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1  Community / License to Improvise / Re: The Sentinel, again on: September 17, 2014, 12:52:21 PM
Eh, the more I ponder it, the more I like that using this ability actually seriously inconveniences the Sentinel. He's meant to be a bit self-sacrificing after all, slowed down by all those city folk he keeps dragging through hell, and keeping these guys alive is a full-time job. I'd rather have the versatility to use it creatively in combat - you are giving up your initiative count for it, basically, so make it count.
2  Community / License to Improvise / Re: The Sentinel, again on: September 17, 2014, 12:32:00 PM
Okay, let me clear up what I mean by "dragging behind them". Moving beyond thirty feet would not have automatically moved the safety-lined character along, he would have stayed behind until explicitly reeled in. The intention was never to drag the badass behind the Sentinel, but I wanted to allow for things like letting the Sentinel climb ahead and then reel up a rescuee. Which I guess is still possible, and with the switch to full action and the more frequent repositioning needed by the enforced maximum 30 feet not only simulates fiddly mountain rescues better, but also shuts down a few exploits. Good call.

Also, note that thirty feet is not strictly speaking the maximum length - after all, anyone within sight is a potential target. It's just that with your change, if the Sentinel does snag somebody who's farther away, he needs to reel that guy in to within thirty feet before he's allowed to move again - or has to release the safety line, with whatever dire results that may have. Ooh, that's good, I can just about smell the dramatic possibilities already.
3  Community / License to Improvise / Re: The Sentinel, again on: September 17, 2014, 12:04:30 AM
Your reasoning has given me pause, good Sir! I've made the change to Medium Lifestyle / High Legend.

As for the Lifeline, I'm okay with turning it until a full action and specifying that the declaration of its use is a free action to be taken even outside your initiative count. I generally really like your rewrite, with one question: why the change from "when other character moves away from you" to "when either of you moves away from the other"? I guess my phrasing allows the Sentinel to move further away and then drag the other character behind him. Can you think of a situation where that would be abused?
4  Community / License to Improvise / Re: The Sentinel, again on: September 16, 2014, 12:10:10 PM
Updated the first post to reflect some of the discussion in this thread. I did honestly consider moving both Init and Lifestyle to Medium, but I've left them where they are for now and have instead adjusted the examples of play slightly to hopefully make the high Lifestyle a better fit. My goal remains to have a class that lives up to its "Backer" nature by boosting the party's overall survivability without inadvertently creating something people will be dipping into for making a combat brick. I'm fairly happy with how that's turning out, though.
5  Community / License to Improvise / Re: The Sentinel, again on: September 09, 2014, 12:33:44 PM
Pretty cool stuff! Is Gimme Shelter intended to also protect against Nature's Fury effects from Weather spells? Because if so, I could see a Sentinel taking advantage of Control Weather and Call Lightning (either teaming up with a caster or taking Alchemy B/M/S with those bonus Gear feats) to blast enemies with Nature's Fury and reap the Edge from Narrow Escape while your team gets off scot-free. Which seems like loads of fun  Grin

Yeah, Gimme Shelter is supposed to apply to all Nature's Fury effects, even those summoned by magic. Given that you either need to have a caster with you at all times or invest dearly in the Gear feats to get it to work like this, I think it's a cool concept.

Safety Line seems a little bit underwhelming to me, though. The movement-stopping effect seems like something anyone could do with just some rope...though I guess it is kind of neat that you can just declare it on the spot rather than needing to set it up in advance. And hauling in the tethered person isn't much to write home about either; I can't help but compare it to Coordinated Move, which granted is less favorable on the action economy, but is also much, much more versatile.

It's totally about the "declare someone's tethered to you as a free action" ability. Could you duplicate some of its uses with rope/climbing gear and a permissive GM? Sure, but imagine that you're teetering along on a ledge just narrow enough that you can fit your toes on it, and as you shuffle along with your body pressed against rock desperately searching for something to hold on to, a gust of wind comes and blows your buddy into the abyss. A GM might very well say "Okay, now you roll to stay in place when the weight of your friend pulls on the rope you've tied between yourselves. DC...30?", but this is not a problem for a Sentinel. There's also being able to tether anyone, even those who are unconscious, to yourself, and reel them in - whether it's a mountaineer with a broken leg at the bottom of a glacier fault, or a shipwrecked sailor clinging to a piece of driftwood that floats past your ship.

Other than that, I do notice that you're a point short on your prereqs. Maybe add a prereq of Con 13+? That'd bring you up to the five points you need, and seems to fit the theme nicely.

Hmm, I am? Con 13+ seems like a thematic fit. I'll investigate.

Discussion about Outlast and Stalwart

I generally like Outlast as it is, since it applies to saving rolls of every type and comes up reasonably often. Topped out, it's an absolutely reliable +5 from every action die spent to boost a save (with +1 Edge from Close Call, too). Now changing it to build on Career Level makes it more...dippable, I think. If I was to come up with a way to make it stronger, I'd say "add half your class level to the result of every action die spent on boosting a saving roll". But I'm not sure that's necessary.

As for Stalwart, I generally like the "Get stuff at Level 2, share with team at Level 7" idea. How about this:

Stalwart: At Level 2, you do not become unconscious when your wounds reach 0. Also, whenever you roll an action die, you recover vitality equal to its result.
At Level 7, your teammates also gain these benefits as long as they can see or hear you.

Whoops. Also, In Omnia Paratus, despite the cool name, is just Bonus Feat. Perk it up, or revert to normal naming convention?  Huh?

True that. Will revert to "Bonus Feat".

Also, why the high Lifestyle? I would think low, and bump up Initiative or Defense... or 1 to both... or... well, anything other than lifestyle. I don't think high lifestyle when I read examples like: scavenger, Mountain man, or someone who's disillusioned and looking for the ultimate spiritual experience.

I'll level with you, the Sentinel is deliberately designed to have a low Init and Defense simply to get across that he's not intended to be good in a straight-up fight. The high Lifestyle makes more sense for the "armor-based high tech scavenger" original concept, yeah. If it's gonna change, though, I'd say it's to bring up Initiative to Medium.
6  Community / License to Improvise / The Sentinel, again on: September 08, 2014, 01:13:33 PM
So, it's been a while since I touched this class after building it for New Pie. Thinking about how to replace the abilities that assumed a modern or even future tech level took me a while, but now I've got something I'm happy to throw into the ring and see how it fares. Stalwart's the one really new ability, replacing Environmental Sealing, while the rest is mostly tweaked names and phrasing. Let me know what you think.

SENTINEL 3.2 (FantasyCraft conversion)

If the journey's too easy, the destination isn't worth it. Few embrace this as readily as the Sentinel, whose determination and expertise see him through the worst Mother Nature has to offer. Sometimes, it's all he can to escape with his life, and few Sentinels find their end in a bed at home, but as long as they still draw breath, there's always a way out. Always.

In your campaign, a Sentinel could be...

  • An elite vanguard of the king's men, specially trained to fight in frozen wastes and scorching heat alike
  • A dedicated scientist whose pursuit of knowledge pushes her deep into the unknown
  • A rich thrillseeker looking for the ultimate spiritual experience
  • A well-equipped scavenger who hunts for lost treasures under the most perilous conditions
  • A kindly stranger who appears out of the night to aid a lost traveler

Party Role: Backer/Specialist. The Sentinel keeps his team alive and makes sure that the "deadly" part of "deadly environment" applies only to their enemies.

Requirements: Con 13+, Close Call, Pathfinder Basics
Favored Attributes: Wisdom & Constitution
Class Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Crafting, Investigate, Medicine, Notice, Resolve, Search, Survival
Skill Points: 6 + Intelligence modifier
Vitality: 9 + Constitution modifier

Outlast (Core Ability): Your drive to do anything and everything to survive is a thing to behold. When you spend an action die to boost a saving throw, you may increase its result by half your class level (rounded up).

Safety Line: Nobody's getting lost on your watch. At Level 1, a number of times per session equal to your starting action dice, you may declare that one teammate or friendly NPC within sight is safety-lined to you. Thereafter, any time that character would move farther than 30 feet away from you, his movement instead stops. Further, when you take a Standard Move action, you may forfeit your own movement to move the safety-lined character toward you by an amount equal to your Speed. This effect lasts until the end of the scene or either character releases the safety line as a free action.

Stalwart: You can endure incredible punishment through sheer strength of will. At Level 2, you do not become unconscious when your wounds reach 0. Further, every time you roll an action die, you recover Vitality equal to its result.

At Level 7, your teammates also gain these benefit as long as they can see and hear you

Bonus Feat: At Levels 3, 5, 7 and 9, you gain an additional Gear or Terrain feat.

It's All In The Preparation: You immerse yourself in ancient tomes, rumors and simple skills most civilized people would dismiss - ensuring that you've got the edge when it counts. At Level 4, your Investigate and Survival are flawless.

Huntsman: At Level 4 and 8, as the Scout.

Gimme Shelter: Even when Mother Nature gets pissed, she's not really angry at you. At Level 6, any Nature's Fury effect targeting you and any non-hostile character in close quarters is reduced by two dice (minimum zero).

Narrow Escape: When fools die, you run faster. At Level 8, when an enemy within close quarters fails a saving throw prompted by the environment, you gain 1 Edge.

Survival Instinct: Sometimes it's luck...sometimes it's adrenaline. Either way, you are a born survivor. At Level 10, when you are in an environment that you have the matching Pathfinder Basics feat for, you may spend Edge like action dice to confirm threats on Sentinel class skill and attack rolls.

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

Building the Sentinel

The Sentinel operates at the outer limits of the possible and favors species that are both physically and mentally tough. Dwarves bring the raw willpower, while Orcs add substantial physical might to the equation. Goblins also make surprisingly good Sentinels. Human Sentinels are frequently Adaptable, Grizzled, Hardy or Savage. In terms of Specialties, Adventurers, Druids, Rangers and Wardens present a good foundation for a Sentinel.

Sentinels frequently start their career as either Explorers or Scouts. Explorers bring together the luck and the knowledge needed to navigate long-forgotten and uncharted places, while Scouts bring strong combat and survival options that will make the Sentinel a terror for his enemies. Investigators and spiritualists seeking the unknown may come from the Keeper class, while sherpas and guides aiming to lead their team through the toughest conditions can get their start as Sages. Soldiers that branch into Sentinels represent daring unconventional forces bringing war to the farthest regions, and wherever there is something shiny and valuable that seems to be just out of reach, you will find Burglars.

Playing the Sentinel

The Sentinel's role on the team is to shepherd everyone in and out of danger, while braving the most dangerous conditions himself. His prerequisites establish the Sentinel as an environmental specialist who succeeds where others perish. The Sentinel is strongest when facing conditions that force saving throws. His Will save is particularly high, but thanks to his Close Call feat and core ability, the Sentinel has favorable odds against all kinds of environmental dangers and enemy attacks that do not inflict direct damage.

The Sentinel's main role in play is to keep his team alive and safe from the environment, so many of his class abilities are built to support this playstyle. Safety Line is the Sentinel's bread-and-butter ability, allowing him to keep his team together and in one piece - it's useful against grappling monsters, perilous falls or even getting turned around in an underground labyrinth full of illusions. Using Safety Line, the Sentinel can quickly tether teammates or critical NPCs to himself and then take point in the challenges that await them. Further, Gimme Shelter takes the bite out of extreme weather, letting the Sentinel and his team more easily survive thunderstorms, earthquakes or even avalanches. But the Sentinel's task begins before the team ever ventures out into the wild. He must also be able to gather information, either from dusty tomes or locals, about the perils that await his team. Finally, the more mundane aspects of living in the wild, such as finding shelter and food, are also often neglected by adventurers used to never being more than a few hours away from civilisation. With his It's All In The Preparation ability, the Sentinel can be relied on to cover this part of the adventure.

The Sentinel is not a front-line combatant, and his tactic with most fights should be to flee and lure his enemies into danger - but when a Sentinel stands his ground, Stalwart makes him surprisingly difficult to overcome, allowing him to keep fighting and take the heat off his teammates even if he's already badly hurt. Thanks to his Narrow Escape ability, the Sentinel can quickly accrue Edge when he can force his opponents into making saving throws against the environment, and with Survival Instinct, a Sentinel can use that Edge to deadly effect - together with the action dice he should be earning through his consistent embrace of danger and daring plans, a Sentinel can play fast and loose with activating his threats while reserving some action dice to mitigate the occasional bad roll. The combination of the Close Call feat and the Sentinel's Survival Instinct ability makes it particularly cheap for him to boost his saving rolls, as he makes better use of Edge than most other classes. However, this dependence on good rolls means the Sentinel is not a reliably damage dealer - he may come through in a pinch, but other classes are more suitable for direct combat. His low Defense and Initiative can be somewhat mitigated by not standing out in the open, and particularly Scout-based Sentinels find that ambush tactics pair up well with the Sentinel's survivability and medium base attack bonus.

Feat-wise, a Sentinel will immediately benefit from investing further in the Pathfinder feat chain, both widening his expertise and providing many additional benefits. Feats that provide additional sources of and uses for Edge also synergize well. But the Sentinel also has easy access to Gear feats, which let him get into crafting, healing or simply having better access to the vital survival gear and supplies required for venturing away from civilization. Chance feats are not an intrinsic part of the class, but can provide further help for the Sentinel's adventures on the razor-thin edge - and doom any enemy foolish enough to follow him.

The Sentinel's high Lifestyle lends itself to fairly elaborate gear. Sentinels tend to stock up on extra supplies and favor armor with expensive modifications for extreme environments, as well as specialized survival gear. Weapon-wise, Sentinels tend to forego heavy weaponry and rely on something to be used for self-defense against enemies or wild animals - simple weapons in principle, which the Sentinel can however afford to customize for maximum performance. Knives have utility beyond fighting, while bows are silent and have reusable ammunition.
7  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Thaumaturge on: August 28, 2014, 11:58:42 PM
It probably should, yes. Smiley
8  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Base Class: The Thaumaturge on: August 28, 2014, 12:12:46 AM
How about...

Divine Surge: Where others pray for divine favor, you simply take what you need. At Level 14, you may cast any spell granted by a Path an additional time per scene.
9  Community / License to Improvise / Re: New Feat Chain: Totem B/M/S on: August 06, 2014, 11:43:35 PM
My first thought is that I love the idea. Some options could stand to be more powerful, considering you're just a sprawl away from losing access to your totem. Also, I think you should strike the language about needing to take Totem Mastery multiple times. Having it work like the Pathfinder Feats (Basics multiple times, Mastery and Supremacy boost all of them) sounds like a fair solution to me. But other than that, nicely done - I especially love stuff like Let's Make A Deal. (Small suggestion: Maybe instead of leveraging persuade/coerce checks, get more literal and have it augment Haggle? I don't remember a lot of character options interacting with Haggle, but then again, maybe it just comes up too rarely.)
10  Community / Fiction and Story Hour / Re: [Off Topic] [Took me long enough...] Bionic Woman : Rebuilt on: August 06, 2014, 09:49:56 AM
The nightmare begins again! Here's Chapter One of the rewritten Rebuilt, with a fresh and (dare I say) more comprehensible start to our saga. Also, because we believe in diversification, we're now up on Archive Of Our Own (AO3), too. Find us here.

Comments. Reviews. Abstract numerical values that map your state of approval to a well-defined axis. We crave all. Go hog wild.
11  Community / License to Improvise / Re: STORMSURGE - Warstrider Gaming for Mastercraft on: August 02, 2014, 08:55:40 AM
New Gear

Boosters: Plasma-arc or chemical booster rockets powerful enough to propel striders at (sometimes literally) breakneck speeds. A strider moves forward two squares per active booster immediately in the round of their activation and at the beginning of its initiative count in subsequent rounds. Count these squares as normal movement for the purpose of turning. Boosters may be activated and deactivated as a half action, but once deactivated, boosters may not be activated again for a number of rounds equal to the number of rounds they were active.
Strategic Launcher: “WW3 in a box” autonomous launch gantry for a ballistic missile. While the tactical use is essentially nil even when using conventional warheads, many armies have shifted part of their deterrence arsenal to rear-echelon striders.
Superrailgun: Once considered a potential method for “stealthy” delivery of strategic arms, friction heat at launch as well as warhead silhouetting during the ballistic phase make this “superweapon” quite detectable, but its ability to carry and deliver multiple warheads in a strider-size package are still attractive to nations that can afford to field it.


(Name: Qualities, Ranges, Slot, Power, Cost)
Boosters: -, -, -, 1, 3
Strategic Launcher (1): Doomsday, -, C, 2, 5
Superrailgun (5): Doomsday, Halt, -, C, 5, 10

Weapon Qualities

Doomsday: This is a bonafide weapon of mass destruction. Once activated, it requires a total of ten Handle Item actions to arm.


Assault/Hover class

Features: Heavy Strike, Hardened Drive, Reactive Armor

Power Plant: 6/7
Speed/Handling: 2/3
Reactive Armor: 276

Core/Rear: 75/75
Left Arm/Right Arm: 25/25
Left Skirt/Right Skirt: 38/38

Load Out:
Core: 2x Machinegun (150), 2x Venom Missile (3), Strategic Launcher
Gear: 3x Boosters, Tandem Cockpit


I'll admit, it's a bit boring as a strider...but, well, it's basically an all-terrain rocket launch sled, just heavily armored and equipped with some emergency defensive firepower. It's also kinda beyond the scale of what Stormsurge is supposed to model, so I threw it into the Assault weight class. I won't even try to adopt stuff like Cocoon from Peace Walker, and Arsenal Gear is right out. But do think Peace Walker itself, Rex, Ray and the Geckos are all viable builds.
12  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: Fiasco expressions of interest on: July 27, 2014, 06:30:29 AM
I'm in, if you'll have me.
13  Community / License to Improvise / Re: STORMSURGE - Warstrider Gaming for Mastercraft on: July 20, 2014, 02:57:04 PM
A bit of explanation and reasoning, if I may. Ignore if you do not care for design wank.

Artillery has a lot of bang for the buck, with high damage and range for low design points. This is chiefly balanced by the new Indirect quality. I originally futzed around with concepts like applying damage the round after the weapon is fired, but only if the target hasn't moved since then, but letting the player secretly pick another square to target as an attempt to lead the shot, and maybe it should just target squares instead of striders to begin with, and...and...and no. I looked at 2.0's Hangtime Rules, which are cool for when you have an AH-64 send a Hellfire at a skyscraper and your agents have two rounds to kill the big bad, shoot out the windows and dive out the other side with their gadget wingsuits. However, in a game where multiple striders are gonna be slinging this stuff at each other every round, we need less bookkeeping. Anything that starts in a round should be resolved in that round, because otherwise we have a big spreadsheet of arty fire coming down next round while everyone moves from under it, and it just turns into a huge round of whack-a-mole with high explosives. Besides, missiles and sniper cannons at extreme range don't suffer from hang time either - projectile velocity is just not A Thing except for armor-piercing effects or attack bonuses, and it would feel weird to just slap Arty with it.

So, go back to step one. What do I want as game effect? Make it suck at hitting moving targets. Bam, make an effect that only applies to moving targets - but you need something that you can resolve at time of the attack roll, so you don't get attacks rolled and then the other player decides to move and we have to recalculate again. In short, action->result. So instead, we look back at the round before, which is information that we actually have at the time we roll the attack. It may not make as much intuitive sense, but it's vastly easier to play with. Okay, so we have a penalty condition, what's the penalty? Auto-misses are lame. Some kind of numerical penalty...and it's harder to lead targets at long range - wait a minute, we have range penalties already. Make those worse! Double, no, triple them! There, arty now sucks at engaging moving targets while still being good against stationary stuff. (You may notice auto-mortars and the fastgun don't have a range penalty at effective range, meaning they actually don't experience any suck against moving targets. Deliberate - they can be depressed to be useful as short-range direct fire assault guns. Nasty little trick and a good reason why you don't want to try to rush a strider armed with them.)

Now, whenever you run into something that's a categorical limit of the tech, you try to beat it. People don't like living with the fact that arty sucks against anything that can dodge. Turns out, in the real world, there's long been attempts to make artillery smarter than just shooting big dumb shells into the air and hoping the math holds out. Excalibur and Copperhead are artillery rounds with guidance fins and laser seekers. Would the future figure out how to mass-produce and field those guys? Yeah, they sure would. Enter longguns, the ideal rear-echelon weapon - reach and punch of a missile, but much cheaper to field. You just need to make sure your target stays put or painted.

Speaking of painted...kind of a death sentence, isn't it? If you pull it off, your allies will just rain death on your target lock before it gets a chance to respond. The best you can do against it is to have a smokescreen up, but who has time to lay down smokescreens all the time? Enter the fastgun. Laser warning sensors are a thing even now, as are systems like Boomerang that can locate shooters in seconds. Put all that into a spritely little cannon on a fast mount with semi-automatic targeting algorithms, and you have a "MAKE LASER GO AWAY" button. It's short range, and it's weak, and it doesn't deal well with a moving target at all, but it's also fairly cheap, and it makes you think twice about parking either your arty or your spotter in one place. Plus, you never know what the next weapon with Vengeance looks like...

Okay, but what if you don't want the fancy? What if you need a strider that can blast something stationary to hell, and doesn't care about trying to catch some zippy little strider? Enter the auto-mortar. Heavy firepower on the cheap, the auto-mortar exists to stomp on poor defenseless fortifications. A strider will move, or try to shoot down the shells with its AMS, but once you free a weapon system from having to account for countermeasures, well, it turns out you can pack in quite a lot of boom. And even AMS isn't that great an idea what with multiple armored projectiles incoming, so it's much better to move. And that's true for all of these - artillery forces enemy striders to be on the move, actively hunting down scouts who provide target designation.

TLD;DR: Artillery - because war isn't fair.

(P.S.: I've looked into statting strategic missile weaponry and other WMD delivery systems, but with the lack of sensible uses in tactical combat, that's probably best built as gear that just sucks up design points, core slots and power with no concrete game effect beyond "Fuck you and your entire zip code". Once I've got those worked out, we're gonna build us some Metal Gears. Stay tuned.)
14  Community / License to Improvise / Re: STORMSURGE - Warstrider Gaming for Mastercraft on: July 20, 2014, 05:21:04 AM
Your wish is my command, milady.


Missile Weapons

Automortar: Short-range, rapid-fire artillery designed to blanket an area with explosive shells. (5 points of damage per shell. Armor 2.)
Fastgun: Autoloading, semi-autonomous light artillery designed for counterbattery fire. (Armor 2.)
Longgun: “Classic” artillery offers long range and terminal guidance options. (Armor 4.)

Missile Weapons
Automortar-3 (10): 15 (explosive), Indirect, Halt, 4/8/12, 0/-4/-8, -/-, C, -, 7
Automortar-5 (5): 25 (explosive), Indirect, Halt, 4/8/12, 0/-4/-8, -/-, C, -, 11
Fastgun (40): 4 (explosive), Indirect, Vengeance, 6/10/14, 0/-4/-8, -/-, A/C, -, 4
Longgun/10 (25): 10 (explosive), Indirect, Guided, Halt, 12/24/40, -2/-4/-8, -/-, C, -, 7
Longgun/15 (15): 15 (explosive), Indirect, Guided, Halt, 15/30/50, -2/-4/-8, -/-, C, -, 11
Longgun/20 (10): 20 (explosive), Indirect, Guided, Halt, 18/36/60, -2/-4/-8, -/-, C, -, 14

Weapon Qualities

Indirect: This weapon is designed to fly in a ballistic arc with significant lag between firing and impact. Its range penalty is tripled when attacking a target that has moved in the previous round.
Vengeance: Once per round when an opponent paints or attacks you, you gain a free attack with this weapon against him, suffering a -4 penalty to your attack roll.


Being that they're missile weapons, the attack roll uses Int, while they're legit targets for AMS. I think that works nicely for our purposes.

Feel free to steal, tinker or disregard. Smiley
15  Community / Play-by-Post / Re: STORMSURGE: Around the Campfire [OOC and open feedback] on: June 23, 2014, 09:46:14 AM
One more poke, dying to know the outcome of the Recon/Infiltrator trial.
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