Talk:Spellborg (3.5e Template)

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Balancing Act[edit]

The Fluff- Going to make "cyborgs". Potential for PCs to become cyborgs too, by DM fiat on some means to acquire the template. In any case, there's so many things you can do with cyborgs, so hence the flexibility.

The Problem- Balance. With so many various powers it's hard to tell what's not balanced. I tried to find powers roughly with 1/3 of an LA and say "pick 3, have fun", but I'm unsure on this. I was using an LA calculator for some, and eying it for others. Commentary on balance or abusable combos are welcome, or more ideas for selectable powers.

Also, at the moment EVERYTHING is a supernatural power, as the idea is that these are all magically granted augmentations and don't work in antimagic. This may or may not effect balance as that is a weakness in opposition to the usual extraordinary benefits you get. Also might be troublesome to explain the (currently inherent) non-enchantment ability bonus, something I may ditch all together, as something that goes away too.

Comments welcome. -- Eiji 15:48, 7 June 2008 (MDT)

I really like the concept, but the name could use some work. Cyborg is shortened from "cybernetic organism", so with the "b" in there the name spellborg looks like it would be shortened from "spellbernetic organism" or something like that. I would suggest making it "spellorg", or having something entirely different like "arcorg" (arcane organism) or "eldorg" (eldritch organism). --Daniel Draco 16:21, 7 June 2008 (MDT)
Thank you. .....true, borg is technically incorrect, but 'org' sounds funny. Hmmmm... I'll have to find a better name. Later. --Eiji 20:30, 8 June 2008 (MDT)
Spell Boosted Organism, obviously. --TK-Squared 12:56, 9 October 2008 (MDT)
Just a disclaimer that I think I'll start adding to my pages, including this one. Please address mechanical changes on the talk page, fluff and typos are free to alter at whim. To the comment left in the change, I believe 3 benefits for LA 1 is quite balanced, as seen above here in discussion. If you see a power issue with one of the items, please tell. If you see an issue with the flexibility of being able to choose a selection, bring it up for discussion. Thank you. -- Eiji 22:54, 7 November 2008 (MST)

Awesome, this should be a FA[edit]

Really awesome, seriously I have such a good idea. Using my Paladin Variant with this template, a robotic angel-like character. Really i like the concept and options it much customizable and fun! --Lord Dhazriel 20:21, 18 October 2008 (MDT)

Balance Issues[edit]

This is in answer to Eiji's request above.

Obviously the flexibility innately makes everything more powerful; most races, for example, have quite a few things that add to LA without being particularly useful for most characters (Stonecunning, bonuses to Appraisal checks and the like are not entirely useful for the characters that would use Dwarves and Svirfneblin and such, which would tend to be mundane melee classes), while this template ignores that. Therefore, the abilities should be weaker than the equivalent for other +LA templates and races, while instead they're significantly more powerful.

Let's look at some examples:

DR 5/magic for 1/3 of your first level as a level 2 character is frankly pretty ridiculous; barbarians are the only core classes who get early DR and they don't get DR 5 until they're near level 20, by which point this DR increases to 20, crushing the Monk capstone. That needs to be toned down massively, maybe to DR 2/magic or something.

DR 5/magic at level 2 is pretty ridiculous, agreed, but DR 20/magic at level 20 is useless. That it's better than the Monk is not an argument; the Monk totally sucks. Surgo 11:57, 8 November 2008 (MST)
That's not an answer to the issue. 18:20, 8 November 2008 (MST)
Uh, I didn't say it was. Surgo 00:35, 11 June 2009 (MDT)
Very well, I can adjust the scaling of the DR, though I think the overall amount is probably sound. As Surgo pointed out, DR/magic quickly becomes weak and useless after a certain point. Anyway, I'll take a look-see. -- Eiji 19:29, 8 November 2008 (MST)

Weapon Grade Fists is a Monk's wet dream with Brilliant Energy fists and the like; I know there are other ways to do this, but none of them are as cheap as 1/3 of a level. Look at the Kensai class (Complete Warrior) for the sake of comparison. (In addition to the Kensai levels required, don't forget the clause about a humanoid's unarmed strike being 120% of the XP costs shown on that table.)

Again, who cares if the Monk gets some nice things? They need it. Surgo 11:57, 8 November 2008 (MST)
That's an example. Weapon Grade Fists is still broken for anything with a natural attack. You've again ignored the bigger issue, which is that it's far stronger than a Kensai, the closest thing I know to that concept.
That's not a bigger issue. The Kensai sucks, and comparing anything to it as a point of balance is a bad idea. Surgo 00:35, 11 June 2009 (MDT)
Actually for 2600g you too can have brilliant energy fists. I would think a 1/3 of your level is much more valuable than 2600g. The item in question? Amulet of Natural Attacks, and since you only need one natural attack (unarmed strike), there is your Unarmed Strike +1 item. The template in question IS supposed to only add to one type of natural weapon however, and I'll clarify this, making it only slightly more powerful for most creatures (usually 2 claws instead of 1 slam, 1 bite, 1 booty slap, etc). Since I can't always take into consideration the occasional 8 armed anthro octopus freak who'd love it, I won't. If you're allowing 8 armed octopi you're already doomed. X3 -- Eiji 19:29, 8 November 2008 (MST)

+4 to an ability score is MASSIVE for 1/3 of a level. Period. Don't forget Strength is usually considered twice as important a stat as other bonuses; check out the Orc and Half-Orc for proof of that.

I compared it to a few other templates and found this to be untrue. Just off the top of my head I recall Firesoul grants +4 Cha, Leadership, and a rather kickass Cha based unique attack to strip enemies of powers. I see some synergy with this, being three powers for LA +1. There are other templates that seemed to follow this pattern so I feel confident on this issue. -- Eiji

Bonus feat. .............................. 1/3 of a level for an entire non-empty Fighter level, essentially. 'Nuff said.

That's fine. You're set back an entire level. Surgo 11:57, 8 November 2008 (MST)
No. You're set back ONE THIRD of a level. You get a bonus feat, like a fighter, AND two other great bonuses. Example: Bonus feat, +4 Strength, +2 Con and +2 Dex, all for 1 LA. The Fighter gets a bonus feat from a smaller list, +1 BAB (which is similar to the +4 Strength and probably a little worse), 1 hit die (+2 Con will pay off more in the long run with the +1 AC from +2 Dex, in terms of surviving), and +2 Fort saves (+2 Con adds +1 Fort save already). Even if you try to build this like a Fighter, it still comes off better, and there's no real reason to do that. (I mean, if you want survivability, again the damage reduction option is far better.) 18:20, 8 November 2008 (MST)
On the flipside, you're trading a useful d10 HD, +1 BAB, 2+Int skills (meh), and +2 Fort (better) for those two nifty powers, whatever they are. Both HD, BAB, saves, and skill points end up becoming quite important, especially depending on the type of character you're playing. In any case, since this is a stackable template I did put in a particular disclaimer on that one that you can only have one extra feat no matter how many spellborgs you gain. -- Eiji
I have a hard time caring about the Fighter comparison. Fighters suck. Surgo 21:52, 8 November 2008 (MST)

+4 enhancement bonus to Natural Armor is overpowered too for 1/3 of a level.

Only at certain levels. After a certain point it becomes totally useless. Surgo 11:57, 8 November 2008 (MST)
Again, as stated later, this is less of an issue later on, but really broken for low levels. And +4 Nat Armor for such a low cost is still pretty powerful later on.
Actually to compare, Shield, available at level 1, gives +4 AC. And given how common enchantment bonuses are, I saw no issue with it. -- Eiji 19:40, 8 November 2008 (MST)

....FLIGHT at early levels? Seriously, give an Elven archer Plunging Shot and Flight and he'll slaughter most anything for quite a while.

Perhaps I shall stagger it by HD. Stay tuned. -- Eiji 19:29, 8 November 2008 (MST)

I think you get my drift. I'm not saying this is horribly broken at higher levels (though I still don't think it's balanced at all), but it's definitely way overpowered for lower levels, and lower levels are the ones likely to use it for its extremely low LA. +2 LA per three benefits would be closer to balanced for lower levels, and probably more balanced at higher levels too, though I can see +2 LA for this template being slightly underpowered at levels 18-20.

-- 11:31, 8 November 2008 (MST)

fyi, DR x/ Magic is pretty pathetic. Barbarians get DR x/- which is not. --TK-Squared 11:41, 8 November 2008 (MST)
Pathetic? Since when are level 2 magical characters dealing massive damage anyway? DR X/Magic and DR X/- are essentially equivalent at lower levels, and at higher levels the difference isn't as significant for the reverse reason: higher-level magical characters deal ridiculous damage that isn't gonna be significantly mitigated by DR anyway. At least, not by normal levels of DR, like the Barbarian's DR 5. DR 20 is different and pretty ridiculous; if it were DR 20/- instead of DR 20/Magic, I'd diagnose the class's creator as clinically insane and wouldn't even bother suggesting balance changes. -- 11:44, 8 November 2008 (MST)
Oh, look. I cast Magic Weapon. NO DR FOR YOU. --TK-Squared 11:57, 8 November 2008 (MST)

Perfectly balanced in my book. Don't forget LA eat class level, in fact LA 1 is perfect. Make a 4th level character, then make a 2nd level character with 2 Spellborg template. You see they are mostly equal in power. --Lord Dhazriel 12:39, 8 November 2008 (MST)

Do I really have to give an actual analysis of why that's wrong? YOU make a level 4 Fighter versus a Level 2 Fighter + 6 Spellborg traits, or a Monk, or a Rogue...It's not a contest. If you can't see that, sure, I'll make the characters and compare them for you, but I think it's fairly evident. At least Surgo's arguing that it's not so bad at higher levels, which I'd already stated was the case; you're seriously comparing 2(class levels)+2(Spellborg) to 4(class levels)? 18:20, 8 November 2008 (MST)

(Placed a bunch of edits above) And here I put my ending. In the end, I have one other bonus to my argument vis a vis that the playtesting of this (2x Spellborged Gnome Artificer) is going quite well, even with LA buyoff and only being one level currently behind, he is equal, and likely weaker than the others.
One other important thing which may not have been obvious... remember, unlike most templates, all Spellborg benefits are supernatural. They vanish in an AMF.
In any case, off to edit what I think should be done. -- Eiji 19:29, 8 November 2008 (MST)
yes completely, I actually have a character with the spellborg template. Okay both version ended up with approximately the same hp (thank to Construct build). Of course, one had higher ability score and fast healing and goodies. Spells, maneuvers, class features, feat, skill points? Where are you? They ended with approximately the same attack bonus, except the level 6 version ended up with another attack, thank to base attack bonus progression. At higher level the power of benefit fade away, compare any of these ability to a high level spell. Even mid level spells overwhelm these benefit. For Rogues, loss of sneak attack progression hurt, and high level free feats are also a hard loss. Now fighter and monk, both class suck anyway, I take Outsider level over any of the two. But you lose access to PrC, since BAB and feats are lacking with LA/ECL. I think I made my point.--Lord Dhazriel 20:00, 8 November 2008 (MST)

Useless abilities[edit]

Why would you ever take Darkvision 60' when you could take Blindsight 60'? Surgo 11:57, 8 November 2008 (MST)

Not everyone is a powergamer. Could be used for flavor or roleplaying purposes, depending on the background setting.   Hooper   talk    contribs    email   15:28, 20 November 2008 (MST)
Oh look, it's the Stormwind fallacy. That doesn't change the fact that the darkvision is useless because blindsight is right there. However, it was fixed now that the Blindsight range is 30'. Surgo 00:34, 11 June 2009 (MDT)

More Power[edit]

Trying to think of more powers to add here (these are in now way finished ideas or names of powers). I've been stuck on the idea of adding limited use per day powers, along the lines of spell-like abilities, but rather more unique to avoid the "well, I can just get that power somewhere else" feel.

  1. Restore: Full round action usable once per day (target: self only) to gain the effects of lesser restoration and cure moderate wounds.
  2. Arcane Bullet: Ranged touch attack, you can fire a small sphere of arcane energy at a target within Close range (25 +5/2HD ft.) that deals 1d3 force damage.
  3. Energy Saver: You need only rest half the normal amount of time to (4 hours for humans, 2 for elves and the like). You can subsist on 1/4 the amount of food and water your base creature requires. (not at all useful for outsiders. Perhaps throw in more Ring of Sustenance/ring of warmth abilities or whatever)
  4. Bad Seed/Good Seed: Gain some evil or good based powers. Stuff like Profane/Sacred bonuses to attack, saves or damage and maybe a smite, as you gain a power core that is supplied your alignment based energy or some such thing.
  5. Furnace/Freezer: You gain a small portal to a burning hot or frigid chamber on your body. (like the hammerspace ability)
  6. Third Ring: You gain an extra slot due to magical grafting that allows you to wear a third ring.
  7. Failsafe Trigger: One round after dropping below 0 hp, a spell cast into this "device" at an earlier time (sorta like how a ring of counterspells works for storing spells). Though, the spell is cast upon the spellborg. Most commonly, this is a healing spell, though attack spells like fireball could also be used.

That's all I got for now. --Ganteka 14:39, 10 February 2009 (MST)

Magical Adept ability[edit]

I love the class and i think that you could add to the Magical Adept ability under special attacks. I think that it would be a good idea to make this a progressive ability, so if you take the ability multiple times then you can either cast your spells additional times per day or learn more spells. -Tyraxor 16:25 6/10/09

Edits made. Also clarity and expansion. -- Eiji 20:59, 10 June 2009 (MDT)

Spellborg Acquired[edit]

So, it says something about a ritual. I gotta know, Eiji, are you planning on outlining the cost and length of time it takes to perform the ritual, as well as any checks made to perform the ritual correctly (some kind of Craft?)? --Ganteka 14:37, 7 July 2009 (MDT)

11,750gp, 900xp, 11 days, any Craft, Craft Wondrous Item --TK-Squared 14:44, 7 July 2009 (MDT)
Not actually, I left it up to DM fiat. For some DM's the LA is payment enough, for others they might need a quest and a dragon's horde, dunno. If you need a guide though, paying off LA 1 is 3000 xp, so either 3000 xp straight or 15,000g (x5 XP) straight would be "payment". What you'd do for higher level LAs you can figure out from there. -- Eiji 20:03, 7 July 2009 (MDT)
Dude, then put that on the article. --Ganteka 00:04, 13 July 2009 (MDT)

Featured Article Nomination[edit]

No mark.svg.png — This article did not become a featured article. --Green Dragon 22:18, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Please feel free to re-nominate it once it meets the FA criteria and when all the major issues brought up in this nomination have been dealt with.

I am nominating this artcile because despite it needing a few more formatting improvements, I am pretty sure it is the most used homebrew item on the wiki. It is also extremely flavorful and extraordinarily cool. I love it, and so does everyone else.Summerscythe 23:29, 12 July 2009 (MDT)

Support — I support this article for the reasons written above.Summerscythe 23:31, 12 July 2009 (MDT)

Support — I absolutely love this article, it is actually the measuring stick I use to judge the balance of my own races/templates. In fact, there is absolutely no reason this shouldn't be a feature article already. → Rith (talk) 00:32, 13 July 2009 (MDT)

Support — I support this article for the same reasons as Summerscythe. Offspring243 08:24, 12 October 2009 (MDT)

Support — I'd also recommend using the second picture if it got put on the front page.   Hooper   talk    contribs    email   09:27, 17 October 2009 (MDT)

Comment — This is not balanced. +8 to abilities, +5 (and increases with HD) AC, +HD in DR, fast healing 1, and more all at LA +1. In this state this cannot become a featured article. --Green Dragon 22:10, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Did you actually read the article? To have everything you listed in would have an LA of +2. You choose three aspects per level of LA. 23:31, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Armor Grade Frame[edit]

Do this alteration's abilities make the affected creature count as wearing light armor? And do class features that allow the character to ignore spell failure from certain armor grades (e.g., Complete Arcane's Warlock class) treat it as such?

(Also, the name seems a bit unwieldy.)

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