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The cleric has its roots in a certain Medieval holy knight and it's always struck me as still too rooted in that archetype. I like the priest with its more focus on spell casting and divine gifts is kind of more how I would envision a servant of a deity being.
I do have a couple of thoughts.
One is, what about switching the priest to being a Charisma-based caster with a limited number of spells known like the oracle or sorcerer? I like the idea of a priest who is very persuasive and actively seeking converts.
Also, has anyone tried combining the priest with the variant channeling rules in Divine Favor - The Cleric? Or any other variant channeling rules?
"Cleric" covers A LOT of ground. And being a versatile class with spheres and spells, they can do quite a bit besides "heal bot". You might get a better response if you qualified the specifics of what it means to you.
I'm just looking to see what classes people like for flavor reasons.
What is the relationship between the gods and the various outsider races in your campaigns? Some are easy to describe. The devils all work for Asmodeus. The angels serve various good deities. But what about the proteans or the inevitables? Is there an ultra-lawful deity who commands the inevitables? Are the demon lords subordinate to or rivals of the chaotic evil gods?
I've thought of just creating a pantheon of 9 gods, one for each alignment, but I don't know how to best assign the domains, so that idea just sits on the burner.
My usual pattern is to go the opposite direction. Decide on what role each god should play, what their portfolio is, and what domains fit them best, and then figure out what alignments fit them best.
But then, I'm not a huge fan of the alignment domains. I'd rather elevate the planar faction subdomains to full domains. In other words, instead of giving the lawful evil god either the law or the evil domain, give him the devil subdomain as one of his domains.
For some fluff, check out the Pathfinder Tales novel, The Redemption Engine. I think it's the first one where the main character travels to a number of planes.
The cosmology of Golarion isn't tremendously different from the 3.X D&D cosmology of the Great Wheel. There are planes associated with each alignment that souls are naturally drawn to after death. The goddess Pharisma is in charge of making sure the souls make it to the right afterlife. Asmodeus is not just the king of the devils, but a fully-fledged god. The slaad have been replaced by the proteans.
There are three supplements, The Book of the Damned vol. I, II, and III that cover the denizens of the lower planes in pretty good detail. Another supplement, Chronicles of the Righteous cover the good-aligned outsiders. Nothing for the elemental planes or for the inevitables or the proteans beyond their entries in the various bestiaries so far, though.
So, while there isn't a single book by Paizo describing the planes, there are a number of supplements covering at least some of them. But since it is so similar to the 3.X cosmology, you could use a lot of the fluff from the Manual of the Planes and Planar Handbook and incorporate it into your campaign without much difficulty.
If you run a campaign where guns are common, then the gunslinger becomes pretty redundant. There are a couple of gunfighter archetypes, one from Kobold Press and another from d20PFSRD.com. These turn fighers into pretty effective replacements for the gunslinger. The one from Kobold Press grants fighters the ability to acquire grit feats in place of their combat bonus feats.
As for rangers, an easy option to create a gunfighter combat style for rangers. Rangers who choose that combat style can perform deeds and gain grit feats as their bonus feats.
I was actually thinking outside of the whole "spell slots" system. Sorry I wasn't 100% clear.
Dreamscarred's psionics point system is cool, but it's based on the idea that the powers don't scale with the character's level. If you want to do more damage, you have to spend more power points. Whereas with Pathfinder spells, the damage increases automatically with the caster's level, ie, a fireball cast by a 15th-level wizard always does more damage than one cast by a 6th-level wizard. My feeling is that a spell point system would have to work the same way, with wizards having to expend more spell points in order to do more damage.
My impressions is that the Occult classes have a more Victorian/Steampunk feel to them. The names of the classes, occultist, mesmerist, medium, originated in that time period. If you're doing a campaign around gypsy fortune tellers or psychic detectives, then the Occult classes are perfect.
On the other hand, if you're looking for classes with a Jedi-like feel, then Dreamscarred's psionic classes are perfect.
They aren't incompatible. Not any more than either would be alongside the core classes. They're different flavors, that's all.
I'm working on a campaign styled on a frontier. Humans are moving into an area where, up to now, they have not occupied. Other humanoids, such as orcs, goblins, and centaurs, already live in this region in small tribal groups. Naturally, there is going to be friction as humans encroach on their territory and start fencing things in. It's analogous to American western stories, but it's not a direct copy. Land is used either for farming or mining. Most cargo is transported by skyships, so piracy is also a big factor. Think Lone Ranger meets Pirates of Caribbean. So far, I have the following products:
Avalon's Homestead Guide to Frontier Life
Any other third party products that could be used for inspiration for frontier and/or pirate based campaigns?
Pathfinder now has over 20 base classes. If you include third party material, it's over a hundred. The number of PC races is about the same.
Well, yes and no. Many ancient people saw the conflicts on Earth reflected in the heavens. If you were at war with the neighboring city, that meant your god was also at war with their god. If you won, that meant your god also vanquished their god. If you lost, then your god was also defeated. Often times, conquered peoples would adopt the deities of their conquerors having realized that their old god wasn't up to snuff.
The gods gain power and prestige based on the number of souls they attract to them. The more souls they gather, the more powerful they. The catch is, they can only collect souls that offer their worship willingly. They cannot be coerced. Any overt displays of power on the material plane dilute the "purity" of their worshipers' faith and is a form of coercion. If the deities start throwing around thunderbolts, mortals will flock to the ones who make the more impression displays, not the ones who most appeal to the mortal's nature (ie, their alignment).
Another thought: the gods DO interfere directly by manipulating natural forces. That is pretty much how most cultures view the way their gods act. When Poseidon gets pissed, he causes tidal waves and earthquakes. Yahweh didn't stomp all over his creation. He caused a global flood. What we as modern people see as weather patterns and plate tectonics, are the gods trying to get people's attention. The gods just don't appear in humanoid form all that often because, frankly, most mortals aren't worth their individual notice. They save those displays for important clerics and oracles. Or, if they're like Zeus, particularly hot babes who are turned on by large white bulls.
How about having different orders/sects within the monotheistic religion? One group could be the "Orthodox" version and there could several other "Protestant" sects that are considered heretics by the Orthodox faction. Each sect could have a slightly different view of the deity, giving them access to different groups of domains.
Or if you want to stay within a single unified church, model the different groups like the different monastic orders within the Catholic Church. Maybe one order is focused on more scholarly pursuits giving them access to the Knowledge domain. Another one might focus on charity work (think of the Jesuits) and have access to domains like Community and Protection. A third order could be more militant, like the Knights Templar and depend on domains like War.
High level Aristocrat/Expert with maxed UMD. I'd give him at least a couple of levels in aristocrat to reflect the fact that, as the royal vizier, he's definitely from the upper class.
High level sorcerer with the Djinn bloodline. This reflects the fact that he got his powers from a genie, so it fits conceptually into that bloodline. The giant snake transformation can be done with the a spell, such as Beast Shape III, which allows you to transform into a huge creature of the animal type.
It never really made much sense to tie acid damage to earth elementals. It seems like after the designers tagged the other three elementals with the obvious energy types (water = cold, air = electricity, and fire = fire), they just tacked acid onto earth by process of elimination.
But, why not sonic damage instead? Sound is a compression wave moving through a medium. Earthquakes are waves as well. I think it fits better than acid. Sonic has always the overlooked energy damage type. There aren't a lot of spells that do sonic damage, but that can be fix with some new spells.
What would be the other implications of switching out acid for sonic damage? Should monsters with acid resistance be granted sonic resistance instead?
So, the problem with paladins is that they're good at dropping a single big, bad evil in one round. The "fix" then is easy: Throw multiple big, bad evils at the party. The paladin can drop one while the rest of the party takes on the others.
I don't know. I find these complaints that a class is "broken" because it's really good in particular instance rather tedious. It's like complaining that wizards are broken because they can incinerate an of the boss's minions with a single fireball or a rogue is broken because they can use sneak attack to do a crap ton of damage to a flanked enemy. Each class has something that it's particularly good at, but none of them are invincible in every situation.
With all the homebrew and 3rd party stuff out there, sometimes it's hard to find exactly what you're looking for. Case in point: divine spell casters. I'm looking ideas for an alternative to the cleric, a full (9-level) divine caster that, instead of worshiping the gods, actively opposes them. Sort of like the character Salim from Elaine Cunningham's Death's Heretic novel. Something like the 3.5e Ur-Priest prestige class, but as a base class instead. Anyone have any ideas?
Similar to elemental binding would be demontech, where weapons and machines are powered by demons imprisoned inside them. David Sherman has a whole series of novels based on it.
You could do something similar with angels, proteans or other outsiders.
Definitely the Psionics Power Point system. Dreamscarred did an excellent job updating it for Pathfinder. In general, I prefer spell points over vancian casting.
Second favorite would be binding.
I like it.
I could see this fitting into a steampunk campaign, with the healbot coming equipment with scalpels, needle and thread, etc.
Or maybe it's a portable dispenser of healer potions.
What about maintenance costs? Healing shouldn't be "free", so maybe you could require the party to pay the equivalent of brewing a potion or scribing a scroll with the specific healing spell the bot performs.
Count me in on wanting more love for the justicar. Maybe roll it together with the witch hunter?
I like a lot of what I've read on the blog so far.
I don't really have a problem with dwarven samurai. Dwarves have long been considered a very lawful race, so building an honor-based culture around their concepts of law and clan relationships is a pretty a organic direction to take them. Even if human society resembles ancient Babylon, there's no reason why the other races have to also belong to that same milieu, particularly, since they are longer-lived, they might have a more advanced culture.
I would nail down some of your other analogies. I agree with the others that calling mages "biker gangs" doesn't quite fit. Packs might be a good idea, or maybe hordes. Maybe sorcerers belong to specific tribal groups and believe that the are naturally superior to mundanes?
Finally, if you don't mind a little design critique about the blog: The black text on a dark background can be difficult to read. I'd go with a more contrasting color scheme.