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From a physical stand point I would agree with you, Arcanemuses, about axiomites being directly involved in this bloodline, but inevitables are a staple for a lot of gamers and I felt that there should be some counterpart to the protean bloodline. If axiomites had the same support that inevitables do, I would have tailored this class to them instead. I don't see why this couldn't be reworded a bit to make it more focused on the "forces of law" angle, but the mechanical man aspect is more interesting to me. In a game as high-fantasy as Pathfinder there could be plenty of ways to explain a connection to the inevitables anyway; a non-biological explanation.
I figure it isn't so much a matter of direct descent as it is the mystical je ne sais quoi that became infused in the bloodline. Constant interaction with the inevitables or some strange contracts led to this rare bloodline.
Yeah, that isn't bad, but Perfect Voice already grants a DC boost to language dependent spells. Of course, I still need to change that up anyway.
Thanks for checking it out though.
At some point in your family’s history, a relative made a pact that was overseen and possibly enforced by the unflinching hand of an inevitable. Now a portion of that being’s essence has fused to your family’s bloodline and become particularly potent in you. You have always viewed yourself as incomplete or broken, and strive to put things back the way they belong.
Class Skill: Knowledge (planes).
Bonus Spells: command (3rd), make whole (5th), magic circle against chaos or dispel magic (7th), dimensional anchor or order’s wrath? (9th), spell resistance (11th), undeath to death or greater dispel magic (13th), banishment or dictum? (15th), shield of law (17th), imprisonment (19th).
Bonus Feats: Combat Casting, Defensive Combat Training, Enlarge Spell, Great Fortitude, Improved Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Knowledge [planes]), Spell Focus, Toughness.
Bloodline Arcana: ?
Bloodline Powers: Your ancestral association with the inevitables begets your magical talents.
Artificer’s Touch (Sp): At 1st level, you can cast mending at will, using your sorcerer level as the caster level to repair damaged objects. In addition you can cause damage to objects and construct creatures by striking them with a melee touch attack. Objects and constructs take 1d6 points of damage +1 for every two sorcerer levels you possess. This attack bypasses an amount of damage reduction equal to your sorcerer level. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.
Inevitable Resistances (Ex): At 3rd level, you gain a +2 bonus on saving throws made against poison and +1 natural armor bonus. At 9th level, your bonus on poison saving throws increases to +4 and your natural armor bonus increases to +2. At 15th level, your natural armor bonus increases to +4.
Perfect Voice (Su): At 9th level, you understand all efforts to communicate through sound, and can make yourself understood to any creature able to understand language. You can speak to, and understand the speech of, any creature that understands at least one spoken language. The save DCs of any language dependant spells you cast increase by +1.
Forged in Iron (Sp): At 15th level, once per day, you can call upon your ancestry to temporarily transform your body into a mechanical form. This power functions as stone skin except you do not need to provide a material component, it provides damage reduction 10/chaotic, and it can prevent a maximum of 200 points damage. At 20th level, this power functions as iron body except the damage reduction is 15/chaotic, the duration increases to 10 min./level (D) and you do not gain any effects listed in the second paragraph of the spell description. At 20th level, you can use this ability twice per day.
Ex Machina (Ex): At 20th level, you become a living construct. You gain the half-construct subtype with the following modifications. For the purpose of effects targeting you (such as a ranger’s favored enemy and bane weapons), you count as both your original creature type and a construct. You become immune to disease, exhaustion, fatigue, and poison. You also gain darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, and receive a +6 racial bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects. You may be raised or resurrected as though you did not possess the half-construct subtype.
I'm having trouble settling on which bonus spells are most appropriate, the law descriptor spells tend to be an easy way out but I think there should be more interesting options.
I'm drawing a blank on a decent bloodline arcana ability. I was thinking this should be on par with the protean bloodline arcana, which simply makes it more difficult to dispel certain spells, but I don't know what yet.
Artificer's Touch was lifted from the artifice domain ability and needs to be changed or replaced. Maybe some kind of minor geas/quest or mark of justice type effect.
Perfect Voice was lifted from the maestro bloodline, but sort of fits with the inevitables' truespeech ability. I could see tweaking it and renaming it "Voice of Command" or something along those lines.
By damaging the bauble you would need to take an action to cast mending on it to keep that Will save DC down, which might slow the caster down somewhat or at least keep him from spamming his bauble in combat.
Goth Guru wrote:
I say, don't damage the bauble. Damage the weilder every time an extra spell is cast. 1D6 damage or a temporary loss of 1 intelligence point.
Temporary Int damage maybe, but hit point damage doesn't strike me as the best deterrent, considering how easy it is to replenish. Besides, at high levels 1d6 damage is about as dangerous as a stiff wind.
Does anyone know how many hit points a ring or amulet should have? Do any Paizo products mention this?
Thanks for the comments, Cheapy. These are all concerns I was aware of but haven't gotten around to fixing yet.
I figure I could have the +1 to DCs that Bauble gives only apply to the spells you cast with your bonded item, but that seems a bit weak in comparison to other specialty school powers (at least until you see the Reliquary Focus for amulets and rings). I do agree that the DC boost is too much though... I don't know that a CL boost instead would really fix it either. Hmm.
Were you referring to the staff/wand Reliquary Focus ability or the amulet/ring ability?
I can see how free activations for staves/wands is a bad idea, and sort of defeats the purpose of those items. Perhaps an ability that expended charges for some kind of boost would be more appropriate, though that might favor wands. Any suggestions?
For the amulet/ring ability I was hoping the drawback to Reliquary Focus would be enough to balance things out, but the proper build would be able to abuse it anyway. Though if you do destroy your bond in the middle of a fight, you'll be in a tight spot.
I could rein in Hair Trigger by having it only usable once per day (possibly additional uses at later levels). Ah, I just read that characters can make a swift action the same round they make a full-round action. I'll definitely need to add a caveat about not allowing a swift action on top of this ability, three spells a turn would be way broken. I'm not too concerned about wands being activated multiple times in one round, as they cap out at 4th level, lack the diversity of a staff, and just aren't as good.
Maybe have a DC boost here instead of from Bauble; the boost would only apply to spells cast from the bonded item (staff or wand only) and only usable once per day plus an additional time per day for every 4 additional levels. If that's a bit too weak, make it a +1 to DC and CL for the item.
I could see slipping the Wand Mastery ability from the Magician bard archetype into this, though it's too powerful as is. Maybe a lesser version that lets you use your CL -2 or 4 or something when activating wands.
Goth Guru wrote:
Yeah, I'm not going to vote. I'm an elemental rebel like the guy who created the phosphor elementals and the ice elementals. Homebrew elemental planes are not welcome in this topic so I will no longer discuss this here.
I'd be down to either ditch elemental planes altogether and relocate their denizens to other planes (welcome to hell salamanders!), or have one swirling mass of elemental goodness (is that what the elemental chaos setup is?).
I would like to see some kind of First World type plane inhabited by fey, elves, goblins, giants, and the like. Maybe roll the elements into that plane and have the dominant element/s change with the seasons.
I still don't understand the differences. 3.5 had the Wheel, but that wasn't all that different from The Great Beyond, from what I can tell. They both had the plane of shadows and the ethereal plane adjacent to the material plane, the negative and positive planes were close, beyond that was the elemental planes, then the outer planes. Everything connected by the astral plane. I guess the Wheel had an "up and down" as well, with the +/- planes, but that never really seemed to matter.
Is this poll just to determine the "shape" of our multiverse? Or is it to give us an idea of what is nearest and farthest from the material plane?
Made these up a few months ago and thought I'd see what other Paizonians might think of them. I think they are fairly balanced but there is certainly potential to abuse them.
They all function as specialty schools in that you pick two opposition schools when you select one.
Arcane Repository Specialties
Familiar Bond Specialist:
Wizards who focus on their familiar bond develop an extremely close relationship to their familiars.
A familiar bond specialist does not keep a spellbook. Instead, the wizard's familiar stores wizard spells in the same way that a witch's familiar stores witch spells.
A familiar bond specialist does not receive an extra spell slot per level. Instead, his familiar may cast any one spell stored within it of each spell level per day that its master is capable of casting (but not cantrips). The familiar uses its own Intelligence to determine the DC of the spell, but its caster level is equal to its master's. The familiar may cast these spells even if it doesn't have a high enough Intelligence.
Familiar Focus (Su): A familiar bond specialist is treated as two levels higher when determining his familiar's abilities based on the table from chapter three of the Core Rulebook. This increase also counts when determining which familiars are available for selection with the Improved Familiar feat. At 20th level, your familiar gains immunity to spells and spell-like abilities cast by creatures other than itself or its master, although it is still affected by spells through the spell transference ability (see below). The familiar also gains a permanent +4 inherent bonus to its Intelligence.
Infuse Familiar (Su): As a standard action, you may focus your arcane power into your familiar with a touch. Your familiar gains the advanced template from the Bestiary for a number of rounds equal to ½ your wizard level. At 10th level you may add the giant template in addition to the advanced template to your familiar, or you may increase your familiar's Intelligence by an amount equal to ½ your wizard level. The increase to Intelligence is an enhancement bonus.
You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.
Spell Transference (Su): At 8th level, you may share or transfer the effects of any spell or spell-like ability you or your familiar are actively affected by with your familiar as a standard action for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive and you may deactivate the ability as a swift action. If you choose to share a spell, half the remaining duration of the spell rounded down. If you choose to transfer the spell, the new target suffers all remaining benefits or detriments for the full remaining duration or until the rounds per day are expended. In either case, if you use up the number of rounds per day this effect can remain activate for, or deactivate it before the spell duration expires, the spell effect returns to the original target for the remaining duration.
You must be within 30 feet of your familiar to active this ability.
Reliquary Bond Specialist:
Many wizards have an affinity for the magic baubles of their craft.
Reliquary bond specialists do not receive an extra spell per spell level for specializing.
If a reliquary bond specialist's bonded item is destroyed, he only needs to wait 3 days (instead of 1 week) before it can be replaced, and the ritual only takes 4 hours (instead of 8 hours) to perform. A reliquary bond specialist who attempts to cast a spell without their bonded item takes a -4 penalty to their concentration check.
Bauble (Su): Any spell a reliquary bond specialist casts that doesn't belong to an opposition school receives +1 to the DC so long as their bonded item is at full hit points and worn or wielded. At 20th level, the bond between wizard and relic becomes so close that upon the mage's death, his soul enters and possesses the item. The item becomes an intelligent item with mental traits equal to the wizard's and ego in accordance with his Intelligence. Its alignment matches its master's and it gains Empathy and Senses (30ft.). The item's purpose is to bring its master back to life. The item has no intelligent item powers but retains any enchantments it previously had and may cast a spell, or a number of spells (see below), per day as the bonded item ability (the item counts as a 20th level wizard). The spells cast by the item are at its own behest, it has no obligation to serve its possessor and can even attack if it feels so inclined. If the wizard is resurrected, the item loses these qualities.
The item counts as the material and arcane focus components for the clone and magic jar spells (including the physical portion needed for the clone and the body and jar for magic jar) as long as the clone is of the reliquary bond specialist. The wizard can reanimate with the appropriate spells so long as the item is not being worn, carried, or otherwise used.
Reliquary Focus (Su): If your bonded item is a staff or a wand you may activate it a number of times per day equal to 3 +your Intelligence modifier without expending any of it's charges. If it takes more than one change to activate the item, you must expend that many uses of this ability to activate it.
If your bonded item is a weapon, as a standard action you may make a single attack at your highest attack bonus. If the attack hits, you may refill an expended spell slot as though using a pearl of power of the appropriate level. This ability only works on creatures with hit dice equal to or greater than your own. This ability is usable a number of times per day equal to 3 +your Intelligence modifier.
(alternative bonded weapon option)
If your bonded item is an amulet or ring, you may use it a number of times per day equal to 3 +your Intelligence modifier to cast any spell that is in your spellbook and are capable of casting instead of the normal once per day. Each time you use this ability after the first you must make a Will save equal to 10 +the level of the spell cast +the number of times it has already been used that day. If you fail this save, the item losses one hit point, the use is wasted, and the DC goes up by 2 until the item is repaired. If the item is reduced to zero or fewer hit points it explodes in a burst of arcane energy and you take damage equal to 10 x the level of the spell you were attempting to cast.
Aether Blade (Sp): At 8th level, if your bonded item is a weapon, you can infuse it with arcane power. As a swift action, for a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level you may treat your bonded weapon as a ghost touch weapon. You may also ignore an amount of DR equal to half your wizard level as long as this ability is in effect. At 12th level, you may treat your bonded item as a brilliant energy weapon instead of a ghost touch weapon. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Hair Trigger (Su): At 8th level, if your bonded item is a staff or wand, you may activate it twice as a full round action. You may use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to your wizard level. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Arcane Reliquary (Su): At 8th level, if your bonded item is an amulet or ring, whenever you are dealt damage from an arcane spell or spell-like ability your bonded item absorbs the damage. The total amount of damage the bonded item can prevent each is equal to twelve times your wizard level. In addition, for every 10 points of damage absorbed from a single attack, you may extend the duration of any active spell affecting you by one round. This ability only protects against spells and spell-like abilities that deal hit point damage. The amount of damage the item can absorb is reset when you prepare your spells, but no more than once every 24 hours.
Some wizards prefer to focus on perfecting the arcane art of metamagic.
The additional spell slot per spell level from specializing can only be used to prepare a spell affected by a metamagic feat.
Metamagic Focus (Su): Whenever you apply a metamagic feat to a spell that increases the slot used by at least one level, increase the spell's DC by +1. This bonus does not stack with itself and does not apply to spells modified by the Heighten Spell feat. At 20th level, you may reduce the level increase of all metamagic feats you apply by one, to a minimum increase of one. This effect does not stack with metamagic mastery (see below).
Metamagic Intensity (Su): Whenever you apply a metamagic feat to a spell that deals hit point damage, you may add 1/2 your wizard level to the damage (minimum +1). This bonus only applies once to a spell, not once per missile or ray, and cannot be split between multiple missiles or rays. This bonus damage is not increased by Empower Spell or similar effects. This damage is of the same type as the spell.
Whenever you apply a metamagic feat to a spell that has a duration greater than instantaneous, you may increase the duration by a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your wizard level.
You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.
Metamagic Mastery (Su): At 8th level, you can apply any one metamagic feat that you know to a spell you are about to cast. This does not alter the level of the spell or the casting time. You can use this ability once per day at 8th level and one additional time per day for every two wizard levels you possess beyond 8th. Any time you use this ability to apply a metamagic feat that increases the spell level by more than 1, you must use an additional daily usage for each level above 1 that the feat adds to the spell. Even though this ability does not modify the spell's actual level, you cannot use this ability to cast a spell whose modified spell level would be above the level of the highest-level spell that you are capable of casting.
Goth Guru wrote:
I'm sorry, I must have misinterpreted you. I thought you were proposing that we have races aligned to the elements, which honestly I have no interest in anyway.
APG introduced elemental schools for wizards and Ultimate Magic added the metal and wood schools to those.
GM Elton wrote:
Both bloodlines can have a psionic flavor. :)
I still don't see it, but I'm really not all that up to date with psionics anyway. I'd always viewed it as an innate, ESP type thing, which is why I find it strange to include it in a high-fantasy setting.
GM Elton wrote:
Since Creativity has won, I will say that we stay with the Pathfinder base races, and creatively use the other races in the ARG as minor races or rare monsters and allow the rare unique race.
I agree, but I'd also say that anyone designing a nation may decide what races are dominant for their nation, so long as PC races are kept balanced.
GM Elton wrote:
So, I take it everyone assumes we have an Underdark, right? Do we also have sea nations involved, or uninvolved?
Yes on the Underdark. By sea nations do you mean submarine kingdoms? If so, I say there is something, but I have no interest in designing it; they worry about their own and don't bother the dry races.
GM Elton wrote:
I was hoping we could focus on Paizo published material while designing this, with the exception of our own tweaks for classes, races, and pantheon as appropriate for the setting, so that we're all somewhat on the same page. The only psionic support I've seen has been from 3rd party sources, and I'm hesitant to include an additional magic system that not everyone is familiar with.
If enough people are interested in including it in this setting, by all means include it, but my vote is against it.
What do you mean about the Dreamspun and the Starsouls? Is this referring to psionics, because I don't see how it's relevant.
Goth Guru wrote:
Benders animate an element to simulate magic spells. They use full body gestures, verbal elemental sounds, but no material components aside from the element. I think fire benders are able to pull fire from the sun.
You mean like furycraft from Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series? How would you implement this in our setting? There are already a number of alternative racial traits that can boost a race's "elemental bent" (pyromaniac for gnomes, stonesinger for dwarves, etc.).
I'd like to see an "underworld". We could do what I've been doing in my homebrews and give the underground regions an association with the land of the dead and other planes of existence.
I'm a bit hesitant to get behind that, there is already so much material available for underdark type creatures and races it would be a shame to dismiss all that just to replace it with undead and outsiders. Although, if our pantheon is pseudo-Grecian, then flavor-wise an underworld would be appropriate...
Thanks for your list, Necromancer. Your notes bring up an important point, we will need to discuss variants of major races and how our races are different from those in Pathfinder. I've been making assumptions about the Pathfinder races because everyone is familiar with them. We'll need to think long and hard before making any dramatic changes or deciding if a base race will be NPC only.
It might be easier to make some of these decisions if we knew more about the nature of the crusade.
Goth Guru wrote:
One of the abandoned clans can be a source of PCs.
That's what I figured. I was also thinking that there is another "clan" that was exiled. Basically they're a group of mercenaries called the Goldaxes made up of all the dwarves who were kicked out. Cutthroats and brigands, scum of the underdark type fellows.
Goth Guru wrote:
I'm thinking elves should have the option of wood bending. Dwarves could become earth or metal benders.
How do you mean? Give them extra spell-like abilities, a la shape earth/warp wood or is this some Avatar reference (I don't really know anything about that show).
GM Elton wrote:
I would rather not involve psionics in this setting.
What is a Wyvarin?
I'd like to see gnomes on that list as well, personally I prefer them over halflings. If we're getting crazy, I could convert the whisper gnomes from 3.5, but that's probably not worth worrying about right now.
I'd drop gnolls off the list, they seem more appropriate in a less eurocentric setting.
GM Elton wrote:
I don't remember if we decided if we should have an under dark or not.
If we don't have an underdark, I'd rather not bother working on dwarves.
I was thinking that the dwarven mountain ranges have long separated the elven forests from the orc badlands. The dwarves had always been a powerful race but they mostly focused on their underground kingdom and protecting their mountains. Their kingdom was greatly reduced when a sudden and powerful earthquake left them exposed to attacks by the drow and duergar. They were forced to collapse several important tunnels, sacrificing thousands of dwarves in order to save the rest of their kingdom. The years following the wars were rife with political tension and blame-casting and kept the dwarves focused on their own national crises. Now, further bickering among the clans and a rapid increase in the number of aberrations stalking the underdark has resulted in the dwarves further focusing their attention on subsurface concerns; they have abandoned the mountain clans to fight giants and orcs on their own.
The mountain passes that were once ruled by the dwarves are now infested with savage races hellbent on pillaging the forests on the other side of the mountains.
So there is a quick breakdown of some of the stuff I've been thinking about for our bearded brothers. Comments, complaints, concerns?
Goth Guru, can this fit in at all with what you had in mind for your Sylvan Alliance?
However there is currently right now classes that even beat the fighter at damage and we're trying to give the fighter better tanking options and a role outside of combat.
I won't argue whether other classes have the potential for more damage, but I will point out that fighters always get their full damage; it doesn't matter if they're fighting evil or a particular race, or if they ran out of rage points, so long as they have their favorite weapon they get their full damage.
Taunt isn't really the way to give them a role outside of combat and there are tons of feats that help a character tank. I have to agree with Aeryn's devil advocacy about how you can make choices to play the fighter you want, but I will grant you that making those choices might take away some of your fighter's combat prowess.
@ Aeryn Tahlro= Battle Focus seems fairly balanced, if a bit weak. I would change the number of times per day to 1/2 fighter level instead of HD. If this were a class feature, I'd make sure there were some other options or boosts at higher levels as well. I also might make a Bluff option.
Wasp-Catcher - Goblins throw wasp or hornet nests at each other, whoever has the fewest stings wins.
Bark-Stripper - Goblins circle a treant, or some other tree-type creature, and rush forward to strip a piece of bark off of it. Whoever gets the biggest strip, and survives, wins.
Knife-Biter - Goblins throw knives, axes, and other pointy objects at each other and try to catch them with their teeth. Whoever has the most teeth at the end wins.
Pull-the-Tail - Similar to Bark-Stripper, Pull-the-Tail is only for the bravest of goblins. The goblins find a horse (a pony is acceptable, so long as the goblins are in agreement it is a terrifying hell-beast) and dare each other to pull its tail. Most goblins only come within a few yards of it before scampering away, frightened by a snort or a whinny. There are legends told of a goblin hero who once pulled a horse tale completely off the animal and other tales that the same goblin is still playing a game of Pull-the-Tale, being dragged all across the world, his green hand firmly locked on the creatures hair.
There are other, less frightening, derivatives of Pull-the-Tale that replace the horse with a boar, lizardfolk, or dragon.
Goth Guru wrote:
The Elves named it the Sylvan Alliance, even if it includes some lizardmen. That's why I put it in quotes.
How big would this alliance be? Does it exclude evil fey?
I look forward to what you've got.
How expansive can I make this dwarf kingdom? Can I make several lesser kingdoms among them that are defined by the metals, mineral, or gems they mine?
Hmm... debuff is generally pretty well covered by other classes (casters, court bards, antipaladin, etc.), extra movement doesn't fit taunt flavor, neither does extra AoEs. If you are going to add a taunt mechanic, make it force an opponent to attack/target the fighter. The question is should it be a set DC (10 +1/2 fighter lvl +Cha?), that the opponent makes a Will save against, or a Bluff check vs. Sense Motive (or against a DC 10 +BAB +Wis; as a faint check).
Would this make more sense as a kind of combat maneuver or an extraordinary ability? If it functions as a combat maneuver then the fighter could have multiple opportunities to taunt an opponent. Being able to taunt as a move action would also help action economy.
As far as scaling goes, why not have the number of opponents you can taunt at once go up every few levels: one at 1st level and an additional opponent every three levels thereafter. Once an opponent has been targeted it cannot be targeted again for 24 hours.
I don't really know if this is the best way to shore up the fighter, especially since it is another combat option, which fighters already have a plethora of.
I thought there already was a feat or ability that forced opponents to attack you, but I can't remember it for the life of me.
That's funny, MagiMaster, I have no interest in the solar physics of our world, but I AM interested in the political aspects. That may be because I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire right now.
What do you mean by "elemental chaos over the inner planes"?
Goth Guru wrote:
I'm thinking the Elven forrests, the gnome hills, the halfling villages, and others formed an alliance. The Sylvian alliance is more concerned with fighting the orcs and goblinoids than the human's political squabbles.
I'm ok with that, but I never really considered halflings "Sylvan". It seems like a shame to kick dwarves out of the club as well, since they have a racial hatred for giants, goblins, and orcs. I'd rather see dwarves and gnomes aligned against those races (plus kobolds); maybe they tend to be particularly cruel towards them (racists). Perhaps internal conflicts are occupying the elves at the moment, a struggle between those that revere nature and those that favor arcane magic. The nature attuned elves have allied with sylvan creatures, while the arcane inclined make pacts with outsiders and gods of magic. Strange creatures have been coming out from the mountain the elves' forest surrounds and killing or abducting any creature they come across; none of the elvish scouts sent to investigate the caves have returned and now the elves are divided on how to deal with the problem.
Should each of the major races have their own nation, aside from the cross-bred races such as half-elves and half-orcs? Of course the races would be scattered about the world as well, but if we could concentrate a few areas on specific races it could help us define that race's general outlook on the world and other races.
For example, dwarves may be fairly secluded from humans and elves. Their main interactions with other races tend to be violent encounters with the goblins, orcs, and giants that cut them off from the more civilized races to the south. Their main connection to the outside world is through the gnomes who travel through the savage lands in mirage caravans to trade with them. Perhaps some dwarves opt to join the gnomes in order to see the world, but these dwarves are generally looked down upon by their kind as deserters who abandon their struggle with the savage races. The harshest punishment for a dwarf is to be exiled from their home and most dwarves found outside of their homelands are criminals; this tends to give dwarves a bad reputation with other races, they are viewed as a race of thieves and murderers.
This is a fairly generic example that explains the racial hatreds of dwarves and gnomes, offers a suggestion for geography, and provides examples of racial tensions and stereotypes within our world. If we want a race to be more prevalent, such as elves, they could have once been a dominant world power before their civilization collapsed and they dissolved into various smaller groups.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, Lazlo, but it seems like that would give summon monster a massive advantage, one that it really doesn't need.
If you're saying that a summon monster IX spell could summon a CR 18 creature, there is no way that is balanced.
Azten posted a breakdown of the CRs for creatures summoned for each summon monster spell.
If I am misunderstanding you, please explain what you were suggesting.
@ GM Elton: How about we start by talking about the crusades and work backwards? We can assume there is something of religious significance that two or more groups are fighting over. What is it and how do these groups differ?
1. Old ways vs. new ways; our main group worships the relatively new gods of man while the other group worships more primal concepts/deities.
2. The religions are fairly similar; the fighting is mostly political, maybe the entire crusade is more of a Catholics vs. Protestants situation (War of the Roses).
3. An entirely foreign force is attempting to spread its own ideas across our main area; outsiders, aberrations, etc. (personally I'd like to hammer out individual nations/kingdoms before introducing something of this scale).
Love the idea. Mechanically, and to a lesser extent thematically, summoning undead bothers me somewhat because it really has to be a conjuration school spell (which is arguably the most versatile school already). The thematic issue is that the summon monster list is entirely composed of extraplanar creatures, which you summon from another plane. Now this is really minor and the quick and easy fix is to say that there is a plane of undeath (or just use the plane of shadow or negative energy plane) from which you summon your undead minions. Honestly that's all fluff though.
It does bring up other ideas for summon monster lists though. How about rather than focusing the list on a type of creature, you focus on a plane you summon from? So if you are tied to the elemental plane of fire you can summon fire elements, efreet (sans wish), fire/magma mephits, thoqqqua, rasts, and azers. Templates make it easy to fill out lists for planes that have an alignment quality (celestial/entropic/fiendish/resolute) and elementals/mephits help fill out lists for planes with a focus on elements.
I think that makes a lot of sense thematically as well.
Tark the Shoanti wrote:
Damn, that is almost exactly like a setting I've been working on. Disappointment.
I agree with Tark about sticking close to the real world, but I'm not familiar with Outlands. The idea of scattered masses of land floating in aether is pretty cool (that's sort of how I imagined the astral plane and the plane of air anyway), though I'd just as soon start with a normal, medieval earth setting and build up from there. I would be all for a floating island or continent however, such as Laputa in Gulliver's Travels or the flying windmill from Feel Good Inc.), I could see it inhabited by cloud giants, djinn, or some less friendly race. There could even be a myth that it is flying islands populated by evil creatures that brings storms to the kingdom. Maybe these creatures used to rule the world but now are mostly concerned with their own affairs and haven't set foot on earth for 300 years. Potential avenue of discussion.
I would also be interested in talking about where magic comes from and how it is viewed and used, namely arcane magic. Is it a common tool or a dangerous weapon? Do peasants benefit from magic as well as the elite? Is it feared and shunned or esoteric and rarely seen? If divine magic comes from deities or the land, does arcane power flow from more dangerous places? Or is it simply another force of the universe, hiding just behind the surface of reality?
A coruscating ray springs from your hand. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to strike a target. The subject is affected as though by a slow spell. A successful Will save negates the slow effect and the target instead becomes exhausted for 1 round. Regardless of whether the target makes its save, you gain the benefits of a haste spell for the duration of this spell, so long as the ray struck its target.
A creature affected by false courage becomes immune to fear effects and Intimidate checks made against them, but believe themselves to be more skillful than they truly are. The subject of false courage cannot flee from combat, turn down challenges, or target themselves with spells, spell-like abilities, or items.
Transylvanian Tadpole wrote:
This spell is effective in a woodland setting, as well as other areas where the vegetation is thick enough to provide some level of concealment.
If the area already has concealment, then this spell is less beneficial. Rangers and druids already get woodland stride (unless they give it up for some archetype) and I agree with Count Duck about it being a cleric spell. It would be more useful if you changed it from personal to creature touched. Probably a 2nd level spell.
You should probably add a cap to the damage firetether does. Wall of fire caps at +20, so I could see this being anywhere from +5 to +15. A 2nd or 3rd level spell.
Terrestrial ejection should provide a saving throw, be at least 1 minute per level, and prevent creatures from entering rather than eject them outright (with a save), but each round could force them to make a save or be ejected. I think a cylinder would be a more appropriate shape for this spell (maybe as sleet storm). And put a cap on the damage. A 2nd, maybe 3rd, level spell.
Alternatively you could make this more of an attack spell and have it throw stones and dirt out of the earth to deal damage to enemies in the area; the expulsion of any burrowed creatures would just an extra effect. This would make terrestrial ejection a more versatile spell and much less circumstantial. Depending on damage, or if you add some other effects (difficult terrain, as stone call), this could be a 3rd or even 4th level spell.
I really don't care what the solar system is like unless it directly relates to the main world, such as multiple suns (Tatooine), extremely long or harsh seasons or weather conditions (A Song of Ice and Fire), or crazy solar phenomena (Aurora Borealis, comets striking often, constant moondogs, etc.).
I'm opposed to multiple inhabitable planets, there are already various planes and demiplanes, though I could potentially see portals connecting the main world to a Sisterworld.
I'd rather start zooming in than out (after we finish the pantheon) and let the people of our world decide what they think the stars/planets/universe are/is.
If we end up with a baker's dozen of deities, there could be six deities of 'civilization' and six of nature. Or we could do any combination of deities of various parts. It would probably be a good idea, however, if whatever represents civilization has a reason for creating multiple humanoids. It would also probably be a good idea for male and female to exist in each area. I'm not very fond of the undead, to be honest, and if we can keep them out I'm all for it. We also need to decide where evil comes from and what happens to bad people in the afterlife (if there is one).
I don't think the mortals really worship the Gods of Nature; they pray to the harvest god for a good crop, or the exploration/travel god for a safe journey. Some rural types might make the odd offering to a Primal God, but for the most part the humans pray to their own. I imagine they view the Gods of Nature as fickle as the wind and as indifferent as a bitter winter.
I was viewing this as purely the human religion, I find it hard to swallow that every major race shares the same religion, but I could see some small groups converting.
I think it would be more interesting to have the non-humans have their own beliefs, such as the orcs believing they were bled into this world by their one god or elves being more animistic/shamanic (the one-with-nature elf thing is overdone though). I also like the idea of gnomes being more cynical and believing that nothing really exists, it's all just one "Great Illusion".
And I wasn't talking about the undead; I was suggesting an explanation for why it is so easy for mortals to return to life through magic.
Also, and this goes out to everyone, I'd rather read a brief description (two or three sentences if suggesting multiples) of each proposed god and goddess than just a list of their portfolio. Show us what makes your rain god different from everyone else's.
@Indagare: All that is fairly generic, but I guess we've been starting fairly broad anyway.
What would make this holy place so special? Referring to my earlier suggestion, it could be where the God of Man was divided into however many lesser gods, or the first city where man gained an advantage over nature. It could also be a Mt. Olympus type place where the gods once lived/held council before they moved on for some reason. Is there any residual power from the gods there? Is the location what is important (trading nexus, mountain stronghold, resource rich area)? Has it been the seat of power for the mortal nations for the past seven hundred years?
Gods of Man and Nature:
There were two gods originally, the God of Man and the God of Nature. Nature was the challenge, an indifferent, merciless, and unyielding foe to Man. Man fought with Nature and granted his people the wherewithal to withstand and even oppose nature. The gift of fire, the knowledge of tools and navigation was all given by the God of Man, and man prospered. Civilizations arose, and from safe within their walls Man’s children forgot to fear the primal forces; they divided their god, broke him into pieces, and worshiped his individual accomplishments, their own accomplishments: cities, commerce, community, conquest, exploration, all things great and small they attributed to the God of Man and thereby to themselves, for when man looks upon gods they see reflections of their own. They gave their gods names and took them wherever they went; they made cities in their honor. But the cities grew prideful and stubborn, believing only they knew the will of the gods, they began to fight and burn each others’ cities and their gods, gods they once shared.
The Glorious Reflection that was their god became a Shattered Mirror, its pieces divided among mankind and the cities that survived.
We could throw in a god or gods of the Unknown and have a Man/Nature/Supernatural tug-of-war between all three groups; Man relates to mortal concerns, Nature relates to primal concerns that generally man cannot control, and Supernatural/Unknown would involve the unnatural or foreign things that man could not explain (possibly magic, aberrations, or the undead).
I was also thinking that the god of death is somewhat separate from all the gods and has many aspects depending on how someone or something dies. The aspect responsible for violent deaths was defeated/destroyed/imprisoned somehow and that is why magic can restore the dead back to life. If someone dies of old age or a natural cause, they cannot be brought back.
I figure the name should reflect the nature of the setting. It seems like the only things we know for certain are that it's based around a crusade of some kind, and focuses on a European nation (or nations) that has/have a pantheistic religion.
Can we have a poll for the tone/theme/mood and/or basic facts of this campaign? Is this a dark and gritty setting, how much is known about this world, is magic prevalent, do gods walk among mortals?
Should I stop asking questions and just start pitching ideas?
Are we only focusing on the main (European) area and their pantheon right now? What is the nature of the crusade? Do the "infidels," or whoever they are fighting, have a completely different religion (monotheism, animism, etc.), or is it merely an offshoot with a few significant differences?
Can we offer suggestions for other cultures or races, or does pretty much everyone on the continent worship the same gods?
Goth Guru wrote:
A god can be different things in different pantheons. The deity of magic heads the Elf pantheon, but the war god leads the orc pantheon. The goddess of spiders is a less evil being than her Drow aspect. Some bug exterminators honor the spider queen.
I agree; I was suggesting that we keep the gods' alignments ambiguous and let the mortals decide what is good and evil based on their culture and how they view the gods.
Personally, I think the gods should focus less on alignment and more on their personal portfolios. Let the mortals interpret them however they wish too; one group will see the god of war as a bloodthirsty savage, while others will see him as an honorable soldier god.
I voted for 13, though I think there should be dozens of lesser gods as well.
If it is a pantheon, does the number really matter? Of course there has to be certain major gods, but how specific does this need to be? We could start by making "the big seven" (or however many) and then add more to taste.
I think twelve major gods would resemble the Dodekatheon from Greek mythology, so (if we're picking numbers) we should try something different.
Also worth considering is the purpose of these gods (did they create the world or are they simply protecting it?) and how they interact with and view each other (are they all "family", do they bicker or loath one another, are they tied together by obligation?).
12 and a half.
Actually I'm mostly just dotting, but I like the idea of a few bastard gods running around (Hercules, Achilles, etc.). If the gods are approachable, former humans, then they should have a few flaws of their own; a randy Zeus-type deity could be an interesting addition to whatever pantheon we settle on and having half-gods on earth would bring mortals in general closer to the gods.
I might be getting ahead of myself but I have a couple of other concepts for deities as well...
There's a Monster Statistics by CR table at the back of the Bestiary (pg. 291) that is a good reference when creating monsters. If you follow that guide, you should be fine.
I'm with wraithstrike about dropping the size down to large. For a huge monster, its Dex is fairly high and its Str is pretty low. A CR 4 dragon should have 5 HD or so.
Soulofwolf is absolutely correct as well; if you're tailoring this to your game, keep the party's strengths and weaknesses in mind.
I agree with Queen Morgan on this, although increasing the critical threat range could potentially be abused.
What I did to answer the rogue conundrum was to create an archetype that replaced additional dice of sneak attack with antipaladin cruelties.
I've always thought rogues should be debuffers, not damage dealers (the full BAB and caster classes seem to have that under control), so I came up with this option. (I'll take suggestions for a better name though, right now "cruel rogue" is just a working title.)
Cruel Rogue (Rogue)
Some rogues prefer to focus on debilitating their enemies rather than simply trying to kill them.
Cruel Strike (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a cruel rogue selects a cruelty from the antipaladin’s list. This cruelty is applied to the first sneak attack the cruel rogue makes each round. The target receives a Fortitude save to avoid this cruelty. If the save is successful, the target takes damage as normal, but not the effects of the cruelty. The DC of this save is equal to 10 +1/2 the cruel rogue’s level + the cruel rogue’s Intelligence modifier. Creatures immune to sneak attack are immune to this ability.
A cruel rogue must pick from the 3rd level list of antipaladin cruelties. At 6th level they may pick from the 6th level list, and so on.
A cruel rogue must possess the major magic rogue talent in order to select the Cursed cruelty.
This replaces the additional die of sneak attack damage at those levels.
Are you sure inquisitor is the right class to base this off of? I think magus might be more appropriate, though I can see the need for more skill points. Witchers always struck me as more arcane than divine.
Mutagen is a good inclusion, but I think you have some balance issues considering you swap out a lot of non-combat abilities for very combat focused abilities.
Does swordsman improve? If so, when?
I don't like that they can apply two mutagens so much earlier than alchemists.
Good start though.