifice the blood of others to fuel their spells.

    All in all looks cool though. Good job!
    Kinda like the Delayed Damage pool for Crusaders?

    Yeah, I could see about adding that in. I think I might have to have some restriction on it, though (like it can only be used when the character is “bloodied”, or at less than half health).

    Keep in mind that forming a “Blood Pact” divides the damage taken evenly between you and the creature you form the Blood Pact with. This includes the damage you willingly take for your own spellcasting, so by level 10 you’re already able to mitigate roughly half of the damage Bloodletting causes (or at least channel it away from you).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora
    Spell-like abilities of spells the class can already cast seems an odd choice to me.
    I did that for two reasons: First, some users might want to use Vampire Touch and False Life more than their daily SLA allotment allows. The spells are already quite flavorful for the class, so it’s not like it loses anything for having them on both lists.

    Second, I am able to make special exceptions for the ones you cast as SLAs; for example, at every 6th level, you learn to cast False Life quicker (Move at 6th, Swift at 12th, and Immediate at 18th), which makes it significantly stronger than casting it as a spell. Gaining Empower Spell-Like Ability at level 12 also allows them to be stronger than their spell equivalents out of the gate; HOWEVER, if you decide that this isn’t enough, you can metamagic the bajeezus out of either spell by that level with Bloodletting (metamagic).

    They’re meant to be features of the class that you are allowed to use regardless of your spell usage, but having them on the spell list doesn’t really hurt, either.

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    Comments!
    • Cantrips: All cantrips on the Sor/Wiz list, or from all arcane lists?
    • The spell list in general: Is in dire need of alphabetization.
    • Bloodletting: Metamagic, GP and XP cost mitigation: DANGER DANGER. This is a very powerful feature. I haven't looked over the spell list to see what will happen just out-of-the-box (nevermind what happens when you do something like PrC into Rainbow Servant), but really, as flavorful as the mechanic may be, I'd call implementing any feature like this a fundamentally bad idea.
      Two peculiarities I noticed:
      • Ability damage that can't be naturally healed is called Ability Burn.
      • What happens if, say, you're immune to Constitution damage? There is nothing in the rules preventing undead creatures from becoming Blood Mages, for example.
    • Naming convention: You refer to the class interchangeably as "blood mage" and "blood magus". I don't know the underlying grammar here, but it looks inconsistent.
    • Stigmata: Requires a book/page reference.
    • [b]Blood Pact: Share pain requires a book/page reference.
    • Ritual Blood Bonds: Requires a book/page reference.
    • Scent: Sounds a bit like the lifesense of a wraith. Do you want this to be scent-related? Also, needs a definition of what a "recently deceased creature" is. One minute from death? One hour? One week?
    • Blood Mastery: Are the bonus HP in addition to the bonus HP granted by the constitution increase, or are they a part of it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Comments![*]Cantrips: All cantrips on the Sor/Wiz list, or from all arcane lists?
    Sorcerer/Wizard list. I'm not stingy about cantrips; this is me being intentionally bad/lazy, because I hate when people get stingy about cantrips known (either by RAW or houserule; there's nothing inherently broken, gameplay-wise, about a Sorcerer entering play knowing every cantrip as opposed to the usual four, with a cap of nine) and see no reason not to give just about every cantrip. I didn't think too much about the Bard's list, but aside from Summon Instrument (which is basically a Bardic feature), I don't see the harm.

    I'll make a specific cantrip list, I guess... Mumble grumble.

    [*]The spell list in general: Is in dire need of alphabetization.
    Sorry; I compiled the list in my sleep (I wish this was a lie). By the time I had gotten the list done (going through both PHBs and the SpC for spells), I had lost sight of the fact that it needed to be alphabetized, especially since I was constantly adding/removing various spells.

    [*]Bloodletting: Metamagic, GP and XP cost mitigation: DANGER DANGER. This is a very powerful feature. I haven't looked over the spell list to see what will happen just out-of-the-box (nevermind what happens when you do something like PrC into Rainbow Servant), but really, as flavorful as the mechanic may be, I'd call implementing any feature like this a fundamentally bad idea.
    Two peculiarities I noticed:
    • Ability damage that can't be naturally healed is called Ability Burn.
    • What happens if, say, you're immune to Constitution damage? There is nothing in the rules preventing undead creatures from becoming Blood Mages, for example.
    Bloodletting metamagic is the only thing that makes the Bloodletting feature worthwhile; GP and even EXP costs are relatively minor unless you have a spell list full to bursting with absolutely broken spells with high EXP costs (and you don't). The number of spells with GP and EXP costs here isn't that frightening.

    Still, it's reason enough, in my mind, to keep the HD at D4, and CHA-based casting until the capstone (or at least later in the class), so you don't have an absurdly large resource pool to dig from as a class feature.

    Regarding the two peculiarities, it should be noted that I was using the Stigmata feat (from Book of Exalted Deeds, 46) as my precedent for ALL wording on the Constitution damage, and didn't think there was a problem, but:
    1) I will change the wording to "Constitution Burn". (Sorry - I've never opened a Psionics book, as all games I've played in have houseruled them out, and they never interested me individually. Color me ignorant here.) I will also amend the wording on hit point damage paid for casting spells, as well as EXP and GP costs, because even though I was consciously aware of the fact that there is no clause saying this damage overcomes DR, I never changed it, because I didn't find the perfect fix. (What's a good substitute?)
    2) It's pretty much axiomatic that a creature with no Constitution score (such as an Undead or a Construct) can't sacrifice Constitution points (which it does not have) for a class feature, just as they can't be punished by ability drain or damage to their Constitution score (which it does not have). There's nothing broken or even difficult to interpret about this: A creature with no Constitution score can't pay a Constitution cost for an ability.Just for clarity's sake, I'll amend this to include the wording that characters without Constitution scores can't pay for Constitution-based effects (though, truthfully, I can't find any wording for it in Stigmata, so I'd think it's simple RAW/RAI).

    [quote]
    [*]Naming convention: You refer to the class interchangeably as "blood mage" and "blood magus". I don't know the underlying grammar here, but it looks inconsistent.[*]Stigmata: Requires a book/page reference.[*][b]Blood Pact: Share pain requires a book/page reference.[*]Ritual Blood Bonds: Requires a book/page reference.
    All issues of poor proofreading and late-night writing that I will certainly fix. (Thanks for bringing this to my attention--I gloss over "Blood Magus" like it's nothing, because it's not something unusual to find in D&D. Just didn't stick out to me, I guess.)

    [*]Scent: Sounds a bit like the lifesense of a wraith. Do you want this to be scent-related? Also, needs a definition of what a "recently deceased creature" is. One minute from death? One hour? One week?
    I did want this to be scent-related, because lifesnse specifically excludes the recently deceased, but includes plants (which don't have blood). Flavor-wise, it's not that the character has a special sense for one's life forces; it's that they're particularly attuned to the scent of blood.

    I will make some amendments to my shoddy wording: This ability will exclude plants (and other living creatures that do not bleed, if any), and will have a specific timeline on when a creature can be detected (I was thinking something to the effect of "while the blood is still warm", but I don't know what that entails; I may try to use precedents for Track on this where, after a certain time, penalties are incurred, but I'll work this out).

    [*]Blood Mastery: Are the bonus HP in addition to the bonus HP granted by the constitution increase, or are they a part of it?[/list]
    It's a commensurate bonus (you gain bonus HP equal to the bonus to your CON modifier times your HD); the problem here is that I was using the wording for the Bardic ability Inspire Greatness, which I misread (that relates specifically to a change in HD, not to a change in your CON modifier).

    Thanks for the pointers! Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of revisions.

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    I can think of a very practical reason to not allow light armor proficiency: Unless you want to have your hands become nothing more than a mass of scar tissue, you need to be able to cut yourself in many different places. Stabbing your way through leather armor isn't a trivial task, but it would be funny to watch. The look on a player's face when you ask him to roll to hit himself would be priceless.

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    Um, what's the hit die? It should probably be a pretty decent size, since he needs all the HPs he can get...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alefiend View Post
    I can think of a very practical reason to not allow light armor proficiency: Unless you want to have your hands become nothing more than a mass of scar tissue, you need to be able to cut yourself in many different places. Stabbing your way through leather armor isn't a trivial task, but it would be funny to watch. The look on a player's face when you ask him to roll to hit himself would be priceless.
    Wounds heal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Um, what's the hit die? It should probably be a pretty decent size, since he needs all the HPs he can get...
    D4. I'll be testing D6 HD, but it's extremely unlikely that I'll change it, because it trivializes the weakness (hit point cost for spellcasting) and gives a huge resource pool for the boon (mitigation of GP and EXP costs), neither of which are positive qualities. Use your healthy CON modifier for a large hit point pool like everybody else. :p

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    The power of the class is difficult to judge, and would vary greatly depending on party synergy. For example, a blood mage is very powerful with an allied cleric willing to repair his hit point damage, and share it through shield other, plus a stocky dwarven fighter willing to make a blood pact. On his own, not so much.

    Casting all of your daily spells at 19th level requires inflicting more than 300 hp of damage on yourself. I am curious about how you expect that to work. My thought is that any optimizer worth his salt will find some way to get fast healing at a low level in order to support the hp damage involved in spellcasting. Perhaps you might as well grant fast healing 1 at some point to avoid making it a feat/level tax.

    The trouble with allowing hp damage to replace gp and xp costs is that it's a viable trade only if the spell in question is a combat-related spell with a limited duration, so that the hp cost is meaningful and the benefit is limited in scope. You've done a good job of that with this list, but it's rather easy to get foreign spells added to a spell list (I can think of at least five ways to do it). I would recommend adding text that forbids the use of any other feats, features, or items to increase the blood mage spell list in any way.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-06-24 at 12:13 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    The power of the class is difficult to judge, and would vary greatly depending on party synergy. For example, a blood mage is very powerful with an allied cleric willing to repair his hit point damage, and share it through shield other, plus a stocky dwarven fighter willing to make a blood pact. On his own, not so much.
    In my opinion, a class that is made better by cooperating with other classes is good, so I'm counting this as a win.

    Casting all of your daily spells at 19th level requires inflicting more than 300 hp of damage on yourself. I am curious about how you expect that to work.
    Wand of Cure Light Wounds between combats?

    My thought is that any optimizer worth his salt will find some way to get fast healing at a low level in order to support the hp damage involved in spellcasting. Perhaps you might as well grant fast healing 1 at some point to avoid making it a feat/level tax.
    I thought of making the Fast Healing scale with level, but that just becomes stupid good at any level (let's say, for example, that I'm getting Fast Healing scaling at half my level... By the time I can cast second-level spells, I'm at Fast Healing 2, so I gain 2 HP for casting a spell worth 2 HP, and so on). If somebody finds a way to specifically mitigate this effect at some cost (such as the Troll Blooded feat), more power to them; I feel it's a drawback that should not have an easy, commonsense fix, and if that means it requires some concentration or even a mild feat tax, then all the better. They get an insane amount of mileage for it in the long run, so why not suffer for it? Such drawbacks are, after all, intended to mitigate reckless use of abilities; if Barbarian levels are tacked onto a race immune to fatigue, or the Venerable modifier is tacked onto a Dragonwrought Kobold Sorcerer, it reeks of cheese and defeats the point of it ever being there, so if the drawback of this class is something that can easily be mitigated by something every player has ready access to (like a race or template, or innate class feature at early levels), then it's pointless. I mean, there's a reason Barbarians get Tireless Rage at 17, in my opinion.

    My spiel is mainly that, if I'm going to create an innate feature that mitigates the drawbacks of Bloodletting, that feature itself has to have a drawback. You know my policy here: no free lunches.

    How about this:

    Arcane Healing (Su): A Blood Mage develops the power to turn their arcane energy inward, channeling it through their blood to induce healing in the body. As a full-round action, a Blood Mage can spend an uncast spell to heal damage equal to the level of the spell expended.

    This allows a Blood Mage to mitigate the cost of Bloodletting--but in a way that is inefficient both in action economy and in spellcasting usage. In order to incur no net damage from a day's worth of spellcasting, they have to spend a number of spell levels in healing equal to those they cast, as well as a sizable number of full-round actions (which, by the by, makes this totally useless for in-combat mitigation).

    Sound good?

    This is a good time for everyone else to chip in, because I'm bouncing ideas at you at this point.

    The trouble with allowing hp damage to replace gp and xp costs is that it's a viable trade only if the spell in question is a combat-related spell with a limited duration, so that the hp cost is meaningful and the benefit is limited in scope. You've done a good job of that with this list, but it's rather easy to get foreign spells added to a spell list (I can think of at least five). I would recommend adding text that forbids the use of any other feats, features, or items to increase the blood mage spell list in any way.
    How do you suggest I do that?

    I'm not sure being able to apply Arcane Disciple or a Bloodline feat to Blood Mage breaks anything to Hell... But I might be sure of that only because I'm not intimately familiar with the Domain lists and the Bloodline feats, and the EXP/GP-heavy spells you can cast from those lists (I have never played out a divine caster, and still have to look up domain spell lists from time to time when I write characters for campaigns). If you can give me an example of what to look for, specifically, that would be great, but even just help on the wording would be nice (as I don't know how to go about excluding other spells from the spell list; I mean, really, it has no precedent with the Beguiler, Bard, Wizard, or anything else that I know of, and it's kinda hard to write something that DOESN'T have a workaround here, where everything's RAW only if the cheese isn't scraped off it, after which the jump is quickly made to RAI).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    In my opinion, a class that is made better by cooperating with other classes is good, so I'm counting this as a win.
    Point taken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    Wand of Cure Light Wounds between combats?
    My concern is that the blood mage is in a truenamer-like position in which operating at his full potential becomes more difficult as he advances in level, rather than less. A quick review, assuming a character who starts with 18 Con and 18 Cha, then scales to 26 Con and 26 Cha by level 18

    {table=head]Level|Avg hp|Hp to cast all spells|% of total
    1st|8|4|50%
    6th|49|32|65%
    10th|89|89|100%
    14th|151|175|116%
    18th|171|276|161%[/table]

    For this analysis I'm leaving out the SLAs that grant temp hp and the option to burn hp and/or Con when casting spells, but I think this demonstrates my concern. Also, you can see that at higher levels, a blood mage would need a wand factory to support him if he tried to use the wand of CLW trick to support his casting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    My spiel [about fast healing] is mainly that, if I'm going to create an innate feature that mitigates the drawbacks of Bloodletting, that feature itself has to have a drawback. You know my policy here: no free lunches.
    I would propose that "must harm self to use class features" is a significant and overarching drawback, especially when the bulk of your spell list is intended to be cast while other people are trying to kill you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    Arcane Healing (Su): A Blood Mage develops the power to turn their arcane energy inward, channeling it through their blood to induce healing in the body. As a full-round action, a Blood Mage can spend an uncast spell to heal damage equal to the level of the spell expended.
    This is reasonable. You might also consider an ability like the warlock's fiendish resilience, or an ability that grants fast healing but disables spellcasting while in use (thus, it's for out of combat healing only).


    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    I'm not sure being able to apply Arcane Disciple or a Bloodline feat to Blood Mage breaks anything to Hell... But I might be sure of that only because I'm not intimately familiar with the Domain lists and the Bloodline feats, and the EXP/GP-heavy spells you can cast from those lists (I have never played out a divine caster, and still have to look up domain spell lists from time to time when I write characters for campaigns). If you can give me an example of what to look for, specifically, that would be great, but even just help on the wording would be nice (as I don't know how to go about excluding other spells from the spell list; I mean, really, it has no precedent with the Beguiler, Bard, Wizard, or anything else that I know of, and it's kinda hard to write something that DOESN'T have a workaround here, where everything's RAW only if the cheese isn't scraped off it, after which the jump is quickly made to RAI).
    My suggested text would simply be "The blood mage may not benefit from any effect that would add additional spells to his class spell list or list of blood mage spells known."

    Concerns would be (using "free" to describe an XP or GP cost paid with hp in an out-of-combat setting where the damage can be healed with no risk):
    • Ultimate Magus to acquire free permanency in conjunction with access to the wizard spells compatible with permanency.
    • Arcane Disciple to acquire free miracle.
    • Arcane Disciple to acquire the Healing domain.
    • Mother Cyst to acquire necrotic tumor (which provides dominated minions for use with blood pact) and necrotic empowerment (which provides 100 temp hp per casting).
    • Sand Shaper to acquire free awaken sand (for unlimited minions).
    • Rainbow Servant to acquire free raise dead/resurrection/restoration/greater restoration/mass restoration/stalwart pact/renewal pact/death pact.


    Basically, bloodletting makes this a Tier 2 class, able to break the game in a variety of ways, depending on build. However, with a hard restriction on expanding the list, you could close that can of worms and restore this to the Tier 3 role you were envisioning.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-06-24 at 02:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Point taken.



    My concern is that the blood mage is in a truenamer-like position in which operating at his full potential becomes more difficult as he advances in level, rather than less. A quick review, assuming a character who starts with 18 Con and 18 Cha, then scales to 26 Con and 26 Cha by level 18

    {table=head]Level|Avg hp|Hp to cast all spells|% of total
    1st|8|4|50%
    6th|49|32|65%
    10th|89|89|100%
    14th|151|175|116%
    18th|171|276|161%[/table]

    For this analysis I'm leaving out the SLAs that grant temp hp and the option to burn hp and/or Con when casting spells, but I think this demonstrates my concern. Also, you can see that at higher levels, a blood mage would need a wand factory to support him if he tried to use the wand of CLW trick to support his casting.
    Okay, yeah, I see the problem here, and I see why it's a problem: Hit Dice are a static gain, but the HP cost grows exponentially, so the drawback (the HP cost) grows to significantly outweigh the available resources (HP) and then plummets from there.

    For that, I'm starting to like the fix I offered in my previous post a lot more, because it scales with your spell availability, because, well, it is your spell availability.

    You've done one better, though--given me an idea of exactly where it needs to go, so as not to be a futile endeavor.

    I would propose that "must harm self to use class features" is a significant and overarching drawback, especially when the bulk of your spell list is intended to be cast while other people are trying to kill you.
    Point taken - I just don't want it to be overcome by something that's simple and innate, like DR or something equivalent.

    This is reasonable. You might also consider an ability like the warlock's fiendish resilience, or an ability that grants fast healing but disables spellcasting while in use (thus, it's for out of combat healing only).
    I'll see what I can do.

    My suggested text would simply be "The blood mage may not benefit from any effect that would add additional spells to his class spell list or list of blood mage spells known."

    Concerns would be (using "free" to describe an XP or GP cost paid with hp in an out-of-combat setting where the damage can be healed with no risk):
    • Ultimate Magus to acquire free permanency in conjunction with access to the wizard spells compatible with permanency.
    • Arcane Disciple to acquire free miracle.
    • Arcane Disciple to acquire the Healing domain.
    • Mother Cyst to acquire necrotic tumor (which provides dominated minions for use with blood pact) and necrotic empowerment (which provides 100 temp hp per casting).
    • Sand Shaper to acquire free awaken sand (for unlimited minions).
    • Rainbow Servant to acquire free raise dead/resurrection/restoration/greater restoration/mass restoration/stalwart pact/renewal pact/death pact.


    Basically, bloodletting makes this a Tier 2 class, able to break the game in a variety of ways, depending on build. However, with a hard restriction on expanding the list, you could close that can of worms and restore this to the Tier 3 role you were envisioning.
    I can't see the Ultimate Magus being that much of a concern, because to advance far enough in a prepared casting role to quality for Ultimate Magus, you need to give up 9th-level spells, and to advance far enough to get Permanency (unless I'm missing something), you have to give up 8th-level spells as well... Again, unless I'm missing something, you have to have a build something akin to Blood Mage 8 (for Bloodletting/EXP)/Wizard 3/Ultimate Magus 10, which is an Epic-level achievement, and doesn't get 8th-level casting until 21, at which point it's a fair trade, in my opinion. It's not something I'm really keen on excluding, because if somebody wants to expend all that effort just for free permanent Tongues, I say let them.

    The rest reeks of cheese, however, so if I must get rid of that for it, I guess it has to happen... I'll include that wording.

    EDIT: Looking at this last paragraph here, I realize that I also need to find a way to specifically exclude the use of Bloodletting on spell lists from other classes you can cast from. As of yet, I have no specific wording that excludes you from casting Permanency through the Bloodletting ability if you have 5th-level Wizard casting and want to use Bloodletting on a Wizard spell you happen to be able to cast. I'm pretty sure this won't commonly see abuse for XP-free Wishes or Miracles, because of the heavy level investment necessary for Bloodletting (EXP), but it would be alarmingly common to see one-level dips into Blood Mage to be able to cast free Resurrection and Resurrection-related spells, which is a big no-no.

    EDIT II: Actually, how cheesy would that be, if I allowed Bloodletting (GP, EXP, or even Metamagic) to be applied to other spell lists for spells known, but only for arcane casting? How many high-level arcane spells with steep GP costs are broken to pieces by a one-level dip in Blood Mage? (Keeping in mind that, since 8 and 11 are the requirements for EXP and Metamagic, you won't get beyond 6th-level casting otherwise, so you can't abuse endgame EXP costs now on the Blood Mage spell list, which excludes you from getting free Wishes.) I'm thinking I might let that slide if there's nothing overtly cheesy about it, but...

    ...Nevermind. I just remembered Arcane Disciple treats spells gained as arcane spells, so we're back to free Resurrections, but with a one-level dip in Blood Magus instead of full progression.

    I'll make the necessary changes within the next few days. Please be patient--I have a cousin over and entertaining her is taking up much of my free time.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2011-06-26 at 04:42 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    Okay, yeah, I see the problem here, and I see why it's a problem: Hit Dice are a static gain, but the HP cost grows exponentially, so the drawback (the HP cost) grows to significantly outweigh the available resources (HP) and then plummets from there.

    For that, I'm starting to like the fix I offered in my previous post a lot more, because it scales with your spell availability, because, well, it is your spell availability.

    You've done one better, though--given me an idea of exactly where it needs to go, so as not to be a futile endeavor.
    Yep. You make a good point, though, that a burn-spells-inefficiently-for-healing ability could be self-balancing at the right exchange rate, since the availability of the healing scales automatically with the availability of the spells that create the need for healing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    Point taken - I just don't want it to be overcome by something that's simple and innate, like DR or something equivalent.
    You could mark the hp spent to power spells as sacrifice damage, such as when using shield other or a vicious weapon. Because sacrifice damage is a cost, not an effect, it can't be prevented without negating the original effect that the character is seeking to activate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    EDIT: Looking at this last paragraph here, I realize that I also need to find a way to specifically exclude the use of Bloodletting on spell lists from other classes you can cast from.
    Good catch.

    Verbage!

    Bloodletting: In order to cast spells, a Blood Mage must draw from their own life essences to deliver the arcane energies. When a Blood Mage casts a spell from the blood mage spell list, they must take 1 point of damage per spell level of the spell being cast. For instance, to cast a 5th-level spell, a Blood Mage must take 5 points of damage during the casting, infusing their spellcasting with their own blood.

    A Blood Mage can further use their bloodletting in two ways: First, a Blood Mage can use Bloodletting to pay the material components for spells from the blood mage spell list with costly components. A Blood Mage may choose to take 1 hit point of damage per 25gp of the spell's material component cost. At 8th level, the Blood Mage can pay for experience costs with their own blood as well, taking 1 hit point of damage per 5xp of the spell's experience cost.

    Second, at 11th level, a Blood Mage can use their life force to mitigate the spell level cost of metamagic feats when casting spells from the blood mage spell list. Doing so is particularly taxing, however, and thus a Blood Mage that chooses to mitigate metamagic this way takes 1 point of Constitution damage for level adjusted in this way. This damage can only be cured through 8 hours of restful sleep. A Blood Magus cannot use this ability to increase a spell's level above the highest level a Blood Mage can cast.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    EDIT II: Actually, how cheesy would that be, if I allowed Bloodletting (GP, EXP, or even Metamagic) to be applied to other spell lists for spells known, but only for arcane casting? How many high-level arcane spells with steep GP costs are broken to pieces by a one-level dip in Blood Mage? (Keeping in mind that, since 8 and 11 are the requirements for EXP and Metamagic, you won't get beyond 6th-level casting otherwise, so you can't abuse endgame EXP costs now on the Blood Mage spell list, which excludes you from getting free Wishes.) I'm thinking I might let that slide if there's nothing overtly cheesy about it, but...
    The symbol line of spells would probably be your biggest worry point. Their costs are high enough to discourage frequent use without mitigation, they benefit substantially from free metamagic, and they last until triggered, so they can be cast ahead of time. But, yeah, Arcane Disciple just blows it all to pieces.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    ERRATA - 06/27/11:
    - Changed spelling of "Blood Magus" to "Blood Mage" wherever it appears (including places where it is sensible, so as not to confuse it with the prestige class of the same name).
    - Added the Hit Dice (d4) next to the Blood Mage's name above the table.
    - Added light armor proficiency to the Blood Mage (as Bard, but without shields).
    - Added a cantrip list. Much like the rest of the Blood Mage spell list, the cantrip list draws heavily from the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list, but will also include some cantrips from the Bard list, as well as Cleric and Druid orisons (where necessary).
    - Alphabetized the spell list.
    - Added Mirror Image to the list of second-level spells, and Arcane Eye to the list of fourth-level spells.
    - Changed the wording of Bloodletting (GP and EXP) to regard the hit point damage as hit point drain, and Bloodletting (Metamagic) to regard the Constitution damage as constitution burn.
    - Added the following wording to Bloodletting (as underlined): "When a Blood Mage casts a spell from the blood mage spell list . . . First, a Blood Mage can use Bloodletting to pay the material components for spells from the blood mage spell list with costly components. . . . Second, at 11th level, a Blood Mage can use their life force to mitigate the spell level cost of metamagic feats when casting spells from the blood mage spell list. . . . Creatures without Constitution scores (such as undead or constructs) cannot use this ability, as they cannot pay the Constitution cost. . . . A Blood Mage cannot use this ability to increase a spell's level above the highest level a Blood Mage can cast before mitigating the level adjustment, nor can they use this ability to reduce a spell's level below its starting level."
    - Added a book and page number for Stigmata in the bonus feat wording.
    - Added a book and page number for Ritual Blood Bonds in the bonus feat wording.
    - Added the following wording to Scent (as underlined): "Living creatures that do not bleed (such as plants) cannot be tracked by this ability. . . . The ability can, however, be used to track recently deceased creatures that formerly had blood flowing through their veins; scent can be used to track a creature which has died in the last 24 hours."
    - Removed the following wording from Blood Mastery (as underlined): "First, a 20th-level blood mage gains a permanent +4 bonus to their Constitution score, as well as a number of hit points equal to twice their HD."
    - Added the "Arcane Healing" ability at the 8th level.
    - Added the "Craft Homunculus" ability at the 19th level. (Really, it's Craft Construct, but the limitations on the spell list exclude everything else.)

    TO DO:
    - FLAVOR!
    - Symbol spells?
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2011-06-27 at 06:51 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    ERRATA - 06/29/11:
    - Added the following to the Blood Mage's "spellcasting" section: "The blood mage may not benefit from any effect that would add additional spells to his class spell list or list of blood mage spells known."

    Thanks to jiriku for the revision.

    (I forgot to put this in the first time.)

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    Default Re: Blood Mage (Base Class)

    looks very cool, nice work


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