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Kholai
2012-08-16, 07:38 AM
Animal Growth
Transmutation
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Targets: One animal (Gargantuan or smaller).
Duration: 1 min./level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
A number of animals grow to twice their normal size and eight times their normal weight. This alteration changes each animalís size category to the next largest, the target gains a +4 size bonus to Strength, a -2 size penalty to Dexterity (to a minimum of 1), and a -1 penalty on attack rolls and AC due to its increased size. All its natural weapons increase by one die size.
This spell does not increase the effected creature's speed.
The spell also grants each subject +2 bonus to its Natural Armour. If insufficient room is available for the desired growth, the creature attains the maximum possible size and may make a Strength check (using its increased Strength) to burst any enclosures in the process. If it fails, it is constrained without harm by the materials enclosing itó the spell cannot be used to crush a creature by increasing its size.
All equipment worn or carried by an animal is similarly enlarged by the spell, though this change has no effect on the magical properties of any such equipment.
Any enlarged item that leaves the enlarged creatureís possession instantly returns to its normal size.
The spell gives no means of command or influence over the enlarged animals.
Multiple magical effects that increase size do not stack.

Animal Shape
Transmutation
Level: 3
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: Up to one willing creature every 2 levels, all within 30 ft. of each other
Duration: 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw: None; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
You transform up to one willing creature per caster level into an animal form selected from the following list: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, riding dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), wolf, manta ray, porpoise, Medium shark, and squid; the spell has no effect on unwilling creatures. Use the alternate form special ability to determine each targetís new abilities. All creatures must take the same kind of animal form. Recipients remain in the animal form until the spell expires or until you dismiss it for all recipients. In addition, an individual subject may choose to resume its normal form as a full-round action; doing so ends the spell for that subject alone.

Animate Objects
Transmutation
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One Small object per caster level; see text
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You imbue inanimate objects with mobility and a semblance of life. Each such animated object then immediately attacks whomever or whatever you initially designate.
An animated object can be of any nonmagical material. You may animate one Small or smaller object or an equivalent number of larger objects per caster level. A Medium object counts as two Small or smaller objects, a Large object as four. You can change the designated target or targets as a move action, as if directing an active spell.
This spell cannot animate objects carried or worn by a creature.

Animate Plants
Transmutation
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One Large plant per three caster levels or all plants within range; see text
Duration: 1 round/level or 10 minutes/level; see text
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You imbue inanimate plants with mobility and a semblance of life. Each animated plant then immediately attacks whomever or whatever you initially designate as though it were an animated object of the appropriate size category. You may animate one Large or smaller plant, or an equivalent number of larger plants, per three caster levels. A Huge plant counts as two Large or smaller plants.
Use the statistics for animated objects, except that plants smaller than Large usually donít have hardness, and the animated plants are treated as plants instead of constructs for the purpose of any effect that depends on their type).
Animate plants cannot affect plant creatures, nor does it affect nonliving vegetable material.
Alternatively, you may imbue all plants within range with a degree of mobility, which allows them to entwine around creatures in the area. This usage of the spell duplicates the effect of an entangle spell. Spell resistance does not keep creatures from being entangled. This effect lasts 10 minutes per per caster level.

Antilife Shell
Abjuration
Level: 2
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: 10 ft.
Area: 10-ft.-radius emanation, centered on you
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
You bring into being a mobile, hemispherical energy field that prevents the entrance of most types of living creatures.
The effect hedges out animals, aberrations, dragons, fey, giants, humanoids, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, oozes, plants, and vermin, but not constructs, elementals, outsiders, or undead.
Any creature of an effected type attempting to enter the area must attempt a will save. If the save succeeds, that creature may enter and leave the area normally and is unaffected by that casting of the spell. If the save fails, the creature cannot enter the shell with any part of their body, preventing them from approaching or attacking anything within the antilife shell for the duration of the spell.
This spell may be used only defensively, not aggressively. Forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier.

Antipathy
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One location (up to a 10-ft. cube/level) or one object
Duration: 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
You cause an object or location to emanate magical vibrations that repel either a specific kind of intelligent creature or creatures of a particular alignment, as defined by you. The kind of creature to be affected must be named specifically. A creature subtype is not specific enough. Likewise, the specific alignment to be repelled must be named.
Creatures of the designated kind or alignment feel an overpowering urge to leave the area or to avoid the affected item.
A compulsion forces them to abandon the area or item, shunning it and never willingly returning to it while the spell is in effect. A creature that makes a successful saving throw can stay in the area or touch the item but feels uncomfortable doing so.
Antipathy counters and dispels sympathy.
Arcane Material Component: A lump of alum soaked in vinegar.

Antiplant Shell
Abjuration
Level: 2
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 10 ft.
Area: 10-ft.-radius emanation, centered on you
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
The antiplant shell spell creates an invisible, mobile barrier that keeps all creatures within the shell protected from attacks by plant creatures or animated plants.
Any plant creature attempting to strike or otherwise directly attack creatures within the shell, or move through the shell's area, must attempt a Will save. If the save succeeds, the creature can attack normally and is unaffected by that casting of the spell. If the save fails, the opponent canít follow through with the attack, that part of its action is lost, and it canít directly attack anything within the shell, or enter the shell for the duration of the spell.
This spell may be used only defensively, not aggressively. Forcing an abjuration barrier against creatures that the spell keeps at bay collapses the barrier.

Arcane Eye
Divination (Scrying)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Unlimited
Effect: Magical sensor
Duration: Concentration (Maximum of 1 minute)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You create an invisible magical sensor that sends you visual information. You create the arcane eye in your own square, but it can then travel outside your line of sight without hindrance. An arcane eye travels at 10 feet per round (100 feet per minute) if viewing an area ahead as a human would (primarily looking at the floor) or 5 feet per round (50 feet per minute) if examining the ceiling and walls as well as the floor ahead. The arcane eye may only see in as much detail as a normal mundane human.
The eye can travel in any direction as long as the spell lasts. Solid barriers block its passage, but it can pass through a hole or space as small as 1 inch in diameter. The eye canít enter another plane of existence, even through a gate or similar magical portal.
You must concentrate to use an arcane eye. If you do not concentrate, the eye winks out of existence.
Material Component: A dead fly.

Atonement
Abjuration
Level: 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 hour
Range: Touch
Target: Living creature touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell removes the burden of evil acts or misdeeds from the subject. The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds. Many casters first assign a subject of this sort a quest (see geas/quest) or similar penance to determine whether the creature is truly contrite before casting the atonement spell on its behalf.
Atonement may be cast for one of several purposes, depending on the version selected.
Reverse Magical Alignment Change
If a creature has had its alignment magically changed, atonement returns its alignment to its original status at no cost in experience points.
Restore Class
A paladin who has lost her class features due to committing an evil act may have her paladinhood restored to her by this spell without the usual required time of repentance.
Though the spell description refers to evil acts, atonement can also be used on any creature that has performed acts against its alignment, whether those acts are evil, good, chaotic, or lawful.
Material Component: Burning incense worth 25 GP.

Bear's Endurance, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass bearís endurance works like bearís endurance, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Black Tentacles
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Area: 20-ft.-radius spread
Duration: 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell conjures a field of rubbery black tentacles, each 10 feet long. These waving members seem to spring forth from the earth, floor, or whatever surface is underfootóincluding water. They grasp and entwine around creatures that enter the area, holding them fast and crushing them with great strength.
Every creature within the area of the spell must make a grapple check, opposed by the grapple check of the tentacles. Treat the tentacles attacking a particular target as a Large creature with a base attack bonus equal to half your caster level and a Strength score of 16. Thus, its grapple check modifier is equal to half your caster level +7. The tentacles are immune to all types of damage.
Once the tentacles grapple an opponent, they may make a grapple check each round on your turn to deal 1d6+4 points of bludgeoning damage. The tentacles continue to crush the opponent until the spell ends or the opponent escapes.
Any creature that enters the area of the spell is immediately attacked by the tentacles. Even creatures who arenít grappling with the tentacles may move through the area at only half normal speed.
Material Component: A piece of tentacle from a giant octopus or a giant squid.

Blade Barrier
Evocation [Force]
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect: Wall of whirling blades up to 20 ft. long/ level, or a ringed wall of whirling blades with a radius of up to 5 ft. per two levels; either form 20 ft. high
Duration: 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: Reflex half or Reflex negates; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
An immobile, vertical curtain of whirling blades shaped of pure force springs into existence. Any creature passing through the wall takes 1d6 points of damage per caster level (maximum 6d6), with a Reflex save for half damage.
If you evoke the barrier so that it appears where creatures are, each creature takes damage as if passing through the wall. Each such creature can avoid the wall (ending up on the side of its choice) and thus take no damage by making a successful Reflex save.
A blade barrier provides cover (+4 bonus to AC, +2 bonus on Reflex saves) against attacks made through it.

Blight
Necromancy
Level: 2
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude half; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell withers a single plant or plant creature of up to large size. An affected plant creature takes 1d6 points of damage per 2 caster levels (maximum 5d6) and may attempt a Fortitude saving throw for half damage. A plant that isnít a creature doesnít receive a save and immediately withers and dies, though its remains may still be in place unaffected.
This spell has no effect on the soil or surrounding plant life.

Bull's Strength, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass bull's strength works like Bull's Strength, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Cat's Grace, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass cat's grace works like Cat's Grace, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Chaos Hammer
Evocation [Chaotic]
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous (1 round); see text
Saving Throw: Will partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
You unleash chaotic power to smite your enemies. The power takes the form of a multicolored explosion of leaping, ricocheting energy. Only lawful and neutral (not chaotic) creatures are harmed by the spell.
The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 3d8) to lawful creatures and slows them for 1 round (see the slow spell). A successful Will save reduces the damage by half and negates the slow effect.
The spell deals only half damage against creatures who are neither lawful nor chaotic, and they are not slowed. Such a creature can reduce the damage by half again (down to one-quarter) with a successful Will save.

Charm Monster
Enchantment (Charm) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: 3
Target: One living creature
Duration: Ten minutes/level
This spell functions like charm person, except that the effect is not restricted by creature type or size.

Confusion
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Targets: All creatures in a 10-ft. radius burst
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell causes the targets to become confused, making them unable to independently determine what they will do.

Roll on the following table at the beginning of each subjectís turn each round to see what the subject does in that round.

d% Behavior
01-10 Attack caster with melee or ranged weapons (or close with caster if attack is not possible).
11-40 Act normally.
41-60 Do nothing but babble incoherently.
61-80 Flee away from caster at top possible speed.
81-100 Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subjectís self).
A confused character who canít carry out the indicated action does nothing but babble incoherently. Attackers are not at any special advantage when attacking a confused character. Any confused character who is attacked automatically attacks its attackers on its next turn, as long as it is still confused when its turn comes. Note that a confused character will not make attacks of opportunity against any creature that it is not already devoted to attacking (either because of its most recent action or because it has just been attacked).

Arcane Material Component: A set of three nut shells.

Detect Animals or Plants
Divination
Level: 0
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 Ft
Area: Cone-shaped emanation
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You can detect a particular kind of animal or plant in a cone emanating out from you in whatever direction you face. You must think of a kind of animal or plant when using the spell, but you can change the animal or plant kind each round. The amount of information revealed depends on how long you search a particular area or focus on a specific kind of animal or plant.
1st Round
Presence or absence of that kind of animal or plant in the area.
2nd Round
Number of individuals of the specified kind in the area, and the condition of the healthiest specimen.
3rd Round
The condition (see below) and location of each individual present. If an animal or plant is outside your line of sight, then you discern its direction but not its exact location.
Conditions
For purposes of this spell, the categories of condition are as follows:
Normal
Has at least 90% of full normal hit points, free of disease.
Fair
30% to 90% of full normal hit points remaining.
Poor
Less than 30% of full normal hit points remaining, afflicted with a disease, or suffering from a debilitating injury.
Weak
0 or fewer hit points remaining, afflicted with a disease in the terminal stage, or crippled.
If a creature falls into more than one category, the spell indicates the weaker of the two.

Each round you can turn to detect a kind of animal or plant in a new area. The spell can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.

Eagle's Splendour, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass eagle's splendour works like Eagle's Splendour, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Enlarge Person, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One humanoid creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass enlarge person works like Enlarge Person, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Fox's Cunning, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass fox's cunning works like Fox's Cunning, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Freezing Sphere
Evocation [Cold]
Level: 3
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Target, Effect, or Area: See text
Duration: Instantaneous or 1 round/level; see text
Saving Throw: Reflex half; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
Freezing sphere creates a frigid globe of cold energy that streaks from your fingertips to the location you select, where it explodes in a 10-foot-radius burst, dealing 1d6 points of cold damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) to each creature in the area.
If the freezing sphere strikes a body of water or a liquid that is principally water (not including water-based creatures), it freezes the liquid to a depth of 6 inches over an area equal to 100 square feet (a 10-foot square). This ice lasts for 1 round per caster level. Creatures that were swimming on the surface of frozen water become trapped in the ice. Attempting to break free is a full-round action. A trapped creature must make a DC 15 Strength check or a DC 15 Escape Artist check to do so.
Focus - A small crystal sphere.

Globe of Invulnerability
Abjuration
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 10 ft.
Area: 10-ft.-radius spherical emanation, centered on you
Duration: 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
An immobile, faintly shimmering magical sphere surrounds you and excludes all spell effects of 2nd level or lower. The area or effect of any such spells does not include the area of the lesser globe of invulnerability. Such spells fail to affect any target located within the globe. Excluded effects include spell-like abilities and spells or spell-like effects from items. However, any type of spell can be cast through or out of the magical globe. Spells of 3rd level and higher are not affected by the globe, nor are spells already in effect when the globe is cast. The globe can be brought down by a targeted dispel magic spell, but not by an area dispel magic. You can leave and return to the globe without penalty.
Note that spell effects are not disrupted unless their effects enter the globe, and even then they are merely suppressed, not dispelled.
If a given spell has more than one level depending on which character class is casting it, use the level appropriate to the caster to determine whether lesser globe of invulnerability stops it.
Material Component - A glass or crystal bead that shatters at the expiration of the spell.

Hallucinatory Terrain
Illusion (Glamer)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area: One 30-ft. cube/level (S)
Duration: 10 minutes / level (D)
Saving Throw: Will disbelief (if interacted with)
Spell Resistance: No
You make natural terrain look, sound, and smell like some other sort of natural terrain. Structures, equipment, and creatures within the area are not hidden or changed in appearance.
Material Component - A stone, a twig, and a bit of green plant.

Holy Smite
Evocation [Good]
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous (1 round); see text
Saving Throw: Will partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
You draw down holy power to smite your enemies. Only evil and neutral creatures are harmed by the spell; good creatures are unaffected.
The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 3d8) to evil creatures and blinds them for 1 round. A successful Will save reduces the damage by half and negates the blind effect.
The spell deals only half damage against creatures who are neither good nor evil, and they are not blinded. Such a creature can reduce the damage by half again (down to one-quarter) with a successful Will save.

Ice Storm
Evocation [Cold]
Level: 2
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area: Cylinder (20-ft. radius, 40 ft. high)
Duration: 1 full round
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
Great magical hailstones pound down for 1 full round, dealing 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage plus an additional 1d6 points of cold damage per two caster levels to every creature in the area. A -4 penalty applies to each Listen check made within the ice stormís effect, and all land movement within its area is at half speed. At the end of the duration, the hail disappears, leaving no aftereffects (other than the damage dealt). A successful fortitude save halves the cold damage taken.
Arcane Material Component - A pinch of dust and a few drops of water.

Illusory Wall
Illusion (Figment)
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: Image 1 ft. by 10 ft. by 10 ft.
Duration: 1 Hour / level
Saving Throw: Will disbelief (if interacted with)
Spell Resistance: No
This spell creates the illusion of a wall, floor, ceiling, or similar surface. It appears absolutely real when viewed, but physical objects can pass through it without difficulty. When the spell is used to hide pits, traps, or normal doors, any detection abilities that do not require sight work normally. Touch or a probing search reveals the true nature of the surface, though such measures do not cause the illusion to disappear.

Incendiary Cloud
Conjuration (Creation) [Fire]
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect: Cloud spreads in 20-ft. radius, 20 ft. high
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Reflex half; see text
Spell Resistance: No
An incendiary cloud spell creates a cloud of roiling smoke shot through with white-hot embers. The smoke obscures all sight as a fog cloud does. In addition, the white-hot embers within the cloud deal 1d6 points of fire damage to everything within the cloud on your turn each round. All targets can make Reflex saves each round to take half damage.
As with fog cloud, wind disperses the smoke, and the spell canít be cast underwater.

Locate Creature
Divination
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: Circle, centered on you, with a radius of 100 ft. + 10 ft./level
Duration: 1 min./level
This spell functions like locate object, except this spell locates a known or familiar creature.
You slowly turn and sense when you are facing in the direction of the creature to be located, provided it is within range. You also know in which direction the creature is moving, if any.
The spell can locate a creature of a specific kind or a specific creature known to you. It cannot find a creature of a certain type. To find a kind of creature, you must have seen such a creature up close (within 30 feet) at least once.
Running water blocks the spell. It cannot detect objects. It can be fooled by mislead, nondetection, and polymorph spells.
Material Component - A bit of fur from a bloodhound.

Minor Creation
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 0 ft.
Effect: Unattended, nonmagical object of nonliving plant matter, up to 1 cu. ft./level
Duration: 10 minutes/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You create a nonmagical, unattended object of nonliving, vegetable matter. The volume of the item created cannot exceed 1 cubic foot per caster level. You must succeed on an appropriate skill check to make a complex item.
Attempting to use any created object as a material component causes the spell to fail.
Material Component - A tiny piece of matter of the same sort of item you plan to create with minor creation.

Order's Wrath
Evocation [Lawful]
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous (1 round); see text
Saving Throw: Will partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
You channel lawful power to smite enemies. The power takes the form of a three-dimensional grid of energy. Only chaotic and neutral (not lawful) creatures are harmed by the spell.
The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 3d8) to chaotic creatures and causes them to be dazed for 1 round. A successful Will save reduces the damage by half and negates the dazing effect.
The spell deals only half damage against creatures who are neither lawful nor chaotic, and they are not dazed. Such a creature can reduce the damage by half again (down to one-quarter) with a successful Will save.

Owl's Wisdom, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass owl's wisdom works like Owl's Wisdom, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Phantasmal Killer
Illusion (Phantasm) [Fear, Mind-Affecting]
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Target: One living creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will disbelief (if interacted with), then Fortitude partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
You create a phantasmal image of the most fearsome creature imaginable to the subject simply by forming the fears of the subjectís subconscious mind into something that its conscious mind can visualize: this most horrible beast. Only the spellís subject can see the phantasmal killer. You see only a vague shape. The target first gets a Will save to recognize the image as unreal. If that save fails, the phantasm touches the subject, and the subject must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 6D6 damage, with a fortitude save for half.
If the subject of a phantasmal killer attack succeeds in disbelieving and is wearing a helm of telepathy, the beast can be turned upon you. You must then disbelieve it or become subject to its deadly fear attack.

Polar Ray
Evocation [Cold]
Level: 2
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: Ray
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
A blue-white ray of freezing air and ice springs from your hand. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to deal damage to a target. The ray deals 1d6 points of cold damage per caster level (maximum 8d6).
Focus - A small, white ceramic cone or prism.

Polymorph
Transmutation
Level: 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
You assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal form or any of the following types: aberration, animal, dragon, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, plant, or vermin. The new form must be within two size categories of your normal size. The maximum HD of an assumed form is equal to your caster level, to a maximum of 6 HD at 6th level. You can change into a member of your own kind or even into yourself.
You retain your own ability scores. Your class and level, hit points, alignment, base attack bonus, and base save bonuses all remain the same. You retain all supernatural and spell-like special attacks and qualities of your normal form, except for those requiring a body part that the new form does not have (such as a mouth for a breath weapon or eyes for a gaze attack).
You keep all extraordinary special attacks and qualities derived from class levels, but you lose any from your normal form that are not derived from class levels.
If the new form is capable of speech, you can communicate normally. You retain any spellcasting ability you had in your original form, but the new form must be able to speak intelligibly (that is, speak a language) to use verbal components and must have limbs capable of fine manipulation to use somatic or material components.
You acquire the physical qualities of the new form while retaining your own mind. Physical qualities include natural size, mundane movement capabilities (such as burrowing, climbing, walking, swimming, and flight with wings, to a maximum speed of 120 feet for flying or 60 feet for nonflying movement), natural armor bonus, natural weapons (such as claws, bite, and so on), racial skill bonuses, racial bonus feats, and any gross physical qualities (presence or absence of wings, number of extremities, gills and so forth). A body with extra limbs does not allow you to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal. If your new form grants you a Fly speed, your manoeuvrability is one grade worse than normal (to a minimum of clumsy).
You do not gain any extraordinary special attacks or special qualities not noted above under physical qualities, such as darkvision, low-light vision, blindsense, blindsight, fast healing, regeneration, scent, and so forth.
You do not gain any supernatural special attacks, special qualities, or spell-like abilities of the new form. Your creature type and subtype (if any) remain the same regardless of your new form. You cannot take the form of any creature with a template, even if that template doesnít change the creature type or subtype.
You can freely designate the new formís minor physical qualities (such as hair color, hair texture, and skin color) within the normal ranges for a creature of that kind. The new formís significant physical qualities (such as height, weight, and gender) are also under your control, but they must fall within the norms for the new formís kind. You are effectively disguised as an average member of the new formís race. If you use this spell to create a disguise, you get a +10 bonus on your Disguise check.
When the change occurs, your equipment, if any, either remains worn or held by the new form (if it is capable of wearing or holding the item), or melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When you revert to your true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on your body they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items you wore in the assumed form and canít wear in your normal form fall off and land at your feet; any that you could wear in either form or carry in a body part common to both forms at the time of reversion are still held in the same way. Any part of the body or piece of equipment that is separated from the whole reverts to its true form.

Reduce Person, Mass
Transmutation
Level: 3
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Targets: One humanoid creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round / level
Mass enlarge person works like Reduce Person, except that it affects multiple creatures.

Resilient Sphere
Evocation [Force]
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: 1-ft.-diameter/level sphere, centered around a creature
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: Reflex negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
A globe of shimmering force encloses a creature, provided the creature is small enough to fit within the diameter of the sphere. Nothing can pass through the sphere, inside or out, though the subject can breathe normally.
The sphere has a hardness of 20 and 100 hit points. Creatures can hit the sphere automatically. Should the sphere's hit points drop to 0 it is breached and winks out of existence. If a creature tries to break through the wall with a single attack, the DC for the Strength check is 25 + caster level.
The subject may struggle, but the sphere cannot be physically moved either by people outside it or by the struggles of those within.
Material Component - A hemispherical piece of clear crystal and a matching hemispherical piece of gum arabic.

Restoration
Conjuration (Healing)
Level: 3
Components: V, S, M
This spell functions like lesser restoration, except that it also restores 1D4 points permanently drained from a single ability score (your choice if more than one is drained). It also eliminates any fatigue or exhaustion suffered by the target.
Material Component - Diamond dust worth 50 gp that is sprinkled over the target.

Rusting Grasp
Transmutation
Level: 3
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: One nonmagical ferrous object (or the volume of the object within 3 ft. of the touched point) or one ferrous creature
Duration: See text
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
Any iron or iron alloy item you touch becomes instantaneously rusted, pitted, and worthless, effectively destroyed. If the item is so large that it cannot fit within a 3-foot radius a 3-foot-radius volume of the metal is rusted and destroyed. Magic items made of metal are immune to this spell.
You may employ rusting grasp in combat with a successful melee touch attack. Rusting grasp used in this way instantaneously destroys 1d6 points of Armor Class gained from metal armor (to the maximum amount of protection the armor offered) through corrosion.
Weapons in use by an opponent targeted by the spell are more difficult to grasp. You must succeed on a melee touch attack against the weapon. A metal weapon that is hit is destroyed.
Note: Striking at an opponentís weapon provokes an attack of opportunity. Also, you must touch the weapon and not the other way around.
Against a ferrous creature, rusting grasp instantaneously deals 3d6 points of damage +1 per caster level (maximum +15) per successful attack.

Silence
Illusion (Glamer)
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius emanation centered on a creature, object, or point in space
Duration: 1 minute /level (D)
Saving Throw: Will negates; see text or none (object)
Spell Resistance: Yes; see text or no (object)
Upon the casting of this spell, complete silence prevails in the affected area. All sound is stopped: Conversation is impossible, spells with verbal components cannot be cast, and no noise whatsoever issues from, enters, or passes through the area. The spell can be cast on a point in space, but the effect is stationary unless cast on a mobile object. The spell can be centered on a creature, and the effect then radiates from the creature and moves as it moves. Unwilling creatures in the area of effect can attempt a Will save to negate the spell's effect on them and can use spell resistance, if any. Items in a creatureís possession or magic items that emit sound receive the benefits of saves and spell resistance, but unattended objects and points in space do not. This spell provides a defense against sonic or language-based attacks.

Solid Fog
Conjuration (Creation)
Level: 3
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft. level)
Effect: Fog spreads in 20-ft. radius, 20 ft. high
Components: V, S, M
Duration: Concentration +1 round / Caster level.
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell functions like fog cloud, but in addition to obscuring sight, the solid fog is so thick that any creature attempting to move through it is reduced to half its movement speed, to a minimum of 5 feet, and it takes a -2 penalty on all melee attack and melee damage rolls. The vapors prevent effective ranged weapon attacks (except for magic rays and the like). A creature or object that falls into solid fog is slowed, so that each 10 feet of vapor that it passes through reduces falling damage by 1d6. A creature canít take a 5-foot step while in solid fog.
Only a severe wind (31+ mph) disperses these vapors, and it does so in 1 round.
Material Component: A pinch of dried, powdered peas combined with powdered animal hoof.

Unholy Blight
Evocation [Evil]
Level: 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous (1 round); see text
Saving Throw: Will partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
You call up unholy power to smite your enemies. The power takes the form of a cold, cloying miasma of greasy darkness. Only good and neutral (not Evil) creatures are harmed by the spell.
The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 3d8) to good creatures and causes them to be sickened for 1 round. A successful Will save reduces the damage by half and negates the sickening effect.
The spell deals only half damage against creatures who are neither good nor evil, and they are not sickened. Such a creature can reduce the damage by half again (down to one-quarter) with a successful Will save.

Core Spells modified to attempt to make them compatible with E6 principles. As ever, the goal is to expand options and include iconic spells without greatly increasing the power level, so if anyone has suggestions on whether these are okay or need further tuning, it would be a appreciated.

Debihuman
2012-08-16, 09:03 AM
Why not just go Pathfinder and remove the XP cost altogether? Exchanging it for a hit points sucks for classes who already have low hit points.

Debby

Kholai
2012-08-16, 09:57 AM
Primarily because I want there to be an actual cost for the creation of magic items. If it's gold only, then magic items will by their very nature be common, because why wouldn't a mage make a few whenever they had some downtime? Why wouldn't every mage take at least one crafting feat to guarantee themselves a lucrative profession?

As you've said, to low hitpoint mages (I have followed Pathfinder in that no PC class spellcaster has lower than a D6 hitdie at least) 1 HP is a big deal, so the number of magic items (and the number of mages willing to sacrifice their lifeforce to make them) is low and the items they create are special (and expensive!).

This would probably be coupled with a one-off feat which gives a reserve of 10 "phantom HP", which only applies to Item creation. After which they can take Toughness feats over and over like everyone else, feats aren't in short supply after all.

It has similarities to the craft points UA alternative system, but with health instead.

bobthe6th
2012-08-16, 11:14 AM
no, just no. making somthing required to be effective make you pay somthing so that you get killed by a cat is a bad plan. I would suggest the removal of all item creation feats, and legitamize WBL (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=251150&highlight=legitamize).

also the meta magic feats... once per day? once per flipping day? I guess at E6 there is only so many spells you can cast but still...
I do like trading caster level for the benefit though, means I would actually use metamagic without cost decrease.

I honestly don't see the harm in letting them use the meta at will this way. the minor boosts in damage are counter balanced by the lost caster level(s), which allow it to be countered, resisted, and dispelled more esaly.

Network
2012-08-16, 01:56 PM
Well, this would make magic very, very rarer.

Considering a feat in E6 = 5 000 XP, a single potion would cost 1 667 XP to create. I'm pretty sure no spellcaster will sell one for less than 10 000 gp. For a potion!


also the meta magic feats... once per day? once per flipping day? I guess at E6 there is only so many spells you can cast but still...
I do like trading caster level for the benefit though, means I would actually use metamagic without cost decrease.
Bobthe6th is right. Did you hear about Sudden Metamagic from Complete Arcane? This is an excellent alternative if you want to remove the ''higher spell slot'' from the rules. Sudden Quicken Spell can be used once a day, Sudden Silent Spell thrice, etc. If you increase the casting time and lower the caster level, there should be no limit.


For background, the system planned will be based around E6 assumptions with rebalanced core classes and a moderate rework on magic.
What do you plan to do, exactly? The class that needs the most modifications in E6 is probably the fighter, though. Magic is not that powerful in the first few levels either, but the fighter is crying because he only has bonus feats and nothing else.

Kholai
2012-08-16, 05:28 PM
Alright, thanks for this.

I'll bring it back to the drawing board then, probably have each Item Creation feat add an amount of a pool of Crafting Points, and make it a flat 1 point invested per item made, using HP when you exceed your crafting pool.

Concerning metamagic feats, daily limitation is removed unless it causes problems.

My primary concern for unlimited use metamagic is actually extend spell, with a -1 CL and a round casting time literally every spell cast out of combat that can be extended will be extended. Heroism doesn't really care if it's CL 5 or CL 6 after all, but I'm prepared to see how it goes.


What do you plan to do, exactly? The class that needs the most modifications in E6 is probably the fighter, though. Magic is not that powerful in the first few levels either, but the fighter is crying because he only has bonus feats and nothing else.

Replacing Wizards, Clerics, Druids and Sorcerers with the Mage class, which follows more after the Beguiler/Warmage format with limited spell lists and abilities based on their speciality but full spontaneous access to their fields, combined with PF-style cantrips and a few other features I liked from PF.

Standardising familiars/animal companions/mounts into the same overarching system, with standard features and variations being applied to it in a case by case basis rather than with three near identical variations being overlaid on top of one another.

Non-mage classes gain a minimum of one ability per level, front loading reduced where possible and class features given a slightly faster progression in some cases. Capstones applied at level 6 in each class, and full BAB classes count as fighters of their level -2 for the purpose of Fighter feats.

Where possible feats that offer tactical choices rather than numerical ones will be modified to become compatible with the system and new feats incorporated as necessary, and major class features that consist of gaining a bonus feat to do the job are instead handled as abilities which can then be stacked on top of those feats.

The ranger's fighting style choices are expanded and rather than specific favoured enemies they gain a favoured terrain, and a smaller bonus against all types of enemies native to those terrains. The Paladin gains smite as an encounter ability along with auras that grant unique benefits that actually make them worth having along in a party.

And yes, the Fighter receives a unique class feature on every single level.

bobthe6th
2012-08-16, 05:32 PM
Concerning metamagic feats, daily limitation is removed unless it causes problems.

My primary concern for unlimited use metamagic is actually extend spell, with a -1 CL and a round casting time literally every spell cast out of combat that can be extended will be extended. Heroism doesn't really care if it's CL 5 or CL 6 after all, but I'm prepared to see how it goes.


well, they did spend a feat on it. so letting their spells last longer seems ok to me.

Erik Vale
2012-08-16, 07:51 PM
Well, this would make magic very, very rarer.


While gramatically icorrect, this.

What cleric is going to craft a heal potion if it costs 1 hp to make. Crafting 7 of any kind is the same (using statiscal averages for d6 hitdice and 10 con) as losing 2 levels worth of hitpoints.
Why craft a potion?
There would be almost litterally no NPC or PC enchanters, or all of the enchanters finding ways to replace said HP, or a new enchantment method.

Maybe making it a semi-permanent but larger drain would work better, say d6/whatever(Perhaps 1 hitdice, balancing low HP and high HP classes) for 1 week/(or other), otherwise your worlds magic gets restricted to actual casters.
Unless your aiming at low magic, in which case you have achieved.

Or you could have a enchanter specific class that grants large hp and a toughness feat every so often to replace hp.

You could also make it be based on a chance, say a spellcraft check with a dc based on the items power.

Vadskye
2012-08-16, 08:40 PM
Maybe making it a semi-permanent but larger drain would work better...
I like this. Actually, that could be done with negative levels, rather than just pure HP, to make the impact more even across your attributes. Craft an item, take a negative level for as long as it took to craft. That way, the more minor potions wouldn't be rarer than the expensive ones, and you wouldn't worry that you've screwed your future self over by making a magic item you want. Sacrifice in the present for gains in the present; don't let players sacrifice the future for the immediate. Also, people who craft, like the classic dwarven smith, can exist again.

Also, not to derail the thread, but:

And yes, the Fighter receives a unique class feature on every single level.

Awesome. Might I suggest the "True Grit" class feature from jiriku's fix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194834) as inspiration? I think it captures the feel of the fighter's ability to fight through negative influences rather nicely. For my system, I renamed it to "Discipline" and tweaked the condition list slightly, but I think it's a great idea.

Kholai
2012-08-17, 05:48 AM
I like this. Actually, that could be done with negative levels, rather than just pure HP, to make the impact more even across your attributes. Craft an item, take a negative level for as long as it took to craft. That way, the more minor potions wouldn't be rarer than the expensive ones, and you wouldn't worry that you've screwed your future self over by making a magic item you want. Sacrifice in the present for gains in the present; don't let players sacrifice the future for the immediate. Also, people who craft, like the classic dwarven smith, can exist again.

Oo, I do like that, you've been energy drained by the item you've made. I might up it to twice as many days as it took to make though - If you're crafting potions you'll be at momentarily two negative levels down, rather than your negative level disappearing just in time to receive the second one.

Worst case you'll take a week or so to make something, two days to make something else and a potion the day after, leaving you at a very vulnerable level 3, and stopping you from crafting nice things until your level picks up again.


Awesome. Might I suggest the "True Grit" class feature from jiriku's fix (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=194834) as inspiration? I think it captures the feel of the fighter's ability to fight through negative influences rather nicely. For my system, I renamed it to "Discipline" and tweaked the condition list slightly, but I think it's a great idea.

Heck, it's my thread and I'm happy that my original purpose for it is largely fulfilled, so derail away.

This is so far what I've got for the fighter (apologies in advance, this is a lot better laid out in my google doc):

Fighter
Hit Die: D10
Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Good Fort.
High BAB
Skill Points: (4 + Int modifier)

Ferocious Defender (Ex): Enemies provoke an attack of opportunity from the Fighter whenever they make a melee attack against a target that is not the Fighter. In the case of a full attack action, each individual attack provokes its own attack of opportunity.

Bonus Feats: At 2nd level the fighter gains a bonus feat and an additional bonus feat every two fighter levels thereafter. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [fighter] feats. A fighter must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Parry (Ex): At second level the Fighter gains the ability to better defend themselves from assailants. Whenever an attacker attacks him in melee and he is not denied his dexterity bonus to AC, he may make an attack roll with any melee weapon they are holding as an immediate action, Should this attack roll be higher than the attacker's then the attack misses. The fighter may choose to parry an attack after learning the result of the opponent's attack, but not after damage is rolled.

Disrupt (Ex): At third level, whenever a Fighter successfully hits with an attack of opportunity granted by their Ferocious Defender ability, the target gets a -4 attack penalty on the attack that provoked the attack of opportunity.

Interpose (Ex): At fourth level, so long as the Fighter is conscious and capable of actions, they may choose as a free action during their turn to grant one ally within 5' Soft Cover from all ranged attacks until the next turn. Should any attack beat the ally's regular AC but miss due to this Cover bonus, then the attack strikes the Fighter, even if their attack roll would not normally be enough to do so. Should the ally move more than 5' away from the Fighter then this bonus is lost.
The fighter may only grant one ally cover in this way per round.

Steel Wall (Ex): At fifth level, a Fighter may choose to automatically succeed at a reflex save against an effect that allows a reflex save for half damage. They may only use this ability if they are wearing heavy armour.

Momentum (Ex): At fifth level the Fighter may make an additional attack of opportunity per turn. This stacks with any additional attacks of opportunity provided by Combat Reflexes.

Warmaster (Ex): At sixth level, the Fighter may Take 10 on a single attack roll per round, this may be on a Parry roll, an Attack of Opportunity or any other special attack requiring an attack roll.

Rather than giving them anything mystical at all, I just wanted a business-like master of combat, nothing mystical, just a serious threat that requires the enemy to focus on them or suffer.

Vadskye
2012-08-17, 12:40 PM
Oo, I do like that, you've been energy drained by the item you've made. I might up it to twice as many days as it took to make though - If you're crafting potions you'll be at momentarily two negative levels down, rather than your negative level disappearing just in time to receive the second one.

Worst case you'll take a week or so to make something, two days to make something else and a potion the day after, leaving you at a very vulnerable level 3, and stopping you from crafting nice things until your level picks up again.
I am amused - when I originally wrote that, I put it at two days of drain per day of crafting. I changed it because taking two days to recover from a single potion of cure light wounds feels a bit wrong to me, but I do like it in general. Maybe the normal rule is two days per day of crafting, but if the item only took a full day to craft because that's the minimum, it only takes a day to recover. That way, you can still make one cure light wounds potion per day, which I think is necessary if you want a world where it has the same price that it currently does.




Heck, it's my thread and I'm happy that my original purpose for it is largely fulfilled, so derail away.

This is so far what I've got for the fighter (apologies in advance, this is a lot better laid out in my google doc):

Fighter
Hit Die: D10
Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History), Knowledge (Nobility & Royalty), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Good Fort.
High BAB
Skill Points: (4 + Int modifier)

Ferocious Defender (Ex): Enemies provoke an attack of opportunity from the Fighter whenever they make a melee attack against a target that is not the Fighter. In the case of a full attack action, each individual attack provokes its own attack of opportunity.

Bonus Feats: At 2nd level the fighter gains a bonus feat and an additional bonus feat every two fighter levels thereafter. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [fighter] feats. A fighter must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Parry (Ex): At second level the Fighter gains the ability to better defend themselves from assailants. Whenever an attacker attacks him in melee and he is not denied his dexterity bonus to AC, he may make an attack roll with any melee weapon they are holding as an immediate action, Should this attack roll be higher than the attacker's then the attack misses. The fighter may choose to parry an attack after learning the result of the opponent's attack, but not after damage is rolled.

Disrupt (Ex): At third level, whenever a Fighter successfully hits with an attack of opportunity granted by their Ferocious Defender ability, the target gets a -4 attack penalty on the attack that provoked the attack of opportunity.

Interpose (Ex): At fourth level, so long as the Fighter is conscious and capable of actions, they may choose as a free action during their turn to grant one ally within 5' Soft Cover from all ranged attacks until the next turn. Should any attack beat the ally's regular AC but miss due to this Cover bonus, then the attack strikes the Fighter, even if their attack roll would not normally be enough to do so. Should the ally move more than 5' away from the Fighter then this bonus is lost.
The fighter may only grant one ally cover in this way per round.

Steel Wall (Ex): At fifth level, a Fighter may choose to automatically succeed at a reflex save against an effect that allows a reflex save for half damage. They may only use this ability if they are wearing heavy armour.

Momentum (Ex): At fifth level the Fighter may make an additional attack of opportunity per turn. This stacks with any additional attacks of opportunity provided by Combat Reflexes.

Warmaster (Ex): At sixth level, the Fighter may Take 10 on a single attack roll per round, this may be on a Parry roll, an Attack of Opportunity or any other special attack requiring an attack roll.

Rather than giving them anything mystical at all, I just wanted a business-like master of combat, nothing mystical, just a serious threat that requires the enemy to focus on them or suffer.

Hmm. My first reaction when anyone starts making a fighter fix is to make sure you read this marvelous analysis of the fighter (https://sites.google.com/site/endhavenproject/gaming/d-d-3-5-fighter-analysis). I think it has some good ideas (though I don't actually like the builds it comes up with) on how to think about fixing it.

Second, this fighter seems strongly devoted to a particular theme - that of the AoO master who focuses on defending his allies. I don't think fighters should have a particular theme like this. When I want to make a martial character, I have a bunch of options that are specialized in different ways - barbarian, paladin, ranger, hexblade, etc. Each of those classes comes with additional "baggage" in terms of fluff and the mechanics that ties them down to specific roles, whether in combat or in the game world as a whole. None of them fit many of the classic archetypes of "fighter", such as "Guy who shoots arrows without loving nature", or "polearm wielder", or "Ally defender" (which your fix assumes), and so on. The fighter must be the class that covers all of those roles without significant preference for some over others, just like the rogue class must be able to cover all of the myriad variations on "rogue" without prejudice. Specializing is what what prestige classes and other base classes are for. You need "generic" classes, or else players can end up with perfectly reasonable character concepts that have no logical way to exist. Therefore, the fighter should be defined by one thing: his ability to fight.

Third, even putting that aside, this seems really annoying to play with. Let me get this straight: Whenever a fighter is in melee with someone, the fighter can make an attack roll once for every time an opponent attacks, no matter who they attack? Holy game slowdown, batman! This is definitely not a mechanic that I'd recommend using; it will take way too long to resolve. Plus, Parry is incredibly powerful. AC (intentionally) doesn't progress at the same rate as attack bonus in D&D as you add more iterative attacks. Using an attack roll as AC can make a well built character nearly invulnerable. Plus, just slap two levels of this fighter on a barbarian and watch him go absolutely NUTS.

I think that's enough for now - I'm curious what you think.

Network
2012-08-17, 03:29 PM
Ferocious Defender (Ex): Enemies provoke an attack of opportunity from the Fighter whenever they make a melee attack against a target that is not the Fighter. In the case of a full attack action, each individual attack provokes its own attack of opportunity.
It seem nice, at least until someone uses a fighter rush. Then character is attacked three to seven time every time he attacks, not counting normal attacks of his opponents. With the Leadership feat, that's not something PCs can't come up with (if this feat doesn't exist in E6, a mercenary army fit nicely).

Kholai
2012-08-17, 05:27 PM
Alright, I'll try potions with a pass for now, it seems reasonable that a wand with a CL 1 level 1 spell should be more exhausting than a single use potion, so crafting rules are now:

Whenever someone crafts a magic item, they gain a negative level. If the subject has at least as many negative levels as Hit Dice, they die. Each negative level gives a creature the following penalties: -1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks; loss of 5 hit points; and -1 to effective level (for determining the power, duration, DC, and other details of spells or special abilities). In addition, a spellcaster loses one spell or spell slot from the highest spell level castable.
Unlike regular negative levels there is no risk of permanently losing a level, and these negative levels cannot be recovered by any means short of waiting for them to recover naturally.
Negative levels from crafting last for two days for every day spent creating the item.
Should a crafter's caster level be below the caster level required as a prerequisite for a metamagic, item creation or mage feat then they may not use that feat until they recover.

Special:
A "potion" refers to any single use magical item that is expended after a single use and may be used by anyone. The crafter may instead qualify with any "Craft" skill in place of Craft Alchemy, and modify the resultant item accordingly.
Unlike other items, crafting a potion only gives a negative level for a single day.


Hmm. My first reaction when anyone starts making a fighter fix is to make sure you read this marvelous analysis of the fighter. I think it has some good ideas (though I don't actually like the builds it comes up with) on how to think about fixing it.

Wield a sword and shield
Blocks attacks with his shield
Blocks dragon breath with his shield
Is nimble on his feet

I like it. I've adjusted Steel Wall to use either a shield or heavy armour (since that was exactly what Steel Wall is for), and parry to use a shield or a sword (and be mechanically better with a shield).


You need "generic" classes, or else players can end up with perfectly reasonable character concepts that have no logical way to exist. Therefore, the fighter should be defined by one thing: his ability to fight.

The main problem, and one that is covered in the article you've linked: Anyone can fight.

With feats, anyone can shoot a bow without loving nature, with any full BAB class anyone can fight as near to as well as the fighter, shoot a bow as well as the fighter, and gets bonuses that the fighter cannot.

One may have substitutions for the fighter's explicit abilities, but it must have explicit abilities, otherwise it will fail as a class. If you're replacing specific abilities, then you may as well replace the whole class.


None of them fit many of the classic archetypes of "fighter", such as "Guy who shoots arrows without loving nature", or "polearm wielder", or "Ally defender" (which your fix assumes), and so on. The fighter must be the class that covers all of those roles without significant preference for some over others, just like the rogue class must be able to cover all of the myriad variations on "rogue" without prejudice. Specializing is what what prestige classes and other base classes are for. You need "generic" classes, or else players can end up with perfectly reasonable character concepts that have no logical way to exist.

Prestige classes do not meaningfully exist in E6, characters are defined by their race, stats, their skills, the feats they select, and the six class levels they select.

#1: A ranger refluffed fits most lightly armoured combat style specialists, including archery. A ranger does not need to like nature, to track anything or anyone, or to take Survival as a class skill.
#2: The Fighter shown actually makes great use of polearms - the increase of reach makes their ability to AoO even more effective. In fact, it means they can't 5' step away from the Fighter to avoid the AoO.
#3: They cover this one, and most "heavily armoured defensive class" features.

They're quite capable of getting other features through feats.

I suppose the major question is "why must the fighter cover every role"? A rogue isn't the be all and end all of rogues, the Rogue class specifically embodies a stealthy character who uses sneak attacks for precision damage.

Not every rogue is an assassin, not every rogue is nimble, not every rogue lacks booksmarts into the secrets of arcane, religious, historical or natural issues. Not every character in the Rogue class is a roguish character at all.

Strip away the fluff, and every class is simply a collection of abilities that can be ignored or used to support your desired character. This is why multiclassing exists.


Third, even putting that aside, this seems really annoying to play with. Let me get this straight: Whenever a fighter is in melee with someone, the fighter can make an attack roll once for every time an opponent attacks, no matter who they attack? Holy game slowdown, batman! This is definitely not a mechanic that I'd recommend using; it will take way too long to resolve. Plus, Parry is incredibly powerful. AC (intentionally) doesn't progress at the same rate as attack bonus in D&D as you add more iterative attacks. Using an attack roll as AC can make a well built character nearly invulnerable. Plus, just slap two levels of this fighter on a barbarian and watch him go absolutely NUTS.

The ability to AoO targets who attack non-you targets already exists - Defensive Rebuke, if your attack hits a target then if they attack anyone else then you get an AoO unless they move away.

Parry also already exists. Wall of Blades, Tome of Battle, level 2 Manoeuvre immediate action, and works against Ranged attacks as well.

I may tie parry to use up an attack of opportunity however, so there's an opportunity cost for it.

Concerning its power, you are forgetting that this is E6; AC does not outscale BAB, plate is always +8, BAB is at absolute most +4. Parry is 6 BAB + Strength (+5 for 20 Str), +5 for a +1 Tower Shield, or +3 for a Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, +1 weapon, +1D20.

That's 6 + 5 + 5 +1-20 (17-36 AC) or 6 + 5 + 3 + 1-20 (15-34 AC).

An average AC of 26.5 or 24.5, 26 / 24 if you take 10 on the parry.

In comparison, full plate, 13 Dex and a tower shield is 23 AC.

Concerning tying the game up, I'm not certain it will, the most nimble fighter possible (20 Dex elf) with Combat Reflexes gets at absolute most 7 AoOs a turn. That's a lot, but it's pretty doubtful that anyone will be able to successfully trigger all seven - this is, again, E6, the TWF specialist attacks at most five times with haste, full BAB gives a single iterative attack, things are quicker all around, there's room for the fighter to attack outside of his turn a few times, or a maximum of once to try and block a lucky shot.

You've convinced me to move around the abilities though.



It seem nice, at least until someone uses a fighter rush. Then character is attacked three to seven time every time he attacks, not counting normal attacks of his opponents. With the Leadership feat, that's not something PCs can't come up with (if this feat doesn't exist in E6, a mercenary army fit nicely).

Well, if the fighter goes from a joke to a class you'd actually want multiples of, at least its a step in the right direction, eh?

Thematically speaking, I actually rather like this; someone has been cornered by the city watch, they are surrounded by eight mad looking dudes pointing spears at them (we've all seen this scene before I'm sure).

What do they do?

They surrender, because they're outnumbered and surrounded. If they were to attack someone then the others would instantly stab and skewer them.

In D&D what would they do?

Well, they'd probably power attack for 5, take out one of them, then with their second iterative stab another. They're only level 2, they attack once each at maybe +5 to hit. You have a good chance of killing them all in one or two hits apiece, which is 4-8 rounds, taking four or five hits in return.

If they're "Ferocious Defenders" then they react quite reasonably - the criminal attacks, and the seven survivors *all* take their swing. In their turn, they all take another swing, giving them actually a real chance against a target they outnumber.

Mechanically, it's actually fairly reasonable as well. I think you may be overestimating the ease of setting up a situation where you reliably outnumber an opponent versus the downsides of such an activity.

- You need to set up positioning.
- You need to be in a state where they can't just 5' step into an unAoOable spot.
- Your opponent needs to be a melee specialist.
- Your opponent needs to not possess Crowd Control. Entangle, Sleep, Grease, Pyrotechnics, Sound Burst, Burning Hands, Colour Spray, let alone Fireball will all wreck an army of low level fighters.

Interpose (Ex): so long as the Fighter is conscious and capable of actions, they may choose as a free action during their turn to grant one ally within 5' Soft Cover from all ranged attacks until the next turn. Should any attack beat the ally's regular AC but miss due to this Cover bonus, then the attack strikes the Fighter, even if their attack roll would not normally be enough to do so. Should the ally move more than 5' away from the Fighter then this bonus is lost.
The fighter may only grant one ally cover in this way per round.

Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a fighter gets a bonus feat. The fighter gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd, 4th and 6th level. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [fighter] feats. A fighter must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Ferocious Defender (Ex): At second level, enemies provoke an attack of opportunity from the Fighter whenever they make a melee attack that does not target the Fighter. In the case of a full attack action, each individual attack provokes its own attack of opportunity. Attacks of opportunity do not provoke attacks of opportunity from Ferocious Defender.

Parry (Ex): At third level the Fighter gains the ability to better defend themselves from assailants. Whenever an attacker attacks him in melee and he is not denied his dexterity bonus to AC, he may make an attack roll with any melee weapon or shield they are holding as an immediate action (using the shield's Armour Class as an attack bonus), Should this attack roll be higher than the attacker's then the attack misses. The fighter may choose to parry an attack after learning the result of the opponent's attack, but not after damage is rolled.

Disrupt (Ex): At fourth level, whenever a Fighter successfully hits with an attack of opportunity granted by their Ferocious Defender ability, the target gets a -4 attack penalty on the attack that provoked the attack of opportunity.

Steel Wall (Ex): At fifth level, a Fighter may choose to automatically succeed at a reflex save against an effect that allows a reflex save for half damage. They may only use this ability if they are wearing heavy armour or wearing a shield (not a buckler).

Momentum (Ex): At fifth level the Fighter may make an additional attack of opportunity per turn. This stacks with any additional attacks of opportunity provided by Combat Reflexes.

Warmaster (Ex): At sixth level, the Fighter may Take 10 on a single attack per round, this may be on an Attack of Opportunity or special attack if they wish.

Yitzi
2012-08-17, 06:11 PM
Expending maximum HP is very harsh; if you want to go that route, you might as well go with what I hear was done in 2E and require 1 point of CON for each item.

Kholai
2012-08-17, 06:31 PM
Expending maximum HP is very harsh; if you want to go that route, you might as well go with what I hear was done in 2E and require 1 point of CON for each item.

Not to worry, this has been replaced by temporary negative levels.

Network
2012-08-17, 10:04 PM
- Your opponent needs to not possess Crowd Control. Entangle, Sleep, Grease, Pyrotechnics, Sound Burst, Burning Hands, Colour Spray, let alone Fireball will all wreck an army of low level fighters.
I don't know how bad ass is a 6th level wizard, but he doesn't have Contingency (or any Symbol spell, for that matter). He will likely have to deal with 8 Attacks of Opportunity a round, not counting the seven bonus Attacks of Opportunity because he's attacking someone. He can cast defensively, but the Concentration check would be way high with all the damage he receives in a single round (from normal attacks, of course).

The 1st level fighters are elite soldiers, of course, so they have Dodge and Mage Slayer on the top of this. Not counting their fighter bonus feat.

The build is already effective against small and medium-sized characters. It is even more so if they are tinier or larger, or in a 3D space.

Edit : Just see they doesn't fulfil the prerequisites of Mage Slayer. Just replace it with Iron Will. Dodge is a fighter bonus feat, so they have another free feat.

Kholai
2012-08-17, 10:55 PM
I don't know how bad ass is a 6th level wizard, but he doesn't have Contingency (or any Symbol spell, for that matter). He will likely have to deal with 8 Attacks of Opportunity a round, not counting the seven bonus Attacks of Opportunity because he's attacking someone. He can cast defensively, but the Concentration check would be way high with all the damage he receives in a single round (from normal attacks, of course).

The 1st level fighters are elite soldiers, of course, so they have Dodge and Mage Slayer on the top of this. Not counting their fighter bonus feat.

The build is already effective against small and medium-sized characters. It is even more so if they are tinier or larger, or in a 3D space.

I'm not sure how you're getting to this point, even assuming that Ferocious Defender hadn't been moved to level 2 a few posts back. Could you please explain?

1: Ferocious Defender doesn't give you additional Attacks of Opportunity per round.

2: You do not provoke attacks of opportunity by casting defensively, you do not add anything to the concentration DC for damage received prior to beginning to cast defensively.

The DC of the check is 15 plus the spellís level. With just 9 in Concentration, Skill Focus Concentration and a 14 Constitution you have a 10% chance to fail to cast a level 3 spell defensively.

3: Mageslayer requires a BAB of +3?


Even assuming they did somehow start adjacent to the mage in this manner, this literally is a case of "cast fireball". Assuming elite array, their +1 Reflex save means they save on a 16 or better, and their ~14 HP isn't a guarantee against death even then. Dodge doesn't really help there.

Even an unoptimised Bard, with a single Sound Burst, has a great chance of stunning over half of them, which means an unarmed squad of fighters.

I'm not seeing any situation where you can reliably get a group of level 1 fighters into melee range (with reach and I assume Studded Leather) that would work out better than getting a group of eight level 1 mages to just cast Magic Missile on someone for an automatic 16-40 damage per turn.

douglaswalkers
2012-08-18, 12:34 AM
I don't know how bad ass is a 6th level wizard, but he doesn't have Contingency (or any Symbol spell, for that matter). He will likely have to deal with 8 Attacks of Opportunity a round, not counting the seven bonus Attacks of Opportunity because he's attacking someone. He can cast defensively, but the Concentration check would be way high with all the damage he receives in a single round (from normal attacks, of course).

The 1st level fighters are elite soldiers, of course, so they have Dodge and Mage Slayer on the top of this. Not counting their fighter bonus feat.

The build is already effective against small and medium-sized characters. It is even more so if they are tinier or larger, or in a 3D space.

Edit : Just see they doesn't fulfil the prerequisites of Mage Slayer. Just replace it with Iron Will. Dodge is a fighter bonus feat, so they have another free feat.

That was informative post but still I have some doubts I don't get your points of provoke attacks, I mean they are kind of opportunity for letting rival down.

Network
2012-08-18, 12:33 PM
1: Ferocious Defender doesn't give you additional Attacks of Opportunity per round.

2: You do not provoke attacks of opportunity by casting defensively, you do not add anything to the concentration DC for damage received prior to beginning to cast defensively.

The DC of the check is 15 plus the spellís level. With just 9 in Concentration, Skill Focus Concentration and a 14 Constitution you have a 10% chance to fail to cast a level 3 spell defensively.

[...]

Even an unoptimised Bard, with a single Sound Burst, has a great chance of stunning over half of them, which means an unarmed squad of fighters.
1-Combat Reflexes and at least 14 in dexterity is really all you need.

2-They just have to prepare their action. Nothing really great.

Sound Burst won't work if the fighters are deaf.


I'm not seeing any situation where you can reliably get a group of level 1 fighters into melee range (with reach and I assume Studded Leather) that would work out better than getting a group of eight level 1 mages to just cast Magic Missile on someone for an automatic 16-40 damage per turn.
They can move 60 ft. per turn. No problem with this one. Eight level 1 mages? They inflict 8d4 +8 damage (12-36), and it wouldn't work for more than three rounds per day. Eight level 1 fighters with battle axes get 8d8 damage, not counting their Strength modifier, so if we count AC they will probably inflict just as much damage every round.


I'm not sure how you're getting to this point, even assuming that Ferocious Defender hadn't been moved to level 2 a few posts back. Could you please explain?
Okay, if its moved to level 2, it's harder to get.

Vadskye
2012-08-18, 12:56 PM
Alright, I'll try potions with a pass for now, it seems reasonable that a wand with a CL 1 level 1 spell should be more exhausting than a single use potion, so crafting rules are now:

Whenever someone crafts a magic item, they gain a negative level. If the subject has at least as many negative levels as Hit Dice, they die. Each negative level gives a creature the following penalties: -1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks; loss of 5 hit points; and -1 to effective level (for determining the power, duration, DC, and other details of spells or special abilities). In addition, a spellcaster loses one spell or spell slot from the highest spell level castable.
Unlike regular negative levels there is no risk of permanently losing a level, and these negative levels cannot be recovered by any means short of waiting for them to recover naturally.
Negative levels from crafting last for two days for every day spent creating the item.
Should a crafter's caster level be below the caster level required as a prerequisite for a metamagic, item creation or mage feat then they may not use that feat until they recover.

Special:
A "potion" refers to any single use magical item that is expended after a single use and may be used by anyone. The crafter may instead qualify with any "Craft" skill in place of Craft Alchemy, and modify the resultant item accordingly.
Unlike other items, crafting a potion only gives a negative level for a single day.

Cool. I think this is the fix I needed to allow crafting back into my games. Thanks!


The main problem, and one that is covered in the article you've linked: Anyone can fight.

With feats, anyone can shoot a bow without loving nature, with any full BAB class anyone can fight as near to as well as the fighter, shoot a bow as well as the fighter, and gets bonuses that the fighter cannot.
Oh, I'm not saying the fighter doesn't deserve improving. You're right that, as currently written, there is nothing that really separates the fighter from other classes; anything he can do, they can do too.


One may have substitutions for the fighter's explicit abilities, but it must have explicit abilities, otherwise it will fail as a class. If you're replacing specific abilities, then you may as well replace the whole class.
Yes, it should have explicit abilities. But I maintain that those abilities do not need to - and should not - "pigeonhole" the fighter into a specific role.


Prestige classes do not meaningfully exist in E6, characters are defined by their race, stats, their skills, the feats they select, and the six class levels they select.
Good point; I forgot about the E6 issue (I was wondering why you only provided six levels of fix!). I have never played E6, and my interests naturally lean towards creating a fighter fix for the first ten to fifteen levels instead. I'll try to keep that in mind as I look at your ideas.


#1: A ranger refluffed fits most lightly armoured combat style specialists, including archery. A ranger does not need to like nature, to track anything or anyone, or to take Survival as a class skill.
I see two issues here. First, what does a ranger actually contribute to your ability to two-weapon fight or use archery? They get bonus feats that a fighter can take too. They have a worse hit die and Favored Enemy, which is pretty strongly fluff-specific to the ranger. If you ignore their nature-themed abilities, they're worse than a fighter except for their (largely nature-themed) skills.
Second, a fighter has one role: fighting. If you become better at fighting by also gaining an animal companion, tracking, and a several other abilities (that yes, you are free to ignore), the fighter is clearly not fulfilling his role as a class. From my perspective, if a ranger was a better fighter than a fighter when both use two-weapon or archery style, that would just prove that the fighter was broken. You seem to see that as a desirable outcome.

#2: The Fighter shown actually makes great use of polearms - the increase of reach makes their ability to AoO even more effective. In fact, it means they can't 5' step away from the Fighter to avoid the AoO.
#3: They cover this one, and most "heavily armoured defensive class" features.
Yes; the fighter you created does cover a couple of roles extremely well, as long as they all share "being a tank and protecting allies" in common.


They're quite capable of getting other features through feats.
Is this an E6 thing? I feel like it is, so I'll leave it alone.


I suppose the major question is "why must the fighter cover every role"? A rogue isn't the be all and end all of rogues, the Rogue class specifically embodies a stealthy character who uses sneak attacks for precision damage.

Not every rogue is an assassin, not every rogue is nimble, not every rogue lacks booksmarts into the secrets of arcane, religious, historical or natural issues. Not every character in the Rogue class is a roguish character at all.

Strip away the fluff, and every class is simply a collection of abilities that can be ignored or used to support your desired character. This is why multiclassing exists.
He has to be able to cover all the fighting roles because if he doesn't, no other class can. Barbarians and rangers are specifically for lighter armor, and they each have their own set of unique abilities that give the class an identity independent of the fighting style they choose. The only core class that can mechanically serve as a "generic fighter of any type" other than the fighter is the paladin, since it has no abilities which preference one type of fighting over others - but that obviously has huge fluff requirements, so you can't use it as a go-to class.

When you suggest using the ranger and ignoring the nature-themed abilities, you're ignoring the reason the ranger exists. That's like being a paladin and ignoring the divine-themed abilities, or being a barbarian and ignoring the rage-themed abilities. Yes, you could. It might end up being a useful character - particularly if you started splashing around, taking the first few levels of each class. But it makes a mockery of the reason that classes exist. You should be a ranger because you want to be a ranger, not because you want a particular fighting style. That's why the fighter has to be generic; he is the firewall against class pollution.

To illustrate this, let's say I want to be an archer. Nothing fancy; I just want to shoot a bow. (Like many new players, I might be trying to mimic some classic character that I really like; Legolas is a popular choice). Well, there are four full BAB classes; let's see which one fits best. Barbarian doesn't fit at all - being filled with rage doesn't mesh with shooting targets from a distance, and the nature of Strength bows means I won't get any real benefit from Rage. Okay, that doesn't work. Next up is the fighter; by the name, that seems fitting. But wait... I don't care at all about most of these class features. I don't take attacks of opportunity with a bow, and I try to avoid melee, so half of the abilities are useless. Also, I won't use heavy armor (too slow!), so Steel Wall doesn't work. Interpose could be useful to protect the mage; okay, I like that, but it's not much. Warmaster is cool, though. But let's keep looking; I feel like I'm ignoring half the class features. If I could be good with a bow in this class, couldn't I be way better if I was actually using these abilities?
So we look at paladin. But I don't particularly feel like playing a holy warrior; that's not something I can just ignore. Ranger, then? The name seems fitting. But I wasn't planning on being all nature-y. I don't have any particular grudges against any creatures, and I don't need a cute animal companion. I mean, that's cool, but not really relevant. And I don't see any abilities that actually help me shoot a bow, just some feats I could have taken anyway. Guess it's the fighter, then - but I still have all this really powerful stuff that I have to write down that I'll never use. It will just sit there on my character sheet, reminding me about how much cooler I could have been if I didn't pick an archer.

Ranged combat is the best example of a fighting style without a home, but I could also point out how much ridiculously better this fighter is as a two-handed wielder than as a two-weapon wielder (because of how attack of opportunity-focused he is; the two-weapon wielder takes penalties on all the extra attack rolls and does a little over half the damage on the attacks of opportunities), and how you should never use any weapon other than a spiked chain (because Ferocious Defender with reach is dumb).





The ability to AoO targets who attack non-you targets already exists - Defensive Rebuke, if your attack hits a target then if they attack anyone else then you get an AoO unless they move away.

Parry also already exists. Wall of Blades, Tome of Battle, level 2 Manoeuvre immediate action, and works against Ranged attacks as well.
Yes, and Defensive Rebuke lasts for 1 round, while Wall of Blades lasts for a single attack. Because they're incredibly annoying to have as constantly active effects.


I may tie parry to use up an attack of opportunity however, so there's an opportunity cost for it.
That would definitely, definitely help, though I'm still not sure I like it.


Concerning its power, you are forgetting that this is E6; AC does not outscale BAB, plate is always +8, BAB is at absolute most +4. Parry is 6 BAB + Strength (+5 for 20 Str), +5 for a +1 Tower Shield, or +3 for a Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, +1 weapon, +1D20.

That's 6 + 5 + 5 +1-20 (17-36 AC) or 6 + 5 + 3 + 1-20 (15-34 AC).

An average AC of 26.5 or 24.5, 26 / 24 if you take 10 on the parry.

In comparison, full plate, 13 Dex and a tower shield is 23 AC.
You are completely correct; I forgot this was E6. But you're choosing the wrong base for comparison. Sure, parry works fine compared to a AC optimizing full plate wearer - but that isn't who benefits from Parry. It's the 14 AC raging Barbarian who sees massive returns for Parry. Sure, you need 3 fighter to get it. That's a bit of a downside; or at least, you'd think so. Of course, if Extra Rage exists in E6, why not just take 1 barbarian and 5 fighter? You can use all your feats for Extra Rage, and use the fighter bonus feats to make up for that. You are now far better than a barbarian 6. But that's not the worst part; you are not only a better fighter than a barbarian, but you are a better barbarian than a barbarian. You get more rages per day, you are more survivable (thanks to Parry), and you are more devastating in combat (thanks to Ferocious Defender).


Concerning tying the game up, I'm not certain it will, the most nimble fighter possible (20 Dex elf) with Combat Reflexes gets at absolute most 7 AoOs a turn. That's a lot, but it's pretty doubtful that anyone will be able to successfully trigger all seven - this is, again, E6, the TWF specialist attacks at most five times with haste, full BAB gives a single iterative attack, things are quicker all around, there's room for the fighter to attack outside of his turn a few times, or a maximum of once to try and block a lucky shot.

You've convinced me to move around the abilities though.
Game slowdown is a matter of personal preference, so I'm not going to argue about this too much; some groups wouldn't mind this, but others would get bored quickly by the fighter so often acting outside his turn. I think this is the sort of thing that is best seen in action to see if it is as bad as I expect; it may not be!



Well, if the fighter goes from a joke to a class you'd actually want multiples of, at least its a step in the right direction, eh?

Thematically speaking, I actually rather like this; someone has been cornered by the city watch, they are surrounded by eight mad looking dudes pointing spears at them (we've all seen this scene before I'm sure).

What do they do?

They surrender, because they're outnumbered and surrounded. If they were to attack someone then the others would instantly stab and skewer them.

In D&D what would they do?

Well, they'd probably power attack for 5, take out one of them, then with their second iterative stab another. They're only level 2, they attack once each at maybe +5 to hit. You have a good chance of killing them all in one or two hits apiece, which is 4-8 rounds, taking four or five hits in return.

If they're "Ferocious Defenders" then they react quite reasonably - the criminal attacks, and the seven survivors *all* take their swing. In their turn, they all take another swing, giving them actually a real chance against a target they outnumber.

Mechanically, it's actually fairly reasonable as well. I think you may be overestimating the ease of setting up a situation where you reliably outnumber an opponent versus the downsides of such an activity.

- You need to set up positioning.
- You need to be in a state where they can't just 5' step into an unAoOable spot.
- Your opponent needs to be a melee specialist.
- Your opponent needs to not possess Crowd Control. Entangle, Sleep, Grease, Pyrotechnics, Sound Burst, Burning Hands, Colour Spray, let alone Fireball will all wreck an army of low level fighters.

I agree that Ferocious Defender doesn't make low-level fighters game-breakers. I'd just say that I think this classic situation reflects two flaws in D&D mechanics that can be fixed much more elegantly than making every guard a fighter. First, flanking doesn't stack, and it should. If you're surrounded by 8 guards, they should all have +8 to attack. Now kobolds and guards are scary!
Second, the "withdraw" action is flawed. Let's say you're surrounded by 7 guards. No problem! Withdraw; your first square doesn't provoke, so you'll only take two attacks of opportunity, and from that square neither guard is flanking. That's dumber than Truenaming mechanics. Solution: Withdraw lets you ignore attacks of opportunity from a single target. Now 7 guards will get AoOs if you withdraw, and those attacks will all be at the +8 flanking bonus. Now criminals have a lot more trouble escaping the long and pointy arm of the law.
With these two fixes, being surrounded is scary again, whether you're surrounded by barbarians, city guards, or kobolds.

Zale
2012-08-18, 02:33 PM
1-Combat Reflexes and at least 14 in dexterity is really all you need.

2-They just have to prepare their action. Nothing really great.

Sound Burst won't work if the fighters are deaf.


What? Why on earth are they deaf?

That seem very.. coincidental.

And how did they get so close to them in the first place?

Kholai
2012-08-18, 03:51 PM
1-Combat Reflexes and at least 14 in dexterity is really all you need.

2-They just have to prepare their action. Nothing really great.


So all eight of them are just teleporting in next to this hypothetical mage, because otherwise they've had to double move, and can't ready an action? Try out the different kinds of movement you would need for this on a board, on a few different types of terrain,


Sound Burst won't work if the fighters are deaf

They're deaf now? You've crippled your mercenary contingent because you're worried about a level 2 spell? I'm pretty sure this is not a sound strategy.


They can move 60 ft. per turn. No problem with this one. Eight level 1 mages? They inflict 8d4 +8 damage (12-36),

8D4 + 8 is 16-40, with a mean of 28, not 12-36. And they can do it from 110' away, three times a day before they're reduced to spamming 1D3 Ranged Touch with a range of 25'.


Eight level 1 fighters with battle axes get 8d8 damage, not counting their Strength modifier, so if we count AC they will probably inflict just as much damage every round.

And here I was assuming they had reach, because moving eight units so they occupy every square from even 35' away is actually pretty well impossible outside of a theoretical standpoint.

So they're light armoured level 1 fighters with I assume you're using the elite array for them, so:

Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.

With Dodge, Iron Will and I'll assume Weapon Focus instead of Combat Reflexes they have a +4 to hit, so against an unarmoured commoner with 10 Dex they have a 75% chance of hitting. Against a mage with only 14 Dex and Mage Armour we're talking a 45% chance to hit, 16.5 damage per round average after the first "setup" round of just double moving into position (assuming they even get to start within 60' of them).

Like I said, it's a decentish plan (and has realistic advantages for hiring an army to fight your battles for you), but if you have to invest 8 Mercenaries per potential target, you're seriously investing a lot into this, and your attrition rate of mercenaries is going to be pretty high.


Cool. I think this is the fix I needed to allow crafting back into my games. Thanks!

Neat, glad it's helpful for you.



Yes, it should have explicit abilities. But I maintain that those abilities do not need to - and should not - "pigeonhole" the fighter into a specific role.

I'm not really finished with the base system yet, but as stated, I'm happy to incorporate substitute class features once I've finished.


I see two issues here. First, what does a ranger actually contribute to your ability to two-weapon fight or use archery? They get bonus feats that a fighter can take too. They have a worse hit die and Favored Enemy, which is pretty strongly fluff-specific to the ranger. If you ignore their nature-themed abilities, they're worse than a fighter except for their (largely nature-themed) skills.

Fighter wasn't the only class to be overhauled, every core class has been changed, every core feat being rewritten, and homebrew feats covering as many non-core staple mechanics as necessary.

Rather than reply to most of your post's points, I've included at the bottom of this post the Rogue, Ranger, Barbarian and Paladin in their current (in flux) state so you're not working from a vacuum. Once you know which archetypes can be covered, then it would be easier to discuss covering any that were missing. I'll put up the Bard and Mage when I finish overhauling the entire magic system.


Is this an E6 thing? I feel like it is, so I'll leave it alone.

Yes, E6: You stop levelling at level 6, and you take feats every 5000 XP you gain after this point. Part of those feats can include feats which essentially replicate Prestige Class acquisition.


Yes, and Defensive Rebuke lasts for 1 round, while Wall of Blades lasts for a single attack. Because they're incredibly annoying to have as constantly active effects.

Parry lasts for a single attack as well, it's an immediate action. Both manoeuvres are fully accessible every other round though, with recovery, and Wall of Blades every single round if you're willing to Adaptive Style (for example Spiked Chain, Thicket of Blades Stance and 5' stepping away from your opponent down a corridor, Adaptive Styling every round to let you parry lucky hits, AoOing when they move up to attack, and if you don't need to Wall of Blades on a turn, getting to use a manoeuvre to attack instead).

This said, it's a fair point. I've been thinking about how to allow Parry to operate every-other turn or a limited number of times an encounter instead, would that make it a touch better?

I'm reluctant to significantly alter Ferocious Defender however, the idea that the fighter is too dangerous to ignore in combat is fundamental.

Ranger:

Track (Ex): The Ranger gains the Track feat as a bonus feat.

Favoured Terrain (Ex): A ranger may select a type of terrain from the Favoured Terrains table. The ranger gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Spot, Listen, Move Silently, Hide and Survival skill checks when they are in this terrain. A ranger traveling through their favoured terrain normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).
A ranger gains half their Favoured Terrain bonus towards Bluff, Knowledge, Sense Motive, Survival and Wild Empathy checks against creatures native to his favoured terrain, as well as on weapon attack and damage rolls against them (for rangers who select Urban terrains, they may select a single humanoid subtype for this bonus to apply to as well as domesticated animals associated with that race).
At 3rd level and 5th level, the ranger may select an additional favored terrain. In addition, each time they select a new favoured terrain, the bonus in any one favored terrain (including the one just selected, if so desired), increases by +2.
If a specific terrain or creature falls into more than one category of favored terrain, the ranger's bonuses do not stack; he simply uses whichever bonus is higher.

Tough as Nails: At 2nd level, and every two levels thereafter, the Ranger gains a +2 bonus to their maximum hitpoints.

Combat Style: At 2nd level, the Ranger chooses a fighting style in which they specialise. The benefits of their combat style only apply so long as they are not wearing heavy armour or using a tower shield.
Bestial: The Ranger gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat as a bonus feat, and their unarmed strike deals damage equal to a Monk of their level.

Zweihander: When wielding a weapon in two hands, the ranger may take a -1 penalty to an attack roll in order to gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls. They may increase the penalty to -2 at level 4, and -3 at level 6 for +4 and +6 to damage rolls respectively.

Archery: When attacking with a ranged weapon, the ranger gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls against any enemy within 30', and no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for firing or reloading ranged weapons.

Twin Weapons: The ranger gains a +2 bonus to hit on any attack that would have a two-weapon fighting penalty applied to it, including double weapons, fighting with a weapon in each hand, or throwing a weapon from each hand.

Animal Companion (Ex): At 4th level, a Ranger gains a faithful animal companion, chosen from either a: badger, camel, dire rat, dog, eagle, hawk, horse (light or heavy), owl, pony, snake (Small or Medium viper), or wolf.
If a ranger releases her companion from service, she may gain a new one by performing a ceremony requiring 24 uninterrupted hours of prayer. This ceremony can also replace an animal companion that has perished.
Treat their companion as a familiar for the purposes of determining special features such as bonus hitdice and natural armour bonuses. The ranger's animal companion does not gain the "Speak with Master" ability, and their intelligence score is normal for a creature of their type. Instead they gain a number of bonus tricks equal to the intelligence score they would have if they were a normal familiar. An animal companion is considered an animal, not a magical beast.
Should a ranger have levels in another class which has a familiar or familiar-like companion, they may choose whether to have an animal companion or familiar of the type granted by the other class. Their levels stack for the purpose of determining the strength of their companion.

Spells: A Ranger casts arcane spells, which must be drawn from the Nature spell list. He knows all level 1 spells in this list, and can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a Ranger must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Rangerís spell is 10 + the spell level + the Ranger's Wisdom modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Ranger can cast only a certain number of spells per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Wisdom score. When the table indicates that the Ranger gets 0 spells per day, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Wisdom score for that spell level.
A ranger may cast spells in medium armour and use a shield (except for a tower shield) without any chance of Arcane spell failure.

Evasion (Ex): At 5th level, a ranger can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If he makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the ranger is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless ranger does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Advanced Combat Style: At 6th level, the Ranger becomes an expert in their chosen fighting style:
Bestial: The Ranger gains the ability to Shapeshift as though they were a 6th level mage with an Arcane Focus in Nature.

Zweihander: When wielding a weapon in two-hands, a ranger adds 5' to their reach.

Archery: When attacking with a ranged weapon, the ranger does not have any penalty for firing into melee. Once per encounter as a standard action they may make a single attack with a ranged weapon as a ranged touch attack.

Twin Weapons: The ranger gains an additional +1 bonus to hit on any attack that would have a two-weapon fighting penalty applied to it, including double weapons, fighting with a weapon in each hand, or throwing a weapon from each hand.

Special: A Ranger counts as a Fighter of their level -2 for the purpose of qualifying for feats.
Special: A Ranger counts as a level 1 Mage for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Paladin:

Aura of Good (Ex): The power of a paladinís aura of good (see the detect good spell) is equal to her paladin level. Spells with the "Healing" descriptor cast within 10' of the Paladin (including by the Paladin themselves) gain a +1 to their caster level.
This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if they are unconscious or dead.

Detect Evil (Sp): A paladin can use detect evil, as the spell, as many times per day as their Charisma modifier (to a minimum of 1). Their caster level for this ability equals their Paladin level.

Smite Evil (Su): Once per day, a paladin may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee attack. They add their Charisma bonus (if any) to the attack roll and deal 1 extra point of damage per paladin level. If the paladin accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still used up for that day. At 3rd level they may smite evil twice per encounter, and at 5th level they may smite evil three times per encounter.

Lay on Hands (Su): At 2nd level a Paladin may heal wounds with a touch. Each day they may heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to their Paladin level ◊ their Charisma bonus (or x1 if their Charisma is 12 or lower). A paladin may choose to divide their healing among multiple recipients, and they do not have to use it all at once. Using Lay on Hands is a standard action.
Alternatively, a paladin can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesnít provoke an attack of opportunity. The paladin decides how many of their daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching an undead creature.

Aura of Grace (Su): At 2nd level the Paladin gains a bonus to their saving throws equal to their Charisma modifier (if any). Allies within 10' of the Paladin gain a +1 sacred bonus to all saving throws.
This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if they are unconscious or dead.

"Aura of Courage (Su): At 3rd level the Paladin gains immunity to fear. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects.
"
This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if they are unconscious or dead.

Turn Undead (Su): At 4th level a Paladin can turn or destroy undead creatures. A paladin may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier (to a minimum of 1). A palain with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Spells: A Paladin casts arcane spells, which must be drawn from the Healing spell list. He knows all level 1 spells in this list, and can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a Paladin must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a Paladinís spell is 10 + the spell level + the Paladinís Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a Paladin can cast only a certain number of spells per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When the table indicates that the Paladin gets 0 spells per day, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.
A paladin may cast spells in armour and use a shield without any chance of Arcane spell failure.

"Aura of Purity (Su): At 5th level the Paladin gains immunity to disease. Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +2 sacred bonus on saving throws against diseases.
"
This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if they are unconscious or dead.

Paladin Mount (Su): At 5th level, a paladin gains the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil.
Once per day, as a full-round action, a paladin may magically call her mount from the celestial realms in which it resides. This ability is the equivalent of a level 2 spell. The mount immediately appears adjacent to the paladin and may remain for up to 12 hours; it may be dismissed at any time as a free action. The mount is the same creature each time it is summoned, though the paladin may release a particular mount from service to gain the service of a new one.
Each time the mount is called, it appears in full health, regardless of any damage it may have taken previously. The mount also appears wearing or carrying any gear it had when it was last dismissed. Calling a mount is a conjuration (calling) effect.
Should the paladinís mount die, it immediately disappears, leaving behind any equipment it was carrying. The paladin may not summon another mount for thirty days or until she gains a paladin level, whichever comes first, even if the mount is somehow returned from the dead. During this thirty-day period, the paladin takes a -1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.
The Paladin may choose between a warhorse (Heavy or light), a warpony, a Riding Dog, or other appropriate mount compatible with their setting. Treat their mount as a familiar for the purposes of determining special features such as bonus hitdice and natural armour bonuses. The Paladin's mount does not gain the "Speak with Master" ability.
Should a Paladin have levels in another class which has a familiar or familiar-like companion, they may choose whether to have a mount or a familiar of the type granted by the other class. Their levels stack for the purpose of determining the strength of their companion.

Aura of Glory (Su): At 6th level, a Paladin projects an aura of glory, driving their allies on to greater and greater accomplishments. Allies within 10' (not including the Paladin themselves) gain a +1 Sacred bonus to attack and damage rolls.
This ability functions while the paladin is conscious, but not if they are unconscious or dead.

Special: A Paladin must be Good in alignment, and should they willingly perform an evil act will lose all their class features except for weapon and armour proficiencies, and must spend 24 hours in meditation and atonement before they regain use their class abilities again.
Should a Paladin ever become non-Good in alignment, then they may not regain use of their class abilities again unless they become good again.

Special: A Paladin counts as a Fighter of their level -2 for the purpose of qualifying for feats.
Special: A Paladin counts as a level 1 Mage for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Rogue:

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a rogue can catch an opponent that is unable to defend itself effectively from their attack, they can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The rogueís weapon attack deals extra damage any time their target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks their target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. They cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.
A rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomiesóundead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Trapfinding (Ex): Rogues can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20.
Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.
Rogues can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it.
A rogue who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with their party) without disarming it.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If they make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Trap Sense (Ex): At 2nd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts them to danger from traps, giving them a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 4th level, and +3 when the rogue reaches 6th level.
Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Unerring Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, a Rogue's ability to deliver precise blows increases. The rogue may subtract dice from their Sneak Attack damage for an attack to gain an additional +1 precision bonus to their attack rolls for each sneak attack die subtracted in this way. For each die subtracted, they may ignore 1 point of Damage Reduction of any type.
The rogue may use this ability at any time where they would normally be able to deal sneak attack damage to a target, even if the target would not normally be susceptible to sneak attack damage. They must declare the use of this ability prior to making the attack.
They may not subtract more Sneak Attack dice than they actually have.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level a Rogue retains their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class, they automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Skill Mastery (Ex): At 5th level, a Rogue may select any 3 skills in which they are trained. They may always take 10 on these skills, even if they would not normally be able to do so.

Death Attack (Ex): At 6th level, a Rogue becomes able to make a single devastating attack. To perform a death attack, the Rogue must first spend the three rounds prior to the attempt observing the target (taking at least a standard action to do so). After this point, the rogue may make a single strike as a standard action against the target either in melee or with a ranged weapon from within 30'. If they hit, then the rogue automatically deals full sneak attack damage, plus an additional 3D6 bonus damage. If the target is ordinarily immune to sneak attacks then they still take the additional 3D6 bonus damage.
The rogue may forfeit their ordinary sneak attack damage on this death attack through their unerring strike ability as normal. They may not forfeit any of the additional bonus damage dice granted by a successful Death Attack.

Barbarian:

Fast Movement (Ex): A barbarianís land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarianís speed because of any load carried or armor worn.

Rage (Ex): As a free action a barbarian can fly into a rage a certain number of times per day. In a rage, a barbarian temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but take a -2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the barbarianís hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when their Constitution score drops back to normal. While raging, a barbarian cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can they cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function.
They may use any feat they have except for Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the barbarianís (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A barbarian may prematurely end their rage as a free action. At the end of the rage, the barbarian loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength, -2 penalty to Dexterity, canít charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter.
A barbarian can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level they can use the rage ability once per day. At 4th level they may use it one additional time per day.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At second level a Barbarian retains their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a barbarian already has uncanny dodge from a different class, they automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 2nd level, a barbarian gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the barbarian takes each time they are dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 5th level this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Trap Sense (Ex): A 3rd level barbarian gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. This bonus rises to +2 at 6th level. Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Stalwart Recovery (Ex): A 3rd level Barbarian becomes better able to recover from the after effects of raging. They are only fatigued for one round after their rage ends, rather than for the remainder of the battle.

Raging Vigour (Ex): A 4th level Barbarian gains the ability to shrug off injuries whilst in a rage. Whilst raging they gain Temporary hitpoints equal to half the bonus hitpoints they receive from raging. For example, a 4th level Barbarian will gain 8 Hitpoints, and 4 temporary hitpoints whilst raging.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a barbarian can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the barbarian by flanking them. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Rampage (Ex): At 6th level a Barbarian may make an additional attack at their full base attack bonus whilst they are raging. If they do, all attacks made this round are at a -2 penalty to hit.

Special: A Barbarian counts as a Fighter of their level -2 for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Vadskye
2012-08-18, 04:39 PM
Okay, I think I have a better idea of the overall context for the fighter now. I am a bit less worried about the power level issues now. I also misread Parry originally, and somehow missed the bit about it being an immediate action - that does help. I do think that two-handed weapons are vastly more powerful than dual-wielding in your system, though. And I can see the utility of Ferocious Defender, but I think there is a more effective means of getting across the theme of "don't ignore a fighter" than the mechanically problematic mechanism of granting attacks of opportunity on a one-for-one basis with enemy attacks; the impact it has with slowdown and encouraging two-handed fighting is too great. Plus, I think there's a feat that covers the exact same ground already: Overwhelming Assault, from PHB2. Basically, if you spend a turn threatened by a fighter and ignore him, he gets +4 to hit against you during his next turn. That doesn't add any extra rolling, it works well no matter what weapon style you're using, and there's no huge power difference when you give the fighter a reach weapon.

The added information doesn't change my core argument, though - that the fighter should be generic. Your ranger is still a ranger, your paladin is still a paladin, and your barbarian is still a barbarian. They still have fundamental roles that they play, and character archetypes that they require - and that they don't support. My hypothetical Legolas still doesn't have a comfortable home.

Kholai
2012-08-18, 06:29 PM
Okay, I think I have a better idea of the overall context for the fighter now. I am a bit less worried about the power level issues now.

The general theme I got from a lot of standard D&D classes is that they're not actually fulfilling what they should. By level 6, they are supposed to be heroic, skilled and experienced, yet some of them still haven't even got all their basic talents by that point, hence the power level should be a bit higher for some classes, but more consistent overall.


I do think that two-handed weapons are vastly more powerful than dual-wielding in your system, though.

THF is always more powerful than TWF, THF doesn't need any feats, deals 1.5 x Str 2x Power Attack...

My closest attempt to making TWF worthwhile is that Rangers get a +3 / +3 bonus to TWF without feats. With the TWF feat, they're at +1/+1, with ITWF they're at +7/+7/+2/+2 attacks in a round for two feats.

The Raging Barbarian only gets +4/+4/-1 with their Two-Handed Sword, the Fighter only gets +6/+1 with their Spiked Chain (this reminds me that I'll be needing to overhaul weapons as well). Attacking twice as often for a better attack bonus rather than at -2 or worse is a better deal than TWF used to get.


And I can see the utility of Ferocious Defender, but I think there is a more effective means of getting across the theme of "don't ignore a fighter" than the mechanically problematic mechanism of granting attacks of opportunity on a one-for-one basis with enemy attacks; the impact it has with slowdown and encouraging two-handed fighting is too great.

As a theoretical - What would happen if the spiked chain didn't exist, and a Fighter had to choose between Reach and adjacency?


Plus, I think there's a feat that covers the exact same ground already: Overwhelming Assault, from PHB2. Basically, if you spend a turn threatened by a fighter and ignore him, he gets +4 to hit against you during his next turn. That doesn't add any extra rolling, it works well no matter what weapon style you're using, and there's no huge power difference when you give the fighter a reach weapon.

Not a bad idea actually, just make it a flat bonus.

Pressure (Ex): At second level, if an opponent that the Fighter threatens attacks or otherwise targets anyone other than the fighter on their turn, the Fighter gets a Circumstance bonus to attacks equal to half their Fighter level against that opponent until the end of their next turn. This bonus does not stack with itself.
Opponents threatened by the fighter are aware of this ability.

Disrupt (Ex): At third level, any target the Fighter threatens suffers an attack penalty equal to half the Fighter's level on attacks or abilities against targets other than the Fighter.
Opponents threatened by the fighter are aware of this ability.


The added information doesn't change my core argument, though - that the fighter should be generic. Your ranger is still a ranger, your paladin is still a paladin, and your barbarian is still a barbarian. They still have fundamental roles that they play, and character archetypes that they require - and that they don't support. My hypothetical Legolas still doesn't have a comfortable home.

Ranger 2/Barbarian 2/Fighter 2.

Fire bows in melee without provoking AoOs.
Fast movement, with the uncanny ability to dodge blows nimbly.
Favoured Terrain is underground and urban (Humanoid target of choice being other humans), with the extra +2 bonus to the urban.
+2 Hitpoints and reduced damage taken for being Tough as Nails, D12 + 3D8 + 1D10 HP.
And they can put themselves between incoming ranged attacks, letting them protect important targets.
Two Bonus Fighter feats invested into archery.

Skills include some points in: Balance, Climb, Craft (Fletching), Jump, Knowledge (Local), Spot, Tumble.

Ignored features:
They have a bit of a temper.
They can theoretically track people, despite having no points in survival to do so (Effectively a non-ability).
They can, but probably don't, use heavy armour and shields.
They're pretty good in melee combat situations.

No nature love, no cute animal buddy, ranged combat ability out the wazoo.

Single classes are for being specific archetypes. If your desired archetype doesn't fit, then multiclassing is for being generic.

If an archetype cannot be fulfilled by multiclassing, that's when a new class to fulfil that archetype becomes necessary.

Vadskye
2012-08-18, 11:15 PM
The general theme I got from a lot of standard D&D classes is that they're not actually fulfilling what they should. By level 6, they are supposed to be heroic, skilled and experienced, yet some of them still haven't even got all their basic talents by that point, hence the power level should be a bit higher for some classes, but more consistent overall.

Makes sense to me as a design goal.


THF is always more powerful than TWF, THF doesn't need any feats, deals 1.5 x Str 2x Power Attack...
Oh, true; this isn't a problem unique to your system. But if you're remaking everything else, why not try to address this too?


My closest attempt to making TWF worthwhile is that Rangers get a +3 / +3 bonus to TWF without feats. With the TWF feat, they're at +1/+1, with ITWF they're at +7/+7/+2/+2 attacks in a round for two feats.

The Raging Barbarian only gets +4/+4/-1 with their Two-Handed Sword, the Fighter only gets +6/+1 with their Spiked Chain (this reminds me that I'll be needing to overhaul weapons as well). Attacking twice as often for a better attack bonus rather than at -2 or worse is a better deal than TWF used to get.
Your numbers confuse me. I assume they represent "6th level character, ignoring all bonuses except BAB and class features". In which case, sure, the ranger has +7/7/2/2, and the fighter has +6/1 with the spiked chain or greatsword. But how does the barbarian have only +4/4/-1? By my count, he should have +6 BAB and an extra +2 from rage strength, making it +8/3.

And I was actually just thinking about zweihander ranger 6 with a greatsword vs 2WF ranger 6 with two shortswords. They do the exact same damage each round if they both hit with all their attacks. The 2WF ranger gets a +1 attack bonus relative to the zweihander ranger, and can distribute the damage more evenly among multiple targets. Okay, that's not nothing, but it's not much. Also, he had to spend two feats for this. The zweihander ranger, on the other hand, has 10' reach, guaranteeing him attacks of opportunity against every humanoid foe that dares to approach him. He's a ranger, so he's probably got a decent dex, and he's got two feats that he didn't have to spend just to use his weapon, which means he can take Combat Reflexes. But even without that, just getting one attack of opportunity against a given opponent would more than offset the +1 attack bonus the 2WF ranger would get in most fights, I think. Mages can't 5' step back from the zweihander like they can from the 2WF ranger, he can fight from behind the fighter, and all sorts of goodness opens up.

My point here is basically: Reach is scary. Attack of opportunities are scary, and interact weirdly with a lot of things. If you just changed zweihander's 6th level bonus to be less good, the two would be more even - for the ranger, at least.
(Personally, I'd suggest wrapping "Improved two weapon fighting" and "Two weapon fighting" into one feat. That feat would be called "Two weapon fighting".)


As a theoretical - What would happen if the spiked chain didn't exist, and a Fighter had to choose between Reach and adjacency?
Then the world would be a much happier place. And I think most fighters would take adjacency, as they should; it's normally a bad idea to try to fight a guy with a sword in your face when you have a weapon that's designed to be used in mass combat lines.


Not a bad idea actually, just make it a flat bonus.

Pressure (Ex): At second level, if an opponent that the Fighter threatens attacks or otherwise targets anyone other than the fighter on their turn, the Fighter gets a Circumstance bonus to attacks equal to half their Fighter level against that opponent until the end of their next turn. This bonus does not stack with itself.
Opponents threatened by the fighter are aware of this ability.

Disrupt (Ex): At third level, any target the Fighter threatens suffers an attack penalty equal to half the Fighter's level on attacks or abilities against targets other than the Fighter.
Opponents threatened by the fighter are aware of this ability.
Yeah, I like this a lot better. It still makes the opponent want to hit the fighter, but it's smoother in play. And scaling it to the fighter's level prevents dipping for it - good call.


Ranger 2/Barbarian 2/Fighter 2.

Fire bows in melee without provoking AoOs.
Fast movement, with the uncanny ability to dodge blows nimbly.
Favoured Terrain is underground and urban (Humanoid target of choice being other humans), with the extra +2 bonus to the urban.
+2 Hitpoints and reduced damage taken for being Tough as Nails, D12 + 3D8 + 1D10 HP.
And they can put themselves between incoming ranged attacks, letting them protect important targets.
Two Bonus Fighter feats invested into archery.

Skills include some points in: Balance, Climb, Craft (Fletching), Jump, Knowledge (Local), Spot, Tumble.

Ignored features:
They have a bit of a temper.
They can theoretically track people, despite having no points in survival to do so (Effectively a non-ability).
They can, but probably don't, use heavy armour and shields.
They're pretty good in melee combat situations.

No nature love, no cute animal buddy, ranged combat ability out the wazoo.

Single classes are for being specific archetypes. If your desired archetype doesn't fit, then multiclassing is for being generic.

If an archetype cannot be fulfilled by multiclassing, that's when a new class to fulfil that archetype becomes necessary.

I think that build is a good solution within the system. But doesn't that strike you as being unnecessarily convoluted, with a fair number of features being intentionally ignored (and favored terrain, while not bad, being largely irrelevant to the archetype)?

I guess this is a difference of style more than a any flaw that would make your system bad, but I would disagree with the idea that a single class is for being a specific archetype. Some are, yes. But I see two types of classes in core D&D. Barbarians, bards, druids, monks, rangers, and paladins are "specialist" classes. They fit specific archetypes, like you're saying. But clerics, fighters, rogues, sorcerers, and wizards are "general" classes. They have fewer class features, and the ones they do have are far more generic. That's not a bug; that's a feature. It's intentional! You can make them into whatever you want. Imagine if all sorcerers got an ability like Warmage Edge. Players would feel pressured to make their sorcerers into blasters. Sure, they could just ignore it - but that feels weird. People respond to incentives, and what they think they're "expected" to do.

As it is, you can make an illusionist, a blaster, an enchanter, or whatever your role is without having to ignore any signals telling you that you're doing it wrong. Your cleric can be a scholar, a healer, a buffer, a tank - whatever you want - without worrying about ignoring his class features. I think that's it's really important to keep those "generic" classes. And I think the popularity of wizards and clerics shows that "generic" doesn't mean boring, and it doesn't mean weak. It just means flexible.

Multiclassing can be for fulfilling a specific archetype, yes. But that is usually reserved for archetypes specifically about blending two other roles. You have to multiclass if your archetype is "Casts cool spells and hit stuff". You have to multiclass if your goal is "Love nature in a really angry way". That's what multiclassing is great at. But "shoots people from range" isn't an obscure niche. It's not something that should take three classes to describe accurately. It's something that is mainstream enough to get support on its own terms in a way that a more specific idea, like "uses a polearm in light armor", doesn't need.

Basically, feats, specialist classes, and spell or other ability selection are generally reserved for defining precise sub-archetypes like "protecting people"; there are multiple different ways to protect people. It doesn't need a class with major features specifically for protecting people. Or maybe it could have one - but then that's more of a "knight" or "guardian", not something with a generic name like "fighter". It's not that your class is a bad class! I just wish it was a fighting class instead of the fighting class.

Kholai
2012-08-19, 05:59 AM
Your numbers confuse me. I assume they represent "6th level character, ignoring all bonuses except BAB and class features". In which case, sure, the ranger has +7/7/2/2, and the fighter has +6/1 with the spiked chain or greatsword. But how does the barbarian have only +4/4/-1? By my count, he should have +6 BAB and an extra +2 from rage strength, making it +8/3.

Oh, you're right. Barbarians would be +6/+6/+1 whilst raging (Check out their Rampage ability).


And I was actually just thinking about zweihander ranger 6 with a greatsword vs 2WF ranger 6 with two shortswords. They do the exact same damage each round if they both hit with all their attacks.

What if both of their weapons are +1 flaming? That's 8D6 +4 + 3x Strength Bonus versus 6D6 + 2 + 3x Strength bonus. If it's against an enemy they have a bonus against? 8D6 + 16 + 3x Strength Bonus versus 6D6 + 8 + 3x Strength Bonus.

TWF always gets more out of bonus damage than THF, and at -1/-1 the TWFer can TWF with two one-handed weapons and power attack too against high HP, low AC targets.


...he can fight from behind the fighter, and all sorts of goodness opens up.

If the fighter's between him and his target then the target gets +4 cover AC against him. But you've reminded me of an oversight, I wanted the Ranger's level 6 to be like the Bo9S stance of which I forget the name Dancing Blade Form (if it's not self-evident, the spirit of the Bo9S translated non-scary, non-"spell-like" terms is another thing I'd like to bring in).

Zweihander: When wielding a weapon in two-hands, a ranger adds 5' to their reach, but only during their own turn. Outside of their turn their reach is as normal for the wielded weapon.

How's this?


(Personally, I'd suggest wrapping "Improved two weapon fighting" and "Two weapon fighting" into one feat. That feat would be called "Two weapon fighting".)

Seems fair. Done.



Then the world would be a much happier place. And I think most fighters would take adjacency, as they should; it's normally a bad idea to try to fight a guy with a sword in your face when you have a weapon that's designed to be used in mass combat lines.

I'm strongly leaning to pulling it out, bring in a Haft Grip feat (THF feat tax?) to be able to use reach weapons in melee at a -2 penalty or so.
I'd probably make the quarterstaff usable at reach during your own turn if you don't use it as a double weapon though, that one always bugged me.




Yeah, I like this a lot better. It still makes the opponent want to hit the fighter, but it's smoother in play. And scaling it to the fighter's level prevents dipping for it - good call.

Grand. Implemented.


I think that build is a good solution within the system. But doesn't that strike you as being unnecessarily convoluted, with a fair number of features being intentionally ignored (and favored terrain, while not bad, being largely irrelevant to the archetype)?

Tracking isn't an ability.
Being good in melee is universally common, it's a flaw of the BAB system.
If you used the fighter, you're ignoring armour anyway, now you have a valid benefit to doing so.

Really the only thing being ignored is a single rage per day.

Is favoured terrain irrelevant? I would rather enjoy it, the character shown is a soldier, he's better against humans because he's a soldier and been in the wars. If he were a Katniss-archetype then he'd get a bonus in temperate forests instead, to represent the fact that he learned to be that good through a career hunting animals.

I believe this is indeed a stylistic difference; to me, an ability is only its mechanical application, and any way the player wants to paint those mechanics is up to them:
- Monk being a Queensbury rules Boxer? Easy.
- Rogue being a shady.... Accountant? Actually completely simple to do.
- Paladin being a cleric? Yes.
- Mage being a cleric? Again, yes.
- Bard being a cleric? Yes again, their inspirations are sermon-based.
- Ranger being a Druid? Yes and back again.
- Barbarian being a noble samurai? Actually yes. Raging becomes "battle focus", and they take Craft (Calligraphy).

The biggest issue overall in Core is that you can't take Trapfinding without being a sneak attacker, everything else, totally doable.

However, if Animal Companion were part of the Bestial Fighting Style, and the Ranger didn't get spells at all (I think they should be powerful enough on their own to do without 2-3 level 1 spells a day), what would be an appropriate Zweihander/Archery/Twin Weapon benefit to substitute?


Fighter renamed to Warrior, it's a better name anyway.


Still working on the Mage and their Spell List, but here's what they've got so far:


Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mages are proficient with all simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a mageís gestures, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: A mage casts arcane spells which are drawn from the spell list associated with their Arcane Focus. They can cast any spell they know without preparing it ahead of time.
To learn or cast a spell, a mage must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a mageís spell is 10 + the spell level + the mageís Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a mage can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the table. In addition, they receives bonus spells per day if they have a high Intelligence score.

Familiar: A mage can obtain a familiar. Doing so takes 24 hours and uses up magical materials that cost 100 gp. A familiar is a magical beast that resembles a small animal and is unusually tough and intelligent. The creature serves as a companion and servant.
The mage chooses the kind of familiar they get. As the mage advances in level, their familiar also increases in power.
If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the mage, the mage must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means they takes 2 points of Constitution damage; success reduces the loss to half that amount. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs.
A character with more than one class that grants a familiar combines the levels for both classes for determining the strength of their familiar, however they may have only one familiar at a time.

Cantrips: Mages begin play knowing all cantrips on their spell list. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots when cast and may be used again.

Arcane Focus: At first level, a mage must select the area of magical study in which they specialise. This determines which schools of spells they have access to, and the benefits they receive in this area of study as they increase in level. A mage knows all the spells in the school spell lists of their arcane focus. Depending on their Arcane Focus the mage may use a different attribute for determining which spells they are able to cast, their DC, and their bonus spells per day.

Nature
Improved Familiar (Ex): At 2nd level, Mages with an Arcane Focus in Nature's familiars improve beyond standard norms. These familiars now consider their Hitdice to be magical beast Hitdice for the purpose of determining HP and Base Attack Bonus.

Extended Summons (Ex): At 4th level, Mages with an Arcane Focus in Nature may increase the duration of their Conjuration(Summoning) spells by a number of rounds equal to half their Mage level.

Shapeshifter (Su): At 6th level, Mages with an Arcane Focus in Nature gain the ability to shift into a bestial form once per day. When they shift, they may choose an aquatic, avian, predator or prey form. The Mage may remain in this for for up to one hour and may revert to their normal form as a standard action. The mage may not use spells or spell-like abilities whilst shifted. The physical appearance of these forms (outside of the requisite gross physical changes necessary for their new abilities) is up to the mage.
Aquatic: Gain +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, and a Swim speed equal to their base land speed, the Mage may freely breathe water as easily as they breathe air,
Avian: Gain +4 Dexterity and a Fly speed equal to twice their base land speed with average manoeuvrability.
Predator: Gain +4 Strength, +2 Dexterity and +2 Constitution, two claw natural attacks (1D4 for a medium creature) and low-light vision out to 30'.
Prey: Gain +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity and +2 Wisdom, and a +10 bonus to the mage's base land speed. The mage also gains a climb speed equal to half their new base land speed.

Healing
Turn Undead (Su): At 2nd level a mage with an Arcane Focus in Healing can turn or destroy undead creatures. A mage may attempt to turn undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + their Charisma modifier (to a minimum of 1). A mage with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

"Lay on Hands (Su): At 4th level a mage with an Arcane Focus in Healing may heal wounds with a touch. Each day they may heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to their mage level ◊ their Charisma bonus (or x1 if their Charisma is 12 or lower). A mage may choose to divide their healing among multiple recipients, and they do not have to use it all at once. Using Lay on Hands is a standard action.

Alternatively, a mage can use any or all of this healing power to deal damage to undead creatures. Using lay on hands in this way requires a successful melee touch attack and doesnít provoke an attack of opportunity. The mage decides how many of their daily allotment of points to use as damage after successfully touching an undead creature."

Raise the Fallen (Sp): At 6th level a mage with an Arcane Focus in Healing may restore life to a deceased creature by touching them as a full round action. You can raise a creature that has been dead for no longer than six rounds. In addition, the subjectís soul must be free and willing to return. If the subjectís soul is not willing to return, the spell does not work; therefore, a subject that wants to return receives no saving throw.A character who died with spells prepared has a 50% chance of losing any given spell upon being raised, in addition to losing spells for losing a level. A spellcasting creature that doesnít prepare spells (such as a sorcerer) has a 50% chance of losing any given unused spell slot as if it had been used to cast a spell, in addition to losing spell slots for losing a level.
A raised creature has a number of hit points equal to its current Hit Dice. Any ability scores damaged to 0 are raised to 1. Normal poison and normal disease are cured in the process of raising the subject, but magical diseases and curses are not undone. While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life. None of the dead creatureís equipment or possessions are affected in any way by this spell.
Constructs, elementals, outsiders, and undead creatures canít be raised. The spell cannot bring back a creature that has died of old age.
This ability is incredibly draining on both the recipient and the Mage, and Constitution damage equal to the number of hit dice the raised creature possesses is divided between the two of them however the Mage wishes.

Necromancy
Rebuke Undead (Su): At 2nd level a mage with an Arcane Focus in Necromancy can rebuke or command undead creatures. A mage may attempt to rebuke undead a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier (to a minimum of 1). A mage with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (religion) gets a +2 bonus on turning checks against undead.

Grim Familiar (Ex): At 4th level the familiar of a mage with an Arcane Focus in Necromancy becomes a foul, undead thing. It gains the undead subtype and loses its constitution score. Its hitdie changes to D12s and it gains all undead traits and immunities. It retains good Fortitude and Reflex saves whilst gaining a good Will save from its new subtype.
Should the mage's familiar be killed, the mage no longer risks taking constitution damage, instead, so long as the mage is still alive, the familiar returns to life at the mage's side 1D10 days after its apparent death.

Deathless (Ex): At 6th level a mage with an Arcane Focus in Necromancy becomes an undead creature themselves. They gain all the advantages and disadvantages of the undead subtype, losing their constitution score and replacing their Hitdice with D12s. They may no longer be theyaled by the use of the Heal skill, but may regain hitpoints from negative energy as standard for an undead creature. They may still recover hitpoint and ability damage at the same rate as a living creature. The mage gains a +3 racial bonus to will saves to resist turn attempts made against them.

Mysticism
Forbidden Knowledge (Ex): At 2nd level, a Mage with an arcane focus in mysticism taps into forgotten eldritch lore. They gain an insight bonus equal to half their mage level to all Knowledge checks, and may use all knowledge skills untrained.

Prescience (Su): At 4th level, a Mage with an arcane focus in Mysticism develops a preternatural ability to sense danger. The mage may always act in the surprise round of any combat, if there is one, even if they would not normally be able to. They gain a +4 insight bonus to initiative rolls.

Thought Before Action (Su): At 6th level, a Mage with an arcane focus in Mysticism may substitute their will save for their reflex save for any effect that would ordinarily require a reflex saving throw. Should the effect normally deal half damage on a successful saving throw the mage takes no damage instead.

Warmagic
Edge (Ex): A 2nd level mage with an arcane focus in Warmagic gains a competence bonus to attack rolls with spells and spell-like abilities, and to damage rolls of any spell that deals hitpoint damage, equal to half their mage level.

Battle Training (Ex): A 4th level mage with an arcane focus in Warmagic gains a +1 bonus to attack, and proficiency with all martial weapons.

Armoured Mage (Ex): A 6th level mage with an arcane focus in Warmagic gains light armour proficiency, and may cast spells in light armour without a chance of arcane spell failure.

Shaping
Perfectionism (Ex): A 2nd level mage with an Arcane Focus in Shaping gains a permanent +1 inherent bonus to a physical ability score of their choice.

Shadowspell Study (Ex): A 4th level mage with an Arcane Focus in Shaping becomes able to weave reality into their illusion spells, enabling them to emulate a real spell with an illusion.
The mage may select a single 1st of 2nd level spell of any spell list that isn't conjuration, illusion or transmutation. This spell is added to their list of spells known as an illusion spell with a Will save if interacted with. If this will save is successful, then the spell is only at 20% strength compared to the real spell. The mage themselves always automatically passes this Will save.

Creation (Sp): At 6th level, a mage who has an arcane focus in Shaping may practise an arcane ritual to convert raw material into the form of their choice. This effect may manipulate up to 10 cubic feet of material to be converted into a form of the mage's choosing. The mage must make an appropriate Craft check to shape articles requiring a high degree of craftsmanship.
This ritual may be performed once per week, and requires an uninterrupted period of ten minutes for the preparation and casting of this ritual. The mage may double the length of preparation and casting to manipulate larger objects, increasing the material affected by 10 cubic feet each time the casting duration is doubled. The mage must provide all raw materials for this ritual.

Arcane Focus - Casting Stat - Speciality Bonus 1 - Speciality Bonus 2 - Speciality Bonus 3
Nature - Wisdom - Improved Familiar - Grand Summon - Shapeshifter
Healing - Wisdom - Turn Undead - Lay on Hands - Raise the Fallen
Necromancy - Charisma - Rebuke Undead - Grim Familiar - Deathless
Mysticism - Intelligence - Forbidden Knowledge - Prescience - Thought Before Action
Warmagic - Charisma - Edge - Battle Training - Armoured Mage
Shaping - Intelligence - Perfectionism - Shadowspell Study - Creation

Vadskye
2012-08-19, 01:12 PM
Before I reply to this, I just want to say - Kholai, you're awesome. I love this.


Oh, you're right. Barbarians would be +6/+6/+1 whilst raging (Check out their Rampage ability).
Right! I saw that, but forgot about it. The mechanic is a nice way of reinforcing the theme that barbarians use big weapons, too. I like it.


What if both of their weapons are +1 flaming? That's 8D6 +4 + 3x Strength Bonus versus 6D6 + 2 + 3x Strength bonus. If it's against an enemy they have a bonus against? 8D6 + 16 + 3x Strength Bonus versus 6D6 + 8 + 3x Strength Bonus.
You're ignoring the price issue; for less than the price of two +1 flaming weapons, you could get a single +1 flaming frost weapon. Then it's 8d6 + 4 + 3x Strength vs 8d6 + 2 + 3x Strength. You're in almost the exact same place.


TWF always gets more out of bonus damage than THF
TWF also suffers more under damage penalties (such as from being sickened) and doesn't benefit anywhere near as much from extra attacks (such as from attacks of opportunity!). TWF also a terrible time against enemies with DR.

It's true that the two are best in different situations; if you've got a bard on your side, no damage penalties, and you're fighting enemies from your favored terrain without DR, you would rather TWF than THF, as long as you can stand still while fighting. But the situational modifiers are not enough to favor TWF over THF - and depending on the prevalence of DR and attacks of opportunity, I'd say that they still favor THF over TWF.

But I think the killer problem is that TWF suffers so much from moving while fighting. If you assume a single round of "moving into position" in the above example (and there can often be more than that), where the ranger would only get a single attack, THF doesn't suffer much; it only loses its -5 attack. It still does 12d6 + 3 + 4.5x Strength over the first two rounds. TWF, on the other hand, does 10d6 + 5 + 4x Strength over the first two rounds. Assuming an 18 Strength, that's 63 damage for THF and 56 damage for TWF. TWF does 2 extra damage a round normally, so it will take a total of about five rounds of standing still and fighting the same things to even out the damage difference. That's harsh.


and at -1/-1 the TWFer can TWF with two one-handed weapons and power attack too against high HP, low AC targets.
So for the price of keeping a spare set of weapons around, the TWFer can use power attack too? Yay! Or if he uses two one-handed weapons for his main weapons, he's basically just under a constant power attack for 2 that he can never turn off. That doesn't seem very appealing to me.


If the fighter's between him and his target then the target gets +4 cover AC against him. But you've reminded me of an oversight, I wanted the Ranger's level 6 to be like the Bo9S stance of which I forget the name Dancing Blade Form (if it's not self-evident, the spirit of the Bo9S translated non-scary, non-"spell-like" terms is another thing I'd like to bring in).

Zweihander: When wielding a weapon in two-hands, a ranger adds 5' to their reach, but only during their own turn. Outside of their turn their reach is as normal for the wielded weapon.

How's this?
Much shinier. And that's actually a great idea - even after talking to you about this for a while, I didn't think to look at ToB for ideas for my own martial fixes. It's got good stuff.


Seems fair. Done.
Yay! You'll have to word it carefully so you don't double extra attacks from haste effects - I used "You gain extra attacks from having a high base attack bonus with your off-hand just like you do with your main hand."


I'm strongly leaning to pulling it out, bring in a Haft Grip feat (THF feat tax?) to be able to use reach weapons in melee at a -2 penalty or so.
I'd probably make the quarterstaff usable at reach during your own turn if you don't use it as a double weapon though, that one always bugged me.
That's one solution. I give everyone the ability to switch grips as a move action, and they take a -2 penalty when "short hafting" the weapon. For a feat, they can switch as a swift action and take no penalty when short hafting. It just depends where you want to set the balance point, but I'd recommend not having a penalty once they spend the feat.


Tracking isn't an ability.
Being good in melee is universally common, it's a flaw of the BAB system.
If you used the fighter, you're ignoring armour anyway, now you have a valid benefit to doing so.

Really the only thing being ignored is a single rage per day.
I wasn't thinking being good in melee in the sense that BAB applies to both; I was thinking of the melee-only fighter class features gained at levels 1 and 2 (or just at level 2 now, possibly - not sure which version of fighter is most recent).

And I think you are right that he is only ignoring an acceptable level of features. He doesn't get any sort of cool capstone like a pure class gets, but maybe that's okay.


Is favoured terrain irrelevant? I would rather enjoy it, the character shown is a soldier, he's better against humans because he's a soldier and been in the wars. If he were a Katniss-archetype then he'd get a bonus in temperate forests instead, to represent the fact that he learned to be that good through a career hunting animals.
Yeah, I think it can find a home. It's a litte odd, because the vast majority of the skill bonuses will likely be ignored, but it can fit without too much issue.


I believe this is indeed a stylistic difference; to me, an ability is only its mechanical application, and any way the player wants to paint those mechanics is up to them:
- Monk being a Queensbury rules Boxer? Easy.
- Rogue being a shady.... Accountant? Actually completely simple to do.
- Paladin being a cleric? Yes.
- Mage being a cleric? Again, yes.
- Bard being a cleric? Yes again, their inspirations are sermon-based.
- Ranger being a Druid? Yes and back again.
- Barbarian being a noble samurai? Actually yes. Raging becomes "battle focus", and they take Craft (Calligraphy).

The biggest issue overall in Core is that you can't take Trapfinding without being a sneak attacker, everything else, totally doable.
Well, there are some glitches (apparently, Queensbury rules Boxers are very wise, and apparently accountants are really good at knowing vital spots), but I absolutely agree with your general point: you can refluff classes to make them fit your needs. I can't wait to DM for the Arabic jihadist paladin riding a war camel for a special mount that one of my players will be playing this fall.

But there are limits: you can take the class fluff out of the mechanics, but you can't take the mechanics out of the class. Dead weight class features bug me. Thus, the ability to refluff doesn't make me want generic classes any less; they are just that much more flexible and able to be molded to suit anyone's needs.

For some context on what I think of when I think of a "generic" fighter, you can take a look at my Fighter rebuild (https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_lvuybFb5qORFZPUG1nb0FFUW8/preview), if you're interested. It's not too complicated. In my view, all fighters have three things in common: they use armor, they use weapons, and they are disciplined (and even that can be refluffed without changing the mechanics). Everything else is up to the player.


However, if Animal Companion were part of the Bestial Fighting Style, and the Ranger didn't get spells at all (I think they should be powerful enough on their own to do without 2-3 level 1 spells a day), what would be an appropriate Zweihander/Archery/Twin Weapon benefit to substitute?
That's interesting indeed - you're basically looking at making rangers the new "generic" class, sort of. Well, you'd want the ability to come at 4th level, right? Two weapon fighting needs mobility more than anything, so let's say that you can take one attack with each weapon as a standard action at normal TWF fighting penalties.

Zweihander is already (in my view) still the king, so it doesn't need a really powerful ability. Ideally, I'd want something that "pointed to" its final ability, which is a cool one, so I'd want an ability built around threatening squares during the ranger's turn or gets better with reach. It should work with any kind of two-handed weapon, reach or otherwise (generic again!). Animal companions are good at flanking, so why not give a bonus that replaces what the animal companion used to do? "At 4th level, the ranger can designate an opponent that he threatens as a swift action. He can choose to count as occupying any other square he threatens for the purpose of determining flanking bonuses on that creature for him and his allies. He also occupies his current square for flanking an opponent." (stealing some wording from PHB2's Adaptable Flanker)

For archery, I notice that there are a lot of bonuses for close-range and melee range archers, and not so much for the archers who actually shoot from a distance. I think that "you don't provoke for firing in melee" is sufficiently weird on a world continuity / suspension of disbelief level that I'd push it back to 4th level. Part of the 6th level ability you have ("You don't take any penalty for firing into melee") is a little confusing to me; isn't that Precise Shot, basically a necessity for archers, and something that should be gained early to keep them from suffering -4 penalties (but only if they are working with the rest of the party) for most of their adventuring career? Also, that seems like it needs to be a feat, not a ranger-only special ability; otherwise, it is way too harsh to non-rangers who have the audacity to pick up a bow. This is a lot of changes, so I'll just put my revised list here:
2nd level: The ranger adds his Wisdom modifier to weapon damage rolls with ranged weapons.
4th level: The ranger no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for firing or reloading ranged weapons.
6th level: When using a ranged weapon, the ranger threatens adjacent squares. In addition, as a standard action once per encounter, they may make a single attack with a ranged weapon as a ranged touch attack.

Personally, this is still too melee oriented for me, but based on your 2nd level ability, you're intentionally going for making that a viable option. The Wisdom modifier to damage helps offset the lower damage dealt by ranged weapons and has a nice fluff justification (Wisdom helps with seeing and observing - it's perfect for seeing the right location to hit).


Fighter renamed to Warrior, it's a better name anyway.
Oh no! But the poor NPC class... :P


Still working on the Mage and their Spell List, but here's what they've got so far:

Cantrips: Mages begin play knowing all cantrips on their spell list. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots when cast and may be used again.
Indefinitely spammable cantrips can have really weird effects on the game universe, as my magus in a Pathfinder game I played in was fond of demonstrating. I prefer "get Int mod extra cantrips per day" - it's still more than normal usage would ever need to worry about, but it prevents shenanigans. Unless you're doing this with the intention that mages use cantrips for combat - in which case, I'd advise reconsidering how much you want to nerf mages, because that's really harsh. Personally, I give my mages a refluffed Eldritch Blast called Magic Ray that they can use to not feel useless at low to mid levels.

There's a lot there, and I'm not sure how to put it all together, but I'd just say - what is a mage's casting stat? I see a contradiction between the initial description (Int to cast, Cha for DCs) and a table at the bottom that lists different casting stats for different focuses.

Kholai
2012-08-19, 04:17 PM
Before I reply to this, I just want to say - Kholai, you're awesome. I love this.

Hey thanks!


You're ignoring the price issue; for less than the price of two +1 flaming weapons, you could get a single +1 flaming frost weapon. Then it's 8d6 + 4 + 3x Strength vs 8d6 + 2 + 3x Strength. You're in almost the exact same place.

E6 again, but I checked this, we're both wrong. The CL required to craft an item is 3x its enhancement bonus, or the CL required for the ability.

So you can't have a +1 Flaming Frost weapon since it's +3, and can't have Flaming at all since it's CL 10th. You can have a +1 Merciful weapon in E6, anything beyond that you're looking at Epic Crafting.


That's one solution. I give everyone the ability to switch grips as a move action, and they take a -2 penalty when "short hafting" the weapon. For a feat, they can switch as a swift action and take no penalty when short hafting. It just depends where you want to set the balance point, but I'd recommend not having a penalty once they spend the feat.

Alright, I'll think on it. Almost done with rewriting core spells into spell lists.


For some context on what I think of when I think of a "generic" fighter, you can take a look at my Fighter rebuild, if you're interested. It's not too complicated:

<iframe src="https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_lvuybFb5qORFZPUG1nb0FFUW8/preview" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
In my view, all fighters have three things in common: they use armor, they use weapons, and they are disciplined (and even that can be refluffed without changing the mechanics). Everything else is up to the player.

So what do I do if I want an unarmoured swordsman? You start focusing on any aspect and it seems inevitable you'll over-think it. Ultimately the only thing you can do for a truly generic class would be:

Gain flurry like a monk with any weapon.
The Fighter can flurry on their standard attack action.
Gain fighter feats as normal.
Gain a scaling AC dodge bonus like the monk that works in any armour at level 4, 8, 12, 16 & 20 which applies when they're flat footed.
Give them a level 20 capstone adding a third attack to their flurry.

Keep 2 skill points a level, D10 HP, and proficiencies.

Attacks are always good.
Armoured or not, the fighter gets benefits.
Eight feats help him however he needs them to.

He doesn't get boosts or class features, no spells, no buddy almost as strong as he is and he can't do anything someone else can't do better except hit and dodge more often.


Ranger stuff....

How about...

4: Zweihander: When wielding a weapon in two-hands, a ranger's weapon is considered one size larger for performing Sunder and Disarm attempts.

2: Archery: When attacking with a ranged weapon, the ranger may add their Dexterity modifier to damage rolls, to a maximum of +1 per 2 Ranger levels.

4: Archery: When wielding a ranged weapon, a ranger doubles its range increment.

6: Archery: When wielding a ranged weapon, the ranger no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for firing or reloading ranged weapons, and threatens adjacent squares as though they were wielding a melee weapon.

4: Twin Weapons: Whenever they are wielding two weapons or a double weapon, the ranger may attack with their offhand weapon whenever they make a standard attack.


Indefinitely spammable cantrips can have really weird effects on the game universe, as my magus in a Pathfinder game I played in was fond of demonstrating.

Having never played PF, I just thought it was a neat feature. I'll bow to your experience with the system and remove it. The difference between E6 mages in melee and a rogue in melee is 1 BAB.


There's a lot there, and I'm not sure how to put it all together, but I'd just say - what is a mage's casting stat? I see a contradiction between the initial description (Int to cast, Cha for DCs) and a table at the bottom that lists different casting stats for different focuses.

Told you it was under construction. The mage will have a different casting stat based on speciality.

Vadskye
2012-08-19, 05:21 PM
E6 again, but I checked this, we're both wrong. The CL required to craft an item is 3x its enhancement bonus, or the CL required for the ability.

So you can't have a +1 Flaming Frost weapon since it's +3, and can't have Flaming at all since it's CL 10th. You can have a +1 Merciful weapon in E6, anything beyond that you're looking at Epic Crafting.
Huh, okay. I'm not totally sure what this does for the balance between the fighting styles, but I suspect it doesn't make it that different from normal?


Alright, I'll think on it. Almost done with rewriting core spells into spell lists.
As someone who just did this, I encourage you to push back Charm Person and Enlarge Person. I think those both have disproportionate effects as 1st level spells. Charm is 3rd in my system, as is Enlarge (but Enlarge now gives a full +4 Strength and no Dex penalty).


So what do I do if I want an unarmoured swordsman? You start focusing on any aspect and it seems inevitable you'll over-think it. Ultimately the only thing you can do for a truly generic class would be:

Gain flurry like a monk with any weapon.
The Fighter can flurry on their standard attack action.
Gain fighter feats as normal.
Gain a scaling AC dodge bonus like the monk that works in any armour at level 4, 8, 12, 16 & 20 which applies when they're flat footed.
Give them a level 20 capstone adding a third attack to their flurry.

Keep 2 skill points a level, D10 HP, and proficiencies.

Attacks are always good.
Armoured or not, the fighter gets benefits.
Eight feats help him however he needs them to.

He doesn't get boosts or class features, no spells, no buddy almost as strong as he is and he can't do anything someone else can't do better except hit and dodge more often.
Side note: in my system, everyone can full attack as a standard action. So no need to give that as a fighter-specific thing.

I'd say "unarmored swordsman" is one of those particularly specific archetypes that I'm okay with a little multiclassing; Monk X, maybe with a Fighter 1 splash depending on preference, would do a perfectly fine job at it, though. All you're losing is the flurry; everything else works fine. With that said, I get your point - you can never make a truly totally generic class - but I think this covers a whole heck of a lot of bases really well.

Extra attacks actually favor (guess who!) two handed fighters significantly more than two-weapon fighters. I rejected giving an extra attack as the greater weapon discipline bonus for exactly that reason; I tried to keep my version really, really combat style agnostic while still granting class features worth looking forward to. The trick is that your quick suggestion doesn't really have that "firewall" between the fighter and other classes; there is nothing he can really call his own. It makes the fighter feel less special, in my view. This way, the fighter is simultaneously special - no one can do the same things the fighter can - and generic - the fighter can be a wide variety of things.



How about...

4: Zweihander: When wielding a weapon in two-hands, a ranger's weapon is considered one size larger for performing Sunder and Disarm attempts.
Why Sunder and Disarm? When I think "ranger", I don't really think "combat maneuver guy". I really doubt Disarm in particular will see much use, since it takes a 13 Int. Rangers are already a bit MAD - very few can afford the Int. That just leaves Sunder, which feels much more barbarian or warrior than ranger. Heck, even the paladin has a stronger fluff argument from my perspective - he might like being good at bringing people back alive.


2: Archery: When attacking with a ranged weapon, the ranger may add their Dexterity modifier to damage rolls, to a maximum of +1 per 2 Ranger levels.
Yup, that also works. Though in practice, the cap will basically always just mean "+1 damage per 2 ranger levels", since any archer worth his salt will have a solid Dex.


4: Archery: When wielding a ranged weapon, a ranger doubles its range increment.
Interesting. I like that - that makes a ranger a significant threat at long range., particularly in E6 where casters don't have such long range.


6: Archery: When wielding a ranged weapon, the ranger no longer provokes attacks of opportunity for firing or reloading ranged weapons, and threatens adjacent squares as though they were wielding a melee weapon.
This is a good capstone. It definitely gives the ranger something special - while still allowing more distance-focused archers to drop out at 4 or 5 to grab fast movement or a fighter bonus feat.


4: Twin Weapons: Whenever they are wielding two weapons or a double weapon, the ranger may attack with their offhand weapon whenever they make a standard attack.

Good catch on the double weapon.


Having never played PF, I just thought it was a neat feature. I'll bow to your experience with the system and remove it. The difference between E6 mages in melee and a rogue in melee is 1 BAB.
Cool. And... the poor rogue! I'm starting to feel like they're the ones who get the real short end of the stick here...


Told you it was under construction. The mage will have a different casting stat based on speciality.
Got it. I'm assuming you're getting rid of clerics and druids, then? Any particular reason why you decided to put it all in one class? It feels a little odd to have four different kinds of warriors, one rogue, and one mage - but that's not necessarily bad, just a change of pace.

Kholai
2012-08-19, 08:17 PM
Huh, okay. I'm not totally sure what this does for the balance between the fighting styles, but I suspect it doesn't make it that different from normal?

Basically "at most +1/+1D6 non lethal or +2" makes TWF get a slight benefit, since +3 is impossible, you can actually pay more for an advantage.


As someone who just did this, I encourage you to push back Charm Person and Enlarge Person. I think those both have disproportionate effects as 1st level spells. Charm is 3rd in my system, as is Enlarge (but Enlarge now gives a full +4 Strength and no Dex penalty).


I'd say "unarmored swordsman" is one of those particularly specific archetypes that I'm okay with a little multiclassing; Monk X, maybe with a Fighter 1 splash depending on preference, would do a perfectly fine job at it, though. All you're losing is the flurry; everything else works fine. With that said, I get your point - you can never make a truly totally generic class - but I think this covers a whole heck of a lot of bases really well.

So unarmoured swordsmen have to be wise, lose their primary class features (flurry, punching like a freight train, magical fists...),


Extra attacks actually favor (guess who!) two handed fighters significantly more than two-weapon fighters.

What if Fighter Flurry applied to each hand separately?


The trick is that your quick suggestion doesn't really have that "firewall" between the fighter and other classes; there is nothing he can really call his own. It makes the fighter feel less special, in my view. This way, the fighter is simultaneously special - no one can do the same things the fighter can - and generic - the fighter can be a wide variety of things.

That's exactly it. The moment he's special at something, he's not generic.
Your fighter example favours wearing medium or heavy armour, because that's what Mithril Full Plate is, and at level 9 he gets to move at full speed wearing it, and because if armour counts as Light when it's actually Heavy, then you'd obviously be using that over using light armour that counts as non-armour.
It favours strong fighters, because Power Attack is the only real way to boost damage when you don't have something like manoeuvres or sneak attack dice to pump it.
It favours fighters who have a high Constitution, because Fighter Godmode keys off it.
Depending on the magic setting, it favours him specialising in a weapon type and generalising with armour, because Heavy Fortification is only 36,000 GP and that means he can always be wearing the best defence item with the least restrictions from it.

Getting +3 from Weapon Focus favours THFing, because that's +6 to damage from Power Attack. Getting +3 to damage favouring TWF doesn't cover it.

Taking 10 favours THF again, since you can take Slashing Flurry for a Greatsword and take 10 on three hits at full BAB -5 with Slashing Flurry and Weapon Supremacy.

Maths:

With +25 from BAB and taking 10, one assumes 28 Strength unbuffed for another +9, +3 from Weapon Focus, +1 from Greater Weapon Focus, +2 MWM, and a +5 sword? You can safely power attack for -10 damage against the Tarrasque for ~135 damage a turn before rolling your 6D6 damage dice, unbuffed.
Slap on a Greater Heroism for an extra +24 damage, Haste for another +57, and you still have two chances to auto-crit (which also helps THF more, since when you can't hit you just pile on a full 20 to Power Attack and wait for your Scythe to roll a 20...).

So 192 damage + 8D6 + whatever else you've got enchanted on that greatsword + any other buffs you care to put on, and you have two attacks which will probably miss but if either Threatens then it will auto-confirm and that's +16 Power Attack x 2 x 3 for a juicy 96 damage from Power Attack alone.

Throw in Leap Attack, since full attacking is free, and you're dealing 180 damage a turn solely from Power Attack, basically making the Tarrasque roll Fort against Massive Damage four times a turn.

And let's not forget that it favours 13 Intelligence, dump Wisdom, dump Charisma, just like always.

It's a powerful and valid class, but the moment you step into adding something, even a +1 to hit, you step towards rewarding one archetype over others. It's an almost inescapable flaw in the D20 system.


Why Sunder and Disarm? When I think "ranger", I don't really think "combat maneuver guy". I really doubt Disarm in particular will see much use, since it takes a 13 Int. Rangers are already a bit MAD - very few can afford the Int. That just leaves Sunder, which feels much more barbarian or warrior than ranger. Heck, even the paladin has a stronger fluff argument from my perspective - he might like being good at bringing people back alive.

Because Sunder and Disarm checks are the only ones where weapon-size matters, and because I agreed that Zweihander doesn't need much more help after a free Power Attack (that combines with regular Power Attack), and because a disarm or sunder attempt with Reach against anything without reach is actually the equivalent of a free Improved X which stacks.

Why is the full BAB class dedicated to combat styles not capable of Combat Manoeuvres when they're theoretically just as good as another full BAB class? An outdoorsy guy who goes into things swinging two swords around or shooting arrows is very, very different to an Urban ranger who tears through heavily armoured opponents with a two handed sword.
Can't see an Aragorn-like knocking some guy's sword out of their hand, or shattering their sword with his? I sure can.

Secondly, why do you think Rangers are MAD? A Zweihander specialist needs Strength, Constitution, and a little Dex for evasion purposes. There's no spellcasting anymore, not even Wild Empathy, there's no MADness left.


Yup, that also works. Though in practice, the cap will basically always just mean "+1 damage per 2 ranger levels", since any archer worth his salt will have a solid Dex.

Pretty much, I based it on the Duellist, and if someone wants to extend this into a full 20 levels, then things don't work out that way.


the poor rogue! I'm starting to feel like they're the ones who get the real short end of the stick here...

Yeah, I'm having real trouble making the Rogue viable (not that the original Rogue was), I may give them a few more scaled down versions of their level 10 specialties.


Got it. I'm assuming you're getting rid of clerics and druids, then? Any particular reason why you decided to put it all in one class? It feels a little odd to have four different kinds of warriors, one rogue, and one mage - but that's not necessarily bad, just a change of pace.

Yeah, Clerics and Druids being able to cast magic in armour whilst Wizards and Sorcerers can't and all the various niggles just struck me as incredibly arbitrary. Now there's Bards (who get limited numbers of spells in the Shaping and Healing spell lists), and there are mages.

Honestly Mages could just as easily be written as five classes, but it saved space to just cover them as one.

Rogue being the only roguish one is basically because this is based (at least mostly) off Core.

All core spells have been modified, so in a terrible case of on-topicness I'll be replacing the OP with the spells that have been drastically lowered from Core for balance consideration prior to bringing out the Mage spell lists for review.

Vadskye
2012-08-19, 10:07 PM
Fun fact: I saw your post four minutes after you posted it. It took me this long to come up with this response xD


Basically "at most +1/+1D6 non lethal or +2" makes TWF get a slight benefit, since +3 is impossible, you can actually pay more for an advantage.
Makes sense - but can't you get +2 merciful still? You need 6 CL for +2 and 6 CL for merciful; that should be separate. So it's only a tiny bit favorable to TWF.


So unarmoured swordsmen have to be wise, lose their primary class features (flurry, punching like a freight train, magical fists...)
Eh, but "unarmoured swordsman" is also a near-suicidal archetype in a realistic D&D world. Frankly, I don't want to support the idea of a nonmagical unarmored swordsman; if he can be as survivable in combat as a guy in full plate, what's the point of armor. You can pull it off with magic (mage armor + shield), or supernatural awesomeness (monk), but there are costs to both. Nonmagical fighters running around in the buff and duking it out with armored tanks breaks world continuity to a much greater degree than not supporting some archetypes.


What if Fighter Flurry applied to each hand separately?
I've definitely considered something like that - either as a specific class feature, or as a general rule. But that idea is in huge conflict with my strong desire to prevent slowdown or monotony. Even a level 6 fighter flurrying and two-weapon fighting would get a whopping 6 attacks a round. Even if that is theoretically doing the same damage as the two-handed fighter, it's just not worth the time it takes - and the hogging the spotlight that is necessary - to roll six attack rolls each time the fighter gets a turn. That does happen at 11th level anyway, but by that point the rest of the players might take more time on their turns, and the fighter will have been playing his character long enough to get good at the mental math necessary to make all those attack rolls (hopefully). And I'm trying to think of a house rule that would streamline TWF in general so it doesn't take so many bloody attack rolls at high levels, but that's just an idea at this point.


That's exactly it. The moment he's special at something, he's not generic.
Your fighter example favours wearing medium or heavy armour, because that's what Mithril Full Plate is, and at level 9 he gets to move at full speed wearing it, and because if armour counts as Light when it's actually Heavy, then you'd obviously be using that over using light armour that counts as non-armour.
In my world, Mithril doesn't decrease the size category of armor. So that stacking problem isn't an issue; it takes 15th level fighter to treat heavy armor as light armor. I agree that by the time you reach 15th level fighter, any fighter prefers full plate unless they have class features devoted to being unarmored or they chose light armor as their chosen armor category. My response is twofold.
First, I think when people think of the lightly armored archetype, they don't care so much what their armor looks like, or what its AC bonus is; they want to be flexible, fast, and speedy. Fighters are cool because they wear their armor like a second skin and let you feel like you're in light armor. The fact that it weighs fifty pounds is sort of immaterial at that point.
Second, it doesn't feel forced on the player. If you want to be lightly armored from start to finish, you take light armor as your chosen armor category. I intentionally made the fortification ability only apply if you choose a specific category to give you an incentive to pick what you know you're going to use. Yes, a fighter who chooses "all armor" can move up from light to medium to heavy as he levels up, but if you're a light armor fighter in a party with a "generic" armor fighter, you don't always feel like you're missing out. Yeah, you're both in light armor, and he has a higher AC, but you've got the crit immunity. As long as both people have something different, and they don't have to ignore class features to make what they're doing work, you're doing well.
Also, I've been going back and forth on giving an additional +1 AC at improved and greater armor discipline to people who chose a specific armor type. That would also help remedy the issue; I'm just not sure if it's necessary.

It favours strong fighters, because Power Attack is the only real way to boost damage when you don't have something like manoeuvres or sneak attack dice to pump it.
It favours fighters who have a high Constitution, because Fighter Godmode keys off it.
But it also favors fighters who have a high Dexterity, since the max Dex on your armor is increased; unlike normal, Dexterity almost always translates to AC. Also, another house rule: everyone gets attacks of opportunity equal to their Dex.
I designed it with the intention that it should favor Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. It's actually fairly balanced, I think. That doesn't make it any less generic; that just means you have the freedom to decide which of the awesome cool stuff you care about most.


Depending on the magic setting, it favours him specialising in a weapon type and generalising with armour, because Heavy Fortification is only 36,000 GP and that means he can always be wearing the best defence item with the least restrictions from it.
Yeah, I think you're right that I made generalizing with armor too good. I'll add +1 AC at Armor Discipline, Improved Armor Discipline and Greater Armor Discipline if you choose a specific armor type. That way, if you focus in a specific type of armor, you get +3 free AC and moderate fortification - or +4 and heavy fortification if you take armor discipline for your True Discipline. Seems like a good tradeoff again to me - maybe too good.

Getting +3 from Weapon Focus favours THFing, because that's +6 to damage from Power Attack. Getting +3 to damage favouring TWF doesn't cover it.
You're right; I actually didn't mean for the weapon focus bonuses to both be there. It was intended to be +2 from focus and +3 from specialization - but +2 from focus and +4 from specialization should keep it more balanced between the two (and mimic the original Greater Weapon Focus / Greater Weapon Specialization distribution).

Taking 10 favours THF again, since you can take Slashing Flurry for a Greatsword and take 10 on three hits at full BAB -5 with Slashing Flurry and Weapon Supremacy.
Slashing Flurry? The ability that's like Flurry, except -5 instead of -2? I always considered that a pretty terrible feat. I'd say that you're welcome to take slashing flurry, but that's a heck of a penalty on all your attacks that you could be using to power attack - or just not miss. As for Weapon Supremacy, it doesn't say anything about base attack bonus; it just gives a free +5 bonus to one of the attacks. Yes, it's intended to mimic attacking at your full BAB if you use it on your second attack, but that's a very different from a rules perspective. It wouldn't work with True Weapon Discipline.


Maths:

With +25 from BAB and taking 10, one assumes 28 Strength unbuffed for another +9, +3 from Weapon Focus, +1 from Greater Weapon Focus, +2 MWM, and a +5 sword? You can safely power attack for -10 damage against the Tarrasque for ~135 damage a turn before rolling your 6D6 damage dice, unbuffed.
Slap on a Greater Heroism for an extra +24 damage, Haste for another +57, and you still have two chances to auto-crit (which also helps THF more, since when you can't hit you just pile on a full 20 to Power Attack and wait for your Scythe to roll a 20...).

So 192 damage + 8D6 + whatever else you've got enchanted on that greatsword + any other buffs you care to put on, and you have two attacks which will probably miss but if either Threatens then it will auto-confirm and that's +16 Power Attack x 2 x 3 for a juicy 96 damage from Power Attack alone.

Throw in Leap Attack, since full attacking is free, and you're dealing 180 damage a turn solely from Power Attack, basically making the Tarrasque roll Fort against Massive Damage four times a turn.
What I'd say is that all of this math is true of the normal fighter; all that my fighter is adding is the ability to take 10. With that said, my revised stacking system deals with a lot of this nonsense. In short, all class features and feats are "competence" bonuses, and don't stack. All spells and magic grant "enhancement" bonuses; those also don't stack.
For the other things: I use the Pathfinder version of Power Attack (with an extra -1 penalty), so your power attack at 20th level (assuming a two handed weapon) is -7 for a +18 damage bonus.

That mean the level 20 fighter who took True Weapon Discipline and is using a greatsword, assuming the same Strength that you did, assuming Slashing Flurry, has the following attack bonus and damage on his first two attacks:
25 (BAB + take 10 - slashing flurry) + 9 (strength) + 2 (Weapon Focus) + 5 (sword) - 7 (Power Attack) = 34. Somewhat amusingly, that's 1 lower than the tarrasque's AC. But let's assume he hits (he's got an ally who is kindly flanking for him). He does 4d6 + 10 (sword) + 26 (strength) + 4 (specialization) + 36 (power attack) = ~90 damage. That seems reasonable, if a bit on the low side.

He's got three more attacks - one at the same attack bonus (from specialization), one at -5, and one at -10. In this situation, he's definitely better off not using slashing flurry; he's just not accurate enough to make it worthwhile.

What happens if he is buffed? Heroism gives him +4 attack, but doesn't increase damage. Haste's attack bonus doesn't stack, and the extra attack it gives doesn't stack with slashing flurry - but it lets him no longer take the massive -5 penalty to attack rolls from the flurry. So it's effectively worth +5 attack bonus - or +9 from the two spells put together.

That make shis total attack bonus +33/33/33/23/18, if he uses Weapon Supremacy on his first attack. With his first three attacks, he'll automatically hit; the take 10 here is irrelevant. His fourth attack is a touch under 50%, and his last attack is a touch under 25%.
(Now, as a side note - I think the Tarrasque's AC is too low. Instead of taking the bloody useless Toughness a bloody 6 times, he should put those feats in Improved Natural Armor Class. Or some saving throw feats. Or really anything else. But that's a separate issue.) Let's give him half credit for his last two attacks, putting him at a solid 4 hits per round. That's 180 damage on average. Nice! But not stupidly good by any means.

Of course, that's ignoring crits. I'm not going to bother calculating the exact damage that critting adds, but it's probably a lot, given the fighter class feature. Let's say it takes his damage to somewhere around 300. Frankly, that's more than I'd like, but it's still nowhere near as bad as core 3.5. (The bigger problem is that the tarrasque can one-shot a fighter without really trying, I think. But that's a separate issue.)

Also, Leap Attack won't work; it requires a charge attack. I don't give everyone pounce, just the ability to make a full attack as a standard action.

So where does this leave us? A lot of the problems you talked about are a part of 3.5 by its very nature; it gets weird at high levels. I've done as much as I can to diminish them, and I think it's actually playable now in a way that it wasn't before. If you just assume that the Tarrasque isn't an idiot, and takes the Improved Natural Armor feats like he should, the fighter's damage nose-dives into a sane range pretty quickly. I'm a little proud of that; I wasn't sure if my changes would result in a playable game at high levels, and I'm starting to think that it will. Frankly, though, I never play all the way up to 20th level. I care a lot more about the 3-15 level range. And I think that what I've done makes that work, too.


And let's not forget that it favours 13 Intelligence, dump Wisdom, dump Charisma, just like always.
Yeah, well, so do most of the archetypes it supports. And there are definitely options that encourage a little more flexibility; the idea of a fighter using light armor that becomes "unarmored" and then going into Monk sounds fun to me. Wise fighters can take the Combat Form feats from PHB2, too. That's just not fundamentally the role of the fighter class. It does what it does well: fight.


It's a powerful and valid class, but the moment you step into adding something, even a +1 to hit, you step towards rewarding one archetype over others. It's an almost inescapable flaw in the D20 system.
It's that "almost" that I'm aiming for. :) I think that a sufficiently well-designed fighter class can be the blank canvas that I want it to be while still being a really sexy canvas. And hey - reach for the stars, right?


Because Sunder and Disarm checks are the only ones where weapon-size matters, and because I agreed that Zweihander doesn't need much more help after a free Power Attack (that combines with regular Power Attack), and because a disarm or sunder attempt with Reach against anything without reach is actually the equivalent of a free Improved X which stacks.

Why is the full BAB class dedicated to combat styles not capable of Combat Manoeuvres when they're theoretically just as good as another full BAB class? An outdoorsy guy who goes into things swinging two swords around or shooting arrows is very, very different to an Urban ranger who tears through heavily armoured opponents with a two handed sword.
Can't see an Aragorn-like knocking some guy's sword out of their hand, or shattering their sword with his? I sure can.
Oh, they're absolutely capable of combat maneuvers, and they are just as good as another full BAB class. That's not the issue. The issue is that by making it a class feature that stacks with any other combat maneuver abilities, you're saying much more than that a ranger is capable of combat maeuvers. You're saying that even the best barbarian, monk (!), paladin, or warrior can't disarm or sunder as well as the best ranger. That's the kind of ability that I'd only give if I really wanted the feature to feel like part of the idiom of the class. If you want that, go for it. If you don't, give Improved Disarm and/or Improved Sunder instead. That way, they have a class feature related to it, and they may be more likely to be good at it, but they are not inherently better at it than other classes. It's a subtle distinction, but I think it's an important one.


Secondly, why do you think Rangers are MAD? A Zweihander specialist needs Strength, Constitution, and a little Dex for evasion purposes. There's no spellcasting anymore, not even Wild Empathy, there's no MADness left.
Good point - that was my bad. Without spellcasting and Wild Empathy, there's no need for Wisdom and Charisma.


Pretty much, I based it on the Duellist, and if someone wants to extend this into a full 20 levels, then things don't work out that way.
Makes enough sense for me.


Yeah, I'm having real trouble making the Rogue viable (not that the original Rogue was), I may give them a few more scaled down versions of their level 10 specialties.
Unfortunately, rogue is the last class on my list of "how do I make this work", so I'm in the same boat as you. My current plan is to steal ideas from the list of skill tricks in Complete Scoundrel, the list of rogue talents that the Pathfinder rogue uses, and possibly some Swordsage shenanigans. Also poison is an underused ability that feels like it could be very roguelike - you might consider working that in.


Yeah, Clerics and Druids being able to cast magic in armour whilst Wizards and Sorcerers can't and all the various niggles just struck me as incredibly arbitrary. Now there's Bards (who get limited numbers of spells in the Shaping and Healing spell lists), and there are mages.

Honestly Mages could just as easily be written as five classes, but it saved space to just cover them as one.

Rogue being the only roguish one is basically because this is based (at least mostly) off Core.
Makes sense. And you could consider bard the "bridge" between the rogue and the mage, just like ranger is the "bridge" between the warriors and the rogue and paladin is the "bridge" between the warriors and the mage. If you look at it that way, there are just two warriors, two rogues (if you include monk), one mage, and three bridges. That doesn't seem so imbalanced now, does it?


All core spells have been modified, so in a terrible case of on-topicness I'll be replacing the OP with the spells that have been drastically lowered from Core for balance consideration prior to bringing out the Mage spell lists for review.
You know, the more I see this, the more I think you really just want a full 10-15 level progression squeezed into 6 levels of numbers. :P

Kholai
2012-08-20, 05:53 AM
Makes sense - but can't you get +2 merciful still? You need 6 CL for +2 and 6 CL for merciful; that should be separate. So it's only a tiny bit favorable to TWF.

True, but I'll take anything I can get.


Eh, but "unarmoured swordsman" is also a near-suicidal archetype in a realistic D&D world. Frankly, I don't want to support the idea of a nonmagical unarmored swordsman; if he can be as survivable in combat as a guy in full plate, what's the point of armor.

The Duellist class is pretty much exactly the unarmoured swordsman archetype though, no?

Fighter Flurry:

So what's the benefit of making one additional attack roll? A scaling bonus to hit and damage?

Completely off the top of my head:
1st and every 2nd Level: Feat.
Every 3rd Level: +2 to Damage.
Every 4th Level: +1 to Hit.
Every 5th level: +1 to AC.

Any dead levels gets some minor ability, or even a Manoeuvre equivalent they can use.

So at 20th you have +5 to hit, +12 to damage, +4 to AC over everyone else.

Fighter: It's a tad awkward to consider the ramifications of a class when its a house ruled class based in a system of house rules, I think I'll drop this part of the discussion. I will say you've nerfed the Fighter (and only the Fighter) by taking away their Melee Weapon Mastery and GWFocus feats.


Slashing Flurry? The ability that's like Flurry, except -5 instead of -2? I always considered that a pretty terrible feat. I'd say that you're welcome to take slashing flurry, but that's a heck of a penalty on all your attacks that you could be using to power attack - or just not miss.

Depends on your situation really, if your pre-power attack hits for more than ten damage then hitting four times Power Attacking for -10 works out better than three times for -15.


As for Weapon Supremacy, it doesn't say anything about base attack bonus; it just gives a free +5 bonus to one of the attacks. Yes, it's intended to mimic attacking at your full BAB if you use it on your second attack, but that's a very different from a rules perspective. It wouldn't work with True Weapon Discipline.

I believe Weapon Supremacy allows you to take 10 on any single attack per turn, including your +5'd one.


Oh, they're absolutely capable of combat maneuvers, and they are just as good as another full BAB class. That's not the issue. The issue is that by making it a class feature that stacks with any other combat maneuver abilities, you're saying much more than that a ranger is capable of combat maeuvers. You're saying that even the best barbarian, monk (!), paladin, or warrior can't disarm or sunder as well as the best ranger. That's the kind of ability that I'd only give if I really wanted the feature to feel like part of the idiom of the class. If you want that, go for it. If you don't, give Improved Disarm and/or Improved Sunder instead. That way, they have a class feature related to it, and they may be more likely to be good at it, but they are not inherently better at it than other classes. It's a subtle distinction, but I think it's an important one.

... Why should the monk be able to sunder or disarm better than a guy with a two handed hammer? Though the guy who's actually specialised in two handed weapons in a way that no other class can match being better at using those weapons doesn't really bother me, in all honesty, but what about:

So long as they are wielding a two-handed weapon, the Ranger gains a bonus to confirming critical hits equal to half their Ranger level.

It's against the design principles to have class features be feats, so this gives a small but tangible bonus for every possible two-handed weapon.


Also poison is an underused ability that feels like it could be very roguelike - you might consider working that in.

One way to do that is systemic; just make poison cheaper. Right now it costs hundreds of gold to poison up a drow platoon, which is more gold than most commoner drow see in a lifetime. A simple poison that caused 1D3 damage and a secondary effect of 1 Dex damage which cost in silver pieces instead of gold pieces would have everyone using it and Paladins arguing that it should be fine against evildoers. As it is, the cheapest is something like 12 GP to make, and the priciest is 7500 GP a dose or something absurd. D&D lacks cohesion in its economic model.


Makes sense. And you could consider bard the "bridge" between the rogue and the mage, just like ranger is the "bridge" between the warriors and the rogue and paladin is the "bridge" between the warriors and the mage. If you look at it that way, there are just two warriors, two rogues (if you include monk), one mage, and three bridges. That doesn't seem so imbalanced now, does it?

Yeah, that's fine. It's just Trapfinding that is incredibly arbitrary, the only way to disarm traps is to literally be the Rogue class for at least one level.


You know, the more I see this, the more I think you really just want a full 10-15 level progression squeezed into 6 levels of numbers. :P

Yes.

It's the numbers that cause the problems, not the variety.

A variety of spells available means a variety of magic effects available means a wider field of play and more things you can do. I'll probably follow Gnorman's clever idea to make the bigger spells like Plane Shift or diabolical summoning and the like into ritual magic, taking weeks, months or years to achieve along with rare materials and other mandatory quest materials.

Ultimately if someone can feel like they have all the important choices of full level D&D without the problems and the silliness, that would be ideal.

Any problems with their balancing?

Gnorman
2012-08-20, 06:17 AM
A variety of spells available means a variety of magic effects available means a wider field of play and more things you can do. I'll probably follow Gnorman's clever idea to make the bigger spells like Plane Shift or diabolical summoning and the like into ritual magic, taking weeks, months or years to achieve along with rare materials and other mandatory quest materials.


Just for the record, while I would like to take the credit for cleverness, it certainly wasn't my idea. Incantations (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm) were in Unearthed Arcana.

Kholai
2012-08-20, 07:16 AM
Just for the record, while I would like to take the credit for cleverness, it certainly wasn't my idea. Incantations (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm) were in Unearthed Arcana.

True, but it's a plenty clever idea in itself to include it to expand the E6 framework, full credit for that.


Fighter:

Armoured Ease (Ex): A Fighter only takes half the listed armour check penalties and add 1 to the maximum Dexterity modifier of any armour they wear. They take only a 5' penalty to movement with Medium Armour.

Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a Fighter gets a bonus feat. The Warrior gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd, 4th and 6th level. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [Fighter] feats. A Warrior must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Weapon Specialisation (Ex): At 2nd level, the Fighter gains a bonus to damage rolls made with any weapon, natural attack, unarmed strike, or grapple equal to half their Fighter level.

Weapon Focus (Ex): At 3rd level, the Fighter gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls made with any weapon, natural attack, unarmed strike, or grapple check. This increases to +2 at level 6.

Blade Mastery (Ex): At 4th level, the Fighter gains a +1 bonus to any opposed attack or grapple roll they make. This increases to +2 at level 6.

Armoured Expertise (Ex): At 4th level, the Fighter adds an additional +1 to the maximum Dexterity modifier of any armour they wear, and moves at full speed in medium armour. They only take a 5' penalty to movement in heavy armour.

Withstand (Ex): At 5th level, once per encounter, whenever the Fighter fails a saving throw, they may immediately reroll their saving throw with a +2 bonus.

Warmaster (Ex): At sixth level, the Fighter may Take 10 on a single attack per round, this may be on an Attack of Opportunity or special attack if they wish.


If it's encouraging anything, it's encouraging medium armour, which is fine by me since nobody uses Medium armour that isn't Mithril Fullplate. This should cover every attack style to an adequate degree.

Bard:

Spells: A bard casts arcane spells, which must be drawn from the Nature or Shaping spell lists. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a bard must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bardís spell is 10 + the spell level + the bardís Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a bard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When the table indicates that the bard gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.
The bardís selection of spells is extremely limited. A bard begins play knowing four 0-level spells of your choice. At most new bard levels, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on the table. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a bard knows is not affected by his Charisma score are fixed.)

Cantrips: Bards learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Bard Spells Known under ďSpells Known.Ē These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots when cast and may be used again.

Bardic Knowledge: A bard adds half his class level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

Bardic Music: Once per day per bard level, a bard can use his song or bardics to produce magical effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting bardry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires both a minimum bard level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify; if a bard does not have the required number of ranks in at least one Perform skill, he does not gain the bardic music ability until he acquires the needed ranks.
Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using bardic music that doesnít require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), spell trigger (such as wands), or command word. Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic music. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.

Fascinate (Sp): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his Bardic Music to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and able to pay attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a bard makes a Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creatureís Will save against the effect. If a creatureís saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate (up to a maximum of 1 round per bard level). While fascinated, a target takes a -4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the bard to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.
Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.

Inspire Courage (Su): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use their Bardic Music to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, this increases to +2.

Inspire Competence (Su): A bard of 2nd level or higher with 5 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his Bardic Music to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard. The bard must also be able to see the ally.
The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as he or she continues to hear the bardís music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible. The effect lasts as long as the bard concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A bard canít inspire competence in himself. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.

Words of Power (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher learns to fuel their performances with magical power. As a standard action, the bard may sacrifice one of their spells per day to recover one use of Bardic Music per level of the spell sacrificed in this way.

Inspire Resilience (Su): A bard of 4th level or higher with 7 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his Bardic Music to ward his allies against harm. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws and a +1 morale bonus to their Armour Class.

Suggestion (Sp): A bard of 6th level or higher with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use their Bardic Music to make a suggestion (as the spell) to a creature that he has already fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bardís concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect.
Making a suggestion doesnít count against a bardís daily limit on bardic music performances. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís Cha modifier) negates the effect. This ability affects only a single creature (but see mass suggestion, below). Suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.

Inspire Regeneration (Su) - A bard of 6th level with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use their Bardic Music to fill their allies (including themselves) with supernatural vigour. Allies must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the Bard.
Allies get Fast Healing 1 as long as he or she continues to hear the bard's performance and they are beneath 50% of their maximum hit points. The effect lasts as long as the bard concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. This has no effect upon non-living creatures.

Special: Bards count as a Mage of their level -2 for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Yes, I did borrow from the NWN2 Bard.

The Monk is still under construction, and I'll wait until at least one person comments on the suitability of those spells at those levels before I up the spell lists based on it.

As a vague idea; I'm toying with the idea of Mages knowing every spell in their focus, but have "readied" spells which they change every day, and can freely cast as the situation requires. Basically a prepared-spontaneous spellcaster. Any thoughts on this?

Gnorman
2012-08-20, 07:34 AM
One of these days I will sit down and try and come up with some Incantations for all the appropriate 4th level and higher spells in the SRD. I will let you know when that day comes.

In the mean time, going to peruse this thread. Will comment when I have finished.

Vadskye
2012-08-20, 02:26 PM
True, but I'll take anything I can get.
Haha, no shame in that.


The Duellist class is pretty much exactly the unarmoured swordsman archetype though, no?
Yes; but it's also a prestige class that you can't get into until you've reached the point that you are superhuman (past 6th level or so). Prestige classes are perfect for filling roles that would (and should) otherwise be impossible. Even the most duelish of duelists will use at least light armor at low levels - which fulfills my requirements for game world continuity.


Fighter Flurry:

So what's the benefit of making one additional attack roll? A scaling bonus to hit and damage?

Completely off the top of my head:
1st and every 2nd Level: Feat.
Every 3rd Level: +2 to Damage.
Every 4th Level: +1 to Hit.
Every 5th level: +1 to AC.

Any dead levels gets some minor ability, or even a Manoeuvre equivalent they can use.

So at 20th you have +5 to hit, +12 to damage, +4 to AC over everyone else.
That is one idea. I'd lower those numbers, but that's beside the point; the problem that I have with that is that it still doesn't give the fighter anything special. He does the same things as everyone else, just a little better. He still needs that "firewall" that separates him from everyone else.


Fighter: It's a tad awkward to consider the ramifications of a class when its a house ruled class based in a system of house rules, I think I'll drop this part of the discussion. I will say you've nerfed the Fighter (and only the Fighter) by taking away their Melee Weapon Mastery and GWFocus feats.
Definitely fair. My intention is that the class features more than make up for the loss of those feats. And frankly, I don't like the whole idea of Melee Weapon Mastery. If the fighter's class feature is bonus feats, but you also give him awesome feats that only he can take, then you're really just giving him class features in disguise - except that a new player can make a mistake and end up without their class features. Melee Weapon Mastery was a brute-force solution to the problem of "casters are better fighters than fighters" that came late in 3.5's development cycle; I think the system is better off without it.


Depends on your situation really, if your pre-power attack hits for more than ten damage then hitting four times Power Attacking for -10 works out better than three times for -15.
I buy that. And it definitely gets more useful with a capped Power Attack.


I believe Weapon Supremacy allows you to take 10 on any single attack per turn, including your +5'd one.
Wow, somehow I completely forgot that part when I was thinking about the +5 part. Yeah, that works.


... Why should the monk be able to sunder or disarm better than a guy with a two handed hammer? Though the guy who's actually specialised in two handed weapons in a way that no other class can match being better at using those weapons doesn't really bother me, in all honesty, but what about:

So long as they are wielding a two-handed weapon, the Ranger gains a bonus to confirming critical hits equal to half their Ranger level.

It's against the design principles to have class features be feats, so this gives a small but tangible bonus for every possible two-handed weapon.
Well, frankly, monks can't; they take a -4 penalty for being unarmed, and the guy with a two handed hammer gets a +4 bonus for using a bigger weapon. I'm just saying that that discrepancy doesn't need to be made worse, considering that disarming is sort of part of the monk's idiom. And I like the new version - and I don't think it would be unfair to bump the bonus to be equal to their ranger level. It really isn't that common that you fail to confirm a crit by such a small number, in my experience; given how rare it is, such a small bonus is easy to just forget and not care about. Making it full ranger level ensures that people care about it.



One way to do that is systemic; just make poison cheaper. Right now it costs hundreds of gold to poison up a drow platoon, which is more gold than most commoner drow see in a lifetime. A simple poison that caused 1D3 damage and a secondary effect of 1 Dex damage which cost in silver pieces instead of gold pieces would have everyone using it and Paladins arguing that it should be fine against evildoers. As it is, the cheapest is something like 12 GP to make, and the priciest is 7500 GP a dose or something absurd. D&D lacks cohesion in its economic model.
Definitely. But there is one potential scary part with this - you have to deal with the "multiple doses" problem. If poison is cheap, then why use one dose when you can use twenty? You may or may not decide that it's not a problem at all, but it should be considered.


Yeah, that's fine. It's just Trapfinding that is incredibly arbitrary, the only way to disarm traps is to literally be the Rogue class for at least one level.
Oh, definitely. I got rid of that. My "Trapfinding" says that the rogue can, as a standard action, search all squares within 20' of him for traps. Everyone can find traps, but only the rogue has the eye to see them with relative ease. You could scale the radius based on rogue level if you wanted.

Alternately, you could use the Pathfinder method, where rogues get +1 to Search checks to find traps per two levels. But I don't like that method very much.


Yes.

It's the numbers that cause the problems, not the variety.

A variety of spells available means a variety of magic effects available means a wider field of play and more things you can do. I'll probably follow Gnorman's clever idea to make the bigger spells like Plane Shift or diabolical summoning and the like into ritual magic, taking weeks, months or years to achieve along with rare materials and other mandatory quest materials.

Ultimately if someone can feel like they have all the important choices of full level D&D without the problems and the silliness, that would be ideal.

I'd say that the variety also causes problems for the casters. But knocking things down to E6 means that even if you squeeze a significant portion of the spell list down to the first few levels, they still have a small number of spells per day that they can use, and they are forced to specialize. So you solve the variety problem, too.


Any problems with their balancing?
Well, you still have Polymorph. :P

Other things... I don't like save or lose effects at low levels. Nobody has a good saving throw bonus, but casters still have fairly high DCs - it's just way too random. To see what I mean, take a 3rd level mage with Antilife Shell. We'll assume a mere 16 casting stat. His save DC is 15. But the only classes with good Will saves are the mage and the monk; everyone else has no more than a +1 base Will save bonus. The paladin is the only one who would stand a good chance, thanks to his aura of grace; he probably has a +3 bonus, assuming a 14 Charisma. Everyone else is highly unlikely to have more than a 10 in Wisdom - if that - so they have a +1 bonus. The mage does about as well as the paladin, and only the monk has a particularly good chance; between his good Will save and his Wisdom, he can reasonably have a +6 bonus.

That means that everyone has a better than 50% chance of failure except the monk. It's just a coin flip. In the case of effects like Charm Person/Monster, Color Spray, Resilient Sphere, and Silence, it's a coin flip to avoid total irrelevancy (or worse). This problem is inherent to low levels; "blasting" is even more of a bad idea than it normally is, while save or lose and debuff effects are king (except when they do nothing). Even if, for the sake or argument, we assume that this actually ends up being balanced, it still doesn't have enough of a gradient between the mage being godly because his enemies failed their saves and the mage being useless because his enemes made their saves.

The problem gets worse, of course, if the mage starts using spell focus and greater spell focus, or gains a particularly high casting stat. A 6th level mage with a 20 (casting stat) and both spell focuses who casts a 3rd level spell has a save DC of 20 at a level when most characters will only have a +2 bonus to Will saves. Even the new fighter's awesome new reroll ability isn't going to give him more than about a one in three shot at making that save. I just don't think the numbers work out for casters at low levels in a world with save or lose effects.

On a more general note, your spell levels seem generally reasonable for this system, though I fear the Black Tentacles. Also, incendiary cloud is too weak; it does the damage of a Fireball, but spread out over six rounds.

The bigger issue is not with the spells you've added, but the spells that already exist for levels 1-3. I don't know if you've fixed some of that existing spell weirdness. For example, the flat Strength check DC of 20 that Web and Entangle have makes them nearly impossible to get out of at low levels. My revised spells in my signature contain some spot fixes to spells like this, or you could look at Pathfinder spells for some other tweak ideas.


Fighter:

Armoured Ease (Ex): A Fighter only takes half the listed armour check penalties and add 1 to the maximum Dexterity modifier of any armour they wear. They take only a 5' penalty to movement with Medium Armour.

Bonus Feats: At 1st level, a Fighter gets a bonus feat. The Warrior gains an additional bonus feat at 2nd, 4th and 6th level. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [Fighter] feats. A Warrior must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Weapon Specialisation (Ex): At 2nd level, the Fighter gains a bonus to damage rolls made with any weapon, natural attack, unarmed strike, or grapple equal to half their Fighter level.

Weapon Focus (Ex): At 3rd level, the Fighter gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls made with any weapon, natural attack, unarmed strike, or grapple check. This increases to +2 at level 6.

Blade Mastery (Ex): At 4th level, the Fighter gains a +1 bonus to any opposed attack or grapple roll they make. This increases to +2 at level 6.

Armoured Expertise (Ex): At 4th level, the Fighter adds an additional +1 to the maximum Dexterity modifier of any armour they wear, and moves at full speed in medium armour. They only take a 5' penalty to movement in heavy armour.

Withstand (Ex): At 5th level, once per encounter, whenever the Fighter fails a saving throw, they may immediately reroll their saving throw with a +2 bonus.

Warmaster (Ex): At sixth level, the Fighter may Take 10 on a single attack per round, this may be on an Attack of Opportunity or special attack if they wish.


If it's encouraging anything, it's encouraging medium armour, which is fine by me since nobody uses Medium armour that isn't Mithril Fullplate. This should cover every attack style to an adequate degree.
I like this a lot! You're doing some mixing between "warrior" and "fighter" in the text, but to me he feels more like a fighter - he has a couple cool things that only he can do, like the Withstand ability, and he's really good at fighting.

Also, I don't know to what degree you have alternate class features in E6, but you could consider using some of your original fighter/warrior as an alternate build option or something rather than giving up on it. It definitely had a good feel to it, and I'd hate to see it go to waste.

Bard:

Spells: A bard casts arcane spells, which must be drawn from the Nature or Shaping spell lists. He can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time. To learn or cast a spell, a bard must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a bardís spell is 10 + the spell level + the bardís Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a bard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. His base daily spell allotment is given on the table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Charisma score. When the table indicates that the bard gets 0 spells per day of a given spell level, he gains only the bonus spells he would be entitled to based on his Charisma score for that spell level.
The bardís selection of spells is extremely limited. A bard begins play knowing four 0-level spells of your choice. At most new bard levels, he gains one or more new spells, as indicated on the table. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a bard knows is not affected by his Charisma score are fixed.)

Cantrips: Bards learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on Table: Bard Spells Known under ďSpells Known.Ē These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots when cast and may be used again.

Bardic Knowledge: A bard adds half his class level (minimum 1) to all Knowledge skill checks and may make all Knowledge skill checks untrained.

Bardic Music: Once per day per bard level, a bard can use his song or bardics to produce magical effects on those around him (usually including himself, if desired). While these abilities fall under the category of bardic music and the descriptions discuss singing or playing instruments, they can all be activated by reciting bardry, chanting, singing lyrical songs, singing melodies, whistling, playing an instrument, or playing an instrument in combination with some spoken performance. Each ability requires both a minimum bard level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify; if a bard does not have the required number of ranks in at least one Perform skill, he does not gain the bardic music ability until he acquires the needed ranks.
Starting a bardic music effect is a standard action. Some bardic music abilities require concentration, which means the bard must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability. Even while using bardic music that doesnít require concentration, a bard cannot cast spells, activate magic items by spell completion (such as scrolls), spell trigger (such as wands), or command word. Just as for casting a spell with a verbal component, a deaf bard has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use bardic music. If he fails, the attempt still counts against his daily limit.

Fascinate (Sp): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his Bardic Music to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with him. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the bard, and able to pay attention to him. The bard must also be able to see the creature. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a bard attains beyond 1st, he can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability.
To use the ability, a bard makes a Perform check. His check result is the DC for each affected creatureís Will save against the effect. If a creatureís saving throw succeeds, the bard cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and listens to the song, taking no other actions, for as long as the bard continues to play and concentrate (up to a maximum of 1 round per bard level). While fascinated, a target takes a -4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat requires the bard to make another Perform check and allows the creature a new saving throw against a DC equal to the new Perform check result.
Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability.

Inspire Courage (Su): A bard with 3 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use their Bardic Music to inspire courage in his allies (including himself), bolstering them against fear and improving their combat abilities. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. At 5th level, this increases to +2.

Inspire Competence (Su): A bard of 2nd level or higher with 5 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his Bardic Music to help an ally succeed at a task. The ally must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the bard. The bard must also be able to see the ally.
The ally gets a +2 competence bonus on skill checks with a particular skill as long as he or she continues to hear the bardís music. Certain uses of this ability are infeasible. The effect lasts as long as the bard concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. A bard canít inspire competence in himself. Inspire competence is a mind-affecting ability.

Words of Power (Su): A bard of 3rd level or higher learns to fuel their performances with magical power. As a standard action, the bard may sacrifice one of their spells per day to recover one use of Bardic Music per level of the spell sacrificed in this way.

Inspire Resilience (Su): A bard of 4th level or higher with 7 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use his Bardic Music to ward his allies against harm. To be affected, an ally must be able to hear the bard sing. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for 5 rounds thereafter. An affected ally receives a +1 morale bonus on saving throws and a +1 morale bonus to their Armour Class.

Suggestion (Sp): A bard of 6th level or higher with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use their Bardic Music to make a suggestion (as the spell) to a creature that he has already fascinated. Using this ability does not break the bardís concentration on the fascinate effect, nor does it allow a second saving throw against the fascinate effect.
Making a suggestion doesnít count against a bardís daily limit on bardic music performances. A Will saving throw (DC 10 + Ĺ bardís level + bardís Cha modifier) negates the effect. This ability affects only a single creature (but see mass suggestion, below). Suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language dependent ability.

Inspire Regeneration (Su) - A bard of 6th level with 9 or more ranks in a Perform skill can use their Bardic Music to fill their allies (including themselves) with supernatural vigour. Allies must be within 30 feet and able to see and hear the Bard.
Allies get Fast Healing 1 as long as he or she continues to hear the bard's performance and they are beneath 50% of their maximum hit points. The effect lasts as long as the bard concentrates, up to a maximum of 2 minutes. This has no effect upon non-living creatures.

Special: Bards count as a Mage of their level -2 for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Yes, I did borrow from the NWN2 Bard.[/quote]

I miss the original bardic knowledge; as a DM, I loved reciting stories that the bard had heard that contained nuggets of relevant information in them. That's definitely just personal preference, though.

I see that countersong is gone. No one will mourn.

Does inspire courage need the bonus against charm effects? It's just such a random bonus; I had no idea it was there until I started grinding through the PHB for my house rules. I think it will be easily forgotten, and is too small to make it worth remembering.

Words of Power is a good ability. Nice design.

Right now, you've got a bit of an overload at 6th level; can inspire regeneration be moved down to 5th level? I like the healing up to 50% rule (reminds me of the Dragon Shaman); that keeps the at-will fast healing from causing problems. I'd just say that this song is almost guaranteed to only be played out of combat.

Overall, my inclination is to say that the bard bonuses from singing are reasonable. I'd just say that their inability to cast while singing will create a conflict of interest at higher levels; they will want to help the party, but their spells will be a major way that they can contribute (and probably be more helpful than their songs, depending on the situation). Giving a "Melodic Casting" ability at 5th or 6th level that lets the bard cast while peforming would help resolve that.


The Monk is still under construction, and I'll wait until at least one person comments on the suitability of those spells at those levels before I up the spell lists based on it.
I commented!


As a vague idea; I'm toying with the idea of Mages knowing every spell in their focus, but have "readied" spells which they change every day, and can freely cast as the situation requires. Basically a prepared-spontaneous spellcaster. Any thoughts on this?
Getting rid of the prepared spell system is good. I don't like it; it's tough for new players to learn, and requires too much advance planning - it is too dependent on player knowledge and expertise. Moving to a fully spontaneous system makes everyone's life easier.

However, I also think that getting rid of changing spells every day is good. For one thing, it really strongly rewards - or requires - player knowledge, punishing new players and even rewarding subtle metagaming.

Second, one of the things that makes casters so far above the other classes in core D&D is the way they can always have the best tools for the situation. If you can change spells every day, and you can cast spells spontaneously, than every spell will probably only be used in its "ideal" situation, which leads to power level issues.

Third, if you're squeezing a significant part of the full list of spells into three levels, players will have an absolutely crazy amount of spells to choose from. If they can change every day, you're going to have to deal with them trying to decide each morning what is most appropriate - and having a whole lot of tools available to reach that goal.

Fourth, it makes casters feel more unique. With only one "mage" class, this is a concern with particular weight. Two mages should always feel different - even if they share areas of focus in common.


In the mean time, going to peruse this thread. Will comment when I have finished.
Yay! Welcome to the land of GIANT WALLS OF TEXT.

Kholai
2012-08-20, 08:15 PM
Making it full ranger level ensures that people care about it.

Done.


Definitely. But there is one potential scary part with this - you have to deal with the "multiple doses" problem. If poison is cheap, then why use one dose when you can use twenty? You may or may not decide that it's not a problem at all, but it should be considered.

Well, in the case of most poison, there's the obvious questions:
How much can get into a wound?
How much can you get into skin contact?
How much can you buy without being reaaaally suspicious?
How much poison can you reliably expect someone to eat before it's obviously tainted?
You can throw a bigger flask, but outside of the theoretical "bigger cloud", which isn't guaranteed, your victim isn't breathing more than usually.

It all boils (literally) down to: How much does it cost to concentrate it? Since heating and distillation frequently break down the enzymes that make something poisonous, a lot of the time that's not possible either.


Well, you still have Polymorph. :P

Technically I still have a 1 minute / level Alter Self with a wider possible array of forms, Alter Self itself was removed.


To see what I mean, take a 3rd level mage with Antilife Shell. We'll assume a mere 16 casting stat. His save DC is 15. But the only classes with good Will saves are the mage and the monk; everyone else has no more than a +1 base Will save bonus. The paladin is the only one who would stand a good chance, thanks to his aura of grace; he probably has a +3 bonus, assuming a 14 Charisma. Everyone else is highly unlikely to have more than a 10 in Wisdom - if that - so they have a +1 bonus. The mage does about as well as the paladin, and only the monk has a particularly good chance; between his good Will save and his Wisdom, he can reasonably have a +6 bonus.

At level 3 we have:

Bards (+3 - 1 level until +1 and Inspire Resilience), Raging Barbarians (+3), the Paladin (+3 at 14 Cha and +1 for everyone else), the Monk (+3 before Wisdom), the Mage (another +3).

It's potent, but in the case on the antilife shell, it's not a save or lose. It stops entry for, at level 3, three minutes. Great against Animals with low will saves, but against low will save Fighters? They pull out their bow.

I appreciate these.

Color Spray - Not on any spell lists. Any level 1 spell that can be used to quasi-reliably AOE stun a level 20 Fighter is probably a bit much. If I think of a tweak to it that's actually feasible, I'd reconsider, because I don't think there's a Care Bear stare equivalent magical effect outside of that one.

Resilient Sphere - I personally would use this as a defensive tool, Reflex is fairly high, it can be broken through by heavy hitters, it's useless against anything that doesn't fit inside a 6' diameter sphere, and it doesn't block quite a few nasty spells.
Silence - I was torn by this one. If it's not cast on the mage, it makes the mage move 20' away. Anyone who it seriously impacts has a good will save and other things they can do (including silent spells).

This said, this is very helpful, any other spells to check on?


The problem gets worse, of course, if the mage starts using spell focus and greater spell focus, or gains a particularly high casting stat. A 6th level mage with a 20 (casting stat) and both spell focuses who casts a 3rd level spell has a save DC of 20 at a level when most characters will only have a +2 bonus to Will saves. Even the new fighter's awesome new reroll ability isn't going to give him more than about a one in three shot at making that save. I just don't think the numbers work out for casters at low levels in a world with save or lose effects.

Since it's E6, the only way you can have a mage with a casting stat of 20 is to have a race with a +2 bonus and a 17 or 18. Needs to be level 3 for Spell Focus, and level 6 for Greater Spell Focus (minimum level). That's 2/3 of your pre-epic feats, and 13 points out of your point buy, to be good at one school of magic.

Pre-epic, that's a big, big investment. Post-epic, it's not so big, but it's also not so big to pick up Iron Will (+2) and Epic Will (+2) and their equivalents either, or to hang around with the Paladin (+1) or the Bard (a potential +1) at which point the 10 Wisdom Fighter has a 35% chance of making that DC 20 save first try, and another 45% chance on try #2, giving him a 2/3 chance.

Short of rewriting the save system, unfortunately save or Xs will remain pretty awesome or useless, but I can hopefully limit that as much as possible by tweaking the most onerous ones.


On a more general note, your spell levels seem generally reasonable for this system, though I fear the Black Tentacles. Also, incendiary cloud is too weak; it does the damage of a Fireball, but spread out over six rounds.

Fear as a legitimate threat of a spell, or fear as "overpowered"? I've dropped its grapple bonus by 4 and its range to short in an attempt to get things right.

Incendiary Cloud is a battlefield control spell in my mind, rather than a damage spell. It gives full concealment to your team, if they want to move through it, then they move at half speed and they can't run or charge through it. On top of that, they're taking 1D6 a turn when they're in it.

Since it's 20' radius, that means you've eliminated their entire turn escaping the cloud (15' move x2), or you work together with another mage to trap them inside (a bunch of crowd control spells that work in an AOE setting spring to mind, like "Web" for an extra 2D4 hilarity). At this point it becomes "an extra Fireball whilst helping keep your party safe from harm and keep the enemy trapped and suffering".

Actually, thinking on that, by rules interactions, it seems like the difficult terrain solid fog actually quarters speed unless the target has blindsight or another method of not being blinded by the fog. Huh.


The bigger issue is not with the spells you've added, but the spells that already exist for levels 1-3. I don't know if you've fixed some of that existing spell weirdness. For example, the flat Strength check DC of 20 that Web and Entangle have makes them nearly impossible to get out of at low levels.

Well, a lot of web is destroyed by a single application of Alchemists fire in one round, turning it into a 2D4+1 fire damage spell instead of a "can never leave this spot" spell.

# is web, X is Alchemists fire.
####
##X#
####
####

If each square is 5' by 5' then hitting the centre of a square means the edges of the splash - 1 point of fire damage within 5', is in the centre of the surrounding 8 squares, burning them away in 1 round.

This said, I'll tweak both of these.

If the save fails, the creature is entangled and canít move from its space, but can break loose by spending 1 round and making a Strength check or an Escape Artist check with a DC equal to 12 + your caster level.

The creature can break free and move half its normal speed by using a full-round action to make a Strength check or Escape Artist check with a DC equal to 11 + your caster level.



I like this a lot! You're doing some mixing between "warrior" and "fighter" in the text, but to me he feels more like a fighter - he has a couple cool things that only he can do, like the Withstand ability, and he's really good at fighting.

Also, I don't know to what degree you have alternate class features in E6, but you could consider using some of your original fighter/warrior as an alternate build option or something rather than giving up on it. It definitely had a good feel to it, and I'd hate to see it go to waste.

Editing issue, I hadn't finished making the Fighter yet, so that was a very rough entry, that's fixed now.

Not a problem, I'm planning on just leaving the Warrior as is, they're slightly too different to just be alternate class features of one another as is.

This makes there be the Ranger for Light/Medium, the Barbarian for Light/Medium, the Fighter for Medium/Heavy, the Warrior for Heavy/Shield... And the Paladin doesn't really have an overall fighting style.


I miss the original bardic knowledge; as a DM, I loved reciting stories that the bard had heard that contained nuggets of relevant information in them. That's definitely just personal preference, though.

Done, it's my first, and so far only, alternate class feature. Trading trivia for more focused celebrity gossip is fine by me.


I see that countersong is gone. No one will mourn.

There was much rejoicing.


Does inspire courage need the bonus against charm effects? It's just such a random bonus; I had no idea it was there until I started grinding through the PHB for my house rules. I think it will be easily forgotten, and is too small to make it worth remembering.

That's an interesting point. I didn't notice it, and I wrote it up from the SRD. Makes a good anti-charm person.


Right now, you've got a bit of an overload at 6th level; can inspire regeneration be moved down to 5th level? I like the healing up to 50% rule (reminds me of the Dragon Shaman); that keeps the at-will fast healing from causing problems. I'd just say that this song is almost guaranteed to only be played out of combat.

If I remove Inspire Courage +2, then yeah, otherwise they'd just swap places or have a crowded level 5 (and very few level 6 bards).

And of course it will be played outside of combat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34X4faVQ63Y).


Overall, my inclination is to say that the bard bonuses from singing are reasonable. I'd just say that their inability to cast while singing will create a conflict of interest at higher levels; they will want to help the party, but their spells will be a major way that they can contribute (and probably be more helpful than their songs, depending on the situation). Giving a "Melodic Casting" ability at 5th or 6th level that lets the bard cast while peforming would help resolve that.

Well, there's this feat:
Lasting Inspiration - The effects of your inspirations that ordinarily continue to last for a period of time after after the subject can no longer hear you now last for an additional 5 rounds. This feat has no effect on inspiration abilities that have no duration after you stop singing.
Prereq: Bardic music, Words of Power

As it is though, 5 rounds is long enough for most combats, so a Bard is perfectly capable of humming softly (Inspire Courage) until they enter combat, at which he drops the whistle and steps straight into spell casting as necessary with the option to sing for a single round again in five rounds.


Magey-Stuff

My main issue is that this is E6. You hit level 6, you don't change spells, you're stuck with that for the next 50,000 XP unless you retrain.

How about:

Mage has X spells known per level (up to around 5/5/4 at level 6 or so). They may spend one full day of study to change one of their spells known to another one on their Spell List.

Sound reasonable? Give them just over two weeks, they can change their entire loadout, give them a day, they can switch out that duff spell they picked for a different one.

Monk:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A monk is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the kama, nunchaku, sai, shuriken and sianghams. A monk is not proficient with any armour or shields.

Ki Pool (Ex): A monk has tapped into the natural energy of their body, allowing them to produce incredible effects. This pool of energy contains Ki points equal to their Monk level plus their Wisdom bonus. The monk's Ki Pool may be restored by four hours of meditation or eight hours of rest.

Stunning Fist (Ex): The monk may expend 1 point from their Ki Pool make a special attack unarmed as a standard action. If this attack hits, then the foe takes unarmed damage normally and must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + half the monk's class level + their Wis modifier). A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next action). A stunned creature drops everything held, canít take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC.

AC Bonus (Ex): So long as the Monk is lightly encumbered and not wearing armour, then they may add their Wisdom modifier to their Armour Class. They gain an additional +1 to their armour class for every three monk levels they possess.
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless,

Unarmed Strike (Ex): The monk may make unarmed attacks without provoking attacks of opportunity, and may freely deal lethal or non-lethal damage without penalty. Their unarmed damage die increases by two steps (from 1D3 to 1D6 for medium monks). Their unarmed damage die increases by one size every two levels thereafter.
A monk may continue to deal their improved unarmed strike damage using a gauntlet, but must take a -4 penalty in order to deal non-lethal damage.
A monk may freely designate whether they are using hands, elbows, feet, knees or (at the DM's discretion) another part of their anatomy to make their unarmed strikes.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 2nd level, so long as the monk is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armour, the monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1. A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.
When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. The monk canít use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.
Should the monk be using two weapon fighting when they flurry, they may make one additional attack with each weapon. All attacks take the appropriate penalties for fighting with two weapons.

Bonus Feats: At 2nd level gains an additional bonus feat and another every two monk levels thereafter. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [monk] feats. A monk must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk's land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor and not carrying a medium or heavy load.

Fist of Heaven (Su): At 3rd level, a monk may infuse their unarmed strikes with the power of ki as a free action. By expending 1 point of Ki, the monk causes their unarmed strikes to become magical weapons with an enhancement bonus equal to half their class level.
This effect lasts for 3 rounds plus the monks Wisdom modifier (if positive).

Evasion (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a monk can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If they make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Flashing Fists (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains the ability to strike like a serpent. By expending 1 point of ki when making an attack, they may make one extra attack at their highest base attack bonus. This ability has the same attack penalty and weapon restrictions as using their flurry of blows ability does.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 5th level a monk may expend 1 point of Ki to gain Spell Resistance equal to 11 + their Monk level for 1 round.

Flash Step (Ex): At 6th level, a monk gains the ability to travel short distances in the blink of an eye. As an immediate action the monk may expend 2 points of Ki to move up to 10' in the direction of their choice.
This is not a teleportation effect, as such the monk must be able to move to wherever they move to using this ability, either by walking, swimming, burrowing, flying or some other movement form that the monk possesses.

When I get through to non-Core materials, their Ki Pool would be a power source for other special moves as well.


Nature

Cantrips

Dancing Lights
Detect Animals or Plants
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Flare
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation
Ray of Frost
Read Magic

I

Animal Messenger
Calm Animals
Charm Animal
Cure Light Wounds
Detect Snares and Pits
Endure Elements
Entangle
Faerie Fire
Feather Fall
Hide from Animals
Jump
Longstrider
Magic Fang
Obscuring Mist
Pass without Trace
Produce Flame
Reduce Animal
Resist Energy
Speak with Animals
Summon Natureís Ally I

II

Animal Growth
Antiplant Shell
Barkskin
Bear's Endurance
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Darkvision
Cure Moderate Wounds
Delay Poison
Eagleís Splendor
Fire Trap
Flaming Sphere
Fog Cloud
Gust of Wind
Hold Animal
Owl's Wisdom
Polar Ray
Summon Natureís Ally II
Tree Shape
Warp Wood
Wind Wall
Wood Shape

III

Animal Shape
Animate Plants
Bear's Endurance, Mass
Bull's Strength, Mass
Call Lightning
Catís Grace, Mass
Cure Serious Wounds
Diminish Plants
Dominate Animal
Eagleís Splendor, Mass
Freezing Sphere
Gaseous Form
Hallucinatory Terrain
Magic Fang, Greater
Meld into Stone
Neutralize Poison
Owl's Wisdom, Mass
Plant Growth
Sleet Storm
Solid Fog
Speak with Plants
Spike Growth
Summon Natureís Ally III
Water Breathing
Water Walk

Necromancy


C
Detect Magic
Detect Undead
Disrupt Undead
Lullaby
Mage Hand
Open/Close
Prestidigitation
Ray of Frost
Read Magic
Resistance
Touch of Fatigue

I

Bane
Cause Fear
Chill Touch
Curse Water
Deathwatch
Detect Evil
Doom
Faerie Fire
Hide from Undead
Hypnotism
Inflict Light Wounds
Obscuring Mist
Protection from Evil
Protection from Good
Ray of Enfeeblement
Sleep
Unseen Servant

II

Align Weapon (Evil only)
Antilife Shell
Blight
Command Undead
Darkness
Death Knell
Desecrate
Enthrall
False Life
Gentle Repose
Ghoul Touch
Inflict Moderate Wounds
Polar Ray
Remove Paralysis
Scare
See Invisibility
Shield Other
Spectral Hand
Spider Climb
Summon Swarm
Undetectable Alignment
Unholy Blight
Web

III

Animate Dead
Bestow Curse
Black Tentacles
Blindness/Deafness
Contagion
Crushing Despair
Deeper Darkness
Dispel Magic
Gaseous Form
Halt Undead
Helping Hand
Inflict Serious Wounds
Magic Circle against Evil
Magic Circle against Good
Phantasmal Killer
Phantom Steed
Poison
Ray of Exhaustion
Repel Vermin
Rusting Grasp
Speak with Dead
Stinking Cloud
Touch of Idiocy
Vampiric Touch

Healing


C
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Disrupt Undead
Flare
Light
Mending
Prestidigitation
Purify Food & Drink
Read Magic
Resistance
Virtue

I

Bless
Bless Water
Cure Light Wounds
Deathwatch
Detect Good
Divine Favour
Endure Elements
Expeditious Retreat
Jump
Magic Missile
Magic Weapon
Protection from Alignment
Remove Fear
Resist Energy
Sanctuary
Shield of Faith
Sleep
Summon Monster I

II

Aid
Align Weapon (Good only)
Atonement
Bear's Endurance
Calm Emotions
Consecrate
Cure Moderate Wounds
Delay Poison
Eagleís Splendor
Enthrall
False Life
Gentle Repose
Hold Person
Holy Smite
Rage
Remove Paralysis
Restoration, Lesser
Shield Other
Spiritual Weapon
Status
Summon Monster II
Zone of Truth

III

Bear's Endurance, Mass
Create Food & Water
Cure Serious Wounds
Daylight
Deep Slumber
Dispel Magic
Eagleís Splendor, Mass
Geas, Lesser
Good Hope
Haste
Heroism
Locate Creature
Magic Circle against Alignment
Magic Weapon, Greater
Neutralize Poison
Prayer
Polymorph
Remove Blindness/Deafness
Remove Curse
Remove Disease
Resilient Sphere
Restoration
Searing Light
Summon Monster III
Tiny Hut

Mysticism
C

Arcane Mark
Dancing Lights
Daze
Detect Magic
Ghost Sound
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation
Read Magic
Resistance

I

Alarm
Bane
Bless
Cause Fear
Command
Comprehend Languages
Confusion, Lesser
Detect Alignment
Detect Thoughts
Hypnotism
Identify
Magic Aura
Obscure Object
Sleep
Summon Monster I
True Strike
Undetectable Alignment

II

Augury
Calm Emotions
Charm Person
Darkness
Daze Monster
Enthrall
Find Traps
Fox's Cunning
Hideous Laughter
Hypnotic Pattern
Invisibility
Levitate
Locate Object
Magic Mouth
Mirror Image
Misdirection
Phantom Trap
See Invisibility
Silence
Suggestion
Summon Monster II
Touch of Idiocy
Zone of Truth

III

Antipathy
Arcane Eye
Arcane Sight
Blink
Charm Monster
Clairaudience/Clairvoyance
Confusion
Deep Slumber
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Explosive Runes
Foxís Cunning, Mass
Glyph of Warding
Helping Hand
Hold Person
Illusory Script
Illusory Wall
Invisibility Sphere
Locate Creature
Nondetection
Phantasmal Killer
Scrying
Secret Page
Sepia Snake Sigil
Summon Monster III
Tongues

Warmagic

C

Acid Splash
Daze
Detect Magic
Flare
Guidance
Light
Mage Hand
Message
Prestidigitation
Read Magic
Resistance

I

Bless Weapon
Burning Hands
Divine Favour
Entropic Shield
Expeditious Retreat
Glitterdust
Grease
Jump
Mage Armour
Magic Fang
Magic Missile
Magic Weapon
Pass without Trace
Remove Fear
Resist Energy
Shield
Shillelagh
Shocking Grasp
True Strike

II

Acid Arrow
Align Weapon
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Chaos Hammer
Find Traps
Flame Blade
Holy Smite
Invisibility
Mount
Order's Wrath
Protection from Arrows
Rage
Scorching Ray
Silence
Sound Burst
Spectral Hand
Spiritual Weapon
Unholy Blight

III

Blade Barrier
Blink
Bull's Strength, Mass
Catís Grace, Mass
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Enlarge Person, Mass
Fireball
Flame Arrow
Good Hope
Haste
Heroism
Hold Person
Incendiary Cloud
Keen Edge
Lightning Bolt
Magic Fang, Greater
Magic Vestment
Magic Weapon, Greater
Nondetection
Phantom Steed
Polymorph
Shout
Snare

Shaping

C

Acid Splash
Detect Magic
Dancing Lights
Ghost Sound
Know Direction
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Open/Close
Prestidigitation
Read Magic

I

Animate Rope
Create Water
Detect Secret Doors
Disguise Self
Entangle
Erase
Feather Fall
Floating Disk
Grease
Hold Portal
Mage Armour
Obscuring Mist
Reduce Person
Shield
Silent Image
Unseen Servant
Ventriloquism

II

Acid Arrow
Animal Growth
Arcane Lock
Blur
Chill Metal
Darkvision
Enlarge Person
Fog Cloud
Gust of Wind
Heat Metal
Hypnotic Pattern
Knock
Make Whole
Minor Image
Pyrotechnics
Shatter
Soften Earth and Stone
Sound Burst
Spider Climb
Warp Wood
Web
Whispering Wind
Wood Shape

III

Animate Objects
Continual Flame
Create Food & Water
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Enlarge Person, Mass
Explosive Runes
Flame Arrow
Fly
Hallucinatory Terrain
Illusory Wall
Major Image
Meld into Stone
Minor Creation
Phantasmal Killer
Phantom Steed
Quench
Polymorph
Reduce Person, Mass
Sculpt Sound
Secret Page
Shrink Item
Sleet Storm
Solid Fog
Stinking Cloud
Stone Shape


Yay! Welcome to the land of GIANT WALLS OF TEXT.

I accidentally hit the End button in the reply screen and ended up at the bottom of the page.

It took twenty-plus seconds of pressing Page Up to get back to the top...

Vadskye
2012-08-20, 10:43 PM
Well, in the case of most poison, there's the obvious questions:
How much can get into a wound?
How much can you get into skin contact?
How much can you buy without being reaaaally suspicious?
How much poison can you reliably expect someone to eat before it's obviously tainted?
You can throw a bigger flask, but outside of the theoretical "bigger cloud", which isn't guaranteed, your victim isn't breathing more than usually.

It all boils (literally) down to: How much does it cost to concentrate it? Since heating and distillation frequently break down the enzymes that make something poisonous, a lot of the time that's not possible either.
A lot of this makes sense. I definitely think you can limit 1 dose per weapon hit. It isn't too hard to fluff the idea that a "dose" of poison with respect to ingested poisons is how much the average person can eat without noticing it. There could be mechanics here to make it more believable; with one dose, there's no check to detect the poison. With two doses, they get a DC 10 (something - maybe Wisdom? Heal? Survival? Not sure.) check to notice the poison before they eat, and again after ingesting a single dose of the poison. On average, you'll get about 0.75 doses ingested, which explains why people normally go one dose at a time. Adding more doses decreases the DC of the check. If you really wanted to build a system around this, it could be an opposed check between something representing one character's poisoning skill and something representing the other character's "not being poisoned" skill. That's probably more trouble than it's worth, though.

The biggest problem I see is with the "contact only" poisons. I can't see a good justification for why you can't just splash them with a bucket containing 10 doses and get a solid chunk of the doses on them (provided you hit their touch AC).


Technically I still have a 1 minute / level Alter Self with a wider possible array of forms, Alter Self itself was removed.
That's not Alter Self; it allows the fully panoply of types and a full two (!) size increases. Even Polymorph only allowed one. Actually, this is worse than Polymorph - Polymorph never let you become a hydra unless your base character was Large size. This does.
Oh, I see why you say it's like Alter Self - you don't get the ability scores of the new form. But you're still giving the natural attacks and natural AC of the new form. In other words, it's still a bomby spell that outclasses other spells - just differently so.
(Also, I have a very fundamental problem with Polymorph: it requires players to know the contents of the Monster Manual. I hate, hate, hate, abilities like that. It slows down the game, punishes new and inexperienced players, and is just never, ever balanced right.)


At level 3 we have:

Bards (+3 - 1 level until +1 and Inspire Resilience), Raging Barbarians (+3), the Paladin (+3 at 14 Cha and +1 for everyone else), the Monk (+3 before Wisdom), the Mage (another +3).
Bards I forgot; good catch. Barbarians can only rage 1/day, though, so I wouldn't assume their rage bonuses. But the bigger problem is not so much that there aren't enough people with a +3 bonus. The bigger problem is that a +3 bonus just doesn't matter. Not much, at least. Even with that, you're still looking at a greater than 50% chance of failure.


It's potent, but in the case on the antilife shell, it's not a save or lose. It stops entry for, at level 3, three minutes. Great against Animals with low will saves, but against low will save Fighters? They pull out their bow.
Hey, if the fighter (who probably doesn't have much of a Dex, and at 3rd level probably hasn't invested in a good composite longbow) has to pull out a bow, that's not nothing. But that's just nit-picking; you're right that Antilife Shell isn't a win button against PCs. It can be really effective against monsters, but let's look past Antilife Shell. I don't know which spells you have on your spell lists, so I'll just list a bunch of save-or-lose spells that I think should be avoided or changed for an E6 environment: Grease, Entangle, Charm Person, Sleep, Web, Blindness/Deafness, Ghoul Touch, Deep Slumber, Suggestion, Silence. All of those spells rely on saving throws that, if failed, take away a creature's ability to act for more than 1 round/level.


Color Spray - Not on any spell lists. Any level 1 spell that can be used to quasi-reliably AOE stun a level 20 Fighter is probably a bit much. If I think of a tweak to it that's actually feasible, I'd reconsider, because I don't think there's a Care Bear stare equivalent magical effect outside of that one.
A fix that I definitely just thought of right now would involve changing it from "save or lose" to "save or be disadvantaged". In other words, some major penalty - such as blindness, or being staggered - that doesn't totally take away the creature's ability to act, but merely limits it in a significant way. I think it's best if the penalty inhibits defenses, making it easier for allies to beat up whatever you just color sprayed (which makes them feel useful, intead of irrelevant).


Resilient Sphere - I personally would use this as a defensive tool, Reflex is fairly high, it can be broken through by heavy hitters, it's useless against anything that doesn't fit inside a 6' diameter sphere, and it doesn't block quite a few nasty spells.
With hardness 20, I don't think anyone's getting through that except two-handed wielders, and even then they'll take quite a bit of time to get through the 100 hit points. What do you mean, Reflex is fairly high?

Silence - I was torn by this one. If it's not cast on the mage, it makes the mage move 20' away. Anyone who it seriously impacts has a good will save and other things they can do (including silent spells).
Good will save, true - but unless they're Wisdom-based, a good save still only grants a 25% chance or so to make that save. But maybe with the extra class features the mage gets, it's no longer quite as much of a death sentence as it used to be. As for Silent Spell... adding +1 spell level is a pretty huge cost in a system with only 3 spell levels. I don't think that would ever see much use unless metamagic is spontaneous.


This said, this is very helpful, any other spells to check on?
Yup, above.


Since it's E6, the only way you can have a mage with a casting stat of 20 is to have a race with a +2 bonus and a 17 or 18. Needs to be level 3 for Spell Focus, and level 6 for Greater Spell Focus (minimum level). That's 2/3 of your pre-epic feats, and 13 points out of your point buy, to be good at one school of magic.

Pre-epic, that's a big, big investment. Post-epic, it's not so big, but it's also not so big to pick up Iron Will (+2) and Epic Will (+2) and their equivalents either, or to hang around with the Paladin (+1) or the Bard (a potential +1) at which point the 10 Wisdom Fighter has a 35% chance of making that DC 20 save first try, and another 45% chance on try #2, giving him a 2/3 chance.
I have a hard time imagining a DC mage would have much of anything better to do with his point buy than put his points into his casting stat and his Constitution, so I'm easily willing to grant the 17 or 18 (and the +1 bonus at 4th level gets rid of the difference anyway). The +2 racial bonus is more implausible; I don't like giving races with bonuses to mental stats to PCs for exactly this reason. But no magic items of +2 Int? I guess not; that takes CL 8, or 12 for the ioun stone. So I'm willing to assume the 18 Int in general. That makes the DC only 19. (Though it occurs to me that, because of math, taking the DC from 19 to 21 can have a huge effect on someone's ability to save, so a DC mage could actually take Fox's Cunning/etc. and wreak havoc on people, but that's a special case.) Fortunately, the "one school of magic" issue means that the caster can't always hit his enemies weak saves with his most powerful of DC spells, except with Conjuration; Enchantment hits Will (hard!), Evocation hits Reflex, Necromancy hits Fortitude. But Conjuration can hit Reflex with Grease, Entangle, and Web, Fortitude with Stinking Cloud, and Will with Glitterdust.

All that is just icing on the broken cake, though. Let's assume all that, and let the epic fighter invest in Iron Will, Epic Will, and be near a Paladin. That gives him a +7 bonus, giving him a 40% chance of making the new DC 19 save. Now, the spellcaster could manage this as early as level 6 - and why wouldn't he, given how powerful this is? The fighter, on the other hand, is taking feats that do not improve his coolness or combat abilities at all; he's just taking them to suck less against the mage. This is not a good situation.


Short of rewriting the save system, unfortunately save or Xs will remain pretty awesome or useless, but I can hopefully limit that as much as possible by tweaking the most onerous ones.
That's essentially what I'd recommend, except more so: rewrite all the save or Xs. Make them "save or be less awesome" instead of "save or lose" (or "save or not quite totally lose but still be basically ineffective"). Your players will thank you when you use the spells against them with NPCs, and monsters won't be totally hosed if they roll poorly. Entire encounters will no longer depend (as much) on the single roll of a die.

There are a couple ways to do this. One is to change all conditions and effects that take away actions, like stunned and nauseated, to still allow actions. For example, if you were stunned, you still take the -2 AC, you still are flat-footed, and you still just dropped your weapon. But you can take a standard action.

The other - and you can mix and match these two - is to lower durations. This won't help against some spells, like the ones that paralyze, but in an E6 system, "round/level" never gets very high. If Resilient Sphere lasts for 1 round/level, you could use it to seal off a particuarly nasty foe from the others, but he'll come out fairly quickly - maybe even before you finish getting rid of the rest of his helpers - instead of being locked up in stasis while you go have a cup of tea and take a short rest to recuperate.


Fear as a legitimate threat of a spell, or fear as "overpowered"? I've dropped its grapple bonus by 4 and its range to short in an attempt to get things right.
I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning towards the former - it's situational, and the round/level duration hurts it.


Incendiary Cloud is a battlefield control spell in my mind, rather than a damage spell. It gives full concealment to your team, if they want to move through it, then they move at half speed and they can't run or charge through it. On top of that, they're taking 1D6 a turn when they're in it.

Since it's 20' radius, that means you've eliminated their entire turn escaping the cloud (15' move x2), or you work together with another mage to trap them inside (a bunch of crowd control spells that work in an AOE setting spring to mind, like "Web" for an extra 2D4 hilarity). At this point it becomes "an extra Fireball whilst helping keep your party safe from harm and keep the enemy trapped and suffering".
You're looking at it from the best possible perspective; the Incendiary Cloud itself does very little to keep your party safe from harm that an Obscuring Mist or Fog Cloud couldn't do. Most of the goodness there is from the Web; you could cast Fireball and Web together instead and get more or less the same effect (with the added bonus that you do full damage to anyone who does escape). Unless you have an effect that traps them in place, it's a 3rd level fog cloud - and if you have an effect that traps them in place, wouldn't you want to be able to see them clearly so you can take more potshots at them?


Actually, thinking on that, by rules interactions, it seems like the difficult terrain solid fog actually quarters speed unless the target has blindsight or another method of not being blinded by the fog. Huh.
Interesting; I bet that's why the original solid fog said "5' speed". Because for most creatures, moving at 1/4 speed and moving at 5' speed are the same, but looking at your solid fog definitely doesn't suggest to me that a human moves at 5'.


Well, a lot of web is destroyed by a single application of Alchemists fire in one round, turning it into a 2D4+1 fire damage spell instead of a "can never leave this spot" spell.

# is web, X is Alchemists fire.
####
##X#
####
####

If each square is 5' by 5' then hitting the centre of a square means the edges of the splash - 1 point of fire damage within 5', is in the centre of the surrounding 8 squares, burning them away in 1 round.

This said, I'll tweak both of these.

If the save fails, the creature is entangled and canít move from its space, but can break loose by spending 1 round and making a Strength check or an Escape Artist check with a DC equal to 12 + your caster level.

The creature can break free and move half its normal speed by using a full-round action to make a Strength check or Escape Artist check with a DC equal to 11 + your caster level.
I wouldn't consider it a safe assumption that most creatures have alchemist's fire available. Monsters definitely don't, and I have yet to see any of my PCs carry around alchemist's fire "just in case".

I just used "against this spell's save DC". Yours scales more nicely at low levels, though is harder to remember, while mine scales more nicely at high levels (irrelevant to you) but is easy to remember. Whichever you prefer.


Editing issue, I hadn't finished making the Fighter yet, so that was a very rough entry, that's fixed now.

Not a problem, I'm planning on just leaving the Warrior as is, they're slightly too different to just be alternate class features of one another as is.
Nifty. Though right now they both have the "take 10" capstone; I think the Warrior is the one that should change. Not sure what he should change to - how about the Thicket of Blades ability?


This makes there be the Ranger for Light/Medium, the Barbarian for Light/Medium, the Fighter for Medium/Heavy, the Warrior for Heavy/Shield... And the Paladin doesn't really have an overall fighting style.
Sure he does - he has a mounted fighting style in heavy armor. Usually, that favors a lance and shield, or a sword and shield on the ground. Because his archetype favors switching between two weapons, I think he's fine as is.


Done, it's my first, and so far only, alternate class feature. Trading trivia for more focused celebrity gossip is fine by me.
Yay! Maybe the alternate class feature should be chosen by the DM instead of the player. :P


That's an interesting point. I didn't notice it, and I wrote it up from the SRD. Makes a good anti-charm person.
Eh, Charm Person only sometimes used in combat (the +5 bonus to save if threatened sort of makes that difficult). Charm Person is terrifying for its utility effects, in my opinion, which typically happen without the presence of a singing bard.


If I remove Inspire Courage +2, then yeah, otherwise they'd just swap places or have a crowded level 5 (and very few level 6 bards).
Yeah, but I think it feels weird to have two named abilities at one level and only an incremental increase at an adjacent level. Could Inspire Courage be pushed back to 6th level to make room at 5th? That way, you'd have this beautifully smooth progression with a new named song at each level, and a capstone improvement to your starting ability. Symmetry!


And of course it will be played outside of combat (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34X4faVQ63Y). :smallbiggrin:


Well, there's this feat:
Lasting Inspiration - The effects of your inspirations that ordinarily continue to last for a period of time after after the subject can no longer hear you now last for an additional 5 rounds. This feat has no effect on inspiration abilities that have no duration after you stop singing.
Prereq: Bardic music, Words of Power

As it is though, 5 rounds is long enough for most combats, so a Bard is perfectly capable of humming softly (Inspire Courage) until they enter combat, at which he drops the whistle and steps straight into spell casting as necessary with the option to sing for a single round again in five rounds.
Makes enough sense for me.


My main issue is that this is E6. You hit level 6, you don't change spells, you're stuck with that for the next 50,000 XP unless you retrain.
And why should you be able to change spells? If you aren't gaining any new ones, the only good reason to change spells would be if you feel like you made a mistake before - which is what retraining is for. Unless you gain additional spells per day, either with epic feats or automatically - in which case, you should gain additional spells known (either with epic feats or automatically).


How about:

Mage has X spells known per level (up to around 5/5/4 at level 6 or so). They may spend one full day of study to change one of their spells known to another one on their Spell List.

Sound reasonable? Give them just over two weeks, they can change their entire loadout, give them a day, they can switch out that duff spell they picked for a different one.
That's not a bad compromise solution. But I'm intentionally trying to get rid of the "wait until tomorrow and I can take care of it" method of casting. Spells have very powerful utility; if you allow casters to change daily (even one spell at a time), you have to design every encounter as a DM so it responds appropriately to every spell. Some spells are "I win" buttons against specific situations; you can't get rid of that without making serious revisions to the whole spell system. I don't like letting casters always push the "I win" button; it frustrates me to see a group of adventurers decide to rest for the night just because the wizard can wait a day and handwave the obstacle away instead of trying to get past it "honestly".

If you haven't had a problem with that utility in your games, then don't worry about it; your solution is a great way to get rid of the annoyance of memorized spells without locking mages into their spell choices. And you know, it may be less of an issue in your game. It all depends on how much utility and flexibility you assign to the spell lists for each focus.


Monk:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A monk is proficient with all simple weapons, plus the kama, nunchaku, sai, shuriken and sianghams. A monk is not proficient with any armour or shields.

Ki Pool (Ex): A monk has tapped into the natural energy of their body, allowing them to produce incredible effects. This pool of energy contains Ki points equal to their Monk level plus their Wisdom bonus. The monk's Ki Pool may be restored by four hours of meditation or eight hours of rest.

Stunning Fist (Ex): The monk may expend 1 point from their Ki Pool make a special attack unarmed as a standard action. If this attack hits, then the foe takes unarmed damage normally and must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + half the monk's class level + their Wis modifier). A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round (until just before your next action). A stunned creature drops everything held, canít take actions, takes a -2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC.

AC Bonus (Ex): So long as the Monk is lightly encumbered and not wearing armour, then they may add their Wisdom modifier to their Armour Class. They gain an additional +1 to their armour class for every three monk levels they possess.
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless,

Unarmed Strike (Ex): The monk may make unarmed attacks without provoking attacks of opportunity, and may freely deal lethal or non-lethal damage without penalty. Their unarmed damage die increases by two steps (from 1D3 to 1D6 for medium monks). Their unarmed damage die increases by one size every two levels thereafter.
A monk may continue to deal their improved unarmed strike damage using a gauntlet, but must take a -4 penalty in order to deal non-lethal damage.
A monk may freely designate whether they are using hands, elbows, feet, knees or (at the DM's discretion) another part of their anatomy to make their unarmed strikes.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 2nd level, so long as the monk is lightly encumbered and wearing light or no armour, the monk may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the monk might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1. A monk must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.
When using flurry of blows, a monk may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special monk weapons (kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, and siangham). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons interchangeably as desired. The monk canít use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.
Should the monk be using two weapon fighting when they flurry, they may make one additional attack with each weapon. All attacks take the appropriate penalties for fighting with two weapons.

Bonus Feats: At 2nd level gains an additional bonus feat and another every two monk levels thereafter. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as [monk] feats. A monk must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk's land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor and not carrying a medium or heavy load.

Fist of Heaven (Su): At 3rd level, a monk may infuse their unarmed strikes with the power of ki as a free action. By expending 1 point of Ki, the monk causes their unarmed strikes to become magical weapons with an enhancement bonus equal to half their class level.
This effect lasts for 3 rounds plus the monks Wisdom modifier (if positive).

Evasion (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a monk can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If they make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Flashing Fists (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains the ability to strike like a serpent. By expending 1 point of ki when making an attack, they may make one extra attack at their highest base attack bonus. This ability has the same attack penalty and weapon restrictions as using their flurry of blows ability does.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 5th level a monk may expend 1 point of Ki to gain Spell Resistance equal to 11 + their Monk level for 1 round.

Flash Step (Ex): At 6th level, a monk gains the ability to travel short distances in the blink of an eye. As an immediate action the monk may expend 2 points of Ki to move up to 10' in the direction of their choice.
This is not a teleportation effect, as such the monk must be able to move to wherever they move to using this ability, either by walking, swimming, burrowing, flying or some other movement form that the monk possesses.

When I get through to non-Core materials, their Ki Pool would be a power source for other special moves as well.

Well, here's what I see. Level 6 monk attack progression, assuming 14 strength: +4 (BAB) + 3 (enh) + 2 (str) - 1 (flurry) = +6/6, for 2d8+5 damage each. Level 6 fighter attack progression, assuming 18 strength and +2 greatsword: +6 (BAB) + 2 (enh) + 4 (str) + 2 (focus) = +14/9, for 2d6+11 damage.

The monk isn't even close. It's the lack of attack bonus that just kills him. The average AC of a CR 6 monster is 19, so he should be okay against them, but if he goes against an armored NPC he'll have a terrible time of it. You put a monk and a fighter in the same party, and the monk's damage will be just window stuffing, I think.

The issue, I think, is that the monk needs Strength; otherwise, his damage suffers pretty badly. That make monk MAD. My solution is to let monks replace their Str modifier to damage with their Wis modifier. The weak-looking old monk who somehow still packs a powerful punch is this classic trope, in my view, and making monks no longer need strength goes a long way towards making them more playable and fulfilling their idiom better.

Other than that, the monk looks good. There's just one issue - flash Step is too expensive. I have a hard time justifying spending what could be two extra attacks just to move 10'. At 1 point, it's more doable.

But wait - an immediate action? That's... really weird. You can do nonsense like "After you move up to me to attack, I move 10' back", thus negating attacks. Is this intended to do that? If that's your goal, then 2 points is reasonable - and the ability could use explanatory text to indicate the potentially unintuitive implications of immediate action movement. If it's intended to be used on your own turn, then make it a swift action and lower the cost to 1 point, I think.


Nature

Cantrips

Dancing Lights
Detect Animals or Plants
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Flare
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation
Ray of Frost
Read Magic

I

Animal Messenger
Calm Animals
Charm Animal
Cure Light Wounds
Detect Snares and Pits
Endure Elements
Entangle
Faerie Fire
Feather Fall
Hide from Animals
Jump
Longstrider
Magic Fang
Obscuring Mist
Pass without Trace
Produce Flame
Reduce Animal
Resist Energy
Speak with Animals
Summon Natureís Ally I

II

Animal Growth
Antiplant Shell
Barkskin
Bear's Endurance
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Darkvision
Cure Moderate Wounds
Delay Poison
Eagleís Splendor
Fire Trap
Flaming Sphere
Fog Cloud
Gust of Wind
Hold Animal
Owl's Wisdom
Polar Ray
Summon Natureís Ally II
Tree Shape
Warp Wood
Wind Wall
Wood Shape

III

Animal Shape
Animate Plants
Bear's Endurance, Mass
Bull's Strength, Mass
Call Lightning
Catís Grace, Mass
Cure Serious Wounds
Diminish Plants
Dominate Animal
Eagleís Splendor, Mass
Freezing Sphere
Gaseous Form
Hallucinatory Terrain
Magic Fang, Greater
Meld into Stone
Neutralize Poison
Owl's Wisdom, Mass
Plant Growth
Sleet Storm
Solid Fog
Speak with Plants
Spike Growth
Summon Natureís Ally III
Water Breathing
Water Walk

Necromancy


C
Detect Magic
Detect Undead
Disrupt Undead
Lullaby
Mage Hand
Open/Close
Prestidigitation
Ray of Frost
Read Magic
Resistance
Touch of Fatigue

I

Bane
Cause Fear
Chill Touch
Curse Water
Deathwatch
Detect Evil
Doom
Faerie Fire
Hide from Undead
Hypnotism
Inflict Light Wounds
Obscuring Mist
Protection from Evil
Protection from Good
Ray of Enfeeblement
Sleep
Unseen Servant

II

Align Weapon (Evil only)
Antilife Shell
Blight
Command Undead
Darkness
Death Knell
Desecrate
Enthrall
False Life
Gentle Repose
Ghoul Touch
Inflict Moderate Wounds
Polar Ray
Remove Paralysis
Scare
See Invisibility
Shield Other
Spectral Hand
Spider Climb
Summon Swarm
Undetectable Alignment
Unholy Blight
Web

III

Animate Dead
Bestow Curse
Black Tentacles
Blindness/Deafness
Contagion
Crushing Despair
Deeper Darkness
Dispel Magic
Gaseous Form
Halt Undead
Helping Hand
Inflict Serious Wounds
Magic Circle against Evil
Magic Circle against Good
Phantasmal Killer
Phantom Steed
Poison
Ray of Exhaustion
Repel Vermin
Rusting Grasp
Speak with Dead
Stinking Cloud
Touch of Idiocy
Vampiric Touch

Healing


C
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Disrupt Undead
Flare
Light
Mending
Prestidigitation
Purify Food & Drink
Read Magic
Resistance
Virtue

I

Bless
Bless Water
Cure Light Wounds
Deathwatch
Detect Good
Divine Favour
Endure Elements
Expeditious Retreat
Jump
Magic Missile
Magic Weapon
Protection from Alignment
Remove Fear
Resist Energy
Sanctuary
Shield of Faith
Sleep
Summon Monster I

II

Aid
Align Weapon (Good only)
Atonement
Bear's Endurance
Calm Emotions
Consecrate
Cure Moderate Wounds
Delay Poison
Eagleís Splendor
Enthrall
False Life
Gentle Repose
Hold Person
Holy Smite
Rage
Remove Paralysis
Restoration, Lesser
Shield Other
Spiritual Weapon
Status
Summon Monster II
Zone of Truth

III

Bear's Endurance, Mass
Create Food & Water
Cure Serious Wounds
Daylight
Deep Slumber
Dispel Magic
Eagleís Splendor, Mass
Geas, Lesser
Good Hope
Haste
Heroism
Locate Creature
Magic Circle against Alignment
Magic Weapon, Greater
Neutralize Poison
Prayer
Polymorph
Remove Blindness/Deafness
Remove Curse
Remove Disease
Resilient Sphere
Restoration
Searing Light
Summon Monster III
Tiny Hut

Mysticism
C

Arcane Mark
Dancing Lights
Daze
Detect Magic
Ghost Sound
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation
Read Magic
Resistance

I

Alarm
Bane
Bless
Cause Fear
Command
Comprehend Languages
Confusion, Lesser
Detect Alignment
Detect Thoughts
Hypnotism
Identify
Magic Aura
Obscure Object
Sleep
Summon Monster I
True Strike
Undetectable Alignment

II

Augury
Calm Emotions
Charm Person
Darkness
Daze Monster
Enthrall
Find Traps
Fox's Cunning
Hideous Laughter
Hypnotic Pattern
Invisibility
Levitate
Locate Object
Magic Mouth
Mirror Image
Misdirection
Phantom Trap
See Invisibility
Silence
Suggestion
Summon Monster II
Touch of Idiocy
Zone of Truth

III

Antipathy
Arcane Eye
Arcane Sight
Blink
Charm Monster
Clairaudience/Clairvoyance
Confusion
Deep Slumber
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Explosive Runes
Foxís Cunning, Mass
Glyph of Warding
Helping Hand
Hold Person
Illusory Script
Illusory Wall
Invisibility Sphere
Locate Creature
Nondetection
Phantasmal Killer
Scrying
Secret Page
Sepia Snake Sigil
Summon Monster III
Tongues

Warmagic

C

Acid Splash
Daze
Detect Magic
Flare
Guidance
Light
Mage Hand
Message
Prestidigitation
Read Magic
Resistance

I

Bless Weapon
Burning Hands
Divine Favour
Entropic Shield
Expeditious Retreat
Glitterdust
Grease
Jump
Mage Armour
Magic Fang
Magic Missile
Magic Weapon
Pass without Trace
Remove Fear
Resist Energy
Shield
Shillelagh
Shocking Grasp
True Strike

II

Acid Arrow
Align Weapon
Bull's Strength
Cat's Grace
Chaos Hammer
Find Traps
Flame Blade
Holy Smite
Invisibility
Mount
Order's Wrath
Protection from Arrows
Rage
Scorching Ray
Silence
Sound Burst
Spectral Hand
Spiritual Weapon
Unholy Blight

III

Blade Barrier
Blink
Bull's Strength, Mass
Catís Grace, Mass
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Enlarge Person, Mass
Fireball
Flame Arrow
Good Hope
Haste
Heroism
Hold Person
Incendiary Cloud
Keen Edge
Lightning Bolt
Magic Fang, Greater
Magic Vestment
Magic Weapon, Greater
Nondetection
Phantom Steed
Polymorph
Shout
Snare

Shaping

C

Acid Splash
Detect Magic
Dancing Lights
Ghost Sound
Know Direction
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Open/Close
Prestidigitation
Read Magic

I

Animate Rope
Create Water
Detect Secret Doors
Disguise Self
Entangle
Erase
Feather Fall
Floating Disk
Grease
Hold Portal
Mage Armour
Obscuring Mist
Reduce Person
Shield
Silent Image
Unseen Servant
Ventriloquism

II

Acid Arrow
Animal Growth
Arcane Lock
Blur
Chill Metal
Darkvision
Enlarge Person
Fog Cloud
Gust of Wind
Heat Metal
Hypnotic Pattern
Knock
Make Whole
Minor Image
Pyrotechnics
Shatter
Soften Earth and Stone
Sound Burst
Spider Climb
Warp Wood
Web
Whispering Wind
Wood Shape

III

Animate Objects
Continual Flame
Create Food & Water
Dispel Magic
Displacement
Enlarge Person, Mass
Explosive Runes
Flame Arrow
Fly
Hallucinatory Terrain
Illusory Wall
Major Image
Meld into Stone
Minor Creation
Phantasmal Killer
Phantom Steed
Quench
Polymorph
Reduce Person, Mass
Sculpt Sound
Secret Page
Shrink Item
Sleet Storm
Solid Fog
Stinking Cloud
Stone Shape[/quote]

Lullaby is Necromancy? I think you're better off making cantrips universal; finding strong connections between cantrips and themes is an exercise in futility.

Actually, the "Wait, how is this Necromancy?" question keeps coming up. I think that "Necromancy" is far too narrow a concept to devote an entire focus to it. It was only a single school of magic originally, and one of the smallest schools at that. The connection to Necromancy is really tenuous in a lot of cases - but I do see a common thread among the spells. They all (well, most) feel like spells a witch would have. I think expanding and changing the fluff and name of the school will do you a world of good.

The same applies to "Healing". Enthrall, Lesser Geas, Hold Person, and Rage are Healing? I'm not seeing as strong of a theme here (except "spells that were on the cleric spell list); a revised name with an expanded purview would help.

Frankly, I have no idea what the theme of Mysticism is. It seems to have illusions and enchantments? Plus random stuff. Like a beguiler spell list with other things included. A more clear name, and removing the off-theme spells (how do Blink or the three different long-term trap spells fit in?) would help.

Warmagic has a clear theme; I know what I'm going to get with a name like that. But there are still random things thrown in. Find Traps, Jump, Invisibility... wait, you put Glitterdust at first level? Why?

Shaping is a name I like, though I'm not sure it's broad enough to serve as a theme. And indeed, a lot of spells have only a tenuous connection to "shaping" things.

So here's what I get out of this: It's hard to try to compress a bunch of spells from every spell list into three levels. It's really bloody hard to also compress them into six themes that don't match the way the spells were designed. Here's the thing: there are already themes like this built into the game! That's what spell schools are for. That doesn't take all the extra work of shuffling things around into their proper focus, and coming up with focuses that allow you to capture all the esoteric glory of the spell system.

Now, you may object that the spell schools aren't balanced. And this is true. But that is a far, far easier problem to solve. Shuffling around some spells and themes between the spell schools, while keeping their names and overall concepts intact, is child's play compared to what you're trying to do.

(Also, I've already done a lot of it. Enchantment got the "making things magical" effects like Magic Weapon, for example. Overall, the schools end up being pretty nicely balanced - at least among arcane spells.)


I accidentally hit the End button in the reply screen and ended up at the bottom of the page.

It took twenty-plus seconds of pressing Page Up to get back to the top...
Hah, wow. I'm glad there's no size limit on how big a thread can be.

Also, by the end of writing a post, when I look look back at what I wrote at the start, it feels like I'm reading something from a completely different post that I made ages ago...

Kholai
2012-08-21, 12:04 PM
The biggest problem I see is with the "contact only" poisons. I can't see a good justification for why you can't just splash them with a bucket containing 10 doses and get a solid chunk of the doses on them (provided you hit their touch AC).

So long as they're proficient with that bucket, that's fine, and a good reason why contact poisons should be expensive, with the others brought down in price to suit, there are really very few poisons out there that are actually toxic when they come into contact with dragon skin.



That's not Alter Self; it allows the fully panoply of types and a full two (!) size increases. Even Polymorph only allowed one. Actually, this is worse than Polymorph - Polymorph never let you become a hydra unless your base character was Large size. This does.

Alright, amended to specific size categories, that kills the hydra issue dead for everyone. 6 HD limit covers everything else.

"The new form must be between large and tiny size."

This way a mage can turn into a dragon, a few dire animals and magical beasts, a couple of aberrations or an ogre, whilst optimisers will still pull the same Alter Self shenanigans into a Troglodyte for +6 Natural Armour. I'm inclined to leave it at that, only pure 3-BAB-tops mages can get it, it's personal, so only they and their familiar can use it, it's a tenth the duration of Barkskin, and it's a third, not second level spell.

Grease - This doesn't take away a creature's ability to act for more than 1 round/level unless it's extended. Even if they end up prone, they can still act. Since it's generally a 50% chance to lose balance, then a Reflex save for not going A over T, there's the double save effect on this.
Charm Person - This carries a +5 save bonus, meaning a low will save creature has a +5 to make it in combat. What if I add a clause "this effect breaks if the creature takes damage"?

I personally wouldn't let someone get away with much using this spell; it regards the caster, and only the caster, as a trusted friend. It normally wouldn't stand by whilst the caster and his allies attacked his real trusted friends and allies, so that's an opposed Charisma check straight off. You must speak its language (not automatic) to do so, and there's a very good argument to say that attacking their friends and allies threatens *them*, unless they don't really like those trusted friends and allies.

Sleep / Deep Slumber - Up to 4 Hitdice worth of creatures means at most 4 level 1 creatures, which isn't so bad overall. What about dropping this for 1 round / level, if they make the save they're fatigued for a round.
Web / Entangle - With the change (I think I'll go with the lower level scaling, it couples with the metamagic system) I'm happy with this.
Blindness/Deafness - I was thinking this was insane for a level 2 spell. What about a 10 minute / level, with a Fortitude partial, if they make the save they're dazzled for 1 round / level?
Ghoul Touch - Amend the duration to 1 round / level, if they make the fortitude save, they're still sickened for 1 round. Being a primary caster in melee needing a touch attack roll makes this a double roll.
Suggestion - Add the Charm limitation - +5 save bonus in combat.

This is another one I wouldn't let people get away with. Any suggestion that prevents a creature from defending themselves in a combat situation or involves actively hurting their allies is very "obviously harmful". Depending on the organisation and brutality of the things it works for, even "run away" is obviously harmful, because it's going to be killed for cowardice.

Silence - Sculpt Sound lasts for hours for a much broader effect. Since it works on a fairly small sub-type, has a broader utility and doesn't paralyse casters entirely, I'm inclined to leave it be or give it a flat "1 minute" duration, or strip it out entirely and just leave in Scult Sound with a 1 min / level time.


With hardness 20, I don't think anyone's getting through that except two-handed wielders, and even then they'll take quite a bit of time to get through the 100 hit points. What do you mean, Reflex is fairly high?

I meant that Reflex is a fairly high save in general. I space out a lot and tend not to finish my

I believe I'll go with the 1 round / level. It's still a whole lot better than the "cannot damage ever" force effect it was originally.


Good will save, true - but unless they're Wisdom-based, a good save still only grants a 25% chance or so to make that save. But maybe with the extra class features the mage gets, it's no longer quite as much of a death sentence as it used to be. As for Silent Spell... adding +1 spell level is a pretty huge cost in a system with only 3 spell levels. I don't think that would ever see much use unless metamagic is spontaneous.

Oh, I thought you were here for the metamagic system rewrite? Silent Spell is now:

Silent Spell [Metamagic] - You can reduce the caster level of a spell by 1 in order to cast a spell without its verbal component. Spells without verbal components are not affected. A spellcaster must spend one full round casting a Silent Spell. If a spell should have a casting time of greater than one full round action, then add one round to its casting time.
Prerequisite: Mage level 3


But no magic items of +2 Int? I guess not; that takes CL 8, or 12 for the ioun stone. So I'm willing to assume the 18 Int in general.

Ahh, isn't E6 nice like that? The Mage has to expend a spell for "Animal's Mental Casting Stat" to make their spells pop.



All that is just icing on the broken cake, though. Let's assume all that, and let the epic fighter invest in Iron Will, Epic Will, and be near a Paladin. That gives him a +7 bonus, giving him a 40% chance of making the new DC 19 save. Now, the spellcaster could manage this as early as level 6 - and why wouldn't he, given how powerful this is? The fighter, on the other hand, is taking feats that do not improve his coolness or combat abilities at all; he's just taking them to suck less against the mage. This is not a good situation.

Well presumably the mage isn't shoring up their Fortitude saves if they're doing this, so a Stunning Fist or other spellcaster would put them down. They're not getting Toughness, so their D6 Hitdie means they're 36 + Con Hitpoints away from death at all times. Mages are powerful, but they're also vulnerable, unarmoured, are the only class with 2 skill points/level, and have at most 17 rounds per day where they can do their big things, in or out of combat. They do pay for the privilege of powerful effects.

If any other spells seem a problem I'll take a gander.


You're looking at it from the best possible perspective; the Incendiary Cloud itself does very little to keep your party safe from harm that an Obscuring Mist or Fog Cloud couldn't do. Most of the goodness there is from the Web; you could cast Fireball and Web together instead and get more or less the same effect (with the added bonus that you do full damage to anyone who does escape). Unless you have an effect that traps them in place, it's a 3rd level fog cloud - and if you have an effect that traps them in place, wouldn't you want to be able to see them clearly so you can take more potshots at them?

Entangle holds them in place and fire doesn't effect it. Sound Burst holds them in place, Grease keeps them there fore at least four rounds by making the area difficult terrain, and it's probably on fire. Spike Growth deals damage and potentially leaves them moving at 1/8 speed.
If you know their Alignment, then most of the AOE "Order's Wrath" type spells have an effect plus damage on them... And they don't know if these effects are inside the cloud or not. It's quite easy to hold people in place or simply make difficult terrain in the area to make them move at quarter of their speed. At quarter speed, they can move 1.5-3 squares a turn, taking damage from the cloud whilst they do so, and they're motivated to not do anything else except leave the field of burning pain which is making them take concentration checks, blinding them, and leaves them as sitting ducks for AOE spells.

Incendiary Cloud is area denial - Nobody will willingly enter a 40' field of hurt. This means that they will move around it or wait for it to dissipate, clustering together for AOE spells, and generally reaching you slower, whilst you have basically more-than Nauseated anyone inside the field, because they'll be spending move actions to leave the field - and if they don't then they've taken a Fireball effect and they know it.

You rightly spot the power of spells which make targets useless in combat - make no mistake, this is one of those spells in disguise. They're Blinded, they take casting failure from ongoing damage, and they're on fire.

Concerning seeing them clearly - no, not really. I hold to the 5 year old understanding: If I can see them, they can see me. I am just as happy to leave a trapped target in a bad situation for several rounds where they have real and serious trouble being a threat to me; they're already taking damage, I don't need to make them take more until they escape the cloud, by which time they're injured and I've expended fewer resources. If it was 2D6 / round, then it's two Fireballs for the price of an Entangle plus immense battlefield control.


I wouldn't consider it a safe assumption that most creatures have alchemist's fire available. Monsters definitely don't, and I have yet to see any of my PCs carry around alchemist's fire "just in case".

I don't remember a time where my characters *don't* carry alchemists fire. Enemy sleep? 1 splash damage, standard action wakes everyone in 9 squares. Instant fire for Pyrotechnics. Troll? Knock it unconscious then set its head on fire. Campfire? You get the picture. I'd certainly expect most humanoids to carry something alchemical in a world where alchemy existed in a practical form like that.


Nifty. Though right now they both have the "take 10" capstone; I think the Warrior is the one that should change. Not sure what he should change to - how about the Thicket of Blades ability?

Sounds good to me, any movement out of their threatened area (rather than 5' stepping from threatened square to square) provokes.


Eh, Charm Person only sometimes used in combat (the +5 bonus to save if threatened sort of makes that difficult). Charm Person is terrifying for its utility effects, in my opinion, which typically happen without the presence of a singing bard.

In my mind the out of combat utility isn't really a problem. You've charmed a guard to consider you his friend and ally, and sent him back to barracks because you've relieved him? Great, clever thinking, and not too extreme. Friendly means they'll chat, advise, offer limited help, or advocate on your behalf, so there's a limitation to what that can achieve, whilst giving a reward for not just fighting your way through everything.

Meanwhile bypassing monsters means they're still around later to be threatening later, or can be used as recurring menaces, or can be the King of the nation charmed by your enemies.... That's awesome.



Yeah, but I think it feels weird to have two named abilities at one level and only an incremental increase at an adjacent level. Could Inspire Courage be pushed back to 6th level to make room at 5th? That way, you'd have this beautifully smooth progression with a new named song at each level, and a capstone improvement to your starting ability. Symmetry!

Works for me, switched.



And why should you be able to change spells? If you aren't gaining any new ones, the only good reason to change spells would be if you feel like you made a mistake before - which is what retraining is for. Unless you gain additional spells per day, either with epic feats or automatically - in which case, you should gain additional spells known (either with epic feats or automatically).

Simply put: Retraining is a colossal pain in the neck and seriously hard to comprehend how it would actually work. The idea that someone can dramatically change the skills they've learned in life so far as to forget everything they knew previously is as bizarre and ungainly as Dual Classing. I accept that it's maybe a little unfair to have it "Magically" be more acceptable, but since they "know" of every spell in their field, but can only hold so many such magical tools prepared at once - just like a more mundane person can easily select different weapons and equipment for all situations - this simply sits more easily.

For retraining, I'd actually probably have someone forfeit two epic feats (5 feats per "level") to retrain one level - and everything that had a prerequisite gained on that level - or up to five feats however they want, gradually moving into another field over a period of adventuring, rather than downtime.


That's not a bad compromise solution. But I'm intentionally trying to get rid of the "wait until tomorrow and I can take care of it" method of casting. Spells have very powerful utility; if you allow casters to change daily (even one spell at a time), you have to design every encounter as a DM so it responds appropriately to every spell. Some spells are "I win" buttons against specific situations; you can't get rid of that without making serious revisions to the whole spell system. I don't like letting casters always push the "I win" button; it frustrates me to see a group of adventurers decide to rest for the night just because the wizard can wait a day and handwave the obstacle away instead of trying to get past it "honestly".

I personally go with time limits and competition. If there's no time limit to get something awesome and rare, then anyone else would have heard of it, so they'll be trying for that awesome thing too. Give adventurers the real and painful consequence of spending twenty-four hours to learn a single spell (when theoretically they could just have gone and bought a potion or scroll), they won't abuse the privilege. As a designer however, I'd prefer a system which suited people outside of just myself (otherwise I'd have just made and used the system and not told anybody!), so which would be best for the most people?


The monk isn't even close. It's the lack of attack bonus that just kills him. The average AC of a CR 6 monster is 19, so he should be okay against them, but if he goes against an armored NPC he'll have a terrible time of it. You put a monk and a fighter in the same party, and the monk's damage will be just window stuffing, I think.

The weak-looking old monk who somehow still packs a powerful punch is this classic trope, in my view, and making monks no longer need strength goes a long way towards making them more playable and fulfilling their idiom better.

The WLOM still hits harder with his fists than with a *sword* with 10 strength after aging penalties, whilst their main ability is to use pressure points and other esoteric fu-fighting to disable and beatdown people with glorious power. I think that's overall better represented by improving their ability to land the punch, rather than their ability to punch super hard.

With this in mind, how about:

Ki Pool (Ex): A monk has tapped into the natural energy of their body, allowing them to produce incredible effects. This pool of energy contains Ki points equal to their Monk level plus their Wisdom bonus. The monk's Ki Pool may be restored by four hours of meditation or eight hours of rest.
So long as a Monk has at least 1 point in their Ki pool, they may add their wisdom modifier to their attack rolls when striking unarmed or with special monk weapons.

18 Wisdom 14 Strength Monk hits at +2/+2/+2 if they double flurry, so long as they have ki remaining, they'll add their 18 Wisdom - +4, and their 14 Strength - +2, so they're hitting three times at +8/+8/+8, two times at +9/+9, or once at +10 for their Stunning Fist.


But wait - an immediate action? That's... really weird.

Oh yeah, I was hoping for this reaction to be perfectly honest. Yes, flash step basically replicates that martial arts feat of "swing and a miss, the Monk is ten feet away". This was way too powerful for a single Ki point and I was concerned it might be *too* powerful.

I think for sanity's sake: "This ability must be used before the attack roll is made, or after the attack is resolved and damage resolved."

So a Monk can either step away when someone charges them, or in the middle of a full attack, or in response to a dragon breathing at them.... But not when they discovered they're about to be hit or missed. With a theoretical +4 Ki Pool feat, Monk level 6 and +4 Wisdom that's 7 times a day tops, and make their Flashing Fist move a swift action.



Lullaby is Necromancy? I think you're better off making cantrips universal; finding strong connections between cantrips and themes is an exercise in futility.

If lullaby's name were "Shroud of Weariness", I don't think you'd have blinked. It's a spell that stepefies the mind of the target and makes them more vulnerable to Sleep (the short death) effects.


"Wait, how is this X?"

I think this bears some explanation, though possibly the best explanation is that I'm not very good with names.

Originally, each focus had several schools associated -
Necromancy was Necromancy, Evocation and Enchantment,
Healing was Abjuration, Conjuration, Enchantment,
Shapers were Illusion, Conjuration and Transmutation,
Warmages were Evocation, Abjuration and Transmutation,
Mystics were Enchantment, Illusion and Divination,
Nature was Conjuration, Evocation and Transmutation

This was the base point - If you're a necromancer, you're not just a guy who raises dead bodies, you use Dark Magic. (I miss the old days when Cure spells were necromantic). For Necromancy as an arcane focus, it's not just "the school of necromancy", it's that you've chosen to dedicate yourself to dark magical effects. What self-respecting magic user would just focus solely on a hugely limited field of spells when there are many that would help them do their jobs? Hence the schools became less of a straight jacket, and more of a general theme.

Cold spells? Cold is dark, and not as likely to harm your deathly minions.
Mental enslavement? Of course: Dark.
Web, Summon Swarm, Spider climb? Creepy insect specialism? Easy to see a dark mage using that.

Rather than Necromancer, think "Warlock". He's specialised in the creepy, dark and sinister spells and spells that help him do his job.

Rather than "Healer", think "positive energy effects specialist". A "healer" can not know a single cure spell, but focus instead on using their powers to manipulate emotions (usually in a more "positive" way than the necromancer), bring about defensive magical effects, or other spells that come in handy for someone with that skill set. Hold Person? Great for holding that unwilling patient for surgery.

Mysticism: Quite literally, mystics, they are involved with the magic of mysteries and the occult. Divinations, Illusions, Enchantments.... In the case of Blink - Access to the Ethereal, in the case of explosive runes and the snake sigil, esoteric magical effects.

Warmagic: Not "attack spells", a mage trained for war; the actual Warmage was *terrible* at being useful in a war. A specialist in Warmagic can travel behind enemy lines (or at very least help other soldiers to), check for enemy traps and tricks, and has battlefield manoeuvrability for achieving objectives outside of "hit it with a stick" and "hit it with a spell". He is a Soldier, that is his theme.

Glitterdust was in the wrong place, should be level 2.

Shapers are about changing the nature of things and bringing things into being. Their conjuration effects aren't "mystical", they're bringing them into being and shaping them into their requirements. They're shaping materials, air and sound, light waves, or just weaving magic into something to change its nature.

Nature, finally, focused on a broader field of effects; things that stem from weather, natural effects and useful spells and effects that are helpful to a person who travels in a natural environment.

Hopefully by understanding my reasoning, it's more obvious where I was going with this (and for Gnorman, this should be quite familiar, since it's closer to his method of making "colour" mages, similar to MtG).

I swear it's taking longer and longer to reply to this thread.

Vadskye
2012-08-21, 02:38 PM
So long as they're proficient with that bucket, that's fine, and a good reason why contact poisons should be expensive, with the others brought down in price to suit, there are really very few poisons out there that are actually toxic when they come into contact with dragon skin.
I think that adequately solves all the obvious poison problems I can think of. There's more work to be done there - you should be able to poison a weapon such that it lingers for multiple doses - but it's good enough that those can be worked out in more detail later.


Alright, amended to specific size categories, that kills the hydra issue dead for everyone. 6 HD limit covers everything else.

"The new form must be between large and tiny size."

This way a mage can turn into a dragon, a few dire animals and magical beasts, a couple of aberrations or an ogre, whilst optimisers will still pull the same Alter Self shenanigans into a Troglodyte for +6 Natural Armour. I'm inclined to leave it at that, only pure 3-BAB-tops mages can get it, it's personal, so only they and their familiar can use it, it's a tenth the duration of Barkskin, and it's a third, not second level spell.
It's okay enough that I can't think of obvious ways to break it anymore, and that's good enough for me.


Grease - This doesn't take away a creature's ability to act for more than 1 round/level unless it's extended. Even if they end up prone, they can still act. Since it's generally a 50% chance to lose balance, then a Reflex save for not going A over T, there's the double save effect on this.
When you use it on armored targets, that 50% chance becomes much more like an 75% chance to fail the balance check, and a about a 50% chance of just falling without a save. But I'm talking about the effect that lets you use it on someone's weapon; that can down weapon-users pretty quickly. Most people don't carry around two greatswords on their backs "just in case".

Charm Person - This carries a +5 save bonus, meaning a low will save creature has a +5 to make it in combat. What if I add a clause "this effect breaks if the creature takes damage"?

I personally wouldn't let someone get away with much using this spell; it regards the caster, and only the caster, as a trusted friend. It normally wouldn't stand by whilst the caster and his allies attacked his real trusted friends and allies, so that's an opposed Charisma check straight off. You must speak its language (not automatic) to do so, and there's a very good argument to say that attacking their friends and allies threatens *them*, unless they don't really like those trusted friends and allies.
If you rule it very strictly (and I think that saying threatening allies = threatening you is too much; threatening has a specific definition), then it becomes less powerful, yes. I still think it creates too much complexity in deciding how to resolve its effects for a 1st level spell. At 2nd level, I'm more okay with it.


Sleep / Deep Slumber - Up to 4 Hitdice worth of creatures means at most 4 level 1 creatures, which isn't so bad overall. What about dropping this for 1 round / level, if they make the save they're fatigued for a round.
The duration on this one is largely irrelevant, as long as it's enough to get up there and coup de grace. And don't think of it as 4 level 1 creatures; that's a very weak application of the spell. Instead, think of it as one level 4 creature that has to save or die (from the inevitable coup de grace). It's like a first level Finger of Death until you no longer fight 4HD enemies (at which point it becomes worthless. Yay, scaling!) The secondary effect on a successful save is a good idea; I'd recommend lowering the "sleep" effect to exhaustion. Still fits the flavor, no longer a save or die.


Web / Entangle - With the change (I think I'll go with the lower level scaling, it couples with the metamagic system) I'm happy with this.
Yeah, after you change the DC, things work out nicer.


Blindness/Deafness - I was thinking this was insane for a level 2 spell. What about a 10 minute / level, with a Fortitude partial, if they make the save they're dazzled for 1 round / level?
Sure, sounds good.


Ghoul Touch - Amend the duration to 1 round / level, if they make the fortitude save, they're still sickened for 1 round. Being a primary caster in melee needing a touch attack roll makes this a double roll.
The double roll helps - but the duration is irrelevant, since paralysis allows a coup de grace, making this the lowest level save or die effect that isn't HD based. And remember if you miss on the touch attack, you can try again next round. Plus, touch AC never gets high except for monks. The wiz isn't really going to have much trouble hitting people with this, particularly if he invests in Dex. If this were nauseated for round/level, it would work much better - but even that denies all actions, which is essentially a death sentence.


Suggestion - Add the Charm limitation - +5 save bonus in combat.

This is another one I wouldn't let people get away with. Any suggestion that prevents a creature from defending themselves in a combat situation or involves actively hurting their allies is very "obviously harmful". Depending on the organisation and brutality of the things it works for, even "run away" is obviously harmful, because it's going to be killed for cowardice.
The Charm limitation is good. Be careful using justifications for "obviously harmful" that are invisible to the player; I know I'd be really annoyed if I Suggested a creature to run away, which is about the least harmful thing I can think of (even less than "keep attacking me"!), and it completely disregarded my spell. Also, relying on the "obviously harmful" designation to save the spell is a very tenuous position to be in. Is "Lie down and close your eyes" obviously harmful? Does that depend on the creature's ability to recognize that you will probably follow up with a coup de grace? How about "Stand still"?

Honestly, this spell is just a big fat can of worms, and most of the worms are traps that lead to coups de grace (I'm going to pretend that's the correct way to pluralize that); unless you ask the players specifically not to use the spell in this way, you'll probably end up getting in a sort of arms race, where the player will think of increasingly creative ways to make the creature irrelevant and/or vulnerable to a coup de grace, and you have to figure out whether the request is acceptable (and whether the creature thinks the request is acceptable, which is different).

With that said, I haven't come up with a good solution yet...


Silence - Sculpt Sound lasts for hours for a much broader effect. Since it works on a fairly small sub-type, has a broader utility and doesn't paralyse casters entirely, I'm inclined to leave it be or give it a flat "1 minute" duration, or strip it out entirely and just leave in Scult Sound with a 1 min / level time.
Personally, I'd rather give 50% spell failure (like being super-deafened) rather than just completely shutting off spellcasting. Otherwise, any caster boss fight just turns into an awkward game of tag for a minute, and then (if the mage is still alive) goes back to being a serious threat. With 50% spell failure, you can still try to do something - but you'll exhaust your own resources in the process. Succeeding on the saving throw can give 20% spell failure for being in the area; even if you make your save, all sound you make is technically still negated, which means you shoudldn't be able to hear it anyway.


I meant that Reflex is a fairly high save in general. I space out a lot and tend not to finish my
:smallbiggrin:


I believe I'll go with the 1 round / level. It's still a whole lot better than the "cannot damage ever" force effect it was originally.
Agreed. And I'll probably use the hardness 20 idea for all force effects in my game.


Oh, I thought you were here for the metamagic system rewrite? Silent Spell is now:

Silent Spell [Metamagic] - You can reduce the caster level of a spell by 1 in order to cast a spell without its verbal component. Spells without verbal components are not affected. A spellcaster must spend one full round casting a Silent Spell. If a spell should have a casting time of greater than one full round action, then add one round to its casting time.
Prerequisite: Mage level 3
Ahh, interesting. That's much, much more usable. I still don't like assuming the mage has this, but it means that a mage who has Silent Spell can be expected to use it.


Ahh, isn't E6 nice like that? The Mage has to expend a spell for "Animal's Mental Casting Stat" to make their spells pop.
Haha. That makes me want to rename all the spells in my game to "Animal's Physical Combat Stat" and "Animal's Mental Casting Stat" :smallbiggrin:


Well presumably the mage isn't shoring up their Fortitude saves if they're doing this, so a Stunning Fist or other spellcaster would put them down. They're not getting Toughness, so their D6 Hitdie means they're 36 + Con Hitpoints away from death at all times. Mages are powerful, but they're also vulnerable, unarmoured, are the only class with 2 skill points/level, and have at most 17 rounds per day where they can do their big things, in or out of combat. They do pay for the privilege of powerful effects.

If any other spells seem a problem I'll take a gander.
If the reason that mages aren't overpowered is that they're vulnerable to an anti-mage class (that isn't very strong against warriors) and other mages, we're still not in a good situation. And giving them extremely powerful effects with very limited uses just means that the adventuring day gets shorter if the mage wants to feel like a mage. If I'm a mage, I want to do magical things! I don't want to cast one or two spells per combat that end any significant threats and then sit around firing a crossbow while the fighters do the real work. If the best magical things I can do are powerful binary effects, and I can only do them a limited number of times per day, then I just have a big fat binary "you can have fun now / you can't have fun now" switch. Or, from a different perspective, "You can fulfill your class's role now / You're a glorified commoner now" switch.

Now, it sounds like I'm just ranting against Vancian casting, but I'm really not. Spells are cool. I just think mages need non-binary spells, and they need something cool and magical to do in the long period of time that isn't those 17 rounds per day; the mage equivalent of swinging a sword, allowing them to contribute to the fight in a manner appropriate to their class. You've got six focuses. Each could give a different at-will ability. Alternately, or in addition, they could all have access to a generic mage at-will ability that would function mechanically like an Eldritch Blast.


Entangle holds them in place and fire doesn't effect it. Sound Burst holds them in place, Grease keeps them there fore at least four rounds by making the area difficult terrain, and it's probably on fire. Spike Growth deals damage and potentially leaves them moving at 1/8 speed.
Yes, those are all nifty spells. And with the might of these spells, your incendiary fog can be a fireball. Huzzah!

If you know their Alignment, then most of the AOE "Order's Wrath" type spells have an effect plus damage on them... And they don't know if these effects are inside the cloud or not. It's quite easy to hold people in place or simply make difficult terrain in the area to make them move at quarter of their speed. At quarter speed, they can move 1.5-3 squares a turn, taking damage from the cloud whilst they do so, and they're motivated to not do anything else except leave the field of burning pain which is making them take concentration checks, blinding them, and leaves them as sitting ducks for AOE spells.

Incendiary Cloud is area denial - Nobody will willingly enter a 40' field of hurt. This means that they will move around it or wait for it to dissipate, clustering together for AOE spells, and generally reaching you slower, whilst you have basically more-than Nauseated anyone inside the field, because they'll be spending move actions to leave the field - and if they don't then they've taken a Fireball effect and they know it.

You rightly spot the power of spells which make targets useless in combat - make no mistake, this is one of those spells in disguise. They're Blinded, they take casting failure from ongoing damage, and they're on fire.

Concerning seeing them clearly - no, not really. I hold to the 5 year old understanding: If I can see them, they can see me. I am just as happy to leave a trapped target in a bad situation for several rounds where they have real and serious trouble being a threat to me; they're already taking damage, I don't need to make them take more until they escape the cloud, by which time they're injured and I've expended fewer resources. If it was 2D6 / round, then it's two Fireballs for the price of an Entangle plus immense battlefield control.
I guess this boils down to "I want to see it in a game". Maybe it's worth it, if you think about it from the perspective of being "super fog cloud" instead of a damage spell.


I don't remember a time where my characters *don't* carry alchemists fire. Enemy sleep? 1 splash damage, standard action wakes everyone in 9 squares. Instant fire for Pyrotechnics. Troll? Knock it unconscious then set its head on fire. Campfire? You get the picture. I'd certainly expect most humanoids to carry something alchemical in a world where alchemy existed in a practical form like that.
Well, there's tindertwig for a campfire, but I get your point. Generally, my players have either been gold-hoarding fiends who never use charged or one-use items, or too inexperienced to appreciate the various uses of alchemist's fire (even when given to them). Alas. The monster thing is still an issue, though.


Sounds good to me, any movement out of their threatened area (rather than 5' stepping from threatened square to square) provokes.
Coincidentally, that's my rule for all attacks of opportunity from movement in my system. Obviously, I like this.


In my mind the out of combat utility isn't really a problem. You've charmed a guard to consider you his friend and ally, and sent him back to barracks because you've relieved him? Great, clever thinking, and not too extreme. Friendly means they'll chat, advise, offer limited help, or advocate on your behalf, so there's a limitation to what that can achieve, whilst giving a reward for not just fighting your way through everything.

Meanwhile bypassing monsters means they're still around later to be threatening later, or can be used as recurring menaces, or can be the King of the nation charmed by your enemies.... That's awesome.
Yeah, it is definitely nice - I don't want to get rid of it. I just don't want it at 1st level. When I say "terrifying", I honestly mean for me as the DM - figuring out how people react while charmed is complicated! And I don't like 1st level spells that can just negate significant out of combat challenges. Spells like Charm Person are the reason that the skills are seen as not very useful; sure, you could put effort into getting a disguise together, create a sufficiently believable lie, and Bluff them - or you could use a first level spell. Wheee.


Simply put: Retraining is a colossal pain in the neck and seriously hard to comprehend how it would actually work. The idea that someone can dramatically change the skills they've learned in life so far as to forget everything they knew previously is as bizarre and ungainly as Dual Classing. I accept that it's maybe a little unfair to have it "Magically" be more acceptable, but since they "know" of every spell in their field, but can only hold so many such magical tools prepared at once - just like a more mundane person can easily select different weapons and equipment for all situations - this simply sits more easily.

For retraining, I'd actually probably have someone forfeit two epic feats (5 feats per "level") to retrain one level - and everything that had a prerequisite gained on that level - or up to five feats however they want, gradually moving into another field over a period of adventuring, rather than downtime.
Retraining in the abstract - sure, it's a pain! That's a different issue. But if you want a system where people can trade out spells known every day, there's nothing unreasonable about a system where people can trade out spells known every "level" instead, without going through all the complication of the retraining mechanics.


I personally go with time limits and competition. If there's no time limit to get something awesome and rare, then anyone else would have heard of it, so they'll be trying for that awesome thing too. Give adventurers the real and painful consequence of spending twenty-four hours to learn a single spell (when theoretically they could just have gone and bought a potion or scroll), they won't abuse the privilege. As a designer however, I'd prefer a system which suited people outside of just myself (otherwise I'd have just made and used the system and not told anybody!), so which would be best for the most people?
I used to use time limits to solve this problem, but this has its own issues; creating a consistent time pressure is hard. When I tried it before, my players felt like they didn't have time to go do their own thing. The issue may have been with my execution, rather than with the idea, but I think it's too game-y to have consistent time pressures that apply separately to every significant adventure the party takes. And eventually you'll have to deal with the consequences of exceeding the "time limit"; what happens then? The dungeon gets cleared out by some other adventuring group? Talk about an anti-climax. Yes, you can make it work, but I'd prefer a system where "meta" considerations like time pressure were decided by the story, not the mechanics.

As for what works for most people... I ran a full campaign last year using a full-spontaneous system for everyone except wizards, wu jens, and Spirit Shamans, who all used the Spirit Shaman spells known list. My group had a cleric, a spirit shaman, and a wu jen, so I got to see a bit of what a full spontaneous system looks like (for things only the cleric could do), mixed with what a changing spells per day system looks like (for things the spirit shaman and/or wu jen could do). There were time pressures in some areas of the campaign, but not in others.

Based on that, I'd say that the fully spontaneous cleric felt perfectly normal; there were no issues with not being able to change daily. I included a class feature that let clerics pray to their deities for an hour to be able to cast any spell from the cleric spell list for the cost of a spell slot three levels higher, but it was basically never used. The wu jen was very limited in his spell selection, given that he was working off of the spirit shaman list of spells known and was also forced to know one fire spell at each level. Because of that, combined with the fact that he was a Wu Jen, he could only prepare from a very limited list. Although he could technically change spells each day, he could only change them out within the context of his spellbook. In some ways, it was not dissimilar from being a fully spontaneous caster. Even with those restrictions, he was often the single most effective member of the party; the Mass Fire Shield cast before fighting a group of monks was particularly devastating, and Fire Seeds is dumb. Did it feel natural? I think the fact that his spells known was so very low was challenging. But casting from a very limited list worked great, and I can say with certainty that it would have felt natural - probably more so, honestly - if he was fully spontaneous with spells known from the Sorcerer list, like the cleric was.

I can't give more direct experience than that, but this fall I'll be running two 3.5 campaigns where almost everyone uses sorcerer spells per day -1 and sorcerer spells known (with a few more changes; if you want my full system, I can give you the PDF). I'll let you know how it goes; basically, I think it feels more natural than any system that lets casters change spells daily. No other class can change their core class features every day, so why can mages?


The WLOM still hits harder with his fists than with a *sword* with 10 strength after aging penalties, whilst their main ability is to use pressure points and other esoteric fu-fighting to disable and beatdown people with glorious power. I think that's overall better represented by improving their ability to land the punch, rather than their ability to punch super hard.

With this in mind, how about:

Ki Pool (Ex): A monk has tapped into the natural energy of their body, allowing them to produce incredible effects. This pool of energy contains Ki points equal to their Monk level plus their Wisdom bonus. The monk's Ki Pool may be restored by four hours of meditation or eight hours of rest.
So long as a Monk has at least 1 point in their Ki pool, they may add their wisdom modifier to their attack rolls when striking unarmed or with special monk weapons.

18 Wisdom 14 Strength Monk hits at +2/+2/+2 if they double flurry, so long as they have ki remaining, they'll add their 18 Wisdom - +4, and their 14 Strength - +2, so they're hitting three times at +8/+8/+8, two times at +9/+9, or once at +10 for their Stunning Fist.
Two stats to attack? Let's see... 14 Strength / 16 Wis monk at 1st level has a +3/3 attack progression. The only other person who can manage two attacks at 1st level is a two-weapon fighter. Assuming a 16 Str (in addition to the 15 Dex), that gives a +2/2 attack progression. Monk looks really good at low levels now. This scales a bit weirdly; fighters start with a lower attack bonus, but end up with a higher one. Not sure if that's a problem, but my inclination is to say that it isn't a problem. So this works. Oh, but you should point out that they only get this benefit if they are unarmored. Otherwise, you can splash monk to get Wis to attack bonus in full plate. I'm not sure if that's broken, but it's definitely weird.


Oh yeah, I was hoping for this reaction to be perfectly honest. Yes, flash step basically replicates that martial arts feat of "swing and a miss, the Monk is ten feet away". This was way too powerful for a single Ki point and I was concerned it might be *too* powerful.

I think for sanity's sake: "This ability must be used before the attack roll is made, or after the attack is resolved and damage resolved."
That would help - both from a mechanics perspective, and from the perspective of understanding what's going on. And I don't think it's broken. Assuming 18 Wis, you've got 10 ki points at 6th level. That's no more than 4 uses of this ability per day, since you'll never want to use that last ki point. Totally reasonable.

Wait, you can refresh ki points partway through day by meditating. Okay, call it 8 uses a day. But I still think it's relatively okay.


So a Monk can either step away when someone charges them, or in the middle of a full attack, or in response to a dragon breathing at them.... But not when they discovered they're about to be hit or missed. With a theoretical +4 Ki Pool feat, Monk level 6 and +4 Wisdom that's 7 times a day tops, and make their Flashing Fist move a swift action.
Oh, hey, Ki Pool feat. That might make things weird, given that you can refresh multiple times in a day; I'd recommend only a +2 bonus from the feat off the top of my head, but I don't necessarily know the balance point of feats.


If lullaby's name were "Shroud of Weariness", I don't think you'd have blinked. It's a spell that stepefies the mind of the target and makes them more vulnerable to Sleep (the short death) effects.
Oh, sure - mechanically, I buy it. But don't dismiss the importance of names! That's what defines a spell to a player, more than any notes about its usefulness.


I think this bears some explanation, though possibly the best explanation is that I'm not very good with names.

Originally, each focus had several schools associated -
Necromancy was Necromancy, Evocation and Enchantment,
Healing was Abjuration, Conjuration, Enchantment,
Shapers were Illusion, Conjuration and Transmutation,
Warmages were Evocation, Abjuration and Transmutation,
Mystics were Enchantment, Illusion and Divination,
Nature was Conjuration, Evocation and Transmutation

This was the base point - If you're a necromancer, you're not just a guy who raises dead bodies, you use Dark Magic. (I miss the old days when Cure spells were necromantic). For Necromancy as an arcane focus, it's not just "the school of necromancy", it's that you've chosen to dedicate yourself to dark magical effects. What self-respecting magic user would just focus solely on a hugely limited field of spells when there are many that would help them do their jobs? Hence the schools became less of a straight jacket, and more of a general theme.

Cold spells? Cold is dark, and not as likely to harm your deathly minions.
Mental enslavement? Of course: Dark.
Web, Summon Swarm, Spider climb? Creepy insect specialism? Easy to see a dark mage using that.

Rather than Necromancer, think "Warlock". He's specialised in the creepy, dark and sinister spells and spells that help him do his job.
Works for me. Just call it something other than Necromancer. :P Warlock, perhaps, works fine - that essentially mirrors Witch.


Rather than "Healer", think "positive energy effects specialist". A "healer" can not know a single cure spell, but focus instead on using their powers to manipulate emotions (usually in a more "positive" way than the necromancer), bring about defensive magical effects, or other spells that come in handy for someone with that skill set. Hold Person? Great for holding that unwilling patient for surgery.
There are two basic ways to define a focus like this. One is to define it by the way it creates effects. For example, Evocation is defined by manipulating energy. It has a wide variety of effects, but they share one central focus: the source of that effect is the manipulation of energy. Enchantment spells are defined by manipulating minds. They can make those minds better off or worse off, but they always work with the mind.

The second is to define it by who would use the effects. That's what you're doing here, as evidenced by your justification for Hold Person. Based on that, I'm guessing Zone of Truth is a Healing spell because a healer would want to know the truth about her patients, right? emotions, which feels like a whole different theme altogether

I guess the problem is that I think the second method yields less strongly connected spells. There are a lot of separate themes in this archetype. You've got manipulation of emotions, healing, protecting, summoning (indirect protection, I suppose), "aiding" (like Create Food and Water), buffing without manipulating emotions, manipulating positive energy for damage, finding, and Magic Missile for who knows what reason. The spells in the Healer domain are only connected from the perspective of a very specific archetype: that of the person who devotes her life to healing, manipulating emotions, and a bunch of other stuff. They don't have a consistent mechanism for how they have their effects, and they don't have consistent effects. Basically, it looks like a list of spells that a particular caster might like. With the very significant exception of a few spells (Rage, Polymorph, Magic Missile, some others), it does a fairly decent job of being a paladin spell list. But that's an identity that is just too specific to be the core of a focus, I think.


Hopefully by understanding my reasoning, it's more obvious where I was going with this (and for Gnorman, this should be quite familiar, since it's closer to his method of making "colour" mages, similar to MtG).

I think I get it more, yes. But I think the same problem applies to the other schools. Yes, there is an archetype or two for which those spell lists make sense. But by defining spells based on "an archetype that likes them" as opposed to a more fundamental consideration, it makes it very difficult to tell what themes a given focus will have. Also, Mysticism is sort of the "catch-all" of spells, which isn't a good situation for a game to have; just ask ask M:tG players about the historical power level of Blue.

[quote]I swear it's taking longer and longer to reply to this thread.

Heh, definitely.

Zale
2012-08-21, 04:22 PM
Truly, like a dragon, the posts of this thread only grow larger and more frightening with time.

Perhaps Kholai should make another thread to place all of the classes/spells/whatnot in?

For organization's sake.

Vadskye
2012-08-21, 05:31 PM
Truly, like a dragon, the posts of this thread only grow larger and more frightening with time.

Perhaps Kholai should make another thread to place all of the classes/spells/whatnot in?

For organization's sake.

I laughed. And yes, that would make sense. I'm just glad we don't live on a forum that quotes text recursively...

Kholai
2012-08-21, 09:34 PM
Truly, like a dragon, the posts of this thread only grow larger and more frightening with time.

Perhaps Kholai should make another thread to place all of the classes/spells/whatnot in?

For organization's sake.

Once Magic has been hammered out, I'll probably start a new thread dedicated to more general and just link to my Google Spreadsheet, which is actually laid out borderline sensibly at this point, and has all the Core feats I've modified so far as well.

Another attempt at the Rogue:

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a rogue can catch an opponent that is unable to defend itself effectively from their attack, they can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The rogueís weapon attack deals extra damage any time their target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks their target. A rogue must deal at least 1 point of damage in order to deal sneak attack damage. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. They cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.
A rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomiesóundead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Trapfinding (Ex): If the Rogue passes within 5 feet of a trap, they are entitled to a Search check to notice it as if they were actively looking for it. This roll is made in secret, the rogue may not take 10 on this roll, even with Skill Mastery.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If they make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Unerring Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, a Rogue's ability to deliver precise blows increases. So long as they are wielding a weapon with which they can apply the weapon finesse feat, they may take a penalty of -1 to damage to gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls. This applies to all attacks they make until their next turn. A rogue cannot take a penalty to their damage higher than their total number of sneak attack dice. Damage from an attack is always at least 1 point, even if a subtraction from a die roll reduces the result to 0 or lower.

Trap Sense (Ex): At 3rd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts them to danger from traps, giving them a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level.
Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level a Rogue retains their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class, they automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Bleed (Ex): At 4th level, whenever a Rogue successfully sneak attacks a target, they may forgo 1D6 of sneak attack in order to cause their target to bleed for 1D4 rounds. Whilst bleeding, the victim takes damage equal to half the Rogue's class level each round at the beginning of their turn. The bleeding can be stopped by a Heal check with a DC of 10 + the Rogue's class level, or by receiving at least 1 point of magical curing. Bleeding damage bypasses any damage reduction the creature might possess.
Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself, if a Rogue causes a new bleeding effect then the target bleeds for the new 1D4 rounds or their previous remaining time, whichever is longer.

Skill Mastery (Ex): At 5th level, a Rogue may select any 3 skills in which they are trained. They may always take 10 on these skills, even if they would not normally be able to do so.

Lethality (Ex): At 6th level, a Rogue may deal a small amount of sneak attack damage to their target even when they are not flanking or attacking the target whilst they are flat footed. The Rogue must still be within 30' of their target and the target must be vulnerable to critical hits.
A Rogue must forgo 2D6 of their sneak attack on an attack when they use this ability.

Rather than make them better against the things the rogue just isn't traditionally good against, I figured I'd make them better against the things they are good against. I could apparently have saved some time if I'd checked Pathfinder before I wrote this one up though, as I discovered as I was checking for appropriate wording to use.


Most people don't carry around two greatswords on their backs "just in case".

Most people should carry something sharp in case their primary pigsticker gets wrecked.
This said though, have you considered a locked gauntlet? I'd definitely say being chained in place earns that +10 bonus against Grease for that particular purpose. Just in case, make it spiked as well.

Compare Grease to an level 1 Orc NPC-Warrior with Improved Disarm and a Heavy Flail. +9 to disarm and a large weapon.

Your (above) average level 1 Fighter with 18 Strength has a +5. If the Orc rolls a 6, then the Fighter has to roll a 10 or better. A 50/50 chance - if the Orc rolls poorly, and he can do it for a lot longer than a level 1 Grease.

Charm Person - Threatening has a broad term. I'd probably go with Fascinate rules on this one.

Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the charmed creature a new saving throw against the effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the charmed creature, automatically breaks the effect.

Drawing a weapon is a threat, casting a spell or aiming a ranged weapon is a threat.

It's at 2nd level on its only spell list, but I'd feel happier if both Suggestion and Charms had that.

Sleep and the various equivalents - What about "If they fail their save by 5 or more" they Sleep, otherwise they're Exhausted, otherwise they're Fatigued?

This can cover every possible Save Or X (Including Silence) and there's already a precedent for it. The Mage has a good chance of getting an array of effects, sometimes amazing ones.

Silence > Full Time Deafened > 1 Round Deafened - Leave it at 1 minute a level and people can fail their saves for the actual utility of Silence.

Suggestion > Charm > Confused for 1 round.
Charm > Confused > Fascinated for 1 round.
Paralysed > Dazed for 1 round + Entangled full duration > Dazed for 1 round.


Alternately, or in addition, they could all have access to a generic mage at-will ability that would function mechanically like an Eldritch Blast.

I'll probably strip out the existing ones and make a Cantrip level spell usable at will - 1D4+1 Ranged Touch, Range Medium, element varies. They already have other major features (5D6 hit die Lich Familiar to tank for you at level 6 is neat).


Retraining

Any thoughts on the proposed retraining method of "Skip 2 Epic Feats per level" as a model to retrain through actually playing?


Archetypes/Mages

Arcane Focus in Necromancy renamed Arcane Focus in Hexes for now.

Well, the mage gets a limited spell list, right? At 5/5/4, that's less than 1/3 of the level 1 spells, at most 1/4 of the level 2 spells, and at most 1/6 of the available level 6 spells.

A the mage with an Arcane Focus in "Healing" (Benediction? I really hate names) takes Jump, Summon Monster I, Bless, Magic Weapon and Shield of Faith;
False Life, Spiritual Weapon, Enthrall, Summon Monster II and Calm Emotions;
and Haste, Locate Creature, Polymorph and Deep Slumber.

What's their archetype? Your area of study influences what opportunities you have to learn things, within that scope (and even outside of that scope with an Extra Spell feat for any spell 1 level below your highest) there's freedom to be unique even within that.

That said, I'd be happy with any other Arcane Focii that people might come up with. There's enough variations of three core schools with a smattering of conceptually helpful spells to make a Mage for each archetype, so long as you could come up with the spell list and the Arcane Focus talents. Not sure why I'd spend that long on the Mage though, it's not like the Bard gets a non-inspiring version, or Fighters varying without their specific Feats.

Mysticism has actually very few effects I'd consider "catch alls"; they discover secrets by divination or mind control, enshroud them with illusion, then they protect those secrets with magical traps.


No other class can change their core class features every day, so why can mages?

I note that Initiators can change their core features every full round action, whilst many mages have such a wide variety available anyway, their core features are almost quantum.


Monk

Changed to be Wisdom modifier up to their class level, like the Ranger ability, and added a non-armoured clause.


Generally, my players have either been gold-hoarding fiends who never use charged or one-use items, or too inexperienced to appreciate the various uses of alchemist's fire (even when given to them).

If you want your players to be interested in something, dangle it in front of them.

If they like to cast Sleep or the like, at level 2 or 3 have them face a group of Goblins or something in a cavern, have a Witch Doctor pop up at a higher level, wrecking their Web or Charm or Sleep with a well placed eruption of flame while it screams out a goblin prayer, have it harass them with 1D6 + 1D6 damage effects whilst chanting goblin war songs and ducking in and out of cover, and when they chase after it have them fall into a waist high pit trap. In the bottom of the trap is a Tanglefoot bag.

When they finally kill the critter, they discover they've been beaten to a pulp by a Goblin Aristocrat with a stolen alchemist's satchel full of Alchemist's Fires.

After that you'll probably have a few converts.

Vadskye
2012-08-23, 01:28 AM
Another attempt at the Rogue:

Sneak Attack (Ex): If a rogue can catch an opponent that is unable to defend itself effectively from their attack, they can strike a vital spot for extra damage.
The rogueís weapon attack deals extra damage any time their target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks their target. A rogue must deal at least 1 point of damage in order to deal sneak attack damage. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied.
Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.
With a sap (blackjack) or an unarmed strike, a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. They cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual -4 penalty.
A rogue can sneak attack only living creatures with discernible anatomiesóundead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack vital areas to attack. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to sneak attacks. The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment or striking the limbs of a creature whose vitals are beyond reach.

Trapfinding (Ex): If the Rogue passes within 5 feet of a trap, they are entitled to a Search check to notice it as if they were actively looking for it. This roll is made in secret, the rogue may not take 10 on this roll, even with Skill Mastery.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level and higher, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If they make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, they instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Unerring Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, a Rogue's ability to deliver precise blows increases. So long as they are wielding a weapon with which they can apply the weapon finesse feat, they may take a penalty of -1 to damage to gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls. This applies to all attacks they make until their next turn. A rogue cannot take a penalty to their damage higher than their total number of sneak attack dice. Damage from an attack is always at least 1 point, even if a subtraction from a die roll reduces the result to 0 or lower.

Trap Sense (Ex): At 3rd level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts them to danger from traps, giving them a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level.
Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level a Rogue retains their Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, they still lose their Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class, they automatically gain improved uncanny dodge instead.

Bleed (Ex): At 4th level, whenever a Rogue successfully sneak attacks a target, they may forgo 1D6 of sneak attack in order to cause their target to bleed for 1D4 rounds. Whilst bleeding, the victim takes damage equal to half the Rogue's class level each round at the beginning of their turn. The bleeding can be stopped by a Heal check with a DC of 10 + the Rogue's class level, or by receiving at least 1 point of magical curing. Bleeding damage bypasses any damage reduction the creature might possess.
Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself, if a Rogue causes a new bleeding effect then the target bleeds for the new 1D4 rounds or their previous remaining time, whichever is longer.

Skill Mastery (Ex): At 5th level, a Rogue may select any 3 skills in which they are trained. They may always take 10 on these skills, even if they would not normally be able to do so.

Lethality (Ex): At 6th level, a Rogue may deal a small amount of sneak attack damage to their target even when they are not flanking or attacking the target whilst they are flat footed. The Rogue must still be within 30' of their target and the target must be vulnerable to critical hits.
A Rogue must forgo 2D6 of their sneak attack on an attack when they use this ability.

Rather than make them better against the things the rogue just isn't traditionally good against, I figured I'd make them better against the things they are good against. I could apparently have saved some time if I'd checked Pathfinder before I wrote this one up though, as I discovered as I was checking for appropriate wording to use.
Conceptually, I don't like the idea of only making them better at fighting what they are good against; in extremes, it leads to the same binary "useful/useless" dichotomy that I talked about with wizards. I know that the rogues in the games I DMed were just about useless whenever we fought undead and such. Yes, there are tools for the rogues to deal with that issue, but they're relatively obscure; I like having classes be playable straight out of the box, as it were.

With Sneak Attack, I like clarifying that if a target is flanked by two allies, the rogue can sneak attack with ranged weapons, even if the rogue is not one of the allies flanking. It makes ranged rogues almost playable.

Unerring Strike is not bad - it's something that should basically always be on unless foes have DR, I think.

Bleed is an interesting idea, but I think rolling a d4 every time the rogue sneak attacks, and then tracking the duration for the bleeding so the rogue knows when to forgo the d6 sneak damage again, will be more bookkeeping than you'll be happy doing. Putting a fixed duration on it will save time without changing the ability too much; half Rogue class level would work nicely. Of course, damage is also based off of "half rogue class level", so that's a little awkward, but you could change the damage to be "bleed damage equal to the dice of sneak attack the Rogue would roll", which is actually the same thing but feels more fluff-appropriate.

Lethality is awkwardly worded - it took me a bit to figure out what it's supposed to do. It seems pretty lame as a 6th level ability, honestly. Every round a rogue isn't sneak attacking, he's a chump for that round, and an extra d6 over his (probably weak) base damage isn't going to change that.



Most people should carry something sharp in case their primary pigsticker gets wrecked.
This said though, have you considered a locked gauntlet? I'd definitely say being chained in place earns that +10 bonus against Grease for that particular purpose. Just in case, make it spiked as well.
Most PCs and NPCs should, yes. And the locked gauntlet is something that I could have most armored enemies use. That restricts its weapon-stealing uses to the list of dumb enemies that carry weapons, who usually have natural attacks.


Compare Grease to an level 1 Orc NPC-Warrior with Improved Disarm and a Heavy Flail. +9 to disarm and a large weapon.

Your (above) average level 1 Fighter with 18 Strength has a +5. If the Orc rolls a 6, then the Fighter has to roll a 10 or better. A 50/50 chance - if the Orc rolls poorly, and he can do it for a lot longer than a level 1 Grease.
Fair enough. In the past when it's been effective, it was either against NPCs that didn't have locked gauntlets or PCs who didn't carry good extra weapons. And heavily armored enemies, for the attacks of opportunity it makes them provoke. But maybe it can stay.

Charm Person - Threatening has a broad term. I'd probably go with Fascinate rules on this one.


Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the charmed creature a new saving throw against the effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the charmed creature, automatically breaks the effect.

Drawing a weapon is a threat, casting a spell or aiming a ranged weapon is a threat.

It's at 2nd level on its only spell list, but I'd feel happier if both Suggestion and Charms had that.
With the fascinate restrictions, Charm Person and Suggestion get a lot more reasonable. Good idea - I might use that, too.


Sleep and the various equivalents - What about "If they fail their save by 5 or more" they Sleep, otherwise they're Exhausted, otherwise they're Fatigued?
This could work, if you really want to keep the possibility of having them fall asleep. I don't like 1st level spells that can just end tough encounters; on a low roll, it's still effectively death, depending on whether the creature has allies nearby who can wake it before a coup de grace. But maybe some swinginess is okay.


This can cover every possible Save Or X (Including Silence) and there's already a precedent for it. The Mage has a good chance of getting an array of effects, sometimes amazing ones.
This is actually a very good solution, as long as you can come up with three degrees of severity. In general, I don't like "fail save by 5 or more" effects; it increases the amount of math that my players and I have to do. But I have a distaste for math that is significantly greater than most people; you and your group may very well not mind. Actually, in E6, math is a lot easier, so even I probably wouldn't mind doing those numbers here. That means this is a good system that preserves the potential for big effects while reducing the general swinginess of saves at low levels.


Silence > Full Time Deafened > 1 Round Deafened - Leave it at 1 minute a level and people can fail their saves for the actual utility of Silence.

Suggestion > Charm > Confused for 1 round.
Charm > Confused > Fascinated for 1 round.
Paralysed > Dazed for 1 round + Entangled full duration > Dazed for 1 round.
I was going to guess "Silenced / 50% spell failure / 20% spell failure" for Silence, but yours also works. And you seem to have a theme of 1 round duration effects on a successful save, which is actually a good theme to have - better to use yours, then, for consistency. I do love consistent themes.

One thing I don't like is the use of Confused here; that requires a chart lookup, and it's a fairly uncommon effect. I would expect the lesser effects to be conditions, not spell effects, which leads me to expect Dazed. Also, taking away someone's action on a successful save significantly increases the power of these spells. Just keep trying to Charm/Suggestion/paralyse a tough enemy, and even if he makes the save (which is likely, given the +5 save bonus for charm and suggestion), you still steal his next action. I don't think that's a mechanic you want to use.

I think "paralysis" is too broad of an effect to always have it be represented by that progression. For example, I think Ghoul Touch would be marvelously flavorful with a Paralyzed -> Nauseated for 1 round, Sickened full duration -> Sickened 1 round. That wouldn't fit for Hold Person, though; I'd expect Paralyzed for duration -> Dazed for duration (this is okay because there's a save every round) -> nothing (because it takes a full-round action to break free of the spell anyway, so unless they make it on the first try they will have lost at least one action)


I'll probably strip out the existing ones and make a Cantrip level spell usable at will - 1D4+1 Ranged Touch, Range Medium, element varies. They already have other major features (5D6 hit die Lich Familiar to tank for you at level 6 is neat).
Sounds like a good plan.


Any thoughts on the proposed retraining method of "Skip 2 Epic Feats per level" as a model to retrain through actually playing?
I think punishing player's long-term power for making a mistake is something I'd want to avoid; that just encourages/requires long-term build planning from day 1, which is something I definitely don't want to make players to feel like they have to do. Instead, I'd want a short-term cost; that discourages the abuse of switching feats around to deal with whatever the player will fight next, while still allowing genuine mistakes to be corrected or changes of direction to be made. In a way, this reminds me of our discussion (so long ago!) on magic item creation; why not use the same mechanic? I do like my negative levels. The duration and number of negative levels would depend on how harsh you want to be to retrainers, but at least that way they don't end up permanently behind their party members in power.


Arcane Focus in Necromancy renamed Arcane Focus in Hexes for now.
Cool.

Well, the mage gets a limited spell list, right? At 5/5/4, that's less than 1/3 of the level 1 spells, at most 1/4 of the level 2 spells, and at most 1/6 of the available level 6 spells.

A the mage with an Arcane Focus in "Healing" (Benediction? I really hate names) takes Jump, Summon Monster I, Bless, Magic Weapon and Shield of Faith;
False Life, Spiritual Weapon, Enthrall, Summon Monster II and Calm Emotions;
and Haste, Locate Creature, Polymorph and Deep Slumber.

What's their archetype? Your area of study influences what opportunities you have to learn things, within that scope (and even outside of that scope with an Extra Spell feat for any spell 1 level below your highest) there's freedom to be unique even within that.[/quote]
I completely agree with this in a system where a mage can't change spells daily. In that case, her power and archetype is determined by her own choices, and the focus is just a tool to provide ideas and general guidance/limitations.

In a system where mages can change spells daily with their focus, though, their power is very strongly dependent on the limits and abilities of their focus. That's one of the reasons I don't like daily spell changes; it makes a mage's own choices less important than their limits, unless they intentionally ignore spells that are unique to their focus that would be really useful in whatever situation they find themself in.


That said, I'd be happy with any other Arcane Focii that people might come up with. There's enough variations of three core schools with a smattering of conceptually helpful spells to make a Mage for each archetype, so long as you could come up with the spell list and the Arcane Focus talents. Not sure why I'd spend that long on the Mage though, it's not like the Bard gets a non-inspiring version, or Fighters varying without their specific Feats.
The difference is that a Focus is much more extensive - it's like dozens of class features wrapped into one - and mage can access the entire focus. When a bard hits 5th level, he gets one song. All bards get that one song. When a mage hits 5th level, he gets access to the entirety of a long list of spells, given that he can change them out every day. That's why Focuses are so important.


Mysticism has actually very few effects I'd consider "catch alls"; they discover secrets by divination or mind control, enshroud them with illusion, then they protect those secrets with magical traps.
Okay, I can see the themes now. Also, Detect Thoughts is 1st level - is that intentional? I think it's too powerful for 1st level.


I note that Initiators can change their core features every full round action, whilst many mages have such a wide variety available anyway, their core features are almost quantum.
Intiators can change their readied maneuvers out with a full round action; they only know one maneuver per level (swordsage) or per two levels (warblade). That's tiny. Even with their automatic "retraining" of old maneuvers on even levels, that's still worse than knowing only two or three spells at each level, and not being able to change those spells daily. That's vastly less flexible than a mage - and that's still the top tier of flexibility for a noncaster. I think that proves my point more than anything else.

And the fact that mages already have more choices than anyone else (in terms of the spells they can choose to know) doesn't mean they need even more flexibility from being able to change those spells daily.


Changed to be Wisdom modifier up to their class level, like the Ranger ability, and added a non-armoured clause.
Cool.


If you want your players to be interested in something, dangle it in front of them.

If they like to cast Sleep or the like, at level 2 or 3 have them face a group of Goblins or something in a cavern, have a Witch Doctor pop up at a higher level, wrecking their Web or Charm or Sleep with a well placed eruption of flame while it screams out a goblin prayer, have it harass them with 1D6 + 1D6 damage effects whilst chanting goblin war songs and ducking in and out of cover, and when they chase after it have them fall into a waist high pit trap. In the bottom of the trap is a Tanglefoot bag.

When they finally kill the critter, they discover they've been beaten to a pulp by a Goblin Aristocrat with a stolen alchemist's satchel full of Alchemist's Fires.

After that you'll probably have a few converts.
Haha - I love this. It will almost certainly get used this fall.

I'm going on vacation for the next week, and I doubt I'll be online as much, so you might have to live without my brilliant insights for a while. :P Good luck with this - maybe when I get back, you'll have it all shiny and ready for posting in full!

Kholai
2012-08-23, 06:32 AM
Yes, there are tools for the rogues to deal with that issue, but they're relatively obscure; I like having classes be playable straight out of the box, as it were.

But... the Rogue has Use Magic Device? How can so many people ignore their skills? A Scroll of Fireball is 375 GP, exactly for the situations where the Rogue is faced with crit immune enemies.

It's not like the Fighter is out of the box able to handle an enemy with DR 10, he takes a feat - Power Attack. If he wants to be able to handle an incorporeal enemy, he takes a magic tool and blindfight.

If a mage wants to handle a Golem? They improvise pretty hard and heavy.

If either of those two wants to handle a trap? They call the Rogue.

I'd maybe let them deal sneak attack damage to most corporeal foes, but it would always be 1 point of damage per die, you can't get blood from a stone, and you can't shank the weak spot of a Fire Elemental.


Bleed is an interesting idea, but I think rolling a d4 every time the rogue sneak attacks, and then tracking the duration for the bleeding so the rogue knows when to forgo the d6 sneak damage again, will be more bookkeeping than you'll be happy doing.

How about "1 Damage per sneak attack die the Rogue possesses, for 1 round / 2 Rogue Levels"? So at level 6, this is 3 Damage for 3 Rounds.


Lethality is awkwardly worded - it took me a bit to figure out what it's supposed to do. It seems pretty lame as a 6th level ability, honestly. Every round a rogue isn't sneak attacking, he's a chump for that round, and an extra d6 over his (probably weak) base damage isn't going to change that.

Yeah, hard to word "The rogue always gets sneak attack, but deals 2D6 fewer when they aren't set up for a sneak attack." in a way that makes sense.

I think you may be underestimating this. Every round a rogue isn't sneak attacking they're doing an extra 1D6 of Sneak Attack damage, yes (In E6, remember this is a Flaming weapon in a system that can't get Flaming Weapons).
This includes the first round of combat, before anyone can set up flanking, when they've thrown their first dagger, or when he's on his own against a single enemy with a high sense motive.

The biggest thing I think you missed: Now they can always deal 1D6 of Sneak Attack - What happens when they exchange that for Bleed?


This is actually a very good solution, as long as you can come up with three degrees of severity. In general, I don't like "fail save by 5 or more" effects; it increases the amount of math that my players and I have to do.

I may be more mathematically inclined than some, but I'd hope that a "by more than 5" rule would be comfortable and second nature when people got comfortable with it. Even with a level 20 mage and a DC of 32, you know if you roll less than 27 then you're going to get hosed.


That means this is a good system that preserves the potential for big effects while reducing the general swinginess of saves at low levels.

This was exactly what I was going for, thanks.


One thing I don't like is the use of Confused here; that requires a chart lookup, and it's a fairly uncommon effect. I would expect the lesser effects to be conditions, not spell effects, which leads me to expect Dazed.

Seems fine by me, I'll change that up accordingly.


Also, taking away someone's action on a successful save significantly increases the power of these spells. Just keep trying to Charm/Suggestion/paralyse a tough enemy, and even if he makes the save (which is likely, given the +5 save bonus for charm and suggestion), you still steal his next action. I don't think that's a mechanic you want to use.

Quite true, changed Suggestion to Fascinate as well - Fascinate is automatically broken in combat, whilst out of combat the magic spell just mentally dumbs them down for a round.


Ghoul Touch would be marvelously flavorful with a Paralyzed -> Nauseated for 1 round, Sickened full duration -> Sickened 1 round.

Good idea, I'll implement that.

Hold Person: Paralysed > Dazed for Duration > Entangled for 1 Round.


In a way, this reminds me of our discussion (so long ago!) on magic item creation; why not use the same mechanic? I do like my negative levels. The duration and number of negative levels would depend on how harsh you want to be to retrainers, but at least that way they don't end up permanently behind their party members in power.

Genius! To change two feats or ranks from two skills, a negative level for a week, to change a level, negative level for a month (you've "untrained" the level you're replacing). If you get two Epic Feats in this time, your negative level returns instantly.


Mages

Inspired partly by your suggestions, Warlocks, and Reserve Feats, I've started working on a system of "simple spells" (some other sod can name them unless I call them invocations or something) that would be available to cast all day at the cost of 1 point of nonlethal damage per casting (so typically 1 per hour forever at level 1, 6 per hour at level 6).

For starters, cantrips will still be castable at will, with the following amendments:

Nature
Dancing Lights
Detect Animals or Plants
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation

Necromancy
Dancing Lights
Detect Magic
Detect Undead
Lullaby
Mage Hand
Open/Close
Prestidigitation
Resistance

Healing
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Disrupt Undead
Light
Mending
Prestidigitation
Resistance
Virtue

Mysticism
Dancing Lights
Resistance
Detect Magic
Ghost Sound
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation

Warmagic
Detect Magic
Resistance
Guidance
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Message
Prestidigitation

Shaping
Detect Magic
Dancing Lights
Ghost Sound
Know Direction
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Prestidigitation

Read Magic is a stupid idea, and magical writing would now be readable by anyone with the Spellcraft to do so.

I'm undecided as to whether Cantrips should also cause non-lethal, so I'm open for opinions based on their new capabilities.

Secondly, the mage would receive far fewer spells per day - Probably 4/3/2 for the Mage, 2/1/0 for the Bard. In exchange for the fewer spells, they will receive one "Invocation" per level (Bards will receive 1 Invocation every three levels). Invocations will have levels just like spells do.

Example Invocations:


Spellbolt
Evocation
Level: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: One magical blast
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
A crackling bolt of coalesced magical energy springs from your hand. You must succeed on a ranged attack with the bolt to deal damage to a target. The ray deals 1d6+1 points of damage per level of the highest level spell you have available to cast.

Acid Splash
Conjuration (Acid)
Level: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: One missile of acid
Duration: See text.
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
You fire a small orb of acid at the target. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to hit a target. The orb deals 1d6 points of damage +1 per level of the highest level spell you have available to cast.
If you have any acid spells available to cast, then acid splash continues to deal 1 damage per round at the beginning of the target's turn for 1 round per level of the highest level cold spell you have available to cast.

Ray of Frost
Evocation (Cold)
Level: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: Ray
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
A ray of freezing air and ice projects from your pointing finger. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to deal damage to a target. The ray deals 1d6 points of cold damage plus 3 per level of the highest level cold spell you have available to cast.


So a Mage would freely be able to cast Spellbolt. At level 1, this is a 1D6+1 ranged attack, so long as the mage still has their level 1 spells intact, otherwise it's harmless. At level 6, this is up to a 3D6+3 ranged attack for an average of 13.5 per round when the mage is doing the mystic equivalent of sitting on their hands.

Acid Splash is a ranged touch 1D6 up to 1D6+3, which deals up to 3 damage over three rounds - though in practice this is actually two rounds unless I get a level 3 Acid Spell into the spell lists somewhere, this is still ongoing damage and prompts a Concentration check from spellcasters accordingly.
Ray of Frost is more specialised, as it only deals 1D6 damage unless the caster has an *ice* spell available, but it's ranged touch with 7-12 damage per hit at level 5 with Freezing Sphere on your list.

Open to suggestions on potential effects of this nature; I'd prefer to keep it more "combat" oriented since the mage has no shortage of utility spells, but there are plenty of effects out there I'm sure.


Also, Detect Thoughts is 1st level - is that intentional? I think it's too powerful for 1st level.

Nope, switched, ta.



I'm going on vacation for the next week, and I doubt I'll be online as much, so you might have to live without my brilliant insights for a while. :P Good luck with this - maybe when I get back, you'll have it all shiny and ready for posting in full!

Unlikely, I'm actually rather terrible. If people don't reply for me to bounce ideas off I lose motivation and drift onto my other projects. I'll see what I can do though, have a great holiday!

Vadskye
2012-08-23, 12:32 PM
But... the Rogue has Use Magic Device? How can so many people ignore their skills? A Scroll of Fireball is 375 GP, exactly for the situations where the Rogue is faced with crit immune enemies.

It's not like the Fighter is out of the box able to handle an enemy with DR 10, he takes a feat - Power Attack. If he wants to be able to handle an incorporeal enemy, he takes a magic tool and blindfight.
There are three answers to that. First, no other class depends on getting "class features" from the Dungeon Master's Guide and the direct benevolence of the DM as far as being allowed to buy the item. Second, no one else has to expend long-term resources just to be able to act in a useful fashion. Some spells have expensive components, but those are special, and are not normally used. If a rogue is expected to use scrolls or (cheaper and easier to UMD) wands whenever undead/elementals/etc. appear, they will end up being a behind the rest of the party on gold. Third, even if it were mechanically simple and easy to use, it violates people's conceptions of what their characters *should* do. Yes, I think a rogue with a few Eternal Wands for appropriate situations can be very useful. But the more you do that, the less it feels like the classic rogue; he's not supposed to be a wand-wielder. Yes, he can figure out how to poke a wand until it works, but whipping out a wand as a default reaction to combat is very much in the idiom of a wizard, and not very much in the idiom of a rogue.


If a mage wants to handle a Golem? They improvise pretty hard and heavy.
Or they just use Grease (no Balance ranks and bad Reflex saves), Web, Orb spells, fog spells... I mean, the ability of a mage to deal with golems is a separate issue, but the point is that they still rely on the tools that they have hardwired into their class. And golems are much, much rarer than the sum total of creatures that are immune to crits.


If either of those two wants to handle a trap? They call the Rogue.
In theory, yes. Which is cool. But also not a solution. Things like rogue-only trapfinding just divide the game into "Rogue places", where only Rogues can do anything, and "Not rogue places", where rogues are mostly useless. Binary again!


I'd maybe let them deal sneak attack damage to most corporeal foes, but it would always be 1 point of damage per die, you can't get blood from a stone, and you can't shank the weak spot of a Fire Elemental.
That could work. Honestly, I haven't solved this problem yet, except for making undead no longer crit-immune (they had the weakest flavor justification, and they are among the most common in my games). I like the idea that a rogue with enough knowledge to identify a creature can sneak attack them - if you know a whole lot about fire elementals, maybe you can shank its weak point - but that's a not really a solution.


How about "1 Damage per sneak attack die the Rogue possesses, for 1 round / 2 Rogue Levels"? So at level 6, this is 3 Damage for 3 Rounds.
That's what I said. :P So, yes!


Yeah, hard to word "The rogue always gets sneak attack, but deals 2D6 fewer when they aren't set up for a sneak attack." in a way that makes sense.

I think you may be underestimating this. Every round a rogue isn't sneak attacking they're doing an extra 1D6 of Sneak Attack damage, yes (In E6, remember this is a Flaming weapon in a system that can't get Flaming Weapons).
This includes the first round of combat, before anyone can set up flanking, when they've thrown their first dagger, or when he's on his own against a single enemy with a high sense motive.

The biggest thing I think you missed: Now they can always deal 1D6 of Sneak Attack - What happens when they exchange that for Bleed?
Maybe I am underestimating it. The extra d6 damage can definitely be nice. And I didn't forget Bleed; the default rule for sacrificing sneak attack dice is that you can't reduce your dice below 1. If that's not true here, then that raises questions - specifically, do they bleed based on the 1d6 sneak damage you actually do or the 3d6 you could theoretically (but not in this situation) do? My assumption would be the former - in which case, I'm trading 3.5 damage now for 3 damage over the course of 3 rounds. Why would I want to do that? (Actually, I hadn't compared the numerical significance of bleed damage before - you would definitely never want to trade at 1d6 sneak, when you first get the ability. At 2d6, it's still really weak, and I'd take the 2d6 sneak over it almost every time. Bleed doesn't become a viable damage strategy until you hit 3d6 sneak.)


I may be more mathematically inclined than some, but I'd hope that a "by more than 5" rule would be comfortable and second nature when people got comfortable with it. Even with a level 20 mage and a DC of 32, you know if you roll less than 27 then you're going to get hosed.
Aye - it's in the area between 27 and 32 that you need to make sure all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed when you calculate the total save result. Basically, on a normal roll, if you roll high you often don't need to add up the numbers exactly, and if you roll low you often don't need to add up the numbers exactly. That makes things go faster. This significantly increases the range of die rolls that need to be added up exactly. In a perfect world, this wouldn't be an issue, because you'd just have one number written down on your sheet, you'd add that, and you'd be set to go. But players often (despite my prodding) don't write down their values consistently, so they have to add them up every time. Also, situational modifiers are annoying. But in E6 it shouldn't be an issue, even if it would be outside of it (which isn't certain).


Quite true, changed Suggestion to Fascinate as well - Fascinate is automatically broken in combat, whilst out of combat the magic spell just mentally dumbs them down for a round.
Which can make it easier for people to sneak by, even if he isn't charmed. Cool.


Hold Person: Paralysed > Dazed for Duration > Entangled for 1 Round.

Entangled is a good fit here (though the name doesn't quite fit, but I won't tell if you won't).

[quote]Genius!
Yayyyy


To change two feats or ranks from two skills, a negative level for a week, to change a level, negative level for a month (you've "untrained" the level you're replacing). If you get two Epic Feats in this time, your negative level returns instantly.
I particularly like that last bit - it makes it scale reliably with slow-paced campaigns and fast-paced campaigns. I'll use this for retraining rules in my system, too!

Inspired partly by your suggestions, Warlocks, and Reserve Feats, I've started working on a system of "simple spells" (some other sod can name them unless I call them invocations or something) that would be available to cast all day at the cost of 1 point of nonlethal damage per casting (so typically 1 per hour forever at level 1, 6 per hour at level 6).

For starters, cantrips will still be castable at will, with the following amendments:

Nature
Dancing Lights
Detect Animals or Plants
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation

Necromancy
Dancing Lights
Detect Magic
Detect Undead
Lullaby
Mage Hand
Open/Close
Prestidigitation
Resistance

Healing
Detect Magic
Detect Poison
Disrupt Undead
Light
Mending
Prestidigitation
Resistance
Virtue

Mysticism
Dancing Lights
Resistance
Detect Magic
Ghost Sound
Guidance
Know Direction
Mage Hand
Prestidigitation

Warmagic
Detect Magic
Resistance
Guidance
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Message
Prestidigitation

Shaping
Detect Magic
Dancing Lights
Ghost Sound
Know Direction
Light
Mage Hand
Mending
Prestidigitation

Read Magic is a stupid idea, and magical writing would now be readable by anyone with the Spellcraft to do so.
Seems reasonable to me.


I'm undecided as to whether Cantrips should also cause non-lethal, so I'm open for opinions based on their new capabilities.
Hm... I'd say that once you give mages semi-at-will combat abilities, you're basically trusting them to not be stupid, so allowing fully at-will cantrips is probably okay in general. The big thing to look out for is breaks in world continuity. For example, with at-will Mending, crafters have more trouble getting paid to fix minor things. Do you care? Maybe not! Spells like Virtue and Resistance cause more problems, though; why would you *not* have those on all the time? There are issues of inconvenience, but having those feels weird to me. Also, at-will Virtue can be used to totally negate the penalty for using invocations, allowing them to be spammed totally indefinitely out of combat. That may or may not be an issue, depending on what abilities you give invocations.


Secondly, the mage would receive far fewer spells per day - Probably 4/3/2 for the Mage, 2/1/0 for the Bard. In exchange for the fewer spells, they will receive one "Invocation" per level (Bards will receive 1 Invocation every three levels). Invocations will have levels just like spells do.

Example Invocations:


Spellbolt
Evocation
Level: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: One magical blast
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
A crackling bolt of coalesced magical energy springs from your hand. You must succeed on a ranged attack with the bolt to deal damage to a target. The ray deals 1d6+1 points of damage per level of the highest level spell you have available to cast.

Acid Splash
Conjuration (Acid)
Level: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: One missile of acid
Duration: See text.
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
You fire a small orb of acid at the target. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to hit a target. The orb deals 1d6 points of damage +1 per level of the highest level spell you have available to cast.
If you have any acid spells available to cast, then acid splash continues to deal 1 damage per round at the beginning of the target's turn for 1 round per level of the highest level cold spell you have available to cast.

Ray of Frost
Evocation (Cold)
Level: 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./level)
Effect: Ray
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
A ray of freezing air and ice projects from your pointing finger. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to deal damage to a target. The ray deals 1d6 points of cold damage plus 3 per level of the highest level cold spell you have available to cast.


So a Mage would freely be able to cast Spellbolt. At level 1, this is a 1D6+1 ranged attack, so long as the mage still has their level 1 spells intact, otherwise it's harmless. At level 6, this is up to a 3D6+3 ranged attack for an average of 13.5 per round when the mage is doing the mystic equivalent of sitting on their hands.

Acid Splash is a ranged touch 1D6 up to 1D6+3, which deals up to 3 damage over three rounds - though in practice this is actually two rounds unless I get a level 3 Acid Spell into the spell lists somewhere, this is still ongoing damage and prompts a Concentration check from spellcasters accordingly.
Ray of Frost is more specialised, as it only deals 1D6 damage unless the caster has an *ice* spell available, but it's ranged touch with 7-12 damage per hit at level 5 with Freezing Sphere on your list.

Open to suggestions on potential effects of this nature; I'd prefer to keep it more "combat" oriented since the mage has no shortage of utility spells, but there are plenty of effects out there I'm sure.
Spellbolt seems vastly more powerful than the other two, since it is untyped damage, more damage, and works based on any spell. I'd either reduce Spellbolt's power or increase the power of the other two; unfortunately, I'm not sure which is more appropriate from a power level perspective.

The ranger has the ability at 6th level to make a single ranged touch attack as a standard action; that is a very direct equivalent of these invocations. How much damage can he do with that? I think the answer is "a good deal less than 3d6+3". If you assume his favored terrain bonus applies and he's unusually strong for an archer (16 Str), he'll do d8+3(terrain)+3(str)+2(magic) = 12.5, vs 13.5. Oh, hey, that works out really well, considering that the ranger has a much better attack bonus; that means the actual damage stays pretty close even when the ranger doesn't have favored terrain bonus, or has a 14 Str instead of 16. The ranger has a much higher damage potential when full attacking, but at the cost of being potentially more likely to miss, while the mage has a much higher damage potential while casting a spell. I think that works out fairly well.

Also, for other invocation ideas, you may be interested in the at-will abilities I created for each school of magic; these could be repurposed to suit your focuses.

Abjuration: Retributive Barrier.
Choose yourself or an ally within 30'. That creature gains damage reduction equal to your Intelligence modifier for one round. Any foe who attacks that creature takes damage equal to the damage prevented in this way.

Conjuration: Orb of Energy (Creation)
You conjure an orb of elemental energy in your hands and fire it at a foe within 30'. If you hit with a ranged touch attack, the creature takes d6 damage. The orb increases in damage by d6 at your third caster level and every two levels thereafter. You can create an orb of acid, cold, electricity, or fire. This spell does not allow spell resistance.

Divination: Twist Fate
Choose an creature within 30'. You know what that creature is probably going to do during its next turn. After learning that, you can choose to impose a penalty equal to your Intelligence modifier to its attack rolls, skill checks, armor class, or saving throws for one round (Will half).
Fate can change; if circumstances intervene between the time when you gain this insight and that creature's next turn, it may take a different action. However, the penalty it takes still applies.

Enchantment: Distract (Compulsion) [Mind-affecting]
Choose a creature within 30'. If that creature has no more than your caster level in HD, they are dazed; otherwise, they take a penalty to attack rolls and skill checks equal to your Intelligence modifier (Will negates).

Evocation: Magic Ray [Force]
You fire a ray of magical energy that strikes a creature within 30'. If you succeed on a ranged touch attack, the creature takes d6 force damage. The ray increases in damage by d6 at your third caster level and every two levels thereafter.

Illusion: Phantasmal Attacker (Phantasm) [Mind-affecting]
Choose a creature within 30'. That creature sees an illusionary foe join the battle against it (Will negates). This causes them to treated as if flanked by an additional creature. If that creature has no more than your caster level in HD, they will attack the illusory image during their next turn; otherwise, they may choose to attack the image or ignore it. The image lasts until it is attacked, at which point it is destroyed. The same creature can be affected multiple times by this spell, causing it to see multiple phantom attackers.

Necromancer: Chill of the Grave
Choose a living creature within 30'. If that creature has no more than your caster level in HD, they are nauseated for one round; otherwise, they are sickened (Fort negates).

Transmutation: Lesser Telekinesis
You can telekinetically control a light weapon and use it to attack. Your base attack bonus with the weapon is equal to your caster level, which may grant you additional attacks. You add your Intelligence modifier instead of your Strength modifier to your attack bonus, plus any other bonuses or penalties that would apply if you attacked with the weapon using your hands. The weapon deals damage equal to the weapon's normal damage plus half your Intelligence modifier.
You can use the weapon to perform any combat maneuvers the weapon could normally be used to perform.
The weapon can travel up to 30' before attacking, but if it gets more than 30' from you, you lose control of it and it falls to the ground. The weapon does not provoke attacks of opportunity for moving.
You can attack with the weapon in the same round that you cast the spell, and you can control it for a number of rounds equal to your Intelligence modifier, using a standard action each round to attack with the weapon.
These aren't as polished as I would like (Retributive Barrier wasn't created with 1st level in mind, for example; I'd redesign that to not use Int modifier), but I think they can be super shiny with some tweaking. I wasn't using the "reserve spell" mechanics; in the course of taking the things you like and moving them over to that system, you might find it useful to do some balance fixes.


Unlikely, I'm actually rather terrible. If people don't reply for me to bounce ideas off I lose motivation and drift onto my other projects. I'll see what I can do though, have a great holiday!
Haha. I know what that's like. I doubt I will be completely devoid of down time; I'll probably reply a couple times, just not as often. And thanks!

Kholai
2012-08-23, 05:06 PM
- Hm, Staggering Strike from the Races of Faerun specifically refers in its example to dealing 6D6 SA then forgoing all of that extra damage to stagger its target for 2 rounds. Do you know of a more recent ruling that contradicts that?

1 damage per sneak attack die implemented against corporeal targets. He'll be vulnerable against Incorporeal opponents, but so is the Fighter, and his potential damage of +3 damage per hit would dovetail nicely with TWFing and offset his ease of hitting the target (which is potentially higher than the fighter). Feats to increase sneak attack efficiency based on Knowledge ranks (presumably an epic achievement or multiclassing effect, since Knowledge is hard to come by as a Rogue) will be included.

Bleed updated (it was, incidentally, Total SA dice rather than remaining or dealt SA dice, but rather confusingly worded) to:

Bleed (Ex): At 4th level, whenever a Rogue successfully sneak attacks a target, they may forgo 1D6 of sneak attack in order to cause their target to bleed for 3 rounds. Whilst bleeding, the victim takes damage equal to the half the rogue's level. The bleeding can be stopped by a Heal check with a DC of 10 + the Rogue's class level, or by receiving at least 1 point of magical curing. Bleeding damage bypasses any damage reduction the creature might possess.
Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself, if a Rogue causes a new bleeding effect then they reset the duration of the existing bleed effect. Creatures that are not susceptible to Critical Hits are immune to Bleed.

Net result: Minimum damage from dropping 1D6 = 4 damage over 3 rounds. At level 6, this increases 9 damage over 3 rounds.

- Since Fighters have class features, previously Fighter-only feats are now linked to BAB instead.

- Virtue cannot maintain invocation casting indefinitely; hitpoints aren't "lost" to nonlethal damage, nonlethal damage just accrues until it's equal to your current hitpoint total. That said, I can just imagine someone stopping once a minute to recast virtue and resistance, so... Resistance is now level 1, and lasts for 10 minutes a level, Virtue is removed entirely, 'tis a silly spell at the best of times.

- Note that importantly Spellbolt is not a Ranged "touch" attack, it is a Ranged attack. Secondly, it only works if you actually have spells.

This works out at:
No Spells:
Magic Bolt: 0D6+0
Acid Splash: 1D6 ranged touch.
Ray of Frost: 1D6 ranged touch.

Level 1 Spell - Of the appropriate type.
MB: 1D6+1 Ranged.
AS: 1D6+1+1 Ranged Touch.
RF: 1D6+2 Ranged Touch.

Level 2 Spell
MB: 2D6+2 Ranged.
AS: 1D6+2+2 Ranged Touch.
RF: 1D6+4 Ranged Touch.

Level 3 Spell
MB: 3D6+3 Ranged.
AS: 1D6+3+3 Ranged Touch.
RF: 1D6+6 Ranged Touch.

Magic Bolt deals more damage if you actually hit; less damage if you have level 1 or lower spells left, and Acid Splash kills trolls and distracts casters, Ray of Frost deals 50% more damage to the common Fire subtype, along with whatever your DM will let you get away with using copious amounts of freezing.

They're not identical, no, but I'm happy with where they are with that.

I'm almost done with a spread of Invocations (and several of yours are great for this), I'll post them and their associated rules up when I'm done.

Kholai
2012-08-23, 08:30 PM
Invocations are simple, practical magical abilities which a mage can use indefinitely. Each casting of a spell consumes a tiny part of the mage's vital essence, causing them 1 point of non-lethal damage per invocation level after the invocation resolves.
Even in the case of creatures that are immune to non-lethal damage, they still take this damage, however when their nonlethal damage equal or greater their hitpoint total they are not staggered or rendered unconscious, they simply cannot use invocations until the amount of non-lethal damage taken is less than their hitpoint total.Rather than caster level, Invocations operate from available spells that the caster has available to cast. This is terms as "spell level". In the case of a specific type of spell, such as "fire", this is termed as "'Fire' spell level". If you have no spells of the appropriate type, or only cantrips, then the associated effect is 0. Invocations do not count as spells for the purposes of Spell Levels.
Casting an invocation is the same as casting a spell, only an invocation does not require a spell slot to cast. Determine the DCs for an invocation exactly as you would a spell.
Invocations always require a somatic component to cast and nothing else.
Metamagic feats cannot be used with invocations.


Level 1:


Spellbolt
Evocation
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 ft. + 5 ft./spell level
Effect: One magical blast / spell level
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
Crackling bolt of coalesced magical energy spring from your hand. Each ray requires a ranged touch attack to hit and deals 1d6+1 points of damage.
The rays may be fired at the same or different targets, but all bolts must be aimed at targets within 30 feet of each other and fired simultaneously.
Acid Splash
Conjuration [Acid]
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 Ft
Effect: One missile of acid
Duration: See text.
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
You fire a small orb of acid at the target. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to hit a target. The orb deals 1d6 points of damage +1 per spell level.
Acid splash continues to deal 1 damage per round at the beginning of the target's turn for 1 round per Acid spell level.
Ray of Frost
Evocation [Cold]
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 Ft
Effect: Ray
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
A ray of freezing air and ice projects from your pointing finger. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to deal damage to a target. The ray deals 1d6 points of cold damage plus 2 per Cold spell level.
Cure Minor Wounds
Conjuration [Healing]
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Effect: -
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will half (Harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless
When laying your hand upon a living creature, you channel positive energy that cures 1 point of damage +1 point per spell level. This cannot bring a target above one tenth of their hitpoints (to at least 1). This spell, unlike most magical curing spells, does not restore nonlethal damage.
Since undead are powered by negative energy, this spell deals damage to them instead of curing their wounds. An undead creature can apply spell resistance, and can attempt a Will save to take half damage.
Stormfinger
Evocation [Electricity]
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Effect: -
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
Your successful melee touch attack deals 1d6 points of electricity damage plus 1D6 per electricity spell level.
Inflict Minor Wounds
Necromancy
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Effect: -
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
When laying your hand upon a creature, you channel negative energy that deals 1 point of damage +1 per spell level.
Since undead are powered by negative energy, this spell cures such a creature of a like amount of damage, rather than harming it. This cannot bring a target above one tenth of their hitpoints (to at least 1), and does not recover nonlethal damage to the undead creature.
Ward
Abjuration
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 full round action (see text)
Range: Personal
Effect: -
Duration: 1 round +1 / spell level
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes
Ward creates an invisible nimbus of force that surrounds you. The ward provides a +1 deflection bonus to AC, and a +1 resistance bonus on saves.
You may cast Ward more swiftly by 1 step per abjuration spell level - from Full Round Action to Standard to Move to Swift. Ward may not be cast faster than as a swift action.
Soporify
Necromancy
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 spell levels)
Effect: One living creature.
Duration: Instant / 1 minute (see text)
Saving Throw: Will partial (see text)
Spell Resistance: Yes
Soporify emits a wave of negative energy that engulfs the target, sapping their energy and leaving them drained. The target takes 1D6 non-lethal damage, and left feeling drowsy and soporific. They take a -1 / spell level penalty against all saves against sleep effects or effects that cause fatigue or exhaustion for the next minute.
A successful will save negates this penalty, but does not reduce the nonlethal damage dealt by this spell.
Since undead are powered by negative energy, undead creatures struck by soporify are instead infused with energy, and gain a 5' enhancement bonus to their move speed for 1 minute.


Level 2


Gloom
Evocation [Darkness]
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 100 ft + 10 / spell level
Area 10-ft. square
Duration: 1 round +1 / Darkness spell level
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial (see text)
Spell Resistance: Yes
This invocation creates an area of shadowy illumination. All creatures in the area gain concealment (20% miss chance). Creatures that can normally see in such conditions (such as with darkvision or low-light vision) are unaffected. Creatures within the cloud must make a fortitude save or be fatigued for as long as they are within the area. Spell resistance can ignore the fatiguing effects of Gloom, but not the concealment effect.
Normal lights brighter than a candle are capable of brightening the area, as are light spells.
Flash
Evocation [Light]
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./spell level)
Effect: Burst of light, see text
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
This invocation creates a blinding burst of light with a radius of 5' per light spell level. All creatures within the burst are dazzled for 1 minute unless they make a successful Fortitude save. Sightless creatures, as well as creatures already dazzled, are not affected by the flash.
If a target is are within an area of shadowy or darker illumination then they must make their fortitude save at a -2 Penalty, and if they fail their save by 5 or more are blinded for 1 round.
Special: If you have no light spells available to cast, then Flash only effects a single target.
Impetus
Evocation [Force]
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Weapon touched
Duration: 1 round +1/spell level.
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless, object)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object)
The touched weapon is surrounded by a mystic field of magical force. This field protects the weapon, and the wielder may substitute its hardness (20) for the weapons actual hardness for the duration of the spell. As it is a force effect, this allows the touched weapon to ignore the miss chance when attacking an incorporeal creature.
In addition, the weapon deals an additional 1 damage / Force spell level.
Touch of Fatigue
Necromancy
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 round +1 / spell level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
You channel negative energy through your touch, fatiguing the target. You must succeed on a touch attack to strike a target. Should the target fail their fortitude save then they are fatigued for 1 round plus 1 round per spell level.
If the target fails their save by 5 or more, then they are exhausted instead for the same duration.
This spell has no effect on a creature that is already exhausted, and unless they fail the save by 5 or more, this has no effect on a creature that is already fatigued. Unlike with normal fatigue, the effect ends as soon as the invocationís duration expires.
Eyebite
Illusion (Phantasm) [Mind-Affecting]
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 5 ft + 5ft / spell level
Target: 1 creature.
Duration: Instantaneous / 1 round (see text)
Saving Throw: Will partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
You project claws of shadows that unerringly rend at the targets eyes, dealing 1D6 damage per illusion spell level.
Until the beginning of your next turn you are invisible to the creature and have total concealment.
If the target makes their will save then they take only 20% of the damage, and negate the invisibility effect.
Forceweb
Evocation [Force]
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 spell levels)
Target: 1 creature.
Duration: 1 round / spell level.
Saving Throw: Reflex negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
A web of semi-corporeal energy engulfs the target, causing them to be entangled unless they make a reflex save.
As it is a force effect, this spell may successfully entangle incorporeal creatures.
Airburst
Evocation [Fire]
Level: 2
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 5 ft. + 5 ft. / spell level
Area: 5-ft.-radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex half
Spell Resistance: Yes
You create a fiery explosion of energy in the air, dealing 1D6 fire damage plus 1D6 / fire spell level.
Grim Visage
Illusion (Phantasm) [Fear, Mind-Affecting]
Level: 1
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 5ft + 5ft / spell level
Area: One creature
Duration: 1 round / spell level.
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
The target creature perceives you as a horrifying creature of nightmare. They must make a will save or be shaken for 1 round / spell level. If the target is already shaken then it becomes panicked for 1 round / spell level, or until it spends 1 full round out of line of sight of you.
The target receives a -1 penalty / Fear spell level against this save.

Level 3:


Cloudkill
Conjuration (Creation) [Acid]
Level: 3
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 ft. + 5 ft./spell level
Effect: Fog spreads in 10-ft. radius, 10 ft. high
Duration: 1 round / acid spell level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
Cloudkill creates a billowing mass of misty vapours similar to that produced by a fog spell. In addition to obscuring sight, these vapours are highly acidic. Each round on your turn, starting when you cast the spell, the fog deals 1D6 point of acid damage to each creature and object within it.
The vapour is not thick enough to grant total concealment, but all creatures with at least 10 ft of mist between them and their target treat that target as having partial concealment.
Retribution
Abjuration
Level: 3
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Effect: -
Duration: 1 round.
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
Retribution surrounds your target with a defensive aura that absorbs kinetic energy and projects it back at foes in sparks of magical energy. The ward provides damage reduction 1 / adamantine, this damage reduction rises by 1 point per Abjuration spell level.
Whenever a creature attacks the target in melee, they take damage equal to the amount of damage prevented by damage reduction granted by retribution. This damage is subject to spell resistance.
Premonition
Divination
Level: 3
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 Ft
Target One ally and one enemy, which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Duration: 1 round +1 / divination spell level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
Premonition taps into the target's future, imparting flashes of insight into the creature's actions. Unless the enemy passes a will save, then a single ally within 30 ft of it gains an insight bonus to attack rolls, armour class and saves of +1 / spell level, but only against that target.
Should either of the targets of the spell move more than 30 ft from the other, the ties of fate are broken and the benefit ends.
Ghoul's Glance
Necromancy
Level: 3
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 Ft
Target One living creature.
Duration: 1 round +1 / necromancy spell level
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
With a glance you can fill a creature with waves of disgust and discomfort. Unless the target creature makes a fortitude save, they are sickened. If they fail the save by 5 or more, the creature is nauseated for 1 round as well.
Lion's Roar
Evocation [Sonic]
Level: 3
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 ft cone
Area Cone-shaped burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes
By opening your mouth, a thunderous wave of sound erupts forth from it, dealing 1D8 sonic damage +1 / sonic spell level to all creatures in its area. A successful fortitude save halves this damage, however if they fail their fortitude save by more than 5 they take an additional 1D8 damage and are dazed for 1 round.
Lightning Lance
Evocation [Electricity]
Level: 3
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 Ft
Area 60 ft Line
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Reflex half
Spell Resistance: Yes
You release a powerful stroke of electrical energy that deals 2d6 points of electricity damage +2 per Electricity spell level to each creature within its area. The bolt begins at your fingertips.
Wind Warrior
Illusion (Figment)
Casting Time: 1 full round action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 spell levels)
Effect: One summoned figment
Duration: 1 round/spell level (D)
Saving Throw: Will disbelief (if interacted with)
Spell Resistance: No
This spell summons an illusionary warrior wielding a longsword and wearing chainmail armour. This warrior does not travel from their starting point, but threatens all targets within 5' that do not disbelieve. The warrior never takes attacks of any kind, including attacks of opportunity, but does help allies in flanking targets he is adjacent to. The warrior has 1 Hitpoint, and an AC of 10 + 2 / Figment spell level (treat this additional AC as a deflection bonus). A single attack of any kind is enough to "kill" the warrior.

Keen to hear any commentary on the balance of this, I've tried to base this roughly using the Warlock and Reserve Feats as a guideline (although as both are considered subpar, tweaked slightly up a bit).

Currently I'm thinking for the mage's spells/day matching the wizard:

1/-/-
2/-/-
2/1/-
3/2/-
3/2/1
3/3/2

With spells known at level 6 being: 5/3/2, with 1 Invocation learned at each level of any level up to the highest level of spell known. Each mage knows all eight cantrips associated with their craft:

Dancing Lights
Detect Magic
Know Direction
Prestidigitation
Guidance
Mage Hand
Message
Light

Ghost Sound and several detect spells have been moved up to 1st level.

Mending, Create Water, Daze, Flare, Acid Splash, Ray of Frost, Disrupt undead, Open/Close, Touch of Fatigue, Summon Instrument, Cure Minor Wounds, Virtue, Inflict Minor Wounds and Purify Food and Drink have all been removed. I'd consider adding most of them back as invocations that aren't already, with the exception of mending, create water, purify food and drink and whatever other economy busters are hiding out as level 0 spells.
Meanwhile the Bard is at:

-/-
0/-
1/-
2/0
2/1
3/2

With 1 Invocation learned at level 2, 4 and 6.

Attack spells are significantly downgraded, but since they have generally more available effects, don't cause subdual damage, and I'm expecting roughly twice the damage output or more, I doubt they'll be replaced, simply not relied quite so much, which is nice for ensuring more utility spells get picked.

Gnorman
2012-08-24, 02:29 AM
I really like the concept of the "simple spells" as you call them (ideas for other names: Charms, Theurgiae, Impulses, Hexes, maybe Runes?)

A cursory glance suggests that they are relatively balanced, though I'd have to spend a little more time with them to say for sure. Will give them a more dedicated review when I have the chance.

LordErebus12
2012-08-24, 03:09 AM
Primarily because I want there to be an actual cost for the creation of magic items. If it's gold only, then magic items will by their very nature be common, because why wouldn't a mage make a few whenever they had some downtime? Why wouldn't every mage take at least one crafting feat to guarantee themselves a lucrative profession?



Ever thought of Soul Gems? rechargeable stones that can siphon off exp from dying foes?

It functions like this:

Soul Gems (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=253665)

Gnorman
2012-08-24, 03:55 AM
Not only is that a pretty cool idea, it also prevents "mage in the tower" syndrome. Opens up a lot of philosophical ramifications to magic items, too. Any creature with a CR of 2 might be hunted to extinction, though (being the easiest pickings). Say goodbye to apes, crocodiles, black bears, bugbears, large sharks, rat swarms (THIS IS WHY PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK LOW-LEVEL ADVENTURES TO HUNT RATS!), kuo-toa, dretches, sahuagin, kuo-toa, and any drow with a level in a PC class (this last one is very much a positive).

In short, me likey.

LordErebus12
2012-08-24, 04:07 AM
Not only is that a pretty cool idea, it also prevents "mage in the tower" syndrome. Opens up a lot of philosophical ramifications to magic items, too. Any creature with a CR of 2 might be hunted to extinction, though (being the easiest pickings). Say goodbye to apes, crocodiles, black bears, bugbears, large sharks, rat swarms (THIS IS WHY PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK LOW-LEVEL ADVENTURES TO HUNT RATS!), kuo-toa, dretches, sahuagin, kuo-toa, and any drow with a level in a PC class (this last one is very much a positive).

In short, me likey.

well, it just means that you cant just wander around and kill innocent NPC's without substantial any levels. no draining all the CR 1 Peasants or Nobles, lmao. i figured it would mean less killing of 1/4 CR mice for spells that need Exp.

any creatures with some class levels better watch out.

Gnorman
2012-08-24, 04:12 AM
I think that it would need to be used instead of GP, not XP, to really make creating magic items have a substantial cost.

I agree that the magic item economy should be adjusted here.

EDIT: Obviously, you already suggested the hit point sacrifice, and I missed it.

You could expand the sacrifice to other statistics. Enchanting a weapon permanently reduces your base attack bonus. Enchanting a piece of armor permanently reduces your AC. Just spitballing here. No more magic item factories. Now each crafter can only make a certain number of items. Each one becomes more valuable, because each one literally has a portion of the crafter's life force imbued into it (and not the kind of life force that you get more of by killing orcs).

LordErebus12
2012-08-24, 04:17 AM
I think that it would need to be used instead of GP, not XP, to really make creating magic items have a substantial cost.

I agree that the magic item economy should be adjusted here.

Back in the old days, you took one point of permanent Constitution drain when you made a magic item. Perhaps this is an idea that could be implemented (albeit on a lesser scale). Say, every magic item you make permanently reduces your hit points by one? But you could get that hit point back if you destroyed the magic item. Maybe more expensive items require more hit points (perhaps on a 1 HP per certain amount of GP scale).

You could expand the sacrifice to other statistics. Enchanting a weapon permanently reduces your base attack bonus. Enchanting a piece of armor permanently reduces your AC. Just spitballing here. No more magic item factories. Now each crafter can only make a certain number of items. Each one becomes more valuable, because each one literally has a portion of the crafter's life force imbued into it (and not the kind of life force that you get more of by killing orcs).

1 hit point for every 10,000 gp of the created item's cost (minimum 1). breaking it restores the HP.

Gnorman
2012-08-24, 04:21 AM
I was thinking more like 1 HP per 2,000-3,000 GP in cost. We're talking about an E6 framework here, right?

LordErebus12
2012-08-24, 04:26 AM
I was thinking more like 1 HP per 2,000-3,000 GP in cost. We're talking about an E6 framework here, right?

what the hell is E6?

justed looked at it, i cryed....

Gnorman
2012-08-24, 04:30 AM
what the hell is E6?

justed looked at it, i cryed....

This is E6 (http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/206323-e6-game-inside-d-d.html). It's kind of important to the discussion here.

LordErebus12
2012-08-24, 05:09 AM
This is E6 (http://www.enworld.org/forum/general-rpg-discussion/206323-e6-game-inside-d-d.html). It's kind of important to the discussion here.

i like it and hate it.

Kholai
2012-08-24, 07:11 AM
Invocations: Seem balanced? Awesome. I like Hexes, unfortunately I already used that for the Dark Magic specialisation.


Magic Item Creation: Currently I'm fairly happy with the "Negative Level" cost that was hammered out somewhere towards the bottom of page 1.

"However long it takes to make an item, you gain a negative level for twice as long as it took to make the magic item (or 1 day for potions)."

For reference, this is: -1 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, ability checks; loss of 5 hit points; and -1 to effective level (for determining the power, duration, DC, and other details of spells or special abilities). In addition, a spellcaster loses one spell or spell slot from the highest spell level castable.

So a magic sword +1 sword leaves you at -1 to hit for four days. A +2 sword leaves you at -1 to hit for twelve days. The better the item, the longer your downtime, and your lowered CL will stop you from working on anything else.

This doesn't quite stop the level 6 "legendary smith", but it does ensure that his "epic" +2/Merciful sword is something he can make ten of per year, and then can't make anything else.

Meanwhile, for the majority of the population (who trend towards level 3-4 tops, generally), crafting is pretty risky, losing 5 Hit points (where for an average 12 Con elite array mage is about a third of their hitpoints) is huge, and it means that the mage isn't able to cast level 2 spells for a few days minimum, so it's a real opportunity cost for your average hedge wizard.

Overall that should hopefully keep magic items rare and the economy sane; they can and do break, and the most dedicated crafter can only make 90 +1 swords per year.

Optional Hardcore Rules: You can lose a level to this negative level. At the end of this time period, the crafter must attempt a Fortitude save (DC 10 + the number of days required to craft the item) to recover their negative level.

Since Dwarves get a Con bonus, this would probably explain the number of epic dwarf smiths out there.

In the E6 Framework, a permanently lost level would be either from 6 - 5, or presumably losing 1 Epic Feat permanently.

I really like the idea of fuelling them with the entrapped souls of slain foes captured in constant agony however, I'd totally let this be used to offset 1 day of the negative level cost per hitdie of the creature absorbed, (and lower the DC accordingly if you're playing Hardcore).



Now all I have to do is turn all Save or Die/Suck into "X Partial (S)":

(S) Scaling
If the Saving Throw line ends with "(S)," this spell has a range of effects depending on how much the saving throw was missed or succeeded by 5 or more.

With scaling saves, the binary effect will hopefully become a far smoother curve of utility.

Once this is done, I should pretty much be done with magic and be able to make a new thread with the pseudo complete "Core" classes, feats and magic in place.


i like it and hate it.

Yeah, E6 is an odd one, but I'm actually growing to like it more than full-20, it solves a lot of "issues" with high level play silliness. Finally I can look at a (modified and heavily improved) fighter and not feel like I'd gimp myself if I played it.

Vadskye
2012-08-24, 09:16 AM
- Hm, Staggering Strike from the Races of Faerun specifically refers in its example to dealing 6D6 SA then forgoing all of that extra damage to stagger its target for 2 rounds. Do you know of a more recent ruling that contradicts that?
Page 71 of Complete Scoundrel, when describing Ambush feats, states that you can't lower your sneak attack dice below 1d6. Races of Faerun came out in 2003, and Complete Scoundrel came out in 2007. Additionally, Complete Adventurer introduced a different version of Staggering Strike that uses different mechanics. It's not technically errata or a complete rejection of the original mechanic, but the "modern" way of allowing players to sacrifice sneak attack dice requires that there always be at least 1d6 sneak attack left.


1 damage per sneak attack die implemented against corporeal targets. He'll be vulnerable against Incorporeal opponents, but so is the Fighter, and his potential damage of +3 damage per hit would dovetail nicely with TWFing and offset his ease of hitting the target (which is potentially higher than the fighter). Feats to increase sneak attack efficiency based on Knowledge ranks (presumably an epic achievement or multiclassing effect, since Knowledge is hard to come by as a Rogue) will be included.
Cool.


Bleed updated (it was, incidentally, Total SA dice rather than remaining or dealt SA dice, but rather confusingly worded) to:

Bleed (Ex): At 4th level, whenever a Rogue successfully sneak attacks a target, they may forgo 1D6 of sneak attack in order to cause their target to bleed for 3 rounds. Whilst bleeding, the victim takes damage equal to the half the rogue's level. The bleeding can be stopped by a Heal check with a DC of 10 + the Rogue's class level, or by receiving at least 1 point of magical curing. Bleeding damage bypasses any damage reduction the creature might possess.
Bleeding damage from this ability does not stack with itself, if a Rogue causes a new bleeding effect then they reset the duration of the existing bleed effect. Creatures that are not susceptible to Critical Hits are immune to Bleed.

Net result: Minimum damage from dropping 1D6 = 4 damage over 3 rounds. At level 6, this increases 9 damage over 3 rounds.
This is easier to understand now, and also worth. Great!


- Since Fighters have class features, previously Fighter-only feats are now linked to BAB instead.
Makes sense. You were already giving several classes access to fighter feats anyway, as I recall.


- Virtue cannot maintain invocation casting indefinitely; hitpoints aren't "lost" to nonlethal damage, nonlethal damage just accrues until it's equal to your current hitpoint total. That said, I can just imagine someone stopping once a minute to recast virtue and resistance, so... Resistance is now level 1, and lasts for 10 minutes a level, Virtue is removed entirely, 'tis a silly spell at the best of times.
Oops, you're right - I forgot how nonlethal works. But I like the changes. *stolen*


- Note that importantly Spellbolt is not a Ranged "touch" attack, it is a Ranged attack.
Ohhh. I missed that. Okay, everything makes sense again.


This works out at:
No Spells:
Magic Bolt: 0D6+0
Acid Splash: 1D6 ranged touch.
Ray of Frost: 1D6 ranged touch.

Level 1 Spell - Of the appropriate type.
MB: 1D6+1 Ranged.
AS: 1D6+1+1 Ranged Touch.
RF: 1D6+2 Ranged Touch.

Level 2 Spell
MB: 2D6+2 Ranged.
AS: 1D6+2+2 Ranged Touch.
RF: 1D6+4 Ranged Touch.

Level 3 Spell
MB: 3D6+3 Ranged.
AS: 1D6+3+3 Ranged Touch.
RF: 1D6+6 Ranged Touch.

Magic Bolt deals more damage if you actually hit; less damage if you have level 1 or lower spells left, and Acid Splash kills trolls and distracts casters, Ray of Frost deals 50% more damage to the common Fire subtype, along with whatever your DM will let you get away with using copious amounts of freezing.

They're not identical, no, but I'm happy with where they are with that.
This is a great implementation of all the different ways to make things similar but different. I like it.

I'm almost done with a spread of Invocations (and several of yours are great for this), I'll post them and their associated rules up when I'm done.[/QUOTE]
I'm going to respond to that in a separate post too then. Symmetry! (and it makes it feel like it doesn't take so long to respond).

Kholai
2012-08-24, 09:59 AM
Page 71 of Complete Scoundrel, when describing Ambush feats, states that you can't lower your sneak attack dice below 1d6. Races of Faerun came out in 2003, and Complete Scoundrel came out in 2007. Additionally, Complete Adventurer introduced a different version of Staggering Strike that uses different mechanics. It's not technically errata or a complete rejection of the original mechanic, but the "modern" way of allowing players to sacrifice sneak attack dice requires that there always be at least 1d6 sneak attack left.

Thanks, couldn't find it for the life of me. I think I'll leave it without that clause, not least because it makes Lethality pop so much better, but keep it in place if I add any Ambush-like feats (that way they would need the Rogue to actually Sneak Attack to get the benefit).


This is easier to understand now, and also worth.

Glad to hear it, one side effect of these changes is that one of the best feats for a pure Rogue to take now is Whirlwind Attack. Maximum UA + Bleed All targets means that the Rogue can be responsible for 8 (5',


This is a great implementation of all the different ways to make things similar but different. I like it.


I've actually switched Magic Bolt into three separate bolts with Ranged Touch which each require an attack roll. I'm considering a Force bolt version which is 1D6 + 1D6/Force Spell Level Ranged Not-Touch but has no miss chance against incorporeal targets, which should make it work out as a 4th distinct option (and the incorporeal benefit offsets the fact that it's actually rather likely to miss at low BAB).