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Author Topic: Some miscellaneous homebrew Paths  (Read 458 times)
TKDB
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« on: July 09, 2014, 12:42:17 PM »

EDIT: I've changed this post to list all the Paths I've posted in this thread, both originally when I first made the thread as well as in later posts, using the most updated versions per feedback from others and my own tinkering.

PATH OF CELERITY
   Celerity I: Your Speed increases by 5 ft. and you may cast Expeditious Retreat at will.
   Celerity II: You gain the Lightning Reflexes feat.
   Celerity III: Your Speed increases by an additional 5 ft. and you may cast Haste once per scene.
   Celerity IV: Your Speed increases by an additional 5 ft. and you may cast Mass Brawn I (Dex only) once per scene.
   Celerity V: Your Speed increases by an additional 5 ft. and you may cast Teleport II once per scene.

PATH OF CREATIVITY
   Creativity I: You gain a morale bonus equal to your Creativity Step with action die rolls to boost Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based skill checks.
   Creativity II: You may cast Illusionary Image II and Insight once per scene.
   Creativity III: You may cast Illusionary Image IV and Mage Scribe II once per scene.
   Creativity IV: You gain the bright idea (1/session) class ability (see p. 40), and you may cast Illusionary Image VI once per scene.
   Creativity V: You may cast Call from Beyond IV and Scintillating Pattern once per scene.

PATH OF CRUELTY
   Cruelty I: You inflict additional damage equal to your Cruelty Step against helpless and sprawled characters.
   Cruelty II: You may cast Blindness/Deafness and Ray of Enfeeblement once per scene.
   Cruelty III: You may cast Bestow Curse and Cause Wounds IV once per scene.
   Cruelty IV: You gain the bloody mess class ability (see p. 33).
   Cruelty V: You may cast Resilient Sphere II and Mass Cause Wounds III once per scene.

PATH OF MUSIC
   Music I: You gain a +5 bonus with Impress checks.
   Music II: You may cast Charm Person I once per scene. You also gain beguiling (see p. 231).
   Music III: You may cast Sleep II and Prayer once per scene.
   Music IV: You may cast Heroism II and Command II once per scene.
   Music V: You gain the take heart class ability (see p. 48).

PATH OF PERSEVERANCE
   Perseverance I: You gain the Guts feat
   Perseverance II: You gain fearless I and ferocity (see p. 233).
   Perseverance III: You gain the Iron Will feat.
   Perseverance IV: You gain Subdual Resistance 4.
   Perseverance V: You gain the take heart class ability (see p. 48).

PATH OF TERROR
   Terror I: You gain a +5 bonus to Intimidate checks.
   Terror II: You may cast Insanity I and Scare II once per scene.
   Terror III: You may cast Phantasmal Killer once per scene. Also, you gain menacing threat (see p. 234).
   Terror IV: You gain the Horror Type and unnerving (see pages 227 and 235).
   Terror V: You gain fearsome (see p. 233).



PATH OF BLOOD
   Blood I: You inflict additional damage with attacks with the bleed quality equal to your Blood Step.
   Blood II: You may cast Death Knell twice per scene.
   Blood III: You gain the Ferocity Basics feat.
   Blood IV: You gain the bloody mess class feature (see p. 33).
   Blood V: Whenever an adjacent opponent takes damage from bleeding, you recover that much vitality.

PATH OF COURAGE
   Courage I: You gain the Iron Will feat.
   Courage II: You gain fearless I (see p. 233) and never outnumbered (see FC p. 234).
   Courage III: You gain the battle planning I class ability (see p. 34).
   Courage IV: You can never be frightened. Also, when you or a teammate who can see or hear you makes a Morale check or a Will save, the roll is made twice, keeping the result you prefer.
   Courage V: You gain Stress Resistance 4 and you may cast War Cry once per scene.

PATH OF HOPE
   Hope I: You gain the Bloodied, Bold, and Resolute feat (see AC p. 128).
   Hope II: Once per scene, you may speak to 1 of your teammates for 1 minute to grant them a +1 morale bonus with saving throws until the end of the current scene. Also, you may cast Bless once per scene.
   Hope III: You may cast Lift Curse I and Heroism I once per scene.
   Hope IV: You can never be frightened, and you may Turn horrors a number of times per combat equal to your Hope Step.
   Hope V: You and all teammates who can see or hear you gain Stress Resistance 4.

PATH OF INFLUENCE
   Influence I: Your Reputation cost for Favors drops by 1 + your Influence Step (minimum 1/2 base cost, rounded up).
   Influence II: Your Charisma score increases by 1 and your Legend increases by 2.
   Influence III: You gain the Extra Contact feat.
   Influence IV: You gain the land and title class ability (see FC p. 37).
   Influence V: You may use your Influence Step in place of your Renown in any track to qualify for purchasing Favors.

PATH OF LEADERSHIP
   Leadership I: You gain the Followers feat.
   Leadership II: Your may cast Bless and Command I once per scene.
   Leadership III: You gain the battle planning I class ability (see p. 34).
   Leadership IV: You gain The Extra Mile feat.
   Leadership V: You gain the virtues of command class ability (see p. 35).

PATH OF TRANQUILITY
   Tranquility I: You may make a Calm check as a full action, and even when not in a peaceful location. Also, you may Calm each character one additional time per day.
   Tranquility II: You may cast Calm Emotions and Sleep I once per scene.
   Tranquility III: You may roll twice when making a Resolve check, keeping the result you prefer.
   Tranquility IV: You can never be enraged, and you gain a trick:
      Soothing Presence (Calm trick): Additionally, you remove the frightened condition or one grade of shaken from the target.
   Tranquility V: You and each teammate who can see or hear you suffer only half the usual penalty to attacks and skill checks when shaken.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 01:58:14 PM by TKDB » Logged
meatwadf
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 12:58:58 PM »

Not too bad. The Terror path looks like it could be fun. I would almost suggest switching the 4th and 5th tiers, as gaining both the horror type and unnerving feels more like the end result of the path.

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TKDB
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 02:19:06 PM »

Not too bad. The Terror path looks like it could be fun. I would almost suggest switching the 4th and 5th tiers, as gaining both the horror type and unnerving feels more like the end result of the path.



Funny thing, I actually lifted Terror IV directly from Evil IV. So, canonically, that seems to be a tier 4 benefit.

I don't disagree with you about it feeling more like a capstone benefit for a Path, though.
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meatwadf
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 02:33:15 PM »

I just looked it up. Weird. I had never noticed that before. Hah

Hmm maybe drop unnerving and replace it with fearsome at 4, in that case. At one, maybe replace the intimidate bonus with Glint of Madness instead, and at five they get dread to help differentiate from Evil some? I may be going in a direction you don't want with the path, of course. Heh
« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 02:40:51 PM by meatwadf » Logged
TKDB
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 03:00:13 PM »

I just looked it up. Weird. I had never noticed that before. Hah

Hmm maybe drop unnerving and replace it with fearsome at 4, in that case. At one, maybe replace the intimidate bonus with Glint of Madness instead, and at five they get dread to help differentiate from Evil some? I may be going in a direction you don't want with the path, of course. Heh

I don't see any particular reason to change the first step, and I feel that fearsome is rather more potent compared to unnerving (even though, as NPC qualities, they're fairly similar in XP value), so that swap would be a very bad idea. Swapping unnerving for dread at Terror IV would work, but I don't feel any particular pressing need to make it different from Evil IV given how different the rest of the two Paths are.
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meatwadf
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 03:07:02 PM »

Yeah, fearsome is incredibly powerful for the xp cost associated with it. I just suggested the feat addition mostly because I felt it fit with the feel of the path, and I'm just not a big fan of straight up stat bonuses over other options. That's just my own personal preference, of course. Mechanically, I don't see a problem with them.
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TKDB
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014, 01:07:29 PM »

I've come up with a few more Paths since I first made this thread, so I figured I'd share. I've tried branching out a bit and coming up with some more unique effects here and there (particularly with the Paths of Influence and Tranquility), so feedback and criticism is much appreciated!


Path of Blood
  • Blood I: You inflict additional damage with attacks with the bleed quality equal to your Blood Step.
  • Blood II: You may cast Death Knell twice per scene.
  • Blood III: You gain the Ferocity Basics feat.
  • Blood IV: You gain the bloody mess class feature (see FC p. 33).
  • Blood V: Whenever an adjacent opponent takes damage from bleeding, you recover that much vitality.

Path of Courage
  • Courage I: You gain the Iron Will feat.
  • Courage II: You gain fearless I (see FC p. 233) and never outnumbered (see FC p. 234).
  • Courage III: You gain the battle planning I class ability (see FC page 34).
  • Courage IV: When you or a teammate makes a Morale check or a Will save, the roll is made twice, keeping the result you prefer. You may also cast Heroism II once per scene.
  • Courage V: You gain Stress Resistance 4 and you may cast War Cry once per scene.

Path of Hope
  • Hope I: You gain the Bloodied, Bold, and Resolute feat (see AC p. 128).
  • Hope II: Once per scene, you may speak to 1 of your teammates for 1 minute to grant them a +1 morale bonus with saving throws until the end of the current scene. Also, you may cast Bless once per scene.
  • Hope III: You may cast Lift Curse I and Heroism I once per scene.
  • Hope IV: You can never be frightened, and you may Turn horrors a number of times per combat equal to your Hope Step.
  • Hope V: You and all teammates gain Stress Resistance 4.

Path of Influence
  • Influence I: Your Reputation cost for Favors drops by twice your Influence Step (minimum 1/2 base cost, rounded up).
  • Influence II: Your Charisma score increases by 1 and your Legend increases by 2.
  • Influence III: You gain the Extra Contact feat.
  • Influence IV: You gain the land and title class ability (see FC p. 37).
  • Influence V: You may use your Influence Step in place of your Renown in any track to qualify for purchasing Favors.

Path of Leadership
  • Leadership I: You gain the Followers feat.
  • Leadership II: Your Charisma score increases by 1 and you may cast Command I once per scene.
  • Leadership III: You gain the battle planning I class ability (see FC page 34).
  • Leadership IV: Your Charisma score increases by 1 and you may cast Heroism II once per scene.
  • Leadership V: You gain the virtues of command class ability (see FC page 35).

Path of Tranquility
  • Tranquility I: You gain a +5 bonus with Resolve checks.
  • Tranquility II: You may cast Calm Emotions and Sleep I once per scene.
  • Tranquility III: Your error ranges with Calm and Relax checks decrease by 2 (minimum 0), and you may Calm each character one additional time per day.
  • Tranquility IV: You can never be enraged, and you gain a trick:
       Soothing Presence (Calm trick): Additionally, you remove the frightened condition or one grade of shaken from the target.
  • Tranquility V: You and each teammate who can see or hear you suffer only half the usual penalty to attacks and skill checks when shaken.
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Curator
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 06:54:53 PM »

I've come up with a few more Paths since I first made this thread, so I figured I'd share. I've tried branching out a bit and coming up with some more unique effects here and there (particularly with the Paths of Influence and Tranquility), so feedback and criticism is much appreciated!
 -snip-

lotta real neat path concepts, right off the bat. At first, I was concerned about leadership and influence being separate, but they definitely each have their own distinct feel, and offer rather different abilities, so very cool.

Here's my initial thoughts:
Path of Blood
(click to show/hide)

Path of Courage
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Path of Hope
(click to show/hide)

Path of Influence
(click to show/hide)

Path of Leadership
(click to show/hide)

Tranquility
(click to show/hide)

Overall, I think it's really cool to see people coming up with new paths, and I definitely think that with some creative thought, there are plenty of niche gaps to be filled in by new paths. I like what you've done, and I hope to see more for sure.
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Mutt
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 07:13:41 PM »

For the Path of Blood, it actually feels a lot like a good path for Vampires. I am a bit confused about the use of Death Knell, however. The Path feels strong once you reach the 5th Step, but a bit underpowered until then.

For Courage, I think that Never Outnumbered would work better at Step 3, and the Stress Resistance being shunted down to Step 2.

Hope is excellent, I see nothing wrong with it.

Influence is very powerful all the way through, which is a bit disconcerting. I don't know how, but I feel like it needs toned down a notch or two.

I agree with Curator in the Path of Leadership and Step 4; a different spell (a Charm spell, perhaps?) would feel more fitting.

Tranquility feels a lot like Blood, in that it feels like it is lacking up until Step 5, where it really shines through.
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Morgenstern
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 07:14:17 PM »

  Small suggestion~

  Influence I: Your Reputation cost for Favors drops by your Step + 1, to a minimum of one-half base cost (rounded up).

  Also note formatting in the book (pages 311-314). Steps are boldface, no bullet points. The are also always self-referential so you don't need to indicate the name of the path inside a step Smiley.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 07:16:00 PM by Morgenstern » Logged

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TKDB
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2014, 12:10:03 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback!

It seems, at most, like the path an NPC "Blood Cultist" might follow.
That's pretty much what it's for, yeah. Not really meant for PCs in your typical heroic fantasy campaign, but more for blood cultists and vampires and such as antagonists in a typical campaign or PCs in a dark/evil campaign.

Path of Courage
(click to show/hide)
I see what you mean about never outnumbered, but I'm not sure it's realy that big an issue considering that the only things that care about numerical advantage outside of Morale are the Bushwhack and Horde feat chains. And out of the pregen statblocks in the books, only velociraptors, goons, and (if you're playing in Cloak & Dagger) Hykosian conscripts have any of those feats. Never outnumbered is a strong benefit when it does come up, but it's pretty niche.

Regarding Battle Planning, "inspiring presence" is exactly what I was aiming for, yes Smiley

On the topic of resistance to frightened, come to think of it that would actually fit in the Step IV slot in place of Heroism II. Which would help alleviate the issue of so many Paths using Heroism spells as you mention later.

Path of Hope
(click to show/hide)
Glad you like it! You're quite right, Step V definitely should have a "who can see or hear you" caveat. Missed that one!

Path of Influence
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Yeah, I was a little unsure about the Step I discount myself. The last couple Steps get into pretty buff territory, but making the discount simply equal to the Step seemed to me a bit too little unless you're going really deep in.
I like Morgenstern's suggestion though; I'll probably go with that.

Path of Leadership
(click to show/hide)
Yeah, I'm not terribly keen on Heroism at Leadership IV myself. I'd prefer it be a mass buff, but the only ones at the right spell level for a Step IV are Mass Brawn/Wit, which don't really feel right. It'd be neat if there were something like a Prayer II at level 5 or 6...maybe when Spellbound comes out there'll be something better to put in there?

The other thought would be to give a feat at Leadership IV instead, though in that case I'd also want to change Leadership II so the Path isn't just granting one lone attribute increase. Extra Mile is one I'd actually considered for Leadership I before deciding on Followers instead, so I could put that at Leadership IV instead of the Cha boost + spell. Then I could change Leadership II to give Bless I + Command I.

Quote
Tranquility
(click to show/hide)
I definitely take your point about overlap with Discipline I, but honestly I feel that I'd be hard-pressed to find anything more appropriate for this Path. It's certainly the skill for being chill and unperturbed, particularly with it being the one used for Relax checks, Morale checks, and shaking off enraged and frightened.

Excellent point about the time needed for Calm checks though. I really like the suggestion about making it a full action. That should fit in Tranquility III along with the extra Calm per day effect without being too much for the Step, right?



For the Path of Blood, it actually feels a lot like a good path for Vampires. I am a bit confused about the use of Death Knell, however. The Path feels strong once you reach the 5th Step, but a bit underpowered until then.
Death Knell is basically meant to represent a sort of blood sacrifice or vampiric boost. It...well, mostly it's in there because there's actually not all that much that really fits well for the Path. I was kind of stretching to come up with suitable stuff. Blood is a Path I made as an attempt to fulfill a request from someone else for that specific Path, as opposed to the rest which were ideas I personally had of things that seemed like open niches. Actually, now that I think of it, the guy who requested the Path might have specifically requested that Death Knell be in it.

For Courage, I think that Never Outnumbered would work better at Step 3, and the Stress Resistance being shunted down to Step 2.
Did you mean the Battle Planning should be put at Courage II? Though, either way, it doesn't exactly fit at that Step; Resistance to major damage types doesn't come any earlier than Step IV in official Paths, and Battle Planning is established as a Step III effect in Path of Heroism, so neither would work at Courage II.
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 08:25:23 AM »

I remember I put together Paths of Cloud and Sand at one point out of steps of other Paths and various spell substitutions, but I deleted them.  I'll see if I can recreate them.
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TKDB
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 02:02:38 PM »

I've edited the OP to compile all the Paths I've posted in this thread, with modifications made based on everyone's comments and my own deliberations. Specifically, the things I've changed are:

General formatting: Fixed to match that in the book, per Morgenstern's suggestion (though I've left internal references to the Path, since even though Steps are indeed always self-referential the official published material always includes the Path name when keying something to your Step value).

Path of Creativity: I really just didn't like the Crafting Basics and "roll twice for Crafting checks" benefits at I and IV, so I tried coming up with replacements. I realized the Keeper's Bright Idea would be a good fit for the Path, so I put that in Step IV along with Illusionary Image VI. This got me thinking about other Int/Wis/Cha-based skill benefits to use for Creativity I, representing those moments of inspiration; I've settled on a morale bonus equal to your Path Step on action die boosts to those skills. That strikes me as a balanced effect for the Step, going by comparison to Fortune Favors the Bold (which would be valid as a Step I benefit for a Path). FFtB gives +2 to all action die rolls, so it seems fair that a bonus that applies only to a limited subset of action die rolls can get higher than just +2.

Path of Perseverance: Curator's comment about Tranquility I's overlap with Discipline I got me thinking about the general idea of Step I overlap, and I realized my original formulation of Perseverance also had the same Step I. While I'm not hugely concerned with Step I overlap from a perspective of niche protection (as long as the rest of the Paths are substantially different, it doesn't bother me if one or two Steps are similar or even identical if that's what fits best for the concept), in the particular case of skill bonuses an overlap at Step I strikes me as something best avoided if at all possible. With access to two different Paths each offering +5 to the same skill at Step I, you can get +10 to that skill just by taking the Blessed feat and one level in Priest, which strikes me as pretty obviously unbalanced. Hence, I've changed around Perseverance so it no longer gives +5 Resolve at Step I; instead, I shifted Guts down to Perseverance I and filled its slot at Perseverance III with Iron Will (which was a feat I'd rather liked the concept of for this Path from the start but didn't make the cut originally). I also changed the Cure Wounds I in Perseverance II out for fearless I, since I still want the Path to at least help with Morale checks even if the general Resolve bonus is gone.

Path of Courage: Changed the Heroism II spell in Courage IV to immunity to frightened.

Path of Hope: Added the caveat that teammates must be able to see or hear you to benefit from Hope V.

Path of Influence: Changed the discount on Favors to 1 + your Step, per Morgenstern's suggestion.

Path of Leadership: Changed Leadership II to give Bless instead of +1 Cha, and Leadership IV to give The Extra Mile instead of Heroism II and more Cha.

Path of Tranquility: Changed Tranquility I to allow Calm as a full action and even when not in a peaceful location (ie, in combat), and put the extra Calm per day there as well. I'm a little iffy on the balance for this; I'm essentially treating it as a stress damage spin on the Bandage feat, but making Calm usable in combat is certainly a more drastic shift in your mechanics than Bandage's origin skill and not needing a doctor's bag. But on the other hand, healing stress damage is a lot more niche of a function, particularly since (as Curator noted) you can get the same benefit as a Calm check simply by spending an hour or two away from combat and other such stressful circumstances.
I wouldn't be too concerned with the balance of this if it were still at Tranquility III, but I need that slot cleared up to put in a roll-twice benefit for Resolve. I really think this Path needs a substantial Resolve benefit, since pretty much every use of Resolve except the Tire and Turn actions fits the idea of "calm, collected, and unperturbed" to a T; however, the simple +5 at Tranquility I isn't going to work due to the possibility of Path-stacking abuse as I mentioned with respect to Path of Perseverance. Hence, a roll-twice benefit later in the Path seems most appropriate. I usually prefer to put those benefits in the Step IV slot, but I really want to keep the enraged immunity and Soothing Presence trick in the Path, and I'm not sure they'd both still fit if I moved them out of Tranquility IV. But there is precedent for "roll twice for <skill>" being in Step III with the Monk's Path of Righteousness (which rolls twice for Sense Motive at Righteousness III), and I figure since the majority of the other stuff in the Path is focused on the somewhat niche role of mitigating stress damage I can get away with a somewhat beefier Tranquility III.


Hit me with your critiques on these changes!
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