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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Stegyre Homebrew

    This is a thread for my various homebrew attempts. Most of them are directed toward implementing a particular character I would like to play (a hybrid psionic/incarnum user), but one or two posts address others, such as a combination of the Shapeshift Ranger and Mystic Ranger variants.

    Most of these posts have been superceded, so anyone interested (though no one else has ever posted), should go to the most recent post for my current work.

    Comments would be welcome.

    Cheers!


    EDIT: Note, since the original posting, the Psycarnum Soulknife has been tentatively approved for use in Tyrann's homebrew Tower of Abraxis campaign. It is expected it will be tweaked in use. Those adjustments will be indicated herein by this green text.

    This is a combination I have made from the DSP Soulknife archetypes of Armored Blade, Cutthroat, Deadly Fist, and Gifted Blade. Some of these combinations are fully compatible with PFSRD rules, that is, they replace separate features of the base Soulknife class. Others, however, overlap, and I have picked and chosen what to apply. That in itself would make this a homebrew, although a fairly tame one. In all cases, I have tried to clearly indicate the source information.

    (Specifically, Armored Blade, Cutthroat, and Gifted Blade are all expressly compatible: they each replace or change different class features, with no overlap among them. Deadly Fist, however, has overlaps with both Cutthroat and Armored Blade.)

    Note: Since the original post, and upon further analysis, I have found the Armored Blade archetype to be problematic. In low-level games, its benefit comes at no cost whatsoever. This is not a problem of my homebrew but of the archetype; however, it taints my homebrew.

    I have added a few additional refinements of my own, which would be pure homebrew. I have also tried to clearly indicate those.

    While drawing chiefly upon the Pathfinder soulknife rules, this homebrew is intended to be usable in 3.5 as well as Pathfinder. I have tried to indicate where there is some difference between the two systems, such as in the class skills.

    The name Psycarnum Soulknife was chosen because some of my own changes include an option for incarnum features (r akasha, if using DSP terminology), including some meld shaping and essentia. It would be possible to take this class, however, and not choose any of the incarnum options. Thus, the name is more a means for distinguishing the class from other Soulknife variants. All of that said, one reason for this homebrew is my desire to have a class that mixes psionics and incarnum, two systems I greatly admire for both fluff and mechanical reasons.

    Psycarnum Soulknife
    Hit die: d10
    Starting Wealth: 5d4x10 (average 125 gp)
    Starting Age: same as rogue
    Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)
    Class Skills: The psycarnum soulknife’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are

    3.5: Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

    PF: Acrobatics (Dex), Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features Max. Enhancement Power Points Powers Known Max. Power Level
    1 +1 +0 +2 +2 Covert Training, Unarmed Assault, Empowered Strikes, Psycarnum Discharge, Form Mind Armor, Shape Mind Armor, Wild Talent
    2 +2 +0 +3 +3 Psycarnum Skill
    3 +3 +1 +3 +3 Enhanced Strike +1, Enhanced Mind Armor +1, Manifesting, Psycarnum Recharge +1 0 1 1st
    4 +4 +1 +4 +4 Psycarnum Skill +1 1 1 1st
    5 +5 +1 +4 +4 Quick Empower +1 2 2 1st
    6 +6/+1 +2 +5 +5 Enhanced Strike +2, Enhanced Mind Armor +2, Psycarnum Skill +2 3 2 1st
    7 +7/+2 +2 +5 +5 +2 5 3 2nd
    8 +8/+3 +2 +6 +6 Enhanced Strike +3, Enhanced Mind Armor +3, Psycarnum Skill +2 7 3 2nd
    9 +9/+4 +3 +6 +6 +3 9 4 2nd
    10 +10/+5 +3 +7 +7 Psycarnum Skill +3 11 4 2nd
    11 +11/+6/+1 +3 +7 +7 Enhanced Strike +4, Enhanced Mind Armor +4 +3 14 5 3rd
    12 +12/+7/+2 +4 +8 +8 Psycarnum Skill +4 17 5 3rd
    13 +13/+8/+3 +4 +8 +8 Enhanced Strike +5, Enhanced Mind Armor +5 +4 20 5 3rd
    14 +14/+9/+4 +4 +9 +9 Psycarnum Skill +4 24 6 3rd
    15 +15/+10/+5 +5 +9 +9 +5 28 6 4th
    16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +5 +10 +10 Enhanced Strike +6, Enhanced Mind Armor +6, Psycarnum Skill +5 32 6 4th
    17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +5 +10 +10 +5 37 7 4th
    18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +6 +11 +11 Enhanced Strike +7, Enhanced Mind Armor +7, Psycarnum Skill +5 42 7 4th
    19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +6 +11 +11 +5 47 7 4th
    20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +6 +12 +12 Psycarnum Skill, Mastery +5 52 7 4th
    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the psycarnum soulknife.

    Spoiler: Weapon and Armor Proficiency
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    A psycarnum soulknife is proficient with all simple weapons, with his empowered strikes and mind armor, and with light armor.


    Spoiler: Covert Training (Ex) (Cutthroat)
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    A psycarnum soulknife gains 6 skill points + a number of skill points equal to his Intelligence modifier at each level, instead of the normal 4 skill points + Intelligence modifier at each level. This ability replaces the medium armor proficiency and shield proficiency normally gained by soulknives.


    Spoiler: Unarmed Assault (Ex) (Deadly Fist)
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    At 1st level, the psycarnum soulknife gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat as a bonus feat. In addition, the psycarnum soulknife gains the Flurry of Fists blade skill. This ability replaces the soulknife’s bonus feat gained at 1st level.


    Spoiler: Empowered Strikes (Su) (Deadly Fist)
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    At 1st level, the psycarnum soulknife can, as a move action, wreath his body in psionic energy distilled from his own mind. This energy lasts until the psycarnum soulknife chooses to dismiss it as a free action. When empowered strikes is active, the psycarnum soulknife’s unarmed strikes deal 1d6 points of damage if Medium-sized (adjusted for other sizes) and are considered to be magic weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

    This effect is similar to a mind blade, except the psycarnum soulknife cannot change the form of empowered strikes, although with a full-round action he can change the damage type of his attacks between bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, just like a normal soulknife. This effect cannot be broken like a mind blade, and it is still considered to be unarmed attacks instead of a weapon. In all other ways, empowered strikes functions as a mind blade.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Discharge (Deadly Fist - name changed)
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    A psycarnum soulknife of 1st level learns how to take the energy he has charged into his unarmed strikes and release it as a blast of energy at an opponent. As a ranged attack, the psycarnum soulknife can make an unarmed attack at an opponent. The attack deals damage as normal for the psycarnum soulknife’s unarmed attacks.

    The range increment of the attack is 10’, but is considered to be a projectile instead of a thrown weapon, so the attack has a maximum range of 10 increments instead of 5. Whether or not the attack hits, the psycarnum soulknife’s unarmed attacks are no longer empowered and he must take the normal time to empower them.

    This ability replaces the Throw Mind Blade class feature.


    Spoiler: Form Mind Armor (Su) (Armored Blade)
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    In addition to his empowered strikes, and as a separate move action, the psycarnum soulknife can form mind armor. Mind armor can be formed as light, medium, or heavy form. Light form is treated in all ways (except visually) as a masterwork chain shirt. Medium form is treated in all ways (except visually) as masterwork chainmail. Heavy form is treated in all ways (except visually) as masterwork splint mail. Mind armor is treated like a mind blade in all other ways (breaking, null psionics fields, etc) and can be dismissed as a free action. A psycarnum soulknife is always considered proficient with his mind armor.

    Together, the Empowered Strikes and Form Mind Armor replace the soulknife’s Form Mind Blade class feature, but count as Form Mind Blade for prerequisites or requirements.


    Spoiler: Shape Mind Armor (Su) (Armored Blade)
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    The psycarnum soulknife’s mind armor retains the last chosen form every time it is formed until the psycarnum soulknife reshapes it. If the psycarnum soulknife chooses to reshape his mind armor, it requires a full-round action to do so. He may also re-assign the ability or abilities he has added to his mind armor (see below). To do so, he must first spend 8 hours in concentration. These cannot be the normal 8 hours used for rest, even if the psycarnum soulknife does not require sleep. After that period, the mind armor materializes with the new ability or abilities selected by the psycarnum soulknife.

    This replaces the Shape Mind Blade class feature, but counts as Shape Mind Blade for prerequisites or requirements.


    Spoiler: Wild Talent
    Show
    : The psycarnum soulknife gains Wild Talent as a bonus feat at 1st level. This provides him with the psionic power necessary to manifest his empowered strikes and mind armor. A character who is already psionic instead gains the Psionic Talent feat.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Skill (homebrew - replaces and expands blade skills)
    Show
    Beginning at 2nd level and every even psycarnum soulknife level thereafter, a psycarnum soulknife may choose one of a number of abilities to add to his repertoire. These include some meld shaping ability.

    A psycarnum soulknife may select a blade skill from the soulknife list of blade skills. Some blade skills have prerequisites that must be met before they can be chosen. Unless otherwise stated in the blade skill’s description, all blade skills may only be chosen once and require the psycarnum soulknife to be using his empowered strike.

    Instead of a blade skill, the psycarnum soulknife may choose a soulmeld, incarnum feat, or chakra (see below) for his psycarnum skill. This option may be selected multiple times, each time selecting a different soulmeld or incarnum feat.

    Each time a psycarnum soulknife selects this option, he also gains 1 essentia. This point of essentia is in lieu of any essentia that would have been granted by an incarnum feat, if he selects an incarnum feat for this feature.

    If choosing a soulmeld, the psycarnum soulknife may select one soulmeld (or veil) from any class list (as if taking the Shape Soulmeld feat). He is able to shape that soulmeld in the same manner and by the same process as a meld shaper. A psycarnum soulknife who selects this option at least once has a meldshaper level equal to his psycarnum soulknife level minus 2.

    A psycarnum soulknife able to shape at least one soulmeld may use this option instead to open a chakra. A psycarnum soulknife of at least 6th character level may choose to open one least chakra. A psycarnum soulknife of at least 12th character level may choose to open one least or lesser chakra. A psycarnum soulknife of at least 18th character level may choose to open one least, lesser, or greater chakra.


    Spoiler: Enhanced Strikes (Su) (Deadly Fist)
    Show
    A psycarnum soulknife’s empowered strikes improve as the character gains higher levels. At 3rd level, the enhanced strike gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus that may be applied on an actual enhancement bonus or on weapon special abilities. A psycarnum soulknife’s class level determines his maximum enhancement bonus (see Table). The psycarnum soulknife may (and must, when his total enhancement is higher than his maximum bonus) apply any special ability from standard soulknife’s Weapon Special Abilities table instead of an enhancement bonus, as long as he meets the level requirements. A psycarnum soulknife can choose any combination of weapon special abilities and/or enhancement bonus.


    Spoiler: Enhanced Mind Armor (Su) (Armored Blade)
    Show
    Also beginning at 3rd level, the psycarnum soulknife’s mind armor is improved in essentially the same manner as his empowered strikes. The mind armor gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus that may be applied on an actual enhancement bonus or on armor special abilities. A psycarnum soulknife’s class level determines his maximum enhancement bonus (see Table). The psycarnum soulknife may (and must, when his total enhancement is higher than his maximum bonus) apply any special ability from standard armored blade’s Armor Special Abilities table instead of an enhancement bonus, as long as he meets the level requirements. A psycarnum soulknife can choose any combination of armor special abilities and/or enhancement bonus.

    Together, Enhanced Strikes and Enhanced Mind Armor replace the Enhanced Mind Blade class feature, but counts as Enhanced Mind Blade for prerequisites or requirements, although the enhancement bonuses advance at a slower rate.


    Spoiler: Manifesting (Gifted Blade)
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    At 3rd level, a psycarnum soulknife gains the ability to manifest a small number of psionic powers, which are drawn from the gifted blade power list.

    A psycarnum soulknife chooses his powers from the gifted blade power list. At 3rd level, a psycarnum soulknife knows one gifted blade power of your choice. He learns new powers as indicated on Table. A psycarnum soulknife can manifest any power that has a power point cost equal to or lower than his manifester level. The total number of powers a psycarnum soulknife can manifest per day is limited only by his daily power points.

    A psycarnum soulknife never needs to prepare powers ahead of time; he draws them from his mind when needed. When a psycarnum soulknife recovers his daily power points after resting, he may choose to rotate one or more powers he knows for new ones. These powers must always be chosen from the gifted blade power list, and the maximum number of powers the psycarnum soulknife may know at any one time in this fashion is listed on Table. If a psycarnum soulknife learns a power through other means, such as the Expanded Knowledge feat, the Mental Power blade skill, or psychic chirurgery, this power is known in addition to his normal powers. He may never exchange it for another power from the gifted blade list when he chooses his powers known, and it doesn't count against his limit of powers known at any one time.

    The Difficulty Class for saving throws against the psycarnum soulknife’s powers (regardless of how the power is obtained) is 10 + the power’s level + the psycarnum soulknife’s Wisdom modifier.

    A psycarnum soulknife’s manifester level is equal to his psycarnum soulknife level minus 2 (minimum 1). (Again, this applies to any power he knows, however the power was obtained.)

    A psycarnum soulknife gains the ability to learn 1st-level powers at 3rd level. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, etc.), a psycarnum soulknife gains the ability to master more complex powers, up to 4th level powers at level 15.

    To learn or manifest a power, a psycarnum soulknife must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power’s level.

    A psycarnum soulknife’s ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points he has available. His base daily allotment of power points is given on the Table. In addition, he receives bonus power points per day if he has a high Wisdom score. His race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items. If a psycarnum soulknife has power points from a different class, those points are pooled together and usable to manifest powers from either class.

    This ability replaces the psychic strike class feature normally gained by soulknives. The psycarnum soulknife never gains the psychic strike class feature.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Recharge (Homebrew)
    Show
    Also at 3rd level, the psycarnum soulknife gains the ability to draw psionic energy from incarnum. Each turn, a psycarnum soulknife may invest essentia into this class feature up to the limits for class features given in Magic of Incarnum. Each point of essentia must remain invested until the start of the character's next turn. The Psycarnum Soulknife gains one temporary power point per point of essentia invested in this feature. If not used, these temporary power points expire at the start of the next turn, but the Psycarnum Recharge will generate an additional set of temporary power points each turn that the essentia remains invested.


    Spoiler: Quick Empower
    Show
    At 5th level, the psycarnum soulknife can activate his Empowered Strikes and Mind Armor as free actions instead of as move actions. He activate each only once per round.

    This replaces the Quick Draw class feature normally gained by a 5th level soulknife.


    Spoiler: Mastery
    Show
    At 20th level, a psycarnum soulknife reaches the pinnacle of his art and his connection to his empowered strikes and mind armor is so strong it cannot be severed. He no longer requires a Will save to maintain his empowered strike or mind armor in a null psionics field, although they still lose any enhancement bonus and special abilities. In addition, he may change the configurations of his empowered strike and mind armor special abilities at will as a full-round action, which also resets any penalties that may have accrued from the Fluid Form and Improved Fluid Form blade skills. Changing the configuration of the empowered strike and mind armor each require separate full-found actions.
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-03-03 at 09:31 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
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    Default Showing my work: Psycarnat

    Psycarnat – Analysis
    In this post, I want to run down the design decisions and respond to potential criticisms.

    This stub of a class is based on taking a mix of existing classes and massaging and smoothing their various features over six levels. As this idea has evolved, I have tried to use more and more "off-the-shelf" components (existing feats or class features from other classes) instead of entirely new homebrew, figuring that this makes a design more palatable to GMs.

    The Classes
    The design begins with a level of the DSP Soulknife; specifically, a combination of the Deadly Fist and Cutthroat archetypes.
    It includes two levels of Totemist and two levels of Incarnate, from Magic of Incarnum.
    The final level is loosely drawn from Ardent in Complete Psionic.

    Here is how I mixed and altered these to arrive at this conclusion. Where I think I have preserved the power of the base classes, I have used black text. Blue means I think this feature has been boosted; Red, that I have nerfed it. I have tried to be critical in this analysis, being more sensitive to where I may have improved things than to adverse adjustments. I think power creep is a legitimate concern for any prospective GM, when every homebrew class is “just a little better” than comparable published classes. If I’m guilty, my goal is not to hide that but to get it on the table and address it.

    HD: Starting with a full d10 and adding averages of 3*d6 and 2*d8 equals 10+10.5+9 = 29.5. Starting with a full d8 and adding averages of 5*d8 equals 8+22.5 = 30.5, while using d6s would equal 6+17.5 = 23.5. d8, while being slightly over, is much closer. Also, d8 is a typical size for secondary combatants. Therefore, I used d8 for HD.

    Starting Wealth: The weighted average for all the different classes is 5d4*10*4 (soulknife, incarnate, ardent), 2d4*10*2 (totemist), for 24d4 divided by 6. 4d4*10 should be plenty for a class that is not expected to buy much armor or weaponry.

    Starting Age: I kept the Soulknife starting age. Totemist, Incarnate and (I believe) Ardent are all considered complex classes, but one is able to use the starting class to determine age, so I did. At bottom, this was a matter of personal preference on an aspect of the game that is largely irrelevant.

    Class Skills: I kept Soulknife class skills but added Psicraft and Swim, from Ardent and Totemist, respectively. A character who dipped through all of these classes would have some additional class skills (Diplomacy, Heal, Handle Animal, Know (arcana, nature, planes, religion), Ride, Spellcraft, Survival ), but I thought this was a reasonable compromise. (Because of the expanded use for Know(psionics) and Psicraft, the loss of Know (arcana) and Spellcraft is not significant.) I am open to critique for adding Use Psionic Device without any precedent.

    BAB: 1+½*2+¾*3 = 4¼ over 6 levels, which amounts to ¾ BAB.

    Saves: Fort and Will both have 4 strong and 2 weak levels, giving 4⅔ over 6 levels, if using fractional saves. Ref has 3 strong and 3 weak, giving 4.5. Despite the minor variation, they all come out essentially the same over 6 levels: 1 point weaker than a strong save. Rather than creating a new save progression to reflect this (something I think many would find unpalatable), I am adopting the approach used with the Scout of granting a +1 bonus to the weak save. The alternative – leaving Fort a weak save without any adjustments – only encourages dipping into a good Fort class. That somewhat defeats my personal goal in creating the Psycarnat, which is to have a class that doesn’t leave me feeling compelled to dip within the first 6 levels.

    Meldshaper and Manifesting levels: this class is based on four meldshaping levels, and class level -2 seems a typical adjustment (at least in PF) for partial casters, manifesters, and so forth, so class level -2 seems doubly appropriate here. I do the same for manifester level: that is the adjustment applied to the Gifted Blade archetype in PF. This is a buff to manifester levels over the base classes, which would warrant only ML 1.

    Class Features

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Lowering the proficiencies to simple weapons, unarmed strike, and light armor represents a nerf, as most of the source classes tend to have more. (Soulknife, Incarnate: medium armor, shields; Ardent: heavy armor.) That is largely driven by personal preference. (I like my PCs in light or no armor.) It may not be a good design choice if it prevents others from using the Psycarnat to create a “tank” PC, which should be an option.

    Psycarnum Strike: For the most part, this is the straight DSP Deadly Fist empowered strike, which is only a minor adaptation and improvement over the SRD soulknife ability. The change from a blade to an unarmed strike is largely fluff. The DSP addition of a flurry ability is a small buff on what is widely regarded as weak ability (mindblade) with another weak ability. I have added the option of investing essentia, which is in line with what can be done with most totemist soulmeld attacks. All in all, I don’t see this class feature as controversial.

    Meldshaping and Meld Effects: this class gains the benefit of six melds over six levels, more than either Totemist or Incarnate would grant over the same span. I do not think this is an apt criticism of this class, however: it is a criticism of going straight Totemist or Incarnate, when one would have much more essentia and soulmelds by taking levels in both classes.

    I do not consider the fact that five of these six are "locked in" as meld effects as a significant nerf. While a meldshaping class has the hypothetical option of shaping any of its soulmelds, specific builds will gravitate to specific melds, so there is little difference between being unable to choose alternate melds and being unwilling to. Also, I think the benefit of meld effects not counting as melds more than offsets this. In sum, this is an overall improvement over the base classes.

    As a mitigating factor, however, both Incarnate and Totemist have the ability to exceed the normal essentia limits, Totemists on their totem bind, and Incarnates on all melds (although not until level 3, which is not among the base classes, so I cannot claim I’m giving that up).

    Essentia: by Totemist and Incarnate class levels, this character would have a pool of 4 essentia gained from four meldshaping levels. Four levels of Incarnate would likewise give 4 essentia, but Totemist would give only 3. I have gone with 3, with the addition of Azure Talent as a bonus feat at 6th level adding a fourth point.

    Manifesting: This class gains only 2 powers (based on the 2 powers gained by Ardent 1), the first at 2nd level and the second at 5th level. I have boosted things beyond what I could readily do with the listed class levels by allowing a 2nd level power at 5th level. (As written, Ardent could do this with Practiced Manifester, based on its unique manifesting progression.) This is an admitted buff, so that this character can have 2nd level powers in this 6-level progression.

    For comparison, Psychic Warrior over six levels will have 11 pp, 6 powers (up to 3 of them 2nd level), and 3 bonus feats. The Psycarnat essentially trades 7 of those pp, 4 of the powers (2 of them 2nd level), and 1 bonus feat for 6 melds, 3 essentia, and 2 binds. That is not, by any means, a bad trade, but I think it is reasonably equal.

    (Ardent 6 would have 35 pp, 7 powers, and 4 mantles, but Ardent – particularly if allowed to substitute mantle powers – is a higher tier than I am aiming for.)

    Precedent for allowing a choice of powers from any list may be found in the Mind's Eye article allowing psionic mantles to substitute listed powers. As the Psycarnat is only able to choose 2 powers, I did not think it unreasonable to give an unfettered choice. (While making allowances for exclusive Psion Discipline powers, I have a strong dislike of psionic power lists. What they really say is, “You must dip this class or spend an EK feat to take a power you want, while also having to take another power that you don’t really care for from your own list.)

    Power Points: Ordinarily, Soulknife would grant 2 pp in the first level and Ardent would grant 2 pp plus bonus pp for Wis. I have delayed and spread that out, so bonus pp begin in level 2, and the four granted pp are spread over the four remaining levels. This is a weak progression, but the combination of Psycarnum Infusion and Azure Talent is intended to allow repeated instances of temporary pp, at an action cost.

    Bind Effect and Least Chakra: Incarnate 2 opens the crown chakra, and 5 opens the other least chakras. Totemist 2 opens the totem chakra. Thus, the base classes would allow two chakra binds, including the exclusive totem bind. I have instead allowed one least chakra bind effect at level 3, and opening the least chakras at level 5. Overall, I believe this is an even exchange.

    I think a bind effect is not as much of an improvement over an actual bind as a meld effect is over an actual meld. For one, the class has fewer of them, so the prospect of overlapping the bind and the bind effect is less (although still present). For another, overlapping least chakra binds is not so powerful that it should raise a red flag. In many (and perhaps all) cases, the exclusions this creates appear arbitrary: is there any good reason a character should not be able to choose to have both water walking (Cerulean Sandals) and uncanny dodge (Impulse Boots), or simultaneous skill bonuses on handle animal, ride, swim, profession (sailor), and use rope (Riding and Sailor’s Bracers)?

    Overlapping a totem chakra bind and bind effect would be more powerful, but that is specifically what this class cannot do. In fact, it foregoes the totem chakra altogether, keeping it sacrosanct to the Totemist.

    Thus, I have the same number of total binds, though one of them no longer counts as a bind, over a larger selection of less powerful chakras.

    Psycarnum Infusion and Azure Talent: This is a decided buff to consider critically. The intended aim is to give a class with low pp a renewable “burst” of tpp, by using PI to repeatedly trigger AT. My personal opinion is that, by RAW, this does not work: the benefit of AT is only available once per day. The point is debated, however, and I also believe, in the abstract, that a two-feat-plus-action-cost investment to be able to repeatedly generate a handful of tpp for one round is not unreasonable. This class, of course, does so by getting the two feats as a bonus.

    The offset, by which I am “paying” for those bonus feats, is the loss of the two mantles provided by Ardent 1. Two mantle abilities being equivalent to two feats (Don Mantle). The comparison to Psychic Warrior, above, is also instructive: over the same six levels, a PW could have these two feats, plus one more bonus feat and a number of additional powers and pp to weigh against this class’s incarnum benefits.


    Other things I've done, just to make them more explicit:

    Totemist: I dropped illiteracy (a disad, but a silly and easily overcome one) and wild empathy. (While wild empathy is a nice feature, it does not fit the general class concept. A character desiring this class feature can obtain it by a meld effect.)

    Incarnate: I dropped aura and detect opposition. I do not like these features, and like wild empathy, they lack relevance to the class conception. While I could argue they represent "giving up" something, they are actually things I would beg to have taken away.

    Ardent: I do not use my reference to Ardent for much. It helps set a reasonable number for pp (2, giving 4 altogether) and powers (also 2). It's unusual manifesting progression provides a general rationilization for having 2nd level powers by the end of this class progression. The two mantels provide some currency I can surrender as the purchase price for Psycarnum Infusion and Azure Talent. The Mind's Eye option of substitution mantel powers provides a rationalization for allowing the Psycarnat to select his two powers from any list.


    Potential FAQ
    Doesn’t this class supplant ? I do not believe this class supplants any Tier-3 or higher classes. (I don’t think it’s necessary to consider lower tiers, which almost by definition are supplanted by the higher-tier classes.) The obvious comparisons are Psychic Warrior and the two viable meldshapers. As noted above, PW gets decidedly more powers, pp, and bonus feats. The meldshapers, while having fewer melds, have equivalent binds, better binds (Totemist), more essentia, and higher limits for using it. Totemist continues to be the natural weapons master extraordinaire, a niche this class cannot fill, while Incarnate continues to have the full flexibility of its meld list, something that any particular instance of this class can duplicate only in part.
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-03-03 at 09:32 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Psycarnum Soulknife

    The Psycarnat is not a class intended to fulfill a particular niche. Rather, it is a class that draws upon the options provided by incarnum and psionics to create a number of different character concepts. At the most basic level, it may be thought of as another approach to a generic class: one that uses the building blocks provided by soulmelds and psionic powers.

    Psycarnat
    Hit die: d8
    Starting Wealth: 4d4x10 (average 100 gp)
    Starting Age: same as rogue
    Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)
    Class Skills: Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Psionic Device (Cha).
    Spoiler: Skills
    Show
    For the Psycarnat, incarnum is as intimately linked to psionics as it is to arcane magic for other characters. Knowledge (psionics) may be used to answer questions about incarnum and soulmelds, and Psicraft may be used, in place of Spellcraft, to identify soulmelds.


    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features Power Points Powers Known Max. Power Level Soulmelds Meld Effects Essentia Chakra Binds
    1 +0 +0 +2 +2 Psycarnum Strike, Meldshaping 1 1
    2 +1 +0 +3 +3 Fortitude (+1), Manifesting, Meld Effects 0* 1 1st 1 1 1
    3 +2 +1 +3 +3 Bind Effect 1 1 1st 1 2 2
    4 +3 +1 +4 +4 Psycarnum Infusion 2 1 1st 1 3 2
    5 +3 +1 +4 +4 Least Chakra 3 2 2nd 1 4 3 1
    6 +4 +2 +5 +5 Azure Talent 4 2 2nd 1 5 3 1
    *At this level, a Psycarnat gains bonus power points, if any, for a high Wisdom score.

    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the Psycarnat.

    Spoiler: Weapon and Armor Proficiency
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    You are proficient with all simple weapons, including your unarmed strike, and light armor.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Strike
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    At 1st level, you gain Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat and the following abilities:

    Flurry of Blows (Ex): When making unarmed attacks and using a full attack action, you can make one additional attack at your highest attack bonus, but all attacks that round suffer a -2 penalty to the attack roll.

    Empowered Strike (Su): As a move action, you can charge your unarmed strike with psycarnum. This effect lasts until dismissed (a free action). When active, an empowered unarmed strikes deals 1d6 points of damage if Medium-sized (adjusted for other sizes) and is considered a magic weapons for purposes of overcoming damage reduction. An empowered strike's damage type may be bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. You may change the damage type as a full-round action. Each time this effect is activated, it has the same damage type as most recently used. You may invest essentia in this feature. Each point of essentia grants a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls for an empowered strike.

    On a successful DC 20 Will save, you can sustain an empowered strike even in places where psionic effects do not normally function, such as within a null psionics field. On a successful roll, you maintain the empowered strike for a number of rounds equal to your character level before you need to check again, although the empowered strike is treated for all purposes as non-magical while in a place where psionic effects do not normally function. On an unsuccessful attempt, the empowered strike is lost, although you can attempt a new Will save as a move action.

    Psycarnum Discharge (Su): You may project the energy of an empowered strike in a ranged attack at an opponent. The attack deals damage as normal for an empowered strike, including any enhancement bonus from invested essentia. The range increment of the attack is 10’, but is considered to be a projectile instead of a thrown weapon, so the attack has a maximum range of 10 increments instead of 5. Whether or not the attack hits, the unarmed attack is no longer empowered, and you must take the normal time to empower it.

    Empowered Strike counts as Form Mind Blade for prerequisites or requirements, and Psycarnum Discharge counts as Throw Mind Blade for prerequisites or requirements. You may use the Extra Blade Skill feat to select blade skills, although you must still meet any other prerequisites.


    Spoiler: Meldshaping (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you learn to shape soulmelds. At any given time, you may have one soulmeld shaped, drawn from the Incarnate or Totemist soulmeld lists. You must rest and then meditate for one hour before shaping your soulmeld. The DC for a saving throw against your soulmeld(s) is 10 + essentia invested + Wisdom modifier. Your meldshaper level is equal to class level minus 2 (minimum 1), but you may stack this with levels in a subsequent meldshaping class.


    Spoiler: Essentia (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you gain an essentia pool, which can be invested in class features, feats, and soulmelds. The size of the essentia pool is shown on the table. Character level, as noted on Table 2-1 in Magic of Incarnum determines the maximum quantity of essentia that you can invest in any single essentia receptacle. You may reallocate all of your essentia as a swift action.


    Spoiler: Fortitude
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    At 2nd level, you gain a +1 bonus to Fortitude saves.


    Spoiler: Manifesting
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    At 2nd level, you gain the ability to manifest psionic powers. You may choose powers from any psionic class list. You learn new powers as indicated on the table. The DC for saving throws against your powers is 10 + the power’s level + Wisdom modifier. To learn or manifest a power, you must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power’s level. Your manifester level is equal to your class level minus 2 (minimum 1), but you may stack this with levels in a subsequent manifesting class.

    Your base daily allotment of power points is given on the table. In addition, you receive bonus power points per day for a high Wisdom score. Race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.


    Spoiler: Meld Effect (Ex)
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    Practice shaping soulmelds eventually leads you to add meld effects – permanent new abilities that mimic the effects of a soulmeld. Beginning at 2nd level, you have a total number of meld effects as listed in the table. A specific meld effect must be selected when earned and cannot be changed. For each meld effect, you gain the basic effect of one soulmeld, chosen from the Incarnate or Totemist soulmeld lists. You may invest essentia in this class feature. A meld effect is not a soulmeld, so it neither counts against the limit of the number of soulmelds a character may have shaped nor occupies a body slot. Meld effects are (Ex) abilities, unless they involve obviously supernatural effects, like blink, in which case they are (Su) abilities.


    Spoiler: Bind Effect
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    At 3rd level, you may enhance one of your existing meld effects, gaining the benefit granted by the relevant soulmeld when it is bound to one of the least chakras (crown, hands, or feet) crown chakra. Once made, the choice cannot be changed. This bind effect is not an actual chakra bind, and it is possible (through the use of feats) for you to have multiple meld effects enhanced with the bind effect for the same chakra. Bind effects are (Ex) abilities, unless they involve obviously supernatural effects, in which case they are (Su) abilities.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Infusion (Su)
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    At 4th level, you gain Psycarnum Infusion (MoI at 40) as a bonus feat. You need not have any of the prerequisites for this feat. Expending your psionic focus to use this feat is a free action and may be done in conjunction with an immediate action when it is not your turn.


    Spoiler: Chakra Bind (Ex)
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    At 5th level, you can bind a soulmeld to one of your least chakras. Binding a soulmeld to a chakra closes that slot, so that neither a magic item nor another soulmeld may occupy the chakra or corresponding body slot.


    Spoiler: Azure Talent
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    At 6th level, you gain Azure Talent (MoI at 34) as a bonus feat. You need not have any of the prerequisites for this feat. If Psycarnum Infusion is used on Azure Talent, it will grant the benefit (temporary power points) each time it is used.


    Spoiler: Special Feats
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    A Psycarnat has access to certain special feats, or certain feats work differently, as follows:

    Quick Empower: This new feat allows you to activate your Empowered Strike as a free action instead of as a move action, but this may only be done once per round.

    Expanded Knowledge: When taking this feat to add an additional power, you may add a power up to the highest level you can manifest, based on your Psycarnat levels, rather than one level lower. In all other respects, this feat remains the same. If you later take levels in another manifesting class and reach a higher level of powers (i.e., 3rd level powers or greater), the normal restriction applies: you may only select a power of up to one level lower than you can manifest.

    Extra Meld Effect: This new feat allows a Psycarnat to choose an additional meld effect, just as if he had earned one from a class level.

    Extra Bind Effect: This new feat allows a Psycarnat to choose an additional bind effect, just as if he had earned one from a class level (i.e., choosing an effect for either the crown or totem chakra applied to an existing meld effect). At character level 12, a Psycarnat altnernatively may choose a bind effect for the arms, brow, or shoulders chakra; and at character level 18, a bind effect for the throat or waist chakra.

    Rapid Meldshaping: Once per day, this new feat allows you to unshape an existing soulmeld and immediately shape another soulmeld. This process requires a full-round action and provokes attacks of opportunity. The new soulmeld cannot be bound to a chakra, even if the soulmeld that you unshape was bound to a chakra.

    Shape Soulmeld: Each time this feat is taken, a character may have one additional soulmeld shaped, up to the limit of Constitution -10. (I believe this is always how this feat was intended to work, and this is intended solely to remove any remaining ambiguity.)
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-03-03 at 09:33 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    The Greyverse
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    Default Shapeshift Mystic Ranger

    Edit/Update: This post was originally done for the rebuild of a character in a long-running, pbp Age of Worms campaign (still going!) In practice, I do not recommend it. Mystic Ranger, which wants to cast spells, and Shapeshift Ranger, which wants to stay shapeshifted as much as possible, are at odds with each other. They do not mix well. My suggestion to anyone else contemplating this path is that you choose one variant or the other. (I eventually did another rebuild, eliminating the Mystic Ranger component.)

    This is a summary of ACFs and ACF-chaining, starting with the Mystic Ranger (Dragon 336 at 105 -- enjoys spellcasting from first level in return for delayed favored enemies, combat styles, and endurance), applying the wildshape ranger ACF (lose combat styles, gain druid wild shape and barbarian fast movement), then "chaining" that ACF to take the druid shapeshift ACF from (PHB II at 39 -- replaces animal companion and wildshape for shapeshifting into a series of discrete forms, gained at levels).

    Note (1): Both Mystic Ranger and Shapeshift Druid give up the animal companion class feature. To retain RAW consistency, therefore, it would not be unreasonable to demand loss of the 1st level feat (feat: Wild Cohort, which is then sacrificed. That said, I think it would not be unreasonable for a GM to waive that cost.

    Note (2): the ACF chaining is somewhat problematic, as the druid gives up the animal companion class feature acquired at 1st level, while the ranger's animal companion is not acquired until 4th level. As (a) druids are Tier 1 and even the Mystic Ranger variant is only Tier 3, and (b) shapeshifting is regarded as a nerf, I think this should be okay.

    Note (3): Because the Wildshape Ranger ACF is limited to medium and small animals, I have left out the Forest Avenger (plant) and Elemental Fury (elemental) forms. I have left in the Ferocious Slayer form, although that involves a size change up one level.

    Shapeshift Mystic Ranger
    Hit die: d8
    Starting Wealth: 6d4x10 (average 150 gp)
    Starting Age: same as ranger
    Skill Points: 6 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)
    Class Skills: Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Use Rope (Dex)
    Spoiler: skills
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    Spellcraft is added to the basic Ranger skill list by Mystic Ranger.

    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
    1 +1 +2 +2 +0 Fast Movement, Shapeshift (predator), Track, Wild Empathy 2
    2 +2 +3 +3 +0 1st favored enemy 2 1
    3 +3 +3 +3 +1 2 2
    4 +4 +4 +4 +1 Endurance 3 2 1
    5 +5 +4 +4 +1 Shapeshift (aerial) 3 2 2
    6 +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 3 3 2 1
    7 +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Woodland Stride 4 3 2 2
    8 +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 2nd favored enemy, shapeshift (slayer), swift tracker 4 3 3 2 1
    9 +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Evasion 4 4 3 2 2
    10 +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 4 4 3 3 2 1
    11 +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 4 4 4 3 2 2
    12 +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 4 4 4 3 3 2
    13 +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Camouflage 5 4 4 4 3 3
    14 +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 3rd favored enemy 5 4 4 4 3 3
    15 +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 5 5 4 4 4 3
    16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 5 5 4 4 4 3
    17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Hide in plain sight 5 5 5 4 4 4
    18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 5 5 5 4 4 4
    19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +7 5 5 5 5 4 4
    20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 4th favored enemy 5 5 5 5 4 4
    Spoiler: Weapon and Armor Proficiency
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    You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with light armor and shields (except tower shields).


    Spoiler: Fast Movement (Ex)
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    At 1st level, your land speed is faster than the norm for your race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when you are wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying speed because of any load carried or armor worn.


    Spoiler: Shapeshift
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    Starting at 1st level, you can shift at will into another form. Shapeshifting requires a swift action. If you are capable of taking more than one form, you may shift directly from one form to another. There is no limit to the number of times per day you can change forms. You retain your normal HD, hit points, BAB, saves, and skill ranks, regardless of form. You also retain your normal ability scores, although each form grants an enhancement bonus to strength. You retain all Ex, Su, and SLA abilities, except those depending on a body part your new form does not have. All held or carried gear melds into your new form and becomes nonfunctional until you shapeshift back.

    You cannot speak or wield a weapon while shapeshifted. You cannot cast spells or activate magic items, not even with the Natural Spell feat or other ability. You retain your size and type. You gain natural weapons as described, and these natural weapons gain an enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls of +1 per four class levels. At 4th level and higher, they are treated as magic weapons for purposes of DR.

    If knocked unconscious or slain, you revert to your original form.

    Predator Form: This first form, obtained at 1st level, resembles a wolf, panther, or similar creature. You gain a 1d6 primary bite attack, 5' reach, +4 enhancement bonus to strength, +4 natural armor bonus, and base land speed increases to 50' (60' with fast movement). At 4th level, you gain the Mobility feat as a bonus feat while in this form, even if you do not meet the prerequisites.

    Aerial Form: At 5th level, you can shift into a flying creature, resembling an eagle, vulture, bat, or similar. You gain a 1d6 primary talon attack, 5' reach, +2 enhancement bonus to strength and reflex saves, +2 natural armor, and fly speed of 40' (good maneuverability). At 7th level, you gain Flyby Attack as a bonus feat when in this form.

    Slayer Form: At 8th level, you can shift into a form such as a tiger, bear, or similar. You gain a 1d8 primary attack and two 1d6 secondary claw attacks, +8 enhancement bonus to strength, +4 enhancement bonus to fortitude saves, and +8 natural armor. Your size increases one category (colossal, maximum) and you have reach of a long creature of that size. Your base land speed changes to 40' (50' with fast movement).


    Spoiler: Spells
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    Beginning at 1st level, you gain the ability to cast a small number of divine spells, drawn from the ranger spell list. You must choose and prepare your spells in advance, like a cleric. You must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a ranger’s spell is 10 + the spell level + your Wisdom modifier. Your base daily spell allotment is given on Table, and you receive bonus spells per day for a high Wisdom score.

    Spoiler: 0-level Ranger Spells
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    Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Flare, Guidance, Know Direction, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Resistance, Virtue


    Spoiler: 5-level Ranger Spells
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    Awaken, Baleful Polymorph, Cure Critical Wounds, Control Winds, Summon Nature's Ally V, Wall of Thorns


    Spoiler: Track
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    At 1st level, you gain Track as a bonus feat.


    Spoiler: Wild Empathy
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    You can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Roll 1d20 and add your class and Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. You and the animal must be able to study each other (typically, within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions). Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. You can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but you take a -4 penalty on the check.


    Spoiler: Favored Enemy
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    At 2nd level, you may select a type of creature from among those given on Table: Ranger Favored Enemies. You gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against creatures of this type. Likewise, you get a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls against such creatures.

    At 8th, 14th, and 20th levels, you may select an additional favored enemy from those given on the table. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by 2.


    Spoiler: Endurance
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    At 4th level, you gain Endurance as a bonus feat.


    Spoiler: Woodland Stride
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    At 7th level, you may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that are enchanted or magically manipulated to impede motion still affect you.


    Spoiler: Swift Tracker
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    At 8th level, you can move at normal speed while following tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. You take only a -10 penalty (instead of the normal -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking.


    Spoiler: Evasion
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    At 9th level, if you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if you are wearing light armor or no armor. You do not gain the benefit of evasion while helpless.


    Spoiler: Camouflage
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    At 13th level, you can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain, even if the terrain doesn’t grant cover or concealment.


    Spoiler: Hide in Plain Sight
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    At 17th level, you can use the Hide skill even while being observed, as long as you are in any sort of natural terrain.
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-03-03 at 09:38 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Lightbulb Re: Psycarnum Soulknife

    The Psycarnat
    Spoiler: Purpose
    Show
    This is the latest in my effort to combine psionics and incarnum, to me, two of the most interesting mechanics in the game. This is not intended as a dual progression class (like Mystic Theurge) but as a hybrid, like the Pathfinder Hunter or Investigator. It is not intended to fulfill a particular niche but to draw upon the options provided by incarnum and psionics to implement a variety different character concepts. At the most basic level, it may be thought of as another approach to a generic class: one that uses the building blocks provided by soulmelds and psionic powers.

    An essential, personal purpose, however, is to create a class that would allow me to implement certain character concepts within the first six character levels. Concepts that either I cannot create within the existing classes or that require excessive multiclassing. As such, the intention is that this class is taken only at the first six character levels, and a character remains in the class throughout those six levels.


    Spoiler: Critiques
    Show
    Homebrew is subject to Sturgeon's Law: “90% of everything is crap.” With all the iterations this concept has been through, I hope it has been refined past that point, but if I were certain, I would not need to solicit comment.

    I have two particular, contrary concerns. The first is power creep: making a hybrid class that entirely supplants one or both of its constituents. To my mind, a homebrew is problematic if one can say, “If this class were allowed, why would anyone ever take X?”

    On the other hand, however, a hybrid needs something different from its constituent parts, or the alternative questions arises: “Why not just take the underlying classes?”

    Discussion of these points is particularly welcome.


    Fluff:The Psycarnat learns to use both psionics and incarnum. Often, he begins with an innate ability in one source and then learns to apply it to the other. For him, these two forces are intimately entwined, whether it is an ability to manipulate incarnum that allows him to unlock psionic abilities, or an inborn facility with psionics that allows him to manipulate incarnum. A Psycarnat never reaches the versatility of a dedicated meldshaper nor the range and number of powers of a dedicated psionic, but his own ability to learn permanent meld effects and to cull psionic energy from the incarnum to manifest powers enable him to choose his own role and fill it.

    Unlike traditional meldshapers, Psycarnats are not wedded to a particular alignment (Incarnate, Soulborn) or combat style (Totemist). The Psycarnat is an individualist, choosing his own outlook and approach, just as he makes a unique selection of meld effects and powers. For him, incarnum is not "the physical manifestations of moral and ethical forces." It is a multiversal field, and the ability to make patterns in that field creates some often extraordinary effects and abilities.

    Where Psycarnats differ from other meldshapers is in their ability to learn from their repeated meldshaping, developing the ability to duplicate the effects of a meld while no longer requiring the actual soulmeld, itself.

    Psycarnat
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit die: d8.
    Starting Wealth: 4d4x10 (average 100 gp)
    Starting Age: As rogue
    Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)
    Class Skills: Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Psionic Device (Cha).
    Spoiler: Skills
    Show
    For the Psycarnat, incarnum is as intimately linked to psionics as it is to arcane magic for other characters. Knowledge (psionics) may be used to answer questions about incarnum and soulmelds, and Psicraft may be used, in place of Spellcraft, to identify soulmelds.


    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features Power Points Powers
    1 +0 +0 +0 +0 Essentia (1), Resistance, Bonus Feat, Psycarnum Strike, Meldshaping (1)
    2 +1 +0 +0 +0 Manifesting, Meld Effect (1) 0* 1
    3 +2 +1 +1 +1 Essentia (2), Meld Effects (2) 1 1
    4 +3 +1 +1 +1 Psycarnum Infusion, Meld Effects (3) 2 2
    5 +3 +1 +1 +1 Essentia (3), Meld Effects (4), Least Chakra Bind (1) 3 2
    6 +4 +2 +2 +2 Bind Effect (1) 5 3
    *At this level, you gain bonus power points, if any, for a high Wisdom score.

    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the Psycarnat.

    Spoiler: Weapon and Armor Proficiency
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    You are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor.


    Spoiler: Essentia (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you gain an essentia pool. You can invest essentia in class features, feats, and soulmelds, as indicated. The size of the essentia pool is shown on the table. Character level, as noted on Table 2-1 in Magic of Incarnum determines the maximum quantity of essentia that you can invest in any single essentia receptacle. You may reallocate all of your essentia as an immediate action.
    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    The refinement here is to allow reallocation of essentia with an immediate action – so it may be done out-of-turn – rather than a swift action. This is necessary to make the Resistance class feature useful. Overall, it is not overpowered, as the Psycarnat still has the same limit on how often essentia may be reallocated (once per turn) and the same action cost (the Swift/Immediate action).


    Spoiler: Resistance
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    At 1st level, you receive a +1 bonus to each Save (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will). Further, you may invest essentia in your Saves. Each point of essentia grants an additional +1 bonus while invested. Essentia is invested into each Save individually: 1 point invested into Reflex would not benefit your Will save. This essentia may be freely reallocated with the same Swift or Immediate action used to allocate essentia in other receptacles. Psycarnats use this ability to compensate for their poor save progression.

    Resistance counts as an instance of the +2 bonus for a good save progression. Thus, if you are in a campaign that restricts the number of times you may receive that bonus and later multiclass, you would not receive the +2 bonus. You still would progress by +½ in any good saves at each subsequent level.


    Spoiler: Bonus Feat
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    At 1st level, as a bonus feat, you may choose either Improved Unarmed Strike or Weapon Focus. (You also gain proficiency with whatever weapon is the subject of your Weapon Focus, although if it requires Exotic Weapon Proficiency, you will need to take that feat as well.)


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Strike
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    If you are wielding the weapon for your first-level Weapon Focus feat, or using an unarmed strike if you elected Improved Unarmed Strike for your first-level bonus feat, you may invest essentia into your attacks. Each point of essentia grants a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack rolls and damage rolls with that weapon. As long as at least one point of essentia is allocated here, the attack is considered a magic weapon for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.


    Spoiler: Meldshaping (Ex)
    Show
    At 1st level, you learn to shape soulmelds. At any given time, you may have one soulmeld shaped, drawn from the Incarnate or Totemist soulmeld lists. You must rest and then meditate for one hour before shaping your soulmeld. A soulmeld remains shaped until it is unshaped. Generally, a soulmeld remains shaped until you shape a new one in its place. The DC for a saving throw against your soulmeld(s) is 10 + essentia invested + Wisdom modifier. Your meldshaper level is equal to character level minus 2 (minimum 1).

    Like all meldshapers, the maximum number of soulmelds you may have shaped at one time is the lesser of the sum of the melds granted by class levels and the Shape Soulmeld feat, or your Constitution score minus 10.

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    The Psycarnat has access to both Totemist and Incarnate soulmelds. This is intentional, essential, and not particularly overpowering. Elements of this class were originally based upon a 6-level build that included 2-level dips in each of those meldshaping classes. Thus, the base it was built upon had this feature. Forbidding this feature imposes the obligation to dip one or the other class to have the same range of options, when the very point of this homebrew is to avoid the need for such dipping.


    Spoiler: Manifesting
    Show
    At 2nd level, you gain the ability to manifest psionic powers and learn one power of 1st level. You learn an additional power at 4th level and again at 6th level. You may select any power that your current manifester level would allow you to manifest. You may choose powers from any psionic class list, but you may not choose from a Discipline list.

    You may exchange one of your powers known at any time for another power you are able to manifest. To do so, you must have a power stone available, containing the new power. The process requires one hour of meditation, at the conclusion of which, the old power is forgotten, the new one is now known, and the power has been expended from the power stone. (Some Psycarnats will take the Imprint Stone feat and carry one or more power stones as their de facto equivalent of a wizard’s spell book, imprinting the old power upon the stone before replacing it with another from the same or another stone. Note: this ability would allow you to exchange a lower level power for a higher one, as your manifiester level increased.)

    You may learn additional powers (including powers from a Discipline list) with the Expanded Knowledge feat, by Psychic Chirurgery, or other means, but you are not able to exchange powers learned in this manner.

    The DC for saving throws against your powers is 10 + the power’s level + Wisdom modifier. To learn or manifest a power, you must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power’s level. Your manifester level is equal to your character level minus 2 (minimum 1).

    Although you may select your powers from any list, for purposes of using power-trigger or power-completion psionic items or power stones (for any purpose other than exchanging a power, as explained above), your "power list" consists solely of the powers you actually know. You must resort to the Use Psionic Device skill for other powers.

    Your base daily allotment of power points is given on the table. In addition, you receive bonus power points per day for a high Wisdom score. Race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.


    Spoiler: Meld Effect (Ex)
    Show
    Practice shaping soulmelds eventually leads you to creating meld effects – permanent new abilities that mimic the effects of a soulmeld. At 2nd level, you learn your first meld effect, and you gain an additional meld effect at 3rd, 4th, and 5th levels. A specific meld effect must be selected when earned and cannot be exchanged. For each meld effect, you gain the basic effect of one soulmeld, chosen from the Incarnate or Totemist soulmeld lists. You may invest essentia in this class feature just as if it were the soulmeld. A meld effect, however, is not a soulmeld, so it neither counts against the limit of the number of soulmelds a character may have shaped nor occupies a body slot. Meld effects are (Ex) abilities, unless they involve obviously supernatural effects (like blink), in which case they are (Su) abilities.
    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    This is a major new feature of this homebrew. Overall, it is a net increase in power, because the loss in versatility (being able to choose different melds each day) is probably more than offset by avoiding the downside of melds: the Constitution limit of how many may be shaped, the chakra limit of which melds may be shaped at the same time, and the (probably minor) vulnerability of an opponent being able to identify shaped melds and the risk of being suppressed in an anti-magic field.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Infusion (Su)
    Show
    At 4th level, you learn Psycarnum Infusion. This functions like the feat of the same name (MoI at 40). Additionally, however, just as you may draw upon your psionic ability to improve your essentia, you may draw upon incarnum for psionic energy. Each point of essentia invested in this feat generates one temporary power point. These temporary power points may be used in any manner, but if they are used to manifest a power or other effect (such as Elan Resistance, for example), that power immediately ceases to function once the essentia are no longer invested in this feature, even if the stated duration of the power (or effect) would otherwise have it continue. (The essentia is literally powering the manifestation, so it ends as soon as that power source is removed.)


    Spoiler: Chakra Bind (Ex)
    Show
    At 5th level, you can bind a soulmeld or item to one of your least chakras (crown, hands, and feet). Binding a soulmeld or item to a chakra closes that slot, so that neither a magic item nor another soulmeld may occupy the chakra or corresponding body slot.


    Spoiler: Bind Effect
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    At 6th level, you may enhance one of your existing meld effects, gaining the benefit granted by the relevant soulmeld when it is bound to one of the least chakras (crown, hands, or feet). Once made, the choice cannot be exchanged. This bind effect is not an actual chakra bind, and it is possible (through the use of feats) for you to have multiple meld effects enhanced with the bind effect for the same chakra. Bind effects are (Ex) abilities, unless they involve obviously supernatural effects, in which case they are (Su) abilities.



    Spoiler: Special Feats
    Show
    A Psycarnat has access to certain additional feats, as follows:

    Extra Meld Effect: This new feat allows a Psycarnat to choose an additional meld effect, just as if he had earned one from a class level.

    Extra Bind Effect: This new feat allows a Psycarnat to choose an additional bind effect, just as if he had earned one from a class level (i.e., choosing an effect for either the crown or totem chakra applied to an existing meld effect). At character level 12, a Psycarnat alternatively may choose a bind effect for the arms, brow, or shoulders chakra; and at character level 18, a bind effect for the throat or waist chakra.

    Rapid Meldshaping: Once per day, this new feat allows you to unshape an existing soulmeld and immediately shape another soulmeld. This process requires a full-round action and provokes attacks of opportunity. The new soulmeld cannot be bound to a chakra, even if the soulmeld that you unshape was bound to a chakra.

    Shape Soulmeld: (Clarification) Each time this feat is taken, you may shape one additional soulmeld, up to the limit of Constitution minus 10. (I believe this is always how this feat was intended to work, and this is intended solely to remove any ambiguity.)


    Spoiler: Adaptation
    Show
    This homebrew can and should be varied to meet similar conceptions. For example, rather than representing a mix of incarnum and psionics, it could be a mix of incarnum and arcane magic or incarnum and divine magic. The simplest way to do this is to substitute arcane or divine spells known, respectively, for powers, allow spontaneous casting, and use the spell points variant rather than spell slots.
    Likewise, there is nothing sacrosanct about this class being a Wisdom-based manifester. Intelligence and Charisma are equally valid choices. While this may encourage SAD builds, I personally do not see the merit in requiring MAD builds. I like MAD arrays, myself, but I think that should be a personal choice rather than a requirement for playing well the concept you want to play.


    Spoiler: Anticipated FAQ
    Show
    1. Why only 6 levels? First, I am a fan of E6, so I wanted this class to be viable in that context. Second, I lack experience at high-level play, so any proposed design at higher levels would be progressively more theoretical. Third, one mechanical purpose of this class is to provide a way to collect/create various new suites of abilities that either do not currently exist or would require excessive dipping to create. After 6th level, the goal is to "settle down" into a regular class (or PrC) without such dipping, but the choice on which direction to go is purposefully intended to be open.

    2. What do you do after 6th level? "Whatever you want," is a little too flip. A possible continued progression is as follows: (a) power points continue to increase at the Psychic Warrior progression minus two levels (if you look, this is the existing progression: a Psycarnat 6 has the same power points as a Psychic Warrior 4); (b) essentia continues to increase by 1 point every odd level; (c) a new power is learned at every even level; (d) add an additional chakra bind every 5th level: 10th, 15th, and 20th; at 10th level, lesser chakras are available (arms, brow, shoulders); at 15th, greater chakras are available (throat, waist); and at 20th, the heart chakra is available.

    As an initial matter, I would suggest following that progression with PrCs that advance existing meldshaping and/or manifesting, as well. While this means that an eligible PrC would be "pure gravy," that phenomenon is not uncommon with a number of other classes (e.g., Sorcerer), and as the class presently stands, I wonder whether higher levels should be supplemented with bonus feats. At present, I suggest this be left for playtesting.

    3. Doesn't this make X class irrelevant? I hope not. The obvious candidates threatened by this homebrew seem to me to be Totemist, Incarnate, and Psychic Warrior. (Totemist 2 and Incarnate 2 were both bases of the build. Psychic Warrior was not: the idea originated with one level of the DSP Soulknife and one level of Ardent; but Psychic Warrior is a closer match to the final iteration.)

    This stub is better than Totemist 6 or Incarnate 6, but that is not a fair criticism of this design. Rather, it is a criticism of the straight Totemist or Incarnate, whien either class is substantially improved by a dip in the other. Compared to Totemist 4/Incarnate 2 or vice versa, it is a closer question. T4/I2 has more melds (7 vs 5), essentia (6 vs. 3), and same binds (2 vs. 2). Of course, it has no powers or pp, but it has the exclusive (and superlative) Totem Chakra, as well as the Incarnate's increased soulmeld capacity. I think there is still a substantial space for the traditional classes.

    Psychic Warrior 6 has significantly more powers (6 vs. 3) and pp (11 vs. 5). It has two bonus feats. (I do not count the IUS or Weapon Focus at 1st level: these are minor feats that a PC would typically not choose if he had an unrestricted choice.) Again, even if Psycarnat is "better," Psychic Warrior represents a much more "psionic" character.

    If making a mix of these three classes, I believe the Psycarnat generally comes out better, but not (I think) excessively so. PW 4/IorT 2, for example, has the same pp (5), more powers (4 vs 3), but significantly fewer melds (3 vs 6), essentia (2 vs. 3), and binds (1 vs 2). (In the case of T 2, it does, however, have the exclusive Totem chakra.) PW 2 / I 2 / T 2 has more melds (6 vs. 5), essentia (4 vs. 3), and same binds (2, though again it enjoys the exclusive Totem chakra), but significantly less pp (1 vs 5). (Note: that difference would disappear, or even reverse, with a 2-level dip in a full manifesting class – Wilder, Psion, or Ardent – but I regard that as a weak defense. A little bit of Tier 1/2 will boost pretty much anything.)

    In sum: If you're still reading, thank you. That was a lot to go through. I will close on a personal note as to my own motivation: I could build a character similar to what this homebrew accomplishes by dipping Ardent 2 / Totemist 2 / Incarnate 2. While not superior in every way, such a build would give me a number of extras not available in this homebrew (3 mantles, the totem chakra, the Incarnate's increased meld capacity, but it would also be messier (3 different classes), impose some undesired restrictions (minimum Con 16 to actually take advantage of all melds; arbitrary, mutually-exclusive meld restrictions) and features (the Incarnate's aura and detect opposition). This homebrew cleans that up. It also (in my opinion) gives some interesting and new options (Resistance, Psycarnum Strike, Psycarnum Infusion, a novel way of exchanging powers). That last feature (exchanging powers) makes this a Tier 2 class, by definition, as it will eventually have access to 9th level powers, but my expectation is that it will play more like a solid Tier 3 class. Any particular build will have the versatility to do many things but not everything.

    Anyway, I thought it was worthwhile. Thank you, again, for reading. Thank you for any comments or other feedback.
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-03-03 at 09:40 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    history's worst MLP cosplay.
    Custom Class

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    The Greyverse
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    Default Re: Psycarnum Soulknife

    Spoiler: Purpose
    Show
    The purpose of this homebrew is two-fold:

    (1) To combine psionics and incarnum, to me, two of the most interesting mechanics in the game. This is not intended as a dual progression class (like Mystic Theurge) but as a hybrid, like the Pathfinder Hunter or Investigator.

    (2) To provide a mechanism for implementing a variety of character concepts. At the most basic level, it may be thought of as another approach to a generic class: one that uses the building blocks provided by soulmelds and (to a lesser extent) psionic powers.

    An personal purpose, however, is to create a class that allows me to implement certain character concepts within the first six character levels, concepts that either I cannot create within the existing classes or that require excessive multiclassing.

    This iteration of the Psycarnet uses Totemist as a template, with the addition of the Hidden Talent feat from Expanded Psionics Handbook with the Improved Hidden Talent and Greater Hidden Talent feats from the Dark Sun 3.


    Fluff:The Psycarnat is a native incarnum user who also learns to use incarnum to unlock psionic ability. For the Psycarnat, these two forces are intimately entwined, although a Psycarnat never reaches the versatility of a dedicated meldshaper nor the range and power of a dedicated psionic. Psycarnats are not wedded to a particular alignment (like Incarnates or Soulborn) or combat style (Totemist). The Psycarnat is an individualist, choosing his own outlook and approach, just as he makes a unique selection of meld effects and powers. For him, incarnum is not "the physical manifestations of moral and ethical forces." It is a multiversal field, and the ability to make patterns in that field, or to alter one’s own pattern, creates some extraordinary effects and abilities.

    Psycarnat
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit die: d8.
    Starting Wealth: 4d4x10 (average 100 gp)
    Starting Age: As rogue
    Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)
    Class Skills: Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
    Spoiler: Skills
    Show
    For the Psycarnat, incarnum is as intimately linked to psionics as it is to arcane magic for other characters. Knowledge (psionics) may be used to answer questions about incarnum and soulmelds, and Psicraft may be used, in place of Spellcraft, to identify soulmelds.


    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features Meld Effects Essentia
    1 +0 +0 +0 +0 Resistance, Bonus Feat, Psycarnum Strike, Meld Effects 1 1
    2 +1 +0 +0 +0 Hidden Talent 2 2
    3 +2 +1 +1 +1 3 2
    4 +3 +1 +1 +1 4 3
    5 +3 +1 +1 +1 Least Chakra Bind Effects 4 3
    6 +4 +2 +2 +2 Greater Hidden Talent 4 4

    CLASS FEATURES
    All of the following are class features of the Psycarnat.

    Spoiler: Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Show
    You are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor. If you have Improved Unarmed Strike or Weapon Focus, you also gain proficiency with unarmed strikes or the weapon that is the subject of the feat, respectively. Exotic weapons still require Exotic Weapon Proficiency. (The weapon proficiency requirement for non-exotic weapons for Weapon Focus is waived for the Psycarnat.)

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    Allowing proficiency with a specific martial weapon at the cost of a Weapon Focus feat is a trivial perk.


    Spoiler: Essentia (Ex)
    Show
    At 1st level, you gain an essentia pool, if you do not already have one. You can invest essentia in class features, feats, meld effects, and other essentia receptacles. The size of the essentia pool is shown on the table. Your character level determines the maximum quantity of essentia that you can invest in any single essentia receptacle, as noted on Table 2-1 in Magic of Incarnum. You may reallocate all of your essentia as an immediate action.

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    The Psycarnat’s essentia progression is modeled upon the Totemist, as that is the principle template for this class. The refinement here is to allow reallocation of essentia with an immediate action rather than a swift action, so it may be done out-of-turn. This is necessary to make the Resistance class feature useful. This is a minor improvement, as the Psycarnat still has the same limit on how often essentia may be reallocated (once per turn) and the same action cost (the Swift/Immediate action).


    Spoiler: Resistance (Ex)
    Show
    At 1st level, you receive a +1 bonus to each Save (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will). Further, you may invest essentia in your Saves. Each point of essentia grants an additional +1 bonus while invested. Essentia is invested into each Save individually: 1 point invested into Reflex would not benefit your Will save. This essentia may be freely reallocated with the same immediate action used to allocate essentia in other receptacles. Psycarnats use this ability to compensate for their poor save progression.

    Resistance counts as an instance of the +2 bonus for a good save progression. Thus, if you are in a campaign that restricts the number of times you may receive that bonus and later multiclass, you would not receive the +2 bonus (or if you multiclassed to Psycarnat, you would not gain the +1 bonus). You still would progress by +½ in any good saves at each subsequent level.

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    This is the principal benefit of the Cerulean [Save] feats, without the extra essentia. The Psycarnat pays for this benefit with all poor save progressions. (For comparison, the Totemist template enjoys two good saves.) Overall, the Psycarnat lags behind the good save progression, able to generate an equal save bonus at levels 1 and 3 before falling permanently behind.


    Spoiler: Bonus Feat
    Show
    At 1st level, you may choose either Improved Unarmed Strike or Weapon Focus as a bonus feat.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Strike (Su)
    Show
    While using a weapon for which you have the Weapon Focus feat, or while making an unarmed strike if you have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, you may invest essentia into your attacks. Each point of essentia grants a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack rolls and damage rolls with that weapon. As long as at least one point of essentia is allocated here, the attack is considered a magic weapon for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

    Psycarnum Strike qualifies as the Mind Blade class feature for the purpose of feats requiring that feature. This allows a Psycarnat to gain the benefit of taking such feats. For example, a Psycarnat could take the Psycarnum Blade feat and (separately) invest essentia into this feat to gain +1d6/essentia damage on an attack (by expending his focus) with his Weapon Focus weapon or unarmed strike.

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    Borrowed largely from the Soulknife’s Mind Blade ability, this class feature is also influenced by multiple totem chakra binds that also grant an attack. Because of the character-level limits on essentia investment, it progresses at much the same rate as a Mind Blade but without the flexibility of adding weapon special abilities. The ability also comes with the inherent opportunity cost of all essentia receptacles: essentia invested here is not available for something else, without an immediate action to reallocate it.


    At first level, the collective benefit of Psycarnum Strike (with 1 essentia invested) and Weapon Focus give the Psycarnat a +2 to attack, which will exceed a full-BAB class that does not make a similar investment. It also means a Psycarnat has a magic weapon at hand for the rare-but-dangerous low-CR monster with DR/magic. The feature is certainly useful but not overpowering.

    As any magic weaponry must first be enchanted with its own +1 enhancement bonus (and players typically will not pay for more), this feature also does not really save the Psycarnat money on magical weaponry: the valuable weapon enhancements are not the flat bonuses to attack or damage, and the Psycarnate must still pay the same price for those as other PCs or do without.

    Expanding this effect to Mind Blade feats is a trivial perk.


    Spoiler: Meld Effects (Ex) or (Su)
    Show
    At 1st level, you learn to create meld effects much like the soulmelds shaped by other incarnum classes. Meld effects are permanent new abilities that mimic the effects of a soulmeld and may receive essentia, but they do not occupy a chakra or body slot. Neither do meld effects count against the limit of the number of soulmelds you may have shaped.

    Choose your meld effect upon gaining a class level. Your meld effect may mimic the basic effect of any one soulmeld. For example, if you chose to model your meld effect on the Acrobat Boots soulmeld, you would gain a +2 insight bonus on Balance, Escape Artist, Jump, and Tumble checks, plus an additional +2 bonus for each point of essentia invested in this meld effect at the time of a check.

    The DC for a saving throw against your meld effects is 10 + essentia invested + Wisdom modifier. Your meldshaper level is equal to your class level.

    Beginning at class level 5, you may also choose your meld effects from the least chakra binds (crown, hands, or feet) of any soulmeld you already have as a bind effect. Continuing the previous example, you could choose the feet bind effect for Acrobat Boots and reduce falling damage by 1d6 per point of essentia invested in the Acrobat Boots bind effect. You could not, however, choose the feet bind effect for Airstep Sandals unless you already had also selected the Airstep Sandals for a meld effect.

    In the same manner, beginning at class level 9, you may also choose your meld effects from the lesser chakra binds (arms, brow, shoulders); beginning at class level 14, from the throat and waist chakra bind effects; and beginning at class level 17, heart bind effects.

    If a Psycarnat chooses a meld effect with an ability that would unshape the underlying soulmeld (e.g., Bloodwar Gauntlets arm bind, Cerulean Sandals feet bind), any use of the ability that would cause a soulmeld to unshape causes the meld effect to become inactive until the Psycarnat has rested for at least eight hours.

    Most meld effects are (Ex) abilities. Those that are obviously supernatural, however, are (Su) abilities. The following non-exhaustive list of effects is considered obviously supernatural: incorporeal, teleportation.

    Meld effects are not as flexible as soulmelds. Unlike other incarnum classes, which may freely change their soulmelds each day, you select your new meld effects when you attain a new level. You may change your most recent meld effect by resting at least eight hours and then meditating for one hour, after which, your new meld effect is in place and the previous meld effect is lost. You may not change older meld effects in this manner: they are permanent. At class level 8, you may change your most recent meld effect(s) once per day as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. Every four levels thereafter – at 12th, 16th, and 20th – you may do so one additional time per day (twice, three times, and four times, respectively).

    As a meld effect typically provides the same type of bonus as the underlying soulmeld, you cannot simultaneously benefit from both a soulmeld and a meld effect based on that soulmeld.

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    Meld effects are the major new feature of this homebrew. The mechanical aim is to use soulmelds and bind effects as a buffet of possible class features for characters to select, with the limited ability to revisit those choices.

    Overall, a meld effect is better than a soulmeld: it is not subject to the Constitution limit of how many may be shaped, nor to the chakra limit of which melds may be shaped at the same time, nor to the (probably minor) vulnerability of an opponent being able to identify shaped melds and the risk of being suppressed in an anti-magic field.

    The ability to change the most recent meld effect (and a similar ability for psionic powers) is loosely modeled on a similar ability for the http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/hunter]Pathfinder Hunter[/url] (see under “Teamwork Feat”). This provides a modest amount of flexibility, as well as the opportunity for a player to try out different options before locking in a new one.

    The ability to change the most recent meld effect(s) as a full-round action is modeled on the Totemist’s ability to rebind totem soulmelds.

    The accumulation of meld effects is slightly slower than the template Totemist over the first few levels. Totemist gains 2/1/0/1 soulmelds over the first four levels, while the Psycarnat gains 1/1/1/1 meld effects. This is a small nerf for multiple reasons: (1) without it, I feel the first level provides “too much,” encouraging (and rewarding) 1-level dips; (2) the Psycarnum Strike and bonus feat compensate for the delay; (3) it makes 3rd level more interesting (the lack of any significant benefit from Totemist 3 encourages the 2-level dip).


    Spoiler: Hidden Talent
    Show
    At 2nd level, your use of incarnum allows you to unlock your psionic ability. You gain Hidden Talent (Expanded Psionics Handbook at 67) as a bonus feat, giving you 2 power points and the ability to learn one 1st level power at a manifester level equal to your class level. The DC for saving throws against your power is 10 + the power’s level + Wisdom modifier, and you gain bonus power points for a high Wisdom modifier.

    At 6th level, you gain Greater Hidden Talent as a bonus feat, giving you 3 power points and the ability to learn one 1st or 2nd level power.

    Every four levels thereafter – at 10th, 14th, and 18th level – you gain another instance of Greater Hidden Talent. Alternatively, you may choose to take http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#psionicTalent]Psionic Talent[/url] in place of any instance of Hidden Talent or Greater Hidden Talent. You may also choose Greater Hidden Talent as any one of your regular feat choices.

    You may choose your Hidden Talent and Greater Hidden Talent powers from any power list. You may exchange your most recent psionic power for another of 1st (Hidden Talent) or 1st or 2nd (Greater Hidden Talent) after eight hours of rest.

    Although you may select your powers from any list, for purposes of using power-trigger or power-completion psionic items or power stones, your "power list" consists solely of the powers you actually know.

    The Psycarnat’s approach to psionic powers is exclusive. You lose the benefit of these bonus feats if you have any levels in a manifesting class.

    Spoiler: Analysis
    Show
    Greater Hidden Talent is drawn from Dark Sun 3 at 76. As used here, both this feat and Hidden Talent are further modified by the Improved Hidden Talent feat from the same source. By the standard rules, Hidden Talent requires Cha 11, is Cha-based, and provides only ML 1 for that power, unless you have ML from a class. Improved Hidden Talent requires Cha 12 and grants an ML of one-half character level, as well as bonus power points based on that ML and Cha mod. Those effects have been combined, improved (to full ML), and altered (from Cha to Wis).

    The change from Cha to Wis is a blatant personal preference. I prefer Wis manifesters to Cha and Int ones. I also strongly favor elans for the Psycarnat, so keeping the feat Cha based would punish that choice. Given free reign, I would just as soon allow player choice upon first receiving Hidden Talent to base it on Int, Wis, or Cha.

    The exclusivity – loss of the feat benefits if any levels are taken in a manifesting class – is part of the original Improved and Greater Hidden Talent feats. It is a relatively minor nerf, but it does prevent (or strongly discourage) multi-classing with manifesting classes.

    The progression of these feats replaces the Totemist progression of chakra binds.


    Spoiler: Anticipated FAQ
    Show
    1. Why only 6 levels? I am a fan of E6, so wanted this class to be viable in that context. Further, I lack experience at high-level play, so design at higher levels is progressively more theoretical. As noted in the class feature detail, many features continue to progress after level 6, following the Totemist template. Thus, the Psycarnat continues to add meld effects up to a total of 9 and continues to increase essentia up to a total of 20.

    2. Doesn't this make X class irrelevant? I hope not. The obvious candidate threatened by this homebrew is Totemist, but Totemist still enjoys the unique Totem Bind (something the Psycarnat cannot duplicate with any meld effect), and no Psycarnat ability can match the Totemist’s penchant for natural weapon attacks.

    While one could argue that the Psycarnat, with its Psycarnum Strike, makes the Soulknife irrelevant, that is more properly a criticism of the Soulknife, a very poorly implemented concept. The Psycarnat certainly borrows from that concept (and a Mind’s Eye fix for the concept: using multiple instances of the Hidden Talent feat). If anything, I propose that the Psycarnat is, and could be used as, a replacement.
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-03-03 at 09:41 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    history's worst MLP cosplay.
    Custom Class

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    The Greyverse
    Gender
    Male

    Default Custom Class

    Edit: This has received tentative approval for DrK's Savage Tides campaign. Some improvements have already been implemented after discussion, and I expect more refinements as this sees some use in actual play.

    This is a custom class for a character who uses both incarnum and psionics, two of my favorite systems. The progression is built upon a Totemist template, but this is only to provide reasonable scale for the acquisition and development of features, not to make this a replacement or variant of that class.

    Design at present is only through 6th level. The only decisions beyond that (at present) are that essentia progression should continue to follow Totemist and that chakra binds open up at 9th (lesser), 14th (greater), and 17th (heart) levels. Grey text is tentative.

    Tier 3?: With upgrades, I believe this class should now fall within Tier 3, though whether high-, middle-, or low-tier remains to be seen.

    Alignment: Any (NG).
    Hit die: d8.
    Starting Wealth: 4d4x10 (average 100 gp)
    Starting Age: As rogue
    Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier (x4 at 1st level)
    Class Skills: Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Psionic Device (Cha).
    Spoiler: Skills
    Show
    Because for this custom class incarnum is as intimately linked to psionics as it is to arcane magic for other characters, Knowledge (psionics) may be used to answer questions about incarnum and soulmelds, and Psicraft may be used, in place of Spellcraft, to identify soulmelds.


    Level BAB Fort Ref Will Class Features Essentia
    1 +⅓ +⅓ +⅓ Essentia, Resistance, Psycarnum Strike, Meldshaping (1) 1
    2 +1½ +⅔ +⅔ +⅔ Hidden Talent, Uncanny Dodge 2
    3 +2¼ +1 +1 +1 Blink 2
    4 +3 +1⅓ +1⅓ +1⅓ Improved Senses, Psycarnum Infusion 3
    5 +3¾ +1⅔ +1⅔ +1⅔ Least Chakra Bind 3
    6 +4½ +2 +2 +2 Greater Hidden Talent, Rapid Meldshaping 4

    FEATURES

    Spoiler: Weapon and Armor Proficiency (Ex)
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    You are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor. You also gain proficiency with any non-exotic weapon by taking the weapon focus feat for that weapon. (For this purpose, weapon proficiency is not a prerequisite for weapon focus.)


    Spoiler: Essentia (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you gain an essentia pool, if you do not already have one. The size of your essentia pool is shown on the table. You can invest essentia in any essentia receptacle (class feature, feat, soulmeld). Character level, as noted on Table 2-1 in Magic of Incarnum determines the maximum quantity of essentia that you can invest in any single receptacle. You may reallocate all of your essentia as an immediate action.
    Spoiler: Analysis
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    Essentia progression follows the Totemist. The improvement here is to allow reallocation of essentia as an immediate action rather than a swift action, so it may be done out-of-turn. This is necessary to make the Resistance class feature useful. The class still has the same limit on how often essentia may be reallocated (once per turn) and the same action cost (the Swift/Immediate action).


    Spoiler: Resistance (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you receive a +1 bonus to all three Saves (Fortitude, Reflex, Will). You may invest essentia in each Save individually for an increased bonus. Each point invested increases that Save bonus +1. Essentia is invested into each Save individually, so 1 point invested into Reflex would not benefit your Will save, for example. This essentia may be freely reallocated with the same Swift or Immediate action used to allocate essentia in other receptacles.

    Resistance counts as an instance of the +2 bonus for a good save progression. Thus, if you are in a campaign that restricts the number of times you may receive that bonus and later multiclass, you do not receive the +2 bonus, though you will progress by +½ in any good saves at each subsequent level.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Strike (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you receive Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. Your unarmed strikes do 1d6 damage (assuming a medium-size character). Additionally, you may invest essentia into your unarmed strikes or any weapon for which you have the weapon focus feat. Each point of essentia grants a +1 enhancement bonus on all attack rolls and damage rolls with that unarmed strike or weapon. As long as at least one point of essentia is allocated here, the attack is considered a magic weapon for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

    Like the Monk, you may apply your full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all unarmed strikes, and they are treated both as manufactured weapons and natural weapons for purposes of spells and other effects that affect such things.

    This feature counts as the ability to form a mind blade for purposes of the Psycarnum Blade feat and other feats requiring that ability, and such feats may be applied to any attack in which you may use your psycarnum strike.

    (We have discussed an additional enhancement bonus at higher levels, essentially tantamount to free essentia invested in this feature. The details remain to be worked out.


    Spoiler: Meldshaping (Ex)
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    At 1st level, you learn to shape soulmelds. At any given time, you may have one soulmeld shaped, drawn from any soulmeld list. You must rest and then meditate for one hour before shaping your soulmeld. Generally, a soulmeld remains shaped until you shape a new one in its place. The DC for a saving throw against your soulmeld(s) is 10 + essentia invested + Constitution modifier. Your meldshaper level is equal to your character level.

    Like all meldshapers, the maximum number of soulmelds you may have shaped at one time is the lesser of the sum of the melds granted by class levels and the Shape Soulmeld feat, or your Constitution score minus 10.

    Beginning at 5th level, you may bind your soulmeld to any of your least chakras (crown, feet, hands). This ability extends to lesser chakras (arms, brow, shoulders) at 9th level, greater chakras (throat, waist) at 14th level, and the heart chakra at 17th level. This class feature is for a single chakra bind. You must take an appropriate feat to gain additional chakra binds. (I.e., Open Least Chakra, Open Lesser Chakra, or Open Greater Chakra.)

    Spoiler: Analysis
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    This class gains access to the entire soulmeld list, regardless of class, but only a single soulmeld and a single chakra bind. The changeable soulmeld is intended to give the character some versatility.

    The text for the Open ____ Chakra feats is not the best, but I believe to be sensible at all, these feats must be understood to grant an extra chakra bind.


    Spoiler: Hidden Talent
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    At 2nd level, you gain Hidden Talent (Expanded Psionics Handbook at 67) as a bonus feat, giving you 2 power points and one 1st level power. Your manifester level is equal to your character level. The DC for saving throws against your power is 10 + the power’s level + Wisdom modifier, and you gain bonus power points for a high Wisdom modifier.

    At 6th level and every four levels thereafter – at 10th, 14th, and 18th level – you gain Greater Hidden Talent as a bonus feat, giving you 3 power points and the ability to learn one 1st or 2nd level power. Alternatively, you may choose to take Psionic Talent in place of any instance of Hidden Talent or Greater Hidden Talent. You may also choose Hidden Talent and Greater Hidden Talent as any one of your regular feat choices.

    You may choose your powers from any power list. You may exchange your most recent psionic power for another of 1st (Hidden Talent) or 1st or 2nd (Greater Hidden Talent) after eight hours of rest. This requires a source for the new power, such as a power stone or another psionic who knows the power. Learning the new power expends it from a source such as a power stone.

    Although you may select your powers from any list, for purposes of using power-trigger or power-completion items or power stones, your "power list" consists only of the powers you currently know.

    Spoiler: Analysis
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    Greater Hidden Talent is drawn from Dark Sun 3 at 76. As used here, both this feat and Hidden Talent are further modified by the Improved Hidden Talent feat from the same source. By the standard rules, Hidden Talent requires Cha 11, is Cha-based, and provides only ML 1 for that power, unless you have ML from a class. Improved Hidden Talent requires Cha 12 and grants an ML of one-half character level, as well as bonus power points based on that ML and Cha mod. Those effects have been combined, improved (to full ML), and altered (from Cha to Wis).

    The change from Charisma to Wisdom is a personal preference (I prefer Wis-manifesters) and because this custom class is intended for an elan character, so keeping the feat Cha-based would punish that choice.

    The progression of these feats replaces the Totemist progression of chakra binds. Because this class gains a chakra bind at 5th level, it is slightly "ahead" of the Totemist in terms of chakra-binds-plus-Hidden-Talent-feats. Overall, however, the balance of power favors the Totemist, as chakra binds, particularly at mid- and high-levels, equal or exceed whatever can be accomplished with 14 pp (plus bonus pp) and 5 first- or second-level powers.

    The ability to change the most recent power choice is drawn from similar features in some Pathfinder classes, such as the Gifted Blade Soulknife, which is able to change its entire selection of powers each day (from a limited, but good, list), and the Hunter, which is able to change its most recent teamwork feat as a standard action. Requiring a source for the new power imposes a modest cost on this flexibility.


    Spoiler: Intended Powers
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    Intended powers for this character are Precognition*, Animal Affinity, and Psychoportive Shelter (CPsi at 97). Other powers are still undecided, but at least part of the purpose of allowing the exchange of the most recent power is to permit the character to craft items using a power and then trade it out again. In that regard, this character is expected to build up a supply of items with low-level psionic powers.

    *This is not the SRD Precognition; it is an adaptation of Pathfinder's Timely Inspiration, which performs a similar function in a more usable way. While I love the fluff of the SRD Precognition and the ability to retroactively add a +2 insight bonus to an attack, damage, save, or skill check is powerful, the requirement to manifest the power in advance limits the utility and is at odds with the fluff (a player needs to be precognitive to use Precognition effectively). Timely Inspiration gets around this by being an immediate action with retroactive effect. As a further benefit, it also scales at 1/5 CL, starting lower (+1) but rising to a +3 max.

    By RAW, SRD Precognition is personal and may be applied to attack, damage, save, or skill checks. Timely Inspiration is single-target, close range but applies only to attacks and skill checks. I would propose that the modified Precognition follow one or the other of these: be extended to damage and saves, if limited to personal or be exactly like Timely Inspiration, with a simple name change. My personal preference is the former, perhaps having this power be researched using the rules in XPH at 64.


    Spoiler: Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
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    At 2nd level, you gain Uncanny Dodge. You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC even if flat-footed or struck by an unseen (invisible or concealed) attacker. You still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. At 8th level, you gain Evasion (and/or Improved Uncanny Dodge?) -- still working out the details on this.


    Spoiler: Blink (Su)
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    At 3rd level, you gain the ability to teleport short distances, like the Dimension Door spell. As a standard action, you may teleport 10'+10'/ess. You always arrive at exactly the spot desired, whether by visualizing the area or by stating a direction. You cannot bring along other creatures, but you may carry gear and objects up to your maximum load. After using this ability, you may take no other actions that turn.


    Spoiler: Improved Senses (Ex)
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    At 4th level, you gain Low-light Vision. Investing essentia in this feature gives you Darkvision with a range of 30'/ess.


    Spoiler: Psycarnum Infusion (Ex)
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    At 4th level, you are able to draw upon incarnum to power psionic abilities. To use this feature, you must invest invest essentia in it at the start of your turn (or maintain essentia already invested in this feature as of the start of your turn), and the essentia must remain invested for the entire turn. Each point of essentia invested gives you one temporary power point. If not used, these temporary power points expire before the start of your next turn.

    Initially, you are only able to use Psycarnum Infusion to generate 1 temporary power point per day. At 7th level, you may generate up to 2 temporary power points per day and up to 6 per day at 8th level.
    Spoiler
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    To test out this feature, it is presently capped at the difference between the number of power points granted by instances of Hidden Talent and Greater Hidden Talent and the base power point allotment of a Psychic Warrior of 3/4 the character's level.


    Spoiler: Rapid Meldshaping (Ex)
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    At 6th level, by expending your psionic focus, you may reshape your soulmeld (and chakra bind), as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity. You may switch back and forth between the original and the new soulmeld (and bind) as frequently as you wish, paying the action cost each time. Thus, you have a choice of two soulmelds and binds, only one of which may be active at any given time. The selection of the second soulmeld and bind is not made until the first time Rapid Meldshaping is used for the day. At 12th level, you are able to use Rapid Meldshaping to change among three different melds and binds, and at 18th level, to change among four. In each case, the additional soulmelds need not be selected in advance: they are chosen the first time in the day that Rapid Meldshaping is used to shape that soulmeld.
    Spoiler: Analysis & Example
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    The intended effect is to give the character access to up to four different soulmelds by 18th level, though only one may be active at any given time.

    For example, at 12th level, you begin with Lammasu Mantle bound to the Arms chakra. Later, you use Rapid Meldshaping to change to Kraken Mantle bound to the Arms chakra. You may freely switch back and forth between these two combinations, paying the action cost each time. Still later, you use Rapid Meldshaping to bind Lammasu Mantle to the Shoulders chakra. You may now freely switch among all three combinations: Lammasu Mantle bound to Arms, Lammasu Mantle bound to Shoulders, or Kraken Mantle bound to Arms. Note that even though the same soulmeld -- Lammasu Mantle -- is used for two of the choices, the change in chakra binds requires one of the available Rapid Meldshaping slots.
    Last edited by Stegyre; 2016-07-24 at 07:24 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by redzimmer View Post
    history's worst MLP cosplay.
    Custom Class

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