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Curator
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« on: January 16, 2015, 03:16:23 AM »

An idea long, long in the works, LukeNukem914, Mutt, and I finally cooked up a tasty little dish we've been excited to craft for quite awhile. A fresh take on a simple premise; a backer class more interested in Meats than Feats, more focused on Culinary Skills than Mercenary Kills, and more passionate about passion fruit than any cleric could claim to be about his deity.

I can only be talking about one class, and that is...

the
CHEF (Expert)
"All that live must consume;" one of the core rules of nature, and the one that facilitates the existence of food. A commodity, a necessity, an icon of wealth, or even a symbol of hope- food is so primally important to living beings that it is no wonder there are more ways to cook a roast than ways to kill a man. Whether for nourishment or pleasure, eating is a crucial, commonplace occurence. The Chef refutes this, however. The Chef believes eating is anything but "commonplace." He elevates consumption to a new level. With the right pinch of spice, the perfect temperature to sear, and an unbeatable microbrew from the dankest of cellars, the Chef can turn any meal into a transcendental experience.
Depending on your campaign, a Chef could be...
• A famous gourmand who has turned his legendary skill in the kitchen toward training others, though his hot temper often gets in the way.
• The local tavernkeep, always ready to pour a pint and weave a tale for a thirsty traveler with time to kill.
• A talented cook who uses his familiarity with blades to cut down any foe who may stand in his way of cooking The Legendary Fish.
• A quirky and adorable barista who always knows which bold roast will ease the party's pains and pep them up for the next adventure.
• The captain of a renowned vessel whose sole purpose in life is to rapidly deliver the tastiest meals on wheels for wanderers on-the-go.
• Your best friend's mom.

Party Role: Backer. The Chef brings his party a slew of options to keep their bellies stuffed and their bodies in tip-top condition. Certainly more interested in preparation and premeditation than reckless whim, the Chef can often be the level-headed compliment to an otherwise spicy group.
  
Class Features
Requirements:
Crafting 6+ ranks, Adept Cook feat, 1+ culinary Interest
Favored Attributes: Intelligence, Constitution, Dexterity
Class Skills: Crafting, Haggle, Impress, Investigate, Medicine, Notice, Prestidigitation, Resolve, Search, Tactics

Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier per level
Vitality: 9 + Con modifier per level

BAB: Med
FORT: High
REF: Med
WILL: Low
INIT: Low
DEF: Med
LIFE: High
LEG: Med

CLASS ABILITIES

Core ability:
Broad Palate:
Flavour means more to you than it does to most people, and every bite you take refreshes and invigorates you, no matter the meal. When you benefit from a food or drink item, you also gain a bonus d6 action die. Unless used, this action die is lost at the end of the scene.

Signature Dish: No chef worth his salt-shaker follows recipes by the book; he writes his own! At Levels 1, 5 and 9, you may choose 2 classic dishes to develop fantastic expansions on. Thereafter, when crafting one of the chosen food items, you may treat the Complexity as 5 higher and the silver value as 20s higher to craft a Signature version, which confers extreme benefits instead of their standard effects for 8 hours. Each character may only be affected by a single Signature Dish effect per chef at a time, and no more than 4 of these effects at once. Signature versions of non-perishable food and drink revert to their ordinary, non-Signature effects at the end of the adventure.

• Animal Feed: The DC of Train Animal checks targeting this animal is reduced to 10.
• Booze: Grants Aggro Basics as a temporary feat.
• Coffee: Grants Lightning Reflexes as a temporary feat.
• Food, comfort: Grants Iron Will as a temporary feat.
• Food, filling: Grants Great Fortitude as a temporary feat.
• Food, fresh: Grants Fortune Favors The Bold as a temporary feat.
• Food, hearty: Grants Guts as a temporary feat.
• Meal, common: Grants Regeneration 1. This regeneration cannot heal wounds.
• Rations: Grants Veteran Adventurer as a temporary feat.
• Spirits: Grants Glint of Madness as a temporary feat.

Waste Not, Want Not: You use every last bit of the creature... even the poison sacs. At Level 2, you may create poisons using your Cooking focus, and their Incubation Period is considered to be 1 hour. Additionally, the DC to detect this poison in food you have made is 10 higher, and the DC to save against your poisoned foods rises by the number of Gear feats you possess[/color].
At Level 7, you gain Contagion Immunity and you can always tell if food you can see or smell is poisoned.

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

Iron Chef: Your talent and personality blend into each other like the finest of complimenting flavours. At Level 4, your Gear and Style feats also count as each other when fulfilling prerequisites and requirements or determining the effects of any ability.

Someone's In The Kitchen I: When you're here, you're familiar. At Level 4, whenever you are in a Kitchen or Cook's Workshop, you also benefit from the effects of the other room, and your Craft checks that create food or drink yield twice as much.
Someone's In The Kitchen II: You can definitely take the heat. At Level 8, while in a Kitchen or Cook's Workshop, when you spend 1 action die to boost a result, you may roll and add the results of 2 dice.

Going For Seconds: With food as delicious as yours, there's no such thing as leftovers! At Level 6, you and each teammate may benefit from an additional food item and an additional drink item you’ve created per day.

Banquet: Your passion and drive allows you to create extravagant meals whose flavours and tastes exceed even those of your greatest standalone dishes. At Level 8, once per adventure, you may spend two hours cooking furiously to prepare a fantastical meal, resulting in a nonmagical effect otherwise identical to a Heroes' Feast spell, with a Casting Level equal to 2 x your Chef Level. Additionally, Teammates who take part in the meal gain a temporary bonus feat from a feat tree of their choice, though they must still meet the prerequisites for the chosen feat. The benefits gained from this ability last for 12 hours.

Three-Course Meal: All who have tasted, smelled, or even dreamed of your cuisine know this truth: The best compliment for your cooking... Is more of it. At Level 10, you and your teammates may benefit from an additional food and an additional drink per day, and up to 3 of your Signature Dishes at a time.




GEAR FEATS


Adept Cook

It sure beats eating what you find beside the road.
Prerequisites: Cooking Focus
Benefit: Once per character per adventure, when a character eats something you have crafted, their Disposition towards you increases by 2 + the number of Gear feats you have. Also, you gain a trick.
Hot Potato (Thrown Weapon Attack Trick): You may choose to deal either Fire or Heat damage with this attack, though the attack suffers a -4 penalty.
Special: You may not benefit from the effects of this feat when you lack a Cook's kit.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 07:42:18 AM by Curator » Logged
paddyfool
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 03:21:52 AM »

It never did get finished (on the forum, anyway), but the Koala had a go at something like this too.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 03:31:49 AM »

How can the Chef not be a Master class?  Tongue
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pawsplay
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 04:49:06 AM »

Not only is that a good point, but I like the idea of an Assassin/Alchemist/Chef
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paddyfool
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 04:59:30 AM »

Actually though, looking at this class properly... I love it Cheesy
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Curator
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 06:33:18 AM »

For the record...


Quote
Depending on your campaign, a Chef could be...
• Gourmand
(click to show/hide)

Quote
• Tavernkeep
(click to show/hide)

Quote
• Cook
(click to show/hide)

Quote
• Barista
(click to show/hide)

Quote
• Captain
(click to show/hide)

Quote
• Mom
(click to show/hide)



...and in case you didn't already hate me enough;
Quote
•Someone's In The Kitchen I: When you're here, you're familiar.
(click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 04:44:44 AM by Curator » Logged
paddyfool
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 06:52:57 AM »

I'm surprised you didn't make an Under Siege reference in there somewhere :-)
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2015, 06:53:38 AM »

There's a huge difference between 'a cook' and 'just a cook'.  Cool
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At your own pace: Do. It. Now.
How about some pie? - Heroes of the Expanse
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2015, 02:02:51 AM »

1) I love this class.
2) I love the wordplay in the writeup for this class.
3) I definitely thought of my actual IRL friend's mom at the "Your best friend's mom" example, and didn't even consider that it might be a media reference until you posted the actual inspiration behind it.
4) I'm about to drop one of my big analysis/critique wall of text posts here, so bear with me.

One thing that really sticks out to me is that this class is HUGELY downtime-dependent. Moreso than any other class in the game, I'd wager. A Keeper can pull his weight quite well as a general skillmonkey even without much time for crafting; an Alchemist has his spells. The Chef? If you don't have downtime to sit down and cook...well, you've got some bonuses against poison, and maybe a couple Style feats?

And you'll need a lot of time for cooking. The real main course of the class is the Signature Dish, which is no small task to prepare. At ~60s in value, you're going to need week-scale downtime to make more than one per day (at least without providing the bulk of the value out-of-pocket with coin or raw materials). I'm not so sure that's really a good point to set it at. Overall, this class is really going to take a delicate balancing act between making cooking accessible enough for it to reliably pull its weight, but not so easy that it simply becomes functionally limitless access to food given a reasonable amount of downtime. It's a tricky ability to gauge, since the amount of downtime available will fluctuate considerably from campaign to campaign. Likewise, the length of a scene can vary even within a single adventure, so it's hard to pin down just how much value you'll get out of the increased flexibility of being able to change the benefit every 8 hours as opposed to other temporary feat effects that typically last the whole adventure. The Chef has a considerably greater versatility compared to other temporary-feat granting effects, able to give out different feats to different allies and change up the feat granted on a fairly regular basis (whereas other feat-granting effects generally stick for the whole adventure, and when they benefit multiple characters apply the same temporary feat to all). However, his effectiveness as a backer takes a sharp nosedive when he runs out of Signature Dishes, and those Signature Dishes take a substantial amount of downtime to make and don't last terribly long.

At the current pricing, assuming week-scale downtime at most, you're looking at being able to make, at most, 2-4 Signature Dishes per day of downtime (assuming Crafting Supremacy and at least some value provided out-of pocket; exact amount produced depends on how good your Crafting check is, how much you're willing to spend out-of-pocket, and whether you're on day-scale or week-scale) -- ie, 6-12 uses, for a typical food or drink item. On first entering the class, you'd likely be hard pressed to produce more than one Signature Dish per day of downtime, and that's providing half the value out-of-pocket. This strikes me as perhaps a bit too restrictive. Lowering the price increase on Signature Dishes might be a good move to let the Chef be able to pull its weight more reliably (especially at lower levels). As an added precaution against excessive abuse, you could add a caveat that Signature versions of non-perishable food and drink revert to their ordinary, non-Signature effects at the end of the adventure, in order to prevent long-term stockpiling. Seems reasonable to me that, even if the food itself is non-perishable, the extraordinary effects of being a Signature Dish are nonetheless contingent upon freshness.


Aside from that concern, a few of the other abilities seem like they could use more oomph as well.

Waste Not, Want Not strikes me as rather exceedingly narrow and modest for being in what is typically one of the more potent class ability slots. I'd suggest expanding the first grade to let you use Cooking to make any poison, not just sickening, and possibly add an increase to the save DC along with discovery DC for poisons you plant in food. Grade II would probably be fine being outright contagion immunity for you, and you could probably throw in a bonus to teammates' saves against poison and disease as well to help shore up that backer role a tad even when you're running low on crafting opportunities.

Someone's in the Kitchen I is also really underwhelming, simply because it's so extremely narrow. It amounts to 10 bonus Rep for improving a Holding, and only for a specific improvement, and only benefiting you (while the improvement purchased normally would benefit any resident of the Holding). Whereas typically a feat or equivalent-value class ability improving a Holding (or Contact) gives 30 Rep, with no strings attached besides earmarking for use with the appropriate kind of improvable Prize. So not only is it extremely narrow, it's well below the power curve in magnitude as well.
One thing you could add, working toward alleviating the downtime burden for the class to perform its backer role effectively, would be that using a kitchen/cook's workshop lets you make "family-sized" meals, multiplying the number of uses of food items you make by your party size. Ordinarily, making 1 unit of a food item would generally be 3 uses (for most foods; rations and animal feed give more). That's not even enough to buff a whole stereotypical 4-man party; but suppose that if you make it in a proper kitchen, it's 3 uses per person. This might likely need a use cap to avoid getting too out of hand, though. Probably a fixed (ie, not a function of some scaling stat like starting action dice or anything) number of uses per adventure.

I actually like Someone's in the Kitchen II a lot, though. It's still pretty narrow (unless your campaign revolves around cooking competitions, I would expect scenes where the action takes place in kitchens to be well in the minority, even with a supportive GM taking note of your character building choices and throwing a bit of a chef-themed bent into the campaign), but it's sufficiently potent to make up for the narrowness of application, and it just oozes with evocative flavor.

Lastly, the Heroes' Feast kind of comes off a little on the weaker side. A longer prep time than the 10 minutes for casting the spell makes sense given that it's nonmagical, and the lack of any use limit and accelerated casting level are nice perks to compensate for only getting access around the same level an arcane caster would (where normally a narrower range of spell access means earlier access to higher-level spell effects). But a full day puts an even greater downtime burden on this already downtime-strapped class; something more on the scale of a couple hours would be much better, since it means you can use it the morning of your planned outing rather than taking a day of downtime you need to make Signature Dishes. Even if that means needing to add a limited ration of uses for the ability, I think most people would generally be perfectly fine with that tradeoff, at least outside of very leisurely-paced campaigns with ample downtime for keeping your larder stocked. Plus, limited uses help to make an ability feel like more of a big deal. If your Banquet is limited only by how much time you have to prepare, it sort of becomes, "Well, we've got another day to spare, may as well make a feast." Whereas if it's something you can whip up (relatively) quickly but only on a limited basis, it's more like, "Hm, this mission looks like it could get pretty hairy...time to pull out all the stops! Ready your appetites, boys, because you're in for a treat -- I've been saving this one for a special occasion!"
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2015, 04:43:22 AM »

Aaaah, yes! Thank you so much for the in-depth feedback. We're very proud of this class but did feel a few concerns and were hoping to get any outstanding issues ironed out by the crafty community at large, so I'm happy to work these kinks out.

Let's get cracking.

First off, I should mention that despite using some ideas from the Alchemist as a yardstick, I wasn't fully aware of just how dedicated they are to spellcasting, and therefore how much 'action' would be lost to strip that from a craft-oriented backer class, and I think that more than anything contributes to this class being so downtime-loaded.

As far as the signature Dish costs go, I'm totally fine tweaking the numbers. We put 50 in as an arbitrary number just to give *some* financial value to the SD's, so they weren't dirt- easy to make. Do you think a good adjustment would be to lower it to "+20s cost"? That puts the costs at 21-30, which seems relevant enough that you can't pump them out like a factory in the lower levels, but the cost/crafting time isn't so trivial that you barely even track them at higher levels.
Additionally, do you think the dishes need to be kicked up from 8 hours? I figured sticking with the standard food benefit time was alright since it felt like that'd be enough time to carry you through 'an event', at least til you got to some sort of other downtime or scene transition. I hesitate to let them work for a scene or anything, because I like the 'swappable micro-buffs' element; it really sets the Dishes apart from comparable abilities like Teacher, while still working well in tandem with them.

WN,WN has been kicked up into the next gear to try and hit par with abilities like "Evasion." I got bold with these, especially the level 7, so let me know if this is too far or juuuust right.

SitK I improved to be (mostly) in line with your suggestion; cooking in a kitchen yields more, though I only went 2x, since the cost of SD's has roughly halved.

SitK is silly powerful in such a niche situation that your GM can very easily limit the power, but let you wreck shop when you deserve the spotlight. I'm glad you approve, because "Bogo EVERYTHING" was a very appealing-- though scary-- thought, and nothing really felt as appropriate as "everything that you want to be cinematic is REALLY SUCCESSFUL."

As far as banquet goes, I really want to keep it from being too similar to a mage casting it, without it just being better, hence the hefty DT requirement. That said, I've put in an alteration to bring it more in line with your idea of the "Special Occasion" meal that really, really counts.


More feedback (heh, 'feed') is greatly appreciated. i'm hungry to hear more comments, because I want nothing more than to kick this class up a notch!
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2015, 03:20:17 PM »

Now we're cooking!  Grin

All those changes look pretty good. +20s feels about right for a Signature Dish, and I agree that with that change doubling production is sufficiently solid for SitK I. I also like the synergy between adding Gear feats to poison DCs with WNWN and counting Style as Gear with Iron Chef. I think it's fine to leave the duration for Signature Dish benefits at the usual 8 hours; it keeps it consistent with existing food benefits, and helps give the class a somewhat unique place among backers due to the flexibility it affords.

My one quibble at this point is that the extra benefit on Banquet is somewhat working at cross-purposes with the intention of "secret weapon you save for when things get really dire". Being an adventure-long buff, it gives an incentive to have your Banquet early on in the adventure, rather than saving it for the final boss or what have you. I like the idea of adding the benefit of a Signature Dish (and not counting it against the cap on how many SD benefits you can have at once), but shortening the duration would help keep it more consistent to its intended narrative application. Given the variable duration of scenes, maybe have the SD benefit from Banquet last for the duration of the spell effect OR until end of scene, whichever is longer?
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Luke_Nukem914
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2015, 04:04:58 PM »

My one quibble at this point is that the extra benefit on Banquet is somewhat working at cross-purposes with the intention of "secret weapon you save for when things get really dire". Being an adventure-long buff, it gives an incentive to have your Banquet early on in the adventure, rather than saving it for the final boss or what have you. I like the idea of adding the benefit of a Signature Dish (and not counting it against the cap on how many SD benefits you can have at once), but shortening the duration would help keep it more consistent to its intended narrative application. Given the variable duration of scenes, maybe have the SD benefit from Banquet last for the duration of the spell effect OR until end of scene, whichever is longer?

I'm definitely feeling this as well. Especially considering the GB allows you to benefit from 3 Sig Dishes at a time. So if you do use this (as is) at the beginning of the adventure (at level 10), then you're benefiting from 4 at a time, and I don't think that's the direction we want to take this.

I know Curator and I have had several discussions at 1/Adventure uses, and what they represent to the ability. And most of the time it boils down to looking at an adventure we've had in a campaign and picking where we would've used this ability. Part of the trick with 1/Adventure abilities is the question of "I have an entire adventure at my disposal, when is the best time to use it?" And if it's an ability that lasts the entire adventure, then the best time to use it is when the adventure begins. (So basically, if it were me, all my allies would have a nice banquet at the start of an adventure to gain Regen 1 for the whole thing). So I agree with TKDB, shorten the duration to make the decision to make a big fancy meal a bit more impactful.
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2015, 07:38:24 AM »

Now we're cooking!  Grin

All those changes look pretty good. +20s feels about right for a Signature Dish, and I agree that with that change doubling production is sufficiently solid for SitK I. I also like the synergy between adding Gear feats to poison DCs with WNWN and counting Style as Gear with Iron Chef. I think it's fine to leave the duration for Signature Dish benefits at the usual 8 hours; it keeps it consistent with existing food benefits, and helps give the class a somewhat unique place among backers due to the flexibility it affords.

My one quibble at this point is that the extra benefit on Banquet is somewhat working at cross-purposes with the intention of "secret weapon you save for when things get really dire". Being an adventure-long buff, it gives an incentive to have your Banquet early on in the adventure, rather than saving it for the final boss or what have you. I like the idea of adding the benefit of a Signature Dish (and not counting it against the cap on how many SD benefits you can have at once), but shortening the duration would help keep it more consistent to its intended narrative application. Given the variable duration of scenes, maybe have the SD benefit from Banquet last for the duration of the spell effect OR until end of scene, whichever is longer?


Alright, I changed it up cause this is a really good point.
And by changed it up, I mean I got ambitious. New effect hopefully feels AWESOME, while also really making this class feel like a fantastic and versatile backer. I didn't want to give another signature dish effect, because more signature dish effects on the same timer is the gamebreaker, and keeping the level 8 and level 10 abilities that similar probably makes them both less exciting. I'd rather give the banquet a uniquely effective ability to back any character, and ideally in a way that's very core to that character (that is to say, I thought about giving action dice bonuses, or attribute boosts, but those feel more like the Sage and Alchemist's methods of backing). Effectively expanding everyone's feat slots for a very limited time means that EVERYONE is excited about this ability, and you don't get the diminishing returns of "Okay, well I already gave you the most relevant signature dish effect, and none of the others seem terribly useful in the situation we're going in... eh, just have [A save bonus/some wounds/minor boost to AD results/regen]. That's cool, I guess" since people get access to a MASSIVE amount of choices. 12 hours is to keep it in line with Heroes' Feast's inherent duration, and also makes these temporary buffs feel more important because of how long they last.

How does that seem? Is that exciting enough to really show off how cool this slot/this class is? I thought about limiting the number of accessible trees, but I think that's ultimately just going to be restrictive while barely affecting the power level of this effect. I'm wary that this might be too strong, but then again it's just such an exciting and versatile effect that it feels like such a good fit.
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TKDB
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2015, 04:33:27 PM »

Feels about right to me. The level 8 standalone ability in Expert classes often gives the level 10/20 ability of a base class, and I think a 1/adventure Heroes' Feast additionally giving a free-choice temporary feat is about in line with the Captain's "+1 effective class level for one character all adventure" or the Sage's "+1 starting action die for everyone all the time".
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