Autoplate Pilot (3.5e Class)

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Magical mecha pilots, they use animated suits of armor to give them the fighting ability they need. 20 1 Moderate Good Poor Poor Other Other

Lawful Good Lawful Neutral Lawful Evil Neutral Good Neutral Neutral Evil Chaotic Good Chaotic Neutral Chaotic Evil

Autoplate Pilot[edit]

'It's a knight in full plate?... i- it's an Autoplate! (KABOOM!)

By animating armor and controlling it with their will and mechanical controls, Autoplate Pilots find fighting power in the power of the armor they wear. They use their larger size to dominate the battlefield while the pilot inside is actually much weaker. Gnomes often take this class, as they are tinkerers by heart.

Making an Autoplate Pilot[edit]

Autoplate Pilots are melee units at heart. They have high defense and usually tank, as they are inferior to pure damage dealers. Still, they have quite the versatility with their suits and gain several powers to help attacks, mobility, or defense.

Abilities: Strength is required to move in the suits and help with their fighting abilities. As a melee unit, Constitution is always a plus. Intelligence is a big factor, both for skill points and often for the operation of some of their special weaponry. Having Dexterity is usually unimportant unless the suit is built for it.

Races: Humans and Gnomes are the main purveyors of this class, having the skill and know how to do it. Dwarves who love machines are commonplace as well. Elves are typically unassociated with technology, as are orcs. Halflings might try them to bolster their size.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Gold: 5d4×10 gp (125 gp).

Starting Age: As wizard.

Table: The Autoplate Pilot

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +2 +0 +0 Acquire Autoplate
2nd +1 +3 +0 +0 Repair Bonus
3rd +2 +3 +1 +1 Craft All
4th +3 +4 +1 +1 Upgrade
5th +3 +4 +1 +1 Active Autoplate 1, Energy Core +1
6th +4 +5 +2 +2 Slot
7th +5 +5 +2 +2 Energy Core +2
8th +6/+1 +6 +2 +2 Upgrade
9th +6/+1 +6 +3 +3 Damage Scan, Slot
10th +7/+2 +7 +3 +3 Energy Core +3
11th +8/+3 +7 +3 +3 Awaken Autoplate
12th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Upgrade, Slot
13th +9/+4 +8 +4 +4 Energy Core +4
14th +10/+5 +9 +4 +4 Unseen Shell
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +5 Improved Damage Scan, Slot
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Upgrade, Energy Core +5
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Soulless Shell
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Slot
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Energy Core +6
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Persistent Autoplate, Upgrade

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
The autoplate pilot’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spot (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Autoplate Pilot.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Autoplate Pilot is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields).

Acquire Autoplate: The key feature of the Autoplate Pilot is his armor. At first, the Autoplate is little more than strange looking armor composed of metal, stone, wood, and plant fibers which cover the body, like full plate. However, it possesses the following traits: +2 armor bonus, a maximum Dex bonus of 8, no armor check penalty, 5% arcane spell failure, and typically a tenth of the user's weight, rounded up. It counts as light armor for purposes of proficiency and feats. Autoplate may be enhanced as any masterwork armor.

Repair Bonus: Accustomed to repairing and modifying their mechanical armor, an Autoplate Pilot may apply half his class level as a bonus to Craft checks made to repair items and craft or repair armor. In addition, he may now repair golems as if he had the Craft Construct feat.

Craft All: At 3rd level, the autoplate pilot's mechanical skills expand across the board, as many different components, from metalworking to wordworking to hydraulic crafting ability is required for their suit. If the autoplate pilot has ranks in a craft skill, they may apply those ranks to any crafting attempt, such as using Craft Weaponsmithing to substitute for Craft Alchemy.

Upgrade: As the Autoplate Pilot grows in skill, he continues to modify his suit in new and interesting ways. At levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 he may choose the effect of an Upgrade from the list below. He must make the prerequisites for the the upgrade as needed and pay any associated costs before it goes into effect.

At each level you may choose an upgrade that corresponds to your level or lower. Some upgrades consume energy points when active, limiting the number of upgrades you can have running at once.

Warforged Touch: Due to the similar construction of the autoplate to the warforged, the autoplate pilot may apply a warforged feat to his suit. He may ignore requirements of being 1st level, and so they may choose body feats such as Adamantine Body, Mithral Body, Silver Tracery, Cold Iron Tracery, etc. They may not choose Second Slam or Improved Resiliency. The autoplate's AC, maximum Dex, arcane spell failure, armor check penalties, and movement speeds are changed accordingly. Body feats such as Adamantine and Mithral Body do not stack, if a new body feat is picked it will replace the previous body feat, however a body feat and a tracery feat may be picked and the effects will stack. Spiked Body may be added to the autoplate with this upgrade as well.

Increase Size: This increases the size of the autoplate by one category, making it less like a power suit and more like a piloted robot. Due to the size category increase, the autoplate suffers -1 penalty to AC and attack rolls, +2 size bonus to Str, and -2 size penalty to Dex. This ability is permanent, and may only be taken once.

Increase Core Size: Your Energy Core maximum limit increases by +1. You may take this ability multiple times.

Core Shielding: Your core is protected from magic disrupting effects. Which hit with a magic disrupting effect, such as a dispel or an antimagic field, the effect does not go into effect until 1 round later and/or its duration is cut short by a round, to a minimum of 0 round. This enables you a chance to get out of the field, or negate the dispel. You may take this multiple times, each time your ability to survive a dispel or antimagic field increases by 1 round.

Life Support: When in danger your suit protects you. This ability may be taken multiple, each time offering a new benefit which stacks with the older benefits. The first time you take this feat you benefit from the Endurance feat. If you already have Endurance or take this again you gain the benefits of the Diehard feat. The third time you take it, or if you already have Diehard, whenever you are subject to an attack which would otherwise kill you, you may expend energy points up to your maximum available, and gain 1d6 per energy point back in healing. This ability functions 1/day. For each additional time you take this feat you can perform this ability 1 more time per day.

Seal Cockpit: The inside of the suit becomes air tight, with its own oxygen supply. This protects you from gases and allows you to breath underwater.

Intelligent System: Your suit becomes an intelligent armor. It gains your mental ability scores, skill points, and saves if higher. It maintains its own physical ability scores and hp, if relevant. You possess an empathic link to your suit, and it can make its own skill checks independently of you, as long as they are purely mental actions. At 11th level when the suit is awakened, it can move of its own accord and speak all languages you know. Sometimes they can be confused for a warforged if they are walking around without a pilot inside.

Fortification: The cracks in the armor are sealed, resulting in the pilot's juicy organs being protected. Each time you take this upgrade, you gain +25% fortification, up to a maximum of 100% fortification.

Increase Agility: The autoplate pilot's speed increases as new elven magic is fed into the legs. He gains a +10 enchantment bonus to all movement speeds. This can be taken multiple times.

Skill Suit: You gain a +10 circumstance bonus to a single skill. This ability can be taken up to 3 times for a single skill, maxing out at +30.

Shockplate: The autoplate gains a potent damage absorbing defense. The autoplate pilot gains DR 2/adamantine every time he takes this upgrade. It can be taken multiple times.

Radar: The autoplate pilot gains blindsense out to 20 ft. Each time he takes this upgrade he gains an additional 10 ft. At level 8 and beyond, he may instead select this upgrade and gain blindsight out to 10 ft. Likewise, each time he takes it he gains an additional 5 ft.

Physical Enhancer: The autoplate pilot gains a +2 enchantment bonus to a single physical ability score (strength, constitution, or dexterity) of his choice. This upgrade may be selected multiple times. Each time you add another +2 enchantment bonus. The bonuses from upgrades stack with each other, but not normal enchantment bonuses (so you could take this upgrade 5 times, and place it all in Dex for +10 enchantment to Dex.)

Active Autoplate: At 5th level the mechanical structure and power source of the armor is complete and it now turns on. You no longer take any weight of the suit for the purposes of encumbrance, although it still adds to your overall body weight.

Energy Core (Su): The source of the Autoplate's power is a special energy core build of metal and crystals flowing with magic. It has a caster level equal to your class level and is disabled inside of an antimagic field. If this happens, you are unable to employ the suit's functions until it reactivates.

The energy core also allows you to employ any special attacks and abilities gained from your Slot abilities. At 5th level you have a total supply of 1 energy point, which regenerates to full every round. At 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th the maximum limit increases, up to a total of 6 energy points.

Slots: At level 6 and every three levels after (9, 12, 15 and 18), the Autoplate gains a hook up slot somewhere on it's body to contain a special weapon or device. Such devices often consume energy points every round to be active. Unless otherwise noted, all slot abilities are (supernatural) abilities. Choose from below.

Plasma Blade: Your arm develops a slot to which a concentrated glowing blade of energy can be formed from as a free action. This blade is very similar to a Soulknife's mind blade except it is treated as a longsword for damage and visual purposes. You are proficient with this blade as if it were any other weapon this class allows. This is an (extraordinary) ability.

Enlarged Weaponry: To take this slot ability you must have Plasma Blade. You may spend 1 energy point a round to have your weapon act as if it were one size category larger, as energy from the core is focused into your blows.

Enlarged Body: To take this slot ability you must have Enlarged Weaponry. You gain the ability to use weapons one size larger than normal, as the Powerful Build ability. This requires no energy on your part, and you may still use Enlarged Weaponry to gain a size bonus to your damage.

Jump Jets: With a burst of energy you take a leap into the air. By spending 1 or more energy points you gain an enchantment bonus to your jump checks equal to +10 per energy point used, to a maximum of 3 energy points for a +30 bonus.

Nitro Charger: To take this slot ability you must have Jump Jets. You gain a fly speed equal to your land speed, with average maneuverability. Use of this ability consumes 1 energy point every round it is active. In addition, you may ignore up to 60 ft. of fall damage, as if under the feather fall effect.

Improved Nitro Charger: To take this slot ability you must have Nitro Charger. Your fly speed improves to 60 ft., or your land speed if it is faster, with good maneuverability. Use of this ability consumes 2 energy points every round it is active. In addition, you may ignore up to 120 ft. of fall damage, as if under the feather fall effect. If for any reason you wish to, you may spend only 1 energy point to default to the normal Steel Wing's effects.

Scanning Visor: Your vision improves via a complex HUD contained inside your suit. You gain half your class level as an insight bonus to your Search and Spot checks. In addition, for each Visor slot you gain you gain +1 to attack, up to +3 after gaining Greater Visor.

Improved Visor: To take this slot ability you must have Scanning Visor. You gain the benefits of Darkvision out to 60 ft. and Low-Light Vision. By spending an energy point, you may employ the use of Detect Magic, Read Magic, and Detect Evil, as per the spells, with a caster level equal to your autoplate pilot level.

Greater Visor: To take this slot ability you must have Improved Visor. You gain the constant benefit of a See Invisibility spell from your visor. You gain blindsight out to 10 ft. from the suit's advanced sensor array. In addition you may spend 5 energy points to acquire the power of a True Seeing spell.

Shield Generator: You gain a unique kind of masterwork buckler affixed to your arm. It may be enhanced as any weapon, and can be made out of special materials or possess spikes, if you pay the difference when you gain this slot. Like weapons, any shield mounted weapons such as spikes gain the benefit of any tracery feats you possess. In addition to the +1 shield bonus to armor class you get from it, it projects a field of force, granting +1 deflection bonus to armor class as well.

Energy Shield: To take this slot ability you must have Shield Generator. Your shield bonus and deflection bonus both increase by +1 each. In addition you may use a swift action and spend a minimum of 1 energy point, to gain DR/magic equal to the amount of energy points spent. Alternatively they may spend a minimum of 1 energy point, and gain energy resistance against once type of energy equal to 5xenergy points spent, to a maximum of resistance 30.

Improved Energy Shield: To take this slot ability you must have Energy Shield. Your shield and deflection bonus both increase by +1 again, resulting in shield +3 and deflection +3. You gain Spell Resistance equal to your autoplate pilot level + 5, maximum 25. It takes 1 energy point a round to maintain the Spell Resistance. You may raise or lower it as a free action once a round.

Power Beam: As a ranged touch attack that provokes attacks of opportunity, you may fire a beam of magic damage to a range of 60 ft. This attack deals 1d6 damage for ever 1 energy point spent, and is halved by objects before applying hardness. It is very similar to a warlock's Eldritch Blast. Spell resistance applies, with a caster level equal to your autoplate pilot level. This is a spell-like ability.

Improved Power Beam: To take this slot ability you must have Power Beam. Your energy beam now extends to 90 ft., and deals 1d8 damage per point of energy spent. In addition, 1/day you may Empower your blast if if by the Empower Spell feat.

Greater Power Beam: To take this slot ability you must have Improved Power Beam. Your energy beam now extends to 120 ft., and deals 1d10 damage per point of energy spent. You may now Empower your blasts 1 + your Cha modifier times per day, minimum 1.

Dash Boots: The autoplate can charge ahead in a burst of speed. For every point of energy it expends, the autoplate pilot can increase their speed by 5 ft.

Flash Step: To take this slot ability you must have Dash Boots and the Increase Agility upgrade. Your speed increases to lightning fast movement allowing you to gain the effects of the Haste as the spell. This ability uses 2 energy points a round spent using this.

War Machine:To take this slot ability you must have Enlarged Weaponry and the Physical Enhancer upgrade. The autoplate extends and transforms into a virtual fighting juggernaut. While you use this you gain the ability of Tensor's Transformation as the spell. This ability uses 3 energy points a round spent using this.

Damage Scan (Ex): The visual systems of the autoplate are improved, relaying combat data to it's pilot. As a standard action, the Autoplate Pilot may make a Knowledge check in the appropriate skill a single creature, with a DC equal to 10 + enemy's HD. Success means the pilot can divine the target's remaining hp. Failure gives only a vague idea of it's health (if it is uninjured, injured, near death, dying, or dead). This ability only works on living corporeal creatures.

Awaken Autoplate (Su): At 11th level the autoplate has acquired a tight bond to the pilot, to the point where it shows dim sentience of its own. Its framework allows the suit to stand and move on its own if commanded to do so, even if the pilot is not contained within. It can accept simple commands as a golem would, and otherwise has the abilities of an animated object of its size, including hp with its base material's hardness. Only treat it as its own creature when it is moving separate from its pilot.

Typically it is a poor idea for an Autoplate Pilot to be fighting without his suit. However, if ever caught without his suit on this gives the Autoplate Pilot a means to defend himself. In addition, because the suit is now self animated it becomes much easier to don a suit of Autoplate, taking two full round actions which provoke an attack of opportunity as it slides around its owner.

If the Autoplate is destroyed while roaming on its own, it takes 1 day and 50 gold per hit point lost to repair.

Improved Damage Scan (Ex): The scanning systems of the autoplate are increased again. Now you may make a scan as a move action. Undead and constructs are now able to be scanned for damage as well. You still cannot judge the health of incorporeal creatures.

Unseen Shell (Su): The suit begins to seal up at 14th level. The Autoplate Pilot is under the effects of a continuous Nondetection effect, as per the spell.

Soulless Shell (Su): The suit becomes a safe haven at 17th level. The Autoplate Pilot is under the effects of a continuous Mind Blank effect, as per the spell.

Persistent Autoplate (Ex): At 20th level the autoplate suit is forever bonded to the Autoplate Pilot. The suit is absorbed into the pilot and may be called or dismissed as a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. As a result of their bond, even without the armor the Autoplate Pilot gains some construct-like traits. They gain 25% fortification (or the autoplate's fortification, whichever is higher), low-light vision, darkvision to 60 ft., and +4 resistance to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, and disease.

Epic Autoplate Pilots[edit]

Table: The Epic Autoplate Pilot

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st Slot
22nd Energy Core +7, Bonus Feat
24th Upgrade
25th Energy Core +8, Slot
26th Bonus Feat
28th Energy Core +9, Upgrade
29th Slot
30th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Slot: Autoplate Pilots gain a new slot at 21st and every four levels after.

Energy Core: The amount of energy available from the energy core increases at 22nd and every three levels afterward.

Upgrade: Autoplate Pilots gain another upgrade at 28th and every eight levels after.

Bonus Feats : The epic Autoplate Pilot gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Autoplate Pilot bonus feats) every 4 levels after 22th.

Epic Autoplate Pilot Bonus Feat List: PENDING.

Gnome Autoplate Pilot Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Greatsword

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Craft 4 Int
Disable Device 4 Int
Knowledge Arcana 4 Int
Knowledge History 4 Int

Feat: Skill Focus Craft.

Gear: Heavy Steel Shield.

Gold: 55.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Autoplate Pilot[edit]

Religion: Gods of craft and gods are forged are worshiped by these tinkers of machines. Often the detailed mechanics underlays a desire to create live out of non-life, and in a small way become as the gods they serve, creators.

Other Classes: Classes which are skillful and heavily armored classes are both allies to an autoplate pilot. In fact, perhaps only barbarians and monks with their lack of appreciation for the finer arts of machines and druids with their outright abhorance of technology tend to grate on the nerves of autoplate pilots.

Combat: The Auotplate pilot usually plays the fighting character and has a surprisingly large knowledge of things for someone playing this role. To become a more powerful force Autoplate Pilots usually take the Extra Slot feat.

Advancement: Those wishing for a more martial bent may dip into other martial classes. Initiator classes benefit autoplate pilots as much as they do any melee character.

Autoplate Pilots in the World[edit]

I am ADA, do you require instruction on operating this frame?
—ADA, recently awakened autoplate

Daily Life: Working on their armor is everything, and free time is often spent thinking of new things to invent and new ways to upgrade. Autoplate Pilots on a whole are an inventive and imaginative lot, who often have their heads in the clouds.

Notables: Houstan Armstrong, a gnomish autoplate pilot, pioneered the field and used his advancements to travel where no man has gone before, eventually into the depths of space itself.

Organizations: As crafters, autoplate pilots collect in guilds of forging and crafting, eager to spread their curious art to whomever will listen, and to other autoplate pilots to advance both systems.

NPC Reactions: Autoplate Pilots, when outside their armor, are little more than eccentric crafters, which if they are gnomes are par for course. As such they may be pretty much what others expect, or a black sheep in the crowd. Either way, when the actual autoplate is seen in action people are amazed and sometimes afraid to what manner of magic-less golem they are witnessing.

Autoplate Pilot Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge Engineering can research autoplate pilots to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge Engineering
DC Result
10 Gnomes were the 1st to start using autoplate.
15 Autoplates are as varied as their users, and many be optimized for mobility, armor, ranged, or melee.
20 Some autoplates even become semi-aware, becoming as small golems.
30 Those who reach this level of success can research particular autoplate pilots, their lore, behavior, whereabouts, and information on their autoplate.

Autoplate Pilots in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: Perhaps the autoplates are some manner of reverse-engineered warforged, where humans seek to find synergy with warforged shells and form a symbiontic relationship of man and machine.

Sample Encounter: An strange robotic golem has gone berserk in a town with no way to stop it, and it's creator has recently gone missing. Has the autoplate pilot inside gone mad, or is something more sinister at work?.

EL whatever: 10.

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Eiji-kun's Homebrew (4804 Articles)
Allowed AlignmentsLawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +
Article BalanceModerate +
AuthorEiji-kun +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionModerate +
Class AbilityOther +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionGood +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
Minimum Level1 +
RatingUnrated +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SummaryMagical mecha pilots, they use animated suits of armor to give them the fighting ability they need. +
TitleAutoplate Pilot +
Will Save ProgressionPoor +