Talk:Grafter (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Featured article candidate .png This article is a current featured article nominee as of 18:56, 25 April 2019 (MST). Featured articles exemplify D&D Wiki's very best work, and therefore must meet the featured article criteria. Please become engaged in this process and support, oppose, and leave comments as to this page's featured article nomination (engage!).


This is one of the highest-ranked 3.5 homebrew prestige classes, and it was written by an Ennie-winning author. I am biased, I'm the author. --Ben McFarland 18:56, 25 April 2019 (MST)

  • Comment: If this is going to become a featured article, it needs an image. — Geodude Chatmod.png (talk | contribs | email)‎‎ . . 19:24, 25 April 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment: Image provided! --Ben McFarland 19:36, 29 April 2019 (EDT)
  • Support — I'm the author, and I've kept an eye on this page for a long while. I'm not extremely active on the wiki, but I think this is good design, and worth showcasing. I believe I've completed the necessary steps. 11:00, 30 April 2019 (EDT)
  • Comment Much like suggested back in 2008, this class is immensely dense. It is hard to grasp a big picture of it without actually sitting down to create multiple variations of this and more so test play. I would prefer to trim some of the info, condense, or as stated years ago things be simplified. ~ BigShotFancyMan 08:10, 8 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment: It's complete, which is essential when creating a subsystem within a character class. You say, "trim...condense, or..(simplify)," but don't offer any suggested points where that might happen. Complex doesn't equal bad. This is a unifying item creation subsystem and spellcasting character progression. It's not going to be small. Is there a specific section which would benefit from edits? --Ben McFarland 10:55, 8 May 2019 (EDT)
I find comprehension and simplicity essential, along with completeness. Have you read Magic of Incarnum? ~ BigShotFancyMan 10:46, 8 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment: You're not answering the question: is there a specific section which would benefit from edits? If you think there's some portions of the mechanics which need revision, then point them out. What about this is overly complex? There are a lot of moving parts, but that's because there just is a lot to the class. If you don't like a dense class, that's a matter of taste; if there's an issue with the mechanics, then let's fix it, but you have to identify issues first. --Ben McFarland 14:20, 8 May 2019 (EDT)
How do you turn a magic item into a graft? just poof?
It mentions they "don't require the usual x2 additional cost for having no space limitation", which I find redundant since its mentioned that they "are magic items with no space limitation".
I think a table would be easier to use to limit the number of grafts instead of another calculation. "Possibly modified" also seems an irrelevant comment. A table also eliminate the extra verbiage about what happens when your constitution score decreases. Dormant and failure don't seem properly explained; what happens when one become dormant or is failure?
Why is there a limit to the number of checks to attach the graft? I read it as extra mumbo jumbo. If they can repeat, simply state the grafter can attempt to try again on the following day. If they fail after 3 or 4 attempts/days, is the graft that was a magic item gone forever? If I bought a bodacious artifact to graft to me, but failed to graft, what happens to my item?
Why am I losing my grafts for losing HP? That's a double negative. This prestige class can quickly fall apart if the features you gain from it start disappearing when you lose HP. This seems like a mechanic to just slow down the game (much like a lot of the first feature in my opinion)
Same thing with diseases. Ain't it bad enough to have an ailment let alone to lose your perks? what other class loses their features for losing HPs? I think both parts should be removed.
removing grafts and applying to another is just again, more of slowing down the game.
That's my thoughts on the first feature. In general, it is as if a numbers rule was written for every aspect thought of. It isn't just taste that is an issue. Its an over all flow of the class. I can't tell you what to trim or condense but I ain't the only one that's taken issue with it. I have mentioned a few things to ease the pain of this though. ~ BigShotFancyMan 12:50, 8 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment: Excellent, let's do this:
How do you turn a magic item into a graft? just poof?
    The first line of the power says, "Grafted Items, or Grafts, are magic items with no space limitation, grown by the grafter and attached to an applicant," and as per the first line of the second paragraph, "A grafter may turn any standard magic item he can craft into a graft." So if you have this power, and you can make an item, you can make that item a graft. I've changed "turn" in that sentence to eliminate the possible misinterpretation (which it appears you have) that a random found or purchased item might be grafted to the character.
It mentions they "don't require the usual x2 additional cost for having no space limitation", which I find redundant since its mentioned that they "are magic items with no space limitation".
    Items with "no space limitation" cost 2x as much (Subpoint 4 on the chart, Special, "An item that does not take up one of the spaces on a body costs double.") . Grafts do not have this extra cost. This is an exception to the normal rule, which needs to be documented.
I think a table would be easier to use to limit the number of grafts instead of another calculation. "Possibly modified" also seems an irrelevant comment. A table also eliminate the extra verbiage about what happens when your constitution score decreases. Dormant and failure don't seem properly explained; what happens when one become dormant or is failure?
    The number of grafts is based on the Constitution of the caster; this language mirrors every other power based on an Ability score bonus. I can't think of another power with this basis which uses a chart.
    The clause "possibly modified" is included to to indicate if the grafter increases their Constitution score through some bonus-- a spell, an item, etc, the number of possible functional grafts increases. This is also an exception to usual design. Ordinarily, increasing a score this way doesn't benefit the character; you don't suddenly learn new languages when you cast Fox's Cunning.
    The "dormant" state is described as being deactivated, without a period until failure. It's a predicate reference to the next sentence; I will use "nonfunctional" in all those instances, however. There is some language here which I'll clean up.
Why is there a limit to the number of checks to attach the graft? I read it as extra mumbo jumbo. If they can repeat, simply state the grafter can attempt to try again on the following day. If they fail after 3 or 4 attempts/days, is the graft that was a magic item gone forever? If I bought a bodacious artifact to graft to me, but failed to graft, what happens to my item?
    Those rules are included because someone might attempt attaching a graft to a person against the grafted's will. That's a common trope in body horror stories, in stories about people driven beyond reason, where they push boundaries for their own ambition. Other people may not want a graft attached to them, and the check mechanics are there to account for that, as do the rules about removing the graft. This class might be used for villains as well as heroes, and the rules need to reflect that potential usage. A story where captured characters have items force-grafted to them happens all the time-- the recent arc for the Star Wars: Dr. Aphra comic has two major characters with proximity-dead switched bombs implanted in them, and forces two enemies to work together. Creating piles of grafted minions would require these rules. Both are great uses of the power that should be covered.
    As an additional point, you can't buy items to graft to your grafter. You must create them, or find them as existing grafts made by other casters capable of creating grafts (including non-grafters after gaining the Decipher the Alien Handiwork power).
Why am I losing my grafts for losing HP? That's a double negative. This prestige class can quickly fall apart if the features you gain from it start disappearing when you lose HP. This seems like a mechanic to just slow down the game (much like a lot of the first feature in my opinion)
    These checks only happen with massive damage, not simple hit point loss. That's why it says "from a single source," mirroring the massive damage rules. I've increased the total to mirror the threshold for massive damage and adjusted the reference to Fortitude saves to limit them to Fortitude saves against death effects.
Same thing with diseases. Ain't it bad enough to have an ailment let alone to lose your perks? what other class loses their features for losing HPs? I think both parts should be removed.
    The character isn't losing features; they're losing equipment. And we're talking about disease or massive hit point damage. Disease is literally one of the easiest things to resolve in the game. Skill checks can remove it. Mundane items assist with those checks for trivial costs. There are multiple magic items which cure disease and several spells. Usually, the nonfunctionality imposed by these conditions are going to add tension to game play.
    And massive damage is just massive damage; it can result in death, even when it doesn't kill by virtue of reducing a character to -10hp. Failing to address it for items literally attached to the character's body is a complete lack of verisimilitude. Consider, when you fail a saving throw with a natural 1, it's possible to lose an item.
   This doesn't sound like a point about clarity, but a disagreement in implementation. It seems you don't like that there chance of loss, but the system needs to have it, or grafts become un-sunder-able items that can never be shut down, aside from death. That's not balanced. Honestly, I'm on the fence regarding the Fortitude save adjustment, but I'm concerned that forcing the check on any Fortitude save makes grafts too fragile.
removing grafts and applying to another is just again, more of slowing down the game.
    This is so the grafter's treasure can be recovered by characters who want it, rather than it becoming worthless meat. Additionally, this is so the grafter can recover grafts from other creatures. What you're calling a delay of game is ensuring the characters who play this class can still get a benefit from enemies who also have grafts, because otherwise, it's all junk which denies the party resources they'd get from normal enemy items. If it's not there, then there's table confusion as to what happens to grafts. With the RAW for all grafts, from Libris Mortis, page 79, for example, allows undead grafts to basically be treasure the PCs can't take or use. With these rules, that's no longer the case. Additionally, these rules do nothing to hinder gameplay if the character doesn't want to remove or recover grafts, so they don't impede normal play unless the grafter wants to use them, and in that case, they provide clarity. That's quite the opposite of slowing down the game. And this allows characters to make a choice-- "Is gaining this unslotted magic item which alters my character's appearance and skills worth the power it provides?" That choice helps drive character development.
That's my thoughts on the first feature. In general, it is as if a numbers rule was written for every aspect thought of.
    Right, I'm making a revised, unifying subsystem-- it needs to cover creation, implementation, failure conditions, corner cases, and consequences within the remaining structure of the rules. That's how it works when you do that. Literally, this gives a way to make an infinite variety of grafts, handle any graft systems later created in system, and still have those grafts work normally for this class without knowing how those other grafts will be designed-- and the other graft options do not have this functionality.  
I've made edits to address these points where appropriate.

--Ben McFarland 09:20, 9 May 2019 (EDT)

The new wording for acquiring grafts is much better and I think more people than just myself won't misunderstand the intent. It is easy to misunderstand poorly worded things which I why we ask for reviews to clear up those issues.
The point about 2x cost, I see it now. When discussing the no space limitation, I think that's when it should said no extra is necessary. Again, just another wording issue here.
I don't know what you mean by power and can't properly reply. I know there are classes that base features on a chart and not necessarily via a formula so I don't really agree with your comment. Now that you've explained the intent of possibly modified ability scores it makes sense. This prestige class just isn't written clearly for an audience. Yes I know you don't get more spells or languages if you increase your score by a spell but as written I was only considering magic items that would modify your score. To me, spells that change scores obviously don't increase features like grafts, normally. But apparently, this class has that bonus and I don't find it well communicated. "If a spell were to increase your constitution, the number of grafts you can attach increases as well." This clearly communicates the intent and well establishes the difference normal conventions and the desirable effect. Dormant has numerous definitions and we are playing a game built on terminology and containing status effects. Failing to define what dormant means isn't on me or the player. (Looking further, the terminology was changed. Rather than use dormant, why not repeat the use of deactivated? At one point it was deactivated then it was dormant. Consistency is nice) What's wrong with "unusable"? Simple short word.
I get wanting to limit a trope, but do you think in those stories the nut cases stop after 3 times? Or do they keep trying to attach ;-)
I still find losing grafts due to massive damage harsh. No other class loses their power because of this effect.
Their equipment is their feature \o/ but if something is so simple or non-point, why even write it in?
Consider losing an item when you roll a 1....why? Why would I ever do this? This isn't part of the rules. But this class is making it mandatory to potentially lose an item if you suffer massive damage. Of course I don't like the implementation of this. I am playing a character and gaining stuff but because the BBEG hurt me, I lose that stuff. The fighter doesn't lose their armor if they take massive damage. The rogue doesn't lose their blade if they get a disease. I find these to be mechanical/flavor issues which you were interested in addressing but I don't feel like by the way this response went.
Do GMs have to incorporate grafts in the world in order to use the grafting removal stuff? Will a player feel rewarded enough if they never encounter another creature with grafts? Or is there a simpler way to do with donning and doffing grafts? Per se, grafters can remove them as swift actions? No skill needed. And removing from others requires normal time limits for donning and doffing gear from others?
I think it would be better a sourcebook then. 1st party source that introduce new ways of "magic" are typically whole books are very dense articles. I feel the prestige class would flow much better working off a source book like others that have been published. ~ BigShotFancyMan 11:48, 9 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Oppose - In its current state, I find the wording cumbersome and difficult to navigate. The author has stated: "I'm making a revised, unifying subsystem-- it needs to cover creation, implementation, failure conditions, corner cases, and consequences within the remaining structure of the rules. That's how it works when you do that. Literally, this gives a way to make an infinite variety of grafts, handle any graft systems later created in system, and still have those grafts work normally for this class without knowing how those other grafts will be designed-- and the other graft options do not have this functionality." and I find all the crunch to be better suited as a sourcebook or 3.5e Other and the prestige class build from that. I've really only looked into the first feature, but gazing at the Harden, Strengthen, Solidify the Bond feature, what is my grafting saving throw? The wording for Symbiosis I am not thrilled over. I would prefer:
Symbiosis (Su)- As a swift action, when a grafter is dying they can sacrifice a graft in order to stabilize and have 1 hp. Sacrificing a graft this way requires no heal check and deals no damage to the grafter.
Touch ups like this would do wonders for the clarity of the article. ~ BigShotFancyMan 12:23, 9 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment Thanks for adding that note. The column graft check bonus isn't detailed anywhere and Harden etc talked about saving throws. Typically, skill checks and saving throws aren't synonymous so I am definitely one of those users that didn't put that together. Again, this is another point of unclear terminology I find throughout the article. ~ BigShotFancyMan 09:58, 22 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment I have to disagree with the comments suggesting this is "dense" or "poorly worded." I don't think they constructively contribute to the discussion. Yes, the article describes a lot of mechanics, but I feel the material is clearly written and mirrors the style of the line; I'm familiar with that style as I published several pieces for 3.5 D&D. Many of the objections noted regarding elements of the class are matters of taste, and not objective considerations of the material. For instance, the material notes substituting Heal checks for Fortitude saves-- but this is overlooked when commenting about the applicability of the Graft Check bonus to saves or checks-- the language is there to ensure completeness, so there is no question to whether it adds to a Fortitude save or a Heal check. When this is the defining document for a subsystem, it's important to do it as robustly as possible. It doesn't matter if you wouldn't play it, or don't like the particular mechanic, or think the material should be in a sourcebook-- that's not the point, and there aren't going to be any more 3.5 sourcebooks published in 2019. This is a thorough, complete piece of 3.5 mechanics, and showcases a self-contained subsystem. All one needs to run a grafter is right here, and that's an important point of usability. --Ben McFarland 15:10, 22 May 2019 (EDT)
I provided an example of something poorly worded. How could I be constructive when commenting that I find the material poorly worded? There aren’t going to be anymore classes released either yet here we are... ~ BigShotFancyMan 15:50, 22 May 2019 (MDT)
  • Comment. All of the class features cost a lot of gp. How have you compared the class features to the player's income? I mean 1d6 healing for 1000gp is totally out of line. --Green Dragon (talk) 09:47, 17 June 2019 (MDT)

Simplification[edit]

I think the rules should be simplified a tad, they're longer than most creature entries. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 209.142.167.65 (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts.

I disagree, this is probabaly one of the most well-made bits of homebrew that I've ever seen. Just because something is complicated doesn't mean it's bad. --Daniel Draco 06:09, 19 February 2008 (MST)

Rating - 10/10[edit]

As hesitant as I am to give something a perfect ten out of ten, I think this class earned it. I couldn't find anything overpowered. The rules are very exhaustive, covering pretty much any question that might come up. Grafts have almost always been approached as a separate type of magic (or even nonmagical) item, but the rules presented here leave more possibilities open and work well as a replacement for those rules, or even an addition to them. They gain abilities related to their grafts without making the grafts too strong, so there is incentive to advance all the way to level 10 in the class without making the character too strong. Incredible job overall. --Daniel Draco 06:17, 19 February 2008 (MST)

Rating - 19/20[edit]

Power - 5/5 I give this class a 5/5 because, as I stated in my now-obsolete rating above, I can find no issues with overpowered or underpowered abilities. I wish I could offer some criticism here, something to offer, but I can't find anything.

Wording - 4/5 I give this class a 4/5 because it has rules covering almost anything that can happen with the grafts, and I haven't seen any spelling or grammar errors. However, the inclusion of an ability specifically for inventing new items for grafts implies that only published items can be used, whereas, I, personally, feel that the only real difference between good homebrew and published content is that the latter is sold in books. Also, the rules give no restrictions on what sorts of magic items can be used. For the most part, this isn't a problem, but there are a few items that might pose a problem as grafts. The apparatus of the crab comes to mind.

Formatting - 4/5 I give this class a 4/5 because this class is very well formatted, but not linked.

Alright, I just went through and linked it, so I'm upgrading my formatting rating to a 5/5 (and thus my overall rating to a 19/20). --Daniel Draco 08:11, 16 May 2008 (MDT)

Flavor - 5/5 I give this class a 5/5 because the flavor is excellent. It's not an original idea, and grafts have been done before, but this has very descriptive flavor text and is, in my opinion, a better way to approach grafts than most of WotC's graft rules.

Daniel Draco 16:03, 22 February 2008 (MST)

Graft Flesh feat[edit]

How does this class interact with the "Graft Flesh" feat from Libris Mortis? --Othtim 22:45, 25 February 2008 Othtim

Their ability, Decipher the Alien Handiwork, addresses that. It looks like the grafter's grafts are different from the Graft Flesh feat grafts, but both can be included in a campaign. They're simply differents kinds of graft done in different ways. --Daniel Draco 05:21, 26 February 2008 (MST)
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