Custom Theme - The Guerilla Captain

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EDIT: Version 2.


So I'm in a game, and none of the printed themes really fit my character, so the DM suggested I create my own theme and shoot it past him. Here's what I've come up with as a first draft, trying to keep it generic enough to be used for characters other than my own.

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Two free skills with primary stat to the skills? WAY overpowered.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
I have almost no sense of how powerful a theme should be, since I'm not super familiar with them. Would one skill trained be better? Or two skills trained without the primary stat modifier? What about the other features? Is the Preferred Environments mechanic good, bad, underpowered, overpowered, or what?
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From what I've noticed as far as skills and themes: Most themes that provide a benefit to skills provide a +2 power bonus to two skills as an entire feature (e.g. no other features gained at the relevant level). The Scholar Theme grants a limited skill training as a level 5 feature, with a caveat +2 if you're trained in all of the options already.

 Personally, I think your Preferred Environment features are pretty strong. The Outlaw, the only other with a preferred environment that I can think of off the top of my head, gains a strictly applicable limited one-skill benefit in his preferred environment, only gets one, and can't add more to the list. Subbing ability modifiers is pretty strong, and gaining skills is kind of big too.


Recommendation (limited of course by my lack of experience):

Lv1 Feature: Drop Preferred Environments, add "if you are trained in all of these skills, you may select one of these skills and use your highest ability modifier in the place of its key ability modifier."

I modeled this recommendation on the level 5 feature of the Scholar Theme. It offers a Skill Training in one of five skills (the Knowledge Skills), and provides a +2 bonus to one if you're already trained in them. It has an additional minor benefit of adding one of the three more common languages to your languages. The benefit I recommended has a bit varied versatility. If you're trained in all five, which is a bit less likely at first level, it'll provide a strong cover (+3 to 6 compared to Scholar's 2) to the fact that at least one of the relevant skills is going to use a poor modifier for you (probably Endurance or Nature/Perception).

Lv5 Feature: Introduce Preferred Environments, select ONE, add "while in this environment, you and any allies who can see and hear you gain a +2 power bonus to all of the skills listed in Lv1 Feature."

Used the idea from the Outlaw for this. He gets a kind of cool benefit, can't be tracked, in one environment. I changed tacks a bit toward augmenting your performance a fair bit in one zone, since eventually having great buffs to nearly all combat areas seems a bit strong to me. That said, still a strong feature since it'll buff all 5 skills versus the usual 2 for this kind of feature, and it works for your allies too!

Lv10 Feature: Scrap. Add "While in your Preferred Environment, you can use the Aid Another action to provide a +5 bonus to a skill from the skills listed in Lv1 Feature instead of the normal bonus. You gain a +1 bonus to speed in your Preferred Environment."

Here I just thought your wording was kind of vague and also looked like it would lead to some possible DM vs Player ruling conflicts, and we all know how fun those are. So instead, I think you could benefit from buffing your ability to assist an ally (consider making Aid Another easier for you instead of just bumping up its effectiveness) and making your benefit a little less situational.

Finally, I recommend tossing the Class Requirement. The Fighter/Warlord inclusion makes it looked forced to me. Either go Ranger for the preferred environment (I don't recommend this), or open it up to all combat leading characters.


That's my advice for now, I can add more if you like my line of thinking!
That feedback was very useful. I can now begin working on a second draft. Thank you.
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That feedback was very useful. I can now begin working on a second draft. Thank you.



You're welcome! I'll check in at some point to see what you come up with. Have fun!
Version 2! I mostly followed your advice, but tweaked it a bit. Also two of the utility powers are completely different, and I'm wondering now if the level 6 and level 10 powers shouldn't be switched around. But the features are what's most important here, since I have other powers of the same level to which to compare these powers.

 
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Alright, looks pretty good to me. I'd personally still scratch out that Lv5 feature's effect for nonpreferred environments, but it's just a matter of opinion.

Also, the milestone effect on Lv1 could be interesting. Do you know how long your typical adventuring day is going to be? Unless your party is built for endurance adventuring, you'll probably benefit only once a day from that feature, and not until the second half of the day.

As an aside: what are you using to format that? It looks really neat. 
Alright, looks pretty good to me. I'd personally still scratch out that Lv5 feature's effect for nonpreferred environments, but it's just a matter of opinion.

Also, the milestone effect on Lv1 could be interesting. Do you know how long your typical adventuring day is going to be? Unless your party is built for endurance adventuring, you'll probably benefit only once a day from that feature, and not until the second half of the day.

As an aside: what are you using to format that? It looks really neat. 


The really important thing about the level 1 feature, to me, is that I want to have the secondary benefit without having to invest additional feats. That's why I had it key off of a milestone instead of being trained in all those skills. The logic behind it is that guerrilla fighters are accustom to having long and hard days, so this is a way to reward long adventuring days (a design decision that I think more mechanics should follow).

The level 5 non-preferred aspect of the level 5 feature is so that there is SOME benefit, even if the adventure never takes us anywhere near the preferred environment. After all, there are seven basic types of environments, so theoretically you would only gain the benefit 1/7th of the time.

The document is created in Pages, and exported to a PDF, where I snap a screenshot to upload it to the forums.
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Aah. I see what you mean about the level one. Fair enough lol, the long-day options do seem a bit limited.


The thing about the level-5 is that the benefit is a lot stronger than most of the skill bonus features in the theme department, since it boosts five skills and buffs your allies in addition to just you. The reason I recommended limiting it to that one preferred environment is because the benefit for being in that area is (to my knowledge) the strongest skill benefit from a theme in the game. Having access to a moderately nerfed version of that outside of the preferred environment is like adding an order of fries to a 1lb burger. XD


As to your adventure never taking you into that environment: this is a "talk to your DM" issue. Obviously the DM isn't going to spend the entire campaign in that kind of locale, but you're a player and you definitely want some benefit from this theme, especially since you're crafting it yourself. It would be pretty terrible to deny you the opportunity to benefit from it every once in a while. (Given 7 potential environments and the power level of the feature, I'd recommend spending ten to thirty percent of the time in that environment. Not actually unlikely if you don't pick an obscure one and the party doesn't spend the whole campaign in one city). Ask your DM where his adventure will focus!

Pages? 
Pages? 


Pages is the word processor and page-layout application in the iWork suite.
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Aaaaah. That would explain why I had no idea what it was. Thanks.
Silent Approach needs to specify that the movement is a free action, or it's not eligible for stealth checks.  Otherwise it looks reasonable.  I'm not wild about Themes without attack powers, in general, though.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
You know what? The Outlaw is one of the weaker themes, I don't mind seeing it obsoleted.

Stop the H4TE