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Homebrew Class - Bonedancer (Divine Magus alternate class)


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey, all! I've been working on this one for a while, and finally got it to the point I wouldn't be too terribly embarrassed for others to look at this or provide constructive criticism.

In short, this is a WIS based 6th level divine caster caster with spell combat and spell strike, that is heavy on the necromancy theme.
The fluff for this, in a nutshell, is someone who studies necromancy stumbles upon some ritual or forbidden tome or the like, and unwittingly opens themselves up to a dark entity or power or maybe even a dark tapestry type old god. The result is having their arcane talent burned up (or stolen, perhaps?) and replaced with a connection to this being, that provides destructive necromantic powers of entropy, decay, and some...odd...powers that mock mortal life in general.

Let me know what you think about the theme and execution here. I'm looking for some good, constructive feedback, so I probably won't respond to anything snarky (unless it makes a good point).

EDIT: The spell list still needs a bit of work. There are copy/pasted buff spells I need to remove from the list I used :(

Here is the link: The Bonedancer


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Already found an error in the Spells section. They have to prepare their spells. I'll update the link after I get some more feedback.
EDIT: Fixed the Orisons entry too. Boy, you think you proofread a thing...
EDIT: 110th level? /facepalm


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I know exactly what you mean by the proofreading thing. I read it over. It looks really cool. Good job!


I like the theme a lot, combat necromancer is something I'm very fond of. I think you could loosen the origin fluff a little, so it's not entirely drawn from arcane casters dabbling in necromancy; see would-be clerics who lose faith and, in their time of doubt, a new voice comes in the night, or the survivor of an undead attack who finds undeath is not done with them.

Profane Anathema:

1. Call them Anathema. Profane is redundant and makes it too long - in a few places you've dropped it already.

2. Bone Dance: How long does the weapon created last, does it attack immediately? When you say it has the "spell effects" that were on the weapon does that mean it replicates the spell it was channeling through Spellstrike when it hit, or just that if it was under the effect of e.g. Magic Weapon and Profane Pool the copy will be too? Either way I'm concerned about the potential damage spike.

3. Cackling Minions is a cool idea but doesn't seem to do anything. Cackle applies only to hexes created by the person cackling, and it doesn't look like the minions or the bonedancer have any other hexes.

4. Rime blast currently scales horribly, even with Clinging Rime. I guess it comes by it honestly as the child of Pool Strike.

5. Spell Blending needs a rename, as it's no longer adding spells from another list. Dark Knowledge?

6. Coordinated Minions should clarify whether or not it stacks with the Charnel Soldiers feat.

7. The Circles: Very cool, I'm not certain giving them different radii is useful. Are they created centered on the bonedancer? If not they should have to designate a point within X feet. My suggestion would be to have it created centered on the bonedancer, then the effect ends and does not resume if they leave their circle. They're a melee character, creating a defensive area fits.

8 Swift Death seems like an upgrade to Sudden Death rather than the other way around.

9. Augmented Ally: Giving them a Char bonus in place of Con is a headache when they have half his HP instead of calculating it from HD.

10. I don't think an equivalent of the Close Range arcana would go amiss.

11. Last thing, just noticed that the anathema have DC = 10+ half the HD+Wis, rather than his level. Is this deliberate to encourage multiclassing?

Other features:

Spells: You appear to be missing a Spells Known section, though I would assume it's the standard bard/inquisitor spontaneous 6 level caster allotment.

Animated Ally: For convenience maybe consider having them act on his initiative.

Bone Weapon: Can you enchant it? If so Bane of the Living seems like overkill.

Profane Detonation is currently terrible. As much as 96 (and on a 2d6 that's a very real possibility) reduced health at the level you get it, all your remaining pool points, and exhaustion, in exchange for best case scenario, an enhanced fireball. If you're desperate enough to use it there's a very good chance you don't have the pool points to make it effective or the HP to survive the backlash.

Grim Reaper: The spell combat with bone weapon, do you mean spellstrike? I'd consider giving his bone weapon the Ghost Touch ability while incorporeal, or just all the time (it is the capstone after all).

All in all it's very well done. Very flavorful and just needs a few more tweaks.

Dark Archive

Dark Age of Camelot - Bone Dancers Rule!!!!


Aldrakan wrote:
A bunch of awesome feedback

Thanks man! A lot of these points are great.

1) Anathema it is.
2) It's intended to duplicate every effect on the weapon hit that "procs" it, for one hit. Ultimately, it's completely meant to be spikey damage. It's once per day, meant to be a big hit or finish when needed. I like the idea, but if you're concerned (I dont mean this snarkily) at higher levels it's too much, how would you scale it better?
3) Hmm...I was thinking of a completely different hex. I'll look at this again. It was kind of a one off to pay homage to skeleton pets from EQ :P
Originally, the cackle extended any ongoing effects from the bonedancer on an enemy within 15 ft. by one round. I may go back to that.
4) It's meant to be nothing more than a warlock-like ranged blast option, if they were out of spells, if the player chose that for his character. It's power level is at a level I'm comfortable with.
5) I messed that one, good catch. Sounds as good a name as any :P
6) It should not. I'll add a note there.
7) I'll split the difference on the radius, and make them centered on the 'dancer, but static (they don't move with him).
8) Hmm...I thought summoning them as part of an attack action as part of spell combat would be faster than a swift action. You don't think so?
9) I'll just give it the bonuses instead of basing it off of a feat, and give it some bonus HP. That way no one has to look anything up, and it won't be kinda off.
10) Hmm, I'll take a look.
11) Nope. Meant to be his level. Thank you!


Aldrakan wrote:

Other features:

Spells: You appear to be missing a Spells Known section, though I would assume it's the standard bard/inquisitor spontaneous 6 level caster allotment.

Animated Ally: For convenience maybe consider having them act on his initiative.

Bone Weapon: Can you enchant it? If so Bane of the Living seems like overkill.

Profane Detonation is currently terrible. As much as 96 (and on a 2d6 that's a very real possibility) reduced health at the level you get it, all your remaining pool points, and exhaustion, in exchange for best case scenario, an enhanced fireball. If you're desperate enough to use it there's a very good chance you don't have the pool points to make it effective or the HP to survive the backlash.

Grim Reaper: The spell combat with bone weapon, do you mean spellstrike? I'd consider giving his bone weapon the Ghost Touch ability while incorporeal, or just all the time (it is the capstone after all).

Spells: No, they work like a cleric, even though they are only 6th level casters.

Animated Ally: Yes, they should. I'll add a note. They should appear standing and attack on the round summoned, just like a summon monster x spell.

Bone Weapon: They can use their profane pool to add enchantments, yes. bane of the Living is only usable on living or undead targets, not SUPER limiting, but I do see the conundrum of getting a +4 or +5 from profane pool, then squeezing in a +2 enchantment equivalent...they'd have to keep track to keep it going over a total of +10 (enchantments + abilities). I may need to add a note there. Thoughts?

Profane Detonation: Yeah...might replace it or have it do more damage.
On the fence with this one.

Grim Reaper: No, I mean spell combat. Normally you cant make physical attacks or cast most spells while incorporeal. I added that line to show "specific rule trumps general". They can do it for 20 rounds a day, but yeah the entire time they are in that form they can attack as normal.


Ommin Alatar wrote:
Dark Age of Camelot - Bone Dancers Rule!!!!

I didn't know this was a thing! Is it similar?


Spell Blending was actually a copy pasta error. I cleaned it up, and it works now. Kinda thinking this anathema goes against the theme, as they can't learn new spells outside those provided by the dark entity...


Kryzbyn wrote:


2) It's intended to duplicate every effect on the weapon hit that "procs" it, for one hit. Ultimately, it's completely meant to be spikey damage. It's once per day, meant to be a big hit or finish when needed. I like the idea, but if you're concerned (I dont mean this snarkily) at higher levels it's too much, how would you scale it better?

8) Hmm...I thought summoning them as part of an attack action as part of spell combat would be faster than a swift action. You don't think so?

Spells: No, they work like a cleric, even though they are only 6th level casters.

Animated Ally: Yes, they should. I'll add a note. They should appear standing and attack on the round summoned, just like a summon monster x spell.

Bone Weapon: They can use their profane pool to add enchantments, yes. bane of the Living is only usable on living or undead targets, not SUPER limiting, but I do see the conundrum of getting a +4 or +5 from profane pool, then squeezing in a +2 enchantment equivalent...they'd have to keep track to keep it going over a total of +10 (enchantments + abilities). I may need to add a note there. Thoughts?

Grim Reaper: No, I mean spell combat. Normally you cant make physical attacks or cast most spells while incorporeal. I added that line to show "specific rule trumps general". They can do it for 20 rounds a day, but yeah the entire time they are in that form they can attack as normal.

1. My thought was that you can take something that's already a spike of sorts (your most powerful touch spell) and double or triple it. Do the created blades make an attack roll, or do they hit automatically?

Let's assume a +2 Scimitar with 18 Strength, spellstriking with Frigid Touch

1d6+6+4d6, average 23.5 damage
With Bone Dance that turns into 47 damage, which is around lethal on CR 5.

On a crit that's average 47 damage.
I'm assuming Bone Dance doesn't copy the crit, but that still turns it into 94 damage.

This is notably stronger than the nearest magus-equivalent Empower Arcana, and available earlier. It also sort of doubles as Persistent Spell, forcing opponents to pass multiple savings throws against say Ghoul Touch.

If I were to nerf it I'd probably say that it carries enhancement bonuses and weapon properties but doesn't duplicate Spellstrike. Especially with Bane up that's still a nice damage bonus and since you can activate it on confirming a crit you can still turn an otherwise regular attack into something formidable.

All that said, the bonedancer doesn't have as aggressive a spell list and this is stuff the magus can do too, so perhaps my concern is misplaced.

8. With it as a swift action you can use Spell Combat to attack, cast a touch spell to get an extra attack, and summon skeletons all on the same turn. The opportunity cost of not using a touch spell is high enough that it's usually better as a swift action.

Spells: Oh I just totally missed that part. In that case Spell Blending doesn't do anything does it?

Bone Weapon: I meant can you pull out your masterwork bone weapon, take it to a wizard, have them enchant it to +3, then use your profane pool to add another +2 and vicious. If not I'd specify that, but if you can't Bane of the Living is fine and could probably be folded into Profane Pool.

Grim Reaper: I think we may be looking in different places, because I don't see anything in the Incorporeal subtype that prevents them from using spells or attacks, but there's some stuff in ghosts dealing half damage with magic weapons unless they're ghost touch. However it does remove his strength score, so maybe that's why. Can I suggest to avoid confusion:

"While incorporeal he may attack with his bone blade, cast bonedancer spells, and use Spell Combat while wielding his bone blade as though he weren't incorporeal."


Here is what Dark Blending, formerly Spell Blending, says now:

Dark Blending (Ex): When a bonedancer selects this anathema, he must select one spell from the cleric/oracle spell list that is of a bonedancer spell level he can cast. He can prepare this spell as a bonedancer spell of its cleric spell level going forward. He can instead select two spells to add in this way, but both must be at least one level lower than the highest-level bonedancer spell he can cast. He may not select any cure or heal spells. A bonedancer can select this Anathema more than once.

It should still work as intended, right?


Kryzbyn wrote:

Here is what Dark Blending, formerly Spell Blending, says now:

Dark Blending (Ex): When a bonedancer selects this anathema, he must select one spell from the cleric/oracle spell list that is of a bonedancer spell level he can cast. He can prepare this spell as a bonedancer spell of its cleric spell level going forward. He can instead select two spells to add in this way, but both must be at least one level lower than the highest-level bonedancer spell he can cast. He may not select any cure or heal spells. A bonedancer can select this Anathema more than once.

It should still work as intended, right?

Yeah that should do it. You could add restoration to the banned list to cover more bases.


Aldrakan wrote:
More good stuff

1) Ahh. I'll remove the words "or spell effects", then. That should do it.

8) Hmm. Hadn't considered that. I think I'll just get rid of Sudden Death then. No reason for it to be there, as you can do what I had intended with a swift action anyway AND keep the spell.

Spells: See my above post on Dark Blending.

Bone Weapon: Now says, "Further more, the bone weapon may only be given enhancement bonuses or special abilities by using the bonedancer's profane pool. When he does so, he also gains the benefit of the improved critical feat while wielding the bone weapon."

Grim Reaper: Hmm, I'll look again, but that wording works better than mine anyway :P


Aldrakan wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:

Here is what Dark Blending, formerly Spell Blending, says now:

Dark Blending (Ex): When a bonedancer selects this anathema, he must select one spell from the cleric/oracle spell list that is of a bonedancer spell level he can cast. He can prepare this spell as a bonedancer spell of its cleric spell level going forward. He can instead select two spells to add in this way, but both must be at least one level lower than the highest-level bonedancer spell he can cast. He may not select any cure or heal spells. A bonedancer can select this Anathema more than once.

It should still work as intended, right?

Yeah that should do it. You could add restoration to the banned list to cover more bases.

On the first draft it had a note about not being able to select any spells that dealt with positive or holy energy. I'll add restoration spells to the banned part.


Ahh, I had mixed up incorporeal and ethereal.
I'm still going to add that verbiage, just in case.


Is this better?

Profane Detonation (Su): At 16h level, the bonedancer can release all of his necromantic reserves in one devastating blast at the cost of his own health. As long as the bonedancer has more than 3 points left in his profane pool, once per day, as a standard action, the bonedancer may elect to release all of the points remaining in his profane pool. This has the effect of instantly filling an area of 25 ft. + 5 ft. per bonedancer level radius with unholy and negative energy. All living creatures in the area must succeed a reflex saving throw with a DC of 10 + half of the bonedancer's level + his Wisdom modifier. Creatures who fail this save suffer 2d6 unholy damage and 2d6 negative energy damage for every point spent from the profane pool. Creatures that succeed their save suffer half damage, and are also nauseated for 1d4 rounds.
The bonedancer is reduced to 1 hit point, and is fatigued for one round per point of the profane pool spent for the effort.
Natural vegetation int the area withers instantly, and the area affected will not support life again for 2d6 months.


Thinking out loud here...
Minimum damage, at 3 points from the profane pool is 6d6 negative energy, 6d6 unholy energy, avg of @42 damage total...
Maximum damage, assuming a Wis of 30 for 18 profane points at level 16 is 36d6 negative, 36d6 unholy, avg of @252 damage total...
More likely at most 9 arcane points 18d6/18d6 avg of @126 damage total.

That's a bit too much at the upper cap. Wizards cant do that kind of damage at level 16, can they? With one spell?

Con of 18 with 16HD of d12's max health is 256 hp...
Maybe that's not too much, then?

Still might need to come up with something else entirely...

Maybe swap bone eruption and profane detonation?


Also:
Cackling Minions (Su): Once per summoning, each of the bonedancer's minions created by their animated ally ability may cackle madly as a standard action. Creatures within 15 ft. of the ally must succeed a Will save, or be shaken for as long as the animated allies are within sight.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It's so similar to the magus that it might as well have been an archetype. I'm not particularly a fan of many of the magus arcana. I feel like animated ally needs reconsidered as it requires you to stat up a new creature on the fly instead of just letting you use an existing one (like say...a skeleton). I also don't understand why it's considered a conjuration effect when you're not conjuring them and you're literally animating someone's skeleton.


The only things the class keeps from the magus are spell combat, spell strike, and a handful of arcana. Everything else is different, so that was my logic.
The animated allies you'd only have to stat up once, then update as you level in minor ways, or when you enhance them with anathema. The only thing you'd need to change each time is weapons and armor, possibly.
Simply adding the skeleton template to each ex-enemy you animate would take more time, I think. I did consider this as well...

I was trying to find a way to let them have instant, short duration undead minions. The original draft had an animal companion like chart, with 3 different roles for the minion that could be summoned, chart for what gear hey had, and feats they could select. Ultimately, I liked this version of them better, because it seemed to flow better with the theme, and was way less complicated.

Sorry you don't like it, Cyrad, but thanks for checking it out!


In Dark Age of Camelot MMORPG (older game before World of Warcraft) there was the Bone Dancer. It was basically a cloth caster with an instant life drain spell and had up to 3 skeleton minions following him around.

The most common spec for this class was to have the skeletal minions have healing specialty. So with life drain and all the extra healing. This little caster would run through groups. Spamming life drain and walk out alive.

They were a blast to play.

Now if you hooked up with another class that had the group speed ability... Wow, off the chain! Zoom... kill kill kill... zoom to next victims!


Err...that detonation is too much for a replacement for counterstrike...
Gonna come up with something else...

How's this:
Profane Counter (Ex): At 16h level, the bonedancer can prevent any curative magics cast near him. When a cure wounds or heal spell is cast on a target within 15 ft. of the bonedancer, he may attempt to counterspell it as an immediate action.


The formatting should be fixed for ease of reading. Add a line break between paragraphs and between class features, etc. You list the prerequisites for profane anathema in boldface, but this is confusing. I suggest doing this in standard text, and don't start it on a new line.


Ahh ok. I did that on purpose to easily identify the requirements. So if you're skimming, you immediately know which ones arent eligible yet.
But, I can certainly do that.


Link with new formatting and updates:
The Bonedancer


Kryzbyn wrote:

Err...that detonation is too much for a replacement for counterstrike...

Gonna come up with something else...

How's this:
Profane Counter (Ex): At 16h level, the bonedancer can prevent any curative magics cast near him. When a cure wounds or heal spell is cast on a target within 15 ft. of the bonedancer, he may attempt to counterspell it as an immediate action.

That seems better (I didn't articulate this properly, but the fundamental challenge with profane explosion was such an extreme, kill-opponent-or-die move is very hard to balance).

However by default you can only counterspell something by expending the same spell or ones that specifically counter each other, and of course the bonedancer doesn't get cure or heal spells. Perhaps:

"When a cure wounds or heal spell is cast on a target within 15 ft. of the bonedancer, as an immediate action he may counterspell it using any bonedancer spell of the same level or higher."

Or:

"When a cure wounds or heal spell is cast on a target within 15 ft. of the bonedancer, as an immediate action he may attempt an opposed caster level check against the spellcaster. If he succeeds, the spell is lost."


They can counter with inflict, under the diametrically opposed verbiage.
Or with dispel magic.


Aldrakan wrote:


That seems better (I didn't articulate this properly, but the fundamental challenge with profane explosion was such an extreme, kill-opponent-or-die move is very hard to balance).

Aye. It was a good idea in theory, but not easy to parse into mechanics to make it worthwhile without going overboard. AND it was replacing something much lower in scale at that level.

I may reserve that for another class idea :P


Still needs line breaks in many places. The introduction and class features need them between paragraphs. The spell list also needs them between each level's spells. If you have a way to justify the paragraphs instead of aligning them to the left I think that would help too IMHO.


New Link: The Bonedancer

I added some indentations for paragraphs and separated the spell list up by level. Hope that helps :)


Updated Link: The Bonedancer

Cleaned up the formatting some more...
Added a couple anathema:
One that allows the bonedancer to spontaneously cast inflict spells;
One that allows the bonedancer to 'corrupt' an animal companion if they have one from another class.


*BUMP*

Anything else?


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I know exactly what you mean by the proofreading thing. I read it over. It looks really cool. Good job!

Thank you!


I'll review this by this weekend, thought it looks much more readable now. My eyes have some trouble with small, crowded lettering.


That was the plan. If it needs more tweaking, let me know!
Thanks ahead of time for taking a look.

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