|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
There should be level limits on those. I'm not really a fan of them.
I personally house ruled that any kitsune has a number of tails equal to the highest spell level they can cast. Spell-like abilities count for this purpose. If I were to make a feat to give more "oomf" to it, I'd make the feat give a benefit that scales with spell level.
I honestly feel like the vision of this class needs more defined. I find it very strange this is a "rune knight" and yet they don't get armor proficiencies, no blanket weapon proficiencies, and they have a 3/4 BAB. I very strongly recommend developing the concept and primary class features before moving onto details and secondary features. With a clear picture for the core of the class, you and your peers can more easily evaluate the class's design and implementation. Right now, it's like trying to tell if the magus is a well designed class when the designer hasn't written spell combat, spellstrike, and arcane pool yet, or even indicated they existed.
I have to be honest. I can really tell it's a first draft. The class is a mess. If a player presented this to me, I'd flat out tell them "No." For starters, the class basically gets weapon training, a 5th level ability, at 2nd level.
I did have a laugh when I read:
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Cybernetic Slayer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with shields (but not tower shields). They are not proficient with any armor besides their body.
Upon reading this, I started presenting myself to my friends, proudly shouting "I AM PROFICIENT WITH MY BODY."
That's not the case. Eldritch Scion is simply poor quality content. It's badly designed, and people paid money for it. Eldritch scion is poorly designed because:
1) The archetype does not make straight trades, which is a basic guideline of archetype design that's even mentioned in this very same book.
2) The archetype replaces spell recall, one of the magus's most powerful class features, for an ability that does nothing by itself.
3) The designer forgot to replace improved recall, which means the magus still gets spell recall. I doubt this was intentional, because the ability requires the magus to prepare a spell before they can recall it.
4) The archetype adds a new resource pool for no good reason that raises a lot of mechanical questions.
5) Spending eldritch pool points creates action economy problems that the designer obviously didn't think about.
6) The archetype forces the magus to spend points and swift actions just to use their primary class feature. This does nothing but make the class unfun to play.
7) The archetype adds needlessly complicated mechanics designed to make the class more restricting to play rather than more fun to play.
Yeah, every archetype has its flaws, but well designed archetype will shine through. Bolt Ace is a good example. The designer forgot to replace battered gun, but people still love the archetype. It gave what they wanted and provided some very fun abilities. An errata can fix Bolt Ace's flaws, but Eldritch Scion would require an entire rewrite.
All in all, it's a really bad archetype because whoever designed it decided to make it unnecessarily complex. The whole ACG could have benefited from devs remembering to "KISS" ("Keep It Simple, Stupid").
I'd like to add that keeping things simple has many upsides. For example, if they kept Eldritch Scion simple, there would be enough space on the page to add another archetype or more arcana. They could have split the archetype into two: one for Cha-casting and another to gain the benefits of a bloodrager bloodline by spending arcane pool points. Look at that page! The eldritch pool feature uses up 20% of the page.
Arcanist: The player in me likes the arcanist. The game designer hates it. I'd definitely play it, because it's the closest thing you can get to being a ray specialist or warlock-like blast specialist. I always wanted to play a mobile mage that fancied himself a spell sharpshooter, teleporting short distances and firing powerful blasts (using the blasting exploits). However, the pool and exploit class feature feel more powerful than bloodlines or schools. The ability to up your CL or DCs whenever you want is a huge boon. The prepared versus spell slots also really confuses me.
Bloodrager: A solid, thematic class. This feels like one of the first 4-level spellcaster martials where the spells actually fit the class.
Brawler: At first, the brawler didn't excite me, but then it grew on me. Martial Vertasility is like Paragon Surge. At first, it seems ho hum. But when you start thinking about the possibilities, you realize it's quite a powerful ability that's limited only by your creativity with it. Quite a brilliant class with such a low word count.
Hunter: Okay, so I'm basically a druid that loses wildshape and spell levels 7-9 so I can have a slightly better spell list and give teamwork feats to my animal companion? I appreciate the use of teamwork feats, but I'm not seeing the appeal here. In addition, this was a missed opprotunity to have a dedicated shapeshifter class that specializes in hunting down creatures like an animal.
Investigator: A skill monkey class that's very flavorful, has some combat utility and concept potential, and looks really fun play? Count me in!
Shaman: Pretty cool, though the feature bloat was a little dizzying. Also, the spirit abilities are all over the place. Some of them are as awful as those rays from sorcerer bloodlines, and then there's one that gives you channel energy as good as a cleric. I do feel like it steps on the toes of the witch a tad bit much.
Skald: While not bad, it did not appeal to me whatsoever. It feels a tad too similar in theme to the bloodrager for my tastes. I'd rather have a monk/magus than this.
Slayer: Simple, sweet, and solid. A martial that gets really exciting class features at level 10 and higher.
Swashbuckler: I honestly don't think it's as bad as everyone else says. I'd still play it, but I can't deny the issues surrounding it. Even something as simple as giving Mobility feat for free, or letting you use Charmed Life after you rolled would have really helped this class.
Warpriest: Somewhat disappointing. I'm really glad it no longer scales off of Charisma and that you can use Fervor more often. However, the class has so much unnecessary feature bloat. No body cared about sacred armor or getting the bonus abilities from sacred weapon that are basically just a bad version of magus's arcane pool. I cared about the pseudo-BAB because it was the only way to make a full BAB ranged priest character without becoming a paladin.
Blade Adept (Arcanist Archetype): I really liked this. As a bonus, the archetype offers a way for players to make an Eldritch Knight with a blackblade without having to get 7 levels in magus.
Bolt Ace (Gunslinger Archetype: It has problems, but I totally welcome this.
Eldritch Scion (Magus Archetype): I got really excited for this archetype at first, but then I started reading. Did the designer not understand that swapping prepared Intelligence casting for spontaneous Charisma casting is actually a bad trade that's only desireable for character concept purposes? Yet they felt the class needed to be punished for this "incredible" boon by removing spell recall, adding a pointless secondary resource pool, and forcing you to waste arcane pool points just to use your primary class feature. To add insult to injury, this terrible archetype and two arcana are the only material my favorite class got out of this book.
Unlettered Arcanist (Arcanist Archetype): I don't understand the point of this. Why would you trade a spellbook for a witch familiar, which was deliberately designed to hinder the witch? Why would you trade the best spell list in the game for the worst 9-level spell list in the game?
To implement phoenix downs would actually be much simpler than changing when the party gets access to raise dead.
Random Note FF7 spoiler:
Come to think of it, the inability to raise Aeris would actually make sense in D&D context. Aeris would be considered an outsider because of Cetra heritage, so raise dead spells would not work well on her.
You can accomplish pretty much all of this with existing rules. There's even listings for airships and giant robots in the CRB.
- Reskin some of the existing races. There's several 3pp that provide animal races. I personally made an anthropomorphic race for my players. Come to think of it, most JRPGs back then did not have many playable races. If they did, the race had little mechanical impact. It's what made games like Breath of Fire and Chrono Trigger unique. Whereas every other game had all humans, BoF and CT had cat girls, nagas, frog men, and robots. It wasn't until FF7 where a party could have some really weird members. It's ironic that race played a much larger role Western games when JRPGs of the 2000s had some really weird party members.
- Reskin existing monsters and use monsters from Japanese culture. There's already listings for classic Japanese monsters like kappa and oni. A lot of original monsters from JRPGs tend to be really goofy, like giant grasshoppers that attack you with violins.
- Special effects? I'm not sure about this one, because most old school JRPGs did not really give many special attacks to martials. Either they got magic spells or a single unique ability, both of which can be modeled by class features. It wasn't until after FF7 where everybody got their own pool of special attacks, though the Final Fantasy series took it to the extreme by essentially making every character the same except for their weapon and limit breaks.
- There's already exotic mounts, like giant riding lizards and birds. Just change the price according to how common they are in your campaign.
- Even the CRB has listings for airships and giant mechs. You could give nautical ships a fly speed. Thunderscape: World of Aden has many steampunk vehicles. In fact, that's actually a pretty good book since it feels very JRPG-ish with exotic races and airships and magitech.
- Reskinning psionics is a good start since it uses points. A book called Spheres of Power will release in a month or so, which basically allows the GM to create their own magic system while letting players pick thematic powers for themselves.
There's already options for this in Inner Sea Gods. A character of any class can pick up the Deific Obedience feat, which gives a skill bonus if the worshiper performs a 1 hour religious ritual at the start of each day. Usually this is a +2 sacred/profane bonus to a valuable skill or a +4 bonus to a less valuable skill or a saving throw to a situational effect. At high levels, the feat grants special abilities unique to that god. The book also has three prestige classes that basically allow a character to gain the benefits of a divine class without actually being a cleric or paladin. The evangelist is notable for letting your other class's abilities level up as your evangelist level increases.
So if you want a god to gain benefits to non-clerics, just write up a list of deific obedience boons. Create a resistance or skill bonus the character gets when they perform the obedience ritual, then write up three boons the character gets at character level 12, 16, and 20. If you want to go further, then write 3 boons for the three prestige classes.
To get you started, here's some notes I made about Inner Sea Gods. I analyzed the book's obedience boons when designing the boons for my homebrew goddess.
Obedience Designer Notes:
The obedience boon is usually a +4 sacred/profane bonus to a skill. If the skill has a high value (like Perception), it gives a +2 bonus instead. With some boons, the bonus applies to a second, low value skill like Appraise or Knowledge (nobility). Some boons will grant you a +4 bonus to saves against certain effects. Others will grant you a +1 caster level on certain effects
The prestige class boons vary in theme. The exalted boons usually benefit a spellcaster, particularly a cleric. Sentinel boons usually benefit a fighting character. Evangelist boons seem designed to benefit a general character that might not be a wizard or cleric. Some evangelist boons will directly benefit a class feature from one of the listed required aligned classes listed in the evangelist description. For example, Lamashtu’s second boon affects a summoner eidolon. These boons offer alternate effects for those without the required class feature.
The first boon grants to cast either a 1st-level spell three times per day, a 2nd-level spell twice per day, or a third-level spell once per day as spell-like abilities.
The second boon is a special ability that’s roughly on par with a 5th level spell cast once per day. Some are buffs or allow you to change how a spell or class feature work. Buffs usually last a number of rounds equal to 1 + 1 per 4 HD.
The third boon is roughly on par with an 8th level spell cast once per day. In fact, many of them are spells with mechanical differences thematic for the god. Some will summon a particular creature native to the god’s realm, which last 1 minute per HD, allow telepathic communication at 100 feet, and can be commanded. However, they won’t follow any command that violates its alignment and service to the god. In fact, they may even attack you. See Sarenrae’s angelic ally.
The preview for the swashbuckler said "To this end, we made it relatively easy to gain Dexterity modifier damage." Uh, how? Is it the Slashing Grace feat? No, that can't be it. There's so many things wrong with that feat.
1) It's made for swashbucklers, and yet swashbucklers that use piercing weapons receive no counterpart to this.
2) It gives Dexterity to damage rolls specifically for weapons that cannot gain Dexterity to attack rolls.
3) It requires Weapon Finesse, but does not benefit finesseable weapons.
4) A feat that lets you use Dex for attack and damage rolls on a slashing weapon (scimitar) already exists. It's not only a better feat with fewer feat tax, but it synergizes with the main aspect of the feat while making this feature redundant.
I keep feeling like I'm missing something. Like I might not be aware of some combination of options that do provide the intended effect. This was a highly anticipated option advertised by the staff. Yet it was hastily slapped on Slashing Grace at the last moment.
I'm personally not a big fan of this myself. I like the idea of Charmed Life being a reactionary ability, which adds more gameplay to the class. I'd prefer that be improved rather than making it a passive ability. Though, this is a much better suggestion than merely giving them divine grace, which is one of the most powerful secondary abilities in the game.
The whole point of the swashbuckler is a class that allows many tactical decisions for melee combat.
I want to give a little rework to firearms and gunslingers to eliminate full-round touch attacking, make firearms less annoying to use, and give more value to the gunslinger's deeds. I try to accomplish this by:
1) Firearms now target normal AC. Touch attacks are only possible through a gunslinger deed that costs grit and isn't modified by true grit.
2) Firearms now add Dexterity to damage rolls.
3) Misfires can only occur if the gun breaks or is reloaded by a non-proficient character.
4) Quick clear is replaced with a deed that works like the swashbuckler's derring-do deed, but with skills benefiting a gritty combatant.
5) Fast musket is gone from Musket Master. Instead, the archetype grants early Vital Strike progression.
My biggest concern is my proposed Slinger's Knack and what to do about the Lightning Reload deed, which strikes me as rather bland and mostly unhelpful for a high level ability. I might also want to make ammunition cheaper. What do you think?
I'm not so sure about giving the monk 10 attacks. Not just for power, but because it'll take forever to make 10 attack rolls, each one having a different attack bonus. It already does when the monk only has about 3 or 4.
Even though the magus is my favorite class in the game, letting spells use the modifier of his weapon feels really unnecessary. The magus is already really good at novaing.
Can you explain your reasoning behind the changes? Houserules are only as good as the reason for having them in the first place.
Allow me clarify why I criticize the amulet.
The problem statement is "How can my PCs get healing items in a world where they cannot buy them from a store?" The solution should ideally solve this problem without having other (potentially unfavorable) consequences. There's lots of simple solutions. The PCs could naturally find consumable healing items as they adventure. The PCs could hire a broker. Their wizard NPC could offer to sell them items on occasion. Maybe they could encounter mysterious traveling salesmen. All of these are elegant solutions. An amulet that heals X times per day is not an elegant solution.
See, you need to stop thinking about the game in terms of what's "balanced" and what's "overpowered." Every change you make in the game has consequences in how the game plays out. Even something that seems weak could break the game. Sometimes that's okay. Sometimes you want to break the game to make it operate differently. But if this is not a conscious decision, you could end up changing the game in a way you don't want to.
This is why I suggest keeping the solution simple. The amulet turns healing into a freely replenish-able resource. That makes healing much easier to obtain than being able to buy wands. And they can basically heal to full every day with no long term consequence on their wealth. The amulet would also reinforce the 15 minute adventuring day. These and other unforeseen consequences may not be what you want for your game.
1) Rolling damage dice is one of the most fun things in a dice game. Why take that away?
2) Weapon damage die result deals less on average. The average of a 1d4 is 2.5. The average of a d6 is 3.5 and so on. This might seem negligible, but considering that real-world dice aren't totally random and players tend to use ones that lean towards the high spectrum, this will cause a power disparity.
3) This strikes me as very lethal. If an enemy rolls high, this could be rather devastating. Most first level characters have an AC between 15 to 18. If a goblin rolls an 18 with a +4 using a short bow against AC 15, that's 7 damage as opposed to 1-4 damage. Three goblins (CR 1 encounter) could easily focus fire a single PC and kill them in one round.
4) This is a major buff to ranged builds because this would essentially allow their Dex bonus to apply to damage.
5) Honestly, I feel like using a system for reducing dice rolls would suit best for the GM. In Numenera, the GM never actually rolls. Instead, each monster's stat block gives the average of their given roll. This might not work for saves, but for enemy attack rolls, this would help speed things along.
I still welcome the Numeria content, even though I am not entirely interested to add science fiction to my fantasy in a way it does. Why? Because I can reflavor anything from Numeria as fantasy.
I homebrewed a race with highly technological cities with commonplace constructs, elevators, and automatic doors. However, all their devices are just enchanted slabs of stone and their constructs are nothing more than animated abstract sculptures. The race itself largely exists as religious artificers and potato farmers. For Numerian content, who's to say that rocket launcher isn't just some staff that shoots exploding stones enchanted iwth fireball? That graviton reactor could be some massive artifact capable of altering planar properties that looks like the Eye of Magnus from Skyrim.
This. I find it interesting that the Alexandrian mentioned in this article that the peak of realistic human perfection is level 5. In other words, the greatest of people in our real world equate to the skill and power level of a 5th level character. You see this effect in martials. For nearly all martial classes, 5th level is usually when the class gets their last interesting class feature.
I'd just want more feats that let fighters do more things rather than making them better at what they've been already doing at first level. Where's the feat that lets me rip a demon's arm off with my bare hands?
I would personally make the following changes to this feat:
1. You have to choose a metamagic feat you already have.
2. It significantly increases the casting time rather than merely makes you cast it like a spontaneous caster. Perhaps it doubles the casting time? Swift/Immediate become standard actions. Standard actions become 1 round.
3. You must succeed at a Knowledge (engineering) check for the spell to trigger. No forcing everyone at the table to wait 10 minutes for you to do math in the middle of combat.
So in other words, you can apply a metamagic for free at the cost of casting time and a skill check.
The city I'm homebrewing does not hold executions or imprison criminals. Instead, criminals are sent to a large, windowless arcane research facility where the city's patriarch resides. Here, criminals are subject to spells, creatures, traps, and magical substances that the facility has developed or conducted research for. Though surprisingly humane to the test subjects, the facility assigns the most dangerous chambers to the worst criminals, which are not expected to survive. Wards and sigils loaded with spells handle much of the facility's automation and some sigils enable the administrators to scry on the progress of the tests.
Here's a few of my test chambers. Perhaps you can think of some as well?
Weighted Ooze Chamber
Gaseous Form Chamber
Mimic Shape Chamber
Also, I honestly like the idea that a musket sacrifices attacks per round for greater damage per shot and improved range. While I admit that two-handed firearms aren't really viable without deadshot or full-attacking, it annoyed me that Musket Master did away with that dynamic, because a musket that can be reloaded like a pistol is better than a pistol in every way except a slightly increased misfire value. Instead of eliminating the weaknesses of the musket, I felt like Musket Master should amplify the strengths to make the weaknesses worth bearing.
I don't like classes with limited options. I like having a lot of tools at my disposal. As a result, I like gish classes, but tend to avoid martials, except for the monk and a few classes from ACG.
I made a bard that gives a rousing speech when he performs. Rather than talking in the middle of battle, he simply give the speech at the start and the supernatural power of his speech continues to resonate in the hearts of his comrades until he chooses to "end" the "performance." It works pretty well, considering every movie with pre-modern war scenes has a hero give a speech before a climatic battle.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
I think this is a fairly clever idea. It's also easier to remember bonuses than penalities, in my opinon.
Law/Chaos is poorly named. It's more so about whether you have liberal or conservative mind set. A lawful person prefers structure and discipline whereas a chaotic person see structure as hindering restraints. Having meant many people of different ends of the spectrum, I honestly feel there exists truth to this, though obviously not so polarizing as the game presents it. Even societies and culture can go either way. Some cultures place a high value on tradition and loyalty while others encourage shrugging off tradition in favor of advancing personal ambition.
That being said, I do think there's something to this concept of yours. However, I'm not entirely sure how it fits with Good/Evil. So if I'm EC, it's okay to do good things as long as I have an evil agenda? And if I'm EA, doing evil things is more important than the end result?
D&D's setting makes philosophy literal. The original designers crafted a fantasy setting that makes philosophies regarding the classic elements a reality. This seems evident when you compare old literature regarding the elements with that of D&D and Pathfinder lore. As a result, fire, water, earth, and air exist not merely as matter or chemical processes, but as cosmic forces that gave birth to the Material Plane and everything within it. Energy types function as the raw power of those forces, which proves destructive to creatures with bodies made as result of those elements. This is partially why many outsiders from the outer planes have strong resistances or immunities to energy damage. Needless to say, our modern understanding of physics does not apply in this setting, something I think even the writers of Pathfinder material sometimes forget.
Besides, I see no point in trying to apply our understanding of physics and chemistry to the game. Technically, you could consider physical damage as energy damage since trauma is caused through delivering kinetic energy that rearranges matter in a way we consider destructive the object (or person) as a whole. The game uses "energy types" as a handy way to classify damage not caused by a solid object.
As for substituting sonic, I don't know. Associating a type of damage related to air with that of earth seems weirder than acid.
Rethinking the symbiotes role is probably a good idea. But I highly recommend thinking about the class design in terms of life style and profession. Every class has an identity as a being that exists in the world. The fighter involves a person who lived a life as a knight, a soldier, or a sword for hire. The wizard is an intellectual scholar. The ranger is largely a loner that lives in the wilderness and is skilled at hunting specific targets. The barbarian is an uncivilized, likely tribal warrior driven by bloodlust in battle. There exists subversions of these identities, but they cannot exist without a core identity to subvert.
The regenerator is just some dude with a thing in his head. There's no identity here. Who is he? What does he do for a living? How does he live his life? What niche does he fill in the world or in society? Why would I want to roleplay such a character?
Rage powers are a good place to start because several of them are not magical, but do very interesting things. The monk has many abilities like slow fall. The ranger's animal companion is a really nice class feature that has many consequences for roleplay and combat.
Finding a flavor hook for abilities should be simpler than you think with the regenerator. He's some kind of scientist or physician that mutates his body. Think in terms how this concept would exist outside of a game. Wouldn't he have the ability to apply his research elsewhere than simply boosting his body? Wouldn't he be able to function as a medical doctor? What if he could research a poison that only works on a certain creature? What if he could apply his enhancement serums on his allies? What if he could help cure diseases? How does a regenerator fit in the world and what does he do in the world?
@Gaberlunzie: In the case of the manipulator, natural flight and extendable limbs can help for a number of out of combat scenarios, as does the natural healing (party in an anti-magic field and need a quick escape route from the dragon barreling after you? Power Surge so that you can hold the weight of everyone, Speed Surge to GTFO and Flight Surge to get over that pit that you had to fly over earlier, wrap everyone else in a Protect Surge as you blast...
(Assuming you mean the regenerator? This is a problem when you name your classes based on a specific thing they do rather than conveying who they are)
All of those examples you mention are still largely combat orientated and don't encourage creativity beyond solving a specific problem or solving all problems of a certain type. They just don't feel very inspired, largely because they feel like they're designed with combat in mind rather than as a cool aspect of a character or bolstering the character's development.
Sean K Reynolds's guidelines for 2013 RPG Superstar are a great place to start. I also have this bit of advice:
1) You need to ask yourself what the point of the archetype is. Why should this archetype exist? Why would a player want it? If an archetype doesn't make a player intrigued or excited to try it, then it probably doesn't need to exist.
2) It's often best to swap abilities with similar themes and purposes. For example, if you lose a defensive ability, you should get a defensive ability in return. If you lose an ability that grants you a passive circumstantial bonus, you should get an ability that grants you a passive circumstantial bonus.
3) You need to determine the appropriate scope of the archetype. Will this archetype simply swap a few ability to fit a theme, or will it involve a massive overhaul? You generally want to swap as few abilities as possible so that players can combine archetypes.
4) Consider what kind of archetype it will be. I personally defined the following types. Note that most archetypes fall in more than one category.
b) Specialty Archetype: This allows a player to focus on a particular build of desire, much like most of the fighter archetypes. Because of SKR's rule #1 and #4 and the fact the game favors weapon specialization, specialty archetypes are deceptively more difficult to balance than many think. Pistolero and Musket Master archetypes are examples of deceptively overpowered specialty archetypes. Both of these archetypes are actually better than the vanilla gunslinger, because they grant gun training to an entire class of weapons (one- or two-handed firearms) rather than an individual weapon type. There's also no tradeoff to taking these archetypes because a gunslinger will likely specialize in a particular gun anyway. I personally find that the best specialty archetypes replace inappropriate abilities (TWF doesn't really need heavy because they're primarily a Dex build) or enables a build's viability for a class (clerics don't make good ranged fighters, so a ranged archetype for a cleric is good).
c) Mechanic Archetype: This introduces a new mechanic to the class or changes an existing one in an interesting way. However, it takes more work to do Bladebound magus and hungry ghost monk are excellent examples of this. This is probably one of the more popular types of archetypes and ones I personally enjoy designing.
d) Overhaul Archetype: This overhauls almost the entire class. While the core of the class remains, this archetype changes or replaces almost every ability to create a new or specific experience with the class, turning it into a borderline alternate class. This should only be done when your concept has a grand scope, but not enough to be a full class or alternate class. Zen Archer is an excellent example.
e) Multiclass Archetype: This borrows features from another class, typically when a player has a concept that combines features from multiple classes, but they don't want to multiclass. They might want to play a wizard with a gun or a magus with witch hexes. However, these are deceptively difficult to design well. If poorly designed, the archetype either leaves the character worse off than if they simply multiclassed or steps on the toes of another class. I personally find that the best multiclass archetypes try to combine class features to create unique mechanics and flavor. For example, hexcrafter lets a magus spellstrike with curses. Worthless or clumsily written ones simply copy/paste abilities from other classes, which is a reason I personally avoid the MCA thread.
f) Race Archetype: NO. THIS IS NOT MERELY AN ARCHETYPE THAT REQUIRES A RACE. Classes like the buccaneer and the experimental gunsmith are just theme archetypes with an arbitrary race restriction. A PROPER race archetype is one that interacts with racial traits. The suli elemental knight and the rune magus archetype for my homebrew runari race are the only examples I can think of at the moment.
Content creep isn't the problem. The problem is that the rogue was poorly designed in the first place. Rather than hinder future content to "protect" a poorly made legacy class, they choose to simply move on and make classes and archetypes with a similar feel so players still have tools to make a roguish character concept. Considering that Paizo does not have the means to make complete rewrites of existing classes (like an online video game would), this was not a bad choice. Though I do admit they could have mitigated the issue by simply introducing new rogue talents that weren't book filler.
I agree with the others. This race is too strong. It simply has too many really good abilities.
1) 40 foot speed is REALLY good. I can't think of any race that has this aside from the goblin. Even the race creation guide lists it as an advanced trait. There does not exist any outstanding reason why this elf would run faster than a normal elf. I personally would reduce this to 30 feet as standard.
2) Forest Stride mimics a 2nd level druid ability, a pretty good one in my opinion.
3) Treespeech is deceptively powerful as it makes it trivial to obtain information whenever in an outdoors environment. I think a once per day speak with animals would work, too.
4) They still have many of the standard elf abilities, which gives the impression they're simply better elves.
You should really think clearly what you want the race to be all about and then focus on one or two ways to emulate that. Do you want one strong ability or many weaker ones? For example, you can nix a lot of the abilities in favor of revolving around a more limited speak with plants. You can also take Cap. Darling's suggestion and list some abilities as alternate traits.
You are quoting the amphibious trait text from the universal monster rules, which was written in the context of defining monster statistics. In other words, the amphibious trait assumes it applies to an aquatic creature, which can breathe water but not air. Thus, the entire point of amphibious trait in the monster rules is to enable an aquatic creature to breathe air.
However, the wereshark-kin amphibious trait lies within the context of defining a race that does not possess the aquatic subtype. Since the only benefit amphibious has for an aquatic creature is enabling them to breathe both air and water, likewise the amphibious trait would enable a humanoid to breathe both air and water. The Advanced Race Guide's race creation rules also support this interpretation:
When RAW seems to not make sense or have a contradiction, you have to apply a certain level of common sense and analyze the intent of the rules. A large part of that involves analyzing the context of the written rule. Common sense should tell you that amphibious simply enables a wereshark-kin to breathe underwater, especially considering the above evidence and the fact the developers deliberately listed it and a swim speed as separate options. Thus, amphibious, in itself, does not grant the aquatic subtype.
I'd like to point out that I think the best way to give the magus more options is to have other touch spells that do interesting things, rather than spells that simply do a different type of damage.
If you don't mind, I think I'll review some of the options you guys put here:
I actually had a similar spell made for this, except it did 1d6 and dealt minimum damage to secondary targets, like a melee alchemist bomb. I like it.
I think the slow effect and extra damage on a slowed target are too powerful. In fact, it's arguably more powerful than the 2nd level spell Frigid Touch. I'd personally make it reduce the target's movement speed by half.
I'm not a fan of this. A force touch spell strikes me as too powerful for a 1st level spell. After all, Force Punch does 1d4/level (max 10d4) and it's a 3rd level spell. Sure, the movement allows is much stronger than Force Spike, but it allows save and this does not. Also, there'd be no reason at all to prepare Corrosive Touch. The strength of Corrosive Touch is that while it deals the least amount of damage out of the 1st level elemental touch attacks, it also has the least resisted element.
I like the idea! Utility touch attacks. However, what does it actually do the target? Does it blind them or what?
Nice, but if the bull rush attempt is a static number, wouldn't it be better to explicitly say how far they're pushed? Maybe something like, "The target must succeed on a Reflex save or be pushed 10 feet in a straight line away from you; or 5 feet if the target is one size category larger than you. Targets two size categories larger or more are immune to the push effect."
6. Demonlord Zura, I give you my sincerest apologies for smashing your unholy shrine, but your followers lacked a certain degree of foresight when they planted it behind a door where one could easily crush it. I'm shocked, really! Look at the condition of your temple here! Your head priest really let this place go. If it would please your unholiness, could you tell us the location of his phylactery so we may punish him for this grave insult to your name?
(Yes, I actually did do this)
Since feats not only elevate a character's power level, but also function as the players' biggest way to customize their character outside of their class, this strikes me as a fairly unfun idea.
I did consider replacing feats with "talents," which are stronger, group similar feats together into thematic packages, but characters don't get as many of them.
Take any animal
I'm serious. If you give anything disturbingly human-like features, it makes it much more terrifying. I had a mimic grow tentacles out of its wooden crate disguise, and the players were only mildly afraid. After I described human-like hands creep out of the mimic's crate lid and reach out to grab someone, my players asked if their characters should be taking Wisdom drain from how utterly terrifying that is.
I merged Craft with Profession. Instead of Craft (weapons), you have Profession (weaponsmith). I'd like to do the same with Perform, but that would require changing it from a Charisma-based skill.
I thought 4th Edition condensed the skills way too much. Merging Disguise into Bluff was a smart idea as making Disguises should have been Craft. However, there's a huge difference between Sleight of Hand and Disable Device. Sleight of Hand is a decent skill with many creative uses as long as your campaign isn't nothing but dungeon crawls.
The runari are a humanoid race with the ability to inscribe a spell from a magical text to their bodies and use it as spell-like ability, taking the form of runic tattoos on their skin. They revere contructs as holy artifacts and believe themselves descended from golems given sentience and flesh by their goddess. Their society places an emphasis on finding a personal role in one's life.
You can view the full description here or their basic racial traits below.
I also developed this race as my take on magitech. Runari tend to have advanced technology that uses crude materials, such as stone, due to the scarcity of metal and wood. This contrasts with most magitech, which tends to appear mechanical and almost steampunky.
I will continue to update with feats, class options, artwork, equipment listings for their technology, and a full description of their goddess. I'd like some feedback. Do you find them corny? Do they appear mechanically underpowered/overpowered? Anything about them feel trite or need expanded on? Any suggestions for material?
I never said the summoner should be nerfed. I just said it shouldn't be buffed. I really like summoners and admire how it encourages you to create a backstory for your main class feature. Few other classes do so and none do so in the capacity of the summoner.
I honestly think you'd find more summoners if the class did not require as much micromanagement over multiple characters. Of course, providing more options is welcome, but I've never seen lack of options as a reason for someone not playing a summoner.
What would cause a population of dragons to panic and flee?
LOTS of pugwampis.
Pugwampis as far as the eye can see, marching through the world and multiplying like a plague. They bring forth a blight of misfortune and disgrace that not even dragons can resist. Not even the luckiest of charms can hinder their unstoppable aura of mischance that will tear all civilization asunder.
+1 to DCs and +1 caster level is actually quite powerful. While I would like to see arcane bonded items to get a bit of a buff, the wizard does not need an overall buff. +1 DC/CL would definitely be a buff and make staves bonded items not only better than other items, but possibly better than familiars until the wizard gets Improved Familiar.