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Author Topic: New Expert Class: The Feral Heart  (Read 457 times)
Mutt
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« on: October 28, 2014, 02:13:13 PM »

This particular Expert Class is a joint effort from multiple sources. The original kernel of an idea that made me go "that's awesome!" is from Pawsplay's Mad Berserker class, and the Unnerving Transformation ability that is gained at Level 7 from that class. In creating this, I worked alongside Curator (known for the Opportunist and Hunter expert classes), who also found the ability fascinating and shared the belief that one (or in this case, two) could create an expert class that was fun and flavorful.

The niche that this class fills is the 'transforming warrior' that appears in fiction. Often this fighter only changes in times of distress and anger, and is a terror on the field of battle. Enjoy, and please critique!
Inspirations: Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Marvel Comics), Cϊchulainn (Irish Mythology), Eva-Unit 01 (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Werewolves.

FERAL HEART (EXPERT)

(click to show/hide)

Rage is an emotion that most everyone can understand, for it comes in so many forms that everyone encounters it in one way or another. The righteous fury of a holy knight, the bloodlust of a man out for revenge, the anger of a jilted lover, and so on. However, few understand the same depth of rage that the Feral Heart does. These berserkers, prone to vicious transformations when their blood boils, are legendary warriors which strike fear into the hearts of lesser men. The Feral Heart is a monster, barely contained by the flesh and waiting to be set free in the heat of battle.

Depending on your campaign, a Feral Heart could be...
•   A brave youth who slaughters all foes with his vicious spear and insane form.
•   A lycanthrope that only lets on what she truly is when it is too late for her enemy to run away.
•   A man cursed by the gods, only seeking to be left in peace and not have to harm anyone.
•   A curious scientist that has discovered a strange poison, becoming a hulking brute whenever he becomes angry... you wouldn't like him when he's angry.
•   A dragon that defends his horde from all invaders, his talons spears and his breath the death of whole armies.
•   A golem that loses control of itself and gruesomely eviscerates all who oppose it in order to protect their young ward.


Party Role: Combatant. Between your body-twisting transformations and your ever-increasing mastery of scaring people half to death, you turn the battlefield into a canvas of blood and guts.

CLASS FEATURES
Requirements: Intimidate 4+ ranks, Rage Basics feat, Guts feat
Favored Attributes: Strength, Constitution, Wisdom
Class Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Blend, Intimidate, Notice, Resolve, Ride, Survival
Skill Points: 4 + Int mod per Level
Vitality: 12 + Con mod per Level

BAB: High
Fort: High
Ref: Medium
Will: Low
Def: Low
Init: High
Lifestyle: Low
Legend: Medium

CORE ABILITY
Gore-Splattered: You gain Regeneration 1 while in the Berserk Stance. Also, when taking the Basic Skill Mastery feat you have access to a new skill pair: Berserker (Intimidate and Resolve).

CLASS ABILITIES
Warp-Spasm: When battle comes, your blood gets boiling... sometimes literally. At Level 1, you gain the Living Weapon feat. You only gain its effects while in the Berserk Stance. Also, whenever you become Enraged, you may enter the Berserk Stance immediately as a free action, even if it is not during your Initiative Count.
At Level 5, you gain the Ferocity NPC quality, and while you are in the Berserk stance your unarmed and melee attacks gain the excruciating quality. Also, when you enter the Berserk Stance, you no longer suffer from any Enraged condition affecting you; this does not cause you to fall unconscious.
At Level 9, you gain the Horror type and your Size increases by one category while you are in the Berserk Stance (maximum Large). If you are already Large, your reach instead increases by 1 while you are in the Berserk Stance.

Wild-Eyed Glare I: At Level 2, you gain the Damned If You Do trick, and whenever you are hit by an attack the attacker suffers 2 stress damage.

Wild-Eyed Glare II: At Level 7, you gain the Damned If You Don't trick, and whenever you are missed by an attack the attacker suffers 2 stress damage.

Frothing Retort: It's amazing what you can get away with if you look angry enough. At Level 3, your maximum rank in Intimidate increases to your Class Level + 5, and you may substitute Intimidate in place of Bluff while attempting to Lie to questions asked of you; this check is always considered trained.
At Level 7, your maximum rank in Intimidate increases to your Class Level + 7, and you may substitute Intimidate in place of Sense Motive while attempting to Detect Lies made by people you have asked questions to; this check is always considered trained.

Leaps And Bounds I: At Level 4, once per round, When you perform a Standard Move, you may ignore all difficult terrain, obstacles, enemies, and other things that would impair your movement under 15 feet tall. You must end your movement on a surface that can support you.

Leaps And Bounds II: At Level 8, you may ignore obstacles in this manner any number of times per round, and this effect also applies when you perform Bonus 5-ft. Steps and the  Bull Rush and Run actions.

A Thousand Ways To Die: You elevate violence to an artform. At Levels 4 and 8, you may choose 1 of the following abilities. Each of these abilities may be chosen only once.

• Bloody Mess: You inflict particularly heinous wounds. At the start of each round when an opponent is bleeding from one of your attacks, he suffers additional damage equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1).
• Dem's Good Eatin': You gain the Devour NPC quality.
• Hands of Stone: Whenever you make an unarmed attack, you may choose for the attack to gain the AP 2 and Massive qualities. You may apply the Overpowering Strike trick to your unarmed attacks.
• Keen Senses: Your visual, hearing, and scent range increments increase by 20 ft.
• Offer They Can't Refuse: When Coercing, your incentive modifiers are always at least extreme (see Fantasy Craft, page 75).
• Wantin' Destruction: Once per round, when you make a successful Strength-based skill or attack check, you may make a free melee or unarmed attack against an object or scenery within your reach.

Passing the Noose: When Death comes a-knocking, he's looking for a life to take... just not necessarily yours. At Level 6, when you are reduced to -10 wounds or fewer for the first time each scene, you remain alive for exactly one more round. During this round, you cannot be stunned, paralyzed, unconscious, or affected by any ability that would prevent you from taking actions. If you kill a standard adversary or any special character before this round ends, your wounds are instantly set to 0 and you are stabilized. Otherwise, you die as normal.

I'm Always Angry: No matter what you might look like on the outside, the beast inside you never stops raging and never rests for anything. At Level 10, you may enter the Berserk Stance even while you aren't in combat. Also, you may use your Strength modifier in place of other modifiers when making skill checks; if you do so on a skill that would not normally use your Strength modifier, your error range increases by 3. Finally, your successful attacks always deal at least 1 point of damage even after resistances and immunities are applied.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 05:34:35 AM by Mutt » Logged
Nuaurpy
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 02:48:25 PM »

Warp-Spasm and Gore-Splattered are too powerful as a level 1 ability. I would gladly take a 1 level dip into this class for TH3 living weapon feats that only affect me when I want them to (since it comes with penalties this is sweet) excruciating on all of my attacks and a free trigger for my stance. But then after that if I'm not specifically playing a talker that needs bluff occasionally I don't really care about anything until thousand ways to die. I'd shuffle excruciating to a different tier of warp spasm and maybe reduce the thick hide amount to 2.

Leaps and bounds should probably be minimum 10 feet. A 5 foot flight speed is kind of pointless. that's less than rolling a 1 on a jump check. however I think something like "When you move you may ignore all difficult terrain, obstacles, enemies, and other things that would impair your movement under 15 feet tall. You must end your movement on a surface that can support you." would work better, as opposed to being able to fly 30 feet at a 45 degree angle and then just drop. It also means that if you double move you have to have a space to land on in the middle of your movement which helps to create a real "you're jumping" feeling.

Leaps and bounds II needs a little work. Most of the time you don't have the opportunity to make an attack when falling, and if you want it to work in tandem with Leaps and Bounds I maybe something like "when you bullrush a target, you may choose to have the target remain in his square. If you do, treat them as though their path is obstructed by the ground, the target (and ground) take your unarmed damage plus an additional 1D6." as you jump on them, you could also make that damage unarmed + 1D6 per 10 feet traveled before the bullrush but that's a little clunky. essentially your transferring falling momentum into them.

Passing the Noose is cool, but you need to give them an ability to allow them to remain conscious past 0. otherwise they could bleed out to -10 and then suddenly wake up on the ground, stand up, walk 10 feet and be out of actions, and then die.

STR for all skills seems like it could be very very unbalanced. I have pictures of an ogre at level 14 with something like a 30 str in his rages suddenly sneaking, impressing and tracking with his big muscles at all times since he can be in stance even outside of combat with no penalties.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 03:37:12 PM by Nuaurpy » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 07:59:55 PM »

I gave Mutt some advice on tweaking Warp Spasm and Gore-Splattered, and pretty much lifted your L&B and separated it into 2 grades, cause it feels powerful enough to take both the 4 and 8 slot.

As far as passing the noose goes, I'm trying to imagine a scenario where it's unfitting, as is. I think it goes really well with ferocity and ferocity-like abilities, but I think the idea of the unconscious rager suddenly waking up for one last attempt is pretty cool and fine. Even getting stabbed in the throat while sleeping, I can see the Feral's eyes just popping open and him or her immediately decapitating their would-be assassin. it's a little crazy, but I think it emphasizes the wild fury and power of the Feral Heart, plus to give them a ferocity-effect feels even more powerful than they need to be. i was worried that, as is, Passing the Noose might already be too powerful. If other people really do think it could use a bit more power, then i'm not opposed to it keeping the FH conscious, it just feels like it's not absolutely crucial to me.
I dunno, I could be crazy though. There may be some truly odd scenarios where it simply doesn't fit.

got it. I realized where this feels weird even to me. The fact that there's no restriction on frequency... So you could get wounded badly, bleed out unconscious, hit -10, wake up and kill someone, be ok, get wounded again, unconscious again... wake up, AGAIN... and then it feels weird. I'll work out a quick adjustment.

STR for all skills is something that by RAW is already completely accomplishable, so long as you have a lenient or convince-able GM. Definitely not everyone's table, but the fact that it's potentially possible in the rules is what made me think  "hmm... this may work." The goal was to give something really nice both in and out of combat, and the Feral Heart will obviously have a good strength; but even so, they can't just pump strength to the exclusion of all else. otherwise, they'll have criminally few skill ranks, terrible saving throws, rough defense, low vitality, lifestyle, and magic item save DCs. It also doesn't mean they're trained in any more skills, their natural strength just gives them more of an edge for whatever reason(s) may apply. It could be stronger than I realize, but the way i see it, it's just a flat mod boost to the skills that the Feral Heart probably doesn't use as much anyway (because their primary skills are almost certainly Strength-Based already).
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 08:10:13 PM by Curator » Logged
Nuaurpy
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 08:13:48 PM »

I'd say "the first time in each combat/scene that you drop to -10..."

Also with that and the other changes you've convinced me, I like the look of it.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 08:23:58 PM by Nuaurpy » Logged
Mutt
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 09:26:23 PM »

Alright, thanks for all the feedback. I've made some changes up above; hopefully it looks better now!

If any other forum-ites want to chime in, please do so!
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 08:24:29 PM »

Edited the class a little in order to be a better fit with my comments on Pawsplay's own remake of the Mad Berserker. For instance, Acrobatics as a skill and an increased error range when attempting to, say, practice Medicine with your Strength modifier, or build a boat using Craft (ANGRY CARPENTRY SKILL).
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 09:17:22 PM »

Hey, since you've got a level for selectables, you ought to allow

Liver-eater: You gain the devour NPC quality.
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 10:14:39 PM »

I like it. The original intent was for there to only be 4 options, as it seemed to be traditional for the 'choose one' abilities that there be twice as many choices as there are levels with that ability. However, I already had 6 abilities and couldn't bear to get rid of any of them. So, I decided to make this even MORE animalistic by both adding your suggestion and giving them the option of Keen Senses, as befitting for a feral wildman who skulks about in the woods to go hunting... or a werewolf, maybe.
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 03:18:40 AM »

Hey, since you've got a level for selectables, you ought to allow

Liver-eater: You gain the devour NPC quality.


ooooh, that is delectable. A hunger not even a Chef could satiate... Not for long, anyway.
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