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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.Gibson View Post
    Hopefully 2e fixes some of the wonky math in the game.
    How about if they don't, you do in SOP 2e if you ever make it.

    My confidence in Paizo is.....not very high.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fralex View Post
    A little condescending
    That pretty much sums up the Scowling Dragon experience.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drakhan View Post
    Q 61)

    What's a day in the life like? For everyone? I know there are a lot of devs on this at this point but how often do you interact with each other? What else is on your plate? And when did things go from 'cool idea' to 'this got real' for any devs that answer this question?
    I dunno how much you know about the industry, so I'm going to answer with all the information I could have really used when I started looking into doing this stuff. Hopefully you (or at least someone else reading this thread) will find it useful.

    The vast majority of writers in this industry, even people who write for companies like Paizo and WotC, are freelancers. We aren't technically employed by any publisher or company (though some have very strong ties to one or more publishers), we are contracted for one product at a time, and earn money based on what we write. Very few of us write full time. I, for example, work in a hospital emergency room and supplement that job with writing. I do have days dedicated just to writing though. So, here's how writing goes for me.

    First, I have to get a contract. There's a few ways to obtain one. Open calls, internal requests, networking, and pitches. Open calls are one of the easiest to get ahold of, since they're well, open. Sometimes a publisher throws a request out into the wild of the internet, saying "hey, I want this, can anyone deliver?" This is how I got started working with DDS: when Meyers wanted writers for sphere handbooks, he posted an open call on this forum, and I responded. If you've already worked with a publisher though, it gets easier. Most publishers use stuff like discord, slack (a more businessy discord), basecamp (a project organizer), or just to regularly talk to their freelancers and keep them apprised of new writing needs and opportunities. This is a good passive feed of work, and most of what I've written has come to me this way. Networking is the second cousin of internal requests, where you know a guy who knows a publishers, and they tell you that this publisher is looking for writers. I have a few writer focused forums and chat groups I stick in that keep me aware of work, and they fall in this category. Lastly... pitches. If you've got a cool idea, you can just throw it at publishers until it sticks. Or you can say "wow that publisher is cool," make something targeted at them and their needs, and throw it at them in the hopes of getting their attention. In the short term, this is one of the least successful ways of getting work... but it is a way to get your foot in the door somewhere new, and establish yourself with another publisher, which leads to getting more internal requests from that publisher.

    The actual writing process starts with brainstorming. And for me... brainstorming isn't something I just sit around doing, most of the time. Its a passive process. Basically, my brain is a slow cooker, and I'll throw a contract or seed of an idea in the back of my head while I go about the rest of my day, doing chores, working in the hospital, or whatever. This more relaxed method of brainstorming prevents me from getting locked up by pressure and stress, and allows me plenty of time to come up with good ideas to start with. But usually this process eventually segues into research. Once I have a start on my idea, I often need to refine it. If its mechanics, I'll look for precedent - how similar abilities have been built and phrased, where they might be flawed or if my idea is redundant. I'll also look into relevant topics for ideas and details, especially for fluffy pieces. I looked a bit into the properties and effects of light as well as light based technology when making the Illuminator's Handbook, for example.

    Once I've got a good grasp of what I'm writing, I chart out what I'm going to write if I haven't already been provided a template by my publisher. I cut the writing work into the section I consider necessary (like the different chapters of our sphere handbooks) and assign a rough word count to each. This last bit is important, because writers are normally given a range to hit in terms of word count, so it gives me an idea of how much I have to work with when writing the book. And then... I start filling it in. Sometimes I find I don't have enough ideas to complete a section, and I'll go back to brainstorming and researching. The different parts of the writing process tend to mix up and often happen simultaneously rather than being a clean step by step process.

    As for staying in contact, I have a lot of instant messaging and online connections with my publishers and other writers (whether I'm working with them or not). We keep in touch, especially when projects are happening.

    What's on my plate... quite a bit. The Warp Handbook has been sitting on the back burner for a while. I have an idea for another Apocrypha that I have about half done. I've been commissioned by an individual to write a custom race. I'm working on projects with Rite Publishing and Cobalt Sages Creations, and I'm looking to secure another pair of contracts with two new publishers.

    Q 62)

    What is the best part of having worked/working on this system? Again, open to any and all devs.
    My favorite thing about writing in general is that its an accomplishment I can keep looking to. There's a lot of work that is transient: its not yours, it gets messed up again, the traces of it vanish, that sort of thing. But a book? Once complete, its pretty much here to stay. So I bask in my work and plan to keep piling completed books atop each other until I have built a pyramid-monument to my success that will only stoke my insatiable ego further.

    Q 63)

    There was an idea that surfaced earlier in the thread about plans for expanding ideas for the sphere system and someone said "all it really needs is someone to take the reins". Is it that easy to get involved? If I have ideas and/or want to try and contribute something to this system, how would that be submitted?
    Becoming a freelance writer is probably easier than you'd imagine. If you know the system, have a decent grasp of English, and can assemble something resembling a work ethic, you can probably get started. My perspective on DDS is that there's more need for people handling editing and layout than writers at this point, but there's no harm in giving it a shot. Reach out to Meyers.
    If you'd just like to get into writing in general, keep an eye out for open calls and start looking at different publishers. Here are some handy links:
    Open Publisher List
    Third Party Open Call thread at Paizo
    Most publishers have a section on their site about submissions and pitches, so peer around websites of publishers you might be interested in.
    Also, Jolly's design server is great, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to get serious about writing.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Q 69 I find the Energy Focus drawback a little vague.
    Quote Originally Posted by Energy Focus
    You may only make a destructive blast of a single energy type. You may not gain any blast type talents, except with the bonus talent gained from this drawback.
    That means that I can only make, let's say, Fire Blasts (that I gained with this drawback)? But can I make a Blistering Blast, if I manage to get it somehow? And what about the base blast?

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by freduncio View Post
    Q 69 I find the Energy Focus drawback a little vague.
    That means that I can only make, let's say, Fire Blasts (that I gained with this drawback)? But can I make a Blistering Blast, if I manage to get it somehow? And what about the base blast?
    A69: The concept of blast type groups was introduced in the Destroyer's Handbook, so the text in the base book obviously doesn't take them into account. You can take blasts within the same blast type group when you have the energy focus drawback. Example: energy focus fire means you can take any blast type form the fire group (Blistering Blast, Fire Blast, Searing Blast) as the bonus talent and can select the other two normally later, but you couldn't take force blast or acid blast. Of course, this only applies if you are using the Destroyer's Handbook; in a base book only game you would just be locked into flame blast with energy focus (fire).

    You cannot use the base blast.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tariyan Draegr View Post
    Q68

    For the scholars martial study scholar knack, if the scholar were to take that for the brute sphere, would he gain the ability to use his class level for bab for unarmed attacks and the brute maneuvers, or just to shove? As an expansion on that question, if he were to take it for the barroom sphere, would he gain the effect on all improvised weapon attacks?
    He would gain it on any attack or maneuver granted by a talent, such as shove or Drop.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ssalarn View Post
    He would gain it on any attack or maneuver granted by a talent, such as shove or Drop.
    Big thankies

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Q70 Is Elementalist's different CL for Destruction temporary effect or constant one, for purpose of all CL-increasing effects?

    Say we got Elementalist 4 (so, CL 3, CL 4 for Destruction), non-caster 1, + trait that gives +2 CL "Up to HD". Does Elementalist apply before or after that, making total CL 5 or 6?

    Q71 Gestalt game (two levels of different classes at each lvl). One side is Elementalist 20 (so, 15 CL for other, 20 for destruction). Other is full caster. Does Elementalists effective +5 CL apply, or is CL still 20?

    []Q72[] Elementalist 4/Rogue 2 (with no SoP option taken)/Evangelist 10 (progressing Elementalist) with Advanced Magical training would end up with 6th level looking like this:
    >Evangelist 2 (Elementalist 5)
    >AMT gives Evangelist 2 +1 CL despite it being non-caster class
    >Elementalist 5 doesnt give +1 CL but it has +1 CL for destruction

    What's outcome?

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyekomimi View Post
    Q70 Is Elementalist's different CL for Destruction temporary effect or constant one, for purpose of all CL-increasing effects?

    Say we got Elementalist 4 (so, CL 3, CL 4 for Destruction), non-caster 1, + trait that gives +2 CL "Up to HD". Does Elementalist apply before or after that, making total CL 5 or 6?
    A70: An Elementalist 4/Non-caster 1 with a trait giving +2 CL up to HD will have a CL of 5.

    Q71 Gestalt game (two levels of different classes at each lvl). One side is Elementalist 20 (so, 15 CL for other, 20 for destruction). Other is full caster. Does Elementalists effective +5 CL apply, or is CL still 20?
    A71: Elementalist 20//Soul Weaver 20 (or any other high caster) will have a CL 20 in all spheres.

    Q72 Elementalist 4/Rogue 2 (with no SoP option taken)/Evangelist 10 (progressing Elementalist) with Advanced Magical training would end up with 6th level looking like this:
    >Evangelist 2 (Elementalist 5)
    >AMT gives Evangelist 2 +1 CL despite it being non-caster class
    >Elementalist 5 doesnt give +1 CL but it has +1 CL for destruction
    A72: I personally would rule an Elementalist 4/Rogue 2/Evangelist 10 w/ the Advanced Magical Training feat is essentially just an Elementalist 14/Rogue 2 w/ the Advanced Magical Training feat, and thus have a CL of 11 (or CL 15 w/ the Destruction sphere).

    My reasoning for this is that Aligned Class feature of the Evangelist says the following (emphasis mine)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aligned Class (Ex):
    Evangelists come from many different backgrounds, and they show an unusual range of diversity. At 2nd level, the evangelist must choose a class she belonged to before adding the prestige class to be her aligned class. She gains all the class features for this class, essentially adding every evangelist level beyond 1st to her aligned class to determine what class features she gains. She still retains the Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saving throw bonuses, and skill ranks of the prestige class, but gains all other class features of her aligned class as well as those of the evangelist prestige class.
    Since the Evangelist has "all class features for the class" she also possesses the Casting class feature and thus would not benefit from Advanced Magical Training.
    Last edited by Mehangel; 2018-07-11 at 04:50 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Q73 Can we take Spell Perfection (Advanced Player Guide) feat for sphere? Or single sphere-modifying version, say Destruction (Radiant blast) or Destruction (Explosive Orb)?

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Quote Originally Posted by A.J.Gibson View Post
    The real culprit is the wand crafting rules, and the insistence that cost be proportional to the square of level. 3.5 and PF both had the chance to fix this, but didn't. I'm just trying to make the playstyles people want to play viable. Hopefully 2e fixes some of the wonky math in the game.
    You haven't seen the latest preview on items yet. The gold increase is still wonky and you get a restriction on daily usages, because you have to use resonance. Honestly, some suggestions by players on how to fix this in the discussion thread seem to make much more sense than what Paizo provides. But if they truly listen to playtest results, then complaining about this mess might work still.
    Avatar made by Mehangel - "Neigh?"

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    You haven't seen the latest preview on items yet. The gold increase is still wonky and you get a restriction on daily usages, because you have to use resonance. Honestly, some suggestions by players on how to fix this in the discussion thread seem to make much more sense than what Paizo provides. But if they truly listen to playtest results, then complaining about this mess might work still.
    I've seen it. It's the same thing they did in 4e (one magic item per tier per day), 5e (maximum 3 attuned items) and 13th Age (maximum one item per tier or level or something...). The problem here is that they continue to have a system for turning any spell into an item (4e has a list of items and 5e and 13th Age don't even let you make items). Spells are often balanced against three things: their cost in knowing, their cost in actions, and their cost in spell slots. The cost in knowing and spell slots is the same for prepared casters, while knowing is much more expensive for spontaneous casters. For classes that can cast directly from their spell books (like Magus using Improved Spell Recall), cost of knowing disappears.

    Then we get items. An item removes the cost of knowing and the cost in spell slots, but not the cost in actions. So combat spells don't make good scrolls, because actions are their main cost. But spells that you use once in a blue moon are great in a scroll. Healing is also pretty bad in an item, because higher level healing is more action efficient, not more efficient in terms of spells, and you do most healing out of combat when it doesn't matter. However, healing is completely cumulative (so is damage, but you generally aren't interested in doing damage outside of combat), and can be a huge spell slot hog. So the only time healing is good in an item is if you can mitigate the spell slot cost - or make it dirt cheap, like a wand of CLW does.

    The solution is to not have a formulaic system for items. Spells have different values as items, don't try to treat them as the same. Instead, introduce items that can duplicate spell effects for commonly used items, and add limitations if necessary. The healing potion maybe can't bring you above half max hp, for example. Or maybe keep scrolls/potions around but make them more expensive, so they are only useful for spells you don't want to use very often. Anything with a high cost of knowing would still make a useful scroll.

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Q74 can the Antiquarian use casting traditions or drawbacks?

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    Q75: Uh... should I just repost my question? I'm afraid it's a bit buried by now and it hasn't seen an answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Necrikus View Post
    Q4: What are, if any, the limitations on the fleshcraft and bestow life advanced talents (especially the combination of the two)? Also, how do you determine the body/life bestowed creature's ability scores?

    From what I can tell, the only explicit limitations of fleshcraft (in the case of creating a body) is that if you want it to look like someone specific, you must make a disguise check, and the only implicit limitation is your size limit for creation effects. As for bestow life (in the case of granting life to an empty body), the only explicit limitation is that the created creature is a "1st level commoner of whatever race its body was crafted to mimic."

    It seems a bit questionable to think that someone could make the body of any monster whose size is in the caster's creation range, which could then be reanimated into a incredibly powerful undead, or given life through bestow life and be made the caster's friend. Likewise, it seems odd that bestow life doesn't seem to have an explicit HD cap the way reanimate has, or the CL to HD scaling that animate object has. Yes, it says it makes a 1st level commoner, but that's just a single class level that takes no account for racial hit dice. It feels like these uses of these talents are unusually open ended compared to how other advanced talents are designed.

    Likewise, it isn't clear how ability scores are to be determined for the fleshcrafted body/life bestowed creature. At least bestow life's "awaken" function clearly states a straighforward 3d6 for mental scores, which could be extrapolated to the "grant life" function, but fleshcrafting a permanent body is quiet on this point.

    So any clarification, rules declaration, the pointing out of something I missed or a previous ruling, or any combination of those would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by Necrikus; 2018-07-15 at 03:43 PM.

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    Q76 Would admixtured Radiant/Chilling blast that utilizes feat that changes save from reflex to fortitude affect undead, since Radiant's effect affects undead despite being fort based, or rather be fully ignored by undead?

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    Q77 Apologies if this has already been asked, but can a Technician with Mechanical Insight set their detonators to explode after, say, 1 second with the Timed mode, thereby making them explode on their turn? Just confirming how it works. Thanks, Aipaca

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    Maybe a very trivial question, but I have to figure this out...

    Q79 In the Lancer Sphere, when it talks about what happens when the impalement status is lost they 'take bleed damage equal to the damage dice of the weapon used to impale the creature.' My question is this: Assuming the weapon is 2d6+6, does this mean they take 2 Bleed (since 2d6?) Or 2d6?
    Last edited by Kullervo; 2018-07-15 at 04:56 PM.

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    Q78 Do the Amateur X secrets of the Hedgewitch give access to Grand Secrets at the appropriate level?

    I've asked this before, trying to get the original author of the class to clarify the intention, but failing that, any consensus from the devs would be much appreciated.

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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    Maybe a very trivial question, but I have to figure this out...

    Q79 In the Lancer Sphere, when it talks about what happens when the impalement status is lost they 'take bleed damage equal to the damage dice of the weapon used to impale the creature.' My question is this: Assuming the weapon is 2d6+6, does this mean they take 2 Bleed (since 2d6?) Or 2d6?
    A79: It's considered to be the latter, the weapon's damage die, so 2d6 in the example that you've given.
    Last edited by N. Jolly; 2018-07-15 at 07:20 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Holy crap. Well... I guess thats one of my players going down - they were just fighting a boss who impaled one. Then:

    Q80 Once the 2d6 from stopping being impaled has resolved, do they have a 'Bleed' tic on them, then? As in, do they continue bleeding?

    Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kullervo View Post
    Holy crap. Well... I guess thats one of my players going down - they were just fighting a boss who impaled one. Then:

    Q80 Once the 2d6 from stopping being impaled has resolved, do they have a 'Bleed' tic on them, then? As in, do they continue bleeding?

    Thank you!
    A80: Yes, they stay bleeding until they remove it in the normal ways of removing bleed.

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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Q81: Does the Brutal Strike granted by Bloody Counter count as an attack action for the purposes of feats such as Vital Strike and other spheres abilities? The wording is unclear, since Brutal Strikes are normally a special attack action.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Q82: Can you suggest a way to get the Warlords's 2nd level Tactical Presence (indomitable) ability with Spheres of Might? Possibly using already written material, or suggesting the best way to homebrew that in (possibly as a Warleader Tactic?).


    We are in the process of converting a campaign from Path of War to Spheres of Might, and this has been one of a character's signature abilities - would be a shame if it got lost in the transition.
    Last edited by DrMartin; 2018-07-16 at 12:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Mairn View Post
    Q81: Does the Brutal Strike granted by Bloody Counter count as an attack action for the purposes of feats such as Vital Strike and other spheres abilities? The wording is unclear, since Brutal Strikes are normally a special attack action.
    A81: Unless anyone else on the team states otherwise, I am going to say that it is not treated as an attack action.

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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    81..: The text of Bloody Counter specifically refers to the Brutal Strike it grants as an attack action (the last sentence says) 'If the creature attacking you is battered, you may resolve your attack action prior to their attack being resolved.' where attack action refers to your brutal strike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lirya View Post
    81..: The text of Bloody Counter specifically refers to the Brutal Strike it grants as an attack action (the last sentence says) 'If the creature attacking you is battered, you may resolve your attack action prior to their attack being resolved.' where attack action refers to your brutal strike.
    Fair point, I'm bringing it up with the others as I'm not sure that was the intention. I may have been wrong, and hopefully we can get this clarified.

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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    so what book do you guys think will be next in the spheres handbook series? I've bought almost every one so far barring the newest Abjurer's Handbook and The Auspician's Handbook so i'm curious which one will be next to end up in my collection

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slavezero View Post
    so what book do you guys think will be next in the spheres handbook series? I've bought almost every one so far barring the newest Abjurer's Handbook and The Auspician's Handbook so i'm curious which one will be next to end up in my collection
    I believe the Trickster's Handbook (illusion sphere handbook) will be next in the line up.

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    Questions about the Lattice Weaver incanter specialization's bullrush abilities:
    Q87: Does the incanter's size limitation on bullrushes apply?
    Q88: Do any abilities or items the incanter have affect the barrier wall's bullrush checks? (e.g. improved bullrush, gauntlets of the skilled manuever, or dipping into the brute sphere via feats.)
    Q89: If the wall fails at its bullrush check, does it stop moving altogether or move around the target? What about in cases where the wall is bullrushing multiple targets and succeeds on one but not the other?
    Q90: Rather than moving the barrier 20 ft., would it be possible to instead shrink a cube barrier by 5 ft. on a side? It's not allowed by RAW, but it's a fun idea so I figured I'd ask.

    Quite like the specialization on the whole; it's a fun, unique ability.

    Edit: Corrected question numbers
    Last edited by ICN; 2018-07-17 at 08:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Sorry for the double post. Saw a couple questions I could answer when traversing the backlog.

    Quote Originally Posted by netmancer View Post
    Q33: Can you see in your own darkness from the Dark sphere, or do you still have to have darkvision already?

    Q34:
    The Hypnotic Darkness feat is stated as followed:
    Spoiler: Hypnotic Darkness
    Show

    Prerequisites: Dark sphere, Mind sphere, Looming Darkness. Benefit: Those within your darkness are particularly vulnerable to your charms and suggestions. Your areas of darkness and blot are always treated as if imbued with Looming Darkness when you use the Confusion, Fascinate, Fear, or Sleep Mind talents.


    I don't understand this at all, I'm afraid. Does this mean that your darkness becomes looming when you use one of these Mind talents, and your darkness has to have already been sustained? Or do you create both effects at the same time?
    A33: You cannot see in your own darkness without darkvision.

    A34: Basically, whenever you use one of the listed mind sphere abilities on a creature in your darkness, they take the penalty of Looming Darkness automatically, even if you didn't create the darkness with that talent.

    An example: Bob the spooky dark caster casts a darkness effect on round 1 as a standard action, applying any darkness talent he'd like, such as Hungry Darkness. On round 2, with his standard action, Bob casts the Fear mind talent on John, who is in Bob's darkness. Therefore, John takes the Looming Darkness penalty to his save against Bob's Fear talent. Does that help?

    Quote Originally Posted by viperwolf306 View Post
    Q59: Is an Armorist allowed to use the Blast Vessel encantment?
    A59: Only if they have the Destructive Weapons Arsenal Trick.
    Last edited by ICN; 2018-07-17 at 11:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Drop Dead Studios Ask Me Anything #3

    Q 91:
    The Lich Oracle Curses grants (obviously death themed) bonus spells at some levels but not others. How would one make use of this on a Spheres Oracle? Same for any curse that grants bonus spells at some levels really.
    If you see me talking about Shaper Psions, assume that anything not poison immune within 100 feet will be dead.
    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    I was going to PM you about it because I wanted to know, but then you posted it later. Elegant solution. Watch out for Necropolitans.
    My Homebrew Signature such as it is.

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