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    Default [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    UR-PRIEST (ALTERNATE CLASS)
    While most divine spellcasters draw their power from reverence for something greater than themselves, there are those have learned to tap into divine power and use it for their own needs without the need for worship. These individuals are the god-hating spellcasters known as ur-priests. Ur-priests cast spells as cleric do but instead of drawing their power through prayer, each day they go into a trance and mentally siphon the power gods often reserve for their followers. Ur-priests are canny and cunning, never stealing too much power from any one deity, but instead metaphysically slip in, draw out the power they need for their spells, and slip out again. They learn to be resilient toward divine power and creative with the energies that they steal. The greatest ur-priest commands the level of power of the most powerful cleric, although she does not have the clericís variety of spellcasting options.
    -The ur-priest is an alternate class for the cleric core class. Making use of and altering numerous facets of the cleric class, this devout antitheist can't truly be considered a new character class by its own right. Given this is the alternate class for the cleric class, a character may not have levels in both cleric and ur-priest.
    -Alignment: Any non-good.
    -Hit Die: d8
    -Starting Wealth: 4d6 ◊ 10 gp (average 140 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

    CLASS SKILLS
    The ur-priest's class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
    -Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int Modifier

    Table 1-1: The Ur-Priest
    Saves Spells Per Day
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
    1st +0 +2 +0 +2 Channel Siphoned Energy 1d6, Divine Spell Resistance, Orisons 3 1 - - - - - - - -
    2nd +1 +3 +0 +3 4 2 - - - - - - - -
    3rd +2 +3 +1 +3 Channel Siphoned Energy 2d6 4 2 1 - - - - - - -
    4th +3 +4 +1 +4 Siphon Spell Power 4 3 2 - - - - - - -
    5th +3 +4 +1 +4 Channel Siphoned Energy 3d6 4 3 2 1 - - - - - -
    6th +4 +5 +2 +5 4 3 3 2 - - - - - -
    7th +5 +5 +2 +5 Channel Siphoned Energy 4d6 4 4 3 2 1 - - - - -
    8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Steal Spell-Like Ability (1/day) 4 4 3 3 2 - - - - -
    9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Channel Siphoned Energy 5d6 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - - -
    10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 4 4 4 3 3 2 - - - -
    11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Channel Siphoned Energy 6d6 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - - -
    12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Steal Spell-Like Ability (2/day) 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 - - -
    13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Channel Siphoned Energy 7d6 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 - -
    14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 - - -
    15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Channel Siphoned Energy 8d6 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 -
    16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Steal Spell-Like Ability (3/day) 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 -
    17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Channel Siphoned Energy 9d6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 1
    18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Channel Siphoned Energy 10d6 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3
    20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Steal Spell-Like Ability (4/day) 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the ur-priest.
    -Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Ur-priests are proficient with all simple weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).
    -Spells: An ur-priest casts divine spells which are drawn from the cleric spell list. An ur-priest must choose and prepare her spells in advance.
    -To prepare or cast a spell, an ur-priest must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an ur-priest's spell is 10 + the spell level + the ur-priest's Wisdom modifier.
    -Like other spellcasters, an ur-priest can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table 1-1. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells).
    -Ur-priests enter a meditative trance for their spells. Each ur-priest must choose a time at which she must spend 1 hour each day to spend pilfering the divine energy necessary to regain her daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether an ur-priest can prepare spells. An ur-priest may prepare and cast any spell on the cleric spell list, provided that she can cast spells of that level, but she must choose which spells to prepare during this time.
    -Channel Siphoned Energy (Su): Ur-priests can release a wave of energy by channeling the power they stole through a holy or unholy symbol. This energy can be used to cause or heal damage, depending on the creatures targeted.
    -When siphoning off energy to prepare their spells, an ur-priest decides whether to draw positive energy or negative energy. This choice must be made when preparing their spells for the day and cannot be changed until the next time they prepare their spells. While an ur-priest may qualify for feats that are applied exclusively to one type of channeled energy, they may only utilize these feats when channeling the appropriate form of energy.
    -Channeling energy causes a burst that affects all creatures of one type (either undead or living) in a 30-foot radius centered on the ur-priest. The amount of damage dealt or healed is equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every two ur-priest levels beyond 1st (2d6 at 3rd, 3d6 at 5th, and so on). Creatures that take damage from channeled energy receive a Will save to halve the damage. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the ur-priestís level + the ur-priestís Charisma modifier. Creatures healed by channeled energy cannot exceed their maximum hit point totalóall excess healing is lost. An ur-priest may channel energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. These uses are replenished whenever the ur-priest prepares her spells. This is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. An ur-priest can choose whether or not to include herself in this effect. An ur-priest must be able to present a holy or unholy symbol to use this ability.
    -Forsake Divinity: Ur-priests may not prepare and cast divine spells from another class, however an ur-priest may add half of their levels in other divine spellcasting classes to their ur-priest level for the purpose of determining their caster level.
    -Divine Spell Resistance (Su): An ur-priest gains a spell resistance equal to their class level plus their Wisdom modifier, but only against divine spells and the spell-like abilities of outsiders.
    -Orisons: Ur-priests can prepare a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, each day, as noted on Table 1-1 under ďSpells per day.Ē These spells are treated like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again.
    -Siphon Spell Power (Su): Starting at 4th-level, while preparing their spells for the day, an ur-priest can choose to temporarily sacrifice two (or more) lower-level spell slots and use those slots to prepare a higher-level spell. The higher-level spell slot must be of a level the ur-preist can cast. Only one exchange of this sort can be made each day. The level of the spell that can be prepared is based on the total level of spell slots sacrificed, as shown on the following table.
    Table 1-2: Siphon Spell Power
    Total Spell Slot Levels Sacrificed Spell Level Prepared
    3 2nd
    4-5 3rd
    6 4th
    7 5th
    8-9 6th
    10 7th
    11 8th
    12+ 9th
    -Steal Spell-Like Ability (Su): Beginning at 8th level when a creature with spell-like abilities is within 50 feet of the ur-priest, he can choose one of the spell-like abilities of the creature to steal for himself. The ur-priest can use the spell-like ability once per day. The ur-priest uses the ability as the creature does with regard to caster level and save DCs. This ability is usable once per day and only lasts 24 hours. The creature with the spell-like ability does not lose the ability when the ur-priest steals it. If an ur-priest tries to steal a spell-like ability that the creature doesnít have, or tries to steal an ability that is supernatural rather than spell-like, the attempt automatically fails. At every four levels after 8th, the ur-priest gains an additional use of this ability. An ur-priest may expend multiple uses of this class feature to gain additional uses of the stolen spell-like ability, but may not acquire more uses than the target creature inherently possesses.

    REBELLION AGAINST THE GODS
    -Although a rare case, some clerics fall from grace such that they not only bear a hatred towards their former patron but towards all deities. Such individuals may attract the attention of ur-priests willing to train them in their practice. After undergoing training with the ur-priest, they trade in all ex-cleric levels for ur-priest levels on a 1-to-1 basis.
    -It should be noted not all ur-priests are former clerics, but ex-clerics often make for the most motivated ur-priests.

    CLERICS OF FALLEN GODS
    -While most ur-priests steal from existing deities for their power out of spite, there is another breed of ur-priest. Clerics that follow deities that have died or vanished normally lose their power, but by walking down a path not dissimilar to that of ur-priests they can siphon off what energy remains behind. These ur-priests use their power, not to try to bring down the gods and their followers, but to try to continue their deity's work or even try to bring about their deity's return. Ur-priests that draw from a fallen deity choose their channeling based on their fallen patron's alignment, and when using thematic or variant channeling they may only choose what is associated with their deity.

    THEMATIC CHANNELING AND VARIANT CHANNELING
    -Although they are almost universally antitheists, ur-priests may utilize thematic channeling and variant channeling. Instead of choosing on the basis of their patron deity, something they lack, they choose a deity or a type of deity to exclusively steal their divine magic from to determine which thematic or variant channeling they may use on a given day.

    FAVORED CLASS BONUSES
    -Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have ur-priest as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.

    Drow: Add +1/2 to the ur-priest's divine spell resistance.
    Half-Elves: Add +1/3 to the amount of damage dealt or damage healed when the ur-priest uses channel siphoned energy.
    Humans: Add +1 on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders
    Tieflings: Add +1 on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders

    ARCHETYPES
    There are none, but I am making this section anyways. If someone wants to make any, feel free to share.
    Last edited by Xuldarinar; 2014-10-04 at 01:54 AM.
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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    Alright, so I know there's a 3.5 class called ur-priest, but I've only ever played Pathfinder, so I don't have that one for reference purposes.

    I think this class concept is very cool. I like the siphon spell power ability and the ability to steal spell-like abilities. Both look balanced as far as I can tell.

    I do have a slight conceptual quibble though: maybe this has something to do with the class' 3.5 legacy or something I'm not aware of, but does the class have to be evil? I do rather like them being forced to channel negative energy, and I could imagine a "any non-good" alignment requirement, but isn't forcing these guys to be evil a bit rough? I mean, the gods aren't inherently good or evil; they span the gamut of alignments. Couldn't an ur-priest just steal power from evil gods or something, for instance? I mean even if stealing divine power is considered inherently evil, if you're doing it for a good cause and you're not targeting good divinities, wouldn't that make you at least neutral?

    I'm not trying to start some sort of alignment debate here, by the way, I just don't fully understand how this class' flavor mandates them being evil and having an aura of evil and such. Other than that, I like what I see!

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal Gears View Post
    Alright, so I know there's a 3.5 class called ur-priest, but I've only ever played Pathfinder, so I don't have that one for reference purposes.
    Let me start off by saying I greatly appreciate the feedback. As far as the lack of reference, in essence all your missing is they advance at twice the rate, the contribution from casting classes are from all types for caster level, and they are renowned for their use in builds pursuing 9th level spells as fast as humanly possible. A lot of the abilities here are little more than copy paste.

    I think this class concept is very cool. I like the siphon spell power ability and the ability to steal spell-like abilities. Both look balanced as far as I can tell.
    Thank you. Hopefully looks are not deceiving. I considered throwing in an additional ability to fill in the dead levels, but for the life of me I couldn't come up with anything for it and it might be giving them too much.

    I do have a slight conceptual quibble though: maybe this has something to do with the class' 3.5 legacy or something I'm not aware of, but does the class have to be evil? I do rather like them being forced to channel negative energy, and I could imagine a "any non-good" alignment requirement, but isn't forcing these guys to be evil a bit rough? I mean, the gods aren't inherently good or evil; they span the gamut of alignments. Couldn't an ur-priest just steal power from evil gods or something, for instance? I mean even if stealing divine power is considered inherently evil, if you're doing it for a good cause and you're not targeting good divinities, wouldn't that make you at least neutral?

    I'm not trying to start some sort of alignment debate here, by the way, I just don't fully understand how this class' flavor mandates them being evil and having an aura of evil and such. Other than that, I like what I see!
    Keep in mind the alignment restriction is a holdover from their origins. They have appeared as a prestige class in Book of Vile Darkness and in Complete Divine, the only change between them is a feat requirement if I recall correctly (Malign spell focus as opposed to Spell Focus (Evil)). I understand the concern on this one, and I myself had considered broadening their alignment choices to just any non-good, something I may still foo. The aura of evil is just a hold over from the cleric class and is something that could just as easily be plucked out along with a degree of the alignment restriction. Now, I do have to disagree on a single point of your argument. An evil done unto evil does not become good. Beyond that, I believe you are spot on.

    Not that I have a section addressing this but I am reminded of prometheus when I think of the ur-priest. Stealing from the gods is not something that is ever taken lightly (Unless you are Andromalius, but some deities have a sense of humor given the right circumstances.)

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    I totally get your point. A good ur-priest would definitely look silly. All I'm doing is throwing down the gauntlet in favor of "any non-good". Yeah; dead levels are always a problem with full casters, which is why I never try to build 'em. Of course, they're also an illusion, as the "Special" column could be saying "NEW SPELL LEVEL AHMAHGERD!!!" every uneven level.
    Last edited by Ethereal Gears; 2014-10-03 at 07:54 AM.

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal Gears View Post
    I totally get your point. A good ur-priest would definitely look silly. All I'm doing is throwing down the gauntlet in favor of "any non-good". Yeah; dead levels are always a problem with full casters, which is why I never try to build 'em. Of course, they're also an illusion, as the "Special" column could be saying "NEW SPELL LEVEL AHMAHGERD!!!" every uneven level.
    Well, i've made that change.

    That is true, and theres nothing wrong with some dead levels with a spellcaster anyways, as they get something every level.

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    I actually can see a Good Ur-Priest; Prometheus would be a good (heh) example.

    Steal from the cold, uncaring gods, and use that power to do some good in this fallen world.

    Siphon Spell Power... I think it scales wonky. I mean, at 4th level, you can sacrifice 3 first level spells to cast 1 2nd level spell, while later on you can sacrifice 3 4th level spells to get 1 9th level spell!

    Eh, I guess it's fine, though. Otherwise, it looks pretty good.

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    Being Evil doesn't mean you're not on the same side as Good in this case - it just means that no matter what you're doing it for, the way in which you came to and maintain power is evil.

    Being Evil doesn't mean you're not out to help the world.

    On that note, I would have liked to see a way to channel positive energy as an available option.
    Last edited by Ilorin Lorati; 2014-10-03 at 04:15 PM.
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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    I actually can see a Good Ur-Priest; Prometheus would be a good (heh) example.
    Prometheus has come to my mind more than once dealing with this. As for good, it depends on what one defines as good.

    Steal from the cold, uncaring gods, and use that power to do some good in this fallen world.
    The question posed now is: Can evil be justified if used to do good things?

    Siphon Spell Power... I think it scales wonky. I mean, at 4th level, you can sacrifice 3 first level spells to cast 1 2nd level spell, while later on you can sacrifice 3 4th level spells to get 1 9th level spell!

    Eh, I guess it's fine, though. Otherwise, it looks pretty good.
    Well, here is the thing. It draws directly from the original source, though it is worded differently. "The levels of the lower-level slots are totaled, then reduced to three-quarters (round down) to determine the level of the extra higher-level spell slot."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilorin Lorati View Post
    Being Evil doesn't mean you're not on the same side as Good in this case - it just means that no matter what you're doing it for, the way in which you came to and maintain power is evil.

    Being Evil doesn't mean you're not out to help the world.
    In the sense of D&D and Pathfinder, good and evil are actual forces. Im taking the stance that stealing from the gods, usually done by those who are opposed to them, is an inherently evil act. Regardless of what spells they draw from it, nor the use they put it to, they are doing something that is wrong on the planar scale. You can have one that loves mortal beings, does charity work constantly, saves countless lives, and uses their stolen magic to summon puppies and kittens for orphans to play with. Their alignment is still bumped down to neutral and a promethean fate awaits them after death.

    On that note, I would have liked to see a way to channel positive energy as an available option.
    Ah. Im glad you asked. Im going to pose some options, and these will be implemented upon input:

    1: An evil ur-priest can only use negative, a neutral can choose at 1st level which to use.

    2: An ur-priest chooses between positive energy and negative energy at 1st level.

    3: An ur-priest chooses between positive energy and negative energy when preparing their spells, in essence deciding which energy to pilfer for their channel energy ability. This, on top of channeling variants, and perhaps some other things, can represent which deity they are mostly stealing from that day.

    4: Anything I didn't think of.

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    What if they only steal from Evil gods?

    Remember, D&D has long taken the stance that "evil" acts are A-OK if your victim is Evil. For example, murdering Orcs and looting their corpses.

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    Default Re: [Alternative Class] Ur-Priest [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    What if they only steal from Evil gods?

    Remember, D&D has long taken the stance that "evil" acts are A-OK if your victim is Evil. For example, murdering Orcs and looting their corpses.
    I understand your point but a few things.

    Morality in D&D doesn't care just what you do and who it is, but your exact methods. You are murdering orcs, but you are not torturing them to death, nor are you generally tapping into evil magics in order to kill them.


    And now; a relevant quote from a D&D book, Bold for emphasis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Book of Vile Darkness, pg 77
    Some would point out that a fireball spell is likely to cause undue suffering, and it could be used to kill a group of orphans. Does that make fireball an evil spell?
    Fireball, by itself, simply creates a blast of fire. Fire can be used for evil purposes, but it is not inherently evil. Contrasted with a spell such as shriveling, whose only purpose and only possible use is to wither the flesh of another living creature in a painful and debilitating fashion, it becomes easier to see why shriveling is an evil spell.
    The judgment cannot be based solely on effect. Your campaign could, for example, have a spell called vitality leech that calls upon a demon that drains Strength points from a target for a short time. The spellís effect is only slightly different from ray of enfeeblement, but the approach and execution are very different. Vitality leech is an evil spell, while ray of enfeeblement is not. Although the ultimate game effect is the same, the character in the game world faced with the two spells undoubtedly regards them differently. Tapping into evil power is an evil act in and of itself, no matter what the effects or the reason for using the power might be.
    Stealing from a good or neutral god: Evil for stealing
    Stealing from an evil god: See above quote

    Also relevant:
    Quote Originally Posted by Book of Exalted Deeds, pg 9
    ENDS AND MEANS
    When do good ends justify evil means to achieve them? Is it morally acceptable, for example, to torture an evil captive in order to extract vital information that can prevent the deaths of thousands of innocents? Any good character shudders at the thought of committing torture, but the goal of preventing thousands of deaths is undeniably a virtuous one, and a neutral character might easily consider the use of torture in such a circumstance. With evil acts on a smaller scale, even the most virtuous characters can find themselves tempted to agree that a very good end justifies a mildly evil means. Is it acceptable to tell a small lie in order to prevent a minor catastrophe? A large catastrophe? A world-shattering catastrophe?

    In the D&D universe, the fundamental answer is no, an evil act is an evil act no matter what good result it may achieve. A paladin who knowingly commits an evil act in pursuit of any end no matter how good still jeopardizes her paladinhood. Any exalted character risks losing exalted feats or other benefits of celestial favor if he commits any act of evil for any reason. Whether or not good ends can justify evil means, they certainly cannot make evil means any less evil.
    Last edited by Xuldarinar; 2014-10-03 at 06:17 PM.

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