I love the idea and execution of the class, but thanks to Huge size and many arms, I built a level 11 summoner's eidolon with better attack and damage than Valeros, the level 14 fighter, with comparable AC/saves and 75% of his hit points.
Is the eidolon too strong, or Valeros too weak?
Thought some more about converting a twenty-level 3E campaign to a thirty-level 4E campaign.
3E expects thirteen encounters per level, 4E expects ten. AoW 3E probably has about 260 encounters, then, while the 4E conversion will need 300. This suggests that a direct 4E conversion will end at level 26.
By another measure: The Whispering Cairn in 3E ends at L3. In 4E, a series of encounters at the same level would give each player 3,100XP. That's L3, halfway to L4. If every adventure leaves you half a level ahead of the 3E equivalent, you'll end at level 26.
I think the solution is to add in quest XP, as suggested in the 4E Dungeon Master's Guide.
I've been running Age of Worms in 4E. I like Pop'N'Fresh's conversion notes, very thorough. I like how you tied the set parcel values to the existing treasures.
Here's what I did, and what I learned:
For The Whispering Cairn I converted the dungeon map faithfully. This turned out to be a problem, because the players didn't have enough room to move around. A lot of fights took place blocked into corners and corridors. I made later dungeons roomier.
I adapted combat encounters using the original Encounter Level as a benchmark. This sometimes meant adding extra monsters. In some cases I had to invent new monsters.
Age of Worms monster conversion list:
EL3 wolves: L2 wolf x6
EL3 Mad Slasher & Acid Beetle Swarm: Elite L2 Mad Slasher (new elite L2 skirmisher), L2 Acid Beetle Swarm x4 (modified rat swarm)
EL2 Lurking Strangler: L2 Lurking Strangler (new lurker), L2 Mad Slasher x2
EL1 Small Earth Elemental: Solo L1 Earth Elemental (new solo brute, didn't work too well)
EL3 Giant Bombardier Beetle & Acid Beetle Swarm: Elite L1 Demagogue (template) Fire Beetle (change to acid), L2 Acid Beetle Swarm x3 (modified rat swarm again)
EL2 Fatigued Giant Bombardier Beetle: ignored this
EL2 Medium Animated Object: changed to a trap
EL2 Medium Animated Object: changed to a trap
EL2 Insane Small Water Elemental / EL2 Ghoul: L2 Insane Small Water Elemental x2 (new controller), L3 Ghoul x2 (-2 level, starved)
EL4 Grick, Alastor, Hail of Iron Spheres Trap: L3 Trap Haunt (-5 level), and several Mad Slashers
EL6 Wind Warrior: Elite L4 Angel of Valor Ranger (-4 level)
EL3 Owlbear: Owlbear was found dead (owlbears too high level, you could use a wounded owlbear of lower level)
EL6 Kullen's Gang: Kullen Elite L3 Savage Berserker Fighter, Merovinn Bask L2 Wizard, Rastophan L2 Ranger, Todrik L2 Fighter
EL2 Tomb Mote: Minion L2 Tomb Mote (comedy encounter)
EL1 Skeletons: L3 Skeleton x3, Minion L1 Decrepit Skeleton x1
EL5 Filge et al: Filge Elite L3 Demagogue Wiz5, Elite L3 Bodyguard Skeleton, Minion L1 Decrepit Skeleton x10
Some encounters changed radically. The ghouls had no power to make you drop below the water, which made things less tense. Filge ended up having no need of a bodyguard, thanks to hit points from his template; perhaps he should be more fragile.
I replaced Three Faces of Evil with another adventure. I'm about to run Encounter at Blackwall Keep. I plan to make use of a lot of lizardfolk minions for a big battle scene. D&D Insider recently added stats for the Spawn of Kyuss, L7 Elite Soldier.
Age of Worms covered twenty levels. Since a deity-level threat in 4E is Level 30 at least, it should run to level 30. If you don't bring it to 30, you have to ask what the players will do once they save the world. (Was Iuz waiting for you to take out Kyuss so he could start his own conquest? Did Kyuss's appearance evoke a terrible side-effect somewhere the world? Did the Tarrasque wake up?)
Just woke up here in the UK and got the news. I have eleven Wizards PDFs at Paizo that I'm scurrying to download, and just lost a copy of the D&D Immortals Set at RPG Now.
If this is Wizards' way of making money, it's at the cost of customer goodwill - an important, intangible factor that keeps pirates at bay. If Wizards keeps showing contempt for its customers like this, they paint themselves as a villain, and D&D players more than anyone are morally okay with stealing from a villain.
My entry in 2007 was a faceless helmet carried by armies, which, when placed on the head of a fallen body of either army, rose as a silent undead warrior for your side. The undead took control
Unfortunately, I'll never know if it would have made the cut or not, as in my haste I left off the item creation stats.
Let me see what sense I can make of this. DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer.
Like the OGL, this license allows publishers to release products which use the core rules. However, there are stipulations which publishers must be aware of.
Publishers are required to sign the contract at least fourteen days in advance of publishing. You may not release a product until October. In addition, you're required to print the official D&D compatibility logo on the back of the product.
You're allowed to use terms like "Dungeons & Dragons" and "Player's Handbook", avoiding wacky contrivances like "the world's most popular roleplaying game" and "see Core Rulebook I". In fact, you aren't permitted to use the term "Core Rulebook".
The license applies only to printed and electronic books. This specifically excludes software, websites and miniatures. This doesn't mean you can't have a D&D website, since to a certain extent you have fair use rights. It does mean that you can't apply the SRD to publish a book as a website or write D&D character generation software.
There are certain limitations on how you can use game content. You can't reprint rules, feat descriptions or stat blocks, only refer to them. Rather strangely, you can't refer readers to a page number, perhaps as proof against errata revisions invaliding page references. You also cannot stat up your own "kobold wyrmpriest" to get around this limitation. However, you may freely create your own creatures or present statblocks for modified versions of creatures.
Now for the ominous part. Wizards of the Coast reserves the right to revoke the game license, at which point you're required to cease publication of licensed products and pulp any remaining stock.
There's also the OGL conversion clause, summarized as follows: You may publish a 4e conversion of products previously released under the OGL, or new 4e products for an existing OGL product line, provided that you immediately discontinue that OGL product line. You can continue to sell existing stock of that line, but may not print more or sell any electronic copies.
To clear up any confusion, nothing stops a company from publishing both 4e and OGL products, provided that they do not share identical or similar titles or content. Even if they do, none of their other OGL products are affected by the clause. So while Paizo can't release Rise of the Runelords 4th Edition or even Pathfinder 4E, they can publish a separate 4th edition series of adventures under a separate product line without affecting any of their current products.
Whimsy Chris wrote:
I'm in agreement. It feels weird that the spells are listed in the class section, and that the ability scores list Dex and Con in the opposite order. But, I still think it's going to be a better game in play.
Consider what people thought when third edition was first launched. It felt weird that THAC0 had been replaced with Base Attack, that the ability scores were listed in a different order, and that AC now went up instead of down. People eventually recognised that these were improvements.
I think Wizards' policy is as follows: while they generally don't grant official permission for fansites, they rarely if ever take legal action to shut down a fansite. For example, the 3.5 conversion of Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil has remained up for years.
It's bad PR for Wizards to shut down a fansite, and fansites are generally good for business because they encourage players. However, for legal reasons they can't officially condone it - a company like WotC has to protect its copyrights and trademarks. Unless you're trying to profit from their material or undercut their business somehow, I'd say you're probably safe.
In order to remove iterative attacks without breaking compatibility and balance you would have to solve two problems.
1. Provide a method for attacking multiple creatures with one attack
The first is straightforward; create a whirlwind feat or similar. The second is more a matter of mathematics.
Consider a sixth level fighter gains his first iterative attack at -5. He's fighting three hypothetical classes of opponents: easy (can hit on a natural roll of 6), okay (hit on an 11) and hard (hit on a 16). The damage output gained from our new attack goes something like this:
At eleventh level he gets his third attack. His two bonus attacks don't give as much a gain:
Easy: +100% (33% increase from third attack)
Now consider sixteenth, when he gains his fourth:
Easy: +106% (6% increase from fourth attack)
Thus, while common sense suggests that four attacks means four times your damage, in reality you're only getting little over double damage at best, little over 1.5x damage at worst.
Even if you gave characters a progressive damage boost, you're still oversimplifying because of single attacks, charge attacks, attacks of opportunity, and so on, which don't benefit from "full attack". Consider also critical hits, damage reduction massive damage, which are affected by increased per-hit damage, and two-weapon fighting which needs significant change.
Removing iterative attacks would be a major change. I think it'd be an improvement, but it would involve changing the whole rest of the game around it. I think the point of Pathfinder is that it's still readily compatible with the wealth of 3.5 material we have.
The only problem I've had with iterative attacks is that at 20th level you're rolling an awful lot of dice. You feel like a champ but your turn lasts fifteen minutes. The last attack, being made at -15, also has this annoying habit of missing a lot (unless you did like me and munched your attack score really high).
Agreed. Ideally, I'd like to see the game allow for both battlemat and battlemat-free combat. I'm a fan of miniatures myself, but my last group were bigger on the roleplaying, and it was hard to do miniatures on IRC.
Without at least a squared paper grid, it's difficult to visualize where everyone is in relation to everyone else. You can ad-hoc it, but unless you're particularly talented you can't hold it all in your head at once and still manage to communicate it all with verbal flair. Little stuff like attacks of opportunity go by the wayside and flanking becomes more fiddly.
I've given it a read-through and we've spent the evening discussing Pathfinder RPG. My two copper pieces (more like two hundred):
I like how half-orcs are officially the byproducts of orc attack, and the racism they suffer encourages a disproportionate number of this rare race to become adventurers. At first it struck me as odd that the orcs weren't more racist toward these half-bloods, but upon further reflection I imagined that from an orcish point of view they stood as testament to the strength and ruthlessness of the orcs, with the orcs quietly proud of their half-human brethren.
The fighter's extra fill-in abilities are a welcome improvement, if not radical. My only worry is that every munchkin will pile all their points into "heavy armour / heavy blades", at the expense of flexibility when they find mithral breastplate and a really nice hammer later on.
At-will cantrips and non-spell arcane special abilities are a Good Thing. I really like what you've done with school specialization, putting a specialist mage directly on equal footing with non-specialist. I've been saying for years that wizards needed staffs, so I'm happy with this change (I think there was a Class Acts to this effect in the final or penultimate issue of Dragon).
I agree with the earlier poster regarding those "+2 to two skills" feats; I'm not a big fan. I get the feeling that a lot of them were created to pad out the 3.5 Player's Handbook, and I usually allowed my players to invent their own skill bonus feats providing they could come up with an appropriate name. There's a certain flavour to a character being "Stealthy" or "Agile", I suppose.
That said, the idea of "combos" is something Mike Mearls came up with and promptly discarded when working on Iron Heroes. I think it'll take some playtesting before we know how well these work in practice. I'm also concerned that some of these feats require full-round actions to make only single attacks. I also notice that Precise Shot prevents you from using any special abilities when allies are adjacent to your target, and it still costs you a feat to do so.
A unified system for special combat actions is welcome. The new Grapple is a good mid-way between old grapple and an oversimplified "just use an attack roll" system.
If Mending is still a cantrip, Broken items can be repaired for free between combats. That's not necessarily bad, but Mending should be beefed up to first level if it's not desired. Likewise, with regards the deletion of Cure Minor, I wouldn't mind if it was allowed to stay in provided that it could only heal badly wounded creatures (less than 1HP). Perhaps Stabilize should bring you up to 0HP, allowing the downed character to quaff a potion and get himself back on his feet?
Don't fork the project. What I recommend is that if fourth edition is not feasible or you decide to keep supporting the remaining 3.5 userbase, you should include optional variant rules as Pathfinder bonus content - simplified grappling, for example. Allow players of both 3.5 and "3.P" to play equally, even while encouraging the use of game-improving "P" variants.
By deliberately forking D&D in order to compete with WotC's flagship product, you would be at loggerheads with Wizards instead of working with them to round out the market. Fourth edition has serious potential and it's not something I think you want to throw away on some bad feelings.
More thoughts. There's a problem with rolls as a single unit as opposed to individuals.
First, consider saving throws. Twenty warriors (Reflex save +0) are struck by a fireball (DC 16). On average, only five will pass and fifteen are toast. If they save as a group, it's a 25%/75% chance of everyone surviving vs everyone failing. If the group takes ten, they're all toast.
Same on attack rolls. If you make one roll for the group, they will either all hit or all miss this round. If you make individual rolls, it defeats the purpose of treating several creatures as a unit. If you take 10, then a group of commoners can never injure a group of skeletons.
I'm into this thread late. Hop over to my D&D blog where I'm collecting all the information I can find. Notable information so far:
Interesting. I was just thinking the same thing over on my blog:
My idea was to handle a cohesive military unit as an individual creature, similar to the swarm template. One attack roll, one damage roll, one hit point pool.
The challenge is to create something that's as simple as an individual creature, without skewing the statistical effectiveness relative to a unit. Another problem is that a unit is more or less effective depending on whether or not they outnumber their opponent. Perhaps you create a unit size class and bestow attack and damage bonuses or penalties based on relative size?
The main issue I found was that in reducing a unit to a single attack roll, it was possible for that unit to hit one round and completely miss the next. In practice, unless one side were to turtle up behind their shields all at once, this wouldn't happen. If we have twenty commoners (AC10, +0 to hit) fight twenty others, you should statistically expect ten hits and ten misses; units may essentially be considered to take ten.
Triple gestalt, but lowest hit die? This is madness!
This method can only create characters who have a ridiculous number of abilities and more feats than they can eat, but who are stupidly weak defensively. To mitigate this, players will be forced to clump their gestalt classes together by hit dice. In other words, you can justify a sorcerer/wizard/rogue or a cleric/druid/barbarian, but mixing d4s with d8s or d6s with d10s is out of the question.
Anything you send in belongs to you until you sign and return a contract. Any article accepted by Dragon but not destined for any printed issue is on the "slush pile", which WotC is taking over and sorting through as we speak. Presumably they'll get back to you on any pending articles.
In other words, unless you signed them over to Paizo, the articles are yours - but you may want to wait and see if Wizards has need of them before you take them back.
Pending queries, I'm not sure whether Wizards are sorting those or you need to re-submit them. Perhaps the Paizo staff have some idea?
If you want to make them a viable player character race, I think you could give them +2 Str AND +1 natural armour, and still be somewhat within the upper boundaries of LA +1. I'd probably give them just the Strength bonus if you're worried of making them too good.
Statistically, +1 level adjustment on a fightery race is worth one fighter level, equivalent to +0.6 to Fort, +0.3 to Reflex and +0.3 to Will, +1 to attack and one fifth of an extra attack, +1 to a few skills, +5.5 and a bit hit points, and about half a fighter bonus feat.
A +2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Con race will give you +1 to hit and melee damage, +1 to AC, +1 to Fort and Reflex, +1AC, and +1HP/level. Compared to a fighter level you're short some skill points, a potential feat and one fifth of the way to an extra iterative attack. However, compared to a fighter level you're up +1 AC, +1 melee damage and two-thirds a bonus to Reflex saves; you lose one-third of a point to Will but gain it back on Fort.
This looks good, but remember that we should balance it based on an existing race, such as human, who would get bonus skill points and a feat. When you factor that in, hobgoblin power-balanced a +1 level adjustment.
Hobgoblins are weak for their level adjustment, even more so than the planetouched. They're made that way so that people can play them if they really want, but they're not so good a choice that they compete with the main races for popularity.
If you want hobgoblins to be a player option, I'd put it on the same sort of level. The trouble is that you have to do +2 to one ability score and -2 to another, and hobgoblins are the kind of creatures to excel in all areas - they aren't uncharismatic for any reason, they're intelligent strategists, they're not unwise, they're not weak in terms of Strength. Dex is the best stat so a race which has +2 Dex and -2 to only Cha, you're screwing over the elves who have to pay Con.
As far as I know it only applies to a Huge elemental - not elder elementals, or different creatures of the Elemental type. I once had someone argue that you could turn into a half-elemental marilith, which is clearly not the intent of the druid's ability.
I also pointed out to him that a half-elemental was actually an outsider type rather than an elemental type, and that I knew this because it was in an article in Dragon magazine, and I wrote the article.
I only tried the non-spellcasters, since they're the only classes who can really fit into a standard game without adopting the AE magic system.
Champion is an interesting class that I can see getting use in a campaign world that needs champtions of some deity, element or philosophy other than simply Good or Law (as the paladin) or a deity (as the cleric). The ritual warrior is a very interesting class, but I suspect that the combat rites aren't as powerful as a cleric's spellcasting. The warmain is a fantastic class as it gives the standard fighter a much needed buff, offering you bonus hit points early on and high level abilities like auto-declaring threats and wielding outsized weapons with no penalty.
I never liked how fragile permanency was. I think I ruled it that dispel magic only supresses the permanencied spell, similar to a magic item. If you pay XP it shouldn't be so easily broken.
You might rule that arcane sight only works on objects you can see, or you might go with the Detect Magic limit of however many feet of soil.
An old Dragon (roundabout issue 300) had an interesting article on necromancy. There are three paths: the black, the grey, and the white. The black necromancer is evil, and uses the powers of unlife for his own benefit. A grey necromancer sees necromancy as merely another form of magic, which like any other can be used for good or for evil, but is not inherently evil itself.
The good-aligned white necromancer, which is your fellow is, will control and create undead, but only for a limited amount of time and for justified reasons. He controls spirits to allow them to finish their unfinished business, in exchange for a fair duration of servitude. He creates zombies and skeletons, but uses them only for the greater good, and gives the remains a proper burial when they're destroyed.
Multiple disarm effects once saved my character. A high-level fighter, he was disarmed by a nightwalker, which has the ability to crush any weapon it holds. On my turn I attempt to disarm, fail, and take an attack of opportunity. I still have two attacks and the nightwalker only gets one AoO per round, so I try twice more and on the last attempt manage to snatch back my weapon. Hurrah!
Nobody's forcing you to buy all these new Wizards books - ignoring books my players buy, I don't think I've bought one myself since Complete Arcane. I think Wizards themselves are lamenting the fact that a talented DM can get away with three core books, an imagination and a subscription to Dungeon - I suspect this was a factor in their deciding not to renew the license. First it's not making enough money, then it's making too much!
The wounding weapon used to deal 1 point of recurring damage for ten rounds, but I think it took too much paperwork to count several bouts of one-point damage over rounds. The Con damage property was originally known as the "marrowcrushing" ability in the Book of Vile Darkness, and rated as +3 equivalent.
On average it's dealing half the target's hit dice in damage per hit, while imposing a -1 penalty to Fort saves and Con-based special abilities every two hits. At level 10 that's 5/hit against a ten-headed pyrohydra, 7.5/hit on a cauchemar nightmare, 7 damage to a frost giant (equivalent to the average of 2d6), or 4 damage to a night hag. It doesn't work against certain creatures, so for +2 it's reasonably balanced at this level.
However, it gets more powerful with level. By level 20 it's dealing 9/hit to a pit fiend, 10/hit to an NPC or titan, 15/hit to a very old blue dragon, and a whopping 24 damage per hit to the Tarrasque. Few other +2 enhancements will effectively give you half your level to damage. It's the only weapon enhancement I can think of that actually scales with level.
I often hear people complain about buying new books, but how often do you get so much use out of a book as in D&D? You'll pay eight pounds or ten dollars for a novel and have it read in a day, or thirty pounds / sixty dollars for a textbook that will do you for a year. Meanwhile, a Player's Handbook will do you for a game every weekend. If you've been playing since 2001 and bought both Players's Handbooks, that's $10 a year or nineteen cents per gaming session.
Consider a Dungeon Master, who has bought all three core rulebooks under the same circumstances; he has spent $180 on core books alone, but over six years that's only $30 per year. Even 3.0 sourcebooks are still more or less valid material. I paid £14 for Sword and Fist in 2002, and it's provided me and my group with character options and campaign inspiration ever since. Even if we assume that a group buys every current D&D 3.5 book between the five of them at $30 a book, we're looking at $240 or £120 per player over the past four years. That's under five dollars per weekly session, or one third the cost of a World of Warcraft subscription, and that's assuming you buy every book out and they're all made completely obsolete tomorrow. Considering the longevity of D&D books compared to other material, it's really not all that bad value.
I think it's largely that people have such a large emotional investment in their products. It's satisfying to look a full bookshelf; less so to think that half of it is now outdated by new products, and being expected to pay for that privilege just feels bad. I think the real problem may be that the rules revision changed too much and too little at the same time, leaving a lot of players a little confused, dissatisfied, and having to buy the new rules anyway just to keep up with the new class splatbooks.
Deities in D&D are worshipped in the guise that their followers imagine them to have. We see Boccob as this Merlin-like figure with a robe, a beard and a lot of books. If a kuo-toa civilization worships Boccob, they see him as a kuo-toa, imagine that he engraves his spells into seashells, and give him a different name.
Thus, if the followers of Kord change so that he's conceived of a violent conqueror, Kord really is more violent. If changes in pronunciation over centuries render his name as Kurrid, that's his name. Deities are generally beyond the ken of humans, and things like human appearances and names are merely titles. If the deity's own beliefs conflict with his worshippers, he can always inspire a prophet to keep things in line.