Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Prestige Class: Vampire [Second Draft]

Prestige classes are complicated things.

Essentially, you're making an entirely new class in miniature, and expecting it to slot in near anywhere along another class' progression. Damage needs to be kept consistent with whichever class the PrC's levels will be replacing (which, ideally, is any of them), and the options afforded by the PrC have to be appealing without being imbalanced.

Basically: It's a massive pain in the ass. And yet, I love every second of it.

The Vampire is a perfect candidate for being a prestige class, being something that can apply to any character. This second draft aims to solve a few of the problems the rough draft presented, rounding out what the PrC offers and making it feel more substantial and fleshed out.

This is one of those times I fully expect to do several drafts. That in mind, let's look at our friend, the changelog.

What I Changed:

  • The vampire has actual vampire spells, with the Vampiric Arcana class feature. They're all basic utility things, none of which do combat damage, but it gives the vampire a spell progression and helps round out that aspect of the character.
  • Unlike anything else in 5e, you choose your casting stat out of Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma. From what I can tell, PrCs in 5e are supposed to be roughly stat-agnostic, so this keeps to that particular piece of design schema without breaking too much (or getting involved in the wonky "Spell Level + 12" saves that the Rune Scribe has).
  • Removed Minions of the Night, placed another Crimson Blessing at level 5 in its place. More streamlined, better use of features, and the Crimson Blessings are fun enough that this is a logical choice. 
  • Changed Vampiric Siring to keep you from raising a CR 13 monster because holy fuck what was I thinking.
  • Added the crimson blessings Masquerade and Vital Blood. 
  • Touched up verbage here and there, to keep things working well and making sense.
  • Does it do enough damage? Sanguine Strikes is very good at covering that particular gap, but the Vampire prestige class mostly contributes utility rather than raw combat power.
  • How does it feel? Does the prestige class feel right, for what it is?
What I Learned:
  • When making something from this much whole cloth, a million little mistakes pop up. It's good to have nit-picky eyes to help me spot them. 

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