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1  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 20, 2014, 05:59:22 PM
Latest Version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8FCrAZcFJJDbWxlT0VrcDJPS3M/edit?usp=sharing

This is the final version for now. It's tight and multifaceted now.

1) The 1st level ability gives the spell, spellcasting mechanics, restricts spells known, then allows the spell to be enhanced with other character options (tricks) that wouldn't normally be functional. These tricks are granted, but simply made available as choices whenever you gain tricks.

Incidentally, spell specific tricks were unleashed by Morg back in 2012: http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=6291.0

This is a class that uses that idea (because it's backbone is a specific spell) extensively.

2) Eldritch Power now feels fine to me as far as Damage output at the 19 slot.

3) The ability to trade your CoPs in for a new augmentation mirrors the kludge sidebar that accompanied the class back in TOG. It also allows for multiclassing to work better with the warlock concept. Make a 3rd level Warlock that then goes into Mage. He can go between CoP and augments at every odd mage level. Sure most players would go CoP every time, but the option and flexibility is there.

4) The 10/20 is now the Resistances that were there in the original class in TOG. However, they are more flexible here, with the choice to gain Resistance 5 to 4 things if you desire.
2  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 20, 2014, 05:23:45 PM
>No need to reinvent the wheel.

Your current set-up is more complicated with it being a spell than just making it an Extraordinary Attack.

I mean, you put it as a level 1 spell, but then make a bunch of concessions, like applying specific tricks to it, and you give it the "can use more than once a round" ability (which would work equally well on an Extraordinary attack with absolutely no change in wording), and you say "It counts as one level less for you, and you can cast without all these other things."

It's an extraordinary attack. You are jumping through WAY MORE hoops trying to use it as a spell.

Also, multiclassing doesn't really help much, sure, you can qualify for Rune Knight, but with a whopping 1 Spell Point at level 5, you might as well not even have the class, especially since Eldritch Bolt has so much overlap with the Rune Knight's Runes, but you don't have to spend resources to cast it.

There is literally no point in having it be a spell.

There is a ton of compatibility with existing mechanics that the spell angle works with... I prefer it that way. As a extraordinary attack it has no enhancement options outside of the class design. You lock the character into a single class build for any increase in power - by using a spell and the spellcasting mechanics you open up level based feat enhancement - independent of class. The oft mentioned Casting B/M/S is one. You also allow other classes that utilize spellcasting to interact with the Eldritch Bolt in a logical way. A Rune Knight that goes two handed rune blade is perfectly happy to have Warlock as his magic mojo base, creating a well rounded melee-ranged talker.

If you want to work out an extraordinary attack version - do it. I'm real happy with the flexibility and options that the spell version brings. I'm betting that a straight up extraordinary attack will be a kind boring build - since you can't really afford to go off the rails. Heck just to allow something as minor as the Arcane Knowledge ability to function will require a quasi-spellcasting kludge - which is why I think reinventing a wheel is unnecessary.
3  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 19, 2014, 06:12:24 PM
Mark III: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8FCrAZcFJJDZmgyU2hFS29pbGM/edit?usp=sharing

There's a lot to talk about here, but I've had a busy day and now it's time for my FC game.

As to why it's spell:

1) The mechanics work - there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
2) There are now things that use the spellcasting aspects within the class, such as the spell's save DC.
3) Multiclassablity - With the CoP rider on the new Eldritch Augments you can go Warlock to Rune Knight and not get screwed over - the mechanics work. Not to mention lots of other class mixes. No need for a sidebar, it's folded in.
4  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 18, 2014, 04:07:49 PM
Agreed with all of this. The mark II is a step in the right direction, but it still needs a lot of work.

The one issue I can see with Mr. Andersen's suggestion is that, while this would be appropriate for the Warlock's needs, it would be quite too much for a level 0 spell in general.

Essentially, the main problem is this: You're trying to handle the Eldritch Bolt as a spell, which can even be taken by a Mage or other spellcasting class, but a level 0 spell has to stick within a rather low tier of power, which is simply too little to pass muster as the spine of a class.

My suggestion would be to make Eldritch Bolt a level 1 spell by default, but have the Warlock's A slot ability granting the spell also allow the Warlock to treat it as a level 0. This lets you set the Bolt's base stats to level 1 power so it's balanced in the hands of other casters with lots of other spells (and 2d4+Cha lethal as a Short Range Attack spell strikes me as fairly appropriate for a level 1 spell), but the Warlock -- which is heavily focused on Eldritch Bolt more or less to the exclusion of other spellcasting -- treats it as a level 0. Best of both worlds.

I was wary of this when I first read it, but have warmed to it. See above for implementation of this idea.

The scaling from the class options also needs some adjustment. The Eldritch Power option for repeated multi-casting is good, but unless the stats of the Bolt itself are going to be scaled up substantially I feel like it'd need to be a lot bigger. Either remove the per session limit on double-bolting entirely, or at least make it once per scene.

Umm. it's Double Cast for Eldritch Bolt that, after level 3, quickly outclasses the actual feat. It's more than powerful enough as is.

I might say that Mighty Bolt might need a boost as well, but if it gets changed to 2d4+Cha base then the damage die scaling applied to each of the two dice would actually be reasonably respectable.

Agreed. I'm thinking more and more of moving the +Cha portion of the damage to a class ability.

However, Multi Bolt becomes perhaps a bit too powerful here; perhaps the B slot ability could become Multi Bolt, with level 2 granting the ability to cast multiple times per round (potentially even unlimited, really -- the Warlock really wants to treat Eldritch Bolt as a weapon, not a spell, assuming damage per hit is intended to stay relatively restrained compared to the piles of dice mid- and high-level blasting spells toss around), and levels 11 and 19 granting additional missiles.

Ehh, I don't think so. He may want to treat it like a weapon, but it's a spell, and superior now to a weapon in so many ways it's not funny.

For Eldritch Master, I like the threat range increase, but I think +1 threat range and an additional trick should be used at each step. Reduced AD cost can already be achieved by Spellcasting Supremacy anyway, and applying multiple tricks to Eldritch Bolt wouldn't be too ridiculous given the limited options there as compared to with weapons.

The Spellcasting chain shouldn't be a must have for the Warlock - There should be other feats that he's grabbing. The Reduced AD cost is there to reassure him that he won't get punished for not getting it  - the class hits that sweet capstone of free crit activation. However there are some possibilities to tweak that - it's choosable to the soldier @ 6... and the redesigned warlock has a "pick one that also starts @ 6.
The multi trick aspect is part of the reason that the Range increase, Damage type swaps, etc are tricks. To keep the Bolt under control.

I also feel that Long Range Bolt should increase range to Long, not Medium. I don't see it being broken at all, seeing as you're investing a limited character option and using a trick to get it, plus it's more intuitive since the name of the trick itself tells you the range you get out of it.

1000' is a bit much - 250' should be fine.

Also, in a somewhat different vein, less relevant to the power of the class per se, Tripping Bolt as written there is both nonfunctional and sort of redundant. Eldritch Bolt is a spell, not a weapon, so the idea of an "Eldritch Bolt Trip trick" is nonsensical; unless you first provide a way for EB to be wielded as a weapon, the trick can't even be used at all. Even if it could be used, it's fairly pointless with Forceful Bolt providing an alternative means of using your EB to sprawl opponents, with better range and dealing your EB damage to boot. Granted, if Tripping Bolt were actually usable it would likely be more reliable, being an opposed skill check rather than a save vs the damage, but you're still looking at less range and giving up your damage rather than working at normal range and adding the sprawl effect to the damage.

No, it works. By virtue of it being an "Eldritch Bolt Trip Trick" it allows you to use the Eldritch Bolt to trip (blast at whatever they're standing on, bracket them with fire and cause them to loose their balance, simply fire at their feet and make 'em dance and fall). It's similar to the requirements of En Garde! (Fencing Blade Total Defense Trick). You can perform Total Defense with or without a fencing blade, but if you happen to have one armed, and know the trick you can do this cool thing. I admit tripping bolt needs a rewrite - it needs to be formatted correctly, a note that this counts as your casting the spell as an action (so it counts against your number of casts per round), etc. But it's perfectly workable as a mechanic in Fantasy Craft.

Mark III to come later today/tonight tommorrow.
5  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 18, 2014, 03:31:39 PM
The core ability is still poor -- it's a messy grab bag of stuff with little real thematic connection.

Given the fluff you should be using it to hand out Devilish Heritage (or a choice of any Heritage feat if you want to make the class more broadly flexible) + "You are always considered to possess a mage's pouch".

Cool idea - here's the new core ability take:

Seductive Heritage: The unearthly roots of your family tree are more evident in you than most. You gain your choice of the Angelic or Devilish Heritage feat. Also your Appearance bonus increases by +1.

The reason I didn't use the always considered to possess a mage's pouch sweetener is that I rolled it into the 1st level ability. See below.

Eldritch bolt as written still remains a dubious spine to hang the class around, and as a 1st level character "you get an extra skill that you have to sink skill points into + a single shitty 0 level spell" combined with "you don't eat much and make 1 person per session slightly better inclined towards you" is terribly weak compared to any other base class out there (the mage in particular mocks you)

New A ability (sans spell):

Eldritch Bolt: At Level 1, you may purchase ranks in the Spellcasting skill, cast Level 0 spells you know, and learn the following spell.

SPELL GOES HERE - it's now Level 1 BTW

Your Eldritch Bolt’s spell level is considered to be 1 lower than normal for you and you are always considered to have a mage’s pouch when casting Eldritch Bolt or any spell granted by your Arcane Knowledge ability (see Eldritch Augments ability, below).

So, now it grants spellcasting skill access, allows level 0 spells to be cast, grants access to a single spell, lowers that spell by a level, and alleviates the need for a mage's pouch for the class's native spellcasting. I'm thinking of adding access to a number of Eldritch Bolt only tricks tricks to it also, but only to make them available as choices when you gain a proficiency.

Its damage output needs to be on par with a drake's breath weapon -- 2d4 + [blah] damage ranged touch attack, three range increments of 20' seems about right for 1st level.

The spell:

ELDRITCH BOLT
Level: 1 Energy
Casting Time: 1 half action
Distance: Short range attack
Duration: Instant
Effect: You may fire 1 missile at a target you can see, with the missile inflicting (2d4 + your Charisma Modifier) lethal damage.

Ok, it's Level 1 now, so , even though it's not supposed to be available to any spell caster except warlocks, GMs can make that call themselves. 2d4 + Cha Mod lethal is a solid 1st level spell damage (might be too high, actually), but I think using spell range mechanics is right for ranged spells. So it stays at Short (50').
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: July 18, 2014, 01:12:16 PM
If it hadn't been Shep, it would have been someone else at the proper time/place. You're playing the story because it's Shep in the right place/time. Does that help your suspension of disbelief?
7  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 17, 2014, 08:23:32 PM
Mark II version
PDF format:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8FCrAZcFJJDaUM5TUFqelV5Rk0/edit?usp=sharing

CLASS FEATURES
Requirements: Sorcery campaign quality
Favored Attributes: Wisdom, Intelligence, Dexterity
Caster: Each Level in this class increases your Casting Level by 1.
Class Skills: Bluff, Haggle, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Sense Motive, Sneak, Tactics
Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier per level (×4 at Career Level 1)
Vitality: 9 + Con modifier per level
Starting Proficiencies: 4
CORE ABILITY
Power In The Blood: The infernal roots of your family tree both empowers, sustains and enhances you. You are always considered to have a mage’s pouch when casting Eldritch Bolt or any spell granted by the Arcane Knowledge ability. Also, once per session, you may improve the Disposition of any 1 non-adversary NPC by 5. Finally, you require only 1 common meal per day.

CLASS ABILITIES
Eldritch Bolt: At Level 1, you may purchase ranks in the Spellcasting skill, cast Level 0 spells you know, and learn the following spell.

Quote
ELDRITCH BOLT
Level: 0 Force
Casting Time: 1 half action
Distance: Short range attack
Duration: Instant
Effect: You may fire 1 missile at a target you can see, with the missile inflicting (1d4 + your Cha Modifier) lethal damage.

At Levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19, you may choose 1 of the following abilities to augment your Eldritch Bolt. Each of these abilities may be chosen only once.
•   Acidic Bolt: You gain a trick.
Acidic Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Acid. Also it inflicts double damage when attacking objects or scenery.
•   Arcane Knowledge: You learn 4 Level 0 spells available in the campaign. You may choose this ability any number of times.
•   Blinding Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Blinding Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt also causes a single amount of Flash damage to the target equal to the total damage of the missiles hitting the target.
•   Eldritch Claws: You gain a trick.
   Eldritch Claws (Unarmed Attack Trick): With a successful hit you may cast Eldritch Bolt as a free action targeting the same character.
•   Enveloping Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Enveloping Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt gains the Spread weapon quality (see Fantasy Craft, page 177).
•   Faithful Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Faithful Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt gains your Alignment and targets of opposing Alignments suffer +2 damage.
•   Fiery Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Fiery Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Fire and gains AP 5.
•   Force Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Force Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Force and corporeal targets must make a successful Fortitude save (DC equal to the damage after DR and Resistances are applied) or become sprawled.
•   Knock Out Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Knock Out Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Subdual.
•   Long Range Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Long Range Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt now has a Distance of Medium Range.
•   Mighty Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt’s damage die increases by 1. You may choose this ability up to 3 times, increasing the die type by 1 each time (to a max of d10).
•   Multi Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt gains 1 additional missile. The number of targets can be up to the number of missiles (minimum of 1 target per missile). Each missile inflicts the spell’s base damage separately. You may choose this ability up to 2 times, increasing number of missiles by 1 each time (to a max of 3 missiles).
•   Piercing Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt gains AP 2. You may choose this ability up to 3 times (to a max of AP 6).
•   Shocking Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Shocking Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Electrical.
•   Tripping Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Tripping Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Trip Trick): You use your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting result as your Trip check result. The target(s) must be within your Close Quarters range.

Eldritch Power: At Level 2 you may cast a second Eldritch Bolt spell during a round if you have sufficient remaining actions. You may use this ability a number of times per session equal to your Casting Level.
At Level 11, your Eldritch Bolts gain AP equal to your Charisma modifier.
At Level 19, your Eldritch Bolts gain an additional 1d4 damage per missile.

An Ancestral Path: At Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, you gain 1 additional Style or Covert feat or you may take a step upon either the paths of Evil or Magic.

Dark Gifts: At Levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18, you may choose 1 of the following abilities. Each of these abilities may be chosen only once.
•   Always Ready: You may always act during surprise rounds.
•   Beguiling: When you successfully Taunt a character, you may decline the standard result to have your target become fixated on you for 1d6 rounds. Special characters and villains may spend 1 action die to cancel this effect and become immune to this ability for the rest of the scene. If you gain this benefit from multiple sources, you may also damage the target once without interrupting his fixation (you may do this only once, no matter how many times you gain the benefit).
•   Darkvision I: You ignore the effects of dim and faint light.
•   Eldritch Trickery: you may apply general and ranged attack tricks to your Eldritch Bolt spell.
•   Expertise: Choose one: Bluff, Haggle, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Sense Motive, Sneak, or Tactics. You may always take 10 with this skill. Also, taking 10 with this skill doesn’t take twice as long and taking 20 takes only 10 times as long.
•   Flattery: Your dark charm is hard to resist. Each time you fail an Impress check and don’t suffer an error, you still succeed as long as the check DC (or your opponent’s check result) is equal to or less than your Class Level + 20. If several grades of success are possible, you achieve only the lowest possible positive result.
If you gain this ability for either skill from two or more classes, add together your levels in all classes granting the ability when determining its effect.
•   Seductive: Your Charisma score rises by 1.
•   Sneak Attack: You gain an additional die of sneak attack damage.
•   9: Ability #9
•   10: Ability #10

Eldritch Master I: At Level 10, your Threat range with your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting checks increases by 1 and it costs you 1 fewer action dice to activate critical hits with your Eldritch Bolt (minimum 0).

Eldritch Master II: At Level 20, your Threat range with your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting checks increases by an additional 1 (total of 2). Also, you may apply an additional trick to your Eldritch Bolt attack.

Eldritch Ground Zero: At level 14, you gain access to the following special attack action.

ELDRITCH GROUND ZERO
1 Full Action • Spellcasting Attack Action • Requires Eldritch Bolt spell
Make a spellcasting check for your Eldritch Bolt spell. You may apply 1 additional trick to this spell above the number you may normally apply. The spell automatically targets all legal opposing characters within its Range with your Eldritch Bolt’s base Damage, AP, and number of missiles as modified by your chosen augmentation abilities. After this attack, you must make a Will save with a DC equal to the number targets or become Fatigued.
8  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: July 17, 2014, 06:40:50 PM
You can't take followers if you have Congregation from Priest (or Entourage from Courtier). Neither ability says you can take the feat a second time as class features allow. The only feat of this type that can be taken a second time is with the Lancer's lifetime companion. It allows the Animal Partner feat to be taken again.

...My copy actually does have the "You may gain the Followers feat a second time later" caveat on all three of the Courtier's Entourage, Keeper's Apprentices, and Priest's Congregation.

Wow... I completely misremembered that. Bravo.

Oh, and Krensky is correct.
9  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 17, 2014, 06:28:36 PM
A useful trick would be replicating Eldritch Glaive and Eldritch Claws from TOG

Trick: Eldritch Glaive
Eldritch Blast can be used as a reach +1, trip polearm instead of a ranged attack

Trick: Eldritch Claws
Cast your Eldritch Blast as a free action if you successfully attack with an unarmed attack on the same target

•   Eldritch Claws: You gain a trick.
    Eldritch Claws (Unarmed Attack Trick): With a successful hit you may cast Eldritch Bolt as a free action targeting the same character.

•   Tripping Bolt: You gain a trick.
    Tripping Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Trip Trick): You use your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting result as your Trip check result. The target(s) must be within your Close Quarters range.
10  Products / Fantasy Craft / Re: Questions on: July 17, 2014, 04:15:59 PM
You can't take followers if you have Congregation from Priest (or Entourage from Courtier). Neither ability says you can take the feat a second time as class features allow. The only feat of this type that can be taken a second time is with the Lancer's lifetime companion. It allows the Animal Partner feat to be taken again.
11  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 17, 2014, 03:58:35 PM
With 1d4 damage die, you will probably LITERALLY never have somebody fail the save to catch fire or be blinded, or sickened from electricity, as it is on average a DC 2. They would have to both natural 1 and have less than a +1 bonus to save. You could boost the damage die, but that'll only be 1d6  damage within Close range, and if you want to apply electrical or fire or Flash to that too, that means you'll be Level 5. At level 5, a spellcaster has access to Scorching Ray, which is 3 rays of 2d4, AP 5.

Against a target with, say, 2 DR, some leather-armor brigand, level 5 characters, you can either deal:

Up to potentially 9d6+18 Fire Damage (Archer Soldier with Bow B/M/S and Angry Hornet. The fifth feat they would get is applied elsewhere, rather than on another archery feat) , using Flaming arrows.

This also has the option of targeting enemies well beyond 50 feet of Close range, and has up to AP 4.

Up to 6 bolts of 8 Fire damage (48 total) via Mage with 2 Spell Conversion: Effect Scorching Rays and Double Cast.

Or 2d4 Fire damage, from Warlock (Taking Fire upgrade and Multi Upgrade)

In short, this class is worse in all ways than all other options at doing any one thing in particular.

So, all in all, an accurate port of the 3.X Warlock.

Heh. Thanks for that.
12  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 17, 2014, 03:55:51 PM
Me three.

I certainly can't see how this class in any way warrants the name Warlock. I'm expecting demons and blood and soul destroying magic and, above all, some sense of DARK P Evil WER.

Fair enough. Like with paddyfool's points, what can we do with the E slot (6,9,12,15,18) to address that? I was thinking a seductive dark power - Charisma based mojo and change the role to combatant/talker, perhaps.
13  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 17, 2014, 03:49:30 PM
What he said.

Also, TOG's warlock had a tad more casting options than this one would get from this class' level 0 spells plus limited paths. This could use a little more along those lines too.

That's one of the things that I'm shying away from. Warlocks in TOG were made because players wanted spammable attack spells that were unlimited use - because that hated vancian magic in that regard. We don't have that problem in Fantasy Craft. So the cool thing about the warlock in TOG (IMHO) was the fact that it had a mutable zap attack. That's what I'm trying to do here. Fantasy Craft characters fulfill roles. We can certainly look at beefing up the dark magical heritage side of the mix and hit those high points.
14  Community / License to Improvise / Re: Warlock (base class) on: July 17, 2014, 03:42:07 PM
The general framework looks like a good start, but I have two major complaints:

First, the core ability is terribly underwhelming. As a level 0 spell, you don't need a Mage's Pouch to be able to hit the DC for Eldritch Bolt in the first place; all the Mage's Pouch does is prevent the error range increase.

...and allow you to hit a target with a defense over 15. It's an attack spell, not magic missile.

And the secondary benefit of needing less food is entirely useless to a full third of the standard Species as well as to Savage Humans, Bear Noble Elves, and Glacier-Born Dwarves.

Hmmm. Ok, this can change, twist, morph, etc.

Second, and more significantly, I'm rather skeptical of the ability of the ability of the Eldritch Bolt to really pull the class's weight as a combatant. For one thing, as a spell, it's usable only once per round (outside of a few times per session where you can take a second shot with Double Cast -- which, being so limited, isn't really relevant to considerations of overall power). This limits both your overall damage output and your ability to clear mobs of standards. Furthermore, being a spell makes it ineligible for the tactical benefits typical combatants can get from feats and tricks. Ranged attack tricks can't be used until you get Eldritch Master I, and since the class has no spell points you can't even use Spellcasting tricks to enhance the Eldritch Bolt. Prior to class level 10, the only benefits you can add to the Eldritch Bolt are those provided by the class itself, and those don't strike me as being able to really keep up with what typical combatants can do. Even after level 10, the benefits available to you from non-feat restricted general and ranged attack tricks are fairly modest compared to what a weapon or unarmed combatant would be getting from a full B/M/S chain or two.

Ok. Let me look at that. Perhaps the answer is shifting the role from combatant to combatant/talker or combatant/backer.

You can mount up to some pretty solid damage (3d10 with maxed-out investment in Mighty Bolt and Multi Bolt) and choose from a variety of exotic damage types, but that's about it. And since each damage die is considered separately, you'll need to take Piercing Bolt 2-3 times or use Shocking Bolt to avoid having your damage routinely trivialized by DR. Having each damage die separate also dramatically decreases the utility of the fancy damage types -- against a TL 9 target with a very modest Resilience II and +0 to the relevant ability score, the odds of failing a save against the special effect of a special damage type are a mere 10.5%. Even with maxed-out Multi Bolt upgrades, even this very modest opponent has a roughly 72.7% chance of passing all three saves.

What if we added in the Cha Mod to the damage? I really think that starting off at a d4 is appropriate for a zero level spell.  Perhaps a 50 foot, single d4 force missile attack spell is to light for 0 level.

Which of these would you (all of you reading) think is the most appropriate starting point?

a) 50 foot, single d4 force missile attack spell
b) 50 foot, single d4 + Cha Mod force missile attack spell
c) 50 foot, single d4 lethal missile attack spell (so sneak attack now can apply)
d) 50 foot, single d4 + Cha Mod lethal missile attack spell (so sneak attack now can apply)
e) 50 foot, single d6 force missile attack spell
f) 50 foot, single d6 + Cha Mod force missile attack spell
g) 50 foot, single d6 lethal missile attack spell (so sneak attack now can apply)
h) 50 foot, single d6 + Cha Mod lethal missile attack spell (so sneak attack now can apply)

The division of damage dice also makes you flatly incapable of inflicting critical injuries, with an absolute maximum possible damage per hit of 10, ruling out one common strategy for combat against high-level special characters where vitality pools are high enough to make simple lethal damage painstakingly slow. (And at 3d10 per round, even ignoring all DR, you're not going to get through high-level special character vitality with Eldritch Bolt.) The low volume of attacks also rules out critfishing as a reasonable option (though at least you can get a decent threat range and free confirmations with Spellcasting B/M/S).

Special character combat shouldn't ever be about vitality damage - that's always the inefficient route. Inflicting critical injuries is always a craps shoot - except with keen short sword wielding full sword B/M/S fighters and their ilk. But noted.

In light of the limitations I've outlined here, I can really only see two damage type tricks worth using as a bread-and-butter strategy against special characters: Acidic Bolt, and Knockout Bolt. In both cases with maxed-out Multi Bolt and at least two grades of Piercing Bolt. Acidic Bolt sort of cheats around the separation of damage with the way acid damage accumulates, and Knockout Bolt lets you spam multiple subdual damage saves (which are at a higher minimum DC than the maximum possible DC for the saves on special damage types) at once.

I could see using Shocking Bolt for heavily-armored standard characters, to prompt 3 damage saves without worrying about DR, but I wouldn't count on sickening anyone with the other effect of electricity damage, and thus I wouldn't use it against specials unless they had such obsenely high DR that Acidic or Knockout Bolts weren't going through. And I wouldn't use Fiery Bolt at all unless up against a target specifically weak to fire or as a utility measure, to light scenery or objects on fire rather than as a weapon. The odds of the target actually catching on fire are just too low to be worthwhile compared to guaranteed escalating damage from acid or the much more realistic chance of failing a subdual damage save. By that same token, Blinding Bolt is just plain laughable.

I don't know anybody who looked at the sickening effect of electrical damage and thought that was even an important aspect before. Flash damage is always laughable - it's there for character flavor - just like it's laughable but present in various options like elemental heritage.

The gamebreaker is actually pretty decent though, since although its damage is no more impressive than the base bolt the ability to hit every enemy within 250 ft at once is pretty awesome, and it's potentially repeatable (depending on your ability to handle the fatigue). I could see an Unborn warlock being downright unbalanced with the gamebreaker, what with the immunity to fatigue -- just spam Ground Zero every single turn and watch entire armies crumble before you.

It's not repeatable, it's once per combat. That will also have to be considered.

Long story short, I don't see this warlock pulling its weight well as a combatant using Eldritch Bolt alone; they're going to need another weapon to pick up the slack, and they're not getting any bonus feats or benefits to weapon use from their class features. I like the general design approach, but the numbers and such need a serious boost.

Ok. like before, tweaks are needed, and the role of combatant may need to be expanded. Thanks for the shakedown.
15  Community / License to Improvise / Warlock (base class) on: July 16, 2014, 04:51:24 PM
Quite awhile ago, I was discussing various 3.5 classes and how to approximate them in Fantasy Craft with some customers. By far they were easy to do with Specialies and preexisting classes. The 3.5 warlock however, is really defined by his spammable, gets-better-as-he-grows eldritch blast ability. Everything else about the class is already there but the backbone of the class, the only thing that's unique about it, isn't. So I started work on this.

...and got interested in something else shiny and shelved it. However, I dusted it off the other day and finished up the undefined portions (stealing the B "two steps at once" ability from Morg's Avenger, readjusting the bonus feat to the now open "not path steps now" slot) so it's ready to roll.

The point (and backbone) of this class it the Eldritch Bolt and it augmentations. that takes it in a completely different direction than Khaalis's inspired version: http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=4811.0

So here it is in PDF format:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8FCrAZcFJJDUzFPcjd1ejBPX2M/edit?usp=sharing

Mark II PDF format:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8FCrAZcFJJDaUM5TUFqelV5Rk0/edit?usp=sharing

WARLOCK (BASE)
Many heroes have a dark past, the taint of the infernal far back in their family lines - but the Warlock embraces it and uses that mote of power to grant himself unique abilities. First and foremost among them is a spell that is written in no book, but comes from the bloodline itself. As the Warlock grows in power, so too does his inborn Eldritch Bolt – changing to fit his desires and becoming an extension of the Warlock’s own being.

Depending on your campaign, a Warlock could be...
•   A crusading do gooder, determined to apply his dark heritage to a good and just cause
•   A clever rogue, who supplements his skills with a multi-useful ability that produces flame, acid and other more dangerous aspects as well
•   A silent enforcer, who can panic opponents and bystanders alike with a his reputation and a flick of his glowing, death-spewing finger
•   A dabbler in the mystical arts, who never really misses the breadth of power of other spellcasters thanks to an innate spell that grows with experience
•   A true diabolist who revels in his powerful birthright, and tyrannizes all he meets

Party Role: Combatant. Your ability to augment your Eldritch Bolt means that you’re a versatile ranged combatant. Note that a single classed Warlock can learn no other spells than Eldritch Bolt except through the Arcane Knowledge augmentation. This greatly limits the common view of a spellcaster as a toolbox character. You aren’t.
Combatant/Talker. Your ability to augment your Eldritch Bolt means that you’re a versatile ranged combatant, while your ancestry also grants you a dark seductive side that draws others to you and make them hang on every word. Note that a single classed Warlock can learn no other spells than Eldritch Bolt except through the Arcane Knowledge augmentation.

CLASS FEATURES
Requirements: Sorcery campaign quality
Favored Attributes: Wisdom, Intelligence, Dexterity
Caster: Each Level in this class increases your Casting Level by 1.
Class Skills: Bluff, Crafting, Haggle, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Sense Motive, Sneak, Survival, Tactics
Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier per level (×4 at Career Level 1)
Vitality: 9 + Con modifier per level
Starting Proficiencies: 4

BAB: Med
Fort: High
Ref: Low
Will: Med
Def: Med
Init: High
Lifestyle: Low
Legend: Med

CORE ABILITY
Power In The Blood: The infernal roots of your family tree both empowers and sustains you. You are always considered to have a mage’s pouch when casting Eldritch Bolt or any spell granted by the Arcane Knowledge ability.  Also, once per session, you may improve the Disposition of any 1 non-adversary NPC by 5. Finally, you require only 1 common meal per day.

CLASS ABILITIES
Eldritch Bolt: At Level 1, you may purchase ranks in the Spellcasting skill, cast Level 0 spells you know, and learn the following spell.

Quote
ELDRITCH BOLT
Level: 0 Force
Casting Time: 1 half action
Distance: Short range attack
Duration: Instant
Effect: You may fire 1 missile at a target you can see, with the missile inflicting 1d4 force (1d4 + your Cha Modifier)lethal damage.

At Levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19, you may choose 1 of the following abilities to augment your Eldritch Bolt. Each of these abilities may be chosen only once.
•   Acidic Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Acidic Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Acid.
   Acidic Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Acid. Also it inflicts double damage when attacking objects or scenery.
•   Arcane Knowledge: You learn 4 Level 0 spells available in the campaign. You may choose this ability any number of times.
•   Blinding Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Blinding Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s also causes an amount of Flash damage to the target equal to the base damage.
   Blinding Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick):  This Eldritch Bolt also causes a single amount of Flash damage to the target equal to the total damage of the missiles hitting the target.
•   Eldritch Claws: You gain a trick.
   Eldritch Claws (Unarmed Attack Trick):  With a successful hit you may cast Eldritch Bolt as a free action targeting the same character.
•   Enveloping Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Enveloping Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt gains the Spread weapon quality (see Fantasy Craft, page 177).
•   Faithful Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Faithful Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt gains your Alignment.
   Faithful Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt gains your Alignment and targets of opposing Alignments suffer +2 damage.
•   Fiery Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Fiery Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Fire.
   Fiery Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Fire and gains AP 5.
•   Force Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Force Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Force and corporeal targets must make a successful Fortitude save (DC equal to the damage after DR and Resistances are applied) or become sprawled.
•   Knock Out Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Knock Out Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Subdual.
•   Long Range Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Long Range Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt now has a Distance of Medium Range.
•   Mighty Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt’s damage die increases by 1. You may choose this ability up to 3 times, increasing the die type by 1 each time (to a max of d10).
•   Multi Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt consists of 1 additional missile fired at the target. Each missile inflicts the spell’s base damage separately. You may choose this ability up to 2 times, increasing number of missiles by 1 each time (to a max of 3 missiles).
•   Multi Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt gains 1 additional missile. The number of targets can be up to the number of missiles (minimum of 1 target per missile). Each missile inflicts the spell’s base damage separately. You may choose this ability up to 2 times, increasing number of missiles by 1 each time (to a max of 3 missiles).
•   Piercing Bolt: Your Eldritch Bolt gains AP 2. You may choose this ability up to 3 times (to a max of AP 6).
•   Shocking Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Shocking Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Attack Trick): This Eldritch Bolt’s damage type becomes Electrical.
•   Tripping Bolt: You gain a trick.
   Tripping Bolt (Eldritch Bolt Trip Trick): You use your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting result as your Trip check result. The target(s) must be within your Close Quarters range.

An Ancestral Path: At Level 2 you take 1 Step each along the Paths of Evil and Magic.
At Levels 11, and 19 you may advance a total of 2 Steps along any combination of the Evil and Magic Paths.


Eldritch Power: At Level 2 you may cast a second Eldritch Bolt spell during a round if you have sufficient remaining actions. You may use this ability a number of times per session equal to your Casting Level.
At Level 11, your Eldritch Bolts gain AP equal to your Charisma modifier.
At Level 19, your Eldritch Bolts gain an additional 1d4 damage per missile.

Bonus Feat: At Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, you gain 1 additional Style or Covert feat.

An Ancestral Path: At Levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, you gain 1 additional Style or Covert feat or you may take a step upon either the paths of Evil or Magic.

Perceptive: At Levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18, your Wisdom score rises by 1.

Dark Gifts:[/i] At Levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18, you may choose 1 of the following abilities. Each of these abilities may be chosen only once.
•   Always Ready: You may always act during surprise rounds.
•   Beguiling: When you successfully Taunt a character, you may decline the standard result to have your target become fixated on you for 1d6 rounds. Special characters and villains may spend 1 action die to cancel this effect and become immune to this ability for the rest of the scene. If you gain this benefit from multiple sources, you may also damage the target once without interrupting his fixation (you may do this only once, no matter how many times you gain the benefit).
•   Darkvision I: You ignore the effects of dim and faint light.
•   Eldritch Trickery: you may apply general and ranged attack tricks to your Eldritch Bolt spell.
•   Expertise: Choose one: Bluff, Haggle, Impress, Intimidate, Investigate, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Sense Motive, Sneak, or Tactics. You may always take 10 with this skill. Also, taking 10 with this skill doesn’t take twice as long and taking 20 takes only 10 times as long.
•   Flattery: Your dark charm is hard to resist. Each time you fail an Impress check and don’t suffer an error, you still succeed as long as the check DC (or your opponent’s check result) is equal to or less than your Class Level + 20. If several grades of success are possible, you achieve only the lowest possible positive result.
If you gain this ability for either skill from two or more classes, add together your levels in all classes granting the ability when determining its effect.
•   Seductive: Your Charisma score rises by 1.
•   Sneak Attack: You gain an additional die of sneak attack damage.
•   9: Ability #9 UNDEFINED AS OF YET.
•   10: Ability #10 UNDEFINED AS OF YET.

Eldritch Master I: At Level 10, you may add 2 tricks to each Eldritch Bolt attack. You may also apply general attack and ranged attack tricks to your Eldritch Bolts as if you had an appropriate forte.

Eldritch Master I: At Level 10, your Threat range with your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting checks increases by 1 and it costs you 1 fewer action dice to activate critical hits with your Eldritch Bolt (minimum 0).

Eldritch Master II: At Level 20, you may add 3 tricks to each Eldritch Bolt attack. You may also apply melee attack or unarmed attack tricks to your Eldritch Bolts as if you had an appropriate forte.

Eldritch Master II: At Level 20, your Threat range with your Eldritch Bolt spellcasting checks increases by an additional 1 (total of 2). Also, you may apply an additional trick to your Eldritch Bolt attack.


Eldritch Ground Zero: At level 14, once per combat, you may perform you gain access to the following special attack action.

ELDRITCH GROUND ZERO
1 Full Action • Spellcasting Attack Action • Requires Eldritch Bolt spell
Make a spellcasting check for your Eldritch Bolt spell. You may apply 1 additional trick to this spell above the number you may normally apply. The spell automatically targets all legal opposing characters within its Range with your Eldritch Bolt’s base Damage, AP, and number of missiles as modified by your chosen augmentation abilities. After this attack, you must make a Will save with a DC equal to the number targets or become Fatigued.
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