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I've never tried to make up my own custom class before, but one of my players really wants to mimic the female confessor from the TV show Legend of The Seeker. The character uses daggers, and has the ability to control people she touches. (Obviously there may be some balancing issues.)

Pitfalls you should be aware of during design?

or

Suggestions for abilities or spells to model the TV character?

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Can you clarify what you're asking? Are you asking about how to balance a one-trick-but-powerful class? Some basic class-design principles to get you started? Suggestions for abilities or spells to model the TV character? Pitfalls you should be aware of during design? Something else? (If you're just asking the community to design the class start-to-finish for you, that's not what this place is about.) –  SevenSidedDie Apr 9 '11 at 18:46
    
Removed D&D tag. This is a question that can only be answered for one system (3.5). –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 11 '12 at 11:47
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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think the best class to base the confessor on is the Beguiler (wiki version) class.

The class has the ability to enchant people, and has good weapon specialization.

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@AceCalhoon There's a wikified version here: bertball.com/wiki/index.php/Beguiler_(Class) –  Jadasc Apr 10 '11 at 22:32
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@Jadasc Thanks, edited into OP. To others: Beware, the comment formatter mangled the link. Copy/paste only. –  AceCalhoon Apr 10 '11 at 22:44
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My recommendation would be to adapt the Wilder class and the Thrallherd PrC.

Wilder already allows for the "intense focus on a particular discipline." and the power-point versions of dominate, psionic seem to fit quite well.

The main change I'd provide from wilder would be to borrow a page from 4e and allow a 1st level power that compels one creature to attack another creature. A lesser dominate, if you would. This would provide the melee touch-attack dominate oomph without bumping the character's power to the point where she'd share it with tier 1 classes.

The Thrallherd PrC offers fantastic discounted dominate as well as the thrall itself. It may be worth trading the thrall for a 10level manifester progression, focusing on the confessor aspects rather than the "I've got a meatshield!" aspects.

As a general recommendation for creating classes, the first thing to do is decide the Tier of the class.

Class Tiers are discussed here and roughly group classes under the "how powerful and flexible is the class?"

The next step is to liberally borrow and adapt a class that already exists, swapping out equivalent class features so that the class remains in a similar tier. This class should probably fit in Tier 3:

"Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. "

If you're not going the psionic route, base the character strongly off a beguiler, swapping out the sneaky class features for dominate/charm/direct the attack on touch. Beware that the class will be incredibly fragile and will need the domination to remain alive on the battlefield.

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-1: question is tagged [dnd-3.5]. –  SevenSidedDie Apr 10 '11 at 0:39
    
@Seven Oops! Fixed. Sorry. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 10 '11 at 9:24
    
Out of curiosity, why didn't you just start fresh, given that you pretty much completely rewrote the post? –  AceCalhoon Apr 10 '11 at 17:20
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I don't like seeing my deleted posts around. There /are/ elements of the first one in here. And I'd like seven and the other downvote reversed instead of ignored. Boils down to a matter of taste. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Apr 10 '11 at 22:34
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For the controlling people there are already a number of spells that do that so using them as ability's usable so many times a day with a range of touch.

If you only want the class to control people as in humanoid then it won't be too powerful especially with the touch range but if you want it controlling non-humanoid creatures then you will face some balance problems unless you do it right.

Charm person is a 1st level spell that lasts 1hour/level and only targets humanoids so that would be a good first level ability a number of times a day equal to level plus prime mental stat's bonus though it does only make the creature regard you as a friend. There is also the command spell which just targets a living creature and does let you order the creature to do something but only one command so maybe have the two be run off the same pool and get to choose which they want to do.

At higher levels give them additional abilities like letting them use Charm Monster at 6th level for 2 uses of the lower abilities since it lasts day/level and charms one living creature instead of humanoid. You could also add Hold person. At 12th level for 3 ability uses let them use Dominate person and Hold Monster.

Finally at 18th level for 4 ability uses let them Dominate Monster. To add in the dagger use I advise not restricting it that much but only give them the Wizard proficiency's so unless they pay for it they would be restricted to a club, dagger, or quarter staff then let them have bonus feats like a wizard but choosing from the fighter bonus feats.

Also figure out what the charges for the ability use is called since its just one pool.

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A Confessor is more of template then a class. It's just simply too powerful for something like a class. Now, if they just want to make a character that manipulates the minds of others, then yeah, Psionics (Telepathy) or Enchantment specialization is the way to go. Thrallherd is pretty much that exclusively.

Though my recommendation would make a template instead, adjusting its powers to your liking, then having them quest for it to achieve a ritual to add the template (the original confessors were made, not born, though the power was passed on to descendants.) And then give it an ECL of course for balancing purposes.

As a non-OP (for a confessor) example.

Confessor (Template) -

ECL +4 for Females (+8 for Males)

+4 charisma, +6 Diplomacy, +6 intemidate

Confessor's Touch - spell like ability (As dominate creature except as follows, (Requires a melee touch attack, automatically succeeds when grappling or being held by a creature)) DC 5 + 1/2 character level + Cha mod, duration is 1 day per point of charisma mod. Can only be removed by break enchantment (if the caster is equal or higher caster level), Wish, Miracle, cannot be cancelled prematurely except in case below. Caster level is equal to total hitdice. This ability is a free action. Male confessors can use the ability at will. Female confessors require at least one day of rest between uses (reduced by 2 hours per point of Con bonus to a minimum of 1 hour), takes subdual damage equal to 1/4 of their hp rounded up, and become fatigued until they've received at least 1 hour of rest. This penalty only applies on a successful use of the power, but it does require one turn before a new attempt can be made. Male confessors must only wait 3 rounds before re-attempting Confessor's touch. One creature per point of Charisma mod can be dominated at once. If a domination would put the caster over their limit, the oldest domination is released.

If surprised or otherwise suddenly distracted, requires a DC 20 concentration check to avoid casting the ability. Only applies if being directly touched when this occurs.

Con'dar - 1/day. Requires a character level of 16 or higher. DC 35 Concentration check to enter Con'dar (Requires a full round action, doesn't use up the attempt on failure). During this state the normal penalties and usages restrictions for Confessor's touch are suspended (though penalties in effect (fatigue, subdual damage) still apply), and the DC is changed to 10 + Character level + cha mod. As a standard action the confessor can use Confessor's touch as a ranged touch attack with a 20 ft range. Once per 3 rounds as a standard action the Confessor can fire a bolt of negative energy dealing 1d8 per 2 caster levels (cl=HD). This is a ranged touch attack with a range of 20 Ft. Con'dar lasts a maximum of one round per point of constitution, but any damage suffered requires a concentration check of 20 + damage or the effect ends prematurely. At the end of Con'dar, the caster must make a fort save vs DC 15 + rounds of Con'dar or suffer damage equal 4x the duration of the Con'dar. On a successful save this damage is subdual instead. Regardless of save, the caster is exhausted until they receive at least 8 hours of rest and their confessor's touch ability doesn't begin recovery until they're no longer exhausted.

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