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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    I made a class for 3.5 called the Avenger, which is a divine warrior that shares a strong bond with their allies, and avenges them in the event of their death. I wanted to see how balanced it was before I used it in any of my games. Take a look and tell me what you think.

    www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Avenger_(3.5e_Class)
    Last edited by Dayvig; 2015-10-06 at 10:12 PM.

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    Solaris's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    I'm not so sure having a mechanic based around your allies dying is exactly a good thing. It... encourages the bad sort of metagame. As it is, you could have a henchman waddle into combat with a chicken you've designated as an 'ally', then have him kill the chicken on the first round to grant you a big honkin' bonus for the encounter.
    Heck, if he's a commoner with the Chicken-Infested flaw and a spell component pouch, you could have all the chickens you could ever want for this.

    I'm on the fence about Fighting Bond. It's a powerful ability (basically lets you Power Attack up to its bonus amount for free), and I think it's better than the bard's Inspire Courage on account of being always on. I'd recommend either lowering the bonus or limiting its uses and duration, especially on a chassis that casts better than the bard and gets access to most of the good SRD gish spells.

    As written, you're still going to provoke an attack of opportunity using Divine Engagement due to the fact that the spell provokes, even if Divine Engagement doesn't. Is that intended?

    What tier are you aiming for with this class?
    My latest homebrew: Majokko base class and Spellcaster Dilettante feats for D&D 3.5 and Races as Classes for PTU.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    Interesting. There's more than one of everything, I suppose.

    Solaris has the right of a few details, especially his question in regard to intended...*shudder*...tier. Although I'm a bit amused at the mention of Fighting Bond as a powerful feature (half your spell list does the same thing, but better) when your capstone allows infinite uses of plane shift. I also concur that there should be a harder limit on how often you can avenge someone and who you can avenge. Even a simple 1/day limit on the feature would discourage a lot of exploits in its regard.

    This may just be my OCD talking, but also consider regulating your saving throws and spell progression, as well. If you want less than normal for some reason, you can manage it by giving the class all poor saving throws and attaching a substantial bonus to Fortitude and Will under ideal circumstances, which leads to my next suggestion.

    Your abilities don't necessarily have to be contingent on death. Several prestige classes make their trade on preventing allied death in the first place, and it looks like this is in the same vein. Consider a flow of progression that goes something like Normal -> Ally Threatened -> Ally Wounded -> Ally Dead. It allows you to play with more class features in general and the greatest gift WotC gave us, scaling abilities.

    I've rambled for too long already, so here are a few more notes and suggestions in a less loquacious format. Blending Duskblade and Cleric is a good basis, honestly, but to pull it off consider reducing spell progression to something like 4th or 6th level, or even directly copying Duskblade's 5th level spells with a divine bent to spells known. Your skill list is a little dry for 4 + Int, as well; consider stealing from Cleric, Paladin, and even more general skill types (everyone has Craft and Profession) to round it out some.
    The difference between a Fighter and a Wizard isn't that they walked into a bar and the Wizard said something more profound. The difference is that the Wizard didn't walk into the bar at all.

    Omnibus' Workshop: Where classes go to live. Now in the process of being updated!

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    Default Re: The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    "Half the spell list" isn't on all the time, requires actions to use, and can only be used a certain number of times per day, particularly at lower levels. A free bonus to attack rolls (including the Avenger himself, because he's an ally of his) that requires no actions is powerful. It translates to +2 damage per point of bonus for the warriors, because of Power Attack and two-handed weapons.

    Sure, it's not much compared to an optimized full casting class, but that's not exactly the best balance point to be going off of. More importantly, it's better than the bard's inspire courage (outside optimizing dragonfire inspiration) because of how easy it is to turn the faster-scaling attack roll bonus into bonus damage, and inspiring courage is a big chunk of the bard's schtick. Unless a class is an abject failure of design (monk, fighter, CW samurai), it's not a good idea to make a class that does what it does but better.
    My latest homebrew: Majokko base class and Spellcaster Dilettante feats for D&D 3.5 and Races as Classes for PTU.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    I generally concur; my initial point of comparison was fairly erroneous.

    It feels like it's supposed to mirror Aura of Courage, not Inspire Courage, which would fit in with the divine theme. Removing the scaling bonus could help, or turning it into something other than a flat attack bonus. Perhaps even a flat damage bonus, to alleviate AB's larger range of benefits. Low without being insignificant, like +1 or +2.
    The difference between a Fighter and a Wizard isn't that they walked into a bar and the Wizard said something more profound. The difference is that the Wizard didn't walk into the bar at all.

    Omnibus' Workshop: Where classes go to live. Now in the process of being updated!

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree with you about the whole "dying allies" meta implication. Originally the bonuses accrued when someone had fallen into negative hitpoints, but was not dead. Also I should make a few clarifications to help stop people from gaming the system.

    Avengers can only avenge beings that they have very strong bonds with; this can be with animals, but the animal must be a familiar, animal companion, or have been with the avenger for a very long time. Also, an avenger shouldn't get the avenge ability through accidental events (Ex. Cave ceiling randomly collapses on ally during fight with goblins) or negligence or intentional sacrifice (Ex. A general sending disposable soldiers into the front lines as cannon fodder.) Also, if I decide to change it to unconscious = avenge bonuses, they would have to end if the character was stabilized or otherwise healed.

    As for the bond, I thought that it would be balanced with the bard's Inspire Courage. Although it need not take up any actions, it only affects those that are in close proximity, with about the same bonus progression, so I thought it would be fine, although it could easily be changed to a flat damage bonus as well. I wanted the class being about keeping your allies close and alive as well as avenging their death. Also a simple 1/day for avenge, or even the mention that you can only avenge one person at a time would be a good addition. As for Divine Engagement, I intended that the spell doesn't provoke, but that ability is already pretty powerful, so it could.

    Lastly, I'm not really a tier-list officianado; I'm a GM first and a player second. What tier do you think that this class would be?

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: The Avenger (Supportive Divine Warrior)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayvig View Post
    Avengers can only avenge beings that they have very strong bonds with; this can be with animals, but the animal must be a familiar, animal companion, or have been with the avenger for a very long time. Also, an avenger shouldn't get the avenge ability through accidental events (Ex. Cave ceiling randomly collapses on ally during fight with goblins) or negligence or intentional sacrifice (Ex. A general sending disposable soldiers into the front lines as cannon fodder.) Also, if I decide to change it to unconscious = avenge bonuses, they would have to end if the character was stabilized or otherwise healed.
    This is good, and should be in the description for Avenge. In general, too much RAW is preferable to too little if you want to prevent shenanigans.

    Lastly, I'm not really a tier-list officianado; I'm a GM first and a player second. What tier do you think that this class would be?
    Well I hate the tier system and everything it represents, so take this with a grain of salt, but this feels like a middling tier-3, maybe even low until level 20, when it stops just shy of being tier 2. It has a lot of spells, but almost all of those spells are geared towards two of the least optimized combat options 3.5 has (melee combat and healing), so an average Avenger won't have to worry too much about stepping over anyone except the fighter - even another divine caster has more raw versatility from things like divinations and a broader range of combat control. That said, the infinite spells I touched on before are a major boost, even if it's just for a short time. Any wizard would kill everyone who ever existed without hesitation to be able to cast plane shift as often as they want for a few minutes. Although to be fair, any wizard would kill everyone who ever existed without hesitation to be able to cast plane shift, period, but they don't have to (which is the only reason we're still alive).

    Dare I suggest the following as the capstone?

    When actively avenging a fallen ally, the Avenger may choose to become subject to all spells or spell-like abilities that their target of vengeance casts that grant them additional movement speeds, teleport, or otherwise move them through space, and to the exact degree that they determine when they cast the spell. For example, if a targeted wizard casts plane shift on himself, the Avenger could elect to shift to the same area on the same plane that the target moves to. The Avenger must have line-of-sight to the target of vengeance, and cannot grant the benefits of any spells he receives in such a way to another ally.

    It keeps the theme of disallowing a target to escape the coming storm, but without turning you into a crazy gate-breaking powerhouse for the time period. It also allows you to tag along in more diverse situations, as well - if the smug bastard decides to just cast fly, for example.
    The difference between a Fighter and a Wizard isn't that they walked into a bar and the Wizard said something more profound. The difference is that the Wizard didn't walk into the bar at all.

    Omnibus' Workshop: Where classes go to live. Now in the process of being updated!

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