Cavalier and Oracle Playtest


Round 1: Cavalier and Oracle

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
D&D is a numbers game, whether you like it or not. Yet, there are a lot of people out there trying to create "coolness" concepts that are indubitably mechanically inferior than what the normal game intends in terms of balance (i.e. inferior to single classed PCs). That's fine... as long as you're aware of it and a) don't complain when the DM tells you to roll yet another character and b) don't try to convince the gaming population that your "cool" concept can go toe-to-toe vs a regular PC.

Thank you!

Meantime, I've been thinking about how to make the cavalier's Oath mechanic a little more uniform and balanced. It occurred to me that it could be viably rebuilt in the same fashion as the bardic music abilities, with more powerful oaths becoming available at later levels. Here's a rough idea:

Oath (Ex): A cavalier may swear an oath to accomplish a specific task. Swearing an oath takes a full minute of speech and concentration, at the end of which the cavalier immediately gains the benefits of the oath. He retains the benefits as long as he abides by the restrictions; if he violates the restrictions of any oath he has sworn in the past week, he loses the benefits of all oaths and may not swear new oaths for 24 hours. Any specifically broken oath may not be renewed until a full week has passed, or the cavalier receives an Atonement spell. A cavalier may only have one oath active at a time.
At first level, the cavalier has access to the oaths of chastity, valor, and loyalty.

Oath of Chastity: As long as the cavalier refrains from engaging in intimate activity, he gains a +2 morale bonus on saves against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

Oath of Valor: As long as the cavalier does not retreat from a conflict, he gains a +2 morale bonus to will saves against fear spells and effects. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

Oath of Purity: As long as the cavalier keeps his body free of poisons and disease, he gains a +2 bonus on fortitude saves against poison and disease. This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter. Note that alcohol and tobacco are poisons for the purposes of this oath.

Oath of Loyalty: As long as the cavalier immediately acts to help his allies when they are in need, he grants a +4 bonus while using the Aid Another action (instead of +2). This bonus increases by +1 at 5th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 3rd level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Mercy. As long as the cavalier refrains from killing or shedding blood, he takes no penalty to attack rolls for dealing nonlethal damage with lethal weapons. Additionally, he deals +2 damage when making attacks that deal nonlethal damage. This bonus increases by +1 at 8th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 7th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Pursuit against a single creature. As long as the cavalier moves steadfastly to confront this creature, he gains a +4 bonus on rolls made to track the target with the Gather Information, Search, or Survival skills. This bonus increases by +2 at 12th level, and every 5 levels thereafter.

At 11th level, the cavalier may swear an Oath of Vengeance against a creature that has caused him or his allies specific harm. He gains a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls against the creature and it's (known) agents. At 15th level, this bonus increases to +3, and at 20th, it increases to +4.

Etc...

Any thoughts? I'm stumped at a good fail condition for the Oath of Vengeance, and I'm sure there are more interesting ones to add, but these seem more mechanically enticing than the ones in the book. It also feels much better to get the benefits upon swearing an oath, rather than getting them after you do the legwork and they're no longer relevant.

Also, for the resist X oaths, what do people think of the "gain x benefit until you fail a save" thing? I sort of like the idea: Mr. Cavalier swears oath of valor, gains bonus to fear checks, fights heroically through the dungeon... until he meets Mr. Ancient Red Dragon, whereupon he fails the check and flees, breaking the oath.

Of course, it makes less sense for poisons.


Skizzy:

Your build is cool, sounds like a lot of fun to play, and mechanically viable, but nothing about it strikes me as overpowering. Glad it's a good fit though. Might try something similar when I start a playtest in a week or two.

Maeloke:

On the poison bit: his body is more resistant as long as it remains pure, but one poison removes that extra layer of defense. It's like a wall that is very difficult to break, but once one break is made the others follow easily.

That aside, I like your system quite a bit. Oath of Mercy and Oath of Pursuit are definitely nifty.

For Oath of Vengeance, fail condition is... my first thought was when an ally is dropped to -1 or lower, but then I realized that would probably just make the oath stronger. If he wavers from his focus on defeating that creature, kind of like Oath of Pursuit? Or, if faced with that creature, he must attack it directly to the exclusion of all others, even its agents and lieutenants and such?

Oath of Loyalty still needs a more clear condition, IMHO. It's just too vague as is.


This is a rough essay regarding the cavalier class. Please critique it.
Any material here that is quoted from the Advanced Player's Handbook playtest is quoted from the playtest. I briefly describe a class from the Player's Handbook 2, copyrighted to Wizards, but do not quote directly from text. In short, I have not plagiarized.

Letter to Paizo, 1

In regards to the new Cavalier base class

Dear Paizo,

As a player of eight years and a dungeon master of six, at only twenty years old, I’m afraid I don’t have the experience to properly address all or even any of the technical advantages or disadvantages of the cavalier base class. I have, however, made some observations through gameplay that I would like to share with the designers of the class, since that is, after all, what the class packet was intended to be used for. It should be noted that these observations take place in a homebrew campaign with beginner players (I feel that new ideas should always be tested on those unfamiliar with the system so that the reactions to the class are felt rather than thought out, if you understand my meaning).

I adapted a 3.5 character (a gnome knight 3) with the player’s permission. The player was drawn to the knight base class (from which many of the cavalier concepts seem to be drawn) primarily because of the particular role in party play that it often fills--the alignment-driven combat tank/party leader. Her character (Lady Heldeguard by character name; let’s be informal and refer to her by it as Lady Helly) was tailored for this role, and fit well once converted, with primary abilities being Strength, Charisma, and Constitution. She was very excited about choosing an order to affiliate with, as most players are when given many options.

The problem with Lady Helly as a knight was that the plethora of level-dependant abilities made it difficult for her player to keep track of them all. The knight’s challenge can be used in many situations, a certain number of times, for different effects, while the bonuses given to her in terms of armor, shields, and mounted combat left her character sheet a mess of my footnotes so she wouldn’t forget any viable options during combat. This variety put a great burden of complexity on the player’s memory to fully utilize Lady Helly’s abilities. And this is at 3rd level.

Once converted, I can’t say I expected these problems to go away, after all, the class is to appear in the Advanced Player’s Handbook, not the beginner’s player handbook. I groaned inwardly as I realized I would have to rewrite her riding dog mount stat block & annotate it for her use. Thankfully the core rulebook has such an annotated block. Since the companion functioned exactly as a simplified druid companion, this was easy to run and maintain during combat. Since the bonuses to mounted combat were permanent and uniconditional (mounted charge only), it was easily used to run down foes (I had several orc rangers that were brutally murdered this way) in open areas, but was unavailable in strange or constrained terrain (which happened once the rangers were chased into wooded area). We can’t wait until level 11 to get Mighty Charge.

When I told the player that Lady Helly could choose any of the given oaths for any of the given effects, she actually told me she would only use one oath (the oath of protection) and asked if she could always have the effect of the oath active as long as the conditions were met (in this case, she wanted the AC bonus as long as she was in combat adjacent to her ward, which, to her, was more like protecting than hoping that the warded character took no damage after she had spent a whole day waiting to gain its benefit). I agreed. In short, I would suggest making only a few oaths available to a given cavalier, and simplifying the effect conditions to be active until broken. It might also be better to exclude bonuses based on HD and rather use character level for all oath bonuses, since the former punishes players and DMs for using a certain play strategy. I created and tested my own 10th and 15th level cavaliers and found their oath powers to be equivalent of a medium magic item (max +5 bonuses on saves, checks, or rolls), a significant but not unbalanced boost, save in the instance where a 20th level character has four active oaths in four separate fields (+5 AC, +5 saves, +10 saves that include the previous general +5 and the specific +5 offered for some effects, and +5 attack rolls is a little much). I feel it would be much better to have two active oaths by 20th level and no more, doubly so since a player character does not want to feel her rolepalying choices must be oppressed in order to fight effectively. Here is my revised version of the cavalier’s oath ability.

Oath: A cavalier can swear an oath at 1st level to do something particularly honorable. As long as the cavalier fulfills the conditions of this oath, he gains a bonus. If he breaks his oath, he loses this bonus for 24 hours, after which his oath is restored once the conditions are met (if he breaks this oath during this 24 hour period the time resets from the most recent violation). Once chosen an oath can be revoked only through a week’s worth of time rededicating oneself to a new cause. At 9th level a cavalier may take a second oath, so long as it does not conflict with the first. Although the DM and the PC set which oaths the cavalier is going to take, here are some examples of cavalier oath options:
Oath of Loyalty: The cavalier swears to remain loyal to his allies and friends. When the cavalier makes this oath, he selects any number of allies that are within his line of sight. As long as the cavalier uses the aid another action on one of these allies once every 24 hours, he receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against enchantment (compulsion) spells and effects. If he goes for more than 24 hours without aiding another, and he is not present during combat or there is no combat or skill checks made on that day, he is not in violation of his oath (he does not have to create an opportunity to aid another to keep his oath). This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels the cavalier possesses.
Oath of Protection: The cavalier vows to protect one individual and keep him from harm. When the cavalier makes this oath, he nominates one creature. If he remains adjacent to that creature at the end of his turn, the cavalier receives a +1 morale bonus to his AC. This bonus lasts as long as the target is adjacent to him. It is only violated if the cavalier refused to enter combat with his target or saves himself at his target’s expense (GM’s discretion) This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels the cavalier possesses.
Oath of Purity: The cavalier swears to remain pure in both body and soul. The cavalier must remain free of alcohol, curses, diseases, drugs, and poisons to complete this oath (failing a saving throw against any one of these effects causes the duration to reset). Upon completion, he receives a +1morale bonus on saving throws against curses, diseases, and poisons as long as he keeps this oath and remains free from the listed impurities. This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels the cavalier possesses.
Oath of Vengeance: The cavalier swears to slay all creatures of a specific kind, such as goblins, mummies, or bone devils. As long as the cavalier kills a creature of the selected type once a week, he receives a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made against the specific kind of creature.This bonus increases by +1 for every 5 class levels of the cavalier. A cavalier can swear this oath more than once.
Oath of Justice: The cavalier swears to bring a specific individual or creature to justice, be it through capturing individual or slaying him. Upon completing this oath, the cavalier receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws for 1 week. This bonus increases by +1 for every 5 class levels of the
cavalier.
Oath of Greed: The cavalier vows to garner as much wealth as possible. As long as a cavalier does not relinquish possession of any item without receiving at least equal payment, he receives a +1 morale bonus on Appraise, Bluff, and Sense Motive skill checks. He loses this bonus if he willing gives away wealth or an object of value without receiving proper compensation. This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels the cavalier possesses.

These oaths provide more of a hindrance to the PC but are simpler in their scope and usage. I realize that they may not be simple enough, and that some conditional issues have not been solved.

The next area of the cavalier I looked at was the order system. In short, I think it is beautiful. I am absolutely happy with all aspects of it (as are my players) save one. Lady Helly often forgets to challenge. When I remind her, she just as often tells me it’s not worth the effort to keep up with! We both had similar issues with the knight’s challenge ability, because 1) it had to be renewed for each new enemy and 2) the effects, although useful, were often not useful enough. The restrictions and variables of the challenge ability for either knight or cavalier class has proven too much for PCs to keep up with. Although the cavalier’s challenge is a powerful tool in combat, I feel it might be better with less rules regarding its application. Especially since the cavalier already has an oath system, and an order system that works well without the challenge ability, I would suggest removing it entirely. If not that, I would suggest making it resemble the smite ability, usable once per day, against any one opponent, making cavalier a viable choice for former paladins who want to avoid alignment restrictions of that smite ability. OR, it is feasible to make it like a ranger’s favored enemy ability, but usable only against a specific foe, only a certain number of times per day. OR, since I have seen multiple complaints online about such use of similar (“pirated”) class features, you could engineer a (somewhat) new method for challenges, like the one below:

Challenge!: A cavalier can challenge an opponent, calling on the force of his will and the strength of his sword to overwhelm his foes. He can make an attempt to demoralize a foe in combat, adding 1/2 his class level to the roll, and any other modifiers that normally apply to it. If he succeeds, he gains an advantage against that opponent, depending on the order he is a part of. He may only challenge once during an encounter. At first level, he may challenge only one opponent, but at 5th level, and every three levels after, he may challenge one more opponent at a time (using the same demoralize roll).

From there I suppose your design team could create some advantages in the form of foe penalties or player bonuses. I used this method with Lady Helly, who, needing only to make one challenge per encounter (usually on her first turn) to utilize its function (as an Order of the Shield cavalier I thought it fitting for her to gain a +2 morale bonus to AC against her mark), shouted a variation of a phrase and title from her favorite death metal song: “Come Forth And Die!!”

I realize that this may not be simple or original enough for your purposes, but the purpose of this essay is to provide suggestions for a remodel structure, not to provide a remodel structure.

Unlike some forum members, I do not see any unbalancing issues with specific class abilities, except perhaps the Move As One order ability, which should be made daily rather than...encounter-ly. That aside, such abilities, though powerful, only shape one battle and a good GM can always recover from a fast-won battle with an insidious design or cunning twist. Some of these abilities may need to change according to the changes to other class abilities I have suggested, if they are adopted.

I also read several complaints about the role-playing element of the class, which I found to be totally irrelevant on the basis that a player character’s roleplaying potential is never hurt by having more options. Many members of the online forums thought the class was unnecessary or pirated from other classes. I do not share this view because I cannot see the harm of having to choose between a few more classes, regardless of how specific their function or occupational role. A good PC makes a personality and backstory for her character, and a good GM rewards her with challenging decisions and recurring themes that either show her worth or expose her weaknesses. I don’t care about what niche the cavalier was meant to cover, be it mounted-unaligned-fighter-druid-knight or nonspellcasting-tank-mounted-combat-specialist blah blah blah. A PC thst wishes to play as a knight from her first level is well served with this class. The point of Pathfinder is to find paths, not follow predetermined ones.

This is the unabridged version of my essay on the Cavalier base class.

-Manplant


Manplant:

Thanks for some actual playtest data. It's nice to see more and more streaming in as the days go on.

I like your oaths, at least at first glance. A bit less vague, the fact that there's less to keep track of is nice, and all of them seem worthwhile.

Personally I'm okay with Challenge as-is on a read-through, though I have yet to play it. Your system seems to be more dependent on orders than Challenge normally is, which is definitely interesting. Could see it turning out well, but it also would involve even more work making sure they were all balanced between the orders, and then any homebrew orders or orders that may appear in supplemental material... hrm.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know it's minor, but change the Order of the Sword challenge ability to a competence bonus, so it can stack with the vengeance oath.


This is a rough essay regarding the Oracle base class. Please critique it. I know I’m not the only member on the board; if you are critiquing this essay on a thread, please address your response to me or quote a part of the essay you are using as reference so I know that you are responding to me.

Letter to Paizo, 2

In regards to the new Oracle base class.

Dear Paizo,

I have recently been devoting a great deal of my GM time to the study of your two new base classes, the Cavalier and the Oracle. This essay includes some of my playtest data on the Oracle class. As with most of my in-game studies, I awarded the class to a beginning player to observe its effects on the PC with less bias and a more frank view of how well the game or aspect thereof is working for them. Having only recently converted to Pathfinder, I had my player shelve his druid and make an oracle of the same level (fringe fifth level). He recognized early on that the foci of the oracles were akin to domains of the cleric. He liked them much more than cleric domains because they created more (and more powerful) options available to his PC. He had settled on the Stone focus after an hour of debate and discussion with the play group. Ironically, he had chosen his curse to be Clouded Sight, but then elected to acquire the Crystal Sight revelation. I told him this was counterproductive and he decided to be Haunted. For the sake of expediency let’s us his character name, Shorm (from Shorm the Coniferous as a druid to Shorm the Stoneclad as an oracle) to describe his reactions and play strategy during a campaign.

Upon the completion of character sheet, I noticed that his sheet was less cluttered than any other spellcasting class I had ever made a character sheet for (I’ve made most of them). The straightforwardness of the oracle’s abilities make a fine base class for beginners and perhaps would have made a feasible core class. Shorm’s spell selection process was a little confusing for him, because he did not know which spells from the cleric spell list would be useful to him. I told him to look for any spells with the [acid] and [earth] descriptors. he couldn’t find very many, I’m afraid. I suggested using the druid spell list instead, but he, knowing that I was studying a playtest class, elected to stick to the rules.

My first suggestion, therefore, is creating an oracle spell list. I know it is a hard, tedious process, but it will give a vast majority of players more viable spell selections if they choose foci based on elements. I feel a new spell list would also balance the nonelemental foci such as the Bones focus, since they often have a much, perhaps unfairly, larger selection of foci-related spells.

Shorm led the party in terms of tactical superiority almost wire to wire. He almost drowned crossing a river because he had no ranks in Swim, but used his ranks in Climb to get elevation and simply leapt across it. He asked me if I would nullify the first 1d6 points of falling damage regardless of his Tumble check because his bones were stone-like. Shorm had quickly become an avatar of stone and earth, and roleplayed as such.

Shorm’s player is a spell hoarder, if you are familiar with the term. He saves every spell for what he perceives to be an important or final incident, except spells with a specific purpose, such as omen of peril or spider climb. I often punish his tendency (just to show that meta-game planning doesn’t always work, not to punish his roleplay strategy) by putting a large but weak opponent in the path of the party, in this case, a Huge monstrous spider blocking their path through the forest. Facing no alignment restrictions, he cast inflict moderate wounds, used his acid arrow focus spell, and it was dead (the spider had 49 hp). The party assisted, or course. He then cast cure moderate wounds on himself, since I had the spider attack him on one of its two turns of combat. In short, he had become a very versatile spellcaster. His small number of spells turned his hoarding tendency into a deadly boss-beater. unfortunately for Shorm the real boss was yet to come; it was a 7th level Bones oracle, in this case (I wanted to play a nonelemental oracle and see how much more powerful, if at all, they were). With four first level spells left, he used his Exploding Shard revelation to ruin the skeleton minions of the oracle (even though I ruled that the shards did piercing damage). He cast shield, magic stones, and cure light wounds to heal and damage the opponents. His Steelbreaker Skin revelation did not work this time, but Shorm is determined to use it until it does.

The Bones oracle I used was hard to hit with his Armor of Bones revelation, but his Resist Life revelation did more harm than help. The higher level Oracles I generated for test play showed a more noticeable difference in abilities; the Clouded Vision Battle oracle is a terrifying blind swordsman, and is now a favored PC template of mine.

As a result of these encounters, he ran out of both revelations and spells fairly quickly.

I had difficulty finding any other technical discrepancies with this class. I have observed complaints from the online community about the class being weak, especially at lower levels; most of their suggestion go into reworking the spell system to provide for more spells a day or a different spell list. I feel that such changes might be unnecessary if the oracle simply gained more revelations over the course of his level progression. Or perhaps make several minor revelations that can be used more often, or are always active. I personally do not see any need to change the spells known or the spells per day of the oracle. An oracle becomes, in combat, an opportunity combatant, but primarily serves as a supporting character. I am in the process of choosing special druid spells to add to the oracle’s class list so at least the selection process will make up for the lack of versatility and the relatively finite casting power. I might go so far as to allow oracles to choose spells from the cleric and druid spell lists, or allow them to choose which spell list of the two they would like to pick their spells from. That is also my suggestion to the design team. I would expect an oracle in my party to use their revelations and spells only when standard attack options aren’t working or the party looks to be losing ground. I suspect that they are much the spellcaster’s answer to the monk class; actually, a multiclass monk/oracle could be a very lethal combination. At higher levels, the oracle has both an effective set of melee abilities and an effective set of spellcasting abilities, making them seem underpowered at first but overpowered at last (again, much like the monk class). A 15th level oracle, with appropriate gear, that I played against a CR 11 barbed devil singlehandedly slew it in six rounds. Alone, against a CR 15 neothelid, she was slain in eight rounds, bringing the beast down to nearly half hp.

As a roleplaying character, the oracle is a treasure for the PC and GM alike. The manifestation of the oracle’s curse is a useful tool for adding intrigue and interesting situations for the GM, and the thematic fixation of the oracle on his or her focus makes for a dedicated PC who has a clear idea of the oracle’s personality and lifestyle. Shorm will remain an oracle because his player enjoys the class so much. The image of a haunted, stoic, dwarven stone-mage is clear and compelling for Shorm’s player, skin slightly gray like rock, eyes glowing like gemstones as he summons earthly spires to crush his enemies and crystal sight to seek out a cavernous place to start a new clan.

In conclusion, the oracle has been an explosive offensive force in my campaign testing. I feel that although it is a class for advanced players primarily, its limited casting ability is offset by powerful revelations and effective spells. A beginning player would often spend too many spells and revelations in one place; if you wish to design the class for beginners, I would suggest making a wider spell selection and more always-active abilities to make it easier to manage the expenditure of their power. My prediction is that the oracle will be the closest answer to the spellblade (otherwise known as the gish) that Paizo offers in the near future and that the oracle will carve out its niche as a multiclass option for characters of all classes.

I realize that my solutions may have already been considered, and that similar observations are being made by the Pathfinder community. I understand that the design team may have different feeling on the power of the class and the balance of power as the oracle progresses, and I defer to their experience in any case. I plan to fully utilize the oracle class in future campaigns.

I can send the stat blocks of any and all created characters upon request. This can be said for any character created in any of my essays unless otherwise noted.

This is the unabridged version of the Oracle essay.

-Manplant


manplant wrote:

Dear Paizo,

...

My first suggestion, therefore, is creating an oracle spell list. I know it is a hard, tedious process, but it will give a vast majority of players more viable spell selections if they choose foci based on elements. I feel a new spell list would also balance the nonelemental foci such as the Bones focus, since they often have a much, perhaps unfairly, larger selection of foci-related spells.

...

-Manplant

Nice playtest, your biggest worry seems to be the need for some extra spells, particularily ones with elemental descriptors.

Don't worry though, in another thread Sean has specifically said that they are making spells to fill those gaps in the APG, this was in relation to a similar issue a Waves focus oracle had.

Above mentioned comment.

Nice playtest, it seemed your player grasped the role of the oracle well, and I agree it is for more advanced players who'll know how to play support, I think thats one of the reasons fighter is good for first timers, not just that the class is straight-forward, but that its role in combat is. Go forward, fight stuff.

I agree with your thoughts on the oaths above, but actually like the challenge the way it is, I think oversimplification there hurts more than it gives, also your version was perhaps too weak, and easier to apply to foes weaker than the cavalier, as stronger foes are more likely to resist the Intimidate, which doesn't really suit the cavalier's falvour in my opinion.


manplant wrote:
I have observed complaints from the online community about the class being weak, especially at lower levels; most of their suggestion go into reworking the spell system to provide for more spells a day or a different spell list. I feel that such changes might be unnecessary if the oracle simply gained more revelations over the course of his level progression. Or perhaps make several minor revelations that can be used more often, or are always active. I personally do not see any need to change the spells known or the spells per day of the oracle.

I agree with this entirely. I commented on another thread that I thought a possible solution was to allow Oracles to choose two foci, similar to how Clerics can choose two domains. Although I can understand that some might feel that it splits the single-mindedness of the class, I feel that it adds some much needed flexibility. Obviously this is not feasible with the current limited number of foci, but as more and more are added, I think this will become more and more viable.

Gaining more revelations could work as well, but that means significantly expanding the number of revelations per focus, which in turn makes it harder to add new foci. I think I'd rather see a wide varity of different foci than a few foci with longer lists of revelations. Also, having two foci doubles the number of focus spells, which in turn partially addresses many people's concerns about the number of spells known.

I do like the idea of some smaller revelations that are either at-will or always on.


I haven't played it much yet but can I just say being a Deaf Oracle and using the spell Silence centered on myself just seems very wrong. The reason I say that is because my spells are the metamagic feat Silent Spell without any buff to casting time or level. My suggestion might be that being Deaf does not effect your spell casting that requires vocal components, maybe cause the magic flows out of you so naturally. This way you still have to speak to cast.


bigb103 wrote:
I haven't played it much yet but can I just say being a Deaf Oracle and using the spell Silence centered on myself just seems very wrong. The reason I say that is because my spells are the metamagic feat Silent Spell without any buff to casting time or level. My suggestion might be that being Deaf does not effect your spell casting that requires vocal components, maybe cause the magic flows out of you so naturally. This way you still have to speak to cast.

Being deaf is a pretty big disadvantage. You're basically unaware of anything not in your field of vision. Communication with your party in and out of battle is going to be an incredible pain in the rear, and you can't make effective use of a number of spells that are language dependent. Being able to create an effective 'no-cast zone' around yourself is powerful, but you can't stay in melee and most casters can move out of it in one round, somewhere you can't get to. Not a big deal.


Chris Kenney wrote:
bigb103 wrote:
I haven't played it much yet but can I just say being a Deaf Oracle and using the spell Silence centered on myself just seems very wrong. The reason I say that is because my spells are the metamagic feat Silent Spell without any buff to casting time or level. My suggestion might be that being Deaf does not effect your spell casting that requires vocal components, maybe cause the magic flows out of you so naturally. This way you still have to speak to cast.
Being deaf is a pretty big disadvantage. You're basically unaware of anything not in your field of vision. Communication with your party in and out of battle is going to be an incredible pain in the rear, and you can't make effective use of a number of spells that are language dependent. Being able to create an effective 'no-cast zone' around yourself is powerful, but you can't stay in melee and most casters can move out of it in one round, somewhere you can't get to. Not a big deal.

Well I kinda agree with what some of things you are saying though I do have "game mechanic" questions for some of the things you said. One was "you are unaware of anything not in your field of vision." Now I don't think there are rules really for facing and such in this system. Basically you see it or you don't due to a perception check, which is at a -4. So I do agree with you in a way that it can hinder you noticing things. Another is that in some campaigns and systems, Forgotten Realms is one, a player can take Drow Hand Sign Language. This way I am able to communicate with my group with ease outside of combat. I agree it is of no use in combat and others in the world most likely don't know it but it helps cut down some of the problem. Also with a bit of creativity a player can give their character a little chalkboard and some chalk so they can talk to the regular populace. Again it is of no use in combat but it cuts down on the effect. Finally I agree with you at later levels most casters can move out of it in one round due to a silenced teleport or dim door. However, I am able to do this at like 4th level when anything that has any caster that would have those spells would be like 8th level. Yes it is a small window of being mean but it still exists. Now whether any of this requires adjustment is up to Paizo.

I also wanted to state I felt I should reply so Paizo could get a better feel for some of my concerns and that you did bring up a lot of valid points but I still felt a bit concerned about the class.


The Oracle seems to imply that she can channel energy like a cleric, but never states it explicitly. Can she?

Dark Archive

campross wrote:
The Oracle seems to imply that she can channel energy like a cleric, but never states it explicitly. Can she?

No.

As to the moving out of silence range, Expeditious retreat is pretty good for that too if you already have it up.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

This may have already been mentioned, and if so, please ignore.

While I understand that it is completely impractical to make specialized spell lists for every Oracle variant, I do think they need a different listing than just the Divine array. Since the Witch is being given their own spell listing, one made for the Oracle, that branches out and adds those missing spells that others have mentioned that fit the Oracle flavor.

That way, just as every other caster using a shared list can create their own flavor, the Oracle can, but have the spells to do so.

Just a thought :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The cleric has quite an impressive array of healing at his disposal. In addition to the spontaneous casting of cure spells, a cleric who channels positive has another healing resource to draw upon.

If the oracle is going to be the party’s healer, I think the oracle might need a little help. One thought I had was to add all of the cures spells to the “spells known”. Overall I like the oracle class and the chavelier class. I look forward to the other classes, and to see how they evolve.


Manplant ----

Great platest reviews! I'm glad you went with new players and not people who have been around the D&D block and can break the rules like a pretzel. That's important too but it's nice to get the other side sometimes. ;)

Although I think some of the issues you raised are fixed by the fact that these are intended to be 'advanced' classes, you offered good suggestions too.

Here's an e-cookie. ;)


I love the oracle, but is there any timeline on when more foci might be announced? The elemental ones are nice, but it's hard to see what other less defined foci might like with only them as available examples.


Is there an iconic Oracle somewhere? I could have sworn I saw it, but now I can't find it... Any help?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Sojan Nanthiz wrote:
Is there an iconic Oracle somewhere? I could have sworn I saw it, but now I can't find it... Any help?

The illustration in the playtest is the iconic oracle, but beyond that, I don't believe there's any details on any of the new iconics yet.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

ElyasRavenwood wrote:

The cleric has quite an impressive array of healing at his disposal. In addition to the spontaneous casting of cure spells, a cleric who channels positive has another healing resource to draw upon.

If the oracle is going to be the party’s healer, I think the oracle might need a little help. One thought I had was to add all of the cures spells to the “spells known”. Overall I like the oracle class and the chavelier class. I look forward to the other classes, and to see how they evolve.

I'm pretty sure there will be an oracle focus/mystery related to healing, so it until that's released, it's hard to say if the oracle as a class needs anything more in terms of healing. If you want to play a primary healer oracle, then that would be the way to go.

Shadow Lodge

Personally, I kind of hope that there isn't one. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, (no matter which version of Oracle you think of), and I hope that the Oracle stays away from the cleric/paladin in that respect. As is, they are behind the Cleric and Paladin, but (in some ways) ahead of the Bard and Druid, which I think is a good place for them if they want to be a healer.

Liberty's Edge

JoelF847 wrote:
Sojan Nanthiz wrote:
Is there an iconic Oracle somewhere? I could have sworn I saw it, but now I can't find it... Any help?
The illustration in the playtest is the iconic oracle, but beyond that, I don't believe there's any details on any of the new iconics yet.

Thanks JoelF847, if that is your real name. ;)

The Exchange

First Impressions:

Cavalier - Looks pretty solid and fun to play, but the current mount mechanics limit effectiveness in adventures not set on the open plains. An option similar "Divine Bond" for the Paladin might make sense. Perhaps, this is a "Martial Bond" that enhances weapon skills or offers a two-weapon fighting style instead?

Oracle - Overall, just damn impressive. I originally thought this would be a reworked "Favored Soul", but the foci, curses & revelations blew me away. In particular, curses are cool be cause the introduce a limiting flaw, which is really cool.

My only real comment on these three design elements is that there could be more of each. For instance, there seems to be one key focus missing: fortune. The class name evokes a divine caster who can see the future ... even if the events are not clear to them. I am not sure how that might look mechanically, but it definitely suits the flavor of the class.

On a more practical note, is the intention that various foci can only be applied to the dieties associated with them? For example, could there be a Battlecry Oracle for Asmodeus? I have a Pathfinder Society character concept of a Chelish "Paladin" of Asmodeus. The idea was that, though Lawful Good, the PC worshipped Asmodeus because he thought his message and intent were pure, but misunderstood by mortals. He'd be low INT and a little deluded. ;^D

No matter how I look at it, I cannot really justify an LG worshipper of Asmodeus, even in Cheliax. Then, along came the Battlecry Oracle, which with the Tongues Curse would seem to fit the bill. Still deluded, but LN instead of LG, this oracle could be well-armored and martially focused with Paladin-like skill set. In his deluded mind, he was not an oracle, but a Paladin of Asmodeous. They only thing holding me back is that Asmodeous currently attaches to the Flames focus, not the BattleCry focus. So, is the diety "pool" for the Oracle a bit of flexible "flavor" or hard "crunch"?

With some guidance on this last point, I'll get my Oracle into actual Pathfinder Society play and get actual play data back to Jason & the rest of the golems.


Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Taking a quick glance both of these classes, I got very excited with multiple character concepts quickly developing within my head. Taking a more in depth look at these classes I quickly became flaccid With disappointment.

Cavalier:
Challenge- Owned by rogues.
Oaths- Gives little to nothing as intensive to use, what good is a moral bonus for 24 hours after you have completed a Mid-long term Goal.

Oracle:
Armor- No medium armor? why would i ever pick battle focus?, there's always still cleric or favored soul.
No channel energy- Makes The below ability 400% less awesome.

Bleeding Wounds wrote:

Bleeding Wounds (Su): Whenever a creature takes damage

from one of your spells or effects that causes negative energy
damage (such as inflict light wounds or channel negative
energy), it begins to bleed, taking 1 point of damage each
round. At 5th level, and every five levels thereafter, this
damage increases by 1. This bleeding can be stopped by a
DC 15 Heal check or any effect that heals damage.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hello all, I just finished a D&D session this afternoon. My friend was starting a new campaign, and he was using the adventuring materiel out of the Dummies guide for Dungeons and dragons. We were using the pathfinder rules. I asked the DM if I could give the Oracle a try since I almost always play a cleric.

He said yes. He told me to use a 30-point buy. With all of those points I put together Prometheus, an oracle with the fire focus.

With 30 points at my disposal, I purchased strait 14 s in all my stats. I chose to be a human. I put my +2 bonus to get a 16 in Charisma. For feats I picked improved unarmed strike, and Improved grapple. Ok, probably not the best decision, but it was my mistake to make. I was going for a “monk” feel to the character.
For spells I picked Bless and Cure light wounds. For osirions I picked stabilize, light, read magic and detect magic.
For the Focus I picked Fire. For the revelation I picked the one where you generate heat and do 1d4 damage in a 10-foot radius. For the moment I forgot what skills I put in.
Prometheus had some basic gear like studded leather, a morning star, backpack, and bedroll, trail rations, water skin. Etc.

All in all we had a good time the party consisted of an Aasimar paladin, a tiefling sorcerer, (the players are married in real life) a halfing rogue, a dwarven barbarian, and a human fighter, and myself a human oracle.

We had a good time, first in the apothecary dealing with the owner, as she doled out cures for the filth fever the group picked up last weekend and the were rat lythancropy. I had just joined so I didn’t have any of these diseases.

After that the sheriff hired us to go to some outlying farmsteads and investigate why some animals were being slaughtered. Apparently the wizard who lived in the woods had gone missing. We were to investigate his dwelling as well. We entered the woods, and were first challenged by a worg. The battle went well in general, and my character used a bless spell to help turn the tide of the battle. Also used a cure light wounds spell on the Barbarian to staunch his wounds after the battle.

Next we found the wizards old house, and the barbarian dwarf burst in through the front door. On the other side was a pair of gnolls. Luckily I rolled a 20 for iniatative. I charged across the house until I was next to the gnolls, and I roasted them with my fire relevation, doing 4 points of damage to them. One of the toasty gnolls turned on Prometheus and skewered him with his javelin. The DM rolled a 20 and confirmed it.
My character went from a healthy 10 hit points to a Dying -10 hit points with the thrust of the gnolls weapon. A fight ensued and the gnols were killed in a couple of rounds.
Luckily another party member had a cure light wounds potion for me. I was brought back to -5 hit points, but stabilized.
Meanwhile n the next room, the sorcerer and fighter had crept into the neighboring room. A choker killed the fighter, lurking in the rafters. The Sorcere was choked into unconsciousness survived. The lurker was dispatch by the remaining party conscious party members.

All in all we had a fun afternoon even though we had terrible die rolls. I enjoyed playing an oracle. I know I probably didn’t build the character in the most efficient manner, and first level characters are always limited in what they can do. I would like to suggest adding the Cure spells, to an Oracles list of spells known for free. With two spells to choose from at first level, I knew one of them would have to be cure light wounds. I think it would have been nice to say be able to have chosen a Bless, and a Curse spell, for my spells known and say the Cure light wounds spell already “known”

I liked the revelations and the focuses. Oh I also liked the oracles curse very much. I chose clouded vision. We joked about my character ruining his sight illuminating manuscripts. My character would sometimes wonder why he left the monastery for a life on the road adventuring.

Anyways that was one brief afternoon, where I made a first level oracle and gave it a try.
Thanks

Scarab Sages

Maeloke wrote:

I've been thinking about how to make the cavalier's Oath mechanic a little more uniform and balanced. It occurred to me that it could be viably rebuilt in the same fashion as the bardic music abilities, with more powerful oaths becoming available at later levels.

-- snipped rest ---

I like this concept and endorse this as the better direction for Oaths -- give a bonus that is in effect until an oath is broken. Don't let broken oaths be immediately renewed, and let the oath mechanics guide and reinforce the Code of Honor a cavalier should represent. My couple of sessions with a Cavalier led me to see the Oath mechanics as the least polished of all the concepts in Cavalier, and I'd like to see the mechanics change while the flavor stays.


Oracle + Sorcerer + Mystic Theurge is a dangerous combination that can break the game balance?

What do you think?

----
Leo


I have come across some issues in a play test i have been running. The cavalier his really hard to gauge power-wise because his main offensive ability (his horse) can literally be killed out from under him. What exactly is a player to do when 90% of the time he doesnt have a mount with benefits because it died in the first session and they arent going to level for another 9 sessions.
You cant kill a druids wildshape ability and you cant kill wizards spell casting. So why his it fair for any class to lose its abilities for long periods of time?
And airplane food. what is the deal with airplane food?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Squidlipticus wrote:

I have come across some issues in a play test i have been running. The cavalier his really hard to gauge power-wise because his main offensive ability (his horse) can literally be killed out from under him. What exactly is a player to do when 90% of the time he doesnt have a mount with benefits because it died in the first session and they arent going to level for another 9 sessions.

You cant kill a druids wildshape ability and you cant kill wizards spell casting. So why his it fair for any class to lose its abilities for long periods of time?
And airplane food. what is the deal with airplane food?

I had a player start a knight recently, he wanted a horse, but didn't want to buy a new one every 10 minutes. So I came up with this item for him.

Spurs of the Cavalier

It's basically just a continuous Mount spell. Horse dies? Click your spurs together and summon another one. It's not the cavalier's special mount, but it's a really nice backup for it.

Built as a 12th level caster casting mount (24 hour duration, so can be a continuous spell) continuous item. Standard action to reactivate it to bring a new mount into existence. Dismiss at will. Only bad thing is when the horse is killed under you while galloping (that whole horse disappearing while you continue on at 30 mph and plow a hole in the ground), but nothing's perfect. :)


I kind of want to distract myself from trying to get a better build out from the Witch class. As I mentioned in that forum everything about the class role play wise, makes me want to like it, but game play wise makes me just about hate it.

Anyways, I wanted to add some feed back on one of the curses the Oracle obtains.

Clouded Vision.

I would suggest that we make this total blindness, you suffer all negative effects, but you gain some of these abilities.

1st Level: You can pin point targets by sound as a free action perception check, and gain a +2-4 on the skill.

5th Level: You gain Blindsense equal to 5 ft/2 oracle levels, and Blindsight 5 ft.

10th Level: You gain Blindsense equal to 5 ft/oracle level, and Blindsight 10 feet. Also you get to use Clairavoyance/Clairaudience 1/day.

15th Level: You gain Blindsense equal to 10 ft/oracle level, Blindsight 5 ft/2 oracle levels, and either Scry or Clairavoyance/Clairaudience 1/day.

20th Level: You gain Blindsense equal to 15 ft/oracle level, Blindsight 5 ft/oracle level, and both Scry and Clairavoyance/Clairaudience 2/day.


Skizzy wrote:
Clouded Vision.

Love it, and totally agree.


Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Oracle + Sorcerer + Mystic Theurge is a dangerous combination that can break the game balance?

Discussed earlier in thread. Seems neat, cool, maybe even fun. But no, doesn't break game balance. Casting things that are multiple spell levels (not just character levels) behind what a single-classed caster would do is simply not that powerful. At least, not by comparison to single casters.

Oracles:

- Curses are very cool, and fun to play. I like them, a lot, I loved being haunted in the game. But it might say something that the most enjoyable aspect of playing an oracle for me was the penalty. All the 'good stuff' left me rather underwhelmed. At least, at first level they did.

- Battle Focus oracle seems potentially potent. Other foci seem insufficient cover the difference between cleric casting and oracle casting, let alone chanelling and two domains.

- having to burn very very limited spells known on basic healing spells that a cleric gets for free via channel energy while still being able to cast other spells from a far, far large pool (and can convert those to healing as well, if need be), makes an oracle that tries to fill the divine caster role a sad panda. A battle focus oracle filling a beatstick role seems decent, but other then that not-particularly-'oracle'-esque (imo) build, I'm not entirely sure I see what an oracle is supposed to do that isn't done exactly the same but better by either a cleric (with far greater spell versatility, access to more powerful spells at odd levels, channeling, better armor, better saves, a second list of bonus spells, a primary stat tied to an important saving throw, maybe I should just stop here...) or a sorcerer (with a stronger spell list and no expectation to burn spells known on healing). Party Face, I guess, with more skill points and cha focus?

- Did I mention curses were awesome? Fun, fun mechanics. Best part of the class. Punishes multiclassing unnecessarily, maybe, but Oracles were already primary divine casters, so multiclassing wasn't exactly going to be a good idea for them, anyway.


Malisteen wrote:
Leonardo Trancoso wrote:
Oracle + Sorcerer + Mystic Theurge is a dangerous combination that can break the game balance?
Discussed earlier in thread. Seems neat, cool, maybe even fun. But no, doesn't break game balance. Casting things that are multiple spell levels (not just character levels) behind what a single-classed caster would do is simply not that powerful. At least, not by comparison to single casters.

Not to mention the fact that you wouldn't get 9th level spells till lvl 21, and that's only for one class.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Bleeding wounds is useful.

Maybe, depending on what new spells are coming out, but I'm not convinced at the moment. Remember that Oracles don't get Channel Negative Energy, so this is a minimal boost to a few touch attack spells.

Quote:
Raise the dead is good but limited (since only 2 ever at level 10 stops growing in usage).

If you use it the way I think it's supposed to be used (say, a level 5 oracle summoning a skeletal dire wolf), then it seems pretty terrible, with painfully short durations, extremely limited daily uses, and pretty weak monsters without a lot of extra utility.

Of course, the power as written seems to let that same level 5 oracle summon the skeleton of an Advanced, Giant, Half-Dragon Pyrohydra. Sure it has almost no hit points, but the duration is so short that it almost doesn't matter, and any enemy that attacks it is an enemy not attacking the party. As far as I can tell, the summoned undead gets to act right after the standard action used to summon it (the ability doesn't say, so I assume it works like the summon monster spells, the closest equivalent ability I could find), and that's seven attacks at +11 to hit for 2d6+11 damage each. Just one round of that is painful, if he enemy can't get rid of it then this seems to end level-appropriate challenging encounters by itself.

Stat Block, for reference:
Skeleton of Advanced, Giant, Half-Dragon PyroHydra CR 2 (lol)
NE Gargantuan Undead [fire]
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft

Defense
AC 21, touch 10, flat-footed 21 (+3 Dex, +21 natural, –3 size)
HP 22 (5d8); DR 5/Bludgeoning
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +4

Offense
Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 5 bites +11 (2d6 +11), 2 claws +11 (2d6+11)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Statistics
Str 33, Dex 16, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB 14; CMD 17 (can't be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative
SQ Immune to Ice, Immune to Fire

There are probably more abusive combinations. I didn't even go into the cheese of applying more then one half-X template, since that would just be blatantly ridiculous. But still, I put that together in five minutes with the Pathfinder SRD. I'd hate to see what a player with access to more monsters and a better head for optimization could do with this ability across a 20 level spread.

I'd much rather see a less open ability with more daily uses drawn from a chart of level appropriate monster choices.

Quote:
Soul Siphon is good: negative levels rock.

Agreed. I like this ability. It seems to be usable, strong without being overpowered, and have an appropriate number of daily uses for its effect.

Quote:
Blizzard doesn't say 1/day so at will?

Same with the Bone Focus 'Spirit Walk' revelation. I'm pretty sure these are mistakes, but then again, these revelations are pretty swingy in power already, so maybe not? *shrug*


Playtested an oracle of flames with the deaf curse.

He was 7th level and had the revalations:
Cinder Dance'
Molten Skin
Wings of Fire

In a fight against a caster I practically negated the enemy's effectiveness in a fight by casting silence on myself (since the deaf curse gives the oracle silent spell as a bonus feat but does not increase casting time or spell level), flying to his position, and staying out of reach of fighters.

It was a pretty fun encounter because of feat and spell selection, Widen Spell on Silence was fun.

Since I was able to get Fireball as a spell at 7th level I merely stayed in range close enough to deal damage to grouped foes and made sure that my flight was always focused on being around the Primary caster.

Sure there are some holes in this method, and I accept criticism, but I feel that this is just as nifty as my other oracle-ish class that is Multiclassing between Water Elemental Bloodline Sorcerer and Oracle of the Waves....

In regards to my Complete Blindness curse I will admit that it is too overpowered.

I would like to suggest that instead it could be Poor Vision.

1st Level: You have a maximum vision of 60 feet but gain blindsense equal to 5 feet/level

5th Level: You are blind and suffer all negative effects due to the limitations of that loss of sensation. However in addition to blindsense that was received at 1st level you gain blindsight out to 5 feet adjacent all around you.

10th Level: Your blindsense increases to 10 ft/level and you gain the ability to use clairavoyance/clairaudience 1/day but for hearing only.

15th Level: Your blindsight increases to 5 ft/level.

20th Level: You gain blindsight equal to 10 ft/level and your clairavoyance/clairaudience increases to 2/day but still limited to hearing only.


Might i suggest ...

Poor Vision.

1st Level: You have a maximum vision of 60 feet but gain darkvision 30'

5th Level: You are blind and suffer all negative effects due to the limitations of that loss of sensation. However in addition you gain blindsight 10'

10th Level: Your blindsense increases to 20 feet and you gain the ability to use clairavoyance/clairaudience 1/day but for hearing only.

15th Level: Your blindsight increases to 60 feet.

20th Level: You gain blindsight equal to 120 feet and your clairavoyance/clairaudience increases to 2/day but still limited to hearing only.

yours would have made it like 200 feet at 20th... tha tseems abit overpowered as well


Joseph Raiten wrote:

Might i suggest ...

Poor Vision.

1st Level: You have a maximum vision of 60 feet but gain darkvision 30'

5th Level: You are blind and suffer all negative effects due to the limitations of that loss of sensation. However in addition you gain blindsight 10'

10th Level: Your blindsense increases to 20 feet and you gain the ability to use clairavoyance/clairaudience 1/day but for hearing only.

15th Level: Your blindsight increases to 60 feet.

20th Level: You gain blindsight equal to 120 feet and your clairavoyance/clairaudience increases to 2/day but still limited to hearing only.

yours would have made it like 200 feet at 20th... tha tseems abit overpowered as well

Your suggestion is fairly balanced, I like it.

However I would suggest that you add at the fifth level ability:
You also gain a +3 bonus to sound based perception checks and the ability to pin point targets by sound via perception rolls as a free action.


Skizzy wrote:
Joseph Raiten wrote:

Might i suggest ...

Poor Vision.

1st Level: You have a maximum vision of 60 feet but gain darkvision 30'

5th Level: You are blind and suffer all negative effects due to the limitations of that loss of sensation. However in addition you gain blindsight 10'

10th Level: Your blindsense increases to 20 feet and you gain the ability to use clairavoyance/clairaudience 1/day but for hearing only.

15th Level: Your blindsight increases to 60 feet.

20th Level: You gain blindsight equal to 120 feet and your clairavoyance/clairaudience increases to 2/day but still limited to hearing only.

yours would have made it like 200 feet at 20th... tha tseems abit overpowered as well

Your suggestion is fairly balanced, I like it.

However I would suggest that you add at the fifth level ability:
You also gain a +3 bonus to sound based perception checks and the ability to pin point targets by sound via perception rolls as a free action.

I would agree with that


I'm confused, as once you hit 5th lvl you lose your lvl 1 darkvision. And an Ancient Red Dragon only has blind sense to 60'. And while end game some of the Oracle's Curses are awesome. They still have negative side effects. But having blind sight out that far is way to overpowered. The downside that already exists to clouded vision is the fact that outside you are blind beyond 60 feet. The upside is that you are awesome in dungeons or any enclosed space especially building as they are not likely to have rooms longer than 60 feet.


Kraven Evilfart wrote:
I'm confused, as once you hit 5th lvl you lose your lvl 1 darkvision. And an Ancient Red Dragon only has blind sense to 60'. And while end game some of the Oracle's Curses are awesome. They still have negative side effects. But having blind sight out that far is way to overpowered. The downside that already exists to clouded vision is the fact that outside you are blind beyond 60 feet. The upside is that you are awesome in dungeons or any enclosed space especially building as they are not likely to have rooms longer than 60 feet.

hmmm I see your point there

then again I am not sure the clouded vision really needs changing... my above comments were more on the grounds that 200' blind sight was too much and thinking to reign that is some


Huh for some reason I thought that dragons had better blindsense than that.

Even in that case blindsight out to 120 feet would still be too much.

Recreation of the proposal.

1st level: You have a maximum vision of 60 feet but can see as if you had darkvision.

5th level: You lose total sight but gain blindsense out to 30 ft and can pin point targets off of sound based perception checks as a free action.

10th level: Your blindsense increases to 60 feet and you gain the ability to use Clairavoyance/Clairaudience 1/day but for hearing purposes only.

15th level: You gain blindsight out to 30 feet

20th level: You increase your blindsense to 120 feet and blindsight to 60 feet, you also gain a second use per day to your Clairavoyance/Clairaudience but still limited to hearing only.

::EDIT::

Also I want to restate that I suggested this soley for the purposes of playing a blind oracle.

I find alot of appeal behind it and from the looks of things so do a few others.


yeah, my original oracle was a clouded vision oracle that had sewn his eyes shut, because his vision distracted him more than it helped, until i realized your pretty gimp until lvl 10 and even then your pretty off. But on a side note, you are immune to gaze attacks :)

Shadow Lodge

I was looking for a way to either increase or redistribute revelations to make them a little more accessible at lower levels.

The last normal revelation that you get is at level 19, honestly that late in the game a revelation isn't going to have much impact. I believe that if you removed the level 19 revelation and added another revelation at level 2, you could then move all the other revelations up one to even levels.

This would increase access to revelations that are only useful at lower levels and increase people taking more flavor based revelations such as Voice of the Grave, Gaze of Flames, Crystal Sight, Etc.

Shadow Lodge

After thinking about I think that all the "Seer" revelations should be granted at level 1 with no revelation choice. By this I mean Voice of the Grave for the Oracle of Bones, Gaze of Flames for the Oracle of flames, Crystal Sight for the Earth Oracle, etc. I think it makes sense that an Oracle should have some kind of seer ability related to their focus as they are in fact an Oracle.

Rearrange the revelations as below. This might result in empty levels but it may actually benefit more for players. I would like to see this playtested.

So revelations would be given at 2/5/8/11/14/17. That gives you one more revelation than normal but I think it would give the class more oomph.


I have a player who has gone through 3 levels of Oracle of Bones, Clouded Vision curse...

I have to say, while the combat aspects of 30' vision is bad enough, the roleplaying implications are far FAR more impacting.

Here's a few of the problems (in combat and out) he's run into:

- (Big One) Being a healer that can't even tell if his friends are needing him unless they shout specific instructions for him over the din of battle. Unless the entirety of the battlefield is only a 60' diameter around him... which hasn't happened yet.

- Being a caster that cannot really take full advantage of spells that should be greater than range: close.
This means the 'Doom' spell he just picked up is being artificially limited to only Close range, due to lacking line of sight.

- Not being able to see, even a blurred image, the other end of a 50' tavern. While this might not sound like much, it really puts a disadvantage to the player in a roleplaying situation.. you basically HAVE to have a front seat in EVERY situation in order to be able to participate.
And sometimes that's just not really possible (running a published adventure where witnessing an important play means the closest seat is 20' away from actors, who have a 40' stage to work on...)

- He's never seen the sky.

- Navigating a city is horrible. Some roads are greater than 30' across if the city is large enough. Standing on one side and wondering what's on the other side of the street.
Not being able to see landmarks means you could walk right past your destination without even knowing it. My player imagined it like they were a mouse in a maze...

- Outside it's worse. You can't tell what the weather will be like. You can't see a sunrise. You can't see that your horse is running towards a dangerous path (near a cliff edge, river, forest line, etc). And a horse moves pretty quick.
Hell.. running is dangerous because you move faster than your vision! If you were anywhere unknown, it would be scary to just start running because you wouldn't know what was coming up.
I've personally experienced this sensation walking home in a white-out (snow storm so bad it's like the description of Obscuring Mist).

.

Honestly, it's putting a pretty big strain on me (the DM) to constantly have to tailor descriptions of events unfolding to the guy that can't see anything past 30'.

It would be a lot easier if it were more along the lines "blurred" vision. So they can see the sky, and the forest line, and the river... they just have a major penalty to Perception checks (or they are just outright impossible unless in bright light). Like, low-light vision doubles how far you can see in the darkness... well, "clouded vision" would halve how far you can see in the darkness.

Comparing the Clouded Vision and Deaf curses with the others.. it's just crazy.
The Lame one can be bypassed by so many ways, it's laughable as a curse (Speed increases are some of the more prevalent features in the game... you don't see the Dwarf, Gnome or Halfling complaining much).

The "speak a weird language" one pretty much gave my players tactical ideas. Everyone put 1 rank in Linguistics to pick up an obscure language, that way they can shout tactics in combat without (most) enemies knowing what they are saying (sorta like thieves cant).

Haunted simply has virtually no serious out-of-combat issues unless the DM is REALLY in for his player (which gets old fast, and can cause adversarial feelings in what basically amounts to enforcing what should be a game mechanic).

.

The other major thing I've found impacting of the Oracle was that the delayed spell levels from the Sorcerer/Spontaneous caster progression was more of an issue than with other classes.

The Sorcerer.. well, he gets other things to make him awesome. There's a long thread talking about whether or not the Sorcerer, as a full caster, should have a non-delayed progression. I won't get into that for him.

The Oracle however, with his similar proficiencies, BAB, HD, and Saves, can be directly compared to the Cleric.
He's also the most likely to be used as a main healing replacement.

Since I'm running a published campaign/adventure, the game is assuming that the players have a certain level of magic for each encounter.

Not even taking into account the Cleric's Channeling for healing, this is what I found when the Oracle player was using his magic.

- He has a few more spell slots of 1st level, however a Cleric of 3rd level would already have his 2nd levels spells, and thus has the same or more slots overall.

- The Oracle had, at his disposal, Cause Fear, Doom, Cure Light Wounds, and Inflict Light Wounds.
In a recent tough fight, he used Cause Fear, Doom and 3 Cure Light Wounds.
A Cleric could have memorized a couple of each of those spells and STILL have the option to spontaneously change them into cure light wounds as needed, effectively having nearly the same utility as the spontaneous caster.
Had the player been a Cleric, he would have had Hold Person and Cure Moderate Wounds... and would have dominated the combat comparitively.

I think, ultimately, the difference between the Oracle vs Cleric comparison and the Sorcerer vs Wizard comparison is that the Cleric actually HAS spontaneous casting for one of his major build roles: curative magic.
The bonus from "spontaneous casting" is far less pronounced... and the progression delay becomes far greater of a setback.

This is from actual, in game testing results. Nothing the Foci or 2 bonus skillpoints the Oracle had caused him to compete against the pure spellcasting effectiveness the Cleric holds over him.

That's not even counting Channeling... A 3rd level cleric would be capable of doing an extra half dozen "heal everyone within 30' range an average of 7 hitpoints" per day, while the Oracle is STILL using his "touch an ally of an average of 7.5 hitpoints" per spell slot.

Yeah, the Oracle isn't necessarily a healer. However, his "4 rounds of a skeleton's +4 attack on his 2 claws at 1d4+2" don't really cut it in comparison.

All this and he can't even see a sunset, either. There's just too much "cost" and not enough "stuff" coming this Oracle's way.

Shadow Lodge

Touch of Flame, Wintry Touch, Touch of Acid, and Touch of Electricty all provide a benefit to melee at level 11. The oracle of bones focus has a touch based attack that does not gain any benefit at level 11. Is there a reason that Bones doesn't level accordingly? I personally think even if it made any weapon you wielded a wounding weapon it would be better than nothing.


Kraven Evilfart wrote:
yeah, my original oracle was a clouded vision oracle that had sewn his eyes shut, because his vision distracted him more than it helped, until i realized your pretty gimp until lvl 10 and even then your pretty off. But on a side note, you are immune to gaze attacks :)

All the more reason to make you completely blind.

Hell to make it fair you might as well make it where the Blind Oracles are susceptible to Sonic based attacks since they get increased hearing.

Raestlin wrote:

I was looking for a way to either increase or redistribute revelations to make them a little more accessible at lower levels.

The last normal revelation that you get is at level 19, honestly that late in the game a revelation isn't going to have much impact. I believe that if you removed the level 19 revelation and added another revelation at level 2, you could then move all the other revelations up one to even levels.

This would increase access to revelations that are only useful at lower levels and increase people taking more flavor based revelations such as Voice of the Grave, Gaze of Flames, Crystal Sight, Etc.

I'd say keep it at 1st, 3rd then after make it every 3rd level you get a new revelation choice.

I'd also suggest that some revelations be specific for people who choose clouded vision, or if I get my wish and it is turned into total blindness.

Kaisoku wrote:

I have a player who has gone through 3 levels of Oracle of Bones, Clouded Vision curse...

I have to say, while the combat aspects of 30' vision is bad enough, the roleplaying implications are far FAR more impacting.

Here's a few of the problems (in combat and out) he's run into:

- (Big One) Being a healer that can't even tell if his friends are needing him unless they shout specific instructions for him over the din of battle. Unless the entirety of the battlefield is only a 60' diameter around him... which hasn't happened yet.

- Being a caster that cannot really take full advantage of spells that should be greater than range: close.
This means the 'Doom' spell he just picked up is being artificially limited to only Close range, due to lacking line of sight.

- Not being able to see, even a blurred image, the other end of a 50' tavern. While this might not sound like much, it really puts a disadvantage to the player in a roleplaying situation.. you basically HAVE to have a front seat in EVERY situation in order to be able to participate.
And sometimes that's just not really possible (running a published adventure where witnessing an important play means the closest seat is 20' away from actors, who have a 40' stage to work on...)

- He's never seen the sky.

- Navigating a city is horrible. Some roads are greater than 30' across if the city is large enough. Standing on one side and wondering what's on the other side of the street.
Not being able to see landmarks means you could walk right past your destination without even knowing it. My player imagined it like they were a mouse in a maze...

- Outside it's worse. You can't tell what the weather will be like. You can't see a sunrise. You can't see that your horse is running towards a dangerous path (near a cliff edge, river, forest line, etc). And a horse moves pretty quick.
Hell.. running is dangerous because you move faster than your vision! If you were anywhere unknown, it would be scary to just start running because you wouldn't...

Anything I could've said has been eloquently spoken here about Clouded Vision.

I want to see a sunrise too!!!


well I wouldn't say "never seen the sky" I mean ... was the character born an oracle? the curse comes with the oracle levels... so I doubt they always had clouded vision...

that said it is likely worse than if they had never seen the sky... have lost the ability to see the sky and knowing what you have lost is far worse than never knowing what you are truly missing.


Well see that is getting too technical on something that is left to the individual to create a background.

One person could say that their gods came down and slapped the sense out of the PC and as a side effect their vision was affected.

While another person could very well say that their PC was born blind, having grown up through a childhood that gave little reason to live due to their handicap, they eventually received a vision via a dream of themselves walking unharmed through flames, swimming through the oceans, or flying through unknown areas with no ground insight.


Blind people can easily tell if it's day or night. They get tired at night. Never seen the sky, and somehow...they still figure it out as being...up. They can bewilderingly tell that the sun is out because they feel the warmth on thier skin. And do you ant me to fill you in on how they tell if it's raining?

Seriously, unsighted people get on fine every day, using the compensation of other senses to make up for the lack of one. They tend to smell odors better, can tell north because of the direction of the sun's warmth on their face (rise in the east, sets in the west; align that with right and left respectively, then north is in front of you).

It's true. Look it up. :-)

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