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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:51 am
Posts: 1247
Although I wonder if alternate Domain choices is a better option to just blanket bard spell access.

Nature Bond (Ex): An ovate may not select an animal companion. Instead, she must choose from the following domains, rather than those usually available to druids: Charm, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Nobility, Repose, Travel, or Trickery.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:42 pm
Posts: 105
KingCrazyGenius wrote:
Although I wonder if alternate Domain choices is a better option to just blanket bard spell access.

Nature Bond (Ex): An ovate may not select an animal companion. Instead, she must choose from the following domains, rather than those usually available to druids: Charm, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Nobility, Repose, Travel, or Trickery.

That doesn't introduce enough new spells to any given build, methinks. Maybe if they got two domains and could put the spells in their regular slots...

KingCrazyGenius wrote:
I'd like to see this as a Druid/Bard hybrid class, with a much cooler name.

On the note of names, I recall that the English "ovate" is based on a Latin word pronounces "wates" which is probably closer to what the druids themselves would have used to refer to this subset of their religious tradition. The Celtic "dryw", which means "seer" was also sometimes used for these sorts of characters.

Here's a quick rough sketch of what sorts of things I'd like a hybrid class to have... naturally it still needs some more unique abilities in place of the defaults and a hybrid spell list really would be best. Maybe the witch or shaman spell list would be close enough?

Seer (hybrid class)
Seers are spellcasters tutored in the ways of the fey. They see the harmony and strife of nature like a song with ever-varying combinations of harmony and dissonance, a song in which they are well versed. Seers draw upon the emotions rhythms and seasonal shifts of nature, especially animals, with their poetry and spells.

Class Skills: The seer's class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Hit Die: d8.

Base Attack Bonus: Medium.
Base Saves: Poor Fortitude and Reflex. Good Will.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As a druid, except not proficient in medium armor.

Bonus Languages: As a druid.

Spells: As an arcanist; primary spellcasting ability score is Wisdom. A seer casts divine spells drawn from the druid spell list. In addition, she gains spells drawn from the bard spell list at the following druid spell levels:

Bard spell level . . . Seer spell level
0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
1st . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st
2nd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2nd
3rd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4th
4th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5th
5th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7th
6th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8th

A seer always treats summon nature's ally spells and domain spells as prepared.

Domain: As a druid, but a seer must select one of the following domains: Animal, Charm, Community, Healing, Knowledge, Liberation, Luck, Nobility, Repose, Travel, or Trickery. Rather than gaining a bonus spell slot, the seer always treats the domain spell as prepared.

Orisons: As a druid.

Wild Empathy (Ex): As a druid.

Bardic Performance: As a bard, but does not gain distraction (1st), suggestion (6th), mass suggestion (18th), or deadly performance (20th).

Rhythm of the Seasons (Su): At 3rd level, a seer can affect plants and vermin with mind-affecting effects as if they were not immune; a creature whose immunity is bypassed this way gains a +4 bonus on its saving throw against the effect. In addition, the seer can influence plants and vermin with wild empathy like magical beasts and can influence even mindless creatures of appropriate creature types with wild empathy as if those creatures had Intelligence 1.

Resist Nature's Lure (Su): As a druid (4th).

Wild Shape: Starting at 4th level, a seer can use wild shape as a druid of her seer level.

At 6th level, a seer gains the ability to become a Small or Medium vermin. This option replaces the option to become a Small elemental.

At 8th level, a seer gains the ability to become a Small or Medium magical beast or Tiny or Large vermin. This option replaces the option to become a Medium elemental.

At 10th level, the seer gains the ability to become a Tiny or Large magical beast. This option replaces the option to become a Large or Huge elemental.

A Thousand Faces (Su): As a druid (13th).


Last edited by MythMage on Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:51 am
Posts: 1247
An interesting start.

When you say "as an arcanist" for the spells, you mean they prepare a small amount each day and can cast those spontaneously, right? I take it they retain a druid's spell slot progression?


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:28 pm
Posts: 1181
Mechanically, I think it needs to make some more sacrifices.

With arcanist prep, makes about as good a bard spellcaster as a real bard. One or two fewer bard spells can be prepared at any given time than a bard knows, but he casts them more often per day and has access to the whole bard list vs the handful of spells a bard can actually learn.

Hm, let's see.
10th level bard - say - gets 1+mod 4th level bard slots a day, and knows 2 4th level bard spells, period.
He casts 3+mod 3rd level bard spells, and knows 4.
10th level seer casts 2+mod 5th level (=4th bard level) spells per day, prepares 1 changing each day (plus SNA and domain)
He casts 4+mod 4th level spells, and prepares 2 (plus SNA and domain)
There's tradeoffs, but overall I suspect it's a tick better than a real bard, the spells per day is a big boost. 1 spell prepared per day is low, but then, he gets automatic SNA and domain preparation if he takes it.

So maybe a bit better than bard spellcasting, more or less on par with druid casting. (probably slightly worse at lower levels and slightly better at higher levels). Before you look at the synergies the lists provide.

I would consider Diminished Spellcasting. Minus one slot of each level per day. Maybe alternately a selection of bard spells rather than the whole list. Adding bard spells to druid casting is quite strong - a wild shaping druid is a self-buffer, and most of the druid buffs (enhancement and transmutation) stack with most of the bard buffs (morale).

Magical beast vs elemental is probably an upgrade. Magical beast might have slightly smaller sheer melee damage, but the range of other abilities they grant is much stronger. And in terms of sheer melee numbers, you can get access to a lot more attacks per round as a magical beast than an elemental. Huge Earth elemental attacks twice for 2d8+Str, Large Chimera attacks five times (at the same bonus - 1 less Str mod gain, 1 less size penalty) for 2d6+Str, d8+Str x2, d6+Strx2. Yeah, I'm not sure you lose a ton of melee potential in return for what you gain. It seems like it might be a wash at worst.

Magical beast instead of elemental, plus Inspire Courage? That's a straight upgrade to your melee prowess and a big one. The combination of the two makes the seer a clearly better wild shape meleer than a druid, in his own right, plus helping the whole party at the same time, plus the big range of special abilities magical beasts grant. Oh, and it stacks with basically ALL the druid buff spells and ALL the bard ones.

So I recommend dropping Inspire Courage.

How is the casting intended to work? I don't see a spellbook class feature added, so I presume it's meant to use arcanist casting mechanics but the usual divine casting convention, where you prepare off your entire spell list each morning? Adding a spellbook and limited spells known would be one potential sacrifice that the class might stand.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:51 am
Posts: 1247
You can't drop inspire courage. Inspire courage is awesome. Maybe remind people how hard it is to bardic perform when you have claws and four legs and just growl and roar instead.

Some good points on the spellcasting, though. Maybe it would be better to just add bard spells known, and make the seer prepare each spell slot like druids do. I know arcanist is the new sexy but not everything can be an arcanist.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:14 am
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I agree, drop the Arcanist casting. Just let them add one Bard spell per level to the druid list, keeping the level increases you have above, and otherwise prepare and cast as a druid.

Otherwise, steal a page (pun intended) from 3.5's Archivist, and make them prepare out of a book, with access to the full druid and bard lists.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:53 pm
Posts: 27
KingCrazyGenius wrote:
As for overwhelming presence anyone who walks around not immune to mind-affecting effects deserves to prostrate themselves.

This is the best line ever >.> :twisted:

KingCrazyGenius wrote:
I know arcanist is the new sexy but not everything can be an arcanist.

This is the second best.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:42 pm
Posts: 105
I'm leaning toward just replacing most of bardic performance because it combines poorly with wild shape (you can't even use performance while wild shaped aside from as a magical beast, and then it's too good) and isn't really central to the concept anyway. The bard spells are more important.

And yes, as I said, the spell list needs to be pared down somehow. It's just a very labor-intensive part of the task and so one I've been putting off.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:51 am
Posts: 1247
Really dude? I'd say just the opposite. It's the shapeshifting that really needs to go. Forest poet fairy priest doesn't need to turn into a bird, but he does need music that lights the soul afire. The druid spells themselves do far more to cover the kinship with nature than becoming a furry or vegetable. And that's why I suggested the alternate domains a few posts ago: I picked ones that seemed more appropriate for the wily, mysterious, and charismatic fey than usual straight forward nature druid things.

If you absolutely must, keep the low level stuff so they can fly and swim, but they don't really need it for combat enhancement I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Ovate (Bard Archetype) [PF]
PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:42 pm
Posts: 105
KingCrazyGenius wrote:
Forest poet fairy priest doesn't need to turn into a bird, but he does need music that lights the soul afire. The druid spells themselves do far more to cover the kinship with nature than becoming a furry or vegetable. And that's why I suggested the alternate domains a few posts ago: I picked ones that seemed more appropriate for the wily, mysterious, and charismatic fey than usual straight forward nature druid things.

If you absolutely must, keep the low level stuff so they can fly and swim, but they don't really need it for combat enhancement I think.

The flavor of bard spellcasting is music that sets the soul afire, but I do like this latter suggestion. Shapeshifting is definitely much more important for trickery to this concept than it is for combat, but I do think it's important as part of the "one with nature" vibe. A ton of fey are shapeshifters too, don't forget. So I agree that a good way to reduce the current bloat of abilities is to remove some of the more combat-oriented wild shapes.

Perhaps...

Wild Shape (Su) The seer can become a Small or Medium animal at 4th level (beast shape I).

At 6th level, the seer can become a Small or Medium vermin (vermin shape I), Small elemental (elemental body I), or Tiny animal (beast shape I). (This option replaces the option to become a Large animal.)

At 8th level, the seer can become a Small or Medium magical beast or Diminutive animal (beast shape III), Small or Medium plant (plant shape I) or Tiny vermin (vermin shape II). (Not a Medium elemental or Huge animal.)

At 10th level, the seer can become a Tiny magical beast (beast shape IV). (This option replaces the option to become a Large or Huge elemental or plant.)


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