Even if I were to accept your basic argument - which I don't - E6 does extremely little to change the intrinsic 'balance' (lol) of the game. It just limits the action to a desirable subsection of levels.
Also, with your thinking, DMs should refrain from writing their own adventures; they should only run those published by those on high. Nonsense.
Question as thread title: Are mutated bloodlines considered bloodlines for the purposes of the eldritch heritage feat?
This has been debated a lot in other threads and I have no interest in repeating those arguments here (although feel free to, other denizens of the interwebs).
This thread is intended to get FAQ hits.
Hit dat FAQ, yo, yo, yo. Hit dat FAQ.
Edit: The most common use of this combination is to get the fey bloodline so you can get an animal companion. This tactic has been mostly eclipsed by the animal ally feat, although this is still an option if you want something not on animal ally's list (and it turns out this is legal).
@skater: Look up at calagnar's post. It's from a new book.
I'm sorry, a mutated bloodline is a modification to a bloodline. It says so itself. This is not a grey area, mutated bloodlines are not bloodlines.
You can't even debate it. Does the archetype give you access to bloodlines? It doesn't say so; it gives you access to modifications of existing bloodlines. There you go.
We can all be obnoxious.
The text quoted in OP says "one step away on each alignment axis"; the plain English understanding of this is that - barring other restrictions - a N caster can get any familiar.
Having your initiative to use diplomacy is garbage. Trying to influence somebody with diplomacy takes an entire minute.
The problem is PC with 28 initiative goes. He begins his 1 minute of diplomacy-ing. NPC with 7 initiative goes. NPC stabs PC in the face.
Edit: Assuming the NPC is not hostile at the beginning of the round and becomes hostile during the first round. This, as my previous post said, makes the surprise round useless. A number of mechanics interact with the surprise round so using initiative outside of combat obviates or corrupts those mechanics.
PCs good initiative is useless.
Initiative is for combat or similar situations where turn order is important (haunts, complex traps). Forcing social encounters into the initiative system leads to both absurdity and a slow down of play.
BAB is an essential limit that controls when a character can get access to certain feats or certain prestige classes.
I would say you couldn't allow the feat to increase BAB over the HD of the creature or character. Even then, it would outshine things like weapon focus for the majority of characters.
I'm uncomfortable with it in a normal game, totally fine with it in an E6 or E12 game if you allow it only as a Level 6 or Level 12 feat respectively.
What's funny about this is...
The second option is to form a close bond with an animal companion. A ranger who selects an animal companion can choose from the following list: badger, bird, camel, cat (small), dire rat, dog, horse, pony, snake (viper or constrictor), or wolf. If the campaign takes place wholly or partly in an aquatic environment, the ranger may choose a shark instead. This animal is a loyal companion that accompanies the ranger on his adventures as appropriate for its kind. A ranger's animal companion shares his favored enemy and favored terrain bonuses.
...Rangers don't even have access to the allosaurus.
I think the best approach is to combine the two concepts into something like 'variety'; that is to say, allow a small number of races (I go with 7, as that is the number of races available in core), but switch them up whenever you start a new campaign.
For instance, I am working on polishing a campaign I wrote a while ago, and the races I've allowed are: Human, Changeling, Duergar, Locathah, Hobgoblin, Gillmen, and Ratfolk. It gives a fair bit of diversity (hopefully at least one race will appeal to each person), and it is limited enough so that each race can have certain storyline implications to it (i.e. race matters).
If I were to run that campaign (again), then the next one I run would have a different 7 races. That way, I could maintain both an interesting quantity AND quality, just over the course of several campaigns rather than a single one.
Also, what is meant precisely by punishing? Is not allowing a character concept because it would be campaign-inappropriate punishing? Can I have examples?
The Fox wrote:
(Pro tip: how do you recognize a rhetorical question? The asker answers it or otherwise uses it as a segue into other related discussions.)
A rhetorical question is one which is used for the purpose of rhetorical effect (humor, thought provoking, pathos, etc.) and no answer is actually expected.
You actually want to know when metagaming is good.
Knowing the Jeorge the Bard is being played by your friend Jeff so you more readily accept him into the adventuring party is both metagaming and good: i.e. good metagaming.
From a worldbuilding perspective, I always see the charm school to be as "holy-s@%+-lets-make-this-illegal" as (much of) necromancy is. Bards getting lynched for casting charm spells and other wizards on the look out for enchanters would be the only way enchanters would not be in control of nearly everything.
Isn't it universally accepted by now that part of 3.5's problem was splatbook bloat?
More options equals more complexity; the writer of a new feat, class, race, etc., may not take into account its interaction with feat a, class b, spell c, or race d.
I think paragon surge is a perfect example of this. Whatever you think of its actual power level, I don't think all the ways it is currently used (picking up new spells or extra talens, discoveries, etc.,) was how it was intended to be used.
That is the main problem with more options. It starts to strain the game. The internet goes to work on it and fine tunes a few 'duh' builds for specific concepts. Less character concepts become viable under such conditions (sure, you can play x character, but everyone else is playing optimized z, y, and r and they will be outshining you consistently).
Another element of complexity is, well, complexity. As a DM, I should know all the feats, classes, archetypes, and spells my players have. That's a lot of work. Players, as in those who only play, often make a fair number of mistakes; such mistakes only bloom in the conditions of complexity.
Another other issue is a certain form of player entitlement. Yes, DMs can houserule anything they don't like or think is unbalanced from their games... this does not stop a certain breed of player from complaining like the dickens.
The fortitude save only negates Snowball's rider. If it halved damage then your conclusion would be valid, IMHO. If you ignore the rider, then this is shocking grasp at range without the bonus against metal clad opponents. It would still be a better spell for (almost) everyone but the magus.
If I read OP correctly, not all of these NPCs are villains. There is an unfortunate tendency amongst less experienced DMs to create DMPCs or DMNPCs (NPCs the DM identifies with and gets a kick out of seeing them do awesome things). While I generally differ to each group as to what is a desirable play stye, this sort of thing is (IMHO) universally bad.
+1; this thread inspired me to write up a paragraph on this for my house rules document.
A pinch of sulfur, blood of a hell hound, pebble from the plane of fire, etc., etc., would all be suitable for fireball. None of them need to be tracked.
You aren't playing by RAW. So... how am I supposed to talk to you? Demon eyeballs are not rare, they are contained in a 5 gp pouch you can buy in a thorp.
A lot of people have made mention of asking their players to buy new spell component pouches...
The thing costs 5 gp. This expenditure is irrelevant by level 3 if not level 2.
Yup. Writing a simple (as in quick-as-possible-to-play) rules for my next 'sacred 4' game (only the 4 basic classes, easier access to prestige classes [also expanded selection]).
As for OP's rules, here is how I think...
1. Magic items requiring exotic materials to build a'la 2nd ed. Eliminating wands of CLW. Wealth by level is also going out the window.
Try 'power components' from dragon magazine. They provide rules for exotic materials for specific items. They only cover the most common ones, but it gives guidelines for others.
If you throw out WBL, what are you replacing it with? Ad-hoc?
2. Power attack and Rapid shot being changed. These feats have been being abused by power gamers since at least 2001. I was on the WoTC boards when the early builds were being put together. Charge builds, archer builds, cleric build etc. Not much has really changed.
Changed how? I'm adding an improved version of piranha strike to my house rules (usable with any finesse weapon rather than just light weapons) to bring finesse builds up to par. I'm not sure how amazing power attack and rapid shot are in relation to full casters?
3. Limiting ability score. We are using a hard cap of 25, considering going down to 20.
I'm considering a hard cap of 18 + racial modifier. This causes issue with balance. Are you changing how you factor APL? Or are you throwing out CR as you do WBL (those go hand in hand for some people)?
4. Saving throws increasing or a fixed cap of DC 20. Currently going with the 1st option, in effect everyone has monk saving throws almost. A level 20 fighter for example has 12/10/10 base saves while a wizard has 10/10/12. Saves no longer stack from multi classing.
I can't agree with saves not stacking from multiclassing. Not allowing that +2 bonus for good saves that is part of good save stacking makes sense (and is something I do in my game as well as the other DM in my circle does as well; we also do fractional accounting for BAB and saves, though), but not stacking at all is too punitive IMHO.
5. Critical hits being toned down. Crits now deal maximum damage, X3/X4. weapons do an extra dice of damage on a crit in addition to max damage.
This depends on how you change power attack... High crit builds don't necessarily come out ahead of high damage builds.
6. Most classes get 4-8 skills per level. Background and not class determines skills.
Skill ranks per level is a part of the games inherent balance. You are weakening rogues and bards and stepping on their toes. Wizards get more power. If you want background to come into skills, why not just use traits which already do so?
7. Races are home brewed but have a choice of floating stats. Elves for example get +2 dex, and +2 int or wis and -2 con.
Floating stats are nice. I like that they did that in 4E and have considered the same for my games. Floating stats get rid of the 'duh' options for certain classes.
8. Weapon finesse is now a property of light weapons. Weapon finesse is now precision based dex to damage.
Not sure how I feel about this, it is hard to judge adjusting feat taxes without going into lots of theoretical builds or years of testing... finesses damage as precision damage makes sense from a stimulationist perspective, not sure about from a balance perspective.
It doesn't say it runs out and, therefore, it does not. The wizard is assumed to refill them "off-screen", I suppose.