Awakened (Rogue)

Round 2: Design an archetype

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Albanus

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Awakened (Rogue)
Many folk of the River Kingdoms have suffered at the hands of the Razmirans, perhaps none moreso than those who received the hallucinogenic narcotic the Tears of Razmir and been forced into a life of crime to feed their addiction. Those strong-willed few that recover have found unlocked potential that made them well-suited to surviving in the treacherous River Kingdoms. Despite this newfound strength, the temptation of addiction is always waiting.
Class Skills: An awakened gains Survival as a class skill in place of Disable Device.
Never Again (Ex): At 1st level, the awakened is extremely wary of being conned or deceived. She adds ½ her level to all Sense Motive checks. This ability replaces trapfinding.
Tolerance (Ex): At 3rd level the awakened gains a resistance to toxins due to the exposures she has suffered. She gains a +1 bonus per three levels to Fortitude saves to resist poisons, drugs, and toxins, to a maximum of +6 at 18th level. This ability replaces trap sense.
Through My Eyes (Su): At 4th level the awakened learns to tap into the part of her brain where the hallucinations occurred. She may select any single spell of 2nd level or lower from the illusion school of the wizard spell list and cast it once per day as a wizard of her rogue level. Any of the spells listed may be chosen, but will have only visual illusory effects. This ability replaces uncanny dodge.
Fugue Walk (Su): At 8th level an awakened can achieve an awareness state that allows her to move outside of her body by using a diluted form of Tears of Razmir. To the awakened, it feels like an invisible and incorporeal version of her body is moving about. She observes all the rules for incorporeal creatures to determine where she can go, but it is a consciousness only and cannot affect or be affected by the material world in any way. It can only watch and is limited to seeing what is naturally visible, no other senses function in this state. The body of the awakened is helpless while fugue walking. The ability lasts for 1 minute per level, after which the consciousness returns to the body. It can be used a number of times per day equal to her Constitution bonus but is limited by availability of Tears of Razmir, and using the drug in even a diluted form more than once per day carries the potential for relapsed addiction at the GM’s discretion. This ability replaces improved uncanny dodge.
Advanced Talents: The slippery mind advanced rogue talent complements the awakened archetype well.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Congrats on making the Top 32, Shawn! As you are one of the 5 designers looking at a rogue archetype, let's take a look how this stacks up to the inevitable comparisons.

It does seem like every rogue archetype ditches trapfinding and trap sense for much stronger or broader powers. Same with ditching Disable Device for something better in the skills category. On the one hand, sure, those are the narrowest, most specific rogue powers. On the other, this is pure power creep in a lot of the archetypes for rogue.

The real shift for this archetype is when it gets invisibility or disguise self once per day. As a trade for uncanny dodge, seems probably reasonable.

I'm not 100% sold on a drug-dependent archetype, frankly, even if it one that has escaped addiction. However, I've seen it handled well in some campaigns and by some groups, and you are trying something different, even if I don't think it quite nails it mechanically.

Recommended to advance, with some hesitation.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial Impression: Hmmm, archetype based on addiction to a substance? Not sure that is the most Superstar basis for an archetype. Plus, the best ability actually requires use of the drug in diluted form? Then the same ability is limited by the amount of drugs on hand? And then there is GM fiat for addiction? This is just not Superstar design.

I DO NOT Recommend this archetype for advancement.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Razmir has a special place in the hearts of Paizo people, let's see what you do with this link.

Class Skills, Never Again, Tolerance: All of these make sense.

Through My Eyes: Okay, that's a pretty wild swap for a rogue, not what I was expecting. This can be a really handy ability (I'm pretty sure you can choose color spray as your spell, which means plenty o sneak attacks.

Fugue Walk: I think requiring the drug for this is a mistake. You could have said that you had a unique reaction to the drug, permanently changing you and giving you this ability. It's a neat ability, though.

Paizo has addiction rules in the GameMastery Guide, so you didn't need to leave it up to GM fiat (though I'm recommending against the drug tie at all).

I like how you're pushing the boundaries of the class and coming up with creative ways to alter or justify new abilities. The drug-dependency is a slip-up, but it's easy enough for that sort of thing to get cut in development because it doesn't have a significant impact on the archetype's other abilities.

I DO recommend this archetype for advancement.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Alright, a rogue that got burned by a bad trip from Razmir.

Never again: makes sense, more cautious after the experience.

Tolerance: again fits for exposure to the drug.

Through My Eyes : Is really, well I don't even have a word for it. I see what you're going for and since it could easily be instead of major or minor magic talent, It might work. I do think allowing up to 2nd level spells might be a bit much, but I've have to look at level 2 illusion spells again.

Fugue Walk: again i see the drug exposure ties as many hallucinogens have been used by cultures for religious/out of body experiences. This is just a bit more literal. I agree with ditching the requirement for having the drug and simply having the rogue tap into that previous experience.

Does the River Kingdoms fit for a drug addict hiding out, sure. The Razmir connections works given the geography. This is defiantly pushing some boundaries as far rogue flavor, but that is one of the things an archetype should do. Good Luck.

First thing that needs to be changed is name. I expected it to be some sort of archetype for animals or plants who were subject of the awaken spell...

Through My Eyes is another example of rogue ability that could probably be solved with rogue talent.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I really like this one. Quite reminiscent of cultists appearing recently in Kobold Press' Journeys to the West that have had their minds scrubbed and then opened to crazed notions. The archetype follows a logical path from concept to execution, and that says a lot for the design path.
Stickig to the Brief:I don't personally see a huge tie-in to RK, but I don't mind this round. Nice work with (for some) uncomfortable subject matter. Well done Shawn.

P.S. Very nice ability names too!

Star Voter Season 6

Basically I'm in accordance with SKR and Drejk, this time. I think your arcehtype's name was weak, but your exquisite use of a risque topic was attention-grabbing and well founded.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

I love this rogue concept - someone who has been scarred by magical substance abuse but has entered into a strange, slightly damned yet slightly mystic existence as a result of their dark past. You're building on the Golarion lore and it's going in an unexpected and imaginative direction.

I also really like the idea of a band of Awakened rogues hunting down Priests of Razmir and enacting their horrifying illusionary revenge!

Very cool - you've got my vote.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

KestlerGunner wrote:
I also really like the idea of a band of Awakened rogues hunting down Priests of Razmir and enacting their horrifying illusionary revenge!

I could see this as well. However, I'm really not a fan of the continuing drug use angle of that final power for a Superstar entry. That sort of thing certainly has a place in the industry and even the setting but I don't feel Superstar is the moment to push those borders (even as gently as you do here.) YMMV.

Congratulations on making the top 32 and good luck with the archetype round.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Good: Drugs are bad m'okay, but you're writing a design here are pretty good.
Bad: As good as this is I'm not playing a druggie in game... Ok I did once but that was specifically for a game commonly referred to as the idiot party.
Ugly: Fugue walk doesn't feel right kind of ruins your flow a little. No wow for em.
Overall: not likely to get my vote sorry to say.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Archetype and ability names: do they show flair? How closely tied to the River Kingdom is the archetype? And last but certainly not least, do I want to play this archetype?

Archetype and ability names: Well above average. Clever, thematically coherent, evocative.

River Kingdom tie: Strong. Tied to a unique origin.

Desire to play: Strong. This is an excellent idea for a theme. It provides ample role-play opportunity and has a lot of fun and unique abilities. I'm not as squicky about addiction rules as some, and the rules are after all an official part of the game, so to me it's completely fair to use them. That said, if people really wanted it out, it's a simple cut to make.

I do think Through My Eyes was incompletely specified. I don't think spells like invisibility or color spray should be included, and I wonder if they were intended. What it *feels* like he wanted to say is that things that could reasonably be seen as hallucinations should be available. Disguise Self, Minor Image, etc. If that's not what he meant, it's what he should have meant. :-)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

this is either my last or second last archetype to review, and fatigue has set in (it doesn't help that its 3am here). once more- Thank You to all the judges who do this every round, year after year!

template- good
writing- decent (first sentence was not good, not the first impression you want to make)
mechanics + balance- some power creep as mentioned; thru my eyes should be (Sp) not (Su)... you even referred to it as casting; fugue walk works just like incorporeal, only then it doesn't... if you don't want them to be able to touch/interact with anything base it off arcane eye or something like that.

now to hunt around for one more...

My biggest gripe with the archetype is you start off with a level 1 ability called Never Again and by level 8 we're back on it even if it is a diluted form. It's a bit like an alcoholic that quits swearing never to drink again and later on is back on it drinking low alcohol beer (we call that light beer here in Australia as opposed to the reduced calorie version in the US).
But in a game that has people being burnt to death by fireballs, and scantily clad succubi I have no difficulty with actual drug use or drug references.
The difficulties with Fugue Walk and taking the drug can be simplified by making it astral projection as the spell for x hours per day yadda yadda as you've learnt to replicate the out of body experience as a way of mastering your addiction. Or whatever greater minds than me can think of.
I'm still going to give you the vote because the concept is good.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

The RK connection isn't very strong (you could end up anywhere if you escaped Razmir and your addiction). Also, I don't see why this is a rogue archetype -- anyone can get addicted and get rid of the addiction.

Also, how many players would play this archetype? You'd need a very specific background (previously Razmiran, now living in the RK, was an addict) for this archetype to make sense.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Hmm, up until Through My Eyes, I was sold on the class, but... the last two strike me as a little weird. One illusion spell per day is just a hair better than the existing rogue talents, but... the name of it makes me want this to be a single-target illusion. Like, you, now see what I saw sorta deal.

As for the last ability, we have the important mistake you made of "GM digression" (and it's all over the place). That's never superstar. You also use addiction, without the addicition rules, which are already a bit of a taboo subject. So that's not really superstar. I mean, I guess it could be, unlike GM digression, but it's still not great.

The ability itself is interesting and something a PC might want, but not worth all the restrictions.

Good luck in this, and future rounds if you make it!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

This is extremely creative and a good base idea.

The issues mentioned above are all ones I echo, no point in rehashing.

I think you bravely tackled a pretty wild subject. You didn't quite do it well enough to make it Superstar, with only 8 votes in my pocket. Perhaps if you didn't require the diluted drug. Maybe if it had a stronger RK connection.

Overall, I like what I see in your design and creativity. There's just...something missing. If I had 9 or 10 votes in my pocket you'd get one, but with only 8 you just barely eke by without my vote. I hope the other's vote you in, I'll be interested in seeing a Round 3 from you.

Overall, I DO recommend, but can't vote for you.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

Mikko caught what seems like the biggest issue to me with this archetype. What does it have to do with rogues? If other classes had that background, they get squat, but if a rogue was force addicted by Razmirians, they get cool psychic powers? huh?!

Also, through my eyes is confusing to me. Can they pick a different 1-2nd level illusion each time they use the power, or do they pick when they get the power and it's locked in? Particularly if the later, they can use ANY qualifying illusion? Even ones just invented or lost to modern scholars in ancient ruins (i.e. new spells from new sources). What about shadow subschool illusions? Do these hallucinations get semi-real then? I'd at least limit it to figments (avoiding color spray and others), and think as described it would work better with a fixed list of effects - either disguise self or minor image, for example.

While creative, it seems more like a generic archetype that was for some reason stuck on the rogue class, and the powers have issues - fugue walk also is clumsily writen - could have been easier if you had it work as arcane eye or something already existing but with your body comatose - instead of being incorporeal, but not really, since you can't do anything but observe.

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