Shag Solomon

Alphonse Joly's page

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In the necromancer thread Jason mentioned that he was thinking about a necromantic animal companion for the necromancer. This got me thinking...

Why not include an optional school-themed familiar as part of the familiar option? The classical Snake is great, but what if the Illusionist could get an Illusionary Snake? Or an undead snake? Or (gasp) an elemental snake themed to the evoker's chosen element? The specialist familiar could give a slightly better but more specific bonus to the wizard (+1 damage to fire spells instead of skill points for example)

Secondarily, this idea could be expanded to include special/specific powers for the item familiar as well. I'm sure all the DMs out there can assemble a few hypotheticals themselves without writing about a necromantic ring (though it would clearly be amazing and I defy any attempt to prove otherwise).

Third, these could easily be turned into an "Improved Familiar" style feat, Specialist Familiar, for instance. More is better gents. If you're running out of pages, charge $5 more for the book and fill the extra pages with AWESOME stuff and we'll definitely still buy it.

And of course the juggernaut Universalist could receive a stunning, brilliant, astoundin': Normal familiar/item familiar. That's right. Normal. Hey, he doesn't have prohibited schools. He can take a long walk off a short flyin' carpet if he thinks he's getting a necromantic ring.

I had a brilliant idea. What if the basic weapons (and armor?) in the core rules were more diverse in statistics? Here's what I'm thinking:
To avoid the pattern of melee combatants only specializing in the "good" weapons (scythe, scimitar, etc) and completely avoiding the more modestly statted weapons, why not make every basic weapon (and armor!) come in different critical ranges and damage dice?

The way the weapons are statted at this point is reasonably illogical to begin with. A scimitar doesn't really "critically hit" more than a longsword, they're both a piece of metal that was probably kept in poor condition at the time and the fragility of the human body made how often the weapon might "Crit" completely moot. So for our fantasy world where we're willing to stretch our imaginiations, why does a curvy sword = better than a straight sword?

I suggest that all weapons come in a basic form that's always x2 crit, and perhaps reducing the damage die on some of the weapons (say max 1d6 for a 1h weapon and 2d4 for a 2h). Then, it's possible (by paying for a masterwork weapon, or perhaps a less expensive solution (Sharpening?)) to have the crit range of a mundane weapon advanced to a certain limit (18-20, is the clear limit) OR the multiplier advanced (x4, making every weapon "good" for Devastating Blow). Perhaps these two considerations could balance each other (high crit threat range or crit multiplier = low damage die, vice versa) to avoid creating any weapons more powerful than those in the PFRPG core.

This same principal can easily apply to armor and shields as well, varying the weight type, as well as weight, armor check penalty, max dex and AC. Not only does this suggestion provide weapon balance among the choices, but makes it seem like the game has far more cool equipment in it than it really does. I mean, finding a 1d6 x2 +2 longsword is okay, but finding the 1d8 19-20 +2 shortspear is great! (Nobody likes finding magic shortspears as it is, :P)