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PaizoCon 2014!

Chronologist (Oracle)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Chronologist (Oracle)

Through deep contemplation and a natural affinity, the chronologist possesses a consummate understanding of the ebb and flow of time. This unique perspective allows him to weave the parallel threads of past, present and future for his own purposes. A chronologist has the following class features.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Chronologists are proficient with all simple weapons as well as the scythe, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).

Speak In Riddles (Ex): A chronologist's phraseology mirrors his distinctive and complex view of the world, often making communication with him tiresome. A nonplayer character's initial attitude decreases by one step when first meeting the chronologist. At 5th level, the chronologist's ominous tone earns him a +3 competence bonus to Intimidate checks. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +6. At 15th level, having contemplated eternity, the chronologist gains immunity to the confused condition. This ability replaces oracle's curse.

Mystery Bond: When selecting an oracle mystery, the chronologist must choose from one of the following: bones, heavens, life, lore or nature. The selection of oracle revelations at 1st, 7th and 15th level is replaced with the chronologist abilities listed below.

Glimpse the Future (Su): The chronologist is difficult to surprise, granting him a +2 insight bonus to Perception checks against surprise attacks and traps. The bonus increases to +4 at 10th level. This ability replaces the 1st level oracle revelation.

Manipulate Time (Sp): Once per day, the chronologist can break the temporal bonds and cast either haste or slow using his chronologist level as the caster level. This ability replaces the 7th level oracle revelation.

Transcendent Consciousness (Sp): With great concentration a chronologist can examine a location and experience what recently transpired there just as if he were present during the time. For every minute the chronologist concentrates, he can observe one minute into the past, beginning with the moment he started concentrating and working backward. The chronologist may use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to 3 times his class level, but doing so is taxing, causing him to become fatigued immediately thereafter. A chronologist may not use this ability while fatigued or exhausted. Distractions while concentrating are handled as if casting an 8th level spell. This ability replaces the 15th level oracle revelation.

Paizo Employee Developer

I congratulate you on attempting an oracle archetype. It's a class that really defines itself by its mystery (much as a sorcerer is largely defined by her bloodline or a cleric her domains), and thus it's already an uphill battle to design an archetype that isn't really just a new mystery.

Sadly, I think you've fallen into this trap. First, you limit the available mysteries a chronologist can take which is already shaky ground, as it cuts room for variation between two different members of this archetype down significantly. Taking it even further, you define what half of the oracles six revelations will be, eliminating more of the class's customizability.

I like speak in riddles, but think it works better as its own curse instead of a replacement for curses in general. You're basically forcing all members of this archetype to have this one specific curse, which isn't very much fun. The bonuses this provides at later levels also feel a bit wonky, and don't quite jive with the flavor of the curse as described.

Glimpse of the future and manipulate time are both cool oracle-feeling powers that seem balanced against other available revelations, but should really be options in a larger Time Mystery instead of forced add-ons to other mysteries.

Finally, transcendent consciousness is a GM's nightmare. Anytime something allows a player to look into the past, even with limitations, it puts a lot of extra work on the GM and has the potential to bypass huge swathes of plot-based challenges. Making time-based powers is a really narrow line to walk, and I'm afraid this particular power is a bit too broad for my taste and not something I'd put in even a Time Mystery.

In the end, I think you made some cool alternate oracle features—a new curse, several new revelations, and above all, a new mystery. But that wasn't the challenge. Just as creating a new sorcerer bloodline wouldn't be making an archetype, I don't think this really fits the mold either. As such, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this entry for advancement. Best of luck in the vote, though, as the public may feel otherwise.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Some poor decisions here from a design perspective. We've mentioned it several times now (both in the auto-reject advice threads and some of the wondrous item critiques). Playing around with time manipulation (particularly peering back into the past) opens a big can of worms. Bigger than you'd want to try and define in a single archetype. That kind of subject deserves its own sourcebook. And it's something that makes a GM's job a lot harder to adjudicate at the game table.

I agree with Mark that limiting the revelations an oracle gets from their mystery isn't the best place to start swapping out and oracle's abilities for something new in an archetype. That makes it extremely difficult to create archetypes for this class (much like the cleric). When do trade out revelations for other powers, you're basically beginning to define a whole new mystery. And, in this case, you're defining the mystery of Time. I actually think there's a place for such a mystery to exist, just not in an archetype form, and not until there's some decent time-based, time travel, and time manipulation rules laid down as ground work for it.

So, this is a HUGE swing for the fence. I applaud you for that. But I think you bit off more than you could chew with this one. If I wanted to play a time-relevant oracle, this archetype probably isn't what I'd reach for...I'd look into defining some new time-related rules and then craft a new mystery for it.

Thus, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this archetype design to advance. Best of luck in the voting.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 1 Point
Recommendation: Not recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (0 points)
The first ability listed has nothing to do with time. The second has nothing to do with time. The third has nothing to do with time.

Fails to match title with theme.

Mechanics (0 points)
The first ability is going to drive some players and GMs nuts. A certain type of player will take this as license to shift the focus of the game to themselves and "hog the spotlight" with every encounter degenerating into mind-numbing frustration as the "character" attempts to communicate "in character" to the detriment of the experience for everyone else.

Then the character gets an immunity to confusion for no good reason. Unfortunately, the rest of the group won't get immunity to jerks.

The second and third powers are harmless (but not correct for the theme).

The fourth power is harmless and actually ties into the theme.

The fifth power, which is really the focus of the whole archetype, gets an auto-reject from me for the following reasons:

1: It makes the GM's job really hard, and often pointlessly hard (the GM has to work up all sorts of detail for things that have just happened and most of the time nothing useful will come of that work).

2: Except sometimes, the ability will reveal a clue or access to information that utterly destroys a puzzle or mystery and renders an entire scenario worthless - the twin evil of both wasting the GMs time (in prep work) and making adventuring easy.

Rule of thumb: Don't mess with time. It's not original, it does nothing but cause problems, and it's not going to get you further in the competition.

Awesomeness (0 points)
A character that has as its title and focus manipulating time ends up speaking confusingly, occasionally speeding up or slowing down someone, and then gains a god-like ability to screw up everyone elses' fun.

Not Awesome.

Template (1 point)
You did a great job following the template (except I'd change that Su ability to an Ex ability).

Context (0 points)
Did you playtest this submission before you used it in the contest? I bet that you did not - or if you did, you played the archetype not someone else. Had this archetype been playtested reasonably the problem with the irritating speech would have been manifest, and the irritation of the time-viewing would have been revealed as well. This kind of character ends up not just screwing up a game, but it can break a group apart as well - damage far beyond just ruining a single Friday night game session.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Speak In Riddles: This isn't a new class ability, this is a new curse. I realize that doing this in this fashion is acceptable in terms of this competition (in fact, I suggested it as the way to handle an alch archetype that needed a new discovery), but FYI this isn't normally how we'd do in for a published archetype.

That said, it's not a very interesting curse, and the initial drawback wouldn't apply if the character didn't talk, so it's not "when you first meet him" it's "when you first have a conversation with him."

Mystery Bond: As the other judges said, pre-selecting the oracle's mystery and revelations isn't exciting... taking away character choices in one of the primary ways oracles make themselves unique WRT each other is telling the player what they can and can't do with their character, like saying "you're a fighter, you have to take Power Attack at 1st level."

Unfortunately, the first two abilities presented for this archetype aren't exciting, either. And the third one (looking into the past) is going to be a lot of work for the GM... pastwatching is one of the example abilities that's listed in the wondrous item auto-reject advice about making more work for the GM.

This archetype just didn't wow me. You picked a hard class to work on, I'll give you that. And on top of that you tried making something about time, but time-related spells and effects are such a small part of the game that it's hard to give this archetype any substance without trying to build new subsystems about it--which would put you way over word count. So you put yourself between a rock and a hard place, and got stuck.

RECOMMENDATION: I do NOT recommend this archetype design for advancement in the competition.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Thank you for your support and please vote for my item! If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them once voting for this round is closed.

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Alright, this is one I have to comment on.

First of all, I LOVE the concept; it feels very Oracular. Speak in Riddles is really cool from a flavor standpoint, though it could really use a more serious drawback. Unfortunately, I have to agree that this is a Mystery trying to pose as an Archetype. Since this round was supposed to be about Archetypes, that's a significant hit against you.

That said, this entry has my tentative vote based purely on the creative mojo behind it. I still haven't read all the entries, so we'll see if that holds up. Whether or not you advance, I would love to eventually see this written up as a Mystery, where you can really do it justice.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Shadar Aman wrote:

Alright, this is one I have to comment on.

First of all, I LOVE the concept; it feels very Oracular...

Thank you Shadar, your comments are greatly appreciated!


Jerry Keyes wrote:

Chronologist (Oracle)

Through deep contemplation and a natural affinity, the chronologist possesses a consummate understanding of the ebb and flow of time. This unique perspective allows him to weave the parallel threads of past, present and future for his own purposes. A chronologist has the following class features.
...Speak In Riddles (Ex): A chronologist's phraseology mirrors his distinctive and complex view of the world, often making communication with him tiresome. A nonplayer character's initial attitude decreases by one step when first meeting the chronologist. At 5th level, the chronologist's ominous tone earns him a +3 competence bonus to Intimidate checks. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +6. At 15th level, having contemplated eternity, the chronologist gains immunity to the confused condition. This ability replaces oracle's curse...

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you missed it the first time round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals rapidly losing it on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire a couple of hundred feet above a slowly rising pool of molten basalt try to do, and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank but if anyone other than a demon opens it the contents turn out to be a couple of dead moths and a three week old shopping list.
;)

Would you want this person sitting next to you as a guest at a formal evening dress dinner party?
Having spent some time at the courts of Areshkagal and Shivaska I actually find esoteric discussions as to the nature of time and reality quite interesting - and perfectly suitable topics for a little light dinner party conversation. I'm sure a Chronologist Oracle would have some quite fascinating things to say...

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
No. Scythe or not, you do not send a Chronologist off to pick flowers for you. Leave him in his monastic cell or cave to get on with studying the fabric of existence and send someone else to do the action stuff.

Could you hire one person like this to do a better job than one other trained mercenary and/or to do the jobs of two (or more) other trained mercenaries?
Sadly, no. Well not unless I need an esoteric treatise written, or happen to walk into a sealed room mystery with the blood still hot and a very skilled Chronologist immediately to hand.

Other comments?
Some folk are scholars, and simply aren't cut out for a life of running around executing the whims of an Important Succubus, but are far too intelligent and (occasionally) useful to serve as snacks.... folk exactly like the Chronologists presented here.

Desirability:
Leave the poor man alone to sit contemplating the mysteries of the universe.

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (with half an eye on Lord Orcus) would like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Thank You.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

Actually, this is my favorite so far. Unfortunately, that's just not saying much.

Every criticism about making the GM's job harder, screwing with time in a simplistic fashion, and then not having enough class features tied to time - are all right on. My only disagreement with the judges (dare I disagree with the most dangerous man in gaming?) is that sometimes a great feature is going to make things harder on the GM, and Gms sghoudn't always be afraid of that. We don't coddle you knucklehead twink [players, so don't coddle us. :b

Seriously, asking the GM to go back and describe an event certainly make her work harder, but the payoff if done well is a very memorable cmapaign moment. Like working prophecy into your game - you have to predict how players will react in and out of character and shape events that make THEIR choices work for you. It's not easy, but then that skill won't be developed by GMs if it isn't asked for from time to time. So while the feedback is accurate, I'd forgive it if we had tighter theme, better abilities, and didn't have the pitfalls of severley limiting character options.

A word on the limitations: let players and groups decide what works best. You have the Death or Father Time concept in your head the whole time you're writing this. Remember that it's up to players and GMs whether a concept works out. Maybe instead of your offerings, I explain to my GM that fire and entropy consume all things in time. So my mystery is flame and I also take a healthy dose of necromancy spells. Voila - in seconds I have made a very viable oracle that might make use of your archetype, but not your recommended mystery.

It's exactly a swing for the fences. It probably gets caught and then thrown out at third. But the competition is not working against you yet. Good luck.


I don't really like the Transcendent Consciousness ability, but I do think you held the theme of the archetype together very well. It was a nice, tight presentation. I like the theme you were going for.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi Jerry.

You have my vote.

I like where you are going with this archetype more than where you ended up, but your intentions got you through this round as far as my vote goes.

My personal favourite ability out of the lot is honestly speak in riddles. I just love the flavour of it--you can really see just how someone who perceives the timestream differently to everyone else is going to get really irritating, really fast. Very nicely done.

All your abilities fit together well, but the whole package starts to get a little mediocre towards the end, culminating in a capstone ability that just breaks the game. Time travel=bad, even if it's just seeing what happened in the past. Sure it's a capstone ability, and it will never be seen in the majority of campaigns, but that doesn't make it safe.

I think much of the feedback is right, and this really could simply be a new Mystery, but at the same time I am voting for you not because of the precise words you've written for this archetype, but because of the creativity I believe I can see behind them.

Good luck for the remainder of the contest! I hope to see you in Round 3.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

"Time travel will always gave me nosebleeds" - Unknown

I like this. The 'speak in riddles' makes sense to me. Such a character will be shifting tenses, answering unanswered questions, and likely pulling accidental information up w/o realizing it. Definately a way to intimidate someone.
"Oh, I was sorry about your wife."
"Um, I'm not married."
"And she will be such a lovely woman, shame to leave her a widow..."

I'm not sure about the immunity to confusion, but it's so minor that I can let it slide.

it's not really a new mystery, since it's substitution of other mysteries attributes. Oracles are one of the harder classes to archtype. I like the haste/slow trick.

Looking back in time. I *like* this version. It's easily thwarted for screwing up mysteries, since at most you're looking at an hour. The fatigued condition (and the inability to use it while fatigued) are good balancers to keep the player from making it overly difficult for the DM by popping the power on at random moments. I think these balance it out.

Recommending for Advancement

Star Voter 2013

The flavor you presented had me really excited. The ebb and flow of time are cool, if dangerous things for the players to play around with.

However, I was fairly disappointed with the class overall. I'm not sure what I wanted, but the abilities didn't match the flavor much. Too many restrictions, too many powers not really matching the flavor.

Then again, there's not a lot you can change for an oracle without interfering with their mystery, but for the things you give out in exchange... they're very meh. Not inspiring, not thematic. Just meh. Mostly because your description had me really hooked, but a let down all the same.

I'll close on a thought on the ability to see backwards in time, though. There are far more options to break a game than this: divination spells. From that, adding a simple restriction could stem most of the qualms about this power - though of course would make the class even less exciting...

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What stands out to me about this entry is the writing. It's lyrical and has a nice flow. The tone is consistent, appropriate, and it has a strong voice. You get bonus points for using "phraseology" in a way that doesn't sound pretentious. If I were to consider the writing and nothing else I would be happy to ask for a second helping.

Unfortunately I think this would have been better done as a mystery and was done this way for the sake of the contest rules. I appreciate the chutzpah it took to attempt an oracle archetype, but it was already a hard assignment if you took on just one of the classes that already had archetypes on the books.

As much as I hate to say so, but none for me, thanks.

On a side note: if the Transcendent Consciousness (Sp) ability, or anything like it, were to be considered for any use, I think it could get around being a pain in the GM's butt by leaving it up to the GM to determine what scene, and from what perspective, the character experiences the past. At least that way the GM isn't forced to reveal something that would ruin the fun by putting the player in just before or after the key moment, or looking in the wrong direction so as to not give too much away. Sometimes a GM would like to give players a chance to see this kind of clue, so I do think this ability has some place in the game.

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RonarsCorruption wrote:
I'll close on a thought on the ability to see backwards in time, though. There are far more options to break a game than this: divination spells. From that, adding a simple restriction could stem most of the qualms about this power - though of course would make the class even less exciting...

This is a good point. As a GM, I would much rather have my players ask "what happened here an hour ago" than "what's going to happen here in an hour." If recent events at a location matter, I likely already know what they were. If they don't matter, then it's easy to make up something inane. If it were more than an hour, or if they could target a specific time rather than working backwards, then this would be dangerous and a GM nightmare. As it is, it's a useful tool that's relatively easy to adjudicate.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

First off let me say that I love the feel of this archetype, it's very oracular, and certainly the type of this they would get into.

Second, I know from experience how hard DMing for a time-centric character is. In my home campaign we have a chronomancer. Really he's just a wizard who uses a lot of the time based spells already present in the game, and then to flavour it up I throw some future-sight at him. Even controlling the chronomancy from the DM's end of the table is a ton of extra work for me.

I can only imagine how crushing it would be to have this at the PC's end. As a DM I would need to back story an hour into everything on the off chance that you wanted a look, and I would have to plant at least some useful stuff there to keep you from feeling ripped off, without making it vital to the party's success lest you not look at the right stuff. It's an impossible amount of work, and without it the session would grind to a halt every hour of so.

It's a daring concept, but it's daring because it is so inherently game breaking that few fear to touch it, as comprehensive time powers have never been written properly.


Jerry Keyes wrote:
Chronologist (Oracle)

I didn't get much of a "feel" for this concept. It seemed like it was going to start out doing a major "no-no", which is play with time. Then it didn't. Instead it became a Precognitive-Postcognitive concept. That's a fair idea for an Oracle, but not all the abilities worked in that direction and the overall concept wasnt't described that way.

I think you failed in your attempt, but with revisions you could have a successful concept.

Change the name,
Drop the curse,
come up with some abilities that suggest precognition (just be sure not to force the GM to actually predict the future),
come up with more postcognitive abilities (again, not forcing the GM to have to create events on the spur of the moment).

Finally, remember that there are a lot of divination spells that accomplish these functions in a very effective way.

Ken

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Well, you used the word "phraseology". So points for that. Beyond it, though, the chronologist isn't great. It's half of a new mystery, with a new curse, that's going to end up with most chronologists being pretty samey. And flexibility is really what the oracle is all about. In my current game, I've got a blind lore oracle and a haunted nature oracle who both gain their powers from ancestral spirits, and both characters feel completely different in play. Limiting the amount of mysteries they can take is a bit of a fun killer, too.

I don't have that big of a problem with the seeing into the past power. It's definitely a trope of psychic-type characters, and although it would be a bit more work, I could allow that sort of stuff in my games. The rest of the powers, though, are completely unexciting.

I do not think I'll be voting for this entry. For as novel and dangerous a concept as timey-wimeyness is in D&D, this felt kind of dull.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Just another...

Thank you for your support and please vote for my item! If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them once voting for this round is closed.

...your feedback, positive or negative, really is appreciated.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

It's a classic, if not super-original, theme for a character, and it certainly makes sense to do it up as an oracle. That's hard to create, though, when so much of what makes an oracle go is their mystery. It's like creating a sorcerer archetype, not a bloodline. At some point, you almost HAVE to dig into that big chunk of rules because you have to have something to trade. You just have to figure out what parts are the fungible parts to swap and what parts are the fun parts to keep.

Time magic can be a DM's nightmare, and Ryan has a point when he says messing with often ends up a critical violation of the Rule of Fun. Still, I think haste/slow is commonly accepted as temporal-themed power (yes, we know it's really not, but you can rationalize it as partially warping time flow), and I rather like the riddle-talk, although the hindrance is nonexistent if he just doesn't talk, making it all win.

The bigger problem is taking out too much of the choice part of the oracle. Everyone has the same curse. Everyone has 3/6 of the same mysteries. It undercuts the oracle-ness a bit. You have to undercut it SOME to make it work; I think you just went a bit too far with it.

The theme is fine, the execution is so-so, but the land mines around what you are trying to do are PLENTIFUL. In the end, it's just okay.

Congrats on making round 2, and best of luck!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

A big turn off for me is the curse, which isn't even a limitation in most games. I say this because I've found more often than not, reactions aren't used, and NPC react to the party as determined by the script.

In general, the writing's solid, but the archetype feels too limited in choices, and somewhat underpowered. Over all, not one I feel I can vote for. But the overall quality beyond the game mechanics makes me hope you pass on to round 3.


Jerry Keyes wrote:

Chronologist (Oracle)

Disclaimer: My ranking scheme for this round consists of given marks form 0 to 4 in the following three categories:

1.Is the Archetype conceptually interesting?
2.Are the mechanics of the Archetype interesting?
3.Are the mechanics of the Archetype balanced and well executed?
But rather than simply adding up the marks for a final score I'm gonna interpret them as a point in 3-dimensional space and the final mark of your submission will be the length of the vector between the origin and this point.
Note that my ranking doesn't need to directly correspond with my votes, as other factors like: Strength of your item submission, mood, my horrorscope and other random stuff still factor in. Also note that this scheme is highly subjective and only mirrors my perception and opinion about your archetype submission.

Conceptual Mojo (CM): 2, I don't like the Chrono angle, but if anything can dabble with time in a “safe” way if would be an oracle. ( at least in my eyes)
Mechanical Mojo (MM): 2, It is a weird half-mystery. The abilities are just skill bonuses, Spells , flat immunities and a weird, GM nightmare ability.
Mechanical Execution (ME): 2. Since you kept it simple with your abilities you tried to play it safe here, but I thin you played too safe. Your abilities are all weaker than revelations available at the same level.

Final note: Mediopcre on all marks. This would be a good, but not quite Superstar idea for an archetype and I could totally see it published ( with a little balancing boost), IF one would be willing to open the pandora's box of time magic, and IF half-mystery were wanted.

Total Score: 3.464

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

Jerry, you've chosen a class that does not lend itself very well to archetypes, because of the way existing mysteries are used to customize the class. You've also chosen an inherently problematic theme in time manipulation. This is a pretty big gamble. Let's see if it pays off.

chronologist wrote:
Speak In Riddles (Ex): A chronologist's phraseology mirrors his distinctive and complex view of the world, often making communication with him tiresome... This ability replaces oracle's curse.

You're sort of just making a new curse here. Or at least, walking a fine line about it.

chronologist wrote:
Mystery Bond: When selecting an oracle mystery, the chronologist must choose from one of the following: bones, heavens, life, lore or nature. The selection of oracle revelations at 1st, 7th and 15th level is replaced with the chronologist abilities listed below.

Hm, so you're trading player choice for set abilities here. That cuts down on versatility quite a bit. But I suppose if you're choosing this archetype at all, you will have taken a look and already decided what revelations to cut. There's also the Extra Revelation feat to fill in some gaps.

chronologist wrote:
Glimpse the Future (Su): The chronologist is difficult to surprise, granting him a +2 insight bonus to Perception checks against surprise attacks and traps. The bonus increases to +4 at 10th level. This ability replaces the 1st level oracle revelation.

Not bad, but I'm surprised there's no initiative bonus here.

chronologist wrote:
Manipulate Time (Sp): Once per day, the chronologist can break the temporal bonds and cast either haste or slow using his chronologist level as the caster level. This ability replaces the 7th level oracle revelation.

Thematically fitting, although I think its usage should scale with your level. I also think an ability like this should be measured in rounds per day, where you can use a couple rounds as needed in each combat. As a one-and-done ability it seems weak.

chronologist wrote:
Transcendent Consciousness (Sp): With great concentration a chronologist can examine a location and experience what recently transpired there just as if he were present during the time... This ability replaces the 15th level oracle revelation.

Clairvoyance to the past is interesting, but it's not the awesome time manipulation ability I was hoping for here. It definitely has its uses, and I like how you fatigue the guy afterward. This is an ability, though, that creates extra work for your GM. It doesn't really do anything at all without a GM who's willing to be creative and helpful when you use the ability.

Jerry, you've sort of created a new mystery here, without creating a new mystery. You've also chosen a difficult theme to work with. I applaud you going after this class to try to break new ground, but I don't think the end result quite fits well enough.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: Uh oh, time manipulation. This could be interesting or very bad.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Including the scythe is evocative, in a style very familiar from the martyr's tear. I see it's indeed a martial weapon and thus needs to be called out. In practical terms, it gives the class a two-handed weapon with x4 criticals. It's not out of line for a divine class, but it shows poesy has consequences.
Speak in Riddles: This reduces the relevance of the oracle's curse to a limited range of situations, something that applies to few of the existing choices, but its positive abilities also seem weaker.
Mystery Bond: An interesting choice, to dig into the mechanics of the oracle's mystery. This design still leaves class skills, bonus spells, half the revelation slots and the final revelation varying by the choice of mystery, to my reading.
Glimpse the future and manipulate time seem reasonable for their level (maybe a bit weak, in the former case). He doesn't really do any spectacular manipulation of time until 17th level and then can only go back about an hour, then presumably rest for an hour or burn a spell to recover before doing it again. For what he's giving up, this only seems useful in very limited circumstances.
Wider relationships: This seems more like the specialty of an arcanist or perhaps some variety of cleric. It lacks the element of outside revelation or devotion that I associate with an oracle.

This shows a bold hand in working with game mechanics, but the end result just seems less interesting than the oracle class itself.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

This is a submystery, like a clerical subdomain. Not an archetype.

Even if this were worked up into a full mystery, what I'm seeing here wouldn't make me want to stat one up right away. And it still wouldn't be an archetype. Sorry.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Doing an Oracle archetype is ambitious and unfortunately it feels like a new mystery and curse. I like most of the abilities. However, I would have preferred a Diplomacy and Bluff penalty for Speak in Riddles ‘curse’. Manipulate Time should be more than once per day at higher levels. Transcendent Consciousness is a little problematic, but at 15th level there are a lot of other problematic things and it is only up to 1 hour into the past. I would have liked to see a reroll ability, after all if you can see the future, you can change it.

It is up to the voters as to whether this is archetypy enough for an archetype round. Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Joe Wells wrote:

This is a submystery, like a clerical subdomain. Not an archetype.

Even if this were worked up into a full mystery, what I'm seeing here wouldn't make me want to stat one up right away. And it still wouldn't be an archetype. Sorry.

So Joe, how would you have done it? If you have the time to explain, I would sincerely appreciate your feedback! In any case, thanks for taking the time already.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Jerry Keyes wrote:
So Joe, how would you have done it? If you have the time to explain, I would sincerely appreciate your feedback! In any case, thanks for taking the time already.

About the only way to do it would be to gut the mystery construct altogether. That would be really difficult to do in the word count given.

Sorcerer and Oracle may be the most archetype-proof classes in the game. Which is OK, since they're so easy to customize via mysteries and bloodlines. To give them an archetype, you just about have to gut the entire class. Modifying a bloodline, mystery, or a narrow range of same just isn't an archetype to me. Much like subdomains and focused schools aren't archetypes.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

The boards seem to have eaten my post, here it is again:

Doing an Oracle archetype is ambitious and unfortunately it feels like a new mystery and curse. I like most of the abilities. However, I would have preferred a Diplomacy and Bluff penalty for Speak in Riddles ‘curse’. Manipulate Time should be more than once per day at higher levels. Transcendent Consciousness is a little problematic, but at 15th level there are a lot of other problematic things, and it is only up to 1 hour into the past. I would have liked to see a reroll ability, after all if you can see the future, you can change it.

It's up to the voters as to whether this is archetypy enough for an archetype round. Good luck.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Hi Jerry, I agree with Matt (EDIT: Matthew Morris :) on speaks with riddles. I think haste/slow is the only part really chrono sounding. How could you pull in other time spellsor abilities? Do for them what you did for haste slow, with a bit of riddles for flavor. Good luck.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Serpent

Jerry Keyes wrote:
Chronologist (Oracle)

I think the judges' comments cover the mechanical concerns about the Chronologist's abilities pretty well, so I'll focus on other aspects of your entry.

The good: Good writing - your entry is pleasant to read. The text flows nicely, and the rules text is tight and easy to understand. I also like it that you chose a class from the APG, it's a bold choice since there are no oracle archetypes in the books you can imitate. That's what proper Pathfinders do, tread new paths. ;-) Props for that!

The bad: However, as has been pointed out, the Chronologist feels like a new mystery and curse rather than an archetype. I wish you had taken more chances with your design. To me, a truly Superstar archetype is crazy but functional. But to be honest, I don't know what I would have done with the oracle class to achieve that - I'm not familiar enough with the class to assess which abilities you can safely ditch without changing the class too much.

Anyway, best of luck in the contest!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Thanks Serpent:

As agreed, I will critique your submission shortly after you post it. And, I promise to be as fair and honest as possible.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Serpent

Jerry Keyes wrote:

Thanks Serpent:

As agreed, I will critique your submission shortly after you post it. And, I promise to be as fair and honest as possible.

No problem - and thanks in advance! :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Rebuttals have questionable value, but maybe it helps some people see the method to my madness, so I'm including mine here; if nothing else, it's cathartic! Please note that this is not meant to defend my choices (I was wrong too often to do that) or to call out the judges (they were right too often); this is just meant to impart some amount of insight.

Perhaps this is how a normal development session might proceed, with people proposing ideas and others shooting holes in it. Then the original author changes what's good to read better and throws the rest away.


The short response: The real problem with my entry was that my ambition far outpaced my experience. And the judges rightly let me know it!

(BTW, I tried to be brief, but failed – apologies.)

Mark Moreland's Response:

Mark Moreland wrote:

First, you limit the available mysteries a chronologist can take… [then] you define what half of the oracles six revelations will be, eliminating more of the class's customizability.

True. I would've rather just created a new mystery, but the rules forbade me to do so. However, I could argue (albeit weakly) that the chronologist actually increases variation since he can be from 5 different mysteries in addition to his "time revelations". In other words, a chronologist taking the bones mystery could look quite different from a chronologist taking lore.

Mark Moreland wrote:

I like speak in riddles, but think it works better as its own curse instead of a replacement for curses in general [...] The bonuses this provides at later levels also feel a bit wonky, and don't quite jive with the flavor of the curse as described.

Agreed. In hindsight, I should've just risked saying, "In addition to the oracle curses, the chronologist may choose speak in riddles". As for the wonkiness you mention, I used the lame curse as my guide, which seems pretty close.

Mark Moreland wrote:

Finally, transcendent consciousness is a GM's nightmare. Anytime something allows a player to look into the past, even with limitations, it puts a lot of extra work on the GM and has the potential to bypass huge swathes of plot-based challenges. Making time-based powers is a really narrow line to walk, and I'm afraid this particular power is a bit too broad for my taste and not something I'd put in even a Time Mystery.

A GM's nightmare, really? I watered down legend lore and combined it with residual tracking.

If the GM doesn't know what happened in a particular place 45 minutes ago, then nothing happened. This is just another way to gather information instead of reviewing witnesses, looking for clues or casting a half dozen other spells. There isn't any extra work here for a GM with typical 15th level players. (See the other feedback for more on this.)

Mark Moreland wrote:

In the end, I think you made some cool alternate oracle features […] But that wasn't the challenge.

You're right. I was trying to be witty and just shot myself in the foot. I'm glad you considered some of my changes clever though, so thanks for that.

Neil Spicer's Response:

Neil Spicer wrote:

Playing around with time manipulation (particularly peering back into the past) opens a big can of worms. Bigger than you'd want to try and define in a single archetype. That kind of subject deserves its own sourcebook.

I was attempting to give the feel of time manipulation without the actual rule problems of doing so. In an attempt to impress you, I instead distressed you; mea culpa. (See the other feedback for more on this.)

Neil Spicer wrote:

So, this is a HUGE swing for the fence. I applaud you for that. But I think you bit off more than you could chew with this one. If I wanted to play a time-relevant oracle, this archetype probably isn't what I'd reach for...I'd look into defining some new time-related rules and then craft a new mystery for it.

The recognition is much appreciated, even though it is served with a bitter pill. I decided to walk the edge of the rules with this entry, a rookie mistake to be sure; and one that I'll do my best to avoid in the future.

Ryan Dancey's Response:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

The first ability listed has nothing to do with time. The second has nothing to do with time. The third has nothing to do with time.

You're right, but time abilities are against the rules. The abilities I chose were intended to be most like time abilities, then I attempted to use flavor text to mold them. I can tell you didn't care much for this approach though. :) And in the end, it did come across weak.

Ryan Dancey wrote:

The first ability is going to drive some players and GMs nuts. A certain type of player will take this as license to shift the focus of the game to themselves...

I think you might've taken the title too literally - the player isn't supposed to constantly speak in riddles anymore than the deaf oracle is supposed to say "huh, what" every other sentence. Likewise the tongues speaking oracle shouldn't be babbling all session long.

If I hit a nerve here though, I'm sorry. In any case, a rewrite for clarity is obviously needed.

Ryan Dancey wrote:

The fifth power, which is really the focus of the whole archetype, gets an auto-reject from me for the following reasons:

1: It makes the GM's job really hard, and often pointlessly hard (the GM has to work up all sorts of detail for things that have just happened and most of the time nothing useful will come of that work).

As mentioned earlier, just about every GM knows what happened 45-60 minutes ago; and if nothing happened, then the oracle sees "nothing of importance". Really, no extra work. On the other hand, the GM now has the opportunity to do some storytelling if he's so inclined.

Ryan Dancey wrote:

2: Except sometimes, the ability will reveal a clue or access to information that utterly destroys a puzzle or mystery...

Hopefully a GM wouldn't allow an underpowered divination to ruin the plot/puzzle. To help though, I even built tough "fail safes" right into the ability:

  • You never look further back than an hour at most.
  • You get one try, then the hour in question is gone.
  • It can be thwarted by antimagic field, etc.
  • The GM can easily interrupt you (if need be) with monsters, NPC's, traps, etc.
  • The important information can still be hidden by normal means (e.g. "you see the killer, but his face is turned away from you").
  • It takes a long time to use.
  • It's 15th level; when other classes are also using powerful divinations (e.g. greater scrying, true seeing, vision, etc.)
  • Sean K Reynolds's Response:

    Sean K Reynolds wrote:

    Speak In Riddles: This isn't a new class ability, this is a new curse. I realize that doing this in this fashion is acceptable in terms of this competition (in fact, I suggested it as the way to handle an alch archetype that needed a new discovery), but FYI this isn't normally how we'd do in for a published archetype.

    Agreed. And I wouldn't do it in any other venue other than this competition. In fact, as mentioned earlier, this was probably a dumb way for me to do it.

    Sean K Reynolds wrote:

    ...the initial drawback wouldn't apply if the character didn't talk, so it's not "when you first meet him" it's "when you first have a conversation with him."

    Try using the analogy of a door-to-door salesman, or certain religious groups that canvass neighborhoods. You only have to see them coming to be annoyed, because their reputation precedes them. The same is true for the chronologist. Although, perhaps I could convey this better?

    Sean K Reynolds wrote:

    Unfortunately, the first two abilities presented for this archetype aren't exciting, either.

    I don't know how to respond to this, other than to say, "sorry". I had to make the abilities level appropriate, but I didn't have to make them boring. I'll try harder next time. How about this one...

    Continuum Transposition (Su): Once per day, as a free action, the chronologist may transpose initiative order with one ally within 30 feet as long as that ally's initiative total was lower than the chronologist's. For the rest of the encounter, the ally acts as if he had actually rolled the chronologist's initiative, and vice versa.

    ...Or something like that?

    Lastly, to all the judges, thanks very much for this opportunity and for the honest feedback. If I don't progress further in this competition, I'll be back for the next!


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Russ Taylor wrote:
    A big turn off for me is the curse, which isn't even a limitation in most games. I say this because I've found more often than not, reactions aren't used, and NPC react to the party as determined by the script.

    You should come play in our game, where we added three extra sessions to the campaign when our Rogue/Paladin got a bit frustrated with an information source and he (1) threw us out of his house; (2) manufactured evidence we were a gang of thieves; (3) took out a contract for our assassination; and (4) turned two of our other close allies in the city against us.

    The GM ruled that the Rogue/Paladin's behaviour had moved the NPC from indifferent to hostile, and because he wasn't a martial character (he was a high-level Expert) he made our life difficult in other, more imaginative ways. It was great fun. Although we forbade the PC from talking to anyone for a few days... ; )

    I realise this doesn't invalidate your assertion, Russ, but I thought I'd give a counter-example to show how a character like this might fit into some games.

    Only a few minutes to go; good luck!


    Disclaimer:
    Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus; and in the language of the Abyss ‘sorry’ is what you make others after you’ve had a bad day, ‘commiserations’ is the concept whereby if you’ve had a miserable day you go out and make others at least as unhappy as you are, and ‘sympathy’ is military jargon for a popular model of half a mile high siege-tower with spiked wheels, ballistae and fireball hurling catapults. (By way of explanation for the latter it’s a demonic joke: ‘See, we have sympathy for your situation’.)

    Obligatory End of Round 2 Results Post:

    Spoiler:
    In the ever-shifting chaos of Abyssal hierarchies and social-networks, Good Manners are naturally essential. One never knows when a powerful demon whom one once jostled at a dinner party and whom one never actually made sufficient reparations to for the inconvenience is going to be the new landlady of your own part of the Abyss and looking for some demons to make Very Sorry having just had a bad day herself.
    Consequently a multitude of books of etiquette are in circulation with examples of ‘appropriate’ phrases to use in various situations. I shall take the liberty of quoting a few:
    “Abyssal etiquette, Demon Lords” wrote:
    …Greetings, your most puissant highness…
    “Abyssal etiquette, Apparent Mortal Who Is Prospective Dinner” wrote:
    …Why sirrah, it is a pleasure to meet you. May one inquire, is that an enchanted cold-iron dagger of demon-slaying in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?...
    “Abyssal etiquette, Guests Whom There Is No Longer Any Room To Accommodate And Who Are About To Depart Through A Trapdoor Into A (Possibly) Snake Filled Pit” wrote:
    …Goodbye Mr. Bond…

    (The author of the work from which I derive the latter quote is incidentally a fiend with a curious affectation for monocles and white cats who happens to be a servant of Andirifkhu.)

    See you around another year, perhaps. Or maybe sooner if you feel like sticking around to post for the duration of this year’s contest... ;)

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

    Thanks for the insight, Jerry.

    In reply to your reply, there's nothing wrong with walking the edge, as long as you don't fall off. I happen to think the judges overreated to the looking back abilities, and liked the concept. Better be back next year.

    Lantern Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Joe Wells wrote:
    Jerry Keyes wrote:
    So Joe, how would you have done it? If you have the time to explain, I would sincerely appreciate your feedback! In any case, thanks for taking the time already.

    About the only way to do it would be to gut the mystery construct altogether. That would be really difficult to do in the word count given.

    Sorcerer and Oracle may be the most archetype-proof classes in the game. Which is OK, since they're so easy to customize via mysteries and bloodlines. To give them an archetype, you just about have to gut the entire class. Modifying a bloodline, mystery, or a narrow range of same just isn't an archetype to me. Much like subdomains and focused schools aren't archetypes.

    I myself think that the Pathfinder Sorcerer and Oracle are essentially beta runs on the Archetype concept as they are. Each mystery and bloodline changes the class about as much as the Archetypes change the other core classes.

    The major problem I have with this class, besides the class mechanics that make GM hair fall out, is that it reads like someone who went and studied at Time Lord Academy on Gallifrey. Being an Oracle is more like a shamanistic calling it's not a job you volounteer for or even get recommended by your prestigous uncle, it's inflicted upon you by the powers from beyond, like the Diviner in the Angel series.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

    I think we all agreed that the best way to add to the Oracle is to create additional mysteries. To that end, I have overhauled the Chronologist into the time mystery, shown below.

    I would be very grateful for feedback on the usefulness of this new mystery. Does this adequately cover a time-related character without creating a whole bunch of time-related rules? Can you see yourself playing this character? What would you change?

    Time (oracle mystery)

    Deities: Cayden Cailean, Irori, Pharasma, Urgathoa.

    Class Skills: An oracle with the time mystery adds Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Perception and Perform (oratory) to her list of class skills.

    Bonus Spells: memory lapse* (2nd), augury (4th), nap stack* (6th), divination (8th), elude time* (10th), legend lore (12th), vision (14th), temporal stasis (16th), time stop (18th). (*APG, Chapter 5)

    Revelations: An oracle with the time mystery can choose from any of the following revelations.

    Ageless (Ex): You do not age normally and are immune to magical aging. You still die when your allotted lifespan is reached, but you take no age related penalties until that point. Age related bonuses still accrue.

    Continuum Transposition (Su): Once per day, as a free action, you may transpose initiative order with one ally within 30 feet as long as that ally's initiative total is lower than yours. For the rest of the encounter, the ally acts as if he had actually rolled your initiative, and vice versa.

    Glimpse the Future (Su): You are difficult to surprise, granting you a +2 insight bonus to Perception checks against surprise attacks and traps. The bonus increases by +1 for every five oracle levels. At 7th level you can no longer be caught flat-footed.

    Manipulate Time (Sp): You may twist the temporal threads by casting either haste or slow using your oracle level as the caster level. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time at 11th level and every four levels thereafter. You must be at least 5th level to select this revelation.

    Preserving Touch (Su): Your touch causes nonliving matter to resist the passage of time. This works exactly as a single, medium application of unguent of timelessness and may be used a number of times per week equal to half your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

    Prophetic Demeanor (Ex): Ominous tones and knowing glances grant you a +3 competence bonus to Intimidate and Perform (oratory) checks. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +6.

    Recalled Suffering (Su): As a melee touch attack, you can cause a creature to briefly relive a painful experience. This attack deals 1d4 points of damage per oracle level and is a mind-affecting effect. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter.

    Rewind (Sp): Once per day, as an immediate action, you may force all initiative rolls to be rerolled. You must declare this action after all initiatives have been determined, but before any attacks have taken place. The new results must be used by ally and enemy alike, even if they are lower than the original rolls.

    Temporal Loop (Sp): As a ranged touch attack, you can force an enemy to repeat the actions he took during his previous round on his next round. If for some reason the actions cannot be performed, or if he has yet to act, then the target is instead confused for one round. You can use this ability once per day plus one additional time per day at 10th level.

    Transcendent Consciousness (Sp): You can examine a location and experience what recently transpired there just as if you were present during the time. This works much like the legend lore spell, with the following exceptions: The events must have transpired within the last 24 hours; only the current location may be targeted; and, you witness events rather than just knowing them. At the GMs discretion, this may force you to interpret what you see and hear. You can use this ability once per day and must be at least 15th level to select this revelation.

    Final Revelation: Upon reaching 20th level, you break the bonds of time, controlling its ebb and flow freely. As a free action, you may occupy the past, present and future simultaneously, thereby causing your appearance to become blurred as the blur spell. Another free action ends this condition. As a standard action, you may remove your physical self from time entirely, causing you to become incorporeal up to a number of minutes per day equal to your Charisma modifier.

    RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

    Jerry, just looked at this and thought there were some interesting features (though I've yet to play an oracle of any sort, so take this with a grain of salt).

    I'm not quite sure why intimidate is listed in the bonus skills. Just doesn't seem to fit with time, to me. I can kind of see where you were going when you add in Prophetic Demeanor, but shouldn't most oracles have something of that sort? Just doesn't gibe with time, to me...

    Continuum Transposition seems like a neat concept, though I'm not sure how useful it is. I guess if you roll really well, you could give that result to an ally, but it's kind of dependent on that.

    Glimpse the Future: I think might work better if the bonus were to initiative. I think it makes more sense for someone dabbling in time and could combine well with the previous ability.

    I like Recalled Suffering a lot. Nice effect.

    Rewind is another one I think is interesting, though I don't know how useful it is as written. In our game (and I realize as I write this this that I don't know what the official rule is), we don't announce the bad guys' initiatives ahead of time. How would I know if I needed to use this skill unless all the players roll really poor initiatives? I kind of think it might work better if they could do it at any point in the combat (though that might be TOO powerful so perhaps just at the start of any round). That could possibly let the PCs get to someone who's in deep trouble, effectively skipping ahead of a bad guy readying for a death strike or giving the endangered PC an extra chance to down a potion. I might limit it to a higher level, though, if I did it that way, as I think it could potentially be a very powerful ability.

    Temporal Loop worries me a bit. What exactly does it make the repeat offender repeat? If he moved and attacked a PC, would he have to do that again? Would it be against the same PC he attacked before? What if that PC was still right next to him, would he then move 15 feet away, 15 feet back and attack? If he used a scroll the previous round, would he have to use a scroll of the same type, or could it be a different scroll? I think this one would give a lot of players and especially DMs trouble in figuring out how to apply it.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

    First, thanks for taking the time to reply, it's really appreciated. Let me try and answer some of your questions...

    motteditor wrote:
    I'm not quite sure why intimidate is listed in the bonus skills. Just doesn't seem to fit with time, to me. I can kind of see where you were going when you add in Prophetic Demeanor, but shouldn't most oracles have something of that sort? Just doesn't gibe with time, to me...

    I think many oracles would have some amount of intimidating aspect, since they seem to know more than those around them. And I was indeed trying to tie in with Prophetic Demeanor and the final revelation. Maybe you're right though.

    motteditor wrote:
    Continuum Transposition seems like a neat concept, though I'm not sure how useful it is. I guess if you roll really well, you could give that result to an ally, but it's kind of dependent on that.

    You hit the nail on the head. It's great when the oracle rolls well and someone else in the party rolls poorly. Like most abilities, sometimes it applies and sometimes it doesn't.

    motteditor wrote:
    Glimpse the Future: I think might work better if the bonus were to initiative. I think it makes more sense for someone dabbling in time and could combine well with the previous ability.

    I already have two other initiative abilities in place, a third felt redundant.

    motteditor wrote:
    Rewind is another one I think is interesting, though I don't know how useful it is as written.

    You obviously roll a lot better than my PCs do! :) There are some combats where all PCs roll poor initiative, just at the wrong time.

    motteditor wrote:
    Temporal Loop worries me a bit. What exactly does it make the repeat offender repeat? If he moved and attacked a PC, would he have to do that again? Would it be against the same PC he attacked before? What if that PC was still right next to him, would he then move 15 feet away, 15 feet back and attack? If he used a scroll the...

    Maybe I need some more clarification on this one? The idea was that the oracle could force a repeat of some or all of the actions taken. On the other hand, I can see how this could cause strife between GM and player. Probably worth a rethink (I'm open to suggestions!).

    Again, thanks for taking the time. Getting feedback from others is the best way to improve upon something.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

    Okay, I removed Temporal Loop (it sounded fun in my head, but actually playing it would be a nightmare) and replaced it with Moment's Reversal:

    Moment's Reversal (Su): As an immediate action, you may force a target within 30 feet to reroll a d20 roll that just occurred, ignoring the previous result. A Will save negates this ability. You can use this ability once per day. At 10th level, you may add or subtract your Charisma modifier to the new result. At 20th level, you can force this result to be either a natural 1 or a natural 20.

    Better? Still not good enough? Please let me know your thoughts (anyone).

    So the final results now look like this:

    =========================

    Time (oracle mystery)

    Deities: Cayden Cailean, Irori, Pharasma, Urgathoa.

    Class Skills: An oracle with the time mystery adds Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Perception and Perform (oratory) to her list of class skills.

    Bonus Spells: memory lapse* (2nd), augury (4th), nap stack* (6th), divination (8th), elude time* (10th), legend lore (12th), vision (14th), temporal stasis (16th), time stop (18th).

    Revelations: An oracle with the time mystery can choose from any of the following revelations.

    Ageless (Ex): You do not age normally and are immune to magical aging. You still die when your allotted lifespan is reached, but you take no age related penalties until that point. Age related bonuses still accrue.

    Continuum Transposition (Su): Once per day, as a free action, you may transpose initiative order with one ally within 30 feet as long as that ally's initiative total is lower than yours. For the rest of the encounter, the ally acts as if he had actually rolled your initiative, and vice versa.

    Glimpse the Future (Su): You are difficult to surprise, granting you a +2 insight bonus to Perception checks against surprise attacks and traps. The bonus increases by +1 for every five oracle levels. At 7th level you can no longer be caught flat-footed.

    Manipulate Time (Sp): You may twist the temporal threads by casting either haste or slow using your oracle level as the caster level. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time at 11th level and every four levels thereafter. You must be at least 5th level to select this revelation.

    Moment's Reversal (Su): As an immediate action, you may force a target within 30 feet to reroll a d20 roll that just occurred, ignoring the previous result. A Will save negates this ability. You can use this ability once per day. At 10th level, you may add or subtract your Charisma modifier to the new result. At 20th level, you can force this result to be either a natural 1 or a natural 20.

    Preserving Touch (Su): Your touch causes nonliving matter to resist the passage of time. This works exactly as a single, medium application of unguent of timelessness and may be used a number of times per week equal to half your Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

    Prophetic Demeanor (Ex): Ominous tones and knowing glances grant you a +3 competence bonus to Intimidate and Perform (oratory) checks. At 10th level, the bonus increases to +6.

    Recalled Suffering (Su): As a melee touch attack, you can cause a creature to briefly relive a painful experience. This attack deals 1d4 points of damage per oracle level and is a mind-affecting effect. You can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter.

    Rewind (Sp): Once per day, as an immediate action, you may force all initiative rolls to be rerolled. You must declare this action after all initiatives have been determined, but before any attacks have taken place. The new results must be used by ally and enemy alike, even if they are lower than the original rolls.

    Transcendent Consciousness (Sp): You can examine a location and experience what recently transpired there just as if you were present during the time. This works much like the legend lore spell, with the following exceptions: The events must have transpired within the last 24 hours; only the current location may be targeted; and, you witness events rather than just knowing them. At the GMs discretion, this may force you to interpret what you see and hear. You can use this ability once per day and must be at least 15th level to select this revelation.

    Final Revelation: Upon reaching 20th level, you break the bonds of time, controlling its ebb and flow freely. As a free action, you may occupy the past, present and future simultaneously, thereby causing your appearance to become blurred as the blur spell. Another free action ends this condition. As a standard action, you may remove your physical self from time entirely, causing you to become incorporeal up to a number of minutes per day equal to your Charisma modifier.

    RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

    That seems much more workable, and definitely something I'd be interested in (the previous ability was neat as well, just not sure how it could work mechanically). I think the ability to do rerolls is one of the fun aspects of the game -- I remember a friend trying to create a fatespinner, though that campaign didn't last long.

    Considering it's got the save possibility, I don't know if more than once/day might potentially be possible or if that would be *too* powerful. Same with the natural 1/20 -- I feel like saying it's just a 1 or a 20 might be safer. Don't know how the mechanics would work, but otherwise you're giving someone a possible crit/fumble as opposed to just giving them a really high/low roll (if that difference makes sense). Then again, it is 20th level, so maybe it's a bit of a moot point.

    As is, I suspect this would be the very first revelation I'd go for any time I played this class.

    I like the charisma add/minus, though I do wonder if that might also be too strong -- chances are it's going to be +/-5. (Also not sure if it goes with "time," but that doesn't bother me as much.) Maybe you could let the PC add/subtract up to his charisma modifier per day to other rolls? (So if I had a 20 charisma, I have five points to add/subtract to rolls over the course of the day. That seems like a really neat mechanic.) That might actually work as a whole separate revelation, though. Could maybe do it that you could daily add/subtract a point for every two levels if you wanted to make it scale, perhaps up to a maximum of your charisma bonus on one roll.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

    This thread is long dead, but I thought I'd post the results of some play-testing...

    1. My players actually considered "Transcendent Consciousness" to be boring and under-powered since Legend Lore offered almost the same results. I haven't created a replacement for it since 15th level is so far away.

    2. "Rewind" was more trouble than it was worth and the name felt anachronistic to some. So I came up with something to replace it...

      Threefold Touch (Sp): Once per day, you may affect the age of one ally as per the spell threefold aspect. The range of the spell changes to "touch" and the target changes to "ally touched"; otherwise, this ability performs exactly as the spell. You must be at least 7th level to select this revelation.

    How useful is this new ability? I'm not too sure, but it feels like it has both "rules fun" and "roleplaying fun", and that's good enough for now.

    Thanks again to everyone that took the time (no pun intended) to critique my ideas!

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