Heh I love these threads. Some right cracking stories out there.
Played in this mostly homebrew dark heresy game revolving around a hybrid of Martian successor nadesco and neon genesis Evangelion. The setting was amazingly described and the story interesting. As a group we really enjoyed his first session wherein we as different characters played from the perspective of the Operations Director, the Mech Pilots and Emergency workers/soldiers rescuing people from damaged sections of a huge space ship. High concept. Nicely executed pacing. Interesting npc's. Cool Mecha vs alien leviathan action.
Three things conspired to mean than their never was a second session.
These first two could be forgiven, if not for the Third:
Okay so the party consisted of an Ops Director (myself), two big mecha pilots and two soldiers from these special 'Valkyrie squads' that got to do everything from pilot fighter jets to rescuing civilians. Then we realised several things. There was already 2 full squads of Valkyrie soldiers, two other mecha pilots, and my character was replacing an existing ops director who was in charge of a full complement of command staff. Each of which had well defined backstories, their own picture art, detailed statistics and personalities. Each essential to the plot.
So we each thought. Hold up. You mean there's already a version of each of our characters that are of equal importance to the plot, that we share xp and resources with, that are all built with a full understanding of the rules and actually know how to do their jobs better than we do? Then why are our characters even needed, when the GM has a literal army of GMPC's to play with? What are we just meat shields and placeholders, used to justify these utterly insane CR encounters? If we couldn't handle them without the help of these GMPC's, then we're never going to feel any sense of achievement.
We coined the term 'GM masturbation'. Whereby we as players could seemlessly exit the stage and leave the GM to 'play with himself'.
Suffice to say there was never any second session. And a damned shame too.
This sounds like a familiar problem to me with some problem players from past campaigns of mine. The guys obviously just being contrary for kicks and enjoys making a mockery of the game. Though his justifications sound fairly well thought out and even funny, if his intention is to provide unwanted satire then I see why it rubs you the wrong way. I have an on/off regular player who has in the past played a cowardly self-interested barbarian, a noble Orc Diplomat, a hyperactive halfling Monk and an evil Torturer 10-year old psionic. Sometimes a bit of satire is fun. Makes you look at things and react to situations differently. But in a serious campaign with solid RPing, such silliness is not acceptable. Especially if it disrupts the game.
I've recently taken a stand in excluding this player from several games. The replacements we found turned out to be much more mature and added to the game in new and unexpected ways. Don't be afraid to cut off a necrotic limb. No matter how long you've gamed with this dude, if he's bringing your game down then he needs to shape up or be banished from the campaign.
Haven't read the full forum so forgive any repeats.
The Righteous Few.
Knights of Sarkoris.
Answering the Call.
The Abyssal Crusade.
The Sacred Line.
The Bane of Demon's Blight.
...The Last Crusade
And to re-Iterate my favourite title already suggested on page 1,
The speculation on the remaining 5 monsters? My opinions.
Water Orm + Sea Serpent are both very likely to appear, but due to thematic similarity and similar CR: I find it unlikely they'll both be in this book. Water Orm is the more likely, as it's currently estabilished lore screams cryptid.
I find the Deathworm to be unlikely as we've already had the thematically similar purple worm in another book. I can't see much variance in Bunyip, chickcharney, Chemosit or Tatzelwurm lore. Of previous suggestions the Globster is the one you could do the most with. But with other aquatic oozes out there, I don't see this one being used.
Kongamata is covered quite well in serpents skull, as is the Grootslang. Of the African Cryptids: Molele-Mbembe is perhaps the most recognisable and the first into print. Personally I'd vote for Grootslang, it's got a catchy name and cool lore.
I think the Carbuncle would fit well into this book as a novel low CR creature. It's a good example about misleading myths. Similarly, the Unicorn is one of those archetypal medieval myths that pop culture loves. I'd really like to read about some less sparkly variants (a la jim butcher summer knight/ ffX Ixion). Given the recent uprise of certain tv shows, I can easily see this one or pegasi being popular choices.
I haven't got mythical beasts Revisited. So I don't don't know if Hydra, basilisk, nemean lion, gorgan, cockatrice, stymphalides etc are covered there. But as these as more 'classical' legends I doubt they'll be in this book. One from native American and mess American myth I'd love to see tho is the Thunderbird. Or it's counterpart, the Roc from the classics. I think a nice big bird cryptid will fill out the set quite nicely.
Specifically speculating on whether the Saoc Brethren knew something. Their nation collapsed due to the eye, and their culture was based on prophecy so that was hardly a solid foundation... The wiki and Ithink the inner sea guide refer to this 'mass suicide' after learning some aweful truth in AR 4615. This could be as simple as learning how long the storm would last, despair for their nation or loss of prophecy, or they could have learned something vital. Time for some speak with dead spells?
What's interesting is the Astrological connection for Lirgeni prophecy. Could some player from the Dark Tapestry have played a role? Some entity with designs on Golarion that required Aroden silenced or just plain removed from the equation?
Has anyone actually seen the body of Aroden yet? My theory is that the eye he where he fell. But no evidence to support that one. In my campaign I have the divine paradox that is Arodens corpse acting as the aforementioned theorised 'giant sphere if anhilation'.
Back to speculation.As for the 'who had motive/who gains from this' side of things.
That list includes:
The House of Thrune
Potentially many others, I think the Lirgeni may have been on to something. Didn't their high caste commit mass suicide when they learnt some dark truth? like the cause of the eye?
Anyone ever watch the show 'prison break'?
I had an idea a few months back in this vein for pathfinder, wasn't sure whether I wanted to homebrew up a module or just write a story. But I know I'd prefer to read such a Golarion 'prison break' style story from an expert author. Essentially get a bunch of volatile personalities together, each with a unique skill set, and bust someone put of an unbreakable magic prison. Guarded by Minotaur jailors.
I even wrote down a few names of prisons in Golarion lore that might make good settings. Like the Black Whale and the Puddles in Absolom.
Is it me. Or is this news (or speculation) really not that surprising? You wouldn't quit before the playtest unless there was a good reason.
Wizards of the Coast going in a different direction and alienating their creative designers? Yeah, cos there's no precedent for that...
Well WotC's loss is the industries gain. Wonder what Monte's gonna work on next?
Agreed. The Sythethist and the possessed archetype skirt round the edges of this. And the old 'Tome of Magic' (got it right this time hehe) class called the binder played with this idea pretty well.
I like the idea of being able to become the 'avatar' of a powerful entity that works through you. Though this is similar enough to Paladin, Monk, Oracle etc that people could say 'hey look another archetype'. But if you mix in plenty of indian mythological flavour and tie the class to the vudrani empire and the untapped lore there. Could work.
A class that takes on the divine mantle of deities to use supernatural abilities of their patron so long as they act as their representitive in the material plane. Throw in various druidic/paladin-like/monkesque abilities for immunities and such and you the beginnings of a class.
Perhaps like the vestiges of the old binder class, you choose an ability from a pool associated with the entity and are able to use more at the same time as you level. Then as levels increase you can gain more than one patron as long as their portfolios overlap.
I'm part of a solid gaming club in Cheshire, and I know of other groups in East London, Staffordshire, Yorkshire and south Wales that play pathfinder.
Plus if your using the trait rules, you could take 'Magickal Knack' from the magic traits to offset the loss in spellcasting level from dipping into Paladin.
I think 'Wasting Curse' works thematically for the character concept here. As I assume a combat optimized paladin/oracle won't exactly be the most diplomatic of individuals. Plus if he keeps his helmet visor down most of the time, they'll never know...
Ordinarily I'd suggest extra revelation as a feat to get more of the other fun revelations in the Metal Mystery. At later levels I'd suggest abundant revelations to let you use some of the cooler ones more times per day.
Theres also some 3PP feats by Open design that I could recommend if your GM allows non-paizo sources.
Once ran a game of d20 OGL 'weird war' called zeit der toten.
11 players. Hand drawn maps. Waves and waves of zombies. Loadsa random critters I statted up (mutated exploding zombie cows anyone?). Players that died came back as special zombies. Involved virtually the entire gaming club for a few months with people dropping in an out. Campaign ended with the last survivors hiding in a bomb shelter as the Luftwaffe bombed the town.
Was absolutely crazy. But good times.
But if ya want some actual depth in a game, then 6 is kinda stretching it.
Its possible your subscribing to the wrong game then pal, if thats your take. I really hope thats sarcasm, cos its a bit too venomous for this thread.
I've used the music from the Lost TV series on low volumes during my Smuggler's Shiv setting to portray mystery and sadness. Seemed to go down well but was pain to maintain the atmosphere as well as tracking everything else so stopped.
A fellow GM uses music from Tron, Advent Children, Star wars and anime like Naruto and bleach for his stuff. Went very well with cinematic intros to places in scifi campaigns. But it gets annoying when he stops the session to go through his itunes library for 'the perfect song' to play loudly and distractingly during battles.
And then another GM just played the SW canteena song over ang over whenever we went anywhere then even looked like it sold alcohol and/or had a gathering of more than 3 races... Was funny the first 10 times.
Music can add to a game but only if you have a cheat sheet for your playlist and the volume level is subtle enough that people can talk and think over it.
Ah yes Tome of Magic. My bad.
True name magic was one of those concepts that seemed to just get tested then discarded. I think the Paizo staff could do a lot more with it. But yeah it would need a rebuild.
TBW I was half expecting the 'words of power' section of the UM to have a prestige class in this vein.
While we're brainstorming. How about pathfinder-izing (yeah thats a word now, get used to it.) the classes from Complete Magic: 'Truenamer' and 'Binder'. Debatably, the summoner and certain wizard archetypes can fill the binder role nicely. (and I know Paizo have their own shadow themed prestige classes and archetypes so the 'shadowdancers out').
But I always thought Truename magic was an underutilized concept. Perhaps combine with aspects of the Archivist for an original base class?
master arminas wrote:
Yeah that was what I liked about your mind mage actually. I don't mind 'mentalism' as a class concept. I just don't like it spilling over and scooping up other classes capabilities. Which lets face it, is what would happen once you started getting archetypes and more spells. I guess my biggest dislike of something, is a class that steals another classes thunder with none of its associated weaknesses. This mixing can be done right, but it can also make other classes seem pointless.
+1 to your pet peaves on psionic powers too.
master arminas wrote:
I like your interpretation this theme better than many I've seen Arminus. But the whole 'Psionics IS magic' statement is a subjective issue thats pointless to debate. There are many forums debating the inclusion of psionics, so we're hardly identifying a new niche here.
To me the 3.5 psionics system basically went:
I got halfway through reading it and just got fed up of how easily it could be used to break things. It was a third tier of magic that seemed to render the other two largely obsolete. You'd think such a unique system of magic would be rare but suddenly it seems like every character and their pets use it.
I recognize and have enjoyed psionic rules systems in both scifi and fantasy settings. But I like to distinguish settings of Arcane/Divine and psionics, because in my mind they are very different interpretations of the same thing that if they ever coexisted. Logically one would outcompete the other for the same niche.
Many times I've asked the question of "In a world with Psionics where you can train your mind to cast spells, why would you waste your time learning arcane formulae or praying to a deity?"
The answer always boils down to 'variety is fun. its not broken, its different'. (as if something can't be different and broken)
But then as my answer boils down to 'I'm grumpy, don't wanna try nuthin new', don't take me too seriously.
So noted Cheapy. I'll look into those at a later date.
Edit: And can we keep the call for Psionics out of this thread please. I'm happy with that being 3pp (and therefore optional). Never liked Psionics in 3.5 and I don't want Paizo to get dragged down by opening that particular can of worms. Plus from what I hear the 3pp source on this is very good, if you like that sort of thing.
Personally I'm happy with magic being magic. Always thought that Psionics was basically just something that made magic redundant from a thematic standpoint. Why spend years learning arcane formulae or earning the powers of a deity when you can just blow stuff up with your mind?
I've enjoyed pure Psionic settings and pure magic settings. Having both in a single setting just gets my hackles up.
Finn K wrote:
Ah so I see. Not heard much of UC beyond tidbits from the pfsrd. Hhm, it occurs to me that something mixing some of the Bards mechanics into this vein would result in the elucidation of a clearer concept. But not the performance aspect of it. I could seen a military themed 'bannerman'/'military musician' archetype for the bard but this ain't really the theme we're trying for here (tho I that would work on its own).
I've seen a few 'officer' prestige classes knocking around that work on leadership abilities, passive buffs from inspiration, situational buffs from planning, teamwork feats etc. I just think you shouldn't have to wait for X levels to start leading men into battle. To do it well maybe, but there are born leaders out there. Hence why I support this as a base class idea.
Like with the 'Shaman' or 'Technomancer' ideas, you could have an archetype fill this niche. Or you could really explore it with a Base class and Archetypes.
Yeah I'm sure SGG has ssomething I like, just not read it yet. Perhaps a bit to rash in judging them. Anyways back on topic.
There already is a Swashbuckler rogue archetype but its not much like the old PHBII version. I like the idea of such a class, but it'd have to have a different name and be less of a straight conversion. Not this classes biggest fan due to one bad player. One 3.5 game he plays a cliche pirate who just randomly turns up on a desert island. Next game he brings back the same cliche pirate in a setting where we never come witting 1000 miles of the open ocean. Which begged thequestion of whether he could truly call himself a pirate... But yeah that's a tangent, moving on.
I heartily agree with the idea of a military strategist type class. There's definitely a niche there thematically. More emphasising teamwork feats, buff/debuff based class features and buffs that depend on strategy. Maybe leadership as a bonus feat with features that enhance it. Have yourself a Favored Subordinate through this mechanic.
The 'Tactician' might work better, or the 'Auxillery'
Finn K wrote:
Don't see any reason why the two concepts have to be mutually exclusive or render the other redundant. Better if magic and tech work together.
I have a similar policy since changing to pfrpg. Have only allowed 7 3.5/3pp feats and a select amount of items to enter my games. I would recommend Wolgang Bauers 'advanced feats' series published from Open Design. theres about 4-5 feats in those 9 pdf's I'd deem to be imbalanced, but with a few tweaks they are playeable.
Personally I'm not a fan of Super genius games 3pp. They seem to be in quite a rush to add class bloat. But a friend of mine bought some of their newer stuff so now I gotta review it for balance. ends up being quite a pain when players buy 3pp wanting to use it but only think as far as 'ooh shiny', not 'is this balanced?' or 'does this make sense in my setting'?
Heh no worries Finn K. I'd be hesitant to add steam punk elements into a fantasy setting as well. I mean I currently don't allow Monk, Samurai or Ninja cos of the setting disparity of having asian classes in a the african colonial setting of serpents skull (plus I don't have those books so theres a definite limitation there).
But the thread is about finding a unique niche and the consensus seems to be that the 'Artificer/Technomancer' is one such class. I suppose ultimately my suggestions on this meme could be used as archetypes. But one could just as easily make a flavorful class with a bunch of elements from this thread. Coupla archetypes too.
That isn't to say there actually should be an extra base class. Just saying there could be one based on this concept.
One 'Class' my groups discussed before as a niche comes from superhero genre. That is the powerset of characters like the Atom, Giganta, Stature, Ant-man, Wasp, Makarov etc. Bear with me cos this is very breakable idea.
This is just off the top of my head. We called it the 'Magnitus', as in Magnitude.
You have a class without full BAB progression (it gets a lot of abilities that more than offset that), that has spell-like abilities that allow you to change size as a standard action for a number of rounds each day equal to X + levelx2 + CON.
Start off with Large/Small and expand the available categories every 6 levels or so that at 18th you can go Fine or Colossal. Equipment and items shrink/grow with you. And a Full round changes you by 2 categories in one direction, or just a standard to change one.
Class feature that lets you change back to normal sized at 5th level as a move action. Note that for small races they get access to medium and large size transformations at 1st.
Level 10 lets you change one size category as a move action, and back to normal size as a free action.
Level 15 lets you change 2x size categories at once as a move.
Capstone ability allows you change from any size to any other size as a move action (this allows the sneak into baddy orifice and grow to full size tactic). Though they'd get something like an opposed constitution check to see whose damaged the most by this.
((Alternatively if 2 Size categories per 6 levels is imbalanced, how about 1 per 4 levels that lets you reach colossal or fine sized at 20th level?))
Ideas for class features:
>Spell-like abilities around shrinking or enlarging allies, objects and enemies
>Bonus feats that let you wield oversized weapons at reduced penalties in base form. Though this wouldn't stack up in sizes beyond large.
>Class features that mitigate the size penalties. Choosing either Dex o Str to reduce the penalty by a small amount every 4 levels or so.
>A class feature that lets you control which square you shrink into. For example going from 30ft of space as a Colossal sized dude down to medium, picking one of the 30 squares
>Catch off guard, Throw anything as bonus feats?
>Rock throwing, rock catching, giant-like heavy object throwing feats etc. Combined with the above to fight with trees.
>Getting a free Stealth check in plain sight when shrinking to small size rapidly, extra stealth bonuses.
>A perception bonus for seeing things at long distance and a penalty for spotting small objects whilst enlarged, but the reverse when reduced.
>Getting a free bull rush attempt when growing rapidly to push enemies out of your squares as you grow in size. Bonuses on these.
>Insight bonuses for damaging structures and objects
>Bodyguard-esque features that help you protect your smaller allies by taking damage in their place or bonuses letting them use you for cover. And when shrunk, you use them for the same bonuses.
>Precision damage on enemies when small, attack bonuses to offset size penalties.
>Able to use escape artist whilst shrunk to squeeze your way inside enemies bodies and allow you to deal ability damage from targetting organs.
>CMB/CMD bonuses. Abilities that let you pick up and throw enemies/allies.
>Spell-like Barkskin and feather fall from density manipulation
>A x/day size change as a swift action to rapidly gain AC or CMD bonuses.
>Something that stops you from provoking AoO when size changing or using your size change abilities
>Something that lets you use trample, crushing damage etc when stamping or jumping on enemies.
>Similarly something that lets you generate small tremors to knock enemies prone like the feat from Tome of Monsters Complete. Smash or something?
>Abilities like intimidating presence that make creatures smaller than you cower in fear.
>Ability that lets allies climb you and fight from your shoulders, or that lets you use a free hand as an unstable platform and allows you to grant them elevation bonuses as a move action.
The NPC wrote:
Something that brings the 3.5 Warlock over (If not in name) would get my money and endorsement. Warlock was my favorite class.
Don't really think we need another Arcane caster.We already have Wizards, Sorcerors, Bards, Summoners, Witches etc (that last technically being a 'Warlock' if male)
Personally I always kinda liked the Dragon Shaman. Especially the Flavor and some of the Mechanics like the Draconic Aura and the Totem. Though strangely not the Dragon part. Someday I think I must be very odd to be a non-Dracophile on an RPG board. I think that something along these lines would work for the 'missing' something that the proposed 'oracular druid/shaman' class. Fully embrace the Animus/Totema theme rather than just dipping its toes in like the Barbarian Archetype. Get some Aura's, Rituals, 'Rain dances' etc. Have a rechargeable divine power source (Totem) for abilities like the 'divine pool' (Spirit Token) idea and wild shaping. Throw in some of the Talents I posed before.
You got my vote. I feel that a full BAB wildshaper would be more novel than a palette swap Oracle. But I was thinking more along the lines of a compromize between the two where you end up with a Ranger or Paladin spell progression in the base form, which you could then strip out entirely for something like what the Trapper archetype does for the Ranger.
I think the oracular spontaneous casting ideas so popular because the druid version would fill the 'oracle' niche of the nature casters. In the way that in terms of just spell progression, the Ranger is the nature paladin and the druid is the nature cleric (tho thats a gross oversimplification).
Finn K wrote:
All of them? O.OPretty sure you didn't read all of them... *sob*
Still no big, was just brainstorming.
But I think alot of your comments are on the money there, save for the part about archetypes. More options make players happy and at least most of the ones printed so far are balanced ways of customizing a character classes 'feel'. I think Paizo could do another 50 odd (figure pulled from the air) Archetypes easy. Whether they incorporate any of these ideas to everyones satisfaction is another story?
Yeah but you'll come around. The spirits tell me so.
Arrr...methinks tha roleplayin' helps a lot when fightin'. Me high acrobatics allows me to jump around fighting, escaping from enemies to hit them again; and me rapier likes th' taste of them scurvy-ridden scallowags.
Arr.. eye like the cut of yur jib mr Zolthux. But eye think that you haff ta remembarr that alot of Arr high-seas fightin tends to be on unusual footing, don'cha think? A good pirates gotta be able ta keep his head in the thick of battle, and know how ta fight both on the deck and the rigging above. Perhaps some trainin, in fightin in such locales wouldn't go amiss? Savvy?
Don't you mean 'Hahaaaarrr'? XD
Once the core class is defined, you could easily uses archetypes to trade out the spellcasting for one of the features I suggested earlier, or something like them. That kindoff variety would allow you both to play a class you like.
hhhm... like a pool to spend on temporary 'evolution-esque' buffs to a given shape. Like granting attacks enhancement bonuses or alignments, or boosts to move speed or CMB etc. That could work quite nicely. Perhaps call the 'divine pool'. Perhaps call these points 'Anima', 'Spirit token', 'Totema', 'Wakan' etc. I like it.
I'm not a fan of the Swashbuckler base class. There's already an archetype and a prestige class (Duelist) that fit this vein (tho they aren't too popular either). If anything I'd like to see the old 'Shackles Pirate' prestige class reimagined as a 'Pirate' base class (I suspect the names already taken). Reinventing an old fantasy meme rather than reinventing a old WotC class. Have something like a 'viking' or 'smuggler' archetypes to fit the meme. Throw in some class features that don't penalize you for prosthetic limbs, resilience to rum and a parot familiar and I'd be sold.
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
Yes but theres nothing mechanically unique about it. Sorcerors have Bloodlines, Oracles have mysteries. This proposed shaman has...what?Hence the earlier suggestions of merging with the 'shapeshifter' idea, and the various ideas of unique features. I like this idea because it distinguishes itself again from Bloodlines and Mysteries which when you strip away the flavor are mechanically similar. Like with the mystery and Bloodline features this then expands the class beyond a Palette swap Druid into a unique something.
But if people dislike this 'Animus' concept, then what to propose in its stead?