View Full Version : Improving Divine Mind (3.5)

2011-06-25, 11:46 AM
This started out over in the 3.5 forum, but the project ballooned a little; it's probably better suited for here, now. I'm curious what you folks have to say about these changes.

The "biggest" thing might be the doubled aura strength (and similar improvements to the mantle-auras); the morale bonus from the Attack aura now scales faster than Bardic Inspiration, for example, and it's potentially on all day. It applies to fewer things, though, and unlike Inspire Courage there's no way to really boost it or Dragonfire Inspiration it, so I think that balances out. The rest is just decreasing MAD by getting rid of that one straggling Charisma ability and giving the class some needed versatility, so you don't have to focus on only the most optimal choices.

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Summary of class feature/chassis changes, with credit to Psyren for a couple of these:

Full BAB and full Manifester Level.
Gain additional simultaneous auras at 6, 12, and 18 instead of at 10 and 20.
Gain additional mantles at 5, 10, and 15 instead of at 6 and 12.
New powers known gained at every level after 4th instead of every other level; if your mantles don't offer a power known, you can save it until one becomes available (but no later).
Psychic Rogue (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040723b)'s PP/Day.
Divine Grace becomes Serenity: add Wis instead of Cha to saves.
4+Int skills per level (no thematic reason; 2+Int just sucks).
Gain manifesting at 4th level instead of 5th; advance Maximum Power Level Known column by one row.

And the Auras (with thanks to Essence of War and Psyren for their thoughts and inspiration on these, as well as a couple blatant thefts):

Attack, Defense, and Perception: Doubled. These are the vanilla options, so it's fine to leave them simple.

Chaos: Benefit doubled, and at 5th level the weapons of you and your allies are treated as chaotically aligned for the purpose of overcoming DR. Once per encounter, you can expend your psionic focus to make a Smite Law attack, adding your Wisdom bonus to the attack roll and your class level to the damage. If this attack misses, your psionic focus is still expended, but your use of this ability is not.

Communication: At 5th level, you do not need line of sight to maintain the benefit; at 10th level, you do not need line of effect either. At 15th level, the effect extends onto coterminous planes (such as the Shadow or Ethereal planes, or into Rope Tricks and Portable Holes). The radius of this aura is double normal.

Conflict: The bonus is 2 at first level and increases by 1 every two levels. Additionally, you (and at 10th level, any allies within your aura) add the same number to your weapon damage on any confirmed critical hits. As a static bonus, this bonus damage is multiplied normally.

Consumption: You can steal 1 power point plus 1 every four levels. At 10th level, when this aura has stolen power points or has prevented a power from being manifested, your manifester level is treated as 1 higher; at 15th it is treated as 2 higher, and at 20th it is 3 higher. You do not gain additional daily power points for this increase in manifester level, but you gain all other benefits of a higher manifester level.

Corruption and Madness: The DC of the check is 10 + class level + Wisdom modifier. All enemies within the aura take a penalty on Wisdom checks and Wisdom-based skills equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Creation: 2 hit points per hour at 1st level, 3 hp per ten minutes at 5th level, four per minute at 10th level, 5 per round at 15th level, and 10 per round at 20th. The hardness of objects wielded or worn by your allies is increased by one plus one-half your class level so long as their base hardness is not zero.

Death: As is, and at 10th level you can expend your psionic focus as a move action to learn the hit point total of any one living, corporeal creature already identified by your Deathwatch ability. Additionally, at 5th level you gain the benefit of Death Ward while this aura is active, and at 15th level your allies gain the same benefit.

Deception: Double benefit, and increases by 2 at every fifth class level. At 6th level, the feint you gain by expending your focus is instead a swift action; at 12th, it becomes a free action. At 18th level, you do not need to expend your psionic focus. The feint granted by this aura can never be used more than once per turn.

Destruction: As is. Additionally, all allies in your aura add your class level to the damage roll of such attacks.

Elements: Choose an elemental subtype to oppose when you activate this aura. You gain the benefits of the Chaos mantle with regard to creatures and effects of the matching subtype and energy (Fire for Fire, Acid for Earth, etc.)

Energy: Double benefit. At 5th level, once per encounter you can expend your psionic focus as a swift action to manifest an Energy Ray attuned to the selected element. The power is automatically augmented to your class level. At 10th level, you gain Sonic as an additional option for this aura.

Evil: As Chaos.

Fate: The benefit may instead be used once per encounter. Each ally gains an additional use per encounter at 10th level and again at 20th, but the ability may be used only once per round. The benefit increases by 1 every four levels.

Force: At 5th level, the effect instead lasts for an entire round, and at 15th level the effect is always active. Additionally, at 10th level, you can expend your psionic focus as a standard action to dispel any force effect as Dispel Psionics, using your class level in place of manifester level.

Freedom: As is. Once per encounter, you may act as if under a Freedom of Movement spell for one round; you can expend your psionic focus as an immediate action to instead grant your use of this ability to an ally within your aura. At 10th level you gain a second use per encounter, and at 20th you gain a third.

Good: As Chaos.

Guardian: As is. Additionally, you can expend your psionic focus as an immediate action to subtract your class level from the damage received by yourself or one ally within your aura. You may use this ability once per encounter at first level, and gain additional uses at 6th and 18th level. At 12th level you may instead subtract twice your class level in damage. You may choose to use this ability after damage has been rolled and announced, but if you do so, any secondary effects of that damage (such as injury poison) still occur even if the damage is completely negated.

Justice: Double benefit. This benefit applies to damage rolls as well.

Knowledge: The benefit is 1 plus 1 per three class levels. Additionally, you and all allies may make Knowledge checks as if trained. While you have this aura active, you gain the Bardic Knowledge ability, using your class level in place of Bard level. This check gains the benefit of your Knowledge aura as well.

Law: As Chaos.

Life: The bonus applies to Fortitude saves instead. At 10th level, you gain the benefit of the Mettle special ability while this aura is active; at 15th level, your allies gain the same benefit.

Light and Darkness: Allies within your aura gain Darkvision to a radius of 10 feet, increasing by 5 feet every two levels. The area of your psychic aura is constantly under a Control Light effect, though like the power, this ability requires concentration to maintain. You do not gain the Light and Darkness mantle's augmentation benefit with this ability, though you can still use that augmentation if you manifest Control Light normally.

Magic: While you have this aura active, you can use spell trigger and spell completion items as a Wizard of one-half your class level; at 10th level, you may choose one additional psionic or spellcasting class to gain this benefit with, and you may change this choice once per day when you regain power points. The caster/manifester level and save DC of magic/psionic items used by you or your allies within the aura increases by 1 at 6th, 12th, and 18th level.

Mental Power: Double benefit. You can expend your psionic focus as an immediate action to grant yourself or one ally within your aura the benefit of Mind Blank for one round; the duration increases by one round at 10th level and again at 20th. Ongoing mental control is suppressed but not dispelled by this effect.

Natural World: 2 hit points per hour at 1st level, 3 hp per ten minutes at 5th level, four per minute at 10th level, 5 per round at 15th level, and 10 per round at 20th.

Pain and Suffering: Each time an ally affected by your aura hits a foe within a round, he gains a cumulative +1 insight bonus on further attack and damage rolls against that same foe. This bonus is tracked separately for each ally and each foe, and resets at the start of an ally's turn (thus carrying over into any attacks of opportunity or similar attacks generated between turns). This bonus increases to +2 at 10th level and to +3 at 20th.

Physical Power: As is. Additionally, affected allies are treated as one size larger for the purposes of such checks at 10th level and again at 15th level; in addition to the numerical benefits, this means that allies can attempt these attacks against larger foes. These effective size increases stack with abilities such as Powerful Build.

The Planes: At 5th level, you do not need line of sight to gain the benefit; at 10th level, you do not need line of effect either. At 15th level, the effect extends onto coterminous planes (such as the Shadow or Ethereal planes, or into Rope Tricks and Portable Holes). Additionally, once per encounter you may expend your psionic focus as an immediate action to force an extraplanar creature struck by your melee attack to save against a Dismissal effect (DC equals 10 + 1/2 class level + Wis modifier). You gain additional uses per encounter at 10th and 20th level, but may only make one attempt per turn.

Repose: As is. Additionally, you can expend your psionic focus as a standard action to produce a Calm Emotions effect in a single creature with a touch. The DC to save against this ability is 10 + 1/2 class level + Wis modifier.

Time: Both benefits increase by 1 every five class levels. At 6th level, once per encounter you can grant yourself and allies within your aura a Haste effect for one round by expending your psionic focus as a swift action; the duration increases by one round at 12th and 18th level.

This class kind of wanted a real capstone already, and the new aura progression makes the last level even more sparse (though more of the auras now have a 20th level benefit, I think). My thought:

Spontaneous Divinity (Su): Twice per day, you can spontaneously manifest a power from one of your mantles as a supernatural ability. When you use this ability, you may choose the power from any mantle you have access to; you need not have selected that power as a known power, and it need not even be of a level you can normally manifest. The power is automatically augmented to your full class level. Though you manifest this power as a supernatural ability, you must still pay the full normal XP cost for any power that has one.

The original thread is here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204312), if you're curious what's been said already.

2011-06-26, 02:21 AM
I like the direction this is going in, but I'm not sure it's quite enough, in some ways.

Personally, one of my biggest issues with the Divine Mind is that the standard auras are really the only ones worth using. A solid bonus to attack, damage, and AC is pretty good. The perception one isn't as amazing, but you can have that on by default to avoid ambushes and get an initiative edge and then switch to the others on your first turn.

You powered up the other auras, which is good, but since you also powered the main three up, I don't know that it fixed the problem. And really...the attack aura already scaled faster than bardic music. Doubling it makes it scale faster than Words of Creation bardic music. Optimized bardic music gets you some scary high numbers as a party buff, and these do too. +10 to attack means enemies who you otherwise have an average chance to hit, you almost always hit. A +10 to attack and AC for having both auras on gives you a relative advantage over your enemies equal to the full random number generator. I think they can stand being at their normal rate, or say 1 + 1/4 or maybe 1/3 levels if you want them higher.

Otherwise, I'd say the only other aura that can begin to compare (although the reset keeps it manageable) is your modified Pain and Suffering, which can be truly terrifying with, say, TWF allies. Although it's also a bookkeeping nightmare.

One really good change you made that helps this quite a bit, though, is the additional auras you can have up. Doing that lets you keep the main ones going, and the other ones don't have to compete as much.

That said, I'm thinking it might be good to let the stat buffing go with the main auras, and use the mantle auras to grant actual abilities. Like, the communication aura. It's not anything too special, really, but it's something unique, a nice tactical edge, especially with your upgrades. If your aura's big enough, a group could be assaulting, say, a dungeon or tower or something from different points of entry and all and stay coordinated. Even if a couple of them are going in ethereal, even. It's not a combat boost, but it's a cool and potentially useful effect.

You already made a strong start on that, but I'd probably take it further, drop most or all of the situational stat boosts, and do more abilities. Like...the alignment auras might overcome DR, then give DR/opposed alignment, then give Regeneration overcome by opposed alignment or something. You could also let a couple mantles have more general stat boosts. Maybe magic gives a bonus on saving throws equal to the attack and defense auras. And perhaps physical and mental power give respectably that bonus on all physical/mental ability and skill checks.

One other note, and this is more a personal preference thing than anything that has to do with balance concerns, but per encounter (or the few per day original auras) abilities on auras just seem...odd to me. Since auras are a multi-target constant augment, it seems weird for there to be a special effect that applies when you're in the aura, but only once per certain time period. What might be a cool way to have limited use abilities like that, though, is just to have them apply solely by expending psionic focus, so it's more like the expended focus strengthens the aura's effects briefly. Although...actually, I guess a lot of them require that too, so really I suppose there's no reason that thing can't be limited use. I dunno, just seems weird to me.::Shrug::