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

    Default [PF] The Chronomancer

    LINK - The Chronomancer

    Rifts
    Calculations

    Hello, everybody!

    I'm going to be trying to post a ton of homebrew projects I've had gathering dust on my Google Drive forever, just so that someone out there might get enjoyment out of them.

    First up is my take on a Chronomancer class, using DSP's excellent Ultimate Psionics. Time-bending is a fantasy staple - one of my favorite examples being from Terry Pratchett's "Thief of Time":

    'Time and its control is what we should teach here...The martial arts are an aid. That is all they are. At least, that's all they were meant to be. Even out in the world a well-trained person may perceive, in the fray, how flexible time may be. Here, we can build on that. Compress time. Stretch time. Hold the moment. Punching people's kidneys out through their nose is only a foolish by-product.'
    This particular class was written in 2014 (holy cow, three friggin years ago!), when a player of mine wanted to play a chronomancer, but couldn't find a class in PF or 3rd party that really suited his vision. I'm fairly certain it's the first 1-20 class I ever wrote.

    Its capstone is still unfinished (as the character never reached level 20), but a quick glance at the alchemist or cryptics' capstones should give you an idea of what I had planned for it. If I was to become serious about completing it, I'd probably also dive through Seventh Path, as there are some good powers there to throw on its list. I'd also make sure that all or most rifts have a "reversed" version.

    Overall, I think it does a pretty good job of living up to the Chronomancer fantasy, taking advantage of the large number of psionic powers with temporal manipulation themes. I'm particularly proud of the new powers in the doc. The class's ability to deal damage suffers some because I was very hesitant about making it overpowered - maybe drop the restriction on stacking the damage from rifts could fix this?

    Either way, I hope someone else out there can have some fun with it.

    Also, if you're interested in more absurd humor about time travel, I recommend this passage from "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" by Douglas Adams.
    Last edited by Novawurmson; 2017-02-17 at 10:35 PM.
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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
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Caelestion's Avatar

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    Default Re: [PF] The Chronomancer

    That's a few files to look through! Still, I've always liked time-related things.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] The Chronomancer

    With a VERY cursory glance, I like this class a lot. There is a lot of work here! I like the concept of rifts and calculations. One of my favorite aspects is the ability to use / substitute Knowledge (History) in several places. I was expecting some re-roll powers but the only thing I found was the power to roll initiative twice and take the better result. Maybe the Second Chance feat as a bonus feat somewhere? I am not familiar with a ton of existing abilities that do this but perhaps there are enough to make a list from which an option could be selected?

    How did the player fare compared to the other party members in the game for which this was made. You said you were worried about it being overpowered. Did it play as such?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] The Chronomancer

    It's always hard to analyze things spread across multiple documents, but I'll see what I can do.

    This will take me a while to process. I will edit this post as I go.

    Spoiler: CLASS
    Show

    Chassis:
    The class has poor (very low) skills, but it's Intelligence focused.Skills known are knowledge and Int based, even more restricted than the wizard. Notably missing Acrobatics (although you can grab it with a Calculation).
    It has only light armor access and a d8 hit die; highly reminiscent of the rogue defensively, relying on escape to survive. Not a frontliner! However, lacks Acrobatics, making it somewhat more difficult to withdraw from melee.

    Power points/day and powers known: Missing from the table- I had to reread the text to spot that it's as the psychic warrior. Int based manifesting, which helps out with the lack of skills.

    Paradox: Basic power source. Notably, it's described here as a way to suppress the downsides of time manipulation. This holds up well with Rifts, but less well elsewhere. You only have 13 points per day at the height of your career, unless you take the feat for 2 more points- usually, if you have the option, you'll want to avoid spending them, and take the penalties associated with Rifts.

    Temporal Reflexes: + to Reflex saves, buffing up an otherwise poor save. Looks fine.

    Rifts: Your basic attacking option. Deals sub-sneak attack damage. By default, you must attack as a standard action to use one, gaining a benefit on one round, but then reversing the benefit on the next one. Full analysis of rifts to come, but for now, note that the standard action + tempo system heavily incentivizes skirmishing by swinging with a rift one round, then retreating the next, or using ranged attacks.

    2nd level:
    Disjointed Perspective: A neat bonus to a skill you'll be boosting a bunch. Skill check will hit at least +33 by level 20, probably more (Int bonus, skill focus), which is important, because you'll be using it on several class features. In general, assume that the skill check will win. By, like, a lot. You could be hitting +40 with this easily. Buut, it's not actually great at the level you get it. This class feature synergizes with:

    Practiced Aversion: Long story short, pick another skill to always succeed on. Perception is a good option here. Oddly, you can use it on Knowledge skills, which conflicts with the description.

    Calculations: A mix of passive abilities and active ones representing "specialist" options. Equivalent of Rogue talents. The real winner of this level.

    3rd level:
    Precognitive Dodge: 1/day (increasing with level), Knowledge(History) replaces your AC for one attack. Can be life-saving, but takes up your immediate action- you may need your swift action later. Unclear if you make the choice before or after the roll is made- looks like before. More important on a rogue chassis than otherwise.

    Extended Rift: Expend your psionic focus (which, recall, takes at least a move action or more to gain), and a paradox point (4 at this point) to add the effects of a rift to each attack you make this round, ignoring the backlash. It seems that the effect of the rift (but not the damage) stacks with whatever you already had. No action to use, though. You can combine this with Accelerated Rift to combine three effects on one hit! However, it's pretty lackluster at this point, since your full attack is useless at this level. Its presence at this level pushes the class's early game towards archery builds which can make use of multiple attacks at this level with Rapid Shot and the like. The psionic focus requirement makes it a bit more difficult to get out, but you can deal serious burst damage with this.

    4th level: One more Calculation! More Rift damage! 2nd level powers! Good fun.

    5th level: Personal Velocity: You get this spell two levels before you would otherwise select it, and it's on when you need it. Extended Rift is now relevant. Archery is still good.

    6th level: Calculation, new Rift. It's OK. Pick your last 2nd level power.

    7th level: Twin Paradox. Spend a point of paradox as a swift action, get a standard action out. It's a bit confusing- can your copy use rifts? If so, if they use a self-affecting rift like Accuracy, what happens after they disappear? What if you also use Accuracy in the same round? What if you Extended Rift it- does it affect the copy's attacks? Can it... regain your psionic focus for you?
    Also, extra dodge/day.
    Also this level: 3rd level powers! You can toss out your own Physical Acceleration at this point.

    8th level: Calculation, + to Rift damage, NEW ATTACK ON FULL ATTACKS. It's pretty good! Extended Rift -> Accuracy + Physical Acceleration for free + Rapid Shot means you deal a heckuvalotta damage if you need to. Melee attackers can do all of that except for Rapid Shot for almost as much damage.

    9th level: Impending Destiny, new Rift. Impending Destiny is nice, but what's even more nice is that you're getting some of the good Rifts now- Expulsion, Latency, etc.

    10th level: Calculation, and 4th level spells. There are some nice spells to choose from.

    11th level: Very meh. New dodge/day.

    12th level: Pick up another one of the good rifts, deal more damage with them, and new Calculation. Nothing fancy, but a good level. Most of your numbers go up by 1 here.

    13th level: New spell level. Twin Paradox now does 2 at once- more attacks are good, but the cost is pretty high...

    14th level: New calculation, not much else.

    15th level: Precog dodge again. New Rift known! Extra attack on full attack!!!

    16th level: Final spell level. Calculation. Rifts damage goes up again.

    17th level: 1HKO! When it works, anyway.

    18th level: Calculation, Rift. At this point, unless I'm going for the Age Resistance chain, there's not much to offer here, I don't think? Need to look over Calculations again.

    19th level: 3rd twin paradox, another precog dodge. The first won't see much use, the second one might- twin paradox eats through your paradox points like crazy.

    20th level: More calculations. You do get time regression, which is one of my favorite powers.


    Todo:
    Calculations
    Rifts

    Verdict so far:
    It is, almost without meaning to do so, almost perfect for an archery build, both for the opportunity to deal precision damage consistently with attacks (which rogues have trouble with), the ability to gain extra attacks per round from "teammates", easy and automatic access to haste, the ability to dodge attacks when needed with Precognitive dodge, and so on. Calculations might change my mind about this, though.

    Rift mechanics are interesting and unique! Like them a lot.
    Class features are not as great. Time theme is present, but doesn't feel central to the class.

    I will continue editing this post as I go.

    Spoiler: Obligitory bookmark dig for time-related stuff
    Show

    Leaving off notes due to lateness
    Time-travel RPG- maybe crib their notes on recording the future and frag-as-paradox
    Time-related combatant. Loads of time-focused powers. Notable features involve stopping time- not as unbalanced as you might think.
    Literal time travel. Paradoxes built into the class. Maybe too punishing...
    There was one class which I have lost the location of. Notable features involved synching yourself with an ally, shifting your intiative towards each other each turn. Then... something? Messing with initiative feels appropriate, though.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: [PF] The Chronomancer

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaskus View Post
    I was expecting some re-roll powers but the only thing I found was the power to roll initiative twice and take the better result. Maybe the Second Chance feat as a bonus feat somewhere? I am not familiar with a ton of existing abilities that do this but perhaps there are enough to make a list from which an option could be selected?
    Interesting. There is the Quick Revision calculation, which is a super-reroll for skill checks, but rerolls would definitely fit the theme. I almost think that would be a cool baseline ability for Paradox - i.e. as an immediate action, you can reroll an attack roll, then either automatically progressing to saves and skill checks or opening up the option through calculations.

    Edit: Forgot to mention, I like Second Chance idea. I'll throw it in at a lackluster level. Edit of the Edit: It's just a calculation for now. Still mulling over where it would be thrown in - the early levels are kind of stuffed.

    How did the player fare compared to the other party members in the game for which this was made. You said you were worried about it being overpowered. Did it play as such?
    I looked up his character sheet, and I had forgotten - he played a debuffing alchemist/chronomancer using the Time Bomber feat included in the document! No, he definitely was not overpowered - I was worried about the class before playtesting it; after, I more lean towards buffing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by aimlessPolymath View Post
    It's always hard to analyze things spread across multiple documents, but I'll see what I can do.
    Put it all in one document, with internal links. For anyone who likes external links, the ones on the GitP page still work.

    Notably missing Acrobatics (although you can grab it with a Calculation).
    I told myself I wouldn't make any more changes to the class, - just post it and let it be done, but your analysis of the class is making me break that promise. Looking at that calculation...it's awful. The class really just needs to have Acrobatics and Escape Artist as class skills. Replaced it with a completely new, mildly OP calculation.

    Power points/day and powers known: Missing from the table- I had to reread the text to spot that it's as the psychic warrior.
    Copy-pasta'd the table from the SRD.

    3rd level:
    Precognitive Dodge: 1/day (increasing with level), Knowledge(History) replaces your AC for one attack. Can be life-saving, but takes up your immediate action- you may need your swift action later. Unclear if you make the choice before or after the roll is made- looks like before. More important on a rogue chassis than otherwise.
    Reworded it to be explicitly after a successful attack against you. It has a low number of per-day uses, so it should feel powerful.

    Extended Rift: Expend your psionic focus (which, recall, takes at least a move action or more to gain), and a paradox point (4 at this point) to add the effects of a rift to each attack you make this round, ignoring the backlash. It seems that the effect of the rift (but not the damage) stacks with whatever you already had. No action to use, though. You can combine this with Accelerated Rift to combine three effects on one hit! However, it's pretty lackluster at this point, since your full attack is useless at this level. Its presence at this level pushes the class's early game towards archery builds which can make use of multiple attacks at this level with Rapid Shot and the like. The psionic focus requirement makes it a bit more difficult to get out, but you can deal serious burst damage with this.
    Threw in the following clause: "At 6th level, a chronomancer can instead pay two points of paradox when activating extended rift to cause it to last for a number of rounds equal to half her chronomancer level."

    7th level: Twin Paradox. Spend a point of paradox as a swift action, get a standard action out. It's a bit confusing- can your copy use rifts?
    Rifts are a standard action, so yes.

    If so, if they use a self-affecting rift like Accuracy, what happens after they disappear?
    You are one person throughout the affect, just in multiple places. If either part of you takes damage, you take the damage. If any part of you is poisoned, you're poisoned in all places. The only exception would be position-dependant effects: You might be flanking a creature in one location but not the other; or you might be grappled, tripped, or in difficult terrain in one location, but not the other. All rifts that any "you" uses persist when the others leave, because "you" did all of them.

    What if you also use Accuracy in the same round?
    It's an insight bonus, which doesn't stack with itself, so no additional effect.

    What if you Extended Rift it- does it affect the copy's attacks? Can it... regain your psionic focus for you?
    Yes and...yes. That's an interesting but expensive use for it. I specifically noted that it shares your psionic focus in the doc.

    18th level: Calculation, Rift. At this point, unless I'm going for the Age Resistance chain, there's not much to offer here, I don't think? Need to look over Calculations again.
    Buffed a couple calculations to open up more options. Notably, Combat Calculation/Psionic Calculation can now be gained one additional time each at 6/12/18; pretty much every build should have uses for 4 combat feats and 4 psionic feats at level 18.

    Verdict so far:
    It is, almost without meaning to do so, almost perfect for an archery build, both for the opportunity to deal precision damage consistently with attacks (which rogues have trouble with), the ability to gain extra attacks per round from "teammates", easy and automatic access to haste, the ability to dodge attacks when needed with Precognitive dodge, and so on. Calculations might change my mind about this, though.
    Well, times flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. It was definitely meant to be more melee-strike-fighty, but I think it'd need something more to do that well - probably initiating, if I'm being honest. The new possibly OP Fluid Movement would help, at the very least.
    Last edited by Novawurmson; 2017-02-19 at 06:38 AM.
    Tier System for Classes | Why Each Class is in its Tier
    PF Optimization Guides Compendium | Extended Signature (Optimization/Conversion/Homebrew)


    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.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] The Chronomancer

    Alright, replies and going to take a shot at analyzing calculations- I'll try to get through at least half of them.

    Threw in the following clause: "At 6th level, a chronomancer can instead pay two points of paradox when activating extended rift to cause it to last for a number of rounds equal to half her chronomancer level."
    That's OK (and possibly unbalancing due to the ability to toss it off at the start of the encounter and get its benefits on every single attack- especially the backlash-negation, which is very troubling.), my concern was that the class feature is meaningless at 3rd level unless you build for it, which heavily influences what people are going to try for early-game builds. It's what made me think of an archery focus, because that's what the class feature needs(Rapid Shot or something similar granting more attacks) to be significant at level 3. TWF is also an option, I suppose, but that also runs into problems... Ranged attacks are generally a better option because you can spread your backlash-negated rift effects over a wide range of targets.

    It's possible that access to it so early is disruptive to the system of timing benefit-backlash from rifts that feels so important to the class.

    Calculations(A-P):
    Spoiler
    Show

    Accelerated Rift: Looks OK. Possibly some broken combos you could enable with it, but you could get them anyway with Extended Rift.

    Advanced Defense Rift: Looking it up- sure. AC bonus/penalty of 3(starting at L4) to 7 is pretty big! This generally means that an iterative attack will hit when it didn't before, or miss when it didn't before, depending. At high levels, won't affect primary attacks that much. Missing: The option to end the defense rift timing early or set the duration lower so you time all your backlash on the same round.

    Advanced Expulsion Rift: Powerful crowd control option by letting you set up combos, or temporarily remove mooks from the battle. I like it! See Advanced Defense Rift for missing option.

    Advanced Life Rift: These are a bit more specialized, and I wouldn't be as happy about taking them. Life rift is useful if you really really need to live one more round, and this extends the duration of survival a bit? Reversed Life is pretty specialized as it is. They are both OK rifts if you take this, and pretty bad/specialized if you don't. See Advanced Defense Rift for missing option.

    Advanced Warp Rift: Breaking the pattern! Interesting asymmetric movement effects. Somewhat surprised that the backlash from them are the same - I suspect that abuse of their backlash would be interesting if they were reverses of each other.

    Age Plants: Useful if you want to use entangle via plant growth, situational otherwise, but that's OK. Chronomancer level prereq is odd, strangely. It could be 8 and it would be nearly equivalent. I guess you can take it as a feat a level early?

    Combat Calculation: Bonus feat! That's big, since TWF and archery can be feat-heavy.

    Delay the Inevitable: Primary use is delaying disabling effects for one round to confirm kills, looks good. Can you use this on backlash?

    Disrupt and Disorient: Holy geez this is a nasty combo. Since they're confused, they are locked into attacking you, but since they can't, they spend the round babbling. Hidden requirement for level 10 (9 if you take it as a feat), though, so it's probably OK.

    Fluid Movement: Fantastic for melee combatants. Fantastic! Missing from hustle generally (known abuse): Wording that you can't regain your psionic focus with it, which has abuse with Extended Rift. When you use hustle as a free action and also time-clone yourself, note that by RAW you can't combine their standard action and their move action into a full-round action, technically (action-combining is not built into the rules). This may be confusing- maybe add a note explicitly saying that. Love it overall- meleeists will be very happy to have this.

    Incredible Acceleration: The attack pile keeps getting higher. Powerful in combination with Adv. Defense Rift (reversed).

    Personal Destiny: Handy reroll- the only one other than for initiative which I've seen. Important on crucial rolls, but Precog powers cover a lot for you.

    Precog Will (not its real name): Roll Know(History) for + to Will. Medium value- while you have Good will, Wisdom is a low-value stat for you.
    Precog Ref (not its real name): Roll Know(History) for + to Ref. Low value, since you'll be pumping Int (adds to Reflex saves, key manifesting stat) and Dex(TWF or archery, either way) anyway.
    Precog Fortl (not its real name): Roll Know(History) for + to Fort. High value- Con is a secondary stat, Fortitude is a poor save, so every + you can grab is important.
    On the flip side of that, this expends a use of Precog Dodge to use. Compared to equivalent value as a feat, this is a +4 bonus at maximum, a limited number of times per day. Great Fortitude is always-on, and gives +3. Bump up the bonus a few points.

    Psionic Calculation: Noice. More feats! Nice to pick things up later on.


    Spoiler: Q-Z
    Show

    Quick Revision: 1/round and 1/day uses partially redundant, move wording about once per round to the end where it makes sense. Odd "take-back" skill reroll-but-not-really. Fits with the class.

    Rapid Acceleration: Good to have, if partially redundant with the free-action ability to manifest. Available at level 8 normally, 7 as a feat.

    Recalculate Position: ~25-30 ft teleport at the level you get it, up to 50. Somewhat redundant, since it requires both fold space and hustle, since their combination is basically "1 or 3 pp for hustle -> 13 pp for move action Fold Space".

    Recover Resource: 1/day ability which also expends paradox. Useful, but not overpowering.

    Restore Object: Highly situational ability. Could be useful to delay a level of power acquisition by taking psionic repair. then the talent.

    Remembered Strike: Hit 1/day. Good, but given the multiple-attack-focused nature of the class, not great.

    Revisionist Expert: ten outta ten would take 4 times (except for Second Chance). 1/day for each save isn't great, but it's still pretty useful, even for your good saves.

    Share Acceleration: Good to have for the party. Does it work with your 5th level class feature?

    Temponaut: Eh- it's OK. Around as good as Expanded Knowledge?

    Temporal Recon: Handy spell-like ability, but 1/day is irritating. Reduce the casting time to compensate?

    Temporal Repair: Lackluster- fast healing is nice, but you shouldn't be getting hit at all (amount isn't good at all in combat), and it heals less than a level-appropriate cure spell. Could get into some silly shenanigans using Reversed Life with a poke to increase the healing, I guess.
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2017-02-19 at 03:00 PM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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