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.

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