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Spheres of Might (PFRPG) PDF

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Starfinder Compatible!!

There's so much more to martial combat than swinging a sword, and so much more to martial characters than waiting for the next fight.

Spheres of Might is a brand new approach to building martial characters in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. From the makers of Spheres of Power, Spheres of Might changes combat into a cinematic experience, replacing boring, repetitive combats with tactical decisions, dynamic exchanges, and a host of options that let martial characters be as fun to play outside of combat as they are inside.

Within this book, you'll find:

8 New Classes — including the armiger, the blacksmith, the commander, the conscript, the scholar, the sentinel, the striker, and the technician.

23 Combat Spheres — granting a host of new abilities based on concept, including alchemy, athletics, barrage, barroom, beastmastery, berserker, boxing, brute, dual wielding, duelist, equipment, fencing, gladiator, guardian, lancer, open hand, scoundrel, scout, shield, sniper, trap, warleader, and wrestler.

Full Archetype Support — both for new classes and old classes, giving a breadth of new options for creating and enjoying martial play.

Legendary Talents — for when games deserve to become truly epic, legendary talents allow games to reach beyond the gritty to truly mythical proportions, including leaping mountains, stealing skills, and bending armies of monsters to your will through sheer force of personality.

Non-Magic Support — with the help of the scholar's knowledge, the blacksmith's skills, and the technician's inventions, Spheres of Might gives a variety of options to facilitate games with little or no magic at all, greatly expanding the stories that can be told with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game without requiring extensive re-balancing.

GM Support — including monsters from CR 1-21, along with guidelines for making the most of cinematic combat and the Spheres of Might system in your games.

NPCs for every new class to spark ideas or drop into a game.

Starfinder Conversion — giving you the information needed to adapt the system to Starfinder rules.

And much, much more!

Product Availability

Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

DDSSOME


See Also:

Product Discussion (157)
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Paizo Employee Webstore Coordinator

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Now Available!

Shadow Lodge

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YES YES YES! Oh, if only I had the spare money for this right now. Are hard or soft backs available elsewhere or were they just Kickstarter things?


Maybe next month: I'm a tight-fisted miser. Plus there's other stuff to want. But it's a definite purchase at some point.

Scarab Sages

Dragonborn3 wrote:
YES YES YES! Oh, if only I had the spare money for this right now. Are hard or soft backs available elsewhere or were they just Kickstarter things?

You can preorder a print copy in either soft or hardcover on Backerkit currently, and we'll probably have print available on Paizo and DriveThruRPG in the 45-90 day window, maybe sooner.

Shadow Lodge

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Awesome. This stuff is going to be awesome if I can get it before my players finish Emerald Spire :)


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As a Kickstarter backer, I have my copy of this in... and it'll take a bit to do a full review, but suffice to say that I like what I see so far. XD

(Also? This is early. The original release date was for December of this year. That's unexpected, but quite welcome.)

Scarab Sages

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GM Rednal wrote:

As a Kickstarter backer, I have my copy of this in... and it'll take a bit to do a full review, but suffice to say that I like what I see so far. XD

(Also? This is early. The original release date was for December of this year. That's unexpected, but quite welcome.)

Assuming that there's not some really big issue that somehow squeaked through editing, we're hoping that that December release date projection will coincide with hardcover availability and the .pdf release for Champions of the Spheres, our "gish book".

Shadow Lodge

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...it's like you're stealing my money. Damn you and your wonderful products!


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I've also gotten my PDF from the Kickstarter. It is simply amazing seeing it all laid out.


Aaaaand I may have been kidding about the time needed for reviews. XD I got one up. Just LOOKING at it is making me itching to start theorycrafting.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I can't wait for the Gish book.

Now that I have the final book,I'm putting together a Gestalt Conscript/Incanter. I love the art and layout; the content I already knew I really liked. :)


How does the technician's autonomous creations insight work with creating constructs from the bestiaries when the ability says that you can only make constructs in the form of independent inventions?

Scarab Sages

Milo v3 wrote:
How does the technician's autonomous creations insight work with creating constructs from the bestiaries when the ability says that you can only make constructs in the form of independent inventions?

I bumped Adam and Ehn with this question since I'm not familiar enough with the Technician to feel comfortable answering, one of them should be over once they're available to post an answer.


Without steampowered/chemical/electrical/mechanical insight, you are limited to creations based on independent inventions. If you have one of those other insights though, you can make constructs without being limited in that fashion, so long as what you are making is an official golem of that style, or is given the appropriate subtype (aka, costs 50% more but gains some extra abilities).

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.

And now time for my dev post about having worked on this project.

Martial Traditions
Holy damn, are these fun to write. Like wow, the base concept for characters is a hell of a drug, and I'm sure we could have included a dozen more of these (look forward to seeing them in supplements), especially with everything that we went through in order to make sure that these were fun for players. Seriously, it's hard to understate how much fun it was to write these.

Sentinel
Building a tank of my own design was a fun challenge, and while it started as more of an alignment neutral paladin, it slowly changed into the massive beast that it is now. To me, that d12 was vital in making this concept work, and I wanted to really give something that had a sense of weight to it. The end result was something that I really enjoy, and I think those looking for a tanky character are going to have a lot of fun with this class.

Sentinel Archetypes
There were a few concepts I knew I needed to hit here, like the lightly armored warrior, the paladin, and the patrol tank, and all of them really work well here. Sure, the Darkness Defender is having some issues, but that's being fixed up now.

Striker
So this was basically my video game character, the monk expy of the book. The idea was more for a fast and frantic class, one that has a resource that always needed to be kept in mind. For that, tension was used to make players consider everything that they were doing, every tension spent, and every action as though it was also a strategy game they could play by themselves. I think Striker is going to appeal to a large group of people who enjoy this style of play.

Striker Archetypes
With the striker's archetypes, I had a bit more fun, doing more unique things and tapping into concepts I'd wanted to work with for a while, like the blackpowder brawler. Strong Style Grappler was another favorite, but I really love the skirmishing scout for its flavor and scout like nature.

Alchemy Sphere
While I only did half of this, the concept was originally going to be its own sphere, and that was poisons. The create a poison concept was based on the Toxicant archetype as I wanted poisons to feel more unique in what they did and not be tied to ability damage. Because of this, I feel like they play a lot better than core poisons, and the 'buff poisons' were an idea I'd thought was something that should have been touched upon long ago.

Barroom Sphere
Now this was a sphere that almost wasn't, but eventually we all decided it should exist. Owing to things like Drunken Master and Mad Dog from Ong Bak, the sphere was meant to be very visceral and in your face, something that you could use in any tavern, as adventures often include them. Funny, as I'm not a drinker myself, but the sphere has a lot of fun in it.

Boxing Sphere
From the simple idea of 'counterpunch' came another unique sphere that became one of my favorites. The idea of counterplay wasn't unique here, but there was a lot that went into making it fluid and enjoyable, as well as some faithfulness to the base concepts that encompass boxing.

Dual Wielding Sphere
Another that I grew to love, there was some issues stretching out the utility here, but I absolutely love two weapon fighting, so it was a labor of love. The real fun was making sure it wasn't just melee dual wielding, but ranged dual wielding as well, and even mixed dual wielding which is thematically a concept I adore and wanted to make viable.

Equipment Sphere
This was jokingly called our 'misc' sphere for a while due to how we treated it. Probably the most revised near the end, equipment is where we put proficiencies and fun stuff that involved gear. How we did proficiencies was one of my favorite parts of this, and one that we back and forthed on for a while before settling into how we have it now. All and all, it's probably the most dip friendly sphere, and one everyone will check out eventually.

Lancer Sphere
Oh man, Impale was my BANE trying to make it work in a realistic way. The end result is a pretty long description, but also one that considers many different situations. My most brutal sphere, the idea of impaling someone is a very visually striking concept, and one that I think plays out really well if you focus around it. Definitely a sphere that I can see building around.

Open Hand Sphere
Another sphere that might have not happened, this sphere and lancer were both spheres one of our contributors, Siobhan Bjorknas assisted on, and her contributions were definitely useful. Giving more of a muay tai or tae kwon do feel, open hand is definitely more of a martial arts sphere, having one of the widest ranges of talents among the entire book, at least for the combat related spheres.

Scoundrel Sphere
This sphere's pretty personal, as this was one that was solely mine, and I had a LOT of fun making stealing in combat more viable. The idea of it was super fun, and it makes rogue like characters able to do sneaky stealy things even while in battle, which was the only goal I had here. It's definitely my favorite of the spheres I made, as it oozes utility and creativity.

Wrestling Sphere
This ain't no jobber sphere, as it was one which Michael and I worked together on to give a very pro wrestler feel. Michael's experience with The Luchador and mine with the Masked Grappler certainly helped here, as the sphere does an amazing job of making cinematic combat far more viable as well as giving plenty of high flying moves that'll leave you marks standing in your seats.

Feats and Traits
Quite a few feats were things that we on the team thought were needed like Combat Sphere Specialization for our 3/4 BAB classes. There was also the decision to limit access to each class's talent abilities (scholar's knack, striker arts, etc) that could be accessed by feats to give them more of a valuable feel to them, which I think was a positive step here and a solid middle ground.

Great Focus giving a second focus was also a landmark feat for us, as it changed how we designed knowing that it was an option. Also Muscular Reflexes was a feat we all thought should be included, as we all enjoy supporting strength builds. For traits, there was a few things we just thought had to be supported like an easier way to get martial weapon prof with the Martial Training trait and Maneuver Trained giving a generic +1 to CMB. Steel Body works as 1/2 Toughness, and Sharp Reflexes will hand out an extra AOO, something that's very vital in our system.

Favored Class Bonuses and Drawbacks
A goal here was to give stronger FCBs to races which would make worse strikers/sentinels to give them a reason to play, which is why the dwarf FCB for sentinels isn't great at all. Personally, I think any class should be able to select any FCB, but that's just me.

Drawbacks were very hard to decide on, and we spent a lot of time back and forthing on them to decide what was a fair trade off for a bonus talent. In the end, I'm happy with what we came up with, and I think it helps make the system even more player friendly for those who simply want to enjoy a sphere without all of its benefits.

Equipment
Some people may think we went a bit goofy here, but I like all the more esoteric weapons that were introduced here, and as a whole, I think they make some tropes more accessible for players without completely handicapping them. Plus I love the dual blade.

Sample Characters
I worked with quite a few of our backers here, and helped each of them shape their characters into what was finally laid out. It was a pretty intense process for some, while others were very aware of what they wanted, but in the end I think that everything here just turned out amazing.

Final Thoughts
Spheres of Might was a project that had been discussed for a long time, even before I was signed on, and I feel lucky to have worked on something so massive and game changing as this. This project changed me for the better, taught me a lot, and at the end of the day, it's one of which I am immensely proud. My fellow writers deserve all the credit in the world for the amazing work they did in this book, and I really hope that I'm able to write more for this wonderful system.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
N. Jolly wrote:
And now time for my dev post about having worked on this project.

Ooh, are we doing this? My turn!

Martial Traditions
We were trying to find a good way to stretch out martial characters and give something equivalent to the two bonus talents spherecasters get when I came up with this idea, and I knew I was on to something when the rest of the design team jumped on the proposal doc and doubled the number of martial traditions in about 30 minutes :P
I love that we decided to set these up like we did as a core component of character creation that really helps you build up from concept.

Blacksmith
Blacksmith was the second class I pitched for Spheres of Might and the first one I finished writing. I knew that I wanted a martial crafter, but I also wanted something that was a lot more of a physical presence than most crafting classes. Blacksmith is probably one of my favorite things to come out of Spheres of Might.

Commander
Commander was the first class I knew I wanted to write and the last one I finished writing. Having already written the Battle Lord for Amora Games, I'd done a "lead from the front" type class before and I wanted to try something that filled that martial leadership role but gave a lot more options for leaders who were more brains over brawn. Making a class that combined coordinating and buffing allies in combat and leveraging social connections outside of combat seemed like a simple concept but ended up requiring more work than any of the other classes to get right. I think we got there though, and commander probably takes top spot as my favorite new class from Spheres of Might, just ahead of the blacksmith.

Conscript
We needed a "build your own martial" type option but we really weren't sure how to get there for a while. Using the basic chassis of the Incanter from Spheres of Power seemed like an obvious route, but we had a few tweaks we needed to make to smooth out progressions and make it work well without being too front-loaded or tapering off later. I think what we came up with manages to hit all of our goals, and it's definitely been one of the more popular options amongst our players and backers.

Scholar
The starting concept I had for the scholar was "Leonardo Da Vinci, the class". That probably shows up in things like the aeronautics and nautical exploration knacks. At some point though as I started thinking of fantasy scientists to draw inspiration from my brain wandered into anime like One Piece and things kept getting more and more delightfully weird. I think I captured the components of that Leonardo Da Vinci concept, but somewhere along the way I ended up with a delightful array of other character tropes that the class opens up. I really love it as a smart problem solver and it's been a mainstay at at least one of my tables pretty much since we opened it up for playtesting.

Archetypes
I worked on such a huge array of archetypes for this book I can only remember about half of them. The iron chef and the doctor were probably my favorites, mostly for being weird and wonderful. I think the iron chef might end up being inspiration for an entire handbook of profession-themed archetypes!

Alchemy
Ehn and I split this one as he ended up doing poisons while I worked on the improved alchemical items. This sphere ended up evolving from something I wasn't super convinced the book needed to something that I'm glad we decided to try out.

Dual Wielding
One of the spheres Ehn and I really wrestled over a lot as we tried to find exactly where and how it fit in the game, Dual Wielding was odd in that it had far fewer big changes during development but an almost countless number of little tweaks as we hammered it into shape. The end result is something I like quite a bit and I've already taken inspiration from things I learned helping work on this sphere into other projects.

Duelist
Duelist was a sphere born of necessity. Literally the first thing I wrote for Spheres of Might, it was part of my proposal for the book while it was still in the conceptual stage and how I imagined us creating something that was both a great toolbox for building whatever kind of character you wanted while making those tools something that could be both interesting and balanced. Since I knew that we were going to have a Fencing sphere, finding the spirit of something so closely associated like Dueling led me to characters like Mad Martigan, Samurai Jack, and Connor MacLeod, which led into the bleed and disarm mechanics that favor attrition and close combat. This is definitely a sphere that makes its way into a lot of the builds we play with.

Scout
Written at about the same time as Duelist, this was one of the options I wrote when I was thinking of the different ways a martial character could be expected to contribute to an adventure that didn't necessarily involve combat. While we had to bend and twist a few things to get it in line with our final design structure, I can't imagine SoM being complete without this sphere.

Sniper
I don't know if the concept of a sniper is something that Pathfinder has ever done well. Single shot kills just aren't something the system is really built to accommodate, but I think Sniper ended up in a really fun place as the combination sphere for high accuracy trick shots and high damage single shots. We even worked a few of those kill shot mechanics in in a way that we all felt was pretty decently balanced, which is a point of some pride.

Warleader
We knew right from the get-go that if we didn't have good leadership and party coordination talents, we weren't going to have done everything we should have.

Feats and Traits
The weirdest thing about writing this book was deciding what kinds of things needed to be feats. Weren't we kind of replacing feats with combat talents? We did discover that there was still a place for feats in the system though, and it was exciting to not just work on some new ones, but to see us plumb some of my other books like The Luchador for options to round out the corners of Spheres of Might.

Iconics
Writing up the iconics for my classes was interesting. I had two characters that I discovered had very dark backgrounds, one whose background I knew from the art was very bright and happy, and whose backstory ended up being kind of bittersweet. Getting to discover the spirit of these characters as I took the art and mechanics that comprised them and asked what those things meant for the soul of the character was a great privilege.

Final Thoughts
This was a really great book to work on. I ended up developing a friendship with Ehn that seemed unlikely from our initial workshops where we were constantly butting heads over the items that intersected the various pieces we each were working on, but we persevered and made the effort to get to know each other and by the time the project was done we had both championed each other's ideas more than once and become fast allies in seeing the book over the finish line developed into something that represented the goals and talents of each of us who worked on it. This is going to be a book whose development sticks with me for some time, I think, and definitely one I intend to continue using and building upon.


I'll be buying this ASAP, but one question-- the Gish book--Sphere's of power already has several classes oriented around te "magic fighter", so will the book be an expansion of them, or a totally new take on things?

Scarab Sages

gharlane wrote:
I'll be buying this ASAP, but one question-- the Gish book--Sphere's of power already has several classes oriented around te "magic fighter", so will the book be an expansion of them, or a totally new take on things?

Little bit of A, little bit of B. Well, a lot of B, actually. We have three new classes written from the ground up to combine the two sphere systems, the Prodigy, Sage, and Troubadour, as well as archetypes for many of the SoP and Paizo classes.

The prodigy is a combo-oriented class that's kind-of-sort-of-not-really like a magus that uses combination and momentum mechanics.

The sage is based on characters like Master Roshi from the Dragon Ball franchise, Tsunade from Naruto, and just the kind of general idea of a wise mystic whose mastery over ki is highly flexible and lets them do everything from rapidly increase their physical toughness to firing blasts of energy.

The troubadour basically is like a martial medium, using different masks and character roles to adjust the way that they play and the abilities that they have access to.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On the Gish book, and probably too late to see, I'd love to see a full spheres take on the Magus. Basically take the SoP magic replacement, and just do a basic combat replacement with spheres (keeping the spell combat spell strike and Spell pool (arcane pool). Nothing really new in flavor or approach, just the Spheres Total Conversion of the Magus.

Or an archetype of the Magus that can be taken simultaneously with the Spheres of Power one, that has the end result of the same thing as what I described in the first paragraph.

I've sort of kit-bashed one myself, but would love to see an official one.

I can't wait to see the final Sage.

Silver Crusade

Lord Mhoram wrote:

On the Gish book, and probably too late to see, I'd love to see a full spheres take on the Magus. Basically take the SoP magic replacement, and just do a basic combat replacement with spheres (keeping the spell combat spell strike and Spell pool (arcane pool). Nothing really new in flavor or approach, just the Spheres Total Conversion of the Magus.

Or an archetype of the Magus that can be taken simultaneously with the Spheres of Power one, that has the end result of the same thing as what I described in the first paragraph.

I've sort of kit-bashed one myself, but would love to see an official one.

I can't wait to see the final Sage.

Being honest, I consider the Prodigy to be the ideal spheremagus, and that I'd think of it as such.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
N. Jolly wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:

On the Gish book, and probably too late to see, I'd love to see a full spheres take on the Magus. Basically take the SoP magic replacement, and just do a basic combat replacement with spheres (keeping the spell combat spell strike and Spell pool (arcane pool). Nothing really new in flavor or approach, just the Spheres Total Conversion of the Magus.

Or an archetype of the Magus that can be taken simultaneously with the Spheres of Power one, that has the end result of the same thing as what I described in the first paragraph.

I've sort of kit-bashed one myself, but would love to see an official one.

I can't wait to see the final Sage.

Being honest, I consider the Prodigy to be the ideal spheremagus, and that I'd think of it as such.

Wonderful!


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Considering how impressive the Sage and Troubadour were during the playtest, I can't wait to see the Prodigy.


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Question for the authors on the Shield sphere - should things that grant a shield bonus to AC, but are not actually shields, count for this sphere?

(For example, a 7th level Staff Magus gets the Quarterstaff Defense ability, which gives them a shield bonus equal to the enhancement bonus of their quarterstaff)


Another editing note: A second pass through for Associated Feats might be good. For example, the Dual Wielding sphere's Mercurial Flow appears to duplicate the effects of the Double Slice feat. For my games, I will probably be accepting combat talents as having associated feats if the effects are close enough, whether or not they're actually listed as such.

(If editing those in would be a problem, maybe there could be a separate page with a table of associated feats...? Either at the back of the book or in addition to it.)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

*sees page 216*

Heh, someone’s a fan of RWBY

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just bought and downloaded it, but as it probably will take me a while to dive in this book and as I had no part in the playtest, some quick questions regarding balance.

1. How do you see the SoM classes balanced against the SoP classes regarding the C/MD issue?

2. If you would apply the Tier system to SoM, at which tier do you see those classes (if someone would be willing to answer this question to the SoP classes as well, I'd appreciate that :)).

3. I've read GM Rednal's review, but I still want to ask: How good (or not) do the SoM classes mesh with the official Pathfinder classes. Any problems I need to be aware of? Or can I just plug'n'play them in any game.

4. Just from the blurb, I might not be too fond of the legendary talents, as they might be way too over the top for my games. This said, how over the top are the things generally that SoM characters can achieve, compared to official PAthfinder martial classes?

edit: and as a last question: Compared to official Pathfinder, how difficult would it be to go for a more low magic, low fantasy approach with the Spheres classes (both SoP and SoM classes)?

Silver Crusade

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I'll try to answer some of these:

1. I'd say pretty well. Sure, the C/MD is always going to be there because magic doesn't have rules, it can do what it wants, but having ran a SoM/P game, no one felt overshadowed or left out, which was ideal.

2. Okay, it's a mix of T4-3 here:

Tier 4: Armiger, Blacksmith, Conscript, Commander (high), Sentinel, Striker

These classes are fun and solid hammers, but they hammer. All of them are more combat focused, and while they make that fun, they don't have the utility capable of making them enter T3. Commander comes the closest, and a good player could probably push them up to T3 with some effort, but at base, these are all very combat focused classes.

Tier 3: Scholar, Technician

Scholar and Technician push things further with more utility, technician especially. It damn well should with its page count, and both are easily able to make a run at T3 with minimal effort.

3. I think they sync in pretty well. I mean aside from the fact that you won't be full attacking, SoM has played nice with other Paizo classes, and they fit in relatively seamlessly.

4. As a whole, I'm going to say legendary talents are a step above what Paizo martials have. There's EX flight, creating small quakes, tombstone piledrivers that actually bury a foe alive, and lots of other fun stuff like that. The legendary talents bring all the classes up to T3, with technician possibly pushing T2, so if you want more mundane martials, I'd avoid them.

B: I'm actually about to run a low magic Aethera game for an SoM/P group now, so I'll tell you more once it gets rolling, but at the moment, I'd say pretty well.

Also @Rysky, the black powder brawler was made just so people can play Yang.

@GMRednal, thanks for the review! It'd mean a lot to the team if you could cross post it over on DrivethruRPG too!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, that actually sounds even better than I thought it would. And I would love to hear about your Aethera campaign (another book I still have to read, the pile is growing higher and higher ^^), because my (not so) secret plan is to use the Spheres concept for my homebrew, which might start out as an SoM only campaign (for reasons^^), but might re-introduce magic over time, which from what I've heard so far, the Spheres concept might lend well to.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

@N. Jolly, nice.

Scarab Sages

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GM Rednal wrote:

Another editing note: A second pass through for Associated Feats might be good. For example, the Dual Wielding sphere's Mercurial Flow appears to duplicate the effects of the Double Slice feat. For my games, I will probably be accepting combat talents as having associated feats if the effects are close enough, whether or not they're actually listed as such.

(If editing those in would be a problem, maybe there could be a separate page with a table of associated feats...? Either at the back of the book or in addition to it.)

There was a lot of shuffling with the associated feats; I, personally, was of the opinion that unless the talent did exactly what the feat did, it shouldn't be an associated feat because it isn't actually replacing that feat. We'll try and do a review to see whether we've got tags that are missing and what we should do about that though.

WormysQueue wrote:

Just bought and downloaded it, but as it probably will take me a while to dive in this book and as I had no part in the playtest, some quick questions regarding balance.

1. How do you see the SoM classes balanced against the SoP classes regarding the C/MD issue?

We opened up a lot of things that were traditionally gated in part or in whole to casters to martial characters, and the progression structure between SoP and SoM are very similar, so if you're using the two systems I don't think you're likely to experience the kind of disparity you might in core. Scholars can make the party fly with their flying machines, commanders can handle teleportation to virtually any location a caster can reach through their ability to locate portals and rifts, blacksmiths are strong crafters with a broad array of functionality, and in addition to all of the base talents we have opening up a wide array of martial functionality, we have Legendary Talents that can close most remaining gaps. You're still going to play like a martial character, combat talents aren't just reskinned magic talents, but we've extended out martial functionality on a lot of fronts.

Quote:


2. If you would apply the Tier system to SoM, at which tier do you see those classes (if someone would be willing to answer this question to the SoP classes as well, I'd appreciate that :)).

Not a huge fan of the tier system since I think it's a little too one-dimensional and misses out on metrics like proficiency within a given metric, but that being said: most of the classes in both SoM and SoP are probably what would be considered Tier 3. The Incanter and maybe the Fey Adept can push Tier 2, while the Armorist, Sentinel, and Striker are probably closer to Tier 4, though things like Legendary and Advanced talents can help them over the cusp.

Quote:


3. I've read GM Rednal's review, but I still want to ask: How good (or not) do the SoM classes mesh with the official Pathfinder classes. Any problems I need to be aware of? Or can I just plug'n'play them in any game.

They were written with the specific intent of being able to play well with the core classes, so you can pretty much plug and play. Legendary Talents can change certain metrics, so you may want to skip them if you're playing a grittier game. A blacksmith or conscript might feel like they're contributing a bit more than e.g. a core fighter, but that's going to be a result of versatility rather than a difference in damage or other comparative metrics. The fighter shouldn't be losing out on the things he does best, like raw damage.

Quote:


4. Just from the blurb, I might not be too fond of the legendary talents, as they might be way too over the top for my games. This said, how over the top are the things generally that SoM characters can achieve, compared to official PAthfinder martial classes?

Legendary talents are intentionally wild. While they're appropriately balanced to the levels they become available, they're going to let a character do things like swing a sword so hard it creates a blast of damaging air or kick your feet so hard you can "fly" by propelling yourself through the air. Base talents had a design directive of "it needs to be equally at home alongside Conan of Cimmeria or Drizzt Do'Urden in the Forgotten Realms", so they shouldn't be over the top, at least not any more than options you might already see as feats. They're focused on functionality and cinematic combat, not damage escalation or supernatural enhancement

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edit: and as a last question: Compared to official Pathfinder, how difficult would it be to go for a more low magic, low fantasy approach with the Spheres classes (both SoP and SoM classes)?

Significantly easier. Simply foregoing the use of Advanced talents in SoP and Legendary talents in SoM will remove essentially all of the 7th-9th level spell abilities and leave you with a strong base that can handle pretty much anything Pathfinder wants to throw at you. SoP and SoM both favor concept-based character creation on narrower tracks; a fire elementalist wizard built with SoP will probably be a bit better at fulfilling the expectations of that concept, but won't have as much ability to stack up powerful options outside of their role. A wizard who's never cast a fire spell can grab delayed blast fireball, but an SoP caster needs to learn how to produce flame, then shape it into a ball, then put a timer on it. They get the pieces of spells instead of being able to grab any fully developed spell on their list, so they progress more similarly to martial characters.


@Ssalarn: I can see why you might want to avoid letting something be associated unless it does exactly what a feat does. To stick with the same example, though...

If Mercurial Flow doesn't count as Double Slice for prerequisites (despite providing Double Slice's effect, plus some added benefits), then people would have to pay a feat for something that gives no benefit at all if they want to pick up something like Two-Weapon Rend (which was duplicated for ease of reference in SoM - so, presumably, that's something you do want dual wielders to consider taking).

As a general design principle, I think it's best to avoid situations in which players might be prompted to pick things that will never provide a benefit to them. A feat tax is one thing, but feat taxes normally provide some kind of benefit, even if it's only situational. A feat tax with no benefit, ever, is more of a problem.

If you don't want to go as far as making something an associated feat - since taking the talent in place of getting the feat can be handy, and Mercurial Flow is explicitly better than Double Slice - perhaps just adding "this talent counts as X for the purpose of meeting prerequisites" would do?


I am going to agree with GM Rednal, in that I also believe that Mercurial Flow should have Double Slice as an Associated Feat.

Scarab Sages

GM Rednal wrote:

@Ssalarn: I can see why you might want to avoid letting something be associated unless it does exactly what a feat does. To stick with the same example, though...

If Mercurial Flow doesn't count as Double Slice for prerequisites (despite providing Double Slice's effect, plus some added benefits), then people would have to pay a feat for something that gives no benefit at all if they want to pick up something like Two-Weapon Rend (which was duplicated for ease of reference in SoM - so, presumably, that's something you do want dual wielders to consider taking).

As a general design principle, I think it's best to avoid situations in which players might be prompted to pick things that will never provide a benefit to them. A feat tax is one thing, but feat taxes normally provide some kind of benefit, even if it's only situational. A feat tax with no benefit, ever, is more of a problem.

If you don't want to go as far as making something an associated feat - since taking the talent in place of getting the feat can be handy, and Mercurial Flow is explicitly better than Double Slice - perhaps just adding "this talent counts as X for the purpose of meeting prerequisites" would do?

Yeah, I don't actually disagree with the idea that Mercurial Flow is overlapping Double Slice and that should be addressed. In most situations where we had that kind of overlap we either normalized the talent with the feat or just removed the talent so the feat could serve it's usual purpose. Mercurial Flow is in the unusual situation of actually being significantly better than Double Slice while overlapping it, so I'm working with the design team now to discuss how we want to handle that, whether that be adding Double Slice as an associated feat or something else.


I appreciate that - I'm making a character who's likely to be using that particular setup, so I have a definite personal interest in seeing the final opinion on the subject. XD Thanks for your responses!

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks, Ssalarn, sounds promising. At the moment, SoM made the top of my to-read-list and I actually started reading into, because I'm really curious to see whether and how the new classes can be made fit into my homebrew.

Scarab Sages

WormysQueue wrote:
Thanks, Ssalarn, sounds promising. At the moment, SoM made the top of my to-read-list and I actually started reading into, because I'm really curious to see whether and how the new classes can be made fit into my homebrew.

Of course! I know Ehn and I differed a bit on where the Tier 3/4 line was, but that's part of why I don't like tiers :P

Tiers assume equivalent system mastery and everybody kind of draws the line in different places. I think Armiger, Blacksmith, Commander, and Conscript are Tier 3 because of how they've been played at our table; it's been very common to see armigers, commmanders, and conscripts with spheres like Alchemy and Scout which offer a lot of versatility playing in a way that I would consider competitive with a bard or inquisitor (kind of the "iconic" tier 3 classes for me). I see each of those classes as being very capable problem solvers, and I have a hard time putting any class that gets buffing and crafting alongside strong martial capabilities (the blacksmith) as being tier 4.

But tiers gauge breadth and don't have a great handle on depth. A conscript who has the problem solving capabilities of a rogue or bard is going to be deflecting talents away from his actual combat functionality and won't be able to match the fighter in raw damage, even if he is still a competitive fighter.

One of the big things we set out to do was make a book for everyone, which may have been a little crazy, but... I think we came as close as we could. I have a few GMs in the local area who hate Path of War with a passion, thinking it's too unrealistic, OP, etc. We wanted to make a book for them just as much as we wanted to make a book for the people who love Path of War and can't get enough of cool new martial options to play with. That was a big part of why we went with the Legendary Talent structure, so that if you wanted a Cuchulain type hero who can cleave mountains and travel cross-country in mighty Hulk leaps, you get that, but it's separated from the stuff that we think everyone should just kind of get to do.

If you want to do low magic, or even a magical world where the PCs have no magic, Spheres of Might can make that possible. Scholars can build Da Vinci flying machines and wooden submarines, commanders can use their networks of informants and specialists to obtain information about everything from secret doors to hidden portals, and blacksmiths can provide the party with buffs that are based on having well-maintained gear upgraded by a professional rather than magical enhancements.

And of course if you want to go what we as a design team have dubbed "full-blown anime", we cover that too. Some of our Legendary Talents are influenced by the crazy, over-the-top exploits of characters like Roronoa Zoro and Sanji from One Piece, about half the cast of HunterxHunter, Naruto, and more, safely tucked away in Legendary Talents where you can either leave them locked away, or flip the switch to let the craziness loose. One of the things we actually did in one of my home games was put an extra gate on the Legendary Talents; once the party hit 8th level they could start spending talents on any Legendary talent associated with a sphere they had at least 5 talents in. That made it so that the Legendary talents kind of became the new special techniques the party learned once they'd started becoming "more than mortal" by reaching those higher levels.


Ssalarn wrote:

Tiers assume equivalent system mastery and everybody kind of draws the line in different places. I think Armiger, Blacksmith, Commander, and Conscript are Tier 3 because of how they've been played at our table; it's been very common to see armigers, commmanders, and conscripts with spheres like Alchemy and Scout which offer a lot of versatility playing in a way that I would consider competitive with a bard or inquisitor (kind of the "iconic" tier 3 classes for me). I see each of those classes as being very capable problem solvers, and I have a hard time putting any class that gets buffing and crafting alongside strong martial capabilities (the blacksmith) as being tier 4.

But tiers gauge breadth and don't have a great handle on depth. A conscript who has the problem solving capabilities of a rogue or bard is going to be deflecting talents away from his actual combat functionality and won't be able to match the fighter in raw damage, even if he is still a competitive fighter.

But it is nice to have a list of what classes tend to do more and/or better stuff than others if you're someone who wants to keep power level consistent but don't have the ability and/or time to think through every class. The tiers may not need to be as granular as they are, but some kind of division so GMs can calibrate expectations is very useful.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just to give you some more feedback...

Ssalarn wrote:
...make a book for the people who love Path of War and can't get enough of cool new martial options...

Success!

Ssalarn wrote:
...once the party hit 8th level they could start spending talents on any Legendary talent associated with a sphere they had at least 5 talents in.

I like this idea a lot. I had been trying to puzzle out a solution in my head, but this has actually been tested.

Further, I've been incorporating lots of different 3rd party stuff into a setting I've been working on for awhile. Spheres of Power, which my group loved, has been adopted as the default system of magic. Now, with Spheres of Might, they are interested in trying it out as the default system for martial characters. The fact that lots of different issues can now be solved with mundane or magical solutions makes this all the better in my eyes.


Heh, another question-- how easy would it be to use this system for a wild West setting? Revolvers, lever action rifles, no (or little) armor, and most hand to hand being with things like knives, bayonets or clubs rather than swords and maces?

Less Camalot and more "True Grit?"


It's pretty easy to flavor things however you want, though you might restrict people to certain spheres - or at least encourage only picking certain types of options. XD You'll have to get to know the system to customize it at that level, of course, but I wouldn't call it a challenge.


Nice!


gharlane wrote:

Heh, another question-- how easy would it be to use this system for a wild West setting? Revolvers, lever action rifles, no (or little) armor, and most hand to hand being with things like knives, bayonets or clubs rather than swords and maces?

Less Camalot and more "True Grit?"

There is a surprisingly decent amount of content for gunslingers, and most of the ranged powers work with firearms. There is also options like getting a scaling bonus to armour class while not wearing armour.

Liberty's Edge

I picked up this book at the suggestion of Whack-a-Rogue and I'm digging it. I wouldn't mind an expansion with more talents for each sphere but I feel like there's plenty of content in Spheres of Might on its own.

I recommend that anyone using the Spheres systems use both as they fit really well together.

I would have loved an option allowing strength-based characters to use strength for AC in some capacity. I did appreciate the feat allowing strength to be useable for determining AoOs per turn. Dexterity's options continue to grow with each supplement devaluing strength more and more. I wouldn't be surprised if, in a couple more years, strength in Pathfinder reaches the state it's in in Starfinder (which is largely useless).


I haven't used the Spheres system before, but how does this compare to DSP's Path of War in terms of style?

Like, for Path of War, you can get a stance that basically gives you a double jumps (up to ten jumps, actually) around 10th level, or right from the getgo you can have a character with a strong combat flavor (like a mutating shapeshifting warrior who can drain blood from enemies to heal allies). Is Spheres of Might using the same type of flavor or is it more of an elevated version of the present flavor (Fighters are still mostly just hit things hard and fast and don't have mystical Kung Fu powers or whatever)?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Golurkcanfly wrote:

I haven't used the Spheres system before, but how does this compare to DSP's Path of War in terms of style?

Like, for Path of War, you can get a stance that basically gives you a double jumps (up to ten jumps, actually) around 10th level, or right from the getgo you can have a character with a strong combat flavor (like a mutating shapeshifting warrior who can drain blood from enemies to heal allies). Is Spheres of Might using the same type of flavor or is it more of an elevated version of the present flavor (Fighters are still mostly just hit things hard and fast and don't have mystical Kung Fu powers or whatever)?

This is addressed earlier in the thread, but it depends. A lot of the crazier powers are labeled as Legendary Talents, and it's GM's discretion as to whether or not they're allowed, but they do feature things like flight, firing swords via your crossbow, using three swords with one held in your teeth, sniping people from miles away and through solid walls, and so on and so forth.


Okay, seems solid. This would be good for low-power settings while Path of War would be for high-power settings.

Though, at this point, it feels like all we need now (besides the Gish Spheres or whatever) is spheres for skills, then we have a brand-new system (or a really good base for one).

EDIT: Quick question: I absolutely adore DDS' Luchador class. How would that work in Spheres of Might?


As above, they tried the skills thing, and it just didn't work out. XD Sad, but it is what it is.

Anyway, Path of War is all about managing the techniques you currently have available. Spheres of Might is more "most stuff available at all times", with the opportunity to expend martial focus (a lot like psionic focus, really) to power some better effects. Of course, with the right options you can also smartly manage it. XD

----

Also, since my earlier question appears to have been missed...

Should things that grant a Shield bonus, but aren't actually shields, count for the Shield Sphere?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
Of course! I know Ehn and I differed a bit on where the Tier 3/4 line was, but that's part of why I don't like tiers :P

Well I didn't want to start just another discussion about the Tier system at all, though I think it has it's merits.he good thing is, that Tier 3 and 4 are probably the tiers I mostly prefer playing with, so to hear that the SoM classes lie in th Tier 3/4 region is just what I wanted to hear and I don't care too much about the minutiae.

So my main problem might be (regarding my homebrew) that I still want to have magic in the game (eventually), but I do not want spell casters to go over Tier 3. And while I still have a lot of reading to do on that front, from the discussions I read I kinda have the impression that the Spheres of Power are easier to use as a basis for that than the original magic system would be.


That is correct. Spheres of Power has generally linear growth of spell power, and anything that's effectively game-changing is locked as an Advanced Talent (i.e. "you can only take this with specific GM permission").

Personally, I recommend that GM's allow the core advanced life talents - because recovery is important and those are the only way to remove certain conditions - but otherwise it's whatever you want to include in your game. Spheres of Power also provides several other options for introducing specific effects you might want people to have, and it's very easy to prevent their abuse. XD

All-in-all, if you're looking for "magic, but not to the point of god wizards", Spheres of Power is a pretty good choice.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm hoping that we get a Spheres of Excellence (for skills), and then have a Spheres version of the Dilettante class that takes bits from all of them.

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