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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I wouldn't suggest merging themes as you have done. I specifically looked at other systems and tried to create themes that were not only evenly divided in number, but would also fit different character concepts. Light and Fire for example are very different. The human torch for example can't create light, but can create fire. Some characters will have Frost and Water, but a character from a jungle region definitely won't have access to frost. Some casters may access both air and storm, while others will only have one. A thinner approach to themes is best for character concepts as well as balance imo.

    I have a google spreadsheet that looks at many balance aspects of themes.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyresias11 View Post
    Do you have any advice on how to carefully incorporate spells from other sources and expansions?
    I handle them on a case by case basis. Do they present new, unique, ideas or is the idea already incorporated in a spell? Should it perhaps be an enhancement to a current spell, or should it be its own spell? What theme does it currently match? Something like blood magic probably needs its own theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyresias11 View Post
    One of my bigger issues from adapting other spells is the mana system and the six max mana, dictating the max level a spell can reach.
    The "spells" page of my spreadsheet provides the ability to balance spells to this system. Plug it in and tweak. It has guidelines for each tier which are in line with the 9 spell levels system.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyresias11 View Post
    I know this is super vague and something along the lines of "why don't u play something else then" is understandable but it's also not what I am interested.
    I fully understand this mindset. However I've made these kind of radical changes to both Pathfinder and 5e. Both times that I've done these things it was really a gateway for me to admit that I enjoy tweaking the game more than I enjoy playing it. But that is likely due to other aspects like not having the most enthralled group.
    Personally I've been playing tabletop games like KD:M and Gloomhaven recently and have really enjoyed those. I'm actually starting a weekly Gloomhaven session in place of my D&D sessions with friends from RL. RL friends never are interested in D&D which is maybe why I can't be too enthused for it.

    I wish you luck.

  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    If you want to include support from new WOTC books there is a pre-Spell theme version that has traditional spell lists which can allow for normal spells to be added easier. Since the imbalance between themes in number of spells is an issue I just use the old version with normal class spell lists at my table. I also have a school of Necromancy for mages, though instead of getting pet bonuses it is focused on temp HP and Necrotic damage. I also added more UA feats, and the necromancer wizardís Undead Thralls Power, as talents. (The Undead Thralls Power Being Open to any caster with Animate Dead, allowing for divine Necromancers, Occult/warlock necromances etc...)
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Mine started at a dinner party in the BBEG's estate.

  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I've bookmarked the current version of the pdf.
    These rules are still available on my google drive. See https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rc...G6Nq0jhkNZ2-Fi

    Please do not distribute other versions of my rules as I may update them. I'll always maintain old versions if I ever make major changes.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    One question about Shifter's Wild Shape and Shapeshifter's Origin Form.
    At 5th level, can both classes make 3 attacks using their natural weapon? Extra Attack grants one additional attack, and both shifters have "When you take the Attack action and attack with your formís natural weapons on your turn, you can make another attack with your formí s natural weapons". That adds up to three.

    Is that intentional? I think those classes can reach a lot of damage attacking 3 times and casting a spell on the same turn. No? I didn't do the math comparison, just checking if something got overlooked.

    Thank you.

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Shapeshifting damage is pretty comparable to the Monk's damage, varying at different levels, but similar.

    See the comparison chart to see how the damage stacks up against other classes.

    Casting a spell is comparable to a Paladin's Smite and is included in the DPR calculations (see the Sorcerer tab).

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    How does Unthemed Spells work? Can anyone pick any spell from that list? Eidolon is a lot Occultist-focused, but I don't think that is a big problem. Someone who doesn't have a patron should just not pick it.

    Also, are the spells there balanced against NPCs or also against PCs? Some of them seems to hit really hard on PCs. I think I'm keeping NPCs spells and weapons as in RAW, and Roll20 compendium is a real good aid that I don't want to not use.
    Last edited by Marcloure; 2018-07-31 at 02:58 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    How does Unthemed Spells work? Can anyone pick any spell from that list?
    It functions like any other theme: You can learn the theme and then learn the spells inside. It's a hacky fix for spells that don't match a theme currently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Also, are the spells there balanced against NPCs or also against PCs? Some of them seems to hit really hard on PCs.
    Which spells? All spells are balanced on the Spell Themes Balance sheet. I never perfected the summoning spells as they are a huge pain to balance, but you can see their half-finished numbers there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I think I'm keeping NPCs spells and weapons as in RAW, and Roll20 compendium is a real good aid that I don't want to not use.
    Weapons as per RAW has quite a few imbalances that prevent flavorful choices. For example the handaxe is by far superior than the light hammer. Or the Greataxe is inferior of the Greatsword. Those things are super easy to change.
    Armor has similar problems with Medium armor being absolute trash. It's an easy change as well.

    If you have a Pro account on Roll20 you can import spells from a database quite well. Currently no1 has asked to use my custom data, but I use it on Roll20 with the Shaped script to import spells. I haven't set it up for the mana rules (I'd do that next).


    -------------------


    Side note: I've started working on the web version of this project again. It's coming along quite well, but also quite far away from finished. No promises.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I find the work in this forum, very intriguing.. lol

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Which spells?
    I think there might be some other spells, but Inflict Wounds specifically is too dangerous. Well, it's the nature of single target spells, but...

    Inflict Wounds dealing 5d6 (17.5) points of damage can easily kill any level 1 PC. OK, by RAW, 3d10 (16.5) can do that too. But scaling the spell to 11d6 (38,5) at 2 mana cost is a lot of damage even against 5th level characters (a 5th level fighter has about 50 hp with 16 Con).
    I'm not sure when a NPC should have access to 2 mana cost spells. Following the Spell level to Mana cost table, and considering some CR 2 NPCs have access to 3rd level spells (example: the Priest), a NPC could be doing those 11d6 to a level 2 or 3 character. And that is likely a hit kill.
    Also, I would not usually take critical hits in account, but a single one from Inflict Wounds at 2 mana cost can drop to 0 hp an 8th level fighter (22d6 for 77 avarage damage).

    Personally, I don't think raw spells are balanced against PCs either. But as you increased the damage of single target spells so they could compete with AOE spells, even higher level PCs can now die by one unlucky roll.
    I know it's hard to balance spells taking account PCs and NPCs, their hp range per level vary far from the each other. And dropping a NPC in one hit is one thing, dropping a PC is another. So, I'm not sure this issue should be given much thought.

    What I'm doing is to keep the RAW spells for NPCs, so they don't murder my PCs or heal too much and turn my combats into a slog.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Weapons as per RAW has quite a few imbalances that prevent flavorful choices. For example the handaxe is by far superior than the light hammer. Or the Greataxe is inferior of the Greatsword. Those things are super easy to change.
    Armor has similar problems with Medium armor being absolute trash. It's an easy change as well.
    Yes, I agree that weapons have imbalances and is easy to fix them for PCs. But looking at NPCs, some of their traits (like extra poison damage, multiattack, or their AC-hp relation) are set around their equipment. Changing a creature equipment would make them a little bit stronger or weaker. Also, the change is so small (+-1 AC or damage) that I don't think it is worth the trouble. NPCs won't bother to use a weaker weapon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    If you have a Pro account on Roll20[...]
    I keep myself to plus. I don't have much time so I feel like I wouldn't be using half the tools I would be paying for if I had Pro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Side note: I've started working on the web version of this project again. It's coming along quite well, but also quite far away from finished. No promises.
    I'm quite curious about how that will turn out. I'll be waiting patiently.
    Last edited by Marcloure; 2018-08-04 at 06:00 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    If you look at DMG 284 you'll see the expected guidelines for spell scaling.

    1 mana (15 damage) = 1st/2nd level (11 & 17 damage)
    2 mana (30 damage) = 3rd/4th level (28 & 33 damage)

    A 1st level Barbarian is doing 8 DPR while a caster can only cast 2 spells per short rest and those spells are doing about 15 damage each. Once the mana is gone cantrips do about 3.3 DPR.
    That feels like the right balance that a caster can burst for 2 rounds and do little the rest while a martial is doing consistent damage. Otherwise the damage can be dropped and cantrips raised in damage.

    Analysis:
    The PDF is a bit outdated. In the latest Inflict Wounds does 5d8 at a range of 30 feet. 5d8 = 22.5 * 65% chance to hit is about 14.9 which is in line with my 15 damage guideline and with every other 1 mana spell.
    Fireball is a 1 mana spell that is a sphere. It does 4d6 on a failed save. 4d6 is 14 damage, but there is damage on a failed save and on average you'll hit more creatures and the range is 120 feet. After some valuation for range, half damage on a save, multiple targets, etc that is 15 damage.

    Perhaps I need to value single target burst damage higher in my calculations. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I'm not sure when a NPC should have access to 2 mana cost spells. Following the Spell level to Mana cost table, and considering some CR 2 NPCs have access to 3rd level spells (example: the Priest), a NPC could be doing those 11d6 to a level 2 or 3 character. And that is likely a hit kill.
    3rd level spells are equivalent to 2 mana, so that's the right point.
    Priest, by RAW, has access to Spirit Guardians which is doing 3d8 per round and the enemy's speed is halved (meaning they can't get away). Based on my calculations that's doing 38.6 damage over the life of the spell whereas a 2 mana spell aims and generally averages for 30 damage.
    So RAW spells often do more damage than my spells, but my spells have some bursty single target options.

    Fireball is also a 3rd level spell so it would be available on a CR 2 NPC and it would do 28 damage on a failed save. After all modifications that's about 47 damage. Quite a lot..

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I know it's hard to balance spells taking account PCs and NPCs, their hp range per level vary far from the each other. And dropping a NPC in one hit is one thing, dropping a PC is another. So, I'm not sure this issue should be given much thought.
    Spells shouldn't be balanced differently for PCs vs NPCs.
    I believe the designers considered individual spells for NPCs when deciding CR, but I'd argue that all spells of the same level should be the same power level (that's one of the main reasons for my system). So if 3rd level spells or 2 mana spells are too much for a CR 2 monster (they are) then the CR should be higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    What I'm doing is to keep the RAW spells for NPCs, so they don't murder my PCs or heal too much and turn my combats into a slog.
    Splitting NPCs and PCs to user different spell systems seems like a mistake, but it's your game. Fireball for example does crazy damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Yes, I agree that weapons have imbalances and is easy to fix them for PCs. But looking at NPCs
    Ah, ya, I wouldn't touch NPCs besides maybe small adjustments to an armor or weapon to make it consistent, but that's totally unnecessary for balance. I mainly meant for PCs.

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I reorganized my spell balance sheet, reviewed it, and made a few minor tweaks here and there.

    There are 7 spells that cost 1 mana that are single target bursty. Acid Arrow, Blight, Chromatic Orb, Desiccate, Inflict Wounds, Steal Breath, and Recall agony. They will generally do about 18 damage when they hit. Desiccate and Inflict Wounds stand out at 21 or 22 damage if they hit.

    14 average damage makes sense to me. A level 1 martial does ~9 DPR so spells are doing ~150% of the DPR of a martial, but they can only be used twice. I do recognize the burst issue, though RAW has that with Inflict Wounds as well. That RAW baseline is fine by me and according to Reddit.

    I'd like to reduce those to be in line with the 18 average, however there isn't really a path to do so without increasing range or adding some kind of condition. Desiccate can add some description about how it can lead to exhaustion due to lack of water and that allows me to reduce it to 5d6 which is 17.5. Inflict Wounds, however, doesn't have much wiggle room in flavor in older editions. I'm open to thoughts here. The best I can do without modifying anything else is change the damage to 6d6 which is 21. That gives us 13.9 average which is perfect.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Hey Kryx.
    I'm wondering, how do you handle Stealth checks without passive Perception?

    I too am not very found of passive Perception and Insight when dealing with secret doors, traps, and npcs bluffing. And I would also not use it for Stealth checks out of combat. But in combat, without passive Perception, someone would always be successful at hidding.
    That is not a problem when they need to spend an action to hide, but for rogues, who can hide as a bonus action, they can have free advantage on every attack if they have somewhere to hide.

    I think the game needs some sort of "defense" against Stealth checks in combat, otherwise it'll always be a success. No? Unless when someone tries to hide, everyone can take a Search action as reaction... but that would be a lot of dice rolling.
    Last edited by Marcloure; 2018-08-05 at 09:11 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    D&D has some current "defense" type mechanics in the form of Attacking vs a static AC or beating static DCs of doors.
    In 4e Fort/Ref/Will were defense numbers that just needed to be beat without any contested roll.

    Defense can be a good mechanic, but I believe when comparing two creatures a contested roll is more fair and allows for more outcomes.

    For example if we look at passive perception where a player is sneaking up on some orcs and the player has a high bonus and the orcs have a low bonus the passive perception of the orc could be 8. If the player has a proficiency bonus of 3 and a dex mod of 4 then it's 1d20+7 >= 8. That's 100% or 95% (I forget who wins in a tie). That's not a very fun mechanic.
    Now if that Orc rolls perception it is still very very likely that the player will succeed, but it's not a guarantee. This feels like a better system to me.

    I reject the idea that every ability check is an action.

    I, like most people, am dissatisfied with stealth in 5e. I know it's a bit wonky in the PF2 playtest, but I need to look to see what they've come up with.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    I reorganized my spell balance sheet, reviewed it, and made a few minor tweaks here and there.
    Not sure if you was already asked about it, but why you are using 6/11/17/etc squares for cones, when you link this thread (cashed)? I thought that the whole purpose of this thread was fixing cones for same number of squares. If 6/11/17/etc squares for cones are not mistake, then how they look on grid for Orthogonal/Diagonal ones?

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I used the 3.5 draconomicon:


    But it seems 5e cones are not 90 degrees. If you have some images or math that can calculate a cone's size I'll change the sizes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Awertum View Post
    I thought that the whole purpose of this thread was fixing cones for same number of squares.
    Hmmm? The purpose of this thread is far beyond cone sizes..

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    I used the 3.5 draconomicon:

    But it seems 5e cones are not 90 degrees. If you have some images or math that can calculate a cone's size I'll change the sizes.
    If you used draconomicon cones, then the number of squares in orthogonal and diagonal cone templates are different, as pointed in first post in thread on min/max boards. I'll copy what i mean:


    In your calculations for cones you are using number of squares from "Diagonal" column. In mix/max board thread (that was linked in comment section of your calculation google sheet) first post suggest a fix for cones so they are more "round". Like this:




    Because of this thread on min/max boards i was thinking that you are using "round" variation of cones, and because of that your calculations using wrong number of squares. Sorry if i maked all of this difficult to understand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Hmmm? The purpose of this thread is far beyond cone sizes..
    I was talking about thread on min/max boards, that i linked in previous post. Sorry for confusing.
    Last edited by Awertum; 2018-08-08 at 04:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    If you read https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questi...ne-to-a-1-grid you can see that 5e doesn't use either of the older systems for cones.

    So if we're looking to get correct numbers there we need to ignore all old grid cone systems.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    If you read https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questi...ne-to-a-1-grid you can see that 5e doesn't use either of the older systems for cones.

    So if we're looking to get correct numbers there we need to ignore all old grid cone systems.
    Not sure how to calculate all these shapes in squares form stackexchange example thread.

    Meanwhile, can you post a preview of new arcane traditions for mage class that uses specific theme? If i remember correctly you was planning to rework old arcane traditions from schools to new themes.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    The number of squares in the examples is in line with the number of squares I have at the lower levels. I expect it's pretty accurate. Looking at the DMG the designers estimate that lines and cones get the same number of enemies in them so the numbers seem like good ones to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Awertum View Post
    Meanwhile, can you post a preview of new arcane traditions for mage class that uses specific theme? If i remember correctly you was planning to rework old arcane traditions from schools to new themes.
    Schools are the antithesis of themes. Using both would be difficult and weird. If you want to keep schools in for flavor purposes then you can do some simple options like life+death+undeath = necromancy, air+fire+earth+storm+water = evocation, but I wouldn't.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Schools are the antithesis of themes. Using both would be difficult and weird. If you want to keep schools in for flavor purposes then you can do some simple options like life+death+undeath = necromancy, air+fire+earth+storm+water = evocation, but I wouldn't.
    So what you are planning to implement instead of arcane traditions for Mage class?

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    These are my thoughts when I last looked at it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Schools of magic no longer exist. They're still part of Mage Arcane Traditions as I haven't come up with the subclasses for Mages yet. Perhaps the new ones will be similarly themed, just without the school reference.
    The short solution is take the current mage archetypes I have and replace any reference to schools with a theme. For example "evocation spell" would be replaced with "air, earth, fire, storm, or water theme spell".


    This project isn't complete. I may complete it at some point, but until then it's an ideas reference at best.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    As you might know, I'm running a game by your rules and I have gathered some initial thoughts here.
    My group has had 4 to 5 sessions now, so this one will be more of a first experience thing. I'm also not reporting minor bugs for now because I guess a lot of these things are going to change as you move away from PDF.

    Spoiler: Classes
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    They are great the way they are. It's more straight forward to understand them than I first thought. My complaint is that caster classes loses some flavor when you remove their spell lists. What spells a class is limited to is one of the biggest class-defining features in RAW 5e. Letting all classes have access to all spells feels a bit like one of the greatest faults I see in 4E (note: I really like 4th Edition): every class is very similar, only with fluffy and a feature or two telling them apart.
    I'll need to play more to see if this holds true or not. Mostly, see how my players will feel when they need to do a new caster if they lose their current one, if it will feel "the same but in a different chassis" or not.

    Also, I feel like casters are a bit too powerful at first levels. They can deal 15 damage in area and end most combats with that. At 2nd level, they can also cast a cantrip after a spell, they scale a lot in just one level. My players are to face their first real dungeon very soon, then I'll have a better comparison between the barbarian, the cinder monk and three full casters. There, wasting any spell counts.


    Spoiler: Themes
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    "This' good." I really like themes, they give so much to both PCs and NPCs. As I have three and a third casters, one can tell a lot about them just by looking at their themes. The same is true for NPCs. When I'm building a caster NPC I can tell a lot more about them just by listing their themes. I gave the kenku casters (a kenku wind caller) Wind and Illusion themes, for the priests of the sun, Fire, Light and Life. This alone gave them a lot more personality.

    One complaint I have is related to how every class is now sorcerer-like. Almost no one can change cards to adapt to the situation, and even the wizard can only do so within the themes they know. For good or bad, it again feels like 4E: you are locked with the same tools until you hit, in this case, a proficiency improvement. You can have different kind of spells only at every 4 levels.
    Again, I'm not sure if this is a real problem or something from my head. I'll have to wait until I've put my players against more dungeons and different contexts to see how they feel with fixed spell list.

    The next list of reports are based on the current spreadsheet
    • Starting at level 1 with Plants and Life gives a class 2 out of 2 cantrips. Every full caster gains a bonus cantrip at level 1. I told to my players that cantrip can be from any theme, otherwise they would gain nothing from the bonus cantrip. And I really like that I did it. Being able to snatch from somewhere else is really good, it gives a small variety without having to wait until level 5 to gain something different.
    • For my warlock player, I corrected their Eldritch Secrets trait to:
      Eldritch Secrets. By 2nd level, you have plundered magical knowledge from a wide spectrum of disciplines. When you learn an occultist spell you can learn a spell from any theme, including the ones you know. You can learn up to one spell in this way.
      You can learn up to two spells from any theme at 5th level, up to three spells at 8th level, up to four spells at 11th level, up to five spells at 14th level, up to six spells at 17th level, and up to seven spells at 20th level.
      Now, at times I think this should be for every full caster. As I said before, being able to have tricks from other themes can make the character a lot more flexible and enjoyable.
    • I suggest to merge Telepathy and Divination. I see why you chose not to, but both are too small, and Divination doesn't even have a cantrip.
    • You could throw Gravity into Time to make it thicker. But that probably would feel too scientific.
    • Totally personal opinion: change Ectoplasm theme name. It sounds too much GhostBusters and Supernatural. Something like Ether or Essence is less science and more fantasy.
    • Every theme the monk has access to needs to have at least 9 spells of 1 mana and 16 spells of 1Ė3 mana, otherwise the class breaks (there will be levels the monk should be able to get spells, but there won't be any left). No theme in the current spreadsheet fulfill this minimum. And I think they will never do, or we will have a lot of overlap. What I suggest is to reduce the number of spells the monk gets to know per mana limit. They don't really have much to do with 16 different spells of the same theme anyway.


    Spoiler: General Rules
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    Being able to dash and attack is not cool. We've tested it and after two fights everyone agreed it didn't felt right. Maybe if a character can do so only when they get extra attack, but even then it wouldn't feel right for NPCs. Distance almost doesn't matter this way.

    I really like Reflex, Fortitude and Will saves. Both the way they are calculated and how they play out in game.

    Spoiler: Player Feedback
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    I didn't get any player feedback for this report. We'll be playing in these rules at least until they reach 5th level, then I'll gather their opinions and relay them here.

    That said, my monk player commented at some point he very much likes your rules (and your sheet). Even though his class has some bugs.


    I guess that is all for now.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Hey Marcloure, thanks for your feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I guess a lot of these things are going to change as you move away from PDF.
    Just FYI I wouldn't expect this soon. I really really want to deliver on this, but it keeps dragging along. I pick it up here and there, but feel so far from even migrating to the web setup, much less making improvements. I started a new job which is way more intense and I've been coding some at home for that so my desire for coding anything non-work related outside of work has plumetted. We'll see, but no promises.

    Class feedback:
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    My complaint is that caster classes loses some flavor when you remove their spell lists
    There may be something here, but I'm not fully convinced. A cleric with a light theme is very different from a wizard with the light theme for example. A wizard may study the sun and its effects while a cleric may worship either the sun or a deity that is based on light. Their spells behave in the same way (as they do in RAW 5e), but their flavor is very different. Their class features are quite different as well - the cleric gets armor and shields or divine protection and channel divinity (inspiration, lay on hands, turn the faithless) while a wizard gets a spellbook allowing them to be far more versatile.
    The spellcasting structure is the same, but I believe most classes are quite unique (some need some work like the Psionicist/Mage differentiation).

    Side note: 4e did not have individual spells - each class had a list of features they could choose from at levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Also, I feel like casters are a bit too powerful at first levels. They can deal 15 damage in area and end most combats with that.
    Keep in mind they can only do ~14 damage value 2/short rest. It's quite uncommon when you play by the expected amount of encounters per day. If you don't play by the expected amount of encounters per day then just enforce less short rests on those days to balance it out.
    For example if you do 2 encounters per day they could use a fireball in each one, but then they'd be using cantrips the rest of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    At 2nd level, they can also cast a cantrip after a spell, they scale a lot in just one level.
    Casting a cantrip and a spell can definitely be a lot of burst, but also keep in mind that at level 3 a Barbarian does ~16 DPR. Perhaps the casters should have their cantrips delayed until 3rd level and that would even it out better. TBH I wouldn't recommend playing any variant of D&D below 3rd level, but I should refine it for people who want to.

    Theme feedback:
    I'm glad you really like themes. I love them and think they are great at defining characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    One complaint I have is related to how every class is now sorcerer-like. Almost no one can change cards to adapt to the situation, and even the wizard can only do so within the themes they know.
    Mages have adaptability as their class defining feature. They are bound by their themes, but allowing any theme would be quite silly imo. Mages, of any class, are the most bound to certain themes. Their schools are basically a combination of themes. A generalist Wizard is not super well supported by RAW either - some spells here and there can be picked, but the features won't trigger off of them. In general I kind of reject the generalist Wizard idea as I believe it goes against their thematics, but I'm not hard set on that if there is a way to make it work thematically.
    Acolytes can use Channel Divinity: Divine Inspiration to replace some of their spells, similar to how prepared works RAW.
    Warlocks can steal some as well.

    The goal is to give a consistent chasis, while still providing the customization of prepared casting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    you are locked with the same tools until you hit, in this case, a proficiency improvement. You can have different kind of spells only at every 4 levels.
    Spells can be changed at every level if desired as part of the level up process. Spells are much more accessible than RAW where they are available at lower levels, but are less powerful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Starting at level 1 with Plants and Life gives a class 2 out of 2 cantrips. Every full caster gains a bonus cantrip at level 1. I told to my players that cantrip can be from any theme, otherwise they would gain nothing from the bonus cantrip. And I really like that I did it. Being able to snatch from somewhere else is really good, it gives a small variety without having to wait until level 5 to gain something different.
    Every theme should have 2 or more cantrips. That's not the case, but that should be the baseline. I wouldn't open it to any theme, but as a temporary solution I'd open it up to say "You can also choose a cantrip from the theme that you'll pick as your 3rd theme".

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    For my warlock player, I corrected their Eldritch Secrets trait to:
    Perhaps the PDF is different, but this is what I have in my web setup:
    You have plundered magical knowledge from a wide spectrum of disciplines. When you learn a spell, you can learn a spell from any theme even if you do not know the theme. You can learn one spell in this way.

    You can learn up to two spells from any theme at 5th level, up to three spells at 8th level, up to four spells at 11th level, up to five spells at 14th level, up to six spells at 17th level, and up to seven spells at 20th level.


    That seems pretty similar to what you wrote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Now, at times I think this should be for every full caster. As I said before, being able to have tricks from other themes can make the character a lot more flexible and enjoyable.
    I quite strongly agree here. It's the Mage, Acolyte, and Occulist's niche that they can use spells from other themes. Expanding this to all classes removes the identity and flavor of the classes, making them more homogenous which is one of the main complaints of my work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I suggest to merge Telepathy and Divination. I see why you chose not to, but both are too small, and Divination doesn't even have a cantrip.
    They are quite different.
    Divination: the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means.
    Telepathy: the supposed communication of thoughts or ideas by means other than the known senses.

    They both are related to the mind, but they aren't the same. Both could be expanded or merged into other sections, but merging them together doesn't seem to fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    You could throw Gravity into Time to make it thicker. But that probably would feel too scientific.
    Reverse Gravity doesn't deal with time, but planetary physics. Quite different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Totally personal opinion: change Ectoplasm theme name. It sounds too much GhostBusters and Supernatural. Something like Ether or Essence is less science and more fantasy.
    The theme is full of psionic (read: sciency) spells. That is those spells origin, just as arcane has spells more oriented to the arcane. It could use a different name like Astral or something like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Every theme the monk has access to needs to have at least 9 spells of 1 mana and 16 spells of 1Ė3 mana, otherwise the class breaks (there will be levels the monk should be able to get spells, but there won't be any left). No theme in the current spreadsheet fulfill this minimum. And I think they will never do, or we will have a lot of overlap. What I suggest is to reduce the number of spells the monk gets to know per mana limit. They don't really have much to do with 16 different spells of the same theme anyway.
    Why does the class break? If the monk has 2 themes there will always be enough spells to choose from unless they pick two themes with few spells. The vast majority of theme combinations will have more than 16 spells costing 1-3 mana.
    Monks follow the half caster spells and mana limit. If the problem exists for a Monk why doesn't it exist for other half casters, or even full casters? Perhaps I'm missing something here.

    General rules feedback:
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    Being able to dash and attack is not cool. We've tested it and after two fights everyone agreed it didn't felt right. Maybe if a character can do so only when they get extra attack, but even then it wouldn't feel right for NPCs. Distance almost doesn't matter this way.
    This rule takes the charger feat and makes it the default functionality. 5e did that with other rules from older editions where it took good functionality like dex to damage and made them default rules.
    This rule feels almost essential to the balance of casters vs martials. Perhaps this is a cause of some of your earlier feedback. Without being able to engage in first rounds melee characters can ofter feel like pushovers. I agree that speeds are probably too high in 5e in general and prefer PF's slower approach, but I don't think requiring melee characters to dash and do nothing is good design for the enjoyment of those characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I really like Reflex, Fortitude and Will saves. Both the way they are calculated and how they play out in game.
    I'm glad you like it. This was one of the main reasons I started homebrewing 5e at all. I believe it is far more balanced and should result in a more enjoyable play experience.


    ====================================


    Thanks again for the feedback. Please do feel free to challenge some of my thoughts.

  24. - Top - End - #294
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Keep in mind [casters] can only do ~14 damage value 2/short rest. It's quite uncommon when you play by the expected amount of encounters per day. If you don't play by the expected amount of encounters per day then just enforce less short rests on those days to balance it out.
    For example if you do 2 encounters per day they could use a fireball in each one, but then they'd be using cantrips the rest of the time.
    I think that having three full casters might be what is weighing my view on this. They can cast up to 9 spells per short rest. After they go through a dungeon with more encouters and other threats, I guess I'll have a more valid view of this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Spells can be changed at every level if desired as part of the level up process. Spells are much more accessible than RAW where they are available at lower levels, but are less powerful.
    I was talking more in the sense of "as we are going to interrogate that guy, I'll prepare detect thoughts". If the impossibility of doing this is a good or bad thing, I'm not sure, but there are some expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Every theme should have 2 or more cantrips. That's not the case, but that should be the baseline. I wouldn't open it to any theme, but as a temporary solution I'd open it up to say "You can also choose a cantrip from the theme that you'll pick as your 3rd theme".
    The druid player picked light as her bonus cantrip. I don't think she will choose the Light theme later, and I don't think it would be nice to waste 1/6 of your range of options for such small utility. Even less considering that half of them comes at 9th level and above. This free small spell is a nice gift.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Why does the class break? If the monk has 2 themes there will always be enough spells to choose from unless they pick two themes with few spells. The vast majority of theme combinations will have more than 16 spells costing 1-3 mana.
    Monks follow the half caster spells and mana limit. If the problem exists for a Monk why doesn't it exist for other half casters, or even full casters? Perhaps I'm missing something here.
    All monastic traditions have just one associated theme (at least in the pdf). Cinders gives Fire, River gives Water, Shadow gives Shadow, so on. And unless I have overlooked something, there isn't another trait that gives the monk another theme.
    Last edited by Marcloure; 2018-09-18 at 01:47 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #295
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Just a heads up; Iíve been testing this a bit IRL and itís going over quite well with my players. Most of our complaints have already been covered in some form, though I will say that another homebrewer here on the playground came up with a complete overhaul of 5e Necromancy that pretty seamlessly grafts onto your system. Iíve recently been using it as replacent for the Animate Dead of the undeath theme with some NPCs and it works amazingly. It balances out having a ďHoardĒ of Minions very well, and the format of your classes helps fix one of that brewers biggest issues (how to give Oathbreakers a cantrip). Likewise, his revamp of the school of Necromancy pretty seemlessly grafts onto your Mage, and goes for making raising undead easier rather than directly buffing pets, which seems more in line with with what your goal is. You may want to hit that homebrewer up and see if you can collaborate with him on the undead side of things, or at least adapt his content to your rules with permission and proper credit..as I have yet to find a better take on Necromancy that works within the goals and sensibilities of your system. Or not, your call in the end, but I felt those rules grafted onto yours really gave me a proper yet balanced feel of being a Necromancer, and therefore where at least worth mentioning to spur inspiration for your own necromancy rules, if nothing else. One change I did make to that brewers rules, however, is the undead health. Rather than make its HP twice the caster's, which I didn't like for making gishes better at it than actual fullcasters, I changed the HP value to 10 x twice the caster's level, to make it uniform across all casters.

    As for the Cantrips issue, I fix it by allowing players who have a theme with only one cantrip to choose a cantrip from any theme thatís themeaticly fitting on a case by case basis with oversight; I.E Iíd allow a player with the life and undeath themes to take a cantrip from the death theme, but not the fire or mind theme, for example. As for those who miss the presence of themes spell lists, You can easily deal with that by having setting-specific limits on what themes the classes can take. So if, say, you donít want Arcane spellcasters to be able to heal in your setting to enforce a more traditional D&D feel, you can bar mages, occultists, and whatever Sorcererís parent class was called (I forget itís name and am AKF and therefore away from the pdf) from taking the life theme (except in the case of celestial occultist/sorcs).
    Last edited by Giegue; 2018-09-19 at 04:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    I was talking more in the sense of "as we are going to interrogate that guy, I'll prepare detect thoughts". If the impossibility of doing this is a good or bad thing, I'm not sure, but there are some expectations.
    I would say those expectations are wrong. You don't see Sherlock Holmes suddenly throwing fireballs or The Human Torch suddenly reading minds.

    Scrolls exist for the scenarios where a spell is really needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    The druid player picked light as her bonus cantrip. I don't think she will choose the Light theme later, and I don't think it would be nice to waste 1/6 of your range of options for such small utility. Even less considering that half of them comes at 9th level and above. This free small spell is a nice gift.
    I would use something like Light bug, an evocation cantrip for druids in need of Light as part of nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcloure View Post
    All monastic traditions have just one associated theme (at least in the pdf). Cinders gives Fire, River gives Water, Shadow gives Shadow, so on. And unless I have overlooked something, there isn't another trait that gives the monk another theme.
    Ah, I see, Monk gets 16 spells. 1 to 3 mana: Fire has 15, Water has 15, Air has 13, Earth has 13, Death has 12, Light has 16, Shadow has 14, Storm has 12, Life(12)+Protection(8) has 20.

    Perhaps Monks should learn up to the amount listed.


    ============================

    Quote Originally Posted by Giegue View Post
    another homebrewer here on the playground came up with a complete overhaul of 5e Necromancy that pretty seamlessly grafts onto your system. Iíve recently been using it as replacent for the Animate Dead of the undeath theme with some NPCs and it works amazingly. It balances out having a ďHoardĒ of Minions very well, and the format of your classes helps fix one of that brewers biggest issues (how to give Oathbreakers a cantrip). Likewise, his revamp of the school of Necromancy pretty seemlessly grafts onto your Mage, and goes for making raising undead easier rather than directly buffing pets, which seems more in line with with what your goal is. You may want to hit that homebrewer up and see if you can collaborate with him on the undead side of things, or at least adapt his content to your rules with permission and proper credit..as I have yet to find a better take on Necromancy that works within the goals and sensibilities of your system. Or not, your call in the end, but I felt those rules grafted onto yours really gave me a proper yet balanced feel of being a Necromancer, and therefore where at least worth mentioning to spur inspiration for your own necromancy rules, if nothing else. One change I did make to that brewers rules, however, is the undead health. Rather than make its HP twice the caster's, which I didn't like for making gishes better at it than actual fullcasters, I changed the HP value to 10 x twice the caster's level, to make it uniform across all casters.
    I will take a look at that. Necromancy/pets was one of the main reasons this project stalled for a while. Pets are a huge pain to balance.


    ============================

    I've made the following change to all full caster archetypes:

    Cantrips
    At 2nd level, you learn one additional cantrip.

    Ritual Casting
    At 2nd level, you can cast a spell from a theme you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.

    Focused Concentration
    Starting at 2nd level, if you fail a Fortitude saving throw to maintain your concentration on a spell from a theme you know, you can use your reaction to reroll the saving throw.

    Once you use this feature, you canít use it again until you finish a long rest.

    Quickened Cantrips
    Starting at 5th level, when you cast a spell using 1 mana, you can cast a cantrip as a bonus action.

    Starting at 11th level when you cast a spell using 3 or less mana, you can cast a cantrip as a bonus action.
    This should reduce the burst, moving it to 5th and 11th level where martials get their huge jumps in damage.
    However I can't update the PDF as my chrome chrases when trying to save 300+ pages. :(

  27. - Top - End - #297
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    smile Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    My DM very much enjoys the themes and overhaul of the system. I can't wait for updates- moving unthemed spells and adding more details to each class to fit in with the themes.

    My friend who is playing an earth monk did complain about how he has extra 'magical insights' for spells but can't use them since he can only pick from the Earth Theme.

    If it would help I could get a list of small complaints and touch-ups from the other players. We've already homebrewed a few things like still using a d20- but I'm happy to play test and help improve this homebrew. Probably my favorite I've seen just due to how it balances spellcasting and makes martials much more fun.

    Keep up the good work when you can! :)

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I looked at the necromancy stuff, but am not a fan. I like the concept of auto scaling, but the horde always being the same creatures instead of some archers and some melee and it being a cantrip just feels very very wrong. I'll have to invest some time in to balancing the pet spells at some point. I'm going to avoid it to not get caught up on it like I did last time.

    Preview of the web version:

    My goal is to get a version of this out so I can start using it as my official version as I can't update the PDF now that my browser can't handle 300+ pages. I'm getting closer.


    @Wherf
    Please do share any changes you make - its a possible indication that I haven't thought something through.

    If you have suggestions for how to handle Monk I'm open, though I think I want to limit them to either 1 or 2 themes. I only see one easy crossover in Flowing River being able to add Cold. The rest don't have a good mix except a few cases that force flavor such as Long Death and Necromancy.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Is the website version accessible to the public?

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Is the website version accessible to the public?
    Kryx has not yet finished the web version of his rules, and it might take some time for it to be something usable.

    Two recent comments of his on the progress of the web version:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Just FYI I wouldn't expect this soon. I really really want to deliver on this, but it keeps dragging along. I pick it up here and there, but feel so far from even migrating to the web setup, much less making improvements. I started a new job which is way more intense and I've been coding some at home for that so my desire for coding anything non-work related outside of work has plumetted. We'll see, but no promises.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Preview of the web version:
    Spoiler
    Show

    My goal is to get a version of this out so I can start using it as my official version as I can't update the PDF now that my browser can't handle 300+ pages. I'm getting closer.
    Last edited by Marcloure; 2018-09-25 at 06:56 PM.

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