Custom Racial Classes Build Points 8 Level Limit 8

Regarding Player’s Companion Custom Racial Classes, why is the Build Points 8 Level Limit 8, instead of following the previous progression (-1) to 9?

I might almost think the small race that shall not be named had something to do with this …

The loss of Stronghold and Follower features is so severe in a presumably domain-oriented game, I can’t see ever creating a Build Point 8 class as is.

(Except, perhaps, for hypothetical races that eschew lofty goals like domain rulership, in which case I would rather make that a feature of the race, not the system.)

Just wondering … Thanks!

Maxing out at level 9 doesn’t prevent you from establishing or ruling a domain, it just means you don’t get free followers.

I’ve created two classes so far that max out at 8th level: halfling rovers for my to-be Forgotten Realms campaign, and half-giant brutes for my Dark Sun campaign. Neither should get the free followers because they’re not made to lead; the half-giants are also nicely balanced by the limit (they are terrifying combat monsters in the early levels), and the halflings are an exact replica of Basic halflings.

I mean level 8, obviously. My kingdom for an edit function and a horse…

Even aside from the custom racial classes, there are already options present to create non-ruler builds. For example, any class that puts at least 3 points into HD (to use d10) will be unable to also put 2 points in any single class category, and qualify for that class’s stronghold.

I assume that non-ruler classes are present for the sake of being able to create thuggish henchmen and NPCs. That seems sensible to me. It’s pretty optimistic to suppose that any heroes with a knack for monster-slaying would also have an aptitude for high-level administration. If anything, it’s already a contrivance of the genre to require those skill-sets to overlap as much as they do. (“Stay away from their commander! He can probably slay a dragon in single combat!”)

The following explanation might help you understand why the 8-point builds are capped at 8th level.

The Elven Spellsword is the quintessential 7-point build. It gets the fighting ability of the Fighter and the spellcasting ability of a Mage, in exchange for slow leveling and a 10th level cap. At d6 hd, it’s not as hardy as a Fighter, but still better than Mage.

Imagine if you told the player, your Elven Spellsword can actually get d8 HD; or your Elven Spellsword can get 33% more spells than a Mage; and all you have to do is take a 9th level cap instead of a 10th level cap.

EVERYONE would take that option. Because the difference between 9th level and 10th level is trivial relative to 33% more hit points, or 33% more spells.

But if you say “8th level cap”, then it’s a serious trade-off. You’re giving up 5th level spells. You’re losing 2 HD worth of hit points, attack throws, and damage bonus. You don’t get your 2nd general proficiency. Etc.

In my actual campaigns, 8-point builds are usually seen on NPCs with After the Flesh and centuries of time to gain XP as undead.

Very good point. When using Build Point 8 After the Flesh advancement in your campaign, are Stronghold/Follower benefits still gained at 9 HD? Also, just curious, do you have a “rule of thumb” for how old ancient undead of a certain XP total must be, or do you simply create whatever fits the needs of the campaign?

  1. No
  2. I assume they will reach whatever level they’d have reached based on the maximum realm they controlled during their undeath, based on GP Treshold.

For instance, if an Undead Lich-King rules an Empire, he’ll eventually get to 14th level from his Campaign XP. It might take a loooong time, but he’s an Undead Lich-King.