Unstable


Inventor Class

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I really don't get the connection between "focus abilities" and "unstable". Not every ability that is not supposed to be available every round is a focus ability; spell slots are not focus abilities.


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

The comparison to Focus is closer than a comparison to spellslots because tinkering with your innovation to restabilize it is more similar to refocusing than to waiting for your next daily preparation.

Personally, I also like the idea of escalating levels of instability, rather than a single flat check target number (or of starting with a single high target number but adding stages to the escalation as your level increases)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Angel Hunter D wrote:

No, they're basically Focus Abilities. If it's too much for those it's too much for Unstable.

Except if I archetype with something with focus they wouldn't share resources. I understand your point, but they are not focus abilities. The 10 minutes is just the standard exploration activity time like treat wounds, repair, etc...


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really don't get the connection between "focus abilities" and "unstable". Not every ability that is not supposed to be available every round is a focus ability; spell slots are not focus abilities.

Because they take up the exact same design space as focus. A slew of abilities you get 1 of per combat and eventually 2/combat for a feat. It functions a bit different in that instead of getting a point with every unstable power and having to take a separate feat to be able to recover 2 uses you just take a feat to get 2/combat and be able to restore them both.


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demon321x2 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really don't get the connection between "focus abilities" and "unstable". Not every ability that is not supposed to be available every round is a focus ability; spell slots are not focus abilities.
Because they take up the exact same design space as focus. A slew of abilities you get 1 of per combat and eventually 2/combat for a feat. It functions a bit different in that instead of getting a point with every unstable power and having to take a separate feat to be able to recover 2 uses you just take a feat to get 2/combat and be able to restore them both.

Unstable abilities are materially different from focus abilities since you have the chance of "not using the charge" every time you use it though. DC17 isn't the right number (Mark said as much) but that's the big difference.

It's like Focus except:
1) Maybe you can use it again if you're lucky
2) It's bad if you're unlucky.

The design goal will be to balance the risk/reward here to make it so "pressing your luck" is sometimes desirable. Make something that is more frequently usable than focus, but still limited.

Scarab Sages

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
demon321x2 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I really don't get the connection between "focus abilities" and "unstable". Not every ability that is not supposed to be available every round is a focus ability; spell slots are not focus abilities.
Because they take up the exact same design space as focus. A slew of abilities you get 1 of per combat and eventually 2/combat for a feat. It functions a bit different in that instead of getting a point with every unstable power and having to take a separate feat to be able to recover 2 uses you just take a feat to get 2/combat and be able to restore them both.

Unstable abilities are materially different from focus abilities since you have the chance of "not using the charge" every time you use it though. DC17 isn't the right number (Mark said as much) but that's the big difference.

It's like Focus except:
1) Maybe you can use it again if you're lucky
2) It's bad if you're unlucky.

The design goal will be to balance the risk/reward here to make it so "pressing your luck" is sometimes desirable. Make something that is more frequently usable than focus, but still limited.

They don't have a chance to fail every time they're used, only every attempt after the first.

"After an unstable action is used on an innovation, using another one is dangerous. If you attempt to use another unstable action on it, you must attempt a DC 17 flat check."


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I think unstable is more appropriate to the Inventor than spending focus points would be. It gives the sense of the inventions being a work in progress that always needs improvement. For example, see the Agatha Heterodyne web comic at The Infamous Falling Machine!

Unstability also gives an opportunity to correct a lack in the Inventor theme. Stack expressed it in There is So Much Agatha Heterodyne In This Class:

Stack wrote:
Agatha doesn't build one thing and cling to it through her entire career. She is constantly building different machines of all kinds and modifying them on the fly. The inventor we have looks very little like that.

For example, consider the three page sequence that begins at Agatha & Gil vs. the Wasps. Mad scientists Agatha Heterodyne and Gilgamesh Wulfenbach have taken refuge in Gil's laboratory from some warrior wasps that wish to capture them. The lab has no weapons beyond some fencing foils, but it does contain many experimental projects.

The wasps break through the wall with a Crash and a Thakoom!
AGATHA & GIL: Aaah!
GIL: Build Something!
AGATHA: What?!
GIL: I'll hold them off!
AGATHA: But I don't know how!
GIL: Then we'll die! Or worse!
AGATHA: But- you just said- there's nothing here!
GIL: (fencing with a wasp) Think!
AGATHA: Too much noise. I have to think- I have to- Hmmm. (Agatha hums the heterodyne music that indicates she is thinking like a mad scientist.)

The next page has four panels of Gil fencing the wasps. He does not move much, so call that at most 4 rounds.

In the first panel of the third page Agatha zaps a wasp with a fatal strike from an electric sword, made with parts from Gil's earlier tour of his lab.

That is what building something on the fly looks like.

And having something break is a great way to force the Inventor to build on the fly.

The problem is that we don't yet have a way to build something on the fly.

I need some clearer language, so let me add some key words to the definition of unstable actions:

Unstable Unstable actions rely on experimental functions of your innovation that even you can’t fully predict. You must be using your innovation (for example, wearing an armor innovation
or wielding a weapon innovation) to take an unstable action. If you have a minion innovation, some unstable actions are taken by the minion instead of you. In these cases, only the minion can take that action—you can’t—and the minion needs to have been Commanded that turn to take the action.
After daily preparations, your innovation is dynamic. After you use your stable innovation for an unstable action, it becomes unstable instead. If you attempt to use your unstable innovation for another unstable action, you must attempt a DC 17 flat check. On a failure, the innovation malfunctions in a spectacular fashion, such as a shower of sparks, wasting the actions and reducing the innovation to undynamic. An undynamic innovation functions as normal, but it cannot be used for unstable actions.
An innovation’s creator can spend 10 minutes retuning their innovation and making adjustments to restore it to dynamic.

Then I can invent some feats that are more like building something.

Fiddle With It [two-actions] feat 1
Inventor, Manipulate
Requirements You have a repair kit.
Make a Crafting check with DC equal to the highest craft DC of your innovation and its runes.
Critical Success Your innovation becomes dynamic.
Success Your innovation becomes unstable.
Failure Your innovation becomes undynamic.

Build Something [three-actions] feat 4
Inventor, Manipulate
Requirements You have a repair kit, your innovation is at or adjacent to your location, and it doesn't have a secondary part.
Make a Crafting check with DC equal to the crafting DC of a hand-held or worn item you possess. Success links that item into your innovation as a secondary part and your innovation becomes unstable. Linked items are tethered together always in the same square. As a single action, you may unlink the secondary part. If your innovation becomes undynamic, then the last unstable energies burn off the tether and unlink the secondary part.
While linked, all the rules of unstable actions still apply to your innovation except that you can use an unstable action only immediately after using the secondary part and the flat check for using an unstable innovation in an unstable action has its DC reduced by 5.
For example, you may Strike with a sword linked to your armor innovation and use Searing Restoration, if you know that feat, or you may Treat Wounds with healer's tools linked to to your weapon innovation and use Unstable Repair, if you know that feat.


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This came up in another thread, but making the "is this going to explode?" check be a craft check you make during combat rather than a flat check would both make unstable very different from focus, and give the class something to do with craft checks and intelligence (i.e. the things it's supposed to be about.)

Scarab Sages

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Mathmuse, I'm here because I want to play Pathfinder, not act out a comic I've never even heard of before the other day.

I'll never be a fan of unique mechanics that are so similar, that is against the design principle and theme of 2E as I've understood it since the core playtest.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
This came up in another thread, but making the "is this going to explode?" check be a craft check you make during combat rather than a flat check would both make unstable very different from focus, and give the class something to do with craft checks and intelligence (i.e. the things it's supposed to be about.)

This isn't a bad idea. The scaling is interesting. Assuming you're mostly keeping up with proficiency, Intelligence, and item bonuses, and it's a standard DC for your level, it starts at +6/+7 on a DC 15 (flat check of 8 or 9) and ends at +36/+37 on a DC 40 (flat check of 3 or 4). Making it a very hard DC for your level (+5) brings that to a starting equivalent flat check of 13 or 14, and an endgame flat check of 8 or 9.

Which I think is very a reasonable rate of success for Unstable.

Having two class features (Overdrive and Unstable) both relying on you investing into Craft isn't inherently bad, but it does also lean the class towards wanting free boosts to Crafting proficiency at 2, 7 and 15.

No other class demands one to invest in a specific skill in order to use core class features. The Swashbuckler sort of does, but they at least get a bunch of different options for where to specialize.

The Inventor is realistically working with less skill boosts because they're soft-locked into boosting Crafting.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Mathmuse, I'm here because I want to play Pathfinder, not act out a comic I've never even heard of before the other day.

Fun fact: playing Pathfinder involves roleplaying, which does include drawing inspiration from a variety of media.


All right you two, be nice and please stay on topic.

It's okay to draw upon inspiration from media you love, just as it's okay to be cautious of other people trying to bring in potentially overly specific ideas into something that's meant for everyone.


RexAliquid wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Mathmuse, I'm here because I want to play Pathfinder, not act out a comic I've never even heard of before the other day.
Fun fact: playing Pathfinder involves roleplaying, which does include drawing inspiration from a variety of media.

Well, to be perfectly clear, it can. You could argue that the RPG genre is heavily drawn from a variety of media. And that people's imaginations are to a large against as well. But the funnest fact of all is that some folk are averse to replicating books/movies/comics etc in their games.

And that, being their kind of fun, is ok here. It would be nice if they weren't too dismissive of the idea, and that if they do profess that they don't like to, they are left to go and do that.

Because we are all here trying to keep the forums a fun and friendly place. Because that is what it says on the tin.

Whether we like Agatha Heterodyne or not, or whether we like it and don't want to replicate it or we don't like it but want to replicate some of the abilities seen there, or if we want to play Angela Polychromial the gunslinger or don't want to play Inventors at all. I know I like the Inventor, and want to play one...


Or what the GentlemanDM said much more concisely and without not very veiled snark and muchly betterer than me...


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TheGentlemanDM wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
This came up in another thread, but making the "is this going to explode?" check be a craft check you make during combat rather than a flat check would both make unstable very different from focus, and give the class something to do with craft checks and intelligence (i.e. the things it's supposed to be about.)

This isn't a bad idea. The scaling is interesting. Assuming you're mostly keeping up with proficiency, Intelligence, and item bonuses, and it's a standard DC for your level, it starts at +6/+7 on a DC 15 (flat check of 8 or 9) and ends at +36/+37 on a DC 40 (flat check of 3 or 4). Making it a very hard DC for your level (+5) brings that to a starting equivalent flat check of 13 or 14, and an endgame flat check of 8 or 9.

Which I think is very a reasonable rate of success for Unstable.

Having two class features (Overdrive and Unstable) both relying on you investing into Craft isn't inherently bad, but it does also lean the class towards wanting free boosts to Crafting proficiency at 2, 7 and 15.

No other class demands one to invest in a specific skill in order to use core class features. The Swashbuckler sort of does, but they at least get a bunch of different options for where to specialize.

The Inventor is realistically working with less skill boosts because they're soft-locked into boosting Crafting.

If we didn't use the idea of a Crafting check, what if we instead scaled the flat check back whenever the Inventor's class DC proficiency improved?

It could start at a DC 15 flat check, improve to DC 12 at 9th level, and then improve to DC 9 at 17th level?


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I was excited by the class until I read how unstable worked. I think 10 minutes is too severe for a core class ability that can be used mostly once. I think a better way would be a full round action to clear the unstable trait is better.


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nicholas storm wrote:
I was excited by the class until I read how unstable worked. I think 10 minutes is too severe for a core class ability that can be used mostly once. I think a better way would be a full round action to clear the unstable trait is better.

I disagree with you here. Unstable, to me, allows for once a combat abilities with a small gambling element. While I think the numbers could use some tweaking, turning it into something you can do in combat seems like it defeats the purpose and makes for boring inventor turns.


Ruzza wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
I was excited by the class until I read how unstable worked. I think 10 minutes is too severe for a core class ability that can be used mostly once. I think a better way would be a full round action to clear the unstable trait is better.
I disagree with you here. Unstable, to me, allows for once a combat abilities with a small gambling element. While I think the numbers could use some tweaking, turning it into something you can do in combat seems like it defeats the purpose and makes for boring inventor turns.

Agree. Unstable isn't nearly as bad as I think a lot of people are making it out to be. Scaling to 1d6/level, you basically have a free fireball/encounter with the chance for another Every battle, no feat required. Then once you pick up Celerity, free limited 1 turn haste Every battle. Sure, losing actions on a failure sucks, but it's not the end of the world. And the "damage" to your innovation has no bearing on it's function after that.

I do feel like the Unstable Redundancy feat should either be earlier, maybe level 8-12, or be part of a feat chain that culminates in Unstable Redundancies. Maybe a feat that reduces the DC of the Flat check, or allows you to fail 1/day without penalty.


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10 minutes is not once per combat unless you rest 10 minutes between each combat. In a series of encounters, an inventor will have his core ability used 1.2 times. I would imagine spending a round to reset his unstable device is a poor use of action economy in a battle, but it allows him to use it once per combat.

A barbarians rage lasts 10 rounds and he has feats to use rage again. Casters have other spells and don't have to rely on focus spells.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nicholas storm wrote:

10 minutes is not once per combat unless you rest 10 minutes between each combat. In a series of encounters, an inventor will have his core ability used 1.2 times. I would imagine spending a round to reset his unstable device is a poor use of action economy in a battle, but it allows him to use it once per combat.

A barbarians rage lasts 10 rounds and he has feats to use rage again. Casters have other spells and don't have to rely on focus spells.

Most classes and players would probably be resting 10 minutes between combats. Not doing so typically means your Witch, Sorcerer, Wizard, Champion and possibly Monk aren't going in with full or any focus points, and somebody is likely down some if not a lot of hit points too. Your Fighter and Champion are likely missing some hit points on their shields as well. I think the base assumption in the game is a 10 min break is to be expected.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Mathmuse, I'm here because I want to play Pathfinder, not act out a comic I've never even heard of before the other day.
RexAliquid wrote:
Fun fact: playing Pathfinder involves roleplaying, which does include drawing inspiration from a variety of media.
TheGentlemanDM wrote:

All right you two, be nice and please stay on topic.

It's okay to draw upon inspiration from media you love, just as it's okay to be cautious of other people trying to bring in potentially overly specific ideas into something that's meant for everyone.

OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
Well, to be perfectly clear, it can. You could argue that the RPG genre is heavily drawn from a variety of media. And that people's imaginations are to a large against as well. But the funnest fact of all is that some folk are averse to replicating books/movies/comics etc in their games.

I am a big fan of Pathfinder 1st Edition's Advanced Player's Guide, published by Paizo in 2010. I consider it a work of genius that uplifted Pathfinder from a spin-off of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 into its own unique game system. This book also introduced five new classes: Alchemist, based on steampunk; Cavalier, based on the horsemanship of medieval knights; Inquisitor, based on fictional vampire hunters; Oracle, based on the mythological blind seer; and Summoner, a specialization on the Pathfinder summoning spells and possibly based on Pokemon.

New classes in Pathfinder pull from sources in history, folklore, literature, and any place we find interesting characters.

I don't expect the Inventor to be Agatha Heterodyne. Her inventiveness is at superheroic strength, too powerful for a Pathfinder character below 20th level. Instead, I wanted a quick example of an adventurous inventor style. Web comics tell a dramatic story that is easy to link to. I could have also used Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of the Mythbusters TV show as my example, where some of their early experiments fail and have to be rebuilt. I could have used the engineers and scientists of the U.S. Apollo program, which put men on the moon and also had a few crises such as the the explosion of an oxygen tank on Apollo 13. I could have used John Ericsson, inventor of the Monitor ironclad warship in the U.S. Civil War, not quite perfected before being put into service. I could have used Charles Goodyear, who invented the vulcanization of rubber partially by accident in 1839.

These examples show that invention is loaded with design mishaps. Thus, unstable is a valid theme for the Inventor class. I myself feel that the flip side of unstable ought to be pulling on work gloves and fiddling with the innovation to get it working at full capacity again. Because that is what inventor engineers do.

To play Pathfinder as it currently exists, we would not want new classes nor new mechanics. Gunslinger would be okay, since it exists in Pathfinder 1st Edition, but Inventor would be right out. And selecting a randomly-determined unstable-action mechanic rather than the time-tested perfectly valid focus-pool mechanic would definitely be going too far. The only excuse for unstable is flavor. And at this point, flavor comes from inspiration outside Pathfinder.


nicholas storm wrote:

10 minutes is not once per combat unless you rest 10 minutes between each combat. In a series of encounters, an inventor will have his core ability used 1.2 times. I would imagine spending a round to reset his unstable device is a poor use of action economy in a battle, but it allows him to use it once per combat.

A barbarians rage lasts 10 rounds and he has feats to use rage again. Casters have other spells and don't have to rely on focus spells.

I have no idea how you've played PF2 without the classic "here's what my character does for ten minutes" Treat Wounds/Refocus/Repair schtick.


Angel Hunter D wrote:

So, I'm liking a lot of what I'm seeing with the Inventor (I think there may be too much overlap with the Alchemist for my liking thematically, but that ship appears to have sailed) but Unstable is something I'm not digging.

Unstable yields a powerful effect, that you can only use on innovations (of which you appear to only ever have 1), and there's a 10 minute activity to reset it so you can do it again....This is a Focus Pool. Sure, there's a DC 17 check to try doing it again, but that's the only difference. You could just add a class action that's a DC 17 flat check Free Action to regain a Focus Point, and it's functioning the same but doesn't require the addition of a whole new mechanic.

For streamlining and ease of play I'm not a fan of near-identical mechanics. I'm betting part of this is so that it functions in places like the Mana Wastes, but a modifying clause in their rules should accomplish the same thing. If Oracles can have a weird focus pool, why not Inventors as well?

So, the reason I, personally, am ok with it being separated. Is it means I can get focus points and not have to spend them on my innovation. Armor inventor with a champion dedication? Sounds fun.

Scarab Sages

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Martialmasters wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:

So, I'm liking a lot of what I'm seeing with the Inventor (I think there may be too much overlap with the Alchemist for my liking thematically, but that ship appears to have sailed) but Unstable is something I'm not digging.

Unstable yields a powerful effect, that you can only use on innovations (of which you appear to only ever have 1), and there's a 10 minute activity to reset it so you can do it again....This is a Focus Pool. Sure, there's a DC 17 check to try doing it again, but that's the only difference. You could just add a class action that's a DC 17 flat check Free Action to regain a Focus Point, and it's functioning the same but doesn't require the addition of a whole new mechanic.

For streamlining and ease of play I'm not a fan of near-identical mechanics. I'm betting part of this is so that it functions in places like the Mana Wastes, but a modifying clause in their rules should accomplish the same thing. If Oracles can have a weird focus pool, why not Inventors as well?

So, the reason I, personally, am ok with it being separated. Is it means I can get focus points and not have to spend them on my innovation. Armor inventor with a champion dedication? Sounds fun.

Fun, yes. But mechanically they're nearly identical pools. Unless I missed something, Focus was supposed to avoid each class having a separate Arcane Pool, Mental Focus, etc. And here we have something similar but "not quite" focus being introduced. That doesn't sit well with me. And functionally, I don't really see how the Inventor/Champion with 2 focus points plays much different than an Inventor/Champion with Unstable and 1 focus point.

And again, I think we can add the gambling factor in and make it work with a Focus Pool. As for flavor of it, I don't really see a problem there either. Innovation only works for the inventor? might be a little supernatural.


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Wrapping it in with Focus creates way more problems then it solves. MM brought up dedications which works as a double-edged sword: grabbing dedications would allow for inventors to get access to their more significantly powerful abilities while also disincentivizing actually using the Focus powers as flavorful character options. An Inventor with champion dedication now has to choose between Explode (or any number of unstable actions) and Lay on Hands and I don't think that's actually an interesting design direction.

I also contend that Focus points were made to consolidate individual class pools instead of replicating and lessening the bookkeeping of the individual powers that PF1 had a glut of. Not to mention that at the core of it, your problem seems to come from Unstable seeming to be similar to Focus points which they simply aren't. Focus Points have a hard cap of 3 and need feats invested to recharge back up to that maximum between fights. Unstable has a soft cap of 1, and (currently) seems to encourage choosing your unstable actions carefully as you're realistically only going to be using one in combat (so it's likely that having a broad array of answers is helpful or perhaps focusing heavily on one singular action depending on the playstyle). I fully believe we'll see the trait change in the future, but I don't see it being an improvement to roll it into Focus.


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What I mean, is a hate RNG gambling factors. I like inventor in part because theirs is entirely optional and not a requirement of playstyle.

Let's keep it that way.

As for focus argument. The point I made is the out point I had. I see yours. I'm not totally against it. But focus Powers are typically to do cool stuff. If we make it use focus. Let's move the unstable check to when you try to perform those actions without using focus?


Angel Hunter D wrote:
Fun, yes. But mechanically they're nearly identical pools. Unless I missed something, Focus was supposed to avoid each class having a separate Arcane Pool, Mental Focus, etc. And here we have something similar but "not quite" focus being introduced. That doesn't sit well with me. And functionally, I don't really see how the Inventor/Champion with 2 focus points plays much different than an Inventor/Champion with Unstable and 1 focus point.

There is a lot of value in the distinction between the Unstable mechanic and focus points. The uniformity of Focus is generally helpful, but to force it onto the Inventor would be detrimental to the class.


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I think the main thing is that at DC 17 the risk is excessive, which Mark has already noted. That's what makes it feel so much like focus.

If it was something like DC 10 and/or escalating risk it becomes much more distinct.


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To recreate the "I just can't push these engines anymore captain" feel of the class, Instability should really be a thing with an escalating DC (after all, you can push the engines some, just maybe not that much).

There's a lot of creative space to explore here (fail the check? Let's look at the malfunction table!) so it would be a shame to just recreate another, less flavorful, mechanic.


Funky idea that will probably not make the cut:

After the 1st Unstable action you rolll a d4 on all subsequent:
1: item works flawlesly
2: Invention explodes in your face but still works (you take X damage)
3: Invention jams (no more unstable checks till you spent 10mins)
4: Invention jams AND explodes in your face

(possible to increase to d6 or d8 with added weird/funky malfunctions.

As i said will probably not make the cut due to adding multipe checks/time for a single character, taking up a lot of time of the table.

-----

Actual idea that might make the cut:
High DC for your level Craft check

----


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So long as it remains a choice to gamble on that RNG and not a requirement of the class to function. It's all good in my book.

Scarab Sages

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Ruzza wrote:

Wrapping it in with Focus creates way more problems then it solves. MM brought up dedications which works as a double-edged sword: grabbing dedications would allow for inventors to get access to their more significantly powerful abilities while also disincentivizing actually using the Focus powers as flavorful character options. An Inventor with champion dedication now has to choose between Explode (or any number of unstable actions) and Lay on Hands and I don't think that's actually an interesting design direction.

I also contend that Focus points were made to consolidate individual class pools instead of replicating and lessening the bookkeeping of the individual powers that PF1 had a glut of. Not to mention that at the core of it, your problem seems to come from Unstable seeming to be similar to Focus points which they simply aren't. Focus Points have a hard cap of 3 and need feats invested to recharge back up to that maximum between fights. Unstable has a soft cap of 1, and (currently) seems to encourage choosing your unstable actions carefully as you're realistically only going to be using one in combat (so it's likely that having a broad array of answers is helpful or perhaps focusing heavily on one singular action depending on the playstyle). I fully believe we'll see the trait change in the future, but I don't see it being an improvement to roll it into Focus.

I don't really see it functioning much differently if the unstable check just happens when you want to try an Unstable Focus Power without focus. As for not incentivizing using other focus powers, I don't really agree - it's going to be situational in a dynamic combat environment.


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Ruzza wrote:

Wrapping it in with Focus creates way more problems then it solves. MM brought up dedications which works as a double-edged sword: grabbing dedications would allow for inventors to get access to their more significantly powerful abilities while also disincentivizing actually using the Focus powers as flavorful character options. An Inventor with champion dedication now has to choose between Explode (or any number of unstable actions) and Lay on Hands and I don't think that's actually an interesting design direction.

But that's what every other class designed has to deal with. You want to be a monk/champion? Your lay on hand uses the same pool as your monk ki powers as any other multiclass focus power you pick up.


demon321x2 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:

Wrapping it in with Focus creates way more problems then it solves. MM brought up dedications which works as a double-edged sword: grabbing dedications would allow for inventors to get access to their more significantly powerful abilities while also disincentivizing actually using the Focus powers as flavorful character options. An Inventor with champion dedication now has to choose between Explode (or any number of unstable actions) and Lay on Hands and I don't think that's actually an interesting design direction.

But that's what every other class designed has to deal with. You want to be a monk/champion? Your lay on hand uses the same pool as your monk ki powers as any other multiclass focus power you pick up.

Except it doesn't work because of the other mechanic's surrounding it and it's not balanced because of how much more powerful these options can be then a focus power.

Seriously compare these unstable actions to your average focus power. They would have to notably nerf most of them.

Envoy's Alliance

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So um... Why not roll a crafting check against your own inventor class DC?

To reset unstable that is. Just a thought.

I like Unstable as a separate mechanism from Focus. The chance built in means that whether or not it continues to function is in question, unlike with Focus. Focus, if you have a focus point, it will work. Even an Oracle, they KNOW what will happen. This is more in keeping with the mad scientist we are all wanting to play.


Zoken44 wrote:

So um... Why not roll a crafting check against your own inventor class DC?

To reset unstable that is. Just a thought.

I like Unstable as a separate mechanism from Focus. The chance built in means that whether or not it continues to function is in question, unlike with Focus. Focus, if you have a focus point, it will work. Even an Oracle, they KNOW what will happen. This is more in keeping with the mad scientist we are all wanting to play.

The Inventor's class DC is 12 + level + Int. This means that both level and Intelligence modifier will cancel out. We want level to cancel out, but not Int.

The version of Treat Wounds in the playtest had a formula for the DC:

Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook Update 1.6 — Release Date: 11/5/2018 wrote:

TREAT WOUNDS

Requirements You must use healer’s tools (see page 186).
You spend 10 minutes treating up to 6 injured living creatures (targeting yourself as one of them, if you so choose), then attempt a Medicine check. The DC is usually the medium DC for the highest level of patient you’re treating, though the GM might adjust this DC due to circumstances, such as trying to rest during volatile weather or when treating magically cursed wounds. A given creature can be subject to only one Treat Wounds attempt per 10-minute period, so two characters can’t treat the same target’s wounds simultaneously.
Success You treat the patients’ wounds. Each patient recovers Hit Points equal to its Constitution modifier × your level or equal to just your level, whichever is higher.
Critical Success As success, but increase the healing by your level × 3.
Critical Failure The patients are bolstered against your Treat Wounds.

Formulas are a mess. Instead, Paizo decided on multiple fixed DCs for Treat Wounds where higher DCs gave better results.

An alternative would be to give each innovation an official Innovation DC that opponents facing the innovation have to roll against. However, a high Innovation DC would be a mixed blessing, since the inventor would have to roll against it for re-stabilizing the innovation.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Martialmasters wrote:
demon321x2 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:

Wrapping it in with Focus creates way more problems then it solves. MM brought up dedications which works as a double-edged sword: grabbing dedications would allow for inventors to get access to their more significantly powerful abilities while also disincentivizing actually using the Focus powers as flavorful character options. An Inventor with champion dedication now has to choose between Explode (or any number of unstable actions) and Lay on Hands and I don't think that's actually an interesting design direction.

But that's what every other class designed has to deal with. You want to be a monk/champion? Your lay on hand uses the same pool as your monk ki powers as any other multiclass focus power you pick up.

Except it doesn't work because of the other mechanic's surrounding it and it's not balanced because of how much more powerful these options can be then a focus power.

Seriously compare these unstable actions to your average focus power. They would have to notably nerf most of them.

This is the sticking point for me. I can certainly see the parallels between unstable and focus, and personally thought it was silly to not extend Focus to non-spell activities. But unstable works differently enough that I don't think the class would benefit from a consolidation.

All that said, I can see the parallels. And we already have the oracle as an example of focus working a bit differently for its class, so Unstable could still be applied. If they do consolidate them into focus, the Unstable trait could confer the ability for these abilities to still function in an antimagic zone.

I vote they get popped into the Primal tradition. I said on a different thread, but as Primal is primarily concerned with the material and physically present, even more so than Arcane, it would amuse me to have a tech focused class ape some of the abilities of traditional primalists while having a VASTLY different world view.

Edit: Actually, now that I'm looking closer, which Unstable abilities are out of line of focus spells? Closest I can find is Megavolt, but that is possibly because I can't actually find a line focus spell, and it is safely less powerful than the equivalent spell Lightning Bolt. I suppose Explosive Leap doesn't have an easy equivalent, but again it is notably more restricted than Jump, so it looks fine.


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Zoken44 wrote:

So um... Why not roll a crafting check against your own inventor class DC?

To reset unstable that is. Just a thought.

I like Unstable as a separate mechanism from Focus. The chance built in means that whether or not it continues to function is in question, unlike with Focus. Focus, if you have a focus point, it will work. Even an Oracle, they KNOW what will happen. This is more in keeping with the mad scientist we are all wanting to play.

Rather than rolling against your own class DC, I feel like it would be more appropriate to roll Crafting against a levelled DC the same way Overdrive does.

You even have in built scaling: make the first Unstable roll against a hard DC of your level, then the second one against a very hard one, and the third (and further) against an incredibly hard one.
That way, you use a mechanic the class already uses, creating consistency between your abilities, and you don't need to add any more complex mechanics.
And we know levelled DCs are already balanced for that kind of use, since Swashbucklers use them to gain Panache.
Also, levelled DCs scale a bit slower than skill bonuses, meaning you get the feeling of your inventions slowly growing more reliable as you grow as an inventor, but even at level 20, very hard and above checks are still fairly unreliable, hence fitting the unstable gambling theme the Inventor class has.


I think I would just say "Roll your class proficiency against a DC for level"

Class proficiency of course being class DC-10. It increases with both level (at a few places) and with main stat, making it become easier to keep overloading in a somewhat smooth fashion.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Question - Does unstable mean I can use ONCE unstable ability PER ability or just one unstable ability period before the 17 DC?

For example.

I want to use megaton strike, then I want to use gigavolt. Then if I use megaton strike again, I have to succeed at a 17 DC.

OR I use megaton strike, then I want to use gigavolt, so I need to succeed at a 17 DC.


One unstable ability per innovation (not that there are any ways to currently get two innovations).

Quote:
After an unstable action is used on an innovation, using another one is dangerous. If you attempt to use another unstable action on it, you must attempt a DC 17 flat check.

Envoy's Alliance

Well considering you can advance your crafting faster than your Class DC, I figured this would give you a slightly better chance to beat your own DC, while getting to far from 50/50.

If not then how about this: Unstable DC = Inventor DC at time unstable action was added. Lock that DC in for that action, it would make sense that unstable actions you've had longer become easier to keep functioning, but harder to keep the newer more complicated ones functioning.


I assume they want the DC to be difficult but by the sound of it not this difficult.

What if it was a scaling dc? Starts out high, and goes up by +2 every time you use it after that.


Zoken44 wrote:
Well considering you can advance your crafting faster than your Class DC, I figured this would give you a slightly better chance to beat your own DC, while getting to far from 50/50.

Assuming proper investment in Crafting up to Legendary, it starts at equivalent to about a DC 14 flat, and ends at about a DC 9. (Assuming a very hard DC.)

Zoken44 wrote:
If not then how about this: Unstable DC = Inventor DC at time unstable action was added. Lock that DC in for that action, it would make sense that unstable actions you've had longer become easier to keep functioning, but harder to keep the newer more complicated ones functioning.

The thing with this is it means that low level Unstable options become endlessly usable eventually. For stuff like Explosive Leap, it's not a big deal, but options that scale like Searing Restoration, Megaton Strike, Megavolt, and Explode get way too good.


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Lightdroplet wrote:

Rather than rolling against your own class DC, I feel like it would be more appropriate to roll Crafting against a levelled DC the same way Overdrive does.

You even have in built scaling: make the first Unstable roll against a hard DC of your level, then the second one against a very hard one, and the third (and further) against an incredibly hard one.
That way, you use a mechanic the class already uses, creating consistency between your abilities, and you don't need to add any more complex mechanics.
And we know levelled DCs are already balanced for that kind of use, since Swashbucklers use them to gain Panache.
Also, levelled DCs scale a bit slower than skill bonuses, meaning you get the feeling of your inventions slowly growing more reliable as you grow as an inventor, but even at level 20, very hard and above checks are still fairly unreliable, hence fitting the unstable gambling theme the Inventor class has.

I like this proposal a lot. This would mean that at 1st level it's essentially equivalent to flat checks against DC 9, then 11, then 14, and 19.

In the endgame, it's something like DC 4, then 6, then 9, then 14.

It's a scaling DC that uses existing mechanics and seems like it can be balanced.

Alternatively, I think that instead of lowering the DCs (which reduces but doesn't eliminate feels-bad moments), I'd rather see it use the continuous very hard DC, but still provide the effect on a fail, as well as the backfire and lockout.

Envoy's Alliance

I like the idea of Still getting the effect on a fail. I figure the damage and lock out are enough punishment, but don't waste the action(s) too.

Now, I'm new to Pathfinder (just started playing this year) and I can find the leveled DC's. But I can't find these "Hard" and "Very Hard" ones I see y'all referring to, where can I find that either in the CRB or Archive?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Same are, different section:
https://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=555

Adjusting difficulty wrote:


Difficulty Adjustment
Incredibly easy -10
Very easy -5
Easy -2
Hard +2
Very hard +5
Incredibly hard +10

Envoy's Alliance

Thanks!


I think to get a more fun inventor feel, having the class be able to spend actions to make the Unstable check easier is ideal. It would greatly add to the gambling mechanic. How many actions do you want to spend fixing this in combat?


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Idk how popular this idea will be but here it goes.

Before I get into the idea in detail let me put in a few ideas from previous classes for comparison.
The swashbuckler has a feature that is either on or off.

The oracle has a feature that is always on which is a curse. The curse comes with some advantages and disadvantages. The advantages and disadvantages become worse that you can toggle on and off. They mainly use focus spells and 10 min refocus to do that.

Barbarian has an on and off mechanic with rage. It has advantages and disadvantages.

Various stances are either on or off.

Spells themselves are on or off.

My idea is like this. Your innovation is either stable or unstable. When you are stable things work perfectly. When unstable using actions with the unstable quality will have a diffrent effect with advantage and disadvantage.This could even be in stages I suppose and just like every condition it will be numerically tracked (unstable 1 unstable 2 unstable 3). Regardless of what you do it still has an effect. The next part may sound disagreeable but hear me out. The inventor should have an action that reduces or removes the condition and when he uses it it should have a benifit besides just reducing or removing it (like with the companion could get temp hp). Make him feel rewarded somewhat. You could keep a check to get things to work if you want but this would be to see the severity of the malfunction not nessarily to avoid the malfunction. Each feat would have thier own malfunctions and such. If using the unstable increasing condition this might be how you determine the level of the condition or to determine the flat dice roll. Whatever the case the end result should be that they still get to take an action that may be detrimental to them as well. The effects of feats should probably be toned up or down to reflect this change. I also believe that intelligence should play a bigger factor in the class like maybe (I know this won't go over well) as how they determine thier acceracy for innovation attacks and feats. This kinda feels like they would have already seen what's coming through calculations tho maybe not the power to really follow through (they skip all exercise if they can lol). I also think the idea behind inventor kinda reflect a sort of wild magic sorta or wilder (psionics). Maybe int could add to flat check (you thought it through real good).

Reasoning.
This to me kinda represents how one could use a malfunction to an advantage or at least represent that even though it is malfunctioning that the inventor still can get some use out of it. The repair is kinda like power surge or something like that. I opperate machinery and sometimes you can't get the maintenance guy fast enough so come up with work arounds to meet production. I can often do this in less then 6 seconds. I feel like the inventor should be better then I am at that since I'm just an amateur and they are more like experts especially with something they made themselves. The inventor may be a tad reckless but it's a calculated risk.

I also feel that this is closer to the design philosophy that came before with the rest of the classes. I say look at the oracle as possibly closest resemblance tho others may apply as well. You are either under a condition or your not wether self inflicted or otherwise.

Closing
I probably rambled and didn't get the point across so apologies. I don't have hard numbers or anything so again apologies. I probably should have started a new thread

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