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Kaskus
2017-02-27, 10:25 PM
This class is not quite as far into development as my last offering. Looking for some feedback on existing ideas as well as some help to fill in the blanks...

Regarding BMB:As with my Verdure class, this class has a column for BMB, which is a spellcaster progression stat that allows all classes to contribute to caster level the way all classes contribute to martial prowess via BAB. Check out Trailblazer for a more in depth explanation. As a martial-focused class, BMB is not relevant to the class by itself.

GREENGUARD

(Brief descriptive paragraph about the class to give a sense of what kind of person members of this class are and the themes of the class.)

Role: The Greenguard is a front line combatant who uses her symbiotic relationship with plants to battle her enemies.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d10

Starting Wealth: 1d6 10 gp (average 35 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per level: 4+ Int Bonus

Table 1: The Greenguard


Level
BAB
BMB
Fort
Ref
Will
Special


1
1
0
2
0
2
Carapace, Thorn, Thorn Feature 1, Symbiote


2
2
0
3
0
3
Species, Bonus Feat


3
3
1
3
1
3
Carapace +1, Thorn +1


4
4
1
4
1
4
Species


5
5
1
4
1
4
Breed Cultivar, Bonus Feat, Thorn Feature 2


6
6
2
5
2
5
Species, Carapace +2, Thorn +2


7
7
2
5
2
5
Something 7


8
8
2
6
2
6
Species, Bonus Feat


9
9
3
6
3
6
Carapace +3, Thorn +3, Thorn Feature 3


10
10
3
7
3
7
Species


11
11
3
7
3
7
Something 11, Bonus Feat


12
12
4
8
4
8
Species, Carapace +4, Thorn +4


13
13
4
8
4
8
Something 13, Thorn Feature 4


14
14
4
9
4
9
Species, Bonus Feat


15
15
5
9
5
9
Something 15, Carapace +5, Thorn +5


16
16
5
10
5
10
Species


17
17
5
10
5
10
Something 17, Bonus Feat, Thorn Feature 5


18
18
6
11
6
11
Species, Carapace +6, Thorn +6


19
19
6
11
6
11
Something 19


20
20
6
12
6
12
Species, Bonus Feat



Class Features

Carapace (Su): The Greenguard may form around themselves a living suit of armor that improves and gains abilities as she gains levels. Manifesting a carapace is a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity while dismissing it is a free action. A Greenguard is always considered proficient with their Carapace. When manifesting a Carapace, the Greenguard must decide whether it will be light, medium or heavy. The Greenguard may select a different option each time they manifest their Carapace and statistics for each are below.

Carapace Statistics:
Light: AC Bonus Wis (min 1) | Max Dex +6 | Check -2 | Spell Fail 20% | Speed 30ft
Medium: AC Bonus Wis+2 (min 1) | Max Dex +4 | Check -4 | Spell Fail 30% | Speed 20ft
Heavy: AC Bonus Wis+4 (min 1) | Max Dex +2 | Check -6 | Spell Fail 40% | Speed 20ft

Thorn (Su): The Greenguard may also manifest living weapons and shields called Thorns. Manifesting a Thorn is treated the same as drawing a sheathed weapon.

Thorn Statistics:
Light Weapon 1d6 | x2 | Select Damage Type
1-Handed Weapon 1d8 | x2 | Select Damage Type
2-Handed Weapon 2d6 | x2 | Select Damage Type

Lt Shield: AC Bonus +1 | Max Dex -- | Check -1 | Spell Fail 5%
Hv Shield: AC Bonus +2 | Max Dex -- | Check -2 | Spell Fail 15%

Thorn Features: The Greenguard's Thorn gains 1 feature at 1st level and another every 4 levels therafter (5th, 9th, 13th & 17th).
- Crit Multiplier +1 (Can be selected up to 2 times)
- Crit Range +1 (Can be selected up to 2 times)
- Add reach, disarm, trip, brace or non-lethal

Symbiote (Ex): While Greenguards have an innate knack for tending and untilizing plants of all kinds, each of them forms a particulaarly strong bond with an individual plant that almost becomes a part of the Greenguard itself. The symbiote grants special abilities to the Greenguard as given in the table below.

Table: Greenguard Symbiotes


Symbiote
Special Ability


Healing Symbiote
Self Healing (To be defined / scaled)


Magic Eater Symbiote
Protections from Spells cast at Greenguard


Shifting Symbiote
Able to shapeshift into tools for various uses / skill bonuses


Spitting Symbiote
Spits acid 5 ft range as free action


Vine Symbiote
Prehensile Vines



Species (Su): At 2nd level, and then again every even level thereafter, a Greenguard develops a new species from one of the genera found in the genus/species section below. Upon learning the first species within a genus, teh Greenguard also gains the base ability for that genus. Unless otherwise noted, a Greenguard cannot select an individual species more than once. Some species can only be taken if the Greenguard has met certain prerequisites first, such as possessing other species. The DC of any saving throw called for by a species is equal to 10 + 1/2 the Greenguard's level + the Greenguard's wisdom modifier.

Breed Cultivar: Utilizing secret techniques, special fertilizers and their innate connection to plants, a Greenguard is able to groom magical plant specimens called cultivars. A cultivar is a plant specially created to enhance a Greenguard's Carapace or Thorn and carries either a magical weapon or magical armor enhancement. When a Greenguard entwines a cultivar into her Carapace or Thorn, the cultivar confers its associated enchantment with the Carapace or Thorn.

Creating a cultivar takes 1 day for each 1,000 gp in the price of its magical features and uses up raw materials costing half of this total price.

Entwining a Cultivar reduces the bonus of a Carapace or Thorn by 1. If the bonus is reduced to 0 by adding cultivars, no more may be added.

Something 7: TBD

Something 9: TBD

Something 11: TBD

Something 13: TBD

Something 15: TBD

Something 17: TBD

Something 19: TBD

Kaskus
2017-02-27, 10:26 PM
Reserved For Species

Kaskus
2017-02-27, 10:27 PM
Reserved for Adaptations

aimlessPolymath
2017-02-28, 12:02 AM
Hurray! It's up!

It doesn't look like you have as much of a theme for this class so far (compared to the strong battlefield control of the Verdure).

Oh, man, I remember Carapace. Miight want to do a Ctrl+F for "Verdure"- it's still in the description there.
It still feels a little awkward, honestly- I'm not sure of how real the valuation of the varying traits is, or how the AC scales with level (approximately).

Root/Stem/Flower looks nice, but one problem you might run into is that you're basically coming up with feats and abilities for (counting...) 16 abilities. For each theme you create. It's not sustainable, especially if you want more than two or three abilities (oh, and you get three of these over your career!). There's also some level collisions with Adaptations with Stem abilities- it looks like you're putting two different systems for developing your character into the same class?

One thing you could do if you wanted to simplify the class design is just steal combat styles wholesale- add Skill Focus (an appropriate skill), and you have a nice 4-ability chain.

Kaskus
2017-02-28, 01:11 AM
Let me get more basic. Here is the mechanical concept. Whereas the Verdure is about controlling the battlefield, the greenguard is about controlling the opponents themselves. I had the thought of them being perhaps a sort of combat maneuver / capture specialist with abilities like Vines that sprout from their armor and can be used to grapple opponents without tying up their main limbs. The vines could then be separated from the greenguard, leaving the opponent tied up. This would be a greenguard with the Vine calling. They would also have abilities for forcing opponent movements by pushing / pulling them around and I had an idea of an ability to cause a cage of sorts to grow around someone. Perhaps a self regenerating Net ability?

Second / In Defence of Carapace: I know I am somewhat stuck on Carapace. I think it could be developed into a cool power. The base system as posted so far here (and originally included with the Verdure) works well for producing armors with stats consistent with those from the Core Rulebook (except Full Plate). All it needs is a built in way to scale it appropriately so that it makes sense mathematically compared to the magical armors expected at higher levels. I had an idea that the Carapace can have "Dweomer Seeds" which hold enchantments that you might put on your armor and you could mix, match, replace and upgrade those to modify or upgrade your armor magically (Same basics as regular enchanting but a little added versatility form being able to mix / match individual enchantments). Then the adaptations would mostly focus on adding new stuff to it rather than improving its numbers.

For Example, I had an idea for the Carapace to make it into a sort of Power Armor where it gets bigger and you ride it as much as wear it. Gives you large size, etc. like a botanical mech of sorts

The carapace and the vines idea are the two that are closest to my heart. the Root, etc. system I thought was interesting conceptually but I am not sure how to implement it mechanically in a way that is both meaningful and not overly complicated.

Perhaps we could star with Carapace and make that into a class feature that someone would be excited to have and then fill out the spine with some other abilities? Is there any love out there for Carapace?

aimlessPolymath
2017-02-28, 03:17 PM
Okay, sounds like the focus is more on the armor than the combat techniques (or even the weapon!)
If these numbers produce armor like the default, that's OK then. Could you give me some examples (i.e. how much does a breastplate cost, points-wise)? The issue is that AC doesn't scale linearly over the long term, exactly- your armor bonus, once you've settled on an armor type, is going to go up about 5 points over the course of the next 17-19 levels, and then stop. You have a whole lot of other bonuses which make up the remainder.

This would imply that you determine the base stats of your carapace based on the type of armor the Greenguard will use, and then that point maximum (but not necessarily allocation) remains fixed over their entire adventuring career. That is, give a fixed number of points at 1st level. Note that "having full plate" is about as good as any other class feature at 1st level, so you're pretty well set there.


I think that there is some love for Carapace out there, but it needs to be the focus of the class. Dweomer Seeds are one good way to do this- interchangable enchantments are something I don't think has been done before.

What I think of when I think of "growing your own armor" is some kind of full-body garden, a miniature ecosystem which provides you with powers in exchange for you nurturing it. Surprisingly, this could lend itself to an interesting fluff for carapace upgrades where you actually grow your own armor, and learn how to develop particular attributes. What if Dweomer Seeds weren't actually seeds, but plants which you actually cultivate to grow on top of your armor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyte)? A covering made of Assassin Vines (or their relatives) which you compel to cling onto foes you grapple? Layers of more and more growth of your armor, resulting in a massive bulky treant-like structure (https://en.wiki.elvenar.com/images/5/53/Elves_ent.png)?

This could let you group different archetypes into genus(or whatever), then let individual abilities be called species (or something).
Let's say...



Family: Vine
Base Plant: Any sort of climbing vine.
Let's say, for fun, that you need to acquire some kind of basic plant with the proper attributes to convert into the proper adaptation on your armor. Don't need to keep this, but it's neat.

Base Ability (you get this when you have at least one adaptation from the thing. Little mechanical effect except for niche protection for your armor):
Growing Network: You coax the climbing vine to grow all over your armor. While covered in this way, the plants grant your armor protection from slashing damage, as the network is hard to cut through. Furthermore, as a move action, you can unwind part of the plants, producing 10 ft of rope, one end of which is attached to your armor. If separated from your armor, the rope rapidly dies and crumbles into dust.

Species:
Gripping Vines: You coax the vines to grow over your hands, looping around and make it almost impossible for others to break your grip. You gain a +4 bonus to Climb checks and are always treated as having appropriate tools for climbing. You also gain a +4 bonus to your CMD against disarm attempts, as well as a +4 bonus to your CMB to maintain a grapple.

Strangling Vine: You can command the vines on your body to grip a creature you are grappling as a swift action. Once you do, they begin to constrict that creature each round you grapple them for XXXXXX damage. If the creature breaks free, though, the vines are ripped off, and you cannot use this ability again for 1d4 rounds while they regenerate.

Grappling Vine: As a standard action, you can launch a vine at a target within 30 feet, making a ranged touch attack to hit. If you hit, as a move action, you can reel yourself in. Each of you make opposed CMB checks. The person with the higher roll can choose whether they are pulled to the closest square to the other, or if the other is pulled to the closest square to them. In either case, the loser is knocked prone.
-It doubles as a grappling hook, I think. Needs some careful wording choices so that one person is pulled always, and that stability bonuses always apply. Needs work.

Entangling Vines: When you have successfully grappled a creature, you may animate the vines on your body as a move action, causing them to climb over your grappled target and maintain the grapple for you. The creature you were grappling is now grappled by an assassin vine (https://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/bestiary/assassinVine.html) with a CMB bonus of +X for the purpose of grappling. If you possess the Strangling Vine strain, at your option, it will constrict the creature as long as it continues to grapple them. If the creature breaks free, it destroys the vine in the process.


How's that for a start?

Kaskus
2017-02-28, 10:11 PM
I like the Genus / Species idea!

I think that is a better way of doing things than the Root / Stem / Leaf idea i had. Thanks!

Here is how much various armor costs to build with the Carapace system...

Light Armors:
Padded: 10 Points (5 points for max dex, 2 for armor check, 3 for spell failure)
Leather: 10 Points (3 for ac bonus, 3 for max dex, 2 for armor check, 2 for spell failure)
Studded: 10 Points (6 for ac bonus, 2 for max dex, 1 for armor check, 1 for spell failure)
Chain Shirt: 10 Points (9 for ac bonus, 1 for max dex)
*Notice a patter? :smallcool:

Medium Armors:
Hide: 11 Points (5 points for medium, 2 for max dex, 2 for armor check, 2 for spell failure)
Scale: 11 Points (5 for medium, 3 for ac bonus, 1 for dex bonus, 1 for armor check, 1 for spell failure)
Chainmail: 11 Points (5 for medium, 6 for ac bonus)
Breastplate: 12 Points (5 for medium, 6 for ac bonus, 1 for spell failure)
*Almost perfect! :smallmad:

Heavy Armors:
Splint: 10 Points (10 for heavy)
Banded: 13 Points (10 for heavy, 1 for dex bonus, 1 for armor check, 1 for spell failure)
Half-Plate: 13 Points (10 for heavy, 3 for ac bonus)
Full Plate: 18 Points (10 for heavy, 6 for ac bonus, 1 for max dex, 1 for spell failure)
*A little more wacky. Heavy armor relies on cost to balance more than the other categories.

As you can see, the point differences from light to medium are as slight as can be (1 point) but you trade off the move speed. Heavy is a little more varied but the system also gives flexibility so here are some Full Plate alternatives you could grow if you had 18 points...

Light Armor (18 pts): AC Bonus +4 (9 pts) | Max Dex +6 | Armor Check 0 (2 pts) | 0% Spell Failure (4 pts)
+10 to AC if you have the dex and no impediments

Medium Armor (18 pts): (5 for medium) AC Bonus +6 (6 pts) | Max Dex +2 | Armor Check -4 (1 pts) | 0% Spell Failure (6 pts)
+6 to +8 AC with no Spell Failure. If not a caster, you could eliminate the armor check completely as well!

Caster Heavy Armor (18 pts): (10 for heavy) AC Bonus +7 | Max Dex +0 | Armor Check -7 | 0% Spell Failure (8 pts)
Heavy Armor with no spell failure. Depending on dex, this may or may not be better than the medium armor build above.

Non-Caster Heavy Armor (18 pts): (10 for heavy) AC Bonus +8 | Max Dex +4 (4 pts) | Armor Check -6 (1 pts) | 40% Spell Failure
* If you have the dex, this gives a way better AC than full plate with only a 5% increase in spell failure as the trade off

Giving them 10 points is like Light Armor Proficiency, 11 points is like giving them medium armor proficiency, 13-18 is like giving them heavy armor proficiency

Kaskus
2017-02-28, 10:45 PM
Thorn Updated: I couldn't find my original notes, which had the link to the system I had found originally. A google search yielded the current link, which is similar if not the same system.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-01, 12:36 AM
Thorn is OK, I guess. It's a good melee tool, if not that interesting (could use adaptation support, really). Power scales with proficiencies. Exotic Weapon Proficiency(Thorn) is a pretty good feat!

Armor analysis is very interesting! I ran a couple numbers with the example armors you gave, and got equal values (more or less) with both Heavy and Medium armors, more or less (the run speed difference between them is worth about 1 point). Numbers look good overall.

Full plate is great and everyone knows it.

I would say to give them 11-12 points of armor at 1st level, make the armor count as masterwork, and then never add more points over the course of their career-just enchantments. The high value of even basic armor should cover 1st level class features pretty well, actually, depending on where you put the balance point. However, the rapidly scaling AC bonuses attached to the armor are very difficult to balance as a scaling class feature.

Kaskus
2017-03-01, 11:20 PM
THORN
Thorn is meant to be basic. It has the versatility of customizing on the fly and allowing the Greenguard to always have a weapon available. Bandits cant steal it and the town guard cant confiscate it. The idea would be to give more points as they level, which would let them add abilities (like trip, reach, etc.) and upgrade the damage. Rather than tie the points to proficiencies, I would make them always proficient with their Thorn and give them 1/2 level + Wis modifier points? Maybe add a shield option on which they could also spend points?

Thorn would also have Dweomer seeds. Note that I imagine these would persist even when the Thorn was dismissed so if you were forced to dismiss your carapace and thorn and your stuff was taken, you wouldn't be able to summon enchanted versions becuase the enchants would be on the seeds, which were also confiscated.

---

CARAPACE:

I think the speed difference between medium and heavy was a mistake. I changed heavy to 20 ft.

I also like the idea of this scaling. While Full plate could be emulated with 18 points, you could improve on Full plate with additional points (full plate with the armor check and spell failure both eliminated would be 31 points). How about 10 + 1/2 level + wis mod (12 - 13 @ 1st level & 25-30 @ 20th level)?

Additionally, I was thinking of an adaptation that made a botanical power armor of sorts which would have base stats like the other categories and a cost associated with the base form. Something like...

Leviathan Armor | AC Bonus +10 | Max Dex +0 | Armor Check Penalty -10 | Speed 15 ft |
*** A Leviathan Carapace has a maximum AC Bonus of +15. A character wearing Leviathan Armor takes up space and is treated as a creature one category size larger.

Base cost of 15-20 points?

There might be additional things to spend points on only available to this particular armor type?

---

GENERA:

Here are some ideas (and some latin) for a couple themes...

1. Vinea (vines)
2. Aquatilis (aquatic plants)
3. Fungus (you know - fungus)
4. Carnivorus (another easy one)
5. Suculentus (succulents)
6. Toxicus (Poisonous / Deadly plants)
7. Robustus (theme based on improving physical capabilities)
8. Suavis (charms, compulsions and social skills)
9. Obscurus (sneaky stuff)

I was also thinking about the "spine" for each genus and the application of them across the class. What do you think of getting 3 of them across your career and getting a species at certain levels as well. You would get the base ability for each genus whether or not you had any of its species and when you got a new species, you could select one from any of the genera available to you. Then there could be genera specific adaptations as well.

What about a "Spine" like this...

Genera @ Levels 2, 8 & 14.
Species at every even level (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 & 20 - you always get a species at a level you get a new genus)
adaptations at every 3rd level (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 & 18)
Then fill in some other new abilities at levels 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 & 19

for the species, do you think each genus should have a progression (must have the first to get the second) or be a grab bag (pick and choose which ever ones from the list)?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-02, 12:46 AM
The Thorn's generic-ness makes sense, then. I do think that you should have it generally emulate the numbers given by the source link for appropriateness of the weapon, though. Also do note that I suspect players will only take the "optimum" values- either maximum damage, max crit, or taking only the attributes which they need for their build (disarm, trip, double, reach). I don't think there'll be a whole lot of weapon variation. A shield option would give them somewhere to spend spare points, but that leads into the AC problem which is attached

Keep in mind that the basic numbers behind armor balance are not intended to scale- they're intended to reach some maximum point (full plate/whatever's appropriate for the Dex bonus) and then scale slowly as better enchantments arise. Also note that spell failure chance doesn't really matter for this class, that armor check penalty can be vanished by recreating your armor as a full-round action if it comes up, and that the same goes for max Dex bonus. As a result, all spare points would be put into AC. This might be what you want, but I have a feeling that creating a system of armor which, by scaling by some portion of level, approximates normal AC while allowing customization is a fools errand. There's little incentive to put points into non-armor-class benefits which come up only sometimes when you can just recreate the armor when those issues come up, so people can just dump all the bonus into pure AC, which makes it hard to balance the other effects.

I do think that these issues could partially be avoided by decoupling AC from the other points, and giving it a static but scaling armor bonus, or at least capping the total AC by level. There is a chance that the player could pump AC by boosting Dex, but I think that's mostly OK maybe? Could cap the total max Dex + armor bonus, so AC from Dexterity instead of armor is useful to free up points? It also gives you room to add some more niche abilities, like agile armor (reduced armor check penalty for Climb checks and Acrobatics checks to jump), or camouflage, or something similar. If the abilities don't have to compete against combat bonuses like AC as hard, there's more room for them to flourish (insert gardening metaphor here).

--------------------
Themes look good- might want to pick out a couple of them to focus on designing. I suggest Vinea and Robustus, since it sounds like you have the best ideas for them.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "spine" here.

First of all, what are adaptations in the framework of this class? I was originally writing Species as the talent feature for this class, filling the same space as adaptations: special abilities which you gain every X levels. Is there some special role of Adaptations here?
Genera are the "groupings" of them, yeah, but I don't really see a huge reason to limit how many you get. I think it's pretty OK for people to pick and choose from different options- the more powerful abilities can be gated behind a talent tree, but I think people should be allowed to grab a variety of abilities.

My imagined format of species was as follows:
At 2nd level and every 2 levels afterwards, you (fluff stuff about how you get one once you pick it). At these levels, select a species which you qualify for; you can develop it in this way. As long as you have at least one species from a genus, you gain its basic ability, which is a minor trait which having the genus on you provides.

I am a definite fan of the grab bag, maybe with some light prerequisites so we can upgrade species with advanced versions.

Kaskus
2017-03-02, 01:22 AM
I see adaptations as being ways to modify existing abilities or give new ways to use them. For the Greenguard, the categories of adaptation would be Carapace (like the leviathan armor adaptation I mentioned), Thorn (possibly granting Thorn Javelin as a spell like ability) and possibly some Genus-specific ones.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/t/thorn-javelin/

I see a species as something that gives you a new bonus or ability within a theme whereas an adaptation takes something you already have and modifies it or lets you use it in another way. Perhaps that is not a strong enough distinction or perhaps rather an unnecessary one?

Admittedly I can make things overly complicated (see original root etc system) but am a fan of simplicity. I also kind of just like the idea of adaptations as a unifying feature across my plant-based classes (I have ideas for two more). Again, I accept that this may be completely unnecessary.

Finally, by "spine" I was referring to the abilities gained by the class and the levels at which they are gained.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-02, 11:58 AM
Okay, that makes sense. I do think that we might have some collisions between the two- Adaptations are maybe better suited for a class-feature heavy class where the major tools of the class are active tools, while the Greenguard has two class features right now, one of which already has a method of improving it built into the class (genera and species), and neither of which are particularly active tools. There's space for it, but I think a lot of that space is covered by genera and species.

If there are more class features added to this class, it might work, but as it is, the primary means of specialization of this class is mostly contained in the genera. There aren't many class features to be modified by adaptations yet, so there isn't much room for them.

Kaskus
2017-03-02, 02:17 PM
I can concede adaptations. If during dev it makes sense to include them, they can be added. So that would put Carapace and Thorn at 1st level. Then a species at 2nd and every even level, does that sound good?

That would leave dead levels at 3rd and every odd level thereafter. Thorn javelin as a spell like ability could be put in at level 3. That would fill in 1 blank and add a ranged combat option. What do you think of that and what do you think for dead levels beyond that?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-02, 04:39 PM
Alright.

3rd level: Thorn Javelin, or possibly an ability which lets you more quickly recreate your Thorn (thus allowing you to use the thrown weapon option to just repeatedly throw your weapon).
Alternatively, +1 equipment appears.

Level 5: Least Dweomer Seeds- modular enchantments.
(level 6: +2 equipment)
Level 7: Utility ability- perhaps speak with plants, like the verdure. Some abilities should be available by now for being useful out of combat, whether from unusual species (stealth), or from class features- this could be one of them.
Level 9: Unknown. Verdure picked up a number of utility SLAs around this time. Perhaps one of them? Perhaps pull from Druid class features? +3 equipment appears.
Level 11: Upgrade Dweomer Seeds- +2 abilities should be now available. Also, advanced species should start coming in around the next level.
Level 13: Thorn tech- rapid transfiguration. Maybe something else? Spellcaster-types are easier for me to develop for, usually.
...

Level 17: Upgrade Dweomer Seeds again, maybe. +3 abilities?

You have ideas for four more, huh? Got any hints about their hypothetical abilities? I'm a little worried about the ability of these classes to distinguish themselves from each other- my ideas for noncombat abilities are pretty similar to the ones that Verdures get, so they might end up stepping over each other's toes in a noncombat situation.

Kaskus
2017-03-02, 10:31 PM
<erratic ideas and feedback>

In no particular order here are some thoughts that I havent mentioned, some notes on inspiration, comments on ideas already presented, etc. I am thinking as i write and vice versa so bear with me...

For Dweomer Seeds, I was thinking you could generate them as many as you would like but would have to pay for enchantments as normal. Let gold and opportunity be the limiting factors like they are for everyone else rather than building a progression into the class. You would just enchant the seed rather than the armor or weapon directly. Perhaps the seeds themselves can be used in a different manner as well? Perhaps, they are the default missile weapon but can also be enchanted and absorbed by a carapace or thorn to confer the enchantment on that item? Perhaps they can be given other uses? That would give another category for adaptations (you know, if we were still thinking about them or whatever).

I want to keep this class more focused on enemy control and definitely want to make them distinct. I also want them to be clearly martial. Some ideas of general things i would like to focus on are controlling enemy movements, Combat maneuvers, enemy action economy reduction, divide and conquer type tactics, etc.

Here was my inspirational / iconic image for when I first conceived of the class. I kind of thought about them like a plant themed version of sentinels from xmen, using vines to capture and hold their enemies and defeating them in ways other than killing them. How cool would it be if you were totally surrounded by bandits who think their number mean your screwed and then suddenly vines shoot out in all directions and bind them? what if you could pick two of them up and bang their heads together or drag them over a pit and drop them in. Even something small like forcing them to take a standard action to get out of the vines would be good, especially if you can affect more than 1 enemy at a time. I mentioned the botanical power armor idea so think of them like plant-cyborgs - robocop, mechs, etc.

I think i already mentioned my idea that they could make a cage grow around an enemy - possible ability for a dweomer seed - throw the seed like an area effect and it grows a woody cage around that area? you could even throw it at your own feet to enclose yourself with a nearby enemy and prevent other enemies from participating in a one-on-one cage match.

I was also thinking about plant grafts separate from a specific class (I have lots of plant themed ideas!) but maybe integrating those would be something to look at. If you are familiar with Shadowrun, they have something called a street samurai that gets cybernetic implants to make them more effective fighters. Plant grafts could do something similar (though I think i still would like to keep grafts separate and make this sort of boost a function of the carapace).

The carapace could have extendable or stretchable limbs, which let you attack someone outside your normal reach. What if the carapace pool could be spent on uses of powers as well as numerical bonuses. This would give you a reason not to dump all the points into the base stats. You could even downgrade your armor to free up points so you could use an ability an extra time. I think I really like this idea. What do you think?

the stretch idea could be used in the legs as well to let them step over walls or enhance their jumps

How about a flower that emits pheromones that affect enemy emotions? It makes them angry at the Greenguard and they have to make a will save to attack anyone else. or it makes them confused and they lose an action. Perhaps it staggers them and they stumble 5 ft in a random direction? something that could be directed at an enemy spellcaster that makes them cough, preventing them from casting spells.

What about an ability that lets them grow a "clone" of themselves that takes a blow for them when in reality they have secretly moved 5 ft. back (like sub zero's ice clone ability in mortal combat). You could even add a negative effect to the enemy. Maybe the clone is "juicy" and sprays acid on the attacker before collapsing into a heap of plant matter. Or instead it is sticky and the attackers weapon gets stuck to it.

I was also thinking the carapace ability could be used to create the various types of outfits for different climates or clothes in general (Go right from the battlefield to a green tie event without ever changing). Or maybe have an ability that gives it permanent endure elements?

How about a living scuba suit with air bladders and fins?

situational versatility is good too. you had mentioned as one of the vine species, being able to create 10 ft. of "rope" by growing a vine. How about some sort of ability to create all kinds of mundane equipment?

The leviathan armor (mech) concept could be expanded to alternate forms like a mount or even vehicles like carriages or boats. Maybe as they level, the things they can make get bigger (but also take longer). Camp would be awesome because you could grow a shelter and a comfy bed, tables, chairs, a nice chaise, etc. Here is a scene for you. An enemy enforcer of some type is at the Greenguard's camp meeting with him and trying to intimidate him into surrender. They are sitting in the Greenguard's tent looking over a map and discussing borders, terms or whatever. The negotiation doesn't go well and the enforcer draws his weapon. Then, the chair he was just sitting in wraps around him and squeezes the breath from his lungs. Slowly, a verdant spear grows from the hand of the Greenguard and with barely a gesture extends itself right to the throat of the now helpless enemy.

An ability to push an enemy into a tree and get them stuck inside (like a mean version of the first part of tree stride).

A hive ability similar to the Verdure's Hive Companion Adaptation could be implemented into carapace

I could see high level greenguards as walking siege engines, able to break down walls adn tear down towers.

I tried to keep the ability ideas focused on direct enemy interaction and utility. Some self buffing would probably also be good. I apologize if any of that is hard to follow, overly random/disorganized or if I repeated myself. Perhaps some ideas on more class features can be picked out of that?

</erratic ideas and feedback>

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-03, 12:44 AM
Alright!

There are a lot of things there to analyze. Going to spoiler my various responses.


For Dweomer Seeds, I was thinking you could generate them as many as you would like but would have to pay for enchantments as normal. Let gold and opportunity be the limiting factors like they are for everyone else rather than building a progression into the class. You would just enchant the seed rather than the armor or weapon directly. Perhaps the seeds themselves can be used in a different manner as well? Perhaps, they are the default missile weapon but can also be enchanted and absorbed by a carapace or thorn to confer the enchantment on that item? Perhaps they can be given other uses? That would give another category for adaptations (you know, if we were still thinking about them or whatever).
Gold cost makes sense to me- I just have some feeling that a limitation of maximum effect by level should be put in. At least, most weapon enchantments have minimum caster level.
Enhancement bonus is it's own thing- it's more like an "appropriate numbers by level" thing than an ability.

Using them as ranged weapons is an interesting idea- do you think they would be expended by that use?
One mode which could make them usable (and priceable) like ammunition would be making each Dweomer Seed attached to a spell, much like Spell Blossom. When thrown at someone or when they hit someone after being bonded to a Thorn, they are expended, applying the spell to the target. On second thought, that would still work even if they were enchantments- they would be like ammunition for melee attacks.


I want to keep this class more focused on enemy control and definitely want to make them distinct. I also want them to be clearly martial. Some ideas of general things i would like to focus on are controlling enemy movements, Combat maneuvers, enemy action economy reduction, divide and conquer type tactics, etc.
Action limiting is arguably one of the most powerful weapon you can have, second only to actually killing them. One thing you could consider is soft action limitation- "take some penalty until you do a thing", or "take some penalty which is removed by not doing a thing for a turn", without hard-limiting options.


Here was my inspirational / iconic image for when I first conceived of the class. I kind of thought about them like a plant themed version of sentinels from xmen, using vines to capture and hold their enemies and defeating them in ways other than killing them. How cool would it be if you were totally surrounded by bandits who think their number mean your screwed and then suddenly vines shoot out in all directions and bind them? what if you could pick two of them up and bang their heads together or drag them over a pit and drop them in. Even something small like forcing them to take a standard action to get out of the vines would be good, especially if you can affect more than 1 enemy at a time. I mentioned the botanical power armor idea so think of them like plant-cyborgs - robocop, mechs, etc.

This is a really nasty effect (although wizards get it too but better- they really shouldn't). I suspect that the thing needed to balance this class is a daily pool of power to draw from- if you take a standard action to make X people lose their standard action, you're "guaranteed" to win any combat with X or fewer people (as long as you have an ally), since you can do it indefinitely...
That said, a number of abilities can be built out of this, assuming that we treat "vines" as the grapple-build:
Clinging Vines (or something):
Something something you can grapple creatures within a range of 20 ft. You can also use them as weapons, dealing 2d6 + stat bludgeoning damage for a Medium creature, and adjusting the damage depending on their size category. Whenever you deal damage with a creature you are grappling, they take an equal amount of damage.
Endless Lashes:
As a full-round action, you may grapple any number of people within 20 ft with Clinging Vines. You take a -2 penalty to the grapple check for each creature you simultaneously attempt to grapple.

They need wording fixes and balance checks, but the essence is there.


I think i already mentioned my idea that they could make a cage grow around an enemy - possible ability for a dweomer seed - throw the seed like an area effect and it grows a woody cage around that area? you could even throw it at your own feet to enclose yourself with a nearby enemy and prevent other enemies from participating in a one-on-one cage match.
Forcecage or Wall of X in a seed- see my earlier notes on possible Dweomer Seed mechanics.


I was also thinking about plant grafts separate from a specific class (I have lots of plant themed ideas!) but maybe integrating those would be something to look at. If you are familiar with Shadowrun, they have something called a street samurai that gets cybernetic implants to make them more effective fighters. Plant grafts could do something similar (though I think i still would like to keep grafts separate and make this sort of boost a function of the carapace).
Grafts are actually a thing in 3.5 (although not Pathfinder as far as I know). They're generally treated as no-slot items with a downside.


The carapace could have extendable or stretchable limbs, which let you attack someone outside your normal reach. What if the carapace pool could be spent on uses of powers as well as numerical bonuses. This would give you a reason not to dump all the points into the base stats. You could even downgrade your armor to free up points so you could use an ability an extra time. I think I really like this idea. What do you think?

My main beef with the pool of points is that there's little reason to have investment on a day-to-day basis in niche abilities like Armor Check Penalty, since when those things come up, you can just reallocate as a full-round action. This would give the player more options to invest for combat abilities, but there would be little reason to include noncombat abilities in your armor- just pull them out when they come up. However, the idea of downgrading your armor to use abilities is an interesting limitation...


How about a flower that emits pheromones that affect enemy emotions? It makes them angry at the Greenguard and they have to make a will save to attack anyone else. or it makes them confused and they lose an action. Perhaps it staggers them and they stumble 5 ft in a random direction? something that could be directed at an enemy spellcaster that makes them cough, preventing them from casting spells.
Pheromone Emanation:
As a swift action, you can begin emitting pheromones which affect all those within 30 ft with a specified effect for . Alternatively, as a standard action, you can release a directed burst in a 40 foot cone, affecting creatures for 1d4 rounds. In either case, choose one of the following effects; those in the area who fail a Fortitude save are afflicted for the given duration. An adjacent creature can take a standard action to snap them out of it. Note that while the phereomone burst is visible to others, passive emission is not.
-Calm Emotions, as the spell
-Rage- the creature can do nothing but attempt to harm the Greenguard with whatever tools are available.
-Sooth- Creatures gain a +4 bonus to Diplomacy checks against affected creatures.
I made it Fortitude because it's a physical effect.


What about an ability that lets them grow a "clone" of themselves that takes a blow for them when in reality they have secretly moved 5 ft. back (like sub zero's ice clone ability in mortal combat). You could even add a negative effect to the enemy. Maybe the clone is "juicy" and sprays acid on the attacker before collapsing into a heap of plant matter. Or instead it is sticky and the attackers weapon gets stuck to it.

Not quite sure how to write this effect. I suspect it should contain a limiter of some kind- I threw in an action limiter, but a uses/day mechanic could work.
Sacrificial Shell: In a process taking one minute, you can generate a shell over your body which will take one attack for you, launching you away in the process. Once when you have been hit by an attack, after the attacker has declared effects which they could trigger "on hit" and would be visible to you, but before the effects of the attack would be determined, you can sacrifice this shell in your stead. You are launched 5 feet in a random direction, leaving behind a 1 hit point shell which takes the attack in your stead. It collapses at the start of your next turn if it somehow survives. Your armor travels with you when you do this.
Left out the "effect on attacker" part for time reasons.


I was also thinking the carapace ability could be used to create the various types of outfits for different climates or clothes in general (Go right from the battlefield to a green tie event without ever changing). Or maybe have an ability that gives it permanent endure elements?
Might go in the "spend points on" category.


How about a living scuba suit with air bladders and fins?
Am thinking of that being a Basic Ability for the aquatic group.


situational versatility is good too. you had mentioned as one of the vine species, being able to create 10 ft. of "rope" by growing a vine. How about some sort of ability to create all kinds of mundane equipment?
My intent with the Basic Abilities was to provide "mundane utility" to the powers. General equipment (a la Conjurer's Toolbelt (http://www.pathfindersrd.com/magic/3rd-party-spells/rite-publishing---3rd-party-spells/c/conjurer-s-toolbelt)) is definitely an option.


The leviathan armor (mech) concept could be expanded to alternate forms like a mount or even vehicles like carriages or boats. Maybe as they level, the things they can make get bigger (but also take longer). Camp would be awesome because you could grow a shelter and a comfy bed, tables, chairs, a nice chaise, etc. Here is a scene for you. An enemy enforcer of some type is at the Greenguard's camp meeting with him and trying to intimidate him into surrender. They are sitting in the Greenguard's tent looking over a map and discussing borders, terms or whatever. The negotiation doesn't go well and the enforcer draws his weapon. Then, the chair he was just sitting in wraps around him and squeezes the breath from his lungs. Slowly, a verdant spear grows from the hand of the Greenguard and with barely a gesture extends itself right to the throat of the now helpless enemy.
Mount! Armor as mount/power armor / vehicles is something that hasn't been done (mostly because the rules for vehicles are nearly nonexistent in the normal rules).
Terrain creation as an out-of-combat ability could be a good nod to the Verdure- definitely an ability to shelve for noncombat use. Animating those objects is a different thing... unsure how to handle it.


An ability to push an enemy into a tree and get them stuck inside (like a mean version of the first part of tree stride).

A hive ability similar to the Verdure's Hive Companion Adaptation could be implemented into carapace

I could see high level greenguards as walking siege engines, able to break down walls adn tear down towers.

I tried to keep the ability ideas focused on direct enemy interaction and utility. Some self buffing would probably also be good. I apologize if any of that is hard to follow, overly random/disorganized or if I repeated myself. Perhaps some ideas on more class features can be picked out of that?
Don't have the time to stat these up but I like all of these. Seem like good options- some utility tools, some weapons. There's a lot more ideas here than I had.

One thing that my brother commented is that a number of these classes are heavily dependent on whether there is plant life in the environment- we might want to consider a low-level ability to spread some plant life around.

Kaskus
2017-03-03, 03:04 PM
squeezing in a quick comment on my lunch break...

What do you think of having a pool of points of some sort that it a unifying mechanic tied to the Seeds...

1. You get a certain number of points each day
2. You can create as many seeds as you want but they are basically mundane sling ammo unless you invest them with points
3. points can be put into the seeds to charge them
3a. This could do things for the seeds themselves - make them magical ammo, add effects like the cage effect, etc.
3b. The seeds can be "loaded" into the carapace to charge it. This would determine the point value of the carapace.
3c. The seends can be "loaded" into the thorn to charge it. This would determine the point value of the thorn.

That would give them one pool and they would need to decide how much to tie up in their armor, how much into their weapon and how much to keep on hand for charging seed effects. All of these things would come from the same pool. It would take a full round action to generate a carapace and some action to load a seed (move action?). Standard action to summon thorn but again a move action to load a seed. some sort of action to charge the seeds. So, if you build your armor and laod it with seeds etc. at the beginning of the day, your action economy wont be messed up by it. However, if you want to adjust your armor / weapon on the fly, you will have to use actions to do so as well as managing your points. Carapace and thorn points are tied up in their base abilities but you can downgrade them to free up points for other things. Points used for special effects would be expended.

We could limit how many points could be put in an individual seed and we could limit how many seeds can be loaded into carapace / thorn, which would limit what could be done with them. I had added maximum AC bonuses for each Carpace form and we could limit the max dex as well if you think that might be abusable. Ideally, the abilities that use up points will make it so the player doesnt want to tie too many points into their carapace/thorn because they will want to use those powers.

For the genera, we can include some powers that are free - select the species and get the benefit. We could also include species that require points be tied up into them ("charge" effects?) as well as species that require expenditure of points. Maybe each genus has a free/passive base ability as well as an upgraded "charged" version that requires points. Charged versions would be minor bonuses or range enhancements to the base ability. The charge could be cancelled to get the points back for use on other abilities if needed

---

As far as seeds being expended when used. I think that if used as a missile weapon with no special effects, the seed would be destroyed and the points would be returned to the pool. points used for special effects would be lost. That way if you want to do some ranged combat, you can keep throwing out generically enhanced seeds (like if you had a bow that conferred bonuses to its ammo) but if you want to do somehting special like the cage seed or some as of yet undetermined effect, you have to spend (insert image of man rubbing fingers together here)

---

Finally (for now), as far a low level ability to spread plant life. How about making that a base ability for seeds. You expend a standard action and drop/throw a seed and it creates a 5 or 10 foot patch of mundane plantlife (grass, flowers, etc.) where it lands that persists for some designated amount of time.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-03, 06:40 PM
Iinteresting.

On Max AC bonus- I'm leaning towards limiting Max Dex + AC bonus, since that's pretty close to what normal armor is limited by (seriously, all of them are between 7 and 10, and most of the "best" ones are in the 8 to 10 range).


1. You get a certain number of points each day
2. You can create as many seeds as you want but they are basically mundane sling ammo unless you invest them with points
3. points can be put into the seeds to charge them
3a. This could do things for the seeds themselves - make them magical ammo, add effects like the cage effect, etc.
3b. The seeds can be "loaded" into the carapace to charge it. This would determine the point value of the carapace.
3c. The seends can be "loaded" into the thorn to charge it. This would determine the point value of the thorn.
On the mechanic of seeds being "loaded" in- I'd like to nail down what seeds are and how they work (see questions at the end)

On a unified pool of points: I'm just not convinced that it adds much to the class. While you do get people who specialize in armor/weapons/seeds, I'm not yet convinced that that's an entirely good thing- I have a feeling that you get overspecialization. Why don't we start with building the class features and pools individually, and then seeing about changing over to a unified pool. (There's also the possibility that players just buy normal equipment to free up points).

We also might want to tie down what "points" are. Initially, I thought of them as the "design space" of the armor- how much "stuff" you can fit into your armor, and how much plant material you can fit into it. It seems you're shifting towards making them invested in the form of physical Dweomer seeds which are charged and equipped in some way? Could you elaborate on that mechanic?


Finally (for now), as far a low level ability to spread plant life. How about making that a base ability for seeds. You expend a standard action and drop/throw a seed and it creates a 5 or 10 foot patch of mundane plantlife (grass, flowers, etc.) where it lands that persists for some designated amount of time.
Ability to spread growth looks good.


Main Questions:
Do you want to use Dweomer Seeds as modular enchantments, making the class more about hotswapping your weapon effects and customizing your equipment for particular encounters (and also making them continual effects)? Or are they the Greenguard's method of "casting spells"/tossing down special abilities? Your earlier comments implied the former, but later ones seem to point more towards the latter.

Are points something you expend or something you invest? Mixing the two is an option, but can lead to a lot of frustrating moments and keep people from wanting to use their abilities due to the lasting penalties, or push towards the 5-minute adventuring day. Making it take time to convert will, I suspect, make people choose one or the other (becoming a fighter+ or a wizard, essentially), with the possibility of switching over to wizard during the day to go nova.

I know you design from cool moments- I'd like to focus on the background behind those moments, to focus on how those effects are classified as part of different class features, and to work out the basic systems of the class.

My personal design thoughts on points, seeds, the carapace, and the thorn(take or reject these as you like), plus a genera special bonus:
-Both the Thorn and the Carapace are essentially the basic meleeist's tools, and we should decide whether we want them to be on-par with or better than normal equipment. The basic point allocation design we currently have is well set up to produce armors and weapons approximately on par with normal equipment- I feel that we should try to stick to that allocation, and modify them further using separate effects (seeds? adaptations? class features?) to make them on-par with magic items and class features of other classes. I suspect that doing this separation will make it much easier to balance the class, as we can call the base points of the item "mundane" and balance the remaining effects by comparing them with normal "magic" options like weapon enchantments, enhancement bonuses, &etc. A further layer of separating out noncombat abilities (or at least limiting the amount of investment in combat abilities) is also something I think is important (though less so)- if we allow them to be ignored entirely but let the player reformat their armor, they become less meaningful choices, and more the expansive spell list of T1 classes- a solution which can be grabbed in X minutes or less. Even forcing all decisions to be made at the beginning of the day has this effect- it just stretches out the time to 24 hours.
-Seeds need to have their system described more before we attach effects to them. The big question here is are they constant effects, or are they expended? For consistency reasons, I think it should be one or the other. While having players choose between constant and one-off effects seems like an interesting design choice, I suspect that it leads players to focus on one or the other. There's little in the way of comparable effects in D&D or Pathfinder (mostly spells which have a second effect once per cast), and I don't think it would be easy to balance so that either choice has equal value in general.
-What are genera in this class, and what should they cover? I'd been thinking of them as the "feats" of the class- a mix of active and passive abilities designed to support a particular playstyle. How do seeds interact with this role? How do points interact with this role? Should they be expected to compete with your base equipment for resources? My personal opinion is that they should be best used as an alternate output for whatever resources/day system we use (Seeds?), but not in a way which takes away value from your principal tools (Thorn and Carapace). After we've fleshed out the class, I'd be OK with reconsidering that, though.

Kaskus
2017-03-03, 08:11 PM
Okay, less thought-vomit and a little more focus. I will not comment on everything here (still at work :/ )...

SEEDS

My initial thought on seeds was that you could create one for free and then have an enchantment put on it liek you would put on a weapon or armor (flaming for example). The enchantment would lock the seed into that role (Thorn Seed of Flaming). When you manifest Thorn, it would only be a basic version of whatever weapon you were creating. You would then have to load the seeds into it to give it the prescribed enchantments. loading the example seed would give your Thorn the Flaming magical weapon ability. If you dismiss your thorn, the seeds are ejected and you have to hang onto them. So, if all your equipment were stolen for example, you could still manifest a basic thorn but it wouldn't be able to have any magical abilities because the enchantments were all in seeds, which were with the equipment that was stolen. Does that make sense so far?

---

CARAPACE & THORN

Their purpose is as you said to replicate mundane versions of armor and weapons. special abilities might be added via genera and enchantments might be added with Dweomer seeds but their stats would be absed on points spent on each of them within set boundaries. I think I agree with your assessment about keeping the pools separate for initial balance. I have not 100% solidified my opinion on how many points they should have and if/how there should be any progression in that regard. Keeping the basic ability, well basic makes sense and genera / seeds give ways to enhance or modify them so i think that will be able to fulfill the concept.

---

POINTS (Generally)

This is probably confusing because my opinion / ideas on this have changed & shifted and are not 100% solid. Initially they were just a dynamic way to design the armor so it could be tailored situationally. There is a magical suit of armor the name of which eludes me at the moment that can transform into any kind of armor so it can be leather if you need to be nimble and then shift into full plate if you need more protection. Manifesting it as a power has the added bonus of it not being able to be stolen / confiscated.

After adding the point-build armor, I thought it would be cool to do a similar power for a custom weapon. Basic martial character stuff = armor & weapon.

Third, I was thinking that if the armor grew new each time you manifested it, it wasnt something you could remove like regular armor inorder to give over to a wizard for enchantment. And if you DID get it enchanted. What happens to the enchantments when the armor is dismissed? How does a brand new suit of newly grown bio-armor just have the abilities of the last set you grew? The seeds was the answer. You enchant the seeds and have to add them back to each carapace to confer the enchantments. Same for thorn.

Then I was thinking they needed a ranged option and since I had already thought of them making seeds, I figured they could just use those. Also, upon needing a way to deliver the cage effect and then the general plant grow effect, they seemed to intuitively fit the bill for both of those. Then I thought if the seeds can be used to deliver the cage effect and be used to deliver the plant growth effect, they might be given other effects to deliver, which could be dictated via species. Since the cage effect seemed like something that could be done x times per day, I figured there would need to be a pool of points for these effects as well and that the seeds would be charged with those effects. So the cage effect would be a species (vine?) and it would give you the ability to charge a seed (costing x points) with that ability. Then the Cage Seed could be thrown and it would cause the cage t grow in a radius around the point of impact. The plant growth ability could probably be point-free and just cost the action to throw it.

I somewhat see the charged effect seeds like stuff from batman's utility belt.

I was also thinking how to progress the points someone might get towards carapace and thorn and how to limit them and thought if you had to split the same points between the two it would help. Adding the seed points to that same pool was just an extension of that thought.

Hopefully that makes the progression of thoughts more logical and helps with my intentions on those items?

I believe however that you are right in keeping them separate and balancing each one individually.

-----

Now random question: Would a Predator-esque seed launcher as a ranged weapon be too much? I was thinking about a shoulder-mount seed launcher last night and thought it sounded cool.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-04, 12:26 AM
Okay.
-Thorn and Carapace are balanced around different numerical systems from different authors; we should probably avoid trying to combine them without serious thought first (and I'm pretty worried about someone gaming the system by buying regular armor and weapons for extra points). Seeds haven't had their system decided at all, so I'll leave them be for now.
I think attaching a basic "numbers" bonus (say 1/3 level enhancement bonus) is a good starting point for them.

I like the system of using seeds / whatever name you use for them as a method of making persistent enchantments- it gives the class a unique talent which I haven't seen before.

I don't like translating that system of weapon enchantments over to the utility belt/ranged attack options, though- it seems like trying to force two diametrically opposed systems into the same class feature/ability pool. Weapon and armor enhancements are:
-Constant
-Apply as part of hitting people/being hit, not independent standard actions
Limited use abilities are the polar opposite of that.
-One use and they're gone
-Activated as a standard action, and usually have range, so if you use them, you don't need a weapon, and you need much less armor.

We could come up with a hybrid between the two, maybe something like limited use, temporary enchantments, but I think it would be awkward, and wouldn't really fulfill the goals of either side.

Shoulder Cannon: I don't know? I had assumed a melee-focused class. It won't break anything to have a ranged option available, it just probably won't be very powerful- equivalent of Enlarge Spell (the range increaser, not the area increaser).

Kaskus
2017-03-04, 10:33 AM
Okay.
-Thorn and Carapace are balanced around different numerical systems from different authors; we should probably avoid trying to combine them without serious thought first (and I'm pretty worried about someone gaming the system by buying regular armor and weapons for extra points). Seeds haven't had their system decided at all, so I'll leave them be for now.
I think attaching a basic "numbers" bonus (say 1/3 level enhancement bonus) is a good starting point for them.

I am agreed on Thorn and Carapace. Until you said something a couple posts ago about buying regular equipment to horde points, I hadn't even considered that!

For seeds, I don't think they need a system. they are mundane by themselves. You have to make them special and that is done with separate abilities / systems. See below...


I like the system of using seeds / whatever name you use for them as a method of making persistent enchantments- it gives the class a unique talent which I haven't seen before.

Thanks :smallsmile:


I don't like translating that system of weapon enchantments over to the utility belt/ranged attack options, though- it seems like trying to force two diametrically opposed systems into the same class feature/ability pool. Weapon and armor enhancements are:
-Constant
-Apply as part of hitting people/being hit, not independent standard actions
Limited use abilities are the polar opposite of that.
-One use and they're gone
-Activated as a standard action, and usually have range, so if you use them, you don't need a weapon, and you need much less armor.

We could come up with a hybrid between the two, maybe something like limited use, temporary enchantments, but I think it would be awkward, and wouldn't really fulfill the goals of either side.

I feel like we are out of sync on this part. In my mind, the seeds are something the Greenguard can make at will and are just, well seeds. They don't do anything special by themselves. They can be enchanted but that uses the existing system of weapon / armor enchantment built into the game. Maybe it would be helpful to think of seeds as worthless gems. Let me explain...

Base Gem: Just a Gem

A Gem that can be embedded into a weapon or armor to enhance it would be like the Dweomer Seeds mentioned initially. While a specific system like this for gems doesn't exist to my knowledge, I think its been covered in fiction. Final Fantasy VII had a system like this with Materia and Diablo has the gem sockets in various items.

A Gem charged with some misc. effect or spell would be like the Cage Seed. The Cage Seed species would give them the ability to apply this effect to a mundane seed a certain number of times per day. They can thus create that many Cage Seeds, which are distinct from Dweomer Seeds (or other seeds which might be developed).

Another analogy is alchemists fire and a mutagen. Both are bottles of liquid but each has a completely separate effect and creating them are distinct processes.


Shoulder Cannon: I don't know? I had assumed a melee-focused class. It won't break anything to have a ranged option available, it just probably won't be very powerful- equivalent of Enlarge Spell (the range increaser, not the area increaser).

Again I was thinking of something fairly mundane, like a repeating crossbow that doesn't require hands to use. It would fire mundane seeds and still take your standard action to make the attack. It could also be used as a delivery system for Cage / Effect seeds.

Seed Cannon (Exotic Ranged Weapon):
Cost: N/A
Dmg: 1d6 (Sm) / 1d8 (Lg)
Critical: 19-20 / x2
Range: 30 ft.
Weight: 6 lbs.
Type: B
Special: ---

Kaskus
2017-03-04, 10:49 AM
Changelog:

Modified the table to reflect the elimination of adaptations and the conversion of root/etc. to genus/species.

Set the Carapace Points as = Wisdom Score. What do you think of that for the number?

Set Thorn Points to 1 + Wisdom Modifier. Again, whats your opinion of the number?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-04, 07:43 PM
Oh, we are definitely out of synch on seeds.

My misunderstanding was that "seeds" were referenced both as a class feature and as a physical item. The references to them in both Cage Seeds and in Dweomer Seeds led me to believe that both were going to operate under the same system in some fashion, at which point I began to attempt to shoehorn one system into the other (i.e. Cage Seeds which temporarily enchant the weapon when activated, making them modular but temporary enchantments).

While I understand them being used in either case, I think that we need to actively differentiate them in the text more- mutagens and alchemist's fire have distinct naming and meaning in the text- an "alchemists's mutagen" is always referred to as such.

One thought on Dweomer Seeds- I don't really want the class to be forced to spend money/time to make use of their class feature- other fighters can often find equipment during adventuring, and Artificers are often dependent on having time to build their tools. (ideally, it would be able to enchant the seeds itself, at least!) What do you think of letting them create Dweomer Seeds for free, but can only have a certain number at once? I'm going to copy some text from a nonmagic crafter project that I've been working off and on for a way to make that work:

-[Maintain] devices take some of your time and effort to maintain. Unless actively maintained in a process taking one minute, they become unreliable after 24 hours. A tinker can only maintain their Intelligence bonus in devices and modifications at once. If a device is not being actively maintained, it takes half an hour to perform that process, due to the lack of recent familiarity with it. A tinker may refamiliarize themselves with a device by spending 2 hours tweaking and adjusting it.
This could be a rough fit for this class, if tweaked to work off a different stat, renamed to tending the plant, etc.- my earlier impressions were that this class is one much more reliant on actively caring and tending a "garden" on their carapace (i.e. maintaining the Species). That might not be the direction that you want to go in, of course.


On Thorn and Carapace points:
These are fine. Initially, I thought they might be a bit overscaled (too strong at high levels), but this is a three or four-stat class, so it shouldn't get too crazy. Thorn might be a little overscaled anyway, actually (and too weak at low levels).


Would like to change to capping (max Dex + armor bonus), as it's more representative of normal armor (they never go over 10 points total).

Kaskus
2017-03-04, 08:17 PM
2 thoughts on dweomer seeds...

1. We could make it so they can absorb enchantments from other items. Make it take a long time and require concentration, etc. so it cant be used in battle. Then if you found a flaming sword in some loot, you oculd absorb the flaming property into a seed and then use the seed to make your Thorn Flaming. The original item would no longer possess the property of course.

2. We could give them the equivalent of crafting feats so they can enchant the things themselves.

Craft Dweomer Seed (Ex): You can create dweomer seeds, which may be used to enhance weapons, armor, or shields created with the Carapace or Thorn abilities. Creating a Dweomer Seed takes 1 day for each 1,000 gp in the price of its magical features & you must use up raw materials costing half of this total price.

We could giver them the above "feat" as a class feature at level 3 or level 5. This is the method towards which I am currently inclined.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-04, 11:50 PM
Either/both of those would work, I think- we'd just need to work out the numerical value of Dweomer Seeds.
A good starting point for that would be spell effects, maybe- determining the spell level of a +X bonus equivalent added to an item. From the Spell Compendium, there's Brilliant Blade, a +4 bonus for a 6th level spell. There's also Sonic Weapon, which is a 2nd level spell which adds +1d6 energy damage per hit. Both last 1 minute per level. Interpolating, we have a spell level of
1-2 + effective enhancement bonus, more or less. It could be on the low side, because we can stack these. Call it down to 1st level.
One second while I look up the spell level cost tables.
Edit:
Cost is 2,000 gp * spell level * caster level
*2 because the base spell is in minutes/level
I'm ignoring the no-slot cost multiplier, because that's intended to deal with the extra value from competition from magic items- these compete with each other.


Spell Level
Cost


1
4,000 gp


2
24,000 gp


3
60,000 gp


4
144,000

[tr]

...
I'm going to stop there, because these prices are clearly out of line with what is good for the class.
...
Are you sure you don't want the seed creation to be based on it's own class feature (see: Magus 5th level ability, Paladin 5th level ability, etc.) instead of being itemcrafting-based?
(note: it might be hard to balance prices between high-level and low-level. What's a big expense for the latter is a lot less for the former)

Also, you might want to change the name a little to distinguish it from Cage Seeds- calling them both "seeds" was what confused me. I'm also a bit unclear on how, physically, they work- especially why you need several days to develop them. What do you think of Arcane Cultivar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultivar)? They're magically bred(time and cost explained!) plants infused with particular properties. To load them into your carapace/thorn, you physically transplant them onto them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyte), where they continue to grow, providing magical powers in exchange for their nutrition, It also abbreviates nicely to cultivar.

Kaskus
2017-03-05, 02:10 AM
What do you think of Arcane Cultivar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultivar)? They're magically bred(time and cost explained!) plants infused with particular properties. To load them into your carapace/thorn, you physically transplant them onto them (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphyte), where they continue to grow, providing magical powers in exchange for their nutrition, It also abbreviates nicely to cultivar.

What happens to these when the Carapace or thorn is dismissed and their source of nutrition is cut off?

Physically, they work like Materia from final fantasy or gems in Diablo. You slot them into the item and they confer the bonus. The time and cost needed to develop them is the same as that for enchanting any other piece of equipment because it is exactly the same process. The only difference is that you do the enchanting on the seed rather than on the armor or weapon directly. I dont think any extra system needs to be put in place because there is already a system in place for doing this with non-greenguard equipment.

Make A Sword +1 = 2,000 gp
Make a +1 Thorn Dweomer Seed = 2,000 gp

Make a suite of armor +1 = 1,000 gp
Make a +1 Carapace Dweomer Seed = 1,000 gp

Same enchantment = same cost

---

Modeling an ability after the Paladin's Divine bond is interesting but it ignores the fact that a paladin can find/buy/make a magic sword and then use divine bond to make it even more magical. Changing the ability would get rid of the ability to make the base item magical in exchange for making it temporarily magical. Dweomer seeds are meant to be a flavorful and somewhat more versatile way of enchanting the base items. If you don't like giving them crafting, they can take a seed to an enchanter to have it done just like a fighter would do if he wanted to have his sword enchanted. Again, there is a way already available in the game to accomplish this.

I'm still not sure if we disagree on this or if we are misunderstanding one another still? I feel like you are talking about a way to have the class scale up the abilities of the weapon essentially by adding enhancements themselves via a class ability. I am talking about a way to apply existing methods of item enchantment to them. In my version, a seed is a generic lump of matter that is able to receive enchantments. If it is enchanted with an armor ability, it may confer that ability to a carapace. If it is enchanted with a weapon ability, it may confer that ability to a Thorn.

Kaskus
2017-03-05, 11:04 AM
I really want to get on the same page with seeds. I am a fan of them but it took a while for me to form what i wanted out of them exactly so i know the thought process might be hard to follow since you only have my blatherings here to go by. What do you think of these (with individual terminology this time :smallsmile: )

1. Seed
- Basic/mundane seed that the Greengaurd can make at will. In its most basic state, it is essentially free sling ammo. Perhaps if you planted it, it would grow into the mundane version of whatever plant the Carapace is based on?
- Perhaps we build in the mundane plant growth to these by default?
EDIT: What if they can make it so the generic seed grows any type of mundane plant they designate?

2. Carapace Dweomer Seed
- This is a Seed (see #1) that has been enchanted with an armor enchantment (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-armor/)
- Loading one of these into a Carapace confers the enchantment onto the Carapace
- When a loaded Carapace is dismissed, these are ejected from the Carapace but retain their properties

3. Thorn Dweomer Seed
- This is a Seed (see #1) that has been enchanted with a weapon enchantment (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-weapons/)
- Loading on of these into a Thorn confers the enchantment onto the Thorn
- When a loaded Thorn is dismissed, these are ejected from the Thorn but retain their properties

4. Fertility Seed
- This is a Seed (see #1) that has been charged with the ability to cause mundane plant growth in a radius from a point to which it has been dropped/thrown/planted
- This is an alternative to just making the basic form of seeds do this
- Once used, these are destroyed

5. Effect Seeds (Working Title)(Power Seeds?)
- This is a Seed (see #1) that has been charged with a particular ability.
- Ex: Cage Seed = Seed that has been charged with the theoretical cage effect I have mentioned
- Once used, these are destroyed

Does giving each one a unique name help? Or at least breaking it down instead of just writing "seed" and hoping everyone understands what i mean? I do that to people in real life as well because i forget that they cant read my mind and I don't always remember which parts of my ideas i have communicated and which ones are just floating around in my head. My apologies for any confusion.

Another analogy that might help (if the horse isn't dead already) is gems. There are several gem magic items that work in very different ways...
- Elemental Gem: Destroy it and it summons elementals
- Gem of Brightness: Uses command words for several effects and has charges
- Gem of Seeing: Look through it to see as if with True sight but only useable a certain amount of time per day.
- Soul Gem: Contains a bound soul and used as currency by daemons

All of the above are gems but they do very different things and in different ways

Now, if all of that makes more sense or if you were on the same page already but you think it is terrible, let me know :smallwink:

---

EDIT: Also added maximum Dex to Carapace

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-05, 02:44 PM
It makes sense mechanically, I think I understand.



What happens to these when the Carapace or thorn is dismissed and their source of nutrition is cut off?
They keep living, just off of their own magical reserves(indefinitely) instead of the power from the Greenguard. They act mechanically like Dweomer Seeds, but have a changed name, essentially.


Physically, they work like Materia from final fantasy or gems in Diablo. You slot them into the item and they confer the bonus.
I guess I'm OK with that? It's just a little odd imagining you inserting a seed into a living object and it providing benefits- a bit reminiscent of Grafts.



Make A Sword +1 = 2,000 gp
Make a +1 Thorn Dweomer Seed = 2,000 gp

Make a suite of armor +1 = 1,000 gp
Make a +1 Carapace Dweomer Seed = 1,000 gp
Except the cost is being added on top of an existing magic item- the carapace/thorn already have a built-in magic bonus, one which varies with level. The result is that it's much easier to add high-value enchantments to an existing weapon, and
Increasing a +2 sword to a +2 flaming sword: 18,000-8,000 = 10,000
Increasing a +5 sword to a +5 flaming sword: 72,000-50,000=12,000
It's not 1,000 gp!
With increasing magical bonuses (using armor this time), the cost increases with the total enhancement bonus of the item, as well:
Increasing a +1 armor to a +1 armor of Moderate Fortification: 16,000-1,000=15,000
Increasing a +4 armor to a +4 armor of M. Mortification: 49,000-16,000 = 33,000
Thus, the other issue is that this value changes over the course of the Verdure's career, and what is a minor cost to the late-game player is much higher to the early-game player.
The spells I mentioned had a fixed cost, if a stupidly high one.

There's sort of a solution here if you make the cost to create scale with level, but it's also not a solution at all because it makes no sense that it costs more to create the exact same magic item later in your career.
Another way of estimating cost, of course, is to make guesses about when players will upgrade to the appropriate magic item, and then scale the cost based on the enhancement bonus available at that level.
For example, at level 6, you could guess that a character has a +2 flaming weapon, or a +1 holy weapon, or whatever- a martial character has a +3 total effect item. Then the price of a +1 enhancing cultivar (using that name so I don't have to clarify which kind of seed) available then, and its price is given by the price difference between a +3 weapon (which the character should have) and the enhancement bonus given to the Verdure at that level:
+3 weapon - a +2 enhancement bonus = 18,000 - 8,000 = 10,000 gp
That feels roughly OK? It's low enough that a low-level player can afford one, but a high-level character can grab a whole bunch number (ghost touch, a couple of DR-breakers, and maybe some bane).
Of course, the +3 weapon was a guess- you'd want to look at the wealth-per-level tables to get a real estimate.



1. Seed
2. Carapace Dweomer Seed
3. Thorn Dweomer Seed
4. Fertility Seed
5. Effect Seeds (Working Title)(Power Seeds?)
Alright, makes sense. What threw me off before was that I had assumed that they all operated on the same system of creation.


EDIT: What if they can make it so the generic seed grows any type of mundane plant they designate? I'd be OK with this.


Or at least breaking it down instead of just writing "seed" and hoping everyone understands what i mean?
Breaking it down does help. I do think that making some of these not be seeds (either 4 and 5, or 2 and 3) will help to differentiate them better- either by the Cultivar renaming, or splitting the mechanics of #4 and #5 to work off of a different system. I don't think that there's much benefit from having them both use #1 as a source of materials, other than (arguably) fluff benefits.

(I realize I've moved to the second phase of Internet arguing- insisting that the reason I misunderstood is because the original system was named or organized poorly. I'm sorry for that, but I find myself unable to push the button to post unless I include a little bit of arguing. I may not be that good at helping until I get over it. Very sorry.)

Kaskus
2017-03-05, 06:35 PM
Except the cost is being added on top of an existing magic item- the carapace/thorn already have a built-in magic bonus, one which varies with level.

Neither Carapace nor Thorn has a built in magical bonus as I have them written. Can you explain where you got that from?


Breaking it down does help. I do think that making some of these not be seeds (either 4 and 5, or 2 and 3) will help to differentiate them better- either by the Cultivar renaming, or splitting the mechanics of #4 and #5 to work off of a different system. I don't think that there's much benefit from having them both use #1 as a source of materials, other than (arguably) fluff benefits.

I think I am fine with changing Dweomer Seeds to cultivars. I am more hung up on the concept than the mechanics. One concern I do have with them being living plants though is that they would be fragile when not implanted and it would be awful to have a highly enchanted cultivar that was stolen and when you recover your gear, the Thief's magical dagger is fine and the wizards wand is fine but your cultivar is dead. By making them living, wouldn't we also be making them killable?


(I realize I've moved to the second phase of Internet arguing- insisting that the reason I misunderstood is because the original system was named or organized poorly. I'm sorry for that, but I find myself unable to push the button to post unless I include a little bit of arguing. I may not be that good at helping until I get over it. Very sorry.)

Lol, no need to apologize. Critical feedback is the purpose of posting here rather than just writing in my notebook. I need a sounding board to throw my ideas at and other creative people to brainstorm with and feed back off of creatively. I always understand what I mean so sometimes I need someone to point out when I don't make sense as well.

Also, being challenged on something forces me to decide how strongly i feel about it and whether I want to defend it and argue back or if I'm okay with changing it.

So, with all that said, tell me where you read / inferred the scaling magical bonus for Carapace & Thorn as well as whether you think my concerns about dead cultivars are legitimate and we can still be friends.

---

This would be the hypothetical new breakdown then...

1. Seed
2. Carapace Cultivar
3. Thorn Cultivar
4. Fertility Seed
5. Effect Seeds (Working Title)(Power Seeds?)

I do like that the seeds become all expendable and the cultivars persistent. Do you think the above arrangement is more fitting?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-05, 08:06 PM
Neither Carapace nor Thorn has a built in magical bonus as I have them written. Can you explain where you got that from?

Oh, whoops. My assumption since roughly post #22(see: last sentence of the first quote, followed by "I am agreed" ) that they would have a "numbers bonus" to bring their minimum power in-line with magic items- that kind of bonus is actually pretty common in fighter fixes, since it reduces the cost of the classic "golf club bag" of weapons (each of which is needed to beat a specific DR), and reduces weapon dependence.

And actually, I think including an inherent enhancement bonus is better for the class overall. The main benefit of Dweomer Seeds over using ordinary weapons is that you can load in whatever special abilities you need to beat a particular foe- you grab a ghost touch seed for ghosts, a dragon-bane seed for dragons, and so on. If you're instead spending money on +5 dragon-bane seeds, +3 ghost-touch seeds, and so on, the expenses go way up, and also the benefits of modularity are reduced by a whole lot.


I think I am fine with changing Dweomer Seeds to cultivars. I am more hung up on the concept than the mechanics. One concern I do have with them being living plants though is that they would be fragile when not implanted and it would be awful to have a highly enchanted cultivar that was stolen and when you recover your gear, the Thief's magical dagger is fine and the wizards wand is fine but your cultivar is dead. By making them living, wouldn't we also be making them killable?
Admittedly, this is an issue. While equipment can be sundered, it's a lot less likely to happen due to being more easily used. On the other hand, it seems to me that the main cost of creating the Cultivar is breeding it to accept the magical energy + growing it. If a seed from the dead plant survives (like an acorn!), it could be used to grow a new Cultivar at a fraction of the cost.


Man, I am making all sorts of assumptions here. I'm really sorry! As penance, please accept this write-up of some Species, from that one time I said I would but didn't:

Entomb: When you forcibly move a creature into a solid surface covered with or made of plant matter, you may cause it to grow and twist around them, imprisoning them within- a Reflex save negates this, allowing them to break free. Otherwise, they become unable to move from their square, must remain prone if they are prone, cannot make use of their limbs, and have cover from the outside world. They may escape this hold in ways which could escape a grapple, against an effective static grapple check of 14 + your level. If the surface you pushed them into is solid plant matter to a depth sufficient to contain their body, on a subsequent turn, you may push them further as a standard action while adjacent, immediately and automatically entombing them within the surface. At this point, they may only escape by making a Strength check with a DC of 10 + the hardness of the material + your Wisdom modifier, at which point they immediately exit to the nearest empty square. Note that many things qualify as forcible movement, including bull rushes, trip and overrun attempts which knock the target prone (these move them downward), movement made while grappling the target, and falling. If you did not perform the forcible movement yourself, you must ready a standard action to capture them in this way.

(note that you can use this on trip attempts, too, as long as the ground is grassy. If you don't want this or it turns out to be too strong, take out the trip/overrun attempts).
(I made it a little slower than instant entombing because that would be maybe too good)

Hive: You can construct and maintain a Tiny hive of insects, which you may attach to your carapace and direct at your enemies. While within 30 feet, you can command it to release a 5 foot radius cloud of biting and stinging insects, which deal 1d6 points of swarm damage per round to those other than you within. When mounted on your carapace in a process taking one minute, they travel with it, surrounding you to a radius of 5 ft when active. They are removed when the carapace is destroyed, or in another process taking one minute. They must be fed meat appropriate for a Tiny creature each day (about 1/4 lb), or 3 hit points for the day, or starve after 4 days of cumulative starvation. In order to create a new hive if the old one is destroyed, you must spend an hour in the wilderness searching for a hive to take.

(you can take out the last two sentences if you want to avoid the maintenance/"realism")

Walking siege engine?
Decomposition: You may create seeds which accelerate the normal process of erosion and decay. When charged and launched at a square, these seeds produce a 20-foot radius of growth. Unattended objects and corporeal undead within this area are covered with growth and immediately begin to be decomposed, taking 4d6 damage each round which bypasses hardness. This process will continue unless the growth is destroyed or disenchanted. If disenchanted, the process continues, but slower, at the rate of 1 point of damage per day.

(Pretend we have some rules about how areas of growth with an effect attached can be destroyed by fire damage, being scraped off by a slashing weapon, or a dispel magic or similar effect will "disenchant" magic effects)
(also, it's anti-undead!)

I notice myself pushing the class towards a more "natural" theme of growth and physically cultivating plant life to control- I just put in rules about how the growth from Decomposition continues, even nonmagically, I threw in language about physically gathering the hive for Hive, and I think the whole Cultivar thing is also a symptom maybe? I just noticed that I put a little of it in the original Vine genus, under Base Plant. I don't know if that's a direction you want the class to go in- let me know if you want to just let magic be magic.

Kaskus
2017-03-05, 08:48 PM
Another instance of us being out of sync. Lets focus just on carapace and thorn to begin. As Carapace is currently written, they get points equal to their wisdom score to build a custom suit of armor that roughly falls in line with existing mundane armor. As Thorn is written, they get 1 + wisdom modifier points to build a custom weapon that roughly falls in line with existing mundane weapons. So at the end of the day, these abilities basically replicate core starting equipment.

If you are in agreement about what they currently do and the numbers (wis score & 1 + wis mod), the next step becomes deciding if there should be a built in scaling bonus and if so, what that should be. I had forgotten the initial suggestion because I was so focused on figuring out where we got off track. I think the scaling bonus idea is a good one. Your suggestion of 1/3 level would leave them at +6 over their career. Is your intention with that number for it to be just an enhancement bonus to hit/damage or is it tied to adding special abilities as well?

For my part, I think a standard enhancement bonus is good with some separate way to add cultivars, which will stand in for other effects. Then we can break down the weapon / armor enchantments and make a cultivar menagerie.

Ghost Orchid (+1 Thorn Cultivar):
When (entwined?), ghost orchids grant the Ghost Touch property.

Simple stat blocks like the above with fun names that reference plant themes or actual plants would be the idea. Mechanically, its just a cultivar that grants a specific +1 magical weapon special ability. There would be no cultivars adding just numerical enhancements. that would be covered completely by the built in scaling bonus.

What do you think about that?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-05, 11:06 PM
I am in agreement about the current points for both the thorn and the carapace.


Is your intention with that number for it to be just an enhancement bonus to hit/damage or is it tied to adding special abilities as well?

For my part, I think a standard enhancement bonus is good with some separate way to add cultivars, which will stand in for other effects. Then we can break down the weapon / armor enchantments and make a cultivar menagerie.

Yeah, just an enhancement bonus.

My intent is that the scaling is wholly a numbers bonus, intended to make weak cultivars usable at higher level. For example, Ghost Orchids would otherwise be sitting at around 4 points less attack and damage at high levels compared to normal equipment otherwise.
The bonus might be a little higher than warranted- I chose a rate of 1/3 level because Craft Magic Arms and Armor allows a caster to create magic items with an enhancement bonus of 1/3 their caster level. I would be happy with reducing it to +1/4 level, capping the bonus at +5 (i.e. the limit of normal magic items), or leaving it at +6.

Do note that enhancement bonuses don't stack, so the +1 effect flower is basically just effect since the enhancement bonus is overridden by the thorn/carapace's natural bonus. This means that the primary value of the flower is just the effect.

With the understanding that the descriptions are totally made up (more of the naturalism thing, I think), and the description of how they are made is just rolled into the cost to create:

Silverlight Lily(+1 Holy cultivar:
These glimmering lillies are grown in a special solution of holy water. When entwined with a Thorn, they grant the Holy property.

Darkest Tangle(+1 Unholy cultivar):
This scraggly bush are grown in a special solution of unholy water. When entwined with a Thorn, their branches grant the Unholy property.

Blood Poppies(+1 Bane cultivar)
These red flowers are grown in the blood of a particular kind of creature. When entwined with a Thorn, they grant the Bane property against that kind of creature.

Rustleaf Grass (Varied)
By burying a metallic magic weapon and seeding normal grass over it, Rustleaf Grass is created. When entwined, it grants the magic properties of the buried weapon.

Endless Sapling(+1 Speed cultivar
Painstakingly grown over a period of weeks, this sapling magically absorbed the time spent creating it; it never ages a day. When entwined with a Thorn, it grants the Speed property.

Hateful Rose(+1 Vicious cultivar)
These roses is covered in thorns, which hungrily drink the blood of those who touch it. When entwined with a Thorn, they grant the Vicious property.

They sort of... ended up mostly being flowers. Flower names are just nicer sounding, I guess.
The enhancement bonuses might need to be increased- the way I wrote these, high-class equipment can be gotten for cheap pretty easily. (at 9th level, where someone else might have a +1 holy weapon or a +3 weapon, you can have a +3 holy weapon- a +1 holy thingy plus the +3 base bonus).
Maybe scale the attached enhancement bonus with effect? +2 holy, +3 speed, +4 brilliant energy? Hard to say.

Kaskus
2017-03-05, 11:49 PM
I think we are back in sync and on track!

Carapace is official.
Thorn is official.

1/3 bonus progression reflected in the class table

---

I think 1/3 progression is fine. Would it be too much of a nerf if the bonus was reduced for each cultivar?

So level 6, they have a bonus of +2, then they add a ghost orchid and that reduces the bonus by 1, making it a +1 / ghost touch (still a +2 total bonus).

Level 18, inherent bonus is +6, add ghost touch (+1 cultivar) & Spell-stealing (+3 cultivar). The 2 cultivars reduce the bonus by 2 so it becomes a +4 ghost touch / Spell Stealing Thorn (+8 total bonus)

This has the effect of automatically scaling how many different cultivars can be added at once. Does the reduction in bonus to get the cultivars hurt the effectiveness overall though?

---

Also, because I always have the adaptation concept floating in my mind. You could have an adaptation (could be a feat instead?) that allows you to make a hybrid cultivar in order to put two enchantments in while only reducing the bonus by 1.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-06, 01:01 AM
I really, really like that, on multiple levels.
-Solves that dangling +6 bonus at high levels- players can only reach those heights at the cost of having no enchantments.
-Lets players customize their equipment to a much greater degree
-Aids the feeling of having the cultivars "feeding off" the thorn and carapace

I love it, like the adaptation. Minor worry that it devalues +1 equivalent cultivars like flaming or light fortification, as the enhancement bonus drop doesn't give as much of a benefit to make up for it.
That could be easily solved with a species/adaptation, though-
Commensalism: You may add a single cultivar with a +1 equivalent bonus to your thorn or carapace without reducing it's enhancement bonus.

I like the Twin adaptation. It sounds like we're setting a value of "one adaptation = one situational +1 enhancement bonus", which is a nice balance point- both my and your adaptations increase the net enhancement bonus by +1 vs. not having them under the given circumstances.

Kaskus
2017-03-06, 09:40 PM
I think I like your version better. It is simpler while also being more versatile and feels less abusable.

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Now we need to talk about acquiring cultivars. A craft mechanic that works the same as Craft Magic Arms & Armor still seems simple and intuitive to me. It could represent grooming and tending the plant from some mundane base plant.

You didn't seem to be a fan of that method when I mentioned it before. Was that due to it being seed based before?

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Finally, I noted that you referred to your own write-up as an adaptation! Do you think they have a place in the class after all or did I just manage to trick you with terminology?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-06, 10:05 PM
It's a little better- you get less of +x Holy Wounding Speed weapons abusing the lack of scaling cost, and more +x holy ghost touch weapons that are basically wealth-per-level with a little extra on top.

I am now OK with creating magic items like Craft Magic Arms and Armor.

I think there's room for adaptations, yes. My stubborn anti-progress side insists that all the adaptations we have so far (i.e. two) have only a little over the valuation of a feat, and could be granted via feat access just as easily.

It also occurs to me that martial characters have a great need for feats, and we should probably drop some bonus feats in the class somewhere. This is especially relevant given that this class relies somewhat heavily on combat maneuvers, which in Pathfinder are these big irritating feat chains.

Kaskus
2017-03-06, 11:07 PM
I have 2 thoughts on adaptations & bonus feats. I had at one point thought that adaptations could serve the purpose of bonus feats, making it so they could be custom tailored to the Greenguard. That would prevent them from using those slots on existing feats though.

Alternatively, the proposed adaptations could be made into feats. Giving the greenguard bonus feats and allowing these as potentials for selection would give them the options while allowing them access to existing feats as well.

The third option would be to give them both feats as well as adaptations. This would be like "forced flavor." As much as I like adaptations conceptually, I am not sure if that is fitting.

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Ideas for adaptations...

1. Add points to carapace
2. Add points to thorn
3. Commensalism
4. Leviathan carapace form
5. Extra (Greenguard Ability)
6. Off Hand Thorn (for 2 weapon fighting support)
7. Thorn shield
8. some sort of mount option
9. Some way to utilize cultivars outside of bonding to thirn/carapace

I could probably think of some more.

Is there enough design space here to warrant inclusion of adaptations and/or should these all just be feats?

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-07, 12:24 AM
I'm on mobile right now, so I'm going to be quick.
It looks like you might have enough adaptations to justify their own class feature. I'm a little uncertain, because at least three of those(leviathan carapace, off-handing, shield, arguably mount) are build-dependent options (which, admittedly, adaptations are, but we used them with the Verdure to let it specialize in a much broader way- see next paragraph). Three of the others (Extra points for thorn/carapace, extra species) are traditionally covered by feats- see Extra Music, Extra Rogue Talent, Extra Lay on Hands, Extra Channel Energy, etc.

I'm not saying that those specialist adaptations are bad. But they could be covered by feats perfectly easily. One of the things which made Adaptations work for the Verdure was the massive number of separate class features it got, letting each group of adaptations be a general specialization in that class feature. There's less of that here because there are fewer class features- we've been putting those abilities and specializations in Species instead. In this sense, Species and Genera are pretty much the Adaptations of the Verdure- they're ways of building for a particular combat style by taking related abilities.
...A simple way to resolve this would be to rename Species to Adaptations, actually. Since the role of Species in this class is similar to that of Adaptations in the Verdure (they're even gained at the same levels), it might be a change that helps consistency.

Separate from this issue is the question of whether the Green guard should get some number of bonus combat feats, like a fighter. My verdict on this question is yes- some Greenguard combat styles(grappling) rely on feat chains to work at their best, so bonus feats are important for the class to be it's best.

Kaskus
2017-03-07, 01:15 AM
Now I think you might be tricking me because I would argue against calling species adaptations. I like the terminology and feel that system has on its own.

So, lets take a break from the adaptation conundrum. On Bonus Feats: I agree that they should get them. What about 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter? I initially thought third and every three thereafter which puts it on the exact same track as the Carapace/thorn bonus. I kind of like it being offset from that. What do you think about every 3 levels and what about starting at level 2? Would every other odd level (3, 7, 11, 15, 19) be too few?

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I added in mechanics for the "Seeds" ability.

Added "Breed Cultivar" at 5th level.

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Some random thoughts I had while driving regarding Genera/Species...

I am thinking there should be several classes of species that work in similar ways
- Seed Species which allow you to create different types of seeds. The Cage Seed could be a seed species within the vinea genus for example.
- Carapace Species: Species which affect the carapce in some way
- Thorn Species: Species which affect the thorn in some way
- Touch Species? Species which grant new touch based powers (the "push you into a tree" power might be one of theses). Perhaps these are Combat Maneuver related in general?

Then, provide some floating bonuses for characters that collect multiple species with the same theme
- If you know 3 or more Seed Species, You get (some seed related bonus)
- If you know 3 or more Carapace Species...
- etc.

And also for those who collect different ones...
- If you know a seed species, a carapce species, and a seed species, you get...
- If you know a Seed species, a carapace species and a touch species...
- etc.

This could be done for Genera as well...
- if you know 3 or more species from this genus, you get...
- if you know species from 3 or more different genera...

That leads me into some general design goals for Genera...

1. Skill-related base ability?
Vinea = Climb
Aquatilis = Swim
Fungus = Disable Device or Heal
Carnivorus = Escape Artist or Intimidate
Succulentus = Survival
Toxicus = Craft (Poisonmaking), Perception or Heal
Robustus = Acrobatics
Delicatus = Perform or Diplomacy
Obscurus = Stealth

2. At least 1 species for each "type" that we decide is important (seed, carapace, etc.)

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Work in progress based on ideas from previous posts and goals as outlined above. No mechanics yet, just concepts...

Genus Vinea:

Base Ability: Scaling Climb Bonus
Special: If you know 3 or more vinea species, you gain Skill Focus (Climb) as a bonus feat

v. tendricula: Basic attack vine ability

v. capta: Cage Seed

v. contorta: Grounding Curse from Boruta monster

v. constricta: allows you to grapple with vines rather than hands

v. ascenda (apparata?): climb bonus & treated as having equipment (If we were to go with something else as a base ability - apparata could be code for the base ability of each genus as well?)

v. tracta: Pulling Vine / Grappling Hook

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EDIT: Also check out Spell Bouquet Pinnacle for the Verdure and let me know your thoughts in that thread. Verdure still needs a little love :smallsmile:

Kaskus
2017-03-11, 03:01 PM
Added bonus feats to class progression table but have not defined what types of feats may be selected.

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I have been thinking more about species in a general way and I had some ideas for species types...

1. Genus Species (Seed): This is something I have talked about already. I thought these might work together sort of like luck feats. You can use your seed species powers a number of times equal to your wisdom modifer plus an additional time for each seed species you know.

2. Genus Species (Symbiote): These would be species that do things directly beneficial to the greenguard (or other attached creature - loan out your buffs?). These could be used to add abilities like Spell Resistance or auto condition removal effects (symbiote detects the condition and releases chemical to counteract it. there would be a use limit on these of course). This could also be where the ability to give yourself bulls strength, etc. (Symbiote releases adrenaline like compounds that amp you up). A Healing option?

3. Genus Species (Parasite): These would be species that can be attached to enemies to do variuous bad things to them (debuffs, ongoing damage, etc.)

There could probably be 1 or 2 more categories. I was thinking there would be some sort of bonus for having multiple species of the same type (seed gives additional uses, not sure what the others should do - maybe they all generate use pools that are shared among abilities of the same type?). This sort of goes along with my idea of automatic bonuses when you learn a certain number of species from one genus. The two systems together would give bonuses for those who want to specialize in one or a few genera as well as bonuses to those who want to specialize in species types.

What do you think of the "type" idea and do you have ideas for any other types?

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I was also thinking more about how Leviathan Carapce and Mount could be genera rather than adaptations and I agree that they work under than system. Leviathan Genus would give the armor form as the base ability and them give you various add-ons (like building a plant mech). Mount would similarly give you a mount as the base ability and then give you options for the mount as the various species. What do you think?

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I promise, I will eventually put together some mechanics / genus trees, etc. The concepts are still evolving in my mind somewhat.

aimlessPolymath
2017-03-11, 03:18 PM
I like the idea of categorizing the types- one thing which seems to be missing somewhat is direct control of existing plants, like that "shove people into trees" thing.

I don't know that I'd have them set up so that getting multiple of the same kind gives some extra benefit. Combined with the Genera thing, I think that it just gets overcomplicated. The benefit of having multiple Touch/Seed species is that you have a greater variety of options against enemies, some of which work and some of which won't, and you can stack multiple effects. Having lots of Carapace abilities means that your carapace is great. I could maybe see some kind of feat which improves a general class of options (The equivalent of Weapon Focus(Melee touch spells), or Weapon Specialization(Ray Spells), which is actually a thing), which would give light benefits to specializing in a particular style of species.

I could see some kind of synergy within Genera, representing greater control of a particular class of plants, which gives you greater options within that class of plant, ex. having one Vine species gives the basic ability, but having four gives an improved version (say, the rope you created is affected by animate rope).

The categories you suggested look good. There's something of a lack of interaction with existing plants, (i.e. pushing someone into a tree requires there to be a tree- it's not a species you carry around with you!)
Giving a minor static but stacking bonus per species makes sense to me- extra uses, for example, like you did for seeds in the example.

Kaskus
2017-03-11, 03:45 PM
What do you think of putting the plant control abilities in their own class abilities? Species are things you carry so they modify you or your stuff or give you new stuff.

Some ideas in that theme:
1) Ability to animate a plant and use teamwork feats with it (give free teamwork feats like the Hunter (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/hunter/)?)
2) Aforementioned "push you into a tree" power. Maybe make it any plant or group of plants of sufficient size? Treat as swallow whole?
3) Rolling hills: cause the turf / undergrowth to roll like a wave (bull rush as an area effect). Teh wave can move away from you or towards you as you choose.

"by myself" teamwork feats and combat maneuver specialization would make for fun/interesting combat I think?

What do you think of the plant-buddy for teamwork feats (but not a separate creature / minion / companion)? Could also be used to "by myself" flank?

The rest of class features would be new ways to use combat maneuvers (like rolling hills above) or bonuses thereto.

I added a class feature at third level called "Stability" that gives bonuses to CMD. Part of making them combat maneuver specialists. What do you think?

Kaskus
2017-03-11, 07:44 PM
Added "Accomplice" at 4th level (the plant buddy ability I mentioned above)

Kaskus
2017-06-22, 11:54 PM
It has been a minute but I've not given up on this idea. I completely re-wrote Carapace and Thorn and got rid of the point based systems for both. They are much simpler and easier to understand now.

I don't have as much time as I'd like to work on stuff so updates will likely continue to be sporadic but I do plan on there being updates.