Monday, January 22, 2024

Emirikol Class Modifications

An advantage to 3E’s robust, modular system was that things were really easy to modify for the milieu. I took the Aristorcrat as presented in the DMG (page 38) and added the following, culled from powers Chris Aylott’s Dynasties & Demagogues.

·       Estate Income: In addition to a high starting currency (6d8*10 GP at 1st level or an inheritance of +150 GP if you multi-class into aristocrat) and receives a monthly income of 15 GP per class level.

·       Patron: the Aristocrat can select a patron (with that patron's consent). When the Aristocrat evokes his patron's name he gains a +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate or Perform (Oratory) with people who would recognize the name. The aristocrat must follow his patron's orders: disobeying severs the relationship (unless the aristocrat makes amends). Severing a relationship removes this ability until the character gains another level of aristocrat.

·       Capable Servants: at 2nd level the Aristocrat develops a network of servants, giving a +1 circumstance bonus on Appraise, Gather Information and Knowledge checks when he can get his servants to do research for him (+2 at 6th level, +3 at 10th, +4 at 14th and +5 at 18th). The The results of the check come in 1d12 hours, but don’t require the PC to spend any time.

·       Word of Honor: at 4th level the Aristocrat can establish bonding handshake agreements between himself and another party in which both sides have obligations. Both the aristocrat and his partner make Diplomacy checks, the outcome of which is the DC of the other’s Will save to violate the agreement, which ends it for both parties.

·       Leadership: Aristocrats gain this feat automatically at 6th level.

·       Authority: at 8th level the Aristocrat gains a +2 on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Perform (Oratory) and Sense Motive checks with his followers. This increases by +1 every 4 levels thereafter.

·       Raise Troops: at 10th level, once per year the Aristocrat can double his number of followers for one month or for a specific, pre-stated goal (whichever comes first). His followers’ level ratios remain unchanged. This increases to x3 at 15th level and x4 at 20th.

·       Aura of Authority: at 18th level any character who can see and understand the Aristocrat must make a Will save (DC 25+ChaMod) to voice disagreement or disobey direct commands.

Given the amount of social interaction in the swashbuckling milieu this really boosted the class to PC levels, and two of the players immediately adopted it (mostly to get the network of capable servants).

I also tweaked Sorcerer to fit the setting more: the sorcerer now got 4 skill points per level, and I added a few new class skills to show fencing training (balance, intimidate, tumble) and a proficiency with a single martial weapon. This was when I saw sorcerers as obsessively focused fencing/spellcasters rather than the more standard ones that Bec envisioned, but the changes really were critical for the setting.

Likewise, fighters got tumbling and balance as class skills, as well as 2 extra skill points for not having the heavy armor option. Again, driving home setting with minor changes. Jim used his to generally improve physical skills till he gt to a +5 or 5 ranks in them, while Tom was more methodical and aimed for those 5 ranks and synergy bonuses whenever he could. It didn’t unbalance play.

Dave insisted that his Bardic Spells were Dramaturgy, and we went through and tweaked some of the lower level spells to have some stagecraft aspects (cure light wounds was drawing the wound onto a cloth, leaving a blood red cloth that simulated blood; detect secret doors gave a ‘sense of the stage’ or a general awareness of the entire space he was in, etc.)

There being so many little levers to push for flavor changing any one or two of them is not going to break the game in 3E. And the rules only have to apply to your table, so universal balance isn’t needed.

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