race builder is actually very nice. Why can't the whole system work like that?

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rockym93 dot net

These never made it to completion, basically because Pathfinder is too damn complex to design for. That said, the race builder is actually very nice. Why can't the whole system work like that?


Uh, I had statblocks for races around here somewhere. No really, I swear! Although now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I stuck them in the bin.

Man I am so professional about this.


There is a reason that this has taken a day or three to show up, and that reason is that I've been bashing my head against the stubborn and inconsistent brick wall of Pathfinder's magic subsystems. There are so many spells and so many edge cases and so many unrelated but interacting subsystems and so many balance issues and I just don't have the knowledge of the system I need to make it work.

I think - think - I've solved it though, by welding together three more-or-less disparate systems in a way that'll surely make hardcore crunch experts cringe.

But first, I need to talk about classes.

You probably noticed that there's a fair amount of crossover between the Sorcerer fluff and the Blood mage fluff. This is unintentional, but not really surprising. Aside from the fact that I'm going to rip out the casting system and remodel it totally, sorcerers can pretty much stay as they are.

Wizards and Clerics, on the other hand, don't fit neatly. Lantern mages would ideally be a cross between the two. The solution, I think, is to take one and make it work more like the other, and then ditch the other. And which one I choose to ditch really depends on whether or not I want to use clerics elsewhere. Which, come to think of it, I don't. I think Paladins fill that kind of Holy-Warrior niche better, and while I haven't thought that much about gods yet, I do know they're not the 'getting involved in mortal affairs' sort. That always struck me as a bit demeaning for a god really.

On the other hand the cleric spell list is a bit sappy for someone who uses a barely-contained jar of thermite for their power source. Wizard it is then.

The system, such as it is, is a fusion of a simplified spell point system, Words of Power, and... wait for it... hit points. Bear with me here.

Bloodmagi learn words according to the table on the SRD page. They cast spells by building them on the fly out of these words. They pay for this casting by taking one point of non-lethal damage for every spell level the spell has in it. This supersedes the rules for combining spells in the Words of power rules - in this version, you just add them together.

Huh. I thought it would be harder to explain than that. But really all you have to do is skim the words of power section and then read the non-lethal damage rules. They regenerate pretty quickly (a sorc with a d6 hit dice should have all their damage gone within 6 hours). It builds in getting Staggered for casting too much, and casting desperately from actual hit points. It's a pretty logical fit.

Lanternmagi learn words according to the Wizard table. At the start of the day, they choose a subset of their words known to have memorised. They cast these spells by expending a spell slot (representing a single charge of lantern fuel) of the appropriate level. They don't forget words after casting, and they can combine words using the word combining table on the wordcasting page, as long as they have all the words they need memorised.