Author Topic: What is this place?  (Read 1389 times)

Offline sirpercival

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What is this place?
« on: December 28, 2014, 01:55:26 PM »
Thought back to my Spirit Shaman and Incarnum stuff and realized I should perhaps just make a bunch of animalistic soulmelds and have them be an alternative list of soulmelds for the totemist instead of magical beast ones?  And then have totemist substitution levels for shifters or something.
Well, let's see. We have incarnum classes (w/ dedicated soulmelds) for Magical Beast, Plant, and Aberration. We need a bunch more if we're going to run the gamut, which would actually be kind of fun to consolidate.
I've been stymied by this idea myself. I tried working it as 3 access feats, one of which was basically a redesign of Necrocarnum Acolyte. The fey section wrote itself but I got blocked when coming upon ideas for elemental melds.

Should I post a tentative?
I mean, absolutely, but personally I feel like having distinct classes for the various creature types is a more interesting idea than access feats... just my 2cp.

Different classes would be cool. The big things are getting that completely different list of soulmelds and a few supporting class features. The totemist itself barely has anything to sell the magical beast theme other than the soulmeld list (wild empathy, +saves vs. totem bind's creature), so it's nice to see more fleshed out classes.

Regarding outsiders, I think the Incarnate does a decent job of filling that theme. It doesn't do specific outsiders too much, but between the alignment focus and the good number of its melds that have planar themes, I feel like it gets the point across.

I actually think a Fey one would be pretty neat.

I mean, there aren't that many Fey, but pretty much all of them are extremely distinct (compare a Murderjack, Glitterhaunt, Siabrie, and Dryad, for example).

How many monsters do you need (I've always been a bit sketchy on that); because if there aren't enough first-party Fey, then I know of plenty of homebrew ones. But I'm pretty sure there are more Fey than Plant creatures.

EDIT: And Fey are pretty wide thematically.

Sounds like the project needs its own thread, at the very least.

Or we might make a new subforum and have each type of creature with enough support for a full set of soulmelds and effects.  "Expanded incarnum project" or something.

Let's make a subforum; we can have Warpsoul & Green Man moved there.

And I can make feats!

Many feats!

More feats than you can handle.

And I'll just constantly churn out half-started ideas and some starting basis for them, as well as references and crap?  Like with the animal soulmelds there's the spirit shaman guides, but there's also all those barbarian ACFs.  There are also several alternate animal companions in Dragon Mag as well as some new animals like the riding bird (AKA chocobo).  And WotC archives do still have full searchable databases for carious creatures.  http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/monsters&tablefilter=animal for example.

Random thought: There needs to be a dragonblood subtype creature that also has incarnum ties.
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Offline sirpercival

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Re: What is this place?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2014, 01:57:38 PM »
Maybe make an incarnum barbarian? Like, even more so than totemist? I dunno. I feel like if you're going to make a bunch of animal soulmelds you have to make it into a separate class. I'd be happy to help...

Now this has me thinking...
  • Constructs would be pretty straightforward, I think. Finally an incarnum class dedicated to warforged!
  • For Outsiders, the problem would be narrowing them down so that you don't have too many soulmelds. Something something Planeswalker?
  • Someone's making a dedicated Dragon incarnum class for the Base Class Challenge, IIRC. Noumenon Drake doesn't really count because it doesn't have its own soulmelds, but either way this should be covered.
  • Elementals should work too (can expand to paras and quasis if necessary). The thematics are pretty obvious.
  • Fey seems to work... okay. I dunno. The thematics are pretty narrow, IMO, and I'm not convinced there are enough unique fey to support a full soulmeld list. We shall have to think on this one... though I guess there are more mythological fey which haven't been tapped.
  • Might need to combine Monstrous Humanoid, Humanoid, and Giant. Even so, finding enough unique abilities is going to be tough.
  • Unless we bring in Living Spells (which opens up a huge can of worms), I don't think there are enough oozes to support a full list. Dragon Mag might help.
  • Undead: trivial. And probably interesting, esp. if you can keep it away from necrocarnum.
  • Vermin are boring. Maybe combine with animal?

Magical Beasts: Totemist
Outsiders: Incarnate?
Plants: Green Man
Aberrations: Warpsoul

Constructs
Dragons
Vermin/Animals
Humanoid/Monstrous Humanoid/Giant
Fey
Elementals
Undead
Ooze?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 02:00:25 PM by sirpercival »
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Offline Amechra

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Re: What is this place?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2015, 10:00:15 PM »
Fey are pretty much just as wide as Dragons, if not wider.

And I think we should open that can of gummy worms; Oozes have some pretty iconic members, after all. And you could even use Skitterhusks (or whatever that template that turns Vermin into Oozes is called) to include Vermin in the list.

Ooh, an Incarnum class themed around sewers and rot would be pretty cool; the list would pretty much be Oozes, Vermin, molds, and maybe Oytughs.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 10:02:59 PM by Amechra »
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Offline Versatility_Nut

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Re: What is this place?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2017, 08:06:23 PM »
There should probably be a general discussion thread labeled here... Because it's confusing to have a subforum without a specific general thread.

Some of my general thinking:

The Totem Chakra is for copying existing things. It's taking on traits of other things on a deep level, but it's drawing what's outside into yourself.  A Totem Chakra Dragon class is akin to the Dragonfire Adept, drawing on external things to change themselves into a more potent form. They can change what sort of draconic traits they are using on a day to day basis, as they aren't tying their being to one particular thing due to using Incarnum. The Dragonfire Adept, itself, doesn't bind itself to one particular type of dragon, instead calling on many draconic traits as desired to deal with the problem.

The Soul Chakra is for what you are inside. The core of what you are, not what other things do. Drawing out what's already in you. A Soul Chakra Dragon class is more like the Dragon Disciple, gradually becoming a draconic being from calling out what's already in them. They don't change all their draconic traits on a daily basis, having their energy type locked in place from the first level due to forces outside of Incarnum use. As with the Dragon Disciple, the type of dragon is fixed, the traits are all tied to this one thing.

In both cases, the Dragon Incarnum class focuses on breath attack use, as well as getting access to other common draconic traits. The Soul Chakra class would have some features, such as Energy Resistance, be class features rather than Soulmelds, tied to the energy type at first level. The Totem Chakra class, instead, could become a mixup of different energy types and mechanics from Dragons with no properly coherent theme.

---

As for how to set up the things for the dedicated classes, I've had ideas for Undead-themed Incarnum classes that do center on Necrocarnum, but not solely the Zombies. Admittedly, one of the ideas is a class dedicated solely to Necrocarnum Zombies, but that's a matter of keeping to set of three classes for it.

One of the ideas is having the class dependent on external sources of Essentia. Essentially using the souls of others to power their soulmelds, rather than the force of their own. One of the things I can think of to mitigate the strength of this is to have added requirements and penalties to using this, with some high-power Soulmelds requiring this extra Essentia. The fluff on Necrocarnum is that it's a twisted version of regular Incarnum energy, which I take to mean having the typical positive energy of Essentia replaced with negative energy, which is hostile to normal life. So something like -1 Con per Necrocarnum Essentia you have would work out as a limiter, with a means of getting your Soulmelds Charisma based later on, as well as Charisma to HP and Fort save. Meaning that, at high levels, your only use for Con is avoiding death-by-zero-Con. Include an Undead transformation and that stops being an issue.

As for Soulmelds, the name of the game here is Touch-attack effects with clauses for Natural Weapons that some would grant. Temp HP based on extra negative energy damage dealt, Con damage, Dex damage, Wis damage, Energy Drain, poisons, diseases and so on. With Necrocarnum Zombies getting a chunk of the list based on type of undead being made and Soulmelds to give buffs to them. Ideally, you'd be able to switch from Minionmancy to an unarmed SoS build, with doing both being possible, but unwise. The Chakras give a wonderful ability to balance things by giving slot contradiction, so similar features for Minionmancy and the natural attack setup(Claw/Claw/Bite for two Soulmelds with inbuild minor riders to get it started)

Oh, also the Necrocarnum Essentia being tied to Chakras. Fluff-wise, it's tying masses of Necrocarnum Essentia to the Chakras for long-term stability. I'm thinking that the mechanic can be extended by having it so that there'd be Gravemelds that get half-effect from regular Essentia and full effect from Necrocarnum Essentia, with regular Soulmelds getting the reverse, adding an additional build choice by having the character choose which side they want to focus on. Regular Soulmelds being mostly the minionmancy, Gravemelds being mostly the natural-attack setup, with a rule stating that at least half the Necrocarnum Essentia on a Chakra would need to be invested in the soulmeld(s) shaped on that Chakra. So sticking Necrocarnum Essentia onto a Chakra is biasing you towards using that slot for Natural Attacks.

TL;DR version: Class feature to get alternate Essentia type, permanently bound to a Chakra, giving -1 Con for each point you have, that works normally for class's special Soulmeld category, while being half effect for regular Soulmelds. Regular Essentia having half effect on special Soulmelds. Special Soulmelds being focused on personal Natural Attacks with various on-hit effects based on debuffing the opponent into oblivion, regular Soulmelds being based on making and improving Necrocarnum Undead. Class features for Cha-based Soulmelds and replacing regular Con functions with Cha, coming in throughout leveling.

For the class's Chakra, it'd be Soul, due to gradually becoming more and more Undead and making it so that they are internalizing the stuff all the way down. Right at the level of getting the Soul Chakra, they'd get Negative Energy Affinity, making them Undead in every way but creature type. As in, including many of the immunities, like Poison and Disease. Basically all of them except immunity to non-object Fort saves and mind-effecting.

---

I also have considered Incarnum item crafting, and think the ideas I came up with for that to be a good spot to start for a Construct-themed Incarnum class. The two main ideas I had were Soulmelds improving other Soulmelds and variations on Incarnum Weapon that make different items for the equipment slot they are bound to, with simple Shaping granting an effect to whatever item of that slot you are wearing, with the item slots in question being much more limited than the number of Chakras, to make stacking possible.

For example, let's say that you have crit-range increasing, throwing distance boosting and added Dexterity as Hands slot binds. Binding the critical-range increase creates a Scyth, a nat-20-only crit range weapon with a x4 damage multiplier on crit. Binding the throwing distance increaser creates one Light Hammer, 20 ft. throwing range increment, or Throwing Axe, 10 ft. throwing range increment, per invested Essentia that reform in your hands at the start of each round. The Dexterity boost, when bound, would create a Kukri or Shortsword. All with an Enhancement Bonus to Attack and Damage equal to invested Essentia. Essentially, Binding the Soulmeld creates a weapon, or weapons, that is useful for the effect provided, including being a weapon that becomes useful through the Soulmeld.

As for Soulmelds that upgrade other Soulmelds, it'd be a category that explicitly can be shaped to a Chakra without actually occupying it, providing it's effect to other soulmelds shaped/bound to that Chakra. The Binding effect would be to allow another Soulmeld to be bound to that Chakra as if it were a different one, such as letting Arms binding effects be applied for binding to Hands, and Shoulder effects for applying to Arms. Basically letting you turn one Chakra into another. Naturally, Split Chakra would allow you to buff two Soulmelds at the same time with one of these, working around a major limiter of Soulmelds for two of them.

Associated items wouldn't be just copying the Chakra/Item Slot relation. Instead, Hands/Arms/Shoulders would be for things you hold in hand and wear on hand, being gloves, weapons and shields. Feet/Waist/Heart would be for the torso and below the waist, meaning that any of the three could be armor, belts or boots. Binding armor to your feet would be perfectly doable. Crown/Brow/Throat would be for the head and neck area, and covered in overlapping effects of the AoE sort, with the need for a Bind to make the thing you are using, but merely Shaped ones could be allowed to stack it. Of course, there'd be overlapped wording for certain hands/arms/shoulders Soulmelds that give splash weapons, which just means you can get weirder with your crafted nonsense. And Spiked Armor and wording for Shields could allow for shenanigans with defensive properties.

As for minion-making, I'd have it be directly Construct based. Such as a shaping making you functionally have bonus Construct HD in the form of temp HP and bonus to-hit, with the Heart Chakra Bind effect being to make ML Constructs with E HD, each with your armor-bonuses. Or a Shoulder Chakra bind making an Arbalester with your weapon bonuses, with the Shape effect being instant weapon drawing and reloading. And part of the situation is being able to hand certain 'Meld-made items to other players, such as arrows that replicate your other 'Meld effects, limited to Essentia invested in the arrows and the other 'Meld.

TL;DR version: Soulmelds in three categories, each with three Chakras to the category, and each category being creation of a type of item for the Soulmelds to affect/make. Hand/Arm/Shoulder for hand-held/worn items, shield-based attacks being included as weapons. Foot/Waist/Heart for boots and armor, with boot-bind effects being mobility and defense effects going to armor-binds, while the Crown/Neck/Throat chain is for blatantly-shenanigans AoE and mobility effects.

For the class's Chakra, it'd be Totem, due to the internalizing of magic item effects and basic Elemental force directing. Totem Bind effects would largely be for increasing effect stacking options and saving space from the really simple stuff. Like, instead of having Soulmelds that directly give you AoEs of the basic damage types, those effects would be rolled into the basic damage adder of the same type.

---

So... Thoughts on the basic ideas of these two class ideas? I'll wait for comments before doing another idea pair. Probably being Ooze and Dragon, to be honest. Or maybe more intricate ideas for guidelines on Soulmelds to use for guiding my attempts at working out a new class for each. Probably including plants, to get the sort of coherent design philosophy I'm going for included in it. More likely to be AFCs for Green Man to work mechanics differences, followed by Soulmeld set for design philosophy compliance.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: What is this place?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2017, 10:07:16 PM »
OK whoa that's a lot to process. I will say that I made some strides towards planning this out during the Interregnum, and asked for some stuff to be moved in here (and the subforum renamed) once we came back, but it hasn't happened yet. Either way, I have a bunch of the class names picked out, and here are the type groupings I intended for them:

Creature TypeIncarnum ClassDone?
AberrationWarpsoulYes
AnimalSavage
ConstructVitalforge
DragonAnima Drake
ElementalEssence Shaper
FeySidhe Lord
GiantChanneler of Myth
HumanoidChanneler of Myth   
Magical BeastTotemistPublished
Monstrous Humanoid    Channeler of Myth
OozeSludgebeast
OutsiderIncarnatePublished
PlantGreen ManYes
UndeadGaunt
VerminSavage

Or, by class instead of by type:

Incarnum ClassCreature Type(s)
Anima DrakeDragon
Channeler of MythGiant, Humanoid, Monstrous Humanoid
Essence ShaperElemental
GauntUndead
Green ManPlant
IncarnateOutsider
SavageAnimal, Vermin
Sidhe LordFey
SludgebeastOoze
TotemistMagical Beast
VitalforgeConstruct
WarpsoulAberration



Re: your thoughts on Dragon, the way you describe the "Totem Dragon" class is actually very similar to the Noumenon Drake class from Ethos of the Wyrm. In fact, we'll have to be careful to draw clear lines between Ethos and the Anima Drake, though of course we can borrow class features if we really want to. The main idea I had was to associate particular draconic deities (and therefore grouping dragons primarily by alignment) with particular chakras. This doesn't line up exactly since there are 12 draconic deities (11 in RoDr and Drac, + Sardior) and 10 chakras, so it stalled out because I wasn't sure exactly how to deal with that... but I was taking inspiration from spellscale Blood Quickening Meditations (general mechanics themes, not specific abilities).



Re: Undead-themed, I haven't looked at my Necrocarnate fix recently enough to be able to compare with your ideas. Have you seen it? I don't remember how I dealt with some of the problems with Necrocarnum at the time...

I was originally intending to go for an undead-themed one that didn't involve Necrocarnum, because the idea was to create thematic soulmelds based on the abilities of specific undead creatures (like I did for Warpsoul and Green Man). I do like the idea of giving up a part of yourself to shape them (a la -1 Con per something, soulmeld or essentia or chakra bind or whatever) -- since undead are perversions of the natural progression of souls, so the undead soulmelds would have to be powered by your own soul energy or physical essence or whatever.



My main inspiration for Incarnum crafting is the feats by Amechra, which Green Man actually gets, so I think I'd rather stay away from that.

However, I really like the idea of synergizing soulmelds - not just soulmelds which upgrade others, but where you can designate soulmelds as "linked" or something, and depending on which combinations you link, you get interesting feedback effects. I was also thinking that there weren't going to be as many soulmelds in total for the class (for example, I was thinking of making a single golem-themed soulmeld which took on characteristics of different golems based on which chakra it's bound to), so this would actually help mitigate the lack of options there.
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Offline Versatility_Nut

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Re: What is this place?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 12:06:29 AM »
Quote
Re: your thoughts on Dragon, the way you describe the "Totem Dragon" class is actually very similar to the Noumenon Drake class from Ethos of the Wyrm. In fact, we'll have to be careful to draw clear lines between Ethos and the Anima Drake, though of course we can borrow class features if we really want to. The main idea I had was to associate particular draconic deities (and therefore grouping dragons primarily by alignment) with particular chakras. This doesn't line up exactly since there are 12 draconic deities (11 in RoDr and Drac, + Sardior) and 10 chakras, so it stalled out because I wasn't sure exactly how to deal with that... but I was taking inspiration from spellscale Blood Quickening Meditations (general mechanics themes, not specific abilities).
The immediate differences I can think of putting in place would be having it be a Totem Bind class, without the Ideal Bind or Soul Bind, and building around the idea of doing most dragon things with Soulmelds. Also not using the Ideal system as a crutch for certain functions of being a draconic Meldshaper class.

As why I was mentioning dragons in the first place, it's because dragons are kinda the only creature type you can easily have that sort of pick for the idea of who/what you are versus calling on imprints from outside. In regards to associating Chakras to Draconic Deities, you can focus on aspects of what Dragons are. Shoulders representing the Wings, for example. Freedom, mobility, aloofness, distancing oneself and every symbolism you can think of for wings. Metabreath would get weird, though, as you only have one Chakra to represent the Breath. Although you could have the Metabreath options relate to tangential stuff, like having Lingering Breath's counterpart Soulmeld go with whatever Chakra represents the immense lifetime of Dragons.

If you want symbolism and can't make one sort work, then use a different symbolism and rework from there. Can you come up with ten parts of what it means to be a Dragon? I can think of Wings, Breath, Magic, Scales and Age, off the top of my head. Yes, there's overlap between them in related mechanics and concepts, but that just makes it easier to do a good Soulmeld list by letting you spread similar abilities across the Chakras.

Quote
Re: Undead-themed, I haven't looked at my Necrocarnate fix recently enough to be able to compare with your ideas. Have you seen it? I don't remember how I dealt with some of the problems with Necrocarnum at the time...
What problems with Necrocarnum? It can easily just be seen as the negative-energy counterpart to regular Incarnum's positive energy. There's no lore I'm aware of that contradicts this conceptualization of it. Just because it's only uses in official material is soul-sucking and zombie-making doesn't mean it can't be more interesting.

Quote
I was originally intending to go for an undead-themed one that didn't involve Necrocarnum, because the idea was to create thematic soulmelds based on the abilities of specific undead creatures (like I did for Warpsoul and Green Man). I do like the idea of giving up a part of yourself to shape them (a la -1 Con per something, soulmeld or essentia or chakra bind or whatever) -- since undead are perversions of the natural progression of souls, so the undead soulmelds would have to be powered by your own soul energy or physical essence or whatever.
The thing is that Necrocarnum is actually exactly that. It's a twisted form of Incarnum. Perverted progression of the natural form of souls? That's Necrocarnum. There's no need to build piles of fluff for an Undead incarnum class when Necrocarnum is just a variant energy type. Literally to normal Essentia as negative energy is to positive. And we all know that negative energy destroys positive on contact, so imagine what negative energy soul-stuff being shoved into you does...

And my thinking is not to base all of the classes directly on the creatures of the type, but for some of them to be based on the ideas of the type, marking the difference as Totem and Soul Chakras. For Undead, there's very few iconic Undead abilities that aren't doable with the basic ideas. Instead of calling on Wights for energy drain, it's just making a soulmeld that drains energy through the same process that Wights, Vampires, Shadows and other undead use without getting them involved. It's getting Undead abilities yourself, not calling on the twisted spirits to grant them to you.

Although one of the things I whipped up over on Giant in the Playground on a whim in someone else's thread was a soulmeld based on Death Knights. Shaped effect of Masterwork Banded Mail with a basic enhancement bonus equal to invested essentia, Arms bind giving 1d6 damage per invested Essentia, split between half negative energy and half elemental and Brow giving control over up to Meldshaper level Undead, no save for mindless Undead.

Quote
My main inspiration for Incarnum crafting is the feats by Amechra, which Green Man actually gets, so I think I'd rather stay away from that.
My own Incarnum crafting ideas revolve around the idea that you make it a permanent item by carving off the bit of your soul it's attached to and crystallizing it, using extra Essentia to be able to do this without permanently ruining the Chakra it's attached to. Temporary Con and/or max HP damage, as well as temporarily lost Essentia.

Quote
However, I really like the idea of synergizing soulmelds - not just soulmelds which upgrade others, but where you can designate soulmelds as "linked" or something, and depending on which combinations you link, you get interesting feedback effects. I was also thinking that there weren't going to be as many soulmelds in total for the class (for example, I was thinking of making a single golem-themed soulmeld which took on characteristics of different golems based on which chakra it's bound to), so this would actually help mitigate the lack of options there.
In this case, it's a mix of Soulmelds that upgrade a Chakra they are shaped to and simply Soulmelds being designed in a way that makes them stack together simply by being shaped at the same time. A limited list is important, yes, otherwise the combinations become nearly impossible to work with. One of the examples I considered was having extended range Splash weapons inflicting three different save or suck effects. And being able to get 20 attacks per round by having four rounds of Dancing with four attacks per round sending out Dancing weapons.

As for hooking Soulmelds together, the idea of the booster-'Melds making some Chakras count as others for Binding is intended as a mix of early access and being able to have Split Chakra allow you to apply a booster-'Meld to two 'Melds for different Chakras.

Still going to dig into Green Man's everything to put together a set of Soulmelds fitting an exact design philosophy. Just 'Melds, though. And not today, as I desperately need sleep.