Monday, August 12, 2013

The Dwarven Engineer

A friend and I are trying to create a dwarven engineer class for my DnD adaptation of Cadwallon. The idea is that the Engineer is a versatile character that is a hybrid mostly between leader and striker. The class starts with a moderate damage attack and a weak heal that requires the engineer to touch whoever he's healing. 

One of the problems that we ran into is that 4e doesn't really provide a mechanic for adding on functionality after first level. Every class starts with the basic mechanics and then builds on those. My inclination was to add functionality at later levels but that cuts against everything else so we had to shoehorn everything into first level as best we could.

My fear is that the Engineer is too effective at being a striker, despite the fact that his use of encounter powers weakens his overall damage capability. My thought is that there should be a price to pay for his versatility and the slow erosion of damage production doesn't really provide enough of a trade off for bolting on million abilities. The basic attack, however, isn't as good as other strikers, I'm must not sure it's weak enough.

Anyway, here's what we have so far. Constructive criticism is very welcome and appreciated:

The Dwarven Engineer:

Class Traits
Role: Striker
Power Source: Steam. You build machines and power them with Steam.
Key Abilities: Int, Dex, Con

Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, Leather, Hide
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Melee, Simple Ranged, Gunpowder weapons
Bonus to Defense:  +2 Ref

Hit Points at 1st Level: 14 + Con Score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: Engineering
Class Skills: Choose Three of the following -
Dungeoneering (Wis), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Insight (Wis), Perception (Wis), and Thievery (Dex)

Dwarven Engineering is the study of steam and its uses. Devotees of this path work to harness the power of steam and metal. Novices content themselves with clunky pieces of machinery built through trial and error. Masters of this art can make huge machines powered by the fires of rare ores or tiny devices that are almost magical.

Engineers begin the game with a steam generator and a steam powered hyper-rifle. They also begin the game with a couple of other gadgets. These represent what they’ve been working on since they were a little dwarf. The finally design of this equipment is always different but they fall into these broad categories.

Shoulder mounted steam engine:
The shoulder mounted steam engine is a backpack sized steam generator. The secrets of the inner workings are usually closely guarded by the engineer. The steam from the engine can be used to power the engineers equipment. Generally, the steam drawn from the boiler chamber isn’t enough to trouble the engine. Some pieces of equipment, however, take a great deal of power which can cause strain on the mechanisms.

The amount of strain a particular engine can produce is represented by steam points. These steam points can be spent during an encounter to power pieces of equipment that might only be used in an emergency or just require a great deal of power to use. Using the steam points depletes the boilers steam reservoir, strains the mechanisms to the breaking point, or a combination of the two. Once steam points are exhausted, a short rest is required to either allow the steam to build back up or to make the minor repairs necessary to get the engine back in working order. As the Engineer increases his knowledge, the sophistication and sturdiness of his machines increase.


Class Features:
Hyper-Rifle Shot:
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Range 10
Target: One Creature
Attack: Int vs. AC
Hit: 1d10 + Int Damage plus additional damage equal to the number of steam points still in the boiler.
Special: This can be used as a basic ranged attack.

Elighir’s Monumental Energy Injector:
Encounter ◆ Steam, Healing
Special: This may be used twice per encounter.
Requirement: You must spend a steam point.
Minor Action Melee 1
Target: One ally
Effect: The ally may spend a healing surge and gain surge value + Con mod hit points.
Also, gain +1 steam bonus to speed until the end of the engineer’s next turn.

Level 1 At-will Attacks: (Choose 2)
Khor Runner’s Bolo-Gun:
It’s often prudent to slow an enemy down to get a little distance between you and the enemy so the engineers have mimicked the bolos used by the dwarven Khor runners.
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Range 5
Target: One Creature
Attack: Int vs. Ref
Hit: 1d6 + Int damage and target is knocked prone.
Steam Point: The target takes an additional 1d6 damage and is immobilized (save ends).

Steam powered mechanical screwdriver
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Melee 1
Target: One Enemy
Attack: Int vs AC
Hit: 1d8 + Int damage.
Special: If the target has the mechanical or construct keywords it takes additional damage equal to your dex modifier.
Steam Point: The target takes an additional 1d8 damage and is weakened (save ends).

Arc-lightning Generator
This rifle attachment generates an electrical charge that can be discharged against your foes.
At-will ◆ Steam, Lightning, Weapon
Standard Action Range 3
Target: One creature
Attack: Int vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d6 + int modifier lightning damage.
Effect: A creature within 2 squares of the target takes lightning damage equal to your Con modifier.
Steam point: The target takes an additional 2d6 damage and you may repeat the effect once, but the second creature has to be within 2 squares of the first.

Rapid Fire
At-will ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Range 10
Target: One Creature
Primary Attack: Int vs. AC
Primary Hit: 1d10 damage.
Effect: Make a secondary attack against an enemy within 3 squares of the target.
Secondary Attack: Int vs. AC
Secondary Hit: 1d10 damage.
Steam Point: You may repeat the Secondary Attack two more times.

Level 1 Daily Powers: (choose 1)
Vent Power Source
In an emergency, the steam engine can be vented, either to prevent a blowout or to damage and confuse enemies.
Requirement: You must spend a steam point.
Daily ◆ Steam, Weapon
Standard Action Close burst 2
Target: All creatures in burst
Attack: Int vs Fort
Hit: 1d10 + Engineering skill damage and the target is pushed 1 square and knocked prone.
Effect: Create a zone of steam in the burst that grants concealment until the end of your next turn.

High Pressure Shot:
You allow pressure to build up behind the projectile in the gun’s barrel, straining hoses and barrel alike.
Daily ◆ Steam, Fire, Weapon
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One Creature
Attack: Int vs AC
Hit: 2D6 + Dex fire damage and everyone adjacent to you takes Con mod steam damage as your engine releases pressure.
Steam Point: The target takes an additional 1d6 fire damage and takes 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends).

Level 2 Utility powers:
Elghir’s Clumsy Defibrillator:
Range: Melee
Target: One unconscious ally
Using the defibrillator on the target allows them to immediately spend a healing surge. They also stand up immediately and have +2 Ref until the end of the Engineer’s next turn. Target may not perform any abilities that require speech (including talking to party members, giving instructions, or singing) during this period because they are too busy screaming in pain.

Level 3 Encounter:
Fragmentation shot:
Allowing a build up of steam behind a bullet will sometimes shatter the projectile as it leaves the barrel of the hyper rifle.
Close blast three
Dex vs. AC against all targets in blast
1d8 + dex damage

All affected are at -2 to attack until the end of the Engineer’s next turn because of the painful shards lodged in their skin