Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sacred Oath: Oath of Love [Remaster]



The more I learn about homebrewing, the more I have cause to regret some of the earlier design choices I made.

This deep-seated pathos is what has made me start remastering some of my old projects, and no project have I wanted to go back and modify more than the Oath of Love paladin.

I became less and less satisfied with this oath's use of charm mechanics, the further along I got. It seemed disingenuous, somehow, to swear an oath about upholding True Love, only to, a second later, charm someone into loving you, and then be rewarded for stabbing them while they are forced to love you, though your Channel Divinity.

That's not to say charm mechanics are bad or that they shouldn't have a place in this option, but they certainly shouldn't be used to con and stab people when you're trying to preach the gospel of love.

I'm hoping this remaster fixes the thematic issues of my older work. If not, let me know. Nothing says I can't release an even newer version, should this option need one.

CHANGELOG:

  • Modified the spell list to make it less charm-intensive, bringing back old favorites like color spray!
  • Two new Channel Divinity options, one that bolsters your allies with temporary hit points, and the other locks down anything intelligent enough to truly want something. 
  • Lover's Embrace is now Aura of Affection, and adds hit points to any healing done within the radius. 
  • Passion's Kindness is now Radiant Empathy, because looking back Passion's Kindness was just kind of annoying in practice. 
  • Endless Devotion has been completely reworked, and now primarily makes your enemies incapable of attacking, if they fail a save and start adjacent to you. 
CONCERNS:
  • I changed a lot, which usually means there are little, fiddily errors out there. See if you can find any. 
  • Channel Divinity: Heart's Desire intentionally uses inconclusive language, as the creature it targets could hypothetically desire anything. I'm not sure if that's a wise choice or not. 
WHAT I LEARNED:
  • It feels pretty good to have gone back and finally taken a crack at fixing this one. Maybe I can update the Knavery paladin next. 

7 comments:

  1. I like the changes a lot, one thing that's incredible is the bit about making them hallucinate their desire- it reminds me of that scene from dragon age origins where the desire demon is doing exactly that to the templar... which makes it's presence on a paladin oath kind of interesting- still there has to be something aggressive, and i think aggressively forcing them to experience their true feelings is entirely appropriate.

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  2. I like it, too. This might be a fluff question, but do you picture the paladin being able to see what's going on in the target creature's head? If the paladin was an NPC, I would absolutely expect them to step into the fantasy, either as an observer or one of the creatures being hallucinated.

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    1. And it doesn't bother me at all that the wording leaves the Heart's Desire's imagery open-ended. Love is a many-splendoured thing, after all. What the creature sees will be a great opportunity for story-telling. Also, as opposed to either Charm or Phantasmal Force, that leaves the ability open for non-combat, non-aggressive applications, like comforting a panicked citizen, or rewarding someone with a pleasant vision. Even allowing a way to bypass someone you don't want to injure.

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    2. >do you picture the paladin being able to see what's going on in the target creature's head?

      Nope, but the creature's actions and words will likely give anyone present a good idea of what is going on.

      That's also not to say that the creature in question can't see the paladin and their allies. The paladin and company just happen to take a lower priority than "my god I've achieved everything I've ever dreamed of," and the creature will likely ignore you unless you make a point of being noticed.

      The spell Dream gives you the ability to create a fantasy you can enter into or exit at will, but obviously that's an ability that's much later in the game.

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  3. The healing aura seems broken?
    Combine it with the lay on hands feature paladins has, its a free 1d8+1 healing per point in their lay on hands pool.
    Which at least makes the need for rest a more trivial thing.

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    1. Really good point.

      I'll change it to "regain at least 5 hit points," hopefully that'll require more of an investment on the paladin's part.

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