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Curses, Rage, and Revelations


Round 1 - Cavalier and Oracle

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Something I've realized from playing barbarians is that the rage mechanic does a very good job of modeling an altered state of mind. Rage powers aren't constant abilities that a barbarian has learned. Rather, they are abilities that come upon him suddenly when he is overcome by emotion.

I bring this up because I feel it could be used to refine the oracle's curse and revelation abilities. Consider adding a rounds-per-day trance mechanic that parallels the barbarian's rounds-per-day rage mechanic to the oracle. Then revelation abilities can be actual revelations, things the oracle doesn't always know, but that come to her suddenly when she enters a mind-expanding trance.

Mechanically, this would make the revelations cleaner, since you could balance them to match rage powers and apply similar means of activation to each of them. Since they aren't always on or always available, each oracle could get more of them. Perhaps one on every even level (the same as with rage powers), eliminating all dead levels from the oracle class and creating a nice symmetry between the two classes that enter altered states of mind (the barbarian and the oracle).

This would also make the oracle's curse ability cleaner, especially the tongues curse. Instead of being always on, or being nebulously defined as applicable "when in combat," the benefits and drawbacks of each oracle's curse could apply only when the oracle is in a trance. This would parallel the way a barbarian gains stat bonus and takes an AC penalty only when in a rage.

In other words, the oracle doesn't speak in tongues when she is stressed out by combat; she speaks in tongues when she falls into a trance. The oracle isn't constantly deaf; her hearing is drowned out by otherworldly sounds when she opens her mind to the voices of the gods. The oracle doesn't have a lame leg that always reduces her movement; she has strange stigmata that worsens whenever she channels the spirits. Likewise, the oracle hasn't had various revelations in the past; she receives revelations on an ongoing, in-game basis, and can access their true power only when she opens her mind and soul to the divine powers with which she is cursed.

You'd use essentially the same fluff and the same (slightly rebalanced) class abilities as before, but now you'd be tying the two together, streamlining the means of activating various revelations, and simultaneously increasing the oracular feel of the oracle class.


I like the idea of the trance mechanic for flavour reasons alone. Mechanically, I don't think all of the oracles's curses should just work only in a trance. It works for the tongues curse, yes. But it would mean a lot of the other curses are no longer curses but minor inconvieniences...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Epic Meepo wrote:
In other words, the oracle doesn't speak in tongues when she is stressed out by combat; she speaks in tongues when she falls into a trance. The oracle isn't constantly deaf; her hearing is drowned out by otherworldly sounds when she opens her mind to the voices of the gods. The oracle doesn't have a lame leg that always reduces her movement; she has strange stigmata that worsens whenever she channels the spirits.

I dunno. To me it would make more sense for Deafness and Clouded Vision to always apply, but you only get the curse upside when in trance (i.e. the blind prophet gets his blindisght in trance.)

This doesn't make sense for some curse though (being the opposite of how tongues works, or how wasting would be pretty bad as trance/combat only.)

Cheliax

Yeah, Trance would be great, I think, and suit the class perfectly. Still, I'm a bit worried that it would complicate the curse mechanics too much...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Good points all. I suppose you couldn't make a blanket rule tying all curses to a trance mechanic. Only revelations could be universally tied to trances.

That being said, if revelations use a trance mechanic, specific curses could still include clauses that start with, "In addition, whenever you are in a trance..." Tongues, for example, could specifically reference trances (and benefit greatly from doing so) without needing curses in general to reference trances.

Osirion

+1, I'm a huge fan of lateral compatability, and this does that for both the Cleric and the Barbarian.


Add a vote for revelations tied to a trance. I'd leave curses as they are, but (as mentioned by Meepo above) they could be tied to trances on a case by case bases -- Tongues being a good example.


I have an alternate thought on this...
Give Trance a percentage chance to go into effect when an oracle begins casting a spell. This percentage would increase as the oracle levels. Limit it to once per 24 hour period. The Trance effect would allow the spell being cast to be cast at 1d4 levels higher than the oracle's current level, possibly increasing to 1d6 levels higher at some point.

This wouldn't be tied to curses or revelations. It would just be a state of being that the oracle is placed in due to divine overload pretty much.


This sounds pretty cool, but in the context of this class and 3.5/Pathfinder's system I don't feel that it would mesh too well in the long run. Certainly if the foci were all combat-oriented it would make sense, but I'm hoping that they will expand more on utility type revelations. Taking into account the Oracle's limited repertoire of spells, revelations are the only other major way to obtain abilities usable out of combat. That is, unless they decide to increase the number of spells known.

A prime example of this would be divination-based revelations, which is one of the first things that come to mind when I hear the term "oracle". You would need to either expend a trance attempt to make use of the revelation or hold these types of revelations to a different set of restrictions. There are obviously other schools and sub-schools of spells that would have this issue, so I think it's worth considering the impact a trance mechanic would have on these.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Homely Tadpole wrote:
A prime example of this would be divination-based revelations, which is one of the first things that come to mind when I hear the term "oracle". You would need to either expend a trance attempt to make use of the revelation or hold these types of revelations to a different set of restrictions.

Funny you should mention divination-based revelations. The 'water sight' revelation that grants greater scrying already uses a rounds-per-day mechanic. It would seem that divination-based revelations aren't really that hard to fit into a rounds-per-day mechanic at all.

Overall, I've found maybe half-a-dozen revelations between all six foci that would require a any sort of major rewrite to fit into a round-per-day mechanic. The rest would just need their numbers (bonuses, damage, ranges, etc.) adjusted downwards a bit to offset a greater number of uses per day.


I do not disagree that it is possible to change most revelations to fit into the context of trances. However, if they are delegated to a trance mechanic, it is important to specify how they will be used outside of battle. Would you have to expend rounds of trance to use, say, Earth Glide or Wings of Air, who's durations are larger than a few rounds?

My issue is that the Oracle and its revelations are, to some extent, unlike that of a Barbarian who's rage powers are all based around combat. Of course, as it stands, utility revelations are few and far between, but a strictly rage-like trance mechanic would really limit these as well as any future attempts to bring revelations outside of the aforementioned circumstance. It's just opinion on my part, but I think that would be a shame.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

in situations where things last longer than the rounds you state that for each round used they grant x amount of time usually minuets or sometimes even hours.

I got this idea from the bard back in the s#%!ty days when playing the party bard meant that most people would kick you around, lingering song makes a difference and makes them last 1 min after each use so in Path finder where each use is a round each round you spend grants you 1 min or ten rounds.

Simple solutions are the best so don't make me get my +5 keen Occam's razor.


There is also the simple choice of making some powers function outside combat. Especially if each oracle still has to choose which focus they want to do, it would be very easy to tie the power to the focus, rather than your proposed trance/revelation mechanic.

On that note, though, since you're talking about translating the barbarian mechanic, would you be inclined to just group all the powers into one single list? The individual foci are a bit thin on choices to really feel like there's parity between rage powers and revelations.

On a different thread, I was arguing that the foci should be more like sorcerer bloodlines - rigid progressions of powers, with oracles getting abilities at level 1, 3, 6, 9, 15, and 20. Suppose the first of those abilities is a specific focus-related trance power.

Then there could be a more generic list of trance powers to choose from every 2 or 3 levels - stuff like

Force: +2 save DC on Evocation spells
Puncture: +3 on caster level checks to overcome SR
Battle insight: +2 on attack and damage rolls. Minimum level 5
Channel: As a standard action, you may heal all living creatures within 30 ft. for 1d6 damage. Minimum level 3.

Power level is all over, I know, just throwing out ideas that might pique some interest.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like this idea of using a system more towards the sorcerers blood lines.
so +1

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