New Incarnum Class - PEACH

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I've been thinking about working Incarnum into 4th edition for a while now and just recently started actually acting on that desire.  I present to you the Soulforged - an Incarnum Defender - along with the start of some ideas for some Incarnum based classes with Soulmelds:

Soulforged Rev. 06


The class itself isn't ready for anything beyond level 6, but before I went further I decided I wanted to try and get some input to refine it.

My original sources of inspiration are:
Magic of Incarnum for 3rd Edition

Goober4437's "Incarnum 4th Edition" - www.edanet.com/goober/Incarnum4e.pdf
Original Post:http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19608138/Incarnum_4th_Edition

Cunning_Kindred's "The Magic of Incarnum" - derriphan.110mb.com/Pdf/Magic%20of%20Inc...
Original Post:  community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
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Some issues

If both builds get the same ac bonus under the same conditions, then split that part out and make it a basic feature.

Powers should offer power bonuses (maybe untyped), not enchantment.

Why would anyone ever want to use the shaped weapon? and why give it throwing at all if the range is only 1 square (5 feet)?
1)  Yeah, I thought of that.  I didn't want the two of them to be exactly the same, but I couldn't decide how I wanted them to differ.  :/

2)  I'm a little confused as to what you mean, could you embellish a bit?

3)  Aiya, I meant that to be 5 squares!  So long since playing 3rd edition and I'm STILL using the same terminology!
That's one of the things I wanted to try and work on was the Soulforged Weapon.  The only real major benefit is that most of their powers grant bonuses for using the Soulforged Weapon rather than a physical one, but that's it.  I tried to throw in feats to make the Soulforged Weapon more enticing a power to use, but it just became bothersome and just made me feel like I was 'feat taxing'.
One of my original ideas was for their Soulmelds to grant additional benifits that could only be recieved when using the Soulforged weapon, but I threw that out as it seemed more like a trait that would go with a striker class.  :/

I'm really kind of stuck here, trying to walk into brand new territory and already I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed - hence why this is here so I can get a set of fresh eyes for my colle-I mean, to look at this.
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I haven't looked at it; but... if you feel too overwhelmed, try making an essential version of the class. If you have DDI, you can see what I mean by looking at the Assassin. Also, If you have the financials, buy Heroes of Fallen Lands, and look those. You can get seriously more focused with the idea, pinpoint what you want them to do, and write less powers overall. It might help with making a more coherent and cohesive class write up and maybe outline your overall thoughts to what you want.

"If multiple Soulmelds shaped provide an enhancement bonus of the same type, go with the highest bonus. Otherwise, all other abilities stack."

You seemed to avoid the word enhancement bonus in the powers themselves, but this bit implies they are or will be there. Powers grant power bonuses to things, possibly untyped bonuses like what you used.

Adding a new type of bonus (enhancement), or using an inappropriate one (in case you meant enchantment), screws with the game. 

@ Ceiling90:  Thanks for the tip.  I think the reson why I've been feeling so overwhelmed is because while I was trying to make this I had ideas for several other things and it's so diffucult to keep track of all of them, know what I mean?  I'll look into these Essentials things.

@ Rampant:  AH!  Understood.

On another note, can anyone think of a way to make the Soulforged Weapon more...desirable to use?  It's kind of weak-sauce right now.  :/
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When you shape it let it take on the stats of any weapon with which the soulforged is proficient.

If they spent a feat on a superior weapon they've already paid for it, so there's really no balance issues.
Rampant:  I like that idea, actually.  I'll be sure to put it in the next update.
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Update:  Revision 1 is up, I fixed the Soulforged Weapon and some of the powers to better fit the changes.
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ok

with the update to soulforged weapon your feats need tweaking.

Instead of dual soulforge granting the off-hand property, make it so you can only shape weapons with the off-hand property. The way it's worded now allows for off-hand greatsword action.

In fact why not go back to the original soulforged weapon power and just let it make any melee weapon with which you are proficient? seems simpler that the word salad you're using now.

Improved soulforged weapon.... no just no.

Ranged soulforge, if they're not proficient they can't shape it anyway, why have a special range (and a pretty long one) for a weapon they can't shape?

 Look at signature soulforge, you might wanna re-word it because right now it looks like If I choose to shape a mace, it also counts as a mace.

Ok Your soulmelds aren't so spectacular they need limited like that. Shaman, warlord, and many other classes have dailies with lingering effects over the course of the encounter. These effects seem to be about in line with that.
*takes notes*  Awesome, I'll get right on it.  Originally I had Signature Soulforge say something along the lines of:

Choose a weapon you're proficient with.  When your Soulforged Weapon takes the shape of your chosen weapon, you may treat it as any weapon type for Soulforged attacks.

Would that be better?

And yeah, I guess I do limit my Soulmelds quite a bit.  :/  I've got this fear of overpowering things so much that I have a habit of underpowering.
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With how easy it is to change your weapon group the feat seems kinda meh. Why bother when a free action gets you the shape you want.

What you could do is say that  the weapon's shape is set at the end of a long rest like how reshaping melds was a daily thing for 3.5 incarnum. Then the feat could allow for you to have one weapon group all the time even if your weapon is emulating something form another group.

-or-

leave soulforged weapon alone and ditch the feat. 
Ditching the feat seems like a more viable solution.  No need in making something complicated if it doesn't have to be, right?
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Of the two solutions it is the simpler. So according to K.I.S.S. it is better.
UPDATE:  New revision up with some adjustments on the feats and Daily Powers.
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Ok again your dailies just aren't cool enough to warrant one at a time restrictions like that dude. As I recall You could run multiple melds at a time anyways.

What you could do:

Keep the attack powers normal.

But Make the utility powers based on the melds. Then give the class an essentia pool, and each point of essentia boosts the utility power you put it in.

Also take the throwing bit off the soulforged weapon. LEt them shape a throwing weapon instead. No sense letting them throw fullblades. 
Hmm, I think that would work.  ^ ^  I'll give that a shot.
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UPDATE:  New Revision up.  I removed the limitation on number of soulmelds that can be shaped at once and integrated Essentia into the mix, loosely basing the Psionic Power Points.

I was trying to figure out if I should limit the regaining of Essentia to Extended rest or not since it mostly deals with Daily powers.  For now, I made it both Short and Extended Rest.

I was also playing around with the idea of tacking Soulmelds onto Utilities instead of Daily Attacks as Rampant had suggested earlier, but something wasn't quite feeling right about it.  :/ 

This new revision also includes a Multiclass feat if anyone wouldn't mind taking a look at it.  ^^;  I was trying to figure out a way to make it so they got a bit of the feel for the Soulforged Weapon power without actually giving them full access to it.

EDIT:  OOPS!  Looks like I forgot to change one of the powers back completely when I was messing with the Utility idea, will post a new Rev 3 soon.  ^ ^;
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Ok dude slow down.

Things bugging me:

1.) Given how easy it is to change weapon shape the number of powers dependent on that seems problematic. You're essentially always gonna get these boosts. If that's the intent then it seems ok, if you want them to agonize over the choice a bit some tweaking is in order.

2.) Next up is soulmelds.

There's a reason I suggested using the utilities, because trying to force them into your daily attacks is awkward and thematically inappropriate. You hit them with a crystal helmet?

3.) Sharing soulmelds was an incarnate ability and a far more appropriate leader ability.

4.) Soulforged weapon, keep its enchantment based on an implement. Enhancement derived form a class ability is inappropriate, and screws with the economy.

5.) Essentia, need to define how and when it is invested better, I doubt the round by round re-assignments would work well.

Acceptable receptacles for essentia then become, at-wills, class features, and feats for a per encounter assignment system, with dailies as an option stealing style from the soulcaster. Investing in dailies at the begining of the day and then free-ing up essentia as you execute the attack.

I'd also cut back on how many points you hand out of the stuff. 
@Rampant:  Yeah...I had a a bunch of coffee and energy drinks when I last edited this - long week - so I didn't really put too much thought into it, sadly.  :/

1)  What do you recommend I do then?  Change the power to a move action to activate and a move action to swap?  I chose to put them both as Minors because that's what a normal action to switch weapons is - but I guess since the Soulforged is a perverbial armory more steps have to be put in place to balance them out, yes?  Or I can take out the parts that require the specific weapon changes.  I figured a person who specialized in a certain weapon type would already have problems with wanting to switch all the time.

EDIT:  I came up with an idea - what if they were required to unshape the Soulforged Weapon before reshaping it again in a different form?

2)  I'll try and give the utilities another try, maybe there's something I can gleen off the other homebrewed Incarnum classes.  Most likely gonna be a while prior to my next update while I rework everything.

3)  You're right.  What that amounts to is that I play Leaders far too often - none of my friends seem to want to play one so I end up doing so to balance the team.  I'll take it out.

4)  For the Soulforged weapon, I was just trying to find a way to make it more enticing, for lack of a better term.  In later levels, Players are going to find magic items, ones that blow the Soulforged Weapon out of the water.  The power would become obsolete, which is a major thing 4th edition was trying to prevent - having powers and spells for which you had no use for.  I guess I failed at that, huh?  v.v

5)  Right, I'll get on that.  Giving Essentia it's own section seems appropriate.

The Essentia pool matches the Psionic Power Point pool exactly - what would you suggest I change?
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That's the thing you don't expend essentia the way you expend pp. Essentia is invested then uninvested.

So try like half what you got there.


For soulforged weapon if you wanna keep the abilities that change with your weapon type try having the weapon set it's shape during a short rest. SO one encounter it's a spear, and another encounter it becomes an axe.

For it's enhancement bonus, let the weapon steal the enchantment of an implement the class uses, like an orb or ki-focus. 
The problem with that is that I don't presently have anything listed for their implement.

...though as I type this, Kuwabara from YuYuHakusho popped into my head.  Do you think a ki focus would be appropriate?

By the way, I REALLY do appreciate you critiquing me on this.  I may seem a bit flustered or frustrated at times, but the fact that you're putting time and effort to help me is really encouraging.    Thank you.
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Those and orbs spring to mind as being appropriate.
Orbs?  You think so?  Hmm...how did you come up with that?
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Because some of the items back in the 3.x incarnum looked kinda orby.
Fair enough.  ^ ^  I'll see what I can work into there - after I was done with this I was thinking of perhaps making a Leader, Striker, and Controller Incarnum class set as well, so if anything I could always give one of them the Orbs as an implement if we don't like it with this class.  :P

I was toying around with the Soulforged Weapon and decided to make it decidedly a Soulmeld they get at 1st level; think you can help me with the wording here?

Soulforged Weapon               Soulforged Class Feature
You materialize your soul into a weapon of your choosing
At-Will  <>  Soulmeld (Weapon), Incarnum
Minor Action               Personal
Requirement:  You must have a Ki focus equipped.
   Effect:  You create a weapon of pure Incarnum.  This weapon may take the form of any melee weapon you're proficient with.  This weapon has the weapon dice, proficiency bonus, and properties of the weapon you shaped as well as the enhancement bonus and properties of your ki focus.  If you become disarmed or the ki focus otherwise leave your possession, this Soulmeld immediately becomes unshaped.
    Any feats you have that pertain to a certain weapon or class of weapon still effect a Soulforged weapon while it is in that form.
   Special:  Once you have chosen the shape of the Soulforged Weapon, it's shape cannot be changed until the end of the encounter.  If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may use this power as a free action instead of a minor.
    Essentia:  For each point of Essentia invested in this Soulmeld, choose another melee weapon you’re proficient with.  You may spend a minor action to reshape this Soulmeld as one of the chosen weapons.  If this Soulmeld is unshaped and then reshaped prior to the end of the encounter, it retains any Essentia you invested in it.
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You're new Soulforged Weapon feature is the best I've seen so far. I especially like the idea of investing essentia to change it.
Thanks, Colonel.    I really wanted to try and keep the ability to change the weapon in the middle of combat - to me, that has an awesome cinematic quality to it if it continuously reshapes depending on it's present purpose - but I had to agree with Rampant since - as it was, it was way too easy to swap and get the effects they wanted whenever they needed them.
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One concern about the new soulforged weapon.

" If you become disarmed or the ki focus otherwise leave your possession, this Soulmeld immediately becomes unshaped."


See you need to define unshaped.

Further more there's some ambiguities regarding the unshape conditions.

try this:

"If you lose your Ki-focus, the weapon looses its enchantment properties. If you are disarmed (can that even happen in 4e?) the weapon dissolves. If the weapon leaves your hand(s) it dissolves, unless you are loosing it as part of an attack, in which case the weapon dissolves when the attack is resolved."

or this

"If you loose contact with the weapon it dissolves, unless you are loosing it to make an attack in which case it dissolves after completing the action."



Lets talk turkey a bit.

You need to decide how this class is going to use essentia. This is important because this will influence how your other classes use it as well. (they don't have to be the same like the Power point classes though)

For the soulborn I'd advise on focusing the essentia upon at-wills, and class features. You could pull tricks with encounter, utility, or daily powers. BUt the soulborn was big on using incarnum feats and using essentia to improve his basic abilities.

That said, if you must have investment in powers, my suggestion would be to make the soulmeld powers dailies with encounter long effects that tie up the essentia you invested at the end of a long rest until you expend the enhanced daily. Utility dailies.

You could do the same with at will utilities, but I'd advise lumping their essentia investment in with the class features and such, at the end of a short rest.
*researches disarm*

I'm not seeing anything in the compendium about disarming.  Interesting, it would seem I will have to change it, then.  I think I like the second one better out of the two options you gave, I'll probably go with something similar.
Also, in the newest revision I'm working on, I do have a small section on 'Unshaping':

    You may choose to end a soulmeld prematurely.  Unshaping a soulmeld is a minor action and causes the soulmeld to dissolves.  When a soulmeld is unshaped, you lose all power bonuses that soulmeld bestowed.



Also, you're right.  I've been trying to figure out exactly how to use the essentia.  As of right now, I have both Soulmelds (In place of Utilities) and Daily Powers.  Here's my exerp of my section on Essentia:

Essentia
    Essentia is the substance of your personal soul energy.  You can invest Essentia into your Soulmelds and Daily attacks to improve their abilities.
    At the time you shape your Soulmelds, you may choose to invest any amount of Essentia into that power.  That Essentia stays with the Soulmeld until the end of the encounter or the Soulmeld is unshaped, after which it is then expended until after a short or extended rest.
    When you use Daily attacks, you invest Essentia when the attack is made.  Essentia invested in this way is expended until after you have taken a short or extended rest.
    You are limited to the amount of Essentia you can invest into a Soulmeld or Daily attack power by your level:
Level = Max
1 - 5 = 1
6 - 10 = 2
11 - 15 = 3
16 - 20 = 4
21 - 25 = 5
26 - 30 = 6
    The amount of Essentia depends solely on your level:
Level = Essentia gained
1 = Gain 2
2 = Gain 2 (4)
6 = Gain 2 (6)
10 = Gain 2 (8)
16 = Gain 2 (10)
22 = Gain 2 (12)

What do you think of this so far?
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I wouldn't bother with standardized caps or essentia totals at this point figure out implementation first.

Also stop expending essentia.

Here's one way:

Your essentia points (amount based on numerous factors including, but not limited to: Class, feats, and possibly race) can be invested in many ways. Invested essentia is not available for other uses until it becomes uninvested.

Daily Powers: At the end of a long rest you may invest essentia into any daily powers with the essentia keyword. This essentia remains invested until the power is used at which point it returns to your essentia pool.

Feats: At the end of a rest (long or short) You may invest your essentia into any Incarnum feats you have. This essentia remains invested until you rest again.

Could probably do the same for encounter powers.

At will powers: as a Minor action you may invest essentia points from your essentia pool into an at-will power with the essentia keyword. This essentia remains invested until you rest or until you spend a minor action to move it back to your essentia pool or to another at-will power.

Class features/items could then be placed in those categories. 


Ok looking at that, a soulborn with no feats, items, paragon paths, or epic destinies can have 16 receptacles. (2 at-will attacks, 3 dailies, 3 encounters, 5 utilities, and the three class features you've shown)

I think we're getting a little complex.

I think features have to use essentia to capture the right feel. Now we have to pick which powers to use for Soulborn essentia (feats and items will have their own rules).

At-wills offer the advantage of being the least numerous thus easier to balance.

Dailies would derive the most benefit and probably be easiest to deal with.

Utilities would be the easiest to convert to soul meld type things.

Encounter powers like always fall somewhere between At will and daily.


In fact maybe different classes could invest in different powers?

Soulborn: Defender: At-wills, utilities
Incarnate: Leader: Utilities, Encounter
Totemist: Striker: Encounter, Dailies
Soulsmith?: Controller: Dailies, at-wills 
I think for simplicity that all the classes will end up using Dailies and Soulmelds (Utilities) for their Essentia.  Standardizing them (to me at least) seems like the best idea.  After all, all Psionic classes only use At-Wills for their Augmentations rather than a different one for each class.  It makes it easier to make the feats for multiclassing, too.

Do you think I should include the ability to invest essentia into items and feats, too?  I wasn't sure if that should have crossed over, honestly.  Otherwise, I really like your suggestions for the investing of essentia. 
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Ok how do you want to run utilities? since utilities can be of any usage level At-will/encounter/daily it could be tricky to run their investment rules.
Therin lies the question.

In accordance to ye' olde Incarnum rules of 3rd Edition, Soulmelds were shaped at the beginning of the day and last all day.  Aside from Class Features and Feats, there really isn't anything that has the ability to last all day.

The closest thing - I percieve - is to make them Encounter powers.  The issue I see is the fact that (as far as I can remember) no Encounter powers provide lingering effects.  This would be more grounds for a Daily power, which would defeat the purpose of being able to have them active all day.

In my living revision (not posted yet), I recently attempted to make a couple Soulmelds.  I took the part of Warding Incarnum that gives you the choice of Class Features and turned the two choices into individual Soulmelds that can be activated as Encounter Powers, as well as the Soulmeld portion of the Daily powers I had prior and moved them into their own Daily Utilities.  Here's an example:

Battle-Hardened Ward        Soulforged Class Feature
You radiate with the experience of the warriors before you, incorporating their hardened nature into your flesh.

Encounter  <>  Incarnum, Soulmeld (Aura)
Minor Action               Personal
    Soulmeld:  You shape the Battle-Hardened Ward.  If you become targeted by an attack by an enemy that is not marked by you and they hit while this soulmeld is shaped, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier.
    Essentia:  The number of temporary hit points gained is equal to your Constitution modifier plus the amount of Essentia invested in this soulmeld.


Swiftstep Greaves                 Soulforged Soulmeld 2
A pair of boots, adorned with depictions of wings, take shape around your feet, making you feel lighter than air.

Daily  <>  Incarnum, Soulmeld (Feet)
Minor Action               Personal
    Soulmeld:  You shape the Swiftstep Greaves soulmeld.  While this soulmeld is shaped, you may shift 1 square as an immediate reaction after an attack hits or misses you.
    Essentia:  Your land speed increases by 1 and when you shift as a result of this soulmeld you may shift an additional 1 square for every point of Essentia you invest in this soulmeld.



The other issue I'm having is determining exactly "how long" it would take for them to be able to shape a Soulmeld.  As you can see, I've equated it in most cases to a Minor action, but I thinking Move Actions might be a little more appropriate, but one issue at a time.
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Do you have the eberron character book? The changeling paragon path's format may be helpful.
*looks it up*

Hmm!  Interesting.  Given that, an Encounter that lasts all encounter long would be plausable...

There's yet another question:  Would it be better to have Soulmelds that last all day, Soulmelds that last all encounter, or a mix of the two?  The way I see it, having the ones you get as class features last all day and the others you get by leveling last encounter long.

What do you think?
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First off I'd apply the term soulmeld only to your utility powers. The class features stay features, that just happen to be essentia compatible. 

 What I'm thinking is that each soulmeld is a daily power that grants an at-will or encounter power for the rest of the day. Sort of like the chameleon powers.
 
Hmm...I think I see what you mean.  So then it might look something like this?

Swiftstep Greaves                 Soulforged Soulmeld 2
A pair of boots, adorned with depictions of wings, take shape around your feet, making you feel lighter than air.

Daily  <>  Incarnum, Soulmeld (Feet), Essentia
Minor Action               Personal
    Soulmeld:  You shape the Swiftstep Greaves soulmeld.  Until the end of your next extended rest, you may shift 1 square as an immediate reaction after an attack hits or misses you.  In addition, you may use the Swiftstep Stride as an encounter power.
Swiftstep Stride
Daily  <>  Incarnum
Minor Action               Personal
    Effect:  Your land speed increases by 1 and when you shift as a result of the Swiftstep Greaves soulmeld you may shift an additional 1 square until the end of your next turn for every point of Essentia you invested in the Swiftstep Greaves soulmeld.
Custom Races
Kt'Lahn (Last Update: Oct 22, 2010)
Noble tiger people who will do almost anything to maintain honor.

Custom Classes
Soulforged (Last Update: Jul 23, 2010)
Incarnum Defender

PEACH if you would.

I am Red/White
I am Red/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

Something like that, although that is probably O.P. for a level 2.
Ah, I see.  Oi ve.  ^ ^;  I guess that just some things I have to work out on my own then.  :/  At least I'm starting to get the flavor feeling right, da?  ^ ^;

That is, of course, unless you have ideas on how to balance the power I have right there.
Custom Races
Kt'Lahn (Last Update: Oct 22, 2010)
Noble tiger people who will do almost anything to maintain honor.

Custom Classes
Soulforged (Last Update: Jul 23, 2010)
Incarnum Defender

PEACH if you would.

I am Red/White
I am Red/White
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

Restrict it to allowing a shift on a hit or miss, but not both.

Then take off the bonus shifting from essentia.