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    Default How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Not Eldritch Blast per se, but the primary "weapon" of an invocation user I'm working on. It's a Haematurge, and rather than breathe fire or throw bolts of magical energy, it manipulates the target's bodily fluids to do damage. But the target needs to have bodily fluids, leaving out most undead, constructs, and elementals (living constructs and constructs made of fluid/ooze, undead like vampires and bloodhulks, and [Water] elementals would be susceptible), incorporeal creatures, and probably a few aberrations.

    Now, it would have other things to do to affect immune enemies since I'll probably be giving it more invocations (1/level), but is this a bad idea? Do I need to make it more powerful than Eldritch Blast to compensate (I was thinking 1d6/level Fort half)?

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    It hurts, though some campaigns more than others. On average? Pretty bad I'd say. Undead are popular enemies at all levels, and elementals see a fair bit of play. The fort for half also hurts, as a lot of things have really beefy fort saves, and 17 at level 10 (Average 34.5, divided in half) is damn close to piddlespit.
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2014-08-20 at 12:53 AM.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Hmm. I'd hesitate to say "bad idea," but I think the op-weakness of abilities like Sneak Attack shows the limitation of mixing fluff limitations with mechanical abilities. Because Sneak Attack is based on some concept of "vital areas," this rather fluffy concept ends up making the mechanic a non-factor in a whole slew of fairly likely game scenarios.

    Instead of doing nothing, consider a very minimal amount of damage; if the basic is 1d6/2 levels, consider 1 dmg/level against creatures without bodily fluids. This allows one to avoid total impotence, and allows your haematurge to eventually kill the skeleton, and a high-level haematurge wouldn't find themselves digging for their mace or something every time they fight a blood-less creature.

    I think a more efficient approach might be to add fluffy abilities at higher levels that allow the haematurge to unlock greater secrets of manipulating "vitality" itself. Whether it is some kind of flow of chakra/negative energy/elemental energy/[insert desired fluff], almost all beings experience an ebb-and-flow of reality, as their own vital force interacts with their environment. The haematurge learns to reach inside a being and make that flow stop.

    Consider DFA-like vitality effects every couple/few levels, that allow the haematurge to select new creature types to effect, or to allow debuffs of one sort or another on various unusual creature types. Perhaps instead of damaging the undead, the haematurge can screw with their link to the NEP, causing them to cower in fear (as per turning/rebuking), or perhaps elementals can be sickened by mixing their flow of [elemental subtype] with other subtypes.

    I think a more complex approach, as opposed to a simple limited main mechanic + other offsetting abilities, might be more interesting, and allow a lot more of the flavor you are trying to convey to come out.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Give it an ability that draws moisture into the target from the environment, making it (more) susceptible to that attack. It should allow a Reflex save to reduce the effect/duration, and if successful a Fort save to negate it completely. Granted certain opponents, particularly skeletal undead, would still be immune, but this would significantly reduce the list of creatures he's automatically less useful against. Environmental factors would give the target's save a bonus (desert) or penalty (swamp/underwater), and certain creatures such as those with the fire subtype would take damage from this ability directly.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    It hurts, though some campaigns more than others. On average? Pretty bad I'd say. Undead are popular enemies at all levels, and elementals see a fair bit of play. The fort for half also hurts, as a lot of things have really beefy fort saves, and 17 at level 10 (Average 34.5, divided in half) is damn close to piddlespit.
    That's why it's 1d6/level, not /2 levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    Instead of doing nothing, consider a very minimal amount of damage; if the basic is 1d6/2 levels, consider 1 dmg/level against creatures without bodily fluids. This allows one to avoid total impotence, and allows your haematurge to eventually kill the skeleton, and a high-level haematurge wouldn't find themselves digging for their mace or something every time they fight a blood-less creature.

    I think a more efficient approach might be to add fluffy abilities at higher levels that allow the haematurge to unlock greater secrets of manipulating "vitality" itself. Whether it is some kind of flow of chakra/negative energy/elemental energy/[insert desired fluff], almost all beings experience an ebb-and-flow of reality, as their own vital force interacts with their environment. The haematurge learns to reach inside a being and make that flow stop.

    Consider DFA-like vitality effects every couple/few levels, that allow the haematurge to select new creature types to effect, or to allow debuffs of one sort or another on various unusual creature types. Perhaps instead of damaging the undead, the haematurge can screw with their link to the NEP, causing them to cower in fear (as per turning/rebuking), or perhaps elementals can be sickened by mixing their flow of [elemental subtype] with other subtypes.
    That's an interesting idea. The Haematurge would probably never be digging for a mace, since one of their early class features is the ability to use your blood like shapesand and there's an invocation to make weapons created from it do bonus damage based on your blood-attack thing that I haven't named, but eventually gaining the ability to screw with the elan vital in every creature to varied effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Give it an ability that draws moisture into the target from the environment, making it (more) susceptible to that attack. It should allow a Reflex save to reduce the effect/duration, and if successful a Fort save to negate it completely. Granted certain opponents, particularly skeletal undead, would still be immune, but this would significantly reduce the list of creatures he's automatically less useful against. Environmental factors would give the target's save a bonus (desert) or penalty (swamp/underwater), and certain creatures such as those with the fire subtype would take damage from this ability directly.
    While an interesting idea, it doesn't really fit. The Haematurge has power over blood because it's blood, not because it's wet.
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2014-08-20 at 01:07 AM.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    That's why it's 1d6/level, not /2 levels.
    1d6x10 averages out at 35 (max 60, 10 minimum, add that together is 70, devide in half for average 35), saving (which will happen with depressing frequency) at fort for half is 17 (17.5, but you can't roll half a point) I know I am bad at math, but I am pretty sure that's right.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    I had a DM who thought my dual wielding, sword and board gish warlock who used QUicken SLA to get two swings out of Hideous Blow in a round was over-powered. HE threw several Collossal golems at me, and I couldn't touch them because their Spell Immunity made it impossible to use any of my invocations.

    It kinda sucked a lot.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravens_cry View Post
    1d6x10 averages out at 35 (max 60, 10 minimum, add that together is 70, devide in half for average 35), saving (which will happen with depressing frequency) at fort for half is 17 (17.5, but you can't roll half a point) I know I am bad at math, but I am pretty sure that's right.
    Ah, I misinterpreted you. However, 1d6/level Fort half is better than Eldritch Blast, and like warlock it will have ways of augmenting it and adding rider effects. Should I still be upping the damage? What's the best way, would you think?
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2014-08-20 at 01:39 AM.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Yeah, being unable to attack half the monsters in the game would suck. No, making the attack overpowered against the other half would just make it more unbalanced, rather than fixing the balance problem. What you need is a viable way to attack foes that don't have blood. If you've got that, you're in good shape.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Making something too good against half the encounters because it's useless against the other half is the opposite of balance. A character/class being weak in some areas is not fixed by buffing it in the areas it's already strongest. Making it only able to manipulate blood, thus unable to affect opponents without blood, is probably the source of the problems, so this is what needs to be fixed. The class should be capable of more than just manipulating blood for offensive power, so give it additional, similarly themed abilities that make it able to attack opponents that don't have blood of their own. For example, consider giving the class some sort of blood magic abilities that are fueled by the character's own blood. Expand the class's capabilities to make it viable against (nearly) any type of opponent, or the class isn't going to be viable at all, regardless of how strong it is against those opponents it can affect.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Could your character perhaps carry around blood vials and use them? For example, they could imbue them to do damage as a splash weapon, or use the life force of the blood to enchant their weapon to do positive energy damage.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    A bad idea for the balance reasons mentioned by jiriku and Biffoniacus. Also, most monster entries don't specify if the creature has blood or not, so this ability would be very questionable by RAW.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Echoing the above, becoming useless is a feel-bad situation and a poor, arbitrary balancing agent.

    What I'd do is have the invocation work in odd ways with things like Undead/Elementals/Some Aberrations. The caster reaches for blood, but instead taps into the vital energy that replaces it. For undead, you're hijacking the negative energy of the creature; it will hurt you to channel this energy, but there's some upside: when you splash the negative energy around, it's going to hurt someone else, too. I'd have it do half damage to the caster (with a fort save for another half damage), half damage to the undead, and half damage to one target within 5ft of the skeleton (Fort save for half). Haematurge really don't like fighting undead, but they can do it, and even get some consolation benefits.

    For elemental creatures, well, the elemental is powered by something, right? Within the Fire elemental, there's the flow of oxygen and fuel keeping it alive; within the Earth elemental, there's the solid crystal that gives it form, and the smaller crystal shards that act as veins and capillaries. Disrupting the energy flowing in these vessels won't cause damage to the creature; the structures channeling it will remain intact. However, when you disrupt them, the elemental is weakened; perhaps it is Slowed as its body parts suddenly stop working, or perhaps it suffers a penalty to its Strength score. It's the same thing with Golems and other artificial creatures of magic; you can reduce the magic in them for a short time, but it will replenish as long as its container is intact—and the release of energy won't disrupt the container.

    Finally, for the miscellaneous Aberrations... just say they have Ichor or something and call it a day. I really don't see this coming up too often, and the cases would be unique enough that I doubt there's a universalized solution available.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Okay, so after hearing input I'm leaning toward it, by default, doing reduced damage to creatures without blood/ichor/slime (possibly with special interactions, like the undead thing DMofDarkness suggested) and then another class feature that allows you to pick a type against which the DC increases, the damage increases, and a rider applies (in addition to riders available through invocations). You'd probably choose types at 1st, 4th, 7th, etc., so even early on you can handle undead/elementals, constructs, etc., but are somewhat handicapped (but not useless) when fighting bloodless creatures you aren't specialized in. I think that probably puts it in the same class as Beguiler, who similarly losses lot of their best tricks against undead, constructs, and things with true seeing, but can still do some stuff.

    The question now is how much damage should the thing do? I do want the Fort for half, so that needs to be taken into account. I'm hearing that 1d6/level is too low. What about 1d10/level (2/level for bloodless things)? (1d10+1)/level? 2d4/level?
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    For raising damage, there are a couple methods.

    Add an ability modifier, like melee weapons.

    Add +1 or +2 dmg per d6 of damage. This usually amounts to adding CL/2 or CL to damage.

    Copy and paste Warmage's Edge for ability of choice.

    Allow some kind of ability burn/wild surge/overchannel to boost damage in exchange for consumption (or chance of consuption) of limited resource.

    Use "blood shape/essence invocations" like Eldritch Blast, but have the more powerful ones add increasing amounts of damage. This means your pew-pew vanilla blood blast remains sensibly weak, but if you buff it up, rider effects plus more damage. As level increases, you get the more powerful invocations, and damage scales accordingly. Also allows for more customization of builds, I suppose.

    Please link us to your homebrew when/if you decide it is ready for public consumption. This sounds interesting, and I am a confirmed fan of the boss flavor that is Shadowsmith, but always aching for a not-total-fail execution of that kind of concept.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Yeah, being unable to attack half the monsters in the game would suck. No, making the attack overpowered against the other half would just make it more unbalanced, rather than fixing the balance problem. What you need is a viable way to attack foes that don't have blood. If you've got that, you're in good shape.
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. Maybe have the default version of its blood blast thingy affect any fleshy creature; possibly something that dehydrates a foe and deals untyped damage. Full damage to living targets, half damage to corporeal undead with remaining fleshy bits (e.g. zombies, but not skeletons). Then add two eldritch essence invocations:
    -One that lets the blast deal damage to inorganic solid targets (e.g. constructs), targets with homogenous anatomies (e.g. oozes) and full damage to undead and objects.
    -One that lets the blast deal damage to incorporeal creatures, gaseous creatures, and increased damage to swarms

    1d6/level blast damage and 1 invocation/level is, to be a little frank, insane. Maybe have the blast damage increase at 1st level and every even-numbered level, and give them the Extra Invocation feat at 6th, 11th, and 16th level? This would result in blast damage of 11d6 and 4 least/4 lesser/4 greater/3 dark invocations by 20th level.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Part of the problem with assessing the effectiveness of a damage metric is that the usefulness of direct damage as a class feature goes down as op-level increases. In 3e Beta-grade, EB-ish is good on paper, and probably will play out well with a fairly low amount of useful invocations for utility/versatility. In Tippy-grade, 10d6, even never miss, every round, forever, will never, ever be able to compete with even stuff 5 and 10 levels lower.

    I'd suggest not making the damage-dealing the main feature of the class. With your mentioned shapesand thing, Jeff the Green, and your emphasis on debuffs, rider effects, and maybe some out-of-combat stuff, you should be well-off.

    Remember, in high-op, the stuff for Warlock that shines most is stuff like Deceive Item and Imbue Item. Stuff that has nothing to do with their main attack modes.

    Also, consider tossing in some ACFs or variants. Never seen a bit of brew that is made less cool by more options, and trading-off class features.
    Last edited by Phelix-Mu; 2014-08-20 at 05:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Extra Anchovies View Post
    1d6/level blast damage and 1 invocation/level is, to be a little frank, insane. Maybe have the blast damage increase at 1st level and every even-numbered level, and give them the Extra Invocation feat at 6th, 11th, and 16th level? This would result in blast damage of 11d6 and 4 least/4 lesser/4 greater/3 dark invocations by 20th level.
    Really? 1d6/level is worse than a fireball, and as has been pointed out quite frequently, an ability available at-will isn't significantly more desirable than something available at spells' frequency. And I'm definitely going with an invocation each level. Between needing to add versatility to the blast and needing general utility, the Warlock's progression is way too slow. (Actually, I'd argue it's too slow for the Warlock as well.

    I think what I'll end up doing is 1d6/2 levels + Constitution damage, Fort half. Bloodless creatures take 2 per damage die, Fort half (and additional effects for undead). And then the "favored enemy" thing to add damage and debuffs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    Please link us to your homebrew when/if you decide it is ready for public consumption. This sounds interesting, and I am a confirmed fan of the boss flavor that is Shadowsmith, but always aching for a not-total-fail execution of that kind of concept.
    Will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    Also, consider tossing in some ACFs or variants. Never seen a bit of brew that is made less cool by more options, and trading-off class features.
    I'll work on some. My other current project is ACFs and substitution levels for a number of classes, mostly 1st party but some homebrew.
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2014-08-21 at 09:15 PM.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiuiS View Post
    I had a DM who thought my dual wielding, sword and board gish warlock who used QUicken SLA to get two swings out of Hideous Blow in a round was over-powered. HE threw several Collossal golems at me, and I couldn't touch them because their Spell Immunity made it impossible to use any of my invocations.

    It kinda sucked a lot.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    Vitriolic blast.
    Unless they are clay golems..then you still suck it.

    AS for this having an attack variety that only works on some only really works if you give the class adequate abilities to do something else in those situations. If the character can change tactics because they have a viable alternative attack (perhaps not quite as good but still good enough) then it is ok to have a limited attack form.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Alright, she's ready!

    It's kind of enormous (at least by my standards): a full base class, 39 invocations, 5 feats, 2 magic items, 2 alternative class features, and 2 sets of substitution levels. I would love to have some of the people who commented look it over if anyone's got the time, particularly on balance issues.
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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    Unless they are clay golems..then you still suck it.
    It's conjured acid that ignores SR explicitly, so it's questionable if it's affected by an inifinite SR ability. Additionally, it's possible to change the type with items.
    Last edited by Snowbluff; 2014-08-25 at 07:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    All gaming systems should be terribly flawed and exploitable if you want everyone to be happy with them. This allows for a wide variety of power levels for games for different levels of players.
    I dub this the Snowbluff Axiom.

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    Alright, she's ready!

    It's kind of enormous (at least by my standards): a full base class, 39 invocations, 5 feats, 2 magic items, 2 alternative class features, and 2 sets of substitution levels. I would love to have some of the people who commented look it over if anyone's got the time, particularly on balance issues.
    I should have time over the next couple of days to look at it. I kind of wish there were more/better crossover from this forum to the homebrew one; I always want to contribute to that one, but usually end up diving into the deep end too fast and getting lost before I deliver any interesting/useful critiques.

    Anyway, the fluff so far in this thread has been interesting. I look forward to the execution!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
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    You're Tippy's fluffy cousin...

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    Default Re: How bad would it be if Eldritch Blast didn't effect some creatures?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbluff View Post
    It's conjured acid that ignores SR explicitly, so it's questionable if it's affected by an inifinite SR ability. Additionally, it's possible to change the type with items.
    You misunderstand the acid has no problem affecting the clay golem. The problem is that the clay golem is immune to acid damage. Yea I guess you could change the type what a couple times a day. Hope you can kill it with those few charges or that there is only one clay golem.

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