GreyKnight wrote up some talents for Echelon and asked for my thoughts on them. I’ll be reviewing them over the next few days, but his his suggestion for a Shield Proficiency talent (slightly modified in the wording) is such a shining example of what I’m looking for in a talent that I had to get this one out first.
This talent allows you to use a shield to increasingly greater effect, ultimately providing Spell Resistance, spell invulnerability, and spell turning.
|Basic||Proficiency with light and heavy shields.|
|Expert||Proficiency with shield bashing and tower shields.|
|Heroic||If you are free to act with your shield, allies within reach enjoy the benefits of your skill with the shield. They may use the better of your Shield Bonus and their own, and may share your shield-based Spell Resistance.|
|Master||If you are free to act with your shield, you gain Spell Resistance equal to (12 + Shield Bonus + Level Bonus).|
|Champion||If you are free to act with your shield, your SR increases to (14 + Shield Bonus + Level Bonus). As a swift action you can activate a globe of invulnerability effect that protects you and your allies within reach. If this globe of invulnerability is dispelled you may reactivate it as a swift action.|
|Legendary||If you are free to act with your shield, your SR increases to (16 + Shield Bonus + Level Bonus). As an immediate action usable a number of times per day equal to your Level Bonus you may use a spell turning effect against a chosen spell that targets you.|
A character is free to use a shield if the shield is equipped and the character is not helpless (yes, it works while flatfooted).
This talent provides abilities that increase in awesome as the tiers increase, from “can be done in the real world” through “impressive but fairly credible” to “wow, can’t do that in the real world” and “really, really useful for keeping shield-users alive“. The way the Spell Resistance is written keeps the SR about equal to level+8 (Master tier has a Level bonus of +4..+6, I would expect the Shield Bonus to be +2, for a total of 12+4+2 (18) at 9th level and 12+6+2 (20) at 12th level), so it stays fairly relevant but not crippling against opponents of similar levels. If the talent is not kept at the top it loses some utility against opponents of the same level but still provides benefits against weaker opponents.
It might prove interesting to make the Spell Resistance equal to 10 + BAB + Shield Bonus. This is pretty clearly a martial talent and it would be reasonable to have it scale more directly with martial ability (and presumably spell casters and other non-martial characters will have comparable defenses — I don’t see a ‘rogue’ humping a big shield around when he could use evasion instead, possibly more easily).
I like this. A lot. Thanks GreyKnight.