Author Topic: The Buccaneer (3.5 Base Class)  (Read 207 times)

Offline SleepyShadow

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ***
  • Posts: 460
  • I should've seen that coming
    • View Profile
The Buccaneer (3.5 Base Class)
« on: March 09, 2018, 01:03:56 PM »
My group and I came up with this homebrew class out of a love of nautical campaigns and the disappointment in the lack of good nautical classes. Any suggestions on balance adjustments would be greatly appreciated.

(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 02:49:06 PM by SleepyShadow »

Offline Maat Mons

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ****
  • Posts: 1203
  • What is a smile but a grimace of happiness?
    • View Profile
Re: The Buccaneer (3.5 Base Class)
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2018, 04:10:19 PM »
Bonus Feats: At 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels the buccaneer gains a bonus feat from the following list: Alertness, Combat Expertise (Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip), Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows (Snatch Arrows), Dodge (Mobility), Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot (Far Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot), Power Attack (Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder), Quick Draw, Toughness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus. The buccaneer must meet all prerequisites for the chosen feat.

I'm not too big a fan of generic bonus feats.  Maybe you could give bonus feats that relate in some fashion to what the class does?  Stormwrack had a feat that negates the double movement penalty for walking on a slippery deck, a feat that lets you swim faster (without a swim speed), and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. 



Seamanship (Ex): At 1st level, the buccaneer gains a +1 competence bonus to Balance, Climb, and Profession (Sailor) checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 5th, +3 at 9th, +4 at 13th, and +5 at 17th level.

A small, scaling bonus doesn't seem very interesting.  It might also be nice to let people choose which skills they'd like to focus of.  You could give the ability to take 10 on certain skill checks even in combat.  You could negate the -5 penalty to balance for moving at your full speed.  allowing people to climb and swim faster could also be useful. 



Buccaneer Bravery (Ex): At 1st level, a buccaneer gains a +1 competence bonus to his Armor Class. This bonus increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, +4 at 15th level, and +5 at 20th level. However, this bonus can never be greater than the buccaneer's Charisma modifier.

I'd just give a bonus to AC equal to charisma, and limit it to light armor/no armor.  I don't think there ought to be a cap based on class level, let alone one that's so low.  Also, I question the choice of charisma over intelligence. 



Dirty Fighting (Ex): At 2nd level, the buccaneer may use a standard action to make a single weapon attack that does an extra +1d4. This extra damage increases to +2d4 at 6th, +3d4 at 10th, +4d4 at 14th, and +5d4 at 18th. This ability counts as sneak attack for purposes of qualification for feats, prestige classes, and other abilities that require sneak attack.

I've never even remotely been a fan of the dirty fighting ability.  Why not a slow-ish sneak attack progression?  Or something more interesting.  You could give bonuses that apply when your foe is in difficult terrain or balancing, as would be the case on a ship deck. 



Horseplay (Su): A 9th-level buccaneer with 12 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can caper and dance to distract his opponents in battle. The buccaneer's outrageous actions distract his foe, leaving it unable to effectively defend itself. The buccaneer can choose a single target within 30 feet to whom he has line of sight. The target must be able to see and hear the buccaneer, and gets a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 buccaneer level + buccaneer's Cha modifier). If the target fails this save, it loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to its Armor Class. The target gains a new save each round the buccaneer maintains horseplay (a swift action). If the target makes a successful Will save the effect ends and the target becomes immune to that buccaneer’s horseplay for 24 hours. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to the buccaneer's Charisma modifier.

Using a swift action to potentially remove an opponent's dexterity bonus to AC for one round is fairly reasonable.  Actually, several people have done feint-related abilities that culminate at this same thing.  It seems unnecessary to have limited uses per day.  And it seems downright punitive that one failed attempt at using this ability makes that enemy immune for the rest of the day. 



Mocking Shout (Su): A 12th-level buccaneer with 15 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can mock his opponents with such vicious, cutting humor that they lose confidence in their fighting ability. Every opponent within 60 feet of the buccaneer who can hear and understand him must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 buccaneer level + buccaneer's Cha modifier). Creatures that fail this save suffer a -2 luck penalty on attack rolls, skill and ability checks, and saving throws for as long as the buccaneer continues to perform (as a move action), up to a maximum number of rounds equal to the buccaneer's class level. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependent effect. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to the buccaneer's Charisma modifier.

You know, +/-2 in an area seems more on par with a martial or dragon shaman's aura than a 12th-level, "must fail a will save" kind of thing. 



Sailor Talk (Su): A 15th-level buccaneer with 18 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can create a running series of jokes, observations, and insults that breaks a single target's ability to concentrate. When the buccaneer uses this ability, his target must make a Concentration check opposed by the buccaneer's Perform (comedy) check to cast a spell, use a supernatural ability, or otherwise perform an act that would require a Concentration check to complete if the target suffered damage while attempting it. The buccaneer can use this ability against a given target once per encounter. This is a mind-affecting, language- dependent effect. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to the buccaneer's Charisma modifier.

What action is it to use this ability?  How long do the effects last?  You could probably just give an ability that continuously impairs the concentration of nearby enemies. 



Wit of the Damned (Su): An 18th-level buccaneer with 21 or more ranks in Perform (comedy) can leave his target a dispirited, demoralized shell with a few choice, cutting remarks. The target can make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 buccaneer level + buccaneer's Cha modifier). If the save fails, the target suffers a morale penalty equal to the buccaneer's Charisma bonus on attack rolls and saving throws. This penalty lasts for as long as the buccaneer performs (a move action), for a maximum number of rounds equal to half the buccaneer's class level. This is a mind-affecting, language-dependent effect. The target must be able to see and clearly hear the buccaneer. This ability is useable as a swift action. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to the buccaneer's Charisma modifier.

If I'm taking a move action each round to maintain this effect, I'm hindering myself pretty severely in exchange for hindering one opponent.  You know, spellcasters, by this point, can take an enemy out of combat entirely if he fails a saving throw.  And the spellcaster is then free to deal with other enemies.  This ability ties the user up for the remainder of combat to deal with one enemy, and it doesn't even get rid of that enemy. 

If all you're going to do is assign some numerical penalties to enemies, why not just make some sort of aura ability?  Apply a penalty to all enemies within a given range, with no action required. 

Offline SleepyShadow

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ***
  • Posts: 460
  • I should've seen that coming
    • View Profile
Re: The Buccaneer (3.5 Base Class)
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2018, 02:47:08 PM »
I made some of the changes that you suggested. As for the "Buccaneer Bravery" ability being tied to Charisma instead of Intelligence, I was just trying to keep all of their abilities scaling off the same stat to make the class less MAD.