THIS is exactly my problem. The design decision is obvious all throughout 5e and 4e as well. When you hear 'streamlined design' and 'simplified skills' this has been what's been on the table the entire time. Why did jumping that pit get harder? Am I not higher level? Can I not jump further now? Why did climbing get harder? Am I not a total wombat hero not unlike Batman?
I don't want coin-flip challenges, I want challenges with nuance based on my skill. My Warlock is freaking Iron Man; when I roll for Engineering or Nobility or Spellcraft or Arcana I am all but guaranteed to succeed. The difficulties for those tasks are usually fairly trivial unless I need to know something astronomically difficult, because at Level 7 I've specialized in those abilities... and let's not get into the +21 I'm running on Craft: Armor or Craft: Weapons.
But I'm unlikely, even trained, to be able to flip past my opponents anymore. That skill has lagged behind since Level 3. And I still don't have Know: Religion, Nature, or Planes, despite my high Int score. I can sort of ride, because it's a leisure activity for my Social Persona, and for the same reason I have Perform: Dance and Appraise trained. Once you lock us into these 'simplified systems' where the DC is always "Fourteen plus your level" you've removed our ability to be specialists, and to be special. It's the same issue I had with 'escalating DCs to make your training rolls in this organization mean unless you take a feat to specialize this skill you will always have a 70% chance of failure'.
Level should NEVER be a factor in the DC of your check, unless it's based on Caster Level.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'd never even consider judging a game's success based on 'amount of video content' for example. I'd never think to look for any such thing. Maybe there's an overlap between the PF Players who switched to 5E and those who made videos. If so - how are you measuring the new 5E players who then switched to PF? (Or how do you account for people like me - I run PF Adventures in Golarion using the 5E ruleset. I'm technically a 5E player, but I spend way more money on Paizo products than WotC).
I've seen and heard of this quite a lot lately... It weirds me out. If you're using PF design and adventures, why are you playing with the 5e ruleset? What drove you to the simpler system?
On the flipside, on Sunday I have an AP to run for a full group of Pathfinder newbies who are ready to 'graduate up from 5e'.
NO GIP! DON'T DO IT! IT STEALS YOUR WORDS!
And on to the serious post...
(TL;DR: Some analysis on what was gleaned from the podcast, my stress reaction, individual responses at the end. I don't really like 5e and this pass of the playtest is looking heavily inspired by 5e.)
Physically ill. Having a powerful stress reaction to the game I love so much being so seriously torn to pieces. While the setting is a beautiful thing, I could run Golarion with the Apocalypse World system using nothing more than the Inner Sea World Guide and a little time on the wiki. What brings me back to Pathfinder again and again is the rich flexibility and variation between characters, which we can see from the Podcast so far is being torn to pieces.
I know, I've slacked off. I know I was guilty of not paying enough attention to the community when the time for Superstar rolled around. I know, I worked on my "Behind the Third Eye" and "PAST"-setting material too long, and dropped out of the MCAs early (Which then basically became Advanced Class Guide?), and through depression and injury missed my chance to publish them before Paizo beat me to the punches. (Occult Adventures and People of the Wastes I'm lookin at you!)
... But I always believed. I don't know where the perception came from, but I always believed that Unchained was the chance at 2nd Edition Pathfinder, that we would see a rule update with the Rules Compendium, that the legacy artifacts would be stripped out of the game with a fresh eye and clean language. I thought there would always be -time-. And now suddenly that time is gone.
Just culled from the podcast so far:
These divisive new changes are community killers!
*Skill Consolidation (Proficiency System prevents customization and gradation)
*Critical Threshold (Beating AC by 10 creates a crit)
*Inherent Fumbling System (Because rolling back to back natural 1s isn't punishment enough)
*Homogenity and Striving For Sameness (Simplifications lead to 'one right choice' thinking, and every Shadow Priest starts to look like every other Shadow Priest. MMO-ification. This was supposed to be done away with in 2e.)
*Unchained Afflictions (Now your character too can die from a simple infection!)
*Candy Colored Buttons (Do you need larger market share? Your base can already do math.)
*Divorced Mechanics (Monsters have 'special rules'.)
*Damiel (D-did he hurt you?)
*Skill Attacks (CMD and CMB are a brilliant and elegant solution, and a hallmark of Pathfinderyness. Please don't kill them. Using skills as attacks is a terrible idea.)
These things are fine:
This is a mixed bag:
Please tell me this second edition nonsense is all an early April 1st prank? I certainly don't have 90$ (AUD) to spend on a new core book when I have literally thousands already invested in the PFRPG as it is!
Will I be able to print my Golarion-centric Adventure Path ("World In Chains", because Zon-Kuthon needs more love) as a 1e third party product once the line is dropped?
@Anguish: They didn't get rid of iterative attacks. They're now available from first level. Every attack (you get 3 actions in the currently proposed system) after the first is at -5 to hit.
@Agent Eclipse:+1 my friend. Add a little dizzy, and sweating palms.
Agent Eclipse wrote:
I am in the torn emotions club. My stomach is churning due to how much I have invested in Pathfinder to see it now go the route of D&D. One of the initial reasons I came to Pathfinder was to maintain the feel of the system I loved (3.5).
A final thought:
Don't skip step one because you're so concerned with step three. If the AC is 11 and you have +11 and you roll a 1, you didn't miss by all of it. You missed by less than zero. 12>11 but I miss because I roll a 1. That is, in fact, less than 4. When your attack bonus is so high you can't help but hit, all misses are near misses!
Speaking about the Golarion setting, undead are tainted by the corruption of the negative energy plane. Animated Skeletons want literally nothing more than to eviscerate all the students, the roast pig is as likely to bite one of the patrons to death as the reverse. There are places in the campaign setting in which they state that the sale of onyx gemstones is tracked in something like the same way the US tracks the sale and useage of legal drugs, because of how dangerous they are in creation unfathomably EVIL monsters.
Also, zombies aren't sanitary.
Humans are creeped out by the sight of corpses, and the animated kind much much more so. Only in places like Geb are you going to find undead accepted in common society. I recommend having a long read through the Inner Sea Campaign Setting to get a real grip on the many different cultures and their attitudes on everything from slavery, to drugs, to undead, to lycanthropy.
I drew circles on a piece of paper.
This circle is my infusion mastery: 0 0 0
These are my Infusions:
These are my Metakinetics and my Composite Blast:
I always have 3 to spend on my XO powers. I must gather energy or deal with burn to use my Y powers.
I gather energy as a move action to put up a maximized earth wall. Everything inside the wall when it is cast takes 16 points of damage; anything passing through the wall takes 33 points of damage. There is no save, there is no attack roll. I may now start blasting things with entangling sand-blasts for 12d6+30 damage.
I wrote the little worksheet on the back of my notes in pen and never looked back. It's really quite easy to keep track of as long as you start with a low powered K and move up to a high powered K.
I've been playing my sand-bender since level 1 in Mummy's Mask and we've just recently capped 12. Striketroller FTW. (Plus damage reduction, flight, and earth meld.)
Is it intended for monsters to grab -> constrict -> release -> grab -> constrict in one attack sequence?
Don't neglect your own concept. Every encounter in the module I ran had a social option to make through (bar the trap). Make IC friends and make OOC friends. Find other characters your character will mesh well with, and realize that wizards realize they are squishy, and can make friends with BigDumb McFighter and then turn making friends into making a long-term name for themselves.
Love the look of your half-elf, and any time you want to stab the guy I'm grappling-on-fire feel free. ;)
GREAT post, KitNyx. Faved.
And if you can buy/build/manage an 'apprentice' NPC who can follow your instructions and use your own private materials and equipment to follow your commands and carry out the building while you're not there, creating off of a schematic you have designed, so much the better.
I am creating a set of 22 longswords for the new guardsman contingent of Elysium City. I craft one longsword, focusing on defense and damage, knowing that the NPC guardsmen are going to be -fine- with however much the sword weighs. I pick several heavy alloys and woods from my stock, and assemble the sword. Once it's completed and I'm satisfied with the stats as generated, I go to my NPC 'assistant', who I paid for/unlocked, and enter his dialogue UI. I choose 'make more of these' and give him the sword. He then tells me he needs 22 fir, (which he will make into handles), 220 dolozian enhanced iron (which will make all the metal components of the weapons), and 44 units of pig-leather, to make handle-wraps. I go to my hopper, fill up my encumbrance plus a bit, schlep the eight feet over to him, give him a dirty look for not going over and grabbing the materials himself from the hopper TEN FEET AWAY from him, and then give him the materials. In 22 minutes, my order will be ready.
I then kick back with a mimosa and wait for one of my guildies to come in begging for a new helmet.
So with the above Jaundaluv example, our crafter goes:
Light Armor Smithing >
As lower tier skills, we imagine at some point that Jaundaluv probably bit the crossbow bolt and bought all of the mastercraft skills. Some customizations and themes that can be used, even on heavy armor, might require moderate to high levels of mastery even in the branch that stems from Light Armor Mastercraft. Like, say, Skimpy from being an excellent Light Armor Crafter, or Elk from being a Medium Armor Crafter (knowing how to do hide armor).
So he's spent thousands of training hours on his crafting skills, and in combat, he's officially like, a Level 3 Rogue, but in practice, he's more like a Level 13 Expert.
But making crafting fun, making it a cerebral exercise, and making minerals valuable, comes more from what we learned from playing StarWars: Galaxies. The game had what was arguably an easily broken into crafting mechanic with -incredible- depth. You need durability for your plates, malleability for your rivets, flexibility for your straps, and no one really -cares-, but ideally you need durability for your buckles, too. Once you're into mastercrafting, you should be looking at the quality of your materials. Any schlub apprentice smith can make a suit of chain mail out of pig iron, but you need to first make steel, binding your nickel, charcoal, and iron together to make it bright and strong. Once you're mastercrafting you should be looking at multiple tiers of mastery. If your armor-training skill goes up to 20 to determine just how good you can be at wearing full-plate, the crafter should have 20 levels of certification for 'levels' of full-plate he can craft, each marginally better than the last, and each requiring that level of armor-training to wear effectively.
Then your master smith goes about the world digging in the ground for highest quality iron, highest quality nickel, and highest quality copper, and returns to mix his reagents in the way that only a wizardly smith can... While any apprentice might have dug the iron out of the ground, he probably can't Appraise it the way a master smith can, and probably can't squeeze the best use out during the smelting process...
This means that your armor stats are dependent on the stats of the hides and ores involved in the making of the armor. The same goes for swords. And if the devs give us just a 90 word limit on descriptive text for an inspected or examined object, we can even tell you what we used.
"Jaundalev Greymantle creates his plates from Stoneforge iron, shipped at great cost from the Stoneforge Delve far to the east. He uses premium leather from Scarrowbridge for his straps, fashions rivets from his own high quality copper mine. This blood-lacquered Wolf-Themed Full-Plate was fashioned for his friend Fighter on Abadius the 14th, 1477."
Maybe Jaundalev gets an apprentice who handles a lot of his lower level work, shaping the rivets and buckles for him. Maybe he purchases the services of a company that ships over his iron. Maybe Paladin and Fighter make the runs to Scarrowbridge twice a week to bring leather back from the cow farms there, where they've taken to breeding cows with really, really tough skin. That armor suddenly has a story, and if Jaundalev doesn't make the best breast-plate in the world, he can at least send some of his custom-smelted breast-plate front and backs to the best medium armor crafter in the world, forming a partnership to make fat piles of profit across the nation!
Still, what I'm saying is, make crafting -deep- and involved where materials are concerned. Armor stats should be more than just 'ACP and Armor Bonus'.
My wife and I have been discussing the merits of a game without combat. She's a pacifist, RL, and has only just started to get enthusiastic about a Pathfinder character who deals whopping, steaming, make the GM cry levels of damage. (Thank the designers for a Halfling Titan-Mauler Barbarian... >.<)
Still, when we played SW:G the thing she wibbled on about for -days- was the ability to get in and play a dancer, or doctor, or engineer, and -never- have to swing a weapon. She wants to do much the same thing with PFO, and it sounds like she -just might- get the chance to do that, playing a cleric of Erastil.
Yes. She's going to stay at home in the kitchen and bake me a pie. ;p
Still, gender-roles and the only chauvinistic deity on Golarion aside, to make a character like that playable, you have to make crafting fun.
One of the very best ways to do that is to give characters the ability to really, really, really specialize. Give basic functionality to anyone and everyone, but make it a 10,000 hour trip to be the world's best platemail crafter. IE:
Long, story-driven example:
Jaundaluv Greymantle, the Half-Elven artisan, has set out to be the world's best Full-Plate designer. Our beloved protagonist begins in the neutral aligned nation to start with, betting on his platemail being a commodity all will want, and being basically unconcerned with anything that doesn't begin with comm- and end with -erce. Jaundaluv makes a few friends, a fighter-archetype and a paladin-of-Abadar-archetype, who hope to make use of the craftsman's skills later on.
Hoping for some usefulness in the realm of 'getting the materials I need to craft', Jaundaluv begins with the basic training of the Rogue, learning to sneak and hone his perception, and picking up the weapon skills required to use light weapons. A few hours later, he's already working on his crafting skills, learning basic light armors while Fighter and Paladin trek along beside him, having a merry old time foraging for food, running afoul of some goblins and hobgoblins, and prospecting for decent iron and/or copper. Sure enough, by the end of the day, Jaundaluv has gathered hides, copper, iron, and fiber/cloth necessary to try his first unlocked recipe: leather armor.
Following the clear, large-lettered onscreen instructions with glowing arrows and interesting sound-effects, he places the materials into the forge/bench/widget and creates six leather straps, twenty copper rivets, four iron buckles, a leather armor chest-piece, a leather armor skirt, leather pauldrons, and leather boots. He carries these over to the next widget in the public crafting space, and bangs out his first set of basic, +2 AC Leather Armor.
... A year passes...
After learning all basic recipes, Jaundaluv began specializing in heavy armor. He can master-craft heavy armor out of dragon-hide, mithral, even adamantine. He can stain and lacquer heavy armors in interesting designs and colors, and do chaising in gold and silver. He can theme armor with bats, wolves, crows, bulls, demons, angels, inevitables, fish, flames, ivy, or stags; though he never bothered to branch off and get the themes for butterflies, 'super heavy', 'skimpy', stars, or skulls. Moreover, he can get the most out of his armor well before it's enchanted, making more resilient, lighter armor than most smiths, IF he can get better metal. After seven thousand hours of work, the smith-mark of Jaundaluv Greymantle is known across the River Kingdoms as being the -very- best plate you can buy.
I -just- posted this elsewhere, but Wanted Posters should auto-flag the portrayed individuals for 5x Int hours on inspection. You look at the poster, you remember for a few days that face and what they were accused of.
There's another MMO in development -right now- doing just this, called Salem. No one has floaty names, you have to learn to identify people by what they wear and how they act and trust that when someone says their name is Fuddywuffer Binglebang, that it's -really- their name.
Every character should have a Knoweldge: Local skill that gets tagged every time they 'inspect' another character, PC or NPC, and the fame/reputation of that character gets tagged on them.
Right click random stranger: inspect
Right click random stranger: inspect
mage armor provides an armor bonus... there for it could be argued that it is indeed armor of a kind... bracers of armor could be considered the same, as could a robe of the archmagi (which provides an armor bonus).
It could be argued, but it would be argued wrong. Armor of any kind refers to armor, meaning light, medium, and heavy armor. Bracers of Armor, the Shield spell, and Robes of the Archmagi are none of those things.
Qinggong Monks reproduce magical effects with their Ki. They're supposed to be 'honing their temple' to the point of LOOK AN AMAZING FLYING DISTRACTION! Don't get pedantic. Bonus types are not equipment. Creating stumbling blocks is like trolling yourself. Pointless and silly.
Skeletons and zombies don't suffer non-proficiency penalties for weapons and armor due to their 'creepy cunning'. Which might want to be errata'd into an actual thing.
Rock Throwing, Rend, Constrict, Grab, and many more abilities are RETAINED by the creature when they become undead versions. These are clearly spelled out as (Ex) abilities, and do not rely on magic or proficiency to function. Skeletal wolves trip when they bite, and skeletal T-Rexes can swallow you whole.
I might not make people cut their way out of a skeletal T-Rex though. :D
Command Undead is not a "create mindless undead pet."
Yes it is. It's 'take control of mindless undead minion for number of days equal to your caster level with no saving throw'. It in no way changes the way the undead critter responds to commands given to it.
Happily, I don't have to play in your game, but you're being unneccesarily pedantic when it comes to this. Hopefully your campain world isn't littered with embittered Whispering Way cultists who have hung themselves in frustration.
By the same token, 'it imparts no knowledge' is incorrect. Mindless undead have no knowledge. They have no grey matter at all. They have no intelligence score. Do you have to explain to your animated rope what 'words' are before you can explain to it how to 'tie' and 'untie' knots?
Remember, it's Pathfinder, "A wizard did it" is an amply sufficient explanation.
Summoned monsters come into being WITHOUT speaking the language of the summoner, and automatically attack your enemies. Period. There is no communication required. This 'magical sense' applies to undead 'pets' as well. Remember, this is DnD, "a wizard did it".
The skeleton has an intelligence of -. It doesn't have to be explained what words are to understand what the difference between a man and a woman is. And yes, giving commands to undead is a MOVE action. Only enacting commands you have previously given or very simple commands 'kill' and so on are free actions. You can, by RAW, get away with about six words in a round as a free action. Anything like detailed instruction (and this includes shouting instructions to a five foot square for your blind archer friend!) is a move action.
If a man in the back is wearing a robe and casts a spell, you can also say 'attack the wizard' and the intent of the command follows through just fine. Remember that the PCs aren't speaking english either... 'that wizard over there' could be different from 'my friend the wizard' in the Common Tongue. Don't be pedantic, it makes you a 'dick gm'.
And this is coming from a guy who makes his PCs track ammo and rations and carrying capacity.
But we still have the issue where a newbie GM runs things as presented in the book (ie: My Wife), and kills us all and doesn't know why, and has a panic attack trying to figure it all out. APs are meant to be accessible to the player base, from vet all the way down to first time GMs.
This is like saying that saddlesores give 1d3 dex damage in a cowboy game, and anyone who rides more than four hours a day gets them. No save allowed to resist.
Ah: From Rob McCreary
Rob McCreary wrote:
But the rum ration is mandatory. The big powerful clumsy barbarian with the -1 dex modifier is going to fail that Sleight of Hand check more than 50% of the time, and even his big hitpoints are going to dwindle, healing 1hp a day and taking cats and lashes at level 1.
Worse, the RP aspect: Pirates have -mutinied- for not being given their rum rations. It's a huge deal in the Pirates of the Inner Sea book. Not feeding your crew their rum causes strife and bickering. Pirates -want- their booze. They want to get drunk and unwind. This isn't a naval vessel. Players, particularly those who have taken the Piratical Legacy trait, are going to be playing pirates, and a big part of that is the swilling rum of it all. If you drink rum every night, you die.
How come Tilly isn't dead? She's a rum addict, right?
I cannot help but @.o at this sentiment. Completely mind-boggling. The best experiences I've ever had on MMOs have been in joining RP guilds and developing character while conquering content. If that's not your cup of tea so be it, enjoy the gameplay, and I hope we can make it as entertaining and engaging as possible.
That being said, in an MMORPG of an Table Top RPG, shouldn't there be some... RP... in the G? Support for the hobby shouldn't detract from the gameplay. A rich palette of emotes, postures, movement-modes, clothing options/design, furniture, player content-control, government control, territory dispute, ecology, economy, and social command/control options are powerful tools for RP (as are multi-player/multi-side duels) that in no way impinge on the gameplay aspect, and will, in fact, expand and enrich it.
What specifically NON-RP aspects are you looking for?
I think that's horribad and painfully dumb. Your GM should allow this only if you're war-gaming and want to field units. Or, alternatively, require you to stat and name every single one of them and write up a one page background.
At which point you will be attacked by a remorhaz. Or medium green dragon. Or a colossal acid-spraying stag-beetle. Or two bone-storms. Or fifteen level 3 wizards who cast magic missile every round, thereby requiring you to write another 40 page essay on 'why I will not try to make my party of fifty-eight experts legitimate'.
Most GMs won't even let you take Leadership the first time for the many many reasons why Leadership was in the DMG in 3.5 and not in the PhB with the rest of the feats.
In my heart of hearts... I have a wish...
I wish I could have ten million dollars, all for me, free of entanglements and impediments and investigations, right now, that I could spend in whatever way I wished.
But AFTER THAT... my wish AFTER THAT... is for an MMO with no non-RPers.
Then for the perfect corndog, then intergalactic space-travel, then world peace, then my very own jetpack.
But an MMO with no non-RPers is number 2!
Join a guild who punishes griefers and gankers. ...
As a matter of fact, I just put up a post about forming a guild, since that seems the way to get into the earliest renditions of the game and start giving serious feedback.
I'm a veteran beta-tester, I'm 32, and I'm also a part-time father. I'd be happy to have a few more on hand who also think PvP is for settling duels and not for 'ganking newbs lol'.
Though I do appreciate the EVE model, and think it's been working fantasmagorically well in Champions as well...
All players, one server, no unique names, surnames unique but shared through adoption and marriage anyone?
After an EPIC five hour fight scene, Kimandatsu, Omoyani, four ninjas, two trolls, and a partridge in a pear tree just incapped and captured my party samurai/two-handed fighter/style-monk and our cavalier/holy-shield paladin. The ranger and alchemist escaped, but there's a simple reason they had so much trouble with this highly epic encounter...
Kimandatsu does not live at C6. She lives at C16. My interactive map has C16 where C6 should be. I only realized this issue AFTER the fact.
Bad typo is bad.
I just did an Adamant Interceptor (Paladin/Cavalier) that exchanges spell-casting for a special ability mechanic but I want to keep it proprietary. Further, I've been talking with Elghinn about taking this -whole idea- proprietary, and moving from this 900+ post thread onto a list-serve to continue refining, polishing, and adding content, until we're happy with what we have, and then either going to a publisher, or waiting until my own publishing set-up is ready to rock and publishing through PA Games.
So, digressing from the Aegis Lancer, and asking for the attention of Cartmanbeck, RaiderRPG, Flak, and all the others who have contributed to this thread:
What do you guys think about assembling this content, possibly into more bite-sized chunks, and either pitching the parts to a 3PP, or helping me to launch my own 3PP with custom art for each of the archetypes?
I've just enrolled in university for game design theory courses and creative writing, I'm looking at PDF Publishing suites and racking up the money to purchase the one I'll need, and now I'm trying to bank content. I'd love to have a dedicated team of friends, accomplices, and partners to help me with such a massive undertaking as this. Are you guys interested in professional third party design? If you don't want to get any more involved than you already have, do we/I have permission to use the ideas you've already given us, with proper credits to you?
SO MUCH good content has come out of our thread here, I'm really impressed. I'd like to see everyone get the recognition they deserve here, and I'd -love- to make this more than a casual thing or assembly of home-brew rules.
L10 Paladin Engages Smite Evil vs a Blue Dragon:
*Charisma 20 offers a +5 to hit, and a +5 deflection bonus to AC.
Combat Maneuvers, p199 in the core rulebook wrote:
100% legit and well worth taking. "NO EVIL SHALL ESCAPE MY GRASP!"
Character Name: Gochin Tajima - Samurai of the Jade Throne (Tien Human Two-Handed Fighter 1, No Daichi and Katana), and Tristan "Doesn't Have A Last Name" (Half-Elf Ranger 1)
Character Name: Full Party Wipe
Had Tsutamu stabilize them and drag them away from his precious treasure, but they came back the next day and almost wiped again. I had to give them the quest reward early, let them level, and then come back and get him at Level 2.
These characters really can't fight CR 2 and 3s at level one!
(20 point buy)
James Jacobs wrote:
This gives me "Hero Fits". That's heroism, right there... it's not the queen who is the most heroic character in the story, it's her champions. It's the guys who stood up and buckled their belts and dinged first level when she read the letter. That's the birth of heroes.
"No s#!t, there I was... A dark and stormy night... the old man had just given the little girl bartender her letter and settled into a seat near the fire to dry off the rain. I had my beer half raised to my lips when she started reading, and it stayed there the whole time... I was just a caravan guard, man... I never knew. I never felt the... *need* to be an adventure. To be so bad-a$$ that this perfect tiny little Tian girl would feel safe in the middle of nowhere with just me and my sword to keep her from the ravages of bandits and monsters. Man, I spilled my beer all over myself when I jumped to my feet, just the second she stopped reading, to cheer her on and pledge my loyalty. That's the day I became an adventurer. That's the day I became level one."
If worse comes to worse, you can roll up a character, show up to the game, and when everyone sits down to look at you for what to do next, you look at HIM expectantly.
"Oh...? Oh no! No, I'm not running this game anymore. Ted is. Yeah, he's already more familiar with the game than I am, and I was supposed to be running it, so he's running now. Ask him what comes next."
Hey, if he wants to run the game, let him! It'll give you some time in front of the screen for a change.
Staff of the Cautious Explorer - feather fall, detect snares and pits, knock
Themes are very versatile things...
My DM seems to agree with you, oh wise and eager MagiRodent. She's been working on a tone-down to strip the extreme power of the vampire out and dole it back in little teaspoons.
It boils down to a list of basic starting advantages, a one level penalty (skip the next level you would go up), and then -long- ass lists of options to pick up for each hit-die you have above 4. You basically start as a very strong vampire spawn, then gain abilities to bring you up to par with regular vampires around Level 12 or 15.... but you may be built entirely differently by then.
Have you tested any of that, Nightwish, or read anything to the contrary, or is that just rational thinking? I'd love to get away with a no-penalty vampire just because I joined the Whispering Way, got to level 7 with huge bonuses to my faction score, and then spent a mere 5CPA for the benefit...
Jeff, your PDF makes my eyes bleed a little bit, but I went over it with my GM while we were formatting this little (oh.. my.. god... huge...) blurb for the forum. We're actually fairly close here, except without the 'racial prestige class' mix-in.
My GMs patchfix::
Base Template wrote:
Adaptation (Ex): Choose two of the following damage resistances, which replace the vampire's current damage resistance: Magic, silver, good, wood, piercing. (You may not choose silver and wood).
Animalism (Su): The vampire may exert control over bats, cats, rats, wolves or spiders, as per Charm Animal, 3/day.
Celerity (Ex): The vampire gains the Run feat. It may also gain the effects of the Haste spell for a number of rounds per day equal to its Hit Dice. This ability can be activated as a swift action and ended as a free action. Rounds do not need to be consecutive.
Children of the Night (Su): Once per day, a vampire can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or 2d6 wolves as a standard action. These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds, and serve the vampire for up to 1 hour.
Claws of the Vampire King (Su): A creature hit by a vampire's natural weapon gains two negative levels. A successful Fortitude save halves this. This ability can trigger no more often than once a round. Prerequisite: Energy Drain.
Create Spawn (Su): If a vampire kills a creature of its own base subtype with its blood drain, the victim rises from death as a full vampire in 1d4+1 days. If the victim is a humanoid or monstrous humanoid but not of the same subtype, it instead rises as a vampire spawn. The created progeny is strongly inclined but not compelled to obey its creator: it must make a Will save to disobey a direct order, but will not go out of its way to anticipate wishes. The total Hit Dice of a vampire's progeny may not exceed its own, but do not contribute to any other measure of controlling undead.
Daywalker (Ex): The vampire is not fatigued during the daytime, and does not receive negative levels when in direct sunlight.
Dominate (Su): As per the spell Dominate Person, 2/day. The total number of people you have Dominated at any one time may not exceed your Charisma modifier. Prerequisite: Presence.
Energy Drain (Su): A creature hit by a vampire's natural weapon gains two negative levels. A successful Fortitude save negates this. This ability can trigger no more often than once a round. Prerequisite: Enervating Touch.
Enervating Touch (Su): A creature hit by a vampire's natural weapon gains one negative level. A successful Fortitude save negates this. This ability can trigger no more often than once a round. Prerequisite: Weakening Touch.
Faster Healing (Ex): The vampire's fast healing raises to 5.
Feral Possession (Su): A vampire may possess any animal within 100 feet (as per Magic Jar, except that it does not require a receptacle). The target must make a Will save or be possessed. This happens instantly if the vampire is reduced to 0 hit points and not already staked, and there is an animal within range. If the possession fails the vampire immediately dies. If the possession succeeds, the animal immediately retreats to the vampire's place of rest. If left uninterrupted for 1d4+1 days, the animal transforms into a new vampire with all the same statistics and memories as the original. If discovered and slain during this time, both the animal and the vampire spirit are destroyed. Special: Feral Possession is a Breed Ability. A vampire may have only one Breed Ability. Prerequisite: Feral Stalker.
Feral Stalker (Su): A vampire can change shape at will to assume the form of a dire bat or wolf, as beast shape II.
Flight (Ex): The vampire gains a fly speed of 40, and perfect maneuverability. Prerequisite: Spider Climb.
Fortitude (Ex): The vampire's damage resistance rises to 10/silver.
Gifts of the Night (Ex): The vampire gains two of the following feats: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness. Special: This ability can be selected up to three times.
Greater Awareness (Su): The vampire gains blindsense, and may use See Invisibility a number of times per day equal to its Wisdom modifier. Prerequisite: Improved Awareness.
Greater Spawn (Su): The vampire may create a number of progeny equal to its own Hit Dice. This ability functions as Create Spawn except that the progeny is never a spawn, regardless of its original subtype, and no single progeny may have more than the vampire's Hit Dice minus three. The 5 HD minimum for any vampire still applies, which means the vampire must have at least 8 HD before this ability becomes useful. Prerequisite: Create Spawn.
Horrid visage (Ex): At the mere sight of the vampire's face, any viewer must succeed on a Will save or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same vampire's horrid visage for 24 hours.
Hypnotic Gaze (Su): The vampire gains Hypnotism as an active gaze attack. Prerequisite: Mesmerizing Voice.
Improved Awareness (Su): The vampire gains Ebon Eyes at will, and may use Detect Alignment a number of times per day equal to its WIsdom modifier. Prerequisite: Lesser Awareness.
Lesser Awareness (Ex): The vampire gains Low Light vision, Darkvision to 120ft, and the Scent ability.
Master of Beasts (Su): The vampire's influence over dumb beasts grows to encompass all animals, as per Dominate Animal, 3/day. Prerequisite: Animalism.
Mastermind (Su): The vampire chooses one of the following three abilities: clairaudience, clairvoyance, or telepathy. Depending on the ability chosen, the vampire can hear what its progeny hears, see what it sees, or communicate telepathically with it. The vampire may exercise or end its use of this ability as a standard action, and maintain its connection to its progeny for as long as it wishes. A vampire may only use this ability with one spawn at a time, regardless of how many spawn it has. The vampire and vampire spawn must be on the same plane for this ability to function. While using this ability, the vampire enters a catatonic state similar to its daily rest and is treated as helpless, though it is alerted to any jarring noises, the presence of any visible creature within 5 feet, or any damage that befalls its body. Prerequisite: Create Spawn.
Mesmerising Voice (Su): A vampire can enthral others with its voice at will, as per Fascinate.
Mist Form (Su): A vampire can assume gaseous form at will (as per Gaseous Form, caster level 5th). It can remain gaseous indefinitely, and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability. This form is instantly assumed if the vampire is reduced to 0 hit points and not already staked. Special: Mist Form is a Breed Ability. A vampire may only have one Breed Ability. Prerequisite: Feral Stalker.
Noble Dead (Su): A vampire with this ability possesses an ancient and legendary bloodline. It gains +2 bonus on all Diplomacy checks, which increases to +4 if being used against another undead creature. Additionally, its racial bonus to Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth checks rises to +6, its channel resistance increases by +2, and the DC of all mind-affecting abilities increases by +2. Special: This ability must be chosen when the template is acquired.
Presence (Su): As per the spell Charm Person, 2/day.
Resilience (Ex): The vampire's natural armor increases by +4.
Swarm Form (Su): As a standard action a vampire can change into a swarm of bats, centipedes, rats, or spiders. The swarm has the same number of hit points as the vampire, and any damage done to the swarm affects it. While in swarm form the vampire cannot use any of your natural or special attacks, though it gains the natural weapons and extraordinary special attacks of the swarm it transformed into. The vampire also retains all of its usual special qualities. While in swarm form, the vampire is still considered to be an undead creature with its total number of Hit Dice. It can remain in swarm form until it assumes another form, retakes its original form as a standard action, or until the next sunrise. This form is instantly assumed if the vampire is reduced to 0 hit points and not already staked. Special: Swarm Form is a Breed Ability. A vampire may only have one Breed Ability. Prerequisite: Feral Stalker.
Spider Climb (Ex): A vampire can climb sheer surfaces as though under the effects of a spider climb spell.
Telepathy (Su): A vampire can communicate telepathically with any creature within 60 feet that speaks the same languages.
Telekinesis (Su): As a standard action, a vampire can use Telekinesis.
That Awful Grip (Ex): If both claw attacks hit the same opponent, the vampire may instantly add rend damage (1d6+Str-and-a-half). Prerequisite: Wicked Claws.
Weakening Touch (Su): A creature hit by a vampire's natural weapon gains one negative level for a number of rounds equal to the vampire's Charisma modifier. A successful Fortitude save negates this. This ability can trigger no more often than once a round.
Wicked Claws (Ex): The vampire's slam attack is replaced by two claw attacks (1d6+Str).
Wicked Teeth (Ex): The vampire gains a bite attack, and its Blood Drain ability becomes more effective, dealing 1d6 Constitution damage per round, and either healing the vampire 2d6 points of damage, or restoring 1d6 Wisdom damage earned by not feeding. Prerequisite: Wicked Claws.
Unnatural Aura (Su): Wild, domesticated and trained animals can sense the vampire's unnatural presence at a distance of 30ft. No animal will willingly approach nearer than that, and a DC20 Handle Animal check is required each round to prevent the animal from panicking while within the aura. An animal without a handler does not get a save, and will instantly panic and flee.
Ailing: The vampire cannot tolerate the scent of garlic. It cannot approach within five feet of a whole clove or within 10 feet of crushed garlic. There is a 10% chance that any given person will have eaten garlic recently enough that the scent of it on their breath gives the vampire a -6 to all social interactions with them, and prevents the vampire from feeding on them.
Baneful: The vampire cannot feed from, nor use any of of its supernatural powers against a person who is blessed by a cleric, nor pass through any doorway that has been anointed with holy water.
Buried: The vampire must spend its twelve hours rest in the soil of its homeland. On each day it fails to do this, it loses access to another of its vampiric abilities, randomly determined. Resting again in its home soil completely restores all lost abilities.
Exiled by Erastil: If the vampire does not otherwise have DR/wood, it gains it. If it does have DR/wood, wooden weapons deal an extra 1d6 damage. The touch of living plants deals 1d6 damage to the vampire.
Flammable: The vampire gains vulnerability to fire.
Grip of Sarenrae: While the sun is up, the vampire gains the dead condition. If nothing else gives it the dead condition during this time, the dead condition is removed when the sun goes down.
Grotesque: The vampire looks completely unnatural. It takes a -10 penalty to any positive social interaction, including all uses of Diplomacy.
Impious: Any holy symbol of a good deity is anathema to the vampire. It is highly reluctant to approach one, or a building or person displaying one. After one round, it may overcome its revulsion of the object and function normally (including attacking the bearer) with a DC 25 Will save each round. Failure in this will save means it recoils, and must stay at least 5 feet away. If a believer presents a holy symbol, the vampire treats this as a Cause Fear spell, Will save DC 25 to resist. Normal immunities to fear do not apply in this instance, though bonuses and modifiers do. This effect is supernatural and not sight-dependent. A vampire cannot ignore the presence of a holy symbol by closing its eyes or casting a darkness spell.
Impure: The vampire cannot cross a line of salt, and the touch of salt burns like holy water, dealing 2d4 points of damage per round of contact.
Judgement of Sarenrae: On the vampire's first round of exposure to direct sunlight, it is staggered. On its second round, it explodes. And dies. Until it is dead.
Necrophyte: Any living humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature the vampire kills with a supernatural or extraordinary vampiric ability raises in 1d4 hours as an uncontrollable zombie unless blessed and properly buried. These zombies automatically pass any saving throw against any effect that would control or halt them.
Pestilent Aura: All creatures that come within 5 feet of the vampire must make a Fort save to resist contracting a given disease. This disease must be chosen when acquiring this ability, and cannot thereafter be changed. It must be a disease that the vampire was exposed to in life. Any creature that successfully saves against the pestilent aura cannot be affected by the aura of that same vampire for 24 hours.
Pharasma's Bann: The vampire cannot voluntarily cross running water - neither by swimming, nor by bridge, nor by flying above, nor by passing under it through a tunnel. Being forced to do so sends the vampire into a catatonic state for 1d3 hours. The water must be freely running in a natural channel and relatively free of contamination for this restriction to apply - shaped, unnatural or contaminated water such as runoff from a rain gutter, a decanter of endless water, or the sewers of a city cause it no problems.
Rejection of Abadar: The vampire cannot touch gold without being burned, as a direct hit from a flask of acid.
Scorned: No matter what, you can be determined as a vampire with a DC 12 perception check. Neither mundane nor magical disguises can obfuscate the taint of undeath that surrounds you.
Selective: The vampire can only repair the wisdom damage from the Thirst using victim is of its own subtype, regardless of the means by which it does so.
Sensitive: The vampire is enthralled by music. It will not willingly enter a building where music is being played, nor approach within thirty feet of the source of music. If music is played within thirty feet of the vampire, it must make a will save with the DC equal to the Perform check of the musician/s.
Wrath of Shelyn: The sound of bells ringing causes the vampire damage as if it were an object targeted by Shatter. Treat this as caster level 1 if an ordinary bell (such as a shop bell), caster level 3 if a bell rung in celebration (such as to herald a royal birth), and caster level 5 if a church or temple bell. This effect is supernatural in nature, and cannot be blocked by silence spells or more mundane means such as stuffing its ears with wax.
Unnatural: The vampire cannot enter an area where flowers are growing or where fresh-cut flowers are displayed, nor feed on anyone wearing a fresh flower.
Unshriven: The vampire cannot bear the sight of its own lack of reflection. It must succeed on a DC 20 Will save to enter an area where a mirror or any reflective surface is visible, even the rough reflective surface of a wet cavern wall, or an opponent's shield. This effect is sight-dependent - shattering a mirror, turning it away from the vampire or draping material over it allows the vampire to enter the area.
Unwelcome: The vampire cannot enter a private home or dwelling unless invited in by someone with the authority to do so.
She says this is all Work in Progress type stuff, and she's very very eager to hear more on it. We tried to stick to RAW and Paizo Formatting as much as possible.
I've added these spells to my necromancer spellbook in our Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign, and am wondering what the community thinks. Is there anything in here I need to fix to make them game legal, and is there anything I should fix or alter to make them more balanced?
Opinions and constructive criticism please!
Shadow of the Grave
Channelled Necrotic Infusion
Channelled Necrotic Siphon
Channeled Bone Dance
*If the target has been infected by a Channeled Necrotic Infusion the skeleton created has maximum hit points per hit die.