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    Default [3.5] Ritualist: the wizard remixed

    RITUALIST


    "Eh? Oh. No, you would not part an old man from his walking stick?"
    -Gandalf, The Two Towers

    "Even when our eyes are closed, there's a whole world out there that lives outside ourselves and our dreams."
    -Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood


    A recent collaboration on how to balance spellcasters led to some suggestions by sonofzeal, togath, and neoseraphi that inspired me to build this class. An alternative to the wizard, the ritualist presents a search for a balanced and enjoyable Tier 3 generalist caster, even if we had to slaughter some sacred cows of game mechanics to do it! The ritualist replaces the wizard in games that desire a balanced or low-magic approach to spellcasting.

    Ritualist is designed to be compatible with the Philosopher's Stone magic remix.

    Change Log:
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    1.0 Original version
    1.1 Scribing a chalk circle with circle magic now explicitly requires a nearby surface, meaning it cannot be used while swimming or flying. Magic circles can be scribed without need for a surface. Ritual magic minimum casting time has been reduced from 1 minute to 1 full round, and circle rituals now require additional time to cast. Summon monster and similar spells are now rituals. Circle magic now allows you to increase the HD cap or dice cap of your spells. To get key class features into play more quickly, and allow the player to capture a slice of these class features before moving into a prestige class at level 6-8, circle magic and spontaneous conversion are now a little more front-loaded.
    1.1 The circle magic option of adding +1 to save DC has been replaced with the option to set base save DC to 10 + 1/2 character level + Charisma bonus. Since the ritualist has fewer spells, the lower level spells need to pull their weight more, and this should help. Individual circle magic benefits may now only be selected once each.
    1.11 Added quick-start rules for building a high-level ritualist in a jiffy.
    1.2 Simplified bookkeeping by replacing the ritualist's six bonus feat with Flexible Magecraft, a feature granting a single floating bonus feat.
    1.21 Replaced Flexible Magecraft with Magecraft, an even simpler feature which relieves the ritualist from needing to have item creation feats. Added Reserve Magic, which grants a single, enhanced reserve feat as a bonus feat and can be changed out daily.
    1.3 Playtesting showed that it's difficult for a ritualist to be effective when limited to 2 general spells per level per day. Removed the ritual spell concept from the class and renamed Circle Magic to Circle Ritual. Circle ritual is usable on all spells, and requires additional chanters only when casting spells with a casting time of one minute or greater.
    1.4 Replaced the craft reserve with a flat 50% discount on xp costs for crafting rings, rods, staves, and item familiars and a 50% reduction in the xp cost for power Circle Ritual with experience points. Converted all class-based insight bonuses into competence bonuses to minimize stacking potential.
    1.41 Repaired tables. Converted some insight bonuses for the item familiar to competence bonuses; these were overlooked during the last update.
    1.5 Rewrote the description of many class features to make it an easier read. Simplified the item familiar to make it easier to learn and manage.


    Adaptations:
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    TONING DOWN THE RITUALIST
    The ritualist is intended to offer a balanced spell-casting class that won't casually overshadow martial characters. Those desiring an even more toned-down ritualist could do one or more of the following to limit his power:
    • Require the ritualist to make a Spellcraft check to use circle magic, with a DC of 12 + spell level + (3 *circle bonus points);
    • limit circle magic to 3 + Cha uses per day;
    • remove the item familiar's spell bond ability.


    BEEFING UP THE RITUALIST
    Those who wish to use the magician in a high-optimization game could do one or more of the following to increase his power:
    • Add a medium base attack progression;
    • Add a good Fort save;
    • Add proficiency with all simple weapons;
    • Allow the ritualist to learn new spells from spellbooks and take 10 on Spellcraft checks to learn such spells;
    • Improve the item familiar's spell bond to grant one bonus spell slot at each level of spells the ritualist can cast;
    • Remove the restriction against casting more than one ritualist spell per round;
    • Reduce the number of spells per day at each level by 1 across the board, but allow the ritualist to gain bonus spells for a high Intelligence.


    RITUALIST QUICK-START RULES
    Sticklers for accuracy will notice that because a ritualist has some uncertainty over how many tries he'll need to learn a given spell, it's impossible to correctly build a high-level ritualist from scratch without laboriously modeling character growth one level at a time. Use the following quick-and-dirty method of generating a high-level ritualist quickly.

    During character creation, the ritualist learns all spells automatically, but must pays 1.5x normal cost for all scrolls acquired and scribed into his spellbook. The extra cost is a fudge factor to cover the fact that the ritualist would have occasionally failed a Spellcraft check and wasted a scroll.



    CLASS DESCRIPTION

    The archetypal spellcaster trained in a formal academy or secretive cabal, the ritualist is a proud practitioner of The Art, and learns to manipulate potent, dangerous magics with which wiser or more cautious mortals might fear to tamper. The ritualist practices complex, often-dangerous spells, crafts mighty magical items, and regards magic as a mark of his elite place in society. Often aloof and separate from the common folk, ritualists see themselves as concerned with weighty events and philosophies even when they possess little real power or influence. A ritualist might be an isolated mage living in a lonely tower, an accomplished artificer who forges the weapons of heroes, a mighty king’s personal wizard, or a bold planar traveler who crisscrosses the multiverse in search of eldritch lore.

    Adventures: Because ritualists often seek lost knowledge or potent artifacts to further their goals, the adventurer’s path may prove expedient to them as a means to an end. If a ritualist is a court mage, he may adventure to fulfill a king’s quest. Still other ritualists may have been driven from their crumbling towers by mobs of suspicious citizens and see adventuring as a method of rebuilding their power base.

    Characteristics: The ritualist is a character who regards reality as his plaything and the multiverse as his personal workshop. He is adept at bending and breaking the natural laws of the world, and brings powerful, flashy magics to his adventuring group, easily manipulating elemental energies, summoning outsiders, and reshaping battlefields. However, a ritualist often needs time to prepare and the assistance of others to work his magic, so he benefits strongly from the aid and support of a group.

    Alignment: Ritualists are a varied lot and may be of any alignment. Because they benefit from cooperating and collaborating with their peers, they are more inclined towards Law than Chaos.

    Religion: Ritualists who see their magic as a source of spiritual inspiration may worship Boccob, Wee Jas, or Vecna. Those who meddle in the powers of life and death might worship Nerull, while those devoted to traveling the multiverse in search of advancement might take Fharlanghn as their patron. Other ritualists take their inspiration where they find it, and might worship any deity.

    Background: Although some rare talents demonstrate the ability to learn High Magic quickly and easily, most ritualists learn through painstaking study and collaboration with others of greater experience. Ritualists generally are members of a league, college, or cabal of their peers, which may be a formal, tightly knit organization or a loose confederation of spellcasters who convene only infrequently. As fellow practitioners of The Art, ritualists see themselves as common members of an elite group even if they are members of different races or cultures. However, different groups of ritualists are often competitive or even hostile towards one another, as each group sees its practices as the “best” way to approach High Magic.

    Races: All races boast ritualists among their numbers, half-orcs boast few ritualists, as members of that race have little interest in arcane magic. Elves, gnomes and humans make perhaps the best ritualists, since their natural talents make good use of the class’s strengths.

    Other Classes: Ritualists tend to regard magicians with a sort of condescending pity, and there is little love lost between these practitioners of different forms of magic. Ritualists appreciate fighters, paladins, and rangers for the fighting strength they offer, but tend to view them more as pawns than as equals. They have little use for monks or rogues. Ritualists respect the prowess of clerics and druids, regarding members of these classes as worthy compatriots.

    Role: A ritualist is typically the center of a party’s power, capable of powerful effects that other classes can’t duplicate but dependent on the protection and support of his team to succeed. A ritualist doesn’t have the spellcasting stamina to solve all the party’s problems, but when another team member can’t handle a problem unassisted, or when the party finds itself in a no-win situation and needs to redefine what’s possible, the ritualist can reshape reality to turn an impossible challenge into a clean victory.

    Starting Wealth: 5d4 x 25 gp. Ritualists begin with more starting wealth than members of other classes.


    GAME RULE INFORMATION
    Ritualists have the following game statistics.

    Abilities: Intelligence and Charisma are the most important abilities for a ritualist, as they determine how powerful a spell or ritual he can cast and how hard his spells are to resist. Intelligence is also useful for many of the ritualist's class skills. A ritualist benefits from high Dexterity and Constitution scores much as a sorcerer or wizard would.

    Alignment: Any

    Hit Die: d6
    TABLE 1: RITUALIST Spells per Day
    Level Base Attack Fort Ref Will Special -0- -1- -2- -3- -4- -5- -6- -7- -8- -9-
    1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Item familiar, magecraft, reserve magic 3 1
    2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 4 2
    3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 4 2 1
    4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Spontaneous conversion 1/day 4 3 2
    5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Circle ritual +1 4 3 2 1
    6th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 3 3 2
    7th +3 +2 +2 +5 4 4 3 2 1
    8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Spontaneous conversion 2/day 4 4 3 3 2
    9th +4 +3 +3 +6 4 4 4 3 2 1
    10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Circle ritual +2 4 4 4 3 3 2
    11th +5 +3 +3 +7 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Spontaneous conversion 3/day 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Circle ritual +3 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Spontaneous conversion 4/day 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2
    20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Circle ritual +4, spontaneous conversion5/day 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3


    CLASS SKILLS (4 + Int mod per level, x4 at 1st level)
    A ritualist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Profession (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), and Spellcraft (Int).


    "I AM OZ.... the Great and Powerful! Who are you?"
    -- The Wizard of Oz

    Wizard: "See--I never had a family of my own--I was always travelin'.
    So, I guess I just wanted to give the citizens of Oz everything."
    Elphaba: "So you lied to them."
    Wizard: "Only verbally...."

    -- Wicked, the musical

    CLASS FEATURES
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The ritualist gains proficiency with the club, dagger, dart, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, light mace, and quarterstaff, but not with any armor or shield. He suffers a chance of arcane spell failure when attempting to cast spells while wearing armor or using a shield.

    Spells: A ritualist casts arcane spells, which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell lists in the Player’s Handbook and Spell Compendium. Like a wizard, you must prepare your spells in advance.

    To learn, prepare, or cast a ritualist spell, you must have an Intelligence score of 10 + the spell's level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a ritualist’s spell is 10 + the spell's level + the ritualist’s Charisma modifier. Like other spellcasters, you can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day, as shown on the table above. You can gain bonus spell slots from your item familiar (see sidebar). You can only learn and add to your spellbook a number of spells per spell level equal to 10 + your Intelligence modifier (including inherent bonuses but discounting other types of bonuses). If you attempt to cast spells while wearing armor, you suffer an arcane spell failure chance.

    A ritualist’s spellcasting is more structured than that of a wizard. You do not gain bonus spells per day for having a high ability score. You may cast no more than one ritualist spell per round, even if you would otherwise have enough actions available to cast more than one. Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 immediate action counts as your use of a spell on your next turn. Like a wizard, you can learn additional spells during play, but unlike a wizard, you may only attempt to learn them from scrolls, not from spellbooks. Furthermore, deciphering a spell from a scroll is an unpredictable process, and you may not take 10 on Spellcraft checks made to learn a new spell in this fashion.

    To ready his spells each day, the ritualist must have 8 hours of rest, and must spend 1 hour studying his spellbook. Spells used within the last 8 hours are not refreshed and count against your daily limit.

    Spellbook: A ritualist must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. You cannot prepare any spell not recorded in your spellbook.

    A ritualist begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level spells on the sorcerer/wizard spell list located in the Player’s Handbook and Spell Compendium, plus six 1st-level ritualist spells of your choice. At each new ritualist level, you gain one new spell at any level you can cast for your spellbook. If you acquire a scroll of a new ritualist spell, you can add it to your spellbook by spending 8 hours and making a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). However, you cannot take 10 on this check and the scroll is consumed regardless of whether the attempt is a success or a failure. Effects that improve your Spellcraft check will only benefit this roll if the effect is active for the entire 8-hour period. You can only learn and add to your spellbook a number of spells and rituals per spell level equal to 10 + your Intelligence modifier (including inherent bonuses but discounting other types of bonuses).

    You can prepare multiple spellbooks to guard against the risk that your primary spellbook might be destroyed, lost, or stolen, but owning multiple spellbooks does not enable you to learn or scribe any more spells. You do not need to have your primary spellbook at hand in order write spells that you know into a new spellbook.

    Item Familiar: A ritualist can enchant a permanent item to serve as a magical fetish, enhancing his mastery of The Art. Bonding with an item familiar requires an 8-hour ritual of meditation and focusing. A ritualist may only ever be bonded with one item familiar at a time. Any sort of item can serve as an item familiar, but it must meet at least one of the following requirements:

    • be of at least masterwork quality;
    • be a magical item;
    • be worth at least 100 gp.


    Table 2: Item Familiar
    Ritualist Level Ability
    1st bonded item; skill bond; spell bond (bonus slots)
    5th Call item (30 feet), channeling bond
    10th Call item (line of sight)
    15th Call item (same plane), spell bond (contingency)
    20th Call item (any plane)

    Item Familiar Abilities
    An item familiar becomes a magic item, if it was not magical already. It gains the following abilities.

    Bonded item: An item familiar has +5 hardness and ten times the normal hit points for an item of its type. When unattended, it is treated as an attended item and uses the ritualist’s saving throws if they are better than its own. The ritualist is always aware of the exact location of his item familiar (and thus knows immediately if it has been stolen), although effects that obscure divinations can disrupt this awareness.

    Skill bond: The ritualist gains competence bonuses equal to twice his ritualist level which he may allocate among any of his skills, up to a maximum bonus equal to his ranks in each skill. The bonus is received only while wielding or carrying the item familiar.

    Spell bond: While wielding or carrying the item familiar, a ritualist gains two bonus spell slots: one slot of the highest level of spells he can cast, and one slot of the level immediately below it.
    Upon reaching 15th level, the item familiar is able to cast these bonus spells itself. On his turn, the ritualist can use a free action to mentally command the familiar to cast a spell, or he may set a prearranged condition under which the familiar will cast each spell (as with the contingency spell).

    Call item: At 5th level, the ritualist can call his item familiar into his possession as a standard action, as long as it is within 30 feet. The item appears properly equipped on the ritualist if there is space for it, or on the ground in his square otherwise. At 10th level, he can call it from anywhere within line of sight. At 15th level, he can call it from anywhere on the same plane. At 20th level, he can call it from any plane.

    Channeling bond: The ritualist can use his item familiar to channel his ray spells and touch spells, and gains a +1 competence bonus per five ritualist levels on attack rolls when doing so. If your item familiar is a melee weapon, you can channel a melee touch spell while making a normal attack. At the DM’s discretion, you may also be able to deliver a channeled touch spell through an unarmed strike with the appropriate part of your body if your item familiar is a worn item (such as a ring or a pair of boots or gloves).

    Magecraft: You are considered to have all Item Creation feats when crafting items or meeting prerequisites. Additionally, you reduce the base xp cost by 50% when crafting a magic ring, rod, or staff, or when enchanting your item familiar.

    Reserve Magic: You gain any one Reserve feat, ignoring prerequisites, and may charge it with an appropriate spell of any level (ignoring the minimum spell level set by the feat). You may retrain this feat to a different reserve feat whenever you first ready your spells each day. The feat granted by reserve magic cannot be used to meet prerequisites.

    Spontaneous Conversion (Ex): Upon reaching 4th level, you can “lose” any prepared spell in order to cast any other spell in your spellbook of the same level or lower. You can use this ability once per day per four levels you have.

    Designer’s Note:
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    The DM should not allow a player to use Spontaneous Conversion to qualify for feats or prestige classes that require the ability to spontaneously cast spells. The ritualist is a prepared caster with a limited ability to exchange his prepared spells; he is not a spontaneous caster.


    Circle Ritual (Su): Upon reaching 5th level, you can add a power circle to a ritualist spell. You can choose to gain up to one-fifth your ritualist level in ritual points, which you use to improve the spell. You add a power circle only to spells with a casting time of at least one standard action.

    For one point, you can double the spell’s range, increase its caster level by 2, set its base save DC to 10 + 1/2 character level + your Charisma bonus, or remove the cap on the maximum number of HD affected or dice rolled by the spell. For 2 points, you may double the spell’s duration, and for 3 points, you can double its area. Each benefit can be purchased only once.

    Inscribing a circle takes time; every ritual point increases the spell’s casting time by one step on the table below.

    Table 3: Circle Ritual Casting Times
    Normal Casting Time Circle Ritual
    standard action full-round action
    full-round action one full round
    one or more rounds +1 round

    Inscribing a circle requires special chalk costing (10 * ritual points * spell level) gp, and a hard, flat surface of several square feet upon which to draw. Instead of using chalk, you can scribe a power circle in the air using pure magical energy, which costs (ritual points * spell level) in xp. Circle components are consumed just like ordinary spell components.

    If the spell has a casting time of one minute or more, you need one assistant for each ritual point to be obtained. Assistants need not be spellcasters, but must stand adjacent to you and chant for as long as you cast (they may take no other actions). If an assistant drops out before you finish casting, the number of ritual points you obtain is reduced accordingly.
    A ritualist of 10th level or higher can use his item familiar as an assistant.

    Sidebar: School Specialization
    A ritualist may specialize in a school of magic just as a wizard can and gains the usual benefits for doing so (see PH 57 for details). However, a ritualist who specializes in a school of magic must select three prohibited schools, and must select a key skill. The ritualist gains a +2 bonus on skill checks with his key skill, and it becomes a ritualist class skill for him if it is not one already. Key skills for each school are:

    Table 4: Specialist Key Skills
    School Skill
    Abjuration Concentration or Knowledge (arcana)
    Conjuration Craft (any one) or Knowledge (the planes)
    Divination Knowledge (any one) or Spot
    Enchantment Bluff or Sense Motive
    Evocation Intimidate or Knowledge (the planes)
    Illusion Bluff or Hide
    Necromancy Intimidate or Knowledge (religion)
    Transmutation Craft (any one)
    LIST OF RITUALIST SPELLS

    All sorcerer/wizard spells in the Player’s Handbook and Spell Compendium are included in the ritualist spell list. Alternately, the DM may allow you to select any two sourcebooks and claim all sorcerer/wizard spells from those two sourcebooks as your ritualist’s core spell list. Spells from other sourcebooks may be available as well, at the DM's discretion, but such spells can only be added to a ritualist's spellbook if copied from scrolls during play (and cannot be selected as the free spells learned every level).
    Last edited by jiriku; 2014-07-11 at 06:02 PM.
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    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    I like the idea, but don't possess the system mastery to critique your crunch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stu42 View Post
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    This is T2, still, at first pass. Quite possibly still T1, since they can learn a LARGE variety of spells.

    I really don't think you can get a T3 casters that has 9 spell levels and access to all sorcerer/wizard spells. All the problematic spells are still there and can still be cast.

    I am a bit concerned this class might not be very fun to play too (as odd as that sounds). They don't have much they can do each day. Maybe magical items would make up for that though -- I am not sure. Seems to encourage a short workday.

    Beyond that, my only gripe is that I think the Ritual casting needs a little bit more work. I for one don't think gold is a very good balancing factor. You might want to consider dropping it. If it isn't balanced ignoring the gold cost, then imho, it isn't balanced.

    I do like the concept, don't get me wrong. I just think it needs a bit of work. Let me think on this and I'll offer up some advice.

    PS. You seem to be implying that Al doesn't have a soul!

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    This is T2, still, at first pass. Quite possibly still T1, since they can learn a LARGE variety of spells.

    I really don't think you can get a T3 casters that has 9 spell levels and access to all sorcerer/wizard spells. All the problematic spells are still there and can still be cast.
    Bear in mind that this class gets automatic access to 25 free spells in its career, compared to 42+ Int for the wizard. That's 20+ options that it loses. Additional spells have to be acquired from scrolls, so every spell beyond those 25 exists because the DM said "yes, I'll make this option available." I'd think we could assume that a DM who didn't want problematic spells available could simply not provide scrolls of those spells?

    Do you think there's a meaningful reduction in power if the 25 free spells have to come from the Player's Handbook only, and not Spell Compendium? I considered that originally but discarded the idea because there's already tons of broken stuff in the PH and there's a lot of good, nonbroken stuff in Spell Compendium that I wanted to make available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    I am a bit concerned this class might not be very fun to play too (as odd as that sounds). They don't have much they can do each day. Maybe magical items would make up for that though -- I am not sure. Seems to encourage a short workday.
    Why to you say? The ritualist casts as many spells per day as a wizard of 18 Int up through 4th level, and by the time he falls significantly behind, he has enough to cast several spells per encounter and can supplement his spellcasting with scrolls or a staff. At every level, he has more spells available than did a 1e magic-user. I risk making a total geek out of myself here, but I'm gonna throw in an Excel chart to illustrate the progression.

    For this chart, I assumed the 3e wizard started with an 18 Int and progressed up to 30 Int, acquiring Int-boosting items as soon as they were reasonably affordable. I didn't give the wizard the benefit of being a specialist or focused specialist, but those options are just as available to the ritualist if we were to include them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    Beyond that, my only gripe is that I think the Ritual casting needs a little bit more work. I for one don't think gold is a very good balancing factor. You might want to consider dropping it. If it isn't balanced ignoring the gold cost, then imho, it isn't balanced.
    What's your specific concern about using gold as a balancing factor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    PS. You seem to be implying that Al doesn't have a soul!
    Al is an armor puppet!
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-08-08 at 07:32 PM.
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    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Bear in mind that this class gets automatic access to 25 free spells in its career, compared to 42+ Int for the wizard. That's 20+ options that it loses. Additional spells have to be acquired from scrolls, so every spell beyond those 25 exists because the DM said "yes, I'll make this option available." I'd think we could assume that a DM who didn't want problematic spells available could simply not provide scrolls of those spells?
    Well, first, that's enough to get the necessary broken spells. Second, you could say the same thing about the Wizard. If the GM restricts the spells available, then the wizard is T3 too.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Do you think there's a meaningful reduction in power if the 25 free spells have to come from the Player's Handbook only, and not Spell Compendium? I considered that originally but discarded the idea because there's already tons of broken stuff in the PH and there's a lot of good, nonbroken stuff in Spell Compendium that I wanted to make available.
    Agreed, though there is broken stuff in both.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Why to you say? The ritualist casts as many spells per day as a wizard of 18 Int up through 4th level, and by the time he falls significantly behind, he has enough to cast several spells per encounter and can supplement his spellcasting with scrolls or a staff. At every level, he has more spells available than did a 1e magic-user. I risk making a total geek out of myself here, but I'm gonna throw in an Excel chart to illustrate the progression.
    Low level wizards have a pretty crappy number of spells per day -- they are "balanced" because they can cast some OP spells like Color Spray. 1E casters didn't have scaling limits on their spells (e.g. 19th level Magic Missile had 9 missiles, their fireball had 19 dice, etc).

    There are frankly a LOT of spells that are balanced even if this guy could cast them at will, and others that are balanced if he could cast them as much as a wizard. Just eliminating...say, all the Save Or Lose spells from being cast without a ritual and then a smattering of others (from being cast at all) pretty much fixes the wizard (and makes him T3).

    You could then have a list of quick ritual spells that can be setup as a full round action and cast the next round (and don't need to be prepared). And allow these guys to have some Spell-like Ability slots where they basically make a magical item only they can use (some perhaps an unlimited number of times per day). Well, if you want it to look a bit more like a certain anime, that is. Or you could just give them as many spells per day as a sorc or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    What's your specific concern about using gold as a balancing factor?
    You can't reliable count on how much or how little will be available to a given adventurer. Despite the guidelines, in my experience it varies a lot depending on the GM and the campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Al is an armor puppet!
    Noooooooo!

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] Ritualist: A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    Huhrr, I had forgotten about dice caps. So, what if...

    • The maximum number of spells known was reduced to 1/2 Int, instead of 10 + Int mod (this lowers the max spells known per level by 5).
    • The automatic free spells can be taken only from the PHB. Spell Compendium spells are in-list, but available only through scrolls.
    • The dice cap on all spells was removed (actually rather fitting for a class whose members consider themselves the creme de la creme of spellcasting)
    • Rituals have a minimum casting time of 1 full round, instead of 1 minute.
    • Some additional spells are moved under the ritual heading, including summon monster and a set of SoL spells (can you give me some examples of what you're thinking of here?)
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] Ritualist: A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    Sure...going from the SRD, let's remove the following spells from their cast list:

    1st: Grease, Hypnotism, Sleep, Color Spray, Enlarge Person.

    2nd: Glitterdust, Web, Hideous Laughter, Hypnotic Pattern, Blindness, Ghoul Touch, Alter Self

    3rd: Explosive Runes*, Stinking Cloud, Deep Slumber, Hold Person, Halt Undead

    4th: Black Tentacles, Confusion, Resilient Sphere, Phantasmal Killer, Rainbow Pattern, Fear, Polymorph, Bestow Curse

    5th: Lesser Planar Binding*, Contact Other Plane*, Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Hold Monster, Magic Jar, Baleful Polymorph

    Well, I'll stop there. Stuff with a * means it can be fine with a little rework (so hundreds of explosive runes can't be stored, sensible limits to the binding spells and what they can grant, and reasonable limits on divination). The other stuff is largely "I win against one/many monsters with this ONE action". Well, and polymorph has the standard problems...though polymorph is perhaps ok (alter self really does a lot for its level...too much).

    Some of the "I win" stuff could just be turned into rituals. At that point you've defeated the bad guy to use them...or are very clever (ideally). That's a great way to keep some of the permanent stuff in...change an villain into a rabbit and let him go is kinda neat.

    In my experience the Summon Monster spells were never that bad...and the duration is crappy for a ritual. They are fine as-is, imho. Summon Nature's Ally is strong, but the Summon Monster line always struck me as a weaker cousin....the guys there just generally aren't nearly as good. Part of this might be because the Druid can use SNA whenever it is most appropriate, since he does so spontaneously.

    Once you do that, a ton of spells could be potentially castable at will without being broken. Spells known isn't really a problem without such spells. Magic Missile at will, for instance, doesn't hurt anything. You have a number of ways to go with these remain spells:

    You could give the Ritualist the ability to craft a special magic item only he can use, which lets him use a given spell at will. This is selected from a slightly smaller list of spells than his spells known list. He could get one such item at first level for a first level spell, and slowly acquire more (maybe capping out at 6th level spells using a bard-like progression).

    You could do something similar with a limited number of uses. Perhaps a number of times per day, once per encounter, or whatever. You don't have to have a special truncated list this way.

    You could just expand the daily spells the Ritualist can use. He could easily have the caster of a sorcerer or more without a problem.

    As for ritual spells, I'd just say he can cast a number of ritual spell levels per day equal to two or three times his level (so at first level he can do 2 or 3 first level rituals, at 5th level he can do 5 third level rituals, etc). He doesn't have to prepare them ahead of time, nor pay any gold cost to cast them. Well, he does need to provide any material component the spell needs. Perhaps up the minimum casting time to 10 minutes, just to make it a little more cumbersome (that's all that's really needed to balance most of it out). Oh, and he can only have one ritual of a given spell active at a time (that holds back the power of massed summons).

    Now, there are some higher level spells beyond 5th that would need to be outright banned from the list. Certain divinations, wish, etc. Easiest way to get a good list of spells is going to a character optimization board, imho.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: [3.5 PEACH] Ritualist: A (T3) wizard your DM won't hate!

    I did some comparisons of XP versus gp gained at each level, and I find that they track pretty evenly with one another until around 10th level, at which point WBL gained per level starts growing quadratically while XP continues to grow linearly. This suggests the need for a similar increase in the gp cost for rituals and circles, but for the moment I'm going to try a different approach.

    1. Scribing a chalk circle with circle magic now explicitly requires a nearby surface, meaning it cannot be used while swimming or flying. Magic circles (those made with xp rather than gp) can be scribed without need for a surface. This creates a tactical limitation to gp-based circle magic, encouraging the high-level caster (who is usually airborne) to make himself vulnerable to attack by casting his spells from the ground. I'll give it some playtest and see how it rolls.
    2. Ritual magic minimum casting time has been reduced from 1 minute to 1 full round, and circle rituals now require additional time to cast. Summon monster and similar spells are now rituals. Circle magic now allows you to increase the HD cap or dice cap of your spells. The net effect is to make the ritualist a more flexible caster. It's now practical to cast a ritual during combat, although they're still a bit slow and clumsy. The ability to break level-based caps on spells makes a ritualist's low-level spells more useful at higher levels, so he can get more mileage out of his limited spells per day.


    Edit: I'm seeing that circle magic and spontaneous conversion, which really define the unique capabilities of the class, come online too late for a lot of games or for builds that intend to prestige out of the class. To compensate, circle magic is now acquired at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, while spontaneous conversion is moved to levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, with an extra total use per day.

    Edit: Added some quick-start rules to simplify the process of building a high-level ritualist from scratch. Also replaced the ritualist's six bonus feats with Magecraft and Reserve Magic, which serve the same purpose with less bookkeeping. Simplify, simplify, simplify!

    Edit: Further playtesting has shown that it's too difficult for a ritualist to contribute effectively when his prepared spells must be divided between general spells and rituals. Accordingly, the ritual concept has been scrapped. Circle magic has been renamed to Circle ritual and slightly modified to accommodate the change in how spells are cast.

    Edit: Replaced the craft reserve with a flat 50% discount on xp cost for some types of crafting. Changed some bonus types.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2013-04-06 at 10:06 PM.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ritualist: the wizard remixed

    Updated tables and corrected some bonus types.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


  10. - Top - End - #10
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    UrashimaJamez's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ritualist: the wizard remixed

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    Noooooooo!
    Technicaly, he is. It's the soul of Alphonse Elric trapped in a full plate; so, yeah. Alphonse has no soul, but is a soul trapped in a full plate.

    I think I deserve a prize for that awesome explanation though~

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Ritualist: the wizard remixed

    I would say this is still T1. Basically it still has the same structure as the wizard that you can have an indefinitely extensible list of options by learning new spells from scrolls, and you can swap around those options each day to best deal with whatever you want to do that day. Getting a different number for free, not learning from spellbooks, and not being able to cast multiple spells per round seem to be the major differences, and none of those change the class qualitatively in that regards.

    Giving this class a specific spell list rather than 'all Sor/Wiz spells' could easily make it T3 though. You could do some nuisance methods to try to push it down in tier as well - for example, requiring all spells beyond the free ones to be obtained through the spell research rules (which are somewhat prohibitively expensive in terms of gold and time), or by assessing a significant XP cost to scribe scrolls (200xp per spell level, say), but I think they'd be somewhat bad design in the sense that they just make it more unpleasant to play the class without really getting in the way of people who know what spells to bee-line for.

    Another twist might be something like 'you have a small set of spells that you can cast at will, and you can change the set every day; the list can have a total number of spell levels no greater than half your class level'. That would probably be T2, being something like a more extreme version of a sorceror, but might be a bit repetitive to play.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Troll in the Playground
     
    jiriku's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Ritualist: the wizard remixed

    It might look quite powerful at first blush, but gameplay of several ritualist characters over the past year or so has shown them to be significantly less powerful than the wizard.

    It is easy to overlook that the ritualist, while still playing like a stock wizard, is enormously less flexible. He is quantitatively weaker, with fewer spells known, fewer spells per day, fewer spells per round, fewer metamagic feats, fewer damage dice rolled, fewer targets incapacitated. He is more predictable, has fewer tricks, and has a flatter power curve. The net effect (speaking from extensive practical experience), is that the ritualist fits better in a mid-tier party and is way easier to DM for.

    I agree that power gamers will always hunt for the best spells; I remind my players that a nuclear arms race with the DM will not end well for them. FWIW, the ritualist isn't very good at invulnerability combos anyhow, because he doesn't have the slots to do much after setting up defenses (one of my players tried this).

    I've played around a bit with differing sets of powers known. My magus of blades, shadowcaster, and void disciple classes all run on that mechanic, although none of them are at-will casters and they are all versatile. Most spells aren't really balanced with unlimited uses in mind. I could see ten or fewer powers working, though, provided you had some way to vary them, like a warlock can with eldritch blast.

    P.S. Al is totally an armor puppet!

    Edit 7/1/2014: Rewrote the description of many class features to make it an easier read. Simplified the item familiar to make it easier to learn and manage.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2014-07-11 at 05:57 PM.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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