Talk:Conduit of the Lower Planes (3.5e Class)

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Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because this class is extremely magic oriented, and matches other spellcasting class realitively well. → Rith (talk) 23:36, 24 April 2009 (MDT)

This only has 10 levels... That needs to be explained first. --Green Dragon 00:24, 13 November 2009 (MST)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because this class is easily understood and, even where it gets a little confusing, it's explained more in depth. → Rith (talk) 23:36, 24 April 2009 (MDT)

Formatting - 2/5 I give this class a 2 out of 5 because massive portions of the preload are missing and interwiki linking is lacking. → Rith (talk) 23:36, 24 April 2009 (MDT)

Added the missing preload stuff, as well as a level 1 Starting package and a sample encounter/NPC. --Genowhirl 11:32, 28 May 2009 (MDT)
Well, there's still some interwiki linking to be dealt with, but thats really minor, so I'll give it a 5/5. → Rith (talk) 17:11, 28 May 2009 (MDT)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because a fiend is more than an individual. → Rith (talk) 23:36, 24 April 2009 (MDT)

Clarification Request[edit]

Um... just wondering, why does the Conduit of the lower Planes spontaneously learn 6 levels of sorcery at level 10? my brother and i love this class to death, I've made a half-dozen variants out of it, but it just doesn't seem to make sense that you take ten levels of one class that uses a very unorthodox method of magic and then at the end instantly gain the rough equivalent of 6 levels of another spellcasting class in addition to the wide variety of magic that one may possess from progressing through the class itself. Can anyone give reason as to why the Conduit of the Lower Planes should have such magical prowess? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 00:16, 13 November 2009 (MDT). Please sign your posts!

And why does this class only have 10 levels? --Green Dragon 00:23, 13 November 2009 (MST)
Probably because that's four levels lower than a level-appropriate effect. As in, if the conduit had a cohort, and the cohort had his own sorceror cohort, the Conduit's casting would be equal with that. That class feature is, in fact, inferior in most ways to the Leadership feat. If you used Leadership to get a cohort, he'd be 2 levels lower and have his own actions to cast the spells; that only advantage is your own personal versatility. The way the D&D power scaling works, being two levels below something else is hard. Being four levels means you could very, very easily die. Or, put it this way. You're level ten. Bing! You just scored 6 levels of Sorceror, at level 10.
Congratulation, you can cast Fireball and Lightning Bolt and Major Image (admittedly decent effects). People who took sorceror for 10 levels are now casting stuff like Cloudkill and Wall of Force and Telekinesis, with better DCs and a higher-caster level effect; it's a nice supplement but it's honestly not THAT overpowered. Someone with ten levels of wizard has more spells known and will get 6th-level spells next level.
And it has 10 levels because of a variety of reasons, GD. For one thing, it's the 'magic' Fiend class for using the Tome of Fiends mechanics/feats. Its intense progression in the Spheres means it's scoring a Sphere every other level; the True Fiend only get them every four.
I'm sure you know this, but the way a sphere's casting works...Taking a sphere once means you can use each spell-like in the Sphere once a day. Taking it again bumps you up to 3/day. Taking it a third time makes it at-will.
Continuing the progression, making a 20-level Conduit class means making it easy for someone to score at-will casting for three different spheres over the course of the game. People may not believe it, but F&K do know when something is crazy-go-nuts, so they made it short to limit it getting even crazier at high-level play. As it is, you can max one sphere out already, but it does make you take a hit to your versatility. If you want to advance in the theme, you can either take Sorceror and rely on the scaling spheres to shore that up, or you could take True Fiend and continue gaining Spheres and all the other Fiendish traits at much reduced rate. Or you could go Fiendish Brute and become both magical *and* ugly.--Genowhirl 00:43, 13 November 2009 (MST)


From the page:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Conduits of the Lower Planes are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as the whip, the scourge, and the dire flail. True Fiends are proficient with light armor but not with shields of any kind.


Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because though there are more powerful classes out there, this give a wide flexibility if you think about what you are going to do instead of just barging in. Balanced rather than just an overpowered brute. -- 12:37, 9 August 2011 (MDT)

This only has 10 levels... That needs to be explained first. --Green Dragon 19:10, 10 August 2011 (MDT)

Wording - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because it's just so awesome -- 12:37, 9 August 2011 (MDT)

Formatting - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because easy to read, easy to understand, and helps you understand the drive behind your character. -- 12:37, 9 August 2011 (MDT)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5 out of 5 because this class is delicious. In the book it even says that you just have to be descended from something from the lower planes, I take that as kind of like the idea that sorcerers get their power from a distant draconic bloodline. It's something that can add to the backstory, how it overshadowed your family driving you to your adventure etc. -- 12:37, 9 August 2011 (MDT)


I think that the conduit should actually be a prestige class with quite high requirements because A) its extremely easy to trump the "Has to originate from one of the lower planes" rule, all you have to do is say is "a hundred generations ago, my female relative had a child with a succubus and the bloodline has watered down to me. I am 99.9% human and .1% succubus" and you would pass the requirement. B) A level seven conduit, can take expert sphere access “Fire” and basic sphere access “Bone” with petitioner immunities baator, would be able to throw a fireball at his feet while surrounded by goblins and boom! instant zombie army. Is it just me or is that a little overpowered? --Warkan 21:58, 22 November 2011 (MST)

Not particularly. In that particular instance, they'd be fairly low-level zombies and would serve mainly as speedbumps to level-appropriate opposition, if that (considering flying monsters start growing more prevalent around then). Now, it's something interesting and means you make your own minion squad (yaaaay minions!) but it isn't game breaking and you've spent a ton of your character options just to do one trick which isn't that great. Anything you could mass-produce by the time you can slam Fireballs down all day just isn't really a threat to challenges on your level (but admittedly makes village-raiding fun), and anything really good as a zombie is so close to your level that killing it with fireballs will take a while (they don't do that much damage compared to monster HP, honestly) and be sort of hazardous. And even then, zombies sort of bite as a critter. So it's handy to keep one or two stronger ones around, if you can work out how to make them keep up (Portable hole? Bottomed with Black Sand from Sandstorm, maybe, so they heal between uses?) but you won't be able to keep more than one or two around and your turnover will be sort of high, considering how much abuse they'll take. I mean, level 7 is when Chimeras, flesh golems, and other facebreakers kick in. Kytons, aka, "Hope you like chain-rape!" showed up a level earlier. -- 00:00, 24 November 2011 (MST)

Still, there are tons of ways to improve undead out there (Prestige classes, spells, templates, and feats, etc.). On another note, the bone sphere's ability states that "all creature of up to 10 HD killed by one of your spell like abilities rises as a zombie" so, if you just finished killing five ogres, you just got yourself an amazing bodyguard, they have movement 40ft (8 squares) and quite a bit of hit points and the fact that the character can kill flying creatures also gives him an advantage (Very young dragons can carry a normal character). I guess at a certain level the ability evens out, but you would still have a huge army to throw at your enemies. Example: A level 18 conduit/wizard, has killed about 150 creatures in his career, he is facing a Balor, there is a 1/20 chance of a critical hit per attack, times 150, times how many rounds each zombie is going to last, the Balor is going to lose quite a bit of health before the actual character comes into play. --Warkan 21:31, 28 November 2011 (MST)

In that extremely-unlikely-to-occur hypothetical, sure. But I think you're getting too set on the hypothetical there (and the Balor can just teleport the heck out of range. As many times as he wants. And Quickened telekinesis three-times a day, at-will regardless. And implosion get the idea. And I hope you can handle a DC 27 Will Save by that point, because this is going to turn into "HELLO, MIND-SLAVE!" if you can't).
In practice, a conduit isn't going to have 150 zombies there. Transport is a pain, he's going to lose a lot of them along the way to level 18 (using zombies to kill things means you go through a lot of zombies) and table goodwill is going to go down drastically if someone tries to roll 150 times. By the time he can wax 5 ogres by himself to score a bodyguard with his spell-likes, he's so hardcore he just needs them around to look pretty and be a meatshield because he's stronger than they are.
And it's debatable whether he would be responsible for killing most things he's encountered. A really, really good approach to wizards' (and to an extent, druids') spells is to use Sleep or Color Spray and let the other players handle the shanking. Or Solid Fog and then Black Tentacles--which admittedly will eventually kill stuff. EVENTUALLY he'll get junk like Acid Cloud and Finger of Death and Phantasmal Killer which lets him just slay something, but it's going to be a while.
Past level 7, anything you can zombie up isn't a huge increase in character power or gamebreaking. Well, okay, if you want to jump through a ton of hoops, sure, you could work something out but you could probably find stuff just as strong with less effort. (Solid Fog + Black Tentacles. Venom Sphere plus that Tome of Fiends breath weapon feat on Finger of Death if you're feeling froggy. If you're high enough level, you make a horizontal SRD:Gate to the Negative Energy plane under someone's feet, so they fall into it and get Free Vacation In The Negative Energy Plane (no save). Or you could drop him into Pelor's living room and hope Pelor's up for some light exercise...Anyway.)
Your concerns, while well-meaning, aren't really justified and the situations you cite require really, really, really unlikely circumstances. Any player who can make them work should also be smart enough to find something else to have fun with. I don't see any problems especial to the Conduit that can't be done with any other casting-heavy class. Your concerns are over the system in general, not the class. (Honestly, I'd be a lot more afraid of a Cleric with a ton of undead rather than a Conduit with a big pile).-- 23:49, 28 November 2011 (MST)

Thanks for helping. I owe an explanation now that the matter is settled. I am a dungeon master with four level 7 players, one of them a conduit. But as time goes on the conduit character is really making game play hard, the other players have all talked to me about it but i didn't know what to do. Now I do, I will just get them to have a relatively high cleric at the end of the of the next adventure and make the conduit fall through a certain gate to the negative energy plane, the player is just going to have to make a new character a equal level. Thanks again! I will be deleting the Powerhouse? question tommorow at 6:00 pm (MST) --Warkan 09:19, 29 November 2011 (MST)

If you do, I'm restoring it. I enjoyed the debate. That aside, you say the other players have talked to you, but have you talked to the player in question? The Negative Energy Plane Vacation is too heavy-handed to nail on a player out of the blue because you don't like the character shtick, especially on people who've never thought of it. I just don't bring it up as a DM unless they already know about it. If I'm a player, then I try to limit myself to a few times a campaign. Why not just ask him to rebuild the character? Magic flux at the end of the session, he gets hit (because he's walking innate magic and so makes a sort of lightning rod for random magical discharge), scrambles his spheres, tell him to pick some new ones and leave the dead where they are, if that's what he's doing. He keeps his character, gets an interesting new twist on him, doesn't have to rebuild from scratch, and won't Zombinator (though that's still beyond me how that's even an issue). Even switching Bone for Pyre would fix it. -- 12:29, 29 November 2011 (MST)

All right, I won't delete the debate, wait a second, how is this a debate? I just asked a question. But that aside, I think your right, I will talk to, and get the player in question to switch his bone sphere. I also enjoyed the conversation too, but too clarify the zombinator deal, it just makes gameplay really slow and painful, you try playing a whole army of undead. --Warkan 16:27, 29 November 2011 (MST)

Already have. I was working on skeleton #4 when the light went on that it slowed play down too much for other people. So if I have occasion to play a necromancer, I aim for one big undead minion, who I switch out/upgrade as convenient. Anyways. Pyre would be good synergy for the Fire sphere, as it lets them pass by fire resistance but not immunity. That's just how I'd do it, however. -- 23:04, 29 November 2011 (MST)

Thanks again. Seeing that this discussion has sort of veered of topic a little bit, how bout we continue it on my talk page?. When im a player I personally like to play a cleric/Unearthed Arcana wizard/pale master, i usually pick a creature like ogre, troll, or my favorite, grey render when I get high enough level. :) --Warkan 19:49, 30 November 2011 (MST)


See: Tome Knight. This, the Fiendish Brute, and the Tome Knight are all short base classes. From The Tome of Fiends and Races of War. The full set includes the Tome of Necromancy and the Dungeonomicon. You're welcome to read and discuss. I'd be interested in hearing any sort of objections you can raise to the structure here other than "no one else does it like that". --Genowhirl 20:55, 2 April 2012 (MDT)

Actually these three classes I was going to suggest moving to PrC since 10 level and 5 level classes are common there. Also the abilities they gain seem more in line with a prestige class than with a base class (i.e. I know of no other prescidence for giving someone complete immunity to a magic effect at level 1.) Tivanir 07:19, 3 April 2012 (MDT)
Depends entirely on the magic effect in question. The most hardcore one is Acheron's Immunity to Compulsions (and +10 to Intimidate later on), but none of them are gamebreaking.
(actually, level 1 doesn't count on that or any point on game balance. Level 1 just falls apart. A greatsword is broken at level 1, since it's a one-hit kill on anything else at that level. Come to that, a longsword and rolling 18 for Str is pretty breaking, too. And even that pales against the might that is Color Spray. Level 1 just really proves nothing, other than the numbers are really low and combat is really swingy. But I digress)
In any case, they're base classes. They were written by some guys tried something different with D&D rules and I'm honestly glad they did. Trying something different with the rules should be encouraged in the Homebrew section, otherwise it'll fill up with stuff like Catgirl races and classes whose shtick is "Uses a scythe somewhat better than other people" and "A lightweight fighter based on speed rather than armor". There's nothing wrong with those, really. Most people writing homebrew end up trying to make something like them at some point. But most homebrew doesn't question a few base assumptions, like "Prestige Classes can only come into play after level 5", and, in my opinion, suffers for it. So keep these base classes right where they are, where they were deliberately placed after the people who wrote them sat down to really think about the game and its base assumptions and which of them just don't do that much for the quality of the game. I don't agree with all their answers and ideas, but I like that they took the effort. --Genowhirl 09:39, 3 April 2012 (MDT)
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