Originally Posted by Tavar
Whelp, let's get to it.
Thoughts on the Fluff:
Couple things stand out: First off, 'Foolish Fools' is a bit redundant. Chose one.
Secondly, the order of the sections is off, and you're missing some of the sections.
Thoughts on the Mechanics:
Main thing I notice here is that it's pretty much the same chassis as the Cleric. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but that can provide a modest boost in power, as it gives full casters more options.
The first effect is pretty powerful: might want to tone down or excise it. The secondary effect isn't so much powerful as it is troublesome. Why not just have them be Arcane effects that aren't subject to Spell Failure?
Okay, it's a point based caster, with a somewhat limited spell list. A couple edits I made to improve clarity(imo) are made in red.
Personally? I think this is a bit powerful: conjuration is an extremely powerful school, and necromancy has some good stuff as well. Divination tends to be more variable, depending on the DM's rules, but it's still quite good as well. adding another school on top of this? Very, very powerful. Combined with a power point system of casting, as well as an Euridite method of spells prepared, and I think this is horribly overpowered. I'd say you need to reduce some combination of spells known, unique spells per day, and power points.
Oh, and technically right now Spirit points never disipate. That means every time you rest when you aren't exhausted, you're increasing your spirit point pool. This is game breaking and needs to be fixed.
Though, I thought I should ask, did you intend to leave transmutation out of the list of schools available to chose?
Interesting, and not too complicated. Though, do the various bonuses and penalties stack?
Also, I feel this makes the power point module even harder to balance.
Useful and flaverful, and not overpowering.
What about beings without class levels, or those with a mix of class and racial hit dice?
I think it's a pretty powerful ability, especially with the loose limit it has.
Bonus feat, not too much to worry about. Not familiar with the feat, so can't say much, though I notice you didn't include the standard 'whether they qualify for it or not'. Is that not a concern for this feat?
do you mean that you can only use the undead tactic ability as a whole once every 5 rounds, or that you can only use each type of tactic once every 5 rounds(ie, use a horde tactic and it's 5 rounds before you can use another, but next round you can use a platoon or commander tactic).
Suggested changes to grammar are in red.
I'm not sure what you mean by the llast two sentences there. Did you change your mind, or did you mean that a given undead can only have 1 boon at 4th, and an additional one every 6 levels after(2 10th, 3 at 16th)?
That he/his is slightly confusing, as his properly refers back to the same subject as he, which is either the Shade Channeler or the Undead, neither of which makes sense. I think you want to change his to either it or the undead's (I prefer the latter). It's also probably best to switch the order of the last two sentences.
I think this ability is largely fine: Undead tend to have inflated numbers of HD. The ability to switch control pool numbers around is more worrisome, especially since it doesn't seem to have an action. I'd suggest removing it, to be honest.
Not really much to say, though you should probably specify that you need to qualify for the feats.
These are the two worrisome aspects to me: a charisma based caster getting Charisma to AC and Fort Saves is a pretty good boost. Probably warrents some sort of limit on each ability(max bonus equal to 1/4 level, rounded up or down, perhaps). Also, you need to clarify what level the fort bonus activates on.
Yeah, a perfect version of dispel magic? Too strong. Needs some activation check.
Soul Tether seems fine, though.
Alternate Source needs some clarification. Is it instead of the normal double spirit point cost, or in addition to. Basically, is it 3x spell level or 6x spell level?
The wording here is odd, and honestly I'm not sure what you're trying to say here: does the ability start at level 13 or level 10? Are the templates limited exactly to that number, or can they be less? And what exactly do you mean by custom undead, and by the fact that he can chose them at certain levels? Are these permanent changes to the afformentioned spells? Why would you ever use Create Greater undead, if you can do everything with the lower level spell?
Needs some cost to balance it, especially since Zombie is one of those scaling templates. Perhaps costing (# of spirit points equal to 1/2 zombies hit dice, round up)?
Corrected some minor grammar errors. Pretty powerful ability, especially the Zombie part. Not sure how it balances.
What's a corpse Creature? Still needs some kind of cost, though I have no idea what would be appropriate for this one.
Probably should specify what the ability bonuses are. I feel the at death revival ability might be a bit much, especially combined with the further increase in undead you can control.
Yeah, too good with the current mechanic.
This seems fine.
Seems perfectly fine.
Thoughts on Tactics and Spirit boons:
Making this it's own section because there are enough of them.
Coordination Tactics: These seem fine.
Bulwark Tactics: Minor issues with Improved Defensive Line and Pawn Shield. The former I'd either make it horde, or more preferably change the bonus to deflection or the like. The latter should probably last more than one round, but also needs to note what happens when the undead is destroyed(yes, somewhat obvious, but the less chance for confusion the better). Also, you should probably just have it be against the Undead's AC: otherwise, what about effects that are normally touch attacks and the like?
Retribution Tactics:Explosive retribution should have a time limit, though multiple turns wouldn't be out of line. For Counter attack, is the cost of the attack one AOO, or do you get to make two attacks(one normal attack, one AOO)? Wordings not clear.
Hampering Tactics:You probably need to specify that these special tactics only last one round. Disabling attack needs a much easier save, and should probably limit the number of saves one target needs to make. Distracting attack needs to specify if the target need to be in the zone the creature threatens. Crippling strike is too strong: speed reduction lasts too long, and -6 to dex is huge, especially since it's not a penalty it appears it can stack. Need to limit the number of saves on target must face because of this ability. Pinning rush seems a bit strong, as with the number of undead you can get this basically is an instant grapple. Probably need to limit the size of the bonus granted, as well as not eliminate AOO's.
Swarming Tactics:The latter 2 seem okay, but the first two have some problems with timing. Essentially, if two undead are effected by this, and both attack a target in the same round sequentially, how do you determine the bonus? And if they do it at the same time?
Enduring Boons: Eternal undead seems a bit strong. Probably should cap the raises given.
Resistance Boons:Good, except there seems to be 1 error: Profane Reflexes gives the mettle ability(I think you want evasion).
Mobility Boons:Perfect Teleporting Bones seems very strong. Probably should be a move action or something.
Mage Slaying Boons:The last effect, the anitmagic sphere? Too Strong, especially for it's cost.
Swarming Boons: Seem good.
Powerful Boons: My main issue is with Profane Size. Seems like it's a bit too much: It's Powerful Blows+Improved Strengthen Flesh+Strengthen Flesh, plus two addition natural weapon size increases, for a total of 3. That's quite a bit extra, and it costs the exact same.
Ranged Boons: The two ranged projectile abilities are kinda odd: the range increment rules don't seem to be followed. You only have one range increment, not 2 different ones.
You seem to not always have abilities labeled with tags (Ex, Su, Sp, Ps).
For a decently diverse Full Caster, this has a tone of powerful abilities. I'd suggest toning it down a bit.
Thank you for the Peach I greatly appreciate it.
First off I should mention that the balance point for this class is supposed to be Tier 1. So it IS supposed to be strong and able to compete with clerics and wizards. Still I do think I went a bit overboard.
On your comments:
Chassis: It's skills are a bit better and I didn't feel it should be a martial class. Its not quite the same as the cleric as it doesn't have access to any armor heavier than light.
Spells: Eh I honestly might just remove the first ability. I initially thought it would be an interesting fluff ability but it seems a bit clunky now and I need to weaken the class anyway. Also for the reason that the spell list isn't arcane while ignoring arcane spell failure is that I didn't want them producing scrolls. With their ability to learn spells from an entire school and cast spontaneously they could give a wizard ally almost any spell they want from the Divination, Necromancy, Conjuration or other schools.
Spirit Channeling: Thanks for wording corrections, sometimes I am not quite clear with my words. The main inspiration was a point based system similar to the Spirit Shaman. The reasons for the school choices were this, Necromancy (Obvious), Conjuration (Summon Undead + Teleport), Divination (Seemed to fit the fluff of calling on spirits. Ask for their help/knowledge). I personally dislike the transmutation school so yes that was an intentional omission. Though to be honest I didn't realize it was the ONLY school I omitted. I probably will remove enchantment as this class has enough ways of getting minions.
On the overpowered aspect I can agree. I wanted a system where the caster had limited sustainability compared with other casters (This class has tactics to make up for it). And to be able to increase their versatility in exchange for their sustainability and vise versa. I think I will cap it at 3 spells called each day for each level, the same as the Spirit Shaman. I also will move divination to the extra school section. So they only start with Conjuration and Necromancy and can select either, evocation, divination, illusion or abjuration.
On the areas of death: Yes it makes it more complicated and a bit harder to balance. As you could have a campaign with an incredibly high death rate from a plague or similar and make this class's power skyrocket. I think I shall add a note that says the DM can ignore this section if it would unbalance a particular campaign.
Soul Harvest: It doesn't check wether creatures have class levels or not so not sure why a being having or not having class levels would matter
It gives the Spirit Points based on the Shade Channeler's class level thus a 4th level Shade Channeler gains 2 spirit points per each death to a maximum of 4 in one round. I will however, add a clause preventing the Shade Channeler from killing bags of rats to for this.
Corpse Crafter: The feat doesn't have prerequisites so it didn't make a difference.
Undead Tactics: Ya I should of clarified. You can use a horde tactic in round 1 and then have to wait 5 rounds to use another horde tactic. Then in round 2 you can use a commander tactic and wait 5 rounds till you can use another commander tactic. I will clarify.
Spirit Boons: I meant that at 4th they can only have 1 applied at a time. I will clarify
Efficient Control: "He" is supposed to be the Shade Channeler. Assume a 6th level Shade Channeler attempts to rebuke a ghoul (2 HD 2 Turn Resistance). The Shade Channeler can treat the ghoul as having 1 less HD (Thus 1 HD 2 Turn Resistance or 2 HD 1 Turn Resistance) and would thus command the ghoul. Also the ghoul would only take up 3 HD in the Shade Channeler's Command Undead Pool instead of the normal 4. If someone else attempted to turn or rebuke the ghoul it would still be treated as if it has 4 HD. Does that make it clearer?
Horde Empowerment: Hm, I don't honestly see a problem with switching the amount of undead he can control. I should clarify that if he has more undead under his control then his pool allows he loses the excess undead. Its mainly there to help someone who wants to specialize in skeletons and zombies or commanded undead.
Bonus Feat: Yes I will add that part.
Aspect of Death: Hm, I would normally argue that the ac bonus doesn't matter that much as its a common type. But since I need to weaken the class anyway and it is just a boost I will weaken it. The fort save one will probably stay though, as at 18th level (I will clarify thats when you get the ability) the Shade Channeler will more than likely be undead (And thus lose his constitution modifier).
Transfer Target: Perfect version of dispel magic
not sure what you mean by that. It only works on targeted spells (not rays and the like).
Alternate Cost: Its 6 X Spell Level. I will note this.
Custom Horde: I will fix the wording issues. Also good point on the uselessness of greater create undead. I shall make it so that any undead higher than a certain CR will only be able to be animated by greater create undead.
Dread Army: Zombies stop being effective around this level. Also this doesn't really work on any humanoid creature or a creature with class level. I don't think summoning a temporary stone giant zombie is worth a 7th level spell. As summon monster VII can create a bone creature that can cast wall of ice, dimensional anchor, fly, major image all at will. I did notice that they become better with destructive retribution so I am capping the amount of zombies out at once and nerfing the duration.
Horde Perfection: Zombies and skeletons stop being as effective around this level. However, I overdid this a bit. I am going to reduce the bonuses.
Improved Dread Army: This one might be a bit overpowered. Corpse Creature is a template from BOVD, I will mention that. The Duration on this one is fine. I think I will limit it so that only one corpse creature can be active at a time.
Embodiment of Death: The bonuses are the same type as what you would get when you gain a specific template. Though on second thought I made this waaaay more convoluted than I needed to. Changed it so that the Shade Channeler becomes a Lich upon reaching level 20 or a template he can animate with animate custom horde.
Improved Spirit Capacity: This should be fine now. Its nothing more than a scaling extra slot feat. (20 Spirit Points = 1 9th level spell and 1 1st at 20)
Defensive line should be horde I agree.
Pawn Shield should be fine lasting only 1 round. Undead can soak up a LOT of damage so I don't want to make it last for too long. Its also a move action so the Shade Channeler can do other things that round. I will work on something for touch attacks though. I forgot about them.
Explosive Retribution: It does have a time limit, 1 round. I guess I didn't make it clear I will improve it's clarity.
Disabling Strike: I was supposed to change that. Its supposed to be (10+Bab+Shade Channeler's Charisma Modifier). I think I might change that to 1/2 the Shade channeler's HD too.
Distracting Strike: Will add the must be threatened part.
Crippling Strike: Is supposed to be a commander tactic. I think its fine for a single strike every 5 rounds.
Swarming Assualt/Volley: Assuming 5 undead attack a subject. First one gets +0, Second gets +1, Third gets +2, Fourth gets +3, Fifth gets +4. I know it seems weird when looking at it in Real Time but isn't that how it normally happens in D&D combat?
Eternal Undead I figured was fine since it only applies to zombies and skeletons and most of the time they will not even be useful within the same encounter. I am going to add a clause that killing them with good aligned or holy weapons will permanently destroy them though.
Profane Reflexes: Will fix that thank you.
Perfect Teleporting Boon: Yes I think a move of standard action would be better. I think I forgot how soon you can get it.
Mage Slaying: Ya I agree. Do you have any good idea for another mage slaying boon? I couldn't think of anything else. Will remove this one till I get a better idea.
Profane Size: I will look at it again. I think I might of just kept adding to that one without paying attention to what it already had.
Ranged: Hm, well I always though longbows and crossbows had an initial range and then a range increment. Learn something new everyday. I will edit those.
All in all thank you for the very indepth review. It helped greatly