Author Topic: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde  (Read 1194 times)

Offline Garryl

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[D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« on: July 03, 2017, 09:48:28 PM »
Continued from the temp boards. Links may or may not get updated.

Our PbP board is up!

Having just finished my grad courses for the summer, I'm in the mood to try to run a PbP game. I'd like to do The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde, although I could also be convinced to give Red Hand of Doom a try. I ran Slaughtergarde for my tabletop group back when we were playing, and it was a nice, solid, enjoyable dungeon crawl. We were going to do RHoD, but the group kind of fell apart a couple of encounters in.

This site looks to have the player-public information regarding the module and the campaign site.

If anyone knows any good resources for showing the dungeon/battlefield online, that's something I could use a hand with.

Rule set: 3.5 edition Dungeons and Dragons
Players: 4 or 5
Starting level: 1st
Character creation: 32 PB, average hp for rolled HD (1st level is still maximized). Average starting gold for 1st level.
Optimization: Tier 3-ish.
Resources: Core + any splatbooks I can get the relevant parts of + lots of homebrew. My library is limited to Tome of Battle + Races of Destiny/Stone/Wild, so anything beyond that check with me first. Homebrew-wise, most of my own brew is in, and there are a ton of other great homebrewers on this forum.
Posting: I know games tend to stall out during combat. I had some ideas to help alleviate that. I don't know which will work, so I'm just throwing them out there.
  • I'll try to post the defenses (hp, AC, saves, etc.) for any monsters you're fighting. That way, when you attack or cast a spell, you can do all of the defensive rolls for them and figure out the results without having to wait for me to do it.
  • To keep things moving, one combat round will be at most one week. One week after the round starts, anybody who hasn't posted an action (either a final action or at least a tentative plan) for their character forfeits their turn and the game moves on. And if I'm the one who forgets to do anything, I guess the monsters will, too.
  • I'm not a huge fan of team initiative, game balance-wise, but it is an option.
House rules and generally-applied homebrew:
  • No xp penalties for multiclassing.
  • I've been dying to try out healing surges in a game, so that's in.
  • The Demolition and Endurance skills are in. Of the classes currently being looked at for play, Endurance is a class skill for the marshal, commander, and naturalist, and the commander's cohort will get a bonus to it with wild focus. I don't think anyone's playing a class that would get Demolition.
  • No flaws. If you really need them for your build, we can renegotiate.
  • Yes to PHB2 Retraining, although not full on rebuilding.
You can find a complete listing of my homebrew here. I'll be updating it with links as I get things reposted here. Let me know if you have any priority requests.

Pre-Approved Homebrew
Other Approved Homebrew
Disapproved Homebrew
I think that's it for game rules. Am I missing anything?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 07:11:25 PM by Garryl »

Offline Garryl

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(Continued) [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2017, 09:49:02 PM »
If you want to draw on anything in the setting outside of the the Valley of Obelisks, I finally got some of the greater worldbuilding stuff put together. Most of it's for the other continents on the planet, since the game I originally wrote this for (which used a different system entirely) was based there. You can use or ignore as much as you want, since the valleys are relatively isolated.

The game takes place in the Valley of Obelisks, located in the kingdom of Marrilach, located on the continent of Anshar on the planet Solak.



Anshar
Anshar is ringed by large mountain ranges, and most of the interior is divided into large valleys. The continent is inherently isolating, possibly accounting for why it has, by far, the greatest diversity of both species and cultures across all of Solak. It is not unheard of even in this day and age to find two adjacent valleys without any shared fauna, whose inhabitants speak entirely different languages.

The kingdom of Marrilach: One of the many kingdoms of Anshar. Marrilach consists of the three connected valleys through which the Marrilach River flows, from the Valley of Obelisks in the north-east, through the Sivar Lowlands, and finally into Elsir Vale in the south. The river keeps the three valleys connected, and trade both between them and with the kingdom's neighbors keeps them reasonably prosperous.

Dak-Tharsh: The primarily-goblinoid nation of Dak-Tharsh has a history of butting heads with its neighbors. The expansionist Dragon Party has been growing in popularity in recent years after the ruling Manticore Party refused to involve Dak-Tharsh in the Second Dawnstar War on Antares. This unstable political climate has made its neighbors uneasy.

Irim Dwegsho-in-exile: Once a mighty interstellar nation composing dozens of species across seven star systems, Irim Dwegsho was conquered by the Vandan Empire. Some three centuries or so ago, the survivors of Irim Dwegsho ended their decades-long trek across the stars and settled on Solak. In that time, much of their knowledge and technology was lost. While some remains, it pales in comparison to the stories told about the glorious homeworlds of old.

The Underdark: The Underdark is a network of natural caves and tunnel systems that criss-crosses beneath the surface of Anshar. Home to a bewildering variety of creatures and filled with twists, dead ends, and all manner of natural hazards, the Underdark is not a place to travel lightly. The only civilization to truly thrive in the Underdark is that of the drow, who connected the isolated valleys of Anshar in ages past as guides and traders. The past century or so has seen them become insular and xenophobic, however, and the shorter lived races have begun to forget the once-friendly face of a drow in the night.



Antares
The "mainland continent", all of the land of Antares has been claimed by one nation or another for roughly the past 300 years. The nations of Antares are still recovering from the aftermath of the Second Dawnstar War, which ended only last year. The last major war on Antares before that was the original Dawnstar Conflict 211 years ago. For two centuries, while border skirmishes occurred from time to time, no significant wars were fought. Most of any real fighting took place through political machinations and proxy wars among the various colonies on Arnos.

Eldrath: Once the largest naval power on Antares, Eldrath is situated at the closest point on the mainland to the continent of Arnos, directly across the Deserted Sea. When the sea's magic suddenly started swallowing ships beneath its waves, much of Eldrath's navy was lost and many of its colonies on Arnos were cut off from their patron nation. Eldrath never quite re-secured its original influence and power before the Second Dawnstar War, and it fell even further behind when Thrann's armies marched through it.

Menthyl Vare: Arguably the most powerful nation on Antares. Most Menthyl citizens have a relatively high quality of life compared to those of other nations. Magic is common in Menthyl Vare, and most of the educated members of the upper class can cast at least a few cantrips. The nation boasts the best magical college on the continent, bar none. Mages from across Antares come to study and research there.

Norion: Norion is a chain of islands off the south coast of Antares. While small, Norion accounted for almost a third of all colonies on Arnos before the Second Dawnstar Conflict. Norion's navy is very modest for an island nation of its size. However, it employs large numbers of privateers among its merchant fleets. Many a pirate has had the tables turned when attempting to plunder a merchanter flying Norion colors.

Iberius: Officially split between the Holy Iberian Monarchy and the Unholy Iberian Republic, the two countries are for all practical purposes one and the same, two sides of the same coin. Both nations, known collectively as Iberius, are united as theocratic nations following Iber. Iber preaches the importance of opposites and how they are necessary for the continuity of existence. The religion was founded, so the texts say, by a group of angels and demons who realized both the futility and necessity of their eternal divine war, and turned towards the planet of Solak to spread their newfound understanding. Both parts of Iberius follow these tenets, and as such, even though they claim to be separate nations, they work as closely with each other as would two branches of the same government.

Tanar: Tanar was built from an amalgamation of laguz clans. Tanar was suffered among the most losses of all countries involved in the the original Dawnstar Conflict, when they were invaded by Dylandt. In the Second Dawnstar War, Tanar sent its forces to the forefront of the fighting against Thrann, despite the empire not directly invading Tanar until later in the war.

Dylandt: 211 years ago, Dylandt's armies invaded Tanar, sparking the war known as the Dawnstar Conflict that eventually enveloped nearly half of Antares. Their immortal Scriveners proved instrumental to their success in the war, even though they were ultimately defeated. Dylandt never recovered from its loss in the original Dawnstar Conflict, and it only fared worse after its failed alliance with the Thrann Empire during the Second Dawnstar War.



Arnos
This continent has only been settled within the last 400 years. Its extensive natural resources enticed most of the nations on Antares and the other civilized continents to colonize Arnos. It lies to the west of Antares, directly across the Deserted Sea.

Thrann Empire: 3 years ago, one of the colonies on Arnos decided to declare independence. Calling itself the Thrann Empire, its armies grew strong and swept across the entirety of Arnos in the opening salvos of the Second Dawnstar War. Unsatisfied, Thrann then turned its sights to the nations of Antares, invading Eldrath, Menthyl Vare, and Dylandt. Thrann was ultimately defeated, but the two continents are still recovering.

The Turak Desert: While much of Arnos is temperate and filled with life, Turak is an arid desert. The mountain chains that bracket it on the east and west hold back most of the rainclouds, and the still-active volcanoes among them periodically spew ash and magma across the edges of the desert, leaving no place safe for permanent civilization, yet providing nourishing soil for the desert plants that regrow afterwards. Despite the harsh conditions, several tribes of nomads eke out a life upon the sands, following the oases of rich plant life that spring up in the volcanoes' wake.

Unsettled Lands: Deep in Arnos, creatures of myth and legend still stir. Some places unclaimed by civilization stay unclaimed for good reason. Here there be dragons, and worse.

Karrius: The Karrius valley houses ancient ruins have existed upon Arnos for longer than recorded history. The ruins' walls are covered in mysterious writings, only a fraction of which has yet been translated. No creatures live within the valley, and few traps that were ever set within the ruins still function. Despite this, it is extremely dangerous to explore Karrius at length. Each nightfall, all beings that have ever been within the valley for a full week of their lives disappear, never to be seen again. Not even the greatest sages who have studied the valley for their lifetimes yet know what happens to these poor, lost souls.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 12:18:39 AM »
Posting as a reminder to myself to actually build my Cyberneticist character...

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 06:00:37 AM »
And to rebuild mine, since I need new gear for my cohort among other things.

Outdated PC:
Tr'Bon Karlat, 1st level Commander

Human
Hit Dice: 1d8+2 (10 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 Armour)
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/+0
Attack: +0 Guisarme (2d4) or +2 Light Crossbow (1d8)
Full Attack: +0 Guisarme (2d4) or +2 Light Crossbow (1d8)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft. (Guisarme)
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Commander Aura, Warden, Aid Them All
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +2
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 18
Skills: Bluff 8 (+4 Cha, +4 Skills), Diplomacy 10 (+4 Cha, +4 Skills, +2 Bluff), Intimidate 10 (+4 Cha, +4 Skills, +2 Bluff), Sense Motive 4 (+4 Skills)
Feats: Aptitude Focus (Combat), Commander's Will
Flaws: None
Traits: None
Environment: Campaign
Organization: The Party
Treasure: 125gp
Armor (20gp): 2 leather (20gp).
Weapons (91gp): 2 guisarmes (18gp), 2 light crossbows (70gp), bolts x30 (3gp)
14gp spare
Alignment: LN
Advancement: Commander

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« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 09:04:14 AM by Stratovarius »

Offline sirpercival

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 08:16:38 AM »
And me to remind myself to repost the Jankster and write a background.
I am the assassin of productivity

(member in good standing of the troll-feeders guild)

It's begun — my things have overgrown the previous sig.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 10:24:15 AM »
Updated my PC, and need some advice - went for AoO focused feats to compliment my buddy, but not sure if that's the best long-term plan for the Commander. Was also thinking going archery with PBS/Rapid Shot and a Longbow, etc. Thoughts?

Tr'Bon Karlat, 1st level Commander

Human
Hit Dice: 1d8+2 (10 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +3 Armour)
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/+0
Attack: +0 Glaive (1d10/x3) or +2 Light Crossbow (1d8/19-20)
Full Attack: +0 Glaive (1d10/x3) or +2 Light Crossbow (1d8/19-20)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft. (Glaive)
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Commander Aura, Warden, Aid Them All
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +2
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 18
Skills: Bluff 8 (+4 Cha, +4 Skills), Diplomacy 10 (+4 Cha, +4 Skills, +2 Bluff), Intimidate 10 (+4 Cha, +4 Skills, +2 Bluff), Sense Motive 4 (+4 Skills)
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Clever Opportunist
Flaws: None
Traits: None
Environment: Campaign
Organization: The Party
Treasure: 125gp
Armor (35gp): 1 studded leather (25gp), 1 leather (10gp).
Weapons (51gp, 3sp): 1 longspear (5gp), 1 sling, bullets x30 (3sp), 1 light crossbow (35gp), bolt x30 (3gp), 1 glaive (8gp)
38 gp, 7sp spare
Alignment: LN
Advancement: Commander

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Offline FireInTheSky

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2017, 12:39:26 PM »
Gots ta build my Naturalist too.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2017, 01:01:12 PM »
Let me know when we want to move this to a dedicated PbP forum.

Offline Garryl

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2017, 02:19:35 PM »
Let me know when we want to move this to a dedicated PbP forum.

Might as well whenever it's convenient. I originally figured I'd ask once everyone had a draft for their character.

Strat, you've reposted and revised your character here. Sirpercival and dman (mythweavers) still have their drafts on the storm shelter board. FireInTheSky, Nanshork, I don't think either of you have posted anything yet.

Edit: Speaking of character sheets, don't forget to write down your healing surges and second wind healing somewhere.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »

Offline dman

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2017, 11:50:50 PM »
Garryl, you made the Marshall Auras all so good it's hard to choose.  :clap 

Help me out, Team. I'm thinking Endurance Aura keeps giving temp hit points and keeps us alive and kicking when we go to 0 hp - combined with our esteemed Commander's Fast Healing that's a giant boost to survivability. 

Pain Aura does 2 HP autodamage to everyone in the aura which is also great, since I don't count on actually hitting anything through regular attacks.

Bloodthirsty - gives 2 hp to your char per attack/effect that hits - I assume this is only effects that do damage right?

Thoughts? I'm leaning toward the first one.

Offline Garryl

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 12:56:25 AM »
Garryl, you made the Marshall Auras all so good it's hard to choose.  :clap 

Help me out, Team. I'm thinking Endurance Aura keeps giving temp hit points and keeps us alive and kicking when we go to 0 hp - combined with our esteemed Commander's Fast Healing that's a giant boost to survivability. 

Pain Aura does 2 HP autodamage to everyone in the aura which is also great, since I don't count on actually hitting anything through regular attacks.

Bloodthirsty - gives 2 hp to your char per attack/effect that hits - I assume this is only effects that do damage right?

Thoughts? I'm leaning toward the first one.

The Bloodlust major aura's healing is limited to 1/2 the damage you do in a single hit. You need to deal at least 2 damage to heal 1 hp, or at least 2 damage to get the full 4 hp of healing.

Just FYI, I'm looking into the balance of a few of the marshal's auras. My recent conversations with Stratovarius have made me look at 1st level a little more closely. Motivate Endurance is on that short list. I'll let you know if I make any changes.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 12:59:31 AM by Garryl »

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 07:07:16 AM »
So, the auras I have are retributive damage, vigor, and free attacks off of AoOs. Retributive damage would go wonderfully with temp HP. Bloodthirsty might or might not help yet - 1st level is the land of the one-shot, so there's often not a chance to get it back.

Offline VennDygrem

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 04:28:14 PM »
Not sure how I missed this, but it's rather intriguing! I'll try to watch from the sidelines to see how things go... A lot of my PbP games have stalled and my grad school classes are coming to an end, so I've got some more time freeing up. It'll be interesting to see how things develop. :)

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 04:56:14 PM »
Not sure how I missed this, but it's rather intriguing! I'll try to watch from the sidelines to see how things go... A lot of my PbP games have stalled and my grad school classes are coming to an end, so I've got some more time freeing up. It'll be interesting to see how things develop. :)

Just going to give you a gentle side-eye there  :P

Offline VennDygrem

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2017, 06:20:02 PM »
Not sure how I missed this, but it's rather intriguing! I'll try to watch from the sidelines to see how things go... A lot of my PbP games have stalled and my grad school classes are coming to an end, so I've got some more time freeing up. It'll be interesting to see how things develop. :)

Just going to give you a gentle side-eye there  :P

I'm not going to lie, one of the issues I had with keeping up with the Arhosa campaign, besides being a dumb brute who had little to contribute to rather intensive social encounter going on when I had last checked in, was that there were quite a few new game mechanics to keep track of and make sure I was understanding properly. That said, if there's room, I could pick up Cade again, stumbling back into the action. >_> <_<

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2017, 06:46:18 PM »
I'm not going to lie, one of the issues I had with keeping up with the Arhosa campaign, besides being a dumb brute who had little to contribute to rather intensive social encounter going on when I had last checked in, was that there were quite a few new game mechanics to keep track of and make sure I was understanding properly. That said, if there's room, I could pick up Cade again, stumbling back into the action. >_> <_<

Actually, now isn't a bad time - it's right before the final showdown of this adventure, the rest of the party is still out in the open, and you could very easily charge on in for round 2 of the combat.

Don't worry about the mechanics - I'm fairly certain I'm the only person who even has most of them memorized, and I get it wrong sometimes. Mostly, everyone else just asks if something is a valid action or not. It works out. I'm not expecting TO with a system that still has unfinished parts.

Offline dman

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2017, 07:59:49 PM »
Quote
Just FYI, I'm looking into the balance of a few of the marshal's auras. My recent conversations with Stratovarius have made me look at 1st level a little more closely. Motivate Endurance is on that short list. I'll let you know if I make any changes

I've been consoling myself about playing a support char with the fact that I'll be a really friggin great support! For the record, I'm open to playtesting and then scaling back/rebuilding if necessary... 

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Offline Stratovarius

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2017, 09:37:13 PM »
Garryl's good enough at balance if one of the abilities is going to cause trouble, it'll almost certainly be nerfed before you get to use it. Happened to my Commander, after all :P

Offline Garryl

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Re: [D&D 3.5 + Homebrew] Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2017, 11:38:58 PM »
I'm going to put this here, since:
1) All of the people I know of who are deeply invested in aura-based homebrew character classes are here.
2) I haven't gotten around to updating things on the new/old/recovered board yet.

Please let me know what you think. These are just my current thoughts on the matter, not final changes.

Quote
Motivate Endurance: Allies gain a bonus to their Armor Class while the ally has half of its maximum hit points or less. Allies within the aura that are reduced to 0 or lower hp automatically stabilize, can act normally, are are not at risk of damage from performing strenuous actions. While at 0 hp or lower, allies gain 5 temporary hit points per point of your aura bonus each round at the beginning of your turn. These temporary hit points last until the beginning of your next turn (when they are granted anew). Allies do not die and are not destroyed until their hit points are 5 lower than normal per point of your aura bonus.

Current thoughts on the matter of Motivate Endurance: The current version (above) seems like it would be too potent in the earliest of levels. Thanks to the Diehard aspect, there's an extra 10 hp to work with in a pinch for everyone in the party (at least until the marshal himself dies). It's a risky 10 hp, since you're eating into the buffer between unconsciousness and death, but it's there, and with it the aura effectively adds 15 hp to your staying power right at 1st level. There's also an inconsistency in power level, as nonliving creatures don't actually get that extra 10 hp buffer to use.

Also, technically, Motivate Endurance has a similar problem with nonlethal damage as Diehard from the PHB does. Any nonlethal damage is greater than your hit point total if you're at negative hp, so you fall unconscious anyways. That, or you're functionally immune to nonlethal damage, but only when at 0 or lower hp. Either way is inane.

There's also a small issue of Motivate Endurance functionally adding to your hp total, yet not really doing so, thus allowing it to stack with things that actually do, like the Tough It Out minor aura, which it shouldn't stack with.

One last thing, not directly related to the rebalancing effort, is the way temp hp gets granted. It's entirely binary, meaning that 1 hp difference can grant you 5 or more temp hp each round. There's also a little confusion with the timing, as there is either a theoretical moment where you've lost the previous round's temp hp but haven't received the temp hp for the new round, or you might not actually get temp hp in the new round at all due to the remaining temp hp from the previous round pushing you above the threshold. It's bugged me for a long time, but it never seemed worth the effort to rework on its own.

Proposed changes: Essentially rewriting the aura's mechanics, although keeping to the same concepts. Remove the Diehard aspect (conscious and can act at negative hp), although keep the automatic stabilization. Change the extended death threshold thing to a hit point bonus instead (similar to the Tough It Out minor aura). The temp hp at 0 or lower gets rejiggered, too. Note that the change from extending the death and consciousness thresholds to adding hp directly means that the AC bonus on 1/2 hp doesn't kick in until you've taken slightly more damage than before.

Motivate Endurance: Allies gain a bonus to current and maximum hit points equal to five times your aura bonus. These hit points are not lost first like temporary hit points, and disappear when the aura is lost. Allies with half their (newly increased) maximum hit points or less gain a bonus to their Armor Class. Allies reduced to 0 or lower hit points automatically stabilize. Each round at the beginning of your turn, allies with fewer hit points than five times your aura bonus, excluding temporary hit points, gain temporary hit points equal to the difference. These temporary hit points last until the beginning of your next turn as new temporary hit points as granted, or until the aura is lost.

Note: These changes would also apply to Pain and Suffering (divine mind mantle aura) and Stamina (dragon shaman draconic aura).

Side note: Add in a bonus to Endurance-modified checks/rolls (as the Long Haul minor aura) as an additional minor benefit. It's thematic, if nothing else, and it feels weird to have an aura called Motivate Endurance not boost Endurance. I believe the standard for secondary skill boosts on major-tier auras (divine, draconic, major, mantle) is 2x the aura bonus.

Edit: Forgot that sufficient temp hp will make you conscious, which defeats the purpose of removing the Diehard element from this rework. Need to either rework the temp hp part, which would probably make an aura with lots of moving parts even more complicated, or replace it with something else entirely.

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Inspire Pain: Each round at the beginning of their turn, enemies in the aura take damage equal to twice your aura bonus. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal damage, chosen when the aura is activated. You can change this selection as the same type of action as activating an aura. This damage is not affected by damage reduction.

Inspire Pain and the auras like it for the divine mind (Death, Fire) and paladin (Wrath), are intended to provide a small but consistent source of damage to nearby enemies. They are intended to build up damage across multiple foes to aid the actual attacks and AoEs in dropping them, similar to how damage buffing auras do, but along a different vector. The auras are only intended to actually finish off enemies that have already been weakened by attacks that nearly, but not quite, dropped them already.

Inspire Pain's damage value is low, but unlike the similar auras of other classes, is available at 1st level, when monster hit points are also low. At higher levels, the damage the aura deals is insufficient to drop all but the weakest of enemies in a reasonable time frame, but CR 1/2 and lower monsters can often have 6 hp or less.

Proposed changes: The damage trigger changes from the beginning of enemy turns to the end. This gives enemies one extra round of actions before being dropped, and allows some counterplay by allowing them to flee beyond the range of the aura in order to avoid the damage before it triggers.

Note: These changes would also apply to Death, Fire (divine mind mantle aura), and Wrath (paladin divine aura).

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Motivate Retribution: Melee attacks that hit allies cause the attacker to suffer 1d6 damage per point of aura bonus. This damage is not affected by damage reduction.

Motivate Retribution's reactive damage is a concern, much like Inspire Pain's automatic damage. The numbers are larger, although the triggers are less frequent. Motivate Retribution also has a slightly more direct comparison to damage adders like Motivate Ardor, which add +1d4 damage per point of bonus to allies attacks.

Against any melee attacker, Motivate Retribution is guaranteed to trigger if the enemy wishes to actually do anything in the fight. If the attacker needs to trigger the reactive damage enough to be dropped himself in the process of dropping a PC, then the battle is effectively won automatically by the Motivate Retribution aura, and that's a bad thing. Small hp pools, small to moderate damage values, and a prevalence of melee attacks (as opposed to ranged or magical attack vectors) at low levels make this a concerning issue. The variance in the retributive damage, and in standard damage rolls, does make an absolute guarantee of this much harder, at least.

Proposed changes: None yet, although I'll be keeping my eye on this aura's potential.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2017, 01:12:55 AM by Garryl »