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Wishcraft caster

Cyrad's page

RPG Superstar 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Society Member. 918 posts (1,088 including aliases). 6 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 1 alias.


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Does the shaman get a hex that lets her stretch her neck? Because her neck is as tall as her head in that image.

Whale_Cancer wrote:
Where are "achievement feats" detailed?

Legacy of Fire's player's guide. They're feats that require the player to do something a certain number of times in order to take it. The feat benefits are actually pretty darn good.

I wrote a bunch of notes for a "class builder" system that a GM can use to either make his own classes or enable a pseudo-classless game. The big twist is that it's all based on progression. In other words, instead of getting X amount of "class points" per level to spend on features, you spend Y points on how those features scale with level. For example, you might spend 9 points to get 9-level spellcasting or 4 points to get spellcasting at 4th level like a paladin or druid. The same goes with how often you get bonus feats and some features like sneak attack and channel energy. While you make all these decisions at character creation, you get to play the character archetype you want to play.

The Asp wrote:

The reason the will save did not affect will saves was because the madness made it harder for other people to mind control you as your mind is a pretty scary place.

I really like the idea of making reading your thoughts dangerous for for other people to try on you, though how would you go about making it? % chance of when someone tries they get x condition? if they pass their save by x or more, the person trying to read your thoughts gets x?

Try looking at a few creature of the Dark Tapestry. Many of them have an ability that causes mental ability damage if someone tries to read or detect their thoughts.

Also keep in mind that some mind-affecting effects, like morale bonuses, are benign when designing this. This is one reason why I don't like the reddit poster's suggestion. SR against mind-affecting spells and SLA can actually hurt the oracle more than help.

Bandw2 wrote:
with stability I was talking more in the physical sense. as in if you cut someone' leg off, they actually lose their leg, not lose 25 hp points.

I totally agree. One of my friends remarked this is one of his favorite aspects of my setting: combat can have lots of flashy wounds and dismemberment since no gore exists. Avatars have no true internal organs. A person feels like they do, but they actually don't. The aesthetics allow more prominent dismemberment, adding a new dimension to the game. Maintaining your avatar is a major aspect of the game. If your hand got cut off in a fight, you need to get a skilled crafter to reattach it or make you a new one.

While it makes more sense damage for the numerical measurement of damage in a virtual setting, hitpoints don't really model this kind of interesting dynamic. In fact, a Constitution score no longer really applies in vScape because a user agent is more like an intelligent construct. This is actually a really huge point of discussion and one of the major reasons I have leaned towards making my own RPG system rather than use PF/3.5e OGL. I'm also not a big fan of Pathfinder's damaging object system. This is a system I'd seriously consider revising. At the very least, I'd want to create a uniform system of hitpoints per size category of objects.

On that subject, I should probably bring up what happens when someone dies in vScape. An avatar is kind of like a digital robot a user controls remotely. When an agent's avatar takes enough damage, the agent dies. For a user, this causes them to disconnect from vScape. However, such a process proves traumatizing for the user, causing Wisdom drain. Lower Wisdom causes the person to slowly lose their sanity as the difference between RL and VR blurs with each death. If low enough, the character goes mad and becomes unplayable. An avatar is also usually the highest investment a character has, so a destroyed avatar is like a martial losing their best weapon.

I like your curse better. I like neither your boons nor theirs. A flat +4 to certain mind effects are kind of lame and immunity strikes me as both overpowered and lame at the same time. What if madness has made you smarter? What if madness has made it dangerous for others to read your thoughts? What if your madness is infectious? I think this is design space better explored.

MayaKit wrote:
Immunity is pretty unbalanced, to be fair. In order to proceed, the Will penalty DOES NOT apply to Will saves, correct?

Will saves are not Wisdom-based skill checks. Though, shouldn't this curse affect Wisdom checks as well?

I'm using Snow Crash and Second Life as inspiration. Second Life is basically an MMO completely centered around user-created content. You can build and program objects. It also has a massive economy where users can sell their creations for currency exchangeable with real money -- in fact, I'm actually a weapon merchant. When I played around in Second Life years ago, I realized that I could use it to help fill the gaps in my concept of vScape. It was here that I realized vScape might make for a rather interesting setting for science fiction RPG. This is a world where buying/selling body parts is a major industry. Quality clothing comes with software that allows you to change its material and color at will.

@GM DarklightHitomi
You have a point that there exists some dissonance if a script effect's damage is determined by some number a scripter sets. Perhaps a better solution is have the damage scale passively based on the scripter's skill. Mechanically speaking, that might mean a scripted flame designed to deal damage would do 1d6 per scripting skill rank up to a certain maximum allowed by the system.

I also had another idea bouncing in my head that instead of there existing a hard limit on mem cost, high mem cost affects the execution time of the script. In other words, it may take more than one standard action for the script to take effect. It may take rounds or even minutes. However, there still needs to be some limit on how many scripts a character can have primed at once since they can do these at will. So this may not work entirely.

I use the terms "rez/derez" because Second Life uses this terminology to make something appear or disappear in virtual space. It's fairly commonplace for terms to originate from science fiction, such as ICE and even the word cyberspace. But your concerns are valid. "Desolution" was pretty lame terminology from Tron, and one of the things that made it evident the writers only had cursory knowledge of how computers work. I did consider "virt/devirt" or "mat/demat" to mean virtualization or materialization respectfully.

I've read about the Matrix from Shadowrun, which is based on the Neuromancer books. It's great inspiration, but also useful in that I can see potential pitfalls. Much of the Matrix is abstract and difficult to visualize. As mentioned before, this was one of the reasons I choose to model Virtual Interfaces as tablet computers that users carry around.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Any kind of mechanic for disrupting system stability would be disrupting either the computer the game is running on(by forcing the processor to run a bunch of extraneous stuff, slowing the machine down, or introducing errors into the memory which could easily lead to system crash which ends the game session for everyone), or the connection between the computer and other computers by filling a connection with a bunch of extraneous stuff, which will lead to issues with the originating machine rather then the target, which means everyone connected to the originating machine would get disconnected. No more game connection for the caster.). Either case would be something that officials would want to stop.

Anomalies will be one of the more fun aspects of this game to design. For example, some very exceptional users have learned to hack their computer hardware and software to trick vScape servers into augmenting their mental abilities and hard-lining their thoughts into virtual space. In other words, they enabled servers to host their cognitive processes, granting them superior intelligence and inhuman reflexes. However, the strain of their mind affects the servers. Whenever such an individual arrives in a region, everyone else in the region suddenly experiences everything in slow motion for a few seconds as the servers struggle to load balance to adapt the heavy burden the person's mind has.

Maybe a great disaster occurred the last time the gods interfered, and they don't want to repeat the disaster? They're so serious about this, that they collectively murder any god that opposes this. A great many scholars spend their lifetime finding out what this grave mistake was. Perhaps a planet exploded. Perhaps they gave birth to a sentient planet that ended up causing a lot of problems. Maybe the material plane was ripped asunder and what remains of it are disconnected yet stable bubbles scattered throughout the Astral Plane. Maybe something much more mindblowing and surreal.

Maybe the Material Plane was completely destroyed. The gods managed to save Golerion and perhaps even the solar system. However, all other star systems no longer exist. The gods placed a powerful illusion on Golerion to fool mortals into believing the universe still exists. While they slowly try to rebuild the Material Plane, the gods made a pact that none of them would directly interfere with the surviving planet, because the last remaining mortal worshipers inhabit this tiny rock.

This suggestion came inspired by a campaign that recently ended. My GM caused a TPK because a good-aligned abruptly intervened and accidentally put the party in a scenario where either everyone dies or the Big Bad becomes a demigoddess and takes over the world.

Very good questions going on here. Do tell me if you disagree with any of my answers or have suggestion. I encourage it!

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

Your example of target (target: on rez) makes no sense.

If an object is being rezzed, the target should indicate where that object is going to be rezzed (the following commands are then assumed to be targeting the rezzed object. Makes more sense this way.

Besides, how else are we going to indicate where the object is to be rezzed? Objects can be rezzed with a location that is targeted with aim or selected, in which case the object rezzes between the source and that target, as close to the target as the object can fit. You could then have an advanced targeting function that could place the object relative to the target (I.E. above, behind, etc).

Good point. I originally intended to limit rezzing to adjacent locations to avoid abuse cases, but that might not be necessary. Targeting is definitely the part of this system that needs more work. It raises the question of what happens if multiple objects are rezzed. I'm brainstorming fiercely on numerous possibilities.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Why is the Virtual Interface modeled as an object? Or is it only for interacting with the game when not in the game (if you even include playing characters when not in the game)

Short Answer: Everything that an agent can interact with in vScape is an object (VRO). It makes sense that the Virtual Interface is also an object.

Long Answer: The concept of interacting with the virtual world on a computer-based level struck me as an intriguing aspect of the setting worth exploring. It's a rather cool visual to scan a virtual object and see information about it, and perhaps even change it. However, it raises the question: how does someone access this meta side of vScape?

- Maybe only off-line users can do it? Well, I have mixed feelings about the idea of letting users access vScape without actually jacking in. Like, why would anyone go anywhere risky if they could simply remotely control a cheap avatar from the comfort of their RL home? I think even Shadowrun had this issue where riggers used to be able to sit miles away while controlling their drones remotely. To me, this doesn't sound very exciting. A game about jacking into a virtual world should encourage actually jacking into the virtual world.

- Maybe someone can focus on an object and know its information psychically? No, that does not feel very appropriate for a cyber setting. And it raises the question exactly how that person "knows" the information.

- Maybe a person sees a HUD in their vision in a sort of augmented reality kind of way? Well, that would be kind of odd to have people wave their hands around to interact with something only they can see. Another issue is that it inhibits character interaction since no one can stop, hinder, or respond to someone using the HUD.

- What if every user inherently has a holographic computer that they can materialize at will? That sounds cool, but does that mean everyone can see the screens? What IS this computer? It also suffers the same issues as the previous idea: 1) it inhibits interaction because other characters can't stop them from using the device, and 2) it's difficult to describe in text. It's difficult to explain the workings of an abstract item of great importance. This led me to my next idea.

- What if the user has a handheld computer that's an actual object? I liked this idea because:
1) It's a concept players can relate to. Many people have smartphones and tablets they carry everywhere. A player who knows how a smartphone works knows what they can and can't do physically with a Virtual Interface. For example, I don't need to explain that a PC needs two hands free to use a tablet VI. That's common sense.

2) It follows the basic rule of vScape's structure: every interactive thing is a virtual reality object.

3) It allows character interaction. A person too busy looking at their interface makes a vulnerable target. An enemy could disarm the device or destroy it. It's something "real" for characters to respond to.

4) It gives dedicated scripters an Achilles heel and creates different play styles. A dedicated scripter that alters the battlefield to their will would prefer to stay at a distance -- rather difficult to use your tablet while someone is shooting at you. However, a person that just uses scripts to buff themselves or throw fireballs probably does not need a computer to do it.

5) It allows customization and flavor. A Virtual Interface could take many forms that users buy from vScape marketplaces. A character could have a holographic projection as mentioned before. Maybe a wristwatch. Perhaps a savvy character made their own that's grafted to their arm. The form could greatly influence how the device operates.

6) It fits thematically, a cyberdeck that exists in the virtual world.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
why is the Mem cost, referring to memory or overhead? Particularly in that you imply that greater memory cost means greater power, or that greater power can be gained by increasing mem cost, which makes no sense from a programming perspective. This seems like something that would be limited by what the game program allows, thus I think it would sound better being named and referred to from that perspective.

I modeled this after Second Life and other process management systems. In Second Life, every script has a memory limit because each virtual locale is hosted on a server. vScape locations are also hosted by computers. I needed some way to gate the power of a script, so this seemed logical. The general idea is that vScape has a limit on script memory. Being a good programmer allows you to circumvent those limits by making your code more efficient.

You have a point, though. Perhaps a different model would be best.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

You can call the "cosmetic parameters", "custom skins", or "custom models", representing the player creating custom textures or models for the game to use with their scripts. Sounds a bit like terminology that game modders use today, thus would be recognizable and informs quite closely of what they do.

Also Scripts that can have these cosmetics changed at runtime, should probably require having the custom skins and models already created and merely selects from available models and skins at runtime, though having a quick color selector at runtime wouldn't be to difficult.

Would be neat to be able to change the default texture for newly created objects.

"Custom skins and models" is probably a better way to describe it. I do indeed for the Object module to have a SetTexture function as well as a SetMaterial function.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Might be interesting if some special scripts can function when the source is derezzed (cursed or blessed objects for example). Usually the target would be the first rezzed object containing the derezzed object, or centered on the location of such.

I like that. I'm considering ideas like hostile script insertion and hostile attachment objects. Hostile script insertion would allow a hacker to circumvent standard limitations insert a script into an object he doesn't own or even a person's avatar. A hostile attachment is an object that attaches to an avatar and therefore cause bad things to happen to that person.

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Don't forget object scaling! (would be a fun thing to include, and useful if it can be used on derezzed objects, I.E. so if you have a script that creates a dragon, but don't have enough space, then create it in your cache, then run a script to shrink the dragon, then rezz the dragon.)

That's a good idea!

I know this will sound obvious, but I think a good fix for fighters is making feats that gives them more things to do rather than feats that simply increase bonuses or reduce penalties.

Lamashtu looks creepier as a mini!

GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:

I haven't gone through everything yet, but I suspect anyone with actual programming knowledge will be bothered by your terminology, which is far removed from reality, though it does sound neat.

Additionally, you should probably come from the point of view of the limits imposed by the vspace program. Since if the program allowed it, all effects would manifest at maximum power.

Alternatively, use the limits of the characters knowledge, since the character's knowledge affects the efficiency and ability of any scripts they write.

I'm a software engineer myself. It did feel funny to use some terminology, but I wanted to make it sound unique. For example "cache" used to be called "inventory." I did not really like the latter name because it created too many ambiguous connotations when the concept is fairly unique (metaphysical storage space inside every object). Some of the terms, like agent, actually do originate from a proper source. Even Rez and Derez are terms used by a Second Life, an actual metaverse, to mean the materialization/dematerialization of a virtual reality object. I'm glad you find it interesting.

You have a good point. I'm considering having some effects scale off of ability scores while the maximum mem a AESI granted by a class feature has scales off of a character's scripting skill ranks. Or some combination of it. I'm trying to figure that out.

Arcane Blast is not very good. I'd personally like to rework it so it's available at earlier levels, deals typed damage, and has damage and scaling comparable with a spell. Have the damage scale with caster level and have it capped by spell level, like a spell SHOULD do.

However, letting you arcane blast at-will is not something I consider a good thing.

Blazej wrote:
Epic Meepo wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:
Ki points are fully replenished by 15 minutes of meditation, at any time (no per day limit).
I support the full BAB, but not the easily replenished ki points. Otherwise, a qinggong monk is going to have a field day with that.
Are there any specific qinggong powers you feel are problematic?
A 4th-level monk with unlimited true strike would be quite broken. A 4th-level monk/X-level gunslinger (or rogue sniper) with unlimited true strike would be even more broken.
It would be nice, but I don't think it would be broken. The standard action to use it between each attack is a major factor. There are a few characters in parties I play with that have wands of true strike, but only rarely use them since making another attack or spell is better than guaranteeing a hit the next round.

Just because it's not worth the action economy in some situations does not mean having an at-will of the ability isn't broken. Getting an automatic hit whenever you want is an insanely powerful boon, even if it takes one standard action of prep time.

Even a cursory look through the monk's abilities shows that Gaberlunzie's suggestion to make all ki points replenish after 15 minutes has many easy abuse cases. Can fully heal up after every fight. Can fire at-will scorching rays. At-will dimension door. Oh, and don't forget monk of the four winds's slow time, which grants the monk two extra standard actions. All ki abilities assume the monk cannot replenish his ki points until the next day. Messing with that assumption is a dangerous design decision that ultimately makes the class broken rather than more fun.

I completely disagree with you on pretty much every front. I've had many, very long discussions about the in-combat, out-of-combat, roleplaying, and dramatic scenario consequences of granting powerful (or even moderately useful) at-will supernatural/spell-like abilities. I engaged in many conversations about the subject when playtesting Spheres of Power (which I recommend, by the way), and even had a Paizo designer chime in on the subject. I've heard and countered many of the same arguments you give here.
- "At-wills won't unbalance anything!"
- "So what if X can cast this spell at-will? Wizards can cast that spell several levels before."
- "X class NEEDS to be able to do Y so they can solve a problem effortlessly anytime they need to."
- "This isn't game breaking on this class because the class is already underpowered."
- "It's not anymore broken than this particular min-max build."
The fact that the monk could get infinite free healing is a major issue in itself.

Generally, the problem with at-will SLA/SUA is that every encounter acts as a "resource waster," (keep in mind hitpoints is a resource). An adventure uses every encounter as attrition to raise dramatic tension. In reality, a party's goal isn't simply to beat a challenge, but do so in a way that uses up minimal resources. This also serves as the major balancing mechanic between using supernatural and mundane solutions to problems. Most of a spellcaster's gameplay revolves around the player determining the efficiency of using a valuable spell slot over a mundane solution. It also makes the Spherical Cow Argument a fallacy. The economy of resources drives the entire game, even at high levels. It also makes the game fun -- players feel awesome when they come up with clever solutions to end a battle quickly or use up a valuable spell for a worthy cause.

Adding good or even moderately useful at-will SLA abilities throws a monkey wrench into the entire system. Giving any character a resourceless ability to effortlessly solve problems severely undermines tension in an adventure. Even the decision to make cantrips at-will did not come lightly for the Paizo's designers. I don't even need to think hard to find a problem with an at-will abundant steps. A huge part of the monk's flavor and abilities revolve around using awesome monk-like athletics to overcome obstacles. An at-will teleport throws all of that under the bus. Why would a monk ever do cool ninja stuff to overcome a dangerous obstacle when he can just snap his fingers and immediately bypass the encounter whenever he wants with no risk or cost to himself? In fact, he could literally do it blindfolded. And no, don't give me a Spherical Cow Argument by saying a wizard could do the same. If the wizard wastes a spell slot to solve a problem that a martial can with a couple of skill checks, he's doing it wrong.

As a result, I would not want to play/GM a game where the monk essentially gets infinite ki points, and doing so is not a simple "fix" because it has potentially gamebreaking consequences that require careful consideration. Giving characters the ability to solve problems with no effort, risk, or cost is boring. Stop making the game boring!

Use a spiked chain or reskin a flail. You could use the mechanics of a weapon cord to simulate them being shackled to his wrists.

Gaberlunzie wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Gaberlunzie wrote:

Fixing the Monk:

Full BaB and d10 hit points.
Ki points are fully replenished by 15 minutes of meditation, at any time (no per day limit).
I support the full BAB, but not the easily replenished ki points. Otherwise, a qinggong monk is going to have a field day with that. I'd rather give the monk more things to do with the ki points than giving them more.
Are there any specific qinggong powers you feel are problematic? The amount you get are quite limited, and I don't really mind that a 12th level monk can now use Discordant Blast and Shadow Walk basically at will. At least they can then do something that others can't.

At-will teleportation and nuke spells strike me as problematic. It may sound like nothing at the surface, but giving at-will spell-like abilities of almost any kind can be a major balancing issue. Besides, the monk has the easiest time replenishing his points than any other class or mage because he doesn't need to meditate for consecutive hours.

Normally GMs have good reasons or reasonable personal preference for banning source material. Normally. As far as I'm aware of, the only major concern is the arcanist, who steps on the toes of the sorcerer while eating the delicious cake of the wizard. I'm fairly certain they nerfed the arcanist from the playtest, but I foresee GMs banning this class out of principle.

Give them a level of a prestige class without elevating their official character level. Maybe the king knights them and they become steel falcons.

If it were me, I'd say, "Well, what do you want me to do then?" and then tell him he's being unreasonable if he gives an unsatisfactory answer.

But the others are right. He's not playing/building his character right and accusing a better player as a munchkin. The entire point of the wizard is to do things that martials can't. If he's throwing magic missiles at the guy that the barbarian can easily handle, he's doing it wrong.

Indeed, you're making the right decision to ask him to stop bugging you and then talk to the venture captain if he continues his behavior.

Gaberlunzie wrote:

Fixing the Monk:

Full BaB and d10 hit points.
Ki points are fully replenished by 15 minutes of meditation, at any time (no per day limit).

I support the full BAB, but not the easily replenished ki points. Otherwise, a qinggong monk is going to have a field day with that. I'd rather give the monk more things to do with the ki points than giving them more.

Er, any opinions? Sorry to bump.

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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.

GM Elton wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

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?

I do like Liberalism vs Conservatism replacing Chaos and Law, respectively.

I will be using this nomenclature in my next game.
Given how most of us Conservatives in the United States are actually Classical liberals, and we believe that today's Liberals (that have Democratic/CPUSA talking points) are actually Statists, I find this idea of Conservatism vs. Liberalism to be also imperfect.

My model does not entirely reflect American politics. Rather, the opposite. My interpretation merely argues that for a given philosophy, there often exists a scale of how strict one should conform to that philosophy. This is what the Law vs Chaos axis represents. It's a model. No model is perfect, but I find it useful and intriguing enough. Pathfinder/D&D takes philosophies regarding the value of life and the value of order and makes them the cosmic forces that bind the multiverse together.

Some great ideas here. Another villainous entity rivaling the Authority sounds like an interesting twist. There is, indeed, a Project.

The party are not "murderhobos" but are not the type to get involved in politics that don't directly affect them.

So far in the campaign, the players were hired by an inquisitor who was tasked by the city church (which has strong ties with the government) to find a smuggler that made a headquarters in the party's home town. Instead of capturing the smuggler himself, the inquisitor hired the party to do it for him. The party captured the smuggler, but learned that instead of stealing relics from the church and selling them on the black market in human cities, the smuggler was actually trading for the relics and giving a city entity expensive and taboo spell components. After arriving at the city, the players turned the smuggler to the church. In thanks for turning in the smuggler, the church officials invited the party to a dinner party. While the party killed time waiting for the dinner, they went to the marketplace, where they found an injured shopkeep who was beaten for not paying taxes.

These are some great ideas. Especially the idea of a resistance movement. I just need to figure out what they will do once joining the resistance.

I also considered having a past villain associate with the corrupt official, but I'm not sure about it.

So far with our discussion, I think a reworked gunslinger might look like this:

1) Firearms target normal AC, but a firearm wielder adds Dexterity modifier to damage rolls with a firearm.

2) A non-broken firearm has a misfire value of 0 when wielded by a proficient character. For a non-proficient character, this value increases by the firearm's listed misfire value. A broken firearm gains a +4 misfire value.

3) Firearm ammunition gains a reduced price (though honestly, I think arrows are way underpriced). Gunsmithing could be compensated by some other means.

4) Deadeye deed allows a gunslinger to spend a grit point to target touch AC on his next firearm attack. If an ability reduces the cost of this deed to 0 or lower, the reduction only applies to the first shot fired in a round.

5) Quick Clear is replaced with another deed that allows the gunslinger to spend a grit and gain a bonus on a Dexterity-based skill check, Intimidate check, or a Bluff check. This might be somewhat similar to the swashbuckler's panache.

6) Gun Training grants a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls made with a firearm. This bonus increases by 1 at 9th, 14th, and 17th levels. A gunslinger adds his gunslinger levels to fighter levels for the purpose of feat requirements. If a gunslinger does not have fighter levels, he must choose a type of firearm for any feat that lists fighter level as a prerequisite and requires selecting a type of weapon.

7) Do something that makes Pistolero and Musket Master balanced choices or kill them outright.

Aye, but I still think the gunslinger should have been given more fun deeds. Most of the deeds are not very exciting, especially the ones later in the game. I would have liked to see more deeds about doing dramatic, actiony stuff aside from just shooting things. Also, when you nerf firearms, it becomes harder to justify them being a gunslinger-only thing. And because of poor design choices with the gunslinger coupled with Pathfinder encouraging specializing in one weapon, a gunslinger cannot really be the "master of arms" kind of guy that uses a variety of firearms to adapt to different situations. This was the biggest disappointment my gunslinger player had with the class.

I do ponder the idea of making penetration be a gunslinger deed instead of an inherent property of firearms.

Instead of Vigor giving you AC, what if it gave you temporary hitpoints? But I guess it's the same as hitpoints except you have to commit an action. I agree with others that you need to ask yourself what purpose the mechanic will serve. Adding a complex mechanic for its own sake is foolishness. The entire point of hitpoints is that it's an easy way to see how much fight someone has left.

I like the interpretation that the enemy is making glancing blows on you all through the fight, wearing you down until finally succumbing to a mortal wound.

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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.

Zalman wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Zalman wrote:
Bards, bards, bards, and also ... bards! Singing and dancing just isn't my idea of an adventurer. The flavor of the class is enough to send me screaming -- I don't care if it's God-like in power.
Fortunately, you can very easily reflavor the bard into something less dorky.
Eh, not really. Perform is a major source of bardic abilities. Are you suggesting a bard that doesn't perform? What's the point then of being a bard? Be that performance an oration, song, dance, or puppet show, there's just no place for such silliness in any concept of an adventurer that I enjoy.

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.

Ssalarn wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Werebat wrote:

What if a GM were to house rule that guns didn't have any misfire or jam chance, but also lost the touch attack at close range mechanic?

Would Gunslingers become a class that no one wanted to play?

You'd have a class that would essentially become a crippled fighter who pays 1 (or is it 10 gps) per swing.

There would also be absolutely no reason to bring guns into the setting in the first place. They'd be laughable weapons compared to swords, bows, and crossbows, as they bring no advantage into combat but remain cost heavy weapons to use.

That's not even a little bit true. Gunslinger's would still have better skills, good light armor AC, an array of unique weapons with useful options, and a variety of useful deeds. Firearms would still be the only weapon capable of dealing with swarms, their alchemical cartridges provide great options at levels prior to where magical options are readily available... Basically the list goes on. Campaign settings like the absolutely amazing Thunderscape toss Pathfinder's poorly designed firearm system out the window entirely and treat firearms much like any other weapon and it works very well, with far fewer issues than the core options.

While I agree with you that guns have more interesting options, I do agree with LazarX that taking away penetration basically makes them inferior to crossbows, a weapon designed to be the inferior counterpart to bows. While firearms do have some cool options that bows don't have, I feel Ultimate Combat only goes halfway with that. The gunslinger feels like a fighter that trades armor and bonus feats for a few cute abilities that a player rarely uses because he'd rather save his grit for negating misfires.

In my games, I use the term "flat-footed" to mean when you're denied your Dexterity bonus to AC rather than a simply a condition that occurs at the start of combat. In other words, I replace the text "denied Dexterity bonus to AC" with "flat-footed."

I would personally extend the +2 bonus an attacker receives for being invisible to also apply to all forms of total concealment.

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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Why not go the other way? Give character a bonus to saves if they are at > 75% HP.

This avoids the "death spiral" and makes it harder for casters to wreck an encounter with an opening SoD spell.

I think this is a fairly clever idea. It's also easier to remember bonuses than penalities, in my opinon.

Werebat wrote:

I actually can dig the idea if giving guns the Dex bonus to damage as an inherent property, rather than a gunslinger ability. As a means of offsetting the loss of the obnoxious ranged touch attack mechanic. In conjunction with just getting rid of misfires as well.

In my current campaign the gunslinger seems to crit at least once a combat but in two years of playing his gun has jammed maybe twice. I am... suspicious of the usefulness of this jam mechanic when it comes to balancing anything.

Misfire mechanic is entirely luck-based. It's no hindrance if you have good luck. However, the gunslinger in my game suffers misfires at least twice every combat. His luck is so terrible that I houseruled using Quick Clear by spending a grit point is a swift action instead of a move action. His crits are devastating and frequently ended combats between levels 5 and 7. However, they stopped being immediate combat-enders around level 8 where he started encountering enemies with more than 100 health.

I bought a new set of dice at a convention where I played in a PFS game. I rolled three consecutive misfires. Never used those dice again, except when I'm DMing and want the bad guys to roll poorly. A guy at the convention said I should have demanded a refund from the vendor.

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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?

I think it can work, but you must be mindful what kind of effect this has on the game. I have the following recommendations:

1) Keep it simple.

2) Somehow give melee martials resistance or immunity to it.

3) Alter dying and death rules.

I'd probably do a system where every character has a "bloodied" value that is a percentage of their maximum hitpoints. This percentage is lower the higher class Hit Dice the character has (in other words, a fighter will have a low bloodied value). The character takes penalties when under this bloodied value.

I've done something similar with Profession (sailor) to enable a ship captain to analyze a ship's position to determine if it is moving in a hostile way or identify the combat-worthiness of a ship. The captain seems to enjoy having the skill do something other than driving.

I'm not really sure how someone would run this, but I get the idea. Leveraging the power level of a characters race choices greatly intrigued me about Shadowrun. It could work for Pathfinder, but the issue is that your race choice in Pathfinder has less value the higher level you are. A shadowrun race, however, plays a large role in how your character scales. I also don't really like how the point buy pool and skills scale with the tiers.

I like what you're going for, but it needs some tweaking. I played around with a similar system for adapting my classless RPG to Pathfinder rules.

1) Denying a multiple targets a round of safe movement is a disable. Do not treat the conditions section as a comprehensive list of every disable or status effect in the entire game. It's merely a list of common effects for the convenience of designers not having to reinvent the wheel. There exists many effects that no GM would deny as disables that are absent from that list, such as confusion and curses.

2) My version of Audacious Charge staggers a single enemy, who gets a save, and requires a successful charge attack. Your version does not require a successful attack and instantly disables all adjacent enemies with no save. Even on a single target, it's stronger than comparable abilities of that level, like the Step Up feat. Stagger also implies the character so audaciously charges the foe that it staggers them. There's no implication of this with your draft. No one would even understand it unless they played League of Legends.

3) Limiting Three-Talon Strike to melee attacks is not an artificial restriction. Most on-hit abilities in the game (especially ones for the cavalier) only work for melee attacks because it requires the combatant to take some risk, which creates engaging gameplay. Ranged fighters can full attack with ease and safety, and giving them an almost at-will ability to knock targets prone with no save from +100 feet away is very powerful, even for a 15th level ability. You can't compare this to a 1st level spell that allows a save and can easily be bypassed by high level creatures. It also doesn't make much sense to enable non-risky characters to use this ability was meant to model Xin Zhao, a character that's all about jumping into battle with reckless abandon.

4) Prone is a powerful condition because it forces them to either waste a move action and provoke an attack of opportunity or suffer hefty defensive and offensive penalties. Larger creatures are supposed to be inherently more resistant to effects that knock them down or reposition them, which is why most effects that bypass the tripping mechanic give bonuses to larger creatures.

210) Your eidolon is an imaginary friend that turned out to be real.

211) Your eidolon is a physical representation of your imagination, desires, and darkest fears.

212) Your eidolon is a marvelous invention you created during one hazy drunken night. Now you spend your every waking hour trying to figure out how it works.

213) Your eidolon is an ancestor from a distance past.

214) Your eidolon is a reflection of yourself from another life.

215) Your eidolon is the spirit of a loved one tied to an item you own.

216) Maybe your eidolon is yourself from the future, who gives cryptic information about events yet to come.

217) Your eidolon is the spirit of a haunted deck of cards that lets you materialize the cards into monsters.

218) Your eidolon is a magical genie you were forced to marry as a result of drawing The Marriage from the Harrow Deck of Many Things.

219) You are the eidolon, using a mortal avatar when you choose not to grace the world with your presence.

220) Your beautiful mermaid eidolon is, in fact, an erotic fantasy come to life that you're quite ashamed of. At least she's quite excellent at keeping you safe.

221) You're an artist whose drawings come to life.

222) Your eidolon is the spirit of someone you murdered during your rogueish youth. Now you must atone by having them as your ally, despite them passive aggressively leading you to harm.

223) You don't actually believe your eidolon exists. You believe they are merely a figment of your imagination, and worry constantly that your madness is spreading to other people.

224) You believe the eidolon does not actually exist. When you summon them, you experience as though you're the one performing its actions. These people that witness some monster are clearly out of their mind.

225) You pretend your eidolon doesn't exist. You never speak of it, even when it clearly exists. When someone claims it does, you deny it and say they're out of their mind.

Overall, this system does not accomplish any of your design goals, as explained in detail in the posts above by Odraude, myself, and others.

Headfirst wrote:
The goal of this system [is] to create a simple system that encourages and rewards teamwork while simultaneously making it easier for DMs to run basic encounters.

1) It is not simple because it introduces meta concepts to the game. In addition, the system has at least three different save DCs to memorize, all of which the players and GM will likely forget. It takes an idea easily handled through roleplaying or arbitrated by ad hoc Intimidate/Bluff/Diplomacy checks and makes it more complicated.

2) It does not encourage tactical teamwork, but instead encourages players to game the system. As Odraude elaborated, the system forces enemies to use completely illogical tactics that go against even an animal's basic survival instincts. When enemies stop behaving in believable ways, players have to start approaching scenarios from a meta perspective rather than from the perspective of an actual person in the game world. As a result, it encourages players to game the system rather than use sensible teamwork tactics.

3) It does not reward teamwork, because good teamwork should have its own rewards. Adding extrinsic rewards can often undermine the intrinsic value for a given activity. A plethora of psychological studies exist on this subject. Again, it simply encourages players to game or break the system instead.

4) It is not easy for the GM because he has to roll every time to figure out who an enemy will target, effectively doubling his amount of work per round. It also encourages players to frequently manipulate the initiative order, which gives the GM headaches. For a GM that desires an easy-to-run encounter, this system provides little to no advantage over having monsters do the logical (albeit simplistic) tactic of attacking the nearest immediate threat.

Headfirst wrote:
To reiterate: This aggro system isn't intended to dictate what a monster does, just who it targets.

What a monster does depends entirely on who he targets. Therefore, the system does dictate a monster's actions.

Headfirst wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
One of my most glorious moments in Pathfinder was when I saved a comrade's life by taunting a demon into attacking me instead of finishing off a wounded ally. "Don't hit her, hit me instead!" I said, "Wouldn't you rather she witness the horror of seeing her best friend suffer before she dies?" I then took a critical hit to the gut, but both of us survived.
So you found it more rewarding that the DM gave you a freebie than it would have been if you'd beaten the demon on a skill roll?

The GM and I roleplayed -- ya know, the thing you're supposed to do in a roleplaying game. The result was I took a critical hit to the gut, but ended up saving my ally's life in the process. How is that a "freebie?"

Headfirst wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Would it have been as awesome and memorable if I said "I use an immediate action to mark him and make an Intimidate check to persuade him to hit me instead."?
Nothing about the existence of an aggro system prevents you from role-playing the situation out in a way that feels epic.

Except for the fact that adding arbitrary extrinsic rewards can undermine the intrinsic value of activities and adding unnecessary meta concepts can distract from roleplaying due to weakening the immersive quality of the experience. Therefore, an abstract aggro system can undermine roleplaying and the epic feel of it. I explained this in my previous post.

Also, by your system, the demon would have attacked my friend because she was the last individual to attack the demon. In-character, she rather have taken the hit. Sure, I could have still done the roleplaying and not follow your system exactly. If that's the case, what's the point of the system in the first place? If the GM needed a roll to determine his arbitration, he would have called for an ad hoc Intimidate check and call it a day. Rules regarding meta concepts like "marks" and requiring a move action simply to taunt someone would be completely unnecessary.

At best, the aggro system adds nothing to the game that couldn't be accomplished already through roleplaying or existing mechanics. At worst, the system undermines the experience and removes GM agency. That's my point.

Petty Alchemy wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Audiacious Charge is way too good. Denying all retreat options from everyone within reach is way too much, esepcially when the cavalier doesn't have to successfully hit any of them. There's also no fluff reason for why this happens to all of them.
They can still move, they simply provoke for it. Or they stand and fight, in which case they are hardly hampered. I also don't understand why you think there's no fluff reason, Xin slows everyone next to his charge target. I can agree that this should perhaps scale from charge target to everyone within reach at a later level however.

This is a tabletop RPG, not a video game. How is the cavalier disabling enemies from running away, especially when he hasn't even made a successful attack? Also, this appears significantly more powerful than comparable abilities a character could achieve at this level, like Step Up. When an ability enables a character to disable multiple enemies while granting no save and not actually doing anything to them, that's a sign of a fairly broken ability. I think something like "When the cavalier succeeds on a charge attack against a creature, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 cavalier level + Str modifier) or become staggered for one round. A creature subject to the cavalier's challenge receives a -2 penalty on this saving throw." This would still be a very good ability that synergies extremely well with Step Up and similar abilities.

Petty Alchemy wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Three-Talon Strike feels too open-ended and yet too restrictive all at once.
Why shouldn't it apply to ranged attacks? A size limitation would make it useless at level 15. I can agree that the 3 attacks should count off from the same round however, if not the same full attack.

This would be insane for ranged builds, which are already very powerful, even for a 15th level ability. It also doesn't fit the cavalier nor the theme of mimicking the ability after Xin Zhao, a character that only fights with a spear. I'm also very wary of abilities that can drop someone prone that's 16 times their size.

Petty Alchemy wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
By the way, don't capitalize the class name and order in the text.
An strange stylistic choice to pick up on. I like the visibility capitalization adds.

I'm referring to Pathfinder's formatting style. Pathfinder does not capitalize the names of classes and other mechanics in its text descriptions, with some exceptions like size categories, range classifications, feat names, and skills. I usually don't point these out because this is homebrew, not RPG Superstar. However, I'm making an exception because you capitalize the class and order in some parts of the text, but not others. If you're going to deviate from the style, then at least do so consistently.

I'd like to throw my hat into the ring here.

Tanking and aggro mechanics exist in video games, because players lack the kind of agency a tabletop RPG grants. In Pathfinder, a player can draw attention simply by looking and acting like the scariest guy on the battlefield or by verbally taunting enemies. Players cannot do that in video games unless the game explicitly grants the ability to do so. So it feels very backwards to implement aggro mechanics in a GM'd tabletop RPG when the entire point of aggro mechanics is to model what players can do in a GM'd tabletop RPG but not in a video game.

This system has other problems. Psychological research has indicated that granting extrinsic rewards can reduce intrinsic rewards. You do not really need a complicated system of aggression to reward teamwork. Exhibiting teamwork has its own rewards. It develops character bonds, advances the story, helps keeps party members alive, and enables characters to accomplish deeds they cannot do alone. Adding meta concepts like "marks" can break immersion and distract players from thinking about scenarios as though they were characters in the game world. Mechanics like this could benefit games to help simulate the kind of area control a combatant would have, but flanking and attacks of opportunity already accomplish this fairly well.

One of my most glorious moments in Pathfinder was when I saved a comrade's life by taunting a demon into attacking me instead of finishing off a wounded ally. "Don't hit her, hit me instead!" I said, "Wouldn't you rather she witness the horror of seeing her best friend suffer before she dies?" I then took a critical hit to the gut, but both of us survived. Would it have been as awesome and memorable if I said "I use an immediate action to mark him and make an Intimidate check to persuade him to hit me instead."?

Ah, Xin Zhao, the champion that almost made me quit League of Legends.

Audiacious Charge is way too good. Denying all retreat options from everyone within reach is way too much, esepcially when the cavalier doesn't have to successfully hit any of them. There's also no fluff reason for why this happens to all of them.

Crescent Sweep giving Whirlwind Attack is cool, but I think the bull rush attack is too much, especially when 1) he's getting a bunch of defensive bonuses from it and 2) the calavier has the power to substitute Whirlwind melee attacks with bull rush attempts anyway, 3) it'll probably be annoying for everyone at the table for the calavier to have to roll against each opponent TWICE. I would simply give him Whirlwind Attack as a bonus feat and maybe grant him the benefits of Improved Bullrush for the attack or defensive bonuses.

Three-Talon Strike feels too open-ended and yet too restrictive all at once. It's too restrictive because it only works on three consecutive hits on a challenge target. It's too open-ended becasue it allows the cavalier to use ranged attacks, doesn't specify a time limit between each attack, and does not exempt creatures immune to tripping when it should. I think it should be something like this:
"When the cavalier makes three successful melee attacks against a creature during a full-attack, he knocks that creature prone. If a cavalier made a success chargeful attack against this creature on his previous turn, he only needs to make two successful melee attacks. Creatures immune to tripping or creatures more than one size category larger than the cavalier have immunity to this effect."

By the way, don't capitalize the class name and order in the text.

I think Large, Four Legs, and Fast works. Add Undersized Weapons and reduce their reach to that of a Medium creature, and you should be good. +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma fits. This would make a strong race, but one with some heavy drawbacks. They'll be awesome in a open area, but suffer mobility issues in a dungeon and definitely have some social issues.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Thus, each element is associated with the energy type that polarizes it from the other elements.

I appreciate and can sympathize with your attempt to salvage the system, but, I mean, come on. Some of that is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyy stretching.

I could as easily say:

(1) Plasma is an ionized gas, so electricity is associated with the Plane of Fire.
(2) Higher altitude leads to lower temperatures, so cold is associated with the Plane of Air.
(3) Water is the "universal solvent," so acid is associated with the Plane of Water.
(4) Flint and steel are used to start fires, and flint is nothing but quartz (the second most common mimeral in the earth's crust) and steel is made from iron (which is mined from the earth), so fire is associated with the Plane of Earth.

That makes even less sense!

Though I did make the mistake when referring to plasma as plasma is gas, not fire or molten rock.

Kirth Gersen wrote:
And why is water + cold a thing? Because most ice cubes are made of water? Hell, I can make ice cubes out of organge juice...

If you look at the arrangement of the elemental planes, you can see why water is associated with cold. The planes transition from air, water, earth, and then fire.

1) Electricity energizes particles into gas, resulting in the Plane of Air.
2) Cold causes air to condensate, resulting in the Plane of Water.
3) Acid reacts chemically with water, leaving behind precipitate and resulting in the Plane of Earth.
4) Heat melts earth into molten plasma, resulting in the Plane of Fire

Thus, each element is associated with the energy type that polarizes it from the other elements.

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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.

I never had problems with alchemists and inquisitors, myself.

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