2 years later!

New project: Theurgy.

Goals: An RPG that is elegant (simple with depth), that draws it’s players into the environment and setting, thematically and mechanically. Preferably it would include suggested paths of creative gameplay that allow a particular game table to mold the world in ways unique to that table, similar in concept to legacy mechanics in boardgames.

Subgoals: Arrive at a testable system within the next 6-12 months.

Current state: First steps of design have been taken, I have the core mechanic basically figured out, several races I would like to include, and a fairly in depth setting outline.

Setting info: Silmarillion meets Bitey’s world. A world that feels old and young at the same time, giving players the experience of getting in at the ground floor of a fantasy world’s generation. The intent is to fill the world with strange and mythical creatures and places, but keep the world small in scope, a single stage where the important historical events happen, and then, after a series of sessions the players have crafted a version of Theurgy that is entirely their own, and the world building is set aside for more standard TTRPG gameplay.

Nailing down mechanics: Skill list, equipment list, magic and ability mechanics, combat mechanics and action economy.

Down the road: Legacy mechanics.

One little play test can change a lot

I’m making leaps and bounds on my game project, but I wanted to see how understandable what I’m writing is. I got my nephew to try the game out, he’s heading into grade 8 and has played dungeons and dragons with his friends already.

Turns out I could have been a lot more clear! That said he only hit a wall once, and missed out on noting a few things down along the way. I helped him past those points, but the thing that makes a good play test is letting people fail and flounder, noting down where they did, and why, and then going back and fixing those things.

Tough watching him struggle at points, but I explained to him how it worked before hand, told him I wanted him to ask questions, but that I wouldn’t answer anything, that I needed to know if he could get through making a character with just what I had written. I used the words “If you struggle or can’t figure anything out, ask me so I know, but remember that any time it’s hard, that’s my fault, and I need to write the book better.” He understood and he rocked it as a tester, I was super impressed. I’ve known lots of people that would get frustrated and quit if I didn’t help them along, it’s just human nature.

In the end he had a character made but the writing wasn’t where I needed it, he wouldn’t have managed without me there, so I have lots and lots of work to do!

Very cool experience, can’t wait to get these changes down and try it again on a new guinea pig. I’ll get my nephew to help again soon to try out the combat rules as well, so there is definitely many long hours ahead. Couldn’t be more excited!

The Chk’Vash

Chk’Vash

Chk’Vash are an unsettling new race on the world of Dynasty, appearing only in the last 500 years. They have already been found on every known continent and are expanding their territories slowly. They have chosen settlements far away from other people to try and avoid conflict, building massive towering hives to protect their queens. So far roughly a dozen hives have been discovered or have made contact with nearby civilizations, each ruled over by a god-queen. Each of these hives is sending out into the world missionaries to spread the word of their queens greatness, to try and build merchantile trade routes into their hive-cities and to acclimatize the peoples of Dynasty to their new neighbors. Another export are exiles, Chk’Vash that do not want to be a part of the hive, that reject their queens and strike out on their own, perhaps to start their own hive or to find a new society to be a part of.

Physical Decription: The Chk’Vash are medium insectoid creatures walking on two long thin legs that make up 2/3s of their height. Their torso, relatively small, supports two long arms that hang nearly to the creature’s knees, an angular head and a thick flexible abdomen projecting from their rear. Their legs and arms each have an extra joint in them, making them unsettling to look at for humans and demi-humans. Their feet and hands end in claws, the upper pair as dextrous as any humans although with only 4 digits, two acting like thumbs and two like large flat fingers, their lower pair well suited for running and climbing. Their heads resemble ants or mantis, supporting a pair of foot long smooth antennae. Each Chk’Vash hive has a distinct carapace colouration that their members are born with, and common to all Chk’Vash is a pair of easily noticed stripes running from behind their eyes to the tip of their abdomen. These stripes have been noted to indicate the creature’s alignment, with Good appearing as either green or yellow, Lawful as a bright red or pink stripe, Neutral as blue ranging from pale to navy, Chaotic as purple or mauve, and Evil as orange or brown.

Society: Each hive of Chk’Vash is primarily influenced by the god-queen that is at it’s centre. Good, bad or somewhere in between, they run their hives like extensions of their will: some peacefully, some aggressive, others carefully and secretive. The concept of falsehood is notably missing from Chk’Vash society, possibly due to their hive nature or the fact that their strange senses can detect falsehood easily in others. This combined with their habit of wearing their alignment on their carapace makes them a strikingly blunt and open society. They speak their wants and needs openly, and take people at their word.

Exiles notably have lost their hive, and most tend to look for a new family to join in the outside world. Many find outside religions or military forces provide adequate structure, while others find the smaller group of an adventuring troupe an adequate replacement.

Relations: The Chk’Vash as a whole are not yet completely accepted or trusted by the people of Dynasty. They are competing for the same resources, have inserted themselves into people’s lives inexplicably, and their missionaries have a habit of appearing on one’s doorstep, excitedly jabbering about a god-queen and how they should join in worship of her. Because there are significantly more peaceful hives than aggressive ones, people tend to view these missionaries as nuisances, slamming doors in their faces or telling them to find something worthwhile to do besides wasting their time.

One boon the Chk’Vash have is that they can create a second skin by cocooning themselves overnight, emerging with an almost perfect humanoid appearance. The process is disturbing to watch, and the end result, while more pleasing to the eyes of humanoids, is not perfect, and Chk’Vash are immediately apparent to not be what they appear in these forms. In public away from the hives, Chk’Vash tend to prefer being in this second skin to avoid clashing with their surroundings, but they do so at a detriment to themselves. Some Chk’Vash find the idea of hiding their true appearance abhorrent, while others are horrified and embarrassed to be seen by non-Chk’Vash without their second skin on. Society at large

Alignment and Religion: Chk’Vash hives tend to have the same alignment as their god-queen, but on a personal level their alignments are almost as varied as human culture. As a whole, Chk’Vash are more commonly good or lawful than they are chaotic or evil. The Chk’Vash primarily worship their god-queens, gaining spells and domains from them just as other cultures do from the gods that exhist in the celestial plane. Some Chk’Vash exiles have joined human or demi-human religions, taking up the creed of these gods as vigorously as they would have their god-queen.

Adventurers: Chk’Vash adventurers usually come in two primary flavours; missionaries and exiles. Missionaries take up adventuring life as part of their hive’s public relations campaign to befriend the people that live around their hive. Every adventure is a new opportunity to tell people about their hive and god-queen, every new city a place to sing the praises of their people from the street corner.

Exiles adventure for personal reasons. Some have grown disillusioned with their god-queen, or had no place in their hive, or committed some crime that could not be reconciled. Some take to adventuring to find a new home, or to find a new family. Some feel the call of wanderlust greater than they feel the call of the hive.

Chk’Vash tend towards being soldiers and priests, valuing the social structure of these organizations.

Chk’Vash Racial Traits

+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: Chk’Vash are hardy and perceptive, but have a hard time reading the body language of other races or perceiving social cues.

Medium: Chk’Vash are medium creatures, standing between 5 and 6 feet tall and about 2 feet wide, although their long limbs make them look bigger.

Darkvision: Chk’Vash can see in the dark up to 30 feet.

Exoskeletal Chitin: Chk’Vash physiology is significantly different from other races. Instead of gaining a bonus to hit points, the Chk’Vash gain a bonus to natural armour equal to their constitution modifier.

Insectoid Physiology: Other races have a -2 racial penalty to heal checks to tend to a Chk’Vash’s wounds, and Chk’Vash have a -2 racial penalty to tend other races wounds. Armour must be crafted specifically for a Chk’Vash, and due to their extra joints and substantially different physiology the cost for making them armour is double that of making it for normal nonstandard creatures.

Enhanced Senses: The Chk’Vash can sense when other creatures around them are lying, gaining a +2 racial bonus to sense motive.

Poor Liars: Due to their ability to detect lies, and how they wear their alignment openly, the Chk’Vash have a -2 racial penalty to bluff checks.

Second Skin: In a process that is disturbing to watch, the Chk’Vash can wrap a cocoon around themselves as they are going to bed. After a full 8 hours rest they emerge with a humanoid coating of skin hiding their insectoid features. Their arms and legs appear shorter, their torsos longer, and their heads rounder. The skin is slightly translucent and can’t completely hide that the Chk’Vash is not a true humanoid, but it makes them seem normal enough that they tend not to disturb other cultures quite as much. While not in their second skin, Chk’Vash have a -2 racial penalty to all social (Charisma based) skills, and a +2 bonus to their intimidate skill. While in their second skin, their chitin has been softened by special fluids to allow their shape to change a bit, removing their bonus to natural armour. Except in Chk’Vash hives and outposts, Chk’Vash face blatant bigotry if they do not attempt to conceal their nature, sometimes even being attacked on sight.

The old tuck and roll…

So I’m slowing down on progress for my altered class list, last couple days have been spent coming up with a special forces style modification for pathfinder. Clout rules, available class options, equipment rules and some new specialized equipment so far. The intention is to create a team similar in flavour to the cast from the anime ghost in the shell (GitS), and to run missions protecting a high-magic empire. Next consideration is for commanders, sort of a DMPC/NPC that manages the party, gives them missions, liaises with other parts of government and generally does the job of Aramaki from GitS.

If I get this little side project finished, I will likely include it as an option for playing in the pre-apocalyptic empire of the North-Western continent.

Thoughts on where to go from here…

So with cabalist done (changed name from occultist because I just found out pathfinder is making a class by that name), I’m tinkering with the elementalist class I thought I would make next but I’m finding myself a little uninspired. I think cabalist, bard, bloodrager, magus, skald, investigator and alchemist is a decent pool of arcane talent, so I may just wait and see if I feel the need to make the elementalist down the road and turn my attention to other projects. I have some ideas for the illusionist and wanderer classes, and can probably whip those up very quickly, and that will be about it for class changes for now. I’m dumping the burglar idea for keeping the rogue/unchained rogue. I intend to remove the trapfinding spell from the arcane list to bring rogue back into the realm of occasionally necessary, even if it is just as a hireling.

I think my energy for class making in general is waning right now, so I will see if I can finish off the wanderer and illusionist but if not I will be moving on to other projects, more along the lines of world building. I have the outline of a world map ready, just need to give it a framework of nations, locations and that will be basically done. I want to include as many organizations, nations, cultures and subcultures as I can. I think those are the main cultural and geographical levers that move adventures. Beyond that I’m going to keep the map blank and open with a lot of location callouts with no name or description to be filled in during play by players or DM.

I guess we shall see for now. I intend to keep things open but with a good framework of things and places for people to explore. Once all of this is done it’s going to be a matter of packaging it up nicely in a pdf and getting ready for the next project.

With the general setting complete, I’m probably going to go back and edit one of my previous works, the baerbarn campaign setting, to line up better with the general setting. Eventually I want setting books for each major location done, and then I would like to see it all printed in a book or set of books. Long term goals though, for now take bits as they come.

Cabalist

Cabalist

In the shuttered attics and lamp lit cellars the cabalist scrawls their incantations. Fetishes and curios both twisted and macabre adorn shelves and skittering horrors writhe in unseen corners. What evil bumps in the night the cabalist tames and makes their own. Shrieking be-tentacled monstrosities, demons and worse bend to their will, but the cabalist is never satisfied, always hunting for the next tomb of secrets.

Role: The cabalist is a practised user of arcane magic, and tends to employ that power to support his allies, shape and control battlefields and to warp the minds of their enemies. When in dire need the cabalist can bring into reality eldritch horrors to combat their enemies.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d6.

Class Skills: The cabalist’s class skills are Craft (Int), Fly (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int),Knowledge (planes) (Int) Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Cabalist

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

1st

+0

+0

+0

+2

Hex, Cantrips

2nd

+1

+0

+0

+3

Hex

3rd

+1

+1

+1

+3

4th

+2

+1

+1

+4

Hex

5th

+2

+1

+1

+4

6th

+3

+2

+2

+5

Hex

7th

+3

+2

+2

+5

8th

+4

+2

+2

+6

Hex

9th

+4

+3

+3

+6

10th

+5

+3

+3

+7

Hex, Major Hex

11th

+5

+3

+3

+7

12th

+6/+1

+4

+4

+8

Hex

13th

+6/+1

+4

+4

+8

14th

+7/+2

+4

+4

+9

Hex

15th

+7/+2

+5

+5

+9

16th

+8/+3

+5

+5

+10

Hex

17th

+8/+3

+5

+5

+10

18th

+9/+4

+6

+6

+11

Hex, Grand Hex

19th

+9/+4

+6

+6

+11

20th

+10/+5

+6

+6

+12

Hex

Spells Per Day

Level

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

1st

1

2nd

2

3rd

3

4th

3

5th

4

6th

4

7th

4

1

8th

4

2

9th

5

3

10th

5

3

1

11th

5

4

2

12th

5

4

3

13th

5

4

3

1

14th

5

4

4

2

15th

5

5

4

3

16th

5

5

4

3

1

17th

5

5

4

4

2

18th

5

5

5

4

3

1

19th

5

5

5

4

3

2

20th

5

5

5

4

4

3

Class Features

The following are the class features of the cabalist.

Weapon and Armour Proficiencies: The cabalist is proficient with simple weapons. They are not proficient with any type of armour or shields. Armour interferes with the cabalist gestures, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

Spells: a cabalist can cast spells from the cabalist spell list. The cabalist must choose and prepare their spells ahead of time.

To learn or cast a spell and cabalist must have an intelligence score equal to at least 10 + spell level. The Difficulty Class for saving throws against a cabalist’s spells is 10 + spell level + the cabalist’s Intelligence modifier.

a cabalist can cast only a certain number of spells per day given in the table above. The cabalist gains additional spells per day based on her Int score, according to table 1-3 in the core rule book.

a cabalist can know any number of spells. She can choose and prepare her spells after 8 hours rest by studying her spell book for one hour.

When casting summon spells, the cabalist must choose creatures with the infernal template regardless of their alignment. While these creatures may be opposed to the cabalist in alignment, they follow his orders by the sheer force of his will.

Spellbooks: a cabalist must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook except for read magic, which all cabalists can prepare from memory. A cabalist begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level cabalist spells plus three 1st-level cabalist spells of his choice. The cabalist also selects a number of additional 1st-level cabalist spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to his spellbook. At each new cabalist level, he gains two new cabalist spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new cabalist level) for his spellbook. At any time, a cabalist can also add spells found in other spellbooks to his own (see Arcane Spells).

a cabalist can learn spells from a wizard’s spellbook, just as a wizard can from a cabalist’s spellbook. The spells learned must be on the cabalist spell list, as normal. An alchemist (see the Alchemist description) can learn formulae from a cabalist’s spellbook, if the spells are also on the alchemist spell list. A cabalist cannot learn spells from an alchemist.

Cantrips: cabalists can prepare a number of cantrips, or 0th level spells, each day, as noted on the table above. These spells are prepared like any other spell but are not expended when cast. Cantrips of higher level due to metamagic feats are expended when cast as normal.

Hex: The cabalist can learn a number of magic tricks called hexes that grant powers or weaken their enemies. At first level the cabalist gains a hex of their choice, and an additional hex at 2nd level and every two levels afterwards. A cabalist can’t select a given hex more than once.

Unless otherwise noted a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the cabalist’s level + the cabalist’s Intelligence modifier.

Blight (Su): The cabalist can curse an animal, plant creature, or plot of land, causing it to wither and die. Blighting an area takes 1 round, during which time the cabalist and her familiar must be in contact with the target. If it’s used on a plot of land, the land begins to wither the following day, and over the next week all plants in the area die. Nothing will grow in that area so long as the curse persists. A cabalist can affect an area with a radius equal to her class level × 10 feet. Blighting a creature is a standard action that requires a melee touch attack. If used on a creature of the animal or plant type, the creature gains the following curse: Blight Hex—type curse; save Will negates; frequency 1/day; effect 1 Con damage. Both types of curse can be removed with a remove curse or similar magic, using the save DC as the DC to remove the curse. A cabalist can only have one blight in effect at a time. If another blight hex is made, the first immediately ends.

Chant (Su): a cabalist can chant as a move action. Any creature that is within 30 feet that is under the effects of an agony hex, charm hex, drive mad hex, evil eye hex, fortune hex, or misfortune hex caused by the cabalist has the duration of that hex extended by 1 round.

Charm (Su): a cabalist can charm an animal or humanoid creature within 30 feet by beckoning and speaking soothing words. This improves the attitude of an animal or humanoid creature by 1 step, as if the cabalist had successfully used the Diplomacy skill. The effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the cabalist’s Intelligence modifier. A Will save negates this effect. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day. At 8th level, this effect improves the attitude of the target creature by 2 steps. This is a mind-affecting charm effect.

Curio (Su): The cabalist gains Craft Wondrous Item as an item creation feat. The cabalist does not need to meet prerequisites of the feat. The cabalist gains a +4 insight bonus into a craft skill of her choice.

Disguise (Su): a cabalist can change her appearance for a number of hours equal to her class level, as if using disguise self. These hours do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-hour increments.

Drive Mad (Su): The cabalist inflicts confusion on one target within 30 feet if the target fails a will save. The effect lasts 1 round at 1st level, increasing to a number of rounds equal to the cabalists intelligence modifier at level 10. A will save negates the effect. Whether or not the save is successful, the target can’t be affected by this hex again for 24 hours.

Evil Eye (Su): The cabalist can cause doubt to creep into the mind of a foe within 30 feet that she can see. The target takes a –2 penalty on one of the following (cabalist’s choice): AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. This hex lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the cabalist’s Intelligence modifier. A Will save reduces this to just 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect. At 8th level the penalty increases to –4.

Flight (Su): The cabalist grows lighter as she gains power, eventually gaining the ability to fly. At 1st level, the cabalist can use feather fall at will and gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. At 3rd level, she can cast levitate once per day. At 5th level, she can fly, as per the spell, for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments. This hex only affects the cabalist.

Fortune (Su): The cabalist can grant a creature within 30 feet a bit of good luck for 1 round. The target can call upon this good luck once per round, allowing him to reroll any ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, taking the better result. He must decide to use this ability before the first roll is made. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. Once a creature has benefited from the fortune hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours.

Healing (Su): a cabalist can soothe the wounds of those she touches. This acts as a cure light wounds spell, using the cabalist’s caster level. Once a creature has benefited from the healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours. At 5th level, this hex acts like cure moderate wounds.

Misfortune (Su): The cabalist can cause a creature within 30 feet to suffer grave misfortune for 1 round. Anytime the creature makes an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, it must roll twice and take the worse result. A Will save negates this hex. At 8th level and 16th level, the duration of this hex is extended by 1 round. This hex affects all rolls the target must make while it lasts. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Mutated Summon (Su): The cabalist gains the Evolved Summoned Monster feat, applying the effect to Summon Aberration spells instead of summon monster spells. If you take this feat additional times you can select higher forms of evolutions instead of mutliple one point evolutions, choosing from the 2, 3, and 4 point evolution lists as appropriate. You must qualify for level restrictions for these evolutions as normal.

Warping Touch (Su): The cabalist can grant themselves or a willing touched target the benefit of a 1 point evolution. This lasts for 1 minute per cabalist level. At level 5 the cabalist grants a 2 point evolution instead, increasing to a 3 point evolution at level 10, and 4 point evolutions at 15. The cabalist can only affect a subject with this hex once per 24 hours. The cabalist can end the hex as a free action.

Slumber (Su): a cabalist can cause a creature within 30 feet to fall into a deep, magical sleep, as per the spell sleep. The creature receives a Will save to negate the effect. If the save fails, the creature falls asleep for a number of rounds equal to the cabalist’s level. This hex can affect a creature of any HD. The creature will not wake due to noise or light, but others can rouse it with a standard action. This hex ends immediately if the creature takes damage. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Tongues (Su): a cabalist with this hex can understand any spoken language for a number of minutes per day equal to her level, as comprehend languages. This duration does not need to be consecutive, but it must be spent in 1-minute increments. At 5th level, a cabalist can use this ability to speak any language, as per tongues.

Ward (Su): a cabalist can use this hex to place a protective ward over one creature. The warded creature receives a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saving throws. This ward lasts until the warded creature is hit or fails a saving throw. A cabalist knows when a warded creature is no longer protected. A cabalist can have only one ward active at a time. If the cabalist uses this ability again, the previous ward immediately ends. A cabalist cannot use this ability on herself. At 8th level and 16th level, the bonuses provided by this ward increase by +1.

Scar (Su): This hex curses a single target touched with horrible scars of the cabalist’s choosing, whether something as simple as a single letter on the target’s forehead or blotchy, burn-like scars on his body. The target may make a Will save to resist this hex. These scars do not interfere with the target’s senses or prevent it from using abilities, but may affect social interactions. The cabalist can user her hexes on the scarred target at a range of up to 1 mile, and she is considered to have a body part from the target for the purpose of scrying and similar divination spells. They persist through disguises and shapechanging. The cabalist can withdraw this hex from a target as a move action at any range. The number of supernatural scars the cabalist can maintain at once is equal to her Intelligence bonus; once she reaches this limit, she must remove the scar from a current victim in order to mark another. Effects that remove curses can remove the scar.

Prehensile Hair (Su): The cabalist can instantly cause her hair (or even her eyebrows) to grow up to 10 feet long or to shrink to its normal length, and can manipulate her hair as if it were a limb with a Strength score equal to her Intelligence score. Her hair has reach 10 feet, and she can use it as a secondary natural attack that deals 1d3 points of damage (1d2 for a Small cabalist). Her hair can manipulate objects (but not weapons) as dexterously as a human hand. The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature. Pieces cut from the cabalist’s elongated hair shrink away to nothing. Using her hair does not harm the cabalist’s head or neck, even if she lifts something heavy with it. The cabalist can manipulate her hair a number of minutes each day equal to her level; these minutes do not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in 1-minute increments. A typical male cabalist with this hex can also manipulate his beard, moustache, or eyebrows.

Feral Speech (Su): This hex grants the cabalist the ability to speak with and understand the response of any animal as if using speak with animals, though each time she uses the hex, she must decide to communicate with either amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, or reptiles, and can only speak to and understand animals of that type. The cabalist can make herself understood as far as her voice carries. This hex does not predispose any animal so addressed toward the cabalist in any way. At 12th level, the cabalist can use this hex to communicate with vermin.

Nails (Ex): The cabalist’s nails are long and sharp, and count as natural weapons that deal 1d3 points of damage (1d2 for a Small cabalist). These attacks are secondary attacks. If trimmed, the cabalist’s nails regrow to their normal size in 1d4 days.

Major Hex: Starting at 10th level, and every two levels thereafter, a cabalist can choose one of the following major hexes whenever she could select a new hex.

Agony (Su): With a quick incantation, a cabalist can place this hex on one creature within 60 feet, causing them to suffer intense pain. The target is nauseated for a number of rounds equal to the cabalist’s level. A Fortitude save negates this effect. If the saving throw is failed, the target can attempt a new save each round to end the effect. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Eldritch Blessing (Su): The cabalist gains an evolution pool of 1 at level 10, increasing by 1 every two levels afterwards to a maximum of 6 at 20. At every level the cabalist can change what evolutions they have selected from the summoner eidolon evolution list. They must meet level requirements for evolutions they select. If any of their evolutions are visible or otherwise apparent, they suffer a -10 penalty on all charisma checks and charisma based skill checks. Choosing this hex is a chaotic act and moves the cabalist’s alignment towards chaos.

Scouting Eye (Su): a cabalist with this hex can create a magic sensor that she can see through. This functions as per the spell arcane eye. The cabalist can use this eye for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments.

Major Healing (Su): By calling upon eerie powers, the cabalist’s touch can mend even the most terrible wounds of those she touches. This acts as cure serious wounds, using the cabalist’s caster level. Once a creature has benefited from the major healing hex, it cannot benefit from it again for 24 hours. At 15th level, this hex acts likecure critical wounds.

Nightmares (Su): Calling upon fell powers, a cabalist can place a hex on a creature within 60 feet that causes its sleep to be tormented by terrible nightmares. This functions as the spell nightmare each time the affected creature attempts to rest. A Will save negates this effect. If the save is failed, the target must make a new save each night or be unable to rest.

Retribution (Su): a cabalist can place a retribution hex on a creature within 60 feet, causing terrible wounds to open across the target’s flesh whenever it deals damage to another creature in melee. Immediately after the hexed creature deals damage in melee, it takes half that damage (round down). This damage bypasses any resistances, immunities, or damage reduction the creature possesses. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to the cabalist’s Intelligence modifier. A Will save negates this effect.

Vision (Su): a cabalist with the vision hex can grant a glimpse of the future to a creature touched. Granting a vision takes 1 minute, during which time the cabalist and the target must remain in contact with one another. At the end of this time, the subject receives a brief image of the future, usually no more than 1 year from the time of the vision, subject to GM discretion. This is only one possible version of the future, making such visions unreliable at best. Most visions are slanted toward the alignment of the cabalist that granted them. For example, the visions granted by a chaotic evil cabalist often show scenes of death and destruction, while those of a neutral good cabalist tend to be of joyous events or occasions. A creature cannot be subject to another vision until the current vision has either come to pass or been prevented. A cabalist cannot use this ability on herself. Unwilling creatures receive a Will save to negate the vision.

Waxen Image (Su): The cabalist can spend a full-round action to create a crude and unnerving wax duplicate of a creature she can see within 30 feet. Once the image is complete, the subject must make a Will save. If the subject fails, the cabalist gains a small measure of control over the creature. Whenever she exercises this control, the creature receives a new Will save to end the effect. This effect occurs on the cabalist’s turn and does not impede the creature’s actions on its turn. The cabalist can use the waxen image a number of times equal to her Intelligence modifier before it melts. As a standard action, the cabalist can cause the subject to do any one of the following things: move up to the creature’s speed in any direction, attack itself once with any weapon in hand (this attack automatically hits), lay down on the ground, or drop anything held. Alternatively, she can spend one of her uses to simply torture the image, causing the creature to be both sickened and staggered on its turn. As soon as the creature has succeeded on a saving throw against this effect, it is immune to it for 24 hours. The is an enchantment (compulsion) effect.

Weather Control (Su): a cabalist with this hex can use control weather once per day, but creating the weather takes 1 full hour of chanting, and dancing.

Beast Eye (Su): The cabalist can project her senses into an animal within 100 feet, sensing whatever it senses. She cannot control the animal’s actions. She can project her senses from that animal to another within 100 feet of it as a standard action, and can continue to make these sensory leaps, potentially viewing things very far from her actual location. She may return her senses to her own body as a free action. Normal animals get no saving throw against this ability, but animal companions, paladin mounts, and similar unusual animals may resist with a Will save; the cabalist may use this ability on her own familiar as if it were an animal. If the cabalist has the coven hex, all other cabalistes within 10 feet of her who also have the coven hex can see through this animal at will, although the acting cabalist still controls the ability. The cabalist can use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to her level. These minutes need not be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments.

Hidden Home (Sp): The cabalist can conceal or disguise her home and the area around it as if using mirage arcana. Before using the hex, she must spend 1 day pacing out the border of an area that measures roughly 40,000 square feet (approximately 200 feet by 200 feet) to define her home territory. Thereafter, she can use the hex to change the appearance of that area as a standard action as long as she is within the area. The illusion persists until the cabalist changes or dismisses it. For the purpose of this ability, a cabalist can only have one “home” at a time.

Hoarfrost (Su): The target is rimed with a shell of frost needles that slowly work their way into its flesh (Fortitude negates). The target turns pale and blue, and takes 1 point of Constitution damage per minute until it dies, saves (once per minute), or is cured. Break enchantment, dispel magic, remove curse, and similar spells end the effect. If the target saves, it is immune to this hex for 1 day. This is a cold effect.

Ice Tomb (Su): A storm of ice and freezing wind envelops the target, which takes 3d8 points of cold damage (Fortitude half). If the target fails its save, it is paralyzed and unconscious but does not need to eat or breathe while the ice lasts. The ice has 20 hit points; destroying the ice frees the creature, which is staggered for 1d4 rounds after being released. Whether or not the target’s saving throw is successful, it cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Infected Wounds (Su): The target’s wounds become infected (Fortitude negates). The target takes 1 point of Constitution damage per day. After the first day, the target may save once per day to cure the infection. This is a disease effect.

Speak in Dreams (Sp): The cabalist can contact a creature as if using dream. The cabalist can use this ability on a number of creatures per day equal to her Intelligence bonus, but can dream-speak to those creatures as often as desired throughout that time period.

Grand Hex: Starting at 18th level, and every two levels thereafter, a cabalist can choose one of the following grand hexes whenever she could select a new hex.

Death Curse (Su): This powerful hex seizes a creature’s heart, causing death within just a few moments. This hex has a range of 30 feet. The hexed creature receives a Will save to negate the effect. If this save is failed, the creature becomes fatigued the first round of the hex. On the second round of the hex, the creature becomes exhausted. On the third round, the creature dies unless it succeeds at a Fort save. Creatures that fail the first save but succeed at the second remain exhausted and take 4d6 points of damage + 1 point of damage per level of the cabalist. Slaying the cabalist that hexed the creature ends the effect, but any fatigue or exhaustion remains. Whether or not the saves are successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Eternal Slumber (Su): The cabalist can touch a creature, causing it to drift off into a permanent slumber. The creature receives a Will save to negate this effect. If the save fails, the creature falls asleep and cannot be woken. The effect can only be removed with a wish or similar magic, although slaying the cabalist ends the effect. The cabalist can use this ability to poison food or drink, causing those who ingest it to make a save or fall into an eternal slumber. She can only have one such dose of poison at any one time, and it loses its potency after 1 minute if not consumed. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Forced Reincarnation (Su): The cabalist causes a creature within 30 feet to die and be immediately reincarnated into a new body. A Will save negates this effect. Those that fail are slain and immediately brought back to life with the spell reincarnate. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Life Giver (Su): Once per day the cabalist can, as a full round action, touch a dead creature and bring it back to life. This functions as resurrection, but it does not require a material component.

Dire Prophecy (Su): The cabalist curses the target so he is doomed to die (Will negates). As long as the curse persists, the target takes a –4 penalty to his Armor Class and on attack rolls, saves, ability checks, and skill checks. While the curse persists, the cabalist may end it by bringing its full force upon her victim all at once. Doing so gives the victim a penalty equal to the cabalist’s caster level to his Armor Class or on any single attack roll, combat maneuver check, opposed ability or skill check, or saving throw. The cabalist must decide to apply this penalty before the roll to be modified is made. If the cabalist does not have line of sight to the target, the full force of the curse occurs when the GM considers it most appropriate, such as when the target is in mortal danger. A target can only have one dire prophecy upon him at a time. Whether or not the target’s save against the hex is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex for 1 day. This is a curse effect.

Summon Spirit (Sp): The cabalist calls forth the ghost of a humanoid creature with no more than 18 Hit Dice. The ghost has its own personality and desires, but is willing to bargain with the cabalist, as if she had cast greater planar ally. To seal an agreement with the cabalist, the ghost requires life energy equal to 1 temporary negative level (this is in addition to the standard payment for the ghost’s service). This negative level persists as long as the ghost remains in the service of the cabalist; the cabalist can end the agreement as a standard action, immediately removing the negative level.

Rend Dimensions (Sp): Once per day the cabalist can tear a hole in the fabric of reality as though casting a Gate spell, with some differences. While the ability to connect dimensions is unaffected, when calling creatures, the creatures affect must be either Aberrations, Undead, Demons, Qlippoth, Daemons, and Great Old Ones. Rules for calling them, controlling them etc. Are completely unchanged, although in all cases where payment is asked, livestock is the preferred payment. You don’t require a material component to use this hex.

Cabalist Spells

0-Level cabalist Spells — arcane mark, bleed, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, guidance, light, mending, message, putrefy food and drink, read magic, resistance, stabilize, touch of fatigue.

1st-Level cabalist Spells — beguiling gift, cause fear, charm person, chill touch, command, comprehend languages, cure light wounds, dancing lantern, detect secret doors, enlarge person, hex vulnerability, hex ward, hypnotism, identify, ill omen, inflict light wounds, mage armour, magic missile, mask dweomer, mount, obscuring mist, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person, sleep, summon horror I, unseen servant.

2nd-Level cabalist Spells — alter self, augury, blindness/deafness, cure moderate wounds, daze monster, death knell, delay poison, detect thoughts, enthrall, false life, feast of ashes, fester, fog cloud, gentle repose, glide, glitterdust, hidden speech, hold person, inflict moderate wounds, invisibility, levitate, perceive cues, pox pustules, resist energy, scare, see invisibility, skin send, spectral hand, status, summon horror II, summon swarm, touch of idiocy, vomit swarm, web, zone of truth.

3rd-Level cabalist Spells — arcane sight, bestow curse, clairaudience/clairvoyance, cup of dust, deep slumber, dispel magic, fly, glyph of warding, guiding star, haste, heroism, hex glyph, locate object, nature’s exile, pain strike, rage, protection from energy, ray of exhaustion, remove blindness/deafness, remove curse, remove disease, screech, seek thoughts, sepia snake sigil, share senses, sleet storm, slow, speak with dead, stinking cloud, suggestion, summon horror III, tongues, twilight knife, vampiric touch, water walk.

4th-Level cabalist Spells — arcane eye, black tentacles, charm monster, confusion, crushing despair, cure serious wounds, death ward, detect scrying, dimension door, discern lies, divination, enervation, fear, geas (lesser), inflict serious wounds, invisibility (greater), locate creature, minor creation, moonstruck, neutralize poison, phantasmal killer, poison, scrying, secure shelter, sleepwalk, solid fog, spite, spell immunity, summon horror IV, stoneskin, threefold aspect, wandering star motes.

5th-Level cabalist Spells — baleful polymorph, banish seeming, blight, break enchantment, cloudkill, contact other plane, cure critical wounds, dominate person,feeblemind, hex glyph (greater), hold monster, inflict critical wounds, magic jar, major creation, mark of justice, mind fog, nightmare, overland flight, pain strike (mass), prying eyes, reincarnate, rest eternal, secret chest, spell resistance, suffocation, summon horror V, symbol of pain, symbol of sleep, telepathic bond, teleport, waves of fatigue.

6th-Level cabalist Spells — analyze dweomer, animate objects, cloak of dreams, cure light wounds (mass), dispel magic (greater), eyebite, fester (mass), find the path, flesh to stone, geas/quest, guards and wards, heroism (greater), inflict light wounds (mass), legend lore, raise dead, slay living, stone to flesh, suggestion (mass),summon horror VI, swarm skin, symbol of fear, symbol of persuasion, transformation, true seeing, unwilling shield.

Occultist preview!

Almost done the Occultist, first caster class rebuild for my re-balancing efforts. Spell progression as a bard using the witch spell list creates a lot of work, having to sift through all the spells and figure out which should hit on earlier levels. All other class features are finished though, so I would say I’m 3/4s done this one. The plan with the occultist is to completely remove all spells that have any kind of mass damage potential. The class is meant to be support utility spells, with offensive buff and debuff hexes making up the bulk of their combat actions.

After occultist is the elementalist, which is going to be basically the same idea but a rework of the arcanist and sorceror. The arcanist has a great mechanic in their power pool/exploit abilities, so I’m going to retool their spell progression to cap at six just like the occultist, and then remove all non-elemental spells and many non-elemental exploits, making this class primarily about dealing damage. The result between these two classes should be less powerful spells by a long shot, technically capping at six, although many 6th level bard spells are 7th level for other classes, and a lot of top tier exploits and hexes are as powerful as 9th level spells or even better, so I don’t feel like this changes how a DM should use CR much at all.

Once these two arcane classes are done I have the rogue-ish classes to do, the Wanderer, Burglar and Illusionist. The illusionist isn’t going to be a full caster class, having access to rogue talents, limited sneak attack and getting invisibility and greater invisibility as spell like abilities hitting on levels 3 and 7 appropriately.

Burglar and wanderer will be less about sneak attack although they will have similar abilities. Really, Slayer is the “assassin” class now, and a very competently designed one at that. Rated at tier 4, just as a paladin, ranger or barbarian, it slots in perfectly into what I’m looking for in the re-balanced game I’m coming around to.

More to come as I get these classes knocked down.