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  #46  
Old 06-27-2020, 01:41 AM
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@HalcyonRhys Welcome. Let me know if you have any questions about anything.

@Crucius Certainly. There is a pdf link in the 1st post but, admittingly, it is rather outdated at this point. I have created a new pdf and relinked.
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  #47  
Old 06-27-2020, 01:52 AM
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Ah, makes sense. The pdf there was mostly missing setting info
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:51 PM
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@AlphaP I did some work on the Occultist and made some revisions that I think make them a more enjoyable class all around:
  • Proficiencies - Upgraded to light armor and simple weapons. As basically a six slot caster, and taking into account the world they are in, this seems more in line with a character that spends his time delving through ancient ruins as well as ancient tomes.
  • Added New character abilities of Mental Focus and Implements. This will provide the Occultist more options of what to do with the spell points than just cast spells. Between spells and implements, they now occupy the roles of CC, buffer, debuffer, summoner, healer, and even melee for periods of time. Depending on how you build the character will depend on how effective they are at these roles.

The pdf has been updated.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Rain View Post
@HalcyonRhys Welcome. Let me know if you have any questions about anything.
Thanks! I am looking forward to RPing with you for as long as it lasts. A little about me: I am a long time gamer, but I am not 100% knowledgeable about the 5th edition yet, so I may have questions down the line about the game dynamics. I read through the PDF and I found it interesting, and I think my character choice might be very interesting. I already have my character ready, but if things change I can make adjustments.
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Old 06-30-2020, 11:25 AM
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After rereading through the changes, it was not as bad as I initially feared. However, this does not fix the issues with the class and in some ways does make things slightly worse overall.

1. For some reason, the option to start with a dagger has been replaced with a shortsword. This removes the only good weapon option the class had and further contributes to the MAD problem already present. The armor proficiency, too, is worth little to nothing due to the encumbrance rules. Either, in addition to balancing INT, DEX, CON, and WIS, I now have to find some way to throw STR in there or simply ignore those options and sell the starting weapon to buy another one and continue to rely on mage armor. I'm also confused as to how this suits the class's flavor. The occultist read as bookish types who gather in hidden lairs and alleyways to exchange secrets and record knowledge, not dungeon delvers themselves.

2. I'm confused as to why features have been added to deal with magic items. How I read the campaign prompt, the number of magic items we should encounter is 0. I don't see this as having much use in an extremely low-magic setting, but it doesn't provide negatives.

3. While the Implements do provide use for spell points outside of slots, they don't really fix the issue with magic being weak. As all of the passives are underwhelming and situational and the focus powers are just worse versions of spells you can get for the same number of points, the problem of magic itself being extremely weak compared to martial classes still remains.

4. I'm confused as to why you are so insistent on mages being in melee. With that hit dice, and even the expanded armor options, the occultist should be staying as far away from combat as possible; yet, a good number of the powers from Implements seem to require you being in touch range. This just means these powers are worthless, as they are not worth both the costs and the risks of being in combat.

5. The fact that the implements line up with all of the original wizard subclasses except evocations makes it seem as though you are intentionally preventing mages from doing any damage. I don't understand this move at all. If an occultist has to take on extra costs and extra risk, they should get extra power from it.

6. I have to disagree with your previous idea that just because magic is rare makes it good. No enemies are going to be troubled by me having magic, as the damage it produces are way too low. It may keep me from getting hit by them, but it will still be the frontlines doing all the work as I focus on just keeping my meager HP and maybe, occasionally stunning a single target. If bosses are intended to be sorcerers, and they use the same spells as the occultist, then they are going to be obliterated simply by an all-melee party. Magic, in this state, simply is not worthwhile. Magic, right now, is just some parlor tricks. It needs a buff.
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  #51  
Old 06-30-2020, 02:41 PM
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@AlphaP, thanks for the feedback.

1. The additions to the occultist class were meant to give the player options. There are no subclasses, so all of the options are baked right in. Melee focused, no melee, spells only, implements only, or any variation in between. A player could focus on one thing to the exclusion of the others, or spread out their talents, while not truly mastering any.

The armor and weapon proficiency was added to support these options. They may or may not be used. I agree the dagger should be added back in as a starting weapon and will do so.

Some occultists would spend their time pouring over ancient tomes and deciphering ancients texts. These would likely be relying on mage armor and not entering melee. Other occultists would be exploring ancient ruins themselves, searching for ancient relics to study, and perhaps even finding ways of drawing out some latent magic that might still exist.

2. The implements are not technically magic items. Or it's better to say that they were, having long since lost any obvious magical benefits. In ages past however, the Rakshasas and serpentmen both had access to impressive magics and created magic items regularly. It is these items that the occultist searches for to create his implements.

As for object reading, this does not need apply only to magic items. If they get their hands on a mundane dagger that was used to kill someone recently, they might be able to gleam some information about the killer.

3. There are damaging spells at each spell level (except cantrip, but I am going to add one back in that can hit at range), but it is true that their damage has been reduced. The reason for this is because nearly all of these attacks ignore armor. Armor works really well at reducing damage. Combine spell damage with the ability to ignore armor and everyone's relatively low HP and spells can become deadly very fast.

4. I am not trying to force them into melee, but I certainly want to give them the tools to do so if they wish. That said, for an occultist that does not wish to enter melee, the powers from implements become, as you said, situational, and only become useful in situations where someone gets too close.

5. You are correct, and I did intentionally skip over an evocation implement. As I said above, I will be adding in a cantrip as an additional source of damage, but occultists were never meant to be nukers. Fireball and lightning flinging mages do not have a place in Sword & Sorcery.

6. I am very open and want to make meaningful changes where needed. If you would be willing, create an Int spec'd occultist and lets playtest him. If after a few encounters, we find issues, we can make tweaks to ensure the right balance is there.
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  #52  
Old 06-30-2020, 09:29 PM
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Hey, thanks for responding to me. I'm sorry if I've been too critical, especially since I haven't played it yet. I appreciate you listening to my feedback.

So, for the implements, will we find those automatically during leveling up, or do we need to find them through delving?
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  #53  
Old 07-01-2020, 03:34 PM
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@AlphaP Don't worry about it. Being critical is is what I am asking for.

Regarding implements, since they are essentially mundane items (i.e. a doll), I am going to assume that the occultist found these obects during their normal research and when they gain the ability to select an implement, they just discovered that one of their objects has some latent magical properties. In other words, yes it's automatic.

I am also thinking of some implements that are more unique (perhaps they were once legendary or artifacts) and would then require the occultist to locate a specific object.
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Old 07-03-2020, 10:00 PM
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An updated version of the pdf had been loaded.

Thanks to Alemar for catching some errors and AlphaP for providing feedback on the occultist class.
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Old 07-04-2020, 03:12 PM
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@Silent Rain I've got a character sheet ready for review. I was wondering if I could ask a few questions to help with the other sections of the application.

1. The combination of Kalay facial features, skin color, and clothing is extremely hard to find an image for. Due to the fear surrounding sorcery in this world, part of Phyu's flavor was that he would always wear a cloak of some kind when he intends to do magic in public. Would a picture of a cloaked figure work for a character image, as that is how the party would normally see him, with a verbal description of his uncloaked visage?

2. For Phyu's backstory, I wanted to have him grow up in a more established Kalay city with a relatively stable political scene with his parents still alive and active. I would also want this city to have some past ties to the serpentmen or other reptilian magic-wielding entities. Is there any city that matches this description? Would you want me to leave specific locations out of the backstory for you to fill in to place the party in the same location?
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  #56  
Old 07-05-2020, 08:27 PM
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When do you want the applications done by?

+6 proficiency is still showing d10 proficiency die instead of d12

Xoth cultures should be represented (at least the most populous one) or do you not want foreign characters in the campaign.

Ammunition... if you find a partially filled quiver shouldn't you be able to scavenge it to increase your ammo die?

Yar-Ammonite does not have a blurb like all the rest of the human languages.

Preparing and casting spells... you have three separate rules for how many spell points you receive after a long break. Two in the Occultist section and one in the Magic Section.

Spell points are explained in 2nd level feature: Mental Focus. Needs to be explained earlier as you need them to cast 1st level spells.

Arcane Condensation: round up or down?

Talisman: Mind Barrier Wording should probably be changed so it grants 2 Temp HP per occultist level. Otherwise it stacks with Temp HP.

Aegis: is the enhancement bonus to AC or soak?

Third Eye: may I suggest that instead of +1/level to Perception... at 2 points, an enhancement bonus to Perception equal to your proficiency die. That way you don't end up with +20.

Arcane Trickster/Eldritch Knight: you could keep these subclasses if you made 1 or more level of occultist as a prerequisite.

Danger Sight. As written there is no purpose in taking this unless you can reliably win initiative over your opponents. Usually things like this are to next attack (or Saving throw) or until the start of your next turn.

Tough Feat. The wording means that you need to take this feat as soon as possible.... as an example, taking it at twelfth level means that you lose at least 8 if not 11 hp that you could have gotten.

Chill Touch. It no longers has the additional save to undead. Is that correct or an oversight? If it isn't an oversight, might as well call it something else and put it in with the new spells.

Implements: I invest 2 spell points into an implement. I take a short break... can I use the new spell points to add 2 more to the implement making it a total of 4 invested?

Dangerous Magic- roll based on lowest level of spell or the actual slot you are using. If the later then I suggest 1-3 for slots 7 thru 9.

Baleful Mark Probably better to just say the weapon criticals 18-20 against marked creature. Extra damage should probably be as weapon type IMHO.
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  #57  
Old 07-05-2020, 09:59 PM
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@AlphaP Sure, an image of a cloaked character is fine. Just be sure to provide a description so we know what he looks like when the hood is down.

I think the city of Ikath might suit your needs. Here is a little more information than what I had included.

Quote:
Ikath is the pinnacle of Thulean civilization at its most seductive, its most vibrant, and its most corrupt. A cosmopolitan city on the shores of the Golden Sea, Ikath welcomes nearly everyone—though few leave the City of Serpents with as many coins as they arrived with.

Almost anything can be had for a price in Ikath, including authorities willing to look the other way. Thieves, dark magicians, cultists, and schemers call the City of Serpents home. Serpentmen openly walk (and slither) through the streets of their own district and sometimes beyond, and the undead lurk in the city’s shadows at night. Ikath is a cheerfully amoral place concerned only with its own welfare and continued enrichment.
@MarsComulus I would like everyone to have their characters ready for review by the 10th, which gives everyone a couple of days after the deadline to make any final revisions.

I am going through your thorough list of comments (thank you) and will reply in a separate post.
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:55 AM
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@MarsComulus Thanks once again for your comments. Here are the responses:

+6 proficiency is still showing d10 proficiency die instead of d12
Corrected

Xoth cultures should be represented (at least the most populous one) or do you not want foreign characters in the campaign.
Xoth cultures will be added shortly. They are not currently available as player choices at this time.

Ammunition... if you find a partially filled quiver shouldn't you be able to scavenge it to increase your ammo die?
The line "...until they obtain more and refill their quiver/case, thus restoring their ammo die to d10." would allow just for that.

Yar-Ammonite does not have a blurb like all the rest of the human languages.
Corrected

Preparing and casting spells... you have three separate rules for how many spell points you receive after a long break. Two in the Occultist section and one in the Magic Section.
Corrected

Spell points are explained in 2nd level feature: Mental Focus. Needs to be explained earlier as you need them to cast 1st level spells.
Good point. I have added information regarding Spell Points to the Preparing and Casting Spells section of the class.

Arcane Condensation: round up or down?
Round down. This has been updated.

Talisman: Mind Barrier Wording should probably be changed so it grants 2 Temp HP per occultist level. Otherwise it stacks with Temp HP.
Good Point. This has been updated.

Aegis: is the enhancement bonus to AC or soak?
That is a bonus to the AC enhancement.

Third Eye: may I suggest that instead of +1/level to Perception... at 2 points, an enhancement bonus to Perception equal to your proficiency die. That way you don't end up with +20.
I am ok with the way it stands. The max Spell Points a player could realistically have is 27. If a player wants to invest all of it to get one point of perception for every two points invested, that will net them +13 to perception and no more points to cast with.

Arcane Trickster/Eldritch Knight: you could keep these subclasses if you made 1 or more level of occultist as a prerequisite.
I am looking into how best to add additional classes/subclasses into the setting.

Danger Sight. As written there is no purpose in taking this unless you can reliably win initiative over your opponents. Usually things like this are to next attack (or Saving throw) or until the start of your next turn.
As it stands, this ability can be activated off of a reaction and applies to one attack of saving throw the character is defending against up to the end of the round.

Tough Feat. The wording means that you need to take this feat as soon as possible.... as an example, taking it at twelfth level means that you lose at least 8 if not 11 hp that you could have gotten.
Good point. This has been corrected to be effective regardless of what level it is taken.

Chill Touch. It no longers has the additional save to undead. Is that correct or an oversight? If it isn't an oversight, might as well call it something else and put it in with the new spells.
It still does. The revision only touches upon what was changed. All other features of the spell remain the same. I have added a line to the top of this page to make that more apparent.

Implements: I invest 2 spell points into an implement. I take a short break... can I use the new spell points to add 2 more to the implement making it a total of 4 invested?
No, mental focus (the investiture of spell points into an implement) must be done after a long rest. That said, the occultist can use focus powers without having invested mental focus into the corresponding implement, but at double the spell point cost.

Dangerous Magic- roll based on lowest level of spell or the actual slot you are using. If the later then I suggest 1-3 for slots 7 thru 9.
Excellent suggestion. This has been added.

Baleful Mark Probably better to just say the weapon criticals 18-20 against marked creature. Extra damage should probably be as weapon type IMHO.
I agree. This works out to comparable odds of procing and would remove a die to roll. The damage itself is coming from the mark and not the weapon, so I think that should remain as is.
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  #59  
Old 07-06-2020, 07:40 PM
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Application
  • right-aligned image
    Character Name: Qadan
  • Description: At five foot eight inches, Qadan is a lithe one hundred thirty eight pounds. He dyes his jet black hair as white as possible. His skin is golden and his eyes are black. Qadan normally paints his face white when he goes out in public. He dresses in black and dark reds to contrast the white of his face and hair. Qadan is almost never seen without his favored blood red whip.
  • Culture Kalay: [Variant Human]
  • Narrative: Panjandrum
  • Class: Courtier
  • History: Qadan was born to a mid-level magistrate in the city of Droum. His father, who Qadan never knew, was wealthy and secretly an occultist. His childhood was spent mostly with tutors preparing him to take the exams to become a Panjandrum. However, his father also paid for Qadan to get rudimentary training in occultism. His mother had always told him that his father had died. Qaran did not know that he was still alive and had been sending money every month to cover the costs of his tutors. Evidently his father while wanting to be anonymous has some vested interest in Qadan's future- but what? When the time came for the exams, Qadan passed the first time around. Unfortunately, the declining city of his birth had few open positions that were lucrative. Qadan has left Droum to seek his fortunes elsewhere. Little did he know that eyes where upon him.
  • Short roleplay sample showing your character in action:
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  #60  
Old 07-06-2020, 08:11 PM
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Working on my character sheet... none of the narratives include equipment... so do you only get equipment from class or do you roll for money.

Also silver lotus says it restores magic user power... I assume this means spell point but there is no mechanic in the description.
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