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Thread: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

  1. #11
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    Re: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

    If we go by weightlifting, human Strength caps at 4 since (really impressive) people can lift 400lbs but can't lift 800lbs. If we apply that as a standard, a 4 in an Ability is "best humanly possible", anything up is actively superhuman. That said, there's a lot of flex since the source medium is inherently unrealistic and nobody really tries to put a "human maximum" on mental scores.
    And of course, you have magic. Half the issue vanishes instantly if you buy your Stamina as a power, because that instantly describes why a teenager is harder to hurt than solid stone.

    The other half of the issue, one which is significantly more opinion-based, is the distribution of your Abilities. Right now, they look something like this if we put them in a graph:
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    This "might seem like the a min-maxing Pathfinder wizard", as you put it. There's a total lack of investment in some Abilities and a very heavy investment in others. This isn't wrong, necessarily, but it does raise questions about why they're perfectly average (or perfectly slightly below average) in all ways except the ways they're stellar.
    An easy fix is to spread things out in the -1 to 2 range. Say, STR and PRE to -1, AGI and DEX to 1, everything else at 0 or 7 as it was. It doesn't really change things that much, but it feels more "detailed", for lack of a better term.

    > Thematic utility is not something I had considered beyond useful spells he might have to be of some use to the group. I will work on that.
    I was speaking of thematic unity, not utility, but I didn't really explain it well. My stance was that the magical powers didn't seem to have any common thread beyond "magic", mainly because all I had to go off of was the raw effect.
    If you put names that share a theme on the powers (say "Eldritch Force Evocation", "Walk Unseen Horizons", "Darkness of Worlds Beyond", etc) that indicate a common method or source of power, it makes the magic "pop" because it suggests how the magic works beyond just "it's magic".
    Basically I'm suggesting you apply another descriptor to all the magical powers beyond just "magic".

    > Is there a certain/typical number of skill ranks that should be spent?
    No typical number of points, but I generally feel any given character should have invested in at least a couple skills to add some depth. Even small investments can add a lot of character to a character.
    It's also a general recommendation to have some points in a social skill unless your character is a bit of a social wreck. Which is fine too!

    > Just wondering if there are craft skill equivalents in this game? I would like to make him an artist, just to round out the character, but am not sure how that would be accomplished.
    Expertise covers what would be Craft and Profession in Pathfinder. So Expertise: Artist would do it.

    > Can a Ritual be started and stored (for lack of a better word) and left until the last moment to finish off when appropriate?
    I don't believe you can "mostly finish" a ritual and sit on it, but I see no reason you couldn't prepare everything and do all the research in advance.

  2. #12
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    Re: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Eld View Post
    If you're talking about a normal human's upper realm, then 7s are probably right out.

    Its a fluid benchmark and not everybody follows it, but the system puts 7 as the peak of human ability, that realm beyond which lies the superhuman.

    So a character with Stamina 7 isn't just above average tough and resilient, he's the toughest human being alive. He's got a 50% chance of flat out ignoring Damage under rank 3 (or what the game would call a light pistol).

    But again, its hard to judge just based on stats. Maybe he's got magical tattoos, or a long-term blessing, or some other such.

    As for Intellect and Awareness, those are a little more iffy. A lot of builders ignore the idea of 7 being peak human when it comes to mental abilities. But still, the numbers suggest someone who isn't just smart, he's very, very smart.

    There's an also an issue of flavor and nuance. Someone with one skill and high mental scores represents someone who's naturally gifted and has a strong will, but has no formal training outside of magic. That's one hundred percent fine, but just ask yourself if that's the character you want to play.

    If nothing else, to save points you could drop his Intellect down to 4 (which is still far smarter than most any normal person), which gives you 6 extra points. If you still want that +13 Expertise Magic you have the points and then some.
    I really appreciate the ideas you offered Arthur Eld,

    The character was actually worked up with magical tattoos built in, so I just connected them to the Stamina through an Enhanced Trait. Great idea!

    I moved around some points so he would have some additional skill points. I tried the lower Intellect, but I really like him as the uber scholar. Thanks!

  3. #13
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    Re: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nunya B View Post
    If we go by weightlifting, human Strength caps at 4 since (really impressive) people can lift 400lbs but can't lift 800lbs. If we apply that as a standard, a 4 in an Ability is "best humanly possible", anything up is actively superhuman. That said, there's a lot of flex since the source medium is inherently unrealistic and nobody really tries to put a "human maximum" on mental scores.
    And of course, you have magic. Half the issue vanishes instantly if you buy your Stamina as a power, because that instantly describes why a teenager is harder to hurt than solid stone.

    The other half of the issue, one which is significantly more opinion-based, is the distribution of your Abilities. Right now, they look something like this if we put them in a graph:
    Code:
     |   ||
     |   ||
     |   ||
     |   ||
     |   ||
    ||||||||
    This "might seem like the a min-maxing Pathfinder wizard", as you put it. There's a total lack of investment in some Abilities and a very heavy investment in others. This isn't wrong, necessarily, but it does raise questions about why they're perfectly average (or perfectly slightly below average) in all ways except the ways they're stellar.
    An easy fix is to spread things out in the -1 to 2 range. Say, STR and PRE to -1, AGI and DEX to 1, everything else at 0 or 7 as it was. It doesn't really change things that much, but it feels more "detailed", for lack of a better term.

    > Thematic utility is not something I had considered beyond useful spells he might have to be of some use to the group. I will work on that.
    I was speaking of thematic unity, not utility, but I didn't really explain it well. My stance was that the magical powers didn't seem to have any common thread beyond "magic", mainly because all I had to go off of was the raw effect.
    If you put names that share a theme on the powers (say "Eldritch Force Evocation", "Walk Unseen Horizons", "Darkness of Worlds Beyond", etc) that indicate a common method or source of power, it makes the magic "pop" because it suggests how the magic works beyond just "it's magic".
    Basically I'm suggesting you apply another descriptor to all the magical powers beyond just "magic".

    > Is there a certain/typical number of skill ranks that should be spent?
    No typical number of points, but I generally feel any given character should have invested in at least a couple skills to add some depth. Even small investments can add a lot of character to a character.
    It's also a general recommendation to have some points in a social skill unless your character is a bit of a social wreck. Which is fine too!

    > Just wondering if there are craft skill equivalents in this game? I would like to make him an artist, just to round out the character, but am not sure how that would be accomplished.
    Expertise covers what would be Craft and Profession in Pathfinder. So Expertise: Artist would do it.

    > Can a Ritual be started and stored (for lack of a better word) and left until the last moment to finish off when appropriate?
    I don't believe you can "mostly finish" a ritual and sit on it, but I see no reason you couldn't prepare everything and do all the research in advance.
    Thanks Nunya!

    I took your advice regarding dropping the Strength and Presence down to teenager levels.

    With my Stamina and part of my Intellect purchased as powers, hopefully the graph of my stats are more reasonable:

    Abilities (20)
    Strength: -1
    Stamina: 1 (7)
    Agility: 0
    Dexterity: 0
    Fighting: 0
    Intellect: 4 (7)
    Awareness: 7
    Presence: -1

    Utility was a typo, I meant unity. Hopefully I helped to bring it together with more Complications as you suggested, that help to flesh the character out a bit more and give more ways for the GM to dig their talons and find purchase in my flesh.

    More skills have been added As are ranks for artist.

  4. #14
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    Re: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Rush, I appreciate you helping me out,

    1. Regen dropped by 1 / Parry raised by 1.
    2. I would think that the use of the Feature would be in the play, but is there something innately within the game that would push the bounds of Prestidigitation such that you state it will be more useful outside of flavouring one's tea, juggling crude puff balls for children, or cleaning one's socks? The intent would be only that really (keeping to the theme that this is only LCF and never anything useful at all, including never wanting a circumstance bonus to any roll), but if that should cost more that's fair, what would you suggest such an ability to cost?
    3. Fixed it to Move Object 8.
    4. Fixed Flight. Not sure why I thought it only cost 1 per rank, but it is now Flight 1 with the levitation flaw for 1 point cost.
    I'd personally set the cost of the Prestidigitation feature to 2 or 3pp, depending on what specifics you laid out at the time.

    That said, if you *really* wanted an effect that was *truly* only for show, I'd say skip the Feature entirely; your magic array should allow for what you want just fine. It already incorporates Move Object, magic blasts, and more. I'd personally allow you to use the array to emulate Prestidigitation outside of combat for free.
    My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum here. And, here's the latest version of The Cast.
    Currently playing in: Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes, Ghost Town: Familiar Haunts and Pirates of the Terminus: A Simple Grab.

  5. #15
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    Re: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Is there a certain/typical number of skill ranks that should be spent? Or are you meaning something along the lines that if his Stamina is so high he should have ranks in Athletics to show how he got so tough? Would ranks in Athletics be sufficient, or is there more points that need to be spent there?

    My thought was that a once in a lifetime genius with a photographic memory who can read at ungodly speeds would pick up things with ease as he digests tome after tome of information, hence the Jack of All Trades ability, but perhaps he needs more to justify the Advantage further.
    Without your character's backstory, there's no way anyone else could suggest where exactly your skills should be improved, only that what you have so far is off-kilter.

    Is your character funny? Clever? Athletic? Inquisitive? Alert? Encouraging? Sneaky? Talkative? Courageous? Virtually any noteworthy personality trait you could give your character, even though a teenager, should show some degree of proficiency, even a very minor one, in some skill besides Expertise: Magic. No offense, but as it stands, the Skills portion of your character build seems better suited for a robot that reads textbooks about magic at high speed, but otherwise sits in his room staring at the wall.

    I also wouldn't personally consider lots of reading to be a suitable prerequisite for Jack of All Trades. At best, it would simply make one good at a lot of INT-based Expertise skills. Not Vehicles. Not Acrobatics. Not Sleight of Hand. Not Expertise: Baking or Expertise: Dance. Many skills simply require some degree of actual experience in order to not mess up on one's first/second/etc. time, and I'd argue that a teenager without enough life experiences to have a single rank in any other skill besides Expertise: Magic doesn't have the breadth of experience to justify Jack of All Trades. (If anything, I'd point you in the direction of Beginner's Luck instead.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Just wondering if there are craft skill equivalents in this game? I would like to make him an artist, just to round out the character, but am not sure how that would be accomplished.
    Expertise is the workhorse skill for traits like that. You can create an Expertise of your liking, subject to GM approval, such as Expertise: Art or Expertise: Painting, although you probably don't want to get too specific... skills are rather expensive to spend on something with too narrow a focus. Some Expertise skills (such as Expertise: Dance) can even justify being based off of an Ability besides Intelligence (such as, for dancing, Agility.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    p.s. I highly doubt I have any shot at my app against such strong other applications and system mastery, but I really do appreciate you two taking the time to help out. The learning curve is steep in this game, but it looks amazing once you survive char gen.
    It is a bit steep, but yes, once you have the system down you can craft nearly any sort of character you can imagine, down to some pretty excruciating detail if the GM lets you. Feel free to ask questions as they arise, there are a number of helpful folks here willing to lend a hand.


    EDIT: And I only now noticed your Skill changes to your character in the All-Star Squadron thread. Even the little bit you added goes a long way towards demonstrating a viable character personality to contribute to the storyline.
    Last edited by Rush; 04-24-2018 at 12:09 AM.
    My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum here. And, here's the latest version of The Cast.
    Currently playing in: Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes, Ghost Town: Familiar Haunts and Pirates of the Terminus: A Simple Grab.

  6. #16
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    Re: PL8 122pp Mage - Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rush View Post
    I'd personally set the cost of the Prestidigitation feature to 2 or 3pp, depending on what specifics you laid out at the time.

    That said, if you *really* wanted an effect that was *truly* only for show, I'd say skip the Feature entirely; your magic array should allow for what you want just fine. It already incorporates Move Object, magic blasts, and more. I'd personally allow you to use the array to emulate Prestidigitation outside of combat for free.
    Thanks Rush,

    Fair enough. I agree that if I was getting more out of it than just some roleplay then I should be paying for the ability.

    I do like the idea that such minor magics would just be hand waved. It really is a crucial component of the game that drew me in. As an example, I remember talking to someone about throwing daggers like Jarlaxle, who seems to have an endless supply of daggers that he can throw at rapid speed. What followed was a debate about summoning vs. endless quivers vs. making up a new magical item vs. no clue, I wandered off less interested in the specifics than the roleplay (it was never going to compete with even a shortbow outside of LCF). How I understand it so far, here it would just be Blast modified how one might see the torrent of daggers being applied (full stop).

    Now, I just need a game.

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