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    Default Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Premise
    The best fix is one that involves minimal re-learning. Rather than rewrite classes or systems completely, small caveats are added that can be easily learned and/or ignored as any particular group finds necessary. These caveats may not fix every issue, but should serve to, in broad strokes, equalize some of the worst imbalances. This fix assumes the JaronK Tier System is accurate, and that it accurately identifies some of the key class disparities.



    Tier 1
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    Clerics: Sanction
    A Cleric needs Sanction from his Patron to apply his full might. Without Sanction, they are restricted to the spells-per-day chart of the Adept. The Cleric still prepares spells as normal, but puts a special mark beside spells not in their Adept spell slots. These spells cannot be cast until Sanction is granted.

    Sanction can be granted by the Patron at any time, even when it is not the Cleric's turn, but only when necessary. The DM should tell the player at the beginning of combat whether Sanction was granted.

    In general, Sanction should be granted...
    • when fighting favored enemies of the church;
    • when fighting heretics or enemy churches;
    • when acting in support of a domain you took;
    • when acting in support of a church-sanctioned activity.
    • when following the direct instruction of their patron deity.


    For positive-energy clerics, merely fighting "evil" enemies is insufficient. A Cleric of Corellon Larethian would not receive Sanction against a nest of vampires unless the vampires are a specific danger to elves. The reverse is true for negative energy clerics.

    In return, when Sanction is received, the Cleric may cast both domain spells of any given level, as if they had a domain spell slot for each of their domains.



    Druids: Sanction
    See the Cleric trait of the same name, with the following adjustments.

    In general, Sanction should be granted...
    • when fighting favored enemies of nature;
    • when acting in support of a natural region;
    • when acting in support of an activity sanctioned by a council of Druids.


    Without Sanction, Druids are restricted to Wildshape forms of two less Hit Dice than they would otherwise be able to Wildshape into. Any class that gains Wildshape "as Druid" retains this restriction, but cannot gain Sanction to overcome it unless they already possess a Sanction mechanic.

    In return, when Sanction is received, the Druid automatically receives the benefit of the Natural Spell feat, and may cast a spell in the same round as they use their Wild Shape ability, as if that spell was affected by the Quicken Spell metamagic.



    Wizards
    All Wizards must choose a school to specialize in.

    A Wizard can only prepare spells of their chosen school in most of their spell slots. For non-school spells, they are limited to the spell slots of an Adept.

    For example, a 5th level Evoker Wizard with 16 Int gains three 2nd level spells, among others. A 5th level Adept would only gains two. Thus, the third slot could only be filled with Evocation spells.



    Archivist: Gnosis
    See the Wizard trait of the same name, with the following adjustments:

    Dark Knowledge is based off of successful Gnosis checks instead of Knowledge checks. Lore Mastery gives a +2 bonus on any two Gnosis categories. Bonus Feat includes "Skill Focus (any Gnosis skill)"





    Tier 2
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    Favoured Souls: Beholden
    This trait functions like the Cleric's "sanction" trait, with the following adjustments:

    The Favoured Soul can cast at full strength EXCEPT:
    • when acting against the orders of members of the church of your deity;
    • at your deity's discretion (does not require "falling").


    At these times, they are restricted to an Adept's spells per day.

    In return, unlike the other restrictions on full casters, this ability allows the Favoured Soul to apply their full power outside of combat without requiring the approval of an organization.



    Sorcerers: Beholden
    This trait functions like the Cleric's "sanction" trait, with the following adjustments:

    The Sorcerer can cast at full strength EXCEPT:
    • when fighting against Dragons;
    • when acting against the orders of a Dragon with CR greater than the Sorcerer's class level.


    At these times, they are restricted to an Adept's spells per day.

    In return, unlike the other restrictions on full casters, this ability allows the Favoured Soul to apply their full power outside of combat without requiring the approval of an organization.

    Sidenote: Other creature types besides Dragons are options for this. Aberration, Fey, Celestials, Demons, Devils, Genies, and Undead are all possible at the DM's discretion.



    Psionics:Resistance
    Any creature immune to mind-affecting abilities is difficult to affect psionicly, as even with powers that aren't mind-affecting still make use of some psychic resonance with the target. As a result, any power that targets one of these creatures has its power point cost increased by 2.

    In exchange, any character with a ML of 5 or more can use "Sense Psionic" (as "Sense Magic") at will. Normal transparency rules do not apply - this ability senses psionic energy (including any characters with at least 1 power point), but does not detect arcane or divine energy.




    Tier 5
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    Ninjas
    Ninjas retain their AC Bonus when wearing Light Armor.

    At level 4, the Ninja gains a +2 bonus on Spot, Listen, Hide, and Move Silently. At level 14 it increases to +4.

    At level 8, the Ninja receives "Darkstalker" (Lords of Madness) as a bonus feat.



    Monks
    The Monk can add the extra attacks from Flurry of Blows onto a Standard Action attack.

    At level 8, the Monk's unarmed strike attacks gain the "Ghost Touch" property.

    At level 14, the Monk's grapple attempts can no longer be resisted by Freedom of Movement.

    At level 18, the Monk can restore their daily use of Abundant Step by meditating for a full minute. If the meditation is interrupted, they must begin again.



    Soulknives
    Soulknives count as 2 levels higher for the purpose of Mind Blade abilities (gaining +1 Mind Blade at lvl 2 and +1 Mind Blade Enhancement at lvl 4). At level 20 they gain +5 Mind Blade Enhancement.

    Additionally, Soulknives gain Multiple Throw at level 8 instead of level 17. Instead, at level 17 a Soulknife can alter the enhancements on his mindblade as a full round action instead of requiring 8 hours.

    Finally, at 4th level, Soulknives gain "AC Bonus" as Monk, except that it applies when wearing light armor or no armor. This does not stack with the AC Bonus of Monk, Ninja, Swordsage, or other classes that have an "AC Bonus" that references one of these three.



    Fighters
    Master Builder
    Fighters are expected to be good with equipment. They add Disable Device and Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering to their list of class skills, and gain bonus skillpoints per level as if their Intelligence was 4 higher. These bonus skillpoints can only be spent on these two skills, and on Craft skills.

    Master Smith
    At 5th level, the Fighter gains a +2 on all Craft checks involving smithing, and on Craft: Siegeworks. At 9th level this bonus increases to +4, at 13th level it increases to +6, and at 17th level it increases to +8.



    Healers
    Healer spellcasting is based off Charisma instead of Wisdom.

    In addition, the Healer can spontaneously sacrifice any of their prepared spell for any "Conjuration: Healing" spell of the same level.

    Sidenote: It is highly recommended that the Healer spell list be expanded appropriately. Recommendations are available on request.




    Crafting (and other xp penalties)
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    Anything that reduced xp in any way instead reduces gp at a 1:5 ratio of xp to gp. The character never has the option to pay xp instead, unless by special DM exemption. Effects that reduce the gp cost of crafting only affect the cost before the exchange rate is applied.

    Example: Bracers of Armor +1 cost 1000. Previously, crafting a pair would require 500 gp and 40 xp. Under this system, it would cost 700 gp and 0 xp.

    Artificer Craft Reserve is replaced by the ability to improve the exchange rate to 1:4

    Fleshwarper Craft Reserve is replaced by the ability to improve the exchange rate to 1:2, but only for grafts. And Artificer/Fleshwarper can improve the exchange rate to 1:1.




    Flight
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    Flight is a skill, like Swim, that only appears on the class skill list of creatures with Fly speeds, Warlocks, and Dragonfire Adepts. Any creature with a racial fly speed can take 10 even when threatened.

    Fly (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)
    Check
    Make a Fly check once per round while you are in the air. Success means you may fly at up to your fly speed. If you fail by 4 or less, you make no progress and instead drift downward as if under the effects of Featherfall. If you fail by 5 or more, or if you roll a Natural 1 on your check, you plummet. Recovering from a plummet is a DC 20 check that can be attempted the next turn if you are still in the air. If you hit ground during a plummet, you take full falling damage.

    The DC for the Fly check depends on the weather, as given on the table below.

    Each hour that you fly, you must make a DC 20 Fly check or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage from fatigue.

    {table=head]Table: Fly skill check DCs
    {table=head]Action|DC
    Fight while airborne|5
    Remain airborne when injured|10 + damage dealt
    Recover from plummetting|20
    Hover|25
    Headwind|+5
    Strong Wind|+10
    Hurricane-force wind|+20[/table][/table]

    Special
    Creatures gain a bonus on their Fly checks based on their maneuverability, as shown on the following table:

    {table=head]Table: Maneuverability bonus
    {table=head]Maneuverability|Bonus
    Clumsy|+0
    Poor|+2
    Average|+4
    Good|+6
    Perfect|+8[/table][/table]


    Levitate
    The spell Levitate requires Fly checks each round. The DC for these Fly checks is 5.

    New ranged weapon enchantment: Grounding
    Cost: +1 enchantment
    Any creature struck by this projectile is affected as if by Earthbind (Spell Compendium), with a DC equal to 10 plus the damage dealt.




    Other (remove?)
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    At level 5, any character can choose to take "Pierce Magical Protection" (Complete Arcane) as a bonus feat. Its -4 penalty to Caster Level still applies, and additionally applies against Manifester Level, Binding Level, and Initiator Level. If the character already has this feat, they may immediately retrain it to a different feat. In addition, the character gains a +2 stacking bonus on saves against Divination effects.

    At level 10, any character can choose to take "Blind-Fight" and "Pierce Magical Concealment" (Complete Arcane) as a bonus feat. Its -4 penalty to Caster Level still applies, and additionally applies against Manifester Level, Binding Level, and Initiator Level. If the character already has either of these feats, they may immediately retrain them to different feats. In addition, the character gains a +2 stacking bonus on saves against Divination effects.

    Any character who chose to take both Pierce Magical Protection and Pierce Magical Concealment can, at level 15, take "Martial Study: Iron Heart Surge" (Tome of Battle) as a bonus feat. If the character already has this feat or the Iron Heart Surge maneuver, they may immediately retrain them. In addition, the character gains a +2 stacking bonus on saves against Divination effects.


    All characters gain Blind-Fight at level 10.

    Pierce Magical Protection and Pierce Magical Concealment no longer require "Mage Slayer".
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2012-01-05 at 07:16 PM.
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    Shadow Lord's Avatar

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention fix

    This is actually pretty cool, but how does it work in settings where Sorcerers are just people who are naturally attuned to magic?
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    This is actually pretty cool, but how does it work in settings where Sorcerers are just people who are naturally attuned to magic?
    It merely requires that the Sorcerer be beholden to... something. There are various ways that could be fluffed. Say... certain creatures have a deep attunement to the Weave (or local equivalent) which has given them power over people with such a strong attunement for magic. Wizards would be much less affected, because they control their own attunement much more carefully. Sorcerers, lacking that kind of finesse, are at the mercy of creatures who can manipulate that bond. It doesn't require a heritage, just a special vulnerability.

    Or leave it out entirely. As Tier 2 casters, it's more just included for completeness sake, so that the Big Four all have something. Without that, Sorcs become the clear pick over Wizards. They still might be as any creature type the Wizard lacks Gnosis in becomes a similar liability, but it keeps up appearances. But as said in the preamble, the intent was to make these changes small and modular, so you could discard any one that doesn't fit your campaign.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention fix

    Streamlined the format for ease of reading. Added Flight, Psionics, Crafting (and Artificers by extension), and Archivists. Added a bonus against Divination to the bonus feats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention fix

    Your 'fix' will only work in a super heavy storytelling game where the characters don't fight or even do much other then talk.

    For both the clerics and druids you take away all their 'might', if they say walk across the street without approval. This will get very old, very fast in most games: "The trolls attack! And as the trolls are not part of your holy quest cleric Sue you don't get sanction..ahahahahaaa!''

    If you really want to do it, you should at least broaden the 'sanction' to include 'doing the deities' will. For example, if you worship a god of sailing then you should get full sanction on a ship and along a shore line, as well as any time protecting or helping sailors and so forth.

    But the wizard check is just silly...to roll or randomly forget how to use your spells...

    Why can't a sorcerer effect dragons? Not all sorcerer blood is from dragons. And it's a bit of a silly limit that they can't effect 'one' creature. You might want to at least make this 'outsiders' or something.

    And a psionicist having problems with 'mind resistant' creatures...even with non mind powers is silly. So a psion needs to use more power to use a power on a skeleton?

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamer Girl View Post
    Your 'fix' will only work in a super heavy storytelling game where the characters don't fight or even do much other then talk.

    For both the clerics and druids you take away all their 'might', if they say walk across the street without approval. This will get very old, very fast in most games: "The trolls attack! And as the trolls are not part of your holy quest cleric Sue you don't get sanction..ahahahahaaa!''

    If you really want to do it, you should at least broaden the 'sanction' to include 'doing the deities' will. For example, if you worship a god of sailing then you should get full sanction on a ship and along a shore line, as well as any time protecting or helping sailors and so forth.
    I've been voluntarily playing with the Sanction rules on my current Cleric for the past... uh, year now? It's not that bad; a Cleric without Sanction plays a little like a Paladin. I still get Divine Favour and Bull's Strength, and some healing magic. I'm just not going all Divine Power / Righteous Might... unless it's a special occasion, in which I kick major amounts of arse.

    And you know what? That's fun. I can keep up with the party the rest of the time, my AC's good and with Divine Favour up I can do alright in combat. I'm functioning more at a high Tier 4 level - I can heal a little, buff a little, fight a little, and use a few utility spells if necessary. Adept's Tier 4, but I have better proficiencies, saves, HP, and BAB... and arguably a better spell list too. I get by.

    And then, once every five sessions or so, I get to go nuclear. Visage of the Deity, Righteous Might, Divine Power, holy energy streaming off in all directions, massive beatdowns, massive heals, all sorts of awesomeness. I get to lay down the almighty wrath of the gods, for one fight, and that feels amazing.

    It's fun to hit limit-breaks, to pull out the stops occasionally. If I'm doing it every fight it's not special, there's no shock-and-awe to it. This way, I'm a mortal member of the clergy 90% of the time, and an avatar of deific vengeance 10% of the time, and that makes for a brilliant scene.

    And even then, I'm only actually kicking the amount of arse a Cleric is expected to be kicking most of the time. It just feels more special.

    My experience says it's fun, and balanced. If a normal Cleric is T1 and Adept's a T4, I'm around a mid-to-low T3. And you know what? I think that's a good thing.



    (Druid, by contrast, comes off even better since they've still got Animal Companion and Wildshape to keep them happy even if they were totally without spellcasting. Adept spellslots really doesn't hold them back that much at all, it just delays Bite of the WereX for special occasions.)
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2011-08-13 at 09:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    are clerics limited to the spell list of an adept too? becaus if you werent you could just prepare all the super awesome stuff without needing sanction.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by SheepInDisguise View Post
    are clerics limited to the spell list of an adept too? becaus if you werent you could just prepare all the super awesome stuff without needing sanction.
    Clerics still cast off their normal list, yes. Nothing I wrote should change that. It's just spells-per-day that are limited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by SheepInDisguise View Post
    are clerics limited to the spell list of an adept too? becaus if you werent you could just prepare all the super awesome stuff without needing sanction.
    You would, but you wouldn't get the spells per day. I think this would also restrict your "Give up spell slot for _______" ability, though I'm not sure.

    Basically, even more hoarding. The Adept (NPC Caster Class) Spell Progression is preeeeetty slow.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Added fixes for most of the Tier 5 classes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JadePhoenix View Post
    sonofzeal, you're like a megazord of awesome and win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    SonOfZeal, it is a great joy to see that your Kung-Fu remains undiminished in this, the twilight of an age. May the Great Wheel be kind to you, planeswalker.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    -Sanction is definitely a good idea, both thematically and balance-wise (since even on a sanctioned mission, fights against random encounters won't get sanction), although you need to figure out what it means to have variable spells/day within a single day. You still probably want something to block out the clericzilla, as he doesn't really need all that many spells.
    -Druids still need something more, as they don't need all that many spells to be overpowered (just a few overpowered buffs for them in Wildshape and their companion.)
    -Gnosis doesn't really help all that much, as for equal-CR enemies a wizard can easily have a nearly certain chance of making the check.
    -Beholden really doesn't make that much difference without a heavy DM hand (generally a bad thing).
    -Psionic resistance is an interesting idea, but doesn't really make that much sense to me thematically, and I'm not sure how effective it'd be without heavy DM intervention.
    -The monk fixes mostly look good, especially the restoration of abundant step. Wraithstrike is a bit iffy, though, as it weakens the lower tiers a lot more than the upper tiers. Perhaps something equivalent but allowing them to ignore concealment and deflection bonuses instead...
    Also, you probably want to give them some way to prevent the wizard from flying out of reach and then dispelling any attempt to use a magic item to fly.
    -Soulknife looks nice.
    -The flight change looks nice.
    -The bonus stuff under "other" looks nice.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Premise
    The best fix is one that involves minimal re-learning. Rather than rewrite classes or systems completely, small caveats are added that can be easily learned and/or ignored as any particular group finds necessary. These caveats may not fix every issue, but should serve to, in broad strokes, equalize some of the worst imbalances.
    I wholeheartedly endorse this premise. Homebrew intended for community use is best and most admirable when it is measured and targeted carefully. 'Brew that's easy to learn and remember is better than 'brew that's complex and laborious. A well-considered change is one that is carefully designed to minimize collateral impact and the risk of unintended consequences.

    I would second Yitzi's concern that fragile flight might unintentionally aid casters:
    • Any caster that can fly can also dispel.
    • Character who can't fly through a spell usually also can't dispel, and rely on items to fly.
    • Items that grant flight tend to have low caster level.
    • Thus, full casters will find it easier to dispel item-based flight while item-users will not gain a corresponding advantage.
    • The arrow of grounding, while a good start, fails to level the playing field; it is an expensive and unreliable delivery method for the grounding effect.


    EDIT: As alternative, or perhaps as a supplement, perhaps spells that grant a fly speed ought to be learned at one level higher than their current spell level, and monsters with an innate fly speed should receive a +1 CR across the board when considering which monsters are appropriate opponents and rewarding experience. This ensures that flight "costs more", and that flying opponents show up later in the game, when characters have more options for dealing with them. Flying monsters would also be slightly less potent for their CR than at present.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-08-14 at 09:49 AM.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    I also agree with the idea of a minimalist fix. The conversion between xp cost and gold seems somewhat flawed (yes, I know it was in the core rules, that doesn't mean it works.)

    The gold gained at each level increases exponentially, while xp gained at each level only increases linearly. As such, a linear conversion between xp and gold will result in insignificant amounts of gold. I'd suggest something along the lines of "10% of the xp you gain during this level becomes 10% of the gold you would gain during this level."
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    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    If Orcus was a nesting doll, that would certainly make the whole thing work smoother. When you cast a level 1 summoning spell, you summon the little Orcus from the middle, but when you cast Gate, you get the really big Orcus that holds all the small Orcuses.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    -Sanction is definitely a good idea, both thematically and balance-wise (since even on a sanctioned mission, fights against random encounters won't get sanction), although you need to figure out what it means to have variable spells/day within a single day. You still probably want something to block out the clericzilla, as he doesn't really need all that many spells.
    Fix'd.

    -Druids still need something more, as they don't need all that many spells to be overpowered (just a few overpowered buffs for them in Wildshape and their companion.)
    Any suggestions? You're right though - while Clerics without Sanction drop to high Tier 4, Druids only drop to mid Tier 3. Blocking Wildshape without Sanction seems too much though. Maybe reduce the HD of forms by 2 or something?

    -Gnosis doesn't really help all that much, as for equal-CR enemies a wizard can easily have a nearly certain chance of making the check.
    Hmm, let me see...

    There are something like 16 creature types. Even with the skill point boost, that means a Grey Elven Wizard with 20 starting Int can only max out ranks in
    9 of them, and it's much more likely to be closer to 7 or 8. This means, to cover their bases, we're looking at approximately half ranks in each. So at level 11, assuming a Headband of Int +4 and 16 starting int boosted twice by levels, the Wizard would have a Gnosis of about 7ranks + 7int = 14. That leaves him a 30% chance of failure against even-CR enemies.

    For a lvl 19 Wizard with 30 Int, the Gnosis is about 21-23, so we're still around a 30% chance of failure without any special boosts.

    What do you think, is 30% chance of failure not enough? It's certainly not as harsh as Cleric, and certainly doesn't capture quite the same dynamic that I'm going for of meandering along until the kiddie gloves can come off. At very least, maybe I should take out those 2 bonus skillpoints....

    -Beholden really doesn't make that much difference without a heavy DM hand (generally a bad thing).
    -Psionic resistance is an interesting idea, but doesn't really make that much sense to me thematically, and I'm not sure how effective it'd be without heavy DM intervention.
    They're Tier 2, they're not intended to be significant nerfs. I added a line to the Psi Resistance thing attempting to justify it with a little technobabble. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.


    -The monk fixes mostly look good, especially the restoration of abundant step. Wraithstrike is a bit iffy, though, as it weakens the lower tiers a lot more than the upper tiers. Perhaps something equivalent but allowing them to ignore concealment and deflection bonuses instead...
    Monks are probably getting "Pierce Magical Concealment" already since they don't care about CL.

    ...oh! But what about negating FoM on their grapples?

    Also, you probably want to give them some way to prevent the wizard from flying out of reach and then dispelling any attempt to use a magic item to fly.
    Hmm, true. I mean, the goal is that anybody taking to the air is just asking to get knocked straight out of it. It seems the most straightforward way to preserve the current flight mechanic while making it less attractive. Any suggestions on getting that dynamic?

    What if Flight spells had an x% chance of failure any given turn? More precisely, what if Flying was a skill like Swimming, and failure meant falling for that turn (with a DC 15 check the next turn to recover if you're still in the air)?

    -Soulknife looks nice.
    -The flight change looks nice.
    -The bonus stuff under "other" looks nice.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2011-08-14 at 12:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    what if Flying was a skill like Swimming, and failure meant falling for that turn (with a DC 15 check the next turn to recover if you're still in the air)?
    Flight as a skill a la Climb and Swim makes sense, but imposing a skill check per flyer per turn slows gameplay significantly. Also, the check would need to be fairly easy to prevent birds from falling out of the sky, which means it would become irrelevant for high-level play with considerable skill investment. Animals would also need a racial fly bonus, which the druid could pick up via wildshape to get +win to the checks. Although, flight-granting items could grant a bonus to Fly checks, which would neatly address the fact that mundane characters can ill afford to spend points on yet another skill (and wouldn't have Fly as a class skill in all likelihood anyhow).

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Flight as a skill a la Climb and Swim makes sense, but imposing a skill check per flyer per turn slows gameplay significantly. Also, the check would need to be fairly easy to prevent birds from falling out of the sky, which means it would become irrelevant for high-level play with considerable skill investment. Animals would also need a racial fly bonus, which the druid could pick up via wildshape to get +win to the checks. Although, flight-granting items could grant a bonus to Fly checks, which would neatly address the fact that mundane characters can ill afford to spend points on yet another skill (and wouldn't have Fly as a class skill in all likelihood anyhow).

    Challenging.
    That was my thought too, yes. Birds would gain "+8 and can take 10" like aquatic things do for swimming. And yes, that means that Polymorph now becomes the best flight spell in the game. Still, even if it's just a Levitating Wizard who has to roll anything but a 1, there's still a 5% chance of falling and that's a deterrent as a regular tactic. It doesn't solve the problem, but limiting flight to polymorph-type effects at least reduces the utility, especially since Wizards at least can't cast spells while in exotic forms. No hands for somatic, can't say words for vocal, no pouch for material, sad Wizard.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    The wizard rule seems weird to me, for a couple of reasons. The first is that it means you're basically hard-banning all non-combat spells of 6th level or higher for wizards, since they can't get Gnossis unless they have an enemy. It also just seems weird how knowing about their enemy somehow allows them to cast spells. I could see if maybe enemies who they don't have Gnossis against get significant bonuses against their spells or something as they don't know how to properly deal with its defenses...but even that's kind of odd.

    Would it make more sense to say they're limited to the Adept chart except with spells of their specialty school? That would move them a bit closer to the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer in terms of power (although Conjuration and Transmutation would still be really strong).

    The psion one also has some weirdness to it. In addition to the above-mentioned point about skeletons...does it apply when they use powers that affect objects or areas? It seems a bit odd that those would be just inherently harder to use.

    For flight, what you could do is say that any damage dealt to a flying creature causes it to fall, say, 5' per point of damage dealt, or something, and that a flying creature with any damage automatically loses like 1/3 its Fly speed in altitude each round. That would make it pretty hard to maintain altitude in the face of a ranged attack.
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    Hmmm....


    {table=head]Table: Fly skill check DCs
    {table=head]Action|DC
    Fight while airborne|5
    Remain airborne when injured|10 + damage dealt
    Level out of a stall|20
    Hover|25
    Checked by wind|+5
    Knocked down by wind|+10
    Blown away by wind|+20[/table][/table]

    ???


    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Would it make more sense to say they're limited to the Adept chart except with spells of their specialty school? That would move them a bit closer to the Beguiler and Dread Necromancer in terms of power (although Conjuration and Transmutation would still be really strong).
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Changes to Wizard, Monk, Druid, and the Flight mechanic are added! What about Archivist, though?
    Last edited by sonofzeal; 2011-08-14 at 02:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Any suggestions? You're right though - while Clerics without Sanction drop to high Tier 4, Druids only drop to mid Tier 3. Blocking Wildshape without Sanction seems too much though. Maybe reduce the HD of forms by 2 or something?
    Maybe force him to spend spell levels to wildshape when he doesn't have sanction.

    There are something like 16 creature types.
    Ah, I thought it was like Knowledge, in that a single skill covers several types.

    They're Tier 2, they're not intended to be significant nerfs. I added a line to the Psi Resistance thing attempting to justify it with a little technobabble. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.
    Something I came up with for my game, it's an extreme depowerment (since psionics are meant to be supplementary there) and more for flavor than power, but look at it and pick and choose what you like:
    -No such thing as psionic items.
    -No psionic/magic transparency.
    -No damaging psychokinesis powers; psychokinesis is just for TK and the like (and so is actually more similar to Transmutation than Evocation)
    -Clairsentience is particularly hard to get, and is stripped of the offensive powers
    -Psychometabolism powers are personal only
    -Teleportation-type psychoportation is kept, movement-type is moved to psychokinesis, everything else is stripped.
    -Telepathy allows Mental Resistance, a special pseudo-save:
    When targeted by a hostile power (any power that allows a save, as well as Microcosm) from the telepathy discipline, a character or monster is entitled to a Mental Resistance check. The modifier for this check is the target’s Charisma modifier, plus any special bonuses that apply specifically to will saves (such as the morale bonus from a barbarian’s rage or the benefit of the Iron Will feat) or that apply specifically against enchantment effects (such as an elf’s racial bonus or the bonus from the Still Mind monk class ability). If the power allows a will save when first manifested, a single die roll is used for both the save and the Mental Resistance check; otherwise, a d20 is rolled for the check.
    The Mental Resistance check is opposed by the caster’s charisma check or (for psionic wizards only) intelligence check (use whichever ability score is higher.) If the target wins the opposed roll, the power is negated entirely. If the target’s roll beats the caster’s roll by 10 or more, or the target is affected by the Reddopsi power (and wins the opposed roll), the target automatically manifests the power on the original caster (this “reflected” power allows saves normally but does not allow a Mental Resistance check.) The target’s charisma score is considered its key ability score for the “reflected” power, and it may increase the manifester level to its HD and/or augment the power up to a total pp cost equal to its HD.
    If someone is affected by a telepathy power and is afterward entitled to a new save, they are also entitled to a new Mental Resistance check to negate the power, but cannot “reflect” it with the new check. Even if the new save would merely reduce the effect of the power (such as the save against Mind Probe), a successful Mental Resistance check ends the power entirely.
    -No metacreativity at all.

    Monks are probably getting "Pierce Magical Concealment" already since they don't care about CL.
    Ah, that makes sense.

    Hmm, true. I mean, the goal is that anybody taking to the air is just asking to get knocked straight out of it. It seems the most straightforward way to preserve the current flight mechanic while making it less attractive. Any suggestions on getting that dynamic?
    Other than making it easy to dispel, and making archery more effective, not really.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Why the hell does the Mage Slayer line reduce Initiator levels when all the initiation classes get is as a non-optional bonus?


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Why the hell does the Mage Slayer line reduce Initiator levels when all the initiation classes get is as a non-optional bonus?
    Sorry? I think some words got jumbled there.

    Nobody gets it as a "non-optional". It's an option open to any character, but anyone can refuse it if they want to. As to the rest - "balance". Initiators all get other methods of dealing with those things. They're already T3.



    I'm thinking of taking that whole section out though. T1 has been nerfed enough for it to no longer be necessary.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Ninjas now get Light Armor.

    "Other" section has been retooled for simplicity and nerfitude; Tier 1's have been knocked off their high horse far enough I think. I left just enough to point people in the direction of those two feats, but don't actually hand them out everywhere as that makes Mage Armor and Displacement worthless spells. This way, Pierces will be easier but not ubiquitous.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    ...did i not post in here, or was my post removed?? =/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Corvus~ View Post
    ...did i not post in here, or was my post removed?? =/
    I never saw it, and I've been checking fairly regularly.
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    I like it a lot. Archivist still needs something though.... How about...no free spells for spellbook?

    Oops, accidental thread necro.
    Last edited by Roguenewb; 2012-05-14 at 11:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Less than a month since the last post, and I was directed here in another thread, so, I hope this is not Raise Thread.

    I love minimalist fixes, in fact, even more minimal than suggested in the OP....

    The Archivist seems a lot like a divine, prepared spell Bard. So, give the Archivist a Bard's spells per day [maybe work out a logical progression after 6th level spells], and cut the extra damage skill check to d4s instead of d6s.
    Of course RAW exists. Helpful or exact is not guaranteed.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    The wizard still has the basic problem that some spells break the game all on their own. At the very least, I would impose some restrictions on summoning and shapeshifting spells, which are often the worst offenders.

    Similarly, schools are pretty unbalanced amongst each other. I'd consider doing something about Transmutation (which has buffs, offensive and utility spells) and Conjuration. Moving blasty conjurations to evocation would probably be a good start.

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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofzeal View Post
    Sorcerers:
    ...
    In return, unlike the other restrictions on full casters, this ability allows the Favoured Soul to apply their full power outside of combat without requiring the approval of an organization.

    looks like a copy/paste error
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    Default Re: Minimal-Intervention balance fix (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The wizard still has the basic problem that some spells break the game all on their own. At the very least, I would impose some restrictions on summoning and shapeshifting spells, which are often the worst offenders.
    Yeah, I agree with this.

    While I certainly see the appeal of a simple pick-up-and-play style fix; this doesn't really remove the nukes from the game, it just makes them a little harder to use and puts a lot of pressue on the DM to determine when they are or are not in play.

    If you are trying to keep it super simple, I would look at altering the fundamental way that magic works, mechanically. Every attack or use of a skill has to make a roll, with some chance of failure. Even my level 20 barbarian is supposed to make an attack roll to smash apart a chest, while the wizard can warp the very fabric of reality just by declaring it so.

    The core feature of my own magic fix was that every spell requires a roll in order to cast succesfully. I added in considerable detail, but it would be possible, I think, to keep it fairly straightforward.
    Something like: every time you want to cast a spell, you need to suceed on a casting-stat check, DC at 10 + twice the spell's level. A roll of 20 means the spell automatically overcomes spell resistance and doesn't allow saves, a roll of 1 means the spells blows up in your face, dealing 1d4 per spell-level untyped magic damage to the caster. A spell with any number between 2 and 19 that doesn't pass the DC just doesn't work, costing you your action (like a missed melee attack).

    I think something like that isn't hard to learn, shouldn't slow down gameplay much, and yet would make it harder for "Gandalf the 20th level summoner" to overshadow the fighter and monk by calling up a horde of celestials every 5 minutes to do his bidding.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-06-12 at 09:38 AM.
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