Would be cool if the WM sub could do something more with the Ki Damage ability....currently its not really worth using...
Strips Critical Immunity for one round per use ? Inflicts added +10 damage per use ? Lowers targets physical immunities for 2 rounds ? Allows next attack to always hit ? Lowers targets AB for next two rounds ?
Bard Gnome version: +4 Strength: why? Shard granted +4 constitution which was a very nice bonus compared to the XR Bard Gnome which gets +4 strength instead. Strength is not that useful on Gnome Bards, I don't like this step down compared to Shard.
I'm not sure what Immunity: Enchantment does so I can't really comment on that. Bard's already don't have any spell failure in their optimal gear setup. "Armored spellcasting" isn't very useful.
Bard gnome gets empower spell, which no bard has, compared to human version which gets Artist/Curse song, feats that every bard has. I think the feats should be the same or ones that all bards take.
Bard Human bonuses: Feat-level poison immunity is overpowered compared to other bonuses. It frees up the ability to take another artifact other than constitution artifact (which is currently taken only for poison immunity). This could instead be used to take save arty (+3 saves and free greater restoration 1/day), dex arty (+2 more dex), cha arty (+2 more cha), str arty for stun immunity etc. This bonus and +15% fire immunity I would gladly take without exception over bard gnome bonuses.
If the idea is to make one "casterish" and one "unitank" version, I don't understand the point. Unitank bards are poor choices as a build because bards don't need str. But if there are really going to be two subraces then I think both should get +4 dex, +4 con and the gnome version gets +6 charisma while the human version gets +4 str/+4 charisma. Furthermore empower spell on gnome should be replaced with artist or curse song. Finally I would remove feat-level poison immunity - Armored Mage and Immunity:Enchantment are about as useful as 15% fire immunity.
- Rapier Wit (Alu-Fiend) I like the feat-level charm immunity idea, but I believe that currently all charm effects are CHA based, which seems a bit wasted on a CHA based subrace, unless more charm effects are being added with different stats or you can auto-fail on 1 (never happened to me so not sure on this). I know it gets many feats so I realize the special shouldn’t be that powerful. But maybe this special fits more on the Blackguard XR? I think any other miscellaneous immunity (domination?) or one survival ability would be better instead (levitation?). I also don’t think a build of this kind needs the +2 Wisdom score at all, I would like to see it added to STR/DEX (+3/+3) to bring it on par with the Intuitive Attack XR.
- Theurge (Lloth-Touched) I am a bit confused on the cleric special, it doesn’t look very useful to me. I would prefer them both to have either the lore bonus or +1 to spell penetration instead and move the 150 lore cap to CC Wizard XR.
- Bard (Jaebrin) If the idea is to make this subrace a caster variant for bards, what about giving them +8 CHA for those that like to maximize their main stat? And instead of armored mage, a small spell slot bonus like sorcerers?
- Battlecleric (Half-Sword Archon) +2 damage dice on darkfire for self only doesn't seem very appealing to me. How about increasing their Greater Restoration spell duration? Since they don't get many spell slots, doubling its duration might be nice.
Alright...I just gave the proposed staff monk sub a basic rundown in Shard's Build Tool with a number of ability spreads and realized it's not gonna work as I originally proposed it - No matter what I do with the abilities, it winds up being too good for staffmasters, and short of locking out intimidate pre-LL for the race (like is done with lore on some races) I don't see any way of stopping them from using the race (and I wouldn't want to lock out intimidate anyway).
With that in mind, I thought of a couple of different feat layouts for the race that won't be quite so powerful in the hands of a staffmaster. Here is the newest idea for the race (listing both of the feat spreads I thought of):
Favored of Gruumesh (requires Half-Orc): STR +6, DEX +2, CON +2, WIS +4 (+14 total)
Feat spread 1 is, obviously, Pure Offense. It gets one less feat then Feat spread 2, but that's made up for by not having to take Power Attack and Great Cleave (and Cleave on a non-monk). I originally still included GWF in the spread, but thought that might be a bit much.
Feat spread 2 is more defensive, but still packs a lot of offensive punch, and can get still easily get EWS (and beyond) if desired, but not without splashing fighter.
I prefer the first spread, but included the second one in case the first is thought to be OP (I personally don't think it is, given that there are both items and augmenters with OC/DC on them).
On the ability spread, if you want to go with 4/4/4/4 instead (as you originally counter-proposed, FunkySwerve), that's fine too, I just think that such a spread stretches the limits of balance for a Universal build.
What about combining a "hybrid" of the 2 feat spreads you list in order to avoid both WS and OC/DC (keeping the +5 conceal I think is a definite for any final spread, I like this one a lot)?
WF, IC, GWF, AS, Prowess
I also don't think OC/DC would be too overpowered, but given the existence of gear, it seems to be less of a hit to those that enjoy having these items and like to use them and/or "build" a build around them. What I mean is that yes, free OC/DC is very nice and surely no one would complain, and even those with gear for it in reserve would have no problem merely not using it and thus "freeing" up different gear to use. But, by the same token, it seems to allow maximal build flexibility by granting all bonus feats that would all be great to have for nearly any build, while still allowing specialized gear already owned by the player to be used to full effect.
I do think OC/DC is pretty powerful. Too powerful, I can't say easily but it does seem very strong.
What about ignoring crit feats at all and granting full tree of WF + Armor Skin? That seems pretty favorable? This would allow builders to be "worry free" on AB, and Armor Skin is a universal "given" for tanks.
WF, GWF, EWF, AS, Prowess? And if that seems too weak then the full 4/4/4/4 stat spread would be good?
I just think avoiding WS line and OC/DC would be a good thing. I'm not prepared to argue that either or both are very problematic, but it seems a safer bet to avoid it. I see your reasoning for only WS but I still think avoiding free WS is a good thing--offering even WS1 free kind of kills build diversity given the WS requirements; 1st one free means only 1 level of splash is needed for full benefit, which is so enticing that I can't see anyone NOT doing it, with so much to gain at little cost. Conversely not doing that leaves it not very spectacular--I think if you aren't going multiple WS feats than another free feat in place of WS1 is a lot more desirable.
What I mean is that offering even the first one still makes fighter splash almost a "given". It seems that obviously the point is to grant players access to these feats at as little cost as possible, which is clearly very desirable but I'm not convinced of the merit--in my opinion it should be "all or nothing": either do a 4-level splash and get it "the hard way", or just give WS/EWS for free and let them have it all for zero splash. The middle road of requiring a low splash to get them definitely seems more balanced but also kind of pushes you by default into doing it, regardless of the rest of your build--who would turn that down?
Normal weapon spec. doesn't make a figher splash a "given". It only gives a small bonus to damage if there's no fighter splash, and it saves you one feat and/or a few splash levels if you do decide to go that route. The real problem is the fact that Epic weapon spec (or the combination of normal and epic) unlocks the rest of the weapon spec line without requiring any fighter levels unless they were needed to get the first 2 feats.
That said, chirality, I think your feat spread has merit, and is worth considering.