"If you succeed and the target is alive, anytime during the duration you can spend a Verbal action to speak a word of death that could instantly slay it, depending on its Fortitude save."
This is really awkward method of expressing the dependencies. It also does not state whether the target must be able to hear the word of death or be within a range of hearing, or...
Moreover: this casting deals no damage. So why would the target become NOT alive at the end of the casting, huh?
Also this section (below) is not clear whether it relates to QUIVERING PALM casting or target's Fortitude save.
"Success The target survives, the spell ends, and the target is bolstered against it.
Verdict: Really bad. As in back to the drawing board.
I will probably invest into playtest edition to see how it measures up to my favorite two games, 13th Age and Shadow of the Demon Lord.
If it is as good, as lean and elegant, then great. Otherwise, well, I'll be a happy owner of shiny playtest edition.
A few examples:
- all-warrior party remains viable throughout all levels in 13th Age. Yes, warriors can support themselves without healers and wizards.
- adjudicating complicated combat in SotDl takes 45 minutes... if you're a beginner GM that is.
- magic items are not be all and end all of a character. Character abilities are more important than trinkets.
- feats that grant +1 to _something_, feats that grant +1 every N levels... GONE!
- there is place for epic magic, but it is not in combat. You don't cast reality altering stuff in seconds. On the other hand, Wizards don't need to run out of magic during a day, forcing everyone to take a long rest.
And so on.
You have just described the reasons why I switched to 13th Age.The game has quite a lot more going for it than these but with the exception of #7, all fits.
Instead of pure Vancian spellcasting, we have Arcana Evolved readied slots. And everyone can learn Ritual Spellcasting to do magicky stuff (it's a feat that let's you grab a book and be a wizard, it's just that casting anything takes ages - on the plus side, you can do anything as long as you research your ritual).
I'm not turned off either, merely not interested enough to commit.
Please allow me to elaborate a bit on the reasoning behind my opinion:
1. Sean is trying to get into very tightly packed market. Moreover, the presentation of the system makes it look like it is going to be really close to its esteemed predecessors. And so I look at his blog entries and measure them against his ideas:
2. Stuff mentioned, but not revealed yet:
3. Important but not addressed so far:
4. Altogether new toys:
NOTE: I would like to emphasize that I expect Sean NOT to tackle all of these or most of these. These example only serve to point out why, with Five Moons looking dangerously similar to its predecessors, Sean's work seems very daunting (leaving me somewhat undecided).
I have had the privilege of reading Trailblazer, a most interesting take on d20 weaknesses (Keith Gersen's stuff also comes to my mind), but despite good stuff, it lost me when it made me add even more work to prep time. I have scavenged some of it, but I was not able to fully benefit.
5. The good stuff that makes me want to buy into Kickstarter so far:
6. The stuff that would make me go boom with enthusiasm:
I could go on. But generally, these are the things I look for before I back an RPG Kickstarter. And I backed quite a few.
MM is not here yet.DMG is not here yet.
No APs. No OGL. (yet?)
Hold your horses, dude.
Trying to build a 9th-level brawler and it is increasingly reminding me of the rogue, in that it's supposed to be a combat class, but it seems to be failing to do anything better than other combat classes out there.
That's because the progression should've been something like... human, gorilla, rhino, ..., Rhino, the Thing, Hulk.
In the game, where magic reigns supreme, classes extending mundane abilities should become superheroes, not +1 item users.
Apologies for this derail... it's just that seeing yet another class with fighter issues is really vexing.
Unchaining Fighter should mean , IMHO:
I think that the source of your issue is discrepancy between ability first sentence and actual ability meaning.
Under standard logic "no alignment" would render any type of alignment-based comparison or requirement meaningless. Therefore, your character would rather fail to meet any alignment requirements.
HOWEVER, the actual meaning of the ability can be paraphrased as follows:
As per this interpretation:
IMHO, the first sentence should be stricken out, or replaced with "Your alignment matches any requirements and restrictions, as long as you deem this favorable."
Trove of Treasure Maps, i.e. short writeup of location + puzzle + guardians + legend. Fakes, baits welcome.
Cursed Lineages, a bunch of secret backgrounds to pin on player characters to invite them on journeys of dark discovery of skeletons in closets.
Flowers of Evil, objects of art with dark history and terrifying haunts.
Mysterious Societies, 10 secret groups or cults to upset balance of power in your campaign.
PR is Everything, short list of good deeds for your villains to win over local populace so that the job of the PCs became that much harder.
More specifically, can one force PCGen to use Java6 if it is installed (while keeping the installation of Java7 for minecraft?)
Yes, and it's very easy. You just need to type a few things.Note however that latest beta should run under Java7 just fine.
1. Go to the folder of your java6 installation, there find bin\javaw.exe. Copy the path, like this:
2. Go to your pcGen installation folder. Find pcgen_low_mem.bat file there.
3. Edit the file. This is a plain text file, so just start your trusty Notepad and open the file. Inside the file change last line from:
4. Save the file.
Note that I have changed file extension (just a cosmetic change), removed maximum memory limit (i.e. -Xmx96m switch). Also remember to add double quotes.
As a GM I would say something like this:
From your story it is clear you have given him (and them) more than one chance. Also, it's quite likely these kobolds are holding innocents prisoner.
Mercy is precious commodity. Do not waste on those who don't cannot benefit from it. Paladin is a weapon - your job is to vanquish evil, not to split hair over a petty monster not willing to cooperate.
Life sucks. It always ends in death.
Pathfinder rocks. That's all there is to it.
Disclaimer: haven't played FF games beyond 8th, so my knowledge is quite limited. Gonna give it a try based on the wiki you linked and some animation videos I saw on youtube.
Blazefire Sabre (Exotic weapon proficiency) feat: gain access to additional weapon features (see below).
Blazefire Sabre (exotic fusion of long-hafted axe and pistol, two weapon modes)
Don't do this directly. This is a game of rock, paper and scissors now, and the party usually can provide all three, while a lone spellcaster is just this: alone.
Specific advice for a spellcaster:
2. Always reduce visibility first. If they can pinpoint your location, or worse, if they can pinpoint you with ranged attacks, you're a goner. Invisibility is the most often countered spell in game, so take care to research alternatives:
3. Multiple saves, part two. Toxic fumes, poisoned weapons and caltrops. Target Strength ability to paralyze the casters. A group of friendly shadows (or controlled shadows) will do the trick nicely. A large group of kobolds with strength sapping darts will do good, too.
4. Invest in +Stealth items. Make Stealth your primary skill. Use darkness spells a lot.
5. Fireball sniping. Fireball is a long range spell. Cleric's worst save is Reflex. Bonus points if you can get several fireballs to go simultaneously. If you kill, or at least scare their healer, they will flee, too.
41. You tend to discuss your violent machiavellan schemes in a middle of a crowded bus.
42. You tend to discuss magic and demon summoning and bloody sacrifices in a middle of a crowded bus.
43. You tend to brag about your imaginary conquests of fairer sex... in public places.
Ah, the memories of bygone age. Nowadays even fundamentalist geriatric commandos would not break a sweat if I tried any of the above.
Chuck Wright wrote:
Statement of intentions does not equal proof of transaction. Color me slightly pessimistic especially since their open beta is not referring to actual open design approach (i.e. an unfinished version of the product is publicly available for testing), merely to "something" being open for testing.
The last time we've heard something similar from WotC, the "open beta" was actually a class preview for 4E (Barbarian or Assassin, sorry, don't remember right now) less than 3-4 months before release of the product. It was just a cover preview, not an actual beta.
Besides, they lack people and experience with regard to open beta design. Again, intentions do not equal deeds.
I've heard grumblings along the lines of Paizo having done it before WotC. All that tells me is that there are people among the "powers that be" at WotC/Hasbro who are willing to learn from their mistakes and change their game-plan accordingly. It's simply smart business to recognize a winning strategy by your competitor and adopt it.
Agreed on this. Besides, open test is a good way to find one's own ability to handle complex customer support tasks - crowdsourcing testing is only as good as vendor's ability to process feedback.
2) They want make the game modular. According to the ENWorld article, the next rule set will have a basic system with more rule systems that can be stacked on to that basic system. I have seen this done with a few other gaming systems and it is one of my favorite approaches. My hope would be that the basic system will allow for genre-specific rule modularity.
So they want to create a GURPS Pathfinder with core framework based on 4E bones. At least that how I see their goals - they want to build upon 4E experience, but they want to have several levels of complexity (with set in stone miniature wargame system at the lowest level [Chainmail level], expanded for RPG customization around medium level [D&D RPG Basic], and then introduce design principles for metadesign of highest order of system complexity [D&D Advanced and Meta]).
I do not really see this happening properly. They do not seem to have large enough task force - unless they want to reuse existing 4E rules and adapt them to new design principles.
Let me guess what happens a year from now:
We're going to have specific classes (let's call them builds) - simple enough to be used in war game, general classes (customizable fighters, rogues, clerics and wizards and similar) - easily deployable in RPG, and then we're going to have "classless" classes styled after general roles (striker, defender, etc). The modularity of the system will be about content you will be able to add to your roles to create general classes. For "space opera" RPG, one can easily imagine this: space + defender + magic = Jedi, and with a mix of some fantasy data: fantasy + defender + dwarf + commoner + experienced = dwarf miner wargame miniature.
There will be a basic fantasy book for players (let's call it Player's Handbook), a basic general book for GMs (Dungeon Master's Guide) and lots of plug-in books for those who want to play in a specific setting.
There will be specific setting books with plug-in content for reimagined settings (this time we'll get Planescape, Greyhawk and Ravenloft, as opposed to Dark Sun, Forgotten Realms and Eberron) with assigned complexity level, for example, Armies of Abyss (Planescape Wargame) or Kargatane Player's Guide (Ravenloft RPG book for players) or Secrets of Circle of Eight (for GMs wanting to add their own campaign set in Greyhawk).
Oh, and there will be free and paid DLC for those who want to get more.
Oh well. Looks like I have seen it somewhere before.
Summoning is a tricky issue.
By RAW (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magic.html):
Excerpt #1 (about Conjuration (summoning))
When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have.
The problems here: scarcity (how do you know when you run out of a certain type of summoned creature), knowledge bleed (intelligent outsiders may trade information about summoners, adventuring locations and worse), possible interplanar visitors (blackmail, angelic mafia, a pit fiend with an offer one cannot refuse).
Basically, each time you summon a creature, especially of teleporting lawful evil outsider variety, you are getting marked. They watch, learn and eventually some nasty creature is likely to pay YOU a visit in person.
It gets worse if one calls Lawful Good outsiders... you may want to avoid cities with any LG temples afterwards, especially if you bother one of heavenly host.
And what about perverting commands? Imagine that you call a powerful outsider. If it is fully sentient, it WILL attempt to pervert commands it finds not to its taste. If it's not, it will behave as decent summon should.
That's why in my games:
Calling is a different matter altogether, as the creature retains its will. Still, I would be VERY hesitant to allow planar allies to grant wishes, too.
Russ Taylor wrote:
Having read a reasonable amount of fiction from around the period Lovecraft was writing, he comes off as pretty racist by the fiction standards of the day. It doesn't show up in all his stories, but when it does show up, it can be pretty appalling. Like the one about all the degenerate races living in the neighborhood, where it fell so far it got swallowed up. Holy cow.
Can we please skip the beating the dead horse part? In two or three generations our descendants will be laughing their asses off pointing our deficiencies, flaws and prejudices. They will mock our lack of foresight with regard to finances, global climate warming and falling prey to overabundance of cheap stuff mass produced in a countries where democracy and human rights are violated on daily basis.
So. Please. Let. Lovecraft. Lie. Peacefully.
Louis Agresta wrote:
Louis, your quiet persistence is awe-inspiring.
To Paizo, for being the gracious host, accomplished publisher, for classy act and for being so approachable.
To Third Party Publishers, for experimenting with the genre, for sharing the love and for making the games even richer.
To Dark Mistress and EndZeitGeist for being iconic reviewers. You guys need to be statted and get iconic pictures.
To You, Readers, Players and GMs, for participating and having fun and posting. And quarreling, arguing and bringing your insights.
A toast in your honor and to your continued presence!
1. Get character creation software you feel comfortable with. PcGen for me, HeroLab otherwise. You'll need Core Rulebook, Bestiary and Advanced Player's Guide.
2. Be prepared to re-stat most of the characters in the book. It's doable, and thanks to APG, you can do a lot of things already. For most nameless NPCs, Paizo have taken good care of you already, as with Game Mastery Guide out many basic characters are already covered.
3. Monte Cook's proposes a change in distribution in magic items (and Ptolus by consequence). As a rule of thumb, all items with charges cost only half as normal, NPC wealth is halved until 6th level.
PS. With similar approach*, I've run Banewarrens (set in Mithril, in Scarred Lands), and the game was a blast. The PCs coveted masterwork items, oils and potions, and sometimes scrolls, ruled the game. And since the game has been running for 8 years now straight, I must be doing something right.
* Scarred Lands is even more conservative. Item prices (market ones) are tripled. Items of value beyond 10.000 can be only bartered for. You can only purchase or trade in items when you're on a good standing with a guild (no shops) or other power center capable of manufacturing or acting as a bank.
Of course, I have had to compensate somewhat for lack of items (mostly by boosting up character stats and using a little lower CR creatures than default), but any item beyond 10 grand was a major cause for celebration.
Of late, I have been bumping their wealth up (14th CR critters do not forgive lower wealth), but several players noticed that and asked me privately to slow down, as they enjoy this relative poverty. It slows down advancement, and many encounters are much riskier than intended, but at the same time, fighting a monster with unhittable AC and impenetrable spell resistance (Book of Monster Templates, Restless One with some additional immunities thrown in) was a great experience in use of terrain features, tag-in tag-out moments, and creative thinking).
This is your game. You can do anything with it... This is my advice:
Turn him into full-blown antipaladin, complete with all powers, yet let him keep his alignment.
In other words, you get a Chaotic/Neutral/Lawful Good person, with an Aura of Evil wrapped around him like a boa constrictor. Let him try to deal with being perceived as evil, with children and animals shying away from him, his powers clearly sponsored by a mysterious dark patron.
The new powers won't do him much good - smite good and touch of corruption should be nigh useless, and he may, rightfully so, fear using his replacement abilities.
Then watch him... if he starts using his abilities carelessly, seal his fall. If he uses them only against evil, tries to act LG, let them slowly fade over time and, possibly, replace them with paladin counters.
A word of warning, though. Antipaladins are weaker than paladins by virtue of their abilities being limited to offensive. Additionally, all creatures capable of perceiving his aura may take steps to harm him. You may want to be generous with rewards for actions taken to rid of this curse.
PS. No LG god should be a jerk to visit this upon their believer - this should be a genuine ploy to tempt an innocent person... (yes, I read Book of Job, and despite it being a parable, I still find it starkly sadistic and malevolent).
Frog God Games believe in no-holds-barred game. In other words, their balance is often based around notion of surviving by skin of one's teeth.
Based on my humble experience, as a GM you should either bring a lot of handkerchiefs for your players OR...
... make sure they loot Wand of Restoration early in a game,
This is pretty expected if you played Necromancer Games products, though.
The first step is to factor this into project management. I assure you that there is methodology for this. Plural. Methodologies.
The second step is to find out if you can split tasks into parallel jobs.
The third and final one is tomake sure that you make use of feedback as it comes in, but don't let it stray you from the course. Risk management is what you want to apply here.
The bad news is that project management is not a panaceum for everything. Actually, it can be quite harmful for work atmosphere.
That's why I suggested patronage project formula to handle this. I would imagine that patrons of MiB, TMZ, Cartigan and your caliber could do wonders.
James Jacobs wrote:
The developers are creative guys. At high level of complexity of the game you're looking at compromise between time allocated to creating drafts and refining it into final product.
This is when you may be considering volunteered NDA people.
I realize that this is a touchy subject. After all we are dangerously close to be telling professionals how they should be doing their job.
My defense is that I am more than familiar with project management, and that my eigth sense tingles alerting me to possible areas of improvement.
An UC example. Have you noticed emergence of spells which circumvent Combat Maneuvers? Or spells which double values of specific bonuses? Or no save spells?
While by themselves these spells are merely rule-0 subjects, placing them in a book marketed as martial character reply to Ultimate Magic, impressed me as a paradigm shift of significant kind.
The bottom line would be something like:
I'm bowing out of this discussion at this point. While I may comment later, I wouldn't want to offend anyone's feelings by being forceful.
I'll refrain from commenting directly as others have voiced my concerns. Instead I would like to propose certain systematic approach to four important, nay, cardinal aspects of using stealth.
HANDLING MULTIPLE CHECKS
Stealthy group uses check of the creature with lowest check result. If circumstances allow, more skilled characters may use Aid Another action to allow less skilled characters to take ten or take twenty.
A group of creatures who use Perception passively, like guards or a patrol, take ten, use best score, with Aid Another from the rest of the group limited to +4.
A group of creatures using Perception actively, like guards searching for escaping criminal, take ten or take twenty (depends on time they want to spend searching), use best score, with Aid Another from the rest of the group, limited to +10.
Name Violation wrote:
Dude. You're wrong. In many ways. And on several levels.Like, for example, Paizo is not going to sick Wild Hunt after whoever made the mistake. Or, that being silent is the right thing to do.
AoO does not negate a maneuver, it merely applies a penalty:If you are hit by the target, you take the damage normally and apply that amount as a penalty to the attack roll to perform the maneuver. If your target is immobilized, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated, your maneuver automatically succeeds (treat as if you rolled a natural 20 on the attack roll).
The fighter is likely to have decent AC, so eating up an AoO is not going to be an issue. All he needs to do, is to manage to grapple or trip Monk once, afterwards, it is a matter of maintaining the grapple until the fighter gets +5 bonus for successful grappling.
Monk's CMD is not likely to be THAT high. Monks suffer from MAD, so for the same amount of points, they need to invest into 3-4 stats (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom and Constitution), while fighters do fine with merely two (Strength and Constitution).
Other options: trip with reach weapon. Or carry a whip and let the Monk try to AoO from the distance of 15 feet.
Finally, I've seen similar stuff in my WFRP campaign (dodge skill allowed to trade one's attacks for ability checks to negate attacks - every other warrior played an Elf to get near 90% chance to avoid attacks) and it did not break the game.
Well played. I'd use Savage Worlds or EABA (with larger than life characters).
My interpretation of characters is a bit different:
Comedian's a brute. Slow, powerful and tough. And nasty.
Roscharch is presence/stealth commando. He relies on his ability to terrify opponents, uses stealth, gadgets and improvised weapons to great effect. He has also extremely forceful personality. In times of need he can draw on hysterical strength to perform feats of extreme brutality. Suffers from paranoia. Obsessive.
Dr Manhattan is an addict, drunk on hyper-reality and possibilities, lacking in social graces, with his gifts slowly eroding his humanity. He is less than human and extremely focused, to the point of being a bit dumb. Often spaces out distracted by phenomena beyond anyone else's perception.
Night Owl is a more mundane version of Dr Manhattan, with skills in applied science. His strength is a product of his dedication to ideals of perfection. Though, being less driven than most of the characters, he's fallen a bit behind.
Silk Spectre is a martial artist and adrenaline junkie. Highly skilled and quick, prone to bouts of aggression.
Ozymandias is the opposite to Dr Manhattan. Totally focused on reality, he is capable of manipulating it to great effect, both in micro (personal ability to control and overpower opponents) and macro scale (the world). Extreme levels of awareness coupled with agility and ability to use opponent's maneuvers against them.
The solution is simple. Don't show the book to your players. As beginners, they don't need to know the rules. Additionally, Paizo's Beginner's Box is going to be more newbie friendly.
Otherwise, I would prefer you talking to your family first. Trying to hide anything, or being overly protective, is likely to result in more damage in the long run.
Three, Seoni is not someone you can hug in real life (bar, possibly meeting Jenny Poussin in person). And in game she would fry you hindquarters for trying to tell her how to dress (or, alternatively, pat you on your back, and use polymorph and leash).
Agreed. My proposal:
(total spoilers below)
Replace all unique monster room encounters with variant Mi-Go and their creations:
- unstable, braindead, mindlessly destructive villagers (or fostered) who break down (or explode) into gelatinous puddles of green goo upon death.
- leave Dimensional Shamblers in the final part intact. There are few spookier things than buzzing sound of monsters teleporting in and immediately attacking. Remove all Shamblers prior to tunnels.
- delete misguided underwater sorcerer. Replace it with a nasty swarm of flesheating fish (half-eaten criminal makes for a great foreshadowing element, the players will have to deal with the creatures to get to tunnels anyway, plus, the sorcerer can actually damage players' means of escape)
- the Color ooze is a great concept. Sadly, it does not fit here. This is not a Zoo. Replace fostered folk with exploding fostered folk.
- the Undiomedan house: replace all encounters with members of the order, have the bloodshed become result of infected fighting spawning cankers (the Order guys visited the house, went to sleep, got infected, and now it's a battle of attrition between those who succumbed and those who still resist infection).
- keep the final showdown.
- [OPTIONAL] replace all villagers in final part with exploding while the players are down there. And then let the players realize that this is a plague about to spread... and the only solution is to burn the whole town to the ground. Explanation could be difficult, but some biological weapon by Mi-Go, used to clean populations, should suffice.
There you go. No survivors at the end. All evidence wiped. Nobody is going to believe players that these things happened. Another little town which disappeared.
I seem to recall an old way to spook out people (mentioned in Kult 1st edition, by the way, and no, it did not involve even a bit of splatterpunk).
Someone, preferably alone, hears a slight, scratching sounds coming from direction of a door. Upon investigation, the cause of the sounds is not found as there is apparently no one outside the door.
The sounds occurs several times over the course of a night.
Eventually, the hapless, slightly irate (or spooked out) subject finds out that the sounds were made by scratching the door from the inside.
Now, I don't want to give anyone wrong ideas. Maybe it was a local little haunt trying to vacate premises just before a huge cave in causes the whole block to disappear in a deep, deep cave in. Or maybe it was just a cat trying to get out. Or maybe, just maybe it was one's second self taking over during a short fugue.
Whatever the reason, ignore it if it happens more than once. You would not want to lose your sanity over something you cannot resolve anyway. Just wait for the dawn.
Regarding increased duration of Charm Person spells, I'd go with the following solution:
The Naga is a proficient expert with regard to herbs and brewing potions. She has been able to use endemic plants to create a poison, which prolongs durations of mind-affecting effects.
The potion mechanics work as follows:
Poison of Subjugated Will
While the manufacturing of the poison is relatively cheap, all ingredients are based on local flora, and so cannot be replicated.
This is a full rewrite of Shadowdancer prestige class.
Shadowdancer concept is one of the most climactic concepts among prestige classes. It also reminds me somewhat of one of favorite novel characters, Jack of Shadows, a cunning rogue with affinity to shadow, a cynic whose good intentions made fate of the whole world turn to worse (or apocalyptic change at least). He's also a wizard, scientist and he has a castle of shadows hidden in his shadow.
Therefore, when one of my players approached me several years ago asking to play one, I agreed immediately and resolved to make this class worth playing.
Fast forward 3-4 years.
We have a playtested solution, though, since the player trusts me, not all the changes to his class are readily apparent (truth to be told, some of the changes were introduced as results of narrative, and then, when the story ran out, were withdrawn for balance purposes). That said, it must be stressed, that this is the first time I decided to gather together my notes and come up with a complete solution.
About the changes to the class itself.
Well, the class abilities suck. They look cool on paper but any vanilla rogue can overtake this class in terms of scouting, skill use or damage dealing. Mobility afforded by shadowjumping is easily trumped by item with Dimension Door function and the shadow is the most menacing threat to shadowdancer himself. All undead are very vulnerable to certain spells and effects, and since a Shadow needs to get close and personal, any boss monster or area effect user can kill it quickly. Moreover, this Shadow is easily noticeable, so it is going to stand out like a hitchkier's thumb everywhere.
The best class ability, Hide in Plain Sight, violates cardinal rule of RPG - how are you supposed to believe that someone can hide because there is a shadow nearby? It's not actually turning invisible, it's hiding. So how does it work?
Summing it up. The class needed some boosting, some clarifications and some purpose to fulfil. Hopefully, we have managed to provide all of this (adjusting for changes of Pathfinder BETA and Pahtfinder BETA Prestige Classes). See below.
PS. Feel free to use it, abuse it, change it provided you keep some information on its authors as per OGL :P
Note: There are not feats which pertain to class concept, therefore feat requirement was skipped in favor of Knowledge (Planes) as it was deemed that affinity with Plane of Shadow was required. As the skill ranks work now, this class is acquirable at 6th level.
Note: Added Linguistics (for Decipher Scripts), Sense Motive (for improved ability to negotiate with outsiders), Use Magic Device (to allow the class to benefit from devices reserved for more empowered classes).
Lvl . BAB . Fort . Ref . Will
Level .1 ........... Shadow Companion I, Hide in plain sight
All of the following are features of the shadowdancer prestige class.
Note: And why should they? Unless someone sacrifices arcane caster levels, they are unlikely to need any.
Shadow Companion I (Su): At 1st level, a shadowdancer can summon shadow companion, an undead shade with its own personality and unique outlook. Usually, Shadow Companions look like beings they were before they were turned into shades, however their memories of past lives are fragmented at best. Unlike a normal shadow, shadow companion possesses a number of unique features:
Note: Shadow Companion is intended to become a useful tool - it replaces lockpicks, weak area damage spells. It can also provide a great roleplaying opportunity. In my games it is Elena, a little girl with a shadow of a dead kitten. She is a little timid, loves playing around and when she gets mad, people get bad feeling straight out of horror movies.
Shadow Companion II, III, IV, V (Su): At 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, Shadow Companion grows gaining +4d12 hitpoints, +2 attack bonus, +4+Intelligence bonus skill points (the bonuses already include ability increases from improved hit dice).
- Corrupting Gaze (Su): Range: 30 feet. Gaze attack. Fortitude save or take 2d10 points of damage.
- Corrupting Touch (Su): Deal 1d6+Charisma bonus damage with successful Incorporeal Touch attack. This is in addition to Strength drain.
- Frightful Moan (Su): Range 30 feet. Sonic Mind-affecting Fear attack. Will save or become panicked for 2d4 rounds. Successful save renders targets immune for 24 hours.
- Horrifc Appearance (Su): Range 60 feet. Gaze Mind-affecting attack. Fortitude save or take 1d4 damage to Strength, Dexterity and Constitution. Successful save renders targets immune for 24 hours.
- Malevolence (Su): Must enter the same space as Medium-sized or smaller target (subject to attack of opportunity). Incorporeal Touch attack. Will save to resist. Successful save renders target immune for 24 hours.
- Animate Object (Su): Must enter the same space as Medium-sized or smaller object (subject to attack of opportunity). Creates animated object of appropriate size, with Shadow Companion Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, hitpoints, feats and skills. Lasts until object is destroyed, Shadow Companion leaves target object voluntarily or Shadow Companion is driven off by use of ability which targets possessed creatures or Undead (Shadow Companion loses immunity to control, turning or rebuking upon successfully possessing target).
- Telekinesis (Su): As Telekinesis spell. Usable once per minute. Caster level equal to Shadow Companion's hitdice.
- Darkness (Su): As Darkness spell. Caster level equal to Shadow Companion's hitdice.
Hide in plain sight (Su): Whenever you are standing in shadow (partial shadow and total darkness are fine, too), you may use Stealth skill even if observed - you simply turn invisible. Once hidden, you may continue moving even if it means crossing someone's line of sight or leaving shadow. You may not use your own shadow for the purpose.
Note: a significant nerfing of an ability done for roleplaying purposes.
Evasion or Improved Evasion (Ex): A shadowdancers gains Evasion, or, if the charactger already has it, gains Improved Evasion instead.
Note: combined Evasion and Improved Evasion together (note: there is no way to gain Improved Evasion if the character haven't gained it a lower level). Removed restriction with regard to armor type (heavier armor = better protection, and, actually, well made armors do not restrict movement).
Darkvision 60' (Ex): A shadowdancer gains Darkvision up to the range of 60'.
Note: Specified darkvision distance. Changed ability from Supernatural to Extraordinary to allow to benefit from this in areas of anti magic.
Uncanny Dodge or Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A shadowdancers gains Uncanny Dodge, or, if the charactger already has it, gains Improved Uncanny Dodge instead.
Note: Cleaned Uncanny Dodge. After all, Rogues are not the only characters which require flanking for sneak attacking.
Shadow Illusion (Sp): A shadowdancer can create visual illusions. This ability's effect is identical to that of the arcane spell silent image and may be employed once per day.
Shadow Jump (Su): A shadowdancer gains the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. A shadowdancer can jump up to a total of 20 feet each day in this way; this may be a single jump of 20 feet or two jumps of 10 feet each. Every two levels higher than 4th, the distance a shadowdancer can jump each day doubles (40 feet at 6th, 80 feet at 8th, and 160 feet at 10th). This amount can be split among many jumps, but each one, no matter how small, counts as a 10-foot increment.
Shadow Twin I (Su): As a swift action and once per day for the duration of one minute per shadowdancer level, a shadowdancer may order her shadow to detach and become a shadow twin. The shadow twin is a three dimensional colorless replica of a shadowdancer. It shares senses with a shadowdancer, may act independently (treat is a a separate creature controlled telephatically by a shadowdancer of the same creature type as shadowdancer) but must remain within 60' from its master or disappear.
Shadow Twin II, III and IV (Su):
- Shadow Castling (Su): Usable once per Shadow Twin use. As an immediate action, switch places with Shadow Twin.
- Shadow Tentacled Horror (Su): Shadow Twin erupts into mass of shadowy tentacles throwing itself at a target. Usable once per Shadow Twin use. Shadow Twin loses ability to perform any other activities than grappling or moving at Speed 5' (it still threatens area as normal, however it when using AoO it only grapples), but it gains Improved Grapple feat (+2 to grapple checks, do not provoke attacks of opportunity when performing grapple combat maneuver), further +8 competence CMB for the purpose of grappling and attempts to grapple. Each round afterwards Shadow Twin attempts to grapple again and, if successful, damage target.
- Shadow Devouring Horror (Su): Shadow Twin changes in a gaping maw one size larger than Shadow Twin. Then it proceeds to swallow whole any target of smaller size. Shadow Twin loses ability to perform any other activities than attempting to swallow or moving at Speed 5' (it still threatens area as normal, however it when using AoO it only attempts to swallow), but it gains Improved Grapple feat (+2 to swallow checks, do not provoke attacks of opportunity when performing swallow combat maneuver), further +8 competence CMB for the purpose of swallowing and attempts to swallow. Each round afterwards Shadow Twin attempts to swallow again. Swallowed darkness are enveloped in darkness, are considered grappled (but not pinned) and cannot use any Supernatural or Spell like abilities until they break free or Shadow Twin disappears. To break free, Shadow Twin must be damaged either from inside or from outside to the point of disappearing (0 hp).
- Shadow Double (Su): Shadow Twin changes its appearance as per Alter Self spell, with duration equal to Shadow Twin duration. It also gains colors and may mimick any target creature as per Disguise skill check made by Shadow Twin master.
- Shadow Lifespan Extension (Su): Each use of Shadow Twin lasts 10 minutes per shadowdancer class level rather than 1 minute per level.
- Shadow Cloak (Su): Shadow Twin may become a shadowy cloak protecting its target. Usable once per Shadow Twin use. A shadowdancer or individual chosen by shadowdancer gains a number of temporary hitpoints equal to those Shadow Twin. However, the Shadow Twin may not revert to its standard form until the end of its duration or until it is dismissed or slain.
- Shadow Distance Extension (Su): Shadow Twin may leave vicinity of its master up to one mile away per shadowdancer class level.
- Shadow Escape (Su): If the shadowdancer dies with Shadow Twin active, she may transfer her soul into Shadow Twin. Shadow Twin duration is extended up to one day per shadowdancer class level. Shadow Twin retains replicas of shadowdancer equipment, however she the replicas disappear if they lose contact with Shadow Twin. If shadowdancer's original body is raised or resurrected, a shadowdancer may return to its original body. If the duration passes, a shadowdancer dies.
Note: Shadow Twin is not an original concept, but allows to make up for loss of combat ability, while also improving character options by adding yet another support ability to class effectiveness.
Defensive Roll (Ex): Once per day, when a shadowdancer would be reduced to 0 hit points or less by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), she can attempt to roll with the damage. She makes a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt) and, if successful, takes only half damage from the blow. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll. If she is in a situation that would deny her any Dexterity bonus to AC, she can't attempt a defensive roll.
Slippery Mind (Ex): If a shadowdancer is affected by an enchantment and fails her saving throw, 1 round later she can attempt her saving throw again. She only gets this one extra chance to succeed at her saving throw. If it fails as well, the spell's effects occur normally.
Shadow Step (Su): Once per level per day, as a Move action, a shadowdancer may leave material plane and enter corresponding place in Shadow plane, or exit Shadow plane and enter corresponding place in a coterminous material plane. Whenever performing this action, there is a 50% chance to miss desired place and appear displaced in random direction by 1d10 * 10' (or less if there is no unoccupied space).
Note: This is direct and relevant ability to keep the class on par (somewhat) with Plane Shift and Teleport.
Shadow Ascension (Ex): Upon use of Shadow Step to enter Shadow plane, a shadowdancer may choose to appear in a Deep Shadow safe area. It may appear as a castle, cavern or a hut, however all locations inside except the one of main chamber, appear to be unstable and changing. The main chamber sports a comfortable resting accomodations, ample food and water to feed an army and other furniture as desired by shadowdancer. The safe area lasts for up to one day per shadodancer class level, but it can be dismissed earlier. Upon dismissal or if shadowdancer leaves safe area, any creatures within safe area are safely deposited back in material plane close to the place they entered Shadow plane displaced in random direction by 1d10 *10' (or less if there is no unoccupied space).
Note: Shadow Ascension is meant to add to character flavor. While it affects combat abilities only indirectly, it should allow for necessary breather at higher levels and storage of accumulated wealth.
Your analogy is a little lacking. Chief breaking points:1. Most users use system defaults have fewer problems but are far less able to deal with challenges and quite often their productivity is mediocre.
2. Users who do research on how things work have fewer problems with adapting to problematic aspects of work environment. Their productivity is equal or superior to typical users.
3. The user who intentionally pushes system toward breaking point is jeopardizing workflow and, consequently, is likely to be punished by superiors.
Meanwhile, under d20:
2. If you research the system, your character gets to live longer and better, however the system is likely to suffer.
3. And so by becoming more proficient with d20 ruleset, you also get closer to breaking it down.
Or, in other words:
So, while everyone is free to play their own game, it is the people who find potential problems, who are important for advancing the game.
Therefore arguing that things are fine as they are now, is counterproductive and quite possibly destructive to Pathfinder initiative.