Boneshaper (3.5e Class)

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Using ancient, nearly forgotten necromantic magics and meditation techniques, boneshapers gain mastery over their very skeletons. Boneshapers use a rarely heard of and often maligned branch of necromantic magic that allows them to spontaneously grow their skeleton into weapons and armor.

Making a Boneshaper[edit]

Good secondary melee fighter. Her high constitution requirement and large hit dice means she usually has a high health, though a portion of this is used to make her arms and armor. Her delayed access to many equipments types puts her at a disadvantage when compared to other melee classes equipment lists.

Abilities: A high constitution is a must, as boneshapers draw from it to form their equipment. A high strength increases her effectiveness in combat while a good dexterity makes her harder to hit.

Races: Boneshapers are most commonly humans. Orcs and dwarves can make good boneshapers, while elves are a poor candidate, as their frail bodies can rarely handle the shaping process.

Alignment: Rarely good. The practice of shifting your bones into weapons through necromantic power rarely meshes well with a good alignment.

Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).

Starting Age: as wizard.

Table: The Boneshaper

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Shape bone (simple weapons), Finger Bullets
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Shape bone (buckler), Bone Chastity
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Shape bone ( light armor), Improved Boneshaping
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Arcane Skeleton +1, Shape bone (light shield)
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Natural armor +1, Greater Boneshaping
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Shape bone (martial weapons),Arcane Skeleton +2
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Shape bone (heavy shield),Natural armor +2
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Shape bone (medium armor),Arcane Skeleton +3, jagged edge feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Natural armor +3, Shape bone (tower shield)
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Natural armor +4, Arcane Skeleton +4, Damage Reduction 5
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Shape bone (heavy armor)
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Arcane Skeleton +5, Natural armor +5, Damage Reduction 6
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Aligned shaping
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Arcane Skeleton +6, Damage Reduction 7
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Natural armor +6
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Arcane Skeleton +7, Damage Reduction 8
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Natural armor +7
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Arcane Skeleton +8, Damage Reduction 9
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Arcane skeleton +9, Natural armor +8, Damage Reduction 10

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
Bluff (Cha), Craft(Int), Diplomacy(Cha), Disguise(Cha), Heal(Wis), Intimidate(Cha), Knowledge(Arcana)(Int), Knowledge(Nature)(Int), Stealth (Dex), Profession(Wis), Sense motive(Wis), Sleight of Hand(Dex),Perception (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Boneshaper

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Boneshapers are proficient with any weapons or armor or shields that they can create. This includes standard metal and wood versions of these weapons, once the proper level is achieved.

Finger Bullets:Starting at 1st level as a standard action a boneshaper may shoot the tips of their fingers dealing 1d6 points of bludgeoning and piercing damage for every tip fired. A boneshaper can fire a shot every iterative attack they can make. Every third level after level 1 (3,6,9,ect.) the boneshaper may fire an additional fingertip per shot, dealing another 1d6 points of damage. The finger bullet has a range increment of 30ft, and has a critical of x2, on 20.

Shape bone (Su):The magics that boneshapers practice allow them to grow shards of bone from their flesh to serve as weapons or armor. This means that a boneshaper is nearly impossible to truly disarm. With practice the Boneshaper is able to make any melee weapon she wishes by reforming her skeleton. This process takes its toll on her body, though, and each piece of armor or weapon she makes damages her constitution a certain amount, with two handed weapons dealing one and a half (round up) what a single handed weapon would. This constitution damage cannot be healed in any way and does not begin to heal naturally until the shaped item is either absorbed back into the body or removed from the body( by a successful sunder attempt for example). Simple weapons, light armor, light shields, and bucklers deal 1 point of damage, while martial weapons, medium armor, and heavy shields each deal 3 points. Heavy armor and tower shields are the largest investment of life, costing the boneshaper 5 points.

These weapons and armor are considered natural weapons and armor as well as manufactured weapons and armor for purposes of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons (such as the magic fang and magic weapon spells). The boneshaper is automatically considered proficient with any weapons or armor she shapes. Shaped Armor has the same armor bonus, max dexterity modifier, speed reduction, spell failure chance and check penalty as a normal suit of the same type, and weapons deal the same damage as their manufactured counterparts. All shaped weapons grow from the boneshapers hand and remain attached to their body, making them impossible to be removed by disarm attempts, although a successful opposed strength check or sunder attempt can snap them off. Two handed weapons remain attached to only one hand, though they must be held in both to be used effectively in combat. Double weapons are treated as two separate weapons when applying the arcane skeleton ability.

Any item shaped can be reabsorbed back into the Boneshapers body, restoring her Constitution by whatever the cost to shape the item was. The boneshaper must be in contact with the item for the entire time it takes to absorb it. Both shaping an item and absorbing one is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, and can be interrupted, although no Constitution is lost from the shaping. A successful concentration check allows the Boneshaper to continue the an interrupted shaping. For example, Skia, a level 6 half fiend Boneshaper, wishes to prepare herself for combat. She takes two full round actions to shape herself a suit of leather armor, dealing 1 point of constitution damage, and a longsword, costing her 3 points. If later in the day she wants to change her longsword into a greatsword, she can spend one full round action to absorb the longsword, healing the 3 points of constitution she spent on the longsword earlier, and another to shape the greatsword and losing 5 points of constitution as the greatsword is a two handed weapon. All items created this way are made of bone with a hardness of 6 an 10 hit points per inch of thickness. You cannot use this ability if the item you are shaping would drop you below 1 hit point or 1 constitution. Shaping armor while wearing a manufactured suit of armor causes the non-shaped armor to tear and fall off, rendering it useless until repaired. The same does not hold true for other clothing(DMs discretion), as the armor can form over top of or around it.

Bone Chastity (Ex): During a grapple a boneshaper may grow sharp bone spears out of his body dealing your con modifier as damage to enemy. (stacks with Jagged Edge Feat)

Improved Bone Shaping At level 3, all weapons and armor created by the boneshaper are treated as masterwork. Shaped weapons add +1 to all attack roll and armor has its check penalties reduced by 1.

Arcane Skeleton (Su): Allows the Boneshaper can infuse her skeleton with mystical energies granting her weapons and armor magical properties. Each weapon can have an enchantment total of +1 at 4th level and an additional +1 for every 2 levels after that for a maximum of +9 at lvl 20. Rules for enchanted items apply as normal for shaped weapons. Weapons cannot be enchanted to deal any type of energy damage such as fire, cold, sonic, or force, nor can it have an enchantment that allows it to change its size, shape, material, or type. (enchantments like sizing, morphing or metalline, etc,).

Greater Boneshaping: The boneshapers is able to shape an especially sharp edge or well fortified armor. Shaped weapons have an additional +1 on all damage rolls, while armor has an armor class of one higher than a normal suit of the same type. This effect is applied before magical effects, and stacks with magical enchantments.

Natural armor (Ex): The boneshapers skin becomes tough and her bones denser, granting her a +1 bonus to AC (characters without a natural armor are treated as having a +0 natural armor before bonuses are applied). This effect stacks with other bonuses to natural armor.

Aligned Shaping: Armor and weapons shaped are treated as haveing the boneshapers alignment for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance

Undead boneshapers[edit]

Undead boneshapers lose hit points instead of constitution. Bucklers, light weapons and light armor cost 1 hit point per hit dice. Martial weapons, medium armor, and heavy and light shields cost 2 hit points per hit dice, and heavy armor and tower shields cost 3 hit points per hit dice. These costs are doubled for two handed weapons. All other rules apply normally.

Human Boneshaper Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: none, the boneshaper forms her own weapons

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha
Disguise 4 Cha
Diplomacy 4 Cha
Heal 4 Wis
Intimidate 4 Cha
Knowledge (Arcana) 4 Int
Knowledge (Nature) 4 Int
Stealth 4 Dex
Sense Motive 4 Wis

Feat: Jagged Edge

Bonus Feats: If strength is 12 or higher Power Attack, if not Improved Initiative

Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel, common lamp, pint of oil

Gold: 1d8

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a boneshaper[edit]

Religion: Boneshapers are not a particularly religious, most preferring to focus on improving their skills more than worshiping a deity. The few boneshapers who do choose to worship are usually followers of Boccob, Wee Jas, Nerull, or Vecna.

Other Classes: Boneshapers get along well with wizards, since both classes know the power gained through intense study. For similar reasons boneshapers respect monks for their dedication to turning their bodies into weapons, though reactions to the boneshaper varies between individual monks. Clerics and paladins rarely work with boneshapers, seeing them as unnatural or evil, even if their goals are the same.

Combat: While boneshapers usually have a respectable amount of hit points, their equipment tends to lag behind that of a fighters or barbarians. For this reason, they usually try to utilize tactics more than force, striking from ambush and flanking foes instead of standing toe to toe with them.

Advancement: Boneshapers rarely multiclass. Those that do usually take up wizardry, usually specializing in necromancy. On occasion a boneshaper will study the martial styles of a monk, blending them with her own ability to create a fearsome warrior.

Boneshapers in the World[edit]

Steel will rust, wood will rot, but my body will only become stronger
—Skia, Half-Fiend boneshaper

Most boneshapers prefer to avoid those would see their abilities as 'evil', and 'to be destroyed'. Some simply hide their abilities and live as normal among others in cities or towns, while others prefer to remove themselves from civilization so they can hone their skills without fear of reprisal.

Daily Life: The excited chirping of birds wakes Skia from her slumber. Stretching lazily in her bed high up in the ancient tower she has claimed as hers, she mentally runs down a list of things she needs to do today. First she must check on her experiments in the lab; she clenches her left hand, feeling the successful implant in that arm, and smiles at the success she has had translating the old scripts she found in the library. After her noon meal, she plans to practice shaping items quickly, as well as her daily exercise. Rising from bed, she donned her simple cotton breeches and shirt, easily replaceable items that lend themselves well to the rigors of accommodating shaped armor. After a quick meal to break the nights fast, she heads down to the lab to check on the many projects and experiments she is working on, in the hopes to unlock the next secret of bone shaping and ensuring her name is remembered by other practitioners of her chosen school of magics.

The daily life of a boneshaper varies depending on what they are doing. Many are as studious as wizards, conducting experiments and working out new rituals or tricks increase their power. Others, especially those who are adventurers, prefer to learn by doing. They throw themselves against their foes in an attempt to master their craft in a way that can only be achieved in a life or death struggle.

Notables: Skia Osto, Half-Fiend lvl 6 Human Boneshaper

Organizations: Boneshapers are not organized in any recognizable structure. Indeed many boneshapers only learn enough to start them down the path before their studies take them away to one corner of the world or another. This does not mean boneshapers are unfriendly towards one another. Often, when two boneshapers meet they begin trading tips and tricks they have picked up in their studies, with both leaving the encounter with a better knowledge of the magic they practice.

NPC Reactions: NPC reactions depend largely on the beliefs held by the NPC. While boneshaping isn't inherently evil, many people see it as such since it has its roots in necromancy. Less knowledgeable NPCs may be terrified of the boneshaper, even going as far as attempting to slay the 'evil' mage.

Boneshaper Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research boneshapers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
10 Boneshapers can create weapons and armor from their own bones
15 Powerful boneshapers are difficult to strike, as their flesh itself acts as armor
20 Boneshapers are skilled combatants who can infuse magic into their very bones creating potent weapons and armor

Boneshapers in the Game[edit]

<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->

Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.

Sample Encounter: Boneshapers make excellent surprise villains, as they do not appear armed or armored until they attack the party. A Boneshaper who has the malleable skeleton feat can disguise themselves with nearly perfect disguises making them even harder to find leading to a nasty surprise or two for the party

EL 8: Skia, a level 6 Half-fiend Boneshaper, has been hired to retrieve and item the party has recently looted. She disguises herself as a commoner before sneaking close to the party and making off with the item, revealing her true power if she is forced to fight.

Boneshaper feats[edit]

A list of boneshaper feats can be found here. It's still under construction, and there are more feats to come.

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