Class Templates (3.5e Other)
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The concept behind class templates is simple; they are templates which are also classes. Unlike racial progressions, savage progressions and progressive templates however, class templates utilize the HD-advancement mechanic that is used in order to advance monsters, in order to end up with a number of blank Hit Dice that is comparable to the total effective Level Adjustment or Challenge Rating. This way, the total power of the template component of a class template will be controlled, and backed up by the appropriate amount of Hit Dice. Because of this, class templates have the same Hit Dice to challenge rating ratio as player character classes.
Assigning class templates
Class templates are meant to grant characters the specializations that their array of classes, or their occupation, requires. An effective example of a class template is therefore military training, where a prospective recruit gains a specialized skillset which lets him better function as a soldier. Class templates can exists for any occupation or specialization in which a character receives education or training, can be the result of diligent self-study, or might simply be a collection of racial, special or magical abilities gained as the character progresses.
In order to build a class template, either pick a pre-existing template you wish to have, or make a new template of your own. The benefits that the template features will become the class template's class features, and will be accrued as levels in the resulting class template is gained. Class templates do come with a predetermined set of restrictions.
- A class template can only be taken at 1st level, because the templates are either inherited or rely on harsh training or diligent study.
- A class template may not immediately grant larger bonuses on ability scores than the number of levels that the class template has. A class template with a total of 4 levels can grant a maximum bonus of +4 on any particular ability score. In case of a larger increase to an ability score, the character gains the maximum allotted bonus during the class template, and then gains the rest of the bonus after the completion of the class template, at a rate of +1 per two character levels. If for example the template imbedded in the aforementioned 4-level class template gives the character a +8 increase to his Strength score instead, that character gains +4 Strength throughout the class template progression, and gains +1 to his Strength score every two levels thereafter until he reaches +8 Strength at character level 12.
Hit dice are added in order to keep the effective character level of a character using this approach equal to that of the effective character level of a player character using normal classes. When the class template is finished, the amount of Hit Dice it grants will be equal to the sum of the Level Adjustment in the template and the effective CR of the Hit Dice. Hit Dice added to a template in order to create a class template are blank Hit Dice, granting only base attack bonus, saves and skill progression, but no extra traits or features innate to the type of HD. The relative CR increase per Hit Die is derived from the Table 'Improved Monster CR Increase' on page 294 of the Monster Manual. Possible Hit Dice choices are listed below.
|HD||BAB||Saves||Skills||Number of HD|
|d4 (fey or spellcaster)||½×HD||Good Ref and Will||6 + Int mod||4|
|d6 (rogue or skill focused)||¾×HD||Good Ref||8 + Int mod||3|
|d8 (humanoid1)||¾×HD||Any one good||2 + Int mod||4|
|d8 (dire animal)||¾×HD||All good||2 + Int mod||3|
|d8 (outsider2)||HD||All good||8 + Int mod||2|
|d10 (magical beast or combat focused)||HD||Good Fort and Ref||2 + Int mod||3|
|d12 (dragon)||HD||All good||6 + Int mod||2|
Creating a Class Template
With the base outline of the class template established, the features of the template will be distributed evenly over the number of allotted Hit Dice.
Example Class Template: Celestial Creature
Making a Celestial creature.
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||Smite Evil, Energy Resistance|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Darkvision 60 ft.|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||Damage Reduction 5/magic|
Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Celestial class template.