Talk:Epic Path

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Numbers Pass

after the discussion yesterday, I think we're preeeeetty close to having a reasonable L1 balance sideways across the classes.  I've been thinking about overall balance a lot, with feedback from the current playtesters, and I'd propose we make a couple of changes to the monster numbers, namely, we raise to-hits by +2, but lower damage by about a third. this should 'iron out' the worst of the edge-case craziness,  (that 99 drops to about a 30), and the lower damage raises everybody's survival numbers in the middle by about a sixth, weighted to more for the lower AC's (all the 6's go up to 9's).
lets talk tonight and hash this out a bit, then chat a bit about levelling?

  • revisit the notion of granting +1 stat point per tier after the first, if the numbers allow this. Leaving it out reduces dynamic range by 3, which may be necessary.
  • revisit custom BABs
  • revisit Base AC and AC progressions
  • Evaluate impact of ACP
  • Evaluate usefulness of Skill Basis (do we need it?)

Notes / To Do

  • need to revisit the Vehicle Combat rules at some point. Clean them up, simplify where possible, and remove language about multiple piloting skills, stat dependency on ship class, etc. Perhaps vehicles should perform like magic weapons (enhance bonus, properties, dweomermetal) that the pilot 'wields' to attack. This would allow the use of to-hit rolls, instead of maneuver checks for attacking. Try to make the system more like traditional combat... maybe figure out a way to remove facing.
  • update combat page to talk about ranged attacks, firing into combat, firing through allies/enemies (soft cover)
  • figure out a way to make the bailiwicks more distinct from their associated knowledge skills. In some cases, it's not bad (Spycraft vs Know:Local), but in many cases, it's ambiguous (Reason vs. Know:Logic; Naturalism vs. Know:Nature, etc.)
  • At a minimum, we NEED to update the Covetous (Human racial trait) page.
  • consider cross-referencing all the between adventures into each of the appropriate skills.
  • clean up weapon page tables, adding categories for their weapon groups, handiness, and size.
  • treasure idea: in addition to remnants, other currencies could drop (settlement currencies, magic item upgrades, eggs (for mounts), etc.), maps to other locations of interest, a way to spawn specific encounters. This would also be a good way to put single-use magic items into the game (which could be anything from a bottle of alchemist's fire to a scroll that calls a deific champion to help you for one round, or a genie that grants you a single wish).
  • We could also consider making 'civilized' versus 'uncivilized' treasure parcels for monsters (could be keyed off of the monster's INT stat, meaning no changes to existing monsters, just changes to the main template), which would affect whether some of the treasure was in coins, gems, trade goods, versus just 'sellable goods' (read: goopy bits).
  • update monster template to state (under xp and treasure) that 'x role counts as x monsters'
  • update monster template to account for adding a role to a monster with a modified # of attacks
  • update monster template to allow the addition of up to two patterns
  • update monster template to pull in role-only special abilities, or exclude them if the role isn't present.
  • update monster template to include special abilities that only show up at certain min or max CR's
  • update monster template to include a 'min CR' and 'max CR' field, which allows us to specify where the monster shows up in MMM.


  • add language on Treasure and XP page to discuss how remnants are soulbound to the party of characters who killed the monsters that dropped them. They cannot be sold or traded away, and that is why they have no monetary value (except to Alchemists with Midassian Scion grand discovery).
  • New Remnant Uses:
  • Free action, expend a remnant to gain a +3 remnant bonus to a single skill check PER TIER of the remnant being used (max of +27 with Empyrean Remnant).
  • Free action, expend a remnant to reroll a single d20 roll (does not add the +1d6+1 that an action point would grant). Tier of remnant does not matter for this use.
  • Free action, expend a remnant to subtract a number of days from a retraining downtime task equal the tier of the remnant being spent. This can drop a task to 1 day, but never to zero days. Can be done multiple times, but each time it is done, it adds 1 to the minimum number of days required (i.e. if you expend 2 remnants, you can't reduce the downtime of the task to less than 2 days, etc.). If you expend a remnant that is too high a tier, the extra tiers are wasted; you do not get change back.
  • You can expend 2 remnants of the same tier to upgrade them to a single remnant of the next higher tier. In this way, you can 'create' an empyrean remnant, rather than needing to find one through supreme luckiness.
  • Empyrean remnants are necessary to create a Foundation Stone, which you must have to begin a new settlement. In most cases, foundation stones are parceled out by the Emperor or their proxies, to nobility that have pleased them. It is a bestowal of power, since settlements can grow into extremely useful hubs of trade, as well as providing direct benefits to their owner(s). Unlike remnants, a foundation stone can be traded away, but they are so valuable, they are never for sale.
  • foundation stones repel hostile forces (subtly, and not forcibly; strong-willed aggressors can ignore it; also repels vermin and things like mold/decay; helps crops grow, etc.), and are the basis for settlement buffs and debuffs -- those bonuses granted to defenders, and penalties applied to enemies that towns are capable of bestowing. Higher level settlements have better buffs/debuffs, obviously, but such things aren't possible without a foundation stone. You /can/ establish a town without a foundation stone, but it will be MUCH harder for that town to prosper, and such a place will probably never grow beyond a small town, whereas any settlement with a foundation stone can, if properly managed, eventually grow into a megalopolis or even a dimensional nexus.

Reese To-Do List:

action items for million monster machine:

  • come up with prefix names for each modified CR value (-2 CR to +5 CR) -- lesser, minor, common, greater, major, superior, elite, supreme (for example)
  • review all existing monster names, and all proposed monster names, to make sure our prefixes don't lead to really dumb, unreadable names (lesser greater whompus, for example).
  • move all proposed monster names to a discussion page; only actual monsters should be in the bestiary
  • strip all the roles out of every monster that has a role.
  • add language into the description that says "This monster is nearly always a <role> monster. It is highly recommended that this role be applied to it." or whatever.
  • recode any role-specific powers into new fields that are specific to roles-only powers. This will require me to create new fields for the template, but doesn't require a complete revamping of every monster.
  • trap damage table?
  • need a note in the ability scores page (and probably the caster pages) that you can't get spells of a higher level than your class level allows, even with a high stat.
  • add new status conditions that inflict a circle penalty (or alter existing conditions to include it)
  • create a "circle 0" and update the various mana burning rules for it.
  • would like to go through the major numbers of the game (skills, ac, to-hits, damage, etc.) and list out each possible bonus type, their max bonus (for each type) and get a sense of our ranges.
  • Update Between Adventures section on Spell Research to clarify language about adding metamagic to a researched spell -- metamagic added /can/ increase the gross spell level above 17, just not be added as research to produce an infinitely metamagicked spell.

'Finishing' Epic Path

  • Character Class Rebalancing
  • Redo / update the Damage Analysis spreadsheet for each character class - painful, yes, but a lot has changed, and we'll need this data to keep our monsters tuned to the PC's.
  • Personalized BABs, ACs, MOs/MDs, Saves, if necessary
  • some class(es) may be able to activate command word magic items as a move or swift by spending hit points

  • Character Sheet:
  • PDF Character Sheet (Fillable) -- yes, this will happen
  • create sample characters for each class, with planned builds up through level 5 (should be easy after character rebalance).
  • do we want to have any 'iconic' characters in our setting, that we use as examples of given classes for story and/or example purposes?

  • Monsters:
  • create at least 10 per CR. Still need CR's 19 through 40, but CR's 1 - 18 are done enough for now.

  • Setting:
  • Cosmology of Creation page should be tailored to suit our view of the campaign setting. If we try to keep it 'generic', it will feel hollow.
  • decide how the many races factor into our default setting. Are all the races treated as normal citizens, or are some discriminated against (half-orcs, for example)? Are non-human races (in particular the oddball ones) sometimes born to human parents, or are they only products of their own purebred lineages?

Cleanup Tasks

  • remove alignment based damage and DR/ER from game (monks, paladins, some monsters, magic weapon properties, magic armor properties) -- DONE?
  • Finish moving the following into their respective templates:
  • rogue talents
  • fighter tactics
  • Equipment pages -- finish them, clean out the stupid stuff
  • finish the Designing Skill Challenges section on the Game Master's Guide page.
  • Glossary of Terms page
  • Add definition of triggered free action
  • add some notes to the Spells page, regarding GM's adjudicating 'fluff' vs 'crunch'.
  • Specific examples are direct damage (crunch) vs. illusions (fluff).
  • Rules for bonuses from fluff which give general 'not to exceed' values.
  • plus for caster level (+1 to +3), and plus for creativity (+1 to +2).
  • need to update / create page for monster types and subtypes.
  • need to review any broken links to subtypes that we don't actually want to define (e.g. azata)
  • racial traits: normalize what levels you (might) improve your racial abilities (10, 20, 30?), and add it into the class tables
  • create a "tactical" keyword and category that would identify feats, abilities, skill uses, etc. that are very dependent on a map, and wouldn't work well in a 'theater of the mind' game.

Bonus Systems

  • Settlements and Sieges
  • Epic Skill System
  • Followers / Leadership / Large-Scale War Rules
  • Auramancy / Blood Magic
  • True Dweomers
  • Prestige Classes
  • Artifacts
  • Traps (as enemy combatants)
  • Remnants

Printable Version

  • Need some cover art for a book(let)s. Open to suggestions...
  • leaning towards a 5.5" x 8" book size as our 'starter guide' for cons, ~80 half-pages, for everything: how to play, character classes, equipment, weapons, low-level magic items, status conditions, basically everything you'd need to play up to level 5-ish. Interior will not have art, unless we really want to commission some.
  • Needs to be everything you need to know to play the game (at low levels), without access the internet or the wiki.
  • shouldn't have links or other web-based 'features', and it will need a table of contents and an index.
  • Short appendix that describes some of the other features that are available in the complete game on the wiki.
  • Found some online print sites that will do this for about $10/book, so 20 of these per convention would be about $200 which doesn't seem crazy to me.
  • will give these out to anyone who plays through the module.
  • pre-generated characters on no more than 4 pages each, printed on cardstock?
  • Will give these out to anyone who played that class through the module.
  • should be designed as a good party mix, rather than just 1 of each class; assume somewhere between 5 and 8 players.
  • a module we can run in 4-ish hours that shows off the best parts of our game -- skills, character class uniqueness, dynamic and fun combats, including a 'threat' fight as the finale. Characters should probably be level 1, but I'm willing to consider up to level 3 if there's a good reason to go there.
  • needs to have good opportunities to role-play, opportunities to use skills in an interesting way, and some fun set pieces for the combat encounters.

Skill Fixes

  • Perform: performance complexity - clarify to setting the CR of the song
  • same for entertaining an audience

Siege Weapons / Settlements Notes

  • review 'breaking objects' page, in light of changes to vehicle combat and removal of abstract encounters rules
  • siege weapons - how do they work with the vehicle combat rules?
    • unless we want siege weapons to continue to be cumulative forces, though it seems like people hated all the dice rolling of the abstract encounters
    • right now, vehicles will never penetrate heavy defenses and fortifications; the target DC's are way too high, as are many of the durabilities
  • add weights for all doors and such on the 'breaking objects' page, for purposes of the Might skill.

moving these links to here for future re-write/inclusions/expansion, possibly/probably as part of settlement pass

New Feats Notes

    • Warlord - more formation dice
    • Ranger - more quarry dice
    • Ranger - better traps (better action economy, use against an occupied space)
    • Prowler - improve save DC for encroaching jolt?
    • add a feat to allow "deny saving throw" under Heal to be non-provoking, and take only a move action (no bonus to check)
    • Update/Remove any feats which apply to abstract encounters
    • Review barbarian feats again
    • Fighter - able to challenge one additional target each round (epic?)

Bonus Types

  • Untyped Bonus
  • Armor Bonus
  • Armor Enhancement Bonus
  • Circumstance Bonus
  • Competence Bonus
  • Dodge Bonus
  • Enhancement Bonus
  • Feat Bonus
  • Martial Bonus
  • Material Bonus
  • Morale Bonus
  • Natural Armor Bonus
  • Racial Bonus
  • Resistance Bonus
  • Retraining Bonus
  • Shield Bonus
  • Shield Enhancement Bonus
  • Size Bonus
  • Training Bonus
  • Weapon Bonus
  • performance bonus (charge)
  • arcane bonus (charge)
  • divine bonus (charge)
  • dual bonus (both arcane & divine charges)

Possible New Character Classes

  • Physical Adept class (Fleshcrafter?) - arcane-powered melee, re-tool eidolon-style abilities as self-buffs
  • Mentat Warsage Storm Knight class - intelligence-based melee and thrown weapons user.
  • Toxotes - high damage ranged attacks, trick shots (possibly just create via new rogue talents?)
  • Galvanist
  • Seeker
  • Templar
  • Effigy (Artifact? Vestige?)
  • the character is an actual artifact, which is intelligent. The actual artifact is /somewhere/, though even the player may not know where. They have extended their consciousness into a remote effigy (moppet?) with which they interact with the world.
  • they can use their experience to augment their effigy, giving it better abilities
  • like a summoner or pet class, except that the master isn't present on the battlefield
  • Assassin
  • inflicts and spreads bleeds; can end all bleeds to deal that much damage to all enemies (even non-bleeding ones)

Reminder links to complete additional classes at future date

Interesting Links