Thursday, April 23, 2009

3.75 Update: Wu Jen

Introduced in Complete Arcane, the Wu Jen has a trait in common with the other far-East inspired classes in the Complete Series:

It sucks.

The Wu Jen received next to no support from Wizards beyond its initial printing; while core casters got new spells in nearly every book, the Wu Jen got bonus spells and feats only in Complete Arcane and Complete Mage.

Oh, and one of their class features had a crippling drawback, motivating players to prestige out of the class as fast as possible. For those not familiar, the 3.5 Wu Jen's "Spell Secret" class feature allows a specific set of metamagic feats to be applied to a handful of spells for free, while giving the Wu Jen a "taboo," which, if violated, forbids any further spellcasting for the rest of the day. Quite simply, there was almost never a reason to play a Wu Jen. Wizards had identical stat requirements, the same HP/BAB/Saves chasis, and better casting. So, this rewrite will attempt to make the Wu Jen a bit better, hopefully making a counterpart to the Wizard, rather than an inferior Wizard.

Wu Jen

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6
Base Attack Bonus: Bad (as Wizard)
Good Save: Will
Bad Saves: Fortitude, Reflex
Skill Points Per Level: 2+INT
Class Skills: Appraise, Craft, Fly, Knowledge (Arcana, Geography, History, Nature, Planes), Linguistics, Perform, Profession, Spellcraft
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Wu Jen are not proficient with any form of armor or shield. Furthermore, wearing armor or carrying a shield may cause the Wu Jen's spells to fail. The Wu Jen is proficient with all simple weapons and with the longsword.
Class Features
1-Bonus Feat, Spirit - Watchful Spirit, Spellcasting
-Bonus Feat: At level one, a Wu Jen may select a bonus metamagic feat. She must meet all the prerequisites for this feat.
A Wu Jen's mystical connection to the world of magic grants her a Spirit Guardian to watch over her. She may call on the Spirit a number of times per day equal to half her class level plus her Wisdom modifier (rounded down, minimum once per day).
-Watchful Spirit: As a free action, a Wu Jen may spend 1 spirit to reroll her initiative in combat, adding one-quarter her class level to the roll (rounded down). This reroll is a free action but can only be attempted immediately after rolling initiative. The Wu Jen may choose to use the result of either roll, but the class level bonus only applies to the second roll.
A Wu Jen has the ability to cast Arcane spells taken from the Sorceror/Wizard spell list. In order to learn or cast a spell, the Wu Jen must have a Wisdom score equal to the spell's level plus ten. Any save DCs of a Wu Jen spell is determined by her Wisdom modifier. In addition, a Wu Jen gains bonus spells per day for having a high Wisdom modifier.
A Wu Jen must prepare her spells in advance like a wizard and requires 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in order to regain her spent spells.
A Wu Jen may cast only so many spells each day. Use Table 4-14 (The Wizard) to determine how many spells of each level a Wu Jen can cast each day.
A Wu Jen knows all 0 level spells and five level 1 spells at level 1 and learns three new spells from the Sorceror/Wizard list at each level that can be applied to any spell level known. Unlike a Wizard, a Wu Jen remembers her spells through a system of complicated mnemonics instead of with a spellbook, and cannot add to her list of spells known with scrolls.
2-Exotic Learning (1st Level)
-Exotic Learning
At every even class level, the Wu Jen gains a special list of spells known to reflect her exotic approach to the wiles of magic. Each time a Wu Jen gains this class feature, she may select a number of spells from the Wu Jen spell list (Complete Arcane) equal to her Wisdom modifier. These are called Exotic Spells. Exotic spells may of the level indicated by the class feature or lower.
Exotic Spells are not prepared and cast, but are cast spontaneously out of the Wu Jen's normal spell slots, exactly as a Cleric spontaneously casts cure or inflict spells.
In addition, a Wu Jen may choose to specialize in one of the five elements. If she does so, she must forbid 2 other elements, never learning any Exotic Spells from either (though she may learn them and prepare them as her normal spells if they appear on the Sorceror/Wizard list). If she does so, the Wu Jen gains one additional spell slot per day per spell level that cannot be filled with a prepared spell. She may only use this slot to cast Exotic Spells from her element of specialization.
If a Wu Jen's Wisdom score increases later, she does not retroactively learn new Familiar Spells.
4-Exotic Learning (2nd level)
5-Wrathful Spirit
-Wrathful Spirit: Starting at level 5, a Wu Jen may call to her Spirit Guardian for aid in the potency of her spells. As a Swift action, a Wu Jen may spend up to 1/5th her level in Spirit to raise the DC of the next spell she casts by an equal amount. If she does not cast a spell by the beginning of her next turn, the Spirit is lost with no effect.
6-Exotic Learning (3rd Level)
8-Exotic Learning (4th Level)
9-Protective Spirit
-Protective Spirit: Starting at level 9, a Wu Jen's Spirit Guardian takes a more active roll in her safety. Whenever she spends a Spirit to reroll her iniative, she gains a +1 circumstance bonus to her saving throws for the remainder of the encounter. Whenever she uses her Wrathful Spirit class feature she gains a +1 dodge bonus to Armor Class until the beginning of her next turn.
10-Exotic Learning (5th Level)
12-Exotic Learning (6th Level)
13-Vengeful Spirit
-Vengeful Spirit: Starting at level 13, a Wu Jen's Spirit Guardian becomes vicious in its defense of its master. When a Wu Jen is struck by a weapon attack (including natural weapons), she may spend 3 Spirit to make a touch attack (melee or ranged, whichever type of attack is required to reach the attacker) against her attacker. On a successful hit, the Wu Jen deals damage to the target equal to 1d6 per two class levels. A successful Fortitude save (DC=10+1/2 Wu Jen Class level+WIS modifier) halves this damage.
14-Exotic Learning (7th Level)
16-Exotic Learning (8th Level)
17-Fortuitous Spirit: Starting at level 17, the Wu Jen's Spirit Guardian gains the ability to warp fate in favor of his ward. As an immediate action, a Wu Jen may spend 2 Spirit to reroll a saving throw, adding one-quarter her class level to the roll. She may choose either result, but the class level bonus applies only to the reroll. She must decide to use this reroll before she knows whether her save has succeeded or failed.
18-Exotic Learning (9th Level)
20-Exotic Learning (Any Level)

The big differences between the 3.75 Wu Jen and Wizard are now a bit more pronounced. They cast from the same spell list, but with a few additional spells available to the Wu Jen. Though the Wizard has a slightly smaller list to choose from, the Wizard has no ceiling on his number of spells known. The Wu Jen may cast up to one extra spell per day per level via Elemental Specialization, but the wizard may do the same by specializing in a school. The Wu Jen has her Spirit Guardian, but lacks the Wizard's School Powers and has only one bonus feat to the Wizard's five. Perhaps the biggest difference is the Wu Jen casting off of Wisdom instead of Intelligence. The Wu Jen will have a better Will Save but fewer skill points each level. The attribute priority shift also makes the Wu Jen dovetail with other classes differently than the Wizard.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

3.75 Update: Marshal

Published in Miniatures Handbook at the dawn of 3.5, the Marshal was an option for buffing the party that wasn't a spellcaster. Like many of the early 3.5 classes (I'm looking at you, Hexblade), it was a cool concept that didn't age well. The concept was revisited a bit better with 4th Edition's Warlord, but I'm going to attempt to make Marshal hum a little better. Unlike a lot of 3.5 classes that need an update, the Marshal is a pretty clean class that doesn't need a lot retemplating (like the mess that is Rage Mage), so a little power level tweaking is all it will take.


Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d10
Base Attack Bonus: Average (as Rogue)
Good Saves: Fortitude, Will
Bad Save: Reflex
Skill Points per Level: 4+INT
Class Skills: Bluff, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (Local, Nobility, and Religion only), Linguistics, Perform, Perception, Ride, Sense Motive, Swim
Weapons and Armor Proficiency: The Marshal is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, all types of armor, and with shields (but not tower shields)
Class Features:
1-Skill Focus, Minor Aura (1 Known)
-Skill Focus: A Marshal's leadership training is more rigorous than most. As a result, he gains Skill Focus as a bonus feat at level 1. The Marshal may select Skill Focus to apply to any Marshal class skill.
-Minor Auras (Ex): Marshal Auras (Major and Minor) represent the skills of leadership exhibited by a Marshal. Auras bestow a competence bonus on all allies within 60 feet with and an intelligence score of at least 3, including the Marshal himself. Activating an Aura is a swift action, and once activated, an Aura lasts until the Marshal disables it (another swift action), activates another Aura of the same type (Major or Minor), or until the Marshal is rendered unconscious or dead (including normal sleep). Most Marshals activate their Auras each morning upon waking and allow them to persist until sleep.
At level 1, the Marshall learns one Minor Aura, taken from the Minor Aura list (see below). The Marshall learns one additional Minor Aura at every odd level.
Any bonus granted by a Minor Aura is a Competence bonus equal to the Marshal's charisma modifier.
2-Major Aura Bonus 1, Major Aura (1 known)

-Major Auras (Ex): At level 2, the Marshal learns his first Major Aura. The effects of Major Auras are more general than those of Minor Auras, but the Marshal learns comparatively few of them. Rather than relying on the Marshal's charisma bonus to measure effectiveness, Major Auras' effectiveness is based on the Marshal's Major Aura Bonus, which increases to 2 at level 5, and by one every 5 levels thereafter (thus, the Marshal's Major Aura Bonus is 1 at level 2, 2 and level 5, 3 at level 10, 4 at level 15, and 5 at level 20).
A Marshal knows one Major Aura at level 2, taken from the Major Aura list (see below). He learns one additional Major Aura every three levels thereafter (levels 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, and 20).
Note that since Major and Minor Auras both bestow Competence bonuses, their effects do not stack.
3-+1 Minor Aura Known
4-Shout 1/encounter, 1 known
Shout (Ex): Starting at level 4, a Marshal can let out a mighty shout to aid his allies. Using a Shout is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A Shout can only be used if the Marshal is capable of speech; thus, a pinned Marshal or a Marshal within the effects of Silence cannot use Shouts, but a Marshal that is merely grappled can. Shouts effect any ally within 60 feet with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher and capable of hearing the Marshal; an ally who is deafened, within the effect of Silence or otherwise unable to hear the Shout remains unaffected.
Unlike Auras, the Marshal himself is not affected by his own shouts.
At level 4, a Marshal knows 1 Shout and can Shout once each encounter. A Marshal can use any Shout he knows any number of times, up to his limit per encounter. A Marshal can shout one additional time per encounter for every 4 class levels (twice at level 8, three times at level 12, four times at level 16, and five times at level 20). A Marshal learns a new Shout at level 6, and every 4 levels thereafter (knowing 2 at level 6, 3 and level 10, 4 at level 14, and 5 at level 18). Shouts are chosen from Shout List (see below)
5-Major Aura Bonus 2, +1 Major Aura Known, +1 Minor Aura Known
6-+1 Shout Known
7-+1 Minor Aura Known
8-+1 Major Aura Known, Shout 2/Encounter

9-+1 Minor Aura Known
-Major Aura Bonus 3, +1 Shout Known
11-+1 Minor Aura Known, +1 Major Aura Known

12-Shout 3/Encounter

13-+1 Minor Aura Known

14-+1 Major Aura Known, +1 Shout Known

15-Major Aura Bonus 4, +1 Minor Aura Known

16-Shout 4/Encounter

17-+1 Minor Aura Known, +1 Major Aura Known

18-+1 Shout Known
19-+1 Minor Aura Known

20-Major Aura Bonus 5, +1 Major Aura Known, Shout 5/Encounter

Minor Auras:
-Accurate Strike: Bonus to rolls made to confirm critical hits.
-Art of War: Bonus to Combat Maneuver rolls your allies make and to your allies Combat Maneuver Defense.
-Focused Defense: Bonus to a single saving throw, chosen when the Aura is activated.
-Master of Opportunity: Bonus to armor class against attacks of opportunity.
-Tactical Strike: Bonus to weapon damage rolls against flanked enemies.
-Over the Top: Bonus to attack rolls while charging.
-Motivate Body: Bonus to skill checks and ability checks corresponding to a single physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution), chosen when the Aura is activated. If Dexterity is chosen, the bonus also applies to Initiative checks. This aura does not affect saving throws.
-Motivate Mind: Bonus to skill checks and ability checks corresponding to a single mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma), chosen when the Aura is activated. This aura does not affect saving throws.
-Supernatural Defense: Bonus to touch AC (but not normal AC).
-Relentless Mercy: Bonus to damage rolls dealing nonlethal damage.
-Cooperative Effort: Bonus to rolls to which at least one successful Aid Another has been used.
-Destructive Tactics: Bonus to damage rolls against objects.
-Fracture Supernatural Defense: Bonus to checks to overcome Spell Resistance.
-Puncture Resistance: Bonus to elemental damage against foes who possess the appropriate resistance (for example, a bonus to fire damage, but only against foes who possess Fire Resistance). Puncture Resistance cannot add more damage than the resistance it is overcoming.

Major Auras:
-Hold the Line: Damage Reduction/- equal to bonus.
-No Mercy: Bonus to weapon damage rolls.
-Guided Strike: Bonus to melee attack rolls or ranged attack rolls, chosen when the Aura is activated.
-Defensive Stance: Bonus to armor class.
-Motivated March: Bonus to land speed, climb speed, fly speed, or swim speed equal to 5 times your Major Aura Bonus, chosen when the Aura is activated. Allies who do not already posses a move speed of the corresponding type does not gain a benefit from this aura.
-Resilience: Bonus to all saving throws.
-Physical Might: Bonus to all skill and ability checks that correspond to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution, including Initiative checks. This Aura does not affect saving throws.
-Mental Superiority: Bonus to all skill and ability checks that correspond to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. This Aura does not affect saving throws.

-"Forward March!" - All affected allies may immediately take a move action.
-"Never Give Up!" - All affected allies gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your Marshal level. Allies below half their maximum hit points instead gain double your Marshal level in temporary hit points. Temporary hit points granted this way overlap (do not stack).
-"Snap Out of It!" - All affected allies currently affected by a Mind-Affecting ability that allows a saving throw to end or negate may immediately make a Saving Throw against each such effect currently affecting them. On a successful save, the effect ends. Each ally may use your saving throw modifier if it is better than their own.
-"There's Nothing to Fear!" - All affected allies who are panicked become frightened. All affected allies who are frightened become shaken. All affected allies who are shaken cease to be shaken.
-"Incoming!" - All affected allies gain a miss chance against ranged attacks until the end of your next turn. The miss chance is 10% for each rank of your Major Aura Bonus.
-"Watch Yourself!" - All affected allies gain a miss chance against melee attacks until the end of your next turn. The miss chance is 10% for each rank of your Major Aura Bonus.
-"On Your Feet!" - All affected allies who are prone may immediately stand up as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
-"Be Yourself!" - All affected allies who are under the effect of a Polymorph effect may immediately make a saving throw to regain their normal form, even if the effect does not usually allow a save to end. Each ally may use your saving throw modifier if it is better than their own.
-"Fall Back!" - All affected allies may immediately make a full withdrawl.
-"We Are Unstoppable!" - Each affected ally gains total cover against the next attack directed against them until the end of your next turn.
-"Make Them Bleed!" - Each affected ally may immediately make a single attack. Treat this attack as an attack of opportunity in regards to what actions may be performed, but this attack does not count against the ally's limit of attacks of opportunity each round. Allies armed with ranged weapons may make ranged weapon attacks.
-"Find Their Weakness!" - The next weapon attack made by each affected ally automatically threatens a critical hit if it hits. This shout has no effect on allies that do not make a weapon attack before the end of your next turn or allies whose attack misses.
-"Stand Your Ground!" - Each affected ally gain a dodge bonus to Armor Class and a bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense equal to your Major Aura Bonus. These bonuses lasts until the end of your next turn or until that ally moves.
-"Regroup!" - Each affected ally gets a +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity provoked by movement.
-"Focus!" - Each affect ally gets a +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity that are not provoked by movement.