View Full Version : Pathfinder Advice for an Overlord Base Class

2015-07-14, 11:39 AM
A while ago, I started drawing up ideas for a new Base Class in the style of the Overlord from the game series of the same name made by Triumph Studios. However, I do have a few stumbling blocks that might need addressing before continuing further. If some of the more crunch-inclined Playgrounders could give me some pointers, I would appreciate it.

Being the Overlord calls for having lots of minions. However, classes like Summoner are castigated for breaking action economy during combat. Would it be better for an Overlord to have one extremely competent minion (like a cohort) or is there some way to streamline the group? Perhaps the application of swarm rules?
I envision Overlords receiving free magical artifacts as they level up that include a gauntlet, a helmet, a suit of armor, and a martial weapon of some kind. These items would have bonuses that specifically to buff Overlord abilites and defenses. Would this break WBL too hard?
After Overlord 2, I thought about having two different spell lists to specialize the Overlord based on the player's play style. Domination focuses on crowd control and buffing minions. Destruction is your standard "blow everything up" list. However, once the decision is made, it cannot be changed. Is that too restrictive? I feel like there needs to be some tax for being able to cast spells from the Overlord list in heavy metal armor without risk of spell failure.
I'm debating whether to include minion sacrifices to enchant arms and armor as either a base class feature or as an archetype benefit. The minion's sacrifice would lower the cost of the enchanting, but it would something like a week or a month to find new minions after that. Any thoughts?

I'm sure that I will have other questions, but this seems like a good start.

2015-07-14, 12:13 PM
The easiest way to balance around a class that breaks the action economy is to simply disallow it to break the action economy. You want your Overlord to have lots of minions? Make it a standard action to direct them, and yes, use swarm rules to prevent them from attacking more than one target at a time and only using one attack each round. This will keep the flavor and keep it usable without breaking the action economy (Do I want to attack with my swarm this round or cast a spell this round?)

There is nothing wrong with including minor things like bonuses to AC and to hit in your class and flavoring them as special artifacts. For example, you could say the helmet the Overlord receives grants him Blind-Fight as a bonus feat while he wears it, and also gives him a +1/10 levels bonus to AC. This isn't breaking WBL too hard (fully armored classes getting untyped bonuses to AC is a little hard to balance) and also gives you a small non AC benefit that fits thematically.

The suit of armor could simply be free masterwork full plate that the Overlord can upgrade for just half the cost. Still better than a non-Overlord character, but not too overpowered either (and doesn't cut into the paladin's Divine Bond too much).

A gauntlet is interesting. Gauntlets are basically free in Pathfinder anyway, so you could get away with something special here. Have it grant a bonus to touch attacks made with spells while wearing it.

The martial weapon is a little harder to balance in PF because special unique artifact weapons is the Bladebound magus's thing, and that archetype is really special and cool and the idea of taking it away from the magus seems harsh. (Actually, the Overlord you're describing would probably best function as a magus archetype with a modified spell list instead of its own class).

For the different spell lists, you could have it function like a "Path of the Dominator" vs "Path of the Destroyer", and have specific bonuses when casting specific thematic spells, as well as granting bonus spells from a small list (Like a cleric domain).

The simplest way to deal with the sacrificing minions to enchant arms and armor is to make it a temporary boost. Sacrifice X minions, you get +X worth of enchantment bonuses to your arms or armor for X minutes. The more of your combat power you sacrifice, the stronger a bonus you get and the longer it lasts. This makes it a worthy combat decision for an Overlord's player to make.

2015-07-14, 02:51 PM
*Instead of having your minions be apart of normal combat, why not simply give the Overlord a class ability similar to Leadership. Have them do other things outside of combat. Build fortifications, craft items for sale, etc. Also providing distractions from another place. Say you intend to storm a castle. Command them to start besieging it from an opposite side.
Also, a useful ability would be later having them all telepathically connected to the overlord, and having the ability to summon a few to your current location.

*On the free magical Items, I would say don't. Instead have the overlord gain free Item Creation Bonus feats. It won't break the game, but it will free up a lot of space for you to devote to other feats. Again, something to work into the game is delegation of tasks. Perhaps create a class ability to let your minions use your skill ranks, Item creation feats and spell caster level for the purpose of crafting items.
Now, you can have them craft items for you, as long as you make the requisite GP investment.

*Having two lists could work... Perhaps it is better to just have them all on one list though. A good idea would be to consider it a hybrid class between the Bard and the Tactician class. The Thought-singer already exists as a psionic bard Archetype. Simply give the overlord EVERY class ability of the thought singer, rename thought song to Domination, and change the foundation of the class.


Skills: As Tactician and bard

Class abilities: As Thought-singer + Leadership feat+ Delegate Crafting Class ability

Casting: Psionic Manifester.
PP as Tactician,
Knows all powers from tactician list, and can learn powers from all other psionic class lists up to level 6 by making a spell craft check of 20+Power level after successfully identifying either a power it has seen, or addressing a power stone.
If a power is learned from a power-stone it disentigrates immediately after.

As alternative archetypes, you could have them learn arcane spells as powers, OR divine spells as powers, but they lose access to psionic powers outside of the Tactician list. It would modify the spell craft check to learning from scrolls instead.

Casting spells as powers with the overlord would not have an augmentation feature, spending the points just casts the spell as normal (Scales with level).