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RPG Superstar 7 Season Star Voter. Organized Play Member. 241 posts. 2 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.


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I really enjoyed this product. I feel some of the Nightblade archetypes could've been handled differently, as some of them rob the paths of their signature abilities.

Other than that, I'd love to see a sequel with some additional ways to use darkness and shadow. I'd love to see Nightblade paths dedicated to moving and teleporting through shadows and one dedicated to creating all kinds of constructs and tools like an umbral Green Lantern (Darkened Fortress was more geared toward the standard shadow weapons and armor).


I'm a bit disappointed that the Destruction section no longer has the rules that allow you to create your own blasts like in the Destroyer's Handbook. I guess they felt it was too easy to abuse.


Anyone have one for the Guardian classes and subclasses for Destiny 2? I've found stuff for Destiny 1, but I prefer the sequel's.


I like how you revamped the Wizard. Bonded Object is actually useful, and the Traditions are much more flavorful than the vanilla Arcane Schools (especially the Powers). Any chance you could use this to Unchain the PF Wizard?


Finally! The Magus needed a rework. I'm honestly surprised it wasn't unchained like the summoner.

Think you could give the Legendary treatment to the Wizard? The Arcane Bond, Schools, and Arcane Discoveries could use some sprucing up.


Sh1mbo wrote:

i like this kinda new "we be" series

But some day there will be an "we be gnolls" module??

No, wait! We Be GOLEMS.


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I think the next We Be Dragons adventure will involve the nine wyrmlings trying to become true dragons by performing classic deeds of dragondom:

Number 1
Become the lord, guardian, or most prominent figure of a village, city or kingdom.

Number 2
Acquire a vast collection of treasures and riches (How doesn't matter, anything goes).

Number 3
Find a young, troubled, and/or amnesiac mortal adventurer (preferably one who's their complete opposite in personality) to be their partner/underling/friend to go on adventures with.

And, of course...

Number 4
*Kidnap a princess.

To prove themselves as true dragons, the Scalehearth siblings need only complete one of these four trials. But should they fail, the only deed of dragondom they'll have completed is...

Number 5
Dying a horrific death at the hands of adventurers, slayers, or other dragons.

Can they succeed? Will they succeed?

"Hello Princess! My name is Harmonia and I'm here to kidnap you and hold your kingdom for ransom. Doesn't that sound like fun?"

...

Roll for Diplomacy?


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Broken Zenith wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:
I just hope we get progression charts too. I know the group I ran this for would get a kick out of making their own dragons that way. :)
You will, possibly with We Be Dragons 2!

I'll keep my fingers crossed. Also, if We Be Dragons ends up becoming an extended series and you plan on releasing an updated/compiled version with a new art style, I'd recommend checking out Epic Slant Press and their circle of artists. I think they'd really be able to bring the Scalehearth family to life in all its whimsical, draconic beauty.

Just click here to check it out.


I found some bits of Homebrew for additional Chromatic and Metallic Dragons here.

It's a bit incomplete in places, but some of the abilities and lore are interesting and creative.

My favorites have to be the Yellow and Pink dragons.

Pinks make their lairs in coral wreathes, are evil counterparts to the whimsical Coppers (think the Joker), and their breath is a cloud of bubbles filled with freezing gas/liquid.

Yellows meanwhile, are described the "fools' gold" of dragons. They're often mistaken for gold dragons and use that to their advantage to manipulate gullible mortals. However, they lack the Golds' abilities, including their signature fire breath (they're lightning breathers), forcing them to go to great lengths to conceal their true nature (Ex. Hunting during storms, using magic to pretend to have fire breath, killing anyone who learns the truth, etc.).


I found some bits of Homebrew for additional Chromatic and Metallic Dragons here.

It's a bit incomplete in places, but some of the abilities and lore are interesting and creative.

My favorites have to be the Yellow and Pink dragons.

Pinks make their lairs in coral wreathes, are evil counterparts to the whimsical Coppers (think the Joker), and their breath is a cloud of bubbles filled with freezing gas/liquid.

Yellows meanwhile, are described the "fools' gold" of dragons. They're often mistaken for gold dragons and use that to their advantage to manipulate gullible mortals. However, they lack the Golds' abilities, including their signature fire breath (they're lightning breathers), forcing them to go to great lengths to conceal their true nature (Ex. Hunting during storms, using magic to pretend to have fire breath, killing anyone who learns the truth, etc.).


I found some bits of Homebrew for additional Chromatic and Metallic Dragons here.

It's a bit incomplete in places, but some of the abilities and lore are interesting and creative.

My favorites have to be the Yellow and Pink dragons.

Pinks make their lairs in coral wreathes, are evil counterparts to the whimsical Coppers (think the Joker), and their breath is a cloud of bubbles filled with freezing gas/liquid.

Yellows meanwhile, are described the "fools' gold" of dragons. They're often mistaken for gold dragons and use that to their advantage to manipulate gullible mortals. However, they lack the Golds' abilities, including their signature fire breath (they're lightning breathers), forcing them to go to great lengths to conceal their true nature (Ex. Hunting during storms, using magic to pretend to have fire breath, killing anyone who learns the truth, etc.).


You might want to have which spell list a class uses and whether they cast spells prepared or spontaneously in the class entry column. Readers unfamiliar with the game might get confused.


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Why is this not official, seriously? The ability to gain temporary, adaptable bonus feats should've been a vanilla ability right off the bat.

Think you might be able to give the Magus the Unchained treatment? I've seen a few good homebrew versions floating around., but nobody really wants to touch it.


Gotta say, I like what I've read! I especially like how they handled ability score generation, themes, classes, and archetypes. Giving the themes different abilities instead of making it dependant on your "job" makes your background matter and minimizes the need for overlapping classes. Having archetypes be compatible with all classes and replaces features at the same levels is also godsend. Goodbye long, biring table comparisons!

Also, good job handling the "weapon enhancement" system, its level system is much clearer than PF's + bonus system.

Now if we could just apply some of these rules to its fantasy cousin... anyone tried that? I'm curious.


I noticed that the Solarian's 6th level stellar revelations are unbalanced, there are five photon revelations, but only four graviton. A minor nitpick, but it's somewhat glaring (and oddly funny) for a class whose main theme is the balance between light and darkness, energy and entropy.


So how does this compare to Alluria Publishing's Cerulean Seas books?


Will there be a section or on how to incorporate these rules into regular Pathfinder? The EAC-KAC system would have some issues and the Magic rule is its own beast, but the others sound like something out of Unchained.


Computer says happiness is mandatory and destroys anyone who isn't happy eh?

*with biggest smile, in happiest voice*:

8D "I'm seriously depressed!" 8D

ErROR EoROR! Subject is unhappy! But all biological scanners indicate happiness! Does not compute! Does NoT comPUTE! ERrOR ErRor WARNING WARNING WARNING

999999
999999
999999
999999
999999
999999
999999

Mortal Standard: 'Tis better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.


Even the necromorphs? Even the necromorphs.

Mortal Standard: What goes around comes around.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
TheDisgaean wrote:
Due to being half of the Brawler and Warpriest hybrid classes, will you be Unchaining them like you did the Ninja and the Rage-based classes? Heck, the hybrid classes have so many rough spots, you could probably unchain all of them.

Currently, the next batch of classes in my sights are the bard, cleric, and druid. Don't know when I'll have time to unchain them properly, but those are the classes that I feel have the least amount of customization to them.

When I look at a class to unchain, I typically try to figure out (a) Does this class need a boost to stay relevant? and (b) Does this class have a way for the player to "build it their way" with things like talents and player options.

I think the warpriest is in a good spot—they are absolutely relevant (one of the strongest 6th level casters in the game, in fact) and have tons of customization between sacred weapon, spells, blessings, and bonus feats. Brawler is in less of a good spot, but the complexity of martial flexibility *might* offset that. In a post unchained fighter world, however, I can see needing to tweak the brawler a little to make her choices more relevant.

What about the warpriest and brawler do you think needs unchaining?

The druid definitely needs unchaining. I get that turning into animals is an iconic and easy feature to implement, but what if I want to be a conduit for the elements or a herald of all things green with no connection to fuzzy, little, forest animals?

As for the bard, we need a better way to learn bardic masterpieces, as well as something to allow for bards other than musicians, dancers, and singers. What about poets, actors, jugglers, and the like? And what about a completely spell-less version?

The cleric is mostly fine as is, what with all the domains. I think the option to spontaneously cast spells from the domains instead of just healing and inflicting spells would be cool, though. "The Cleric Reforged" by TPK games was a step in the right direction, maybe you can pick their brains for ideas.

If you had to pick one though, fix the druid. I want my elemental conduit, please.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
TheDisgaean wrote:
Due to being half of the Brawler and Warpriest hybrid classes, will you be Unchaining them like you did the Ninja and the Rage-based classes? Heck, the hybrid classes have so many rough spots, you could probably unchain all of them.

Currently, the next batch of classes in my sights are the bard, cleric, and druid. Don't know when I'll have time to unchain them properly, but those are the classes that I feel have the least amount of customization to them.

When I look at a class to unchain, I typically try to figure out (a) Does this class need a boost to stay relevant? and (b) Does this class have a way for the player to "build it their way" with things like talents and player options.

I think the warpriest is in a good spot—they are absolutely relevant (one of the strongest 6th level casters in the game, in fact) and have tons of customization between sacred weapon, spells, blessings, and bonus feats. Brawler is in less of a good spot, but the complexity of martial flexibility *might* offset that. In a post unchained fighter world, however, I can see needing to tweak the brawler a little to make her choices more relevant.

What about the warpriest and brawler do you think needs unchaining?

When you put it that way, I can't really think of how the warpriest can be unchained (though it could use more blessings, but that's a whole other can of worms). The brawler on the other hand is lacking in customization options. It gives fighters the monk's unarmed combat benefits, but it suffers from "Linear Fighters, Quadratic Wizards" syndrome even more than the fighter.

Legendary Games released a sort of "unchained version" of the Swashbuckler that, among other alterations, adjusted the class so that you selected a specific "personage." Personages are similar to a sorcerer's bloodlines or an oracle's mysteries, granting the swashbuckler abilities tied to a certain theme, like the smooth-talking dandy, the stealthy phantom, or the dirty-fighting vagabond. Since the brawler is themed around unarmed fighters like the cavalier is around finesse-based ones, a similar system might work in its favor. You could have themes centered around styles like boxing, wrestling, improvised weaponry, dirty fighting, etc. How feats and martial flexibility would play into it would take some fiddling around, but it would give the brawler options and a gimmick besides being a ki-less version of the monk (which is already an archetype for said class anyway).


Due to being half of the Brawler and Warpriest hybrid classes, will you be Unchaining them like you did the Ninja and the Rage-based classes? Heck, the hybrid classes have so many rough spots, you could probably unchain all of them.


Golden Glyph Publishing wrote:

Well, you're pretty close! :)

The Future Warden is in fact a precognitive warrior, able to gain the ability to make re-rolls in exchange for martial flexibility. They also gain improved ability to fight with improvised weapons, since they generally aware of how they'll work before they even pick them up.

The Crystal Lasher is a Magus that can enhance whips with their arcane power, giving them lethal slashing crystals along their length, even going so far as to cause their enhancement to discharge into an even deadlier burst of shards. This type of magus works best with using maneuvers and delivering their deadly spells at the increased reach of the whip.

The Servant of War is an archetype that lets characters work better with their teammates, as well as count non-fighter levels as fighter for their bonus feats. Teamwork feats are enhanced when taken by a Servant of War.

The Harmonic Savant is a musical performing bard capable of setting up harmonies of sound that resonate between their allies, allowing others to 'carry the tune' for short periods or even set up vibrations that wear down their enemies. They can have others count as the origin of their bardic performance, and can over time set up multiple 'sources' of performances. Ability to befriend others depends on the player ;)

I hope this helps!

Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven. XD

But is there fusion?

"All I wanna do
Is see them turn into
A giant woman
A GIANT WOMAN!"


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"We...

Are the Crystal Gems,
We always save the day
And if you think we can't,
We'll always find a way!

That's why the people of this world believe in

Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl...

And Steven"

I'm sorry, but this was just asking for it.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
TheDisgaean wrote:

This is pretty awesome! It really makes the fighter feel more like a well-trained badass normal compared to the more empowered martial classes like the barbarian and paladin.

You should do the magus next!

Thanks for the praise!

What specifically would you want to see?

Well...

*Streamline and simplify Spell Combat, it can get somewhat wonky in places.

*Give the class more customization options beyond self-enchanting.

*Adjust the weaker, less useful, or overpowered magus arcana.

*Certain products like Path of Iron have granted options of shield-wielding, two-handed weapon, dual wielding, and archery based magi, so this I wouldn't worry about this part too much. But a lot of the official magus archetypes are in dire need of retooling or have abilities that could be reworked as talents or a similar custom class feature.

The Unchained Magus shown in this blog is the best example I've seen so far:

http://pathfancy.blogspot.com/2015/12/unchained-magus.html


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This is pretty awesome! It really makes the fighter feel more like a well-trained badass normal compared to the more empowered martial classes like the barbarian and paladin.

You should do the magus next!


Agreed. I'll bet money that Paizo's official aqua rules are going to...sink.


Not sure if this has been asked yet, but does anybody know what the correct term for werebeasts other than werewolves?

I'm working on a character who studies werebeasts/therianthopes and one his quirks is that he's extremely anal about using the correct terminology. The lyc- in lycanthrope comes from lykos, the Greek word for wolf, but what about the other animals?

I have bears as "arctanthropy" (from arktos, Greek for bear.), but what about rats, boars, tigers, and the rest?


GM Rednal wrote:
They should probably follow the stats listed in the appendix, modified as necessary based on how the CP were spent. So, 1d3 bludgeon. (The entire Animated Objects system is basically balanced around those stats, so allowing higher damage dice at no additional cost wouldn't be particularly fair.)

Plus said objects' having rudimentary "intelligence" would keep them from being very effective from a lore perspective.


Not sure if this has been covered or not, but when using Animate Object on a weapon does it use its own damage die, damage type, and critical range or the stats listed in the appendix?

Like, say I animated a longsword. Would it use the damage qualities of a small animated object as listed in the appendix and do 1d3 bludgeon, or 1d8 slashing/piercing damage as per its stats in the equipment section?


Well I found a really good Unchained Magus at this blog. It's a little out of date and not exactly archetype friendly, but a little tweaking and it could work.


Question. Some of the talents have multiple geomancer packages listed next to them (Ex. Heat Metal has "fire" and "metal"). Does that mean you need both packages listed or just one of them? I'm assuming both.


Geist is going to want to see this.


Good work geniuses. The familiar and arcane bond talents got a little redundant in places, but not a bad job all things considered. Also, I checked out your talented witch projects...you did it.

Not sure how, but you managed to make a spell-less witch a viable option. I doubt you could do this with a full spellcaster class like the wizard or sorcerer though.

What's next? The magus? The alchemist? The oracle?


Seginus wrote:
TheDisgaean wrote:
Sort of feels like Arcana Defender (weapon & shield), Arcane Marauder (two-handed), Eldritch Eye (ranged), and Mystic Dervish (dual wield) magus archetypes should be able to use their magus level as their fighter level when qualifying for combat feats related to their combat style ala the skirnir.
Maybe. I feel the archetypes are in a good place balance-wise, and they still get the normal fighter training that a magus gets. Your feedback is welcome though, and if the lots of players make similar suggestions I'll be sure to look into updating it in the future.

It just feels like the knight part of the class' magic knight concept is underused here. It's bad enough vanilla magi don't get it until level 10. Honestly, that ability should be at level 2.


Sort of feels like Arcana Defender (weapon & shield), Arcane Marauder (two-handed), Eldritch Eye (ranged), and Mystic Dervish (dual wield) magus archetypes should be able to use their magus level as their fighter level when qualifying for combat feats related to their combat style ala the skirnir.


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This got me thinking. What's the logic behind armor bonuses stacking with natural armor? Wouldn't race with armored scales only need to wear armor that provides greater a defense than their body's own protection?

I suppose it could be argued that a suit of armor is absorbing the brunt of the assault, weakening it's overall power due to the loss of momentum and force.

But what do you think?


Who says only western style dragons get mortal kin? Was going to include Primal and Outer dragons, but some dragons in the set were more powerful than others.

Imperial Dragonborn:

Dragonbreath
Forest: 15 ft. cone of piercing
Sea: 15 ft. cone of fire
Sky: 15 ft. cone of electricity
Sovereign: 15 ft. cone of sonic
Underworld: 20 ft. line of fire

Dragonscales
Forest: +4 to Fortitude saves vs poison.
Sea: Fire Resistance 5
Sky: Electricity Resistance 5
Sovereign: Acid, Cold, Electricity, or Fire Resistance 5; selected at first level, can't be changed.
Underworld: Fire Resistance 5


Late to the party, but I thought I'd throw in my 25 cents.

Dragonborn Racial Traits:

Ability Scores: +2 Strength and Charisma, -2 Dexterity.

Size:: Medium

Base Speed: 30 ft.

Languages: Common, Draconic; may choose any languages they want (save secret languages like Druidic) as bonus languages.

Educated: +2 Knowledge (History)

Draconic Presence: +2 Intidimate

Draconic Aspect: Select one of the following traits:

Dragonbreath: You gain a breath weapon based on your draconic ancestry (see below). All creatures must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + CON modifier) of take 1d6 for every 4 levels you have. You can use this ability once for every five levels you have. Once this decision is made, it can't be changed.

Black and Copper: 20 ft. line of acid
Blue and Bronze: 20 ft. line of electricity
Brass: 20 ft. line of fire
Green: 15 ft. cone of acid
Gold and Red: 15 ft. cone of fire
Silver and White: 15 ft. cone of cold

Dragonsenses: You gain low-light vision and darkvision 60, and are immune to magic sleep effects.

Dragonwings: You take no damage from falling (as if subject to a constant non-magical feather fall spell). While in midair, you can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot you fall, at a speed of 60 feet per round. You cannot gain height with these wings alone; you merely coast in other directions as it falls. If subjected to a strong wind or any other effect that causes you to rise, you can take advantage of the updraft to increase the distance you can glide.

Dragonfear: You may use cause fear as a spell-like ability 1/day.

Dragonscales: You gain a +1 natural armor bonus to AC and energy resistance 5 based on your draconic heritage (see below).

Black, Copper, and Green: Acid
Blue and Bronze: Electricity
Brass, Gold, and Red: Fire
Silver and White: Cold


Cerberus Seven wrote:
What about a boon or feat that simply increased your caster level in one sphere to the next rank up? Low-caster -> medium caster, medium caster -> high-caster. It's simple, gives a wide benefit, and prevents a single talent from suddenly becoming potentially much, MUCH stronger than everything else. Plus, there's already a precedent for it in how Elementalists and Shifters work (plus I may be forgetting a class or two).

That definitely sounds better, though it should probably be restricted to classes that don't have a class/archetype ability that uses their level as their caster level.


Not sure about making it a feat, the library's massive enough as is.


Wanted to throw something out real quick.


Just wanted to spitball a new boon I came up with:

Specialized Talent: You're particularly adept at a specific magical ability more so than others. Select 1 magic talent. You use your class level as your caster level for this talent and its associated base ability.


Looks pretty good. I had a similar idea where the magus selects a "spell combat style" (Dual-weapon, two-handed, weapon and shield, etc.) and gains different benefits as he levels up. Obviously, some of the archetypes would need to be modified like in some of Legendary Games' class upgrade products, but it'd give the class some more options.


Malwing wrote:
TheDisgaean wrote:
Don't know if anybody's talked about this yet, but should all the original SoP classes be allowed to select whatever their casting ability score is, or is there a legitimate mechanical reason?
I presume consistency and compatibility with the mechanical assumptions made by their other class features.

I don't know, all it takes is simple substitution, something other classes have done. But thematically, it makes sense. Shifters (WIS) spiritually connect with the creatures they become, eliciters (CHA) focus on controlling emotions, and symbiats (INT) draw on their mental acumen, etc. The only classes that bugged me were armorist (WIS) and soul weaver (CHA). Charisma makes sense as soul weavers are invoking the spirits of the dead, but armorists being bound to Wisdom seems strange.

They're power is all about conjuring weapons and armor, so I think it could be argued any of the three mental scores could work thematically:

Intelligence: Having knowledge and understanding of the equipment's creation and composition to recreate it.

Wisdom/Charisma: The equipment is essentially an extension of your being and your will.

If anything, the only mechanical reason I can think of is to avoid min-maxing.


I'm working on a magus project in hops of updating the class like how paizo's Pathfinder Unchained and Legendary Games' Legendary classes line. Thought I'd start small by streamlining and fine-tuning a few archetypes and work from there. And what better place to start than perhaps one of, if not the most mechanically wonky of the bunch: the shieldbearing skirnir.

  • Remove Diminished Spellcasting and Arcane Bond.
  • Arcane Pool, Spellstrike, Shield Pool, Spellshield, and Greater Spellshield remain the same.

Sorcerous Shield (Ex): At 1st level, skirnirs are proficient with bucklers and light shields and do not suffer do not suffer an arcane spell failure chance when casting magus while wielding a shield. They treat their magus levels as fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for shield-related feats. At 7th level, skirnir gain proficiency with heavy shields, and at 13th level gain proficiency with tower shields.

Shielded Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a skinir may use his spell combat ability while wielding any shield he is proficient with. A skirnir may use his shield hand to perform somatic components for magus spells, forfeiting the shield's bonus to AC until the beginning of his next turn; if wielding a buckler, he retains his bonus to AC.

This replaces and alters spell combat.

Improved Shielded Spell Combat (Ex): At 8th level, the skirnir retains his bonus to AC while wielding light shields.

This replaces improved spell combat.

Greater Shielded Spell Combat (Ex): At 14th level, a skirnir gains the benefits of improved spell combat and may retain his shield bonus while wielding heavy shields.

This replaces greater spell combat.

Superior Shielded Spell Combat (Ex): At 19th level, a skirnir may retain his shield bonus while wielding tower shields.

This replaces greater spell access.

Other Magus fixes

  • The magus gains Fighter Training at 2nd level.
  • Bonus feats are merged with arcana, and arcana are now gained at 3rd level and every other level after.

It's not a huge change, but a second opinion would help.


Don't know if anybody's talked about this yet, but should all the original SoP classes be allowed to select whatever their casting ability score is, or is there a legitimate mechanical reason?


Alexander Augunas wrote:

I don't know what Jason has planned for the Legendary Fighter, but if I were to unchain the fighter, this would be my philosophy:

— The fighter's strength is getting the most out of his feats. That's essentially the heart and soul of the stamina pool mechanic from Pathfinder Unchained, and no one sans the fighter should be able to do it better.

— Fighters should be able to ignore some of the game's feat taxes because they're awesome.

— Fighters are weapon specialists and shouldn't have to wait until Level 5 to begin specializing in weapons.

— The fighter's "niche" is numerical bonuses.

— Martial Flexibility "feels" more like a fighter mechanic then a brawler mechanic.

Especially when you look at the sheer number of combat feats (some of which can be a little situational)! Even without a lot of the excellent third party products out there, there's just too many to choose from.

As for the weapon/fighting style specialization and disregarding feat taxes, sounds like something similar to the ranger's combat style ability would be in order.

And of course...bravery and the capstone.


It's definitely an awesome product. I can actually keep track of the deeds now. Just one problem: between the swashbuckler and the brawler, the old fighter is just getting more and more irrelevant. Maybe it's time it became Legendary too? Maybe place a greater focus on the unrelenting powerhouse or living fortress aspect of the class since this has the nimble duelist role filled?


What Dragon Age has that Pathfinder doesn't, hit has now! Almost (Cont.)

THE ARCHETYPES

Spellstaves are a lot like firearms, they really change the game and open the door for a lot of interesting character concepts, some becoming class archetypes. For the final major part of the book, we get eight new spellstaff-centric archetypes, and like firearms, they come with a rather steep trade-off. Each archetype (save two) are heavily combat oriented, and sacrifice a large chunk of their classes’ weapon and armor proficiencies to be able to use spellstaves, often to the point where they can only use a few simple weapons and light armor (if they get it). This is to be expected, given the spellstaff’s a “magic-user’s weapon,” but they also have some...other issues. First, each archetype has at least one ability that requires spending spellstaff charges to activate (henceforth referred to as “spellstaff abilities” for simplicity). It sounds good on paper, but as mentioned previously, it has huge potential for abuse. The archetypes also tend to be vague in some areas, especially regarding range and damage (see below for more details). As for creativity, they’re not the most inspired, but some are rather flavorful and make for some fun characters. Let’s have a look:

For the casters we have the Serpentstaff Witch for the...witch class. The archetype gains a snake familiar fused with a single spellstaff, which can change shape as a move action. The familiar can fire missiles even animal form, be thrown and instantly shift anywhere in 30 feet at 4th level, add its ranged attack bonus to its master’s 3/day at 8th level, and at 10th level, it gains its spellstaff ability: “serpent bond strike,” where master and familiar perform a combined blast that not only deals damages, but poisons or constricts the target if it hits! Unfortunately, it’s unclear whether the ability uses the witch or the familiar’s BAB and ranged attack bonus, it automatically deals maximum damage if it hits, it doesn’t specify whether this maximum damage only applies to the base spellstaff damage or the enhancements as well, and while it takes a full round action, it doesn’t mention whether or not the ability consumes spellstaff charges, suggesting that it can be used repeatedly. So right out the gate we have a cool archetype, if a little glitchy.

Next up, the Spellstaff Adept. This wizard archetype is more balanced, but very specialized. At the cost of its regular bonus feats, the spellstaff adept gains the ability to select ranged combat feats and spellstaff feats at 1st level and every 3rd level after. They also lose their arcane bond and scribe scroll ability in exchange for weapon focus (spellstaff) and the ability to sacrifice spells to restore charges. To top it all off, they’re required to take a whopping four opposition schools, severely limiting their options. Again, not a bad archetype, but very specialized.

For the sorcerer, we get the unusually named Spellstaff Channeler. The archetype gets its name because it allows the sorcerer to “channel” the power of its mystical bloodline through their spellstaff, granting it additional energy damage (depending on the the bloodline) for a number of rounds equal to their Charisma modifier. This bonus damage increases as the channeler levels up, but the short duration keeps it from being too powerful. Additionally, the spellstaff channeler gains the ability to create a “bloodline chain,” which grants them a +1 bonus to attack rolls that increases every time they make a successful spellstaff attack (up to their level), so long as they can attack every turn they receive. But the best part? The spellstaff channeler can convert the chain into a massive attack, granting them a damage bonus equal to the attack bonus they built up! It’s a near, flavorful, and extremely satisfying ability if you can build up a big enough chain, and it’d be perfect if it wasn’t for two, little problems. At 7th level the final strike splits into two missiles that deal max damage. Like the serpent bond strike before it, it doesn’t mention whether only the base weapon damage is maximized, but it also doesn’t say whether the missiles can target different enemies. What’s worse, at 11th level the final strike will automatically count a critical. You still have to confirm it, but that’s just ridiculous.

Full casters aren’t the only ones getting spellstaff love though. The Spellstaff Dancer gives bards the ability to go from wandering minstrel, to flashy, staff-twirling dervish straight out of the circus. Spellstaff dancers add their Charisma bonus, plus a small, scaling bonus, to their Combat Maneuver Defense and AC. This bonus applies to touch attacks and even works if they’re flat-footed, but not if they’re immobilized, helpless, wearing medium or heavy armor, or carrying anything heavier than a light load. Their other abilities focus on dancing, letting them add half their level to their Perform (dance) skill and may use it in place of Acrobatics, Fly, and Intimidate, and take 10 or 20 regardless of circumstances (taking 20 has limited uses per day thankfully). Then there’s their new bardic performances, which replace some of their supporting songs with some dances and parlor tricks. These are mostly self-buffs, granting things like evasion, haste, and increasing their critical range. But they also gain a few attacks, such as turning a spellstaff missile into a 10 foot cone of fire, and the epic “death spiral dance,” which sacrifices all other attacks that turn in favor of making a single attack against every enemy in range as a full-attack action. Fortunately, the death spiral dance is the 20th level capstone, and requires a separate attack roll for each enemy, so those concerned about its power can breathe easy. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the Spellstaff Disciple

The Spellstaff Disciple is a fighter archetype, the first of two spellstaff archetypes designed for martial classes. Like other fighter archetypes dedicated to a specific weapon or style, the spellstaff disciple loses a bonus feat and weapon training for a new ability. No big deal, except the replacement ability lets them spend charges to cast spells! Not spell-like abilities, actual spells! They only get up to 5th level spells and only one per spell level, but they can use their bonus feats to gain more spells, and as long as they have spellstaff charges, they can cast them as much they want! What’s worse, they still suffer from the arcane spell failure while wearing armor, which can only be eliminated by using the armor training feature to reduce it by 5% INSTEAD of receiving the normal benefits. Overpowered, unbalanced, end of discussion.

For a better martially oriented archetype, Spellstaff Scrapper gives brawler characters the ability to perform a thirty minute ritual to make a single spellstaff a functional melee weapon. This removes its fragile quality and allows it to be treated as a monk weapon, but it loses its ability to fire missiles and can’t be charged normally. Instead, charges are gained by inflicting maximum damage (again failing to specify), confirming a critical hit, or reducing an enemy’s hit points to 0 or less, and are used to grant the spellstaff one of six, changeable energy weapon heads (Think Aqualad’s waterbearers from Young Justice). Each of these heads functions as a different type of weapon, each with its own properties and a temporary bonus feat gained at 1st, 6th, and 12th level. For example, the blade head is the main damage dealer, so it has the brace and reach properties, and grants Power Attack, Cleave, and Great Cleave. While the fork head focuses on disarming enemies, gaining Combat Expertise, and later Improved and Greater Disarm. Changing heads is a standard action, but gets faster as the Spellstaff Scrapper progresses in level, and can even grant their spellstaff a second head, turning it into a double weapon. Finally, spellstaves augmented by the ritual have their damage increase a step at 6th and 12th level, and bypass different forms of damage reduction every 5th, 9th, 12th, and 17th. As for issues, the only real problems with the archetype is that is doesn’t mention whether you have to qualify for these temporary feats, and the shield head. The shield head has the blocking property, granting the wielder a +1 shield bonus while fighting defensively, alright. However, it grants feats centered around shield bashing which, at least to my knowledge, you can’t do with blocking weapons. But despite the shield head’s problems, this is by far the most fun and balanced of the eight archetypes, and my personal favorite.

For those who play divine spellcasters, don’t worry, you haven’t been forgotten. The book contains an archetype for two divine classes: the cleric, and another Flaming Crab creation: the priest (a more spellcasting oriented cleric with an emphasis on knowledge, that gains domain-like abilities called dogmas.). Like the others, these archetypes are heavily specialized. Unlike the others, these two are strictly supporting roles, so if that isn’t your style, you’d best look elsewhere.

For the cleric, we have the Spellstaff Healer. As the name suggests, they only receive one domain, which has to be Healing, and may spend spellstaff charges to increase the range of healing touch spells, as well as treat their caster level higher when using healing or protection spells. There’s a catch though, healing spells with boosted range require a touch attack if they’re used to harm undead, and the caster level increase only works as long as they don’t harm enemies (though non-violent incapacitation and restraint is allowed). A staunch limit, but it definitely captures the essence of the wandering priest dedicated to aiding the sick and wounded. Then there’s the spellstaff ability, which uses charges to boost the variable numeric effects of their healing spells and channel energy ability by 50% or maximize them entirely, at 3rd and 5th level! Additionally these two boosts can stack with metamagic feats AND eachother, making it a little too powerful for my liking, even with the pacifism limit. Then there’s the aforementioned protection spells. What do they mean? Are they referring to shield spells? Abjuration spells? Protection from alignment or creature spells? What?

Then there’s the priest archetype, the Spellstaff Shepherd. Characters who take this archetype must be of good alignment, worship a good deity, and channel positive energy, and like its core class cousin, is limited to specific dogmas. Unlike the Spellstaff Healer, the Shepherd may choose the Animal, Community, Good, or Protection instead of Healing, and change their dogma each day, eventually gaining a second dogma (also changeable) at 20th level. They can also spend a spellstaff charge to track other members of their faith. Its spellstaff ability allows it to create a dome-shaped version of the wall of “force spell,” and it’s one of the more balanced examples. The dome has 10 hit points for every charge spent, but only covers a 5 foot radius around the shepherd (range increases 5 feet every 4 levels after 4, then to 30 at 20th level). Altogether, a good support archetype, but don’t expect to be doing much else.

Altogether, the archetypes are a mixed bag. They have some good ideas and abilities, but the lack of clarity, use of an easily replenishable resource, and a few stackable abilities keeps them from being great.

THE REST

The final section of the book provides a few ways to incorporate spellstaves into your game, a few plot hooks, FAQs, and obligatory OGL information. Helpful tips for GMs, but I felt more could’ve been done with it. Maybe add some more alternate rules like having full casters automatically receive spellstaff proficiency, or do what did with firearms and make some development tiers showing how accessible it would be for that world. Since many GMs would probably houserule this anyway, it’s not a huge missed opportunity, but a missed opportunity nonetheless.

CLOSING

Flaming Crab has attempted to bring the modern magical staff to tabletop gaming, and for the most part, I’d say they succeeded. The spellstaff is a unique weapon, and while it has a few glitches here and there, it definitely capture the essence of the new wizard’s walking stick. It has a solid set of feats backing it up, and while the archetypes could use some adjustments, they show promise, and I hope they’re rebalanced in a possible update. Unfortunately, as it is, I can only give the product a 3 out of 5. However, I’m confident that my players and I will be having a lot more interesting battles with our new magic-user’s weapons.

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