Classes, Races and Everything Else

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I've put together a document of "house rules", which can be found here.

Last Update: 3/12/2009 - Book is now Complete (or as complete as I intend it to be)

This document is designed to "add back" those things from 1E/2E/3E core books that are not in the 4E core books.

Please, discuss!

Note: My intention is to keep updating & adding to this document on a weekly basis.


To Do List - Placeholders are being put into the document for these items

[D] Aasimaar race
[D] Gnome race
[D] Half-orc race

[D] Bard class
[D] Barbarian class
[D] Cleric expanded prayer list
[D] Conjurer class
[D] Druid class
[D] Enchanter
[D] Evoker
[D] Fighter Ranged Exploits
[D] Illusionist class
[D] Monk class
[D] Necromancer class
[D] Sorcerer class
[D] Transmuter class
[D] Wizard expanded spell list
[X] Abjurer class
[X] Diviner class

[D] Familiars
[D] Pets
[D] Weapons
[D] Armor
[D] Feats
[D] Equipment
[D] Magic Items
[D] Rituals
[D] Monsters

[D] "Completed"
[W] Current area of work
[P] Placeholder present
[X] Not started
Stormonu,

I wanted to start by saying how much I appreciate the hard work you've put into writing, compiling, and editing this document. I've been a fan since its last draft. That you are the only one to date to have made a fully written monk class (to my knowledge), on top of all the rest, is a definate plus.

I must lodge a disagreement, though. My only true beef with your document is in your version of the druid class. It is way too versatile for my personal taste. Depending on how a druid wants to build himself, he can be a defender, a melee striker, or a ranged striker, with the added bonus of having daily healing rites that are every bit as powerful as those of the cleric. With the ability to switch out a power every level (a core 4e mechanic), I honestly don't know why anyone would want to play something else. A couple of judicious levels of power swapping and a druid will have effectively "respec'd" himself to a whole new role.

That aside, I want to reiterate that what you have done here is a wonderfully good thing. The list of new classes are all necessary and well done (even the druid, despite my misgivings). I sincerely hope you see this project to its end. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates you.
Stormonu,

I must lodge a disagreement, though. My only true beef with your document is in your version of the druid class. It is way too versatile for my personal taste. Depending on how a druid wants to build himself, he can be a defender, a melee striker, or a ranged striker, with the added bonus of having daily healing rites that are every bit as powerful as those of the cleric. With the ability to switch out a power every level (a core 4e mechanic), I honestly don't know why anyone would want to play something else. A couple of judicious levels of power swapping and a druid will have effectively "respec'd" himself to a whole new role.

eeps... Part of that probably stems from combining my ideas with another (Malcolm_n) for the druid, and trying to stay too close to the idea of the 3E druid (aka, Codzilla). If you have any suggestions (sound like you'd like to cut down on the healing abilities, for one), I'll definitely consider them.

Overall, while I think the druid can be re-spec'ed to fill any one of the four roles, I don't think he'd be very good at covering more than one at a time; I also think he'd turn out as poor leader or defender. I'd have to see a character or two to see how that would turn out.
Good points, sir.

What I do in my game is I houserule it that only Feral Warrior and Nature's Defender druids may have shapechange and only Masters of Rites may have animal companions. I also rule that only Masters of Rites may have the healing spells. Admittedly, those are only three dailies (clerics have a lot of other ways to heal and I need to concede that), plus any druid who focuses all of his daily slots on heals really needs to reconsider if he really wants to play a druid.

I found the latest draft to reveal a wonderfully well-rounded menu, btw, and I'm really looking forward to you finishing up on your "specialist wizard" classes.

My personal opinion would be to focus on those arcane controllers and let the "ranged fighter" options sit on the back burner for a while. IMHO, the "ranged fighter" is already covered by the archer ranger... I honestly don't see how a fighter fighting at range could make a good defender, anyway. Once again, simply my personal opinion.
Good work on this stuff. still, for your conjuror, I would like to suggest this power (it's only a rought version of it):


Summon Minion Conjuror Attack 1

At-will

Standard Action

Effect: Summon one creature who's level is equal to half your level or less.
Special: Apply the minion template to creature summoned
Special: You may not summon more than one creature with this power.
Good work on this stuff. still, for your conjuror, I would like to suggest this power (it's only a rought version of it):


Summon Minion Conjuror Attack 1

At-will

Standard Action

Effect: Summon one creature who's level is equal to half your level or less.
Special: Apply the minion template to creature summoned
Special: You may not summon more than one creature with this power.

A lovely idea, but 1/2 level may be inappropriate once past 10th level. I don't think a minion 4 levels or more below the PC would be worth much. Also, there is the same problem I think I'm going to encounter with polymorph - a smörgåsbord of options that lets you have the "right power for the right time". I'll keep looking at it - having a customized minion is a wonderful idea - but it's pretty powerful. Might consider treat it like "multiclassing" for monsters...
Good points, sir.

What I do in my game is I houserule it that only Feral Warrior and Nature's Defender druids may have shapechange and only Masters of Rites may have animal companions. I also rule that only Masters of Rites may have the healing spells. Admittedly, those are only three dailies (clerics have a lot of other ways to heal and I need to concede that), plus any druid who focuses all of his daily slots on heals really needs to reconsider if he really wants to play a druid.

Oh, nice ideas - you'll probably see some of this in the next revision.

My personal opinion would be to focus on those arcane controllers and let the "ranged fighter" options sit on the back burner for a while. IMHO, the "ranged fighter" is already covered by the archer ranger... I honestly don't see how a fighter fighting at range could make a good defender, anyway. Once again, simply my personal opinion.

The ranged fighter was an afterthought/experiment, and probably will be one of the last things tackled.

One of the things I'm contemplating, but not sure if I want to really incorporate it is the following change to the wizard (this is why the "evoker" class appears in the document).

"The wizard may learn spells from any other Arcane-powered class of his level or lower. He may not learn spells from prestige classes that he is not a member of. However, he does not gain any of the special abilities from other arcane classes to use with this spells, which may diminish his prowess with these spells or make them unusable."

What do you think? Does it invalidate the other classes or make the Wizard too powerful?
Anyone got any special ideas for the Illusionist? Some special ability to differentiate him from the good ol' Wizard other than a bevy of illusion-based powers?

I'd like to give the illusionist something special none of the other classes have access to.
have you seen the illusionist section in Dragon? it has a whole section on it
lesse....

different cantrips - more minor illusions.
different implement mastery - staff of defense could stay. Can't see how illusionists could not be control wizards and still feel like illusionists, so the wand needs to be changed. Can't think of anything...


LOVE IT!!! I'm currently printing it out at work, and all should go well if the boss fails at his Stealth roll...
have you seen the illusionist section in Dragon? it has a whole section on it

Knew it existed, but didn't want to plagiarize it. Er, oddly, I guess.
I loved the old draft. Please update it soon! I want to see the illusionist! We already have a half-orc, a monk and a druid in our party!
Thank you, Stormonu, for considering my input on the druid. It feels a lot more balanced this way while still offering the sort of versatility that "computer gaming druids" have spoiled us with. (I should know, I have a 70 druid on the "other game.")

The illusionist is especially nice, if for no better reason than it's been desperately needed since the closing of 1E. One of my pet campaigns has an iconic hero who is a gnome illusionist/rogue... I've fought since 2E on how to break up the generalist wizard so that specialists were more distinctive. You're doing a wonderful job of that so far.

Thanks again for all of the hard work!
"The wizard may learn spells from any other Arcane-powered class of his level or lower. He may not learn spells from prestige classes that he is not a member of. However, he does not gain any of the special abilities from other arcane classes to use with this spells, which may diminish his prowess with these spells or make them unusable."

What do you think? Does it invalidate the other classes or make the Wizard too powerful?

IMHO, it doesn't make the wizard too powerful (I'm sure that they'll introduce more "spell powers" to the wizard just as they did with the illusion spells in Dragon Magazine). However, if you do that for the wizard, you might look at strengthening the distinctiveness of the class features of the "specialists," much like they did in 3E with Arcana Unearthed.
I want my wizards to be able to generalize. I like it! I love it! I want some more of it! I have been kicking this idea around myself for awhile, but still wanted to keep the specialists, well, special. I can't wait to see what comes of all this! :D

(Yes, I'm trying to think of anything I might suggest to help the process. So far nothing has cropped up.)
IMHO the bard is way too powerful. It can heal as well as any leader and it seems to have just about every leader power AND every controller power. Basically, it is a wizard with higher hit points and full leader powers. On pure mechanical reasons, I would never play a wizard above this bard.

I like the some of the ideas in the bard. It seems to give up damage to be a REALLY good leader. And, that is cool. But, the fact that it also has massive area effect and significant status effects just makes it too powerful. I think the nail in the coffin for me was the area burst 2 power it had as an encounter level 1 power (that also added a status effect). No wizard encounter level 1 power even gets close to being this effective at control.

-SYB
After I took another look, I see where Syb is coming from.

I hate to admit it to you, Stormonu, but I am seeing that the originals from which you drew the bard and the druid could probably stand to stay as they were. Adding to them seems to either make them too versatile or too powerful.

The druid has taken a wonderful direction in the right direction, though. Thank you for considering my ideas and implementing them as you saw fit. I also like the work you've done in the specialist wizard classes. While I want to empathize with people who agree with ShiftKitty, I'll admit I'll take eight well-defined specialists even if it means no real generalist.

Now that we've learned there is going to be a Tempest build for the fighter coming out in the Martial Powers sourcebook, I have to admit the ranged fighter options may not be as far-fetched as I first believed.

Speaking of class builds, that might be an option for your wizard issues. Rather than try to build a seperate class for each of the specialists, simply present them a new build option for the wizard class. The powers themselves would make each specialist distinctive, purest players will follow the build advice and use the powers presented for the build, and mavericks wanting a more "generalist" build could mix and match to their hearts' content.

Yes, that runs counter to my "the druid is way too versatile" tirade, but admittedly the wizard is already "too versatile" by its very nature. I mean, you learn two powers per slot and get to pick which one to "memorize" each day? And you can learn others beyond that if you have the time and the spellbook space? You might as well just make the specialists "builds" and trust players to keep within the spirit of the rules.

You could add "specialist feats" to make sticking within the spirit of the builds more enticing, too, as an idea. Give bonuses to using spells from the particular build you're specialized in.

Just my two cents' worth.
How about making the specialist classes similar to the warlock's various pacts? If you selected a specialty of any sort for your wizard, certain spells would have a small boost. For example, if you take the Illusionist specialty class feature, spells with the Illusion keyword would be harder to save against. A PC taking the Conjurer specialst class feature would have his conjurations do a bit of extra damage or something. If you don't select a specialty, you don't get the nifty little extras. (I wouldn't use 'banned' or 'opposed' schools.)
Using one wizard class with different specialist builds probably would have been the easiest way to go, but I thinking having a different class for each will eventually allow for a truly different "feel" to each of the classes. For example, I don't think the necromancer could have been done very well as just a subset of wizard; it has a much different feel than either a cleric or wizard could do alone. Transmuter, on the other hand, would likely have been fine as a build option for wizard.

The latest class I've popped in there, Sorcerer, needs a firm looking at. I'm fearful that as it is now it would be too powerful as a "wizard +". I'm hoping the powers are just different enough that the class is distinct and does not overshadow the wizard as much as give him a run for his money. I also had a lot of fun sneaking the "Heritage Form" names into the powers, giving interesting fluff names while also granting useful forms. The only one I'm concerned about is Glabrezu's Whispers, since it's actually an epic level creature and you can't use the Heritage Form until far after the Paragon level it's available at.

I'll also go back and look at the bard. Are there any specific powers (beside the Enc 1 power) that are troublesome?
I think the nail in the coffin for me was the area burst 2 power it had as an encounter level 1 power (that also added a status effect). No wizard encounter level 1 power even gets close to being this effective at control.

-SYB

It looks to me that Ghost Song (the power you're describing) is based off the Cleric Turn Undead power. If undead were immune to psychic damage, it might be fine, but I think it does need a tweak. I'll check the other powers.
No real update this week, due to sickness.

Adventurer's vault is making things interesting though...I noticed for example that their take on wondrous figurines is very similar to what I was considering.

You may see several magical items vanish from the project; I have no desire to duplicate what is in adventurer's vault, especially when the "official" material is ten times more likely to be used than someone's off-the-cuff material.
No real update this week, due to sickness.

Adventurer's vault is making things interesting though...I noticed for example that their take on wondrous figurines is very similar to what I was considering.

You may see several magical items vanish from the project; I have no desire to duplicate what is in adventurer's vault, especially when the "official" material is ten times more likely to be used than someone's off-the-cuff material.

Also, it looks like some of the weapons that you've done are in the AV. The trident for example.

There is entirely too much to give any real feedback. Do you have any of this posted separately?
Also, it looks like some of the weapons that you've done are in the AV. The trident for example.

There is entirely too much to give any real feedback. Do you have any of this posted separately?

Yeah, noticed the trident. No reason to cull it though, the weapons are pretty basic. Magic items take a lot more space and are more likely to be different mechanically. Also, the "transports" will stay in the document. Adventurer's vault has more complex vehicle rules for those that want it.

The amount of stuff is overwhelming, I know. I never envisioned it would grow as big as it has (238 pages and counting - about the size of another PHB!). If you want to tackle any subsection, feel free. If you want to hit it in another thread, just link it here, this is the only thread I'm currently watching.

Also, notice a BIG problem with the (19th level) Bard power Melf's Slumber Arrows. Blade Cascade, eat your heart out. The next revision you will see limits it to 5 arrows, each of which does only 1d8 + slow damage (instead of no limit/3d8 per arrow...). (Note: A really lucky caster COULD get up to 25 opponents with Sleep, but Slumber Arrows potentially lets you put the same guy to sleep over and over. "Strings (Orb) of Imposition" would make this ungodly.)
Someone had sent me the PDF so I took a glance through it and noticed a few typos:

Druid:
Should it be assume when in your favored form you get half your level to AC?

monk:
target is str vs ac and attack is dex vs ac. Not sure which is the right attack and I just assume the target is 1 creature?

split kick: target is 1 creature, but the description says you hit two.

class features has flurry of blows and ki strike, but the two features I see are the stances and flurry of blows

Mountain man barbarian paragon path:
Requires nature, but at 11th level you get nature or stealth trained.

Also, I assume it's meant that some attacks have a different attack ability and damage ability? I noticed this when glancing at sorcerer and monk.
Someone had sent me the PDF so I took a glance through it and noticed a few typos:

Druid:
Should it be assume when in your favored form you get half your level to AC?

Yes, you are correct; this will show up in the next update under Shapechange.

monk:
target is str vs ac and attack is dex vs ac. Not sure which is the right attack and I just assume the target is 1 creature?

Whoa, what was I thinking? High Kick is Target: one creature, Attack: Strength vs. AC

split kick: target is 1 creature, but the description says you hit two.

Whoops. Yes, you can hit two different targets. Fixing that...

class features has flurry of blows and ki strike, but the two features I see are the stances and flurry of blows

Ki strike has been removed from the class features now.

Mountain man barbarian paragon path:
Requires nature, but at 11th level you get nature or stealth trained.

Multiclassers would not be able to take this paragon path unless they already had the Nature skill, or at least, that was the intention. Changing it to grant a +3 class bonus to Stealth or Nature.

Also, I assume it's meant that some attacks have a different attack ability and damage ability? I noticed this when glancing at sorcerer and monk.

Errr...oops. In most of those cases, I was either fiddling with which stance they belonged to (in the case of the monk) or was copying wizards powers over to the sorcerer. All of the sorcerer's powers should use Charisma for the attack line and damage modifier. The monk's attack & damage lines should match as well. Powers with Offensive bonuses use Strength, powers with Defensive bonuses use Dexterity and powers with Balanced bonuses use Wisdom. If there's no stance bonus, chances are it's a Strength attack.

Just to be sure, I'll go through and fix what I find, and list them in the next post.
Monk power fixes

Overall change: Offensive Stance bonus on powers: "You gain a bonus to the attack roll equal to your Constitution modifier"

1st level at-will
High Kick - Strength attack/damage

1st level encounter
Circle Kick - Dexterity attack/damage

7th level encounter
Crushing Strike - Offensive Stance: The penalty to AC and Reflex defense is equal to your Constitution modifier (min -1)

9th level daily
Burrowing Worm Fist - Hit: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage and the target is knocked prone.

Spinning Strike - Attack: Dexterity vs. AC

17th level
Vengeance Blow - the follow-up attack deals 2[W] + Strength modifier damage instead of Dexterity modifier damage

Master of Eternal Spring

Flowering Petal Strike - Attack: Wisdom vs. AC; Hit: 2[W] + Wisdom modifier force damage

Lotus Blossom Strike - Attack/Damage use Wisdom

-----------------------
Sorcerer

Arcane Imposition & Arcane Shroud correctly use Intelligence for damage/modifier

1st level at-will
Arcane Burst - Attack uses Charisma vs. Reflex

1st level encounter
Acid Deluge - Attack uses Charisma vs. Reflex

9th level daily
Slow - Attack uses Charisma

Wildfire - damage modified by Charisma

13th level encounter
Flames of Stygia - Attack uses Charisma

Yuan-Ti's Brood - Attack/Damage uses Charisma

15th level daily
Backlash - Attack uses Charisma

Baleful Polymorph - Attack uses Charisma

Vulnerability - Attack/damage uses Charisma

Dragon Disciple
Draconic Claws - attack/damage uses Charisma
...And I thought the magic items were troublesome. Working on creatures now and gads - you'll probably see extensive changes to them before I'm done. I'm still learning how to put together a decent monster.

Though I love the Morkoth. I'd actually like to use one in an adventure
So, I'm curious, are you going to incorporate the barbarian preview or keep your barbarian as is?
So, I'm curious, are you going to incorporate the barbarian preview or keep your barbarian as is?

I'm going to keep mine as-is. I wouldn't try mixing the two though. I am curious though, to who prefers which and why.
I'm now working back and forth through the monsters. Mostly going alphabetical, but skipping some to do the monsters that interest me most first.

I'm getting better and better at monster design, I think - or at least faster.

When I'm done with the monsters, I'll probably post a "2nd copy" of the whole document without pictures for those that want just the "crunch". Right now, it's just too difficult to maintain a picture & non-picture copy.
Still working on this project, now into the "L" on monsters. Kraken was pretty fun to put together.

As a note, I'll have off the entire week of Thanksgiving. I'm hoping to get a lot done those days off.
First let me thank you. You have brought back the Gnome Illusionist, and frankly, until you did this, 4th edition wasn't worth it.

WotC has taken every opportunity to disappoint me.

That said, I can't get your latest update to load enough to download. Its a corrupt file is what I get. Could you reupload it?
I am having the same problem. The file seems to be damaged and will not download.


I've solved this problem, just switch to IE from firefox and the file will download correctly.
I think I'm finally finished. *Wheh*

The last bit was fleshing out the Ranged Fighter and some paragon classes. I also added the Svirfneblin (deep gnome) to the playable races.

Scribd seems to be weird about downloads. I'm not sure if it's the size of the file or other problems, but one thing I read on their site is that each document has a download bandwidth limit, which gets reset at midnight each night. I've tried downloading my own document to make sure it's working correctly (I use Firefox), you might want to try as close to just after midnight (not sure what time zone) to download a copy.

[EDIT]

With some further checking, if you're having problems downloading it in Firefox, make sure you have the latest-greatest Adobe Flash plug-in installed for your browser. On Scribd, IE will warn you if your Flash is old, but it doesn't look like Firefox will.
I've gone back and done a little housekeeping on the document.

Relevant changes from the last (final) update:

Conjurer summoned monsters now do Low Normal damage from p. 185 of the DMG. This gives them more sting than true minions which tend to do the *Minimum* of low normal damage. Also added a conjurer feat (Bonded Summoning) that allows you to spend a healing surge to give the summoned monsters extra HP.

Druid's power Shillelagh was redone; in the old version it was unclear whether or not you were getting 3[W] with an attack every round. Changed it to be a closer match to the 3E version of the power by upsizing a weapon's damage.

Fixed Red Abishi. It no longer deals d66 damage (now d6) :D

Leucrotta was defanged; it only sunders items on a critical hit.

Added Tough Minion template.

Slight tweak to the rings that allow you to negate an incoming power's attack by increasing the DC. Also added Ring of Disrupted Breath to thwart Ki abilities.

Fixed problems with the appearance of the document and added some images.

Hope you saw the reviews on the blogs Of Dice and Men and Greywulf's Layer.  They love it.


I also recommended the The Lords of Tyr look at this and use it as a topic on their podcast.


Hope there is a Volume 2 with more homebrew stuff you compiled or wrote.


-benensky

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