The Chronoshifter

By Temotei

 

What would you give to never be too late? To stop a problem before it escalates? To be that one second faster? To get a chance to try again? What would you give to control time itself? It would be worth any price, but hours and seconds cannot be bought with gold, only won by wagering with fate. The Chronoshifter is a perfect example of the dangers of fiddling with temporal continuity.

The chronoshifter is a manipulator of time that serves as a very interesting alternative to a traditional spellcaster. They fill a similar role but with a very different theme and feeling. They have a whole host of special abilities with a range of uses but their primary ability, the power to shift time, comes at great personal risk.

The basic chassis is no surprise. Low base attack, good will save, which is crucial for this class, and the other two saves not so good. They have only a d4 for hit points but they at least get 4+int for skills, which they will certainly need, especially since this class is not reliant on int for casting. This sort of framework always promises to deliver big time on abilities and that promise is certainly kept.

The main attraction for this class are the chronoshifts, the special abilities that fill a role similar to spells. Chronoshifts deliver a whole slew of interesting and sometimes very powerful abilities but they have two major limits. Shift points, and the warp. A chronoshifter has a pool of shift points that they expend to use their abilities. The good news is that a chronoshifter can refill those points very easily outside of combat so they're mainly for limiting how much you can do in a single fight.  The warp is a much more important limitation.

Every time you activate a chronoshift you are bending the fabric of time to your will, but if you aren't careful you can distort it so much that your power backfires terribly. Every time you activate a power you need to make a will save or have the power become corrupted and misfire. Sometimes this misfire can even make the ability stronger, but more often it forces the negative effect onto you, which can be pretty bad when you wanted to throw it at an enemy. The risk helps balance out how freely the powers can be used and guarantees a chronoshifter will think before throwing their power around.

The chronoshifts begin with very basic effects that are generally weaker than wizard spells but as the class gains levels it gains access to much stronger and more impressive powers untilit throw around a whole slew of abilities just as strong as arcane magic, albeit with a different feel and style. Their ultimate powers can even accomplish things that even wizard spells can't such as erasing entire timelines and undoing creatures from reality.

Apart from the chronoshifts the class has a few other small abilities including the power to briefly glimpse at what a creature will do next, and the power to sense other manipulations of time which can serve as the spark for many exciting adventures. These abilities help round out the class to ensure they always have some interesting ways to interact with the world and primarily provide ways to keep the chronoshifter involved.

The style of the class is very interesting, a master of manipulating time and bending reality itself. The style of the class makes it equally as good in a guild or organisation of many chronoshifters as in a story about a single time traveller in a world they barely understand. The class could also be reflavoured as a very specific kind of wizard or for a short campaign may even take the place of traditional casters.

All told the chronoshifter is a very different take on a spellcasting sort of class. Itis overall somewhat weaker in terms of direct power but that helps bring it into line with many other classes that aren't top tier in terms of power and versatility. The only warning I'd give is that the higher level abilities can sometimes call on the DM to plan for dramatic changes to their setting. Having an entire city never exist or erasing an important figure from history is sure to pose a problem for an unsuspecting DM. If your DM is ready for the commitment than I highly recommend giving this unique class a bit of your time.