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Author Topic: New Expert Class: The Animator  (Read 264 times)
Mutt
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« on: October 08, 2014, 12:27:15 AM »

This class came about due to me listening to my MP3 player, when both the Fantasia and Princess & The Frog soundtracks came online to it. Due to those songs, I got inspired to make a summoner-type class. Please Critique at you please. The Path of Summoning and Path of Partnership are from Curator and Luke_Nukem.
Inspirations: Doctor Facilier (The Princess & The Frog); The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Fantasia); classic renditions of Necromancers; Jotaro Josuke (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure); The Persona series; Alice Margatroid (Touhou)


Animator (EXPERT)

(click to show/hide)

In legend and myth, there are tales of powerful wizards and witches that, regardless of their magical power over other matters, are protected by a near-endless horde of undead, possessed brooms, dolls, ghosts, or what-have-you. The Animators have mastered the arcane art of summoning and bringing the unliving into a state of semi-life, causing all sorts of beings to blindly follow their every whim and cling to their every word. When it comes to this task they are the uncontested masters; if you need something called into reality, the Animator is your man.

Depending on your campaign, an Animator could be...
•   A mousy and reckless acolyte, who steals his master's power while he is away but cannot control it for himself
•   A con-artist who uses his minions to make others miserable and himself rich
•   A Faustian bargainer, pleading with demons to gain fabulous power at the cost of his soul
•   A witch-doctor who sends phantasms to haunt his victims from afar
•   An irrational nobleman who desires to see his lost lover one more time
•   A summoner who lives on the fringes of her town, guarding the village with her loyal 'pets'

Party Role: Specialist/Combatant. While you may not particularly masterful in combat, the horde of spirits that follow you around more than make up for that due to sheer numbers. And, if you can't find a use for a bunch of unskilled labor that listens to your every desire and whim, then you might not be trying hard enough.

CLASS FEATURES
Requirements: Miracles campaign quality, Extra Contact feat (must be of the Construct, Elemental, Outsider, Spirit, or Undead type), Craft 6+ ranks, Charisma 13+
Favored Attributes: Charisma, Intelligence, Constitution
Caster: Each level in this class increases your Casting Level by 1.
Class Skills: Bluff, Craft, Disguise, Haggle, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Notice, Resolve, Ride, Search, Sense Motive
Skill Points: 8 + Int mod per Level
Vitality: 6 + Con mod per Level

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

CORE ABILITY
Working Relationship: When you call on a contact that has the Construct, Elemental, Outsider, Spirit, or Undead types, you may treat the Persuasion result as though it were 5 higher. Also, once per scene you may spend an action die and 2d4 hours in order to summon them from any location, even if there is no one around.

CLASS ABILITIES
Friends On The Other Side: Your mastery of animation follows along either countless hordes, or a loyal few. At Levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, you take a Step in either the Path of Partnership or the Path of Summoning (see below).

Army of Darkness I: At Level 2, your Spellcasting feats count as Style feats when determining the XP value of your Contacts. Also, you may cast Unseen Servant as a divine spell at-will.

Army of Darkness II: At Level 7, your Spellcasting feats count as Style feats for all purposes, and as Terrain feats for the Animal Partner feat and as Gear feats for the Followers feat. Also, you may cast Phantasmal Killer twice per scene as a divine spell.

Bonus Feat: At Levels 4 and 8, you gain an additional Spellcasting or Style feat.

Sorcerer's Apprentice: You can animate nearby tools, furniture, and other things to do your bidding. At Level 4, a number of times per session equal to your starting action dice, you may spend a half action to cause a single unattended melee weapon, piece of furniture, vehicle, or other object (with permission from the GC) to spring to life, becoming a standard NPC of that category (see Fantasy Craft, pages 253-254) until the end of the scene. The animated object is completely and wholly loyal to you, doing whatever it deems most helpful to you, up to and including sacrificing itself in order to protect you and viciously attacking your enemies. You may only have one Animated Object under your control at once from this ability.
At Level 8, you may animate two different objects at the same time, and animating them becomes a free action.

You're Better Off Like This: At Level 6, once per session as a half action, you may cause a standard NPC controlled by you (including Followers, Animated Objects, summoned beings, etc. but not Personal Lieutenants and the like) to die. If you do, you immediately recover vitality and wounds as though you had made two successful Refresh checks with two action dice of your level-size (roll them to see how much you recover).

Things I Ain't Even Tried: At Level 10 once dramatic scene as a free action, you may allow a number of your controlled NPCs equal to your Career Level to become invested with portion of your soul. Those NPCs gain DR 5 and the Fearless I, Hive Mind, and Regeneration I NPC qualities, counting as the same kind of NPC for this purpose. If you only select Special characters, you also gain the Hive Mind NPC quality, counting as the same kind of NPC as them. Until the scene ends, your maximum wounds are reduced by the number of NPCs improved this way (if an NPC is dismissed or defeated during this scene, you regain that wound again).




PATH OF PARTNERSHIP
   Partnership I: You gain the Personal Lieutenant feat. Your partner must have a type other than 'folk'.
   Partnership II: You may choose or build additional lieutenants equal to half your Partnership Step, rounded up. At the beginning of an adventure, you may choose which of these lieutenants to control; the others go unused.
   Partnership III:  You may cast Shield Other once per scene. If you cast this on your Personal Lieutenant, you do not have to pay the preparation cost. Further, you and your lieutenant each gain the Step In quality (Fantasy Craft, pg. 24).
   Partnership IV: You gain the New Best Friend feat (see below).
   Partnership V: Your lieutenant's maximum XP cost rises by 4. You may now choose which lieutenant to control at the beginning of each session.


PATH OF SUMMONING
   Summoning I: You gain the Followers feat. Your followers must have a type other than 'folk'.
   Summoning II: Your Followers can be called on to help with an additional number of tasks per adventure equal to half your Summoning Step (rounded down). You may cast either Call From Beyond I, Animate Dead I, Nature's Ally I, or Conjure Elemental I once per scene.
   Summoning III: You no longer lose reputation when a Follower dies. You may cast Call From Beyond II, Animate Dead II, Nature's Ally II, or Conjure Elemental II once per scene.
   Summoning IV: You are healed for 1 vitality for each NPC teammate you summon. You may cast Call From Beyond III, Animate Dead III, Nature's Ally III, or Conjure Elemental III once per scene.
   Summoning V: You may cast  Call From Beyond IV, Animate Dead IV, Nature's Ally IV, or Conjure Elemental IV once per scene, and you gain the Extra Followers feat.



NEW BEST FRIEND [Terrain]
When you two are together, trouble’s always brewing.
Prerequisites: Special Character only
Benefit: At the start of combat, you may choose one teammate you can see to be your Partner. While you and your Partner are adjacent in combat, your Morale bonuses increase by 1. Additionally, when you and your Partner are within Close Quarters of each other, adversaries directly between you two are flanked.
Special: If you choose someone who has this feat to be your Partner, they cannot also choose a Partner as long as they are your Partner.

PARTNERS IN CRIME [Terrain]
We ride together, we die together!
Prerequisites: New Best Friend
Benefit: When you and your Partner are within Close Quarters of each other, you are considered to be adjacent for the purpose of any action or ability specifically requiring adjacency.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 02:11:19 AM by Mutt » Logged
Mister Andersen
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 01:11:06 AM »

The lack of Craft for a class dealing with magical constructs is a glaring omission
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Mutt
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 01:15:00 AM »

Whoops, totally missed that bit. Fixed now; anything else you see with it?
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Nuaurpy
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 01:17:03 AM »

Okay, so the first problem is the Otherworldly Charm, Just give them the charm trait otherwise this could stack in fun ways that let someone just pick an NPC and jack up their disposition in a heart beat.

The other problem that I have is that this class would be a nightmare to play/run. Without even trying too hard by level 8 this player could be controlling 7 special characters and 14 standard characters. When he's level 12 he could have 15 60xp followers that he doesn't have to worry about using as a meat wall because they don't cost him rep to lose, he controls 8-9 special characters and he could get another one if he wanted to drop 1 of his spellcasting feats for animal companion. I really like the idea, but I think giving him 2 free special animated objects as well as the ability to make all of his summoned creatures special and followers that become stronger for focusing on the thing that he does anyway and are free of penalty might be a bit much. Just as an aside, you have both Army of Darkness I and II granting the "spellcasting feats count as gear feats" ability.

I'd change followers to Personal Lieutenant. That's a way to change make it so that he doesn't have so many characters under his control, but it also gives him a permanent special character by his side rather than occasionally calling 15 weaker creatures. I really like the idea behind Sorcerer's Apprentice, but I'd make it a number of times per session equal to your starting AD and I'd make them standard and limit him to 1 at a time, at level 8 he can have 2 at a time. They're just things that he's creating on a whim, I don't think that they need to be special, but I also think that you should be able to make them more frequently. If you do that though I'd also make it a half action that maybe turns into a free action so that he doesn't spend a huge amount of time making these animated tables.

I really like "You're Better of Like This" great flavour to it. Superior Summoning is fairly solid but it's the prime culprit of "I can control more characters than are otherwise on my team. AT NO PENALTY (cue laughter)" This might not be so bad but he has a high spell point progression so he has more than enough spell points to fuel 3 or so special characters before spell power and a greater spellpoint magic item. Look at the Beastmasters Exotic partner for reference on this, up to 3 animal partners but you have to split the xp between them.

The short version is that too many characters on the field might seem like a cool idea but really slows everything to a crawl. Even having 3-4 characters can make a persons turn take much longer than 3-4 times as long.
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Mutt
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 01:29:52 AM »

Thanks for the feedback! I've made several of the changes you have suggested. Anything else stand out to you, or anyone else?
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Nuaurpy
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 01:46:33 AM »

I think the gamebreaker needs a lot of work, it's confusing to read at first and when I did understand it it basically just reads as "All high level summoning spells are 2-3 times more effective, forever." Because at calling IV you can summon 320 xp worth of low level guys... or just summon 3 96 XP creatures. if you can get a 5th level spell (say through the mages spell secret or something.) You can summon 5 of the highest level creature and you can do this with no times/timeframe limit. Add onto that the fact that you gain a permanent free Lasting Spell on all of your summons and you have some pretty powerful summons with no restriction. I think that if the person wants lots of dudes, they'll just summon lots of dudes. I'd make this about 1/adventure your summons get to be super awesome and they all gain Death throes and frenzy and fearsome and the ability to juggle and stand on their heads. Make them feel cool with this ability rather than giving the player the ability to have lots of different shapes of them.
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Curator
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 11:43:32 AM »

I really like "You're Better of Like This" great flavour to it. Superior Summoning is fairly solid but it's the prime culprit of "I can control more characters than are otherwise on my team. AT NO PENALTY (cue laughter)" This might not be so bad but he has a high spell point progression so he has more than enough spell points to fuel 3 or so special characters before spell power and a greater spellpoint magic item. Look at the Beastmasters Exotic partner for reference on this, up to 3 animal partners but you have to split the xp between them.

The short version is that too many characters on the field might seem like a cool idea but really slows everything to a crawl. Even having 3-4 characters can make a persons turn take much longer than 3-4 times as long.

Continuing the focus on this ability, you might want to simply state that the effect is to dismiss the character in question, because 0 vitality and 0 wounds for a special character technically doesn't mean they are dead, so in theory you could abuse that to knock out all your summoned folk, get the spell points back, then make a medicine check/use touch of light/use some cheap consumables to heal them back up. I think the cleanest language would be to just state that they are dismissed. Otherwise, really neat idea.
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Mutt
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 12:41:35 PM »

Have taken the advice again and modified several abilities, most notably the Gamebreaker. Any ideas for a Core ability?
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Nuaurpy
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2014, 02:49:12 PM »

Have taken the advice again and modified several abilities, most notably the Gamebreaker. Any ideas for a Core ability?

Note: This needs a lot of fine tuning it's something I just threw together someone should be able to improve on this idea with no problem.

Working relationship: When you call on a contact that has the Undead, Elemental, or Outsider types, you may treat the persuation result as though it were 5 higher Also you may take 1d6 hours and spend 1 spell point for every 10 reputation to summon a contact with one of those types from any location.
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Mutt
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2014, 04:06:41 PM »

Okay, added the potential Core ability. I still feel like this class isn't complete though... I wonder why?
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Mutt
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2014, 01:52:07 AM »

This class has been very much overhauled! Instead of being an Arcane class, it now works on Divine rules. How's it looking?
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paddyfool
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« Reply #11 on: Today at 06:25:53 AM »

There are some very fun and evocative abilities here. I particularly like Sorcerer's Apprentice, and the sheer versatility of Path of Summoning. Path of Partnership is interesting, but I think the final step could give more. And I was looking into how this class might not work with two very different types of minion, but I can't see anywhere it doesn't. You could potentially even have a third option, Path of Leadership, focusing on the Followers feats and party buffs.

Not quite sold on the core ability or game breaker, though. The latter in particular could give more.
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