Author Topic: The Evangelist: D&D 3.5 Homebrew Base Class  (Read 581 times)

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Offline redyoshi49q

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The Evangelist: D&D 3.5 Homebrew Base Class
« on: January 06, 2016, 06:24:35 am »
Over the past few months, I've been brainstorming and picking the brains of D&D gamers from my hometown on the subject of creating a homebrew spontaneous divine caster that focuses on casting low level spells from the cleric's spell list.  Below is the result; it pulls concepts from a variety of existing classes, including cleric, bard, spirit shaman, and others, and I consider the result to be mechanically and (to the best of my ability) thematically interesting.  Note that it is not to be confused with the D&D prestige class of the same name; while thematically similar, the two classes are very different mechanically.

Keep in mind that while I've done my best to balance this class as much as I can, I've only playtested it for very low level characters as of yet.  While I've tried to balance it as much as I can, there's still a chance that it may be horribly unbalanced (either overpowered or underpowered).

DMs should note that the class is very dependent on other party members for melee combat; the class is also notably susceptible to silence effects.  Additionally, certain items (such as those powered by low level spell slots and especially mementos magica, which give spontaneous casting spell slots) are considerably more powerful in the hands of an evangelist than they would be in those of another caster.

Players should be warned that in contrast to most other casting classes, evangelists are likely to be better off not taking any levels of prestige clases, since the loss of Divine, Profane, and Universal Word upgrades is so great of a loss (you may be better served with the favored soul base class if you're looking to go this route, since they get a more typical spells per day distribution).  In addition, you should max Charisma as much as possible, and you should strongly consider taking some of the following feats:
  • Versatile Spellcaster:  turns your 0th level spell slots into 1st level ones at low levels, and actually gives you (a small number of) high level slots at high levels, even without bonus spells
  • Rapid Metamagic:  an absolute must for this class, considering that it enables you to quicken your spells (and for positive/negative energy spells, divine/profane word effectively pays for it)
  • Arcane Preparation:  you may have to cajole your DM into letting you take it, or you may have to pull some character shenanigans (such as an obscure feat or a sorceror dip) in order to become eligible for the feat (it requires "ability to cast arcane spells without preparation", but provides its benefit to spellcasters).  if you do take the feat, you become able to apply triadspell to your spell slots, which is an immense boon to the class's power in later levels (but note that triadspell'd slots can't be used three times as fodder for applying metamagic, since triadspell lets you cast a prepared spell three times from a single spell slot)
  • Quicken Spell: because casting two spells in the same round is nice
  • Persistent Spell: because day long buffs are nice
  • Reach Spell: because being able to heal at a distance at level 4 is nice
  • Maximize Spell and/or Empower Spell: because more healing/inflicting is nice
  • Repeat Spell and/or Twin Spell: because more things in general is nice
  • Other Metamagic Feats: because there are a lot of things that are nice
  • Reserve Feats: because while you have tons of spell slots, not having to use them immediately is a good thing (note that you need either heighten spell, your highest bonus spell slot, or another means of being capable of casting a spell that's treated as your highest level spell in order to gain the full benefit; aside from heighten spell, metamagics increase don't actually increase spell level, even though they increase spell slot cost)

You're free to use this class in your own campaigns if you'd so like, and you're encouraged to give me any feedback that you might have.  With all of that said, enjoy!

* * * * *

Most citizens who think of a deity's agents on the Material Plane think of clerics, but clerics are not the only agents of the gods.  Evangelists, for example, serve their deities by spreading the word of their god and converting the masses to their faith.  While clerics work the more powerful of divine miracles, evangelists are practiced in performing the lesser of divine magics, and thus can do so more frequently and with more power than other spellcasters; however, they sacrifice proficiency in casting high levels spells in exchange for this power.

Adventures:  It is very common for evangelists to go out exploring the world, though not all necessarily do so as adventurers.  An evangelist is generally expected by their church to go out and spread the word about their god, and while many do so by traveling, performing, and volunteering, others will make themselves known by traveling around with an adventuring party and taking on high profile quests.

Characteristics:  Evangelists serve a very similar party role to clerics, so it's easier to contrast their utility with that of clerics.

As compared to clerics, evangelists have far more low level spots but fewer of their highest leveled spell slots at almost every level; in fact, without bonus spells or mementos magica, an evangelist may be unable to cast spells of their highest levels at all.  Because of the way they cast spells, though, evangelists can match the power of clerics by using multiple spell slots to cast lower leveled metamagic spells; alternatively, they can refrain from doing so in order to maximize their casting endurance.

Evangelists have a spontaneous caster's flexibility in how they choose to cast the spells they have readied each day; however, although readied spells are more flexible than the spells known list of most other spontaneous casters, an evangelist lacks a cleric's ability to drastically change their prepared spells each day.  Notably, they also lack a cleric's melee combat efficacy, and thus will be far more reliant on their spells and their allies than a cleric when faced with foes.

Alignment:  Evangelists have alignments that are very similar to those of the gods they worship, and since there are gods of every alignment, evangelists come from every alignment as well.  Good evangelists tend to be more common than evil evangelists, though evangelists don't tend towards either lawfulness or chaos; while evangelists are allowed their place in the same church organizational structures that clerics take part of, they are also generally given more flexibility and allowance than clerics when it comes to how they achieve their ends.

Religion:  Much like clerics, evangelists can be of any religion.  They tend to fill the roles of celebrity and poster child for their respective religions; they are the face that people will tend to most readily associate with their god and religion.

Background:  Socialites who become involved with a church are the ones who generally come to discover the evangelist's unique connection with the divine.  They are less common than clerics; in contrast to clerics, though, who more often than not are expected to remain within their church performing religious duties, evangelists are expected to go out to the rest of the world and preach the word of their god.  While many evangelists perform this task in the traditional manner, some will take on a life of adventuring in order to achieve this end.

Races:  Since all races have religions, there are evangelists of every race.  However, since evangelists, unlike clerics, are almost always expected to perform their religious duties abroad rather than at home, the prevalence of evangelists within a given race is most strongly determined by the sociability of that race.

Other Classes:  Evangelists tend to be liked by most other adventuring classes; after all, being likable is conducive to converting others to one's own religion.  However, an evangelist who travels with someone whose behaviors or values go against the evangelist's religion or cause may find their relationship with such individuals to be icy.

Role:  An evangelist's role tends to vary depending on their alignment.  Good evangelists are generally powerful and flexible healers, even more so than clerics.  Evil evangelists can wield the power of atypically strong negative energy spells.  Neutral evangelists are proficient in both of these roles, but to a lesser degree.

No matter their alignment, evangelists are capable of allocating their casting to either a very large quantity of mostly low level support spells or a smaller amount of low and mid level support spells that are empowered with strong metamagic; however, this power comes at the price of their relative lack of higher leveled spell slots.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Evangelists have the following game statistics.

Abilities:  Charisma determines how powerful a spell an evangelist can cast, how many spells they can cast per day, and how hard those spells are to resist (see Spells, below).  Charisma is also important to many of the evangelist's auxiliary class skills.  A high Dexterity score gives an evangelist a bonus to Armor Class and ranged touch attacks, and a high Constitution score improves an evangelist's hit points.

Alignment:  The alignment of an evangelist who worships a deity must be within one step of that deity's alignment (on either the good/evil axis or the lawful/chaotic axis, but not both).  This alignment restriction is the same as the one placed on clerics; if a cleric of a specific deity has special alignment restrictions, those alignment restrictions also apply to an evangelist of the same deity.  An evangelist who worships an idea or cause instead of a deity can be of any alignment.

Hit Die: d6

CLASS SKILLS
The evangelist's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Perform (oratory) (Cha), Perform (sing) (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Languages (n/a), and Spellcraft (Int).

Domains and Class Skills:  If a cleric would gain additional class skills by choosing a specific domain, an evangelist who chooses the same domain also gains those class skills.

Skill Points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level:  4 + Int modifier

EVANGELIST CLASS PROGRESSION

Level
BAB
Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save

Special
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1st
+0
+0
+0
+2
Rhetorical Manipulation
6
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
2nd
+1
+0
+0
+3
6
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
3rd
+1
+1
+1
+3
6
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4th
+2
+1
+1
+4
Divine/Profane Word 1 (0)
6
6
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5th
+2
+1
+1
+4
Bonus MM Feat
6
7
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
6th
+3
+2
+2
+5
6
8
4
0
-
-
-
-
-
-
7th
+3
+2
+2
+5
Divine/Profane Word 2 (1)
6
8
5
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
8th
+4
+2
+2
+6
6
9
6
3
0
-
-
-
-
-
9th
+4
+3
+3
+6
6
9
7
4
0
-
-
-
-
-
10th
+5
+3
+3
+7
Bonus MM Feat,
Universal Word 1
6
10
7
5
2
0
-
-
-
-
11th
+5
+3
+3
+7
6
10
8
6
3
0
-
-
-
-
12th
+6/+1
+4
+4
+8
6
11
8
7
4
0
0
-
-
-
13th
+6/+1
+4
+4
+8
6
11
9
7
5
2
0
-
-
-
14th
+7/+2
+4
+4
+9
Divine/Profane Word 3 (2)
6
12
9
8
6
3
0
0
-
-
15th
+7/+2
+5
+5
+9
Bonus MM Feat
6
12
10
8
7
4
0
0
-
-
16th
+8/+3
+5
+5
+10
6
13
10
9
7
5
2
0
0
-
17th
+8/+3
+5
+5
+10
Divine/Profane Word 4 (3)
6
13
11
9
8
6
3
0
0
-
18th
+9/+4
+6
+6
+11
6
14
11
10
8
6
4
0
0
0
19th
+9/+4
+6
+6
+11
6
14
12
10
8
6
4
1
0
0
20th
+10/+5
+6
+6
+12
Bonus MM Feat,
Universal Word 2
6
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0

SPELLS READIED PROGRESSION

Level
Rhetorical
Manipulation

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1st
1 spell/day
4
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
2nd
1 spell/day
5
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
3rd
1 spell/day
5
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4th
2 spells/day
6
4
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5th
2 spells/day
6
4
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
6th
2 spells/day
7
5
3
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
7th
2 spells/day
7
5
4
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
8th
3 spells/day
8
6
4
2
1
-
-
-
-
-
9th
3 spells/day
8
6
5
3
2
-
-
-
-
-
10th
3 spells/day
9
6
5
3
2
1
-
-
-
-
11th
3 spells/day
9
6
6
4
3
1
-
-
-
-
12th
4 spells/day
9
6
6
4
3
1
1
-
-
-
13th
4 spells/day
9
6
6
5
4
2
1
-
-
-
14th
4 spells/day
9
6
6
5
4
2
1
1
-
-
15th
4 spells/day
9
6
6
5
5
3
2
1
-
-
16th
5 spells/day
9
6
6
5
5
3
2
2
1
-
17th
5 spells/day
9
6
6
5
5
4
3
2
1
-
18th
5 spells/day
9
6
6
5
5
4
3
2
2
1
19th
5 spells/day
9
6
6
5
5
4
3
3
2
2
20th
6 spells/day
9
6
6
5
5
4
4
3
3
2

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the evangelist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:  Evangelists are proficient with all simple weapons, with light armor, and with shields (except tower shields).

Aura (Ex):  An evangelist of a chaotic, evil, good, or lawful deity has a particularly powerful aura corresponding to the deity's alignment (see the detect evil spell for details).  Evangelists who choose the Chaotic, Evil, Good or Lawful domain have a similarly powerful aura of the corresponding alignment, even if they do not worship a deity.

Spells:  An evangelist casts divine spells (the same type of spells available to the cleric, druid, paladin, and ranger), which are drawn from the cleric spell list (PHB, page 183).  However, their alignment may restrict them from casting certain spells opposed to their moral or ethical beliefs; much like clerics, an evangelist cannot cast a spell with an alignment descriptor that's opposed to either their own alignment or that of their deity.

Evangelists also gain the domain spells and granted power of a single domain.  An evangelist that worships a deity may choose any domain that a cleric of the same domain could choose, and an evangelist who worships an idea or cause can choose any domain related to that idea or cause (but may not choose an alignment domain opposed to their own alignment).

All spells cast by an evangelist have verbal components, even spells that would not have verbal components if cast by a cleric; furthermore, the Silent Spell metamagic cannot be applied to an evangelist spell by any means.  Evangelists channel their divine power through oration, and as a consequence, they are unable to cast even the simplest of spells if they are unable to speak.

Like most other spellcasters, an evangelist's capacity to cast spells each day is limited.  Their base daily spell slot allotment is given on the Evangelist Class Progression table.  In addition, they receive bonus spell slots per day if they have a high Charisma score (see PHB Table 1-1: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells, page 8 ).  If an evangelist of a given level has 0 spell slots of their highest spell level(s), they only gain spell slots of such level(s) if they have gained bonus spells of those level(s).  While an evangelist does get a domain, they do not get spell slots specifically for domains spells; instead, they may use up to one spell slot of each spell level for the purpose of casting a domain spell each day.

In order to regain the energy of expended spell slots, an evangelist must spend 1 hour each day honing the rhetoric that powers their magic.  An evangelist must choose a time of day during which to perform this ritual (for instance, dawn or noon for a good evangelist or dusk or midnight for an evil evangelist).

An evangelist can cast their spells spontaneously, but they can only cast spells that they have readied to cast in advance.  An evangelist can have up to a certain number of spells of each spell level readied at any given time (see the Spells Readied Progression table), and they can only cast from the spells they have readied.  An evangelist does not need to ready their domain spells in order to cast them as domain spells, but if a domain spell is also on their spell list, they can ready it in order to cast it as either a domain spell or a non-domain spell.  If an evangelist takes a level in a prestige class that would advance their spells known, their progression of readied spells is advanced instead.

An evangelist needs a Charisma stat that is at least 10 greater than a spell's level in order to ready or cast that spell; for instance, a Charisma stat of 15 is needed to cast a 5th level spell or to ready a different 5th level spell.  In order to cast a spell, an evangelist must expend a spell slot whose level is equal to or greater than that of the spell being cast, and if metamagic with a level adjustment is being applied to the spell, additional spell slots whose total levels are equal to or greater than the total level of the applied metamagics must also be expended.  If a metamagic domain spell is being cast, the spell slots that are expended for the metamagic cost are not counted toward the limit of domain spells per day; for instance, if you expend a 1st level spell slot to apply metamagic to a domain spell, you can still expend a 1st level spell slot later that day to cast a 1st level domain spell.  Like other spontaneous spellcasters, an evangelist must spend a full round action casting a metamagic spell if its casting time would have been less than a full round action.

Unlike other spellcasting classes, an evangelist cannot cast a metamagic spell by expending a spell slot whose level is greater than that of the spell's level and the metamagic's level.  For instance, an evangelist could apply the Still Spell (+1 level) and Extend Spell (+1 level) metamagics to the Bear's Endurance spell (2nd level) by sacking a second level spell slot for the spell itself and two 1st level slots for the metamagic; however, a 4th level slot would not be sufficient to cast the same spell (such a slot could be used, albeit inefficiently, for either the spell itself or for the metamagic cost, but not both).

An evangelist cannot spend more spell slots to cast a single spell than the highest level of bonus spell slot they could currently gain, given a high enough casting stat.  Thus, an evangelist is able to expend up to 2 spell slots per spell at fourth level, up to 3 spell slots per spell at sixth level, and so on up to 9 spell slots per spell at eighteenth level.

Bonus Metamagic Feats:  At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level, an evangelist gains a bonus metamagic feat.  The evangelist must still meet all prerequisites for the chosen feat, including caster level minimums.  These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets every three levels.

Rhetorical Manipulation:  Unlike most spontaneous casters, evangelists have a limited capacity to change what spells they have readied each day.  During the process of preparing spells for the day, an evangelist may choose to replace a certain number of their readied spells with different readied spells of the same level; by subtly changing the content and nature of their rhetoric, an evangelist can manipulate the magical channel they form with their source of divine power, which in turn changes what spells they are able to spontaneously cast.

A 1st level evangelist may change 1 of their readied spells each day in this fashion; at 4th level and every four levels thereafter, they can change an additional spell each day (2 at 4th level, 3 at 8th level, and so on).  If an evangelist has taken levels in a prestige class that would have advanced their spells known, the levels in that prestige class that would have given such an advancement to their evangelist spellcasting also count for the purpose of determining how many readied spells an evangelist can change during spell preparation.

Alternatively, instead of modifying the rhetoric they currently practice, an evangelist can spend 8 hours to develop and perfect a completely new pattern of divine rhetoric.  By doing so, an evangelist is able to change any number of their readied spells with spells of the corresponding level.  This process is very exhausting, and as a consequence, an evangelist expends all unspent spell slots and is unable to prepare spells normally on days when they change all of their readied spells in this fashion.

Sacred Word/Profane Word (Su):  A good evangelist (or a neutral evangelist of a good deity) can imbue their divine rhetoric with the power of positive energy with greater ease.  When casting a cure spell, a mass cure spell, the Heal spell, or the Mass Heal spell, such an evangelist expends fewer spell slots to apply metamagic to that spell.  This reduction cannot reduce the cost of metamagic with a variable level adjustment (such as Heighten Spell), though it can reduce the cost of other metamagics applied to the same spell.  The reduction applies once across all metamagics applied to a spell cast (rather than to each metamagic individually), and it cannot reduce the expended levels of spell slots below one; however, if the total level adjustment of the metamagics was already zero, it remains at zero.

An evil evangelist (or a neutral evangelist of an evil deity) gains a similar proficiency with imbuing divine rhetoric with negative energy.  Such evangelists gain a similar ability to reduce the spell level cost of metamagics when casting an inflict spell, a mass inflict spell, the Harm spell, or the Mass Harm spell.

An evangelist who is neither good nor evil and whose deity (if any) is neither good or evil becomes proficient in working with both positive energy and negative energy, though they aren't as fluid in doing so as an evangelist who has focused their attention in one or the other.  Such evangelists can reduce the cost of metamagic for cure spells, Heal spells, inflict spells, and Harm spells (as well as the mass versions of each), but the amount by which they are able to reduce the cost of metamagic on these spells is lessened.

At 4th level, good and evil evangelists (as well as neutral evangelists of good and evil deities) can reduce the spell level cost of their metamagic by 1 when casting a cure, Heal, inflict, or Harm spell, including the mass versions of these spells, depending on their alignment and that of their deity.  This reduction increases to 2 at 7th level, 3 at 14th level, and 4 at 17th level.  Neutral evangelists who do not worship a good or evil deity receive 1 less metamagic cost reduction at each of these levels; therefore, they become able to reduce the cost of their metamagic by 1 at 7th level, and this bonus increases to 2 at 14th level and to 3 at 17th level.

This cost can allow an evangelist to cast spells that they would not have been able to cast without this cost reduction.  For example, even an 18th level evangelist would not be able to apply the Empower Spell (+2 level) and Maximize Spell (+3 level) metamagics to the Mass Cure Critical Wounds spell (8th level) without this cost reduction, because doing so would require expending 13 levels worth of spell slots.  However, because the spell slot cost of the metamagic can be reduced to the minimum of 1, a good evangelist could cast this spell by expending an 8th level slot and a 1st level slot.

Universal Word (Su):  An experienced evangelist of any alignment can capitalize on their ability to fluidly manipulate magical energy, no matter what spell they are casting.  An evangelist is able to apply a metamagic cost reduction to every metamagic spell they cast.  This class feature functions like Divine Word and Profane Word, except it applies a smaller reduction and doesn't necessarily require the spell to be a cure, inflict, Heal, or Harm spell.

At 10th level, an evangelist can reduce the spell level cost of their metamagic by 1.  This reduction increases to 2 at 20th level.

Universal Word does not stack with the cost reduction of Divine Word or Profane Word; only the greatest applicable metamagic cost reduction applies.  For example, a good evangelist of 10th level casts cure and Heal spells with a metamagic cost reduction of 2 (because Divine Word applies to these spells) and all other spells, including inflict and Harm spells, with a metamagic cost reduction of 1.

EX-EVANGELISTS
An evangelist who grossly violates the code of conduct required by their god, idea, or cause (generally by acting in ways opposed to the alignment or purposes of what they worship) loses all spells and class features, except for armor and shield proficiencies and proficiency with simple weapons. They cannot gain further levels as an evangelist until they atone (see the atonement spell description, PHB page 201).
"Perfect normality is impossible.  Be unique!"
-- redyoshi49q




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