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  1. #21
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 06:07 PM 7/21/2006, Anthony Edwards wrote:

    >I don`t think there is a region in Birthright that can`t support any
    >class you wish to play.

    I think that`s generally true given the way classes are now
    described. It is a question, however, not so much of rationale as
    general guidelines. There are plenty of exceptions to the rules in
    the original BR materials. They are the ones that we might look at
    as proving those "rules" as the old saying goes.

    When it comes to this issue of "Brecht" guilders, I would suggest it
    works exactly the same way. There are plenty of reasons why such a
    class would exist in just about any other culture of Cerilia. (It
    might push the limits a bit to imagine a gnoll or hill giant guilder,
    but it could be done.) So, it`s just as appropriate as any other
    "race based" class and for the same reasons. That is, having the
    Brecht without guilders is like having the Vos or Rjurik without
    barbarians, the Khinasi without magicians or elves without
    wizards. It`s just appropriate to the culture--and fits a rather
    important niche in the setting on the whole.

    That said, the issue to me is not _if_ a guilder should be included
    it`s _how_. I`ve seen several incarnations of such a class (not as
    many as a noble, but still quite a few) and tried a few myself, but
    none of them seem to really capture the concept very well. The
    abilities of such a class are the problem. What special powers
    should such a class have that are unique to commerce/trade/economics
    and how do you make such special abilities _fun_? Moreover, I`m of
    the opinion that all PC character classes should be playable at the
    adventure level, which makes for another row to hoe.

    I`d still really love to see a guilder that did all of the above,
    though, so I`m all in favor of an effort to develop one.

    Gary

  2. #22
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    Having already played a homebrew guilder in 3e and 3.5e, I thought I would chime in on this discussion. A discussion on a full guilder class here would probably be a help for future DMs and players.

    The simple guilder my DM created was just the rogue with 2 more skill points per level. I know, not the most balanced or flavorful class. The character was a Brecht seafaring merchant type. So, eventually for roleplaying reasons he heavily multiclassed into Ranger for some nice Brecht style Two-weapon Fighting and some far-ranging explorer style wilderness skills. The rogue/ranger combo was a bit of a kludge as a "guilder". Everyone expected me to be a trapfinding thief, and an animal companion just clashed with his style.

    As my attempt at a Guilder class, I've paged thru the various books I have and stolen a number of abilities from other classes and PrCs. I think to be playable at the adventure level, a guilder has to have some sort of combat style like the rogue has sneak-attack or the ranger has his two paths. Also to better differentiate from the rogue, I felt that dexterity, stealthy-ness, evasion, and such should be shunned in favor of more intelligence based abilities. Even a rotund lump can be a good Guilder if he keep his wits about him and knows when to strike. [and if you do have a great Dex, this multiclasses nicely with swashbuckler ]

    Guilder
    medium BAB [as cleric]
    good will, good reflex, poor fort

    skill points 8+int

    1; bonus feat,Canny Defense
    2; Guilder knack,Precise Strike +1d6
    3; Skill focus
    4; Break away, bonus feat
    5; First special ability
    6; Improved Reaction +2
    7; intellectual agility, bonus feat
    8; Elaborate Parry
    9; Opportunist
    10; Second special ability, bonus feat
    11; Precise Strike +2d6
    12; improved reaction +4, skill mastery
    13; appraise magic value, bonus feat
    14; shielded mind
    15; find the path, Third special ability
    16; merchant prince, bonus feat
    17; ??

    weapon and armour proficiencies; all simple weapons and rapier, longsword, short sword, shortbow, and scimitar. All light and medium armor and bucklers.

    bonus feats;A guilder may select a bonus feat from the following; skill focus, combat expertise, iron will, lightning reflexes, improved initiative, quick draw, rapid reload, endurance, great fortitiude, improved aid another, leadership, expert tactician, jack of all trades, open minded, deft opportunist, persuasive, negotiator, nimble fingers, deft hands, alertness, diligent, investigator, stealthy, and [other BRCS ones]. must meet the prerequisites for the feat. [some of the above feats in complete adventurer]

    Canny Defense; When not wearing armor or using a shield, a guilder adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per guilder class level to her Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a guilder is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus, she also loses this bonus.

    Guilder knack; For any skill check you can use 1/2 your guilder level [rounded up] in place of the number of ranks you have in the skill [even if that number is 0].
    You cant take 10 with guilder knack. If the skill does not allow untrained checks, you must have at least 1 actual rank to attempt the check. [taken from phb2 p35, bardic knack]

    Precise Strike (Ex);At 2nd level, a guilder gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed weapon, gaining an extra 1d6 damage added to her normal damage roll.

    When making a precise strike, a guilder cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield. A gulder’s precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike. At 11th level, the extra damage on a precise strike increases to +2d6.

    Break away; Skilled as he is, a guilder knows the sensibility of falling back from an unwinnable fight. starting at 4h level, he gains a +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class in any round during which he does nothing but move.

    Opportunist (Ex);Once per round, the guilder can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the guilder’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a guilder with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

    Intellectual agility; Starting at 7th level the guilder can channel her intellect to more physical needs. She adds her intelligence bonus [if any] to her initiative checks and reflex saves.

    Elaborate Parry (Ex); A guilder knows when to protect the goods. At 8th level and higher, if a guilder chooses to fight defensively or use total defense in melee combat, she gains an additional +1 dodge bonus to AC for each two levels of guilder she has.

    Improved Reaction (Ex);A guilder knows when to strike for best effect. At 6th level, a guilder gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
    At 12th level, the bonus increases to +4. This bonus stacks with the benefit provided by the Improved Initiative feat

    skill mastery; as the rogue ability

    appraise magic value;You receive the benifits of the appraise magic value feat without need to meet its prerequisites. [if you know an object is magical, you can use the appraise skill to identify the item's properties. this use of the appraise skill requires 8 hours of uninterrupted work and consumes 25 gp worth of special materials. the DC of the appraise check is 10+ the caster level of the item.] from Complete Adventurer

    Find the path; Having found fortunes all over Cerelia and out of a number of jams, a 15th level Guilder has an uncanny knack for knowing which way to go. Ability to cast find the past as a spell-like ability once per day.

    merchant prince [pirate king];A 16th lvl guilder's exploits have become so ledgendary that great numbers of lackeys, lawyers, thugs, and bean-counters are willing to sign on as his crew for no compensation other than a chance to share in his next great haul. Treat this ability as the equivalent of the Leadership feat, except that only followers [and no cohorts] are gained. This is in addition to any followers gained thru the Leadership feat.

    shielded mind; Crafty and difficult to read high level Guilders are. A conundrum to those that would magic them. Gains spell resistance against divination spells equal to 10+ her guilder level. This does not stack with other forms of spell resistance.

    special ability; Havent quite figured these out.
    The most simple would be something based on the ranger's favored enemy progression. Something like skill bonuses in a particular region or culture
    [gather info in region/culture, k[local:region/culture] bonuses, and one other based on region/culture]
    rjurik=survival
    vos=intimidate
    anuire=knowledge[nobility]
    kinasi=knowledge[arcana]
    brecthur=profession[merchant]
    dwarven=craft[weaponsmith] or craft[armorsmith]
    goblin=?
    These bonuses would start at +2 and each time you picked a new region the old ones would gain another +2.

    More complicated special abilities chosen from a list could also work. A ninja's poison use ability, a horizon walkers terrain masteries, skill mastery, or some psuedo-magical abilities [discern lies, find the path, identify, shielded mind] would allow customization.


    comments;
    This is just a rough look at a guilder class. The intellegence backed combat style has a number of weak but nifty abilites lifted from the Duelist and other PrCs. But I didnt really find enough to fill up higher levels, so a rogue or fighter combatant would start to pull away even more.

    Some might think that magical abilites would not suit the guilder or Cerelia. But I think a few choice, subtle abilties would help add to the mystique of the guilder class. This is rather influenced by my experience with the 2ndEd merchant class/kit? from Darokin in Greyhawk. Forget what they were called, but they would have you leaving trade negotiations muttering "what did i just agree to?!" Having picked up a few tricks from magicians, the Guilder is more than just an Expert with a few combat tricks. Given the low level of play of most people's BR, Id even consider lowering the level these abilities are gained at. Although a spellcasting progression like the paladin or ranger might be too much.

    Bonus feat at first level to actually encourage dipping into Guilder instead of fighter or rogue. You want some skill points? A guilder level might fit more thematically than a backstabbing, trapfinding rogue.

    And finally I dont really have a capping ability at 19th or 20th level to really make you want to stay in the Guilder class. A combination of my mid-level play of BR and a tendency towards rampant multiclassing...
    Last edited by Danip; 12-03-2006 at 12:36 PM.

  3. #23
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Something missing to me seems to be the fact that the guilder class was originally a domain level of play class and not an adventuring one.

    Using the 2nd ed Guilder and attempting to use that class for adventuring was, well, really a waste.

    It appears what is happening here is that the important aspect domain level of play has been "removed" from the class and made a sort of mix of rogue/swashbuckler/scout IMO.

    This seems to me to be going in the wrong direction.

    If the class is redone then it should be focusing on what the original class was all about - economic domain actions.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #24
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 04:39 AM 12/3/2006, irdeggman wrote:

    >Something missing to me seems to be the fact that the guilder class
    >was originally a domain level of play class and not an adventuring one.
    >
    >Using the 2nd ed Guilder and attempting to use that class for
    >adventuring was, well, really a waste.

    Is there really such a thing as a domain level character class? The
    guilder was weak as a character class, but there was an effort to
    make it more playable given things like its armor proficiency and
    weapon choice. It certainly wasn`t "balanced" but neither was the
    magician or many of the priestly character class changes in 2e. On
    the whole, I don`t think the intention was really to create something
    that was meant for the domain level rather than to portray a
    character type that didn`t (isn`t?) really addressed within the
    existing character classes.

    A guilder should really be about money, but whether that`s at the
    domain level or the adventure level isn`t particularly
    definitive. Personally, I`d prefer something that was a kind of
    combined diplomat/negotiator, tinkerer, financier. I guess another
    way of looking at it is that a guilder class should be to earning
    money what the fighting class is to doing battle. There should be
    any number of ways of portraying a particular method of fighting (an
    agile fencer to a burly slugger) and there should be any number of
    ways of portraying how someone participates in business. Of course,
    that`s not very "sexy" as an adventuring class, but its not any less
    useful at the adventure level for the DM`s use.

    Gayr

  5. #25
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    If the class is redone then it should be focusing on what the original class was all about - economic domain actions.
    The trouble with that is that people play BR in three different ways;adventure level, domain level[esp. Pbems], and mixing those two. If you focus a class on economic domain actions the domain level RPGer's/wargamer's get a class that will probably own the rogue. But the adventure level players will see a useless homebody that will be weak to useless against monsters.

    All the core classes generally arnt focused on domain actions, other than allotment of skill points and class skills. Thus I am inclined to repeat that with any new classes for Cerelia. With equal skill points to the rogue and class skills in all the guild skills, a Guilder should be equal to the rogue class at domain level. You will note I didnt give the Guilder bonus domain level feats or bonuses to domain checks. Just giving a guilder the rogue's economic skill set is enough to balance their domain level power. Then the trick is to create an interesting and playable adventurer. Some combat prowess and skill potential outside of urban area's is needed to make a character work for all play styles.

    Also remember that many/most guilders arnt regents or even scions. The class should be a good model for that teaming mass of profit minded Brecht who arnt just Experts.

  6. #26
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    To comment on the idea's of the original post
    Expert: The guilder is not constrained by the maximum ranks as other classes are. The maximum ranks he may have in a given skill is equal to 3 + 1.5 times his level. Thus, at 2nd level his max ranks would be 6 instead of the usual 5. At 10th he could have 18 ranks, instead of 13. At 20th he could have 33 instead of 23. (This emulates the 2nd Ed guilder ability of having extra nonweapon proficiency slots.)
    I'd have to repeat what others said and say this rubs me the wrong way. With 8 skill points a level a guilder will already be something of a skill showboat. But maximum ranks is something of a central tenet of 3e. Increasing max ranks doesnt really increase flexibility like extra proficiency slots, but it does up max power. Is there some need for a 10th level guilder to have a higher diplomacy check than a 10th level noble?

    This sort of thing might work in a game, but perhaps it should be a house rule available to all classes in a game. Each player selects one skill where they up the max ranks. Their heroic specialty so to say. Maybe the guilder and rogue would get two skills to up, but I dont think this works as a class ability that just one player in a game will get.
    Silver Tongue: Constant dealing with others gives the guilder a keen sense of how to make them believe his lies. He may attempt a retry of the Bluff skill, but with a –5 penalty.
    A good ability, i like.
    Pidgin: Guilders have a knack for communicating despite barriers of an uncommon language. He can communicate and understand simple concepts, such as the need for food, desire to trade, warnings, etc. This works similar to the Decipher Script skill. The guilder makes a Pidgin check equal to d20 plus his Intelligence modifier plus his level. The DC varies with the complexity of information that is trying to be conveyed.
    Language barriers can be hard to roleplay. I forget what book I saw it in, but there was a Linguist feat that gave you bonus languages known. Might be a good simple bonus feat.

    Improvised Tools: The guilder can select any two skills that require tools. With these two skills, the penalty for using improvised tools is halved.
    Is a guilder by default a crafter/tool user? An optional ability perhaps. And even if a guilder is going the crafter route, I would think they are more of a mastercrafter making expensive items than a MacGuyver. Perhaps, in line with Gary's 'guilders as money oriented' idea, at low level a guilder receives a free set of masterwork tools of their choice.

    something like;
    Journeyman's Tools; To best ply his trade a Guilder needs the right equipment. Whether it is a jewlers loop, a con man's trick cards, or just business attire, the right tools can mean a world of difference. At 2nd level a guilder receives a set of masterwork equipment for free. These masterwork items provide a +2 competence bonus to one skill when used. The skill must be selected from appraise, craft[any one], profession[any one], forgery?, or sleight of hand?. Typical items include crafting tools, a snappy courtier's outfit, a certified merchant's balance and weights, a set of chef's knives, or the finest compass money can buy.

  7. #27
    Senior Member The Swordgaunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gazza666
    [*]Change the expert ability to instead provide (say) a +2 competence bonus to 3 skills, with possibly the number of skills and the bonus increasing with level. (Or one could treat the progression similar to a ranger's favoured enemy).[/list]
    There's always the Skill Emphasis feat. It could be given as a bonus feat at intervals.

    Otherwise, I'll playtest it (as an NPC) hopefully within the week.
    -Harald

    Today, we were kidnapped by hill folk never to be seen again. It was the best day ever.

    Blog

  8. #28
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    Danip schrieb:
    > This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    > You can view the entire thread at:
    > http://www.birthright.net/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=3015
    > Danip wrote:
    >
    ...
    > The simple guilder my DM created was just the rogue with 2 more skill points per level. I know, not the most balanced or flavorful class. The character was a Brecht seafaring merchant type. So, eventually for roleplaying reasons he heavily multiclassed into Ranger for some nice Brecht style Two-weapon Fighting and some far-ranging explorer style wilderness skills. The rogue/ranger combo was a bit of a kludge as a "guilder". Everyone expected me to be a trapfinding thief, and an animal companion just clashed with his style.
    >
    Wilderness skills? I remember a description of Brechts, from the Havens
    of the Great Bay book (p. 15), in which the Brechts are described as
    people who would rather sail with a boat around a peninsula than to
    march across it even if it would take less time. And the same was said
    about transporting goods in Brechtür. If that is the general attitude
    then ranger levels as wilderness explorer seem off the general track.

    > Canny Defense; When not wearing armor or using a shield, a guilder adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per guilder class level to her Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a guilder is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus, she also loses this bonus.
    >
    As that resembles the 2E "Blackstrike" fighting shouldn?t it use that name?
    > Elaborate Parry (Ex) At 8th level and higher, if a guilder chooses to fight defensively or use total defense in melee combat, she gains an additional +1 dodge bonus to AC for each two levels of guilder she has.
    >
    > appraise magic value;you receive the benifits of the appraise magic value feat without need to meet its prerequisites. [if you know an object is magical, you can use the appraise skill to identify the item`s properties. this use of the appraise skill requires 8 hours of uninterrupted work and consumes 25 gp worth of special materials. the DC of the appraise check is 10+ the caster level of the item.] Complete Adventurer
    >
    In Brechtür everything can be bought - even the service of a Magician. I
    am wary of giving any class anything regarding magic in a setting that
    is supposed to have much rarer magic than normal.
    > More complicated special abilities chosen from a list could also work. A ninja`s poison use ability,
    A Guilder is not a rogue. Actually the class was in Havens of the Great
    Bay introduced as a counterpart to the rogue - a moneymaker who is not a
    thief. I do not think that a Guilder should have an assasins or ninjas
    poison use - at least not to poison weapons. Perhaps to poison a rivals
    tea but not in an aggressive way like fighting with poisoned weapons.
    > Some might think that magical abilites would not suit the guilder or Cerelia. But I think a few choice, subtle abilties would help add to the mystique of the guilder class. This is rather influenced by my experience with the 2ndEd merchant class/kit? from Darokin in Greyhawk. Forget what they were called, but they would have you leaving trade negotiations muttering "what did i just agree to?!" Having picked up a few tricks from magicians, the Guilder is more than just an Expert with a few combat tricks. Given the low level of play of most people`s BR, Id even consider lowering the level these abilities are gained at. Although a spellcasting progression like the paladin or ranger might be too much.
    >
    Then a spellcasting like the assasin - and having for example "Khinasi
    Traders Tongue" as a spell.
    bye
    Michael

  9. #29
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I have several "domain" classes. They aren't just for domain turns, but are excellent for RP'ing domain actions and similar types of game events. I'll mention three examples. One is the Courtier, with social abilities and a broad range of administrative, intrigue, and social skills. Handy for the PC's chancellor, but weak enough in combat, that I generally recomend PC's stick with Noble. Another, of course, is the Guilder. Similar to the Courtier, but with skills and abilities better suited to the marketplace and guildhall then to the chancelry and court.

    I still have an older version up at
    http://home.mchsi.com/~kgauck/taelshore/guilder.htm
    but this version (which is basically the Scoundrel from Star Wars) is not my current version. I've elected to make Guilder a PrC with the assumption that the character has a background as a noble or rogue. For an example of where I am now in these kinds of things, see my noble class.
    http://home.mchsi.com/~kgauck/taelshore/aristocrat.htm

    Noble makes a fine guilder, and I would design Anuirean and Rjurik guilders as being mostly Nobles. The Guilder PrC will be mostly for characters who don't expect much combat, and spend most of their time running their domain. Intrigue adventures, diplomacy, and the like. A domain based class. Its for players who want to grow their domains not the individual power of the character. Not every class has to suit every style of play.

  10. #30
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    I still think that if you ignore the domain level aspect you are doing this sort of "specialized" class a great injustice.

    2nd ed guilder:


    Required to have spent extensive time in the Great Bay area.

    Thief attacks, saves and hit points

    Proficient in any armor or weapon in Cerilia (note that this doesn’t change the availability of said items).

    Read languages (as thief skill): 20% + 5%/level

    No other thief skills.

    Non weapon proficiencies like thief plus 1 per level.

    Here is the big one:

    +1 to 12 different domain actions.


    There was also a note about DMs who award role-playing bonuses for individual success should award guilders who create or facilitate trade routes between guilds in which they have an interest. Now while “having an interest” is pretty vague – the only way to make a domain action roll was to either be a regent or a regent’s Lt. No one else could make a domain action roll in 2nd ed.


    And since they were a rogue subclass that meant no character could take levels in guilder and another rogue class (like bard or thief).


    Adding in things like precise attacks really seems to go against the focus of the class. They were never a "sneaky" combatant. They could better defend themselves than a thief could (due to better armor and weapons) but couldn't back stab and thus did less damage in general.

    Adding in Speak Language as a class skill is something that is likewise missing. Pidgeon or not Speak Language is better (especially since it includes reading and writing the language).


    Duane Eggert

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