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Maxximilius wrote:
If you are refering to your mind-reading bard archetype thread where I answered you would spare yourself the headache by playing an inquisitor, I apologize if you took it badly. When I design characters or rules I tend to see beforehand if what I write can already be done efficiently within the system, and it probably reflected in my answer.

I did. And I shouldn't have. The internet is notorious for lacking tone. I also have other things going on that I shouldn't project onto others. I apologize.

Maxximilius wrote:
TeShen wrote:
And I think Dazing Assaut is a crap feat. . .
You may activate it on an attack of opportunity, meaning that if you have reach or even are able to land AoO regularly (Greater Trip, Broken Wing Gambit, Paired Opportunist, barbarian's Come and Get Me), you may lock for 1 round any character failing a saving throw, which they'll have to roll so often they will eventually fail. This feat is awesome.

So... You can choose to take a –5 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to make creatures you hit with your melee attacks take no actions for 1 round (this has no impact on AC), in addition to the normal damage dealt by the attack. A successful Fortitude save negates the effect. The DC of this save is 10 + your base attack bonus. You must choose to use this feat before making the attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn.

I don't know about you, but the 10 + 1/2 level + stat mod for most other class abilities or feats with saves is going to be the same or higher for everyone that's not a full base attack class, and the effect will last longer than a round. Though limited use, most of these things aren't a heavier penalty to use than say, a curse. :\

mplindustries wrote:

. . . I think Durable Arrows are the real problem. When I played an archer recently, . . . Not to mention that Ghost Salt blanch works for 10 arrows, rather than a single hit with a melee weapon. . .

An Adaptive Bow costs 1k and adjusts to any strength level. The difference between the average damage of 1d8 vs. 2d6 is 2.5 (4.5 vs. 7). If you have a 22 Strength, your two-handed weapon is dealing 3 more damage from strength than my bow, and say, at level 8, your power attack is dealing 3 more damage than my deadly aim. That's a difference of 8.5 per hit. Oh, except you attack twice (at best) and I shoot 4 arrows a turn, three of them at full BAB.

I also make Full Attacks more because I almost never have to move. And anything I add to attacks (weapon training, smite, favored enemy, weapon spec, weapon enhancement, even pointblank shot) adds to 4 hits instead of 2. . .

Well... that's what comes when I don't 'do the research'.

Pathfinder is an occasional thing with my group. The majority of which comes up with a specific DM. So it's apparent my experience is at least a few months, if not more so, out of date.

I also conclude that many of the instances that I am assuming are being presented, don't happen with my group, so, as the expression, the mileage varies. Between cover from woods (which seemed to be most of terrain in the last ongoing campaign) and water and fog (in the current) I've had absolutely no success with ranged. Nor have any of my party members spec'ed for it.

I will have to do some more reading.

Wind Chime wrote:
Archery blows non-pouncing melee's out of the water but that is more a problem of the action economy.

Ah... and I am mostly accustomed to seeing pounce builds and the like. So that may be where my first problem truly lies...

Maxximilius wrote:
Because melee fighters need a little more candy to counterbalance their inherent weakness and some poor feats, and I personally love having an array of balanced and unique choices begging to be chosen. . . Glad you like them though.

This is where I should back up and apologize. I understand that this is the homebrew section. And when I asked for help or suggestions brewing for one class recently, someone suggested I play another class. I suppose I was being petty.

I agree with you that melee needs help. I've always wanted to see feats that scale, but haven't really yet. I remember OneWinged4ngel on another set of boards making good points about versatility in play over adding more +s creating an arms race... I just don't play enough to see all the holes.

Maxximilius wrote:
Because this feat sucks and does something that I think shouldn't even be a feat, hence the exploit mechanic.

Then fold it in as a minor class feature, or have different classes use different mods for skills [have Intimidate(Str) be in the fighter skill list!] or better yet, maybe make skills key to either/or ability mods.

But that's really past this class design and well past the point for which I was asking clarification.

Maxximilius wrote:
Same thing for Reach Breaker: readying an attack to touch the enemy's hand should not be a feat (or even the feat allowing you to bull rush a rider out of his mount with a braced weapon). . .

I agree. I'll go one further. I think actions like these don't need special circumstances. I think every character can try something if the player can explain it well enough. But I can see why you'd actually want to codify things like this, because some players and some DMs don't have that belief.

Maxximilius wrote:
An Improved Break Reach would be too powerful for an ability usable several times a day. You may already daze the guy with the Dazing Assault feat with a high BAB, or by using a sunder/trip/disarm combat maneuver instead of a normal readied attack. . .

And with your refresh mechanic, I don't really know if I'm going to have more than one exploit a day... so we're still good.

And I think Dazing Assaut is a crap feat. Maybe you get one round in which they don't act. Give me a real debuff. Is it even clear if it's full round non action?

Maxximilius wrote:

I'm not here to belittle other people's opinions, nor is there "hate" toward archery - merely frustration from all people of our group and a lot of people online, including from players who played archers (mplindustries' testimony, one among a thousand). The nerf does not neuter archery, it actually makes archers potent instead of game-breaking. Archers still have the advantage of range, many others included in the document's analysis.

Here are some answers to your concerns:
- the price of arrows is not an issue if the price of bullets is not problematic to a gunslinger (and it isn't after 2nd level);
- dealing "only" 1d8 damage is not an issue when you actually roll a handful of them per round and there is a +XX behind each arrow, not even accounting for Gravity Bow spells or effects;
- TH combat may deal 1.5 times Strength bonus to damage, but dealing this damage regularly is totally another thing that is not an issue with an archer who will deal damage way more often for the difference between composite and TH melee to actually matter. With Point Blank Shot and Manyshot, you are actually dealing a base 2d8+4+(Str bonusx2) against enemies within 10 feet, so damage equal or higher to a same level TH fighter;
- the comparison to TWFing is there to show than Rapid Shot is basically TWFing on steroids, on a style that -does not need- so much love;
- the rock/paper style of D&D is kept with these alternate rules, especially since I'm a great fan of the Fire Emblem series and this probably reflects in how I visualize each role or style: archery deals damage often with precise strikes from afar and gets in trouble when engaged in melee, big weapons deal big damage at the cost of AC and vulnerability to ranged attacks, shields improve your AC and group utility at the cost of damage and feats, one-handed weapons can be wielded in more situations and are easier to wield and protect, etc.

All decent points. I will reflect...

Maxximilius wrote:
[EDIT: Not even including the fact that if we want to go the "weapons replaced others because they were more efficient" way, then all D&D characters should use firearms, bows should be exotic weapons wielded by guys who are already dead if you ever get within 10 feet of them, and crossbows would pierce anyone with a full-plate. . .

It hasn't reached the break over point yet. And if it had, everyone would. (And firearms wouldn't be exotic...). :)

Maxximilius wrote:

. . .

- the Heroic Fighter, a variant of the fighter class compatible with all existing class options. It is intended to provide a more heroic feel to the fighter by cutting his dependency to spellcasters and granting him "exploits", a feature similar to talents and deeds.
. . .

Because I've had someone tell me something similar recently, if you want grit or ki, why don't you just play a class that gets it?

Seriously though, I do like what you've done. You've incorporated the passive ability bravery, and added some horizontal power without too much vertical power... trading bonus for a single use ability. I really think a few of the abilities need just a little more oomph, but I don't know how.

As for a few individual exploits, the Strong Impression exploit... why not the Intimidating Prowess feat so you can do that all the time, or did you mean that to help fighters who dump charisma? The Reach Breaker exploit. It just lets you hit somebody once that you couldn't normally hit without provoking. Have you considered possibly having an improved version that actually interrupts attacks? Possibly a 1 round save or daze if hitting a natural weapon or a save or disarm/sunder if striking a weapon with reach?

Maxximilius wrote:

. . .

- the rules for Archery revisited, reducing the sheer potency of archery while making it fit better in the whole "agile, mobile and precise damage dealer" theme, including an analysis of the reasoning behind the changes. It comes complete with 2 simple conversion rules to introduce these new rules in your game, and 3 famous feats for ranged combat rewritten to reflect this change of orientation !. . .

Why the archery hate? Granted I probably will be shot for 'not doing the research' but you lose ammo, so it costs more, so DR penetration costs more... so they made a feat to fix that. Bows typically do 1d8 or 1d6 while melee weapons I see in use do 2d6 or 1d10 and benefit from strength and a half as well without having to buy it that way. Comparing it to two weapon fighting is disingenuous because two weapon fighting has always been a poor option unless you have some sort of supplemental damage, like sneak attack, to make it worthwhile.

And sometimes... making everything absolutely equally valid options destroys believability. There is an element of rock paper scissors in D&D for me, but some weapons replaced others in history for a reason... And if in a fantasy history game, you've invested almost all of your character levels and cash, as you've illustrated in your tweaks docs, then the character better be amazing at the thing in which he invested or the player is Doing It Wrong. I would respond to a few specific points you raise but I think you already have your opinion and I have mine.

jalroy wrote:
. . . Anyone else out there think this could be a good combo?


Yes I do.

Possibly the amateur gunsmith and extra grit feats in place of the monk's first level bonus feat.
At second level, allow the gun to be treated as a monk weapon and the pistol whip deed (for 0 grit cost) to be taken in place of the second level bonus feat.
Allow a monk to select a deed as if a gunslinger two level lower in place of the following monk class abilities: slow fall (4th), high jump (5th), wholeness of body (7th), diamond body (11th), abundant step (12th), diamond soul (13th), quivering palm (15th), timeless body (17th), tongue of the sun and moon (17th), empty body (19th), and perfect self (20th). This replaces the monk class ability the monk gives up.

(Yeah, I obviously ripped from the qinggong monk.) I don't really know if it balances. For some reason, I get the feeling that a lot of the grit abilities won't synergize with monk abilities... And actually, having two different resource pools depending on wisdom might not be a bad thing... I will ponder.

Maxximilius wrote:
According to your needs, it seems to me you would be better playing an Inquisitor (great bonuses to sense motive, multiple spells to change your looks, acquire informations and help allies; check out Illumination, Conversion, or Truth inquisitions) or a Witch (quick access to spells and shapeshifting, hexes to aid allies).

Both good suggestions. I'm not really intrigued with inquisitors, but they are sound, and I really like casters. Witches are very fun and customizable.

Maxximilius wrote:

You could look out for the mindbender psion or tactician psionic.

You should also read Rite Publishing's Taskshaper on d20pfsrd.com, as it is basically a doppleganger class able to copy looks and class abilities and disguise itself.

Not familiar with the Taskshaper, but I will fix that.

I have played psions, and for Kingmaker I played a telepath/thrallherd. I am familiar with, and also like, vitalists (the new society mind) and tacticians. However, the DM for the current game I'm in dislikes anything with leadership or minions. This includes summoners, conjuring, and druids and rangers (because of animal companions). I didn't make a vitalist or tactician because I was afraid I would want more skill points (I never have enough), and to appease the DM, I went with bard. I find it... serviceable. I have looked at other archetypes, but find them unappealing for one reason or another (I want this but not that...). So I thought I would tool around with it.

Thank you for your... suggestions.

I was reminded recently of a psionic version of the bard called the Thought Singer for 3.5... and though I cannot find it anymore, the psychic medium over on the pathfinder database has shades of it.

I want something like it, and I do like psionics, but I don't know if I want to swap out casting just yet. I did, however, want to inject a bit of doppelganger, with the ability to read thoughts, short range telepathy (which admitted doppelgangers do not have), and possibly the ability to appear as someone else. I know that alter self and detect thoughts could be picked up by bards at 4th level as spells, but that just seems a little long to wait as sometimes my DMs like to take the slow advancement track or favor 'gritter' campaigns.

I was thinking...
Thought Projection (Su):This ability functions just as the special ability telepathy except the range is limited to 5' per 2 bard levels.

This ability replaces bardic knowledge.

Reading the Crowd (Sp): A bard of 3rd level or higher can use his bardic performance to peer into the minds of the surrounding audience. This ability functions just as the spell detect thoughts with the following changes. It lasts as long as the bard performs. Its range is a 30' radius with the bard at the center, and allows the bard to sense the presence of thoughts, the number of thinking minds in the area of effect and the Intelligence scores of each as the 1st and 2nd round of the spell. The following round, he can sense thoughts as the 3rd round of the spell. For every audience member he reads in this way, he gains a +2 insight bonus to the next bluff, diplomacy, intimidate, or sense motive against the character. This bonus lasts for a number of rounds following the performance equal to the amount of rounds spent performing. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the bard has attained beyond 3rd (+3 at 7th, +4 at 11th, +5 at 15th, and +6 at 19th).

This ability replaces inspire competence.

...and I don't know if these are good or even balanced... or where to put the rest, so... yeah.

I also was thinking about a Chi Bard archetype. I mean, if rogues can have Ki pools now, why not? Possibly emphasize the serenity aspects of performances somehow, and go from there. I imagine having a ki pool would sub in at 3rd level (I do so love getting rid of inspire competence). Suggestions?

AerynTahlro wrote:
. . . That said, it's generally not a good practice to give class features from other classes as an ability to a different class (or as a feat).

Madness. Both Druids and Monks have Timeless Body. Ninja gets Rogue Talent, and then can pick up Extra Rogue Talent as a feat... the books are littered with... some... exceptions.

When I think of Youth as a Domain, I think of Persephone...

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Tirisfal wrote:
. . . a Cleric of Ke$ha. . .


I'm not touching ensemble... but as for forever young, I would almost add a doubling of the age categories, with the stipulation that the character does not revert to a previous age category, so they do indeed live longer. There was an elf friend prc in 3.5 that did something like that.

What about a +1 damage per monk level per Wisdom mod. It scales, so no dipping. Also, possibly adding an ability ignoring 1 point of hardness per monk level, and 1 point of DR per 2 monk levels, calling it iron palm or something, so you are ignoring hardness and DR gradually rather than waiting for certain levels?

Helpful or no?

Umbranus wrote:
Booksy wrote:
@Umbranus, Enlarge Person only effects Humanoids. Tieflings are Outsider(Native). You'd have to have a custom spell Enlarge Outsider.

Oh, you're right. I missed that one.

That reminds me: I enlarged our partys aasimar barbarian during last session. Would not have workes but nobody noticed.

You could just go with the Faerun 'fix' making them count as both human and outsider for effects... if you want.

Related to Dreaming Psion's comment expansion would do it once you can spend 7 pp, effectively a 4th level spell 'slot'. So a 7th level psychic warrior (6th level with overchannel), a 5th level wilder while surging, or a 7th level egoist (6th with overchannel).

Fastmover wrote:
I didn't know that you could blend two arch types together.
PFSRD wrote:
. . . A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the base class as another alternate class feature. . . .

To the OP, I would ask if the GM would allow retraining.

Zardnaar wrote:
That one spell could be sleep though.

And? Being useful for 6 seconds at low levels justifies being relatively useless for the rest of the day?

A lot of the frameworks are fine. Individual spells need nerfing. I also think tier 3 or tier 2 is about where I want to play, not tier 5.

CunningMongoose wrote:
. . . No multiclassing allowed. . . (and lots of other stuff). . .

Wow. You have just completely destroyed the ability to accomplish certain character concepts.

Cheapy wrote:
With a title like that, nothing good can come from this thread.


Lockgo wrote:
Want to make a Green Lantern like character. . .

I would first suggest a Shaper (Metacreative focused Psion). If that's not meshing with your vision of how they behave (as in you want a more melee centric version), consider a soul bound weapon psychic warrior.

Distant Scholar's suggestion is good, too. :)

I would almost suggest that it has some sort of obvious visual or audible manifestation when surging in this fashion, like glowing like a light spell, or the old spell thematics feat...

At the risk of driving you a little batty, [ :) ] what would you think of a variant of your archetype that uses the bonus as free metamagic adjustment rather than caster level? Similar to your random metamagic idea earlier...

Da'ath wrote:
I'll admit, part of the reason for setting the Surge Bonus to +1 to +4 (as much as I hate to admit it, I'm waffling on +1-+4 to +1-+5) is to err on the side of caution. In a worst case scenario, it may be a little underpowered, which means I could shift it to a +5 or +6 eventually, with no complaints from my players. However, if you reduce the caster level benefit from +6 to +5 or even +4 mid-game (for example), regardless of whether your player understands it or not, they really won't be happy with the character anymore.

Ah. That I understand. Sorcerers aren't exactly hurting for options to begin with, being full casters. I just disagreed with Sellsword's stance that caster level alone was powerful. It's not. It's definitely nice, but it also depends on other factors.

Sellsword2587 wrote:
Spell durations don't have a cap, and having 6 extra rounds/minutes/hours of a debuff/buff is rather significant.

No, it's not. For a +1 level adjustment, you can double durations anyway. Extra rounds is cool, but once you hit one minute (10 rounds), it's kind of redundant unless the point is have a spell going ALL the time, which probably means you might be casting the buff multiple times anyway.

Sellsword2587 wrote:
Also, getting +6 to caster level is like getting +6 to hit with spells, because SR is essentially an AC. There are also very few ways to increase your SR penetration, only 3 coming to mind right away.

I can think of the most important one right away. Cast spells with 'spell resistance: no' if you think SR is an issue.

With just a quick glance at the pfsrd, I look at two 2nd level spells. Stone call with does 2d6 damage in a 40' radius, no save, no SR, and creates difficult terrain in a small area, or fire breath, which does 4d6 in a 15' cone, then 2d6, then 1d6 with SR and reflex save for half. More creatures have fire resistance than DRx/bludgeoning... Honestly, both spells are kind of meh... but stone call seems more versatile to me, and just plain has less limitations.

The situations and builds where spell resistance is an issue also tend to be the ones with other problems than spell resistance, like blasting.

Sellsword2587 wrote:
Caster level also determines your ability to cast defensively, or to avoid spell fizzles. Lastly, caster level is huge in dispel checks.

So does a 5' step before hand, or other strategic movement.

As for dispel magic... well, you actually have a point there. I had not noticed til now that they removed the caster cap of +10 on dispel and +20 on greater dispel.

Sellsword2587 wrote:

It was never about the spell damage, that has natural caps, as you said, it was everything else that came along with caster level bonuses, that are usually difficult to increase (for a reason).

And as you said, with damage spells, you would quickly reach the cap with the surge bonus, so then why does it need to be high? All of the extra caster levels are wasted.

That's really the reason that PrCs and class features from 3.0 to 3.5 changed the bonus to DCs to bonus caster levels. Yes, for a caster, caster level is very important, but Again, it doesn't mean nearly as much without higher level slots for either higher level spells or metamagic (or both).

Sellsword2587 wrote:
Also keep in mind, a primal sorcerer gains the euphoria bonus in addition to the surge bonus. Regardless of how powerful the euphoria bonus is, it's still extra stuff on top of everything else.

Other than the save bonus, this really just screams flavor to me. Do you see why? Casters really shouldn't be in a situation where the bonus to hit or damage matters. Ranged spells are usually range touch, making it relatively easy to hit. A bonus of up to +3 on 10d6 damage is... well, just under 11d6. The saves are nice though, I do admit that.

I do think that temporary extra caster boosts are very cool, but I do not think that they are anywhere near as powerful as you seem to think they are... because they are only half of the equation, and in some cases less than half of the equation.

Sellsword2587 wrote:
. . . I like your idea about lowering the surge bonus. Caster level affects a character's ability to cast defensively and overcome spell resistance, as those are caster level checks, not spell level checks. So surging does more than just ups your spell damage or duration. Lots of powerful bonuses for little risk. . . .

I feel like pointing out something... Surging doesn't really add much damage. It just gets you to your cap sooner. Damaging arcane spells almost all have caps.

Yes, a 6th level surging sorcerer could drop a 8d6 fireball, which is an average 7 points more damage... but a 9th level can only drop a 10d6, the same as a 10th level sorcerer. And since this archetype has removed the ability to combine the surge with metamagic, you can't use things like intensify spell, which specifically help you make lower level damage spells have an impact.

As to Spell Resistance, it depends on how you play your character. There are plenty of spells that ignore spell resistance. In fact, buffing and crowd control tend to work better to begin with than blasting.

I don't think pure caster level is as powerful as you seem to think it is, Sellsword2587, without the higher level slots to increase DCs and metamagic. That could, however, just be me. :)

Da'ath wrote:
Diminished Spellcasting wrote:
A primal sorcerer may cast one fewer spell of each level than normal. If this reduces the number to 0, he may cast spells of that level only if his Charisma allows bonus spells of that level.

. . .

In addition to the diminished spellcasting, it also dawned on me that it might be wise to diminish the caster level increase. At current, it's a +6, though I think maybe a progression of +1 at 1st, +2 at 6th, +3 at 12th, and +4 at 18th might be better.

I might sound like I am vacillating here, but I don't think a reduced caster level increase and loss of a spell slot every level is powerful enough to be called a fair trade.

You don't get an increase to spell DCs. Also, arcane spells normally have caps, so with those, or even with the intensify spell feat, you run into those caps pretty quickly. So you are mostly just getting increased range and duration.

Take the current archetype (+1 at 1st, +2 at 3rd, +3 at 7th, etc.) and a hypothetical fireball cast by a 6th level sorcerer. It is 6d6 normally, and 8d6 if he surges (an increase of an average of 7 points of damage). The same fireball cast by a 7th level sorcerer is 7d6 or 10d6 if he surges (an increase of an average of 10 points of damage), but it never gets any better without some sort of investment. The additional 40' per caster level in range is nifty, but how many encounters start at over 400' anyway?

What about summon monster at 7th level? An extra 3 rounds and 5' in range at this level. Mage armor? An additional 3 hours. Additional caster level is really nice, but in this instance, it means less without the higher level spell slots to increase DCs or add metamagic.

I have nothing useful to add. I just like this archetype. :)

Sellsword2587 wrote:
. . . I just don't think the risk is worth the reward. This is basically what is wrong with the Psionics system from 3.5 or Dreamscarred, there is really no risk for increasing your caster level, but the reward is huge.

Really? Because, 15% is a 1, 2, or 3 on a d20... or possibly the crit range on a kukri, scimitar, or falchion. Do you take that lesser damage in the hopes of crits? I know a lot of players that do, and they usually make sure to improve the odds, which you can't do with this.

It is the same odds for the wilder's surge. And if a wilder fails, they lose an action, which is huge in combat, and the equivalent of a second casting of one of their highest level 'spells'. Ask any caster players if they want to reduce their highest level spells by one. The answer would be 'not just no...' because those are important to them. Granted, to a wilder it matters less because it's as if you took a sorcerer (with even fewer spells known :\ ) who can sacrifice several lower level spells to cast a single higher level one... but really, as the video game generation, who doesn't get the mana system?

Da'ath wrote:
. . . I'm all about refinement, so... How about each time they make use of the ability after the first time in a 24 hour period, there is a cumulative +5% increase to the backlash chance? Example: 1st Surge - 15% chance of backlash, 2nd surge 20%, and so on?

Thinking on that, that's fair.

After Sellsword2587's comment, I have to ask if you meant to say that you give up your 1st level bloodline power and the bloodline spells gained at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th?

A sorcerer has 34 spells known (no, I don't count cantrips), and 43 if you count bloodline spells. A wilder only has 11 powers known without further investment. Losing 5 of those 43 for this archetype is a lot less of an impact than I originally noticed. I think I agree with Sellsword2587, but not for the same reasons. I think the surge is relatively internally balanced... but you might just need to give up a little more for it to be a fair trade.

Da'ath wrote:
. . . I am now thinking it may be too harsh with a flat 25% - risk vs reward is too high for a sorcerer with so few spells known. I reduced the chance of backlash to 15%, like psychic enervation.

I think that's just about perfect. Congrats on your archetype. :)

Da'ath wrote:
. . . To be perfectly honest, while I love psionics, I hate the psionics system. This is no fault of the original writers in 3.5 or Dreamscarred's writers, but it is basically a more refined and reskinned version of the Unearthed Arcana's spell point system (but with some failry innovative ideas). I've tried skill-based psionics and several other systems, but haven't been satisfied with any of them. . .

Well... elements of the system existed before, but the 3.5 version fixed a lot. I remember 2nd edition was both horribly overpowered and underpowered at once... and 3.0 maintained part of that. :D

But a lot of the time I just run them as mind mages... and psions really are what sorcerers should have been to me in 3.5 for the versatility of augments within manifesting a single power. (Heresy, I know... ).

Da'ath wrote:
. . . I've tried a couple different systems of progression for increase and reduction of the % chance of failure in a spread sheet and thusfar all of them have come out either too complex (slows down play too much) or just bad altogether. I just looked over the SRD of the Psionics Unleashed and think maybe a flat % chance would be better and far less complex. I'm torn between it being a 20%, 25%, or 30% flat chance to take a backlash with the hit point loss (though I'm still unsure about lethal vs nonlethal or some other penalty), due to the reasons you've mentioned. Thoughts?

I would probably say a flat 25%. 1 out of 4 will come up a lot, but not so much that a character won't risk it.

And possibly... lock the spell on a failed surge until they regain spell slots instead of losing hit points? It's like they temporarily burn out the spell known. Do you think that's too harsh?

I'm just going to throw out my impressions...

Obvious casting. I can dig it.

Casting and initiative. You've just gone from initiative boosting being a good idea to initiative boosting being a necessity. The number of diviners will jump dramatically, as well as casters with improve initiative and the Compsognathus familiar, as well as the traits that give a +2 to initiative.

I do agree that higher level spells should be harder to cast, but that's why you have the attribute requirement. I would probably try and come up with a different mechanic to make higher level spells more... intensive.

Spell rarity. I think it achieves your goal of making magic more secretive and rare... though I do think that the gp cost seems high. It takes more gold to research a new 1st level spell than to scribe a 9th level spell? Come on now...

Casting while moving. I mostly agree with Dominigo.

Open Metamagic Slots. No. No. No. I wonder if I am misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you allow wizards to add metamagic on the fly but charge spontaneous casters twice for a feature that already costs actions.

Da'ath wrote:
The following is archetype (mechanics blatantly stolen & modified from the 3.5 wilder) for a primal sorcerer. It is my intent that this will apply only for sorcerers in my campaign setting (and later bards once this is ironed out. . .

On a side note, do you allow Dreamscarred Press' Psionic materials for your games?

Ok. So just to be clear,
Sorcerer (1-2) has a 10% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (3-5) has a 15% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (6) has a 15% to 20% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (7-9) has a 20% to 25% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (10) has a 20% to 30% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (11-13) has a 25% to 35% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (14) has a 25% to 40% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (15-17) has a 30% to 45% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (18) has a 30% to 50% chance to be dazed.
Sorcerer (19-20) has a 35% to 55% chance to be dazed.

The highest number is most likely as that is coming out of their highest spell slots.

To play devils advocate, any class feature that makes you worse at your job would be a bad thing, and this feature makes you more and more likely to lose actions, i.e. not be slinging spells, unless you have someway to ignore or become immune to dazing, which then trivializes the downside.

If they are just using the primal surge to gain the increased caster level for long term buffs, they they just cast during a free moment, possibly with extend spell, then take the damage next round if they fail the percentile roll. If the damage is non lethal, it mostly goes away in an hour (1 point per hour per character level). If it's lethal, probably have somebody ready with a minor cure spell or a wand... or better yet, some sort of spell that grants temporary hit points...

Instead of hit points, the wilder lost power points, which in this case would actually be spell slots. However, losing power points equal to their manifester/caster level would hurt less than a sorcerer losing one of his highest spell slots...

I am not saying I don't like the idea. I really like the feature conversion. I am just mentioning a few things that come to mind with this. The concept of a sorcerer using his emotions to power up his spells, like a spell rage, is beautiful.

toastwolf wrote:

. . . actually it was intended to reimburse for some the cost for large size and became similar in method to the quadruped trait. really its just about language in trait, sometimes its easier to compare two things when you judge what is taken away rather than what one gains over the other (especially when the two subjects are directly related). by the way enlarge person doesn't give a flat bonus to hit and damage, in fact it actually gives a -1 to hit. not sure if you were just counting the weapon damage increase average as the flat bonus, because you then stated it in the next sentence.

edit: by the way i was stating powerful build as the OP uses it, not the original sorry for the misunderstanding.

Sorry. I didn't include all of the changes that enlarge person makes... so we are both right and both wrong. The bonus to strength it grants gives you a +1 to hit which is canceled by the -1 to hit from becoming large... so the main bonus from enlarge person goes back to reach.

Kazarath wrote:

Well, I have come to a few realizations:

A) Rewriting the whole class and magic system is a monumental task, one which I may not be up to at the moment. . .

I don't know if it was mentioned here or not, but a mana system similar to power points from psionics could work. If your main focus is magic, you get mana equal to a psion/wilder of equal level. If magic is secondary for you, you gain mana points as a psychic warrior of your level. If magic is your tertiary, then you gain mana points as a aegis/marksman. Caster level could be based on skill ranks in each school of magic. . . Ok. Maybe I should hush now.

BeowulfIam wrote:
Large Creatures can't normally swallow medium creatures whole, but I know what you mean. . .


PFSRD wrote:
. . . Unless otherwise noted, the opponent can be up to one size category Smaller than the swallowing creature. . .

So a large sized creature with swallow whole can Usually swallow a medium sized creature, but powerful build treats him as large size if beneficial, which it would be.

BeowulfIam wrote:
. . . and Powerful Build treats you as large, but doesn't make you large for Combat Maneuvers, therefore no +1 to CMB or CMD. . .
PFSRD wrote:
Whenever a Goliath is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for a Combat Maneuver Bonus or Combat Maneuver Defense (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the Goliath is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him.

So... yes. You would get the +1 bonus because being treated as large in these situation is beneficial.

BeowulfIam wrote:
I think I also gave the Goliath a -2 to stealth in the game I'm running because logic.

Interesting... but that is just not how the ability works. Both Power build and its cousin, Slight build treat you in all ways as the other size for specific things if it's advantageous, but you are still your normal size.

BeowulfIam wrote:
Lastly, I really like those abilities you came up with. Perhaps they could be implemented as alternative traits for them race.

Thank you. There could honestly be more, based on different heritages... and the fire damage needs a slight boost if you are going to use it as substitute traits, rather than the 'half feat' optional traits.

toastwolf wrote:
had you given any thought about maybe making powerful build have the prerequisite large size and have it simply give back a couple points? it might make the language a little bit easier to swallow for some people. in my experience the spell enlarge person has been used for more than a simple damage upgrade and powerful build takes many benefits away to balance the lack of penalties.

I'm not sure what you are suggesting. If you spend the 7 RP and make the race large sized, there is absolutely no need for the powerful build trait.

Enlarge person gives you +1 hit/+1 damage, an average +1 damage increase to most weapons, -2 to AC, -1 to reflex and initiative, and reach. Reach is the cool thing here, and you are not getting as much strength as most other creatures who start out large.

Cthuludrew wrote:
. . . Some nitpickers might complain that they shouldn't be able to take Jumper with a -2 Dex penalty, but I figure they already had it, and the ARG rules are guidelines, not hard coded.

I did the same thing. And I agree. Lots of abilities just aren't there in the Race Builder, and it becomes a judgement call.

BeowulfIam wrote:
. . . Honestly, I don't think Powerful Build is HUGE in terms of game power. . . Along with all the combat maneuver stuff. Ignoring a -2 in penalties seems like a lot less of a big deal than being able to wield weapons like an ogre. At least in how it sounds. . .

Powerful build lets you have some of the good benefits of being large and some of the good benefits of being medium.

No -1 to AC or -4 to stealth or -2 to fly. No swallow whole by large creatures. +1 bonus on CMB/CMD. Large size weapons (which is usually on 1 or 2 more points of damage on average than it's medium counterpart, but not always)... there is a lot of little things that go into powerful build. Granted, it's not quite as good as in 3.5 because of the changes to size modifiers, but it's still pretty good.

If you go back to 6 RP, for stats, 5 or 4 for powerful build, and 1 for the sense motive bonus (because it's nice, but just not that good), or swap out it out for Skill Training (Perception & Intimidate) for 1 RP (because that's giant appropriate), it winds up at 15 RP which is still under some of the playable races in the Bestiary 2.

I think I would enjoy all the odd traits that would go with a medium size giant... something like...

Broad shoulders
Your carrying capacity is treated as if you were a large creature.

One of traits of your distant ancestors has made a mild reappearance, in you.

Fire Giant-pick one.
You have fire resistance 2.
You give off more heat than a normal giant, but it is relatively focused. When wielding a melee weapon made mostly of metal, you deal 1 extra point of fire damage after you have been holding the weapon for at least 1 full round.

Storm Giant
Having inherited some of your ancestors elusiveness, you gain a +1 trait bonus to all escape artist checks, and when moving through difficult terrain, you may treat the first 5' of difficult terrain as if it were normal.


Wiggz wrote:
I really need to start titling my posts something like 'why monks suck', 'why Paladins are better than Fighters' or 'Summoners are overpowered'...

Yes, you should. Nothing gets the conversation going like the old 'bait and switch.' :P

Are you looking to make a unique caster, an archetype based on another caster, or PrC. Your answer will determine the input.

Also, SmiloDan has something in the same vein started.

BeowulfIam wrote:
You remember these little guys from 3.5, right? . . . .

You remember the precursor by many years, the half giant, right? And that they've been converted to pathfinder because they were open content, right?

Then you have the half-ogre (because somebody was bound to do it)... but lets reinvent the wheel, shall we?


  • +4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence: Goliaths are immensely strong and hardy, but their bulk makes them less agile and their culture stress survival over education. (6 RP)
  • Medium: Goliaths are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size. (0 RP)
  • Normal Speed: Goliaths have a base speed of 30 feet. (0 RP)
  • Powerful Build: The physical stature of Goliaths lets them function in many ways as if they were one size category larger.

    Whenever a Goliath is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for a Combat Maneuver Bonus or Combat Maneuver Defense (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the Goliath is treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to him.

    A Goliath is also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A Goliath can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject’s size category. (?7 RP)

  • Low-Light Vision: Goliaths can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. (1 RP)
  • Giant Blood: Goliaths count as both human and giant for any effect related to race. (0 RP)
  • Body Language: Goliaths gain a +2 to sense motive. (2 RP)
  • Mountain Movement: Goliaths make standing long and high jumps as if they were running long and high jumps. (2 RP) They also do not take -5 for accelerated climbing. (? RP)
  • Mountain Acclimated: Goliaths do not need to make saving throws to avoid fatigue for low peaks and high passes, and gain a +4 competence bonus to fortitude saves to resist altitude sickness on high peaks. (1 RP)
  • Languages: Common and Giant. Goliaths with high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following: dwarven, elven, gnoll, gnome, goblin, orc, or terran. (0 RP)

Ok... I think I've hit a point where the race builder doesn't work for me. I'm coming up with (kinda) 19 RP. A +2 to a passive skill shouldn't cost more than some of the skills for which they charge 1 rp. Powerful build is some of the benefits of Large... I'm guessing it should cost 5 rp? Not having reach is huge to me, but it's a pretty sweet ability, so I just don't know. And there isn't really an entry for ability modifier's that seem actually matches this breakdown...

Maybe do this instead...
+2 Strength, +2 Constitution: Goliaths are strong and hardy. (2 RP)
If powerful build rates as 5 rp, then that makes it 13 rp overall... close to Dhampirs, Tengus, and Vishkanyas.

Cheapy wrote:
. . . Ninja by RAW can't* take Extra Rogue Talent. . . .

I apologize if this has been addressed already, as I haven't had a chance to go through everything, but

PFSRD wrote:
Rogue Talent: The ninja can select a rogue talent in place of a ninja trick. The ninja cannot select a rogue talent that has the same name as a ninja trick. The ninja can select this talent multiple times.

Since this gives you a rogue talent as a class feature it couples with Extra Rogue Talent so as to allow a ninja to pick any rogue talent that doesn't have the same name as a ninja trick...

Am I wrong?

By the way, I enjoy your Nightblade conversion, SmiloDan. I look forward to looking through the rest of the gems here. :)

stringburka wrote:
Can't really evaluate how much spells are worth; it's a class based system, not a point based one. Can't really be converted :/

On an unrelated note, I disagree with your statement.

One can evaluate worth. Set parameters. Then judge based on them.

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Marthian wrote:
... send the rogue in first. . . .

See... I thought you were going somewhere else with that one.

Mark Hoover wrote:
. . . The players have asked that I just drop more magic items around, but that doesn't fit MY style. What would you do?

I'd say talk it out with them.

This is not Evercrack or WoW. Forget the purple drops mentality. It's third level. A magical +1 weapon is kind of a level 4 thing... You have a world. That world has people and backgrounds and rationals. If they haven't hit a big town with access to more goods, or the ability to commission specific items, then the magic items don't have to be there. If it really matters, have them make their items. Handwave most of the downtime.

If they still aren't happy, maybe leave plot hooks for things they would be particularly interested in... and make them go get it.

On a side note... I am usually the backup DM and just make most of my games very sandbox. I also don't pay too much attention to wealth by level... I wind up giving the pcs lots of cash and lots of non combat ways to spend it. Sometimes making them buy a home for a plot reason, taxes, tithes to charitable institutions, investing in businesses with modest returns, whatever. No matter how much money somebody has, circumstances can part a fool from his money, sometimes quickly.

I will never forget the halfling that was forever poor because of the multitude of bribes he had to fork over to do business...

Trogdar wrote:
. . . For that matter, how much are spells worth? Some feats would suggest that one feat is worth about one spell per day. If that is so, then the fighter is woefully underpowered.

It depends on which ones you grab, as not all spells are created equal. However spell casting is a tool box, and if you plan ahead, you normally have enough tools for the job. In the case of spontaneous casters, you want each tool to be a multitool if possible... but yes, spell casting is usually recognized as being very potent.

That's why for casters 'Thou shalt not lose caster levels' is somewhat of a mantra.

Trogdar wrote:

Sorry, what I was inferring was that an animal that becomes awakened is automatically under the control of the DM. Let me see if I can find that post....

actually, here's why it can't be a companion, which is what I thought was being suggested. Yay for reading comprehension! /facepalm

"An awakened animal gets 3d6 Intelligence, +1d3 Charisma, and +2 HD. Its type becomes magical beast (augmented animal). An awakened animal can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount."

To that I reply with a flippant 'So What.'

PFSRD wrote:
. . . You awaken a tree or animal to human-like sentience. To succeed, you must make a Will save (DC 10 + the animal's current HD, or the HD the tree will have once awakened). The awakened animal or tree is friendly toward you. You have no special empathy or connection with a creature you awaken, although it serves you in specific tasks or endeavors if you communicate your desires to it. . . .

You cast it from a scroll. The animal is now intelligent and friendly towards you and helps in your endeavors. Again, you might have to compensate him/her/it, but the initial investment is the cost of a scroll, which if you bought it would be 1,125 gp.

Can one create a metamagic-ed version of a spell on scroll? If so, go for maximize or empower for slightly better stats for your new buddy... if not, it's still not a bad deal.

I like the proposed feat as well.

In the absence of homebrew, consider this. Pay a druid or buy a scroll of awaken animal. Afterward, the animal can add levels in a class... like fighter, for feats and barding. Or monk, for special abilities and increased movement. You may have to pay him like a hireling, but nothing is perfect.

Necromancer wrote:
Let them all play villains . . . The trick is keeping everyone on the same page.

Mostly this. My group quite often plays moral deprived characters, and it works well as long as the players, not necessarily the characters, have been warned.

In fact, one of my favorites was one where it was just two player in a 3.5 game. I was a whisper gnome beguiler and my friend was a half minotaur barbarian. We ended up working for a Rakshasa. Good times.

Quath wrote:
Here's the offensive application of that trick: Arrow of Planar Displacement

Ooh... nifty. :)

bookrat wrote:
And we can use a large sheet of cloth to counter darkness spells. Just get a piece of cloth and cover the point of origin. Darkness effectively countered.
The trick is finding the point of origin when you are unable to find it. Becomes even harder if it's a pendent or something on a moving target.
I was thinking of just working with the other players to cover the whole area. :) Or if you saw someone cast it on themselves, throw it on them. If it's in a whole room (say 10' tall), attach it to poles and walk into the room, spreading out from the door. As you walk in, you're blocking the darkness from the point of origin leaving the rest of the room lit (until you pass the point of origin, but then you'd be able to narrow down where it is).

Granted, it's a sixth level spell, but would it be worth it if you cast animate object on a large sheet of lead, along with shrink item and permanence, for a helper that blocks line of effect?... probably want to give it more hardness and hit points, though.

Am I the only one who thought of vitalist which is an update of the society mind or a telepath? Both 'cast' powers without verbal or somatic components. Both have the ability to speak telepathically at level 2 and 1 respectively.

And nothing says cult leader like thrallherd.

calagnar wrote:

. . .

Wizard: Arcane Bomber
Gain alchemist bombs but have 4 bard schools. . . .

Yeah... I would use the bombs on the bard schools, too... all those little snots wanting their 15 minutes of fame... who needs it.

Anyway Bakunin, it doesn't really matter as long as you keep Transmutation and Conjuration. If you summon, just have all your summons handy, no stopping mid game to look monsters up. Mysterious Stranger's earlier advice is good.

If you've read Treantmonk's guide, think about which avenue you want to focus on, buffing, debuffing, and crowd control, and go from there. Buena Suerte.

PhelanArcetus wrote:

. . . Simply allow him to upgrade it by spending appropriate time and money. Pretty early on he can spend a couple hours and 300 gp worth of components to make the weapon masterwork. A little later he can spend 2,000 gp and two days tinkering to make it a +1, and so on.

Basically, give him a free Craft Magic Arms & Armor, which works non-magically (or magically, as you and he prefer), but only for that one weapon. In my example above, it costs full purchase price instead of crafting price... largely because I was thinking purchase price when I typed it. Either one is suitable. . . .

This is almost exactly like Oriental Adventures ancestral daisho ability... only it started out masterwork. :)

wraithstrike wrote:
A class is just a bag of mechanics you choose from to build a concept so every class is useful. You can always change the flavor for how a class works.

This. Others in the thread have echoed these sentiments, and I would like to as well.

The only real reason to ban a class is bad mechanics... and if you have a vision in mind, sometimes it only takes a moment or two to make those work.

My group rarely, if ever, plays clerics. Nobody cares for them. It doesn't make them banned. We also had a member play a ninja in a fantasy European only setting. How? you might ask... He was just a rogue with a killer for hire theme. It fit right in with some of the ongoing intrigue.

There was a feat in 3.5 that did the same thing. It was intended to let spontaneous casters get around increased metamagic times. It was called Arcane Preparation and was from the Players Guide to Faerun. It was commonly used to allow sorcerers to qualify for the Mage of the Arcane Order PrC...

If you should allow the sorcerer a comparable feat... I'm am not really sure.

Da'ath wrote:
Guile: (Ex) At 2nd level, a rogue gains a pool of guile points, representing a cunning intelligence she can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in the rogue’s guile pool is equal to 1/2 her rogue level + her Intelligence modifier. As long as she has at least 1 point remaining in her guile pool, the rogue is entitled to a Perception check to notice traps (mundane or magical) within 5 feet as if she were actively looking for them. At 10th level, the range increases to 10 feet. . . .

I don't know if this would add an unnecessary layer of complexity, but you could have the pool modifier set by the rogue himself, to suite different kinds of rogues, as mentioned by The Modern Bard.

Have the pool be set by Wisdom and the rogue gets some other benefit for having 1 guile point left. With Charisma, just borrow the improved feint as mentioned before.

I might also suggest a talent that changes two chosen skills modifier, though I am uncertain as to how it should be phrased. Such as being an Intelligence focused rogue and swapping out Perception and Sense motive to intelligence, because you analyze rather than intuit. If a Wisdom focused rogue, choose to make Diplomacy and Handle animal wisdom based because the coercion plays more on natural instinct... Just a thought.

I was going to say a creative summoner could have it all covered... but your mileage may vary.

Edit: And by that, I do mean a wizard specialized in summoning, or possibly some other full caster with a good complement of summon-able creatures.

Orthos wrote:
. . . I don't let them build their own cohorts, myself. They're still NPCs, not class features like an Eidolon or Familiar or Companion.

I apologize if this has been touched upon, but though I agree that the DM is suppose to build them (which limits abuse), if you have cohorts by virtue of a feat, they ARE a class feature.

You're mostly right. It's near useless.

For the first few levels, the trait emulates a simple or martial masterwork weapon. When you get enough loot to make a masterwork, or find one, most of the benefit is gone. By the time you find your first +1, the benefit is long gone.

I no longer like the flavor either. You have to BUY your own ancestral weapon? Your relatives bequeathed it to you... but only for the low low price of... market value?

If your dm allows Rich Parents, take that and buy a masterwork urumi and blow a feat as necessary. It can be with you your whole career.

...Even with masterwork transformation... its still pretty mediocre.

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