May 26, 2017

Thought Thief

Roguish Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Found the seed of this gem on my todo list. I do love writing weird rogues.

Thought Thief

Safecrackers can smash padlocks and cave in metal walls, and cat-burglars can make off with jewels by moonlight, without so much as sounding an alarm. But as many a thieves' guild has learned: knowledge is power, and no ordinary thief can steal that directly. Sure, they can plunder papers and scrolls, but many secrets are never written down, locked away within the walls of the mind. A new type of thief is needed for that type of job.
     The archetypal thought thief trains in psychic arts, skills borrowed from mystics and psionic monks, to become deadly psychic assassins, to plumb the minds of others, and, indeed, to steal thoughts. They are an odd bunch, equipping themselves with crystal trinkets, in addition to daggers and thieves' tools. But for the right job, there is no substitute to a skilled thought thief.

Psychic Arts
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you have begun to learn the delicate art of psychic warfare.
     Saving Throws. Some of your psychic abilities allow saving throws to resist their effects or allow you to cast spells which require saving throws. The saving throw save DC is calculated as follows:

Psychic Save DC = 8 + your Intelligence modifier + your proficiency bonus

Psychic Attack
At 3rd level, your strikes warp the thoughts and damage the psyches of others. You can choose for your Sneak Attack to deal psychic damage, rather than its normal damage type.

Steal Proficiency
At 3rd level, you have begun to learn the fine art of stealing thoughts from others, beginning with long-held talents and skills. As an action on your turn, you can touch a creature, which must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, for up to 24 hours, or until you use this ability again, the creature loses proficiency with one skill of your choice and you gain proficiency in this skill, if you didn't already have it.
     A willing creature can choose to fail its saving throw.
     When you hit a creature within your reach with a Sneak Attack, you can use this ability without taking an action. The target has disadvantage on this saving throw.

Mental Defenses
By 9th level, through repeatedly probing other people's minds, you have learned to fortify your own psychic defenses. You have resistance to psychic damage, and advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.

Mind Reader
At 13th level, you're adept at reading thoughts. You can cast the spell detect thoughts without using a spell slot or spell components. You can use this ability a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
     Starting at 17th level, you can cast the spell modify memory once without using a spell slot or spell components. Once you cast this spell in this way, you must finish a long rest before using it again.

Steal Thoughts 
Beginning at 17th level, you can directly rip the thoughts from a creature's mind. As an action on your turn, you can touch a creature, which must make a Wisdom saving throw. When you hit a creature within your reach with a Sneak Attack, you can use this ability without taking an action. The target takes half damage from the Sneak Attack and has disadvantage on this saving throw.
     On a failed save, the creature is incapacitated until the end of its next turn as its mind reels and you immediately learn one piece of information of your choice from the target's memories. For example, you can learn where the target buried a cache of treasure or what the target's true identity is. The target them immediately forgets this information. You cannot cause a target to forget something extremely important or fundamental to its personality in this way. If the target does not have the information that you seek, the target is still incapacitated, but this effect fails.



Changelog: 5/26/17: Psychic Arts, Mind Reader: Switched to be Int-based
Steal Proficiency: Reworded to trigger when a target is hit with Sneak Attack
Steal Thoughts: Reworded to also trigger on a touch as well as on a Sneak Attack hit.

23 comments:

  1. Ooooh, psionics!
    Also Ooooh, 3.5e art!

    I suppose you can use Steal Proficiency without an action against creatures you sneak-attacked THIS turn, right? Also, do you still need to touch them when you do this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, Steal Thoughts should work when you HIT a target with a sneak attack.

      Delete
    2. Good notes, Idan! You're the best!

      Delete
    3. Aww, that's nice to hear :)

      Delete
  2. I am just wondering why did you pick charisma for the casting rather than intelligence since this is all about the mind?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially since other archetypes use int alot

      Delete
    2. In retrospect, I don't think I had a super strong reason, other than that I like my rogues more charismatic than intelligent. With that in mind, I've switched it to Int, since that seems to be there prevailing impression.

      Delete
  3. Oh man. This is so cool! Always tempting me back into Rogue.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeap... This is a great reason to play rogue. I do always love having an excuse to be charismatic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bad news, I'm switching it back to Int!

      Delete
  5. A few thoughts occur as I read this. First, I agree with the above, it is a bit odd to make this Cha-based rather than Int. Second, it seems odd that the primary theme of the class - stealing secrets - only becomes available at 17. Is there a way that a limited version of that could be made available at three? And third, an alternative for all of these to be done out of combat or without dealing damage would be fantastic. This rogue conjures images of stealing the dreams from a sleeper's head or assaulting the mind of a tied-up prisoner, but there's not an elegant way to do that yet.

    But the concept is so strong that I can't wait to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I stick anything else in 3rd level, it's going to feel super front-heavy.

      I did add the ability to pull off Steal Thoughts as an action, without a Sneak Attack, so I hope that helps.

      Delete
  6. One note, steal thoughts is incredibly powerful, even for a capstone ability. Being able to force a save vs. Incapacitation every round is pretty strong. Maybe limit how often it can be used against th same creature? Once per minute or a successful save forces you to wait a minute or hour or something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A monk can do that 4 times per round, and with stun instead of incapacitate.

      Delete
    2. At a cost. This has no cost besides lost damage.

      Delete
    3. I would argue that that lost damage is roughly equivalent in cost to 1 ki point. And even if it's not, it's allowed to be a /little/ powerful -- it's a 17th level capstone.

      Delete
  7. I like this! Not sure about balance yet, but it's a fun concept!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Trying a new release schedule this week?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we are, no one told me. The finger hasn't been on slack all day, and none of the posts we've got ready have pdfs... I'm starting to get worried. :S

      Delete
    2. I'm just running behind today (went to a good friend's wedding last night and there was an open bar...) I'll have something up soon!

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Any chance of getting a version of this with psionic powers? As it is, I'm extremely torn between this and something with some basic spells like the Daggerspell Mage.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, here's a thought. This class is psionic, but at 13th level is grants the character spells, not psionic powers. What are your thoughts about maybe working in a power instead?

    ReplyDelete