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Messages - Versatility_Nut

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You got the levels off on Invocations being granted, and I feel there needs to be a bit more tweaking to it to justify why you have this option since the class has always held inheritability of the powers. Personally, I'd go with this:

Faustian Warlock
Your power carries with it an especially strong link to Hell, allowing you to extend others a share of your power at the cost of sharing the perils of the bargain it came from.

Alignment: Any Lawful or Evil
Class skills: A faustian warlock adds Diplomacy to his list of class skills.

Extend Pact (Sp): A faustian warlock has the ability to connect others to the source of their magic. Starting at 2nd level, they may perform a ritual taking 10 minutes to establish a bond for one day that grants one willing creature an Eldritch Blast dealing one die less damage than the faustian warlock's own (minimum 1d6). They may have only one such bond active at a time plus one per five class levels beyond 1st, breaking the earliest if they establish one in excess of this.

Should the creature die while this bond is active, they must make a DC 12 Will save or gain the Hellbound special quality, as the Hellbred racial trait (see Fiendish Codex II, page 78). If this happens, the faustian warlock's alignment moves one step towards Evil, or one step towards Lawful if they are already Evil. If the faustian warlock is already Lawful Evil, they must make the same save with a -10 Profane penalty or gain the Hellbound special quality.

This replaces the Invocation learned at 2nd level.

Transfer Invocation (Sp): At 6th level, a faustian warlock may choose upon bonding to grant a recipient of their Extend Pact ability uses of their own Invocations. Each Invocation so granted may only be used five times that day, split as the faustian warlock chooses between himself and the recipient. The faustian warlock may provide one Invocation plus one-half the Warlock Invocations the recipient knows, of a caster level and grade available to a warlock of five levels lower than the faustian warlock plus the recipient's warlock caster level, to a maximum of the faustian warlock's. Every two effective spell levels of invocations transferred this way increases the save DC for receiving the Hellbound quality by one.

This replaces the Invocation learned at 6th level.

Insidious Proxy (Sp) At 11th level, a faustian warlock can contact the Devil their powers began with, or the successor to their position in the Infernal Hierarchy, to offer Pacts Insidious (see Fiendish Codex II page 24) with a total reward value up to one-third his class level on that Devil's behalf. The Devil must agree to the terms before the contract is available to be signed, but the faustian warlock offering remote and relatively subtle access can often allow him to argue for one additional point worth of rewards or the use of Obeisance where the devil would prefer Corruption. Each point of Corruption or Obeisance the recipient of Extend Pact has from these pacts increases the save DC for receiving the Hellbound quality by two.

This replaces the Invocation learned at 11th level.

Self-Sponsorship (Su) At 16th level, a faustian warlock can direct his efforts inwards, exerting a measure of ownership over his own soul and thus re-signing the pact with his name as the Devil responsible. Upon reaching this level, he may choose to simply decline any claim on the souls of recipients of Extend Pact, prepare gems as if confining them with Trap the Soul (release sends them to the appropriate afterlife), or allow them to be subject to Hell's practices in his name. In the first case, no Will save is made by himself or the recipient upon their death. In the second case, his Alignment no longer shifts upon death of recipients and the gem allows him to transfer invocations from the soul and drain it of properties for like rewards in Faustian Pacts. In the third case, he immediately becomes Lawful Evil, gains the Law and Evil subtypes, and becomes an Imp with his personality and faustian warlock levels retained upon his death.

This replaces the Invocation learned at 16th level.


This actually functions as an MLM in the second Self-Sponsorship case on over-level Invocations and Eldritch Blast damage, as the value is strictly dependent on suckers paying to fund the gems to drain dead suckers to power the Pacts Insidious to lock in the Invocation sharing. If the intake of dying participants and wealth to pay for the gems to house them stops, then the benefits drop off a cliff like a proper MLM scheme.

It could just as well be implemented as Invocations with the Law-for-Hell variation being much more minor to nearly identical effect, mind you. Kinda how costing only Invocations works.

The convention of 5 ft. squares as the unit of combat measurement isn't going anywhere, so the reach disadvantage of pickaxe grip is considerably below the Reach game function. A lot of exacting swordplay details like that would most likely operate as modifiers to checks for the most-analogous option, possibly a table by "Weapon Group" so you can have the applicable options marked clearly, and the same table could refer to the values against the construction-based armor types.

If insisting on simulationism to the point of a little resolution jank, I'd likely have pre-defined armor styles bear a Defense of each type, alongside a Coverage ranges inside 1-20. This would replace segmented armor being the "medium" type with that of chainmail, though there's also scale armor, monster scales, and weird things like elves wearing dense nets of unicorn-hair rope for reasons both arcane and religious. Not sure whether to call it Scale like the bulk of cases or Chain for the most commonly worn.

Use of Coverage being to abstract hit locations with a number that can be checked against a singular attack roll to see how well it aim for the target armor type, in a way that supports the commonplace wearing of a gambeson under chainmail and intrinsically layered armor like brigandine. The use of Defense is to have it in the damage modifier sequence, and Coverage being from 1-20 means the hit location is decided by the face value of the d20, both being to minimize increases to D&D's terrible combat times.

...Of course, "realistically" it takes very little effectual hitting to kill most things. Which is good justification for brutally murdering WotC's HP and damage bloat while restoring static environmental values as potential issues when you actually have SOMETHING interesting happening.

Prerequisite on the feat should be "affect", not "effect", and it seems like it's doing a bit much. +2 to effective level AND Swift Action use AND no symbol required AND automatic counter-Turning is rather much for "is a Cleric that can Turn or Rebuke self". Many a Necropolitan is getting this upon returning to third level, no questions asked. Whether it be Knowledge (Religion) ranks, some level of Divine spellcasting, or an effective Cleric level, it REALLY needs more than the mechanically-necessary prerequisites, because that's A LOT of value for a potentially 1st level feat.

Possibly make the mechanic Swift Action 30 ft. radius (versus the 60 ft. with poorly-defined directionality), with JUST that getting the Command-bypassing automatic use. "Counter-Turning" is also not actually a thing, it's called Dispelling Turning. Could throw in Bolster on the same roll to have it as an Immediate Action instead, so it prevents the Turn/Control in the first place.

Min/Max 3.x / Re: [3.PF] Feats that are particularly good in E6?
« on: October 29, 2022, 07:36:46 PM »
Generally all the feats that are more effective the more feats of a similar type you have, like Font of Inspiration (which you can take multiple times and where the bonus gained goes up by +1 every time) or Psionic Body (granting +2HP every time you acquire another [Psionic] Feat).

The E6 handbook goes into more detail on feats of that type:
Looking into it, there's also Aberrant feats, Vile feats, Deformity feats among Vile feats, and Abyssal Heritor feats. Also that has basically no detail to it. To try to break it down more specifically:

11 total, one with 8 separate choices; max 18
Bestial Hide gives +1 AC/2 feats
Durable Form gives +2 HP/feat
Inhuman Vision gives +1 Spot and +5 ft. Darkvision/feat
Warped Mind gives +1 PP/feat and +1 Will vs. Mind-Affecting/2 feats

Abyssal Heritor:
13 total, no multiple takes
Chaotic Spell Recall gives a Chaotic spell recovered per day/2 feats
Claws of the Beast gives +1 Profane bonus to Natural/Unarmed Attacks/2 feats
Cloak of the Obyrith gives DR 1/Lawful/feat
Demonic Skin gives +1 Natural Armor/feat
Demonic Sneak Attack gives one Sneak Attack die reroll/feat
Eyes of the Abyss gives +1 to Search and Spot/feat
Heart of the Nabassu gives one "absorbed" negative level/feat
Keeper of Forbidden Lore gives +1 Knowledge (the Planes), Spellcraft, and Bardic Knowledge/feat
Otherworldly Countenance gives +1 Perform OR Intimidate and one use per day of Fascinate OR Sicken/feat
Precognitive Visions gives a +1 Insight bonus/2 feats
Primordial Scion gives 1d6 damage vs. Lawful/4 feats
Vestigial Wings gives +3 to Jump/feat

26 total, 9 mutually exclusive, no multiple takes; max 17
Draconic Heritage gives +1/feat to saves vs. Sleep, Paralysis, and Dragon-specific descriptor
Draconic Resistance gives Energy Resistance 3/feat according to the Draconic Heritage
Draconic Toughness gives +2 HP/Draconic feat

46 feats, three sets of two mutually exclusive, one take-more-than-once that's both; no maximum
Abominable Form gives line-of-sight (literally unlimited range) Shaken for Con rounds with DC 15+2/feat Will save
Chosen of Evil give you a 1 Con damage Immediate for +1 Insight/Vile Feat to one attack, saving throw, ability check, or skill check
Unlimited retake is Deformity (Skin), giving +1 Natural Armor per take.

May be wrong on any particular point, may have missed some categories.

Min/Max 3.x / Re: [3.PF] Feats that are particularly good in E6?
« on: October 29, 2022, 12:37:19 AM »
Bloodline of Fire is another 1st-level feat of significance, as it's one of a limited set of untyped, uncapped, Caster Level bonuses. Specifically +2 to all [Fire] spells. Calishite Elementalist is only +1 to [Air] or [Fire], but is not only uncapped by character level, it's uncapped by the spell, so alongside Bloodline of Fire you're already at CL 9, and with just +2 more (Spell Thematics, Fiery Burst, Elemental Spellcasting (Fire), etc) you can get 11d6 Fireballs, and down with your 1st-level slots you have 6d4 Burning Hands as early as 3rd level.

It allows for the Mailmen to be Very Damned Sure the thing they are wanting to burn does in fact BURN. Of note is that Arcane Thesis is in reach for e6, so you can Searing Spell your 11d6 Fireballs.

You Break it You Buy it / Re: [PF] A very simple infinite Limited Wish loop
« on: September 16, 2022, 11:21:15 PM »
Whats actually gained here tho if the wishes are just spent on getting another wish?
The Shadowbard lasts multiple rounds and doesn't eat your uses or stats, so that first Shadowbard spits out Music Beyond the Spheres until it drops to make additional Shadowbards, thus giving exponential Limited Wishes. Growth rate is constrained primarily by Con+Wis scores, but it's entirely trivially reaching the eighth power per round.

Edit: Wait, no, it's the other way around, the stats contribute to how long it's doubling until it picks up a slight dropoff. With 10 Wis/Con, the Shadowbards should be able to do it ten times each, then they start disappearing, so you end up with 1024-1 when they start popping, and from there the doubling affects both portions. Which... Does basically nothing to how it explodes because the very worst case scenario of being capable of it is still half a million Limited Wishes in two minutes.

Of course, since the Limited Wish is interpreted by the DM acting the part of a Dark Tapestry entity, it's a quick way to cause a drastic breech in reality, but that fluff issue is fairly standard for TO shenanigans like this.

Oslecamo's Improved Monster Classes / Re: Starkin
« on: September 01, 2022, 01:12:54 PM »
Apologies for necro but why do they have lower than low BAB? Low would be 1/2 this is.... 1/3 or 1/4 BAB or something, lol

It uses the poor BAB progression, there isn't any progression that does 1/2 BAB.

Pathfinder 1E appears to use a 1/2 BAB progression for its low BAB classes but this is for D&D 3.5 and not PF.
BAB on Wizard is listed as +0/+1/+1/+2/+2/+3/+3...

Undead have "Base attack bonus equal to ½ total Hit Dice (as wizard)."

It is in fact 1/2 BAB progression. You may be misremembering it for the poor SAVE progression.

Min/Max 3.x / Re: Help! Epic progression for a barbarian/fighter
« on: March 02, 2022, 12:59:53 AM »
I think Soul Manifester by way of Totemist 2 is the most "direct" way to go, as it progresses Psychic Warrior to unlock options through Expanded Knowledge, and Totemist brings you a back of non-committal options, mostly centering on Natural Attacks for a backup in case your weapons don't work, get stolen, or you simply threw all of them and can't reach them.

Pretty sure it's just "New Topic" button, to the right of the pages. Least, that's how it was for me...

I was not talking about the mechanics of doing so. I know how to click the New Topic Button.

I was asking if it was just acceptable for me to randomly make a monster here, or if there's someone I needed to ask permission for before.

Plus remain from making snarky, completely useless replies.
...does "just the new "New Topic" button" really not imply that there's nothing more to it? Because it was just the "New Topic" button, no permission, no previous talk, just wrote it up and posted the thread.

I have a question.

How exactly do I go about submitting my own creation to this sub-forum? I have an idea that I would absolutely love to see played out, but I am unsure if it would be suitable to do so.
Pretty sure it's just "New Topic" button, to the right of the pages. Least, that's how it was for me...

Scratching out a good deal of the "minimum viable product" workload on Psionic Artifice as wholly magic-independent:

Metacreativity Constructs:
"Stygian Hound", referential to Tether Hound without actually being it. Stygian property being a Negative Energy rider on the Bite, alongside low AC but massive HP for its nominal CR. Point of the arrangement being specifically that it's usable in a fight despite being several CR lower than an Astral Construct of the same PP cost. Ultimate goal being that it tanks insofar as that works in 3.5, whether that be making sure someone stays level-drained, keeping effects from getting dispelled, or physically blocking the path to its master.

"Crystaline Armiger" being the Arbalester riff, with the weapon duplications. Thinking of its balance point as a Power being primarily in terms of sidegrading Psychokinetic Weapon, trading accuracy and "ideal" default movement for volume and speed of more standard movement modes. Weapon duplication-in-crystal as base feature, so that the menu can focus on further applications of the weapon in question. Definitely some utility-facing crystal formation in the menus, as well.

New Ectopic Forms would come in one "basic" one with no further prerequisites using the more "general" list of each new Construct, two requiring the Power focused on baseline features, and one requiring any other Ectopic Form pick for stuff that's mainly about composition. Definitely have text for handling it with Craft checks instead of hard feats for the long-term Homunculus-analog implementation, and that Boost Construct uses the "parent" Power's list for the added options.

An awkward consequence of how Ectopic Form operates is that since it is a substitution with them having discrete fixed statblocks, it'll take some reworks and careful attention to "properly" handle transparency of application. Definitely something to watch out for combinations in with the other-type addon, but also makes the feat more useful as it allows mixing the lists with Boost Construct, rather than being "stuck" with just one area.

As for the permanency mechanic, I'm thinking of it being based on separating out emotions, causing some Charisma drain on setup and some damage on loss, granting effects based on the emotion in question. Wilders trivially pass the creation process, while having the most sensitivity to the cost, yet also the most value from getting to have the minions without needing the Powers. The Psionic Artificer, meanwhile, has Use Psionic Device skill checks to make Charisma sensitive.

Craft Psionic Constructs:
"Blade Guardian" being a revamp of the Psi Guardian from this 2002 Psionic Bestiary article to fill the Shield Guardian's tank role. Construct makeable on the cheap, but has to be "paired" with a psionically-enhanced weapon with a specific defensive property in a process that add more cost to the weapon. Run off Empathic Transfer shenanigans of transferring health rather than Shield Guardian's damage split and fast healing, including life-stealing bonus damage as a property of the Construct, applied to both its own Slams and the weapon.

"Ferroplasm Golem", made from the unupdated special material from the 3.0 Psionics Handbook. Thinking of having it handle the other half of Shield Guardian, and the later Runic Guardian, by having it store Powers with a suite of Enhancement bonuses based on the current stockpile. Possibly dramatic escalation of Dexterity and move speed as it loses solidity, making it a tradeoff rather than strict debuff? Scale with HD so there's no need for a distinct upgrade to parallel the Runic Guardian, Power immunity "gap" being Power Leech.

"Sentira Golem", made from the "Powdered Crystal and Power of Emotion" material in Secrets of Sarlonia. Large size and Charisma based, fighting primarily with Psi-like Fear, Charm, and Rage effects as opposed to being a beatstick. Also unusually fast, making for a decent Grappler as backup against anything not a beatstick because it's a Large construct not actively bad at punching. Probably tack on a Schism effect to reference the Mithral Golem's bonus action. Power vulnerability being Ego Whip bypassing the Construct immunities.

"Blended Killer", an upgrade of the Psion Killer that the body alone demands either 8,000,000 GP, 1,600,000 XP spent in True Creation... Or Reality Revision, an existing Psion Killer, and 1,000 pounds of iron, because it's otherwise starting from a 4,000 pound mass of Blended Quartz, which costs 2,000 GP/pound. Additional requirements over Psion Killer are Mental Pinnacle, Dweomer of Transference, and Imbue with Spell Ability. Action proxy and battery for Cerebromancers in particular, especially those with Tenser's or Combat Transformation to full-BAB a HD-bloated Construct.

"Udrukar Golem", also known as "Mindsteel Golem", from the 500 gp/pound Divination-proofing metal in the 3e Arms and Equipment Guide. Tiny Construct weighing "merely" 50 pounds, dictating 25k GP for the body, and half the cost of the HD is five more pounds of Udrukar. Clean +3/HD bonus against Divination and Clairsentience effects and +1/HD bonus to Hide, Move Silently, and Slight of Hand checks, falling off with distance. More a slotless item than an actual combatant... Until you start applying upgrades to use the ridiculous stealth and Dexterity.

As for what the upgrades would be, there is of course leeching the Power-generated Construct option lists, but in addition to that I'd look at hit dice advancement as a sensible option, making the 5k/hd cost generally worthwhile as an expense to improve the Construct's "core features" you're willing to pay the massive up-front cost for. The other methods are then about making it worth that up-front cost over just spending it on more resources for Metacreativity minions.

Inanimate Psionic Items:

Stacked Psionatrix are a bit of a "waste", since they're 1/day on the extremely valuable neck slot, otherwise being a piddly +1 DC to a single Discipline. Give 1st and 4th level price points, explicitly state they're generally applicable, add a base that merges the charges into an isolated PP pool, then a few static effects with separate base or stacked versions, more expensive than the equivalent magic item, but cheaper than the equivalent set of magic items in exchange for very strictly two-at-a-time.

Psychoactive Skins are perfect for major but situational effects with constant components. Flight comes to mind as the main "sometimes" effect that's missing a Skin just for it, but there's a few different "playing with" methods to alter the action economy of them, as well as options for more novel mainstays than Proteus shapeshifting, like Psionic Focus enabling properties and one that loots the construct menus with a benefit if you apply the feat that does the same.

For the sake of slot versatility, there's also the matter of dealing with effects on other slots and at lower levels. Thinking bracers keyed to Telekinetic Thrust/Force that allow for sustained flight but take Concentration to do it, a ring that offers healing fueled by Psionic Focus with generalization into Take 10 Concentration checks in place of Psychoactive Skin of the Troll, while the secondary ability booster would be split between a Psychofeedback-based item for physical scores, while mental scores go into Psicrystals.

Psicrystal Shenanigans:

The mechanic I have in mind for Psicrystals as mental score improvement would be specifically relating it to their scaling Intelligence score, consequently involving switching which one it applies to. Two requires a significant overhead to have the Psicrystal itself get two mental scores. Definitely needs staged to be cheap enough to be worth considering over the +2s and even available early on to the higher end, though the peak cost would need to get silly because that'd be three +8s.

Biggest thing would be having the often-abusable feat access be something payed for, perhaps coming with automatically moving to d10s+1/2 master's Con for HP, being a major durability boost for most of the characters using Psicrystals. Pinning down a price point is weird because of the constraints of what a Psicrystal can do with feats normally, though I suppose having it able to take Psicrystal-improving feats would make it a lot more directly worthwhile to pay that cost.

In a general capacity, being able to pay to build feats into the Psicrystal would ease this, as Psions and Psychic Warriors can spend bonus feats instead of GP to do so. But paying the GP allows for prerequisite shenanigans, like getting the aforementioned mental score bonuses without Improved Psicrystal. Conversely, for characters who's feats are cheap like some PsyWar builds, they can get plenty of value without a single copper that has the extra benefit of coming free with replacement Psicrystals.

On the end of things for them to do, my main consideration is what one can make happen with very direct extensions of the underlying ability. Increased Strength by more widely applicable telekinesis than just personal movement, attacking by rushing sharp-edge first at enemies (Piercing or Slashing), and of course doing their Power interactions themselves rather than off their Master's actions like a Schism. Cognizance Crystal function sadly not included because that's part of a PRC's selling point, though other PP economy mechanics may apply.

(as often the case, may never get around to actually making any of this, but the more of the outline I post here the less I run in circles)

Chapter 5 - Light Magic / Re: Discussion
« on: January 02, 2022, 09:42:31 AM »
My own issue with Psionics is the dearth of multiple augment options that invoke the question of which way to augment. Even if a full Manifester rarely has reason not to augment to full, being confined to ML with even just two things to do still invokes decision making. This could also have been done with Metapsionics. I actually made that the "point" of one of my GiantITP contest entries, which ended up involving an Incantatrix-style post-facto augment to work around "Similar Effect" restrictions.

As it pertains to this, the thing would be double-checking for overlap and seeing how different the functions are. Having a dozen different blasting Radiances should probably not be a thing, only so many forms of raw damage that are relevant. Also, I would suggest having the recovery rate and stages be columns of the table rather than in the catchall "Special" so that it's clear, the same way Psionics has Maximum Power Level, so that the progression transparency is clearer.

Oslecamo's Improved Monster Classes / Re: General Discussion and Sugestions
« on: December 14, 2021, 05:18:05 PM »
Dumping a few that caught my eye perusing the GiantITP LA reassignment thread for future reference, may actually scratch some out later:

Wickerman: (Fiend Folio page 188)
It's a CR 11 Huge Grappler Golem-in-all-but-name (Hardness, Spell Resistance, big strong-but-lol-mentals Construct), but can catch on fire! While being immune to Fire damage otherwise, and healed by Entangle. Also has a Swallow Whole-alike in the form of a cage; if on fire, does damage to the things inside, if not, there's no damage to it.

Implementation as a monster class can have interesting notes with the manipulation of the being-on-fire property, like having a slightly longer reach of purely Fire damage, a Breath attack compromising the Encage damage, or assorted Desert Wind stuff. Can also make use of its purpose as a sacrificial totem for exotic effects tied to burning things in the cage.

Boneyard: (Libre Mortis page 89)
It's a CR 14 Huge skeletal Undead focused on Grappling. With Fast Healing, a Fort save vs. Str, Con, and Dexterity on Bites, high spell resistance, the ability to summon Skeleton minions, a Grapple check save-or-die, and rearranging its layout. Though that last one sadly lacks an express ability, it just gets loads of Climb, Jump, Hide, and Move Silently.

The rearrangement, as noted, lacks an express ability, being the fluff behind the summon and presumably the skill list. However, it allows for having a central mechanic for both the minions and the progression as a pile of numbers, making it "focus" on one method of fighting at a time, resulting in a back-and-forth of counterplay without a settled "do X to beat Y".

Skulking Cyst: (Libre Mortis page 120)
CR 4 Small Undead product of the Mother Cyst-granted of spells, they have a lot of design space available as a monster class. The "canonical" version goes +8 Dexterity with usual stealth-type skills, aided by 3/day Darkness SLA, with a hit with one of its two basically-tentacles allowing an automatic Attach that deals 1d4 Con damage per round. At 7, it pops its 1/day Necrotic Cyst SLA and runs.

What I'd look for it being rendered as is actually a parasite, where Attach turns to implanting itself for Necrotic Cyst shenanigans. Add Vile/Constitution damage outside the Necrotic spells and Attach for something to do, streamline the darkness effect, then a Mother Cyst PRC for wider use of the Cysts implanted and some method of control. Progress with Dex/Cha, flipped prominence for the PRC.

Blood Elemental/Blood Mother (Elemental here, Mother here)
CR 6 and 18 respectively, they're misidentified Outsiders with Grapple-to-suffocate, escapees take Wisdom damage. They're also immune to Mind-Affecting, Critical Hits, Stuns, and Tongues due to being "alien". Also 1/day Insanity. The Blood Mother picks up 13th level Cleric casting, SR 20, (Sp) summoning, Frightful Presence, and the allowance to speak Common plus Alter Self.

My thinking is extending the Wisdom damage with more spread out Confusion access than just the Insanity SLA. Strength/Charisma for abilities on the Elemental, then have the Mother take 2nd-level Divine spells, the Alter Self feat we have around here somewhere, and cross-class size Sense Motive and Intimidate, being 9 levels long for "catchup" casting, Fear effects, and SR.

Black Cyst (archive-of-archive here)
CR 18 Large Outsider with save-every-round-or-suck aura, Cha to AC and saves, DR 15 and Regeneration/Lawful and Silver, vulnerable to Sonic, minor Resistance to the four "main" energy types, SR 28, 100 ft. (Perfect) Fly, and it gets a 1/day or 50 damage taken recharge CL 15 Harm, alongside spitting out a random Elder Elemental when below 200 health. Can advance to Huge with +12 RHD (CR ~24), caps at +33 RHD (CR ~30). Finally, at-will Confusion and Ethereal Jaunt, as well as 1/day Insanity, Power Word Stun, and Waves of Exhaustion.

Obviously, the gimmick to go with here is spewing Elemental effects in response to damage with Negative Energy recharged by damage taken, being maddening all the while with Insight penalties and Confusion, with a small side of somehow doing this unnoticed. Constitution and Charisma bonuses, possible Strength tertiary given the room. Sometimes spit an Elemental, sometimes a reactive damage Cone, perhaps choose the element or the effect, but not both. Overall effect is likely one of the few ways to do an MMO-like tank.

Oslecamo's Improved Monster Classes / Re: General Discussion and Sugestions
« on: September 22, 2021, 02:53:53 PM »
Is there a reason there isn't a half-elemental template? I've tried searching around a bit, and can't seem to find one, has no one gotten around to it yet? Is it not needed? What's the deal? No rush, if it hasn't been created I'll work on it, just curious.
There isn't one, but I do wonder which you're referring to, as there's the "like X creature but actually made of Y element" templates, while I cannot recall their names for the life of me, which would be understandable as a separate one given their replacement functions, but the literal hybrids are much less understandable due to the various direct multiclassing options.

So, quickly adding it up, it appears there's 176 distinct combinations to make Formulae for at the current point, with the largest single set being AAAEEF. That doesn't seem like a cripplingly absurd workload, particularly if reusing themes for combinations. You might use Water+Earth formulae for healing to have a slightly better ability to constrain healing without the current arbitrary usage limit, perhaps copying Cure scaling of applying level as a flat number to reduce/remove the need for such constraints. Because as it is, Healing Tear is a terrible healing ability in a recovery sense as it's only getting one 5d6 pop per player per day.

Using Cure scaling instead, it becomes 1d6+level, with 10+level+modifier uses. That means each level gives 3.5 from the new use, capping at 8.5, I think level^2 from improving the level-based uses, stopping at 5th level, and level*modifier from the ability score uses. This would mean 5th level would have 15d6+75+(1d6+5)*mod healing if every roll was used on Healing Tear, for average 127.5+8.5*mod healing, and after this point it's only +8.5/level from a new use.

In comparison, a 5th-level Healer has 5d8+25+5*Cha from 1st-level Cures, 8d8+20+4*Cha, and 9d8+15+3*Cha from 3rd-level Cures, for 22d8+60+12*Cha, average 159+12*Cha, before accounting for bonus slots from ability scores. So unless you specifically want Healing Tear to be a strong 1/day combat heal to go with the way the usage mechanic operates, which I'd be perfectly fine with, as useful combat healing is sorely lacking, it doesn't seem to have any need for daily use restriction if you just shift to Cure scaling instead of dice-per-level.

As a stylistic thing, I'd suggest settling on one class name for the Magus and Knight, then having the Element-specific properties be defined by a formal subclass. It helps with talking about it because you're not writing out "X Knight" all the time when mentioning the Gish. Look up the nomenclature surrounding specialist Psion and Wizard builds to mirror the subset focus on a single base class.

...Also don't forget the canonical Paraelemental stuff. Do not hesitate for an instant to have Water+Earth filled with Ooze shenanigans anywhere such is remotely able to substitute Mud. And you seem to have forgotten to list actions with the Formulae, which is important for exceptions to them being Standard Actions, which are supremely useful owing to the elements being held on to for the turn so any Move or Swift Action Reactions let you outlet "leftover" elements. Probably on the two-dice sets so there's some unreliability and it does seriously butt in on your high-level Formulae.

Come to think of it, you should probably have the Elements empty at the start of your next turn instead of end of turn, so there's the option for Reaction use like Earth/Fire counter damage without needing weird exceptions or burning extra rolls. Some combination of class, feat, and race should definitely stretch that into filtering Elements over several turns, allowing reliable access to the top-level Reactions at very late levels instead of being stuck with at absolute best a ~1/3rd chance at a single specific 7th-level Formula each roll. Maybe have that "filtering" be the gimmick of the Chemoturge as the source of sensible reliability on niche problem-solving applications.

Okay, so, posting the basic "core" of the Taskers here in case something happens so I don't lose like four hours of work:

(click to show/hide)

Feel free to comment on the capabilities here, any derived stats missed, and the combat value relative to Astral Constructs (the 50% surcharge should keep it under control...), or the underlying ideas in the previous two posts. And also ideas on what feats to give the Tether Hounds by default, because I'm keeping them Intelligent... Might also make the weapon-user 2 Int for technical allowance of feats.

So, thinking in terms of workload for a Psionic Artificer now, first leg is obviously finishing off the Homunculus counterpart suite, including rules for permanent construction that carry more Homunculi properties and Ectopic Forms with effects from the menus of the new creations. Rethinking things, the Arbalester substitute will definitely be a more firm alternative to Psychokinetic Weapon, having the duplication be Menu A for the benefit of both thrown and TWF characters.

Second leg would be creating more Psionic items and typical "Craft check for the body" Constructs to fill out things for them to make, particularly focusing on utility and quality of life properties. This would necessarily end up involving more new Powers for the missing effects, possibly focused on more "conduit" sets like the Stygian powers to justify true Psionic Golems. I'll be wanting to avoid printing any pure counterpart, which is at its most annoying with ability enhancements.

Third leg is working on Psicrystal shenanigans, including a framework for external construction independent of Psicrystal Affinity so the Psionic Artificer can use these, as well, instead of it being limited to a system of Psions and Psychic Warriors making themselves a solid combatant. Any Manifesting would definitely be separating PP recovery, powers available, and PP storage, to cut into buying your way to ridiculous amounts of burst damage and daily output.

Then the final leg is the Psionic Artificer itself, needing only cover Infusion-counterparts and the class features themselves, which both operate primarily as a find-and-replace exercise. Important to do this last because working out all the tools first allows asking some questions about how they fit together to avoid breaking things all over again.

On an unrelated note, I've been thinking about furnishing the Psionic Artificer as a properly distinct class, which means needing counterparts to the actually-useful Homunculi. Fortunately, we have some Mind's Eye content to get started, including an unconverted 3.0 helper and a PRC exclusive.

As indicated by bringing those up, I'd go with the Power-shaped ectoplasmic creatures being the well-supported Homunculus counterpart, rather than alternate Psicrystals. The consequence of wording the updated Tether Hound and Astral Tasker (renamed Ectoplasmic Tasker) to benefit from existing Astral Construct support means including the benefits of Ectopic Form and Skin of the Construct, so any Menu A effects can be looted and they can all be turned into the suite of weird, so the Menu A effects need to stick to the power level of Astral Construct even with higher base Power levels, and they should match CR despite this.

Easy with a utility form like the Astral Taskers, since the whole point is versatility and being Ethereal is a ridiculously swingy mess, significantly more difficult with Tether Hounds as-written, but then their whole gimmick is being days/level guards to a days/level lockdown Power. Invert the relationship, having the Tether Hounds sustain Metacreativity effects, and one can justify a considerable surcharge. Make it hours/level duration instead to make it not demand an untenable surcharge, and throw in an Ecto Protection effect to help justify the low value of the minion.

So, to spit out the Powers in question without the suite of statblocks and menu items:

(click to show/hide)


The big question is how to balance the monsters, as they do need to stick to the CR schedule for Ectopic Form, and how far exactly the messing-with-functionality menu options should go. Such as where to put the Tether Hounds gaining the option to steal valid Tether targets and "digest" them for duration (which would make it technically playable entirely as the impermanent spell effect, 'specially with the days/level augment). The technical limit for the Tasker is 6th level, while the Tether Hound can reach 7th level. Given this, Menu B for the tasker would probably be 3rd-4th and C would be 5th+, while the Tether Hound could use the Astral Construct's functionality. Though notably, 10th level 19pp Astral Constructs don't exist, so actually filling the full PP scale isn't strictly necessary and thus the Taskers could be kept to 5th level at 15pp.

Both the Tasker and Tether Hound should be defensively focused, the former as a utility entity that shouldn't really be fighting in the first place and the latter as a keystone to keeping other things running for astonishing durations. But I'm not sure how this should break down, beyond the Tasker having some form of miss chance due to being non-solid and wanting the Tether Hound be Medium at baseline for the +20 HP. Probably have the Hound heavily focused on HP because it's expected to be underleveled, being ahead on size and RHD to the Astral Construct, but behind for Strength. Maybe give Evasion and scaling Dexterity to cut out AoE risk, leading to better Touch AC.

...Given the "uniqueness" of Arbalester, it's probably fitting to analogize with an entirely new Construct. For the sake of variety, based on throwing stuff instead of normal ranged weapons, and keeping the "made around weapon" effect, but copying it instead of some sort of Returning effect, so Special Materials don't apply. Being unintelligent isn't a big issue because thrown doesn't have that much feat support and it's going to have terrible BAB so requirements are unlikely, rely on Menus to force the matter with bonuses. Possibly double as a disposable Charger thanks to the requirements involved, just by genericizing the properties, balanced against decently-honed single-target damage Powers?

Needs to have a recovery method involved, and could probably be rendered as a full replacement by class level given the intent of having it scale DR to be useful. 10th level for DR 2 is still terrible. For wording on the current version, perhaps use "You gain twice the DR your class level would normally give you, to a maximum of DR 10/-"

Handbook Discussion / Re: Grappling Handbook Discussion Thread
« on: May 12, 2021, 08:05:14 PM »
Oh forgotten thread
lost to the ages,
Arise and return
to the frontmost pages

So, there's a PRC that seems to have been missed which is really bloody important to the shapeshifting direction in the form of Primeval. It provides a shape-changing effect that operates like Polymorph, except that it adds the ability scores, meaning that you can directly stack your templated to Hell and back beatstick with an 8RHD or less Animal up to one size larger (main Huge target for a Goliath or Half-Giant seems to be the Dire Snake). You can also trade Wild Shape uses, so it might actually receive Wild Shape benefits, but... The wording is quite the clusterfuck as to what it counts as.

And if that's not enough it gives slight improvements to both your base ability scores and the chosen form with more levels. And it's a typeless bonus based on being a different form, so it should stack with everything. With its BAB +8 requirement, you can actually take the first few levels of Black Blood Cultist first to reach level 8 of it later. To partially copy the existing build stubs for a very blunt preliminary version:

Grarg, Nature Appreciator
Half-Orc Wild Shape Ranger 1/Goliath Spirit Bear City Brawler Barbarian 1/Ranger +3/Black Blood Cultist 2/Ranger+1/Totemist 2/Primeval (Megaraptor) 3/BBC +6/Primeval +1
Feats: Track(b), Self-Sufficient (1st), Endurance(b), Cobalt Rage (3rd), Improved Unarmed Strike (b), Azure Toughness (6th), Improved Grapple(b) (7th), Bonus Essentia (9th), Open Lesser Chakra (Arms) (12th), Expanded Soulmeld Capacity (15th), Cobalt Charge (18th)

Strength score is 18+2(Half-Orc)+12 (Primeval)+2(Regression)+4 (Rage), for a total of 24 Strength at all times and another 16 on a pair of 3/day buffs. BAB is +17 if I'm counting correctly. Then you have 7 Essentia, 6 of which is on making Girallon Arms +12 to Grapple and +6 to your Claws, then the remaining point can go to the Arm-bound Kraken Mantle for a +1, for +15 off the Incarnum package. Add in +4 for Improved Grapple, and you have access to +57 if I have my math right.

This is not the best Grapple output for using Primeval by a long shot, and the ordering is doubtlessly a disaster, being as it's a rough draft, but it has solid damage potential going for it owing to combining a particularly nasty Wild Shape form with extra buffs packing Totemist behind it and Black Blood Cultist turning this into an every-grapple-check phenomenon.

...If this leads to an update to the handbook, please double-check the numbers.

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