This last round, I got feedback loud and long about how people wanted a vampire, but that the Crimson Blessings were wacky and made the vampire feel as if it had no direct progression, among a host of other gripes.
And that's great! When you have gripes, I get to fix gripes. Crimson Blessings are no more, replaced with a scaling pick-one-of-three-blessings reminiscent of the totem barbarian, and all of the other gripes have been fixed.
But wait, this sounds like I'm getting into the changelog already, and I haven't even thrown up the header yet. Let's fix that:
What I Changed:
- Well, that thing I said, above.
- Total blood points have increased, now scaling at 5/10/15 instead of 2/4/6/8/10.
- The drawback from having no blood has been changed to levels of exhaustion instead of leaving you paralyzed in the middle of wherever, at the whims of whatever.
- Hit dice back up to 1d10, in lieu of the blessing that would let them be increased.
- Blood drinks per target per day is now a function of the target's size, rather than its CON score.
- Somber Elegance and Blood's Vigor have been compressed into the Blessing of Blood, Lifeblood, and buffed up to a reasonable level.
- Wolf Form has been buffed, to make it an ample competitor for Mist Form and Bat Form.
- Vampiric Celerity has been folded over into Deathly Reflexes.
- Predatory Gaze has been reworked and rebalanced. It now costs an action and two blood points.
- Somber Elegance returns as a charm spell, the spiritual successor to the nix'd Dark Beckoning, built off the charm available to the vampire monster.
- Someone pointed out this prestige class needed a level 4 stat increase, and they were completely correct. Added a variable stat increase a la the Rune Scribe's Living Rune, named it Sinister Nourishment, and made it function off of your daily consumption of blood.
- Changed Vampiric Siring to Curse of Eternity, now raises a minion from a properly prepared body, with the additional fluff power of being able to turn your friends into vampires if you can, y'know, kill them with your bite first.
- I'm not 100% on how the respective options for each blessing balance against each other. If someone could look at that and tell me what they think, that'd be great.
- Blessing of Darkness comes in at 4th level, the same time as the stat increase. It's pretty weak though, but I'm not sure if it's okay to double-up on a stat increase or not.
- Curse of Eternity has a small mechanic that functions off of total character level, which nothing else in the game does aside from multiclass spell casting. Still, it enables you to raise a vampire spawn at a level which would be appropriate for it, and prestige classes are a little different anyway - I'm leaning towards saying it's probably okay.
- Overall feel. Does it feel solid, like it has meaningful progression? Let me know!
What I Learned:
- Modularity is nice, but not when it comes at the expense of feeling like you're making progress.
- A player character conjuring a minion should be assumed to conjure a CR's worth of minions equal to 1/3 of their character level (based off of create undead and similar). Thus, a level 15 character should be able to conjure CR 5 worth of creatures, or one vampire spawn.
- All classes are "about" something. A prestige class needs to also be "about" something, and it has significantly less time and space to carry the same fluff weight a normal class has.
- Prestige classes are still really hard. =( =( =(