Rage Prophet

Puna'chong's page

745 posts. Alias of pwntrooper.




I'm seriously considering allowing my players to take Avenger talents for Slayers, and Stalker talents for Rogues with some tweaks so they correctly match the classes they're ported over to. Has anyone already done this, or thinks it would be a terrible idea? Most of the Stalker talents look like exactly what all Rogue talents should be, and the Avenger ones give the Slayer some nice options, though I wouldn't say any of them scream PLAY ME!!

Case the Joint, in particular, looks like it could be pretty great on a Rogue for Council of Theives.


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I haven't read through every AP, I only really know the gist of most of them, but none of them seem to be doing much with Vudra. This is kind of disappointing to me, since I've studied, have a degree in, and really enjoy Indian history and mythology.

Are there any plans or even interest for a Vudrani AP? Even one like Jade Regent that visits there in the back half or something would be cool. I just like the idea of having adventures with Asura and Rakshasa all over the place that aren't

Spoiler:
Curse of the Crimson Throne book 3

I guess what I'm really trying to say is Rakshasa are rad.


So I'll be running CoT here in about a month. Outside of the general threads on switching things up or plugging in more foreshadowing, I was wondering if there were any ideas or suggestions to incorporate Occult Adventures into the AP, and whether the classes in it (outside of Psychic, which nobody has any interest in playing) would be a good fit for the overall theme and mechanics of the AP.

Additionally, would there be any plot points in the AP that would be totally ruined by, say, Object Reading from the Occultist or a Spiritualist's phantom incorporeally scouting through a few doors?

Spoilers or specific encounter suggestions are great.


Just wanted to pop by and say that the Occultist (and really every class in OA, to be honest) is really cool. It feels a lot like a spiritual successor to the 3.5 Artificer without the crazy magic item creation stuff getting out of hand. I generated a Garundi treasure hunter/archaeologist whose family has been searching for generations to find proof that they're descended from the first pharaohs, and she uses her parents' and grandparents' old adventuring gear as her implements. There's really a lot you can do in terms of flavor and mechanics, and so far it's looking pretty balanced and dynamic.

That said, Medium touches a warm spot in my heart that loved the Binder, the Mesmerist looks fantastic (plus I play a Mesmer in Guild Wars, and the mechanics make me wonder...) and like a great take on illusionist/enchanter as a base class. Spiritualist seems like a really cool and versatile pet class with awesome options for role-playing and customization right off the bat, and Kineticist is exactly what I (as a DM) have been looking for to throw out blaster NPCs and to use for those new players who just want to be the human torch and are disappointed by how little blasting happens at lower levels with full casters. Psychic also seems like a fair and balanced approach to a class that's been rehashed a million times, and I like the "mental arena; FIGHT!" rules. The skill unlocks are exactly what I wanted Signature Skill to be (which I'll be reflavoring and handing off to the rogue!), and I'm still reading!

Really great job Paizo and staff. I've never been a fan of psychic stuff, but this book seriously hit a home run for me.


So the Vigilante looks like a fun addition to the base class collection. With all of the great options that could come out with Ultimate Intrigue, there might be a fun and useful niche for a character, and especially for a villain, that can legitimately be two people. I know I'm super excited to get my hands on all of the Intrigue options for Eberron stuff (I've always loved its gumshoe/Indiana Jones vibes), and potentially even run a campaign full of Slayers, Investigators, Alchemists, and Vigilantes. That said, Vigilante has--ironically enough--an identity problem. It wants to be everything and, as is usually the case with this kind of design, it ends up being not much.

Since this is a playtest, I've rolled up a few Vigilantes and run them through scenarios I've used in the past from Curse of the Crimson Throne, Eyes of the Lich Queen, and a bunch of other little modules and my own little adventures I've run over the years that have focused on both intrigue or mysteries and combat. They were fun, and lent themselves to really cool and interesting role-playing stuff, but there were some issues, especially with combat and feeling like, in some cases, I'd be better off playing a character that was fluffed as a vigilante with two identities, rather than actually being a Vigilante.

First off, I think that Avenger and Stalker ought to be combined into one pool of talents, if we're sold on having distinct pools. I'm also not thrilled about Hidden Strikes (it's a really pretty terrible Sneak Attack, and Sneak Attack already isn't great, not to mention that a base class is getting a worse version of another base class's defining ability), but having the option of picking either full-BAB or something equally impressive for a more skill-based side at level 1 would be great. Honestly, I'd love to see something sort of similar to Investigator Inspiration, a pool that lets the Avenger (the better name for the combined talent pool, I think) use pool points to gain an edge in both combat and social encounters. Something like spending a point to gain a +1d4 to a set selection of skills, chosen at creation and able to be expanded with Skill Focus or talents, and maybe a +level bonus on damage by spending a point, a little like a Swashbuckler's precise strike. That's a bit more complicated than I think the class needs, though.

Keeping Hidden Strikes wouldn't be the end of the world, and I have to say there are some fun options that play off it; I just hate the whole "unawares" thing. It really should be fixed to having an effect whenever an opponent is effected by a "negative condition", or anything that adversely affects them, and be a small static damage boost and allow for the Vigilante to deal nonlethal without penalty whenever they can get their ability off. So if an opponent is, say, flanked, the Vigilante's Hidden Strikes give a scaling +1 hit and damage bonus (+2 at 3rd, +3 at 5th, etc.). If they're blind or flat-footed the same would apply, and likewise with sickened, prone, nauseated, fatigued, bleeding, etc. It's a small boost, but it would leave spikes of damage to the rogue while also giving the Vigilante that picks this option the feel of taking advantage of every little weakness offered to them. It could look like this:

Spoiler:

Hidden Strikes (Ex):
Starting at 1st level, the avenger vigilante gains +1 on attacks and +1 precision damage on melee attacks (or ranged attacks within 30 feet) against foes who are flanked or affected by a negative condition (such as flat-footed, sickened, or fatigued). These bonuses increase by +1 at 3rd level and every 2 vigilante levels thereafter. Additionally, whenever the avenger vigilante is granted these bonuses against an opponent, he/she may choose to deal nonlethal damage to that creature at no penalty.

I think this combination of features would lend itself to more nuance in builds, more interesting and diverse options, and a character that's more effective as a character. As is an Avenger is a worse Slayer, and a Stalker is a worse Rogue, not counting what could potentially come for the social side. Still, it boils down to the combat half being a much less effective combatant than its obvious parallel, and both a Slayer and a Rogue have baked-in potential for exceptional use outside of combat with skills. And when a majority of people build Pathfinder characters, they build for combat effectiveness, or at least build with combat in mind. Nobody wants to or likes to be dead weight in fighting encounters, even if they're a skill god.

Second, I think Warlock and Zealot should be combined as well, with the option to pick either the arcane or divine spellcasting talent from the get-go as the base. Just call this one Warlock. Here's actually where I think the class can find a pretty great identity; if we allow the player to use their talents (and let them have Extra Talents, yeesh...) to pick up both arcane and divine casting, the class has baked-in mystic theurge abilities. To keep from being too powerful, the character would just need to use the same number of spell slots and spells per day for both types of casting. Perhaps allow for higher level talents to grant bonus spells/day to lower levels (so Arcane II would give an extra spell slot, not stacking with Divine II), and then you've got a pretty interesting and fun base class niche. If not, then Zealot should just be removed. I hate feeling like I'm belittling or not appreciating the time and effort it took to put out that content, but Zealot wants to do Inquisitor, and Inquisitor does Inquisitor better than Zealot ever could. And, what's more, if Zealot were a better Inquisitor, then what's the point of having the class? They're too similar as base classes, and since Inquisitor isn't a hybrid (why I'm ok with Vigilante being a little similar to Slayer or Investigator) you're just making two classes that are trying to use the same mechanics for the same ends, and one is drastically better at it than the other.

I think having a class with two base options like this could be pretty fun, on top of the (seemingly minor) social and flavor stuff that the alternate identity gives. On the one hand you've got a character who can choose to avoid armor check penalties and can break through doors while chasing down his mark, while also having the ability to case a joint and jab spellcasters in the throat with either small situational bonuses that open up more special attacks and damge, or constant full BAB that allows for more feat options and consistent accuracy. On the other hand you've got a character that could be an arcane caster with a domain, or a divine caster with a familiar, or both, while also having the ability to hide his magical meddling as Sir Walter Wunderberger. His spellcasting might be relatively minor or limited, but talents give more interesting build options than a bard or inquisitor and also lets the character effectively "dip" into mystic theurge; if you only want to get to level 2 divine spells or arcane spells, you can stop taking the talents any time in favor of other options. Seems pretty cool to me.

On the topic of Sir Walter Wunderberger, I do love the alternate identity. It's fun, and really something that I like for Eberron intrigue with Dragonmarked houses, spies from different nations, and having a vigilante and social persona that are each moonlighting as each other. That said, the switch time is too long. It ought to be rounds, not minutes, since unlike Disguise you can only turn into one other person, and switching between the two is a basic part of the character's personality, not just some random person they suddenly decided to be (except for the "mundane" persona, but still; you aren't a specific person then either, so you can't step on Disguise's toes there either). Besides, if Sir Walter and The Reprimander both constantly turn up within a block of one another (but never in the same room), suspicions will be raised; no reason to make it difficult to be both sides. That said, too, all of the character's skills should be available to them at all times. Batman doesn't forget he's Batman, Superman doesn't stop being Superman, they both just try to avoid using their abilities when they aren't in costume. The only caveat should be that using a Vigilante combat ability as the social persona should have the potential to cue off the link between identities, and likewise if Reprimander starts talking about Sir Walter's fishing empire as if it's his own, well... It means that the character can always operate at full effectiveness, but they have to be careful which abilities they use or how they use them if they want to maintain the two identities as separate people. And if Sir Walter is actually Prior Walter and is a priest by day, while Reprimander has a reputation for fireballs by night, then that kind of flavor should be mechanically feasible and encouraged; the player should pick how these abilities manifest themselves, and work with the DM to talk about how much they can do in the social persona before things start getting fishy.

Talents themselves and class abilities can always be fiddled with, but I think having two paths instead of four and making sure that the player isn't punished or mechanically disadvantaged for having two identities (what should be the real appeal of the class) is important to make sure that the class actually has an identity. That, and I think there's actually an opportunity here to make something that I know I've been wanting for a while, a "base" Mystic Theurge, while also giving the Avenger options a great suite of customizability to make the hero you want and the hero you deserve.

TL;DR:


  • Combine Avenger and Stalker, Warlock and Zealot (or remove Zealot).
  • Make Hidden Strikes not a bad and narrow Sneak Attack ripoff.
  • Reduce the identity switches to rounds, not minutes.
  • Allow for all abilities to be usable at all times, with the risk that using either identity's abilities could/should result in blowing your cover.


So I love the alchemist class to death. It's probably my favorite class, next to maybe inquisitor or witch (honorable mention for shaman). It lends itself well to so many weird builds that I haven't really settled on any particular theme or mechanical combination that I like best.

My favorite alchemist, maybe not totally weird, is a gladiator I built, where instead of a net and trident he uses a polearm and tanglefoot bombs (grenadier archetype with a vestigial arm to hold the bomb). He can control the battlefield pretty well with a combination of enlarge person reach and a polearm on top of some mutagen action, plus entangles and staggers from bombs. Recently I threw in the oracle VMC with wolf-scarred face as the curse, and the character got weirder in a way I like ever so much.

What's your favorite/weirdest alchemist build?


I was thinking of fiddling around with an archetype for the Hunter that basically gives up spellcasting (or has reduced spellcasting) and gains Trapper traps from the Ranger archetype starting at 1st level. I figured they're generally weaker than spells but fit a specific niche that really isn't filled by most classes starting at level 1. It definitely fits the theme, but I want to see if anyone's done anything with this already before I get started.


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So I was tinkering with ideas on how to make Disable Device skill challenges more interesting. A lot of stuff I've seen is too unnecessarily complex, and I wanted something that made unlocking a door or disarming a trap a quick, painless (hopefully), but engaging experience. Puna'chong senior suggested Blackjack, since it is essentially the most impartial playing card game out there, and it's focused around a 1v1 fight. So I made a system around it and tested it last night with my group to great success.

Disable Device still matters, but it's less "Thou comest upon the mystical Door of Archthanaton [Perception perceives a trap]. Roll, thou rogue, thine Disable Device check! [It's a 30]. Ok. You're in." Instead, I made success increase the odds just enough to make having a good Disable Device check useful. The system also allows for doors to be bypassed eventually, keeping players from being totally locked out unless there's a really big "bust," but it makes traps comparatively much scarier:

The Game:

-The party comes upon a lock or a trap that needs to be disabled.

-With a normal pack of playing cards, the DM (dealer) shuffles them up (no jokers; more on that later)

Lock
For a lock, the DM doesn't get his own cards, since a lock doesn't bite you if you screw up.

-The player gets 2 cards, face-up. He decides whether to hit or restart. [This is intentional, since it lets a cautious character take their time on the lock rather than push to open it right away. Note that this might not work if a lock has to be unlocked quickly/in combat/etc., since each game is a full attempt]

- If the player hits and gets 21, the lock is unlocked. If they hit and they're still below 21, they can choose to hit again, or restart.

-If the player hits and gets above 21 (or "busts"), they don't succeed at opening the lock, but can try again. If, however, they bust by 5 or more, they break the lock.

Pretty simple. Just a game within a game that makes something more interesting that otherwise isn't all that exciting.

Traps

Traps are scarier. Against traps, the player is playing against the DM/"Trap," which plays like a normal game of Blackjack.

-The player gets their two cards face-up. The DM gets one card face-down, and one face-up.

-The player decides to hit or stay. Once they decide to stay, the DM does what a Blackjack dealer normally does: they reveal the face-down card and hit until they reach 17, 21, or they bust.

-If the DM's total exceeds the player's total without busting, the player loses and the trap goes off. If the DM gets 21, the player loses and the trap goes off. If the DM busts, the game starts over.

-If the player gets 21, they succeed at disabling the trap.

Disable Device

The way Disable Device plays into this is that if the player succeeds at their check, they win on a 20, 21, or 22. Which is pretty big, if you've ever played Blackjack, and is usually enough to win right there. If they succeed by 10 or more, they increase that range by one more: 19,20,21,22,23.

If the player doesn't succeed at their disable check, they still get one attempt to pick the lock or disable the trap. This keeps parties from being totally locked out of a cool room or totally dead just because the rogue flubbed one roll; they could still win the game. If they fail their disable device check by less than 4, they can try again as normal. However, a trap still goes off if the player fails their Disable Check by 5 or more, and a lock is now broken if they fail their check by 10 or more, though they still get one Blackjack game before either of these events happen.

If the player fails their disable check against a trap, but wins Blackjack, the trap doesn't go off, but it isn't disabled, and they can attempt their disable check again. If the player fails their disable check against a lock, but wins Blackjack, the unlock it.

The idea is that the player could get lucky and catch themselves at the last minute, keeping the trap from springing, or blunder into the correct pins to open the door, even though they were a dingaling and jammed their lockpick in too hard.

Trapfinding

If a class has the Trapfinding class feature, they get one free reset on any given lock or trap once per day, and they can take the reset even after the results are known. Other classes disable as normal.

My players went through this last night and they enjoyed it quite a bit. There was a bit more suspense at a door (though not much; doors are usually pretty trivial anyways), but traps were a new game. The whole table was involved, yelling at the rogue to either hit or stay, and one trap even went through three games of Blackjack. I've also been planning some feats or maybe rogue talents that play off of this a little bit, like if a player gets a 21 on their first two cards they get one free d20 reroll for the next 10 minutes.

Hope it makes sense.


The last few weeks I've been working on the "Avatar," a new base class that I wanted to have be a divine warrior that's more primal than a paladin, warpriest, inquisitor, etc. The idea came about when I was thinking about how unimpressed I always am with warpriests, and that there isn't much out there, flavor-wise, that feels like a martial character that's just raw divine fury. I figured if the warpriest is a fighter + cleric, then what would an oracle + monk look like? It seemed like a fun place to try and build something like a "Chosen One" warrior, so I went for it...

The Avatar

Now, before I go too far, yes. Avatar is a cartoon (a darn good one, too) and a Dances With Aliens CGI-fest 3D movie extravaganza. The name has baggage, but as a scholar of Indian history and mythology, I couldn't quite find a name that fit the concept as well as this one does. I suppose "Emissary" or maybe "Scion" could work, but at some point Hinduism should be able to retake its mythology.

Theme:

Thematically, I started with something I loved when I was younger: the Dervish class from Guild Wars. It was seriously my jam, and both aesthetically and in terms of gameplay it was a really fun thing for me. They also have a great mythos to them that I loved, and while playing the game you can see that every time the class enters combat the character focuses their gaze on the ground, not on their enemy, and all of their clothing had a symbolic meaning. Sweet. The ideas had been bouncing around in my head for a while, and now that I'm practically finished with my history degree I felt like it meshed well with Hindu mythology.

I wanted a holy warrior that wasn't clergy, wasn't in some monastery, and wasn't orthodox; just diluted and barely controlled divine power that still answered to their higher power. I also figured that these would be a pretty easy target for inquisitions, and that "avatars" don't necessarily have to actually be blessed by a god. They could just be a crazy person, somehow channeling divine power, or an otherwise normal cleric that's subverting the normal hierarchy (or a heretic, like Dawnflower Dervishes).

This also was a nice contrast to the normal divine class trope of following the god's rules, since the avatar could be what starts a heresy. I liked the idea of taking any aspect of a god's tenets and embodying it, or having a "Without light there is no shadow" thing: you could have a peace-bringing avatar of Gorum, simply because in order for there to be war there has to be a contrast. Since gods often work in mysterious ways, bringing peace could be a ploy by the god to allow for more mistrust (like the Cold War) that leads to more and more powerful weapons of destruction. Stuff like that.

Mechanics & Design:

Design-wise, I started with the oracle + monk hybrid class and borrowed the idea of the sacred weapon from warpriest, since I thought that was a good idea poorly executed. A guy/gal that's super focused on their deity's weapon seemed really fun, and I wanted a chassis that was better able to take advantage of that. The scaling damage also fit in nicely with the monk's scaling unarmed damage. I was wary at first of taking this and beefing it up to where the monk is, but in the end decided that it's fairly well balanced. It also doesn't do much for characters using the Greatest Weapon of All Time(TM) until practically never, so it really just helps out characters that have small weapons as their deity's favored weapon.

I started with 1/4 casting like a Paladin and 3/4 BAB, but this didn't work out very well and got clunky. I took away the partial casting and gave full-BAB, since I wanted frequent spell usage to be the warpriest's thing and monk is going to get full-BAB in Unchained anyways. Having full BAB and no spell list actually opened the class up a lot and let me toy with more interesting concepts, and I got to use the barbarian/bloodrager/paladin as good analogues and power comparisons. This was when I started looking at how to incorporate a pool system for casting (scrapped) and other abilities. I wanted some kind of direct mystic connection with the god that could bypass a normal devotee's prayer and feel more intimate, so I went with a rage-like ability to simulate this. The "mystic trance" felt like a nice way to balance out powers, and I kept the inherent bonuses low so that it wouldn't just feel like a barbarian. This is when the class started to feel more oracle + barbarian, but it was moving along smoothly so I went with it.

I toyed with having another type of blessings based off of subdomains to be less "orthodox," but ultimately decided this was waaaay too much work for waaaay too little mechanical nuance. I'd also have to focus in on gods more than I wanted. Instead, I went with the curses or vows that oracles and monks get, respectively, and thought that this would be an interesting route. The "dictates" I think let me mechanically show that the avatar is a less orthodox and more primal divine warrior, since these are not dependent on god or alignment, but rather on the feel. I wanted these to seem like something an avatar had that could inform build decisions and also gave matching benefits after mechanical drawbacks, to play off of the oracle curse. They're also a nice design space down the road if I wanted to add something or make a deity-specific character.

"Sublime assaul"t was my attempt (along with certain other aspects of the class) to have a "go nova" feel; whereas a barbarian is consistently performing while in a rage, the avatar can decide to end her trance and drop a bomb. This also let me throw in flurry from the monk side in a more balanced way and gave me a special attack to tack abilities onto. Since part of the inspiration was the Dervish class, their big thing was enchantments that gave an effect while they were active and when they ended. This was hard to do by just making a scad of abilities, but I think I found a nice way to sort of plug that in without it being obtrusive. It also let me make the different dictates feel a bit more unique.

"Epiphanies" were my answer to the question "How do I keep myself from having to make abilities for every single god and alignment?" They also fit nicely with the barbarian analogue, and once I decided on the mystic trance release valve for the class' power, they stuck. I liked toying with the idea of spending more rounds of mystic trance to buff up abilities, something that the barbarian rarely gets to do with rage (outside of maybe auspicious mark). This also let me control for how often the class can push out damage or abilities, and gave me design space for concepts I wanted to be in the class. The revelations from the oracle class also fit into this more ad hoc design space. This also let me do the "aspects" or transformation abilities that were fun parts of the Dervish class and have a bit more fun with the actual channeling of divine power.

Outside of that, the other abilities are pretty much stock secondary class abilities, outside of the capstone which--let's be honest--nobody ever gets to anyways.

Dictates:

These were kind of tricky. I didn't want the class to have a spell list, but I didn't want them to be spell-less. Having a spell or two a day as spell-like abilities, tailored to the specific dictate, felt fine and more balanced than the alternatives. This seemed like a place where I could show the class directly channeling power, but not exactly being trained to ask for certain blessings: they get what the god gives them, or they may not even be conscious of this, with the spells simply being cast down when they're most needed without much real input from the avatar.

Covenant was interesting, since I wanted one that gave a little more player choice, though I'm debating whether or not to just have a list of Minor, Moderate, and Severe sacrifices for the player to choose from. I'm pretty proud of Amnesty, since I think nonlethal is generally pretty ignored in Pathfinder, and I like the flavor it lends. It's also a bit more casty than the other ones. Exposure was my attempt to get that mobile monk feel in there, and encourage a fighting style that was a bit more dynamic than "stand and full-attack. move. wait. full-attack." Valor I popped in because I didn't want to necessarily limit or pigeonhole the class so much with the other three, and it's also a place to tinker with "tank" stuff that I've been playing around with.

There's a lot of text there that just explains my thought process going in. This is my first sort of "Alpha" draft of the class so that I can playtest it and compare it to other classes. There's probably plenty in there that's imbalanced, wonky, weird, or unplayable, but without outside input I won't get terribly far on my own.

Comments, questions, criticisms, whatever: send it at me!


After tinkering for a while with the fighter class (like everyone else), I made a write-up (here) and let my players go at it. One liked it enough to give it a try, and this resulted in a pretty happy and excited player, as well as a party that enjoyed their less one-note companion. I think part of that was just giving the fighter anything else to do during combat besides full attack, as well as bumping up the Will save and number of skills per level to a less punishing level.

The basic design philosophy I had while I was going through was to keep things simple but make the class feel like it had a really strong identity. I didn't want to make it the "guy who fights real good" class, because that's the issue with the fighter's identity in the first place. I also wanted to make a clear distinction between the core martial classes and have a fighter feel very different and more tactical. The feeling I really wanted to come from the fighter was a student of war, the person who wakes up every morning to go jog in their armor and drill for hours with weapons. They study every aspect of combat, they read, they hone techniques, they practice, and above all they learn. They aren't a common soldier (which is the NPC class warrior), nor are they just some huge guy who doesn't need any kind of training to lay the smack down (barbarian).

I went with a "Prowess" pool similar to the Gunslinger's Grit or the Swashbuckler's Panache, except that I based it off of Intelligence to complete the mental stat trifecta. I did increase the number of points to 1/2 level, because I didn't want to make the class too MAD, and I wanted to make sure it felt like every fighter could take advantage of training even without a cunning mind.

This was pretty easy. It also opened up deeds, which are great for swapping out to make specific fighter archetypes, and I tried to make the base deeds work as a good blank canvas for any fighter build. With these, too, I tried to mitigate some of the issues inherent in martial combat (like full attacking, Vital Strike not being part of the base combat rules, etc.), and I threw in a few that made fighters much better at taking out casters. I figured if you live in a world with magic, sooner or later you'll train yourself to rip squishy mages to shreds despite their wussy "defensive casting."

I moved Weapon Training down to level 1 and replaced the bonus feat there. I gave Weapon Focus for free (since most fighters I've seen take Weapon Focus as their first bonus feat anyways), and I set it up so that fighters can move around their weapon focus to other weapons in their trained group. The other bonus feats were things I felt every fighter would grab anyways, so those were thrown in to help send home the feeling of the fighter being a master with weapon groups. Armor Training I left alone, because it's just a nice passive thing and I was giving the fighter a lot already. I did bump up Bravery a little bit so that it would be more useful right off the bat and a little more flavorful.

I threw in Combat Mastery as a replacement to bonus feats. These are a pool of prepared combat feats the fighter selects each morning to fill slots. Every time he gets to an even level he gets another slot that he can prepare one of these bonus feats in. So at 4th level a fighter would have 4 bonus feats, and he chooses two of those in the morning to prepare in his two slots. I figured this would make the fighter more versatile and more of a master of combat, and since he can swap the prepared ones any time he gets a prowess point back (or by using a 3rd level deed) he's always got the right tool for the job. I didn't want to throw too many feats at players like Martial Flexibility, because that ability is huge and extremely time-consuming, and I also didn't want players to just pick whichever feats they wanted every morning. This was what I put in as the fighter's version of "Rage Powers" or "Rogue Tricks." Since those (usually) are better than a feat, giving the fighter a pool of combat feats felt fun and like it made the class seem more like a student of war.

In-game, the player really liked that he could parry and that he had plenty of feats to touch on different combat styles. He noted that his character felt a lot more like he was moving with combat and that he was able to adapt. He even got a "kill" by allowing the party archer to make an attack against a fleeing enemy, and he had a brief debate on whether to save prowess or dump it to finish the fight quicker.

Comments, critiques welcome. I'll be using this as my houseruled base class and adapting certain archetypes as players want to use them.


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Hey guys, less interested in making this "a thing" and more getting opinions on it before I incorporate it into one of my groups. I also don't know if this has been suggested before, but I'm more interested in how it sounds and less about whether I should just have the player play X, Y, or Z instead or discussions about fighter power level or whatever. I'd rather just get some opinions on whether this is feasible or too confusing/complex.

It's basically this:

If a fighter were to gain a bonus feat at level one and every even level, instead they learn two feats for that level "slot." At the beginning of each day the fighter spends 15 minutes doing exercises [getting stoked, whatever] to prepare a feat in each slot as the feat they use for the day. Once per day at first level, and an additional time per day at third and every two levels thereafter, the fighter can, as a free action, swap the feats in one of his feat slots.

In game terms a level 5 fighter would look like this:

Level 1 Slot: Power Attack, Point-Blank Shot

Level 2 Slot: Cleave, Rapid Shot

Level 4 Slot: Improved Initiative, Blind-Fight

Three times per day the fighter can swap the prepared feat in any of his slots for the other one. If any feat prerequisite is swapped out and becomes inactive, any feats relying on that for their prerequisites lose their effect as long as their prerequisite is inactive.

Thoughts?


Hey guys! Inspired by Kaushal Avan Spellfire's own Battle for Korvosa rules and "war game," I decided to try my hand at my own version. Now, this isn't an attempt to subvert or one-up Kaushal's system, but more of an exercise for myself to see if I could take that same basic idea of a large-scale rebellion and turn it into a fun and relatively streamlined mini-game. I'd like this to be an alternative to Kaushal's for anyone interested in this sort of thing, because I think the more options the better. Curse of the Crimson Throne is an awesome campaign, but the denouement comes a bit quickly and with a bit less thunder than I think it deserves. I would highly recommend for any GM getting near the end of their campaign to read through this and/or Kaushal's own system (or make your own!) and consider closing things out with something big and explosive like this.

Having used Pathfinder's Army Combat and Caravan Combat systems, I've come to the same conclusion that I think a lot of people have: d20 doesn't really work for large-scale combat. The more I tried to squeeze the rules into something like Risk the more I felt like I should just play Risk. That's when I decided to pretty much adopt the fairly rudimentary dice rolling system that Risk uses and apply it here. I also really enjoy games like Pandemic and the Pathfinder Card Game, where players race against a clock that is on auto-pilot and get to work together. Here, though, I wanted that auto-pilot to be the city and things that could happen in a city in the midst of a massive political upheaval, and for the players to be teamed up against Ileosa and her forces. I'm also an avid Magic: The Gathering player, and decided to see if I couldn't just go ahead and throw some of that in there too, while I was at it. After a lot of tinkering, testing, re-testing, brainstorming, and scouring the internet for fantasy art that wasn't ridiculous, I came up with a final product, and...

...here it is:

The game was designed to be 5v1 and uses a lot of campaign choices and events from our own story. Some of the cards won't make sense, and that's to be expected, but they're easily adjusted for your own campaign. In fact, if you're into it, I'd recommend really customizing the thing for your party. I did design a lot of the effects to work mechanically regardless of what the flavor or art looks like, so in many cases you'd just need a new piece of art and a new name for the same effect. The game should work just fine as 4v1 or 6v1, but in both cases you'll want to adjust numbers just a tiny bit unless you want it to be harder or easier, respectively.

I've posted links to the Cards, Rules PDF, and Map PDF. Fair warning: this does take a bit of setup and is much, much more involved than Kaushal's version in terms of extra-curricular DM activity. Overall, once I had everything set up, it cost me about $20 US between FedEx printing, card sleeves, poster board (not required), and other bits and pieces, not to mention the time it took to cut everything out and put it all together. It may take more for those with less arts and crafts stuff lying around, but a pair of scissors and some glue will get you there. I also have a ton of card sleeves from MTG, but penny sleeves ($1 for 100) are all you really need, though that's another thing to take into account.

Assembly:

- The cards can be printed off of any printer, really, though there's a lot of color and ink involved. In my opinion it's more efficient to just take it to your local copy center and print it there to be kind to your own color printer. I used a pretty basic version of my MTG proxy process and threw the cards together on Magic Set Editor.

They'll fit in any card sleeve that a Magic card can, and I use a tiny, tiny piece of double-sided tape to hold them onto the advertisements that come in Magic packs. If you aren't familiar with them, you can ask any store that regularly sells and hosts Magic events and they may have a jillion of them lying around, because they can't actually do anything in the game and are, literally, just adverts. "Basic Lands," too, will work, and are very cheap to come by if you're desperate for a cardstock backing. The hero cards went into toploaders (more rigid collector sleeves), but that was just a fun, very unnecessary touch.

- Rules are just the rules. I tried to make it easy to read and colorful, as practice for designing the game, but. Y'know. Whatever man.

- The map is 17.5" x 22.5" (approx. 44.5cm x 57cm). Many thanks to the player of Mickey of the Docks for doing all of the Photoshopping necessary to turn the Korvosa map into a board. I printed this on fairly light cardstock and used a few pieces of sticky Velcro to hold it on a poster board backing. It's a bit squeezed, but if it's any bigger it loses some of its resolution. Feel free to make it bigger if you aren't too worried about that. We tried using Risk pieces and they worked, but were cluttered. Eventually we started just using dice to represent units and it worked very well. I'd recommend that, especially if you have a lot of those little 12mm d6s lying around.

It may need some trimming, but it's good to play off the press.

Any questions or comments, let me know. Especially if a link is broken or something doesn't work. And thanks again to Paizo for making a great campaign, Kaushal for inspiring me, and to my players for putting up with my GMing.


So I've been having difficulties with representing flight in combat on my wet-erase grid mat. I have my players use d8s to represent their characters, with d6s representing enemies, and I haven't found an easy way to incorporate flying into combat. How do you represent how high up a flying creature is, which direction they're facing, whether they're ascending or descending, etc.? It just feels like a headache for me right now.

Thanks!


Hey guys, just wondering how many [if any] of you have experimented with making certain feats like Power Attack, Deadly Aim, Combat Expertise, etc. default character abilities that anyone with a certain strength score, BAB, or whatever can just do. I'm considering going this route for an upcoming e8 Mythic campaign just to sort of get the action going sooner and allow for a bit more flexibility, though I also don't want to fall into a trap. A lot of people see these feats as taxes, others don't, but any opinions or experiences are welcomed!

I'm currently about 60/40 in favor of printing this with my other house rules, but it's a tough call.

Thanks!


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Seeing as we've all got so much martial flexibility now, I figured it might be fun to have a thread devoted to shenanigans, observations, builds, and other things that can be done with the Brawler's ability or the Barroom Brawler feat. Also, for posterity, if this works having a grouping of things for people to look up if they need help figuring out what they're going to do with all that feat access would be nice.

If you can, try to keep it core. If you don't, let us know where the abilities come from.

I'll start with something super simple and straightforward: style feats! Picking up some prereqs for style chains using normal feats gained at odd levels and the bonus feats the Brawler gets lets you use Martial Flexibility to swap between multiple styles depending on the encounter. Since we're so flexible, we can have five or six styles ready to go at level 6, and even usually have our second feat slot unfilled for things like Blind-Fight or Dodge.


Hey guys! So my party is going to be finishing up part of their quest chain in book 4 where Akram joins them for their trek to the wurm. I've been playing up the Cinderlander a bunch and making sure that the players continually find evidence of him and hear other Shoanti talk about how much of a jerk he is. In general they seem to be pretty unimpressed with him, thinking that the Cinderlander only attacks the people of the steppe.

With that, I'm wondering if it would be a bad decision (or if anyone has tried this) to have the party encounter him while with Akram after finishing their deal with Cindermaw. I won't just straight-up kill the truthspeaker, that'd be dumb, but I do want to sort of put the fear of gods into them that their efforts to bring the Shoanti onto their side to retake Korvosa really could go bottoms-up. I have contingency plans and all of that in place in case he does die to a lucky roll or bad tactics on the part of the PCs, but I don't want to throw them a lame softball threat where they can just think "Oh. He won't die. This is just a flavor encounter!"

There is a sidebar that talks about what could happen if Akram fails his diplomacy checks later on to convince the Sun Shaman, and I guess what I'm really after is if this or anything like it has happened in someone's game to where the PCs don't get to become Sklar-Quah? How did it/could it change your game? What did your PCs think about it, or what would you think about it as a PC?

Thanks!


So traditionally in my campaigns the groups I've played with have gotten to an encounter that I call the "Act Together" (as in, get your act together) encounter, where afterwards the party realizes (hopefully) that they've entered into a new monster/challenge paradigm. I encourage my players to strategize with one another, prepare spells and abilities that mesh and work together well, and ask them four or five times before heading into a dungeon crawl whether they want to make preparations.

Now, I'm against hand-holding, but sometimes groups have a bit of trouble figuring out what items/spells/tactics are good to have to ensure their survival and I give them hints. Usually this involves the typical stuff like potions of restoration, wands of dispel magic, remove curse, etc. etc. and for the most part they figure out that they need to start investing in things to keep themselves alive and not blind/missing limbs.

With that said, and unless there's a link to something that has all this, for posterityI wanted to know if any of you had items or spells or tactics that you'd consider good advice for parties that are less experienced, or even things that others may not have considered. I'm talking about stuff like: "Smokestick lets you make stealth checks on practically open ground because of the cover it provides," and not so much, "You'll probably need a scroll of resurrection. And healing wands. Those too."


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Is the second part of "Weal's Champion" for the Holy Tactician always active, or only during the rounds that the Holy Tactician is using Weal's Champion?

Spoiler:
In addition, for 1 round after the holy tactician successfully strikes an evil creature, all non-evil allies within 30 feet of her gain a competence bonus on attack rolls equal to 1/2 her Charisma bonus against that creature as well as a +1 competence bonus on damage rolls. The bonus on damage rolls increases by +1 for every five levels the holy tactician attains (to a maximum of +5 at 20th level). She can grant this bonus against more than one creature at a time. To gain this benefit, the holy tactician's allies must be able to see or hear her, and she must be conscious.

It's just set up as a second part on the ability, and I can't find anything regarding this. The wording is just throwing me off a bit and one of my players insists that it's a permanent ability, which could be supported by the fact that this half of the ability doesn't say "In addition, while Weal's Champion is active..."

Thanks!


Has anyone heard of any plans to make a full-on mythic adventure path / module? I'd love to see what Paizo could come up with on this front. I do realize that it kind of pigeonholes people who don't have the Mythic Adventures book, which is probably a good reason for them not to. I guess just something epic on the world scale that lets the writers use everything they know about the world to combine it all into something crazy.

Even just a module, I suppose, would be cool.


Hi all, I'm getting set up for my next CotCT campaign and one of the big things I wish I had done last time around was make some little tables of general Gather Information (Diplomacy)/Knowledge (Local) information for the players. I've got a good list going now, but I thought it would be fun to have others chime in, and if possible for this to just be a growing list for anyone to use. I'm using DC 10, 15, and 20 for the beginning of Edge of Anarchy, and my intention is to add on a little bit of pre-story for the players before they get summoned by Zellara to make the city come alive a bit and to make Lamm and his operations feel a bit more like they're run by a "crime boss."

DC: 10 - A new/old play opened up, the "Six Trials of Larazod." Not to be outdone by Westcrown, Ileosa requested it be brought to Korvosa, though the local actor's guild refuses to make it lethal. Rumor has it that in another of her fits Ileosa was heard calling Korvosa a "backwater colonial village" because of this...

(introduces players to the city's and the queen's background, and brings them up to speed on how the queen might, y'know, hate the city)

DC: 15 - Big rash of fever up in North Point recently. The Abadarians conveniently stepped in to clean up, for a hefty price. Those bastards are no better than the crime bosses or thieves' guild, I tell you...

(red herring, totally unrelated to 7DttG but may serve to keep players less concerned about the plague later on... =D )

DC: 20 - A recent string of kidnappings of pretty young women in the Old Quarter have prompted the people there to lock up tight and call on the watch. However, the guards don't seem to be helping much and the residents are angry, saying that it's just another case of the city's elite looking down on the problems of the lower-class.

(foreshadowing the Grey Maidens and helps build some tension for the riots to come)

Those are just a few that I've got written down. Post yours!


Hi all, this may be somewhere else but I figured that this fell under the category of homebrews, in a way. I just barely got Ultimate Campaign two days ago for my birthday and I'm pretty impressed with everything they packed in here. Lots of flavor, lots of stuff that'll help my players get into their characters more, which I love. Getting to the optional Campaign Systems got me thinking if anyone has tested them out yet in a campaign, and/or if they're compatible with one another in such a way that utilizing Honor, Reputation, Contacts, etc. all at the same time won't significantly slow down gameplay.

It seems to me that having the optional systems be something that players can opt in on would be the easiest route. The Paladins and Cavaliers can use the Honor rules, the Rogue who is playing around with building up contacts can simply ignore that system, and in this same game the Bard can work on increasing his fame. Any input or experience would be great, I'm planning on implementing these as optional systems for characters that want to work for the bonuses while those who aren't as interested can just pass them up.

Thanks!


Hi guys, just wanted to come on and ask how you do the optional Hero Point rule at your tables. If you don't use it that's fine, but I'd like contributions in the form of (in that case) how you would use it; not really looking for how many people do or don't.

-Do you use the rules as written or add in your own things?

It always felt a little strange to me that hero points had set uses in RAW. I always saw them as an abstract way of allowing the players to kind of tell me how the narrative would/should shift in that one moment to make the story more compelling. So far it's worked pretty well. I had a player use the "cheat death" option when he got nailed by a Slay Living, although I ruled that he was at zero and unconscious with secondary aesthetic things (his hair turned white). In that case it worked out. The opening shot of an evil cleric was intimidating, (un)lucky rolls still worked, and the player got to save himself from the task of making a new character at level 8 and rejoining a campaign in progress (which just sucks). But this brings me to my next question...

-Playing, have you seen any players abusing the system you have?

I haven't seen this so far, but it looks like something that could be exploited. "Guys, save your hero points for the boss and we'll just use them to finish it quicker." That's kind of my issue with a RAW instead of suggested RAI approach; you give written rules to a player and some will stretch them however they can to break it.

The reason I'm asking, mainly, is that I've been using the system for a while, and normally my players forget about it like a familiar until they get caught in a situation where it's really going to come in handy, which has worked so far. But now one of my players is making a character that's essentially based on luck or a heroic destiny, using the human racial feats from Advanced Race Guide and the Heroic racial trait on an Order of the Shield Cavalier with the Standard Bearer archetype. He's actually pretty cool, storywise

backstory n' setch:
Pretty much what you would imagine from a sort of stereotypical fantasy hero. He's a young farmer, his village gets attacked, he picks up his grandfather's sword from the wall and goes to work. Unbeknownst to him (and his family) this sword is a +2 speed longsword, which at lower levels would obviously be pretty nuts. The campaign starts at level 8 so it works out, power-wise. Because he has this crazy sword but has no idea it's magical, he assumes that he's got some sort of greater destiny and other villagers from the surrounding area treat him as a local hero and he becomes a pretty good fighter and leader in his own right. The issue is that because he's never had any formal training, five or six years down the road, he tends to get in way over his head. At lower levels his sword was imbalanced for the challenge rating and he would've thought that he's just invincible, cutting through monsters with an extra attack and hitting pretty often but thinking it's all him. Because of this he has no sense of risk and just goes all out, doing the craziest, most risky things he can and succeeding often because of his Defiant Luck feat, etc. and rerolls from his extra hero points from Hero's Fortune.

Basically, the player's idea is a character that does the craziest, riskiest thing he possibly can in any given situation and uses hero points and other luck feats to come out on top; barely. He wants to spend hero points to do crazy things to get hero points back. The thing is, the RAW for hero points states that you can't get a hero point from an action in which you had to use a hero point. So.

-Should I let this player (with an addendum to the Heroic racial trait) essentially use hero points to gain hero points?

It seems like there's a reason this was included in the RAW, but I also feel like this player would play the character pretty well given this opportunity. He's one of those that doesn't care if his guy lives or dies, so long as he gets to do something sweet. If I let him, he might take over and rush in and be a party-cohesion menace--he might not--and if he has ready access to hero points at all times this could be exacerbated. On the other hand he could play it cool and just do it when it's going to yield the most epicness.

What do you guys think? And thanks for reading the wall of text!


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So with the Fetchlings and Wayangs in the Advanced Race Guide one of my players decided he wanted to play my homebrew here, and I thought I'd put it back up for others to take a look at and criticize. I've tried to balance it as much as I can, but some bits are bound to be lame or crazy I'm sure. For the most part, the Fetchling Umbramancer the player is going to have is a sort of Beta test. Here's the class, and here's the list of umbras.

Let me know what you think! Thanks!


I'm just curious if anyone here has some homebrewed rules or ideas that they use to make tracking with survival more interesting? As is I'm not so enamored with, "Roll survival... You found him!" that's kind of already in game.


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My attempt at converting some of Tome of Magic from 3.5, specifically the shadow portion, into a Pathfinder class. Google doc with some background and flavor(and better formatting)for the class and the list of Umbras are here

Intended as a Magus alternate class, lemme know what you guys think!

Umbramancer

Alignment: Any, though the complex nature of shadow magic and learning to comprehend the world through the alien filter of the Plane of Shadow requires an exceedingly disciplined, organized and unbiased mind. Thus, umbramancers tend to be neutral, although good and chaotic umbramancers are not unheard of.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills: Climb, Craft, Fly, Intimidate, Knowledge(arcana), Knowledge(dungeoneering), Knowledge(planes), Profession, Spellcraft, Stealth, Swim, and Use Magic Device.
Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An umbramancer is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. An umbramancer is also proficient with light armor. He can channel umbramancer invocations while wearing light armor without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any other arcane spellcaster, an umbramancer wearing medium armor, heavy armor, or a shield incurs a chance of arcane spell failure if the invocation in question has a somatic component. A multiclass umbramancer still incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance for arcane spells received from other classes.

Invocations: An umbramancer channels mysterious spells called invocations, ancient and forbidden secrets which call forth effects drawn directly from the Plane of Shadow. Although using a separate spell list from other arcane casters, invocations are cast, prepared, treated, and otherwise act as arcane spells of the same level. An umbramancer must choose and prepare his invocations ahead of time.
To learn, prepare, or channel an invocation, the umbramancer must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against an umbramancer’s invocation is 10 + the invocation level + the umbramancer’s Intelligence modifier.
An umbramancer can channel only a certain number of invocations of each invocation level per day. His base daily allotment is given on the above table. In addition, he receives bonus invocations per day if he has a high Intelligence score.
An umbramancer may know any number of invocations. He must choose and prepare his invocations ahead of time by getting 8 hours of sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the umbramancer decides which invocations to prepare.

Fundamentals: Because of the nature of channeling raw power from the Plane of Shadow, umbramancers must first completely master basic channeling to build a resistance to the pull of shadows, much like building up calluses through manual labor. Through absolute mastery they are able to advance to stronger invocations. Fundamentals act in every way as cantrips, or 0-level spells, and the umbramancer may memorize a certain number each day, as noted on the above table under “Invocations per Day.” These fundamentals are channeled like any other invocation, but they are not expended when channeled and may be used again.

Spellbooks: An umbramancer must study his spellbook each day to prepare his invocations and spend time meditating to maintain his link to the Material Plane. He cannot prepare any invocation not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all umbramancers can prepare from memory. An umbramancer begins play with a spellbook containing all fundamentals plus three 1st-level invocations of his choice. The umbramancer also selects a number of additional 1st-level invocations equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new umbramancer level, he gains two new umbramancer invocations of any invocation level or levels that he can cast (based on his new umbramancer level) for his spellbook. At any time, although exceedingly rare due to the secret and guarded nature of shadow casting, an umbramancer may add invocations to his spellbook found in any other spellbook.

Shadow Pool(Su): At 1st level, the umbramancer learns to tap into the Plane of Shadow to channel small amounts of energy to fuel his powers and enhance his weapon. Because of the inherent dangers of such contact with the plane, the umbramancer’s shadow pool is limited by his personal resistance to the plane’s pull and so has a number of points equal to 1/2 his umbramancer level (minimum 1) + his Intelligence modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the umbramancer prepares his invocations and fully restores his tethers to the material world.
At 1st level, an umbramancer can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 5th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, keen, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the shadow pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the umbramancer uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the umbramancer.
An umbramancer can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends. This otherwise acts as the magus class’s arcane pool for purposes of umbramancer arcana abilities.

Invocation Combat(Ex): At 1st level, an umbramancer learns to channel invocations and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is an invocation that is being channeled. To use this ability, the umbramancer must have one hand free (even if the invocation being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also channel any invocation from the umbramancer spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this channeling also takes this penalty). If he channels this invocation defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the invocation is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. An umbramancer can choose to channel the invocation first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot channel the invocation between weapon attacks. This otherwise functions identically to the magus’s spell combat, and is treated as the same ability for purposes of feats, effects or abilities relating to it.

Umbra(Su): A 2nd level umbramancer begins to explore one of the most important rules of shadowcasting, the law of equal and opposite reactions between the Material and Shadow planes, twisting and shaping effects into coalescing forms called umbras. Each umbra has one effect when it is formed or while it surrounds the umbramancer and a separate effect when its duration ends. At 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter the umbramancer may choose to learn a basic umbra from the basic umbra list. When the umbramancer reaches 14th level he may choose to learn an umbra from the advanced umbra list or a basic umbra, his choice. Each umbra takes one standard action to form about the umbramancer and count as invocations for the purposes of Invocation Combat. Additionally, each umbra expends a certain number of points from the umbramancer’s shadow pool, the total of which is detailed in the descriptions of each umbra. The saving throw for each umbra is equal to 10 + the umbramancer’s level + the umbramancer’s Intelligence modifier.

A listing of umbras may be found here. ** Note, they are not final, just the ideas to demonstrate the basics of the ability. Some might be to strong or weak or weird or whatever, but that’s why I want opinions! **

Umbramancer Arcana: As he gains levels, an umbramancer uncovers ancient secrets of shadow magic tailored to his specific way of blending martial puissance and alien channeling. Starting at 3rd level, an umbramancer gains one magus arcana. He gains an additional magus arcana for every three levels of umbramancer attained after 3rd level. Unless specifically noted in a magus arcana’s description, an umbramancer cannot select a particular magus arcana more than once. Magus arcana gained this way that affect spells can only be used to modify invocations from the umbramancer invocation list.

A listing of magus arcana may be found here.

Shadow Craft(Su): At 4th level the umbramancer is able to channel his increasing mastery of rifts between the shadow and material worlds to pull weapons and small objects out of fissures of shadow as a move action by expending one point from his shadow pool. These objects are grey or black and appear twisted and barbed, seemingly sublimating with a black mist (and indeed are, as they transition back into the Plane of Shadow) and reflecting light in odd and unnatural ways. The umbramancer may create any weapon he is proficient with which manifests in the physical world drawn. At 5th level any weapon created in this way counts as a masterwork weapon and gains a cumulative +1 magic bonus at 10th, 15th and 20th level. As part of the move action used to create the weapon the umbramancer may spend up to two points from his shadow pool to enhance the created weapon. Additionally, the umbramancer may create one object or tool of any shape with a weight of up to 20 lbs., although this object is rigid and may have no moving parts. For instance, an umbramancer may create a small ladder but not a rope or a set of thief's tools (which have multiple small parts). Objects created by shadow craft cannot be employed as material components or foci in spellcasting. These weapons and objects last for 1 hour per class level and disappear after 1d4 + 1 rounds if they leave the umbramancer’s possession.

Pallid Strike(Ex): By abusing the already unstable nature of shadow magic umbramancers are able to prematurely sever the temporary link between the Physical and Shadow planes formed by their umbras with dangerous and powerful results. Once per day at 5th level, and an additional time per day at 12th and 20th level, the umbramancer that has an umbra formed around him may attempt a pallid strike as a standard action, making a single melee attack at his highest base attack bonus and prematurely ending his currently active umbra, immediately activating its end effect with the modifications specified in the description of each individual umbra. If an attempted pallid strike misses the use is not consumed and he may attempt the pallid strike again later.

Bonus Feats: At 5th level, and every six levels thereafter, an umbramancer gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as combat, item creation, or metamagic feats. He must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.

Steel Shroud(Su): At 7th level an umbramancer has begun to master many aspects of channeling solid shadows, particularly that of forming wispy gray-black darkness with steel-like hardness about himself as a form of armor of any shape he desires. He gains a +3 deflection bonus to AC as long as he is wearing light or no armor and a +2 competence bonus on Stealth checks. He may activate or deactivate this ability as a swift action.

Improved Spell Combat: At 8th level, the umbramancer’s ability to channel invocations and make melee attacks improves. When using the invocation combat ability, the umbramancer receives a +2 circumstance bonus on concentration checks, in addition to any bonus granted by taking an additional penalty on the attack roll.

Fighter Training: Starting at 10th level, an umbramancer counts 1/2 his total umbramancer level as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If he has levels in fighter, these levels stack.

Sustaining Shadow(Ex): At 11th level the umbramancer is able to use his bond with the Plane of Shadow to absorb dark energies, eliminating certain biological needs and weaknesses. The umbramancer no longer needs to eat or drink (but still may gain the benefits of effects like that of heroe’s feast) and gains a +4 bonus on saves vs. poisons and disease, magical or otherwise. At 18th level the umbramancer no longer needs to sleep and gains immunity to sleep effects, though he still must rest 8 hours to regain his invocations and shadow pool points, and he also no longer needs to breath.

Improved Steel Shroud(Su): At 13th level the umbramancer masters his shadow armor which becomes darker than the deepest shadows of the Material Plane and takes on a strength and hardness similar to adamantine. The umbramancer’s deflection bonus to AC from steel shroud increases to +6 and he gains an additional +3 competence bonus on Stealth checks.

Greater Spell Combat: At 14th level, the umbramancer gains the ability to seamlessly channel invocations and make melee attacks. Whenever he uses the invocation combat ability, his concentration check bonus equals double the amount of the attack penalty taken.

Shadow’s Embrace(Su): At 16th level the umbramancer can see perfectly in darkness, even in supernatural and magical darkness, gaining darkvision out to 120ft. Additionally, the umbramancer gains cold resistance 10.

Eldritch Vortex(Su): At 19th level the umbramancer has grown so accustomed to the mind-bending complexities and alien nature of channeling his power through the Plane of Shadow that normal arcane magic appears simple and mundane by comparison. As a standard action, by creating a swirling singularity in the Material Plane which disrupts normal casting, any other creature within a 20-ft burst centered around the square the umbramancer is in at the time of its creation takes a -4 penalty to caster level for any spells or spell-like abilities it casts or uses. This vortex lasts a number of rounds equal to the umbramancer’s Intelligence modifier and cannot be dispelled or cancelled, even through an anti-magic field spell or similar effect.

Master of Shadow(Su): A 20th level umbramancer is a true master of shadow, the simultaneous controller of two planes of existence. His creature type changes to outsider and the umbramancer gains the ability shadow jump as a shadowdancer, except that he gains only 80ft of movement per day. He also gains immunity to cold and nonlethal damage.

A pdf for Tome of Magic can be found online; I won’t post any links here, but they’re easy enough to Google.


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Hiya guys, I posted a very unfinished version of this about a week or so ago, but now I've got it about 95% done and would love if you could check it out and give me feedback. Thanks!

Google Docs


Hey guys! This is my first time posting anywhere with a class idea. Hoping for feedback, questions, ideas, criticisms, anything to make this archetype idea I have as balanced as possible for use in a future campaign. Thanks in advance!

https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Xyi9TNaH_pGwNGdak0-dUvXlvN9H4L6DqG RKHkqKhwI