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So I am planning to run a one or two shot leading up to Halloween and I wanted to do something inspired by popular themes of horror. So I went with the Evil Dead and plan to have the party sealed inside a remote mansion while being subjected to waves of evil laying siege. And the cause of all this turmoil is going to be a artifact called the Vile Heart. It's a ruby, the size of a human heart, that has black, vein like cracks running through it, and if someone listens carefully a heart beat and quiet breathing can almost be heard. I would love some feedback on the mechanics I have devised so far and advice for ways to improve upon my probably sub-par artifact.
Long ago there was a nation that turned to the power of sin to forge a mighty empire. Not all the people in this empire were evil at heart however and some began to preach against the course their people were following. One of these individuals was a kind oracle named Huln who peacefully tried to change his people ways. The powerful mages of the empire, who drew upon sin to fuel their empire, grew to hate Huln and sought his destruction. Huln's followers were killed to the last and the battered oracle was left blind and crippled in the wilderness. He would have died had the glabrezu Rallark, having escaped its master's clutches during the attack on Huln's camp, not found him first. Seeing a chance to toy with such a noble mortal Rallark tended to Huln's wounds and cared for him, posing as a orphaned farm girl. As she did, Rallark would constantly try to trick him into making a wish that would let her sow chaos across the lands. Yet for a long time Huln did no such thing. Soon Rallark's whim to toy with Huln turned to obsession and infatuation as she looked for a way to have them wish to be together. Eventually she got him to confess his desires and twisted them as such to her own liking- Huln wanted a way to cleanse the taint from his people's souls- and Rallark gave him the means.
The two become one terrible spirit named Lo that fed off the taint in others and thus saved their souls from the lower planes- yet afterwards Lo would kill them, using the sin it was eating to grow stronger and stronger. The sin-mages grew fearful as Lo grew in power and eventually they combined their might to defeat the Terrible Redeemer. Together they battered Lo into submission and then tore out its heart. Defeated, the mage's lowered their guard and sought to tap into the collected taint trapped within Lo's heart, creating the Vile Heart, never realizing that Lo's urge to consume sin would carry on beyond death.
The Vile Heart does a few things, none particularly pleasant. First of all the Heart can lay dormant between its uses, but the moment a drop of blood touches the ruby it begins to radiate a evil aura. The aura starts at 1 mile in radius but it grows over time, with each Pulse. The Vile Heart releases a Pulse once per day within its aura's radius, and with each Pulse the aura's radius increases by one mile, to a max of 50 miles. Any creature with a Evil alignment or the evil sub-type that enters the aura instantly knows which direction the heart lies, though they don't learn any information of the Heart itself unless they already possessed knowledge of the artifact. These same creatures must pass a a DC Will save of 10 or be compelled to make their way to the Vile Heart. Those that pass this save are immune to this compulsion effect however this is the only means to gain immunity. Creatures normally immune to compulsion effects must still make a Will save to avoid walking towards the Heart. Mindless, evil creatures automatically fail their Will save and make their way to the Heart. The save DC gets higher as the aura's radius increases, going to DC 15 when the aura reaches 10 miles, DC 20 at 25 miles, and DC 25 when the aura reaches 50 miles.
Creatures in this aura are compelled to act on their vile impulses, furthering their fall into evil. During each Pulse, all creatures within range of the aura must save against the effects of Taint (Heroes of Horror, D&D 3.5). Neutral (N/LN/CN) creatures must save against both Corruption (fort save) and Depravity (will save); failure on either results in 1d4+1 points of taint, though with a +4 to the saves. Evil creatures, while normally immune to the increase of taint, still need to roll a will save to avoid acquiring 1d4+2 points Depravity, though they double their threshold for determining the effects Depravity on them. A successful save for a evil creature still results in 1 point of Depravity. As the Vile Heart causes the taint in creatures to fester instead of causing it, Good aligned creatures and those with the good sub-type are immune to the effects of the Heart. The save DC for these taint effects is equal to the DC evil creatures need to take to avoid the Heart's compulsion effect.
Creatures with a taint score that are slain while in the aura die as normal however all of their taint values are removed; instead that taint goes inside of the Heart where it builds up. Further more, evil actions taken within the aura cause the Heart to acquire 1d10 points of taint. Each time the Heart 'feeds' the vein-like cracks in the ruby convulse and grow darker. Once the Vile Heart has accumulated 1000 points of taint it turn completely black with a red, cat-like eye in the center of it. From that point on the Vile Heart is capable of granting a single wish (one with greater limits than the spell, up to demigod status; it can be used to wish for more wishes, though only three more that act as the spell). To make this wish a innocent (read Good-aligned creature) must be sacrificed within one round of the request. However, before the wish is granted all creatures within the aura with taint are subject to a disintegrate spell as cast by a 20th level wizard; the only difference is that the save DC is equal to 10+the amount of taint a creature has. If this slays the wishmaker the wish is negated and the aura disappears as the Vile Heart goes dormant again. The creatures slain by the Heart's disintegration do not pass on as normal as their souls are bound inside the Vile Heart until the gem is destroyed.
The Vile Heart is very difficult to be destroyed as it requires an almost impossible component. When the stone is full of enough taint to make a wish the ritual must be carried out, however the sacrificed Innocent must be a 'fiend with a pure heart', or as I am setting up one of four things:
-A tiefling or similar spawn with a Good-alignment
-A actual fiend who has done the impossible and overcome their nature
-Someone who is of a Good-alignment but whose soul is bound for any one of the lower planes (such as a CG fighter who owes his soul to a devil or such)
-Or a Good-aligned soul that is/was turned into a fiend through some means
When the Vile Heart is destroyed all of the souls bound within it are freed, all the creatures within the Heart's aura that have taint are panicked for 1 hour and then frightened for 1d4+1 days after that, stopping only to rest when exhausted; they flee from the location the Heart was in when destroyed. Creatures normally immune to fear effects, such as undead, as still effected by this. And finally Lo (the gestalt being of the oracle Huln and the glabrezu Rallark) appears in the closet unoccupied scare the Heart was in, helpless for 10 rounds. In that time Huln manages to wrestle control of the Lo vessel and begs to be slain should anyone be present. After 10 rounds however Rallark regains control and flees, knowing she is too weak to fight and needs to regain strength.
So opinions people? I want something formidable in scope but not immediately all-powerful.
Well maybe- my current party that has really gotten into them is only level six, so most of the ones they took are dirt cheap. Yet to have any real expensive stamina costs above five.
Hey there Malwing! I have an idea indeed, as I both use the stamina system (extensively-man I love it!) and the Books of Martial action in my games, and blend them together to do so.
In my games I introduced the concepts of exercises- free martial techniques people earn as their BAB gets higher, starting with one and earning another for every +3 to a character's BAB. I had exercises in place just before Unchained but once I read the stamina system in that particular book I couldn't stop myself from tying them together.
And those exercises? Well why I have had some home-brewed up, I count the content in the Books of Martial actions as exercises. And so far it's been a blast.
While I can't say for sure such an action is balanced in a standard Pathfinder game I know you and I tend to feature 'all the content' in our games. Furthermore, as long as everyone learns exercises it's not much of an unfair advantage.
As for needing to change the material in the BoMA to fit with stamina, well they actually run well enough as is, so it should be fine just using them with stamina costs. I do suggest though either making a series of 'recover stamina' spells or allowing cure spells to restore stamina (I say at a rate of minimum dice roll plus level; so if a cure light wounds would heal 1d8+4, it instead could restore 5 stamina. Potions too), and let fighters opt to replace bravery with a bonus to their stamina pool.
Well elf for race seems the most immediate decision for race. Tiefling could work too I suppose but I don't think it is required; you said the disfigurements are throw backs to a earlier time so I think elf works great, maybe with a drawback.
Alignment wise I feel Neutral Good, though any Good alignment seems cool to me. She ran away before her arranged marriage, displaying the want for freedom, even if up set at the time, and thus pointing at a Chaotic alignment component.. However it says she is looking for someone to temper her better towards helping others and going out of her way to lend assistance. So Neutral Good.
Class is a lot harder to pinpoint and depends on any natural talent she possess or skills she acquired growing up. I say either rouge, bard (being elven nobility and all), or even a sorcerer as her latent and fiendish bloodline begins to emerge.
Personally I take a rather philosophical approach to the whole thing.
In my games magic, akasha/incarnem, ki, and psionics are used for similar effects but gathered and used in different ways. Psionics and magic are parallel sources of power as both are typically used to warp and alter reality. The difference is that psionic powers are exclusively powered by ones own willpower- pure mind over matter pulling at the seam of reality. Spellcasters, of every variety, are just conduits. The powers they wield and create are not their own. Even sorcerers don't technically have raw power in their veins, they are just born as naturally conduits based on their bloodline.
Psycic magic, or occult magic as I have started calling it in my games, is still magic- its users are still spellcasters (the kineticist being an oddball), so they channel power from outside sources. Specifically in my games, psychic magic actually channels the latent psionic energies of the world around them: from themselves, to others near by, plants, and heck, even the souls of recently departed. Psychic magic in my games is powered by leeching from psionics. Yet it is still not the same as manifesting.
I like the thought of it; you mean as a Psychic Mastery, correct?
Also, any thoughts on how to best handle awakening more uses with psychic talents.
All righty, it has been awhile but a few things:
1.) The Psychic has been updated so it actually has a capstone now, gets Wild Talent at first level, and some wording has been updated. Specifically I am working on updating the actual Psychic Skill feats and I have decided to actually name them directly after the seven disciplines of psionic powers, as given to us by the brilliant Dreamscarred Press. This I credit as Dudemeister's idea as it I feel it's what he had in mind. I'm sure he can confirm for us at any rate.
Either way, this means we have two new psychic skills to stat up: Metacreativity- creating solid, mental constructs- and Athanatism- manipulating the dead with psychic powers.
So with those two we have:
-Psychokinesis, Psychoportation, Metacreativity [Int]
-Clairvoyance, Psychometabolism [Wis]
-Telepathy, Athanatism [Cha]
This setup seem okay with everyone?
2.) So part of the delay is that I have been trying out this update first hand in playtest. In one I am GMing while a player roles a straight Psychic (level 7, Psychokinesis and Psychportation) ) and then I am playing in a Skulls and Shackles game with a Tactician (level 5, Psychokinesis and Telepathy [with feats]).
Both of us are enjoying the rules but we are both finding it like we are not getting the most out of our feats as they are. Despite the Psychic getting a new use of their ability every three levels, and me getting mine through the Skill Unlock feat (Telepathy), we both don't get to commit to encounters with our psychic skills. For me it isn't that terrible as I still have class features to fall back on. However my player's class features are, essentially, these psychic skills and it seems wrong he impacts so little. So I have two solutions to propose to fix this:
A.) Psychic skills can have further abilities bought like the skill tricks from 3.5, with skill ranks and the purchase value being equal to half of your current abilities with a skill rounded up.
Example: You have the Telepathy Skill feat and can use Sense Minds and Illusion with it. This gives you 2 abilities with Telepathy and now you want to be able to use Dreamwalk. Having just leveled you have 7 skill points to distribute but you can opt to spend one of those ranks, not distribute it, and unlock a further ability with Telepathy, Dreamwalk in this example.
B.) Every two ranks in a psychic skill rank grants you another ability of said skill.
Thoughts, ideas, or solutions?
So, getting caught up with all the talk of ships and mecha- what can we see in the way of character options?
Archetypes and the like for characters: any plans for a space exploring ranger archetype? Stuff like that?
New equipment and gear for players? Any examples to share?
And finally rules and templates for aliens and other space-born threats?
Sorry if I overlooked your reasoning behind this as I've only glanced at the classes but: Why is the Steamwarrior Charisma based when almost everything about the class points to them being Intelligence based? I mean the class is set up as a almost dark age Tony Stark but instead of using his Int to invent his armor and operate it I guess he just sort of... I imagine use his natural Cha to convince others to build the suit for him. It just seems like a weird design choice is all.
Hmm, let me think of some ideas while you guys are taking suggestions:
- First of all, a African supplement would rock; I feel like your Heroes of the West line already covers America based adventures decently, but the Dark Continent rarely get any love. A real shame, as it has a lot of potential. Of course only take a stab at it if you feel like you could do it justice but remember this: your only real competition at this time would be the Southlands. Just saying.
- A Heroes of the Stars would be neat from you guys; I know Necropunk is your team's baby, but I think a book with some setting neutral, space faring player options would be neat. I could see a 'Rocketeer' archetype for the Cavalier replacing his mount for a jet pack, a Astronaut ranger alternate class, and rules for some pre-made rockets and spaceships.
- A long while ago you guys made a book with rouge options and said you were looking for more class suggestions to give a nice set of tools. Well I'd love to see you guys do something for mad science and make a similar books for Alchemists- new discoveries, archetypes, extracts, and of course BOMBS!
- I have always had an idea to change the sorcerer a bit but never felt like I was up to the challenge of the project in mind. See, while I like sorcerers, I think a archetype that replaces spellcasting could be done. The idea is every bloodline gives lists of supernatural options and spell-like abilities, kinda like the warlock of old. Like for instance a Verdant bloodline would have a bunch of bloodline gifts around shooting thorns, spores, and growing fines. I just figured it would be neat to have a mutant base class.
- Gonzo 3 and a Racial Guide Number 5 of course, hehe! I even have a class to offer this time around to Gonzo 3 and I think a race book centered around races made of others that have been altered would be cool- like a race of creatures born from plague carriers or another race that is born from those subjugated to a certain spell. Think vampires and Dreamscared's Elans.
- A book of archetypes and options for Little Red Goblin classes. In hindsight this should be the first one I listed for just how amazing it'd be to have.
That's all I got for now.
Not a problem; glad you like the setup.
You have V.P.A as a choice as early as 2nd level. However with the class's current progression you don't select your first Psychic Mastery until 4th level- either V.P.A. needs to change or the class's progression has to.
Edit: Also, I have it set so you can edit the document yourself. Wasn't sure if you knew that or not.
While I will admit that is true regarding normal saves, I always liked the idea of Psychic Shield being a roll off against other psychic skills [pskills]; it seemed like a nice little extra barrier against mentle attacks. Still, let's include it as a mastery and see how others like it- can't hurt at all.
...can Bards do that? I feel like that's an oversight on my part.
Anyway, that was the formula I wanted to keep for the skill DCs, no worries. As for the using skills in place of others- doesn't that exist to some degree with the skills? I know at least Psychic Shielding could replace Will saves against compulsions and mind-effecting things; right, or am I remembering that wrong?
I think this idea is great and adds an element to make people want to play the Psychic for more than a level dip. Also encourages the Psychic to be a bit more liberal with their abilities without having to worry about weakening them in the field. That said 4+Con each level adds up quick and most strain is pretty minor or can be maintained after taking burn once. Alternative ideas:
-This excess strain pool gets 4+Con at level one, +2 more at each level beyond first.
-Get 4+Con at level one, again at 3rd level, and at each odd level after 3rd.
-Psychic's roll 1d6 each level, plus Con, to determine their excess strain pool.
Wow, glad to receive all the feedback! Honestly wasn't expecting this many responses right off the back:
1.) In regards to strain- I personally loved the concept and and the kineticist proves that taking strain/burn is viable way of balancing a class (at least in Paizo's eyes). That said let's get some opinions:
-Should the psychic skills use strain? Should it work exactly like the Kineticist's burn if so?
-If not are there other options to consider; power points, fatigue strain, ect.?
2.) Of the many things I was looking for help with I didn't expect any suggestions on the psychic skills themselves. In fact besides changing the wording on a few I planned to leave those as they mostly were. But Dudemeister's idea of making the powers skill unlocks has merit to it.
-Should the various psychic skills be condensed into six large groups? And if so should you gain more varied use from them with either feats, skill unlocks, or a mix of both?
Personally I like all the separated powers but I do think organizing them into new feats, like the six groups listed above is a great idea, so that you have no oddball powers that require their own feats: like mind-blade for example.
3.) The big question I have been facing is how to update the psychic class itself (and to a much lesser extent the prestige classes). While never getting to run the class myself, I heard it had some balance issues, primarily people having no reason to do anything else but dip one level into it to get all the psychic skills as class skills and thus avoid heavy feat costs.
-Should the psychic base class keep all of the psychic skills as class skills or have the gain them like everyone else (with more chances to get them, obviously)? And how many skill ranks should they earn each level, 6+Int? 8+Int?
-Besides psychic bonus feats, should the psychic gain other class features? Like psychic tricks or such?
-Finally, should there even be a psychic base class? Would it work better as a archetype or alternate to an existing class? And the prestige classes: should they be phased out, updated, made into archetypes for a base psychic class, or archetypes for other classes?
I have been searching for a Pathfinder update to the Psychic's Handbook released by Green Ronin, but have had little results. If anyone knows anywhere I can find a update to the book I would appreciate it.
Alternatively, if no updated rules already exist, would anybody care to help in making some? I don't think the project would be too much of an undertaking so I don't mind doing it myself; but I'd love to save the time and energy if a update already exists.
I once made a series of glue-themed spells for a wizard in a Magic: The Gathering themed Pathfinder game. The first one was basically a improved web spell for level two, but then I made variants; conductive glop- 4th level, -2 to saving throws from spells with the [electricity] descriptor, and cause an extra 1d6 per 2 levels/max at 5d6 when a struck by a spell with the [electricity] descriptor- for an example.
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
~Even better! Soon I shall have a trueform shark bloodrager named Bruce!~
The Real LG wrote:
I would prefer to see the arcana pool stay, but I really like this conversion. Maybe keep the spell point bonus to one every two level? You do not have the extra bonus from int added again so I would not see there being a problem with balance issues. Also, sorry for the late post.
One every three levels?
Little Red Goblin Games wrote:
I have the plague (aka a bad case of bronchitis). I failed my Fort save with a Nat. 1. I am sitting here with it open now and it has like all but 5 pages formatted. Also, we had some changes in Little Red's internal structure that I'll be talking about in a blog post at some point I'm sure that slowed things down.
Ah, well get better soon- we miss you. And your product.
Awesome! The first Alternate Paths PDF was a gem and one of my favorite books you over at Little Red put out (I think Gonzo might still take the cake however). Looking forward to Saturday all the more- my party is going to love this; I know because one is a playing rockstar and another has plans to get a tarasquiling thane cohort with Leadership.
Little Red Goblin Games wrote:
Great but it seems in my eagerness I will be buying this PDF twice.
Little Red Goblin Games wrote:
Thanks but now it is saying the book flat out isn't there. Any information on that?
I really should get around to supporting your Patreon- it's just that my situation means I never know how much cash I will have each week :( .
Anyway, happier conversation, the thane sounds awesome, can't wait to see it! I asked about it first because I can at least guess at what each other class does from its name. That said, the Tataued Warrior I am guessing gets tattoos, however I am none the wiser on how that works as part of the class. Explain, pretty please?