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Story Hook: The partyfulfilled an ancient prophecy, fortelling the messiah. But depending on interpretation, any of them could be the messiah.
Ok imagine 5 different narrative junctions.
You do not have to flesh these out in advance - rather let them develop organically during play, and spend some DM time reflecting between sessions.
Each iteration, choose a single word in the prophecy to change in light of new events. You can hash it up to translation, interpretation, what have you.
Just careful not to paint yourself into a corner.
Take a cue from the Acrobatics skill?
If you have 3 ranks in the Acrobatics skill, you get better mileage out of Fighting Defensively and Total Defense (+1 and +2 to AC respectively).
Maybe you could cook up something similar for the Athletics skill?
If you want to work with the system (using 5th level as "earth maximum" baseline), keep the modifier modest through the first 5 ranks.
I had this happen - and was inconvenienced by an unscrupulous weasel.
I called around for the 1st book of an AP, and got a guy who worked in my local game store saying he'd sell it to me for twenty bucks. I asked him if he'd take my number "just in case" and he refused saying "what for?" So I took 2 hours public transit to the store the next day. When I got there, the guy I talked to on the phone pretended that he didn't know what I was talking about. He had a horrible poker face. I just walked out.
I think what happened was he found out he could sell it for more, and since he didn't take my number, didn't give me a courtesy call to redact his offer.
Almost jaded me enough to discontinue my patronage to the store. Almost.
Morale: if you make a deal, make sure they take your number!
Only related tangentially, my group finds the Craft and Profession skills to be useless and are dump skills that receive one or two ranks at best. I know they can be fairly useful, but no one in my group ever bothers with them.
Craft can save a character money if they put in the time. Thus, I find the value of the skill to be largely dependent on the DM.
As for Profession, perhaps consider a house rule I use: For associated skill checks whose DC is under 20, Profession can act in place of other skills, provided a justification can be provided and agreed upon by player and DM. This way, you can get a little horizontal mileage out of the skill, but save specializations for the skills that actually cover the "high skill" functions.
For the sake of argument, my reasoning is threefold.
1) It's called Uncanny Dodge so I claim "intent" with this argument (you don't "dodge" a beam or wall while you traverse it).
Curious to hear the reasoning of the other side though...
Agreed with above posters.
If you want to improve the fighter's saves and skill points, why go the roundabout way? Just give 'em an extra save and extra skill points and class skills.
So maybe your fix could look something like:
A 1st level fighter chooses one of the following packages below and gains the listed skills as class skills.
Derring – Acrobatics (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (Local; Int),
I just deleted the skills that are already class skills and added a couple to even 'em out - perhaps aim for 3-5 per package
I have my own simple patch which I use in conjunction with tweaks to my base system (feats, skills, combat) and other 3rd party solutions.
Fighter gets 4 skill points, good Will saves, several more class skills (utilizing INT, WIS, CHA), and the ability to retrain their "fighter bonus feats" on a daily basis similar to how a wizard prepares spells.
Popping in to give my opinion about the Kickstarter survey (classes vs. monsters).
Count me in the camp that says changing the packages after the fact constitutes a breach in the original agreement, and is therefore bad form.
That said, I fully support the project moving forward, and expect to be dazzled by the final product. Best!
My change to Point Blank Shot is to let the Sneak Attack class feature "count" as it for feat pre-requisites. The reasoning is three-fold:
1) Archery is already a powerful style and deserves to be feat intensive.
So, your 1st level Rogue (of any race) can start their career being a specialist at shooting into a melee (Point Blank Shot), shooting with incredible speed (Rapid Shot), or shooting from incredible distance (Far Shot).
Furthermore, I also allow "Sneak Attack +3d6" to count for "BAB +6" pre-requisites for the Improved Precise Shot feat (yes I lowered the BAB from +11 to +6 to allow Fighters to keep up with Rangers), and generally allow sneak attack dice to count for twice it's dice number in BAB for other feats that I find thematic for a Rogue (like Improved Critical, Lunge, and Pinpoint Targeting).
I also do similar things with Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge.
To answer your last question, W E Ray, I think the idea is that you better be able to hit a target at 10 meters away [i]really well[i/] before you begin practicing anything else tricky.
I already do a few feat consolidations and bypasses (ex. "Improved Maneuver" feats upgrade immediately upon meeting pre-requisites, TWF and Improved TWF and Greater TWF are all a single feat, Sneak Attack counts as Point-Blank Shot for pre-requisite purposes, other tweaks).
But this thread got me thinking about an idea that may help you. Maybe at certain BAB unlocks (like 6, 11, 16; or maybe some other sequence) a character may "upgrade" a single feat for free by choosing another feat "up the chain" to unlock so long as they meet the prerequisites. Basing it on BAB would help the characters that need it most and be a general boost for everybody.
Ex. An 8th level rogue improving to BAB 6 who already has the Mobility feat may choose to unlock Spring Attack without spending a precious feat slot.
Good luck with your house rules in any case. Cheers!
Dropping in to give my opinion on Spheres of Talent.
(because I don't have a giant in the playground account per kickstarter recommendation)
I think the answer is yes, pending the success of Spheres of Might (which I believe will actualize in a big way with the community) with a caveat:
Because combat is at the center of the Pathfinder game, I don't think it'd just be as straight-forward as releasing a third book with 10 new "rogues" - because, in my experience, with the arguable exception of the Rogue base class, all classes either have Power (spellcasting) and/or Might (big attack bonuses), which constrains the design-space around focusing solely on Talent (skills).
So, I think the smart play it would be to think of a third Sphere system as something that sits atop the base two, which perhaps 2 or 3 new classes based entirely around Talent, and twice or thrice (or more) that many also utilizing Power and Might accordingly.
Short answer: Yes!
Some more background:
I'm actually going to run it as a "mindscape" of sorts. As in, the players will not be physically traveling to the Mwangi Expanse, but instead transported metaphysically to "re-live" an expedition that began as a successful overland adventure but quickly descended into a massacre of most of the expedition party - ending in an ancient ruin that has dark secret.
The goal of the "mindscape adventure" is expositional for a meta-plot. If even one PC survives to the "end" of the adventure, they unlock all of that backstory, basically gaining information as to what happened to the original expedition some 50 years ago.
Hope that makes sense.
Saint Caleth wrote:
Absolutely no pressure.
But I am definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product!
And if you would like some vectored feedback after I run it (with some flavor doctoring, likely), I can provide you that.
I would love to have a look at the full proposal!
I dunno if that helps, but I've been wracking my mind to think of some kind of suggestion to accompany my criticism. Digging into the combat system this deeply causes some ugly inconsistencies to rear (like "hand of effort" and "natural vs unarmed attacks" and "unarmed size increase") while simultaneously creating opportunities to address some of those inconsistencies. Perhaps with some further development, the Open Hand sphere can be such an opportunity?
Scàthach Ulster wrote:
I like this perspective.
The PCs are recruited for a mission to assist the Bellflower Network with a rescue. Their contact has a ship, and the PCs are to sail to the estate of a noble who lives on the coast just outside of a large city, break into the well-guarded estate, evacuate the halflings that live there, and escape.
Dangers include navigation through suddenly bad weather, sea monsters, the noble's mini-army of land and boat bound soldiers, and the noble family themselves who have some sort of supernatural secret.
Designed for a full party of characters 4th or 5th level.
I think I like this and will run it by my players. I am now curious to see your Gnome stats. I assume, similarly, you merely turn the "Small Size" into the "Little Folk" trait and call it done.
How long have you been doing this for?
How would you change the mechanics?
This makes sense to me.
One more point I want to make and then I'll back down.
I feel like your proposal, as-written, doesn't really "feel" like a poison. It's basically just a re-flavored bomb. The cool thing about the concept of recurring damage is that it differentiates the mechanics in such a way that it changes the "feel" as well.
If the Toxicicist uses a recurring-damage mechanic, then instead of getting instant burst damage, their victim eventually "succumbs" after a few rounds (and failed saves) which "feels" more like a poison-laced victory for our Toxicicist.
Either way, good luck writing your class!
We could even potentially do an "Unleashed Juggernaut" monster sphere...
So let's say this Monster Sphere concept comes to fruition by virtue of the size of the kickstart being able to stretch it. What would we be looking at here? Like, five special Monster Spheres, general rules/suggestions for advancing monsters using Spheres, and twenty sample monsters CR 1-20?
Something like that?
You know, I kind of like the idea where higher level slots are granted but without corresponding spells known. This leaves it in the DM's purview to control access to higher level "game-changer" spells without impeding terribly on the progression.
If I were to do something like this, I would still keep the Wizards and Clerics in the game as masters of metamagic with the spells that are still available.
Perhaps gate spells I wanted to control behind some kind of "ritual" mechanic - perhaps as X/week abilities that allowed the Wizard or Cleric to sacrifice high level spell slots for the week in order to have occasional, controlled uses of spells that typically "game-change" narratives.
To me, it's being able to cast these spells with incredible frequency that poses the biggest challenges for higher level play - and less the existence of the spells themselves.
This kind of project seems to have the same motives that springboarded inspiration for E6, E8, or E12.
As a DM, I run that "believable" < "unlikely" < "far-fetched" < "impossible" and that only one can apply to a specific con.
That said, I could imagine a situation where a lack of needed convincing proof could stack against a believability penalty on a single Bluff check - even though no such penalty exists on the table (but could be inferred from it's opposite).
And ultimately, perhaps your DM's frustration is that there is no automatic way that the difficulty of Bluffing (or using Diplomacy to influence) his NPCs increases with their level? I share this frustration and implemented a house rule that NPCs add their level, their WIS, and their CHA to a base DC of 10. Any attempts to Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate them must succeed against this DC. If using Bluff, then one of the believability penalties applies. And this works well at our table.
Friendly to Amanuensis' suggestion, I could see your poison being "frequency-fied" like so:
A Toxicicist's poison deal 1d6 damage plus his Intelligence modifier once per round for one round, plus one round for every two Toxicicist levels he possesses, and requires a single successful save to throw off the effects. Multiple poisons in a single victim stack damage and virulence - the victim only makes a single save each round, and each successive dose increases the Fortitude DC by +2.
What are you going to do about the following discoveries:
Concentrate poison: The alchemist can combine two doses of the same poison to increase their effects. This requires two doses of the poison and 1 minute of concentration. When completed, the alchemist has one dose of poison. The poison's frequency is extended by 50% and the save DC increases by +2. This poison must be used within 1 hour of its creation or it is ruined.
Sticky poison: Any poison the alchemist creates is sticky—when the alchemist applies it to a weapon, the weapon remains poisoned for a number of strikes equal to the alchemist's Intelligence modifier. An alchemist must be at least 6th level before selecting this discovery.
The kickstart announced that the development team can do one but not both of:
1) Creating extra DM Monster material ("Mighty Sphere Monsters")
I for one would be a a proponent for the former. But that is because my primary role is a DM right now.
That said, I am unclear where the "voting by backers" (?) for this will be...
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