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Better, but I disagree with the suggestion to make them Large. Porpoises range in size from 4.6 feet to 7.5 feet. That clearly puts them in Medium size.
Also, remove Gregarious and Masters of Swimming. Gregarious doesn't make sense for a race that doesn't get a Charisma bonus. Masters of Swimming should actually be totally useless because of the swim speed. Creatures with a swim speed automatically gain a +8 racial bonus to Swim checks. An additional +2 racial bonus on top of that won't stack.
A minor tangent: Any reason why you're listing RP costs? You're not following the race creation guidelines and some of your RP costs are WAAAAAY off. Like blindsight, which I have overlooked largely because this is a special race that would only see play in a special campaign that could allow an exclusively seaborne character.
It makes more sense you'd take a penalty to Intelligence for being a dolphin because...well...you're an awakened animal. While dolphins are smart compared to most animals, they're not smart compared to humans. Ability scores are based on relative ability compared to an average human. Even familiars are less intelligent than the average human up until higher levels.
Large Build would be an Advanced trait.
Paying attention to tiers is usually more important than figuring out RP costs since the value of traits usually cannot be equated numerically. What might seem reasonable for a high powered race could be broken compared to standard races even if the two races have the same RP.
1) The fact that many people consider the cleric as Tier 1 is evidence that the cleric is really powerful and -- at the very least -- shouldn't be buffed. Not that I'm particularly worried about that because your suggestions so far are pretty huge nerfs.
2) I never said remaking was a terrible idea. It's just that you don't have much room change it without making the result NOT be a cleric. And probably the better way to make an unchained cleric is create a new class, which is what you're basically doing except you're calling the new class "unchained cleric."
3.1) I don't see why nerfing the cleric and nerfing other classes is mutually inclusive. Even just taking one overpowered class off the list is better than taking none off. Heck, one of the more overpowered classes (shaman) is like that because the designer used clerics as the chassis.
3.2) If the premise is flawed, the execution will be flawed as well.
Do searches on the forums? There's countless threads discussing the power level of the cleric. Reworking the cleric is not a new topic.
My evidence is in the above post. Their feature scope is too high.
They're the second most powerful class in the core rulebook. And even with the abundance of new classes and rules, they're still one of the most powerful classes in the game.
The general community consensus is that the cleric is overpowered but a little boring to build and play. The reasons being:
1) Cleric has a lot going for them with very few weaknesses. They have 9-level spellcasting. They have the second best divine spell list in the game. They have an average BAB/HD. They get decent armor proficiencies and can get proficiency in any weapon they want as long as they worship a god that has it as a favored weapon. As much as people complain about channel energy feeling underwhelming, it's one of the few AoE abilities in the game and has excellent feat support. You can easily make a battle cleric that's competitive with martials up until the point where 9-level spellcasters dominate the game where your spellcasting is king and being a good fighter is icing on the cake. The fact that clerics automatically know all spells on their spell list is also a big deal. The only weakness a cleric has is that they're kinda MAD and have few skill points, which is standard for 9-level spellcasters anyway. Really compare them to other 3/4 BAB classes (excluding druid) and how much they gain compared to martials, it's easy to see how good they are.
2) Despite all the power, most clerics come out feeling very samey. Aside from favored weapon and domains, they don't get many options to help differentiate them. And even then, domains aren't very powerful - their main use is getting a few extra spells to your spell list.
As a result of the above two points, an overhauled cleric should present more build versatility but be a nerf overall.
I completely disagree with your reasons here. Warpriest hasn't made the martial cleric obsolete. Clerics have 9-level spellcasting and way better healing options, so it's still a go-to class if you want to be a fighter with a lot of healing and spellcasting utility.
The problem with unchaining the cleric is that they don't have a lot of wiggle room in their power budget. Clerics are one of the more powerful classes in the game, but if you take away anything significant, then they stop being a cleric. Being the "battle priest" type with channel energy and 9-level spellcasting is iconic with the cleric. If you make them a 6-level spellcaster or a 1/2 BAB class, then the class is no longer a cleric.
A better approach is either:
A) Create a new class that fills the "white mage" niche that people want.
Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:
The most glaring flaws, that don't break the game if you fix them, is that all the even levels (except 8) are dead levels, and that the Cleric has 1 skill point per level.
Spellcasters never have dead levels. Spellcasting is a primary class feature for a 9-level spellcaster.
There's popular Ranger and Paladin archetypes that replace spellcasting. Even these would be considered "magic using classes" because even without spells, rangers and paladins have supernatural abilities, which are magical by definition.
Most crits will kill or cripple a spellcaster anyway. This is more of a buff to ranged combatants, too. In addition, throwing everything to random chance isn't too great against spellcasting foes who blow their spells fast and early. Not all that great of a solution here.
Also, the language "magic using class" is very vague. What constitutes a "magic-using" class? There's several classes that use magic but don't have any spells or spell-like abilities. The alchemist is a good example. Even a spell-less ranger or paladin uses magic.
There's a bit of metagaming problem here too. How would this work if the fighter doesn't know he's dealing with a spellcaster?
I'm honestly not a fan of any homebrew of the ever-so-popular "let's give out pounce or standard-action full-attacking!" It's blatant wish-fulfillment that doesn't really add anything to the game except maybe create balance issues.
It's also worth pointing out that existing abilities that let you move and full attack are at least level 8 or 10. Unchained monk gets flying kick at 5th level, but the range is only 10 feet. And all of these abilities force you to charge or engage an opponent in melee. Your options are available at 5th level and don't have any of the above restrictions.
It's not "rocket surgery." It's game design.
Your suggestion changes combat so it becomes a downward spiral where getting hit once renders you unable to contribute much to the fight. In additional, this idea kind of screws over gishes. Only a small fraction of the spellcasters in the game are the "bookish types," so even your arguments for flavor don't make any sense.
All this does is create a lot of problems while solving hardly anything.
And like I said, there's already constructs in the game for screwing over spellcasters. If this isn't about screwing over spellcasters, then all of your arguments would also apply to any combatant, not just spellcasters. We're talking about a game where lost hit points have no effect over your combat performance. You're suggesting houserules to change that. It doesn't make sense for it to affect spellcasting but not other activities that require more precision and physical strain.
The brute is honestly not as bad as most people think. What makes it "meh" is that:
1) The ability is really, REALLY poorly written with several redundant sentences, poor organization of perks, and a tone that makes the ability sound more like a giant drawback than a class feature.
2) The entire archetype is an antipattern in game design. The archetype forces you to divide your character's combat and non-combat activities between your vigilante and social identities since seeing combat risks your social identity involuntarily transforming in a way that could prove fatal. The big problem is that whenever a fight ends, you're forced to transform back to your social identity. So you end up going through the annoying process of having your allies change you back, wait 5 minutes to rest, and then transform again. It just makes the character a huge chore to play if you're in a dungeon.
3) The brute is super squishy. They take a hefty penalty to AC, can't wear armor, and have a d8 hit die. Your suggestions do address this but I'd rather have a Con bonus since the temp hit points don't do anything for me after I take damage.
What does "Dot" mean? I've seen you put that in a few posts, now. It's driving me nuts :D
It's called "dot" because threads you comment on have a dot by their name. It's an honor to get "Dotted" because it means people are interested in the thread enough to want to keep tabs on it, even if they don't really have anything to say yet.
4 + Int skills is pretty standard and usually reserved for classes that either get 9-level spellcasting or really powerful class features. The fighter doesn't really have any of that.
I honestly don't think your ideas have much merit or substance to them. There's plenty of ways to screw over a spellcaster. The best way for a martial to do that is use readied actions and combat maneuvers. If you want to make a change so it's easier for fighters to do that, then either change the concentration check formula, offer a feat that increases concentration check DCs for enemies that the fighter threatens, or make combat maneuvers more easily available.
None of these ideas of yours really address what I feel are the biggest problems with the fighter.
I'm not fond of it. It doesn't really fix anything and doesn't work well with multiclassing. There's also better methods for handling MAD or SAD characters.
Also, remember that some classes are balanced by being MAD. Regardless of class, making it so a character can easily start with a 20 and an 18 in their best ability scores without dumping anything is pretty ridiculous.
Responses to classes tend to be slow since it takes awhile to read and analyze a class. Here are my thoughts.
1) Ridiculous to have shadow points regenerate based on hours of sleep. Just have it regenerate at a fixed amount like every other class. No reason to add needless complication here.
2) The point costs should be in the abilities themselves, not in shadow points.
3) You should not be able to spend multiple shadow points add a bonus to skill checks (not skill rolls, there's no such thing as a "skill roll"). That's kind of broken and overpowered, especially for a 1st level ability. If you want the class to be able to nova skill checks, then restrict it down to a small list of skills, preferably physical skills like Climb or have it work like the swashbuckler's derring-do.
4) Darkness is a really useful ability to give at 1st level that the class can cheaply cast multiple times per day. It also feels rather pandering when the class has an ability that relies on shadow and yet they can create shadow whenever they want starting from 1st level. It takes away a lot of the cool factor of the class. Finally, this darkness class feature needs rewritten. You describe it as "at-will" but it costs shadow points. You don't need to use that notation -- it's for stat blocks or when grouping multiple spell-like abilities into one ability.
5) It doesn't make much sense to me that you can shadow strike someone you can't see (has total concealement). Honestly, not all that crazy about them getting a pseudo-sneak attack when they already get really powerful bonuses from rage and can essentially do this sneak attack at-will thanks to creating darkness.
6) Why do they get damage reduction? At a level lower than the barbarian? They already have a lot of ways to not get hit.
7) I'm not all that crazy about them getting rage powers and rogue talents when they get so many powerful abilities on their own.
8) Overall, I kind of like the flavor of the class, but I have mixed feelings about the execution. It's supposed to be a rogue/barbarian hybrid class, but honestly it just feels like a shadow-themed barbarian. That could actually be rather cool, but all the abilities stolen from the rogue and vigilante just make the class come off as the usual "Let's just make a mesh-mash of the best features of my favorite classes with none of their downsides" I frequently see on the homebrew forums here. This is at least a playable class, which is more than what I can say for many others.
The changes to Blood Frenzy and Detect Blood look good. As does Giant's Bearing, though I don't think the trip penalty is totally necessary.
I suggested removing selachian's Dexterity penalty is crippling and there's now no balancing reason to have such a crippling drawback.
You can't just look at RP costs when determining power since designs do not exist in a vacuum. Humans are one of the most best races in the game precisely because they get a bonus feat. That's a big niche they fill in the game. Your ceta race not only gets the bonus feat, but also gets a swim speed and also a bunch of other really good abilities, like a typeless +2 bonus to saving throws against all spells and racial bonuses to useful skills. When your race is more powerful and versatile than the staple best and most versatile, that should be a sign to reconsider your race. Even if you took away the bonus feat, the ceta race would still be good. They're already pretty versatile because they have several variants with useful abilities.
You have abilities in your "table" that aren't in the class description. What the heck is "interpose" or "Bodyguard?" As written, you have a dead level at 4th level.
Come and Get Me explicitly says it forces opponents to take actions against their will unless they succeed at a Will save. That's a compulsion effect. If all you're doing is dropping your guard to make yourself an enticing target, you don't need a special ability to do that. And whether or not the opponent truly wants to attack you should be based on the circumstances and whether or not you truly do look like a more desireable target. In fact, Come and Get Me as written forces mindless opponents to attack you even when you're the least convenient. With this ability, you can have improved cover and several obstacles between you and a skeleton. Yet, that mindless skeleton somehow decides you're the easier target than the fat helpless wizard that's right next to it.
This is assuming the ability works as I imagine it might, because, as I mentioned before, Come and Get Me is extremely vague about how it forces action.
It looks okay. I'm not crazy about it having a d12 Hit Die (the barbarian has one because it's a class with a primary class feature and play style that constantly takes AC penalties). The class also has some dead levels. I recommend giving bonus feats at 4th level with a progression similar to the swashbuckler or gunslinger. Come and Get Me is also very vague on how it works. It should also be noted that it's an enchantment (compulsion) effect.
I'm running a campaign where one of my players invested heavily in several businesses. I use a mixture of rule sets from Ultimate Campaign:
1) I use the prices for Managers, Rooms & Teams, and Buildings & Organizations listed under Downtime for determining how much it costs to hire people or get a building built. I don't use any other rules under Downtime since they're complicated, mathematically flawed, and provide so little benefit for how much book keeping they need.
2) I use The Investment Mechanics to determine the profits and success of the business, treating the amount of money spent hiring people and building facilities as the amount invested. A ship your player buys would also be counted as an investment.
With this combination of rules, a PC can start a rewarding business with very little book keeping required. All the player has to do is keep track of what teams, ships, or facilities he bought and how much he paid for them. And all you (the GM) has to do is roll a percentile every game year or game month to determine his investment return. Simple, effective.
Remember that the Bite Me supplement is not an official supplement. It's recommended you check out the actual lycanthrope template. That would answer most of your questions. Gear melds with your animal form because that's how polymorph effects work. It's perfectly reasonable to houserule that afflicted werewolves drop their gear when they transform since it's supposed to be a curse. However, it makes sense the gear would meld for druids and natural werewolves.
Blood scent is really problematic with the Selachian. While I love the concept of them smelling blood, potentially getting an at-will +4 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls is absolutely ridiculous. I see you attempted to balance it by giving the race crippling ability score penalties. The problem with that approach is now you created a race where no one would feasibly take this race unless they want to abuse blood scent to get the massive morale bonuses. Otherwise, there's no point in living with the crippling ability scores unless you take the blood frenzy trait or play the race as a non-unchained barbarian. I'd personally remove blood scent's morale bonus from detect blood and remove the Dexterity penalty. This would result is a better designed race.
Ceta also strikes me as rather overpowered due to getting a free bonus feat. Since they get a swim speed and a bunch of other goodies, this makes ceta more powerful than humans, who are considered one of the best races in the game. Then you get to the whalefolk, who are Large, a very powerful trait for a PC race to have. It should be noted that the only reason that the race creation rules did not make Large a Monstrous trait was because the trait doesn't give reach. You omitted that so whalefolk do get reach. Though, even without reach, I still think they'd be overpowered.
Other than the big issues above, I do like the races. I think you did a great job overall.
I love cardslinging and card magic and like the name of the class. However, it looks like a first draft and there's a lot issues going on with it. Some of the big ones include:
1) The core of the class feels extremely vague. Exactly what is the mystic dealer? What do they do? What's their role in the party? All I have to go on is that they use cards and somehow invoke effects with them. It needs to be more concrete than that. For example, the harrower is a fortune teller.
2) The game mechanic of the core class feature lacks depth. Basically, you have a deck of cards, you draw a card, and then play it to get some random effect. That's pretty much the entire class and there's not much to it at all. The abilities are also all over the place. Some of them are really strong. Some are really weak. Some are really strong at early levels but become useless at later levels. And almost none of the cards really tie into the class or give it a sense of identity.
3) There's not enough material to cover a 20-level class. There's very few class features. Most of the abilities don't scale very well. The class has a medium BAB and a poor spellcasting. I can't see someone being able to play an effective character through a few levels.
Overall, I think you might be better off reducing the scope of the project to an archetype or prestige class. Designing an entire class is a daunting task.
i wish there was more diversity, especially unique spells for each class.
That being said, it always annoyed me that witches don't get personal polymorph spells. This is a trope well known for turning into animals and changing their appearance and yet they don't even get beast shape. And somehow they can cast hostile polymorph spells when they can't even turn themselves into a cat?
The race tier system in the race guidelines exist because not all racial traits are appropriate for a balanced standard player race.
However, I totally agree with you that it's pretty pointless to reduce RP costs and change trait tiers for the purpose of making more options. Better off just allowing Monstrous traits and restricting RP budget.
Still, it's generally not recommended to freely let players create their own races using the race guidelines. The guide isn't really meant for that.
Since it seems that you never looked past the first three sections and decided you didn't like the formatting and said 'this sucks' and then posted.
You don't need to be rude to me. I design games, and I've been an active member of this community for years. Sometimes I come off as harsh, but I critique because I care. And if I didn't care, I never would have invested time to respond to this thread.
I don't see anything wrong with how it's set up. It has the Trait category with sub categories, such as Standard/Advanced/Monstrous traits below it, which isn't too different than how it's laid out in the book. I've seen you complain about 'format' before when you've replied to other things, and each time there hasn't been an issue as far as I could see.
It's mostly the underlining that makes it straining on the eyes. Also, it's difficult to see exactly what you actually changed unless you go through the race creation guidelines with a fine comb. It's difficult to get feedback about changes when it's hard to figure out what exactly you changed. I only know them so well because I designed a lot of races for friends, campaigns, and ongoing projects.
Large is not worth 7 points. The bonuses a creature gets from being large mostly cancel out except for the bonus to combat maneuver checks and CMD and the penalty to stealth checks. The stealth penalty is worth -2RP (1RP = +2 skill check bonus). Battle Hardened is worth 2RP (and I changed that after reading suggestions and explanations about that one), since that is close to the bonus large gives, it and the penalty to stealth checks balance out. Throw another 2RP onto it for the bonus to combat maneuver checks and Large is now only worth 2RP. Large doesn't automatically give Reach, so you're still looking at 10x10 reach 5ft. So pricing it at 3RP isn't ridiculous.
You're grossly undervaluing the benefits of Large size.
The Advanced Ability Score cost was too high for what it gave. When most other things are 2RP for a +4 skill check bonus. Halve the bonus because it's a specific and it's still 2RP for a +2 bonus, which is more than you'd get even now from the ability score bonus. Not to mention that the cost does still add up fairly fast.
The RP costs are kind of messed up when you look at skill bonuses. A +4 to a skill really should be much higher, especially if it's a valuable skill. The cost for advanced ability scores at least made some sense because it's useful and made for Advanced tier races, who have double the RP budget than a Standard race.
If you noticed (and I'm sure you didn't because it seems you didn't read any further than the advanced ability score section), Fast was made into a choice of Base Speed because I changed the original to allow for more options. Moving it from where it was in Movement to Base Speed changes nothing, doesn't break the game, and gives no reason for you to 'strongly disagree' with it.
I did notice -- that's why I brought it up. Fast is a really good trait. That's why it's an Advanced trait. Off the top of my head, none of the core, featured, or uncommon races have Fast despite a few of the uncommon races being over the top.
Options. That's what I was going for, more options.
I do like the ideas you have for weaknesses. However, most of your changes just lower RP costs (despite many options having too low of cost already) and make really powerful options more accessible for Standard tier races. All you really accomplish is raising the bar for how powerful a standard race can be. Lowering RP costs isn't really necessary for that because:1) Race creation guidelines are largely a GM tool. Even the first paragraph of the chapter points it out. You don't really need to go through the trouble of creating a document that rearranges and adjusts racial traits when only you (the GM) will use it. Unless you let your players go wild with the rules, which is not recommended.
2) Race creation guidelines are not a substitute for knowing how to design a race. Adjusting RP costs and availability doesn't change that, especially when the RP costs are already questionable and require a lot of judgement.
3) You can just let players have Advanced tier races. You don't need to raise the power ceiling of Standard tier races when you can just let players have races of a more powerful tier.
One of my players asked me to explain why the Weakness section was so limited in selection. After answering him, I decided to try and fix it a bit, and that spiraled into looking at the rest of it.
I can answer that question. There's a good game design reason why weaknesses have to be limited. Mostly because a weakness is only truly a drawback if it's relevant, which is not always the case because the game incentivizes players to choose races whose strengths are relevant and weaknesses are irrelevant. As a consequence, a game designer has to make the Weakness more crippling, which can easily make the race unfun to play. As a result, designers tend to avoid creating Weakness traits. Instead, they create weaknesses through ability score penalties or couple the weakness with a relevant perk. The android's Constructed trait is a great example of the latter.
As a result of the above factors, there's not a lot of Weaknesses to choose from.
I do totally agree with you that racial weaknesses feel like a largely unexplored design space. It's one of the reasons why I like some of the few you made.
The formatting makes the document annoying to read.
I don't really see what you're accomplishing here. The biggest thing I see is that you greatly reduced the cost of Large, reduced the cost of advanced ability score adjustments, and changed Fast Speed to a standard choice. I strongly disagree with all of these changes, especially making Large a ridiculously low price of 3 RP.
All you done is make it easier to create overpowered Standard tier races, which was already a problem the race creation guidelines had.
First, you need to figure out exactly what makes the spells taboo or "evil."
Secondly, it might not necessarily have a drawback, but rather require some kind of evil act in order to use. Maybe the kind of evil act that just makes the spell not worth using unless you had no shred of conscience.
In other words, the easiest way to make a spell evil is to add the following line: "M (1 live infant creature)"
I'm thinking of a monk archetype centered around the use of a single weapon that replaces style strike with some kind of iajitsu attack, but I'm not sure if you're keen on waiting until 5th level. The upside is that giving it at that level adds power budget towards making it stronger.
I'm not sure how flexible you are with regards to iajitsu strike: whether you want it exactly as the sword saint or whether you just want an ability inspired by iajitsu. Real iajitsu wasn't just about attacking fast from a sheath. It was also about parrying and disarming quickly and unexpectedly. It's a combat style centered around counterattacking.
Alex Trebek's Stunt Double wrote:
Even if you perceive a comment as a personal attack, rude and dismissive remarks are not an acceptable response.
Understand that this forum is a community of people that believes in collaboration and reception of ideas for the purpose of creating a better game. Critique, sometimes even harsh at times, is a pillar of this community. The kind of dismissive attitude you displayed whereupon you treat critics as bullies and trolls is not welcome here.
Also realize that you're relatively new to this community while many of these people you describe as "bullies" who are "absolutely certain to their very soul that are in the right" have been designing Pathfinder content here and GMing games for years. Some of them are game designers that have been paid for their work and taken the craft beyond a hobby. The kind of contempt you have for these "hateful bullies" who are genuinely attempting to help you is nothing short of disrespectful. Especially to folks who likely have considerably more experience than you do.
And if you already made up your mind and totally disagree with all of these people, then there's really no point in continuing this discussion. If you truly feel they aren't helping you, then arguing back and giving condescending remarks does not accomplish anything but create unwelcome hostility in this community. Even if you feel they're doing the same to you. You're better off ignoring them or dropping the thread entirely.
All characters receive Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat and Deadly Agility from Path of War is available.
Katanas are finesseable weapons.
Firearms use my firearm/gunslinger rework
Combat maneuevers do not provoke attacks of opportunity.
All characters receive a bonus trait later in the game of my invention based on their adventures.
Characters receive max hit points. Major enemies do as well.
That's actually not a bad feat. It's basically a coup de grace that petrifies someone. Pretty cool if your character wants to permanently incapicatate foes without killing them or someone who wants to go around, turning commoners and animals into statues to decorate the garden of his evil fortress.
I have a PFS character that's an alchemist that dipped one level into drunken brute unchained barbarian. He carries around a large cask of ale that he uses as an improvised weapon. He drinks his special brews that cause strange buzz effects, like making him feel bigger or being able to understand languages. During combat, he charges into battle in a drunken rage, beating people up with his cask and throwing exploding bottles of unstable grog.