Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rogue Options: Assassin (4E, 3.5E)

Before I continue I'd like to thank +Casey Peavler and +Ryven Cedrylle for their contributions to this blog post.  While I might not be able to put in everything they wrote word-for-word, their input has been a great help nevertheless.

Some of the rarer cutthroats of Shadow Port practice a very unusual form of assassination, a form of magic that some say was stolen from the Underworld by the Prince of Shadows himself.  It's rumored that the highest forms of this shadow magic are what the Prince of Shadows himself uses to perform his most brutal of murders.

What's to say is true?  No creature, living or undying, has apparently come back to tell the tale.

Re-Flavoring Suggestions

Inescapable Blade could very well be Flying Blade.
Leaping Shade mechanically doesn't fit anywhere, but since the fluff involves shrouds digging into your target's flesh, this could easily be Sneak Attack refluffed; same with Shadow Storm.
Shade Form is easily Shadow Walk, same with Assassin's Shroud and 3.5E Death Attack.
Black Lotus Strike could easily be a way of acquiring Momentum, then Momentum + Swashbuckler could easily be reflavored into any of the Critical Attacks (better work with the GM on this one).
Overall the theme in reflavoring would involve adding shadow manipulation and corruption magic to a lot of the stuff you do as an assassin-type Rogue.

New Talents

Shadow Weaver

As a quick action you can cause the shadows surrounding you to solidify in your hand into an object whose size is that of a Small one-handed weapon or smaller. The normal benefit is that you can quickly create a Small throwing dagger in situations where you find yourself weaponless, but other benefits may include creating shadow-made keys and the like.
Adventurer Feat: You gain +2 to a stealth-related background, preferably involving shadow magic. You can raise this background's bonus to +6 if you want.
Adventurer Feat: You can manipulate the shadows surrounding a Small nearby object as a quick action, whose effects last until the end of your next turn.  Possible uses include dousing lantern-sized sources of light, although other effects may be possible, just remember to run it with your GM first if possible.
Champion Feat: Once per battle the shadows you can manipulate with the above feat can be of your size.  Possible uses involve giving you bonuses to Stealth-related checks, or rendering at least one nearby enemy blind for a round. This turns the talent into a spell-like ability, which allows you to use Shadow Weaver as a ritual.
Epic Feat: Once per day for an entire battle, you can teleport to any nearby enemy, instead of moving normally.

Soul Thief

Whenever you gain Momentum after reducing an enemy to 0 hit points, you can choose to steal a soul and contain it in a soul shard, instead of gaining Momentum.  You can only hold on to one soul shard at a time, and the soul shard dissipates at the end of a heal-up.
Expending a soul shard is a free action during your turn, and it could
  • grant you Momentum if you don't have it already
  • be used to activate certain powers
Adventurer Feat: Once per battle, when you hit an enemy with a Rogue attack, you can expend a soul shard to inflict ongoing damage equal to your level + Charisma modifier.
Champion Feat: Once per day, you can expend a soul shard as a quick action to double your damage.

New Powers
Inescapable Blade
[Level 1 At-Will Soul Shard Power]
Melee Attack; Requires Soul Shard
Target: One nearby foe
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage.
Miss: --

Author's Note: Because this is a melee attack, this will still benefit from Sneak Attack if the requirements are met, even though it's done against a non-engaged enemy.

Shadow Storm
[Level 1 At-Will Shadow Weaver Power]
Melee Attack; Requires Shadow Weaver Talent
Target: One engaged foe
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage. The target takes additional damage equal to the number of creatures engaged with it, twice if the natural attack roll was even.
Miss: Damage equal to your level + the number of creatures engaged with it.

Shade Form
[Level 3 At-Will Soul Shard Power]
Quick Action; Requires Soul Shard
You gain resistance 12+ for the next attack against you before the end of your next turn.

Author's Note: This does stack with Roll With It.

Well of Shadows
[Level 3 Encounter Shadow Weaver Power]
Close Attack; Requires Shadow Weaver Talent
Target: 1d3 nearby enemies
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. PD
Hit: 1d6 per level + Dexterity damage, and the target is pulled towards you and is forced to engage with you.
Miss: Damage equal to your level.

Black Spider Strike
[Level 5 Momentum Power]
Melee Attack; Requires Momentum
Target: One engaged foe
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. PD
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage, and if the natural attack roll was even, the target takes ongoing damage equal to 1d4 times your level.
Miss: Ongoing damage equal to 1d4 times your level.

Temple Strike
[Level 5 At-Will Power]
Melee Attack
Target: One engaged enemy
Hit: Half of WEAPON + Dexterity damage, and the target is Weakened and Hampered until the end of its next turn.

Claim the Dead
[Level 7 At-Will Soul Shard Power]
Free Action; Requires Soul Shard
Expend a Soul Shard to spend a free recovery.

Assassin's Scalpel
[Level 7 Daily Momentum Power]
Quick Action, Requires Momentum
Target: One engaged enemy
The target is vulnerable to your attacks until you land a crit.

Note: Vulnerable in v.6 is "gains crit range 2+, usually to 18+"

Shadow Puppet
[Level 9 Daily Shadow Weaver Power]
Melee Attack, Requires Shadow Weaver Talent
Target: One engaged enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. MD
Hit: WEAPON + Dexterity damage, and the target is confused (save ends).  Until it saves from this effect, you can order the target around a bit, like have the target intercept enemies in your stead -- popping free from you if it must do so to fulfill your order -- and attack itself if it has no allies it can attack. Other hilarities, like making the target dance crazily, may be possible, although stuff like making the enemy walk towards a cliff and jump may grant the target free saves before that happens, as the GM may rule.
Miss: Half damage, and the target is dazed (save ends).

Reaper in Black
[Level 9 At-Will Soul Shard Power]
Ranged Attack, Requires Soul Shard
Target: One nearby creature
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. MD
Hit: 9d12 damage, and the target is stuck until the end of your next turn. In addition, the target and each nearby enemy is subject to fear.
Miss: Damage equal to your level.

New Feats
Murderous Talent Adventurer Feat: Any enemy whose HP is reduced to an amount equal to your level is reduced to 0 HP instead.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Forestfolk (3.5E, 4E)

The Wild Wood and other forests is home to a variety of unusual creatures.  Some are considered to be related to the Elves -- indeed, a few of these rare folk are also called "Fey" or fairy folk.

Three types of the rare fey will be discussed here: Springlings, Pixies, and Satyrs.

Springlings are a collection of plant-like creatures that each have developed a way to survive in the world.  Some are called "Hamadryads" by other races because of their resemblance to the beautiful dryads of legend, while the more fungi-like are often called "Myconids".  Others even call themselves Wilden because of their pride in being creatures of the wild, but regardless they are all plant-like humanoids each with his or her own way of doing things.

Pixies are a curious lot: they're extremely tiny creatures, smaller than even the gnomes and halflings, and are often helpless when tackling things individually.  However, once in awhile -- and for some odd reason it tends to be the pixie with the worst case of dandruff (you really wouldn't want to imagine the alternatives to explaining how "pixie dust" is made and extracted) -- exceptionally adventurous and capable pixies separate from the swarm and wander off into the world.

Satyrs are a fun-loving group of goat people, who are often seen with an unusual set of windpipes as a musical instrument.  If any satyr comes out of the forest and into the city, luck is sure to follow.

... just don't expect that luck to be the good sort.

Simple Reflavoring

For GMs who want a quick and dirty conversion that doesn't require the features below, feel free to reflavor Dwarves as Springlings, Gnomes as Pixies, and Demonspawns/Tieflings as Satyrs. For those who want more distinct mechanical differences, see below.


+2 CON or CHA
Biotal Defense: Once per battle as a reaction to a missed melee attack, make a check with your highest attribute against the nearby opponent that has the highest PD.  On a success, you can cause one engaged opponent to be dazed until the end of their next turn.
Author's Note: Please replace the word "biotal" with the type of defense your springling character uses.  For instance, Pheromone defense would likely involve charming enemies with enticing scents, while Thorn defense would likely involve either discouraging or hindering the enemy's attacks with the sudden appearance of thorns.
(Adventurer Feat): You can expend the use of your Biotal Defense to gain a +2 to any Charisma-based check, as long as it is appropriate to the method you normally use as defense.
(Champion Feat): Once per day you can affect each nearby enemy, instead of one engaged opponent.  At the end of a fight, you can either roll a 16+ or spend a recovery to regain the use of this feat.


+2 DEX or CHA
Pixie Dust: Once per battle you can cause yourself or a nearby ally to fly to a nearby location as a move action.
(Champion Feat): You can instead expend the use of your Pixie Dust as a standard action to manipulate light immediately around you for a round.  Normally this could either render you completely invisible for a round, or amplify the glitter of your pixie dust to create an astounding burst of light that would have you make a Charisma-based attack versus each engaged enemy and cause them to become dazed, but you'd probably want to discuss the effects and implications with the GM ahead of time as well.
Author's Note: If the GM is cool with it, this feat will allow you to treat Pixie Dust as a spell, allowing you to use this as part of a ritual if you are able to cast rituals (either by taking the wizard or cleric class, or taking the ritual caster feat).
Small: Pixies have a +2 AC bonus against opportunity attacks.

Author's Note: Even though they may appear to be smaller than gnomes or halflings, I personally see no reason why their basic mechanical benefits involving size should go beyond that of other small folk.  In fact, the mechanics that 4E introduce basically make them mechanically small (more or less), even though they were written as Size: Tiny.  I also didn't bother writing down the technicalities involving pixie flight and what not, under the assumption that it's the logical explanation for pixies being able to keep up with the rest of the group in terms of movement (much like how gnomes and halflings in 13th Age aren't actually penalized movement-wise for being small).


+2 CON or DEX
Satyr's Charm: Whenever you make a Charisma check involving charming, deceiving or scaring an opponent, roll a die to determine if you can re-roll the result. If your roll is equal to or lower than the escalation die, you can roll that Charisma check a second time and choose whichever result you want.
After making the Charisma check, roll a d6.  Each time you get to re-roll your Charisma check, the die you roll increases by one step in the following progression: d6, d8, d10, d12, d20. If you get to re-roll your Charisma check after the d20, you can no longer re-roll your Charisma check for the remainder of that battle.
(Champion Feat): You can roll two of the dice used for Satyr's Charm (e.g. 2d6 instead of 1d6) and pick either result.
Author's Note: Rather than explicitly give the Satyr a 1/battle dazing ability, I decided that everyone who wanted to bluff or intimidate an enemy into a compromising position should be able to do so, it's just that Satyrs simply do it better using their music and their natural charm.