I ran an ape-themed adventure a little while back that used quite a lot of them. There were girallons which I kept pretty much as-is, but paired them with a bunch of gorillas with Athletics and Brute talents. So the girallons largely stayed put while the other gorillas ran around tossing PCs into their blender.
I also added plenty of Berserker, Gladiator, and Guardian to my King Kong. It was a nice way to add survivability to a big, solo monster without just pumping numbers to absurd heights. Sure, the party could focus fire and tack on debuffs, but he was going to get his swings in.
With the number of Akashic classes nearly tripling in the past 6 months, I think that side of things is in pretty good shape. The gap at this point is more Passions, Philosophies, etc. It was mentioned those are upcoming in Co7S, so we may be in pretty good shape there. Beyond that, more veil sets are always fun.
That pretty much requires declaring your entire set of actions at once. It’s not the end of the world, but it locks things up somewhat awkwardly. If I move and attack, I have to know ahead of time whether my attack will drop the target and I can move to the next target, or if I need to use a second attack.
I hope most, if not all, combat maneuvers are not considered attacks and therefore do not stack with the attack penalty. Giving up my -10 attack in exchange for a disarm is a not great/not terrible option. They lose an action and the use of that weapon for any reactions in the meantime. If it’s at the same -10 as my attack would be, it’s just as unappealing as it is now.
You can certainly introduce SoP into your game without converting everything and everyone. If the verisimilitude is more important than saving yourself the trouble, go ahead, but IMO there’s no pressing balance concerns with mixing the two. As others have alluded to, one of the big appeals of the system is bringing character concepts online faster and easier than standard Pathfinder typically allows.
Spheres of Might uses the same framework and a lot of the same terminology, but by no means are the two systems a package deal. I would actually recommend different approaches to introducing them to your games. While converting vancian casters to SoP is better done as an all-or-nothing proposition, or better yet reconceived from the ground up, SoM lends itself really well to dabbling. Have a boring mundane opponent? One of those where they can do a lot of damage on a full attack or charge but nothing to speak of otherwise? For the cost of an uninteresting, swappable feat (do they really need skill focus?) you can give them an interesting tactical option.
The problem I've found with OA is that in the end, it isn't that different. There's a fair share of new rules and mechanics. Many of those, particularly the kineticist, are presented in a particularly complex way. The payoff is classes that often don't fill a high-demand niche or do so in a way that makes for a substantively different gameplay experience. Medium tries to do the 3.5 Binder, but in a way that is determinedly unweird.
That means that a lot of people, like myself, who want something new and interesting don't find a whole lot to sink your teeth into. I wasn't a huge fan of 3.x until the later days and crazy subsystems that dared to do magic differently. I have little interest in taking the same old mechanics and reshuffling things. When the pitch for ACG was "we're making a book of classes that are just a mix of old classes," it was clear I was not the intended audience. Instead, I'm the player/GM who gets their fix in 3pp. Some good, some bad, but consistently fun if what you want is magic that doesn't just consist of "casting spells."
Elsewhere in the player base are those who enjoy an experience with a limited set of "classic" options. Your Core-only folks, for instance. Overlapping that is a set that has never liked psionics in any form and probably never will.
You could make it a dual function of the veils themselves, but that seems fiddly. How do you do it without 1) unnecessarily pairing social and vigilante effects and 2) making veils that play poorly with other classes? What if the class came with a set of "veil mirrors" where your social identity could make use of having something shaped/bound to certain chakra? So as long as you have something shaped to Hands, you could invest it in the Social Identity Hands Receptacle*.
*with a better name, of course
There are a few talents that do things along those lines. Athletics: Scale Foe has built in bonuses that roughly cancel out the opponent's size advantage to CMD. Athletics: Close Quarters Training gives you soft cover in their square. Scoundrel is all about this, letting you use Dex and Sleight of Hand for steal and dirty trick maneuvers, and the base ability applies the CMD-reducing battered condition. Fencing has plenty of talents related to feinting, but not much that would cancel out size differences as far as I can see.
So long as my attack horse can ride my bear if I want.
Well here's my first crack at the Rhino Lancer.
Rhinoceros of Might
N Large animal
Init +0; Senses scent; Perception+12
AC 16, touch 9, flat-footed 16 (+7 natural, –1 size)
hp 42 (5d8+20)
Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +2
Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +8 (2d6+9)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks powerful charge(gore, 4d6+12)
Str 22, Dex 10, Con 19, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +3; CMB +10; CMD 20 (24 vs. trip)
Feats (Proficient Talent Progression)
Skills Perception +9
SPHERES and TALENTS
Lancer, Advancing Carnage, Calculated Violence, Gore Toss, Whirlwind Knockdown
At the expense of some fortitude and perception, the rhino now has solid options in combat other than charge, which is still iconically the go-to.
Yeah, the ideal for me would be to keep enough of the spheres and talents weapon agnostic so that it doesn't require unique natural weapon talents. This makes it more fun on the DM side - the example I think of is a rhinoceros with Lancer and Berserking spheres - and gives other options for natural attack PCs beyond "gain as many as possible." Let the catfolk striker make use of Boxing with her claws.
Seconding what Cyrad said about difficulty in balancing point buy modular classes. Anothe problem is such a system is rather unapproachable for new players. Classes are nice & simple to parse and there's an assumption that the features built into the class will let the player accomplish what the class is described as.
Agreed. Mutants and Masterminds is a blast to play, even as a new player, because you can so specifically represent a concept you have in mind before you get any game-specific notions. It's a beast to ask a new player to try and build for, though.
How much would it help if casters had to learn spell chains? You can't learn Gate unless you spend a certain amount of your lower level spells known on summoning spells.
Having played by this system in a long-running game, please no. Functionally, no one will ever cast higher than a 2nd level spell straight up unless it's out of combat. What they will do is go wand-crazy, as that's a full on workaround.
Goth Guru wrote:
So, are you thinking something along the lines of: a feat for Elf Inquisitors has a little symbol or keyword next to it indicating it is Golarian-only?
Gotcha. Sounds like a sorceror with an appropriate bloodline would technically work, maybe that warlocky vigilante archetype, but if you want to reliably get the latent fiendish abilities vibe without working around components and spell failure chance, thaumaturge would still be a good way to go. It's also a lot friendlier to multiclassing with non-casting rogue levels.
Hey look, another thread where I get to be the token 4e defender! Just want to point out that pretty much every "they fixed this in 5e" that's been brought up was actually fixed in 4e and then arguably not unfixed switching to 5e.
Both martial/caster disparity and the 5-minute workday go away with the AEDU system. Yeah, it's possible for everyone to blow all their daily powers and insist on resting after every encounter, but that's not a widely disparate problem across classes. Everyone can do it or no one can do it.
Feats aren't there to gate actions, they either improve the likelihood of success, or improve the result. You don't need Mounted Combat to fight from horseback, you want it to gain bonuses to doing so.
Plus, you have the simplified action economy of standard, move, minor. Any continuous effects cost a minor action to maintain.
The question I have to ask is: what is it about the warlock that the player wants? Is it the all-day magic? the pact theme? The one invocation where you turn into a swarm of bats? The answer to that will help steer you in one direction or another. If we're looking at replicating a very particular build, it might get to the point of just tweaking the 3.5 class. Drejk's suggestions are a solid start.
If we're open to more broad suggestions (3pp in particular), Spheres of Power might be a good route. The Thaumaturge, in particular, is intended for characters focused on a limited set of powers (comparable in number to a warlock's invocations) and a spooky, forbidden magic theme. It's not a perfect match, as there is still a pool of spell points used to enhance abilities, but it's an idea.
Oh, it would be cool. I just wonder if there's a biomagical connection between the Frostbite ability and the breath weapon. Basically, is it all super cold air hanging out in the throat, and the winter wolf expels a little bit with every bite and occasionally blows out a bunch as a breath attack? If so, why can't they also use the breath weapon in humanoid form?
It helps that these classes don't look all that different in-game from a core fighter and wizard. Sure, they play very differently. That's the appeal of them. But to the average onlooker, a warder is an armored guy with a sword (or axe, polearm, whatever) who stabs, parries, ripostes, blocks, and slashes his opponents to death. To a trained eye, yes, he uses an unfamiliar style, but there's a bazillion different styles in the world already. What's one more?
The sphere wizard is very much the same. She throws down zones of darkness and light, conjures illusions, and summons bizarre creatures to aid her. She can travel great distances in the blink of an eye and smite her foes with fire and ice. Sounds like a wizard, right? Now, those who see her heal the injured might wonder if she's some sort of hybrid cleric, or maybe a druid when she commands a tree to wallop an orc, but she did say she studied at that unpronounceable foreign academy, and there's all sorts of odd sorcery bloodlines. Maybe it's like that. It is kind of impressive how she has so much stamina for magic missiles, though.
Knight Magenta wrote:
I really like this idea.
Put me down for a 15' cone level-one option. I'd be happy to see it a couple different ways. You could either do it as an additional simple blast. It would work well for fire and aether, both of which should have an additional option. It would also be good as a level one+burn one form infusion.
As an aside, while I see the comparisons to the 3.5 warlock, it's the 4e elementalist sorceror that this class seems to be modeled more closely after.
In the class description under "Role," it says that their limited healing ability primarily provides temporary hit points. Should this have been included in Touch Treatment or is there another ability I'm missing?
Edit: never mind. Psychosomatic surge.
Might not be bad to add some to Touch Treatment, though.