[Forrestfire Studios] A new company, a unique casting class, and more


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Hey Forrest. Just checked out your patreon and I've got a quick question. Any work being done on UnSoulknives? If there was a timetable that is something I could get on board with.


Cadvin wrote:
I notice that Aether Grasp provides a lot of bonuses to your Grapple CMB, but none to CMD (Which is pretty bad news for a medium BAB character, but might be a legitimate balancing decision). Is Grasp intended to be rather easy to escape/reverse?

It was not intended to work like that, we just forgot about the CMD/CMB split when writing it. I'm hoping to get an update to A1 up today with some balance tweaks; that'll be a part of it.

Fellfire wrote:
Hey Forrest. Just checked out your patreon and I've got a quick question. Any work being done on UnSoulknives? If there was a timetable that is something I could get on board with.

The projects listed on the patreon are a list of things that I would like to do and plan to do at some point, but right now, only a few of them are actively being worked on. The Avowed is our main priority, as well as the tech stuff that got voted on by patreon backers last month—there's a preview of that up on the patreon right now, and I'm going to be working on it alongside other projects until it's ready for a full playtest.


Thanks. I will keep an eye on it.


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Alrighty! As noted earlier, here's the update to the Avowed 1 pdf; there's a couple major adjustments being made, which I'll detail in this spoiler:

Discussion on Changes:

There's three big adjustments being made to the player options in this update: Self Pact has been revised a bit, Aether Channel has been tuned down some, and Overcharge Modulation has been nerfed.

Self Pact: Punching and dipping a bit too hard.

Self pact is, overall, a very strong striker package for characters—too strong, originally, thanks to the power of extra attacks combined with aether channel. The way the bonus unarmed strikes worked also locked them into aether channel, generally with just unarmed strikes, which wasn't ideal. Finally, the strong +Cha as an AC bonus made it a phenomenal dip for anyone looking to punch things, which wasn't, strictly, the intended result. The other attunements scale on class level, this one didn't.

So, the changes made to the Self Pact are aimed to combat these things and bring it down to match similar pacts. Their bonus unarmed strike attacks have been changed—instead of dealing 1d3+Str (+other bonuses+aether channel+magic, etc), they now have a scaling damage roll. The bonus unarmed strike in the attunement, as well as the one from Strength of Body, deal your aether pulse's base damage on a successful hit, without any bonuses (or penalties) being applied. This way, it's basically an extra group of debuff procs (if using aether channel), and consistent bonus damage across any playstyle of melee avowed, rather than being overwhelmingly good with aether channel and awful with everything else. The bonus unarmed strikes from the Self pact also don't reduce your bonus damage to other attacks when using aether channel, though, so it'll be worth using regardless.

On the note of the dips, the Self pact's attunement has been adjusted. The armor bonus it gives is now limited to 3 + your class level, which will scale up quickly for people who're focusing Cha and taking levels, but only be about as good as a chain shirt otherwise.

Aether Channel: BAB substitution caused problems.

This nerf is some news that I'm really sad to give. The aether channel BAB substitution was the first part of channel that got written, but in the end, it's contributed to some major issues with balancing its average and potential damage. We've replaced the second rank of aether channel with a similar bonus to attacks (a scaling enhancement bonus ala greater magic weapon), which should hopefully bring aether channel's explosive pouncecharge potential down to the levels we were intending for it.

Overcharge Modulation: Too much damage.

The Overcharge Modulation feat has been reworked thanks to remathing how it interacted with the weapon shapes; it now adds a scaling number of damage dice to your aether pulse, rather than applying a free Empower SLA to the ability. It no longer requires Empower Spell-Like Ability, and functions alongside it, but the general damage that the feat adds will be lower. This change doesn't mean a lot for the AoE shapes, though. They didn't get a lot of bonuses to not multiply, so they're still hitting pretty hard with it.

If you want to skip that and just know the changelog, that's here:

Changelog:
Pacts

  • Elemental pact attunement now stacks with your existing resistance.
  • Elemental pact’s Elemental Ally ability no longer gives you the subtype (generally redundant or actually a downside), and the summoned elemental gets your Cha bonus to its attack roll to keep it relevant.
  • Dragon pact’s 4th and 8th-level ability have had their order swapped, and Dragon pact’s shapeshifting no longer changes ability scores.
  • Self pact’s Cha-to-AC capped at 3 + level to make it less of an attractive dip.
  • Self pact’s unarmed strikes have been revised to not strike as overwhelmingly hard, but also to not halve aether channel damage for other weapons.

Clauses and Shapes

  • A note on how bonuses and Empower SLA work with weapon shapes has been added.
  • Aether channel has had its rules for using multiple weapons tightened and clarified, and its second rank now has a different effect.
  • Aether grasp now adds to CMD when using it.
  • Aether retaliation now notes what happens if you push someone into something (they don’t get pushed).
  • Fist of the sky now notes that it can be used in the air.
  • Insectile transformation no longer adjusts ability scores, nor does it adjust size bonuses or penalties to attacks, AC, CMB, and CMD.

Feats

  • Embodiment of Aether now notes that it works for avowed bonus feats too.
  • Overcharge Modulation has been adjusted; this is overall a bit of a nerf, but a necessary one—the effect dealt way more damage than was workable.
  • Pactbound Guardian notes what happens now if you already had a familiar (it stacks levels and upgrades the other one)
  • Other
  • Avowed save DCs properly list caster level instead of class level for their scaling. This was intended to be a thing a while ago, but it wasn’t added in.
  • Atstreidi, Eiremian, and Ethumion FCBs added.
  • The Path of War rules notes have been moved to the apprendix; this section will be expanded later—for now, it’s just the iaijutsu stuff.


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Aaaaand here we have a rather large update, involving a lot of changes to the basic framework that avowed optimization runs on. So without further ado, let's get down to business:

Avowed 1 Changelog:

Pacts

  • Celestial pact 4th no longer adds a bonus to save DCs.
  • Court Fey pact’s Fetch clause now notes what memories they have.
  • Nation pact 4th now has a clarification on what happens if the allies leave your range.
  • Nation pact 16th has been buffed significantly, since it was previously rather minor.
  • Self pact attunement has been reworked; it now gains some scaling benefits instead of the AC bonus.

Clauses and Shapes

  • ”Area Shape” is now a tag on some shapes; it means they get more damage (0.5 Cha bonus per selection).
  • Aether Blast’s area has been upped by 5 at all levels (undoing a nerf we’d tried).
  • Both Aether Channel and Aether Rounds have been reworked slightly. Their rank 1 effect is now a damage substitution, and the rank 3 effects now add the full damage.
  • Aether Grasp now allows you to use Dex with it if you have Weapon Finesse (rather than requiring Agile Maneuvers, though that feat will be useful to boost the rest of your combat maneuvers).
  • Aether Wrath is now medium-range at all ranks, and has a new rank 3 and 4.
  • Fly on the Wall has had its Stealth bonus adjusted to properly include its size.

Feats

  • Embodiment of Aether, Spirited Swordsmanship, and Steel’s Betrayal have been removed. They may return in another form later, but right now they’re no longer a thing.
  • Aetheric Armor’s prerequisite is now Str 17, and it has a different, scaling secondary benefit.
  • Merciful Pulse has been revised. Instead of increasing damage, it adds to save DC when trying to be merciful.
  • Overcharge Modulation requires avowed 3 to take now.

Other

  • The avowed’s aether pulse now deals damage in d6s instead of d8s.
  • Tinkers can’t get free material component spells anymore when swapping wand spells.
  • Balefire Infusion is now element-agnostic.

Avowed 2 Changelog:

Aspirant

  • Dragon and Otyugh pacts added.

Betrothed

  • Celestial and Divine pacts added.
  • Betrothed and companion aether pulses have been revised significantly.
  • Companions can now pick different shapes than their avowed.
  • Companions now get max HP at their first hit die.
  • A bunch of the companions’ customizations now make some of the supernatural effects you can get as an avowed extraordinary. For example, wings will make a companion’s flight Ex, since it owes to their form, not their magic.

Clauses and Shapes

  • Aether Beast and the new Aether Circus have been added.
  • Five new modulations have been added.

Feats

  • Aether Detonation, Aether Hive, and Aether Queen, Legalistic, and Split Loyalties feats added.
  • Hellfire Talent’s bonus damage has been nerfed.
  • The Heart of Aether feat has been removed, and Heart of Magic is now accompanied by a new feat called Body of the Ancients.
  • Of Two Minds now works for creatures gotten through feats (like a Pactbound Guardian).

Discussion of Changes:

Embodiment of Aether and Spirited Swordsmanship removed – We’re sad too, but the avowed no longer is.

The biggest changes you’ll see in the new pdf is that the SAD options are gone. After a lot of feedback and discussion, we’ve decided that this is, overall, contributing to major balance problems with the class, and that it can’t exist in this form. Weapon shape-using avowed will need to go dual stat (Physical + Mental, tertiary Constitution), and “caster” avowed can still be basically SAD (Cha-focused, but less overall damage and more a focus on debuffs, utility, and the like). We believe that the current interaction between modulations and weapon shapes will help soften that blow and keep it playable, while bringing the avowed down somewhat to a more balanced level.

Another thing to note is that Self pact has lost its Cha to AC. We found it to be too good of a boost, and so, they’ll just need to get a chain shirt or something.

Heart of Constitution – Fortuitously, this remains.

Heart of Aether has been removed, and the new feat Body of the Ancients exists to fill a similar niche. With two feats, an avowed can change their casting stat fully to Constitution from Charisma, but they can’t run attacks and damage off of it.

d6s, Overcharge Modulation, Merciful Pulse, and Channel/Rounds – Damage reductions.

Next up, you’ll notice that we’ve tuned down the damage of the avowed’s options, particularly Overcharge Modulation and Merciful Pulse, and aether pulses as a whole. Merciful Pulse now has a different effect—rather than bonus damage, it ups your save DC when attacking nonlethally. Overcharge Modulation also has a minimum level on it (3), to keep it from unbalancing low levels.

Aether Channel and Aether Rounds have also had some adjustments—the base shapes no longer add bonus damage, instead giving something similar to the warpriest’s Sacred Weapon ability. We want Aether Channel to be less dippable, while still being useful, so at low levels, it’ll mean you hit with magic and overcome magical DR/apply debuffs, and at higher levels, it still adds the damage it did before. We’ve also changed the way the multiweapon halving works to be more intuitive, and allow mixed weapons without screwing you too hard on the main hand.

Betrothed pulse adjustments – More damage reductions.
The betrothed has an issue: it’s working as intended, but we still missed the mark a bit on its damage. We want the archetype to be a sidegrade, not an upgrade. It’s an archetype, so it should be a change in playstyle rather than a straight boost to the avowed, and right now, it was working as a boost to the avowed’s damage capabilities.

We’ve adjusted how betrothed aether pulses work to bring them down to par a bit; this doesn’t affect AoE users might at all, but will nerf weapon and barrage shapes a bit.

Other changes – Some other stuff.

The rest of the documents have been changed around the above adjustments, as well as small tweaks, such as to Nation pact’s 16th (a buff), Celestial pact’s 4th (a nerf), and a bunch of new stuff added into Avowed 2.


As always, we hope you enjoy, and look forward to your feedback.

The Avowed 1 pdf can be found at this link.

The Avowed 2 document can be found here.


I know it's not Forrestfire, but you did work on this project, right? I don't understand how this works if I don't take levels in Barbarian. Tia.

Kumiho Huntress(Combat)
You are particularly good at extracting the most delicious parts of your prey.
Prerequisites: Kumiho kitsune, rage powers class feature, base attack bonus+5.
Benefit: You gain the bloody fist rage power, even if you do not meet its prerequisites or aren’t a barbarian. You can use it one additional time per rage

Bloody Fist (Ex)
Prerequisites: Barbarian level 12th.
Benefit: While raging, the barbarian may attempt to punch through an opponent' s flesh and rip out one of its vital organs. In order to do so, the barbarian must confirm a critical hit against an opponent with a natural attack or unarmed strike. The barbarian deals damage as normal for a critical hit and the opponent must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the barbarian' s class level + the barbarian' s Strength modifier) or take 1d4 points of Constitution damage as one of its vital organs is ripped free from its body. This power can only be used once per rage


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Fellfire wrote:

I know it's not Forrestfire, but you did work on this project, right? I don't understand how this works if I don't take levels in Barbarian. Tia.

Kumiho Huntress(Combat)
You are particularly good at extracting the most delicious parts of your prey.
Prerequisites: Kumiho kitsune, rage powers class feature, base attack bonus+5.
Benefit: You gain the bloody fist rage power, even if you do not meet its prerequisites or aren’t a barbarian. You can use it one additional time per rage

Bloody Fist (Ex)
Prerequisites: Barbarian level 12th.
Benefit: While raging, the barbarian may attempt to punch through an opponent' s flesh and rip out one of its vital organs. In order to do so, the barbarian must confirm a critical hit against an opponent with a natural attack or unarmed strike. The barbarian deals damage as normal for a critical hit and the opponent must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the barbarian' s class level + the barbarian' s Strength modifier) or take 1d4 points of Constitution damage as one of its vital organs is ripped free from its body. This power can only be used once per rage

It requires the Rage Powers class feature, and will work with any rage equivalent from your class. So, bloodragers and similar classes can use it. I'll get a clarification into the Bloodforge playteat.


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So, today we have another update, this time some small tweaks to wording and balance in some places, and a total rework of how the skill-boosting clauses function.

Here are the changelogs for A1 and A2:

Avowed 1 changelog:
Pacts

  • Court Fey pact’s attunement now has a sneak attack-lite effect, to help them fulfil their striker role.
  • Court Fey pact sense can sense through walls now.
  • Dragon pact has new stuff added to its attunement, to make it worthwhile compared to other pacts’ attunements.
  • Elemental pact has gotten a fairly big rework. Consolation Flare was moved to level 1, becoming the bulk of the pact’s attunement, since previously, that ability was basically negligible (and vanished at level 12…). The effect also now works on missed aether pulse attacks, but still only 1/round per enemy. In addition, the pact has a new 8th-level ability, No Escape, that allows them to reliably affect some of the more evasive enemies they may face.


Clauses and Shapes

  • Aether Channel and Rounds note that when using their first rank with Vital Strike/critical hits/etc, it uses the weapon’s original base damage.
  • Aether Swarm’s second rank properly doubles its speed now.
  • The skill booster clauses have been changed (see the discussion spoiler, below)
  • Hidden Knowledge has been split into the Dungeon Crawler, Eldritch Knowledge, Survivalist and Volksgeist clauses.

Feats

  • Merciful Pulse specifies it only works on damaging clauses.

Other

  • “Perceive” has been replaced with “see” on most things, because what started as a way to account for other senses became a really awful rules tangle that doesn’t hold up under examination.
  • Pact senses are now noted as requiring line of effect unless otherwise stated. This was the intended function, but it was never directly specified.

Avowed 2 Changelog:
Aspirant

  • Elemental Aspirant punches through “they heal from energy damage” now.
  • Otyugh Aspirant’s save DC for the level 4 pact ability now uses its pact save DC.
  • The Giant Size form modification no longer changes your size bonuses/penalties to AC and attack rolls.

Betrothed

  • Fixed some wording bugs.
  • Divine betrothed is base shape Any.
  • The Arms customization has been replaced with Biped, which now comes with optional legs, but otherwise works the same. Quadruped has been renamed Many-Legged to be more clear what it does.
  • Pincers, Quick Jaws, and Stinger customizations are now immediate actions to proc (letting them be used on AoOs).

Clauses and Shapes

  • Artificer’s Insight has been reworked along with the skill clauses in A1.

Avowed 1 can be found here.
Avowed 2 can be found here.

And here’s a spoiler with a discussion of the changes:

Read here first, probably:

Skill Clauses – Lowered ceiling, reliable floor.

So, the skill-boosting clauses have been an occasional point of contention for a while now. Whether you thought they were fun, thought they were boring, or felt they should be nerfed, they did have a lot of problems. Our goal with the skill boosters, similar to how the Warlock in 3.5 had them, was to have a set of abilities that feel good to pick. It’s not enough to get something like Bardic Knowledge, which is a slow-scaling ribbon ability. If you pick up silver tongue, you’re giving up a slot that could have been walking on walls, killing mosquitos, shooting lighting from your hands, or blowing things up with a laser. The +6 bonuses, we felt, did that, but that came at a negative cost of game health.

Our goal with the changes we’ve made to the skill boosters is to make them less centralizing. This has been the goal of most of our recent changes—to make the avowed a class you pick because it’s cool, strong, and you want to use it, rather than one you pick because “oh well, someone in the party had an avowed, I need to use that subsystem too if I want to keep up.” That’s not ideal, and is part of why aether channel and the SAD feats were changed.

What the skill boosting clauses were meant to do is two things:


  • Enable an avowed who doesn’t have the skill points to invest in a skill to be able to contribute with it, even if it’s not great.
  • Boost an avowed who is focusing on the skill an amount commensurate with the cost.

The original versions helped the former, but boosted the latter way too hard. The result was an incredibly reliable, very high floor, that far outpaced anyone of other classes. The Legalistic feat was introduced in part to help counteract that, but it still had its own issues—we don’t want to force the party investigator to go “if I can’t beat them, join them” to the avowed. We want the avowed who focuses on skillmonkeying to feel like a good skillmonkey, without making all the other skillmonkeys regret their choice.

So with that said, we’ve made some changes aimed at bringing the ceiling down while keeping the intention intact. The skill-boosting clauses now only grant a +2 bonus on checks with the skills they boost. However, they gain the following two effects: you can always take 10 on the boosted skills, and when you do decide to roll, you roll 2d20 and take the highest.

People familiar with D&D 5e’s math might note that this is Advantage, a mechanic whose effective “bonus” ranges from around +1 to +5, depending on what number you’re trying to hit on the die roll. When you’ve got an even chance (need a 10 on the die), the number is highest. When you have a better chance, the effective bonus drops, and likewise, it drops when you have a lower chance. What does this mean? It means that avowed with the skill boosts will be more reliable when they’re about on par with the game’s expected math, particularly at low levels, but will hit diminishing returns as their bonuses climb higher through other investment. At the same time, they won’t surpass any other skillmonkeys a huge amount. It weights their luck, but they now have about the same ceiling as everyone else.

Aether Channel, SAD, and centralization – Let’s talk about nerfs.

Aether channel, among avowed mechanics, was hit with the highest-visibility nerf up until the removal of the SAD feats. If you weren’t watching this playtest before said nerf, what it originally did at its second rank was turn your base attack bonus from avowed levels to full BAB. The idea behind this was that it was a cool thing for them, to make them stand alongside the full BAB martials as far as “weapon using” when they’re stabbing people with magic. Aether channel was our hideous blow analogue, intended to enable people to stab people with a weapon at the same time as stabbing with their magic. We missed the mark, and got something that, instead, pushed the avowed ahead as pretty much the best melee damage dealer. Full BAB is way overvalued in this system, but we accidentally undervalued it here—when taken as a whole, alongside the bonus damage, utility of clauses, and pact abilities, the cost was far too little, and the power increase far too great, to keep it.

It might have been possible to keep the BAB substitution, and lower the damage in another way, but we believe that that would cause more problems than solutions, and that moving forward with with current state of aether channel is a better direction. Overall, what we want from aether channel is a shape that allows an avowed to use a weapon as a vector for their power, much like a magus and their spells. The magic is what we wanted to push as the important thing, rather than the “also as skilled a master warrior in a direct fight” aspect that the old channel gave.

With that in mind? We understand completely that people liked it, and will be doing something similar to that concept in the future, likely as an archetype that gets full BAB and lowers damage elsewhere, focusing more fully on the STABBING than the magic.

The SAD changes were done for similar reasons to the skill-boosting clauses’ and aether channel’s nerfs. The avowed was far too efficient, to the point where it was game-warping. It wasn’t because of Altered Life and Unnatural Resilience, two DSP feats we included in our playtest, but because of the general ease with which the avowed could run their offenses off one focused ability score, without any real downsides. A 14 in Constitution is fine; Altered Life wasn’t even really needed to push the avowed to an imbalanced state… And in the end, the decision we arrived at is that we would force a multiple stat dependency, even if it’s not a particularly debilitating one. We’re keeping those feats around for now, to test their balance alongside the Constitution feats.

Weapon shape users now require their attack stat and Charisma, as well as a tertiary Constitution (which isn’t something they need to focus heavily, if they go for defensive clauses to shore up their weaknesses). We have the scaling penalty to a target’s saves in a round where they succeed against your modulations to help weapon shapes debuff. In contrast, “caster” avowed can still manage to be SAD. They just max Charisma and blast away, and this is intended. They’ve got less burst damage, but do different things. So right now, we’re pretty happy with the way this setup is looking. The Body of the Ancients and Heart of Magic feats are mirrors of Altered Life and Unnatural Resilience, letting you swap Cha to Con for the same feat cost as swapping Con to Cha, effectively, and we’re moving forward with testing those as well.

(Also, for those who liked the muscle avowed, Embodiment of Aether will likely return in some form, at some point, as an archetype emphasizing your physical form and an alternate method of determining save DCs. I’m not sure when, but we’re planning on doing it.)

Known Issues, Future Plans – We’re making some avowed-specific items.

Right now, we’re working on tuning the damage of some shapes, particularly aether barrage, to make them fun and functional. The biggest issue, which has been brought up a bunch of times in testing, is that there isn’t an equivalent of the warlock’s chasuble of fell power or the kineticist’s diadem... Which, if it applied blanketly to all shapes, would cause problems for math in other places. Our solution is going to make a boosting implement item for each shape, likely for Avowed 2, with unique effects that help shore up each shape’s weaknesses, and giving avowed things to spend their hard-earned money on.


Hey Forrest. Whatever became of Fool's Errand? All I can find anywhere is an old playtest doc.


I can't help but feel that splitting up Hidden Knowledge into four parts is a little too much. There are still character concepts I might take Volksgeist or Dungeon Crawler for, but unless it was a very unusual campaign it'd be a flavor choice taken at the expense of something useful. Like you say, I could be walking up walls, or at least getting a bonus to skills that are often used via Silver Tongue. I'm halfway through DMing Rise of the Runelords, and the number of times the players have actually had to roll any of the skills in Volksgeist or Dungeon Crawler (Excepting situations where they could just look at a map. Including the map I printed out. It's right there on the table guys) is barely in the double digits. For about half of those a successful diplomacy check with the townsfolk would also have given an answer. I do think Hidden Knowledge was edging dangerously close to the "always pick" category before, but right now all of its components except maybe Survivalist seem to be at the verge of "never pick".

On the positive side, I really enjoy what's happening with the Elemental pact. Making it good at raw damage not by boosting the damage itself, but by giving it ways to deal with enemies that it misses? It works and feels better than just pumping up numbers. You never feel useless but you also don't completely wreck anything with low AC or saves.

Silver Crusade

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I chanced upon this thread yesterday, so I'm a bit late to the party. I haven't had a chance to examine the spellburst savant yet (hopefully I will later on today). My time has been spent going over the avowed.

A bit of disclosure first: though I had a player who loved the 3.5 warlock base class, I myself was never a real fan. So I came at the avowed unsure of how I would feel, but I think it's safe to say that I was very skeptical of the class.

So I decided to sit down and build a half-elf shadow pact avowed with the aspirant archetype using the tools at my disposal. I did 2 versions: one at 5th-level and one at 11th-level. Just to make things interesting, the 5th-level version is only 10 years old, in a similar vein as 8 and 1/4 year old Yoon, the iconic pyrokineticist, while the 11th-level one is 16 years of age.

The process went a lot easier than I expected it to, though that was probably due to the fact I had fairly good idea as to what I wanted this character to do. I substituted the bonus feats to get hellfire infusion (giving the character kind of a kineticist feel). Blast shapes at 5th-level were aether blade, aether circus (2), and aether retaliation (2nd level bonus) while 11th-level were only adding to aether blade (1) and aether circus (2). Clauses at 5th-level were dark pulse, cover of darkness, and personal gravity (with 2 being put in the fading form modification) while 11th-level airspace control, firewalker, gravity pulse, inferno pulse were the lesser clauses added, with writhe being the sole greater clause (with one more clause being placed into fading form).

The end result was a fairly strong scout/skirmisher type, capable in direct melee combat, but devastating as mobile artillery, which is due primarily to my favorite blast shape: aether circus (as an anime fan, anything that's a callout to the missile massacre/Itano circus is always welcome).

Silver Crusade

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Blayde MacRonan wrote:

I chanced upon this thread yesterday, so I'm a bit late to the party. I haven't had a chance to examine the spellburst savant yet (hopefully I will later on today). My time has been spent going over the avowed.

A bit of disclosure first: though I had a player who loved the 3.5 warlock base class, I myself was never a real fan. So I came at the avowed unsure of how I would feel, but I think it's safe to say that I was very skeptical of the class.

So I decided to sit down and build a half-elf shadow pact avowed with the aspirant archetype using the tools at my disposal. I did 2 versions: one at 5th-level and one at 11th-level. Just to make things interesting, the 5th-level version is only 10 years old, in a similar vein as 8 and 1/4 year old Yoon, the iconic pyrokineticist, while the 11th-level one is 16 years of age.

The process went a lot easier than I expected it to, though that was probably due to the fact I had fairly good idea as to what I wanted this character to do. I substituted the bonus feats to get hellfire infusion (giving the character kind of a kineticist feel). Blast shapes at 5th-level were aether blade, aether circus (2), and aether retaliation (2nd level bonus) while 11th-level were only adding to aether blade (1) and aether circus (2). Clauses at 5th-level were dark pulse, cover of darkness, and personal gravity (with 2 being put in the fading form modification) while 11th-level airspace control, firewalker, gravity pulse, inferno pulse were the lesser clauses added, with writhe being the sole greater clause (with one more clause being placed into fading form).

The end result was a fairly strong scout/skirmisher type, capable in direct melee combat, but devastating as mobile artillery, which is due primarily to my favorite blast shape: aether circus (as an anime fan, anything that's a callout to the missile massacre/Itano circus is always welcome).

Due to a misreading of how form modification worked, I had to alter the character, giving him energy aura rather than the second grade of fading form at 5th-level. This change actually worked out for the better, as it gives a visual of his shadowy nature working in a proactive fashion to hinder his opponents (something I found to be much cooler when all was said and done). At 11th-level, I gave him the scream clause, which resulted in him being given the nickname "Black Howling" (the person who came up with it was a fan of the anime Shadow Skill, and thought it suited him). As with energy aura, this ended up working out for the best, because it lent even more of an otherworldly feel to the character.


I will admit that I was saddened by the loss of the Self pact gaining Charisma to armour when unarmoured... but that someone thought their character looked cool without armour is no excuse not to remove it, if needed for balance. And Self-pact Avowed does remain cool and fun to play regardless!


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Hey, all. A fairly small - but significant - update to Avowed 2. We've added two new Self subpacts, the Body and Mind pacts. The new Body pact should fulfill some of the same things you guys liked about the old pre-nerf one while being slightly less overpowered (not so much for those of you that really enjoyed being SAD. Sorry), and the Mind pact is an option for those whose idea of perfection does NOT, in fact, involve punching a dude in the face. We hope you enjoy them, and as always, feedback is greatly appreciated.


What - non-racial - options are there to get mind-affecting effects at level 1 as an Avowed? I noticed frightening pulse doesn't actually say it is mind-affecting, and it seems a bit annoying in play to have an avowed character whose attunement does nothing until level 6.


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LordInsane wrote:
What - non-racial - options are there to get mind-affecting effects at level 1 as an Avowed? I noticed frightening pulse doesn't actually say it is mind-affecting, and it seems a bit annoying in play to have an avowed character whose attunement does nothing until level 6.

Uses of the Intimidate skill are definitely mind-affecting fear effects, and while I can't seem to find a definite answer James Jacobs seems to imply that all fear effects are mind-affecting (And common sense too, if nonmagical fear doesn't affect something magical fear probably won't unless specifically called out). So Frightening Pulse is probably mind-affecting just by virtue of being a fear effect.


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Cadvin wrote:
LordInsane wrote:
What - non-racial - options are there to get mind-affecting effects at level 1 as an Avowed? I noticed frightening pulse doesn't actually say it is mind-affecting, and it seems a bit annoying in play to have an avowed character whose attunement does nothing until level 6.
Uses of the Intimidate skill are definitely mind-affecting fear effects, and while I can't seem to find a definite answer James Jacobs seems to imply that all fear effects are mind-affecting (And common sense too, if nonmagical fear doesn't affect something magical fear probably won't unless specifically called out). So Frightening Pulse is probably mind-affecting just by virtue of being a fear effect.

That is correct; frightening pulse is mind-affecting by virtue of being a fear effect. I'll make sure to get an explicit note in it, so people don't have to dig into the FAQ.


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Hey all! Been a while. There's been a lot of hectic times on our end, so we don't have a full update to the avowed playtests today, but we do have a brand-new product for you, which can be found here as a free download!


Forrestfire wrote:
Hey all! Been a while. There's been a lot of hectic times on our end, so we don't have a full update to the avowed playtests today, but we do have a brand-new product for you, which can be found here as a free download!

Ooooh! A shiny new product! Gimme! Waiiiitttt...What day is it... Nah... you wouldn't do us like that. :P


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Chance Phillips 187 wrote:
Forrestfire wrote:
Hey all! Been a while. There's been a lot of hectic times on our end, so we don't have a full update to the avowed playtests today, but we do have a brand-new product for you, which can be found here as a free download!
Ooooh! A shiny new product! Gimme! Waiiiitttt...What day is it... Nah... you wouldn't do us like that. :P

The Avowed: April Edition has three new less-than-serious pacts for the avowed.

Wayfinders

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

*Looks at April Augmented 2017 and Avowed April*
*Looks at character sheet*
...Longcatfolk Avowed of the JPEG pact. My dreams have come true. >:)


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Hello! It has been quite a while since our last major update. After a lot of tinkering, playtesting, and reviewing, we’ve got some new material and tweaks to old material, both in Avowed 1 and Avowed 2.

So what’s changed, then? The biggest things to note are skills (the avowed is being buffed to become a 6 + Int mod class, and gets a boost to a useful skill based on pact), the nation pact (totally reworked, command effects turned into a shape), area-of-effect shapes (had their damage scaling changed), and weapon shapes (we’ve made the 4th rank less mandatory).

Here are the changelogs for the playtests; discussion on the changes can be found in the third spoiler.

Avowed 1 changelog:

Pacts

  • Nation pact has been reworked; see the discussion on it below.
  • Otyugh pact attunement now grants you diseases for free as you level up.
  • Otyugh pact 4th now deals damage immediately for the first failed save, though only once per round.
  • Otyugh pact 8th has been buffed, and punches through disease immunity.
  • Otyugh pact 16th now allows you to pierce ability damage and drain immunity.

Clauses and Shapes


  • We’ve made wording clearer on how the AoE shapes that add Cha to damage work, noting the damage in their descriptions.
  • Shapes that previously increased damage to 1d6 per CL at rank 2 no longer do (the addition of Charisma to damage is meant to cover that increase, making it more reliable. We overbuffed it a bit. They’ve got new 2nd ranks, and we’ve adjusted shapes to have different scaling (see the discussion below).
  • The Aether Command shape has been added.
  • Aether Grasp’s second selection now has an effect that helps pierce Freedom of Movement.
  • Aether Grasp’s third selection (the force choke) now requires a full-round action to use.
  • Aether Lance has a new 3rd selection, emphasizing its extreme mobility.
  • Aether Rounds has been reworked to be more similar to Aether Channel, and thrown weapons are now part of it instead of the latter.
  • Aquatic Affinity now accounts for creatures with very low (but not nonexistent) land speeds.
  • Hunter’s Sense now benefits the whole party with a Pass Without Trace effect.
  • Nightfall’s Deeper Darkness upgrade comes at CL 7th now, instead of 10th.
  • Reveal Your Secrets now reads and copies books.
  • Feral Rush clause added

Feats


  • Overcharge Modulation’s damage has been reworked.
  • You now cannot use clauses while a Pactbound Guardian familiar is holding the charge on one.

Other


  • Ascension has a note about appearances being flexible.
  • Patronage no longer changes pact type.
  • Balefire Infusion got renamed Baleful Infusion to make it less fluff-locked.
  • The avowed now gets 6+Int mod skill points, and each pact grants a skill bonus.
  • Bonus shapes aren’t a thing on pacts anymore. Instead, the avowed just gets an extra shape at 1st level.

Avowed 2 changelog:

Aspirant

  • Aspirants now have a barrage-based form modification.
  • The Gale Wings form modification notes that it does not have to be actual wings.
  • The Savage Claws least effect now adds bleed damage instead of being superfluous once you upgraded it.
  • Fiend aspirant’s Aura of Dread now only affects opponents.

Betrothed


  • Companions now get traits and darkvision.
  • Note added for companions, betrothed, and Extra Clause.
  • Betrothed and their companions can exchange which Aether Pulse progression each has.

Pacts


  • Genie subpact no longer gives you the elemental subtype.
  • The Agathion subpact’s Blood of Martyrs ability now affects more allies, but not you.
  • Celestial (Angel), Undead (Ghost), and Undead (Nightshade) subpacts added.
  • Clauses and Shapes
  • Aether Circus has less missiles at lower levels now, and has been reworked to be able to fire clusters of missiles at the same target(s).
  • Aether Beast’s hit points have been increased to half that of the casting avowed instead of 1/10.
  • Least Wish clause added.
  • As with the Avowed 1 area shapes, the Aether Well and Aether Circus have had their damage scaling changed.

Feats


  • Aether Drive has been adjusted to work better with weapons, particularly magic ones.
  • Aether Focus has been revised to be way clearer on how it works.
  • Aether Skirmisher has been buffed.
  • Split Loyalties no longer gives the 4th-level pact ability at level 16.

Clauses


  • Flourishing Pulse removed for the time being; its effect proved a bit problematic with the Otyugh pact.

Discussion of major changes:

Nation Pact
The overwhelming feedback we’ve gotten on the nation pact is that it was disjointed and didn’t really feel like it had a cohesive mechanical setup—its attunement wanted you in melee, command abilities wanted you to lead allies, other abilities seeming to be about buffing, etc. We’ve revised the nation pact, in particular changing the attunement to function regardless of reach and weapons, creating an area of terrain around you even if you’re a “caster” type or a ranged weapon user, and scaling the area. We’ve also added two new abilities that help the avowed interact more narratively with the game; creating crowds and leading armies to victory. These replaced the command effects that the nation pact previously had, but don’t fear, there is now a new shape, aether command, that allows the avowed to help their allies attack from level 1, instead of making you wait until later. We hope that these changes will help make the nation pact fill the buffer/leader role better, while still having plenty of avenues for different builds and playstyles.

Otyugh Pact
The otyugh pact had some problems of its 4th- and 8th-level abilities being a bit underwhelming. Overall, they didn’t really do what they were intended to do (turn diseases into a combat debuff), so we’ve reworked them. In addition, otyugh-pact avowed now gain the ability to punch through immunity to disease and later on, ability damage, with their abilities.

Shapes
Something we’ve heard a decent amount is that there is a pressure to all-in on a single shape, capping it at rank 4 before you move onto other things. Particularly for weapon shapes, we think this is a problem; the way the shapes are set up is meant to allow, but not force, someone to specialize, and with that in mind, we’ve made a few big changes.

Weapon Shapes
The weapon shapes getting pounce at rank 4 meant that if you were being a melee character… you kinda needed to get that rank by the time you get iteratives, if you wanted to full attack well. To fix this, we’ve created a new lesser clause, feral rush, that grants the avowed pounce. We haven’t removed the pounce effects from the shapes, though! If you don’t want to spend a clause on the ability, the shapes are there for that (and get an extra effect if you have pounce already), but otherwise, there is now another avenue for competent meleeing at later levels.

Area Shapes
We overbuffed the area shapes way back, when we added the Cha to damage based on rank… and like weapon shapes, we caused the issue of pressuring players into picking more of the same shape instead of diversifying. To address this, we’ve changed how the scaling of these shapes works entirely; they no longer scale damage by rank at all, not even at the 2nd selection. We’ve added in a new effect on each of the shapes that previously had a damage dice boost, and now, each of the shapes that had that get a new scaling that speeds up each time a weapon user would have gained a similar increase to overall damage.

So what does this mean? If you were all-inning on a shape at lower levels, it probably means you’ll be doing slightly less damage. Sorry about that. However, for mid levels and higher levels, the damage of area shapes is increased, and the shapes are now much better for avowed who’re branching into the effects, letting you pick up more varied powersets or even just grab all the AoEs you want! We recommend that GMs allow players who had invested in these shapes to decide if they want to swap them for other selections, now that they’ve been changed.

Skills
The avowed’s out of combat utility isn’t bad, but it could use a little help. With that in mind, we’ve upped the number of skill points the avowed gets to make it comparable to similar characters like the bard, and also added a skill boost of +1/2 level to each pact, listed in their pact skills section.

As always, thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy.


What happened to the Mind subpact in Avowed 2? I can't find a mention of it in the changelog, but I can't find the subpact in the Avowed 2 document either. The Body subpact is still there, though.


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Ah! That was my bad, it accidentally got left out when copying things over. Fixed now.


This is a bit embarrassing, but I haven't been able to find an official answer (either Paizo or WotC) for how constant/continuous SLAs interact with spells that require concentration (do not require concentration, only work when concentrated on but don't need to actually be cast, can be cast as if under the renewing a dispelled constant SLA rule...). Is there one I've missed, and if not, what was assumed for the Avowed's changed detect magic sense when it was changed?


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Well it certainly has been a long time, and we apologize for that. There's been a combination of A Lot Of Stuff in this update, and life stuff in general getting in the way. However, after far too long, we have an Avowed 1 update for you all!

As always, it can be found here.

There are a couple major changes in this update, which I've gone through in some detail here, though you should check the full changelog to see what else it has.

Discussion of Major Changes:

Aether Beam
We've added a new shape to this update! Aether beam, a dedicated line-attack option, represents a "wide line"—that is, 10 feet wide, much like the lines in 3.5, and should help fulfill peoples' laser needs. Previously, the only lines were aether breath and aether lance, which didn't really support the concept of a massive laser blast, so now we have this for that.

Reactive Healing
The celestial pact's rune of penance has been buffed to help it stop being so meaningless by higher levels, and remove the weird break points around multiples of 10 damage. Now, instead of granting fast healing 5 per 10 damage taken, it will instead heal creatures for half the damage they take, over time.

This comes with a new mechanic, Reactive Healing, that exists to codify the avowed's brand of healing. The avowed is a very at-will class, and we wanted to write a mechanic that keeps that feel, without breaking the game for attrition-heavy GMs and groups. Thus, Reactive Healing, which only heals in response to damage actively being taken, and can't heal you for more than that damage, has been added to handle this.

The Old One pact attunement has also been adjusted to follow these rules (though nothing really changed there).

Another round of changes for Rounds and Channel
Last time, we updated the melee weapon shapes and provided a Pounce clause because we wanted people to feel less forced to go all-in on any given shape, vs taking 1-2 as they like to get a versatile character. Aether rounds and aether channel had the issue of really requiring the third selection to continue to be a damage option, unlike the other shapes, so we've changed it (much like the AoE shapes getting their own scaling). At CL 4th, these shapes will now add damage automatically.

In addition, we've cleaned up the wording and helped clear interactions to function as intended, particularly around things like single-weapon TWF. There is a slight nerf here, though: the shapes no longer add their bonus damage on some types of extra attacks. Feats and options that give attacks above and beyond what other fighting styles can manage are great, but we don't want the shapes to multiplicatively scale quite as hard in these cases.

A1 Changelog:
Pacts

  • We’re introducing a new mechanic for handling avowed at-will healing such as the Celestial pact’s Rune of Penance, or the Old One pact’s attunement. It can be found at the start of the pacts section, and is called Reactive Healing.
  • Celestial pact’s halo can now be dismissed without turning off your attunement,
  • Court Fey pact’s bonus damage against flanked and flat-footed enemies has been moved to the 4th-level pact empowerment. Poaching it with Split Loyalties was a bit much.
  • Court Fey pact’s capstone has had a note added about how it works with spells that require saves (unaware creatures fail automatically against teleportation effects, and are penalized otherwise).
  • Elemental pact’s sense now specifies that creatures can be assumed to have an example of your element in their bodies.
  • We’ve buffed Shadow pact’s sense so that it no longer overlaps with the Sightseer clause, and also added a small scaling benefit to it.

Clauses and Shapes

  • Pulse Shapes now have a note that concentration on them does not turn off all your other SLAs. Whoops.
  • A new shape, Aether Beam, has been added to Avowed 1.
  • Aether Channel and Aether Rounds have been revised (again, haaaah…) to now get their “adds damage to the attack on top of weapon damage” at caster level 4th, instead of coming from a rank of the shape. However, we’ve also added some changes to a couple cases, namely, single-weapon TWF (like a brawler or monk’s unarmed strike) is now treated as multiple weapons for it, and the bonus damage is also added to only attacks gained from base attack bonus, haste and similar effects, off-hand weapons, natural weapons, and attacks of opportunity. Other extra attacks no longer benefit from the added damage.
  • Aether Command’s swift action 2nd rank has had a note added that it can’t be used in the same turn as other shapes.
  • Aether Rampage is now just a base of 1d6 per odd level + Str, instead of also adding unarmed damage.
  • Aether Rampage’s 4th rank is now similar to that of other melee weapon shapes, granting pounce, and its 3rd rank (rend) has been nerfed in damage significantly. It now, however, grants an extra trigger of modulation effects.
  • Aether Rounds’s 2nd rank now works to create phantom copies of thrown weapons as well.
  • Hunter’s Instincts now lets you optionally not leave tracks.
  • Relinquish can no longer be used to counterspell.

Feats

  • The Aether Torrent feat can now be taken if you have Aether Beam (it still works for Aether Wrath).
  • Skillful Pact now functions properly with the new pact skills.

Other

  • Bonuses that were previously doubled on non-attack-roll shapes have been changed to scale at the same speed as the AoE damage scaling, increasing for those shapes but not others.
  • When a shape's damage dice would round down to 0, it now rounds down to 1 point of damage.

Anyway, thanks for reading, all, and I hope you enjoy the update!

LordInsane wrote:
This is a bit embarrassing, but I haven't been able to find an official answer (either Paizo or WotC) for how constant/continuous SLAs interact with spells that require concentration (do not require concentration, only work when concentrated on but don't need to actually be cast, can be cast as if under the renewing a dispelled constant SLA rule...). Is there one I've missed, and if not, what was assumed for the Avowed's changed detect magic sense when it was changed?

Spells that require concentration run into issues with continuous SLAs, I believe, but bear in mind that you can always simply suppress and restart the SLA (a swift action), and that the non-detect magic senses are supernatural, not spell-like.


Minor wording issue: Skillful Pact says "as if you had taken the Signature Skill feat for both of them" despite now giving unlocks for three skills.


LordInsane wrote:
Minor wording issue: Skillful Pact says "as if you had taken the Signature Skill feat for both of them" despite now giving unlocks for three skills.

Whoops! Noted for fixing.


Hey, Forrest. Ain't been around in a bit. I see you've been busy with Avowed. How does work proceed on Cutting Edge? Seems erbody is waiting on SF. Also, UnSoulknives?


Fellfire wrote:
Hey, Forrest. Ain't been around in a bit. I see you've been busy with Avowed. How does work proceed on Cutting Edge? Seems erbody is waiting on SF. Also, UnSoulknives?

Cutting Edge is, overall, continuing. We hit a snag on some of the design elements, but have been working steadily on it. When Starfinder comes out, some things might change, but a lot of it is rooted in presenting technology in the context of fully mixing the tech with a fantasy setting, I doubt it'd change much. It just hasn't been a major focus. Likewise, unchained soulknives are unlikely to come any time soon, though; presently, our current goal is to get the Avowed 1 book finished and released before bringing more things into playtest, because we simply don't have the time, energy, or manpower to do as many things at once as the larger 3pps can.

However, if we're lucky, we might have a playtest doc for the first true SkyMarket release coming up, as well. Since that one is a lot less intense overall (not a whole new subsystem, or a pile of massive, expansive changes to a subsystem), that'll be a bit smaller but maybe faster.


Forrestfire wrote:
(Also, for those who liked the muscle avowed, Embodiment of Aether will likely return in some form, at some point, as an archetype emphasizing your physical form and an alternate method of determining save DCs. I’m not sure when, but we’re planning on doing it.)

I'd really like to see this. Was kinda disappointed I only discovered this playtest after the feat had been removed.


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Hello all. It’s been quite a while, and I’m sorry about that. If you’re interested in the reasons behind this delay and the plans around material in the future, you can find a post about that here.

We do have an update today, though! It’s primarily changes to Avowed 1, with some adjustments made to Avowed 2 to make it line up with the altered rules. Here’re our changelogs for today:

A1 Changelog:

The Avowed

  • Aether pulse’s base form no longer exists; it has been adjusted to be Aether Blow and Aether Ray. Each avowed gets the first selection of one of these for free at 1st level.
  • Patronage is no longer a class feature; we’ll be doing a larger section on how avowed can be created by a PC in collaboration with the GM when we go to the final release, but it’s not written right now.
  • The class skills gained from Pact Skills are now listed as Ex; the skill boost is still Su.
  • Clause save DC is now properly based on caster level, like pact and aether pulse DCs. It was previously class level by mistake. This is particularly relevant to betrothed, whose clauses are used at half CL unless they and the companion both take the action (this was intended to cut the DC, but didn’t by RAW until now).

Pacts

  • Court Fey pact's 4th-level ability has had its bonus damage reduced. This turned out to just add way too much potential damage to weapon shape users.
  • Elemental pact’s attunement now deals a consistent amount of damage (1 per level) instead of dice with powerspikes every 4-5 levels.
  • Elemental pact’s 4th level ability has been replaced with Elemental Eruption. Now, the attunement includes the ability to ignore immunity to your element, and a new 4th-level empowerment has been added to help elemental choice feel more meaningful.
  • Elemental pact's 4th level ability got renamed to "Overwhelm" now that the name's open.
  • Self pact’s bonus attack has been moved to the 4th-level empowerment, and the Cha to saves has been moved to the attunement, but made to scale (capped at +1 per level).

Shapes

  • Aether Command previously implied that weapons that don’t normally add an ability modifier would get Strength to damage. This wasn’t intended, and we’ve fixed the wording.
  • Aether Lance does not exist anymore as a standalone shape. It’s now a Beam+weapon shape combination feat. The big reason for this is that as a whole, Aether Lance was overtuned at lower levels as a “weapon” shape, more accurate than other AoEs at higher levels, all while bringing mobility as part of its package. We’ve made sure that each of its aspects (line attacks, line AoEs, higher mobility and charging lines) can still be gotten, but they now come at a cost commensurate to their effect.

Clauses

  • As part of the Aether Lance rework, we’ve added a new least clause focused on mobility, called Surge.
  • Lock and Key now applies an Alarm to the object you locked (and can be used without trapping it, solely for the alarm effect).
  • Inferno Pulse, like the elemental pact’s attunement, now deals 1 point of damage per level on its burn instead of the jagged-scaling dice.
  • Scream’s shaken effect can no longer escalate other fear effects, or be escalated. As an actionless aura, it’s way too good for it to quickly create Frightened or Panicked conditions on most targets.

Feats

  • Aether Lance does not exist anymore as a standalone shape. It’s now a Beam+weapon shape combination feat.
  • Like inferno pulse and the elemental attunement, Lingering Pulse’s damage is now 1 per level.

Other

  • Aether Blow has been removed; it’s now just a basic shape.
  • Baleful Infusion has been adjusted. It was generally overly centralizing; it’s been changed to, instead of being a free feat and extra benefits, instead just be a burn-based damage booster.
  • Alicorn and Decataur FCBs, which previously boosted Aether Lance, have been changed to now boost charge damage (which works with the new Aether Lance).


A2 Changelog:

  • Matching the Fey pact’s reduction in bonus damage, the Undead pact’s level 4 ability has had its damage reduced.
  • Abilities that used to deal damage as fractions of a base Aether Pulse have been adjusted similarly to Inferno Pulse. Likewise, references to Aether Pulse damage have been fixed. If you previously had an ability that dealt damage as if by an unshaped Aether Pulse, it likely deals a flat amount of dice (for capstones) or uses Aether Ray/Aether Blow (for most other abilities).
  • With the changes to the base Aether Pulses, the Aether Skirmisher feat is no longer a thing. It’s been rolled into the basic shapes, Aether Ray and Aether Blow.
  • With the changes to Aether Lance, the Aether Drive feat is gone as well. It’s just default behavior now.
  • On the aspirant, we’ve removed the Aether-Venom Stinger and Brutal Gore form modifications. These will be returning once we get a good way to adjust them, potentially alongside a new shape, but right now our focus is on Aether Lance.
  • On the betrothed companion abilities, the Horns and Stinger no longer have their minor ribbon for Aether Lance.

The bulk of today’s changes are centered around the following three things.

Basic Aether Pulses: After looking at feedback and the results of testing, we’ve made the choice to remove the delineation between the “basic” aether pulse and shapes. Unshaped aether pulses are no longer a thing. To help cut down on some of the weirdness inherent in the shapeless pulses, as well as make the avowed’s rules more consistent and clean, we’ve introduced two “basic” shapes, called aether ray and aether blow. Every avowed gets one of these for free at 1st level on top of their normal shape, and they can now be invested in similarly to other shapes. These ones have a niche of being about mobility with single hits, much like the Aether Skirmisher feat previously allowed, and scaling damage instead of remaining at 1d6/odd level all the way through.

Aether Lance: Aether lance had problems. One of our earlier-designed options, it was initially made as a way to support the fantasy of a single charging line attack… but also added to support line attacks in general, which stretched it in two opposed directions. Its damage was built like an AoE shape, but at the time, we didn’t think about just how much more accurate it’d be than Reflex-targeting AoEs. In addition, from the start, it was much better at low-levels (before full attacks) than melee weapon shapes, to an extreme degree. And that’s before we even touch its free mobility aspects.

When we added aether beam, we took more looks at aether lance as the other primary-line shape, and in the end, decided to redesign it. With that in mind, we’ve split off its concepts; if someone is going to be a line-attack-focused avowed, aether beam (and potentially aether breath for a more varied and less specialized line-blaster) is there. For those who want to make AoE weapon attacks with a mobility perk, we’ve consolidated that effect into the other weapon shapes. Aether Lance is now a combination feat for aether beam and any weapon shape, allowing you to make line attacks with scaling distances, as well as the old “charge followed by line blast,” in a way that will hopefully be more balanced alongside the lower-level weapon shapes, without becoming useless as a tactical tool at later levels.

Elemental Pact: A very common criticism of Elemental-pact avowed is that they’re boring. One of our earliest-made pacts, we revisited it and revised it. It should, hopefully, now support more builds and combat styles, as well as having more thematic effects early on for different elements. Whether you’re an AoE specialist, a weapon-user, or something in-between, Elemental pact should be giving you something interesting to do as you scatter energy around the battlefield and reliably assault foes with your element, instead of just giving you an underwhelming “pierce” effect for energy damage.

With that all said, the changes can be found in the playtests’ respective docs. Here are the links, for convenience’s sake: Avowed 1 and Avowed 2


Asked this on your Patreon, but I figured I'd post here to...

Assuming my Celestial Pact Avowed uses Rune of Penance and the villain attacks Fighter Wuggly, instead of me, for 40 damage. Wuggly gets back 10 damage this round and 10 the next... even if in round two Villain hits my Avowed... correct? Is the rune discharged after? Does it continue for the full minute? If in round three Villain hits Wuggly again for 40, Wuggly again heals 10 this round and is set to heal 10 next round but round 4 (after my Avowed has either applied the Rune again with his free action or it still lingers eating up its minute duration) Villain hits Wuggly again for 60 damage. Does that mean Wuggly heals 10 + 15 this round or just the better? Sorry for the confusion... I may stumble across the answer as I keep reading but I was confused... beyond that this is a great class : )


The Avowed's alteration to Quicken Spell does not seem to account for the changes to Aether Ray/Blow. It still says that you can't use any shape with a Quickened pulse.

The Avowed 2 document refers at the top to an "Ancestors" pact, but I don't see that described anywhere?

Random thought; would an archetype similar to Cross-Blooded Sorcerer be valid design space for the Avowed? That is, in exchange for a minor penalty, you select two pacts instead of one, mix and match their features?

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