What I mean is: while the Bez-Kismet, by fluff, is expected to be a loner, circumstances will determine that he'll be tagging along a party, and thus has to be capable of teamwork. Even with the strong anti-magician flavor of the BK, eventually the party will have to depend on magicians for one thing or another: be it a big blast, a key spell that holds the enemy in place, or even a single buff to make the battle less dangerous. Hurting your own spellcasters erodes that feeling of teamwork, whether it exists or not: your spellcasters will ask you, as a player and perhaps as a character, to move out of the way or change/deactivate your aura in order to have them do their work. With this, you won't bother them, and the enemy spellcasters won't bother you.
Of course, that doesn't apply to bez-kismet NPCs: you'll definitely want one of those guys out of the field ASAP or else your spellcaster will be a sitting duck.
Arguably, manifesters won't have much of a trouble with Aura of Dissonance. As you've stated, Overchannel is basically a method in which they can resolve part of the dent in their ML (given psionics/magic transparency), and most manifesters use their lower-level spells for effective blasting and buffing. Temporarily losing the ability of casting their highest-level powers will be mostly a nuisance, as they'll still be capable of using their lower level spells with reduced effectiveness. They are hurt more by the loss of ML than by the loss of high-level powers, while spellcasters are hurt more by the loss of higher-level spell slots than by the loss of CL.
So, it gets mostly balanced. And raising saves is much quicker than raising save DCs, in any case (though Aura of Dissonance is worthwhile enough to strengthen).
Currently...there are none. That I know of, at least. The closest one is Prayer, which grants a luck bonus but an unnamed penalty, and a few feats that also grant penalties.
The biggest hurdle of working with penalties is that pretty much every penalty is untyped. In theory, there should be morale penalties, sacred penalties, profane penalties, amongst others. In theory, penalties that have a similar source don't stack, but since all penalties are untyped, they either never stack or always stack, which causes a bit of a headache. Case in point: Bestow Curse + Mind Fog, for example, can stack to make your Wis reach 1 almost instantly. A single ability that deals Wis damage either sends you into coma (because you take damage beyond your current Wisdom score) or does technically nothing (since you're dealing damage to your maximum Wis, but the two penalties, although stacking, cannot reduce the Wis score below 1, so a creature with penalties driving Wis to -1 won't be affected by the Wisdom damage).
So...I presume where your question lies (it means the ability is effectively useless), but given how the following post deals with it, I decided that it was best to answer yours first before continuing.
Hmm...not only flavor, but it makes sense. As mentioned before, although the game allows for luck "penalties", by default most penalties become untyped, so the ability would end up being useless (except for Bez-Kismet attacks, which are by default luck penalties). I'd make it similar to the growth progression of Aura of Dissonance; essentially, you can reduce the penalty by 1 + (1 per three class levels after 2nd) points; effectively making you highly resistant to penalties as your level increases, and making Bez-Kismet penalties still work out against those of lower level. However, they get a hit to their luck. I'd...go far as saying that while you're resisting those penalties, you cannot gain a luck bonus (basically, your luck, bizarre as it may seem, is canceling your penalties).Originally Posted by Magikeeper
That goes without mention that the Bez-Kismet will still suffer from Mind Fog, since that penalty is a circumstance penalty...
I'll be taking this under consideration, actually.
Could be, but you might also consider it's a bit of a joke (the Bez-Kismet is meant to face fate, and it gets a luck bonus...so it's basically its bad luck protecting him). Since it also blocks your allies' spells, it can be considered bad luck.EWP: Wait, why does Denial of Grace grant a luck bonus? I think it should be unamed - having it be a luck bonus flies in the face of the rest of the flavor text.
Then again, it's pretty similar to Divine Grace and Arcane Resistance in execution, so perhaps it's best untyped. Perhaps even resistance, but that would make it a bit pointless (since it would be the effect of an 8th level spell, minimized, and unable to stack with other resistance bonuses).
Then again...it might be deactivated with Miser's Fortune, so...I'll think about it.
It may seem a bit off, but it has a very reasonable line of thought: as a tank and as a debuffer, the idea is to keep people within your grasp.LethargyÖ well, it may not be a problem at level 18. You basically need enhanced movement to be a challenge at that level. But what about level 12? Thatís a -20 penalty to movement. Aura of dwarf slaying? There isnít any reason why the BK canít be using a bowÖ granted, letting the poor enemy move 5ft each round is just as pointlessÖ I donít know, something bugs me about this ability. I think it would be better off as a penalty to initiative and related skills and checks that also reduced opponentís move speeds as though they were carrying a medium load. Sorta like a reverse motivate dexterity, only with movement cutting instead of a higher bonus. This would have the added advantage of being more effective on faster opponents.
A possible way to word it:
Lethargy: All opponents are treated as if they were carrying a medium load, except without a maximum dex bonus and that the check penalties are instead equal to the aura penalty. This penalty also applies to initiative modifiers.
This ability would also sink most flying creatures. Take that, required flight magic items!
While it may seem a bit unfair for dwarves that have reductions to movement (although, at the very end, they can just activate Boots of Speed and get the benefit of Haste), it works for other people. Most notably: strafing dragons, people using Fly-by Attack, and people trying to run away from warriors in order to force the latter to use attack actions (if melee) or driving them to use bows. Reductions on speed are appreciated by most people, but specifically for melee warriors (think on the Monk, please!)
Making it an initiative penalty, then a skill check and load penalty makes it less useful. Basically, it'll be useful in the first round, and afterwards it'll lose some power, as the check penalties will be pretty circumstancial. That also depends on whether you treat the aura of Lethargy as applying to attack rolls, Str checks and Dex checks or only to the smaller list of ACP-affected skills (Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand, and Tumble), since the latter would be moderately weak and the former would be a bit redundant (you'd already have a penalty to Initiative as your Dex checks would be penalized, and you'd be also dabbling on the benefit of the aura of Debilitation). Furthermore, reduction by Medium load is a flat 1/3rd, which means that it won't keep people from moving away without much trouble, the original idea of Lethargy.
I declined to allow the Dire Curse of the Fateless to allow for custom curses because it leads to minor exploitation. Certainly, you could allow for creative curses (reduce movement to 5 ft. would be a reasonable curse, for example), but it depends on far too much creativity (not something I'd shun) and some time to consider it (hence less time playing, which is not something I'd like either). So I kept it simple, and added the 10th level and 20th level abilities to make it unique and different to the Bestow Greater Curse spell.
Still: you *can* use Bestow Curse and be creative with it: after all, you can choose from all Necromancy spells on your spell list, and Bestow Curse just happens to be one of them. Heck...I should consider lowering it to a 3rd level Bez-Kismet spell.
@Hit Die: it's a d10, just like old Hexblade. I usually put the Hit Dice between the skill list and the table, so I must have forgotten. Thanks for pointing that out.