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Submortimer
2016-07-15, 06:16 PM
Greetings, all!

After the successful completion of the Binder, I began to get hungry for another big project. One that kept coming up was Magic of Incarnum, and all the constituent parts of that book. I love MoI, so I figured...why not? Things worked out well last time!

What I'm presenting today is not complete in any shape or form, and is more Proof of Concept than anything else.

My goals for this (admittedly highly ambitious) project:
- Create full, 5th edition versions of both the Incarnate and the Totemist as seperate classes. The Incarnate, as the original was, will be a beefy, single attack class with a lot of utility (sort of like a cross between a bard and a paladin, but with no spells); The totemist, by comparison, should feel a bit more like a druid.
- Create a number of Subclasses out of the old PrCs, including but not limited to: The Incarnum Blade (fighter), The Soulborn (paladin), the Sapphire Hierarch (cleric), and The Spine meld Warrior (monk).
- Create 5th edition versions of The Skarn, the Rilkan, The Azurian, and Duskling races
- Create 5th edition versions of soulmelds. In my mind, they sould be somewhat similiar to the Warlock's Invocations, in that they provide a constant passive benefit with the ability to boost that via essentia.

That being said, let me show you what I've got

(Note: You can check out the whole thing via Google doc HERE (https://docs.google.com/document/d/11CTes0wgmrf-x1zurbXtmBbzRI7omJkWPFYFEdsPc_M/edit?usp=sharing))




Incarnate

Class Features
As an Incarnate, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d8 per Incarnate level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per Incarnate level after 1st

Proficencies
Armor: Light armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple weapons
Tools: none
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Two from: Arcana, History, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Religion, Perception

Equipment:
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted to you by your background:


A dagger and (a) a mace or (b) any simple weapon
(a) Leather Armor or (b) Chain Shirt
A shield
(a) a light crossbow or (b) a shortbow
a quiver of (a) 20 bolts or (b) 20 arrows
(a) a traveler's pack or (b) one kit you're proficient in


The Incarnate




Level


Proficiency Bonus


Features


Soulmelds


Essentia


Soul Charms




1st


+2


Meldshaping, Basic Chakra, Soul Charms


1


-


1




2nd


+2


Essentia


1


2


1




3rd


+2


Planar Alignment


2


3


1




4th


+2


Ability Score Improvement


2


3


2




5th


+3


Minor Chakra


3


4


2




6th


+3

Planar Senses

3


4


2




7th


+3


Alignment Feature


4


5


2




8th


+3


Ability Score Improvement


4


5


2




9th


+4


Intermediate Chakra


5


6


2




10th


+4


Alignment Feature


5


6


3




11th


+4

Rapid Meldshaping

6


7


3




12th


+4


Ability Score Improvement


6


7


3




13th


+5


Major Chakra


7


8


3




14th


+5


Alignment Feature


7


8


3




15th


+5

Fluid Essentia

8


9


3




16th


+5


Ability Score Improvement


8


9


3




17th


+6


Master Chakra


9


10


3




18th


+6


Alignment Feature


9


10


3




19th


+6


Ability Score Improvement


9


11


3




20th


+6


True Incarnation


9


11


3




















Meldshaping
Starting at 1st level, you begin to learn the secrets of Meldshaping. By gathering motes of pure incanum around your open chakra, you are able to shape that incanum into semi-real object of immense power.
Following a long rest, you can shape any number of souldmelds available to you, up to the maximum number of soulmelds you may shape at once is shown in the Soulmelds column of the Incarnate class table. These soulmelds take up space on your body, though they do not inhibit the use of mundane or magical gear; because of this, you may not create more than one soulmeld at a time that take up the same place on the body. Though some soulmelds have the ability to produce effects which target other creatures, you may only shape soulmelds onto yourself.
Soulmelds you have shaped remain in existence until you dismiss them or you take a long rest, unless otherwise specified.

Meldshaping Ability
Wisdom is your meldshaping ability for your Incarnate soulmelds, since you discover your soulmelds through contemplation and meditation. You use your Wisdom whenever a soulmeld refers to your meldshaping ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for an Incarnate soulmeld you use and when making an attack roll with one.


Soulmeld save DC= 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier
Soulmeld attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier


Basic Chakra
Through deep, prolonged meditation, you have opened your first chakra, allowing incarnum to flow freely through it. At 1st level, you gain access to all Basic Incarnate soulmelds,

Soul Charms
By harnessing the runoff incanum left over from forging soulmelds, you can create and maintain small trinkets of soul energy. Starting at 1st level, you learn and meld a number of Soul Charms as indicated on the soul charms column of the incarnate table; when you meld a soul charm, you learn the associated cantrips and may cast them using your meldshaping ability. These charms remain melded at all times. Each time you gain a new level in the Incarnate class, you may disperse a soul charm you currently have melded and meld a new one in it's place.

Essentia
At 2nd level, you learn to harness the incarnum that makes up your own soul, known as essentia. Your access to this
energy is represented by a number of essentia points. Your Incarnate level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Essentia column of the Incarnate table.
You may use these essentia points in a number of ways. Initially, you know how to use your essentia to Bind your Soulmelds to your Chakra. As you gain access to greater Chakra, your ability to use your essentia expands
When you spend or invest a point of essentia, it is unavailable until you finish a long rest, even if you dismiss the soulmeld the essentia is invested in. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your essentia.

Chakra Binding
Whnever you shape a soulmeld, you may invest points of essentia into your melds to bind them to your chakra, increasing their power. You may only invest 1 point of essentia into a given soulmeld, unless otherwise specified, and you may only bind a number of soulmelds equal to your proficiency bonus.

Planar Aligment
At 3rd level, you decide which of the greater planar alignments you commit yourself to: Good, Evil, Law, or Chaos, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your planar alignment grants you features at 3rd level and again at 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level.

Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your
choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you canít increase an ability
score above 20 using this feature.

Minor Chakra
At 5th level, you gain access to all Minor Incarnate soulmelds.

Planar Senses
At 6th level, as an action, you can sense the ebb and flow of soul energy, especially that which comes from one of the aligned planes. As an action on your turn, you open your awareness to this energy. Until the end of your next turn, you know the location of any undead or creature that is not native to the plane you are on (excluding yourself, if applicable), within 60 feet of you that is not behind total cover. You know the type of any being whose presence you sense, but not its identity (the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, for instance). Within a one mile radius, you also detect the presence of any place or object that has been consecrated or desecrated, as with the hallow spell, or has a strong connection to another plane, such as a gate. You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your Wisdom modifier. When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.

Intermediate Chakra
At 9th level, you gain access to all Intermediate Incarnate soulmelds.

Rapid Meldshaping
Starting at 11th level, following a short rest, you may dismiss and reshape any number of soulmelds. Once you use this ability, you must take a long rest before you can do so again.

Major Chakra
At 13th level, you gain access to all Major Incarnate soulmelds.

Fluid Essentia
Starting at 15th level, following a short rest, you may redistribute your essentia. You regain any lost points of essentia, and you reclaim any invested essentia, breaking the bond with that soulmeld or class ability. You may then re-invest your essentia as you see fit. Once you use this ability, you must take a long rest before you can do so again.

Master Chakra
At 17th level, you gain access to all Master Incarnate soulmelds. Unlike other soulmelds, you may never have more than one Master soulmeld shaped at a time.

True Incarnation
At 20th level, you gain a perfect grasp over your essentia. When you activate this ability, you flood your soulmelds with essentia, treating each as if you had invested a point of essentia into it. This ability lasts for 1 minute.
Once you use this ability, you must take a short or long rest before you can do so again.

Planar Alignments


Good
Healing Touch
Starting at 3rd level when you choose this alignment, you gain the ability to heal with a touch. You gain a pool of hit points equal to 3x your Incarnate level. As an action on your turn, you may touch a willing creature, transferring some or all of this pool to that creature up to its maximum HP. You regain all expended HP following a long rest.
You may invest essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, Your pool of healing increases to 5x your Incarnate level, and you may use it at a range of 30 feet.

Glorious Incarnum Radiance
Starting at 7th level, as an action on your turn you begin to glow with bright, warm light. While glowing, you emit bright light as per a torch. Additionally, your armor class increases by +1. You may dismiss this glow as an action.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest; if you do so, until you take a long rest, this ability also affects all friendly creatures within a 10 foot radius of you. A creature can benefit from this ability from only one incarnate at a time.
Your radiance persists as long as you are conscious, and you may dismiss your radiance as an action on your turn.

Glorious Smite
At 10th level, your deep connection to the planar alignments allows you to passively channel incarnum into your weapons, making them much more potent. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can
cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 Radiant damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Glorious Sustenance
Starting at 14th level, you no longer require food or water to survive, and you become immune to all diseases.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest; if you do so, until you take a long rest, you do not require air to survive, and you are immune to all poisons. Additionally, you may select a number of creatures you can see equal to your wisdom modifier to gain the benefits of this ability. Creatures you target with this ability who are currently affected by an ongoing disease or poison are cured of that disease or poison.


Greater Incarnum Radiance
At 18th level, the armor class increase from your Incarnum Radiance increases to +2, and it now affects all friendly creatures within 30 feet of you while invested with essentia.


Evil
Siphon Life
Starting at 3rd level when you choose this alignment, whenever you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your Incarnate level (minimum of 1).
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, until you take a long rest, when you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points you may use your bonus action to make a single weapon attack.

Wicked Incarnum Shroud
Starting at 7th level, as an action on your turn you wrap yourself in deep, pulsing red glow. While shrouded, you gain darkvision out to 60 feet. Additionally, you gain a bonus to your melee damage rolls equal to your Wisdom modifier.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest; if you do so, until you take a long rest, this ability also affects all friendly creatures within a 10 foot radius of you. A creature can benefit from this ability from only one incarnate at a time.
Your shroud persists as long as you are conscious, and you may dismiss your shroud as an action on your turn.

Wicked Blow
At 10th level, your deep connection to the planar alignments allows you to passively channel incarnum into your weapons, making them much more potent. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can
cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 Necrotic damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Wicked Countenance
Starting at 14th level, you have advantage on intimidation checks against creatures that can see you. This ability affects creatures that can see you via darkvision, but not via blindsight or tremorsense.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, until you take a long rest, as an action on your turn you may fix your gaze on a creature. That creature must make a wisdom saving throw or be Frightened of you for a number of rounds equal to your wisdom modifier. The creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns or any time it takes damage, and it is no longer frightened if it leaves your sight. Weather or not it succeeds, a creature you target with this ability may not be targeted again for 24 hours.

Greater Incarnum Shroud
At 18th level, creatures affected by your Incarnum Shroud who are below half their maximum hit points heal a number of hit points equal to your wisdom modifier when they damage a creature with a melee attack. Additionally, your shroud now affects all friendly creatures within 30 feet of you while invested with essentia.


Law
Perfected Strike
Starting at 3rd level when you select this alignment, weapons you wield are considered magical for the purposes of bypassing damage resistance and immunity.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, until you take a long rest, you may use a bonus action on your turn to gain advantage on a single attack roll or ability check. Once you use this ability, you must take a short rest before you can do so again; at 10th level, you may use this ability an additional time between rests.

Imperious Incarnum Cloak
Starting at 7th level, as an action on your turn you can begin to glow with a pale, white light. While glowing, you emit light as per a torch. Additionally, when you make a saving throw or ability check, you may roll 1d4 and add the number rolled to the saving throw or ability check. You may dismiss this glow as an action.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest; if you do so, until you take a long rest, this ability also affects all friendly creatures within a 10 foot radius of you. A creature can benefit from this ability from only one incarnate at a time.
You cloak persists as long as you are conscious, and you may dismiss your cloak as an action on your turn.

Axiomatic Blade
At 10th level, your deep connection to the planar alignments allows you to passively channel incarnum into your weapons, making them much more potent. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can
cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 Force damage to the target. When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Word of Law
Starting at 14th level, you have advantage on insight checks against creatures you can see, and creatures that can see you have disadvantage on deception checks. This ability affects creatures that you can see or can see you via darkvision, but not via blindsight or tremorsense.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, until you take a long rest, you may cast either command or compelled duel without using a spell slot. You may use this ability to a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier.

Greater Incarnum Cloak
Starting at 18th level, your incarnum cloak now grants a bonus die to attack rolls in addition to saving throws and ability checks, and the bonus die your incarnum cloak grants increases to 1d6. Additionally, your cloak now affects all friendly creatures within 30 feet of you while invested with essentia.


Chaos
Discordant Blow
Starting at 3rd level when you select this alignment, your melee attacks surge with the power of pure chaos. Whenever you deal damage with a melee weapon attack, if you roll the maximum value on a weapon damage die, you may roll an additional die of damage.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, until you take a long rest, you may use your attacks to stun. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you may force that creature to make a constitution saving throw; failure causes the creature to be stunned until the start of your next turn. Once you use this ability, you must take a short rest before you can do so again; at 10th level, you may use this ability an additional time between rests.

Wild Incarnum Aura
Starting at 7th level, as an action on your turn you can begin to glow with a pulsating, multi-colored aura. While glowing, you emit light as per a torch. Additionally, when you activate your aura, select two damage types: you gain resistance to these two damage types.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest; if you do so, until you take a long rest, this ability also affects all friendly creatures within a 10 foot radius of you. A creature can benefit from this ability from only one incarnate at a time.
Your aura persists as long as you are conscious, and you may dismiss your aura as an action on your turn.

Chaotic Strike
At 10th level, your deep connection to the planar alignments allows you to passively channel incarnum into your weapons, making them much more potent. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can
cause the attack to deal an extra 1d8 Fire, Cold, Acid, or Lightning damage to the target, your choice.
When you reach 14th level, the extra damage increases to 2d8.

Chaotic Form
At 14th level, you gain the ability to shift your physical from. You may cast disguise self at will without using a spell slot.
You may invest 1 point of essentia into this ability immediately following a long rest. If you do so, until you take a long rest, you may instead cast alter self at will without using a spell slot.

Greater Incarnum Aura
Starting at 18th level, your incarnum aura now grants resistance to 3 damage types. Additionally, your aura now affects all friendly creatures within 30 feet of you while invested with essentia.



Soul Charms


Lighting
Lightning Lure, Shocking Grasp


Torch
Fire Bolt, Greenflame Blade


Snow
Ray of frost, Frostbite


Squall
Thunderclap, Booming Blade


Gale
Gust, Message


Mountain
Mold Eath, Magic Stone


Wicked
Chill Touch, Vicious Mockery


Righteous
Sacred Flame,Spare the Dying


Warrior
True Strike, Sword Burst


Berserker
Resistance,Blade Ward


Illusionist
Dancing Lights, Minor Illusion


Arcane
Mage hand, Prestidigitation


Divine
Guidance, Thaumaturgy


Nature
Thornwhip, Druidcraft

Submortimer
2016-07-15, 06:20 PM
Soulmelds(WIP)



Soulmeld
Chakra
Normal
Invested


Hands





Theft Gloves
Basic
Proficiency in Sleight of hand and Theives tools
Can Detect Secrets Wis mod/long rest, can summon Thieves tools


Mauling Gauntlets
Minor
Unarmed strikes deal 1d6 damage, are magical
Creatures you hit must make a strength saving throw or be shoved back 10 feet or knocked prone, your choice.


Lightning Gauntlets
Intermediate
Melee Weapon attacks you make deal +1d6 lightning damage
Cast Lighting Bolt 3/Long rest


Bloodwar Gauntlets
Major
Melee Weapon attack you make deal +2d6 Fire damage
Critical hits cause an explosion, dealing 1d8 fire damage x your wisdom modifier


Arms





Riding Bracers
Basic
Proficiency in Animal Handling and the Lance
Mounted Combat Feat


Sailor's Bracers
Minor
Proficiency in Athletics and Vehicles (Ships)
Mariner Fighting Style


Bluesteel Bracers
Intermediate
Add proficiency modifier to Initiative Rolls
Gain a fighting style: GWF, TWF, or Dueling


Armguards of Disruption
Major
1/round, Weapon attack you make deals an additional 2d8 radiant damage to undead
Undead Creatures have disadvantage on attacks against you


Eyes/Face





Mage's Spectacles
Basic
Proficiency in Arcana and History
Cast Detect Magic at will


Silvertongue Mask
Minor
Proficiency in Deception and Persuasion
Cast Charm Person Wis Mod/short rest


Keeneye Lenses
Intermediate
Proficiency in Perception and Investigation
See invisible creatures


Hunter's Circlet
Major
Proficiency in Nature and Survivial
Cast Goodberry 1/short rest


Head





Diadem of Purelight

60 ft. Bright light, 120 ft. dim
Dispells Darkness spells up to Wis Mod level























Soulspeaker Torc

Can Speak and understand all languages
Gain proficiency in Persuasion and Intimidation









Silver Pipes

Proficiency in Performance and three instruments
Cast Dissonant whispers 1/short rest


Vitality Belt

Gain Temp HP equal to Wis Mod + Incarnate Level
Reroll a Con save 1/Long rest


Minor


Crystal Helm

Communicate telepatically within 30 feet
Action to deal 1d8+wis mod psychic damage to creatures within 30 feet that fail a Cha saving throw


Daemon Helm

Gain a Horn attack that deals 1d8 Piercing damage
Horn attack deals +1d6 fire damage


Soulspark Familiar

Summon a Lesser Soulspark
Summon a Greater Soulspark


Incarnate Weapon

Summon a magic weapon, cant be disarmed
Use Wis mod for attack and damage with Weapon


Incarnate Armor

Summon Magic Armor, no penalties for resting
Attacks that deal Non-magical B, P, or S damage deal Wis mod less damage, and armor has no strength requirement








Cerulean Sandals

Ignore Rough terrain
walk across water or other liquids.














Acrobat Boots

Proficiency in Acrobatics and stealth
Jump distance is tripled


Arcane Focus

You gain +2 to spell attack rolls
Your Spell attacks ignore resistance


Pauldrons of Health

You are Immune to disease
Preserve life 1/long rest


Intermediate








Sighting Gloves

Gain Archery Fighting style, ignore cover
1/round deal an additional 1d8 damage on ranged weapon attack


Lucky DIce

reroll d20 1/long rest
Reroll yours or your allies d20s 3/long rest


Adamant Pauldrons

1/short rest, Turn Critical hit or sneak attack into a regular attack
Gain Resistance to 2 damage types other than B/S/P


Mantle of Flame

Creatures that hit you with Melee attacks take Wis mod Fire damage
Cast Hellish Rebuke at will


Thereputic Mantle

Increase Healing to yourself by your wis mod
Increase Healing to others by your wis mod








Flame Cincture

Gain Resistance to Fire damage
Cast Fireball 3/long rest


Thunderstep Boots

When you move, you may turn the ground you walk on into rough terrain
Action to force all creatures within 10 feet to make a strength saving throw or be knocked prone


Apparition Ribbon

Cast Misty Escape 1/Short rest
always under the effect of pass without trace, Cast Gaseous form 1/long rest


Dissolving Spittle


Gain the Acid Splash cantrip and can cast Melf's Acid Arrow Wis mod/short rest
When you deal acid damage, creature must make a con saving throw or take half the damage at the start of it's next turn.


Major


Strongheart Vest

Heal 1 level of exhaustion as an action 1/long rest
Gain immunity to necrotic damage


Bloodwar Gauntlets





Airstep Sandals

Cast Feather Fall at will
Cast fly 1/Short rest


Spellward Shirt

You gain resistance to damage from spells
Add your Wisdom modifier to saving throws against spells


Gloves of the Poisoned Soul

Gain poison Spray cantrip, Melee Attacks deal an Additional 1d8 poison Damage
1/ long rest, Use an action to coat your weapon in poison; creature damaged by it must make a con saving throw or take 2d10 poison damage and be poisoned for 1 minute


Wind Cloak

Cloak provides 1/2 cover against ranged Weapon attacks
Cast wind wall wis mod/short rest


Planar Ward

Constant Protection from good and evil
action to force a creature back to it's home plane 1/long rest


Master


Lifebond Vestments

Heal others by taking damage
Cast Power Word Heal 1/long rest, Mass cure Wounds 1/short rest


Incarnate Avatar

Gain Flight speed equal to your movement speed
Gain Resistance to non-magical B/S/P, Emit Aura of Menace


Planar Chausble

Immune to negative effects of any plane you travel to
Cast Dimension Door 1/Short rest, Plane Shift 1/Long rest, Gate 1/week


Fellmist Robe

Cloak provides 3/4 cover against ranged attacks
Attacks against you are made at disadvantage. When you are damaged this effect ends until the start of our next turn


Impulse Boots

Speed is increasd by 30 feet, your movement does not provoke AoO
You can dash as a bonust action and can cast Haste 1/Long rest


Enigma Helm

Creatures who attempt to read your mind fail and take psychic damage equal to your wis mod + your Incarnate Level
Cast Foresight 1/long rest

Submortimer
2016-07-15, 06:42 PM
INCARNATE CHANGELOG

7/18: Changed Glorious smite, wicked strike, etc. to increase to 2d8 at 14th level vice 18th level

Zweisteine
2016-07-15, 06:56 PM
I haven't read the content, but I recommend changing your table tags to read " table="class:head alt1 alt2" ." This will make them much easier on the eyes by giving them background colors.

JBPuffin
2016-07-15, 07:38 PM
I think this is going in good directions. I'll try and come back with some more in-depth feedback, but I think you might want to make the location of the soulmelds part of the table so it's easier to tell which soulmelds don't overlap. Besides that, soul charms is an awesome idea, Alignment as Archetype works great, and the proficiencies are reasonable. Seems pretty playtestable on those fronts, and I could certainly play a character using the abbreviated effect descriptions. Good start Submortimer, I'll come back and try to break it later :smallsmile:.

I just realized - you don't give kit proficiencies, but your equipment line gives the character a kit they can use if they have one...why don't the core classes do this? Thank you for doing that :smallbiggrin:.

And out of curiosity - since this version of Incarnate is SO easy to make add-ons to - would you accept any contributions for homebrew soulmelds, charms, maybe even Planar Alignments? I'm staring at the list as it is now and thinking, "There's got to be more than that, right? Right?" :smallbiggrin:

Goober4473
2016-07-15, 08:44 PM
I like a lot of the ideas here. I'm working on my own Incarnum 5e update and have redesigned it a number of times. I know how much of a pain it can be.

Some thoughts:

1) I like the idea of the charms as an answer to cantrips, but I think they'd be more interesting if they didn't exactly duplicate existing cantrips. Obviously this is mroe work, but it would let them feel more unique.

2) Similarly, I like the simplicity of the "one base power, one essentia power." As you flesh it out further though, I might recommend giving more unique abilities as opposed to existing spells/feats. Not in all cases, but as much as possible.

3) You may want to differentiate somehow the cost of higher level essentia powers versus lower level, to keep lower level melds relevant. Either something like psi points, where lower level powers are cheaper, or separate resources like "minor essentia" and "greater essentia", a little closer to how spell slots work.

4) I like the tiers of soulmeld to keep things from getting too complex, and am considering something similar, but having upgrades at levels 9 and 13 is a little odd. It might make more sense to combine them into one upgrade at level 11, to keep it to just the tier upgrades of 5, 11, and 17.

Submortimer
2016-07-15, 10:04 PM
And out of curiosity - since this version of Incarnate is SO easy to make add-ons to - would you accept any contributions for homebrew soulmelds, charms, maybe even Planar Alignments? I'm staring at the list as it is now and thinking, "There's got to be more than that, right? Right?" :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, absolutely, so long as whatever it is fits the theme. I already know that the Necrocarnate is something that needs to happen, but doesn't fit in with the standard 4 alignment poles (they're super evil: so evil that the Evil Incarnates see what they're doing and say "woah, man, that's messed up"). I could certainly use a few more soulmelds, but I'd like to pin down the exact balance point before I start adding to it.

JBPuffin
2016-07-15, 10:16 PM
I like a lot of the ideas here. I'm working on my own Incarnum 5e update and have redesigned it a number of times. I know how much of a pain it can be.

Some thoughts:

1) I like the idea of the charms as an answer to cantrips, but I think they'd be more interesting if they didn't exactly duplicate existing cantrips. Obviously this is mroe work, but it would let them feel more unique.

2) Similarly, I like the simplicity of the "one base power, one essentia power." As you flesh it out further though, I might recommend giving more unique abilities as opposed to existing spells/feats. Not in all cases, but as much as possible.

3) You may want to differentiate somehow the cost of higher level essentia powers versus lower level, to keep lower level melds relevant. Either something like psi points, where lower level powers are cheaper, or separate resources like "minor essentia" and "greater essentia", a little closer to how spell slots work.

4) I like the tiers of soulmeld to keep things from getting too complex, and am considering something similar, but having upgrades at levels 9 and 13 is a little odd. It might make more sense to combine them into one upgrade at level 11, to keep it to just the tier upgrades of 5, 11, and 17.

In answer (while I'm here):

1) I think keeping them cantrips is a lot more sensible - they don't need to be anymore unique since they're already introducing something the Incarnate of ole didn't have access to. Let's not reinvent the wheel when we can simple change the tire :smallbiggrin:.

2) The one base + one invested is part of the simplification for 5e; frankly, tiers beyond that aren't a necessity, and I'd argue makes things more complicated without providing too much benefit. Of course, they're might be ways around that...

3) The proficiency melds are constantly useful, since none of the higher ones duplicate them; most of the effects are pretty unique. Which ones do you think become irrelevant as time goes on?

4) It's a difference of schema - his gets something once every 4 levels, you're suggesting once every 6. I think Sub's setup keeps players looking forward to leveling in the class more, although if there's some other features that could/need to (based on testing) be added, then once every 6 could be nice. What else could qualify as features, though?


Yeah, absolutely, so long as whatever it is fits the theme. I already know that the Necrocarnate is something that needs to happen, but doesn't fit in with the standard 4 alignment poles (they're super evil: so evil that the Evil Incarnates see what they're doing and say "woah, man, that's messed up"). I could certainly use a few more soulmelds, but I'd like to pin down the exact balance point before I start adding to it.

Yeah, Necros are something else. "We not only harvest souls, we torture ours for that extra bit of torque." Really, guys? Oh, and they can make zombies. C'mon man.

True - once the balance is solidified, I'll chunk a few ideas of my own out there. A lot of stuff is covered, but a couple ideas have wormed themselves into my brain and are being rather stubborn...:smallbiggrin:

Submortimer
2016-07-15, 10:17 PM
1) I like the idea of the charms as an answer to cantrips, but I think they'd be more interesting if they didn't exactly duplicate existing cantrips. Obviously this is mroe work, but it would let them feel more unique.


Oh yeah, I mostly threw these together just today. If you look at the Fifth Edition Binder book we put together, I was the primary builder for the whole "minor spirits" thing. This will end up being something similar.



2) Similarly, I like the simplicity of the "one base power, one essentia power." As you flesh it out further though, I might recommend giving more unique abilities as opposed to existing spells/feats. Not in all cases, but as much as possible.


Absolutely. Like it said, what I have here is shorthand for the BASICS of the effects I'm looking to implement.



3) You may want to differentiate somehow the cost of higher level essentia powers versus lower level, to keep lower level melds relevant. Either something like psi points, where lower level powers are cheaper, or separate resources like "minor essentia" and "greater essentia", a little closer to how spell slots work.


While this is an interesting idea, I'm trying to keep everything as simple as possible. The big deal, where the cost/benefits part comes from is that you can only invest essentia into a maximum number of soulmelds equal to your wis mod, so essentially 5. As well, you can Only have one Master meld on at a time. The trick is that I want the low level powers to still have use late game, so that they are still worth spending points on.



4) I like the tiers of soulmeld to keep things from getting too complex, and am considering something similar, but having upgrades at levels 9 and 13 is a little odd. It might make more sense to combine them into one upgrade at level 11, to keep it to just the tier upgrades of 5, 11, and 17.

I'll double check, but they should get upgrades at roughly the same spots where a spellcaster would get their odd level spells: 1, 5, 9, 13, 17. This helps me track the recommended power level for the soulmelds (major melds are gained at 13th level, and so could potentially have power comparable to a 7th or 8th level spell) and keeps me from having too many dead levels. Also, I like having a few more spread out baseline power upgrades, so you don't ever feel like the next one is too far off.

Still, thank you for the input!

Goober4473
2016-07-16, 01:54 AM
I'll double check, but they should get upgrades at roughly the same spots where a spellcaster would get their odd level spells: 1, 5, 9, 13, 17. This helps me track the recommended power level for the soulmelds (major melds are gained at 13th level, and so could potentially have power comparable to a 7th or 8th level spell) and keeps me from having too many dead levels. Also, I like having a few more spread out baseline power upgrades, so you don't ever feel like the next one is too far off.

While this does emulate spell levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, the major splits in power for spells are generally 1 (1st level), 3 (5th level), 6 (11th level), and 9 (17th level), as evidenced by warlocks gaining only up to 5th level normal slots, with mystic arcanum covering 6th+. i.e. they match up with the "tiers" of play: apprentice, hero, paragon, and epic.

It's of course fine to deviate from that, but I'd strongly recommend having a large bump in power at 11 either way, since all existing classes have one.

Keep up the good work!

khadgar567
2016-07-16, 02:22 AM
I like to see this puppy complete

JBPuffin
2016-07-16, 04:19 AM
While this does emulate spell levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, the major splits in power for spells are generally 1 (1st level), 3 (5th level), 6 (11th level), and 9 (17th level), as evidenced by warlocks gaining only up to 5th level normal slots, with mystic arcanum covering 6th+. i.e. they match up with the "tiers" of play: apprentice, hero, paragon, and epic.

It's of course fine to deviate from that, but I'd strongly recommend having a large bump in power at 11 either way, since all existing classes have one.

Keep up the good work!

Maybe some kind of healing ability? Like the Fighter's Second Wind, but more smaller dice instead of a greater bonus?

Submortimer
2016-07-16, 06:01 AM
Maybe some kind of healing ability? Like the Fighter's Second Wind, but more smaller dice instead of a greater bonus?

Ehh...they already have the ability to self heal. They do get their first instance of the subclass attack damage boost at level 10, giving them an across the board power boost akin to the paladin.

Edit: I think it'll be fine. They get their damage boost at level ten and can shape an additional soulmeld at level 11. I'm overall less worried about them following the EXACT power curve of the rest of the classes than I am about them both not having dead levels AND not being bogged down with too many features.

Scarce
2016-07-16, 01:46 PM
So admittedly, I don't know as much about the original MoI book (which I'll rectify as quickly as I can), but I can still talk about structure:

Body Slots: To better be able to understand the balance of this class, there needs to be clearly defined rules about what you can and can't wear at one time. After all, you ultimately need to get 9 of these on at once, and it seems like a challenge to find 9 things that will objectively not overlap. It's not an elegant solution, but perhaps this is the right place to implement a Body Slot column? If this is the direction you plan to take it, 9 body slots seems like a lot, both to keep track of, and to try to make sense.

Essentia: At level 2, you provide more essentia than the player is capable of using, unless I'm missing something. At level 3, you get an ability that allows you to break even with essentia, investing literally all your points into solmelds and your alignment, and this continues to be the case for a while, until level 5, when you might want to do something else with your essentia. You probably need more essentia, or you need to make them more free to pass around.

It seems to me that investing vs keeping essentia free isn't a question at all -- I'm going to invest all of it. Then, I know I'm getting a benefit, vs thinking I might get to use it. Plus, the investment benefits seem to drastically outweigh the benefits of spending a essentia point anyway. Spending essentia should power more powerful abilities, since they'll otherwise power very powerful passives.

A good example of this is Major Chakras: Do I want to fly every short rest or add my Wisdom modifier to a single ability check per long rest?

Dead Levels: Level 11 is completely dead, and 15 is almost completely dead. Try not to make new features for these gaps -- just shuffle your progression around so essentia or soulmelds fall on those levels.

Crazy Idea: Why not just kill the soulmelds column altogether and replace them with one big essentia pool? It takes 1 point to get a soulmeld, and another point to invest in it. Then, make the 'spend essentia for X' abilities really powerful, so the cost is balanced. Like 'Spend 1 esentia point to reroll an ability check or attack roll.'

Goober4473
2016-07-16, 01:49 PM
Body Slots: To better be able to understand the balance of this class, there needs to be clearly defined rules about what you can and can't wear at one time. After all, you ultimately need to get 9 of these on at once, and it seems like a challenge to find 9 things that will objectively not overlap. It's not an elegant solution, but perhaps this is the right place to implement a Body Slot column? If this is the direction you plan to take it, 9 body slots seems like a lot, both to keep track of, and to try to make sense.'

This could get pretty annoying to deal with. Here's the solution I came up with for my own Incarnate class:


The appearance and shape a soulmeld takes can be personalized by the meldshaper. A soulmeld must always be prominent in some way, but beyond that, work with your DM to decide the shape your melds take. For instance, if you shape two masks, they might combine, or one might instead become a chest piece or amulet.

Submortimer
2016-07-16, 04:10 PM
So admittedly, I don't know as much about the original MoI book (which I'll rectify as quickly as I can), but I can still talk about structure:

Body Slots: To better be able to understand the balance of this class, there needs to be clearly defined rules about what you can and can't wear at one time. After all, you ultimately need to get 9 of these on at once, and it seems like a challenge to find 9 things that will objectively not overlap. It's not an elegant solution, but perhaps this is the right place to implement a Body Slot column? If this is the direction you plan to take it, 9 body slots seems like a lot, both to keep track of, and to try to make sense.


This is one of the next things I plan to get worked out, which isn't too hard since the previous version already split most of these up.

The list goes like so:

Head
Eyes/face
Hands
Arms
Heart (only used for one soulmeld, Soulspark Familliar)
Shoulders
Body
Feet
Waist
Soul (used exclusively for Master-level soulmelds)



Essentia: At level 2, you provide more essentia than the player is capable of using, unless I'm missing something. At level 3, you get an ability that allows you to break even with essentia, investing literally all your points into solmelds and your alignment, and this continues to be the case for a while, until level 5, when you might want to do something else with your essentia. You probably need more essentia, or you need to make them more free to pass around.

It seems to me that investing vs keeping essentia free isn't a question at all -- I'm going to invest all of it. Then, I know I'm getting a benefit, vs thinking I might get to use it. Plus, the investment benefits seem to drastically outweigh the benefits of spending a essentia point anyway. Spending essentia should power more powerful abilities, since they'll otherwise power very powerful passives.

A good example of this is Major Chakras: Do I want to fly every short rest or add my Wisdom modifier to a single ability check per long rest?


Hmm...I didn't even realize that. I'll change the essentia progression to work appropriately.
Also, there is a limit to how much essentia you can invest: Wis mod into soulmelds (so, max 5) and 3 into your subclass abilities (except for Good, he can invest however much he wants into his healing pool). This is a deliberate decision, because the Invested soulmeld abilites should be very good. I see what you mean about the "Spending" abilities needing to be better if they're going to stick around.



Dead Levels: Level 11 is completely dead, and 15 is almost completely dead. Try not to make new features for these gaps -- just shuffle your progression around so essentia or soulmelds fall on those levels.


Both 11 and 15 grant access to another soulmeld per day.



Crazy Idea: Why not just kill the soulmelds column altogether and replace them with one big essentia pool? It takes 1 point to get a soulmeld, and another point to invest in it. Then, make the 'spend essentia for X' abilities really powerful, so the cost is balanced. Like 'Spend 1 esentia point to reroll an ability check or attack roll.'

Hmm...I'll give that some just consideration. It's not a terrible idea, but it does change my concept somewhat.

If it helps to get an idea around what this class is supposed to do...think warlock, but with ONLY invocations. This guy can pick out a number of invocations each day that he can use, and he can then power some of those up to do really crazy stuff.

Scarce
2016-07-16, 08:50 PM
The list goes like so:

Head
Eyes/face
Hands
Arms
Heart (only used for one soulmeld, Soulspark Familliar)
Shoulders
Body
Feet
Waist
Soul (used exclusively for Master-level soulmelds)

Sweet! I figured it would be something like that. As you start attaching these labels to things, think about roles these different slots should take. For example, maybe the feet slot will provide mostly Exploration tier abilities, while the face slot provides mostly interaction tier abilities. You might have to swap around a lot of what you have to accomplish this, but it will go a long way to making the soulmelds feel cohesive, and the class feel balanced. This keeps players from optimizing too much, and frees you up to make some soulmelds more powerful in distinct areas, since you know that it's impossible for players to stack certain types of effects.

Something like this:

Head: Spells
Eyes/face: Senses exclusively
Hands: Melee amage
Arms: Additional types of attacks
Heart: only used for Soulspark Familliar
Shoulders: ?
Body: Defensive abilities
Feet: Exploration/movement abilities
Waist: ?
Soul: Used exclusively for Master soulmelds

On second thought, 9 seems like a lot. Hands/arms, head/face, and body/shoulders seem too similar to each other.



Both 11 and 15 grant access to another soulmeld per day.

My bad. Still basically dead levels, though. I like to give non-feature levels at least two small features, like getting an essentia point and a soulmeld at the same time.

It's useful to think about this now, before we lay down a lot of features on top of the level structure of the class.



Hmm...I'll give that some just consideration. It's not a terrible idea, but it does change my concept somewhat.

I know it does, but it's a quick and dirty way of simplifying the system considerably, and fixing many of our essentia problems in one stroke. It's your call, but we need some sweeping simplifications around here.

To me, soulmelds/essentia seem a little redundant. After all, essentia are way more powerful being invested in soulmelds, and you meanwhile have to keep track of what level soulmelds you can get, what slot you can put them in, and how many you can have. Essentia just feels like another limitation on how many soulmelds you can improve. This needs to be addressed in some sweeping simplification on the limitations to make this a little more enjoyable to interact with.

Lemme spitball some ideas:

Idea 1: Unlock Slots Progression
We reduce the number of body slots down to 8 or fewer, and unlock them a few at a time. You can bind as many soulmelds as you have body slots available.

Basic: Face, Chest, Feet
Minor: above + Arms, Waist
Major: above + Shoulders (or back) + Head (or eyes)
Master: above + Soul

Idea 2: No Investing
We remove 'investing' in soul melds altogether, and instead all soulmelds have two features, a passive feature, and one that requires spending an essentia point to use. (This worked really well in the old MFoV bard subclass, the Master of Masks. Read that to see where I'm going with this.)

Idea 3: No Number of Soulmelds / Auto-invest
And as I mentioned before, we could remove the number of soulmelds, and instead give essentia points equal to twice the number of soulmelds we intend to give. Then, make it possible to spend an essentia point that's invested to use a powerful, one-time-use ability, essentially allowing you to trade long-term investments for a short-term burst. (This only works if soulmelds generally have a passive invested ability.)

Idea 4: No Body Slots
Goober4473 brings up an excellent point: body slots, like excessive prerequisite lists for features, are extremely annoying. It's a whole other level of paperwork the player has to go through every time they pick out soulmelds. Thinking about it, we would basically have to organize the soulmelds by Body Slot if we want players to be able to use it at all.

Of course, abandoning this means we need to go with a smaller number of soulmelds with a fewer number of abilities that can be easily stackable without ill effect. If we drop the slots, we would need to approach the design with immense care, lest we make it possible for a totemist to min/max excessively. Make no mistake, it would be a good trade-off, and something to keep in mind.

Kane0
2016-07-17, 08:57 PM
Okay, so pice by piece:

Hit Die & Proficiencies: All normal, nothing to see here. No insight on the skill list though? I find your lack of 'I see into your soul' joke potential disturbing.

Meldshaping:
Melds: Long rest resource, secondary effects if fueled by essentia. 9 Seems a good number, might suck slightly to wait until level 3 to get your second though. Would be easy to dodge the 'no two melds that take the same spot on the body' at this stage by just having them be mutable rather than introducing a whole new list of things to track
Chakras: 4 stage stand-in in for spell levels. Solid.
Soul Charms: Analogue for canrtrips. Also solid, though I'd vote to call them 'Wisps', feels more soul-ly
Essentia: Long rest resource to pump into boosting melds and class abilities. I'd suggest being able to reallocate essentia that you haven't spent on single-use abilities during a short rest
Chakra Binding: I'd suggest de-linking this from wisdom, maybe allowing one bind per Chakra you have unlocked (1 at 1, 2 at 5, 3 at 9, 4 at 13, 5 at 17) or equal to proficiency bonus
Planar Alignment: Nice way to link in the subclass, I like it. Make sure you have room for more though, maybe a slight rename would help
ASIs: Stock allotment, move along citizen
Minor/Intermediate/Major/Master Chakra: Better melds plus extra ways to burn essentia. I'd recommend splitting these from each other since they are separate from each other (it also helps when you announce your actions if you can name the ability)

Good: So Glorious.
Healing Touch: 60% strength lay on hands, with the ability to boost it with essentia. Could probably use a little more oomph, but its nice
Radiance: Glow like a beacon, get +1 AC. Spend 1 essentia to grant in a 10' aura. I'd argue for this to be a bonus action to activate/deactivate, maybe increase the range of the aura too
Smite: Standard level 10 damage boost. Why once per turn though?
Sustenance: Immune to disease and no need to eat, spend 1 essentia to add immunity to poison and no air for the day too, plus give this to wis mod allies. Very nice
Greater radiance: AC boost increases to 2, aura range increases. Not bad, but a little lacklustre for level 18
I hope there are some good damage melds because without extra attack and only +1d8 damage on hit good incarnates will struggle

Evil: Much Wicked.
Siphon life: THP on kill, spend 1 essentia to also get a bonus action attack on kill. Solid
Shroud: Darkvision + Wis to damage, spend essentia to also give to allies within 10'. This is a serious damage boost when played right
Wicked Blow: Standard level 10 damage boost. Limiting is to once per turn limits its usefulness
Countenance: Adv on intimidation, spend 1 essentia to frighten a target as an action. Not bad if you can force disadvantage on the save
Greater shroud: Heal when you are below half health and damage an enemy. I anticipate some bags of rats, but no worse than the champions survivor feature (granting ability to companions notwithstanding)

Law:
Perfected strike: Magical attacks, and spend an essentia to get advantage on an attack or check for a bonus action 1/rest. Not a huge amount of oomph, could probably remove the bonus action cost
Cloak: Add 1d4 to checks and saves, spend essentia to grant to allies. Very nice
Blade: Standard level 10 damage boost, force damage is nice. Still once per turn, not so nice
Word of Law: Adv on insight (as mentioned above it isn't a class skill) and disadv on deception against you. For 1 essentia add in command & compelled duel wis mod times per day, nice
Greater Cloak: Adds its 1d4 to attack rolls, and its a 1d6 now. Sweet.

Chaos:
Disconcordant blow: Exploding damage dice, nice. For 1 essentia you can also force a stun 1/rest, also nice.
Aura: Resistance to 2 damage types, changeable at no cost. For 1 essentia hand this to allies too, very good
Strike: Standard damage boost, but once per turn again
Chaotic Form: Disguise self at will, plus alter self for 1 essentia. Nice.
Greater Aura: Third damage type, bigger radius. Can't argue with it, but feels like it's lacking for a capstone

Soul Charms: Look good, you get a total of 3 pairs so plenty of chances to get your attack, support and flavor picks of choice
Soulmelds: With a quick scan none stand out as a major problem, but there is a definite lack of damage. This class will not do a lot of it through weapon attacks nor magical abilities and a lot of their other cool tricks won't help all that much to make up for it (for example, how often does a monk run up a wall or fall from a great height compared to punch someone?)

Overall a very good start, I'm very much looking forward to seeing this take shape.

Submortimer
2016-07-18, 10:19 AM
Okay, I think I have a good idea for how I want to divide up the Soulmelds, and maybe make things a bit easier.


There will be 9 distinct body slots: Head, Eyes/Face, Neck/Shoulders, Body, Heart, Soul, Arms, Hands, Feet/legs. Each will hae a sort of "Theme" as @Scarce suggested, though there will certainly be outliers.
Soul Chakra is used exclusively for Master Soulmelds
The other 8 slots will have (for now) one Soulmeld available per Soulmeld level (so, 4 a piece): we'll start there, then expand.


I still think that the way to go is Shape Soulmelds, Invest essentia. I like the idea of Pairing it to Proficiency bonus, so we'll run with that for now. If this turns out to be too clunky, well...slash and burn, rip and tear.

Probably going to boost the power of the Base class single use essentia abilities.

The OTHER idea is to completely remove the Single Use abilities. In this instance, i would reduce the amount of essentia to be exactly the amount you would need to enhance, say, 5 soulmelds and your three class abilities. You would have no limit on the amount of melds you could bind (aside from the one-per-body-slot rule) but it would force the choice of "Do I invest in all 9 of my soulmelds, or do i use three of those points for my Subclass abilities?".

For the damage bonuses on the subclasses: This class doesn't really gain extra attack, so the boost is built like the Cleric's divine strike. Worth noting is that they get +1d8 at level 10, but then that jumps to +2d8 at 18. Between this, access to weapon-based cantrips, and damage boosts from soulmelds, I expect that a damage-focused incarnate will generally be dealing 1d8+5+2d8+3d8+2d6 damage per turn at 18, or 39 (44 for Evil, thanks to the team damage boost). This puts them just above a non-optimized rogue(any type), but below champion fighters.

I'll implement new changes post haste!

Scarce
2016-07-19, 10:27 PM
Okay, I think I have a good idea for how I want to divide up the Soulmelds, and maybe make things a bit easier.


There will be 9 distinct body slots: Head, Eyes/Face, Neck/Shoulders, Body, Heart, Soul, Arms, Hands, Feet/legs. Each will hae a sort of "Theme" as @Scarce suggested, though there will certainly be outliers.
Soul Chakra is used exclusively for Master Soulmelds
The other 8 slots will have (for now) one Soulmeld available per Soulmeld level (so, 4 a piece): we'll start there, then expand.



I know you're in the middle of working on this right now, but I wanted to drop in and voice some concerns about what the number of body slots might do to class design.

I get the feeling that being able to choose up to 8 or 9 of these might make the individual soulmelds disposable, since they need to be balanced to be stackable and invested in. This might not pose an actual mechanical issue (I can imagine, for example, that we can balance 7-8 weaker abilities to be about on par with 3-4 more powerful ones) but I think it'll pose an issue for class enjoyment. After all, I think it'll be way less fun to pick and keep track of 8 weaker abilities, compared to 4 more powerful, more memorable ones.

Just my two cents.

- - -

@Dead Levels: I also think we need more discussion on this. Right now, there's a feature at literally every level, and that's going to make the class feel too busy. Now, I know it might sound like I'm contradicting myself on this, but dead levels are not the same as levels without features.

This class structure has two main problems that I see (maybe three):

1. Occasional weak features. We should not be making features to cover every spot on the table. Planar Senses should be cut and put into a soulmeld. Rapid Meldshaping can be integrated into the Meldshaping feature, and Fluid Essentia can be merged into the Essentia feature. Allowing some essentia and meldshape swapping on a short rest one per day (a la Arcane Recovery) will go a long way to making this class fun to play.

2. Too many subclass features. Four features is about as high as I like to go on this nowadays. I know the alignments can be made stronger if they're not spread out over 5 features. I highly recommend we cut one of these features.

3. (Maybe) Chakras Should be under Meldshaping. Using the term Chakra must be really confusing to new-time readers, and I cant imagine it adds anything here. Why not just Basic Melds, Major Melds, and Master Melds? Or, since Chakras correspond to parts of the body already...

- - -

Suggestion:
7 Chakras = Body Slots

Let's merge the idea of Body Slots and levels with Chakras, and return Chakras roughly back to their roots. There are 7 chakras, which align with regions of the body. Characters can bind as many melds as they have Chakras, and each Chakra corresponds to a different area on the body. You can mess with a lot of the Chakra names for the final version, if you choose to work with this idea, but I think it neatly wraps up body slots, levels, and soulmelds known (with the added plus of sticking closer to Hindu themes.)

Solar Plexus (or Core) (or Arms): Bonus damage + new types of attacks
Legs: Maneuverability/Exploration features
Waist: Defense features
Heart: Grab-bag of features
Crown (or Head): Powerful spellcasting features
Throat: Interaction features
Third Eye (or Face): Grab-bag of high-power capstone features

Proposed class table:


Level
Feature
Essentia



1st
Meldshaping (Arms and Legs Chakras), Soul Charms

-


2nd
Essentia
1


3rd
Planar Alignment
1


4th
ABS
2


5th
Waist, Heart Chakras
2


6th
Alignment feature
2


7th
-
4


8th
ABS
4


9th
Throat Chakra
4


10th
Alignment feature
4


11th
-
6


12th
ABS
6


13th
Crown Chakra
6


14th
Alignment feature
6


15th
-
8


16th
ABS
8


17th
Third Eye Chakra
8


18th
-
10


19th
ABS
10


20th
True Incarnation
10

Submortimer
2016-07-20, 03:17 PM
I get the feeling that being able to choose up to 8 or 9 of these might make the individual soulmelds disposable, since they need to be balanced to be stackable and invested in. This might not pose an actual mechanical issue (I can imagine, for example, that we can balance 7-8 weaker abilities to be about on par with 3-4 more powerful ones) but I think it'll pose an issue for class enjoyment. After all, I think it'll be way less fun to pick and keep track of 8 weaker abilities, compared to 4 more powerful, more memorable ones.


I absolutely understand what you are saying here.

Here's the thing: What you're describing is what the Binder already does: 3 - 4 more powerful choices. Soulmelds by 3.5 design has a smaller benefit, but were varied and quite customizable. Remember, the intent is to capture the feel of the incarnate as well as make something fun.



@Dead Levels: I also think we need more discussion on this. Right now, there's a feature at literally every level, and that's going to make the class feel too busy. Now, I know it might sound like I'm contradicting myself on this, but dead levels are not the same as levels without features.


Yes, and it's somewhat frustrating. I split out the previous features from the levels where you got a new level of soulmeld so that you wouldn't JUST gain a new soulmeld at that level, you got a ribbon as well.



1. Occasional weak features. We should not be making features to cover every spot on the table. Planar Senses should be cut and put into a soulmeld. Rapid Meldshaping can be integrated into the Meldshaping feature, and Fluid Essentia can be merged into the Essentia feature. Allowing some essentia and meldshape swapping on a short rest one per day (a la Arcane Recovery) will go a long way to making this class fun to play.


Again, that was changed following the previous suggestion about Dead levels. I have no problem changing it back, since that's how it was before



2. Too many subclass features. Four features is about as high as I like to go on this nowadays. I know the alignments can be made stronger if they're not spread out over 5 features. I highly recommend we cut one of these features.


This I'm flexible on. In the original, Alignment was a massive part of the class; in 5e, alignment doesn't work that way anymore, so I can't just have features for the base class that changed based on what alignment you are (otherwise, the Aura's would be folded back in as the Incarnum Radiance feature and I'd have made the Damage boost "Aligned Strike" that did damage dependent on what alignment you are). To keep that feel without undermining how alignment affects a character (read: Non-mechanically), I moves most of what would be standard class features to the subclasses.

That, and 3.5 didn't have subclasses, so i had to make up some new abilities to cover that.



3. (Maybe) Chakras Should be under Meldshaping. Using the term Chakra must be really confusing to new-time readers, and I cant imagine it adds anything here. Why not just Basic Melds, Major Melds, and Master Melds? Or, since Chakras correspond to parts of the body already...


This is just in keeping with the themes and wording of the old class, Like keeping the term Vestige instead of calling them "Spirits". Open to change, of course.



Suggestion:
7 Chakras = Body Slots

Let's merge the idea of Body Slots and levels with Chakras, and return Chakras roughly back to their roots. There are 7 chakras, which align with regions of the body. Characters can bind as many melds as they have Chakras, and each Chakra corresponds to a different area on the body. You can mess with a lot of the Chakra names for the final version, if you choose to work with this idea, but I think it neatly wraps up body slots, levels, and soulmelds known (with the added plus of sticking closer to Hindu themes.)

Solar Plexus (or Core) (or Arms): Bonus damage + new types of attacks
Legs: Maneuverability/Exploration features
Waist: Defense features
Heart: Grab-bag of features
Crown (or Head): Powerful spellcasting features
Throat: Interaction features
Third Eye (or Face): Grab-bag of high-power capstone features

Proposed class table:


Level
Feature
Essentia


1st
Meldshaping (Arms and Legs Chakras), Soul Charms
-


2nd
Essentia
1


3rd
Planar Alignment
1


4th
ABS
2


5th
Waist, Heart Chakras
2


6th
Alignment feature
2


7th
-
4


8th
ABS
4


9th
Throat Chakra
4


10th
Alignment feature
4


11th
-
6


12th
ABS
6


13th
Crown Chakra
6


14th
Alignment feature
6


15th
-
8


16th
ABS
8


17th
Third Eye Chakra
8


18th
-
10


19th
ABS
10


20th
True Incarnation
10




Now, I'm not really opposed to this idea in general; this is the way the old class worked, in that you unlocked new body slots as you leveled up. I like this more than getting rid of body slots in general OR the big essentia pool idea. My concern is that it limits us and the player in a way that something like spells wouldn't.

Example: Throat Chakra would be interaction features. That means that none of the soulmelds an incarnate can use can be interation-based until 9th level.

This is why I was keeping body slots as an ancilliary idea, and going with the Soulmeld levels.

@scarce, please please do me a favor if you haven't already: read though MoI, at least the Incarnate part. I really have a feeling that part of the disconnect we have is my desire to maintain the feeling of the class while you're not really familiar with the class I'm trying to maintain the feel OF.