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    Post Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Zealot Base Class
    The Zealot is designed as a fairly basic amped up paladin with cooler abilities. Go easy, although not too easy, since this is my fist ever homebrew base class. Tried to keep it simple, and I am concerned it's a little bit underpowered. Enjoy


    A zealot does battle with an evil warrior



    HD: d12

    Skill Points at 1st level: (2+Int. Modifier)x4.
    Skill Points at Each additional level: 2+Int. Modifier.
    List of Class Skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (religion), Ride, Sense Motive, Survival, Swim, Tumble, and Use Rope.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The zealot is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, his deity's favored weapon, all armor, and all shields (except tower shields). If the deity's favored weapon is an unarmed strike, he gains improved unarmed strike as an automatic bonus feat at 1st level.

    Abilities: Strength and Constitution are important to a zealot, since he's a frontline fighter. However, Charisma is extremely important to almost all of his class abilities, for passion is what drives the zealot.



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

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    Divine Fury 1/day

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |
    Aura of Wrath

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    Divine Blaze 1/day

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    Lesser Command Respect

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |
    Divine Fury 2/day

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    Lesser Summon Ally

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |
    Divine Blaze 2/day

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |
    Command Respect

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |
    Determination

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    Divine Fury 3/day

    11th|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |
    Bonus Feat

    12th|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    Divine Blaze 3/day

    13th|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |
    Summon Ally

    14th|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |
    Aura of Might

    15th|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |
    Divine Fury 4/day

    16th|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    Greater Command Respect

    17th|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |
    Divine Blaze 4/day

    18th|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    Bonus Feat

    19th|
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |
    Greater Summon Ally

    20th|
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |
    Divine Fury 5/day, Command Obedience
    |[/table]


    Divine Fury: As a swift action, this ability allows the zealot to engulf his weapons in holy flames. These must be his deity's favored weapon, although it could theoretically be his fists. The weapon deals an extra point of damage per zealot level+the zealot's charisma modifier, and the blaze lasts for 1 round+his charisma modifier.

    Aura of Wrath: The zealot exudes pure hatred against those not aligned with his beliefs. Any creature within 30 ft. of the zealot with an alignment different from the zealot's who has given the zealot reason to fight him takes a -2 penalty to all Will saves and a -2 penalty against Intimidate checks made by the zealot.

    Divine Blaze: Starting at 3rd level, the zealot can engulf himself in divine flames similar to those caused by Divine Fury. He gains a +1 bonus on Intimidate checks, and adjacent creatures take 1d4 points of divine damage for every zealot level he possesses, each round. A reflex save (DC 10+1/2 zealot level+charisma modifier) halves the damage. The divine blaze lasts 1 round per zealot level he has. Activating a divine blaze is a move action.

    Command Respect: The zealot gains the ability to command those susceptible to his presence. This ability works as the spell command. At 8th level, it becomes equivalent to a suggestion not a command, at 16th level, it becomes equivalent to a dominate monster, and at 20th level, it becomes equivalent to a dominate monster. His caster level is equal to his zealot level. Using this ability is only a move action; it essentially only requires him to speak (and have daily usages remaining). This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to the zealot's charisma modifier.

    Summon Ally: Starting at 6th level as a full-round action, the zealot can call upon his patron deity to send an extraplanar ally to aid him. This is the equivalent of a Summon Monster II spell, and is usable a number of times per day equal to his charisma modifier. At 13th level, this becomes the equivalent of a Summon Monster V spell, and at 19th level, it becomes th equivalent of Summon Monster VIII. His caster level is equal to his zealot level.

    Bonus Feat: At 9th and 18th level, the zealot gains a bonus feat from the Fighter bonus feat list. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat, but he can use his zealot levels as fighter levels for the purposes of feats like Weapon Specialization.

    Determination: At 11th level, the zealot's passion drives him to incredibly lengths to succeed. He gains a bonus on all saves equal to his charisma modifier.

    Aura of Might: At 14th level, the zealot becomes a walking avatar of the wrath of his god. Any creatures within 30 ft. with less HD then him must make a Will save (DC 10+the zealot's charisma modifier+1/2 his HD) or become panicked for 5 rounds.
    Last edited by Empedocles; 2012-03-06 at 12:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Knowledge. Religion.

    Also, if you have Climb and Jump, you get Swim as well. That is the standard for all classes.

    Sense Motive wouldn't hurt either.

    You don't say what alignment this class needs to be, if any. (If there's no alignment restriction, just say Alignment: Any)

    Full BAB, Good Fort and Will. D12 HD, 2+Int skill points. Very good so far.

    Proficiencies: I would say here that if your deity's favored weapon is an unarmed strike, you gain the Improved Unarmed Strike feat as a bonus feat, and if your deity's favored weapon is a natural weapon (such as a claw or a bite attack), you do not gain proficiency with that weapon.

    Divine Fury: Looks pretty nice. Like a more powerful Smite attack, but with less accuracy. Pretty even trade-off. It needs an action to activate (I would suggest swift), and you should probably state that the bonuses to Charisma should cap at a minimum of +0 (as in, if you have 8 or less Charisma, your Divine Fury still lasts for 1 round)

    Aura of Wrath: Very nice, for this level. Little nitpick, this should be a mind-affecting fear effect. (I know, that's just going to result in things being immune to it, but them's the breaks. It's a 2nd level class feature, after all). Also, a second little nitpick. Creatures don't make "saving throws" against the Intimidate skill, they make a modified level check.

    Divine Blaze: 3d4 points of damage to all adjacent creatures over 3 rounds at level 3? With no saving throw? And it only continues to scale? Hmm...I suppose the limited range makes it not that bad, and it certainly will help a grappling zealot a whole bunch. (I pin you, and suddenly you can't escape from my 20d4 untyped damage with no saving throw, every round for the next 20 rounds). Still needs an action to activate. I would suggest move action here, it's a pretty nice ability after all.

    Command Respect: This is both incredibly weak and it scales oddly. You have it every 4 levels, but skipping 12th and 20th. I would have it be +3 at 4th, and then increase by +3 every 4 levels, to end with +15 at 20th level. No big deal there. It's Diplomacy. Full ranks in it breaks the game if you play it by the SRD, any sort of bonus to it is already irrelevant. Meanwhile, DMs who actually run Diplomacy checks intelligently will recognize the zealot's role in the party with a +6 bonus to his checks at level 8. He is the face. That's a good thing.

    Summon Ally: Needs a caster level, as the duration of the effect is based on caster level. Also, needs an action to activate. I suggest full-round, same as the spell. And you should probably say that he can only call outsiders who do not oppose his alignment, otherwise you'll have blackguards pulling in archons and paladins dragging in devils. The entire party will be questioning his morals and that's what we have the malconvoker for anyway.

    Bonus Feat: I suggest you add "He must meet all prerequisites for the feat." to that description.

    Determination: Very good. Late, but good.

    Aura of Might: This...this needs to scale. Badly. How about a +2 morale bonus to damage rolls per 5 class levels (max +8 at 20th level)? Otherwise, it'll just be overlapped by the bard's inspire courage ability, and it comes way too late to be shoved aside by a 1st level class feature.

    The class looks good! Much better than my first class!
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    WOW I honestly really appreciate that. You gave me a ton to work with, and with your help this might end up a playable class

    I'm not going to lie; the command respect was a little bit of a halfway done filler. Since I was originally going to have this class be tied into the zealot's church, the command respect was a little leftover. I'll get rid of it.

    The divine blaze is a little ridiculous in terms of burning everything aorund him, and I see that right away. How about this: make it 1d4 per 2 levels (so when he first gets it it's only 1d4 points of damage) and give it a Reflex save for half?
    Last edited by Empedocles; 2012-03-06 at 12:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Vilpich View Post
    WOW I honestly really appreciate that. You gave me a ton to work with, and with your help this might end up a playable class
    Happy to help.

    I'm not going to lie; the command respect was a little bit of a halfway done filler. Since I was originally going to have this class be tied into the zealot's church, the command respect was a little leftover. I'll get rid of it.
    No reason to. It makes sense flavorfully and it's pretty nice if you just boost the amount. Also, you definitely added the Bonus Feats as filler too, so if you're going to change anything, those should be the first ones.

    The divine blaze is a little ridiculous in terms of burning everything aorund him, and I see that right away. How about this: make it 1d4 per 2 levels (so when he first gets it it's only 1d4 points of damage) and give it a Reflex save for half?
    Actually, if you add in a Reflex save (DC 10+1/2 class level+Charisma mod) for half damage, you can keep the damage just the way it is now. 20d4 with a save for half is not overpowered by any stretch at 20th level, especially with such a limited range.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Made a few changes, the most important one to the command respect. Completely revamped it.


    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Happy to help.



    No reason to. It makes sense flavorfully and it's pretty nice if you just boost the amount. Also, you definitely added the Bonus Feats as filler too, so if you're going to change anything, those should be the first ones.
    I did add the bonus feats as filler too...and I recognize that they might not be great. I'm considering removing them to help scaling other abilities (aura of wrath or to even out the command respect) but for now I like them, since they make the zealot a bit more fighter-ish.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Command...

    The command spell only lasts for one round...and it's definitely terrible. I mean, it doesn't seem to fit the zealot at all. So, once per day per four levels, he can yell something and you'll do it, but immediately shake it off the next round?

    Maybe you should have it work like the spell command at first (with more uses per day, maybe 1+Cha mod), and then at 8th have it upgrade to suggestion, then at 16th have it upgrade to dominate monster (with a duration of 24 hours instead of 24 hours/level).
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-03-06 at 12:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Command...

    The command spell only lasts for one round...and it's definitely terrible. I mean, it doesn't seem to fit the zealot at all. So, once per day per four levels, he can yell something and you'll do it, but immediately shake it off the next round?

    Maybe you should have it work like the spell command at first (with more uses per day, maybe 1+Cha mod), and then at 8th have it upgrade to suggestion, then at 16th have it upgrade to dominate monster (with a duration of 24 hours instead of 24 hours/level).
    That's what I was going for...sorry rushed my edits (trying to find a better image...). I'll take your suggestion there. Also, one thing I'm a little unsure of is the d12 HD. This class feels about balanced with the paladin, except he has the HD of a barbarian.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    HD is fine. You might want to drop it down to d10, but it's fine as d12 as well.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Alright, the command respect ability progresses from command->suggestion->dominate person->dominate monster. Also, I revamped the aura of wrath, and plan on switching the determination ability to being at 9th level and the 9th level bonus feat being at 11th level (where you currently get the determination ability).
    Last edited by Empedocles; 2012-03-06 at 12:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    I'd say the primary problem with the class has to do with playability.

    To elaborate, you don't do anything. For the first few levels, especially, you're little more than a commoner with a better BAB who can occasionally dish out a little more damage.

    One level is, generally speaking, 13.3 encounters, with about 4 per day. So if you start your campaign at level one... you've got 3.3 encounters where you can use your level one class feature (Divine Fury), and 10 encounters where you're... attacking? Maybe the occasional trip or disarm? Keep in mind that that's encounters, which might last between two and four combat rounds. So it's perhaps 6-13 rounds of combat where you're doing Zealot stuff and 20-40 rounds where you're not doing anything a commoner couldn't.

    This might not be so bad, but the feature doesn't really change the game or do a whole lot. So the sum of your gameplay experience is dealing a bonus 5 damage on attacks for one of your four combats per day.

    Then you hit level two, and nothing substantial changes. The level might as well be a dead level, as far as it affects your gameplay experience (+10% chance to intimidate, but that's generally not a great combat option, unless you invest feats into it, and a penalty to will saves, but you don't do anything that calls for those).

    With me so far?

    Then there's an issue with scaling. As you gain levels, your enemies gain hitpoints, and they're gaining hitpoints faster than you're gaining more damage. Look at the monster manual, and see how as the CR starts to climb, monsters get more and more hitpoints - almost & often double their CR... +7 or so hitpoints per point of CR (~4 hitpoints per HD gained, about, and additional hitpoints from rising Constitution). I'm just ballparking here.

    Meanwhile, your damage is increasing... by 1 point per 4 levels, about (for Divine Fury) and by 2.5 points per class level (for Divine Blaze). Your average contribution drops even further when you account for combat rounds where you've got no dailies (or you're conserving them) and you're simply winging your weapon around.

    You're not keeping up, even if you've got both the fury & blaze going and you're counting iterative attacks. (And we're not even getting into the issue of reliably getting into melee and staying there so you can dish out the hurt)

    Even as you get into the mid levels and you get more daily uses for your core abilities, it's kinda subpar and you really start to suffer for not having ways to deal with your opponents' bag o' tricks... what does the Zealot do if the enemy flies? Or if they're incorporeal? Or if they start laying forcewalls around?

    The class deserves a serious comparison to the Warblade - another full-BAB class that gets more uses of abilities that can potentially do more damage & are more versatile.
    Last edited by Hyudra; 2012-03-06 at 01:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    First off, I appreciate the feedback. In my defense though, I feel compelled to point out that a lack of playability and a lack of diverse abilities is an issue that many melee fighters (for example, the barbarian) face.

    But that doesn't make your points irrelevant. One of the primary reasons we make homebrew, after all, is to deal with existing problems in the D&D 3.5 system. So I have a few potential partway solutions.

    1. Give some small utility spellcasting.
    2. You seem to think his divine blaze and divine fury abilities should be strengthened, which is definitely a possibility.
    3. Replace certain combat/intimidate based abilities with more utilitarian abilities.
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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    1) is a cop out, sorta. I mean no offense in saying it, but it's the easy road, and it doesn't necessarily fix everything there.

    2) isn't exactly on target. It's not just a question of power level, but -playability-. How fun is the class at the table? How enjoyable is it to play, to have someone else playing? I fear this class would get a little old, fast, given how little it can do, in combat or out.

    3) I dunno if I'd say replace. You can have more than one new/updated class feature, some levels. It does need more to do, and I definitely think that if you want to have a focus on intimidation, you should have one or two more class features that build on it.

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    Default Re: Zealot [3.5 base class] PLEASE PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    1) is a cop out, sorta. I mean no offense in saying it, but it's the easy road, and it doesn't necessarily fix everything there.
    True enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    2) isn't exactly on target. It's not just a question of power level, but -playability-. How fun is the class at the table? How enjoyable is it to play, to have someone else playing? I fear this class would get a little old, fast, given how little it can do, in combat or out.
    I think I get what you mean here. The zealot just doesn't have enough to do at the gaming table, and I definitely agree with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyudra View Post
    3) I dunno if I'd say replace. You can have more than one new/updated class feature, some levels. It does need more to do, and I definitely think that if you want to have a focus on intimidation, you should have one or two more class features that build on it.
    I think I might actually go ahead and replace it...the official 3.5 samurai was built around intimidate, and it's in the same Tier as a commoner...
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