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3E variant classes for Mystara

by Roger LV Girtman II

New Class Variants
The Known World has five character concepts which are unique to MYSTARA: the Balancer, Dervish, Protector, Rake, and Shaman. These class variants are based upon the core classes and are not actually classes themselves. Rather they are a suggestion on how to play one of these characters using the existing classes. The options provided here, as always, should be subject to DM approval.

A Neutral cleric of 5th to 20th level may choose to study nature instead of remaining in "civilised" areas. If he does so, he changes character class and becomes a balancer. To become a balancer, the cleric must find and live in a woodland home, meditating for one to four (1d4, rolled by the DM) months.
During that time, a higher level balancer or druid (usually 15th level or greater) will find the cleric, test him for worthiness, and teach him the principles for druidic philosophy and magic. (The DM may prefer to handle all that in the background, or make a protracted role-playing adventure out of it.) The new balancer may then join the realm of the druids.
Although the balancer is taught druid magic and philosophy, they do not become druids. They are considered equals with the druids and are subject to the druidic hierarchy, (in fact, the current Great Druid is a balancer himself,) but they are still (in game terms) clerics.
A Balancer is pure Neutral, never Lawful or Chaotic (though he may be either good or evil). The balancer is a cleric, usually a philosopher, that devotes his life to the balance of all things and to the study of nature.
The battles of Law and Chaos are not the affairs of the balancers, and they may simply watch such encounters from afar, helping neither side. When characters perform good deeds in the wilderness, such as curing wounded animals, this does not make the balancer immediately friendly. However, assistance in fighting a huge disaster such as a magical storm or major forest fire could earn the gratitude and possible friendship of a balancer.
Should the balancer change alignment, he will revert to a standard cleric of the same level; he will loose all druid benefits including druidic spells unless he returns to a permissible alignment. He may still have to atone to retain all of his clerical abilities, including Turn/Rebuke Undead, if the balancer philosophy is incompatible with the cleric's patron.

A balancer acts exactly like a cleric except for the following:
Alignment: Neutral good, neutral evil, or true neutral.

Class Skills
The balancers class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana)(Int), Knowledge (history)(Int), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Knowledge (religion)(Int), Knowledge (the planes)(Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Domains: Like a cleric, a balancer gets access to two domains. However, the balancer is limited to the Animal, Healing, Plant, and Protection domains.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the balancer.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Balancers do not loose or gain any weapon or armour proficiencies, but the material from which their equipment is made must be taken into account. A balancer's equipment must be made from once-living material (leather, wood, etc.). "Dead" material that has never been alive is simply repulsive to the balancer.
Spells: A Balancer may cast spells from both the Clerical and Druidic spell lists. He does not get any more spells per day, simply a larger selection of spells to choose from.
Bonus Languages: A Balancer is taught the Druidic language from his mentor.
Turn/Rebuke undead: The balancer looses this clerical ability in exchange for his extended spell list.
Druid Hierarchy: A balancer is considered an equal amongst druids, and is subject to the authority of the druidic hierarchy including the challenge requirement upon obtaining epic level. In fact, the current Great Druid is a balancer.
Preferred Character Regions: Balancers can be found anywhere, but are more likely to be located in regions similar to that of standard druids. They are, in fact, more common than druids in most areas of MYSTARA.

The other four will be made similarly, take a single class as a "base" and then modify it by adding certain elements of another...
Protector will simulate classic Paladins by adding clerical spells & turning to the standard fighter.
Dervish will be a mix between druid and monk, I'm not sure which should be the "base"
The rake is obviously a Rogue, but trade Sneak Attack and Sleight of Hand skill for a bonus in Diplomacy.

This is only an idea, right now, and certainly only a rough draft. Let me know what you think.