|Mark Moreland Developer|
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Does anyone know who was responsible for the Pain Taster prestige class' revised write-up in Occult Mysteries? I would really like to get some answers to the questions above ...
As the lead developer on the project, I'm the one ultimately responsible, and those questions should come to me. Since I'm here, I can answer them! (Note that I already wrote a really long post doing just that, but RPG Superstar voting knocked the site out just prior to my finishing the post. I hope my repeated effort is not wasted.)
The Disciple of Pain class ability refers to daily hour-long self-torture routines, both the more intentse "starter" versions and the less intense "follow-up" versions. But nowhere do I see the hit point damage and other damage caused by these routines. And there must be some, considering both the descriptions and the reference under the Pain Mastery class ability.
Did something get left out, or am I suffering from selective blindness?
The ritual involved in the disciple of pain class ability does not deal hit point damage. To do so would make it one of the few class abilities that came with a built-in burden to characters who take levels in the class. The rituals are meant to be primarily flavorful means by which a character gains the benefit, similar to deific obediences from Inner Sea Gods or to a wizard preparing spells for the day. If a GM wishes to play out this hour-long ritual, she is welcome to do so, but we didn’t want to hard-code a penalty or hit point tax into the rules for all players. The reference to hit point damage in the pain mastery description is a legacy from changes made to the class last-minute that slipped through the cracks (see below).
And why did the
authordeveloper (fixed that for you) remove the reference to the Fortitude DC 15 (or Will DC 20) saving throw needed to survive the initiation rite into the prestige class?
Because a character shouldn’t risk death when attempting to level up. As with many special requirements for entry into a prestige class (such as a Hellknight killing a devil or a Pathfinder Chronicler selling a written work for a certain amount of money), they are primarily flavorful elements to further cement the character into the theme of the prestige class in question. Individual GMs may choose to make this ritual into a much larger part of the campaign, and by not hard-coding how it works into the class, it gives GMs the freedom to push the boundaries of what her players are comfortable with as she sees fit. As written, the ritual may be attempted many times in the lead-up to a character’s entry into the prestige class, and a failure should be an opportunity for a more intricate story rather than an opportunity to make a new character.
In addition to that, I observed earlier that the 5th level Pain Mastery ability appears to be designed around the Disciple of Pain class ability, but instead refers to the Masochism ability (both in name and mechanics, sacrificing hit points for a bonus).I imagine that, during conversion / updating, something got changed in mid-design, and not all changes were propogated successfully.
Your assessment is correct (see above). In order to fit the class on a single spread, we had to make some adjustments to its text in the late stages of editing and development, and this ability in particular changed pretty significantly. Pain mastery should work in conjunction with disciple of pain rather than masochism, as a result. If we ever pick the prestige class up elsewhere, we’ll aim to make the necessary adjustments to the language to clarify this.
I think that’s all the actual questions that remained unanswered. Sorry for the long delay!