More important, I think, is the clever use of the singular "Race" in the title of a guide to multiple races. You'd have to work pretty hard to ignore the obvious conclusion that it's an advanced guide to the game element called "race", not to a guide to an advanced race (since it contains multiple) or to advanced races (since the title is singular). So, the rest of us can all safely ignore anyone who makes such a strenuous effort to be offended.
Hi, this is my first post here. I've always just been a player, so this is more of a thought-experiment than a homebrew (although I'm considering learning how to GM if I can't find a Pathfinder group). I was working on making a Flame Oracle and some things bugged me, at least in terms of the mystery spells. (The revelations seem fine.) In the process of modifying it, I realized that I needed a new spell.
So, here's how I picture the Flame mystery spell list. That's followed by a request for help writing the new spell, since I've never done that before, and then an explanation of the changes for if anyone cares, all spoiler'd for length.
Flame Mystery Spells:
2nd: Produce Flame (replaces Burning Hands)
4th: Pyrotechnics (replaces Resist Energy)
8th: Wall of Fire
10th: Fire Snake (replaces Summon Monster V, fire elementals only)
12th: Fireside Chat (replaces Fire Seeds)
14th: Firebrand (replaces Fire Storm)
16th: Incendiary Cloud
18th: Fiery Body
What I need help with is writing that new 6th level spell, Fireside Chat. It's like in that movie where the sorceress looks into her own fire, and an image of her face appears in her minion's fire, so that she can give him new instructions after calling him an idiot, outlining his myriad personal and professional failings at length, and hearing his pathetic excuses for why his miserable existence should be allowed to continue. You know the one. (I don't, but I'm sure that I've seen it before.) So, how do I go about turning that concept into a fun, useful, balanced, 6th-level spell? Preferably as a non-cleric spell, for reasons that will become clear later.
If anyone's interested, here's my reasoning for The Changes That I Would Make if It Were Up to Me. It's a player's reasoning, so I'd appreciate feedback on whether maybe I missed something that would make them bad changes from a GM's point of view.
At 2nd level, I didn't like how Burning Hands is so similar in effect to the Fire Breath revelation; variety is nice, and there's no reason not to have it that I can see. If I want a 15-foot cone of flame, then I'll take Fire Breath, thanks. At the same time, being able to bounce some fire around in my hand and then throw it at something would be a good visual reminder to everyone of what I am.
At 4th level, I didn't like how oracles can already choose Resist Energy if they want to. Since oracles are spontaneous casters, it's different from the cleric/druid domain spells. If I were getting an extra free spellcasting per day, then it would be hard to begrudge whatever it was that I could do with that. That's not how it works for oracles, and so with something like Resist Energy, it feels more like having a choice removed than getting a bonus. Anyway, it was tough choosing a replacement, but Pyrotechnics certainly provides different tactical options than any of the others.
At 10th level, Summon Monster V (fire elementals only) has the same problem as Resist Energy, with the further insult of being even more limited than what I coulda chosen on my own. A bit of an easier decision on the replacement, due to the dearth of good non-cleric 5th-level fire spells.
I'm going to skip over 12th for now, since it was the trickiest question. At 14th level, you might think that Fire Storm is a good Flame spell; but oracles can choose it anyway just two levels later, and could've already chosen the oh-so-similar Firestorm mystery three levels earlier. So no. And -- perhaps surprisingly -- Delayed Blast Fireball is too tactically similar to Fireball, at least compared to the new options opened up by Firebrand.
Okay, so 12th level. Fire Seeds are completely druid-flavored, Sirocco would be tactically different but really fits the Wind mystery a lot better, and I just don't like Contagious Flame. I dunno, it seems weird to me. In attempting to justify my dislike, I noticed that the list is stacked with Ways to Burn Critters Up, no doubt because it's hard to think of other things to do with fire. So, I thought of one: the classic cinematic plot device of the hearth fire as videoconferencing tool, which I'm calling a Fireside Chat. Now I just need to figure out how to write it up as a 6th-level non-cleric spell, and I'll be done!
Incidentally, if anyone likes my style and would like to see them, I've also re-done Heavens and Wind in the same way. However, I work a long shift tomorrow and won't see any replies until quite late. Just so you know.
And to anyone who read the whole thing: bravo! You have my gratitude for putting up with my long-windedness, and I hope that you enjoyed it anyway. :)