Thread: Incarnum in Pathfinder
Saturday, 18th September, 2010, 03:45 AM #1
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Incarnum in Pathfinder
Background to this post: a friend and I have been converting our old 3.5 worlds over to PF recently, but we both ran into the stumbling block that Incarnum was actually a fairly significant part of our settings and the classes as-is were usually considered weak for 3.5 (with the Totemist generally being considered the only one really capable of standing with the powerful 3.5 classes). Obviously, that meant that they'd be too weak to import into PF directly, so we needed to convert them and add powers much like the old core classes got in the upgrade.
We got a third friend involved who was just starting a PF game in a homebrew world, and after the conversion work was mostly done started a playtest of the conversion by putting an Incarnate PC (Chaotic) into his game (played by me). So far the character seems to be working well, from what I've been able to judge; he started at 6th but has advanced with the party to the current 8th (and close to 9th, so we should hit it in a session or two). His damage output has been low, but his defenses and utility abilities have largely made up for it, particularly in his Share Incarnum Radiance ability which has helped the party cover wide combats more than once. He doesn't overshadow other party members, but also has not particularly been overshadowed by them except in the damage area (which I already noted).
Discussion between the three of us has largely petered out on the Incarnum conversion, but I've decided to post this thread here because others on ENWorld might find this useful- and perhaps some of you will have comments to add as well. We actually did convert all three core Incarnum classes, not just the Incarnate, but the only one tested so far is Incarnate (and specifically, Chaotic-aligned, which itself was often seen as the weakest option for that class). I'll put each class into its own post for clarity, following this one.
First, a couple of general principles. We agreed that given the bennies the spellcasting classes received in PF (unlimited-use cantrips, level-based powers such as the Sorcerer Bloodline abilities, higher-level Domain abilities for the Cleric, and School powers for the Wizard), the Incarnum classes should be similarly boosted. We did this in two ways: first, each of the two "full meldshaper" classes, the Incarnate and Totemist, were given a boost of +2 to their essentia pools at every 5th level- effectively giving them a bonus "Bonus Essentia" feat at each one; and second, pushing up chakra openings so that Incarnum characters would start at level 1 with 1 Chakra Bind and a Chakra to bind to (this, because most of the really spell-worthy powers of Soulmelds come from their Chakra Binds). The Soulborn, being a "half meldshaper" much like the Paladin and Ranger are "half casters," doesn't get Chakra Binds at level 1 (but does get them much earlier than in 3.5), and also gets the essentia boost only at levels 10 and 20 (but its essentia progression had been reworked in my own houserules ages ago to give the class a boost back in 3.5, and we used that table in the new version so it's considerably different anyway). Finally, because PF casters who prepare spells have the rule allowing them to abandon spells and switch in new ones given 15 minutes, we created a similar "15 Minute Rule" for meldshapers as well: to whit, they can unshape one Soulmeld and create a new one to replace it given 15 minutes.
It's worth noting that the 15-minute rule has already been used several times by my 8th-level Incarnate to switch Soulmeld configurations when circumstances demanded it, and the extra versatility has proven very helpful in every case. This rule alone gives Incarnum users a serious boost when compared with previous classes, though since the Soulmelds themselves are generally balanced well against other classes' powers, not an overpowering one.
Last edited by paradox42; Saturday, 18th May, 2013 at 04:18 AM. Reason: Adding the Pathfinder tag so it shows up properly for thread filterers."I am a vampiric half-dragon half-troll lycanthropic fiendish snail! Tremble at my illogical glory!" -The Tongue is Mightier Than the Sword, OotS, Dragon #345
"Come to the Far Realmy side...we have pseudonatural cookies..." - Tlin, Alienoid Warlock, during a game session in March 2007
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