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Training HP has become a staple in our games and as such that is a valuable activity to convert over. But also things like retraining would be nice.

Any ideas on converting them over?


Probably going to be DMing soon and have browsed the books slightly... But what should I read to prepare myself for DMing? I likely won't have time to read everything as I would like to, but I have a grasp of the absolute basics (Advantage, Disadvantage, Proficiency, Character Creation) and experience from Pathfinder.


The Magic Beans thread got me thinking about asking the forum for help with my deck of many things. In total there are 200 cards, and the direction they are drawn matters (of 4 possible directions). A few cards have different effects based on the next card drawn, and the end result is about 1600 effects. The goal is to keep the deck far more random than the current few designs.

So, if you could design card effects for the Deck of Many Things, what would you design? Feel free to add in as many entries as you wish.

Try to go more toward Harrow effects, and less the extremely simple effects from the standard deck.

Prismatic Deck Of Many Things:
There are 200 cards in total
15 each of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, White, Grey, Black
42 Trump cards, each unique
4 Jokers
4 Prismatic cards, Spray, Wall, Sphere, Dragon, each depends on which color, Trump, Joker, or Prismatic card is drawn next


Shield Slam wrote:
Any opponents hit by your shield bash are also hit with a free bull rush attack, substituting your attack roll for the combat maneuver check (see Combat). This bull rush does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Opponents who cannot move back due to a wall or other surface are knocked prone after moving the maximum possible distance. You may choose to move with your target if you are able to take a 5-foot step or to spend an action to move this turn.

So, any opponant hit by your shield bash is hit by a free bullrush attack. Does that mean that it bypasses the standard size category rules?

If that bypasses the standard rules, how does that combine with a Siegebreaker's Breaker Momentum

Breaker Momentum wrote:
At 2nd level, when a siegebreaker successfully bull rushes a foe, he can attempt an overrun combat maneuver check against that foe as a free action.

Would that grant an overrun?

I can see this going a couple ways:
A) No Bullrush as the enemy is larger than one size category over your size. This is the simplest ruling, but violates the Shield Slam's wording of Any.
B) Bull Rush, but no overrun. This seems to be the most accurate based on wording as the Shield Slam wording seems compulsory, yet the Breaker Momentum seems optional.
C) Bull Rush and Overrun. This throws all size category considerations out, allowing the seemingly compulsory Shield Slam to bull rush, and then taking the optional check for overrun


So, it's been in my mind a lot lately because I really enjoy the idea of the shadow, but the forum has been really negative about it. So I'm wondering if the forum can come up with a strong combat useful Summon Shadow. The character build will be a big factor, but also tactics would heavily apply to this.

So, as a forum, can we come up with a strong Shadow?


I'm usually trying to pull off a Nightshade themed character via creating my own Sorcerer bloodline, but I think it would be better to come here and stick within the actual Pathfinder rules (not homebrew) for it. So I come to you for suggestions.

Within the standard rules, how would you represent a Nightshade as a PC? What if it could be a Gestalt character, how would you represent it then?


Bard- Dervish Dancer: 1 level
Rogue: 4 levels for Uncanny Dodge and Evasion
Paladin: 2 levels for Divine Grace
Slayer: 1 level for high BAB and 2 good saves
Shadow Dancer: 3 levels for Summon Shadow, Improved Uncanny and Evasion
Duelist: 5 levels for BAB, Saves, but mostly for Canny Defense
Dragon Disciple: 4 levels for the +4 strength

Other than high saves and decent AC the goal is to flank the enemy with the character's shadow in melee.

So the help would come in for, increasing saves, increasing AC, and increasing the damage output while flanking with the shadow.

I was trying to consider grabbing a bunch of little abilities with a number of classes on a character, started with DD and SD, and let it roll from there, I like the idea of the character and how it would function with the Shadow, and am interested to see if the community could make it better at what it's doing.


I adore the class concept, but when working off a rogue, the lack of sneak attack is depressing and disturbing, and it really seems it lends itself conceptually to rogue builds.

However, considering the nice casting effects, it seems like it could also be a PrC for casters nicely, something like a Dragon Disciple for the Shadow Bloodline, or some kind of wizard specializing in illusion.

Considering the need Perform Dance, it would do well for Bards too, which it also fails to advance

At the moment I can only see it being a martial class advancement, and it doesn't do that very well either...

So what is it, what does it do, should it be fixed to allow the continuation of class abilities? As such how should it be fixed?


Any APs for primitive worlds around, or is everything too integrated to current Golarion? I'm having my players world build, about to start moving tectonic plates around a bit and determining biomes/topography/history. I want to run them through some games at the early world level to help them shape history, so I was looking to see if anything was around that I could steal from.


So, I'm having my players work on world building. First I had them handle tectonic plates and continents, merged the two for hilarious effects of things being in horrible places, which is kind of fun.

Now I'm working on a series of maps for the world, where each covers different things like biomes and topography and weather patterns. From there it's going to be hiding of carious relics from history. At the moment the history consists of 2.3 billion years, everything dies, world is reset and life begins anew, starting in the water, moving onto land, scaley things become everything else over time, pretty much Earth so far. There is a gaping hole between tectonic plates which has been named Steve, and houses Azathoth bound inside of it from when it reset the world, the region surrounding it is the land of names, and includes a place where everything is compulsively named Gary. There is a wandering island named Jason, and The Mad Hatter lives here as well (an eternal being of insanity and tea parties). So, that region is one of insanity, drawn to be as such due to Azathoth's presense. The rest of the world is still wide open (to a more serious development).

So, after coming up with biomes and topography and weather patterns, what else should I do with the players? Developing ancient history and points of interest both ancient and pre-reset is likely next. Anything to keep in mind? Anything that would be a good topic to bring up for world building? Anything that would be good ideas to leave in their minds?


When I first started playing my GM held that your enhancement modifier on a magic weapon or armor had to be equal to or greater than the total effective modifier of any special abilities on the piece of equipment. Example; a vorpal longsword could be a +5 vorpal longsword, but not a +4 vorpal longsword.

I came to the conclusion this was false as I have never seen a ruling about it. HOWEVER, it seems to have stuck in my head that enhancement modifiers and special abilities cannot occupy the same space (up to a +5 each) and are distinct. But I am looking and have seen no rule about this. So could you have a +4 Flaming Vorpal Longsword?

Also, with set costs for special abilities, does that occupy part of the +10, as pfsrd has lead me to believe with their organization of special abilities, or can you toss that on top of the effective enhancement modifier? Example; could you have a +5 Greater Fire Resistance Heavy Fortification Full Plate?

I primarily GM and this has never come up (my players don't read their spells, only the descriptions, and still need me to explain how special abilities on weapons/armor need to have a +1 enhancement modifier minimum, last sentence of armor paragraph 2 and second to last of weapons paragraph 3), but I'm curious, as I cannot locate rulings about what my initial GM taught us/my assumptions.


I try to run grimdark games with a lot of game immersion for the PCs, but honestly the lot of them have ADHD and love things like deadpool, so they end up after a few sessions trying to get other players in, or just doing really silly things that aren't fitting for their characters. Like opening starbucks, which I managed to work with and ended up having actually work out in world, so less gimmicky and just a coffee shop/tavern. And I try to get them to think outside the mechanics, like shoving your fist in the cloaca of the serpent grappling your friend, or unloading the dead body they're carrying around in a sack in a middle class back yard during a party. But the PCs come back to metagaming (using their phones to look up monster stat blocks), breaking the fourth wall in game, and buying pimp hats for their characters...

The end result is always me being disheartened by the game and just quitting running the campaign.


While most wizards diversify their study of the many schools of magic, arcane scholars devote more time to the research of other arcane topics, as well as a greater mastery of a single school of magic. While this leaves them lacking the sheer diversity of others, it grants them insight related to their studies that few others can manage.

Focused Arcane School
At first level an arcane scholar must select a school of magic, other than universal, to specialize in. This choice must be made at 1st level, and once made, it cannot be changed.

The arcane scholar treats all other schools, except for universal, as opposition schools. A scholar who prepares spells from their opposition schools must use two spell slots of that level to prepare the spell. In addition, they take a –4 penalty on any skill checks made when crafting a magic item that has a spell from one of their opposition schools as a prerequisite.

Each arcane school gives the scholar a number of school powers, as presented in Arcane Schools.

This ability alters arcane school.

Commentary:
This treats all other schools as opposition schools,as well as removing the bonus spell. I debated having increases to spell save DCs and Caster level as well (+1, then increasing by 1 at 10th and 20th level), however I question if that's too good with the bonus feats.

Breadth of Knowledge
An arcane scholar adds half their class level (minimum 1) on all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

This ability replaces Arcane Bond

Commentary:
This doesn't really compare to arcane bond, but it's another cost for the feats.

Bonus Feat
At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter the arcane scholar gains a bonus feat, as per the wizard ability of the same name.

This replaces the wizard's standard bonus feat progression (5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level)

Commentary:
This is the crux of the build, more over for Arcane Discoveries than anything else


Alright, so, I've made a couple optimized build threads for Shield Bashing, my own take on Animate Dead necromancer (using a GM ruling that is allowed in an FAQ), and a strength fiend (something on the order of 69 strength total, plus certain buffs which got it up to one round as 106 and 20 rounds of around 80ish).

I saw someone else is working on an archer right now and realized that, without any suggestions as to what the build may be we could get a solid thread composed of optimized builds.

Remember that there are a number of different takes on an optimized character,an example with the archer would be single hit damage, full round output, most attacks, etc. This is to be expected with any build, really, so one may differ from another and still be optimized.

Anyway, I'll be posting my own builds later, but each build should include required feats, classes and their levels in those classes, and equipment where applicable. Just get down to the core of the build, leaving things empty if they aren't necessary (for instance the strength build requires all 20 levels, 2 feats and about 3 items, anything else would be unnecessary to opperate the build).

Feel free to ask for builds and brainstorm until we get a solid list


Alright, so I'm looking for a build which maximizes the strength statistic for a character. Ignore the original statistics and items/wishes/etc, and focus on race, classes, traits, and feats.

So how can I achieve this? I used to run this as a barbarian, sorcerer, dragon disciple, with improved eldritch heritage for strength of the abyss (which is a 1 point increase over a wish spell) run on a human (I know orc works better, but honestly the hit to cha translates to issues with eldritch heritage).

But with the Blood Rager I think it could look better using 10 of that and 10 of DD, or even more optimized would be 4 of DD and the rest BR...

So can you guys push strength to the next level, going beyond a +18 (Greater Bloodrage, Strength of the Abyss, Dragon Disciple, and +2 racial)?


What ways are there to do this? I have an idea for a character but I need both still and silent on all their spells. Then it would be nice to reduce Tenebrous and Umbral as well.

Any thoughts?


Okay, so someone else was questioning me on my system of 30-50 class levels as being important to my PCs as a criteria for divinity. Anyway, I went in minor depth into the different kinds of gods I use, and was wondering how others handle their divine beings. So, here are the different kinds of gods I use as well as how each works.

Earned Divinity:
This is where someone becomes divine, but isn't granted it. This is for where a character levels into divinity, steals divinity, or otherwise becomes divine through power.

In my own system this exists for PCs who are between levels 30-50 and somehow elevate to divine status, which is often particular to the character. For this I use the rules from Deities and Demigods and they are leveled to Divine Rank 0 or 1 depending on the circumstance.

This is the place for gods like Shar who was an adlet sorcerer that achieved divinity by creating Nightshades from fiends, rending a small fraction of each transformation into herself and reaching divinity through that. Or Miliara, mother of Undeath, the first (humanoid, at least) lich and creater of Vampires, who achieved divinity by leading the dark elves to freedom from elven slavery while inventing a means of achieving a form of immortality, then spending millenia traversing the planes, finally coming across the divine drow representation of her as a god, and killing it to merge with it.

Innate Divinity:
For those beings which are born with or have otherwise always had divinity. These beings tend to be unique and may or may not host class levels or be creatures.

Nature spirits and concept based deities tend to find a home in this group of dieties.

For my own world this is where things like The Deer God and Mira exist. The Deer God is a stag of storms, and if actually engaged in combat it would likely only be a CR 14. I classify many things like Cthulu as being in this group as well. Where as individuals like Mira, The Vain Lich, were somehow born with the divine spark (in her case her father was a god). This could use the system from Deities and Demigods, but usually just innate divine abilities cover this better.

Belief Divinity:
For deities which exist because people believe in them. I stole this from Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, however the concept has been around for a long time.

This is where groups worship a deity and thus that deity has power. Sometimes that power is real, others it is merely how the concept manifests itself through groups. Real religions, without regard to if they are true or false, have power in how people behave or think, it can drive forward wars, lead to one group being dubbed greater or less than another, and generates a sense of inclusion within those who follow the deity.

In my own world this is where the beings like Umberlee come into play. They exist as they are detailed from 3.5, they grant people's spells and act in all ways as they would, but they are fragile and can easily die and be lost forever. Numbers of believers matter, as well as written chronicles of their existence. Things made by practitioners of these deities can cease to function or change over time, as views of those deities change or the deities are lost.

Granted Divinity:
Deities in this group require the existence of other deities. They can be gifted their divine powers, or be an opposition deity of a belief deity. This is a portion of pantheons, where mortals or demigods are granted full divine status by another divine.

My own world hosts the first Vampires as deified by Miliara, as well as the four generals of the void as being granted divinity by Shar. In some instances these beings will be subserviant to the one who created them, in others they are not, but merely part of the pantheon.

In some cases these are actually just enemies to other dieties. Such could be said of the devil in Christianity, while not a deity, he exists as an evil but lesser counterpart to God. In greek mythology the Olympians also had the Titans as evil counterparts.

Core Divinity:
This is where the deities are somehow integral into the structure of reality. While other deities may have made existance, they may or may not be in this group. These deities are tied to reality in such a way that their destruction without a replacement would break reality.

This is where the deity actually has work to do, to somehow maintain thing. Driving the chariot across the sky which is the sun, or keeping things firmly planted on the ground. These are the rules creators, maintainers and
/or enforcers.

I actually make little use of the minutia deities in this group. There are no actual chariot drivers or gravity enforcers. However my most powerful gods are here. Fron the 11th dimmensional All, down to the points (0th dimensional), these exist as concepts which make and maintain the multiverse. Mira's father came from this group, a 5th dimmensional deity of a separate group from this reality's. With a word he could have unmade or altered this reality (being a minute 4th dimmensional reality, it is an infinitesimal to him) had he desired. However at the same time that may have angered this reality's own 5th dimensional deity, and the more problems he would incur the more likely he would draw the attention of a higher level deity.

Sub Divinity:
This group consists of beings which are beyond the mortal scope of power, but not really divine. Sometimes this is the kind of thing which you want your BBEG seeking. Things like Punpun exist here, or characters who can reliably hit a caster level of 100. Often the abilities here would break the gaming system, allowing things to have extremely high stats or damage, or even arbitrarily high numeric values. This is how the game is broken and where we often thought project ways to make these things. From deathstar groups to GM fiat, this is when the not-divine needs to be stopped or it could mess up everything.

I actually host a couple beings like this. The Sourcerer exists as a font of arcane energy, able to alter reality at a whim and born as the seventh itteration of the seventh son of a seventh son, he brings magic into this world. Rarely do I actually throw him into the story, other than perhaps a very rare chance meeting of him such as a party randomly being put through a maze, just to get out and activate a dozen explosive runes, all because he found it comical, or him sitting lazily on a tranquil field in the middle of a dual lich transformation ceremony. The other being like this was Weylan, an alchemist human who accidentally became true immortal trying to make a philosopher's stone, got bored and became a jack of all trades, master of all trades, master of all classes, divine notary, dread lawyer, contracted divine power, became the strongest divine being, and finally retired to drink mai-thais on a lawn chair while death tried to do its job.

This is often where you can encounter truely absurd things, often that abuse certain rules, or merely exist outside the scope of the rules


So I'm working on a Necromancer for a campaign and I wanted to check on some intricacies...

Cross-Blooded Sanguine/Umbral Sorcerer 5 levels
Juju Oracle 5 levels
Mystic Theurge 10 Levels

+1 from Umbral
+1 from Sanguine
+1 from orange ioun stone
+2 from Mage's tattoo (adding Spell Perfection)
+4 from spell specialization (adding Spell Perfection)
Caster Level 24, 6HD/Level
Sorcerer Pool: 144 HD of Undead
Oracle Pool: 144 HD of Undead

Experimental Spellcaster:
+1 from Umbral
+1 from Sanguine
+1 from orange ioun stone
+1 from Mage's Tattoo
Caster level 19, 76 HD of Undead

Total of 364 HD of Undead

Does that sound about right?

More over, is there anything else I can do to increase caster levels further?


Lets say I wanted a character to run around bashing things with 2 shields, what would be the best class setup for this build? What about the race?

I assume there will be three different concepts to this; Tank, Mixed, and Shield DPR. All are applicable setups for the character.

Also would Stalwart Defender be a good class to work towards, assuming the character is going Tank-style with their setup?

I'm looking to essentislly optimize an NPC for the lols. Not so much an enemy as a neutral/helpful character. The players would get a kick out of it, plus it would be a throwback to Smiter Paladins from Diablo II for all of us.


The wording states that it can be used on an attack action, but so can a few other things. Vital Strike doesn't actually state it changes the attack action to a special attack, but I'd assume it does. Can Power Attack modify it? Obviously Cleave cannot be used as that changes the attack to a special attack. But can anything stack with it that somehow modifies the attack?

I'd already assume things which modify criticals can stack with it, as that doesn't change the type of attack merely the critical. Similarly things which alter damage, but not the attack itself ahould work with Vital Strike...


Party level 3, 3 PCs, about 3 DMPCs, and 9 NPCs.

The Party and NPCs are vying for ownership of the mansion (I have the mansion floorplan for it and all that jazz). One DMPC will be actively trying to thwart everyone else by controlling the spirits there.

As of now I already know I will be running Attic Whisperers, Poltergeists, and at least one Wraith. I am debating on throwing a low end Yellow Sign (Hastur) in the house somewhere. And I know the ballroom will be host to dancing ghosts, which will end abruptly at a particular time (a little before the spirit activity turns hostile).

The house has played host to numerous Necromancers and depraved nobles over the years, as well as the cult of Hastur. The first family that lived there had the father turn on and murder his whole family and himself (standard fare for haunted mansions). I was thinking of tossing in some animated objects, many secret doors, cult worship rooms, and a -picture of Dorian Grey- (I cannot recall the pathfinder name for it, but the painting which accrues nevative statuses instead of the person)

So what I'm asking you guys: Is there anything you'd want to use in a haunted mansion? I'm open to ideas, because provided they get the mansion I still want retained activity there (to devalue it from sale and odd things they have to live with while having the building)


Anyone know where to find an adequate assessment or want to help me come up with questions to replace the alignment system and forever be done with this nonsense?


Or dead, as the case may be. When the party goes out and fighta/kills goblins, hobgoblins, giants... how do they cope with the fact that they are either killing possible parents or children?

I have actively held family dynamics in every game I have run for enemies where it would be applicable and have watched evil characters thwart eachother in an attempt to save the innocent, and I have seen people of the cloth murder children because the stat block says they tend to be evil, without even checking to see if they really are.

So how do you guys handle these situations, or do you just sweep it under the rug?


Alright, so I am working on my homebrew class and I have decided they will be able to choose a variant channeling based on what topic they study (the class and rules for it are kind of outside this topic, so ignore that aspect)

The fields they study are based on creature types, the Knowledges, and a few others with descriptions in what follows. I am at the point of putting variant channeling options for each of them (based on the variants introduced in Ultimate Magic), and I keep working on it, erasing all my work and starting over, getting driven insane by perfectionism. I don't want any of them to have too many options, but at the same time don't want too few options. Some of them (Like Dragon and Aberration) exacerbate this issue by having too many things that fit, but not enough to easily drop all options (like with Religion). So that's where I am asking you guys.

Lets say you have the following topics to work with and want to give those topics Variant Channeling options, Standard Channeling (No Variants), Any Variant Channeling, and Standard Channeling (with any variants). They can have a mix of Variant Channeling options which represent thr topic, and if it works for the topic they can also have Standard Channeling without variants. If the topic is inclusive enough that all variants could work with it they can have Any Variant Channeling. And if the topic would include both the standard channeling and any variants they can have Standard Channeling (with any variants).

The topics are as follows:
Abberations
Animals
Constructs
Dragons
Fey
Humanoids
Magical Beasts
Monstrous Humanoids
Oozes
Outsiders
Plants
Undead
Vermin
Arcana
Dungeoneering
Engineering
Geography
History
Local
Nature
Nobility
Planes
Religion
Alignment- this is comprehensive of the 4 alignment based terms for Creature Subtypes and Spell Descriptors
Body- Ailments (disease, poison, pain, etc) and health/fitness
Spirit- Life, Death, Afterlife and Curses
Mind- mind affecting effects, fears, emotions, psychology
Energy- Acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, sonic
Elements- Air, Earth, Fire, Water, both in regards to creature subtypes and spell descriptors
Light- darkness, light, shadow in regards to spell descriptors

Things I know I already intend are for Religion to have standard channel energy (with any variants), Undead to have Undeath and standard channeling (with no variants), the creature types which are encompassed in Monsters, Nature and Farming to have their respective variants, and the alignment based variants to be in Alignment.

From there I just keep getting flustered as I try and put things on different groups, finding their are too many, not enough, or just second guessing myself over and over.

So, any help, or if anyone thinks it would be a fun way to spend their time, it would be appreciated.


When crafting a magic item the cost to craft the item is half the market cost, but if you were crafting for personal use could you add an alignment, and class requirement to reduce the cost further, either by 60% or (if stacking them instead of adding them) 51%.

Even just reducing the cost by either class or alignment you have knocked the item down by 30% the base cost, halving that and you only need to invest 35% of the market cost to make the item for yourself. With the above mentioned cost reductions it would be 20% or 24.5% the market cost.

That reduction alone is significant enough to make crafting something you don't meet the level requirements for extremely easy, for instance a +6 to an ability score would only cost 12600 for one restriction, or with two requirements 7200 or 8820 respectively.

That reduction alone is substantial enough to allow a level 5 or 6 character to create their own headband of +6 to their casting score.

Is this all rules legal?


So this is effectively his end goal as a player and his desired capstone for his character, which I'm fine with assuming the targets get a save to avoid the effect. But how do I go about doing this effect. Essentially his desire is to magic jar/freaky friday other people for the hilarity that would ensue.

But is there some kind of spell that can achieve this? Or an artifact? Precidence would be wonderful because as it stands the only close effect would be the juju oracle's capstone, which is problematic in requiring the casting of a school spell to achieve it (in this case I want to avoid dependancy upon a specific school of magic as it would be extremely painful to his character build).


Multiweapon fighting states that it replaces two weapon fighting for creatures with more than 2 limbs, so does it then meet the prerequisites for improved two-weapon fighting if taken? Or would it then be impossible to get improved two-weapon fighting for a multi-armed creature?


So, one of my players wanted to be a Dhampir but wanted his mortal parent to be a drow, which has the same starting age as a dhampir. I ruled that the dhampir's starting age would, similar to a human, be much greater than that of the drow parent as they are being haltes developmentally by the near immortal blood of their undead parent, and not by some innate dhampir overarching development.

Further I pulled up the Book of Erotic Fantasy to read the passage for Half-Elves and how the aging system would alter him psychologically due to the culture he was raised in (possibly the only book I know of to cover a relatively vital character aspect for older race hybrids). Then I offered that he could start at a much younger age, he'd just not be sexually inclined due to the pre-pubescent mentality of one not pushed by their hormones.

He ultimately decided to go human as the game shifted further from the underdark, and he wanted to play the character at its full sexual development, losing his mortal parent in the process.

My inquiry remains, though, should Dhampirs be older than their mortal parent, and can one choose earlier starting ages for non-human characters which are rightly physically developed yet not mentally?


Are there any rules which give a solid footing for a DM to run an economy? I heard about the unchained action economy and got excited then read it to find I was completely wrong as to what it is. So are there any rules out there to help balance an economy, because these situations always come up for me (players open a brothel and I need to work on supply and demand and what impact it will have, or the players rob a metropolis and acquire about five million gold worth of goods and need to unload it). So os there any help out there in the DnD world for a non-economist like me to handle this?


I came up with one for my own use with that homebrew class/archetype before, however I'm wondering what others may consider a balanced aystem for it. Normally it is out the window and a no go, but if the situation arose for a class which did not have some means to readily do so (bloodlines, mysteries, specialized schools, domains, etc), how would the community handle it in a balanced way? Assuming the class can learn extra spells in the first place (which falls under the jurisdiction of Wizards, Arcanists and the like), how would you guys balance out stealing a spell from the spell list of another class (witches, bards, clerics, etc)?


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I'm working on a homebrew class at the moment to fill a kind of wizard/loremaster/pathfinder chronicler role, the latter two I have always enjoyed conceptually, but found lacking as they are seperate and prestige. So this is a go at conjoining them into a scholar who persues lore and does research in some field.

As for the main balancing issues I need to run through the features of the class and figure out where to expand things or if certain abilities will push it toward being overpowered.

First the spellcasting: Wizard progression, Arcane study.
Arcane Study: Select a school of magic as a primary school, all other schools require 2 spell slots to prepare spells from
Commentary: as a specialist wizard, however all other schools are treated as opposition schools, and there are no special abilities granted based on school.
Considering: Allowing Universal spells to be exempt from the 2 slot restriction. Also highly considering the ability to learn spells from other 9-level casting classes (Cleric, Witch, Druid) which are part of your primary school (likely with a requirement to have a scroll or spellbook of the spell and research costs involved, as for druid spells it would require understanding the language either through linguistics or the bonus language class feature).

Commentary overall on spellcasting: The concept here is that they have less spellcasting ability overall than a wizard, refining their research substantially to a single school of magic. This is also to maintain a level of balance with the other class abilities.

Core class concept: Research Paths
This is a highly open ability selection, similar to a witches hexs, sorcerer's bloodline, oracle's mystery, etc. Initially I was considering doing this as an oracle's mystery, but I have conceived of too many overlapping concepts (I was building this with a Dread Necrancer feel to it as a path of research in Undead, my friend wants to play the class and study spirits, which between the two of them there would be overlap, hence something more like a large list would work).
So, I'm not going to sit and list out examples as this section isn't so much where I need help, but this will be where power control comes in, as more or less abilities will lead to substantially different power levels to the overall class.
Anyway, the way this works is the player chooses a field to study (which will have examples, but also allow the DM and player to go beyond those examples), then throughout the progress of the character they select abilities to gain related to that study. Each ability will give a list of the suggested fields it can be taken with.
Currently looking at stealing things like the Dread Necromancer's bonus to HD controlled with animate dead, and the Dread Necrancer's increased ability scores for undead they create both of those would work with studying Undeath. Also looking at the Witch Doctor's Channel Energy feature, the Cleric Animal Domain's animal companion, etc. Stealing things from other classes here shamelessly, often with a minor to moderate reduction to ability if it it a major feature, while things like sorcerer bloodline abilities or witch hexes would just be stolen straight.
With a research topic like Undeath I figure they should be one of the most potent necromancers based on their restriction to spellcasting ability, and similarly with other specific topics which would really refine them toward a specific goal. (Sorry about the necro heavy focus that's just a pet love of mine, I do intend for it to focus elsewhere equally, however I am also going to use this for an NPC in game as well)

At the moment I am considering this as 5 total effects gained, plus a capstone, one at level 1, 4, 8, 12, and 16 with a final bigger one at level 20 from a different list of capstones.

Secondary abilities:
Breadth of Knowledge: This is the Bardic Knowledge ability, but I am going to expand it to linguistics and appraise, probably also craft and spellcraft to round out the intelligence based skills.
Loremaster: As per the bard ability.
True Lore: As per the Loremaster ability, probably around 14-16, depending on which level lacks major bonuses.
Bonus Languages: As per the Loremaster Ability, I was thinking about level 10 and every 3 levels after, but this is a minor balancing point as I am not sure how many to give.

And that about rounds it out. I am stuck on how many bonus languages to give and if I should push Breadth of Knowledge out to all intelligence based skills. From there I'm not certain if 5 or more abilities through their research path should be given, as comparing it to Sorc says it's good, while Oracle says it's low, and Witch/Arcanist say it's extremely low. Also the questions remain about the points in their spellcasting.

Help appreciated and desired.

Edit: d6 hit die, 2+Int for skills, slow BAB, Will as a good save, Wizard skills (dropping Fly and adding UMD)