Insectomancer (3.5e Class)

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Author: Aeturo (talk)
Date Created: 1/12/2017
Status: Just Started
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Some masters of magic neglect spell schools for something much more suited to their talents: Breeding bugs, naturally.

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Some casters find the schools of magic to be such a waste of their talents. The ability to warp and bend reality, time, and space has only one true function that utilizes a mage's talent properly: BREEDING BUGS OF COURSE. Insectomancers use their inherent magical abilities to breed insects capable of far more than normal insects but by doing so they forsake their normal spellcasting entirely to learn these (This does not prohibit Insectomancers from taking levels in actual casting classes).

Making an Insectomancer[edit]

Insectomancers are a strange group. They are primarily ranged attackers using their bugs to deal damage to opponents but gain melee options at later levels. They tend to be squishy so melee fighting is not their strong suit, even while they have the options.

Abilities: Charisma is, without a doubt, the most important ability for an insectomancer as it determines the effectiveness of all of their core abilities. Otherwise the abilities needed are completely dependent on the role you personally wish to fill.

Races: Thri-Kreen, Diopsids, and other insectoid races are likely to become Insectomancers, as are those who spend time with insects or are fascinated with such creatures.

Alignment: Any, but Insectomancers tend to lean towards the chaotic.

Starting Gold: 4d4x10 (80 gp).

Starting Age: Complex

Table: The Insectomancer

Hit Die: d6

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Insect Breeding, Bug Control, Insect Empathy, Hard Beetles
2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Blast Beetle +1d6
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Razor Beetle
4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Blast Beetle +2d6, Slick Tick
5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Hard Beetle +2d8, Power Ants
6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Tank Beetle
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Blast Beetle +3d6
8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Spy Bug
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 Element Spitter Bugs
10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Hard Beetle +3d8, Blast Beetle +4d6
11th +5 +3 +3 +7 Millistaff
12th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Colony
13th +6/+1 +4 +4 +8 Blast Beetle +5d6
14th +7/+2 +4 +4 +9 Parasite Claws
15th +7/+2 +5 +5 +9 Hard Beetle +4d8
16th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Blast Beetle +6d6
17th +8/+3 +5 +5 +10 Insect Master
18th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 One with the Bug
19th +9/+4 +6 +6 +11 Blast Beetle +7d6
20th +10/+5 +6 +6 +12 Hard Beetle +5d8, Death Locust

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Insectomancer.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The insectomancer is proficient in light armor and simple weapons. He is also proficient with any armor made of chitinous material and his own bug weapons.

Insect Breeding: An Insectomancer can create any bug he knows, as determined by levelling up. He does so during a long rest, creating 5 bugs that he knows the type of. This does not affect how much sleep the insectomancer gets because he merely has to set up the conditions for breeding he does not need to be present. The insects grow to maturity in this rest so they are ready to use immediately after the rest. The insectomancer may have as many as he wants under his control BUT they die after one day of not being fed. Hard Beetles, Blast Beetles, and Razor Beetles require half as much food as a human does per day. Tank Beetles require four times as much as a normal human per day. Slick Ticks and Spy bugs require one fourth of a normal human per day. Element Spitters, Power Ants, and Millistaffs require as much as a normal human per day. Death Locusts eat ten times as much as a human each day. Every single bug must receive food each day. Any left unfed will die at the end of the day. The ONLY exception is the Death Locust, see the Death Locust ability for details. You must also provide these insects with a safe place to sleep, such as their own tents. Take the sizes of your insects into account when attempting to find shelter for them.

Insect Empathy: Handle Animal now affects insects as well, and you gain +4 to this skill when interacting with insects.

Bug Control: Any bugs created by the Insectomancer regard the Insectomancer as their king or queen whom they would die for. The Insectomancer controls these insects through mental communication with a range of one mile per Insectomancer level. Whenever one of his bugs is killed he is stunned for a turn. If multiple bugs are slain in one turn he is stunned for that many turns to a maximum of 3. The bugs are sentient however and will act on their own outside of combat or other stressful situations where bugs may be needed if not being given specific orders, therefore they will act as normal insects would not mindless drones.

Hard Beetles: These are the first type of bug the Insectomancer creates. They have been grown exceptionally large by the Insectomancer with an exoskeleton hard as steel. Hard Beetles are typically used as throwing weapons. When thrown their range is 60’ and your BAB is treated as Full and you may use charisma in place of dexterity because the Beetle, once thrown, opens its wings and guides the flight path. Hard Beetles deal 1d8 + Their natural armor bonus on a successful hit. This increases by 1d8 at fifth level and every 5 levels after that to a 5d8 at 20th level. Hard Beetles have 1/4th of the health of the insectomancer and an armor rating of 5+Tiny Size Bonuses+Half Insectomancer Level rounded up(counts as natural armor). If a Hard Beetle misses it’s mark it flies back to the Insectomancer in the same turn it was thrown. If it hits it falls to the ground and can be called back. It can be attacked in the round it is laying on the ground but counts as occupying the same space as the person it hit.

Blast Beetles: These are the second type of bug the Insectomancer can create. They have all of the statistics of Hard Beetles with some additions. Blast Beetles explode upon hitting the opponent, dealing Hard Beetle damage plus 1d6 fire damage to the person in the space it hit and half that much to everyone in adjacent spaces. The fire damage increases by 1d6 every 3 levels after 2nd. If the Blast Beetle misses it can be instructed to tank downward where it deals 1d6 fire damage to the initial target and half that much to those in adjacent spaces but this time all caught in the fire are entitled to a reflex save to halve the damage for the initial target or nullify it entirely if in one of the adjacent squares. Blast Beetles die during their explosion, if that wasn’t obvious, so they are single use. Additionally, these may be sent to walk into a room without being thrown and will explode when instructed to as an immediate action. Also, they will explode if killed.

Razor Beetle: These are the third type of bug the Insectomancer can create. Like Hard Beetles these are best used thrown. Unlike Hard beetles, however, your BAB is not treated as Full, but you may add Charisma to the attack roll instead of Dexterity still. Razor Beetles are diminutive instead of Tiny, so their AC changes accordingly and Razor Beetles have an unchanging natural armor of 1 and the base of their AC is 10 instead of the Hard Beetle’s 5. Razor Beetles deal 1d10 slashing and piercing damage and will attempt to burrow into their victim. The victim makes a reflex save equal to 10+1/2 Insectomancer level+Charisma Modifier or the Razor Beetle burrows in. While burrowed it automatically hits each turn and the victim may attempt another reflex save each turn to try and remove the Razor Beetle. At any time on the Insectomancer’s turn it may be called back as a free action. While retreating from its burrow the victim may attempt an attack as an immediate action as it flees the space.

Slick Tick: The fourth type of bug the insectomancer learns to create. The Slick Tick, unlike the others, is not an attack based insect. The Slick Tick can be deployed as a swift action and it will fly to a 5 foot space designated by the Insectoamancer and begin secreting a substance that causes a 10 foot radius circle of frictionless surface. This mimics the effects of a grease spell, using Insectomancer level as caster level and Charisma as his casting modifier, but even those who make the save to remain standing slide to the immediate opposite side they entered on and cannot change this trajectory or stop without an object in the way. The Slick Tick has an AC of 16 and one fifth the health of the insectomancer, rounded down.

Power Ants: The fifth type of bug the insectomancer learns to create. Five Power Ants count as one for the purposes of creation. They are each one half of a foot long and are used to create ropes and other such objects and also to provide pushing and pulling power for the, normally, frail insectomancer. Power Ants can attach to each other to create a rope out of their bodies. A power ant can move objects with its large pincers, that can grip objects and creatures up to medium size. The Power Ants have a strength score of 16+Insectomancer Level but lack any attacks whatsoever but are capable of grappling and pulling enemies. They are small sized but count as medium for grappling. They have an AC of 14+Insectomancer Charisma modifier.

Tank Beetle: The sixth type of bug the insectomancer learns to create. You grow an absurdly large beetle that is large enough for you to ride on. You may use Handle Animal in place of Ride for this mount. It has the statistics of a Heavy Warhorse but is capable of Hovering 5 feet off the ground for one turn but after doing so it must rest of three rounds before it can hover again. One Tank Beetle counts as all the bugs you could create in a single rest. Additionally, these beetles are inherently violent to others of their kind for unknown reasons and will attempt to kill another tank beetle should you create more than one.

Spy Bug: The Seventh type of bug the insectomancer learns to create. This bug lacks attack options but gains a +2 to Spot, Listen and Search. It has the trapfinding ability of a rogue but no means of disabling them. Additionally, the insectomancer can, as a full round action, look through the eyes of a Spy Bug and use his own Spot and Listen modifiers while controlling the Bug manually. If not doing this, the Spy Bug is capable of relaying information to the Insectomancer mentally in a strange clicking language only bugs and Insectomancers are capable of understanding. This Bug is fine sized.

Element Spitter Bugs: The eighth type of bug the insectomancer learns to create. These Diminutive Beetles are capable of spitting acid, lightning, or magma, chosen at creation. The color of the beetle is indicative of the type of element it can spit. Acid Beetles are green, lightning beetles are blue, and magma beetles are bright red. The range of spit is 30 feet and the damage is 1d12+Charisma Modifer. They use the Insectomancer’s BAB and this is a touch attack. Spitters have one tenth the health of the Insectomancer and their AC is a static 14.

Millistaff: The ninth type of insect the insectomancer learns to create. This millipede-like creature is capable of becoming extremely rigid and functions as a reach weapon dealing 1d8 bludgeoning damage. While in use, the Insectomancer’s BAB is treated as Full for attacks made with this weapon. Additionally if he hits with it the Millistaff can bite the enemy to deal 2 extra damage per insectomancer level. This damage is half poison damage and half piercing damage, and so a successful fortitude save halves the damage.

Colony: Your insects can now survive on half as much food as they could originally. Additionally, you no longer need a place to store them as they can create nests no matter where you are. The exception is the Tank Beetle, which will not fit in the nests.

Parasite Claws: The tenth type of insect the insectomancer can create. The fine, barely visible, insect burrows into the knuckles of the subject, normally the insectomancer himself. These parasites do not require food to survive, living off of the life of the subject they are implanted in. As such they take 10 nonlethal damage which does not heal so long as the parasite still resides inside of the subject. If they have more than one of the parasites the nonlethal damage stacks, taking 10 per parasite. Once the parasite has been in the body for at least one day they can begin being used as weapons. As a free action these claws can be extended. Each time they extend they rip through the flesh and skin dealing the full damage of the claw to the subject. Once extended they can remain extended indefinitely but they force the hands shut while extended. As many as 3 parasites can be in each hand, and the damage for the claw is 1d8 per parasite in the hand+strength modifier. If you have a parasite in each hand you are treated as having two weapon fighting when attempting to fight with both claws. These can be extended further to have reach but you take the damage again. Retracting them to their normal weapon length or back inside of you is a free action. If someone other than the Insectomancer has these and attempts to use them on the Insectomancer they immediately retract and will repeatedly extend and retract to damage the subject until the Insectomancer orders them to stop.

Insect Master: The Insectomancer gains an extra action, of any type but Immediate as determined by the type of order attempted (Move for a reposition, standard or attack for attacking) per turn that can only be used to order a bug to attack on its own or to reposition itself. This means it cannot be one that requires a throw, the millistaff, or the parasite claws. The Tank Beetle or Spitter Bugs can be ordered to attack, the Power Ants can be instructed to grapple, and any insect can be instructed to move.

One with the Bug: The Insectomancer decides to become like one of his beautiful creations and is covered in thin chitin and his eyes become multifaceted. He also grows two antennae. This provides no mechanical benefit and is completely optional.

Death Locust: The Final type of insect the Insectomancer learns to create. It is a Medium Sized insect with a bite attack dealing 1d10+it's strength modifer. Additionally it can spit acid 120 feet as an attack action that deals 1d8 damage+Insectomancer's Charisma Modifier. It has the BAB of a 20th level fighter and it can use it's bite and spit together during a full attack. It's AC is equal to Insectomancer Level+Insectomancer Charisma Modifier, flatfooting the Death Locust halves it's AC. It's ability scores are 20 Str, 20 Dex(does not add dexterity to armor class), and 20 Con. For mental statistics it uses the Insectomancer's. Unlike all of the Insectomancer's insects and bugs the Death Locust is mindless. It lives to eat and battle, and knows the Insectomancer will provide sustenance. Unlike all other insects, who wither away and die if the Insectomancer fails to provide food, the Death Locust will turn on the Insectomancer and attempt to eat him/her if the Insectomancer does not provide enough food.

Epic Insectomancers[edit]

Table: The Epic Insectomancer

Hit Die: d6

Level Special
21st Blast Beetle +8d8
22nd Hard Beetle +6d10
23rd Blast Beetle +9d8
25th Blast Beetle 10d8
26th Hard Beetle +7d10
27th Blast Beetle +11d8
29th Blast Beetle +12d8
30th Hard Beetle +8d10
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Hard Beetle: Hard Beetle damage continues progression but every 4 levels starting at 22 instead of every 5 and becomes a d10 damage die rather than a d8.

Blast Beetle: Continues progression and raises a damage die.

Campaign Information[edit]

Insectomancers are a strange class to implement. Likely there are very few throughout the world and they are considered strange by their peers, wasting their magical talents to augment the breeding of insects. They are typically scorned by the magical society and shunned by society.

Playing an Insectomancer[edit]

Religion: Insectomancers gravitate towards the deities of vermin, insects, or arachnids despite them not using any arachnids but the tick.

Other Classes: While a wizard may share a fascination with the limitations of magic, Insectomancers typically are regarded as strange to say the least by other classes. Druids may not like the way they augment nature's creatures from their original state, forcing them into strange mutations. Rangers may feel the same. Melee fighters will likely appreciate the ranged support, and the party rogue may find the spy bug to be a useful addition to the team.

Combat: Insectomancers, especially at low levels, tend to stay in their role as a ranged attacker throwing their Hard Beetles at enemies. At later levels they have more options but it is safest to remain ranged if possible.

Advancement: Insectomancers may consider multiclassing into the Hivemaster class or the prestige class: Vermin Lord as well as any arcane caster so that they can learn transmutation spells with which to empower their bugs.

Insectomancer Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Nature) or Knowledge(Arcana) skills can research Insectomancers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Nature or Arcana)
DC Result
5 Insectomancers always appear with bugs that they use for attacking in place of weapons
10 Insectomancers could have been powerful wizards or other forms of casters but used this talent instead to create eggs from which their signature bugs hatch.
15 Insectomancers, despite their confusing neglect of normal magic, are still powerful fighters as their bugs do their job exceptionally well. This will include information on Hard Beetles, Blast Beetles, Razor Beetles, Tank Beetles, Power Ants, element spitters and Slick Ticks
20 This will give insight as to what Death Locusts, Parasite Claws, or Millistaff is as well as giving almost all information there is on the other insects in their aresenal and how they are bred.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewClassesBase Classes

Article BalanceVery High +
AuthorAeturo +
Base Attack Bonus ProgressionPoor +
Class Ability ProgressionOther +
Fortitude Save ProgressionPoor +
Identifier3.5e Class +
Length20 +
RatingUndiscussed +
Reflex Save ProgressionPoor +
SkillConcentration +, Craft +, Handle Animal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Profession +, Ride +, Search +, Sense Motive +, Sleight of Hand +, Spot + and Survival +
Skill Points4 +
SummarySome masters of magic neglect spell schools for something much more suited to their talents: Breeding bugs, naturally. +
TitleInsectomancer +
Will Save ProgressionGood +