Author Topic: EWA: Discussion Thread  (Read 3843 times)

sirpercival

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EWA: Discussion Thread
« on: June 22, 2017, 10:35:24 PM »
Discuss Ethos of the Wyrm here. In Draconic, if you please.

Garryl

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 12:51:39 AM »
Si mi vi moxt nouhaia zahae wer scaleshaper sva yowethilt levels, starting zahae jikoral level, mrith regards ekess wer yowethilt level projections. Throdeniltivi, coi relates ekess svanoa tier fogah vur yowethilt projections itrewic throdenilt loupon ir ideal klae, shar still cost ergriff ir ideal klae ekess xurwk. Asta ripeik viprekilic vsist seem vi smunsoua yoweth ihk vi lasau, shar batobot janik filki sia mefawg di fortorum mrith mid ekess yoweth level soti stats.

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« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 01:10:50 AM by Garryl »
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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 01:02:17 AM »
Lollll OK I retract my statement about Draconic.

I remember a discussion about the Ideal usage of projections, but I don't remember the resolution. I also have no real sense of how the higher level projections will play out, balance-wise. No one ever playtested Scaleshaper, as far as I know...

sirpercival

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 01:06:29 AM »
OK Ethos is completely ported, except that I haven't checked all (or really, any) of the links for homebrew disciplines for Wyrm Warrior. I'll do that later.

I'm going to bed.

Garryl

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 01:09:32 AM »
I made an 8th-level Scaleshaper for a game that never started. The character sheet was buried in my computer for the past few years, apparently.

Stats-wise, I ballparked the power of the projections by comparing them to Astral Constructs. They've got similar stats at level 1, the projections pull ahead slightly at level 2, and just keep getting better and better at higher levels.

My recommendation for Projection ideal uses is let them draw from the Scaleshaper's pool of ideal uses, rather than having their own separate pools. It also means one less thing you have to track for your summons, which is convenient.
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sirpercival

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2017, 12:01:01 PM »
I think the reason for giving the projections their own set of uses is that a Scaleshaper won't really be using their Ideal Powers very much, since they need to spend uses on making the projections in the first place. I suppose I could limit it to one use for each projection? That way they get to do SOMETHING, and it doesn't kill the character's ability to do stuff like make new projections in the next encounter.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Also, what exactly makes the projections more powerful than ACs?

Garryl

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 12:34:31 PM »
I think the reason for giving the projections their own set of uses is that a Scaleshaper won't really be using their Ideal Powers very much, since they need to spend uses on making the projections in the first place. I suppose I could limit it to one use for each projection? That way they get to do SOMETHING, and it doesn't kill the character's ability to do stuff like make new projections in the next encounter.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Also, what exactly makes the projections more powerful than ACs?

Stats. The numbers are generally higher. Dragon projections get lower attack bonuses at higher levels, but do about 50% to 100% more damage than a construct. Level 3 and onwards have more hp, and AC is better starting at level 4. Dragon projections also have flight and much higher movement speeds, which while not as vital for a summon that begins its life in position to attack, is still important. I'm also assuming that the breath weapon, crush, and draconic ideal abilities are roughly equal to the construct's menu abilities, although I suspect that the ideals are both more powerful and more versatile (I haven't actually analyzed that deeply yet).

Astral ConstructIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX
HP153136476885101118144N/A
Speed304040404040404050N/A
AC181820222325272933N/A
Attack Bonus247101317202528N/A
Avg. Total Damage5.57.510.513.52731333746N/A
Dragon ProjectionIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXX
HP152242517694126138175187
Speed304050608090100120130150
AC15171922242729323538
Primary Attack Bonus4579111417192224
Primary Total Damage2.54.56.57.51154.575778486
Secondary Attack Bonus2357900141719
Secondary Total Damage45161634.500111221.5
Avg. Total Damage6.59.522.523.545.554.5758896107.5

Edit: As you can see, the level 1 and 2 projections match up quite nicely. The damage is a bit higher, but they need a full attack to pull it off so it sort of evens out.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 12:56:43 PM by Garryl »
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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2017, 01:09:36 PM »
So, HP are from having d12s instead of d10s, and Con bonii at higher categories. The only way to fix those is to reduce the HD... and at higher categories the projections already have fewer HD than Astral Constructs. The damage output is solely due to having a ridiculous number of natural attacks, thanks to being awesome dragon swiss-army-knives.

So I'm not sure how to fix this. Scale down the HD anyway, to something like 2-3-4-5-7-8-9-10-12-13?

(Also, thoughts on the Ideal uses thing?)

Garryl

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 01:53:53 PM »
I wouldn't worry about the hp so much, especially if you worsen the AC to compensate for having more of it.

Damage-wise, I would consider some of the following:
- Remove the wing attacks. Drop the tail attack damage to 0.5x Str instead of 1.5x Str and decrease its base damage die. Make sure the tail attack doesn't come in until around when the constructs are going from a single slam to a pair of slams. This means the Strength scaling is at 2x vs. 1.5x at low levels and 2.5x vs. 2x at high levels.
- Increase the HD slightly, and reduce Str and Con to compensate. You should end up with a higher attack bonus but lower damage than currently.
- Don't take Rapidstrike at the higher levels. This is an admittedly very minor thing.

As for the ideal uses thing, if you don't want usage of ideal powers to interfere with the ability to make projections, then don't make projections run off the same pool of uses as ideal powers. And then make the projections' usage of ideal powers draw from the projector's, so that you don't get free uses of powers by making your projections do it, just like I suggested earlier.
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sirpercival

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 10:08:16 AM »
I wouldn't worry about the hp so much, especially if you worsen the AC to compensate for having more of it.

Damage-wise, I would consider some of the following:
- Remove the wing attacks. Drop the tail attack damage to 0.5x Str instead of 1.5x Str and decrease its base damage die. Make sure the tail attack doesn't come in until around when the constructs are going from a single slam to a pair of slams. This means the Strength scaling is at 2x vs. 1.5x at low levels and 2.5x vs. 2x at high levels.
- Increase the HD slightly, and reduce Str and Con to compensate. You should end up with a higher attack bonus but lower damage than currently.
- Don't take Rapidstrike at the higher levels. This is an admittedly very minor thing.
OK I'll do these and see how it looks.

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As for the ideal uses thing, if you don't want usage of ideal powers to interfere with the ability to make projections, then don't make projections run off the same pool of uses as ideal powers. And then make the projections' usage of ideal powers draw from the projector's, so that you don't get free uses of powers by making your projections do it, just like I suggested earlier.

OK I'm going to switch to 1/encounter to create projections, then.

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2017, 11:08:21 AM »
Take a gander now. I also edited the Lasting Projection and Swift Projection features a bit, to reflect the changes to Project Dragon.

Garryl

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2017, 11:55:02 AM »
I haven't done a deep analysis, but a quick glance and some napkin math says the dragon projection stats look a lot better. I'd like to see a slightly smoother progression of damage in the mid-levels (there are a couple of points, like III to IV, where the damage doesn't change or changes minimally, followed by larger jumps immediately afterwards), but that's minor.

The 1/encounter limit on projections looks like it should work fine, but it also feels a little out of place, especially for something that you'd also want to use outside of an encounter (for Lasting Projection at the beginning of the day, if nothing else). I don't really have anything better than that at the moment, unfortunately.
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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2017, 12:04:50 PM »
I haven't done a deep analysis, but a quick glance and some napkin math says the dragon projection stats look a lot better. I'd like to see a slightly smoother progression of damage in the mid-levels (there are a couple of points, like III to IV, where the damage doesn't change or changes minimally, followed by larger jumps immediately afterwards), but that's minor.
My smooth-progression muscle memory is out of practice. I'm happy to incorporate any suggestions.

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The 1/encounter limit on projections looks like it should work fine, but it also feels a little out of place, especially for something that you'd also want to use outside of an encounter (for Lasting Projection at the beginning of the day, if nothing else). I don't really have anything better than that at the moment, unfortunately.
Agreed. My thought was almost exactly the same.... I really didn't want to add a separate use counter. That was the advantage to having them pull from Ideal uses, and then giving out free Ideal uses to the projections.

Honestly, the option of giving a single Ideal use to each projection is still on the table IMO. You're never going to get more than 3 free uses that way (since that's the max number of Projections you get), which is diminishing returns when it's costing you 5 uses to make 3 cat8 projections at 20th level.



On a separate note, I noticed while going through this stuff that I have few Ethos feats in general, and very few when it comes to Scaleshapers. Granted, SS chars can spend feats on natural attack stuff, but I feel like it all needs some love. Can't even use Augmented Summon on projections, for example. So, any ideas?

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2017, 12:47:49 PM »
Ectopic Projection [Ideal, Psionic]
Prerequisites: Ability to manifest astral construct, project dragon.
Benefits: When you create a dragon projection, you can expend your psionic focus and spend power points equal to the projection's level. If you do, it gains menu abilities as an astral construct of the same level. A level X projection gains two abilities from menu C.

Enhance Breath Weapon [Ideal]
Prerequisites: Idealist level 3rd, breath weapon, any metamagic feat.
Benefits: When you use your breath weapon, you can apply a single metamagic feat you know to it as though it were a spell. This costs a number of daily uses of your ideal powers equal to the spell slot level adjustment of the metamagic feat + 1. Not all metamagic feats are meaningfully applicable to a breath weapon. For example, Heighten Spell has no effect because your breath weapon has no spell level for it to modify.
Special: You can select this feat multiple times. Each time you do, you can apply one additional metamagic feat to the same use of your breath weapon.

Dragonrage [Ideal]
Prerequisites: Idealist level 1st, rage 1/day.
Benefits: You can use your ideal powers unhindered while raging, even those that require calm and patience. Additionally, you can spend 2 daily uses of your ideal powers in place of a daily use of rage to enter a rage.
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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2017, 01:18:30 PM »
Ectopic Projection [Ideal, Psionic]
Prerequisites: Ability to manifest astral construct, project dragon.
Benefits: When you create a dragon projection, you can expend your psionic focus and spend power points equal to the projection's level. If you do, it gains menu abilities as an astral construct of the same level. A level X projection gains two abilities from menu C.
GAH IF ONLY AN IDEAL GAVE YOU ASTRAL CONSTRUCT. Oh well lol.

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Enhance Breath Weapon [Ideal]
Prerequisites: Idealist level 3rd, breath weapon, any metamagic feat.
Benefits: When you use your breath weapon, you can apply a single metamagic feat you know to it as though it were a spell. This costs a number of daily uses of your ideal powers equal to the spell slot level adjustment of the metamagic feat + 1. Not all metamagic feats are meaningfully applicable to a breath weapon. For example, Heighten Spell has no effect because your breath weapon has no spell level for it to modify.
Special: You can select this feat multiple times. Each time you do, you can apply one additional metamagic feat to the same use of your breath weapon.
Which metamagic feats apply? Also, Metabreath feats? Also, I guess only Dragonmages can really make use of this.

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Dragonrage [Ideal]
Prerequisites: Idealist level 1st, rage 1/day.
Benefits: You can use your ideal powers unhindered while raging, even those that require calm and patience. Additionally, you can spend 2 daily uses of your ideal powers in place of a daily use of rage to enter a rage.
How does this interact w/ ideals that give you Rage?

Garryl

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2017, 02:20:39 PM »
Enhance Breath Weapon [Ideal]
Prerequisites: Idealist level 3rd, breath weapon, any metamagic feat.
Benefits: When you use your breath weapon, you can apply a single metamagic feat you know to it as though it were a spell. This costs a number of daily uses of your ideal powers equal to the spell slot level adjustment of the metamagic feat + 1. Not all metamagic feats are meaningfully applicable to a breath weapon. For example, Heighten Spell has no effect because your breath weapon has no spell level for it to modify.
Special: You can select this feat multiple times. Each time you do, you can apply one additional metamagic feat to the same use of your breath weapon.
Which metamagic feats apply? Also, Metabreath feats? Also, I guess only Dragonmages can really make use of this.

It's very much for dragonmages. Since their breath weapon isn't on a round-based recharge, they can't even use metabreath feats.

Most metamagics should work.
- Empower
- Enlarge doesn't apply just because the range is wrong. Also, I don't think breath weapons and the like are defined by range so much as area, which is controlled by Widen. If you altered it to use a range, such as a hypothetical effect that made it a fireball AoE and targeting sort of deal, it would work.
- Extend, if you have any duration-based rider effects.
- Heighten, as mentioned, doesn't apply, as breath weapons don't have spell levels.
- Maximize
- Quicken
- Silent and Still are out because there are no components.
- Widen
- While only 4/9 metamagics in the PHB apply, and another 2 that could potentially work, far more of the splatbook metamagics are focused on rider effects, like Fell Drain, and modifying more general characteristics, like Piercing Cold.

Dragonrage [Ideal]
Prerequisites: Idealist level 1st, rage 1/day.
Benefits: You can use your ideal powers unhindered while raging, even those that require calm and patience. Additionally, you can spend 2 daily uses of your ideal powers in place of a daily use of rage to enter a rage.
How does this interact w/ ideals that give you Rage?

Battle Dragon's battle fury already activates for only 1 use (and doesn't have daily uses of rage, so you probably couldn't even spend 2 ideal uses to activate it anyways), but it'll let you use other ideal powers, like the SLAs and inspire courage that it also gives, while raging. Same deal with Passion's Flame ideal template.

Note, however, that neither of those gives you daily uses of rage, so if you don't want to have to dip into barbarian, you need to change the prerequisites from "rage 1/day" to "ability to enter a rage" for pure idealists to qualify.
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sirpercival

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2017, 11:46:29 AM »
Question: How does Scaleshift interact with Adamantine, Fang, Dzalmaus, and Purple Ideals?

More specifically:
- Does Adamantine's Powerful Build increase any natural weapon damage? (I'm guessing no.)
- Does Fang's bite-instead-of-breath-weapon give a bite attack at level 1? Or only every 1d4 rounds? What about when you get a bite attack at higher levels? Does it just give you another one?
- Similar question for Dzalmaus's Threebite.
- It seems pretty clear that the breath weapon for Purple increases the die size. What about the natural weapons, which deal half energy damage?

Also, I should add some text to Scaleshift about what's a primary vs secondary attack. Thoughts?

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2017, 12:09:11 PM »
Question: How does Scaleshift interact with Adamantine, Fang, Dzalmaus, and Purple Ideals?

LOL at you asking me about your own homebrew's mechanics.

Typo in scaleshift. "If he melds a magical melee," -> "If he melds a magical melee weapon,"

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More specifically:
- Does Adamantine's Powerful Build increase any natural weapon damage? (I'm guessing no.)

Nope. Powerful build is pretty clear about what it does. While you can wield larger weapons, it doesn't make your natural weapons larger. If you had some other effect that gave you larger natural weapons than normal for your size, you wouldn't take the -2 penalty on your attack roll for using them.

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- Does Fang's bite-instead-of-breath-weapon give a bite attack at level 1? Or only every 1d4 rounds? What about when you get a bite attack at higher levels? Does it just give you another one?

As written, the scaleshaper gets a stock standard breath weapon that deals half piercing, half slashing damage. Fang Dragon only modifies the Breath class feature, which scaleshapers neither get nor use for the scaleshaped breath weapon.

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- Similar question for Dzalmaus's Threebite.

Threebite gives you 3 primary bites. These would seem to be in addition to the natural bite attacks of the scaleshaper's form.

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- It seems pretty clear that the breath weapon for Purple increases the die size. What about the natural weapons, which deal half energy damage?

Purple technically doesn't do anything in practice. The ideal never deals damage. Breath weapons, attacks, and special abilities might deal damage. Also, if you want to increase the damage die like that (and this similarly applies to the Fang Dragon ideal's adjustments to how breath weapons work), you should put it as one of the ideal powers instead of as a footnote.

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Also, I should add some text to Scaleshift about what's a primary vs secondary attack. Thoughts?

Good idea.

Edit: Oh, and update your link to Sublime Tapestry in Wyrm of War.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 12:10:50 PM by Garryl »
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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2017, 01:16:38 PM »
Question: How does Scaleshift interact with Adamantine, Fang, Dzalmaus, and Purple Ideals?

LOL at you asking me about your own homebrew's mechanics.
You're my sounding board for mechanics & balance stuff.

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Typo in scaleshift. "If he melds a magical melee," -> "If he melds a magical melee weapon,"
I kept seeing that and kept forgetting to fix it, thank you.

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More specifically:
- Does Adamantine's Powerful Build increase any natural weapon damage? (I'm guessing no.)

Nope. Powerful build is pretty clear about what it does. While you can wield larger weapons, it doesn't make your natural weapons larger. If you had some other effect that gave you larger natural weapons than normal for your size, you wouldn't take the -2 penalty on your attack roll for using them.
Yes, that's what I figured.

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- Does Fang's bite-instead-of-breath-weapon give a bite attack at level 1? Or only every 1d4 rounds? What about when you get a bite attack at higher levels? Does it just give you another one?

As written, the scaleshaper gets a stock standard breath weapon that deals half piercing, half slashing damage. Fang Dragon only modifies the Breath class feature, which scaleshapers neither get nor use for the scaleshaped breath weapon.
OK, I'll fix the wording so it's clear.

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- Similar question for Dzalmaus's Threebite.

Threebite gives you 3 primary bites. These would seem to be in addition to the natural bite attacks of the scaleshaper's form.
So assuming Bite is a primary (which it is for dragons), you'd have four primary bite attacks? I'll clarify the wording.

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- It seems pretty clear that the breath weapon for Purple increases the die size. What about the natural weapons, which deal half energy damage?

Purple technically doesn't do anything in practice. The ideal never deals damage. Breath weapons, attacks, and special abilities might deal damage. Also, if you want to increase the damage die like that (and this similarly applies to the Fang Dragon ideal's adjustments to how breath weapons work), you should put it as one of the ideal powers instead of as a footnote.
Then I'll have to remove an Ideal power. There are actually a BUNCH of ideals that alter the die size of the breath weapon/other stuff; so I need to actually clarify the language. It's because I wrote so many ideals when I only had Wyrm Warrior (and later, Dragonmage).

I think I should probably just fix the Ideal format a bit, since I have so much more space now. I can make it a little more clear & intuitive instead of aiming for terse.

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Also, I should add some text to Scaleshift about what's a primary vs secondary attack. Thoughts?

Good idea.
OK I shall do this.

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Edit: Oh, and update your link to Sublime Tapestry in Wyrm of War.
I actually need to fix discipline links in a lot of ideals, since they lead back to a certain dead board. I was planning on doing this in the process of porting the Discipline Compendium.


Another note: I totally wrote a 4th Idealist class, which is an Incarnum class. I'd completely forgotten about it. I need to port it over from gitp, and maybe make some edits while I'm at it.

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Re: EWA: Discussion Thread
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2017, 09:59:17 AM »
OK, I redid all the Ideal writeups to be a little clearer, moved the class-specific stuff (for Dragonmage and Wyrm Warrior) to their respective class posts, and posted the Noumenon Drake.