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I think the changes to the monk are completely unnecessary and don't make much sense.
You CAN actually build a monk as a weapon wielder since unchained flurry blows allows you to gain benefits for two-handing weapons. Exotic monk weapons have very useful features such as reach, trip, and grapple. Then there's the Ascetic Style feats.
I don't think it accomplishes much, and it will create additional problems. Remember there's more than one type of martial, and that this affects ALL characters. This will buff archers and gish classes more than anything else. This will also make heavy armor builds less useful. Build-wise, the advantage of high armor is sacrificing Dexterity in favor of higher Constitution and Strength. Now that every character can easily have a high Strength, Constitution, AND Dexterity, that makes heavy armor less valuable. Overall, this screws up a lot of dynamics without really accomplishing much.
It also doesn't make much thematic sense to me. Being strong doesn't necessarily make you healthy or have a strong immune system.
I can't help but feel like the article's argument stems mostly from a lack of understanding of how game design and power balance works.
If I understand correctly, the article says the game is impossible to balance due to the game having abilities whose power cannot be measured numerically? That's actually not true. Game design has a term for this called "incomparables," which is commonly used for several genres of games such as MOBAs. Options will not perfectly be balanced against one another, which is why games have a "power curve" with an upper bound and lower bound. This is something not mentioned or considered at all in the article.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I think a better modification is to do something like Fate Core where there's a consistent way to get the points. Fate Core allows a GM to give a point in order to increase the DC of a check or complicate a character's decision. However, a player can choose to request a point from a GM at the cost of making a task more difficult. You could do the same with hero points.
I love how you are constantly telling me this is a bad idea, it will break the game and there are way better ways to accomplish this, and yet you suggest absolutely nothing.
I love how you're open to criticism and suggestions, but you've been stubbornly defending your decision to implement this houserule!
But sarcasm aside, what don't you like about hero points? Hero points are nice because the GM decides when players get them. It's a resource that's completely in the GM's control.
Have you considered maybe giving players a tier of mythic power? You could set it up so that they have to do something special to replenish their mythic power (see the dependency mythic flaws).
Or maybe a system where you can spend a resource to add 1d6 to an attack roll, ability check, skill check, or saving throw. If the result is 6, the dice explodes.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
I understand what you mean. While spells are technically class features, I mean class features outside of spellcasting.
6-level spellcasters tend to focus on features outside of spellcasting to provide a contribution to their party. They rely more these features as they reach beyond level 10 because of the widening gap between their spellcasting and base attack bonus has compared to full casters and martials.
Bards and summoners are excellent examples of this. Bardic performances and skill abilities are the main focus of the bard; these are the main way a bard contributes to a party. The same goes for the summoner's eidolon, a very powerful class feature that the entire class revolves around.
Contrast with martials and full casters. A martial's main contribution will almost always be stabbing or shooting things. A full spellcaster's main contribution will almost always be casting spells. While they certainly have other class features, those features are usually designed to support that main contribution or give the class a little extra utility so they aren't one-trick ponies.
At 1st level, most martials and full arcane spellcasters don't have as much in the way of class features outside of spells and armor/weapon proficiencies. The barbarian and witch are somewhat of anomalies. The barbarian class is almost totally front-loaded with the rage class feature. The witch's hexes are more powerful than arcane school powers and bloodlines because witches have an inferior spell list compared to wizards and sorcerers.
It's fun running a 4 year campaign because I've seen all levels of play from level 1 to 17.
Full arcane spellcasters:
Full divine spellcasters
bitter lily wrote:
Cyrad, if "temporary Constitution damage" is wrong, how do you say the kind that isn't "permanent Constitution drain"? Just "Constitution damage"?
The correct terms are ability damage and ability drain. Ability damage can be healed naturally while ability drain actually reduces your ability score and is permanent unless healed by magic.
I don't care if it's full or half the Will saving throw. The math is still broken because you're adding a big scaling number to ANY d20 roll and ANY damage roll with complete disregard for how the math of each roll works. A +4 bonus to a skill check is not the same as a +4 bonus to an ability check or a caster level check. Rolling twice and taking the higher result is more mechanically sound because it doesn't actually increase the maximum result; it just makes success more reliable.
Another problem is that you're only thinking in terms of in-combat. With this system, it's easy for a party to take several points of Con damage and then use a couple of lesser restoration scrolls every fight. There's little incentive to not abuse this every fight, which goes completely against what you're going for. Even outside of combat, this is an extremely useful ability.
If you're trying to offer a trump card to use in a desperate situation, there's WAY better ways to accomplish that.
It does break the game (i.e. adversely affect it) because you're adding your Will saving throw to ANY d20 roll. That breaks the math for many different types of checks and rolls. You can use this to always win initiative, add the saving throw to caster level checks, etc. It's adding a potentially large number to any d20 roll with complete disregard for how the math of the roll works.
Constitution damage isn't enough to balance this at all. Not only is the cost fairly insignificant compared to how much it can alter a roll, but also it's incredibly easy for players to game the system by choosing lots of options that remove ability damage. At higher levels, the cost will be negligible.
I also don't see how this really adds anything to the game or make it fun beyond just doing monty haul shenanigans.
Having advised on and play tested several systems, I would also have to call quibble on how difficult you seem to believe gamebuilding really is.
I build games, Daw. Game design is a deceptively challenging mixture of art and science. It's like writing a novel; it seems easy to put words on paper, but there's an incredible amount of skills needed to create a novel such as pacing, plot structure, character development, and the fortitude to write multiple drafts of a 200-page story. You can't just throw a bunch of rules together and hope it turns into a competent game, just as you can't just throw a bunch of words on a few pages and make a coherent plot. Even professional game designers tried this with mixed success.
Making games is hard.
I totally agree with Ciaran Barnes. This class just feels like a total mess. Much of the writing doesn't make a lot of sense to me. The math of the saving throw and base attack bonus progressions are wrong.
You might want to look at the Collected Book of Experimental Might by Monte Cook. It has a pretty decent rune swordsman class that could be converted to Pathfinder.
As I said, changing the internal math will create many mechanical problems. Those problems go way beyond than just giving players abusive options. It's usually a very bad idea unless you really know what you're doing.
Spells: Good to see that change to the spell levels. However, why is there a spells per day column for cantrips when you can cast them at-will? Also, this sentence needs reworded: "However, she is limited to knowing 1st and higher spells a maximum of each spell level equal to her level."
Luck: I honestly feel like adding a grit mechanic feels totally out of place with the class. You also added a lot more ways to regain luck points, which I have mixed feelings about, especially since one of them allows the hexblade to regain points simply by standing next to a dying creature. If you're going to add a grit mechanic and make it easier to regain points, then why not actually do something that fits the class's themes? Like, maybe they regain a point when an enemy dies while under your curse effects?
Deeds: You need to understand one crucial thing about designing deeds -- deeds are essentially pseudo-at-will abilities because grit/luck is a dynamic resource system. This means you have to be careful about what deeds can do. They can't be as powerful as spells because there's potentially no limit to how many times they can be done in a day.
Also, you don't need to repeat the saving throw DC for every deed. If all of the DCs have the same calculation, you can just say what the DCs are under the Deeds heading.
- Eldritch Strike: This is essentially a better version of the swashbuckler's precise strike AND they get it two levels before the swashbuckler. Even requiring a cursed opponent isn't a hindrance because of the major economy and duration issues of the curse class feature.
- Armor Hex: This is essentially a way better version of blur (a 2nd level spell) that you get two levels early and has no action economy, unlike similar abilities in other classes that usually require an immediate action. Also remmeber what I said earlier about designing deeds.
- Healing Curse: I think you should totally scrap this ability. Not only because of my above reasons concerning deeds, but also because this ability completely fails the bag of rats test.
- Martial Mogo: The hexblade can technically already add her Charisma modifier in place of Strength for CMB thanks to the hexwarrior class feature (not that I'm endorsing that feature).
- Cursed Casting: This needs to be rewritten as the text is awkward with its language. I also have mixed feelings about adding the curse descriptor (there's no such thing as a curse subtype) to a spell. It doesn't make much sense for many spells, and this is an ability that's powerful enough to be a metamagic feat. Maybe too powerful. 3.5e had several metamagic feats that let you add spell descriptors, which let players abuse it in some really gamebreaking ways.
- Jinxed Strike: This deed has a major flaw in that the action economy allows you cast multiple curse spells in a single round. You should have made this work like the magus's spellstrike and let you spellstrike curse spells that target a single creature. And again, there's no such thing as a spell subtype. You probably mean "spell descriptor."
- Cursed Wound: I think completely blocking a creature from healing as a permanent duration effect is WAY too strong. Similar abilities that other classes and creatures have usually give the target temporary spell resistance that can't be suppressed. The last two sentences also need rewritten.
- Improved Mettle: The first sentence needs completely rewritten (and probably scrapped entirely). I assume you're trying to make something like stalwart and evasion, but the reader can't read your mind. I think giving DR is too powerful to hand out as a deed ability (because of the reasons I pointed out above). The DR value is also fairly high. Also, why is this called "improved mettle?" The mettle class feature is not a deed.
- Improved Armor Hex: This is basically a pseudo-at-will 50% miss chance effect. See what I said about armor hex.
- Cursed Critical: I don't think this ability is a good idea. Pathfinder tries to cap the maximum critical range. Any threat-range-increasing effect that stacks with keen always replaces the weapon's base threat range.
- Wave of Horror: You can't just steal the gunslinger's menacing shot, buff it, and call it a day. Menancing shot is a deed because it affects ALL living creatures in a large radius. Wave of horror only affects enemies, which is a huge buff.
Curse: 1 hour is WAAAAAAAAAY too long of a duration. Especially considering the ability is already fairly powerful because:
I recommend either:
Curse Mastery: I don't think a scaling DC buff is necessary, especially since they already have the ability to penalize a foe's saving throws AND many of their DCs scale with level anyway. I can't think of any spellcasting class that automatically gets a scaling DC buff. Getting a +1 or +2 to a DC is useful at all levels of play.
Hexwarrior: I'm not a fan of abilities that allow you to swap one ability score for another, especially for something fundamental like attack and damage rolls. It's a simple change that has big consequences on the game. The ability score system is a fine tuned machine that creates trade-offs and build diversity through emergent gameplay. An ability like this throws a giant monkey wrench into the system for very little reason. At best, I find it lazy design and I don't think it's a good thing to create a class where you can totally dump Strength and use Charisma to be as strong as a hulking guy that wields a greatsword. Even Dexterity builds usually prevent you from benefiting from two-handed weapons and don't let you cheat feat prerequisites.
The cap based on level was a smart idea to prevent abuse with level dipping. However, it's poorly executed because it makes it difficult to build a character around this ability.
The only reason the hexblade would need this ability is to help their saving throw DCs. However, since the hexblade has the ability to reduce an enemy's saving throws, this class feature feels totally unnecessary.
I'd recommend making this a 4-level spellcaster like the Medium where they start with cantrips. As I said before, I don't think losing only one spell level compared to a magus is enough of a trade-off to justify having a full BAB AND 5 levels of spellcasting. Besides, you moved a lot of 5th level spells to 4th level anyway. If there's a particular high level spell you feel is integral to the class, then make it a high level class feature.
Spell research doesn't allow a sorcerer to circumvent their spells known limit, but that's because they have a spells known limit.
But all of this is a minor point in the grand scheme of things. The class is overpowered, and I haven't even dived into any class features beyond level 1. Most GMs wouldn't allow a player to use this class simply because it's a full BAB class that gets to cast 1st level spells at level 1.
The issue is that the downside of playing a spontaneous caster is that they have a cap on what spells they know for any given spell level at any given level. You deliberately remove that restriction. The result is that at low levels and certain levels, this class is a better spellcaster than the sorcerer. That's not a good thing, especially since the class is already above the power curve because it's a full BAB class that starts the game with two 1st level spell slots.
Another issue is that there are actually ways for spellcasters to gain spells outside of copying scrolls. Spell research is a good example. The spells known limit applies even to those instances. Since the class doesn't have a spells known limit, then that makes the class more powerful.
At the very least, if you're designing this with the assumption that the class can only learn spells from leveling up, then reinforce that limit by saying something like "A hexblade only knows a number of spells equal 1 + her level. In addition to this limit, she begins play knowing a number of 0-level spells equal to her Charisma bonus." Or simply remove the "She can potentially know any number of spells" since THERE IS a limit on it.
1) The problem I have with 5th level spellcasting is three-fold:
A) The power trade-off is wrong. Losing only a single spell level doesn't justify having a full BAB.
B) They're a full BAB class that starts with 1st level spellcasting. That's unheard of in Pathfinder. This alone threatens the class overpowered at 1st level. Yet, they also get a bunch of other class features, too, despite the fact that full BAB classes usually don't get many class features at 1st level.
C) Pathfinder doesn't have 5-level spellcasting, largely because of the above two points. I don't care if 3.5e did it -- this is Pathfinder. Pathfinder has its own standards. You might be better off making this have spell progression like the Medium.
2) The spells description is loosey goosey with its language and has several typos and grammar issues. It also begs the question about learning spells outside of
3) The big problem with them casting more spells than a magus is that they have a full BAB. A full BAB class should not be able to cast more spells than a magus. On top of it, they don't have a limit on spells known, so they essentially have all of the perks of spontaneous casting without the biggest drawback. These two facts alone make this class overpowered, ESPECIALLY at 1st level.
I don't care if the magus has ways to increase their attack bonus; pretty much all combat-oriented gish classes have some way of doing that. It's not the same as having a full BAB because a full BAB gives many other benefits that keeps martials above the curve in fighting, such as increased number of attacks and meeting feat prerequisites. Your class can pick up staple feats like Power Attack, Deadly Aim, and Weapon Focus at 1st level. A magus cannot.
4) Level 4 and 5 is the issue. If you move a bunch of powerful 5th level spells to 4th level, then it begs the question why even make them a 5th level spellcaster anyway? Geas/quest, break enchantment, polymorph, baleful polymorph, and several others are all given early. It would be fine to keep them as 4th level spells if you change the class to a 4-level spellcaster. Many 4-level spellcasters have a few higher level spells at their highest level as "capstones," which is why break enchantment is a 4th level spell for paladins. You just need to be sure you don't overdo it.
While "types" are like classes, foci are more like a static feat chain that gives you flavorful abilities and additional background. There's foci for being good with guns, being a cyborg, being a shapechanger, being a pyromancer, and even foci for being a totally different race.
The Strange handles differing identities across realities by having your focus change when you enter a new reality.
You might be able to do something similar with Pathfinder. The big problem with using classes is that classes are big complicated affairs.
What you could do is use variant multiclassing rules. You could give every character a variant multiclass that does not cost any feats. Then they can switch out that multiclass. This way, players don't have to do as much book keeping and resort to gestalt rules and such. You could take it a step further and let their race swap as well when they do so.
Don't copy/paste URLs. Use url tags to create links. Like so.
I see a number of major issues with this class. Let's start with the skills and spellcasting.
Skills: Having Diplomacy doesn't make any sense to me. Everything about this class screams "I AM NOT A PEOPLE PERSON." I also have a pet peeve for homebrew classes that have Perception as a class skill as it's the best skill in the game. I believe no class to have this skill unless they're a non-spellcasting martial or a Wisdom-based class.
Spellcasting: I have several problems with how this class casts spells.
2) The class is a spontaneous caster but they have no spells known limit. Them being a spontaneous caster with none of the downsides of being a spontaneous caster doesn't sit well with me. The text is also vague in how they can learn and replace spells.
3) They're a full BAB class that can cast more spells than a magus or any other 6-level spellcaster? The magus only starts with a single 1st level spell. This class gets 2 ontop of having a full BAB, better skills, and better proficiencies.
4) Their spell list has many good spells at a lower level than other classes. For example, they get break enchantment at 4th level instead of 5th. Why do that when they can cast 5th level spells?
Have you looked at the Strange RPG? It might be worth looking at for inspiration. It's a game about exploring alternate realities that each cause your character to change. You might go to the reality of super science and end up as a cyborg. Or go to the realm of high fantasy and end up as a divine jackal creature.
I still believe you're better served finding another way to execute this flavor without having to resort to having characters completely change their class.
Dhá Sciath wrote:
There's effects that trigger natural healing or say they similar to natural healing without having to rest. The feat says "rest." You're not resting by simply having fast healing.
The language of the 3rd level Dragon Dive ability feels unclear. I suspect you're trying to go for a Spring Attack effect? This feels really out of place. I'd honestly replace this and the 12th level ability with something else. Maybe being able to add the attack roll bonus of charging to damage rolls?
I would have liked to see a bit more mechanics to Dragon Dive so to necessitate jumping or having the high ground.
Here's my take on the ability:
Dexterity-based melee characters.
I want to play any number of dexterous combatant concepts without having to resort to Dervish Dance or unchained rogue. Slashing Grace is a horrifically designed mess (even before it got errata'd).
I'm trying to build a kitsune vigilante that's like a ninja, but I'm struggling to pull it off due to the feat tax of Weapon Finesse. A lot of times, I feel like it's mandatory to play a human just to endure all the feat taxes for anything that isn't a two-handed fighter.
I can't find anywhere in the rules that say you can make an unarmed attack in place of a melee touch attack. The only exception is when you make an unarmed strike with a hand possessing the charge of a touch spell. However, even that doesn't let you (for example) swap the free action touch attack you get from casting the spell with an unarmed strike.
If the slow progression is a problem, then find some way to deal with it. The feature slot thing doesn't work.
What do you mean by characters being able to switch classes in combat? It takes 1 minute to switch classes. Combats seldom last longer than 4 rounds. Since it can be interrupted, why would you ever switch classes in the middle of combat?
You can't use concentration check DCs because those DCs are based on spell level. You're not casting a spell. Again, you can't use the concentration check mechanic because the math is totally different. The math for Will saving throw bonuses is not the same as concentration check bonuses, just as the math for concentration check DCs is not the same as Will saving throw DCs. You can't just swap two totally unrelated numbers and hope the math works out -- that's not how game design works. What you need to do is call it a Will saving throw and invent your own DCs.
I understand you're trying to create something similar to the Strange RPG, but overall, this system is really fiddly and broken.
The critical problem with your train of logic is that your argument says that Power Attack isn't worth it for a Dexterity fighter with Dex-to-damage. Here, you're proving the opposite of this by showing that Power Attack is more useful if you have lower average damage. Since Dexterity builds deal less damage than Strength builds due to weaker weapons and being unable to two-hand weapons, you show that Power Attack is actually useful for Dexterity builds. Thus, reinforcing that dumping Strength is bad for Dex-to-damage builds because you can't get Power Attack.
This is all assuming I agree with your math example. There's numerous other problems with it.
I don't understand what you're trying to accomplish with the class. They have a lot of fiddly rules involving their spellbook and "arcane actions", but none of it really adds any depth or interesting gameplay.
All of the rules involving spells "with the attuned descriptor" don't make any sense to me, especially considering no such spells exist in the game.
Odd, I thought I already commented on this. Did you delete the old thread and make this one?
If I understand correctly, it's like an overly complicated gestalt where you only have one class's abilities active at any time and you must switch classes by concentrating for 1 minute. Then you let them keep one class feature from a class that's not in use.
I have a big problem with the class feature slot mechanics. Not all class features are equal, and classes tend to use them as part of a larger package. Taking such class features out of context might mean the feature is too powerful, too weak, or completely usable. I'd just nix this as it's too fiddly to deal with.
I'm not sure how I feel about the class switching thing. You get to keep the best statistics of all five classes at all times, so the switching mechanic might be mostly meaningless in certain circumstances. The fact you get five classes means that all PCs will likely end up as Full BAB characters with a d10 or d12 HD and three good saves...because...why not?
The concentration check is wrong. If it uses a Will saving bonus, then it's not a concentration check as the math is very different. I also begs the question of what the DC is considering that this is not a spell. Just say that it's a Will saving throw and give a DC for it.
I'm also running a campaign that has lasted for 4.5 years with a mixture of Strength and Dexterity characters. I made Weapon Finesse a free feat, and let the magus use Dervish Dance (later retrained to Deadly Finesse) with her katana (houseruled as a finesse weapon) when she was level 3. Now she and the rest of the party are level 17. It was great to see how the option measures up across all levels. The greatsword-wielding soulknife is the hardest hitting character in the party, followed by the monk.
The biggest concern I had was that the option seems too strong to give to a gish at 1st level. I think it's fine for a full BAB martial, but getting such an option at 1st level makes a Dex-based gish way too competitive with martials at 1st and 2nd level. Hence why I made Deadly Finesse have a +1 base attack bonus prerequisite.
Power Attack does not disadvantage the swashbuckler's attack rolls anymore than other martial classes. One of the major perks of a full BAB class is having an attack bonus high enough to make such trade-offs. Even if two-handed fighters get more mileage out of it, Power Attack is still powerful because it's a feat that gives you bonus damage as you level up.
Another reason the "accuracy penalty makes it not worth it" point doesn't hold much water is that Power Attack can be used situationally. Even if it's not always useful, you're better off having the option to take/use the feat than never being able to take or use it. Especially when it's a bad idea to have an armor-wearing combat character with less than 10 Strength anyway since even just a celestial armor and a bag of holding will encumber such a character to a medium load.
Exactly how is it wrong?
Dump Strength -> no Power Attack -> can never take the staple feat for scaling damage that multiplies on a critical hit -> less damage
Even assuming I concede your above point that a player might feel Power Attack isn't worth the attack roll penalty, that's still a preferential decision that causes the player to lose a significant amount of damage. Ergo, dumping Strength = less damage, even if you have an option that adds your Dexterity mod to damage rolls.
I don't really see a good reason to implement this houserule. Sure, it's flavorful to consecrate a shrine to an evil deity, but it actually devalues the roleplaying because there's no preparation cost to doing it, and the player won't feel as rewarded for it. It's also totally unnecessary because the cleric already has the ability to recycle useless prepared spells by spontaneously casting cure spells.
It's also not like this is a situation a cleric can't prepare for. If the party is going into the ruins of an ancient temple, a cleric can be sure the party will likely encounter a shrine or an altar.
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