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Yeah, that's a bit tough as many of the iconic druid spells have to do with messing with stone, wood, weather, and plants, which all wouldn't feasibly work with this.
When I thought of the Natural Source, I envisioned it could work for any biological power source. You could be turning yourself into a treant just as you could simply have a symbiotic creature on you or have a bio-suit. Perhaps it would be best to make the two into separate power sources: one source for becoming a half-treant and one source for becoming a bio-weapon. The source above could fit the bio-weapon approach while I could make another that has more plant oriented abilities.
You did say you wanted it to feel like a divine barbarian. I can understand that you want to avoid making it feel too much like a bloodrager, but mystic trance is the main class feature and has a really cool flavor. It was a pity to not see the class revolve around it more. The name and flavor text literally says you assume a trance to become a physical representation of your deity.
The dictates that add scaling skill bonuses also feel really out of place when those are the types of abilities that go with skill classes like rangers or inquisitors.
I wrote this outline for the Natural Source, pulling many rejected ideas from other sources. What do you think?
1: integrated weapons increase in size during a power surge
4: raise tension to gain a tail, tendril, or other limb (like tentacle alchemist discovery) that lasts until you raise tension to remove or change it
8: integrated weapons gain reach during a power surge
12: integrated weapons inflict a venom, a poison dealing 1d4 Strength damage or 1d4 Dexterity damage
16: gain fast healing 4 during a power surge (automatically stabilize if downed during a power surge). Can raise tension to regenerate severed limbs
20: Stay in a cocoon for 1 week to retrain upgrades and change race as reincarnation
This might be a bit late in the class's development for a criticism like this, but the class feels very bloated with many class features that don't really connect that much with one another. The class has three pools of abilities (dictates, epiphanies, aspects) that don't interact much with each other or the class's main feature. Compare to the bloodrager--bloodlines, rage powers, spells, and secondary features all interact with the main class feature.
I haven't gone through all the abilities with a fine comb. However, the dictates also feel really bloated and somewhat contradict each other. For example, the Mystic Beneficence gives you a huge scaling bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate, cast charm person once per day, and heal people when she knocks someone out (which, by the way, needs retooling as that's essentially an at-will healing ability and fails the bag of rats test). All four of those could have been great separate abilities. In addition, all of those abilities have little to do with one another. Diplomacy and Intimidate are seen as polar opposites in the scheme of social abilities. A charm person SLA sort of invalidates the skill bonuses, which was a huge criticism of Pathfinder Unchain's skill unlocks. Healing as a result of knocking someone out has nothing to do with the other aspects of this ability. Finally, it's awkward that this ability is labeled as supernatural, but the text calls part of it a spell-like ability. The dictate powers just feel like a swiss army knife of unrelated things. I would have liked to see dictates run off of mystic trance, similar to how the bloodrager's bloodline powers do.
However, the class generally looks pretty good and surprisingly well written and presented. I really love the general idea behind the class. I know you originally designed this as a monk/oracle, but this feels more like a bloodrager, which would have been awesome. I'd absolutely love to see a divine bloodrager. I loved the idea of a "trance" ability as an alternate take on the rage class feature. This was partially why I was a little disappointed the class didn't have more hooks on this ability. Maybe something to consider if you decide to make another draft in the future?
Queen Moragan wrote:
The guy that made Pact Magic Unbound also wrote a book on microsized adventures.
This is giving me way too many ideas. I'm now brainstorming a plot where an evil guy commits mass murder or assassinations by mind controlling cats and having them coup de grace their owners.
I mean, why not? I had a villain try to spread a plague by baleful polymorphing infected people into cats and giving them away as pets.
The lore's pretty decent.
You need to remember that a playable race needs to have abilities appropriate for a 1st level character or a creature with 1 HD. A powerful save or die effect that still disables on a failed save, all around vision, and an at-will poison dealing Constitution damage are not appropriate. The snakes should be a bite attack. 1d6 is too much damage. Even a medusa's snake bite attack only deals 1d4.
Personally, I'd have the gaze attack be something that causes a Dexterity penalty or halve someone's movement speed or have it work like a ranged Scorpion Style. Change the snakes so they only deal a bite for 1d4 and do not poison. Add the ability to use the snakes like a "hand" (like prehensile tail).
I kind of like the general idea behind this. Basically, Perception is split between a skill and an inherent ability (similar to CMD or initiative). I always felt Perception should be an inherent thing like initiative. However, I'm not a fan of having two kinds of "awareness" that both calculate very differently. I think that's going a bit too complicated. And overall, there's not much to the uses and applicability of investigation, awareness, and danger sense. I also don't think it's necessary to give a +5 bonus for having Perception as a class skill
While metrics are useful, keep in mind that the whole package matters most. As a result, the power level of some features fluctuate depending on what class has them. For example, the Shift conjuration (teleportation) wizard school power and the Dimensional Slide arcanist exploit are powerful abilities. However, they're on classes that do not value mobility so much, which keeps their power in check. If put on a fighter class, both those 1st abilities could easily become overpowered unless the class made significant tradeoffs. Consequently, this is also why both those abilities scale based on class level.
After over a month of playtesting on a weekly basis, the class seems to hold up pretty well. I think the power level is just about right. The tension system works a lot better than I suspected. It feels like it encourages the player to play boldly. I charged in, took some damage, and then raised a lot of tension to power surge the foe because I knew I was going to have it all lowered at the end of the battle anyway.
I haven't made much progress lately. I got sidetracked by graduation and looking for a job.
I'm debating on the Alchemy Source and Natural Source. I originally thought to have alchemy increase the size of your integrated weapons by one category and have natural give you a natural armor bonus when power surging. I'm not sure if that fits the sources that well. Maybe an alchemy surge creates explosions on hit, or something.
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
I was re-reading integrated weapons and decided it needed clarification. For fun, I also included some other changes that stray from your design. :) I hope some of this helps. I think you should think about including the gauntlet as a special category again.
That's interesting, actually. My GM also suggested something like that with a "slot" system where you can integrate a single weapon and swap out it for another one each day. An upgrade would increase the number of weapons you can have integrated.
Yes, I'd love to have a power gauntlet option. I haven't decided how to do that. I debated between an extra option, upgrade, or an archetype. An extra option might be the better way to go.
Strength is flat out worthless because of slashing grace unless you're a two-handed weapon kind of guy. Dex-damage is overpowered as hell; this is an attempt to even it out.
Slashing Grace is a horribly designed feat. I agree with you there. However, Dex-to-damage is not overpowered as long as it does not receive the same benefits as two-handed builds. I always play Strength characters and ran campaigns for Dexterity characters for years. I always gave Weapon Finesse as a free bonus feat and allow my players to select Deadly Agility from Dreamscarred Press's Path of War (very well designed). My only issue with Dex-to-damage stems from gish classes. Dex-to-damage is insanely good for gish classes like the magus and allows them to have deal the same damage as Dexterity martials. Thankfully, Deadly Agility takes take of that with a +1 BAB requirement.
I'm not sure what alternatives are you thinking of. If you play a Strength character and aren't a ranged fighter or a two-handed fighter, what else would you be? A two-weapon fighter? Shield fighter? Those are normally Dexterity fighters. Their problem stems from the unfairness of two-weapon fighting feats.
Even if I agree with you that Dex-to-damage is overpowered, completely changing how weapons and attacks work is a heavy-handed approach to fixing the problem.
I am long-winded, but you have failed to point out a single grammatical or spelling error. Earlier you caught me on homophone misspellings. It would be helpful if you could provide a writing style error example. I'll also cut out the flowery language, and explicitly define terms, you're right there.
There's no such thing as a "crafting bonus." Spells need to be italicized. It's "Craft (bows)" not "Craft: Bows." You alternate between abbreviating, capitalizing, and lowercasing ability score names. They should always be capitalized and never abbreviated unless part of a stat block. Even with your own style, you do not keep it consistent. I list a bunch of the writing style hints here.
1. That's fair. Trying to make both dexterity and strength important here, this is the most straightforward way.
Dexterity and Strength are already important. A melee fighter needs Dexterity for defense and a ranged fighter needs Strength for damage. If you're trying to implement Dex-to-damage for melee fighters, this is a really clumsy way of doing that.
4. If you read the document in order, it quite easy to understand; it leads you through with step-by-step instructions. If you know a better way to organize it, enlighten me, seriously.
Of course you find it easy to understand--you wrote it. Never assume a player/GM will read the entire rules in order. Any person with significant experience in writing rules for tabletop games can tell you that. People look things up when they need the information. If I just want to see the crafting DC of a katana, I don't want to have to read through the entire document to figure it out.
Also, no wonder I couldn't find what a "grade" means. The document doesn't actually define it. It just says "weapon can accommodate one mod for every grade above 0" as a minor bullet point. If you use a new term, you need to properly introduce it, especially when several tables refer to it. If I read a table that says "goober" as a column, I should be able to find where a "goober" is defined. This is why every chapter of Pathfinder hardcovers that list spells, feats, and equipment have a section that define all the fields and columns you see in the tables.
My point is that it's hard to review the rules because they're so poorly written. The rules for modifications are not listed under the modification section. Unnecessary flowery language clutters the rule text, such as:
Be mindful of the crafting DC in relation to your skill, and the limits of your modding capability. Do not attempt to go far beyond the scope of your skill, lest you be doomed to fail.Many sentences are written awkwardly with typos, grammar, and writing style errors. In many cases, you can sum up a complicated paragraph in one or two sentences. For example, you don't need to say:
Roll ad20 and add your crafting bonus; if this number is greater than or equal to the crafting dc, you’ve successfully made progress that day.
You can better write that sentence by saying, "You make one day of progress on a successful Craft check with a DC based on the weapon's complexity (see Table 4.1)."
It's basically way better than studded leather because now the monk gets a +3 ontop of adding their Wisdom bonus to AC and getting a scaling bonus. Assuming he has a 14 Wisdom (fairly standard for a MAD class), he'll get a +5 from this class feature alone, as good as medium armor without any of the downsides. I think having it start as a +1 would be a better idea.
The wizard could just cast mage armor on him (this is a team game, after all). The monk should be getting most of the buffs anyway. If he's an unchained monk, he doesn't need a Strength higher than 16. He could take Power Attack right away and have most of his damage come from that. You could also let him take Deadly Agility, the most balanced approach to Dex-to-damage.
There's a lot of ways to make the monk less MAD without having to change how the game works.
I'm not a fan of it.
1) I don't understand the point of completely changing how weapons and ability scores work with attacks. That's not something I ever thought needed to become more complicated.
2) I don't like the idea of minimum Strength. It's completely unnecessary because the game already models that using carry capacity and the fact that damage and accuracy scales with Strength. You don't need to say an 8 STR character can't wield a longsword. He's going to be terrible with it anyway.
3) Many of the weapon modifications strike me as way too powerful and easy to munchkin. I could make a weapon with a 16-20 critical range and a x4 critical modifier. Then I could take Improved Critical to crit on a 11-20. That would mean I have a 50% chance to critically strike for 4 times the damage.
4) Admittedly, the above point might not be valid as I find it really difficult to use this document as a reference. I spent like 10 minutes trying to find how a weapon's grade is determined. The language of the crafting rules is confusing--I'm still not sure how to craft a weapon.
5) The document has many typos and writing style issues. The most glaring one is "lite," which should be "light." "Lite" is a word for a food or drink with low sugar or calories, originating as a deliberate commercial misspelling from the 1950s. You also misspelled "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" as "Pathfinder Role Playing System." Normally, I don't rake homebrewers over the coals for typos and style errors. However, I wince when I see someone try to make their homebrew document look professional and they misspell the name of the game on the very first page.
If it's not an action (5-foot step, delay), you can do it. That should be obvious. According to the Melee Tactics Toolbox, an attack of opportunity is a free action. However, it should be common sense that if you have a condition that renders you unable to attack normally, you cannot make an attack of opportunity.
Taking permanent ability score loss to choose is not appealing at all when the spell is already pretty punishing as is. Taking extra negative levels might be reasonable, but permanently losing your ability scores is ridiculously harsh.
Order of Chaos wrote:
Race, age and gender are just a state of YOUR BODY, they have very little to do with the fact who you are, unless you choose to be obsessed with them (because of an irrational fear of being the opposite gender, different age or different race).
That's not entirely true. If you're a native outsider, your race is a part of your soul. It's one criticism of the reincarnate spell because, technically, a native outsider should always reincarnate as a native outsider related to the same plane. An archon aasimar should always reincarnate as an archon aasimar or an angel aasimar because their soul draws its heritage from Heaven. Getting a new body doesn't change that.
Also, reincarnating as an old man makes even less sense than reincarnating as a young adult. We're not time lords.
Alternatively, you could be a kensai magus. They get Weapon Focus and proficiency in one exotic weapon at 1st level. If you're human, you can pick up Slashing Grace at 1st level. Then as early as 3rd level, you can take Flamboyant Arcana and Extra Arcana (Arcane Deed) to get any swashbuckler deeds you want. The kensai also gets many abilities very attractive for a swashbuckling character, like being able to do attacks of opportunity while flatfooted, getting extra attacks of opportunity, the ability increase your weapon's crit modifier, and the ability to maximize damage on a critical hit. And as far as I know, all of this is legal for PFS.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
So, flipping it around, as a player do you tolerate DM cheating? The most common example is, of course, rolls getting fudged so that the party always "just barely" wins every major fight. And, yes, it's controversial, but I maintain that the DM is not by definition "immune" to accusations of cheating. Sorry, but as DM, I don't do it. And as a player, I always ask the DM not to do it, especially in a sandbox-style game. I don't like being railroaded, and, similarly, I want my PC to die if I get in over my head. I know that houstonderek shares that view when he's playing -- it's one of the things that convinced us we'd be a good pairing for a long-term game.
I don't mind as long as the GM makes the game more fun. After all, that's his job. Obviously, if the GM does it too much or does it when it's not appropriate, then it's not fun anymore.
I had a GM accidentally cause a TPK when he had a god come out of no where and save a PC that should have died.
The thing that bothers me the most about reincarnate is when you worship the patron deity of your race. It makes little sense that a dwarven devout worhshiper of Torag reincarnates as an orc or an elf, especially when the game deliberately points out that a deity can influence a resurrection. And no, don't use the "why would a deity allow a reincarnation and give up the chance to gain a soul" argument. With some exceptions, Pathfinder deities don't really work that way and using that logic doesn't make any sense.
3.) Reincarnate already works on people who die of old age as written, actually. It is the only resurrection style spell that does so.
Yeah, that's intentional. It gives the reincarnate spell an interesting niche among resurrection magic. Pathfinder's campaign setting takes advantage of this, too. The River Kingdom Tymon has a ruler that made a deal with powerful druids to reincarnate him forever. At the end of each life, he stages a tournament where he passes the mantle to his next incarnation.
The idea of a summoner having a sentient weapon as a eidolon is a really great idea. However, the execution leaves much to be desired. I think the concept would work better if it was like a sentient dancing melee weapon that can fly around the battlefield, attacking people. You probably need to create an entirely new set of evolutions.
Oh and as for what he wants out of being a pseudodragon is he wants to be a tiny adorable dragon. He thinks they are like the cutest things in the world which is a bit odd but whatever.
I ask because you can accomplish that without making him an actual pseudodragon with racial hit dice. You could make a custom Tiny dragon race with flight and maybe a little breath weapon. This would be race stronger than typical PC races (18 RP), but not so powerful to require adjusting his XP. This way, he can play an adorable little dragon and take class levels without having to worry about level adjustments and racial hit dice.
Sorcerer with the draconic bloodline would fit really well. Or an arcanist that takes the blast exploits and reflavors them as little breath weapon attacks.
1) First off, you need to decide whether or not this is a game you want to run. You can't force the players to play your way. If you don't want to GM for a game where the PCs want to take over a town, then politely tell your players you don't want to GM for them anymore. Gather another group with players that fit your style.
2) If you decide to continue running the game, then adapt it to fit what appeals to the players. The players obviously want to play a game where the party is a bunch of ruffians wanting to take over a town and loot a dungeon. They're having fun doing this--don't ruin it for them! Instead, play along with it. Introduce a rival organization. Create a turf war. Have consequences that escalate the game and make it more exciting. This could make for a really awesome campaign.
In short, if the players are ignoring/killing critical NPCs and adventure hooks, that's a sign the players aren't interested in what you have planned. Either find another group of players that are interested or change your plans to align with your players's interests.
The Lance's testimony may have a typo. It may actually mean, "Knight with Lance says in tone most vicious, 'I guard your path. The Shield is fictitious.'" This would change my conclusion about the doors, but the puzzle still works. I really like this puzzle. It's not easy, but the players should eventually come to the solution by systematically considering the truth of each knight. If they get stumped, you can hint that there can be only one truth-teller. If the truth of any knight's testimony implies there exists more than one truth-teller, then that knight speaks lies.
I'd say clean up the language and make it more obvious what the doors lead to. If you're doing this over a tabletop, provide a handout. Then you should have a solid encounter.
I may consider borrowing this, if you don't mind.
The logic puzzle seems simple enough, but the old English dialect makes it confusing. The fact that one of the doors is ambiguous ("wealth or tomb") adds to the confusion. What does that mean? That the third door is a mystery? That the third door leads to a trapped treasure?
Puzzle premise: Three doors guarded by a knight. One leads to safety, one leads to death, and the third could either (or maybe a trapped treasure? I dunno). Two of the knights are lying while one tells the truth.
Shield cannot be telling the truth. Otherwise, this would mean Sword is lying when he says Lance is lying. That's impossible. The same logic applies when considering Sword's testimony--this would mean Lance would be lying when he says Shield is lying. Thus, Lance is telling the truth.
We can conclude that Shield's path leads to safety and the others lead to danger.
Ask him what about playing a pseudodragon appeals to him. Then, see if we can engineer a custom race. For example, if he didn't care about the blindsense, spell resistance, and the like, it could be feasible to create a custom PC pseudodragon race without those abilities.
What class is he interested in playing as this character?
I think the class could use another draft. Admittedly, I haven't combed through every aspect of the class in great detail. I find it a bit annoying to read with all the inconsistent formatting (some text have different sizes and fonts) and style errors. Here are some of my thoughts so far.
1. A supernaturally skilled philosopher sounds pretty interesting. Caster skills also feel like what the skill unlocks in Unchained should have been like.
2. Adding your level to a skill check sounds too powerful when you can gain this benefit on 10 skills of your choice. Keep in mind that the investigator's inspiration is kept only at 1d6 and that other classes (like inquisitors and rogue) typically only add half their level on a specific skill. It's like this because not all skills are the same. For some skills, adding your level to it is no big deal. For others, like commonly used skills, skills that require opposed checks, or skills with static DCs, adding your level to the checks is major.
3. Saving throw DCs of some abilities (like maxim of destruction) don't use the standard formula of 10 + 1/2 level + ability score modifier. Deviating from this formula creates mathematical problems.
4. Caution-in-combat epiphany strikes me as broken. Touch attacks are a problematic mechanic and this allows a character to resolve ALL their melee attacks as touch at-will. Having it deal minimum damage doesn't fix it, especially considering most damage relies on static modifiers like ability scores and feats like Power Attack. Compare to similar abilities like the unchained monk's one touch ki power, which is a higher level ability and done as a standard action. Finally, this ability feels really out of place when compared to the power level of other epiphanies.
5. I don't understand the point of Philocreed Oath.
Spontaneous casting is not very good for the cleric spell list because the big strength of the cleric's spellcasting stems from not having to learn spells. Many spells that are fantastic for a cleric would be terrible for an oracle. Keep in mind that oracles get strong abilities to compensate.
I really love the idea of changing out your domains each day. That's really cool and helps out their spellcasting and versatility. However, I don't think it's necessary to penalize them by removing one spell per day.
Maybe consider giving some bonus feats?
Alexander Augunas wrote:
If Toughness can grant you up to 20 free hit points, I don't think that an option that grants you 20 free skill ranks is overpowered.
Hrm, I honestly didn't think of that. Upon some further thought, this feat might actually be fairly balanced after all. How about a revised Skill Focus feat that works like this:
Benefit: You gain a number of skill ranks in the chosen skill equal to your total Hit Dice. This does not stack with skill ranks you already possess. In addition, while you have less than 3 HD, you gain a bonus on checks with this skill equal to 3 – your HD. This bonus and the number of ranks you gain from this feat change as you gain HD (such as when you gain a level).
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new skill.
Shape Change (Su): As a standard action, a <RACE_NAME> can assume the shape of a wolf, as beast shape I. This lasts until the <RACE_NAME> changes back to humanoid form as a swift action. He can change shape a number of times per day equal to 3 + 1/2 his character level.
Turning into a wolf is much more powerful than turning into a static human form with no special abilities or ability scores gained.
The race is too strong and you're not using the race building guide properly. You have a lot of advanced traits when PC races should only have standard traits. Also, turning into a wolf goes beyond the listed change shape abilities, which only let you change into a humanoid creature.
I'd consider turning into a wolf a 6 RP ability that can be done 3 + 1/2 per character level and lasts until you change back. That works similar to the skinwalkers. Then, give them low-light vision and scent, which will result in a 11 RP race. That seems fairly decent.