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Thread: Philosopher King Prestige Class
Wednesday, 3rd April, 2002, 07:00 PM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
Philosopher King Prestige Class
One of the players in my campaign (Cobbe) suggested this prestige class. What do you think about its power and balance? What should I suggest for changes?
"Noble, gracious, the friend of truth, justice, courage, temperance . . .
to men like him, when perfected by years and education, and to these only
you will entrust the State." Wise, benevolent, and learned, the
Philosopher King brings studied thought and philosophical discipline to
his role as a ruler and leader. The Philosopher King need not be a
sovereign ruler in his own right, but must be the legal ruler and lord of
inhabited lands. These lands may be inherited, granted by a greater
ruler, granted through an elective process, established in the wilderness,
or wrested from an evil or chaotic lord.
Hit Die: d6.
To qualify to become a Philosopher King, a character must fulfill all the
Alignment: Lawful Good
Diplomacy: 5 ranks
Minimum 10 ranks in at least 5 different Knowledge skills
Special: Must be the legal lord of inhabited lands
The Philosopher King's class skills (and the key ability for each skill)
are Alchemy (Int), Bluff (Cha), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha),
Innuendo (Wis), Knowledge (all skills) (Int), Perform (Oration) (Cha),
Scry (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), and Speak Language.
Skill points at Each Level: 6 + Int Modifier
Lvl Att Frt Ref Wil Special and spells/day
1st 2nd 3rd 4th
1 +0 +2 +2 +2 Statecraft, Benevolence, Perspicacity
0 - - -
2 +1 +3 +3 +3 Stoicism, Inspirational Oratory
1 - - -
3 +1 +3 +3 +3 Prosperity 1d4 x 100 gp, Privy Council
1 0 - -
4 +2 +4 +4 +4 Preserve the Body Preserve the State
1 1 - -
5 +2 +4 +4 +4 Skepticism
1 1 0 -
6 +3 +5 +5 +5 Prosperity 2d4 x 100 gp
1 1 1 -
7 +3 +5 +5 +5 Solomon's Wisdom
2 1 1 0
8 +4 +6 +6 +6 Code of Laws
2 1 1 1
9 +4 +6 +6 +6 Prosperity 4d4 x 100 gp
2 2 1 1
10 +5 +7 +7 +7 Platonic Ideal
2 2 2 1
All of the following are class features of the Philosopher King prestige
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Philosopher Kings gain no
proficiency in any weapon or armor.
Spells per Day: Beginning at 1st level, a Philosopher King gains
the ability to cast a small number of spells. Upon becoming a Philosopher
King, he must decide whether he will be an arcane or divine spellcaster.
If he chooses to be an arcane spellcaster: to cast a spell, the
Philosopher King must have an Intelligence score of at least 10 + the
spell's level; bonus spells are based on Intelligence, and saving throws
against these spells have a DC of 10 + spell level + Intelligence
modifier; the Philosopher King prepares and casts spells just as a wizard
does; like any other arcane spellcaster, a Philosopher King can cast
spells while wearing armor or using a shield but suffers a chance of
arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a somatic component. If
he choses to be a divine spellcaster: to cast a spell, the Philosopher
King must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the spell's level; bonus
spells are based on Wisdom, and saving throws against these spells have a
DC of 10 + spell level + Wisdom modifier; the Philosopher King prepares
and casts spells just as a cleric does (though a Philosopher King cannot
spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells). The Philosopher King's spell
list appears below.
Statecraft (Ex): The Philosopher King's knowledge of the world and
insight into human (and non-human) behavior aids him in negotiations.
Beginning at 1st level he adds his Intelligence and Wisdom bonuses to
Diplomacy skill checks.
Benevolence (Ex): The Philosopher King establishes a reputation
for wise and benevolent leadership. Each level of Philosopher king adds
an additional point to the Philosopher King's leadership score, on top of
the points gained for character level. For example, a character who is
5th level cleric and 3rd level Philosopher King with no charisma bonus or
other leadership modifiers would have a leadership score of 11 (8 for
character level plus 3 for each level of Philosopher King), while if he
had advanced solely as a cleric would have as an 8th level cleric a
leadership score of 8.
Perspicacity (Ex): At 1st level, a Philosopher King may gain
additional insight into the character of any creature (or thing) with whom
he converses. If he is able to converse with a target for at least one
round, he may detect his choice of Good, Evil, Chaos, or Law in the
target. In each subsequent round of conversation the Philosopher King may
detect an additional alignment characteristic. Both the Philosopher King
and the target must be able to speak, hear, and understand one another,
and the target must be engaged in conversation with the Philosopher King
(i.e. the Philosopher King may not detect Good, Evil, Chaos, or Law in a
target delivering a speech or conversing with others). This ability may
be used on things other than creatures only while under the effect of an
appropriate spell such as Speak with Plants, Stone Tell, etc. Since this
ability is non-magical, it is not subject to masking through Nondetection,
Stoicism (Ex): The Philosopher King 's studies and contemplation
support his ability to rule with a clear head. Beginning at 2nd level he
applies his Intelligence and Wisdom bonuses to all saving throws versus
Mind-Affecting spells or effects.
Inspirational Oratory (Ex): Beginning at 2nd level, once per day
the Philosopher King may deliver a ten-minute-long speech to a group of
allies to inspire greater aptitude in certain endeavors. The speech
grants as many points of morale bonus as the Philosopher King has in
Charisma bonus to any of the following, with a maximum of +2 for any one
type: attack rolls; damage rolls; armor class; saving throws; skill,
ability, and special ability checks; move rate (+1 = +5' move rate). The
Philosopher King chooses how to divide up the morale bonus points, and
they apply equally to all listeners. For example, a Philosopher King with
a +3 charisma bonus may grant his allies a +2 to attack rolls and +1 to
AC, but he may not grant some of his allies a +2 to attack rolls and +1 to
AC while granting others a +2 to AC and +1 to skill/ability checks. The
Philosopher King may inspire no more allies than he has leadership score.
The morale bonuses last for 1 hour per 2 levels of Philosopher King. If
the 10-minute delivery of the Inspirational Oratory is interrupted in such
a way that prevents the Philosopher King from delivering the speech or
prevents his audience from listening, no bonuses are imparted and the
ability may not be attempted again until the next day.
Prosperity (Ex): The Philosopher King's wise rule grants great
prosperity to his subjects, which in turn (through a humane program of
tariffs and taxation) provides prosperity to the State. Each month after
all normal expenses of the state are covered and a generous amount is
provided to charitable causes, a surplus of money is available to the
Philosopher King for discretionary spending. At 3rd level the Philosopher
King gains 1d4 x 100 gp each month as income from his lands. At 6th level
the monthly discretionary fund increases to 2d4 X 100 gp, and at 9th level
the income increases to 4d4 x 100 gp. (These amounts should be adjusted
by the DM as appropriate to the campaign and the economic situation of the
Philosopher King's lands. The intent is that the Philosopher King should
be comfortably well off compared to kingdoms in similar economic
conditions. In campaign settings where nations are exorbitantly wealthy
(such as Louis XIV's France), these amounts might be increased by a factor
of ten or more, while the ruler of a remote border kingdom might be
wealthy with one-tenth of this income).
Privy Council (Su): While discussing confidential matters of
state, the Philosopher King must be able to converse with his allies and
councillors without fear of eavesdropping. Beginning at 3rd level, once
per day the Philosopher King may generate a 15-foot radius sphere centered
on himself preventing all magical eavesdropping (such as scry,
clairaudience/clairvoiance, use of a crystal ball, etc.). The Privy
Council lasts for ten minutes per level of Philosopher King, or until he
chooses to dismiss it. Note that the Privy Council does not protect
against non-magical eavesdropping or spying.
Preserve the Body Preserve the State (Ex): The prosperity and
well-being of the kingdom are dependent upon the continued health of the
Philosopher King; through meditation and study the wise ruler learns
control over his body to avoid untimely death. Beginning at 4th level,
the Philosopher King adds his Intelligence and Wisdom bonuses to all saves
versus poison as well as death effects such as an assassin's death attack
or the Slay Living or Implosion spells.
Skepticism (Su): "They will never intentionally receive into their
minds falsehood, which is their detestation, and they will love the
truth." Beginning at 5th level, the Philosopher King is immune to all
Mind-Affecting spells and effects. Note that while this means that
Philosopher King cannot be charmed, enchanted, or controlled by his
enemies, he also cannot be inspired or aided by his allies; he gains no
benefit from an allied Bard's Inspire Courage ability, nor can he be aided
by spells such as Bless or Aid.
Solomon's Wisdom (Ex): A wise leader can judge the words of
others. Beginning at 7th level, a Philosopher King may discern lies
spoken by any creature (or thing) with whom he converses. If he is able
to converse with a target for at least one round, he may discern lies
spoken by the target. Both the Philosopher King and the target must be
able to speak, hear, and understand one another, and the target must be
engaged in conversation with the Philosopher King (i.e. the Philosopher
King may not discern lies in a target delivering a speech or conversing
with others). This ability may be used on things other than creatures
only while under the effect of an appropriate spell such as Speak with
Plants, Stone Tell, etc. Since this ability is non-magical, it is not
subject to masking through Nondetection, etc.
Code of Laws (Sp): A ruler is the ultimate arbiter of justice
within his realm. Beginning at 8th level, the Philosopher King may invoke
Mark of Justice as per the spell upon his own legal subjects.
Platonic Ideal (Ex): At 10th level, the Philosopher King has
achieved the Platonic Ideal of wise rulership. His subjects are so
inspired by the eminence and renown of his rule that they gain the
Philosopher King's charisma bonus as a morale bonus on all trained skill
checks, so long as they are not acting against the good of the state.
Philosopher Kings choose their spells from the following list:
1st Level: Command, Calm Emotions, Comprehend Languages, Charm
Person, Remove Fear
2nd Level: Detect Thoughts, Emotion, Suggestion, Tongues, Remove
3rd Level: Charm Monster, Detect Scrying, Remove Curse, Status
4th Level: Break Enchantment, Mark of Justice, True Seeing
A Philosopher King who ceases to be lawful good or who willfully
violates the confidence entrusted to him by his populace loses all special
abilities and spells gained as a Philosopher King, and may never again
progress in levels as a Philosopher King.
A Philosopher King who loses his lands nevertheless retains the
love of his followers and subjects. He retains all Philosopher King
abilities with the exception of Prosperity, and his loyal former subjects
seek to restore him to power, or to establish a new territory for his
rule. He may not advance in levels as a Philosopher King until a legal
lordship is established.
Wednesday, 3rd April, 2002, 08:02 PM #2
Novice (Lvl 1)
I don't see any PC taking it.
BTW, the Wisdom bonus already applies against mind-affecting spells and abilities. Is this bonus supposed to be doubled?
(Will Save = base Will Save + wisdom modifier + magic bonuses)
Thursday, 4th April, 2002, 03:36 PM #3
Novice (Lvl 1)
That is an interesting point about Wisdom bonus.
One of my players does want to take it. He intends to be a super-leader.
Friday, 5th April, 2002, 12:43 AM #4
If it weren't for the lawful good/rulership prereqs/flavor of the prc, I have a PC who would take it in a second (this would fit him SO PERFECTLY). It's a bard who knows everything...really, he does! Bardic knowledge is +32, int bonus is 12, chr bonus is 14, etc. etc. Really, this prc is one of the better-suited ones I've seen, if not the best suited, to that particular character, and in general I think it is one of the cooler prcs I've seen in a while. I really like it a lot, and although I don't think many people would take it on a character, it would be ideal for an NPC in my campaign and also I'm sure that some characters could find a use for it (although it doesn't have that many abilities that are keyed to characters, there are some in there that are quite nice...like the preserving the leader and skepticism ones).
Sunday, 7th April, 2002, 02:57 PM #5
Novice (Lvl 1)
Well, I think the character has to be Lawful, but you could adjust it a little to make it work for another alignment. I am working on an "evil overlord" class that will act as a counter to this one.
Monday, 8th April, 2002, 12:41 AM #6
A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)
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ø Block Piratecat
I'd check to make sure that the prereq is 10 ranks each in different knowledge skills. If it is 10 ranks TOTAL, then there's a problem.
Monday, 8th April, 2002, 12:58 AM #7
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ø Block Nyarlathotep
Very cool prestige class! I may just have to use it myself .
Couple of observations:
- 6 skill points per level seems a bit high, are there any other prestige classes that get that much? 4 points a level would be more inline with the other prestige classes I've seen. Craft and Profession could also be added to the Class Skills.
- The addition of both Int and Wis modifiers for Stoicism and Preserve the Body Preserve the State seem high to me, and as mentioned by someone else, there is the "doubled bonus". You could use Charisma as the bonus modifier.
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