Playtesting Feedback: Rules

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David
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Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby David » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:26 pm

When the rough draft is sent out to supporters, this thread will be where concerns about rule balance or phrasing will be placed for addressing.

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Ponyban
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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby Ponyban » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:18 am

I was going to hold off until I had finished going through the first chapter, but then I noticed that the list of things I was commenting on took about as much space as the book itself at that point, so... uh, yeah, that's a thing.

p9, Chaos Hunters - Honestly, the bonuses for being a Chaos Hunter kind of suck compared to a floating bonus feat, unless you know you're playing Stab All The Demons: the Adventure Path. I know it unlocks some additional feats, though, but most of those are fairly terrible or have a lot of prerequisites and aren't that great even so.
p9, Robot Ponies - Half-constructs using the ARG rules are terrible in general, which makes losing both a bonus feat and one of your stat penalties likely dropping to -4 a fairly painful tax for the little that is gained. These manage to be slightly worse than that, even, by omitting the +2 saving throw bonus vs. mind-affecting effects from the half-construct subtype. As a result, while they look cool, they're actually fairly terrible.
p10, Gem Ponies/Crystalline - It is not entirely clear how the Deflect Rays part of this ability interacts with "You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat.", especially given that ponies don't have hands.
p10, Gem Ponies - This one is actually a bit overbalanced as a tradeoff. While a floating bonus feat is still very useful, the ray deflection, bonus on saves vs. fear, and 1/day reroll of a natural 1 add up to a better choice for many characters. That said, it's not within the area where I'd really complain.
p11, Leather Wings/Darkvision - Darkvision out to 90 feet is actually rather rare, showing up only as an alternate racial trait for dwarves and half-orcs, or as a feat for fetchlings, amongst playable races. Most things with darkvision have a 60 foot range. That said, it's based on an ARG feature and hardly unbalanced.
p13 - "These bloodlines are found predominantly amongst those of pony descent." is a goofily worded restriction. Unification should really be exclusively available to ponies, while Vampiric has no actual relevance to ponies whatsoever.
p13, Unification Bloodline/Hard Lines - The Earth-Bound racial trait's Endurance feat will almost never be useful in the context of a round/level ability. The saving throw bonus still exists, I guess, and it becomes theoretically useful at level 20, but... eh.
p13, Unification Bloodline/Size - There isn't actually a spell called "Enlarge Self".
p13, Unification Bloodline/Lengthened Limbs - This might want to reference spells like Ethereal Jaunt or Etherealness for its mechanics. It's also a very, very powerful ability as written, being essentially Ethereal Jaunt but with an uncapped duration.
p14, Bloodline Arcana - Increasing rolled-in-play stuff by 25% frequently falls under annoying math if you don't have a calculator around. I'm not entirely sure which effects this is primarily intended to boost, however, so I'm not sure what I would suggest instead.
p14, Draining Touch - This ability's save DC should probably be based on the user's sorcerer level, not their character level. A better phrasing would probably be "...the victim must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your sorcerer level + your Charisma modifier) or gain 1 negative level. This ability cannot inflict a negative level if doing so would slay the target. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier."
p14, Vampire's Gift - "DR 5/magic or silver" should be written like that. It's also a fairly strong ability at 3rd level, better than most resistances from bloodlines.
p15, Adamant Wings (and honestly, p20, Strong Wings) - Three feats to fly in heavy armor, the last of which requires character level 12, when Fly comes online at level 5, Overland Flight comes online at level 9, and Lesser Wings of Flying are looking like reasonable investments by that level as well? This is a pretty lousy feat chain even by Pathfinder standards, honestly.
p15, Advanced Horn Magic - There is no sane way in which this is a metamagic feat, and making arbitrary things metamagic feats so that wizards can choose them as bonus feats is a decidedly nonstandard usage that neither WotC nor Paizo ever embraced, which mostly just adds confusion.
p15, Agent of Law - Why does this require a Lawful alignment more than being a Chaos Hunter in general? Actually, the level 5 requirement and the other feat requirement seem rather excessive as well, given that it just expands some fairly small bonuses to one other type of creature.
p15, Blade-Turning Pelt - 9 total feats for DR 4/- (and +4 natural armor, and I guess +2 Fortitude saves) is pretty darn terrible, especially considering that the strange level minimums (or exact level requirements? I have no idea) mean I need to take two feats at level 20 in order to possibly get it.
p16, Day Stomper - It is unclear whether the resist fire 5 granted by this ability is permanent, or only for the 1 hour that the temporary hit points last. Given the context of Day Wing, I think it's supposed to be permanent, but yeah.
p16, Day Wing - No longer needing Fly checks to hover should also explicitly include "or move at less than half speed and remain flying".
p16, Distance Runner - This feat is fairly useless and should probably just not exist. You don't make saves against non-lethal damage due to forced marching, you make Constitution checks, and the Endurance feat that is already a prerequisite for this one already gives a +4 bonus to those exact checks. Worse yet, the bonus to saves (which rarely applies anyway) overlaps with the +2 racial bonus to saves vs. spells that earth ponies already get, further limiting its applicability to non-magical, non-poisonous sources of fatigue... most of which you're already getting a +4 from due to Endurance.
p16, Divine Endurance - This feat is terrible and has an utterly piddly effect for something that requires character level 10. Endure Elements is a 1st-level spell, most saving throw bonuses are +2, and lethal environmental damage is pretty rare unless you end up in the elemental planes or something, at which point it won't really help much because any way of getting out of the fire would be more difficult than getting Resist Energy cast on you.
p16, Embraced Destiny - "Brand of Destiny" is not a prerequisite that really makes mechanical sense. The racial trait is called Unique Destiny and is apparently replaced by several pony subraces, but they're often still depicted with brands of destiny. Except for Doppelgangers, but that's just judging by the picture, and not actually a rules thing, and judging by the picture the Leather Wing doesn't have one either?

EDIT: I apparently never finished writing my thoughts about Hard Lines. Fixed that.
Last edited by Ponyban on Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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David
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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby David » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:38 am

For the last one, you can get rid of your brand of destiny, there are feats for it. Also, only ponykind have brands of destiny.

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Ponyban
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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby Ponyban » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:19 pm

Doppelgangers still do have Brands of Destiny, then? Alright, maybe something later in the book will make that more clear.

Seraphem
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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby Seraphem » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:23 pm

Okay quick look through, agree on some need to balance some of the racial things. And the whole feat chain for flying in heavy armor is a tad ridiculous.

But my biggest question. How do Pony Cavaliers work? Do they have to use a mount, despite the whole "Most don't because it ridiculous" Bit, or can they use the mounted stuff as is? Just with a lance attached to their weapon rack and it being treated as though they are a mounted Cavalier?

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David
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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby David » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:49 pm

The short answer would be that most ponies don't become cavaliers. Those that do can learn to ride like everyone else, since there is no restriction on ponies riding things, they just usually don't. A pony with lance in harness gets the lances double damage on charge, but the rack only enables weapon features for mounted charges, not class ones.

Perhaps a class archetype for later?

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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby Seraphem » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:32 pm

Yeah. Seems the type of thing that would make a good archetype. Aside from the riding another horse bit, Cavalier seems like a really good fit for some ponies.

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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby Seraphem » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:54 pm

New thing, the Mystic Prancer Bard archtype. Isn't tt's first bonus "Multitasking" pretty worthless. Letting them cast and talk etc... while holding items. Since holding items in your mouth effecting spell casts/speech etc was removed?

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David
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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby David » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:03 pm

Good catch there, that has to go. The feat doesn't even exist anymore.

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Re: Playtesting Feedback: Rules

Postby Seraphem » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:25 pm

Rangers. just looking over things quickly, seems Pony rangers really get the shaft. They can't even really use one of their class features without spending a bunch of feats and being certain races. The only weapon skill all ponies could use is Two-handed Weapon fighting. The rest, ranged is out, but that's just an overall pony thing. Two Weapon fighting requires being a unicorn and spending two feats just to be able t use it.

And even going for Natural attack, which seems like a good choice for Ponies, and the lore blurb even says is generally the preferred option for Pony rangers, still requires a feat, (Two to actually be much good) and being one of the races with Earth Bound. In order to get a natural attack to use.


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