Spheres of Might (PFRPG) PDF

4.80/5 (based on 5 ratings)

Our Price: $19.99

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

Starfinder Compatible!!

There's so much more to martial combat than swinging a sword, and so much more to martial characters than waiting for the next fight.

Spheres of Might is a brand new approach to building martial characters in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. From the makers of Spheres of Power, Spheres of Might changes combat into a cinematic experience, replacing boring, repetitive combats with tactical decisions, dynamic exchanges, and a host of options that let martial characters be as fun to play outside of combat as they are inside.

Within this book, you'll find:

8 New Classes — including the armiger, the blacksmith, the commander, the conscript, the scholar, the sentinel, the striker, and the technician.

23 Combat Spheres — granting a host of new abilities based on concept, including alchemy, athletics, barrage, barroom, beastmastery, berserker, boxing, brute, dual wielding, duelist, equipment, fencing, gladiator, guardian, lancer, open hand, scoundrel, scout, shield, sniper, trap, warleader, and wrestler.

Full Archetype Support — both for new classes and old classes, giving a breadth of new options for creating and enjoying martial play.

Legendary Talents — for when games deserve to become truly epic, legendary talents allow games to reach beyond the gritty to truly mythical proportions, including leaping mountains, stealing skills, and bending armies of monsters to your will through sheer force of personality.

Non-Magic Support — with the help of the scholar's knowledge, the blacksmith's skills, and the technician's inventions, Spheres of Might gives a variety of options to facilitate games with little or no magic at all, greatly expanding the stories that can be told with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game without requiring extensive re-balancing.

GM Support — including monsters from CR 1-21, along with guidelines for making the most of cinematic combat and the Spheres of Might system in your games.

NPCs for every new class to spark ideas or drop into a game.

Starfinder Conversion — giving you the information needed to adapt the system to Starfinder rules.

And much, much more!

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

DDSSOME


See Also:

1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

4.80/5 (based on 5 ratings)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This massive rules-book clocks in at 238 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page forewords, 1 page blank,1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 229 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested by my patreons.

All right, we begin this massive beast of a tome with a brief piece of introductory prose to get you into the proper mindset, before explaining the basics of the system: Each character gets a series of talents, called combat talents. The number of these is defined by the class, though a feat exists that nets you an additional one. A combat talent may also be spent to gain access to a combat sphere, gaining that sphere’s base abilities and providing access to the sphere-specific talents. If a character would gain a sphere they already possess, you instead choose a talent. Saving throws, if any, are based on DC 10 + ½ BAB of the attacker + the relevant key ability modifier, here called “practitioner modifier.” If a character uses a talent, but has no class feature that defines a practitioner modifier, you default to Wisdom. Multiclass characters may use the higher of the two modifiers of their practitioner modifiers – this is important, since it retains multiclassing viability sans requiring a feat tax. Combat training nets you bonus talents that usually, but certainly not always, mirror the BAB-progression: Full BAB is equal to “Expert”, ¾ BAB-progression to “Adept” and ½ BAB-progression is equal to “Proficient.” This codifies talent-advancement in a way that is independent from the classes and easy to reference, while also providing an elegant balancing tool. Furthermore, characters may choose to exchange feat-progressions they’d gain to instead purchase Proficient or Adept combat talent progression – this, fyi, maintains compatibility with Spheres of Power.

And that’s already the basis of the system! Nope, I am not kidding! It’s that simple and elegant. That being said, there is more associated terminology that we need to define, some of which you’ll know from standard Pathfinder. It is a testament to the foresight exhibited by the authors that e.g. the Attack action as such is properly defined – something that regularly causes confusion on the various messageboards. This step is also important, since some combat talents and e.g. Vital Strike, both modifying an Attack action, can be applied to the same attack. This also properly mentions the interaction, or rather, lack thereof, with e.g. Cleave and similar Standard action-based attack forms. In short: Attack action =/= standard action. The definition here also makes clear that we can expect the book to reward flowing combat, i.e. fights that do not boil down to just trading full attacks and waiting who keels over first. “Special attack actions” should also be noted – they behave pretty much like attack actions, but only one per round may be executed. This is an important balancing caveat.

“Associated feats” denote feats whose effects can be duplicated by specific talents, which also means that the talents can act as prerequisite-substitutions for the associated feats. This is important once we get to the feat-groups that require a significant array of feats to qualify for and retains transparency in that regard without invalidating the feats themselves.

Now, the book does something really clever with action economy to combat the tendency to constantly just trade blows. The book takes a two-pronged approach here. The first would be the battered condition, which imposes a -2 penalty to CMD and also prevents you from executing AoOs. Furthermore, certain talents have different activation actions or effects versus battered targets. The condition may be removed simply enough – the Life sphere’s restore does the trick, as do effects like lesser restoration…and here, things become interesting: You can get rid of it via taking the total defense action. This obviously costs you precious actions, but it makes sense – when we picture being subjected to a battering down, like e.g. in the original Star Wars trilogy or similar media, it makes sense that you have to collect yourself. The second approach here would be the introduction of the martial focus. Any character with a combat talent or a feat granting access, gets the martial focus after a minute of rest or after taking the total defense action. HOWEVER, you may never regain the focus more than once per round. You may expend this focus as part of making a Fort- or Ref-save to have the result rolled treated as 13, and, analogue to psionics, there is a VAST amount of options that is based on expenditure of the focus. Once more, we have an action economy game here, and one that ties into the battered condition: Since you regain the focus as part of the same condition-removing action, this encourages you to actually alternate between combat strategies. Additionally, the base ability use allows you to be more reliably competent versus things that you should be capable of evading.

This modification of basic combat strategies are absolutely amazing, but the book does not stop there, not by a long shot. We also get rules-clarifications for e.g. double-barreled weapons and e.g. improvised weapon damage by size. Similarly, unarmed damage now scales independent of class, which is a huge plus as far as I’m concerned. The number of talents the character has governs the damage inflicted.

Now, the book does not just leave you in the dark regarding actual expressions of martial arts in the game world. You do not have to read and digest the whole book to start using it: Instead, we begin with a massive chapter of martial traditions, some of which are gained as part of the proficiencies of a class. This codifies basically a talent array for you, not unlike e.g. combat styles of the ranger class. One could also see them as thematic suggestions and the book provides notes on designing your own martial traditions. This section, beyond codifying mini-talent-trees, can also be seen as a perfect guideline for your own tinkering. Want to have a shield master? Check the tradition. Steppe rider? Suitable talents noted. I love this.

Now, the book contains no less than 8 new classes. If I analyze these in the level of depth that I usually go for, then this review will become a bloated 30-plus-pages monstrosity, so I’ll be a bit briefer than usual. The first class would be the Armiger, who gets d10 HD, 4 + Int skills, full BAB-progression, good Fort- and Ref-saves, proficient talent progression and may choose a mental attribute as practitioner modifier. This would also be a good time to note that classes here grant e.g. a martial tradition when taken at 1st level – this provides access, obviously, but also prevents multiclass-cheesing. The armiger is obviously inspired by games like the latest Final Fantasy, centering around the idea of customized weapons, each of which grants a sphere and talent – basically, you have combat modes hard-coded into the class, and no, you can’t cheese that with dual-wielding. Only one customized weapon grants its benefits at a given time – though TWFing with them, obviously, is still possible. The class also gains options to cycle through these special weapons, which also improve. The low general progression regarding talents is offset by the modes, making this an inspired class. I really, really adore it.

The blacksmith get d10 HD, 4 + Int skills,full BAB-progression, good Fort- and Will-saves as well as Expert martial progression, with Constitution as governing practitioner modifier. The blacksmith is obviously somewhat equipment-themed and can provide benefits to allies by finetuning their equipment, basically providing 24-hour buffs. They also are sunder/anti-construct specialists, gaining scaling bonus damage and later learning to damage natural armor/weapons. The class also has some serious crafting prowess going on and the class receives an array of smithing insights that can provide e.g. Gunsmithing, damage objects to hurt their wielders, etc. He can also learn to reforge items, which is pretty cool.

The commander gets d8 HD, 6 + Int skills per level, ¾ BAB-progression, good Fort- and Will-saves and Adept martial progression, with Int or Cha as governing practitioner modifiers. Now, there are a couple of really good, commander-style classes out there. As far as favorites are concerned, Amora Game’s battle lord from Liber Influxus Communis, and, obviously, Dreamscarred Press’ Tactician come to mind. Where the former is a leader from the front, the latter is a coordinator defined by a psionic network and psionics. The commander is, chassis-wise, closer to the latter. The commander actually has next to no overlap with both: While tangible and potent benefits for allies are the bread and butter of these fellows, we also have terrain-specific tricks and logistics specialties – these provide really uncommon and intriguing benefits that focus on adventuring beyond combat. This class is fantastic. Love it to bits.

The conscript gets d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, full BAB-progression, good Fort- and Ref-saves as well as Expert martial progression, governed by one of the mental attributes. This is basically the “build your own” SoM-class type class. From dual identity to banner to studied target, it allows you to customize options galore and also comes with sphere specializations, basically bloodline/domain-ish linear ability progressions that kick in at 3rd, 8th and 20th level. This is the class for the folks who want a certain skillset be viable sans requiring a ton of multiclassing shenanigans.

The scholar gets ½ BAB-progression, good Ref- and Will-saves, d6 HD, 8 + Int skills per level and proficient martial progression governed by Intelligence. Beyond being capable of providing some healing, we get flashbangs, DaVinci-style gliders, etc. – this is basically the Renaissance ideal of the universal scholar, embodied as a class. Super helpful, versatile, interesting – and perfectly capable of working in even no/low-magic games. That is not to say that this fellow is not viable in your regular fantasy setting though! I really love how the system allows you to play a really smart, versatile non-magical scholar. Another huge winner.

The sentinel gets d12 HD, full BAB-progression, good Fort- and Will-saves, 4 + Int skills per level, as well as expert martial progression, using Wisdom as governing practitioner modifier. The class, unsurprisingly, is the tank of the roster, and is an actually viable defensive base class. It is pretty technical in comparison, but comes out rather nicely. I am not a fan of the decision to be able to use Wisdom bonus instead of Dexterity to govern the one, at least pro forma, bad save of the class, but the capping of class level here prevents low level characters with universally good saves. Otherwise, the focus on challenges, ability to lock down targets etc, is nice., and stalwart, one of my least favorite abilities in all of Pathfinder (evasion for Fort AND Will) is relegated to 9th level. So yeah, I enjoy the class more than I figured I would!

The striker gets d10 HD, 4 + Int skills per level, good Fort- and Ref-saves, full BAB-progression as well as Expert martial progression governed by Constitution. The class is something of a monk-ish specialist, but that, at least in theory, sounds less interesting in the system, with monk-ish powers not more broadly available. Well, instead of just slapping several talents on the class, the striker takes a different approach: It is, in essence, a mana-bar martial. Let me explain: The striker has a resource called “tension” that increases upon taking damage, upon successfully hitting creatures, and upon moving a lot. This builds and may be expended to generate special effects, with the class gaining striker arts, which can provide unique effects or expand the ways in which you can spend the resource. And no, you can’t hoard it out of combat, and it doesn’t have a dumb per-combat mechanic. The playing experience here is really interesting and fun – but from all the classes, this is one that has the most expansion potential. Basically, you have a cool resource-management game in addition to the spheres-engine, making this a surprisingly strategic class to play.

Finally, there would be the technician, who receives d8 HD, 6 + Int mod skills per day, good Ref- and Will-saves, 3/4 BAB-progression as well as adept martial progression governed by Intelligence. This class takes up no less than 18 pages, and it is a BEAST. This is, in essence, the practical inventor to the scholar’s more theoretic approach; the sapper, the golemsmith, the pulp fantasy exploring inventor. It is the most complex class herein and the one that requires the most amount of system mastery, but it rewards you for allowing for an impressive amount of different concepts being realized even before you begin diving into the depths of the spheres system.

Now, the book also contains a ton of archetypes for your perusal: Alchemist, antipaladin, brawler, cavalier, fighter, gunslinger, hunter, investigator, magus, monk, paladin, ranger, ninja, rogue, samurai, slayer, swashbuckler, thaumaturge and even the vigilante get their due here, and that is before we take a look at the archetypes for the new classes, some of which made me smile from ear to ear. Battlefield armigers, for example, modify their chassis to instead make an improbable weapon, like an axe-bladed crossbow or the like. The iron chef blacksmith is a neat take on the battle cook, while the techsmith provides the means to poach in the technician’s playground, while doctor or slime savant scholars make for meaningful tweaks of the base engine of the class. Some of these tie in with the spheres system to a rather impressive degree, with e.g. the adamant guardian changing the focus of the sentinel from challenges to patrols, while another interacts with the berserker sphere. There also would be basically a true neutral paladin-ish variant here. Striker can opt for blackpowder or mutation specialties, and expert shadowed fists, scouts and grappling specialists are covered here as well. Technicians may elect for the mad scientist archetype (yes, you can make shrink rays…), and a suit pilot and basically a mythbuster can also be found here.

The whole classes/archetypes-chapter has been a huge surprise for me. You see, as much as I like Spheres of Power, I’m not the biggest fan of its classes. To me, they always felt like vessels to conduct the sphere-engine, not like truly distinct concepts that would make me go for them on virtue of their own engines. This book does not suffer from this limitation. I absolutely would love to play, in slightly varying degrees, all the classes introduced within this book. There are a TON of amazing concepts here and the engines presented for the classes are actually compelling and interesting BEFORE you start adding the sphere-engine! Furthermore, the classes herein allow you to do unique things that set them apart before diving into sphere-selection. That is a huge plus as far as I’m concerned. Add to that the fact that the classes actually manage to present compelling engines that reward versatile playstyles even before the main meat of the system is in place, and we have what must be called a resounding success.

Part II of my review can be found here!


Finally -


Using a friends PDF of this atm (waiting for print to be available). Read it cover to cover. The Legendary talents are the funnest part of this book and some of the Martial spheres are a bit weak IMO but overall lot of flavor and good design. Easily a 5 star product, on par /w Ultimate Psionics as far as content quality and a big step up in overall quality from DDS other titles. Waiting for handbooks now :)


5/5

Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter for this project and followed it since the beginning and participated in the playtesting of this material.

One thing that I would like to say upfront is that if you are ONLY planning to purchase this product in hopes that it will make martials on-par with Tier 1 classes (such as the Wizard, Cleric, and Druid), DON'T. Even if your game has replaced core vancian spellcasting with spherecasting, Spheres of Power is still without a doubt superior to martials using Spheres of Might. It has been discussed at length that it wasn't the mission of Spheres of Might to fix martials in that regard.

What I will say this product does do, is allow you to build martials who are defined not so much by their class, but how you build them, and it all starts with Martial Traditions.

In Core pathfinder, all too often you will find GM's and Players who are under the false impression that in-order to play a specific character concept, you must have levels in a base class or prestige class which matches the name. For example, if you want to play a ninja, you must have levels in the ninja class; if you want to play a samurai, you must have levels in the samurai class; if you want to play a druid, you must have levels in the druid class, etc.

Spheres of Power (the older companion product), throws this notion out the window with the use of Casting Traditions. With casting traditions you can play any spherecasting class and just choose the relevant casting tradition. For example, you could be an Armorist with the druidic casting tradition, a Hedgewitch with the druidic casting tradition, or an Incanter with the druidic casting tradition; it makes no difference.

Spheres of Might, does the same thing for martial characters with the use of Martial Traditions. Which allows you to define your character even further by defining just how your character was trained. Where you a knight? A thief? A gladiator? There are martial traditions for these and 30+ more, while also including guidelines to creating your own. And that is just the beginning.

After picking your martial tradition (which determines bonus starting proficiencies and starting combat spheres), you can further build, define, and expand your character even further by picking up spheres and talents from a list of 20+ combat spheres which cover aspects such as Alchemy, Beastmastery, Dual Wielding, Sniping, and Scouting (just to name a few).

Spheres of Might also includes Legendary Talents (which like Advanced Talents from Spheres of Power) must be approved individually by a GM. Personally, for a number of legendary talents, I feel they were locked behind a specific level unnecessarily. Most notably legendary talents such as Sever, which allows for the amputation of limbs (but is locked behind a BAB prerequisite of +11). The problem I see with this is that it infers that soldiers in war do not experience limb loss unless fighting something with 11 or more HD. It also infers that a medieval surgeons cannot amputate limbs before 11th level. Ofcourse the authors have repeatively given their explanation for such saying that it is because they don't want players to lose limbs before magic is available which can restore the condition (which I feel is a weak argument, seeing that death is a condition that players face at 1st level without affordable means or restoring that condition). However, these small gripes are not ones that I consider strong enough to reduce my rating of this product significantly.

Spheres of Might also offers a wide range of new base classes (and archetypes) which utilize Spheres of Might to its fullest potential, all of which I feel are fun alternatives to a number of Paizo Classes. For example, the Scholar class could easily fill the role of a number of classes (alchemist, bard, cleric, or wizard); whereas the rogue class could easily be replaced by the new Conscript, Striker, or Technician class (depending upon the type of rogue built).

For GM's Spheres of Might includes an array of pre-statted monsters ranging from CR 1-20, aswell as fast and easy guidelines for giving Martial Traditions to monsters.

Personally, I feel that Spheres of Might shines the most when combined with Spheres of Power, as they compliment each other nicely by lowering the power of casters, while raising the utility of martials; and while Spherecasters are without a doubt still superior to Spheremartials, this product does allow a martial to more fully enjoy his contribution to the game table.


Plenty of neat options for a different kind of Martial character

4/5

This book offers Martial Options for players that want less full attack and more Action Movie/Anime/Video game imagery. If you play a martial to optimize your DPR and make all the full attacks, then at the very least, the Spheres of Might provide utility, movement, and defenses, as well as something more meaningful than just regular attacks when you can't full attack.

If you want to play like the book wants you to play, with less full attacking and using all your actions to do different things, then you'll probably enjoy this, and they have some fun creative classes to take advantage of the system, as well as some archetypes and easy conversion system for the first party classes.

effects scale well, so your debuffs and bonuses can stay relevant in to the late game.

Very notably, the Guardian Sphere does a decent job of letting people play tanks.

While most of the content seems relatively balanced, there's some things that leave me scratching my head, like the sentinel class gaining evasion across all 3 saves.

All in all, I like this book and the direction it goes, but I'd like it a lot more if there were more options competative with full attacks.


Return of the (Sphere) King

5/5

So I've been following this since the playtest, and I gotta say, it's every bit as good as I expected. I was hoping for combat to get fixed, but with spheres of might, we've got so many options and ways to do that with tons of utility that you won't see in core. The math on it is also solid, making it play well at just about any table, as well as being super newbie friendly. This is my new combat system along with spheres of power, and I could honestly just see using these two books for any game I run.


1 to 5 of 6 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
151 to 200 of 296 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Skirmishing scout starts its second sentence of flavor text with Peopel in stead of People.

<_<

>_>

You mean you don't use Peopel pieces on your game boards?

Thanks for the catch, I'll add it to the fix list.

Shadow Lodge

Sorry, I'm just not a Peopel person. :)

Edit to avoid double posting. Would Vacuum Slice work with Stormlord's storm strike ability to hit everyone in the cone with the touch spell?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Dragonborn3 wrote:
Would Vacuum Slice work with Stormlord's storm strike ability to hit everyone in the cone with the touch spell?

Yes you can use Vacuum Slice with storm strike, but only one target should be affected by the spell. The relevant rule would be the one for area attacks-

"Scatter Weapons and Area Attacks: When using an attack
action to attack with a scatter weapon or another weapon
that attacks an area, any relevant talents you may possess affect
only the nearest creature targeted by the attack. In the event
that multiple creatures are equally close, the player may choose
which one they want to treat as the primary target for talents
and effects."

It doesn't specifically address magic (though I'm looking into whether that's something we can change), but the premise should be the same; you'll need to pick one target in the affected area as the primary target, and that one would be the one to take the spell damage. Everyone else would only take the weapon damage.

Shadow Lodge

Good to know. I'm trying various things out with some of my groups and this idea came up as a way to apply Shocking Grasp(or the Destruction Sphere) to an AoE and really catch them off guard.

>.>
<.<

I might be a liiiitle mean.


Do this to stack Scale Foe and Close Quarters Training?

And how do they interact with Underfoot Assault from mouser and Limb-Climber from vexing dodger?


Are you planning to do expansion books for this like you've been doing for Spheres of Power?

If so, one thing I'd love to see would be a product adding tech improvements for setting where the technology is more advanced--IE, a technician's inventions are a bit underwhelming if say you're running a late 19th or early 20th century style setting.

Silver Crusade

gharlane wrote:

Are you planning to do expansion books for this like you've been doing for Spheres of Power?

If so, one thing I'd love to see would be a product adding tech improvements for setting where the technology is more advanced--IE, a technician's inventions are a bit underwhelming if say you're running a late 19th or early 20th century style setting.

Ideally yes, we'd love to do more content for this line, especially considering how many more ideas the team has had which required shelfing due to space. I'm sure Adam could do an entire book on new inventions.


I've been thinking--for a low level magic hybrid, how would adapting the conscripts sphere specialization work? "magic" could allow say, access to a low progression magic ability with a few bonus talents and maybe a few other bennies. The conscript is paying for it, in lost feats, but it might be suited for a combat mage in a low magic setting.


gharlane wrote:
I've been thinking--for a low level magic hybrid, how would adapting the conscripts sphere specialization work? "magic" could allow say, access to a low progression magic ability with a few bonus talents and maybe a few other bennies. The conscript is paying for it, in lost feats, but it might be suited for a combat mage in a low magic setting.

How about just letting them take Basic Magical Training, Advanced Magical Training, and Extra Magical Talent as Conscript bonus feats?

Or do you mean Vancian casting progression?


Honestly if I wanted to make a minor magic caster with SoM, I'd use the scholar and adapt studied technique to give access to the above mentioned feats.

Unless one meant core style magic, of course.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

gharlane wrote:

I've been thinking--for a low level magic hybrid, how would adapting the conscripts sphere specialization work? "magic" could allow say, access to a low progression magic ability with a few bonus talents and maybe a few other bennies. The conscript is paying for it, in lost feats, but it might be suited for a combat mage in a low magic setting.

StSword wrote:

Honestly if I wanted to make a minor magic caster with SoM, I'd use the scholar and adapt studied technique to give access to the above mentioned feats.

Unless one meant core style magic, of course.

The CotS archetype and class option playtest is almost over, but there's probably some relevant materials in there. Unfortunately the conscript presented some challenges so we didn't end up giving him a casting shortcut, but if you wanted to homebrew in a 3 point specialization that gave you Basic Magical Training at level 1, Advanced Magical Training and the Blended Training option at level 3, and a bonus spell point every 2 levels thereafter, along with the option to gain a Unified Tradition (bottom of the playtest) when you start out, you'd be pretty close to what we were considering before we decided that the Conscript and Incanter were best left dedicated to their respective systems and using the standard feat options if they want to buy across.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Huh, I was pretty close with the magical power for scholars option.

Good to know.

And thanks for pointing out that play test material, very informative, And makes me look forward to having the cash to buy it.

Shadow Lodge

Now I'm thinking about a SoM Kineticist and sniping with blasts...


Can someone tell me the page count for this book?

Thanks!


238 pages as a PDF, 235 numbered pages (discounting the covers and OGL). It's mostly rules text, but there are regular additions of art, including a few full-page inserts.


You know what I remember? Those ABSOLUTELY huge books, Exalted 3, other books that can be used as rulebooks or impromptu blunt weapons for the zombie apocalypse.

I think a combined SOM/SOP hardback would be perfect!

(Seriously, if possible, I'd certainly buy it)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

FYI, Champions of the Spheres is now available for purchase! Have you been wondering how best to mix your new martial techniques with some sphere magic? Wonder no more! At $4.99 for three new classes, 13 new archetypes, 13 new feats, 13 unified traditions (combining SoP's casting traditions with SoM's martial traditions), and an array of supporting materials for a variety of classes and companions, Champions of the Spheres is a screaming deal!

/end sales pitch


Why does Alchemy go "5 for base sphere, 5 ranks per talent" rather than "gain ranks = to Hit Die"?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah I noticed most of the spheres that grant skill ranks were changed to 5 from base sphere then +5 per talent. Not sure I like that change makes things more complex for some of my less skilled players. I also noted in the update Rapid Shot is still an associated feat with Barrage. I am super sad by the Sphere Specific Drawbacks that didn't lock in your choice of extra talent now lock in that choice. I liked the flexibility that Spheres of Power had on some of it's specific drawbacks where you got to pick instead of being locked in. Is there any chance we might see that for this system?

I finally had time to check out archetypes and at first I was super stoked for the Magus archetype, then I got sad. Delaying Spell Combat to level 8 is rough as it's the core functionality of the Magus class. I like most of the Magus archetype, but I was kinda sad that it doesn't play nice with most other Magus archetypes that already exist. Is there any chance of light archetypes, that take away a few things but just add a Combat talent progression?


Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah I noticed most of the spheres that grant skill ranks were changed to 5 from base sphere then +5 per talent. Not sure I like that change makes things more complex for some of my less skilled players.

Well if it's more than one then it's probably an anti-dipping measure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah I noticed most of the spheres that grant skill ranks were changed to 5 from base sphere then +5 per talent. Not sure I like that change makes things more complex for some of my less skilled players.

I also liked how Spheres of Might (before the errata) promoted the dipping into other spheres for max ranks because it allowed for rounded characters who did not only focus in 1-2 spheres.


I have been looking over my Spheres of Might pdf and so far I really like what I'm seeing. I do have one question though: are there any specific spheres that were intended (or recommended) for natural attack users?

I'm just curious because I tend to lean towards making natural attack characters. I see a lot of stuff for weapons and unarmed attacks, but there are almost no mentions of natural attacks. I guess natural attack users just have to stick to the generic spheres that don't call out weapon types?


Natural Attacks are mostly meant to be used like Unarmed Attacks (especially via the Unarmed Training (Discipline) talent in the Equipment Sphere).

Silver Crusade

Matrix Dragon wrote:

I have been looking over my Spheres of Might pdf and so far I really like what I'm seeing. I do have one question though: are there any specific spheres that were intended (or recommended) for natural attack users?

I'm just curious because I tend to lean towards making natural attack characters. I see a lot of stuff for weapons and unarmed attacks, but there are almost no mentions of natural attacks. I guess natural attack users just have to stick to the generic spheres that don't call out weapon types?

The closest we have is the unarmed sphere, open hand. Natural attacks are a bit more difficult to incorporate because they follow a similar pattern to full attacks where they're at their best in a 'stand and fight' meta rather than the more mobile meta we're going for here, so it's hard to design around them. We do also have monster talents which could easily be allowed for players with GM permission.


How's the Panacea talent from Alchemy supposed to work? The text says failing a Craft DC just means minimum effect with nothing for voluntarily increasing Craft difficulty. Does that mean Panacea can always craft the DC 20 line? Or does it work on an absolute "You must hit this DC" system?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
How's the Panacea talent from Alchemy supposed to work? The text says failing a Craft DC just means minimum effect with nothing for voluntarily increasing Craft difficulty. Does that mean Panacea can always craft the DC 20 line? Or does it work on an absolute "You must hit this DC" system?

You always get the minimum effect, which for panacea is the DC 20 effect.

Shadow Lodge

Grovestrider wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah I noticed most of the spheres that grant skill ranks were changed to 5 from base sphere then +5 per talent. Not sure I like that change makes things more complex for some of my less skilled players.
I also liked how Spheres of Might (before the errata) promoted the dipping into other spheres for max ranks because it allowed for rounded characters who did not only focus in 1-2 spheres.

Aww, this got changed? It was amazing though! It really helped seperate the system from the usual.

Shadow Lodge

Alright, now that I've looked at it, this change is not for the better in my opinion. Level 1-4 characters can't benefit from it because they can't have five ranks in a skill, and then levels 5-9 it's pointless to have a second talent in the same sphere for the skill....

Can we get the max ranks back? Maybe some reasons behind a change like this that punishes you, skill wise, for staying in one or two spheres instead of rewarding you for branching out? Everyone I told about the max skill ranks was really happy to hear that was a feature.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Personally I think this works better.

That level 1-4 guy is eventually going to be level 5 and it's not like they don't get any benefit from it during levels 1-4, they still effectively have their Level in the skill.

Plus requiering more talents to keep up the training makes sense. You don't keep studying you don't learn more. Makes perfect sense to me.

Dip 1 Talent and free Max Ranks forever. No that makes no sense to me.

Flip side though not everyone uses Skill ranks anymore

My group has moved towards the Group Skill system from Unchained. Pick your groups, pick your specialties, Ranks work themselves out on their own.

Working Skill ranks back in from an extra source makes things a little clunky so we were figuring Spheres with free skills = Free Skill Specialty. But unless you also have the group doing it that way means you only get half as many ranks.

We could go back to skill ranks but honestly we've gotten pretty comfortable with the group system


Dragonborn3 wrote:
Alright, now that I've looked at it, this change is not for the better in my opinion. Level 1-4 characters can't benefit from it because they can't have five ranks in a skill,

They still benefit from the talents they take. If you're just dipping into a sphere and not taking a single talent, it should only be worth a single talent's benefit.

Quote:
and then levels 5-9 it's pointless to have a second talent in the same sphere for the skill....

Almost as if you're meant to take talents which will benefit your character and build up a combat style for your character rather than dipping in every single sphere just for max skill ranks.

Quote:
Can we get the max ranks back? Maybe some reasons behind a change like this that punishes you, skill wise, for staying in one or two spheres instead of rewarding you for branching out? Everyone I told about the max skill ranks was really happy to hear that was a feature.

Considering how many talents characters get, it's insanely easy to still make a character with three or four spheres.

Shadow Lodge

It just doesn't make sense that you can't benefit from a part of something you have until four whole levels after you get it.

Looking at just the classes in the book we have one with 8 ranks a level, two with 6, and six have 4 ranks a level. So, yes, on these cherry picking Speheres is great. But when you go in archetype's or even just Martial Traditions the spheres that grant skills ranks got to shine for the classes that got 2 skill points a level and no reason to have a high enough INT score to get enough ranks for everything the players wants to do... they are nearly necessity.

Take, for example, a fighter of mine in Council of Thieves. I built him around the idea that he was good with his hands. He used a cestus and had disable device and slight of hand. He was a very rogue-like character.

But he needed Perception. And Stealth. And Slieght of Hand. As a fighter beforeAdvanced Weapon Training.

I had to pull out a few stops to get him where I wanted, and in the end he was subpar on the skill part. Scout, Scoundrel, and Open Hand would have done wonderful things for him, but as they are not that same character would have to put points in the aforementioned skills only to suddenly retrain them after ever four levels if he stayed in two spheres and potentially took talents he'd never use or didn't fit his theme just to keep up skill wise.

I spent resources on his skill capabilities so he wasn't just "dumb two-hander Swim and Climb good Fighter."

In any case, it's a jarring change that adds bookkeeping and makes little sense. It's sad to see martial characters lose a nice thing in a book for martial characters.


So far I'm only seeing that happening with Alchemy: every other instance is max-rank-dipping-enabled.


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
So far I'm only seeing that happening with Alchemy: every other instance is max-rank-dipping-enabled.

I don't know how you'd think that, the rule appears in Alchemy, Athletics, Beast Mastery, Fencing, Gladiator, Scoundrel, Scout, Trap, and Warleader.


Milo v3 wrote:
SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
So far I'm only seeing that happening with Alchemy: every other instance is max-rank-dipping-enabled.
I don't know how you'd think that, the rule appears in Alchemy, Athletics, Beast Mastery, Fencing, Gladiator, Scoundrel, Scout, Trap, and Warleader.

I was going off the Spheres of Might wiki. They must have missed those in their update.


That was an oversight on the Wiki's part - it's already been corrected.

As for getting skill ranks with low-skill classes... it's probably worth remembering that Extra Combat Talent is a (Combat) feat, so many fight-y classes can take it as a bonus. You don't need extra talents to keep getting skill ranks until at least Level 6, which gives classes more of an opportunity to have their build really get going. I don't think it's going to be too much of a problem.

Shadow Lodge

Except you can't benefit from the two talents, skill wise, until level 10...

Shadow Lodge

Unless it's suppose to give you five ranks and have (up to your total hit dice) in it. Which means there needs to be another errata and it's still not the great helper it once was.

Especially for those that trade out feats for progression. Getting max ranks in a skill costs four talents, which is either most(4/6), half(4/8) or nearly half (4/10) based on how many of the strongest thing for Martial characters gets traded out...

Edit: I understand I might be over thinking things, but this just seems like a step back.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The change definitely slowed things down. Each talent in a skill-granting sphere basically gives you five ranks each, up to your Hit Dice. In practical terms, it's one point per-level if you have enough talents invested in that sphere.

Don't think of talents and spheres as granting skills - think of them as granting various combat options and abilities while also giving a few skill points to make them work. For example, if a Fighter wants to feint, they can invest in the Fencing sphere and not worry about having to put points into Bluff.

Most Spheres are generally worth having at least two talents in anyway - one to get the sphere and another to get a rider effect when your base ability works.

Overall, my feeling is that the system is still fairly well-balanced. No, you can't get 20 skill points for the price of one feat anymore - but you probably shouldn't have gotten that much anyway, since normal skill-granting feats like Persuasive cap out at +4 in one ability and +8 in two (and even that much only if you've dumped quite a few points into them). Combat talents give you more skill points in one skill (over time) and a useful ability, rider, or other effect at the same time.

Shadow Lodge

I think that is the closest to a complaint about too many skill points I have every seen.

Two feats, Cunning from Paizo and Hobbyist from a third party company, provide skill points equal to your level(what you listed are bonuses to skill checks). Hobbyist made you pick a skill and that was where the free points went. You could also take it multiple times.

Even if we use Cunning as the benchmark and only use the ranks from it in one skill, that's one feat to do what four talents do. It's gone from the same power level as a feat to one-fourth the power level. Seems a bit off, especially if you pick talents that don't have anything to do with the skill the base sphere or another talent(I believe Scouting has a Perception talent).

At this point and time I'm probably going to end up with two pdfs. One that helps martials with skill points and one that fixed a few issues and typos that actually needed fixed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hmm... I feel like we have different thoughts on what this product is trying to do.

Personally, I see the free skills characters can gain as the means to an end. You get points in Bluff so you can feint, you get points in Craft (Alchemy) so you can make things, et cetera. These skill points are in addition to the skill points you normally get so, for example, a Fighter with no points to put in Bluff can actually be good at feinting if they decide to take the Fencing sphere.

In every case, though, you get skill points for a specific mechanical reason, rather than just so you can have more skill points. Furthermore, I don't think there are very many builds in which characters will only want to take the basic sphere, especially after they have a few levels under them and their main build is online. Most spheres have rider effects and/or passive benefits that are useful whenever the base ability is, so it's fairly easy to get to 10 or 15 bonus skill points in multiple spheres.

As far as I can tell, this product is not designed to solve the problem of "martials not having enough skill points". I think it would be more accurate to say that this product "broadly removes lack of skills as a limitation on what the character can do in combat".

Of course, if you want to use two versions of this product, that's totally fine. XD I mean, it's your game - and what you find fun is the only thing that really matters, yeah? (I'd probably just give bonus skill points to martials, myself, but hey. We all like different things.)


GM Rednal wrote:
Overall, my feeling is that the system is still fairly well-balanced. No, you can't get 20 skill points for the price of one feat anymore - but you probably shouldn't have gotten that much anyway, since normal skill-granting feats like Persuasive cap out at +4 in one ability and +8 in two (and even that much only if you've dumped quite a few points into them). Combat talents give you more skill points in one skill (over time) and a useful ability, rider, or other effect at the same time.

As Dragonborn3 pointed out, Paizo had already published a feat that grants free max ranks in a skill: Cunning. Now obviously, most (not all) of the spheres or talents which granted additional abilities (albeit minor) on-top of the free max ranks, which makes them inherently more powerful than the Cunning feat. However, by locking them behind 5 ranks per talent, SoM is complicating builds and making it significantly weaker than the Cunning feat.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The thing about the previous version was you could take 4 options that granted spheres talents and have 20 ranks in 4 skills at 20th level. Now you need 4 sphere-granting options to have 20 ranks in 1 skill at 20th level.

They do grant more than just skill ranks, so I'm personally not going to complain about them (I don't go the 20 anyway).

In regards to Cunning: are we sure we want to beat that? At some point in Pathfinder there's going to be an uber-option, like Druid, against which you don't want compare things because it'll just result in an arms race.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Everyone picking up a mix of spheres, even if it's just the base sphere and even if it was just for skills... what's the problem? Did threads crop up about "My Fighter has Ranks in Perception and three more skills! How do I handle it?"

Seriously, who actually complained about a different system being, you know, different?


Dragonborn3 wrote:

Everyone picking up a mix of spheres, even if it's just the base sphere and even if it was just for skills... what's the problem? Did threads crop up about "My Fighter has Ranks in Perception and three more skills! How do I handle it?"

Seriously, who actually complained about a different system being, you know, different?

Exactly my point. I am very curious as to who exactly complained about the skills, because as far as I can tell the change came suddenly without any warning. It is also disappointing because during the Kickstarter, it was promised that Spheres of Might would include 'Spheres of Excellence' (options for Skillful characters). I personally thought that giving max ranks was a good way of implementing this.

Shadow Lodge

I hope they aren't making an actual Spheres of Excellence and removed full ranks to give that book something....


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm sorry but you are still gaining bonus skill points. By breaking them up into sets of 5/talent the system makes your choices have more impact. If you want a free 20 ranks in Diplomacy then you actually have to commit to the Warleader Sphere instead of just dabbling in it.

If they stuck with Max ranks just for knowing the Sphere then everyone would end up with the same mishmash of spheres just to optimize the skills

This way makes more sense. It makes more sense from a system point of view and it makes more sense from a role-playing point view.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not everyone is going to take a mishmash in spheres. That alone would spread out resources too thinly and prove 'jack of all trades, master of none' true. What it would allow, however, if for such characters to at least contribute more often instead of sitting back and twiddling their thumbs any time a skill check pops up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Not everyone is going to take a mishmash in spheres. That alone would spread out resources too thinly and prove 'jack of all trades, master of none' true. What it would allow, however, if for such characters to at least contribute more often instead of sitting back and twiddling their thumbs any time a skill check pops up.

but that isn't the case either.

The character is getting the skills that relate to the styles of combat he chooses to focus on, and by focusing on specific styles he is reward with the higher cap on the free skill.

The guy who focuses on the Warleader Sphere gets to be a good diplomate.
The guy who just dabbles in the Warleader gets a little bit of Diplomatic skill but not as much as the guy who has clearly made it a focal point for his character.

Why should the guy who just dabbles get the same reward as the guy who has put in the most effort?

The 5 ranks/talent ties the skill and the sphere more closely together instead of just being a casual freebie. The more you invest in that sphere the higher that cap on the free skill gets. It becomes a part of the training and a sign of the character's growth with those abilities.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I prefer the 5/talent. It encourages some focus, which is what I like about the sphere systems. It discourages exactly what the proponents for it seem to want, grabbing a group of spheres for max skill ranks, instead of making an actual style.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
jedi8187 wrote:
I prefer the 5/talent. It encourages some focus, which is what I like about the sphere systems. It discourages exactly what the proponents for it seem to want, grabbing a group of spheres for max skill ranks, instead of making an actual style.

Except that dipping into other spheres with Spheres of Might is now harsher than dipping into other spheres with Spheres of Power.

For example, we have two characters, a level 1 Conscript (who specialized in the Guardian sphere, but dipped into the Warleader sphere), and a level 1 Incanter (who specialized in the Protection sphere, but dipped into the War sphere). After the first five levels, the Conscript no longer gets any increasing benefit from the Warleader sphere, whereas the Incanter's War sphere abilities continue to have their duration and effects increase (even without any continued investment in the sphere).

Because the most recent nerf to the skill spheres punishes (instead of rewarding) martials for dipping into other spheres, you are more likely to find cookie-cutter builds where martials either stick to their two spheres or else slaps on drawbacks for no reason but to get their free ranks, making them even less likely to use or invest further in the sphere.

151 to 200 of 296 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Spheres of Might (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.