[Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Combat Kickstarter


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The time has come to announce our next big project, which comes to kickstarter this Saturday!

Spheres of Combat rebuilds martial characters in a similar fashion to how Spheres of Power handles magic; it lets you build by concept and opens up those concepts from 1st level. However, rather than focusing on effects, SoC deals in combos, letting you turn each round into a symphony of techniques.

We've got a team of writers on this one and it's shaping into something awesome, so come take a look!


Oh, yes.

GODS, YES.

This is the project I've been waiting for ever since its existence was hinted at a few months ago. I am SO READY to find out more about this.


I think the phrase is "shut up and take my money". o wo~ I've mentioned before that I was pretty iffy on Spheres of Power when I backed it - half of me expected I'd glance through once and throw it onto the pile of ideas for stories. Instead it's become a solid mainstay of games I run and play, so I am darn sure I want to check this out. XD


Rednal wrote:
"shut up and take my money"

That.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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It's been exciting working on this, and I'm even more excited to start revealing the classes and spheres.... There's a ton of awesome material queued up for this release, with several new martial classes like the Armiger, Blacksmith, Commander, and Conscript, as well as, obviously, tons of new spheres and talents.


Oooh, Blacksmith reminds me of the Artisan class, but given the way Spheres of Magic was amazing I can't help but be excited for this.

Bring on the blades of war!


Welcome to a new Era of PF without Paizo classes. [Granted one could do that with DSP material before but this takes it one step further.]

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Azten wrote:

Oooh, Blacksmith reminds me of the Artisan class, but given the way Spheres of Magic was amazing I can't help but be excited for this.

Bring on the blades of war!

One of the things we've been really focusing on is making martials who fill out into roles traditionally reserved for spellcasters in ways that make sense regardless of whether you're playing a grittier lower magic campaign or high fantasy. So one of the Blacksmith's core mechanics is "Maintenance", where during an 8 hour rest he can set aside some time to maintain the party's gear, sharpening weapons, tightening armor straps, replacing padding, etc. to give the party various related buffs.

Basically, while there's going to be lots of cool mechanics for tanking, sniping, riding, and pretty much every combat maneuver or fighting style you could ask for (including the spheres being written in such a way that you can combine different spheres to create custom combat styles), there's also going to be ways to play martial characters who can really effectively buff, debuff, do battlefield control, etc.


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Well... It's been a bit since I've backed a kickstarter - lack of disposable cash combined with nothing that reached out and grabbed me.

That drought is going to end.
Add me to the "shut up and take my money" crowd.

I can't wait to see a partial caster, partial martial, mixing and maxing spheres - just for the flavor of the thing. :)


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Lord Mhoram wrote:
...partial martial...

Cheeky.

Why the name "Spheres" of "Combat" - I would think a more parallel name would choose a different shape like "Forms of Power" or somesuch (ok that's bad). Perhaps the english language ran out?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

rainzax wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:
...partial martial...

Cheeky.

Why the name "Spheres" of "Combat" - I would think a more parallel name would choose a different shape like "Forms of Power" or somesuch (ok that's bad). Perhaps the english language ran out?

Well, one so that it's immediately recognizable as the martial companion to Spheres of Power, and two because we did carry over the sphere-based organizational structure (though the spheres are things like "Dual Wielding" and "Wrestling" instead of "Destruction" and "Fate").


But think of the synergy in awesome! "Oh me? I Dual Wield Fate!"

Silver Crusade

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Oh, just figured I'd pop in and say I'm a writer on this project too, and it's been looking pretty hype.


Well that settles it. Drop Dead Studios is going to end up taking more of my shelf space than Paizo.


N. Jolly on board? NICE.

Ooh, I'm really hoping this goes over well with my group. One of my friends is really into gunplay and HEMA stuff, so she's been looking for a way to build snipers and swordmasters that have some more technique in them. From those little hints, it sounds like this might be just what the doctor ordered.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Blackwaltzomega wrote:

N. Jolly on board? NICE.

Ooh, I'm really hoping this goes over well with my group. One of my friends is really into gunplay and HEMA stuff, so she's been looking for a way to build snipers and swordmasters that have some more technique in them. From those little hints, it sounds like this might be just what the doctor ordered.

Snipers are specifically getting support with their own sphere, and there's at least dozens of ways to create custom sword-fighting styles. One of the the ideas we were kicking around in development is that you should be able to build just about any unique Soul Calibur character with 2 spheres or less, so Cervantes might be Dual Wielding/Sniping to combine two weapon fighting with powerful pistol shots, and if you really wanted to round him out you'd have the option of grabbing Dueling as well, but it wouldn't be necessary to be good at fighting with a sword and pistol and having lots of cool options.


....this is starting to feel like I need to sign a floating contract the crazy singing villain wants me to. This is too cool to be true.


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

Well, chances are definitely good I'll be backing this one. When you say come take a look, though, is there anything to take a look at yet, or is that intended for the future people of Saturday?


I love Spheres of Power. I'm hoping this will be a nice compliment for a world I'm building to compliment the theme drive of SoP which I'm already using.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Luthorne wrote:
Well, chances are definitely good I'll be backing this one. When you say come take a look, though, is there anything to take a look at yet, or is that intended for the future people of Saturday?

Pretty sure he meant "Come take a look... this Saturday" :)


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Well, chances are definitely good I'll be backing this one. When you say come take a look, though, is there anything to take a look at yet, or is that intended for the future people of Saturday?

Pretty sure he meant "Come take a look... this Saturday" :)

Sadly, I can only travel into the future on a 1:1 ratio. But yeah, I'm almost certainly on board...this definitely sounds cool.


This sounds pretty hype to me! I look forward to seeing what kind of combos I will create with rhese spheres. Considering you said that any Soul Caliber character can be made, I assume sword and shield is well supported?

Grand Lodge

Ssalarn wrote:
There's a ton of awesome material queued up for this release, with several new martial classes like the Armiger, Blacksmith, Commander, and Conscript, as well as, obviously, tons of new spheres and talents.

Okay, Devil's advocate time;

How are these going to be any different from classes that are already out or are they just rehashing concepts from other classes to use the sphere system?

Specially with the talent involved, how is the Commander going to be different from the Battle Lord, or the other (two)Commander classes out there? Is it just a rebuild with spheres?

Armiger by definition sounds like a knight or caviler class. How is it special?

Blacksmith - So it's the artisan rebuild for sphere's? Why would we have an interest to invest in a class that's already out there.

Conscript - are we looking at a solider or sidekick? If sidekick, is this just a rehash of a lackey or cohort concept?

How are you rebuilding martials classes so they won't seem like feat trees, and how is this going to interact with the PF system?

Spheres of Power was a replacement to the magic system, what is this replacing? Is it replacing the "optional" stamina system?

Is this just going to be a Drop Dead Studios version of Dreamscarred Press's Path of War?

Is this just an expansion Sphere's of Power that will let you focus on martial vs magic?

How will they interact?


I am curious if there will be dual-wielding shield support (including tower shields).


I haven't had the opportunity to delve into Spheres yet as much as I'd like to, but I definitely like what I've read up to this point.
If the martial stuff can be as flexible as the magical, then count me in.
Just need a link :)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Luthorne wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Well, chances are definitely good I'll be backing this one. When you say come take a look, though, is there anything to take a look at yet, or is that intended for the future people of Saturday?

Pretty sure he meant "Come take a look... this Saturday" :)

Sadly, I can only travel into the future on a 1:1 ratio. But yeah, I'm almost certainly on board...this definitely sounds cool.

I certainly think it's going to be cool, though you'll all be the final arbiters of that. Adam, Ehn Jolly, Andrew Stoeckle (aka Stack), and myself have all been working on this, and there's a fair line-up of work between us covering martial and/or all day options, and we're taking inspiration from the best of what we've done and innovating a lot of entirely new options and mechanics as well. Our big design goals are: make it fun, make it balanced, make it dynamic, make it cinematic, and give tons of options that work well apart from the full attack and charge defaults. We're also trying to make it as easy to use as possible; it all rests on and builds off the basic rules right out of the CRB, so you're only going to need to learn like, one new term before jumping in and using the system. The current rules section is only about a page long, and most of it is simply reiterating important terms from the core rules so you don't have go digging if you're unfamiliar with what an attack action is or when main-hand/off-hand rules are relevant.

GarnathFrostmantle wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
There's a ton of awesome material queued up for this release, with several new martial classes like the Armiger, Blacksmith, Commander, and Conscript, as well as, obviously, tons of new spheres and talents.

Okay, Devil's advocate time;

How are these going to be any different from classes that are already out or are they just rehashing concepts from other classes to use the sphere system?

All the new classes are built around original concepts and/or mechanics. The Blacksmith is a martial crafter/buffer who approaches buffing in a way I haven't seen done before, the Armiger is a combat class that actually rewards you for rapidly rotating through different types of weapons, and the Commander is an uber-leader who really focuses on opening up the party's mobility and coordination. The Conscript is more like the Incanter from SoP, kind of a "build your own martial" chassis.

Quote:


Specially with the talent involved, how is the Commander going to be different from the Battle Lord, or the other (two)Commander classes out there? Is it just a rebuild with spheres?

So, being the guy who wrote the Battle Lord, I've really been focusing on creating reasons to have both exist in the same game world. Where the Battle Lord is a lead-from-the-front type with a big teamwork feat focus, the Commander is a 3/4 BAB "lead-from-the-middle" type who can do things like expend actions on his turn to extend his party's mobility and options; for example, he can use his Rapid Repositioning advanced tactic as a move action on his turn to allow a number of allies equal to the higher of either his Charisma or Intelligence modifier to immediately move up to 10 ft. without using up any of their own actions or movement for the round. Where the Battle Lord is a lot more about passive buffs and teamwork feat sharing, the Commander is much more proactive and rewards strategic positioning.

Quote:


Armiger by definition sounds like a knight or caviler class. How is it special?

We went with "armiger" because the original "armsman" was something we wanted to replace with a more gender-neutral pronoun, and my proposal of "omnistriker" was seen as not being compatible with the grittier feel of a lot of the book, but basically it's a class that wants to chain together attack sequences using multiple weapons, maybe opening up with a lucerne hammer at reach, stepping in with a dagger for a close strike, and then while that enemy is reeling, popping a crossbow shot off at another nearby enemy, and getting certain rewards and benefits for quickly rotating through his arsenal.

Quote:


Blacksmith - So it's the artisan rebuild for sphere's? Why would we have an interest to invest in a class that's already out there.

Blacksmith is a full BAB martial combatant who can give all-day party buffs through her equipment maintenance abilities, as well as covering crafting without leaning on spellcasting. Definitely a lot more than an artisan rebuild, this class is going to make being a legendary blacksmith or the blacksmith's son something that defines your character through a lot more than just a background story.

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Conscript - are we looking at a solider or sidekick? If sidekick, is this just a rehash of a lackey or cohort concept?

Mechanically, this is to SoC what the Incanter was to SoP. You're a guy who was yanked out of your home, thunked down on a battlefield somewhere, and left to figure it out for yourself. The Conscript starts with pretty terrible proficiencies, but has full talent and bonus feat progressions that allow you to shape him however you want. Want to be a lightly armored spear-wielder who uses his skill and technique to take on more heavily armored foes like early Kaladin in the Stormlight Archives? Done. Want to be Heath Ledger in A Knight's Tale and steal your dead master's armor so you can sneak into the knighthood? Covered. It's a class that goes wherever your desire and the story are capable of taking it.

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How are you rebuilding martials classes so they won't seem like feat trees, and how is this going to interact with the PF system?

We're integrating directly into the existing combat system instead of layering another combat system on top of it. In a way, the spheres really are like highly modular feat trees, but they're trees you customize yourself to give your characters unique combat styles and capabilities.

Quote:


Spheres of Power was a replacement to the magic system, what is this replacing? Is it replacing the "optional" stamina system?

We really didn't want to have a point based system for martial capabilities, so this isn't really replacing the stamina system. Instead, we're building the combat system out to make it more dynamic and cinematic, and give you options that are just as effective in their own way as taking a full attack but a lot more flexible and interesting.

Quote:


Is this just going to be a Drop Dead Studios version of Dreamscarred Press's Path of War?

It's definitely going to be quite a bit more than that. If you want to use Spheres of Combat with Path of War, you'll be able to, though some actions may conflict with each other or be mutually exclusive. Path of War creates a whole new system and set of terminology and lays it on top of the existing combat rules; Spheres of Combat takes the existing combat rules and builds them out, giving you tons of ways to combine actions and combat maneuvers, enhance the effects of various actions, and build out certain skills with new functionality. There are certain overlaps in design goals, like helping martial characters break away from the full attack a bit more and have more equitable action economy with spellcasters, but these are definitely two very systems that approach combat in very different ways.

Quote:


Is this just an expansion Sphere's of Power that will let you focus on martial vs magic?

No. It's a new system, rebuilt from the ground up, with similar organizational structure to Spheres of Power and similar goals regarding innovation and player agency.

Quote:


How will they interact?

About the same way that standard combat and magic interact, though a little more equitably for the non-casting actions/options. A conscript and an incanter are going to feel a lot more natural together at all levels of play than a fighter and wizard often do, since they're both going to be building their capabilities in similar manners and growing outward as they grow upward.

Adam B. 135 wrote:
This sounds pretty hype to me! I look forward to seeing what kind of combos I will create with rhese spheres. Considering you said that any Soul Caliber character can be made, I assume sword and shield is well supported?

Yep, though it's generally going to be something you put together based on exactly how you want to focus your options. You could take the Dual-Wielding and Shield spheres to do TWF sword and board, Wrestling and Shield to create combos that build off grapples and shield bashes, Dueling and Shield to focus on quick bleeding strikes and defensive options, etc.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Can the Armiger teleport?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Rysky wrote:
Can the Armiger teleport?

Not natively, but I'd be lying if I said Noctis didn't provide some inspiration for the mechanics.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ssalarn wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Can the Armiger teleport?
Not natively, but I'd be lying if I said Noctis didn't provide some inspiration for the mechanics.

F~~! YES!

I am now VERY interested in this :3

For those curious.


Will there be any interaction mechanics to pair with SoP? Something like what the Magus does with sword and sorcerer? The last real gish type character I played was a Swordsage / Malefactor gestalt; curse the target while simultaneously performing complex maneuvers on it. I'd like to recreate a similar feel.

Secondly, gimme a link. :D


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

So, is there going to be an attempt to make unarmored character viable without spellcasting or being a monk? I'll admit, I've always been fond of the concept of the shirtless barbarian, or the quick, agile dandy who eschews armor, but it's certainly tricky to pull off in Pathfinder without levels of monk and/or some potions/wand of mage armor and the like.

Will you be trying to provide unique options for different types of weapons, or are you seeking to implement universally useful abilities? For example, unique maneuvers that require long, flexible weapons like flying blades, meteor hammers, and whips...or crushing blows requiring two-handed bludgeoning weapons (or at least one-handed bludgeoning weapons being used in a single hand)?

For that matter, will it be easier to gain proficiencies with this system? There's a lot of exotic weapons that are cool, but it can be hard to squeeze in the appropriate feat...or is the hope that this system will clean up your feats and allow you to have room for such feats?

Will existing classes fit into the system automatically, or will an archetype be required, such as one that swaps the fighter's bonus feats for getting a lot of sphere abilities?

Is there going to be a sphere designed for more high fantasy fighters that allows them to do things like instant movement, ki blasts, or possibly various aura tricks? Perhaps even pressure point based attacks or aiding your allies with pressure points? Or will there instead be a sphere that allows you to pick up spheres of power magic tricks, perhaps letting you gain the benefits of Basic and Advanced Magical Training? Or again, just hope to clean up your feats and allow you to have the room to pick up such feats on your own?

Also, will there be an anti-spellcaster or anti-supernatural sort of sphere that specializes in such tactics?


Luthorne wrote:
So, is there going to be an attempt to make unarmored character viable without spellcasting or being a monk? I'll admit, I've always been fond of the concept of the shirtless barbarian, or the quick, agile dandy who eschews armor, but it's certainly tricky to pull off in Pathfinder without levels of monk and/or some potions/wand of mage armor and the like.

This is of great interest to me.

And for those that enjoy unarmed combat - will there be options for the those that prefer to fight unarmed? I know you mentioned wrestling.


CalethosVB wrote:

Will there be any interaction mechanics to pair with SoP? Something like what the Magus does with sword and sorcerer? The last real gish type character I played was a Swordsage / Malefactor gestalt; curse the target while simultaneously performing complex maneuvers on it. I'd like to recreate a similar feel.

Secondly, gimme a link. :D

Yeah - a class that used SoC for Martial abilities and SoP for magic, and class abilities to blend them, mid in BAB and mid CL.


I have a few reservations too, mostly stemming from the term "combo", and exacerbated by the Armiger being a cyclone of weapon swapping. It all sounds very Capcom vs Pathfinder II Turbo Alpha at this point. Also the Conscript having terrible proficiencies to start. How terrible? Commoner bad? Simple only? Remember, even spending a feat on a bastard sword tends to be considered a poor choice for a fighter, let alone a less feat intensive class trying to get a regular longsword.


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Lord Mhoram wrote:
CalethosVB wrote:

Will there be any interaction mechanics to pair with SoP? Something like what the Magus does with sword and sorcerer? The last real gish type character I played was a Swordsage / Malefactor gestalt; curse the target while simultaneously performing complex maneuvers on it. I'd like to recreate a similar feel.

Secondly, gimme a link. :D

Yeah - a class that used SoC for Martial abilities and SoP for magic, and class abilities to blend them, mid in BAB and mid CL.

We shall call it the Eldritch Sphere Knight!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

This sounds like it's my kind of thing. I look forward to hearing more, and hopefully joining in on the Kickstarter!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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CalethosVB wrote:

Will there be any interaction mechanics to pair with SoP? Something like what the Magus does with sword and sorcerer? The last real gish type character I played was a Swordsage / Malefactor gestalt; curse the target while simultaneously performing complex maneuvers on it. I'd like to recreate a similar feel.

Secondly, gimme a link. :D

Almost certainly, though those are still in development. I was just mentioning to Rysky how the Armiger's offensive mechanics were inspired by Noctis from FF XV; I am 100% about an archetype that gives the class access to the Warp sphere and combines that with his weapon mechanics, and I can pretty much guarantee we'll have other gish archetypes and PrCs available in the final product. Link should be going up Saturday, though I'm still waiting to hear from Adam on whether the initial playtest will be open or early access for backers.

Luthorne wrote:
So, is there going to be an attempt to make unarmored character viable without spellcasting or being a monk? I'll admit, I've always been fond of the concept of the shirtless barbarian, or the quick, agile dandy who eschews armor, but it's certainly tricky to pull off in Pathfinder without levels of monk and/or some potions/wand of mage armor and the like.

Totes. Amongst other things, the Boxing sphere is focused on defensive counter-punching and has several talents that are weapon agnostic, so you can stack up some dodge and shield bonuses even if you're not using unarmed strikes. I think Dueling and/or Fencing also have some defensive boosts, so there should be a few different ways depending on your combat style to create a competent unarmored character. The Blacksmith also has a few defensive boosts that treat standard clothing and robes as armor with a starting armor bonus of 0, so you could play a Blacksmith whose "armor" is really just his leather blacksmith's apron reinforced for durability.

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Will you be trying to provide unique options for different types of weapons, or are you seeking to implement universally useful abilities? For example, unique maneuvers that require long, flexible weapons like flying blades, meteor hammers, and whips...or crushing blows requiring two-handed bludgeoning weapons (or at least one-handed bludgeoning weapons being used in a single hand)?

Yes. Most of the spheres and talents are weapon agnostic, though some will naturally favor certain combat styles and/or weapon groups. A few really unique weapons or styles, like Shields, have their own spheres to build out their functionality.

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For that matter, will it be easier to gain proficiencies with this system? There's a lot of exotic weapons that are cool, but it can be hard to squeeze in the appropriate feat...or is the hope that this system will clean up your feats and allow you to have room for such feats?

Yes, and also yes. There's an "Equipment" sphere that includes proficiency packets which are thematic bundles of weapon or armor proficiencies so you don't have to buy up each weapon or armor type individually. This also lowers the cost of buying into certain combinations freeing up feats for use elsewhere.

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Will existing classes fit into the system automatically, or will an archetype be required, such as one that swaps the fighter's bonus feats for getting a lot of sphere abilities?

They'll click in automatically by grabbing feats like Basic Combat Training and Extra Combat Talent. Instead of introducing a "martial practitioner" level or something similar, talent acquisition and similar abilities use your BAB the same way SoP used CL.

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Is there going to be a sphere designed for more high fantasy fighters that allows them to do things like instant movement, ki blasts, or possibly various aura tricks? Perhaps even pressure point based attacks or aiding your allies with pressure points? Or will there instead be a sphere that allows you to pick up spheres of power magic tricks, perhaps letting you gain the benefits of Basic and Advanced Magical Training? Or again, just hope to clean up your feats and allow you to have the room to pick up such feats on your own?

So, the same way that Spheres of Power had Advanced Magic for the big game-changing spells and abilities, Spheres of Combat is going to have Legendary Talents that consist of the really high fantasy and mythic techniques that may be immersion breaking for some games. If you want the Cu'Chulain hurling a spear through a legion or cutting a mountain in half type stuff, it's going to be there, but the base spheres are going to focus more on abilities that are mechanically competitive but thematically fit regardless of whether you're in a gritty low magic game or epic high fantasy. This will let the system accommodate a much broader array of games without GMs feeling like they have to veto abilities on a case-by-case basis. Want your martial characters to be more Lord of the Rings and less RWBY? Simply let your players know that you won't be using the Legendary Talents section. Want your martial characters to be able to airwalk by kicking down so hard the force of their own steps keeps them aloft, or be able to "teleport" by swinging their sword so forcefully they actually cut through space and time? Put Legendary Talents on the table and sit back and enjoy the awesomeness.

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Also, will there be an anti-spellcaster or anti-supernatural sort of sphere that specializes in such tactics?

So originally, yes, there was such a sphere. I actually argued against it though, under the premise that every adventurer in a fantasy world should have some facility for reacting to and dealing with magical threats. To me it just doesn't make sense that a level 20 Fighter needs special unique training to deal with wizards and outsiders; he's been fighting these things his whole career and should have picked up some tricks for dealing with them regardless of what his fighting style is. With that in mind, every sphere will have some abilities for dealing with various magical challenges as thematically appropriate- Duelists can slice a casters fingers or equivalent appendages to make it more difficult to use somatic components, wrestlers can prevent enemies from teleporting out of their grapples, boxers can punch out a caster's teeth making it more difficult for them to use spells with verbal components, etc.


Azten wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:
CalethosVB wrote:

Will there be any interaction mechanics to pair with SoP? Something like what the Magus does with sword and sorcerer? The last real gish type character I played was a Swordsage / Malefactor gestalt; curse the target while simultaneously performing complex maneuvers on it. I'd like to recreate a similar feel.

Secondly, gimme a link. :D

Yeah - a class that used SoC for Martial abilities and SoP for magic, and class abilities to blend them, mid in BAB and mid CL.
We shall call it the Eldritch Sphere Knight!

There is a Destruction talent that has you make a standard action attack with your weapon. If it hits, the target also takes the damage of your destructive blast.

That is what I'm talking about.


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

Legendary Talents definitely sound pretty awesome, though I hope that punching rivers into new courses, leaping seven leagues, and possibly holding your breath for days are included. I'm definitely excited now, though...!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

RogueMortal wrote:
I have a few reservations too, mostly stemming from the term "combo", and exacerbated by the Armiger being a cyclone of weapon swapping. It all sounds very Capcom vs Pathfinder II Turbo Alpha at this point.

We definitely want combat being more cinematic, though the Armiger is probably the closest thing to a "video-gamey" type class in the book, and even then I think there are tons of examples in fantasy literature of badass warriors snatching up different weapons as they make their way across the battlefield. I don't think the Armiger is going to break your game immersion regardless of where your thematic appropriateness level is at. As to combos... Let me paste in a an example of play from one of the drafts:

SoC Combat example wrote:


Example 2
Trish the halfling has spent 4 talents to buy the Duelist Sphere, the Wrestling Sphere, Rollercoaster, and ...And Stay Down. Her and her human friend Joe the Fighter are faced with a deadly drow swashbuckler who Joe just can’t seem to land hit on. Seeing an opening, Trish dashes forward and grapples the drow, using her free trip attempt from the Wrestling sphere to fling him over her head and initiating her Rollercoaster talent. As she and the drow tumble past Joe, Joe takes an attack of opportunity against the prone and grappled drow, now easily hitting its much reduced AC. As Trish and the drow come to a halt, she quickly uses her ...And Stay Down! Talent to make an attack of opportunity and slam a dagger into the drow’s chest, leaving the drow bleeding and slipping in a pool of its own blood and requiring it to make an Acrobatics check to stand up again.
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Also the Conscript having terrible proficiencies to start. How terrible? Commoner bad? Simple only? Remember, even spending a feat on a bastard sword tends to be considered a poor choice for a fighter, let alone a less feat intensive class trying to get a regular longsword.

Light armor and simple weapons. It can use its two bonus talents to buy a proficiency package or two from the Equipment sphere to improve these proficiencies, or it can stick with a spear and leather armor and focus on really building up that lightly armored simple weapon combat style, whichever the player would prefer. Both are equally viable options.

Grand Lodge

How much will these classes overshadow the base martial classes?

How much will these classes be like those from the advanced class guide in terms of power level?

Has playtesting outside of home groups with been performed or will they be?
~Greg


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CalethosVB wrote:
Azten wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:
CalethosVB wrote:

Will there be any interaction mechanics to pair with SoP? Something like what the Magus does with sword and sorcerer? The last real gish type character I played was a Swordsage / Malefactor gestalt; curse the target while simultaneously performing complex maneuvers on it. I'd like to recreate a similar feel.

Secondly, gimme a link. :D

Yeah - a class that used SoC for Martial abilities and SoP for magic, and class abilities to blend them, mid in BAB and mid CL.
We shall call it the Eldritch Sphere Knight!

There is a Destruction talent that has you make a standard action attack with your weapon. If it hits, the target also takes the damage of your destructive blast.

That is what I'm talking about.

I understand. And I love that ability - have a character basically built around it. Just drooling at the thought of an entire class built around those kind of synergies.

It wasn't what you were speaking about, I just sort of used what you said as my jumping off point.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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GarnathFrostmantle wrote:
How much will these classes overshadow the base martial classes?

Not much at all, unless we screwed up somewhere. There will be a couple little things, like most (all) of the classes not going below 4+Int for their skills, but generally, the core power and damage capabilities of martial classes like the Fighter are fine; the issues lie more in the realm of things like their damage dropping precipitously if they move more than five feet, having very limited ways to improve their non-AC defenses, an inability to deal with a large number of magical threats when they're adventurers in a magical world, and having a harder time leveraging their full action economy. Spheres of Combat is focused on spreading out capabilities, letting martial combatants have lots of options that key off a Move + Standard attack action turn instead of charges and/or full attacks. So, a Fighter who buys into Spheres of Combat with his feats isn't necessarily going to see his potential damage threshold change, but he's going to have a lot more flexibility from turn to turn, and he's going to be much less likely to be stymied by obstacles that force him to move around or which would normally require magical support to address.

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How much will these classes be like those from the advanced class guide in terms of power level?

Pretty equivalent, mostly along the lines of the Bloodrager, Brawler, and Slayer.

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Has playtesting outside of home groups with been performed or will they be?
~Greg

Not yet, but open playtesting will be a part of the go-forward process. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure if we're doing an exclusive initial playtest for Kickstarter and Patreon backers, or if it's going to be an open playtest right out of the gate. We'll definitely be updating everyone on playtest status here in this thread though, so you can keep abreast of how things are progressing.


I think my question was skipped over.

Is there currently any support for those who dual-wield two tower shields?


Okay, I may not be getting it, but why two tower shields?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Dark Souls?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Grovestrider wrote:

I think my question was skipped over.

Is there currently any support for those who dual-wield two tower shields?

Sorry about that, there have been a lot of questions and comments to respond to!

So, currently there is definitely dual-wielding shield support, but I don't know that we have anything for dual-wielding tower shields specifically; I'll run the question by the team and let them know that it's something that has been requested and we can see if it's something that's currently covered, and if not, if it's something we can cover as we continue to add to the project.


Okay, so combos are just using different actions for talents.

Also, another vote for dual tower shields, been looking for that ever since a 3.5 drow book had art of it.


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

Oh, will there also be support for using oversized weaponry and/or shields, or is that more likely to be a Legendary Talent? Or perhaps a restricted version for a normal Talent and a ridiculous version for a Legendary Talent?

...kind of have an admittedly zany mental image of someone surfing down a mountainside on a giant greatsword or tower shield, possibly with other members of the party trying to balance on it...

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

RogueMortal wrote:
Okay, so combos are just using different actions for talents.

Basically, yeah. You might have, for example, a few different spheres that offer some kind option for knocking an opponent prone, and then different talents that let you make an attack of opportunity with a particular rider or effect when a target is knocked prone adjacent to you. So if you go pure Wrestling, you might grapple, trip, damage, suplex an opponent using a combination of standard, move, swift/immediates, and AoOs, or you can mix your spheres up, and maybe you're a Wrestler/Duelist who grapples, trips, stabs, and leaves the opponent bleeding on the ground while their own blood acts like a pseudo grease spell. Everything rests on the core framework of the game and uses established action economy, you just get more ways to leverage that action economy. There will also be some spheres that aren't designed to combo up like that, and focus more on single big hits with straightforward rider effects for people who prefer to play martials because they enjoy a more simple rules set and don't like having to keep track of a bunch of cause and effect triggers.

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Also, another vote for dual tower shields, been looming for that ever since a 3.5 drow book had art of it.

Noted!

Luthorne wrote:

Oh, will there also be support for using oversized weaponry and/or shields, or is that more likely to be a Legendary Talent? Or perhaps a restricted version for a normal Talent and a ridiculous version for a Legendary Talent?

...kind of have an admittedly zany mental image of someone surfing down a mountainside on a giant greatsword or tower shield, possibly with other members of the party trying to balance on it...

If there weren't before, there are now. I'll have to kick "Shield Surfing" by the rest of the design team and see if they think that's more of a Mobility sphere talent or a Shield talent....

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