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D&D 3E
Help with a prestige class: the Disciple of Atropos. 
26th-Jan-2010 01:05 pm
a druid thing

I am trying to make a divine prestige class called the Disciple of Atropos.* Basically, it focuses on fate, spiders, and divination. It...well, I'll just give you what I have so far.

 

Disciple of Atropos

--must be able to cast at least 3 divination spells

--any neutral alignment

--must worship no deity or deity of fate/chance

--Knowledge Religion: 8 ranks

--(I want to give them a feat requirement, but can’t figure out what to make it. There are a ton of feats out there—I can’t choose!)

--10-lvl class
 

Class Skills

Con: Concentration

Int: Disguise, Knowledge (religion), Read Lips, Search

Wis: Sense Motive

 

1. Children of Fate (summon swarm, but only spiders), Weapon Proficiency (scythe)

2. Weaver’s Words (talk to spiders or similar creatures), +1 lvl existing spellcasting class

3. Web of Fate (light, medium or no armor gives +4 circumstance AC)

4. Divination and Web, 1/day (each)

5. Polymorph (self, giant spider only), +1 lvl existing spellcasting class

6. All-Seeing Eye (functions as true seeing, 1/day)

7. ??

8. ??, +1 lvl existing spellcasting class

9. ??

10. Cutting the Threads (functions as finger of death, 1/day), +1 lvl existing spellcasting class

 

Class Feature Descriptions

Children of Fate

This spell summons a swarm of Tiny spiders to attack the caster’s enemies. It functions exactly as summon swarm: If no living creatures are within its area, the swarm attacks or pursues the nearest creature as best it can. The caster has no control over its target or direction of travel.

Weaver’s Words

This spell allows the caster to speak with spiders or similar creatures: silkworms, tarantulas, weaverbirds, bower birds, etc. It functions as speak with animals: You can comprehend and communicate with animals. You are able to ask questions of and receive answers from animals, although the spell doesn’t make them any more friendly or cooperative than normal. Furthermore, wary and cunning animals are likely to be terse and evasive, while the more stupid ones make inane comments. If an animal is friendly toward you, it may do some favor or service for you.

Web of Fate

This grants a +4 circumstance bonus to AC, but only when the caster wears light, medium, or no armor. Heavy armor removes the AC bonus. Web of Fate stacks with other armor bonuses.

All-Seeing Eye

This spell primarily functions as true seeing: The subject sees through normal and magical darkness, notices secret doors hidden by magic, sees the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, sees invisible creatures or objects normally, sees through illusions, and sees the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things. Further, the subject can focus its vision to see into the Ethereal Plane (but not into extradimensional spaces).

However, the range is 200 feet and can be used through scrying/clairaudience/clairvoyance/etc. with a successful Spellcraft check (DC 20)

Cutting the Threads

This spell is much the same as a finger of death spell: You can slay any one living creature within range. The target is entitled to a Fortitude saving throw to survive the attack. If the save is successful, the creature instead takes 3d6 points of damage +1 point per caster level (maximum +25).

However, it has the following properties:

1. To cast the spell, the caster must either a) be able to see the target or b) possess a personal item belonging to the target: a lock of hair, a scrap of clothing, etc. With a DC 30 Spellcraft check, the spell can be cast through a scrying spell.

2. If the caster is using a personal item of the target AND can see it, the DC increases by 15.

3. The personal item, if used, is destroyed regardless of whether the target passes their save.

 


I'm really hoping someone can help me out with this--what feats should be required? Are their class skills unbalanced? Is Cutting the Threads just overkill?




*Atropos: of the 3 Greek Fates, she was the one who cut the threads of life.

Comments 
26th-Jan-2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Seems really weak to me. It sounds like it's being pushed towards divine casters, but loses a ton of casting levels and only gets a couple 1/day spell abilities in return.

First ask yourself: what kinds of characters do you see taking this class?

For a "cutting the thread" ability, you might take a reflavored version of the Assassin's death attack. That is balanced pretty well IMO (if a little weak maybe), and so the character could be cutting threads from the beginning.

Other major question: what is the BAB and saves? I imagine it's 2 skill points/level, with the tiny class skill list.
26th-Jan-2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
Also: change Web of Fate to be an insight bonus that scales across the class--maybe +1 at every even level or every 3rd level.

26th-Jan-2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
BAB and saves. Right. Um, I have no idea. Should probably think of that.

What kinds of characters...hmmm. Quiet people. People interested in things beyond their control. People who enjoy messing with things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Or occasionally people who seek control over their surroundings and believe fate controls everything.
26th-Jan-2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
Not what kind of characters in terms of flavor, what kind of characters in terms of abilities/mechanics (you know, what you want to balance with).

Are you expecting full clerics to take this multi-class cleric-rogues? Druids? Bards? Wizards? Fighters?
27th-Jan-2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Ohhhh. Silly me. I was really gearing this class towards clerics, or perhaps rogues. Multiclass cleric/rogues might be able to take it, but it would be a bit tricky with the Knowledge Religion unless they put lots of ranks into that.
27th-Jan-2010 12:19 am (UTC)
So if you're aiming it at clerics, you'll probably want to give a lot more levels of divine spellcasting (at least 6/10)--otherwise you're basically telling them they need to stop being clerics and start being something else. For a rogue, you'll probably want to give a lot more class skills, otherwise it isn't very appealing

I'd probably make it 7/10 casting, give 4-6 skill points per level (lots of knowledge and int-based skills, plus the sneaky dex skills, and some wisdom based ones. All classes should get craft, this one could probably have profession). Give it 1/2 BAB, as it's not a melee class.

As I said, I'd redo the Cut the Thread ability to work like the Assassin's death attack, make the AC boost into a scaling insight bonus, and then maybe tweak some of the granted spell effects to fit. That'll basically make it a flavorful roguish-cleric class. Clerics who want to feel a bit more rogue-like would take it, and rogue/clerics who want to link those together would as well.

I might add one more neat "fate-based" ability... not something too powerful, but flavorful enough to fill it out. Not sure what exactly though.

Hope that helps :)
27th-Jan-2010 12:28 am (UTC)
That helps a lot, yeah. More casting is definitely an improvement over what I had--it felt like the casting wasn't as important, which was wrong for the feel I was going for. And I definitely have to read up on Assassins now.
27th-Jan-2010 05:32 am (UTC)
If it is a Cleric/Rogue class, 3/4 BAB. Both Cleric and Rogue are 3/4, and there is no reason a PrC for them should be less.
27th-Jan-2010 05:34 am (UTC)
Well it strikes me as a non-combat class, so you could drop it to balance out other potential abilities. But you're right, 3/4 might be reasonable in that regard.
27th-Jan-2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
Finally decided. Hope this doesn't suck too badly.

Level BAB Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +3
2nd +1 +3 +1 +4
3rd +2 +3 +1 +4
4th +3 +4 +2 +5
5th +3 +5 +3 +6
6th +4 +6 +4 +6
7th +5 +6 +4 +7
8th +6 +7 +4 +8
9th +6 +7 +4 +8
10th +7 +8 +4 +9
28th-Jan-2010 01:12 am (UTC)
Erm...there's actually a standard progression for Saves. Two, in fact: "Good" and "Bad" saves. "Good" saves are +7 after 10 levels; "bad" saves are +3 after ten levels. You just need to decide which, of Fort/Ref/Will, is "good" and which is "bad." If you're going Clr/Rog as the classes that could benefit from this class, I would say Good Ref/Will and Bad Fort.

The full progression (for a ten-level prestige class) can be viewed here (as an example):
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/prestigeClasses/arcaneArcher.htm

Good luck!
28th-Jan-2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Ohhhh. See, I'd looked at so many prestige classes...and never noticed the saves followed a pattern. Reading comprehension: I don't seem to have it. Thanks for pointing it out!
4th-Feb-2010 02:18 am (UTC)
No worries! It's not always immediately apparent.
26th-Jan-2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
What sub-system? 3.5? 3.0? Pathfinger?

Prerequisites:

Know(religion) 8 means you can enter this class at 6th level. Sure.

3 Divination spells means that a single level of Sorcerer, Wizard, Druid, Archavist, Cleric, Favored Soul, is sufficient. 1 level of Bard, 4 of ranger, and 4 of Paladin are also sufficient.

If you use Psionic/Magic transparency, 1st level Psions and Psi Warriors also qualify.

This restriction ONLY affects Artificers, and characters who get spells from other Prestige Classes with very limited spell lists. This is a restriction which is not actually a restriction.

'Be able to cast at least 2 3rd level divination spells' would be a much better restriction. Or 3rd level divine spells, if religion is a requirement.

As for feat restrictions: Are you trying to make this class SRD compatible? If so, your list of options are much smaller. Spell Focus(Divination) would be the obvious example, but that feat is nearly useless. Spell penetration may work, but that's more for combat casters, than diviners. Magical Aptitude might be appropraite, as might "At least (1 or 2) metamagic feats." If you're not keeping to SRD only, then you have a lot more options for feats.


Deity: Uh. If you're going for a spider/fate/weaving feel, require that in a deity. if not, don't flavor abilities towards that.


----


Skills:
Read Lips is not a 3.5 skill. I don't know if it is 3.0 or Pathfinder off the top of my head.

That's a TINY skill list. How many skill points a level? if it is 2, that might be okay (but no profession, only one knowledge, and no craft seems odd), but if it is 4 or more, you need more skills. A high-int character would otherwise need to take cross-class skills as there aren't enough skills to take.

---

Abilities:
You're giving 4 spell casting levels over 10 class levels. That means you're taking away 9th level spells, and the Sorc/Favored Soul is going to be hurting for 8th level spells.

Your abilities need to compensate for that.

If an ability as per spell, just list the spell and restrictions. Don't copy the spell effects.

How often can these abilities be done? (once per day? 1 per day per class level? At will? What?)
What is the nature of these abilities (Sp - Spell like, Su - Supernatural, Ex - extraordinary)

Children of Fate: 2nd level spell effect. Sure.
Weaver's words: 1st level spell effect with significant restrictions. Okay.

Wed of Fate: This grants a +4 circumstance bonus to AC, but only when the caster wears light, medium, or no armor. Heavy armor removes the AC bonus. Web of Fate stacks with other armor bonuses.

You repeat yourself. Light, medium, or no armor means not heavy. Strike that line. Circumstance means that it always stacks.

This is a pretty buff ability. Cool.

All Seeing Eye: Sure. Also pretty buff. OTOH, a dc 20 spellcraft check is a restriction that is not a restriction. A character using this through scrying means they aren't under threat and can take 10. AS a character needs to be 12th level before they get this, it means their spellcraft can be 15 ranks, +2 for synergy from Knowledge(arcana) (and another +2 if you require Magical Aptitude for the class). Int based casters (Wizard, Archavist) will be able to take 10 at this point for a 30 or more. Non-int based casters will be able to taken 10 for at least a 27.
A DC 35 would be a reasonable minimum. 40 would be better.

Cutting the threads: Whoa.
So, you can cast this spell via scrying, and the target will have no knowledge that it is happening and a save DC of (uh, what IS the save DC based on? -- 10 + 1/2 character or full class level + wisdom?) 40+? Uh, no. God like powers should remain god like. (See also the above about Spellcraft DCs - at level 16, a +20 spellcraft is commonplace.)

Caster level is not relevant to class abilities -- add in character level or class level to damage. Or explicitly state the effective caster level.

Requiring Line of Sight AND a personal item is much more reasonable.






Lots of good ideas, here, though.
26th-Jan-2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
Oh man, first of all I have to thank you SO much. I've never tried to do anything like this before--it started out as a rather random idea between me and a friend of mine.

Let me just answer your topics in order.
1. 3.5.
2. Restrictions. Yeah...this is why I shouldn't have tried to come up wth all this at 1 AM. I really like making 2nd-level spells a prerequisite. I'm still not sure if I want to make religion a priority, but it seems like it would be a better idea than what I had. The feats are not limited to the SRD, making my job slightly harder. Magical Aptitude is a GREAT idea, though.
3. Class skills. Umm...right. Read Lips is kind of a lame skill, too. Considering the web/thread thing, I kind of wanted to give them Craft (tailoring) but I wasn't sure if that would be stupid or not. Basically, umm...help?
4. Deities. See, I haven't made the world or anything yet--it's just this prestige class. So I honestly am not sure what deities I'd like to use.
5. I copied the spell effects actually as a reference for myself. I usually forget the exact ruling, see. I'm glad you like Web of Fate--like I said, I've seriously never done this before. What does OTOH stand for? *sucks at acronyms* Ooh, and requiring line of sight and a personal object makes more lore sense!
27th-Jan-2010 05:44 am (UTC)
As someone else mentioned, you need BAB and Saves. I'd do 3/4 BAB (cleric based class), and good WIll and Reflex, if it is a Cleric/Rogue class.

"OTOH" - On the other hand.

For the record, 2nd level spells is mostly a restriction prevents multiclass characters. It requires 3rd level of Cleric (or any other primary spell caster, or 4 of Bard.) But as the class requires 5 levels to get into, it doesn't make the PC focus in order to get into the class. That's fine, but it is worth noting.

For Fate, I'd be tempted to give them all Craft skills.
Tailoring/Semstress is a profession, at least in my opinion, whereas sewing, knitting, weaving, etc. are the craft (I'd probably just do Craft(Fabric crafts), though).
Quite frankly, I think nearly every class should get Profession as a class skill, too (unless the class is designed for the Barbariansocially inept).

Wait. As listed you're only giving 4 spellcasting levels. That means bards only get 5th, and other primary casters don't get 8th. You really either need to up the spell casting levels of this class or give them a lot more buff abilities. As it stands, this is weak.

As it currently stands, if you think this class is primarily for cleric/rogue, add in a few dice of sneak attack (3/6/9 or 4/8), and up the casting to 6 or 7/10. Maybe add uncanny dodge, or an ability to reroll a d20 1/day/per level (taking the second roll, even if it is worse).
27th-Jan-2010 02:36 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Maybe spellcasting levels at 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9? The rerolling a d20 is nice. I really, really want more buff abilities...but the problem is I don't know WHAT I want.

Dang, craft (fabric) would be epic. Too bad I'd never be able to stop giggling when I looked at it (the druid I play in a current campaign has craft (needlework) and the comparisons would be highly amusing).

I think I'll drop the rogue requirement, so maybe I should make the restrictions involve 3rd level spells. Don't clerics get at least one of those per day by 5th level? (The computer I'm typing this from has no SRD handy.)
27th-Jan-2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
For 6 levels of spellcasting, you want 2,4,5,6,8,10 (for 7 levels, do 2,3,5,6,8,9,10). Lost spellcasting should always happen at level 1, otherwise there is no incentive NOT to take the class if you qualify for it.

Floating re-roll is good. You could also have an ability that grants a bonus to saves (maybe to allies?), which fits into the "fate" thing.
4th-Feb-2010 02:19 am (UTC)
What about using Luck Feats from Complete Scoundrel? That works with the floating reroll thing.
27th-Jan-2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
d20srd.org - the best online SRD.

Memorizing casters get new spell levels every odd level. (Non-memorizing are a level behind. Well, other than the bard and artificer, who are just odd).


What type of buffs?
27th-Jan-2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Aaaand I have another list. (I make a lot of lists.) Here's what I have so far; I'd like more things involving fate. Maybe save bonuses?

Children of Fate
This spell summons a swarm of Tiny spiders to attack the caster’s enemies. It functions as summon swarm.

Weaver’s Words
This spell allows the caster to speak with spiders or similar creatures (weavers): silkworms, tarantulas, birds, etc. It functions as speak with animals.

Web of Fate
This grants a +4 circumstance bonus to AC, but only when the caster wears light, medium, or no armor. At 7th level, the bonus rises to +6 (Greater Web of Fate).

Weaver’s Form
As per the spell polymorph, the caster may change herself into a Medium or Large monstrous spider. Her Disciple of Atropos levels stack with her caster levels for the purpose of determining the duration of her new form.

All-Seeing Eye
This spell primarily functions as true seeing. However, the range is 200 feet and can be used through scrying/clairaudience/clairvoyance/etc. with a successful Spellcraft check (DC 35)

Binding Fate
This class feature allows the Disciple of Atropos to reroll one d20 roll per day. She must take the second roll, even if it’s worse than the first.

Cutting the Threads
This spell is much the same as a finger of death spell. However, it has the following properties:
1. To cast the spell, the caster must be able to see the target and possess a personal item belonging to the target: a lock of hair, a scrap of clothing, etc. With a DC 40 Spellcraft check, the spell can be cast through a scrying spell.
2. The personal item is destroyed regardless of whether the target passes their save.
26th-Jan-2010 09:59 pm (UTC)
In the book Elder Evils there is an evil called Atropus. I don't know, might want to make it clear at the start you're talking about Atropos the fate and not Atropus, the World Born Dead.

It may not matter for your campaign though.
26th-Jan-2010 11:29 pm (UTC)
I didn't even KNOW that. I totally have to read that book now...
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