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Author Topic: Reworking Heroic Paths  (Read 88255 times)
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #50 on: October 02, 2010, 04:41:45 PM »

ok, addressing your thoughts-

Faeblooded does not make you fae. It makes you fae-ish. Deciding that you never actually lie is a character choice and not one that I want a path to enforce. If you like that aspect of the fae, by all means use it. If not, don't. There's a lot of stories, most of them conflict regarding the nature of the fae, which I think is a reflection on the nature of the fae in and of itself.

Not being forced to give a straight answer *is* pretty consistent in the mythology though, hence the anti-truth magic ability.

Faeblooded don't get DR until 20th level. It's powerful DR, sure, but it's defeated by any magic or by cold iron. This is also consistent with the myths. Only the really, really powerful fae were known for being supernaturally tough, and even then they had fairly well known weaknesses. Most of them were pretty willowy and fragile. I didn't want the faeblooded to have DR because that's sort of the Ironborn's thing. I don't like overlap.

The telltale isn't suppose to be a flaw. Paths aren't supposed to hinder a character. Even the Telltale isn't really detrimental, just inconvenient. If you want to give your character an alergy to cold iron, by all means do. I'm not going to plug it into the path though. It doesn't seem right to force an inconvenience on a player. All it would do is make them less likely to want to play a faeblooded character.

Good catch on the spellcasting thing. Fixed it in the entry for Trickery.
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rozarius
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« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2010, 04:58:17 PM »

I was talking about the lvl 20 dr just make it cold iron because any magic weapon at +3 or higher will run all over it. Which means that any creature with dr/+3 or better will also ingore it what would you be facing at that lvl that's a threat that wouldn't have access to that stuff?? And on the truth thing your right I was thinking of the Sihde the high Fae they can't lie its part of their nature the lesser Fae in stories can.

As to the weakness now that I have slept and my brain works your right it is a bad idea. I still think its a little short on the bar compared to your other work though also it forces a M.A.D. If your not a charismatic channeler as your spell likes will be resisted if you don't have a high cha, making one of its big things do nothing if you don't spec this way.  Also I just noticed that it makes refs to spot checks.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2010, 05:14:12 PM »

I was talking about the lvl 20 dr just make it cold iron because any magic weapon at +3 or higher will run all over it. Which means that any creature with dr/+3 or better will also ingore it what would you be facing at that lvl that's a threat that wouldn't have access to that stuff??

That's a good point. On the other hand, if I changed it to just Cold Iron it means that they would just completely ignore most spell damage. That seems a little much. Magic should be able to effect them, as should creatures with powerful magical weapons.
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rozarius
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« Reply #53 on: October 02, 2010, 05:18:42 PM »

Also it doesn't show the spectrum of the Fae very well. Its more nymphs and dryads than; satyrs,  red caps, pixies, nixies, any of the plant fae, bogarts, brownies, pooka, and so many more.
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rozarius
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« Reply #54 on: October 02, 2010, 05:34:45 PM »

Dr doesn't apply to spells unless they deal dmg through normal means like something that did hp because it was draining your life would not be ingored while if it created and launched a nonmagical crossbow bolt at me it would be energy dmg also ingores dr that's why they have energy resists. Magic missle is also not subject to dr as it deals dmg through pure magic force.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #55 on: October 03, 2010, 01:29:18 AM »

Also it doesn't show the spectrum of the Fae very well. Its more nymphs and dryads than; satyrs,  red caps, pixies, nixies, any of the plant fae, bogarts, brownies, pooka, and so many more.

There are other paths that you could choose if you wanted to emulate the weirder fae. This one is supposed to be a sort of common "changeling" type out of traditional lore.
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« Reply #56 on: October 03, 2010, 02:38:55 AM »

Ah well nightflier wants me to take it or a more nature like one and honestly I don't know what to pick.  I like this but I don't want to have to hack my other stats up to make it usefull plus with all my burns and scars I'm not supposed to be pretty.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #57 on: October 03, 2010, 11:52:51 AM »

Remember, charisma has to do with force of personality and social adeptness, not necessarily with looks. Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Hitler were not exceptionally attractive people, but they certainly had charisma.
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2011, 10:11:30 PM »

I've decided to tweak some of the paths I noted at the beginning as being just about right in terms of power. I still stand by that, however, I've discovered in my reworks that there are two main things that draw people to a path. One is simple mechanical bonuses (which I try to keep as small as possible) and the other is interesting tactical options. Almost noone seems to care about getting a handful of spell-like abilities, but if I throw in reactionary abilities (Immediate actions and abilities that can be triggered in response to other actions), all or a sudden everyone's ooing and ahing. So with that in mind, I've decided to finish the reworks and try to give people more of what they want.

First up, the Steelblooded.

Design notes: I've always thought that the steelblooded didn't get enough stuff to do. Other paths get crazy spell-likes and nifty tricks. The steelblooded is basically just better at stabbing things, which makes them just about right in terms of power, but ultimately a little boring. I decided that they needed to feel like an action movie hero, winning with style. I also wanted them to be able to abuse their enemies with the entire combat system, not just a few bits and pieces of it.

The Adaptive Warrior ability is a version of the Wild Card feats from Iron Heroes. The Maneuver Master ability makes Combat Maneuvers a lot more versatile and interesting (let's face it, most maneuvers don't see much play because of the necessary feat investiture. I think that's sad.)

In effect, I wanted the Steelblooded to be able to fight at level-appropriate ability with just about any weapon or style they might want. They should feel kind of like a Wizard in regards to weapons, "memorizing" a new set of abilities as needed.

Steelblooded rework

1    Adaptive Warrior
2    Offensive tactics +1
3    Strategic blow (DR 3), Maneuver Master
4    Skilled warrior
5    Adaptive Warrior
6    Strategic blow (DR 6), Maneuver Master
7    Offensive tactics +2
8    Skilled warrior
9    Strategic blow (DR 9), Maneuver Master
10    Adaptive Warrior
11    Offensive tactics +3,
12    Strategic blow (DR 12), Maneuver Master
13    Skilled warrior
14    Untouchable
15    Adaptive Warrior, Maneuver Master
16    Strategic blow (DR 15)
17    Offensive tactics +4
18    Skilled warrior, Maneuver Master
19    Untouchable
20    Perfect Warrior

Adaptive Warrior: The steelblooded is able to change their fighting style on the fly to best suit any situation. They gain an Adaptive feat slot which they use to temporarily gain any combat feat they qualify for. Activating this ability is a Swift action, which means that the feats are "inactive" when not in combat (disallowing the use of feats like Improved Initiative as temporary feats). The Steelblooded may change this temporary feat as a Swift action, at will. Each time they gain this ability they gain another Adaptive feat slot, though they may only switch out one feat per round.

Offensive Tactics: When the steelblooded uses the full attack action, he gains the listed bonus to his attack or damage rolls. This must be chosen before he makes his attack rolls, but may be applied differently on each attack. (He may choose to add a damage bonus to the first attack but to add the bonus to his attack roll for the second, etc.)

Strategic Blow: The steelblooded learns to take advantage of the weak points in his opponents' defenses, even those that seem immune to harm. He may ignore the listed amount of damage reduction when making melee attacks.

Skilled Warrior: Each time this ability is gained, the steelblooded may choose one of the following abilities-

Always Armed: The steelblooded can make weapons out of seemingly harmless objects. This ability grants the Catch Off-Guard feat. In addition, the Steelblooded can make combat maneuvers with improvised weapons without penalty. A broom might be used to trip or disarm, for example.

Ambidextrous: The steelblooded has no Off-hand and suffers only half the usual penalty for fighting with two weapons. This stacks with Two Weapon Fighting.

Armed Grappler: When Grappled, the Steelblooded does not receive penalties for using weapons in a grapple, and may attack while grappled with any weapon they are able to threaten their own square with (Note that this exempts most Ranged and Reach weapons)

Expert Defense: When fighting defensively the Steelblooded takes only half the usual attack penalties. If the Steelblooded possesses the Combat Expertise feat, when using it they gain a bonus to their AC equal to 1/4 their level (rounded up)

Dodge This: When a Steelblooded would normally get an Attack of Opportunity, but that Attack of Opportunity is canceled by an ability his opponent possesses (such as Tumbling, or an improved combat maneuver feat), the Steelblooded may choose to make a Combat Maneuver of their choice against the target.

Keep Swinging: When Grappled, the Steelblooded still threatens squares normally, and may attack targets other than the creature grappling them if they choose.

Then I'll Take Yours: If the Steelblooded is ever successfully Disarmed or their weapon is Sundered, they may make a free disarm attempt against the opponent that initiated the maneuver. To use this ability the Steelblooded must not be flat-footed and must threaten the opponent with their natural reach.

Weapon Blossom: The Steelblooded gains the Quick Draw feat. In addition, they may sheath a weapon as a free action, allowing them to easily switch weapons on the fly. This ability also grants the ability to draw a weapon as an Immediate action, letting the Steelblooded arm themselves nearly instantaneously in response to danger or being forcibly disarmed.


Maneuver Master: When employing Combat Maneuvers, the Steelblooded is particularly effective. Each time this ability is gained, the Steelblooded gains their choice of one of the following abilities.

Bull Rush: You may steer your opponent as you push them. For every two squares you push them back, you may also move them one square to the left or right. In addition, at the end of any Bull Rush you may choose to end up in any square adjacent to your target.

Dirty Trick: Add 1/4 your level (rounded up) to the amount of time the conditions caused by your Dirty Tricks last.

Disarm: The opponent's weapon automatically ends up in your hand, or is flung 1d6 squares in a direction of your choice.

Drag: You may switch places with an opponent while dragging them. Figure maneuver distance normally, but at the end of the Drag movement you may choose to switch squares with your opponent. Treat this as if you had used a successful Reposition maneuver.

Feint: Your body language never betrays you in combat. When Feinting you always use your opponant's Wisdom score even if they are trained in Sense Motive.

Grapple: When you initiate a grapple you may choose to drag your opponent into your square rather than moving into theirs. In addition, whenever you make a successful grapple check, in addition the the check's normal effect you may move yourself and anyone you are grappling 5 feet in any direction.

Overrun: Even if you do not successfully Overrun an opponent you may still move past them as if you had by sliding under, dodging around or running up and over them. When using the Overrun maneuver, your target does not hinder your movement in any way.

Reposition: You may ignore the "cannot use this maneuver to move a foe into a space that is intrinsically dangerous" clause of the maneuver.

Steal: If this maneuver is used to steal a weapon, you may take an immediate attack with that weapon.

Sunder: Whether by stabbing an enemy with a broken off spearhead or throwing a snapped off sword blade, you make the most out of weapons you break. Any time you successfully Sunder a weapon (render it Broken or destroyed) you may make a free attack with the weapon you have broken against any target you threaten. To use this ability you must be within natural reach of the opponent wielding the sundered weapon. This attack counts as attacking with a weapon with the Broken condition with all the usual penalties.

Trip: When you trip someone, you trip them hard. Tripped opponents take 1d6 bludgeoning damage, as if they had fallen 10 feet.

Untouchable: At 14th level, whenever the steelblooded performs a special attack action that would normally provoke an attack of opportunity, he does not provoke (such as when initiating a grapple, attempting to disarm a weapon, and so on). At 19th level, the steelblooded never provokes attacks of opportunity due to movement or for performing any action, standard action, or full-round action that would normally provoke.

Perfect Warrior: The Steelblooded has become one of the most dangerous combatants who has ever lived, able to seemingly recreate their entire combat style on the fly and take advantage of any gap in their opponent's defenses. At 20th level the Steelblooded gains an additional Adaptive combat feat and may change all of their Adaptive feats as a Swift action. In addition the number of Attacks of Opportunity they are able to take in one round becomes unlimited.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 11:52:26 PM by Doomed Hero » Logged
Caesar
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« Reply #59 on: October 25, 2011, 04:59:56 AM »

wow...
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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #60 on: October 25, 2011, 01:20:36 PM »

Is that a good Wow or a bad Wow?
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« Reply #61 on: October 30, 2011, 02:44:48 PM »

Good wow from me - the floating bonus feats are very nice, more flavourful than the regular path (which is just padding your combat numbers ... not that there's anything wrong with that per se).

Got a Steelblooded PC in my game so I'm gonna offer him the chance to switch to this, will let you know how it works in game if he goes for it.
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« Reply #62 on: October 30, 2011, 04:00:05 PM »

Cool, looking forward to the playtest report.
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« Reply #63 on: October 30, 2011, 05:00:30 PM »

Just emailed him the link and he's gonna switch to this version.

But straight away he pointed one issue out "This is brilliant! But abusable, surely? I mean, I can start a combat with Improved Initiative, and then swap it out next round?"

So, we're gonna go with an interpretation whereby the Adaptive slots aren't filled at the start of a combat so as to stop that potential abuse.  I'd guess that's the intention, but might be worth tightening up the wording a little?
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« Reply #64 on: October 30, 2011, 05:08:56 PM »

Good call. It's intended to be "adaptation as you go", so I should specify that outside of combat the feat slots are blank. I'll fix the wording on that.
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« Reply #65 on: November 02, 2011, 11:53:09 PM »

Adaptive Warrior edited. Thanks for the catch Dave.
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« Reply #66 on: November 04, 2011, 05:58:52 PM »

Hwah. That's...hrm. I'm gonna condense my original commentary on this one to a skeleton - if you require clarification, I'll be glad to pontificate a bit.

This here is a big ol' upgrade for the Steelblooded, and I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

  • Adaptive Warrior, in particular, is vastly more powerful than the bonus feat they used to get at those levels.
  • Skilled Warrior also has some extra bits added on - little things, but they add up.
  • Maneuver Master is, obviously, just a direct upgrade.
  • If I'm not mistaken, you've also given Offensive Tactics a bit of a boost - just allowing the attack bonus to count for all attacks, and the ability to switch around which bonus they're using.

I think everything else is the same, so no point in commenting. I'm not saying any of these changes are bad, I just want to make sure that we're all aware this is an improvement on something that we originally called one of the high bars for power in the first place.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 06:08:32 PM by Sholano » Logged

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Doomed Hero
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« Reply #67 on: November 04, 2011, 06:37:20 PM »

It's what you might call a Lateral improvement, as opposed to a Verticle improvement.

See, the issue with adding or redesigning is trying to avoid Power Creep, which happens whenever an unexpected combination of numbers (numerical bonuses) combine to create bigger than expected numerical results.

The Steelblooded's numbers are still exactly the same. The only real numbers difference is in Offensive Tactics, in that now you can change the bonus to get a better result on iterative attacks. See, in the original version, you pretty much always wanted the bonus to Damage, until you hit 6th level, and then you always wanted the bonus to attack. That's because a better chance of landing a second attack is almost always better than a slight damage bonus to the first attack. Since Pathfinder did away with a lot of the limitations on what you can and can't do during a full attack action, I figured it made sense for the Steelblooded to be able to adjust the focus of their ability mid attack. Heck, you can make a 5' step or a jump check mid attack sequence now, so why not?

The rest is just added versatility.

There really is no such thing a Lateral Power Creep (especially for martial characters). A Fighter being able to reformat a few feats to take advantage of an opponent's weakness is not that much different than a wizard putting a bunch of condition specific spells on scrolls to give them an edge when those conditions come up. Both the Wizard and the Fighter are still operating at a CR appropriate level. We see this with Wizards all the time. As they get higher in level, there are fewer and fewer situations that they don't have an Ace in the Hole for. Martial characters don't really have that option. If you're a grapple-artist and you run up against a Mind Flayer, you're pretty much just boned. If you happen to be Steelblooded you really ought to be able to come up with some things on the fly that will let you fight back and lessen the likelihood of having your brain sucked out.

Paths are supposed to take the place of magic items in terms of the bonuses they give. There are two schools of thought about the best use of magic items- First is to boost your numbers (power creep). I'm trying deliberately to avoid that. The second is to increase your versatility (contingency plans).

When I design Paths I like to think of what kinds of magic items a contingency-minded player might have access to at a given level and put similar powered abilities into the paths.

TL;DR- Numbers Bad, Options Good.

I think the Steelblooded rework is viable at later levels because it gives a character a martial equivalent to spell versatility. If you can see a way for the path to be used to create a character that operates beyond the expectations of their level, I'll gladly change it.
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« Reply #68 on: November 04, 2011, 09:09:29 PM »

I'm also interested to see how these upgrades play out in practice.

Your ideas about lateral improvement and versatility make complete sense to me DH, but I think in practice, at least in the earlier levels of the game this might still be a little too good.  Like, "I'm not interested in playing anything other than the steel blooded path ever again" good. Like "I'll trade you my right arm to have this path in Quietus Clarion" good.

not sure if that's a good or a bad thing..
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« Reply #69 on: November 05, 2011, 12:56:00 AM »

Earlier levels? The class operates exactly the same. The bonus feat is changeable, but that's all. In most cases it's going to be used either to be slightly better at whatever weapon the character is using, or to pick up the appropriate Improved maneuver feat.  I really don't see anything overpowered about that. There are spells that do very similar things at those levels.

Until Maneuver Master there's literally nothing different. How is this better than, say, the Ironborn's first few abilities?

I admit that the Skilled Warrior abilities are the big changes, and some of them are very powerful, but really if you look at them they are intended to patch the inherent weaknesses of most martial characters (this is supposed to be the best warrior after all, it just doesn't seem right to be able to neuter him with a lucky disarm or sunder)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 01:00:28 AM by Doomed Hero » Logged
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« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2011, 03:52:24 AM »

a good wow, Doomed... a good wow. im currently playing the "vanilla" Steelblooded- this one is much cooler. I'm in total agreement with your analysis of the original path.
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« Reply #71 on: November 08, 2011, 11:49:32 PM »

Two things.

I think the Steelblooded rework is viable at later levels because it gives a character a martial equivalent to spell versatility.

First; again, I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. Just clarifying that it is, indeed, an improvement - and a pretty vast one, at that. Think about the following. Ordinarily, they get one bonus feat, stuck forevermore. This pins them down to a tree of some sort, or one static bonus. This bonus, or ability, or whatever it is, is static, and therefore only applicable to a certain variety of situations. For this example, let's say they go with Dodge, for the hopes of chaining into Mobility and then Spring Attack. Then, we have the Adaptive Warrior feat. In a given encounter, rather than being confined to Dodge's +1 to AC, they have a whole variety of options open to them should that bonus prove the least advantageous at the moment - including such old standbys as Weapon Focus or Power Attack, giving them choices between AC bonus, attack bonus, or damage bonus (the three obvious things any fighter is concerned with), not to mention any number of other weird little quirky things or bonuses they could pull out of other feats. You made a point of mentioning "the rest is just added versatility"; the point I want to make is that versatility is power.

If you can see a way for the path to be used to create a character that operates beyond the expectations of their level, I'll gladly change it.

Second; this one is actually just expanding on the first point, now I think about it. Obviously, I can't see a way for the path to be abusive, in any given situation (at least, in comparison with the original Steelblooded). They have the same number of feats, and therefore can't pull off any chainy weird madness. What it does do is let them be prepared for way, way more situations than they would have before, which (like I said before) makes them a more powerful character. Going back to the earlier example; the original Steelblooded, having reached level ten, has all three of those bonus feats into the Spring Attack tree - now they can Spring Attack, which hey, let's admit; pretty badass, right? The Adaptive Warrior, on the other hand, has access to Spring Attack if they should so choose - but they could instead be using the Greater Maneuver feats if they so chose. Say you've come across an enemy who's nailing you every round you Spring Attack, despite your Mobility. At that point, you decide instead it would be great to Greater Trip the guy, which works brilliantly. This is something the original fighter would never have been able to pull off - and yes, that most definitely makes him more powerful.

One more time now; is this increase in power necessarily a bad thing? I don't know. I just want to make sure it's understood to be there.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 03:49:18 PM by Sholano » Logged
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« Reply #72 on: November 08, 2011, 11:54:52 PM »

Thought of one more thing.

A Fighter being able to reformat a few feats to take advantage of an opponent's weakness is not that much different than a wizard putting a bunch of condition specific spells on scrolls to give them an edge when those conditions come up.

It is different, in that the wizard had to invest something into making those scrolls, or use-activated items, or whatever. Depending on if you're in 3.5, Pathinder, or homebrewed Midnight systems, that investment is something very different, but they still had to put time, effort, and materials into making these things exist, whereas a fighter who can swap feats around just wakes up in the morning ready to kick whoever's ass.

That's all.
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« Reply #73 on: November 09, 2011, 08:57:33 PM »

a fighter who can swap feats around just wakes up in the morning ready to kick whoever's ass.

Well, yeah. That's pretty much the idea.

Fighters aren't supposed to need preparation. That's the upside to being a fighter.

It is different, in that the wizard had to invest something into making those scrolls, or use-activated items, or whatever

Let's break it down. In early levels those scrolls will take a bit of an investment of resources (Time, Spell Energy and hard to come by components representing a GP value). Really, it's pretty small though. The time is negligible, as is the Spell Energy. It's the GP value that often hinders.

At the levels where scroll creation is something that is limited by resources, the Steelblooded is getting one bonus feat. That was true in the old version, and it's also true in my update. The only difference is that the feat is modular in my version. Keep in mind that it is limited to Combat feats and is only active during combat. The steelblooded isn't going to be getting Iron Will to cover a save weakness or Skill Focus to give them an edge when they aren't fighting. It's just one combat bonus feat.

most likely it will be used to give them the proper Combat Maneuver feat when hey need it, or to give them weapon focus or proficiency with whatever weapon they've been forced to pick up. They are limited by their level and their BaB. They will be fighting well, and will probably be able to make use of whatever tactic they can come up with, but not beyond the ability of what they should be able to do at their level.

This is comparable to the scroll-maker, who will have a few extra tricks up their sleeve than someone without them, and will be able to deal with more diverse situations than another character, but they will not be casting higher level spells than they should.

This holds true as we climb in level because resources become less of a concern. By the time the Steelblooded has 3 extra modular feats, the scroll-maker isn't even going to keep track of the resources they are using to make them. They are both still limited by their level in terms of what they can choose/make, but they have a much wider array of options available to them than other people of the same level. They are more powerful, but only in terms of versatility.

Take a look at the other combat-based paths. The Giantblooded, the Ironborn, the Juggernaut and the Painless all operate at about the same level as the Steelblooded at every level. The steelblooded has a bit of an edge in terms of offensive power, but that's as it should be.

I really don't see how the steelblooded's ability to rearrange a few feats is overpowered at *any* level. Care to give me an example?
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« Reply #74 on: November 14, 2011, 03:35:32 PM »

I really don't see how the steelblooded's ability to rearrange a few feats is overpowered at *any* level. Care to give me an example?

Rather than repeat myself; See point two of my previous post. Here's the gist, though; of course it doesn't make them more powerful than it's possible to be. It just makes them a hell of a lot more powerful than the original Steelblooded. 'sall I'm saying.

EDIT: Also, as far as the resources a spellcaster spends; I have to disagree that they get negligible. For instance, a 9th level caster. They're expected to have 46,000 gold worth of resources. To make a 5th-level scroll (the best they can make), they'll need 1125 gold - and oh yeah, a feat. That ain't insignificant, to me.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 03:44:03 PM by Sholano » Logged
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Open Discussion (Moderators: Bleak Knight, Glacialis)  |  Topic: Reworking Heroic Paths
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