In 5e, there's a monster called Half-Dragon. They are exactly what they sound like: humanoids with dragon heads and tails (and wings, sometimes). Dragonborn look nothing like them. It's infuriating. So I basically write Dragonborn out of the Faerun setting and insert half-drakes whenever I can get away with it.
Oh, there's a certain race that I've always wanted to Homebrew in 5e.
Dragonewts: Basically like kobalds but they can evolve and change over time. They start off small, with 2 flawed stats of the players choice but no default boosts. They technically don't come with any heritages, but instead take on "mutation feats". Brief summary follows:
Growth (can select twice) - Gain a boost to the Strength attribute. Increase size from small to medium, or from medium to large. Gain natural weapon, d6 if medium and d10 with reach if large.
Breath (can select twice) - Gain a boost to the Constitution attribute. Select an element. Gain a breath weapon and a resistance to that element. If this feat is selected for the second time, increase range and damage of breath, and increase resistance.
Wings - Gain boost to the Dexterity attribute, and a fly speed of one half ground speed.
Adhesion - Gain boost to Dexterity attribute, and a climb speed equal to ground speed.
Camouflage - Gain boost to Wisdom attribute. As an action, gain +2 circumstance bonus to stealth. May attempt to hide in plain sight if in dimly lit area.
Tongues - Gain boost to Intelligence attribute. Can now understand the spoken language of any intelligent creature (but not their written language). May attempt to mimic their speech patterns with a lore check.
Aminus - Gain boost to Charisma attribute. May select a couple cantrips from the Arcana spell list (Charisma is the casting modifier).
I had more, but I forget what they were. Something about poison saliva and body spikes.
I hope so. It does make managing different types of currency more viable. It also highlights a characters status. In some games, certain NPCs would balk at seeing a gold piece. Sometimes gold can't even be exchanged for goods due to the fact that the community is so poor it can't be broken down into smaller currency.
Arcana sorta has a strict definition, which I had assumed was exclusive the domains of wizards and dragons. So I dunno if any other sort of creature could embody that concept.
Gods/Fiends/Undead have their own thing going on with their divine domains, fey/spirits got their nature magics. Not even sure where bards and witches fit in but they are probably the closest, along with aberrations. But the new edition already specified that they were Occult. The only thing left is constructs, which are typically the product of arcane magics.
So I guess you could specify a construct bloodline? Sorta like a homunculus that has matured into a full grown sapient being? But I'm not sure if that fits with the lore.
I'm curious, does your version of Dragonborn have tails?
As for your question, I'd like to try and implement werecreatures, alternate pantheons, firearms and blackpowder weapons, the Slayer job from Warhammer Fantasy (they are SO cool!), Dragonborn with tails, and maybe cambions if I can get them to make sense in the setting.
Apart from those, nothing mechanical. Just custom lore and maybe a slightly adjusted magical presence.
I see. As a rule I don't ever use automation. Partially because I don't trust them and I've had errors cripple the pacing of games that I've played in. But also because I want people to learn the mechanics of how their characters work, and I've found that having he sheet do all the math for you is a potential barrier to that. Your statement about it making it harder to homebrew deities gives me yet another reason, as I hadn't considered that before.
If Pathfinder 1 classes are eventually trickled back into second edition, which do you hope return first?
You know, I would actually be satisfied with that explanation, if all Void benders could do is manipulate gravity and telekinetic fields. In fact, that's a pretty damn cool concept.
Sadly, this is not the case.
If Pathfinder 1 classes are eventually trickled back into second edition, which do you hope return first?
My hostile reaction is more due to my lack of understanding than my being unable to seamlessly insert them into my own narratives. It's just personal bias. I honestly feel the same way about psionics, magictech, magic-using rangers, and monks (until recently). I'm sure that if I put forth enough effort I can think of a way to make Keneticists make sense in any fantasy setting, but most of the time I just don't want to. I don't think the concept is flawed, though.
Except for the Void element thing. I read that expecting one thing and I got a completely different thing. I'd attribute that experience to cognitive dissonance, but I still don't like it.
If Pathfinder 1 classes are eventually trickled back into second edition, which do you hope return first?
I was most mostly referring to the arbitrary assortment of "elements" that were NOT based on the four (or five) classical elements. I would have been satisfied if it we're just the four (or five), as at least I had a context for it (he is the Avatar, master of all four or five elements, up until that ten-year-old invented a new technique).
But no, apparently a Kineticist can also also channel a vaguely defined force/magic/realm/essence, on top of the regular elemental stuff. I'm actually just complaining about the Void element. I kinda stopped there and just assumed that Aether and the few others were just as conceptually finicky. I could be wrong.
While I like the idea of restricting classes by rarity and culture, and using backgrounds as requirements (I specifically like the idea of limiting the number of casters in a party, because I'm petty and lazy, and it makes DMing easier for me) I can see players objecting to this due to an (incorrect) notion that it restricts their character concept. Rather than understanding that their decision on which class they pick entails implications to their place in the setting you are running, they might think that you are trying to limit their choices or tell them that they cannot play the character that they want.
I've rarely run into this problem, but it's usually because I just let players play whatever they want regardless of how improbable it is (some exceptions apply). But then again, that bit me in the rear several times, too.
I think that we can avoid this sort of ambiguity altogether by using a table to randomly generate items (based on rarity) every in-game month. The GM can still decide to not make this list available to players if they want, or make them roll to search for more rare items. Otherwise, the items are just there and players need only haggle.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Assuming that you are correct and that Power Attack does do the same amount of damage as attacking twice in a normal circumstance; spamming that attack gets you a net benefit because it does more damage against damage reducing effects (like hardness). Power Attack may be the optimal choice against enemies that are blocking or made of hard stuff.
I can't speak for Keneticists, but I'm pretty darn certain that Sorcerers are a staple of the fantasy genre based on the fact that every time I hear the word I immediately envision a thinly clad villain from Conan the Barbarian who can shoot lightning from their hands. I don't even read Conan and I can't break the association between Sorcerers and evil dragon people with strange powers who for some reason want to make dragon babies. It's not awkward at all to place one into a high fantasy setting. I think even Elder Scrolls had them.
You're right about your point about telling air benders and sorcerers apart. The problem is that you will always get that ONE PERSON in the party who trained in Arcana and has to quantify everything as being either "definitely magical" or "very possibly natural." Sense air bending doesn't fit into either of those categories, the DM now needs to come up with an explanation as to why this is possible, and it has to make sense in the framework of that setting.
Otherwise, you're left with "Well, it works because... something something physics?" Which doesn't go over well with characters who are arguably the smartest people in the realm.
Roll elementals into your setting's creation myth and say air benders are their offspring and you are good to go. Tell players that magic exists and explains all of the supernatural phenomenon in the world except for those many occasions when it doesn't and then your story gets holes poked in it.
(It's... It's me. I'm usually that guy who trains Arcana and questions everything. I'm terrible.)
As for retain I'd say "Weather by birth or through curse afflicted upon you, you can feel pull of beast lurking in side you. During a level up you can replace a ancestery feat which lacks werebeast trait with one that does this feat must be replace with one equeal to or below it level."
Totally gonna steal all that, including the phrasing. Thanks.
I don't see any reason why one would want to replace Moon Frenzy. I'm the Bestiary, werewolves and wererats can use that ability (are forced to, actually) and not go berserk. It's only the infected that go berserk on the full moon (it just so happens that the infected use this ability at the same time they go berserk).
The curse/berserk thing and the moon frenzy thing are two separate traits, which just so happen to occur at the same time. Infected would have both of those things but natural werefolk would only have the latter. Unless we want to change that so that they aren't exclusive?
Well, let’s take the idea of ancestry feats for example. For a natural born Lycan, Ancestry Feats make sense. Though what if someone gets infected at 8th level? Would they get extra Ancestry feats? Born Werecreatures i think would work the way you have set up; as a Heritage. Infected might work as a single extra Ancestry Feat (or similar) that gains benefits and drawbacks at later level; like the weakness to silver could go up by 5 every 5 Class Levels.
Gotcha!The reason I gave the Change Shape, silver weakness, and the sensory stuff to the heritage feature was because I thought those are features that all werecreatures should have in common regardless of whether they were infected or not.
But your saying that an infected person would have fewer benefits because they haven't spent as much time being a werecreature? Well that makes sense to me! In that case, I'd have to displace the change shape, silver weakness, and sensory stuff and/or put it into its own ancestry feats so that infected can have access to it later. How does this sound?
Infect - You are infected by a werecreature's curse, as per the creature's stat block. After the first transformation, you gain access to the Werecreature ancestry traits.
Change Shape - Choose either hybrid or beast form. You are now able to use an action to transform into the chosen form at will. You also gain low-light vision and weakness to silver [approximate quantity goes here]. Once you have three werecreature ancestry feats, you may gain the other form as transformation option.
Controlled Rage (Infected) - You no longer rampage on nights of the full moon. You retain control of yourself during this period, but still retain all of the other drawbacks.
I kinda agree that it doesn't make sense for players to be able to affect the probability that items are available. I had assumed that the DM would have a method for that sort of thing. Maybe a player asks if the item is available and the DM looks at a list of available items or otherwise rolls some dice. I wouldn't expect items that are of the highest rarity or levels to be available anywhere unless someone crafts/invents them.
Selling items is another story. I'd expect
I’d just like to point out that kineticists are not psychic casters (unless using the overwhelming soul archetype) and are absolutely not psionics. Several of the concerns raised above appear to be based on the misapprehension that they are psionics.
I read about the class on the web SRD. If that source is accurate then it appears that you are correct. The Psychokineticist is an archetype of the Kineticists that is apparently distinct for being an actual psion with similar powers. I think that's the one you mentioned.
In any case, my mistake. I do have a deep-seated apprehension towards psions for various reasons, and that bias shouldn't extend to Keneticists as they are a fundamentally different concept. In fact, it's a rather cool concept (except for the weird Power of DARKNESS variety which still makes absolutely no sense to me unless the character chose to always don dark leather hooded longcoats with too many zippers).
To be fair though, if you take away the cool elemental aspect it's about as close to psionics as you can get. Unless you include telepathy, phase-shifting, and clairvoyance into the mix. I also didn't read up on the Psychic class so I may be way off base here.
It doesn't seem like enough people have suggested this so I'm gonna take a shot at a custom heritage. Lemme know what you think and if you have any suggestions. I'm using what I saw in the bestiary and the examples of the heritages from the playtest. So I don't know if this will be balanced.
Werebeast Heritage: Gain the Beast and Werecreature traits, as well as weakness to silver that is equal to your class level. Gain the Change Shape action, which permits you to change into human and hybrid shape. While in hybrid form, gain low-light vision, scent, claw strike, and jaw strike (each that functions as unarmed strikes with piercing damage). Choose an animal type whose curse you embody (rat or wolf).
Ferocity - Strikes with claws or jaws have the Deadly trait and applies critical specialization on a critical hit.
Moon Frenzy - During nights of the full moon you must enter their hybrid form and cannot take on any other form until dawn. During this time you (but not your equipment) are effected by the enlarge spell, and damage from both jaws and claws increase by 1d4. Once the effect ends you are returned to human form and is fatigued for 2d4 hours.
Beast Shape - Add the beast form corresponding to your beast aspect to your options for Change Shape. [Should probably include stat blocks or adjustments for giant rats and wolves]
Pack Tactics (Wolf) - While not in human form, you deal 1d6 extra damage to creatures within reach on at least two of your allies.
Rats Cunning (Rat) - You deal 1d6 extra precision damage to flat-footed creatures. This damage does not stack with precision damage gained from other sources.
Aspect's Curse - Your jaws attack gain an additional effect. Humanoid targets that are struck must make a Fortitude save. On each full moon, the target must succeed in another save for turn into a werecreature of the appropriate type and go on a rampage. When the rampage ends they revert to normal and fall unconscious until dawn.
Beast Empathy - You can communicate with creatures who correspond to your aspect. Werewolves can communicate with canines, wererats can communicate with rodents, etc.
@Lanathar: See, that right there is an interesting concept! I'd love to see how that plays out regardless of setting, because in my head-space I've already grasped the context for it (the guy was fundamentally changed due to naturally occurring event, and now embodies that event as a force of nature themselves). I know it sounds arbitrary but I choose stories like that over "this guy has mastered Psionics just 'cause it's convenient for him to have them."
Edit: Talking about lightning psions, not shifters. Sorry.
Well I had extreme cases in mind, from prior experiences and stories that I've heard. The most fresh example I can think of (I think) involved someone who tried to create a concept that absolutely didn't fit into the setting and was just an excuse for them to powergame. Not gonna say that it ruined the game for me (actually, the game was rather fun and so was the player in question). But it was still kind of off-putting (at least at first).
If I sound vindictive it's only because I generally don't trust players to not abuse traits that give them supernatural powers with no narrative/mechanical cost. Just recently I outright forbade a player (who's a co-worker of mine) from playing a Mystic in my new campaign because he couldn't think of a reasonable concept to accompany the character build and it's abilities after I'd asked for one, and because I couldn't think of a reason to justify that character's existence in that setting (Faerun) without doing an extensive amount of research form him (which I did eventually, and it still made no sense to me).
I feel bad about not letting players not play the characters that they want, but I don't want to create more work for myself making sure that their characters are balanced and that they fit in the world setting. If I'm not having fun then it's not worth the effort.
Well that's a relief. Even still, I'd probably hesitate to include a Keneticist as an option unless they were strongly tied to the setting, as they were in Avatar: The Sorta But Not Really Last Airbender. I can see people picking the class solely for its benefits, with no regard to how the character fits in the setting or how they've come to master their otherwise esoteric skill set.
I changed my mind about Kineticists. I just saw the entries for the "Void" element. Apparently your ability to telekinetically manipulate void translates to warping shadows, animating corpses, manipulating gravity, and resisting curses? Like, four completely thematically distinct power sets in one?
I'm thoroughly confused and scared about what this Keneticist concept actually entails. I just want people who can throw rocks and water with kung Fu, not another edgy Sorcerer.
Nothing against Sorcerers, mind you.
After seeing all the hype about Kineticists I looked it up and skimmed the material. I'm the sort who really, really hates the prospect of psionics in high fantasy, but I gotta say that after reading all that I am fairly intrigued!
It's probably because I'm a huge fan of the Avatar series (animated show about children doing Kung-Fu by flinging water and rocks at each other).
I can see this working a fantasy campaign; so long as players don't abuse it. I recall hearing horror stories about folks min-maxing psionics characters that made absolutely no narrative sense but were still legal in organized play.
From the brief info graphic I saw on YouTube on the subject of Norse pantheon, apparently the giants weren't all that bad. In fact, a lot of the aggression against them by the aesir was either motivated by xenophobia or Odin's jealous obsession with being the smartest guy in the universe. The giants most just wanted to keep to themselves and live peacefully, then Thor went and genocided a bunch of em. Several times.
Edit: Minor correction. I put Zeus instead of Odin.
I would like to see the gunslinger return (as long as they make it a distinct class with viable and varied options like all the rest, otherwise it's just a Ranger with a gun).
But I mostly just don't want what happened with the APG. Introduced six new classes and five of them were spell casters. (I won't talk about the Cavalier. Nope.) Seriously, I think we have enough spell casters. We don't need anymore. >:E
Except the Witch. I thought the Witch was neat. So, Gunslinger and Witch and that's it. No more casters.
So I looked at this years calendars just to be sure, because this isn't something I pay attention to. There's only one month in the year that comprises only 28 days (or exactly four weeks, I guess). The remaining 11 are all *approximately* four weeks.
I don't think a four week month is "generic". Unless I misunderstood your meaning.
I NEVER scale monsters to my party's average level. A random encounter with a their that can take on a party of high level adventures makes absolutely no sense. Sure, if my party is level 12 and they are wandering about town, there is a chance I'll roll an encounter with low level thugs that any one of them can solo. That's fine. They're in a city with normal people, so normal people shouldn't be a threat to them and all they should encounter ought to be normal people (unless they just so happen to bump into a very important NPC randomly). If he party wants more challenging encounters then they will go someplace more dangerous. Or I'll just make encounters with weak mobs more challenging by increasing the numbers or incorporating more strategy.
I can't tell you how annoying it is to encounter random unassuming townsfolk who turn out to be demi-gods once you piss them off. It really breaks my immersion.
I agree that high level adventures who look like ordinary people is kind of odd. But then again, I've never encountered this with seventh level characters and higher in Pathfinder. My level 11 thuggish rogue is decked out in lavish magic apparel that I think actually glows in the dark. Like, I literally purchased magic underwear for him (I think it turns him invisible once a day) simply because it was cheap and I needed to spend my gold. Everything that touched his body was masterwork quality, so he looked like a very, very affluent traveler at worse and a noble at best.
I can't see adventures that are high level looking normal. They're practically freaks of nature. :D
I like that idea a lot. It gives casters one more threat to be wary of and makes scouts more viable. I hope that they did include a provision like that in the final core book.
I have similar inclinations towards role-playing over strategy. And I'm sorry I don't have a proper suggestion. I don't think I've ever played or run a game where characters were over level 12. In fact I sometimes impose a level cap for the exact same reasons as you mentioned, although I don't think it will address the issue.
My thinking is that if by some miracle the players survive enough to reach level 10 then consider campaigns that take place in alternate plains of existence. See how they fair in the elemental plane of air, where falling off a skyship is instant death. See what they do in the plain of fire, where in the city of bronze one's resourcefulness more important than one's combat skills. How about the feywilds, where the denizens of the unseele court each represent more than a few threats to the party.
Maybe epic player-characters require more epic worlds where fighting becomes literally a detriment to their progress and where diplomatic/scientific solutions are favorable.
Although I can see this being interpreted by the players as a challenge to just pick more fights and get more loot. I dunno.
You'll want to make sure to weaken animal companions accordingly then, otherwise that's just unfair to the rest of the table as the companion character now basically has 6 actions per turn going on instead of basically 4 (I say basically because of things like needing to spend actions to move both into position and such since they are separate bodies, though that is also an upside) as they did previously and you're right back to the problems PF1 had with companions, summons, etc.
I don't mind nerfing companions stats. Or just banning them altogether. Anything is better than treating them like damn pokemon.
I recall that in PF1 animal companions didn't need to be micromanaged. If I'm wrong, then that's because in the games I played DMs ruled that companions always behaved as one would expect a creature of that type to behave, unless they were given an order that they could comprehend. Like, y'know, a wolf is a pack animal. It follows the lead of those in charge. If people are sneaking around then Wolf Buddy is going stealth mode too. If folks are running away then Wolf Buddy isn't sticking around. And she never needs to be told to flank with her companions and trip opponents. She's a wolf, she'll just do that instinctively. When battle starts, what you will NEVER see happen is her just standing their awaiting orders. She'll either run for cover or prepare to bite someone's face.
In the playtest minions needed to be ordered around or otherwise they just defended themselves? Yeah, I'm going to amend that so that minions simply behave as they would ordinarily. Basically NPCs under the GMs control. If players want to take direct control of them then sure, spend an action to command them, then take control of that NPC for two of their actions. But otherwise they'll would (hopefully) be competent enough that this will never be necessary.
Maybe Wolf Buddy needs to be told to go and protect an ally who's bleeding out. But she should NEVER be told to disengage and run away from a full grown dragon. If this sort of thing isn't addressed in the final version then I'll will hammer it out as a house rule.
I don't know how lethal this game is but I hope it doesn't put too much on me to keep that aspect reasonable for my players. I like for all decisions, especially whether or not to engage in combat, to be meaningful and carry weighty consequences. But I also want to be careful about accidentally conning my players into unfair situations. Insta-TPK is always anticlimactic and never fun, and removes player agency if players never see it coming.
As a DM building encounters, I used to have a policy that balancing every single encounter is pointless, that doing that break immersion, and that "encounters shousld be as safe or as deadly as they need to be for the circumstances the party finds themselves in." As in, not every boss fight has to be against a super villain and his dozens of minions, but if the party decides they want to pick a fight that they can't win then that's on them, not the DM.
But then I re-read some of the monsters in the bestiary, and I'm thinking that I might have to rethink that stance. There are a few creatures that are inexplicably hard to deal with. It's easy for me to say, "Oh hey, rumor has it that trolls are prowling the woods. You should be careful."
So I noticed (after a quick scan so I could be off) that there are roughly 14 human PCs out of the 40 that were presented here. I'm not counting half-humans and hobbits. I'm guessing that most people prefer to play exotic races, or that the spread is pretty much even. Either way makes sense, as I don't see the point in ethnocentrism in a world of visually/culturally distinct races. But for me it gets rather hard to explain why there's a party full of demihumans in a nation dominated by humans.
Is there anyone who would prefer a setting where humans aren't the dominant race? Maybe, in keeping with the typical party demographics, they could be the minority instead? Maybe the world could be dominated by hobbits.
While I would initially try to avoid homebrewing any of the mechanics until I learn the system better, I will eventually try my hand at superimposing Final Fantasy jobs on most of the classes for a Final Fantasy themed setting.
A lot of those will be easy. Alchemist, Bard, Rogue, and Monk will remain the same.
And then you have the tricky classes, the spellcasters.
Druids are the Geomancers (Conjurers for those who play the MMO). Either Monk, Rogue, or Alchemist would work for Ninja. Not sure about Dancer.
Just about the only concept I'd have to houserule is the mechanics for Summoners, Gamblers (Astrologists), and Mechanists. I'm tempted to just introduce guns and make the latter a Ranger, but I don't know how Rangers work yet.
I agree with the OP that failing forward is bad, my reason being that it invalidates skill levels. If you attempt a task and succeed with some difficulty, and someone else attempts the same task and succeeds with no difficulty, I would assume that the latter person is more proficient at the task than the former person. But mechanically the results are arbitrary. A it means that regardless of skill everyone can (eventually) achieve the same level of success.
Failing forward means that those who are more skilled needn't put forth as much effort as those who are not. I would rather it be that, AND that those who are more skilled will succeed MORE OFTEN than who are not.
BTW, I'm assuming we're talking about tasks that are challenging and require effort? In other words, tasks that must be accomplished under a short amount of time, while under stress, or while there's a deficit of resources? If we're talking about tasks that are trivial or that can be accomplished if one takes their time, then I reverse my stance. Although I am also of a mind that skill checks should only be used if a task is risky or would yield results that are narratively interesting. Otherwise, no skill checks necessary. It's just a tree, let them climb the damn tree.
I think it mostly involved an intricate interplanar elevator powered by *mirrors* that essentially enabled fast travel in and out of the dungeon and across the wilderness and city we traveled from. Still not sure why the GMed allowed that but I didn't complain.
Personally I'd choose mountain Stance because it thematically fits the concept of the sort of monk I'd like to play, rather than the footsie dragon stance or the bestial wolf stance. I don't really care about the mechanics so much.
And even if I did care, I've made armor-less characters with low Dex before. They're not that uncommon and many are viable. Most wizards, some druids, and certain barbarians although those are exceptional for certain reasons. So the Mountain Stance kinda provides a bit of help to those who want to ignore Dexterity in favor of the other stats. It in no way means that folks have to ignore Dexterity.
I'm sorry but any adventurer who cooks a hot meal and decides to pack it up and give beasts and monsters a way to track them is just asking to be ambushed. In the very, VERY unlikely scenario that a wolf or griffon decides that chowing down is more important than addressing an immediate threat, I'd say the poor sap had it coming. Next time they'll pack simple rations.
If the party wanders into a lair where their enemy has already prepared for them, to the point where they can simply rob them blind, I guarantee you that missing equipment is the least of their problems. I'd hope that experienced adventurers would know to never allow this to happen (but then again, goblins are crafty little devil's and you can't always anticipate'em).
If I were a evil minion and I had a pile of expendable incendiary grenades, I can think of better uses for them than just waiting on the party to drop their stuff just to set it on fire.
Also, swooping into grab up stuff an than attempting to run away is way more action intensive than strolling over to the guy attempting to steal your stuff and laying the smack down. Mind you, this is assuming that all party members are too preoccupied AND that none of them have ranged attacks.
Mind you, I'm making lots of assumptions too.