This is the submission I made for the Sky Bison for the Expert Dungeon Master compitition. For print, I would change a great deal of the descriptive text, firstly to make it so there is less, secondly I wrote this so people could use it in a many different Campaign settings, but for the Avatar book that wouldn't be a concern, so I would make more direct references to the Fire Nation and such.
SKY BISON Sky Bison are, in these times, both strange and exceedingly rare. At one time the population of Sky Bison was quite large, until the war against the Air Nomads diminished the population to a literal handful, well, if each individual weren’t so large. Sky Bison are enormous animals, easily weighing ten tons when fully grown. Yet despite their size and lumbering movement on the ground, Sky Bison are capable fliers. This feat is accomplished through Airbending, an art invented and perfected by these gentle giants, and later passed on to the Air nomads. Using this elemental magic the Sky Bison can move, as if swimming, through the air.
Sky Bison have broad heads with long angular brown horns on either side. Their large, expressive golden eyes sit far apart on either side of their enormous mouth. A fully grown human could, assuming they were fine with being coated in saliva, comfortably fit inside of an adult Sky Bison’s mouth. Over the forehead of each bison is a brown patch of fur in the shape of a downward facing arrow, a stark contrast to the rest of its shaggy, white coat. Along its back are several more brownish stripes, each sitting over top one of its six muscular legs. Each of the Bison's legs ends in four articulated fingers which possess both the strength sufficient to uproot a tree and the gentle precision necessary to lift an injured calf to safety. At the end of their body is a broad, beaver-like, tail which is used to lift-off from the ground as well as push the Bison through the air.
When a Sky Bison takes off, the resulting gusts of wind are powerful enough to knock an adult human onto their back. Once in the air they move very quickly and can dodge airborne attacks with graceful precision. Unsurprisingly due to their size and airborne speed, they can charge with a punishing amount of force. That fact, combined with their incredibly sturdy bodies allow them to crash through trees, stone structures and reinforced wooden barriers with minimal injury. They are also capable of warding off exhaustion for long periods. When determined, a Sky Bison burdened with hundreds of pounds of cargo can fly for several days without rest. In addition to flight a Sky Bison can airbend with its mouth and nose to create powerful blasts of air or strong sucking gusts. They can use airbending to dry themselves after swimming, delicately move small fragile objects or even amplify the power of their bellows and roars to be heard for miles.
In addition to their sheer physical strength, toughness, and their mastery of the element of air, Sky Bison are quite intelligent. Although lacking in even rudimentary reasoning skills and incapable of language they have keen memories, especially in regards to navigation. They are also gifted with a powerful intuition which allows them to judge the very character of intelligent creatures within moments of meeting them. Amongst the Air Nomads they have a saying, “If you can earn the trust of a Sky Bison, you have already earned mine.” Fittingly it can take a great deal of effort to earn a Sky Bison’s trust, even if they think you are a good person. The Air Nomads who used to ride the Bison developed a ritual of friendship for bonding a young Nomad to a Bison Calf for life. Without such a ritual a Sky Bison will help those it deems decent, even carrying them a short distance, but they will not listen to instruction or follow even the kindest soul into battle. After a time, and with the express participation of the Sky Bisons original life-friend, additional souls can undergo the ritual. In the past no one who wasn’t raised in an Air Nomad monastery ever achieved the the title of life-friend to a Sky Bison. However, now that there are so few Bison, and no Air Nomads left, the chance for a good and decent soul from a distant culture to bond with a Calf is possible, though still incredibly unlikely. The few Bison that are left have attached themselves to people who share the ideology of the Air Nomads, a free spirit, a strong will, an open mind. As a result, Bison are comfortable with mountain ascetics, secluded intellectuals, hermits and gurus, but few others. Those that were sympathetic to the Air Nomads way of life are likely very old today, or following an old family tradition. Furthermore, due to their rarity, they are pursued by greedy collectors, corrupt businessmen and other shady, dangerous people, so the Sky Bison spend little time amongst civilized folk.
SKY BISON LORE Nature Check DC 18: The Sky Bison were a magical species of enormous, headstrong surprisingly acrobatic beasts of burden. They were capable of flight, though not through any of the traditional forms of magic. Today little is known about their physiology or behavior.
History Check DC 18: The Sky Bison lived in harmony with the Air Nomads before the Great War devastated both populations, leaving few, if any, surviving members. No credible source has reported seeing a Flying Bison since the Great War, and it is known that some effort was put into finding and exterminating the remnants of the species. Nature Check DC 23: The Sky Bison’s flight was derived from a form of elemental magic of their own invention. It was called Airbending by the nomadic people who learned it from the Bison, and the secrets behind it were all but lost when the Air Nomads were killed. Airbending would have allowed the Sky Bison to do much more than fly, although that would still be the most impressive feat available to them.History Check DC 25: The Air Nomads had a ritual of friendship that they used to bond a Sky Bison Calf to a young Air Nomad for life. Without such a ritual, it would be nearly impossible to gain the trust of a Sky Bison today, even if you could find one. The Sky Bison were notoriously good judges of character though, and kind hearted. They would be willing the help any decent soul with a decent cause for a time, but they would never listen to orders from anyone who hadn’t performed this ritual with them. Nature Check DC 27: Before the Air Nomads built their temples, the Sky Bison lived on the tops of the tallest mountains, rarely descending below cloud level. If one were to seek the companionship of one of these gentle giants, one should start with the highest point of elevation. These places are likely impossible to reach without flight or powerful magic of another sort.Ritual of FriendshipYou take an apple and hold it out to the Sky Bison in front of you, if you succeed you'll make a friend for life, if you fail you'll end up with pretty hearty bruise on your wrist. Level: 5 Component Cost: VariableCategory: Binding Market Price: 1,000 gpTime: 10 Minutes Key Skill: Nature Duration: Permanent When you begin the ritual you choose a Sky Bison and an intelligent, good-aligned creature as the targets of the ritual. You may choose yourself as a target. If the Sky Bison already has a life-friend from this ritual that creature must perform the ritual on anyone wishing to gain the Sky Bisons trust. Depending on the age of the Bison, the cost and difficulty of the ritual will change.
The age of the animal will also increase how much time you have to spend with the Bison before you can attempt to perform the ritual. During this time you must spend at least 8 hours out of each day in the company of the Bison. If you spend the requisite time with the Bison and fail the Nature Check, you only have to wait a day before trying again, regardless of the age of the Bison. The component cost covers food, for a Calf you only need a bushel of apples, as the age of the Bison rises and the time spent with it increases supplying enough food for the animal becomes more and more expensive. If you succeed the Sky Bison and creature become "life-friends" and are inseperably bonded to one another. This resultant bond allows any life-friend of the Bison to give it instructions, which the Bison will happily follow if doing so doesn't require much effort. Even a Bison's life-friend will have some trouble convincing it to do something against its nature, or it's current mood. Some of the things that will put a Bison in one of it's moods are being hungry, being undeground, being tired, being injured or being ignored and unappreciated.Sky Bison Calf: A young Sky Bison is still as large as a pony and is easily capable of transporting a human through the air. They are most often bonded with their life-friend at a young age, about 2 years for the bison and 6 years for their human counterpart. They continue to grow for the next 5 to 6 years until they reach their adult size. They are energetic and carefree at this age, and not particularly careful. In battle they prefer to stay away from violence as they are easily frightened. They will enter the fray to protect their life-friend if they can. They prefer to stay together with their rider, and if seperated will immediately attempt to reunite. However, they are not smart enough to use complex tactics at this age and usually just rush towards their ally in a straight line.
Equipment sky bison saddle
Sky BisonThe adult Sky Bison is a powerful force to behold. The adults are easily five to six times the size of a calf. They are capable of carrying several riders, though they only do so on behalf of its life-friend. At this age the bond between the Bison and its life-friend is permanent and if the rider were to die, the Bison would not take a new parter, instead returning to its mountain home to rest until it too dies. The adult Sky Bison is nearly impossible to fool and very, very slow to trust new people. In battle the Bison stays in the air or with its rider. It attacks primarily by charging into any enemy that it deems a threat to its rider. If seperated from its rider, it will use its hurricane blast to disable enemies before rushing to their side to protect them with sky toss.
Oh, you flatter us, I'm sure. Though, I'll be honest, I'm pretty proud of what we've put together. It seems to get only better with this second phase too.CLASS FEATURESSOURCE OF STRENGTHFirebending is a martial art that relies on building yourself up, progressively growing in power as the battle goes on. As you fight, your Source of Strength damage increases. You start out dealing 0 extra damage with each attack. Depending on your build, your extra damage increases when you perform certain actions. Your maximum Source of Strength damage is equal to 4 + your Constitution/Charisma modifer (for Harmonious or Raging respectively). This increases to 6 + Constitution/Charisma at 11th level and 8 + your Constitution/Charisma at 21st level. Your Source of Strength damage resets to 0 at the end of the encounter.Harmonious: You breathe deeply, fnding the eternal fame within yourself. Once per round, you may sacrifce your minor action to increase your extra Source of Strength damage by one. This is culumative.Raging: You use your anger to fuel your fre-bending. Once per round when you hit a target with an attack with the fre keyword, increase the amount of extra damage by 3. This is cumulative.Maybe each build could have a power associated with spending their Source of Strength points. Like, the Rager could spend to increase his crit range and the Harmonious build could spend points to... do something. I really like the idea of that, actually.EDIT: I've gotten an email from a guy who's planning on running an Avatar game who said he'd really like a Monster Manual of sorts. I know we've tossed that idea around since forever, but maybe we should get on that. Or have someone get on that.
Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 Benefit: Unless you are surprised, when you roll initiative you may run as a minor action.
My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action". This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that. Update 1: Also, Waving Uppercut (waterbender level 1 at-will) reads "...does not provoke attacks of opportunity..." which is supposed to be "does not provoke opportunity attacks...".Update 2:Yay! More type-o's! :D Sorry about this, we just thought you'd rather know about them then not know about them.Our third typo is in the Firebenders level 1 at-will power "Bursting Slash" where it says "a enemy adjacent...", this should be "an enemy".Update 3: Airbounce, Level 22 Utility Technique. It's colored green but still listed as a daily power.
I was looking at the Blue Spirit paragon path (p. 70). Can you tell me how "Stealth Infiltration" works?
One other thing, why do none of the Firebender builds really utilize their secondary stat? I spy a few powers that do special things, but over all the second stat does not do much. Also why is Harmonius +con? Same with Raging, why is it +cha? I would personally make raging +con, and change harmonious to +Wis. When I picture a "harmonius" firebender I picture Iroh, and I what is Iroh? Wise.
My friend pointed out what we assume is a type-o in the airbender feat "Running Start"RUNNING START Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 Benefit: Unless you are surprised, when you roll initiative you may run as a minor action.My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action". This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that.[THEN STUFF ABOUT TYPOS]
My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action". This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that.
[THEN STUFF ABOUT TYPOS]
Okay; I know that the topic has drifted from the earthbender a bit, but I'd like to bring up what I don't like about it.1) The Earthbender only really defends well for his watched ally. Any other defender marks the monster, so the monster is penalized no matter who they attack. Not so with the earthbender; in any group larger than two, just ignore the earthbender and his watched ally!2) The class occasionally has tracking issues. This is primarily RE: the new Quaking benefit. durations longer than EONT = bad; use sustain for that sort of thing.
I like the d4 idea. With calculation i've found out that 3d4= 2d6 roughly, so making it 3d4 at heroic might work.
I also like how to spend damage dice to improve the effect of a power, the question is more in how to get those dice BACK that might need some serious thinking. I think you could even go as far as 4d4, and making the powers in a way that you really NEED to spend damage dice to make the powers work. This means he has a lot of potential damage and really looks nice on paper, but almost never uses all dice available since that would make his powers less effective. I haven't read the firebender through, so I don't know the difference between raging and harmonious, so no comment there.
I like that fix on Stealth Infiltration. It puts it in the same category as the assassin's Silent Stalker:
Silent StalkerAt-will · Move ActionPersonalKeyword: MartialRequirement: You must be hiddenEffect: You move up to your speed to a square within 2 squares of an enemy. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.
I suggest:Stealth InfiltrationAt-will · Move ActionPersonalKeyword: MartialRequirement: You must be hiddenEffect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to your next acrobatics or athletics check before the end of your turn (or next turn). You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.
Effect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to all acrobatics and athletics checks made as part of this movement. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.
It is true that Iroh really does know the technique of breathing when it comes to firebending, so constitution (I guess) makes sense.
I like that Running Start, even though this makes it a standard action. Suggestion of making it a regular "move up to your speed" as a minor action rather then actual running. "Running Start" is a good use of words, though it can also imply more of a "you gain a +2 power bonus to acr and athl checks made as a part of the run action" thank "You start the encounter with a run".... Hey! I think I just came up with a new feat :D
To make the earthbender more effective, I think all you need is to change the watched ally is such a way:
"As a minor aaction, you may designate up to 3 allies (4 at 11th level and 5 at 21st level) within sight as your "watched allies" until the end of your next turn"...Or make it 2/4/6 allies on heroic/paragon/epic tier.
If you mark a monster, it takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls against everyone except for the marker. This means that all your allies have a +2 bonus to their defenses against that enemy. The trick is that your goal is to have all your enemies crunched up on the same spot and all marked. However, we all know that the first thing you do in an encounter is SPREAD OUT. You don't see allies all crunching up near the defender, this makes the group far too vulnerable to area and close attacks. In this way, the watched ally's low range is bugged and therefor makes him a weak defender. In a regular group with "normal" battle tactics, the earthbender just doesn't fit. Marking and watching is not comparable, since they are asking for two completely different things. Marking says "let me keep your enemies away from you" while watching says "let's all be close to me so we can be slaughtered more easily". In a range-heavy group the marking is a perfect mechanic, while watching is just bad. Do you see what I mean? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the idea and flavor of "Watched Ally", but it only really works in a party of 2 or 3, and never in a party of 4 or more.Can we also get a clear line between "ranged earthbender" and "melee earthbender"?Thanks for doing this, all my friends are hooked reading your pdf. No seriously, two of my friends are like "OH MY GOD WHOEVER MADE THIS IS A GENIUS!".
I noticed you use the phrase "slide your speed" fairly often. When you move yourself, you either "shift your speed" or "fly your speed". Slide is movement you apply to enemies.
1) Its no different than when the fighter marks one monster. Do the other monsters go "hey, we're not marked, let's go fart on the wizard" or whatever. (That's totally a bugbear, btw.) If you watch an ally, then for all cases and purposes for that ally, every monster is "marked." Keeping to that line of logic, when you mark one monster, then for it, every ally is "watched." I think marking and watching are two different means to an end and I think watching as a concept works beautifully. (Not to toot my horn of course. Toot toot.)
I would LOVE the Yu Yan Archers to be a paragon path! Just make its prereq be "proficient with a bow or a crossbow" so anyone can get it via weapon proficiency feat. I think you should make it on par with battlefield archer and sharpshooter, but with more focus on single target battle, good ranged teamwork (a la battlefield archer) and crazy accuracy (steady shot, giant to attack rolls og action point attacks or a power/flat bonus to all ranged attack rolls when specified conditions are met)
"...a theme is chosen at 1st level and grants you a power, and past that point, whenever you gain a power, you can choose a theme power or a class power. I dunno, but it seems like concepts like southern/kyoshi warrior could be conveyed better by a theme than a feat system that makes you bleed for every power."
Yeah, I never liked multiclass feats that make you take a feat for every single power. Themes is an idea that might be difficult to balance, but a good idea nonetheless.
Regarding the "Am I a controller?" confusion of Earthbenders.Whenever an earthbender takes a chunk of earth and creates difficult terrain, make it "and x squares within 5 squares of you are considered difficult terrain..." rather then squares adjacent. This means enemies can now more easily access the earthbender itself, and control the flow of enemies away from allies. I know this is not how one pictures it having watched the TV show, but creating difficult terrain adjacent to yourself makes you more difficult to reach (which is the opposide of what a defender wants).
The trick about all these classes is that in the shows is that they usually choose to fight at range (all except for firebenders). Trying to not make them taste like controllers must be difficult, since they all play like controllers in the TV show. For example: It makes sense that a earthbender can just bend the earth underneath of someone's feet, moving him/proning him as a minor action. This makes a bit too much of a controller-feeling to him. It would be cool to make a utility power the allows the earthbender to prone all adjacent enemies as a minor action (or make it "free; when you hit with an attack), which is more of a defender-y power.
At the first or second page of the water and earthbender I think you should make a box regarding "what to do when you don't have access to you element".
Regarding the Avatar Feats. The powerswapping is cool, but a bit too "free". I think you should start with "when you gain a new encounter or utility power you can choose to instead gain a power from your other class" and then later "when you gain a new daily power from your class you can choose to...". This is just an idea though.
It is true that a lot of the content in this book needs to be thought for other (martial) classes as well. I like (most of) the hybrid rules and such, but some paragon paths really need to be thought for more than just their intended class.
It is true, all "you slide your speed" should be reduced to "you slide your ___ modifier" or "you slide half your speed" since you can use force movement when prone and to ignore marks, difficult terrain and all kinds of stuff. Question: Can you use that kind of a power to slide yourself vertically or diagonal-up?
Looking at the fighter, the knight and the warden, the earthbender definetly needs a few stances added to his arsenal. As well as resist/extra saves/bonus to saves.
"Can't a firebender just create a fire in front of him for defense. According to the rules a campfire can be pretty deadly."I think the firebender could use a utility power like the sorcerer's Dragonflame Mantle.
It's true what people are saying, the benders need more bending. Could this be in the form of a class-bassed utility power(s) you automatically gain as you hit level 11 and level 21?Edit: Usagi actually commented on this and came up with a wonderful solution for the waterbender bender-powers.
Do we have a Airscooter for paragon-tier aribenders?Edit: Nevermind, we have "Wall Running" as a utility power which does the same thing ;)
My friend pointed out what we assume is a type-o in the airbender feat "Running Start"RUNNING START Prerequisites: Airbender, Dexterity 17 Benefit: Unless you are surprised, when you roll initiative you may run as a minor action.My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action". This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that.
My friend's comment is this "...erm... When I roll initative, I don't HAVE a minor action". This is a really good point xD Shouldn't this be "When you roll initative and aren't surprise, you can take the run action" or something like that.
I like that fix on Stealth Infiltration. It puts it in the same category as the assassin's Silent Stalker:Silent StalkerAt-will · Move ActionPersonalKeyword: MartialRequirement: You must be hiddenEffect: You move up to your speed to a square within 2 squares of an enemy. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.I suggest:Stealth InfiltrationAt-will · Move ActionPersonalKeyword: MartialRequirement: You must be hiddenEffect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to your next acrobatics or athletics check before the end of your turn (or next turn). You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.Variation:Effect: You move up to your speed and gain a +2 power bonus to all acrobatics and athletics checks made as part of this movement. You remain hidden until the end of this turn or until you make an attack.
Oh, and on the subject of the Hybrid Earthbender, I agree with what you said, but because we are currently overhauling the class, let's table that until we have a better idea of the Earthbender.
Your running start works, but defies its purpose. The idea is that the airbender can jump right into combat before his enemies can react. Running is a good way to balance the feat, but if you use the wording "on your first turn" that airbender is most likely not going to use it due to the run action's penalty to attack rolls. Most airbenders would save this minor action until the end of their turn so it wont affect their attack rolls. This means that the title "running start" means nothing and the original idea of this feat is lost.
However, if you make it a free action before your turn, you do take a minus, but that minus wears off before you make your attack roll (the penalties of running last until the start of your next turn), you get to position yourself tactically and you get to start with a run. I say you make it a "free" with a trigger "you roll initative" to make it both useful and true to the original idea and fluff.
Having a dice pool also means that they can dabble in other roles more easily. A multi-target power or a power with a controller effect usually does less damage than a single target power or a power with no controlling effect. This way you can give the firebender both options. Let's make up a power. With this power you can:
1 Keep you source of strength damage and deal massive damage to one creature2 Forgo your source of strength to "augment" the power and change it into a multitarget power.
Make another power:
1 Keep you source of strength damage and deal massive damage without controlling effects2 Forgo your source of strength to "augment" the power and make it also slow each hit target or control them in any number of ways.
This also means you can have multiple firebenders in a party but it won't feel like like a whole party of melee rangers trying to be effective without controlling, leading or defending.
A cool idea would also to be rewarding the Harmonious firebender for spending source of strength dice for various effects, and the raging firebender for keeping them. For example "Harmonious: When you spend a source of strength dice to augment a firebender or firebender paragon path power you gain temporary hit points equal to your lol modifier" or "Raging: When you use a firebender or firebender paragon path power and use all your source of strength dice to deal damage you gain +1 bonus to speed/temporary hit points/whatever"
Beware the difficult terrain. It might make you harder to reach and not just your allies. The earthbende would need a number of "Close burst Ally" powers and preferably a class feature "you gain your con modifier as a bonus to AC against opportunity attacks provoked by making a ranged attack" to be able to do this while being sticky.
EDIT: Siberys, your point is valid. Make it slowed instead of DT. or "when the target moves more the x squares you may slide him as a free action/opportunity action" kind of thing.
Neutral Jing. I don't undestand what version/not-versiou of Neutral Jing we are talking about. Is it a Standard action with "sustain: minor"? I'm confused? Is it sustained by a standard action? Move action?
If I understand this correctly, the earthbender is severly weakened when dazed. If neutral jing is going to work in the "sustain with a minor action to make everything really good" kind of way I think a "+2 class bonus against attacks that would subject you to the dazed condition" or a "+2/+3/+4 class bonus to saving throws against daze effects" or "you can make a saving throw against one dazing effect on you at the start of your turn" would be appropriate.
The Earthbender really does deserve some slide-heavy or pull-heavy single and multi target attack powers.
"Watched Ally"'s range and number of watched allies should increase with tiers, or make the Eartbender work in such a way that the watched ally is just icing on the cake rather than its primary defending feature. As I've said before: he has the potential to become the stickiest sliding sunuvabitch out there, and that should almost be enough to make him a good defender with or without Watched Ally.
EDIT: When challenging a single mega-ultra Boss, watching is significantly inferior to marking , for obvious reasons. This is why the earthbender needs to be able to control his enemies if he is to keep the "watched ally"-class feature
You are a genius and your ideas are perfect. I like your idea of bending utility powers :D
Rock Cart, Rock Skiff and Rock Wagon looks like a single power that scales with level, or "Replace your Rock Skiff with the Rock Cart utility power" That's not as cool but takes less space on by Character Sheet. Balance is the most difficult thing here, making things not overpowered WILL be difficult. Remember that all our class techniques are bending that deal damage, so allowing our basic bending to deal damage is essentially unnecessary.
This is so much fun! :D
Edit: I wrote this before the above was posted. Make of it what you willl.Neutral JingFree ActionTrigger: You begin your turnYou are slowed. Once, until the start of your next turn, you may designate a new ally as your watched ally, or you may gain a +Wis/Con bonus the damage roll of Rebuking Offence or Earthen Shield.