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Points and Questions for Tweaks Edit
So, for the past couple weeks, I've been considering some tweaks to the class. Namely, with the Rending Touch damage progression. As a standard action, and the class's main form of dealing damage it too low. At low levels it is outclassed by mundane weapons, and high levels, it certainly isn't any better. The un-transformed damage, while at-will, might be more useful out of combat.
Proposed Solution: Move the ability to First level. Have it start with 2d6 damage. Gain +1d6 every level. While Transformed, damage dice increase to d8s. That makes... while transformed, a standard hit at level 20 deals about 94 untyped melee damage (un-transformed is about 73) and it works on objects, walls, whatever. Now, I currently (or at least the current version of it) have a feat that grants an additional damage dice to the Rending Touch and can be taken multiple times. Should it instead grant an additional 2 damage dice or perhaps up the d6/d8 form of damage to d8/d10 (94/115 damage)? Taking that feat would probably be a no-brainer, but seeing as how not a lot of other feats mesh well with the class anyhow, it might be the way to go.
That leads to my next problem, healing capability. Because they get spells at will, I've purposely avoided giving them any healing spells. I instead had to work some mechanic that allows them to burn positive or negative energy Rending Touches if they take a feat for it. At first, with that feat, it can only be done while they are transformed, but with another feat, it grants limited times per day when not transformed. A quick fix solution to the problem. That's way too clunky for something to burn two feats on. So, is it even worth bothering to give them healing ability in general?
Possible Fix: Grant the Cure spells, but at higher levels than normal. Make cure minor a 1st level (available at will at 5th), cure light a second level (available at will at 9th) and so on. I can't imagine that it is going to come up much in combat, as its not a grim's job to heal in battle, but it might help buy a round if he backs off to heal himself or someone else in an emergency (that's a risky venture in itself anyways). Really, this ends up being "the party will always be healed between encounters" and makes cleric healing less needed (allowing clerics to use spell slots elsewhere). Fully healed between encounters is likely anyways with items and whatnot, this just makes it free.
So, anyone have anything to say about that?--Ganteka Future 18:27, September 25, 2009 (UTC)
- I haven't actually reviewed the class in detail (it just looks daunting, like I'd need to set aside an hour or so to do it justice), but I would offer this on the subject of healing spells. If you give healing spells at double their listed level minus one as is standard, the only spells that are really useful mid-combat are cure light wounds at first and heal at eleven. Otherwise (and even then), the healer would be better off trying to kill an opponent than healing (unless someone needs stabilization stat). I have long been toying with the idea of an invocation-based class that would have some healing abilities, and what it comes down to is money. People are going to have wands of cure light wounds for after combat, so what it comes down to is do you want to make your characters spend that much on these healing accessories, given their relative cheapness (in terms of monetary value)? If you still want to force them to spend that cash, fine, don't offer unlimited use healing spells. But if you decide that the payment is negligible (considering gold is infinite -- wish economy; experience is infinite) then there's no reason to bar unlimited use healing spells. -- Jota 01:10, September 26, 2009 (UTC)
Author's Notes on Design of this ArticleEdit
As anyone reading this may have noticed, within the author box, it now says that it is Version 7.0. While this class has gone under many dramatic revisions since it was first introduced (for reasons of both balance and flavor), this newest revision is the most ambitious as well as troubling. With the original Grim Version 1, there really wasn't a unifying character purpose or party role for it, and really, it couldn't manage much of anything in that respect. It may have made an okay support character, but the more we forget about it, the better.
So, that brings us to this new version, which, is designed to be a frontline combatant, with numerable options, as well as some ability to command and communicate, and minor battlefield control. This brings me to spells.
I have a problem with the spells. This might be easily resolved simply by removing certain ones with regards to "mechanics trumps flavor" and that the class shouldn't be able to do anything that upsets the flow of the game. This problem starts with being able to cast spells at will while transformed and really becomes obvious with Divine Suffusion. The problem is mostly controlled with the very limited spells known on any given day. The combat spells aren't the problem, it's the buff spells (like invisibility and silence), the ones he can cast on anyone in the party, let alone himself, at any given point once he gets Divine Suffusion. At the level he is able to do so, 9th, such a thing might be accessible by other characters on their own from items or other casters anyhow. While both of those spells as examples fit the flavor of the class... they just don't synchronize very well together. So yeah, I am aware of this. Solutions range from simply removing offending spells from the list, changing the range to Personal only on them, changing the spell's level to be higher, and so on. As it currently stands, there is no solution for this yet implemented.
In addition to that, I worry about the inclusion of divine power. While a character taking it as their 4th level spell, it would be his only forth level spell for the day to cast until he gets to level 20. I would appreciate comments on this concern.
Moving onward. Grim Transformation's number of times per day quickly grows into "I don't need to worry about saving it up for later, just use it" kinda thing, especially with the Extended Transformation (3.5e Feat) and Extra Transformation (3.5e Feat) feats. As this mechanic is cobbed/bogarted/stolen directly from barbarians, it is entirely feasible that it will need changing. Comments on this concern are welcome.
Moving onward again. Bane Attack is also kinda strange. The reason for the static damage is threefold. It is able to scale easily. It is quick, no dice rolling. I don't have to have players roll lots of d3s and d4s instead. The downside is "players like rolling dice" and "some form of random keeps things interesting". It was a tough call, but I went with static. Randomness comes from attack rolls and weapon damage and whatnot. And yes, a bored 15th level grim could just bore a tunnel through a mountain if he wanted, with Nixing Bane.
Death's Contract actually needs to scale up to its current existing form in the shape of small bonuses to saves granted earlier on or reduction from those effects. Is there even such a thing as Negative Energy Resistance?
That brings me to the big beast in the room, Alterations. Man, what a troublesome class feature. Anyways, the point of them was to allow progressive character building toward the flavor and mechanics that the character desired. I would like to point out that two of the alterations currently serve very similar purposes, with very different mechanics: Aura of Dread (3.5e Grim Alteration) and Surge of Emotion (3.5e Grim Alteration). As redundant as it seems, I've considered leaving both in. However, input on this is welcome.
So, to anyone considering reviewing this class. I'm sorry. I know it's long, and it has 14 class-specific feats, 54 alterations and 6 variants. I got a little carried away. Though, I actually did trim a lot out, honestly (sorry Arcane Grim and Mechanus Grim, maybe someday).
I think that's about all I wanted to cover. Hopefully this information is helpful (and leads to 7.1, which was always expected anyhow). --Ganteka Future 03:56, December 10, 2009 (UTC)