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James Jacobs wrote:
I'm not so sure I agree, but that's beside the point.
That's fair. If everyone had the same opinion of classic literature, we wouldn't get any creative reinterpretations that breathe new life into it. To each his own. :)
James Jacobs wrote:
No. No aeons. They don't really fit into the themes of a Lovecraftian adventure path...
The "faceless caretakers of reality" who "exist beyond the understanding of most mortals" while "endlessly striving towards goals unfathomable even to many of the planes' eldest inhabitants" aren't Lovecraftian? They have multilateral body symmetry, flesh whose properties aren't exhibited by normal matter, and a mode of communication that relies upon telepathic fever dreams. If you kill one, it's parting 'words' might be a vision of its hivemind race at work across all of space and time, guiding the future of the multiverse on scales so vast, your victory and your life are stripped of all significance in the face of the aeons' cosmic endeavor, the smallest fraction of which is beyond your power to effect in any meaningful way.
Aeons are more Lovecraftian than half of the actual Lovecraftian monsters in the Pathfinder bestiaries.
300 pages? Are you really looking to go that far with it?
My working draft of the Custom Class Builder is roughly 450 pages long.
I eventually want to release this book as a hardcover, so its text can't rely on hyperlinks to outside sources. To work as a printed product, the Custom Class Builder has to be a comprehensive reference book that includes the full text of every class feature it allows you to add to your custom class. Hence, the large page count.
posters in this thread wrote:
A proper dedicated combat Shapeshifter class(or 3)... Dedicated Theruge Base class... Shadowdancer Base Class... low BAB d6 divine caster... non casting shapeshifter... necromancer with patchwork monster companion... Anything not Barbarian, with a D12 HD... A defender class with heavy armor, d12 HD and capable of deflecting and reflecting foes attacks... take prestige classes and make them base classes... divine barbarian... Spontaneous Nature "sorcerer"... A class, much like the gunslinger, focused around Slings to make them viable... Full BaB/ 4th level Alchemist caster... Full BaB/ 4th level Arcane Caster focused on Illusions... Full BaB/ 4th level Arcane (or Divine) Caster focused on Necromancy... Full BaB/ 4th level Arcane Archer... 6th level focused casters for Illusions & Necromancy, and possibly mental domination... 6th level focused Blaster Caster...
For those of you interested in 3rd-party material, the final version of the upcoming Custom Class Builder from Eric Morton Presents will let you build every class mentioned in the above quote.
(The version of the Custom Class Builder that should release in the next month or two is a preview that focuses on a limited number of class concepts. The full rules covering the above classes will appear in a larger PDF several months down the road and, eventually, in an enormous hardcover rulebook.)
Artificer, psionic, and psychic classes will appear in future expansions of the Custom Class Builder.
*shuts off loud music playing at the Top 32 Guildhall and Beach House*
"Okay, party's over. Everyone squatting in the Guildhall needs to go. The Superstars will be here on Friday... Yes, this Friday... No, you can't sleep in the back room while the contest is taking place... Everyone who isn't here for Superstar needs to clear out by Thursday afternoon at the latest. The Guildhall opens for business on Friday."
I've started putting together an alpha-test document for the Custom Class Builder. This document will include the full rules for class creation as they currently exist, plus a small sample of the thousands of character options that will appear in the final product. My goal is to publish this document as a PDF by the end of August, 2015, but I'm not yet ready to call that an official release date, so no promises.
Last month: Dinosaurs.
Expect Animal Races: Clan of the Ox in August.
I'm not scheduling a July release this year due to some uncertainty regarding my day job. That situation should be resolved, one way or another, by the end of the month.
Classes as they currently exist have numerous flaws, this being one of them. Most of what I have to say on this matter is too far off-topic for this forum, but suffice it to say, I don't want to see the vigilante emphasizing what I consider to be one of the weakest part of the class system (i.e. the baked-in flavor baggage that comes with each class).
Will I be upset if the vigilante ends up working that way? No, because I already have a work-around in place that lets players in my campaigns play Pathfinder without using any pre-existing class. But I will still be a bit disappointed. Though I enjoying designing my own character options, I also like getting an occasional class from Paizo that I can use without creating any house rules (which I would have to do if the vigilante comes with too much baked-in flavor).
I think Origins can serve a similar role to Bloodlines, Orders, Patrons, and Domains...
Bloodlines and domains don't involve any sort of mandatory flavor. "I have fire in my blood" and "I have dominion over over death" are both things that can be attached to almost any origin story, or no origin story at all. Players aren't required to perform or endure any particular actions to be magically infused with fire or to have mystical powers over death. Those are capabilities, not origins.As for orders and patrons, I consider those to be bad design. The entire order concept makes absolutely no sense, since "order of the X" implies membership in some sort of organization, yet does nothing to create or define membership in an organization. Patrons are equally nonsensical, since the flavor stating that you have an otherworldly patron has absolutely no game mechanical justification. Calling orders and patrons "orders" and "patrons" makes no sense to me. I don't want the vigilante following in their footsteps by saying only vengeful people can use a certain combat style, or whatnot.
I say this as a person who has played with identity and superheroism within the context of the rules that already exists and as someone that loves the concept. I believe that the history behind the tropes, it's prevalence in fiction, and scholarly analysis of masked vigilantism backs up my argument.
See, your very argument for implementing origin stories as game mechanics is imposing unwanted flavor on my vigilante character. (So is the class name, but it's too late to change that at this juncture.) Superheroes and masked vigilantes are defined by their origin stories. But stop trying to force my vigilante character to be a superhero or a masked vigilante. Superheroism, supervillany, and masked vigilantism are not a mandatory part of this class. I can just as easily play a gentleman thief vigilante who just happens to like costumes because they are trendy or a serial killer vigilante who kills because he happens to be a sociopath, not because he was subject to some specific event or emotion in the past.
In fact, I would argue that the vigilante is not the "superhero class" at all. Batman might (or might not) have vigilante levels, but that's not what makes him a superhero. Batman is a superhero because he has mythic tiers. A mythic vigilante is a superhero. In fact, a mythic vigilante already has an origin story by virtue of being mythic; defining the source of ones mythic powers is already an integral part of becoming a mythic character. A non-mythic vigilante, on the other hand, need not be a superhero, and shouldn't require a mythic-style origin story.
...an origin would justify why the dual identity is a central class feature.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate your effort to make the class more substantive. But the mechanics of the class need to justify the existence of its central class feature, not the flavor text. Explaining why my character has the abilities I chose for my character is my job, not my class's job.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Be polite to your fellow platesetters everyone.
I'm going to be platesetting the vigilante this weekend, but I'm already confused by dual identity. Does an avenger's social identity go to the left or the right of the salad fork? :P
Sorry, but I absolutely DO NOT WANT a base class that forces me to use an origin story I didn't write myself (with input from my GM). If someone wants to design a prestige class that can only be gained by an orphan whose parents were murdered, I'll grudgingly tolerate it because prestige classes have pulled that sort of stunt since day one, but I don't ever want to see a base class using that same design philosophy.
It's bad enough that most of the character traits in the game come with mandatory origin story dribble that invalidates alternative thematic concepts. ("No, your trait bonus to initiative can't be the result of a distant quickling ancestor. You can only get that bonus if you were bullied as a child. Unless you house-rule it, that's the mandatory origin story for that bonus.")
Also, what happens if I'm a 10th-level rogue who wants to multiclass into vigilante? I already have ten levels worth of origin story. If the vigilante specializations are origins, do I have to pick one that matches events which occurred over the past ten levels? If I want the class features tied to a different origin, do I need to go on a side quest to justify the mandatory back story that never actually happened across ten full levels of play?
Origin stories are cool... when I get to write them from scratch for my own character. I don't want my base class telling me what events occurred during my character's early life or dictating my character's reasons for adventuring.
Why does it have to be a prestige class? It could be the first-ever evangelist-like base class. That would make the vigilante a self-contained gestalt subsystem that can transform any other class in the game into its superhero alter-ego starting at 1st level. (Okay, probably starting at 2nd-level, since you can't give all of the abilities of another class in addition to the starting vigilante stuff all on 1st level. The evangelist-style stuff would have to wait until 2nd level.)
A more constructive version of my earlier criticism:
It seems that the vigilante wants to emulate several other classes while also getting social talents. If this is an important design goal, you could discourage level-dipping by having the vigilante work like the evangelist prestige class from Inner Sea Gods. Instead of granting specializations that parallel other classes, the vigilante could just allow some fraction of its class levels to stack with one other base class, granting class features accordingly (in addition to the vigilante's social and intimidation talents).
Using some variant of the evangelist prestige class mechanic would be easier than reinventing the wheel with a bunch of talents that mimic the flavor of other classes; would give the vigilante a concrete cover identity (a member of the emulated class); and would allow for a wider range of vigilante character concepts. (You wouldn't, for example, need to wait for a new psychic specialization to make a vigilante with a psychic flavor. You could just select a psychic class as the class whose features you gain on certain vigilante levels. The option to emulate any other base class would be baked right into the vigilante's mechanics.)
EDIT: I can't take full credit for the above suggestion. I remember seeing at least one other poster calling out the evangelist prestige class as an example of a better way to implement the vigilante's specializations.
If it's true that the vigilante is a more-specialized version of something that multiple other classes can already pull off, then the vigilante shouldn't be a base class. A more-specialized version of a class that already exists is just an archetype.
In fact, the vigilante class reads a lot like a list of abilities meant to appear in archetypes for other classes. Avenger could be a brawler or fighter archetype, stalker could be a rogue archetype, warlock could be split into an arcanist and a kineticist archetype, and zealot could be an inquisitor archetype. The vigilante class is just dual identity and renown plus a bunch of abilities that should be options available to other base classes.
If the vigilante is going to be a base class, it needs to be something more compelling than "I'm kinda like that other base class, but I can socialize, too." Vigilante needs to be to the master spy what the swashbuckler is to the duelist; it needs to be a spell-less analog of the bard; it needs to be something, anything, that we don't already have. What it doesn't need to be is four existing base classes with some social subsystem abilities tacked on. That's what archetypes and feats are for.
If it's absolutely necessary that a vigilante mimic the role of another base class, at least do away with all of these designer-imposter specializations. You should just get to count some fraction of your vigilante levels as levels in one other base class of your choice and gain the features of that other class accordingly. You aren't a feaux inquisitor (or whatever other class). You're a super-diplomat who can turn into a super-boogeyman, both of whom happen to have some genuine inquisitor class features in addition to their social/anti-social talents. (Which, incidentally, makes for a great cover story. "I'm not a rebellious vigilante, I'm an inquisitor who keeps the peasants in line. I can demonstrate my inquisitor abilities if you require proof.")
To expand upon Abraham's point, let's compare the dual identity mechanics from Ultimate Intrigue to the performance combat mechanic from Ultimate Combat and the kingdom building mechanic from Ultimate Campaign.
What happens if we want to make a new subsystem for airship pilots? Do we have to make a new airship pilot base class with specializations that allow cleric-like airship pilots, fighter-like airship pilots, rogue-like airship pilots, and wizard-like airship pilots? And do we have to go back and add an airship pilot specialization to the vigilante class, the gladiator class, and the kingmaker class?
Why should we recreate the existing base classes every time we get a new subsystem? Why not just design rules that allow characters of any class or archetype participate in the new subsystem?
Powered armor characters aren't supported by any of the current vigilante specialties; none of them has artifice- or mutagen-related talents.
Avengers and stalkers, being mundane, should require a few rounds to change identities, but they should get to keep all of their talents when in their social identity (since a mundane disguise doesn't magically change who you are).
Warlocks and zealots, being magical, should lose most of their spells and talents when in their social identities (because you have to turn off your magic to hide it from other magic), but they should be able to magically assume their vigilante identities as a standard, move, or swift action.
The vigilante's niche seems to be "one-level dip class."
You take one level in vigilante if your character concept requires a scry-proof dual identity, then immediately multiclass into something else:
vigilante (avenger) 1 / slayer X
You have your one vigilante level to protect your secret identity plus a bunch of levels in something else to get vigilante-like abilities you can use even when you are not using your vigilante identity.
No mutagenic vigilantes that sprout adamantine claws or turn into big green monsters?
No artificer vigilantes that craft custom suits of magic armor?
No supernatural flight talent?
I have some progress to report, as well as some spoilers to reveal:
I'm getting closer to publishing an introductory version of the Custom Class Builder. I still have lots of class and archetype features to edit, but most of the central mechanics are finalized.
The Custom Class Builder streamlines a fair number of common class features by making them work like inquisitor judgments (or unchained barbarian rage stances): you can, in theory, gain a large number of these class features from a single custom class; every one of them scales with your class level, no matter how many others you gain; and you can (usually) have only one of these scaling class features active at any given time.
By setting things up this way, the Custom Class Builder makes it easy to mix and match class features like bardic performances, fighter weapon training, inquisitor judgments, ranger favored enemies, etc. A custom class grants a combination of these scaling abilities that fit its theme, and class members choose which one of these abilities is active at any given time.
In addition, every custom class has an ability called heroic effort, which serves as a general-purpose point pool. Some of the scaling class features mentioned above require heroic effort to activate and maintain. Custom classes can also grant various other features that would normally depend upon different point pools: arcanist exploits, gunslinger and swashbuckler deeds, monk and ninja ki powers, magus arcana, etc.
Every custom class grants one class feature per level plus a number of additional proficiencies on 1st level. Many low-level features of existing classes can be selected as proficiencies. Each custom class also gains a progression of bonus talents based upon its Hit Die, with smaller Hit Dice granting more bonus talents. Blocks of these bonus talents can be exchanged during class creation for spellcasting (or similar abilities), with larger blocks resulting in better spellcasting progressions.
The last major component of the class creation process, which I am developing now, involves companions (animal companions, eidolons, familiars, etc.). During creation, a custom class can exchange one or more proficiencies to gain a companion as a class feature; the more proficiencies exchanged, the better the companion. One proficiency might get you an animal, ooze, plant, or vermin companion that must be controlled using the Handle Animal skill, while four proficiencies might get you an independent dragon or outsider companion with eidolon evolutions.
The introductory version of the Custom Class Builder won't contain all of the three-thousand-plus character options currently in development, but it will contain a beta version of the custom class creation process, along with a representative sample of the many features that can be added to a custom class.
My current goal is to release this introductory PDF for playtesting and review later this summer.
Of course if he playtests by making up parties of characters and having them converse and interact with one another when he's the only one there... that would be a little strange.
Now I want to run a PbP with no one but myself and four aliases so I can tell the story of an AP in the form of an online novel about my four characters.
I am referring, in the above statements, to Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur and Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod. Each of these two, related PDFs features a new, playable and customizable race of humanoid dinosaurs.
In Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur, you meet the ruthless carnosaurians, the often-villainous upper class of the Great and Terrible Lizard Empire. In Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod, you meet the fierce but noble Bird-Feet, Bone-Heads, Horn-Heads, and Shield-Bearers that are the common folk of the same ancient empire.
All of that is ancient history, but history tends to repeat itself. Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur includes the stats of a carnosaurian lich who may be scheming to revive his long-dead race, while Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur details numerous ways an ancient race might survive its apparent extinction. (Hint: one of those ways involves an extradimensional zoo which may or may not be a theme park.)
If you feel like playing an anthropomorphic dinosaur (or someone who wants to revive an ancient race of anthropomorphic dinosaurs in the modern world), check out Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur and Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod.
The dinosaurs are on their way...
Animal Races: Dawn of the Carnosaur and Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod have both been uploaded. Barring technical difficulties, both are on schedule for release on June 12th (or slightly before that, depending upon your time zone).
Every Animal Races product includes options for playing characters based on both the title animal and on close relatives of the title animal.
Dawn of the Carnosaur, for example, won't limit itself to Carnosauria; it will also include character options related to coelurosaurs like maniraptors and megaraptors. Tyrannosaurs are also included in the form of two lizard tyrant bestiary entries.
Which, I suppose, gives away my next spoiler: Dawn of the Carnosaur includes a short bestiary with stats for both living and undead lizard tyrants.
To expand upon the previous post, Dawn of the Ceratops divides the cerapods into four castes:
Non-scientific translation of the previous post:
Animal Races: Dawn of the Cerapod lets you play Bird-Feet, Bone-Heads, Horn-Heads, and Shield-Bearers, all of which are different but related groups of humanoid dinosaurs.
That officially makes cerapods the most diverse race to appear in the Animal Races product line so far.
I am referring to the proposed Cerapoda clade, which includes Ceratopsians, Ornithopods, and Pachycephalosaurs.
The same PDF also covers Cerapoda's sister clade, Thyreophora, so it would have been more accurate to call it Dawn of the Ornithischian, but "Ornithischian" didn't sound as cool as "Cerapod" (and wouldn't have fit on the cover even if it did).
Saurapoda, meanwhile, make an appearance in both PDFs as a race of reptilian giants.
Animal Races: Clan of the Raven is now available here and should be up in the Paizo store soon.
This new Animal Races product is all about the tengu. More specifically, it's about a customizable race of shapechanging variant tengu. Play a traditional crow- or raven-headed tengu, or play something more atypical: a Parrot, perhaps, or a charismatic Songbird. Take any existing feat available to tengus, or any of several new feats that add shapeshifting capabilities, voice mimicry, and other racial traits to your tengu character.
Also included: heraldic symbols inspired by tengus; a mysterious goddess known as the Phantom Queen; a variant race of psychopomps that attack their foes by generating flocks of murderous, flaming crows; and more.
The bounded part of bounded accuracy helps to prevent these situations in organized play and restore a lot of the teamwork and interest to the game.
Huh. Your argument has convinced me that the PFS house rules need to implement bounded accuracy, ASAP.
That being said, changes to the PFS house rules should have no impact whatsoever on the Core Rules of the game itself. The Pathfinder RPG is bigger than PFS, and shouldn't change its Core Rules to accommodate one narrowly-focused campaign.
Ah, you're primarily running PFS scenarios. That explains why you aren't noticing any number-related character growth in Pathfinder. In my experience, PFS focuses on a very narrow slice of the Pathfinder game. Many types of encounters that showcase character growth are specifically excluded from PFS (as opposed to something like Kingmaker, where the advancement of your raw numerical bonuses can change the difficulty and feel of entire dungeons).
Your examples keep assuming that Pathfinder characters encounter only monsters whose CR is approximately equal to their own level. Sure, in a poorly-designed adventure where the PCs never meet groups of lower-level enemies, they won't feel like they are advancing. Advancement in Pathfinder is all about becoming significantly more badass than creatures that are below your level; that's why those creatures are below your level.
I have always taken that part of the aid another rules to mean, "You can use aid another when a friend is affected by spells that explicitly say you can use aid another."
For example, sleep explicitly mentions that you can use the aid another action to awaken the target of the spell.
Other spells do not explicitly say you can use aid another actions to affect them, and thus do not interact with the spells clause of aid another.
No, you can't do any of those things. The final sentence of the aid another section is just telling you that other sections of the rules (the rules for spells and the rules for skills) include other specific uses for the aid another action.
EDIT: See, for example, the description of the sleep spell, which explicitly details one of the "other ways" you can use aid another.
Shake it off makes mooks into walking saving throw buffs without even needing to use Aid Another (it totally stacks with aid another though).
How are you using aid another to buff saving throws? In the Core rules, aid another has no effect on saving throws.
To expand upon Felydiira's point, numerous monsters and feats also use swift actions. Unless Paizo plans on going through every bestiary (and every NPC stat block and every feat) to make an official ruling on every possible use of a swift action, the unchained action economy (which, by the way, is a lateral move, not a revision) will create massive amounts of table variation.
Also, creating a system that is incompatible with 3PP support material does not render that 3PP support material obsolete. For an example, see 4e. 4e was infamously incompatible with 3PP support material written for 3.5 but you would be hard pressed to find someone on these boards who thinks 4e made Paizo's 3PP products obsolete the way cars rendered horses obsolete.
The problem with flying kick is that it doesn't say you actually fly when you move, so difficult terrain will still half your movement.
The description of flying kick flat out states that you move through the air when using flying kick. The first sentence reads: "The monk leaps through the air to strike a foe with a kick."
A flying kick is not a charge attack, so you can move through difficult terrain and allies while using flying kick even if you aren't using Dragon Style.
I think Joe is asking about the rules as written in the book, not your house rules.
Going by the RAW in the sidebar, both the standard monk and the unchained monk would use the flurry of blows ability in the sidebar (which is not the same as either of those classes' flurry of blows abilities).
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
And don't forget chainmail bikinis.
I can see how the unchained action economy can be made to work (as your house rules demonstrate), but I don't know that I would call the new action economy a smooth fit for the existing game.
To me, dropping the unchained action economy into the current Pathfinder game feels like replacing a car's entire engine because a few bad spark plugs are holding back its performance. I'd rather just keep the engine where it is and replace the bad spark plugs.
In Pathfinder, the full-attack action is the bad spark plug. Rather than seeing a rewrite of the entire action economy that makes combat more dynamic, I really wanted to see a rewrite of the full-attack action that makes combat just as dynamic while leaving everything other than full-attacking intact.
For (a very rough) example, change the full attack action so it grants you three acts, each of which can be used to either attack or move. [Insert the attacking and moving portion of the unchained action economy rules here.] Everything other than full-attacking uses the normal rules.
A (cleaned-up) version of the above suggestion would create dynamic combat very similar to that which occurs in the unchained action economy without having to first gut the entire Pathfinder action economy system.
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
This quickly becoming a homebrew thread...
Any thread about implementing the unchained action economy has to be a homebrew thread. The unchained action economy is just a framework with extensive examples, not a complete system; you have to homebrew it to make it work.
That being said, if Pathfinder 2.0 is built with this action economy as a starting point, I suspect that PF2 will run much better than PF1 with no homebrewing required.
Joe M. wrote:
I'm glad they used the space in unchained for more optional rules rather than a suite of Unchained Monk options...
Off the top of my head, you can add dozens of options to the unchained monk, including backwards and forwards compatibility with Core monk support material, by adding a single ki power:
"Archetype Power: You can select a class feature granted by a monk archetype as a ki power if that class feature replaces a single monk class feature (and nothing else). To select an archetype class feature as a ki power, your monk level must be no less than the level on which that class feature is granted by a monk archetype. You cannot select a class feature as a ki power if that feature improves or relies upon an ability you do not have."
The lack of something quick but effective like that built into the unchained monk is, in my opinion, a missed opportunity.
The fine folks at Paizo appear to have resolved the technical glitch affecting this product. If you purchased this PDF through the Paizo store, you should now be able to download it properly.