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    Default [PrC] Loup du Noir

    The Loup du Noir is nature's wrath personified. By donning the skins of animals, he can acquire their traits and eventually transform into them.

    They take their name from an old legend about werewolves, and indeed many of the Loup du Noir prefer the skins of wolves to other animals for their uses.

    Abilities: Strength, Charisma, and Wisdom are key scores for you, though Constitution and Dexterity will prove useful for your close-quarters combat style.

    Races: Loup du Noir come from all races, though there are more elves than others.

    Alignment: Loup du Noir can be of any alignment.

    HD: d8

    Requirements
    Abilities: Favored Enemy (humanoid (any type)), Woodland Stride

    Feats: Animal Affinity

    Skills: Handle Animal 8 ranks

    Special: Must possess at least one animal pelt

    Specifications
    Class Skills (6+Int): Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Nature), Listen, Move Silently, Spot, Survival

    Proficiencies: A Loup du Noir gains no proficiencies.

    Dedication (Su): At first level, a Loup du Noir chooses an animal pelt for which he has an affinity and dedicates it for his transformatory purposes. The pelt must be of an Animal of no more than two sizes smaller or one size larger (so that a Medium Loup du Noir could use as small as a Tiny pelt or as large as a Large one), and cannot be of a creature of HD exceeding the combined total of the Loup du Noir's class level plus his Charisma modifier. This pelt cannot be later altered (but see the Acquisition ability below). A pelt does not take up an item slot, but is drawn around the body like a cloak (if large enough) or around the forearm like a bracer (for smaller pelts).

    A number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier plus his class level, a Loup du Noir can don this pelt and transform into the animal for a number of minutes equal to his Charisma modifier. The pelt merges with the skin of the Loup du Noir, subsuming all equipment into itself if there is any in the way.

    While transformed, the Loup du Noir gains any (Ex) abilities that the animal may have. He also gains all racial skill bonuses, feats, natural armor bonus, ability adjustments, and speeds of the chosen animal. (You can find a creature's racial ability adjustment by subtracting ten from its ability score). Lastly, he gains the natural attacks of the animal. He retains his own ability scores but changes size and appearance into an average creature of the correct type.

    This ability can only be used with pelts that belong to creatures of the Animal type. Activating and deactivating this ability is a standard action. A Loup du Noir cannot speak other than the sounds a normal animal of that type can make while in a Dedicated form, nor can he wear armor or use weaponry. Any equipment he carries melds into the new form and becomes ineffectual. Rings and amulets remain effective while the Loup du Noir is in a dedicated form.

    When a Loup du Noir receives extra pelts (through the Extra Pelts feat or the Acquisition class feature), this ability can be activated with any pelt. The Loup du Noir does not receive activations per pelt; rather, he receives a total number of activations equal to his Wisdom modifier plus his class level, divided as he chooses between his pelts.

    Combat Style (Ex): A Loup du Noir is so used to using natural weapons that he gains further ability with them. At 1st level, a Loup du Noir gains the Multiattack feat even if he doesn't qualify for it.

    This ability improves at 4th level, granting a Loup du Noir a single extra attack with all primary natural attacks.

    Finally, this ability reaches its apex at 7th level, granting a Loup du Noir iterative attacks as if he were not using natural weaponry with his primary natural attacks and a single extra attack with all secondary natural attacks.

    Ranger Abilties: Levels of Loup du Noir stack with levels of Ranger for the purposes of determining the effects of wild empathy and the strength of his animal companion.

    Scent (Ex): At 2nd level, a Loup du Noir's nose becomes a powerful sensory instrument. He gains scent 30'. If he changes into a shape that has scent or has scent already, this instead improves the range of that scent by 15'.

    Acquisition (Su): Starting at 3rd level, a Loup du Noir can acquire new pelts for use with his Dedication ability. He may not have more pelts Dedicated at one time than his total Wisdom modifier plus one-half his class level. Dedicating a new pelt takes four hours of solitary meditation. A Loup du Noir cannot Dedicate the pelt of an animal he has not assisted in slaying. Acquired pelts must follow all rules set down under the Dedication ability.

    Evasion (Ex): At 5th level, a Loup du Noir can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the Loup du Noir is currently in a Dedicated shape. A helpless Loup du Noir does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Camouflage (Ex): At 5th level, a Loup du Noir can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.

    Adaptation (Su): At 6th level, a Loup du Noir can speak any language he knows while in a Dedicated form. Furthermore, any magical properties of the following types of equipment are effective while the Loup du Noir is in a Dedicated shape: rings, amulet, helm, boots, and goggles.

    Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): While in any sort of natural terrain, a Loup du Noir of 8th level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed.

    Transformation (Su): At 8th level, a Loup du Noir's magical equipment remains partially effective while he is in a Dedicated shape. Any magical properties of the following types of equipment are effective while the Loup du Noir is in a Dedicated shape: amulet, ring, helm, boots, cloak, goggles, armor, and belt.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the Loup du Noir still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless Loup du Noir does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

    Evolution (Su): At 10th level, a Loup du Noir can use his Dedication and Acquisition abilities with creatures of the Magical Beast type, though these count as two pelts when determining the total number of pelts held by the Loup du Noir.

    {table=head]Level | BAB | Fort Save | Ref Save | Will Save | Special
    1st | +0 | +2 | +2 | +0 | Dedication, Combat Style (Natural Weapons), Ranger Abilties
    2nd | +1 | +3 | +3 | +0 | Scent
    3rd | +2 | +3 | +3 | +1 | Acquisition
    4th | +3 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Improved Combat Style (Natural Weapons)
    5th | +3 | +4 | +4 | +1 | Evasion, Camouflage
    6th | +4 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Adaptation
    7th | +5 | +5 | +5 | +2 | Combat Style Mastery (Natural Weapons)
    8th | +6 | +6 | +6 | +2 | Hide in Plain Sight, Transformation
    9th | +6 | +6 | +6 | +3 | Improved Evasion
    10th | +7 | +7 | +7 | +3 | Evolution[/table]
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2007-01-24 at 07:08 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Maybe you could add some restriction that he has to have killed the animal himself, instead of having simply bought the pelt.

    Does Scent add 30' to any Scent ability the Loup du Noir might already have either in his normal form or when in Dedicated form?

    The problem is, I think this class just doesn't give enough reason to continue in it after level 3. Maybe Acquisition should be based on class level instead of one's Charisma modifier, or a combination of the two ((CL+Cha mod)/3 ?)...
    Work in progress.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I likey [/copy-paste]
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    Fax Celestis's Avatar

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Minor edits due to Ultimatum's suggestions.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I like it very much but I don't think it can fit into all campaigns. Animals quickly dissappear from the monster list in most games. But extending the class to non-animals gives major way to broken use of the ability to use Ex. abilities of the animal.

    But cool class, I may use it soon and I'll let you know.
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    It doesn't require animals as enemies, though, Amotis. So I don't see why animals would be necessary in the campaign. As long as there are animals somewhere in a nearby forest and the character can go hunting at some point in the game, he'll be all right. As for the level 10 ability, Evolution would indeed require the DM to bring a (beatable) magical beast into the campaign, but that's not too difficult.
    Work in progress.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Right. The balancing factor for Acquisition + Evolution is that the Loup du Noir needs to solo the beastie himself. Sure, you can turn into a kraken or lammasu or even the Tarrasque, but you've got to kill it yourself. No help.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    ....Oh, really? Wow. Now it almost seems underpowered. But I guess that by the time you're level 10 in this class, you might have a tiny bit of a chance.

    In fact, it does now seem to be rather underpowered considering you need to be at least level 7 to take it as a Ranger, or you'd have to take one level of Ranger and two levels of Druid to take it. Woodland Stride's a tough pre-req.
    Last edited by Ultimatum479; 2007-01-14 at 04:19 PM.
    Work in progress.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    More than a tiny chance with the right equipment and preparations.

    EDIT: Though I suppose I could change that if popular concensus says otherwise.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Yeah, I think I will change it. "assisted in slaying" is the term I'll use.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Time for more comments: I really like the idea of a class based on fighting in animal form that isn't broken like the druid. This one baisically just uses an alternate form ability that grows in power with levels. Granting multiple attacks solves the weakness of forms that only have one natural weapon, but would otherwise be good (I'm lookin at you, wolf), and allowing magic items to funtion while in animal form removes the major reason one wouldn't transform all the time. Balanced by the fact that that's all you can do, it works very nicely. This class is on my list of "things I would play if I couldn't be a sorcerer".
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I like this class a lot, and will snag it for use in my own campaign if that's all right with you.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Very shwanky. The one downer: if you down wash those pelts, they could be really funky.
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    I like this class a lot, and will snag it for use in my own campaign if that's all right with you.
    Go right ahead.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    How about strike the killing blow? That means that if your buddies bring it down to a single HP, then you strike a blow to finish it off.
    I am trying out LPing. Check out my channel here: Triaxx2

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    That brings in to question what exactly is a killing blow, though. If I kill something by causing an avalanche, is it my killing blow? What about forcing it into a trap? Casting a spell that boils the water it lives in? Setting a trap for it?

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Also, you'd have to decide if the 'killing blow' was the disabling blow (brought below 0) or the actual killing blow (brought below -10.) Getting into situations where your high-level buddies go out, beat an animal unconscious, and bring it back so you can slit its throat.

    I think sticking with 'participate in the slaying of' is the way to go. You have to be in battle with the beast to create an affinity for it, and that's enough. If you really wanted to change it, I'd argue for requiring X number of rounds in melee combat with it, requiring the slayer get up close and personal to watch the creature fight.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Quote Originally Posted by Triaxx View Post
    How about strike the killing blow? That means that if your buddies bring it down to a single HP, then you strike a blow to finish it off.
    Right. Like the standard rules for most multiplayer FPSs. (-.-)

    Doesn't really make sense in an RPing way, though. Being the one to skin the animal makes sense as a pre-req, as does Lapak's suggestion.
    Work in progress.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I was thinking Coup de grace. Or the last twelve points of damage. Casting a Magic missile with three hit's doing at least 12 damage total would count. So you have to bring it to a single HP, then deliver the killing blow in one shot. Or heal it up and start over.
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Love love love the concept of this class.

    I have but one question.

    How is it pronounced?

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Think French =P
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    My 2cp : in French, "Loup du Noir" means "Wolf of the Black". It doesn't make much sense. If you meant "Black Wolf" then it's "Loup Noir".
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I actually took the name from a story I once heard. Let me check my scoures on that and I'll get back to you.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Loup Du Noir was an actual legend, I think.
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    Lightbulb Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I think a good way to eliminate both the confusion surrounding the acquisition of the pelts and the value of maintaining training in the class would be to limit the HD of the animal/magical beast that the Loup du Noir can transform into. You could probably limit it based on effective ranger/druid levels (with which Loup du Noir levels would stack). It's a little difficult to say, since, being a PrC, someone could enter it at any given level above the minimum requirement, which is why the class levels in this class should probably stack with others to determine the HD limit.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    I agree that there should be some kind of limit on the power of the dedicated animals other than something the Loup Noir has helped in killing. It just seems too ripe for exploitation in a campaign where there are, say, dinosaurs running around. A size limit probably makes more sense than a HD limit (though they probably end up being effectively similar). Maybe medium (and small) creatures at 1st level, large at 4th, and huge at 8th (levels are arbitrary)?

    Also: before 3rd level, while the Loup has only one pelt, if he assists in the slaying of another animal, can he choose to switch his pelt to the new one?

    Finally: How much of the pelt does the Loup need? If he needs nearly all of it, obviously this makes transforming into huge, or possibly even large creatures very diffcult if he is not "home" (wherever he stores his pelts). Perhaps there should be a standardized weight for pelts? 20 lbs?

    I like it!
    Last edited by cferejohn; 2007-01-19 at 11:32 AM.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    A size limit makes sense, and since we're dealing with animals (and later magical beasts), it does do almost the same thing as limiting HD. As far as pelts go, it should probably be wearable or something, like a cloak. But for small animals, that doesn't really work. I don't really know if it's an argument that needs to be made, though. If a DM wants to adapt this class to his/her campaign, they can just pick a logical quantity of pelt. For example, a little tuft wouldn't qualify, but the whole thing carried around like a rug wouldn't be necessary either.
    I like the class, though, and I'll probably use it for an NPC in a campaign. I think a good thing to add (a homebrew expanding on a homebrew?) would be feats based around the Dedication ability or the abilities that expand upon it. That way, you could really expand the transformation potentials of the class, allowing them to transform into creatures of the dragon type or something.
    Another interesting, albeit disturbing, alternate version of the class could be an evil character who kills humanoids and can assume their forms by carrying around some part of them. An enemy like that could make a good ongoing villain for a campaign, disguising him/herself constantly and acting as the guiding force for numerous plots.
    Anyway, long story short, I really like the class! Good job!

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Quote Originally Posted by Exanedral View Post
    A size limit makes sense, and since we're dealing with animals (and later magical beasts), it does do almost the same thing as limiting HD. As far as pelts go, it should probably be wearable or something, like a cloak. But for small animals, that doesn't really work. I don't really know if it's an argument that needs to be made, though. If a DM wants to adapt this class to his/her campaign, they can just pick a logical quantity of pelt. For example, a little tuft wouldn't qualify, but the whole thing carried around like a rug wouldn't be necessary either.
    I like the class, though, and I'll probably use it for an NPC in a campaign. I think a good thing to add (a homebrew expanding on a homebrew?) would be feats based around the Dedication ability or the abilities that expand upon it. That way, you could really expand the transformation potentials of the class, allowing them to transform into creatures of the dragon type or something.
    Another interesting, albeit disturbing, alternate version of the class could be an evil character who kills humanoids and can assume their forms by carrying around some part of them. An enemy like that could make a good ongoing villain for a campaign, disguising him/herself constantly and acting as the guiding force for numerous plots.
    Anyway, long story short, I really like the class! Good job!
    All excellent suggestions. I shall ponder and consider what I can come up with.

    A limit is probably a good idea, as is expansive feats. Hm.

    Now you've set my brain going. Let me read my (new) Complete Scoundrel and then I'll see what I can do about making this miraculous.

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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    In the line of feats, I think it could use the standard extra use, extra duration, and "use X levels higher" feats. After that you could add a few feats for extra specialized options when in animal forms (such as an increase to a single speed type), maybe a faster shifting feat. Baisically, anything that's been a wild shape feat, but for this class (which totally owns wild shape cause it actually has limits).
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    Default Re: [PrC] Loup du Noir

    Feats
    Extra Dedicated Time
    Prerequisites: Acquisition class feature, Charisma 13+
    Benefit: Whenever you enter a Dedicated shape, the duration of your transformation lasts an extra two minutes.

    Extra Pelts
    Prerequisites: Acquisition class feature, Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: You are allowed an extra two Dedicated pelts.

    Strong Bond
    Prerequisites: Acquisition class feature, Charisma 15+
    Benefit: You are allowed to have pelts of creatures of HD up to your Class Level + Cha mod + 2.

    Dragonskin Pelt
    Prerequisites: Transformation class feature, Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: One of your pelts can be that of a creature of the Dragon type. The maximum HD of this pelt cannot exceed one-half your class level + Charisma modifier - 4, and the Strong Bond feat (if you have it) does not apply here.

    Aberrant Dedication
    Prerequisites: Transformation class feature, Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: One of your pelts can be that of a creature of the Aberration type. The maximum HD of this pelt cannot exceed one-half your class level + Charisma modifier - 4, and the Strong Bond feat (if you have it) does not apply here.

    Monstrous Dedication
    Prerequisites: Transformation class feature, Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: One of your pelts can be that of a creature of the Monstrous Humanoid type. The maximum HD of this pelt cannot exceed one-half your class level + Charisma modifier - 2, and the Strong Bond feat (if you have it) does not apply here.

    Barkskin Pelt
    Prerequisites: Transformation class feature, Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: One of your pelts can be that of a creature of the Plant type. The maximum HD of this pelt cannot exceed one-half your class level + Charisma modifier - 2, and the Strong Bond feat (if you have it) does not apply here.

    Verminskin Pelt
    Prerequisites: Transformation class feature, Wisdom 15+
    Benefit: One of your pelts can be that of a creature of the Vermin type. The maximum HD of this pelt cannot exceed one-half your class level + Charisma modifier - 2, and the Strong Bond feat (if you have it) does not apply here.

    Dedicated Magic
    Prerequisites: Divine caster level 6
    Benefit: You may cast divine spells while in a Dedicated shape, but any spell you cast takes at least a full-round action.






    Also: Edits to the class, mostly in the Dedication ability.
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2007-01-22 at 04:51 PM.

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