View Full Version : Pathfinder The Wyrmer - a dragon-themed breath weapon blaster with at-will abilities

Ethereal Gears
2016-01-31, 10:06 AM
What ho, esteemed forumites!
So, this is a base class for Pathfinder I built a while back, called the wyrmer. Although I've never played D&D 3.5 myself (only PF), I have looked through some old source books, and this class is very much indebted to the 3.5 base class called the Dragonfire Adept as well as, to a lesser extent, the Dragon Shaman base class.

This is no mere conversion, however. The idea was to create a sort of Dragon Discipline-like class, except focused on a breath weapon (with natural attacks as back-up weaponry) and some at-will powers (extraordinary, spell-like and supernatural both). I created this class before either Occult Adventures or Pathfinder Unchained had been released, but have since made a few tweaks to it. I'm not sure yet how this stacks up as an at-will blaster in comparison to the kineticist, but hopefully you guys can tell me. :)

So, without further ado, here's the Google Drive folder containing all the wyrmer stuff:

The Wyrmer Files (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8e09cD4OAF3SGQ3TDhkOFkzNTg&usp=sharing)

The folder contains the main Wyrmer document, as well as the Dragon Arts document, the latter being the class' list of selectable abilities. If changes are made to any wyrmer documents, that will be reflected in the contents of the folder available via the above link. The folder also contains a handful of archetypes, primarily based around non-chromatic/metallic types of dragons. Here's a brief description of each one:

Breathwright - An archetype focused around shaping one's breath weapon in new and exciting ways.
Draconic Scion - An archetype that lets you play an actual dragon, albeit one that hastens its growth at the cost of gaining lesser powers than a regular true dragon.
Dragon Warrior- Samurai-ish archetype focused around imperial dragons.
Primeval Wyrmer - Barbarian-ish archetype focused around primal dragons.
Starscale Adept- Alien-ish archetype focused around outer dragons.
Werewyrm- A shapechanger archetype that essentially lets you become a sort of were-dragon.
Wyrmkeeper - Gives up breath weapon and other draconic powers, but instead gains a faerie dragon or a pseudodragon as an animal companion, that gains various powers as you level up.

I'm currently planning on making an archetype based around the esoteric dragons, as well as some kind of undead-ish archetype focused around raveners and wyrmwraiths. I'm also thinking of creating a wacky jabberwock-themed archetype. So if people like the class, those things will probably be in the pipeline soon.

Anyway, hope y'all enjoy!

- Gears

2016-01-31, 01:46 PM
As someone who is all for having more invocation classes in pathfinder I approve of this class.
I'm only going to mention things I found especially interesting or similar.

Basic Wyrmer:

I like the different approaches for improving the two different breath shapes.
The line breath is now a viable option (if still somewhat less useful than the cone most of the time)

Draconic Weapons:
Likely not going to play a huge role, but thematically appropriate.

Though 'Extra Draconic Weapon' makes me think of a dex based Wyrmer/Rogue.

Draconic Arts:
Arcane Flesh:
Meh. Least useful DR and some minor scaling.

Augmented breath weapon:
Cold and electricity seem rather strong for low levels. Acid at low levels is basically fire and forget (2d8 from breath and 3d8 total ongoing acid is devastating).
Overall really useful with cold likely outstripping most others in later game.

Draconic Madness:
Seems a bit strong at-will, but still likely acceptable.
Conjure Darkness:
Fun to have and might even be useful.

Draconic Bounty:
I always love having abilities like this.
New in a big city? start a one-man soup kitchen.

Dragon's Luck:
This is great. A tanky Wyrmer granting everyone else bonuses.
And you can adapt the bonus to the situation.

Flight Mastery:
Fast. That plus Flyby attack and you are a terror.

Glacial Fortress:
As someone who has used this extensively. Do not underestimate this spell.
At-will Wall of Ice is terrifyingly powerful for battlefield control.
I guess it is balanced in that you can only have one at a time, but still.

Wilderness Mastery:
Am I reading this right as Hide in Plain Sight for natural terrain?
Acid Pool:
The initial damage hits allies?
Does not seem particularly useful.

So you effectively rob yourself of movement and sight?

Draconic Edifice: Does not seem that good. Lets compare with Wall of Ice assuming CL12:
Area: Wall of Ice has 4 times as much. (advantage Ice)
Resiliency of each base square: Hardness 8/45hp (stone) - 36hp Ice (advantage stone)
Break DC: 26 (stone) - 27 (ice) (pretty much the same)
secondary effect: breaking/moving through a wall of ice deals damage (advantage ice)
Furthermore, the hemisphere form of Wall of Ice might allow imprisoning medium (and maybe large) creatures, since at 15ft radius those creatures are no longer
truly next to the wall at its creation so might not get a reflex save.
So overall, especially with the one-instance-only limitation, I don't think Wall of stone is sufficiently better than Wall of Ice to justify a higher Art level.

Melt Stone:
I have the feeling that this may be abusable, but awesome.

Slowing Breath:
Where most of the other specific breaths seem lackluster, this is actually pretty good.
Draconic Glory:
YES, YES, a hundred times yes. Granted, only really in undead heavy campaigns, but even normally, an 80ft burst at long range is great.
The blindness option makes this really good.
Draconic Influence, Greater:
Muahahaha. Only one active at a time, but still.

Draconic Summons:
Copper seems like a fun option here.

Dual Breath:
The loss of scales makes this a bit painful but it still seems fine.

Most of the breath arts seem fine.
Draconic reservoir is pretty nice to have.
Energy Blades is downright incredible.

Starscale adept seems to introduce more options that work pretty well.

Ethereal Gears
2016-01-31, 02:48 PM
Thanks for the input. So, would you suggest maybe nixing draconic madness? At-will hideous laughter isn't exactly a super-iconic dragon ability, so I wouldn't mind cutting it out if it seems problematic. In general, I would appreciate feedback on SLAs that seem too powerful to gain at-will. This is an area where I'm unsure a lot of the time.

Similarly, do you think Wall of Ice is too good? It seems a shame to nix it, since I like it thematically for a white wyrmer, but if it seems unmanageable I'll have to change it.

Wilderness Mastery is HiPS in natural terrain, yes. Too good? Should I limit it too a single favored terrain, and then selectable multiple times to gain further ones? Really it's based off of the green dragon's ability, so maybe I should just limit it to forests by default?

How about Flight Mastery? Too good as well? I'm not sure how to interpret "you're a terror". Is that like 'Awesome, you're a terror' or 'you're a terror with this ability this is way too OP and will be disruptive"? :P

As for acid pool, obviously you probably shouldn't use it if there's allies within the affected radius. Just like you shouldn't use any other area of effect attack on your allies. What makes this one different? I would probably recommend using it while hovering above the ground. Maybe there's something in your critique I'm not understanding?

Blizzard I agree could use some work. Maybe simply let the wyrmer herself see and move freely through the blizzard?

Honestly, both acid pool, blizzard and melt stone are literally just abilities that black dragons, white dragons and red dragons get, so they're almost copy-pasted from the bestiary.

Good point about draconic edifice. I think I felt I had too few greater dragon arts, and so stuck it on that list without mulling it over too much. Would it be too much if I removed the duration thing? Basically, since Wall of Stone has an instantaneous duration, that would allow you to build endless stone walls all day every day. Weird, but maybe not too powerful for a 12th-level wyrmer? Maybe I could change it so you can only have a number of simultaneous instances equal to your Cha mod active at any one time? Another idea is to simply switch places between wall of ice and this one, since wall of ice is arguably more powerful.

Anyway, thanks again for the comments. Glad you seem to approve of it, at least in spots. :)

- Gears

2016-01-31, 05:09 PM
After looking through it again, I don't think you need to cut out laughter.
Due to the save each turn it is an action tradeoff at best.
Maybe a clause that once successfully affected they can't be affected again for 24 hours.

Wall of Ice is one of my favourite spells, so I am likely not the best person to tell you wether it is actually good as I may be deluding myself.
I wouldn't say it is too good (at least with the one-at-a-time limitation).

Wilderness Mastery is fine, I was just slightly confused about the wording.

Flightmastery is good. It is pretty much what I would expect a flight enhancer to be.

I honestly didn't comment on the other self-burst effects because they all have the same downsides:
1) They are indiscriminate between friend or foe. Considering that they seem to represent some fine/ultimate control over their elements, you could just expclude allies from the effects.
As such the environment would twist around them. You could make it an extra swift action on each round that you want it to exclude allies (signifying some concentration effort)
2) Because they are self-bursts you basically have to be in the thick of things, and being there will mean that the other melee characters in the party will be affected as well, hence the suggestion in 1.
3) The halfing of effect each round is somewhat drastic. Assume 6d8 breath weapon. It goes 6-3-1 gone. Overall, the effect is not very pronounced. That is not to say that with the above modification it is bad, it just feels lackluster compared to what Greater Arts should be.

As for the Variants itself, my problems with them (if not already mentioned) and suggestions.
Acid Pool: Does nothing to flying enemies. Has no secondary effect. (Maybe on a failed save enemies become sickened, stacking to nauseated as an incentive to get out of there)
Blizzard: Make it so it doesn't affect you or allies. For enemies it is difficult terrain, everything beyond 5ft has 20% miss chance (for everyone) and at the start of each enemy's turn they have to save or be affected by an escalating 1d6 cold damage (ike 3.5 creeping cold) where the maximum number of dice is equivalent to your breath dice.
Melt Stone: This one is okay. I am tempted to suggest a fatigue rider attached to the second round (seperate save), but it is okay as it is (or maybe make it medium range as 100ft is not very far in later levels considering the size of the burst)
Miasma: This is basically the volumetric version of acid pool. I don't really see the point of having both. (I'd keep pool)
Storm breath: This is the only electricity greater art I can see yet it likely does not belong to the cycle. As it stands, it is too weak. You could make its initial effect into an effect like Melt stone (same range and size). It deal breath wepon damage initially (people wearing metal armor save at -2). Then next round you can choose betwen an Sheet Lightning effect (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/s/sheet-lightning) (affect allies as well) or a Lightning Arc (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/l/lightning-arc) between to creatures in that area as a swift action to discharge the rest of the electricity that remains. It is not as powerful or lasting as the others (assuming 1d4 recharge as the others), but gives the valuable option of choice.

Edifice is hard to quantify. instantaneous is likely strictly out for being too exploitable. You could just give each base type a wall at Improved: Fire, Stone (Acid), Ice (cold), Sound (Electricity)
You could even give people with more than one wall some better versions once they hit greater: Fire+Stone=Magma, Ice+Stone=Iron, Sound+Stone=Clockwork, though that is basically where good combinations end, so not really.

Ethereal Gears
2016-01-31, 05:24 PM
Well, I don't think I'm going to cut the self-bursts out of their current dragon art level, but I will change them so they only affect enemies. I think that will at least make them more palatable choices.

Also, acid pool and miasma are both in there because one is the black dragon's iconic ability and the other is the green dragon's. A lot of abilities are like that, and will probably remain pretty much untouched because I want them to emulate a real dragon's powers. So I won't be adding riders or things like that. For instance, I am quite fine with the acid-based abilities being weaker than the fire- and cold-based ones, since acid is probably the best damage type out there.

I think I'm just going to change edifice so you can have a total simultaneous number of walls active equal to your Charisma mod. That will let you build a few walls, but you can't go crazy and exploit it overmuch.

Them's my thoughts for now. As for adding more wall spells, I basically only created dragon arts based on spells which dragons can use at will as SLAs. There is no dragon that gains wall of sound at will as an SLA, for instance, so that's why that ones' not on there. I may look into adding additional wall spells at a later stage.

NOTE: Based on some feedback on the Paizo boards, I've changed it so all wyrmer breath weapons have 1d8 as damage dice, rather than having different dice for cones and lines. I think dracolung is enough to balance the two kinds of weapons out.

- Gears

Ethereal Gears
2016-02-01, 12:10 PM
Tiny update: I changed the Draconic Madness dragon art to only be able to affect the same creature once every 24 hours, since it seemed too powerful otherwise for a lesser dragon art. I also changed the electricity version of augmented breath weapon to allow a secondary Fort save to resist becoming stunned. Does the latter seem reasonable? I just had this feeling that at-will stunning (even if only for 1 round) seemed too powerful without an additional means of negating it.

Also, @Re'ozul: I just realized I don't actually understand your comment regarding the acid version of the augmented breath weapon dragon art. Here is how it reads:

"The target takes 1d6 points of additional acid damage for a number of rounds after having been affected by the breath weapon equal to the wyrmer's class level."

That means that on the round after having been hit by the breath weapon (if you failed your Reflex save) you take 1d6 points of acid damage. This continues to happen for a total number of rounds equal to the wyrmer's class level, dealing an additional 1d6 of acid damage each round. Perhaps you could elaborate what you meant by what you wrote, because that doesn't quite seem to jive with what the ability actually does?

- Gears

2016-02-01, 07:18 PM
The idea was that at low levels (where resistances aren't really a thing yet), the ongoing damage is like word of pain.
Once a non-vital enemy (any mook mostly) has failed their save against your breath, the resulting ongoing damage will likely eventually kill them.

At 3rd level you would do 2d8 with your breath (average 9). This is followed by 3 rounds of 1d6 (total average 10).
It is not as bad as I first thought (as I had read 1d8 per round for some reason). My comment was more due to there apparently not being a way to remove the ongoing damage.

Ethereal Gears
2016-02-01, 07:27 PM
Aha. That makes more sense. You're quite right. I think I somehow read it as you thought the amount of damage taken each round increased, so that eventually it would become 3d6 (3d8 as you wrote it) per round, et cetera.

It's a bit of an odd ability, because it can, as noted, be rather devastating for the first 1-4 levels (at most), but after that will become kind of lackluster. Still, the intent behind the ability was primarily to grant you a dependable damage-over-time ability. The fire-based one is essentially identical, except I added 1/2 the wyrmer's level to the damage to make up for it being possible to put out the fire. I think I'll just change the acid's duration to 1/2 your level number of rounds to make it less overwhelming at earlier levels. Then it kicks in at 2nd level, at 3rd level it will still be just 1 round, and that should fix it.