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It's a little annoying that some saves are EXTREMELY rare. I was looking for an Int save on the Cleric or Wizard list of 5th level or less, and couldn't find one.
(Our 10th level PCs are dealing with a CR 20 ancient white dragon....)
It might be cool if there was a feat that let you change the save type from one physical kind to a different physical type, and one mental type to a different mental kind. Like maybe once per short rest?
Or maybe even more diabolically, have them make an Int or Wis check and make a suggested action, like if the fighter is possessed, "You notice the rogue is about to backstab the cleric! Do something to stop the rogue!" and then have the fighter decide on how to deal with the supposed betrayal of the rogue. Or use Sense Motive, but apply the result to the item's Bluff, but make it seem it is to notice the rogue's action.
Stuff like that.
I've been frustrated with a DM who didn't put a single evil enemy against my paladin for a couple of levels. The paladin had replaced an inquisitor that was eaten by an owlbear, and then we went through a bunch of dungeons filled with Neutral magical beasts, aberrations, vermin, etc., but no Evil monsters. I don't think it was on purpose, but it was definitely frustrating.
In 5th Edition, he also has a tendency to not target my dwarf that is resistant to poison with poison attacks. Again, not on purpose, just weird luck of the draw.
That said, I actually love occasional the challenge of fighting a foe that is resistant to standard attacks. In 3.5, we once fought fire-immune constructs. My 2 characters were a shadow whisper gnome ninja and a chaos gnome brass dragon shaman. So I couldn't crit or sneak attack OR blast with my fire blasts. Even lassoing them or pushing them into the convenient rivers of lava wasn't practical. It was very challenging.
Another time in a different campaign, we had to deal with a golem. The gnome cleric/rogue cast stone shape to make a ramp under it, the aristocrat/bard cast grease on the ramp, the paladin bull rushed the golem, the ranger/wizard/truespeaker was the bait, and my scout lassoed the golem, drank a potion of enlarge (for the x8 weight), and jumped off the cliff, pulling the golem after me. Use a one-use feather token I'd been carrying for 6 levels to save me from falling.
Should it be 4 + Cha rounds per day, +2 per level after first, like the Unchained barbarian? At 20th level, the Unchained barbarian gets +80 hit points on top of their 20d12 + 20 x Con mod hit points.
My version of the zealot doesn't have spells.
I think the warlock should have the option to select Arcane Training I or Divine Training I (cleric spells) at 1st level, then have Arcane Training I-VI AND Divine Training I-VI be talents that can be selected. So if the warlock wants to, it can spend all of its talents on Arcane and Divine Training and get 6th level spells in one and 5th level spells in the other.
Yeah, that IS a lot of fast healing, but a zealot with Cha 26 is also taking a -8 to AC and Reflex saves, so you know the minions of that Finger of Deather are dropping tons of Power Attacks and Fireballs and Quickened Intensified Lightning Bolts and Quickened Enervations.
But Fast Healing 160 DOES sound like Uber Epic Mythic DM Fiatasaurus....
My original idea for Penitent Stance was gaining 1d6+Cha modifier hit points at 1st level, +1d6 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. But I didn't want to make the PC roll every round.
Penitent Stance: Maybe my wording is a little unclear. They get the bonus hit points for only 1 round, so that 5th level zealot with 18 Charisma would get +20 hit points for 1 round, and then if he gets hit, "fast heals" them back to +20 hit points in round 2; if he doesn't get hit, they remain at +20 (not +40). Basically, the zealot is supposed to soak a ton of damage and be an easy and attractive target to NPCs. Since he's built on a chassis with d8 HD and not d12 HD, I wanted to come up with a way to grant him some staying power.
Creepy: This ability is intended to make Small and smaller zealots viable. Intimidate checks normally have a size-based penalty, and I wanted to have a way to eliminate that. They demoralize through repulsion, not fear.
Fervor: I was going to design more swift and immediate action abilities for the zealot, and then didn't. I've been playing a lot of 5th Edition lately, and separation of Bonus Actions and Reactions in 5th Edition make keeping track of actions a lot easier than Pathfinder's Swift and Immediate actions (did I use an immediate action last round? So can I use a Swift action this round?). I can totally tone this down to just be a version Cunning Initiative.
Penance Gaze: I just copied-and-pasted this from the playtest document.
Second Wind: The role the zealot is supposed to play (tank, damage soak) eats up a lot of hit points. I figured it could use a way to self-heal, like the barbarian's Renewed Vigor rage power or the paladin's Lay on Hands abilities.
Penitent Wards: Based on the inquisitor's judgments, I tried to make them so they are mostly defensive.
Vengeful Strike: Opponents hitting the zealot in melee provoke an Attack of Opportunity from the zealot. Should this be limited to once per round per opponent so the zealot doesn't get 6 AoOs against a Great Two Weapon Fighting, er, fighter?
Zealous Strike: I should have worded this so it is clear that the AoO is against the specific opponent that made the attack.
Thanks for all the great questions! :-D
This version of the zealot is designed to put himself in harms way and take hits away from his allies. He is also supposed to be very intimidating and use the Intimidate skill as a de-buffer of sorts. He should be very durable, and yet be a target that NPCs want to hit, and possibly even more importantly, are capable of hitting. I imagine would wear light or no armor, and probably wield two-handed and/or reach weapons, since the damage multiplier of the zealot is the Attack of Opportunity. I'm considering adding a talent that lets him treat his level as his BAB when determining his CMB, so he can perform combat maneuvers that then lead to AoOs he can exploit. Some zealots might even dump Dexterity, but that would affect Stealth, which is probably an important skill for most vigilantes.
Class Skill: In addition to the standard class skills of the vigilante, the zealot vigilante also gains the following class skills: Climb (Str), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge nature (Int), Knowledge planes (Int), Knowledge religion (Int), Ride (Dex), Survival (Str), Swim (Str).
Base Ability: The zealot vigilante gains the following ability, regardless of his current identity.
Penitent Stance (Ex): At 1st level, the zealot is adept at opening himself to attacks. He can enter a Penitent Stance as a swift action. While in a Penitent Stance, he takes a penalty to his AC and Reflex saving throws equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), but gains a bonus on Fortitude and Will saving throws equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). In addition, each round as a free action, he gains a number of bonus hit points equal to his class level multiplied by his Charisma modifier (minimum 1); these bonus hit points last 1 round or until reduced by damage.
Vigilante Talents: A zealot vigilante can select from any of the following vigilante talents.
At Death’s Door (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent gains Diehard as a bonus feat. For a number of rounds per day equal to his class level, the zealot vigilante gains fast healing equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1) when he is at or below 0 hit points; these rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Blessed Bastion (Su): The zealot vigilante uses his class level as his BAB when determining his CMD; in addition he adds his Charisma modifier to his CMD. Any space adjacent to or occupied by the zealot vigilante is considered difficult terrain to his opponents.
Call Out (Ex): As a swift action, the zealot vigilante can provoke his opponents into attacking him in preference to all other enemies. The zealot vigilante makes an Intimidate check opposed by his opponent’s Sense Motive checks; if the zealot vigilante succeeds his opponents attack him (or move to attack him) for 1 round, plus 1 round for every 10 points the zealot vigilante beat his opponent’s check. The opponents must be able to see or hear the zealot vigilante and have an Intelligence score of 3 or greater. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Creepy (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent may make a Bluff check in place of an Intimidate check on creatures at least one size larger than him, but he suffers a -10 penalty on Diplomacy checks.
Divine Bastion (Su): As a swift action, the zealot vigilante can enter a divinely empowered stance that grants him a sacred bonus to his CMD equal to 1/2 his vigilante level (minimum 1). At 5th level, the zealot vigilante also grants this bonus to allies who are adjacent to him. He can use this ability a number of rounds each day equal to its vigilante level. The rounds need not be consecutive. Ending the stance is a free action.
Domain: Like a cleric’s deity, a zealot vigilante’s deity influences his alignment, what magic he can perform, and his values. Although not as tied to the tenets of the deity as a cleric, a zealot vigilante must still hold such guidelines in high regard, despite that fact he can go against them if it serves his crusade and goals. A zealot vigilante who takes this talent selects one domain from among those belonging to his deity. He can select an alignment domain only if his alignment matches that domain.
Fear is the Mind Killer (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent may choose to make an opponent confused instead of shaken when he succeeds on an Intimidate check to demoralize a foe.
Fervor (Ex): The zealot vigilante adds his Charisma modifier to his initiative checks and can take both an immediate action and a swift action each round. He gains a +10 foot bonus to his speed during the surprise round and the first round of combat if he moves towards an opponent or between an opponent and an ally.
Life Bond (Ex): As an immediate action after an ally within 30 feet is damaged by an attack or an effect, the zealot vigilante can create a bond between himself and that ally. The zealot vigilante then takes half of the damage that the ally would have taken once that attack’s damage is mitigated by any resistances, damage reduction, or other protections possessed by that ally. The damage taken by a zealot vigilante using this ability cannot be reduced in any way. The zealot vigilante can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + his Charisma bonus. A zealot vigilante must be at least 4th level to take this talent.
No Pain, No Gain (Ex): Whenever a zealot vigilante with this talent is subjected to a single attack that does damage greater than or equal to his character level, he gains a bonus on attack and damage rolls equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1) for 1 round. Additional hits during the same round increase the bonus to attack and damage rolls by +1.
Penance Gaze (Su): A zealot vigilante with this talent gains a gaze attack he can use for a number of rounds per day equal to his vigilante level. The rounds need not be consecutive. Activating the gaze is a swift action that lasts until the start of the zealot’s next turn, at which point he has the option to continue it as a free action or end the effect. This is a gaze attack (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 300); enemy targets must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC = 10 + half the zealot vigilante’s level + zealot vigilante’s Charisma modifier) or become shaken and also take a –2 penalty on saves against fear effects for 1 minute. A creature that successfully saves against penance gaze cannot be affected by same zealot vigilante’s penance gaze for 24 hours. A zealot vigilante must be at least 8th level to select this talent.
Penitent Wards (Su): Whenever the zealot vigilante enters his Penitent Stance, he gains the benefits of one of the following Penitent Wards. He can change to a different Penitent Ward as a swift action.
Celerity: The zealot vigilante gains a +10 foot bonus to his speed. This increases by 5 feet at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.
Durability: The zealot vigilante gains DR/- equal to half his level.
Purity: The zealot vigilante gains a +1 sacred bonus to his Saving Throws. This increases by +1 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.
Resistance: The zealot vigilante chooses one of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. He gains energy resistance 5 against the selected energy type; this resistance increase by 5 at 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter.
Vitality: The zealot vigilante reduces the amount of ability damage, ability drain, and bleed damage he suffers from by 1. This improves by 1 at 5th level and every level thereafter.
Second Wind (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent can use a swift action to regain a number of hit points equal to 1d8 + his class level. This increases by 1d8 at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter. The zealot vigilante can use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Charisma modifier.
Shield Allies (Su): A zealot vigilante with this talent adds his Charisma modifier (minimum 1) to the AC and CMD to a number of allies (but not himself) within his reach equal to half his class level.
Stalwart (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent can use mental and physical resilience to avoid certain attacks. If he succeeds at a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he avoids the effect entirely. A helpless zealot vigilante doesn’t gain the benefit of this ability. A zealot vigilante must be 12th level before selecting this talent.
Stern Gaze (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent is skilled at sensing deception and intimidating his foes. The zealot vigilante gains a morale bonus on all Intimidate and Sense Motive checks equal to 1/2 his vigilante level (minimum +1).
Strike Fear In Their Hearts (Ex): A zealot vigilante with this talent may make a free Intimidate check against an opponent he successfully hits with an attack of opportunity.
Track (Ex): The zealot vigilante adds a bonus equal to 1/2 his vigilante level (minimum +1) on Survival checks made to follow or identify tracks.
Vengeful Strike (Ex): The zealot vigilante gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat, and he may use his Charisma modifier in place of his Dexterity modifier when determining how many attacks of opportunity he may make per round. Whenever an opponent successfully hits the zealot vigilante, it provokes an Attack of Opportunity from the zealot vigilante.
Zealous Strike (Ex): Whenever an opponent successfully hits an ally of the zealot vigilante, it provokes an Attack of Opportunity from the zealot vigilante. The zealot vigilante must have the Vengeful Strike talent before selecting this talent.
I say combine avenger and stalker, let warlocks choose Arcane Training AND/OR Divine Training, add an alchemist focusing on poisons and mutagens (banewright???), psychic version (spectral stalker???), and the zealot will be a magic-using (but not necessarily spellcasting) tank/stalwart defender/bodyguard-type.
TheRavyn has done a really good job of keeping the fights exciting. Usually there are multiple monsters, and even 2 or 3 different types. And usually the different types of monsters fight differently. The last fight was a powerful wizard with a glabrezu and 3 vrocks. The glabrezu tanked, the vrocks did hit and run stuff (doing lots of poison stuff, I think poisonous clouds too!), and the wizard blasted us like crazy.
I had to keep bless up to give save bonuses for all the poison going on.
The modular spellcaster is a fun new design space. Obviously, it's not going to be perfect right out of the gate. Hopefully, they'll tweak it during the playtest to make it better. Maybe the higher level talents need to add more lower level spells per day.
For example, Arcane Training III might add 1 third level spell, 2 second level spells, and 1 first level spell, for a total of 4 first, 3 second, and 1 third.
Arcane Training IV might add 1 fourth level spell, 2 third level spells, 1 second level spell, and 1 first level. For 5, 4, 3, 1.
Arcane Training might add 1 fifth, 2 fourth, 1 third, and 1 second.
Arcane Training might add 1 sixth, 2 fifth, 1 fourth, and 1 third.
Or variations like this. It would have to be playtested and balanced against the bard, inquisitor, magus, warpriest, and other 6/9 casters and maybe even 4/9 casters.
Milo v3 wrote:
Sorry for the late reply.
Anyways, I guess what I meant is this: I like the idea of the warlock having multiple interesting choices. Ideally, choosing to focus on spellcasting or mystic bolt or even something else will all be valid and balanced and super fun options.
For example, I think there should be talents to enhance the mystic bolt. Like a grappling hook option that can pull opponents toward the vigilante or let the vigilante climb and swing around.
Zark, in regards to the Concentration issue, the Resilient feat allows you to gain proficiency in a new Saving Throw and boost that ability score by +1. My dwarf cleric had an odd Constitution score, so I took Resilient (Constitution) and it has been a lifesaver. Extra hit points, and an improvement to a really important saving throw. Definitely no regrets there! It even fits the character.
Potent Cantrip seems like a good idea, they just should have had more cantrips it would apply to. Or have a secondary effect, like adding Intelligence to the damage of evocation cantrips.
I personally prefer Steven Z. Brust's Phoenix Guard series for verbosity.
I almost think both spellcasting traditions should be combined under the warlock. Let the warlock pick spells from any spell list and use them at the regular spell level. That versatility will then balance the reduced number of spells per day.
Then the zealot can be used for something truly innovative.
The dual identity fits with the zealot hiding her true vigilante self from the theocratic powers that be. She could belong to a persecuted minority, a secret cult, or a heretical branch of the primary faith. She might be a simple carpenter or fishmonger during the day, and preach and perform good works in her vigilante persona.
If they're going to give the zealot Channel Energy, it should be at the same power level as the oracle (1 + Cha mod/day, 1d6 +1d6 per 2 level). Channel Energy is already a relatively weak source of healing (half the number of hit dice of most targets, the same type of die as the lowest PC class, and with no modifier to the dice rolled).
Instead of being a wannabe inquisitor, what should the zealot's role be?
I propose they should be about guilt and forgiveness and redemption. I think they should have some diabolical-based powers, and seek justice as a way to atone for their infernal gifts. They do this by sacrificing their wellbeing for the sake of others.
In essence, they would tank. They would have an ability to draw the attacks of their opponents away from their allies and toward themselves. They would also have judgment-like abilities called wards that would protect them from these attacks.
Wards would be (almost) purely defensive, possibly granting DR/-, fast healing, bonus hit points and the like. Possibly bonuses to AC & CMD and saving throws. Energy resistance, and maybe even fire shield-like effects. I think an interesting ward would be gaining 1d6+Charisma modifier temporary hit points each round for 1 round, possibly increasing by 1d6 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.
They would still get the Divine Training II-VI talents, but with spells taken from the cleric/oracle class list. Keep the Divine Training, Discern Lies, Domain, Life Ward, Penance Gaze, Stalwart, Stern Gaze, and Track talents, but add more that can emphasize divinations, preaching, and protecting the weak. They shouldn't be trying to re-build the cleric, druid, inquisitor, oracle, or paladin, but doing something divine and different.
Maybe an ability that heals others by causing non-lethal damage to the zealot? Maybe the ability to add her Charisma modifier to hit point total, Fortitude saves, and CMD too? Maybe a way to use the Intimidate skill to goad opponents into attacking her? Maybe a way to penalize opponents that do not attack her first? Maybe a list of bonus feats like Bodyguard, Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, and Toughness? Maybe they hear voice or have visions or premonitions; these can be used as wards (protecting the zealot from harm) and as ways to guide the zealot to where she can what she does best.
I also picture the zealot as being particularly potent against foreign faiths, rival divine agents (both mortal and supernatural), and other heretics. She would be a temple raider, a sacrifice rescuer, a relic hunter, a ritual disrupter. She would spread her faith in secret, hiding from the theocratic powers that be, and also working directly against them in vigilante role. She might have a way to disrupt Channel Energy, be particularly adept at countering divine magic, and also have specific resistances to hostile divine magic.
I think there should be enough interesting choices for Divine Training II-VI to not be the obvious options.
I still think giving an additional benefit to Arcane Training II-VI and Divine Training II-VI is the way to go.
I also kind of like the idea of giving the Avenger and Stalker spell slots, and then something really fun and interesting to do with them. For example, expend a spell slot and gain a bonus equal to the spell level on attack and damage rolls for 1 round. Or a bonus equal to double the spell level on a skill check. Or an immediate action bonus to AC or a saving throw.
Stuff like that.
The ASF reduction is a real good idea, too. Especially since even the warlock vigilantes will not be primary spellcasters, so they need a bit more protection since they will be getting into more kinds of scrapes.
An alternative to the point system would be a permanent decision from the list of benefits I proposed. A lot less flexible, but maybe a lot easier bookkeeping.
I've never played one, but I've seen a couple in action.
Alchemists have 3 primary class features: bombs, mutagens, and extracts.
Bombs are special splash weapons. They cause significant damage to their primary target, and minor splash damage to those adjacent to the target. Because they are splash weapons, you make attacks against your opponent's touch AC, which is typically a lot lower than their regular armor class.
Mutagens are similar to potions that alter your physiology. They can make you stronger, more dexterous, or tougher, but also make you dumber, foolish, or less personable.
Extracts are similar to spells, but you have to drink them like potions.
All three primary class features can be enhanced with discoveries. Discoveries can make your bombs do acid damage, miss your allies, or turn into poisonous gas. Discoveries can make you grow claws and fangs when you use your mutagen. Discoveries can allow you to share your extracts with your allies or combine the effects of multiple extracts into a single dose. Discoveries can also make a potion you drink permanent, allow you to grow wings, or remain eternally young.
Alchemists also have some additional class features, like poison use and resistance. Their skill selection is pretty good, and since they get 4 + your Intelligence modifier skill ranks per level, and Intelligence is one of their most important, and therefore usually high, ability scores, they get lots of skills.
I think I found a possible solution to the costs of increasing spellcasting with Arcane Training II-VI and Divine Training II-VI.
Each time the vigilante gains an increase to her spellcasting, she gains 1 vigilante point. Each day when she prepares her spells, she can spend a vigilante point for one of the following benefits; if she selects the same benefit multiple times, the benefit stacks.
+1 armor bonus to AC and a +1 dodge bonus to CMD
The warlock and the zealot might have similar, but different, lists.