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 Post subject: [HOMEBREW] Feat chain D&D 3.5 - Signs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:10 am 
In my quest to make Charisma a stat worth having to everyone and not just bards, paladins, sorcerors and diplomancers, I present the following. Hopefully they're not too overpowered, but still useful.

FLUFF:
In the frigid mountains far to the south grows a plant called Winterflax. Ordinarily, the plant is fatally toxic, but local peoples have long known that if properly prepared, the plant can be used to make a philter that fundamentally changes anyone who drinks it and lives. The most obvious effect is an ashen pallor, but it also forces open the drinker's mind, allowing them to perform a primitive form of magic, known to the locals as Signs. Less powerful than normal arcane spells, Signs are named such because all that is required to cast them is a single hand sign, unique to each spell. Because the somatics are so simple, Signs have no arcane armour failure chance, but require a free hand for the casting.
FLUFF ENDS

POISON - Whiteflax Philter
Craft DC20
DC 18 ingested
Initial damage 1d6 Con, 1d6 Int
Secondary damage 2d6 Con

Base Feat: Winterflax Eater
Prerequisite: If this feat is taken at any level other than 1st, you must have taken Winterflax philter and failed the first save.
You have eaten Winterflax and survived exposure to the normally deadly toxins. You have not been left unchanged, however, and your skin has taken on a slightly ashen cast.
Benefit:You receive a permanent +1 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves against poisons, but incur a -1 penalty to Diplomacy, Gather Information and Perform checks. You may also select a single Sign for which you meet the prerequisites to cast up to 2+Cha modifier times/day (minimum 1).

Subsequent feat: Extra Sign
Prerequisite: Winterflax Eater
Your practise of Signs has opened your eyes to further mysteries
Benefit. Choose any Sign for which you meet the prerequisites to cast up to 2+Cha modifier times/day (minimum 1). You may select this feat multiple times, but must choose a different Sign each time.

Signs:

Sign of Nus "Warning" (Su, Mind-affecting)
Prerequisite: None
Action: Immediate
You call your companions to action with a mental alarm, but the effort leaves you momentarily breathless.
During any surprise round in which you are not surprised, you may nominate any surprised ally to act instead of you. The target of this Sign acts in the surprise round with an effective Initiative score of 2 less than your own, and you are counted as surprised for this round. The target uses his own initiative on subsequent rounds. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Sign of Urd: "Flame" (Su)
Action: Standard
Prerequisite: Any creature without the Cold Subtype
You conjure a flame in the palm of your hand as a Standard Action. This flame provides light as a lamp (15/30ft) and lasts for a number of rounds equal to your character level. So long as the flame remains, it may be used to light torches, candles, campfires, etc, or may be thrown at any enemy within 10 feet, doing 1d4 damage + 1d4 for every five character levels as a ranged touch attack. Using the flame as an attack extinguishes it immediately.

Sign of Vor "Endurance" (Su)
Prerequisite: Con 13 or higher
Action: Standard
You take a moment to concentrate and strengthen your resolve. The enemy's weapons may cut your flesh, but cannot touch your strength of will.
Make a DC15 Concentration check as a Standard Action. If you succeed, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus to your Natural Armour. You may if you choose increase the check DC to gain a higher bonus (+2 bonus for a DC20 check, +3 for DC 25, etc) but a failed check gains nothing. The bonus lasts for a number of rounds equal to your character level.

Sign of Ir "Moon's Tears" (Su)
Prerequisite: Wisdom 13 or higher, 1 Sign known
Action: Standard
You turn your thoughts inward, and will your wounds to close. After a moment,
your pain lessens somewhat
As a standard action, you may heal yourself a number of HP equal to half your character level + Wis modifier, or heal a single adjacent ally for half that amount.

Sign of Jer "Forbiddance" (Su)
Prerequisite: 1 Sign known
Action: Immediate
As the enemy draws near, you block their progress with a blast of pure willpower that batters and buffets them
When an enemy attempts to enter a square adjecent to you, make an opposed check (Cha mod + level/2 vs Fortitude). If you win, the enemy is prevented from entering that square and their move action ends. If you fail the check, the enemy's movement is unaffected, but he takes 1d4 Force damage.

Sign of Kan "Obscured" (Su)
Prerequisite:Charisma 13 or higher, 2 Signs known.
Action: Immediate
Any time you can make an Attack of Opportunity, you may instead choose to attack your enemy's sight. Until the start of their next turn, the enemy is blinded unless he/she/it succeeds on a Fortitude save with a DC of 10+half your level+your Cha modifier.


Last edited by Daremonai on Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOMEBREW] Feat chain D&D 3.5 - Signs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Interesting...

We'll need poison stats for Winterflax philter, and a craft DC to make it from the plant. I recommend that the poison deals damage to mental abilities, and is relatively likely to be fatal to average people - otherwise, everyone would do it.

I'd also suggest that the prerequisite for taking the Winterflax Eater feat should be that you failed your save against the Winterflax Philter - otherwise the poison never enters the system.

As for the Signs: given that one is giving up a feat for each of these, and initially running the risk of character death, I think they're reasonable. They're mostly of a power similar to first level spells, aside from the ones that require you to know other signs. It probably won't unbalance game play to put these in a game - you have to use feats to get them, and they're not infinite.

One more thing I'd suggest: reduce the number of times per day to 2 + CHA modifier (minimum 0). The maximum number of spells per day from a Sorcerer is 6 per spell level (plus bonuses for high CHA), and as written, these signs exceed that too easily. Also, putting a minimum of 0 on the number of times per day makes it more useful to attack a Winterflax Eater's CHA.

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 Post subject: Re: [HOMEBREW] Feat chain D&D 3.5 - Signs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:43 pm 
I'll have to leave the more constructive discussion about balance to those who know more about that kind of thing. However, I do just want to say that I'm really liking this as a concept!

I can totally see what you're doing with the first Sign in particular - I can't count the number of times only one person in the party has been able to act in a surprise round... and they're the one who can't actually do a damn thing!
Giving your action over to someone else who can do something would be useful, but at the same time, I think care should be taken over the use this ability - it seems like it would be very easy to end up meta-gaming with it, eg the player might know that their friend has a secret spell or ability that would perfectly suit the situation, but the character wouldn't know this. So justifying the in-character use of the Sign on that party member becomes difficult... (if you see what I mean?).
No biggie though, it just takes sensible play and adjucation from players and DMs alike.

I think this little system makes for an interesting character background also. I'm actually of the impression that it would work really well in combination with Alastair's homebrew Witch class - it just has the same sort of feel to it.

One more thing I would suggest to make it slightly easier for the player to use the system - maybe the Signs themselves could have a sub-title that is a bit more descriptive of what the sign does. It just strikes me that the naming convention (nice as it is) would take a little while to become familiar with regards the properties of each Sign. But that's just me.


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 Post subject: Re: [HOMEBREW] Feat chain D&D 3.5 - Signs
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:36 pm 
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
Interesting...

We'll need poison stats for Winterflax philter, and a craft DC to make it from the plant. I recommend that the poison deals damage to mental abilities, and is relatively likely to be fatal to average people - otherwise, everyone would do it.

I'd also suggest that the prerequisite for taking the Winterflax Eater feat should be that you failed your save against the Winterflax Philter - otherwise the poison never enters the system.


How about:
Whiteflax Philter
Craft DC20 (to enable 1st-level characters to take the feats)
DC 18 ingested
Primary damage 1d6 Con, 1d6 Int
Secondary damage 2d6 Con

I reckon that should kill just about anyone who takes it, while still allowing a few to survive. Out of curiosity, I know you can choose to fail reflex and will saves - can you choose to fail fort?

Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
One more thing I'd suggest: reduce the number of times per day to 2 + CHA modifier (minimum 0). The maximum number of spells per day from a Sorcerer is 6 per spell level (plus bonuses for high CHA), and as written, these signs exceed that too easily. Also, putting a minimum of 0 on the number of times per day makes it more useful to attack a Winterflax Eater's CHA.


I had actually thought about this, and I'm tempted to meet you halfway (2+Cha mod, min 1), because those classes that have high charisma tend to have better spells anyway. Anyone else is putting good scores into what tends to be a dump stat otherwise.

And yeah, the Signs do need a "layperson's name" too, for easy identification. I'll have a think about those.

Thank you for your input!


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 Post subject: Re: [HOMEBREW] Feat chain D&D 3.5 - Signs
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:03 pm 
Initial post updated

- uses-per-day of signs altered
- "common" names added to each sign
- Details for Winterflax Philter added


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