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  1. - Top - End - #511
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Yeah, I have, but the guy who made the Umbramendax hasn't responded. I don't know if he still frequents these forums. I was more asking because I don't know if I'm the only one still interested in 3.5.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Yeah, I have, but the guy who made the Umbramendax hasn't responded. I don't know if he still frequents these forums. I was more asking because I don't know if I'm the only one still interested in 3.5.
    Well i am to intrested in 3.5 version
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Message lanth sir. We play with the 3.5 stuff on a regular basis add he's got like 2-3 unfinished ones floating around here.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Theseventh View Post
    I'l be honest. Sad to see the jump to 5e. I don't care about 5e at all and I know this is going to mortally wound, or at the very least slow, the continued development of the 3.5 stuff. Call me selfish I guess.

    Reminds me of Gramarie all over again. Old system was not done, it had it's flaws yes. But then everyone decided to jump ship to begin working on a new version that never panned out and now both are dead. Sad times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Still, I really hope Xefas can get his info back. I enjoy 5e well enough, but I vastly prefer 3.5.
    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    Well i am to intrested in 3.5 version
    Quote Originally Posted by nikkoli View Post
    Message lanth sir. We play with the 3.5 stuff on a regular basis add he's got like 2-3 unfinished ones floating around here.
    I still wish to post my Phileotheysia for 3.5 at some point...

    Something that would help me do so would be if I could get a solemn oath VERY strong assurance that I will not be bugged about the titan-related stuff (I never took much of a shine to that oddly enough), nor about having merged "healing" onto "sacrifice" and ESPECIALLY that nobody will utter the word "simplify" in my thread without offering a rewritten version for my consideration. If I could write simpler without compromising my vision I already would have. Complexity of writing is a inherent problem of mine. OTOHs one of the previous thread titles for these general mythos discussion threads was "Where Simplicity Goes to Die" and Bdrone made it through the entire thing on GoogleDocs with only a few questions.

    Note that I would be more than happy if someone (perhaps Lanth Sor) would work on the Titan part, I just don't want to be told I need to get such a thing created before people will consider my work.


    On a side note that spoils a recent Blockbuster that has semi-recently made it onto DVD, plus a PonyFic and an Magical Girl Anime:
    Spoiler
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    Movie!Doctor Strange now joins my list of really good examples of a Phileotheysia's mentality in action... which, with Nightmare Whisper and Madoka, brings the list to three... most of the other examples have this nasty problem of that their sacrifice has a end-point, rather than being indefinite or eternal. Of course, with the way the Phileotheysia mythos usually work it is more a matter of "repeated", rather than "continual". The Shintai is the partial exception (thank you Madoka for the inspiration!).



    EDIT: I DO have some notes on the Titan, they just don't add up to a full story. I think I may make up for it with other flavorful bits such as a filk I wrote for the class, and a link to another filk that fits a different part of the class, but which wasn't written for it, and isn't by me.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2017-06-24 at 01:45 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #515
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    I still wish to post my Phileotheysia for 3.5 at some point...

    Something that would help me do so would be if I could get a solemn oath VERY strong assurance that I will not be bugged about the titan-related stuff (I never took much of a shine to that oddly enough), nor about having merged "healing" onto "sacrifice" and ESPECIALLY that nobody will utter the word "simplify" in my thread without offering a rewritten version for my consideration. If I could write simpler without compromising my vision I already would have. Complexity of writing is a inherent problem of mine. OTOHs one of the previous thread titles for these general mythos discussion threads was "Where Simplicity Goes to Die" and Bdrone made it through the entire thing on GoogleDocs with only a few questions.
    I am all for anything that kicks simplicity to the curb! Why do you think I still play 3.5? I really want to see this!

  6. - Top - End - #516
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    Exclamation Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Theseventh View Post
    I am all for anything that kicks simplicity to the curb! Why do you think I still play 3.5? I really want to see this!
    Very well. I'll get it up when I have a chance. Gotta figure out how many posts I will need for this beast and such. Not to mention trying to leave out at least MOST of the editing notes and mechanically incomplete excellencies and mythoi.

    Plus I'm still recovering from a nasty cold.

    EDIT: I hope to post later tonight after the site traffic has died down. Intentionally leaving in about 10% of my editing notes so that readers may advise me on the uncertainties they mention.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2017-06-26 at 05:27 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #517
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    And here you all go!
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...-Martyr-Mythos
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    Last edited by DracoDei; 2017-06-27 at 12:58 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #518
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Just my 2cp, but I'm still interested in 3.5 mythos material, and tinker with my Occasus from time to time. Its a damn ****show though. Amusingly enough, also a healer concept, but it became bloated with concepts and should probably be more than one class. Got muddled with insanity, surgery, body horror, and armorsmithing. I've a google doc, but I'm not up to making it public as yet.
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  9. - Top - End - #519
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    Just my 2cp, but I'm still interested in 3.5 mythos material, and tinker with my Occasus from time to time. Its a damn ****show though. Amusingly enough, also a healer concept, but it became bloated with concepts and should probably be more than one class. Got muddled with insanity, surgery, body horror, and armorsmithing. I've a google doc, but I'm not up to making it public as yet.
    Oh come now, Draco released the raw beta version of his class in all it's unrefined glory. You should too!

    On that note

    Links in the index in the first post should be fixed, in case that was the reason I have so many views (not all of which are likely to be from me) and no responses.
    I've looked at it. I will need to do some more looking and compile a list before I start PEACHing. Off the top of my head I know there is some formatting issues, and plenty of abilities could have their wording simplified or their mechanics clarified. Not to make this seem like a jab at you Draco but is english a second language for you? I see a couple of things in here that might speak to that being the case.

  10. - Top - End - #520
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    well one more people to support 3.5 mythos continuation. I like to see it continue to
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Theseventh View Post
    I've looked at it. I will need to do some more looking and compile a list before I start PEACHing.
    I look forward to it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Theseventh View Post
    Off the top of my head I know there is some formatting issues, and plenty of abilities could have their wording simplified or their mechanics clarified.
    I would welcome suggested rewrites. I will remind y'all, in case it is needed, that saying "simplify this part" will likely prove insufficient in the great majority of cases.
    Quote Originally Posted by Theseventh View Post
    Not to make this seem like a jab at you Draco but is english a second language for you? I see a couple of things in here that might speak to that being the case.
    Only metaphorically.

    English is my first language, and the only ones I have any formal education in beyond that would be Latin, and the tinniest smidgen of Spanish.

    On the other hand I do have what used to be known as Asperger's Syndrome, which is somewhat like being from another planet* socially, and this does influence the way I talk. I was once told I speak like a Shakespearean actor.
    *'Population: 1', not 'Population: Everyone with high-functioning autism'.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    I'm still around now and again, and have ideas for 3.5 material. However I am bogged down under material for my homebrew setting (races... so many races...) and whenever I try and do something Mythos related inspiration fails to strike.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    You got me. The tsunami of cajoling to present it has convinced me.

    Seriously though, the Occasus, though I would prefer it not be added to a links repository at this time. At this stage I'm not looking at expanding material, but if anyone wants to offer thoughts on whether the Mania is too complicated and if the concept has expanded too far I would appreciate any feedback. I'd prefer PMs here on giants, but my understanding is the doc allows comments, I think? I don't googledoc often.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    So, I had an idea for what could be either an Agios or an Anakitos Mythos- mainly, because there seem to be a lot more options in Mythos for evil and/or morally grey characters than for good ones- even the Anakitos seems more geared toward the 'Lawful Stick-in-the-Mud' version of Paladins than actually Good, and the Kreikiri, Dinyomi, Jagannatha, Taramach, Epifovian and the like all have abilities that either involve outright torture and murder or have massive amounts of collateral damage- the only Good-aligned abilities that come to mind are for the Agios, or the Dinyomi's "You can do horrible, horrible, evil things but still count as good because cynicism" Mythos. So, to inject some Idealism into the mix, I present:

    Hypocrisy Revealing Light of Reckoning
    Legendary
    Prerequisites: Special, see text

    It is well known among clerics, outsiders, and powerful individuals in general that Good and Evil are more than just a label. Mystical forces in and around the planes align themselves to morality and ethics just as people do. Angels and Devils have Good and Evil magic in their very essences, and many spells react to it so as to banish, repel, or control them.
    You, however, have come to a deeper realization; these mystical forces are not what makes up morality either. Good and evil are not a set of opposed schools of magic, and certainly not a mortal construction, but a natural and inevitable, inescapable consequence of sapience that existed in and of itself the instant the Empyrian had another entity to speak to. Not even an Outer God can make it Right to murder the innocent, nor make it Wrong to give kindness and selflessness to those around you. Many wielders of tales and stories seem to disagree, but you can prove them wrong.

    As a standard action, you can select a creature within 60 feet that is able to hold an alignment at odds with its actions in some way- inclucing a Mythic Planetouched that can count any action as a Good one, or a Mythic Adversary (Note; I can't remember the actual name, but someone made a 3.5 class by that nickname that could change its alignment at will) that had changed from its actual alignment, or even an Ozodrin whose alignment now reads Fzzz@r9ghak. That opponent must make a will save or have any and all such abilities suppressed for one minute (be it a feat, racial ability, class feature, or whatever else), its alignment changing to that which properly reflects its actions. This also suppresses abilities that allow them to 'cheat' on their codes of conduct in a similar way.
    For example, a 'Lawful Good' Planetouched with a lavish estate who ritualistically tortures random captives to match his alignment before slaughtering them to fuel his Vow of Poverty would become Chaotic Evil, and possibly lose his Vow of Poverty if he had any of his riches on his person.

    If an effect forcibly changed a creature's alignment without their consent, this ability gains the Harmless descriptor and instantly ends the effect.

    You cannot gain this Mythos if you benefit from any such abilities yourself- this Mythos embodies integrity that such abilities bely.

    Advanced Manifestations:
    And I Shall Shout Thy Secret Deeds from the Housetops: At the end of this Mythos' duration, the target must make another will save at a +4 bonus. If they fail, they permanently loose the class feature, racial ability, Mythos, or whatever source granted the suppressed ability. Mythos or Excellencies must be reacquired through Mythos Points, items are broken, and other abilities require an Atonement spell with XP cost in order to regain.
    Break Down the Whited Wall: For the duration of the Mythos, victims also gain vulnerability to alignment-based damage.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    So, I had an idea for what could be either an Agios or an Anakitos Mythos- mainly, because there seem to be a lot more options in Mythos for evil and/or morally grey characters than for good ones- even the Anakitos seems more geared toward the 'Lawful Stick-in-the-Mud' version of Paladins than actually Good, and the Kreikiri, Dinyomi, Jagannatha, Taramach, Epifovian and the like all have abilities that either involve outright torture and murder or have massive amounts of collateral damage- the only Good-aligned abilities that come to mind are for the Agios, or the Dinyomi's "You can do horrible, horrible, evil things but still count as good because cynicism" Mythos.
    Well, the Phileotheysia is most easy to roleplay as a Good character, and at least one of mythoi has options that depend on your Good/Neutral/Evil alignment. Not to mention it does stuff with alignments, from adding typing to attacks (both its own and that of allies depending on the mythos in question) to detecting them.

    None of which says it can't be played as a Lawful Evil character with some thought and Chaotic Evil merely requires that you desire Evil so much you are willing to take a supporting role if that is what advances it the most and have a few people whose Evil you admire enough to not betray them... at least as long as your respect for their Evil deeds remains. Of course, looking at your mythos, I don't think there is anything that makes it any better for a given alignment to use than any other in theory... in practice "Good mechanically, Evil by actions" might be more common than the reverse.

    Don't know if what I said about the Phileotheysia is in the direction you were hoping to see more of?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    So, to inject some Idealism into the mix, I present:

    Hypocrisy Revealing Light of Reckoning
    Legendary
    Prerequisites: Special, see text

    It is well known among clerics, outsiders, and powerful individuals in general that Good and Evil are more than just a label. Mystical forces in and around the planes align themselves to morality and ethics just as people do. Angels and Devils have Good and Evil magic in their very essences, and many spells react to it so as to banish, repel, or control them.
    You, however, have come to a deeper realization; these mystical forces are not what makes up morality either. Good and evil are not a set of opposed schools of magic, and certainly not a mortal construction, but a natural and inevitable, inescapable consequence of sapience that existed in and of itself the instant the Empyrian had another entity to speak to. Not even an Outer God can make it Right to murder the innocent, nor make it Wrong to give kindness and selflessness to those around you. Many wielders of tales and stories seem to disagree, but you can prove them wrong.

    <SNIP>
    As a proponent of absolute morality, I heartily approve of this.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2017-07-30 at 07:59 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #526
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Yeah, the concept just really appealed to me- kinda like Dr Strange forcing Dormamu to undergo normal mortal time in order to defeat him, this lets you force Outer Gods, Eldritch Horrors, and the various Mythos-enabled morality cheaters to confront the true balance and weight of their actions.
    Another idea I've got is a Taramach Mythos that lets you count actions against your alignment as attacks against you for things like Retribution Will Follow, and grants bonus alignment damage in a Rage- a manifestation could then allow you to be more merciful to enemies, with fluff about how your will is strong enough to temper the Monster to your own cause- becoming an embodiment of righteous fury and moral outrage rather than mere senseless destruction.

    In other news, I do have a few ideas for Syntrofos Mythos, quite a few Umbramendax ones (including adaptations of the 5e Adversary), and a crap-ton of Magios ideas. Given the inactivity of their respective threads, I'll probably just have to post them here, if anywhere.

    BTW, DracoDei, what were the rules of higher-level Mythos users swapping Mythos and excellency slots again? The ones you referenced in the hyper-epic campaign?
    Last edited by Gideon Falcon; 2017-07-31 at 06:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Yeah, the concept just really appealed to me- kinda like Dr Strange forcing Dormamu to undergo normal mortal time in order to defeat him, this lets you force Outer Gods, Eldritch Horrors, and the various Mythos-enabled morality cheaters to confront the true balance and weight of their actions.
    Another idea I've got is a Taramach Mythos that lets you count actions against your alignment as attacks against you for things like Retribution Will Follow, and grants bonus alignment damage in a Rage- a manifestation could then allow you to be more merciful to enemies, with fluff about how your will is strong enough to temper the Monster to your own cause- becoming an embodiment of righteous fury and moral outrage rather than mere senseless destruction.

    In other news, I do have a few ideas for Syntrofos Mythos, quite a few Umbramendax ones (including adaptations of the 5e Adversary), and a crap-ton of Magios ideas. Given the inactivity of their respective threads, I'll probably just have to post them here, if anywhere.

    BTW, DracoDei, what were the rules of higher-level Mythos users swapping Mythos and excellency slots again? The ones you referenced in the hyper-epic campaign?
    I really like the idea, I'll add it to the Agios, and I can necro the threads. Umbramandax is abandoned.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    BTW, DracoDei, what were the rules of higher-level Mythos users swapping Mythos and excellency slots again? The ones you referenced in the hyper-epic campaign?
    Was it this?
    -1 Tier: One Mythos or 3 Manifestations or 1 Excellency
    -2 Tiers: 2 Mythos or 5 Manifestations or 2 Excellencies
    -3 Tiers: 3 Mythos or 7 Manifestations or 3 Excellencies
    -4 Tiers: 4 Mythos or 9 Manifestations or 4 Excellencies

    I've seen another that was 0/1/2/3, 1/3/5/7, 0/1/2/3 as well for a lower exchange rate.
    Last edited by Tacitus; 2017-08-01 at 03:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    I assume the Teramach alignment thing would give all your damage that alignment, to help out with DR, among its other benefits?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus View Post
    Was it this?
    -1 Tier: One Mythos or 3 Manifestations or 1 Excellency
    -2 Tiers: 2 Mythos or 5 Manifestations or 2 Excellencies
    -3 Tiers: 3 Mythos or 7 Manifestations or 3 Excellencies
    -4 Tiers: 4 Mythos or 9 Manifestations or 4 Excellencies

    I've seen another that was 0/1/2/3, 1/3/5/7, 0/1/2/3 as well for a lower exchange rate.
    That looks right.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    I'm still interested in seeing 3.5 mythos. Mainly because it can be more easily converted to pathfinder which is my main system, but still.

    And I've had a couple of ideas lately for mythos classes. One would probably be called prodotis, and banner characters would be characters whose entire arc revolved around betrayal(so kreia(kotor 2), Zuko(avatar), sasuke uchiha maybe(Naruto). Class will be stealthy, probably more assassin than rogue and some of the mythos will do funny things to alignment. This is most of what I've decided on.

    I'm seeing this one having a Bellator like origin, but being focused on internal and psychological conflict where the Bellator is based on external conflict.

    Another one I'm thinking about would be a crazy genius item maker. I think there's one already but it felt more Tony stark, where this guy would be more, uh... willy Wonka I suppose. Not "I know all the things to make this," but "I'm so crazy, I don't know it's impossible to make this." And probably more art based than science based.
    Last edited by Corwin Icewolf; 2017-08-06 at 08:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Is this dead? I'd be sad to see this dead. I only just registered just to post on here and talk about the campaign that I'm in where I convinced everyone to play a Mythos class.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by God_of_Awesome View Post
    Is this dead? I'd be sad to see this dead. I only just registered just to post on here and talk about the campaign that I'm in where I convinced everyone to play a Mythos class.
    How's it going so far?

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    By the way, Xefas, there's a couple references in the Olethrofex to Mythos that don't seem to be there, like something about becoming a mausoleum- do you remember any of those ideas? I know you won't have them written down, what with the whole lost info thing.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    How's it going so far?
    So far, we only had a character creation session. 3.5, we're all playing bastard sons of the king (except the Anakitos, he's a legitimate son) on a diplomatic envoy.

    The DM is a friend of a friend, and I've talked with him before. He gave his okay for me to play a Teramach before hand and dropped hints at the table that an over powered class may prove necessary.

    I've espoused this system to the others before, so our regular DM asks to see the Anakitos. Next thing you know, my friend is looking through the Umbramandax, another picked up the Bellator. I was considering going Bellator but decided we didn't need two.

    We decided to go all melee, all the time, nothing too castery, like the Kathodos or Olethrofex. One guy was gonna pick the psyblade, but hearing everyone go on about how powerful these classes are convinced him to go Jaganatha.

    I pointed out the Amalgamate feats as well. The Anakitos decided to "dip" Bellator with it and I decided to "dip" Jaganatha so I can "MAIM! KILL! BURN!"

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    By the way, Xefas, there's a couple references in the Olethrofex to Mythos that don't seem to be there, like something about becoming a mausoleum- do you remember any of those ideas? I know you won't have them written down, what with the whole lost info thing.
    Actually, if everything goes according to plan, I should have my new computer up and running some time in the next few weeks. Once it's operational, I can plug in my old harddrives and see if there's any damage. Hopefully none.

    IIRC, the Mythos you're referring to is Monolithic Necropolis Heart. It was meant to transform the character into an expression of the Abomination's true form, a graveyard-city populated by undead. It's permanent, of course, with the advantage of making you extra tough. It's hard to attack a city; especially one that's already dead. The locus of your necromantic energy, your Necropolis Heart, has to be found and slain in order to kill you (probably with some consecration magic thrown in). It would also let you generate and control massive groups of undead.

    Downside? You're a collection of buildings. You need to control those undead in order to get stuff done. Or use your Reliquary (via Death-Mourning Phylactery Fission) to appoint a Lich King Vampire Queen Fat Zombie Seneschal mythical representative of some description, who could be mind broken, taken over, and granted your more body-requiring Mythos (so they don't go to waste).

    I think I may have also wanted some sort of interaction with Shepherd-and-King Zion Construction to turn the character into their own Ravenloft or Innistrad or what-have-you. Without Monolithic Necropolis Heart, that Mythos was just about creating an afterlife-plane under your control.

    Quote Originally Posted by God_of_Awesome View Post
    on a diplomatic envoy
    What could go wrong? =P

    That sounds like a lot of fun. I'd love to hear how it goes.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post

    What could go wrong? =P

    That sounds like a lot of fun. I'd love to hear how it goes.
    Mind you, only the Anakito and Umbremandex are meant to engage in diplomacy. The Jaganatha, the Bellator and myself, the Teramach, are meant to murder anything and everything that looks at them funny.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Spoiler
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    What could this be? Cross my palm with silver and you just might find out...


    (And, before you ask, the class will do a little bit of the whole "chooser of the one" thing,hence the inclusion of The Outsider, but the class will focus more on the "look, but don't touch TOO much" side of things.)
    Last edited by Sgt. Cookie; 2017-08-18 at 04:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    That's great! We'll keep our fingers crossed, and look forward to seeing the lost archives.

    A Mythic Seer could be quite interesting, too. Watching with interest.
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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Besides the game I managed to hijack into a Mythos game, the other thing I'd out myself for was something brought up earlier, crossposted from The Onyx Path after being crossposted from TVTropes, and that was The Narrative Titans (I apparently cannot post links yet because I signed-up to post here), a piece of lore I made for a shared setting superhero RP, even more inspired and taken from Xefas's Mythos than it was from Exalted, though I take it from that too.

    The only new "twist" that stands out to me is that I made The Sun, here called The Light(/The Hero/The King), as a fellow Titan rather than a separate type of entity.

    I also took the Jagganatha and made him into a superhero, the Anakitos into a supervillain, the Terramach into a brutal-vigilante-turned-Sealed-Evil-In-A-Can and the Bellator (wielding a Syntrofos) into an anti-villain fighting to retake her homeland.

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    Default Re: Mythos Homebrew Discussion III: Grievous Imbalance Is A Feature

    Hi there.

    So, the Swordbearer class was brought to my attention today, and I had thoughts about it, which I was asked to put into a review. And so I did.

    Prelude to explore my own biases and all: I hadn't played a 3.5 Mythos class, but I knew of them and had read them, and about them from enthusiastic players. I am an avid Exalted fan and appreciate the references in your work. I generally really like the idea of martial characters developing into mythical figures (a theme which features in some of my Barbarian homebrew). I'm also a Barbarian player in a West Marches-styled game, which has featured its fair share of pitched battles and dealing with kingdoms and armies.

    I'm going to give you my opinion upfront so as to avoid weaseling: I do not think the Swordbearer works. It is a far cry from 3.5 Mythos classes and has a number of issues and problematic assumptions tied into its design.

    Of course I see from a quick browsing of this thread that people have been playing it with some success, and I have not looked in depth at the other 5e Mythos classes, only the Swordbearer, which will be the scope of this post. So, maybe I'm wrong, etc.

    Anyway.


    1) Balance


    Before I even got to the class itself, I was struck by your paragraph about level equivalents and which class to include in groups. I don't object by default to the idea of a 10-level class whose first level is equivalent to lv 11 of other class. However, it causes issues in that this class can only be played in games that start at lv 11 or above, which is extremely limiting of its ability to get actual play - you're not being kind to your fans, is what I'm saying. Of course, an alternative would be to play a Fighter up until mid-levels, and then turn your lv 11 Fighter into a lv 1 Swordbearer.

    The problem, of course, is the downgrade in power you'll suffer doing so.

    Bear with me here as I progress to my main point. A lv 1 Swordbearer is no match for a lv 11 Fighter or Barbarian (let alone Paladin) in single combat (I think I could take one with my lv 9 Barbarian), but that doesn't necessarily mean much.* Plenty of classes are terrible match-ups for one another; a Bard isn't supposed to win a stand-up fight against a Paladin. But it does make the emphasis on "don't play this in the same game as a Fighter" kind of odd.

    *Iím fully willing to test this out and see if Iím wrong, I love white room combat.

    Now, even as an inferior 1v1 combattant, the Swordbearer has plentiful utility in a typical adventure compared to other Warriors, because it is almost resources-free. It has almost no expendable resources aside from HP, so as long as the heals keep coming it can power through encounters without needing rests.

    Which is its core problem.

    The Swordbearer has no tactical choices. It has chargen variance - you pick from several abilities - and every time it hits someone it gets to pick from four rider effects. It has a ton of passive bonuses, and plenty of fun non-combat abilities. I like how it sizes up an opponent, affects large-scale battles and so on. But with the exception of its Ultimate Technique, at no point in an encounter does it ever have to ask itself: "Of the resources available to me, which is worth spending here and now to gain an advantage?" It is static all through the day. It attacks two times per turn, then three times, picks one of four effects on every hit,* and when encountering one specific ranged threat automatically uses its answer. While everyone expends their resources, he just keeps on trucking.

    *against any enemy whom you expect to survive this round, such as mid-bosses and bosses, these options aren't so much choices as they are "hit the ridiculously powerful Disadvantage effect until they fail their save, then add damage or accuracy depending whether they're high-AC or high-HP."


    Wait, that sounds familiar...

    Oh. It's the 3.5 Fighter. A much more powerful version thereof, certainly, but the core design is the same. You have loads of passive bonuses and do the same thing all the time in combat. You have no tactics. You make no meaningful choices. You do not burn or sacrifice assets. You're just a static beatstick.

    You are, amazingly enough, more boring than a Champion. The Champion at least gets to choose when to use Action Surge, Indomitable and Second Wind. You outpace the Champion's tactical depth at lv 8, which is level 18 for a normal adventuring group, and meanwhile the Battle Master is over there cackling as he adapts his fighting style to whatever opponent he faces by dipping into his bag of Superiority Dice and choosing which maneuver he wants to apply this time. The Paladin is faaaar over there crossing the horizon, you already can't see her anymore.

    I am going to go one step further. This class is designed to negate choices. You don't have good Dexterity? It's fine, you still have good Initiative. You are a Dexterity-based character? It's fine, you can still use a greataxe. You don't have the Strength to use the heaviest armor? It's fine, just wear nothing, you still have excellent AC. Oh, and your starting start spread lets you rock at all the skills that matter to you.

    You don't make hard choices. You don't sacrifice effectiveness somewhere to be good somewhere else. You are good at everything, whatever you do; and so, you are bland.

    You are an old-school Fighter.

    So. This is not good.

    2) Reality Warping


    By now you're probably thinking that I am unfair because the Swordbearer actually has a lot of ability to make choices and warp the narrative through a set of Inspiration-based abilities that let them make narrative authorial statements. And this is true. It doesn't apply in combat, so it doesn't affect point 1), but it is true nonetheless.

    My issue is that this is a mechanic only the Mythos class has, when it sounds like a game assumption. It's something either no one should have, or everyone. As it stands, if your Swordbearer is palling around with a Wizard and a Druid, the two casters have actual magic to perform various utility effects outside combat, and the Swordbearer... Conjures things by happenstance. He sounds like a reality warper rather than a mythic hero, because it's an exclusive mechanic in mixed groups. In a Mythos-only group, I'm sure it works fine. But even in the suggested "Mythos and Casters" mixed group it just feels off.

    The scope of your reality warping is also unclear. It can conjure a shiv inside a prison, but not a greatsword. It can conjure a fencing school to shelter you for the night. Can it conjure an army? Can it conjure a fencing school that you then turn into an army? Can you remotely negate encounters without fighting them by cleverly leveraging your declarations?

    Anyway, I don't want to come down too hard on this ability. It's actually pretty cool. Its core issue is that it's entirely dependant on DM arbitration of Inspiration. I played D&D for an entire year and got Inspiration literally once. If the DM gives you tons of Inspiration, you're rewriting the setting like some mad psychic mutant, if he doesn't you do it once a day through Iron Resonance, which is actually probably more sensible for everyone's sanity.


    3) But I Can Kill An Army


    Indeed, the Swordbearer has an incredible edge over any core martial class: its ability to deal with mooks, even armies of them, like they are nothing to him.

    There are a few problems with this.

    The first problem is that you are treating a core feature of 5e's design as an annoying obstacle to be overcome. The point of 5e encounter design is that goblins can be a threat to high-level players by using numbers and tactics. This is convenient because it allows a GM to maintain a more coherent setting instead of having enemies eventually become irrelevant and needing to be replaced by a new class of creature - if your campaign is about a goblinoid army invading the land, you can be fighting goblins at lv 1, and you can progress through goblins, bugbears, hobgoblins, their elites and their pet monsters and their allies, while there still being goblinoid mooks who can threaten you through attrition - instead of the DM having to go "well, you're all too high-level now, so the goblins just sort of disappear and we're moving to fight Yuan-Ti since they have a higher Challenge baseline."

    You're reintroducing this into the game, which is not great. It's essentially backdooring solved 3.5 issues into the game. With a Mythos class in the mix, lower-level opponents exist now only as a feel-good system for showing what a badass you are, which clearly has its place, but...

    Okay, here's the thing. This is D&D. You don't fight armies. Even if you think you do, you don't.

    I am not going to presume as to how everyone runs their game - maybe some people actually do model five hundred CR 1/4 soldiers separately, rolling their actions in turn. These people are madmen. The core of the game is designed to model small unit tactics combat, and you're taking a wrench to it to try and make it Sauron fighting off an army in the LotR intro.

    Here's how I've seen adventurers act in army-scale battle in D&D games:
    1) The adventurers are fighting standard-sized groups of opponent. The battle around them is modelled as shifting environmental conditions, affected by the adventurer's success in killing the Elite Bugbear Guard or finding and dispatching the Wizard Strategist.
    2) The adventurers are actually taking on 500 soldiers, and these soldiers are modelled as a single opponent with a high Challenge rating.

    None of these situations are helped in any way by mook-clearing tactics. The first because you never actually encounter hundreds of low-CR opponents in the field, the second because the army is actually modeled as a high-CR opponent.

    You're fixing a problem that doesn't exist, except for a special class of DMs who apparently don't see modeling hundreds of separate opponents as a logistical nightmare that will eat their souls.

    4) Core Design


    This is the part where I'm kind of a jerk because I have to rapid-fire on several issues. Sorry.

    Let's go from the top down.
    Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence
    No. I don't care that your class is a mythical combattant. The lv 20 Wizard right over there summoning demons from the netherworld and making them cry uncle has the same saves as everyone else - one strong, one weak, plus one if he took Resilient (Ability). This isn't a matter of balance or being powerful and mythical, it's core design to the game. You get a strong save, and a weak save, and sometimes you have a miraculous high-end feature giving you more, like the Rogue or the Monk.
    If the attack is successful, the target must make a (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution; your choice) saving throw or take Disadvantage on all attack rolls against you until the beginning of your next turn. During this time, you also have Advantage on saving throws that the target's abilities require you to roll.
    This is absurdly powerful in the worst of ways. The "pick the save" part is just... Bad. And the power is both completely overwhelming, and completely generic. It is The Best Debuff and that's it. You will want to use this on every turn on every significant opponent, and so now all encounters read "this character has disadvantage on all attacks" and it's just... No.
    Wing-Clipping Shot
    This part interests me because it's not a bad ability per se, it just reflects an overall design issue. Flying enemies are annoying, every melee fighter knows that. Adventurers go through many means to deal with flying enemies; they use ranged attacks, they try to restrict the fight to a limited location, they endow themselves with the power of flight to pursue them. They resort to tactics.

    The Swordbearer says, "you're not flying anymore."

    It'd be fine if the effect was restricted in duration, because then the proned dragon has to make the choice of staying on the ground whacking everyone with tail and claw, or flying again to escape melee but suffering AoOs in the process.

    But as it is, the Swordbearer actively makes combat more boring.
    When a creature begins casting a spell within Normal Range (as in, not Long Range) of the weapon you wish to use, you may spend your Reaction to make a ranged attack against them. If the attack hits, the target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC = 1/2 damage taken, or 10; whichever is higher) or lose the spell.
    "Lose the spell" is not a system term. You need to be explicit as to how exactly this works, most notably telling us if the spell slot that would have been used to cast it is also lost.

    And again, we're back to making the game more bland, because now enemy casters don't get to cast. That'll show that evil wizard.

    Ultimate Technique
    I really like the concept of "ultimate techniques," and have tried designing them for subclasses before.

    But here your choices include a weaker action surge, another weaker action surge, a weaker lightning bolt, and the Good One. It's not great.

    5) The Tone

    This is probably your biggest problem.

    Of the people whom I have shown this homebrew before working on this review, most of them were already having misgivings about the class before ever getting to its mechanics. The tone is, quite honestly, insufferable: it mocks low-level adventures, it disparages martial classes while saying "casters are fine," and it begs for a fundamentally narrative mechanic supposed to occasionally reward good roleplay because it needs it to power its class features. In fluff and description, it generally tries too hard.

    Like, seriously...

    Based on my homebrew 3.5e work of the same name, 5e Mythos is intended to add a selection of classes to the game that allow players to begin their story at a relatively high level of power, and grow into capabilities that allow them to alter the course of the world without using standard D&D magic and spells. They are not meant to be the errand-folk of wizards and kings, cleaning the rats from cellars and the dire rats from tombs in exchange for a pouch of coins, a healing potion, and pat on the head. They should make goals for themselves, crush their opposition, and deal with the consequences of power.
    Here are a couple things that happened in my current D&D game. At lv 3-4, before I got my first Extra Attack, I was helping depose a Queen and reinstating the rightful Prince on his throne. At lv 6, I duelled a devil, killed a noble demon, and our Paladins won the favor of the Angel of Wrath. With all but one character below lv 10, we're currently among the linchpins of a siege involving two armies of 5,000 soldiers each. I'm not taking part in it because my lv 9 character died duelling the commander in chief of the entire army, who has something like 200+ hp, regeneration 10 hp/turn and can cast Destructive Wave, and I lasted ten rounds and brought him down to bloodied.

    Meanwhile, the Swordbearer is supposedly sitting in the sideline, waiting for the group to get two more levels so he can come in and things can be "fair."

    My experience of 5e D&D is that we have to struggle to get casters into the group because everyone loves Battle Masters and Paladins. Out of a 20-person pool we use to form 5-men parties, people are fighting over our single underleveled wizard and our two clerics because this is Fifth Edition now, and Martials Are Cool.

    This makes the tone of the Swordbearer's post incredibly frustrating to read. I gave it to people who hadn't followed the 3.5 Mythos, and they were already ready to dismiss the entire class on its introduction alone.

    It doesn't have to be this way. I love Exalted, and I love mythical fighters.

    It's just that in 5e, a mythical fighter who can shape the world with its grandiose deeds is called... A high-level Fighter. Straight from the core.

    And, like, one petty addition. "Myth" and "Mythos" I can get behind. But "Anthol"? I don't know where that's from. A friend dug around to find out and the only thing they found was an abreviation for "anthology," which comes from a French word for "collection of flowers." Where did you dig that up?

    6) Conclusion


    The Swordbearer's ability to shape the narrative of play by introducing facts is its greatest, and coolest feature. The class is also entirely reliant on this ability to actually feel fun and affect play, because in combat it's kind of dull.

    And that's the problem, really. It tries too hard. Normal groups can use skills, spells, roleplays, and the calculated application of overwhelming violence to bring down kingdoms, build new ones, shape the land, and raise armies. The Swordbearer is written like it is afraid it can't do that with its actual abilities, so it gets to fiat these things into existence. It skips the middle-man because then there could be failure.

    And so, paradoxically, it feels underwhelming.

    That's my review, and thanks for reading so far. I'm sorry I couldn't be more enthusiastic about this class.
    Last edited by Mechanix; 2017-08-31 at 12:23 PM.

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