June 27, 2016

Pain Taster

Roguish Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Seriously not one for kids, this one's based on the Pathfinder class of the same name, and was originally sent in by Rex Gunn.

Pain Taster

Some relish in the lash of the whip and the cruelty of torture, but the pain tasters are by far the most depraved. Disturbed as they are, few pain tasters choose this archetype willingly; more often it is bestowed somewhat against the will of the recipient, usually after suffering through some terrible physical torture and developing an obsession with pain as a result. 
     The proclivities of the pain tasters are abhorrent to most societies, and rarely involve willing participants. However, some vile havens, such as the deep empire of the drow, provide steady work for torturers, breaking slaves of their will and interrogating prisoners for information. Just as often, the torture is for enjoyment, performed for the benefit of a drow nobleman or high priestess.

Bonus Proficiencies
Beginning when you select this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in the whip and torturer's tools, a ghastly tool set which contains unspeakable implements used to inflict pain. With these tools, you gain proficiency on all checks made to torture an individual.

Masochism
At 3rd level, you can inflict pain on yourself to cause it to others. At the beginning of your turn, you can deal 1d10 hit points of damage to yourself (which cannot be reduced). Until the end of your turn, your attacks deal an additional 1d10 damage.

Scourge
Starting at 9th level, you are a virtuoso of the whip. As a bonus action while you are holding a whip, you pull an object weighing under 10 lb. to your hand from up to 10 feet away. If the object is being held or carried, the target must make a Strength saving throw (DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Dexterity modifier), or be disarmed.

Torturer
At 13th level, you are intimately familiar with the pain of others. You have advantage on any check made to torture a living creature. Additionally, you can draw out the agony for longer by inflicting minimal lasting harm, dealing as little as 1 damage for each hour to a creature you are torturing.

Sadism
Starting at 17th level, when an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to attack them.



Changelog: 6/19/16: Bonus Proficiencies: Torturer's Tools give proficiency to all checks made to torture
Masochism: Changed to taking 1d10 damage, getting a 1d10 damage bonus in exchange
Scourge: Changed to a bonus action and a Strength saving throw

18 comments:

  1. Ew. I think this is only the second thing I won't have downloaded from you guys. I even have Cluckromancer and Cheese Whiz!

    Fortunately the earlier Binder more than makes up for it so all is forgiven.

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    1. Yeah, this one's definitely not for everyone, but I like having some completely out there options for players, especially for players who'd like to go the evil route.

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  2. The masochism ability seems a bit strong, and doesn't scale at all. 10 hit points at the 3rd level is a lot, but at the 16th level? Significantly less so. I would recommend scaling the self inflicted damage so that its reasonably balanced at all levels. If it gets a bit weaker the stronger you get, thats ok, since you ARE supposed to be getting stronger

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  3. The damage worried me at first, but its like assasinate or the swashbucklers level 3 skill, which is very strong and amplifies the power of sneak attack. My concern is the self inflicted damage

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    1. My reasoning was that it's basically an even trade in damage. 3d6 is an average roll of 10.5 and you take 10 damage in exchange. At 3rd level, it's like half your HP (depending on Con) but this gets pretty small later.

      I could have scaled the damages, but I didn't think it was elegant to implement a scaling amount of damage on a feature like this one. Thoughts?

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    2. I'd do something like an extra 1d6 to sneak attack and you also take whatever damage the extra die rolls. Maybe later, you can get additional extra d6's

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    3. I thought about this exactly, but realized that keeping track of *some* d6 out of your roll is probably too difficult. I could make it like 1d10 or something to eliminate that problem.

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  4. The DMG suggests rhat you can make a contest for disarming, most DMs are lenient towards letting you India Jones, making the 9th ability useless in many cases

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    1. You're probably correct here. The crux of the problem is: how do you make skill with a lash an interaction ability? Naturally, I leaned toward Indiana Jones references, but I'm not sure how else to do these same mechanics.

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    2. Perhaps you can do it as part of an attack? As a bonus action when you attack a creature?

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    3. Perhaps a ranged grapple? With DEX for the contest/check and the ability to strangled the grappled foe for sneak damage? It would be a unique feature, and fit in with the theme of the class.

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  5. I feel like I will be using this as an NPC villain in my campaign somewhere, thanks guys.

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  6. I think rather than the disarm ability, you could just make a bonus action you use to "hook" into the enemy's flesh, essentially getting a free grapple or a limited use, brief stunning ability with a Con save against Dex to emphasis an extreme burst of pain from essentially skinning/scalping your foe.

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    1. I don't know if that works for a whip/flail. Like, if this was a hook and chain, that would be perfect, but whips don't really wrap around large objects

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  7. I'm a little iffy on the rules for torturer's tools. The ideal solution, IMO, would be to divorce them entirely from Intimidation and just have them act like all other tools (and maybe add them to the list of things Rogues can take Expertise in). Mostly because any Rogue worth their salt taking this class is going to at least be proficient in Intimidation anyways, making the ability useless- they might even take Expertise, making it double-useless.

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    1. I think you're right about divorcing it from Intimidation checks. I'll just make it 'you can add your proficiency bonus on any check made to torture an individual.'

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  8. Hm, where to begin with this one. I like this quite a lot, though I feel it could still use a little work to make it really come to life.

    The thing that struck me first were the Torturer's Tools, which I thought were a little bizarre. I feel like any rogue that would be going down this path would likely have already acquired Proficiency in Intimidation, if not even Expertise. Thus making the Tools simply give proficiency seems a little odd, and I would like to offer the idea of having the benefit of the Tools being that they allow you to make Intimidate checks using your Dexterity rather than Charisma. Much like past abilities to use Strength rather than Charisma for Intimidation, here it is more in the sense that your torture is far more effective given steady fingers and the ability to make graceful stabs and lacerations.

    Regarding the discussion that the rest are having, mostly around Masochism and Scourge... I often look at archetypes and ask if Superiority dice would make it work more fluidly, and I think this might be a case where they would, as well as making a great deal of sense.

    Gain 3 d6 Superiority Dice at level 3, and turn Masochism into a maneuver of sorts that allows you to, on an attack that hits and triggers Sneak Attack, allow you to dump one or more of your Superiority Dice into additional sneak attack damage. You also take damage equal to the damage rolled on your Superiority Dice. This would allow a particularly crazed Pain Taster to dump all 3, or he could savor the pain a little more slowly.

    Scourge and Torturer could fall in line similiarly, with a Disarm maneuver taking the place of Scourge and Torture allowing you to use Superiority dice to boost an Intimidate roll involving torture. The most recent UA fighters that are built through a dampened form of the Superiority Dice could offer a great deal of inspiration.

    I would say to definitely keep Superiority dice from upgrading, as the d6 is effectively the Rogue Die. Instead, you could potentially give the Pain Taster more dice which would allow a higher level Pain Taster to truly relish in the bloodletting of a rather fiendish sneak attack at great cost to himself. Likewise, the Variant rule in which you regain a Superiority Die upon scoring a Critical hit seems rather apropos for the class, perhaps even if a Critical hit is scored on you.

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    1. You know, I'm pretty sure that I committed a change to this while you were writing your comment. Torturer's Tools are divorced from Intimidation, since I genuinely think that torture should be something a little different to mundane intimidation, if only for the fact that you don't need charisma to break someone with torture.

      Importantly, I think Superiority Dice thematically fit someone who is skilled and trained in combat, like the PHB Battlemaster or our Exemplar, but don't fit very well here. Still, the Scourge ability now uses a Strength saving throw as the Disarm maneuver does, so there's that.

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