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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracul3S View Post
    The regaining of focus is the issue. It's not feeling fun or good at all. No one at all three of my tables enjoys the whole martial focus system. You need to use focus for too many things, meanig you will always want to regain it... So it's use ability, use regaining ability use ability, the second step feels bad. As you repeat it literally every turn. Sure you do not have to... You can also not use your interesting and cool abilities...
    AND it totally devaluates the whole attack action stuff: instead of using a full round action, I'm now using a standard and a move action, wait something went wrong here right? Very wrong. There is no actual difference here. Ugh... Why bother with the change at all, if in an actual game you just changed...nothing. Just make everything that expends focus a fullround action already and be done, okay?

    Focus is really not up to what it promises to be. As I wrote I think it's a problem, not a solution. YMMV.
    I'd actually disagree that you need to expend it on a lot; I've been doing the sample characters for the book, and I don't think I've actually taken a focus expending talent on any of them, although I haven't gotten to the sniper which may be a bit of an issue there. I'd say there's a lot of interesting and fun abilities that aren't expending focus, and most of my group seems to keep focus to keep certain abilities active as well as save it for its secondary function, the saving throw ability. Most spheres have 2-3 focus expending abilities out of around 20, so I don't really see where expending focus is a large issue except for possibly sniper, especially with guardian and warleader having dropped the need to expend it as much.

    I can agree that not everyone is in love with focus, but I think it can be useful for this system both for talents expending it and them requiring it, adding a bit more thought into what's being done round to round. I've had people tell me they liked it as well as disliked it, so it's something that's hard to make an immediate decision on, as there's a lot of feedback that the general public isn't seeing from PMs and emails I receive about things. I am taking into account what you're saying, but I will again state that I have a lot of people to which we have to respond in these situations, so large changes like this aren't to be taken lightly. I'll bring it up with the others though, and see what opinions are on the topic. Thank you for your feedback; we do appreciate it, even if it's not something we're able to implement.

    EDIT: This has given me an idea to assist on this issue, since the idea of switching some things to full round actions is rather interesting.
    Last edited by N. Jolly; 2017-06-10 at 01:13 PM.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    looks like i found edna "the purse dog" earth seraphs giant account
    Please refrain from his sort of comment. It is a personal criticism and not helpful.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    i hear good things about this and SoP, and i am a big fan of offering my players options.
    But i tried to check out the test documents in the OP and honestly, i do not know where to start or how this works.

    Is there an ''Explain it like im simple'' page i can start? How the system works, what the classes are, that kinda stuff? because even the ''small'' rules doc is 25+ pages and i feel a little lost in it all.

    is there a starters guide to SoM? :D
    Quote Originally Posted by Orderic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by swaoeaeieu
    Or maybe, i dont know... adoption?
    Don't be ridiculous. We need those orphans...
    If at any point you notice mistakes in my English, please let me know, I am always looking to improve.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by stack View Post
    Please refrain from his sort of comment. It is a personal criticism and not helpful.
    no problem on my part just here to do my job as tester
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    Threads are like cats. They go where they want, and never listen to what you want them to do.


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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaoeaeieu View Post
    i hear good things about this and SoP, and i am a big fan of offering my players options.
    But i tried to check out the test documents in the OP and honestly, i do not know where to start or how this works.

    Is there an ''Explain it like im simple'' page i can start? How the system works, what the classes are, that kinda stuff? because even the ''small'' rules doc is 25+ pages and i feel a little lost in it all.

    is there a starters guide to SoM? :D
    Simplest way to describe it would be.

    Take one of the SoM classes (they're all in the class docs)/an archetype (conversion doc)/or a feat (probably the rules doc, been a while so not 100% on this one), and you get talents. Talents are separated into groups called spheres. SoM users have a thing called focus which they can expend to boost some talents.
    Spoiler: Old Avatar by Aruius
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  6. - Top - End - #96

    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Okay, so. Direct discussions about the individual Sphereís of Might, sometimes contrasting them to what Sphereís of Power has to offer as well. Probably not going to review every single sphere to start with, as there is a LOT of Spheres and covering all of them will take forever. So Iím going to focus on the Spheres that have grabbed my attention the most.

    Let us begin.

    Spoiler: Martial Focus
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    I donít like how Martial Focus is implemented at the moment. The fact it takes an entire minute to redo from the start, and that you have to pick up specific talents in there Sphereís in order to have a solid way of regaining it without spending 10 rounds doing so, is also annoying. I really believe that Martial Focus should only take a Full-Round Action to regain, and that the individuals Sphereís should each have at least 1 way of regaining their Martial Focus quicker than a Full-Round Action built in. It doesnít have to be incredibly fast mind you, like a move action or part of another Full-Round Action... but I do believe they should be built in options to get the Martial Focus back swiftly instead of having to pick up specific talents.

    Additionally, I donít like how many Spheres have ( ) talents that you can only apply one of unless you use your Martial Focus - and even than some sphereís donít have that option. If I can make four powerful strikes at someone within a short span of time, why canít I flick someoneís weapon so it hits themselves, than grab it and hit them with it? Why canít I take advantage of their vulnerability during a precise strike in order to hobble their movement AND disarm them of their weapon? I understand making sure you canít use more than one at first, but why at later levels? Say, BAB +7 I can use two ( ) talents at once, and at BAb +14 I can use 3 ( ) talents at once? Or maybe BAB +8 and BAB +16 respectively. Or hell, even just an extra one at BAB+11. Just, not purely one and one alone unless you use your Martial Focus please? It gives a great sense of progression that I feel several of the Spheres significantly lack, and rewards people who focus on one-two sphereís as well.

    Also, what does the Battered Condition actually DO?

    Final Rating: 3/10


    Spoiler: Athletics Sphere
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    The Athletics Sphere is without a doubt one of the best put together Spheres in the book, and it is most definitely worth dipping in for just about every single participator. The base Sphere alone is very strong, +1 Skill Point for a variety of skills, only one of which people normally pick up on. The fact that you can grab all of the packages with just the sphere and two talents is great, as it really allows you to flesh out your character's skill and mobility, yet allowing them to have skills in other areas, such as Diplomacy, Knowledge or Use Magic Device. On top of that, several of the talents are incredibly fun. Dizzying Tumble, Reflexive Twist and Unwilling Boost in particular stand out as fun and dynamic talents that would be very fun to play. Whilst talents such as Swift Movement and Mighty Condition a solid and reliable talents that work in almost all circumstances.

    However, the Athletics Sphere is not without itís faults. The fact that there isnít any actual way to fully acquire Climb or Swim Speed is incredibly disappointing, as it would really allow someone to specialize in those specific skills (flight I can understand and it has a legendary talent). The lack of creative ways of regaining your Martial Focus is disappointing as well, as the Withdraw action is seldom used... doubly so as the Barrage Sphere for some reason has a talent that lets you regain it for free during a move action as long as you move more than 5ft but less than your full speed.

    I also do not feel that Mobile Striker should be as a motion talent, as it means I canít use it and Sudden Flanking to flank my opponent or dizzying tumble to move past several people at once and strike one in particular. Not without using my Martial Focus for Multiple Motion... and on that note, the fact there is only 5 motion talents makes me rather disclinced to pick it up. Whereís the talent that lets me ignore difficult terrain as I move? Or what about a talent that lets me run across an surface that canít support my weight as long as Iím moving, which can than be upgraded to let me run on water? Sure thatís somewhat wuxia, but ninja and monks can already do it, so people shouldnít have reason to complain at all.

    Finally, you really need to work on the wording of several talents. Diving Strike, Scale Foe and especially Rope Swing have far too many words to explain their function, and it makes people a lot less inclined to pick them up. Scale Foe is understandable and passable. But Diving Strike is far too many words, and a very weak effect for the set-up required to get it off (charge down at someone from 100ft high and get a bonus 10d6 damage! So worth the effort of getting that far above them!), and whilst I like the fact you take back-lash damage and do minimal damage if you donít take the backlash damage, the amount of cushioning you do get is not really all that great either. As for Rope Swing? Nope, not even going to bother with that.

    In summary: The Athletics Sphere is a great Sphere that likely has the best base out of all of them, but a lack of solid motion talents, as well as several sub-par talents with far too many words drag it down.

    Final Rating: 8/10.


    Spoiler: Barrage Sphere
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    The Barrage Sphere is a very simple concept that works very well indeed: Making as many attacks as possible with a ranged weapon. Baking in Rapid Shot and then a greater version of Rapid Shot at the cost of your Martial Focus into the base Sphere makes it a very solid start for sure, and I love how you can actually apply one Blitz Talent per extra attack as well, though I do wish that when you unlocked the fourth extra attack, you could make the second extra attack without burning your martial focus.

    Talents such as Close Combat Specialist and Vigilant Sharpshooter really help the idea of someone who mixes ranged with melee, or doesnít care to get in close and personal with their ranged weapons, whilst talents like Arrow Split and Walking Fire are solid as they replicate powerful ranged feats such as Clustered Arrows and Hammer the Gap (without being associated the them... for, some reason...?), than you can chose to either punish the enemy with blitz talents like Hammering Shots or Supressing Fire, or spread your attention with Spinning Shot to really lay down the hurt.

    Still, itís not without its flaws: whilst there is seven blitz talents, it still feels like you donít have much variety due to how several of them donít function with one another, forcing you to decide between one or the other, and there isnít many that apply direct debuffs beyond the two previous mentioned. Plus, whilst there is a talent like Blowback Barrage, 10ft of forced movement flat isnít as impressive as say, 5ft of movement per hit, and the fact that Blowback Barrage is the only talent that directly buffs the Barrage without being a blitz makes it stand out significantly.

    All in all... I feel like several of the blitz talents need to be reworked and improved on, and a few more talents added in order to help you decide between damage vs 1, damage vs many, and debuffing people. Also, I wish that it was easier to use Barrage with Dual Wielding, at the moment using them together only gives you one extra attack from Dual Wielding as far as I can tell... which is a bit of a shame in all honestly.

    Final Rating: 9/10.


    Spoiler: Berserker Sphere
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    The Berserker Sphere has the best scaling base ability in SoM for sure. Starting with -2 AC for +3 THP and ending with -2 AC for +23 THP at level 20. However it seems to me that the Berserker Sphere doesnít entirely understand what itís own focus wants to be, and it makes it have several abilities that doesnít really fit all that well together.

    For example, Brutal Strike itself is a combination of pure damage and sunder. Most of the exertionís however are stacking penalties that require you to use Brutal Strike again and again, and basically requires Beat Down at higher levels. Advancing Carnage and Reaperís Momentum are AoE abilities, but the Sphere base ability, Deathless and Sanguine Invigoration are about tanking/surviving for longer periods of time, whilst Brutal Strike, Mage Masher, Shieldbreaker and Shrapnel are Sunder focused, but without giving you immunity from AoOís whilst doing so.

    Itís just... ĎBerserkerí says to me that the Sphere should be able damage beyond all else, even sacrificing your safety and health in order to cut down the enemy, but thereís little actual backlash involved. I like how Deathless & Sanguine Invigoration give you the ability to keep fighting if you keep killing, but it doesnít really feel like the Berserker sphere is about damage at the cost of everything else. Let me sacrifice AC for damage. Let me inflict horrific status effects on the enemy at the cost of my health and condition. Let me cut a bloody windmill through the enemy ranks only to collapse after the battle is finished due to being low on hit points.

    The Berserker Sphere has a lot of potential... but I think the Sunder needs to either be removed or improved on significantly, and it needs a lot more backlash in order to really be a ĎBerserkerí Sphere.

    Final Rating: 6.5/10.


    Spoiler: Boxing Sphere
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    Alright, the first of the two unarmed sphereís, through unlike Open Hand Boxing isnít exclusively unarmed. On the one hand I like this, as it means you arenít punished for not wanting to fight unarmed, but on the other hand, it gives it a rather mixed identity. Itís not really ĎBoxingí if your using a honking big sword taller than yourself, is it?

    Regardless, the Counter Punch talent is solid to start with. Focusing instead on waiting for the enemy to attack you and striking back in retaliation when they leave themselves vulnerable. Personally I think you should scale the damage at +1 damage per 2 BAB instead of +2 damage per 4 BAB. Smoother progressions in power are always good, and saying ĎI add half my BAB to the attackí sounds a whole lot more exciting than ĎI add +2 damage per 4 BABí

    As for the rest of the rest of the Sphere, most of the (counter) talents seem very hit or miss. For example several of them such as Launching Uppercut, Liver Shot and Clinch (why Clinch and Dig in Blow arenít counter talents when Focusing Counter is, confuses me) require you to take extra actions in order to gain the Counter-Punch bonuses, despite the fact your already needing to ready an action and be attacked first. But then you have Haymaker and Terrifying Hook which do not require extra actions. Personally I feel like the (counter) talents shouldnít require extra actions to activate, it already has pretty gated requirements to use. Oh and I feel like Launching Uppercut should be a Bull Rush attempt straight upwards, with a minimum of 10ft, as hitting someone 20ft into the air at level 20 is incredibly bland, and it gives more synergy with other Spheres.

    To finish off... Tight Guard shouldnít give a Shield bonus as it clashes with Balanced Defence and having a shield (which can be a light weapon). Rope a Dope shouldnít require a martial focus, fatigued and exhausted arenít worth it and Read the Rhythm is just... lame. Maybe if it gave you +2 bonus for Combat Maneuvers itíll be worth it. But +2 to opposed skill checks? Thatís like what, Bluff vs Sense Motive for Feint? And thatís it? Not worth a Move Action for. In summary: I like the Counter Punch and light weapon focus (through I feel that you should be able to take Heavy Counter again to make it work with all of the light weapon mentions in the Sphere), but a lot of the talents fall flat and feel lackluster and not really worth dropping into the Sphere for. Too many actions and too much Martial Focus use to really give the Counter Punch fighting style a real sense of power to it.

    Final Rating: 5/10.


    Spoiler: Dual Wielding Sphere
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    Oh boy, is this a mixed bag for sure... the base ability of the Sphere is great - at first. Being able to Dual Wield without needing to use a full-attack action to do so. However, the fact it has zero scaling means that as the game goes on and on, all youíll get is one extra attack with your off-hand weapon. Instead of cutting the enemy to shred with a flurry from both weapons. Considering the fluff of the Sphere itself talks about a Dazzling attack routine, it is very much a missed opportunity.

    Honestly the talent which exemplifies this the most is Dancing Display, the ability to move after attacking sounds great... until you look at the Scout Sphere and see there is a talent to move 5ft after every successful attack. Talents such as Crushing Combo, Defensive Whirl, Dual Opportunity and High-Low Combination have the potential to be great... but as just too weak to actually mean anything exciting. The most powerful talents are Impossible Reload and Mixed Assault, which rewards ranged Dual Wielding, instead of what most people use - melee.

    In summary: Dual Wielding is great for dipping in, but beyond that it has a long way to go to really give us the Ďdazzling attack routineí it, itself talks about.

    Final Rating: 4/10.


    Spoiler: Dueling Sphere
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    Ooooh boy those this Sphere have problems. Lots and lots of problems. Focusing on Disarm - which itself is only useful against a very limited amount of enemies - and bleed damage. With Bleed damage not just being easy to grab resistance off, but incredibly easy to deal with if you have any healing abilities at all. The base sphere is incredibly, incredibly overwhelming and needs substantial buffs. Let me ignore an AoO for Disarming even if they are not bleeding thank you very much, and allow me to make them bleed whenever I disarm them, not just with an attack option or AoO, and then the base sphere will actually be worth dipping into to start.

    From there, Dueling is a jumbled mess. And Stay Down! Canít decide whenever or not it's Acrobatics or Reflex, Bind Weapon hurts you as much as it hurts the opponent. Talents like Blooded Skeptic, Scar Tissue and Hand Slasher are very specific bonuses that I donít see anyone taking, and Talents that might be worth using such as Swift Slice and Traitorous Blade cost extra actions that you might not be able to afford, through Traitorous Blade eventually becomes a free action whilst Swift Slice costs an AoO instead for some strange reason.

    Honestly, Dueling needs a way to bypass bleeding immunity badly, even if it doesnít flat out negation of it. It needs a way to use disarm against foes without a weapon that does NOT hurt you as much as it hurts them, Long Cuts should be made to just let you add you BAB instead of +5 for every +5 BAB, and a lot of the talents need significant buffs to make them worth taking at all. Especially the talents that require you to burn your Martial Focus.

    Final Rating: 2/10.


    Spoiler: Fencing Sphere
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    Fencing is one of there Sphereís I like the most. Itís Base Sphere alone is by far one of the strongest, giving you free bluff ranks, along with a psuedo Sneak Attack that whilst might not have the greatest damage, the non-rogue restriction makes that extra damage more than satisfying enough.

    A lot of itís talents are strong as well. Making you able to Feint against other targets, and without a weapon. Making your feinting stronger, even able to attach an attack with it (through I dislike how you need to expand your focus to make it an AoO), and giving us the powerful Parry and Riptose ability. Even feats like Lunge and Impassable Defense give you flexibility, allowing you to fight defensively yet still have the ability to strike back against the opponent. The only issue I have with Fencing... is exploit talents.

    You have 5 exploit talents. Hand Slash, Leg Slash and Distract Blades are great. Face Slash in contrast is extremely bland, and I fail to see why Belt Cutter needs your focus when Hand Slash didnít. On top of that, 5 exploit talents honestly doesnít give us much choice. Canít we have an exploit talent to trip them? Maybe an exploit talent which leaves them vulnerable, leaving them either flat-footed, or with an AC penalty if already flat-footed? Maybe one that creates an opening, temporarily reduce DR, or increasing crit-range for you and maybe your allies? Thereís a lot of potential here, but at the moment itís significantly lacking and dragging the Sphere down.

    Final Rating: 9/10.


    Spoiler: Scout Sphere
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    Now this Sphere is very strong with a few let downs. The base sphere is very strong, free ranks in stealth, plus an ability to use either knowledge or perception to scout an enemy for weaknesses. Very, very good indeed! Yet this leads on to one of the biggest problems of the Scout Sphere, there is a lot of abilities to increase your mobility and stealth, which is great. But not many abilities that take full advantage of the Scouting ability.

    Discern Condition is more fluff than anything else, Discern Tells is great for out of combat encounters, but Find Gap and Identify Rhythms seem to happen as soon as you scout someone, instead of choosing when to activate the bonuses when fighting scouted foes, and whilst Target Weakness is undoubtedly the best ability of the bunch... the lack of any scaling at all, and the way it works for only one attack dead makes even that an uncertain pick up.

    Basically, the Scout Sphere needs more abilities that make better use of the Scouting ability, and the abilities it does have need improving.

    Final Rating: 7/10.


    Spoiler: Shield Sphere
    Show
    And the final sphere to review... and itís going to be short. Base Sphere is awesome, through +2 AC for a AoO tends not to be all that great to start with. Many great talents, none of which really needing to be upgraded or tweaked beyond what was covered in the very first section, and whilst more (deflect) talents would be lovely, in all honestly the choices we have already are fantastic.

    Final Rating: 10/10
    Last edited by The Blade Wolf; 2017-06-11 at 07:59 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    In the case of a normal druid, with Wildshape, or a spheres of power caster with an alteration transformation going...

    Can I use any of the unarmed combat type spheres (Boxing, Open Hand, etc), which all seem to have the language 'unarmed strike', with my natural attacks?

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    @Bladewolf; thanks for the feedback. As curator of Boxing and Dual Wielding, I'm going to take another look at things since it's probably been too long since I've given both spheres a full length retread and see what does and doesn't need focus, as there was a time where we were more conservative with it, and there are some things that could probably stand to be reexamined.

  9. - Top - End - #99

    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    You are welcome. Though I would also suggest giving the 'Martial Focus' section a read over. It is by far the most important of them, and it touches on several problems I have with the Sphere system as a whole, rather than the problems with the individual spheres.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualaa View Post
    In the case of a normal druid, with Wildshape, or a spheres of power caster with an alteration transformation going...

    Can I use any of the unarmed combat type spheres (Boxing, Open Hand, etc), which all seem to have the language 'unarmed strike', with my natural attacks?
    As far as I can tell, you need Open Hand: Bestial Training.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by NomGarret View Post
    As far as I can tell, you need Open Hand: Bestial Training.
    but still a tradition or two can help more on upcoming shiftier class to( ultimate wilderness one)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    @Bladewolf: martial focus can also be regained by the full defense action, so everyone has a standard action method by default. The one minute of rest seems odd, given that, but it gives cover against jerk GMs who say "you didn't declare that while you were resting, you spent a moment pointing your shield at the darkness like a paranoid, crazy person, so no focus for you."

    Battered has a heading in the AR document. It gives -2 CMD and other creatures no longer provoke from combat maneuvers.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    but still a tradition or two can help more on upcoming shiftier class to( ultimate wilderness one)
    Agreed, we're going to be adding bestial training as an option to one of our unarmed traditions to make up for this. As for Martial Focus, it's 1 minute as a non action, a full round action that has to be taken for that purpose, or focus talents which are averagely a move action.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Very well, I fully admit that I had missed that the Standard Action of Total Defense actually gives you back your Martial Focus. I am still not entirely happy with how the Martial Focus functions of course, as that was only one of many complaints. But I will have to improve my rating because of it.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf
    I donít like how Martial Focus is implemented at the moment. The fact it takes an entire minute to redo from the start, and that you have to pick up specific talents in there Sphereís in order to have a solid way of regaining it without spending 10 rounds doing so, is also annoying. I really believe that Martial Focus should only take a Full-Round Action to regain, and that the individuals Sphereís should each have at least 1 way of regaining their Martial Focus quicker than a Full-Round Action built in. It doesnít have to be incredibly fast mind you, like a move action or part of another Full-Round Action... but I do believe they should be built in options to get the Martial Focus back swiftly instead of having to pick up specific talents.
    You appear to have a fundamental misunderstanding of how focus works. It is a standard action, Total Defense, for absolutely any character to regain martial focus. It also automatically resets after 1 minute so that you don't have to worry about declaring that you're taking an action to regain it after every combat. Moving it to a full-round action would actually be a downgrade.

    The reasons that focus recovery methods are in their own talents is several-fold-
    1) If it was baked into every sphere there would inevitably be spheres that people took simply because the recovery method was most favorable to a particular build and style.

    2) If every character ends up with 1/2 a dozen recovery methods for free, there's no point in placing limitations on powerful talents since there's not going to be any meaningful gate on recovery.

    3) Essentially every SoM class already has their own unique way of regaining focus. Most of them don't even need to spend any additional resources. This means that most SoM classes will have at least two action options to regain focus without spending any talents (typically a move and a standard, but often a standard and an immediate), and many more will end up with 3 or 4 with minimal investment.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Being that my misunderstanding had already been addressed and corrected, then I shall address the only point that is actually worth discussing at the moment:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssalarn View Post
    3) Essentially every SoM class already has their own unique way of regaining focus
    And none of the Spheres of Might archetypes does.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Being that my misunderstanding had already been addressed and corrected, then I shall address the only point that is actually worth discussing at the moment:



    And none of the Spheres of Might archetypes does.
    but you have diffrent mojos to adress the loss like mutagen or same amount of feats like conscript or deeds.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    Threads are like cats. They go where they want, and never listen to what you want them to do.


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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    .... I fail to see how this is relevant at all to how I find myself unimpressed by how Martial Focus is current utilised. Both in how difficult it is to regain (Having it be part of the Total Defence Action does mean you have an option to regain it as a standard action yes, but that is still the loss of a standard action. You need them to attack), and how more often than not it feels like you are not expanding it for effects that are actually worth the cost.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    Being that my misunderstanding had already been addressed and corrected, then I shall address the only point that is actually worth discussing at the moment:
    Was just taking the time to give you a thorough response.


    And none of the Spheres of Might archetypes does.
    No, but they all have the default standard action recovery method and the ability to gain other focus recovery talents.

    Fewer than 20% of our talents actually require you to expend focus. There are only two spheres where you even have to expend focus to gain the sphere's full benefits. One of the most common uses of focus is free for every character; blowing it as an immediate action to save yourself from a save you can't afford to lose, and that ability can actually be used out of combat against traps and easily recovered afterwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    .... I fail to see how this is relevant at all to how I find myself unimpressed by how Martial Focus is current utilised. Both in how difficult it is to regain (Having it be part of the Total Defence Action does mean you have an option to regain it as a standard action yes, but that is still the loss of a standard action. You need them to attack), and how more often than not it feels like you are not expanding it for effects that are actually worth the cost.
    Pretty debatable. As I mentioned, fewer than 20% of our over 400 talents require you to expend focus. Almost every single one of them is a damage multiplier, which is why they each require focus expenditure, to limit their stackability. There's only two spheres that even really require you to expend focus, Berserker and Sniper. Outside of those two spheres you have 21 other spheres to choose from that can be used to build characters who don't even need to expend focus at all if they don't want to worry about it, saving it for an emergency saving throw.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    .... I fail to see how this is relevant at all to how I find myself unimpressed by how Martial Focus is current utilised. Both in how difficult it is to regain (Having it be part of the Total Defence Action does mean you have an option to regain it as a standard action yes, but that is still the loss of a standard action. You need them to attack), and how more often than not it feels like you are not expanding it for effects that are actually worth the cost.
    How do you need them to attack, you can take a TDA without needing any prompting as far as I'm aware. It's better if they attack you since you benefit from the AC bonus, but you don't need them to attack, and there's still the focus talent to help with that. I'm also not sure what you believe focus to be worth since you're saying that the talents are not worth the cost.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Okay. Enough of the quickly made replies. Iím going to sit down, and hammer out exactly what is wrong with Martial Focus at the moment.

    Tl:dr: It is very underwhelming.

    The Martial Focus is a concept that I am very surely draws heavily on the Psionic Focus from D&D 3.5 edition. A focus that you need to expend in order to activate several powerful effects, or keep in place in order to fuel other, more passive benefits. It also has a base ability to expand it - to Take 15 for Concentration checks - but most of the time, you used Psionic Focus to fuel feats. Which was great, as these feats were powerful. Deep Impact to make your attack a touch attack, Metapsionics in order to augment your psionic powers, or Psycarnum Infusion to flood a soulmeld or feat with essentia for a single round. These are all great, powerful reasons to use the Psionic focus, and with Psionic Meditation you can regain it as a move action, and then use abilities such as Hustle to get an extra move action, or use abilities such as Dimensional Hop to move around the battlefield without using a move action.

    Martial Focus... just, doesnít really have the same impact to me. A major problem is that the base bonus you get from expanding it, being able to take 13 for a Fortitude or Reflex Save, is insanely powerful and can easily save you character from death if used correctly. This means that the other abilities that you need to expand a martial focus for are either irrelevant, or so very powerful that itís any wonder that you take it at all. Which in turn, makes what Martial Focus is actually worth expending for incredibly inconsistent. Create Opening during a feint into free movement? Great! Belt Cutter letting me add a Dirty Trick onto Fatal Thrust? Not so great, esecpailly as Hand Slasher lets me disarm without using a Martial Focus.

    See, what makes Psionic Focus great is that even if it takes a Move Action to get it back, there are ways in the system in order to get around it, like Hustle to change a swift action into a move action. Sphereís of Might however... doesnít have that. If you expand a standard action in order to regain it... well, hope you donít mind doing nothing else for the turn as you need a standard action to perform an attack action and thereís no way around that! Using Focusing Counter to regain your Martial Focus as a move action? Better hope that the guy your fighting doesnít decide to slip around your unmoving ass and attack your squishy friends instead. How about Focusing Feint, turning your swift action into regaining your focus? Better, quite a bit better, but if you want to use a talent like Feint Strike, Footwork or many other talents that require a swift or immediate action, then your going to have a hard time managing it all.

    In summary: I think Martial Focus should be easier to regain, and at the same time require more talents require expending it in order to use them. Make Martial Focus a significant focus of it, and make people have to think between expanding it for a talent or saving it to fuel itís feats. It is far, far too easy to just forget it completely and make builds that use it just for the Take 13 ability, which makes it a very underwhelming class feature.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    My fix for martial focus would be to make it a number: you need a minimum number to pull off the big moves, and other moves increase it. You focus keeps going up, making you more powerful as ombat goes on (kinda the opposite of casters). As a simple yes/no it's a bit boring.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    .... I fail to see how this is relevant at all to how I find myself unimpressed by how Martial Focus is current utilised. Both in how difficult it is to regain (Having it be part of the Total Defence Action does mean you have an option to regain it as a standard action yes, but that is still the loss of a standard action. You need them to attack), and how more often than not it feels like you are not expanding it for effects that are actually worth the cost.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    In summary: I think Martial Focus should be easier to regain, and at the same time require more talents require expending it in order to use them. Make Martial Focus a significant focus of it, and make people have to think between expanding it for a talent or saving it to fuel itís feats. It is far, far too easy to just forget it completely and make builds that use it just for the Take 13 ability, which makes it a very underwhelming class feature.
    ...So it's too hard to regain and not worth the cost, but it's also not necessary and too easy to ignore. Have you considered that both these things together actually mean it's right where it should be? Just like psionic focus, you don't need to spend it outside of certain builds, but it always has some value.

    It's also not a class feature. Thunderous Blows and Rapid Assault are class features. Martial Focus is a free option that every martial gets when they learn a combat talent, which means that for classes like the Fighter they gain an option to help compensate for their weak saves by being able to roll above average in addition to whatever talent they pick up, and for dedicated SoM characters they can balance as much or as little around having or expending martial focus as they want.

    It also means that if a player finds the relative simplicity of martial characters to be a drawing factor, they can avoid the resource juggling game entirely and focus on "always on" effects and talents that only require them to have martial focus, saving it as a clutch option for when they absolutely can't afford to fail a save.

    The ability to tailor how much or how little you rely on martial focus is a feature, not a bug. It's one of many, many tools we offer, and the ability to forego using it and simply bypass big damage boosters for reliable static benefits is an intentional bridge for players who don't like having to juggle a bunch of variables.

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.Gibson View Post
    My fix for martial focus would be to make it a number: you need a minimum number to pull off the big moves, and other moves increase it. You focus keeps going up, making you more powerful as ombat goes on (kinda the opposite of casters). As a simple yes/no it's a bit boring.
    That would be Tension, a Striker class feature. Martial Focus, as noted, is a facilitator. It gates certain abilities that aren't intended to be stacked together, gives everyone with access to it a free save-boosting option, and can be incorporated into a build as much or as little as the player desires.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssalarn View Post
    ...So it's too hard to regain and not worth the cost, but it's also not necessary and too easy to ignore. Have you considered that both these things together actually mean it's right where it should be? Just like psionic focus, you don't need to spend it outside of certain builds, but it always has some value.
    Oh sure. Go ahead and use what I said in my hastily thrown together reply against me when I decide it's best to take a step back and properly explain my issues with the feature. I mean it's not like the entire point of taking a few moments to put together was my points was because I realised I was coming across badly and decided it was best to make sure what my points actually were, thus meaning that what I had previously said in the discussion were not significant anymore.

    On the actual point of discussion, however: No. No, it does not mean that it's right where it should be. Psionic Focus works because you can create builds that revolve almost entirely around it. Martial Focus fails because you can't make builds that revolve entirely around it. Psionic Focus works because it is part of an entirely different subsystem: Psionic Powers. Martial Focus fails because the subsystem it's part of is not significantly different. Psionic Focus works because you can work around it's action consumption within the system. Martial Focus fails because you cannot work around its action consumption within the system.

    Psionic Focus works almost entirely with feats and feats alone. Allowing you to use Psionic Powers without any issue. Martial Focus however is tied entirely to the talents of Sphere's of Might, meaning that you are unable to use the talents to their full potential without interacting with it, yet it often feels like it's not worth expanding your Martial Focus because the base effect is so high. If Martial Focus functioned more like Psionic Focus, then it wouldn't be an issue... but at the moment, it functions in a very different way, and this way makes it significantly less elegant and rewarding to use.
    Last edited by The Blade Wolf; 2017-06-11 at 01:28 PM.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    On the actual point of discussion, however: No. No, it does not mean that it's right where it should be. Psionic Focus works because you can create builds that revolve almost entirely around it. Martial Focus fails because you can't make builds that revolve entirely around it.
    Sure you can. Berserker and Sniper both offer competitive ways to build around expending your focus if you're so inclined, and those are just the ones that do it from base.

    Psionic Focus works because it is part of an entirely different subsystem: Psionic Powers. Martial Focus fails because the subsystem it's part of is not significantly different. Psionic Focus works because you can work around it's action consumption within the system. Martial Focus fails because you cannot work around its action consumption within the system.
    Except... You can. It's just as easy to get ways to regain martial focus as psionic focus (easier, in fact), and there are multiple ways to manipulate the action economy involved, as well as an option for gaining a second focus.

    Psionic Focus works almost entirely with feats and feats alone. Allowing you to use Psionic Powers without any issue. Martial Focus however is tied entirely to the talents of Sphere's of Might, meaning that you are unable to use the talents to their full potential without interacting with it, yet it often feels like it's not worth expanding your Martial Focus because the base effect is so high. If Martial Focus functioned more like Psionic Focus, then it wouldn't be an issue... but at the moment, it functions in a very different way, and this way makes it significantly less elegant and rewarding to use.
    Talents are much like feats. In many instances they just are replacements for feats, occasionally with cool riders and effects tacked on that you can manipulate with focus, either by having it or expending it. You're really creating distinctions where there are none. The fact that focus gives you the choice of whether or not you build into it or out from it is a feature, not a bug. Many people like martial characters for simplicity, and being able choose how much interaction you have with it gives you the maximum amount of flexibility in character building without creating demands on what you must or must not do.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssalarn View Post
    Sure you can. Berserker and Sniper both offer competitive ways to build around expending your focus if you're so inclined, and those are just the ones that do it from base.
    The Sniper Sphere is like, the one exception. The Berserker Sphere, not so much. Which you would know about if you read my thoughts on that Sphere earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssalarn View Post
    Except... You can. It's just as easy to get ways to regain martial focus as psionic focus (easier, in fact), and there are multiple ways to manipulate the action economy involved, as well as an option for gaining a second focus.
    Except, I can't. There is no way for me to turn a swift action into a move action. There's no way for me to move around the battlefield as a swift action. There's no way for me to regain my martial focus as a swifter-than-move-action without having to perform another action first which may or may not succeed. The only talent that that doesn't act like this is Barrage Combat's Mobile Combatant... which is just very out of place in that Sphere and ridiculously efficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ssalarn View Post
    Talents are much like feats. In many instances they just are replacements for feats, occasionally with cool riders and effects tacked on that you can manipulate with focus, either by having it or expending it. You're really creating distinctions where there are none. The fact that focus gives you the choice of whether or not you build into it or out from it is a feature, not a bug. Many people like martial characters for simplicity, and being able choose how much interaction you have with it gives you the maximum amount of flexibility in character building without creating demands on what you must or must not do.
    Except that Martial Focus doesn't give you the choice of whether or not your build into it or not. You either pick the one Sphere that does actually function well with the Martial Focus, the Sniper Sphere. Or you completely and utterly ignore it because none of the current talents are worth expanding your Martial Focus to use. I'm not creating distinctions where there are none. I'm attempting to point out the singificant, tremendous errors in how Martial Focus is currently being used as a mechanical in Sphere's of Might and you are ignoring every single word I say.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by NomGarret View Post
    As far as I can tell, you need Open Hand: Bestial Training.
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    That wasn't exactly what I was looking for, as it seems to convert say a 'Claw' attack into the equivalent of an unarmed strike... getting additional attacks based on a higher BAB.

    I was looking for a Spheres of Might option, for utilizing say a Claw/Claw/Bite attack routine, with maybe Tentacles and Hooves added, or whatever.

    Natural attacks, as natural attacks.
    But using Spheres of Might, so they're more than just the equivalent of a plain jane... swing at d20+x for xD6+y damage.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blade Wolf View Post
    The Sniper Sphere is like, the one exception. The Berserker Sphere, not so much. Which you would know about if you read my thoughts on that Sphere earlier.



    Except, I can't. There is no way for me to turn a swift action into a move action. There's no way for me to move around the battlefield as a swift action. There's no way for me to regain my martial focus as a swifter-than-move-action without having to perform another action first which may or may not succeed. The only talent that that doesn't act like this is Barrage Combat's Mobile Combatant... which is just very out of place in that Sphere and ridiculously efficient.



    Except that Martial Focus doesn't give you the choice of whether or not your build into it or not. You either pick the one Sphere that does actually function well with the Martial Focus, the Sniper Sphere. Or you completely and utterly ignore it because none of the current talents are worth expanding your Martial Focus to use. I'm not creating distinctions where there are none. I'm attempting to point out the singificant, tremendous errors in how Martial Focus is currently being used as a mechanical in Sphere's of Might and you are ignoring every single word I say.
    You should calm down before we really do start ignoring you. We aren't, by the way. We are processing your feedback for legitimate, actionable items while taking it in the context of our many other playtesters and backers, as well as hours and hours of playtest reports. You have opinions that you believe are facts. They aren't. In instances where you made good points, like Boxing's over-reliance on immediate actions, we've already made changes to resolve those actionable items.

    You need to understand, this is not your book. You are not a designer. Your opinion is no more important than any other playtester's, and as you'll note in the playtest guidelines, acting like an entitled brat and attacking members of the design team will make your opinion matter less, at least as far as the weight we're going to give it in consideration.

    You're not a victim, you're not being ignored, and we will not be rewriting the book based on your opinions, particularly when they represent a minority of our backers. Clearly delivered, legitimate feedback will be read, processed, and acted upon. Unclear feedback will be questioned, challenged, and tested until it is either clarified to an actionable item or determined to be an opinion that we do not consider actionable. No one has anything against you. None of us even know you beyond the fact that you're someone who doesn't like focus and has provided inconsistent and even contradictory feedback. Take the time, make your case on a point by point basis, and we will either acknowledge or refute those points, acting upon them as appropriate.
    Last edited by Ssalarn; 2017-06-11 at 04:22 PM.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Ualaa View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    That wasn't exactly what I was looking for, as it seems to convert say a 'Claw' attack into the equivalent of an unarmed strike... getting additional attacks based on a higher BAB.

    I was looking for a Spheres of Might option, for utilizing say a Claw/Claw/Bite attack routine, with maybe Tentacles and Hooves added, or whatever.

    Natural attacks, as natural attacks.
    But using Spheres of Might, so they're more than just the equivalent of a plain jane... swing at d20+x for xD6+y damage.
    Natural attacks are something of an aberration as far as combat goes. They're either overwhelming as part of a full attack or pounce, or generally mediocre in any other circumstances. The GM Toolbox chapter has talents for most natural attack forms that give riders, effects, or open up options, but in many instances the "get 12 natural attacks and devour your enemy" routine is contrary to the structure of the system.

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    Default Re: [Drop Dead Studios] Spheres of Might Open Playtest

    Thanks for the insight.

    I guess I'll wait for a peak at the GM's Toolbox, to see what the options are for natural attacks.

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