Let's Talk Incarnum

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Kythkyn
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Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Kythkyn » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:27 pm

Hey all, I searched for a topic, but didn't see one. I want to talk Magic of Incarnum! What do you love? What do you hate?Have you used it alongside anything else? Staying power and longevity?

Personally, I think the idea is really cool. It's an interesting take, I like the freedom and malleability of binding and enhancing and stuff. I'm not in love with it being so heavily tied to alignment, though. But æsthetically, I think it's pretty neat. I haven't personally run a long running campaign with it, but I have played like one Incarnate for a few levels. I think it's an underappreciated idea, and I plan to explore more of it in the future
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Seethyr » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:53 pm

I’ve been waiting for incarnum to come up for a long time. I’m with you, I always thought it was a great, but flawed concept. Because of that, my 3.5e days delved more into binders than into the incarnum classes.

I don’t fully remember the mechanics to be honest and the book is somewhere in my attic (a black hole). One thing I remember bothering me had something to do with magic items. Didn’t they prevent you from using item slots?
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Kythkyn » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:44 pm

Seethyr wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:53 pm
One thing I remember bothering me had something to do with magic items. Didn’t they prevent you from using item slots?
It seems that, according to the text on 108, you can only have a magic item or a soulmeld bound to a given chakra at a time, unless you have a feat that lets you do otherwise. But it doesn't seem to prevent you from using both, just not binding both to the same chakra at the same time
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am

I love the idea of Incarnum. I'm not thrilled with it being tied to classes.
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by talsine » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:23 am

I never got enough buy in to bring Incarnum to the table as anything other than something to dip into. For example, there is a specific Warlock build that can use a 1 feat dip into incarnum to make them immune to ability damage (not completely immune, but enough for this purpose) and then spam 15d6 eldritch blasts at level, 6 or something gross. After i did that, the GM stopped letting me use books that i had read more of than he had.

All that asside, the concepts where really cool, but the classes where meh at best, and the implimentation was such a pain. I doubt we will ever see it revisited. Which is a shame, a lot of really interesting stuff came out of WotC towards the end of 3E.

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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:37 pm

Kythkyn wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:27 pm
Hey all, I searched for a topic, but didn't see one.
There are a few topics that mention it: But I don't see a general topic about the book/concept. :)
Kythkyn wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:27 pm
I want to talk Magic of Incarnum! What do you love? What do you hate?Have you used it alongside anything else? Staying power and longevity?
I think it is a very interesting new concept. But that there is little to nothing to tie it into existing campaign settings well. I would have preferred to have seen it have it's own bespoke campaign setting (like Ghostwalk and Oriental Adventures) where the various themes of the book could have tied into a common narrative.

Instead it feels a bit of a fish out of water.

I have thought about using it as the basis of a Spelljammer crystal sphere, as I think the unique themes in the book could give a SJ campaign a sense of otherness that would sell the idea of spacefarers sailing into strange lands with strange laws of nature. But it's not high on my list of things to do.
Kythkyn wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:27 pm
Personally, I think the idea is really cool. It's an interesting take, I like the freedom and malleability of binding and enhancing and stuff. I'm not in love with it being so heavily tied to alignment, though. But æsthetically, I think it's pretty neat. I haven't personally run a long running campaign with it, but I have played like one Incarnate for a few levels. I think it's an underappreciated idea, and I plan to explore more of it in the future
I think that one of the things about D&D is that to innovate, you have to take risks.

Something like Magic of Incarnum can only ever be good because they throw out an idea that has never been done before and let it fly...or fall on it's face.

A lot of the more popular bits of D&D have been featured in multiple editions. I thhink that means that they can revisit an idea, expand on the more popular bits and reboot the unpopular or wonky bits.

If Magic of Incarnum had returned for D&D 4th Edition...or if it returned for 5th Edition....they would have a chance to revisit the concept and improve on their first version.

People don't always like revised versions of things (like Manual of the Planes) but if you have a series of versions, at least you have extra choices to make.

It's possible that someone out there might make some 5th Edition content for Incarnum for DMs Guild. (I'm not looking for that sort of stuff, as I don't personally play 5e, but it would be a legitimate subject for a DMs Guild product.)
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:55 pm

Seethyr wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:53 pm
I’ve been waiting for incarnum to come up for a long time. I’m with you, I always thought it was a great, but flawed concept. Because of that, my 3.5e days delved more into binders than into the incarnum classes.
No need to wait for topics. You are always welcome to start your own.

I would have thought that you would have been trying Incarnum into Plumaweaving or Hishnashaping. ;)
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:58 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am
I love the idea of Incarnum. I'm not thrilled with it being tied to classes.
Why is that then?

Divine magic is tied into classes, like the Cleric class. Arcane magic is tied into classes like the Wizard class. Psionics are tied into whatever 3e has for Psionic classes. (I don't remember them.)

Surely every source of D&D power is tied into a class, with some sort of mechanics for slots or points.

Would you rather tie it to Feats or something else?
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Seethyr » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:56 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:55 pm

I would have thought that you would have been trying Incarnum into Plumaweaving or Hishnashaping. ;)
Funny you say that - I had hoped 5e would have officially updated the system so those two could be mixed in with it. Unfortunately, without a 5e basis, we’d have to come up with the incarnum system first and then add pluma/hishna into it. That’s quite an undertaking lol.
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Dragonhelm » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:20 pm

From what I remember of incarnum, it was a neat idea, but had some mechanical problems and a lot of terminology to wrap one's head around.
Big Mac wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:37 pm
It's possible that someone out there might make some 5th Edition content for Incarnum for DMs Guild. (I'm not looking for that sort of stuff, as I don't personally play 5e, but it would be a legitimate subject for a DMs Guild product.)
Indeed they have. There are two products I've found.

the Animist : Return of Incarnum

Mystic Incarnation - The Magic of Soulshapers (Incarnum for 5e)

I haven't picked them up and I can't speak for how good or bad they are.
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:54 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:58 pm
Angel Tarragon wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:14 am
I love the idea of Incarnum. I'm not thrilled with it being tied to classes.
Why is that then?
The backmatter didn't come across as an alternative magic system. It felt more like a replacement to magic-items. Even with the write-ups of the powers, it sill comes across as a magic-item thing but just tied to classes. If it was presented as a talent system (like feats, but not consuming feats...ala D20 Modern) it would have been a lot better. Soulmelds could have been based on character level.
Last edited by Angel Tarragon on Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by Angel Tarragon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:59 pm

double post
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Re: Let's Talk Incarnum

Post by talsine » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:49 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:54 pm
The backmatter didn't come across as an alternative magic system. It felt more like a replacement to magic-items. Even with the write-ups of the powers, it sill comes across as a magic-item thing but just tied to classes. If it was presented as a talent system (like feats, but not consuming feats...ala D20 Modern) it would have been a lot better. Soulmelds could have been based on character level.
I feel like making it a parallel progression system would make it very powerful. Though I do agree, it feels less like magic and more like a (weaker) replacement for magic items. I would honestly prefer to see a system like this for some character, Psi powered for example or Monks, who draw most of their abilities from internal sources. So instead of a monk getting magical gear to enhance his abilities, he instead unlocks a chakra and can bind a magic item like ability to it. Would help make those classes a bit more interesting and would fit their theme / fluff a lot better. Sadly most of the time the incarnum abilities / powers where just straight up worse than a magical item in that slot, with some very specific exceptions.

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