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Though, I usually don't enjoy discussions about it as I rarely see them as productive. One of my biggest issues with such discussions is that most people approach the problem as a player or a GM, not a game designer. The martial/caster disparity occurs as a result of a game design issue.
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
Because breaking spellcasters such that they become permanently useless after casting X spells in their lifetime or making a rule so you can't play one as a 1st level character sounds like an incredibly unfun approach to mitigating martial/caster disparity. Breaking classes doesn't really fix anything.
cablop, I think you're getting too hung up on minor things. The Will save is not a big deal. The monk is still good at resisting mind-affecting effects and have tons of abilities that thwart them.
The reason many class features are now ki powers is because many people have different preference on what abilities they want their monk to have. Some want ninjas. Some want wise sages. Some want to do Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon type of stuff. I do agree it's annoying having some of the passive abilities now require ki points. I would have preferred if there were two ki power pools: one for passive powers and one for active powers.
ARG race builder has flaws, but it does do two things well:
With this in mind, I'd probably make Telepathy a 4-5 RP advanced trait.
A better alternative to Almost Humanoid is a half-plant. I homebrewed stats for one, but I can't seem to find it!
I'd give Voiceless -1 RP. Most drawbacks can't really have a high RP reduction because they're often situational and it's highly subject to the player's build. For example, a drawback that cripples a race's ability to cast spells is irrelevant if the player uses that race as a non-spellcaster.
A better approach to drawbacks is baking them directly into another trait in order to give it a little more power budget. The android's Constructed is a great example of this. Contructed gives you a ton of bonuses and immunity to fatigue and exhaustion. However, it also makes you immune to morale bonuses, which are the most common party buffs in the game. This also prevents the player from abusing the fatigue immunity to play a barbarian.
See, that's why I suggested an archetype or starting your design process with one. I reviewed many homebrew classes. The most common pitfall I see is that the homebrewer strongly believes their concept is too unique for an archetype, despite their idea not having any new mechanics to bring to the table. They make the class have a ridiculously grandiose scope of a 100 abilities planned while not investing any time in other ways to make the class interesting or unique. The ultimate result is either:
A) The homebrewer abandons the project after finishing only 10 to 20 abilities because they couldn't think of any more.
B) The homebrewer finishes the project, but the class becomes an unwieldy mess that's pretty much impossible to balance and fine tune.
In either case, the resulting class looks little more than a grab bag of talents. Classes are much more than that. Even modern classes with a talent pool as a primary class feature do something new, unusual, and cool with it. The shaman, medium, and the occultist are all good examples.
In fact, the occultist would actually make a great base for your concept as it's a class all about studying objects to learn spells and gain abilities. I could see your concept as an occultist that casts arcane spells and uses old spellbooks, tomes, and depleted magical items instead of random objects as implements.
I debated it, but ultimately nearly everything that wizards or similar classes get is lost or needs rewritten in order to cover the changes. The specialty school, arcane bond... pretty much the lot. All that is left is a slightly altered skill list, and a table with no class features that needs to be rewritten. Which is about the same starting point a Witch has before filling in similar effects. Even going off her system... everything is scratched and rewritten.
Classes are one of the hardest things to design in this game. Archetypes were deliberately made to make it easier for cases when you don't need to build an entire class. It also sounds like you aren't really sure what you want. At the moment, this sounds more like a specific character concept than a class. I'm not trying to discourage you, but rather illustrate it's vital you have clear, concrete goals and then access them.
Without having a good idea how the character is built it's not easy to offer new pathways to take it. Just spend some time seeing what the player finds interesting now and see how you can fit that in.
She's a Dex-based character with Deadly Agility wielding a katana (houseruled as a finesse weapon). I think the only metamagic she has is Intensify Spell.
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
The sickened condition does penalize Perception, Sense Motive, and Charisma/Wisdom checks!
Still prefer normal flat bonuses than rerolling. Rerolling strikes me as too strong.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
He'd be flatfooted because he hasn't acted in initiative.
1. Common house rule.
2. Don't like it. I'm more of a fan of increasing the death threshold and allowing characters to stay conscious but unable to take actions while dying if they succeed at a Fortitude save. It's more dramatic and allows characters to have "last words" before they die.
3. Don't like it. Slows down combat.
4. Don't like it. I prefer a flat bonus.
5. I agree the CMD calculation needs revisited. It's already heavily stacked against the players because of size bonuses.
The problem with alternate drunk rules is that they're often so complicated that no one remembers them and no one will bother busting out the rule books to find out what they are. PF's rules are simple and easily remembered. You can handle a number of drinks equal 1 + your Con modifier. Afterward, you're sickened.
Healing hex is pretty amazing because it's a cure for each member of the party. IF he wants more, you could let him do spell research or maybe swap the magus list for witch? Or maybe say everytime he takes the spell blending arcana, he chooses from witch instead of wizard spells?
Ethereal Gears wrote:
I think the more important question we need to ask ourselves is whether or not Strength, as an ability score, is in need of some kind of a boost to make it more relevant. In my home games I've never found that people playing STR-focused characters over DEX-focused ones feel like they're not getting their money's worth out of STR
This aligns with my observations. The most powerful PC in my 3-year campaign is a Dex-based magus and even she doesn't do anywhere as much damage as the Strength-based fighters in the group. Mathematically, as long as Dexterity-based fighters don't reap the same benefits as Strength-based fighters for two-handing weapons, Strength is still valuable.
Also keep in mind that if you lump Strength and Constitution together, this is also a huge buff to ranged fighters and Dexterity-based fighters because now they don't get to suffer the drawbacks of their builds.
That still doesn't sound like a good idea. Damage is also not the main concern I have with doublecasting.
If chaining spells is so important, he can technically still do it at 1st level. He can cast a touch spell ahead of time, hold the charge until next turn, spell combat, discharge the spell, and then immediately cast another one.
Again, I'm not understanding what's vital for the "feel" of a Red Mage. There isn't much to the Red Mage in Final Fantasy -- it's just a mage that can fight and has a variety of spells. That's not novel in Pathfinder. The Red Mage typically uses rapiers, has light armor, and has a magic list consists of blasts, defense buffs, disables, and heal spells. If he plays a rapier-wielding Dex-based hexcrafter magus, that would cover all the bases. The magus spell list consists of blasts and defensive buff. The hexcrafter can get decent healing abilities and some of the best disables in the game.
It's kind of broken. Being able to cast multiple spells in a round is incredibly powerful. It's one of the reasons Quicken Spell is a +4 metamagic feat and why it's one of the most powerful feats in the game. And this archetype allows you to do it at 4th level. Heck, even in Final Fantasy, Dual Casting is a high level ability
Because of Quicken Spell, you don't really need to make up a new doublecasting ability. There mechanically really isn't much to the Red Mage other than being a job that can fight, cast offensive spells, and cast support spells. The rest of it is style. Many classes in PF do that. An arcane duelist bard would work or a hexcrafter magus or a white mage arcanist eldritch knight.
What in particular is the player looking for?
I think undercasting fits what you're looking for. I heard of GMs who let players get Metamagic feats for free.
You don't really need to have spellcasters get the next spell in progression automatically. Prepared casters can learn an infinite amount of spells and spontaneous casters can retrain their spells known when they level up.
I always liked how Pharasma was retconned in Inner Sea Gods as having an unorthodox sect of worshippers that dress like clowns in order to explain the creative liberties Carolina Eade took when illustrating clergy of the gothic goddess of life and death.
Master Codex wrote:
If you design an encounter in an environment that gives a significant disadvantage to your monster's preferred fighting style, you can count on them being destroyed. Don't have the encounter take place somewhere open. Make it indoors or have lots of cover. If he's out in the field, give him mobility options like a mount.
Ethereal Gears wrote:
Sometimes I feel like, if fighters really are meant to be the "combat feat guys", they should gain combat feats in exactly the same manner as wizards gain spells, possibly even including the ability to buy "combat manuals" (akin to scrolls) from which to learn new ones, preparing different combat feats every day via drilling and training and gaining two free combat feats every level. Possibly tone the number of feats (in comparison to spells) down a little to account for the fact that feats don't come neatly packaged into "levels".
Aye, I made that suggestion ages ago from an observation by Sean K. Reynolds on the subjec. He remarked that a big disparity between the wizard and fighter stems from a wizard player being able to essentially rebuild his character on a daily basis whereas the fighter is shoehorned into a single build and is punished for vertasility. It led to SKR designing the brawler's martial flexibility and making feats work like spells in his Five Moons RPG.
I took the observation to heart and currently have a class baking in the oven that can create "combat styles" out of combat feats. For example, they can have a combat style with Power Attack+Cleave and a combat style with Point Blank Shot + Precise Aim.
A simple houserule could allow any class with bonus combat feats to retrain their last bonus feat X times per day, similar to how the Inquisitor can retrain his last teamwork bonus feat.
Ethereal Gears wrote:
Yeah, sorry, I should've clarified, I meant all Fighters, not just Weapon Masters. There are way too many fun archetypes that trade out armor training, and I want those fighters to be able to get AWT at 5th level too, as it were.
ALL fighters can get Advanced Weapon Training at 5th level. Do you own the Weapon Master's Handbook?
See, that's what Skyreaver is talking about. Most suggestions on fixing the fighter focus on making him better at what he already does, not making him more fun to play.
It's one of the many reasons I consider nearly all discussions about fixing the fighter as incredibly unproductive.
Ethereal Gears wrote:
I agree that cool things should turn on at 5th level. I don't consider weapon training, by itself, to be a "cool thing". I do however consider advanced weapon training to be cool, which is why I want it available starting at 5th level.
The fighter can get Advanced Training at 5th level...In fact, a weapon master can get it at 4th level and gain multiple advanced trainings at the cost of bonus feats.
Ethereal Gears wrote:
I think my main line of thinking is that making weapon training start at 1st level is not something that should be done in order for the fighter to become a more attractive dip option. Rather, the main benefit would be that you would get an attack/damage boost at 1st level like every other martial, and that you could also start picking up advanced weapon training options at 5th level rather than 9th level (the latter seems way too late for me). With this in mind, fighters becoming more dippable is more like an acceptable by-product which I consider to be worth it to gain the two benefits stated above.
But the fighter can already gain a combat boost at 1st level with the combat feat they choose. And it makes sense the awesome options "turn on" at 5th level and higher because that's when the fighter starts to fall off.
Boomerang Nebula wrote:
It's usually unwise in game design to make something way better in something they're already really good at. There's already strong incentive to play a fighter as a dip class. It makes no sense to increase that incentive.
There's feats in Weapon Master's Handbook that you cast spells from magic items depending on its school of magic. For example, there's one feat that let's you dimension door if you have a magic item with the conjuration school. The prerequisites for these feats rely on your base Fortitude save and some modest amount of ranks in Use Magic Device. So pretty ideal for a fighter or other martial.
To me, explaining Aroden's death is like explaining the Lady of Pain. It's a mystery that's best left unexplained to leave players wondering and leave the GM to figure out themselves if they desire. And it's a mystery whose answer is largely inconsequential. It doesn't matter how Aroden died. What's important is the impact his death had on the world as a whole that makes the setting ripe for adventure.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I think it was a shrewd decision, leaving the GM to figure it out themselves. Though, the impact of Aroden's death is more important to adventures than Aroden himself.
I decided as a GM that the reason Aroden died is because the Starstone's effects are temporary. He lost his divinity and either died or got trapped somewhere without his divine powers to get him out. This explains why Pharasma won't say anything (would devastate multiple religions and societies) and why the Starstone Doctrine was wrong (the prophecy foretelling of Aroden's return as a mortal was misinterpreted as his return to the Material Plane). It also fills a plot hole as to why the Aboleth, a race of super intelligent creatures, would punish humanity by delivering a rock that turns people into gods.
After resurrecting a dead god of my creation that Razmir supposedly killed as one of his steps to divinity, the party believes that Razmir doesn't actually exist and that he is merely a false figurehead created by a party of high level adventurers that conquered the Arch-Duchy of Melcat 50 years ago. The party found a gem containing the soul of one of the adventurers' fallen comrades, who bares a striking resemblance to Razmir. Having been trapped in the gem for decades, the man is completely oblivious that an entire religion and nation was built using his image.