Drow Stepmaker (3.5e Class)
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- 1 Stepmaker (generally Drow)
- 1.1 Prerequisites
- 1.2 Making a Stepmaker
- 1.3 Ex-Stepmaker
- 1.4 Epic Stepmaker
- 1.5 Discussion
Stepmaker (generally Drow)
There is threw three (^*^)
This class is made as fighter, rescuer or controller of something. Three variants: Greate House figure placed in shadows, brave fighter or insolent scout of the Underdark.
Any alignment other than Chaotic Good or Lawful evil
Elves, generally Female Drow.
Arcane Magic users. Divine magic prohibited.
Making a Stepmaker
Strong points: Fighter with Arcane abilities. Charged attack. Innate ability.
Weak points: The need to keep their arcane abilities a secret. Cautious attack. Half energy spells.
Abilities: some as figther, moderate as spellcaster.
Races: Drow (not only).
In fact this class is designed for Drow women who discover magical abilities. Other races, such as elf, who need or want to hide innate Arcane ability may take it. The class was made for Drow females, hence the name.
For Drow (women): Usually it's a family advantage to secretly have a caster in the clan. People may hide their arcane skills for personal reasons. This is hard. The woman with arcane skills may act like a ranger or any other class. Arcane knowlege is male business in the drow society. She can not ever hope to be House Mother. But she can use her advantage in this life with one rule: "make step safely".
For other races: Life is easy, but you prefer to hide magical abilities. Elf character take less penalty - no innate ability.
No elf character take penalty - no innate ability, two "blank" levels, before (6 and 9). As result character gets 12 level in the end of progress in this class. But not elf get Hit Die d8. "Blank" means no specials, no spells - atack bonus and saving throws grows normaly.
Alignment: neither Chaotic good, nor Lawful evil.
Starting Gold: unimportant.
Starting Age: Simple (family training) or Moderate (on one's own / independently).
|Saving Throws||Special||Spells per Day||Powers|
|1st||+1||+0||+0||+2|| Armor Proficiency (light armor),
Combat or Arcane Bonus Feat, School of magic
|2nd||+2||+0||+0||+3||Combat Spell Trigger or Armored Caster||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+4||+1||+1||+4|| Weapon Proficiency (simple weapon), Silk Armor*, Innate Ability
|5th||+5||+1||+1||+4||Infer Spell or Defensive Study||3||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+7/spell 0 lvl||+2||+2||+5|| Weapon Proficiency (martial weapon), Armor Proficiency (medium armor),
Combat or Arcane Bonus Feat, School of magic
|8th||+8/spell 1 lvl||+2||+2||+6||Craft Magic Arms and Armor or Armored Caster||4||3||2||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||1||—||—|
|9th||+9/spell 2 lvl||+3||+3||+6||4||3||3||2||1||—||—||—||—||—||1||—||—|
|10th||+10/spell 3 lvl||+3||+3||+7|| Weapon Proficiency (exotic weapon), Armor Proficiency (heavy armor),
Combat or Arcane Bonus Feat, School of magic
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (All Skills) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int).
Spells per day: Charisma based, Cha-10 is limit for cast (not for study) level of spells. Charisma modifier minus level spells added to the number of possible daily spell (4 max).
All of the following are class features of the Stepmaker.
Unlike other arcanists Stepmakers roam without familiars they also don't have spellbooks. However, other things substitute the spellbook, such as crystals or a unique plaque, a bracelet or necklace. She can make this other things. Like Sorcerers she doesn´t need to prepare daily spells, like Wizards she needs to memorize them. Complete training (knows Spell Mastery) allows to get rid of this weakness and will have no need to memorize (but she can continue to use spell-containers). The number of spells she can know depend of her intellect (see table below).
Weapon and Armor Proficiency depends of level (see table above). Stepmaker can´t use shields.
- At first she not try to wear medium or heavy armor - too much risk of spell failures. Instead on level 4 she may try to design for self some sort of silk (or spidersilk) 'armor'. Against 4.0 rule it's not armor, a little weight and no penalties, but complect from this (for body, leg, hands) gain to wearer +2 (+4 for spidersilk) AC.
Stepmaker deal only one armed attack per round, attack bonus does not matter. Also she can parry only one armed or ranged attack per round. If her base attack bonus became 7 or higher in addition to attack she can "charge" this attack with spell she known. It works as if she cast (on target) spell that normally take one standard action. Wearing weapon does not matter, but attack must be succesfull - at the first miss (or stop of fight) this "charge" vanishes. It means if attack bonus 7 and higher you can attack, cast spell and make standart move. You can't change this "charge" on additional attacks per round. Normally (not stepmaker) character can attack OR cast and moved. Level of spell possible for this charge: base attack bonus - 7.
In summary, high enough instead of multiple attacks per round character makes one, but charged a known spell charge of the remains until an attack is successful and continues
Only with base attack bonus 16 you gain additional attack per round (with +1 base attack bonus). You can choose to use it or not (so the charge is not dissipated in the slip). If the character had already been several attacks per round (like a fighter level 6+), after the change of class to this, the rules of this class.
Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat for this class works similarly: it doesn´t give additional off-hand attack but if left hand attack bonus +7 it allows "off-hand charge". Great TWF doesn´t give additional off-hand attack also, instead it removes -2/-2 penalty on attack bonus.
Combat Reflexes with Hold the Line are useful too - attack of opportunity works as usually (one on one opponent). Stand Still in addition to this makes it near perfect - you're just not letting the enemy come close. The class allows you to vary the skill towards close combat or learning spells.
No shields, no helmets, no gauntlets. (bracelets, gloves, frontlet etc allowed) No familiar. No spellbook. Granted materials for spell item: gems, valuable metal, clean glasses or rare material. Granted form: orb, small statue or cone etc. For example: ancient coin, amber bracelet - is granted. Only 1 attack per round (for detail see above). Can learn spells only from chosen schools. Spells doing only one half normal effects (reselection school removes the restriction). Prohibited schools are Divination, Illusion, Necromancy and Conjuration. Missing feats from two lists below (Combat or Arcane both, levels 1, 7, 10) can be selected only after changing the class to another.
Bonus Feats (Levels 1, 7, 10)
If you study Arcane:
on level 1 may study one of this: Scribe scroll or Combat casting on level 7 may study one of this: Brew potions or Craft Wondrous Item on level 10 may study one of this: Craftsman or Spell Mastery
- Wondrous Items not include: rods, wands, staffs; rings, armors, shields, weapons. Anyone can use a wondrous item unless specified otherwise in the description.
- Of course you can study combat and leave magic for someone else. Both choices will define your future. Missing skills from this list can be selected only after changing the class to another. It is restriction: Choice matters. And you can't select here other Arcane feats (but can do it with normal level-up progression and restrictions).
If you train Fighter:
on level 1 may select one of this: Combat Reflexes or Two-Weapon Fighting on level 7 may select one of this: Hold the Line or Improved TWF on level 10 may select one of this: Stand Still or Greater TWF
- Combat Reflexes -> Hold the Line, Two-Weapon Fighting -> Improved Two-Weapon Fighting -> Greater Two-Weapon Fighting. Missing feats from this list can be selected only after changing the class to another. It same as Arcane (above). You can learn Arcane or Fighter or mix it, but missed it missed. You can learn the required later, after a change of class at the appropriate.
Level 1 School of magic - Select one school. Armor Proficiency (light armor) Level 2 Combat Spell Trigger (requred: Combat Casting) You can activate any spell trigger magic item while fighting defensively. or Armored Caster You can reduce your chance of arcane spell failure when wearing armor (-10%). Level 4 Weapon Proficiency (simple weapon) Silk Armor* Innate ability Select one from list (below). Level 5 Infer Spell You can learn spells from magic items. or Defensive Study Allows you to use your intelligence modifier for AC adjustments. Level 7 School of magic - Select one school (have chosen gives one metamagic feat). Armor Proficiency (medium armor) Weapon Proficiency (martial weapon) Level 8 Craft Magic Enhance armor and weapons with magic enchantments. Arms and Armor For same reasons i propose to restrict the study of this feat: needed know Brew potions or Craft Wondrous Item feat. You can ignore this restriction (it is not D&D 3.5 rule). or Armored Caster You can reduce your chance of arcane spell failure when wearing armor (-10%). Level 10 School of magic - Select one school (have chosen gives one metamagic feat). Armor Proficiency (heavy armor) Weapon Proficiency (exotic weapon)
level 4. Innate Ability
Already some understanding in this character can define your own ability.
Only one can be select and can be used 1 per Day. Prior to the application of a secondary effect works in plus, after the application (and while the character does not rest) - no effect. You may have one of them:
Innate Charge Normally same as Recharge*, but it is innate power. You can charge items. (not psionic) While power passive and not expended for this day it works on your equpment, slowly adds charges (1/2 caster level spell maximum, 1 charge/per day).
Innate Heal Normally works as Heal, but it is innate power, you are not a cure caster. (not psionic) While power passive and not expended for this day it works on you, slowly heals wounds (1 hit point/per 10 min).
Innate Resist Normally works as Resist Energy, but it is innate ability. (not psionic) While it passive and not expended for this day it add some resist, (1 point in selected energy).
Innate Strike Normally works as True Strike, but it is innate ability. (not psionic) While not expended for this day it add +1 to attack bonus.
- Wonder you can study normal Recharge Feat.
Spells are same to wizards or sorcerers. Stepmaker have innate Arcane Power as Sorcerers and not need in prepare daily spells, but need need to study it like Wizards and hide this fact. They can learn spell and they need to memorize it (level 10 can remove this).
On start knowledge of the schools of magic is limited one selected. Prohibited schools are Divination, Illusion, Necromancy and Conjuration. This prohibition remains if she progresses as wizard or sorcerer. She may learn spells only from selected schools (and Universal).
On 7, 10 levels she can choose additional school of magic that she studies. One school can be choose multiple times - it grants +1 Metamagic Feat (can select). If you train the fighters, you still need to choose the school of magic.
Lighter magic: Half energy spells.
Stepmaker n-th level count as wizard n-th level (or sorcerer), but her spell is easier to resist. Her spells have one half difficulty and effects from normal wizard (count down, normal 1d3 -> 1d1). If you choose a school twice the difficulty of her spell becomes normal. Third choice of the same school makes effects normal.
Lighter magic: Charged attack.
On 7th level and after you can charge your attack with known spell. Level of spell possible for this charge: base attack bonus - 7. This charging is free action (you can charge, attack and move in the round) and counts as spellcast.
After 10 level she can progress as the wizard or as the sorcerer both. In this case she started from eleven class level (previous abilities not give), but future addition: spells per day, caster level, new spell and others - will be as defined for selected class.
Int based - modifier add to count of known spells. Intellect restricts the level of spells that can be explored (Int is equal maximum known spells level).
To use the spell critical Charisma - determines the number of possible spells per day and level.
If aligment changes to chaotic good or lawful evil Stepmaker can't progress in class level.
To reach level 10 (12 or 14 with penalty), it may be advisable to develop a prestige class which allows to develop the fighting qualities without losing the skills of the caster. For example:
The Eldritch Knight - real choice, prestige fighter who not always learns magic (learn new spells and gain spellcaster level).
The Dragon Disciple - if you like to become dragon-like - natural armor and abilities can be valuable.
The best choice anyway - barmaid. But if we stay serious, you can try to continue the development in one of the basic classes.
She can progress as Wizard (or Sorcerer) - simple starts from 11 level in this class. All received restrictions remain, limiting the selected class are satisfied, too. But it good chance to learn missing skills. The difference between Wizard and Sorcerer (for Stepmaker progress) is small - just as quickly begin to grow the number of spells the sixth level and in general the number of spells at different levels. At 20 the difference is not - exactly 4 spells per day at each level.
She can progress as Fighter - same (from 11 level) and by same reason.
You can try to pick up well-balanced class of non-standard list 3.5. If the 10th level, the ability of the character meet the criteria, you can progress from 11th in the selected (non-prestige) class. For example Innate Mage.
After 10 level you can change class into 11-level Innate Mage if you selected one magic school three time re (on 1, 7 and 10 level). It school become Innate School. Selects one school time after time lets you choose the bonus skill from Metamagic_Feats. For Innate Mage she must know next feats: Silent Spell and Still Spell. Also must known Empower Spell and Quicken Spell - it can be selected by normal characters progress. After this you can become Innate Mage 11 level with full his benefits exclude there is only 4 (it is Stepmaker restriction) spells per day. Stepmaker benefits saved too.
Any other base class starts from 1st level.
It is Epic class after 20 personage level - sure it requires additional levels in another class. It don't give new spells or fighters ability - you already was chance get it from other class, yes?
But if you know 9-level spell - you get access to wizard epic spell.
If you base attack +20 - it open for hero fighter epic feat.
Similarly as the wizard should be able to write and to be able to create a book of spells, stepmaker must be able to create items filled with a few (non active, for ignorant denied) spells and also put spell's conception in available and appropriate. In this class high spellcraft and craft skills allow do it.
If the abilities to create wondrous things, and the ability to learn spell from them were ignored it will weaken your character. Because both skills empower: the first allows you to create (and use further) as a book the wearable item. For example it can be decorated with complex patterns gloves, each - in a special way to help a character memorize some spells. Contain the gloves the someone usable spell or not - is a separate issue. Second feat allows to learn spell done by someone other items.
Innate ability is seen only at the 4th level. You can use the roll 1d4 to determine exactly what the property is inherent in your character. It is possible that every four levels (8, 12, etc) enhance this property by adding one use per day and and increasing the per unit effect until it is unused and passive. It is possible that it can be used when crafting objects.
Compare with other classes
It may seem that the class is not balanced, but take a fighter level, then change this. Remove from the definition of armor and weapons training in the course of development. The result is similar. Number of bonus features equally, but the fighters wider choice. Magical ability to offset this fact and less damage taken.
|1 high, 2 slow||1 high, 2 slow||1 high, 2 slow||eq||eq|
| Armors (light);
Magic School (no preparation, memorize);
2 Bonus Feat (short list)
| 3 Armors (light, medium, heavy);
2 Shields (Shields, Tower shields),
2 Weapons (simple, martial);
2 Bonus Feat (free)
6-8 Magic Schools (Specialization - Wizard)
Feat and Bonus Feat (Wizard)
No preparation, no memorize (Sorcerer)
| 2 Armors (medium, special);
2 Weapons (simple, martial);
1 Innate ability; Magic School;
3 Bonus Feat (short list)
|3 Bonus Feat (free)||Bonus Feat (Wizard)||-5||-8|
| Weapons (exotic);
Magic School; Feat;
Bonus Feat (short list)
|Bonus Feat (free)||Bonus Feat (Wizard)||-3||-3|
|Restriction on 10th:|| Half magic effect (cancels by school re);
No additional attack per round for every +5 base attack bonus
Missing Feats rule
|No||Spell Preparation (Wizard) or can't Learn (Sorcerer)||+3||+2|
|Summary:||This is a fighter, but with one (or two) schools of magic instead of a broad military specialization.||Fighter can not cast spells. But the 6 bonuses for ten levels and knowledge of armor, shields and weapons at the start makes it perfectly prepared for battle.||She knows all Magic Schools (excludes one or two). With the growth of a familiar difference between classes is not so great. Difference due to an increase pet is about +4 (*think +1 per 2 level)||+1|| -7(-9)|
Sneak version of stepmaker can be made in a similar manner, but the flaws in this case looks inevitable.
She may exchanged Level 1st, 4th, 10th Bonus Feats on Sneak Feats. For example two (Rogue) lines of feats (with 'missing is missng' restriction): -> Uncanny Dodge->Improved Uncanny Dodge (better close combat). Trapfinding - -> Evasion->Improved Evasion (better avoidance of various damage). Hit Die d4 (not fighter, d6 if not elf). Class Skills: 6 + Int modifier per level. Base attack bonus to be 2/3, similar as for rogue classes. Sneak attack on each level were base attack not grown (1st, 5th, 9th).
Formally after 10 level it can't start base Rogue class from 11 level - no substantial part of skills. Of course you can donate the study of weapons and medium armor, replacing them with the missing rogue abilities, but it looks contrived. Actually better consider that some rogue skills have been missed.