Long post ahead, but I hope my layout makes it easier to read.
So, with about a year of epic levels and epic destinies it has become clear to me that these are not balanced at all. They range from very weak to very strong. So I’ve decided to post how I think the epic moments of the destinies should be based on Unbridling Fury of the Fury of the Wild epic destiny.
I have capped and used the following destinies on different characters to back up my reasoning:
Exalted Angel, Grandmaster of Flowers, Legendary Dreadnaught, Shiradi Champion, Fury of the Wild, Primal Avatar and Draconic Incarnation.
Why base the epic moments on the way Unbridling Fury works? It lasts for 30 seconds every five minutes. This allows for a moment of epic action often enough to make it worth the effort, while also requiring your character to perform decently outside of the moment. This epic moment easily lets you overcome a group of enemies that could have taken you a bit of time to clear or give you a significant boost against a boss, but not letting your overcome foes against whom you would have had no chance of success in the first place.
The suggested epic moments
Unbridling Fury (Fury of the Wild)
As it works now, but adding 10 Str and Con for the 30 second duration and allowing you to add your Con modifier in addition to your Str modifier to base attack damage to make the moment feel more epic outside of the Adrenaline Overload hits. This would also affect melee tactics somewhat for the duration.
Comments: This is an epic moment focusing purely on offensive power and damage dealing. At this time this moment however is very powerful with manyshot, so I would consider reducing the damage bonus of Adrenaline and Adrenaline Overload by half (+400% -> +200%) for ranged attacks. This way a character with both ranged and melee options should consider if going in melee for most damage would be better and saving manyshot for afterwards, or if it would be better to do slightly less damage overall, but to keep the enemy at a safe range doing so.
Skilled Marksman (Shiradi Champion)
Upon activation Stand and Deliver gains 10 charges. For the next 30 seconds you gain +10% stacking ranged alacrity and all Shiradi Champion damage abilities have twice the chance of activating on hit. You gain a +6 bonus to Str, Dex and Wis and add the combined multiplier of these abilities to your ranged damage. You gain proficiency with Longbows and Shortbows and treat these weapons as if they were monk weapons. Cost: 10 Fey Favor. Cooldown: 5 minutes.
Comments: This is a ranged epic moment. So of course it should be based on the ranged attacks that the character already can make while still enhancing them. Adding both Str, Dex and Wis to damage allows for various ranged builds to get some benefits from this moment.
Avatar of Nature (Primal Avatar)
For the next 30 seconds you become an Avatar of Nature. You gain +8 Strength and Constitution, 50 PRR and loose 25% movement speed. You deal unarmed damage with a base damage of 20d20 at an attack speed of 3 attacks every 2 seconds. Your basic attacks knock down opponents on a failed fortitude save (DC 10 + character level + Str mod) and you have an earthquake like aura for the duration knocking enemies prone every three seconds on a failed reflex save (DC 10 + character level + Wis mod) and dealing 10d6 damage. You can’t cast spells in this form. Cost: 25 Spirit. Cooldown: 5 minutes.
Comments: The current epic moment is useless when not twitching and way too overpowered when twitching. I hope to have hit some kind of compromise allowing for less base attack damage than full form, but at a much higher attack speed (than not twitching). The earthquake aura was inspired by wood woads in the druids chain. The current avatar is also overpowered due to the lack of a cooldown and with a cooldown I think it is only fair that the form doesn’t drain spirit while active. One thing that annoys me of the current form is that it knocks you out of your current form including the buffs you have active with it. The attack speed could be way off what it should be but I was aiming for somewhere between monk attack speed and uncentered attack speed (unarmed of course).
Undying Vanguard (Unyielding Sentinel)
For the next 30 seconds you gain +6 Strength and Constitution, +5 to your saves, +75 PRR and +20 AC and you are treated as if you were having evasion. You gain the benefits as if you were having Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Mastery and Improved Shield Bash and gain an additional +10% doublestrike chance and 80% chance to make a secondary shield bash while making a basic melee attack. Every three seconds you automatically trigger an intimidate check for all nearby enemies and gain +150 temporary hp (renewing each time and lasting up to one minute after the epic moment ends). Cost: ??. Cooldown: 5 minutes.
Comments: The current epic moment has no other effect than allowing the character to take a lot of damage. This suggestion allows for a more fun and active tank being able to take less damage than currently of course but also taking less damage. The 100% shield bash off hand attack could be a fun addition to the tank and the intimidate checks (with sufficient skill) allows the tank to draw the attention of opponents without interrupting melee combat. More fun, more useful, more decisive S&B tanking (for 30 seconds). Not sure if the current activation cost needs adjustment as I haven’t played a character in this destiny at cap. The rest of the destiny could use a buff too though. Half of the bonuses are stance dependent so you won’t benefit from it most the time anyways. Restrict it to two stances; one for offensive S&B play and one for defensive S&B play.
Born in Light (Exalted Angel)
You are healed to full health and activate Ascendance, Angelic Presence, and Astral Vibrance - even if they are currently on cooldown. For 30 seconds (or until you leave Angelic form), you gain +6 Constitution, Wisdom and Charisma, are immune to light damage, gain 50% Incorporeality, and gain +100 Light and Healing Spell Power. In addition to the above benefits, the cooldowns of Light and Positive Energy spells are reduced to 1/5th normal, all spells cost 50% spell points. All of your physical attacks gain On Hit 100 Light damage and On Critical destroy evil undead or evil outsiders under 1000 hit points. This ability can be used while dead, bringing you back at full health. Costs: 35 Endless Ardor / Righteous Fervor stacks (the ones that it currently requires 100 of). Cooldown: 5 minutes.
Comments: This epic moment is actually not that bad, except it currently requires you to be dead, having cast almost 100 spells and having a ridiculous 30 minute cooldown. With a few tweaks this moment allows even a healer to dish out lovely light damage in the midst of fight while healing the party, all while there seems to be no cooldown on spells. Also this form needs a permanent wing animation, like the one granted by Defender of Siberys activation. Using Leap of Faith would then make the wings glow golden.
I am Everything (Grandmaster of Flowers)
For the next 30 seconds you gain +6 Str, Dex, Con and Wis, +3 to all saves, have a stacking +5% attack speed and gain a bonus depending on the stance you have active. Every three seconds for the duration you are healed by 3d10 positive energy.
Wind: an additional +5% attack speed, +5% doublestrike chance and +20% offhand attack chance and deal 2d6 electric damage with each hit (100 damage on vorpal).
Fire: an additional +3[W] damage, 26% healing amplification, gain +1 ki on a successful attack and deal 2d6 fire damage with each hit (100 damage on vorpal).
Earth: an additional +30 PRR, +25% threat generation, +1 critical multiplier on rolls of 19-20 and deal 2d6 acid damage with each hit (100 damage on vorpal).
Water: you don’t fail a save automatically on the roll of 1, gain an additional +3 to all saves, +20 AC, +10% dodge unaffected by dodge cap and deal 2d6 cold damage with each hit (100 damage on vorpal).
Comments: The current epic moment has nothing to do with a monk. At all. Killing everything around you with a single click is not fun. When I use it on my monk I don’t feel epic at all. I feel lame that stuff I could have defeated by using fists, like I trained to do, I instead decide to erase it from existence with no effort at all. I would prefer an epic moment that encourages me to play my character the way I intended to in a significantly more efficient way for a short duration; an epic moment.
Master’s Blitz (Legendary Dreadnaught)
For the next 30 seconds you gain +6 Str, Dex and Con. Your weapons deal an additional +2[W] on basic attacks, which apply one stack of improved destruction on hit (-2 AC and fort), have double threat range (including Imp. Crit) and have their critical multiplier increased by one on rolls of 19-20. In addition to this you gain +50% dodge, unaffected by dodge cap and all damage done by you is increased by 50% for the duration. All tactical melee attacks have their DCs increased by 10 and their cooldowns are halved.
Comments: The Legendary Dreadnaught destiny is about tactical melee attacks. The current Blitz is more of an epic decade than an epic moment and is obviously not working the way it was originally intended to. I tried to make this epic moment deal a little less damage than Unbridled Fury because of the tactical additions.
Dark Imbuement (Shadowdancer)
Each time an enemy affected by your Dark Shrouding mark dies, you additionally gain 1 Dark Imbuement charge. When you have accumulated 20 of these charges, you can expend them to enchant your melee and ranged attacks with shadowy energy. For 30 seconds, you deal an extra 2d6 unholy damage and 2d6 evil damage with every strike, the effective range of your melee attacks increases dramatically, and your ranged attacks have a 30% chance to explode, dealing 10d6 unholy damage to all enemies in a large radius around your target. You gain +6 Str, Dex and Int and add the combined ability modifiers of these stats to your sneak attack damage. Your critical hits drain the life of your opponents, applying 1d3 negative levels to them. You additionally gain +25% incorporeality and +10% dodge for the duration. Every three seconds your next attack triggers a bluff check on your opponent.
Comments: The current epic moment is just much too weak. I wanted it to have a more sneaky feel, letting your shadow drain the soul of your enemy. Against bosses the level drain has little use, so I added some stat based sneak attack bonus allowing for various sneaky builds to get a nice bonus independent of their ability focus.
Turn of the Tide (Fatesinger)
Spontaneous Song (expend a song to activate). Turn of the Tide grants a full BAB, +3 to hit, +40% damage, DR 15/-, a +6 Strength, Constitution and Charisma, and deals +5d10 +75 Sonic damage and +5d10 +75 Light damage per hit. (This magical damage does not affect Bosses.) In addition nearby party members gain +3 damage and saves and every three seconds you grant them temporary hitpoints equal to your combined Strength, Constitution and Charisma modifier, that last for up to one minute. While under the effects of Turn of the Tide, rolling a 1 on a Will save is not an automatic failure. Duration: 20 seconds (affected by lingering song and similar effects). Cooldown: 5 minutes.
Comments: Needs a slight buff to keep up with the other moments while empowering party members further even while the bard shines.
Aspect of the Dragon (Draconic Incarnation)
For the next 30 seconds you gain +6 Con, Int, Wis and Cha and an additional +3 to the DCs of evocation and conjuration spells. The cooldown of these spells is halved and the metamagic feats Empower and Maximize cost no additional Spell Points to use with said spells. You gain an additional 30 universal spell power and you activate Energy Vortex even if it is on cooldown, though only for 30 seconds. You gain DR 50/Epic and resistance 200 to all elements. Cost: 35 charges gained by casting evocation/conjuration spells. Cooldown: 5 minutes.
Comments: The current version offers no offensive bonus which I don’t understand. As for the offensive power added in my suggestion I am not certain if it should be restricted to a single element or not. This (whole) destiny however should have the option of using wisdom as the casting stat to allow more variation of casting on clerics, favored souls and druids. It would also be cool to add dracolich themed options to the mix to encourage some necromantic characters to follow this path (especially with divines getting good options soon).
Runes of the World (Magister)
For the next 30 seconds you gain +6 Int, Wis and Cha. You become aware of all magic surrounding and you draw upon its power. You reduce the spell resistance of all nearby enemies by 10 and increase the DC of the spells of your chosen school by 3. The metamagic feats Quicken, Heighten and Enlarge cost no additional spell points. Every three seconds for the duration you focus on the magic patterns around you and they explode dealing 2d6 force damage per caster level to nearby enemies on a failed reflex save and knocking them prone (DC 10 + character level + Int, Wis or Cha modifier, save halves the damage and negates the knockdown)and the next offensive spell cast against your party within your range is negated. This effect lasts for 30 seconds after the epic moment ends. All allied spell casters close to you receive a -20% spell point cost discount.
Comments: The current epic moment is very situational and the epic feel shouldn’t be restricted to rare situations. I like how this suggestion is themed with the magisters role as a master of the magical crafts.
The general idea behind these epic moments is that any character with a charged moment facing trouble should be able to activate it and gain a clear upper hand in battle. Against bosses they should provide either a solid start in combat or allow for one to finish the fight safely by unleashing the extra power when the boss is on low hp. In groups if the party agrees to unleash their moments at the same time in difficult boss fights their combined increase in power should prove a significant advantage to succeed and hopefully encourage group play.
No character should be able to perform solely because of an epic moment, like the way Master’s Blitz currently works.
Ready to take the criticism forums style, but was nice to get this off my mind at least.
TL;DR: This post is probably not for you.