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Topics - Leviathan

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D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder / Is there a way to write any language?
« on: November 15, 2015, 05:31:00 PM »
The spell comprehend languages grants "passive fluency" - you understand all languages when you hear them or see them written, but it doesn't help you speak or write. Tongues lets you "speak and understand the language of any intelligent creature", but doesn't say anything about reading or writing. Other than taking the language at character creation, or putting points into the Speak Language skill, how can a character gain the ability to write in a language?

Monstrous Builds / Giant plant looking for a class to fill some levels
« on: August 08, 2014, 02:04:32 AM »
I'm working on a gestalt build with Yellow Musk Creeper and Titanic Creature on one side and Evolutionist 10/Progenitor 10 on the other. Unfortunately, Yellow Musk Creeper only has 4 levels, and Titanic Creature only has 13: since 17 is less than 20, I'll need a few levels of another class. I'm trying to play up the "I'm a plant!" aspect, which means that many of the Titanic Creature "Bigger is Better" abilities (the active ones) aren't really compatible with my anatomy - I might only take a few levels of Titanic Creature, doubling up on the passive Size Matters abilities.

So I'm looking for one or more classes to fill 3 to 10 levels on one side of a gestalt. For thematic reasons, I don't want to be a spellcaster, nor do I want something that requires me to act like a warrior - plants weren't meant to wield weapons. Ideally, enemies should think that my army of minions (Yellow Musk Creeper, Evolutionist, and Progenitor each have ways to get other creatures fighting on my behalf) is the real threat, and I'm just part of the scenery. The class that occupies these levels should give me some subtle way to help my friends or hurt my enemies.

As you may have guessed from the classes I linked and the place I posted this, I'm very open to homebrew (whether from this project or from other sources). I can use Evolutionist to fulfill just about any prerequisite.

Some background:
  • At present, the first level of a class with a good save progression gives +2 to that save. (Unless this has been errata'd or FAQ'd somewhere, ) If you have multiple classes with a good progression in the same save, the bonuses stack. If you took the first level of each of 20 classes with a good will save, for example, your base will save modifier would be +40 (though your base modifiers for the other saves might be severely stunted, as would most of your class features).
  • Nobody likes taking the Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, and Iron Will feats. People that do take them almost always do so to fulfill a prerequisite for something more interesting, commonly a prestige class.
  • Iron Will, at least, has been established as not really being worth a feat. Spending 3,000 gp and some time in the prison known as the Otyugh Hole will give it to a character as a bonus feat. As Great Fortitude and Lightning Reflexes provide similar benefits, but for the other saves, they are, by extension, also not really worth a feat.

With those two points in mind, I submit the following house rule for the forum as a collective to tear apart.
  • For each saving throw (fortitude, reflex, and will), your base saving throw bonus equals (2X + 3Y)/6, where X is the number of bad progression levels you have for that save, and Y is the number of good progression levels.
  • If you have at least one good progression level for a save, you gain the associated feat as a bonus feat: a level with a good fortitude save gives you Great Fortitude, a level with a good reflex save gives you Lightning Reflexes, and a level with a good will save gives you Iron Will. You can gain more than one of these at the same level if your class has more than one good save; for example, a Monk 1 will have all three as bonus feats.

If you only ever take levels in one class, your base save bonus under this system is the same as it would be with fractional saves (from Unearthed Arcana).

If you take levels in several classes with the same good save, your bonus for that save will be lower (by 2 points per class after the first), but I'm not terribly worried about this because existing save DC's are calibrated for the single-class save progressions.

You will not be able to take the save-boosting feats a second time, but as that is considered a poor use of a feat I don't think losing the option will upset anyone too much - if anything, it removes a trap for new players. Some feats and prestige classes are easier to qualify for, because it is easier to pay their feat tax. Again, nobody likes feat taxes, so a reasonable proposal to alleviate them should be well-received.

The Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, and Iron Will feats are unchanged; you can still take them if you don't have any good-progression levels for the relevant save. If you later gain a good-progression level for that save, you can (as part of leveling up) retrain your newly redundant feat into another feat whose prerequisites you met at the time you originally gained the redundant feat.

tl;dr: Good save progressions now give the initial +2 bonus in the form of a weak bonus feat, rather than directly. Numbers are mostly the same, but some side effects are nicer.

Gaming Advice / Is Quicken Power a swift action?
« on: January 20, 2014, 11:56:29 PM »
I've been looking at the Quicken Power feat recently. In every source I could find it uses the same wording that Quicken Spell had before they introduced swift actions: a quickened power doesn't take any time, but you can only do one a round (in addition to whatever you might do with your move and standard actions). The big deal with swift and immediate actions, as I understand it, was to clear up exactly how stuff like Quicken Spell works, and prevent you from doing too much of it in one turn. Does anyone know if Quicken Power was errata'd somewhere to use your swift action, like Quicken Spell was?

The reason I'm so interested in the answer to this question is that I have a nice interaction that only works if Quicken Power hasn't been updated: You could manifest a quickened power (without using an action), then cast a quickened spell (using your swift action), and still have a whole turn to play with, typically to cast or manifest more stuff at the usual speed.

Obviously, all this does is make the already powerful casters (in particular "double 9's" and "triple 9's" builds) even stronger. It's also so incredibly cheesy that I don't expect any real DM would ever allow it. All I want to know is: by RAW, does this work like I think it does?

Since time immemorial, each king, before his death, has constructed a grand mausoleum filled with deadly traps and fantastic wealth. Naturally, tomb raiders had great fun breaking into these tombs and many fortunes were made with the loot therein. One clever king, considered insane in his time (though for other reasons), wasn't happy with this situation, so he worked with prominent adventurers to create a tomb that was meant to be raided. He declared that any who could survive his tomb and the guardians that dwelt within deserved whatever they could retrieve, and tasked an order of monks to keep the coffers stocked. His successors have followed suit, each building a grander and more deadly tomb than the last.

Today, the teams of adventurers that enter these tombs and return with treasure (or even with their lives) are some of the kingdom's greatest celebrities. Religious orders, wealthy benefactors, and historical preservation societies reset the traps as needed and keep the mausolea stocked with historically appropriate valuables. Most are guarded by undead, constructs, and outsiders (beings that need no food or rest), but wild animals and condemned prisoners are sometimes released into the tombs as well. Mages scry into the tombs and, for a fee, let the public track the progress of their heroes as they venture through these challenges.

Naturally, these dungeons attract all sorts: the desperate, the fame-seekers, those seeking to prove their worth, and psychopaths like the players who just want to kill people and take their stuff. Those without proper training tend to suffer any of a panoply of quick but gruesome deaths: decapitated, burned, drowned, torn in half, teleported straight to hell, etc. Teams with strong financial backing are better-equipped than those without, but the corpses and belongings of those who die are left inside the tombs, so it is possible to wander in with little more than the clothes on one's back and pick up still perfectly usable equipment as one goes.

Edit: Does anyone know any synonyms for "tomb"?

Introduce Yourself / Well hello there
« on: July 04, 2013, 05:22:07 PM »
Hello! I'm Leviathan. I'm a student in Atlanta, Georgia (the one in the United States, not the one south of Russia). All of my non-computer-based gaming experience is D&D 3.5, but that's just because I have a student's budget - in fact, I strongly suspect that 3.5 is not the best system for the sort of gaming I prefer to do. Non-gaming hobbies include mathematics and philosophy. I'm registered as Malcador on the GitP boards, but I've never posted anything there. My favorite punctuation marks are the hyphen ( - ), colon ( : ), and semicolon ( ; ), because they let you put more stuff in a sentence.

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