Free dedication feat campaign Idea


I was inspired by a conversation on this thread

I was thinking about running a game where all the player are members of a highly magical family (probably siblings if that matters) and start as Sorcerers but the magic is so inherent to them that they can easily split their focus to other fields as well (getting free dedication feats) I would love to see other peoples opinions of the base concept and I do have a couple of specific questions

1. Does this seem doable or will they have to much difficulty with combats?

2. Should I start at 2nd level, I really want to start at first and give them Rp hooks as to why they choose to MC where they do and as I don't really give out XP I just give them a level when it feels good for the Story I'm not too worried about them needing to survive to many combats as as group of sorcerers

3. This one is more from the story side and less from a mechanics side: Should I allow anyone to have a Different Bloodline (ie a tie to a different part of the family bloodline) or be like a late bloomer where they start as a different class but must MC into Sorcerer

Oh and if anyone is interested in the story itself let me know and I'll post it when I'm done working on it (I have a homebrew world so it won't be set in Golarion)

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My thoughts.

1. You would have more variety of sorcorrer was the free dedication.

So everyone gets free sorcorrer MC feats except the sorcorrer who should probably get something else. I'd suggest whatever the full caster of the same magic tradition is.

2. Just ignores the lvl 2 prerequisite for the feat and start at lvl 1.

3. Id suggest same bloodline for everyone since it's a story hook and you are going for cohesion. Maybe same background as well. One that provides Cha (or maybe give an extra free Cha boos to go with the free MC feats.)

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lady Wrath wrote:

3. This one is more from the story side and less from a mechanics side: Should I allow anyone to have a Different Bloodline (ie a tie to a different part of the family bloodline) or be like a late bloomer where they start as a different class but must MC into Sorcerer

If the game is going to be more than a one off gimmick you absolutely should let players choose different bloodlines. Perhaps the family as purposefully courted powerful beings over the centuries to prepare for this generation (maybe the game starts with them all attending the ritual to "thicken" the blood, for bonus story points they all thought they were Orphans (allowing them to pick different backgrounds ensuring they can take options viable to their MC choice) and being abducted for the ritual is the first time they've met each other.)

If you don't do this I foresee your players getting real bored real quick when they all have to try an differentiate themselves but are tied to the same spell list (and thus similar sets of feats building well of them) and powers.

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

1) Let anyone pick whatever class they want. Then if they pick Sorcerer let them take any dedication feat they want, if they pick another class they get Sorcerer dedication feats for free. This way you get a wide range of build diversity at the table but you also hang on to your games theme.
2)Let them pick whatever bloodline they like, you don't want everyone stuck with the same bloodline spells.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

For a single standalone adventure
If it's only for one to four sessions or so, it's a lot easier to be super restrictive and have a bunch of similar sorcerers because they won't be locked in for too long. They might struggle with some combats more, but you can more tightly craft the encounters to better fit their capabilities to offset that, and since it's a single adventure you can do that without making the more limited range of encounters too repetitive and stale. You could also start at a bit higher level to give more options for diversifying character builds.

For a longer campaign:
I agree with the people recommending allowing any class and offering the free Sorcerer dedication feat (any bloodline) as long as they met the prerequisite 14 charisma, or just a single innate cantrip if they didn't (still picking a bloodline). I'd offer a custom background for them (with Cha as one of the stats to boost, obviously), but wouldn't make it mandatory. I'd be very surprised to see anyone pass up the dedication feat, but I'd also let them get a free upgrade to the dedication feat later if they hit 14 charisma, since those character creation stat choices can be hard and maybe they can only spare a single bump to Cha at level one.

I'd give them the bonus dedication feat or cantrip at level one, and make it not count for the dedication limit if they really didn't want to invest more in being a sorcerer and wanted to multiclass somewhere else.

If they started as a sorcerer, I'd probably give them the option to start with a bonus level 2 sorcerer class feat or a dedication feat as long as they meet the requirements (other than level). The playtest didn't even have level 2 sorcerer feats so I can't compare, but my suspicion is they're not too powerful relative to a dedication feat, and it seems thematic that they could be more sorcerer and not force them to multiclass.

I'd still start everyone at level one and just accept that they're all a little more powerful than they'd otherwise be for the first few levels.

The big goal with this approach is to provide incentives to fit everyone into your campaign theme. At the same time, this approach is trying not to force anyone who just wants to do something different to give up anything or inadvertently incentivizing sorcerers to multiclass (by not giving them a different option than a dedication feat). No matter what they pick, they can get a free thing of roughly similar power that fits the theme of your campaign.

The "any bloodline" thing is maybe trickier thematically, but I think it would make for more interesting gameplay over the long run.

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Lady Wrath wrote:
1. Does this seem doable or will they have to much difficulty with combats?

I can't imagine this would really unbalance the group either way. While they would have more access to spells, they would still only have 3 actions in a round, which frankly is the main limiting factor for spellcasters in general. While your PCs would have access to a wider breadth of abilities, in combat that would manifest itself as them having the choice between a cantrip or a strike. The math is much tighter in P2 and each spell level above cantrip is restricted to one spell per day, so the likelihood of an unbalancing combo is significantly reduced.

Also, player psychology will help to manage this as well. What I mean by that is when a player is picking spells for a sorcerer, they are more likely to pick blast spells, as they have universal usefulness. This will be exacerbated by the fact that with multiclass dedications, you only have one spell in your repertoire per spell level (except cantrips which has 2). If I only have one spell I can cast only once per day, I am going to pick something I will use every day, like magic missiles or heal etc. Now as the PCs level up you can expect some synergistic selections, e.g. One person selects Haste while another pics Fireball so there is no overlap, but that again is only one casting of each per day.

So first thank you all for the advice, I have made some decisions about the game. All 4 players will be human nobles (Though likely less nobility and more a Socialite family). I will either have them all be imperial blood or if they like the idea one of each tradition for the fun (I have a great story reason for it now, But one of my players reads the forums so it'll be a secrete for now) and I will let them choose if that want to be a Sorc or a MC Sorc

I'll be willing to share the intro story once my group has talked about it.

So I just thought of something should they be allowed to spend their class feats on dedication feats on top of the free ones?

Lady Wrath wrote:
So I just thought of something should they be allowed to spend their class feats on dedication feats on top of the free ones?

That would be up for you as the GM to decide. Technically even with the free Dedication Feat they would still need two Feats from that list before they can grab another Dedication. It can be possible though that the Dedication Feat you gave them just allows them more Feats to choose from as base and allow them to grab further dedication Feats.

Allowing them to grab other Dedication Feats would make it look something like this:

Fighter Lv 1: Fighter Feat, Free Sorc Dedication

Fighter Lv 2: Fighter Feat, Free Sorc Dedication, Druid Dedication

If you got with them needing the two other feats as a minimum then the soonest they can get into another Dedication would be Level 6 i believe.

Yea I was thinking might as well let them spend there feats wherever but I think they will need to still get the 3 feats before moving on

I played one like this during the playtest.

We got a free dedication at 1. then we got extra class feats in those ones. Depending on story progression. It was pretty fun.

If you don't want to do it straight up free. You could make dedication a heritage or general feat OK at lv 1 or 2. (There is a human heritage feat for a free dedication lv 9 I think)

Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you are wanting to ensure that characters have at least minor sorcerer abilities but are not otherwise restricted, your best bet might be to give them a free Sorcerer Dedication feat at 1st level and not enforce the limit that that feat (and only that Dedication feat) would otherwise impose in regard to taking other Dedication feats. That is all you would need unless you have one or more players who actually want to play sorcerers.

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