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Diffan
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USA
4104 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  15:04:28  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So in my ever continuing quest to fully flesh out deities and their respected Prestige Class equivalents, we come to the Red Knight. Not much is written on this particular deity, a small article in Dragon #317 talks about her clergy and the types of things they utilize (in terms of skills, feats, items, some rituals) and how they operate, but once again there's nothing specific -mechanically speaking- that really is tailored to her particular style. Sure, there are loads of options in Core 3.5 that can fit, take any Prestige Class that say "knight" or casts divine spells without staunch requirements against her ethos and you're good, Still, having a prestige class that is designed to heighten what she's really about is warranted IMO. So, I present the Holy Strategist. As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

Holy Strategists, clergy of the Red Knight, devote themselves to mastering military tactics and strategy. These militant warrior-priests and paladins hone their
minds and bodies into the deadliest weapons on Faerûn.

Entry Requirements

Alignment: Lawful good, lawful neutral, or lawful evil
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Skills: Diplomacy or Intimidation 6 ranks; Knowledge (history) 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks
Spellcasting: Ability to cast 2nd level divine spells.
Feats: Combat Expertise or Combat Focus (Player’s Handbook II)
Patron Deity: Must have the Red Knight as your patron deity

The Holy Strategist
Hit Die:
D8

HOLY STRATEGIST
Table: 1-1

         Base        Fort    Ref    Will                      
Level Attack Bonus   Save    Save   Save                Special                                  Spellcasting
1st       +0          +2      +0     +2            Art of war, issue command (I)      +1 of existing divine spellcasting class                                                                                        
2nd       +1          +3      +0     +3            Feared and Respected               +1 of existing divine spellcasting class
3rd       +2          +3      +1     +3            Bonus feat                         +1 of existing divine spellcasting class
4th       +3          +4      +1     +4            Mater of tactics                   +1 of existing divine spellcasting class
5th       +3          +4      +1     +4            Issue commands (II)                +1 of existing divine spellcasting class 
6th       +4          +5      +2     +5            Bonus feat                         +1 of existing divine spellcasting class 
7th       +5          +5      +2     +5            Battlefield mastery                +1 of existing divine spellcasting class
8th       +6          +6      +2     +6            Fight as one                       +1 of existing divine spellcasting class
9th       +7          +6      +3     +6            Bonus feat                         +1 of existing divine spellcasting class
10th      +7          +7      +3     +7            Issue commands (III)               +1 of existing divine spellcasting class

Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level) — Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Ride (Dex), and Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the holy strategist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As a holy strategist, you are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all types of armor and shields. As a supplicant to the Red Knight, the weapon of choice is usually the one that provides the most advantageous outcome depending on the situations. Often times it’s the Longsword, as that is the Red Knight’s signature weapon. But polearms for reach, bows and crossbows for range, or even daggers and short swords in narrow situations are not uncommon in the hands of a holy strategist.

Spellcasting: At each level indicated on the holy strategist table, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming a holy strategist, they must decide which class gains each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Art of War (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, you gain a realization of using your wits while taking measure of your opponents. Whether this is a mental analysis or a commanding presence, it helps you determine the best place to apply force or utilize your surroundings to better effect. From now on, you add your Charisma or Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus on opposed rolls when making these special attacks: Bull Rush, Disarm, Feint, Grapple, Sunder, and Trip. This bonus also applies to your opposed rolls when these attacks are used on you.

Issue Command (Ex): Beginning at 1st level, you know how to motivate your troops. As a full-round action, you can issue one of the following commands. You can only issue one such command per round and it only affects one ally within range. At 5th, and again at 10th level you may have your commands affect one additional ally within the effect’s range per round:

- Charge: You issue a Command to an ally of yours within 30 feet of you, allowing them to move and attack on your turn. Your ally uses their immediate action to move up to half their speed, and if they end their movement within reach of an enemy, they can make a single melee weapon attack against that enemy. Your ally can add your Charisma or Intelligence modifier to the damage roll of their attack.

- Formation: You issue a Command to an ally within 30 feet of you, improving their defenses while they group together. Until the start of your next turn, if two or more allies (including yourself) are within 5-feet of each other when they are attacked, the first attack roll made against each ally takes a -5 penalty.

- Let Fly: You issue a Command to an ally of yours within 60-feet of you, allowing them to make a ranged attack on your turn as an Immediate Action. Your ally can target any creature within line of sight of both you and your ally. Your ally can add your Charisma or Intelligence modifier to the damage roll of the attack.

- Regroup: You issue a Command to one of your allies within 30 feet of you, bolstering their resolve and stamina. The ally gains temporary hit points equal to number of levels of holy strategist you have + your Charisma or Intelligence modifier. These temporary hit points go away at the end of combat.

- Retreat: you issue a Command to one of your allies within 30 feet of you, allowing them to fall back safely. Until the start of your next turn, the ally’s movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity when leaving a threatened square.

- Unleash: You issue a Command to one of your allies within 30 feet of you, allowing them to cast a spell on your turn. Your ally can use their immediate action to cast a spell of a level equal to one-half your holy strategist level (rounded down) against a creature within line of sight of both you and your ally. Spells that allow multiple attack rolls can only make half of those attack rolls (rounded up) as part of their immediate action.
As a holy strategist, you can issue a number of Commands per day equal to 3 + your Charisma or Intelligence modifier.

Feared and Respected (Ex): At 2nd level, your ability to inspire your troops or intimidate your foes becomes even more powerful. You gain a +5 competence bonus to your Diplomacy and Intimidation checks. If you use your ability to demoralize an opponent, the effects remain for 24-hours.

Bonus Feat: At 3rd level, you further train in the ways of unique combat forms and styles. Choose any feat in which Combat Expertise or Combat Focus is a prerequisite for. You may gain that feat as a bonus feat. You must still meet the prerequisites before obtaining the feat. You gain an additional bonus feat this way at 6th and again at 9th level.

Master of Tactics (Ex): As a student of battle, you know that coordination and planning are key elements to winning any strategic campaign. Even on a smaller scale, skirmishes are won because of quick reactions and teamwork. Capitalizing on your knowledge of old battles and war, you’re more quickly able to lend aid to your enemies in a fight. Starting at 4th level, you may use the Aid Another action in combat as part of a full-attack action. The bonus to your ally’s next attack roll, bonus to AC, or to assist in another character’s skill check is equal to 1 + your Charisma or Intelligence modifier.

Battlefield Mastery (Ex): Movement and position is just as important in any battle or skirmish as the strength of one’s arm or the precision of your arrow or the placement of a spell. Movement keeps your enemy guessing while you reach areas that are better defensible or easier to attack from. Starting at 7th level, you and each ally within 30 feet of you gains a bonus to their Initiative equal to your Charisma or Intelligence modifier. Additionally, any ally (including yourself) within the same radius reduces the speed penalty of medium and heavy armor by 5-ft due to the grueling training you put yourself and your troops though on a constant basis.

Fight as One (Ex): Knowing how to fight as a single unit and remain strong in the face of adversary is one of the greatest aspects you strive to display. This show of strength and unison is seen in how you brave deadly perils and come out the other side still fighting. At 8th level, whenever you and any ally that you can see and hear within 60 feet, fails a Fortitude, Reflex, or Wisdom saving throw, you may reroll the die. You must take the results of the second roll, even if they’re worse than the first.

You may perform this ability twice per day.



*Notes on Immediate Actions
Immediate Action: Much like a swift action, an immediate action consumes a very small amount of time, but represents a larger expenditure of effort than a free action. However, unlike a swift action, an immediate action can be performed at any time—even if it’s not your turn. Using an immediate action on your turn is the same as using a swift action, and counts as your swift action for the turn.

You cannot use another immediate action or a swift action until after your next turn if you have used an immediate action when it is not currently your turn (effectively, using an immediate action before your turn is equivalent to using your swift action for the coming turn).

You cannot use an immediate action if you are currently flat-footed.

About the command: Unleash
Yes, I understand this is powerful. The ability to grant up to 3 of your allies a quickened spell up to 5th level is quite potent. I'm open to suggestions (in particular) on modifying this to have utility and fun, without being broken. Maybe the level is too high? Maybe you can only grant your allies a spell of 1st or 2nd level to use or maybe only as high as 3rd?

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 12 Apr 2021 01:30:11

Lord Karsus
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Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  15:39:34  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-The Intelligence/Charisma modifier to attacks makes sense. Would that be in addition to the normal STR (or whatever the main ability would be based on feats and whatever) or does that replace it?

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4104 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  15:50:39  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-The Intelligence/Charisma modifier to attacks makes sense. Would that be in addition to the normal STR (or whatever the main ability would be based on feats and whatever) or does that replace it?



Yes, in essence you're giving your Ally either some sort of insight (not the bonus) into a weakness of a foe or you're actions inspire your Ally to hit hard, as your influence pumps them up.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
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4104 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2021 :  16:00:11  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Potential fix for Unleash command...

- Unleash:] You issue a Command to one of your allies within 30 feet of you, allowing them to cast a spell on your turn. Your ally can use their immediate action to cast a spell of 1st level against a creature within line of sight of both you and your ally. Spells that allow multiple attack rolls can only make half of those attack rolls (rounded up) as part of their immediate action. At 5th level, allies can cast up to a 2nd level spell. At 10th level, they can cast a spell up to 3rd level.


This would keep the power level down from crazy off-turn casting, using up a resources roughly 1/3 of the party's overall power.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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LordofBones
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Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  02:20:33  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wouldn't knowledge (history) be more appropriate for the deity of strategy and tactics?
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4104 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  06:21:25  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Wouldn't knowledge (history) be more appropriate for the deity of strategy and tactics?



You know, probably. That's a good take, I'm swapping out Knowledge (nobility & royalty) for Knowledge (history). Still requires 4 ranks

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

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Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  10:30:22  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't the prestige classes of the faiths have something to do with an order, sect, or secret society within that faith that has some mandated or self-appointed mission? For example, the Knights of Ilmater, a heavy cavalry unit introduced in the 2E Hordes of Dragonspear adventure, are a half hundred paladins dedicated to the faith of Ilmater whom are independent of the church and believe that it is their place to travel from battle to battle always on the watch for a worthy cause to adopt. What role does the Holy Strategist fill for the organized religion of Red Knight? How does one become initiated into this prestige class?

Frankly, I am disappointed that yet another prestige class of a combat god is closed to the Fighter & Barbarian classes, but the prerequisites do not exclude Ranger. This goes doubly so since the abilities granted by the Holy Strategist have nothing to do with either the Paladin or Cleric classes, and the only affect on spellcasting is to increase the existing divine spellcasting classes spell in line with regular level advancement for the base class. In fact, all of the abilities are extraordinary in nature requiring no spell-like or supernatural effects to explain.

I still cannot shake the feeling that this build misses the mark when it comes to Red Knight. The clerics of Red Knight are already called "Holy Strategists" just like the patronage is called the "Red Fellowship." The Order of the Red Falcon is an existing subsect of the Red Fellowship at the Citadel of Strategic Militancy where they teach tactics, strategy, & military history to aspiring officers. The call-outs for Red Knight are strategy & planning (at least in 2E, 3E, & 5E - I don't know what they were thinking in 4E). All of the abilities laid out above seem awfully compulsory, very tied to charismatic-style leadership, and too small in scope for what would be in the bailiwick of Red Knight. C'mon, this deity has a holiday where they they have a all day tournament of chess - I think their abilities would be more geared towards formations, fortifications, & favorable terrain than individual pawns.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4104 Posts

Posted - 11 Apr 2021 :  20:16:25  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Don't the prestige classes of the faiths have something to do with an order, sect, or secret society within that faith that has some mandated or self-appointed mission? For example, the Knights of Ilmater, a heavy cavalry unit introduced in the 2E Hordes of Dragonspear adventure, are a half hundred paladins dedicated to the faith of Ilmater whom are independent of the church and believe that it is their place to travel from battle to battle always on the watch for a worthy cause to adopt. What role does the Holy Strategist fill for the organized religion of Red Knight? How does one become initiated into this prestige class?


When one looks at any of the official Prestige Classes dedicated to other faiths, like the Justicar of Tyr for example in Player's Guide to Faerun, there's not much there in terms of how they obtain this classification. What separates a Cleric 20 of Tyr and a Cleric 10/Justicar of Tyr 10? Similar to specialty priest kits of 2E, one can easily just be a cleric of said deity and 'not' take the specialties of that deity. Are they not still divine followers of the same God?

For these Holy Strategists, they are the commanding forces behind the Red Knight's military and auxiliary troops. Sure, any cleric of the red knight is a 'holy strategist' but these are the exemplary ones that excel in the concepts of strategy. How they obtain this specific classification, could certainly be up to the individual DM to determine. Maybe they need to defend an outpost or survive an onslaught and win the day to achieve this higher aspect? Or maybe they need to take on an extremely difficult foe (ECL +5 of the group's level) and defeat them? I leave that part up to the individual groups to make it their own, something unique that you're likely to find in your particular campaign.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Frankly, I am disappointed that yet another prestige class of a combat god is closed to the Fighter & Barbarian classes, but the prerequisites do not exclude Ranger.


Fighters (and Samurai, Swashbucklers, Warblades and Crusaders and even Duskblades) can absolutely worship the Red Knight, they're just not called holy strategists because they're not apart of her clergy. That's why prestige classes like the Divine Champion (PGtF), Blackguard (DMG), Divine Crusader (CD), and Pious Templar (CD) exist, to give non-casting classes a better feel for their divine patrons. But I think someone like a Barbarian wouldn't favor the Red Knight due to her strong adherence to law and order and militaristic function, but more or less accept Tempus, the God of War (CN alignment).

Alternatively, you can just as easily remove the Spellcasting advancement AND Requirements from this Prestige Class - since none of the features are specifically tied to them - and make it work that way. Or instead add in Initiator Levels from the Tome of Battle: Book of 9 Swords. Maybe give them access to Devoted Spirit, Iron Heart, and White Raven disciplines.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

This goes doubly so since the abilities granted by the Holy Strategist have nothing to do with either the Paladin or Cleric classes, and the only affect on spellcasting is to increase the existing divine spellcasting classes spell in line with regular level advancement for the base class. In fact, all of the abilities are extraordinary in nature requiring no spell-like or supernatural effects to explain.


That's done on purpose. The only feature Clerics get are Domains (of which, none are cleric-level based as far as Domains the Red Knight grants) and Turning, and since the clergy of the Red Knight don't have any particularly strong feelings towards undead (whether they control them via Rebuke or Turn them), significant advancement here wasn't necessary. Again, look at the multitude of PrCs of deities and very few continue advancement of turning and the ones that do, heavily invest in undead destruction (Morninglords of Lathander, Hunter of the Dead, Doomguides, etc.). So both features of the cleric aren't avenues that a lot of holy strategists pursue.

For paladins, very similar story. Only 5 prestige classes strongly favor any Paladin advancement (Gray Guards, Knight Hospitalers, Divine Champions, Triadic Knights, and Fist of Raziel). Some do smites, some advance lay on hands, some a bit of both. Other than that, nada. THAT was because the core game REALLY pressured Paladin players to stick it out in a single class for 20+ levels. ALL of the paladin abilities (detect evi, smite, spells, lay on hands, turning, special mount, remove disease) advanced based on your level. Very few if any advanced these normally, so I stuck with that theme. Heck, Paladins were even sworn to never stray from the path (including Prestige Classes) otherwise they could never return to taking level in Paladin. Only some holy orders of deities allow a paladin to continue advancement in their field after multiclassing/Prestige Classing.

Paladins who become holy strategists tend to favor group efforts and staged battles rather than going off along and doing their thing without support of others (such as taking the Leadership feat).

What I did do with the class is made a lot of their abilities key off of either Intelligence or Charisma. A Paladin who goes into HS can still get a LOT of use out of their continued buffing of Charisma, not only for saves, lay on hands, turning and smite buffs but for bonuses to damage for allies abilities and for an increase when using the Aid Another action. Not only that, but it's for clerics who also continue to use their Charisma for Turning and Skills (albeit less so). I also wanted to play up the fact that Intelligence is too easily and often a "dump" stat for divine and martial classes. By putting incentive to using Intelligence, it might entice a player to invest in a Intelligence-focused Fighter or a Warblade or even a Duskblade. Classes that get good use out of their Intelligence modifier. Or even the rare Factotum class. Font of Knowledge, Knowledge domain, focus on strategy and intelligence are absolutely things the Red Knight encourages.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

I still cannot shake the feeling that this build misses the mark when it comes to Red Knight. The clerics of Red Knight are already called "Holy Strategists" just like the patronage is called the "Red Fellowship." The Order of the Red Falcon is an existing subsect of the Red Fellowship at the Citadel of Strategic Militancy where they teach tactics, strategy, & military history to aspiring officers.


In similar church structures, they have titles depending on your dedication, time, and efforts to further that organization's ideals. These titles have -usually- zero game ramifications other than maybe status with people of similar faith. A Cleric 17 of Lathander is no doubt a highly decorated elite clergy member in that faith and undoubtedly called a Morninglord. Other titles include: Dawngreeter
Dawnlord (the church does not use feminine form of titles often), High Dawnlord, Dawnmaster, Morninglord, High Morninglord, Morn master, High Mornmaster, and Sunrise Lord. Does this mean that same cleric 17 isn't a Morninglord because he didn't take levels in the Prestige Class Morninglord of Lathander? Does this mean people in service or Cormyr's Purple Dragons who don't take Purple Dragon Knight as their Prestige Class aren't Purple Dragon Knight? What about a human Knight (PH2) character of 3rd level in Cormyr working for the crown and enrolled into the Purple Dragons army. He's a Knight, a purple dragon but doesn't have levels in Purple Dragon Knight - what is he?

Coming back to the Red Knight, paladins in service to the Red Knight are called Red Falcons, especially ones who train at the Citadel of Strategic Militancy. So i'm a Paladin about to take my 2nd level. I don't like the idea of losing my Divine Grace for Brilliant Strategy (and Extraordinary ability - by the way) and therefore don't. Am I still a Red Falcon? Lets say I hit 6th level and pass up all the alternative class features of the "Red Falcon" options, but still in service to the Red Knight, do I no longer become a Red Falcon just because I didn't take those options? Fun note, Red Falcons actually lose out on Turning attempts because they don't focus as much on it as a normal paladin.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

The call-outs for Red Knight are strategy & planning (at least in 2E, 3E, & 5E - I don't know what they were thinking in 4E). All of the abilities laid out above seem awfully compulsory, very tied to charismatic-style leadership, and too small in scope for what would be in the bailiwick of Red Knight.


4E didn't have Domains listed for her, being an Exarch and all, but easily Civilizatin, Skill, and War with her warpriest taking the "Torm" options for their domain (and simply re-writing the prayers to fit her visual cocepts).

In 3.5, the edition this is created and designed for, she has Law, Planning, Nobility, Temperance, and War as domains for her clerics. Law just grants a bonus to lawful spells. Planning is basically a lot of divination (though I hated Deathwatch as a domain spell and swapped it for Omen of Peril instead from Spell Compendium) spells. Temperance and War have a combined total of 1 Compulsion spell (Temperance - 2nd level: [Calm Emotions). Nobility has 3 of 9 spells with Compulsion and their granted ability is morale in nature, absolutely Charisma/inspring focused.

Outside of these few spells, the "Commands" are simply bonuses that let her allies do their thing - but better. These are not forced upon her allies. Honestly, why do people get hung up on that? We're in an adventuring party - the Fighter moves into the monsters area and attacks him. The Holy Strategist sees that the Rogue can swoop in from behind and stab the critter in the back quickly and points that out to her. What, she doesn't want to take advantage of stabbing the bad-guy in the kidney for a free attack and sneak attack? .....ok? So maybe she wants to just shoot him then? Ok, shoot him instead with a bonus to the damage roll! The whole concept is to help fight as one cohesive unit. If PCs there don't want to do that - why are they even there adventuring?

As for scope, Dungeons and Dragons is specifically designed to be small-scale skirmishing that led from bigger Army-based table-top warfare. That's what we have to work with. Otherwise, you might as well just use the Red Knight as simply flavor or to be used only when you have a War-style Campaign as detailed in the Heroes of Battle. Or just make the Legendary Leader Prestige Class from that book a Red Knight exclusive class. Seems to be what you're looking for, as it doesn't require spellcasting.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

C'mon, this deity has a holiday where they they have a all day tournament of chess - I think their abilities would be more geared towards formations, fortifications, & favorable terrain than individual pawns.


Formations is a command that gives your allies better fortification as they come togeter. Not only that but Master of Tactics allows them a better bonus when Holy Strategits aid their allies, either a buff to attack or Armor Class or a Skill check.

TO be better fortified, Fight as One gives them an advantage against deadly spells or effects that might otherwise disable or kill them. They can also regroup to regain a measurable amount of Temporary Hit points.

To achieve favorable terrain, you have to be the first ones there - which Holy Strategists help by giving allies a boost to their speed and Initiative.

If these small-scale abilities are too little/small a focus, then I don't really know what to tell you? Thing is, a vast majority of D&D games (and by that, the features that pertain to it) are doing to be small-scope in nature. Squad-based combat and abilities is generally what D&D and the options that go into it are focused on. There's a few things that help, Heroes of Battle being one, but they most definitely outliers to the greater whole.


Alternatively, if you want to do Mass Combat in D&D, the Holy Strategist can easily use her Command for Troop Units instead of individual players or Troop Unit Leaders. The higher the level, the more units the Holy Strategist affects.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
323 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  00:55:24  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not domains, portfolio was what I was talking about. *sigh* You are right in that the system is micro-tactical in nature. I get why you chose to make all the powers of this prestige class small in scope to fit with the d20 battlemat. Red Knight is essentially side-lined by that system since what her designated deity wheelhouse is strategy & planning on a macro scale. Then again, she is also side-lined by the lore for the same reason relegating her to demi-power status with a following commensurate of her stature. Everything here is too small in scope to fit with Red Knight's theme and flavor, which is fine if you primarily want a prestige class for players to choose for maximizing their adventuring group instead of advancing the cause of the deity's faith. If the reason you are making this is entirely for players to choose as PCs, then I am not going to argue further.

If you are arguing that this is to flesh out the faith more then I counter-argue that this is off the mark. Red Knight's forte is in planning and strategizing, which means winning the battle before the first units are even mobilized from their bivouacs, and not making up a plan after coming in contact with the enemy. Fortifications are built, favorable terrain is chosen, battle plans are drawn up, contingencies are discussed, and reserves are designated before there is sight of the opposing forces based upon the best intelligence available. All of these things are done so that when an opportunity arises to seize the objective, turn an army's flank, or capitalize on an enemy's blunder there are forces that can achieve these things without creating a vulnerability that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. All of the powers of this prestige class just don't have that feel to them; however, it would fit with the greater god of battle, Tempus.

Your arguments that the prestige class boosts are in line with what I said about formations, fortifications, & favorable terrain because it affects 2 or 3 pawns means I was not clear enough. Bards have greater battlefield presence and dominance than what is proposed here which would make them greater officers than this write-up. Skirmishers, soldiers of the line, artillery, shock troops, scouts, and other units are the basic pieces that such a prestige class should be moving because they are meant to be officers, since moving individual soldiers is the responsibility of sergeants. Quick reactions & teamwork can win a single melee struggle but planning, concise orders, and discipline will overturn that result on a battlefield and will be the telling blow in a war. Just as important would be the use of large scale deceptions, obfuscations, retreats, counters, and rapid maneuvers to over-extend, unbalance, or force the unprotected movement of enemy units into untenable positions or screen them out of the fight, which achieves the result of limiting the actual fighting and reducing the overall carnage - something that is not a desirable outcome in a small scope fight but is in line with the deification of Red Knight to counterbalance the demigod Garagos' portfolio of slaughter.

Again, if your primary motivation is to create a PrC for players to choose for their PCs then what you are proposing makes sense from the system rules side. The lore for an obscure and disfavored demigod should not matter.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10107 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  01:11:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey Diffan, you may want to add some requirement that they know how to play games of skill (lanceboard, go, wheel of spells, etc...). My remembering of 3.5 makes me thing there was a skill way to do that, but I could be wrong. If not, perhaps some points in sense motive, bluff, and gather information (maybe less points in the knowledge (religion) skill to make up for the extra ).

Take the below with a grain of salt mind you, as I have a certain view of the Red Knight, and it may color my thoughts. I view her as not just a god of war, but a god god of strategy in all its forms (spellcasting, battlefield, and in games). Also, I'm more or less trying to throw out ideas to make this class seem more like a "red knight adherent", but I may be a little open ended on what to replace things with. I view the red knight as a goddess who rewards planning and preparation. Her planning domain gives the extend spell feat. The extend spell feat open access to the persistent spell feat. This is a metamagic feat that's definitely about planning, so perhaps an ability that offers the persistent spell feat for free IF you have planned for it and have the necessary prereq. Maybe another later ability that offers the ability to reduce the metamagic cost on a known feat of your choosing of a spell by lowering it a level, and allowing this ability to work with other similar abilities, and perhaps allowing one free use of this metamagic ability per day on a spell of 3rd level or less.


You know, this makes me think I'd really love to see a "Spell Strategist of the Red Knight" order formed. Maybe a prestige class that's MEANT to be a gateway to other builds and thus only like 5 levels long or so. Maybe a prestige class that builds both divine spellcasting and another classes spellcasting in a way similar to the ultimate magus (where you COULD focus more on divine OR you COULD focus on the other class and still build divine). Thinking something where you'd end with 5 levels in one class and 2 in the other (or 4 and 3). But rather than JUST be about spellcasting, also throw in some combat requirements. Essentially, make it require some planning to get into, but useful to opening someone into pursuing other prestige classes like abjurant champion, eldritch knight, spellsword, mystic theurge, etc... in addition to divine spellcasting classes. Just to throw out some ideas for that real quick...

Spell Strategist of the Red Knight
Entry Requirements

Alignment:
Lawful good, lawful neutral, or lawful evil
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Proficiencies: proficiency with light and medium armor as well as martial weapons
Skills: Concentration 4 ranks, Diplomacy or Intimidation 3 ranks; Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks, Knowledge (history) 2 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 2 ranks, sense motive 2 ranks, spellcraft 5 ranks,
Spellcasting: Must have a 1st level divine spell slot from a class with spellcasting ability and a 1st level arcane spell slot from a class with spellcasting ability
Feats: Extend Spell, Combat Expertise or Combat Focus (Player’s Handbook II)
Patron Deity: Must have the Red Knight as your patron deity

Hit Die: D6



SPELL STRATEGIST
Table: 1-1

         Base        Fort    Ref    Will                      
Level Attack Bonus   Save    Save   Save                Special                                  Spellcasting
1st       +0          +2      +0     +2                                               +1 of Primary spellcasting class                                                                                        
2nd       +1          +3      +0     +3            Ignore Spell Failure 5%            +1 of Secondary spellcasting class
3rd       +2          +3      +1     +3            Bonus feat                         +1 of Primary spellcasting class
4th       +3          +4      +1     +4                                               +1 of Primary & Secondary spellcasting class
5th       +3          +4      +1     +4            Free Metamagic                     +1 of  Primary & Secondary spellcasting class 


Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level) — Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes), (Int) Knowledge (religion) (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the spell strategist.

Spellcasting: When you first take levels in this class, choose two of your classes that give you spell slots. Choose one as your primary, and you will gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in the spellcasting class at 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th levels. Choose another as your secondary, and you will gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in the spellcasting class at 2nd, 4th, and 5th levels. For example, a character with levels in wizard and cleric who chooses wizard as their primary and cleric as their secondary would gain 4 levels in wizard and 3 levels in cleric upon reach 5th level in this prestige class.

Ignore Spell Failure: At 2nd level, as an extraordinary ability, the character ignores 5% of the arcane spell failure chance associated with wearing armor or using shields. This ability stacks with similar abilities from other prestige classes, such as spellsword, and with special materials or magic item abilities to reduce spell failure.

Bonus Feat: You may choose a feat from the following choices, as long as you meet the prerequisites for the feat: alacritous cogitation, battle caster, battlecaster defense, battlecaster offense, chain spell, combat casting, craft contingent spell, delay spell, divine metamagic, enlarge spell, extend spell, improved counterspell, insightful divination, metamagic school focus, mystic backlash, persistent spell, quicken spell, reactive counterspell, retributive spell, sculpt spell, silent spell, somatic weaponry, spell focus, spell mantle, still spell, twin spell, widen spell

Free Metamagic: Choose one metamagic feat that the character knows and this class ability only applies to that metamgic feat. If the effect raises spell level by 1, then you may apply it to a spell for free up to three times per day. If the spell level is raised by 2, then you may apply it to a spell for free up to twice per day. If the spell levels is raised by 3 or more, you may apply it a single time per day for free. This effect cannot be applied to spells of 6th level or higher.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 12 Apr 2021 01:30:37
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4104 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  02:00:06  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Not domains, portfolio was what I was talking about. *sigh* You are right in that the system is micro-tactical in nature. I get why you chose to make all the powers of this prestige class small in scope to fit with the d20 battlemat. Red Knight is essentially side-lined by that system since what her designated deity wheelhouse is strategy & planning on a macro scale. Then again, she is also side-lined by the lore for the same reason relegating her to demi-power status with a following commensurate of her stature. Everything here is too small in scope to fit with Red Knight's theme and flavor, which is fine if you primarily want a prestige class for players to choose for maximizing their adventuring group instead of advancing the cause of the deity's faith. If the reason you are making this is entirely for players to choose as PCs, then I am not going to argue further.


I'm looking at this Prestige Class from the optics of what's applicable to most common D&D games. A lot of D&D games just don't put emphasis on full scale battles with large group movements or even dealing with significant fortifications from advancing armies. We're talking about Mass Combat here, something I don't feel D&D does exceptionally well - despite their best attempts. I don't think any prestige class in 3.5 really does that, probably because it's just too niche of a campaign style to put any focus on.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

If you are arguing that this is to flesh out the faith more then I counter-argue that this is off the mark. Red Knight's forte is in planning and strategizing, which means winning the battle before the first units are even mobilized from their bivouacs, and not making up a plan after coming in contact with the enemy. Fortifications are built, favorable terrain is chosen, battle plans are drawn up, contingencies are discussed, and reserves are designated before there is sight of the opposing forces based upon the best intelligence available. All of these things are done so that when an opportunity arises to seize the objective, turn an army's flank, or capitalize on an enemy's blunder there are forces that can achieve these things without creating a vulnerability that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. All of the powers of this prestige class just don't have that feel to them; however, it would fit with the greater god of battle, Tempus.


I don't think any class/prestige class does what you're talking about in any mechanically impacting way. I mean, being smart and focusing on how to defeat an entrenched battalion of enemies is something really any class can do if they're smart (and by that I mean, having a decent Intelligence score, not just being a smart player). I'm not even sure how one would go about that on that type of scale OR how one would even be useful on the whole unless you are doing that type of campaign? Like, if you're not playing in a campaign that focuses on leading whole troop movements and fighting big battles, then it seems like the Red Knight is a pretty wasted deity for almost any other reason.


quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Your arguments that the prestige class boosts are in line with what I said about formations, fortifications, & favorable terrain because it affects 2 or 3 pawns means I was not clear enough. Bards have greater battlefield presence and dominance than what is proposed here which would make them greater officers than this write-up.


Can you elaborate? I didn't know bards had the ability to give allies favorable terrain, give them significant boots and overall lead them to greatness? Maybe I've been downplaying how meh Inspire Courage is?


quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Skirmishers, soldiers of the line, artillery, shock troops, scouts, and other units are the basic pieces that such a prestige class should be moving because they are meant to be officers, since moving individual soldiers is the responsibility of sergeants. Quick reactions & teamwork can win a single melee struggle but planning, concise orders, and discipline will overturn that result on a battlefield and will be the telling blow in a war.


I think you're obfuscating the game with RL principals. How do you put into mechanics "precise orders" and disciple?

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Just as important would be the use of large scale deceptions, obfuscations, retreats, counters, and rapid maneuvers to over-extend, unbalance, or force the unprotected movement of enemy units into untenable positions or screen them out of the fight, which achieves the result of limiting the actual fighting and reducing the overall carnage - something that is not a desirable outcome in a small scope fight but is in line with the deification of Red Knight to counterbalance the demigod Garagos' portfolio of slaughter.

Again, if your primary motivation is to create a PrC for players to choose for their PCs then what you are proposing makes sense from the system rules side. The lore for an obscure and disfavored demigod should not matter.


I feel this fits in with the lore of the deity. I tried to incorporate aspects from the write up in Dragon #317 and keep in line with the small-scale tactics that are prevalent in most of D&D style. This can be adapted, but at that point I'd rather just play an actual Wargame with loads of miniatures and a huge battle-map, something like Warhammer or some-such or just delve into a RTS video game.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4104 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  02:14:26  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hey Diffan, you may want to add some requirement that they know how to play games of skill (lanceboard, go, wheel of spells, etc...). My remembering of 3.5 makes me thing there was a skill way to do that, but I could be wrong. If not, perhaps some points in sense motive, bluff, and gather information (maybe less points in the knowledge (religion) skill to make up for the extra ).


I tried to keep it a bit simple, in line with what more Clerics and Paladins get in terms of skills since both classes significantly lack the ranks per level to devote a ton of points to them. But requiring Gather Information 3 Ranks does have a good feel for them obtaining information about any important or related topics. The skill says it's helpful to gain information about goings-on in a region, possible finding a map, specific rumors, and stuff like that. Maybe it can contain some vital militaristic info, so yea.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Take the below with a grain of salt mind you, as I have a certain view of the Red Knight, and it may color my thoughts. I view her as not just a god of war, but a god god of strategy in all its forms (spellcasting, battlefield, and in games). Also, I'm more or less trying to throw out ideas to make this class seem more like a "red knight adherent", but I may be a little open ended on what to replace things with. I view the red knight as a goddess who rewards planning and preparation. Her planning domain gives the extend spell feat. The extend spell feat open access to the persistent spell feat. This is a metamagic feat that's definitely about planning, so perhaps an ability that offers the persistent spell feat for free IF you have planned for it and have the necessary prereq. Maybe another later ability that offers the ability to reduce the metamagic cost on a known feat of your choosing of a spell by lowering it a level, and allowing this ability to work with other similar abilities, and perhaps allowing one free use of this metamagic ability per day on a spell of 3rd level or less.


You know, this makes me think I'd really love to see a "Spell Strategist of the Red Knight" order formed. Maybe a prestige class that's MEANT to be a gateway to other builds and thus only like 5 levels long or so. Maybe a prestige class that builds both divine spellcasting and another classes spellcasting in a way similar to the ultimate magus (where you COULD focus more on divine OR you COULD focus on the other class and still build divine). Thinking something where you'd end with 5 levels in one class and 2 in the other (or 4 and 3). But rather than JUST be about spellcasting, also throw in some combat requirements. Essentially, make it require some planning to get into, but useful to opening someone into pursuing other prestige classes like abjurant champion, eldritch knight, spellsword, mystic theurge, etc... in addition to divine spellcasting classes. Just to throw out some ideas for that real quick...


It's certainly an interesting concept. I do -however- have reservations concerning allowing a Prestige Class the ability to reduce Metamagic costs and the like, especially with something extremely potent like Persistent Spell. That coupled with Divine Metamagic means constant War-Cleric God for 24-hours, and reducing the cost makes that all the more easily to accomplish. For example, by the time you're hitting 5th level spells, you can spam Righteous Wrath of the Faithful, Recitation, and Divine Power and you're now easily out-distancing the Two-Weapon Fighting Rogue who's usually rolling 24d6's + other shenanigans with ease, also support and healing and even some AoE spells. That's a really slipper slope.

But aside from that, the Spell Strategist looks pretty cool. I like how they each get a +3 to their spellcasting and you don't have to really "pick" one when you finish up the prestige class.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10107 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  12:53:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hey Diffan, you may want to add some requirement that they know how to play games of skill (lanceboard, go, wheel of spells, etc...). My remembering of 3.5 makes me thing there was a skill way to do that, but I could be wrong. If not, perhaps some points in sense motive, bluff, and gather information (maybe less points in the knowledge (religion) skill to make up for the extra ).


I tried to keep it a bit simple, in line with what more Clerics and Paladins get in terms of skills since both classes significantly lack the ranks per level to devote a ton of points to them. But requiring Gather Information 3 Ranks does have a good feel for them obtaining information about any important or related topics. The skill says it's helpful to gain information about goings-on in a region, possible finding a map, specific rumors, and stuff like that. Maybe it can contain some vital militaristic info, so yea.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Take the below with a grain of salt mind you, as I have a certain view of the Red Knight, and it may color my thoughts. I view her as not just a god of war, but a god god of strategy in all its forms (spellcasting, battlefield, and in games). Also, I'm more or less trying to throw out ideas to make this class seem more like a "red knight adherent", but I may be a little open ended on what to replace things with. I view the red knight as a goddess who rewards planning and preparation. Her planning domain gives the extend spell feat. The extend spell feat open access to the persistent spell feat. This is a metamagic feat that's definitely about planning, so perhaps an ability that offers the persistent spell feat for free IF you have planned for it and have the necessary prereq. Maybe another later ability that offers the ability to reduce the metamagic cost on a known feat of your choosing of a spell by lowering it a level, and allowing this ability to work with other similar abilities, and perhaps allowing one free use of this metamagic ability per day on a spell of 3rd level or less.


You know, this makes me think I'd really love to see a "Spell Strategist of the Red Knight" order formed. Maybe a prestige class that's MEANT to be a gateway to other builds and thus only like 5 levels long or so. Maybe a prestige class that builds both divine spellcasting and another classes spellcasting in a way similar to the ultimate magus (where you COULD focus more on divine OR you COULD focus on the other class and still build divine). Thinking something where you'd end with 5 levels in one class and 2 in the other (or 4 and 3). But rather than JUST be about spellcasting, also throw in some combat requirements. Essentially, make it require some planning to get into, but useful to opening someone into pursuing other prestige classes like abjurant champion, eldritch knight, spellsword, mystic theurge, etc... in addition to divine spellcasting classes. Just to throw out some ideas for that real quick...


It's certainly an interesting concept. I do -however- have reservations concerning allowing a Prestige Class the ability to reduce Metamagic costs and the like, especially with something extremely potent like Persistent Spell. That coupled with Divine Metamagic means constant War-Cleric God for 24-hours, and reducing the cost makes that all the more easily to accomplish. For example, by the time you're hitting 5th level spells, you can spam Righteous Wrath of the Faithful, Recitation, and Divine Power and you're now easily out-distancing the Two-Weapon Fighting Rogue who's usually rolling 24d6's + other shenanigans with ease, also support and healing and even some AoE spells. That's a really slipper slope.

But aside from that, the Spell Strategist looks pretty cool. I like how they each get a +3 to their spellcasting and you don't have to really "pick" one when you finish up the prestige class.




Yeah, I kind of struggled with the final capstone ability. Maybe instead of a free metamagic, then 3 times per day they can reduce the metamagic cost of a spell by 1, and this could apply along with other metamagic cost reductions. That would allow them to have silent spell, still spell, etc... and use them for free OR reduce the metamagic cost on persistent spell by a single level (which would allow them to use say a 6th level spell slot to persist a first level spell). If they push that ability with metamagic school focus, some other prestige classes metamagic reduction, then they can really focus on it if they wanted.

Even though I'm not playing 3.5, I'd also like to play with combining the ideas of this class with warweaver and mystic theurge... and/or maybe abjurant champion and/or eldritch knight. Also, while in my head I'm thinking wizard and cleric with this, it could be very interesting with some alternate divine and arcane classes (like the beguiler, dusk mage, war mage, bard, dread necromancer, or the divine caster from heroes of horror that is similar to a wizard).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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SaMoCon
Learned Scribe

USA
323 Posts

Posted - 12 Apr 2021 :  16:24:15  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

Can you elaborate? I didn't know bards had the ability to give allies favorable terrain, give them significant boots and overall lead them to greatness? Maybe I've been downplaying how meh Inspire Courage is?

Sure, the bardic performances affect all allies that can perceive it. How difficult is it to hear someone being obnoxiously loud up to 100 ft away? Pathfinder has a Perception skill check start at DC5 +1/10ft due to combat being classified as terrible conditions. 3.5E has a Listen check DC0 for talking volume +5 for listener distracted and +1/10 ft; however, if the performance is meant to be loud enough to be heard in battle then it should have the same -10 base DC as the sounds of battle. So a bard has the potential to juice an entire army with a +1 to +4 on attacks, damage, & certain saves. A bard using masterwork tools for his primary class abilities increases these bonuses and there are bard spells that can further enhance these modifiers or make the performance louder. Some min/max-ers have found ways for an 8th level bard to grant a +7 bonus to well beyond a 300ft radius which effectively allows four such individuals to empower a quarter mile long army of lined up peasant levies armed with slings & pitchforks to fight like 7th level warriors and hit as hard as ogres!

As for the part about 3.5E not being able to do the army battlefield thing - yeah, I know and even said as much. Red Knight being a "wasted" god because she is all about the strategic level of warfare can only be considered such on D20 battlemats. Red Knight's 3E write up describe her as "an up-and-coming power whose following has grown as warfare and strategy have become more complex. She and her followers believe that good preparation and sound strategy and tactics is the key to any victory, and few engage in combat without some sort of plan based upon past learning or experience. They always have backup and contingency plans in mind in case the unexpected happens." This flavor text paints a rather different picture than what the PrC does.

If I were to suggest changes to align the PrC to Red Knight's description and apply 3.5 mechanics I would wholesale borrow Inspire Courage from the Bard Class. Also in line with contingencies would be an ability to offset ambushes for all allies in earshot by removing flat-footed conditions on the "Strategist's" initiative, and couple this with the Blooded feat from the FRCS. Another ability allows a skill roll at the beginning of combat to make the allies' starting position be favorable terrain granting bonuses when defending or to reduce an entrenched defending enemies' fortification modifiers. A passive ability would project bonuses onto scouts & foragers for off-battlemat reconnaissance & scrounging of supplies. Overland movement for a group is improved from the speed of the slowest member up to an average of everybody's speed and if there is one skilled tracker in the group then the group will treat the most difficult terrain traversed each day as being one category less in difficulty when figuring out distance traveled. Maybe have an ability that forces an opponent engaged by a "Strategist" to be treated as flanked by a non-flanking ally up to X number of times and/or nullify up to X number of flanking attacks against any ally within earshot. I would also look to add or enhance the Aura of Courage from the paladin class since the appearance of commanding officers have always emboldened soldiers on the line. An ultimate power might be gaining the Frightful Presence feat representing the culmination of battlefield reputation & foreboding aura like the steely gaze of a veteran duelist. The frightful presence can be conferred to an ally with the same BAB or less up to the "Strategist's" level + Cha modifier rounds per day in order to make a diversionary attack. Incorporating these suggestions would allow a PrC build that has true officer traits and modest battlemat functions that imply the larger scale capabilities.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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