Cloudsmith archetype

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Felyon
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Cloudsmith archetype

Postby Felyon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:35 pm

Cloudsmith

Crafting with clouds is a traditional pegasi craft that is said to have once been the cornerstone of their society.It is to condense and shape clouds into more tangible form to create items and buildings. While brittle and not enduring, they are lightweight and easy to produce. So efficient is this craft that legend has it that pegasi once lived on floating islands forged entirely out of the sky, and that many pegasi proudly boasted to have never set foot on the ground. With a combination of skill and magic, these cities supposedly possessed not only every commodity that a traditional city would have had, but doubled as the backbone of their once great military might for they were both a mobile base and an artillery platform. From up in their cities pegasi were unassailable and could rain down storms and lightning. Now their era has passed but pegasi still have their air heritage and some try to rekindle the dying art.

Cloudsmiths are sometimes seen as eccentric mages that use an overly complicated primitive spell system. They mix up cauldrons of material for vapour, or burn herbs and metal to forge items from the smoke. Best known are the beds they make that are said to be the most comfortable this side of the material plane, and some can even perform magnetic massages or are literally made out of clouds of perfume. In combat thunderbolts are wielded as lances, and the sight of a cloudsmith pushing in a roiling thundercloud is as frightening as seeing any other mad genius' creation.

Entry requirement: must possess the Weather Pony feat

As this archetype is meant to be possible for every class it forces you to burn feats on it, not class abilities. Flying is very useful but technically not necessary.

Lv 3
Craft Cloud (skill): You can condense and shape vapors into any solid item, if you succeed at crafting checks as normal. You can also form clouds out of any liquid except if it resists in some way, such as from a water elemental or a sacred spring. ((make an opposed check?)) One quarter of a gallon of liquid makes for one cubic foot of cloud. ((I'm just guessing at this. It seems like squeezing a cloud fills a bucket.))

Objects made out of clouds function just like regular objects. A cloud hammer can hammer in nails, and a waterskin is just as watertight as an ordinary skin. The hardness is the same as a regular object, but it has only one hitpoint. No special materials such as adamantium can be replicated out of regular clouds. Open fire larger than a torch dispenses clouds, and wind conditions above severe blow large structure apart. Spells such as mending have no effect on cloud items. The items made are usually cloud white, but using coloured water to start with allows you to customize their palette.

Despite being solid, they are virtually weightless. Cloudcrafted items disperse when put into extra-dimensional storage or are teleported.

((And since the Masterwork Transformation spell is a thing: )) One hour of work allows you to make a masterwork version of the item. By using the fracturation of light into rainbows you can make items in any colour. Adding powdered materials allows you craft special items such as cold iron and adamantium. You only need to provide 1/5 th of the normal price but must live with the fact that your item will still be fragile. ((60 gp to make 50 one use adamantium arrows or so is a good deal but not game breaking, I think. Contradict me if I am wrong. Non-magic users should get something nice too.))

Masterwork items can be wielded by non-cloudwalkers too. Making equipment such as footwear out of this allows them to walk on clouds too but only with the surface that is covered in clouds. So, having boots allows you to walk, but if you trip then you will fall through the clouds and only be suspended by your boots. Magical items are possible if one takes the Master Craftsman feat and then the appropriate magical craft feat.

This ability replaces the feat you would get at level 3


lv5
With great care you learned the ability to work with harmful clouds such as the ones produced by Stinking Cloud spells, thunderstorms, and volcanoes. No matter how large the original cloud, the finished product takes up only one square at most--and half one in height if you want to. Someone entering the cloud takes damage as if entering the original cloud. Even if the spell that produced the cloud has a duration, the produced cloud is permanent until dispersed. Using Cloud Kicker on it allows you to make a ranged attack to apply the effect to a target after which the cloud disperses. A fumble means that you yourself are affected by it.

This ability replaces the feat you would get at level 5


Lv7
Your mastery of clouds allows you to imbue them with energy or gasses. This takes a standard action where you apply an attack to an existing cloud that will hold it. These do not need to come from yourself, and can be cast by another or even an item.

special: A cloud takes easily to lightning and can be charged to release a Lightning Bolt as the spell simply by rubbing one for one round per D6 with a maximum of your caster level. A cloud can only hold 1D6 per 4 square foot. When you use Cloud Kicker on it, you can choose how many D6 you release, with 4 square foot of it dispersing per D6.

This ability replaces the feat you would get at level 7


author's notes: I can see it being abused to make a large amount of mundane items, though not to start an economy by yourself since the items do not last. The temptation to make magical items should be curtailed by their frailty. Later on it's possible to make a large stock of harmful clouds or perhaps even healing ones if you use enough healing potions to make a cloud. One potion is an ounce, and you need 128 of those for a gallon so it's unlikely to do though I recall reading tablets that make potions into gasses once.

Anyway, their fragility should make it easy for the DM to put a stop to any of the player's plans that is over the top. I can see players using this to create fortifications for a siege, or to use wind magic to transport them as artillery to a battlefield, but I think that these are fine and theatrical applications of the skill that are easily thwarted by the DM if necessary.
What I can see is someone making fortifications with this for a siege, or using wind magic to blow them to a battle field. In my opinion, this is a fine and theatrical application of it, and easily thwarted by the DM.

Since the class is mechanically rather weak, as far as I can tell, and requires the sacrifice of 7 feats--6 if you start with Cloud Walker, and one for flying--I consider working in the Griffin feat Eye of the Storm--which allows you to see through clouds, smoke, and fog--and Cloud Rejection and even Cloud Surfing.

Thank you for any constructive criticisms, and if you do use this in a game, please tell me how it went. I myself want to use this with a Dragonfire Adept that has Breath of the Night which really should be called Mist Breath.
Last edited by Felyon on Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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David
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby David » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:17 pm

It... feels like a lot of work for more complexity and book keeping? I'm not sure I'd use it in my own games, as a result.

Felyon
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby Felyon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:48 pm

Heh, that's what I get for trying to cover any exploit I could. The idea is to have a crafting class that is not broken and overpowered. Cloud items could be placed right there on the list of other special materials, and the cloudsmith could be replaced with any regular crafting class, but that would not tell us just why pegasi can base an entire society on it.

EquestrianScholar
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby EquestrianScholar » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:11 pm

David, any suggestions for simplifying the archetype and having it fit in with your other Ponyfinder archetypes? My thoughts, starting out, is to have it be to just one class as though a 'universal' archetype that can be applied to any class is interesting there is much more consideration for balancing.

Seems my player beat me to it in mentioning the class... but I was going to ask after donating to your Patreon if you could help me put together the Cloudsmith archetype and perhaps publish it in one of your books. It is a nice idea, and a crafting class could have some interesting potential if treated similar to shadow conjuration.

Hmm, that creating something with clouds could be like using more solid material but is less real then those make with stone or other more solid material yet also cheaper and more easily mended.

Just throwing out ideas and thoughts, as I do want Felyon's idea to come together. A cloud smith could be useful, and something that doesn't have to be complex or require a ton of bookkeeping... admittingly bookkeeping in a Play by Post/Forum based campaign isn't actually that much of a hassle all things considered.

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David
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby David » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:29 pm

A feat or two to work the special material would probably work better. I'd also avoid making it super temporary, since that makes everything more complicated.

Felyon
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby Felyon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:39 pm

@David
What about making the Cloud Crafting not an ability but a separate feat that requires Weather Pony, and you get it for free at level 3 of the archetype?

Players creating permanent things has always lead to abuse. What if we removed "half hardness and hitpoints" but gave it only one HP? Fire and wind still break them down? Clouds should be like plastic: you can make anything supercheap and it will be quite hard and effective, but it's not something that can withstand much combat. As it is they can be a concealed light weapon, or heavier than light weight armor that pegasi can fly in. It's also much more a fluff class than for combat since only at low levels are mundane items useful.


@EquestrianScholar
Thank you for your support. What issues with balance do you see? The player does lose 5 feats. And an additional one if they do not have Cloud Walker to start with.

EquestrianScholar
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby EquestrianScholar » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:39 am

Feats, instead of an archetype, may be the way to go. If we were to compare, your idea is basically the alternate multiclass rules from Unchained but for an archetype.

By going with the consideration that Cloudsmith being a series of feats instead of an archetype... it allows the player to decide how far they want to take the path of crafting and building with clouds.

I could see, at least starting out, only cloudwalkers being able to interact cloud structures and crafted objects. Later perhaps cloud crafting could be done in such a way that anyone could interact with the structures and objects.

How about cloud based trapmaking?

Also, your consideration of cloud crafting being compared to plastic is worrisome given how pegasus create cities which are built of clouds. Having it be 'fragile' could be a problem and makes the consideration of building with it potentally foolish and impractical.

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David
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby David » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:13 am

If we're comparing to 'the show', their structures were not too hard to punch a hole through, but said hole would right itself on its own just as easily. They were, in the end, quite durable.

EquestrianScholar
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby EquestrianScholar » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:27 pm

How would you handle this David? The hope is that this idea might fit your Ponyfinder setting.

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David
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Re: Cloudsmith archetype

Postby David » Fri Jul 31, 2015 12:41 pm

Give them no hardness, but make them fast heal, even if 'destroyed' unless destroyed in a particular fashion?


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