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  1. #1
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    Paladin & Arcane Trickster CRPG adjustments

    Hello there.

    We are currently in the middle of the development of the main mechanics of our classes – core, inquisitor, alchemist, and magus. The goal of this thread is, as usual, to inform you on how and why we make decisions in development with examples of said decisions. Main topics would be the development of arcane trickster and paladin since I have been working on them this week and my memories of example details are still fresh. The development of these classes is close to an end (first part of it, since there was no feedback yet), so this is a perfect time to inform you about our changes to them in comparison with standard Pathfinder versions.

    Let’s start with Arcane Trickster. Most of his abilities were left unchanged. The biggest changes that happened to him are the change of Impromptu Sneak Attack and the removal of Tricky Spells.

    Tricky Spells make far less sense in our game – since you cannot exactly use them as in tabletop, in the middle of dialog and such. While Silent Spell and Still Spell provide certain bonuses (possibility to cast from silence and ignoring armor check penalty being some of them) – large chunk of this ability usefulness was lost in translation from the tabletop. So instead of trying to salvage it with a partial success, I’ve decided to remove it altogether and to replace it in progression with 2 additional charges of Impromptu Sneak Attack.

    Impromptu Sneak Attack now works somewhat differently – in RTWP you do not declare different properties of your every attack. So, instead, it now switches on for 1 round per charge, making all enemies flat-footed against you while it is switched on. This effect is almost unconditional, and it works even on enemies that do not rely on sight.

    In short, arcane trickster no longer has tricky spells, has double more charges of Impromptu Sneak Attack, and Impromptu Sneak Attack now lasts for one round per charge (instead of 1 attack per charge).

    Paladin changed even less – most of his abilities are the same, but some are changed still. Since the game lacks mounted combat – mount option is not in the game. All paladins instead get weapon bond (if we decide to make other types of bonds – we’ll be making them later). The current version of interface for it consists of two parts. First part is several abilities that can be switched on – these abilities denominate available weapon properties (flaming, keen, etc.). And a second part is an ability that you can use – using it costs standard action and enchants your weapon with selected properties and boosts its enhancement bonus based on how much “pluses” were left in the pool.

    Another ability that had a slight makeover was Aura of Justice – giving all your party members ability to smite evil that needs to be used in the next turn for each of them is EXTREMELY unwieldy in RTWP. It now instead acts similar to Smite Evil – Paladin designates a target for it as a swift action, spends two charges of Smite Evil and if the target is indeed evil – his allies get a bonus to damage, attacks, and AC against this target. These bonuses are calculated based on paladin stats. While it somewhat lost in versatility (you now cannot designate multiple different targets for different allies) – it now requires only paladin to spend his swift action, and it does not require all allies to be within 10 feet from him to receive bonuses. It works far better in our game, and perhaps the only problem I had with it when I played with it is that it probably should no longer be called Aura of Justice. Maybe Mark of Justice is better in this case?

    In short, Paladin cannot choose mount as a bond, and Aura of Justice now acts like a smite evil that gives bonuses against the smitten enemy to paladin’s allies instead of giving them to the paladin. Tabletop version of Aura of Justice was instead giving his allies within 10 feet ability to smite evil in the next round).

    In all other abilities, be it paladins Lay on Hands and Auras, arcane tricksters Surprise Spells and Invisible Thief – we tried to stay as close to the core rulebook as possible, only changing the things that become too situational in PC game or the ones that are far too inconvenient to use unchanged.

    If you have any questions, especially about the classes that I listed, do not hesitate to ask them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stratagemini's Avatar
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    Mark of Justice sounds a lot better than my first thought of what to call it (Smitey McSmitestrikes). I approve of calling it Mark of Justice.

    I hope you do implement another type of Paladin Bond. while I don't actually know about any Paladins that took Mount Bond outside of that one Archetype that gives you a flying mount and turns you into an Angel, that choice was a pretty cool one, and I do know of people who have taken the healing bond and other kinds of alternate divine bonds.

    I'm sort of surprised that you didn't change out Tricky spells for either an ability like the Magus' or Bards which gives a 0% arcane spell fail penalty in Light armor, or free Silent and Still spell metamagics. That's what I was sort of assuming would happen.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Grifta's Avatar
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    My only suggestion (apart from seconding one of Strata's points) would be to give a nod to the Tricky Spell ability in some dialogues. Standing in the middle of a party and casting an undetectable Charm Person / Suggestion is always great.

    @Stratagemini; I second the idea of no spell failure with light armour to replace Tricky Spell. It fits the theme of the ability well, and doesn't shift its balance (Still + Silent 5/day VS slightly under-powered version of Still unlimited/day)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yesterday's Hero's Avatar
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    Great changes, overall.

    Giving Arcane Tricksters the capacity to cast in light armor is intriguing.

  5. #5
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    I'm with Grifta on working Tricky Spells into the dialogue situations.

    Also, perhaps Tricky Spells could be cast without breaking stealth? That seems to be a major part of the intent.

    Armor bond as per the Divine Defender archetype seems like a no-brainer mount option replacement to me.

    As for Aura of Justice - why not have it grant Smite Evil vs every ally's current target at the time of casting (or first acquired target)? Similarly Smite Evil could be changed from requiring active targeting to simply affecting the paladin's current or first acquired target.

    The other changes all look good and Arcane Trickster as a whole is quite enjoyable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member HenriHakl's Avatar
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    I don't have additional thoughts on the paladin and arcane trickster as presented (I'm okay with it all); a related thought came up for me: will you be including information to class changes in the descriptions/hints? If I hover over "Mark of Justice", I think it should (among ability details) include the text "replaces Aura of Justice from Core Pathfinder". Thoughts?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenriHakl View Post
    I don't have additional thoughts on the paladin and arcane trickster as presented (I'm okay with it all); a related thought came up for me: will you be including information to class changes in the descriptions/hints? If I hover over "Mark of Justice", I think it should (among ability details) include the text "replaces Aura of Justice from Core Pathfinder". Thoughts?
    I like an idea but it should be like you suggested. When I hover mouse / check ability then it should tell me what it do and if it is changed from orginal P&P version or not.

    But I do NOT want "huge wall of text" from very start of the game when some new player (or me) try to choose a character class. If let's say in "wizard" come huge list of every spell and ability and how they are maybe not in the game or changed somehow.. err, not what I want to read.

    BTW if possible I would really want to read (and yes, be more active = write something allso) for EVERY class and subclass (or prestige what ever they are now days) so please keep these updates coming.

    I just do not usually play as paladin or Arcane Trickster but that do not mean that I would not read all what is written here. Waiting more of fighter/ranger/barbarian/druid or so kind of classes. Rogue and mage are allso something I time to time play but usually never use classes like paladin, priest, monk, sorcerer or so in my PC. That do not mean that I would not use them in my party or like to see option to use them in every aligment (I guess in Paladin that might be a bit hard but druid can be good, evil or true neutral so )
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  8. #8
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    I would suggest if this is implemented, a simple solution is to ignore what it replaces and just put what it is. Quite frankly, what it replaces doesn't actually matter so long as we understand how it actually works in this game.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Stratagemini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davross View Post
    I would suggest if this is implemented, a simple solution is to ignore what it replaces and just put what it is. Quite frankly, what it replaces doesn't actually matter so long as we understand how it actually works in this game.
    Agreed. THat would only make it more confusing for new players who don't play tabletop. A person who is curious can always look it up on the Wiki.

  10. #10
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    Maybe for those who are familiar with PFRPG and want to plan their builds there could be some subtle highlight like an asterisk or a different color indicating that this ability/feat/spell/etc. has significant changes from the core rules and must be read carefully before selecting.

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