Your Best Insomnia - A Place for Ideas While You Can't Sleep

Homebrew and House Rules

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So, I should really be in bed, sleeping. But I can't.

Sleep eludes me because I've got too many ideas, some probably great, some probably terrible, some probably just okay, all very likely silly, but buzzing in my brain and preventing me from sleep.

Ideas revolving around our collective favorite game. Ideas that, in all likelihood, will be gone in the morning once I finally do get to sleep.

Does this ever happen to you? It sure does to me, like tonight. So, I'm creating this thread.

This thread is for a single purpose: put down some of your zany, ill-conceived, late-at-night (or just all-day-thinking) ideas for game crunch, fluff, or anything else that's going through your head dealing with Pathfinder, or maybe even 3.X... maybe even 4E, or other systems!

Regardless, name the system at the beginning of the post (I suggest making the system name bold, bigger, and "ooc" with the appropriate tags, all of which are listed below. It'll look like this), and jot down what you're thinking thereafter. It doesn't need to be polished. It doesn't need to be good. You might reject it later, as an idea, or it might look stupid in the morning. Or someone else might take it and run with it, coming up with an even better idea, or a refinement. But this is a late-night notepad for our collective conscious to jot stuff down.

"Iron sharpens iron", notes the Bible, and it applies here too. Let's sharpen each other - enrich each others lives - even with only our idle wonderings. Let's see if something can be made. Feel free to quote and critique ideas, too. Make it constructive, or at least gentle, please!

Regardless: enjoy! And please put your own ideas in here! I'm not interested in just writing in this place alone.

EDIT: Devs, let me know if this is in the wrong spot, or change it!
EDIT ALSO: Just in case you don't understand how to format text because your new or don't know boards or whatever.

Bold: simply put [] brackets with the letter "b" (no quotation marks) inside them before the word or words you want bold and "/b" inside another set of [] brackets afterwords.
Like this but without the spaces: [ b ] write stuff [ /b ]
It'll look like this: write stuff

Bigger: simply put [] brackets with the word "bigger" (no quotation marks) inside them before the word or words you want bold and "/bigger" inside another set of [] brackets afterwords.
Like this but without the spaces: [ bigger ] write stuff [ /bigger ]
It'll look like this: write stuff

OOC (stands for "out of character"): simply put [] brackets with the word "ooc" (no quotation marks) inside them before the word or words you want bold and "/ooc" inside another set of [] brackets afterwords.
Like this but without the spaces: [ ooc ] write stuff [ /ooc ]
It'll look like this: write stuff

You can affect the same word with multiple tags like that.
[ b ] [ bigger ] [ ooc ] write stuff [ /ooc ] [ /bigger ] [ /b ]
... if you delete the spaces inside the brackets becomes...
write stuff

So enjoy!

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So I've been thinking about lots of things lately. One, is "what happens to magic above 9th level spells".

One idea that occurs to me is to bump the lower-level spells up a notch, and slowly increase the at-will potential stuff, and the other levels' spells per day too.

So for example, what happens when a sorcerer, wizard, or other full caster hits 21st level?

"Cantrips" and all the rules thereof are auto-heightened to first level and include all 1st level spells.

That means your first level spells suddenly become at-will. This doesn't negate the other 1st level spell rules - an expensive material component is still expensive. What this does mean, however, is that you now get your magic missiles, burning hands, and charm persons at will. You retain all your cantrip slots as well as your first level class slots, but they may now all be divided among first- and zero-level spells (all of which are now first-level spells). Your bonus spells for your intelligence score "roll up": you must have one more bonus spell for each spell level than the one above it. So, for example, let's say your a wizard and have a nice high INT: 36 with the appropriate item! That nets you a shocking four bonus first level spells! You would be able to put all four into second level spells or three into second level and one into third (that way your second level bonus spells outnumber your third by at least one).

This continues at 23rd level, rolling Cantrips up to 2nd level spells. Your seven bonus spells (four from first level and three from second) are now divided between 3rd level and higher: you could have seven additional 3rd levels, six to four 3rd-levels and one to three 4th-levels respectively, or even four 3rd-levels, two 4th-levels, and one 5th-level!

The Cantrip roll-up continues to 3rd level spells at 25th level, 4th-level spells at 27th level, 5th level spells at 29th level, 6th level spells at 31st level, 7th level spells at 33rd level, 7th level spells at 35th level, 8th level spells at 37th level and, finally, 9th level spells at 39th level. At 39th level, all your bonus spell slots are used for metamagic slots for spell slots higher than 9th level.

Anyway, it's not a complete set of rules, but it's something I've been mulling over.

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So, if you know me, it's probably no secret that I like the idea of gods, statting them out, and the like. I'm interested in what that would look like, how it impacts the setting, and the nature of what it means to those "lesser".

I've done many takes on gods in the past, but here's one.

While I don't have the time tonight, it would be fascinating to take all the divine spells (specifically the buffs), look at what they do, and then take the highest bonuses possible with all of them combined.

So, say, the difference between a Bless spell and an Aid spell. In this case, the Aid is the better option: both give the same morale bonus, but Aid also gives temporary hit points, so we'd go with that.

Anyway, continue to compare and examine all the different bonuses. If there are different bonuses (morale, luck, etc), they stack, as normal. If there are similar bonuses, you only pay attention to the largest one, as normal. Once you've found the literal optimal, maximum possible collection of bonuses, you add all those together. Immunities (spelling? spell-checks got nothing), resistances, etc, all of them.

Gods get all those bonuses and benefits at the same time. Not by spell, not for a certain number of rounds in a day, but automatically. This is a supernatural ability. What this means is, when a cleric (or oracle, or druid, or whatever) uses a spell that grants a certain bonus to someone, what they're really doing is imitating the godly essence: they're using a magical spell to grant a small fraction of the divine perfection that gods have inherently, just by being gods.

This also grants a pretty decent concept for what it looks like when someone ascends. What's a person get from all that ascension anyway? Well... this, for one.

Of course, this could be tricky. What about shape-shifting? What about size-alteration? Stat bonuses? Temporary hit points? I don't know. I'm just a guy wracked with insomnia throwing ideas around for now.

I would tend to think that gods get their stats "re-rolled" as it were, to all 18s, with a +6 inherent bonus (one higher than mortals get to have), in addition to their racial traits, level-bonuses and the like.

I'd also suggest that all gods can channel energy, like a cleric of their hit dice (whatever that is), but gods probably get more "tricks" with channeling it than clerics do with theirs.

Anyway, that's what I'm thinking tonight on that.

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Considering a Reincarnated Druid NPC as a viable contact/healer for some PCs. Add in a penchant that he'd loves reincarnating all that fall around him should be good entertainment alone. Considering adding a much lower level ranger helper as a sidekick for him. The sidekick will be loaned out to provide some support. Like any good sidekick, he'll die.

Yay! Another person posts!

I like the idea. You might want to kick around the idea of a homebrew feat or some powerful magic item that allows him to reincarnate for less (though, of course, you don't have to let the PCs know that).

And a dead sidekick only stays dead for so long around a reincarnating druid! Eh? Eh? :)


I can't remember some of my other ideas right now, but I've got to thinking more about the gods, so I'm going to jot these down too.

I'm also toying with the concept of gods, class levels, class abilities, and who gets what and how.

Smite abilities and auras - similar to paladins - seem to make sense for gods, but so do inspirational elements like bards. I'm considering taking a bard's highest bonus (or penalty) they can grant in a single field, double that, and apply it across the board to all the things a bard can affect. Gods can do that to people. Something like Smite Evil, only it affects alignments opposed to the god's own, and the various auras seem to make sense too.

For class abilities, something like "what's the greatest that this class can do in all fields" and just grant them that as an ability, rather than having them level up in a given class. They're kind of "classed" that way, but it saves the GM a hassle of going through the level-up process with a given class.

Also toying with the idea that they all auto-gain 20 levels of cleric-derivative/paladin-derivative gestalt (with d12 all good saves and 8+skills instead), gestalted with one more class, either one they had when they ascended, or, if they had cleric or paladin, replacing that with an appropriate one for their "style" of things.

But I'm not tied to this idea, as it could lead to them feeling very "samey".

Also they'd likely have their domain and sub-domain abilities at will.


So I remembered one idea I had. It's amazingly derivative, but the idea involves a very ridiculous, yet (mostly) well-balanced party, based off of things I've seen recently on these boards.

EDIT TO CLARIFY: absolutely none of these are my original ideas. I entirely stole them all off of these very boards when people were talking about their character concepts. They just sound fascinating together as a party, which occurred to me tonight.

* Stupid sorcerer with a really smart familiar.
* Rock-bottom charisma inquisitor who's a master of social skills.
* A swashbuckling miner (ala the Shovler from the Mystery Men). Possibly literally, possibly a barbarian.
* Goblin ninja throwing rats, snakes, and other (living) creatures for sneak attack.
* An aasimar who's life's goal is to become an orc. This may overlap with something above (like the swashbuckling miner or stupid sorcerer).

These are the ideas, as ridiculous as they are, but they actually make a surprisingly well-balanced party, at least at a light glance-over. A powerful face and healer (the inquisitor), a decent mage (sorcerer), a sneak with trap-stuff (ninja), and a powerful tank-like damage dealer (swashbuckler). It would be fascinating to take a party like this through an adventure. I'm not likely to ever do a Play-by-post, and I'm certainly not going to force characters like these on some players. But it sounds like a blast. Also, it could make for some great fiction.

Pathfinder ... sort of.

So I'm thinking of running a one-player campaign for my wife set in a Hellenistic-ish campaign setting (more like a suite of "classical" lands of antiquity) where the primary character is a daughter of Dionysis after a tryst during one of the mystery rites. Her mother is a powerful oracle "blessed" by the fickle god with direct divine power.

I'm thinking of setting the daughter up (considering it's a one-player campaign) as a godling-derivative (from super-genius games)/oracle (with no curses) gestalt-like-thing.

Kicking around some ideas for how to represent this.

Pathfinder/3.X ... sort of. 4E Flavor/Crunch probably applies as well.

Probably the last one for tonight.

Something else I'm working on running currently is a Star Wars d20 game. I've already made some substantial adjustments to the character creation process (giving more skills, focusing on flavor for the characters, altering some of the basic stats, etc) and semi-sort-of half-Pathfinderized*-it. Ish.

We then played one session and ended in the middle of a battle.

Other changes I'm thinking of making (as this will be run by emails and phone calls) include completely dropping the ability scores and going only with the modifiers, reorganizing skills under their ability scores, and adjusting the action economy.

Each round comes with a standard, move, minor, or swift actions, or a full-round action can be taken (generally granting iterative actions). There are, of course, always free actions. Taking an action that is appropriate to the "size" of the action invokes no penalty.

If iterative actions are taken (such as a full-round attack) you take a -5 penalty for each action category lower than what you are using to perform the action.

You can take a total of four actions (as described above) plus free actions.

So, for example, a full-round attack would be:
1) Standard Action: [attack modifier]
2) Move Action: [attack modifier-5]
3) Minor Action: [attack modifier-10]
4) Swift Action: [attack modifier-15]

The idea being that each iterative action in a round, you're using up a smaller/faster action to perform, making it less precise and less ideal.

This applies to skills as well as attacks. Your speed (measured in meters) is treated no differently in this event, so it decreases by five meters for each other action you take (to a minimum of a one-meter step). Moving is a move action (obviously). There are some skills that are move actions too (these take penalties as above).

You may always use a "larger" action to take a "smaller" one with no penalty. So if you want to move your full speed twice in a round with no penalty, you may by sacrificing your standard action. If you wish to perform three minor actions in a round, you may without penalty.

As a creature gains levels, they gain particular bonuses as part of their action specialty. Warrior-style creatures generally gain the highest bonus on their attack bonus. Jedi counselors on their force-values. And so on. What this really means is, when combined with the above mechanic, we don't have to worry about iterative attacks per round any more - only the basic attack bonuses and the action we're using to make a given attack happen. Skill checks are generally swift actions, but some are move, some are minor, some are standard, and some are full-round actions, and some are measured in minutes, hours, or even days.

Obviously, this is heavily house-ruled. This doesn't begin to cover the sweeping changes I'm making, but this is what I'm thinking about for now, as a basic introduction.

Welp. To bed with me! Huzzah!

* That's totally a word now.

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Well as a fellow insomniac with feverish waking dreams of improbable power and unusual composition, allow me to add to this thread. Btw its 1 am here and i consider that early...
Also expect me to necro this thread for a long time....

All my posts will likely be pathfinder as that is the only game I play here.

The raging gunslinger
5 levels of gunslinger (musket master or pistolero/bushwacker)
2 levels barbarian (urban barbarian)
2 levels of horizon walker
important bits.
5 levels gunslinger grants you dex to damage on ranged guns
grab the double barreled musket or a single double barreled pistol
2 levels barbarian nets roused anger
2 levels horizon walker grants exhaustion immunity (desert)
endurance (to get horizon walker)
vital strike (this will be a keystone)
furious finish (the kicker)
extra rage rounds (so you can do the combo more often, optional)

so heres the plan. you play as a regular gunslinger till level 5, tough it out through level 8 and become a one shot wonder at level 9. at level 11 you can grab improved vital and do even more. Normally im not a fan of vital strike but this is a special case and worth mentioning.
you start by raging for a single round, and use vital strike/furious finish. You attack for max damage on the rolls (12 x2) twice for vital strike (flat 48 damage) +dex mod (+2 for rage) +other bonuses and are now fatigued for 2 rounds. Round 2 you use roused anger to rage again and do the same. While you would normally be exhausted for 20 minutes by this, horizon walker drops this to fatigued for 20 minutes. Turn 3 you can rage again replacing the last 20 minutes of fatigue. (furious focus also makes you immune to fatigue during the rage, but unsure if it cancels out furious finish unusual fatigue, either way moot point) You can also move about during this (it takes a standard not a full) or line up for a longer range (militating that humiliating 10 range increment) at level 11 you are looking at a base damage of 72 that you can dish out as a standard. You also save huge money on bullets (witch you spend on the gun :P ) If sneak attack counts as 'damage dice' then use it with the double barreled pistol and all the stacking sneak attack die :D
you are looking at (level 9) 1d8 x2 x2 +2d6 +1d6 +1d6 all maximised for 56 +dex and other modifiers.
(this is Pistol damage, double pistol, vital strike, up close and deadly, shifty shot and sneak shot)
Not bad for a ninth level single shot.

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Since I went through all the trouble to type it up already, I'll just put this here.

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build a bleeding fist unarmed fighter.
Will probably be human or half ork focusing on boar style, bleeding attacks, unarmed attacks, intimidation, and Hamatula Strike. You stick your fingers inside people and wiggle them about, describing all the horrors that your pink/green little stubbies are doing to there insides while letting the blood flow >:D
BTW this guy aint nice!

The druid pounce team
go as a druid with a Deinonychus companion and wild shaping into a megaraptor. casts strong jaw on the companion and himself and greater magic fang. both have tandem lookout feat and if you can swing it AOMF. at level 8 you have 2 guys that can pounce and deal huge amounts of damage. At level 11 you each get coordinated charge and now things get broken. you have 2 claws (4d6), 1 bite (2d8), 1 talon (2d6) while your pet has 2 claws (2d8), 1 bite (2d6), and 2 talons (1d8).
Now the kicker.
With tandem lookout and coordinated charge, you can both act in the surprise round with a full round action and can both charge the same guy. Surprise round you charge someone, and you pet charges him as an immediate action. both pounce and probably destroy it. now on your pets turn he charges something and you follow him. both pounce and it dies. Now turn 1 you charge yet another guy and your pet follows. his turn and you do the same. By round 1 you have had 4 full round actions and so has your pet. chances are 4 things are dead and everyone else has had 1 full round and (possibly) a surprise round.
Welcome to Uber.

The FEAR Rat.
Go as a ratkin and take the adopted (toothy) trait. take sharp claw as your first feat, and take tail blade as your starting weapon. you now have 4 natural attacks at level 1 as any class. I would chose the alchemist to gain upwards of 7 natural attacks, pounce, sneak attack, the ability to eternal potion a strong jaw and insane mutigens.

more to come...

I wake up to a face-full of great!

Keep it up, [persons of appropriate gender]!

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So, it bothered me enough to put my money where my mouth is. Sort of. This is actually going to take quite a bit, so I'm going to provide one proof of concept, and then, to speed things up temporarily, just providing links to relevant spells and maybe work on this later.

So: godly spell immunity that a deity would automatically get.

Godly Spell Immunity wrote:

The god is immune to the effects of ten specified spells of 8th level or lower. The god effectively has unbeatable spell resistance regarding the specified spell or spells. Naturally, that immunity doesn't protect a god from spells for which spell resistance doesn't apply. Godly spell immunity protects against spells, spell-like effects of magic items, and innate spell-like abilities of creatures. It does not protect against supernatural or extraordinary abilities, such as breath weapons or gaze attacks.

Only a particular spell can be chosen for the above ten to be protected against, not a certain domain or school of spells or a group of spells that are similar in effect. A creature can have only one spell immunity or greater spell immunity spell in effect on it at a time.

A god is also immune to any deleterious effects of all the spells in its domains.

A god can transfer any immunity granted by this effect by touch. The immunity lasts for 24 hours, or until the god recalls it. Although a god never loses immunity to their domain abilities, any immunity granted to another in this way is lost to the god for the duration. When the duration ends, or the god ends the immunity early, the god gains that duration back.

Base source: Greater Spell Immunity Presumes a caster level 40th.

Other valid spells:

So, taking all the bonuses at their most basic and just dropping them down below (ignoring some of the more complicated elements, like the wind's vengeance thing up top, and not adding the sum totals, yet) we get:

+2 bonus to attack and diplomacy
+2 dodge to AC and reflex saves
+5 morale bonus on any attack, save, or check once/round
+2 morale bonus to STR and CON
+5 deflection bonus to AC,
+5 resistance bonus to saves, +CHA modifier to saves
+10 insight bonus to knowledge checks to know monsters
+8 insight bonus instead to all other knowledge checks
+5 insight bonus to other INT-based skill checks
+2 insight bonus to CHA-checks and CHA-based skill checks
+20 competence to all attempts to avoid restraint (such as grapple and the like)
+6 competence to will, fortitude, bluff, intimidate, concentration
+4 competence to knowledge, perception, and ranged attacks
+2 competence to disguise and stealth
+1 competence to attack, skills, saves, and checks
+6 luck bonus to STR-checks and STR-based skill checks, and attacks
+5 luck to weapon damage rolls,
+1 luck to saves, and to skill checks

enemies take a -3 penalty to attack and saves, a -2 penalty to AC, and a -1 penalty to damage rolls and skill checks)

SR 25 against <aligned> spells., 12+"caster level" in general
DR 10/(-, epic, magic, and <alignment opposed to yours>)
Fast Healing 5
40 temporary hit points per round

Triple normal carrying capacity (this doesn't affect strength directly)

Increase all speeds by 30, gain 60 ft swim speed and can swim through the air (granting effective fly speed), able to breath air or water, don't need to breath at all; immune to the harmful effects of the god's own plane and also one other plane of the god's choice; all gods gain the benefit of one oracle's curse of their choice (but none of the penalties); air walk; stand up as a swift action that doesn't provoke;

Cast all spells of 2nd level or lower as if it were an enlarged, extended, silent, or still spell.

immune to death spells and magical death effects, to energy drain, and any negative energy effects, including channeled negative energy, and attacks of opportunity, fear effects

Energy resistance (all) 30
Automatically ignore up to 120 points of each kind of damage for a given energy type in a day on top of the 30 resistances

gain 1 hero point per round (based off of Heroic Fortune - this kind of divine power would really set a god off from mortals, considering what this can do! [also, can roll 2d20 and take the better for any d20 roll once per round, and can double a single morale bonus once per round]

Also, gain 1 additional attack per round at the highest base attack bonus in addition to any other actions in a round

+4 enhancement bonus to all stats
+6 inherent bonus to all stats
all starting stats at 18

Height doubles, weight increases by a factor of eight
Size category increases by one step
+6 size bonus to strength and +4 size to constitution, +6 natural AC, and +8 to CMB/CMD (this replaces all the normal size adjustments to all stats you'd acquire, so the god takes no penalties)

Emanate aura that shakes enemies within 30 feet (frightens them for 1d4 rounds if they attack you in melee)

additional based-on-alignment stuff wrote:

You gain additional abilities as noted below.

Chaotic: You gain the following abilities: an additional +2 bonus to Constitution, damage reduction 10/lawful, resist acid 10, electricity 10, and sonic 10, a +4 bonus on saves against poison, blindsense 30 feet, and a fly speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). You gain a bite attack dealing 2d6 points of damage. Your natural weapons and any weapons you wield are considered chaotic-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Lawful: You gain the following abilities: an additional +2 bonus to Strength, damage reduction 10/chaotic, resist cold 10, electricity 10, and fire 10, a +4 bonus on saves against poison, low-light vision, and a fly speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). You gain 2 slam attacks dealing 1d6 points of damage each. Your natural weapons and any weapons you wield are considered lawful-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Good: You gain the following abilities: a +2 bonus to Dexterity, damage reduction 10/evil, resist acid 10, cold 10, and electricity 10, a +4 bonus on saves against poison, low-light vision, and a fly speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). You gain 2 slam attacks dealing 1d6 points of damage each. Your natural weapons and any weapons you wield are considered good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Evil: You gain the following abilities: an additional +2 bonus to Strength, damage reduction 10/good, resist acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10, a +4 bonus on saves against poison, see in darkness, and a fly speed of 60 feet (good maneuverability). You gain 2 claw attacks dealing 1d6 points of damage each. Your natural weapons and any weapons you wield are considered evil-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

... now that I think about it, a great number of area-based abilities would be very useful in a (un-)hallow/(con-/de-)secrate-like affect, tied to each god. Effectively, its worshipers would receive all the possible divine boons within the emanation, while worshipers of its foes would receive all the penalties.

Up next is looking at the

But not tonight.

Alright. I think I'm done for now. Happy Insomnia everyone!

EDIT: for some serious tag fixing!

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As I lay awake in bed I've always wondered if others house rule that Outsiders (those formed from souls specifically) gain a limited form of regeneration. Their immortal soul tries to slowly rebuild them back to ideal. Basically after a month or two they'll regrow a limb. Punch a succubi's teeth out, she'll have them grow back in a week or so.

That's... a really good idea. Not a regeneration that heals hit point damage any faster, just one that slowly allows them to regrow stuff. I like it!

It's worth noting, regeneration of that nature means that she can't actually die through the normal means. That, too, is interesting. Cold iron and/or good (I'm not remembering the stats right now) will be necessary.

So, after looking it up, their DR is overcome by cold iron or good (in the specific case of the succubus). After looking up a few other demons, the specifics vary, but pretty much good, cold iron, either, or both will work to overcome DR, if they have any.

So my suggestion for outisders without otherwise specified information is that chaotic outsiders have regeneration that's overcome by cold iron, lawful creatures by silver (ala devils) and any outsider's low-grade regeneration of this kind can be overcome by an alignment opposed to its own.

One other idea worth noting is that bless could also shut down the regeneration and allow a fiend to die (or a curse or something for a celestial).

At any rate, this would only apply to outsiders without normal regeneration noted.

Anyway, at some point soon, unless someone else wants to (hint, hint! :D) I'll take a look at the inquisitor.


So, even though it's not current insomnia, two things have kept me awake at night recently. I've posted about them in the forums elsewhere, so I'm just going to quote myself here.

Number ONE:

Tacticslion wrote:

One of the things I could see as streamlining the classes is to create more simplified tables.

  • One shows base attack progression for best, moderate and poor.
  • One shows save progression for good and poor saves.
  • One shows feat progression.

(The above three could be a single chart.)

From that point on, all classes simply refer to those charts (or that one chart) to discuss their BAB/saves. Heck, since Paizo tied BAB to hit-dice value (which I'm not a fan of, but oh well), you don't even have to represent the hit dice value of the classes, except to make a note (and special ability) on the barbarian progression called "greater hit dice" (or, for flavor, if you prefer, "incredibly tough") which notes that instead of the normal d10, the barbarian gets a d12 hit dice. Then that's taken care of too.

  • Have one chart that details a full spell-progression, prepared caster. [that's cleric, druid, and wizard]
  • Have one chart that details a full spell-progression, spontaneous caster (and another related chart for spells known) [that's an oracle and sorcerer]
  • Have one chart that details a partial spell-progression, spontaneous or prepared caster (with a related chart for spells known, if it's spontaneous) [that's alchemist, bard, inquisitor, magus, and summoner]
  • Have one chart that details a limited spell-progression, for prepared or spontaneous caster (with a related chart for spells known, if it's spontaneous) [that's the paladin and ranger - there are currently no spontaneous ones I know of].

After that just have the individual classes refer to the appropriate spell progression table.

All other class special traits can come entirely from the class itself. If it's a caster, refer to the table, not whether it's prepared or spontaneous, it's primary stat, and any notable exceptions. Otherwise, just provide a basic "this class gains this bonus" chart for each class. That also allows the chart to be spread out (to avoid one really big line of stuff), but more likely thinner in general, and thus allowing information to take up less space over-all, saving on print space (and thus money).

The biggest deal to handle would be the spell-casting charts, but not needing to reprint the chart every time would be a serious space saver, even in the core rule book - you take care of the cleric, druid, and wizard charts with one, and the paladin and ranger charts with another: you're effectively saving three chart-spaces in the class descriptions. (If you include all the classes, you're saving quite a bit more!)

When you have things like a cleric's domain spell (which the current chart system is very ambiguous about anyway; so many new players ask why, exactly, they have "4+1" spells per day, instead of "5"...) the simple wording, "In addition to it's normal spells per day, the cleric gains one additional spell slot per spell level that can only use to prepare a domain spell." And that takes care of that.

Still, that's just my idea for when they eventually do publish a new set of rules, which is probably quite some time away.

I really think the potential of reorganizing the charts to be far more simple and concise would help a great deal for space-saving reasons. Each class would still need a chart, of course, but it would be a much smaller chart, as you're not trying to reprint the same information over and over every page or so. But this really isn't new mechanics, so on to...

Number TWO:

Tacticslion wrote:

If it was me redoing it, I'd prefer them to redo lots of things (like changing the action economy in a round to standard/move/minor/swift, with free actions being on top of those*, among many other things), but I definitely think they should wait on that until they've run PF for a few more years (for their own sake, as well).

* This is actually a system I'm trying out now in a home game. It allows anyone to take a "full round action" by sacrificing their four actions to do one action repeatedly (like iterating attacks, say), but for each action made with a "smaller" type it normally requires, there's a -5 penalty per step (and free actions cannot be used to make any longer action). This means that a fighter (or other full-attack) could use their iterative attacks by taking a full round action (at -0/-5/-10/-15, like they do now), or they could attack once and move (like they do now), or they could attack twice and, say, take a 15-or-10-ft-step (using their minor action for the move). But this also means that anyone can do that. Add this mechanic to giving skills specified time-units that they use, and you have a clean, universal mechanic for handling skills, attacks, and the like. Similarly, there are opportunity and reactive actions that can be used. Spells require certain amounts of actions (say as an example verbal to use up "free", somatic to use up "swift", and the casting to use up "standard", depending on the spell) Anyway, it's a system-in-progress, and if anyone wants to use it to try out at their home games, do so and let me know how it works in this thread, if you would. Anyway, that's totally off topic, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.

That link only leads right back to this thread. So I'd really appreciate feedback on that, if you don't mind.

What I'll need feedback on:

1) how do you handle spells

2) how do you handle opportunity actions (more than just attacking) and reactions

3) should saving throws count against opportunity actions

4) along that lines, should feats like "lightning reflexes" allow more than one save in a round

5) how would all this affect the caster/martial disparity (on the surface, it may seem to give casters an advantage... but I'm not so sure, especially if spells tended to take up multiple actions in a round)

6) what about skill-monkeys: this might actually empower them, even in combat-type situations, as they'll be able to do a number of swift or minor actions while taking standard and move actions as normal. This could bring the rogue up to snuff.

Now, I know I'm not presenting a full system here. I'm not trying to. I've so many swirling, conflicting ideas about how to handle this, it's hard to even write anything down right now. But if anyone would please care to playtest this, I'd greatly appreciate feedback. Just remember to tag your feedback " Pathfinder ", as I mentioned above!

Thanks, everyone!

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In response to Tacticslion's proposed alteration of the Action Economy.

1) Spells won't really change unless you decided to alter some spells to take advantage of the 'minor' action. A spell that takes a Standard action to cast normally, would still take a Standard action to cast in your new system. Unless you specifically choose certain spells that will be cast differently, not much will change. However, there is something that will change and I will cover that later.

A thought occurs to me about this that I will add into an 'ideas' section later.

2) What do you mean by 'opportunity actions' you referenced? Do you mean Attacks of Opportunity? If so, I'd propose to leave them the same. If someone performs an action that would provoke, then an Attack of Opportunity can be made.

The only other thing that comes to mind is 'Immediate' actions. I think it would work fine in this new system to keep it the same as it is in the old. An Immediate action uses up your Swift action in the following round. I have a thought on this that I will include later.

3) I'm not sure what Opportunity Actions are exactly, and why they would involve saving throws. I know you mentioned Opportunity and Reactive actions, but you didn't really clarify what they were. So I can't really reflect on this.

4) What do you mean by more than one save? Like being able to save twice against a Fireball because you have the Lightning Reflexes feat? It's an interesting thought, but I feel some people would feel cheated by it. Consider this, there are some characters who have saving throws that are low enough, that only a Natural 20 will let them make it. For example, Lydia has a Reflex of 10, but the DC for the Reflex save is 30. Only a roll of a Natural 20 would make it. If she took Lightning Reflexes, her Reflex Save increase to 12, meaning she needs an 18 or better to make it. Her chances to make the save increased from 5% to 15%. Contrary, the chances of you rolling a 20 out of two rolls of a d20 is 9.75% so you're actually better off with the flat static bonus.

5) Well, as written, this system could give a huge boost to martials, as they can now move, and get, somewhat, of a full attack. Even at low levels. As you have written it, a Martial could, at first level (not including ability score, feats items etc) make an attack routine of +1/-4/-9/-13 against an enemy. Sure, the third and fourth are unlikely to hit, and the first and second depend more on the die roll than the bonus, but anyone can roll a 20 right?

Considering the average AC of a CR 1 opponent is supposed to be 12, if I recall, the first and second attacks 'could' hit, and the third and fourth attacks could just be lucky rolls. I myself have rolled 5 natural 20s in a row when making a full attack with a bow, for 2 crits and a third hit (but no confirmation). Granted, the odds are heavily stacked against a player depending on such rolls, but considering the average attack bonus for a level 1 Fighter is roughly +5 (on the low end), you could see an attack routine of +5/+0/-5/-10 and it wouldn't be unreasonable to see three hits in a round on a semi-regular basis.

However, Casters also get a boost too, because there quite a few spells that can be directed or moves via a move action, while they cast another spell. So with your new system, said Casters could cast a spell, direct a Flaming Sphere, and then move via their Swift and Minor actions.

There is something else, however, that I feel I should mention. Depending on how you word the writing for the system (unless this will just be all explained at your table, no need for written rules and you'll work it out as you go), Casters could totally demolish martials, even at lower levels. Why? Because it's implied you can submit your 'lower-level' actions for 'higher-level' actions. So it could be possible to cast up to 4 spells in a round, albeit with penalties. But penalties to *what* exactly isn't well defined. Currently, it's only to attack rolls. So if I prepped 4 Magic Missiles, I could just ignore those penalties. Same thing with 4 Fireballs, or other spells that don't rely on an attack roll.

You could make those penalties apply to damage dice, Saving Throw DC, effective Caster level for determining Rounds or any number of variables in spells. For instance, a 10th level Wizard could cast 2 Fireballs and the first one deals 10d6 damage, while the second one could either:
A) Deal 5d6 damage
B) Have it's Saving Throw DC reduced by 5
C) Have it's Caster level reduced for purposes of Dispel Magic and overcoming SR
D) This is an odd one, but have the target of the Fireball deviate by 5 according to the Splash Weapons rules.

6) It could help Skill Monkeys, but the only one it would really affect is the Rogue. Most other Skill Monkeys can get along just fine in combat as many of their Skill Checks are made while making another action. For instance, Knowledge checks don't normally take an action, and Stealth can be made as part of a Move action. Most skill checks made in combat, are usually made as part of another action, or take up no action at all. The only time I can think of off the top of my head where a Skill Check takes up an action, is using Perception to find an Invisible opponent.

Besides, I think the Rogue's main problem is the fact that, for the most part, every other class can do what the Rogue can as well or better than the Rogue can, with the exception of Sneak Attacks and even then, some Archetypes grant it! The Rogue is a flanker class, but he can have trouble hitting sometimes. That and there is a startling number of creatures, classes and monsters that can't be flanked (whether it's Imp. Uncanny Dodge or All-Around Vision).

Like I mentioned, the problem comes from other classes 'doing the Rogue better' than the Rogue. Bards are better Faces and can use spells to shore up any Skills he's lacking on. Clerics, with Wisdom as a primary attribute, are better spotters, Fighter's can add Strength to Intimidate, several classes have Acrobatics, and just about every class has an Archetype that allows them to disable Magical Traps like a Rogue does.

When Pathfinder first came out, I thought the Rogue was a wonderful class, but as Archetypes were released, it just became more and more obvious that Paizo wanted to give all of the Rogue's toys away to the other children.



Hmm, let me look back so I can reacquire my train of thought...

Idea #1

Ok, so I've got Spell Casting Components, additional Immediate actions, there was a third one, but I can't remember it.

Now what do I mean by Spell Casting Components? Well it's kidna hard to explain and might require a lot of work. But the basic gist is that the more Components required for the spell, the longer the action it takes to cast.

There are (V)erbal, (S)omatic, (M)aterial, and (F)ocus/(D)ivine (F)ocus Components included with each spell.

Perhaps you could find some way of mixing those Components into determining the actions require to cast a spell. For instance, say a Spell has the Verbal and Somatic Components, this means speaking and gesturing (forming hand symbols, waving arms, yadda, yadda, yadda). That means it requires the expenditure of at least 2 actions (starting at Minor and moving up) to cast. So a Verbal and Somatic Spell would be cast as a Move action. A Verbal, Somatic and Focus spell would be cast as a Standard action as it has three Components.

I skipped over Swift as Swift actions can be taken away via an Immediate action the round before, or be used up as part of a Quickened Spell.

Not a very well fleshed out idea, and it would further hedge the Disparity in favor of the caster, unless you limited to 1 Spell could be cast a round, barring certain circumstances, such as Quickened Spells, Immediate Action spells (like Feather Fall) etc.

Also, to tack along with this idea was certain Metamagic Feats. Feats like Silent or Still spell would actually reduce the casting time. By removing the Verbal Component from the Spell, you could reduce the Action cost by 1.

If you were to include such an idea, along with the limit of 1 Spell per round barring certain feats or spells, it might be interesting to see what exactly a Wizard would do with his Standard action. You might have to include the activation of certain items, like Wands, Scrolls Staves etc, into that limit of 1 spell per round.

Also, the actual casting time of the spell over-rides the Component breakdown. So if a Spell specifically calls out 1 Full Round, then it costs 1 Full Round even if it only has Verbal as it's Components. That way you don't get 1 Actions Summons or Scrying etc.

Idea, Part the Second

Much shorter than the last one, I assure you. This one is pretty simple; anytime you make an Immediate action, you can choose to expend a higher-tiered action, to gain another Immediate action. For example, one might need to cast two Feather Falls because someone is out of range of the first, so instead of using up his Swift Action for the next turn, he can choose to use up his Minor Action to gains an additional Immediate action. If he instead gives up his Move, he gains two additional Immediate actions, and he gains three additional Immediate actions if he gives up his Standard.

Kind of an oddball idea, but it popped in my head and I figured I'd toss it out there to merge with your Action Reorganization.

Anyway, that's all for now.

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Dotting. A lot of my favorite ideas came from insomnia. Battle Adaptation, Brutal Maneuvers, Strain-Injury HP variant, to name a few... I'll be back.

Pathfinder Ideas

Tels, you've got some great ideas, and Evil Lincoln, I'm looking forward to you posting here! A lot!

First, Tels, I'm actually borrowing some pages from 4E's books, so to speak, but looking at them through a d20 lens, if that makes sense. This general idea (that of multiple actions to get full attacks) in its most basic form has been percolating around almost since I started playing the d20 system, but until 4E I never had the clarity of thought to describe iterative smaller actions, and when combined with the 3.5 (and now Pathfinder) idea of swift actions creates the suite you see before you up there.

Tels wrote:

Hmm, let me look back so I can reacquire my train of thought...

Idea #1

Ok, so I've got Spell Casting Components, additional Immediate actions, there was a third one, but I can't remember it.

Now what do I mean by Spell Casting Components? Well it's kidna hard to explain and might require a lot of work. But the basic gist is that the more Components required for the spell, the longer the action it takes to cast.

There are (V)erbal, (S)omatic, (M)aterial, and (F)ocus/(D)ivine (F)ocus Components included with each spell.

Perhaps you could find some way of mixing those Components into determining the actions require to cast a spell. For instance, say a Spell has the Verbal and Somatic Components, this means speaking and gesturing (forming hand symbols, waving arms, yadda, yadda, yadda). That means it requires the expenditure of at least 2 actions (starting at Minor and moving up) to cast. So a Verbal and Somatic Spell would be cast as a Move action. A Verbal, Somatic and Focus spell would be cast as a Standard action as it has three Components.

Alright, see, this is exactly the kind of idea I was trying to get across and doing so poorly at. By making the components actions, it means that mages have to be doing stuff to cast spells instead of just saying "I cast the spell".

One thought that occurs to me, is splitting the (S)omatic components into two: (G)esture components, and (D)ance components. The one (gestures) would be something akin to a swift action, while the other (dance) would be a move action. That was exactly my point: that casting spells requires multiple actions for a single spell, thus pulling casters more into line with martials: martials have the variety to do things, whereas casters do not. And all spells require a standard action to cast.

This would, of course, require re-balancing components along the new action economy. One other thought that occurs to me about this, is the hard limit that material components forces upon casters. With a (V), (G), and (M) spell, that's their standard (to cast the spell), minor and swift (to gesture and to acquire the material component) and their free actions (to recite the spells). That only leave their move action to do anything with. And any spell that requires a (D) would suddenly be a full-round action anyway.

There would be spells that require longer casting times, but I'm wondering if I should borrow another page, and make some spells have an (R)itual component. Spells like Identify, or other spells that have long casting times have you could be "ritual" spells (though they are still spells).

Anyway, the real benefit of the quicken spell is that it would reduce all the normal actions it takes to cast a spell into a single, swift action... but the trade-off is that, in order to cast another spell, the mage is not going to be able to move: after all, a (V), (G), and (M) spell would automatically take up the rest of their actions. While Eschew Materials could definitely help with that, they'd be left with: a swift action.

And as for the 5-pt penalty for making a "spell action" more rapid? 5 Spell Levels. Given that a Fighter's BAB is it's main "make it work" schtick, this is roughly analogous to a spell's DCs - which are based off their spell level. Making the spell more rapid wouldn't increase the DC, but it would cost higher level spell slots.

An alternative, idea is that it could be made faster by adding +1 spell level requirement per component that has time reduced. Casting time from standard to move=+1. Material Component from swift to free=+1. Gesture from minor to swift=+1. (Verbals are already free). Net total: +3 to the spell level for one standard action (which can't, by itself, cast most spells). You could change the standard to a minor by sacrificing +2, or to a swift by sacrificing a +3, but you've already got swift and move actions taking up your spellcasting, meaning that you're not going to get too much benefit.

I do like your other ideas, too, though.

As far as opportunity action, I specify action, because I like the idea that said action doesn't have to be an attack, per se, but could be any action taken as the result of an opportunity (though in practice, it's probably usually an attack). As far as reactive actions, I wasn't sure if they should be one and the same, or separated from opportunity actions, thus the confusion in my words. This is all something that I've been mulling over for a while (and am just now putting into practice in a home campaign), and I've oscillated regularly on the hows and whys and whats. Part of the wording of the Star Wars d20 Revised Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Core Rulebook have inspired some of the concepts (blending with a little 4E nomenclature) to create these, so I'm hammering them out with you.

The ideas include

  • Opportunity Actions
  • Reactive Actions
  • Swift Actions

My questions (for us as a community) are: are these the same? Are they different? How many of which does someone get in a round? What uses them?

So, if Opportunity Actions are different from Reactive Actions - how? Why? If they're the same (or if they're not): how many of those actions do you get in a round? Does taking an opportunity action count as a swift action? If so, that would mean that you lose a swift action next turn to take an opportunity action. Again, this brings up interesting possibilities for action economy, and it actually empowers martials when compared to casters... after all, casters need all those actions to cast their spells.

Anyway, that's pretty much what I've been thinking of.

And I see your point on the rogue.

Happy Insomnia, all!

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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Throwing in on the opportunity action idea...

  • Opportunity Action sounds like an action you take when an opportunity arises, following the standard attack of opportunity / opportunity attack model. When the enemy provokes, you have a chance to do something.
  • Reactive Action sounds like a superset of Opportunity Action. It's something you're doing, not on your turn, in reaction to something someone else is doing. This could be an interesting (semantic) way to handled readied actions. It could also go for defensive actions, such as if you wanted to require characters to expend actions to make saves, or to parry/dodge attacks (dodge not meaning a static boost to AC, but actually moving in response to an attack).
  • I would keep Swift Actions as something you do on your turn. If you retain Immediate Action, you could keep the "Immediate Action now expends your next Swift Action", or you could drop it.

Honestly, I feel like Standard + Move + Minor + Swift is too much; I'd drop the Swift Action. Four actions a turn seems like a lot. I see how they're all needed for the full iterative attack paradigm, though.

Could you give some examples of what you mean by Opportunity Actions and Reactive Actions?

Tels, I literally wrote this up last night before I saw your post:

I, in a word document, for a Star Wars d20-based game this weekend, with a few tweaks for formatting wrote:

Rounds, Actions, and Turns:
ROUNDS: Time in the game is broken into segments called "rounds"; each round lasts approximately six seconds.

ACTIONS: every person has a number of actions that they can perform in a round, as follows:

  • Standard: this is the largest single action you can use in a round. This can be used for things like aiming and making attack rolls, certain kinds of skill checks, or making maneuvers. You may choose not to take a Standard Action in order to ready a specified Reactive Action (see below).
  • Move: this is the second largest action you can use in a round. This can be used for things like moving your speed, performing movement skills, or certain force skills.
  • Minor: this is the smallest normal action you can use in a round. Many rapid-skills use this as the default skill speed.
  • Swift: this is a very rushed action, usually it prevents you from doing things to the best of your ability, but is still usable for many purposes. Dropping prone would be a swift action.
  • Free: these actions are usable only for the least strenuous actions, and generally cannot be used for most actions; speaking during your turn, or dropping items in your hand would be an example of these actions.

These are the actions that you can choose to utilize on your turn, and you may use them in any order, although you must finish a single action before heading on to a new one. There are some actions that can only be used during someone else's turn in a round.

  • Opportunity: opportunity actions are actions that arise due to an opportunity granted you by someone or something else, usually used to make an attack, step aside, trip someone who's heading past you, or the like. You generally only have one opportunity action in a round.
  • Reactive: this is a special kind of opportunity action. Usually, you set aside a Standard Action on your turn in order to make ready a Reactive Action. When you ready a reactive action this way, you specify the conditions for your reaction. If those conditions occur, you may perform your readied Reactive Action; if they do not, then you lose your Reactive Action during that round. Some effects, like saving throws, are Reactive Actions that you receive automatically, though these use up your Opportunity Action.
  • Immediate: Immediate actions are rare. There are only certain circumstances in which they occur, and you may use them at any time, even when it's not your turn. Force points can be spent as Immediate Actions.

Anyway, although there's a little bit of ambiguity there some on purpose, some needing revising) and it's for a Star Wars d20-base game instead of PF (the Force Points make that kind of obvious), that's the most basic way I've set it up for now, as an alpha-style playtest (using this group as guinea pigs, so to speak).

EDIT: to give some more ideas about opportunity actions that, truth be told, are more like attacks than not. :)

Dark Archive

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What do I do when I have insomnia?

The same thing we do every night, Pinky - try to take over the world!

I'm not sure I like the idea of Reactive Actions. It's very bad, mostly for PCs. Unless someone has, say, Combat Reflexes, giving him an extra number of Opportunity Actions equal to his Dex Mod, he only gets to make either a single saving throw, or a single OA a round. So a creature with poisoned claws, could make two attacks, and if they both hit, he automatically gets poisoned because he can't make a saving throw against the poison.

The same thing applies against other things too. Take two casters. Both use Dominate Person on the same guy, he only gets one saving throw and is guaranteed to be dominated by the enemy.

I know these are the rules for your Star Wars game, and since I've never played Star Wars, I don't know what powers and abilities are available in the game. But the same logic applies. Anytime there are two characters that can force a saving throw on a character, they are generally guaranteed success if they target the same guy.

By offering up Feats like Lightning Reflexes to allow multiple (I'm assuming Reflex) saving throws, you're forcing the players to take those Feats just to avoid an "I Win" situation from the enemy.


However, even though I don't like the idea of a limited number of saving throws a round, I will propose an idea for you.

Give a number of bonus saving throws each round off the ability modifiers. So if you've got a Con of 16 (+3) Dex of 14 (+2) and a Will of 11 (+0) they can make a total of 3 extra Fortitude saves, 2 extra Reflex saves and they can't make any extra Will Saves.

So in one round, they could make 1 Will save (because all characters get 1 save that uses up their Opportunity Action) 2 Reflex saves and 3 Fortitude saves. Anything beyond those numbers and they automatically fail.

You might include a rule to allow the characters with bonus saves in one category, to use up two of those saves for another category on a 2 for 1 ratio. So they could use up 2 of their Fortitude saves to make an extra Will save.


Feat Wise, I think you should keep things like Lightning Reflexes and Iron Will as is, but they give an extra save. So a character who takes Iron Will gets a +2 to Will saves, an an additional Will save each round.

You might also make a new feat Extra Saving Throw, that gives 2 extra saving throws that can be used for any category.

If you include the above changes to feats, I would suggest against allowing Combat Reflexes to increase the number of Saving Throws made each round, and that the bonus Opportunity Actions apply only to Opportunity Actions and not Reactive Actions.

See, I'm not sold on the whole single saves thing, either, but here are some of the ideas behind it:

1) Saves can be justifiably used as reactions to things that would cause them other than spells (falling off a cliff, dodging a falling rock, concentrating on a spell when hit, etc)

2) Considering how much effort a spell takes (I'll describe more in a bit, because I realized something I misspoke earlier), you're likely not going to have many spells

3) You always have the ability to give up a larger action for a smaller one (i.e. using up a minor action on additional saves, etc).

4) This means that the action economy remains important

5) I have other feats that augment saves, for now (which I haven't noted here, but that's mostly for time), but then again, I guess this comes down to simple semantics/fluff, so, yeah, I kind of do have those feats still. :)

Reference spells: before I said that all spells take at least a standard action in addition to their components. That isn't true, and isn't what I meant. That's just me being dopey. Sorry. What I meant is that a spell's action category (such as, "Action: Standard") tells you any additional actions that are required on top of their components. The "time" category then becomes a short-hand of an unmodified spell. What this translates to is the ability to have those swift- or immediate-action spells (such as Feather Fall), by simply not adding the Action: standard to it, and generally a mage will get a spell and a move action (due to all the stuff they do) or (by burning feats) a spell, move, and swift action.

Additionally, the use of the "one save, then an action" mechanic above, actually empowers martials slightly (at least in my head): while they slowly lose out on their actions by taking additional saves, mages - on average - tend to lose out more, because their spells (burned feats aside) tend to burn actions. Plus, opening up the door to make more things allow saves, means that casters will need them more.

All that said, I see your point, and am not entirely sold on the mechanic either. I'm just trying to think this stuff through.

EDIT: anyway, I'm really appreciating the feedback. It's giving me lots to think about. This is one reason I wanted to air it out, so that I had more than just me thinking about it. :)

Hey, my crew stay out.
3.X/Pathfinder (d20)
So, taking a break from reactive actions to mention an idea for Eberron:
Aureon's myth is that at some ancient unknown point in the past, he lost his shadow in order to gain absolute mastery over magic. But how, and why?

Well, I've been musing on an idea based loosely off the Netherese Scrolls (in Lost Empires of Faerun, for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting) and the other artifact-type books, like the Book of Exalted Deeds/Vile Darkness, Libram of <~ Gainful Conjuration, ~ Ineffable Damnation, ~ Silver Magic>, Index of Alexandria, and the like (also a bunch of other artifacts related to the last king of Xen'drik, but that's not this project or topic, so I'm leaving it alone for now). The basic idea is that there are unfathomably ancient and powerful - and large - dragonshards that work kind of like a Spellshard (or more accurately, like an Aureon's Spellshard), only moreso. These might or might not be the actual shards or method that Aureon used, but they produce similar results, if you can gather and use them all.

Like the N. Scrolls, there are five sets of ten (for a total of fifty) that make up one set of the Shards, and each set of ten grants an additional benefit (plus three additional extra levels gained). These don't function exactly like the N. Scrolls, however, and require alignment sequencing to go through (though always moral sequencing, not ethical sequencing). You may pursue the shards in any order, but you must be the correct (currently moral) alignment of the one you are currently pursuing. I'm vaguely thinking of tying them to schools of magic but, of course, the current numbering system doesn't quite work for that - at least not evenly.

Anyway, and then there's the final trick: at the end, you lose your shadow and it becomes an advanced (probably greater or some other variant) shadow (possibly with a 3.5 shade template, dark template, or something similar) or possibly a shadow demon with levels equal to your own, only generally preferring things like the Shadow arcane school, the shadow bloodline (if using PF rules), or the Shadow Weave Magic feat and associated prestige class, or the shadow caster (from the Tome of Magic, perhaps with a Nocturnamancer PrC for flavor!).

I'm thinking of placing it as the result of a campaign in which Vol is seeking these ancient sources (after a hopefully-failed attempt on her part to harness the power of the Silver Flame directly from Flamekeep) in order to become a new actual god in Eberron (and return to life again: after 2,600 years, she'd need a 260th level cleric or 260 orange prism ioun stones to come back to life... and she'd definitely want a thought-bottle, too, first - rather hard to come by, all that).

Anyway, it's not tremendously detailed here, but that's the most basic gist of what I've been thinking on about it, for now.

Also, does anyone have an idea what the formula they used for getting Jaela's level in-Flame Keep (18th lvl) v. out-of-Flame Keep (3rd lvl)? I've got several possibilities*, but I'd like to know if they said anything (in order to make, say, new Keeper of the Flame in case Jaela dies.

* Some ideas: straight up "go to 18th level or your own, whichever is higher" [the most likely], or "your level +15" [also fairly likely], or "your level x6" [oh, mercy, not likely], or "add (your levelx5) to your actual level" [hahahah: no].

It's time for more outrageous stuff that I might never put into a game!
3.X/Pathfinder (d20)

Without further ado, I present: artifact-like Magical Locations (as seen in the 3.5 book, Dungeon Master's Guide 2)!

me wrote:

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (least)

Prerequisite: must be 5th level or higher arcane spell caster or psionic manifest

Activation: You must spend eleven un-interrupted hours of meditation (using full-round actions that provoke opportunity attacks) within the confines of the area to draw the power into yourself.

Effect: This has three benefits

  • You can cast spells or manifest powers of 3rd level or lower as an action two steps less costly than before (full round becomes a move action, standard actions become swift action, move actions become free actions, and swift and free actions don't require any verbal, somatic, or inexpensive material components to cast and automatically hides the displays). This is not the same effect as using the quicken spell feat, and does not count against the number of quickened spells in a round.
  • Choose any three feats from the following list (choose either the metamagic or metapsionic version - choosing both of the same effect counts as two feats): chain [Complete Arcane pg 76], empower, enlarge^, extend^^, maximize, nonlethal substitution [Complete Arcane pg 81], repeat - [Complete Arcane pg 82], sculpt [Complete Arcane pg 83], transdimensional [Complete Arcane pg 84, Complete Divine pg 85], twin [Complete Arcane pg 84], or widen. Any arcane spells or psionic powers of third level or lower are also automatically altered as if by the feats you chose with no increase in power point costs, spell level, or casting or manifesting time. Once chosen, the choices cannot be changed, but you do not have to have the metamagic feats that you chose for this benefit.
  • You also increase your caster (or manifester) level by +1 for all purposes (though this doesn't increase your class level, hit dice, or experience point totals). This is an increase, not a bonus. This increase is not limited only to third level spells or below.
    ^ if you choose enlarge spell or enlarge power, you also gain the effects of the feat reach spell Complete Divine pg 84] (or power, if you use psionics) which allows a touch spell or power to be used at a range of 30 feet.
    ^^ if you choose extend spell or extend power, you also gain the effects of persistent spell [Complete Arcane pg 81] (or persistent power, if you use psionics) which allows a fixed or personal range spell to have its duration increased to 24 hours

This affects up to two creatures simultaneously.

Duration: instantaneous

Recharge: one year

Cost (estimated value): 21 million gold

Special: even once recharged, you can never gain the benefits of a given Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed more than once. If you have the benefits of a lesser, greater, or true version, a least version still only grants its benefits up to third level spells. Uses of multiple locations stack.

Drawback: When this is used, you must choose from one of four drawbacks:

  • Your CON score is decreased by 2. This drawback can only occur once.
  • Your saves against magic or psionic effects (whichever power source you didn't choose) are reduced by 2. This drawback can occur up to two times: once for magic, and once for psionics.
  • You instantly lose two hit points per hit dice. This cannot bring you below 0 hit points, but it can reduce your total to 0. You forever after earn 2 fewer hit points than you would normally gain (minimum 0).
  • You instantly lose two hit dice and the experience points to go with it. This loss is not temporary, it is instantaneous. If this would bring you below the necessary level to access the site's powers, you lose the benefit of the magic location until you earn enough experience points to achieve the required level, at which point the benefits begin functioning for you again.

And now, for the others!

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (lesser) wrote:

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (lesser)

This is exactly the same as Glory of Magic Revealed (least), save that you must be at least 10th level, it affects up to 6th level spells, and you must concentrate for 22 hours. It its estimated worth is 63 million gold. If you have the benefits of a least version, using this increases the benefits granted by a least version to 6th level as well as granting three additional feats. The penalties increase to three each instead of two (3 points of CON, penalty of three to saves against arcane and psionic effects, loss of three hit points, or loss of three HD).

... and...

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (greater) wrote:

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (greater)

This is exactly the same as Glory of Magic Revealed (least), save that you must be at least 15th level, it affects up to 9th level spells, and you must concentrate for 33 hours. Its estimated worth is 126 million gold. If you have the benefits of a least or lesser version; using this increases the benefits granted by a least version to 9th level as well as granting three additional feats-effects. The penalties increase to four each instead of two (4 points of CON, penalty of four to saves against arcane and psionic effects, loss of four hit points, or loss of four HD).

... and...

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (true) wrote:

Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (true)

This is exactly the same as Glory of Magic Revealed (least), save that you must be at least 20th level, it affects any spell regardless of level, and you must concentrate for 44 hours. Its estimated worth is 210 million gold. If you have the benefits of a least, lesser, or greater version; using this increases the benefits granted by a least version to any spell level as well as granting three additional feats. You may also choose from an the effects of the enhance spell (or enhance power) or intensify spell (or intensify power) feats, both found in the Epic Level Handbook (pg 53 and pg 61, respectively). This effect does not apply to epic spells. If you choose, instead you may select one, two, or three epic spell seeds and reduce the spellcraft DC of theses seeds. Each time you choose a seed or each seed you choose has the spellcraft DC reduced by 4 (to a minimum of 1). For example choosing three seeds reduces each by 4, choosing two reduces one seed by 4 and one by 8, and choosing only one seed reduces the DC by 12. You may apply this to epic power seeds as well. Unless you have the epic spell (or epic power) feat, this use grants you no benefit. The penalties increase to five each instead of two (5 points of CON, penalty of five to saves against arcane and psionic effects, loss of five hit points, or loss of five HD).

Alternate name: Glory of the Magic and Mind Revealed (epic)

Obviously, the above drawbacks tend far more to belong to the third edition rules than PF rules, however given the Codex of Infinite Planes, Deck of Many Things are part of Pathfinder (though those are legacy items), I think it still works. Besides, the Crown of the Iron King, Harrow Deck of Many Things (though this last is based off of a legacy item), and to a lesser extent the Totem of Angazhan all have permanent (at least semi-) negative changes to the bearer in question (and the Gem of Dreams applies templates to creatures!) make it look doable. Also, the Atrophied Lich template, there is precedent for permanently losing hit dice.

Still, if you want to, simply ignore the penalties (it's likely that I will, unless a given campaign calls for them). In this case, I might recommend reducing the metamagic stuff from three feats to one. Is it still extremely powerful? Oh, wow, yes. But I think it's okay.

That brings up the question, "Why are the penalties so uneven?" Most people will likely readily recognize that the drawbacks the magical locations apply aren't evenly balanced. So why grant such things? Well, because they actually are more desirable to different people. I'd, personally prefer to actually lose the hit dice. Why? because it's not a permanent over-all weakening of the character. Hit dice I can recover. Penalties to saves and loss of constitution are forever. True, there's no guarantee that my character will live long enough to get back their lost hit dice, but hey: it's my preference, given the choice. Thus, the obviously different power-levels of the penalties.

Also the CON-wrecking could make a pretty interesting Raistlen-type character, while the saving throw penalties would make an interesting "conduit of magic" approach, where you get better and better at magic, but it's naturally drawn to you - this could also grant a penalty to any spell-resistance (reducing any spell resistance you'd ever get by an equal amount) to make interesting story ideas. The loss of hit dice could be explained by sacrificing your power for greater potential - a trade off, of sorts. The loss of hit points indicates becoming so magically powerful that your flesh becomes weaker and more prone to injuries - said variant could be combined with something like the spell-scarred sorcerer variant bloodline, or maybe when certain damage types are done, a release of energy dangerous to the caster and/or their enemies occurs. Really, each have different interesting story potentials, depending on how you spin it. Thus, another reason for the different options.

Now, that said, there are some questionable choices about this (aside from the obvious "why do this at all"). I'll get to those in the next post.

Tackling questionable decisions time!

First questionable choice: why give a price or estimated value? Well, first off, it's strictly a "guesstimate". There's no hard, fast rules about pricing artifact stuff, but I'll tell you where I got it: from analyzing and deconstructing existing sites in the DMG 2, and by applying "what would it cost to get those benefits for one full year for every spell that you could possibly cast [below third level] (as that's all that was presented in the DMG) based off of all the arcane spellcasting classes in existence", (similarly, that's the length of the activation ritual of the (least) effect, when rounded up), and then dosing it with a bit of guestimation. After that I simply increased the price by iterative multiples of itself:

  • least: the price
  • lesser: the least price plus double the least price.
  • greater: the least and lesser prices plus triple the least price. (incidentally, this is double the lesser price).
  • true: the least, lesser, and greater prices plus quadruple the least price.

It's imperfect and heavily eyeballed, but that's how I did it.

But, then still why would I put that value there? After all, artifacts can't be bought or sold, so why have it at all? Simply: because it's nice to have. I like to know what I'm giving my players, and like to understand how valuable something is, even when it's way beyond reason.

Second questionable choice: why "package" some feats? Won't that just make those more valuable/obvious choices than others? Won't it unbalance things to bring in feats that were known to be broken in 3.5 to PF?

Well, first, that's three questions, not one.
Second, I "packaged" the two that I did because they simply make sense as a "package deal": enlarge spell is increasing the range, and so is reach spell; ergo, they go together. Extend spell is increasing the duration, and so is persistent spell; ergo they go together. Along with this, I felt there would be too many options without pairing down the list, and I didn't quite feel right about removing the ones you see there, thus I packaged the ones I did. One other possible "obvious" package that I didn't go with (because it was too powerful) is the twin spell/repeat spell combination. Plus, I found it neat that if someone somehow managed to find all four locations and use them, they'd get all the feats except one.
Third, it entirely depends on the players. I've found that some players want certain things and not others, regardless of relative power. I know some players who always want a craft or profession skill: no, they never get to "use" it the way it's intended, but they want it for story reasons. Similarly, some players prefer certain metamagic combinations to others. Will some players undoubtedly gravitate toward "t3h strongest"? Yes. But that's true anywhere. Judge accordingly for your group.
Finally, DUDES, DID YOU SEE WHAT THAT THING DOES?! IT REDUCES THE CASTING TIME FOR SPELLS BY TWO STEPS, and IT STACKS WITH ITSELF (though to a minimum of free still/silent/hidden spells and powers)! Clearly, I am not worried about the game being "t3h br0k3nz". However, that leads us into...

Hey! That's got an exclamation point! It's not a question! Ahem. Anyway, I created it because, frankly, I felt like it. I thought, "hey, this is a really cool idea, and I wonder what it'd look like." So... there you go. That's what it'd look like. However, if you wish for a less-overwhelming thing, each artifact location can be broken down: a given location could offer only a single, specific feat, while another could offer a bonus only to the caster level of a certain spell school, and another would reduce the casting time. This would create from thirteen (if it's a straight up +1 to caster level) up to twenty-one (if each school is a different +1 caster level) such locations for each if you divide up all the feats, the spell-hastening, and the caster level increases each into a location. With a total ranging from fifty-two up to eighty-four (for least, lesser, greater, and true) different locations, this could prove to be a really nifty campaign arc. But what about martials? WELL! They're next on my thought list!

Questionable Choice number four: why am I mentioning epic rules instead of mythic rules? Well, first of all, because we don't have mythic rules, yet, and even if we did, I haven't played with them enough to have an idea of how they should be applied - I haven't gotten the "feel" of them. Second of all, because I do have the epic rules, and enjoy them very much. Third... because why not? If you don't have epic rules, don't use that segment. Besides (much like psionics below), I based this off of third edition, and thus I include 3E epic rules.

Questionable Choice number five: why did I use psionics? Don't you know that psionics isn't a part of Pathfinder?
Well, first of all (answering the second question there), it's not officially part of Pathfinder, but it was introduced via third party by Dreamscarred Press (and they have an amazing product line you should check out, by the way). Second (and to answer the first question), because it is part of third edition, and that's what I'm basing this off of. If you don't use psionics: don't use that part of the artifact-location!

Sixth Questionable Choice: why would it affect two creatures?
Simple: that's how the original was priced/presumed. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand that's it. :)

Seventh Questionable Choice: why only arcane/psionic?
The arcane was the original treatment was arcane-only for flavor. The psionic was because I'm currently running a campaign in which there is one arcanist and one psionicist, and it seemed like a nice dualistic aspect of improving your innate power going on there (as opposed to divine who receive their gifts from outside of themselves).

Eighth Questionable Choice: true or false: isn't it accurate to presume that you do or do not hate Martials!
... that's not a question, and it's hopelessly convoluted, so instead, I'll simply say, "Why, no, I don't hate martials. I already said I'm working on them next."

Ninth Questionable Choice: why aren't you fixing the monk?
Um... have you seen Master Ariminas' and Ashiel's monk fixes? They've got it covered.

Tenth Questionable Choice: WHERE'S THE HISTORY?!
Sheesh, well, at least we're back on track. You mean the ancient, grandiose artifact history with specific details of how this thing came into being? Well... I don't have it yet. That's why it's not here. I mean, I can only steal so many things, you know? So I have to write it out, and that's what I'll be doing next.

Welp, those are the questionable decisions I can see. Feel free to poke me and respond to stuff!

Also, just now realizing that the word "boll" and "ocks", when put together, makes it look like I'm typing something dirty. I hope that's not a bad word, as I try not to use those.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Conjuration[healing] was a mistake. All healing should be necromancy.

Also, contagion should be positive energy spell, and remove disease a negative energy spell. One causes life forms to spread rampantly, and the other kills them.

The outer planes are just too big to deal with. I know they are infinite and all, but all the outsiders seem to be stepping on each other's roles. Like Aeons. I don't even know what to do with them. And i still don't get what motivates daemons, even as i look at the articles about them.

I think it would be more interesting if you didn't have a plane for everything. Like Hell being a region of the abyss, and there is a continual siege on the borders.

piscodaemons should drain str with their "weakening poison" it would match the fluff of targeting the strong to make them weak. Con is not quite the same, as you fight with full strength and then keel over dead.

@ Tacticslion. Ill try to get around to reading your ramblings seeing as ive posted mine.

EDIT: Brambleman, I agree with the healing conjuration/necromancy thing! While I don't personally think the planes are "too much" or outsiders, I think the Hell-thing is actually a really fascinating idea. Reference the poison, I'm agreed: change the effect, or change the name! :)

Happy Halloween Everyone! I know I've been kind of under a rock for a while, but that's because a) I'm running a campaign, b) I've got a toddler (and that takes most of my time-resources), and c) I'm working on lots of interesting (to me) stuff! For example, while it's not entirely done yet, I figured, in the spirit of the season (Hah! Get it?! It's a pun! Oh, man, I slay me! ... at least you propably wish), I figured I'd drop in something a little... spooooooooOOOOOOOOO00000000OOOOOOOoooooooooky!

So, as Lotus Prince might say, "Let's. Go. Crazy!"
Pathfinder/3.X (sort of)

Tome of Radiant Darkness, Sanity's Sorrow
Now, if you've never heard of the game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, I'm sorry. Seriously, it's an amazing game. I'm not that fond of survival/horror type video games (especially when the "good guys" keep having bad endings), but it's a really great one, and entirely worthy. I highly recommend it (and you might prefer to think of it as an action adventure/story game with minor survival horror and puzzle solving elements). So (as if the title didn't give it away) what follows is based heavily on that game.

While I'm aware of DragoonWraith's rather excellent-looking vestiges (and I actually vaguely allude to them, even requiring being bound to specific Ancients for some spells that follow), I'm actually more interested in doing a more direct port/translation of the power found within the original game.

First of all, know that this is going to use some - no, strike that, quite a few - variant rules. Second of all, know that this is lacking a lot, and I mean a lot of polish. Sorry. I just don't have time to finish up now! That's why I'm working on it.

Second, it's not called "Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem" because, frankly, I'm not entirely sure how much copyright infringement I can get away with, here, and I'd rather not push it.

Third of all, "What happened to the Martial locations?"
... er... well... LOOK A DISTRACTION
*proceeds to run away and get this ball rolling while you're looking*
actually, I'm working on that, too, but am posting this because of Halloween.

Tome of Radiant Darkness:
Once there were four Ancients, beings of incalculable and nearly immeasurable power. The greatest of the four, Mantorok, was master of time and space, and was worshiped as a fertility god in the ancient jungles of Cambodia (or Xen'drik, in my current Eberron campaign). The other three were, since an unknown time immemorial in ways unknown, locked in another dimension, outside of reality.

Each was powerful against one, and susceptible to the other, but Mantorok was more powerful than all. Each of the three who were not Mantorok desired to rule as a god over all the world and the universe beyond. And so one seduced and corrupted a skilled, powerful being (a warrior in the original game, thinking about it being related to Vol in mine), and, refusing to let anything stand in their way, began a plot that spanned millennia to allow them to return to the world and claim the glory of all.

In the middle of their machinations, was the book of Mantorok, the book borne by its chosen pawns in the eons-long games of death and magic and power and blood and flesh. This book - crafted from human flesh and bone and imbued with terrible power - contained a story, carefully crafted by Mantorok, that would ultimately seal the fate of all the ancients other than himself. This book contained great power. The Tome of Radiant Darkness.
The Tome of Radiant Darkness introduces a new kind of casting system based on runes of power (semi-tangible energy sigils that can be collected into the book and kept there) that create a magical runic "sentence" or "phrase" based on four elements: alignment (to one of the Ancients), effect (the most basic translation of what it does), target (the most basic translation of its affect), and power (straight up adding more power). There are several factors that determine the ritual spells.

There are up to four levels of power, although only the most basic three are generally available: 3-rune circle, 5-rune circle, 7-rune circle, and 9-rune circle.

Codices are the most basic comprehensible-to-mortals translation of the runes (and how they are identified).

Ritual Spell Scrolls give the formulas for the ritual spell, the ritual's name, it's important relevant details, and how to craft it. These teach a character the Ritual Spell quickly (whereas they'd have to spend months trying it out on their own otherwise).

Ritual Foci are items that weren't present in the original video game (at least kind of not-present), but are necessary in this as a kind of balancing factor and flavor-add-on.

The Ancient Essences are effectively minor artifacts that allow more powerful spellcasting than could otherwise be accomplished.

I'll break these various elements down further in the next post, then post some spells and a monster.
Now, you might be curious why I say "sort of" to the Pathfinder/3.X tag I used earlier. Well, frankly, it's because it doesn't need to be PF/3.X-based. This system could work instead in a 4E style as well, with minor adjustment (and it might even work better, giving a set amount of magic energy that is recovered with a short rest; trading healing surges for magic power regained would work well, actually - instead of recovering hit points, it recovers magic).

Another important note to make here; when dealing with a Tome of Radiant Darkness, regardless of your edition (3.X/PF or 4E), the system will work best with PCs (and the world at large) being less than 10th level, and magic being relatively rare (obviously, as I'm placing this in Eberron, that's not true in my campaign... I'm giving good advice that I'm not taking right now, 'cause I can't.)

Alright, now for the breakdown of the runic magic in the Tome of Radiant Darkness.

But first, the answer to a burning question I know you all have, to give a caveat, and to clarify a design choice on my part.

"Why 'Radiant Darkness'?" Why, because I'm tying it (in my home campaign) to the Radiant Idol cults. (I've a long, involved back story for this that would bore and/or confuse most of you, and isn't nearly as good as practically anything you guys could come up with.)

Second, this hasn't been play tested. I need you guys to know that I know it might not be balanced. This is all, currently, in my head-to-paper state. Feedback and play testing is appreciated!

Third, I know, I know, ED:SR spelled everything with "Magick" and similar such, but I didn't here. That's because I'm trying not to infringe too terribly much, and also because I am trying to make it more "compatible" with current terminology. Feel free to change it back, however!

Anyway, on to the magic!

Pathfinder/3.X (sort of)

Tome of Radiant Darkness, Sanity's Sorrow
Circles of Power:
Attributes: a character's attributes, skills, abilities, and other traits remain identical to how they function within the game system you chose (presumably 3.X), however there are a few additional attributes to note.

While every system has hit points (or wound points, as the case may be),
this system makes use of two additional "points": magic and sanity. While a creature's magic and sanity are not directly linked in a "which one's better" sort of way, they are usually balanced against each other. They can also be balanced against other traits, such as the speed of a character, their strength, and their other class-based traits, but this isn't strictly speaking, necessary. There are no hard/fast rules for these, yet, as I'm still looking at them and how they work.

Magic Points: much like hit points (your reserve of health), you have a reserve of magic. They are gained identically to hit points, but with a different dice (called your "magic dice") or base amount. Generally, your magic points are related to your hit-points in an inverse-relationship (the more hit points, the fewer magic points, and vice verse). These are used up as you cast magic and return slowly: either using the healing surge mechanic in 4E (that mechanic is replaced), or treating it like nonlethal "damage" to hit points in a 3.X style system. Intelligence is the primary attribute for magic (followed by charisma).

Sanity Points: much like hit points (your reserve of health), you have to care for your mental health. Sanity points are gained identically to hit points, but with a different dice (called your "sanity dice") or base amount. Generally, your sanity points are related to your will save (or will defense) and how tied to wisdom your class. Wisdom is the primary attribute for sanity (followed by dexterity). The more sanity you lose, the more strange and terrible things occur. The GM gets to roll extra encounters, send Nightmare-spell-like effects at your character (while you're awake), and randomly use illusions at you. Further, the GM gets to tell you outright lies about how much damage you take (either less or more), how many enemies you face, what you see with perception, or other effects that occur to you in-game. These will usually reverse themselves later.

Circles of Power:
There are four difference circles of power. If you're using a 3.X-style game system, the "equivalent spell level" of each circle is given in [brackets] after the circle. If you're using this like you should without using other magic systems, this doesn't really mean much aside from DCs. If you're using this with other magic systems, this lets you know how it interacts with other spells or rules for such purposes.

3-Rune Power Circle [2nd level]
5-Rune Power Circle [4th level]
7-Rune Power Circle [6th level]
9-Rune Power Circle [8th level]

A base spell costs a number of magic points equal to the runes it holds. There are several different "costs multipliers" a spell can have: low, medium, or high. A low-cost multiplier is x1 (in other words, the base cost), a medium-cost multiplier is x2 (double the base cost), and a high-cost multiplier is x3 (triple the base cost).

There are four kinds of Runes: alignment, effect, target, and power. A spell comprises of at least three of these (alignment, effect, and target), and those of higher power usually use the forth rune "power" (there is only one).

  • Alignment Runes: Chattur'gha (red), Ulyaoth (blue), Xel'lotath (green), Mantorok (purple), Roqui'null (yellow - this is basically just lacking any alignment whatsoever)

  • Effect Runes: Bankorok (protect), Tier (summon), Narokath (absorb), Nethlek (dispel), Antorbok (project)

  • Target Runes: Magormor (item), Redgormor (area), Aretak (creature), Santak (self)

  • Power Rune: Pargon (power)

Each codex holds information about a single rune. Without a codex it is, theoretically, possible to use the rune, but it's difficult, dangerous, and could backfire on you, if you don't know what you're doing, making these valuable. These are generally scribed into stone tablets.

Ritual Spell Formula Scroll:
A scroll contains the formula and name of a spell, allowing you to learn of its existence (and thus hunt for what you need to use it). They are pages of the Tome of Radiant Darkness. Not every possible spell has a scroll, however.

Ritual Foci:
In order to cast a spell, you need a ritual focus. Although a focus is aligned with a particular ancient, that does not affect the alignment of the spell cast. Occasionally, the focus is a particular situation or being bound to an ancient instead or in addition to the focus. The focus needed for a given spell is mentioned in its description. Additionally, each focus item can cast a spell or use a magical recovery effect a limited number of times for a given holder.

  • Chattur'gha: Necklace and Medallion of Chattur'gha (recovers hit points as a 3pt health recovery spell; 10 uses); Talisman of Chattur'gha (actually casts a 3pt health recovery spell; 5 uses)
  • Ulyoath: Magical Elixir of Ulyaoth (completely restores magic; 5 uses); Sacrificial Knife (opens a secret door; 1 use)
  • Xel'lotath:Liquid Courage of Xel'lotath (recovers sanity as the 3pt sanity recover spell, 50 uses); Meditation Rod of Xel'lotath (completely restores sanity; 3 uses)
  • Any: Staff of Bones (allows the use of ninth circle spells; 10 uses)

Essences of the Ancients:
Each Ancient produces a single essence at a time, effectively a minor artifact made from a portion of their flesh that represents them and contains their power.

  • Claw of Chattur'gha: essence of Chattur'gha, allows greater-than-normal ritual spells, looks vaguely like a crab.
  • Club of Ulyoath: essence of Ulyoath, allows greater-than-normal ritual spells, looks vaguely like a tentacle.
  • Wing of Xel'lotath:essence of Xel'lotath, allows greater-than-normal ritual spells, looks vaguely like a green angel statue
  • Heart of Mantorok: essence of Mantorok, allows greater-than-normal ritual spells, looks vaguely like a purple heart


Welp! That's all the time I have tonight! I'll add more as time goes on, but I can't guarantee the timeliness of such things, even though they're already made: I have to reformat them every time I paste them or else it'll be an incomprehensible jumble.

Anyway, enjoy! Spells are likely next time!

So, I figured one more post while it's still Halloween!

Below is a combination proof-of-concept (that I actually do have the stuff written up), and evidence why it takes so long to make these posts (as you'll be seeing it unformatted).

unformatted copy-past from the first page of my Word document at home, about spells:

Ritual Spells: the results of blending runes to create ritual spells

*(v) Hiding Field [protect + item] (causes items or things to partially phase out of reality)
duration: permanent; requires: bound vestige
3-circle: secret page [Mantorok: minor creation (blur)]
5-circle: as above, but invisibility (objects only) [Mantorok: major creation (invisible)]
7-circle: etherealness (objects only) [Mantorok: true creation (ethereal)]
9-circle: turn subject incorporeal (objects only) [Mantorok: Genesis (with time and gravity traits
alterable and overlapping ethereal and shadow planes within)]

* Damage Field [protect + area] (causes harm to others when running into force field)
"This incantation exerts a force of mystical power within the confines of its runes. Nothing may enter till it
is dispelled"
duration: 2 minutes or until discharged or dispelled; requires: Talisman of Chattur'gha
3-circle: wall of ice (but magic instead of ice)
5-circle: as above plus wall of iron (but magic instead of iron)
7-circle: as above plus wall of force and wall of fire ("magic" instead of fire or force)
9-circle: as above plus prismatic wall ("magic" instead)
[Mantorok: as above, but with a Consecrate/Hallow for the duration]
Note: damaging effects only apply to foes

* Bind [protect + creature] (compels a foe to ally with you of its own accord for a time)
"This magic enables the caster to bind a creature with magic, forcing it to ally with them."
duration: 2 minutes per tier (see below); requires: Meditation rod of Xel'lotath
effect: combined effects of a geas, lesser geas, charm monster, command undead, and
suggestion spell that affects creatures regardless of normal immunity
3-circle: trapper, 2 minutes
5-circle: zombie (or bonethief with Ancient essence), 4 minutes
7-circle: horror (or guardian with Ancient essence), 6 minutes
9-circle: greater guardian (or Ancient with essence), permanent

* Shield [protect + creature] (creates swirling motes of protective aligned energy)
"From all manner of magic will you be protected when encased in this geas. The alignments can help, but
never hinder, for within well-conjured magic, comes greater protection."
duration: permanent until discharged; requires: Sacrificial Knife of Ulyaoth
effect: similar to a protection from energy (absorbs all magical and physical damage up to the
maximum value of the protection from energy spell; it takes double damage (though the
protected character remains fully protected) from the alignment it's weak against, and
half damage from the alignment it's strong against. There are usually a number of motes
equal to the power circle used; each mote absorbs 12 points of damage.
3-circle: three motes [Mantorok: also deals 1d4+1 magic damage to attacker]
5-circle: five motes [Mantorok: also deals 1d6+2 magic damage to attacker]
7-circle: seven motes [Mantorok: also deals 1d8+3 magic damage to attacker]
9-circle: twenty motes [Mantorok: also deals 2d20+10 magic damage to attacker]

So it doesn't look completely horrible, but it's not up to my standards, and it can tend to all blur together a bit, or break at strange places.

You'll notice that I didn't mention saves. That's because I haven't written them up, yet. The short version: if it deals damage, it's likely a reflex save; if it applies an effect against an unwilling creature, it's likely a will save (auto-fail for weak alignments, auto-succeed for strong alignments); if it applies to anything physical other than damage, it's likely a fortitude save.

I also didn't mention low/moderate/high cost multipliers. That's... just because I've forgotten what each spell in-game costs (and I'm trying to be as faithful to the material as possible).

You'll also notice (if you've played the game) that I placed a spell in that list that didn't exist... that's because I created spells where there were none (yep: I used the entire rune alphabet, this time!). However, I also added the caveat that you had to be bound to an Ancient vestige to use it... thus explaining why it didn't exist in the game (at least, to me :D).

Anyway: monsters are next!

Totally Pathfinder/3.X

It's "totally" because these are entirely in the PF/3.X (leaning toward the PF) style of monster creation (with PF-ish formatting).

Anyway, unspoilerd MONSTERS! Spoooooooooky!

EDIT: Uuuuuuugh! It's so ugly! Sorry guys! I warned you it's not edited! Just pretend the ugly is scary! For Halloween! It's how some people manage to watch gore-fest movies, right? Ugly = spoooooooooooooky!

unformatted copy-paste from my Word document at home, about monsters in general, including a list of important special qualities that all of the monsters have, and a list of finished or planned monsters:

Monsters of Radiant Darkness: the results of blending runes to create ritual spells
Special Traits of Radiant Darkness Creatures
Psuedonatural (Ex): the monsters of Radiant Darkness are unnatural, and creatures that are not aberrations, outsiders, or
undead receive a -1 morale penalty on attack rolls against it from the zombies' disturbing nature
Return to Radiant Darkness (Su): whenever a creature of Radiant Darkness (other than an Ancient) is fully destroyed, after
1d4 rounds they simply evaporate, turning into yellow magical energy that instantly dissipates into the environment.
Sense Alignment (Ex): except for Trappers, creatures of Radiant Darkness are fully aware of the alignment (if any) of any
creatures around them, and even whether or not they have any alignment at all. They are always enemies of
opposing alignments (including non-aligned creatures), and have a 50% chance of attacking a given creature of a
different alignment, unless otherwise compelled.
Vulnerable To Called Shots: monsters of Radiant Darkness tend to be extremely vulnerable to called shots; a called shot takes
only half the penalty of normal called shot, and if a limb or extremity is dealt an amount of damage equal to the
zombie's hit dice, the zombie loses that limb or extremity and any advantages said limb or extremity grants, such as
senses or an attack (the body is not subject to this effect, unless both arms and head are missing, or the target is a
Xel'lotath zombie)
Vulnerable To Coup De Gras: unlike normal undead, creatures of Radiant Darkness are vulnerable to coup-de-grace attacks, but
only if they've moved within the last minute. Zombies that have been coup-de-graced are completely destroyed, and
the creature that preformed the attack recovers sanity equal to double the amount drained by a given creature's aura
of madness.
List of Monsters of Radiant Darkness
Pg Monster Name CR
8 Trapper 1/8
9 Zombie varies
12 Bone Thief 8
Gate Keeper
Wicked Dead
Greater Guardian
Vampire Beast

The ones without page numbers I don't even begin to have a thought for, although Bone Thieves are going to pretty much just be reflavored Intellect Devourers.

unformatted copy-paste from my Word document at home, about trappers:

Trapper (CR 1/8)
XP 25
CE tiny outsider (augmented aberration, augmented undead)
Initiative +8; Senses blind beyond 10 ft, darkvision (see in darkness); Perception +0 (or -10 if visual)
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 12, (+4 DEX, +2 size)
hp 5 (2d8-3)
Fort +1 Ref +3 Will -1
Immune acid, cold, mind-affecting, disease, poison
Speed 30
Special Attacks trap
STR 4 (-3), DEX 19 (+4), CON -, INT -, WIS 10 (+0), CHA 15 (+2)
Base Attack +2; CMB -1, CMD 26
Feat Improved Initiative (b), Stealthy (b)
Skill Escape Artist +19, Perception +0 (-10 visual-based perception), Stealth +19
Racial Modifiers: +8 Escape Artist, +8 Stealth, -10 to visual-based perception
Chittering Communication (Ex): though they can't see beyond 10ft, Trappers can hear perfectly well, and
communicate via a chittering noise whenever they notice anything moving by hearing.
Fragile: although slippery, Trappers are actually quite fragile, taking a -4 penalty on all saves, and losing 3 hit points
Hard to Spot (Ex): despite being mindless, Trappers have maximum ranks in stealth, can take 10 in it, and can use it
even without cover or concealment.
Oblivious to Alignment: unlike other creatures of their kind, Trappers are practically incapable of knowing which
ancient a creature is aligned to, and thus they usually don't seek to affect such creatures. They do
automatically sense when an unaligned creature is within 30ft, however.
Slippery Bugger (Ex): despite being mindless, Trappers have maximum ranks in escape artist and can apply their
ranks, class skill bonus, racial skill bonuses, and feat bonuses (total of +15) as a bonus to their combat
maneuver defense, and can take 10 with escape artist checks
Trap (Su): a Trapper can unleash a wave of rippling energy over 10 ft that can trap an unready creature. Any creature
or object within the radius must make a reflex save [DC 18] (DC 20 + 1/2 HD + Cha mod) or be instantly
transported into the "Trapper Dimension" - really just a small set of ancient floating towers within the larger
Outer Darkness of the Ancients. Once a Trapper Once a Trapper uses its Trap ability, it dies and disintegrates instantly.

For the Trapper Dimension, I'm using a heavily modified version of the Twilight Tomb map (if you have that), where the entrance is the Nexus tower, there are one-way teleport circles instead of bridges, and the Exit is the Crystal Tower. There is no sea, just a hanging void, and the enemies are re-themed according to the monsters used. There are recovery pools in the depths of each tower, with a teleporter at the top that can be used, pretty much exactly like the game.

As you can probably tell, I entirely spit-balled the CR (and XP), because Trappers don't actually have any form of attack and, due to the nature of the Trapper Dimension being somewhat dangerous, but ultimately almost purely beneficial, that makes them really not worth XP at all. I might simply remove XP for them.

unformatted copy-paste from my Word document at home, about zombies:

Zombie (CR varies, see below)
XP varies (see below)
CE small, medium, or large outsider (augmented aberration, augmented undead)
Aura madness, unholy synergy
Immune undead traits
DR 5 or [1/2 lvl]/magic or slashing (whichever is better); Resist acid, electricity 5/4lvls (max 15); SR 10+HD (max 25)
STR varies (see below), DEX varies (see below), CON -, INT -, WIS 10 (0), CHA 10 (0)
Feat Toughness Skills -
Languages Goblin, Syranian, Undercommon (understand only)
Special Quality see below
Aligned Traits: each zombie is aligned and has particular traits based on their alignment
Chattur'gha: Chattur'gha zombies have double the normal HD, and have regeneration
Regeneration (Su): Chattur'gha zombies have regeneration equal to 1/3 (round down) the
zombies' hit dice; it only functions above 0 hp, but it otherwise functions like normal
regeneration. At 0 or less hp, the zombie is at least temporarily destroyed, but it makes
a DC 20 level check once per round for two rounds and for every 1d4+1 rounds
thereafter. If two checks in a row are successful, the zombie's hit points are set to 1 and
it begins regenerating immediately. If it fails a total number of checks equal to half its
HD, it is completely destroyed. If all of its limbs and extremities are removed (head and
limbs from the torso), if hit by holy water, natural sunlight, or similar effects shut off the
regeneration for 24 hours, causing it to be destroyed as normally during that time.
Ulyaoth: Ulyaoth zombies have two special attacks, but are otherwise as described.
Insane Keening (Su): once per day, 10ft radius, will save [DC 15] v. sanity damage as a slam attack
Final Spite (Ex): when an Ulyaoth zombie loses half their hit points in damage, they freeze, as if
paralyzed, and being a full-round detonation process. Any other Ulyoath zombies within
the radius will also begin to undergo this process; this increases the detonation time by
one round per additional zombie, increases the radius by 10ft, and adds the sum
damage together. Attack 1d6+1 damage per HD; Reflex DC 10+1/2 HD+1 per zombie.
A destroyed Ulyaoth zombie unable to complete a Final Spite attack, but it still counts
for the time required for other zombies, the damage dealt, and the increased radius.
Xel'lotath: Xel'lotath zombies are extremely vulnerable to fire; they have Weakness vulnerable to fire: they
take double damage from any fire damage they receive, and any source of fire (even a torch) will
set them on fire (DMG pg 303); when a Xel'lotath zombie loses a body part due to a called shot, it
retains a spectral version of that body part, allowing it to function normally. Attacks made with
that limb, however, deal sanity damage instead of normal damage.
Mantorok: Mantorok zombies have half the normal hit dice and are extremely vulnerable to fire; they have
Weakness vulnerable to fire: they take double damage from any fire damage they receive and any
source of fire (even a torch or instantaneous effect) will set them on fire (DMG pg 303)
Aura of Madness (Su): zombies are dead creatures, but filled with madness to the point of overflowing. Any creature
within 10ft per hit dice that sees a zombie is subject to a will save (DC 20 + 1/2 HD + CHA modifier) or take
an amount of sanity damage equal to the zombie's slam damage plus half the zombie's hit dice. A creature
cannot be affected by a zombie's aura of madness once in 24 hours.
Aura of Unholy Synergy (Su): zombies have an unholy aura infusing them, and empowering their fellows. For each
additional zombie within 20 ft, all zombies within the aura (including the zombie emitting it) receive a +1 to
attack and damage. This attack and damage stacks with other auras, though a given zombie can't have a
larger bonus these auras than they have hit dice.
Dead Awakening (Ex): when they are not moving and are prone, zombies appear like any other dead corpse, and are
impossible to tell apart; they are treated as an object if they remain unmoving for 1 minute or more in all
regards with hardness equal to their hit dice and hit points as normal
Grabbing Bite (Ex): the zombie can bite a creature it has grappled with its grab ability or with a combat maneuver
Staggered (Ex): zombies have poor reflexes and can only perform a single move action or standard action, but not
both in a round; a zombie can move its speed and attack with a charge
Unstable Dead (Ex): whenever an attack is made against a zombie, roll a combat maneuver check against it. If
successful, and the zombie takes damage, the zombie is knocked prone and unable to act for 1d4 rounds.
Though it may seem destroyed, it is not, and will get up again unless truly destroyed.
* Small Goblin Warrior Zombie (CR 1/2)
Initiative +1; Senses darkvision 60; Perception +0
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12, (+1 DEX, +2 nAC, +1 size)
hp 11 (2d8+3) Fort +3 Ref +4 Will +3
DR 5/magic or slashing; SR 12
Speed 30
Attack slam +4 (1d4+1/x2 plus grab), bite +4 (1d4+1/x2)
STR 13 (+1), DEX 13 (+1)
Base Attack +2; CMB +2, CMD 12
Racial Skill Modifier +4 Ride, +4 Stealth (Blue goblins receive +2 Perception, Ride, and Stealth instead)
Chattur'gha Zombies: 4 HD, 19 hp, +4 to attacks, CMB, and CMD; Regeneration 1/holy or sunlight; CR 1
Ulyoath Zombies: Insane Keening (Su): 1/day, 10ft radius, will DC 15 v. 1d4+1 sanity damage; Final Spite (Ex): after
taking 6 or more damage, they are paralyzed for a full-round, at the end of which they explode, dealing
2d6+2 damage; CR 1
Xel'lotath Zombies: Phantom Limbs; Weakness vulnerable to fire
Mantorok Zombies: 1 HD, 7 hp, slam/bite/CMB/CMD/saves are all one lower; Weakness vulnerable to fire; CR 1/4

* Medium Hobgoblin Warrior Zombie (CR 1/2)
Initiative +1; Senses darkvision 60; Perception +0
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12, (+1 DEX, +2 nAC)
hp 11 (2d8+3) Fort +3 Ref +4 Will +3
DR 5/magic or slashing; SR 12
Speed 30
Attack slam +4 (1d6+3/x2 plus grab), bite +4 (1d6+3/x2)
STR 17 (+3), DEX 13 (+1)
Base Attack +2; CMB +5, CMD 16
Racial Skill Modifier +4 Stealth
Chattur'gha Zombies: 4 HD, 19 hp, +4 to attacks, CMB, and CMD; +1 to saves; Regeneration 1/holy or sunlight; CR 1
Ulyoath Zombies: Insane Keening (Su): 1/day, 10ft radius, will DC 15 v. 1d6+3 sanity damage; Final Spite (Ex): after
taking 6 or more damage, they are paralyzed for a full-round, at the end of which they explode, dealing
2d6+2 damage; CR 1
Xel'lotath Zombies: Phantom Limbs; Weakness vulnerable to fire
Mantorok Zombies: 1 HD, 7 hp, slam/bite/CMB/CMD/saves are all one lower; Weakness vulnerable to fire; CR 1/4

* Medium Orc Warrior Zombie (as hobgoblin, except as noted below)
Initiative -1
DEFENSE: Fort +3 Ref +2 Will +3
OFFENSE: Attack slam +5 (1d6+4/x2 plus grab), bite +5 (1d6+4/x2)
STATISTICS: STR 19 (+4), DEX 9 (-1) Base Attack +2; CMB +6, CMD 15 Racial Skill Modifier +2 Intimidate
Ghost Face Orc: Invisible in the Shadow (Ex): when standing in shadowy illumination and standing still, they are
effectively invisible to natural and extraordinary sight (including darkvision or other sight-based senses),
though supernatural or magical senses work normally (including true seeing), and they can still be detected
through other senses.
Greenskin Orc: Initiative +2; Perception Scent; Reflex +4; Abilities DEX 13 (+1); Racial Skill +2 Intimidate/Perception,
+4 Stealth (+6 in forests)
Ulyoath Zombies: Insane Keening (Su): 1/day, 10ft radius, will DC 15 v. 1d6+4 sanity damage

* Medium Blood Orc Warrior Zombie (CR 1)
Initiative +0; Senses darkvision 60, Scent; Perception +0
AC 10, touch 8, flat-footed 10, (+0 DEX, +2 nAC, -2 frenzy)
hp 11 (2d8+3)
Fort +3 Ref +3 Will +3
DR 5/magic or slashing; SR 12
Speed 30
Attack slam +4 (1d6+6/x2 plus grab), bite +4 (1d8+6/x2)
STR 22 (+6), DEX 11 (+0)
Base Attack +2; CMB +8, CMD 18
Racial Skill Modifier +2 Intimidate
Deathless Mad Frenzy (Ex): the blood orc zombie is in a constant frenzied state; it gains a +2 bonus to strength, but
takes a -2 penalty to AC.
Chattur'gha Zombies: 4 HD, 19 hp, +4 to attacks, CMB, and CMD; +1 to saves; Regeneration 1/holy or sunlight; CR 2
Ulyoath Zombies: Insane Keening (Su): 1/day, 10ft radius, will DC 15 v. 1d6+3 sanity damage; Final Spite (Ex): after
taking 6 or more damage, they are paralyzed for a full-round, at the end of which they explode, dealing
2d6+2 damage; CR 2
Xel'lotath Zombies: Phantom Limbs; Weakness vulnerable to fire
Mantorok Zombies: 1 HD, 7 hp, slam/bite/CMB/CMD/saves are all one lower; Weakness vulnerable to fire; CR 1/2

* Large Bugbear Warrior Zombie (CR 2)
Initiative +0; Senses darkvision 60, scent; Perception +0
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12, (+0 DEX, +5 nAC, -1 size)
hp 27 (6d8+3)
Fort +5 Ref +5 Will +5
DR 5/magic or slashing; SR 16
Speed 30
Attack slam +9 (1d8+4/x2 plus grab), bite +9 (1d8+4/x2)
STR 18 (+4), DEX 11 (+0)
Base Attack +6; CMB +11, CMD 21
Racial Skill Modifier +4 Intimidate, +4 Stealth
Orog (Greater Orc): Medium Size, Initiative -1; +1 attack/AC; -1 CMB, -2 CMD; DEX 9 (-1), no scent ability
Chattur'gha Zombies: 12 HD, 51 hp, +6 to attacks, CMB, and CMD; +3 to saves; Regeneration 4/holy or sunlight; CR 5
Ulyoath Zombies: Insane Keening (Su): 1/day, 10ft radius, will DC 15 v. 1d8+4 sanity damage; Final Spite (Ex): after
taking 6 or more damage, they are paralyzed for a full-round, at the end of which they explode, dealing
6d6+6 damage; CR 3
Xel'lotath Zombies: Phantom Limbs; Weakness vulnerable to fire
Mantorok Zombies: 3 HD, 15 hp, slam/bite/CMB/CMD are all three lower; saves are two lower; Weakness vulnerable
to fire

Well, that's pretty much all I have for monsters written up at this time, though it looks hideous up there.

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Here's what I just thought up (and I should really go to bed or else I'll have to survive another lecture on only 4h of sleep...)

This might be overpowered as **** and I strongly advice against it in pathfinder, but for a pathfinder v2 it might be something that could work.

Martial classes should all be redesigned to have a "stamina pool" of stamina points that restore upon resting. The pool size is pretty small. Probably not much bigger than con mod +2.

Some feats are then designated as martial feats. Power attack, cleave, whatever.

Martial classes can spend stamina points to
*Take a full round action after a move
*Move 2x movement speed AND do a normal attack (not combined with above)
*Temporarily gain a martial feat for one round

What this would do is that it would eliminate the risks of trap feats to a greater extent as you have the ability to use a feat even i you don't have it, though at a cost. Even a fighter whose player picked suboptimal feats can now kinda compensate for that later on.

The difference between emulating a feat and actually picking that feat is obviously that the fighter who has learned a feat permanently can actually use it without spending stamina.

I'm going to bed now.

Neat idea, Ganryu! It actually kind of sounds similar to the 5E fighter mechanic I've been hearing about (though I'm really not sure if it is or not), and it seems similar, in some ways, to a Monk's ability.

It takes a much more "gameist" approach, as described now (as opposed to "simulationist"), but perhaps with the right flavor and presentation, it could be made more palatable to those who prefer the latter.

Regardless, it's a very nifty idea for a mechanic. There might be some sort of assignment of a cost-value relative to the "value" or "power" of a feat: for example those that have higher prerequisites might require more points to use, or something like that.

(Also, good sleeping and enjoy the lectures!)

EDIT: also, Brambleman, to clarify, I meant that personally I don't find the variety of planes "too much", as in for my tastes. That said, I like the idea of consolidating and reorganizing such things into a nifty new array as you're potentially suggesting. :)

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Tacticslion: Yeah, It's all personal opinion. I was up late, and flipped through the bestiary, saw Aeons and just thought "What the hell do they need with a plane?" Ive started to see them as having use if you want to personofy a natural force from some magical experament. But ascribing goals to them just seems..... silly.

I do want to try a more streamlined cosmos some time. Possibly modeled as the wold tree.
The tree itself is the ethereal/astral planes, linking the others.
The roots have swaths of elemental properties, that mix and churn together to form the material world "Midgard" towards the center.
The tree itself rests on the infinite expanse of the abyss. Where all Evil outsiders reside, including the city of Hell.
The Good aligned realms are supported in the branches.

Preliminary idea, but its got some problems with how to make a consistent cosmology. I also like the Alchemy symbolism route, that i can't get anywhere with.


I just wanted to make sure I wasn't coming off as, "No, you're ideas are bad and you should feel bad." 'cause, in fact, that's the opposite of true!

I'd be interested in seeing your idea unfold!

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i find the 'small pool' mechanic as best simulated as the Gunslinger Grit mechanic.

in this case, a Martial Pool equal to Con modifier (minimum 1), that replenishes completely after 8 hours, or one point at a time by felling a worthy foe - maybe for Barbarian, 2 pts for a higher level foe while raging, a higher level favored enemy for Ranger, a higher level evil for Paladin, a higher level foe using Flurry of Blows for Monk...

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Well an idea I've had for a while,

Replace the summon monster tables with mini eidolons. Basically, each outsider summoned is built using the eidolon rules so you can have more variety without the summon list being ridiculously huge.

Alternatively, have a few basic summoned creature templates eg Bruiser, Healer, Scout etc and just have them describe the appearances different. Thus an evil sorcerer summons a "Batwinged horror with flaming claws" (flying bruiser with fire power) while the pious cleric summons a "beatific, golden skinned being with blazing short swords" (flyng bruiser with fire power).

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Scar Casm: When the final war broke out, a deep crack formed from NYC, through Washington, and ending in LA. All the ugly mutants were tossed in the Scar Casm, to be eaten by the Plutonium Dragons, probably, they are the most unstable of metallic dragons. In any case, surface races are now cute, talking, animals such as ponies, bunnies, small bears, and suchlike. Humans are mostly remembered as boogie men who enslaved animals and or ate them. It is generally accepted that creatures use gravitons, glueons, and photons at the end of their hoolves, paws, or whatever, to pick up and use objects as if they had hands.
You can use this as a twisted campaign world or as an alternate prime.

This is me making a reservation for posting later as to what my idea is. The great irony as that I'm about to go to bed! Lol!

Anyway, I'll come back tomorrow and definitely add in my idea that I've been working on. Ciao for now!

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DayneTheWickman wrote:

This is me making a reservation for posting later as to what my idea is. The great irony as that I'm about to go to bed! Lol!

Anyway, I'll come back tomorrow and definitely add in my idea that I've been working on. Ciao for now!

I've been working on two magic systems lately and the one is fully fleshed out and working, however the second one is kind of kicking my beard...

The first one is a chromatic-metallic system where each style of magic is based on a color/metal. The kinds of magic are (starting with the chromatic):

red - magic that weakens and damages targets
blue - magic that bolsters and heals targets
yellow - magic that wards target
green - magic that influences plants and animals
orange - magic that influences spirits
purple - magic of divination and gathering of information
black - magic of power of death, chaos, evil and darkness
white - magic of power of life, law, good and light
gray - magic of influence of the mind and illusions
brown - magic of altering of the physical world
copper - gift of nimbleness, accuracy and luck
brass - gift of force, strength and ferocity
bronze - gift of knowledge and understanding
iron - gift of courage, invulnerability and tenacity
silver - gift of guile, charm and wit
gold - gift of wisdom, foresight and harmony

This system was nicknamed Soul Magic by my old game group and it required that the caster either a)form a contract with a magical being through diplomacy or force to use/improve one of the magical realms, or b)consume the soul of a fallen enemy (hence the popular nickname Soul Magic) to power the magic realms they wished to use.

This made a lot of sense because we played in a world where magic was acquired through the forming of contracts with magical beings and the consumption of souls. Due to the fact that magical beings were hunted and killed however, and the fact that the consumption of souls was heavily frowned upon (and punishable by death), magic users were shunned and often hunted down and killed. Clerics, Inquisitors and Paladins were exceptions because they gained their magic through extensive rituals, ceremonies and prayers to deities.

Magical beings gained magic through feeding off of the life-force of the cosmos. Example: a unicorn would typically live near a pool of water with reeds surrounding it. By drinking from the water at night (the water being fully exposed to the moon) the unicorn absorbed the power of the moon. The reeds that fed on the water would be eaten by the unicorn during the day to maintain its magical stores, because the moon's power would be stored in the reeds. A unicorn's power would also wax and wane according to the phase of the moon.

Magic in this world was very much centered around the interaction of the cosmos and the planes of existence. Spell casters that weren't part of the church were either loners that lived far away from civilization or kept their powers secret within their own homes.

Also, the power of a spell caster usually fluctuated depending on two factors: how many contracts they had with magical beings (the strength of the magical being, thus the strength of the contract, factored in as well in this part of the equation) and how many souls they currently had stored within themselves. At any one moment, a spell caster's power may increase or decrease depending on how much power they expend or absorb through their daily lives. Higher powered spells required more contracts and more souls, while lower powered spells required fewer contracts and fewer souls. The number of spells you could cast per day was based on how many each contract gave you and how many souls were expended with each spell. I.e. a spell that damaged a target for d6 damage may cost one soul or one level 1 slot from a contract, whereas a spell that could level a castle may cost upwards of 20 souls or possibly two level-9 slots from your contract(s).

Souls were like short-term investments and contracts were long-term. Souls lasted until you used the magical points you gained from them and could be gained rather quickly (short on souls to use, kill a few people and consume the ectoplasm). Each soul you consumed gave you a number of soul points to spend on spells. The number of soul points each soul gave you was equal to the CR of the creature the soul came from. If you absorbed the soul of a CR 5 monster, you gained 5 soul points to spend. If you absorbed 8 souls from CR 1/8 monsters, you gained 1 soul point to spend. The number of soul points spent to cast a spell were equal to the level of the spell. A level 5 spell would require 5 soul points to cast. You may think that this is ridiculously overpowered because after a few battles you'd be set on souls, right? Wrong. Each soul got a will save equal to 10 + it's CR + it's charisma modifier - the charisma modifier of the caster. If it failed, it was absorbed. If it succeeded, no soul for the caster!

Contracts on the other hand lasted for a long time and were made with three components. 1)Power level of the contract (this included the number of slots the contract contained and at what level those slots were), 2)conditions (what was required from both parties to maintain the contract and for how long it would last before needing to be renewed or simply becoming void), and 3)cost of the contract in order for it to be maintained and the cost of what would be lost should one of the parties break the contract before it reached the end of its term (i.e. a person may have to let a demon live in their left eye and if either were to break the contract they would become blind permanently with no way of regaining their lost vision.)

The level of a contract was equal to the CR of the magical being and the number of slots/power level increased at a steady rate according to a simple formula. Spell/day of given level = CR of monster - spell level + 2. According to this formula, a CR 5 monster gave you:

2 level-5 slots, 3 level-4 slots, 4 level-3 slots, 5 level-2 slots and 6 level-1 slots.

However, if you made a contract with another CR 5 monster you didn't get to double your available spell slots. Every consecutive contract at level 5 or lower only gave you a +1 to spells/day at the spell levels available according the CR of the monster. I.e. a contract with a CR 4 monster only yields a +1 level-4 slot, +1 level-3 slot, +1 level-2 slot and +1 level-1 slot.

Also, forming a contract with a stronger being reduces the previous contract to the simple +1 bonus. If I formed a contract with a CR 6 monster, I'd have:

2 level-6 slots, 3 level-5 slots, 4 level-4 slots, 5 level-3 slots, 6 level-2 slots and 7 level-1 slots.

The CR 5 contract from earlier now only gives me a +1 level-5 slot, +1 level-4 slot, +1 level-3 slot, +1 level-2 slot and +1 level-1 slot.

The number of spells known were also unlimited, so long as you had enough room in your tome, or enough tomes, to carry all the spells. Also, preparing a spell ahead of time allowed you to cast the spell as a standard action. However, you were also capable of looking up the desired spell, preparing it and casting it in a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell. After it was prepared, it could be cast immediately the next turn as a standard action or stored away for later use using another full round action. Although preparing spells in combat was possible, it wasn't advised or practical (until we entered into some longer, drawn out and epic-sized battles that required such actions just to survive).

So, that's the first system of magic. It's my personal favorite when it comes to magic and if I could use it every time I played pathfinder I totally would! Unfortunately, it really hasn't caught on yet with other players, and I fear it never will. Le sigh. :/

I guess that's the end of my first (official) post in the insomnia thread! :D

DayneTheWickman wrote:
DayneTheWickman wrote:

This is me making a reservation for posting later as to what my idea is. The great irony as that I'm about to go to bed! Lol!

Anyway, I'll come back tomorrow and definitely add in my idea that I've been working on. Ciao for now!

I've been working on two magic systems lately and the one is fully fleshed out and working, however the second one is kind of kicking my beard...

The first one is a chromatic-metallic system where each style of magic is based on a color/metal. The kinds of magic are (starting with the chromatic):

red - magic that weakens and damages targets
blue - magic that bolsters and heals targets
yellow - magic that wards target
green - magic that influences plants and animals
orange - magic that influences spirits
purple - magic of divination and gathering of information
black - magic of power of death, chaos, evil and darkness
white - magic of power of life, law, good and light
gray - magic of influence of the mind and illusions
brown - magic of altering of the physical world
copper - gift of nimbleness, accuracy and luck
brass - gift of force, strength and ferocity
bronze - gift of knowledge and understanding
iron - gift of courage, invulnerability and tenacity
silver - gift of guile, charm and wit
gold - gift of wisdom, foresight and harmony

This system was nicknamed Soul Magic by my old game group and it required that the caster either a)form a contract with a magical being through diplomacy or force to use/improve one of the magical realms, or b)consume the soul of a fallen enemy (hence the popular nickname Soul Magic) to power the magic realms they wished to use.

This made a lot of sense because we played in a world where magic was acquired through the forming of contracts with magical beings and the consumption of souls. Due to the fact that magical beings were hunted and killed however, and the fact that the consumption of souls was heavily frowned upon (and punishable by death), magic users were shunned and often hunted...

The soul magic part is kind of No-Res. If your character's soul was successfully consumed, no raise dead, resurrection, or reincarnation.

If you instead keep the pact magic and add riches magic, it might catch on. Require a material component of 10 gp worth per spell level of the metal and gem color to cast.
Silver could also work for illusion, spell resistance, and spell reflection.
Platinum is a reagent so poly-morphing and some other alteration spells.
Violet, verging on the ultra violet could work for invisibility and air.

Liberty's Edge

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My last bout with insomnia (last night) produced a seven page player's guide for my upcoming horror campaign. Hopefully, it'll give my players nightmares and they won't be able to sleep either. :)

*Yawn!* So frakking tired...

@Goth Guru

Resurrection was possible, even if your soul was consumed. Your spirit just had to make a successful will save to escape the confines of the caster's aura in order to return to your body, albeit at that point with a number of negative levels equal to 1/3 the level of the caster minus your charisma modifier. These levels were able to be healed though at a rate of 1/week upon a successful knowledge (spirit) and heal check. Knowledge (spirit) was added as personal flavor, but knowledge (arcane) may also do the trick.

I like your ideas for adding riches and the Platinum and Violet (which is technically the color Purple). However, they're kind of already covered. Illusions fall under the category of gray magic, because illusions pertain to the mind (what it perceives) and spell resistance/reflection falls under yellow magic (warding away the magic from harming you). Invisibility falls either under gray or yellow, because you're making it so that the targets either a)cannot see you or b)warding yourself against light, effectively turning you invisible. The system tried to give multiple paths to solutions so that flexibility was possible. As for polymorphing and alteration of the body, that falls under brown magic, because it allows you to alter matter itself, including your own body.

However, if I did add platinum...I'd have to think about what exactly it would do. Also, I would change purple to violet for cosmetics, because let's face facts, what sounds cooler? Purple magic, or Violet magic?

If you have any other cool ideas or suggestions just drop them on me. I'll consider what you've said and I just might alter the system a little. After all, I'm a tweaker and I'm constantly tweaking systems!

In the Metal Men, Platinum was able to spin herself into wire, use her reagent power to neutralize Chemo, and had the highest melting point of all of them. She was the densest and toughest which is why she and Iron often took a skeletal role when they formed one big robot.

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I sometimes want to try some radically altered settings, like fully embracing gun rules and using a 3 musketeers style napolionic setting.

Or running a golarion game set before Earthfall. Azlant and Thassilon struggle against snakemen and aboleth oppression. Centaurs and Cyclops are major races. Dwarves and Orcs have yet to show up. Even the Major dieties are different. Aroden is still a mortal hero wandering about somewhere.

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