[Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Combat Kickstarter


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Based off the previewed athletics sphere some things will replace skill ranks with BAB, basically giving you free skills. Also that sphere is all about running, jumping, climbing and swimming. Mostly in combat sure, but you can probably make use of some of those thing out of combat


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Just throwing this out there, although it is looking a long way off - I hope you do a patreon for SoM, like you do SoP. I know I'd subscribe.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm glad to see that there are spheres that have use outside of combat. Athletics seems to be pretty good so far, I'm very curious to see what the "Scouting" sphere will be like.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Lucas Yew wrote:

Already hyped by the martial Legendary Talents (which they really needed to compete with wuxia story protagonists), but a few more questions to the writing team before I actually pour my cash.

1. Do the new spheres have their fair share of talents that help reliably in NON-COMBAT situations? While I'm sure that will be granted as since the writers happened to be recurring martial fans around this board, I'm asking again just to be sure even more.

The exact amount of non-combat sphere a specific sphere offers varies based on the sphere, but there are numerous out of combat options available; in addition to things like the Athletics sphere and Scout sphere, there are numerous talents that are useful in and out of combat, spread throughout the spheres as thematically appropriate.

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2. Where are the PDF perma-links (if any) based on? My copy for Sphere of Power is from DTRPG not here and just in case my electronic stash and backup of books blow up in a calamity I would like them to be consolidated somewhere...

I don't have an answer to that question and Adam is unavailable at the moment, but I'll try and track down a response for you.

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Really though, you people really are doing a fantastic job! Thank you. I end this post with a last wishlist on hopes that at the very least similar abilities will end up in the final product...

----

(General martial fairness)
- Move up to full speed and enjoy passably scaling damage output (Vital Strike ain't enough, yeah.)
- More armor bonus that stacks with others (Why only dragons get to enjoy that nat.armor +42...)

I think we've got some version of each of these covered, though on the armor bonus we're generally trying not to introduce anything that breaks core ceilings, focusing more on cool options and making combat styles that are traditionally kind of difficult and prohibitive (like one-handed fencing), or which are very narrow and expensive (like two-weapon fighting) to work better out of the gate and perform more competitively.

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(Wuxia stuff)
- Attacks treated as magical/epic/material/alignment/blablabla... (Qi coated swords kill anything!)

I'm not even 100% that this is something that has to be Wuxia; Lord of the Rings featured a hobbit and a woman overcoming an epic wraith-lord's established immunity to being killed with pointy objects (yes, I know, there's a whole backstory there), so I don't know that weapons being specially prepared or adjusted to overcome resistances or DR really needs to be gated to a Legendary Talent. It might actually be something the Scout sphere already accomodates.

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- Extension of youth and overall lifespan (No wuxia story is complete without this CLASSIC reward.)

Don't think we have anything like this currently, but consider it taken under advisement.

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- Mountain crushing sword swings (...I think a prior question confirmed their inclusion already...)

Word.


Thanks for the considerate answers. I will now definitely invest, but only after I get where to gain my PDF link just so I can decide which backing level to choose beforehand.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Lucas Yew wrote:
Thanks for the considerate answers. I will now definitely invest, but only after I get where to gain my PDF link just so I can decide which backing level to choose beforehand.

Heard back from Adam, the .pdfs are issued through DriveThruRPG.


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I have but one question the answer to which is critically important to me.

Will this allow me to finally build a Final Fantasy Dragoon for Pathfinder?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Hark wrote:

I have but one question the answer to which is critically important to me.

Will this allow me to finally build a Final Fantasy Dragoon for Pathfinder?

You mean a person who leaps into the air and crashes into their opponents with a lance for increasingly awesome effects? Yeah, you can do that.


Make sure theres some kind of ability to let me use a giant lance btw please.

I need it for hunting.


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FF Dragoons in PF? Be still, my heart!

One question did occur to me; will there be anything in SoM to allow sphere combatants to learn combination attacks of some kind? Individual comboing is obviously the priority, but I was just curious if it might be an option for a pair of Conscripts that have walked through hell together to combine their acquired skills for a special attack.


Is their any intent to either make a class or achetype that more seamlessly blends SoP and SoM? Also how well can a class that gets limited feats/bonus feats buy into SoM, such as the Paladin who gets almost none.

What sorts of classes do you think will have priority for SoM archeetypes, Paizo classes or classes from DDS? Lastly will any non-DDS classes get archetypes, such as the Battle Lord?


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
One question did occur to me; will there be anything in SoM to allow sphere combatants to learn combination attacks of some kind? Individual comboing is obviously the priority, but I was just curious if it might be an option for a pair of Conscripts that have walked through hell together to combine their acquired skills for a special attack.

I cannot say for certain, but I imagine a pair of conscripts with teamwork feats like Coordinated Charge, Seize the Moment, and/or Paired Opportunists could trigger any number of talents on each others turns for special combo attacks.

Since the system is supposed to build upon the normal combat rules, features like "use an attack action at the end of a charge" or triggers like performed a successful charge/AoO against opponent with circumstance X seem likely.


Ssalarn wrote:
Heard back from Adam, the .pdfs are issued through DriveThruRPG.

Hehehehe... I just cashed in for the PDF+HC one.

Although I added 50$ more for the SoP HC dead tree, I wonder if that was necessary because I've heard of stuff like BackerKit or similar sites that help with add-ons...


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Well, backing for the add-ons during the campaign itself helps us reach more stretch goals... ^^


Reviewman wrote:

Is their any intent to either make a class or achetype that more seamlessly blends SoP and SoM? Also how well can a class that gets limited feats/bonus feats buy into SoM, such as the Paladin who gets almost none.

What sorts of classes do you think will have priority for SoM archeetypes, Paizo classes or classes from DDS? Lastly will any non-DDS classes get archetypes, such as the Battle Lord?

No mixing the spheres yet, but given the popularity a side book containing such archetypes seems a likely stretch goal. We were asked between it and a monster book, and the cross system book was winning by a large margin last I looked.

SoM classes have already had archetypes unlocked as the first stretch goal. More Archetypes, including for Paizo classes, are coming. As above no SoP and SoM crossover archetypes yet, but they are coming in a separate book since they want to keep the SoM main book stand alone. This means if they do support other classes of theirs they too will likely come in a different book.


*Thumbs up to Rednal* That is the right mindset to have about it.

jedi8187 wrote:
...they are coming in a separate books since they want to keep the SoM main book stand alone

I feel like I just read a blog post from Mike Selinker about this exact kind of thing.


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As far as cross-system stuff goes... I understand (and agree with) the idea that the main book should be a stand-alone product. I'd definitely consider trying to do the archetype book as a stretch goal, though - I think that's the kind of thing a lot of people would up their pledges to get. XD I know I would.


The kickstart announced that the development team can do one but not both of:

1) Creating extra DM Monster material ("Mighty Sphere Monsters")
or
2) Expanding up intersectional material between SoP (Spheres of Power) and SoM (Spheres of Might).

I for one would be a a proponent for the former. But that is because my primary role is a DM right now.

That said, I am unclear where the "voting by backers" (?) for this will be...


rainzax wrote:

The kickstart announced that the development team can do one but not both of:

1) Creating extra DM Monster material ("Mighty Sphere Monsters")
or
2) Expanding up intersectional material between SoP (Spheres of Power) and SoM (Spheres of Might).

I for one would be a a proponent for the former. But that is because my primary role is a DM right now.

That said, I am unclear where the "voting by backers" (?) for this will be...

not quite - In the update, they hope to fund both, but were asking people which one they wanted the most - I think to prioritize order for new stretch goals. And most people are just voting in the comments on that update.

The actual statement was "Which would you prefer? While I'd love to hope this kickstarter will fund enough to do both, if we only had the chance to do one, which one should it be?"


Well. I vote Monsters!


If we do get to Mighty monsters, something that might be interesting would be an Iron Knuckle/Darknut from Legend of Zelda type monster.

Something that starts as a slow, super-defensive juggernaut that hits like a dump truck but needs to be worn down since attacks don't hurt it much, but shifts when it takes enough damage into something that is really g+@#$~n fast and agile while still hitting very hard. Not sure how to implement that with Pathfinder rules, but just throwing that out there.


If I were to make a monster like that for my PCs to tackle I would probably do the following:


  • Give it some Full Plate with an enhancement bonus. (Boosts AC, limits Dex contribution.)
  • Tons of Hardness (DR could be mitigated with spells) and all damage that breaks the Hardness value damages the armor.
  • When the armor is totally destroyed, he enters a rage. (Boosts Strength and since the armor is gone, gets the Dex back)
  • Just to make the PCs feel impotent for a little bit, I'd probably tack on an Extraordinary Ability that greatly boosts the HP of any armor worn (4x normal) and limits the maximum damage it can sustain from any one blow.
  • Large critter, huge greatsword (some ability to mitigate the normal penalites)

Throw on some SoM stuff and lay waste to those uppity adventurers.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Blackwaltzomega wrote:

If we do get to Mighty monsters, something that might be interesting would be an Iron Knuckle/Darknut from Legend of Zelda type monster.

Something that starts as a slow, super-defensive juggernaut that hits like a dump truck but needs to be worn down since attacks don't hurt it much, but shifts when it takes enough damage into something that is really g&!$@!n fast and agile while still hitting very hard. Not sure how to implement that with Pathfinder rules, but just throwing that out there.

The spheres give us a lot of ways to play with ideas like that. We could even potentially do an "Unleashed Juggernaut" monster sphere that gives lots of tanky abilities while the monster has martial focus, but allows the monster to expend its martial focus to take natural armor penalties in exchange for speed and movement boosts; there's a few spheres that already play with mechanics in a similar manner, giving you one benefit while you have focus and then allowing you to expend focus for a big offensive (or defensive) boost.

(None of these ideas constitute a promise, they're just one designer spit-balling about what might be on the table if we generate enough pledges to get that far.)


I would much rather use a SoM inspired Iron Knuckle than that quickly typed mental exercise.

Is it bad that I now want to kill some PCs with an Iron Knuckle? ...and a T-Rex that knocks PCs "outta the park" with his tail?


*Limps in*

I don't know why, but Kickstarter freezes my computer for a few seconds every time it loads - which means multiple times to get to comment at all - so it's a right royal pain to do anything. XD Anyway.

I have a lot of Bestiaries as it is. Might-using monsters are interesting, but honestly, they'd have much less of an impact than Cross-System Archetypes. Also, Cross-System Archetypes are something that player backers would be more interested in, which would probably help increase funding. XD Ideally, we can do both... but from both an effect-on-game and an effect-on-backers perspective, I think Cross-System Archetypes are a better choice for a "first" goal.


I could really use conversion advice for SoP monsters than either of those two.


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...Look at the monster's Caster Level, then decide whether or not it's a Low, Medium, or High Caster based on the number of spell-like abilities it has and its general nature, and give it the appropriate number of Magic Talents?

(So, for example, if you decided that a creature at Caster Level 10 was a Low Caster, you might give it the number of Talents that a Low Caster would have at level 10... maybe keep the Caster Level as-is, though, since that's kind of meant to be their actual 'strength' and they were originally balanced with that in mind.)

That's what I'd do, anyway. XD I generally don't convert monsters at all, since that's a lot of work for something that's going to be dead pretty quickly anyway.


Yeah I don't see a lot of point in converting monsters for SoP, as they have their spells and caster level already there. I might build humanoid enemies from the ground up using the system and class levels, but that should be straight forward enough. But something like a dragon and it's spell-like abilities I see no reason to convert.

SoM is different though as it might change combat a lot for martial monsters so I hope we get both. I voted for the archetypes though in the thread, because the campaign I'm working on I want to be full spheres, have gishes, and will mostly feature enemies I build from the ground up. Not mention I think we've already unlock conversion rules for SoM which should cover the monsters I don't build myself.


jedi8187 wrote:
But something like a dragon and it's spell-like abilities I see no reason to convert.

If the original has many spell-like abilities it's much more convenient to simplify them to a few spheres and talents.


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Our typical approach with spheres settings has largely been "Monster Magic works differently." It actually is kinda interesting when the dragons and succubi can pull "your rules are not my rules" with the magic system, and creates the impression monster powers don't work in a way most adventurers can replicate.


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Yeah. But it's a mess when monsters have a a bunch of Spell-like Abilities.

Also sometimes you want to have monsters and PCs working on the same system.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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jedi8187 wrote:

***

SoM is different though as it might change combat a lot for martial monsters so I hope we get both. I voted for the archetypes though in the thread, because the campaign I'm working on I want to be full spheres, have gishes, and will mostly feature enemies I build from the ground up. Not mention I think we've already unlock conversion rules for SoM which should cover the monsters I don't build myself.

Yeah, a lot of the monsters we've been playing with doing SoM conversions for are monsters that should be awesome, but frequently lack the punch they should have. Dinosaurs have been used a lot as one of the main monsters that should be terrifying but are often really easy encounters for their CR. I ran an encounter the other day where the party got caught in the middle of a triceratops stampede and had to throw down with an alpha who had the Guardian sphere.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Yeah, a lot of the monsters we've been playing with doing SoM conversions for are monsters that should be awesome, but frequently lack the punch they should have.

Larger monsters (like Giants) and smaller monsters (like Fey) come to mind here.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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rainzax wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Yeah, a lot of the monsters we've been playing with doing SoM conversions for are monsters that should be awesome, but frequently lack the punch they should have.
Larger monsters (like Giants) and smaller monsters (like Fey) come to mind here.

Yeah, giants are another one we've talked about quite a bit, though as more humanoid creatures there's a lot that the GM can really easily do for a conversion all on their own; I was playing around with a cloud giant Lancer build the other night that was basically an uber FF dragoon, sky walking up and then leaping straight down for devastating Impalement strikes. I also gave some hill giants the Throwing sphere in a playtest, letting them rebound their thrown rocks, and that got pretty nasty.

Fey are one I hadn't thought about as much since they're typically portrayed as being very magical, but now that you've mentioned it, I can see that being an amazing playground.


I have to echo the dinosaurs, giants, and fey thing.

I ran a dinosaur-heavy campaign for my players and oftentimes was disappointed how little they competed with the PCs compared to how much EXP they gave. A triceratops ended up getting one-rounded by a level 9 brawler with Pummeling Style before it even got an attack off, and future tris didn't fare much better, allosauruses should've been very intimidating but were similarly outmatched, and the party arcanist ended up taking on a tyrannosaurus by herself and won because she could fly. It's hard to present the T-Rex as an ultimate badass encounter after that.

Giants are another of those enemies that are very threatening to melee and so make for great dramatic adversaries for fighters and rangers but get cold-cocked by magic more than I think they ought to.

Fey are usually pretty powerful, but they have a lot of potential to focus on the fact that based on folklore they are often crazy strong and very, very scary.


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Ok after all this: If we fail to reach the bestiary can we just kickstart it? Or patreon it? Just let me throw money at this thing please.


Ssalarn wrote:
We could even potentially do an "Unleashed Juggernaut" monster sphere...

So let's say this Monster Sphere concept comes to fruition by virtue of the size of the kickstart being able to stretch it. What would we be looking at here? Like, five special Monster Spheres, general rules/suggestions for advancing monsters using Spheres, and twenty sample monsters CR 1-20?

Something like that?

Dark Archive

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Aaaaaand that makes me lucky backer 296. Glad to have this as my first project backed - I know it'll turn out great!


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rainzax wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
We could even potentially do an "Unleashed Juggernaut" monster sphere...

So let's say this Monster Sphere concept comes to fruition by virtue of the size of the kickstart being able to stretch it. What would we be looking at here? Like, five special Monster Spheres, general rules/suggestions for advancing monsters using Spheres, and twenty sample monsters CR 1-20?

Something like that?

you know spheres of conflict can be a good book for further kick starter project where we get monsters made by sphere magic and combat with maybe rules for custom monster creation


I think Cover Fire needs a little extra wording so it's very clear you can use your ranged weapon to "threaten" that area and make AoOs, but I'm not sure how to word it or if it's even actually needed.

Dark Archive

Really like the Sniping sphere - one of the first characters I ever made was a Vital Strike Gunslinger with a Musket that would've been perfect with this!

And you have no. Idea. How long I've been working on a homebrew class to address a couple of the abilities the Athletics sphere grants. I'm going to join my friend and start wearing tinfoil hats because this is ridiculous.

Edit: Oh yeah, and the Armiger looks really freakin cool too. Gonna build Zero from Mega man X with that (his standalone games gave him like 8 weapons).

Silver Crusade

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LuniasM wrote:

Really like the Sniping sphere - one of the first characters I ever made was a Vital Strike Gunslinger with a Musket that would've been perfect with this!

And you have no. Idea. How long I've been working on a homebrew class to address a couple of the abilities the Athletics sphere grants. I'm going to join my friend and start wearing tinfoil hats because this is ridiculous.

Edit: Oh yeah, and the Armiger looks really freakin cool too. Gonna build Zero from Mega man X with that (his standalone games gave him like 8 weapons).

Here I was thinking you meant X4, which just gave him some goofy stuff to do with his sword (and the best voice acting he'll EVER have).

Hopefully the next preview we put up will keep the hype rolling right along.


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N. Jolly wrote:
Hopefully the next preview we put up will keep the hype rolling right along.
N. Jolly wrote:
the next preview we put up
N. Jolly wrote:
next preview

Now! Now! Now! Now!

:)


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Lord Mhoram wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Hopefully the next preview we put up will keep the hype rolling right along.
N. Jolly wrote:
the next preview we put up
N. Jolly wrote:
next preview

Now! Now! Now! Now!

:)

I too am in eager anticipation of more previews!

Silver Crusade

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Brendan Eichler wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
Hopefully the next preview we put up will keep the hype rolling right along.
N. Jolly wrote:
the next preview we put up
N. Jolly wrote:
next preview

Now! Now! Now! Now!

:)

I too am in eager anticipation of more previews!

Trust me, I'm sure we'll have something new for you real soon, especially since we just broke 15,000, which means new stretch goal unlocked!


Looks like we don't have to worry about geting a bestiary or archetypes! We got both!


hungry to start looking over the next preview..... =P

Silver Crusade

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Baval wrote:
hungry to start looking over the next preview..... =P

I hope you can wait a day, because that's when we have them planned.

Also there's a new update for the kickstarter live, including a planned AMA on Reddit this Wednesday!


N. Jolly wrote:
Baval wrote:
hungry to start looking over the next preview..... =P

I hope you can wait a day, because that's when we have them planned.

Also there's a new update for the kickstarter live, including a planned AMA on Reddit this Wednesday!

Can you give me a link as to where the AMA will be? I'm not the most reddit-savvy person on these forums...

Silver Crusade

Brendan Eichler wrote:
Can you give me a link as to where the AMA will be? I'm not the most reddit-savvy person on these forums...

Nor am I, I'm assuming it'll be somewhere here, but if things change, we'll be sure to update everyone as well as posting a link on the thread once we're 100%

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