Overdrive


Inventor Class


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I love the flavor of this ability. I love the mechanics also. It also applies to Strikes, so ranged as well as melee attacks which is also nice.

I’m not sold on the verisimilitude of the construct innovation also gaining the advantage, though happy that if it does, it also takes the risks to burn... I guess you could flavor it as the consrtuct senses what you are doing and follows suit, or an electromagnetic pulse alerts it to what you are doing. I dunno. Actually, I guess it works given there are a million-billion millionbillion possibilities for flavor given humans, and also anime.

Maybe it should be a choice you make before you do it, so that if it is risky (in terms of “my construct can’t take the critical failure) you can remove it from the ability.

And perhaps it should be a choice you can make to have it effect only the construct. And, using the theories above, perhaps that could be remote rather than adjacent-only.

I think the thing I like about Overdrive the most is that is a single, simple ability that could see a lot of further feat support, innovation feat support and archetypes that focus on it.

Verdant Wheel

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What I like about it is that it establishes the "math" you need to participate in combat.

Leaving the only difficult part as the "How?" - essentially the creative process of justifying how your Intelligent Inventing leads to said increase in efficacy.

101 ideas come to mind...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like it's a little on the weak side. It's essentially the Inventor's equivalent to Rage, sneak attack, Hunt Prey or a fighter's proficiency, but the most common outcome is going to be 1-3 damage depending on your Int. It scales pretty poorly into late game and since the DC scales, you aren't going to reliably crit and always have a meaningful risk of failure to deal with.

Cool idea but I think it needs polish.


Squiggit wrote:

I feel like it's a little on the weak side. It's essentially the Inventor's equivalent to Rage, sneak attack, Hunt Prey or a fighter's proficiency, but the most common outcome is going to be 1-3 damage depending on your Int. It scales pretty poorly into late game and since the DC scales, you aren't going to reliably crit and always have a meaningful risk of failure to deal with.

Cool idea but I think it needs polish.

Good points. Well....polish it with some amaze-o-dust right out of the gate and *then* give it some support. I’d hate to see an Inventor needing to expend more feats just to make it viable/not terrible.

Perhaps giving each Innovation type an additional base function for Overdrive - like
some extra resistance for Armor;
HP or AC for the Construct;
Fatal or Deadly for the Weapon...

Just some ideas...

Oh noes...maybe a....(ducks) focus pool?


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The DC does scale slower than the increase over time but you still end up less than 50/50 to get full int.

Standard DC at 20th is 40.

Level (20) + Proficiency (8) + Int (7) + Magic Item (3) = +38 so 40% chance of a crit

The bigger issue is damage doesn't scale at all. It starts at +2 from 18 int and reaches +3 when you have 22 int at 20th (or if you grab an int apex item which isn't worth it since str apex item gives to hit and damage). Why not just invest those points into a different stat when you don't get a boost until long after most characters retire? The inventor's main combat style seems to be beat them over the head with a slightly modified weapon rather than something inventor-y.


Squiggit wrote:

I feel like it's a little on the weak side. It's essentially the Inventor's equivalent to Rage, sneak attack, Hunt Prey or a fighter's proficiency, but the most common outcome is going to be 1-3 damage depending on your Int. It scales pretty poorly into late game and since the DC scales, you aren't going to reliably crit and always have a meaningful risk of failure to deal with.

Cool idea but I think it needs polish.

later on you do get to add the 1d6 elemental damage though as well as baseline feature (with feat options to switch to variety of elemental damages with just 1 action to exploit vlnerabilities)

so early on it will usually just be a +2 damage, which is ok, and by midlevels it will be something like +2-4 +1d6 elemental, that's on average around +2d6 on your strikes which isn't bad for a damage increase without requirements.


Yeah, the level 7 boost is a big part of keeping it relevant. I'm still wondering if it should get slightly more flat damage, maybe an additional 1-2 points at certain levels. Or double the dice of the added type at like 15 or something, though dial a weakness is always strong.


If the damage for it increases a lot, then sharing overdrive becomes a much bigger balancing issue. So I think they'd have to put in language that sharing overdrive uses the base damage.

Maybe a feat that can increase the damage value to your INT mod/twice your INT mod, but with a bigger disadvantage on failure or crit failure? I dunno.

I generally think there should be more feat support for this. It does feel a bit like a really interesting mechanic early on but eventually it becomes a bit redundant (again, unless you're doing the group sharing, in which case it's nuts).


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My main problem with overdrive in its current state is that it doesn't scale well. In the beginning, it's a pretty good boost, with some potential to be incredible if you crit, or backfire completely, but as you level up, the bonus stays pretty stagnant while the penalty for failure levels up with you.

I like the ability conceptually, but it needs polish, and I'm not totally sure where.

Part of me kinda thinks it would be cool that it gave a really big bonus, like say, rogue sneak attack level bonus, but lowering the duration to 1 round to show your inventor constantly having to keep tabs to make sure their gizmo doesn't overheat on them. Idk how balanced it would be (like, getting double the dice would be huge, so the critical effect might have to be scaled back, or perhaps instead of increasing the damage, it makes it last for a minute instead), and this idea would certainly be a lot more swingy and have a higher risk of hitting that crit fail

Verdant Wheel

Alchemic_Genius wrote:

My main problem with overdrive in its current state is that it doesn't scale well. In the beginning, it's a pretty good boost, with some potential to be incredible if you crit, or backfire completely, but as you level up, the bonus stays pretty stagnant while the penalty for failure levels up with you.

I like the ability conceptually, but it needs polish, and I'm not totally sure where.

Part of me kinda thinks it would be cool that it gave a really big bonus, like say, rogue sneak attack level bonus, but lowering the duration to 1 round to show your inventor constantly having to keep tabs to make sure their gizmo doesn't overheat on them. Idk how balanced it would be (like, getting double the dice would be huge, so the critical effect might have to be scaled back, or perhaps instead of increasing the damage, it makes it last for a minute instead), and this idea would certainly be a lot more swingy and have a higher risk of hitting that crit fail

I play the class Sunday at Level One, so won't be able to comment on the "loses scale over time" observation here.

But at the purely conceptual level, I think a "swingy" damage boost would thematically suit the Inventor, who either fails horribly and with collateral damage, or succeeds tremendously through sheer genius and luck.

Indeed, the core mechanic of "Four Tiers of Success" is well-suited to deliver on this idea!

Will report back later.


rainzax wrote:

But at the purely conceptual level, I think a "swingy" damage boost would thematically suit the Inventor, who either fails horribly and with collateral damage, or succeeds tremendously through sheer genius and luck.

Indeed, the core mechanic of "Four Tiers of Success" is well-suited to deliver on this idea!

Will report back later.

Oh, me saying it's swingy isnt a detractor, I absolutely want inventor to be high risk/high reward. Unfortunately, unless you use shared overdrive, it's more like high risk, okay reward later on


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Yeah, taking damage equal to your level is a lot on failure when the damage bonus is only +2-3 on a success.


Needs that swingy damage boost for sure. And needs to scale better. Besides that Overdrive is on the right track! A super fun thematic ability


Dubious Scholar wrote:
Yeah, taking damage equal to your level is a lot on failure when the damage bonus is only +2-3 on a success.

That's why your armor gives you fire resistance. ;)

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Looking at Overdrive.. I think it needs to be 1+int for crit and 1+1/2 int for normal success and goes up by 1 every time there is a breakthrough.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was thinking about this today. I don't think I'll be able to test out the class where I am because of covid, but I hope some people do some high level testing. I really don't see overdrive being useful late game, the damage boost is small, it eats an action, and it has the possibility to hurt you. Just doesn't seem realistic.

Personally I feel like making it scale much better and maybe looping it in with offensive boost? So when you use overdrive you get a damage boost that's the type you choose, with the options offensive boost has (predetermined, you wouldn't be able to pick a different damage each time).


A +1 circumstance bonus to hit on critical success wouldn't hurt, honestly.

You could even make it increase the current item bonus of your weapons by one, so mechanically you are enhancing them (and things like backswing and sweep continue to function).


What if instead of int the damage for overdrive was based off your crafting modifier? It would therefore scale due to proficiency and still use int therefore keeping the key ability score relevant. Though this would have to be tuned down I think. Might have to scrap offensive boost, it would be too much to have both.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It could be intentional if the class has other things going for it, the ability to mass share overdrive alone is a pretty convincing reason to not scale the damage up, other party support and other tricks (like, how is the unstable DC going to end up being?) could easily make up the difference in a big way.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
the ability to mass share overdrive alone is a pretty convincing reason to not scale the damage up

Mass share is level 20, though. Even normal sharing is level 8 (and doesn't get a real duration until 12) Not sure it makes sense to hold back a martial's main damage gimmick because of something they might be able to do relatively late in their career.

If that is the reason overdrive is undertuned, might want to reassess the whole paradigm.

Envoy's Alliance

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Okay, I tried the class out over the weekend and... I don't know if going into Overdrive was worth it. I got off one hit with Overdrive on. It doesn't help my being able to hit, so being MAD means it's less reliable on on all fronts. Not to mention I was knocked out in two successive hits in the second find. Spent the whole time unconscious until my last round which I just used to scramble out of danger. Played the level 5 version. Just... Overdrive should do more. maybe a +1 circumstance bonus based on innovation.


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So, I agree it scales poorly. When your doing up to 4d12+4d6+str+proficiency in damage. An extra +2-3 doesn't seem worth it.

If the feature is balanced this way due to our other stuff we get. I'm not sure what to suggest. It's thematically fun. But a action to do eventually what seems kinda pointless.

If buffing is on the table. What is this ability reminiscent of? Rage obviously. One action. Lasts basically for combat. Gives a static damage boost.

How it's different is it requires a check. And it scales less. Currently rage scales with weapon proficiency scaling. Getting larger bonuses.

What is we did something similar to overdrive but instead of just more damage. It adjusts the check success table?

Once we are expert in our weapon proficiency the success table for our overdrive check goes up by one. So a fail becomes a success. Success becomes a critical success. Once we get to master. Increase it by 2. So anything but a critical failure results in a critical success.

Result is with an Apex item our (rage) caps out at +8 (so less than rage Wich I think it needs to stay less than). And our chance of critical success becomes easier and easier.

Just a thought.


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So, people seem to compare overdrive to rage (for logical reasons), and cite sharing overdrive as a reason we shouldn't have it scale up as fast, but I feel a lot of us are forgetting that barbarians can also share rage. Like, barbarians even get share rage at the same level as shared overdrive is available, except with share rage, it lasts as long as the barbarian's rage, and the ally can still concentrate.

To me, this is even more telling that overdrive is underpowered at higher levels. Imo, overdrive can be safely made into something that scales as good as rage without balance issues. The drawback of having to activate it with a skill roll is comparable to being locked out of concentrate actions (unreliability in exchange for versatility), and overdrive doesn't grant any of the defensive benefits or drawbacks, so that's a bit of a wash.

In my actual play experience, I've noticed that while my inventors are good at handling exploration and downtime challenges via the use of their modifications, they tend to have some issues with damage.

Interestingly, I have noticed that their ability to have access to potentially 6 damage types (all types of physical, and 3 energy types with the offensive modulation) does help a lot when it comes to bypassing resistance, but this does cost innovation slots, and only works for the weapon innovation. That said, this utility can be reproduced by anyone with a shifting weapon, and even with these advantages, they still do somewhat low damage overall


Does anyone else think overdrive should be Int mod or Int mod*2 in critical success


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I think balance wise there should be no roll and the effect should be the critical success level. If there is a roll, the critical success effect should be the effect on success, with a better result for critical success.


One thing to keep in mind. Unless I missed it. Overdrive doesn't end if you go unconscious unlike rage.

Just as gunslinger needs limitations to not step on the toes if fighter (legendary proficiency). Inventor needs limitations to not step on the toes of barbarian (overdrive).

The ability to persist through going down and getting back up is notable.

While I think it does need a scaling buff. I do not think it's bonus should scale beyond +8 for overdrive when base rage scales to +12.


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It would be interesting to have more things that interact with Overdrive. Like an Unstable ability that gets stronger if you're under the effects of Overdrive, or an ability that resets your Unstable rolls/checks when you Overdrive, strong abilities that can only be used during Overdrive, whatever it may be.

Then it starts to line up a bit more with Panache and Rage in terms of builds, but maybe not quite as central to the class as those two other are, and the damage bonus might become secondary to how it interacts with various other feats and abilities.


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Martialmasters wrote:

One thing to keep in mind. Unless I missed it. Overdrive doesn't end if you go unconscious unlike rage.

Just as gunslinger needs limitations to not step on the toes if fighter (legendary proficiency). Inventor needs limitations to not step on the toes of barbarian (overdrive).

The ability to persist through going down and getting back up is notable.

While I think it does need a scaling buff. I do not think it's bonus should scale beyond +8 for overdrive when base rage scales to +12.

This is a wash because overdrive has a chance to not only becomes unavailable for a fight, but also hurt you if you roll bad

Scarab Sages

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Might have missed this in the thread, but could be worth making it scale like Treat Wounds rather than scaling per level; e,g, having higher DCs unlock based on Crafting Proficiency level that grant additional flat damage bonuses if succeeded against. Crit fail could remain consistent for all DC's. This way, players could opt to either play it safe and auto-score the Crit Success results at higher levels, or could play riskier to try to get even more damage. Maybe add +2-3 to the Overcharge damage for each tier of DC?


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Falgaia wrote:
Might have missed this in the thread, but could be worth making it scale like Treat Wounds rather than scaling per level; e,g, having higher DCs unlock based on Crafting Proficiency level that grant additional flat damage bonuses if succeeded against. Crit fail could remain consistent for all DC's. This way, players could opt to either play it safe and auto-score the Crit Success results at higher levels, or could play riskier to try to get even more damage. Maybe add +2-3 to the Overcharge damage for each tier of DC?

I think I enjoy the spirit of this a lot. It complements the balancing of risk/reward the inventor has going on


the main thing that i don't like with overdrive is that, for me, it fails to live up to its name:

usually, when "mad scientists" put their stuff in "overdrive" it means they are overclocking and making them more powerful at the expense of the longevity/malfunction of said item (akin to what we have with Unstable).

but here, it's just a slight boost that you can basically keep spamming over and over again.

in short: if you can make an invention that you can "overdrive" every single round in a day, why not just make the "overdrive" state the baseline of said invention?

I think it needs to be a bigger boost, with a shorter duration (or bigger cooldown). Alternatively, making it short-circuit your whole invention afterwards (so you are left with no weapon/armor/construct till it coolds down).

So, something that you use when you REALLY need to amp up your invention at the expense of it's longevity.


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Inventor isn't a mad scientist though. I see no mention of anything in relation to one. If you were looking at things like unstable and explosion as the sole argument I'd call that a stretch.


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Falgaia wrote:
Might have missed this in the thread, but could be worth making it scale like Treat Wounds rather than scaling per level; e,g, having higher DCs unlock based on Crafting Proficiency level that grant additional flat damage bonuses if succeeded against. Crit fail could remain consistent for all DC's. This way, players could opt to either play it safe and auto-score the Crit Success results at higher levels, or could play riskier to try to get even more damage. Maybe add +2-3 to the Overcharge damage for each tier of DC?

How is this fun exactly? To willfully rng screw yourself over entire combats?


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Alchemic_Genius wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:

One thing to keep in mind. Unless I missed it. Overdrive doesn't end if you go unconscious unlike rage.

Just as gunslinger needs limitations to not step on the toes if fighter (legendary proficiency). Inventor needs limitations to not step on the toes of barbarian (overdrive).

The ability to persist through going down and getting back up is notable.

While I think it does need a scaling buff. I do not think it's bonus should scale beyond +8 for overdrive when base rage scales to +12.

This is a wash because overdrive has a chance to not only becomes unavailable for a fight, but also hurt you if you roll bad

That doesn't make it a wash. Rage can't missfire. You have to go unconscious first. Overdrive has a chance of just never working. Wich is another point towards me favoring it's low damage. I'd rather be balanced around some level of consistency.

Does anyone ever go, oh I rolled a 3 now I don't get to use my class feature for the entire combat. Man that was fun!

Scarab Sages

Martialmasters wrote:
Falgaia wrote:
Might have missed this in the thread, but could be worth making it scale like Treat Wounds rather than scaling per level; e,g, having higher DCs unlock based on Crafting Proficiency level that grant additional flat damage bonuses if succeeded against. Crit fail could remain consistent for all DC's. This way, players could opt to either play it safe and auto-score the Crit Success results at higher levels, or could play riskier to try to get even more damage. Maybe add +2-3 to the Overcharge damage for each tier of DC?

How is this fun exactly? To willfully rng screw yourself over entire combats?

Cool, this would still be better than the current system for players like you since in this proposal, you could just stick to the DC 15 base and auto-clear it with Assurance Craft to get full int by Level 9. Alternatively, the option to gamble is still there for other players who would be into that sort of thing.


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Falgaia wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Falgaia wrote:
Might have missed this in the thread, but could be worth making it scale like Treat Wounds rather than scaling per level; e,g, having higher DCs unlock based on Crafting Proficiency level that grant additional flat damage bonuses if succeeded against. Crit fail could remain consistent for all DC's. This way, players could opt to either play it safe and auto-score the Crit Success results at higher levels, or could play riskier to try to get even more damage. Maybe add +2-3 to the Overcharge damage for each tier of DC?

How is this fun exactly? To willfully rng screw yourself over entire combats?

Cool, this would still be better than the current system for players like you since in this proposal, you could just stick to the DC 15 base and auto-clear it with Assurance Craft to get full int by Level 9. Alternatively, the option to gamble is still there for other players who would be into that sort of thing.

I disagree. The gambling elements should either fail up. Or be relegated to optional playstyles via specific innovations and feats. Not forced upon the base class.

Scarab Sages

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Martialmasters wrote:
Falgaia wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Falgaia wrote:
Might have missed this in the thread, but could be worth making it scale like Treat Wounds rather than scaling per level; e,g, having higher DCs unlock based on Crafting Proficiency level that grant additional flat damage bonuses if succeeded against. Crit fail could remain consistent for all DC's. This way, players could opt to either play it safe and auto-score the Crit Success results at higher levels, or could play riskier to try to get even more damage. Maybe add +2-3 to the Overcharge damage for each tier of DC?

How is this fun exactly? To willfully rng screw yourself over entire combats?

Cool, this would still be better than the current system for players like you since in this proposal, you could just stick to the DC 15 base and auto-clear it with Assurance Craft to get full int by Level 9. Alternatively, the option to gamble is still there for other players who would be into that sort of thing.
I disagree. The gambling elements should either fail up. Or be relegated to optional playstyles via specific innovations and feats. Not forced upon the base class.

As I said already, there are already options to completely negate thd failure chance here in my example. Assurance lv9 auto-crits DC 15, DC20 gets hit by level 6 for likely a similar bonus to the crit. This option, like Treat Wounds, gives players a safe, reliable option if they want it by taking Assurance, or by allowing them to push for greater damage at the risk of action economy if they want more kick. I don't know if I agree with making Crit Fail disable the action altogether, but other than that minor point of contention, this is essentially just scaling the DC in a way that rewards the players like Treat Wounds does for reaching higher levels, and it works with the flavor of pushing your tech to its limits.


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I still disagree with it. Because it means the class has to be balanced around that extra damage you may or may not get. If you don't get it or choose not to. You are performing under par for the classes point of balance

I get the design philosophy and goal. I just don't agree with the outcome.


What if Overdrive was a push-your-luck system?

Have a base DC, and then you can Overdrive again to rev it up, but at increased DC.

Not sure if it would need a hard cap or if soft capping it would suffice.

Edit: I'm thinking failure just burns the action, crit failure either causes it to go down a notch or to just stops you revving it any higher that combat.

Possibly have the self-damage increase slightly with running it hotter? Basically, it means the inventor warms up and hits harder as a fight goes on, up to a limit, and ideally the RNG is just how fast you rev up versus whether it works at all.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Tbh this revving up mechanic is sort of reminding me how in 3.5 you could choose how hard you want to swing with power attack, rather then being it fixed based on your level, taking the bigger penalty to accuracy for more damage or being more restrained. ( i'm not saying steal that exact mechanic from 3.5 but the talks happening remind me of it and I can see something like that being the end result)


Martialmasters wrote:
Inventor isn't a mad scientist though. I see no mention of anything in relation to one. If you were looking at things like unstable and explosion as the sole argument I'd call that a stretch.

doesn't need to be mad scientiest. even normal, modern, gear, if you overclock them you either do it so much that it hurts the equipment, or you stabilise it and it's always on.

what's a stretch is something being called "overdrive" being able to be kept up indefinately at no cost.

again:

if you can keep your invention up in such a state forever, why isn't it baseline working at that "speed"?

As for your second argument, i never said to make it chance based.

as an example:

when you turn on overdrive you get your Int bonus to damage
next round you get double your Int bonus on damage
next round it short-circuits and you can't use it for X rounds.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I honestly think it would be nifty if Overdrive differed on what innovation you have. Armor could give temp HP and AC and resistances, weapon increased damage and to hit, construct not exactly sure what but maybe also damage and to hit..


What if overdrive mirrored the barbarian's rage from the core playtest? I.e. lasting three rounds then being on cool down for a round.

People were put off by the playtest rage as it required more planning ahead than a barbarian should probably be doing, but that might work for the inventor.

Maybe include some feats or options that trigger when entering/during overdrive and move the crafting check at the end of the three turns to extend it (if a crafting check is necessary).


I'm ok with the idea of revving up. But rather than increase chance of failure. It should just decrease duration.

Base duration is one minute. So basically ten rounds. Give the option to overclock it further but at a decreased duration. Simulating a overheat element. Or it ran out of juice like with nitro.


Clinton Love wrote:

What if overdrive mirrored the barbarian's rage from the core playtest? I.e. lasting three rounds then being on cool down for a round.

People were put off by the playtest rage as it required more planning ahead than a barbarian should probably be doing, but that might work for the inventor.

Maybe include some feats or options that trigger when entering/during overdrive and move the crafting check at the end of the three turns to extend it (if a crafting check is necessary).

Well, the other problem with playtest rage was that playtest fatigued was ridiculously bad, as your AC dropped further every single action you took or strike against you iirc. Complete death sentence of a condition.


Just a random question, but doesn't Share Rage only grants the allies the basic version? +2 Damage -1 AC, a couple extra HP and that's it?

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