Will McCardell's page

154 posts. Alias of Cheapy.


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This forum is for character advice on 3rd party stuff, so it's probably a good place to ask such questions. But here works too!

Linda's and my goal for this was to allow for multiple types of builds with the class, so it really depends on what you're looking for. We wanted to support a few different types of commanders with this, the chief two being the the leader from the front that leads by example and would probably focus on more physical abilities, and the leader from the rear that could focus more on mental abilities (and some physical ones), and give her troop commands. Internally, I believe we referred to the former as the Badass, and the latter as the General. It's been a bit, but I believe there was also a split between Charisma and Intelligence for the General type, namely through the Tactician archetype to use Intelligence in place of Charisma. The Strategist archetype is compatible with the Tactician too, and it goes further in replacing abilities associated with the Badass, allowing for some hybridization if you wish.

As general (ha.) advice, I'd suggest at least 12 Charisma regardless of the type you want to be (unless you use Int instead), so you can use Motivational Speech an additional time, especially if you start at a low level. The troop is pretty easy to hit until you teach them some ways to avoid damage or be in a more advantageous position, so being able to heal them after combat will be key. Silly soldiers think it's fine to be next to 4 orcs at once!

For the character (Strategist archetype only) I played, I believe I focused on Strength, some Constitution, and then I think Charisma and Dex in equal amounts, as I wanted the option at least to switch between ranged and melee.

If you do go ahead with that encounter, let us know how it goes! We'd love to hear.

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Well, unofficially, I think it'd be fine for that case, although if they took other damaging tactics, I'd keep them at d8. It's feat for an effective +1 damage increase. You can also just say they have bastard swords, but some also have daggers that they use now and then, and then between pommelsmacks and thrown elbows, that accounts for the B,P, and S damage type.

The other reason Linda and I went with this model was because it ensured we could have better handle on the balance. When we removed the possibility of outfitting your own troop, it meant that the class wouldn't get massively more powerful or weak based on the wealth that the party got, which is a factor we can't really control. We wanted to take a complex concept, someone in charge of a bunch of people, and take away as many of the the aspects that made the archetypical idea difficult to run without massive spreadsheets. And part of that included outfitting the troop personally. (And paying them, although we experimented with that a bit and Linda made a great system for how to handle it.)

One thing I'd recommend though is to sort of divorce yourself from the thinking that it's exactly like an NPC. It's fine to just say "Yes, they all have bastard swords", without giving them the feat. The squad weapon is never really specified, so it can be whatever you want. In the base adventure that introduced the troop subtype, the auto-damage represented rifle buts, elbows, knives, bayonets, and the occasional-probably-too-close-pistol fire. It was just whatever the troop had in hand.

Fluid Tactics would probably help though, letting them switch easier between two-handing the bastard swords, and using them one-handed with shields.

In the game I'm playing in, I have a General that leads a group of half-elfs that are outfitted with a mix of longswords, falcatas, shields, crossbows, and shovels. Their squad name is the Ditch Diggers, which is somehow a term of honor given our nascent kingdom.

Yep! It's almost better to ignore the troop subtype. Think of them like an animal companion. Just one made up of a bunch of tough dudettes and dudes.

So they get their own attacks, but the Squad Commands increase their capabilities in a few ways. The catch being you're trading your own actions for making the troop better.

It's a heavily modified version of the Troop subtype. Really, more of a spiritual successor. They do not do their troop attack damage automatically. That got turned into the Swarm command, where it uses their level as the auto damage. In that sense, it does scale, but only when you give the specific command.

The base damage die doesn't ever increase. Instead of increasing the damage like a swarm or troop does, their increased damage comes from increases to-hit, iteratives, and methods that everyone else uses.

Many thanks to Endzeitgeist for the review!

I definitely see what you meant about the Hordelord being mostly engine tweaks, so if we ever work on some additional alternative classes, we'll definitely keep that in mind. To a certain extent though, being mostly engine tweaks was partially the intent. It was partially to show off how the concept of the squad could be applied to other ideas, to whet the appetite for what's possible if you just tweak the squad mechanic a bit. Probably should've added a note to that effect though!

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Thanks for the review, Eric!

To answer your questions:

Flagbearer was indeed altered here. We thought it fit well, but that as written it'd be a bit too good.

Skirmishing is sort of a different way of damage than anything else in the system, so here is how it is supposed to work:

You have a dice pool. It's comprised of a number of d6s. If you get the tactic as soon as possible, your dice pool will have 1d6 in it. You also get 2 lines when you use this. Each line will do 2 points of damage, and you can assign any number of the dice from the dice pool to either line. If taken ASAP, that basically means you'll have 2 lines, one that does 1d6+2 damage, 1 that does 2 damage. Once you get a 2nd d6 in the dice pool, you could have 1 line that does 2d6+2 and the other doing 2, or two lines that do 1d6+2, etc etc.

The lines will follow the usual rules for line effects, same as spells. So, act like someone in the troop's squares is casting lightning bolt, and resolve it that way. :) Hopefully that helps.

That actually gets to something we struggled with with this class, namely the name. We went through many names (personal favorite: The Big Cheese) as we wanted to avoid the connotation that this was for military campaigns only, but at the end of the day, "the general" was the best term for this that encapsulated their abilities better than any other.

Suffice to say, your character does not need to be in a military to use this class. A number of the archetypes focus on different types of people who would be leading a group of soldiers. For example, there's the mindbender who has her troop under thrall. A leader of a crime organization. A crusader leading her faith's warriors against her deity's enemies. And a number more.

There's also an archetype, the Rallier, the trades out all the kingdom building mechanics as well.

So, long story short, this class will work in non-military campaigns just as well as military campaigns.

Yes, the central mechanic is a modification of the troop subtype that works better in player hands.

fafnir_bane wrote:

I was extremely excited about this product when I first bought. I could finally play the brilliant tactician and general I always wanted to. Then I realized I could re-skin this into Squirrel Girl for myself and a crazy cat lady for my girlfriend. After that, I was ecstatic.

Legendary Games: Making dreams come true.


That sort of thing was exactly what we wished to show with the zombie horde version of the class: With a few tweaks, the idea of the troop could be applied to many other things. Glad it's helped you realize a few of your dreams (even if you didn't realize you had them until now!)

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IronDesk, regarding your first question on the demiurge, my idea was that the facsimiles would be best used more like tools than as an eidolon. Based on Paizo-released classes, versatility is highy valued, and the ability to create the right tool for the situation seemed very powerful for the demiurge. And even if you did have a facsimile that was weaker for a given task, it could at least help buff another one.

The tend to have a different role from the Summoner, being able to fit the roles of knowledge monkey, Face, and swiss-army-knife. Enlightenments allow them to focus on other things as well. All told, I think that it's a class that will fair decently against the Unchained Summoner. I'm glad I wasn't balancing too close to the original summoner, given the recent patch of it. :)

Thank you both! Linda has some other books out with Legendary Games as well, namely Treasury of the Kingdoms (and Pirate Codex too!).

And CB, you've definitely hit the nail on the head for how we wanted it to work. Actually getting a number of men would need a spreadsheet of sorts to keep track of, and we wanted to hit all the high notes of this concept with minimizing the any headaches.

Thanks Chemlak. We were quite excited when we came up with the idea, and knew it would be a great fit in this line. We're looking forward to reading the review!

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Thanks Liz!

Eric, thank you for the words. I recall Jason saying that he'd submit the work to Paizo once the table was fixed, so I believe it will be fixed. Spoiler: the squad does go to level 20.

Oceanshieldwolf, this is a class that I and Linda Zayas-Palmer designed, yes.

For me, one of the most interesting things about the troop subtype is that the examples listed are actually fairly decent examples of what a "one-creature encounter" should be. If you run the math, they are essentially glass cannons (and although their HP lines up with the Statistics by CR, IIRC, their increased size means they can be hit more often), able to put out a LOT of firepower in one round. They served their role very well in the book they came out in.

Perhaps needless to say, for the Squad we decided to dial that back a fair bit, and focus on some more defensive abilities.

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pezlerpolychromatic wrote:
Ohhhhhh baby........ I'm going to have to rub this PDF all over me. On to Ultimate Armies next!

While I expected a somewhat favorable reaction to the class, I gotta admit I wasn't quite expecting that reaction!

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Yep, the demiurge does not have any spells, but the theory goes that the versatility of the facsimiles should make up for that. Most enlightenments should have an ability that they can use fairly often as well, which provides some measure of fall-back.

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Nice to see this coming out soon! Maybe we'll see more of this Mark Seifter fellow!

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Hmm, I have the sneaking suspicion that Endzeitgeist likes this one.

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I'm speechless. Last he and I talked, he was recovering fairly well. My condolences to his family and friends.

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Serisan wrote:
Speaking to the point about the Ecclesitheurge, I would have preferred that they leave out the artwork in favor of presenting the complete archetype. The dwarf is super cool looking, but presenting an incomplete archetype is not an acceptable trade-off. The dwarf takes up 1/4 of the page. Cheapy, who authored the archetype, stated that the ability was cut to add reasonable explanatory text to other abilities, which is a great reason to make a change like that. That said, I'm sure that the BotF ability that was cut could fit within 1/4 of a page. If it was short, it could reasonably have been included by scaling the art down or, if too long for that, by adding fluff text in place of the artwork to ensure sufficient page fill.

Quick clarification, just so everyone is on the same page. I don't know why it was cut. I gave what I suspected to be the reasons. I don't feel like the reasons actually matter though, as just about everything that gets sent in gets changed in some way or another.

This sort of issue has happened in the past. One case was the Vivisectionist's suggested discoveries. I believe another time was regarding some of Jason Nelson's archetypes from UCombat or the APG. Things get changed in development all the time, for myriad reasons, all legitimate. Sometimes, abilities referencing the old mechanics don't get scrubbed. Hell, write a class and go through 9 revisions of it, and you'll see how easy it is to miss this sort of thing. I had a class I wrote a while ago that, right before I sent it to the publisher, I did 3 final reads, and on the third read, I saw a reference to an ability from the first draft. Every single freelancer will have experiences like this (except maybe Russ Taylor).

It's a 250 page text-heavy book. The fact that there are so few errors is remarkable. Check out the Shadowrun 5e core rule book, and you'll see what I mean :)

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Why thank you!

Thank you for the constructive portions of the feedback.

It's Paizo's property now, so I won't be. They made the call to focus on another aspect of the archetype, and I respect that. Pretend the reference to the ability doesn't exist :)

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Orthos wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
archmagi1 wrote:
no, its all weapon finesse and 1-h flavor like the swashbuckler

Damn! I was really hoping I would finally get my cavalier that dumps the mount, keeps tactician and orders, but gains some kind of new ability to replace them that makes me like a noble general who wades into combat in full plate, hefting a zwiehander and cleaving men in twain.

Panache is cool, but I have been seriously waiting since APG to rock a Cavalier like this and this wait is starting to grate.

If you're not playing PFS and your GM is okay with third-party stuff, check out the Inspiring Commander on PFSRD. I can't recall at the moment which 3pp it's from unfortunately, but it swaps all your CHA-related Cavalier stuff over to INT and ditches the mount.

Secrets of Tactical Archetypes by Rite Publishing!

OK, I double checked.

The Pious Sentinel does NOT have the teamwork feats she prayed for UNLESS she uses Strategic Hegemony.

She is affected by Strategic Hegemony.

The text is contradictory on whether it affects AC against AoOs, or just flat AC. Apparently I scrubbed the notes clean, so I don't have the original notes on hand, but I do recall thinking about it being just for AoOs. The idea behind this is that you make it easier for the allies to move around, and do combat maneuvers they don't have the Improved Feat of. This would be instead of just giving a really strong general buff.

Do those answer your questions?

Hey Cat-thulhu,

I'll have to double check the book and my notes as it's been a while. I believe the answers are that it affects the PS, and that it affects the AC bonus against AoOs, but not "normal AC."

I'll reply later with the double checked answer!

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Amora Game wrote:

Playtest (Current) document Breakdown by class

Conduit = 4 pages
Demiurge = 15 pages
Medium = 5 pages
Metamorph = 7 pages
Mnemonic = 5 pages
Mystic = 15 pages
Plane-Touched = 15 pages
Survivor = 4 pages
Warloghe = 8 pages
Huh, my submission ended up being just as large as Will's? That's surprising. :-P

Surprised me too! The layout guy must be really good at shrinking and expanding :)

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Hah! It's not often I actually laugh out loud at something on the internet, but thanks Drejk.

Yes, this was heavily influenced by the Allegory of the Cave, and the Theory of Forms & Plato in general.

I would say it's fairly unlike any other class, if only for the fact that the main class feature is the ability to create life in way that can kinda-sorta-maybe be described as the cast-off love child of a tripartite tryst between Summon Monster, an Eidolon's evolutions, and the Words of Power.

It does have some bardic hints, in reference to Plato and Socrates work as teachers and orators, respectively. And the Enlightenments are modeled in the same vein as bloodlines / Orders. So it's obviously not 100% unique, but the main thrust hasn't been done before in a class, best I can tell.

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OmNomNid wrote:

Don't smile, Will; it is your fault we are waiting, what with your awesome sounding but overtly complicated class.

So any update on the update?

I don't know if it's complicated, so much as there's the possibility of a lot of depth. I'm pretty sure it makes sense once you read the whole thing! And then reread the facsimile section a few times.

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It's true. I am foaming at the mouth to see how it turned out.

But really, it's probably my fault for writing a class that requires such a long editing session :)

So, by my count, that means the demiurge is between about 13-30% of the book? Huh!

The thought occurred to me that people in Numeria might think that computers are intelligent magic items. Interesting!

Which regions of Golarion have the highest concentration of intelligent magic items? Where are they most often created and used? My guess is Nex and/or Cheliax, with the latter because Cheliax is partially about using eldritch sentient beings as tools. (or, thinking they're using them as tools)

Seeing as how I wrote 3 or 4 programs to help figure out the mathomancy of this class.... that's not too far from the truth.

Oh, and I'll mention I didn't just focus on the theory of forms. It's influenced primarily by Plato, but some other Pre-Socratics can be found within.

Thales, unfortunately, didn't make the cut.

Adam B. 135 wrote:
I don't have access to the preview, but just hearing your description gets me excited. I never thought I'd see Plato in Pathfinder. Thank you for giving me another reason to pick this book up.

Glad you're excited! I've wanted to see something based off of the Theory of Forms in Pathfinder for a while now, and this seemed as good an opportunity as any :)

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So, a bit late. But the Demiurge is now ready. All 12k words of it.

Since I don't recall too much being released about it, here's the short gist.

You are a philosopher warrior. You tap into the World of the theory of forms, and are able to create living tools to your specifications. Need a scout? Create a facsimile of life that is skilled at Stealth, is able to fly, and that allows you to see through its eyes. Need to hold a chokepoint? Create a brutish facsimile that can't move, but has more attacks to bear and is able to disrupt the terrain around it, making it harder for foes to pass. Or link up the facsimiles using rhetorical tactics to create a wall of Law, or boosting the power of one facsimile of life with the strength of the other.

Each demiurge focuses on a single path to enlightenment, contemplating how each path relates to the Perfect World. There are six such enlightenments, and they all focus on different aspects of the archetypical fantasy roles: defender, martial, trickster, artificer, blaster, and one that focuses on the aspects of the class itself.

Looking forward to seeing what people think about it, as I don't even want to know how many hours I (and others!) sunk on it. Once you see how it looks, I'm sure you'll see why it took so long :)

If anyone is interested in seeing what the newest Paizo designer is capable of, this book is a great chance :)

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Endzeitgeist wrote:

Congrats!!! If what I've seen so far from you is any indicator, the Paizo-team made a great decision! (And for cool, weird stuff à la Masked Reveler, Rite et al. still are there for more fringe designs!)

That being said - from what I've seen, I'm not surprised by Paizo's decision!

There you have it folks, the first Pathfinder Design Team member to get Endz' Seal of Approval ;)

I'd like someone to take a look at my subscriptions, and see what's up with them. The payment was originally denied, but I've since resolved that issue.

My subscriptions page also says I'm queued up for Occult Mysteries and the Harrow Handbook (I should be getting two comp copies of this, and confirmation on that would be nice too!), which I don't need either of. If you could cancel those two, and reprocess the order, that'd be appreciated!


I have a feeling that investigators will differentiate themselves based on what effects they add to their studied strike.

I find the possibility of using Inspiration to get another Studied Combat off to be very interesting...and potentially quite "bursty". I'm eager to see how this one will evolve, since I think it'll be seen as weak in the weeks after release.

Sort of like a summoner, which everyone thought was nerfed to uselessness when the APG first came out.

I got my copy of this, and I'm quite pleased with it! Can't wait to read the whole thing, especially after the awesomeness that was The Harrowing.

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
El Ronza wrote:

So I bought this, because I'm looking for appropriately-themed goodies for my Kingmaker campaign, and yes. Yes, yes, yes. I'll definitely be throwing a Reveler or three at my players... Perhaps at the "Spring Feast" event created by user pennywit on these forums...

I'm not a good enough writer to give this a good review, but damn. An enthusiastic thumbs-up from me (some random user not a lot of people pay attention to)!

Well, I definitely remember you from some of your other posts.

While it's true that thorough reviews like thefortier's for Reveler and Endzeitgeist's in general are certainly amazing, something shorter and expressive, even a review like what you posted there is absolutely appreciated as well (we just like reviews in general!).

Yep, even just 4 sentence reviews are nice, since people don't always read the discussion pages :)

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Well then! That's a lovely surprise to wake up to. Thanks Endz!

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Hey all,

I'd like to request that the sections in Animal Archive that relates to tricks, Handle Animal, and the magic items that animals can use be posted on the PRD. This is an oft-requested explanation of core mechanics that shouldn't require purchasing of a Player Companion book just to fully understand.

Given the news that the Technology Guide will be posted to the PRD, I think it is now fair game to add other sections of books that help explain mechanics in the Core rules.


Ross Byers wrote:
I can't wait to get my grubby hands on the finished version of this book.


I got a kick out of the fact that so many of the slayer archetypes have the word "slayer" in it :)

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Praise is great, criticism is useful :) Take nothing of this personal.


The Vizier's class skills are- A

It has a weird — at the end that isn't copying. Also, copying and pasting that line posts this one:

Veils, which are drawn from the

Not sure if that's an issue or not.


The DC for a saving throw against a

Veil’s abilities is 10 + the number of points of Essence invested in the Veil + your Intelligence modifier.

Minor, but classes are always written in third person perspective.

As a swift action, the Vizier can reallocate his Essence investments into his Veils every round.

The "every round" is superfluous and would just confuse things, I feel.


At the end of the hour, all effects of unshaped Veils end and the effects

of all newly formed Veils take effect.

I feel this could use some clarity. Specifically the "unshaped Veils" bit. The first time I read it, it gave the impression of some veils have special effects when unshaped, during that hour. I know that's not the case, but even more clear would be nice!

While not a spell-caster in any traditional sense of the word,

I disagree with this. You ask a peasant what that man with magic is, and he'll say a spellcaster.

And is it really spell-caster? That's weird.


The item gains a number

of additional charges equal to the amount of Essence invested; these charges dissipate if not used within
24 hours and cannot be used to activate spells of 8th level or higher. The Vizier is considered to meet all
qualifications for use of an item he invests Essence into and never needs to make a Use Magic Device
check to activate an item he has currently invested Essence in.

I'm a bit concerned about this ability, especially the bold part. That's really strong, although it's mitigated by the fact that you need to choose at the beginning of the day which to invest in. Still, it makes them the best wand/stave users out there, since they can use Divine and Arcane wands/staves with no issue. I feel this would be further ameliorated by making it so that the Vizier chooses at the beginning of the day what his Intelligence counts as for the purposes of activating spell-trigger / spell-completion items. And he doesn't get to choose Charisma and then be able to use his Intelligence normally for other wands. This is a bit complex, but the ability is very strong and versatile as is.

Mystic Attunement: the Paths need to be indented, so it's more clear that they aren't base abilities. Just two spaces before "Path of the " is what publishers usually want.


The Vizier gains a bonus equal to ½ his class level on all skill checks made as part

of the crafting process and reduces the crafting time for any item he creates by one day per class level
(minimum 1 day).

Erk. Is the reduction in days to craft really necessary? The bonus to the skill check already does that.

The Crafter mus completely exchange the properties of both


the Crafter can use this ability to transfer charges between wands or staves whose highest level spells
are the same

This won't allow them to bypass any temporary charges added with Eldritch Insight, right?

At 17th level, the Vizier reduces the cost to create Wondrous Items, Rings, and Staves by 25%.

This is an additional reduction in the time as well, right?

Path of the Seer:

I believe I voiced my concerns with this ability previously, and they still stand (in regard to being better than the cavalier's Tactician ability), but additionally, this is a really strange ability because you can't even actually *use* it to be useful until 6th level, when you can put a second point of essence into it. And by then, you, a half-BAB class, have two teamwork feats. That's weird. But suddenly, at 6th level, you make two guys *awesome*, since you just gave out two teamwork feats.

Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites for feats shared in this way.

This is good, but you should specify that it means that they still need to be in the requisite positions / conditions to benefit from the feats. Prerequisites can be taken both to mean "to access the feat" and "to get the feats bonus" in this case :(


Foresee Conflict:A Seer who reaches this this level of mastery gains an almost prophetic insight into

the flow of energy in the world around him

And what mastery level is that? By elimination, I think it's 17th level. But make it explicit.


granted the use of any Teamwork feats via the Vizier’s Path abilities can manifest a lesser version of any

one Veil the Seer currently has bound to a chakra slot

By "lesser version" do you just mean that they don't get the bind effect?

Essence Bond:

Hands: What's the flavor here?



The range of this

ability increases by 5 feet per point of Essence invested in a Veil occupying this slot, and the bonus to
movement increases by 5 feet for every 2 points of Essence invested.

If I invest 3 points, then is the range 30 feet and +10? Or do I have to invest separately, so I'd have 1 point in Range, and 2 points in Speed?

Head: This is written in shorthand rules, and isn't how rules are really written in the game. It looks like Hands has this issue. Specifically, the ", +1 per point" construction.

Wrists: These armguards,

Which? The word choice of "these armguards" is highly specific for an ability that's pretty general.


. In

addition, all allies affected by this ability treat any distance fallen as 20 feet less than it actually is when
determining damage taken or Acrobatics DCs. does this actually work? Like, if you're in the aura when you start the fall, do you get the benefits? Or only if the vizier falls with you? Or if you land in an area where a vizier with the aura is, you get the benefits? Also, there are a loot of different auras to remember here. That would become a nightmare to keep track of.

It's a bit late for it, but I think the whole Essence Bond ability needs to be rethought. Headband is made available at level 12. But it gives +1 to Perception and Sense Motive. There are few abilities in the game that have a such a mismatch of level-gained and powerlevel!

All the abilities scale really strangely with when they are gained, and a lot of them just aren't worth the essence, IMO. And them all being small conditional bonuses (and many with auras attached) means it's not very elegant, and honestly kind of a nightmare to keep track of. You have to remember all the conditions under which you get which bonuses, as well as the aura ranges attached. (please reread the second sentence of this post) It feels fairly amateur, and I know you're capable of better.

From a flavor perspective, it's odd that some Viziers focus on creatures, and some focus on inanimate objects. But they both can infuse inanimate objects with essence (Essence Bond), and they can both infuse allies with essence (in a manner, by using aura essence bonds), when the two are set up as polar opposites. Just a strange thing I noticed.

I wish I had more constructive here, and less criticism. Maybe more will come to me eventually.

Veilshifting: Kind of an odd way to say how many times per day. But anyhow, can I use this with Eldritch Insight to change my wands? Because then the ability gets really powerful again :)

Phew, OK. That's all for now.

zergtitan wrote:

I am disappointed about not getting an archetype list, but then again looking at the original post I can see the original intent.

I doubt he's joking. Oh well, the mystery shall wait for a while longer. :)

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