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Water sense doesn't seem necessary to me. I give you props for remembering the energy vulnerability. There is a shock shield spell I believe.
I never understood the fin-o-rangs either. I wondered why the zora form in Majora's Mask didn't give you some kind of energy attack on land. Prior to Ocarina of Time, Zoras were sea serpents that shot energy bullets and lightning at you.
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
I had a friend who won a bar fight with a "critical ham."
The expected value of a fair d10 is 5.5. You made this big argument for giving characters at least half the average, and you're suggesting giving every character less than the expected value of their hit die? Your proposition seems so complicated that even after reading your post three times, I still don't get it. What little I understand doesn't strike me as mathematically sound, either.
It just doesn't utilize its word count effectively.
Staff of Oscillating Presence:
Staff of Oscillating Presence
Aura moderate varies; CL 10th
Slot –; Price 30,340 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
The sterling head of this checkered staff resembles that of a large tuning fork. The staff allows use of the following spells:
By expending 3 charges, the wielder can touch a willing creature with the head of the staff, causing both it and the creature to vibrate with a resonating chime. The subject vibrates with such intensity to split into two oscillating images, each one occupying an adjacent space. The subject may take actions and perform attacks from either image’s position, each image threatening and capable of flanking.
Attacks, spells, and other abilities can target either image to affect the subject. However, attacks have a 50% miss chance, and spells that target the creature have a 50% chance of failing unless the spellcaster has sight of both images. Spells and abilities that affect multiple creatures cannot subject the creature more than once as a result of occupying two spaces for the same reasons multiple target and area spells affect a Large creature no differently from a Medium creature.
The effect ends when the staff stops vibrating after 1 minute, the subject taking the position of one image of his choice. Dimensional anchor suppresses the effect and causes the subject to randomly end up in either image’s position. The staff may oscillate only one creature at a time.
Not as developed as my entry. My pit crew also informed me that similar items appeared in previous years.
Ghost Chain Javelin:
Ghost Chain Javelin
Aura XXX; CL XXX
Slot –; Price XX gp; Weight 2 lbs.
The haft of this +1 ghost touch javelin appears covered with haggard ethereal chains that emit light as a candle.
After a successful thrown ranged attack, the weapon embeds into the ground, causing the chains to reach out towards nearby victims like grasping hands. Creatures within 15 feet must succeed on a DC 15 Reflex save or become entangled in chains tethered to the weapon. The javelin poses no harm to additional creatures that approach it.
Each round while tethered, creatures cannot move away from the javelin unless they succeed on a DC 18 Strength check. On a failed check, the unearthly chains respond by dragging the victim 5 feet towards the weapon into an unoccupied adjacent space, if one exists.
A tethered creature can free themselves as a full round action by succeeding on a DC 23 Strength check or a DC 23 Escape Artist check. The chains automatically relinquish victims that move 30 feet from the javelin. A creature can pull the javelin free with a successful DC 28 Strength check, releasing all tethered creatures. The individual that threw the weapon automatically succeeds on this check.
The chains affect incorporeal creatures as if they possessed the ghost touch quality. These creatures make Charisma checks instead of Strength checks to interact with the bindings.
For a period, I tried having every monster be at maximum, but it made combats last too long, just as you said earlier in this thread. Now, I usually keep the hit points as shown in the stat block, but if I want the encounter to use up more resources, I'll raise them to max.
Admittedly, the item is kind of vague.
One of my characters made a custom hat of disguise where a command word changes the disguise with the hat polymorphing into whatever form that fits the disguise. For example, if you disguise yourself as an attractive elf with a barrette in her hair, the hat stays as a barrette even when you take it off. Whenever you put the barrette on, you disguise as that same elf until you decide to change the disguise with a command word. Since making this custom hat of disguise, my group has houseruled the core hat working the same way.
I like giving maximum hitpoints for several reasons.
1) It makes the characters more durable. My players put a considerable amount of investment in the narrative of their characters. I tailor the campaign to their characters' stories. Nobody wants a player to make a new character all the time. While I don't want my campaign to be without death, I want to make sure a character's death is a decisive consequence.
2) It gives me wiggle room to be brutal or imperfect in my encounter design. It allows me to let enemies focus fire or use clever tactics, because I know the PCs are more durable than the average character.
3) My players still feel like death is possible. If the players feel too indestructible, I can throw them a tough encounter to keep their hubris in check. That's my power as a GM. Really, GMs should be doing this anyway -- alternating between easy and tough encounters to give the players highs and lows.
4) It's so much easier to calculate hitpoints. My players aren't the most savvy with Pathfinder, so sometimes they calculate their stats wrong (more often NOT in their favor). With max hitpoints, it's always Level * (Hit Die + Con modifier). If they use favored class bonuses for hitpoints, they can figure out if they done so just by checking the disparity.
5) Solves all the problems with random hitpoint generation.
Also remember that players feel much more weight with hit point loss than the GM. Losing 25% of a PC's hit points doesn't feel that big of a deal to a GM, who knows the scope of the adventure and encounter. To that player, it's a much bigger deal.
New Class: Nadia Fortune of Skullgirls. Why? Reasons (also prestige with Biomancer, make The Thing!)
Classes are one of the hardest things to design in this game. Classes are also the easiest way to break the game if you don't understand the internal mechanisms of how the game works. At-will fast healing is a great example of this. Healing 1 hit point per round doesn't seem very powerful at a glance. However, the game's internal mechanisms assume that all healing requires using up daily or long term resources. A character that can heal to full hit points after every encounter without spending any resources breaks all game mechanics that make this assumption. If you don't understand the consequences of breaking these assumption, you risk changing the game in a way you did not intend.
I'm not saying it's bad to change the game to suit your campaign and preferences. However, you can end up causing problems you did not suspect if you don't know what you're doing. Worse is that these classes mess with the fundamental machinations of the game.
It's like a customizing a car. It's fine to swap the tires, add a new stereo, or change your gas pedal to look like a foot print. But if you're not a mechanic, messing with the engine is a really bad idea.
I much prefer to balance toward being equal to a wizard, and if it's too much dumbing it down.
Balancing content to make it on par with the most powerful or optimal case is a common mistake I see. This is not a good idea because the most powerful case may actually be too powerful. When you balance against the above advantage rather than the average, it causes power creep. You may accidentally make the content more powerful than the optimal content, which is a bad thing. A better strategy is to choose a benchmark you considered to be the most balanced case. And choose one most similar to your concept.
Balancing a martial against a wizard never strikes me as a good idea because they're radically different classes. Professional designers have been trying to balance martials against wizards for decades with mixed success. You're better off picking a martial you think is balanced and has a similar class feature structure. I'm using the bloodrager as a benchmark for my cyborg class because it also has a limited self-buffing mechanic and a bloodline-like feature.
Another issue with balancing against wizards is that many people make fallacious assumptions when they do so. It's fine to balance limited-use effects against spells. However, I've seen the faulty argument "It's fine if X class can do it at-will because a wizard can do it at the same level!" way too many times.
I think he was saying it was a little "on the nose" and allows you to play a character rather than a class.
I do agree with this, too, but it's a common issue I see with homebrew classes. If you're making the class specific to your campaign, it's not that big of a deal. However, it feels like the life gem should be an archetype or prestige class with the life gem as a class feature or an artifact that grants special abilities. The large benefit of reducing the scope of the project to a prestige class or archetype is that you don't need to build enough content to support a whole class. Instead, you can focus on the cool abilities that motivate you to homebrew it in the first place.
AH before I forget Cyrad, you may like the Biomancer a little more, I've already gone through and made adjustments and gotten some thoughts from the forums with it before, so I believe it's in a good spot.
I gave that one a closer look. I actually kind of like it. My biggest issue comes from the fact it hooks onto summoner class, which I feel wary of because it's a broken class. Prohibiting some evolutions strikes me as a good idea, but a better idea might be to just cherrypick the available evolutions rather than black list some of them. This is the approach Advanced Class Guide took with slayer and investigator talents. Cherrypicking the evolutions might also grant you enough leverage to make it a full BAB class.
I understand ring of invisibility, because that requires activation and doesn't make much sense if you could be invisible all the time. However, this doesn't make any sense for hat of disguise from a mechanical, flavor, and rules standpoint.
1) The text doesn't provide an activation method, which implies it's a continuous effect. Yes, the magic item rules do say that items without provided activation methods are command words and the item is priced as one. However, this creates an ambiguous precedent where items that were obviously intended as continuous effects now have to be activated as command words.
2) Not having it be continuous goes completely against the nature of the item if you have to activate it every 10 minutes to keep up the disguise, especially when the hat requires you to have the item be part of the disguise in some way.
3) Unlike ring of invisibility, I see little mechanical reason to not allow this item to be continuous. It strikes me that the developer writing it intended it to be a continuous item.
New Class: Nadia Fortune of Skullgirls. Why? Reasons (also prestige with Biomancer, make The Thing!)
Playing with dismemberment is an interesting idea. However, my feelings about these classes mirror the same feelings I had about your cyborg-ninja-that's-totally-not-Raiden that gets a +1 adamantine katana at 1st level as a class feature. They're broken classes that deliberately throw all balance and design sense out the window. So, I'm not sure what kind of meaningful critique or feedback I or anyone else can give you.
Well I had an idea for the fluff its just a matter of actually typing it up at this point
If you write the fluff, the mechanics should come out well.
To me, a real key to making an interesting race is giving them meaningful flaws. Not just mechanical or physical ones either. Social and personality flaws. Mental flaws. Note that some of the iconic races have strengths and weaknesses that run counter to their strengths. Elves are incredibly smart, but often aloof or prideful. They're agile, but physically frail. Dwarves are friendly, loyal, and down-to-earth, but often portrayed as conceited and materialistic. They're hardy, but short and sluggish.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Why didn't I think of that? However, i think such a staff would need much more than that to be Superstar. Just changing the resource isn't enough.
For art programs, I personally recommend GIMP. It's a free Photoshop-like program you can download. Change the preferences to have everything snap to the grid and set the grid to something like 50 pixels (it's better to make the image large and shrink it when exporting). Then use line tools and such. You can place a grid over the image by creating a new layer, pasting the grid there, and then set the layer to multiply.
I personally use Adobe Illustrator for simple line art maps. If I want to pretty it up, I export it to Photoshop and paint over it.
Last year, I posted a style guide I compiled when studying the game in a previous year. It has served me as a great tool, and I hope it does the same for you. If you would like to add to the list, please do so!
1. Spells should be italicized and lowercase, such as fly, invisibility, and black tentacles.
2. Magic items and properties should be italicized and lowercase, such as flaming and bag of holding.
3. Magic weapons/armor are PREFIXED by their enhancement bonus, such as a +1 flaming longsword and +2 spell storing leather armor.
4. Magic items with varying bonuses are POSTFIXED by their bonus, such as headband of vast intelligence +2.
5. Feats should be capitalized, such as Weapon Focus, Arcane Strike, and Cleave.
6. Skill names should be capitalized while subskills in parenthesis should be lowercase, such as Sleight of Hand, Knowledge (arcana), and Profession (sailor).
7. Size categories should be capitalized, such as Large, Tiny, and Medium.
8. Almost all game mechanics except spells, magic items, feats, skills, and size categories should NOT have any special formatting.
9. Measurements should be empirical (feet, inches, miles) and NOT be abbreviated unless it's part of the item's template. For example, the template abbreviates the item's weight as "lb" or "lbs." However, you must use "pounds" when describing weight in the description text.
10. Construction requirements should be in the following order: feats, spells, other requirements, cost.
11. If the item requires more than one feat or spell, order them alphabetically.
12. Alphabetize list items in the text when possible. For example, if your item's text lists energy damage types, it should be in the order "acid, cold, electricity, and fire."
This is also a good example how to make your item avoid feeling like an SAK. Note that Mikko's sword actually does many things.
1) It gives the wielder a 20-foot pseudo-reach on melee attacks for one full-attack.
2) It increases the fire damage from the flaming property for one full-attack.
3) It teleports the wielder to a space within 20 feet.
However, since the flavor and mechanics all work harmoniously, it doesn't feel like a SAK. Mechanics #1 and #2 function as the same, logical action. Mechanic #3 comes as a logical consequence of the mechanics preceding it. The visuals tie all the mechanics together into a single effect reinforcing the sword's theme around the fire goddess.
You can still do dry playtesting by playing out the class in your mind or creating a character using the class and seeing how they measure up compared to core classes.
This is another plus with making archetypes or talents over whole classes. With an archetype, you don't need as much testing. I test my classes by making NPCs with them.
@Cyrad: Everybody starts somewhere.
I'm not ridiculing you. I'm recommending starting small and utilize the existing design spaces as much as possible. Actually, have you considered entering into the RPG Superstar competition? The forums there can really help you build up your design skills. They have mine.
Mikko Kallio wrote:
Pardon me if I add to that quote with a favorite of mine.
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
If you can make a cool item that does one iconic thing without a lot of moving parts, that's the mark of a great designer to me. Try to keep it simple but highly effective. Making the item complicated will not impress. I've seen many items create really complicated interactions that require an entire paragraph to explain when the designer could have simplified them to a combat maneuver. I've seen many add extraneous bits that did nothing but distract from the item's main purpose. The more you can do with less, the better. Remember there's a difference between depth and complexity. Some of the most well designed content I've ever seen had incredible depth with minimal complexity.
@Cyrad: The fighter basically only has 4 class features... Feats, Bravery, Weapon Training and Armor Training...
The fighter isn't that well designed, but even it has more than your class. If your class is just a fighter with a few bonuses to charging, then you might want to reconsider its design. Additionally, the obvious lack of proofreading make this appear as a first draft. If you want to be a game designer, you need to put much more effort and consideration into your work than this.
As I've said to many that posted classes on this forum, classes are one of the hardest things to design in this game. It takes plenty of experience, skill, time, and effort to create a good class. It always baffles me why many individuals on this forum think they can crank out a class in a few hours in a single draft without any dry playtesting. With most of them looking like existing classes with only one or two minor class feature differences, it baffles me why they make classes in the first place. One of Pathfinder's best features stems from the numerous ways you can use existing classes to make new character concepts, such as with archetypes and talent pools.
@LazarX: It wouldn't kill you to read it before making assumptions from the name... Sephyrus, sounds like zephyr? Also, its based on the name of a greek god Zephyrus. God of wind.
A person's first impression provides very powerful insights into the quality of your work. Don't discredit it.
The 1st advice still feels a little vague to me. I'm guessing the weapon's use or form should play a major role in its special ability?
It feels weird that I was worried that one of my items would be too much like a weapon, and now I'm worried a converted version of that item is too much like a wondrous item.
What is a rod, anyway? Staves have the unique prospect of being a rechargeable spell trigger item that scales with the wielder's caster level. Nearly all rods, however, strike me as bland wondrous items with X per day abilities.
I really wanted to make a magic gun. I love magic guns. While I can think of half a dozen cool and flavorable magic guns, I suspect the prejustice and high expectations will require something truly clever and innovative to pull off.
Just because a build doesn't optimally synergize with all of your abilities doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. With a thrower, you're still encouraged to have Strength and many thrown weapons are melee weapons, so the magus can thrive with a switch hitter build. What matters is that you're having fun. I played a two-hander magus and another magus that was rather effective with a bow while the other melee-oriented gish in the party sat there twiddling her thumbs because she refused to carry a ranged weapon. Why? Because it wasn't "optimal" for her character.
Alex G St-Amand wrote:
I'm considering a house rule for the second one. You can attempt a Heal check when spending 10 minutes providing care for a character. If successful, all cure spell, spell-like, and supernatural abilities targeting this character during the period are maximized as if subject to the Maximize Spell feat.
The problem is that the class doesn't have enough cool abilities to stand as its own class, and you refused to hook what little you have on an existing class. I can play your character concept as another class and do better. If I want a rogueish fighter with spellcasting ability, I can play a magus. If I wanted to be more skill and utility focused, a bard is a better choice. Heck, I played a magus that reserved her spells for utility and crowd control and stealth rather than shocking grasp.
A class can have a full BAB and cool abilities. The paladin, the ranger, the swashbuckler, the bloodrager are all full of cool and fun class features. The brawler doesn't have many largely because of flurry of blows, martial flexibility, and the tons of bonus feats the class receives.
This would change the game significantly.
Maybe a subtle change on the surface, but a major one nonetheless. It's subtle because CLW wands essentially give the healing resource pool a high capacity. However, wands are still a finite resource. Taking damage-to-be-healed still has a financial or class resource cost, which still incentivizes players to play smart even in non-deadly encounters. There will be many more consequences, perhaps too many for me to list at the moment. I'm dreadfully tired from finals week.
I do agree the healing item system and core assumptions need an overhaul. As I said earlier, I believe the problem simply stems from PCs being able to trivially carry way too much inexpensive healing at once. This is why at-will healing spells appear to have little effect on the game
This is a good discussion. I think this calls for experimentation. If I can finish my work for the day, I'll see if I can create a few machination diagrams and run some tests. I use machination diagrams to study game mechanics and refine the mechanics of my own creations.
As I mentioned earlier, healing should be the big resource because combat serves as a major pillar of the game. It's also a consistently needed resource that requires regular attention, unlike henchmen, mounts, and rations (which are cheap, easy to store, and do not risk spoiling).
Like mplindustries says, I feel like some players are growing accustomed to an adventure lacking long term resources. However, I believe many players do not like this paradigm. The ubiquitous nature of CLW wands spurs many complaints, many of them involving how CLW eliminates attrition.
My point is: we can have it both ways. We can compromise. The current systems aren't balanced. Without CLW/surges, out-of-combat healing is too scarce. With CLW/surges, it's too plentiful. We can design a system that finds the right balance. This could be as simple as changing the healing items themselves.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
mplindustries is referring to the game mechanics. Under the hood, the game works by attrition. I explained this in detail earlier in the thread.
The game is about many things, but adventure is one that endures. It's one worth supporting. We can have the game be about many things at once as long as the game supports them in a way that do not render them mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, CLW/healing surges do a terrible job of this.
That's a really bad counterexample. Many consider the fighter one of the worst designed classes because they're just a ball of stats and bonus feats. It's why modern martials like the swashbuckler, slayer, and
Again, I didn't use the Magus as the chassis for this as I didn't think Spell Combat or all its supporting abilities lent themselves to the class I'm trying to build, as this isn't supposed to be a combat spellcaster but a melee specialist with a few specialized spells.
If that's the case, then make them a full BAB class that gets spells at 4th level and some kind of teleportation ability at 1st or 2nd level.
Street smarts has no gameplay with it. It's just bonus damage on something the player is trying to do anyway (get sneak attacks). Arcane pool and spells require decision making and resource management. Even the Arcane Accuracy arcana (which doesn't allow the magus to add his Intelligence to damage, by the way) requires spending points. The flavor is also really weak.
You need much more mechanics to have this idea stand as its own class. Designing classes is hard. Really hard. So hard that it baffles me why everyone's first instinct when envisioning a character concept is to build an entire class on it when Pathfinder has many ways to modify existing classes.
Starting most combats at full hit points is fine. However, I have issue with CLW/healing surges/hit die trivializing the resources necessary to achieve that. Trivializing them undermines the feeling of adventure because the PCs become less dependent on resupplying, which removes the long term attrition. Healing surges and hit die, in particular, reinforce what I call the "one-day adventure." It removes the long attrition one expects from a multi-day journey by having everything replenish at the start of each day.
They have a 3/4 BAB and only 4-levels of spellcasting. That's weak compared to other similar classes. The standard structure for a gish class is 3/4 BAB and 6-level spellcasting. Even so, those classes have much more class features. Look at the vivisectionist alchemist. They start off with the same skills/BAB, sneak attack, mutagen, and 6-level extracts. And I'd consider the vivisectionist weaker than the base alchemist.
The magus is still a good chassis, even if you want to remove spell combat.
If I want to play a spellcaster rogue, I'd honestly rather play a magus, which has plenty more support for the character concept and is simply more fleshed out in general. In fact, I'd recommend redesigning the class as a magus archetype or using the magus as a template. At the moment, the class feels too weak and has a narrow scope of character concepts it can enable. At the very least, you can afford to give them 6-level spellcasting. Additionally, several of their class features, like impromptu sneak attack, take away the gameplay of using their class features.