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    Canonfire :: View topic - Greyhawk specific core classes
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    Greyhawk specific core classes
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    Kobold Pinata

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002
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    Wed Jul 09, 2003 8:14 am  
    Greyhawk specific core classes

    Ever seen the Wheel of Time d20 book?

    Instead of just limiting itself to Prestige Classes (PrC's) for customizing the world through the characters, it went and created half a dozen new core classes.

    Is anyone interested in this? I've been working on a barbarian class based on the Unearthed Arcana version which I think is 'truer' to GH than the 3rd ed one.

    I'd also like to create some of the other 1st ed classes and recreate some 2nd ed 'kits' as core classes in 3rd ed. Things like the assassin as a core class, the thief-acrobat and cavalier.

    Of course, just because it's not in a book, doesn't mean it couldn't be a GH core class. Are there any suggestions you have for core classes that would suit GH?
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 09, 2003 10:29 pm  

    This is something I've toyed with as well, to give a greater variety of PCs without having to wait for prestige classes or mess with multiclassing. Some ideas I had but haven't fleshed out are:

    Rangers by terrain type or region
    Bards by race or culture
    Fighters by fighting style (ranged focus, melee focus, two weapon focus, etc)
    Wizards by casting approach (spellsingers, tattoo mages, etc)

    Give me some time to work out the details and I'll post some examples here.
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    Kobold Pinata

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    Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:56 am  

    chatdemon wrote:
    Rangers by terrain type or region
    Bards by race or culture
    Fighters by fighting style (ranged focus, melee focus, two weapon focus, etc)
    Wizards by casting approach (spellsingers, tattoo mages, etc)

    This is why I wish I could create a half decent system of feats and powers for D&D. I truly love the D&D system, I really do, but classes are a pet peeve.

    It'd be so much better just to have one power structure in which combinations of feats and skills bought each level are what determine the character.

    That way, you could have any type of character you wanted, without the need for creating individual classes and PrC's.

    But they'd never do that... there's more money in PrC's...

    Anyway, I digress, I like the idea of rangers by terrain type and bards by race or culture. I used to have the 2nd ed 'Complete Guide to Bards' book in which it detailed all sorts of bards. And rangers would vary greatly between cultures and could even be supported in more 'civilized' lands. I mean, we still have rangers today, right?

    Here's something I've worked on before (aside from my already posted St. Cuthbertine Paladin :) ). It's a rough conversion of the barbarian from Unearthed Arcana. The UA version was IMMENSELY broken... and people say d20 is for munchkins, sheesh! Anyway, it was hard to convert and I, quite simply, had to delay some abilities till later levels, but I think it's still got the 'flavour' of the original.

    3rd ed. UA Barbarian

    Like rangers by terrain type, I've tried to create some variation in ability by region for the barbarian. It's all a bit of a mess but you can get the gist of what I'm going for with the 'Barbarian Sub-type' section.
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    CF Admin

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    Fri Jul 11, 2003 4:58 pm  

    Even now that I'm running a campaign, I don't buy many RPG products. However, Green Ronin's Master Class series appeals to me for exactly the reasons mentioned above. I've used The Witch's Handbook to create a fun NPC (not in the limelight) but have not yet used any of the others in game. Still I like them and believe they can complement core classes (and prestige classes too), e.g. some "assassins" may use the prestige class but others (of the Scarlet Brotherhood?) may be trained from birth to kill covertly.
    Kobold Pinata

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    Fri Jul 11, 2003 5:26 pm  

    What's the Master Class series about? I've never heard of it.
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    CF Admin

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    Sat Jul 12, 2003 10:14 am  

    Of the series I own: The Shaman's Handbook, The Assassin's Handbook, The Witch's Handbook, and The Avatar's Handbook. Each book presents a new core class along with associated prestige classes, feats, monsters, templates, skills, spells, etc. Visit Green Ronin's website: http://www.greenronin.com/ for more 411.
    Novice

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    Thu Jul 31, 2003 9:20 am  
    Greyhawk Specific Classes: Are they needed?

    One of the things that I like about the D20 system is the flexibility. I've played 1st ed, 2nd ed, 3rd ed, and soon 3.5 ed (or whatever marketing scheme Wizards/Hasbro comes up with). In every case I've always heavily modified the rules towards story telling rather than Hak'n'Slash (TM).

    I may have been fortunate in my players in that they prefer to scale their characters to the story, choose skills and feats and abilities that reflect their characters background, the history of their people, etc. etc.

    With the flexibility of the D20 system you can create characters, or create regional preferences as indicated in other posts above, without having to create specific classes to represent those preferences.

    With my current campaign set in the Duchy of Urnst, the gnomes and dwarves take skills and feats that reflect their tendency to fight in close quarters. On the other hand, many of the humans in the region are mounted, and take the mounted feats that reflect their tendency to fight from horseback.

    Which puts human knights and men-at-arms at a disadvantage on foot or in a tunnel, and dwarven or gnome fighters at a disadvantage in the rolling hills or grasslands: but this reflects a realistic definition of advantages and disadvantages specific to culture, region and race without having to create specific classes for each.


    --Mario
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    Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:16 pm  

    Hey Mario, others.

    I agree that Feats, Skills, trappings, and descriptions help greatly to customize characters. Creating new core classes may also be useful for modeling distinctive characters.

    While I have not played 3e for the past three years straight, I DM 3e (now 3.5e) presently. There are many changes I'd love to effect to better represent my GH campaign. Selecting from the myriad d20 offerings helps, e.g. core Feats and Skills represent Nehelian Horseriders adequately, but to represent the witches of the Flanaess, I greatly enjoy Green Ronin's Witch's Handbook.
    Kobold Pinata

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    Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:36 pm  

    Looks like we'll be treated to a bunch of regional Greyhawk feats from the respected Iquander in an up and coming Dragon article. Something to look forward to!
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    Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:31 am  
    Core Classes

    Greetings all,

    Well, when in doubt remember the Cardinal Rule of gaming: "The rules are a guideline, change them as you will to make a good game." Happy


    --Mario
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    Fri Aug 08, 2003 8:03 pm  

    Not to derail the thread completely, but I must second Marc's recommendation of the Green Ronin Master Class series. Shaman's Handbook especially. They do a great job of providing alternatives for players without falling into the 'more power captain!' trap that a lot of the D20 stuff has. Even now, having taken my game back to my 1e/2e roots, I still loot those books for ideas heavily.
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    CF Admin

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    Mon Aug 11, 2003 9:07 pm  
    Whither the "spirit world" of Greyhawk?

    The Shaman's one was my first purchase; I like it less than the Witch's one. While the idea remains good (indeed this book seems derivative of the 2e Shamans product by TSR/Wizards -- which itself was basically a reprint of the Role Aids product), I've run into problems incorporating the class into my Greyhawk campaigning: while Peter Ouimette has offered great suggestions, the cosmology of GH lacks an explicit "spirit world."

    Neither the Astral, nor the Ethereal Planes seem adequate (although the latter is probably a better candidate). Lately, I've wondered if a mixture of the Ethereal with the demi-planes of Shadow and Dream would work...
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:02 am  

    So has anyone done much with Greyhawk-specific classes since this thread died? I'd be interested to hear how you've modified current classes, created new classes (or PrCs), or incorporated 3rd party materials into GH.
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:20 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    So has anyone done much with Greyhawk-specific classes since this thread died? I'd be interested to hear how you've modified current classes, created new classes (or PrCs), or incorporated 3rd party materials into GH.


    I've modified the idea of prestige classes so for me they have more of a 1st edition feel. First I go through and look for classes which do or do not seem like Greyhawk to me. I compile them on the computer and rate them with 1-4 stars, and if some idea jumps to mind right away in regards to Greyhawk, I make notes.

    The next step is removing the actual prestige class concept (to a degree). I place the prestige class in a religion, school, or organization of some sorts. I keep the requirements the same. The prestige class no longer counts as a character nor class level. If someone wants to take the prestige class, they must approach the organization, religion, etc. and be deemed worthy to learn the abilities.

    The PC then accepts the prestige class and may learn the first ability on the list for level 1. Since taking it doesn't count against their class levels, I balance it out with XP reduction when the character earns their XP.

    When the individual goes up a level in their regular class (say wizard for example), they are eligible for the level 2 ability the prestige class offered. If they take it, again their XP reduction increases. This process continues as the character develops.

    If the player chooses to not select an ability offered by the prestige class they can skip it. If a later ability requires a lesser ability that they skipped, they are not eligible for it until the lesser one is taken. You must take the prestige class abilities in order unless you skip one. If you do skip it, you can go back later and take it when you go up your next character level.

    I wasn't a fan of prestige classes and don't care for how easy they make it to jump from one class to the next.

    I limit the new character classes from other books as well. If I do accept one it is more regional in the world where I think it fits in. It doesn't receive the same "overall" effect of the core PH classes.
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    Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:12 pm  

    True20 may appeal to some of y'all. Basically, it's d20 with only three classes (Warrior, Adept, and Expert). Feats are gained at every level, and spells are basically feats by another name. And there's no hit points, but a damage track system.

    It would be simplicity itself to design regional feats (or feat trees) for this system.

    Telas (who is currently experiencing a gamer crush on Savage Worlds)
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    Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:06 am  

    I use two customized classes for my Greyhawk game:

    A terrain based ranger that is much stronger on his home turf than off of it. In addition to "forest,"or "desert," if the ranger will declare the "Dim Forest," his "terrain," he or she gains additional advantages in that forest for skills, attacks, saves, etc. The trade off is that other forests do not give as much of an advantage, and being out of their terrain imposes negatives. The class has been in constant play for over 4 years and is much more popular than the written class.

    The other class i have used is the Noble. There is a version published on CF!, but I have revised this some since. Basicallly this is a "noble," person, not one born to status. It is a skill based non-rogue. The niche that paladin supposedly fills (party leadership and charismatic negotiator) has always been confounded by the deific/religous requirement. The noble class depends upon charisma, reputation, skills, wisdom and savoir faire. If they misbehave, they can loose their status and with it, some of their abilities. Unlike some other classes, they cannot atone after a few misjudgments. I have played it, and i have people who are playing it, and overall we have really enjoyed it, if you are in a game that has heavy roleplaying/character interaction requirements.

    I also used higher level npc classed characters more than most games. I find that the classes work well, and can present a challenge when done properly. I have toyed with the idea of a "savage," npc class. This is for the simple reason that the warrior is not quite adequate for a npc barbarian, but a whole tribe of barbarians with PC classes is not quite believeable.

    I have also toyed with a "alchemist," class, though it may be NPC. However, other than these I have found only limited use of new core classes. The original ones (beside ranger and paladin) have been very flexible.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:54 pm  
    Re: Whither the "spirit world" of Greyhawk?

    mtg wrote:
    The Shaman's one was my first purchases. While the idea remains good, I've run into problems incorporating the class into my Greyhawk campaigning: the cosmology of GH lacks an explicit "spirit world."

    Neither the Astral, nor the Ethereal Planes seem adequate (although the latter is probably a better candidate). Lately, I've wondered if a mixture of the Ethereal with the demi-planes of Shadow and Dream would work...


    Not a fully-developed spirit world, but the LGG does say that several cultures worship their ancestral spirits. With a little tweaking, one can use the shaman rules to create a character powered by the spirits of the dead of his/her culture.

    Here are some things I've done along those lines...
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=324

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=327

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=333

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=340

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=349
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    Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:09 pm  

    Anced_Math wrote:
    I use two customized classes for my Greyhawk game:

    A terrain based ranger that is much stronger on his home turf than off of it. In addition to "forest,"or "desert," if the ranger will declare the "Dim Forest," his "terrain," he or she gains additional advantages in that forest for skills, attacks, saves, etc. The trade off is that other forests do not give as much of an advantage, and being out of their terrain imposes negatives. The class has been in constant play for over 4 years and is much more popular than the written class.


    I use a similar idea in my 2e elven class of "Faroth", basically an elven ranger/archer with home turf based abilities.

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=468
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    Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:46 pm  

    I base out of the Yeomanry, and I can see both a Yeoman core class (outdoorsy light fighter with spear specialties and a short "favored enemy" list), and a Dustdigger core class (Rogue minus Sneak Attack, but with some divination and protective spells).

    I'd also like to redo the Swashbuckler core class for the Hold of the Sea Princes, and even rework the Monk to fit a more Suel vibe.

    I haven't drawn them up, simply because I'm considering Savage Worlds and waiting for 4E to 'show us its quality'.

    Telas
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    Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:44 pm  

    Telas wrote:
    I base out of the Yeomanry, and I can see both a Yeoman core class (outdoorsy light fighter with spear specialties and a short "favored enemy" list), and a Dustdigger core class (Rogue minus Sneak Attack, but with some divination and protective spells).

    I'd also like to redo the Swashbuckler core class for the Hold of the Sea Princes, and even rework the Monk to fit a more Suel vibe.

    I haven't drawn them up, simply because I'm considering Savage Worlds and waiting for 4E to 'show us its quality'.

    Telas


    Send 'em in! Send 'em in! 4e's gonna suck! Savage Worlds is under-supported! Send in your d20 Greyhawk classes, please!

    Not that I'm biased or anything... Wink
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    Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:49 am  

    Hey, Bubba, why have you suddenly developed a penchant for exhuming dead threads? Have you come over all necromantic?

    Kudos to you, however, because this is a bloody interesting one Cool
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    Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:46 pm  

    I'm dangerous when I get bored. Things start...getting bumped...
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    Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:57 pm  

    Telas wrote:
    I base out of the Yeomanry, and I can see both a Yeoman core class (outdoorsy light fighter with spear specialties and a short "favored enemy" list), and a Dustdigger core class (Rogue minus Sneak Attack, but with some divination and protective spells).

    I'd also like to redo the Swashbuckler core class for the Hold of the Sea Princes, and even rework the Monk to fit a more Suel vibe.

    I haven't drawn them up, simply because I'm considering Savage Worlds and waiting for 4E to 'show us its quality'.

    Telas


    The Yeoman I can definately see being useful, though it sounds more like a good NPC class that a player can make gold, rather than a PC class that NPCs could use. A player could just play a ranger and be done with it. If you don't like the spells, use the spellless version from Complete Warrior.

    I'm curious about your swashbuckler redo, and the monk redo. I've found swashbuckler fits pretty much anywhere for either the poor sailor with a flair for the dramatics, or the noble with that daring "darker" adventuring side. I won't ever claim to be a Greyhawk expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I've got to admit I'm curious how you'd change it that a regional feat wouldn't fix. But then I love conjecture and debate. :)

    And I've got ask too, though not necessarily Telas - What about the Suel would warrant a special change to the monk class? I run in Keoland and have some very suel characters (though none close to Brotherhood level suel - nothing that dramatic). My players love backstory (gives us somethign to talk about between our monthly sessions) and are completely new to Greyhawk. So anything you can give me or direct me too that I can share would be great.

    Thankfully with PHBII and Unearthed Arcana WOTC gave us the tools to do the changes to the classes with alternate abilities, giving us a direct idea of what equals what in their figuring of game balance. I'm quite good at balancing the system, if anyone needs any feedback on it at all.

    Anywhoo, that's all for now.
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    Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:20 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    The Yeoman I can definately see being useful, though it sounds more like a good NPC class that a player can make gold, rather than a PC class that NPCs could use. A player could just play a ranger and be done with it. If you don't like the spells, use the spellless version from Complete Warrior...


    Just to clarify my intentions, I'm not really interested in better character builds or ways to make classes work better in a Greyhawk setting. Rather, I'm curious as to what classes people have constructed to generate a "feel" that is more Greyhawk-specific. I'm especially interested in the reasoning that went into the design of such character classes. I have two goals in reviving this thread: 1) Frankly, I want to steal your ideas. I really like the idea of setting-specific classes and I don't have the time to design them myself, and 2) I'm curious as to what people feel is "Greyhawky" and how they design that feel into the setting.
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    Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:03 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:

    I'm curious about your swashbuckler redo, and the monk redo.

    And I've got ask too, though not necessarily Telas - What about the Suel would warrant a special change to the monk class?


    From the top: I find that Ranger is too wilderness-specific, and I wanted a light infantryman with spear proficiencies and some wilderness skill. I did admittedly use the Ranger class as a starting point, at least in my head.

    I thought someone from the HotSP should be more rogue-y than swash-y, if that makes sense... :) They're not Errol Flynn pirates, they're Blackbeard pirates. Although some of the "nobles" would admittedly probably be more swash than rogue. ;)

    The Monk draws on ki. The Suel draw on an innate ability with magic. That's the start of the difference - I was basically merging Monk with Sorcerer (or Warmage, to be more accurate). They'd be able to cast very limited self-buff spells, instead of having innate abilities. IMC, the Scarlet Brotherhood were a Suel attempt to mimic the Baklunish Monks (who do draw on ki).

    Telas
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    Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:43 am  

    Telas wrote:
    From the top: I find that Ranger is too wilderness-specific, and I wanted a light infantryman with spear proficiencies and some wilderness skill. I did admittedly use the Ranger class as a starting point, at least in my head.


    Since spears are simple weapons, proficiency isn't really the issue. It sounds more like you want some specific extra proficiency, which might make sense. A progression that gives Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization in exchange for other things (in place of the two-weapon fighting feats perhaps). Since this is a line soldier (even if one they are famous for), it still sounds more like a NPC class, or specialized PC class; but in any case. My suggestion would be d8 hit points, good fort saves, good base attack progression, 4+Int skills per level, 8 skills (to include profession, spot, listen and survival, given the emphasis on their role as soldiers with a bit of survival training), start with Simple weapons, Bow proficiencies, (but not martial, slight trade off), light and medium armors, Weapon Focus: Long Spear (or whatever), and get spear related feats along the same lines as the ranger gets its two-weapon/ranged feats. You get someone slightly better than a warrior, but very focused on his specific weapons, and a bit more skilled soldier/guard. It also has a very different feel than a warrior or fighter, who could very easily fill the same role without trying.

    I'll add some more input on the others later.
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    Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:11 am  

    Just a note on this: All I can really comment on is mechanics here, since I know those well. If my assumumptions are wrong, let me know, and I'll adjust. Class is design is a game of give and take until balance, playability, and flavor all have equal seats at the table.

    Yeomen in all references I have seen were light infantry with bows and spears. If I'm wrong on this, let me know.

    As for the monk, aside from a slight bit of swap out of abilities (if necessary at all), and a flavor change, I don't see where actual changes to the class are necessary. Maybe a new set of bonus feats which uniquely set apart the Suel Monk from all others. It seems to me, based on what I know of the Suel Imperium, and its survivors, that the stunning fist and deflect arrows feats won't work flavor wise, but I'm not sure what would in its place.

    More later.
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    Fri Jan 18, 2008 2:55 pm  

    MikelAmroni wrote:
    Telas wrote:
    From the top: I find that Ranger is too wilderness-specific, and I wanted a light infantryman with spear proficiencies and some wilderness skill. I did admittedly use the Ranger class as a starting point, at least in my head.


    Since spears are simple weapons, proficiency isn't really the issue. It sounds more like you want some specific extra proficiency, which might make sense.


    Exactly; I probably should have used another term, such as 'abilities' or 'expertise'. D&D redefines too many words for its own use... Sad

    Regardless, to make the class more PC worthy, I was kicking around a few feats or abilities tied specifically to the Longspear, like 'choking up' to threaten at 5', or the ability to throw it, or an AC or AoO bonus.

    On the NPC side, I was messing around a bit with a 'collaborative effort' bonuses, similar to Phalanx Fighting or Swarmfighting: Every X levels, you gain another +1 AC/attack when fighting next to another Yeoman. Another thought was a bonus against certain traditional enemies of the Yeomanry (Giants, certain Humanoids, etc), similar to the Ranger's Favored Enemy.

    I wanted to change the Monk as much as possible, to keep the PCs in the game off balance. The Suel Monk would be part D&D Monk, part Sorcerer, and part Assassin. I did want to steer clear of the Ninja-type classes, however. I will admit to not spending as much time on this one as I wanted, and now that I'm leaning towards Savage Worlds, I may not get the chance to finish either... *shrug*

    Telas
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    Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:25 am  

    Telas wrote:

    Exactly; I probably should have used another term, such as 'abilities' or 'expertise'. D&D redefines too many words for its own use... Sad


    I was just making sure I understood you. Specific terms non-withstanding Happy

    Telas wrote:

    Regardless, to make the class more PC worthy, I was kicking around a few feats or abilities tied specifically to the Longspear, like 'choking up' to threaten at 5', or the ability to throw it, or an AC or AoO bonus.


    Wouldn't make a bad feat tree at all. In fact, there is already a feat for choking up, its called Short Haft or something similar. You treat the butt of a polearm as a close in weapon, it does 1d6 plus strength damage. It does inflict a -2 attack penalty though, as you are working against the entire length, weight and purpose of the weapon. It takes a move action to switch your hold on the weapon.

    A future feat could eliminate that penalty, and another could make switching holds a swift (free) action. That last one would effectively allow you to threaten anyone within either 5' or 10' of you. A Combat Reflexes monkey would be ruthless on charging foes. That sort of ability would make a shieldwall all that much scarier. Maybe a feat higher in the tree would allow a second AoO on the same guy if he charges you, or through you threatened area.

    Telas wrote:

    On the NPC side, I was messing around a bit with a 'collaborative effort' bonuses, similar to Phalanx Fighting or Swarmfighting: Every X levels, you gain another +1 AC/attack when fighting next to another Yeoman. Another thought was a bonus against certain traditional enemies of the Yeomanry (Giants, certain Humanoids, etc), similar to the Ranger's Favored Enemy.


    I would just give them Phalanx Fighting, reworking the fluff so it works for the spearwall. In fact it might make a good regional feat, giving their base troops a leg up against others who may have learned the class, but not the technique.

    Telas wrote:

    I wanted to change the Monk as much as possible, to keep the PCs in the game off balance. The Suel Monk would be part D&D Monk, part Sorcerer, and part Assassin. I did want to steer clear of the Ninja-type classes, however. I will admit to not spending as much time on this one as I wanted, and now that I'm leaning towards Savage Worlds, I may not get the chance to finish either... *shrug*


    The problem is you're pretty much descring the Ninja class, or at least one that is mechanically identical. As far as a monk rebuild, maybe give them better magic resistance in exchange for perfect body or some other major ability. I tend to lean towards renaming the current abilities before I create new ones, because generally if you ignore the fluff of how some abilities work, and change the description, you get a "new" ability the player's aren't used to, but not one that's a nightmare for you to run. I'll be honest, my biggest issue with the ninja itself is not its concept, but the fact that they tie so much into invisibility, and not tactics, which is more the conceptual basis. Maybe change the sudden strike to sneak attack, change all the "Ki" abilities to "Magic" and rename some feats so you can combine them well with other classes. The martial stalker (Ranger/Ninja) and I think Aestitic Stalker (Monk/Ninja) feats do that (as does the one for Sorcerer/Ninja - I see no reason a wizard/ninja couldn't exist), so a bit of a rename and voila, you have a class you can use and feats to make seeing three (or four) not equal seeing the same builds.

    Also, don't forget, just because you call him a monk, doesn't mean he isn't a wizard/rogue. He's bound by his vows, and by his rank, he's a monk. "Monk's don't sneak attack or cast Melf's Acid Arrow! Let alone BOTH!"

    But then I'm famous for just surprising my players with the skill choices my NPCs sometimes make (even if it makes sense for the particular NPC). Just ask my players about the tumbling hill giant *eg*
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