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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    The shepherd has a lonely life: dwelling along the rolling plains, rocky hills, and throughout desserts of all kinds, the sheep handlers are trusted with livestock within a nomadic lifestyle. Many of them are simple folk, though still skilled in the ways of sheep husbandry. Among the few are the exceptional, who through their isolation from people has led them along the path of being a thankless protector. These are the enlightened, who have been blessed with ability considered remarkable, perhaps miraculous, by the common people. However, with their blessing they remain humble. They begin their adventures to be the pinnacle of the good in society while not being boastful or needing to be glorified. They are the bearers of the gift of Humility.
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    So having looked over the Ultima series a little bit I rather liked the introduction of the shepherd class within the games, although I admit I found it somewhat discouraging that they were so underwhelming on purpose in those games. Then I looked into several biblical figures who were shepherds (King David immediately sprang to mind as inspiration) so, I decided that perhaps instead of just adapting the currently existing Fighter and/or Ranger classes to fit my want of a character, I'd play about to create my own. I'd humbly appreciate the help in making this a viable Pathfinder class so I can integrate it. ^^


    Alignment: Any good. Chaotic behaviour or thought is not forbidden, but may conflict with the doctrines of Humility.
    HP: 1d8
    BAB: 0.75 (A la the Rogue or Cleric)
    Saves Fortitude Poor, Reflex Poor, Will Good.
    Starting Wealth 1d4 x 10 gp. (25 gp average)

    ~Class Features~
    Weapon/Armour: The shepherd may wield the club, dagger, dart, light mace, quarterstaff, shepherds' crook (described below), and sling. They are proficient with light armour, but not shields. Additionally, they may not wear armour that is Medium or Heavy that is made of metal.

    Skills~
    Acrobatics, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Geography, Nature, Religion), Perception, Profession, Ride, Survival. The Shepherd will gain 4 skill points + Int Modifier per level.

    Martial Weapon~ The Shepherds' Crook
    Spoiler
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    Cost 4 sp, Dmg 1d6/1d6, Weight 5 lbs., Type B, Crit x2, Special double, trip, disarm

    The crook is a long wooden staff with a bent hook on the end normally used to keep the flock together, and for lifting animals to prevent the shepherds' hands from touching newly born lambs that would otherwise be shunned by the ewe. The shape of the head of the staff is effective for tripping opponents and disarming them, while the butt of the staff is a simple pole, and thus cannot be used in this way without the normal penalties associated with those techniques. Because it is otherwise as a normal staff, any feats applied to the quarterstaff may be applied to the crook as well.


    Class Features~

    Humility~
    A shepherd is blessed with their powers of healing and guidance through their continued doctrine of remaining humble. The principals of the shepherd are to remain grounded, kind, respectful, and not be boastful, while still not being cruel to themselves. Although bluffing and anger is not encouraged, they are sometimes a necessity when protecting their flock, and thus, their allies.
    Shepherds may not possess core stats that exceed 16 (+3 bonus), excluding temporary bonuses granted from spells or equipment. If in some event the shepherd has all six stats maxed to 16 they may use their bonus gained from leveling up on an ally of their choice who may use it as they wish on their own character.
    GM's may bar shepherds from multiclassing on a case by case basis, unless the shepherd has already taken levels in said other class first or has it as their Favored Class. As a general rule, shepherds with shepherd as their favored class are not permitted to multiclass.
    A shepherd who breaks the above doctrines will be considered an Ex Shepherd (see below).

    Ex Shepherds~
    Repeated failure or grand failure of the virtues and doctrines above will result in the loss of the shepherds' class abilities, not counting proficiencies, skills, HP, or other benefits of normal level advancement, but may no longer gain class levels as a shepherd. The shepherd may regain their class abilities with the use of the atonement spell, or spending 40 days as a nomad tending a flock of sheep (or goats, or other herding animals) that has at least 12 members, plus the level of the current shepherds' level x2.

    Gentle Touch~
    Through mystical means, a shepherd can use their experience protecting
    The shepherd may heal as much HP as equal to their shepherd class level multiplied by their charisma modifier (minimum 1 point per level) Per day. For example, a 7th level shepherd with 16 Cha would be able to heal up to 21 HP. This ability cannot be used to harm undead or evil outsiders.

    Pooch~
    Shepherds have become skilled at breeding dogs specifically trained for handling and protecting their herds. At 1st level, the shepherd will have befriended a faithful dog as per presented as per the Druid's Animal Companion feature.

    Means of Mastery~
    Living with such few amenities, shepherds gain great knowledge to their few weapons to a level above normal. At first level, the shepherd will have Weapon Focus in a weapon they are proficient with. At subsequent levels they may choose bonus feats among the following lists. (I know what I want here, but am too lazy to write it at this time!)

    Awe~ Help please.
    At Level ??? allies within a range of 30 feet of the shepherd will gain bonuses to (something) while the shepherds' presence. This range extends to 60 feet at level ??? and to 90 feet at level ???. This bonus will stack with anything and is only active when the shepherd is not suffering from loss of consciousness due to inflicted effects or injury, but still work when the shepherd is sleeping or resting.

    Spells~ Help here, too.

    More to come! Comments, input and criticism are appreciated! Help with Pooch and Awe are especially welcome. I'm also thinking of possibly throwing in something relating to dismissing summons and spells that are entirely related to defense, such as Sanctuary. I think maybe :3
    Last edited by LeoMidori; 2013-04-21 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Additional information added.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AttilaTheGeek's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    The shepherd has a lonely life: dwelling along the rolling plains, rocky hills, and throughout desserts of all kinds, the sheep handlers are trusted with livestock within a nomadic lifestyle. Many of them are simple folk, though still skilled in the ways of sheep husbandry. Among the few are the exceptional, who through their isolation from people has led them along the path of being a thankless protector. These are the enlightened, who have been blessed with ability considered remarkable, perhaps miraculous, by the common people. However, with their blessing they remain humble. They begin their adventures to be the pinnacle of the good in society while not being boastful or needing to be glorified. They are the bearers of the gift of Humility.
    Spoiler
    Show
    So having looked over the Ultima series a little bit I rather liked the introduction of the shepherd class within the games, although I admit I found it somewhat discouraging that they were so underwhelming on purpose in those games. Then I looked into several biblical figures who were shepherds (King David immediately sprang to mind as inspiration) so, I decided that perhaps instead of just adapting the currently existing Fighter and/or Ranger classes to fit my want of a character, I'd play about to create my own. I'd humbly appreciate the help in making this a viable Pathfinder class so I can integrate it. ^^
    This seems like an interesting concept- it does seem like a Ranger or Druid derivative, but as I read through the class it seems more and more like a Cleric.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    BAB: Half (Ala the Rogue or Cleric)
    Rogues and Clerics don't have half BAB. Rogues and Clerics have 3/4 BAB, up to a maximum of +15 at 20th level. Wizards and Sorcerers have half BAB, which goes up to +10 at 20th level. (Also, nitpick- it should be "a la rogue or cleric", two words.)

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Saves Con Poor (???), Reflex Poor (???), Will Good.
    I believe you mean Fortitude saves (which are indeed based off Constitution) instead of a Con save. This save progression is that of many spellcasters, so reading this over I'm expecting a casting-based class.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Skills~
    Acrobatics, Craft, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Knowledge (Geography, Nature), Perception, Profession, Ride, Survival. The Shepherd will gain 4 skill points + Int Modifier per level.
    The first thing I see is 4+INT skills per level. That's good. Two skill points per level is obnoxious to deal with. But on to the actual skill list, it seems restrictive. It has 11 skills, which is about average, but how useful are they? I've been playing pathfinder for several years, and I don't think I've rolled a Knowledge: Geography check, ever. Same with Acrobatics, Ride, and Handle Animal- some characters use them all the time, but most characters won't use them at all. I'd look into adding a couple more skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Class Features~

    Humility~
    A shepherd is blessed with their powers of healing and guidance through their continued doctrine of remaining humble. The principals of the shepherd are to remain grounded, kind, respectful, and not be boastful, while still not being cruel to themselves. Although bluffing and anger is not encouraged, they are sometimes a necessity when protecting their flock, and thus, their allies.

    Ex Shepherds~
    Repeated failure or grand failure of this virtue will result in the loss of the shepherds' class abilities, not counting proficiencies, skills, HP, or other benefits of normal level advancement, but may not gain class levels as a shepherd. The shepherd may regain their class abilities with the use of the atonement spell, or spending 40 days as a nomad tending a flock of sheep (or goats, or other herding animals) that has at least 12, plus the level of the current shepherds' level. Alternatively they may anonymously donate 80% of their accumulated wealth to a good charity or cause that will have no direct benefit to the shepherd or their party.
    This is as vague as the paladin code, but the penalties are much less severe. On one hand, you can be evil all you want, and if you carry around 5g and give away 4g, you get to be good again. On the other hand, a way to undo the penalties that easily negates the whole "was that evil?" debate about the actions of a paladin and removes the threat of losing class features to a bad DM.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Gentle Touch~
    Through mystical means, a shepherd can use their experience protecting
    The shepherd may heal as much HP as equal to their shepherd class level multiplied by their charisma modifier (minimum 1 point per level) Per day. For example, a 7th level shepherd with 16 Cha would be able to heal up to 21 HP. This ability cannot be used to harm undead or evil outsiders.
    I like the ability, but you didn't give a level at which they learn it, an action, or a limitation on uses per day. In lieu of that information, I'm assuming it's given directly upon taking the class, but if a shepherd gets all this at level one, then a shepherd 20 will have been very bored for the last 19 levels and you'll see a lot of shepherd 1/something else X characters if your table is optimized.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Pooch~
    Shepherds have become skilled at breeding dogs specifically trained for handling and protecting their herds. At 1st level, the shepherd will have befriended a faithful dog as per presented in the Bestiary, but already trained with 6 tricks of their choice. At 3rd level, the dog will gain... something. I'm considering letting its' Int and Cha go up at a later level. Help needed.
    Have you considered letting it be an animal companion, as the druid's? That seems to fit what you're going for.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Means of Mastery~
    Living with such few amenities, shepherds gain great knowledge to their few weapons to a level above normal. At first level, the shepherd will have Weapon Focus in a weapon they are proficient with. At subsequent levels they may choose bonus feats among the following lists. (I know what I want here, but am too lazy to write it at this time!)
    That's just laziness. If you're going to write something, write it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Awe~ Help please.
    At Level ??? allies within a range of 30 feet of the shepherd will gain bonuses to (something) while the shepherds' presence. This range extends to 60 feet at level ??? and to 90 feet at level ???. This bonus will stack with anything and is only active when the shepherd is not suffering from loss of consciousness due to inflicted effects or injury, but still work when the shepherd is sleeping or resting.
    This sounds like a Dragon Shaman or Marshal's auras, if you play 3.5. Or the bard's inspire courage. This is a place for stacking +1s and +2s. Not a very interesting place, but if it's an always-on passive then it can add up over an entire campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoMidori View Post
    Spells~ Help here, too.
    After reading over what you have, it seems more like a cleric or druid archetype than a base class. You have a bunch of class features at 1st level and nothing for levels above that, religious undertones/inspiration, healing, and animal affinity. Alternatively, you could say "It gets full divine casting, and its list contains all [Good] Cleric spells and all Sorcerer/Wizard spells in the Abjuration school". It would be a little strange, but it might fit the flavor.

    Overall, I get an interesting feel for the class, but it seems more like an NPC class than a PC base class I'd take for 20 levels. There are a lot of questions I ask when I look over a base class, questions like "How does it do combat?", "How does this class influence how a character acts in social situations?", and "What is the key, defining class feature or ability this class grants?". I don't see any of these answered here. I think it's an interesting concept, and you could take it in a variety of different directions, but right now you don't have much down.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    Thanks for the feedback, man. I'm honestly surprised I got a response so quickly! I'll definitely take what you said to heart, and I am indeed aware that the current loadout is a little wimpy. Trust me, I will improve things in some small but important ways (I've been awake for more than 24 hours now... bedtime after I post this). The idea is that the shepherd will gain a variety of abilities that other classes have, but simply just not be as good as an equivalent of that actual class would be. So... they can heal like a paladin but it isn't as versatile, or they have an aura that gives a minor bonus like a bard and can use spells like them, but again isn't as powerful or versatile. Or, they gain some weapon abilities like a fighter, but their actual proficiencies are poor and it's difficult to be as good as a fighter without full base attack progression or hit dice. See what I mean?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AttilaTheGeek's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    Have you checked out 3.5's Factotum? It seems to be exactly what you're going for. Maybe it could give you some inspiration (points)?

    (Horrible pun completely intended)
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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    This needs structure before anything else.


    Here, you can use the one that I have up for my monthly contest.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    Posting from a phone, so I'll have to do a more thorough review later. However, anything based on Ultima inherently gets bonus points before I even read it. Can't wait to get to a computer and look at this more closely.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Post Re: The Shepherd [Pathfinder, possible 3.5]

    Updated Pooch as per the dog under Druid. If anyone can perhaps suggest another animal that is suitable for the class in terms of flavour, let me know.

    I also changed some of the requisites for the class under Humility and Ex-Shepherds'. I know it is a rather bold move, so I'm not sure how people will react to it. The idea was to have a class that can possess strengths but not really outshine any class in any specific way, and I really, REALLY think far too much emphasis is placed on how high character stats are these days. This is a class created for both functional and flavour purposes, so I really thought that having a unique if controversial flaw to the class would make them a bit more interesting. Plus, this also is to help players to focus shepherds as slightly more well rounded characters.

    I'd really love some suggestions for flavour spells from the Ultima series that I could maybe integrate into the spell list here. Keep in mind I'm thinking of having their spell growth mimic that of a bard of the same level.

    I'm also considering creating a feat. Tell me what you think!
    Long Staff Fighter
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    Wielding a staff for some time has shown you the versatility of the weapon when held from only one end.
    Prerequisite: Weapon Focus: Quarterstaff
    Benefit: A quarterstaff (or shepherds' crook) may instead be wielded as a two handed weapon in place of a double weapon. Fighting with it in this way makes the hit die 1d8 and the critical x3. Switching from the double weapon style to two handed style or back will cost a free action.
    Last edited by LeoMidori; 2013-04-21 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Additional information added.

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