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Garryl's Germinations / Re: [Aura] Base Class - Marshal
« on: July 05, 2017, 11:40:06 PM »
Some thoughts on a few of the marshal's major auras at 1st-2nd level (mostly 1st).

Motivate Endurance: Allies gain a bonus to their Armor Class while the ally has half of its maximum hit points or less. Allies within the aura that are reduced to 0 or lower hp automatically stabilize, can act normally, are are not at risk of damage from performing strenuous actions. While at 0 hp or lower, allies gain 5 temporary hit points per point of your aura bonus each round at the beginning of your turn. These temporary hit points last until the beginning of your next turn (when they are granted anew). Allies do not die and are not destroyed until their hit points are 5 lower than normal per point of your aura bonus.

Current thoughts on the matter of Motivate Endurance: The current version (above) seems like it would be too potent in the earliest of levels. Thanks to the Diehard aspect, there's an extra 10 hp to work with in a pinch for everyone in the party (at least until the marshal himself dies). It's a risky 10 hp, since you're eating into the buffer between unconsciousness and death, but it's there, and with it the aura effectively adds 15 hp to your staying power right at 1st level. There's also an inconsistency in power level, as nonliving creatures don't actually get that extra 10 hp buffer to use.

Also, technically, Motivate Endurance has a similar problem with nonlethal damage as Diehard from the PHB does. Any nonlethal damage is greater than your hit point total if you're at negative hp, so you fall unconscious anyways. That, or you're functionally immune to nonlethal damage, but only when at 0 or lower hp. Either way is inane.

There's also a small issue of Motivate Endurance functionally adding to your hp total, yet not really doing so, thus allowing it to stack with things that actually do, like the Tough It Out minor aura, which it shouldn't stack with.

One last thing, not directly related to the rebalancing effort, is the way temp hp gets granted. It's entirely binary, meaning that 1 hp difference can grant you 5 or more temp hp each round. There's also a little confusion with the timing, as there is either a theoretical moment where you've lost the previous round's temp hp but haven't received the temp hp for the new round, or you might not actually get temp hp in the new round at all due to the remaining temp hp from the previous round pushing you above the threshold. It's bugged me for a long time, but it never seemed worth the effort to rework on its own.

Proposed changes: Essentially rewriting the aura's mechanics, although keeping to the same concepts. Remove the Diehard aspect (conscious and can act at negative hp), although keep the automatic stabilization. Change the extended death threshold thing to a hit point bonus instead (similar to the Tough It Out minor aura). The temp hp at 0 or lower gets rejiggered, too. Note that the change from extending the death and consciousness thresholds to adding hp directly means that the AC bonus on 1/2 hp doesn't kick in until you've taken slightly more damage than before.

Motivate Endurance: Allies gain a bonus to current and maximum hit points equal to five times your aura bonus. These hit points are not lost first like temporary hit points, and disappear when the aura is lost. Allies with half their (newly increased) maximum hit points or less gain a bonus to their Armor Class. Allies reduced to 0 or lower hit points automatically stabilize. Each round at the beginning of your turn, allies with fewer hit points than five times your aura bonus, excluding temporary hit points, gain temporary hit points equal to the difference. These temporary hit points last until the beginning of your next turn as new temporary hit points as granted, or until the aura is lost.

Note: These changes would also apply to Pain and Suffering (divine mind mantle aura) and Stamina (dragon shaman draconic aura).

Side note: Add in a bonus to Endurance-modified checks/rolls (as the Long Haul minor aura) as an additional minor benefit. It's thematic, if nothing else, and it feels weird to have an aura called Motivate Endurance not boost Endurance. I believe the standard for secondary skill boosts on major-tier auras (divine, draconic, major, mantle) is 2x the aura bonus.

Inspire Pain: Each round at the beginning of their turn, enemies in the aura take damage equal to twice your aura bonus. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal damage, chosen when the aura is activated. You can change this selection as the same type of action as activating an aura. This damage is not affected by damage reduction.

Inspire Pain and the auras like it for the divine mind (Death, Fire) and paladin (Wrath), are intended to provide a small but consistent source of damage to nearby enemies. They are intended to build up damage across multiple foes to aid the actual attacks and AoEs in dropping them, similar to how damage buffing auras do, but along a different vector. The auras are only intended to actually finish off enemies that have already been weakened by attacks that nearly, but not quite, dropped them already.

Inspire Pain's damage value is low, but unlike the similar auras of other classes, is available at 1st level, when monster hit points are also low. At higher levels, the damage the aura deals is insufficient to drop all but the weakest of enemies in a reasonable time frame, but CR 1/2 and lower monsters can often have 6 hp or less.

Proposed changes: The damage trigger changes from the beginning of enemy turns to the end. This gives enemies one extra round of actions before being dropped, and allows some counterplay by allowing them to flee beyond the range of the aura in order to avoid the damage before it triggers.

Note: These changes would also apply to Death, Fire (divine mind mantle aura), and Wrath (paladin divine aura).

Motivate Retribution: Melee attacks that hit allies cause the attacker to suffer 1d6 damage per point of aura bonus. This damage is not affected by damage reduction.

Motivate Retribution's reactive damage is a concern, much like Inspire Pain's automatic damage. The numbers are larger, although the triggers are less frequent. Motivate Retribution also has a slightly more direct comparison to damage adders like Motivate Ardor, which add +1d4 damage per point of bonus to allies attacks.

Against any melee attacker, Motivate Retribution is guaranteed to trigger if the enemy wishes to actually do anything in the fight. If the attacker needs to trigger the reactive damage enough to be dropped himself in the process of dropping a PC, then the battle is effectively won automatically by the Motivate Retribution aura, and that's a bad thing. Small hp pools, small to moderate damage values, and a prevalence of melee attacks (as opposed to ranged or magical attack vectors) at low levels make this a concerning issue. The variance in the retributive damage, and in standard damage rolls, does make an absolute guarantee of this much harder, at least.

Proposed changes: None yet, although I'll be keeping my eye on this aura's potential.

If it's settled, then might as well. I had read something about changing how the sub-boards were being handled.

New thread on the new/old boards.

Since everyone seems to have made the transition except me, would it be more convenient if we moved this thread over to the new/old boards?

Board Discussion / Re: Request what you need!
« on: July 02, 2017, 07:10:13 PM »
Nope. On my laptop. Same Firefox web browser that was working just fine an hour ago.

In any case, the problem seems to be resolved.

Board Discussion / Re: Request what you need!
« on: July 02, 2017, 06:54:32 PM »
Glad the backup boards are still here. We can still communicate with the staff in case bugs drop the main boards for a bit.

I'm getting "Unable to load the 'main_above' template." when I try to load the main boards. I'm sure you've noticed already and are working on fixing it, but I figure mentioning it can't hurt in the off chance you didn't.

Dak-Tharsh: The primarily-goblinoid nation of Dak-Tharsh has a history of butting heads with its neighbors. The expansionist Dragon Party has been growing in popularity in recent years after the ruling Manticore Party refused to involve Dak-Tharsh in the Second Dawnstar War on Antares. This unstable political climate has made its neighbors uneasy.

And now I want to play a goblin again.

It's still on the table. Just find a link with strongheart halfling stats if you want to refluff the race like you were talking about before.

Non-Arhosan Material / Re: Commander [Base]
« on: July 02, 2017, 01:42:06 PM »
This is going to be kind of in the order my brain responds:

The reason I'm a little worried about giving a commoner nothing is that if he dies (easy at 1st level and even more so at 2nd and 3rd), that class feature (i.e. half of the Commander class in many ways) is gone for a minimum of a week. It's very easy for a DM who wants (or even one who doesn't) to clobber the cohort and his max 4 hp (barring racial modifiers). One hit from the aforementioned orc barbarian and he evaporates. On the other hand... I see where you're coming from in as much as a well designed commoner (I'm not going as far as Troll-blooded, even) is a useful party contributor at 1st level. What would you say to the foci being applied at commander level 2 instead of level 1?

For the Presence aura, what about adding a save against fascinate for anyone who views a creature under the effect? It's a fairly minor debuff that doesn't work in combat, but is good in social situations.

For the Senses aura, I don't really want to get into adding things like darkvision and up, so... what about cannot be dazzled, blinded, or deafened?

I don't want to get away from basing the aura on Charisma, because otherwise the commander has precisely nothing valuable that's based off of any ability score, and can instead choose to focus entirely on being whatever he wants to be, knowing the chassis just sort of appears around him as he levels.

I agree with all of these ideas. Maybe toning down the immunity to dazzle/blind/deafen to just a bonus on saves against them, though? I dunno.

Non-Arhosan Material / Re: Commander [Base]
« on: July 02, 2017, 12:25:14 PM »
I would disagree that the Marshal got it right in terms of major aura scaling for the very reason you mentioned earlier in your post - it's too weak. By later levels of the game, +5 attack to those party members that need it is so easily reproduceable in a decent party that the focus shifts from "can I hit" to "what non-combat defenses do I need to overcome". And when it comes to coping with battlefield control, flying, etherealness, etc., the Marshal's bonuses are too small to make an impact. The game does not scale in a linear fashion, so making abilities that do almost always results in a falling behind the power curve unless there's other class abilities that jump off of it.

Oh, the marshal still messed up the numbers, and the lack of anything else in the class is an even more extreme problem for the class as a whole. I'm just pointing out what it did get right, the concept of dividing these different sets of numbers into a fast, automatic scaling group and a slow, deliberate scaling group.

There are two ways around that: attempting to scale the bonus manually (Rage is an example, getting both more and bigger bonuses as the game goes on), or letting the player scale the bonus as appropriate for the game that he is in. The easiest way to do the latter is to tie it to an ability score, in this case Charisma. I would not claim it is a perfect solution, but the only one that immediately comes to mind is a kind of "point buy for auras", where every level the commander gets a number of points that he can expend to increase the bonus from one or more auras, but that involves both more bookkeeping and less flexibility for the class.

Do what the original marshal did, but with more reasonable numbers and not relying on it for 100% of the class's capabilities. Start off the aura bonus at +1 at 1st level, then scale it directly with class levels, +1 every few levels. This would require a bit of revision to the rest of the commander's class features, though, since aside from the auras only seal the breach relies on Charisma.

Based on discussions we've had elsewhere, the Commander starts out at tier 1 at lower levels, but slowly slides down the ranking system to tier 3 as other classes get more of their abilities. So there's too much "pop" at first level, especially, because the Cha bonus does not increase gradually, but rather starts out high for the level and then tails off to where it's quite possibly only one higher four levels later at 5th. The solution proposed, and one I think is quite effective, is to limit the aura bonus to min(class level or charisma modifier). It puts the Commander at a maximum of +2 at 1st level (due to the feat), which is in the right range to give the RNG a bit of a nudge but without overbalancing it. Without the feat, it looks better, so one item that might be necessary is to limit that feat to 3rd or 6th level Commanders, not 1st level ones, since it's such an obvious benefit to take.

Now, as to the equality of bonuses from auras: you are correct that the scaling between different benefits is not accurate. Looking at it again, I'd switch over to this (comments in bold):
(click to show/hide)

The combined changes should beat the Commander back down to a sane level at 1st from the Aura side.

With the initial spike removed, the auras as a whole are a lot more reasonable. Once you figure out what scaling options you're ultimately going with, you can reevaluate how each individual aura applies it.

One thing I really want is for something extra to be added to Presence. It's just skills, while every single other aura has a combat application. Senses, too, has room for a little more since it's pretty much only useful at the moment battle starts and not afterwards, but initiative is very important so I'd be careful about adding too much.

Please note (just for the arcane side) that this class is heavily restricted - he has to buy and utilize a spellbook and spells like a wizard does, which makes that particlar foci even weaker. I might consider switching it to Sorcerer casting in order to stop the fussing in that area.

Yeah, I kinda figured that if you were using the arcane focus at all in the first few levels, it would be by borrowing the party wizard's spellbook.

The issue with the cohort is that there's a floor below which it physically can't go - it has to have at least one hit dice, and all the attendant benefits of being a creature such as actions, regardless of everything else on top of it such as abilities. Those alone carry a fair bit of worth at 1st level, which is a problem I simply can't resolve if I want to have clean scaling of having a cohort.

As I said, one of the options is also to just drop the bonuses you're actually giving your cohort at the lowest of levels. A CR 1/3 commoner, lacking the benefits and abilities of the various foci, fits the scaling (in theory) of 2 levels below 1st, for example.

What I can do is this (Since Combat Foci is the problem child):
  • Combat Focus: The chosen cohort gains proficiency with all martial and exotic weapons, increases his maximum hit points by +3 per cohort level, and increases his base attack bonus to that of a fighter. He gains a +2 bonus on Fortitude saves, and chooses one of the following: a +2 bonus on attack rolls, a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls, or damage reduction 2/-. All of these bonuses (including the damage reduction) improve by +2 every 4 cohort levels (at 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th). He then chooses one of the following:
    Combatant: At 1st level, he gains a bonus feat, chosen from the list of fighter bonus feats. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. At 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th level, he gains an additional bonus feat.
    Initiator: He gains access to a single martial discipline (See Tome of Battle). His initiator level is equal to his cohort level, while his maneuvers known, readied, and the maximum level known are all given on Table 4. He recovers maneuvers as a Warblade does.

Better. I still want to run some numbers, but I might be a while getting to it, if at all, at this point.

If you want to draw on anything in the setting outside of the the Valley of Obelisks, I finally got some of the greater worldbuilding stuff put together. Most of it's for the other continents on the planet, since the game I originally wrote this for (which used a different system entirely) was based there. You can use or ignore as much as you want, since the valleys are relatively isolated.

The game takes place in the Valley of Obelisks, located in the kingdom of Marrilach, located on the continent of Anshar on the planet Solak.

Anshar is ringed by large mountain ranges, and most of the interior is divided into large valleys. The continent is inherently isolating, possibly accounting for why it has, by far, the greatest diversity of both species and cultures across all of Solak. It is not unheard of even in this day and age to find two adjacent valleys without any shared fauna, whose inhabitants speak entirely different languages.

The kingdom of Marrilach: One of the many kingdoms of Anshar. Marrilach consists of the three connected valleys through which the Marrilach River flows, from the Valley of Obelisks in the north-east, through the Sivar Lowlands, and finally into Elsir Vale in the south. The river keeps the three valleys connected, and trade both between them and with the kingdom's neighbors keeps them reasonably prosperous.

Dak-Tharsh: The primarily-goblinoid nation of Dak-Tharsh has a history of butting heads with its neighbors. The expansionist Dragon Party has been growing in popularity in recent years after the ruling Manticore Party refused to involve Dak-Tharsh in the Second Dawnstar War on Antares. This unstable political climate has made its neighbors uneasy.

Irim Dwegsho-in-exile: Once a mighty interstellar nation composing dozens of species across seven star systems, Irim Dwegsho was conquered by the Vandan Empire. Some three centuries or so ago, the survivors of Irim Dwegsho ended their decades-long trek across the stars and settled on Solak. In that time, much of their knowledge and technology was lost. While some remains, it pales in comparison to the stories told about the glorious homeworlds of old.

The Underdark: The Underdark is a network of natural caves and tunnel systems that criss-crosses beneath the surface of Anshar. Home to a bewildering variety of creatures and filled with twists, dead ends, and all manner of natural hazards, the Underdark is not a place to travel lightly. The only civilization to truly thrive in the Underdark is that of the drow, who connected the isolated valleys of Anshar in ages past as guides and traders. The past century or so has seen them become insular and xenophobic, however, and the shorter lived races have begun to forget the once-friendly face of a drow in the night.

The "mainland continent", all of the land of Antares has been claimed by one nation or another for roughly the past 300 years. The nations of Antares are still recovering from the aftermath of the Second Dawnstar War, which ended only last year. The last major war on Antares before that was the original Dawnstar Conflict 211 years ago. For two centuries, while border skirmishes occurred from time to time, no significant wars were fought. Most of any real fighting took place through political machinations and proxy wars among the various colonies on Arnos.

Eldrath: Once the largest naval power on Antares, Eldrath is situated at the closest point on the mainland to the continent of Arnos, directly across the Deserted Sea. When the sea's magic suddenly started swallowing ships beneath its waves, much of Eldrath's navy was lost and many of its colonies on Arnos were cut off from their patron nation. Eldrath never quite re-secured its original influence and power before the Second Dawnstar War, and it fell even further behind when Thrann's armies marched through it.

Menthyl Vare: Arguably the most powerful nation on Antares. Most Menthyl citizens have a relatively high quality of life compared to those of other nations. Magic is common in Menthyl Vare, and most of the educated members of the upper class can cast at least a few cantrips. The nation boasts the best magical college on the continent, bar none. Mages from across Antares come to study and research there.

Norion: Norion is a chain of islands off the south coast of Antares. While small, Norion accounted for almost a third of all colonies on Arnos before the Second Dawnstar Conflict. Norion's navy is very modest for an island nation of its size. However, it employs large numbers of privateers among its merchant fleets. Many a pirate has had the tables turned when attempting to plunder a merchanter flying Norion colors.

Iberius: Officially split between the Holy Iberian Monarchy and the Unholy Iberian Republic, the two countries are for all practical purposes one and the same, two sides of the same coin. Both nations, known collectively as Iberius, are united as theocratic nations following Iber. Iber preaches the importance of opposites and how they are necessary for the continuity of existence. The religion was founded, so the texts say, by a group of angels and demons who realized both the futility and necessity of their eternal divine war, and turned towards the planet of Solak to spread their newfound understanding. Both parts of Iberius follow these tenets, and as such, even though they claim to be separate nations, they work as closely with each other as would two branches of the same government.

Tanar: Tanar was built from an amalgamation of laguz clans. Tanar was suffered among the most losses of all countries involved in the the original Dawnstar Conflict, when they were invaded by Dylandt. In the Second Dawnstar War, Tanar sent its forces to the forefront of the fighting against Thrann, despite the empire not directly invading Tanar until later in the war.

Dylandt: 211 years ago, Dylandt's armies invaded Tanar, sparking the war known as the Dawnstar Conflict that eventually enveloped nearly half of Antares. Their immortal Scriveners proved instrumental to their success in the war, even though they were ultimately defeated. Dylandt never recovered from its loss in the original Dawnstar Conflict, and it only fared worse after its failed alliance with the Thrann Empire during the Second Dawnstar War.

This continent has only been settled within the last 400 years. Its extensive natural resources enticed most of the nations on Antares and the other civilized continents to colonize Arnos. It lies to the west of Antares, directly across the Deserted Sea.

Thrann Empire: 3 years ago, one of the colonies on Arnos decided to declare independence. Calling itself the Thrann Empire, its armies grew strong and swept across the entirety of Arnos in the opening salvos of the Second Dawnstar War. Unsatisfied, Thrann then turned its sights to the nations of Antares, invading Eldrath, Menthyl Vare, and Dylandt. Thrann was ultimately defeated, but the two continents are still recovering.

The Turak Desert: While much of Arnos is temperate and filled with life, Turak is an arid desert. The mountain chains that bracket it on the east and west hold back most of the rainclouds, and the still-active volcanoes among them periodically spew ash and magma across the edges of the desert, leaving no place safe for permanent civilization, yet providing nourishing soil for the desert plants that regrow afterwards. Despite the harsh conditions, several tribes of nomads eke out a life upon the sands, following the oases of rich plant life that spring up in the volcanoes' wake.

Unsettled Lands: Deep in Arnos, creatures of myth and legend still stir. Some places unclaimed by civilization stay unclaimed for good reason. Here there be dragons, and worse.

Karrius: The Karrius valley houses ancient ruins have existed upon Arnos for longer than recorded history. The ruins' walls are covered in mysterious writings, only a fraction of which has yet been translated. No creatures live within the valley, and few traps that were ever set within the ruins still function. Despite this, it is extremely dangerous to explore Karrius at length. Each nightfall, all beings that have ever been within the valley for a full week of their lives disappear, never to be seen again. Not even the greatest sages who have studied the valley for their lifetimes yet know what happens to these poor, lost souls.

Garryl, thanks for elaborating on the the campaign. You nailed pretty much everything I was wondering about.

My question on alignment was wondering how rigidly we followed it, how plastic it is, will we know if we're shifting.  I was thinking of a missionary char concept that encourages the common folk and seeks to subvert the lords of evil to the cause of good. Do angels fall? Do demons repent?

I know our campaign may not go that far and they're not the best classes, but I always thought it would be fun to play something like an Evangelist or Emissary of Barachiel.

Angels can become evil and demons can become good. It's rare as hens' teeth, but it happens. Heck, on the far side of the campaign setting (I really gotta get my notes in order on that), one of the major religions was formed by a group of angels and demons that made peace with each other and broke away from their eternal war.

As much as they are sentient beings, angels and demons still are, to some extent, physical embodiments of the concepts of good and evil. (Ditto for modrons and slaadi as physical embodiments of law and chaos, too, although that doesn't ever seem to come up as much.) It takes an awful lot to overcome that.

My question on Diplomacy was more along the lines of, can I make the Balor Helpful with a sufficiently high check?

I've been focusing on maximizing Social skills and was just wondering if it's worth it.

Depends. If it's a Balor that just wants to kill you, spouting words at it isn't going to do anything, no matter how honeyed the words from your silver tongue are. But, if it's a Balor with some other motivations you can latch on to, and you know enough to figure out how to catch its attention before it's started mulching you, then there's a chance, yes. In other words, just going "I roll 92 for Diplomacy" isn't enough, you'll need to open the possibility for diplomacy first.

There isn't much in the way of diplomatic situations at the start of this module, but the second section has the potential for a bit of it, and the third section even more so. You're not going to diplomance the dungeon away, but the third section has diplomatic alternatives for almost about 30% of the encounters.

Killing enemies is expedient. Sparing them and giving them a chance at redemption or at least at giving up a life of preying on others in that particular area is more noble, but could qualify as "stupid good" depending on how realistic we play. Could there be some kind of option for non-lethal victory that isn't horrifically burdensome in terms of dealing with captives and only occasionally results in us having to fight the same dudes again (which can make for some fun story options)?

If you can figure something out, sure. It's probably not going to be easy, especially in a world without the social infrastructure that our modern society has. Heroic medieval fantasy is still medieval fantasy.

Team, are there certain themes that make you uncomfortable?  I tend to prefer the standard D&D module rated R violence, PG-13 sexuality. I know people can be sensitive about  religious/irreligious themes. Would playing an aasimar evangelisty true believer rub people the wrong way - this is of course assuming that he's got some tact? I thought it would be cool to try with the whole Luminous Order and Ebon Cabal thing.

As long as you don't start preaching to me IRL, we should be good. Something tells me that won't be an issue.

One thing I'm sensitive about is violence toward children.  Please no graphic battles where we have to fight possessed kids or something.

Don't worry, we're in the same boat here. This is supposed to be heroic fantasy, not Lovecraft lite.

I don't mean to make a big deal out of this stuff. It's just more fun for everyone if we have some kind understanding. Most of the time it's a non issue. It's just that I have played a lot of different games with a lot of different people...and sometimes it's weird...when with a little more communication it could be fun.

No problem. It's definitely good to clarify things if you're not sure everyone's on the same page.

Non-Arhosan Material / Re: Commander [Base]
« on: July 01, 2017, 03:05:59 PM »
As I've discovered, the commander is REALLY front-loaded. I haven't looked at it that much at higher levels, although my gut says that it would be fine if it had only 1 or 2 cohorts max, if only because 3+ cohorts is just a plain old ton of actions that are still meaningful with 2/3 casting.

I'm going to be jumping around a bit in this analysis. Sorry for the disjointed thoughts. I've got a lot of them and I'm just trying to get them all out and recorded.

Okay, looking at the commander at 1st level, two front-loaded things jump out. That's a big problem, since those two things are all of the commander's class features. The end result is, in short, numbers that are too high at 1st level.
1) Auras go up to Cha bonus. This is your standard sort of frontloading that you see in a lot of classes, where you have a class feature you can dip into that doesn't deeply care about continuing with the class that granted it. The aura choices themselves have a few balance issues relative to each other, but that's a separate matter I'll address later if I remember. Some of the auras are stupidly good at low levels but just don't scale so well, and that's something I will be addressing here.
2) Cohorts. This is the other type of frontloaded class feature, and it's a bit subtler. You've got a class feature that relies on class levels for its scaling and really does need that scaling to keep up at higher levels. Its problem is that at the level it shows up, it's really really really powerful, and it doesn't drop down for a couple of levels until the scaling system catches up. Specifically, the fact that you get a full fledged 1st-level cohort at 1st-level, which the scaling formula implies to be the appropriate power level for what you should get at 3rd.

The cohort is a bit harder to evaluate than the auras. You see, auras and their effects are pretty straightforward. You're giving a bonus to your party just like it's written out. The bonus is going to start at +4 (there's no competition for stats against Charisma, so you will stick an 18 there), and it's going to increase by around +1 every 3-4 levels, give or take, with a little jump at the end when you start using tomes. Depending on your level of optimization, this could go a lot higher (ask Soro_Lost, he loves to talk about Charisma scores in the 60s or higher). The biggest problem here is that the numbers end up in a reasonable place, but just start too high. This isn't just because of the ability score-based scaling, which starts much higher than its prolonged scaling would imply, but because of what this gets applied to.

I'm going to reference the marshal class, from the Miniatures Handbook. Say what you will about the class being too weak (it is), it did have a decent sense of what sorts of numbers can go on what level of scaling. The marshal's auras are divided into minor and major.
  • The minor auras are lesser effects that don't directly impact combat power (ex: bonuses to skills) and more limited effects that generally appear with smaller bonuses, but can afford larger ones here due to being more situational (ex: bonus to AC vs. AoOs) or otherwise applying to only a subset of what they normally do (ex: bonus to a single type of save). It's not even uncommon for bonuses of these sorts to apply fully based on an ability score when found as class features (ex: a paladin's divine grace granting +Cha to all saves), but those only apply to a single character, rather than the entire party.
  • The major auras are your more generally applicable, always useful combat bonuses. This includes things like bonuses to attack rolls, AC, or all saves. Major auras have a much more limited scaling, based solely on class level. Similarly, you often see these sorts of bonuses as class features in larger magnitudes, but as with minor auras, those apply to individual characters, whereas this is a class feature that applies to each of the at least 4 people in a party.

This division of bonus categories is an important thing to note, and was one thing that the original marshal did mostly right. There's a huge difference between +4 to all saves and +4 to a few skill checks. Presently, all of the commander's auras are lumped into a single pile. With the exception of a couple that scale at reduced rates (fast healing, caster level) a couple that don't scale at all (alliance, dogpile), and a few that provide bonuses that are inherently on different scales and are adjusted appropriately (reflective damage, SR, resistances, and movement speed), all of the auras give a straight bonus equal to the commander's Charisma modifier. Everything acts on the same scale. This means that +1 damage is valued as highly a +1 on attack rolls, +1 AC, +1 to all saves, +1 to a trio of skills, and +1 max AoO/round. Some of those comparisons are quite reasonable. Others, not so much. There needs to be an adjustment in the scaling between the various auras.

Back to the ability score-based scaling. Remember, these auras are applying party-wide. Taking the +all saves aura means that not only do you get divine grace, but everyone in the party gets it, too. Worse, they get to use your optimized Charisma score, rather than their own. Getting +Cha to all saves is fine. Giving a small to moderate bonus to all saves to the party is fine. Giving a big bonus to the whole party in a limited set of circumstances is fine. Combining the best of all of those is problematic. I'm just using saves as an example because it's easy to understand, easy to break down (all vs. Fort or Reflex or Will), and has a solid comparison point (divine grace @ paladin 2nd), but the same principle holds true to most of the other bonuses that auras can grant.

Now, one last thing about auras before I try to move on to cohorts. Some of the auras just produce way too big numbers at 1st level. This is strongly related to what I just talked about, but there are a few specific nuances to it I need to address. I've already discussed how +Cha can give bonuses across a party that are much larger than they should be, but most of what I've talked about have been about bonuses on a d20 roll. Some types of numbers, especially at the lowest of levels, have a much narrower band of reasonability. In this case, I'll have to dissect the specific auras that relate to this.
- Energy Shield: Reflective damage is cool. A little bit is neat and useful. Unfortunately, at 1st level, hit points are on a much narrower band than a d20s 1-20 range. Typically, hp goes from 6 up to about 15 at 1st level. You get a few outliers at CR 1 like the 29 hp sack of meat that is a 4 HD zombie, but on average you get 12-13 hp for CR 1 enemies (according to Optimization by the Numbers, and level 1 encounters generally deal with larger quantities of weaker, lower CR enemies, too. 18 Charisma deals 8 damage when hit, enough to take down the average CR 1/2 creature (6.6 hp) and takes off half the hp of the strongest one (16 hp). Your typical CR 1 enemy loses after hitting you twice, too. Your typical CR 1 enemy is doing noticeably less damage than that on each of its hits, too. Most enemies will only be averaging 4-7 damage per hit at CR 1. Even the 18 Str elite array orc fighter with a greatsword, sitting at the top of the damage curve, only deals 13 damage per hit, just over 50% more than you do reactively. If he doesn't drop you in that single hit, he's still going down to the second burst of reactive damage, so at best he gets a pyrrhic victory as you both bleed out. One of the deadliest enemies for the level has a non-zero chance of losing if you stand there and do nothing. Most any enemy that needs 2+ hits to drop you loses automatically.
- Toughness: Damage reduction is a difficult thing to evaluate. It comes up so rarely on the players' side, but even then usually in very small quantities. It has a similar issue of quantity as energy shield, being very potent at level 1 but losing that potency as higher level enemies come with higher amounts of damage. Small amounts of DR have very little effect, but the defensive benefits become more and more pronounced the higher DR rises until all or nearly all of the damage is prevented. It's similar to AC in this regard, except that instead of working on a 20-point scale, at 1st level DR typically works on a 4-7-point scale, (although outliers can go as high as the low 10s). Having DR 4 will halve or negate the damage that most CR 1/2 and CR 1 enemies deal. Even our 13 avg. damage orc from before loses significant enough chunk of damage to guarantee that he'll need at least 2 hits to drop your party's barbarian or warblade, and give very good odds for even the squishier commander with only a d8 for hp.

The exact effect of a cohort at 1st level is much harder to analyze, as it has numerous factors that must be taken into account. The numbers, too, are less intuitive. At 1st level, the arcane, divine, and psionic foci pretty much amount to 1 spell/power per day. It's not a direct thing, but we do kind of know at this point roughly how effective one casting of a wizard or cleric spell or a psion power is (roughly 50% chance to win one of the 4 encounters in a day is what I typically estimate it as). Not unreasonable for a companion-type class feature if the rest of the class is comparably potent (which it would be once 1st-level auras get addressed). Stealth and wild foci are mostly about skills, and since wild's wild shape doesn't show up at the level range we're evaluating, it can be safely ignored. A commoner 1 with +2 damage or 2/day invisibility is very reasonable as a 1st-level companion, so those actually seem quite fine at first glance.

Combat focus is where the numbers really start to come in. It adds a pile of them. Hit points, attack, damage, DR, a feat, and a maneuver. There's a lot to look at here, and I don't think I can do an effective, accurate analysis for this sort of thing without actually statting some things out. I'm getting a bit tired, and generating those numbers is a lot of work, so I'll come back to this later.

Before I go, though, I don't want to forget about some of the front-loading scaling I mentioned earlier. At higher levels, the cohort keeps to 2 levels behind the commander. That's fine. At 2nd-level, the cohort is 1 level behind the commander... warning signs, but not necessarily wrong. At 1st level, however, the cohort is right at the commander's level. Alert! With combat focus, you've got a 1st-level fighter for a pet at level 1. If the commander stays home and reads a book in bed, he's already contributed his share to the party at level 1, just with the cohort tagging along. It's similar to the druid with its animal companion. The commander has the same class chassis, even, just with auras instead of spells.

I'm not sure what the fix is, especially since a major part of the premise of the commander is having cohorts. My gut ideas are either to remove the cohort at levels 1 and 2, or to remove the focus entirely until level 2 or 3, leaving the cohort just as a CR 1/3 commoner at 1st level. I'm not sure how well those would work, and I suspect I'll know more and/or have other, better ideas once I get the deeper stats analysis done.

Also, the cohort level/effectiveness just scales unevenly at low levels. That's just off-putting. It's 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, .... Those three levels sitting at level 1 just don't work. As a creature unto itself, it's virtually impossible to make it appropriately powered at all three levels (commander levels 1, 2, and 3) despite the cohort staying identical across them.

Couple semi-related things:

#1: Wanted to get your opinion on the Warboss (I'm assuming no/needs balancing).

I don't even know how to evaluate that class.

#2: Would it be possible, regardless of class, to use Strongheart Halflings and reflavour them as Goblins for the Commander/Cohort?

Sure... You're trying to make a Warhammer-esque Waagh, aren't you?

Just be warned that goblins don't have the best of reputations in the Valley of Obelisks. There aren't any major goblin communities in the valley, and most of the goblins that wander in do so as bandits or river pirates.

#3: I assume I need to pay for cohort gear out of WBL/starting cash?

I think we established that earlier, but to confirm, yes, your commander cohort joins with nothing of value and must be equipped from your funds.

FYI, with the old boards restored-ish, I'm going to keep the organization of this PbP game over here for the time being. Once everything's settled with the transition I'll start getting everything transferred and updated, but I'm not doing nothing while things are still in flux.

Board Discussion / Re: Request what you need!
« on: June 30, 2017, 01:57:21 PM »
What just happened? The boards went kablooey, and now the old threads are in and the new stuff is on an address prefixed with storm-shetler. Not that I'm complaining about the old board threads being recovered (yay), but a little warning would have been appreciated. I just hope I'm not going to have to update all my links again.

Mostly I was just looking to get masterwork studded leather at the start, so I can have +1 AC and not suffer an ACP. I'm not going to spend a lot on Craft skills (I'm a skillmonkey, I need them skill points), but I was thinking of taking 3 ranks in Armorsmithing. If everyone knows each other beforehand, I'm happy to slightly upgrade everyone else's armor pre-game if Garryl is ok with it.

If you'd rather I didn't, then I'm happy to either just roll w/ leather or suck up the -1 ACP, and use the skill points elsewhere.

Crafting masterwork equipment is a DC 20 Craft check anyways. Do you have what it takes for a +10 modifier on your Craft (armorsmithing) skill, or some other way to hit the DC with some alternative to taking 10?

I think Sirpercival is going for scaleshaper now instead of astronomer. Scaleshaper is basically all about turning into a dragon and summoning a dragon and dragon stuff.

Naturalist as druid-based warlock is the same impression I got. Most of the invocations are straight druid spells. The topiaries and natural essences are basically warlock blast shapes and blast essences.

Don't worry too much about trapfinding. There aren't many traps in this module. If I remember correctly, there's only one or two traps before you'll hit 2nd level anyways.

To quote the original post: "No flaws. If you really need them for your build, we can renegotiate." Fill me in on why you really need flaws for your build. Maybe we can work something out. Most of the time I've seen flaws get used, they're just a cheap way to give a character a pair of bonus feats for moar powarz! That's basically what I'm trying to avoid.
Edit: At the same time, I recognize that they can be really useful for filling out a concept that just can't be done with the limited feats at 1st level.

Sounds like the only mandatory module for me is a healing one.

Healing should be easier than in most games thanks to healing surges. I think everyone except Sirpercival is actually playing a class with a good Fort save, so everyone will have a bit of a personal Cure Light Wounds equivalent.

There's a decent chance that either dman or Stratovarius will have at least some limited healing from an aura. Usually that's fast healing up to half health sort of thing (which is as good as Restoration Matrix anyways), but dman was mentioning an aura that's a straight up 2 hp healed each time you hit.

I want Precise Shot which requires Point Blank Shot.  All of the combat modules for the Cyberneticist are ranged and that -4 is brutal.

You could go with melee touch attacks via Fire Field, a line AoE with Lightning Rod, a point blank AoE with Resonance Detonator, or a ranged AoE/splash weapon with Missile Launcher (spaces, rather than creatures, are only AC 5, and a miss just randomizes the AoE's center by 5 feet). The rays (Corrosion Inducement and Cryo Core) might not be as bad since you're targeting touch AC. Or you could just make an autoturret or rezbit do the fighting for you.

Edit: There's also the Phazon necromancy route with Phazon Animation.

Then I want Activate Module for Restoration Matrix if I'm the only healing we've got.  Then if I'm a race with a bonus feat I'll take Extra Energy.

Restoration Matrix is on the cyberneticist module list. You could just activate it directly. Ditto for Energy Transfer, the other healing module.

EDIT (foreals this time): Garryl, are you ok w/ pre-game crafting?

Edit, too.

Depends. If it's using your feats/resources/class features to make magic items, then sure. If it's just using the Craft skill to triple your starting gold (or abuse D&D economics to start with infinite money), it's a little iffier. Not that investing in Craft (or Profession, for that matter) should be meaningless, either, though. What are you thinking of?

Homebrew / Re: 1001 Homebrew ideas to flesh out sometime...
« on: June 30, 2017, 03:22:53 AM »
From equally far back. I think I wrote these in my early days on brilliantgameologists.

Seeker, a natural and spiritual martial adept. If the Warblade was to replace the Barbarian and Fighter, the Crusader was to replace the Paladin, and the Swordsage was to replace the Monk and Rogue, then the Seeker is to replace the Ranger (and to a lesser extent, some aspects of the Druid).

Table: The Seeker      Hit Die: d8
        Attack           Fort Ref  Will                                               Maneuvers       Stances
Level   Bonus            Save Save Save    Special                                    Known  Readied  Known
1       +1               +2   +2   +0      Animal Companion, Primal Awakening         3      3 (2)    1
2       +2               +3   +3   +0      Natural Blessing (0th), Wild Empathy       4      3 (2)    1
3       +3               +3   +3   +1      Natural Blessing (0th)                     5      3 (2)    1
4       +4               +4   +4   +1      Natural Blessing (1st)                     5      4 (2)    2
5       +5               +4   +4   +1      Natural Blessing (1st), Woodland Stride    6      4 (2)    2
6       +6/+1            +5   +5   +2      Natural Blessing (2nd)                     6      4 (2)    2
7       +7/+2            +5   +5   +2      Primal Awakening (Warbeast)                7      4 (2)    2
8       +8/+3            +6   +6   +2      Natural Blessing (2nd)                     7      4 (2)    2
9       +9/+4            +6   +6   +3      Natural Blessing (3rd)                     8      4 (2)    2
10      +10/+5           +7   +7   +3      Trackless Step                             8      5 (3)    3
11      +11/+6/+1        +7   +7   +3      Natural Blessing (3rd)                     9      5 (3)    3
12      +12/+7/+2        +8   +8   +4      Natural Blessing (4th)                     9      5 (3)    3
13      +13/+8/+3        +8   +8   +4      Primal Awakening (Feral)                   10     5 (3)    3
14      +14/+9/+4        +9   +9   +4      Natural Blessing (4th)                     10     5 (3)    3
15      +15/+10/+5       +9   +9   +5      Natural Blessing (5th)                     11     6 (3)    3
16      +16/+11/+6/+1    +10  +10  +5      Camouflage                                 11     6 (3)    4
17      +17/+12/+7/+2    +10  +10  +5      Natural Blessing (5th)                     12     6 (3)    4
18      +18/+13/+8/+3    +11  +11  +6      Natural Blessing (6th)                     12     6 (3)    4
19      +19/+10/+9/+4    +11  +11  +6      Natural Blessing (6th)                     13     6 (3)    4
20      +20/+15/+10/+5   +12  +12  +6      Primal Awakening (Primal Power)            13     7 (4)    4

Class skills (6 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level): Climb, Concentration, Craft, Disable Device, Diplomacy, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), Listen, Martial Lore, Move Silently, Profession, Ride, Search, Spot, Survival, Swim, Tumble, Use Rope

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Seekers are proficient with all simple weapons and with martial melee weapons. Seekers are also proficient with light and medium armor.

Disciplines: Desert Wind, Tiger Claw, White Raven, Revealing Light*

   When you expend a granted maneuver for whatever reason, it remains granted (but expended and thus not usable) for 1 round. After that time, if it is still expended and has not been recovered, it becomes withheld for you, but granted and recovered for your companion. Similarly, whenever your companion expends a maneuver, if it has not been recovered 1 round later, it becomes withheld for your companion, but granted and recovered for you.
   If your companion has the ability to use maneuvers on its own, track its maneuvers and initiating abilities separately. A companion with its own initiating abilities learns and uses maneuvers and stances independently from the ones you grant this way, and still uses its own initiator level for its own maneuvers (for instance, it can ready the same maneuver twice this way; once from you, once from its own abilities).
   If you have multiple companions (including, but not limited to, other animal comapnions, familiars, psicrystals, wild cohorts, special mounts), they each share the maneuvers gained from this class. Or, maybe it only applies to the animal companion granted by this class. I haven't decided.

Primal Awakening: You may use your initiator level in place of your effective Druid level for the purpose of your animal companion.
   Beginning at 7th level, your animal companion gains the Warbeast template (MM2).
   Beginning at 13th level, your animal companion gains the Feral template (SS).
   Beginning at 20th level, your animal companion gains a modified version of the Monster of Legend template (MM2). Details to be decided. Something like 5th level Druid spellcasting, +2 to all ability scores, fast healing, an immunity or two, frightful presence, or something else from the Monster of Legend lists. I dunno. Definitely not the full template, though (that's too much).
   These templates apply to your current companion, and to any new animal companion you acquire. They apply even if the companion does not qualify for the template, but not if the companion already has the template.

Natural Blessing: Choose a Druid spell. Use it 1/day as an SLA. CL = your IL. You can only use this to cast spells that target yourself or your animal companion, or that are harmless.
   Can select the same thing multiple times for additional uses/day. Can select spells of lower levels than max. Save DCs are Wis-based. Must have a Wisdom of at least 10+level to cast a spell of that level.

Animal Companion: As the Druid ability.   1st

Wild Empathy: As the Druid ability.   2nd

Woodland Stride: As the Druid ability.   5th

Trackless Step: As the Druid ability.   10th

Camouflage: As the Ranger ability.   16th

Table: Animal Companion
            Bonus  Natural Armor  Str/Dex     Bonus   
Level       HD     Adjustment     Adjustment  Tricks  Special
1st-2nd     +0     +0             +0          1       Link, Share Spells
3rd-5th     +2     +2             +1          2       Evasion
6th-8th     +4     +4             +2          3       Devotion
9th-11th    +6     +6             +3          4       Multiattack
12th-14th   +8     +8             +4          5       
15th-17th   +10    +10            +5          6       Improved Evasion
18th-20th   +12    +12            +6          7       

Homebrew / Re: 1001 Homebrew ideas to flesh out sometime...
« on: June 30, 2017, 03:19:53 AM »
I found this sitting on my computer from way, way back.

(WIP) Revealing Light, a martial discipline.

Revealing Light shows the truth in all things. Darkness is but a thin disguise, easily torn away.

Access: Revealing Light is available to members of the Seeker class.

Discipline key skill: Search. Revealing Light teaches its disciples not just to observe, but to investigate and understand their opponents.
Discipline favored weapons: Club, ...

Revealing Light 1:
Awareness Beyond Sight Alone (Stance) - Gain trapfinding, uncanny dodge, free Search checks for traps, and an insight bonus to initiative.
Seeker's Strike (Strike) - Attack deals +1d6 damage and ignores concealment and invisibility with a successful Search check.
Shadows Parted (Stance) - Gain low-light vision, darkvision, blindsense, or blindsight based on Search ranks.
Surprising Reactions (Counter) - You are no longer flat-footed, but your attacker may be rendered flat-footed for 1 round. Can be initiated while flat-footed.

Revealing Light 2:
Flash of Truth (Counter) - Blind an attacker for 1 round.
Torch of Secrets (Strike) - Attack deals +2d6 fire damage and reveals the opponent's surface thoughts.

Revealing Light 3:
Glare of Unseen Consequences (Stance) - Attackers are dazzled and may be blinded based on Search ranks.
Liars' Punishment (Strike) - Attack deals +2d6 damage and silences the opponent.
Strike of Truth (Strike) - Attack with the benefit of a true strike effect.

Revealing Light 4:
Faerie Strike (Strike) - Attack deals +4d6 damage and temporarily negates concealment and invisibility with a successful Search check.
Pyre of Falsehoods (Strike) - Attack deals +4d6 fire damage and sets opponent on fire. While the fire burns, the subject cannot tell lies.
Shadows Hide the False Path (Counter) - Attack and possibly daze an opponent who missed you due to concealment.

Revealing Light 5:
Light Come Forth (Boost) - Your weapon gains the Brilliant Energy property for 1 round.
Truth Unseen and Undesired (Strike) - Attack deals +4d6 damage and may confuse and enrage the opponent.

Revealing Light 6:
Expose Vulnerability (Strike) - Touch attack ignores miss chances and causes opponent to take +50% damage for 1 round.
Revelation Strike (Strike) - Attack deals +8d6 damage and temporarily negates concealment and invisibility in an area with a successful Search check.

Revealing Light 7:
Find the Hidden Opening (Strike) - Make a full-attack and a Search check against the target's AC for each attack. Attacks that hit deal +50% damage if their Search check succeeded, or deal half damage if their Search check failed. Attacks that miss still deal half damage if their Search checks succeeded.
Mirrored Soul (Counter) - Reflect gaze attacks and individually-targeted spells with a successful Search check.
Unfettered Sight (Stance) - Gain true seeing and a +5 insight bonus on Spot and Search checks.

Revealing Light 8:

Revealing Light 9:

Unknown Level
Expose Weakness - Reduce target's AC for a round.
Expose Vulnerability - Reduce target's AC and grant it 50% vulnerability to all damage types for a round.

I just lost a long post on the nature of the campaign. To summarize...

Specific D&D world?
Realism vs Fantasy? Survival, food, water, encumbrance...
Ark vs WoW?
Animal handling and pets?
Diplomacy? and demons?
Subduing vs killing?
Endurance untrained?
.5 rank skills trained?
Character death?
Down time?
Other relevant issues?



Nonspecific, generic fantasy world with elements of sci-fi lurking around the corners. I can pull out the (very rough) notes I have on an actual campaign setting like that if you want.

Leaning strongly towards fantasy. I've done the whole planning out every last cp of gear and doing all the weight balancing and all of that. It's REALLY tedious. Unless there's something really out of the ordinary going on (eg: you guys get teleported to some desert in the middle of nowhere), I'm just going to assume you're prepared with anything you might reasonably expect an adventuring party to need, or want, or decide to have after listening to some other adventuring party's horror story.

Not familiar with Ark. I haven't played WoW since WotLK.

Handling an animal is DC 10-12 as a move action. Animal companions, as written, give bonuses to that and let you do it as a free action, so you shouldn't even have to roll most of the time.

Care to elaborate about diplomacy and demons? They're not all out to get you and your immortal soul in a mindless, DOOM-like bloodlust, if that's what you're asking.

If you want to take prisoners, you can. It's a medieval fantasy world, so it's not really expected unless you're dealing with someone important that you'd want to keep alive for political reasons or whatever.

Endurance has several uses that can be used untrained. Only sleeping in armor, surviving below -10 hp, and I think using Endurance checks instead of Fort saves vs. environmental stuff require training.

Half rank training: "Trained Only: If this notation is included in the skill name line, you must have at least 1 rank in the skill to use it. If it is omitted, the skill can be used untrained (with a rank of 0). If any special notes apply to trained or untrained use, they are covered in the Untrained section (see below)." So, no, you need 1 full rank.

Please try not to die. Rolling up a new character and integrating them into the party is always a little awkward. But if you do die, just roll up a new character and we'll find a way to awkwardly integrate you into the party.

Down time is how you take it. This module isn't like Red Hand of Doom where there are a lot of urgent things going on. That said, if you poke your nose into a dungeon, start killing things, then zip away for a week half way through, expect a response to have been organized.

Alignment is as follows: No lawful stupid, chaotic stupid, stupid evil, stupid good, or true stupid. But more seriously, it's a team game, so as long as you can be a team player it should be fine, even if you're chaotic evil.

Did I miss anything?

Garryl's Germinations / (Continued) [Wild] Base Class - Witcher
« on: June 30, 2017, 01:38:07 AM »
Witcher Decoctions
Decoctions function in all ways as normal, magical potions do, except as noted. They are non-magical items. Instead of replicating existing spells, they have their own effects.

1st-Level Witcher Decoctions
  • Blizzard: Grants +1 to AC and saves for 10 minutes.
  • Cat: Gain low-light vision and darkvision 60 ft. for 2 hours.
  • Nigredo Extract: Grants +1 on attack rolls for 10 minutes.
  • Rook: Grants +2 on damage rolls for 10 minutes.
  • Swallow: Gain fast healing 1 for 1 minute. Heal slowly for 2 hours.
  • Virga: Grants DR 2/- for 10 minutes.
2nd-Level Witcher Decoctions
  • Bindweed: Grants acid resistance 10 for 2 hours.
  • Chillbanes: Grants cold resistance 10 for 2 hours.
  • Kiss: Prevents bleeding wounds for 2 hours.
  • Stormy Night: Grants electricity resistance 10 for 2 hours.
  • Torchwood: Grants fire resistance 10 for 2 hours.
  • White Honey: Ends decoctions and dispels magical effects.
  • Zimmerman's Bread: Grants sonic resistance 10 for 2 hours.
3rd-Level Witcher Decoctions
  • Golden Oriole: Cures poisons and grants immunity for 10 minutes.
  • Wolf: Critical threat range is doubled for 2 hours.
4th-Level Witcher Decoctions
  • Black Blood: Blood becomes lethal to drinkers for 10 minutes.
  • Full Moon: Gain +50 max hp for 2 hours.
5th-Level Witcher Decoctions
  • De Vries' Extract: Gain true seeing for 2 hours.
6th-Level Witcher Decoctions
  • White Raffard's Decoction: Heal 120 hp. Toxicity can't be purged for 12 hours.

Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber gains acid resistance 10.

Concentrate: With one level of concentration, the resistance improves to 20. With two levels of concentration, the resistance improves to 30.

Black Blood
Level: 4
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber's blood becomes extremely toxic. Any creature attempting to drink the imbiber's blood must succeed on a Fortitude save or be instantly slain. Living creatures are killed, while undead and other nonliving creatures are destroyed. Even on a successful save, the drinker takes 4d6 points of acid damage. Vampires are particularly susceptible to black blood, and take a -4 penalty on their saving throw.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the acid damage increases by 1d6.

Level: 1
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains a +1 alchemical bonus to their Armor Class and on all saving throws.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the bonus increases by 1.

Level: 1
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber's visual acuity is dramatically enhanced. The imbiber gains low-light vision and darkvision out to 60 feet.

Concentrate: With one or more levels of concentration, the imbiber gains a bonus on saving throws to disbelieve illusions and against charms and compulsions. For each level of concentration, the imbiber gains a +2 alchemical bonus on these saving throws.

Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber gains cold resistance 10.

Concentrate: With one level of concentration, the resistance improves to 20. With two levels of concentration, the resistance improves to 30.

De Vries' Extract
Level: 5
Duration: 2 hours
De Vries' extract enables the imbiber to look past the surface of reality and see things as they really are. This functions as the true seeing spell.

Full Moon
Level: 4
Duration: 2 hours
Full Moon grants the imbiber a +50 alchemical bonus to their hit points. These additional hit points function like those gained from a high Constitution score, and are not lost first like temporary hit points.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the bonus hit points granted increase by +15.

Golden Oriole
Level: 3
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber is cured of all poisons, and is immune to them for the duration. This functions as the neutralize poison spell.

Concentrate: With two levels of concentration, whenever the imbiber succeeds on a saving throw against a poison's primary damage, they heal hit points equal to half the hit point damage it would have dealt plus the total ability damage or drain it would have dealt.

Nigredo Extract
Level: 1
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains a +1 alchemical bonus on attack rolls.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the bonus increases by 1.

Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
Kiss staunches bleeding wounds. Upon drinking, any bleeding wounds the imbiber may have are closed. The imbiber becomes stable and stops losing hit points if they were dying. For the duration, the imbiber is immune to any subsequent bleeding wounds and automatically stabilizes if reduced to negative hit points.

Level: 1
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains a +2 alchemical bonus on weapon damage rolls.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the bonus increases by 1.

Stormy Night
Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber gains electricity resistance 10.

Concentrate: With one level of concentration, the resistance improves to 20. With two levels of concentration, the resistance improves to 30.

Level: 1
Duration: 1 minute and 2 hours
The imbiber's wounds begin to rapidly close. For the first 1 minute, this potion grants a +1 alchemical bonus to any fast healing the imbiber may have. Imbibers that do not already have fast healing are treated as having fast healing 0 before applying this potion's bonus.

For the remaining 2 hours, the imbiber heals 1 hit point every 10 minutes. The healing from multiple ongoing swallow potions does not stack. Only the strongest applies.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the fast healing granted and the healing every 10 minutes increase by 1.

Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber gains fire resistance 10.

Concentrate: With one level of concentration, the resistance improves to 20. With two levels of concentration, the resistance improves to 30.

Level: 1
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains DR 2/-.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the damage reduction increases by 1.

White Honey
Level: 2
Duration: Instantaneous; 2 hours
White honey instantly purges all decoctions from the imbiber's body, ending their effects. Additionally, white honey removes various magical effects, as per a targeted dispel magic spell with caster level 5.

Some potions are particularly tenacious. White honey cannot end their effects. The only way to remove the effects of such potions is with time. White honey is itself tenacious, and its toxicity cannot be purged nor its Constitution damage cured for 2 hours.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the caster level of the dispel check increases by 3. With at least two levels of concentration, white honey instead functions as a greater dispel magic.

White Raffard's Decoction
Level: 6
Duration: Instantaneous and 12 hours
White Raffard's decoction spurs the body's natural regenerative abilities into overdrive for a short moment, patching wounds in seconds that would normally take days or weeks. The imbiber immediately heals 120 hit points.

While the healing is immediate, the toxic elements linger in the imbiber's body for 12 hours, preventing the decoction's toxicity from being purged. White Raffard's decoction is so tenacious that even white honey is ineffective at neutralizing it. It can only work its way out naturally with time.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the healing increases by 20 hit points.

Level: 3
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber's critical threat range with all weapons and attacks is doubled. This does not stack with the keen weapon ability, the Improved Critical feat, or similar effects.

Zimmerman's Bread
Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber gains sonic resistance 10.

Concentrate: With one level of concentration, the resistance improves to 20. With two levels of concentration, the resistance improves to 30.

TODO: Witcher 3 decoctions, and a couple of potions I missed from Witcher 1 and 2.

Albedo Extract
Level: 1
Duration: 10 minutes
Albedo extract temporarily abates the toxic effects of decoctions. The imbiber gains a +5 alchemical bonus to maximum size of their toxicity pool. An imbiber without a toxicity pool gains no benefit.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the bonus increases by 5.

Rubedo Extract
Level: 2
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains 20 temporary hit points. The toxic elements of rubedo extract remain in the imbiber's system until purged naturally with time, even after the temporary hit points are depleted.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the number of temporary hit points increases by 10.

Maribor Forest
Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
Maribor forest improves stamina and endurance. The imbiber gains a +5 alchemical bonus on Concentration checks.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the Concentration bonus increases by +3.

Petri's Philter
Level: 5
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains a +2 alchemical bonus to their caster level with all spells and spell-like abilities.

Tawny Owl
Level: 2
Duration: 2 hours
The imbiber recovers more quickly from exertion under the effects of a tawny owl potion and can cast 1 additional sign per minute. Treat this as an alchemical bonus.

Level: 2
Duration: 10 minutes
The imbiber gains a +2 alchemical bonus to their Strength and Constitution scores. However, they also suffer a -2 penalty to their Armor Class.

Killer Whale
Level: 3
Duration: 2 hours
Killer whale grants the imbiber the ability to breathe underwater, as per the water breathing spell. The imbiber also gains a +4 alchemical bonus on all Swim checks and on Spot checks underwater.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the bonus to Swim and underwater Spot checks increases by +2.

Wraith Essence
Level: 4
Duration: 12 hours
Under the effects of wraith essence, you become partially incorporeal. Falling damage you take is halved, you gain a +1 deflection bonus to your Armor Class, and you have a 20% chance to ignore damage from corporeal sources, except for positive and negative energy, force effects such as magic missile, and ghost touch weapons.

Wraith essence is extremely toxic. It causes triple the normal toxicity of a potion of its level.

Concentrate: For every level of concentration, the deflection bonus to AC increases by +1 and the chance to ignore damage from corporeal sources increases by 5% (to a maximum of 50%).

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