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Author Topic: [FantasyCraft] Thaumaturgic Hierophant.  (Read 1658 times)
Sletchman
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« on: October 10, 2009, 11:08:56 PM »

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« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 03:48:29 AM by Sletchman » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2009, 05:36:59 PM »

The Core Ability is somewhat problematic, since Morale rules are optional.   If it's part of your game, though, it may be fine, if not somewhat pricey for what it offers. 

Since I know you have the Spellbound: Seer (thank you for that conversion, btw) and Infernalist, you don't really need the clause about limiting the Spell Conversion (Alignment) feat to Orderly only, unless your game allows multiple alignments, like Orderly AND Good/Evil/Element.

All spell resistance from FC, it seems to me, as well as Seer, are based on some character growth formula.  Limiting the resistance to a fixed number of spells (able to cast) and not basing it off a formula make it not quite as appealing a class feature as it might be.  You could key their resistance to 5 + Resolve/Tactics bonus, 10 + Caster Level + Intelligence/Wisdom modifier, or whatever and change it to work against spells aligned to Chaos, to remain thematic and require less accounting.  Even extending it to all spells isn't necessarily broken. (See: Seer)  Since they could know spells casters would use against them without being able to cast them, it may be an issue that comes up quite a few times. Although with 20 spell resistance, level 3 spells succeed automatically against them until level 8.

I like Balanced Form.  It's not prone to abuse and reinforces the idea of an "Orderly" or virtuous person.

Arcane Redirection does in the "game breaker" advancement slot, and may warrant something a little stronger, although with a higher average spell defense it may be good enough as it is.  This probably needs to be limited to spells where they are the primary target, since ot could be weird to reflect fireballs and the like.

That said, I think it's cool overall and would appeal to me if I had the Orderly alignment in my game.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2009, 12:02:38 AM »

Thanks for your reply.

The Core Ability is somewhat problematic, since Morale rules are optional.   If it's part of your game, though, it may be fine, if not somewhat pricey for what it offers.  

I never realised they were optional, because our group always uses them.  I'll try to think of a suitable replacement.  I'm pondering:

"You gain 1 skill point per level that must be spent on Resolve.  Further you may spend an action die to make a resolve check [using your skill level] in place of a team mate.  Finally your Renown increases by 1." 

Too Strong?

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Since I know you have the Spellbound: Seer (thank you for that conversion, btw) and Infernalist, you don't really need the clause about limiting the Spell Conversion (Alignment) feat to Orderly only, unless your game allows multiple alignments, like Orderly AND Good/Evil/Element.

We usually allow multiple alignments, or combination alignments [Orderly / Good for example, as a single alignment].  The limiter is probably additional text that isn't strictly required.

Quote
All spell resistance from FC, it seems to me, as well as Seer, are based on some character growth formula.  Limiting the resistance to a fixed number of spells (able to cast) and not basing it off a formula make it not quite as appealing a class feature as it might be.  You could key their resistance to 5 + Resolve/Tactics bonus, 10 + Caster Level + Intelligence/Wisdom modifier, or whatever and change it to work against spells aligned to Chaos, to remain thematic and require less accounting.  Even extending it to all spells isn't necessarily broken. (See: Seer)  Since they could know spells casters would use against them without being able to cast them, it may be an issue that comes up quite a few times. Although with 20 spell resistance, level 3 spells succeed automatically against them until level 8.

Thematically I wanted to key it of spells they can cast as a sort of a "learned defence", like they dedicate themselves so the study of what they know so much, they learn to overcome it.  Maybe a simple solution is to boost the level of resistance to say 30 / 40?

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I like Balanced Form.  It's not prone to abuse and reinforces the idea of an "Orderly" or virtuous person.

Arcane Redirection does in the "game breaker" advancement slot, and may warrant something a little stronger, although with a higher average spell defense it may be good enough as it is.  This probably needs to be limited to spells where they are the primary target, since ot could be weird to reflect fireballs and the like.

How do you think it stands with the higher resistance level [30 / 40]?  I think any spell that targets them makes sense, but I don't like the idea of casters ignoring the classes game breaker by droping bombs next to them, instead of casting at them.  I'm not sure how AoE's work when cast next to someone with Spell Defence, so depending on how they interact, I might reword it a little.

Quote
That said, I think it's cool overall and would appeal to me if I had the Orderly alignment in my game.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 12:05:33 AM by Turnip666 » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2009, 01:22:35 AM »

Thanks for your reply.

"You gain 1 skill point per level that must be spent on Resolve.  Further you may spend an action die to make a resolve check [using your skill level] in place of a team mate.  Finally your Renown increases by 1." 

Too Strong?

You're welcome.  That sounds pretty cool.  This isn't broken, since it's essentially an extension of Best of the Best from Sage that requires an Action Die to activate, and is pretty limited as a result.  It may stand improvement, but I really like it, and it could be really fun for a leader character like this class seems to suggest.  It seems like it would be a good blend for Captain. Wink

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We usually allow multiple alignments, or combination alignments [Orderly / Good for example, as a single alignment].  The limiter is probably additional text that isn't strictly required.

Pretty cool.  Mine are based on very specific gods, so you can imagine how that might get complicated.  Tongue  We moved away from abstracts just to try out FC's flexibility in this area.

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Thematically I wanted to key it of spells they can cast as a sort of a "learned defence", like they dedicate themselves so the study of what they know so much, they learn to overcome it.  Maybe a simple solution is to boost the level of resistance to say 30 / 40?

The issue, mainly, I thought, was that Chaos aligned casters would pick different spells than Orderly casters, and also that it would take cross-referencing the character sheet each time they were hit by a spell to see if their resistance applied. 

You could give them a fixed amount of Spell Defense, but it seems that works differently for all the examples of SD I can think of.  If it is fixed, then the variable amount could come from their learning, so say X with a +5/+10 against spells they know?
Quote
How do you think it stands with the higher resistance level [30 / 40]?  I think any spell that targets them makes sense, but I don't like the idea of casters ignoring the classes game breaker by droping bombs next to them, instead of casting at them.  I'm not sure how AoE's work when cast next to someone with Spell Defence, so depending on how they interact, I might reword it a little.

When comparing spell defense, I guess it would be best to look at how other classes races that get it and how their totals fare.  A Brass Unborn gets spell defense 5+Resolve bonus, which is high, without even entering an expert class.  Making players responsible  for how much spell defense they want is probably a good choice, but making it dependent on Resolve (for example) might make them have too much synergy for it. 

Remember that Spellcasting DC's are also guidelines for Spell defense to make sense at all.  Quantities lower than 14 are too low to matter and 41 would resist almost any spellcaster in the game.  It's a rough call, but ending up with about 30 allows them to ignore a decent amount of spells in the game, and a few character options out there will have them end up in the ballpark of that.

I think it's really cool, especially the Balanced Form feature and the new Core, but I highly suggest basing spell defense on some player choice variable.  The Monster Slayer did something with Studies.  A studied defense might give a bonus for each study. (school of magic)  This makes sense for the more bookish, but above all have fun with this class, I hope to hear of their pending adventures.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 01:29:39 AM by Daedalus » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 06:48:39 AM »

This is an interesting class.  Just a couple observations.

Arcane Redirection:  Any spell that you successfully resist is redirected back at the person who cast it; all effects are calculated as per the original caster [Damage, DC, Duration etc].

Change the wording from "Any spell that you successfully resist is redirected back..." to "Any spell that you successfully resist you may redirect back...".  There may be certain spells that you don't want to redirect back to the origin point.  It is possible that a creature may benefit from certain damage types, like a Lich casting Cause Wounds on the character.  If the spell gets redirected back, the Lich just received healing courtesy of what should be a game breaker.  It is a simple change, but it makes it clear you have an option of whether or not to reflect a spell.

Arcane Bulwark: At level 4 you gain Spell Resistance 20 against Spells you can cast.  This increases to 30 at level 8.

I don't really like the use of "Spells you can cast" as a trigger in this case because as more and more spells are added to the system, this ability gets weaker and weaker.

At level 10, approximately when someone would get this ability, a dedicated caster can be expected to know roughly 30 spells, assuming they have max ranks in Spellcasting and have a decent Wisdom.  There are currently 72 spells listed, barring any repeats which I didn't see, on table 3.2: Spells.  So a little over 40% of the spells currently in existence would be resisted.  At level 20, you may be looking at someone having between 40-50 spells, which means they would have resistance from well over half and as much as almost 70% of the spells in the game.  Increase the number of spells available to 100, however, and resistible spells drops from 40%-70% down to 30%-50%, and continues to drop as more spells are added.

Because of this, I would recommend using the Schools of Magic and/or the Disciplines.  As new spells are added, they will always maintain roughly the same percentage of spells that they are capable of resisting.

Try something like:

Arcane Bulwark: At level 4 you may designate a number of Schools of Magic equal to your starting action dice.  You gain Spell Defense 20 against Spells from these schools.  This increases to Spell Defense 30 at level 8.

Barring a race/class/feat combination that reduces starting action dice, they should have 4 of the 8 schools covered when they first acquire this ability which will eventually rise to 6 schools covered.  Starting at 50% and rising to 75% is roughly on par with the original progression, but doesn't lose effectiveness from new spells being added to the system.  It also means races which became mages against their iconic class, such as a Dwarven Mage, will have reduced effectiveness at learning to defend against these spells.
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 11:06:07 AM »

Very interesting points Bill.  I hadn't even thought of the repercussions of additional magic, and I'm allowing players to use everything in both Channeler and Seer [so the spell list is already larger].  It also means alot less double checking between "do I know this spell or not".  Originally the intention was that they couldn't resist spells of a higher level then they could cast [hence the "spells you can cast"], and I'd like to keep that I think.

I agree the wording should be changed to reflect that its a choice.

Note: Changed Core Ability and Spell Defence in original post, cleared up wording of Arcane Reflection.

Hows it look now?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 11:13:06 AM by Turnip666 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 03:24:58 PM »

Looks pretty good, but I have one change to suggest.  Since you said Spell Defense for this order was "learned", I think I have a formula for Spell Defense that works out pretty nicely: 5 + (skill) modifier at 4 and 10 + (skill) modifier at 8.  Either this or 20 against AD schools at 4 and 30 against AD schools at 8.

As of now the class has the ability to surpass 40, which, like I said, is a danger zone.  It currently uses Resolve, which this class gets for free anyway, and ends up not varying from character to character due to choice.  Also, I recant my previous suggestion of Tactics as a valid choice for the skill, since the Captain class gets a boost to maximum Tactics ranks pretty early (level 2) that could put the resistance 3 points higher than a non-captain (oddly not keepers?)

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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 02:10:41 AM »

Tactics isn't a bad idea actually, but honestly I really don't like using skill modifier for things, theres way to many variables that can boost it unexpectedly high [origin + skill feats + higher skill ranks + focus in that stat], I'd rather just stick with straight Ranks.  That said it might get a little bit to high with 15, even at achieving it you can hit 30, which makes it unlikely you'll get a spell to hit you.

Maybe 10 + Ranks then 15 + Ranks.

That way at 8th [lowest] we have to more then 26.  Casters will have +10 -  +20 to cast. [Before Magic items]
At 12th we have no more then 35.  Casters will have +15 to + 25 to cast. [Before Magic items]
At 20th no more then 45.  Casters will be at +25 to + 35 to cast.

Which takes me to my next idea, to start it at 10 + Ranks, and then come up with another ability for 8th level, I know that 4 + 8 is usually linked but maybe something thematically linked.  Thoughts?
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2009, 02:32:39 AM »

Being able to share the Spell Defense with allies within 10 feet isn't shabby, depending on their group role.  Or the ability to grant it to all characters within 10 feet, similar to the Channeler ability that could block adversaries' support spells.
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 03:56:15 AM »

Very interesting points Bill.  I hadn't even thought of the repercussions of additional magic, and I'm allowing players to use everything in both Channeler and Seer [so the spell list is already larger].  It also means alot less double checking between "do I know this spell or not".  Originally the intention was that they couldn't resist spells of a higher level then they could cast [hence the "spells you can cast"], and I'd like to keep that I think.

Good point, I hadn't considered the inability to resist spells of a higher level.  You could tie it to their own level of Circle of Power.

Arcane Bulwark: At level 4 choose a number of Schools of Magic equal to your starting action dice.  You gain Spell Defence <value> against spells from these schools and whose level does not exceed your own Circle of Power rating.  At level 8 this increases to Spell Defense <value>.

Probably need a better wording, but the idea is there.

Quote
I agree the wording should be changed to reflect that its a choice.

Note: Changed Core Ability and Spell Defence in original post, cleared up wording of Arcane Reflection.

Hows it look now?

Theoretically, someone could have Enlightened Resolve, so their max ranks in resolve would be Career Level +5.  At level 10, using 15 + Resolve ranks, that would equate to a Spell Defense of 30 (28 without Enlightened Resolve).  At level 14, the second part of the ability kicks in, as well as 4 more ranks in Resolve so now the Spell Defense is 39 (37 without Enlightened Resolve).

At level 10, a dedicated spell caster could reasonably have a Spellcasting of 15-20 (13 ranks + Int + some miscellaneous bonus like Arcane Might).  At level 14 we are looking at Spellcasting of 20-25 (another 4 ranks and maybe an Int boost).

At level 10, the caster would need a roll of 8-15 on the die to get past spell defense and at level 14 this would jump to needing a 12-19 on the die.

This seems reasonable.  The earliest they could get Arcane Bulwark, they would have little over 1 chance in 4 of avoiding spells targeting them, 4 of 8 schools are covered and a little over half that qualify would be defended against, and dedicated Hierophants become hard to cast against, and downright dangerous once they get their game breaker.

If you make the base 10 + Resolve and get rid of the +5 at level 8, a 10th level caster now only needs to roll in the vicinity of 3-10 on the die.  Since the Spell Defense is hard capped by ranks it will only ever increase 1 per level, whereas the Spellcasting can increase at an increased rate (from further Int gains and possibly Skill Master feats from a Spider Nation Caster).  As you approach level 20, the required die roll is going to get even less, so 10 + Resolve seems too low to me, especially since it only works on a subset (only targeting him) of a subset (belonging to specific schools) of a possible subset (only those of a certain level or lower) of spells.

Adding to that is that this class' game breaker is to turn spells against their caster that are successfully defended against, so it is important that this Spell Defense actually works.  Otherwise, you may end up with a class that specializes in fighting "corrupted, magic-infused beings of chaos and madness" while said beings can easily shrug off and laugh at what should be your most potent ability.



Something else I thought of after my earlier comments, but one thing to bear in mind about using action dice for number of schools of magic is it IS possible for maximum action dice to GO DOWN after the ability is granted.  For instance, a Dwarven Keeper 4 / Mage 4 / Thaumaturgic Hierophant 4 who decided to, for whatever reason, take Mage 5.  Mage, a base class, now being a higher level than Keeper, an iconic class, would mean the dwarf would receive 2 fewer starting action dice.  In the rare event this happened, I would treat it just like losing spells known where they lose access to certain schools and regain them when the action dice go back up, but they must first choose schools that were previously lost.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2009, 04:16:36 AM »

Being able to share the Spell Defense with allies within 10 feet isn't shabby, depending on their group role.  Or the ability to grant it to all characters within 10 feet, similar to the Channeler ability that could block adversaries' support spells.

That might be interesting.  That's the Channeler's level 14 game breaker, so we don't want something as potent as it for this slot, but the general idea can still be used, perhaps using a mechanic similar to spending an action die to increase defense.

Arcane Bulwark: ... At level 8, you may spend and roll an action die.  For a number of rounds equal to the action die result, all allies within Melee or Close Quarters range of you gain the same Spell Defense.

This has the added effect of making Arcane Redirection more useful, which is a good thing for the game breaker.
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