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Academy of the Chromatic Order--Four feats for exceptional Academy Graduates

Rystil Arden

Villager
Hey everyone--this shall be my first proposal, and it came across as a combination of fluff and crunch ponderings I had while detailing the Academy of the Chromatic Order. The Academy is set up with programs based on four important Mage's in the Academy's past--the three founders Mordrue, Sice, and Omega, plus a Headmistress who helped guide the school in the wake of catastrophe, Daryne. Each of these offers training in two different schools of magic, and there is a Universal program as well. With that in mind, I propose the following four feats for double-majors:

Daryne's Imagination

Prerequisite:

Academy Graduate, Illusionist or Evoker, not barred from Illusion or Evocation, Int 15+

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Illusion or Evocation spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, those who wish to expose your Illusions with Divination spells (where 'expose' includes using True Seeing to see them as fakes or using Detect Magic to find the aura of Illusion, etc, but does not include using Moment of Prescience to get a bonus to the save) must succeed at a Caster Level Check DC 5 + your caster level or the spell is fooled into believing the illusion is real.

Mordrue's Lore

Academy Graduate, Diviner or Abjurer, not barred from Divination or Abjuration, Int 15+

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Divination or Abjuration spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, you may make any Knowledge check untrained.

Omega's Innovation

Academy Graduate, Enchanter or Conjurer, not barred from Enchantment or Conjuration, Int 15+

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Enchantment or Conjuration spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, you have become efficient at crafting new magic items in your spare time. You spend only 75% of normal craft points when using Item Creation feats. You still pay the full gold and XP costs.

Sice's Power

Academy Graduate, Transmuter or Necromancer, not barred from Transmutation or Necromancy, Int 15+

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Transmutation or Necromancy spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. You gain Intimidate as a class skill. Additionally, after casting an offensive Transmutation or Necromancy spell with a visible effect on your enemies other than Fear (this includes damage, ability damage, ability drain, level drain, and adverse conditions that are immediately noticable (so polymorph would be noticable but a disease would not), you may choose to immediately make an Intimidate check against all who suffered the effects of the spell as a Move Action. If you do so, add the spell's level to the Intimidate check. If the check succeeds, the targets are also Shaken, as per the Intimidate check.


Balance discussions:

The first thing to keep in mind is that we are currently punishing characters for tying themselves into our world. Read this and pay attention to the bold.

The following feat is required of graduates:

Academy Graduate

Graduates of the Academy of the Chromatic Order have been taught in a rigorous ciriculum by the best professors in the land. This gives the graduates an edge in certain skills.

+2 Knowledge (arcana)
+2 Spellcraft
This feat can be substituted for skillfocus(spellcraft) or skillfocus(knowledge –arcana) for the purposes of meeting the prerequisites of the Loremaster, the Archmage, and similar arcane Prestige classes. This feat must be taken at first level by anyone who is a graduate of the college. Those who have stated they are graduates before this feat is approved may take it at their next opportunity.
In addition to being force-fed this pre-req feat at level 1 just to say they come from the Academy, the new feats restrict to only a single possibility for each school, and the big three (Evocation, Conjuration, Transmutation) are all separated into different groups.

Also, at least Omega is tied in inextricably with LEW and its crafting rules due to craft points (Random fluff point: Manzanita, the creator of the Academy, originally described the legendary mage Omega as a great magic item craftsman who knew many secrets of the trade, and so the Omega students follow in his footsteps by tinkering with magic items and creating new innovations). And the Int 15+ requirement helps reinforce buying odd stats, yay!


Note: A character with these feats can call themsleves a double-specialist, such as a Diviner/Abjurer with Mordrue's Lore
 
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Bront

The man with the probe
Buying an odd stat would be requiring like an 11 exactly ;)

I generaly like it, and also think that the Academy Graduate feat should be cleaned up a bit to simply require graduation from the Academy, and not required of all graduates, nor requrired at first level.
 

Manzanita

Villager
I agree with Bront. The academy graduate feat shouldn't be required for graduates. I'd put that in as part of an earlier version where it had additional benefits in regards to diplomacy and intimidation with those knowledgeable about the college. Looking at the feat in its current form, I don't see why it should be required.

As for the feats, I like them! Very clever. I'm inclined to vote yes w/o further comment, but I suppose I'll wait to see what others have to say.
 

Someone

Villager
I think they are great, however a couple things spring to mind:

Rystil Arden said:
Daryne's Imagination

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Illusion or Evocation spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, those who wish to expose your Illusions with Divination spells must succeed at a Caster Level Check DC 5 + your caster level or the spell is fooled into believing the illusion is real.
What´s exactly "Exposing" the illusion? I imagine True Seeing would qualify, but how about Commune? Detect magic? Moment of Prescience (you can use it to give a bonus to saving throws vs Phantasmal Killer)?

Mordrue's Lore

Academy Graduate, Diviner or Abjurer, not barred from Divination or Abjuration, Int 15+

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Divination or Abjuration spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, you may make any Knowledge check untrained.
This is rather weak, imho. As an alternative, based on this excerp from the SRD:

SRD said:
[/b]Succeeding on a Saving Throw[/b]
A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack
How about this ability: "Additionally, when you succedd on a saving throw against a magical attack you can make a Spellcraft check DC 15+spell level to know the exat spell that has been used against you"

This makes it mechanically tied to abjuration (resisting things) and divination.
Sice's Power

Academy Graduate, Transmuter or Necromancer, not barred from Transmutation or Necromancy, Int 15+

Benefits:

You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Transmutation or Necromancy spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. You gain Intimidate as a class skill. Additionally, after casting an offensive Transmutation or Necromancy spell with a visible damaging effect on your enemies, you may make an Intimidate check against all targets of the spell as a Move Action. If you do so, add the spell's level to the Intimidate check.
I think a couple things need clarifying, namely what constitutes "a damaging effect", when you can take that move action, and what does the Intimidate check archieve exactly. As suggestions:

- The "move action" must be taken the same round you cast the spell or the next.
- Substitute "after casting an offensive Tranmutation or Necromancy spell" for "When an opponent suffers damage, ability damage or penalty or fails a saving throw against a spell cast by you". Though that would leave out Waves of fatigue...
- State that you can Demoralize the targets of the spell using intimidate, as detailed in the skill´s description.
 

Rystil Arden

Villager
Thanks for the thoughts guys. Responses to Someone:

For Daryne, I was going to use target, except that it isn't really true that the divination effects target the illusion. Basically, any Divination spell that will directly reveal information about the illusion, such as True Seeing, Detect Magic, etc, would be affected, but Moment of Prescience to get a save bonus would not.

For Mordrue, I'm actually glad that someone else agrees with me that it is weak! Because it is meant to be. You may have even noticed that it has the two worst schools out of the whole list two. So why did I do that? Well because Diviners only have one barred school, so you pay less for the specialisation :)

For Sice, I would say you take your next Move-Equivalent action. Alternatively, make casting and Intimidating a combined full-round action. As for the wording, I wanted to find a way to leave out Fear effects. I was envisioning more of a display of magical force to cow the opponents into fear. And yeah, it would demoralise them. That's a good thing to state.

Once again, thanks!
 

orsal

LEW Judge
Manzanita said:
I agree with Bront. The academy graduate feat shouldn't be required for graduates.
Until now, I didn't even realize it was required -- I thought it was optional. As it should be -- and I would support any proposal to make it so.

As for these feats: one concern I have with Mordrue's Lore is that it gives an abjurer a loophole -- technically become a diviner, so you can get by with only one prohibited school, but use abjuration for all your bonus spells.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
I'll draw one up to fix the flavor text Orsal, and more in particular, to remove the 1st level limit on it, as many pre-graduates are not 1st level, and it prevents someone from going and graduating later.
 

Rystil Arden

Villager
orsal said:
Until now, I didn't even realize it was required -- I thought it was optional. As it should be -- and I would support any proposal to make it so.

As for these feats: one concern I have with Mordrue's Lore is that it gives an abjurer a loophole -- technically become a diviner, so you can get by with only one prohibited school, but use abjuration for all your bonus spells.
This is intentional, see post 5 above ;)
 

Bront

The man with the probe
I don't think requiring 2 feats (and at that, Academy Graduate isn't that powerful other than in qualifying you for PrCs) to get Abjuration as a specialist school with only 1 prohibited school is that bad, since you also get Divination, hardly a huge school. Obviously though, in that case, you're better off starting as a Diviner than an Abjurer. Not sure if there should be a fix for that.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
Were you going to make one for Universal graduates (IE, non specialized wizards?)
 

Rystil Arden

Villager
Bront said:
Were you going to make one for Universal graduates (IE, non specialized wizards?)
Well, the Universal graduate could have come from any of the four programs, so I couldn't come up with anything specific and thus didn't make one. If I did, I would probably give them one additional spell slot of their highest level of spells (sliding up as they level up) or something like that.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
That might be a good one. And yes, they could come from any house, but since their universal, they're fairly diverse anyway.

Another thought could be to allow the spontanious use of a non-highten metamagic once per day, as long as they could cast the spell normaly with said metamagic applied, or maybe once per day per + in Int.
 

Rystil Arden

Villager
Bront said:
That might be a good one. And yes, they could come from any house, but since their universal, they're fairly diverse anyway.

Another thought could be to allow the spontanious use of a non-highten metamagic once per day, as long as they could cast the spell normaly with said metamagic applied, or maybe once per day per + in Int.
Wouldn't want to give the generalists something like that, though, since it forces their hand towards Metamagic instead of staying more generic. Also, it may be pretty powerful to give instant metamagic.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
Rystil Arden said:
Wouldn't want to give the generalists something like that, though, since it forces their hand towards Metamagic instead of staying more generic. Also, it may be pretty powerful to give instant metamagic.
The shifting extra slots worries me a little bit.

How would the ability to learn a 3rd spell every advancement level for free be? It'd fit with everything else, isn't TOO powerful, and plays to the strength of a non-specialist: Variety.
 

Rystil Arden

Villager
Bront said:
The shifting extra slots worries me a little bit.

How would the ability to learn a 3rd spell every advancement level for free be? It'd fit with everything else, isn't TOO powerful, and plays to the strength of a non-specialist: Variety.
Too complicated, do you think, or too strong? As for adding a 3rd level spell to your spellbook every level, that is actually not very useful at all in most cases. That is basically like a feat that gives you a few hundred gold every level that must be spent on a third level spell. You can get better mileage out of taking a craft point feat and pawning off the craft points' resultant items for gold.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
3rd level spell?

it also saves you some time, so mid adventure it's quite useful, but yeah, I see what you're saying.

And too powerful. A bonus 9th level spell to be cast that you can cast the moment you get 9th level spells seems a bit much, though I guess since they don't get a specialty, it's not as bad as it could be.
 

Rystil Arden

Villager
3rd level spell?[
Isn't your suggestion to give a free 3rd level spell in the spellbook every level?

And too powerful. A bonus 9th level spell to be cast that you can cast the moment you get 9th level spells seems a bit much, though I guess since they don't get a specialty, it's not as bad as it could be.
Right, it basically gives them one of the slots they are missing for not specialising. You could also give them a spell of the second-lowest slot instead.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
Rystil Arden said:
Isn't your suggestion to give a free 3rd level spell in the spellbook every level?
No, it was to learn a free 3rd spell (because you already get 2).
 

Knight Otu

Villager
Give in to the Dark Side, you know you want to. :]
These feats remind me of a feat I had in my files for quite some time now:
[sblock]Expanded Studies [General]
Prerequisites: Specialization in a school of magic, Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks
Benefit: Choose any school of magic, except your specialist or forbidden schools. You get a +2 bonus to Spellcraft checks when dealing with a spell or effect from your chosen school. In addition, you may prepare spells of the chosen school in your specialist bonus spell slots.
Special: You can gain Expanded Studies up to two times. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new school of magic.
[/sblock]

Rystil Arden said:
Daryne's Imagination
Prerequisite:
Academy Graduate, Illusionist or Evoker, not barred from Illusion or Evocation, Int 15+
Benefits:
You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Illusion or Evocation spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, those who wish to expose your Illusions with Divination spells must succeed at a Caster Level Check DC 5 + your caster level or the spell is fooled into believing the illusion is real.
I'm not quite sure how this should work. Can you give some examples?

Rystil Arden said:
Mordrue's Lore
Academy Graduate, Diviner or Abjurer, not barred from Divination or Abjuration, Int 15+
Benefits:
You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Divination or Abjuration spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, you may make any Knowledge check untrained.
Seems reasonable. Remember that specialists can't be barred from divination.

Rystil Arden said:
Omega's Innovation
Academy Graduate, Enchanter or Conjurer, not barred from Enchantment or Conjuration, Int 15+
Benefits:
You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Enchantment or Conjuration spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. Additionally, you have become efficient at crafting new magic items in your spare time. You spend only 75% of normal craft points when using Item Creation feats. You still pay the full gold and XP costs.
Good.

Rystil Arden said:
Sice's Power
Academy Graduate, Transmuter or Necromancer, not barred from Transmutation or Necromancy, Int 15+
Benefits:
You may now select your specialist bonus spells from either Transmutation or Necromancy spells. You do not receive any additional bonus spells, however. You gain Intimidate as a class skill. Additionally, after casting an offensive Transmutation or Necromancy spell with a visible damaging effect on your enemies, you may make an Intimidate check against all targets of the spell as a Move Action. If you do so, add the spell's level to the Intimidate check.
Might work better as "all affected creatures" rather than "all targets." Area spells, for example, have no targets. ;) Would spells such as Waves of Fatigue count as damaging?
 

Velmont

Villager
I find these feat interesting. I think my comments is mainly what have been told, but I must complain on teh one who choose these match. Because of that, never will Opale gain access to these feats. Being an illusionist with Evocation barred (hey, Illusion mimic Evocation spells, why have access to those spells) I can,t qualify for any of them.
 

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