View Full Version : Pathfinder The Sphere Tactician: a Spheres of Power Tactician archetype [PEACH]

Oberon Kenobi
2015-07-27, 01:39 AM
I was recently introduced to Spheres of Power by way of a recruitment thread over in the play-by-post section, and like a lot of folks, I'm lovin' it. I am also quite fond of DSP's Psionics, and because of reasons I decided to take a crack at replacing the Tactician (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/psionics-unleashed/classes/tactician)'s manifesting abilities with sphere abilities. The results of this experiment follow.


The Sphere Tactician

Casting: The sphere tactician may combine spheres and talents to create magical effects. The sphere tactician is considered a High-Caster and uses Intelligence as her casting ability modifier. (Note: All casters gain 2 bonus talents and may select a casting tradition the first time they gain the casting class feature.)

This replaces the tactician’s manifesting ability. If your game considers sphere abilities to be transparent with spells and/or powers, you may consider your general caster level from this class as your manifester level for the purposes of qualifying for prestige classes, feats and so on.

Spell Pool: The sphere tactician gains a small reservoir of energy she can call on to create truly wondrous effects, called a spell pool. This pool contains a number of spell points equal to her level + her Intelligence modifier (minimum: 1). This pool replenishes once per day after roughly 8 hours of rest.

Magic Talents: A sphere tactician gains 1 magic talent every time she gains a caster level.

The maximum size of a sphere tactician’s collective is equal to either her casting ability modifier, or half her level, whichever is greater. Each participant must have and maintain a minimum Intelligence score of 1, rather than a Wisdom score of 1.

This modifies and replaces the normal tactician class feature of the same name, which is otherwise unchanged (but see Spirit of Many, below).

A sphere tactician gains the Enhancement sphere as a bonus magic talent and uses his class level as his caster level with the Enhancement sphere. This stacks normally with caster levels gained from other sources.

This replaces the Lesser Strategies and Coordinated Strike class features.

Spirit of Many
A sphere tactician of 2nd level gains special abilities when using abilities from the Enhancement sphere. He can use these abilities on any member of his collective, even if they are out of the ability's range or would normally be immune to the ability; sphere abilities which normally apply to objects, such as the Enhance Equipment ability, may be applied to equipment carried by any member of the collective. Whenever a sphere tactician uses an ability from the Enhancement sphere targeting only members of his collective, the ability loses the mind-affecting descriptor (if it had it) and is treated as a supernatural ability (bypassing spell resistance and becoming immune to dispel attempts), although it still provokes an attacks of opportunity when used as normal. Abilities used only on members of the collective never allow saving throws - their saving throw entry becomes "None," although if the ability specifies a subsequent saving throw, subjects attempt those saves normally. A sphere tactician also gains the Mass Enhancement talent as a bonus talent.

This modifies and replaces the tactician class ability of the same name.

Improved Share
A sphere tactician learns special techniques when using collective-oriented sphere abilities. Beginning at 5th level, the tactician may maintain two sphere abilities requiring concentration with a single action (typically, with a standard action), provided both are abilities that the sphere tactician could share with their collective. Activating the second ability takes either its normal casting time, or the action required to maintain the already-active ability, whichever is greater, and does not cause the already-active ability to end. Should the sphere tactician wish to activate a third sphere ability that could be maintained in this way, she may choose which of the currently-active abilities ends immediately.

Every six class levels thereafter (11th, 17th), the sphere tactician may maintain an additional qualifying sphere ability in this way.

This modifies and replaces the tactician class feature of the same name.

Echo Effect
The cost to echo sphere abilities for this feature is changed to one spell point or the number of spell points spent by the original caster, whichever is higher.

If your game considers sphere abilities to be transparent with spells and/or powers, you may additionally echo a spell or power by spending a single spell point. However, a sphere tactician may not echo any spell or power of a higher level than half his class level, rounded up.

A sphere tactician may spend additional spell points when echoing an ability in this way; for every spell point spent, the sphere tactician may choose an additional target for the spell, power or sphere ability.

This modifies and replaces the tactician class feature of the same name, which is otherwise unchanged.

Pooled Knowledge
This class feature applies to sphere abilities only, and the sphere tactician must spend either one spell point or the cost of the ability being used, whichever is greater. The feature is otherwise unchanged.

Master Strategist
The insight bonuses granted by this class feature are equal to the sphere tactician’s key ability modifier rather than being locked to Intelligence. The feature remains otherwise unchanged.

Oberon Kenobi
2015-07-27, 01:41 AM
Special Considerations

For the purposes of a sphere tactician, the Network Power metapsionic feat’s text is changed to the following:

“To use this feat, you must expend your psionic focus. You can treat a sphere ability as if it were part of the Enhancement sphere, for the purposes of the Spirit of Many class feature. You may only use this feat on sphere abilities with a range of personal and a target of you. Using this feat increases the spell point cost of the ability by 2 and increases the casting time by one step.”

'Dev' Notes

I call this a Mid Caster rather than a High Caster, despite the tactician having a 9-level power progression. This is because the tactician has a fairly limited power list, and because the tactician has mid BAB, which tends to translate to Mid Caster in Spheres of Power from what I've seen.

I keyed everything off of Intelligence instead of splitting it between Wisdom and Intelligence, because SoP seems to like having everything stitched together under one ability score and I generally agree. Having a mindless creature in your collective doesn't make much sense to me anyway, so I favor having an Intelligence minimum rather than a Wisdom minimum from a fiction perspective as well as a mechanical one.

I wasn't entirely sure whether giving up both Lesser Talents and Coordinated Strike was too high a cost to get the Enhancement sphere. Lesser Talents alone is less valuable than a feat, and a feat is what it would take to get that sphere, but both class features together are definitely more than a feat's worth. Granting full caster level for the sphere seemed like a good way to make up for losing Coordinated Strike, as Enhancement has a decent amount of stuff that cares about caster level. The difference between Mid caster level and High caster level isn't that great, especially at lower levels–but then, coordinated strike isn't that great at lower levels either.

For the Network Power metapsionic feat, I looked at the cost difference between powers of different levels and figured that 4 pp equals 2 power levels, then translated that into spell levels and treated it like Spheres of Power treats metamagic feats. This is also how I calculated the cost for Echo Effect's additional target.

For Echo Effect, I took a look at how many power points a Tactician of a reasonable-for-level Intelligence score would have, and figured that on average a Tactician would be able to echo an effect of their manifester level slightly fewer times than their level per day. Because spell points are much more valuable than power points in general, there wasn't a great way to get that same proportion, so instead I went with the flat/minimum cost of one. This means that they can echo effects of their level more times per day than a regular tactician, but they also don't get any kind of discount for echoing lower level effects and can't echo effects above their level at all. I figure that about balances out. It might make more sense to limit it to sphere abilities only, considering the original class is limited to psionic powers only, but I figured I'd include the text for any games that have power-spell-sphere transparency.

I considered allowing the character to apply the Mass Enhancement talent to echoed effects rather than giving it the cost and effect that I did, to simplify the language–but considering how cheaply one can affect a lot of targets with that talent, allowing it to apply to any number of hostile effects (or helpful effects) seemed like a terrible idea.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with Improved Share, as I haven't been able to find a definition for the [shared] power descriptor on the srd; I thus approximated it as best as I could.

2015-07-27, 06:53 AM
I'll give it a read when I get the chance, though the tactician is one class I have never really gotten my head around. You should report yourself to get moved to the homebrew forum though.

Oberon Kenobi
2015-07-27, 08:09 AM
I'll give it a read when I get the chance, though the tactician is one class I have never really gotten my head around. You should report yourself to get moved to the homebrew forum though.Grazie! To be honest, I've never played it myself (was hoping to with the Broken Vanguard game), so I just tried to translate things as best I could instead of changing abilities around too much.

And d'oh! You are completely right on the "appropriate subforum" thing; chalk it up to my bad attention-paying-ness. I will request a move immediately.

2015-08-14, 03:46 PM
I had written out a 92 page document that actually converts all the psionic base classes into spheres of power classes, so that those who want to play the psionic classes but not be restricted to power points may in my games. Anyways, to get back on topic, here is the tactician (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_nXHj-3t5jPCnJG4PQ_NBf61lQA8v5dWVG2oYmTcNso/edit?usp=sharing) conversion for Spheres of Power that I had written up, just in-case you were interested.

2015-08-18, 11:58 AM
Biggest problem with focusing on the enhancement sphere is that it isn't actually that great if all you are doing is buffing. Enhancement bonuses are the most basic kind and don't stat. Energy weapon is nice. The debuffs don't help unless using unwilling participant, which you aren't without a ton of wisdom. My favorite part of the sphere is animate objects, which don't really come into play here. War might be a better choice as the rally talents are generally solid, though they may compete with strategies. Giving enhancement and war together might work, or a choice of the two. Maybe allow you to create a totem as a swift action on yourself? It would certainly help with the weakness of many totems.

Actually, a class or archetype specializing in war totems would be pretty sweet.