Since I'm a bit foolish, I decided to follow @Raduziel
's example and start a kit mod that nobody wants to play ! Yeah !
So, it is a rebalancing kit mod for the Dwarven Defender. I personally think that Defensive Stance, an ability that gives better DR than the Hardiness HLA with a sugary saving throws bonus on top AT LEVEL 1, miiight be a tad powergamey for my taste. But, you know, DWARVEN DEFENDER, the name is so cool that I'd like to use it. So, I decided to throw around a few ideas to rebalance the kit. First, I changed the kit's main theme : instead of big damage reduction, Dwarven Defenders get an increase to their AC and his/her allies. So, here's the kit rough design :
DWARVEN DEFENDER: The Dwarven Defender is a formidable warrior that is reputed to be worth two soldiers of any other race. Trained extensively in the art of dwarven warfare, a handful of these stout fighters can render a defensive line all but unbreakable.
– May use Defensive Stance at will.
DEFENSIVE STANCE: Under Defensive Stance, the Dwarven Defender gains +2 to AC and 10% of damage reduction. However, since Defensive Stance requires full concentration on defense, the character receives a -1/2 attack per round penalty and a 50% movement rate penalty. At level 10, the bonus to AC becomes +3; the bonus goes up to +4 at level 17.
At level 8, an experienced Dwarven Defender learns to organize their allies to maximize their defensive position. Any ally standing within 3 feet of the Dwarven Defender will gain some of the AC bonus given by Defensive Stance. At level 8, allies will receive +1 bonus. The bonus to allies increases to +2 at level 10 and to +3 at level 17. Allies will not receive the bonus to damage reduction, but will not be affected by the attack per round penalty and the movement rate penalty.
– Hit Die: d12
– Race restricted to dwarf.
– May get to Grand Mastery (five slots) only in axes and war hammers.
- May not use range weapon.
– May not exceed Proficiency (one slot) in any other weapon.
Since the Infinity Engine has a cap of -20 AC, the only way to bypass this limit is to have AC bonuses against types
of damage (piercing, slashing, ...). So, when you activate Defensive Stance, the bonus to AC will only be shown under ARMOR CLASS MODIFIERS. Otherwise, if you have -18 AC and activate Defensive Stance at level 10, you will only get to -20 to AC, thus losing -1 AC into thin air.
Initial thoughts about the kit mod :
So, here's a few thoughts.
1. First, the aura effect is borrowed from the Shield of the Falling Star +2 from IR. I thank @semiticgod
for the idea ! The RP justification is that an experience DD not only can protect him/herself, but also can protect those around him/her by maximizing their defensive positions. The aura effect is strong at higher levels, but you have to be really close to the DD for it to be active. And, since being all grouped up can be a disadvantage - aka it makes you more vulnerable to AoE attacks - I think it's fairly balanced.
2. Also, the new Defensive Stance is a revised copy of the ability of the same name from Kit Revisions. The penalty to movement is increased from -2 to -4, but that's because I also kept the bonus to saving throws (so that the ability stays useful against mages). Since the skill is not as strong as it was before, I believe that, instead of setting
the movement rate at 50%, giving an incremental
penalty to movement rate makes the ability more useful. An hasted DD will move faster. Add in boots of speed and a DD movement rate under Defensive Stance won't be that bad.
3. I also decided to give the DD Grand Mastery in axes and war hammers. It's just that, to me, having a fighter kit specific to dwarves without giving them GM in their iconic weapons is borderline blasphemy. However, I believe that restricting them to proficiency in other weapons is an actual
drawback compared to the original kit. If you consider the penalty to APR given by my modified Defensive Stance, using something else than axes or hammers will be less than optimal. It means that a DD have to give up on some flexibility.
4. Should I prevent the aura to stack with itself ? Should two level 19 DDs give -8 to AC to their nearby allies ? It's a bit much if you ask me. My gut feeling tells me to prevent that. Also, should I prevent the DD aura to stack with the Shield of the Falling Star aura in IR ? I'm not so sure about that one. It's such a niche combination that I'm more inclined to let it in. Up to -6 AC to allies at level 19 is definitively good, but then the DD gives up on better shield to do so. What do you guys and gals think ?
5. I let the small DR bonuses of the original kit in there. It does fit thematically that this kit would get some natural DR, like Barbarians. I'm pretty sure I'll leave this in.
6. Lastly, does this kit mod sound interesting ? Although I learned to fiddle with NI to be able to make all those changes, I know jack shit about WeiDU right now. The files are all ready, but is it worth my time to learn WeiDU to let that kit mod go public ?
I'm still in the decision process about that kit mod, so if you have any other suggestions, go ahead and tell me !
Edit : Changed the thac0 penalty to an APR penalty.
Edit 2 : First official description of the kit mod.