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    Default [3.5] Shadowcaster Change [PEACH]

    Allright, I completely reworked how Shadow Magic works. Ofcourse there will be people who won't like it and prefer the other system, but I think this one works pretty well for what I want. A smooth mechanic which allows for enough customizability. I didn't just use power points because those allow you to use up all your PP's for your highest level powers. I use three pools, with the higher pools refilling the lower ones as you keep using your mysteries. Tell me what you think.

    Here goes, the first change are quite simple:

    "Eliminate the rule that says you have to take mysteries in a given Path in order. If you want to jump around, so as to broaden your versatility, you can.

    Eliminate the rule that says you get a bonus feat equal to half the number of paths you have access to. Instead, you get a bonus feat equal to the total number of Paths you complete. Thus, while you are no longer required to take the entirety of a given Path, there's still encouragement to do so."

    Fundamentals:
    Fundamentals are Supernatural abilites which can be cast at will. Saving throws against your Fundamentals are 10 + Caster level + Charisma Modifier.

    Categories:
    There are three categories, Apprentice, Initiate, and Master.
    The Shadowcaster has three categories of mysteries, each with a number of 'Shadow Essence' depending on his level. This essence is used to power his mysteries.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Apprentice Category:
    Level 1 Mysteries cost 2 Apprentice Essence
    Level 2 = 4 AE
    Level 3 = 6 AE
    Initiate Category:
    Level 4 = Mysteries cost 8 Initiate Essence
    Level 5 = 10 IE
    Level 6 = 12 IE
    Master Category:
    Level 7 = Mysteries cost 14 Master Essence
    Level 8 = 16 ME
    Level 9 = 18 ME

    At 7th level your Apprentice mysteries become Spell-like.
    At 13th level your Apprentice mysteries become Supernatural while your Initiate mysteries become spell-like.
    At 19th level your Initiate mysteries become Supernatural while your Master mysteries become spell-like.


    Paths:
    Each path has three Mysteries, one for each level in the category it is in. You gain a bonus feat if you complete a Path(which is to say, know all mysteries of that path).

    Mysteries:
    To learn or cast a mystery you must have an inteligence score of 10 + Mystery level.
    Save DC's for mysteries which are arcane spells or spell-like are 10 + Mystery level + Charisma Modifier
    Save DC's for mysteries which become Supernatural are 10 + Caster level + Charisma Modifier.

    You begin play knowing two 1st level mysteries of your choice and learn another one at each level, with an additional one learned at levels 3, 7, 9, 13, 15, and 20.

    Shadow Weaving:
    At 7th level you can transfer Initiate Essence to your Apprentice Essence Pool as a move action, you can transfer any number of points you have available in your Initiate Essence Pool, for every point of Initiate Essence you transfer you gain 2 in your Apprentice Essence Pool.
    At 13th level you can transfer Master Essence to your Initiate Essence Pool as a move action, you can transfer any number of points you have available in your Master Essence Pool, for every point of Master Essence you transfer you gain 2 in your Initiate Essence Pool.

    Sustaining Shadow:
    I changed this ability to be gained at reduced intervals, and added a new one at level 18: "At 18th level you no longer age, magically or otherwise."

    Umbral Sight:
    I added a third rank of this ability at 19th level to allow you to see through any darkness, magical or otherwise, at any range.

    Shadowcaster Change (It might fix a bit)
    Spoiler
    Show
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Class Features|Apprentice Essence|Initiate Essence|master Essence|Mysteries Known|Highest Mystery Level Known

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Fundamentals of Shadow|4|-|-|2|1

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Sustaining Shadow(Eat 1 Meal/week)|6|-|-|3|1

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Umbral Sight(Darkvision 30ft.)|14|-|-|5|2

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Fundamental|18|-|-|6|2

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Bonus Feat(See Text)|24|-|-|7|3

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Sustaining Shadow(Sleep 1 hour/day)|30|-|-|8|3

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Shadow Weaving(Initiate)|30|16|-|10|4

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Bonus Fundamental|30|24|-|11|4

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |-|30|44|-|13|5

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Sustaining Shadow(Immune to Poison/Disease)|30|54|-|14|5

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Umbral Sight(See in Darkness 60ft.)|30|66|-|15|6

    12th|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Bonus Fundamental|30|78|-|16|6

    13th|
    +6
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Shadow Weaving(Master)|30|78|28|18|7

    14th|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Sustaining Shadow(no need to breathe, eat, or sleep)|30|78|42|19|7

    15th|
    +7
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |-|30|78|74|21|8

    16th|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Bonus Fundamental|30|78|90|22|8

    17th|
    +8
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |-|30|78|108|23|9

    18th|
    +9
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Sustaining Shadow(no longer age)|30|78|126|24|9

    19th|
    +x9
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Umbral Sight(Limitless)|30|78|144|25|9

    20th|
    +10
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Bonus Fundamental|30|78|180|27|9[/table]
    Last edited by Ferrin; 2010-05-29 at 05:10 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster change [peach]

    Wow 2 shadowcaster changes at the same day
    Well lets see...

    Mysteries: Instead of gaining a set number of uses per day for each individual mystery I would let the Path have the total number of uses. So for example; If you would normally have 2 uses of each mystery in the Ebon Whispers path you instead have a total of 6 uses which you can spend to use any of the mysteries of that path.
    So i get 5th level i have 3 3rd level mysteries, at 6th level i have 6 3rd level ones. Its the same for 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th and 20th (where you have 9 9th level mysteries). Not necessarily bad on its own but you add this

    Inteligence sets the save DC's as well as the maximum level of mystery he can cast.
    He gains bonus mysteries/day for a high inteligence score which are added to each path as follows; Apprentice Paths are counted as 3rd levels spells to determine the number of additional uses you gain with mysteries of that path, Initiate mysteries count as 6th level, and Master Mysteries count as 9th level. Bonus mysteries are added to each path. So a 3rd level Shadowcaster with Inteligence 16 who has mysteries in three different paths can use Each one two times per day, once for the mystery itself, and one additional use because of his inteligence score.
    Keep in mind that by making the Shadowcaster SAD, intelligence is going to be around 34 at level 19 and at an moderately optimized party. The previous numbers become 8 mysteries of the highest level at the aforementioned levels with 12 9th level ones at 20 level. (a number that even the sorcerer doesn't have)

    Lastly just because the Shadowcaster deals with supernatural abilities that are normally governed by either Charisma and Constitution, Charisma should be his base stat. And MAD is not a bad thing for full casters mind you (the basic shadowcaster needs a 13 int and a +6 int item to function)

    Fundamentals can allways be used at will.
    "Eliminate the rule that says you have to take mysteries in a given Path in order. If you want to jump around, so as to broaden your versatility, you can.
    Eliminate the rule that says you get a bonus feat equal to half the number of paths you have access to. Instead, you get a bonus feat equal to the total number of Paths you complete. Thus, while you are no longer required to take the entirety of a given Path, there's still encouragement to do so."
    While you have relieved one of the biggest hindrances of the shadowcaster and helped him at 1st level a lot, you miss one of his biggest weaknesses: Too little known mysteries (the sorcerer has 34 + 9 cantrips with MANY options of raising that number, the shadowcaster has 20 + 8 fundamentals with VERY FEW options to raise them)

    Also while you are at it include the fix that makes supernatural abilities DC scale with the caster level of the Shadowcaster (10+1/2 CL + Charisma mod)
    The feat Favored Mystery is changed as follows:

    Favored Path
    -SNIP-
    So you are making an already good feat into 3 times more potent?

    Merging Paths
    - SNIP -
    The basic function of this feat seems ok for me (less feats for enhancing paths? count me in!). The secondary its a lot of book keeping and gives even more uses, something that with your fixes wouldn't be necessary.

    So 3 problems still remain:
    1) Mysteries known per level (30 is an acceptable number and often seen in fixes, 20 however is not)
    2) Limited interaction with base PHB material as well as subsequent supplements (items, prestige classes etc.)
    3) OPTIONS! I always felt that the base shadowcaster was a stub, and many things are missing for him. Fortunately a good sir has done all the work for you.
    Last edited by peacenlove; 2010-05-28 at 06:51 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster change [peach]

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    So i get 5th level i have 3 3rd level mysteries, at 6th level i have 6 3rd level ones. Its the same for 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th and 20th (where you have 9 9th level mysteries). Not necessarily bad on its own but you add this
    It's easier to keep track of, though I agree it can be done somewhat differently. But when you use all 9 of your 9th level mysteries you don't have any high slot mysteries left(7th, 8th, and 9th).

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Keep in mind that by making the Shadowcaster SAD, intelligence is going to be around 34 at level 19 and at an moderately optimized party. The previous numbers become 8 mysteries of the highest level at the aforementioned levels with 12 9th level ones at 20 level. (a number that even the sorcerer doesn't have)
    The ammount of mysteries he's able to cast is bigger then the sorcerer, in return he has less versatility. Even then in a battle of attrition the sorcerer wins out due to the shared 7th,8th,9th slots of the Shadowcaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Lastly just because the Shadowcaster deals with supernatural abilities that are normally governed by either Charisma and Constitution, Charisma should be his base stat. And MAD is not a bad thing for full casters mind you (the basic shadowcaster needs a 13 int and a +6 int item to function)
    Allright, I'll turn it back into a MAD-man.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    While you have relieved one of the biggest hindrances of the shadowcaster and helped him at 1st level a lot, you miss one of his biggest weaknesses: Too little known mysteries (the sorcerer has 34 + 9 cantrips with MANY options of raising that number, the shadowcaster has 20 + 8 fundamentals with VERY FEW options to raise them)

    Also while you are at it include the fix that makes supernatural abilities DC scale with the caster level of the Shadowcaster (10+1/2 CL + Charisma mod)
    The few mysteries known isn't a bad thing, necesarily. It doesn't need options for every single case scenario, but I don't see a quick fix way besides feats while keeping it somewhat balanced.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    So you are making an already good feat into 3 times more potent?
    Yeah, that's one feat which can be dropped. It gives benefits to the entire path when you go beyond supernatural anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    The basic function of this feat seems ok for me (less feats for enhancing paths? count me in!). The secondary its a lot of book keeping and gives even more uses, something that with your fixes wouldn't be necessary.
    Actualy, it gives less uses, since your bonus spells are only counted once for the Merged Path.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    So 3 problems still remain:
    1) Mysteries known per level (30 is an acceptable number and often seen in fixes, 20 however is not)
    2) Limited interaction with base PHB material as well as subsequent supplements (items, prestige classes etc.)
    3) OPTIONS! I always felt that the base shadowcaster was a stub, and many things are missing for him. Fortunately a good sir has done all the work for you.
    1. Perhaps, but more options isn't allways a good thing, I happen to like the warlock class, which IS in need of more invocations known. The shadowcaster nearly has twice as many known, including some a lot more potent. The biggest reason why the warlock isn't that good is because of the action economy and the number of invocations known.
    2. What's so different with what I changed then that of the base shadowcaster? Or rather, what would you have me change? Good thing to note though, because I didn't think of that.
    3. I'm going to look through that thread a bit, thanks for the link.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster change [peach]

    Quick question: Would having three separate pools of spells/mysteries/power points be very complicated? Opposed to how the Shadowcaster works now I don't think so, but just asking.

    Edit: Would it be overpowered to have at will 1st through 3rd level mysteries at level 19?
    Last edited by Ferrin; 2010-05-28 at 10:47 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster change [peach]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrin View Post
    Quick question: Would having three separate pools of spells/mysteries/power points be very complicated? Opposed to how the Shadowcaster works now I don't think so, but just asking.
    YMMV i personally find both your system and the original simple enough for my taste (however i play a shadowcaster for 2,5 years ...). However yours is more difficult to tweak and import into a standard game (for instance how does an orb of shadow work?)

    It's easier to keep track of, though I agree it can be done somewhat differently. But when you use all 9 of your 9th level mysteries you don't have any high slot mysteries left(7th, 8th, and 9th).
    What is better? 9 9th level spell slots or 3 9th level 3 8th level 3 7th level?

    The ammount of mysteries he's able to cast is bigger then the sorcerer, in return he has less versatility. Even then in a battle of attrition the sorcerer wins out due to the shared 7th,8th,9th slots of the Shadowcaster.
    Unless homebrew kicks in, a shadowcaster always loses to a sorcerer because he can't duplicate important buffs/debuffs (dimensional anchor comes to mind) and because of the very strong arcane spell list (Maw of chaos / simulacrum / polymorph any object). Versatility is a form of power after all.

    The few mysteries known isn't a bad thing, necesarily. It doesn't need options for every single case scenario, but I don't see a quick fix way besides feats while keeping it somewhat balanced.
    30 mysteries known + upgrading master mysteries to spell like at 19th level gives him mysteries per day on par with a sorcerer who reasonably maxes his charisma without any bonus slots from intelligence.

    Actualy, it gives less uses, since your bonus spells are only counted once for the Merged Path.
    Then its completely subpar for a feat. No feat in the existence of 3.5 edition (i hope ) nerfs me when i get it.

    2. What's so different with what I changed then that of the base shadowcaster? Or rather, what would you have me change? Good thing to note though, because I didn't think of that.
    The silly notion that a shadow-freaking-CASTER cannot enter most prestige classes meant for CASTERS as written. Also he isn't either spontaneous nor prepared CASTER so he cannot use many of the toys (runestaves, Versatile spellcaster feat and so on) meant for CASTERS either.
    Solution: RoC gives a feat specifically for entering prestige classes, also he gives very good prestige classes as well (the abyssym and the master fundamentalist are the best ones out there), and you can make the shadowcaster an unspecified spontaneous caster with only a few tweaks (fundamentals do not count for the use of Versatile Spell caster, and Knowstones are 50% more expensive since they grant uses of mysteries as well).
    Last edited by peacenlove; 2010-05-28 at 11:15 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster change [peach]

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    YMMV i personally find both your system and the original simple enough for my taste (however i play a shadowcaster for 2,5 years ...). However yours is more difficult to tweak and import into a standard game (for instance how does an orb of shadow work?)
    The Orb of Shadow is one of the few items which interact with the system, and even then it's not that hard

    Just make a rank for Apprentice, Initiate, and Master category orbs instead of for every spell level. It's a nerf, so you might throw the price down a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    What is better? 12 9th level spell slots or 4 9th level 4 8th level 4 7th level?
    Thing is, sorcerers get 6 7th, 6 8th, and 6 9th.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Unless homebrew kicks in, a shadowcaster always loses to a sorcerer because he can't duplicate important buffs/debuffs (dimensional anchor comes to mind) and because of the very strong arcane spell list (Maw of chaos / simulacrum / polymorph any object). Versatility is a form of power after all.
    Exactly, though most DM's won't allow the cheesy bits of PAO.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    30 mysteries known + upgrading master mysteries to spell like at 19th level gives him mysteries per day on par with a sorcerer who reasonably maxes his charisma without any bonus slots from intelligence.
    I don't quite see what that has to do with the shadowcasters lack of versatility. Or do you mean that giving them 30 mysteries known won't make them to powerfull?

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    Then its completely subpar for a feat. No feat in the existence of 3.5 edition (i hope ) nerfs me when i get it.
    What the feat does is increase your versatility, so that you can cast that Flicker you got at level 6 more then once or twice per day if you don't have any other mysteries in that path. But I'm working on a new system for Mysteries right now, I can see the flaws this has.

    Quote Originally Posted by peacenlove View Post
    The silly notion that a shadow-freaking-CASTER cannot enter most prestige classes meant for CASTERS as written. Also he isn't either spontaneous nor prepared CASTER so he cannot use many of the toys (runestaves, Versatile spellcaster feat and so on) meant for CASTERS either.
    Solution: RoC gives a feat specifically for entering prestige classes, also he gives very good prestige classes as well (the abyssym and the master fundamentalist are the best ones out there), and you can make the shadowcaster an unspecified spontaneous caster with only a few tweaks (fundamentals do not count for the use of Versatile Spell caster, and Knowstones are 50% more expensive since they grant uses of mysteries as well).
    That's all to help with how they blend with d&d as a whole.

    But I'm busy with reworking it to a more friendly system which makes it more of a psionic shadowcaster, I guess. Instead of specific uses per day of each path's abilities you get a sort of power points for each category.

    Also; they don't augment, and don't need augmenting. I'll post it after I'm satisfied with it, though I'd like to hear what you think of that idea.

    Oh, and is giving them a Power point discount at level 13 for Apprentice Mysteries a good or bad idea? Would be apprentice at will and a PP discount for Initiate mysteries at 19th. Good or bad idea?
    Last edited by Ferrin; 2010-05-28 at 11:34 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster change [peach]

    -Refined-

    See first post.
    Last edited by Ferrin; 2010-05-29 at 06:31 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Shadowcaster Change [PEACH]

    Updated, please read the first post.

    This change means that the Shadowcaster effectively has about...
    10 first level mysteries, 10 2nd level mysteries, 9 third level mysteries, 6 4th level mysteries, 6 5th level mysteries, 5 6th level mysteries, 3 7th level mysteries, 3 8th level mysteries, and 5 9th level mysteries per day at 20th level.

    Ofcourse you can spend points differently within each category to gain more lower level uses or more higher level ones, but this is easier to compare. The Shadowweaving ability lets you use up more lower level mysteries at the cost of your higher level ones. I think it's quite balanced this way myself.

    This system interacts with the Orb of Shadow as follows: Each category of Orb of Shadow states a level, you gain 2 Essence per level of the mystery it would grant in the category(Apprentice, Initiate, Master) it is in. I'm sure a certain person would want to ask about this.

    Also; something I said on MSN to someone about what I changed:
    Spoiler
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    My change gives the Shadowcaster his cantrips(fundamentals) at will, which help a lot at the first few levels. It also gives them more uses per day of there mysteries overall, giving them almost as many as sorcerers. They gain more freedom when picking there mysteries, which they get more of. As well as giving more freedom when casting there mysteries due to the Essence system.

    -followup-
    I thought about using psionics as a base for the system but I wanted something that's both unique, simple to use, and not give to many high level spells per day. The Shadowcaster as written in Tome of Magic has about 6/6/6/4/4/4/2/2/4 mysteries per day, in order by level. This is, compared to a sorcerer, who not only uses only one stat for casting, but has a better and bigger spell list, weak.
    -followup-
    The reason why you gain Essence in the next lower category when you cast a mystery is simple to explain; It was to give multiple uses of your lower level mysteries while staying true to the formulae of the class's creator, as well giving a reason to give up your higher level mysteries unheard of in the psionic system. A small example as follows:

    -Followup-
    For example: A 17th level Shadowcaster uses Shadowweave and transfers 18 Master Essence to gain 36 Initiate Essence, he effectively gainst three more uses of 6th level mysteries by effectively giving up a 9th level mystery

    you actualy just need to keep track of three pools and add half of what you substract from one to the next lowest one when you cast a mystery.
    Last edited by Ferrin; 2010-05-29 at 08:10 AM.
    Please read and evaluate the changes I'm trying to smooth out in this thread: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154036

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