Notes on the design of the Deva Proselyte:
The goal here was to create a transformative prestige class that allows a player to become a celestial, but not one listed in the monster manual. This class has a primary focus similar to that of a paladin, with abilities that support group coordination as well as being a fair combat tank. As such, it was designed to augment the abilities of typical melee classes capable of dropping some points into Charisma as a secondary ability.
These have posed a problem from the beginning. The class needed to be fairly open to a wide variety of entrants, but the generally level-based restrictions impose difficulty on entry for the target characters. Paladin is the only SRD class with one of the requisite skills as a class skill. That just sucks.
Feats have posed a problem as well, as none seem to fit the flavor, and I personally dislike the idea of a "pay for entry with a feat" for prestige classes. However, I'm currently considering implementing a single new feat as a prerequisite.
Here's the working sample of the possible entry feat:
Divine Influence [General]
As though guided by a divine hand, what you thought was a sure failure turned out to not be so bad after all.
Benefit: 3/day, you can "take 10" on an attack roll, saving throw, skill check or ability check. You may choose to use the benefit of this feat after you roll but not if you had rolled a natural 1 on your d20.
Racial restrictions are fairly clear. Outsider, Construct and Undead are all top-tier creature types. Incorporeal creatures are excluded simply for ease. The base attack bonus requirement is still up in the air and may be excluded eventually.
Full Base Attack Bonus is essential. This is a combat-capable class, and will often be front-line.
Saving Throws were a tough decision, as the class is designed to become an Outsider, which has all good save progressions. I settled on having just a good Fortitude as a balancing factor for all the other goodies the class gets.
The various resistances (energy resistances, damage reduction and resistance to poison, disease and petrification) are nice, but fairly minor by the time the player gets them within the course of his career as an adventurer. Damage reduction helps to offset his low HD and likely tertiary Constitution (with either Strength or Dexterity being primary and Charisma being secondary).
The energy resistances are fairly substantial, but energy damage is less common, and less likely to make a difference in the overall career of a character (though it may be important in a single encounter). Energy resistance is also easy to access via items and spells at greater strength up until the deva proselyte hits his 10th level and gains immunity to a single energy, which again, is still fairly minor.
The special resistances to poison, disease and petrification are also minor. Petrification likely won't come up at all. Disease might come up a couple times in his 20 level career and poison may come up quite a bit more. Though, these bonuses are outclassed by spells (that neutralize poison and diseases entirely) and items like antitoxin (thankfully, antitoxin will stack for those times you just forget to spend the few gold to have some on hand).
Intelligence likely won't be all that high for a general deva proselyte, so skill points are set fairly average at 4+Int, so that he gets at least a few. With the varied group of entrants to the class, available skills are pretty wide open, allowing players to pick and choose what areas to excel in.
Aura of Good was taken directly from cleric, basically. A creature who exudes good has an aura of good in DnD.
Charismatic Focus was to allow characters who may not have taken Charisma as an important ability earlier in their career the option to improve it a bit (at the detriment to another mental score). Charisma is often hard to come by in racial bonuses anyhow.
Little Wings is just the introduction to the ever-flavorful and fun flight that is so eponymous with angelic figures.
Low-Light Vision and Darkvision are basically mandatory as features of outsiders.
Celestial Bolt is a hell of a tricky ability to adjust for balance, but adds a load of versatility to the class, with being able to deal solid damage as a ranged attack without needing to purchase a secondary set of weapons.
Divine Aura was important for that "teamwork" aspect, similar to the function of a bard.
Reduced Needs and Tongues are mostly just for flavor, providing little mechanical benefit in a combat/danger situation.
The Good subtype is pretty straightforward, being part of the character becoming an outsider.
The Special Defense and Offense abilities are also rather tricky. They're not balanced to each other as well as I would hope. Their purpose is to add variety and customization to the class, representing combat training or training their bodies to release their celestial potentials.
I kinda lost steam and don't feel like going through all the special abilities from here. Perhaps another time or upon request. --Ganteka Future 03:35, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
If you're really super concerned about the prerequisites being too restrictive, you could just leave it at "8 ranks in Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (the planes), nonevil, can speak Celestial" and remove the (shitty unless you're a divine caster or actually Good-aligned) feat prerequisites. That way, you can still be assured of minimum level while opening it up to all kinds of characters (since there exist feats that allow adding skills to a class skill list).
Also, to borrow from the wording of most templates, I'd prefer "Any living, corporeal creature" to "Not a Construct, Undead, or Incorporeal". --Quantumboost 17:09, September 28, 2010 (UTC)
- There is much super concerning about the prerequisites. They will definitely be getting overhauled after I do some more conferring and whatnot. Starting with conferring now. The Base Attack Bonus prerequisite is gonna get dropped for sure. It was an afterthought and I'm not sure why I added it anyways, as it serves no purpose. It's a shame there aren't more stable ways (that aren't really lame like "5 HD") to ensure prestige class entry. Actually, what are the thoughts on using "you must have 5 HD" as a prerequisite?
- As for "Any living, corporeal creature", I think I avoided that out of weird cases like living constructs, though, really, it just comes down to "Do you have a living body with a soul? If yes, then you're pre-approved for levels in this credit card... er, prestige class". I'll probably reword it once I get in to make more edits. --Ganteka Future 17:59, September 28, 2010 (UTC)