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New Core Class: Occult Investigator [for CCC]

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New Core Class: Occult Investigator [for CCC]

For this month's Custom Content Challenge (CCC) I have foolishly voluntered to create a new custom class called the "Occult Investigator" or "Occultist" for short. Since NWN: EE allows for new core classes, this seemed like the right challenge to take on now.

Background: University trained as an inquisitor, you chose to use your skills to investigate occult phenomenon rather than heretics and in so doing, acquire occult skills of your own. You tread a dangerous path for many an Occultist has lost their mind if not their immortal soul.

Game Info

Inspired by the Investigator class from d20 Call of Cthulhu by Monte Cook & John Tynes. The idea is that the Occultist is a "commoner" who can learn spells by using feats.

Hit Die: d4

BAB: As a wizard

Saving Throws: As a wizard

Skills (8 skill points/level): Appraise, Bluff, Concentration, Craft (Any), Disable trap, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Lore, Move Silently, Open lock, Parry, Persuade, Pick Pocket, Ride, Search, Set Trap, Spellcraft, Spot, Taunt, and Tumble.

Bonus Feats at 1st level: Courteous magocracy, Silver palm, Skill focus (Lore), Skill focus (Persuade), Skill focus (Spellcraft), Weapon finesse, and Weapon proficiency (Wizard).

Feats: All general feats and Occult Feats (see below). Feat acquistion as a fighter.

Occult Feats

Occultists are able to learn and cast spells using a feat system. That is, they may acquire a spell by acquiring the appropriate feat. Each occult feat may be used as many times each day but since the Occultist must spend a feat to learn each spell, their spell selection is less than that of a sorcerer. Each occult feat also requires a minimum number of skill levels in Lore and Spellcraft as well as minimum scores in Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom.

Occult Feat (Spell) List [incomplete]

0-level (requires 2 ranks in Lore & Spellcraft and 10 or greater each in Cha, Int, & Wis): Light and Resistance.

1st-level (requires 4 ranks in Lore & Spellcraft and 11 or greater each in Cha, Int, & Wis): Entangle, Entropic shield, Identify, Magic weapon, Protection from alignment, Remove fear, Sanctuary, Scare, and Summon creature I.

My thoughts

The class as presented in d20 CoC, has a d6 for hit points, good reflex & will saves, and (possibly) 12 skill points per level. The character chooses 12 skills to be their core class skills. Also, they learn spells when they come across them rather than spending feats. However, casting a spell does some ability score damage as drains sanity.

My preference at this point is to make the Occultist more scholarly (a university-trained inquisitor), hence the d4 hit points and only the will save is good.

For spellcasting, I'm controlling the spells by requiring the expediture of feats. While it might be interesting using temporary ability score drain like the CoC rules, it strikes me as odd that only this class would do that and not any of the other classes.

However, I'm leaning towards letting all (non-hardcoded skills) be class skills with a limit of 8 skill points per level. Reason is so that the player can customize their Occultist and help offset the fact that this classs is underpowered compared to all of the other core classes.

What are your thoughts?

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