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It does you no favors to be unusually haughty, defensive, and condescending to people that genuinely care and want to help you. That kind of attitude isn't welcome here. Especially in a forum dedicated to collaboration, sharing, and providing feedback for homebrew material.
I ask my questions out of interest and a desire to help you. I need to know what steps you already taken to test the material. If these steps are flawed, then any data you gain will also be flawed. Especially when your playtest methods sound like they hurt you more than help.
I'm concerned because whenever I see someone ask strangers to playtest for their new homebrew content, most of the time the designer never playtested the content themselves. That's pretty crazy, like a software engineer who doesn't run their code until it reaches the QA department. Exactly what kind of "factual data" are you looking for? Can you give me an example? As an art form, game design is subjective by nature, and I have trouble imagining how a GM will provide a playtest report that doesn't consist of their opinions and subjective observations.
I don't mean to be condescending, but it's hard for anyone to help you if you're taking this approach where you refuse to give any information unless someone "proves" themselves as an experienced GM. Why those standards? Why not players or even inexperienced GMs or other designers? Getting data from multiple perspectives is vital for a game designer. A Disney Imagineer even wrote a book on that.
VM mercenario wrote:
That logic doesn't hold. Just because you can spend a feat to get sneak attack in another game via a non-core splatbook doesn't mean that 1d6 of sneak attack damage equates to a feat. As an analogy, you're saying a loaf of bread is worth $100 in the US because you can hand a hundred bucks to some random guy in a foreign country and get a loaf of bread in return.
My anthropormophic cerberus magus considered shanking the kitsune rogue in his sleep.
Our party consisted of very unusual characters such as a vampire general resurrected as a mortal, a kobold, and an arms dealer who had to fake his death to evade a dangerous enemy with significant political power. Our adventures involved extremely sensitive information concerning artifacts that could be used to cause massive devastation. Needless to say, discretion is absolutely mandatory.
However, our rogue was a member of some kind of "hero's guild" filled with pompous Lawful Stupids that have been long suspected of being corrupt and filled with enemy spies. We found out that the rogue had been secretly sending sensitive information about our adventures to them and even told them about the arms dealer's true identity. For some reason, the rogue didnt see anything wrong with it and thought we were all jerks for browbashing him for it. It also didn't help that both the rogue and his player proven themselves as highly untrustworthy. To my character, the rogue was a massive liability.
So, I plotted to use dimension door+invisibility+silence to sneak into the rogue's room, shank him in his sleep, stuff his body into a bag of holding I made specifically for carrying bodies. In a quiet location, I planned to burn the body and then rupture the bag of holding to forever cast the remains into the astral plane. I later found out that the arms dealer's player had also planned to leave the campaign by putting a bullet in the rogue's head and then fleeing.
Sadly, none of this came to pass because the campaign ended when Sarenrae accidentally TPK'd the party when trying to save us. But that's another story.
As I said, if the issue is that burn is annoying, then change burn. If the issue is that burn deals damage to the kineticist, then remove that. Besides, beyond the first or second level, it's rarely ever the case that the kineticist can't burn because their HP is too low. You're just buffing a class that doesn't really need buffing in a way that they don't need a buff for.
I'm not crazy about the fighter changes because it buffs the fighter in ways that they don't really need buffing. They can already do a lot of damage and can get heavily armored.
Also, there's no such thing as a "CMD roll."
Forcing variant channeling for the cleric sounds pretty awful. Most players don't like variant channeling, especially ones that want to emphasize healing.
Lower Damage output is squishier. If I can't kill something before it kills me, then I'm squishier.
You missed my point. I'm refuting the common mistake of thinking that lowering the Hit Die for a class that needs a good amount of hit points is a good way of making them feel like a glass cannon. It does the opposite, because it just forces the player to invest more in Constitution at expense of offense and other areas. It's emergent gameplay at work.
- 9-level spellcasting - I know I'm the minority and I agree it's not balanced, but I like the kind of flavorful things high level spellcasting. I enjoy doing things like building demiplanes and animating objects even if it's not practical. I also GM in a way that takes advantage of high level magic to create fun adventures rather than seeing the magic as disruptions.
- Psionic focus: Brilliant way of using action economy to create "once per encounter" abilities without resorting to metagame concepts
- Gather power: Flavorful and interesting way to reduce an ability cost at the expense of action economy
- eidolon: I love the flavor of a monster pet you can customize, but the game mecanics make it extremely difficult for a GM to meaningfully interact with them. There's also the problem where the summoner feels like a one-man party in a game all about teamwork.
- polymorph spells: I love the flavor of polymorphing and transformation, but the selection of polymorph spells in the game is terrible and makes no sense (why can't I permanently turn a man into an elf at the level i can turn a dragon into a chicken?). It's impossible to have any fun with the concept unless you're a druid or some class that can get a class feature like wildshape.
A lot of the classes you're buffing just don't need it.
Also, understand that making the monk have a lower HD will NOT make them "squishier." You'll just force the player to have a higher Constitution and therefore reduce their damage output. Allowing them to be non-lawful means the barbarian becomes an amazing dip for a monk, which can make them overpowered.
If you want burn to be less annoying for a kineticist, then just houserule that burn doesn't cause damage. That's a better choice than giving them a bigger Hit Die, and it eliminates the annoying bookkeeping of managing those nonlethal points of damage.
What is this priority system you speak of, in a nutshell?
The priority system allows you to determine which areas your character focuses on and which areas they lack in. It does this by defining several categories and allowing you to define which is your best, second best, third best, and so on.
Shadowrun 5th Edition has the categories Race, Attributes, Skills, Magic, and Money. When creating a character, you get priorities A, B, C, D, and E to assign to each category. For example, if you put your "A" in Magic, you get access to the best magic options in the game. However, if you assign "E" to Magic, you pretty much can't cast spells at all.
As a result, you can create an organic character whose strengths always come at the expense in some other area. In addition, the game has other constructs in place to keep the powerful build directions be mutually exclusive.
Dealing with religions, undead creatures, and cults to evil or obscure gods are pretty standard in most adventures. Undead are common enemies in dungeon crawls, and are the type of enemy where not knowing their capabilities can easily get your character killed. In a social adventure, not knowing about a religion can cause you to commit a major faux pas.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That archetype came from the Inner Sea Monster Codex, a book filled with powerful options largely for building NPCs and monster characters. The archetype has been banned from PFS. Upon closer look, the archetype also looks really good. You get access to some powerful revelations and other abilities without losing anything for the increased available options. Pretty much every trade is either equal or gives you something better than what you lost. Assume Fate is an amazing ability that fails the bag of kittens test. Brutal Trance gives you a better version of a 5th level as a supernatural ability two levels before you can normally get that spell. It's pretty much a buff over the normal oracle.
So take it with a grain of salt if you're looking to use this archetype as a measurement of balance.
Animator? Animist means a practicier of animism, a religious concept. However, the wizard doesn't actually animate anything. His pictures are just portals to other planes. Why do I need a pen wand? Why can't I have a familiar that's an animated picture I drew or an imaginary friend I invented? There's even a familiar archetype for that.
The fluff is cool. The mechanics are really boring. The main ability is something a normal wizard can do. The ink attack feels completely out of place and doesn't make much sense to me. This should be a subschool or an archetype, not really a school in itself. Also, the name doesn't fit at all. The wizard isn't animating anything and the archetype has nothing to do with animism.
Also, all abilities need to be marked with what ability type they are (Su, Ex, Sp, etc.).
Andre Roy wrote:
You're saying you prefer that supplements more focused around a class, race, or concept?
Andre Roy wrote:
Well, obviously you dont want a 32 pager with tons of bloat. But could you be more specific?
The key to playing a great healer (as opposed to a good healer) is having lots of ways to heal without spending spell slots and standard actions. You can't really get that with feats. You need something like the Life mystery.
However, you don't need much to be a good healer. Just a wand of cure light wounds is all you need.
When buying 3pp products as PDFs, do you prefer smaller supplements or larger supplements?
I'm curious because I recently bought a bunch of PDFs all less than $3 each with less than 10 pages. While it's cool to get content in piece meal like this, managing all the files is kind of a hassle and I have trouble remembering what came from where. I feel more likely to casually skim through a larger PDF than open a bunch of files.
This is table variation. No official rules beyond the WBL recommendation for starting characters.
I have neither experienced nor read any significant instance when players would abuse death houserules to gain a gold advantage. If you truly do have players like that, then you're better off not having them at your table. Players generally don't want their characters to die unless they're bored playing them. If you prefer that players keep try to keep their characters upon death, then make raising cheaper and more accessible.
My best recommendation is starting a new character at APL with the average wealth for a party member. Or, just use the WBL table since the other PCs will likely have higher wealth than that since they're not a character starting at that level
1. Human. Flexible. Fits almost any campaign. Feats are so precious. Plus, almost any character concept I could do with an elf or a dwarf i can also do with a human.
2. Runari is my favorite because it's sadly rare for a race to have an interesting racial trait that ties with their lore. i feel the same with kitsune and skinwalkers, both of which are my favorite official races. Android gets an honorable mention as I find their lifecycle fascinating and it's one of the few ways to play a construct that's feasible as a PC race.
3. Wayangs. I hate wayangs. They're ugly. Their lore is boring. Their personality is meh. They look like a monster, not a PC. And the few players I met that play a wayang do it for the wrong reasons. None of my characters would ever willingly adventure with a Wayang.
You don't explain how the inventory items work in the writeup. It's nebulous to call it "items" in the first place as that can mean object you can use in the game. Yet, it implies that there's more to that as a class feature. You have to be more specific when designing class feature mechanics.
Risky Trader and some of the ware category abilities do not make up for the poor BAB. Having a poor BAB communicates that the class is not a fighting type. So it makes little to no sense to give them a class feature that involves fighting when they lack the basics needed to function as a fighting class.
Worst of all, the class doesn't do their job well. The bard and investigator are better at skills and utility than your class. Even if you took away spells and extracts. Heck, a spell-less witch would probably be more useful to a party than a merchant.
Designing a non-spellcasting class with the wizard's HD and BAB is a big challenge that the class just simply doesn't overcome.
I don't understand how the main class feature of wares and inventory works. It sounds like it's some kind of substitute for spellcasting, but it's not explained at all. All of it feels nebulous and not well thought out.
The class strikes me as rather underpowered as it's a 1/2 BAB class with no good saves and no spellcasting.
I'm also not fond of some of the abilities. Some of them feel out of place, like Risky Trader. I'm not crazy about Bribery, which should be labeled as a mind-affecting effect.
I understand the premise you're going for. I think this is one of the better attempts at a merchant class on the homebrew forums, but I feel the class just doesn't have enough going for it. it needs a really strong class feature to hold it together, but I'm not seeing that here. If I wanted to play a merchant character, I'd rather play an alchemist, vigilante, or Louis Porter's machinesmith with different flavor.
The golden rule of PC race design is that a standard player race should not have abilities inappropriate for a 1st level character. This is true because a 1st level character gets all of the benefits of his race and Pathfinder is a game where PCs get their power from class levels rather than race. This is how the game works.
So giving something like an at-will 4th level spell as a racial trait would be utterly ridiculous unless you intend to create a race for high powered characters.
That's exactly why it would be a Monstrous Trait. Undead is a 16 RP creature type, making it impossible to create an undead race weaker than than Advanced tier. The proposed deathless trait stacks ontop of the race's creature type, therefore coming at less opportunity cost while also reaping many of the benefits of the undead type (like immunity to all hostile effects that allow Fortitude saves). The trait is also stronger than pretty much all of the Advanced Traits. Therefore, it should be Monstrous.
As you pointed out, it doesn't quite work. There's no numeric relationship between the spell levels. Vancian magic doesn't quite work that way where each spell level is essentially like a separate resource. Psionic rules work out better because the entire system was balanced and designed around a point pool.
I do propose another approach, however. What if your mana pool stayed the same but spell costs went down? The goal would be that your highest spell level would always have the same mana cost and result in roughly the same number of that spell level for comparable classes. You'd end up with less spells overall, but could compensate for that in other areas, such as determining how the character prepares and knows spells.
You could honestly do that with any class just by refluffing things. Or better yet, you could make it the variable flavor a class feature. That's what inspired me to design the Artiforged class -- I wanted to create a "cyborg" class where the flavor of your augmentations depended on a class feature supported by game mechanics. You could certainly do the same with your class by having a class feature similar to a sorcerer bloodline except it flavors how the character got the ability to shapechange.
Numbered for ease of response.
2) The arguments "An ability to do X at-will is balanced because the wizard can do it a limited times per day" and "The ability to do X at-will is balanced because it's not as strong as a wizard doing Y a limited times per day" are Spherical Cow Fallacies.
3) Existing precedents in a game are absolutely vital to power balance.
4) One of the reasons I suggested an existing class is that your class lacks in the lore department. It's easier to take an existing class and refluff it than create an entirely new class that risks feeling flat and flavorless.
5) I'm not trying to be condescending. I am encouraging you to either consider more creative approaches to designing a shapeshifting class or look into an existing implementation to modify, utilize, or take inspiration from.
The thread elicits criticism. You asked if I believe your class is balanced and whether I would take it over a druid to fit a shapeshifting character. My answer is "no" on both counts. It's not balanced and other classes have much more balanced, flavorful, and fleshed out approaches. Worst of all, the class feels dull. A class can be many things, but it should never be boring. Shapeshifting is such a broad, awesome design space. I think you could end up with something much more interesting than an at-will wildshape and a bag of boring talents.
Getting the ability to change into an animal that can fly at-will is worth a class level in a lot of situations. It trivializes a lot of challenges at lower levels as adventures expect that flight is either impossible or very limited before level 8. I never said there aren't ways to flight at 1st level -- they're just really obscure, difficult to get, and/or
If you want to give the class the ability to bypass damage reduction with natural attacks, then it should follow the monk as an example. Bypass magic at level 3. Bypass adamantine at level 16.
I do recommend looking at the Skin-Changer as suggested by Marc Radle. As I said earlier, the idea of a class dedicated to wildshaping into animals is nothing new.
There's a lot of issues with this class.
1) It's a d8 HD 3/4 BAB class with no spellcasting and a very low feature scope. There's just not enough content and statistics here to support 20 levels.
2) It gets an at-will 3rd level spell effect as an extraordinary ability. The reason the druid doesn't get wildshape until 4th level is because beast shape is a 3rd level spell. It's a 3rd level spell because it gives you access to powerful abilities like flight and climb speeds. In addition, turning into an animal is not a 1st level ability. Since this ability is at-will, it effectively gives you at-will flight at 1st level, which is problematic because longterm/at-will flight is a ~8th level ability. The fact that this is an extraordinary ability is also a big deal. All of this makes shapeshift way too powerful of an ability to give at 1st level.
3) There's also some minor issues as well. For example, saying that shapeshift does not allow you to talk and cast spells is both redundant and problematic because the polymorph rules already cover this, and it ignores the fact that some spells don't need verbal components. The adaptations that increase speed should be enhancement bonuses.
The consequence of the above is that the class is broken. It immediately gets an ability that's too powerful at 1st level while also getting almost no other class features or statistics at later levels. As a result, the class is way too powerful as a 1st level dip while also being worthless to take 20 levels in.
In general, if you want to create a shapeshifter class, you have to do something more creative than just giving pseudo-wildshape and a bag of talents. There's plenty of homebrews and 3rd-party classes that already do that. The concept of shapeshifting is broad enough to do way more than that.