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D&D 3E
Posing as a member of another class 
5th-Jan-2007 07:26 pm
Igor
I'm building a CG human cleric who starts the game in hiding as a paladin. Anyone have tips on pulling this off?

So far, I've got:
* Domain: good, handily provides the aura of goodness (along with being an integral part of the character as I intend to play her)
* Domain: trickery, the Persuasive feat, and a maxed out bluff skill
* EWP: bastard sword, to cover the fact that clerics can't use other swords. (And if I'm going to spend a feat, it may as well be on a one-handed weapon that yields 1d10 damage. Additionally, I have a dex penalty, and a shield helps raise my AC to something worthwhile.)

I may take L2 as fighter, if I have to keep up the illusion that long.
Comments 
6th-Jan-2007 04:54 am (UTC)
Assuming you don't want to do one of the Paladin of Alternate Alignments ( http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#paladinVariantsFreedomSlaughterAndTyranny ), it is an interesting idea. However, you're not going to fool other Players for very long. If you're trying to fool the characters, that's different and feasible.

1) Clerics have an Aura of Good in the same order of magnitude as Paladins, if they're of a Good alignment or a good aligned god. No need for the feat.
You'll also have an Aura of Chaos but that can't be avoided.

2) I'd suggest Trickery and War (if you can find a God with the right portfolio). It gets you the WEapon Prof and Weapon Focus, as well as the skill list you want.

3) You don't qualify for EWP. You need a BAB of +1, and won't have that if you take your first level as a Cleric.

4) I find the +2/+2 Skill Feats nigh-useless at high level, but at low level and for this RP reason, go for it.

5) I'd suggest Power Attack for your remaining feat. Its very Paladin, and may make up for your lack of Smite. (your other option is to take Destruction as a domain, to get a real smite.)

6) Taking a level of fighter for RP reasons is fine, but it really reduces your effectiveness as a Cleric, in the long run.

6th-Jan-2007 06:38 am (UTC)
It's definately an in-character deceit. So far, the idea is that the 'trickery' thing has gotten her in trouble, and she's decided to borrow the professional image of a group that's beyond reproach. (Her past is still following her, somewhere back there.)

1) If I'm reading the class description correctly, only clerics who've chosen a deity or an alignment domain have an aura?

2) I'm not sure if I can find a god offering those domains, but I might be able to make one up, if the GM agrees.

3) Oops. I'll fix that.

It's looking like your suggestions are:
Domains: Trickery, and War or Destruction

If War: Power Attack
If Destruction: Weapon Proficiency

Correct?
9th-Jan-2007 12:34 am (UTC)
Isn't there some Laughing Halfling Goddess or something? Check the Book of Exalted Deeds, I'm fairly certain a Good/Trickery god would be in there. If not, you can easily make one up! (Look at the eladrin.)
6th-Jan-2007 07:15 am (UTC)
How much meta-knowledge do characters and NPCs have? For example, is a paladin's aura visible or detectable by normal people?

In my campaign, one could simply *say* that you're a paladin, and it would mostly be accepted at face value...unless, of course, you ran into paladin't or clerics of the same religion, since they would be able to catch you on social details.
6th-Jan-2007 07:47 am (UTC)
I think this campaign is going to be quite a bit like yours in terms of knowledge available to the average person. Look like a paladin, be seen to act like a paladin, and people are quite likely to accept that I am one. It's the act-like part that gets difficult.
6th-Jan-2007 08:58 am (UTC)
well, first, I'd start with picking up Martial Weapon prof, so you can use blades (unless you pick up a domain that gives it for free)

if your Dex is higher than Str, consider Finesse eventually as well....

the big issue I see will be the special mount thing, if you keep the guise up that long......

aside from that...... my mind is about to shut down so I can't think much more about it tonight......
9th-Jan-2007 12:39 am (UTC)
MWP is only for one weapon, though, not for all. So "blades" is right out.
9th-Jan-2007 07:34 am (UTC)
oh geez.....

do you do this at your games as well? I bet your GM must be thrilled...

ok, just so you can feel that much more superior, and so you can go bragging about how you won an argument on an internet blog, I'll appologize for offending you for not being more specific...and I'll even correct myself so you can show everyone how right you were...

ok? here it goes....

well, first, I'd start with picking up Martial Weapon prof, so you can use A (as in one) BLADED WEAPON (unless you pick up a domain that gives it for free)


there... my humiliation is complete...

have a nice day
6th-Jan-2007 09:00 am (UTC)
oh.... ranks in Bluff.....as many as you can spare skill points for....
6th-Jan-2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
Well, be careful with doing things that Paladins can't do at that level - namely turning undead and casting spells. That will be a dead giveaway to PC's and NPC's used to dealing with Paladins and Clerics. A spellcraft check by another caster would give you away very quickly.

The other tough part will be detecting evil if requested to. Maybe bump up sense motive to help you bluff your way through?

I'd actually go with a god who's favored weapon is something a Cleric is already proficient in. For example, if anyone questions why you're using a mace you can just say you are using what your god prefers. Seems simpler that way and you can use your feats for things like power attack - which is useful once the ruse is exposed. I'd also recommend against taking fighter levels and dilluting your Clerical progression.
6th-Jan-2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
Detect evil is a L1 cleric spell, so that's 2x/day (with wis bonus) that I can cast it. Quite handy, since I'll otherwise be avoiding magic use. Sense motive isn't a class skill, but you're right, it could come in handy.
6th-Jan-2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
Just a few things.

Unfortunately speaking most campaigns that I've played in, people run around calling classes by their class names. This isn't (or shouldn't be) the case. You can call yourself Righteous Defender of Little Frogs and be a Sorcerer 1, and that's perfectly fine. Your job-title, profession, vocation, etc is all that defines what you are called and how people see you (unless you're fooling them into thinking you're something else).

Both Clerics and Paladins are members of religious orders (or sacred ideals, if they don't hold a deity) representing two different aspects of the same thing: spell-based, and martial-based.

To the common folk, if you're dressed in armor and holding a sword, you're a warrior. If you happen to have a holy symbol, you're a holy warrior. Holy warrior being the definition of Paladin, you won't have to worry very much.

If your RP angle is that you're hiding from your past, what you'll need is to Bluff and Disguise yourself as somebody else. You can pass off your profession as whatever you will, but your personal identity is what's getting you in trouble.

Bluff handles all those annoying questions, such as "Where are you from?" "What's your name?" etc. There's ways around answering truthfully without bluffing, of course, but it leaves people wondering.
Disguise handles your identity. If you want to retain your race/sex/age, etc, it's very easy. Hanging onto a holy symbol of a different religion will help you out here as well. Also worth it to note that you should have a good number of ranks in Knowledge (religion) to answer pesky religious questions. (Don't overlook that.)

Basically what I'm saying is...you don't really need a special build for it, just a small horde of skill checks that all (I think) fall into class skills for you. =] Cheers.
6th-Jan-2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
That and the correct domain choice should take care of it, I hope. The necessary stuff does all seem to be WRT class skills, and I've thrown the persuasive feat on top of it. (L1 character, with a +8 to bluff.)

Wish me luck. :D
7th-Jan-2007 05:41 am (UTC)
;] G'luck!
9th-Jan-2007 12:41 am (UTC)
I try to refer to my character as "servant of Orboros" or "miracle worker" whenever I can, so I don't get stuck in the "I am a sorcerer/cleric multiclass" rut. Good thoughts here.
6th-Jan-2007 06:23 pm (UTC)
Why bother with EWP (even if you qualified for it)? Just use a believable weapon and eat the non-proficiency penalty. Sure, the -4 will be troublesome in combat, but explain it away about how (IC) I really should have paid closer attention during swordwork training and (OOC) Man, I really suck at combat!
6th-Jan-2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
I'd say go with Martial weapons (or one of those weapon group feats from... a book I've forgotten... Unearthed Arcana perhaps?), it's something you'll probably want to get eventually anyway. Besides a Paladin should ba able to carry off swinging a mace anyway without raising much suspicion.
6th-Jan-2007 08:08 pm (UTC)
Noted, going for the mace. I've got a dex penalty, so carrying edged weapons would probably cause me to lose a finger or two anyway. (And yes, that was the least harmful stat I could put it in. >..> )
6th-Jan-2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
Coolness, a War (or is it a Great mace?, see: Arms and equipment) mace does more damage d10 as I recall, but it is Exotic, so you'll have to wait a bit to get another feat if you want one.
9th-Jan-2007 12:42 am (UTC)
I like the idea of starting with a heavy mace and then going for a bigger, nastier mace. Can't remember what they are, but d10 sounds about right--some kind of penalty too, perhaps.
9th-Jan-2007 03:04 am (UTC)
Now that I'm home lemme check in 'Arms and Equipment' *checks*... Crap, I could'nt find it in there perhaps it's in Complete Warrior or Complete Divine, those are on loan so I can't check them. I know I have seen the entry, 'cause I thought it'd be a cool weapon for my cleric.
6th-Jan-2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
If you're looking at a war god then his/her weapon of choice might end up being a sword anyways, which would solve a lot of problems.
7th-Jan-2007 05:42 am (UTC) - After all this...
...your Cleric may still end up blowing her cover due to one simple thing: fear.

Paladins are fearless. The moment your character lets that slip -- whether it's by RP or spell -- your cover will start to fall apart.

Another thing, Paladins detect evil at will. Clerics have to cast -- don't know how you can pull that off.

7th-Jan-2007 09:11 am (UTC) - Re: After all this...
the only way I can think of involves Silent Spell and/or Still Spell...although, if you take ranks in Bluff you might get away with just Silent Spell and ask your DM (beforehand)if you can use a Bluff check to disguise the somatic component...

and yes, I know the whole level issue surrounding metamagic and a 1st level spellcaster....I never said it was a perfect plan...
7th-Jan-2007 03:56 pm (UTC) - Re: After all this...
You'd need three feats to pull it off: Silent Spell, Still Spell, and Eschew materials, although that last one might not cut it due to the spell requiring the use of a divine focus.

I still say fear is the Achilles' heel in your plan...
7th-Jan-2007 05:58 pm (UTC) - Re: After all this...
Unless you're talking about magically-induced fear effects, I'm hoping my ability to bluff will take care of that for long enough to be useful. (The character doesn't want to keep up the act indefinately, just long enough to get somewhere where there isn't a price on her head. If her cover comes apart en route, it opens up some interesting RP possibilities.)
7th-Jan-2007 09:12 pm (UTC) - Re: After all this...
That and any other situation where the DM wonders, "hmmm I wonder if this would scare that Cleric." I know I've run situations involving non-magical fear that required Will saves. The consequence was minor (maaaaybe shaken for one round), but then again, I'm an eeeevil DM. :)
8th-Jan-2007 08:35 am (UTC) - Re: After all this...
well, not really.... the silent Spell should do it, as well as a high Bluff to disguise the somatic....as for the DF, the holy symbol can be worn as an amulet.....so its right there at all times....and fondling the amulet/holy symbol can be explained as habit...like people who seem to be constantly adjusting their eyeglasses when they don't need to, or tapping a pen on a desk when they're trying to concentrate on something....

as for Fear....

.......

um......

......I got nothing...

...at least not at 1st level....and definitely not on a Clr1's salary.....later on, maybe a magic item that can emulate the effect...or if the DM is feeling generous and the cleric is allowed to borrow said magic item from his Order's vaults...and he can eventually buy his own and return the loaner...

eh.... it could happen...
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