Author Topic: Truly Massive, again  (Read 3881 times)

aegis

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Truly Massive, again
« on: September 20, 2012, 11:18:48 PM »
Yeah, I can't really get over Truly Massive. As I understand it, the main problem with this feat was about gear, mostly armors and weapons. So why not limiting it to Drakes? Since they're Beasts, they already can't use weapons!

Great Wurm
You've had centuries to grow and become one of the most terrifying beasts of the known world.
Prerequisites: Drake, Level 1 only
Benefit: Your Size increases to Huge (4x4) with a Reach of 2. You also gain thick hide 3 but you may not wear any other type of armor.
Special: When you gain this feat, you may reduce any of your attributes by 2 to gain an additional Species feat with the requirement "Level 1 only".

Dracosire
You have seen humanoid civilizations drift by and being carried away by the winds of time for millenia.
Prerequisites: Great Wurm, Level 1 only
Benefit: Your Size increases to Gargantuan (6x6) with a Reach of 3 and you gain 2 additional Interests. However, you suffer from burden of ages (see Fantasy Craft, page 13).
Special: When you gain this feat, you may reduce any of your attributes by 2 to gain an additional Species feat with the requirement "Level 1 only".

Alter Ego
After centuries of living among folks, you have learned to mingle with them.
Prerequisites: Great Wurm
Benefit: You may dedicate at least 1 hour of Downtime to adopt the shape of a typical member of 1 smaller humanoid species (your choice, made permanently when you gain this feat). You also need 1 hour of Downtime to change back. Otherwise, this ability is identical to the Dragonlord's dragonshape ability (see Adventure Companion, page 119). If you ever gain this ability later, you are entitled to adopt the shape of 2 different humanoids.

What do you think? Is it completely unbalanced? What would you change?  :)

ludomastro

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 11:34:32 PM »
I might use this for a certain type of campaign but my general reaction is to disallow it.  Why?  Because it stretches the ability to have a party all out of shape.  Large character make for some interesting stories but anything larger than Large and it gets really hard to tell a story that's believable, use pre-generated adventures, etc.

aegis

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 09:04:47 AM »
Absolutely, it's not made for any type of campaign. But in Sunchaser, for instance, I might want to play an actual, big, bad dragon.

The_Grand_User

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 10:17:21 AM »
Looks promising. They could also be quite suited for a Temeraire style setting/campaign (those dragons are *big*). Or any campaign where dragons of all sizes are integrated into society (which we play Sunchaser as, even if most are in the Black Peaks). You could have the dragon and the rest of the PCs be his crew, or a few dragons and some PCs be their captains, or all dragons and Personal Lieutenant/Followers crews, though maybe only for the dragons who want really good crew.

Probably should come up with some vehicle scale equipment for them, that's mostly for the benefit of companion PCs, to provide cover, and emplacements for small siege weapons ;) I'd also limit the armor to merely padded or leather, neither of which will overtake the Thick Hide 3, but still allows for some options. Don't want your airforce grounded in winter, now.

And if you're just doing a old school dungeon crawl, there's typically huge creatures in there, and sometimes gargantuan ones. They need some way in and out too, so the big PCs might as well do the same :P :)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 10:18:59 AM by The_Grand_User »
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ludomastro

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 12:50:42 AM »
Not a fan of "ye olde dungeon crawl" as it just doesn't suit my tastes.  But, I see your point.

Now, the idea that dragons have a crew is an interesting one but are you playing as the crew or the dragons?  If the former, why bother, the dragons become "holdings" if the later, what bother with the squishy meat sacks?  After all, you are nearly a god, why would you have these, ... mammals hanging off you?  ;)


Sletchman

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 02:28:46 AM »
Does Alter Ego seem a bit butch to anyone else?  I mean it pretty explicitly duplicates a gamebreaker and is only a second tier feat.  Sure it takes longer, but it was never a combat option anyway, so that isn't a real downside.

ludomastro

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 08:47:46 AM »
I'll second the specific concern with Alter Ego.

aegis

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 09:12:20 AM »
I agree with your concern. However, I don't see this particular gamebreaker as a real gamebreaker anyway. Even before the Adventure Companion came out, I hoped to see this one as a feat that would be accessible early on. Maybe in a more limited way, but still ... So, considering that I really don't want my dragon-like or drake PCs to have to wait Level 14 to be able to blend in with the party when necessary, what would you suggest?

ludomastro

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 09:44:34 AM »
However, I don't see this particular gamebreaker as a real gamebreaker anyway.  ...  So, considering that I really don't want my dragon-like or drake PCs to have to wait Level 14 to be able to blend in with the party when necessary, what would you suggest?

We now enter the realm of house rules.  If that is your goal, then you need an alternate gamebreaker for the drakes.  (Keeping in mind that shifting back and forth between Beast and Folk types is pretty powerful in most games since you can use weapons as needed, don't suffer reaction penalties, have hands, etc.  AND  can turn into a fire breathing "monster" when the orcs <INSERT BAD GUYS HERE> come over the hill.)


The_Grand_User

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2012, 10:27:28 AM »
I also don't really see it as a very good gamebreaker ability, at least when coming at it when you're already a drake. It's better if you're a non-drake though. If we go by the species creation guidelines, a drake shifting to a folk form has a net loss of species points while a folk shifting into a drake does have a net gain (beast (weapons use) -2pts vs. reach 2 1pt and flight 2~2.5pts ). If reviled was changed for both, then it'd at least be close enough to an equal change for both, but still not really worthy of a gamebreaker. It'd be better if the non-drake can become a drake and the drake could Hulk out; like a gamebreaker rage.

And as for the drake shifting into a folk form to use weapons... unless you're going to start at level 14 or higher, you're going to be hurting either as a drake taking all these weapon abilities you can't use, or not be as powerful in a folk form. Unless you're a caster or something else with a less weapons focus, I suppose, but that's even less of an issue than the previous non-issue. And with the feat version you really don't want to be caught in a fight as a folk, unless you do prepare a bit more.

So I agree with aegis that a feat version is more suited for a drake shifting to a folk form, and his can't be mistaken for anything else but a non-combat ability. I'd add on another feat that let's the drake shift back to being a drake a bit quicker, X number of times per Y.

I'd prefer to see some more specific forms of shapechanging handled by feats in general, in addition to spells, and a base class that's really good at it. Hopefully spellbound will have something that's better.

Now, the idea that dragons have a crew is an interesting one but are you playing as the crew or the dragons?  If the former, why bother, the dragons become "holdings" if the later, what bother with the squishy meat sacks?  After all, you are nearly a god, why would you have these, ... mammals hanging off you?  ;)

Ego boost and/or snacks, of course ;)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 10:30:32 AM by The_Grand_User »
I'm a programmer by trade, of course I like to tinker! :D

"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup

Drakes, the very best part about FC ^_^

I'm designing my own RPG, The Dual20 system! :D


tfwfh

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2012, 11:23:46 PM »
I agree that alter ego isn't a problem, per se.  It's a second tier feat and the only thing it does is remove the "Ahh! Monster!" reaction when walking into town.  Of course, I wouldn't ever take it, because overcoming that reaction is at least half the reason to play a drake in the first place, but that's not a reason for it to not exist.
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Sletchman

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2012, 07:20:25 AM »
I agree with your concern. However, I don't see this particular gamebreaker as a real gamebreaker anyway. Even before the Adventure Companion came out, I hoped to see this one as a feat that would be accessible early on. Maybe in a more limited way, but still ... So, considering that I really don't want my dragon-like or drake PCs to have to wait Level 14 to be able to blend in with the party when necessary, what would you suggest?

Honestly, I don't know.

While I like the ability, it is a pretty huge "hey, no downsides" option for anyone playing that race (and only that one specific race - I'm sure Giants/Ogres would like it too, but no soup for them).  As a Drake, I'd be hard pressed to pass it by, to be totally honest (and that's pretty much my yardstick for "too good" - if any build, any time, wants a given option).

The flipside is that it's something that is so hugely prevalent in source material - which means it absolutely needs to be represented somehow, and a 14th level ability isn't necessarily the be option right there.

So yeah, no solution I'm sorry to say.  I do agree with the common thinking that Dragon Lord 5 is kinda weak for Drakes (though the rest of the class, sans Draconic Legacy, is pretty good).  Maybe increasing the tier of this feat would solve it?  Like say it required The Gift + Great Wurm (with The Gift to represent magical talent, that is then specifically extended).  3rd Teir feats usually do some funky stuff, and this may be suitably funky.  Just an example, mind.

Mister Andersen

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 08:35:40 AM »
Yeah, I'm with you that 14th level is too late in the game to be introducing such a fundamental concept. That said, the basic concept of the Dragon Lord is probably the best way to address it

There was one thing that 3rd edition did well, and that was the idea of the racial special class that allowed you to bin the notion of level adjustment and introduce all the uber cool abilities of non-core races at a rate that allowed the player to level at the same time as everyone else. They were, in effect, massively abbreviated base classes that averaged around the 4 or 5 level mark

As someone who benefited from the concept during an Eberon game, I've always been disappointed that they've never been introduced into the Crafty toolkit.

So ideally, what you'd probably want to do is make up a 4 level base class -- core, A, B1, C1, D1 -- that would sit neatly in the space before expert classes kick in. If you want your drake to be able to assume humanoid form, you can, but it's going to take 4 dedicated class levels to pull it off, which means you'll be sacrificing every other class option available to you up to that point.

The_Grand_User

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Re: Truly Massive, again
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 09:44:33 AM »
Perhaps the shapeshifting should come in two feats. The first one let's you assume a humanoid drake form of medium size (removing beast type and large reach 2 and maybe winged flight but not reviled). You'd still be recognizable as you. The second tier feat would let you assume the form of another humanoid species (now removing reviled and definitely winged flight by this point). The third tier could let you do it faster perhaps. Scale Down  Basics/Mastery/Supremacy I call it ;D
I'm a programmer by trade, of course I like to tinker! :D

"I don't want to fight dragons." - Hiccup

Drakes, the very best part about FC ^_^

I'm designing my own RPG, The Dual20 system! :D