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Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

Tasoth posted:

Hahahahaha. John Wick writes fantasy 'MURIKA! but fucks it up because he doesn't keep notes. Why not base it off of a non-European culture and get some research in? Maybe have the culture focus on familial fidelity and the inherent selfishness of adventuring.

I was thinking that he should take their secularism and republicanism and just make them a Renaissance-era civilization. Magic ability is a rarity in humans because they don't live long to develop those skills, so they develop technology around that flaw and elevate themselves. Meanwhile, the elves and dwarves are stuck in something like a perpetual Iron Age because the ability to conjure almost anything through arcane or spiritual power has atrophied their innovation and ability to solve abstract problems.

Young Freud fucked around with this message at 17:00 on Dec 14, 2013


Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.

Grimey Drawer

Tasoth posted:

Hahahahaha. John Wick writes fantasy 'MURIKA! but fucks it up because he doesn't keep notes.

Oh good, I thought I was seeing things at first.

Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!

I'm quite impressed with Vornheim. I was surprised to discover that Zak's a actually good writer, because his posting certainly doesn't tell me that. Sure, it's a old-school-as-heck tons-of-random-tables disaster, but that's exactly what he wanted to write and as far as that genre goes this appears to be quite neat. It's very evocative.

Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
So clerics and Paladins draw power from inside the self, because the divine doesn't exist and they're all about self empowerment and improvement.

Yet druids exist completely unaltered.

Libertad! posted:

This is the only teamwork feat listed, but if there are others it would still be useless. Because Improved Teamwork effectively grants the character's teamwork feats as bonus feats to other party members. Human Tactics does the same thing, but on a limited duration. Maybe it's meant to be used for people not part of the party, although "party" is really broadly defined.
The way teamwork feats work is you get a bonus if you fulfill a criteria with a person who also has the feat. The human racial trait just lets you act like your entire party has the feat, it doesn't actually give it to them.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
I like how Wick uses "Philosopher King" in a way that's anathematic to the original concept. The original idea is that in Plato's ideal republic, you would be tested at young age, physically and mentally. If you rocked all the tests, you got to be part of the elite Philosopher Kings, you got 50 years of training to be an elite ruler of state, because that was the kind of training deemed necessary to lord over a land. To Plato, democracy was laughable, because he considered the lower classes incapable of making anything other than self-serving decisions.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 21:08 on Dec 14, 2013

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Kurieg posted:

So clerics and Paladins draw power from inside the self, because the divine doesn't exist and they're all about self empowerment and improvement.

Yet druids exist completely unaltered.

The way teamwork feats work is you get a bonus if you fulfill a criteria with a person who also has the feat. The human racial trait just lets you act like your entire party has the feat, it doesn't actually give it to them.

Yeah, I remember now. I'll go back and change that.

Tasoth posted:

Hahahahaha. John Wick writes fantasy 'MURIKA! but fucks it up because he doesn't keep notes. Why not base it off of a non-European culture and get some research in? Maybe have the culture focus on familial fidelity and the inherent selfishness of adventuring.

Concerned Ninja Citizen on Min-Max Boards suggested a similar thing.

In the meantime, one more review! This is is the one that started it all. I found a misleadingly labelled 3rd Party Pathfinder product, and conducted a pseudo-court session on Min-Max Boards to determine if it delivered on its promises. What it promised was a bunch of horrifically overpowered feats which should never be taken in a game:

The Precursor to the Review

So there's this 3rd-party product called 'The Genius Guide to Horrifically Overpowered Feats.'

Released as an April Fool's Joke, it's meant to be exactly what it says on the tin. But then I saw a few reviews, which mentioned that only a few feats were horrifically overpowered, and quite a few of them made for nice boost to the noncasters.

One review, however, said that aside from the more blatant ones, they were no more overpowered than what a well-built Core Wizard could do. And a lot of the feats are geared towards non-casters.

Okay, it's a joke product. But what makes this significant? Well, it's written by Owen KC Stevens, a dude who's done quite a bit of work with Wizards of the Coast and on the Pathfinder RPG. And it has this blurb:


In many ways, these feats are classic bad examples, doing exactly the sorts of things feats shouldn’t. If you ever design a feat you expect to work in a normal campaign and it looks a lot like one of these feats, that’s a clear sign you’ve done something wrong.

So if the feats aren't very powerful, and it's heavily geared towards martial characters, I can't help but wonder if it's reflective of the pro-caster bias which permeates Pathfinder. Even worse, it might just turn people off from genuinely Nice Things for Fighters if the fixes smack of 'overpoweredness.' But that's probably me taking things too seriously.

And it has a sequel product, too! And I got to see some actual feat descriptions in this one beyond a table!

Who knows, I might do a review when I buy the products! Let's see what I've got in the previews:

Animated Leap: You can make a long jump up to your movement rate without an Acrobatics check, or a high jump equal to 1/2 that. It has a feat tax of 2 bad feats (Acrobatic, Run), and you cannot change your route mid-jump.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Overland Flight still exists in Pathfinder.

Arcane Armor Lord: You ignore all arcane spell failure. Proficiency in Medium Armor, 11th level, and 2 feats (Arcane Armory Training & Mastery).

The verdict: Not overpowered. Very powerful, in that it can grant a nice AC bonus, but spell effects can grant miss chances, and its at a high enough level that a Sorcerer/Wizard can pull up stuff to negate attacks.

Backswing Attack: 3 times per day, as a free action, you can roll a new attack against a new opponent within reach if you miss the original opponent in melee. Pre-requisite of +6 BAB.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Very situational, slightly less useful than Great Cleave.

Libertad's Review of The Genius Guide to Horrifically Overpowered Feats, Because It Must Be Done


So basically the book opens up with a blurb of how these feats are not meant to be used in campaigns, for the sanity of players and Dungeon Masters. But it knows that those brave or foolish enough to implement them in Pathfinder games are going to ignore these warnings, so it lays out suggestions and general overview of [Horrifically Overpowered] feats.

Yes, you read that right, [Horrifically Overpowered] is its own type. Any feat marked as such can't ever be taken them as a bonus feat due to race or class; you can have a maximum of 1 Horrifically Overpowered Feat at 1st level, 2 at 3rd level, and an additional 1 every 3 levels thereafter. Keep in mind that the feat progression in Pathfinder is faster than normal 3.X, so you can't just unload all your feat slots on them.

And another (but no less important) reason for the new type is that in case anybody copies the feats as part of Open Game Content, interested parties can be properly warned ahead of time. This ends Owen Stephens' public service announcement.

The second type of feat descriptor is [Meta-Attack]. Basically, they're like Meta-Magic feats, but for normal weapon and natural attacks. They can be used a certain number of times per day, and most of them are activated as a swift or free actions. All such feats are also Horrifically Overpowered, and you can gain additional uses per day as you gain levels (1 additional use to be applied to the Meta-Attack feat of your choice at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter).

The Trial: For the purposes of this review, I'll be acting as judge, jury, and executioner. The accused party is Owen KC Stephens, and his crime is false advertising of overpowered feats. After each feat's description, I'll lay down the verdict as to whether the feat in question is Horrifically Overpowered. In the rare case I cannot decide one way or the other, I'll turn things over to the community to decide on my behalf. If you disagree with any of my conclusions, feel free to state your case. Edit: The trial is long over, but I'll be posting the statements of other Min-Maxers to give a more holistic view of how it proceeded.

And now that that's out of the way, here are the Feats:


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can simply refuse to be affected by a specific attack, spell, or ability.
Benefit: Once per day as a free action, you can decide to not be affected by a single attack, combat maneuver, spell, or effect. All its effects on you are immediately negated. This decision must be made as soon as you are aware of the effect you wish to negate. Only a single use of the effect is negated -- if you prevent an ancient red dragon from grappling you, that does not prevent it from making a new grapple check on its next attack. You may use this twice per day at 8th level, and one more time per day for every additional 8 levels you gain, to a maximum of six times per day at 40th level.

The verdict: Overpowered. It's pretty much a versatile way of avoiding negative effects and will save the PC's bacon quite a bit. But you must be aware of the effect occurring, and in some circumstances the enemy can repeat the action on its next turn.

Edit: StreamoftheSky pointed out in his post that a no-fail ability to nullify any attack can indeed be overpowered in its versatility, while Sor0 said that it's poorly worded enough to cause many headaches (especially in regards to territorial effects). Concerned Ninja Citizen pointed out the lack of duration and specifics and ignoring "effects" such as gravity.


Empowered Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can focus all your power and rage into an attack.
Benefit: Two times per day as a swift action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be an empowered attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. An empowered attack increases the damage it does by 50%.

The verdict: Not overpowered. This is a nice feat for chargers and damage-dealers, but given that straight hit point damage is not an overall effective forms of offense in Pathfinder, it's not going to get balls-to-the-wall crazy.


Enlarged Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can concentrate all your attention and will on the accuracy of one attack.
Benefit: Four times per day as a swift action, you may declare one weapon attack to be an enlarged attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. If the attack is with a ranged weapon, the range increment of the attack doubles. If the attack is with a melee weapon, you may throw it as a ranged thrown weapon (not taking the normal penalty for throwing a melee weapon) with a range increment of 30 feet.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Spells with Long range increments can still outpace archers with this feat (who can get about 220 feet increments with a composite longbow). And turning any melee weapon into a thrown weapon isn't that bad.


Eschew Foci
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You have no need for idols and mirrors to cast spells.
Prerequisite: Eschew Materials
Benefit: You do not need to fulfill the focus or divine focus components of spells in order to cast them.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Foci are pretty much reusable material components, and are not very expensive to purchase. Now, if it allowed you to ignore material components, then it would be Horrifically Overpowered.


Eschew Gestures
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You have no need to wiggle your fingers to cast spells.
Prerequisite: Still Spell
Benefit: You do not need to fulfill the somatic components of spells in order to cast them. You effectively treat all the spells you cast as if they had been cast using the Still Spell metamagic feat, but the spell’s level does not change, and no extra time is required to cast it.

The verdict: Depends. The best use I can think of is for gish builds, who can swing around a greataxe or dual-wield scimitars while casting spells without having to drop and sheathe weapons all the time. Plus it also has a feat tax of a feat you won't be using anymore.

However, it allows spellcasters to cast spells while hindered, restrained, and grappled, but spells still provoke an attack of opportunity. It can get overpowered if combined with Supernatural Spell Monster, which takes care of the AoO problem.


Eschew Incantations
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You have no need to speak to cast spells.
Prerequisite: Silent Spell
Benefit: You do not need to fulfill the verbal components of spells in order to cast them. You effectively treat all the spells you cast as if they had been cast using the Silent Spell metamagic feat, but the spell’s level does not change, and no extra time is required to cast it.

The verdict: Overpowered. Silence is no longer a poor man's Anti-Magic Field for enemy spellcasters, and it eliminates a big weakness of spellcasters.


Extended Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can drive an attack deep into a foe to insure the wound continues to tear and bleed, at least briefly.
Benefit: Three times per day as a swift action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be an extended attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. If the attack hits, the target suffers bleed damage at the beginning of its next round. For this bleed, roll the extended attack’s damage again, using the same modifiers as the original attack.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Since you have to declare it before the attack roll, there's a chance that you'll miss or roll low damage. It's pretty much a free second attack, but only on the next round. Very nice feat for martials.


Extra Lives
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are just hard to kill.
Benefit: Your character can come back from the dead, with no penalty, three times in its total career. This happens at the end of whatever encounter you died in, unless that would cause your character to immediately die again (such as if your body was dropped into a pool of lava). In that case, you return to life at some safe location within a week, at the GM’s discretion. If you think your character is likely to be raised quickly and easily, you may choose not to use this ability when you die, in which case it does not count against your three total uses of this feat.
Special: This feat can be taken more than once. (Although, really, you need to take Toughness if you’re dying that often. Or maybe Dodge. Or just stand closer to the cleric.) Each time you take it, the number of times your character may freely return from the dead increases by three.

The verdict: Not overpowered, especially at higher levels. Unlike other feats, it has a limited use, and becomes useless after 3 deaths. At low levels it can help increase PC survivability, and at high levels Save or Die effects are increasingly common. Given the way the feat works, 'death' is still a penalty as it takes you out of the game for 1 week. You'll still have to sit things out if the party's in a dungeon or doesn't have time to wait around for you to come back.

More to come soon!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 19:29 on Dec 14, 2013

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Part Two of the Review


Extra Meta-Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered]
Benefit: You gain additional uses of meta-attack feats. You gain two additional uses per day, plus one additional use for every meta-attack feat you have. This does not allow you to use meta-attack feats you have not taken, only to get extra uses for meta-attack feats you have. You may spend these extra uses on any meta-attack feat you have, as long as you do not exceed 2 + (total meta-attack feats) per day in additional uses of all your meta-attack feats.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Yeah, it grants a lot of additional uses, but keep in mind that you're spending one of your limited feat slots on it, further limited by the one per 3 levels schematic for Horrifically Overpowered feats. So if you're 12th level, and spent 5 of your 6 available feats on Extra Meta-Attack and other Meta-Attacks, you deserve to gain 6 additional uses spread out among them: your character's limited resources are built around being 'Meta." And I have yet to see any truly crazy Meta-Attacks so far to drive me into conniption fits.


[Horrifically Overpowered]
The universe likes you, and gives you gifts.
Benefit: For every HD you have, you may select one favored class benefit from any character class. This is in addition to favored class benefits you receive if you actually take a level in a favored class. For more information on favored class benefits, see the Advanced Player’s Guide.

The verdict: Not overpowered. I've seen the Favored Class Options in APG, and let me tell you, none of them are very impressive.


Full Casting Action
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can cast multiple spells as a fullround action, much like a warrior can make multiple attacks if his base attack bonus is high enough.
Prerequisite: Caster level 6.
Benefit: As a full-round action, you can cast two spells that have a casting time of 1 standard action or less. The first spell is cast normally, while the second spell uses a caster level 5 lower than your normal caster level, and the DC of any saving throw it requires is reduced by 2.

The verdict: Overpowered. More spells per round! If you can't think of ways to abuse this, you're not trying hard enough.


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are practically a member of two character classes, rather than just one.
Benefit: Select one character class. You gain all the class features (proficiencies and abilities listed in the “special” column of the class writeup) of that class other than spellcasting, as if half your total character level was your class level. (If you are 1st level, gain only the armor and weapon proficiencies of your selected class until you reach 2nd level.) If you actually have levels in the selected class, you gain class features as if your class level was equal to your actual class level plus one-half of all your other levels.

The verdict: It's not like Unearthed Arcana's gestalt, in that it only grants class features as opposed to HD, BAB, Saving Throws, and Skills. However, it's still overpowered in that can dramatically increase the power levels of PCs with a plethora of good abilities. Score some Bardic Music for your Paladin, Sneak Attack and Rogue Talents for your Ranger, or Wild Shape for your Barbarian!


Go First
[Horrifically Overpowered]
No one can more before you. No one.
Prerequisite: Improved Initiative.
Benefit: You go first in any initiative order. If there are multiple creatures present that have feats or abilities that state they each go first in any initiative order, those creatures roll initiative to see what order they go in, and all other creatures go after them (regardless of relative initiative check results).

The verdict: Going first is really important in combat, and can make the difference in battle. Imagine a spellcaster with this thing! Overpowered.


Greater Full Casting Action
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can cast up to 3 spells as a full-round action, much like a warrior can make multiple attacks if his base attack bonus is high enough.
Prerequisite: Caster level 11, Full Casting Action.
Benefit: This functions as Full Casting Action, except you can also cast a third spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less. The third spell uses a caster level 10 lower than your normal caster level, and the DC of any saving throw it requires is reduced by 5.

The verdict: In case you're unsatisfied with firing off 2 spells per turn, and need an even more Quadratic Wizard. Overpowered.


Healing Factor
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You have a mutant healing factor.
Benefit: You gain fast healing equal to 1/3 your HD (minimum fast healing 1).

The verdict: Unless you consider the 15-minute adventuring day an important aspect of D&D, this feat is not overpowered. It saves the Cleric and Wand of CLW user to use his resources on others during downtime, and the Fast Healing is not large enough to make a noticeable difference in combat.


Heighten Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can put more muscle behind an attack to make it more effective against thick-skinned foes.
Benefit: Four times per day as a swift action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be a heightened attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. The attack ignores a number of points of DR and/or hardness equal to your base attack bonus.

The verdict: Easy ways to bypass DR with weapon types? Check. Limited uses per day? Check. Still shown up by magic attacks? Check. Not overpowered by a long shot.

The evidence is starting to turn against you, Mr. Stephens. Your case can't afford another feat like this!


Heroic Grace
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are destined for greatness, and are thus unlikely to be petrified by a wandering monster.
Benefit: You may add your Int, Wis, or Cha bonus to all your saving throws, in addition to your normal ability modifier. This does not stack with the paladin’s divine grace class feature, or any other ability that adds your Int, Wis, or Cha to all your saving throws. (You are still allowed to add your Wisdom bonus to your Will saves, as normal.)

The verdict: Paladins have Divine Grace, so at first glance I was inclined to strike this down as Not Overpowered. But after some deliberation, I ruled otherwise. It doesn't require a 2-level dip in a non-fullcasting class. And high-level casters can easily pump their mental scores up to impressive levels. Since Saving Throws are very important to have at high levels, it's easy for a Cleric, Druid, or Wizard to bust his Saves off the RNG.

I feared I may have underestimated you, Stephens. I declare this feat Horrifically Overpowered.

I call for a 10-minute recess. Court is now adjourned!

Other posters:

SorO_Lost posted:

I disagree with one of your conclusions, so I should state my case?

"Horrifically-Overpowered" as a term doesn't do Greater Full Casting Action justice. Perhaps "Holy crap they printed this?!" might?

Ok seriously. I'm mostly in shock and awe at some of this stuff.
I can't believe they printed it and I'm glad you're taking the time to review it.

Garryl posted:

Does Pathfinder still have the rule that you can cast a spell with a CL lower than the CL you'd normally have at the level you get the spell? That would put a damper on the Full Casting Action feats, since you'd be restricted to using your lower level spells. Not enough to remove it from the OP category, but it's worth noting.

*Rummages through the stacks of legal documents.*

Ah, here it is!


A spell's power often depends on its caster level, which for most spellcasting characters is equal to her class level in the class she's using to cast the spell.

You can cast a spell at a lower caster level than normal, but the caster level you choose must be high enough for you to cast the spell in question, and all level-dependent features must be based on the same caster level.

In the event that a class feature or other special ability provides an adjustment to your caster level, that adjustment applies not only to effects based on caster level (such as range, duration, and damage dealt), but also to your caster level check to overcome your target's spell resistance and to the caster level used in dispel checks (both the dispel check and the Dc of the check).

The lowering of Caster Level in Pathfinder prevents a spellcaster from utilizing his full arsenal of spells with the feat.

Regardless, it is still a very useful feat for higher-level spellcasters to have. Imagine multiple Evard's Black Tentacles in the same round, or Acid Fog followed by Telekinesis!

I still regard it as an overpowered feat for the potential spell combos it can unleash.

StreamOfTheSky posted:

My thoughts so far...

Denied: Overpowered. It's wings of cover for the whole family. Negating anything at all 100% is broken. Also to nitpick... if it says free action but lacks the words “that you can use out of turn”.... does that mean the feat is technically useless?

Meta-Attacks: None are overpowered, and WTF having daily limits AND needing a swift? Why don't casters have to take it up the rear end like this?

Eschew Foci: Mildly broken. Some foci are fairly expensive. It has no price limit like eschew materials.

Eschew Gestures/Incantation: Broken. Removes significant caster weaknesses and helps make every caster a druid (natural spell, cast in any form).

Favored: WTF does this even do? The class specific ones advance class specific features. If you have no bard levels, does getting +1/2 level to one type of bard performance actually do anything? If this lets you double up on FC bonus for the class you're progressing, this is broken. Most FC boni suck, but some caster ones ROCK. Like bonus sorc spells known, or summoner getting +1/4 evo point.

Full-Casting Action: Possibly the most overpowered and broken feat I've ever seen.

Gestalt: Hmm...I think F-C Action still is holding the crown. Barely.

Go First: Ok, this one might possibly be more broken than F-C Action.

Greater F-C Action: WTF? Seriously guys, WTF?

Healing Factor: Overpowered at low levels, ok by 10th and on.

Heroic Grace: Super overpowered, a caster's wet dream, AND a slap in the face to the paladin class. A trifecta of douche-baggery! Well done, Owen!

Court is now in session!

Here we continue the trial of Owen KC Stephens, game designer and head of Super Genius Games. He produced for the reading public a book of feats, not a crime in and of itself. But, he promised us that these feats would be 'Horrifically Overpowered,' in such a way as to boost a character's effectiveness and overall power, enough that a single one would be enough to boost a Monster's Challenge Rating by 2! In his defense, he mentioned that an adversary's Challenge Rating is just a guideline, and that the feats do more than the official Pathfinder ones. But are we to believe that a single of these feats is equivalent to 2 class levels worth of hit dice, class features, and a new spell level in the case of casters?

The trial continues.


Hex Maven
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
Your hexes are much more persistent than most witches’.
Benefit: Your hexes which state they can only affect a specific target once per day, can instead affect the same target a number of times per day equal to your Int bonus.

I am sure that there any many hexes in multiple sourcebooks, but I've so far located 2 hexes which qualify for this feat: Flight and Life Giver. One grants Levitation, the other Resurrection without a material component.

The verdict: Normally I'd rate this one 'not overpowered.' But there might be hexes in Pathfinder source books beyond Ultimate Magic which can be quite powerful, so I'll reserve judgment until I find more hexes (if there are any). If no such hexes can be found, I'll rule this as 'not overpowered.'


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You’ve picked up a considerable amount of spellcasting above and beyond your normal training.
Benefit: Select one spellcasting character class. You can cast spells as a member of this class of a level equal to half your total hit dice. (If you are 1st level, you cast spells as a 1st level member of the class, but can only cast 0-level spells).
Special: This feat may be selected more than once. (Why not?) Its effects do not stack. (Get real.) Each time it is selected, you must choose a new spellcasting class in which you gain spellcasting ability.

The verdict: This feat's tag is accurate. Even a low-level Wizard or Cleric has many useful spells. Combined with another class, it can be quite effective indeed. And furthermore, it serves as a nice way to meet prestige class pre-requisites without multi-classing!


Master of Magic Items
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can use any magic item to its fullest.
Prerequisites: Use Magic Device as class skill.
Benefit: You can use any magic item, even if you would not normally be able to do so.

The verdict: The feat's wording is unclear. Does this mean that there is no need for Use Magic Device, and all uses are successful? Does it grant proficiency in all magic weapons? Does it allow one to ignore the negative effects of alignment-based weapons and similar restrictions?

I turn to the community to judge in my stead for this one!


Maximize Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
Once per day, you can give an attack your all.
Benefit: Once per day as a swift action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be a maximized attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. A maximized attack deals maximum damage.

The verdict: Not overpowered. For weapons, the modifiers after the damage dice matter more than the dice itself. Unlike fireballs and lightning bolts, the differences between minimums and maximums for longswords, battleaxes, and the like is miniscule (2-12 damage for a Medium greatsword).


Mental Paragon
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are the peak of mental perfection for your race.
Benefit: Your Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma are a base of 18 (before racial and level-based adjustments). If you take this feat at first level and roll for ability scores, you may only roll for your physical statistics. For example, if your campaign normally has new characters roll six times for ability scores, rolling 4d6 and take the best 3 each time, you are only allowed to do this three times (using the values for your Str, Dex, and Con). If you take this feat at 1st level and use a point-buy for ability scores, you get only half as many points (round up) to buy your physical ability scores.

The verdict: Overpowered. +4 skill points per level, +4 on related ability and skill checks, +4 on Will Saves, +4 on social skills, +4 on Save DCs for spells, and 4 additional beginning spells for a Wizard, and bonus spells per day. Combine this with a +2 mental stat bonus, and you're golden!

Granted, this is not as overpowered in point buy games with primary spellcasters who rely upon one stat (just buy an 18). But for dice rolling, it's great to have.


Offensive Combat Training
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You fight like a warrior-born.
Prerequisite: Defensive Combat Training
Benefit: Your base attack bonus is equal to your total hit dice.

The verdict: Not overpowered. At most, it can grant a +5 or +10 increase in accuracy at 20th level, and is very dip-friendly for martial builds. But it's not going to make a significant difference in your campaigns.


Physical Paragon
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are the peak of physical perfection for your race.
Benefit: Your Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are a base of 18 (before racial and level-based adjustments). If you take this feat at first level and roll for ability scores, you may only roll for your mental statistics. For example if your campaign normally has new characters roll six times for ability scores, rolling 4d6 and take the best 3 each time, you are only allowed to do this three times (using the values for your Int, Wis, and Cha). If you take this feat at 1st level and use a point-buy for ability scores, you get only half as many points (round up) to buy your mental ability scores.

The verdict: Overpowered, but not as much so as Mental Paragon. You're getting +4 on attack and damage rolls, +4 Fortitude and Reflex Saves, +4 hit points per level, +4 Armor Class, and +4 on related ability and skill checks. It's a definite boon when you're rolling dice for stats, and for MAD martial builds.

Keep in mind for the Paragon feats that it does not preclude the other from being taken, nor does it explicitly state that it must be taken at 1st level. It just changes the base abilities to 18.


Perfect Blow
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
You can make a perfect attack.
Benefit: Once per day you can choose to make a single attack a perfect strike. Rather than make an attack roll, you hit any AC equal to 20 + your attack bonus or less. The attack automatically threatens a critical. The attack hits even if the target has a defense that would normally cause the attack to be ineffectual or have a chance to be mistargeted, such as mirror image, displacement, concealment, invisibility, etherealness, or feats that allow an attack to be blocked or dodged. The attack bypasses any DR or other defense of the foe, but can be healed, recovered, or regenerated normally.

The verdict: Not overpowered. It is a very nice ability for martial characters, and can foil many kinds of magical defenses. However, one must still roll to confirm the critical threat. I'd definitely allow this in my games.

Part Four of the Review

Stephens was off to a bad start, but eventually he got back into the game with some truly, horrifically, overpowered feats such as Full-Cast Action, Magic-User, and Gestalt.

Will he be able to keep this up? We've got 11 feats to go!


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are practically a member of a specific prestige class.
Prerequisites: Character level 6, no levels in selected prestige class.
Benefit: Select one prestige class. You gain all the class features (proficiencies and abilities listed in the “special” column of the class writeup) of that prestige class other than spellcasting. Your effective level for the prestige class (to determine both what powers you receive, and any level-dependent effects of those powers) is one-half of (your HD -5), with a minimum of 1.

The verdict: At 20th level, you technically have 7.5 levels in a PrC. Since it can skip all the prerequisites, I can see this open to some terrific abuse. Overpowered.


Quicken Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
Once per day, you can make an attack faster than the eye can follow.
Benefit: Once per day as a free action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be a quickened attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. A quickened attack is a swift action. Targets within 30 feet of you are flatfooted against a quickened attack. If it is a ranged attack, it does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Grants a free Sneak Attack for the Rogue at most, and it can't be used in conjunction with other Meta-Attacks.


Silent Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can kill while silent as a shadow.
Benefit: Three times per day as a free action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be a silent attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. A silent attack does not end any Stealth you are using, does not count as an attack for the invisibility spell, and cannot be traced back to you with a Perception check.

The verdict: Really ups the power and potential of Rogues, but a high-level wizard with magic can avoid detection better. Not to mention that a Rogue can still be foiled by Blind-sight, True Seeing, and similar things.

I can see this as Overpowered, in that a well-built Rogue can remain effectively out of sight for the entire encounter. But it can only be used for one attack per use. I defer judgment to the community.

Edit: Not overpowered. Sor0_Lost and Concerned Ninja Citizen mentioned that it's limited use cuts down on its potential for abuse.


Skill Domination
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are an expert in a wide range of skills.
Benefit: All skills count as class skills for you. You can always make a skill check untrained.

The verdict: Not overpowered. In Pathfinder, a class skill grants a +3 bonus, and it doesn't make you any better at untrained skills.


Skill God
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are the best at one thing you do.
Benefit: Select one skill. Whenever you must make a check for this skill, you always act as if you had rolled a 20.
Special: This feat can be taken more than once. Its effects can’t logically stack, but if you can talk your GM into believing you should get to “roll 40” on a skill check, go ahead. The idea, however, is that each time you select it, it applies to a different skill.

The verdict: Depends upon the skill. Knowledge checks may not be so bad, but it's pure win for common skills such as Perception and Spellcraft (for things such as concentrating on a spell).


Spell Shifting
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can twist your spells into different spells.
Benefit: You have access to pattern spells. You have a number of pattern spells equal to your HD, to a maximum of two pattern spells per spell level. When you select a spell as a pattern spell it must be a spell of a class and level you are able to cast, and the choice cannot normally be changed. You are allowed to swap out one pattern spell for a new choice at every even level. How pattern spells work depends on how you cast spells. If you are a preparation spellcaster (such as the cleric, druid, and wizard), pattern spells are spells you can cast in place of a prepared spell of the same level or higher, in the same way a cleric can replace a prepared spell for a cure spell. Your pattern spells must be selected from spells you could prepare if you chose to (nearly any class spell for clerics, but limited to spells in your spellbook for wizards). If you are a spontaneous spellcaster (such as the bard and sorcerer), pattern spells are additional spells known, which you can cast once per day by using a spell slot of the same level or higher. If you ever gain one of your pattern spells as a spell known, you may replace it with a new pattern spell of the same level.

The verdict: Overpowered. You know how Clerics and Druids can spontaneously convert spells into Cures and Summons? Well, this feat can grant you up to 20 more! With the right selection, your spellcasters will never have to worry about preparing the wrong spells again!


Still Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can kill without moving.
Benefit: Three times per day as a free action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be a still attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. A still attack does not require for your arms to be free or that you move, and can be made while you are grappled or pinned (without requiring a grapple check to do so), held or paralyzed.

The verdict: Not overpowered, but it sounds totally awesome, so Stephens gets my respect for the idea if not the execution. Aside from getting paralyzed or grappled, there's not many opportunities that you'll get to use this.

Part Five: The Final Stretch

Of the 32 feats we've reviewed so far, I ruled that 16 of them are Not Overpowered, 11 as Overpowered, 2 varies in use, 3 left to the community's judgment 17 Not Overpowered, 12 Overpowered, 2 varies in use, 1 left to the community's judgment. Even if the last four are Overpowered, and the community judges the undecided feat as Overpowered, it would mean that only half of the Feats in this guide are indeed Overpowered.

StreamoftheSky pointed out that 100% negation can be overpowered, but the feat did not specify that it can be used out of turn, and so I changed it. I will do the Final Four write-ups soon.

Edit: Here they are!


Supernatural Spell Monster
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You’re not really a spellcaster, but you might be mistaken for one.
Benefit: Select one class you have levels in that casts spells. Though you must meet the casting time and all the prerequisites of those spells to use them, they do not count as spells. For rules purposes, they function as supernatural powers.

The verdict: Goodbye, pesky Attacks of Opportunity! Overpowered.


Ultimate Full Casting Action
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can cast up to 4 spells as a fullround action, much like a warrior can make multiple attacks if his base attack bonus is high enough.
Prerequisite: Caster level 16, Full Casting Action, Greater Full Casting Action.
Benefit: This functions as Greater Full Casting Action, except you can also cast a fourth spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less. The forth spell uses a caster level 15 lower than your normal caster level, and the DC of any saving throw it requires is reduced by 7.

The verdict: Overpowered like its predecessors.


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You are the sort of person who says “I would not be a bit surprised if the dragon is an illusion and we’re actually surrounded by invisible ninjas.” What’s more, you really aren’t a bit surprised when that turns out to be the case.
Prerequisite: Alertness.
Benefit: You are never surprised, and never flat-footed.

The verdict: Basically poor man's Foresight, except permanent and accessible at lower levels. You always act in the surprise round, and negate the offensive potential of many Rogues. I say that it's overpowered because it negates the Rogue's Sneak Attack in most circumstances, is a no-brainer for characters who boost their AC via mobility, and replicates the best features of a 9th-level spell.


Widen Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
A limited number of times per day, you can lay about you in a frenzy of blows to kill foes near and far.
Benefit: Three times per day as a swift action, you may declare one weapon attack, natural attack, or unarmed attack to be a widened attack. You must make this declaration prior to making your attack roll. A widened attack allows you to compare your attack roll to the AC of every foe in any four spaces (each adjacent to at least one other of the four spaces, and all within 1 space of an area you threaten). Each foe whose AC is exceeded by your attack roll takes damage from the attack.

The verdict: Basically Whirlwind Attack, sans the ridiculous number of prerequisites and limited in use. Not overpowered.

And the very last picture in this book before the credits and SRD is of a female ninja wielding a blade amid a swarm of cherry blossoms, her nipples poking through her skin-tight suit and sporting a faint case of camel-toe. I guess this fanservice is meant as a reward for reading through this thing.

Anyway, this brings our review to a close! 18 Not Overpowered, 15 Overpowered, 2 varies in use, and 1 still left to the community's judgment! The book's advertisement was 41% correct, but at three bucks I can't really complain.

Expect a review for the Guide to More Horrifically Overpowered Feats in due time.

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Min-Max Community Responses:

SorO_Lost posted:

Libertad posted:

StreamoftheSky pointed out that 100% negation can be overpowered, but the feat did not specify that it can be used out of turn, and so I changed it. I will do the Final Four write-ups soon.
Do you think it's because Free Actions can be used whenever you want to begin with?

Edit - It also places no limitation on Duration, only it's Single Use based, nor that is has to be used in response to right now either (in fact it suggests at any point).
You can wake up one day and decide Gravity is an "effect", gain immunity to it for the rest of your life.
Which is kind of a stupid example, but you get what I mean.

Edit 2 - Does PF have Tome of Battle? Like Feral Death Blow deals an additional 20d6 damage on a successful Save. Not saying it's some kind of Saving Grace to making those Feats OP, but there is more to it than a 2d6 being Maximized (it sounds like it applies to Sneak Attack too btw).

Edit 3 - Master of Magic Items, you can use any magic item to it's fullest...
Maybe it's a Colossal +5 Starburst Necromantic Ballast, maybe it's not. But you can use it.

Edit 4 - Deserves a note. I thought "Full-Attack" spellcasting and freebie Gestated was bad. Prestigious (Beholder Mage) with Supernatural Spell Monster. *shudders*

Still can't get over the fact this crap was compiled into and book and they charged you money to read it. DnDWiki is free and their both largely a joke, just saying.


Edit 1: I checked Free Actions in the Pathfinder SRD, and only Immediate Actions specified that they could be used out of turn.

Edit 2: No, Pathfinder has no Tome of Battle Equivalent.

Edit 3: So that's a "yes" to all my questions in the verdict?

Edit 4: Why do you view Full Action Casting and Gestalt as bad feats?

Just for readers, the last feat to be decided is:

Master of Magic Items

I ruled Hex Maven as Not Overpowered, but only because I saw no other 1st-party Hexes which can greatly benefit from this.

Concerned Ninja Citizen posted:

Silent Attack is fine. Nice effect but at 3/day it's not even one of the more powerful feats out there.

Denied: It does specify that the effect is only negated "for you" which leaves out the godawful Ironheart Surge loophole stuff like turning off the sun.

On the other hand, the lack of duration or any sort of specifics on what kind of effect you can negate and when you can negate it (and the use of the word "negate" even modified by the "for you" clause) opens up a new set of stupid tricks like negating falling damage and claiming that the "effect" of gravity no longer applies to you.

I'd say the 1/day use limit means its only overpowered because it's so badly written. Used as it seems to have been intended it is only moderately more powerful than IHS or Wings of Cover and both of those can be used multiple times per day.

On the whole it's reasonable to call it overpowered.

Master of Magic Items: Yeah, I have no loving clue what this is supposed to do either. At first glance I assumed it let you auto pass UMD checks but it's so ambiguous it could mean absolutely anything (or nothing) at all. I'd call this one "broken" in the sense that it doesn't work.

On the book in general, I think you were being a bit lenient with some of those feats. They weren't just billed as "overpowered" but as "horrifically overpowered." Even some of the ones that are legitimately overpowered are only moderately so. For feats that were written as jokes, I expect more.

I also suspect the MMB community could write their own guide to overpowered feats that was actually worthy of the name and let non casters get in on the fun.

After about 5 minutes contemplation, here's a stab:

Adaptive Fighting Style [Fighter, Horrifically Overpowered]
Your martial genius is such that you can change your approach to combat to fit the battle at hand.
Prerequisite: Fighter Level 6
Benefit: Once per encounter as a swift action you may replace any number of your [fighter] feats with other [fighter] feats for which you qualify. This effect lasts until the end of the encounter at which point you lose the benefit of the new feats and regain your original feats.

Does it need a "you may not replace prerequisites" clause or would feats you no longer qualify for just stop working?

Is this even overpowered?

I'd like to thank all responsible parties for helping me come to a decision for the remaining feats! Until I finish reviewing the 2nd book, my avatar will be changed to the coolest Judge of all: Judge Dredd!

Concerned Ninja Citizen posted:

I also suspect the MMB community could write their own guide to overpowered feats that was actually worthy of the name and let non casters get in on the fun.

After about 5 minutes contemplation, here's a stab:

Adaptive Fighting Style [Fighter, Horrifically Overpowered]
Your martial genius is such that you can change your approach to combat to fit the battle at hand.
Prerequisite: Fighter Level 6
Benefit: Once per encounter as a swift action you may replace any number of your [fighter] feats with other [fighter] feats for which you qualify. This effect lasts until the end of the encounter at which point you lose the benefit of the new feats and regain your original feats.

Does it need a "you may not replace prerequisites" clause or would feats you no longer qualify for just stop working?

Is this even overpowered?

It is overpowered if you allow the use of Fighter Feats from splatbooks. Otherwise it's not, because PHB Fighter bonus feats are just not very exciting.

Also, in Pathfinder, there are no [Fighter] feats. They're [Combat] feats, which the Fighter selects as bonus feats. It's to cut down on unnecessary clutter, and allows other classes to have bonus [Combat] feats without saying "take Fighter feats as bonus feats."

Kaelik posted:

1) Those stat changing ones are actually even more overpowered than you think, because I think you missed the biggest exploit:

It says that if you take it at level 1, you get half the PB for your physical stats. It doesn't specify that it must be taken at level 1.

Solution: Take it at level 2 (Pathfinder gives a feat at level 2 right?) or 3, in any game that starts higher than level 1.

32 PB for your Wizard becomes 18 Con, 18 Dex, 8 Str/Int/Wis/Cha, and then at level 2 or 3, you suddenly have 18s in every loving stat except Str at the low cost of a few skill points. (Remember, Pathfinder doesn't give 4 times as much at level 1, so you really are just missing out on 5 or 10 skill points, depending on whether Pathfinder gives a feat at level 2).

2) Master of Magic Items is pretty much poo poo. I mean, yeah, it is really unclear what it is supposed to do, but what it actually does is let you use magic items you wouldn't be able to. So... who loving cares.

I mean, it doesn't let you use Staves at higher CL than minimum, so it is basically just worse than having ranks in UMD. It is functionally identical to a +19 UMD bonus for wands, and a slightly higher one for scrolls, who cares.

Point buy is slightly different in PF. You can pull off 2 18s with Epic Fantasy, but you'd need to reduce the 4th 8 to a 7. Feats are gained at 3rd level and every odd-numbered level thereafter.

If the game starts at level 1, you'd be a dead weight for the party because you can't cast spells. Otherwise the exploit works.

And now a review of the Second Book!

Owen Stephens Strikes Again! Libertad's Review of the Guide to More Horrifically Overpowered Feats!

Last time we left off, we found that Owen Stephens' last work had many Overpowered Feats, but even more of the feats were not overpowered at all! Normally I'd rule him as GUILTY, but the Book wasn't completely deceptive. Let's see how his next work fares!

Upon glancing at the cover, I'm noticing a theme. Once again we're graced with the image of an Asian woman in skin-tight clothing with slightly visible nipples; the oversized sword is a new addition. In front of her, at the bottom of the frame, is a white-haired bishonen with an eye-patch and a gun in his left hand and streams of fire emanating forth from his right. And the strange, alien-looking old woman on the left makes a trio.

Being no stranger to Grognards.txt, I've noticed that accusations of 'overpowered' and 'Anime/Asian' often go hand-in-hand together (particularly among AD&D players). I do not have any hard evidence to prove that Stephens associates the two together, but I didn't survive this long in the Edition Wars to smell a rat.

We covered the first three feats in the OP, but I didn't copy-paste them. Now that I know I can do so safely, here they are in all their glory!


Animated Leap
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can make vast jumps, well beyond the range of normal mortals.
Prerequisites: Acrobatic, Run.
Benefit: You can move your entire movement in a round as one or more jumps without making Acrobatics checks. If you take an action that allows you to move farther than your normal movement rate (such as the run action), you may make this entire movement as a leap or series of leaps. Each leap must be straight, must end on a surface able to support you (though if you have Dandelion Tread, see below, that’s pretty much any surface), and takes you to an altitude equal to 1/3 of the distance jumped. The highest you can jump is equal to 50% of your normal movement rate. You must declare each leap in advance (indicating where you jump from and your planned destination), and cannot change your route if you discover an invisible wall of force in the way, or you suddenly expose yourself to fire from a column of archers with readied actions.

The verdict:Not overpowered. Seriously, what is up with people cringing in fear of people jumping far without spells? I mean, it's not like the Pathfinder designers tossed away Overland Flight! Two feat tax, all for some enhanced mobility.


Arcane Armor Lord
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
You are too skilled at casting in armor to be hindered by the limited range of motion armor leaves you.
Prerequisites: Arcane Armor Training, Arcane armor Mastery, Medium Armor Proficiency, caster level 11th.
Benefit: You ignore arcane spell failure.

The verdict: Like I said before, Not Overpowered.


Backswing Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
When your attacks bounce off a foe’s armor, you can use the momentum to backswing against another target.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: Three times per day, as a free action, when you make a weapon attack, unarmed attack, or natural weapon attack, and miss your target (but successfully hit the target’s touch AC), you may immediately reroll the attack as an attack against another target. This attack counts as the same attack for purposes of abilities that only work on a single attack roll, and the new target must be one you could have attacked instead of your original target.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Worse than Perfect Strike, and slightly worse than Great Cleave.


Brow Cut
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
You cut a foe’s brow causing blood from the wound to flow into its eyes.
Benefit: Once per round as a free action, when you hit and damage a foe with a slashing weapon, you cause the foe to be dazzled for one round, +1 round per 5 points of your base attack bonus. Any magic healing directed specifically at healing the wound bleeding into the target’s eyes ends this effect, though it does not also restore hit points.
Special: Characters with Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple may also take this feat, calling it Eye Gouge, and using it when they hit a foe with an unarmed attack.

The verdict: Look up the Dazzled Condition. Now tell me with a straight face that this is Horrifically Overpowered. Go ahead, make my day.


Channel Brightly
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can channel energy of an impressive intensity.
Prerequisite: Ability to channel energy, Improved Channel, Selective Channeling.
Benefit: when you channel energy, you may simultaneously heal all creatures you can heal with the ability, and harm all creatures you could harm with the ability. For example, Xasha is a 16th level cleric that channels positive energy with Alignment Channel (evil), Channel Brightly, Improved Channel, and Selective Channeling. When she channel energy, she can heal living creatures and harm undead and evil outsiders (using the same channeling dice for both), or heal living creatures and evil outsiders and harm undead.

The verdict: Not overpowered from the sounds of it. Hell, it sounds nigh-useless unless you're using channeling surrounded by enemy and ally Outsiders of the same alignment!


Cohort Familiar
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You have forged a bond with a much more powerful familiar than the norm.
Prerequisites: Improved Familiar, Leadership, ability to acquire a familiar.
Benefit: Your cohort (from the Leadership feat) becomes your familiar. It’s alignment does not change, but it is devotedly loyal and obedient to you, regardless of any difference in alignment. Cohort familiars otherwise use the rules for regular familiars, with two exceptions: if the creature’s type is something other than animal, its type does not change; and cohort familiars do not gain the ability to speak with other creatures of their kind (although many of them already have the ability to communicate). Your Leadership score does not take a penalty from having a familiar if it is a cohort familiar.

The verdict: Overpowered. Deliver a touch spell through your Barbarian familiar, and give him Improved Evasion early!


Combat Assault
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
You can increase your accuracy at the expense of your defense.
Prerequisite: Wis 13.
Benefit: You can choose to take a –1 penalty on your Armor Class to gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls and combat maneuver checks. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every +4 thereafter, the AC penalty increases by –1 and the attack bonus increases by +1. You can only choose to use this feat at the beginning of your turn, before moving or making any attacks. The effects of this feat last until the beginning of your next turn.

The verdict: I will not call it such here or there. I would not call it that anywhere. I will not do it while I eat, I will not compare it to Animated Leap, I will not call this a horrifically overpowered feat.


Combat Vigilance
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
You never let your guard down.
Prerequisites: Alertness or Combat Casting.
Benefit: Once per round, as a free action, when you take an action that normally provokes an attack of opportunity, you may decide to not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Special: This feat may be taken more than once. Each additional time you take it, add one to the number of times you can stand from prone (or whatever) without having an orc stab you for it.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Perhaps it might be in single combat, and if the opponent does not have Combat Reflexes. Otherwise it's nice, but not stellar.


Concussive Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
When you deal bludgeoning damage, you leave your foes reeling.
Benefit: Three times per day, as a swift action, when you make a weapon attack, unarmed attack, or natural weapon attack that deals bludgeoning damage, you may declare it to be a concussive attack. In addition to its normal damage, a concussive attack causes creatures that take damage from it to take a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for a number of rounds equal to 1, +1 per 5 points of your base attack bonus.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Isn't there like a bunch of ways to cause the shaken condition in opponents, which largely does the same thing? Could have some nice synergy with demoralizing opponents, though.

Part Two

It was a cold and dark rainy evening. I was recently called to investigate a disturbance in the Pathfinder District of Drive-Thru RPG. Place was full of interesting characters. Back in 2008, the mayor was making all sorts of lofty promises about how it would be a new 3rd City, that they would not repeat the mistakes of the past. But it never came to be; the neighborhood fell back into its old habits of spellcasters running wild and small-time publishers pushing broken, unplaytested products onto the streets.

Super Genius Games was one of the publisher gangs. To all outward appearances they came off as just another small fish joining an overcrowded pond, but they were gaining a lot of clout around town, too much for a group of their size and resources. Turns out they were getting marching orders from Owen "the Knife" Stephens, an associate of the notorious Paizo family. Prime32 cautioned against me pursuing them, called me a loose cannon like he always does, said to focus on the guppies instead of the sharks. But that's just not the kind of guy I am.


Dandelion Tread
[Horrifically Overpowered]
Your footsteps are so light you can stand on the slightest of structures, even a tiny flower.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Acrobatic Steps, Nimble Moves.
Benefit: You may move through difficult terrain as if it was not difficult terrain. You have a climb speed equal to your ground movement, and you can climb (or stand on) structures regardless of their ability to support your weight. As long as some object reaches a point you wish to go, you can run and stand there – even if it’s standing on water, walking across the tops of blades of grass, or walking down the sail of a ship.

The verdict: Not Overpowered. Feat tax of 2 bad feats. Spider Climb's a 1st level spell. Water Walk is a 3rd level spell. Up the Walls is a psionic feat which requires nothing but a 13 Wisdom. Overland Flight still exists. It's such a shame that Stephens views this as a feat not meant to be, because it's clearly cool and cinematic.


Elemental Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
When your attacks deal elemental damage, you can cause that damage to continue for 1 round.
Benefit: Four times per day as a swift action, when you make a weapon attack, unarmed attack, or natural weapon attack that deals acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage, you may declare it to be an elemental attack. If a creature is hit by an elemental attack, it takes acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage at the start of its next turn. This damage is equal to the acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic damage dealt by the elemental attack when it first hits.

The verdict: Not overpowered. The elemental damage of weapon enhancements are around 1d6-3d6 energy damage.

"ZOMG, 3d6 damage the next round on a successful hit?! Filthy weeaboo munchkin!"


Endless Cleave
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
Your weapon attacks are made in wide, lethal arcs.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Cleave, Cleaving Finish, Great Cleave, Improved Cleaving Finish, Power Attack, base attack bonus +9.
Benefit: Whenever you make a melee attack against a foe within reach, if you hit, you deal damage normally and can make an additional attack (using the same attack bonus as the initial attack) against a foe that is adjacent to the first and also within reach. This is considered a use of the Cleave, Finishing Cleave, Great Cleave, or Improved Finishing Cleave feat. Each time you make an attack that is not instigated by a “cleave” feat, you cannot hit any given foe more than once with additional cleaving attacks. Additionally, you no longer take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class until your next turn when you cleave.

The verdict: Not overpowered. It's not actually endless; read the Pathfinder version of Cleave, now the Cleaving Finish feats. Now read the benefit description carefully: the foe must be adjacent to the enemy you just hit. And you cannot hit a foe more than once with cleave attacks if one of your attacks against him is not triggered by a 'cleave' feat.

Yeah, a definite case of false advertising. I expected an infinite combo, 4th Edition Orcus-Slayer style!


Escape Is Impossible!
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
You can latch onto a foe and be dragged wherever it goes.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Dex 13.
Benefit: Whenever you hit a foe with a weapon that is flexible over 2/3 or more of its length -- including the bladed scarf, cat-o’-nine-tails, dwarven chain-flail, flying blade, flying talon, harpoon (if a rope is attached), net, scorpion whip, spiked chain, snag net, whip, and various Asian weapons; but not flails or heavy flails – as a swift action you may make a grapple check. This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the grapple check is successful, the foe is not grappled, but you wrap enough of your weapon around some part of the foe that wherever it goes, you are dragged along. You maintain a distance based on the length of your weapon (adjacent to the target for most weapons, 10 feet away for reach weapons, and a variable distance based on how much slack you leave in the case of weapons with greater length such as harpoons with ropes attached).

You gain the grappled condition as long as you hold onto your weapon, and must use at least one hand to maintain your grip (the GM may make exceptions for weapons with enough slack to tie the weapon around your waist). You may disengage your weapon from the target at any time, ending the grappled condition on yourself and ceasing your automatic movement with the target creature. If you are within range of the creature you may attack it with attacks you could make while grappled. The target cannot free itself from your weapon, but it does have options to make you let go. If the creature is able to move through areas with multiple obstacles you might hit (such as a dragon flying through rocky crags, or a giant running through a forest), it can attempt to slam you against these painful protrusions as a free action if it takes at least a move action. A flying foe makes a fly check, while a running foe makes a CMB check. In both cases, you make an opposed Acrobatics check. If the foe’s check exceeds yours, you take damage equal to the difference between the two checks.

The target can also attack you freely, attempt to sunder the weapon, or take other appropriate countermeasures such as turning insubstantial.

The verdict: I'm sorry, but this feat strikes me on a personal level, and I'm afraid that my judgment will be tinged with emotion. But here goes.


Many years ago, before the dawn of Let's Plays and when the Gamecube was a current-gen console, I was DMing a Shackled City game. The volcano erupted, engulfing the PC's home city in flames. A flying dragon known as Hookface terrorized the fleeing citizens, menacingly circling about the grand cathedral of Wee Jas. The Barbarian diligently climbed the scaffolding, rope and harpoon in hand, pressed against the cover of the building and waiting for the perfect opportunity: he'd latch onto the dragon, climb up to him, and start wailing at his scaly flesh with his trusty greataxe.

The party Wizard flew up to meet Hookface and tossed a Maximized Disintegrate spell at him. The dragon failed the save, and crumbled into dust to the city streets below.

This was my moment of revelation, the first inkling that not all classes were equal, that D&D was far from a balanced game. I would never look at things the same way again.

This is a great feat! With a good readied action and a respectable grapple modifier, a melee character can close in on a downed flying opponent and actually contribute to the battle against aerial adversaries. Even then, the enemy can still slam him against stuff to damage him, and it requires multiple Acrobatics rolls to avoid this complication.

Scratch that, this shouldn't even be a feat, it's something I expect all mid-high level characters can do.

Also notice the bolded entry under 'benefit.' The overpowered/Asian connection is looking less and less like a coincidence the further I delve into this PDF.


Flaying Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
When you deal slashing damage, you can painfully flay the flesh from your foes.
Benefit: Three times per day as a swift action, when you make a weapon attack, unarmed attack, or natural weapon attack that deals slashing damage, you may declare it to be a flaying attack. In addition to its normal damage, a flaying attack causes creatures that take damage from it to make a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 your base attack bonus + your Str or Dex bonus) or be dazed for one round.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Isn't it funny how all the martial feats which inflict status conditions on attacked foes are "horrifically overpowered," regardless of said status effect? The dazed condition is one of the more powerful ones, but it's not like spellcasters lost their Save or Suck abilities. At most, a character can "lock down" a single foe provided he continues hitting and the opponent keeps failing the save.


[Horrifically Overpowered]
Your appearance is so intimidating, just cracking your knuckles frightens people.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Dazzling Display.
Benefit: As a move action, you can make a display of your physique, pop your vertebrae by rolling your neck, or just put on your killing face. Make an Intimidate check to demoralize all foes within 60 feet who can see your display.

The verdict: Not overpowered. Feat Tax of 2 bad feats (Dazzling Display requires Weapon Focus) to do an AoE debuff. Unlike fear-based spells, it has unlimited uses, but a -2 on attacks, skills, and saves isn't as powerful as a lot of battlefield control spells.


Greater Alignment Channel
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can channel energy to heal or harm all those of a specific ethos.
Prerequisite: Ability to channel energy, Alignment Channel, Improved Channel.
Benefit: When you choose to channel energy to affect an alignment you have selected with the Alignment channel feat, you may heal or harm all creatures of that alignment (rather than just outsiders). If you choose to heal or harm creatures of the chosen alignment, your channel energy has no effect on other creatures. The amount of damage healed or dealt and the DC to halve the damage is otherwise unchanged.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat, it applies to a new alignment you have selected with the Alignment Channel feat. Whenever you channel energy, you must choose which type to effect.

The verdict: How is this overpowered? It's still a limited use for the Cleric, and it still tops out at 10d6 at 19th level. Congratulations, you can harm all creatures of Evil alignment with a Channel, or heal all creatures of Good alignment!


Imperial Spell
[Horrifically Overpowered, Metamagic]
Your magic can take command of the magic of others.
Benefit: You can cast a dispel magic, greater dispel magic, or disjunction spell as an Imperial Spell. When you use an imperial spell to counterspell a foe’s spell, you gain control of that spell. On the next round you may cast the spell you counterspelled without expending any spell slots of your own. You make all decisions regarding this spell (area, targets, and so on) and are considered the caster of the spell. If you do not cast the spell by the end of your next turn, it is lost.

An Imperial Spell takes a spell slot five levels higher than the spell’s actual level.

The verdict: Not overpowered. The funny part about this feat is that by RAW it can't be used with Greater Dispel or Disjunction. Even a normal Dispel Magic takes up an 8th-level slot with this feat, and Greater Dispelling is normally 5th or 6th level depending upon your class.


Mega-Magic Spell
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You know a few spells you have made horrifically overpowered.
Prerequisites: Two or more metamagic feats.
Benefit: Select one spell you can cast. Its level may not be higher than half the highest level spell you can cast. Select one or more metamagic feats you know. The total level adjustments of these metamagic feats cannot exceed the level of the spell you have selected. Whenever you cast the selected spell, you may choose to apply the selected metamagic feats without changing the spell’s level or casting time. You cannot also add other metamagic feats when you do this.

For example, Davor Runetusk is a 16th level half-orc wizard who knows fireball and has the Enlarge Spell and Maximize Spell feats. He takes Mega-Magic, and selects those two metamagic feats (with a total level adjustment of +4, half the level of the highest level spell he can cast – 8th), and fireball, allowing him to cast an Enlarged Maximized fireball as a 3rd level spell. If he decided to add another metamagic feat to the spell, he could not also apply the two feats he selected with Megamagic Spell for free (though he could add them with the normal increase in the fireball’s effective spell level).
Special: If your GM is crazy enough to let you take this feat once, there’s no reason not to let you take it multiple times. Its effects do not stack, though. Get real. Each time it is selected, it applies metamagic feats to a different spell known.

The verdict: Overpowered. Persistent Spell as we know it does not exist in Pathfinder, but this feat is still open to some horrific abuse.


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can modify how your supernatural and spell-like abilities work.
Benefit: You can use metanatural points to apply metamagic feats you know (or have access to through a rod) to your spelllike and supernatural abilities. You have a number of metanatural points per day equal to 3 + your Int, Wis, or Cha bonus. For every spell level higher than a spell’s normal level a metamagic feat uses, it takes one metanatural point to apply it to a spelllike or supernatural ability. You cannot use more metanatural points for a single use of an ability than 1/3 your hit dice.

The verdict: Overpowered. It's really easy to get a lot of metanatural points for a caster, and you don't need to know the metamagic feats in order to use them (just have a rod handy).


Oversized Fighting
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can swing a sword WAY too big for you.
Prerequisites: Str 19, Lunge, base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: You can use weapons one size too large for you without penalty, and those two sizes two large for you as if they were one size too large. Thus a Medium creature with this feat can use a Large longsword in one hand without penalty, or a Large two-handed sword in two hands, or a Huge longsword as a two-handed weapon with a -2 attack penalty.
Special: While you take no penalties from using oversized weapons, this feat cannot prevent you from looking ridiculous.

The verdict:

Wait a second, this is Monkey Grip. They think that Monkey Grip is Overpowered?!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 00:02 on Dec 15, 2013

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

StreamOfTheSky posted:

So, yeah, basically all the caster feats or feats more useful to them than mundanes are overpowered, and the mundane ones all suck. Shocking.

The hex feat is strictly better than Accursed Hex, which "only" gives you one re-try, only works if they save (sometimes, just being able to re-slumber someone that gets woken up before he dies is handy), and *must* be attempted the very next round or be forfeited. Since Accursed Hex is already a very strong / overpowered feat, I think one that is plainly better is thus overpowered, even if the differences aren't that wide.

No AoOs is hardly even close to the benefits that making spells Su brings. No components, can cast in grapples just fine, no SR, no concentration... Crazy broken.

StreamOfTheSky posted:

Libertad seems to have gone missing.

In unrelated news, there are reports of a series of bludgeoning attacks across the tri-state area by a crazed man with a cartoonishly over-sized plastic club, whom multiple sources have claimed was screaming “if I was just using Power Attack with a normal sized club, this would be FAR more dangerous!” Thus far, the victims have only been lightly wounded by these heinous attacks. The police are asking for anyone with information on this criminal to contact them.

*Shrug* Well, where ever he has gone off to, this trial must proceed, so I suppose I will fill in for him.


Penetrating Attack
[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
You can focus on an attack, making it more difficult for foes to ignore.
Benefit: Four times per day, as a swift action, when you make a weapon attack, unarmed attack, or natural weapon attack, you may declare it to be a penetrating attack. A penetrating attack ignores 10 points of hardness or DR on its target (even DR with no type).

The Verdict: “Penetrating Attack”? You need a feat for that? I guess this is where the “horrifically” part comes into play.

….Oh! The feat's not that at all, it's just a limited use no pre-req Greater Penetrating Strike! That's better, I guess.... Not overpowered.


Ready For Anything
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can be ready for any possible event.
Prerequisites: Alertness, Improved Initiative
Benefit: When you take the ready action, you do not need to specify in advance what event you are readying for, or what action you will take when that event occurs. Once you take a ready action, you simply have a partial action you may use to pre-empt any one thing you can perceive that occurs.

The Verdict: Probably not overpowered. Casters with familiars will have the feats for this anyway, and it could be occasionally useful for them.


[Horrifically Overpowered, Meta-Attack]
You can ram a spear through one foe, lifting him off the ground, and still stab it into another target.
Prerequisites: Str 19, Dex 13,
Benefit: Once per round, as a swift action, you may make a grapple check against a foe you have hit with a piercing reach weapon that has a solid haft (not a flexible reach weapon). This does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If successful, you ram several feet of your weapon through the foe and take a free 5-foot step to move into the foe’s space.

You are not considered grappled, and you cannot pin the foe.

Whenever you successfully attack another target, the impaled target takes damage equal to your weapon’s base damage dice (not including any ability score modifiers, magic properties, feats, or maneuvers). As long as you make at least one attack per round with the weapon, the impaled foe cannot free itself
from this grapple until you are disarmed or forced to drop your weapon. If you do not make an attack, the creature may attempt to free itself by making a grapple check as a full-round action (crawling along the haft and dropping off the end). You may have impaled at one time, a single creature of your size category, or two creatures one size smaller, or up to four creatures two or more sizes smaller.

The Verdict: You must attack with a reach weapon, but as part of the feat you 5 ft step into the foe's space. The space you are 10 ft away from because you just attacked with a freaking reach weapon! Lolwut? Has a size restriction for maintaining the impale, but none to initiate it. Not overpowered, poorly worded, but drat cool.


Splash Spell
[Horrifically Overpowered, Metamagic]
Your single-target spell splashes onto a second, adjacent target.
Prerequisites: Int, Wis, or Cha 13, Magical Aptitude.
Benefit: When a splash spell targets only a single creature, and either hits that creature (if an attack roll is required)- or the creature fails its save (if a save is allowed), the spell can also target a creature adjacent to the first target that is an appropriate target of the spell and within the spell’s range. The second target is affected as if it was the target of the spell. Splash Spell has no effect on spells that affect more than one target, or do not either require an attack roll or allow a saving throw. A splash spell takes up a spell slot 0 levels higher than the spell’s normal level.

The Verdict: Tough call, but I'm going to lean towards overpowered. A no-cost variant of twin spell or split ray that only works on foes lined up like stupid British riflemen. And has a feat tax.

Halinn posted:


I agree with the verdict, but I also have to point out how their example doesn't even work (metamagics are based on the level of the selected spell, not potential spells) and at the same time shows that they have no idea what is good for casters (seriously, fireball at level 16?!)

Final Part

Evening, folks. Don't mind the blood on my clothes, it's mostly my own. I just needed to work out my frustrations, and am in good mind to continue the review as long as nobody mentions *that feat.*


[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can grab a foe by the throat, and lift him off his feet.
Prerequisites: Str 19, Dex 13, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike.
Benefit: When you are grappling a single foe your size category or smaller, you may do so with only one arm and without gaining the grappled condition yourself. You cannot pin a foe you are grappling in this manner.

The verdict: Hooray, you can... have one arm free while grappling, and ignore the grappled condition. Wrong again Stephens, this ain't overpowered!


[Horrifically Overpowered]
When you have a foe by the throat, there’s not much they can do.
Prerequisites: Str 21, Dex 13, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike.
Benefit: You know how we said back in Strong-Arm you couldn’t pin a foe you were grappling using that feat? Well, now you can. Plus, foes you grapple cannot speak or complete somatic spell components until they escape the grapple.

The verdict: Hey, you can pin now with one arm free! And can shut down enemy spellcasters! Nice, but not overpowered.


Ultimate Combat
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
You are capable of delivering attacks against which there is no defense.
Prerequisite: Any Horrifically Overpowered feat, 4 or more levels in a class with a base attack bonus equal to its level.
Benefit: When you make an attack that misses, you may invoke Ultimate Combat as a free action. The attack hits. You may invoke Ultimate Combat a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Strength or Dex ability bonus (whichever is higher).

The verdict: Well, it would be overpowered at low levels, but there are things like True Strike which can boost up your attack bonus. Still not as good as Save or Suck spells, and it's limited uses per day. Not overpowered.


Ultimate Defense
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
You are capable of avoiding attacks that have you dead-to-rights.
Prerequisites: Any Horrifically Overpowered feat, class feature that adds a bonus to your armor class (such as a monk’s AC bonus or a duelist’s canny defense).
Benefit: When you are hit by an attack roll, you may invoke Ultimate Defense as a free action. The attack misses you. You may invoke Ultimate Combat a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Int, Wis, or Cha ability bonus (whichever is highest).

The verdict: Just like Denied from the first book, it's overpowered. Far better than any miss chance/concealment stuff.


Ultimate Magic
[Horrifically Overpowered]
You can cast spells that bypass all a foe’s defenses.
Prerequisite: Any Horrifically Overpowered feat, 4 or more levels in a class with a spell list that includes 9th level spells.
Benefit: When you cast a spell that has a duration greater than 1 round and a saving throw that negates it, and it is negated by a saving throw, spell resistance, or use of a feat, you may invoke Ultimate Magic as a free action. The target it is still affected by the spell, but only for 1 round. You may invoke Ultimate Magic a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Int, Wis, or Cha bonus (whichever is highest). This has no effect on creatures that ignore the effect of your spell for other reasons (such as not qualifying as a target or having enough energy resistance to avoid damage).

The verdict: Save or Lose spells are even better! Overpowered.


Vorpal Critical
[Combat, Horrifically Overpowered]
Your critical hits behead things. Even jabberwocks.
Prerequisites: Critical Focus, base attack bonus +19.
Benefit: When you score a critical hit with a slashing weapon, the weapon severs your opponent’s head (if it has one) from its body. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads. Most other creatures, however, die when their heads are cut off. Alternatively, if you wish, you may slice off some other extremity when you score a critical hit.

Additionally, all your attacks count as vorpal damage for purposes of bypassing DR (normally only relevant if you are facing a jabberwock, but if your GM lets you take this feat, obviously all bets are off).

The verdict: Vorpal property on all slashing weapons at 19th level ain't too impressive, folks. Not overpowered.

It's over, it's finally over. Now I can rest...

Oh wait, there's one more thing.

The designers noticed that several feats could not work when used against each other. Like using Ultimate Defense to make an attack miss, only for the opponent to use Ultimate Combat. Well, to resolve this, both parties roll a 1d20 + their level. Whoever scores higher wins, and all witnesses who do not have a Horrifically Overpowered feat are shaken for 1 round due to the sheer awesomeness on display. And failed attempts with a limited-use feat do not count against the total, so you've got another shot at things.

I hope you all enjoyed this thread as much as it made me suffer. But who knows, I may get around to reviewing other Feat books from Super Genius Games, like the Guide to Feats of Battle.


This product presents numerous feats balanced for any character, but designed to make a few popular concepts easier to play from an early level. This product also introduces a few feats that draw on a character's resistance to magic and supernatural forces, focusing their efforts in ways that grant them benefits but require them to have no caster level. These "feats of battle" give characters who eschew magic altogether a reward for doing so without resorting to creating a whole new kind of magic under a new name.

Uh-oh, subtle dig at Tome of Battle...


Finally, among many players there is a perceived imbalance between high-level spellcasting characters, and high-level characters that lack any magic talent. While this point is debatable (and is debated hotly among many fans), it’s safe to say that for some play styles a lack of magic becomes a drawback at mid and high levels. Thus this product introduces a few feats that draw on a character’s resistance to magic and supernatural forces, focusing their efforts in ways that grant them benefits but require them to have no caster level. These “feats of battle” give characters who eschew magic altogether a reward for doing so without resorting to creating a whole new kind of magic under a new name.

Oh, so close but no cigar! Stephens realizes that this is a big problem in 3.X games, but he's weighing his words carefully to avoid upsetting the zealots who insist that "Pathfinder fixed everything!"

Tempting as it is, I don't know if I have it in me to buy this new Guide anytime soon. Someone else will have to pick up the torch if I don't.

Special Thanks: Streamofthesky for challening mistaken rulings and helping me through my darkest moments;

Sor0_Lost, Prime32, Kaelik, Concerned Ninja Citizen, ImperatorK, Bozwevial, and Halinn for giving their insight on the workings of these feats and comparing them to existing [non-overpowered] ones;

everybody who took the time to read this thread.

Wow, the 2nd Guide has an even worse track record than the 1st! 24 feats not overpowered, and only 6 overpowered!

Owen KC Stephens, we the court find you guilty of selling underpowered, average, and slightly good feats as Horrifically Overpowered to the gaming public. Your penalty: you must give up your title of "Wide-Girthed God of d20 Rules Crunch," which shall be taken by a worthier candidate if one shows up. Edit: Title has been already claimed by Agita of the Min-Max Boards.

Concerned Ninja Citizen posted:

There has got to be some kind of mysterious biological imperative that we are unfamiliar with that causes people to think Monkey Grip is broken. Seriously, people have been complaining about how overpowered that feat is (and more intelligent people have been telling them to stfu, go read power attack, and learn to math) since the drat thing was first printed.

Maybe it's the innate draw of the ability to wave an EVEN BIGGER phallic symbol than everyone else gets to wave...

Keldar posted:

It still boggles my mind that game designers can't see how broad the disparity of ability between casters and [Mooks] is and continue to widen it. Even when trying to do comedy! :twitch

I think that the comedy might be geared towards a certain kind of Pathfinder player: the fanbase has a lot of people who believe that the game fixed most of 3.X's problems regarding class balance, and fiercely argued against 19th level Fighters getting DR 10/- because it's "overpowered."

It's not meant to be our kind of humor.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 20:05 on Dec 14, 2013

Dec 13, 2011
Y'know, if Wick had the opening chapter in his Reign of Man be told from a senatorial chronicler and then the following ones told from street level and showed that the whole thing is rife with doublethink and lies, he could have something there. Instead of overt worship of gods, the senate are high priests to a god of economy, greed and expansion while all the bureaucratic red tape and kafkaesque antics are actually weeks long rituals to placate the god. Throw in a opportunistic war god that is feeding off military conquests that are being covered up, and you have something really interesting brewing.

Dec 19, 2012

Kurieg posted:

So clerics and Paladins draw power from inside the self, because the divine doesn't exist and they're all about self empowerment and improvement.

Yet druids exist completely unaltered.

The way teamwork feats work is you get a bonus if you fulfill a criteria with a person who also has the feat. The human racial trait just lets you act like your entire party has the feat, it doesn't actually give it to them.

On the note of Teamwork feats, isn't that the same trick Inquisitors get at 2nd or 3rd level? Also, if there's no divines, what is the Inquisitor parallel? An ardent atheist?

Red Metal
Oct 23, 2012

Let me tell you about Homestuck

Fun Shoe

Libertad! posted:

Combat Assault

I particularly find this one funny since it is literally a Rage Power.

Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20

Xelkelvos posted:

On the note of Teamwork feats, isn't that the same trick Inquisitors get at 2nd or 3rd level? Also, if there's no divines, what is the Inquisitor parallel? An ardent atheist?

Inquisitors get it at 3rd level, and one of the paladin archetypes can just give everyone one of the teamwork feats he knows.

But Wick-humans can't be Inquisitors anyway


They can be any class in the Core Rulebook except Cleric and Paladins (because they don't worship gods) or the Monk. I'm confused about this last ban, as the class is all about self-improvement and discipline. They can't be any of the Advanced Player's Guide classes except for the Cavalier. There are no explanations for these restrictions, either.

Oct 23, 2013


What the hell is up with the squiggle over the E in the logo? I just noticed it and it makes it look like the title is spelled Numenéra.

Chapter 8: Rules of the Game

For reference, here's the post where I went over a lot of the basic rules. This chapter covers a lot of the same ground, just more in depth, so I'll be skipping a lot of stuff. Excuse me if I repeat stuff or skip something important; just ask and I'll go into more detail, if you really want to read more words about the Cypher system.

Oh, yeah, and this chapter is pretty sparse on art and I don't want to grab too much stuff from future chapters, so I'll be throwing in some other stuff that's sort of appropriate.

How You Play Numenera

There is a handy-dandy step-by-step chart at the beginning of the chapter to break it down for you.


1. The player tells the GM what she wants to do. This is a character action.

2. The GM determines if that action is routine (and therefore works without needing a roll) or if there’s a chance of failure.

3. If there is a chance of failure, the GM determines which stat the task uses (Might, Speed, or Intellect) and the task’s difficulty—how hard it will be on a scale from 1 (really easy) to 10 (basically impossible).

4. The player and the GM determine if anything about her character—such as training, equipment, special abilities, or various actions—can modify the difficulty up or down by one or more steps. If these modifications reduce the difficulty to less than 1, the action is routine (and therefore works with no roll needed).

5. If the action still isn’t routine, the GM uses its difficulty to determine the target number—how high the player must roll to succeed at the action (see the Task Difficulty Chart, page 87). The GM doesn’t have to tell the player what the target number is, but he can give her a hint, especially if her character would reasonably know if the action was easy, average, difficult, or impossible.

6. The player rolls a d20. If she rolls equal to or higher than the target number, her character succeeds.

That’s it. That’s how to do anything, whether it’s identifying a strange device, calming a raging drunk, climbing a treacherous cliff, or battling a savage cragworm. Even if you ignored all the other rules, you could still play Numenera with just this information. The key features here are: character actions, determining task difficulty, and determining modifications.

I just highlighted the gobsmackingly stupid part so you didn't have to search for it. Remember, Numenera is a game where resource management plays a big part; your pools are the main way you can alter the difficulty of rolls. You are expected to do so without knowing the difficulty of the roll. You can blow your points on a completely worthless roll or you can fail to spend points on a roll that might be literally impossible for you to succeed at otherwise.


Task Difficulty and Rolling

The Numenera difficulty chart! Never gonna get tired of that 50/50 thing.

The most important thing a GM does is determine the difficulty of tasks. These are objective in relation to the players, so that cybergoblin will always be level 1. I would call this simulationism, but Ron Edwards would probably smack me. We kind of need a word for this. Anyway, as said before, most modifiers shift the difficulty of the roll, not the result itself. This has two consequences, according to Cook.

Quoth the Cook posted:

1. Low target numbers such as 3 or 6, which would be boring in most games that use a d20, are not boring in Numenera. For example, if you need to roll a 6 or higher, you still have a 25% chance to fail.

Oh, wow. :allears:

I also think it's more than a little telling that the only point of reference Cook has for whether or not his system is "boring" are games that use d20s.

The other one is just a long-winded restatement of "you can't roll a 21 on a d20", so we'll skip quotation.

Alright, so after you've gotten your empirically determined target number, you roll your die. Now, you do have static numbers that can add to your rolls, but only in increments of +1 or +2. If you get a +3, it turns into an asset, reducing the difficulty of


Can you smell what Monte's Cooking? posted:

The important thing to remember is that a skill can reduce the difficulty by no more than two steps, and assets can reduce the difficulty by no more than two steps, regardless of the situation. Thus, no task’s difficulty will ever be reduced more than four steps without using Effort.

So if you already have two assets, you can screw yourself out of a bonus by adding more bonuses. That's just plain sloppy game design.

Special Rolls

If you roll 1 or 17-20, something bad/good happens! A 1 means the GM gets to intrude gently caress you over and you don't even get the common courtesy of an XP. A 17 or 18 just deals a bit of damage, and a 19 or 20 means you get a minor or major effect. Or you can be boring and just deal more damage. Rolling a 20 also means you get back all of the points you spent on that action.

Minor and major effects are pretty boring. Knockdowns, disarms, not exactly exciting stuff. There is a called shot option which briefly perked my interest, but the system is entirely "bullshit it".

There is, however, one thing I like in the rules. Both the player and the GM have to agree on the effect. I mean, it's small, but I'll take what I can get at this point.


If you want to retry an action, you have to apply a level of Effort to do it. The GM can always rule that you can't retry it. Why do you have to do this?

Too many Cooks in the kitchen posted:

This rule doesn’t apply to something like attacking a foe in combat because combat is always changing and fluid. Each round’s situation is new, not a repeat of a previous situation, so a missed attack can’t be retried.

Cook, one of the main thing holding your system back is that you want it to be a storygame, but you don't seem to understand what a storygame is. You don't need a "realistic" justification for your rules, just a narrative one. The proper justification for making people spend some points on retrying an action is that retries are boring as hell and tie up the game and narrative. People in stories generally don't try the same thing over and over again. They either succeed or fail and find another way around the problem.

Speaking of which, one of the other things holding your system back is that you get lost in the rules for the sake of rules. In the context of exploration (which you have repeatedly reminded me this game is about), retries are really boring. If you can't pick the lock on the door on the first try, you should encourage people to find an alternate way, and tell GMs to keep this in mind. The rogue picking the lock on a door twice in a row is boring, the rogue trying, failing, and then having the barbarian just smash it open with his hammer is way more entertaining. Don't be afraid to say "no, you can't do this".

Love, Tulul

Initial Cost

Sometimes there's an initial cost to making a roll. You might have to spend a couple of Might points to pry open a door, for example.

When do you apply this and how much? gently caress if I know. It's never explained and there are absolutely no guidelines beyond that you should do it when a roll is particularly difficult. Which is, you know, easily accomplished by the most basic mechanic in the game, raising the difficulty of a roll. Why does this rule exist?


Days are 28 hours long and years have 312 days, because the Earth's rotation has slowed down. This is mildly confusing because it is never mentioned until here, while a lot of things refer to "28 hours" before this. Not a giant complaint, but it could have been thrown in on one of the huge-rear end sidebars somewhere back in the character section.

It also explains that you can generally assume that one minute durations will last the length of an encounter and ten minute durations will last you the length of a short exploration or similar, in which case you don't need to track precise durations. Decent enough, although I think I prefer the inverse model of having durations expressed in in-game terms and giving times if you really need them.


Numenera uses group initiative for the NPCs; players roll to see whether they go before or after the NPCs. As with all rolls, you just roll against the creature's level as a Speed task. Otherwise, initiative among the players doesn't matter. An alternate rule is also suggested where if one of the PCs manages to succeed, then every PC goes before the NPCs. Initiative! You have read it.


What does. Everyone gets one round an action. You can also move an immediate distance as part of your action. Now, this is all fine, but, well:

The Count of Monte Cooksto posted:

Opening a door and attacking an abhuman on the other side are two actions. It’s more a matter of focus than time. Drawing your sword and attacking a foe is all one action. Putting away your bow and pushing a heavy bookcase to block a door are two actions because each requires a different train of thought.

Foot, mouth. You don't need a justification for your simple action scheme and putting in something really stupid is way worse than putting in nothing. Actually, on a second thought, if you have a dumb justification for your rule, you should probably go over that rule again. Why can't I open a door and take a swing at someone in five to ten seconds, again?

Next is... ugh. The most poorly laid-out section of the book, as it happens. This is the best natural stopping point, so I'm going to cut this short.

Next Time: More rules! Joy.

Tulul fucked around with this message at 06:41 on Dec 15, 2013

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

Tasoth posted:

Y'know, if Wick had the opening chapter in his Reign of Man be told from a senatorial chronicler and then the following ones told from street level and showed that the whole thing is rife with doublethink and lies, he could have something there. Instead of overt worship of gods, the senate are high priests to a god of economy, greed and expansion while all the bureaucratic red tape and kafkaesque antics are actually weeks long rituals to placate the god. Throw in a opportunistic war god that is feeding off military conquests that are being covered up, and you have something really interesting brewing.
The biggest problem I have with Wick's vision is that Greg Stolze already did what he's trying to do in Reign in the form of the Uldish and and Ussient tribes, two cultures that exalt personal achievement at the expense of spirituality and social welfare. Both societies are much more plausible than Wick's Randfolk, and one of them lives in giant trees in the "beard" of a giant-shaped continent.

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Sorry for the delay, folks, my main computer broke down with a lot of my material on it (that'll teach me not to frequently backup!). I'm currently using an older, inferior computer for the time being, but I still managed to crank out another part of the review. Enjoy!

Dragonlance Campaign Setting Five Six: The Dragonlance Campaign

This chapter is dedicated to helping the DM bring out the unique themes of Dragonlance into their game, from variant rules to a timeline of Krynn's history to tips of story-building.

The Laws of Krynn

The first part talks about the 3 major laws of Krynn, each held by one of the moral alignments: "Good Redeems Its Own," where the champions of Good seek to redeeming and recall the lost, that everyone is potentially worthy of salvation, even the wicked. It also mentions that one of the dangers of being good is arrogance, and that such folk can potentially fall into darkness. This stands in contradiction, actually, with some setting material, as the Kingpriest of Istar was never evil-aligned, nor are the Silvanesti.

Second law, Evil Feeds on Itself." Chaotic Evil people care only for themselves, no loyalty or care for anyone else. They feed off of one another for selfish ambition. Lawful Evil people adhere to a hierarchal system where they believe that Nature rewards the strong who dominate the weak. They have strict laws which dictate how people ought to live, and those who break said laws must be punished to serve as an example to others. Lawful Evil feeds off of itself in a cyclical pattern of obedience and punishment.

The third law, "Both Good and Evil Must Exist in Contrast," that of Neutrality. Basically it is a combination of the common Neutrality interpretations: the belief that light and darkness together bring meaning to the universe and that both sides predominating can be bad. And those who examine all laws and causes carefully and tend to think of their own selves and friends and family first, but aren't wickedly selfish and mean.

Given that alignment is a thorny issue in and of itself, Dragonlance's morality system is subject to a lot of arguing and consternation. Especially regarding the Balance. How does having more evil in the world be an overall benefit? Or too much "Good" being a bad thing?

Well, remember what I said about the Silvanesti Elves, the Istaran Empire, and good's arrogance? Yeah, well turns out being of Good alignment in Dragonlance means that you can be one nasty SOB. It's implied that such examples of "Good" in the book series are that way because of this, and not in spite of this. Slavery, blatant racism, stereotypical religious zealotry? All done by both the forces of Good and Evil in Dragonlance at various points in time. In a weird way, Neurality's stance makes sense, but only by making "Good" no really good, if you get my drift.

Flavor and Tone

We get a broad brush of Dragonlance's themes here. Basically, epic fantasy. Dragons are not mere monsters who skulk in caves, but guide the fate of nations indirectly and choose sides in legendary battles. Most humanoids of Krynn have a sense of greatness beyond their own individual lives: the elves have a great legacy and must struggle with the loss of their homelands; the draconians are now a free people with their own nation, free to make their own destiny; the dwarves re-conciliate old traditions with a changing world beyond their mountain homes. And lastly, the PCs should become embroiled in the fate of nations and embroiled in the gods' affairs, especially at higher levels. A sense of grandness permeates Dragonlance and its people.

Fallen Nations & Ruined Cities

Weis and Hickman decided to work out much of the setting's history ahead of time before penning the first adventure, to give the campaign a "lived-in" sense and to make dungeon crawls a more exciting affair. Foreboding tombs of kings both great and terrible and the ruins of civilizations past are the dungeons of Dragonlance; in addition to monsters to defeat and treasure to acquire, the dungeon's history is written in its broken tablets and decaying homes. Shards of the past might hold great secrets to help propel adventurers in their quest. It advises to reveal information of the dungeon beyond just Knowledge checks, to show it in the tapestries in the boxed text, the legends written in the books of its library, and in its ancient relics.

Afterwards we get a list of known ruins of Ansalon. The more interesting ones include the corrupted Tower of High Sorcery of Palanthas (in the above picture), the Anvil of Time (home to a magical forge which simultaneously exists in all of Krynn's Ages), the underwater ruins of Istar's capital (home to many of its lost glories and now inhabited by sea elves), the magical fortress of Skullcap (home to the evil archwizard Fistandantalus which was partially consumed in a magical blast in the Dwarfgate Wars), and Xak Tsaroth (an old city of Istar present in the first Dragonlance adventure, from there the Heroes discovered the Disks of Mishakal and brought knowledge of the Gods back to the world).

Gods and their Champions

This section talks about how the Gods of Krynn keep a vested interest in the affairs of mortals. Their avatars take the disguises of simple folk, bringing indirect advice to people they believe can help further their interests. Still, the deities do not directly control mortals so much as influence them, by appealing to their better or baser natures. It advises that a god who takes an interest in the PC's affairs to be a rare, unique, and special event, but not to make it overt. Rather sprinkle clues in repeat visitations that the NPC might have more to them than meets the eye. A fighter guarding a pass might be Kiri-Jolith in disguise, challenging those who wish to pass to a non-lethal duel. PCs who react honorably and with grace might find themselves on the path of a Solamnic Knight.

Heroes of Mundane Origin

Most heroes in a Dragonlance campaign are not necessarily born and bred to the role. They often stem from humble origins only to find themselves thrust into some greater fate. They might start out as a blacksmith who must take up arms to defend his village from the Dragonarmies, or a traveling knight might embark to search for signs of the Gods with his childhood friends. They become legends through experience, often starting out with a simple and well-intentioned goal which is the further basis for heroism. That blacksmith might go on to learn the secrets of forging the Dragonlance for the forces of Good, and that knight's example in a climatic battle might bring honor back to his order.

Companions & Friends

The following section recommends that PC groups should be friends and know each other, both to create a shared group history and incentive to adventure together, and for character development. Even the best of friends may not get along, and the hard life of an epic quest can strain these bonds. Childhood friends know that they won't abandon each other in a forlorn dungeon, and a slight or wrong against the individual can earn the enmity of the entire group.

Unfortunately beyond these examples there is little information or advice on how one can practice collaborative character-building. It's often done in other RPG systems, but D&D is prone to having people design characters in a vacuum or by the roles of class. A sample selection of questions, like "how did PC 1 meet PC 2?" or "what secret did PC 2 share with PC 3?" would be a good way of doing this.

Secrets and Shadows of the Past

This section advises that DMs should hand out artifacts and magical items with a great history, especially if it ties into a PC's lineage. Not only does this add interesting dimensions to a character's backstory and ties them to the world of Krynn, it adds some spice to otherwise bland magic items. It suggests not making all of the item's powers known, instead having them be activated or accessed through study, completing a great trial, etc.

Campaign Crafting and Adventure Design

Below is a selection of advice for DMs running a Dragonlance Game:

Memorable Villains: When creating a villain, make sure that they have good reasons for doing what they're doing. Nobody decides one day to become evil, it is usually a series of events or upbringing which pushes them into it. Also, Lawful Evil villains are more interesting because they're orderly and efficient, and tend to be zealots with overarching visions. Chaotic Evil villains, by contrast, are simple, reckless, and stupid. This is the book speaking, not me. While this may sound biased, 3rd Edition's definition of Chaotic Evil isn't very kind, either, going the Stupid Evil route as well.

The section also recommends giving villains complex personalities and redeeming qualities, as well as a backstory which the PCs might be able to discover and solve over time. It also says that evil people don't necessarily see themselves as being evil (despite there being an Army of Darkness, Gods of Evil, and objective morality in Dragonlance): to an ogre, the elves slaughtering his people are evil. Some of history's greatest villains believed that their actions were of benefit to the world.

This is all rather detailed advice, and seems more fitting for a major villain than an antagonist for a single adventure. The advice for moral relativism ("I'm not really evil!") sort of doesn't gel well with the setting's themes, or what has been established. However, it can oddly work out if you play with some setting tropes, and the books themselves have delved into this. Lord Soth (the archetypical death knight) has expressed regret for his actions but does not have enough faith in himself to move past his own follies. The Dragonarmies killed many people and took over many nations, but the Empire brought order and cohesion to a fractured Ansalon plagued with instability and a loss of magic. The Kingpriest of Istar's alignment has been debated in both the setting and the Dragonlance fandom. I get the feeling that at times Dragonlance has tried to go for a simplistic black and white view while still trying to analyze why evil people act evil. It's been a mixed result at times, as you can tell.

Story Awards in a Dragonlance Campaign: Remember how in the Key of Destiny Adventure Path I made frequent mention to bonus experience points for good role-playing and acts of heroism? Well, this is where it comes from!

Story Awards is a new set of house rules and bonus avenues for experience point generation in Dragonlance campaigns. PCs can gain experience points for noncombat awards based upon the challenge type: simple, easy, average, formidable, and difficult. There are no hard and fast examples, only guidelines. An easy task might include a rogue climbing up a wall at night and avoiding sentries (doesn't sound easy to me!), while a difficult challenge might be convincing the Knights of Solamnia and Neraka to work together to fight the forces of a Dragon Overlord. A challenge type awards experience points equivalent to an encounter of a Challenge Rating from -2 (simple) to +2 (formidable) of the Average Party Level.

Mission goals are bonus experience in line with the aims of an individual PC or the party at large. They are separated into Personal and Party Goals, and those are separated into Minor and Major Goals. An exiled dwarf proving to the clan elders that he was falsely accused would be a major personal goal, while the discovery of a hidden mountain pathway into the Dragon Overlord's fortress would be a minor party goal. Experience generated depends upon the current amount of experience points generated during the adventure. A minor personal goal is equal to the current total experience divided by 8, major personal goals divided by 6, minor party goals divided by 4, and major personals divided by 2.

Finally we have Roleplaying Awards, where the DM hands out bonus experience points for when a player has a PC act in accordance with their established characterization but which does not result in a favorable outcome for the character. The experience awards earned are separated into mostly favorable (25 exp per level), unfavorable (50 exp per level), and extremely unfavorable (100 exp per level). This reminds me of the Hero Points rule from Mutants & Masterminds where a player gets a spendable token for when things don't go their way or they accomplish something in line with the character. Now handing out experience to get players to role-play is a very metagame concept, but in D&D it acts as a good incentive for them to do so. Since it's a good baseline for noncombat awards, I heartily recommend it.

Oh, and the experience awarded is for the whole party, so everyone benefits!

Next section details the languages of Ansalon. It's got the Common tongue, which is a trade language. The predominant human tongues are Abanasinian (spoken in the nation of the same name), Camptalk (mercenary slang), Ergot (Ergothians), Kalinese (Blood Sea Isles), Kharolian (Tarsis, Plains of Dust, Kharolis), Khur (Khur people), Nerakese (Nerakans), Nordmaarian (same nation), Saifhum (Saifhum island), and Solamnic (Solamnia). There is no giant language, instead being Ogre (and its long-dead High Ogre precursor), and Gnome is just Common but with highly-technical sciencespeak which might as well be a new language. Minotaurs speak Kothian, Kender Kenderspeak, Dwarves and Elves have the language of the same name, but Gully Dwarves have Gullytalk (a rapidly evolving language which takes words and dialect from all kinds of cultures) and the sea elves have their own languages (Dargonesti and Dimernesti). Dargoi is a generic trade tongue for underwater cultures, while Draconic is the only living language.

Also, all Wizards speak Magius, a spidery language which magical research notes and spellbooks are often written, and whose spoken form is used as verbal components for spells.

We get to Coinage, which mentions that gold fell out of use during the Age of Despair, where the loss of Istar and the Gods made the world a more savage and cruel place. Steel became the valued metal, and steel pieces the standard currency of Krynn. A steel piece is equivalent to one gold piece in other D&D settings, but copper pieces retain their base value. Gold pieces in Ansalson are worth 1/40th of a steel piece, silver 1/20th (why silver's more valuable than gold, I don't know. Lycanthropes, maybe). Platinum pieces are worth 5 steel pieces, and iron/bronze pieces are worth 1/2th a steel piece.

The River of Time

Our final section details the names of the hours, days, and months of Krynn, as well as a timeline of history.

Basically there are 24 hours in a day, 7 days to a week, 365 days to a year, and 12 months, just like our world. But they all have different names upon the racial and national cultures of Ansalon. The first month is known as Aelmont to Ergothians, Winter Night to the Elves, Snowfun to the Kender, and Famine to the Goblins. There is also a deity associated with each month.

Normally I'd post the tables from the core book, but seeing as how I had computer problems and lost my earlier material, I'll instead provide a link at the Dragonlance Nexus.

Also, the hours of the day were developed by the city watch of Palanthas, based upon their watches. Midnight is Darkwatch, 6 AM is Morning Watch, 12 PM (lunchtime) is High Watch, etc.

Dragonlance has a large timeline of Five Ages; instead of listing each event, I'll do an abbreviation of the major events here:

The world's history is divided into Five Ages by scholars. The Age of Starbirth was before the rise of civilization, beginning with a conclave of primordial entities known as deities working together to create the world of Krynn. During this era the spirits are given physical forms, creating the first dragons, elves, ogres, and humans. The Gods of Light grant them the ability to enjoy life's pleasures, the Gods of Darkness ambition and desire, and the Gods of Balance free will.

The Age of Dreams details the beginning of recorded mortal history, and sees the rise of the earliest civilizations. Lots of stuff happens in this era. Ogres, elves, and humans founded the first civilizations; the Graygem of Gargath (housing Chaos' essence) is cracked and unleashes wild magic into the world, resulting in the creation of many new monsters and races; elves war with dragons in the First and Second Dragon Wars, and the first mages use their magic against the serpents. The horrific loss of life from unrestrained magic leads to them forming the Order of High Sorcery, to act as a stewardship and regulator of those gifted with arcane magic to ensure Ansalon's safety. Takhisis attempts to conquer the continent with an army of dragons during the Third Dragon War, but is banished from Krynn by the legendary knight Huma Dragonbane and the silver dragon Heart.

The Age of Might sees the rise of the human nation of Istar, protected by the clerics of Paladine during the Third Dragon War. The elven nations impose an isolationist policy, while the dwarves forge underground kingdoms and war with the ogres. Istar becomes a theocracy and Ansalon's major power. In the Kingpriests' zeal to wipe out Evil, the church enacts increasingly oppressive measures, from enslaving "evil" races to outlawing arcane magic and worship of the Gods of Balance, and even managing an order of mind-reading inquisitors to punish those thinking evil thoughts. The Gods of Light become increasingly disgusted with this state of affairs, withdrawing their divine aid and spells, but they do not change. Eventually the Kingpriest views the Gods themselves as tolerating evil and sets forth on a magical ritual to ascend to godhood himself. Paladine sends thirteen prophetic warnings to the people of Istar, all of which are mistaken as the work of Evil. Istar's crimes are punished when the Gods of Light send a meteor down upon their capital city. Landmasses are torn asunder, freak weather spreads across the continent, innumerable lives are lost, and all the Gods withdraw their affairs from the world. This horrific tragedy becomes known as the Cataclysm.

The effects of the Cataclysm are felt for nearly four centuries in an era known as the Age of Despair. The Empire fractures into independent nation-states, plague and famine is endemic, governments and infrastructures disintegrate, banditry is rampant, and starvation among the dwarven nations leads to the Dwarfgate War as a significant portion of the above-ground population is denied entry into the nation, as food supplies are low. These exiled dwarves are now known as the Neidar (Nearest), or hill dwarves.

Takhisis brings the sunken temple of Istar to the surface and uses its Foundation Stone as a divine conduit to the world. As it is not whole, she cannot manifest on Krynn. She is the first deity to bring divine magic to mortals in this era, and her forces bring law and order to significant sections of eastern Ansalon under the banner of the Dragon Empire. Supplemented by magic, monsters, and dragons, they become an international power and set about conquering the rest of the continent. This event, which comes to be known as the War of the Lance, is part of the original Dragonlance Chronicles. The Heroes of the Lance bring knowledge of the Gods of Light and Balance back to Krynn and discover the secrets to forging the mighty Dragonlances. Eventually the Heroes lead an army against the Empire, kill Emperor Ariakas, and prevent Takhisis' summoning into the world.

The Empire dissolves, but the Blue Dragonarmy manages to hold onto a significant portion of territory. Ariakas' son creates an order known as the Knights of Takhisis and begin conquering much of Ansalon. The Irda ogres break open the Graygem of Gargath in desperation, unleashing Chaos into the world. Forces of good and evil alike are destroyed the primordial gods' spawned minions, and they unite against the monsters in an event known as the Chaos War. Eventually Chaos is banished from Krynn, and Takhisis moves the Material Plane away amid the confusion. Now she is the only deity with a connection to Krynn, beginning the Age of Mortals.

The Age of Mortals sees the absence of divine and arcane spellcasting, now that the Gods are gone. New forms of magic are discovered after Chaos' release, which draw upon one's inner power. They are primal sorcery and mysticism, respectively. No longer are mortals dependent upon deities for magic. Five titanic dragons from a neighboring plane enter Krynn and begin conquering significant sections of it. Takhisis takes the form of the One God and instills her power in a mortal named Mina, who joins the Dark Knights as a cleric and leads their forces against the Dragon Overlords and kills two of them with the aid of divine magic and a dragonlance. Raistlin Majere uses a time-traveling device to form a link to Krynn and help the Gods return. They strip Takhisis of her divinity, making her mortal, but so too to Paladine to keep the Balance. Takhisis attempts to kill Mina in anger but is killed by an elf in love with Mina. Mina takes the goddess' corpse in her arms and leaves, swearing vengeance upon the elven race. Clerical and wizardly magic return to the world (although primal sorcery and mysticism still remain), and only two Dragon Overlords yet live.

Yeah, it's a repost from my Dragonlance 101 section from Key of Destiny, but it's a good and useful one.

Thoughts so far: This section of the book is more a series of generic information of varying quality and miscellaneous stuff which doesn't fit into the other chapters. Still, it's Story Awards system is top-notch, one surprisingly absent from many other D20 products during and after its time. It's really the only "non-combat experience" house rule I've seen which isn't entirely ad hoc by DM Fiat.

Next time, Chapter 7, Creatures of Ansalon!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 06:35 on Dec 17, 2013

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012
I’ve been down with a cold for nearly two weeks now, so I’ve had a lot of time to think instead of actually be able to write. Unlike with nations (which seemed to be something that needed to be covered in entirety), I ended up deciding I’d not actually overview every entry in chapter 5 of the Northern Crown Gazetteer, instead having highlights of some of the noteworthy ones rather than going over every single tribal land with a minor blurb listed.

Part 4: Of Mapmaking, Monsters, and Mandibular Mammals

The Gazetteer
It turns out that a book called the Northern Crown Gazetteer happens to actually have a gazetteer chapter. Shocking, I know.

To be serious, though, chapter 5 covers each general location within the known boundaries of Northern Crown and provides a bit of information on just what sort of things you can get up to there. It even links the area to a specific habitat so that you can quickly pull up the right random encounter chart and get going. As there are a whopping 180 entries in the gazetteer, ranging from minor paragraphs on lakes and small native lands to major cities and sprawling natural formations, I decided I’d just do some highlights, lest we be here forever.

The Allegashe: Sitting just below Nouvelle France, the Allegashe is a constantly shifting expanse of many bogs and rivers that even the bravest First Ones and Coureurs almost never head into. I can’t blame them, either, as the Allegashe has a primal sapience and hatred of humans – it will actively change its layout and melt solid ground just to screw human travelers over. It’s also filled with giant moose that have held on in the Allegashe since the Age of Ice, swarms of giant black flies (played here by stirges), and a very old and cantankerous moos-soogit (a monster we'll be meeting shortly).

Dismal Swamp: This swamp on the Carolingian coast is home to the Congress of Haints, a large and particularly powerful group of haints (which we'll also be meeting soon) that plot against the human settlements on the edge of the swamp. They and past atrocities have tainted the swamp with evil energy that attracts will-o’-wisps and other creatures that thrive on suffering.

Jamestown: The earth has begun to claim Jamestown, the empty shell of the early and infamously poorly planned Albian settlement effort. The only humans that still dwell there are the swamp Albians, enigmatic individuals with archaic speech that hide in the watery forests. A lot of rumors have cropped up about the swamp Albians – some say they ended up turning to witchcraft after the colony failed, for instance, while others claim that they are actually cursed to a painful immortal existence (of the "eternal youth not part of the package" type) due to the cannibalism, violence, and strife that rocked Jamestown during and after its fatal birth 60 years ago.

Jerusalem: The Holy Commonwealth town is Jerusalem sticks out like a sore thumb as a huge mistake by the Puritan Church that won’t go away. After innocents were killed in 1652 during a particularly vicious witch hunt in the town, the residents of Jerusalem decided to give the Church the finger and start actively trading with the Witchlings of Naumkeag. Rather than make the rift on the home front even bigger by another inquisition, the Church decided that this might be a good opportunity to engage in spying and sabotage at the only really amicable crossroads between Commonwealther and Witchling culture, so one can expect to run into a fair bit of espionage if in the town. There are also some rumors that there are people in Jerusalem that have sea devil blood in them, Dunwich Horror style.

Nouvelle Orleans: While it fulfills the important role of keeping Espaniard expansion in check, the Francais settlement of Nouvelle Orleans is perhaps best well known for its lax laws and sense of revelry. Francais and Cimarrons live in the city without much concern for their pasts or actions such as duels within the city limits (which are legal). As with many coastal locations in the southern half of Northern Crown, the Gulf de Mexique that Nouvelle Orleans is so close is the dominion of the sea devils, who will attempt to wreck smaller ships that reach the sea and take their treasure.

Old Monsters
As Northern Crown is not your standard D&D setting, the monster chapter doesn’t just barrel directly into new critters. Instead, it first notes changes to the classic Monster Manual menagerie. Creatures like unicorns, chimeras, and centaurs exist in the setting but are extremely rare and only found in Uropa or the Near East, the Good Outsiders are renamed and reflavored to fit the Christian hierarchy (lantern archons are angels, avorals are archangels, ghaeles are powers, trumpet archons are principalities, astral devas are thrones, planetars are cherubim, and solars are seraphim), sahuagin use their more classic name of sea devil, gnolls are renamed dogmen and exist on the islands of the Carib Sea, and elves are actually a fairy-touched humanoid group rather than the true elves of the Faerie. There are also more than a few monsters that have been renamed and reflavored to fit with the First Ones mythology. Some examples include naga stats being used for creatures called serpent witches, hill giants and stone giants being primal beings from the Uncounted Time named the mishinawba and maushop respectively, and minotaurs being bison-headed beings called hornheads that follow the bison herds and beat the poo poo out of wolves and human hunters with their huge spears. As for new monsters? We’ll look at them now, of course.

New Monsters
Bone Dancer (CR 5 Medium-size Undead): These Neutral Evil sorcerers attained immortality in the most insane way possible – not through deals with devils, but by literally eating themselves alive while enchanting their own skeletons. In addition to having access to Sorcerer spells, bone dancers are able to induce paralysis by performing an enchanted rattling of their bones (DC 15 Will save to beat). And what do they do after they successfully paralyze someone? Why, they eat them alive, of course! Doing so to a humanoid allows the bone dancer to get a free skeleton thrall, of which it can have up to 1d6 plus one more per extra HD it gains if it advances.

Catamount (CR 4 Large Magical Beast): Think cougars are scary enough apex predators? Apparently Doug Anderson didn't, as he introduces us to the catamount. In addition to having an Intelligence score of 4, making it at least at the basal level of sapience, the catamount can cast the jump spell at will, allowing it to spring all over the place to confuse and slam into prey. This big cat does indeed have a big punch, as any attack made after it uses its jumping power requires a Fortitude save (DC 14) or the target is stunned for a full round.

Dread Rattler (CR 5 Large Magical Beast): Known to the First Ones as uktena (horned serpents), dread rattlers are giant horned rattlesnakes that dwell across the southeast and up the Espiritu Santo River, and are by far some of the most terrifying serpents one will ever encounter. First off, they don't follow the normal D&D rules for poison and venom – instead, it's one Fortitude save (DC 18) or you're paralyzed for 1d6 hours. On top of that, it can rattle its tail to produce spells as a free action, casting either scare against potential threats or hypnotic pattern against prey. Yikes.

Gougou (CR 20 Gargantuan Giant): The peak of all the new monsters introduced in the Northern Crown Gazetteer. Nothing rivals the gougou, titanic amphibious giants that haunt the Great Lakes. There are only around a dozen or so in existence, but that doesn't really matter when they are giant terrifying murder-beasts that can wreck ships and step over palisades to steal people from shoreline forts. As when Samuel de Champlain slew the gougou that terrorized the lake that bears his name, these titanic creatures are meant to be the stuff of legends that your heroes aspire to eventually conquer when they are at their peak. The only thing gougou have up their sleeves besides amphibiousness and brute strength is the fact that a marsupial pouch hangs from their otherwise scaly body, allowing them to stuff up to three people in for easy carrying. Sound weird? It is, but it's in the actual real world mythology about the gougou too (except when it's instead depicted as a sack of some sort, but details).

Haint (CR 1 Medium-size Monstrous Humanoid): Haints are murderous crooks who were twisted into pitiful creatures that resemble ghouls unfortunate enough to be alive rather than undead. They are also sometimes referred to as bogeymen or goons and only appear after dark, spending the daytime huddled in their dark forest, swamp, or cave lairs eating insects and rodents. When they are out at night, however, they suddenly take on a decidedly dangerous tone as they attempt to rob, murder, and induce fear in small frontier communities. Aiding them in their pursuits are the ability to cast the knock spell three times a day to open those pesky barred doors and sneak attack that begins at 1d6 and gains an additional 1d6 every two HD the haint gains. Yeah, for some reason these guys advance to 2 through 8 HD rather than by class levels, which is beyond me. :shrug:

Haunted Scarecrow (CR 3 Medium-size Undead): The ghost of a vengeful person that was buried under a scarecrow's field and proceeds to haunt said scarecrow. A haunted scarecrow can be either a murderer or a revenant in nature, killing for the joy of killing or slaying people who did a great injustice to it in life. Either way, it achieves its goals through sharp stick-claws, having a fear aura, being able to boost its total HD by one for each slain body it buries near its own, and having and immunity to cold damage and only taking half damage from piercing or slashing weapons. It also happens to have two rather obvious weaknesses, however, in that it is extremely vulnerable to fire and can only move within a mile radius of its burial place.

Headless Rider (CR 9 Medium-size Undead): Everybody's favorite murderous undead Hessian. Headless riders are armored juggernauts who descend upon the living with a vengeful fury and wickedly sharp cavalry sabre, slaying whoever they please. They can also throw a severed human head to produce the effects of a fireball or scare spell. The latter seems a bit overkill given that they also have an innate aura of fear about them, but whatever, rock on you crazy zombie horseman.

Hy-Dry Tortoise (CR 8 Huge Magical Beast): A giant two-headed predatory box turtle of the southeast pine forests. I'm at a loss as to what I could even say about this one. That left head in the image even looks puzzled at its own existence.

Kawkontwawk (CR 2 Small Magical Beast): Intelligent magical owl-sized ravens that love to hoard treasure and can cast mage armor and ventriloquism once per day. Another sort of meh one.

Lanternjack (CR 6 Medium-size Undead): Lanternjacks sold their souls for eternal life, but now have buyer's remorse since they have become horrible undead creatures that hunger for the souls of the living to replace their own. Their infernal lanterns are just for decoration (though there is an erronnous mention of a lantern attack in the text in spite of it not being in the stat block), but don’t be fooled into thinking they are powerless. Not only does damage reduction 5 and spell resistance 14 grant them some basic defense against physical and magical attacks alike, but on top of that the broadsword they carry induces energy drain that results in negative levels. Any human who happens to die from the energy drain will rise as another lantern jack to continue the same vicious cycle.

Misig’nwa (CR 8 Huge Magical Beast): A giant bear who is a spirit of the hunt that punishes those who it finds hunting without the intention to eat the kill. How does it do that? With a breath weapon that polymorphs people into deer. Duh, it’s clearly so obvious!

Moos-soogit (CR 14 Huge Outsider): Moos-soogit are a type of manitou, specifically one that takes on aspects of moose and act as the guardians of bogs and boreal forests. They are merciless towards those they feel have despoiled their wilderness – they command regular moose to fence humans in while the moos-soogit attacks. Overturning boats to force foes to fight in the water is a popular tactic, but the spirit has a variety of ways it can do its work given that it has 6th level Druid spellcasting and the ability to use all the class features of a 6th level Druid once per day.

Nunne’hi (CR 7 Medium-size Fey): These beings resemble the First Ones and are the chroniclers of both human and fey history since the Uncounted Time. Theirs is the archive of the ages deep beneath the earth, holding even the forbidden knowledge of the Makers in their grasp, and to trespass without their blessing is one of the few ways to bring nunne’hi to anger. By contrast, music is a way to connect with these ancient spirits, and a Good aligned Bard with a Charisma score of 15 or higher has a chance to gain a nunne’hi as a mentor in magical fey music. Nunne’hi are capable of casting ghost sound, greater invisibility, and ventriloquism at will, as well as a number of hindering or aiding Bard spells such as deep slumber, good hope, suggestion, and tongues once per day. Oh, and they can get class levels, the only monster we see in the title that can do so.

Nyah-gwaheh (CR 20 Gargantuan Magical Beast): This titanic bear slumbers for ages before waking up and going on a rampaging feast. It can’t do anything besides what a normal bear would do, but does that really matter when you’re a bear bigger than an elephant?

Okanangan (CR 10 Huge Magical Beast): The classic North American serpentine lake monster. These guys are found in deep lakes and rivers where they hunt for fish. The okanangan takes the cryptozoological mold of lake monster rather than folkloric one and is basically just a weird-looking apex predator. Its only unique ability is a wave thrash attack, which basically allows it to deal a slam attack up to 100 feet away to a foe at the water’s surface.

Pauguk (CR 2 Medium-size Undead): The pauguk is a hovering skeleton that basically takes on the game role of being party’s first vampire. They travel in flocks to battlefields and locations beset by plague or famine and feasts on the recently dead or dying.

Pomola (CR 14 Huge Outsider): Pomola are the manitou of the mountains, each peak 5,000 feet or higher having its own individual pomola. Being giant humanoid figures with the heads of moose and the feet and wings of eagles, pomola are pretty imposing and specifically don’t want humans up on top of their mountains. They have the same Druidic manitou abilities that the moos-soogit have, but on top of that are also able to control the weather within a mile around.

Pukwudgee (CR 1 Small Fey): Tribes of gnome-like forest fey with poisoned arrows. They live much as members of the Woodland Confederacy do, even having their own sachems and miniature confederations. Pukwudgee like to steal human trinkets and a wise traveler will give a gift basket to placate them.

Razorback Hogge (CR 4 Large Magical Beast): Basically wild boars with particularly nasty stats. They have no supernatural powers, so presumably the only reason they’re given the Magical Beast type is to get the d10 hit die over the Animal type’s d8.

Sanauk (CR 2 Medium-size Elemental): Resembling humans made out of obsidian, these earth elementals are found up in the mountains and tend to be violently protective of their territory. They are masters of flintknapping and can actually knap pieces of themselves to use as ranged weapons. Sanauk flint can be used to create masterwork arrows, javelins, or shortspears.

Servers, Plague (CR 9 Large Outsider) and Strife (CR 8 Large Outsider): The servers serve the evil god Hah-gweh-da-et-gah, acting as the transmitters of misfortune and woe across communities. The plague servers resemble humanoid rattlesnakes and spread the Bubonic plague, while strife servers look like werewolves and have both a confusion-inducing howl and an oral that causes a penalty to cooperative Charisma skills such as Diplomacy. Both of these demons are naturally invisible in order to do their dirty work discreetly.

Thunderbird (CR 7 Large Magical Beast): Electrical paladin-birds. Thunderbirds are called down to break up disputes that have gotten too heated, defend First Ones settlements overwhelmed by foes, or to just fight evil creatures.

Trickster (CR 1 Small Fey): Sneaky, mischievous raccoon spirits. Tricksters’ only real power of polymorphing, which they use to mess with humans.

U’tlun’ta (CR 6 Large Giant): A horrific mixture of hag and giant, the u’tlun’ta live alone or in covens deep in the mountains. They don’t care about most forms of treasure, save for gems and magical items, and see Evil witches as siblings in the greater picture who can teach them of the arcane arts. An u’tlun’ta in combat has several stone-related spell-like abilities and the ability to deal profusely bleeding wounds with the gigantic spear-like index finger on her left hand.

Wendigo (CR 8 Huge Giant): Tribal ice giants found in the north. Sadly, they are basically just frost giants with a cold breath weapon, which is a shame given that in real life lore wendigo are terrifying cannibal giants whose entire modus operandi is being fear incarnate.

The last portion of the bestiary chapter gives quick stats for giant beaver, lynx, moose, panther/cougar/mountain lion/whatever you call it, giant pike, giant porcupine, and giant snapping turtle. I won't go over these because they're animals and I think you know what animals are.


Next time: treasure, magic items, artifacts, and inventions as we close in on the final portions of the Northern Crown Gazetteer.

Oct 23, 2010

Open up your senses
The squared circle RPG is a wrestling RPG by daydreamers interactive. What can we expect from this game? Well let’s check what the official page has to say about it

Daydreamer interactive posted:

Create a wrestler and lead them to the very pinnacle of the wrestling industry, winning titles and engaging in feuds along the way…will you become a legend? Or maybe running a wrestling promotion is more your style, create and run your own promotion and face off against your friends to see who has the skill to make it and who doesn’t.

The game includes the core book (which we will dive into together) a series of solo adventures “rise of a legend” (sold separately), and splat books for 80s wrestling, Mexican “lucha libre”, Japanese puroresu, and a book dedicated to female wrestlers.

And without further ado:

I’m not going to say I love this cover but I don’t hate it. The art could be better and it might not grab the attention of those who are not looking for a wrestling RPG (which are pretty rare it seems) but it drives it’s point across this is about wrestling.

The first page of the book has a disclaimer about not trying to emulate the wrestling moves described in this book at home. Not unlike WWE’s “don’t try this at home” TV spots

After the index we start with the classic “what’s this book? What do you need to play?” it also mentions that there are 5 classes of wrestlers and two styles of game (one when the players play wrestlers in a single promotion and a mode where every player controls their own promotion and as well as their own wrestlers.
It then also goes saying that this promotion management mode is good for playing alone

The glossary gives us this definition for house rules


House Rules: This term refers to a set of rules the Game Master has either come up with or modified for a specific game system. This could be a small change or a big one, generally Game Master do this because they feel the game system is either broken or too difficult to handle.

So I guess that it’s a given that groups will have their own house rules for this game.

If there is interest in this game I’ll go through character creation and once we’re through that there might be a bit of audience participation.

Dec 13, 2011
A luchador. That is what you must make.

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Dragonlance Campaign Setting Part 7: Creatures of Ansalon

This details the new monsters of the setting. Before we get into that, we have a list of creatures not suitable/native to Ansalon: driders, drow elves, halflings, lycanthropes (those three moons will drive'em crazy!), mind flayers, orcs and half-orcs, and titans. Otherwise the Monster Manual creatures can be used pretty freely.

Our first entry's the Death Knight. Lord Soth serves as the most famous example of their kind. Basically, death knights were once champions of a god, usually one of the Gods of Light, before committing some horrible crime and being transformed into an undead warrior by the evil deities. Only a few death knights have existed in Krynn's history, with most being Knights of Solamnia.

Mechanics-wise, a Death Knight is a template which makes you undead, grants a negative energy touch attack, an Abyssal Blast (a ranged area of effect fire attack), can transform dead humanoids into skeletal warriors (new monster template), access to spell-like abilities related to pain and offense, spell resistance and the ability to see invisible creatures, and can summon undead mount and a legion of undead followers.

This template's a pretty good power boost: you get minions, a ranged attack, undead benefits, and an assortment of magical attacks. It grants a +3 to +5 CR (depending on Hit Dice) and a +5 Level Adjustment.

Next up we have the Draconians!

As a race, draconians of all varieties are of the Dragon type, are immune to all diseases, gain +1 morale bonus on saves/attacks/skills when serving under a chromatic dragon leader, have Spell Resistance which scales with Hit Dice (the higher CR ones have better values), and can survive on 1/10th the food and water of a regular human. All but the Aurak have wings which can grant limited flight in the form of gliding. All of them also have their own death throes.

Aurak Draconians are created from Gold Dragon eggs, and are superb arcane spellcasters (they make for natural sorcerers). An aurak isn't very impressive physically, but they can fire energy rays (supernatural abilities which can be used infinitely) as ranged touch attacks, cast spells as 8th-level sorcerers, and 3 times per day each can cast disguise self, dimension door, or polymorph (small or medium animal only) as spell-like abilities. They can also use greater invisibility at will. Their breath weapon is a cone of noxious gas which saps strength, and their death throes are an explosion of magical energy. They're Challenge Rating 9, and quite suited to infiltration and stealth roles (mechanics-wise, the fluff text doesn't veer this way).



We also have stat blocks for Baaz and Kapak with no class levels, but there's nothing I haven't already covered in their racial entries way back in Chapter 1.

Bozak Draconians are created from bronze dragon eggs. They traditionally served as spellcasting officers in the Dragonarmies, naturally coming to primal sorcery. They are devoutly religious, serving Takhisis when she was still alive, and pursue divine spellcasting as well. Mechanics-wise they don't have much other than a big natural armor bonus (+8) and the ability to cast spells as a 4th-level sorcerer. Their death throes involve their body's skin crumbling to dust, revealing their bones which shortly explode. They are Challenge Rating 5, but their stats are pretty weak for this level of power.

Sivak Draconians are the largest of the Draconians, clocking in at 8 1/2 to 9 feet tall. They served as infiltrators in the Dragonarmies due to their natural shapeshifting ability, and their natural strength and size made them excellent shock troopers in battle, and were naturally the leaders of draconian military units without aurak officers. Mechanics-wise Sivak are the only ones with true flight (60 feet poor maneuverability), have a tail attack which can trip opponents. A male sivak can assume the form of a large or smaller humanoid that it has just killed and can remain in the form indefinitely (but if they switch back they cannot assume that form again), while the females have natural camouflage (granting +10 on Hide checks). In the case of death throes, a male sivak's corpse takes the form of his killer before decomposing into black soot after 3 days (if the killer isn't humanoid then it bursts into flames). A female sivak's death throes just burst into flames.

The Sivak is Challenge Rating 6, and it's not really as strong as other creatures its size (Strength 16), but its natural flight is a nice addition. It can't hit as hard as a hill giant, and its melee attacks are rather weak. As far as draconians go only the aurak is really a match for its Challenge Rating.

There's no art for the Dragonspawn, sadly. These creatures are humanoids who've been warped into dragon-like monstrosities by the Dragon Overlords by infusing them with the mind and soul of a draconian. Regardless of the draconian used, dragonspawn take on the physical traits of their Overlord, such as colored scales, reptilian eyes, and other alterations. Mechanics-wise it is a template which can be added to a humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or giant from small to large size. They gain a fly speed, natural weapons (bite and claws), a breath weapon in line with its Overlord creator, and unique death throes which are explosions which deal the same type of energy damage. All of them can also cast spells as 1st-level sorcerers, which stack with existing sorcerer levels. They also gain widely varying bonuses to their ability scores depending upon the Overlord (white dragonspawn gain a piddly +2 Strength and Constitution, while the mighty Reds gain +8 Strength, +6 Constitution, +4 Charisma, and +2 everything else). It grants +1 to +3 Challenge Rating based upon the Overlord (from weakest to strongest type of dragon).

Overall Dragonspawn is a powerful template to add: flight, minor spellcasting, a breath weapon, and potentially big bonuses to ability scores is a nice package for most monsters.

Fetches are evil outsiders from the Abyss which can only enter Krynn via reflective surfaces such as mirrors and ponds. In their natural forms they are black shadows which are nevertheless solid, and their very touch can drain energy (touch attack which deals 1d4 damage and 2 negative levels). They are also invisible and can only be seen by their intended victim (they usually hunt specific targets), and even then only in a reflective surface. They can also create more of their kind if they kill someone with their energy drain and take its corpse back to the Abyss. They can also create two-way portals between the planes in reflective surfaces (functions as a gate spell) which they can see and hear through. They are Challenge Rating 6 and do not have much going for them aside from their special qualities.

Fireshadows are also Abyssal denizens, except that they're undead and usually summoned into the Material Plane by evil spellcasters. They can take a variety of forms, but are always at least 30 feet tall and surrounded by green fire. Their mundane combat capabilities aren't very impressive (AC 20, natural attacks +9 to hit on average), but they are surrounded by a 10 foot radius of burning green flame which extends to their natural attacks, and deals fire damage and constitution damage every round as the flames slowly consume them (halted by holy water or a cure spell). A fireshadow can also shoot out an invisible Ray of Oblivion every 1d4 rounds which deals a massive amount of damage (13d6) and disintegrates creatures reduced to 0 hit points by it. Fireshadows also take damage in sunlight and have their actions slowed. It's Challenge Rating 10. The creature's rather underwhelming for its CR, with a small assortment of offensive capabilities going for it.

We also have a 1st-level Minotaur warrior statblock, which tells a little more of their society: most of them compete annually in the great Circus to prove their worth, their society is gender-egalitarian, a few rebellious ones worship Kiri-Jolith, and they enjoy art and leisurely activities once in a while.

A shadowperson is a member of a reclusive race of underground folk in small, self-contained communities. They are mostly good-aligned and their kinds' existence is almost unknown by the other civilizations of Krynn (and they'd prefer to keep it that way). Their society is very communal, with the entire clan taking care of the young. They have two social roles for adults who came of age: the warrior caste or the counselor caste (spiritual advisors) depending upon their capabilities. Each clans' cave is located near vents with fresh water and air (and lave to dispose of refuse).

Mechanics-wise they are monstrous humanoids supernatural insight (+6 insight bonus to armor class, telepathy, constant detect thoughts, blindsense 30 feet) and can perform an hour-long ritual known as the mindweave which allows them to fight in perfect unison (+1 on attacks/saves/skills). They also have membrane between their limbs which grants limited flight, and wield shadowstaves as martial weapons (curved weapons which can hook into an opponents' flesh and deal continual weapon damage). Additionally, shadowpeople communities are led by disembodied entities known as the Revered Ancient One (one for each community), which is a disembodied entity which can cast cure serious wounds, greater teleport, legend lore, wall of force, and detect thoughts at will.

Shadowpeople are Challenge Rating 3.

These are my one of my favorite entries, if only because they're so unorthodox for Dungeons & Dragons. Good-aligned monstrous humanoids with telepathy-enhanced fighting abilities? Count me in!

Skeletal Warriors are dangerous combatants forced to continue fighting after death. They are created by death knights who house the undead's souls in a golden circlet to command them to do their bidding. Mechanics-wise they have a lot of the typical skeleton traits, but are proficient with all martial weapons, have a negative energy touch attack, spell resistance (13 + character level), and are not mindless (retain mental ability scores). They add +1 CR to the existing creature. A pretty nice undead minion, too bad only death knights can make them.

A Spectral Minion is the soul of an intelligent humanoid who died before they could fulfill an important vow and are bound to complete their duties even in death. They appear as they did in life, only more transparent, and possess all of their memories from their living days. However, the desire to fulfill their oaths dominates their mind, being the only thing preventing them from moving on in the River of Souls. Mechanics-wise they are incorporeal undead template, an incorporeal version of any weapons they possessed at the end of their life, spell resistance (12 + character level) and immunity to turn and rebuke undead. They lose any ability to cast spells or spell-like abilities if they had those qualities in life, and cannot attack unless they have an incorporeal weapon. They gain a +1 to their Challenge Rating, which doesn't make sense; if anything they lose far more in terms of combat potential and gain relatively little. They're also one of the few undead who can be of non-evil alignment.

Tarmak are humans from a continent far to the east. They were recruited by the Knights of Neraka during the early 5th Age to help them conquer Ansalon. Tarmak have a complex, gutteral language and spellcasters among their number are unknown. In battle they decorate their skin in war paint which grants +5 natural armor and Fast Healing 5 (stops working once it's absorbed 20 points of damage). The war paint is alchemical and completely non-magical in nature (not sold, but has an effective cost of 500 gp and DC 25 Craft check to create). The text also makes mention of a tarmak leader stat block of a 5th-level barbarian, but it's mysteriously absent (editing error, I bet).

Rounding out our monster chapter are the Thanoi. A race of walrus people native to the far south of Ansalon, thanoi live a subsistence lifestyle and frequently war with each other and the Ice Folk. Ones with class levels are almost always barbarians, but a rare few females become kagogs (medicine givers) and have levels in Cleric or Mystic. Mechanics-wise they are monstrous humanoids who can swim (40 feet) and hold their breaths for a long time (30 minutes before making Constitution checks for drowning), have the Cold subtype, and are pretty heavy hitters with melee weapons (+7 with greatclub, 1d10+3 damage). They are Challenge Rating 2.

Thoughts so far: More than a few of the monsters' Challenge Ratings are a little off, but overall I liked the assortment of new monsters for Krynn. The draconians in particular are pretty cool, and the Death Knight template is perfect for a major NPC villain.

Next time, Chapter 8: Dragons of Krynn! That's right, dragons are so special that they get their own chapter!

Mar 5, 2005

Milk's on them.

Libertad! posted:

what the gently caress

I'm not really into TRPGs, and all of my knowledge I've more or less picked up from Notable Gaming Experiences, but between how many of the magic feats are OP and poo poo like that Monkey Grip thing, I can't help but notice that this book has a heavy bias in favor of Casters. Seriously, work out what % of Not Overpowered is relevant to Casters and what % of Overpowered is relevant to Casters, and compare them.

Pollyanna fucked around with this message at 07:31 on Dec 21, 2013

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Pollyanna posted:

I'm not really into TRPGs, and all of my knowledge I've more or less picked up from Notable Gaming Experiences, but between how many of the magic feats are OP and poo poo like that Monkey Grip thing, I can't help but notice that this book has a heavy bias in favor of Casters. Seriously, work out what % of Not Overpowered is relevant to Casters and what % of Overpowered is relevant to Casters, and compare them.

Over the years I feel that a significant portion of the Pathfinder fanbase really does desire spellcasters to be better, and yet are dishonest about it by insisting that everything's equal and placing the blame on players of fighters "for not being imaginative enough." At least old school gamers are honest that their edition's spellcasters are the most powerful classes at higher levels, but it's the kind of game that they enjoy.

And then of course there's the whole "if it's not explicitly magic, it can't be good!" which permeates throughout caster supremacy, but that would be in direct opposition to the stated claims of 3.X being balanced, therefore the cognitive dissonance amongst the 3.X sub-section.

To use a political allegory, Pathfinder Caster Supremacy advocates are like laissez-faire capitalists who pursue goals which keep the rich richer and the poor poorer, insisting that inequality cannot be result of those in power and blame other factors (such as "poor people being lazy"). And the ones in power are the spellcasters, and the poor people are the martials.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 07:39 on Dec 21, 2013

Forums Terrorist
Dec 8, 2011


Apr 21, 2010

I'll have you know, foxes have the finest call in nature

AccidentalHipster posted:

Since DX seems to be done though, I'd like to ask, did you cover playing as a Renegade Being and if so, when? Because I don't remember you talking about how I would go about playing as Foo Fighters.

Oh, sorry for taking so long to respond. Playing as Renegade Beings was on Part A of the Syndrome Dossier, here. Don't know anything about Foo Fighters though, but Hanuman is the Syndrome to go for if you want to have background music playing at all times throughout your day :v:

Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?

Cyphoderus posted:

Oh, sorry for taking so long to respond. Playing as Renegade Beings was on Part A of the Syndrome Dossier, here. Don't know anything about Foo Fighters though, but Hanuman is the Syndrome to go for if you want to have background music playing at all times throughout your day :v:

It's alright, we're all busy. I feel kind of stupid for not noticing that now. As for F.F., that's another Jojo character. She was a colony of plankton that was given self awareness and implanted herself in to the bloodstream of a dead convict. And I can play as her in DX thanks to Bram Stoker, Exile, and Renegade Beings. Thank you so much for showing us DX.

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Dragonlance Campaign Setting Part 8: Dragons of Krynn

Dragons are the oldest and grandest children of Krynn, formed during the Age of Starbirth from the world's elemental forces. Strongly aligned with either Good or Evil, as a race they have a history of meddling in the affairs of Krynn's people.

Chromatic Dragons

The chromatic dragons were once metallic (I can't find information on their original metals) and good-aligned children of Paladine, but Takhisis' corruption changed them. Throughout the Five Ages they've fought for Takhisis, who favored them higher than any other servants. As a whole they've often fought together in the three Dragon Wars and the War of the Lance.

Black Dragons are socially isolated misanthropes who distrust everyone else who's not a black dragon. They prefer to live and fight in the swamps, for it provides plenty of concealment and is difficult to maneuver in for most creatures. They are not very fond of Takhisis, traditionally only serving her for fear of disobeying her, and even she did not really trust them. During the War of the Lance they were assigned roles which required little social interaction, such as guarding artifacts.

Blue Dragons are much more sociable than black dragons, and get along relatively well with humanoids who can prove their worth to them. They proudly served Takhisis throughout the ages, and even mourned the loss of dragonriders they bonded with in battle. However, to earn a blue dragon's respect is no mean feat, requiring tactical acumen and fearlessness. They adapt well to military life, and are very loyal to their mates, even going so far as to dedicate their lives to avenging the death of their mate's slayer.

Green Dragons are incredibly arrogant who traditionally live in forests and don't work for others unless they can benefit materially from the arrangement. They prefer toying with their enemies, hoping to keep them alive to torture later, and have no compunctions with retreating as soon as the tide turns against them. They claim to be Takhisis' favorites and shower her with false praise, but in private they hate her (it's not explained why).

Red Dragons are the most feared dragons (and creatures) of Krynn. Their physical strength stands above all other dragons except the Gold, and they're skilled in magic. Their fire breaths can easily spread and lay waste to entire cities, and they have a fine grasp of military tactics. They are zealous followers of Takhisis and gladly cooperated with the Dragonarmies during the War of the Lance in spite of their otherwise solitary natures. They can also take humanoid form, and as such they have the greatest understanding of humanoids, being able to move among them unseen.

White Dragons are the most rare and reclusive of the chromatic dragons, sticking to the Icewall region of southern Ansalon. They have almost no interest in world affairs and are very anti-social, making them of limited use in military campaigns. During the War of the Lance the extent of their roles were as scouts and to guard the Icewall region against attack. Additionally, they hate the sunlight, and being exposed to it and warm temperatures over a prolonged period causes them to sicken and die (this is not reflected in game statistics, just flavor text).

Metallic Dragons

The good-aligned dragons revere the deities of Good and traditionally helped maintain the balance by preventing Evil from ruling the world. When Huma drove Takhisis from the world during the Third Dragon War, Paladine ordered the metallic dragons to depart the continent of Ansalon to maintain the balance. They fell into a long sleep on the Dragon Isles, and during the Age of Despair Takhisis' agents stole their eggs. Around this time the dragons woke up to discover them missing, and Takhisis promised that their children would come to no harm if they took no part in the coming war of Ansalon. They had no choice but to agree. However, some dragons could not abide as the Dark Queen's armies tore Ansalon apart in the War of the Lance, and Silvara helped bring back knowledge of the fabled dragonlances back into the world, and helped the Heroes of the Lance discover the true fate of the good dragon eggs. Upon hearing that their children were being warped into draconian soldiers, they entered the war with a vengeance and allied with the Whitestone forces against the Dragon Empire.

Brass Dragons love nothing better than to hear themselves talk, and can carry on conversations for hours on all manner of subjects. They'd almost rather talk than eat, and even pursue this habit into combat. They are fluent in most languages and reward those who teach them new ones. They do not revere any of the deities, and aren't very good at listening to others or taking orders. They live in the same general terrain as blue dragons (desert), and the two are mortal enemies.

Bronze Dragons take in active interest in the affairs of humanoids and often integrate into their societies by taking the form of domestic pets. They go out of their way to avoid harming and killing animals and often confound the efforts of hunters, poachers, and butchers to trap and kill the animals. Oddly, they have an extreme interest in warfare and battle, studying military history of ancient battles and modern drilling instructions. They served admirably on the side of Good in the War of the Lance and earlier Dragon Wars, eagerly carrying dragonriders into battle and obeying orders from trusted humanoid commanders (and giving advice to military strategists as well).

Copper Dragons are overall good-natured, but have the tendency to be collect and hoard wealth. They often approach situations or offers of help by asking what's in it for them, or by demanding financial compensation to those they help even when it was not asked for.

Personally this sounds less good-natured and more selfish to me. They do not participate in evil deeds, though, no matter how much wealth is to be gained. Copper dragons are fond of jokes, pranks, and tricks which they eagerly play on travelers, and grow annoyed when people don't find their antics amusing.

Gold Dragons are the most intelligent, powerful, and magically-inclined of all dragons. They are defenders of justice and fight for those unable to defend themselves. They only kill when there is no other option available, using restraint in all their actions. They can change into humanoid form, but rarely do so due to the form's relative fragility. They make their lairs anywhere and in any climate, and have been known to re-appropriate humanoid castles and fortresses once home to evildoers (which they either killed or drove off). They eagerly help people seeking their aid if the cause is just, but often use divination magic to ensure that people don't try to trick them.

With their doing good deeds for free and a code against killing except in the direst of circumstances, they're pretty much the Supermen of dragons.

Silver Dragons are the most beloved and accessible of all the dragons on Krynn. They are fond of taking humanoid forms, particularly of humans and elves. Sometimes they even live among humanoid communities for years, even falling in love with them. They are not aggressive, but are willing to fight for just causes and get along well with dragonriders and the Knights of Solamnia, as the legend of Human and his silver dragon ally is well-known to both peoples. When it comes to battle, they prefer hiding in the clouds, then swooping down upon unaware opponents.

We also get a brief description of Dragon Overlords, who are basically titanic great wyrm dragons from an unknown plane. They are capable of building skull totems fashioned from the bones of other dragons, which they use to absorb their power and gain virtual age categories and Hit Dice. Dragon Overlords are capable of (and have) grown to hundreds of feet in length, looking like titanic beefed-up monsters of a dragon.

Aerial Combat

The second half of this chapter is devoted to aerial combat. Dragonlance is famous for this, and any campaign in it which doesn't involve the PCs riding into battle on dragonback are doing it wrong. Basically it's a sub-system of new rules to handle the complications of flying combat. Basically it's only used when the fly speed of opponents is fast enough (more than 60 feet) and most of the opponents in the combat are flying in an open-air space. Otherwise one uses normal scale.

In aerial combat, there is a normal scale (mentioned above) and chase scale, where one square equals 30 feet instead of 5 feet. To determine how many squares a creature can move in this square, divided its speed by 30 (round down). So a fly speed of 60 is 2 squares, 100 feet is 3 squares, etc.

Flying creatures who take off from the ground determine they altitude they gain in the round by a Jump check modified by their fly speed (basically +4 for every 10 feet of speed), and the creature is not penalized if they do not have a running start. The altitude at take-off is based upon their size category and and result of the check. They also must make a move action when landing, otherwise they crash-land and suffer some falling damage.

Additionally, most creatures (ones without perfect maneuverability) have their heads facing in the direction that they're flying, meaning that squares directly behind it are its "blind spot" and enemies don't provoke attacks of opportunity when moving through these squares. Mounted riders are exempt from this and can attack them normally.

Also, the faster one flies in a round the harder it is to perform some actions (hovering, landing safely, turning). A creature moving at half to normal speed can only perform a standard action, while flying double allows for only charge and dive attacks (as they're techincally running and doing a full-round action). Not that different than ground speed, honestly.

Creatures without good or perfect maneuverability must move at least half their fly speed in a round while in mid-air, or they enter into freefall. During a freefall, one descends at a rate of 600 feet per round.

There are also maneuvers a flying creature can take, which are free actions performed as part of a move action. A creature is limited by how many maneuvers it can perform per turn (a physical act of turning around in flight, which can take some time) based upon its speed. Maneuvers are different than a creature's maneuverability rating (clumsy, poor, average, etc), and the two do not interact. This is just to clear up confusion.

Maneuvers are simple and advanced. Advanced maneuvers count as 2 maneuvers used. Simple maneuvers include 45 degree turns, diving, "climbing" higher into the air, and performing a slide-slip maneuver where they dodge to the side without turning around completely. Advanced maneuvers include stuff like ramming into enemies, really tight turns, recover out of a freefall, performing a sudden stop (airbrake), and similar stuff. Advanced maneuvers require a Dexterity check by the creature, or they can substitute a mounted character's Ride check in their place (a good incentive for humanoid riders if I've seen any).

We also have an abstract "altitude" system which determines the effective range for attacks when aerial and ground-bound opponents fight each other. Altitudes range from 0 to 6. 0 is where you're practically on top of each other and can do melee. 1 is very low, where all spells, melee, thrown and ranged weapons are effective. 2 eliminates the use of melee and thrown weapons and short-range spells, 3 elimates cone-shaped breath weapons, 4 eliminates medium-ranged spells and all breath weapons, 5 eliminates all but long-range spells, and at 6 no attacks are possible. A rather good abstraction to use for on-the-fly stuff, but it's at odds with 3.X's reliance on battle grids and range increments.

Next section goes over existing PHB rules about aerial combat, while the final section details collision damage when flying creatures ram into each other or solid objects. Basically the damage die type is determined by the collider's speed (or the higher of the two), and the size category of the smallest creature or object. Ones smaller than Tiny deal no damage at all. For example, a Huge brass dragon flying at 120 feet (d8 die) ramming into a stationary Large Red Dragon (8 die) deals 8d8 damage to itself and the red dragon. The struck creature immediately enters freefall, so it can be a good way of dealing potentially a lot of falling damage if you're willing to take a few lumps yourself.

Thoughts so far: I like the write-ups on the dragon types. I feel that they are a little too similar in parts to the Monster Manual entries, but I enjoyed the explanations of how dragonkind performed in warfare historically. As for the Aerial Combat rules, I feel that they can be too much for an already-complicated game system, and I can see more than a few groups avoid taking to the skies to speed the game up. But the maneuvers and chase scale can be useful for open-air combat, and it is thematic to the Dragonlance experience.

Next time, Chapter 9: Other Eras of Play!

Oct 23, 2010

Open up your senses
Round two character creation

Again I’m starting with some art. I like this more than the art cover but each section cover is essentially white background with a couple of sample wrestlers just posing. Some of these get reused later inside the book.

OK I admit it. Maybe the art is not the strong point of the book (One of the wrestlers in the class section is reused inside the same section. Same pose and all)

But I’m digressing let us start with character creation.
The first step to make it big is to roll for your attributes. The rules for this is to roll 4d6 six times and reroll ones. That would leave you with a range between 8 and 24 in your attributes… Also


These six attributes are determined by roll four six-sided dice (4D6) for each attribute

English is not my first language but that “roll” seems kind of… wrong. But if it’s grammatically sound I will apologize.

The stats we use in this game are as follow

Strength This stat is the most basic of them all… How hard can you punch? You use it to calculate how much can you lift as well as extra damage from your moves.

Intelligence This stat is used to learn new moves and that is pretty much it. A high intelligence gives you extra moves

Endurance The stat for taking a beating, This stat gives you extra hit points (HP) and endurance points (EP). What are these? I’m sure we will find out soon (but probably not in this round)

Charisma The classic dump-stat in your generic murder-hobo campaign, In this game charisma is all about your personal magnetism (AKA this is not beauty) you use it when you’re making a promo or you’re involved in angles (The glossary did not give us definitions for these terms but I’m sure they will be somewhere ahead) so if you want to HEAT up the crowd and have them chanting for you this is your stat. a high charisma gives you bonuses to your angle rolls

Agility This stat is used for two things: dodging and high spots. The flavor text says it’s used to move “quickly and easily” but there is also the speed stat.

Speed This is to define how quickly the wrestler moves. It also gives you bonuses to initiative so no improved initiative for you.

My opinion so far? Well the stats are simple and straight forward. You also don’t start getting bonuses to them until you have at least 13 on the relevant stat, having players roll for stat and not offering a point-buy system might end with groups of rookies that go from godly stats “MR. perfect” to “Unlucky no stat higher than 12 O’Hara”. But a nice enough GM might let you re-roll stats if you’re not happy with yours.

Also unlike other systems that also use stats these are not divided in body-mental/social stats and this is nitpicky of me but I’d have moved Endurance in the description to above Intelligence that way you can have “groups” of stats (muscle, movement, social)

Once your stats are allocated you can move on to picking your class. The core book includes 5 basic classes while the splats include some extra character options.

All classes begin with a set of abilities and they gain extra abilities as they go up in level until they get to level 10.

And lastly, all wrestlers have a finisher move at level one and earn a new finisher at level 5 and 10

The classes are:


Technical skill? Who needs it? The brawler has the best weapons on him on demand and they are not fancy moves or stuff like that. No it’s good old fisticuffs. Punch your opponent hard enough and they won’t come back for seconds.

They begin play with 4d6 +20 HP, 4d6 EP, 2 slots for skills and 1d4 +4 skill points.

They also get for being first level +1 to damage, +1d6 HP, +1d6 EP, 2 base reversals and 6 base moves.

Lastly, whenever they gain a new level they earn 1 skill slot and +1d4 skill points.


These wrestlers have sought balance among all areas of wrestling but they are so spread out they don’t master any.

They begin play with 4d6+10 HP. 3d6 EP, 2 skill slots and 1d6+4 skill points.

For being first level character they earn +1d6 HP, +1d6 EP, 2 base reversals and 8 base moves.

Lastly every level they gain an extra skill slot and +1d6 skill points


As its name indicates, this kind of wrestlers it’s about executing techniques flawlessly as it’s the class that ends with the largest pool of moves so if you don’t want to repeat after yourself this is the perfect class for you.

They begin game with 3d6+10 HP, 5d6 EP, 3 skill slots and 1d8+4 skill points

Every new level they earn 1 skill slot and 1d8 extra skills.

Lastly, for being first level they have 1d6 EP & HP, 3 base reversals and 10 base moves


Tell me. Do you have little regard for your safety and others? Do you want to take off the ground and only land back on it on top of another human who had to catch you probably against his will? Do you want to be a daredevil on the ring? If you said yes to these questions this is the class for you. As the name indicates this class is all about the aerial maneuvers and most of the wrestlers that fall within this category are smaller and more agile.

Also if we are not taking in consideration the “lucha libre” splat, this would be the class for the common idea of a luchador a high flyer masked man fighting for glory.

Their base stats are 3d6+10 HP, 3d6 EP, 2 Skill slots and 1d6+4 skill points.

Every level they earn 1 skill slot and 1d6 skill points.

Their first level bonus is +1d6 EP & HP, +1 speed, 2 base reversals and 10 base moves

Yes this class gives a bonus to a stat and nope this class doesn’t have a requirement of height/weight.


The powerhouse uses its great size/weight to pull off devastating attacks and leave their opponents sprawled on the mat.

This is also the only class with a minimum weight requirement as a powerhouse has to be at least 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) and weigh at least 260 lbs (118kg) they begin play with 5d6+10 HP 3d6 EP, 2 skill slots and 1d6 skill points

They earn 1 skill slot per level and 1d6 skill points.

Finally at first level they earn 1d8 HP & EP, 1 strength 2 base reversals and 8 base moves

So, what’s my opinion on the classes? Well they fill the basic archetypes of wrestling, there are extra classes in the splats but these 5 could give you a balanced group of wrestlers in your game. My biggest problem with these classes lays in the experience needed to go up a level.

What do I mean by this? Well every class has its own XP speed let me demonstrate.

The BRAWLER and POWERHOUSE needs 3k XP to get to level 2, the ALL ROUNDER and the HIGH FLYER need 3.5k XP and the TECHNICHAL needs 4k

And it’s pretty similar with all levels capping at level 10 with the BRAWLER needing 22k XP and all the other classes (including powerhouse) needing 24k

This is a little too book-keepish to me even if it makes certain sense if the “simpler” classes need less effort to grow. But could you picture other RPGs having their own leveling speed depending on the classes? It might be just me but it feels kind of weird.

We move to step 3. Skill selection. What about the moves? Well the move list is pretty long and stuck to the back of the book and I’ll get to them in the next update so without further ado

The skills

I’ll be honest with you all… The skill list seems more like a bunch of advantages than a skill list. There is no climb skill or jump skill and they are not related to a stat or anything but with each point you give each skill they might give you one time bonuses, or use a skill point system to get extra bonuses. There are a total of 26 skills in this book.

Most other books would divide the skills in sub-categories or they would put them in alphabetical order... Not this book, and I’ll give you them in the same order that the book has:

Fast learner : Extra moves you earn 2(2d6+2) new moves upon selecting this skill

Fast healer : Your character recovers from injuries at double rate

Referee slack : The referee is more likely to look the other side, if you use an illegal move its DQ stat is halved and the wrestler will be given 5 warning before being disqualified (up from 3 warnings)

Microphone work : This skill is for when you’re being interviewed or you’re making a promo, for every 3points invested you get a +1 to the angle (As long as it’s a Mic Work angle)

Natural charisma : you earn +1d4pts charisma for a onetime bonus

Basic angle writer : you earn a +1 to all angles the wrestler is involved with

Advanced angle writer : requires the basic angle writer, provides a +2 bonus to all angle rolls the wrestler is involved with

Acting chops : Gives a +2 to all angle rolls the wrestler is involved with

High flyer : For every 4 points invested here add +1 to all high spot bonus

Submission resistant : For every 3 points add a +1 on the submission break roll when defending against a hold

Submission master : For every 3 points add +1 on the submission roll when using a move

Fine tuning : for every 3 points in this skill you earn +20 points in endurance

The “No-sell” : If an opponent uses a move on you, you can use this skill to negate the effect of an opponent move even if it’s successfully and immediately switch initiative from the opponent to the user, you can use this skill once per mach per 3 skill points invested

Second wind : For every 3 skill points invested you can use this skill once per match. Once you use it your wrestler gains 25 EP

The miraculous kick-out : for every 3 skill points invested you can use this skill once per match. This skill allows you to escape any pin attempt with a miraculous burst of energy (good in a pinch)

The HEAT generator : You have that “it” factor that makes the fans be interested in you no matter if you’re a face or a heel, for every 3 points invested you start the match with 5 HEAT points

The negotiator : Let’s be honest, this skill is about money. No it doesn’t give you extra starting money but it gives you the following bonuses: for every 3 points invested you get an extra 10% from a contract and 5% discount in pre-match bonuses

Finisher specialization : Want to make your finishing move even more lethal? Well for every 3 points invested the finisher receives an extra 2 points of damage (and endurance drain if it’s a submission hold) and its failure chance gets reduced by 1. This skill is finisher specific so if you are a level 5 wrestler and you want to give your new finisher an extra boost you’ll have to buy this skill separately

Trademarked finisher : Do you want to make your finisher more unique? Even if it’s essentially the same move other wrestlers use? Not unlike the difference between a stunner and THE stone cold stunner? Well this is your skill for every 3 points you invest in this skill you earn 4 points of HEAT with your finisher (on top of its base HEAT). This skill is also finisher specific

Match specialization : Your wrestler is specialized in a specific kind of specialty matches (regular singles match is not included) For every 3 points you earn 10 points of HEAT, +1 to all initiative rolls and +1 damage in your kind of match

Ring technician : You want to make sure you’ll punch that other guy? Well for every 2 points invested in this skill you earn a +1 to your to strike roll when attempting to execute a move

Move specialization : This is similar to the Ring technician, but you pick one move every time you pick this skill and every time you use this move you gain a +2 to hit with it and +1 damage

Skillfull execution : you earn extra 1d4 skill points every time you level up. This skill is retroactive starting at level 2 (Yes you can invest skill points to earn extra skill points. Thankfully this seems to be a onetime deal and occupies one of your skill slots but still…)

Die-Hard following : For every 2 skill points invested in this skill you earn 2 extra HEAT points for every move you execute

The specialist : This skill lowers the endurance cost of all moves by half (round up minimum one)

Amazing recovery : For every 2 points you can turn up to 10 HEAT points in either HP or EP

And that is pretty much it for the skills

The fourth step is Finishers and moves but as I’ve said earlier we will be skipping this till the next update so off to step 5

Step 5: Rounding up

Height: You get to choose how tall your wrestler is (Remember the limitations on powerhouses) you may also choose to roll 1d4 (reroll 1) and add 3 to the roll and then roll 1d10+1 the first roll would be to define how many feet tall are you and the second one for inches (Wrestles are rarely shorter than 5 feet)

Weight: Again you may choose your weight (Remember again the limitations for powerhouses) you could also choose to roll 1d10 and then multiply the result by 10 then if your wrestler is 5 to 6 feet tall you can add 100, if he is 6 to 7 feet tall then add 200 and lastly if he is 7+ feet tall you should add 300 to the roll

Age: you might choose your wrestler age, you could also roll 1d100 then depending on the range you may check the following table

Age only comes into play if the GM is using the optional age rules

Birthday: If you’re using the optional age rules you will need to know when your wrestler turns older. For this you may choose your birthday or you can roll 2d6 for the month (Why not just 1d12?) and 5d6 for the day (So no one is born in January 1-4 it seems) The year would be calculated using the wrestler’s age

Gender: Male or Female? I’ll let the book talk for itself on this:

Why couldn’t you be a bit more like “Pendragon” with female knights?

Hometown: Where are you from? Or where do you reside?

Theme song: What song do you come out to the ring to?

Alignment: Yes there is an alignment system but no it doesn’t go in the L-C/G-E like DnD. There are 3 possible alignments. Certain moves have an alignment restriction and using moves not related to your alignment you will receive a HEAT penalty. These alignments are “Face” (Good guys, doesn’t cheat nor break rules and they protect those who can’t protect themselves) “Tweener” (Neither good nor evil, you only receive ½ penalty for using Heel moves) and “Heel” (Greedy, jealous and not nice people, they try to cheat as much as possible and will break all rules in the book if the referee is not looking)

Finances: How much money do you start with? To know you roll 1d8 x 10k

Ring entrance: Lastly you describe your ring entrance (This step is optional)

The previous update I said there would be some audience participation and here it goes… Why don’t you try to make your own wrestler?

Also, next update we will jump to the end of the book and check on the movement list, the author claims there are over 200 moves so I'll try to think of a way to make it interesting

Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!

dereku posted:

English is not my first language but that “roll” seems kind of… wrong. But if it’s grammatically sound I will apologize.

It should say "rolling" or "a roll of."

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


Grimey Drawer

Libertad! posted:

I'll just post one more for the night so you all can catch up.

I'm not seeing a Morph Ball equivalent anywhere. Pity.

Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!

Still slogging through the WLD, aka the money pit. Region F was a frothing mass of everything that could ever be done wrong in professional adventure design, so presumably things can only improve going forward. Going by level, Region C is next on our list, designed for characters of 7-9th level.

Region C: The Final Option

This entire region was apparently built to hold a powerful demon, a premise that will start to sound familiar because it is reused for Region G, N and probably others. The demon Falortuligo, presumably spawned by some sort of random name generator, was not let loose by the earthquake that rocked the dungeon, although minor demons in nearby cells were freed. About 50 years ago the goddess Myruun (a goddess of the ocean, travel and vigilance) summoned her small collection of holy warriors to the dungeon, leading them to this Region. They establish a garrison in this section and when the demon Falortuligo (try and pronounce it, I dare you) does break free they fight to the last man to slay it. The demon bashes his way through to Region B before the paladins finally slew it. This is all witnessed by Aurum, a wizard who came on his own, drawn by a vague premonition, and bore witness to the paladin's final moments.

Ridiculous name aside, I kind of like this Region's plot. Powerful demon breaks free and engages in an epic battle with paladins serving the goddess of lighthouses (which, if you think about it would be a great symbol for paladins to follow). It begs the question, since the gods are obviously aware of the dungeon why aren't they doing more about it...but then so does every other aspect of the dungeon's backstory.

Of course, this glimmer of good writing soon craps itself and dies. You see, it turns out Aurum didn't come on his own, he was also called by the same goddess (for some reason named Merunda rather than Myruun). So, he comes down to the dungeon, meets Myruun's knights and decides to hang out around here doing his wizard thing, until his experiments with extraplanar travel accidentally bring him into mental contact with Falortuligo, who apparently is also called "Ash" sometimes...for reasons. The demon claims to actually be an angel who is imprisoned along with a within the dungeon (there was actually an angel trapped along with the demon, driven mad now by the torture of imprisonment...notice how overly complicated this is starting to get?). So Aurum befriends the entity, believing it to be an angel and they swap magic tips. One of them turns out to be a trick that ends up weakening the demon's prison. It breaks free and the followers of Myruun/Merunda die putting it down. recap: the goddess knows the demon is down there and sends her followers to go down and die to keep it from escaping...but she is also the one who contacted the wizard Aurum and instructed him to travel there, presumably knowing that he would be the one to free the demon. So she sends her only followers to die unknown and unmourned under the earth and just to make sure it happens she sends along the guy who'll kill them as well.

I'm beginning to think that the entire backstory of the dungeon revolves around the gods being moronic asshats.

If PCs are coming from the level-appropriate direction, the first place they'll likely visit is the former garrison of the Order of Myruun. Unfortunately they're all dead, leaving this section painfully boring.

The first major "feature" of the garrison is a large zone created by the wizard's experiments, a field that covers several rooms and allows ethereal travel. Of course, there's no means for the PCs to identify this field, they won't have any spells or items that grant etherealness, and even if they trudge back here after picking up a spell like that then they'll find that it's completely pointless...there are no special rooms that can only be accessed via the ethereal, no traps or hazards to bypass or treasures to find. There's only one reason why this field that the ethereal filtcher from room C3 is as annoying as it can be.

This section really illustrates two things. First, the dungeon designers are still, amazingly stingy with magical items and supplies. Here's what passes for "treasure". The Ethereal filcher has a pile of quartz and colored glass with a total value of 55 gp. In a random room is a rod that was transmuted into wood via magic...the rod was originally a greater metamagic rod of silence but only a wish or miracle spell can restore its power now. In another is a pile of rusty weapons which includes a masterwork warhammer (keep in mind, the minimum level for this region is 7). Another room has a secret compartment full of duty rosters and work assignments. An atach guards a treasure hoard consisting of 5 10 gp gemstones. In a pile of ashes the PCs can find 13 stone arrowheads and a piece of obsidian that might be worth 50 gp if fashioned into a pendant. The most valuable objects in this section are a set of two stone chairs, each worth 1000 gp...which doesn't matter because even if there were anyone the PCs could sell or trade them to, they probably don't have the means to drag a pair of half-ton stone chairs through the dungeon.

In fact, throughout the entire region there are only a few pieces of actual, significant treasure. One is a longsword hidden under a DC 30 secret tile, with two DC 50 locks (and remember, no taking 10 or 20 in the WLD). It's a +3 anarchic, unholy, flaming, keen longsword so it's amazing if one of your PCs is chaotic evil...and kind of lame if no one is. The other is a necklace that is actually a circlet of persuasion...but it doesn't radiate magic so the PCs will likely think it's one of the dozens of useless trinkets scattered throughout the region. It states the PCs could cast identify on it to figure out its function...except they can't since there's no way they'll have access to the supply of 100 gp pearls the spell demands. Well, I tell a lie, since there are some gnolls toting some magic items, a couple of pieces of magic armor, a few 1st level potions, and a +1 throwing greatclub. Given that the PCs should be 9th level by the time they leave this region they'll be lucky if they each have a magic weapon by now, and there's basically no chance it'll match with their preferred weapon type. Oh, and there's also a -2 cursed longsword that is enchanted to identify as a +3 vorpal longsword. The one exception is the treasure horde of a young black dragon, which does contain some decent supplies...although many are annoyingly restricted like a necklace of health that only fits small characters, or a scabbard of keen edges that only works for longswords and as a final "gently caress you" a ring of wishes...with 0 wishes remaining.

The second is that it was a terrible idea to try and cram every monster into the dungeon. Aside from the mostly irrelevant backstory with the paladins, this region can be basically summed up as "random monsters". If there was a monster that the writers couldn't make fit into an earlier region its here. But since most of these random critters are not suitable encounters for a 7-9th level party, most of them have been arbitrarily decked out with extra HD. The ethereal filcher is 12 HD from its normal 5. A 14 HD cockatrice. There's a Dire Bat with 6 extra HD. a Large Rust monster of 14 HD (because who doesn't want to lose their weapons and armor?) as well as random monsters like an atach, hill giant, ochre jelly, gnolls, etc.

The atach encounter in particular is bizarre. The thing is 20 feet tall, which means that either the doors in the dungeon have suddenly expanded to gigantic proportions without the writers telling us, or the poor thing is having to squeeze its way through man-sized doors somehow.

Ultimately, this region is entirely pointless and just serves as a repository for misfit monsters. The backstory has no real effect on the area, and any events of significance have already occurred. This is little more than a place for players to wander the halls, fighting monsters and collecting pitiful amounts of loot. But at least its not Region F.

Redeye Flight
Mar 26, 2010

God, I'm so tired. What the hell did I post last night?
Man... the only thing worse than seeing someone take an idea you've had and implement it exceptionally, is them doing so after you've been working on that idea on and off for FIVE YEARS.

Northern Cross hurts to see, in that way. I'm hoping I can pull off high fantasy America well, but the bar's been set high.

Dec 6, 2008

Redeye Flight posted:

Northern Cross hurts to see, in that way. I'm hoping I can pull off high fantasy America well, but the bar's been set high.

As a historian of the period and region, it's ok.

Way more mileage could be taken out of doing New Spain (the largest and most developed colonial society in North America, in the whole deal. Northern Crown actually looks really funny because you realize slowly that there's three or four different English speaking groups but huge monolithic representation of everyone else.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
American historical myopia is pretty bad even at the non-specific undergrad level. Everything was Pilgrims and Indians, you see.

Redeye Flight
Mar 26, 2010

God, I'm so tired. What the hell did I post last night?

Mexcillent posted:

As a historian of the period and region, it's ok.

Way more mileage could be taken out of doing New Spain (the largest and most developed colonial society in North America, in the whole deal. Northern Crown actually looks really funny because you realize slowly that there's three or four different English speaking groups but huge monolithic representation of everyone else.

Well, after giving it some more thought, what I'm doing it a whole lot less accurate, more... I guess stylized? I can't think of a good single word. But it's not a perfect 1:1 comparison, so I don't feel so bad now.

Dec 6, 2008

Redeye Flight posted:

Well, after giving it some more thought, what I'm doing it a whole lot less accurate, more... I guess stylized? I can't think of a good single word. But it's not a perfect 1:1 comparison, so I don't feel so bad now.

Yeah, I mean history aside it's just a question of making it compelling. Northern Crown succeeds, to a degree.

Shame about the system, tho.

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Hey guys, I promise I'll finish Dragonlance Setting soon, but after seeing how some of my previously-written reviews were enjoyed I decided to port another one over here.

Click the image to be taken to the Drive-Thru RPG page.

*Clockwise from top left: the Mitt, the Ron'Pol Courtier Devil, the Santorum, and the Gingrich Newt. This image was taken from Drive-Thru RPG's product information page, so I assume that it's okay to post here. If something comes up I'll take it down.

For those who didn't keep up with the 2012 US Presidential elections, it was a crazy time. The election of Obama resulted in a new rash of political extremism among the Republican Party. Over 8 candidates joined the fray, adopting various GOP talking points. However, most of their policies were similar to each other's with some exception. Long story short, the candidates competed to see who could be more right-wing than the other.

The author of this book set out to create monstrous caricatures of 4 of these figureheads. Gamers sometimes feel angry at real-world problems, so the GOP Bestiary would serve as an outlet for player frustration.


"This is the reason for the creatures presented in The Bestiary of GOP, Grand Ol’ Predators. The monsters herein are evil, pure and simple. They want power over others, to enforce their beliefs onto the masses, or to kill, rob, and steal from others to make themselves rich. They are just plain ol’ evil predators and need to be dealt with for the betterment of civilization."

Naturally, Paizo Publishing smelled a controversy a mile away and told Misfit Studios to drop the Pathfinder logo from their product cover.

I'll come out by saying that this book is rather user-friendly. Certain words have hyperlinks built into them to take you to the relevant Pathfinder SRD page. For example, clicking on 'Will' in the saving throw stat block takes you here. It is overdone in places, such as linking the frightened condition in the word of the same name in the flavor text. Too few Pathfinder products do this, and others could learn a thing or two from the Misfits.

Although the stat blocks and game descriptions are Open Content, if I posted them all here all I'd be leaving out is the artwork and brief flavor text. I don't want to discourage interested people from checking out the product, so I'll paraphrase relevant information instead. It's normally 2 bucks on Drive-Thru, so it won't eat into your pocketbook.

Without further ado, onto the monsters!

Ron'Pol Courtier Devil

Stat Block posted:

Courtier Devil CR 4
XP 1,200
LE medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness;
Perception +13
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, +2
hp 32 (5d10+5)
Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +9
DR 10/good or 5/silver; Immune fire, poison;
Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 15
Weaknesses out-foxed
Speed 40ft.
Melee +1 longsword +8 (1d8+4/19-20), +1 dagger +8
Ranged +1 dagger +8 (1d4+3/19-20)
Special Attacks draining debate (1/minute, 1d4 Int or
Wis damage, DC varies)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th)
Constant—detect good, fly, true seeing
At Will—alter self, charm monster (DC 19),
mass suggestion (DC 21)
1/day—summon (level 3, 1 courtier devil or 6
lemures, 50%)
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 23, Wis 21, Cha 21
Base Atk +5; CMB +7; CMD 19
Feats Deceitful, Detect Expertise *, Improved Initiative
* See the magical sourcebook
Skills Bluff +13, Diplomacy +13, Disguise +13, Knowledge
(history) +11, Knowledge (nobility) +14,
Knowledge (planes) +14, Linguistics +11, Perception
+13, Profession (diplomat) +13, Sense Motive
+13, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +10
Languages Celestial, Draconic, and Infernal, plus 5
SQ hellish boon, telepathy
Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary
Treasure triple (+1 longsword, ring of protection +2, several
+1 daggers)

Special Abilities
Draining Debate (Su): A Ron’Pol’s words have the ability to reduce a subject’s ability and desire to think and reason for themselves. The courtier demon may make a Diplomacy check once per minute to convince a subject of the validity of his point of view, no matter how unreasonable or impractical it may sound. If the check succeeds, the subject must attempt a Will saving throw against the skill check’s result as the DC. Failing this save results in 1d4 Intelligence or Wisdom damage, as the Ron’Pol chooses. This heals the Ron’Pol of 5 hit points or it gains 5 temporary hit points for 10 minutes (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) per draining.

Hellish Boon (Su): Once a mortal has agreed to a deal with a Ron’Pol regarding the exchange of its soul for what it desires, it gets one wish. This wish cannot affect the Ron’Pol in any way, nor can it be bestowed on someone who has not willingly given their soul over to the courtier devil.

Out-Foxed: Obtaining two consecutive, successful Diplomacy checks that defeat the DC by 5 or more against a Ron’Pol (and/or Bluff checks, if appropriate) made during a debate or negotiation confuses the courtier demon. Its stream of thought―its lies and false rationale― gets tumbled about and twisted in its own mind. This subjects the Ron’Pol to a banishment effect with a save DC equal to the DC of the successful Diplomacy (or Bluff) check made against it. If the banishment fails, the Ron’Pol remains but is confused for 1 round.

In the real world, Ron Paul is a Libertarian Republican Congressman from Texas with strong anarcho-capitalist leanings. Basically, he believes that private property and the free market are necessary for societal prosperity, and that the government is a corrupt force which will make things worse almost all the time even with the best of intentions. Deregulation of businesses, cuts on taxes and government spending applied to everything across the board, and a non-interventionist foreign policy are some of his more prominent viewpoints. He also got in trouble for a racist newsletter back in 2006 written under his name for 20 years.

The Ron'Pol Devil is a CR 4 trickster-based monster. They are experts in convincing others the rightness or their position on any subject, regardless of its morality or practicality. Their role in the Infernal hierarchy is to get as many mortals as possible to sign over their souls in binding contracts to get what they want.

Ron'Pols are relatively fragile physically, but they have a good damage reduction and spell resistance, great social and knowledge skills, and a versatile set of spell-like abilities. Given the high save DC and flight, I'm inclined to view his Challenge Rating as a little low. Given that resurrection magic is hard to come by at low levels, and this has the possibility of granting the party a super-powerful magic item, I'd be cautious about deploying this monster in a campaign. It also has incredibly high treasure values for its CR.

Thoughts so far: I was expecting the Misfits to draw upon a more personalized accounts to construct a monster. I don't really picture Paul as a sharkey lawyer type; his unbending Libertarian ethos and "Mr. No" reputation in Congress strike him as too committed to his ideals. To me he's more like a pseudo-revolutionary whose policies will ultimately benefit the upper class at the expense of the poor. I would've made him into a false rebel type of Devil secretly fighting for the benefit of moneyed interests.

Next time: the Mitt, a greedy race of merchants who seek wealth at all costs.

The Mitt

Stat Block posted:

Mitt CR 1/3
XP 135
Mitt aristocrat 1
CE Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses gold sense 120 ft.; Perception +6
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +4
Weaknesses wealth obsessed
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 rapier +0 (1d6/18-20)
Ranged +1 light crossbow +1 (1d8+1/19-20)
Str 8, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 9
Feats Skill Focus (Profession: merchant)
Skills Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Knowledge (nobility)
+6, Perception +6, Profession (merchant) +6, Sense
Motive +6; Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +4 Diplomacy
Languages Common, Mittian
SQ social chameleon
Environment wherever money is to be had. They will
frequently claim different areas as their home in
order to better ingratiate themselves to the communities
they will bleed of all wealth.
Organization solitary
Treasure NPC Gear (leather armor, +1 rapier, +1 light
crossbow with 20 bolts, 1d4x100 gp, other treasure
and jewellery)

Special Abilities
Gold Sense (Ex): A mitt is allowed an automatic DC 15 Perception check as a free action to sense the presence of gold within 120 feet.

Social Chameleon (Ex): No matter the circumstances, no matter how badly the evidence, facts, or odds may be stacked against a mitt, their innate ability to turn a situation on its head, deny the reality of the moment, and make everyone accept their version of reality is nothing short of astounding. Any time they fail a Bluff or Diplomacy check, mitt are able to make an immediate re-roll as a free action. This re-roll is only modified by their Charisma modifier, however. Do not add any skill modifiers.

Wealth Obsessed: Mitt’s are so obsessed with obtaining wealth that they must make a DC 15 Will save to pursue any objectives they do not see as leading to the acquisition of more financial worth. That is not to say they need to make a saving throw to eat, sleep, carry on a conversation or the like― matters of daily life and basic interaction may be carried out normally. Going to a party that offers no chance of making new trade contacts, helping a village of refugees out of a sense of charity, or funding mercenaries to defend a town a mitt has already evacuated its possessions from, on the other hand, would all require a saving throw.
This saving throw must be made every day such an objective is pursued. Even if the save is successful, every consecutive day the mitt is pursuing a goal that is not self-servingly financial in nature it will suffer a cumulative -1 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom-based skill checks.

In the real world, Mitt Romney was the Republican Party's nominee for the 2012 elections. Dubbed "The Luckiest Motherfudger on Earth" by Jon Stewart, his opponents' frequent public gaffes and unpalatable far-right policies turned many voters towards him as the sanest and most moderate candidate.

In Pathfinder, Mitt are a humanoid race of beings who seek to acquire wealth at all costs. Once they gain enough capital, they seek to dominate economic policies and trade. They're more than willing to bleed entire cities dry of resources, sending many into abject poverty. Their facial features shift subtly and constantly, increasing in frequency when they become agitated and nervous.

The sample stat block for a 1st-level Aristocrat is grossly over-equipped: about 4,000 gp worth of treasure for a CR 1/3rd creature.

As a race, Mitt have no racial hit die. They're an awesome choice for spellcasters, with +2 Intelligence and Wisdom, +4 Charisma, and -2 Strength and Constitution (a net +4 bonus).

They have a +4 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks. Other racial traits include the stuff repeated in the stat block.

Thoughts so far: Mitt's overall shtick and Social Chameleon ability is to close to Ron'Pol (silver-tongued trickster whose words can get others to accept their point of view). It's slightly overpowered as a PC race. On the bright side, I find this monstrous caricature closer to the real Mitt Romney than I did with the Ron Paul counterpart.

Next time: the Gingrich Newt, a pestilent monster which fouls everything it touches.

Newt, Gingrich

Stat Block posted:

Gingrich Newt CR 3
XP 800
LE small magical beast (aquatic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision,
scent; Perception +5
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +3 natural,
+1 size)
hp 26 (4d10+4)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3
Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d4), slam +0 (1d4)
Special Attacks poisoned tongue (15 feet, 1d6 plus
1d4 Con, DC 13), toxic presence (40 ft. radius, 1d4
damage and -2 to attack and skills, DC 13)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +4; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Iron Will, Persuasive
Skills Bluff +5, Climb +4, Diplomacy +7, Perception
+5, Stealth +6, Swim +7; Racial Modifiers uses Dex
to Swim
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ amphibious, veil of appeasement (DC 15)
Environment temperate or warm marshes and
Organization solitary or mated pair
Treasure double

Special Abilities
Poisoned Tongue (Ex): Using a ranged touch attack, a gingrich can lash a target with its tongue. The tongue is barbed―so it will tear flesh and inflict 1d6 damage―and filled with poison. A gingrich cannot bite or use a slam attack in the same round it attacks with its tongue.
Injury; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Con damage; cure 1 save

Toxic Presence (Ex): A gingrich is constantly surrounded by an invisible, toxic cloud with a 10 ft. radius per HD, requiring a Fortitude save by anyone getting close enough to breathe it in. Make a saving throw every round so long as the creature remains in the cloud. Failing the saving throw induces a coughing and nausea fit that imposes a -2 penalty to attack and skill checks (and may break concentration) and inflicts 1d4 damage.

An environment exposed to a gingrich long enough will become similarly poisoned by its toxins. Small bodies of water, such as ponds, streams, and springs the gingrich regulalry frequent will pass the toxin on to anyone who drinks of them and plants, fungus, etc. will become withered and sickly, emitting spores or the like that are as harmful as the gingrich’s own toxins in a 10 foot radius. Weeks must pass in the gingrich’s absence before water will be clear of the toxins, but plants may take months or even years to shake off this poison. The female gingrich newt does not possess this ability, nor is she immune to it. Male gingrich’s, however, are immune to their own toxins, the toxins that result in the environment due to their presence, and that of other gingrich newts.

Veil of Appeasement (Sp): How other creatures may perceive these creatures, regardless of their actions, is constantly being influenced by a mind-affecting aura that makes others view a gingrich more favorably. Anyone with line of sight to a gingrich or hearing its words must make a Will save or become charmed, as per charm person (without the +5 save bonus if the creature is being threatened or attacked.) The save DC is Charisma-based.

Newt Gingrich served as the Minority Whip in the Congressional House of Representatives 1989-1995. He played a major role in the Republican Revolution of 1994, which ended the 40-year long Democratic majority in the House with the election by gaining 54 new seats for newly elected Republican officials. Several House Republicans in 1997 attempted to oust him from his role of Speaker in a failed political coup. He resigned in 1998 when his own party became willing to openly defy him.

Newt's 2012 campaign was marked with blunder after blunder, from weeks-long vacations in Europe, a campaign over $1 million in debt from buying expensive jewelry for his wife, and plans to establish a moon base in 2020.

Gingrich Newts were created by foul sorcery, and now they're spread across the land. They constantly exude an invisible cloud of toxins which contaminate nearby ecosystems and foul up waters. Once it chooses a lair, it cows and bullies weaker creatures (preferably reptilians) to do its bidding and act as intermediaries for evil plots. The population of Gingrich Newts are limited in that the female of the species are susceptible to the males' toxic presence, and become sicker over time until the male moves on to find younger, healthier mates.

The monster is a CR 3 small magical beast. They otherwise unremarkable features except for their special attacks.

This monster is quite an effective long-range monster. It has a nice AoE which can screw up spellcasters, and long-range archers or opponents who might catch it by surprise can get charmed before they attack it. It won't last long in a straight-up melee, though, and the several-round-long tongue poison gears it towards more "war of attrition" tactics.

By itself this monster could either get flattened by low-level parties or quickly drop them (at least the non-fighter types). I'd recommend giving it minions for more optimized/higher level parties.

Thoughts: For a man who made his cancer-stricken wife sign the divorce papers in a hospital bed to pursue a younger woman, a noisome swamp-lurker is an apt characterization.

Next time: The Santorum, a regressive undead zealot who seeks to further what it believes is its God's will, whether or not said God actually approves.


Stat Block posted:

Santorum CR 5
XP 1,600
NE medium undead
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception -2
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 45 (7d8+14)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +5
Defensive Abilities aura of anachronism
(120 ft. radius, DC 15),
channel resistance +4; DR 10/women; Immune undead
traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Bite +9 (1d8+4 plus drain female), 2 claws +4
Space 5 ft. Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks drain female (1d4 Constitution and
Strength, DC 15), frothy foulness (30-foot cone, DC
15, 4d6 acid)
Str 19, Dex 15, Con ―, Int 5, Wis 7, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 21
Feats Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Persuasive,
Power Attack
Skills Disguise +6, Intimidate +6, Knowledge
(religion) +4, Stealth +6
Languages any spoken in life; typically Common
SQ fanaticism
Environment any
Organization solitary, some may be accompanied by
a fanatical offshoot cult of their faith consisting of
10-100 commoners and experts, 2-4 priests (1st level
clerics) and 1 high priest (3rd level cleric)
Treasure none
Special Abilities
Aura of Anachronism (Su): A santorum’s utter refusal to believe in the workings of science actually interferes with the proper functioning of such devices within a 120 foot radius of this monster. Anyone within this range who is wielding or operating a technological or alchemical item must succeed at a Will save or it will stop functioning until such time as it is removed from range and reactivated. Such an item within this range that is activated but has no wielder or operator automatically shuts off. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Drain Female (Su): A female of any species that is bitten by a santorum is sapped of its vitality, suffering 1d4 points of Constitution and Strength damage if it fails a Fortitude saving throw. This heals the santorum of 5 hit points or it gains 5 temporary hit points for 10 minutes (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) per draining. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Fanaticism (Ex): Whenever a santorum is directly acting in what it believes to be beneficial to its god’s cause, it gains a +2 to all dice rolls. It can also reroll any one die roll per round under such circumstances. This must be done directly after the initial dice are rolled. The santorum must abide by the second result even if the original roll was better.

Frothy Foulness (Ex): All of a santorum’s rage and foulness mixes in its bowels with whatever it has eaten to produce a foul, chunky and frothy mixture that can be expelled once every other round behind it, from its rectum. This deals 4d6 acid damage to a 30-foot cone. Those caught in the area can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Rick Santorum is a former Pennsylvania Senator infamous for his socially conservative positions. After comparing homosexual intercourse to bestiality in a 2003 interview, gay rights activist Dan Savage convinced followers to google bomb his name and turn it into a sexual neologism.

During the 2012 campaign, Santorum easily bypassed most of the candidates in outrageous statements (no small feat), including but not limited to: blaming feminism for bringing more women into college and the workforce, claiming that easy access to condoms and birth control would encourage no-holds barred sexual promiscuity, and nearly called President Obama the n-word.

The Pathfinder Santorum is a form of undead created when a woman-hating, anti-science religious fanatic dies. Usually worshiping a good-aligned deity in life, the Santorum is guided by a misguided and misinterpreted view of their divine values. Caught in a limbo between planes, the soul's anger grows until it is brought back into the Material Plane when a devout follower of their god calls for divine aid (usually summoning spell). And then the Santorum seeks to pursue its sacred mission, driven by destructive rage.

The most physically imposing monster in the Bestiary. It has poor saves and low mental scores, but its natural reach and multiple natural attacks are pretty good. Depending upon your DM's definition of a technological item, the Santorum can potentially ruin a lot of equipment (although I assume the author's erring towards gadgeteer and clockwork-style items).

Unlike all the other monsters, the Santorum has no treasure value.

Thoughts: Yup, fits good ol' Rick to a T (or an S, in this case).

Concluding Thoughts: It's quite short, and I expected more monster versions of GOP candidates (there were 9 major candidates and 3 who where in very briefly). The humor was hit or miss, the monsters were primarily suited to low-level games and have pretty high treasure values, but overall it was well worth the price.

Redeye Flight
Mar 26, 2010

God, I'm so tired. What the hell did I post last night?
Years from now it will be utterly impossible to capture just how these last six years felt on the inside. A feeling of constant, unending crisis as half of the establishment seeks to regain power at the cost of destroying everything, while the other half tries to continue on the compromise ideal without realizing that even half of what the other side is selling is toxic.

We're not out of it yet, either. Cultural artifacts like this help encapsulate jsut how loving frustrating living in this time period is.

Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Your avatar is prophetic, for I was working on this review before you posted a reply.

*Aside from the title, there is no artwork inside the book. I'll be sprucing up this review with some MLP images.

Originally known as Ponies for Pathfinder, Ponyfinder details a new fantasy race for the Pathfinder RPG: Ponies! Of note is that the authors' primary intentions were for creating a balanced race, one which would not overshadow the traditional races nor be overly hampered with limitations. We'll see soon if they succeed.

Ponies are a race of equine fey who in ancient times oversaw various aspects of nature. In modern times they delegated much of this, and now live in isolated societies in remote reaches of the wilderness. They are slightly matriarchal and mostly Lawful Good, and they develop a "Brand of Destiny" on their flank upon maturity. Said brand represents a drive, passion, or thing of significant importance to the pony.

The other PHB races tolerate their presence, but ponies usually have to work harder than normal to earn their trust.

Stat-wise, there is a "basic" pony, the Earth Pony: no horn like a unicorn or wings like a pegasus (for bronies, think Applejack). Other varieties of ponies trade in the basic one's abilities for alternate racial traits.

The core Pony's traits are as follows:


Type - Fey
Size - Medium
Base Speed - 40ft
Ability Score: Standard - +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Dexterity
Languages: Linguist - Starts with Common plus Sylvan, may choose any bonus language but secret
languages, like druidic.
Racial Traits:
Hardy - +2 on saves from spells, poisons, and spell-like abilities
Feat and Skills:
Flexible Bonus Feat - 1 bonus feat at level 1.
Special Qualities: Low Light Vision, +4 CMD vs trip(Due to being four-legged), +50% carrying capacity(Due
to being four-legged)

The bonus feat alone really ratchets up the pony in versatility. On top of that their type (fey) makes them immune to many forms of spells (sleep, charm person, etc). Overall I'd say they're slightly above the other Pathfinder core races, but not enough to up their Level Equivalency or whatever Paizo is using the Advanced Race Guide.

However, due to their physiology they're limited in what they can wear (no magic rings, etc). They can use mouth as a primary hand but this inhibits verbal spellcasting with spell failure and their hooves are ill-suited to fine manipulations. Finally, a medium or heavy encumbrance prevents somatic components (which require use of hooves).

The lack of hands is a pretty big inhibitor alone, but the prehensile mouths provide some manipulation.

Pegasi have wings and live in the sky. They trade in Hardy for Fly 30 feet (clumsy), can treat any fog or cloud as a solid object in terms of interaction (can walk on clouds), Fly is a class skill, and they have -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, and +2 Wisdom as replacement racial ability modifiers.

Trading in +2 on saves for flight (even clumsy flight) is a worthy trade-off, in no due part to the versatility and ability to remain out of ground and melee reach.

Twilight Sparkle, by mbarbee73 of deviantart.

Unicorns are born with a horn that helps channel magic. They trade in Hardy for +2 to concentration when casting defensively, Light (centered on horn) and Mage Hand 3/day each, and replaces racial ability adjustments with +2 Intelligence, -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution.

Not as great as Pegasus, in that both spells can be acquired as at-will cantrips by arcane spellcasters which I assume most unicorn PCs will be.

These three ponies are the most common types. The less common breeds include:

Gem Ponies have ties to the earth, and legends say that their people once had a glorious empire of hope and radiance. They replace the bonus feat racial trait with crystalline skin (+2 AC against rays and can deflect them 1/day as per Deflect Arrows), and Eternal Hope (+2 saves against fear and despair, 1/day can re-roll a natural 1), and has the (Earth) subtype.

Ray spells are a rather common type for offensive-minded mages, and that re-roll of natural 1s can save a PCs' bacon several times in a long-term campaign. I'd say it's a good trade-off.

Seaponies trace their lineage out to the oceans, a hybrid of land and sea. They trade in Hardy for Swim as a class skill, can take 10 on all Swim checks, +4 bonus on Swim, and base speed is reduced to 30 feet.

Underpowered. Why no Swim Speed, like mermaids or aquatic elves? At least the Pegasus gains a Fly Speed! And reducing land speed, that's unnecessary.

Chaos Hunters were rare even during the height of ponykind. Their lineage is a proud one, of tales of heroes and warriors who battled the forces of chaos.

You trade in your bonus feat for a +1 on all will saves (this can stack with Hardy) and a +2 dodge bonus and grapple checks against Chaotic Outsiders.

Too situational for most campaigns. Chaotic Outsiders are not very common adversaries in D&D except as demons. In a demon-hunting campaign, possible but not stellar.

Doppelgangers are ponies who discretely live among the other types, drawing power when they successfully fool people with their illusions. Overall they're quite selfish, but exceptions always abound.

They trade in their bonus feat for the Shapeshifter subtype, a specific pony shape they can change into as a standard action (+10 Disguise to appear as that pony and functions as Alter Self but with no ability score adjustment), and when they successfully use an illusion or enchantment spell on a target they gain a +1 on attack rolls, caster level checks, and ability checks for a number of rounds equal to the spell's duration.

the limited shape change is nothing special, but the +1 bonus can be useful when combined with a beneficial buff spell such as heroism (you and your party benefit). I'd say it's a fine trade-off.

Oh, and the pony types can interbreed. However, they only gain the traits of one parent or the other, not both (so you can't be a Chaos Hunter Pegasus or something like that).

Thoughts so far: I personally feel that the Pony race is overpowered due to the bonus feat and the Pegasus flight option. They make for poor melee fighters (they have no natural weapons and one "hand") and don't really excel over the other races: halflings are still the uber-rogues, Elves still the choice of wizard builds. If anything they kind of show up humans; the races' versatility in ability scores for pony types, and myriad other abilities, puts them relatively on par with the "+2 to an ability score of your choice" and extra skill point.

Next time, Pony feats and fluff text for classes!

Part 2: Feats

So in the next section we have a list of feats for ponies, themed around their nature and abilities. There's so many that I'm not going to bother quoting them all, but I'll cover most of them.

Strong Wings and Adamant Wings allows you to fly in medium and heavy armor respectively. Given that there are various flying mounts for bipedal characters who can wear heavy armor, I'd be more okay with this feat if it didn't have such steep prerequisites (levels 5 and 12+ and Dashing Flyer).

Adept Changeling allows Doppelgangers to imitate the form of any pony they've seen. It's effectively a feat for a Hat of Disguise Self. Could be useful at low levels, but after that it's easily replicated by magic items. Master Changeling allows the pony to assume humanoid forms and wear humanoid-designed equipment.

Extended and Advanced Horn Magic are 2 feats which extend a unicorn's spell-like abilities. Extended grants a permanent Mage Hand effect (indefinite use on one object), while Advanced allows for wielding weapons, shields, and medium loads; off-handed attacks can be made weapons wielded by Mage Hand, including two-handed ones, substituting Intelligence for Strength. They have no prerequisites other than Unicorn (and Extended in case of Advanced), making it really nice for mage knight builds.

Focused Horn Magic attunes the horn to a specific school of magic, granting +1 to save DC of related spells and can Extend said spells 1/day with no increase in spell level. Really, really good.

Practiced Horn Magic uses the pony's Intelligence score for carrying capacity. Combined with Advanced Horn Magic you can lift some really heavy objects.

Oh, and by the way the text is worded, the Horn Magic feats are activated whenever Mage Hand is cast, meaning that an arcane spellcaster unicorn can effectively gain an infinite-use minor telekinesis spell.

Agent of Law and Chaos Sense are for Chaos Hunters; the former grants racial bonuses to aberrations in addition to chaotic outsiders, while chaos sense grants detect chaos 2/day. Agent of Law extends the usefulness of a Chaos Hunter's abilities (there's a lot of aberrations), but Chaos Sense is too few and too situational to matter most of the time. Strike From the Heart grants True Strike 1/day against said creatures.

Cloud Kicker allows a Pegasus to destroy natural and magical cloud and fog effects by kicking it with their hind hooves. For magical ones, a dispel check is used. Given that a lot of Save or Dies and battlefield control spells are cloud-related, this can be pretty good. Weather Pony is the next feat up which allows the pony to move the entire fog/cloud effect with their movement if it's within reach. Mobile battlefield control!

Dashing Flyer increases a pony's natural fly speed by 10 feet and maneuverability by one step each time it's taken. A rather steep feat tax to get a Pegasus with a good speed, but flying's so great in 3rd Edition it's not really a waste.

Day Wing and Night Wing are feats which can be taken by pegasi, where after a ritual to the goddesses of either day/night their wings transform into butterfly/bat wings respectively. Day Wing allows the pony to automatically succeed at all Fly checks related to hovering in place, while Night Wing grants Darkvision 60 feet. Night Wing is more useful IMO, given that the DC for hovering is 15 and can eventually be automatic success at higher levels.

Pious Brand manifests the worshiped deity's holy symbol as their Brand of Destiny. It effectively functions as a divine focus for the casting of spells. Mechanics-wise it doesn't grant much, as losing a holy symbol doesn't occur that often in most games.

The Sea Pony gets the short end of the stick when it comes to feats. Return to the Sea grants a natural swim speed equal to their base land speed +10 feet, while Smooth Rise allows them to stand up from a prone position without provoking attacks of opportunity with a DC 20 Acrobatics (swift action if the result is 30 or higher). Water Burst grants hydraulic push as a spell-like ability 2 times per day. Water Affinity grants +1 Caster Level with water-related spells.

Gem Ponies get to choose from Hopeful Heart, which allows them to reroll failed saves against despair-based effects, while Beacon of Hope grants their racial bonus on saving throws against fear and despair effects to all allies within 60 feet. Lustrous Coat provides additional +2 AC against ray attacks each time it's taken.

Thoughts so far: a few feats are underpowered, some worth the price, a few definitely contain abusive potential. Pegasi get the most feats and the most varied effects in comparison to the other breeds (who are more limited in their choices). Overall this section had enough cool ideas to make it worthwhile.

Next time, ponies and character classes!

Part 3: Ponies and Character Classes

This part covers fluff text for the Pathfinder Corebook and APG character classes, along with new favored class options and other mechanical benefits.

Not too many ponies are barbarians or gunslingers due to the unorthodox fighting styles unsuited to their physiology. They're naturally drawn to the druid and ranger classes due to their fey nature and cultural legacies, while those who follow the paths of Cleric, Oracle, and Paladin are renowned for their faith and idealism. Gem ponies in particular are attracted to paladins. Most pony fighters are surprisingly unicorns, as their Horn Magic and Mage Hand allows them to wield weapons. Summoners and Witches are rare due to reluctance about forging alliances with extraplanar beings who aren't part of their pantheon.

The Favored Class Options are all over the place in terms of balance:


Alchemist: Add +1/4 to the alchemist's natural armor bonus when using his mutagen.
Barbarian: Add +1 to the barbarian's base speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the barbarian has
selected it five times (or another increment of five). This bonus stacks with the barbarian's fast movement feature
and applies under the same conditions as that feature.
Bard Add 1 to the pony's total number of bardic performance rounds per day.
Cavalier Add +1/4 to the cavalier's banner bonus.
Fighter Add +1 to the Fighter's CMD when resisting a disarm or sunder attempt.
Monk Add +1 to the monk's base speed. In combat this option has no effect unless the monk has selected it
five times (or another increment of five). This bonus stacks with the monk's fast movement class feature and
applies under the same conditions as that feature.
Oracle Add +1/2 to the oracle's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one revelation.
Paladin Add +1/2 hit point to the paladin's lay on hands ability (whether using it to heal or harm).
Ranger Add +1 hit point or +1 skill rank to the ranger's animal companion. If the ranger ever replaces his
companion, the new companion gains these bonus hit points or skill ranks.
Rogue The rogue gains +1/6 of a new rogue talent.
Sorcerer Add one spell known from the sorcerer spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the
highest spell level the sorcerer can cast.
Summoner The eidolon gains DR 1/Cold Iron. Every time this is selected, the DR of the eidolon increases by
Witch The witch gains 1/6 of a new witch hex.
Wizard Select one arcane school power at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to
3 + the wizard's Intelligence modifier. The wizard adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that arcane school

The Bard and Sorcerer options are immediately useful when taken, while Barbarian and Monk are one of the slowest to progress. Unlike a Rogue talent or Witch Hex, +5 to speed isn't going to be that great in the grand scheme of themes or make as great an impact on character power.

The 3 Racial Archetypes are Pony Scholar (Wizard), Witch Doctor (Witch), and Mystic Prancer (Bard).

The Pony Scholar is a more intuitively focused Wizard. In exchange for 2 additional opposition schools, they can use the best of intelligence, wisdom, or charisma for save DCs, spells per day, and related factors. Not worth it. However, at 10th level they can avoid expending a spell slot 1-3 times per day (depending upon level) in exchange for suffering a level of fatigue in exchange for their bonus feat. Totally worth it.

The Witch Doctors pledge allegiance to the myriad spirits of the land instead of a single entity. In exchange for their 8th and 10th level hexes, they can create herbal remedies which can alleviate bleeding/stun/paralysis/sleep and a witch's brew which can eliminate negative levels. The herbal remedies feature is more useful, as it only takes a full-round action to make and doesn't cost anything in components, plus it's one of the few ways to eliminate the stunned condition.

Mystic Prancers are wandering musician ponies with a knack for making friends. They gain the Cunning Linguist feat (ignore arcane spell failure when holding objects in mouth, replaces shield proficiency), +1/2 bard level on Bluff and Diplomacy checks (replaces countersong), and fascinate causes targets to follow the pony wherever they go. Considering that casting bard spells is almost impossible for ponies without this alternative, and trades in a proficiency they'll never use, this option's a no-brainer.

A new Sorcerer Bloodline, Unification, is provided. Such ponies are called to unify the various breeds in harmony. Their features involve gaining the racial traits of other pony breeds as they advance in levels, and treat fey as humanoids for the purposes of cast spells. At 20th level they become fey incarnate, with immortality to aging and DR 10/Cold Iron.

A pretty good bloodline for all the stuff they get.

Thoughts so far: Spellcasters get all the cool stuff, with noncasters falling by the wayside. I suppose it's appropriate, given the magical nature of ponies, but other options should be viable for those who want to play against type.

Next time, Pony Equipment and Pony Spells!

Part 4: Pony Equipment and Spells

The new list of pony equipment breaks convention by having only one magic item. Everything else is 'mundane."

Quadrupedal is a new item template which turns rings, gloves, and other hand slot items into forehoof anklets for 25% to the gp cost. This is a massive increase to the cost of medium and major magic items; I personally would've gone with a flat bonus (+500 gp or so).

Striking Horseshoes and Mouth Kits are pony versions of spiked gauntlets and thieves' tools.

Pony Saddle Bags are equivalent to Pack Saddles, but designed to be easily opened without hands (the mouth).

Saddle Rack is a harness meant to hold a weapon, preferably a piercing one such as a lance. Ponies can fight with two weapons (one in mouth and one in harness), but it adds an additional -2 penalty to two-weapon fighting.

Elements of Destiny are the sole magic item, for 20,000 gp. They're crowns fashioned in groups of 3 to 6, each designed for a specific destiny (the ponies must have the same Brand of Destiny to benefit). When pursuing goals in pursuit of the destiny, the wearers gain a +1 on ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, and caster level checks. It can be extended to +2 collectively for 5 rounds/day. Against aberrations and chaotic outsiders the base bonus increases by another 1.

I personally feel that the Elements are overpriced. Keep in mind that a 3-6 set would cost 60-120,000 gp to buy (half to build) for some small bonuses which are very situational.

The seven pony spells are mostly low-level and varied, accessible to many classes (from wizards to oracles to clerics and druids).

Blast of Harmony is just like Order's Wrath, but the bonus from an Element of Destiny can be applied to the DC. Said spell can only be learned and cast by ponies.

Flavorful, but would be better as part of the Elements of Destiny for Order's Wrath instead of a new spell.

Human Way is a 2nd-level spell which turns a target pony's hooves into hands for 10 minutes per level. And can wear rings/gloves/etc for this duration (items slide off harmlessly at the end of spell's duration).

I like this spell, too.

Pegasus Blessing functions as the Fly spell, except it can only cast by worshipers of Princess Luminace. It grants the target functional butterfly wings for the spell's duration.

This would be better served as a heading under Luminace's deity entry than a new spell, but that's more an aesthetic thing.

Placate Plants is a 3rd level Druid and Ranger spell which is cast on hostile plant monsters and terrain. On a failed Will save the plant cannot attack the caster or her companions.

It can effect multiple targets, so it's a good spell.

Pony Way is a 2nd-level spell which affects a single living creature with opposable thumbs/digits on a failed Fort save for 1 minute/level. The fingers ball up painfully and held items are dropped, rendering them useless for worn magic items, somatic spellcasting, and manipulating objects.

It's a very good spell to use against enemy spellcasters, as ones without Still Spell will be unable to use their magic for the duration. However it's not too overpowered as a new save can be made as a move action as the target painfully struggles to "open" their hands.

Rainbow Wings is a 2nd-level spell which makes natural flight easier for targets. It increases flight movement and maneuverability based on caster level for 1 hour/level, to a maximum of +30 feet/2 categories up at 12/10th level. Multi-colored hues trail behind the target as they fly.

Sort of limited, but good for pegasus PCs and bipedal PCs riding on flying mounts.

Sticky Hoof is a 1st-level spell which applies a selectively sticky substance to a pony's hooves for 1 hour/level. The target pony can will touched objects to stick to their hoof, and are counted as "held." Shields and weapons cannot be used for their intended functions with this spell, though.

Worse than Human Way, but lower level and longer-lasting, so I guess it's fine.

Thoughts so far: They're nothing special, and more than a few are just reflavored ones as opposed to genuinely new entries. Not as strong as the race and feat entries, but that's fine as they're rather minor as far as things go.

Next time, Pony deities and ponies as mounts/familiars!

Part 5: Pony Deities

Although ponies have their own pantheon of deities, they have little problem worshiping other deities, especially the younger generation and ones living in more cosmopolitan communities. The pony deities belong to no specific breed (with one exception), representing the grandness of ponykind.

Blaze is the Chaotic Evil deity of summer, rage, and vengeance. Theologians believe that she is another side of the Sun Queen bereft of mercy. Most ponies pray to her out of fear and to stay her wrath. Her worshipers are fiery warmongers who give no quarter.

Kara is the Neutral Evil deity of the doppelgangers. It is said that she is the greatest among them, able to wear any guise and slip in anywhere unnoticed. Her plots and schemes are almost unknown, wrapped in half-truths and conspiracies. Few ponies worship her, but she attracts the devotion of doppelgangers and other shapeshifters with promises of power and protection.

Princess Luminace is a Lawful Good mortal unicorn-turned-deity after the rest of the pantheon rewarded her countless trials against the forces of Evil and Chaos. In her mortal life she was very studious, and as a deity she encourages the pursuit of knowledge and the protection of ponykind and the innocent. She often bestows wisdom and advice to the faithful via books, tomes, and scrolls containing knowledge related to their current struggle.

*Twilight Sparkle by FushigiOoka of deviantart

The Moon Princess is the Lawful Neutral ruler of the night. She watches over the world when the sun is down, vigilant against the numerous monsters and terrors which flock to the shadows. Her worshipers are tasked with hunting down and learning of the creatures of the night, and receive divine aid and visions through dreams.

*Princess Luna by atryl of deviantart

The Sun Queen is the Neutral Good goddess of the sun. Ponies believe that she raises the sun each morning with her pure white wings, and her worshipers tend towards positions of diplomacy and leadership so that they can spread her teachings and mercy to the world. She does not communicate with her worshipers directly much, but when she does it's unforgettable as she descends from the heavens on a glorious chariot drawn by massive pegasi.

*Princess Celestia, by MetalPandora of deviantart.

The Night Mare is the Lawful Evil rival and ideological opposite of the Moon Princess. She claims responsibility for vampires, wraith, and other fell creatures which shy away from the sun's lights, and claims that ponies who cannot defend themselves against hardship are unworthy as worshipers and of protection. She and her worshipers believe that ponykind must shed itself of "soft" tendencies, otherwise the weak will hold the rest of them down.

*Nightmare Moon by Huussii of deviantart.

The Unspoken is a Chaotic Neutral primal force which has plagued ponies since before the dawn of civilization. Although not actively evil, his actions are intolerable to order and stability, and his few worshipers delight in spreading mischief and discord.

*Discord by fallenzephyr of deviantart

Thoughts so far: I really enjoy this section from both a mechanical and flavor standpoint. A lot of their cleric domains are not present in Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and it doesn't specify which book contains them. This is unfortunate, as it will add to unnecessary book-flipping in game sessions.

Next time, ponies as familiars and mounts.

Part 6: Ponies as Mounts and Familiars

Ponies as animal companions and Paladin mounts are rare, because in part ponies are intelligent fey who do not like being treated as a common beast of burden. The text recommends against allowing PCs to select ponies as such, but provides stats for lenient GMs.


Starting Statistics
Size Small; Speed 40 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack Slam (1d4-1); Ability Scores Str 6, Dex 9, Con 8; Int
10; Wis 11; Cha 10; Special Qualities low-light vision, can wield weapons/use tools and use most magic
4th-Level Advancement
Ability Scores Str +6, Dex +2, Con +6.
Size Medium

By RAW, wouldn't a pony not qualify as an animal companion in the first place? I mean, they're not even the right monster type.

Ponies as familiars, on the other hand, are much more common. Many young ponies are eager to learn magic and tag along with a sorcerer or wizard by establishing an arcane bond with them.

A Sorcerer/Wizard with the Improved Familiar feat can select Earth ponies at 5th level, Pegasi and Unicorns at 7th level. Other breeds of ponies are too rare to be selected (seems kind of unfair, dontcha think?).

I've got to say, ponies as familiars are the best thing, and here's why:


All pony familiars gain in ability as they learn from their master. For every two levels above the minimum to gain the pony familiar, increase its intelligence, concentration, and effective wizard level(1 to start) by 1. Add two spells to the pony's known spell list, which should either be known by the master, or paid for out of the master's coin purse. The familiar also has the standard amount of memorization slots for its wizard level, specialization, and intelligence. This increase does not affect any other stat of the pony, such as saving throws, or base attack bonus, but the pony will earn a bonus metamagic feat upon gaining wizard levels 5, 10, 15, or 20, and may assign extra skill points and languages earned from its increase in intelligence. Familiars may not, themselves, have an arcane bond. This bond already exists, and is tied to their master. A pony familiar is either universalist, or the same specialization as their master, at the master's choice upon gaining the familiar. Non-wizards who gain a pony familiar always get universalists.

That's right, your familiar can cast and learn spells!

Pony familiar stats:


NG Small fey
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 natural, +1 size)
hp 7 (3d6-3)
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +5; +2 vs. poison, Spells, and spell-like effects
Speed 40 ft
Melee slam –2 (1d3–2)
Str 6, Dex 12, Con 8, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB –4; CMD 7 (+4 vs trip)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +5)
At Will -- Read Magic, Detect Magic, Mage Hand
1/day-- Magic Missile, Mage Armor, Protection from Evil
Considered a first level wizard for purposes of using magic items.
Feats Iron Will, Combat Casting
Skills Diplomacy +2, Knowledge (Arcana) +10, Knowledge (planes) +2, Knowledge(religion) +2, Perception
+5, Sense Motive +4, Spellcraft +8,
Languages Common, Sylvan

NG Small fey
Init +3; Senses low-light vision;Perception +5
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+3 natural, +1 size)
hp 4 (3d6-6)
Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +5;
Speed 40ft, Fly 40ft(poor)
Melee slam –3 (1d3–3)
Str 4, Dex 16, Con 6, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB –3; CMD 8 (+4 vs trip)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +1)
At Will -- Read Magic, Detect Magic, Mage Hand
1/day-- Magic Missile, Mage Armor, Protection from Evil
Considered a first level wizard for purposes of using magic items.
Feats Iron Will, Dashing Flyer, Cloud Kicker
Skills Diplomacy +2, Knowledge (Arcana) +10, Knowledge (planes) +2, Knowledge(religion) +2, Perception
+5, Fly +4, Spellcraft +8,
Languages Common, Sylvan

NG Small fey
Init +1; Senses low-light vision;Perception +4
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 natural, +1 size)
hp 7 (3d6-3)
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4
Speed 40ft
Melee slam –2 (1d3–2)
Str 6, Dex 12, Con 8, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB –4; CMD 7 (+4 vs trip)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +2)
At Will -- Read Magic, Detect Magic, Mage Hand
1/day--Magic Missile, Mage Armor, Protection from Evil
2/day -- Unicorn Support
Considered a first level wizard for purposes of using magic items.
Feats Iron Will, Advanced Horn Magic, Practiced Horn Magic
Skills Diplomacy +2, Knowledge (Arcana) +11, Knowledge (planes) +3, Knowledge(religion) +3, Perception
+4, Sense Motive +4, Spellcraft +8,
Languages Common, Sylvan
Unicorn Support -- This ability is a standard action for a unicorn, allowing it to support its master's
spellcasting. The unicorn must ready an action to prepare for the next spell cast by its bonded spellcaster. The
spellcaster enjoys +2 effective caster level for the supported spell as raw magic is funneled from the unicorn's
horn into the forming spell. The casting of this supported spell provokes an attack of opportunity for both the
spellcaster and the unicorn. The spellcaster may cast defensively as normal, but the unicorn has no such

Unicorn Support practically screams "pick me!" to PCs.

Surprisingly, the book has 10 more pages, of nothing but the OGL. Seriously, the amount of sourcebooks they cited probably number over 100!

Final Thoughts: Ponies as a race, and as familiars, are really powerful options, and I feel that the designers did not balance them in accordance with the standard Corebook options. Not that I particularly mind, as precious few of them eclipse god-tier spellcasters.

Would I recommend it? If you're an MLP fan, or like the flavor text of lawful fey driven by destiny, then yes.

Edit: The creator David Silver saw my review when I first posted it on Min-Max Boards, and sought to correct some changes and beef up the underpowered feats. I downloaded the book again, but I didn't see any of the changes implemented aside from a shorter OGL.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 20:06 on Dec 22, 2013

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Redeye Flight posted:

We're not out of it yet, either. Cultural artifacts like this help encapsulate jsut how loving frustrating living in this time period is.

Not sure I'm thrilled with most of the monsters having mind-influencing effects, but it is an interesting snapshot of some irritated gamers.

Also a snapshot of Paizo: political commentary is bad, rape is just fine, though... :shrug:

Libertad! posted:

Edit: The creator David Silver saw my review when I first posted it on Min-Max Boards, and sought to correct some changes and beef up the underpowered feats. I downloaded the book again, but I didn't see any of the changes implemented aside from a shorter OGL.

As long as you're using Pathfinder, I'm not sure you can sweat character balance.


Oct 9, 2012

That's a funny-looking P in the title. When I first glanced at the image, I thought it said Gor.

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