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    Default [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest


    For the past year and a half, Forrestfire Studios has been working on an ongoing project and playtest: the avowed. This project began as a sort of side project, but over time, has grown and been subject to revisions, reworks, and shifts of design goals. It’s been a long, fun journey, so with that in mind, if you’re already familiar with the avowed, I recommend skipping to the second post. We've made a new thread because the original thread is months since the last update, and at this point, we worry about both thread necromancy and old information causing confusion.

    In any case, hi! I’m Erin Heck (Forrestfire online), and my co-author is Katia Oakes (Taveena online). You might be familiar with other stuff that we’ve worked on (a lot of things for Dreamscarred Press), or this might be your first time seeing our work! Regardless, welcome, and I hope you enjoy the ride.

    So what is the avowed? All told, I’d say it’s something scattered between…

    • A class inspired by the warlock from D&D, with a playstyle based around having a series of at-will abilities, rather than rationing spell slots. Like a martial class, the main “attrition” mechanic on the avowed is hit points, and the class is written around existing within the main Pathfinder framework, alongside classes such as the bard, inquisitor, magus, and occultist.
    • A love letter to the warlocks of every edition, along with an expansion of psychic magic's themes and fluff.
    • A highly variable class built with the goal of supporting any given mechanical role—thanks to how their pact and shape options function, an avowed character can be built as any party role (but, importantly, not as every role at once). This freedom allows you to take your concept and run with it, without worrying about stepping on the toes of others, even other avowed.
    • A new subsystem that can be expanded through archetypes, prestige classes, and variant rules.

    The class and its subsystem can be found in the following two documents:


    Originally, the avowed playtest was done through a PDF uploaded to Google Drive. We eventually realized that this, while pretty, was terrible for logistics. For the rest of the Avowed: Promises of Power playtest, we’ll be using these two Google Docs.

    You can also find, in this Google Drive folder, all of Forrestfire Studios' currently-public playtests and any free PDFs or files we've uploaded for people to use. The links to each of the files in the folder will remain the same for as long as the file exists, thanks to being able to just upload new versions.

    If you have any feedback, feel free to drop it in the thread or through private messages. This project has been a long time in the writing. We hope you enjoy!
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2018-07-16 at 12:28 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Start here if you’re coming from an older avowed version.

    This latest update is bringing a lot of changes to the avowed. In the past few months, we’ve done a fair bit of restructuring, going back over our documents from the beginning and taking a look at what’s changed, design philosophy-wise, since the start of the playtest.

    For a discussion on what overall is changing and why, go to the first spoiler tag. The full changelog is in the second spoiler. The third has some notes about the Tinker archetype and Avowed 2: Heart & Soul, which are not presently included in this rework.

    Spoiler: Design Talk
    Show
    The avowed is receiving some significant structural changes in this update, aimed at bringing the class in line more with the 6-level spellcasters (magus, inquisitor, occultist, hunter, and the like). We’re moving to balancing more strongly against them compared to our original design, which was somewhere vaguely between 6-level mages and full spellcasters.

    In the previous versions of the avowed, the name of the game was efficiency. The class—and its associated options—just did so much more than what similar classes could pull off, given some amount of resources (levels, feats, money, etc). With that in mind, we’ve made major changes to a couple core areas: save DC scaling, pulse shapes, and general quality-of-life abilities unique to the avowed.

    Save DCs
    Presently, the avowed’s save DCs scale up quite fast. 10 + 1/2 level + Cha mod means that their debuffs are matching spontaneous full casters in speeds, and far outstripping the DCs of the 6-level spellcasters that were our supposed balance goal. Given that not only are their debuffs quite good (in some cases, comparable enough to what you could get on a full caster), but they also get them at-will, this was a problem, if the avowed was to be compared to 6-level or even 9-level casters. While most at-will abilities are largely similar in usage to, say, a spell that can be used 4-5 times per day (thanks to encounter guidelines), at-will powerful debuffs are a bit different. Being able to be at “full blast” in each round of each encounter adds up to more power than we wanted the avowed to have, especially when considering their efficiency of actions.

    So! The avowed’s save DC scaling is changing, as follows:

    • Clauses (including modulation clauses) now have a base save DC of 10 + 1/4 level + Cha mod.
    • The Reflex save DCs for shapes themselves will remain at 10 + 1/2 level + Cha mod. These saves are equivalent to a “to-hit” roll for an area effect instead of the save for the rider debuff, and as such will remain more reliable than other saves.
    • Likewise, pact abilities that prompt saving throws will also have a save DC of 10 + 1/2 level + Cha mod.
    • The avowed can no longer take Ability Focus for its abilities. Instead, we’ve created a series of feats that can be taken by avowed who wish to focus on debuffing.

    The full feats can be found in the feats section, but here’s a tl;dr on them. Basically, these are meant to mirror the options available to spellcasters for boosting save DCs.

    Mirroring Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus, we’ve got these, choosing a series of clauses instead of a school of magic.

    • Clause Focus: Add +1 to the save DCs of one clause you know of each grade you have access to.
    • Greater Clause Focus: Add another +1 to the bonus from Clause Focus.

    At higher levels, the avowed will also have access to the following feats, which amp up their less powerful abilities, along with boosting their ability to beat SR.

    • Clause Expert: +1 to the save DCs of least clauses, +2 on CL checks to overcome spell resistance. Requires access to greater clauses.
    • Greater Clause Expert: Further +1 to the save DCs of least clauses, +1 to the save DCs of lesser clauses, further +2 on CL checks to overcome spell resistance. Requires access to final clauses.

    Finally, these two feats mirror Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus, applying a boost to the “to-hit” roll of area shapes.

    • Shape Focus: Choose two shapes you know. +1 to attack rolls and to the save DCs of those shapes. Counts as Weapon Focus for prerequisites.
    • Greater Shape Focus: Add another +1 to the bonuses from Shape Focus. Counts as Greater Weapon Focus for prerequisites.

    The reason we chose these particular numbers is for similarity in scaling to 6-level casters. The base DC for an avowed scales from 10 to 14 over the first 16 levels of play. For a 6-level spellcaster, it scales from 11 to 16, hitting 16 at level 16 when 6th-level spells come online. However, a 6-level spellcaster’s spells are not at-will.

    A bard who gains access to 6th-level spells will likely have 2 or 3 per day when they first get them. He will be able to use them in about half the expected fights of an adventuring day, before having to rely on his lower-level spells. An avowed only has a single final clause at that point, but can use it in every round of the expected four fights. If their base save DCs were even, then the avowed would be very far ahead in the debuffing department. Thus, the avowed’s base save DCs (and success chances) are slightly lower, to make up for their ability to continually spam their strongest options.

    The two feats that come online at higher levels, Clause Expert and Clause Mastery, allow the avowed to match the 6-level spellcaster’s highest-level slots in save DCs, but this is limited to weaker clauses than their strongest options, much like a bard will have to fall back on lower-level spells if they wish to continue to cast in combat.

    Shape Revisions
    Another area where the avowed’s class features gave them more than was really ideal is the aether pulse. Much like how a hunter brings both spells and an animal companion/full attack routine to the table, or how a bard brings inspire courage and other party buffs on top of their spells, the avowed’s aether pulse is meant to work alongside their shapes, giving the avowed a sustainable, strong primary combat option. But, sadly, we ended up giving them too much power. Rather than giving the avowed a baseline to work with, several types of pulse shapes elevated the avowed to the competence level of a specialist natively, without the heavy investment that said specialist would normally require.

    Weapon Shapes
    Something we’ve wanted to include in the weapon shapes is a heavy amount of “quality of life” abilities. Enhancement bonuses (at first imitating a greater magic weapon spell, but later buffed), access to haste without a spellcaster, and the like were included with the mindset of letting the avowed and their party spend fewer resources on what, at the time, we figured were buffs that were common enough to just assume.

    As it turns out, this was a very incorrect assumption. A weapon shape’s haste, beforehand, came online at level 4 (if you invested fully in the shape), and lasted all day. A spellcaster’s haste comes online at level 5-6, and is class-specific. In parties without a wizard or sorcerer, the party isn’t getting haste, but the avowed is (putting them pretty far ahead, thanks to the extra attack). In parties without any full casters at all—not particularly uncommon, especially in 3pp-using tables—the party is probably not getting the spell at all, but the avowed still is. The same goes for greater magic weapon. High-op tables may have characters who buy 3rd-level pearls of power to fuel their wizard’s spell slots and get them a free enhancement bonus (letting them load their weapon up with special abilities instead), but that’s less common than we expected at the start.

    So! Moving forward, we’re adjusting weapon shapes. As you might suspect, the free enhancement bonuses and hasted attacks are going away. To replace them, we’ve added in a set of abilities meant to help enable an avowed in their chosen combat style, melee or ranged.

    For the melee weapon shapes (aether blade, aether channel, and aether rampage), the 2nd and 3rd ranks of their progressions has been replaced with the following:

    • Rank II: The shape will give you 10-foot reach (while still letting you attack adjacent enemies).
    • Rank III: Enemies that move out of your threatened squares provoke attacks of opportunity, even if they’re using the Withdraw action or tumbling or whatnot.

    Melee characters don’t function well if they can’t get into melee or stay in melee. The reach and AoO synergy here is to allow the character to, in a way, present enemies with multiple bad decisions. After the avowed has moved into melee, the enemy can stay and attack back (leaving themselves vulnerable to a full attack in return), or they can move out, and get stabbed from behind while they do so. Instead of just giving outright numbers boosts, these abilities should help an avowed with the playstyle of a melee character, while still requiring them to invest in being a melee specialist like everyone else (through feats, magic weapons, ability scores, and the like).

    For ranged weapon shapes (aether bolt and aether rounds; we’ve removed barrage for the time being and folded its mechanical concept into the new shape), we did something a bit different. Ranged characters largely do not have trouble getting a chance to full attack. That’s their whole point; they attack from range. However, enemies that get into melee with them can screw them over, and they don’t really have the same sort of minor versatility that melee characters can get by investing in combat maneuvers. So, for aether bolt and aether rounds, we’ve added the following:

    • Rank II: When you full attack with the shape, you get an extra 5-foot step.
    • Rank III: You can make ranged combat maneuvers with the shape.
    • Rank IV: The shape’s range increases.

    The goal of these changes are to give ranged characters some more to do and more build paths to follow, and a bit more reliability (though not quite as much as melee got, because ranged is already incredible reliable). Like with melee, they’re going to now need to invest as much money into ranged combat as another class in order to specialize in it, but this should provide a strong foundation for a ranged avowed to build on.

    There’s one more change to weapon shapes that I haven’t mentioned yet. Specifically, for channel and rounds, we’re doing away with the somewhat fiddly “replace your damage until level 4, then add damage” effect. With this update, these two shapes will instead simply be dealing 1d6 points of damage per odd-numbered caster level to attacks with one weapon, as an independent instance of damage. When revisiting the math after removing the previous numbers boosts, we found that the early damage should probably be fine; comparable to what, say, a barbarian or rogue gets, albeit more limited in its own ways. Two-weapon fighting for shapes is also no longer stock on the weapon shapes—the Aether Duelist feat has been adjusted to enable TWF for all shapes (and still function as TWF, just in an avowed-specific way).

    As a final note for this section, the basic shapes are going away; they’re pretty redundant with the reworked weapon shapes, so we’ve folded them into aether blade and aether bolt.

    Area Shapes
    The changes we’re making to area shapes are much simpler than those for weapon shapes. In previous versions, the avowed’s area-of-effect aether pulses scaled up to 3d6 points of damage per 2 caster levels (or, 30d6 at CL 20). That’s equivalent to, say, a wizard casting an Empowered fireball... at-will, and before the avowed adds in their own Empower Spell-Like Ability/Balefire Infusion/other damage boost. We’re removing the third tier of scaling; area shapes will be capped at 1d6/level, and the avowed can take feats to boost it past that like everyone else.

    We’ve also made some adjustments to the [i]aether blast[i] shape, now named aether burst so we could use “blast” as a general descriptor for these shapes. The fourth rank outright giving you a second AoE made it significantly stronger than the other area shapes, and so we’ve replaced that rank with the ability to deal increased damage to a single creature at the center of the AoE. Aether wrath, whose fourth rank was actually completely redundant (oops), has also received this ability swap.

    Flight
    Like with weapon shapes, the avowed’s access to always-up flight comes online a bit earlier, and a bit more strongly, than most other classes can access it. As such, we’re changing take flight from a lesser clause to a greater, and the ascension class feature now comes online at level 15. Other avenues of flight, most notably the dragon’s teeth clause for flying zombies, are also being adjusted to occur at slightly higher levels.

    Chameleon Clauses
    The tune-down in power for the chameleon clause line is a bit of a different situation than the other changes. We’ve found that the clauses simply give far more more utility than other clauses of the same grade, so we’re bumping each of them up a grade. Chameleon clause I is moving to greater, and chameleon clause II to final. The third version of it is removed for the time being.

    New Stuff!
    With all of that said, I’d also like to go over some of the major new things in this patch. To start with, we’re introducing some new magic items: the promise shard, which can grant an avowed the use of a least clause, and the pulseshaper’s rod, which grants access to a shape stored within it. With the rest of the update, we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on wanting the avowed to spend money on power like other classes do. These new items are to help give the avowed things to actually buy other than an orange ioun stone and magical stat increases.

    In addition, we’ve adjusted the Celestial pact a bit, making its defensive rune much cleaner in use. Rather than granting a reactive heal over time, we’ve moved the healing up some levels and made it an instant return of hit points. In its place, we’re introducing a new condition: taunted.

    The taunted condition works a bit differently from other conditions. Despite the name, this isn’t quite a hard taunt like you might see in videogames; instead, the mechanic helps a Celestial-pact avowed tank via soft aggro. A taunted creature has a miss chance on its attacks against creatures other than the taunter, effectively giving them a choice between two bad options. They could attack the taunter (who, as a tanky character, can probably take it better than the squishy mages and whatnot), or they could attack someone else, and risk the taunt causing them to miss.

    Hopefully this should give the Celestial avowed a more interesting tanking playstyle moving forward, and we’d love to hear your feedback on the mechanic in general.

    Spoiler: Full Changelog
    Show
    Avowed
    • The shapes and aether pulse class features have been merged, as all pulses are now shaped.
    • Ascension has been moved to level 15, as the intention of the class feature is to allow Avowed to not feel pressured to spend other resources on Flight unless they wish to gain it before it’s necessary. At 15, it’s super necessary.
    • Clauses of lower grades can now be taken in place of gaining a new clause of the highest level available. When replacing a clause as part of levelling up, clauses can be replaced with any clause that would have been a valid selection at the level you took the clause you are replacing.
    • Avowed now gain any 2 shapes of their choice at 1st level, and do not gain a bonus basic shape (as basic shapes have been removed; see below.)
    • Arcane Strike, Dirty Fighting, and Combat Expertise have been added to the list of Avowed bonus feats.

    Pacts
    • The introductory fluff section on pacts has been rewritten to clarify the steps necessary to make a pact, and the source of the avowed’s powers. The “Making Pacts” section has been removed, though it will return as part of the section on fluff we’ll do. Eventually.
    • Celestial Pact’s Martydom benefit now explicitly applies to temporary hit points lost.
    • The Celestial Pact’s rune of penance now applies the new Taunted condition, causing a 20% miss chance to hit creatures other than the one that applied the Taunted condition. Also, consecrate.
    • The Celestial Pact’s reactive healing has been moved to a function of its immediate-action 8th level pact empowerment, Rune of Detention.
    • The Fey Pact attunement now uses your Avowed level in place of your base attack bonus, and allows you to force the enemy to make a Will save instead of attacking them - so save-focused Avowed are less hecked.
    • The Old One Pact’s attunement has been changed into an immediate-action clause healing you for the full amount immediately, but can no longer be voluntarily dismissed and instead lasts until the end of your next turn.
    • The Otyugh Pact has been removed from Avowed: Promises of Power, as it was in serious need of revision (Pathfinder diseases are kind of nuts, it turns out). The revised version will return in Avowed: Heart and Soul, and the deprecated pact can be found here. We’ll miss you, trash friends.
    • Pact clauses now have grades to allow for interactions with effects based on clause grades. They still cannot be gained through methods other than the pact class feature.

    Clauses and Shapes
    • The DCs of clauses (though not shapes) has been heavily reworked. Unlike most spellcasters, the avowed was not limited in their use of higher-level abilities by fewer spell slots. As their abilities were meant to be roughly equal to the power of 6-level spellcasters like the Bard and the Inquisitor, we opted to bring them into line by lowering the DCs universally to 10+1/4 levels. The Clause Expert and Clause Mastery feats have been added to increase the DCs of the Avowed’s lower level clauses. With these, we hope to see more powerful clauses being used when players are willing to deal with a higher chance of failure, while lower level clauses are the most reliable, allowing for all effects to have uses at all levels - and similarly, their ability to affect opponents should now be more in-line with 6-level spellcasters.
    • Successful saving throws against shapes which have their damaged halved on a successful save now also negate the modulation’s effects other than damage type changes.
    • Weapon shapes can now be used to perform a combat maneuver! Like actual weapons. And they still apply the modulation! Not the damage, though.
    • Area shapes no longer increase to 3d6 damage per 2 levels.
    • Shape selections can now be exchanged upon levelup.
    • The Blast tag has been added to instantaneous save-halves shapes to make further interactions (such as feats) have an easy whitelist to reference.
    • Aether barrage has been renamed aether bolts and rewritten, as it was not fulfilling the fantasy of an onslaught of near-instantaneous attacks. Aether bolts fills the niche of the Avowed’s iterative ranged touch attack shape. All ranks of the shape have been reworked. It no longer grants haste or an enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls, but adds a strength bonus to damage dependant on how many hands you use to make it comparable to thrown weapons and composite bows. The second rank now allows small movement before a full attack, the third allows you to make ranged combat maneuvers (with a scaling bonus to compensate for the lack of enhancement bonuses), and the fourth significantly increases its range.
    • Aether blade’s third selection has changed to no longer be a damage or accuracy increase, now causing enemies to provoke attacks of opportunity from you even when using movement that would normally cause them not to and grants you a bonus on CMB checks made with the weapon.
    • Aether blast has been renamed aether burst, because we tried for, like, four months and couldn’t think of a name for the tag other than ‘blast’.
    • Aether blast and aether wrath’s fourth selection have been changed; they now both deal additional damage to one creature adjacent to the origin intersection of the effect.
    • Aether cascade now arcs once plus once per 4 levels, rather than once per caster level, as its ability to affect an entire encounter regardless of positioning had rendered other multi-target shapes redundant.
    • Aether command has been removed from Avowed: Promises of Power due to lazylording being hard to balance in Pathfinder. It’s going to be redone and will return in Avowed: Heart and Soul, but the old version can be found here.
    • Aether channel has been rewritten, and no longer grants haste or increases enhancement bonuses. It now causes a separate instance of damage when an attack with the weapon hits. Further, its third selection now causes enemies to provoke attacks of opportunity from you even when using movement that would normally cause them not to.
    • Aether grasp’s numerical bonuses on and against grapple checks have been reduced, and no longer stack with Improved Grapple.
    • Aether rampage’s damage has been reduced (to compensate for the fact that it gets TWF-level attacks without penalties) and its second and third rank no longer increases enhancement bonuses or grant the rend ability. Its second rank now increases its reach, and its third rank now causes enemies to provoke attacks of opportunity from you even when using movement that would normally cause them not to.
    • Aether rounds causes a separate instance of damage when an attack with the weapon hits, in the same way as aether channel. Its second and third ranks are identical to aether bolt’s, and its fourth rank increases both the length of your weapon’s range increments and the maximum number of increments within which you can make any attacks.
    • Aether wrath’s range is now determined purely based on horizontal distance to the center of the cylinder (seriously, you wanted us to do trigonometry for every cylinder effect? What.)
    • Basic shapes (aether blow and aether ray) have been removed, as basic shapes were redundant and needlessly complicated. The Aether Skirmisher feat has been reworked to allow for the same skirmisher playstyle with any weapon shape. Avowed no longer gain a basic shape at 1st level, instead only choosing 2 different shapes.
    • Binding disagreement can now be used without an escape clause, simply applying the effects of bestow curse.
    • Bewitch and create friendship now suffer a cumulative penalty to affect enemies recently targeted by the avowed with each effect, as the avowed was effectively able to use these abilities on a single creature until they failed. This caused the avowed to vastly overpower 6-level casters attempting to use 6th level effects.
    • Hitting a target already under the effect of caustic pulse with another instance of the modulation increases the ongoing damage slightly.
    • Chameleon clause I and II have been changed to Greater and Final clauses respectively, as they proved overwhelmingly powerful for non-combat encounters in their current grades, given the equivilent effect in third edition required giving up several levels of spellcasting progression. Chameleon clause III has been removed.
    • Cover of darkness renamed solid smoke to make it clear it’s not an illusion or [darkness] effect.
    • Deafening pulse, abrasive pulse, and frostbite pulse now apply stronger penalties with each hit.
    • Dragon’s teeth now can only be used to emulate animate dead at caster level 11 or higher. Further, husks lose all fly speeds unless created by a caster of 11 or higher.
    • Frightning pulse renamed to unnerving pulse, as it does not apply the frightened condition.
    • Lifeleech pulse has been renamed steeling pulse for clarity’s sake, as it does not actually restore life and also we love terrible puns. It now stacks with multiple hits.
    • Personal gravity has been renamed I go where I please and had its fluff rewritten, due to complications that emerged from unintended interactions with gravitational effects in Pathfinder.
    • Sightseer has been split into two new clauses with added effects: unveil, which grants see invisibility and allows you to dispel glamers on targets you hit, and night watch, which gives you and all allies the ability to see in darkness.
    • Shadow strands is now partially negated by abilities that allow the user to see through magical darkness.
    • Switcheroo now allows you to teleport even if the target succeeds on their saving throw.
    • Take flight has been changed to a Greater clause, as at-will flight proved to be overwhelmingly powerful against standard encounters at 6th level. We’re aware of Hunter and Druids getting flying mounts at 1st. The point stands.
    • Unbind spell now suffers a stacking penalty on dispel checks for 24 hours, in order to prevent avowed from simply brute-forcing magical encounters in a way other casters were unable to due to limited spell slots.
    • The feat descriptor has been added to shapes gained through feats to clarify that they cannot be chosen through the shapes class feature.

    Character Options
    • The Feats and Character Options chapters have been merged.
    • The Avowed feat tag has been added to allow for further expansions to the Avowed bonus feat list.
    • Ability Focus applying to all clauses proved to be overwhelmingly powerful when compared to other spellcasters, who had to choose which school to apply it to. Its interaction with the Avowed has been removed. The Clause Focus and Greater Clause feats have been added, which increase the DC of one clause per grade and can be taken multiple times.
    • Aether Duelist has been rewritten to function much more clearly, and with all weapon shapes that allow iterative attacks.
    • Aether Skirmish feat removed, then added again and reworked to be more coherent. Improved Aether Skirmish added.
    • The Clause Expert and Clause Mastery feats have been added for the above-mentioned reasons involving save DCs.
    • Alter Spell-Like Ability, a new meta-SLA feat which allows you to change the saving throw a given SLA targets, has been added to help the Avowed target multiple defenses (due to their relatively limited choice of spells in comparison to other casters with similar DCs).
    • Heighten Spell-Like Ability, a new meta-SLA feat which increases DCs, has been added.
    • Lingering Pulse now functions for all shapes with the Blast descriptor.
    • Merciful Pulse has been renamed Merciful Pact now boosts your social skills, instead of making you actually BETTER at combat. It still lets you nonlethally blast people, though.
    • Mystic Reflexes has been split into two feats; Mystic Reflexes, which allows you to make AoOs while flat footed and adds your Charisma modifier to the number of AoOs you may make per turn, and Opportunistic Blast, which grants you a new shape usable exclusively for AoOs and causes you to always be treated as threatening adjacent squares so long as you’re capable of using spell-like abilities. This both lessens the disparity between Dexterity-based and Strength- or Charisma-primary Avowed, that between Avowed and other AoO-based builds, and causes Charisma-based Avowed with a melee weapon shape to no longer gain a redundant effect.
    • Quicken Spell-Like Ability now functions with all shapes, and can even be used with weaponlike shapes to make a full attack as a swift action. However, such shapes now suffer a -4 penalty on attack rolls and, saving throw DCs, and can only be used with the Avowed’s least clauses at level 11 and lesser clauses at level 16. This is to compensate for the similar 4 level penalty another caster would suffer for using a Quickened spell slot, and the lack of slots of high enough level to quicken their higher-level effects.
    • The Shape Focus and Greater Shape Focus feats have been added in order to standardize feats that grant accuracy bonuses, increasing the attack roll or save DC of two shapes the Avowed knows (though not applied modulations). Avowed can still take Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Focus for manufactured weapons.
    • Relentless Frenzy and Rampaging Frenzy have been moved to Avowed: Promises of Power from Avowed: Heart and Soul, as they are effectively necessary for aether rampage to compete with other full attackers.
    • The Spirited Swordsmanship feat makes a triumphant return, though it does not allow a user to add their Charisma modifier to damage rolls and only functions on weapon shapes that are made against an enemy gaining their armor bonus to AC. This allows builds targeting normal AC with weapon shapes the opportunity to have higher DCs than they normally would at the cost of some damage, for players who wish to play a debuff or support role but have a concept involving a physical weapon. Or claws.
    • Two new universal drawbacks added available to all characters: the vow drawback, which binds you to a code of conduct imposed by a powerful patron (like, say, an angel who doesn’t want you murdering innocents), and the servitude drawback, which allows a patron to demand favors from you occasionally (like the fiend who demands you occasionally aid his cults).
    • Balefire Infusion has been slightly rewritten for more inclusive fluff.
    • Two new magic items have been added: the Promise Shard, which grants a single least clause known, and the Pulseshaper’s Rod, which grants you a number of ranks in a shape chosen by the creator.

    Tinker
    • The Tinker archetype has been removed from Avowed: Promises of Power, as it was proving difficult to balance. It will return later, though for characters already playing one or who wish to play with it regardless, it can be found here. However, the old version will no longer be supported.

    Spoiler: Tinker, Otyugh, Command, A2, Later Projects
    Show
    There’s a couple things in Avowed 1 that we don’t feel are in a good state, as currently-designed. Aether command, otyugh pact, and the entire tinker archetype are going to be getting ground-up reworks, but for now, our focus has been on getting the rest of A1 ready for eyes again. Similarly, a lot of material from Avowed: Heart and Soul is being reworked internally (on top of any updates to make it consistent with the new version of A1), but isn’t quite there yet.

    So, we’ve moved the mentioned A1 stuff into their own documents:


    For the time being, these options will live in here (so people using them can still access them), until we can get them reworked. Likewise, the Avowed 2 link is still up, and will remain up until we can get it updated. We’re working hard on getting it ready, but since it’s a lot of material, it’ll probably take a bit.

    Now that that’s all said, all that’s left to do is go to the docs themselves! The two Avowed 1 playtest docs can be found in the first post.
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2018-07-12 at 11:38 PM.
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    Ongoing Playtests:      The Avowed
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    I am sad to see Otyugh pact get delayed (RIP Trashfriends), but the rest of this has me really excited! Can't wait to test this in a game, especially the changes to Clause DCs.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Thank you for updating! I'm so glad to see you're still around and interested! This has revitalized my interest in the class, and I'll probably make a few posts in the coming days.

    Kneejerk reactions: Wow, chameleon clause is still boring, but now in addition to only giving you one changeable gimmick (n.b. there's a very narrow band between "special encounter demanding particular utility" and "the adventure moved to this region one level ago"), it's been drastically cut in terms of the gimmicks you can select? You're only able to meet impromptu tests that, a mere 10 levels ago, you could have met with ease day in and day out, given the notice?

    The difference between a 12th-level and a 15th-level avowed is... a fly speed, which the avowed could have actually had if they needed one already?
    Damage numbers, to stay level-appropriate?
    Clause DCs 1 point higher than it was since you took Greater Clause Focus the second or third time using your 10th-level bonus feat?
    Shapes and clauses, which every other level brings, but especially not a new grade of shapes and clauses at all (when the first- and second-most important clause selections in the grade have already happened)?
    Minor scaling of chassis and pact numbers (which, level 12 bumps everything, rendering level 13 in particular certifiably dead)?
    A bonus attack (which is standard, at a -10 penalty from the basic attack, and doesn't see use from users specializing in as diverse a field as aether grasp/aether retaliation, aether cascade, and aether beam, which isn't all that unreasonable a selection given Aether Torrent)?

    Even being generous, that bonus attack isn't simply +50% potential damage, that's tops +33% potential damage for melee-users. Because even the melee avowed that don't specialize in attacks of opportunity get to do one, never mind Mystic Reflexes.

    Come to think of it, someone who grabs aether cascade and aether beam in the interest of using Aether Torrent gains the ability to just demolish crowds of very weak mobs at 15th level, when that power was inside them all along anyway? It's a bit of a weird hyper-specialization thing that just doesn't click with me. You have to devote your cool tricks to upgrading two very specific almost-overlapping things for at least 9 levels to be able to do it and then it's just more of the same. I'm not sure I'm wholly on board at that point. Like, at least Aether Lance comes online from level 1? You don't have to be a seasoned adventurer on the cusp of (expected by the game) continental renown, legendary for the purpose of legend lore to be able to do this one remarkable thing.

    Avowed has very focused competence but only in general fields. Everything the avowed could do with most mechanics, another class could reasonably manage, and still have probably another bag of tricks to fall back on that's got some uniqueness to it, something that defines them. By running the boring reliable options into the cliff face, you suddenly run into the problem of, why won't I just play another class that has competence and identity both? What is it that the avowed brings that another class, or even a multiclass, simply could not replicate, more or less? Why do I love the class? (It's well-crafted, it has some cool tricks enabled by pacts, and it lets me do magical girl beams or vector cannon blasts on an at-will basis. Please support those in particular now and forever.)
    Last edited by Metool; 2018-07-13 at 12:26 AM.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    One of the primary reasons I loved Aether Channel and Aether Rounds granting a scaling enhancement bonus was that it made the use of multiple weapons, or even picking up a weapon off the ground, something viable past the earlier levels. Because it gave the weapon in your hand the enhancement bonus, you could instead focus on what the weapon's other, more flavorful abilities were.

    Whilst I understand and can agree that the previous version of Aether Channel had this feature come online too early - and, perhaps, come online in a way that made it stronger than Greater Magic Weapon by increasing the enhancement bonus instead of replacing the enhancement bonus - Greater Magic Weapon, which you compare it to, has always been a fire and forget spell due to its hour per level duration.

    I would urge you to please consider finding away to allow the avowed to regain that flexibility in regards to weapon choice, perhaps making the ability to grant weapons an enhancement bonus a Least or Lesser Clause.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    So about the DC changes, I don't think that the DCs should be lowered in order to put a limit on clauses as while they can be cast as many times as you like in a day, you have to weigh it against how many times you could possibly successfully cast it against an enemy that is an appropriate threat. A low DC can mean completely wasted turns, and no one wants to go through an entire combat trying to get one simple debuff to stick all set to the tune of "It passes its save". I think what should be limited here is just how often you can use clauses. Recently I saw an archetype for the fighter out of the Archetypes of Power playtest that revolves around magic abilities that turn off for a minute after use, then come back. There are built in ways to manually refresh that cooldown, but I wonder if you could possibly apply that minute of cooldown to an avowed instead of lowering DCs. It'd get rid of the ability to just throw something out until it sticks, and avoid bland combat, forcing Avowed to vary how they play, and make the most of their clauses before they go on cooldown. And if you did plan to institute a manual refresh to this cooldown, you could link it to the pact the Avowed selects, making them have a sort of thematic recovery to use their clauses again if they really need to. And maybe the manual refresh wouldn't be global or something, but I think that limiting how often a clause can be used is a far better solution than reducing the DC from 1/2 to 1/4, not to mention how it's just strange how the shapes are remaining at 1/2.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Take Flight being a Greater clause (and thus 11th minimum) seems overly limited, considering that proper spellcasters can get all day Flight at 9th/10th (via Overland Flight), Druids and other Wild Shapers can do it from 6th or so, and even Kineticists get it anywhere from 5th (Air Kineticists, via Wings of Air) to 9th (Aether/Fire/Void Kineticists, via the various versions of Greater Flame Jet).

    Also, considering that you can't really use Greater Magic Weapon on Aether Blade/Aether Bolt due to their ephemeral nature, if the enhancement bonuses really aren't coming back, perhaps there ought to be a magic item option for one (presumably a ring or a pair of gloves) so they can actually buy one to keep up on damage?
    Last edited by ChrisAsmadi; 2018-07-13 at 04:16 PM.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Great news hearing from FFS after so long!

    Even though the update is mostly about toning the class down, on the whole I can agree with the direction it's taking in relation to where you want the class to be.

    I'd have to join in to the crowd that's against the clause DC changes, though - I get the intent and I can even mostly agree with the reduction's effect on modulation DCs (though how that makes modulations shape up against Overcharge is a different issue), but I think on the whole it isn't a good way to go about it and encourages uninteresting playstyle patterns.

    A subpar save DC means that combat-oriented clauses will always be less reliable compared to the linear option of using shapes every round, and even if you invest, it only fixes it for a narrow number of them, which also encourages a repetitive playstyle of only using the good clauses over and over, and discourages the Avowed from branching out into multiple combat control options at once.
    Most Avowed might just see the investment tax as a reason to not take any save DC clauses at all, and just focus on shapes for the whole of fights.

    Matching 6-caster competency is a good goal, but that shouldn't be done by the 1-for-1 method of matching 6-caster save DCs: most 6-casters I've seen directly move away from saving throw spells past the mid levels, exactly because of how those DCs fall behind; the avowed always being at full blast for DCs is one thing, but never being at full blast without heavy investment is too far on the other end of the scale.

    If spamming strong clauses in combat is a worry, then it might be better to start non-modulation clause DCs high, then penalize them depending on how often you've used the same one within the last minute?

    On a more positive note, I like a lot of the newer changes too, like the new drawbacks and items, and the way Night Watch interacts better with Nightfall! Good luck in future, too!

    ===========
    Other things:

    1) It's worth clarifying explicitly whether the third selection of Aether Blade and Channel also affects 5-foot steps, because the lack of mention makes me unsure of the intent.

    2) I think this issue which I mentioned in the last playtest about area shapes still holds:
    Quote Originally Posted by Mezzaluna View Post

    5) Area Shapes second selections are all very uninviting across the board: the 'full round action to raise level by 5' ability should really be a feat and not a 'tax' that many characters will never get use out of that they have to take on the way to choosing the more build-enabling third or fourth selection. I've seen a few people, myself included, get dissuaded from investing more into an area shape because the second selection often feels 'wasted' compared to a new selection into something else.
    Last edited by Mezzaluna; 2018-07-13 at 11:05 AM.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    I made a post in the old thread, because I am silly. I'm copying it here.

    This is a whole lot to take in! Despite my initial knee-jerk reaction to serious things I enjoy being nerfed, I see a lot of changes here that make a lot of sense. Bug fixes, performance issues, and necessary changes.

    But things like the cascading penalties on clauses like Unbind Spell as well as the general decrease in save DCs have me feeling legitimately upset. I always enjoyed having the option to play the avowed like a spellcaster with staying power, rather than as a mix of a little magic based around blasting enemies really hard. Though it harms the other roles a lot less than 'dedicated magic,' I feel like the mileage you get out of your chosen specialization is going to get hurt unless it's one of the simple striking or blasting routes.

    And even then, the nuking of save DCs and successive attempts at doing things getting worse, is far too much.

    I get the feeling that despite the great variety you've given them, you're trying to make avowed fill one very specific character role or niche, which seems odd. If so, I think some clarity on that would help people calm their expectations.

    I feel like this was too overtuned against playing the avowed as a caster or utility character, and really hope that this gets balanced out a little better.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    The fly nerf is too big, imo, and so is the blasting nerf.

    Regarding flying: Synthesist Summoners (which ARE the weakest archetype for the class) get to fly as soon as level 5 ((So do Unchained Summoner Eidolons)). Characters with mounts can get flying ones that they can ride (and for them to keep flying) as soon as level 7; and while taxing in feat cost, this is more or less accesible to all characters. All aasimar can grab a feat for fly speed at level 10 (via retraining, 11 otherwise). Flight at 12 and 15 comes too late.

    Regarding blasting: Yes, Avowed blasted better than baseline casters. Except most caster builds that dedicated themselves to blasting always add more die to the rolls (Example being the Sorcerer build that adds +3 per die, making a 10d6 roll effectively 10d6+30 damage); and blasting has ALWAYS, SINCE 3.5 been seen as an inefficient expenditure of spell slots for fullcasters (Which is partly why evocation is a common forbidden school pick for mid-high op wizards). Avowed being a good, costant blaster is not a bad thing by any means.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuvarkz View Post
    The fly nerf is too big, imo, and so is the blasting nerf.

    Regarding flying: Synthesist Summoners (which ARE the weakest archetype for the class) get to fly as soon as level 5 ((So do Unchained Summoner Eidolons)). Characters with mounts can get flying ones that they can ride (and for them to keep flying) as soon as level 7; and while taxing in feat cost, this is more or less accesible to all characters. All aasimar can grab a feat for fly speed at level 10 (via retraining, 11 otherwise). Flight at 12 and 15 comes too late.

    Regarding blasting: Yes, Avowed blasted better than baseline casters. Except most caster builds that dedicated themselves to blasting always add more die to the rolls (Example being the Sorcerer build that adds +3 per die, making a 10d6 roll effectively 10d6+30 damage); and blasting has ALWAYS, SINCE 3.5 been seen as an inefficient expenditure of spell slots for fullcasters (Which is partly why evocation is a common forbidden school pick for mid-high op wizards). Avowed being a good, costant blaster is not a bad thing by any means.
    Thank you for that. I wish I'd thought to mention it myself, but that's a fantastic point on the blasting. Likewise, with the flight, I'm of the opinion that three dimensional movement isn't an overpowered function, but one that requires careful planning of encounters. I'd usually say that 9-10 is too late for a fly speed to be relevant. (Anyone wanting to not be dead will likely have potions, wands, or other versions by 5-7.)

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Over the years when introducing new 3.5 mechanics to a playgroup, I've become very fond of feats like Wild Talent from Expanded Psionics Handbook, Martial Study & Martial Stance from Tome of Battle, Bind Vestige, Improved Bind Vestige, and Practiced Binder from Tome of Magic, and Shape Soulmeld from Magic of Incarnum. We would often use those to give players their first tease of an unfamiliar mechanic, followed by dabbling in builds that would dip into a level or two in a new class. Those players who really developed a love for the mechanic would eventually go whole-hog and build new characters fully around the new concept., while the rest would go back to their old standby mechanics.

    So when I looked through the linked documents one of the first things I looked for was some sort of feat that would allow characters of other classes to get a taste of this mechanic without committing to it completely. I didn't see anything that really seemed to do that however, so I hope you will consider the possibility of adding something along these lines in the future.

    Thanks.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    You didn't look close enough then, there's the Legalistic feat in the Heart and Soul doc.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by AlienFromBeyond View Post
    You didn't look close enough then, there's the Legalistic feat in the Heart and Soul doc.
    The Heart and Soul doc isn't even balanced around this version, so being expected to look in an old version of the class in a secondary book seems kind of silly.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuvarkz View Post
    Regarding blasting: Yes, Avowed blasted better than baseline casters. Except most caster builds that dedicated themselves to blasting always add more die to the rolls (Example being the Sorcerer build that adds +3 per die, making a 10d6 roll effectively 10d6+30 damage); and blasting has ALWAYS, SINCE 3.5 been seen as an inefficient expenditure of spell slots for fullcasters (Which is partly why evocation is a common forbidden school pick for mid-high op wizards).
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiney103 View Post
    Thank you for that. I wish I'd thought to mention it myself, but that's a fantastic point on the blasting.
    Except that, as noted in Erin's posts above, the goal has been moved toward the 6-level casters rather than 9-level, because 9-level bans are not uncommon and those classes play a different game from even inquisitors and bards and the magus.
    Last edited by Metool; 2018-07-13 at 02:36 PM.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by AlienFromBeyond View Post
    You didn't look close enough then, there's the Legalistic feat in the Heart and Soul doc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mairn View Post
    The Heart and Soul doc isn't even balanced around this version, so being expected to look in an old version of the class in a secondary book seems kind of silly.
    Okay, so I did find it. Only available at 6th level, so not going to show up early in a campaign unless the whole thing starts at higher levels. But at least it's something.

    Is the fact that it's not in the main two docs referenced at the top of this thread indicative of something? I have't seen the previous thread that was mentioned at all.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Hey, all. I'm posting on my lunch at work, so I'm not gonna be able to get through all of these comments until later tonight, but I wanted to get started on responding to a couple posts since I've got a moment. For everyone else, sorry I didn't get to you immediately; thank you for your patience


    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisAsmadi View Post
    Take Flight being a Greater clause (and thus 11th minimum) seems overly limited, considering that proper spellcasters can get all day Flight at 9th/10th (via Overland Flight), Druids and other Wild Shapers can do it from 6th or so, and even Kineticists get it anywhere from 5th (Air Kineticists, via Wings of Air) to 9th (Aether/Fire/Void Kineticists, via the various versions of Greater Flame Jet).
    The avowed is a mid-caster, comparable to the bard, mesmerist, occultist, inquisitor, and the like. Its spellcasting (and options) are intentionally weaker than that of a wizard, cleric, or druid. “Proper spellcasters,” as you put it, are not the balance point that this class is built on—a better comparison point would be to look at spellcasting-focused occultists (for avowed builds who’re focusing on the clause and AoE side of things) or gishy 6-casters (for avowed with a martial bent).

    Regarding kineticists and wild shape users, that’s true! Those classes can get flight earlier, as a fairly unique gimmick. The avowed has unique gimmicks of its own at those levels, but always-up flight isn’t one of them. We’ve found that it’s proven too unbalancing when combined with the rest of their abilities, and in a general sense of warping campaigns around it

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisAsmadi View Post
    Also, considering that you can't really use Greater Magic Weapon on Aether Blade/Aether Bolt due to their ephemeral nature, if the enhancement bonuses really aren't coming back, perhaps there ought to be a magic item option for one (presumably a ring or a pair of gloves) so they can actually buy one to keep up on damage?
    Currently, the paradigm we’re going with regarding the weapon shapes is that the touch attack shapes (aether blade/aether bolt) have significantly higher accuracy (leading to better debuff application), but lower damage than the non-touch shapes, which are more moderate accuracy and much higher damage.

    We plan on creating an option that allows aether blade and aether bolt to gain more damage, but we haven’t gotten one we’re happy with yet. We’ll keep you posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosencrantz14 View Post
    One of the primary reasons I loved Aether Channel and Aether Rounds granting a scaling enhancement bonus was that it made the use of multiple weapons, or even picking up a weapon off the ground, something viable past the earlier levels. Because it gave the weapon in your hand the enhancement bonus, you could instead focus on what the weapon's other, more flavorful abilities were.

    Whilst I understand and can agree that the previous version of Aether Channel had this feature come online too early - and, perhaps, come online in a way that made it stronger than Greater Magic Weapon by increasing the enhancement bonus instead of replacing the enhancement bonus - Greater Magic Weapon, which you compare it to, has always been a fire and forget spell due to its hour per level duration.

    I would urge you to please consider finding away to allow the avowed to regain that flexibility in regards to weapon choice, perhaps making the ability to grant weapons an enhancement bonus a Least or Lesser Clause.
    I can definitely understand where you're coming from. The "pick up any weapon and use it" fantasy is a cool one, albeit one that Pathfinder as a whole largely doesn't support. We do have some later material in the works that should help deliver that concept in a more general sense, but I can't really give a promise about when it'll be ready to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mairn View Post
    I am sad to see Otyugh pact get delayed (RIP Trashfriends), but the rest of this has me really excited! Can't wait to test this in a game, especially the changes to Clause DCs.
    RIP trashfriends. Thanks for approaching the changes with an open mind, though. We look forward to hearing your results.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire View Post
    RIP trashfriends. Thanks for approaching the changes with an open mind, though. We look forward to hearing your results.
    I just need to find time to fit another game in to my schedule, or find someone to do a few quick oneshots with. Why does time need to be so cruel.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    I feel like flight being moved to 15th just makes the flight invocation even more of a must-have, especially in any game that uses the retraining rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mezzaluna View Post
    Matching 6-caster competency is a good goal, but that shouldn't be done by the 1-for-1 method of matching 6-caster save DCs: most 6-casters I've seen directly move away from saving throw spells past the mid levels, exactly because of how those DCs fall behind
    I completely agree on this point. The only reason DC-dependent spells aren't always a trap option for 6-casters is because of the absurd variety of spells to pick from, which obviously an avowed can't use.

    If the point is to prevent avowed from spamming their most powerful clauses, I'd rather see full DC scaling and then an every-X-rounds or 4e recharge mechanic, or something else along those lines.
    Last edited by Roadie; 2018-07-14 at 12:23 AM.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    I saw this when I first woke up this morning, after getting pinged at 4:50 in the morning by someone, so thankfully I've had plenty of time to let my initial knee jerk reaction to being told "IT'S ALL NEEEEERFS" play itself out. That was maybe helped by realizing the majority of non-shape things I actually tended to look at taking (save Flight stuff and Chameleon Clause, but I'll get to that) are functionally the same. At a glance the DC scaling cut (by HALF?)looks far, far too harsh, when coupled with the nerfs to a lot of the "target enemy with save DC" clauses. I can get the direction you're going, and can understand the thought process, I just worry whenever there's a sudden, massive shift to fundamental aspects of the class like this. Hopefully things can level off, and maybe this can become something I can comfortably show my 1pp-centric group without worrying too much.

    As far as misc thoughts, concerns, and gripes? Might be easier to just throw a stream of consciousness list down to make it easier to parse. A lot of things still need time to settle in, so I might have to come back when I inevitably realize I read something wrong or missed something entirely.
    Spoiler: List go here
    Show
    • As far as pacts are concerned, I tended to stick to either Self or Dragon (which are unchanged) when crafting my own potential Avowed, but I'm sad to see Otyugh pushed back, even if I wasn't interested in it myself. I'm also either blind or Fey Pact's attunement does not actually have text for the "level in place of BAB" effect.
    • As an addendum, there were concerns about part of Self Pact's attunement and 4th level ability being swapped, as this royally hecked over both Subpacts (Body and Mind). I know that you're appearing to have chosen to push Heart and Soul back in favor of getting the main class document finished, but just something that never got addressed last time around.
    • Weapon Shapes having the save penalty on multiple attacks is undoubtedly even more important now, but a concern is that it becomes a fiddly nightmare for the player and DM to have to remember a bunch of stacking -1's constantly. It also pushes a weapon debuffer towards TWF solely to maximize this effect, which may be an intentional balance point, but also may frustrate people with a particular concept in mind.
    • Modulations now look even more like Overcharge-bait for most people, which is great if someone's goal is "MORE DAMAGE", not so great if they wanted to have a debuff on the side. Sure, you've added more ways to invest into fixing those saves, the returns on investment being so much lower just make it harder to want to go for it.
    • Didn't Aether Rounds used to provide you phantom ammunition? I don't see anything about that being removed, so was it just unceremoniously dropped? Too fiddly to make work with thrown weapons or something?
    • As someone mentioned already, losing the enhancement bonuses is kinda lame on account of the fantasy of "grab whatever, it'll work" was pretty great. Losing it on Blade is a little lame too, on account of it being a bit more risky to use than ranged shapes.
    • A lot of the individual pulses and clauses I still haven't really had time to dig into, though the changes on the actual modulation effects in particular seem rather minor. Chameleon Clause being pushed back just makes it become highly questionable if it would ever actually be useful, though. By the time you would have a Greater Clause, whatever minor problems you needed variable answers to you'd have either long since passed, or long since figured out how to handle them without spending a valuable Greater/Final Clause to do so.
    • I'm late to the party as usual, but I'll throw my hat in the pile for "Flight nerfs went too far". Take Flight has gone from a "it's cool if that's the kind of game you want, but you get it when you NEED it" to "you NEED this, everyone else has been flying for a while now". Ideally I'd say you could have pushed Take Flight to say, 8th-9th level, with the built-in method coming online at 12th but there wouldn't really be a way to do that with the class structure right now.
    • Mystic Reflexes being split up is... Weird. Having a potentially extraneous ability was kind of fine since it was just an extra, but now if someone wants that they have to pay double? Actually, that seems to be a thing now, investment requirements seem to just be going way up.
    • The feats for DC's (as far as I can tell at a glance) totaling out to around +4 to your lowest clause's DC, and maybe +1 to your highest clause after taking all four... Compared to just taking Ability Focus for +2 to everything with a much higher floor on DCs? That's really, really harsh, and puts a damper on taking other, more fun options.
    • Spirited Swordsmanship's return is welcome, though it's back in a rather specific fashion. I like it honestly, simply because I could now reasonably get away with something dumb like a high Con, moderate Str/Dex character.


    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire View Post
    The avowed is a mid-caster, comparable to the bard, mesmerist, occultist, inquisitor, and the like. Its spellcasting (and options) are intentionally weaker than that of a wizard, cleric, or druid. “Proper spellcasters,” as you put it, are not the balance point that this class is built on—a better comparison point would be to look at spellcasting-focused occultists (for avowed builds who’re focusing on the clause and AoE side of things) or gishy 6-casters (for avowed with a martial bent).
    Just to call this out in particular, something of note is that a Caster Focused Occultist could potentially be leaning pretty heavily on their Focus Powers if they wanted to make something save. Which have DCs of 10 + (1/2 Occultist Level) + Int Modifier. Blasting on an Occultist is also widely regarded as being an awful deal by anyone I've talked to, for numerous reasons (even less cost efficient, worse DCs, mediocre damage)

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    I'm also throwing my hat into the ring of letting my players use the old version, because the current one is just too much of a nerf for reasonable usage with other competent builds. The floor may be pretty close to where it was before, but the ceiling feels notably lower than most of the 6/9th casters.
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    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.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Come to think of it, where is the item support for the avowed? What we've got are class-limited boots of speed, hand conflict in a stick (as much of a balancing factor as that is, perception matters), and a reference to comics that lets avowed do such remarkable things as cast identify or endure elements. And this is all class-only loot, which is tough to work with unless avowed aren't rare.

    Where are the unique items that do cool pact-specific things? Items about making and relying on pacts? Items for cults? Clauses for cults? Lot of stuff to explore in the space, at another date, I guess.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Metool View Post
    Except that, as noted in Erin's posts above, the goal has been moved toward the 6-level casters rather than 9-level, because 9-level bans are not uncommon and those classes play a different game from even inquisitors and bards and the magus.
    However, blasting spells aren't what makes 9th-level casters dangerous, hell, take the entirety of the evocation school away from the wizard and force them to pick another school to ban and the wizard will remain about as strong as ever. Conversely, a wizard that takes blasting spells for 80-90% of its spell slots isn't in nearly the same power league as a wizard who focuses on any other of the schools (To a lesser degree Enchantment, and Divination wizards need to carry other spells often).

    None of the 6th-casters really ever build for proper blasting builds, the closest is magus, and they tend to favor spells that target to apply increased crit range/modifier on the spells, and then many of the builds involve self buffing with the majority of the higher level spell slots or leaving them for utility.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuvarkz View Post
    Conversely, a wizard that takes blasting spells for 80-90% of its spell slots isn't in nearly the same power league as a wizard who focuses on any other of the schools.
    You miss the point. This work is being tuned for the environment where this mediocre playstyle simply doesn't exist, or at least not with the same damage numbers and staying power. That environment still exists regardless of how well you argue.
    Last edited by Metool; 2018-07-14 at 10:30 PM.
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Spoiler: Changelog; read below for long-winded explanations
    Show
    • Melee weapon shapes have been adjusted to be more clear that yes, they do work to let you AoO on 5-foot steps.
    • Aether Duelist previously didn’t make light off-hand weapons. We’ve adjusted that to do so.
    • Fey pact’s attunement didn’t substitute CL for BAB on the parry like we said it did. That was a mishap on our part, it’s been put back in.
    • The –1 penalty against further saves by weapon shape modulations on a successful save is being removed. We had meant to remove it before, but it slipped through the cracks of all the other changes. For elaboration on this, see below.
    • The second rank of blast shapes has been moved up to rank 4, and the other ranks have moved down to accommodate that. We don’t want to make players feel forced to invest all the way to 4 in a shape, or to feel that an early rank is “wasted.” If someone wants to have super huge AoEs, the option will be there, but it should make splashing different combat styles onto a character simpler.


    Hey, all. Sorry about the wait; I was going to respond earlier than now, but I ended up catching a cold and until today (my day off), just didn’t have the energy to go through your feedback. There’ve been a lot of responses largely saying the same sorts of things, so regarding save DCs, I’m going to write one larger response. If you feel your concerns or comments weren’t given attention, please let me know

    So, let’s talk about debuffs. This has been a pretty significant change from the original avowed, and I’d like to go over our rationale in a more in-depth manner. To start with, I’d like to share this table of save DCs and expected (average) monster saves.

    If you can’t open Google Sheets, the following spoiler has a summarized version of the contents.

    Spoiler: maths
    Show
    Here are the odds of successfully affecting a given (average) monster with a CR equal to your level, assuming a dual-stat setup of Cha and probably Str or Dex (only 1-2 level-up bonuses put into Cha, but picking up the enhancement bonus items):


    https://i.imgur.com/9uYZus7.png

    And here’s the same, for a Cha-SAD build (the sort you’d see on a “caster” avowed focusing on blasting and eschewing martial combat, or on a Spirited Swordsmanship avowed focusing on debuffs over damage):


    https://i.imgur.com/4J6RimP.png

    As you can see from the table, the avowed’s base debuff success chance tends to be somewhere around 35-50% when targeting an enemy’s bad save, on a dual stat build, or closer to 45%-60% on a Cha-SAD build. When targeting an enemy’s good saves, this chance drops a fair bit, generally roughly cutting it in half.

    Anyway, that’s base. For clauses you’ve taken Clause Focus and Greater Clause Focus for, you’d look at the “+2” columns, and if you’re combining that with Heighten Spell-Like Ability, you’d look at “+4”. Overall though, you’re looking at roughly a coinflip against bad saves when you’re invested in debuffs on a dual-stat avowed, or a bit better than that on a Cha-SAD avowed (with Heighten SLA+the focus feats bringing your good save situations to around a coinflip).

    This is at most levels, 5% below 6-level spellcasters using their highest slots, as far as that comparison goes. If you used these tables for a bard or occultist or mesmerist, you’ll be looking at roughly similar success rates.

    However, the avowed has some extra benefits on top of that that aren’t visible when just looking at the numbers. The key thing, here, is efficiency. Even with lowered save DCs compared to the original avowed, and base DCs slightly below that of a 6-level caster, an avowed’s main debuff tool isn’t spells—it’s modulations attached to an aether pulse.

    AnonMD commented about low save DCs sometimes meaning completely wasted turns, but for an avowed, it’s very hard to truly “waste” a turn (except for certain non-modulation debuffs; that feedback is super important regarding those, and I’ll discuss that in a later part of this post).

    When an avowed is using a modulation, they’re doing it on top of a pulse shape. In broad categories, one of the following:

    • A full attack with a weapon, dealing bonus damage.
    • A full attack with aether blade/aether bolt, dealing less damage but being significantly more accurate by virtue of targeting touch AC.
    • A large AoE, with comparable power to a 9-level spellcaster dropping their own AoEs on someone (more on that below). These have a much higher save DC than the modulations themselves, making it fairly likely that an enemy will be “hit” with it regardless of if their good save is Reflex.
    • Something more unique, like a smaller AoE, or grappling.

    These will be happening regardless of whether or not the debuff is successful, and depending on which they’re choosing, will affect the debuff’s odds of success. Which uh… brings me to the next part of this, our design paradigm for modulation debuffs.

    On top of the normal metagame considerations around fighting style (ranged vs melee, full attack vs spell use/aoe/combat maneuvers, and the like), the avowed’s fighting style significantly affects their debuffing success. Because modulations trigger each time you hit a target, the DCs and their success chances listed in that tables I linked are only relevant in their raw form to AoE avowed. In most cases, an AoE avowed will drop their damage blast on a fight, then also debuff about half their targets on top of that. Against boss fights, this chance will be a bit lower (and the AoE avowed’s job is probably to kill adds to keep the party from being overwhelmed), and against fights with lots of mooks, the chance will be higher (because of their lower CRs, and thus lower saves).

    A weapon shape avowed has a more complex situation, though overall it’s kinda similar to D&D 5e’s advantage/disadvantage system. For each attack they hit with, the enemy needs to roll an extra save against the effect, so depending on the avowed’s level, a weapon avowed gets an effective bonus to their save DCs. You can see the effect for itself if you head over to anydice; I’ve screenshotted that graph:

    Spoiler: more maths
    Show

    https://i.imgur.com/qmcO50V.png

    X axis: die results
    Y axis: the odds of that roll being rolled at least once in a given pile of dice

    There’s a lot of somewhat annoying math that could be done with this to get true success chances, but for now, let’s stick to some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations.

    If you hit twice with your shape (TWF, iteratives, haste, whatever), you’ve got about a 50% chance that one of the dice the enemy rolls will be a 6 or lower. At levels 1 through 6, a roll that low means that a monster’s good save will fail against the base save DC (no other boosting). If you’re using Clause Focus, that holds true to level 8. If you’re using Greater Clause Focus, level 11. And if you hit twice against a monster’s bad save, then they’ll always have at least a 50% chance of failing the save. If your build is Cha-SAD, the math favors you even harder; a monster’s good save won’t pass a 50% chance of saving until level 12, if you hit them twice.

    If you hit them three times (level 8 avowed with haste, level 8 avowed with TWF and no haste, etc), then that 50% ‘coinflip’ mark is at a roll of 4. Our dual-stat avowed is debuffing his enemies at a 50% rate against their good save up until level 10, without any boosters. Clause Focus brings that to 13. A SAD build pushes that higher.

    If we push this further (let’s say an avowed optimized fully for debuffing; they’re TWFing aether blades and Cha-SAD), you end up with this table of expected results.

    Spoiler: this post has more graphs and tables than i set out to make
    Show

    Thanks to the high accuracy afforded by touch attacks, an avowed who wants to go all-in on debuffing with aether blade/bolt can do so extremely well… while also, you know, full attacking (even without a high ability score bonus to damage, aether blade and aether bolt hit pretty hard). And an avowed who doesn’t invest quite as hard is still going to be debuffing pretty well, but will be bringing more damage, or more utility, or something else that they spent the resources on instead of debuffing.

    With that in mind though, non-modulation debuffs are hurting a bit in comparison, and we’re going to be looking at them more closely to see how they stand, and how they might be buffed to make them viable choices compared to modulation-based debuffing/attacking/AoEing (which, as far as courses of action go, are each much more efficient than using a standard action on a clause).

    (As an aside, you might be wondering why I haven’t included the –1 penalty on further saves against modulation clauses; the reason for this is that we were going to remove that one, but honestly, we forgot about it until Drifter S pointed out how fiddly it is in their post above. It is extremely fiddly, and was originally there to give full attackers a benefit for targeting the same enemy repeatedly while AoE characters blanketed the whole fight, but with the new save DC numbers, it does not support the goals we had with this rework, and causes extra table slowdown on top of that.)

    Now then, AoEs. Blast shapes are a bit different when it comes to debuffs; the primary use of blasting as an avowed is dealing damage to multiple enemies, and uh… well, blasting is probably the only place where we’ve decided to map avowed to primary caster power levels. We want blasting to work, and it—on its own—is one of the areas we feel isn’t particularly campaign-warping in the way that their BFC and debuffs were. As Tuvarkz and Drifter S have noted, 6-level spellcasters do not blast particularly well, and for full casters blasting is an inefficient but still decently strong and optimizable strategy. Avowed blasting runs a bit differently than full caster blasting, but it’s somewhat comparable to what a full caster may be throwing out.

    Spoiler: this one isn’t a math-based table, at least
    Show
    Comparison Point Full Caster Avowed
    Save DCs Full caster's save Reflex save DCs are roughly 10 + 1/2 character level + casting stat, when using their highest-level spell slots. Heighten Spell can be used to boost lower-level spells like fireball to this point. Blast shape Reflex save DCs are 10 + 1/2 caster level + casting stat. This comes stock; the avowed's blast shapes will always match the base DC of a sorcerer's highest slots.
    Base Damage A sorcerer's blasting spells (fireball coming online at level 6) generally deal 1d6/caster level. However, they often come with a cap. Starting at level 8, an avowed's blast shapes deal 1d6/caster level, scaling up as their CL scales up.
    Additional Damage A sorcerer can take options that will add +1-3 damage per die to a blast. An avowed's blast shapes add a scaling bonus based on Charisma to damage (for a SAD character, it'll end up about +26 at 16th level; for a DAD one, probably closer to +18-20 at 20th level).
    Further Support A sorcerer needs to use Intensify Spell to deal damage past their spells' caps. They can also use Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, or Empower Spell to deal more damage, but each one carries a hefty hit to their save DC. An avowed doesn't have quite as high a ceiling in absolute damage, but their blasts are far more reliable when extra options come into play. Baleful Infusion and Empower Spell-Like Ability don't reduce the save DC of an avowed's blast, and will still match the damage of a sorcerer's blast (give or take 10-20 damage at the highest levels, depending on the sorcerer's build).
    Rider Effects A sorcerer can pick up some fairly strong rider effects, such as Dazing Spell, but like with damage metamagics, using one hits their save DCs (by eating spell levels that could be used for Heighten) and makes the blast less reliable. An avowed's rider effects have a lower save DC, but using one doesn't reduce the save DC of the "blast" portion of the effect like a metamagic spell might.

    Overall, the core of avowed blasting is, like weapon shapes, efficiency. Their save DCs for the blast shapes are always going to be pretty high, even when amplifying the blast with a debuff (modulations) or damage-enhancer (Empower Spell-Like Ability/Baleful Infusion), and they can continue to throw them out in further rounds to cover enemies who rolled particularly well against the blast component of the action. Also, they’re much safer for the party, because the avowed has better access to “doesn’t hit allies” abilities than a full caster does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    Just to call this out in particular, something of note is that a Caster Focused Occultist could potentially be leaning pretty heavily on their Focus Powers if they wanted to make something save. Which have DCs of 10 + (1/2 Occultist Level) + Int Modifier. Blasting on an Occultist is also widely regarded as being an awful deal by anyone I've talked to, for numerous reasons (even less cost efficient, worse DCs, mediocre damage)
    I wanted to call out this response in particular regarding this section. In a way, the avowed can be seen as as similar to the occultist here—it’s just that their equivalent to leaning on focus powers is leaning on shapes (which provide strong martial combat or blasting capabilities), or the occasional pact with debuffs built into it.

    Hopefully this well of text above (sorry) should shine a light on the reasons for the design decisions we’ve made in this last update. For the things I didn’t cover up there…

    Quote Originally Posted by Metool View Post
    Thank you for updating! I'm so glad to see you're still around and interested! This has revitalized my interest in the class, and I'll probably make a few posts in the coming days.

    Kneejerk reactions: Wow, chameleon clause is still boring, but now in addition to only giving you one changeable gimmick (n.b. there's a very narrow band between "special encounter demanding particular utility" and "the adventure moved to this region one level ago"), it's been drastically cut in terms of the gimmicks you can select? You're only able to meet impromptu tests that, a mere 10 levels ago, you could have met with ease day in and day out, given the notice?

    The difference between a 12th-level and a 15th-level avowed is... a fly speed, which the avowed could have actually had if they needed one already?
    Damage numbers, to stay level-appropriate?
    Clause DCs 1 point higher than it was since you took Greater Clause Focus the second or third time using your 10th-level bonus feat?
    Shapes and clauses, which every other level brings, but especially not a new grade of shapes and clauses at all (when the first- and second-most important clause selections in the grade have already happened)?
    Minor scaling of chassis and pact numbers (which, level 12 bumps everything, rendering level 13 in particular certifiably dead)?
    A bonus attack (which is standard, at a -10 penalty from the basic attack, and doesn't see use from users specializing in as diverse a field as aether grasp/aether retaliation, aether cascade, and aether beam, which isn't all that unreasonable a selection given Aether Torrent)?

    Even being generous, that bonus attack isn't simply +50% potential damage, that's tops +33% potential damage for melee-users. Because even the melee avowed that don't specialize in attacks of opportunity get to do one, never mind Mystic Reflexes.

    Come to think of it, someone who grabs aether cascade and aether beam in the interest of using Aether Torrent gains the ability to just demolish crowds of very weak mobs at 15th level, when that power was inside them all along anyway? It's a bit of a weird hyper-specialization thing that just doesn't click with me. You have to devote your cool tricks to upgrading two very specific almost-overlapping things for at least 9 levels to be able to do it and then it's just more of the same. I'm not sure I'm wholly on board at that point. Like, at least Aether Lance comes online from level 1? You don't have to be a seasoned adventurer on the cusp of (expected by the game) continental renown, legendary for the purpose of legend lore to be able to do this one remarkable thing.

    Avowed has very focused competence but only in general fields. Everything the avowed could do with most mechanics, another class could reasonably manage, and still have probably another bag of tricks to fall back on that's got some uniqueness to it, something that defines them. By running the boring reliable options into the cliff face, you suddenly run into the problem of, why won't I just play another class that has competence and identity both? What is it that the avowed brings that another class, or even a multiclass, simply could not replicate, more or less? Why do I love the class? (It's well-crafted, it has some cool tricks enabled by pacts, and it lets me do magical girl beams or vector cannon blasts on an at-will basis. Please support those in particular now and forever.)
    Regarding Aether Torrent, you have a point there, and we’re going to take another look at it and the “combo” feats in general. Torrent is very old content, and honestly needs a once-over anyway to begin with.

    With the chameleon clause line, that change came from some feedback we got and testing we did that showed it performing a bit too strongly in low-op groups. We’re looking for a better way to handle that nerf, but for the meantime it’s a bit too strong where it was before.

    For levels 13-15, we could probably do well to add a ribbon into that stretch. The avowed does get a fair bit of power and options through their clauses gained at those levels, but you’re right—it’s a bit barren in the realm of cool stuff. Most classes have gaps like that, but we’ll take a look at making it more interesting, at the very least. We’ll look into it.

    Regarding your last paragraph, though… you kinda hit the nail on the head? Our goal as designers is to make a class that’s competent and (hopefully) fun within its niches—in the avowed’s case, that niche is a somewhat broad set of possible builds in the areas of gishing, blasting, and debuffing/BFC—without making it the go-to class for it. We want to create a metagame where if someone wants to play an avowed, that’s a good choice. We don’t want to create a metagame where if someone wants to play any sort of gish or debuffer, the avowed is the best choice. With blasting, that’s somewhat unavoidable (6-casters, our comparison point, are Not Good At Blasting), but that should ideally still feel balanced in a game full of other tier 3s. With the rest of their roles though, we want it to be more thoroughly balanced against other classes. Finally, we currently feel that the class’s mechanical and fluff identity stands up well enough on its own thanks to the variety of pacts and feel of at-will abilities, but we’re definitely open to feedback on that front, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mezzaluna View Post
    Great news hearing from FFS after so long!

    Even though the update is mostly about toning the class down, on the whole I can agree with the direction it's taking in relation to where you want the class to be.

    <snip of DC/debuff-related things>

    On a more positive note, I like a lot of the newer changes too, like the new drawbacks and items, and the way Night Watch interacts better with Nightfall! Good luck in future, too!

    ===========
    Other things:

    1) It's worth clarifying explicitly whether the third selection of Aether Blade and Channel also affects 5-foot steps, because the lack of mention makes me unsure of the intent.

    2) I think this issue which I mentioned in the last playtest about area shapes still holds:

    5) Area Shapes second selections are all very uninviting across the board: the 'full round action to raise level by 5' ability should really be a feat and not a 'tax' that many characters will never get use out of that they have to take on the way to choosing the more build-enabling third or fourth selection. I've seen a few people, myself included, get dissuaded from investing more into an area shape because the second selection often feels 'wasted' compared to a new selection into something else.
    Glad you like the general direction and the night watch/nightfall fun. Hopefully the section on DCs above should at least help elaborate on the direction we’ve taken with respects to numbers. For the rest of your comments, though:

    • We did intend it to allow you to AoO on 5-foot steps. We’ve changed the wording to make that more clear.
    • For the second selection of the blast shapes, that’s a good point, and something we hadn’t considered in the reworks. With our current design goals on shapes, that feels, overall, more like a Rank 4. So, we’ve rotated the ranks of the blast shapes, moving that to 4 and moving the others down 1 rank each.


    Quote Originally Posted by Shiney103 View Post
    I made a post in the old thread, because I am silly. I'm copying it here.

    This is a whole lot to take in! Despite my initial knee-jerk reaction to serious things I enjoy being nerfed, I see a lot of changes here that make a lot of sense. Bug fixes, performance issues, and necessary changes.

    But things like the cascading penalties on clauses like Unbind Spell as well as the general decrease in save DCs have me feeling legitimately upset. I always enjoyed having the option to play the avowed like a spellcaster with staying power, rather than as a mix of a little magic based around blasting enemies really hard. Though it harms the other roles a lot less than 'dedicated magic,' I feel like the mileage you get out of your chosen specialization is going to get hurt unless it's one of the simple striking or blasting routes.

    And even then, the nuking of save DCs and successive attempts at doing things getting worse, is far too much.

    I get the feeling that despite the great variety you've given them, you're trying to make avowed fill one very specific character role or niche, which seems odd. If so, I think some clarity on that would help people calm their expectations.

    I feel like this was too overtuned against playing the avowed as a caster or utility character, and really hope that this gets balanced out a little better.
    We’re discussing internally how we can address the reliability (or lack thereof) of non-modulation clauses. Heighten Spell-Like Ability will push their base DCs to higher than a bard’s (at a similar “daily resource” cost), but we’re going to be going back over these and giving them more thought.

    The escalating bonuses/penalties on unbind spell/spell consumption, bewitch, and create friendship (it’s just those four), though, are in response to some particularly campaign-warping results of them being at-will. In effect, these abilities could be used to “take 20” in a noncombat situation, which has huge ramifications on the design of an adventure. A normal spellcaster can use dispel magic once or twice generally, but will run out of prepared instances of it, or spell slots on a spontaneous caster. Previously, an avowed could roll through a dungeon spamming the clause on everything magical in sight, making the design of said dungeon very difficult on the DM side of things.

    Create friendship and bewitch create a similar problem, but for roleplaying encounters instead of dungeon crawls. They don’t have visible spell components, so previously, you could, say… keep casting it on someone until they failed the save. As long as you manage to not have combat break out, you’ll eventually snag the target with mind control, regardless of their save bonuses. That’s a fundamentally unhealthy dynamic, and we’ve added the save bonus to this effect to help counteract it (you can still use it multiple times on a target, and your success rate will be similar for a bit, but you can’t just keep spamming it on someone forever).

    Something to note is that these only apply to an individual target. You can still toss a dispel out on each trap in a dungeon without an issue; it’s just that you’re somewhat penalized for sticking around to “take 20” on each of them. Likewise, if you’re at some social event with nobles, you can totally try to charm or bewitch multiple people, but you can’t spam your suggestion effect repeatedly on the king until he fails.

    Finally, regarding your last concerns, we’re not trying to force the avowed into specific roles, just to bring their spam in line with the limited resources of other specialists. For characters who want to use clauses as their primary tool, aether swarm is still there as a non-heavy blasting option that lets you do clauses to debuff or attack at the same time (and we have more, similar shapes planned for different takes on that niche). You mention that you’re looking for a “like a spellcaster with staying power;” could you elaborate on what sort of mechanical concept you’re looking to get out of the avowed, and how its current shapes are deficient for that in your eyes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    I'm also throwing my hat into the ring of letting my players use the old version, because the current one is just too much of a nerf for reasonable usage with other competent builds. The floor may be pretty close to where it was before, but the ceiling feels notably lower than most of the 6/9th casters.
    I’m sorry to hear that, but I can certainly understand where you’re coming from if you’re dissatisfied with the changes. That’s why we left the old version up (albeit with a note about no longer supporting it)

    Could you elaborate on what you mean about the ceiling with respects to 6-casters, though? As far as I can tell, they should be somewhat similar. I’m curious as to what we’re missing (and, frankly, interested in hearing about it because of wanting to do more stuff with 6-casters in my own games <<).

    Quote Originally Posted by Metool View Post
    Come to think of it, where is the item support for the avowed? What we've got are class-limited boots of speed, hand conflict in a stick (as much of a balancing factor as that is, perception matters), and a reference to comics that lets avowed do such remarkable things as cast identify or endure elements. And this is all class-only loot, which is tough to work with unless avowed aren't rare.

    Where are the unique items that do cool pact-specific things? Items about making and relying on pacts? Items for cults? Clauses for cults? Lot of stuff to explore in the space, at another date, I guess.
    The primary reason we haven’t done more stuff like that is time. It’s taken a lot of time to get to this point, and the more moving parts we add, the harder it is to balance. We do plan on doing stuff like that, but we want a solid foundation before moving on to that. Now that the A1 update is out, we’re moving on to getting A2 up and ready to go, but that’ll take time, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metool View Post
    Watch Revolutionary Girl Utena, please.
    I’ll look into it. Like most things, it’s something that takes a lot of time and energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    I saw this when I first woke up this morning, after getting pinged at 4:50 in the morning by someone, so thankfully I've had plenty of time to let my initial knee jerk reaction to being told "IT'S ALL NEEEEERFS" play itself out. That was maybe helped by realizing the majority of non-shape things I actually tended to look at taking (save Flight stuff and Chameleon Clause, but I'll get to that) are functionally the same. At a glance the DC scaling cut (by HALF?)looks far, far too harsh, when coupled with the nerfs to a lot of the "target enemy with save DC" clauses. I can get the direction you're going, and can understand the thought process, I just worry whenever there's a sudden, massive shift to fundamental aspects of the class like this. Hopefully things can level off, and maybe this can become something I can comfortably show my 1pp-centric group without worrying too much.

    As far as misc thoughts, concerns, and gripes? Might be easier to just throw a stream of consciousness list down to make it easier to parse. A lot of things still need time to settle in, so I might have to come back when I inevitably realize I read something wrong or missed something entirely.
    I understand your concerns there. Hopefully the above stuff on the DC changes should help with that, at least. As far as the rest of your post, though:

    Spoiler: not charts or graphs or table or math! i promise!
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    As far as pacts are concerned, I tended to stick to either Self or Dragon (which are unchanged) when crafting my own potential Avowed, but I'm sad to see Otyugh pushed back, even if I wasn't interested in it myself. I'm also either blind or Fey Pact's attunement does not actually have text for the "level in place of BAB" effect.
    That was entirely my fault. I did a rewrite for readability and accidentally dropped that bit. It’s back in now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    As an addendum, there were concerns about part of Self Pact's attunement and 4th level ability being swapped, as this royally hecked over both Subpacts (Body and Mind). I know that you're appearing to have chosen to push Heart and Soul back in favor of getting the main class document finished, but just something that never got addressed last time around.
    It’s on our list of things to do (actually near the top, since it’s a relatively small job), but yeah, it’s exactly as it appears. We’ve pushed Heart and Soul back in order to get A1 functional, so that we could get to work on A2 with a solid foundation instead of an ever-shifting one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    Weapon Shapes having the save penalty on multiple attacks is undoubtedly even more important now, but a concern is that it becomes a fiddly nightmare for the player and DM to have to remember a bunch of stacking -1's constantly. It also pushes a weapon debuffer towards TWF solely to maximize this effect, which may be an intentional balance point, but also may frustrate people with a particular concept in mind.
    As noted above, the –1 penalty thing was meant to be gone, for fiddliness and balance reasons, but we forgot… as far as weapon debuffing being pushed towards TWF to maximize the debuffs, you’re right, that is intentional (TWF naturally gets more hits in, as discussed earlier). The idea behind it is that TWF can spend extra feats to get extra chances at debuffing. We have some plans for debuffing-centric options for single-weapon fighters with similar opportunity cost, but they are not fully written yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    Modulations now look even more like Overcharge-bait for most people, which is great if someone's goal is "MORE DAMAGE", not so great if they wanted to have a debuff on the side. Sure, you've added more ways to invest into fixing those saves, the returns on investment being so much lower just make it harder to want to go for it.
    Overcharge Modulation may be a bit overtuned now that save DCs are lower. We’ll be keeping an eye on both it and the debuffs themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    Didn't Aether Rounds used to provide you phantom ammunition? I don't see anything about that being removed, so was it just unceremoniously dropped? Too fiddly to make work with thrown weapons or something?
    It did do that before, yes. Its particular patch note was eaten by the “shape was reworked” broader notes, but we did remove that. We plan on introducing more

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    As someone mentioned already, losing the enhancement bonuses is kinda lame on account of the fantasy of "grab whatever, it'll work" was pretty great. Losing it on Blade is a little lame too, on account of it being a bit more risky to use than ranged shapes.
    As noted in this post, we do have plans for that sort of thing; it’s just not something we’re doing as part of shapes. That sort of concept ought to be supported for more than just avowed, anyway, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    A lot of the individual pulses and clauses I still haven't really had time to dig into, though the changes on the actual modulation effects in particular seem rather minor. Chameleon Clause being pushed back just makes it become highly questionable if it would ever actually be useful, though. By the time you would have a Greater Clause, whatever minor problems you needed variable answers to you'd have either long since passed, or long since figured out how to handle them without spending a valuable Greater/Final Clause to do so.
    We’ll be keeping an eye on chameleon clause, and are open to buffing it or reworking it. It’s just that where it was before caused a lot of problems in lower-op groups, and we want this class to be able to function in those groups as well as the more experienced ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    <flight comment snipped>
    See below for a broader discussion on flight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    Mystic Reflexes being split up is... Weird. Having a potentially extraneous ability was kind of fine since it was just an extra, but now if someone wants that they have to pay double? Actually, that seems to be a thing now, investment requirements seem to just be going way up.

    The feats for DC's (as far as I can tell at a glance) totaling out to around +4 to your lowest clause's DC, and maybe +1 to your highest clause after taking all four... Compared to just taking Ability Focus for +2 to everything with a much higher floor on DCs? That's really, really harsh, and puts a damper on taking other, more fun options.
    Beforehand, Mystic Reflexes was just an outright superior version of Combat Reflexes for avowed. We weren’t comfortable buffing an already pretty strong feat to that level, so we split it. Opportunistic Blast is intended for avowed who want to AoO without spending weapon shapes on it (such as someone combining, say, AoE options and aether grasp, or even someone who’s going all ranged and doesn’t want a melee shape). In the hands of those avowed, we feel it’s worth a feat.

    It’s true that investment requirements are going up for the avowed. Our goal with this rework was to level the playing field; boring numerical boosts are a thing that every comparable class needs to take to properly specialize. The fact that the avowed didn’t have to do so before was part of what made it so strong. In a game where, say, Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot are given for free, I would say to consider letting an avowed grab Clause Focus and Greater Clause Focus instead. They occupy much of the same role on a character.

    Overall, we can’t fix the system. If the avowed is to exist within the broader Pathfinder Roleplaying Game without being imbalanced compared to other classes, it needs to have taxes as well, or it’s starting further ahead than everyone else. We do want to introduce more options that change the game to something more what you’re looking for, but we’d like to do that across the board, rather than just for our special pet class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    Spirited Swordsmanship's return is welcome, though it's back in a rather specific fashion. I like it honestly, simply because I could now reasonably get away with something dumb like a high Con, moderate Str/Dex character.
    Glad you like it! The specific goal for this one was to create an option that was balanced against Weapon Finesse and similar options. The original was far too centralizing, thanks to how much stronger a true-SAD character is, but the new version, we feel, has some clear tradeoffs. You’re getting higher save DCs, in exchange for much lower damage at all levels.

    Finally… flight. The changes to flight have been a pretty big point of contention, so I’m going to group my responses together.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuvarkz View Post
    Regarding flying: Synthesist Summoners (which ARE the weakest archetype for the class) get to fly as soon as level 5 ((So do Unchained Summoner Eidolons)). Characters with mounts can get flying ones that they can ride (and for them to keep flying) as soon as level 7; and while taxing in feat cost, this is more or less accesible to all characters. All aasimar can grab a feat for fly speed at level 10 (via retraining, 11 otherwise). Flight at 12 and 15 comes too late.
    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter S. View Post
    I'm late to the party as usual, but I'll throw my hat in the pile for "Flight nerfs went too far". Take Flight has gone from a "it's cool if that's the kind of game you want, but you get it when you NEED it" to "you NEED this, everyone else has been flying for a while now". Ideally I'd say you could have pushed Take Flight to say, 8th-9th level, with the built-in method coming online at 12th but there wouldn't really be a way to do that with the class structure right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiney103 View Post
    Likewise, with the flight, I'm of the opinion that three dimensional movement isn't an overpowered function, but one that requires careful planning of encounters. I'd usually say that 9-10 is too late for a fly speed to be relevant. (Anyone wanting to not be dead will likely have potions, wands, or other versions by 5-7.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
    I feel like flight being moved to 15th just makes the flight invocation even more of a must-have, especially in any game that uses the retraining rules.
    Flight is strong. Really strong. And most classes don’t have a way to get always up flight easily—we overall want the avowed to be functional within groups made of those classes. If an avowed is getting flight as early as 6, it only really plays well in parties that also have that sort of flight (otherwise it’ll make the campaign difficult for the DM and other players). Balancing encounters around one party member having both flight and powerful ranged options is just as hard as balancing encounters around one party member being stronger than the rest in other ways. If the enemies can fly as well, the non-flying party members can’t really contribute easily. If they can’t, then the avowed likely trivializes things. Even the previous version of ascension, putting it at 11, was only really balanced against classes like full spellcasters (or summoner) or Path of War initiators.

    Something to note, though, is that of the 6-level spellcasters we’ve been comparing to, overland flight is available only to the magus (at CL 13) and the alchemist (also CL 13). Getting access to it requires them to spend a valuable spell known, as well as one of their highest-level slots each day for a long time. Even after the nerfs, the avowed gets their equivalent option two levels earlier. They’re still significantly better at flight than the competition, barring classes like the kineticist or shifter (who paid much, much more for it).

    Overall, if an avowed wants to get flight earlier than that, they can do so. They’ve got the same options as everyone else; they can get it through as mentioned by you guys, flying mounts, potions, wands, or race/feat choices. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until level 11, much like an alchemist or magus have to wait until level 13.
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2018-07-19 at 12:37 AM.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Thanks for the response, I see a lot in here that's actually really good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire View Post

    We’re discussing internally how we can address the reliability (or lack thereof) of non-modulation clauses. Heighten Spell-Like Ability will push their base DCs to higher than a bard’s (at a similar “daily resource” cost), but we’re going to be going back over these and giving them more thought.

    The escalating bonuses/penalties on unbind spell/spell consumption, bewitch, and create friendship (it’s just those four), though, are in response to some particularly campaign-warping results of them being at-will. In effect, these abilities could be used to “take 20” in a noncombat situation, which has huge ramifications on the design of an adventure. A normal spellcaster can use dispel magic once or twice generally, but will run out of prepared instances of it, or spell slots on a spontaneous caster. Previously, an avowed could roll through a dungeon spamming the clause on everything magical in sight, making the design of said dungeon very difficult on the DM side of things.

    Create friendship and bewitch create a similar problem, but for roleplaying encounters instead of dungeon crawls. They don’t have visible spell components, so previously, you could, say… keep casting it on someone until they failed the save. As long as you manage to not have combat break out, you’ll eventually snag the target with mind control, regardless of their save bonuses. That’s a fundamentally unhealthy dynamic, and we’ve added the save bonus to this effect to help counteract it (you can still use it multiple times on a target, and your success rate will be similar for a bit, but you can’t just keep spamming it on someone forever).

    Something to note is that these only apply to an individual target. You can still toss a dispel out on each trap in a dungeon without an issue; it’s just that you’re somewhat penalized for sticking around to “take 20” on each of them. Likewise, if you’re at some social event with nobles, you can totally try to charm or bewitch multiple people, but you can’t spam your suggestion effect repeatedly on the king until he fails.

    Finally, regarding your last concerns, we’re not trying to force the avowed into specific roles, just to bring their spam in line with the limited resources of other specialists. For characters who want to use clauses as their primary tool, aether swarm is still there as a non-heavy blasting option that lets you do clauses to debuff or attack at the same time (and we have more, similar shapes planned for different takes on that niche). You mention that you’re looking for a “like a spellcaster with staying power;” could you elaborate on what sort of mechanical concept you’re looking to get out of the avowed, and how its current shapes are deficient for that in your eyes?
    I admit that my initial response was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction even after giving it time to stew. But the image I had in my head for the longest time of avowed, was of comparing it to other focused spellcasters. Back when the core concept was known as the warlock, it was a case of 'this person has more powerful spells than you, and could cast from literally hundreds.' Or 'this class is known for powerful, but far fewer spells. And it's still way more than you.' But the warlock had the ability to cast, and cast, and cast all day. Sure, it's very limited toolbox wouldn't ever match the versatility of the others, but it could make things happen until they got it right. It made me think about creative ways to use spells like shatter, and dispel magic because those were some of a literal dozen or two tricks my character could rely on for their entire career.

    You mentioned that a traditional spellcaster won't cast dispel magic more than once or twice. To be fair, I've never seen a spellcaster use it without something like a staff, or arcanist exploits to make it happen, as it's been considered 'too risky' to waste something as valuable as a spell slot on. This is absolutely why I like the avowed's option to say "Well, I absolutely can make use of this thing other people avoid, because I have the opportunities to make something stick." In an out of combat scenario, I can absolutely see the difficulties this adds however.

    The ability of the avowed to still target a different creature or target with the same clause is fantastic, I will admit, and seems fair. However, let's imagine that you don't stick your dispel magic on the first, or even second casting of it. You really want to dispel magic. You have fewer 'magic tricks' (In reference to clauses, not modulations or blasts) than you have fingers on one hand at this level. You'd better hope you have some way of making it work. In the past, you could get away with it by trying over and over until something worked.

    Also, insofar as the feats and investment in things such as empower, I absolutely don't look at a class like avowed if I want to be managing limited resources per day. That's the biggest, most central thing I adore about it. "I can magic." without the limits on how much that (more limited selection of) magic can be used.

    To answer your question, the 'mage with staying power' isn't even about the shapes. The tricks they have available with non-modulation clauses they have at their disposal are what makes them feel more magical than any other blaster or hitter. I don't think of the avowed as a 'blaster with tricks,' I think of them as a 'toolbox that isn't glass.'

    Mobility options, invisibility, self buffs and even some battlefield control options with things like walls and fogs were all things I've greatly enjoyed about various iterations of this class and the one before it. To me I considered these handful of options to be a holy grail, because even though you had fewer tricks than any sorcerer, you could pull on them time and time again. The 'mage with staying power' is about being able to use these tools effectively throughout the entire day, whether it's a two hour dungeon crawl, or a really protracted fight with a boss. Losing out on the DC, particularly in a fight that has other focused casters (Of the 6, or 9 varieties) makes your magical presence feel like a third wheel.

    And editing it in here, it seems the easiest means of fixing the roleplay encounters with those clauses would be to potentially add the risk of discovery (via obvious signs) on repeated casting. Likewise, I see it compared to a mesmerist or enchantment specialist, and look at how many tricks they have to bewitch someone, and accept that I've only got about two (Outside of increasing my skills and doing it that way) and better make sure that those powers, if I select them, are powerful aspects of my character.

    Finally, I realize that those specific clauses with penalties are only a small fraction of what I described. While that's the case, I feel like an avowed of any given level is going to have far fewer 'magic tricks' than any similar 6caster, so each one you have should feel like an investment, and not something that either won't stick, or peter off after two failed attempts, and you should hope you have something else relevant to this specific situation. (Though being able to use aether pulse as a backup isn't a terrible option!)

    I'm far less interested in the methods I use for my blasting (As a backup) than my methods for weaving magical effects over and over again. I suppose I could see something like an avowed with fewer, or even only one proper blast shape progression, and still be happy with the other tools it has to be a party's source of magic. (Limited number of effects, broad application.) Maybe that could be something of an archetype for the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire View Post
    Flight is strong. Really strong. And most classes don’t have a way to get always up flight easily—we overall want the avowed to be functional within groups made of those classes. If an avowed is getting flight as early as 6, it only really plays well in parties that also have that sort of flight (otherwise it’ll make the campaign difficult for the DM and other players). Balancing encounters around one party member having both flight and powerful ranged options is just as hard as balancing encounters around one party member being stronger than the rest in other ways. If the enemies can fly as well, the non-flying party members can’t really contribute easily. If they can’t, then the avowed likely trivializes things. Even the previous version of ascension, putting it at 11, was only really balanced against classes like full spellcasters (or summoner) or Path of War initiators.

    Something to note, though, is that of the 6-level spellcasters we’ve been comparing to, overland flight is available only to the magus (at CL 13) and the alchemist (also CL 13). Getting access to it requires them to spend a valuable spell known, as well as one of their highest-level slots each day for a long time. Even after the nerfs, the avowed gets their equivalent option two levels earlier. They’re still significantly better at flight than the competition, barring classes like the kineticist or shifter (who paid much, much more for it).

    Overall, if an avowed wants to get flight earlier than that, they can do so. They’ve got the same options as everyone else; they can get it through as mentioned by you guys, flying mounts, potions, wands, or race/feat choices. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until level 11, much like an alchemist or magus have to wait until level 13.
    I've yet to find a game where people wait for 13th+ level to fly if they can help it. (And by "if they can help it" I am referring to any scenario where the GM does not decree "No, your feet will stay on the ground.") Wands, scrolls, permanency, and more. Classes that have flight on their spell list typically only have it as an excuse to get it easier through items or permanent effects with less headache. While classes like a magus and alchemist don't get it until later levels, the impression I got from the avowed was of their inherently magical nature. Flight being accessible so early made them both relevant, and distinctive over the sheer combat power of the magus attacks and the various tricks an alchemist has at their disposal. Particularly without expending daily resources. If your goal is to make the avowed fit into a combat solution with rangers and monks, the 'at-will' flight could be something far less fast at low levels such as a leisurely levitate-esque 15-20 ft speed.

    I feel that the challenge with flight is in 2D encounter design, and that taking 3D capabilities into account for enemies and players alike solves many of these problems, but so far it's seemed pretty clear that I'm in the minority on this opinion. Likewise, if you're balancing this class around a party that won't fly without spending a daily resource or gold every time, then I don't think any 'free' flight will ever be balanced. There's nothing I can do to argue that point.
    Last edited by Shiney103; 2018-07-16 at 01:42 AM.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Thank you for such a detailed response!
    Letting my thoughts on the changes stew over the past few days, I've felt more and more that the change to modulation save DCs was a good call - the topic of how the non-modulation clause DCs will be handled is I think the major point of contention left, but the acknowledgement that it's still an issue you want to work on makes me optimistic.


    =======


    For another point of feedback, this is a bit awkward right after I said how nice the Night Watch improvement was, but I'm worried not that the Nightwatch Nightfalll combination is a bit too strong.

    Nightfall upgrading to Deeper Darkness at CL7 is a great thing - darkvision is available to enemies all the way from level 1 encounters, so if Nightfall never had a way of overcoming that, it wouldn't be good for any build except Shadow pacts.
    Level 7 is also when monsters start having other special senses, so deeper darkness isn't a sure win, but... when enemies are hindered by magical darkness, you throw battlefields into chaos by making it so your entire party can see and all the enemies are effectively blind.
    Really, the same problem would apply if you were lucky enough to go through something like a human-filled dungeon where none of the enemies had normal darkvision, pre-level 7.


    I'm not sure if there's a neat solution, but maybe something like this could work?
    "Night Watch: With a touch, you grant a creature (or yourself) the ability to see in darkness, including magical darkness, for 24 hours. When you use this on another creature besides you, they gain a faint supernatural glow: they can only gain a maximum of 20% concealment from darkness, including magical darkness. A creature may dismiss this effect from themselves as a free action, losing both the glow and the ability to see in darkness."

    It's weird for fluff, but I think it cuts off the abuse potential of an entire party fighting with total concealment - and if they need to sneak, they can hold hands with you and be led blind.
    (It would make a lot more sense if the fluff of Night Watch was that it granted a sort of inner light - but then it wouldn't make sense for the Shadow Pact to grant it! Ahaha.)
    Last edited by Mezzaluna; 2018-07-16 at 01:40 AM.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Glad to see both of you are still around, and that the avowed is being worked on.

    Aether Rounds has lost the "fire/throw copies of your ammunition/weapon" ability in the rewrite. Is this intentional?

    Aether Equilibrium would be neat if you could use a melee weapon shape with it, to make it mimic whirlwind attack.

    Aether Lance does not specify that it uses the same damage roll for all targets, unlike the attack roll (and Aether Equilibrium). Intended?

    Since both Aether Equilibrium and Aether Lance both rely on a single attack (and damage) roll, does this mean they apply (Improved) Aether Skirmish's damage to all their targets?

    Thanks for your hard work!
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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by Forrestfire View Post
    Flight is strong. Really strong. And most classes don’t have a way to get always up flight easily—we overall want the avowed to be functional within groups made of those classes. If an avowed is getting flight as early as 6, it only really plays well in parties that also have that sort of flight (otherwise it’ll make the campaign difficult for the DM and other players). Balancing encounters around one party member having both flight and powerful ranged options is just as hard as balancing encounters around one party member being stronger than the rest in other ways. If the enemies can fly as well, the non-flying party members can’t really contribute easily. If they can’t, then the avowed likely trivializes things. Even the previous version of ascension, putting it at 11, was only really balanced against classes like full spellcasters (or summoner) or Path of War initiators.

    Something to note, though, is that of the 6-level spellcasters we’ve been comparing to, overland flight is available only to the magus (at CL 13) and the alchemist (also CL 13). Getting access to it requires them to spend a valuable spell known, as well as one of their highest-level slots each day for a long time. Even after the nerfs, the avowed gets their equivalent option two levels earlier. They’re still significantly better at flight than the competition, barring classes like the kineticist or shifter (who paid much, much more for it).

    Overall, if an avowed wants to get flight earlier than that, they can do so. They’ve got the same options as everyone else; they can get it through as mentioned by you guys, flying mounts, potions, wands, or race/feat choices. Otherwise, they’ll have to wait until level 11, much like an alchemist or magus have to wait until level 13.
    You can actually buy items of all day flight for a reasonable (1/5th) chunk of your WBL as early as 12th (for crappy flying), or 16th (for actual good flying). By the point where Magus et al get access to Overland Flight, it's essentially a money saving choice for them, rather than a notable power unlock.

    Also, Summoners and Unchained Summoners are also 1-6 casters with Overland Flight as well. Chained Summoners even get it at 10th (which may fall under "the Chained Summoner's spell list is weird", to be fair).

    (I will admit that the flight thing probably bugs me because the Avowed I'm playing is an Air Elemental pact, where the flight delay feels most out of place, because it seems like a thing that someone with air powers should just be able to do).
    Last edited by ChrisAsmadi; 2018-07-16 at 05:25 AM.

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    Default Re: [Forrestfire Studios] The Avowed: Promises of Power - Updated Playtest

    Quote Originally Posted by MilleniaAntares View Post
    Glad to see both of you are still around, and that the avowed is being worked on.

    Aether Rounds has lost the "fire/throw copies of your ammunition/weapon" ability in the rewrite. Is this intentional?

    Aether Equilibrium would be neat if you could use a melee weapon shape with it, to make it mimic whirlwind attack.

    Aether Lance does not specify that it uses the same damage roll for all targets, unlike the attack roll (and Aether Equilibrium). Intended?

    Since both Aether Equilibrium and Aether Lance both rely on a single attack (and damage) roll, does this mean they apply (Improved) Aether Skirmish's damage to all their targets?

    Thanks for your hard work!
    Aether Rounds has lost this benefit because we discussed it for a while, and decided we didn't want to give the Avowed a a unique, universally applicable ability that would be a massive quality of life improvement for ranged weapon users in general. So we'll be adding a Combat feat that allows for that functionality to Heart and Soul, so everyone can get in on that fun. Aether Equilibrium, similarly, has a counterpart in Heart and Soul called Aether Spiral. Finally, we've added a line to Aether Skirmish that clarifies that it only functions for attacks affecting a single target.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisAsmadi View Post
    You can actually buy items of all day flight for a reasonable (1/5th) chunk of your WBL as early as 12th (for crappy flying), or 16th (for actual good flying). By the point where Magus et al get access to Overland Flight, it's essentially a money saving choice for them, rather than a notable power unlock.

    Also, Summoners and Unchained Summoners are also 1-6 casters with Overland Flight as well. Chained Summoners even get it at 10th (which may fall under "the Chained Summoner's spell list is weird", to be fair).

    (I will admit that the flight thing probably bugs me because the Avowed I'm playing is an Air Elemental pact, where the flight delay feels most out of place, because it seems like a thing that someone with air powers should just be able to do).
    Realistically, every Avowed clause that mimics a spell's effect can be considered a money-saving choice, thanks to the availability of wands, staves, and scrolls. We're comfortable giving the Avowed the same options that the Magus, Alchemist, and unchained Summoner get (well, slightly better), as the intention of the update is to bring parity between them, not make the Avowed stronger. That said, we're not balancing against the chained Summoner due to its spell list granting it a number of spells a number of levels early.
    While we're not comfortable giving access to true flight any earlier, Surge is available for upwards mobility from level 1, and should be considered for your aerial mastery fluff.

    Thanks for all your feedback!
    Last edited by Taveena; 2018-07-16 at 10:45 AM.
    Incredible avatar made by Ceika.

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