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Class Templates (3.5e Other)

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Date Created: August 20, 2008
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Class Templates

The concept behind class templates is simple; they are templates which are also classes. Unlike racial progressions, savage progressions and progressive templates however, class templates utilize the HD-advancement mechanic that is used in order to advance monsters, in order to end up with a number of blank Hit Dice that is comparable to the total effective Level Adjustment or Challenge Rating. This way, the total power of the template component of a class template will be controlled, and backed up by the appropriate amount of Hit Dice. Because of this, class templates have the same Hit Dice to challenge rating ratio as player character classes.

Assigning class templates

Class templates are meant to grant characters the specializations that their array of classes, or their occupation, requires. An effective example of a class template is therefore military training, where a prospective recruit gains a specialized skillset which lets him better function as a soldier. Class templates can exists for any occupation or specialization in which a character receives education or training, can be the result of diligent self-study, or might simply be a collection of racial, special or magical abilities gained as the character progresses.

Level Adjustment

In order to build a class template, either pick a pre-existing template you wish to have, or make a new template of your own. The benefits that the template features will become the class template's class features, and will be accrued as levels in the resulting class template is gained. Class templates do come with a predetermined set of restrictions.

  • A class template can only be taken at 1st level, because the templates are either inherited or rely on harsh training or diligent study.
  • A class template may not immediately grant larger bonuses on ability scores than the number of levels that the class template has. A class template with a total of 4 levels can grant a maximum bonus of +4 on any particular ability score. In case of a larger increase to an ability score, the character gains the maximum allotted bonus during the class template, and then gains the rest of the bonus after the completion of the class template, at a rate of +1 per two character levels. If for example the template imbedded in the aforementioned 4-level class template gives the character a +8 increase to his Strength score instead, that character gains +4 Strength throughout the class template progression, and gains +1 to his Strength score every two levels thereafter until he reaches +8 Strength at character level 12.

Hit Dice

Hit dice are added in order to keep the effective character level of a character using this approach equal to that of the effective character level of a player character using normal classes. When the class template is finished, the amount of Hit Dice it grants will be equal to the sum of the Level Adjustment in the template and the effective CR of the Hit Dice. Hit Dice added to a template in order to create a class template are blank Hit Dice, granting only base attack bonus, saves and skill progression, but no extra traits or features innate to the type of HD. The relative CR increase per Hit Die is derived from the Table 'Improved Monster CR Increase' on page 294 of the Monster Manual. Possible Hit Dice choices are listed below.

HD BAB Saves Skills Number of HD
per CR
d6 (fey or spellcaster) ½×HD Good Ref and Will 6 + Int mod 4
d6 (rogue or skill focused) ¾×HD Good Ref 8 + Int mod 3
d8 (humanoid1) ¾×HD Any one good 2 + Int mod 4
d8 (dire animal) ¾×HD All good 2 + Int mod 3
d8 (outsider2) HD All good 8 + Int mod 2
d10 (magical beast or combat focused) HD Good Fort and Ref 2 + Int mod 3
d12 (dragon) HD All good 6 + Int mod 2
  1. Also aberration, elemental, giant, plant and vermin.
  2. Can be used for any character or creature type.

Creating a Class Template

With the base outline of the class template established, the features of the template will be distributed evenly over the number of allotted Hit Dice.

Example Class Template: Celestial Creature

Making a Celestial creature.

Type: Inherited. Can only be taken at 1st level.
Alignment: Any good
Template LA: +2

{{#anc:Table: Celestial Class Template}}

Hit Die: d8 (outsider)

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +2 Smite Evil, Energy Resistance
2nd +2 +3 +3 +3 Darkvision 60 ft.
3rd +3 +3 +3 +3 Spell Resistance
4th +4 +4 +4 +4 Damage Reduction 5/magic

Class Skills (8 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int),
Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Gather Information
(Cha), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills taken
individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis),
Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str).

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the Celestial class template.

If the celestial creature has less than 3 Intelligence, it immediately gains a Intelligence score of 3.

{{#anc:Smite Evil}} (Su): Once per day a celestial creature can make a normal melee attack to deal extra damage equal to its HD (maximum of +20) against an evil foe.

{{#anc:Energy Resistance}}: A celestial creature has resistance 5 to acid, cold and electricity. A celestial creature's resistances increase to 10 once it has 8 or more Hit Dice.

Darkvision (Ex): At 2nd level, a celestial creature gains darkvision out to 60 ft.

{{#anc:Spell Resistance}}: At 3rd level, a celestial creature gains spell resistance 8. A celestial creature's spell resistance continues to grow, equal to the celestial creature's HD + 5 (maximum 25).

{{#anc:Damage Reduction}}: At 4th level, a celestial creature gains DR 5/magic. A celestial creature's damage reduction becomes 10/magic once it has 12 or more Hit Dice.



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