I still prefer the version of Bleeding Ulcer where it made the attack deal stress damage rather than being a trick only for attacks already dealing stress. Stress damage attacks are so rare and I find the "makes attack deal stress and also maybe bleed" version easier to refluff in a variety of ways (and the default fluff implied by the name just bugs me to no end...maybe it's just because I work in health sciences but I just can't swallow the idea of ulcers working that way). But, it is just one option in a fairly diverse list of other solid picks, so I won't make too much of a fuss over it beyond simply stating my position here.
On average, this guy is gonna be tons of threaten actions - which are Stress Damage attacks (it's an attack action, it causes stress damage). So eventually, he's gonna force a failed threshold save, and the sucker is gonna start bleeding from it. Then he (or his teammates) will start to Salt the Wound. The name is really just there to put the game effects into a thematic label on the tin. Stress ulcers aren't caused by sudden blasts of stress, they are believed to be the stress of chronic illness. A more realistic name would become more obtuse than useful (No, really - Subtle and Quick to Anger is the name for the Mage's spellcasting!).
Legend/scene for the glares is pretty nice. I think save for half with baseline effect of double your Aura is better than no save with a fixed, lower effect, mostly because it maintains consistency with existing extraordinary attacks (and consistently following common patterns and standards in design is, IMO, one of the major strengths of Mastercraft). Either way should be balanced, but I like "bigger baseline with save for half" better, even if it is slightly more fiddly. My points earlier about the save is only if it's derived from Legend, rather than an attribute; with a more typical attribute-based save DC, there's nothing wrong with it.
This needs to be hashed out. At first I didn't think a save was necessary, because the ability isn't supernatural in any way. All of the Gaze attacks in the book are supernatural powers or are coming from outsider-demon-freaks. The breaker is just the freak from down the street. Also, it does add an additional failure point in the abilities use.
On the other hand, even though the save isn't built into the Gaze Attack action's special rules, it is still present on all of the examples we have. And with the save for half mechanic, it means we have the possibility of an awesome x2 power level or save to have the normal power level. So it all comes down to the question of "Is the save worth it's extra rolling vs. ability replication and the save failed power boost?" I see advantages to both approaches. Prosave:
All gaze attacks in the core book have a save associated with them, it allows the x2 power effect.Antisave:
It's another level of possible failure in the class backbone, it's slower and more fiddly. It allows the backbone's power level to be even at all times in the class.
So, which is it. Save or No Save?
For a better name on the glare ability, what about something like "Distressing Presence" or "Visage of Doom"?
I don't think either of those is better than Unwelcome Attention
. Last night's group suggested Stink Eye, On Notice, Target Lock,
and Now You've Got My Attention
. I'm not sure any of those were better either.
For Intensity...It occurs to me that, with glare uses based on Legend, you could have Celebrated as an option on the list, which would provide additional glare uses as well as the usual benefits. But that might be a bit much on a high-Legend class that already gets extra Legend in other class features.
Celebrated is an origin option, and I've already been schooled by Alex about not using origin abilities in classes without a damn good reason. That said, it seems to not be a bad reason, per se. I'm still trepidatious, though.
As for the gamebreaker, I think some sort of hard "save or lose" type effect might be good. The class is called the "Breaker", after all; how about outright breaking people? Not just grinding them down bit by bit (as most of the other abilities do); this is where you turn the scary up to 11 and just entirely pulverize their will in one fell swoop. Mechanically, perhaps a 1/session automatic nat 20 with an Intimidate check, glare, or stress damage attack, perhaps with little extra bonus on top since that's a bit more narrow than other auto-crit gamebreakers? Or maybe something like a 1/session full action that slams someone with at least one grade of shaken, potentially multiple with an exceptionally favorable result (maybe it's 2 grades of shaken, with a save for half, and if they fail the save by a large margin they take more?).
I don't know... maybe? This is Gonna Get Worse for You:
You are the anvil upon which others break. At Level 14, once per session, you may make 1 Will save, Wisdom-based skill check, or attack check with the Stress damage type, automatically scoring a natural 20. This roll is a threat and may be activated as a critical success. You may not be forced to re-roll this natural 20.I Must Break You:
At Level 14, when an opponent’s failed Will save you prompted results in a graded condition, the target suffers 2 grades of that condition.