Looks really interesting.
The Charm Person seems a touch strong. That could trivialize a lot of early game (or late game, depending on the DC) encounters.
The poison and charm don't list a save DC. I assume the poison is 11 + CON, and the charm is 11 + CHA?
Free flight is also pretty good, but assuming your the DM, if you ok with that, it's not a game breaker. And the race doesn't have a lot of other really strong stuff (like a human's free feet, or darkvision), so it probably balances out in the end.
If your players are enjoying it, they won't interrupt. If they aren't enjoying it, you're probably only going to upset them by forcing them to listen to something as helpless bystanders, and that's why they are shooting first. (Also don't roll initiative, since that basically forces them to shoot first so they don't waste their initiative roll)
You could also just... ask your players to let you monologue because you enjoy it and they'll learn good stuff. This isn't really something you need rules for.
Rather recently I had a... mismatch of expectations. Every single combat we ever had was with some single creature with just absurd power. A knock down drag out fight to the last. Most players would only be able to even affect the creature 10% of the time (often only on a crit). I spent many combat just skipping my turn, because rolling the dice was a waste of time, and it was better to let the synthesist summoner/archmage clobber it.
On top of that, our characters weren't the protagonists. There were untouchable bad NPC's and untouchable good NPC's that made all the decisions and decided the outcome of pivotal combats... (and these I mean literally untouchable, they were just immune to the rules of the game, we never once affected them with any ability, even mythic invisibility). Our successes and failures didn't matter, things only happened when one of these 2 NPC's took action.
I tried for months to convince the DM I wasn't having fun and I needed more agency to enjoy the game. I left when I realized I was bringing a toxic attitude to the table and ruining the other players enjoyment. One day we had a point where the DM was asking the party what we wanted to do... I convinced the group to commit suicide one character at a time by lettings some stupid mythic dragon full attack us while blind because it didn't matter what we tried, we'd just fail anyway. 2 of the party members did it before we ended the session.
... I never went back.
Being a unique magic item, the caster level, DC's, and price are set by the creator to whatever feels right. They probably went along the lines of "I feel like level 5 is a good level for a character to stumble across this cool little item, but making the DC 11 would mean no one ever failed, let's bump it up a bit to something a bit more reasonable for level 5, DC 14 seems fine, and let's give it a little +2 boost too, since it's a one use magic item, and it would be sad to miss".
Phew. It's super, super complicated. Every time you level up you need to recalculate what appears to be literally hundreds of numbers, since you can summon any avatar, and they all have about a dozen level dependent variables, including picking feats! You essentially need to level up 14 different characters at every level. That works fine in a computer game like final fantasy, but on paper that's a no go.
What might work would have the various summons not level up, and just get a better avatar at higher levels. Or maybe something like "the avatars use the summoners BAB, hip points" or something, so that you can sort of swap them around.
Also, the summoner them selves is basically not a character... you are really only playing the summons. Also, your only ability is to summon that creature, which takes a whole round to do. If someone so much as sneezes in your direction your summoning will fail, and you have no backup options. Or someone has a single "dispel magic" which undoes your entire class. Way to likely to be totally useless in a lot of fights.
It definitely matches the theme from those games, but I think you are going to have to make compromises to make it actually playable in Pathfinder. In the end, you're going to have the summoner class, which is already pretty close in flavor while being playable.
I think it's going to be hard to balance this item. Immediate total cover is really strong, even at level 20. It makes you utterly immune to many spells. I think you are only considering it for the a single melee/ranged attack blocker, but that's not nearly the actual power of that ability.
As such, I'm not sure any flat cost could justify it. Maybe you could get away with making it something like a +3 armor enchantment, so that it gets more expensive later in the game (since you'd presumably want some better +X on the armor too), but I'd be wary of that too.
On top of that, Kineticists are largely not dependent on equipment, so they probably have more money to spread around. It feels like this would be a must have item for any of them... which is usually a bad sign.
There are a lot of immediate action magic items, but none of them that unconditionally stop an attack. An example is the jinx eater's shirt. It has only 1 ability. And that ability is to, once a day, stop a single kind of effect (a hex), and even that has a basically 50/50 chance of working. And it's 22k. Your proposed item has that ability (since a hex is targeted, putting a wall between you would negate it), it can do it 3 times as often, and it works on way more kinds of things. So even at 100,000 gp, your item is a steal.
I probably wouldn't make this item, at any price... there is a reason get out of jail free items don't exist.
Making it a move or even a swift would probably be ok. Or even a "as a free action on your turn". But, in my opinion, immediate is just too strong.
I'm so sad about this. I've mostly just been sitting here in shock for a couple hours, feeling a sense of loss. I've spend literally thousands of dollars on Pathfinder. Much of which I haven't really gotten a chance to use. And now I never will. The same thing happened with 4th edition. I bought a bunch of stuff that was all suddenly worthless.
I'm not made of money, and spending new money on top of old to get back things I already paid for once leaves a sad taste in my mouth. I feel especially upset about more recent purchases. They are essentially wasted money that I didn't know were wasted at the time. It's hard enough finding a group willing to play current RPG lines... The idea that I'll just be able to keep playing Pathfinder in whatever edition I want isn't a reality for me. No one wants to play the obsolete thing.
So, I guess, good bye and good luck. Maybe fresh players with fresh money will enjoy this, but it won't be me.
"Spell in a can" items often get chucked into the party bag of holding and sold as soon as the wizard get's back to town to craft an appropriate pearl of power.
The best, and most interesting items have some unique twist. And this one sounds like it could be dripping with flavor. If the flavor "the heart can make planes", I'd probably limit it to having 1 plane a time, and it can freely modify any of the planar traits on any plane it creates. It's slightly less flexible, since it can only muck about with it's own plane, but it's more powerful too, since it can do anything without cost.
I'd also probably just call this one an artifact. A thing that is the heart of entire planes of existence isn't something one should really be buying at the corner market (or selling there to buy wands of Cure Light Wounds)... so giving it a price is sort of irrelevant. So concentrate on the flavor of it and don't sweat the price. Especially if your party is level 17 and plane-hopping, artifacts they can't sell are totally valid things to hand out.
It also means a wizard doesn't just crank these out on his summer vacation. That feels... weird for something so cosmos rearranging.
"Huge Fire Elemental" is a specific creature. It's not just "any fire elemental of size Huge". The listed burn for a "Huge Fire Elemental" is 2d6. "Greater" and "Elder" Elementals are different monsters that the Elemental Body spells never let you turn into.
Elemental, Fire, scroll down to Huge Fire Elemental.
Druids are already really really strong. I think they don't need the buff that being so lenient here would give them, so if I were DMing, I'd be sticking with the strict reading of the rules.
I agree with Dasrak, your example really sounds like an archetype. "A specific kind of things with a few unique ability" is almost the definition of an archetype. All the good ones trade away some of the genericness of their base class with specific, but flavorful and useful options.
Classes with "choose abilities from a list" are extremely common. Matter of fact, _most_ classes do that. Rogues have talents, Clerics have domains, Barbarians have rage powers, rangers have a weapon style... on and one.
Also, they are extremely difficult to balance, because you need to consider and playtest every possible combination of abilities to make sure there aren't any hidden interactions.
I've seen a lot of homebrew classes (and some official ones) that mess this up, and while there may be 100 options, there are really only 2 that anyone picks, because they are so much better than the others, and break things.
A good rule of thumb in homebrew is starting as small as possible, and only getting bigger if you need to. In your example, don't create a whole class, just create some rogue talents... some theifier ones and some assanssinier ones. Of if that doesn't quite do it, maybe pick an archetype that trades some talent choices for some specific cool things.
A class is almost the largest change you can make the the system and still be able to call it Pathfinder, and I very rarely seen it done well. To the point I largely can't bring myself to read homebrew classes because they make me too sad/frustrated. But I love archetypes or spells or interesting magic items or rogue talents or kineticist talents...
I think the rule is this:
When her element changes, she loses the benefits of all active wild talents from the previous element
it would probably, technically, according to rules, vanish. Though it's a bit arguable if this talent is "from the previous element", since it's universal.
However, since that seems like it would be overly punishing to a player, if I were the GM, I'd just say it switches elements right along with player. It's cool and not going to negatively impact the game at all.
Disclaimer, I love the kineticist to bits... it's easily my favorite class (I hate 1/day resources and the "is this dimension door going to be more useful later, or should I use it now", but I still like fantastical bits to my characters).
The void element can do darkness quite well. Dreams and illusions are a bit harder. You can use the "Kinetic Invocation" feat to get at will silent image. And there are some other interesting misty things that should fit well enough.
You'd have to choose either water for the dreamy bits, or void for the darkness bits first, and then take the other at 7.
I'd probably go void (gravity blast), water (cold blast) at 7th, then probably water again at 15 for ice, or maybe aether for freaky manipulation of stuff and invisibility. Since your primary attack is physical, tons of DEX is obviously a requirement, so you can hit things.
Like most kineticists, it should be pretty viable. (I'd avoid the negative energy infusion until much later, because you'll be in trouble against undead/constructs, which are super common).
Actually... I really want to play one now...
In general, things are only what they say they are. If an ability is a fear effect, it will say "This is a fear effect".
Unfortunately this isn't always 100% true, so their are... exceptions. For example, the demoralize for the intimidate skill doesn't actually say it's a fear effect, but an FAQ has clarified that, in fact, it is.
But the default rule stands. Things are what they say they are (and do what they say they do) and nothing more.
I feel like part of the problem is that is scales differently any other class, making it really hard to balance. At low levels, you are trash, like others mentioned, being a Wizard 3/Cleric 3 is no fun. But being a Wizard 13 / Cleric 13 can feel overpowered compared to other 16 level characters.
It needs to start stronger... but somehow avoid scaling so much more strongly than other classes later. Everyone that says it's too weak seems to focus on the lower levels (usually the very first level), and the people that are saying it's fine or too strong are focusing on the higher levels.
Maybe having two full casting classes isn't right. Even just having full access to two full lists is really powerful, let alone combining the spells per day. And I'm not sure how it could be balanced without getting rid of that... which is sort of it's only selling point. It would be a completely different class.
I'm running a level 11 warlock right now, and I've never felt like I was under performing. The only time things get sad if we fight things with multiple high elemental resistances, but that hasn't come up much (far less often than DR for the poor archer). Like many AP's, most of our enemies tend to be human, and you get 2 element at about the time elemental resistances become an issue (I went cold + acid and am doing good)
The touch AC targeting of it means I rarely miss a shot, and with Rapid Shot and Two-Weapon fighting, and a class with Haste on my list, I'm throwing out plenty of damage for almost no investment.
If you really hate someone, invisibility + startling appearance + sense vitals will pretty much boil/freeze/dissolve/electrocute anything to death well enough (adding 3d6 sneak attack to the 6 attacks that can't miss is a lot of acid damage). Throw in some deliquescent gloves and you're in business.
Outside of combat my character is a beast; plenty of skill points; and because I can use the bolts for most offensive things, I have more of my spell list to devote to utility and buffs. I took the Decoy familiar archetype and the Mockingbird talent, it's a blast. My familiar can be me, I can be anyone else, no one can keep track of me.
I think people sell this archetype too short. It's definitely one of my favorite character's I've played in a while.
The concept of a world with only chaotic gods could actually be really interesting. The gods can be unreliable and whimsical, sort of like the old Greek gods on their worst days. I think a lot of interesting characterization could come from this, as cultures and people attempt to create some sense of stability and consistency and responsibility, only to have the gods capriciously ruin it all. Perhaps arcane magic is heavily focused on providing a stable alternative to the chaotic divine magic.
Momentous Force: Is this just "Elemental Overflow, but you have to pick strength and constitution"? It's too wordy for that (since 95% of this text is replicated from the original ability, making it hard to tell what's different). I think it is a fairly significant downgrade, since that's +3 missing from their attack roll with every blast and from AC (since they can't pick DEX) is going to make it harder to hit with their blasts. Also, renaming the ability is going to cause a lot of weird interactions (for example, like how does it work with Kinetic Blade.). I'd leave elemental overflow alone and just give them the CMB boost as some new ability. Or if you must restrict to STR/CON, say it "modifies" Elemental Overflow, and don't change it's name.
Focused Element: Similar to the last one, removing the existing thing and replacing is causes a lot of rules trouble. Technically, this locks them out of a lot of features, because they no longer have the "Expanded Element" class feature, which is a prerequisite for a lot of things (like Aetheric Boost and Force Blast), which is _another_ big downgrade in power. Just call it "Expanded Element" and say they always have to pick Force and that this modifies Expanded Element instead of replacing it.
Mass Force Ward: Regenerating Force Ward doesn't have a burn cost to regenerate, so I'm not sure what this sentence is doing... It just regenerates whenever you use burn for other things. What costs are there are extremely important that they not drop to zero, otherwise you'd have effectively infinite health.
Twin Force: Infusions are part of blasts... what does it mean to share the "infusion" part of Kinetic Blade or Extended Range? What's the duration of this sharing? Several talents are infinite duration... Can the rest of your party become huge with elemental form? That seems... broken... Though if it's supposed to only happen at level 20, I guess it doesn't really matter, since most stuff is broken at that point.
I think the ability to buy 6 extra level 9 spell slots at 18 level is too powerful. Sure, a normal wizard _could_ sell everything he owned and spend a year and a half crafting level 9 pearls of power for almost the same benefit (going by wealth per level, he could craft ~6 of them)... but that's a lot more commitment than just deciding "today I want to end the world" with no real investment. That probably needs to be re-balanced a bit.
I'm also a bit hesitant about the ability to just swap them all around at will... it seems a bit power-game-y and weird from an immersion perspective (for me at least)... Why can I suddenly get super weak (losing +6 STR, +6 CON and +6 Natural Armor), but become a ninja (+6 DEX, +6 INT, and +10 armor bonus)? What does that look like in game... does my guy just... deflate? It would make more sense if the refocusing were _much_ longer (similar to the retraining rules), which would also make the choices more impactful.
The other stuff seems fine, but it's basically the same and just forcing players to spend 60ish percent of their money on the big six.
The thing is that this is, to my knowledge, one of the few abilities in the game that scaled by level cubed. Sure, it's a little lackluster at it's very lowest level, but, as Link mentioned, at level 20, it's an absurd amount of water -- like commit mass murder on a whim levels of water -- and even at level 10 it's pretty much "kill everything that can't breath wather in this room" if there is so much as a damp corner in it (since it's 100'x100'x20' at that point). I think that's pretty spiffy for zero burn.
This chart suggests that if you are starting a level six character under normal game assumptions, you would have 16,000gp in equipment. wealth by level
That's essentially impossible without quite a few magic items, so I would definitely assume said character would have several magic items. Presumably they got the equipment from the same places they got the 23,000 XP it would take to become level six (raided a goblin villiage, trounces some bandits and liberated their loots, that sort of thing)
Matthew Downie wrote:
I would say, yes, if someone dug a shoddily concealed pit trap in my kitchen, it seems more than reasonable that I should get a chance to detect that without having to carefully scan the floorboards with a magnifying glass.
But I guess a lot of it comes down to play style. If searching for traps is fun for your players, or if just deciding "you take 10d6 damage because I trapped that random floor tile" is fun for your DM, then it's fine to play that way. I, personally, haven't ever really experienced a lot of fun from hidden traps from either side of the screen, so I mostly just don't even bother with them.
Obvious traps are a whole different ball-of-wax, and are super fun as you try to figure out how to avoid them. But hidden ones are just a handful of pointless damage you had no chance to avoid and don't matter after a few slaps with a CLW wand.
We played the Reign of Winter AP, which essentially has this problem (mini-spoiler, common isn't as common as I'd like).
The problem was, I was a fighter. I certainly couldn't afford spending a ton of my 2 skill points to learn a language every other session and also diplomacy/bluff to do anything useful with it, nor could much of the rest of the party. And even then, you had to suffer though whatever level you were at until you leveled up to get the darn point to put in it to learn language-of-the-week, hopefully not killing the quest target in the interim.
The result was only one character could actually interact with any NPC in the entire adventure. It was miserable. We often just had to start killing things and hope that was the right answer, since we couldn't talk to anyone to figure out what was going on half the time. And the other half the time the rest of group went for a beer run while the one character that could actually, you know, play the game, screwed everything up (he couldn't afford the point in Diplomacy and had low Charisma).
It was one of the worst experiences I've ever had in Pathfinder, and basically killed the whole AP for me (we had almost zero connection to any NPCs or even the plot).
TL;DR, don't be cruel to your characters (or at least, not to me, please), make common great again.
I'm curious where the "It is popularly accepted that you do not get a passive perception check to search for traps" comes from. Are there threads around that anyone knows about where that conclusion has been reached (or even better, an FAQ that makes it clear)? I read the forums pretty religiously and don't recall seeing that, but maybe I'm just spacing.
"Passive Perception" is just shorthand for the player saying "literally every 5 feet I take 10 on looking at stuff" so that the game doesn't crawl to boring, pointless tedium. If there's a gaping hole in the floor, just because it's labelled "trap" doesn't make sense that I suddenly can't see it. Most traps are high enough DC that most people that the trap was designed for won't see them, and people that were going to make the check anyway don't have to turn an entire night of fun roleplaying into minesweeper. (Never has the phrase "I check the door for traps" resulted in more fun for anyone at any table I've played at)
I'm a huge fan of the take 10 rule for things are no fun to do (climb some stairs, search a room quickly). As a DM I highly encourage my players not to roll for every darn thing if it's not interesting one way or the other and just say "take 10" if it's unlikely they'd fail.
I'm a huge fan of using it for Fire's "Unraveling Infusion". If you also half the damage (which, why not, it's already pretty low from this infusion anyway), you can be getting between +3 and +7 to your caster level check on the dispel. That's a pretty impressive dispel check most times, and it's saved my parties bacon on more than one occasion (*cough* dominated barbarian *cough*). And the investment is pretty low: unraveling is awesome anyway , and I just picked up flurry with Extra Wild Talent once we got to a point where really bad magic effects were becoming a problem.
The problem is that there are literally more than 2500 feats in the game. A list of all things that could possibly interact with it would be prohibitive. In general, all feats apply, but the blast has some special features that interact with some things
Keep these things in mind when reading a feat. If it mentions some of these key words, figure out how that affects things:
You have to be very careful in reducing a characters defensive abilities when they are already hurt, otherwise you get unavoidable deaths (since you were already doing bad, and now your doing worse) and suicidal characters (since they now can't succeed at running away, because their defenses are useless, they basically have no choice but to desperately hope for a 20 to kill the opponent), which are generally (at least to me) unfun
The Angry DM actually actually has an interesting article about this concept. We’ve Got Fighting Spirit, How About You?. Though in the end after reading it, I came to the conclusion that, while unrealistic, I have more fun with the everything's fine at 1HP default assumption, since I don't like spending my turns being useless and with no way to do anything useful to the group except die and free up a space on the map.
Permanency is pretty well limited. The buffs it provides aren't that game breaking (or they wouldn't have allowed them in the first place). Even if they couldn't get a spell caster to cast them (for whatever reason), a scroll isn't that much more expensive, so they'd have the option anyway if they had an arcane caster in the group (or someone with lots of UMD).
They just need to be aware that A) being a tiny version of a normal person is going to raise some eyebrows and B) one little dispel magic and all that money is gone forever (since both the permanency and the reduce person need to manage to never get dispelled).
And reduce person probably won't break your game too badly. It's definitely a cheap way to get some small bonuses, but it comes with penalties too, in particular a weakness to combat maneuvers and weapon damage.
It's worth noting the 3 feats that existing feats that Ioun stones grants are... sort of terrible feats that don't really do much. I don't know that I've seen a player take any of those feats (either in real life or in any of the builds I've seen in these forums) except for really weird corner cases for pre-reqs (never for the feats themselves).
Combat Reflex's is a feat that I do see people taking, and would be a steal at 10k in a slotless wondrous item.
There is a good reason that putting important combat feats into slotless items isn't done... it can mess up balance pretty quick. Feats are supposed to be a scarce resource that you have to make meaningful choices about. Handing them out cheaply (and 10k is very cheap at higher levels) removes a pretty core aspect of character building.
I personally wouldn't create such an item in my game. And I definitely wouldn't let my players start crafting other "feat in a can" items (I probably wouldn't even let them craft/sell this one... call it a minor artifact or something)
I feel like the RAW is a little... murky. But if I were ruling this as a DM, I'd say yes. I can't think of very many instances where a target is going to be more than 120 feet away, less than 240, and the kineticist would know enough about their position to accurately target them. So allowing it doesn't really break anything.
So in my games, yeah, snake away.
We recently began playing the "Skull & Shackles" campaign, which necessarily requires a lot of play on moving ships.
Being a spell caster in this campaign is somewhat of a headache, since the rules rarely account for being on board a ship. There are several spells called out in the player's guide and how they work. Alas, "Levitate", a fairly staple spell, is not among them.
My question is, what happens when my character uses levitate aboard a moving ship? Does he move with the ship? Or does he stop dead and suddenly become a living projectile aboard the ship?