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{OAP} The Emergent Class
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{OAP} The Emergent Class


Outlandish Adventure Productions presents:

The Emergent, a highly customizable martial class that lets you put your entire soul into roleplaying. Emergents summon the physical manifestations of their souls, called incarnations, to fight, explore, and roleplay alongside them. An incarnation is an amazing source of utility and additional options for a party, but is a massive risk to the emergent because the body and soul share a hit point pool and action economy. This high risk, high reward gameplay can lead to some intense and satisfying moments in combat. An emergent is defined by his or her choice of Incarnation Type, which determines the style of utility, exploration, and combat his or her incarnation can bring to bear. An incarnation can also be customized by many different Incarnation Aspect choices, which are aspects of the emergent's personality that have a physiological effect on the incarnation.

Incarnation Types

Aberration - Your incarnation is an aberration, like a beholder, flumph, or mimic. Aberration incarnations tend to emerge from those with inquisitive minds who want to uncover the secrets of the universe. This incarnation type has telepathic talents, and can scramble the minds of their victims with psychic blasts.

Beast - Your incarnation is a beast, like a bear, panther, spider, or wolf. Beast incarnations tend to emerge from those who are very loyal to their friends and have a zest for adventure. This incarnation type enjoys stalking and ambushing its targets, and can knock targets down when it charges them.

Celestial - Your incarnation is a celestial, like an angel, couatl, or unicorn. Celestial incarnations tend to emerge from those who have experienced great tragedy, and have grown from that tragedy into the type of person who wishes to protect others from the same fate. This incarnation type has the ability to cure targets afflicted with diseases and poisons and heal allies' wounds.

Construct - Your incarnation is a construct, like an animated object or golem. Construct incarnations tend to emerge from those whose logic outweighs their emotions, and may have trouble connecting with others. This incarnation type resists form-changing magic, and is especially resistant to poisons and disease.

Dragon - Your incarnation is a dragon, like the chromatic and metallic creatures that inspire fear and awe. Dragon incarnations tend to emerge from those with passion and confidence to spare, and may have the tendency to be a bit bossy or arrogant. This incarnation type's color allows it to resist a type of elemental damage, and it can release a devastating breath weapon.

Fey - Your incarnation is a fey, like a dryad, hag, pixie, satyr, or sprite. Fey incarnations tend to emerge from those with a mischievous streak, whether the pranks are playful or malicious. This incarnation type can create minor illusions, determine emotional states, and take the form of common animals to observe their prank victims unnoticed.

Fiend - Your incarnation is a fiend, like a demon, devil, or yugoloth. Fiend incarnations tend to emerge from murderous and manipulative sociopaths who will ruthlessly strive to accomplish their ambitions. This incarnation type can stalk their prey through the shadows, and can pierce through all forms of darkness.

Plant - Your incarnation is a plant, like a blight, myconid, or shambling mound. Plant incarnations tend to emerge from cantankerous loners that wish to remain unbothered. This incarnation type can fool creatures into believing it to be a normal plant, and enjoys entangling itself with foes to keep them restrained.

There's also a guide for simulating incarnations of the creature types you don't see here!

We hope you enjoy the Emergent as much as we and our players do! We'd love to hear your feedback, so please send us any questions or comments you have. Also, if you perceive any balance issues, please let us know and we will address them as quickly as we can.

Update History

8/28/2017 v2.0 - In this update, we completely overhauled the class, granting even more ways to customize your incarnation and bringing the class into greater balance:

  • Incarnations are now more fully customizable at level 1 without using aspects - size category, AC calculation, damage type of its natural weapon, and whether your incarnation uses Strength or Dexterity for its attacks are all chosen as part of the Incarnation feature instead of requiring aspects.
  • We added more functionality to action economy and clarified how you and your incarnation interact with specific game rules and scenarios
  • Incarnation Aspects were completely revised, and were moved from one long list at the end of the document to specific lists in the main class body that are referenced by later-level features, and more aspects were added at every tier to aid in customization.
  • Symbiotic Warrior was given greater funtionality to become more dynamic and strategic.
  • New features, Symbiotic Might and Symbiotic Manifestation, were added so that the PC emergent now feels a sense of progression in their own character while their incarnation is absorbed.
  • A new 18th-level feature, Resolute Personality, was added to create a dynamic and useful feature to make the class feel even more flexible and adaptive.
  • The Aberration Incarnation Type was revised to emphasize a psychic theme, so the original transformation effect was removed.
  • The Beast Incarnation Type was heavily modified to bring it more into balance with the other incarnation types and bring it out of the shadow of Revised Ranger's Beast Conclave.
  • The Celestial Incarnation Type was modified to be more dynamic and fun at later levels.
  • The Dragon Incarnation Type was overhauled to focus more on its breath weapon as a primary feature, and now has breath weapon options reminiscent of the metallic dragons' status effect breaths.
  • What was originally the Fiend Incarnation Type was changed to Fey, with some other small modifications to complete the transformation.
  • A new version of the Fiend Incarnation was added, and feels much more demonic than the original incarnation (pun intended).
  • The Plant Incarnation Type's features and aspects were switched around to become more of a siege tower sort of playstyle, as opposed to the solely ranged incarnation.

6/14/2017 v1.0 - Original Emergent Class uploaded.

And if you like the Emergent, you might enjoy OAP's other products:

This is the Outlandish Adventure Productions philosophy: Despite our move to a paid model, we remain committed to our ideology that everyone who wants to play our products, regardless of financial means, should be able to do so. To that effect, if you'd like to play any of our products, you can message BossLeiser through OAP's Subreddit, contact us on Twitter or Facebook, or email to get a Printer Friendly copy at no cost to you. This copy won't include any of the art assets, but it will contain everything you need to utilize the product in your games. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (10)
Customer avatar
pergruin G February 23, 2018 4:18 pm UTC
I assume the answer is no but does the incarnation have it’s own personality?
Customer avatar
Ross L February 24, 2018 9:18 pm UTC
It depends on how you want to play the character. You can play it as just an extension of your normal self, or as a hidden part of your own personality. This class is all about options!
Customer avatar
pergruin G February 24, 2018 10:37 pm UTC
Ok thanks
Customer avatar
Roman M February 09, 2018 1:28 am UTC
Hey there, just been working on creating an Emergent character with a friend, and they wanted to know if they would use any particular spells or cantrips. And after reading back through the pages I couldn't find anything that specified what spells they'd use only that its spellcasting ability is constitution. I may have misread but I just thought I'd double check. Thanks
Customer avatar
Ross L February 09, 2018 3:52 am UTC
Hi, Roman! So glad to hear you or your friend is playing one of our classes!

The only spells an incarnation can cast are those granted by its class features or incarnation aspects, and even those can usually only be cast in a limited way (as specified in the feature or ability that gives the spell). An example of an aspect that gives a spell is the Honorable aspect, which is contained in the 6th-level feature Aspect of Power; Honorable grants your incarnation the ability to cast Compelled Duel using your bonus action, as many times as you'd like.

If you have any other questions for us, please let us know! Also, we'd love to hear what Incarnation Type you and your friend end up with!
Customer avatar
Mike H March 16, 2018 12:49 pm UTC
This actually had me a little confused to. Does only the incarnation have the ability to cast spells or does the character as well? The specified fact that -

"If a spell your incarnation casts would require material components, your incarnation doesn’t
need the material components to cast it, even if such a component has a monetary cost."

- alludes to the idea that the character has the ability to cast the same spells but with material components? Or due to their synchronicity the spell casting is one in the same and will never require components? Its probably the over availability of spell casting found in 5e that is confusing me but I am in love with this class idea!
Customer avatar
Matthew C December 23, 2017 2:10 am UTC
The wording for the "Bewildering" Aspect of Power doesn't say the Aberration is casting the spell but the target suffers the effects of the spell. Does this mean you don't have to concentrate on that spell?
Customer avatar
Ross L December 23, 2017 4:09 pm UTC
That is correct; you don't have to concentrate on the Confusion effect caused by Bewildering. The Confusion spell's Strength is the ability to hit multiple creatures with it at a range of up to 100 feet (90 foot range plus 10 foot radius), which can be absolutely devastating to enemy groups. Having to take multiple turns to hit every important enemy in combat with the effect, however, severely reduces your damage potential (which is of great importance to the balance of the Emergent class, in general) and it also runs the risk of one of those creatures making their save and becoming immune to the effect for the remainder of the combat (or 24 hours if it escapes and lives). Bewildering is an absolutely fantastic aspect against singular enemies, but we found in playtesting that it was too unreliable in group combats with multiple large threats to warrant it requiring concentration, especially since it requires you to pick a second aspect to make it usable at any decent range.
Customer avatar
Matthew C December 22, 2017 3:17 am UTC
Aloha again. About to play an Emergent in a campaign (hopefully it gets off the ground), just realized, Dragons no longer fly or did I miss an option somewhere?
Customer avatar
Ross L December 22, 2017 5:30 am UTC
Hello! Your Dragon incarnation can still fly if you take the Flighty Aspect of Spirit at 15th level, or if you choose it with Resolute Personality each day as you feel you need it.
Customer avatar
Matthew C December 22, 2017 11:43 pm UTC
DEEEERRRRRPPPP. An Error has occurred. I read that thing front to back twice and missed it both times. Thanks for the reply!
Customer avatar
Matthew C December 17, 2017 6:56 pm UTC
One more big thumbs up. Since there's no limit on distance and the seeing through the Incarnations eyes is automatic, this is perhaps the only class which doesn't completely restrict a character that is truly physically disabled. Someone bedridden could have their Incarnation go off adventuring. Doing so would be a moderate nerf since symbiotic warrior is such a big part of the DPR potential, but if the intent to have an Aberration locking down foes, or an Angel spend most turns healing, it wouldn't matter most of the time. I believe the intersection of Incarnation Actions, Initiative, and general Mounted Combat rules present the opportunity for a Construct Wheelchair bound character, seriously there's just so much good here and representation of the disabled usually begins with Zato Ichi and ends with Big Dumb Fighter.
Customer avatar
Ross L December 18, 2017 6:55 am UTC
I never thought of it that way before, but you're totally right. That is SUCH a cool character concept!
Customer avatar
Ben A September 28, 2017 12:50 pm UTC
Hi, I just have a question about the Aberration Incarnation Type, specifically the 2nd level ability. I might be reading it wrong, but it just feels rather broken. It has no limit to the number of times it can be used, no restrictions, no downsides or limitations. I can spend my action every turn to shut down one major threat, from a Lich to a Tarrasque. The most apt comparison I could make would be to Contagion/Slimy Doom, except this ability is better than that, as this does not a to-hit roll, repeated saves nor does it require damage to be dealt to cause the stun. It's just spend an action, lock out a monster.

I was wondering, was it meant to have limitations? Number of uses or immunity if the save is made, similar to Frightening Presence? At the moment, I would love to use show this class to my players, but I would have to ban the use of the Aberration type, or shift Mindblast to a higher level.
Customer avatar
Ross L September 28, 2017 7:59 pm UTC
Hello, Ben!

First, glad you like most of the class, and we hope that your players can enjoy it if this explanation assuages your concerns! Second, it seems you have some misconceptions about Mind Blast, the first correction for which being that Mind Blast doesn't stun its target, but incapacitate it. The incapacitated condition simply prevents actions or reactions; it does not prevent the creature from moving, speaking, etc. The stunned condition, in addition to incapacitating the target, prevents all of the things I just mentioned, in addition to causing automatic failure of Str and Dex saving throws, and causing ALL attack rolls against the target to be made with advantage. If Mind Blast did indeed cause the stunned condition, it would be immensely overpowered.

When we playtested and balanced Mind Blast, it was indeed quite strong against singular opponents, but is a very high-risk-high-reward feature to use in combats with multiple opponents since you're only able to potentially "lock...See more
Customer avatar
Ben A September 29, 2017 5:39 pm UTC
AH, okay. So not as bad as I originally thought. My girlfriend and I went through and discovered some shenanigans that you could do if you multi-classed, but that's the usually breakage that happens when you allow wanton multi-classing. I'll give it a go, added it to my next campaign options :)
Customer avatar
Ross L September 30, 2017 5:29 am UTC
Awesome! We'd love to hear if a player picks it, and if so, how it goes and what Battle Sculpt and Mana Source they picked!

And yeah, every class in the PHB has some pretty abusable stuff when multiclassed (like 2 levels in rogue with pretty much any other class), but we're really curious to hear the specific elements you found, because we worked quite hard to eliminate as much multiclassing shenanigans as possible.
Customer avatar
Jeromy R August 03, 2017 4:19 am UTC
Hello i recently made an emergent for a campaign and I am absolutely loving it!
I have a question though i was looking at the stuff that I'll be getting later i noticed that the beast archetype gets an third attack while most of the other ones get a flat 1d10 of an element added to damage.You're doing 1d10 less damage in comparison. Feels a bit weak and in a way a bit punishing was this intentional? While i do know they get some stuff later on in the game that are really good i just feel like a game will end before i can see that archetype truly be able to shine. Any thoughts on making the celestial's healing scale with level? I really like the usage of the celestial's healing outside of combat as that what it seems it was designed for , seems a bit weak in actual combat though.

P.S I saw that you might be making feats specific to this class I'm excited to see what you guys come up with! Also with that said any thoughts on maybe new aspects as well?
Customer avatar
Ross L August 03, 2017 2:01 pm UTC
Hi, Jeromy! Glad you're enjoying your experience with the class so far!

First, allow us to give you some news we think you might like: on our Subreddit, we've been working with fans to overhaul the class - further improving its flexibility, adding new aspects, making level 1 builds less restrictive, solidifying Incarnation Type identities, ironing out some balancing kinks, and even adding a new Incarnation Type. We're probably going to save feats and furthet new Incarnation Types for a future supplement, but Emergent 2.0 is very close to a reality.

We're not entirely sure if we're allowed to post external links, so we'll do it in another comment so this one doesn't get deleted, but you'll be able to get to our Outlandish Adventure Productions Subreddit via that link to view the Google Doc Emergent 2.0 currently resides in.

Now, to address your other concerns, most of them are fixed or changed in Emergent 2.0, but since we plan to keep both versions available here (so you...See more
Customer avatar
Ross L August 03, 2017 2:02 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Justin D July 14, 2017 8:31 pm UTC
Hello, I have to first say that this class is a really amazing idea. I really like the little details about why someone would have a certain incarnation, those kinds of things can really give someone an idea about what their character acts like. I have one question about the hit die and it being 2d6 though, wouldn't it help DMs be a 1d12 so they won't be confused as to why someone already have 4d6 hit dice at 2nd level?
Customer avatar
Ross L July 14, 2017 10:36 pm UTC
Glad you like the class, Justin!

It is true that 2d6 is negligibly different from 1d12 when it comes to hit dice. We chose to go with 2d6 because it's a simple mechanical way to help communicate some of the lore and themes of the class: that one character has two physical presences in the battlefield.

Additionally, several people on the OAP team are DMs (both of the founders, including myself, are veteran DMs), and we also asked several DMs we trust, including Benjamin Huffman of Sterling Vermin Adventuring Company, and every one of us thought the minor chance of confusion was far outweighed by the flavor gained. Also, it's a very simple question to answer for your DM if he or she asks.

I hope that was a satisfactory answer to you question. If not, we'd be happy to discuss it further!
Customer avatar
Justin D July 16, 2017 9:42 pm UTC
Thank you, after you explains the hit dice it does make more sense to have it like that. I'm starting to DM as well and I wanted to figure that out. Another question I have is for the Aberration "mimicry" feature, could someone use it as a way to use as transportation (ex. A carriage) that others can ride inside as well?
Customer avatar
Ross L July 17, 2017 1:30 am UTC
Technically, yes, Object Mimicry can be used that way. The DM, however, can rule that you'd still need horses or some other method of power for it to move, though.
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 20, 2017 8:39 pm UTC
I'm curious as to the reticence to allowing Large Incarnations. As written the Incarnation can be mounted if its the same size or larger than the character which creates some interesting visuals for medium characters. At level 6 a feature allows the player to treat the Incarnation as large for all intents and purposes but without increasing the Incarnation's size allowing Large creatures to mount it which is an even more interesting visual.

I know there was a mention of limiting size to medium for balance purposes, but I'm hard pressed to determine what those are since being Large does not include the host of mechanical advantages that it did in previous editions.

Is there a reason Flight was pushed back to level 13 for the Dragon kind? I recognize that as on par with Dragon Sorcerer, but this class (and the Dragon in particular) doesn't get the punch of spells and metamagic. Given what we've seen in the Adventurer's League rulings, I think level 7 would be a better fit, pushing blindsight...See more
Customer avatar
Ross L June 20, 2017 8:55 pm UTC
Thank you for your comment and the review!

Large PCs (and PC pets) cause a host of problems for parties, especially when it comes to particularly cramped dungeons and strongholds. Since the class is fundamentally useless without the incarnation, we deemed it best for an incarnation to be able to go wherever a standard PC would be expected to fit. There's also the inherent problem with Large creatures' abilities with grappling and shoving. Especially at a level as early as 6th, where Medium and smaller enemies are far more common than at later levels. Having advantage on basically all grapple and shove attempts, and being able to more easily keep Large enemies held, without any real resource cost is a problem at a level as early as 6th. It makes people ask "Why would I ever want a Medium incarnation?" We allowed grappling with Braggadocious because grappling is useful, but isn't nearly as much of a balance issue as when shoving is also added to the equation. Basically, we didn't want Braggadocious...See more
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 20, 2017 10:25 pm UTC
Thanks so much for your response. My group has pretty consistently spent a lot of time in dungeons so I may not have the perspective on continuous flight to see it as an issue.

Regarding sizes, I've reviewed the PHB and MM several times looking specifically at the grappling and size category sections and I'm not seeing where large creatures get advantage on anything for being large. Note: I have overlooked text before, so if possible could you please provide a page reference?

For comparison, the grappled condition description in Appendix A (PHB) does not mention size. There's a reference to larger creatures automatically escaping grapples in the Grappler feat (PHB 167) but the errata says to cut it since that's a hold over from a discarded rule. You cannot grapple creatures more than one size category larger than you, maybe being able to just walk over kobolds and goblins is too strong in the early game? Grappling on PHB page 195 references your speed being halved if the target...See more
Customer avatar
Ross L June 21, 2017 2:40 am UTC
Yes, as a DM, I very rarely do dungeon crawls because I often run more narrative-driven sandbox-like campaigns, which leaves my characters determining where they want to go most of the time, which usually isn't a hole in the ground (especially since I give EXP using the milestone system, so why bother going into cave systems to kill all the goblins?). In that style of exploration-driven campaign, flying speeds massively unbalance the experience, making the exploration and scouting parts of visiting new locations far too safe and boring an experience. This is why most DMs don't like Aarakocras: flying speeds are too limiting to storytelling, especially at lower levels when enemies as written often won't have flying speeds.

I also just reviewed everything pertaining to grappling in the PHB, MM, and DMG, and realized my own misconception. For some reason, I've always believed that creatures at least one size category larger gain advantage when making and resisting shove and grapple attempts. That is...See more
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 21, 2017 4:14 am UTC
Roger that. Since AL games tend to focus on single locations and my games tend to red line travel I can see your point about flying speeds.

RE: large creatures, glad I could help clear that up for you, I have been the silly goose a few times because 3.5 common wisdom ran me awry. Really it's just the idea of a large creature mounting a medium one that rankles. I know my Paladin players have had a few issues with their mounts trying to work their way through dungeons or castles.

I'll take a look at the Sculptor.
Again, thanks for your time and an excellent product.
Customer avatar
Flemming P June 16, 2017 8:54 am UTC
I have a question: Feats. How do they work? Do you gain them? Do your Incarnation gain them? Or do you both gain them? I ask because it seems many features can make your incarnation defensively stronger but that doesnt help you when they can choose to instead target you and still hit the same pool of hit-points.

Or is it intended that the defensive options apply tou yourself as well when you have you incarnation active?
Because I believe that many would like to fight with their incarnation instead of standing on the back line.
Customer avatar
Ross L June 16, 2017 11:32 am UTC
Hi, Flemming! When you take a feat, only the Emergent character itself gains them, although we may write feats in the future that specifically boost your incarnation. However, if you choose feats that grant a skill or saving throw proficiency, that boost your hit points, or that increase an ability score, your incarnation will share those benefits.

The class was designed to make your incarnation the primary presence on the battlefield, and give many benefits of having two physical presences in battle and exploration (higher damage and utility than many other classes), at the cost of battlefield danger for the Emergent itself, forcing players to think strategically about battlefield positioning. To that effect, we intentionally made the class lack synergy with many of the "must have" feats for martial classes.

If you want to fight alongside your incarnation, the Heavily Armored, Medium Armor Master, and Tough feats are all really good options, though, since they make the Emergent...See more
Customer avatar
Flemming P June 16, 2017 2:39 pm UTC
I see, happy for the answer. And it makes sense, and I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't overlooking something extremely obvious.

Protective is very cool, but I could not help but think that a feature/aspect to function much like the sentinel feat would be very nice for the emergent to give to it's incarnation. Not sure if it would be too powerful.
Customer avatar
Ross L June 16, 2017 4:03 pm UTC
Yes, as written, Sentinel doesn't work with the Incarnation, but we like the idea of such an effect now that you mention it.

We'll definitely keep that in mind as we start thinking about that possible Incarnation Feats product. It's definitely too strong as a single aspect or feature, but could work quite well as a custom fest. Thanks for the suggestion!
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This title was added to our catalog on June 14, 2017.