I like the mechanical crunch of this class, after having reviewed it on d20pfsrd.com, however I feel that the "tongue-in-cheek" commentary in the class abilities takes away from the professional quality of the game mechanics and makes it seem, overall, less polished.
You're hit right out of the gate with text like, "As it turns out, it is particularly difficult to perform all of the ridiculous pantomiming necessary to get an automaton to do the tinker's bidding when the tinker doesn't understand how his full plate works" that is entirely surreptitious to the class' mechanics. It feels, at times, like text of this nature serves to obfuscate the actual mechanics, where text should be informative and concise.
While this sounds like a review, I can't give a full product review without actually testing out the viability of the class, and that may be a ways out yet. Hopefully in future releases, Interjection Games can have a more clean and polished feel for their classes like I've come to expect from other 3rd party publishers and Paizo.
Another example of this kind of distractionary text comes in the description for the Swarm ability. "As the dust (nanobot corpses) clears, the tinker realizes that he isn't going to die. In fact, this swarm appears to be awaiting his orders. Most excellent."
Nothing in that sentence helps us understand the abilities themselves and, in breaking up the first text about the Swarm devouring an entire lab's worth of materials makes things more confusing than they need to be. Does the swarm actually devour an entire lab's worth of materials? Does this event actually happen when the Tinkerer gains this ability, or is that just flavor text? I can't rightly tell, and that is part of the problem.
Embracing silly is fine and great, but only when it doesn't otherwise damage the integrity of a fantastic class. As written some of the abilities, Swarm specifically comes to mind, have inscrutable mechanical aspects that will inevitably require additional interpretation, questions and adjudication (which adds more work for the DM.)
Let me expand upon that. There is a rather vocal group of people within my regulars who really hate abilities that function because "That's the way the DM said so." The Tinker is an attempt to construct something complicated without anything carrying that level of... let's call it "arbitrarity". Also, I'm a smartass.
I think, in some regards, you may have done the exact opposite in this. The Swarm's description describes a scenario where an entire lab's worth of gear is devoured when they activate. How much gear before it stops? Does it matter whose? Does it occur exactly when the PC levels up and attains Swarm? Will they know this happens?
It feels like those are a lot of questions the DM is going to need to answer, arbitrarily, and tell the Tinkerer player that "it happens like this..."
Taken from The Swarm - This should fix most of the issues you see, aye?
Further, the swarm has three charge points that refresh each day at dawn. The following abilities all cost one charge point to use. As a standard action, the tinker can order the swarm to turn raw materials into a finished product as the fabricate spell. Upon reaching 14th level, the swarm has grown advanced enough to process living creatures. Treat this as the disintegrate spell, but if it kills the creature, it immediately fabricates the corpse instead of vaporizing it. At 17th level, the swarm can do the same to all creatures, as well as reshape persistent magical effects with hit points, such as a wall of force. For each of these, the DC is 10 + 1/2 tinker level + Int modifier and the caster level is equal to the tinker's class level -3. Given the swarm is mechanical, these abilities all ignore spell resistance; however, damage reduction applies.
|Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal|
Oh, good grief, mate. I'll be making changes to it for awhile, I daresay. Making flow better, stubbornly defending the poorly-written jokes, you know the drill.
As it is, it's totally playable if you remember Deploy Automaton is 1/day/level. It was pretty idiotic of me to forget something so central to the class. If you find anything else and I agree it's an issue, I'll see what I can do regarding getting you free stuff as a "QA bounty".
Haven't bought this, but am checking it through d20pfsrd and it seems pretty good, though they haven't got the updates yet.
1. Keep the jokes, they're awesome, I will review this if necessary just so you keep the jokes. The pokes at Lex Luthor and Cave Johnson are awesome. More products should have stuff like that.
2. Just so I understand right, a 5th level tinker has an alpha and an automaton, he has say three blueprints and can deploy 5 times a day. That means he can change his one automaton into any of three forms a total of five times a day? Turret to fighter to healer, to turret to fighter and now I have to wait tommorrow to change the automaton again. That right? When I can have two automatons deployed can I deploy them with the same blueprint? Can I keep my automton deployed all the time and save my daily deployments to change him if needed?
3. Is scribe Invention usefull for anything besides copying your inventions so other tinkers can learn them?
4. When an invention says it replaces another do I have to put them both on the blueprint or just the high level one? Do I have to pay 6 buildpoints for Mechanical Monk Module, Monkling Module and Acceleration Module or jus three for Monk? Also since they both replace Acceleration module, I'm thinking you can't put Monk and Shadwdancer on the same blueprint, right?
5. Can I put to design inventions on the same blueprint? Stout and Bulky for instance, or Streamlined and Nimble?
6. Can a creature with Minelayer Compartment and another Compartment dump all of the alchemicals in its compartments on the mine or just the ones in the Minelayer? If the Automaton has more than one compartment cn he fire from all its compartments with a flaskapult or does it need to have several flaskapults installed?
Yeah, the SRD version isn't updated as of yet. As it is, I need to clean up the Invention Book Sidebar, The Swarm, Deploy Automaton, and I believe one of the tables has a column with incorrect data in it. I had family over and all, so this weekend has been zero productivity. Also near on zero sales after a week of earning enough money to stand on my own two feet and survive. That simply means I need to get the first iteration of my next 15,000 word project done and quit making the little 1,000-2,000 word things.
1. Aye, though Lucent does bring up a good point with the one he decided to focus on the most. It is the sole joke in the product that actually becomes disruptive enough for me to frown at it.
2. Correct on all counts, save a new deployment is a totally new machine. This is important, because if a new design were to share inventions, your means of thinking would call into question whether hit points restore, inventions refill charges, etc. etc. When I update the SRD entry, I'll make sure that an update didn't clarify this.
To think of it as pure, ludicrous mechanics, this means you can picture that the tinker has access to a hammerspace bag because he's literally carrying around machines equal to his level (or greater) on his back at all times. If you have a maximum of 1 automaton and deploy a new one, the old one shorts out. Your thinking is more along the lines of the Switcheroo greater innovation (though I may have renamed that to Quick Swap - check both names).
2a. If you deploy an automaton the day before and keep the fellow out all night, congratulations, you start the day with an automaton deployed and a full day's worth of deployments. This is the biggest remaining hiccup in level 1 tinker balance. Nice job finding the break, hero :P
3. Nope. It merely exists to put a cost on invention distribution.
4. You pay for the entire tree, so 6 points. You are also correct regarding Monk and Shadowdancer. This was designed for two reasons.
1: Certain upgrade paths are mutually exclusive. (While we're at it, the only reason automatons get initiative bonuses is because although they act on your initiative, you're not always around. An Independence Script automaton, the alpha, even a poor mindless sap with innovations in place to allow it to defend itself and told to walk forward may have to act on its own.)
2: You don't need to look up three inventions that say +10, +10, +20 movement speed. It's all on one entry and condenses down what you need to know.
5. Regarding Designs, go wild and slap on as many as you wish. They are marked as Designs for two reasons. One, they generally give and take, which is a fun thing to set aside as a subtype. Two, an individual who invests heavily in innovations can dig to the Designer innovation and effectively increase his BP by 2, though in a limited set of inventions - the Designs. Again, though the Tinker is a pile of over 100 inventions and a bunch of innovations, it's still just a baby. Yes, it works. Yes, it's relatively well balanced. Yes, it's complicated as all getout (something I wish to keep doing in the future, as complexity and I get along quite nicely). Still, it could be more complex, more balanced, and more free-flowing. The fact that certain core ideas bring up questions is a sign that, at some level, I failed to deliver optimal product. If you pick up the actual manuscript, I'd love to hear your feelings regarding whether or not some of these issues vanish.
One of the reasons for Designs and the Designer innovation is simply to mark the place saying, "Yes, descriptors/subtypes can indeed exist for inventions!" It is my hope that by doing this, I give people the nudge needed to develop entirely new sets of inventions for the class based on what they want to do with it. As it is, I made multiple axes of modularity to make it fun for anyone to expand, including myself, of course. The Tinker is presently the strongest product I have. Should it keep being strong, I have no problem building more and more pieces for it until some sort of full-color, consumer art printed Kickstarter is actually a reasonable thing for its future.
6. A minelayer drops mines. Extending the size of a compartment is not something the addition of a new compartment does. It is treated as a separate entity. As such, a new flaskapult / lobtube is needed for each compartment you wish to use in this manner. That being said, should I ever find an excuse to add a bunch of new inventions, a "compartment extension" is suddenly near the top of the list, as it makes the ranged archetype less... dependent on the tinker if the investment is made.
Thanks for the questions. There's some good datapoints in there :)
I've been looking over the class, and it is thoroughly delightful. I have a couple of questions, though.
1. Does the tinker have to spend time building the automatons before deploying them, and is there a related material cost?
2. I'm planning on house-ruling in some inventions (such as wings); is there any criteria you used to determine the BP cost?
3. The class gets some pretty intense buffs to craft, but aside from a cheaper way to restock 1 use items such as crossbows/bolts, what utility was it intended to have?
4. If a automaton was outfitted with 2+ crossbows, all equipped with reloading winches, could both be reloaded simultaneously, or is there a power constraint that limits the automaton to the normal number of actions per turn? This isn't really limited to crossbows; if my tinker were to make a horrifyingly large beetle-shaped automaton with mandibles comprised of one or more sets of sickles, would it get terrifying bite attack, or just be limited to a more reasonable number of attacks/amount of damage per turn?
5. Does it take time to redesign blueprints?
6. The tinker appears to be able to give his automatons repair kits, but doesn't seem to be able to repair them on his own. As I am relatively new to pathfinder, it is entirely possible I have missed something very obvious here.
7. Perhaps it is just me, but I feel that everyone would benefit if the tinker was able to tell their automatons to cling them as an unsettling approximation of armor. Fidgeting, potentially explosive armor that stares at everyone unsettlingly.
1. The tinker spends an hour getting all the standardized parts ready to go at the beginning of the day. If he doesn't spend that hour, he doesn't refresh his deployments.
2. I was actually considering wings. Eyeball it and have fun, though my design was going to hide wings behind an innovation, much like the potion injector. If there's enough call for it, I can dust off my materials and add another 50 inventions to the mix.
3. I am currently playing a level 8 tinker in the Slumbering Tsar and 1 rank in lots of craft skills ends up being incredibly useful once you've got yourself a business in The Camp. Be creative and it comes up a LOT.
4. An automaton can only have one of an invention unless stated otherwise. If I didn't put that down in the document, you found a bug and I suppose I owe you a bottom shelf product.
5. Happens during the answer to #1. Alpha can only be redesigned upon leveling.
6. That is correct. Automatons repair each other, then get thrown away. You represent the disposable society!
7. I've toying with an "Iron Man" prestige class. It's a terror to balance, what with the fact that a tinker can have 85 build points hanging off of him a level 20, but I'm getting there. So, no, not just you.
Good to know on #4; I may have to recalibrate some of my more heavily burdened designs. Either that, or ask my DM if I'm allowed to invent weapons. One way or another, I am intent on making a rideable large-sized scarab with pincers. With potion injectors, for injecting fluids into my friends, because I feel like if my creations aren't at least as menacing to my allies as they are to my enemies, I'm doing something horribly wrong.
2 others that I thought of as well,
1. If using a weapon mount does the bot deploy with a crossbow, if so what kind/size? If not can I place any crossbow in it including repeating ones?
2. If a bot has arms and a weapon mount and the arms are wielding an crossbow is it also proficient with that crossbow due to the weapon mount? Can it attack with both weapons at full base attack or does two weapon fighting apply?
Hej bulldogc, hope I can help:
The Tinker should have the skill requisites - since it is he who applies them to his automatons.
1. Size according to size of automaton, I guess - medium automatons get medium crossbows. As far as I've understood it. You could either choose light or heavy ones, since they both are simple weapons, but NOT the exotic weapons that are repeating crossbows - at least unless also taking the exotic weapon level 6 invention.
2. I think that you'd require two weapon flailing invention, granting you two weapon fighting and following the rules of that analogue to the entry of standard dual-wielding crossbows.
2. He deploys with the specific kind of crossbow you trained him in. If you took Simple Weapon Mastery, you still need to select a single kind of crossbow, as a weapon mount only allows for a single weapon. The weapon size is understood to be the same as the automaton.
3. You've hit upon one of the grey areas of the supplement here. Let's go with my intent. Given automatons have been designed to be incapable of doing anything special that they have not been programmed to do, it should be impossible to two-weapon fight without the Two Weapon Flailing invention. With two-weapon fighting and a crossbow, an automaton with a weapon mount is able to utilize the crossbow in its arms as its primary and the weapon on its noggin as the offhand. At high levels, the offhand's fire rate will be dictated by the reload limit of a reloading winch, as well as that of the two-weapon fighting sequence the automaton can use. The primary crossbow can be reloaded as if it were the only crossbow being used due to the free hand that this interesting design of yours allows. Note that all penalties for two-weapon fighting with large crossbows will apply.
Now, this design of yours is still subject to GM interpretation. Say there is a monster with four arms and three crossbows. Can it reload all three crossbows with Rapid Reload as a plethora of free actions? If the answer is yes, then your automaton doesn't need a reloading winch and you may very well have broken the rate of fire gating I built into the class. That being said, the penalty to hit is going to be bad enough that this round of lateral thinking doesn't exactly worry me.
Keep ripping it apart, Bulldog. I might release a 2-3 page FAQ to cover the weirdnesses of the class design if more questions come on down.
Oh, and stay tuned. I'm releasing a magic items supplement that grabs healthy doses of the old school way to do things and the console games tabletop's evolution has been mirroring to make something both familiar and new at the same time.
I bought and downloaded the pdf last sunday (the 7th) and could not find anything about how many times per day the deploy automation has been used.
I thank you for adding that errata in this discussion, but I was wondering why it's still not in the document?
Aggwaa~ oogle *drool*!
Can't wait to try it out!!!
It is mentioned under Thick Armor that the automaton gets a +1 enhancement bonus to it's natural armour, does that mean that the automaton gets natural armour through some means other than inventions? Does this base ever increase?
Also, what movement type(s) does an automaton have? Automaton movement is never mentioned, however there are pictures of hovering and flying automatons in the pdf.
...Really, now? I'm rather sure I went through and updated it everywhere. Huh, alright, now did you get it through this product or through the bundle? I'll immediately fix the borked area.
For reference, does the sidebar just before the invention book begins have some repetition with the FAQ near the end of the document? If so, that's version 1.1.
I bought it standalone - also I didn't see the new posts and updated my previous post with a P.P.S :P
Also, I can't see a sidebar - not at the beginning of the invention list, nor during/after the invention format section.
I also cannot see a sidebar near the FAQ section.
Are you referring to the two column layout? Or am I just blind?
Automatons only walk in the base product, though you can conceivably make them swim with some skills. Speed is as normal for critters of their size. (Small 20 feet, medium 30 feet.) And given that is literally the 4th time I've answered that question, I'll be updating the class to make that question go away... right after I finish two more overly complex flagship products with tiny oversights that bite me in the rear for months :P
Alternate mobility is the main selling point of Tinkering 201. Give the class a few sessions of play, see if you like it, then grab the extras if you want :)
The enhancement bonus to natural armor is simply to bring it in line with amulets of natural armor. As it is, I saw something like the Rogue Alpha archetype coming when I designed the base class and stopped that oversight before it had a chance to exist.
Toss an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you a copy of the new version right now. The upload will take a day and the eye of the store ninja to go through and you're vibrating too hard to wait that long.
Upload complete. Version 1.2 of the tinker will be out tomorrow. Version 1.3 will be out after I'm done with One Bling to Rule Them All and The Ethermancer: Weaver of Interuniversal Energies.
As for the time of that, I'm down to tables to integrate into the core rulebook, layout, and the creation of this last minute set of six items for One Bling to Rule Them All. Two days.
The Ethermancer has about 7,000 words to its name and will likely take a week of heavy work to complete and get on the beta track.
We've hit 150 sales of the Tinker! According to that thread oh so very long ago, I owe you gents a Steamsinger bard prestige class. I've got it roughdrafted on a notebook. Expect at least 4,000 words and a $2 price tag.
50 more sales to Super Mega Ultra Mecha Fighting for You Me and All of Our Friends! To be honest, Mecha was a joke offering to begin with. The idea that I'm actually sitting here expecting to be obligated to create that monstrosity in a month or so is just... overwhelming, to say the least.
We'll have to put our heads together and make some more stretch goals. What tinker weirdness do you want to see when the class hits 250 and 300 sales? More oddball archetypes and prestige classes that prove the tinker is capable of reindeer games with the muggle classes out there?
What about an alternate tinker archetype that doesn't make automatons at all, but instead has equipment with build points for a total "Iron Gnome" playstyle? Just imagine a hat that launches alchemist's fire using its own actions, boots that grant additional speed, and guantlets that crack off the Tornadic Rampage of Inexorable Pugilism. Of course, given the deployment system being what it is, the class would need a daily supply of batteries to recharge limited use per day inventions on the gear.
At this point, I think I've got the community's ear on this one, so it's time to get crazy and see how deep the rabbit hole goes!
Thanks for the response, some of the early examinations of these robot configurations has been head scratchy but they are slowly but surely being worked out :P
A couple of things that might be worth putting into the book for clarity is stuff like a sample level 1 automaton in a monster stat block style. 3.5 psionic (I suspect elsewhere as well) did this with the astral construct and it made recreating the creature on a pet sheet so much easier. The way things are laid out now a lot of questions remain unanswered definitively, for example, should they move at the normal 20 feet for a small creature, do they get the attack/ac modifiers for being small? Do they get the big strength/nat armor boosts and dex drops for eventually becoming large? a lot of these kinds of things could be very nicely summed up with 1 page of state blocks.
That said, still bought all of the books and I'm looking forward to becoming an innovator with my custom made gnomish shuriken launcher which will be mounting arms that fire 2 more shuriken launchers with a bot standing by to reload them:P
Also, would LOVE to see the "ironman" class, I'm already planning on throwing a cockpit into my gigadroid and "wearing" that around:P
And that the Amora Games version has ad space on my Tinker entry in the SRD store. I've come to accept that my class helps to sell theirs. Happy to do it given they don't holler for accidentally stealing the name.
As far as the ad goes that has nothing to do with us. I think that is SRD store coding. I've never paid for an ad to my knowledge.
As far as the name, it's just a name. :)
We really do love your tinker class though. The mechanics and fun are all in the right spots!
I assume it does analogue to the way e.g. Lifespark constructs gain skills - i.e.(2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) x (HD +3).
Feat-wise, I'd go for feats according to HD that's usually the default way it's handled. And yes, that is powerful, but I assume it should be - as the capstone...
No clue regarding Wis and Cha, though personally, I'd go for 10.