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 Post subject: Drow retooling: Dark Blade and Shur
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:15 pm 
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So, one of my games recently became a contest between players to see whose character could become the most broken. One of the players wants to make a shur dark blade. Looking over those two things, I find 'em a little bit overpowered, and here's why . . .

Dark Blade:
The dark blade has a +1 BAB at every level after first. (Never mind that this is a bizarre break from how classes normally advance BAB.)
Sneak attack at first level, then a skipped progression before advancing sneak attack every other level like a rogue.
Evasion and uncanny dodge advancement.
Limited spellcasting.
Improved critical feat before 8th level.
Weapon Specialization, although by the time you get it around 13th level or so a +2 to damage is not a big deal.
Two good save categories.
Limited pool of roguish advanced abilities.

Over all, this is not just a prestige class, it's an uber class. Plus you can take it at 6th level. My first thought is to reduce the BAB to rogue standard, and maybe slow down the sneak attack.

The Shur:
+3 ECL. Gains drow abilities and some others.
Let's remove the drow abilities and a corresponding +2 LA. That leaves +1 LA accounting for:
Immunity to electricity and poison.
Acid, cold, and fire resistance 20.
Acid Arrow once per day as a spell-like ability.
Additional racial skill bonuses and stat bonuses.

The likely solution here is to raise the LA to +4, similar to the regular half-fiend template. (Also needs a new favored class, since having a prestige class as a favored class is redundant because prestige classes never cause a multiclassing XP hit, per the DMG.)

Input greatly appreciated!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2004 11:01 pm 
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Uh oh, sounds like another entry for the Power Gamer's series. :)

I'll let Jeff (the author) know about this one and see what he thinks...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:21 pm 
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Any word on this yet?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:22 pm 
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I asked Jeff, but haven't heard back from him yet. I don't have the book in front of me, but it does sound powerful based on what you're saying. Sometimes there are subtle things about how classes interact, or prereqs. One that I've encountered before is the Leadership feat being a prereq for a PrC; a lot of people seem to forget you need to be 6th level to take it. There might be something subtle there, or perhaps in Jeff's playtesting it just didn't come out as unbalanced as it has in your game (for whatever reason). But if it's overpowering in your game -- and it sounds like it is -- then I'd definitely recommend taking steps to correct it. Up the PrC prereqs, up the shur ECL, maybe even do something else if need be...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 2:33 am 
Changes are quite likely. Admittedly, getting to Dark Blade at level 6 requires some forethought -- you have to use a swashbuckler/ranger (which means you have to use the WotC Complete Warrior book, which is not a big stretch), but as I recall it does not require the Leadership feat (which would be a bit out of place for a loner assassin-type in any case).

Thanks!

Jess H.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:00 am 
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Oh, yeah, I know it doesn't require the Leadership feat. I just meant that as an example of a prereq for other PrC's that I've seen consistently misunderstood.

Anyway, if you do tweak it, I'd be interested in seeing what you do. Please feel free to post your conclusions here.

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 Post subject: Re: Drow retooling: Dark Blade and Shur
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:48 pm 
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Jesse Heinig wrote:
Dark Blade: Over all, this is not just a prestige class, it's an uber class. Plus you can take it at 6th level. My first thought is to reduce the BAB to rogue standard, and maybe slow down the sneak attack.

The Shur: The likely solution here is to raise the LA to +4, similar to the regular half-fiend template. (Also needs a new favored class, since having a prestige class as a favored class is redundant because prestige classes never cause a multiclassing XP hit, per the DMG.)


Jesse (and others),

Sorry for the delayed post (been on forced hiatus for a few months). Let me get to these errors:

Dark Blade - When I first created the Dark Blade it had some pretty steep requirements. To make it more appealing and available to players I lowered the requirements but forgot to slow down some of the abilities. The BAB progression should be rogue standard and the sneak attack could be reduced to +1d6 at 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th. Also, slow down the combat mastery to 5th and 10th levels only.

Shur - Let's break down the shur's level adjustment of +3. he has standard elven abilities that cause no adjustments (+2 Dex; -2 Con; Medium-sized; speed 30; Will save bonus vs. spells; sleep and enchantment magic save bonuses; a +2 skill bonus to Listen, Search, and Spot; and elven secret door detection). He also has a few drowic abilities for a +1 level adjustment (+2 Int; spell resistance; spell-like abilities; +2 skill bonus to Bluff and Hide; darkvision; and the light blindness penalty). Now for his demonic abilities which gives him a additional +2 level adjustment (+2 Cha; fly speed 60 (improved flight); resistances; and telepathy). So breaking down his level adjustments he gets +0 (elven standard) +1 (drow) +2 (demonic parent) = +3.

Shur and the Blackguard Favored Class - Yes, it is not typical for a race to take a prestige class as a favored class. However, the blackguard can also be used as a base character class if you use the "Fallen Paladin" rules on pg 183 of the 3.5e DMG. I should have included this information with the shur (or elsewhere in the book), but it got cut to add some other things before I turned in my final manuscript (my fault, not Goodman Games'). The blackguard line should read more like this:

"Shur, like many of the dark and evil denizens of demonic world, have their champions of evil as the mortals have their paladins and holy champions of good. These demonic champions are considered to be a special type of fallen paladin with the ability to convert their paladin levels to blackguard levels as a fallen paladin who takes the blackguard as a prestige class. The shur does not first need to be a paladin, however, choosing to instead become a blackguard at 1st level. A blackguard base character class has all of the abilities of the blackguard and of the paladin (as described under the "Fallen Paladin" entry in the blackguard prestige class)."

I hope this clears things up a bit. Any additional questions are welcome.

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Goodman Games Writing Credits: A few 3E DCCs, a Complete Guide, and a few books for Blackmoor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:46 pm 
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I was just curious on this, was how come the Shur don't have Fast Healing due to their demonic perantage side, as like the Half Demon Template, as well as the Highborn Feat due to most likely the Drow Noble Houses being able to breed the Shur only due to being in Lolth's favor?

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