Is succubus in savage species underpowered?

One of my friends mentioned wanting to play a succubus in a pathfinder game and wants to use the savage species succubus class for it though at a glance the succubus class in savage species seems underwhelming to say the least with low combat ability and low utility. (At least compared to a caster of the same level.) What I wish to ask is that is it underpowered or would it be something like tier 3?

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What is the equivalent of Skull Trap or Glyph of Warding in Savage Worlds?

I am converting Return to the Keep on the Borderlands into a Savage Worlds test. Mainly because that adventure is very localized and has all the basic role-playing elements (Hack and Slash, Intrigue, Mystery, Diplomacy etc.) which makes is a good testing ground for my players and I to feel out the system as a possibility of a full move from 5E.

As I was converting some of the encounters and monsters I stumbled across a place where there were what amounted to what would be considered in 5E as a Glyph or in an old Dragon article a Skull Trap.

Basically, Skull Trap was a 2nd or 3rd level Necromantic spell that allowed the caster to imbue an intact skull to be more or less like a landmine. If disturbed it would explode and all in the radius would take damage.

Since Savage Worlds leans mostly on Power Points and they regenerate insanely fast I have seen that they tend to essentially invest the Power Points and they don’t regain them until the trap is triggered.

Are there other ways to adjudicate this? I realize there are a number of settings out there with varying magic systems and I have seen the Savage Vancian versions but they don’t seem to really work for me.

Essentially, is there a way for a power to be used to create a trap that lasts indefinitely without investment of Power Points and if so what are the balance issues of allowing this? I had thought to allow it but increase the casting time significantly for long standing effects.

How do you plan Savage Worlds combats based on PC ability?

Last night I ran my first Savage Worlds combat, to try to get a feel for the system. The combatants were two sword-wielding fighting men against three orcs (extras) and their chieftain (a wild card). I enjoyed a lot of the combat, but when all the orcs had been dropped, all progress seemed to stop. We had endless whiff and ping on both sides. I have already read about reducing whiff and ping in SW, and that advice is good for combats that are underway. My question is about planning combats ahead of time.

Savage worlds doesn’t have a challenge rating or threat level system, which makes sense in many respects, because of the general unpredictability of encounters. Unfortunately, it means that without having experience with the system, it’s hard to guess at what threats will not be boring. In the case of the orc chieftain, for example, his high Parry and Toughness made it impossible for the PCs to damage him without acing out the wazoo. This wasn’t a question of a sure-thing TPK from a massive threat: the PCs, too, had high parry, which made it almost as difficult for them to be hurt. Even when we slowed down the combat to really look at bonuses everyone could work for, we kept whiffing and pinging.

In retrospect, I probably would have done better to replace the chieftain with plain old orc who was a wild card and had a higher Strength and Fighting. He could’ve hit the PCs more easily and been hit more easily himself.

So, my question is: how could I have known that from the start? Is there a simple often-right-enough formula for comparing PC traits to threat traits? Is there other common wisdom on doing this?

Between the half-orc’s Savage Attacks trait and the Elven Accuracy racial feat, which is better?

The description of the half-orc’s Savage Attacks trait says:

When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon’s damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit.

The Elven Accuracy racial feat for elves and half-elves grants the following benefits (XGtE, p. 74):

  • Increase your Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.

  • Whenever you have advantage on an attack roll using Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, you can reroll one of the dice once.

Generally or mathematically speaking, which one of these is better?

If you need a context, let’s say Fighter/Champion level 3 (critical on 19-20) and Fighter/Champion level 15 (critical on 18-20). Or let’s say Fighter/Champion 15 and Warlock 5 with Hex on the target (extra 1d6 per hit, which would be rolled twice on a critical hit). Or any other similar effect which adds dice rolls on hit which would then be rolled twice on a critical. Let’s say we’re using a 2-handed weapon that does 1d12 damage.

Let’s also throw in the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style (Fighter 2):

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the two-handed or versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

From my (basic) understanding, the Elven Accuracy feat would provide a lot more critical hits.

GWF and Savage Attack push the average damage up, but I’m not quite sure how to calculate the two scenarios.

I would really enjoy an analysis similar to what was provided here: Does the Resilient (Con) feat or the War Caster feat most improve the chances of maintaining concentration?

What’s the closest-to-legal way to make this semi-homebrew savage succubus have LA+0 and a low level?

I wanted to make a weaker succubus character, so I didn’t need all the features of the ECL 12 version in the Monster Manual. Savage Species offers a progression on pages 195-197 that gives everything I really want by ECL 5–problem being, that’s still 3 HD with a +2 LA. But that’s at least way better than 6 HD, LA+6, so I decided to go with it, at least as a starting point.

(The specific homebrew aspects are as follows: 1: Savage Species says you need to finish an entire progression, but I’m cutting it off at ECL 5 to describe a “lesser succubus”–characters can’t take any more Succubus class levels even if they wanted to. 2: Since Savage Species is 3.0, where succubi had way more spell-like abilities and a few other differences compared to 3.5, I’m taking only the features they have in common–so claws that deal 1d3, SLAs beginning and ending with detect good, detect thoughts, and suggestion, and only the following class skills: Bluff, Concentration, Disguise, Escape Artist, Hide, Knowledge (any 1), Listen, Move Silently, Search, and Spot. In the case of Alternate Form/Change Shape which is inconsistent between editions, I just made it work like the Changeling ability (RoE p.41), but usable as a standard action and with the option to hide wings/tail. 3: Since bonus languages aren’t listed, I gave it “Any” (other than Druidic, etc.). 4: Since favored classes aren’t specified beyond the Succubus class used for the savage progression, I made its favored classes any of the three listed as “the best multiclassing choices” (p.197), whichever one the character takes a level in first. 5: A very minor change to its type/subtype, to make it Native. 6: Not a change to the race itself, but while Savage Species only ever tells players to use standard ability score assignments, the character uses a 15-point point buy and doesn’t gain full hit points from her first HD, to represent being nonelite (with the huge racial ability score bonuses, the result is an ability score array that isn’t too far from what a standard character gets, anyway))

Almost everything that the ECL 5 “lesser succubus” has is important, so I don’t want to remove features beyond what I’ve taken out already. But LA+2 is pretty harsh (and LA is just dumb anyway), so I’d like to get rid of that, too. I don’t want to add any class levels, so LA Buyoff is sadly not going to work. I’m willing to add RHD, although I worry that doing so might give the race combat strength approaching the “full-powered succubus”. All in all, my goal is to bring the level adjustment to +0 (and keep it at +0, from character creation all the way to 20th level+) without sacrificing racial features, and ideally without increasing number of HD (but absolutely not giving more HD than the MM succubus).

(I’d rather keep the race as intact as possible, but I am willing to get rid of detect good, which is alright but not as useful as the other SLAs, and the Automatic Languages, which are made pretty much obsolete by tongues. A lower NA bonus would be acceptable, but NA is always nice so I’d like to keep it as high as I can)

It’s my understanding that nothing fully-RAW will get the race where I’d like it. So how can I accomplish the stated goals while being as-close-to-RAW-as-possible? Minor homebrew and/or cheese is welcome where necessary.

(Also, it’s not campaign-dependent, so I can’t just “ask the DM”. Ideally I’d like a general-use setup that’s as close to “legal” as possible. In effect, if joining campaigns and convincing DMs to allow homebrew races is a skill check, I’d like to keep the DC as low as possible, so that out of X-many possible DMs, a higher percentage of them would theoretically approve.)

How does the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style interact with critical hits and the half-orc’s Savage Attacks trait?

We know that the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style allows the rerolling of all 1 and 2s that come from a weapon taking the new roll.

If a player using a Greatsword gets a critical hit and rolls 4d6 damage, does the GWF count for all 4d6, or just the underlying 2d6?

Does a Half-Orc get to apply GWF to their Savage Attacks, allowing a potential 5d6 under the GWF rule to be rerolled on 1 and 2’s?