Question about Creating Custom Classes

Hi there,

I’m looking to make a custom class or two using the rules from the Players Companion and I’m trying to make sure I fully understand how it works. I’m going to use the Warlock as an example because the class I was looking to make I was at least sort of modeling off of the Warlock and I ended up with some questions about how one would use the rules to make the Warlock class. I think once I understand that I’ll pretty much understand the system properly.

Looking at it it’s clear that the class used 3 of the 4 points in Arcane (hence the 2/3rds level wizard). What I’m not totally clear on is what the other point went into. I assume it was 1 point into thievery, and then trading the three skill points that gives you for custom powers. What I can’t quite figure out is exactly what trade-offs were made after that to get the powers that pop up at the various levels they do (I fully expect this to be clear and a result of me misreading something but I’ve still got to ask so someone can point out the obvious to me!).

So returning to the warlock it seems clear that one of those skills was immediately traded for the familiar. Then… I’m not quite sure. I can’t seem to find a combination of trade offs in the chart on page 92 that leads to powers showing up at all the levels the Warlock gets them. I see one option to trade in two skills at first level to get ones t 2nd, 4th, and 9th, and the warlock does get powers at those levels but the 9th level one is simply building a stronghold like all classes get, and there are also powers that the warlock gets at 6th, 8th, 10th, and 14th. (and magic research at 7th, but I assume that simply stems from being essentially a 5th level mage at that point).

I’m sure there’s something obvious I’m missing, but… well I’m missing it.

Any help with explaining this is most appreciated. (And if you don’t understand some of what I’ve laid out above I’m happy to try to clarify).

Thanks in advance!

So it looks to me like Warlock also gets a power at 1st (Familiar). So we have 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, and 14th (since the magic research and coven stuff doesn’t count, as you correctly surmised). The power at 1st takes us down to just 2 powers to spend on stuff later. The only way to get a power at 6th is to trade one at 1st for a 6th and an 8th, so then we still have a 2nd, 4th, 10th, and 14th unaccounted for. We take the trade of a 1st for a 2nd, 4th, and 9th, and then trade the 9th for a 10th and a 14th, and we’re good.

(Also yes, it’s arcane 3 / thief 1 - sorry for not clarifying that in first answer)

But according to the chart to trade for 2nd, 4th, and 9th, you have to trade 2 initial skills, and by my count the warlock only has 1 left at that point (after trading 1 for a familiar at 1st level and 1 for powers at 6th and 8th).

Looks like they also took a fighting style trade-off. At Fighting 0, a warlock should have one fighting style (one of “weapon and shield”, “two-handed”, or “two weapons”), but instead “They are unable to use shields, fight with two weapons, use a weapon two-handed,” which earns them an extra power at 1st level per ACKS PC page 79.

Ah! That does it then. I hadn’t noticed that even at fighting 0 you get one fighting style (or that warlocks didn’t have any of them). That explains it. Thank you!

Very welcome and glad to assist! That one is an interesting trade-off, and one I can’t help but feel a lot of mages would gladly take if offered; I might look into permitting them to do so as a houserule. It’s not like most of them were using two-handed fighting regularly anyway…

The only effect it has on the class is that, when using a staff (which is on the class list of both warlock and mage), they deal 1d4 damage instead of 1d6.

It’s a mildly complicated thing to wrap your mind around that the class can use a weapon that is normally used two-handed (staff) but gains no benefit from using it in two hands. (It took me a little while to get it, anyway).

As far as optimization, it’s definitely the choice to make, so much so that I’ve considered adding a house rule in my campaigns that it incurs the 150 xp fighing value tradeoff penalty normally incurred only by fighting values of 2+. Fighting values of 2+ can make tradeoffs without any real loss of effectiveness, and the same is true of characters with fighting value 0.