Shocker Lizard

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RPG Superstar 9 Season Marathon Voter. Organized Play Member. 3 posts. 1 review. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Organized Play characters.


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As a GM, I want a skill system that is simple (the rules are short and easy to remember), flexible (it can be applied to all sorts of game situations easily), and intuitive (its results seems reasonable and fair). The new system (from what little info we have) is a step in the right direction but seems to fall short on all three.

I’ll start with what I think system should be.

When your players encounter a skill challenge, you pick the skill and difficulty level. Picking a simple lock is Trained Thievery. A hard lock might be Expert or Master Thievery. Surviving in the void (to use Paizo’s example) would be Legendary Survival. That’s it! You’re done.

The rules would provide examples of skill challenges at each difficulty level, but those are just guidelines. You pick the difficulty that is appropriate for your game and group.

Now your players roll. If their proficiency level equals the challenge level, they just roll a d20. By default, a 10 or higher succeeds. For each proficiency level higher, they roll with some significant bonus (roll an additional d20 and take the highest or add +4 or +5). If they are one proficiency level lower, they roll with an equivalent disadvantage. Two or more levels lower and they cannot succeed.

The end.

My issues with the proposed PF2 system:

If there really is a list of new actions and abilities at each proficiency rank, we end up with 20 pages of skill tables that GMs have to memorize or constantly reference in order to know whether to allow a character to make a check or use an ability. Making them absolute rules instead of guidelines also encourages rules lawyering when a situation doesn’t exactly match up with the book.

The flat level bonus makes it hard to adapt content on the fly. What is a hard lock? Is it DC 12, 17, 27? Who knows, it depends on the party level. It also leads to very unintuitive situations like a high level untrained paladin being better at thievery than a low level rogue.

The proficiency level bonuses are too small (+1 per level). In a party of 5 players where one character is a master and everyone else is just trained, the master only has a 27% chance of being the highest roll. So his or her skill barely matters. If you used advantage and disadvantage (say for an Expert skill check), the master would have a 58% chance of being the highest.

That said, I am definitely in favor of using their system for things like saves and weapons. Those proficiency bonuses should be small since everyone needs to have a chance to make their saves or hit their attacks. Character level is obviously very important in combat, so adding in level here does make sense. And unlocking new abilities which used to be feats like evasion seems like a fun and intuitive method of character progression. Any thoughts?

Marathon Voter Season 9

dracwn wrote:

Thank you for any advice. This was cut in the final cull.

Teeth of the White Death
Aura Strong Transmutation; CL 5th
Slot Neck; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.

This item appears as a coral necklace with five Great White Shark teeth attached to it. These teeth can be activated with a command, producing the listed effect, but each tooth can be only used once. After a tooth is used, it shatters.

A Ripple in the Water: Detaching this tooth centers a aura of fear on the wearer as though fear (30 ft., DC17) had been cast.

Jaws of the White: When detached, this tooth transforms the wearer's mouth into a double row of razor sharp teeth. Wearer gains a Bite +9 attack (2d8+10 plus bleed (1d6)).

Killer Vision: When detached, this tooth transforms the wearer's eyes black. Wearer gains Blindsense 30 ft.

Fleet of Fin: When detached, this tooth allows the wearer to gain a Swim Speed of 60 ft.

Shedding Skin: When detached, this tooth allows the wearer to gain Fast Healing 3.

Each of the abilities gained lasts for 1d6 hours. Necklace regrows teeth at the rate of 1 per day.

Construction Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, alter self, fear, touch of the sea, echolocation; Cost 5,000 gp

Dracwn, nice job! This is a very thematic item, and with a few minor changes, I think it could be great.

1. Remove the fear tooth. All of the other effects affect only the user personally. This gives gives the item a tight theme of transforming into a shark. Yes the aura is centered on the user, but it's really a spell you're casting against opponents. Removing the fear will also prevent people from thinking it's a spell in a can.

2. You don't need to specify attack or damage bonuses in the bite attack. It will automatically use the wearer's BAB and strength. It should say something like "The wearer gains a bite attack that deals 2d8 points of damage (assuming the wearer is Medium) and 1d6 points of bleed damage.

3. Killer Vision and "blind"-sense doesn't make much sense in combination. It's more like "Blood Scent" or "Blood in the Water". It would be cool if the blindsense only worked against injured opponent's but had a greater range.

4. Don't describe an item as being destroyed if you get to use it again. The duration (hours) and regrowth period (days) are both too long as well. Unless there's a very good reason not to, items should reset every day for simplicity's sake. I would prefer something like "You can activate a single tooth as a swift action. The effect lasts for 1 minute. Only one effect can be active at a time, and activating a second tooth ends the first one's effect. Each tooth can be used once per day."

Just my two cents.

Grigori Rasputin:

Grigori Rasputin CR 17
XP 102,400
Male middle-aged human psychic 18
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +11; Senses arcane sight, true seeing; Perception +23
Aura unholy aura (DC 22)

----- Defense -----
AC 28, touch 20, flat-footed 26 (+4 armor, +2 dexterity, +4 deflection, +4 insight, +4 natural)
hp 158 (18d6+93)
Fort +18, Ref +16, Will +21, +4 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities mind blank, stitched soul; SR 26

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk dagger +13/+8 (1d4–1/19–20)
Ranged mwk Nagant M1895 revolver +16/+11 (1d8/×4)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th)
1/day—detect thoughts (DC 19)
1/day—telepathic bond
Psychic Spells Known (CL 18th; concentration +26)
9th (3/day)—telekinetic storm (DC 27), time stop
8th (6/day)—greater possession (DC 26), moment of prescience, orb of the void (DC 26), psychic crush IV (DC 26)
7th (7/day)—insanity (DC 26), grasping hand (DC 25), greater arcane sight, limited wish, mass hold person (DC 26), mind blank
6th (7/day)—contingency, greater dispel magic, greater heroism, psychic surgery, repulsion (DC 24), thought shield V
5th (7/day)—dominate person (DC 25), explode head (DC 23), mind thrust V (DC 23), modify memory (DC 24), song of discord (DC 24), true seeing, wall of force
4th (8/day)—aura of doom (DC 22), black tentacles, dimension door, divination, mental barrier III, named bullet, scrying (DC 22)
3rd (8/day)—babble (DC 22), borrow fortune, dispel magic, displacement, excruciating deformation (DC 21), fly, vampiric touch (DC 21)
2nd (8/day)—alter self, euphoric cloud (DC 20), hold person (DC 21), locate object, mirror image, paranoia (DC 20), placebo effect, resist energy
1st (8/day)—anticipate peril, command (DC 20), disguise self (DC 19), ear-piercing scream (DC 19), mage armor, murderous command (DC 20), persuasive goad (DC 19), sow thought (DC 20)
0 (at will)—dancing lights, detect magic, detect psychic significance, grave words, mage hand, message, prestidigitation, read magic, sift
Psychic Discipline abomination

----- Tactics -----
Before Combat Within the Thrice-Tenth presbytery (area H6), Rasputin enjoys the benefits of the World Engine’s unholy aura and insight bonus to his AC. Each morning, Rasputin casts mage armor, mind blank, and moment of prescience. He has a contingency active to cast psychic surgery when intelligence damage or a mind-affecting effect prevents him from casting spells. When faced with combat, he casts greater arcane sight, greater heroism, true seeing, mirror image, anticipate peril, and up to three named bullets if time permits. Once enemies are in sight, he casts time stop and then casts black tentacles, grasping hand, aura of doom, and repulsion to disable as many enemies as possible, miming widen metamagic if necessary.
During Combat Rasputin prefers to turn his enemies upon each other using quickened dominate person, song of discord, and greater possession. He uses greater arcane sight to identify which opponents are not protected against mind control. If forced to engage his enemies, he dispatches nearby targets with quickened hold person and a coup de grace with a named bullet, teleporting adjacent to them using space-rending spell if necessary. If Rasputin is being overwhelmed, he activates his dark half discipline power and his spectral shroud to gain a host of new defenses. Limited wish is used only in an emergency to heal himself via restoration or breath of life.
Morale On the precipice of claiming his mother’s mythic power, Rasputin relies on his stitched soul to preserve his life, and fights to the death again and again until slain permanently.

----- Statistics -----
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 26, Wis 14, Cha 18
Base Atk +9; CMB +8; CMD 28
Feats Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Diehard^B, Improved Initiative, Logical Spell, Persuasive, Quicken Spell, Reach Spell, Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Perfection (dominate person), Toughness
Skills Bluff +25, Diplomacy +29, Fly +6, Intimidate +29, Knowledge (arcana) +23, Knowledge (geography) +16, Knowledge (local) +23, Knowledge (nature) +16, Knowledge (nobility) +23, Knowledge (planes) +23, Knowledge (religion) +23, Linguistics +12, Perception +23, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +23, Use Magic Device +19
Languages Church Slavonic, Common, English, French, German, Russian; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ phrenic pool (13 points), phrenic amplifications (intense focus, ongoing defense, undercast surge, space-rending spell, mime-metamagic [Persistent Spell, Widen Spell]), discipline powers (dark half [16 rounds/day], morphic form, psychic safeguard)
Gear mwk dagger, mwk Nagant M1895 revolver with 21 metal cartridges, amulet of natural armor +4, belt of physical perfection +2, headband of mental prowess +4 (Wis, Cha), spectral shroud, diamond worth 1,500 gp, diamond dust worth 250 gp

----- Special Abilities -----
Stitched Soul (Su) Rasputin’s soul is stitched to his body with threads of fate, and he clings tenaciously to life. He gains Diehard as a bonus feat. In addition, when first reduced to a number of negative hit points equal to or greater than his current Con score, Rasputin dies, but he springs back to life 1d4 rounds later as if the target of a resurrection spell. If killed a second time, the Mad Monk again comes back to life 1d6 rounds later, as if the target of a raise dead spell (upon his return, he loses 50% of his remaining unused spell slots as if they had been used to cast spells). Only after Rasputin is slain for a third time do his soul’s stitches finally unravel from his corpse, releasing his malignant spirit into the ether.

Notes on the Build:

The goal was for Rasputin to be able to control and disable players without irrevocably removing them from the fight. The spells on this list can be dispelled or mitigated in some way, unlike some control spells such as plane shift, maze, or microcosm.

At the same time, the ability to use his swift action for quickened spells or teleporting, his move action for the orb or hand, and his standard action for normal spells should allow him to keep up in action economy with the players.

He has additional spells known due to choosing the human favored class bonus from levels 4 to 18.