Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

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Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:59 am

Along with the new Abilities, an updated set of Destinies was needed to work with the new system. Lapis-Lazily has worked long and hard on it to bring us an updated (and in places revised and expanded) set of destinies, and after much toil and effort it's ready to be unveiled! This is the combined system for both Living Legends and Pony Tales.

Your Destiny awaits here.

There have been several changes to the destinies, a few necessitated by the Abilities system, some in order to polish or refine troublesome ones. The two biggest changes are:

1) The Evolution destiny has been removed. It mainly came about because people wanted to play around with more racial points and the ability to change them in the old system. And it was fun, but with the combination of racial points and utility talents into one system, it became incredibly boring because it was almost entirely "Have some more points. Have some more points. Now have some more points." It also had a tendency to slow games down as people re-appropriated their points, and in the new system that would take even longer due to the much larger combined pool of ability points.
2) Sharp-eyed people have noticed that the shape-shifter utility talents didn't translate to the new system. That's because they have been absorbed into the Shapeshifter destiny, giving it a more unique and interesting feel.

As with everything, the destinies are subject to change if you find a problem we missed. There are one or two we're thinking about changing, but didn't want to let that delay revealing them any longer (since they work at the moment, they just could be better). There shouldn't be any other major changes (besides changing everything to work with abilities), but give it a read and let us know if you spot something.

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Proposal for a change to Mindsculptor

Post  Philadelphus on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:51 pm

One of the destinies mentioned in the above post that we're considering changing is Mindsculptor's level 7 ability. For review:

Mindsculptor:
You are not like a normal mage, for the ability to craft thoughts and wield psychic energy has become second nature to you.

Level 4 – Mental Mage
During your adventures you’ve tapped into a rare school of Arcane power; the magic of the mind. At the moment your powers are limited but given time your powers can grow considerably. You gain the following ability.

Psychic Speaking – At Will
When talking to someone, instead of making a normal Persuasion check, you may make an Arcana or Persuasion check with a +2 bonus. If the check succeeds, the target believes whatever you told them to be true, and you may have them forget that you told them so. However, this counts as a “mind-altering effect” and if you fail the check made this way, the person you used it against knows you tried to use mind magic on them.

For instance, you may walk up behind someone and tell them that you’re an old friend of theirs. They will turn around and greet you merrily, somewhat embarrassed they don’t remember your name. Perhaps you find yourself on the back of a dragon – no worries, just tell it that it doesn’t know you’re there, and it won’t bother you. Of course, the DCs to actually alter someone’s mind are much higher than normal Persuasion DCs, and the more outlandish your statement, the less likely their mind is to accept the blatant falsehood.

Level 7 – Mindslaver
Your mental powers have expanded, increasing your control over others. Your power over the mind can now suggest others to do your will. You gain the following ability.

Word of Command – 3/Day
Command a creature to perform a specific task. If that creature’s level is equal to or lower than yours, they are strongly compelled to complete your task but will not take any action that puts their lives, allies or property at serious risk. They will not be aware that you commanded them to do this and will feel as though it is their own compulsion.

Level 10 – Artisan of Will
You’ve become so adept in the art of mind control that should you gain access to another’s will, it becomes like clay in your psychic hands. You can wrap reigns of power around someone’s mind, forcing them into complete subservience. You gain the following ability.

Enthrall – 1/Day
Make an Arcana or Persuasion check. Target creature makes an opposing Perception or Persuasion check . If you beat the target’s check, that creature becomes your thrall. You can command your thrall to do anything, and they do not appear as a mindless puppet but rather retain their normal personality and intelligence – other characters will not suspect they are under your control unless you command them to do something notably out of character, in which case people might suspect they’re being controlled. Characters can make an arcana check with a DC equal to 50 plus your arcana modifier on your thrall to determine that they’re being controlled by you. You can only have one thrall at a time, and they regain control of themselves should you die.

Currently the level 7 references NPC levels, which is not something ever mentioned in any of the DM guides or indeed anywhere else in the system. It's also not very different from the level 10 ability, and with some ingenuity you can get almost the same effect from the level 4 ability (since they believe anything you tell them as true if you win the skill check, just tell them that they "must" do something, or that a superior authority has commanded them to do something). Thus, we'd like to change it.

Recently I had an idea that the old Deceive the Senses racial ability could fit the bill, with a little tweaking. For reference, the old ability:

Old Deceive the Senses:
Deceive the Senses (3) - Magic
Your illusionary magic may change the appearance of all objects and terrain features within 50 feet of you - making them look, smell, sound, and sometimes even feel like something else. For example, you could make a flask of acid look like a bottle of wine, or make a priceless artifact look and feel like a clumsy wood carving.

Roll a d20+15. This number becomes the DC for a creature to see through your deception (using a Perception check). A creature automatically sees through the illusion if it takes damage from a disguised object or disguised terrain (such as walking on an illusory carpet that is actually lava).

The effect of your Deceive the Senses ends after 5 minutes.

At 3 racial points (or 6 ability points) it's about 2/3 of the way to the power level of a level 7 ability. To bring it up to par we could do a couple things: make it 1/Day instead of Magic, increase the duration, and make it the DC to spot it a bit higher.


Level 7 – Mental Misdirection
Your mental powers have increased considerably, allowing you to control other's perceptions and change them to suit your own ends.

Deceive the Senses – 1/Day
Your illusionary magic may change the appearance of all objects and terrain features within 50 feet of you, making them look, smell, sound, and sometimes even feel like something else. For example, you could make a flask of acid look like a bottle of wine, or make a priceless artifact look and feel like a clumsy wood carving.

Make an Arcana check with a +15 bonus when you use this ability. This number becomes the DC for a creature to see through your deception (using a Perception check). A creature automatically sees through the illusion if it takes damage from a disguised object or disguised terrain (such as walking on an illusory carpet that is actually lava).

The effect of Deceive the Senses ends after 10 minutes.

Anyway, thoughts?

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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:10 am

I like the revamp proposal except for tying the roll to Arcana specifically instead of a more neutral empty roll. Has a bit of mage bias that may actually make it worse for some characters from a numerical perspective. There's a number of options ranging from allowing the player to take an either/or between Arcana and a d20 to possibly allowing something like 3d10 (forgo crits for a higher average), allowing the player to roll twice when setting the DC, or even just outright making it a static DC but allowing the player to roll a d20 for crit purposes.
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Zarhon on Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:27 am

Posting from Skype:

The Archlich destiny - I think this destiny has a few problems.

1) Its existance as a destiny means there is zero methods of playing a 'proper' necromancer with necromantic abilities, until you reach level three/seven/ten. You can't do anything undead or dead-related with any ability, outside of maybe "mook", which you can get at lvl3 anyway (defeating its purpose).

2) It's lvl3 abilities forces you into a choice of "necromancer who likes to talk to the dead and nothing else", or a "necromancer who can raise mook zombies".  The first fits the necromancer role, but is functionally pointless outside of information gathering. The other grants you glorified mooks.

You also get FK Necromancy, which... Isn't useful outside of lore knowledge of undead/necromancy. You can't use it to mimic necromancer abilities (you get those from destiny and there isn't any "magecraft" anymore), only identify it / counter it. Both situations are unlikely to happen (how often does a necromancer fight another necromancer?).

3) At lvl7, you get a frankly stupid/nigh-useless passive detection (something you usually don't require passive detection for, and won't be seeing used unless you happen to be in a setting chock-full of dead and undead things) that is mimicked by crow-form's shapeshifter destiny, as well as only one choice of ability from several impressive necromancer abilities, limiting both flavor and 'power' options of a proper necromancer.

4) It's lvl 10 benefit is only as good as the plot/story lets it be and is functionally/actively useless on its own. Its "get an extra lvl7 ability" is a better benefit from that - something that gives you power and functionality increases directly, rather than an implied 'plot armor (and in no way foolproof - in fact, DMs might actually go out of their way to exploit the phylactery weaknesses/drawbacks, simply because 'they're there').
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  ZamuelNow on Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:39 am

BTW, any chance of the crime lab getting added back into the Master Detective destiny?


Master Detective - Level 4 Original:
Level 4 - Into The Hero-Cave
A great detective needs suitably fantastic forensics laboratory. Through your skill, ingenuity or investment you have managed to craft a laboratory worthy of a mind such as yourself. This lab is set in a permanent location (such as your house, workplace or a secret location). When within the comfort of your laboratory, you may roll twice on skill checks made to investigate objects and take either result. Your forensics laboratory also hosts a significant criminal library, which allows you to roll twice on skill checks made to identify people or objects and their associated histories (such as recognizing a stranger and determining their reputation, or identifying the history surrounding a stolen painting).

Master Detective - Level 4 Secondary option proposal:
Level 4 - Into The Hero-Cave
A great detective needs suitably fantastic forensics laboratory. Through your skill, ingenuity or investment you have managed to craft a laboratory worthy of a mind such as yourself. This lab is either set in a permanent location (such as your house, workplace or a secret location) or it is designed to be in any number of portable forms ranging from a complex and well stocked utility belt to a van filled with gear for the latest mystery. When using your laboratory, you may roll twice on skill checks made to investigate objects and take either result. Your forensics laboratory also hosts a significant criminal library, which allows you to roll twice on skill checks made to identify people or objects and their associated histories (such as recognizing a stranger and determining their reputation, or identifying the history surrounding a stolen painting).
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:24 am

ZamuelNow wrote:I like the revamp proposal except for tying the roll to Arcana specifically instead of a more neutral empty roll.  Has a bit of mage bias that may actually make it worse for some characters from a numerical perspective.  There's a number of options ranging from allowing the player to take an either/or between Arcana and a d20 to possibly allowing something like 3d10 (forgo crits for a higher average), allowing the player to roll twice when setting the DC, or even just outright making it a static DC but allowing the player to roll a d20 for crit purposes.

Hmm, that's a good point. Considering the other two abilities specify an "Arcana or Persuasion" check it should probably do the same.

Also, the crime lab thing: I've been thinking about that too. One problem is that it requires fitting into the story much the way boons do, which can be difficult to do in some campaigns. On the other hand, the actual mechanical effects – rolling twice on checks and whatnot – could be a thing, I think. Perhaps the level 4 could have a choice between the current option and the mechanical effects.

Zarhon wrote:The Archlich destiny - I think this destiny has a few problems.

1) Its existance as a destiny means there is zero methods of playing a 'proper' necromancer with necromantic abilities, until you reach level three/seven/ten. You can't do anything undead or dead-related with any ability, outside of maybe "mook", which you can get at lvl3 anyway (defeating its purpose).
What exactly does a "proper" necromancer do? I should think that the ability to summon zombies out of thin air five times a day with Mook is pretty necromancer-y (and the ability to do it as often as you like with the destiny is hardly to be sneezed at). Not every character archetype is available in full-fledged form right from the start.

Zarhon wrote:2) It's lvl3 abilities forces you into a choice of "necromancer who likes to talk to the dead and nothing else", or a "necromancer who can raise mook zombies".  The first fits the necromancer role, but is functionally pointless outside of information gathering. The other grants you glorified mooks.
I'm not really sure what you're saying the problem is. You stated in the first point that there are no ways to play a "proper" necromancer until level 4. But the thing that does "fit" the necromancer role is somehow pointless? (Despite the fact that gathering information is one of the more important things PCs can do.)

Zarhon wrote:You also get FK Necromancy, which... Isn't useful outside of lore knowledge of undead/necromancy. You can't use it to mimic necromancer abilities (you get those from destiny and there isn't any "magecraft" anymore), only identify it / counter it. Both situations are unlikely to happen (how often does a necromancer fight another necromancer?).
I believe this is mostly there for flavor. Although I'm sure there are situations where it could come in handy.

Zarhon wrote:3) At lvl7, you get a frankly stupid/nigh-useless passive detection (something you usually don't require passive detection for, and won't be seeing used unless you happen to be in a setting chock-full of dead and undead things) that is mimicked by crow-form's shapeshifter destiny, as well as only one choice of ability from several impressive necromancer abilities, limiting both flavor and 'power' options of a proper necromancer.
The reason you get one is because each of them is balanced to be worth a level 7 destiny feature along with the passive (which could definitely be of use in the right situations).

Zarhon wrote:4) It's lvl 10 benefit is only as good as the plot/story lets it be and is functionally/actively useless on its own. Its "get an extra lvl7 ability" is a better benefit from that - something that gives you power and functionality increases directly, rather than an implied 'plot armor (and in no way foolproof - in fact, DMs might actually go out of their way to exploit the phylactery weaknesses/drawbacks, simply because 'they're there').
The phylactery and associated stuff are, so I understand from my limited knowledge of D&D related matter, staples of the idea of a "lich". You can't remove them without completely changing the concept from what it's meant to be. This is the Archlich destiny, after all – not the Proper Necromancer destiny. It would seem that at the moment we don't really have a Proper Necromancer destiny such as you're looking for (though I'm also not entirely clear what exactly that is). Of course, it's always possible to add another destiny.

And I'm sorry, but the ability to be immortal and regenerate as often as you like is somehow "useless"? You can become the disposable scout, able to go on suicide missions to retrieve the information that no one else can. You can do all kinds of risky things because "if I die, I'll just regenerate tomorrow" (along with all your gear and items! Put all the plot-trinkets on the Lich, and you'll never lose them). You no longer need to eat or drink, sleep or breathe. This has nothing to do with plot, and everything with how you use it. Passive abilities can be just as powerful (if not more so) than more flashy active abilities.

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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  ZamuelNow on Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:41 am

Philadelphus wrote:Also, the crime lab thing: I've been thinking about that too. One problem is that it requires fitting into the story much the way boons do, which can be difficult to do in some campaigns. On the other hand, the actual mechanical effects – rolling twice on checks and whatnot – could be a thing, I think. Perhaps the level 4 could have a choice between the current option and the mechanical effects.

The secondary proposal was specifically due to comments about making it portable, thus it can be handwaved into whatever the player chooses it to be. The either/or choice between it or Twitchy Tail is all I request, especially since it gives more variance to the Destiny as a whole.
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Zarhon on Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:19 pm

By necromancer, I mean any character that can interact (via communication or personal interference/command/magic) with the dead, undead, or otherworldly/supernatural/spiritual, in a way that can't be mimicked by a simple skill check, or that has power over the body/flesh/sould/remains of the dead that defies conventional biology or laws of nature.

Examples:
Spoiler:

- A PC who has a "Sixth sense" gift - they have to wait till level 7 to "see dead people", or willingly summon ghosts at lvl4. Alternately, every PC is capable of seeing dead people, so they're not that special.
- A necromancer who trained and studied enough to know how the whole deal works - wait till level 4 to summon zombies, and they can never bind any NPC corpse to do their bidding, only their "out of thin air" conjurations, and their options of interactions of ghosts exclude them from making zombies - a compromise of "function" over "situational information with special requirements".
- A mad scientist playing Frankenstein - they can't revive bodyparts or stitch up a monster out of NPCs with 'good parts'. They have to compromise with 'blank-slate' conjurations who can't do anything 'unique' (outside of their static stats/abilities).

There's simply very few ways to have the abilities one could need to RP necromancy abilities at lvl1-3, and the DM can't exactly grant custom abilities (e.g. 'only-you-see-ghosts-vision') without making the archlich's destiny features redundant, or granting the player destiny-level abilities before they should.

The level 4 zombie army summoning and the ghost-interaction are both reasonable things for a necromancer/archlich to be able to do, but the destiny only allows for one path, and the ghosts options is only for information gathering that involves corpses/dead things, limiting it to very situational uses (compare with "Honesty" in difficulty of getting requirements of use fulfilled). You can't ever have both options, even at lvl10. If I want to talk to / summon ghosts, I have to be unable to create zombies. If I want to create zombies, I have to be unable to talk to / summon ghosts. Wouldn't a fully-powered archlich be able to do both?

The biggest issue of its "necromantic" abilities here is that Archliches have really poor benefits of interactions with dead, unique NPCs / corpses of same. Either:
Spoiler:
a) Speak With Dead - limited information gathering via "tell me a single truthful answer" and further persuasion (how much can a ghost know? Stuff before and/or after they died? It's rather vague and likely different between ghost interpretations a DM might apply), which is situational due to requiring a "knowledgable corpse". It's also potentially redundant if the ghost is 'already present' somewhere for any PC to notice and talk to.

b) Call Forth The Spirit - Summoning ghosts of creatures you 'know' (another vagueness - do you have to know their name? Appearance? Who they are?), who then have to be persuaded to provided information which may not be truthful. The spirit also stays with you for 10 minutes, during which it can pester you or otherwise say things that can be detrimental ("Help, the necromancer killed me! Avenge me!").

c) True Reanimation - A carbon-copy of Speak With Dead / Element of Honesty, and you gain an ally you can't control or oblige to help you. The revived creature can be hostile to your allies (meaning no reviving a dragon unless you want your party eaten), and/or detrimental like the above example with the ghost. You can also only revive one creature a day, making it further limited. It also has a minor vagueness regarding the corpse - how intact can it be to perform the ritual, if the creature "retains all abilities it had in life"?

So overall, info gathering and maybe a single ally is the most you can get from unique NPCs, assuming they choose to help you. No options to control undead NPCs (The summoned minions don't count - they're generic blank slate conjurations, zombies only in flavor), bind them to your will, and other such benefits or uses a typical morally-ambiguous necromancer would employ on a corpse of a specific unique NPC or unique creature.

Much of the stuff granted by "Lichdom" is equally achievable by having "Mechanical" and/or "Nine Lives", from level 1. "Nine Lives" doesn't require you to wait a day (which can be the time of a session or more, depending on how time works in the campaign), either - just an hour. Whilst using an archlich for "suicide tactics" does sound valid, it's highly impractical / unfun - a day of being dead means the player sits out, not playing, for a while, which at level 10 can mean missing out / being absent during the climax of a campaign. It's also unlikely to be used when the archlich can have several variants of minions to suicide for it, or when the archlich is viable to be captured without dying (goodbye, plot tokens - the archlich can't suicide at will).
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:26 am

Zarhon wrote:Examples:
Spoiler:

- A PC who has a "Sixth sense" gift - they have to wait till level 7 to "see dead people", or willingly summon ghosts at lvl4. Alternately, every PC is capable of seeing dead people, so they're not that special.
- A necromancer who trained and studied enough to know how the whole deal works - wait till level 4 to summon zombies, and they can never bind any NPC corpse to do their bidding, only their "out of thin air" conjurations, and their options of interactions of ghosts exclude them from making zombies - a compromise of "function" over "situational information with special requirements".
- A mad scientist playing Frankenstein - they can't revive bodyparts or stitch up a monster out of NPCs with 'good parts'. They have to compromise with 'blank-slate' conjurations who can't do anything 'unique' (outside of their static stats/abilities).

There's simply very few ways to have the abilities one could need to RP necromancy abilities at lvl1-3, and the DM can't exactly grant custom abilities (e.g. 'only-you-see-ghosts-vision') without making the archlich's destiny features redundant, or granting the player destiny-level abilities before they should.
Not every character concept can be perfectly realized within the confines of the Pony Tales system because there are an infinite number of character concepts that people can come up with. There are only so many we can put in a single document, and making one that is balanced, fun, and unique is difficult and takes time.

Also, I believe there are some good gameplay reasons not to let PCs take control over arbitrary NPCs. It would turn into a nightmare for DMs as any creature that the PCs can kill could suddenly rise again and work for them. This would lead to DMs pulling tricks to keep their NPCs from falling into the PCs' hands, which would quickly lead to frustration as the PCs feel like they can never kill anything – or anything they kill is hand-waved away as being unable to be controlled.

Another problem with this idea is that it's pretty boring. Kill powerful NPC anyway possible (poison or some other underhanded method preferable) --> raise from the dead and have free powerful servant for a week. The current situation is much better, as it allows for this situation, but only with some work on the players' part. Perhaps you can raise a friendly creature, or one that has a thirst for vengeance and agrees to work with you to accomplish that goal, or you can coerce the creature into working for you somehow (by taking hostages, appealing to loyalty, or flat-out persuading them to help). This provides for much more role-playing and interaction compared to simply "res and command."

Zarhon wrote:The level 4 zombie army summoning and the ghost-interaction are both reasonable things for a necromancer/archlich to be able to do, but the destiny only allows for one path, and the ghosts options is only for information gathering that involves corpses/dead things, limiting it to very situational uses (compare with "Honesty" in difficulty of getting requirements of use fulfilled). You can't ever have both options, even at lvl10. If I want to talk to / summon ghosts, I have to be unable to create zombies. If I want to create zombies, I have to be unable to talk to / summon ghosts. Wouldn't a fully-powered archlich be able to do both?
It's not about what a fully-powered archlich would be able to do (which is entirely fictional anyway, it's not like we're comparing to a real profession), it's about what would be balanced within the game system so as not to be overpowered. Although perhaps level 10 could have the option to choose either a second level 7 ability or the level 4 ability you didn't take.

Zarhon wrote:The biggest issue of its "necromantic" abilities here is that Archliches have really poor benefits of interactions with dead, unique NPCs / corpses of same. Either:
a) Speak With Dead - limited information gathering via "tell me a single truthful answer" and further persuasion (how much can a ghost know? Stuff before and/or after they died? It's rather vague and likely different between ghost interpretations a DM might apply), which is situational due to requiring a "knowledgable corpse". It's also potentially redundant if the ghost is 'already present' somewhere for any PC to notice and talk to.
A single truthful answer can be quite powerful in the right circumstances, and you can do it for free once a day. Also, a summoned creature is pretty much helpless, so you could use Honesty to get a further three questions. And there's always the possibility that you've raised an actually helpful creature who is eager to give you as much information as they possibly can. Not every NPC interaction needs be antagonistic.

Zarhon wrote:b) Call Forth The Spirit - Summoning ghosts of creatures you 'know' (another vagueness - do you have to know their name? Appearance? Who they are?), who then have to be persuaded to provided information which may not be truthful. The spirit also stays with you for 10 minutes, during which it can pester you or otherwise say things that can be detrimental ("Help, the necromancer killed me! Avenge me!").
It says creatures that you "know of", which is very wide. You could know of someone simply as a name, or even as just a description: "that old trapper pony who lived out near the BBEG's evil lair and hasn't been seen in 20 years". And again, you keep assuming that every creature you summon is going to require persuasion. Summon the ghost of the mayor you were working for that the BBEG just killed and they'll be falling over themselves giving you all the information you can take. Yes, this power has the potential to be problematic, as you've pointed out; you're messing with the magics of life and death, do you expect it to be entirely risk-free? My point is that there are just as many and likely many more situations in which this could be useful (depending on how wisely you use it) compared to ones where it's problematic.

Zarhon wrote:c) True Reanimation - A carbon-copy of Speak With Dead / Element of Honesty, and you gain an ally you can't control or oblige to help you. The revived creature can be hostile to your allies (meaning no reviving a dragon unless you want your party eaten), and/or detrimental like the above example with the ghost. You can also only revive one creature a day, making it further limited. It also has a minor vagueness regarding the corpse - how intact can it be to perform the ritual, if the creature "retains all abilities it had in life"?
As I've pointed out before, this is for very good reasons. If you could just go around raising any old dragon you come across and force them to work for you for a week, that could seriously mess up some campaigns. If you can raise a dragon and you can manage to persuade it to help you with inspired role-playing, that's going to feel awesome to everyone involved. Much more awesome than "Meh, another dead dragon. Better start preparing for Uber-Servant #22."

And again – not every creature you raise will necessarily be immediately antagonistic. One of your NPC allies just got killed by the BBEG? You can bet he's going to be foaming at the mouth for a chance to revenge himself on his foe. It all comes down to how you use the ability. I can think of plenty of scenarios that don't involve any of the problems you bring up.

Zarhon wrote:Much of the stuff granted by "Lichdom" is equally achievable by having "Mechanical" and/or "Nine Lives", from level 1. "Nine Lives" doesn't require you to wait a day (which can be the time of a session or more, depending on how time works in the campaign), either - just an hour. Whilst using an archlich for "suicide tactics" does sound valid, it's highly impractical / unfun - a day of being dead means the player sits out, not playing, for a while, which at level 10 can mean missing out / being absent during the climax of a campaign. It's also unlikely to be used when the archlich can have several variants of minions to suicide for it, or when the archlich is viable to be captured without dying (goodbye, plot tokens - the archlich can't suicide at will).
Yup. It is pretty similar. This is an unavoidable fact of the lore surrounding liches. You can't remove or change that without making it about something other than a lich. And despite the similarity, the fact remains that they are very powerful abilities. (Nine Lives, for instance, is worth a whopping 9 points – and this is essentially an unlimited version of that.) Once again, this is the Archlich destiny, not a Necromancer destiny. If you'd like to try writing a Necromancer destiny that better fits your idea of what a necromancer should be, we can see about possibly adding it if we can get it balanced and polished. But some features of the Archlich destiny simply can't be changed without completely changing the core idea of the destiny.

Sure, it's possible to use the powers the destiny gives you poorly and get a poor result. That's a danger with any destiny or ability, and it's part of giving players enough tools to do cool things; sometimes they won't use them wisely, and that's part of playing the game. The flip side of this is that, used wisely, these abilities (like any other destiny or ability) can be quite powerful.

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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:05 am

Detailed and excellent response Philadelphus. Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Zarhon on Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:55 pm

Still curious about the ghost/corpse vagueness.

How intact does the "True Reanimation" target have to be - does the corpse get a pseudo-restoration (or ethereal/ghostly/spectral magical body) effect to allow use of all it's life abilities (allowing you to revive only a skull), or does it have to be 90% intact already? How does it work on creatures that were crippled (e.g. blind or mute or armless) prior to death - does the cripple effect follow them in undeath?

What falls within the realm of what a ghost "knows", or "witnesses", before or after death? Can they see around their body as they float upwards (or downwards) or any events around their corpse, do they know what the afterlife looks like, who else is with them in the afterlife (e.g. an NPC the PCs are trying to find, but don't know is dead), etc... Purely DM choice?
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:40 am

Zarhon wrote:Still curious about the ghost/corpse vagueness.

How intact does the "True Reanimation" target have to be - does the corpse get a pseudo-restoration (or ethereal/ghostly/spectral magical body) effect to allow use of all it's life abilities (allowing you to revive only a skull), or does it have to be 90% intact already? How does it work on creatures that were crippled (e.g. blind or mute or armless) prior to death - does the cripple effect follow them in undeath?

What falls within the realm of what a ghost "knows", or "witnesses", before or after death? Can they see around their body as they float upwards (or downwards) or any events around their corpse, do they know what the afterlife looks like, who else is with them in the afterlife (e.g. an NPC the PCs are trying to find, but don't know is dead), etc... Purely DM choice?

Regarding True Reanimation, that's a good question, and needs some clarification. (Personally I'd probably play it pretty loosely, such that as long as a body was relatively intact you could use it, even if all you had left was a skeleton. That's just my leaning, though.) Since it lets them retain "all abilities they had in life" I'd say that if they were blind prior to death they'd still be blind upon reanimation.

For the second part, honestly, there are so many different ways you could go with it that I wouldn't want to put a crimp in a DM's style by specifying too narrow a view of what "should" happen. There are a lot of ways this could be done, and for those playing pony-themed games it's a subject that is wide-open to interpretation seeing as there's no real canon treatment of it. So yeah, I'd say to leave it open to give DMs as much freedom as possible to come up with their own cool interpretations.


On the topic of Master Detective, how does something like this sound as a choice at level 4:

My Detective Senses are Tingling
Your deductive skills are serving you well. You can get information from people and objects that others can't. When making a Perception check to investigate an object you may roll twice and take either result. [*] Similarly, you know the best ways to dig up dirt on people. Whenever you make a History check to identify people or objects and their associated histories you may roll twice and take either result.

[*]This doesn't let you just roll twice on every Perception check, mind you. If your DM asks you to roll a Perception check to see if you notice something, you obviously aren't "investigating" it and wouldn't get to roll twice on it.

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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  ZamuelNow on Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:46 pm

Philadelphus wrote:On the topic of Master Detective, how does something like this sound as a choice at level 4:

My Detective Senses are Tingling
Your deductive skills are serving you well. You can get information from people and objects that others can't. When making a Perception check to investigate an object you may roll twice and take either result.
[*] Similarly, you know the best ways to dig up dirt on people. Whenever you make a History check to identify people or objects and their associated histories you may roll twice and take either result.
[*]This doesn't let you just roll twice on every Perception check, mind you. If your DM asks you to roll a Perception check to see if you notice something, you obviously aren't "investigating" it and wouldn't get to roll twice on it.

While part of me misses the loss of of the crime lab setup, this seems fair. It keeps it as a viably different option from the other Level 4 and technically that makes it more varied from the Level 7.
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Re: Destinies, now reworked to work with the Abilities system!

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:37 pm

You can also reflavor it to be a crime lab or work it into the story with your DM. The mechanic just doesn't force a DM to suddenly materialize a crime lab because you leveled up.

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