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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Nov 2011

    Default [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Hello, everyone!

    I've wanted to take a deeper look at Spheres of Power for a while now, but I just haven't really taken the time. I've also realized lately that I just haven't been making enough characters. So, to kill two birds with one stone, I'm going to try to make one level 10 character for each of the classes in the Spheres of Power document. Sounds easy enough, but there's a catch: I'm going to try to pick a semi-random character concept beforehand and then mold my build into it.

    I've already looked at the Armorist in detail lately, so I'll put it off for a little later.

    I'm going to go with Mageknight for the first class, and I'm going to be trying to build it as a stealthy assassin. At this point, I have never given the class more than a glance.

    I make no promises for when I'll do the others, but I'm going to try to finish the Mageknight tonight (over the next 4 hours or so.

    Edit:

    Mageknight finished! You can see my thoughts (both after the fact and chronologically) in the Google document here and you can see how the build turned out on Myth Weavers here.
    Last edited by Novawurmson; 2015-06-15 at 05:37 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    I am interested in this. It's interesting to see new perspectives on some of the classes.

    Since I run gestalt, I have a bit more freedom for my NPCs, but I have run 2 Warlord//Incanters. One was purely focused on War and Protection buffs, while the other used the Time and Warp Spheres.

    If you're looking for buffs, you want Enhancement, War, and Time for offense, and Protection/War for defense.

    If you are looking for traditional analogues, look at the Hedgewitch. I forget the full list, but I do know they have a tradition for Magus emulation.

    As far as Mageknight, they are the Paladin/Ranger equivalent. You generally want to focus on spells that don't give the enemy a save, because you are a Fighter with magic (Armorist is the same way). Mid casters are your gishes (Elementalist is a monk/kineticist thing, shifter is a shapeshifting warrior), and full casters are your Wizards.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Kelon by nijashe

    Extended Sig

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
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    Jun 2011

    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    I'll take a look at the build later, but your comments mirror the thought process I went through when contemplating the class. I have a build idea I would like to try, going for archery, using enhancement and war to boost damage and burning spell points to make volleys into touch attacks.

    I'll be very interested to see what you come up with when you get to the elementalist. Outside thoughts will be helpful with my handbook.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Nov 2011

    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    If you're looking for buffs, you want Enhancement, War, and Time for offense, and Protection/War for defense.
    I looked through them, but War seemed to be pretty action-heavy (dropping totems) and enhancement didn't seem to have any stacking bonuses. It could be I just wasn't reading them properly. What are a few of the talents you use?

    If you are looking for traditional analogues, look at the Hedgewitch. I forget the full list, but I do know they have a tradition for Magus emulation.
    I really didn't know anything about the class before trying to build a character with it. I just made a crass assumption and rolled with it. Still, if you showed me the words "mageknight" and "hedgewitch" and said "Which of these is a gish?" I'm going to point at "mageknight" 99/100 times.

    As far as Mageknight, they are the Paladin/Ranger equivalent. You generally want to focus on spells that don't give the enemy a save, because you are a Fighter with magic (Armorist is the same way). Mid casters are your gishes (Elementalist is a monk/kineticist thing, shifter is a shapeshifting warrior), and full casters are your Wizards.
    It still feels to me like they're missing their smite evil/favored enemy equivalent - that basic bonus during combat. Even something as simple as X rounds a day, 1d6+1d6/5 levels energy damage on hit with a special passive bonus depending on the type of energy would be better than nothing.

    Something like:
    Fire - Opponents must save or catch on fire.
    Cold - Successful attacks increase your AC.
    Electricity - Increased accuracy.
    Acid - Successful attacks reduce your opponent's AC.
    Sonic - 1d4 instead of 1d6. Bonus damage to objects and constructs.

    Just something to let you know "Hey, you're a magic guy."

    Quote Originally Posted by stack View Post
    I'll take a look at the build later, but your comments mirror the thought process I went through when contemplating the class. I have a build idea I would like to try, going for archery, using enhancement and war to boost damage and burning spell points to make volleys into touch attacks.

    I'll be very interested to see what you come up with when you get to the elementalist. Outside thoughts will be helpful with my handbook.
    I don't have a next class in mind. Care to suggest a random build goal for the elementalist (preferably not completely impossible or completely standard)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
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    Jun 2011

    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Builds that have crossed my mind are:
    Standard blast/BFC
    Above, but with stealth to get surprise rounds
    Combine with conjuration to have a companion with butterfly sting so you can use melee touch delivery to auto-crit.
    Mounted for mobility (also conjuration using)
    Themed 'bender' builds, which seem to be all the rage these days

    The class seems pretty straightforward once you get the BFC/debuff portion, not sure what else you could do.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Quote Originally Posted by stack View Post
    Builds that have crossed my mind are:
    Standard blast/BFC
    Above, but with stealth to get surprise rounds
    Combine with conjuration to have a companion with butterfly sting so you can use melee touch delivery to auto-crit.
    Mounted for mobility (also conjuration using)
    Themed 'bender' builds, which seem to be all the rage these days

    The class seems pretty straightforward once you get the BFC/debuff portion, not sure what else you could do.
    "I'm an elementalist."

    "What element do you control?"

    "Surprise."

    If I hadn't just tried for a sneaky build, that would have been a done deal.

    I probably won't have time to do the build until this weekend, but I think the theme will be a bender, though I'm debating a standard elemental bender, a mind-bender, or Bender (from Futurama).

    "I'll create my own party! With blackguards and hookers*!"

    Build would probably be an android or forgeborn.

    *So named because they use gnome hooked hammers, of course.
    Tier System for Classes | Why Each Class is in its Tier
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Actually, some of the mystic combats are great steroids. For example, spend a spell point for enlarge person. Can be combined with the alteration sphere.

    And buffing is expensive on actions in any system. There's a reason that most buff gish builds are 3.5 and revolve around spamming persisted spells.

    I haven't had too much time to look into combat efficient buffs, since I run gestalt and therefore generally combine incanter with an initiator for my gishes, and further the one buff focused boss had enough warning to drop a solid minute of buffs

    For enhancement, you need to look at where to get bonuses. For example, enhance your weapon and your str score for combat.
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Kelon by nijashe

    Extended Sig

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    I'm not sure how a standard elemental bender would work, honestly, since you would want telekinesis and nature most likely, for which you will be behind on CL. Incanters really do that better, though elementalists are more robust HP and save-wise. Destruction with bending as a fluffy side should work fine though.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Keledrath View Post
    Actually, some of the mystic combats are great steroids. For example, spend a spell point for enlarge person. Can be combined with the alteration sphere.

    And buffing is expensive on actions in any system. There's a reason that most buff gish builds are 3.5 and revolve around spamming persisted spells.

    I haven't had too much time to look into combat efficient buffs, since I run gestalt and therefore generally combine incanter with an initiator for my gishes, and further the one buff focused boss had enough warning to drop a solid minute of buffs

    For enhancement, you need to look at where to get bonuses. For example, enhance your weapon and your str score for combat.
    Also, some of it was the kind of build I was doing (TWF rogue-ish). You could make a pretty amazing charger with large size+pounce (from alteration)+the class level to charge attack mystic combat+rage mystic combat. I really like the combat maneuver mystic combat (synergizes well with rage and large size, too), but by that point I'm wondering why I didn't just go bloodrager if I want a rage-based spellcaster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    I've been playing the concept of the "weatherman" who used to make his money helping out farmers, but graduated to being an air conditioner for the wealthy in the summer time. Eventually plan on making a series of oasis chains in the desert in order to make a trade route, collecting huge tolls in the process.

    I went with encanter 3/hedgewitch 2
    with extra magic talent X3 for first level. Ignoring heat talents, you can get those 4d8 lightning bolts every round at 2nd level. At 3rd level you can start adding in another sphere so that you make it rain weird things, I chose creation, cuz eventually it would be nice to have a character who can rocks fall everyone dies. With the spell crafting feat and overcharge boon you can rain property damage on the kingdom of your choice!

    Or craft it with alteration and charm and make a fog that curses everyone it touches with an extra head that you have already charmed that tries to steer their body. Casting time would be a pain, but the "this way" "no that way" antics in a crowd of opponents would be fun.

    Anyway, the weather sphere is by far my favorite so far.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Up next: The elementalist.

    Random build goal: It's an elementalist, right? Metal is one of the 5 elements in classical Chinese/Japanese culture, so we're going for a metal bender.

    Silly goal: Include a couple references to Bender (i.e. a "metal bender") and/or Futurama.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Knowledge (local) being trained only, and not a class skill for many classes, means that your average human may well not be able to identify other humans! This may explain the exceptional quantity of half-human hybrids.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Novawurmson View Post
    Silly goal: Include a couple references to Bender (i.e. a "metal bender") and/or Futurama.
    Transmute Water to Alcohol
    I mean, he did it.
    Last edited by RoyVG; 2015-06-22 at 08:42 AM.
    Homebrew:
    The inFAMOUS Conduit base class. Wow I actually finished it...
    The Darksiders base class, based on the videogame with the same name.

    I also draw some stuff here, Gamespectre on Deviantart

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Have you also considered toying around with the incanter? I find that there is a surprising amount of depth and creativity that can be gleamed when you pick up a sorcerer bloodline.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    This is a pretty cool thread.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    For an elemental 'bender' build, sphere-specific drawbacks are the way to go. Limiting your creation to stone gets expanded materials, stone only, without an extra talent. Same can be done with telekinesis, nature, and warp. Not always picks I would make for an optimal build, but when wedded to a theme you may as well.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Worth noting on the elementalist: since they have no CHA dependent class features, there is little reason not to dip to change your casting stat to WIS or INT. Incater is my preferred dip choice.
    Last edited by stack; 2015-06-24 at 12:25 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    Any progress on this? Metal is a tricky theme for elementalists. Stone would be easier with the earth warrior archetype from expanded options.
    Last edited by stack; 2015-07-16 at 08:07 AM.

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    Ezekiul's Avatar

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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    I am currently running in a group doing the Wrath of the Righteous adventure path with only classes and abilities in SoP. We are currently level 8 and the party consists of:

    Armorist with war, warp, and life (tank/fighter)
    Incanter with channel energy, divination, life, enhancement, and conjuration (healer/pet fighter)
    Incanter with every feat in extra spellpoints, enhancement, warp, and time (buffer)
    Thaumaturge with destruction (spits out crazy damage with an empowered energy sphere)
    Incanter with mind and divination (me)

    Previous Characters:
    Incanter with weather focus (coolest, silliest, and most fun sphere yet)
    Hedgewitch with light, alteration, and conjuration (mounted combat)
    Incanter with an illusion focus (mechanics got way to conflicting when mythic tiers came in)

    Its been a pretty cool system thus far but if you'd like some insight feel free to ask.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    EldritchWeaver's Avatar

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    Default Re: [PF] Spheres of Power: Learning by Doing

    If you are looking for the Sphere Magus, it is included in the Expanded Options PDF. As is the Warrior of Holy Light archetype, which turns the Mageknight into a Paladin.

    Edit: Also, the Mageknight himself might not profit from the save penalty, but usually people work in teams, so for a player there is still a benefit in using it.

    Elementalists might have Charisma as default, but one level-dips to switch the casting stat are possible. And if your GM is generous: Adam stated that the casting stat has been fixed for those players who prefer the ease of use. So having a houserule which allows always choice is certainly not balance breaking.
    Last edited by EldritchWeaver; 2015-07-17 at 07:04 AM.

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