A buffed Daze

Homebrew and House Rules

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As many of us have seen by now, Daze got the short end of the stick following the remaster: for years, the cantrip has been generally-recognized as one of the worst, with exceptionally weak damage progression that fails to be justified by an altogether unreliable critical failure effect. Many of us hoped for the remaster to give us a new an improved version... except the new Daze is even worse, as it's the exact same cantrip, with the one difference being that its initial damage is 1d6, an average of 3.5 compared to the 4 from a caster's initial spellcasting attribute mod. It's been commonly suggested that this is due to a typo, as other descriptions of Daze in Player Core 1 reference the cantrip being able to render enemies off-guard or slow. I feel this is likely close to the truth: my personal suspicion is that the developers were still iterating on Daze, but didn't have the time to finalize it, and so shelved its latest iteration in favor of a safer version to avoid releasing an overtuned cantrip, while forgetting to revert the descriptive text around it.

With the above in mind, the intent behind this homebrew is simple: to propose a version of Daze that is better, but still balanced. Without further ado, here's the brew:

Daze (Two Actions)
Traits: cantrip, concentrate, manipulate, mental, nonlethal
Range 60 feet
Targets 1 creature
Defense Will
Duration 1 round
You cloud the target's mind and daze it with a mental jolt, dealing 1d4 mental damage and potentially rendering it off-guard based on its Will save.

Critical Success The target is unaffected.
Success The target takes half damage.
Failure The target takes full damage and is off-guard against the next attack attempted against it for the duration.
Critical Failure The target takes double damage. You can choose to either render the target off-guard for the duration or stunned 1.

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 1d4.


The key changes being:

  • The damage starts out lower, but progresses a lot better, with the cantrip being heightened every rank rather than every 2 ranks.
  • The failure effect is significantly better by making the target off-guard against an attack.
  • The critical failure effect, while still unreliable, would give the player more choice over how to debuff their opponent.

    So Daze still wouldn't be your premier damage option, but would offer a piece of useful crowd control at all levels and smoother-scaling damage, making it a more useful cantrip all around. If you feel this version is too weak, feel free to bump its damage die up a step, though I erred on the side of caution here as I do feel the cantrip's crowd control should come at a cost to its damage.

  • Shadow Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I like the look of this. Also, a cantrip that can make someone off-guard is useful if your allies don't have reliable ways to pull it off.

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