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Obsidian Twilight to be updated to Obsidian Evolved


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I am working on the update of Obsidian Twilight for Pathfinder which I am tentatively calling Obsidian Evolved. I have started on reworking the races and have completed the Exalted, Genesai, Infernals and Harrowed. They have been updated, slightly depowered in some case and brought more in line with Pathfinder racial constraints based on the upcoming Advanced Race Playtest and the Advanced Player's Guide. Including finally giving Exalted the option to have wings if they want (what kind of angel hybrid doesn't have wings?) or a venomous bite attack for Infernals. This is going to be a lot of fun and I am thinking about doing something crazy like selling it to previous owner of Obsidian Twilight for $1 and the new Obsidian Evolved for only $5 for the first 30 days of sales. I am going to add new content including psionic rules set (based off of Dreamscarred Press' Psionics Unleashed) to make sure this feels perfectly like survival horror for Pathfinder done right. I am planning on an October release just in time for Halloween. Start saving your pennies because LPJ Design is very busy!

Cheliax

This is something I can get really excited about. I really like Obsidian Twilight and can't wait to see it updated and upgraded.


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

Shouldn't it be Obsidianfinder? :)


Azamandriel wrote:
This is something I can get really excited about. I really like Obsidian Twilight and can't wait to see it updated and upgraded.

This is going to fix a lot of issues that were brought up with the reviews that we kept hearing over and over. Right now I am updating the races to make them more in line with current races with alternate racial abilities for example. So if there is something you want to tell us that we could do better on Obsidian Evolved, let us know.


Well it looks like we are getting the help of Dreamscarred Press to add another level of excitement in the way of psionic to this updated setting. They are currently working on the revamp of one of the most interesting and unique races of the setting; the Khymer; which are best described as parasitic, sentient, psionic blood that invades dead bodies and animated them for their use. Adding this high successful 3PP of Pathfinder material will only make this revamp project even better.

Andoran

LMPjr007 wrote:
Azamandriel wrote:
This is something I can get really excited about. I really like Obsidian Twilight and can't wait to see it updated and upgraded.
This is going to fix a lot of issues that were brought up with the reviews that we kept hearing over and over. Right now I am updating the races to make them more in line with current races with alternate racial abilities for example. So if there is something you want to tell us that we could do better on Obsidian Evolved, let us know.

This makes me very happy. I nearly picked up Obsidian Twilight, but the reviews stopped me. I'm glad you're specifically addressing things in the reviews.


Got the updated write of of the Uzamati for Obsidian Twilight. Described as Necromantic Energy Construct with Necromantic Phasing. Expect to see the first rough daft available online at the Paizo message board on Monday.

Andoran

LMPjr007 wrote:
Got the updated write of of the Uzamati for Obsidian Twilight. Described as Necromantic Energy Construct with Necromantic Phasing. Expect to see the first rough daft available online at the Paizo message board on Monday.

As in . . . today?


As it right now! Click here to download the draft version of the Uzamati! Tell us what you think and what we could do better! Thanks!

Andoran

First thoughts, only looking at crunch:

Immunity list a mile long is going to be difficult, but not impossible to balance.

Negative energy affinity is just negative energy affinity, might as well call it by name.

More immunities, but they must meditate. How long do they have to meditate? Also what does "reacts badly" mean, rules wise.

I like the idea of using summon planar ally, but what about all the other summon spells, like summon lesser planar ally or planar binding? Or Gate? And if they don't work, why not?

+2 to a Mental ability score: Non-standard but okay, kind of pushing into being casters.

Fixed Physical abilities: Now I have a problem. You're forcing all of them to be very similar, and ruining any potential they had as a non-caster. Also, how does this interact with point buy, do they have to buy those stats or are they automatic? (This alone ensures that I will never use this race in a game. I don't know if this is suppose to be a balancing mechanism but if so, find a different way to balance it.)

A bunch of stuff about their shell and being 'healed': Ok. I get most of this, though I'm not sure what having their shell breached does, nor do I know why healed has '' around it.

Unable to channel positive energy: I like the idea of this but I'm not sure that I'm thrilled with the execution. Also what does "add their primary mental attribute to the final total when channeling" mean? Does it add to the DC? Damage?

Phasing: They were significantly over powered before we got here. Now they're just cracking the game wide open.


ShadowcatX wrote:
First thoughts, only looking at crunch:

I will answer a few of these but I expect the writer, Robert “Bob” E Drouin to give you more detailed answers on these topics.

Quote:
Immunity list a mile long is going to be difficult, but not impossible to balance.

They are construct, so we are kind of limited. But I personally agree with you.

Quote:
I like the idea of using summon planar ally, but what about all the other summon spells, like summon lesser planar ally or planar binding? Or Gate? And if they don't work, why not?

We have an EXCELLENT reason why these types of transport spells don't work, but we will be revealing this later.

Quote:

+2 to a Mental ability score: Non-standard but okay, kind of pushing into being casters.

Fixed Physical abilities: Now I have a problem. You're forcing all of them to be very similar, and ruining any potential they had as a non-caster. Also, how does this interact with point buy, do they have to buy those stats or are they automatic? (This alone ensures that I will never use this race in a game. I don't know if this is suppose to be a balancing mechanism but if so, find a different way to balance it.)

The reason which Bob gave to me, which I also agree, Uzamati can actual create their physical form out of energy and how they appear. They can appear tall, short, thin or fat but their body is just a shell that contain them. All Uzamati may not actually look the same, but in reality they physically are.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Have you thought about doing something like the Living Construct template from the 3.5 days? I believe Warforged used that type instead of Construct.


ShadowcatX wrote:

First thoughts, only looking at crunch:

Immunity list a mile long is going to be difficult, but not impossible to balance.

Negative energy affinity is just negative energy affinity, might as well call it by name.

More immunities, but they must meditate. How long do they have to meditate? Also what does "reacts badly" mean, rules wise.

I like the idea of using summon planar ally, but what about all the other summon spells, like summon lesser planar ally or planar binding? Or Gate? And if they don't work, why not?

+2 to a Mental ability score: Non-standard but okay, kind of pushing into being casters.

Fixed Physical abilities: Now I have a problem. You're forcing all of them to be very similar, and ruining any potential they had as a non-caster. Also, how does this interact with point buy, do they have to buy those stats or are they automatic? (This alone ensures that I will never use this race in a game. I don't know if this is suppose to be a balancing mechanism but if so, find a different way to balance it.)

A bunch of stuff about their shell and being 'healed': Ok. I get most of this, though I'm not sure what having their shell breached does, nor do I know why healed has '' around it.

Unable to channel positive energy: I like the idea of this but I'm not sure that I'm thrilled with the execution. Also what does "add their primary mental attribute to the final total when channeling" mean? Does it add to the DC? Damage?

Phasing: They were significantly over powered before we got here. Now they're just cracking the game wide open.

Working from the original race:

Construct type gives a slew of immunities. Unless the type can be changed to a different subset.

Negative energy affinity is nice short hand, agreed.

Meditation is exactly similar to what elves and similar things do...assume it's just a 'restful period'. Now, if we're going to definite 'Meditation' relative to 'sleeping' for different game effects in surprise rounds and stuff, that's a bit different.

Summon Planar Ally works because of the True Name aspect of it, and because their souls are bound inside the Skein of the world...you're basically pulling them back into the world, just like a Raise Dead pulls their spirits back. Once here, they form up their shell, and they are good to go. Also, it's a level 6 spell...basically, for the Uzamati, it gives you an alternative method to bring them back. We could have used the lower level version, but felt that would impugn on Raise Dead's power.

+2 Mental also helps out as monks.

Because of the very long list of immunities and similar capabilities of their shells, we did indeed decide to limit raw physical power. Standardized ability scores seemed to be the best way to do that, with some further customization allowed via traits. Note that this is little different then using standard point buy...and there's a REASON they are all so similar, tied into how they were created. It's also slightly better then the standard point buy...so as a people, they are superior, but not nearly as exceptional. Which is a good thing for constructs, yes?

Whatever primary mental attribute you choose (likely the one that's highest) adds its bonus to the hit points done when channeling negative energy. Missed the 'hit points'.

Preliminary drafts are allowed to have editing errors! :) Thanks for the catch.

The 'phasing' abilities are both a holdover from the original draft of the race and built upon that foundation. Ideally, they'll be broken out as optional 'racial advancement' rules, to be matched up with other racial levels. The Obsidian setting is infused with negative energies and wild magic, and is fairly low magic. Magic is more a function of the character/race then items.

In that regard, are the phasing abilities too powerful by level? Are the costs in line with what they should be? I was attempting to balance utility with cost. At level 1 they'll have 4 phase rounds, at level 20 something like 30. Note that their ability to do extra damage with soulfire, and miss chance from phasing, mitigate some of their lack of exceptional physical power. Indeed, the phasing ability is much more a melee buff then a caster buff. Most of the advanced phasing ability cannot be done while casting.

==Bob Drouin

Andoran

Bob Drouin wrote:
Construct type gives a slew of immunities. Unless the type can be changed to a different subset.

Why do they need to be constructs at all? Removing that would enable much better balancing. Give them the humanoid type, make a negative energy subtype and call it good. Much more elegant than saying "They're constructs, but get none of the advantages or disadvantages of constructs except the immunities."

Quote:
Meditation is exactly similar to what elves and similar things do...assume it's just a 'restful period'. Now, if we're going to definite 'Meditation' relative to 'sleeping' for different game effects in surprise rounds and stuff, that's a bit different.

Except elves don't meditate any more. That was a 3.5 thing and isn't in the Pathfinder rules.

Quote:
+2 Mental also helps out as monks.

Yup. About 1/10th as much as it helps a caster. I seriously doubt you will ever see one of these as a monk.

Quote:
Because of the very long list of immunities and similar capabilities of their shells, we did indeed decide to limit raw physical power. Standardized ability scores seemed to be the best way to do that, with some further customization allowed via traits. Note that this is little different then using standard point buy...and there's a REASON they are all so similar, tied into how they were created. It's also slightly better then the standard point buy...so as a people, they are superior, but not nearly as exceptional. Which is a good thing for constructs, yes?

Except you're not balancing them, you're restricting them. A synthesist one of these guys is going to be far stronger than a synthesist of pretty much any other race. Ditto any full caster. However, any normal melee class is going to be hampered to the point of unplayability. Screwing one set of classes while breaking another is not balance.

Quote:

Whatever primary mental attribute you choose (likely the one that's highest) adds its bonus to the hit points done when channeling negative energy. Missed the 'hit points'.

Preliminary drafts are allowed to have editing errors! :) Thanks for the catch.

Ok, adds its bonus to the hit points. Not nearly as powerful an ability as I was afraid it was. I was imagining a 1st level one of these channeling negative energy for 20 + 1d6 damage.

Quote:

The 'phasing' abilities are both a holdover from the original draft of the race and built upon that foundation. Ideally, they'll be broken out as optional 'racial advancement' rules, to be matched up with other racial levels. The Obsidian setting is infused with negative energies and wild magic, and is fairly low magic. Magic is more a function of the character/race then items.

In that regard, are the phasing abilities too powerful by level? Are the costs in line with what they should be? I was attempting to balance utility with cost. At level 1 they'll have 4 phase rounds, at level 20 something like 30. Note that their ability to do extra damage with soulfire, and miss chance from phasing, mitigate some of their lack of exceptional physical power. Indeed, the phasing ability is much more a melee buff then a caster buff. Most of the advanced phasing ability cannot be done while casting.

==Bob Drouin

Nothing in the document says it prevents spell casting. I don't even know what you mean by advanced phasing.

Giving a spell caster, or any character, the ability to take half damage from all attacks for even 1/round /level is too much. Also, it bring up, what counts as a "magical" attack, is that only spells, is it DR/magic, what about the attacks of outsiders, dragons, and the like. Etc.

In the end, what you have here is a race who has incredibly powerful advantages and negligible disadvantages for a certain sub sect of classes (casters, synthesist), while being crippled to the point of unplayability in other classes.

To get around these issues I'd redesign the race from the ground up aiming to balance it with pathfinder races. Something like:

Humanoid (negative energy)

+2 to any attribute

Darkvision 60 feet
Negative Energy Affinity
May never channel positive energy

Phasing:

May phase for 1 round / level + rounds equal to their X modifier. While phasing any weapon they wield gains the ghost touch property, add their X attribute modifier to damage or healing when channeling negative energy, and gain concealment (20% miss chance) against any weapon that doesn't have ghost touch. Finally, all their attacks deal an additional point of negative energy damage (increasing to 1d6 at 8th level).

However, while phasing they take -2 to save versus any attack that uses positive energy or which effects undead (and such effects may effect the Uzumati as if they were undead, even if they would not otherwise be a legal target, for the duration of the phase). Such attacks ignore the concealment provided by phasing.


Negative energy subtype is...interesting. Certainly stronger then negative energy affinity.

Louis is taking a harder look at it and wondering if it's even possible to make them a PC race, or whether he should just make them monsters and encounters. What he wants to have happen, what's balanced, and what is cool and full of flavor are giving him headaches!

Thx for the feedback!

==Bob Drouin

Shadow Lodge

Let me be the devil's advocate here for a moment. I hope that the Obsidian Tilight/Evolved races aren't toned down too much. I like the fact that they're kind of "extreme" and I think it fits the setting. As long as they're balanced against each other, does it really matter if they're balanced against the vanilla Pathfinder races? Just throw in an advisory that playing a human/elf/dwarf/etc will resort in the world being even more terrifying, and call it good.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Interesting viewpoint I think he'll be pleased to see.

However, it also means that there's clear racial choices for PC's if some are flatly stronger then others, so even the 'normal' races would have to get upgrades ala 1E Dark Sun.

Hmm, hmm, hmm...

==Bob Drouin

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Again, look at the Living Construct type from Eberron's Warforged if you want a construct-like playable race.


Necromancers of the Northwest have released Codex mechanica - their Fabricants are constructs.

Ironforged by RiP are well-balanced, and not truly constructs. You can have the fluff sans the problems....


Thanks everyone for the feedback. I think I might have come up with an idea to handle all of these issues.

Andoran

Kthulhu wrote:
Let me be the devil's advocate here for a moment. I hope that the Obsidian Tilight/Evolved races aren't toned down too much. I like the fact that they're kind of "extreme" and I think it fits the setting. As long as they're balanced against each other, does it really matter if they're balanced against the vanilla Pathfinder races? Just throw in an advisory that playing a human/elf/dwarf/etc will resort in the world being even more terrifying, and call it good.

Except this screws up things for those of us who want to use their ideas in our own games. And it also screws up things for the CR system.

And races like this, which are massively broken in one direction and underpowered to the point of unplayability in the other create a bland and boring world, not just because every race has what amounts to assigned classes, but also because with a mile long list of immunities comes a mile long list of things you can't get challenge out of because the pcs are immune to everything it does (or alternatively, its immune to half the things the pcs do, causing one or more of them to just sit out every fight).

LMPjr007 wrote:
Thanks everyone for the feedback. I think I might have come up with an idea to handle all of these issues.

See, this is what I like. People post content asking for feedback, they get the feedback, and they do something with it. I wish more companies would follow your example. (Both in the roleplaying publishing world and in the regular world.)


Personally, I'd prefer the races to be balanced with the core-races. Take the Khymer, for example. I'd immediately allow them in a regular world as I LOVE the fluff. If the balance is specifically set for OT, some people won't be able to scavenge the parts and I know a lot persons who do exactly that. I'd suggest racial paragon classes for all the additional powers - that way, one could start an OT-game with the stronger races, but people in games with a less steep power-curve can still use/enjoy them and even build them up to be the badasses they're supposed to be.

Oh, and: Great news regarding the update - OT has potential galore!

Just my 2 cents!


ShadowcatX wrote:

To get around these issues I'd redesign the race from the ground up aiming to balance it with pathfinder races. Something like:

Humanoid (negative energy)

+2 to any attribute

Darkvision 60 feet
Negative Energy Affinity
May never channel positive energy

Phasing:

May phase for 1 round / level + rounds equal to their X modifier. While phasing any weapon they wield gains the ghost touch property, add their X attribute modifier to damage or healing when channeling negative energy, and gain concealment (20% miss chance) against any weapon that doesn't have ghost touch. Finally, all their attacks deal an additional point of negative energy damage (increasing to 1d6 at 8th level).

However, while phasing they take -2 to save versus any attack that uses positive energy or which effects undead (and such effects may effect the Uzumati as if they were undead, even if they would not otherwise be a legal target, for the duration of the phase). Such attacks ignore the concealment provided by phasing.

This write up you presented gave me a great idea on how to handle a few of the issues that this race presented. I wanted to know besides phasing what other abilities do you feel would fit well with this race?

Andoran

LMPjr007 wrote:
This write up you presented gave me a great idea on how to handle a few of the issues that this race presented. I wanted to know besides phasing what other abilities do you feel would fit well with this race?

You're asking entirely the wrong person I'm afraid. I'm good at taking things other people come up with and twisting it to fit my desires, but I'm not good at coming up with original stuff.

You could take the 1/2 elemental people's abilities of "If they choose X bloodline, or Y domain they get +1 caster level for spells of that type" and apply it to negative energy. (Honestly, though, I think that ability is way over costed on the 1/2 elemental people though.)

Gaining a rush of temporary hit points (or healing) any time they cast a negative energy spell (which should probably include quite a bit of necromancy). (Probably not a good idea, though, as it would have to increase by level to be meaningful and racial abilities that increase by level are dangerous.)

I really did like their ability to pour negative energy into their attacks, though I almost feel that should cost them something, maybe they have to pour out their own energy to do it (thus taking damage themselves).

Gaining a bonus on charisma checks dealing with undead.


OK after talking with the writer, getting comment here and other LPJ Design staff and while looking through this thread I decide to take the Advanced Race Guide Playtest specifically the specialty subtypes. SO I have been thinking of combining the half construct & half undead subtype which gives me these features:

Uzamati - Humanoid with half construct & half undead subtype.

Hybrid: Uzamati are a very unusual type of negative energy and construct with in a humanoid body. This gives them some very unique qualities:
• Uzamati have the darkvision 60 ft. racial ability.
• Uzamati gain a +4 racial bonus on saving throws against disease, mind-affecting effects and a +2 racial bonus on poison, and effects that cause either exhaustion or fatigue.
• Uzamati are harmed by positive energy and healed by negative energy. Uzamati with the fast healing special quality still benefits from that quality.
• Uzamati take no penalties from energy draining effects, though they can still be killed if they accrue more negative levels than they have Hit Dice. After 24 hours, any negative levels they’ve gained are removed without any additional saving throws.
• Uzamati are immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or fewer.
• Uzamati breathe, eat, and sleep.

Uzamati gain a +2 to any single ability score of your choice when you create the character.

Medium: Uzamati are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Slow Speed: Uzamati’s have a base speed is 20 feet.

Phasing: May phase for 1 round / level + rounds equal to their Wisdom modifier. While phasing any weapon they wield gains the ghost touch property, add their Wisdom attribute modifier to damage or healing when channeling negative energy, and gain concealment (20% miss chance) against any weapon that doesn't have ghost touch. Finally, all their attacks deal an additional point of negative energy damage (increasing to 1d6 at 8th level).

However, while phasing they take -2 to save versus any attack that uses positive energy or which effects undead (and such effects may effect the Uzumati as if they were undead, even if they would not otherwise be a legal target, for the duration of the phase). Such attacks ignore the concealment provided by phasing.

What do you think about this write up?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like it. I'm a big fan of the Obsidian Twilight stuff (my own campaign is working towards it at the moment)so I am looking forward to seeing you guys revisit

One thing that the idea of them shaping their body to exist in the world, puts me in mind of is the Aegis class that Dreamscarred Press made. You could make a small group of Racial body shaping feats. Sort of x/day feats that let them make temporary changes to their Shells

Andoran

I like it, a lot. It is much more balanced while still imaginative. Exactly what I look for in a product.


Here are some feats I am working on to go with this race. Let me know what you think:

Combat Phasing
Prerequisites: Base Will save +8, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can spend two rounds worth of your phasing ability per round to gains immunity to non-magical physical attacks while phasing.

Harmonious Phasing
Prerequisites: Base Will save +3, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
An Uzamati can bring itself into phase with the Skein near the ancient site of Izusa, and communicate with the spirits of its fellows. This allows the Uzamati to make any Knowledge checks required at +4 from the helpful citizens and sages.

In addition, you can use your phasing one additional round per day.

Negative Energy Strike
Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
Benefits: You can expend one use of your phasing ability as a swift action to wreath your unarmed strikes in necromantic negative energy. You can add negative energy damage to your unarmed strike damage dealing an additional 1d6 plus one for every two level points of negative energy damage. You may not use this feat more than once per round.

In addition, you can use your phasing one additional round per day.

Run Phasing
Prerequisites: Base Will save +10, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can spend three rounds worth of your phasing ability per round to move yourself and all the equipment 20 feet through a solid object. The Uzamati is incapable of harming anyone while in this state. Uzamati may not perform any actions other then movement while using this feat.

Step Phasing
Prerequisites: Base Will save +5, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can spend two rounds worth of your phasing ability per round to move yourself and all the equipment five feet through a solid object. The Uzamati is incapable of harming anyone while in this state.

In addition, you can use your phasing one additional round per day.


LMPjr007 wrote:

Here are some feats I am working on to go with this race. Let me know what you think:

Combat Phasing
Prerequisites: Base Will save +8, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can spend two rounds worth of your phasing ability per round to gains immunity to non-magical physical attacks while phasing.

Could use some clarification. If my attacks count as magical (certain natural weapons, magic weapons) etc. Would I be immune to those?


TarkXT wrote:
LMPjr007 wrote:

Here are some feats I am working on to go with this race. Let me know what you think:

Combat Phasing
Prerequisites: Base Will save +8, Uzamati, phasing racial ability
As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you can spend two rounds worth of your phasing ability per round to gains immunity to non-magical physical attacks while phasing.

Could use some clarification. If my attacks count as magical (certain natural weapons, magic weapons) etc. Would I be immune to those?

To me if the attack counts as magical, then Combat Phasing would NOT gain immunity to them.

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