So I've got a first-time player in my group running a Druid. 70% of his spells are Produce Flame, Flaming Sphere, or Flame Strike (rest are heals and like one Entangle), he has wildshaped twice and summoned one Nature's Ally. It started as a "well throwing fire seems better than...Shillelagh?", but has actually turned into a source of RP! (Sequoia trees only sprout after a forest fire, after all :) )
So I was looking around for a prestige class for him, and most of the fire-focused ones seem to be intended for wizards (d4, no animal companion progression etc). So I figured I'd throw together a homebrew for him. We're a pretty laid-back group and I'm DM'ing so it doesn't have to be publish-worthy or anything.
Also the group currently is:
Cleric - lowest stat is 12, highest is 14. Mix of heal/summon/melee.
Dwarf - Fighter/Crusader supertank in Stone Plate.
Dragon Shaman - 12 Str, high Con and Cha. So another healer tank.
Ranger - archer, but has 2 kids and misses more sessions than the others.
So, a lot of the tank/heal/support is already covered by others, so some pseudo-blaster-wizarding actually fits.
TLDR: Laid-back group full of healing tanks, and a Druid who likes burning stuff. Lets help him with that!
Able to cast Flame Strike
Knowledge: Nature, and a few Arcana maybe? Edit: Speak Ignan?
Energy Substitution: Fire (gave this to him as a bonus feat already after a good RP session; now he can Call (flaming) Lightning or whatnot :P )
//Not trying to make him go out of his way for this.
HD: d8 (maybe should be d6, but he's an Elf with starting Con of like 7 :/ )
BAB: 3/4 (maybe should be 1/2)
(same as druid)
Fiery Animal Companion: Add half of your Pyro Druid level to your Druid level to determine Animal Companion abilities. However for every 2 Bonus HD your Animal Companion gains, it also gains +1d3 Fire damage and Fire Resist 2. //Physically weaker, but fits master. Flaming puppeh!
Fiery Wild Shape: Add half of your Pyro Druid level to your Druid level to determine wild shape abilities. However, you also gain Elemental Wild Shape 1/day (small Fire) at level 1. You gain Elemental Wild Shape (medium Fire) at level 4, (large Fire) at level 7, and (huge Fire) at level 10. At level 6 you can Fiery Wild Shape 2/day. //Delay Dire whatever, speed up burning.
Fiery Embrace: Gain Fire Resistance equal to twice your Pyro Druid level.
Fire Focus: at level 2 and level 7 your Fire spells save DC is increased by 1.
Fire Penetration: at level 3 and level 8 your Fire spells gain +2 to rolls to overcome Spell Resistence.
Fiery Wrath: at level 9 your Fire spells deal 1 Divine damage per dice of fire damage.
Spare the Woodlands: at level 5, whenever you cast an Area fire spell, you may designate one 5x5 column as untouched by that spell. You may choose an additional column at level 10. //weaker Archmage. Flavorful.
And some things I wasn't sure if I could work in. One would be expanding his spell list with Wizard classics like Burning Hands and Fireball, but it's kinda nice seeing him get creative with Flaming Sphere placement. And then:
Cauterize: As a melee touch (or while you perform a melee touch spell), you may remove harmful conditions from the target, dealing 1d6 Fire damage for each condition removed. You may remove up to 1 condition per day in this manner, and an additional condition at level 3, 5, 7, and 9. Conditions curable are: 1d4 Ability damage, 1 Ability Drain, Bleeding, Blinded, Confused, Cowering, Dazed, Dazzled, Deafened, Energy Drained, Entangled, Exhausted, Fascinated, Fatigued, Frightened, Nauseated, Panicked, Paralyzed, Shaken, Sickened, Stunned, Turned, or Unconscious. Petrification, Enchantments, and Level Loss are beyond the scope of this ability. It also stops blood loss on Dying creatures, but there are less painful ways to do that. //Oof, wordy but didn't want Iron Heart Surge. The Cleric and Dragon Shaman can already do a lot of this, but I figured this would be a way to let him do the Druidy poison removal while still being a pyro. Doesn't seem necessary with the other stuff, but figured I'd type it just in case.
Edit: as suggested by The Tyler, the better way to do this might be have him prepare support spells and allow Spontaneous Casting of Fire spells.
Thematically, I find this very interesting. My approach would have been taking the blighter and tweaking it heavily(listed below).
Mechanically, well, I'm not an expert on balancing. Personally however, I find it better to build a PrC around a theme, and not an individual character and their needs. Go with what makes sense for the PrC, not purely for the character in mind. That said, it is your campaign. Your rules, your PrC.
All in all, its interesting. I'd have to test it out a few times to really tell how good it is, but thats just me. Hopefully you'll get attention from someone who's a better help to you.
My approach would be:
Take the blighter (complete divine), make the following adjustments:
Keep previous spells, new spell list is added to your own.
Remove alignment restriction for it.
Remove spell progression, replace with +1 divine spellcasting level at each level.
Replace undead wild shape with fiery wild shape, as a separate use progression but otherwise stacks with the druid's wild shape.
*Remove need for deforestation, or entirely remove the ability
Replace speak with undead animal with something else. Like automatically learn ignan.
*Replace Contagious touch with a fire based heal.
Tweak blighter spell list to theme.
Where * is listed, I feel you should include abilities of your creation.
I think it looks like a lot of fun. Is it for Pathfinder or 3.5?
For 'Spare the Woodlands', no damage is dealt to non-creature plants and animals under 1 HD? Or something to that effect instead of just excluding specific squares?
Also, instead of Cauterize, perhaps allow him to spontaneously cast spells of the fire type in addition to the summon spells? If you do that, I'm not sure I'd recommend adding more fire spells, or at least not a lot. Just enough to fill out the list and give him a few options at each level. That way, he could prepare the situational druid spells and then still burninate his enemies if he decides he doesn't need those spells.
I'd also think of including something that lets some of his fire damage penetrate immunity and resistance. Maybe Fire Resistance counts as half against his attacks and he still deals half damage to those with Fire Immunity?
@Xuldarinar: I did look at Blighter, but that's a little too...death focused. Thanks for reminding me about Ignan though, that would make a fine entry requirement!
@The Tyler: 3.5.
I suspect "Spare the Woodlands" will usually be "Spare the Wolf," and occasionally "Spare the Dwarf." Priorities! ^_^
Spontaneous Fire probably is the cleaner way to do it, yeah.
Complete Mage has Piercing Evocation that converts 10 energy damage to untyped, so I modeled Fiery Wrath off of that, but scaling it to the number of dice. Just seemed a little odd that Meteor Swarm and Produce Flame would do the same amount of damage :S (well without the feat they both do 0 to a Red Dragon, but both doing 10 just seemed strange.)
Seems a pretty much flat buff... on a very strong class.
With the druids charge blasting(ie. cast one spell, use several times), why not hand out a burning condition. Ref save or damage again the next round.
Sorry, forgot to reply to this after the forums exploded last month, and real life has postponed our last several sessions. Since we're (hopefully!) finally getting our next session this Thursday, I was reminded to check this again.
What extra tradeoffs should I add so it's not a "flat" buff? I might use your burning suggestion to replace some of the +DC/Penetration or something, as that will be flavorful but usually weaker :)
I'd focus the class on just unlocking as many cool fire effects druids DON'T get, like the pyro psionic PRC's abilities, or even just Matter Agitation would be pretty huge for a druid's flavor.
I donno, I think matter agitation is hugely understated. It may not deal a lot of DPS but the fact you are slowly cooking then burning a living creature to death with pure concentration is really emotionally powerful and takes enormous cruelty and/or conviction to do compared to just fuel + ignition that takes care of itself.