A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Go back and add 10-12 soulmelds with bind effects to each splat book. That’s only 100-250 more things that an Incarnum user can do, but it should tier-one the Incarnum users.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    As is just more melds will not do it. Options are good but they need to be good options, and powerful. Melds as is are NOT good enough. Versatility is nice but you need good options. True namers have tons of options, but few reliable good options.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    You'd also want to give them free Split Chakra feats for each slot - forcing meldshapers to choose between the bind and items is a big choice, and one that spellcasters don't have to care about.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    How many distinct level-appropriate effects do you actually need to have? How many effects need to "tier up" in a way appropriate to Binds, as opposed to being perfectly well handled by purely numeric scaling from Meldshaper Level, Essentia investment, or a combination of the two?
    However many you can convince everyone else it takes. That's the thing about the tiers. There's not an objective definition where you can run some kind of test. This thing we're doing where we argue with each other is the only mechanism the system provides for arriving at conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    You need spells or spell equivalents in line with 9th level spells to Ccrack Into that territory. Call them powers, invocations, whatever, but their effects need to be in line at the top with 9th level spells and decent at lower levels as well.
    I think that's backwards. 9th level spells are the least important part of a T1 character, because those are the levels you play at the least. If you imagine, for example, a character that got 1st through 8th level spells early, but never got 9ths, that character would be (assuming rough parity of spell lists and casting) better than a Wizard for the overwhelming majority of the game. The key to making the Incarnate something people care about is what it does at 3rd level, or 8th level, or 12th level, not 17th level.

    That means no unshaping a veil for an effect
    I don't think a blanket statement like that makes sense. I would certainly prefer the mechanical simplicity and thematic cohesiveness that comes with running everything off essentia to as large a degree as possible, but the Incarnate gets more soulmelds than they can fill by a long shot. That offers you a good deal of room to pop a soulmeld to get a big effect without crippling yourself for the rest of the day, and if the effect you get is big enough, crippling yourself for the rest of the day is okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Go back and add 10-12 soulmelds with bind effects to each splat book. That’s only 100-250 more things that an Incarnum user can do, but it should tier-one the Incarnum users.
    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    As is just more melds will not do it. Options are good but they need to be good options, and powerful. Melds as is are NOT good enough. Versatility is nice but you need good options. True namers have tons of options, but few reliable good options.
    Look at the existing soulmelds. How many of them are on par with what a Wizard or even a Dread Necromancer can do? People focus a lot on raw options, because it happens that the classes with the most raw options are also the most powerful ones. But the power of those classes has far, far more to do with the power of their options than the number of them. The Dread Necromancer doesn't even have a dozen options for 3rd level spells, and it's still T2. The Incarnate has somewhere between dozens and hundreds of configurations available at that level (depending how you count things), and is solidly T4. You could write a thousand soulmelds, and if they were on the level of the ones that already exist, it would barely move the needle. Conversely, simply replacing the ones that already exist with ones at an appropriate power level would elevate the Incarnate to whatever level you wanted it to be at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    You'd also want to give them free Split Chakra feats for each slot - forcing meldshapers to choose between the bind and items is a big choice, and one that spellcasters don't have to care about.
    Well, no, what you want to do is not use a system that layers three different things on top of each other. As you note, making one class trade off with magic items (but not others) has a big impact on that class. The solution is not to hack around that, it's to not do that. Incarnum should either explicitly and entirely replace magic items, or it should interact with them freely, just as Invocations, Spells, and Maneuvers do. You don't need the magic item stuff, the essentia pool, and the chakra slots. Pick the thing you think makes for the most interesting class, and stick with that. Personally, I'd go with the essentia pool, because I think that's the most unique thing about the system.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post


    Look at the existing soulmelds. How many of them are on par with what a Wizard or even a Dread Necromancer can do? People focus a lot on raw options, because it happens that the classes with the most raw options are also the most powerful ones. But the power of those classes has far, far more to do with the power of their options than the number of them. The Dread Necromancer doesn't even have a dozen options for 3rd level spells, and it's still T2. The Incarnate has somewhere between dozens and hundreds of configurations available at that level (depending how you count things), and is solidly T4. You could write a thousand soulmelds, and if they were on the level of the ones that already exist, it would barely move the needle. Conversely, simply replacing the ones that already exist with ones at an appropriate power level would elevate the Incarnate to whatever level you wanted it to be at.
    Yeah, but serpent kingdoms 10 soulmelds would be tier 1. Savage species would have gamebreaky wordage. Phb2s spulmelds would be interesting but weak. ToBs soulmelds would be solid tier 2, and probably had a feat that bumped it.

    I think my suggestion was accounting for splat power creep.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Yeah, but serpent kingdoms 10 soulmelds would be tier 1. Savage species would have gamebreaky wordage. Phb2s spulmelds would be interesting but weak. ToBs soulmelds would be solid tier 2, and probably had a feat that bumped it.
    Would they? Think about something that shows up in every splat: feats. Did the vast prevalence of feats result in a meaningful number of overpowered ones? Not really. Most of the powerful feats are powerful because of their interaction with spellcasting, and even they aren't really better than the most busted options available to spellcasters.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    Pretty sure only stp erudite is t1, psion I thought was t2. Regardless it's works out to a similar thing. You need spells or spell equivalents in line with 9th level spells to Ccrack Into that territory. Call them powers, invocations, whatever, but their effects need to be in line at the top with 9th level spells and decent at lower levels as well.

    And augmentable/scaling teleport based on essentia that functions at the same level effacy or very close to it as wizard teleports at the same level is good. 1x/week locking Y essentia out for a day is not. Also not worth if you cannot access the basic teleport effect until 17th level, or gate at a similar level that only functions as better plane shift for your party traveling.
    Well, the "bars" for the current Chakra Binds seems to be 5th, 9th, 14th, and 17th, so you'd align at about 3rd, 5th, ~7th, and 9th level spells. The level 14 Greater Chakras are an interesting bit as they're placed such that you aren't out of line sticking 6th or 7th level spell effects on them, since it's only one level either way. Sucks for the sessions you're level 13 and the full caster has their 6ths, but it flips for the level 14 sessions, and it's not like all too many 6th level utilities can't fit as 5th levels with secondary costs and inconveniences or just be down-leveled because they're weird niches or fit Incarnum really well.

    Granted, there's also switching the Chakra Binds to one unlocked per two levels flat with the Incarnate/Totemist difference being reinforced by different orders despite their maintained bundling, so you fundamentally can't work around some of the prioritization. Probably switching the first two of each "tier" on Incarnate/Totemist, then Soulborn leans on shuffling Open Chakra feats for a weird "chunky" progression? Maybe boost Soulborn progression to mirror Duskblade on the class table, so they can reserve the feats for the Big tools.

    Take 10 or 20 awesome spell effects line as above with teleport, rename them, scale them so they do the same/very similar thing at the same level as a wizard can with increased binds/essentia and remove any limitations to them beyond that and you can be tier 1. That means no unshaping a veil for an effect, no locking essentia for a day (unless you rework the entire amount of each class has so you can substitute essentia for spell levels or some such), no limitations on use beyond maybe 3x a day for your highest level effect, nothing on lower stuff, and you do it.

    It does break down to spells, but different, as well as modal, but that's the bar you need to reach.
    *scrubbed* I'm not wanting to get rid of the existing Incarnum paradigm. 20 levels of spells on top of Totemist's existing combat patterns, on top of making the existing paradigm much more closely compete with Invocation utilities, on top of each Chakra Bind being able to be an effect appropriate to the level of the Bind independently of Essentia, is a very different matter from just exchanging Essentia for spells on a per-level basis.

    At the extreme of the way I've been looking to go about it, the current Totemist table could constitute 53 levels of spells, between Unbinding Heart as 9th level, the two Greaters as 7th level, and two Lesser as 5th level, atop the 20 levels from Essentia. Not counting another 4 Unshape effects that don't cost Essentia, not counting what "always-on" Shape effects displace.

    Quote Originally Posted by Efrate View Post
    As is just more melds will not do it. Options are good but they need to be good options, and powerful. Melds as is are NOT good enough. Versatility is nice but you need good options. True namers have tons of options, but few reliable good options.
    This is very bluntly the point I have been hammering. Just "good" options within the confines of similar usage paradigms, so the things that only full-caster slots do have to stick to daily limits. But then there's the existing Soulmelds, ToB stuff, Truenaming, some bits of Shadowcasting IIRC, large chunks of Vestiges, and most Invocations all fitting in the "broadly at-will" space of effects that don't burn daily resources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    You'd also want to give them free Split Chakra feats for each slot - forcing meldshapers to choose between the bind and items is a big choice, and one that spellcasters don't have to care about.
    Since the concept is "rewrite Incarnum as t1" inside the bounds of its core Essentia/Soulmelds/Chakra Bind functionality, it's entirely possible to just... make the feat better. Like merging it with Double Chakra and/or make it scale with level, Essentia, or Constitution as to how many slots you can double up on. Also a Wilding Clasp counterpart, perhaps tied into "grading" Incarnum Lenses by such utility values instead of grading them as increasingly large amounts of Essentia bonus. Some class features when you actually get enough to care, differing in details by class.

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    However many you can convince everyone else it takes. That's the thing about the tiers. There's not an objective definition where you can run some kind of test. This thing we're doing where we argue with each other is the only mechanism the system provides for arriving at conclusions.
    So are you expecting me to fill half the thread with explicit questions? Because this statement makes zero sense in the context of trying to arrive at any kind of answer, because you're giving zero information of where you draw it, only waxing poetic about the complexity of the task. Going back over your posts in the thread, you seem to have not a single time given any statement on where you set the bar for anything, just saying "no, that's not it" or "no, that doesn't make sense" in various ways.

    Beyond suggesting throwing out two thirds of the mechanic space... because you're bothered by item replacement "being a half-measure" where specific effects take up specific slots just like items being mixed with a points-pool limiting overall bonus just like items? I can understand thinking of Shape effects as superfluous, but they serve the role of making it so the effects you have before you have items to trade off for remain so. This makes it so you have very low level effects and the tertiary effects are never tied to inappropiately-situational item substitutes.
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2021-08-28 at 05:04 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Well, the "bars" for the current Chakra Binds seems to be 5th, 9th, 14th, and 17th, so you'd align at about 3rd, 5th, ~7th, and 9th level spells. The level 14 Greater Chakras are an interesting bit as they're placed such that you aren't out of line sticking 6th or 7th level spell effects on them, since it's only one level either way. Sucks for the sessions you're level 13 and the full caster has their 6ths, but it flips for the level 14 sessions, and it's not like all too many 6th level utilities can't fit as 5th levels with secondary costs and inconveniences or just be down-leveled because they're weird niches or fit Incarnum really well.
    You are thinking about this in terms that are way too closely tied to specifics of the mechanical progressions of T1 classes. Look at T3. The Binder, the Crusader, the Warlock, and the Duskblade are all T3 classes, and none of them even have the same number of levels of powers, let alone getting them all at the same level.

    Just "good" options within the confines of similar usage paradigms, so the things that only full-caster slots do have to stick to daily limits.
    No they don't. There's plenty of caster-exclusive stuff (for some value of "caster-exclusive") that would be perfectly fine to hand out on an at-will schedule. Make things daily if making them usable more often causes problems, not simply because there aren't at-will options in printed content.

    So are you expecting me to fill half the thread with explicit questions?
    Yes. Before you can solve a problem, you need clearly-defined success criteria. "Tier One" means different things to different people. Make your thinking explicit so that people who do not have the exact same understanding of the terms you are using as you do can tell whether your proposals are having the effect you want or not.

    Beyond suggesting throwing out two thirds of the mechanic space... because you're bothered by item replacement "being a half-measure" where specific effects take up specific slots just like items being mixed with a points-pool limiting overall bonus just like items?
    Complexity is not the same thing as mechanical space. The mechanical space of soulmelds is whatever you write soulmelds to do. Adding additional accounting that encourages players to buy weird combo items doesn't make the class more interesting, it makes the game more complicated. The Crusader is an interesting class because random ability availability causes you to consider tactical options you otherwise wouldn't, increasing variety. Preparing suites of related abilities rather than individual options (as the Binder does) is also an interesting mechanic, but simply stapling the two together doesn't make for a class that's twice as interesting as it's components, it makes for something that is confusing and unfocused. As the saying goes, a design is perfect not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    How many distinct level-appropriate effects do you actually need to have? How many effects need to "tier up" in a way appropriate to Binds, as opposed to being perfectly well handled by purely numeric scaling from Meldshaper Level, Essentia investment, or a combination of the two?
    I am actually not sure what you mean. My idea of tying level appropriate effects to essentia invested doesn't exclude the other options and is simpler for me to implement. I can look at already made melds and look for ways to crank there power level up. Every meld can have how ever many 'levels' as opposed to binds that are more limited in scaling level. It also doesn't exclude binds as additional scaling point. So you would be able to get a new level of abilities at essentia cap increases and when you get new binds

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    Cr



    Yes. Before you can solve a problem, you need clearly-defined success criteria. "Tier One" means different things to different people. Make your thinking explicit so that people who do not have the exact same understanding of the terms you are using as you do can tell whether your proposals are having the effect you want or not.


    .
    Tier 1 to me is 1 mostly replacing another character like animal companions, Zombies or divine power replacing martial melee. 2 things that are punching way above your weight, like epic creatures being shut down by 1st level spells. 3 things that make a dms job 'hard' ie speak with dead
    Last edited by Lans; 2021-08-27 at 12:28 AM.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    I am actually not sure what you mean. My idea of tying level appropriate effects to essentia invested doesn't exclude the other options and is simpler for me to implement. I can look at already made melds and look for ways to crank there power level up. Every meld can have how ever many 'levels' as opposed to binds that are more limited in scaling level. It also doesn't exclude binds as additional scaling point. So you would be able to get a new level of abilities at essentia cap increases and when you get new binds



    Tier 1 to me is 1 mostly replacing another character like animal companions, Zombies or divine power replacing martial melee. 2 things that are punching way above your weight, like epic creatures being shut down by 1st level spells. 3 things that make a dms job 'hard' ie speak with dead
    Tier 1 is about having all of those on demand and tier 2 is about picking a few of them.
    And also the ability to say "I do not like this campaign now I am going to play sim city in dnd without needing villagers to exist prior to me creating the city" and all the other plot derailing tools (like door to great evil is a cool plot derailing spell paladins gets but sadly they get it too late).
    Last edited by noob; 2021-08-27 at 03:09 PM.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Letting planar chausable Summon monster, and giving it planar ally lesser to greater at roughy level appropriate binds

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Letting planar chausable Summon monster, and giving it planar ally lesser to greater at roughy level appropriate binds
    Might be enough to bump it up to T2 - Zceryll is the entire reason that Binders are T2, iirc, and it gives summon monster I-IX every 5 rounds.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Might be enough to bump it up to T2 - Zceryll is the entire reason that Binders are T2, iirc, and it gives summon monster I-IX every 5 rounds.
    Zceryll is the entire reason Binders are T2 mostly because it single-handedly gives you resistance to 2 types of destructive energy, scaling SR, outsider type, automatic True Strike 1/day, -1 to opponents attack rolls....... Summon Monster I-IX is just an added bonus. And a very strong one, but I don't think it's the reason Zceryll is that broken compared to other vestiges. (Also, you get mindsight and a mental attack that dazes for 1d3 rds, which would be enough to make a 3rd or 4th level vestige pretty good, but here are just icing on the cake).


    I agree with most people here: you don't have to change the incarnum system, just make binds more powerful. You can't really change the base effects without giving access at low level to powerful abilities, but binds are very limited and high level, they should be stronger. As it is, binding a soulmeld is interesting, but the new abilities are just on par with melding another soulmeld, most of the time. Even for Soul binds (Flight 30ft, seriously?). And maybe give more binds to soulmelds, so that you can use a soulmeld differently throughout your career without changing your playstyle too much.

    In the case of Planar Chausuble, that would be : No difference on the base effect, Bind(Crown): You can SM I 1/day per essentia invested, Bind(Shoulders): You can lesser Planar Ally at-will (no more than 1 ally at a time)+1 HD per essentia invested, Bind(Soul): You can Gate 1/day.

    For the Enigma Helm, you'd have Bind(Brow): If you succeed on a saving throw against a targeted Enchantment, you can make it so that the caster is affected instead of you (the variables like the caster level are the original, but you choose the specifics like the specific wording of a Suggestion), Bind(Heart): You gain permanent Mind Blank

    For Claws of the Wyrm, you'd have Bind Hands: You double your threat range on your claws and gain +4 to confirm criticals, Bind Arm: Your claw gain one size category per essentia invested and you gain Rend with them; Bind(Totem): the enhancement bonus of the soulmeld is applied to all your natural weapons instead of just your claws.

    You can do that with every soulmeld, and there will be some T2 or T1 incarnum
    Trying to resurrect the Negative LA thread, any comment and discussion are very welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Part of the reason incarnum and other at-will sources of power are weaker than spellcasting is two-fold: small selection of weaker options and if given something powerful then they are given extreme drawbacks. Take blink shirt for example, a totemist that has bound it to their totem chakra can as a move action dimension door 10 ft +10ft per essentia. Sounds awesome right? The problem is the caveat that after you use the ability you can perform no other action until your next turn and it's only usable on yourself. While move action dimension door is strong, you are giving up so many other abilities for the day to receive it. Also, when you are spraying acid of a power level of a 1st level spell, but needed 20 levels to get there, that is a little too far on the "keeping power in check" scale. Spellcasters can get reserve feats stronger than the core abilities that incarnum users get.

    Honestly, incarnum seems more apt as something you would use to boost the abilities of non-incarnum classes, but that is simply speculation based on observation rather than quantitative fact. Personally, it feels like an attempt to increase the power level of a concept like soulknife by separating it from the class table. This allows them to add additional abilities without being governed by an existing ruleset.

    Based on this, I would probably do two things as a foundational jump off point: the power of a soulmeld is tied to meldshaper level, not essentia invested, and greatly expand the occupational slot selection that soulmelds can individually be bound to. From there I would increase the number of binds to a single chakra or just the occupied slot as another form of class progression. Using the swift action essentia reinvestment as a base, I think using essentia as a form of augmentation similar to psionic augmentation (using the blink shirt example above, essentia increases the number of targets that can travel with you or the behir gorget throat bind doing 1d6 damage per 2 meldshaper levels with a range of 5 ft per 4 levels while essentia would allow the line attack to do 1d6 additional damage for the essentia invested.)

    Some things that I would also change in the abilities themselves is that I would create some swift/immediate action abilities to temper the current free form nature of essentia reinvestment without taking it away.

    But, if we just wanted to increase the power level of meldshaping in the current system, identify the spell effects that meldshaping is missing and then add them into existing or new melds. Obviously, those melds would be no-brainers because the power level would be through the roof when compared to the effective power level of everything else.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    the problem is the caveat that after you use the ability you can perform no other action until your next turn
    That is already a limitation of the dimension door spell.
    However dimension door can also teleport allies with you.
    Last edited by noob; 2021-09-16 at 05:25 PM.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Has anyone mentioned Akashic Mysteries from 3rd Pathfinder DSP as a comparison point, and then all the new veils that other 3rd party books who are not DSP added to that system?

    I still do not think they are T1, but there are interesting things like a doppelgänger veil where it acts as another veil you can shape but with 1 less essence each time you swap abilities, and it stacks, and so on.
    Last edited by Ramza00; 2021-09-16 at 06:59 PM.
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    That is already a limitation of the dimension door spell.
    However dimension door can also teleport allies with you.
    Holy, I've been hoodwinked I say. Thanks for pointing that out.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Might be enough to bump it up to T2 - Zceryll is the entire reason that Binders are T2, iirc, and it gives summon monster I-IX every 5 rounds.
    Incarnum doesn't do the 5 round cool down. I am thinking making it either at will with a duration equal to essentia or maybe essentia divided by 2. Otherwise maybe making it like soulspark famiar where you just get one

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    Has anyone mentioned Akashic Mysteries from 3rd Pathfinder DSP as a comparison point, and then all the new veils that other 3rd party books who are not DSP added to that system?

    I still do not think they are T1, but there are interesting things like a doppelgänger veil where it acts as another veil you can shape but with 1 less essence each time you swap abilities, and it stacks, and so on.
    This.

    Vizier is probably low Tier 2 by itself. And better at some things than most T1s. A T1 incarnate would look like a Vizier with a slightly faster veil progression and access to Guru veils and Rajah titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lans View Post
    Tier 1 to me is 1 mostly replacing another character like animal companions, Zombies or divine power replacing martial melee. 2 things that are punching way above your weight, like epic creatures being shut down by 1st level spells. 3 things that make a dms job 'hard' ie speak with dead
    Vizier gets an advanced Wight slave. Vizier+ could set up veils to melee effectively. But like other high tiers is better off locking down battlefield then doing massive damage with blasting options. Sure, it’s a D6 half bab class, but it can easily give itself DR and a bunch of temporary HP and make touch attacks or replace BAB with veil weaver level. Guru and Rajah veils would make this even easier.

    Vizier Stare of the Ghaele is a high DC gaze attack that triggers until an enemy fails a save and staggers every failure for D6+1 rounds. This effect is like an at will quickened Slow. Given that it is the only powerful bind in slot (kind of like being the only good spell of its level) its a no-brainer that this effect is virtually always on. Followed up with massive handfuls of force damage dice, viziers can absolutely punch above weight class.

    Viziers don’t exactly have a lot of utility effects. What they have is an ability that lets them craft items without prerequisites and another ability that lets them auto UMD with phantom charges. The result is a warlock/artificer like access to any spell effect if they ever found or chose to make a wand/staff of that thing.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2021-09-17 at 08:22 AM.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    There is a lot of utility for vizier once you look at city of 7 seraphs veils. Path of the crafter is easily tier 2 pushing 1 maybe. Not sure on the other paths.

    They also blast better than pretty much anyone if you choose to go that route, with the weaponlike veils taking full advantage of feats like deadly aim and the like and scaling in a way that makes a lot of sense and is better than most other options. Access to ibis for +4 int is also nice, but dsp races are generally a step above most.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Zceryll is the entire reason Binders are T2 mostly because it single-handedly gives you resistance to 2 types of destructive energy, scaling SR, outsider type, automatic True Strike 1/day, -1 to opponents attack rolls....... Summon Monster I-IX is just an added bonus. And a very strong one, but I don't think it's the reason Zceryll is that broken compared to other vestiges. (Also, you get mindsight and a mental attack that dazes for 1d3 rds, which would be enough to make a 3rd or 4th level vestige pretty good, but here are just icing on the cake).
    No, it's definitely the Summon Monster ability that does it. The icing is the everything else, which is saying something given that Mindsight, Telepathy, a Daze attack, and a suite of defense abilities are indeed pretty nice and could carry a vestige on their own.

    Spammable minions on their own would be a nice ability, giving you the ability to safely scout, trigger traps, cause havoc, etc. Spammable combat-capable minions is a really strong ability (especially as every single one of those minions gets a free true strike). But the real power of Summon Monster is in the versatility it gives you. Plenty of monsters on the list have spell-like abilities or unique capabilities that massively expand your range of capabilities, and you can spam the heck out of them. Want to go to the ethereal plane? Get infinite healing? Create tons of food? Translate any spoken language? Fly? Dig a massive pit? Summon Monster has all that and way more covered by the level you can bind Zceryll.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmberVael View Post
    No, it's definitely the Summon Monster ability that does it. The icing is the everything else, which is saying something given that Mindsight, Telepathy, a Daze attack, and a suite of defense abilities are indeed pretty nice and could carry a vestige on their own.

    Spammable minions on their own would be a nice ability, giving you the ability to safely scout, trigger traps, cause havoc, etc. Spammable combat-capable minions is a really strong ability (especially as every single one of those minions gets a free true strike). But the real power of Summon Monster is in the versatility it gives you. Plenty of monsters on the list have spell-like abilities or unique capabilities that massively expand your range of capabilities, and you can spam the heck out of them. Want to go to the ethereal plane? Get infinite healing? Create tons of food? Translate any spoken language? Fly? Dig a massive pit? Summon Monster has all that and way more covered by the level you can bind Zceryll.
    Just... yeah, what she said. Amber's far more eloquent than I am. Getting free minions (at a rate way beyond any caster class, considering how it scales with your level, which is ridiculous) is nice, but it's the various SLAs that pop it to T2. Remember that there's a huge gap between T2 and T3 (and relatively small between T1 and T2).

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    This.

    Vizier is probably low Tier 2 by itself. And better at some things than most T1s. A T1 incarnate would look like a Vizier with a slightly faster veil progression and access to Guru veils and Rajah titles.
    1 Feat makes a Vizier or another Veil class into a mini Rajah but with their own veil list which is the feat Titles from Distant Shores located in the Rajah Veil. Now you can make your veils into titles and the limiting factor is you can only shape so many veils per day. You just have more choices now such as choosing you want to have another veil or give a Crusader shield to your ally so they can summon a wall as a move action, and if you use your limited chakra binds the ally can do it as a intermediate action giving a wings of cover like effect.

    Or you can give your ally Stare of the Ghaele and you yourself also has it. The limit is essence, chakra binds, and how many veils you can do at once.
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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramza00 View Post
    1 Feat makes a Vizier or another Veil class into a mini Rajah but with their own veil list which is the feat Titles from Distant Shores located in the Rajah Veil. Now you can make your veils into titles and the limiting factor is you can only shape so many veils per day. You just have more choices now such as choosing you want to have another veil or give a Crusader shield to your ally so they can summon a wall as a move action, and if you use your limited chakra binds the ally can do it as a intermediate action giving a wings of cover like effect.

    Or you can give your ally Stare of the Ghaele and you yourself also has it. The limit is essence, chakra binds, and how many veils you can do at once.
    True. But the point is powering vizier up from T2-T1. A lot of the Rajah veils are worth shaping at least situationally or based on party. You could also spend one feat and steal efficient healing off the guru list. But to make it look more T1 than T2 it should have more options without spending 1 feat per option. And again, I’d also accelerate its veils to T1ify it a touch more.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Honestly, I have no idea why Zceryll is supposed to bump the Binder up a tier (though I suspect if there is a reason it has more do to with the "summons are permanent" reading of the ability than utility). Yes, it's a nice bit of utility, but so are things like the Beguiler taking Ancestral Relic, the Dread Necromancer abusing planar binding, and the Warlock's ability to craft any magic item. Hell, even Eclectic Learning Warmages get utility on par with "you can cast summon monster". And none of those classes have even a provisional T2 entry in the original tiers. Honestly, my best guess that Zceryll was simply a raging debate in either the CharOp community as a whole or JaronK's home table, and the ranking was included to avoid Zceryll fanboys clogging the thread with complaints about their favorite toy.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    Honestly, I have no idea why Zceryll is supposed to bump the Binder up a tier (though I suspect if there is a reason it has more do to with the "summons are permanent" reading of the ability than utility). Yes, it's a nice bit of utility, but so are things like the Beguiler taking Ancestral Relic, the Dread Necromancer abusing planar binding, and the Warlock's ability to craft any magic item. Hell, even Eclectic Learning Warmages get utility on par with "you can cast summon monster". And none of those classes have even a provisional T2 entry in the original tiers. Honestly, my best guess that Zceryll was simply a raging debate in either the CharOp community as a whole or JaronK's home table, and the ranking was included to avoid Zceryll fanboys clogging the thread with complaints about their favorite toy.
    Early in the tiering thing you were supposed to not take in account things like feats and prcs(else everything is tier 1: you just can get complete wizard casting progression just with enough feats or by abusing wbl) and options not specific to the class.
    Hence why the fixed list casters with spells up to the ninth level are not all tier 1 despite the fact that they do not need a lot of feat sheanigans to get to cast all the wizard spells at any moment.
    Binders with at will monster summoning can possibly get to spam all day a lot of different utility spells like teleport, aid, cure light wound and also gives access to stupidly powerfull stuff like firres and so on but most importantly it is not dependant on picking non binder options.
    Last edited by noob; 2021-09-18 at 11:21 AM.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Early in the tiering thing you were supposed to not take in account things like feats and prcs(else everything is tier 1: you just can get complete wizard casting progression just with feats) and options from manuals that were not the one including the class for the tier ranking.
    Hence why the fixed list casters with spells up to the ninth level are not all tier 1 despite the fact that with the right feat sheanigans they can get all the wizard spells.
    And "this one specific web enhancement" doesn't fall under that? My issue is not so much the fact of where those classes ended up but the inconsistency. Lots of other classes have one weird trick (and only one of those tricks I listed is a feat) that bumps them up a tier. Giving it to only the Binder is, in my view, a blatant double standard. Most obviously, how on earth is Zceryll enough to bump the Binder up to T2, but planar binding not enough to do the same for the Dread Necromancer? It's A) better and B) less obscure.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    And "this one specific web enhancement" doesn't fall under that? My issue is not so much the fact of where those classes ended up but the inconsistency. Lots of other classes have one weird trick (and only one of those tricks I listed is a feat) that bumps them up a tier. Giving it to only the Binder is, in my view, a blatant double standard. Most obviously, how on earth is Zceryll enough to bump the Binder up to T2, but planar binding not enough to do the same for the Dread Necromancer? It's A) better and B) less obscure.
    The dread necromancer lacking magic circle can not do classical planar binding stuff(they can only get creatures hostile to them with it and no free slaves) unless they get a magical item and magical items are categorically out because with them everybody is tier 1 through the simplest "partially charged wands and scroll use" kind of casting.(someone calculated that if magic mart existed that you could beat all the encounter from level 1 to level 20 as if you were a wizard through only bought magical items)
    The warlock probably suffered comparison with the artificer or some sad thing like that and it was basically judged as "it is an artificer but 10 times weaker".
    As for warmage they only get evocation spells with their eccletic learning which are overall the poorest spells (you get some good evocation spells like Contingency but it is not an instant win at everything school).
    Last edited by noob; 2021-09-18 at 11:34 AM.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    The dread necromancer lacking magic circle can not do classical planar binding stuff(they can only get creatures hostile to them with it and no free slaves) unless they get a magical item and magical items are categorically out because with them everybody is tier 1 through the simplest "partially charged wands and scroll use" kind of casting.
    I don't think that's correct, except under very finnicky readings of planar binding where being allowed the CHA check somehow depends on the creature being trapped. If you summon a creature without an appropriate trap, you can still negotiate with it, it's just not, you know, trapped. So instead of starting from a negotiating position of "you are trapped and cannot escape until you agree to serve", you start from a negotiating position of "you are surrounded by elite skeletons and they will kill you unless you agree to serve", which I suppose is a somewhat worse negotiating position, but not enough so to make the spell bad (particularly since the only bar we have to clear here is "as much utility as summon monster", and you can do traditional planar binding stuff as soon as you find a creature with magic circle as a SLA). I also reject the notion that "buying any magic items ever" is necessarily equivalent to "partially charged wands", but will acknowledge that as the terms the original system was operating under, even if I think it's a bad assumption.

    As for warmage they only get evocation spells with their eccletic learning which are overall the poorest spells (you get some good evocation spells like Contingency but it is not an instant win at everything school).
    You're thinking of Advanced Learning, which is the "we understand that we can't just put the entire school on your list" class feature common to all fixed list casters. Eclectic Learning is the Warmage-specific alternative in the PHBII, which explicitly gives you anything on the Sorcerer/Wizard list, just at one level higher. So you can get alter self at 7th level, polymorph at 11th level, and planar binding at 16th level. Which, again, all seem totally sufficient to provide as much utility as summon monster.

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    Default Re: What would t1 Incarnum look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    I don't think that's correct, except under very finnicky readings of planar binding where being allowed the CHA check somehow depends on the creature being trapped. If you summon a creature without an appropriate trap, you can still negotiate with it, it's just not, you know, trapped. So instead of starting from a negotiating position of "you are trapped and cannot escape until you agree to serve", you start from a negotiating position of "you are surrounded by elite skeletons and they will kill you unless you agree to serve", which I suppose is a somewhat worse negotiating position, but not enough so to make the spell bad (particularly since the only bar we have to clear here is "as much utility as summon monster", and you can do traditional planar binding stuff as soon as you find a creature with magic circle as a SLA). I also reject the notion that "buying any magic items ever" is necessarily equivalent to "partially charged wands", but will acknowledge that as the terms the original system was operating under, even if I think it's a bad assumption.



    You're thinking of Advanced Learning, which is the "we understand that we can't just put the entire school on your list" class feature common to all fixed list casters. Eclectic Learning is the Warmage-specific alternative in the PHBII, which explicitly gives you anything on the Sorcerer/Wizard list, just at one level higher. So you can get alter self at 7th level, polymorph at 11th level, and planar binding at 16th level. Which, again, all seem totally sufficient to provide as much utility as summon monster.
    I had the feeling that planar binding was entirely centred around the assumption of a specific trap(the magical circle) they explicitly mention.
    https://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/pl...dingLesser.htm

    Which parsing allows you to skip the trap step and still make opposed charisma checks while they are supposed to be done "until the target is free of that specific trap"? I do not know but that kind of parsing probably also allows to use power attack to reduce the attack rolls of your opponents (which is technically not incorrect but not the common assumption players makes about power attack).
    I mean it is definitively interesting and I would like to know how to do this kind of shenanigan(just like how I actually liked the "power attack to reduce opponent attack rolls" shenanigan).
    Last edited by noob; 2021-09-18 at 12:01 PM.

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