Puppetry Nerf

The puppetry power is getting some necessary low-level adjustments. Reason: it was too good at creating meat shields at tier 1 and was good chip damage. Animate object was already a troublesome spell, so a power that stretches the core function across 20 levels is bound to have issues on the edges.

Problem 1: Too many HP on objects. Animate object has 20 hp as the low point, which at 9th level isn’t so bad, but at 1st level is silly strong. Puppet HP is now modified by power points spent (1:1 ratio) and reduced by 10 across the board. Also, cantrip level puppets can be attacked. This means that a Tiny puppet starts at 10 hit points at 0 power points and will hit 19 hit points at 9 power points (the equivalent of a 5th-level spell slot).

Problem 2: Tiny and Small object AC too strong. Again, issue adapting the animate object statistics across the board. Puppet AC is now a base + your proficiency bonus. At 9th level this will equal out with animate object, but will be less absurd at low level and allow the more limited number of puppets controlled to scale.

Problem 3: Trivial bonus action attack cost. Puppetry is duplicative of animate object, but it’s not focused on making attacks with objects, and is more designed to mimic poltergeist activity with slinging animated objects. I’m looking at two models to address this. One is to move the slinging effect to a lower power point cost so it comes online sooner (especially since using it deals damage to the puppets) and make attack rolls cost more. The other is to move attacks to a 3 point cost and leave slinging alone. Moving slinging might require lowering its damage or increasing its action economy.

Problem 4: Object weight calculation doesn’t align with animate objects spell. Moving to rolling power point cost to increase object size: Medium (+2), Large (+4), Huge (+8).

Problem 5: Object targets too generous at level 1. Originally, the 2 objects controlled at once was to hit the fantasy of swirling two balls or juggling trivial-sized objects at once, but in practice, it was too abuseable. Reduced the number of objects by 1, but now you can control a group of trivial objects as a single unit so you can make a pack of cards dance, or whatever hits your entertainment fantasy.

Other adjustments: Puppet statistics are now included in the baseline and not from augmentations. Adjusted multi-attack scaling to occur at 11 power points (from 10) to align with tier 3. Movement speed scaling reduced. Most tag-on effects reduced in cost by 1 since tag-on effects are supposed to upscale the effective cost level – basically you now use one of two entry points: 1 point for manipulating objects with deftness or 5 points for puppeteering creatures; then grab the tags you want (sling, crush). Held object snatching will likely be either another entry point or an empowerment for deft manipulation so its cost aligns with a spell level.

Expect the changes to roll out early this week once design is solidified, copy is edited, and updates are posted to all three outlets (this site and the Chrome GMB and Firefox GMB versions).