I’m sure someone else has noticed this, but I didn’t find it on a search.
The priestess costs 2000 XP to level up. A similar class built on Divine 2, Nobiran 2, costs 1125 XP to level up.
Obviously, the stat requirements (and Judge approval for the class to even exist) influence the ability to even take such a class. Normally I would just flat out reject it, but the setup for the next game I’m about to be in, it actually makes sense for one of the major religions (belonging to a race similar to Nobirans) to have an insane leg up on the others (long story that I hope to be posting in the next month or so).
So, given that, what do people think about allowing something like this? Does your opinion change if the class also takes up 1HD/1Fighting or other additional build points?
(This is in Ask the Autarchs, but I’d like to hear from others as well).
It’s been a while since I’ve read the custom class rules but I believe (although there may be some clarity issues) that a class MUST spend 4 points before taking into account racial modifiers. This means that you would have to, perhaps, do 2 Divine, 2HD, 2 Nobiran. This will cause the XP difference to shore up.
That aside, the other balancing factor would be that a Nobiran 2 would be limited to level 11, although I would say that getting to level 11 and all the ritual magic that it entails is probably good enough, so that’s not a sufficient downside if one were decide to try and house rule it.
Hm. According to two examples, “The standard elven spellsword was built with Hit
Dice Value 1, Fighting Value 2, Elf Value 4.” But then the third says “The standard elven spellsword was built with Hit Dice Value 1, Fighting Value 2, Arcane Value 1, Elf Value 3” and both of those configurations work out to the same thing, so who knows.
But I’d probably be adding 1 Fighting/1 HD to it anyway. That seems less like “cheating” in one sense, since I’m using all four “base” points before using the race points, but it still makes essentially fighting Priestess variant at only +125 XP over the priestess and adds the Nobiran abilities. This is 625 more than the cleric, which maybe should be my basis for comparison. It caps at level 12, due to the +1 max level from Nobiran.
I do notice that the 11-in-all-stats minimum does prevent the class from “trading up” to higher WIS modifier as much as priestesses as well. Still not sure where I stand overall.
On a related note, the Nobiran value doesn’t explicitly add to Divine for purposes of the Divine Code restriction (and the Nobiran Wonderworker doesn’t explicitly mention it either). Not sure how I’d ultimately want to run a Divine Code 4 for this particular religion either, but that’s more of a discussion to have offline with the group for now.
This is an interesting question because it showcases the nonlinearity of the Divine value.
The Arcane value is linear, at 625 xp per point, which is why this doesn’t come up with elf classes who have points in Arcane. Fighting and Hit Dice are also linear. Thievery shares the quality of nonlinearity with Divine, and would have the same problem that Nobiran classes with points in Divine Value show here.
My personal solution to this, when I created a race that could have points in any class value as ‘bonus’, was to base their XP cost off their effective class value plus the cost of Race 0, instead of adding two numbers distinctly.
So a Nobiran priestess in my campaign (Nobiran 2, Divine 2, or any other combination that gives you Divine 4) has an effective Divine value of 4, which costs 2,000 XP, plus the cost of Nobiran 0 (125) = 2,125 XP.
(It’s also interesting that the Nobiran value table is equal to Divine X + 125, except for 1, which is the same as Divine 1. A Nobiran cleric created with Nobiran 1 + Divine 1 would save 125 XP over a cleric created with any other combination of values adding to 2.)
This solution might not work as well for Nobirans because of their stat requirements, I’m not sure how exactly those play into their balance.
This looks like a job for… Alexander Macris!
“Thievery shares the quality of nonlinearity with Divine, and would have the same problem that Nobiran classes with points in Divine Value show here. My personal solution to this, when I created a race that could have points in any class value as ‘bonus’, was to base their XP cost off their effective class value plus the cost of Race 0, instead of adding two numbers distinctly.”
I had noticed the Thievery nonlinearity when building a Thievery-based race (Changelings, from Eberron). I resolved it there by having points of Changeling just directly add X# thief skills instead of stacking with Thievery (which still leads to nonlinearity, but not badly out of whack).
I have considered (and will reconsider) your XP-stacking scheme here as well. The main reason I don’t just run it that way from the get-go is, like I said, there’s thematic reason for the class to have a leg up. Just not sure if this kind of leg up is maybe “too much”.
The asymmetry of the divine value was a byproduct of reverse-engineering the original XP values in B/X. Simpy put, clerics had such low XP costs per level that the divine value came out very inexpensive. Following a linear curve (250, 500, 750, 1000) promised to make Divine Value 4 either too cheap (if it still had the equivalent of a Priestess’s casting ability) or too weak to be useful (if we reduced the casting ability). I think the Divine Value as presented in the Player’s Companion is correctly balanced.
However, the fact that the Nobiran racial ability allows you to “stack” divine values in such a cost-effective manner could lead to overly powerful character classes. If you find it such, please consider the following Rules Revision.
NOBIRAN CUSTOM CLASSES
Divine: Nobirans may never allocate build points to the Divine category.
Additional points allocated to the Nobirus Value count as points allocated to the Divine Value for purposes of spellcasting, magical research, strongholds, and magic item usability. When calculating number of spells available, round fractions of ½ or more up; round any smaller fractions down.
Hey, thanks for the response. I assume that Thievery has similar reasons for nonlinearity. That obviously works if we need it.
We’ll roll it around some more before making a final decision. It could have a few odd side effects this way as well - Nobirans would never have Cleric saving throws, for example. Not that we can’t houserule that away too if we like
Ooh, just thought of a possible alternative to that. Having Nobirans pay (say) an extra 500XP for the Divine Value preserves their ability to get some discount on Divine 4 by stacking, (sort of how Elves get a discount on Arcane), but not the full amount. I may run with that.