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Carl Cramér's page

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 311 posts (843 including aliases). 35 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 alias.

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The quartermaster has Resources, an Int-based renewable pool like the gunslinger's grit. They use Resources to power deeds, which gives it a range of different abilities, including the ability to craft temporary items at no cost in gold (McGyverism). Quartermasters also have Deep Pockets, which allows them a large pool of undefined items in their inventory, items they can specify on demand; they then have to pay to refill their deep pockets capacity. They can also coax additional uses out of charged items like scrolls and wands, but do not create magic themselves.

This is just a few of the quartermaster's deeds; others are about unlocking special uses of weapons, instructing others to use items, repurposing devices from doors to windmills mills into traps, and the ability to control and repurpose traps turning the opponents' resources against them. At the very highest levels, they can control constructs, animate objects, and release the power of magic items to spectacular effect.

They also gain Equipment Trick as a bonus feat several times, learning new ways to use mundane items and gain a bonus on damage and saving throw DC on traps and devices they use, that escalates with level.

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My overall feel for the Vigilante is that it is either very elegant or very rudely designed, depending on whether the core idea of having a class that is actually a set of archetypes for other classes gains traction. I have seen a bunch of classes that tried to do this from 3rd party designers, but I never thought Paizo would go down this route. It is a big hurdle for new players to grasp, but perhaps it raises the glass ceiling for designing classes for experienced players.

Paizo have been making classes that are more and more complex, like the bloodrager, inquisitor, and shaman. In a way this evens the playing field, bringing other classes up to the complexity and versatility of the wizard. But these classes are unlikely to see much use at my table; they are to complex to appeal to my players, and definitely too complex for me to enjoy using as villains.

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Joana wrote:
I played in a game a few years ago where one PC's concept was that he was a mild-mannered herbalist by day, dashing gentleman cat-burglar by night. I don't see any reason he couldn't have played a Vigilante and had some mechanical back-up for his concept rather than just play a rogue with a fluff background.

This is always a problem when an in-game activity is given a rule. Until now, anyone with even a little Disguise could have a secret identity they slipped into to adventure. Heck, all it really takes is a hood. Now, suddenly, there's a class feature, and that class feature will effectively be respired to have a secret identity at some tables.

I call this the splatbook effect, and it was worst in Shadoweun; as soon as a speciality book came out for a role, that role became so costly that you could no longer dip in it... In some cases it became so costly it was no longer playable. But this is a bit off-topic here.

DragoDorn wrote:
So far I don't like how you keep having to waste talents to increase your casting ability. Arcane and Divine Training should just be part of those Specializations class abilities. It feels like they are being forced to use their talents on those things while the other Specializations can pick more freely from their lists.

It seems clear that this mechanic is an intentional talent tax to keep the options balanced against each other. Rather than giving the non-spellcaster versions a lot of extra talents, they put a tax on the spellcaster versions.

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Barachiel Shina wrote:
I don't understand how the alternate Craft skill rules help make item creation process any faster.

If, when he takes 10, he gets a result of 30 (a margin of 5) he doubles his rate of crafting. And so on.

I think the intent was to simplify more than to increase the efficiency, and that it does (to my eye). It also greatly increases the rate at which you make simple alchemical items and poisons - low DC and high base rate makes for a happy alchemist.

Now, the really interesting part comes with the 20 ranks skill unlock for Craft. This lets you make magic items using the regular Craft skills. This is cheaper than normal (1/4 instead of 1/2 cost), but as your example shows, it takes a LOT of time. Or it is just a typo, and the reference to "using the normal Craft rules" really means "using the normal rules for crafting magical items".

Edit: Missted that there was another page in the thread. Talk about being ninja'd. Doh!

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Looking at Skill Edges. For the level you get them, they are all pretty weaksauce, again not a replacement for bard or investigator spells/extracts. Some particular notables:

Overall, the penalties are too harsh. A skill you could have any chance to fail at becomes impossible with the outlined penalties. This makes the edges only usable in trivial situations. Trivial situations are just that, trivial, and you generally don't need any edges there.

Acrobatics 5: Substitute Acrobatics check -10 or CMD. These are both values that improve up to 1/level. Is the penalty really supposed to be there?

In other acrobatics abilities, you use your skill check -10 to replace a saving throw. As saves increase 1/2 levels at best, this is potentially useful at high levels.

Bluff: Retry penalties are reduced unless you fail by 5 or more. The chance to fail by 4 or less is always 20%. This is some help to a rogue who originally had a very good chance of success, but wont help much at all on the hard stuff.

Craft 20: You can make some magic items using the normal Craft rules. Since there is no Craft feat or rule, this by RAW refers to the Craft skill rules, the one where the cost is 1/3 of the item's final worth rather than the 1/2 from craft magic item feats. However, this is hardly usable as progress in item creation would be so very slow. I suppose RAI is to use the item crafting feat rules.

Diplomacy: Actually useful.

Disable Device: "when attempting to disable magic traps, you never trigger them, even if you perform the trigger action (such as looking at a symbol)." Is this a situation that would ever come up? If you spot a trap, you presumably know how not to trigger it.

Intimidate: Actually quite powerful.

Knowledge: Useful, bonuses a bit on the weak side. Do you get an edge with all knowledge skills if you pick this? If not, basically useless.

My feelings now is that these edges should be available to all who have the skill as a class skill, and that the rogue ability and feat offers advantages with them; Rogues get to add their level to the skill ranks to see what abilities they can use, while both the rogue class ability and the feat reduce all penalties by your number of skill ranks. I have always run a skill-intense game where skills have high utility, and this will not be a huge change for my games.

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This is the archetype I wrote in response to Lord Morham's review of the golden legionnaire. Many thanks, Lord Mhoran. I left out the tables becasue I could not figure out how to format them decently, the full article can be found here.

The Soulforge:

The soulforge is the ultimate expression of the psionic ability to be self-reliant. Creating tools, weapons, and armor out of ectoplasm, the soulforge disdains mundane gear, especially for combat.

I wrote this archetype as a response to a review challenge I had made, but I must admit that my grasp of the psionics rules is not that tight. The class might well be off, especially on how many power points or customizations it gets.

Class Information
This is a hybrid class and a prestige archetype, a combination of aegis, soulknife, and metaforge.

Alignment: Any.

Starting Age: The soulknife is a semi-educated class and starts play in the middle age bracket for their race.

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth:1d6 × 10 gp (average 35 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills
Acrobatics (Dex), Autohypnosis* (Wis), Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (psionics)* (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), Use Magic Device (Cha).

*New skill or expanded use of existing skill, see Psionics Unleashed. Copyright 2010, Dreamscarred Press.

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Soulforge Class Features
The following are class features of the soulforge.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies
Soulforges are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are proficient with light armor but not with shields. Armor does not interfere with the soulforge's class features.

Power Points/Day: An soulforge's ability to manifest some of her abilities is limited by the power points she has available. Her base daily allotment of power points is given on Table: The Soulforge. In addition, she receives bonus power points per day if she has a high Intelligence score (see Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Power Points), treating her manifester level for the purposes of bonus power points as equal to her class level. Her race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.

Ectoplasmic Gear (Su)
The soulforge can create personal gear for her own use. This includes clothing, basic tools, and everyday items such as a small tent and even a lantern or torch. These items function as mundane items but have an other-wordly sheen to them, and mundane people usually refuse to have anything to do with such spooky things. There is no limit on the number of items created or their duration, but no single item can weigh more than the soulforge's Intelligence modifier in pounds and any part of an ectoplasmic item that ends up more than ten feet from the soulforge immediately disappears. Ectoplasmic gear cannot duplicate any object with a value in gold pieces greater than the soulforge's level + Intelligence bonus, and can never duplicate combustibles (including wood for fuel), consumables (not even drinkable water), or any item requiring a Craft check with a DC above 10 to create.

Form Astral Suit (Su)
Every soulforge learns to draw forth ectoplasm and form an astral suit around their form. The soulforge can select from three different types when forming her astral suit— skin, armor, or juggernaut. An soulforge is always considered to be proficient with her astral suit, even if she does not have the appropriate armor proficiency. The amount of time forming this astral suit takes depends on the type of suit being formed. Different astral suit forms grant different free customizations. These free customizations never count against the soulforge's total number of customization points spent on her astral suit.

The soulforge chooses the appearance of her astral suit, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulforge has chosen: astral skin would cover the soulforge like a psychoactive skin (see Psionics Unleashed. Copyright 2010, Dreamscarred Press), astral juggernaut would appear to cover the soulforge like plate armor, etc.

An astral suit can be dismissed as a free action.

An soulforge gains a pool of points equal to her class level that she can use to customize her astral suit, molding it to suit her needs. Modifying the customization points spent on an astral suit requires 8 hours of concentration. An soulforge may choose to leave customization points free when she sets her customization choices, allowing her to customize her suit on the fly. If she does so, setting a customization in this fashion takes one minute of concentration and that customization cannot be changed until the soulforge spends another 8 hours modifying the astral suit.

Each astral suit provides certain free customizations; these are provided on top of whatever customizations the soulforge pays for with customization points, and are not subject to the usual level prerequisites or increased costs. If the soulforge changes the type of her astral suit and the free customizations would take the suit over the maximum limit (such as switching from an Astral Armor with 3 Nimble customizations to Astral Skin, which grants an additional Nimble customization), the excess customizations go inert until the astral suit is changed to make the selections valid (by reconfiguring the customization points via 8 hours of concentration or Reconfigure ability or switching the astral suit type).

The soulforge can only use certain customizations. Customizations are grouped by their cost in customization points. An soulforge only gains the benefits of a customization when she is wearing her astral suit. Unless specified otherwise, a customization may not be selected multiple times.

These customizations are available to the soulforge:

1-Point Customizations: Darkvision, Energy Resistance, Evasion, Extra Arms, Lesser, Flexible Suit, Harness Power Stone, Harness Shard, Power Stone Repository, Pull, Push, Retaliate, Speed, Spoked Carapace, Stalwart, Swim, Underwater Breath.

2-Point Customizations: Adhesive Feet, Brawn, Chameleon, Climb, Energy Resistance, Improved, Extra Arms, Flight, Fortification, Hardy, Harness Power Stone, Improved, Increased Size, Nimble, Power Resistance, Powerful Build, Ram, Retaliate, Improved, Tremorsense, Unlock Psionics, 3-Point Customizations, Blindsense, Burrow, Diehard, Extra Arms, Greater, Frightful Presence, Harness Power Stone, Greater, Quickened Attacks, Reach.

4-Point Customizations: Blindsight, Energy Immunity, Extra Passenger, Harness Power Stone, Superior, Improved Evasion, Improved Stalwart, Increased Size, Improved.

Form Mind Blade (Su)
As a move action, a soulforge can form a semi-solid weapon composed of psychic energy distilled from her own mind.

A soulforge must choose the form of her mind blade at 1st level. She can either form it into a light weapon, a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon. Once chosen, her mind blade stays in this form every time the soulforge forms her mind blade. The light weapon deals 1d6 points of damage, the one-handed weapon deals 1d8 points of damage, and the two-handed weapon deals 2d6 points of damage. All damages are based on a Medium-sized creature wielding Medium-sized weapons; adjust the weapon damage as appropriate for different sized weapons. In all forms, the mind blade has a critical range of 19-20/x2. A soulforge with powerful build or any similar ability forms an appropriately-sized mind blade dealing the size-appropriate amount of damage. If the soulforge's chosen form is a light weapon, she may choose to form two light weapons (or more if she has additional arms) when forming her mind blade if she so chooses, but she suffers the standard penalties for two-weapon fighting.

Regardless of the weapon form a soulforge has chosen, her mind blade does not have a set damage type. When shaping her weapon and assigning abilities to it, the soulforge chooses whether it will deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. The soulforge may change the damage type of an existing mind blade, or may summon a new mind blade with a different damage type, as a full-round action; otherwise, the mind blade retains the last damage type chosen every time it is summoned.

The blade can be broken (it has hardness 10 and 10 hit points); however, a soulforge can simply create another on her next move action. The moment she relinquishes her grip on her blade, it dissipates (unless she intends to throw it; see below). A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and is considered a masterwork weapon.

A soulforge can use feats such as Power Attack or Combat Expertise in conjunction with the mind blade just as if it were a normal weapon. She can also choose her mind blade for feats requiring a specific weapon choice, such as Weapon Focus and Improved Critical. Powers or spells that upgrade weapons can be used on a mind blade. The soulforge can use feats such as Weapon Finesse that work on light weapons with her mind blade, but such feats only work on mind blades in a light weapon form.

Even in places where psionic effects do not normally function (such as within a null psionics field), a soulforge can attempt to sustain her mind blade by making a DC 20 Will save. On a successful save, the soulforge maintains her mind blade for a number of rounds equal to her class level before she needs to check again, although the mind blade is treated for all purposes as a non-magical, masterwork weapon while in a place where psionic effects do not normally function. On an unsuccessful attempt, the mind blade vanishes. As a move action on her turn, the soulforge can attempt a new Will save to re-materialize her mind blade while she remains within the psionics-negating effect.

The soulforge chooses the appearance of her mind blade, although its shape must reflect the selections the soulforge has chosen: a bludgeoning mind blade would be blunt, slashing would have an edge, etc.

Shape Mind Blade (Su)
The soulforge's mind blade retains the last chosen form every time it is formed until the soulforge reshapes it. If the soulforge chooses to reshape her blade, it requires a full-round action to do so. She may also re-assign the type of damage dealt as part of reshaping her mind blade if she so chooses.

Throw Mind Blade (Su)
All soulforges have some knowledge of how to throw their mind blades, though the range increment varies by form and the largest of blade forms cannot be thrown. Light weapon mind blades have a range increment of 20 ft. One-handed weapon mind blades have a range increment of 15 ft. Two-handed weapon mind blades cannot be thrown without the Two-Handed Throw blade skill. Whether or not the attack hits, a thrown mind blade then dissipates.

Blade Skills
Beginning at 2nd level and four levels thereafter, a soulforge may choose one of a number of abilities to add to her repertoire. Some blade skills have prerequisites that must be met before they can be chosen. All blade skills may only be chosen once and require the soulforge to be using her mind blade unless otherwise stated in the skill's description.

The soulforge use blade skills as a soulforge of her class level. Until level 4, the soul forge cannot use blade skills tat require the psychic strike ability. At level 4 and higher, blade skills that consume uses of the psychic strike ability instead consume power points equal to the limit of the soulforge's crystallize ectoplasm ability, and functions as a psychic strike with a number of damage dice equal to the enhancement bonus granted by crystallize ectoplasm.

The following blade skills are not available to soulforges: dual imbue, exploding critical, flurry of fists (all versions), full enhancement, improved armor, improved enchantment, knife of the soul, and reaper's blade.

Enhanced Ectoplasm
A soulforge's astral suit and mind blades improves as the character gains higher levels. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, any astral suit or mind blade the soulforge creates gains a cumulative +1 enhancement bonus.

Crystallize Ectoplasm (Su)
From 4th level on, the soulforge is able to crystallize any astral suit or mind blade she has created. This can be done as a free action on the soulforge's turn, but requires the soul forge to have a manifested astral suit or mind blade to crystallize.

The item's hardness and hit points are increased by 1 for each level the soulforge has. In addition as a swift action, the weapon can be charged with 1 power point, increasing its enhancement bonus by 1. At 8th level, the weapon can instead be charged with 2 power points, increasing its enhancement bonus by 2. At 12th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the soulforge can increase the enhancement bonus by an additional point at the cost of one additional power point, to a maximum of 5 points for a +5 increase in enhancement bonus at level 20. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves. Each use of this ability lasts a number of rounds equal to the soulblade's Intelligence modifier.

When crystallizing a soul blade, these bonuses can be used to add any of the weapon properties from Table: Soul Blade Special Properties. As the maximum enhancement bonus of a soul blade is +5, she must do so at level 12 and above or lose some of the potential of this ability. Each property also has a minimum level. When crystallizing an astral suit, these bonuses can be used to add any additional customizations in the same way.

Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier or customization point cost. These properties are added to any the soul blade or astral suit already has, but duplicates do not stack. These bonuses, properties, and customizations are decided when the power point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the soulforge uses this ability.

Invigorating Suit (Su)
An soulforge of at least 4th level wearing her astral suit gains a +4 bonus on the following checks and saves: Swim checks made to resist nonlethal damage from exhaustion; Constitution checks made to continue running; Constitution checks made to avoid nonlethal damage from a forced march; Constitution checks made to hold breath; Constitution checks made to avoid nonlethal damage from starvation or thirst; Fortitude saves made to avoid nonlethal damage from hot or cold environments; and Fortitude saves made to resist damage from suffocation.

Starting at 5th level, an soulforge can reconfigure up to her Intelligence modifier in customization points on her astral suit once per day as a standard action. Every four levels thereafter, she can use this ability an additional time per day.

Quick Draw
A 5th level soulforge may manifest her mind blade as a free action, though she may still only attempt to do so once per round (unless throwing the weapon multiple times using the Multiple Throw blade skill).

Crystal Shards (Su)
At 6th level, when scoring a hit with a crystallized soul blade, the soul forge can expend her psionic focus to cause the blade to shatter as an immediate action. This inflicts 1d8 of damage on the target for every four levels of the soulforge. This damage is of the same type as that of the shattered soul blade, and is multiplied on a critical hit.

Ectoplasm Mastery
At 20th level, a soulforge reaches the pinnacle of her art and her connection to her astral constructs is so strong it cannot be severed.

She no longer requires a Will save to maintain her mind blade in a null psionics field, although it still loses any enhancement bonus and special abilities. In addition, she may change the configurations of her mind blade's special abilities at will as a full-round action, which also resets any penalties that may have accrued from the Fluid Form and Improved Fluid Form blade skills.

Her suit cannot be dispelled or removed against her will by any means, although her astral suit ability still does not function within areas where psionics do not work, such as a null psionics field.

In addition, the soulforge can spend two daily uses of her reconfigure ability to alter all of the customizations on her astral suit.

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Things I'd love to see in this book:

* Reworked Invisibility/Stealth/Perception/Lowlight/Darkvision rules that mesh seamlessly together and actually make things like stealth sniping possible.
** Low light vision simplified to "You can see in dim light as if it was normal light".
** darkvision still being sensitive to contrast, so it is still possible to hide in shadows.
** Blindsight/tremorsense reworked to work with Stealth and not just kill it.

* Sneak Attack working against concealment - such as in dark alleys. Overall, sneak attack should be very hard to negate.

* Changes to classes that let them remain what they are and not become entirely new classes. Case in point: if the unchained rogue is so different from the old rogue that it is basically a new concept, the old rogue would still be there and still be underpowered. Anyone who loved the old rogue but hated its weakness would still be suffering.

* If there is a new pool mechanic for martial characters, make it like Grit in that it can recharge during the day. Daily uses on martial abilities just doesn't sit well with me. Most rogue talents should lose their limit on daily uses as well.

* Skill bonus numbers and save DCs don't mix well. A humble suggestion is that a save DC of "10 + skill bonus/2" (and inversely a skill DC of "2*save bonus +10") gives reasonable numbers, and can solve many problems for skills like Intimidate.

* Around level 10-12, Pathfinder play bogs down. I feel three iterative attacks and a vastly increased number of options for all classes are to blame. While options are great, streamlining high level play (particularly multiple attacks) would be great.

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The problem with fighters is actually a problem with feats. And the problem with feats are that there are way too may, and they have way too many prerequisites. The idea of the feat tree is a sacred cow that should be slaughtered. The clear majority of feats should be written so that you can take them at any point, and they do a discrete thing that works with other feats and abilities. Also, feats should be "enablers more than bonuses, meaning that a feat that lets you do a new thing (or removes a hefty non-skilled penalty from a general rule) is a lot more exiting than a feat that gives +1 to something specific like Weapon Focus.

At the moment, a bunch of fighter abilities are feats that only the fighter can qualify for, and only do so at high levels (Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization...). If the fighter is to be redesigned, I'd prefer to see these as class abilities rather than feats.

As to the role of the fighter as an armored juggernaut and not a skirmisher or other light warrior, I feel that requires a completely separate class, or at the very least an archetype. The fighter is married to his armor, and there is no divorce.

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captain yesterday wrote:

I knew someone would cherry pick that:)

the difference is a dead animal is dead, a gaming system is a product of the community, as long as the community is alive, engaged and vibrant the game system will to, no matter how much you add to it:)
captain yesterday wrote:
we've been using PFRPG exclusively for 5 years now, and we have yet to run into something and said "thats broken! there is no way it can be fixed" we have fun with it, and thats good enough for me:)

Basically, I agree with you. However, there IS a danger in expanding the system. The devil is in the details, and it is often small things that do it. Feats like Dervish Dance (Dex to melee damage with scimitar) from some obscure book (well, Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide is not THAT obscure, but neither is it core) change how the game works. When they were making the Swashbuckler, this single feat lead to pages and pages of discussion, which eventually resulted in the Fencing Grace feat (which does the same for the rapier). Little changes like this have far-reaching repercussions and make the game more complex, even for the designers.

That said, the designers of Pathfinder are not paralyzed with balance concerns. That would be even worse - not to wake a sleeping edition war, but 4E's attempts at absolute balance were not encouraging. Pathfinder is a game designed to be fun to play. If this makes some characters "stronger" than others under4 certain conditions, so be it. I fully support this philosophy, and your second quote tells me the Pathfinder designers has held to it without really breaking anything major.

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Sacrificing Con to make magic items actually makes becoming a lich meaningful - first you turn all your Con int magi items, then you become undead and rely on Cha instead.

On another line, something I'd think very interesting is a breakdown of the CR modifications for different levels of items - say no items, low NPC budget, hing NPC budget.

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For me, Stealth has 2 major issues, one of which has a potential solution already in the rules.

The first is that because you make Stealth rolls every round, Stealth is doomed. With enough rolls, the sneaker will always fail. The solution to this is in the Invisibility rules. With invisibility, you get a +20 DC modifier if you remain still. I read this as remaining absolutely still (no actions involving movement of any kind), and apply it to Stealth as well. This makes a pre-prepared ambush really hard to notice (which is nice as a GM, because sometimes the plot more or less demand them), and allows a Scout to remain in place, silently observing with no risk of discovery. In practice, I do not roll Stealth checks every round - it is just too tedious. I require rolls when the hiding character moves, takes an action, or the situation otherwise changes. Otherwise I assume the +20 modifier for remaining still covers the situation.

The second is the definition of "distraction" in the Stealth rules - the rules are very sketchy. I rule an observer as distracted if there is a clear danger closer than the character trying to hide, and a severe distraction (-5 Perception) if the threat is in melee.

I use opposed rolls. I feel the truncated probability scale of only rolling 1d20 is too tight for me. This is more of a matter of preference than anything else.

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christos gurd wrote:
I just wanted to share some off topic news, but my first official product with little goblin games as a designer (tome of twisted things) just got a 5 star from endzeitgeist, and i really wanted to share it with guys. Thanks to all of you guys for getting me into the design process, this wouldn't have happened without the mca crew encouraging me on.

Congratz, man! I can't take any credit for helping you since all your work likely happened way before I came in.

I'll take a look at the Battle Sorcerer tomorrow (past midnight here now).

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

* Instead of precise companion, just give Precise Shot as a bonus feat. Create alternative option for melee-focused hunters (who have no need for Precise Shot).

A melee hunter could benefit from being able to ignore cover provided by his beasts, when fighting with a reach weapon. Right now, there is no way to avoid the cover penalty with a melee weapon. This is specific to reach-weapon hunters, so other melee hunters won't benefit.

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Westley Roberts wrote:

If the goal of class design is that it should be desirable to make single class characters, the Swashbuckler is a failure.

I think the swashbuckler should be able to obtain easy access to the Style feats in some way other than dipping MoMS. As it stands, a MoMS dip is almost compulsory. The question is not shall I dip MoMS, but when.

Perhaps if they could take the style feats as bonus feats without having to meet the prerequisites?

Actually, having to take martial arts style feats is in itself a failure for a class built to simulate western-style fencing. The swashbuckler should be able to perform at this level of competency out of the box.

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Athaleon wrote:
It's probably easiest to design the base class around Sword & Buckler, then add Sword & Dagger / Sword & Pistol / Bastard Sword (I hope) as archetypes.

With a 3rd party design, I'd change the buckler to small shield. It is way more accurate to the historical model, and allows TWF. As part of a TWF variant of the swashbuckler, it would work much better.

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


You could have something that does a similar thing, have the skill check always determine the degree of success, except for the fact saddling such a thing with a skill check seems weird if you don't even reach the normal DC for a really easy question (DC 10) and stupid flipping insane when you roll a 1.

I guess you could delve into other strange mechanics that you roll a die on top of a supposed take 10, but that is a rabbit hole of "why bother?"

Why bother, when you can give someone an ability that is based on Intelligence, skill, and has some variability (in the amount of damage) and works with certainty. After all, in many ways, the investigator is a class built upon a degree of certainty.

And because of that, I tend to stray away from (and by "stray away from" I mean freaking avoid) the grand variance ball that is the d20 for determining such things such as the bonuses to accuracy and damage you get during combat. It comes into play at just the right spot when you make an attack roll.

While I sympathize with this point, and share your desire to make the game fast and smooth to run, I have an important reservation (had to think about it a while, thus the late comment).

In general, simple is good. But there is a point where simple becomes simplistic, and that is when things are no longer fun. I am not saying this is that point - actually that point varies from person to person. I am just saying that this is something to look out for. This path is the road 4E went down, and it's not been seen since...

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I want to make the case that Advanced Class Guide should look into the Stealth skill and increase it's utility - a lot.

Why? Because in more than half the discussions here, the gimpedness of the rogue seems to come up. Class X is being held down because it is half rogue, and thus it cannot be a better rogue than the rogue is. Because so many things in this book tangentially touch the rogue, a rogue buff would seem to be needed. Otherwise the gimpedness of the rogue means 1/3 of these new classes are gimped too. And in a future revision it is a lot harder to correct 4 classes at once than it is to correct a single class.

I know the devs say the rogue is not gimped, and to a degree it is true. The rogue has some nice abilities (even if the talents have too many usage limits). But the problem is that the rogues main trick - sneak attack from stealth - really isn't a viable tactic. This forces the rogue to rely on flanking, which puts him in danger, where his poor defenses gets him killed. If the rogue could instead reliably use Stealth to achieve sneak attack, it would make him less reliant on others, reduce his exposed position, and actually work as a defense (you cannot attack what you cannot see).

Much of this comes from a 4E game I used to run that had a sneak-and-throw-daggers rogue. 4E Stealth rules were much clearer and much more liberal than Pathfinder's. At first the utility of this kind of stealth sort of overwhelmed me as a GM, but soon I came to see it as a natural and worthwhile rogue ability.

Additionally, the current Pathfinder Stealth rules are very unclear. From just reading the skill description, it is almost impossible to understand what they mean. I have had to research several forums to get what I feel is an understanding of Stealth, and that still has a lot of assumptions in it.

How: So, what kind of Stealth rules do I want? Rather than trying to write out a new rule, I will give some points that I feel the Stealth rules should allow.

  • It should be easier to get a distraction to hide, and much clearer than it is now. In general, an ally closer to the enemy than you are should be an adequate distraction. An enemy actually in melee could suffer a -5 distraction penalty to Perception, more if actually flanked.

  • It should be possible to gain stealth at the end of a round after making a (ranged) Sneak attack, potentially setting you up for a full round of sneak attacks next round as well. Naturally you need to be under cover/concealment to do this.

  • Stealthed should be a condition, similar to invisible. Either you are stealthed or you are not, there is no such thing as being hidden only to some enemies (unless there are two distinct groups that do not communicate). That means that a single high-Perception opponent helps defend all his pals, making Perception less of a universal must-have for PCs. (This is actually a slight nerf compared to how I think Stealth works right now).

  • Once you are Stealthed, the result should be like invisibility, and should last until the end of your turn at a minimum. So all actions you do during your turn effectively benefit from invisibility - including moving past enemies outside of cover and making full attacks.

  • Because this is an extraordinary ability, things like True Seeing and See Invisible are no defense.

Yes, I know this makes Stealth more powerful, and that is actually the point. By making Stealth more powerful, you make the rogue more balanced, which creates design space to improve classes like the investigator and slayer and by lesser degree the hunter and swashbuckler.

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Vazt wrote:
Dex bonus to damage for this weapon group does square the class up with str fighters and I could see removing Nimble to compensate for the increase to ac and reflex that the focus on dex brings.

This is a really interesting observation. I am worrying that low-level swashbucklers have too low an AC. This class currently escalates AC quite heavily over levels. It has three places to put enhancement bonuses for AC: Dex, Buckler, Armor. And gets nimble on top of that. It might all escalate a bit too much. I would greatly prefer a low-level Ac boost and let the higher levels take care of themselves. Classes that have level-based escalating AC bonuses like the monk almost never use a shield, so they have one fewer place to put AC enhancements.

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Googleshng wrote:
Exposing Strike: For your next attack (or if you really want to go nuts, while you have one panache), triple the normal critical threat range of weapon (20 becomes 18+, 19+ becomes 15+, 18+ becomes 12+). This effect does not stack with other effects that expand crit range (such as Swashbuckler Weapon Training). Obviously, this one would have to come at a real high level since it's self-fueling.

Make this always-on but restrict it as Finesse Strike, and this is the cure for TWF blues - now a single weapon gets as many crits as TWF does, and thus generates as much panache. Of course, there is also a restrictive way to do this - restrict Swashbuckler Weapon Training to only work as precise strike does.

The more this focus on a single weapon continues, the more I feel this class is really about casting spells with the off hand - like the 3.5 bladesinger. Might be room for a swashbuckler/magus combo.

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:

You guys are killing me with all these feat taxes. :(

What happened to, "I don't like feat taxes either"?

I think your definition of a feat tax and mine are a little different. Dex to damage right now lives in the feat design space, and in very limited ways. Opening that up to more weapons but not making it a class feature is not a tax.

If this proposed feat is open to everyone, I could agree it's not a feat tax. Possibly it should still be a swasbuckler bonus feat. If it is swashbuckler-specific, it is very much a feat tax.

My solution to swasbuckler damage is to move precise strike to 1st, then add dex-to-damage at level 3. Reduces the dipping.

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Chris Parker wrote:
If you're going to use talents to add debuffs to attacks, then I'd suggest letting you do that each attack rather than only on the studied strike. Otherwise, there's no point picking those traits up because the enemy will likely be nearly dead anyway. Instead, perhaps spend an Inspiration point to inflict them instead.

How about the way to study an opponent is to use one of these debuff abilities? You do two things useful to your team: a) Debuff enemy buying time. b) Set yourself up to hit hard later.

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ChainsawSam wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
It gets Intimidate though. You can Gather Info with Intimidate I believe.


You can use Intimidate like Diplomacy only for the purposes of changing a targets disposition towards you.

Gather Information cannot be replicated by Intimidate.

Maybe an ability that lets you gather information using Intimidate, but after 24 hours the fear goes out of them and they start to talk about it?

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Sorry, I wish I could love this class.

On a closer reading, the revised swashie lost it's best abilities (pommel strike and targeted strike) for improved weapon finesse and some rules clarifications. It still waves tissue paper as armor and does less damage than other meleeists.

Since there already is at least one way to do this (duelist), the swashbuckler seems to have little point at the moment - it is sort of the "duelist that couldn't".

Starfox wrote:
Swashbuckler wrote:
Superior Feint (Ex): At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least 1 panache point can spend a standard action to purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit with a light or one-handed weapon melee attack. When she does, that creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC until the start of her next turn.
Is this decided before or after rolling for to-hit? That is, does the attack actually need to hit, or is it enough that it has the (possibly remote) ability to hit on a very good die roll.

No worries about the above, as a standard action this is too situational to use except when ganging up on creatures of such Dexterity they cannot be hit - like a duelist.

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I am finally getting studied strike. It is not a reliable combat tactic, it is a once/fight finisher for a class who's reliable combat option is to go for the mcguffin. As a player who likes to go for the mcguffin, I find this to be pretty good. It might present some problems in combat intensive dungeon campaigns, but then perhaps that is not the ideal home of the investigator.

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Starfox wrote:
Item Lore talent at 7th, and as a talent. I can see making this a talent, because doing so means that in a group with a real wizard, identifying things will be the wizard's job and the investigator won't ever take this. But having a lvl 7 talent to replace about 1/4 of the functionality of a cantrip (detect magic does a whole lot more than identify items) is underwhelming. Also, Spellcraft is not a class skill - making the identification with knowledge arcana would make this at least marginally useful.

Came up with this too late to make it an edit, but the obvious skill for an investigator to use in identifying magic items would be Use Magic Device. I could also see something that makes this an Int-based skill for the investigator.

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Are there any other exploit ideas that folks would like to see. We've got a few that we are planning to add, but I want to see what you have to say.

The Magus' Knowledge Pool.

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First impression of this (didn't really read the pre-revision one carefully): it's powerful!

The concept is to sneak up on foes and assassinate them silently. But you can just as well learn to use heavy armor (basically no abilities have an armor restriction), be a tank, and flank with other tanks. And you get an additional six skill points for doing this. Two weapons seems like a nice option, as you get all your bonuses on each attack.

The real benefit of sneaking for this class is to get to select your targets before the fight, so you don't lose time in-fight. That might make it pay to stay with less armor.

And you get six skill points. Basically for free.

I wonder if this isn't a better swashbuckler than the swashbuckler.

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Aw written, the skald's music is situational, with synergies with some parties but not with others. Comparing rage song to regular insire courage, it is of less utility - anyone who loves raging song also loves inspire courage, but the reverse is not true.

For a figher, paladin, or cavalier, the AC penalty can actually kill any synergy. Most medium-bab classes should benefit, with the possible exception of cleric and oracles (and rogue/ninjas, if the GM are cruel with the limitations). No full-caster class will benefit. This means that about half the classes will benefit, but not the most popular/powerful ones. In a party of five in PFS, you can expect synergy with 1 other character most of the time, 2-3 if you are lucky. Those who will really benefit are pet classes: summoners, druids, summon-specced clerics and arcane casters. Since summons really don't care much about defenses or hp economy, the buff from raging song really rocks.

Outside of song, the skald is a decent spellcaster and second-rank fighter with a nice ability to have that one specific cure from kenning. It has Haste, with conditional benefits others much the same as song.

As a fighter, the skald is about where the cleric is - which is not all that impressive.

kBro wrote:

Scribe Scroll still doesn't feel like it fits, neither thematically nor mechanically.

Thematically, Skald's are keepers of lore and knowledge, but it is by oral tradition, not written, that history is kept. A Skald would never write down and read the stories of his parties vast exploits, he would go off on an inspiring bout of storytelling, embellishing in the details and hyping up his buddies. If he pulled out a scroll and started reading it, he would be laughed out of the tavern, as no self respecting lore keeper would let themselves be seen needing to read the story of their exploits.

This is actually true. The reason we have the sagas is that they were penned down, but that only happened in the 12C, at least a hundred years after the events portrayed. Until that time, the sagas were oral.

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Item Lore talent at 7th, and as a talent. I can see making this a talent, because doing so means that in a group with a real wizard, identifying things will be the wizard's job and the investigator won't ever take this. But having a lvl 7 talent to replace about 1/4 of the functionality of a cantrip (detect magic does a whole lot more than identify items) is underwhelming. Also, Spellcraft is not a class skill - making the identification with knowledge arcana would make this at least marginally useful.

Quick Study talent: This feels like a talent tax to be able to perform as a highly mediocre combatant. It should be inherent to how studied combat works.

Trap Sense: This is a lot less useful to an investigator than to a rogue, as the investigator does not have evasion.

Studied Strike: It is a bit unclear how this applies to spells like Scorching Ray or Holy Ice that do multiple attacks as a part of a single spell. An investigator would have to use these from a wand with Use Magic Device, but the combination with Holy Ice in particular is potentially very powerful.

Overall, the class seems like the rogue, only more so. It is basically useless in a fight and king outside of it. I could easily see the player of an investigator leave the room when a fight begins.

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I'd have preferred a non-armor class (rather than a light armor class). I find that if I wanted to add a martial-arts fighter, I'd put more priority on removing armor than removing weapons. The idea of fighting unarmed but in armor is a little silly to me.

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The bloodrager concept is all about the bloodline, and yet bloodline spells are gained late.

The bloodrager gains his bloodline spells 3 levels late - he gains his first level bloodline spell when he gains his second level normal spell, and so on. While I can see balance reasons to have the bloodline spells come late in this way, I feel it hurts the concept a lot (just like the similar effect on the sorcerer does).

I feel that the bloodline spell should be the power that comes to the bloodrager (and sorcerer) early and naturally. It ought to be the first spell of each level he learns. If this means the bloodrager spells known list has to be scaled back, I can live with that. I could actually see how the bloodrager would get ONLY the bloodline spells at levels where he has zero spells of a particular level (levels 4, 7, 10, and 13).

About the spell list outside of bloodline spells, I don't mind the current spell list, but why not simply use the magus list? Afraid of the "wall" spells?

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The arcanist is still an interesting class. Unlike most, I don't feel that the ability to change your known spells is over the top and needs to gimp every other class feature by extension.

First impression of the revision: A very top-heavy class. At higher levels you have the spell slots to actually use your exploits. This is also where all the spell flexibility really matters - a standard loadout does well at lower levels.

Also prone to 15 minute adventuring days, but I never saw this as a very big problem. Spend one day scrying, the next fighting with an optimized spell loadout.

At lower levels you have... basically nothing. No arcane reserve, very few spells per day, no interesting exploits unless you gimp yourself for later by picking up the new arcane school stuff that doesn't cost any arcane reservoir.

Positive changes: That you can get the wizards level 1 school powers means and that these do not cost any arcane pool means you can get low-level non-spell blasts to make up for your low spells/day. The drawback of course is that these very quickly become obsolete. Simply removing the cost of the blast exploits would have been better, but still a sub-par option.

Some things have become clearer.

Proposed further changes: Larger initial arcane reservoir, possibly harder to recharge. Perhaps having it start at Int mod + Cha mod and not grow over levels.

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I see the war priest as being targeted at the player who would play a crusader cleric, but gets bored having to spend rounds out of combat buffing. For a limited buff/melee class, buffing just takes too long if it has to be done before combat. The cleric and bard are buffer primary. They too suffers from this, but at least their buffs are powerful enough to turn a battle more or less on their own.

I see a role for the war priest as the melee buffers whose buffs do not keep them out of combat. That is, the warpriest is a weaker spellcaster than the cleric, but their buff spells should all be swift actions, which means they can be used in melee, taking no actions and provoking no AoOs. The limit on one swift/round still keeps down the total volume of buffs cast, and the slower spell progression limits the strength of the buffs. If the warpriest opts to stay back and spend a standard action buffing, he can get two spells off in one round, but for a decent combatant this truly is a sacrifice. Having the cleric spell list, the war priest gets a lot of team buffs and a few individual buffs, which plays into this role. Spells that require an attack roll or saving throw should not be swift actions.

Having this, the war priest doesn't need so many other impressive abilities.

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Much of the rest of the content in the book will be ways for other classes to "get their feet wet" by picking up abilities from the new classes in this book.

Somewhat OT, but this might mean the arcanist immediate action counterspell might be available to other classes too?

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I think something similar to the bard's Inspire Greatness would be a good place for the skald to be. Increase effective level (including caster level), attack bonus, damage bonus, and temporary hit points. Still feels like a sort of rage, and everyone benefits from it, some more than others, but temporary hit points are nice for everyone.

Just have to get around the Inspire Greatness cycling bards can do, granting new temporary hit points each round.

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Kobash wrote:
Malkov: I see what you're getting at, and it's an interesting build (cavalier-swashbucklers mesh nicely), but I think it steps away from what we're trying to explore here, which is an undipped swashbuckler. Can you build a level 6 strength-based straight up version that isn't a dwarf using a pick?

We're finding holes in the swashbuckler. If the class works better by dipping and putting points into no-trope stats, that is a hole.

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Prince of Knives wrote:
Full casters are 'broken' because they have the unrivaled ability to fundamentally alter how the game is played. It can happen on purpose, and it can happen on accident, but however it happens there's always the chance that having someone with 9th-level casting in the party is going to change the tone and even genre of the story being told.

This is a GM/playstyle issue. Even at level 20, I find that skills are the main source of utility in 3E/Pathfinder. A spellcaster can turn a situation on it's head, but without knowing what he is doing - information typically provided by skills - this is just pointless confusion.

It is also very much an issue of magic items. In a low-items game, casters will dominate because they are the only ones with access to the supernatural. In a high-budget game, many spells just turn into lesser version (particularly shorter-lasting) of a magic item.

You say later in this post that it is hard to surprise a high-level caster. In broad terms perhaps, but on specifics, it is quite easy. There simply are no divination that give detailed information on encounters. Scrying gives a short-duration snapshot and often yields nothing more than "a guard on patrol". And even if the scrying does give information, it is often noticed, which loses some of the element of surprise. The higher level spells are generally wider in scope but less in detail.

If a GM lets the caster dominate information-gathering too much, perhaps he is giving the caster too big a time slice. Against a caster who insists on divining everything in detail, I'd feel perfectly fine with saying "You spend time casting X. Make a Spellcraft check to see how well that went" and then not play it out in more detail than giving a hint or two based on the roll.

And for an arcanist, spending many spell slots on divination leaves them with basically nothing for anything else.

Davick wrote:
Perhaps a better analogy is the architect vs the engineer. The wizard is the architect who studies design and engineering and uses that to create new structures or models that can push the boundaries of what we thought capable.

I guess most of us think the Pathfinder setting is more renaissance than modern. And back then, the sum of all knowledge was such that a single person could have a good sense of most of it. That is why we talk of renaissance men and exalt the great names from this time. Today the sum of all knowledge is such that even a genius can only grasp a little bit of it. Not so in heroic fantasy.

Arcanists are the renaissance men of magic, wizards are the scientists/engineers, and sorcerers the end users or battlefield specialists.

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How about just buying some extra armor proficiency to up the defenses of the swashbuckler (or dip into, say, paladin). There are exactly 2 abilities the swashbuckler loses by wearing more than light armor - Opportune parry (questionable) and Nimble (very good at higher levels, not so good at low levels). This is a workaround for strengthbucklers which makes the strength build even more attractive.

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Drachasor wrote:
Do the damaging exploits really need to cost anything?[...]

I agree the rays don't need to cost points from your pool, but I still feel you must choose them as your exploits. Having them be all free would make the wizard's and sorcerer's similar low-level "free" abilities seem too lacklustre. But the idea to be able to fire an unlimited number of poor elemental attack on the round when you don't cast a spell works out for me. It does indeed make up for the low number of spells per day.

Then again, these "free" attacks on the sorc and wiz could use some buffing too. Not that this is on the table.

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This is not a class for a familiar. Wizards are scholars, these guys are engineers... Scholars have cats and dogs, engineers have... gold fish maybe? :o

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mplindustries wrote:
Immediate Action counterspelling should already be how it works, and all of the caster level bonuses you're talking about are just as easily and commonly employed by the caster, so it's not as big a deal as you're suggesting.

With this as a class ability, it is possible that other casters will get some sort of feat based immediate action counterspelling. Once the genie is out of the bottle, maybe everyone will get it.

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Lormyr wrote:
brad2411 wrote:
Counterspell is a Supernatural ability that Jason said is a standard action. The Immediate action is casting the magical energies to counter it. So you end up wasting 2 resources (1 point and a spell level) to do an anytime counterspell. At higher levels you only have to use a spell level. So you it is not really an immediate counterspell.
Interesting interpretation. The wording could certainly be clearer. If your understanding is correct, then this ability is fine as is.

I don't agree with brad2411 - I feel counterpelling uses only the immediate action. Considering you need to both ID the spell and then win a dispel check, I think the ability is ok as is.

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RJGrady wrote:
Is there some reason a swashbuckler should NOT edge out a vanilla fighter in damage output? They have light armor, limited resources for their class abilities, and (nobody how the cat falls, this is likely) an odd weapon selection. They ought to get something.

Agre, especially considering that precision damage won't always work and all their attacks are piercing vs. damage resistance (well, there is always the not so very thematic morning star).

Bribri wrote:
1-The character CAN exceed his starting Panache during the course of an encounter up to twice his default amount (including the bonus from feats such as extra grit). At the end of the encounter if his Panache exceeds the default amount it resets to the default and all excess is lost.

This is interesting. It encourages a laid-back style where you build panache and then lash out viciously. I quite like it.

The current rules encourage you to spend points early so you can refill. This is nice, and alpha strikes are always valuable, but perhaps not thematic sinc swashbucklers are often seen as cool people who open up by feeling their opponent out.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Hey Stephen, did you guys intend for Precise Strike to be negated by concealment?
Yup, the other bane of the rogue class.

This is something about the rogue that I HATE (and immediately house-ruled IMC). A rogue has to avoid being in dark alleys, becasue in the dim light in there, they can't sneak attack!

* Facepalm!

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
As to why scribe scroll: because skalds are recorders of lore, and in a magical world they'd use their lorekeeping for magic as well.

While I do like the class, as a Scandinavian, I don't feel the skald really has a nordic/viking feel. It is more of a celtic thing to have music on the battlefield, or Turk if you prefer (was recently in Istambul listening to Turk battle music). In nordic tradition, the berserker and the skald stood for opposite cultural traits. Berserkers are mentioned in the sagas as monsters that everyone was afraid of, and which it takes a cool and experienced hero to deal with. Skalds were chroniclers and law-speakers and opposed to barbarism - which didn't stop them from going viking of course. And the stories certainly kept old feuds alive, and thus kept up battle-lust in a larger time frame. "Civilized" is a very relative term here.

Now, Pathfinder is fantasy. Having a viking-esque battle-singer is fantasy and can fit. But trying to use nordic models for what a skald is, what weapons it should use and so on, might be misleading.

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Malwing wrote:
Starfox wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Yeah, I'm beginning to think that the bloodrager needs its own spell list or there needs to be a better way to organize his spells.
If there's a problem with the magus spell list taken only to level 4 and without cantrips, one fix is to use the magus spell progression for the bloodrager - that would probably mean 3/4 bab too. The bloodrager would then become a barbarian/Sorcerer built on a magus chassis.
I thought we might get a Raging Bloodline Magus. If that doesn't eventually happen I totally need to homebrew that, it sounds awesome once I typed it out. I'm calling it a Ragemorph.

Been there, done that :o

Another solution to the cantrip problem:

Cantrips: At level 1, 2, 4, and 13 (arbitary numbers), a bloodrager learns one cantrip taken from the list of zero-level magus spells. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.

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Lin Kuei (literally forest demons) are legendary Chinese stealth warriors. Here, it is a monk archetype with ninja-like techniques and a focus on secret fighting techniques. Not as pure of spirit as a normal monk, lin kuei are secret warriors working for a clan or cause and like monks they are all of lawful alignment.

Primary Class: Monk. Secondary Class: Ninja. The lin kuei has all the monk's class features except as noted here. A lin kuei cannot mulitclass as a monk, ninja, or rogue. Rogue multiclassing is prohibited because the ninja is a subclass of the rogue.


Class Skills
The lin kuei's class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of hand (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon Proficiency
Lin kuei are proficient with the cestus, club, dagger, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, short sword, and shuriken. Many lin kuei take up the study of an exotic weapon to gain maximum benefit from their lethal strikes ability.

Bonus Feats
At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a lin kuei may select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Bludgeoneer[1], Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Distance Thrower[1], Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Nimble Moves[2], Scorpion Style, Throw Anything.
Alternatively, a lin kuei can choose a ninja trick instead of a bonus feat each time he would get a bonus feat. He learns and uses ninja tricks as a ninja of his lin kuei level but cannot pick ninja tricks based on ninja class abilities he does not have, such as sneak attack.
At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Close Quarter's Thrower[1], Gorgon's Fist, Greater Feint, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Mobility, Rapid Shot, Snatch Arrows.
At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Dimensional Agility[1], Dimensional Assault[1], Disengaging Flourish[1], False Opening[1], Medusa's Wrath, Light Step[2], Shoot On The Run, Stunning Fist.
1. ^ a b c d e f g From Ultimate Combat.
2. ^ a b From Advanced Player's Guide.
A lin kuei need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them, but some feats have benefits based on the use of other feats, and these rules still apply.

Lethal Strikes
As he advances in level, a lin kuei gains extra damage with melee and thrown attacks. This extra damage begins at 1d6 at 1st level, and advances by another d6 at level 3 and every third level after level 3, to a maximum of 7d6 at level 18. When the lin kuei strikes an opponent that is unable to use his Dexterity bonus to armor class, he can add the full amount of this to his damage. When striking opponent's in other circumstances, he adds the minimum amount possible, as if all the lethal strike dice came up ones. This extra damage is not multiplied on a critical hit.
This replaces flurry of blows.

Secret Technique
The lin kuei have a number of secret techniques. A lin kuei is taught one secret technique from the list below at first level, and gain more secret techniques as he advances in level.
This replaces stunning fist. A lin kuei that takes the Stunning Fist feat but does not know the stunning fist technique does not count lin kuei levels as Monk levels for the benefits of the feat.

Deceptive Moves (Ex): A lin kuei with this technique can use the Bluff skill to feint as a swift action.

Deceptive Shuriken (Ex): As a part of drawing or picking up one or more shuriken, a lin kuei with this technique can make a Sleight of Hand check against a DC of 10 + an opponent's Perception skill bonus to render one opponent flat-footed against his thrown shuriken this round. An opponent with uncanny dodge or who is otherwise immune to being flat-footed is immune to this ability, and repeated uses against the same opponent suffers a -10 penalty. A lin kuei with this ability can also throw Diminutive objects, including small daggers, darts, bolts, arrows and even objects that that are normally harmless (such as playing cards, dice, pebbles, coins) as if they were shuriken. A lin kuei can pick up such objects within reach as a free action that does not trigger an attack of opportunity.

Lethal Flanking (Ex): When you flank an opponent in melee, you can use your full damage from lethal strikes against that opponent. Against opponent's improved uncanny dodge, this ability works when sneak attack would work (see the ninja ability sneak attack). Lin kuei levels stack with the level of any class that provides sneak attack for the purpose of overcoming improved uncanny dodge.

Stunning Fist (Ex): This is the same as the monk's stunning fist class ability. See the note under secret technique for Stunning Fist taken as a feat and used without this ability.

Sudden Charge (Ex): This charge is so sudden that it is hard for the eye to follow. The target charged by a lin kuei with this technique is flat-footed until the end of the lin kuei's current turn. An opponent with uncanny dodge or who is otherwise immune to being flat-footed is immune to this ability. A lin kuei may continue to move after attacking in a charge, up to a total movement equal to twice his speed. Any movement after the charge is completed need not be in a straight line. If this movement ends up in cover or concealment, the lin kuei can try to use Stealth to hide at a -10 penalty.

Note that a flat-footed opponent does not get to make attacks of opportunity unless the opponent has the Combat Reflexes feat.

Unarmed Strike
At 1st level, a lin kuei gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A lin kuei's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a lin kuei may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a lin kuei striking unarmed. A lin kuei may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.
A lin kuei's unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
A lin kue's unarmed strike does 1d6 lethal crushing and cutting damage (1d4 for a small lin kuei). A lin kuei can only do nonlethal damage with unarmed attack by taking the standard -4 attack penalty to do so.
This is a modification to the monk's unarmed strike ability.

Second Secret Technique
At 3rd level, the lin kuei may select a second secret technique. This replaces maneuver training.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, a lin kuei can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A lin kuei with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her.
If a lin kuei already possesses uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.
This replaces still mind.

Ki pool
At 4th level, a lin kuei gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a lin kuei's ki pool is equal to 1/2 his lin kuei level + his Wisdom modifier. As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike.
• At 4th level, ki strike allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
• At 7th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as cold iron and silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
• At 10th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
• At 16th level, his unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.
By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a lin kuei can do one of the following:
• Make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a full attack, or
• Increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round, or
• Reroll a failed Bluff, Sleight of Hand, or Stealth check. The lin kuei must take the second result, even if it is worse. A single check can only be rerolled once by means of this ability.
Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.
This is the a modification of the monk's ki pool ability.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)
At 7th level, a lin kuei can no longer be flanked. This defense denies the ability to sneak attack the lin kuei by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more levels in classes with sneak attack than the lin kuei has in classes with uncanny dodge.
This replaces wholeness of body.

Third Secret Technique
At 9th level, a lin kuei may select a third secret technique. This replaces improved evasion.

Fourth Secret Technique
At 13th level, a lin kuei may select a fourth secret technique. This replaces diamond soul.

Table: Lin Kuei


Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Lethal Strikes AC Bonus Fast Movement
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Bonus feat, lethal strikes, secret technique, unarmed strike +1d6 +0 +0 ft.
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Bonus feat, evasion +1d6 +0 +0 ft.
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Fast movement, second secret technique, uncanny dodge +2d6 +0 +10 ft.
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Ki pool (magic), slow fall 20 ft. +2d6 +1 +10 ft.
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 High jump, purity of body +2d6 +1 +10 ft.
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 Bonus feat, slow fall 30 ft. +3d6 +1 +20 ft.
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Improved uncanny dodge, ki pool (cold iron/silver) +3d6 +1 +20 ft.
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Slow fall 40 ft. +3d6 +2 +20 ft.
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Third secret thechnique +4d6 +2 +30 ft.
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Bonus feat, Ki pool (lawful), slow fall 50 ft. +4d6 +2 +30 ft.
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Diamond body +4d6 +2 +30 ft.
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Abundant step, slow fall 60 ft. +5d6 +3 +40 ft.
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Fourth secret technique +5d6 +3 +40 ft.
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Bonus feat, slow fall 70 ft. +5d6 +3 +40 ft.
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 Quivering palm +6d6 +3 +50 ft.
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Ki pool (adamantine), slow fall 80 ft. +6d6 +4 +50 ft.
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Timeless body, tounge of the sun and moon +6d6 +4 +50 ft.
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Bonus feat, slow fall 90 ft. +7d6 +4 +60 ft.
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Empty body +7d6 +4 +60 ft.
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Perfect self, slow fall any distance +7d6 +5 +60 ft.

I originally wrote on a mediawiki, so when we get closer to finished I can send it in wiki code.

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Bardess wrote:
If I can't have my true shapeshifter class otherwise, I'll make it myself.

It is not MAC, and thus not applicable for this project, but you might want to look at my Shape Dancer AT for the summoner or Shapeshifter Bloodline for the sorcerer as takes on a shapeshifters for pathfinder.

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Arcane Training: An arcane assertor learns to manipulate arcane energies. Starting at 1st level, an arcane assertor adds one spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list to the inquisitor spell list. This spell must be of a level that she can cast. At 3rd level and every two levels thereafter, she can add one additional spell from the sorcerer/wizard spell list to her list. To cast any of these spells, she must know the spell as normal.

I would replace the last sentence with "To cast any of these spells, she must first pick them as one of her known spells".

"know the spell as normal" is clear if you know what this is all about, but still a bit unclear.

Do we need to mention that even without making it a known spell, she can use it will spell trigger and spell completion items?

Detect Magic (Sp): At will, an arcane assertor can use detect magic, as the spell. An arcane assertor can, as a move action, concentrate on a single item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is magical, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the arcane venator does not detect magic in any other object or individual within range. This ability replaces detect alignment.

Missed one "venator" at the end of this text.

I also worry a little about locking down the concept of the class too hard - this could also be a fanatic, using the powers of sorcery to hunt down sorcerers. I'd remove "trained" in the intro and push the haphazard nature of sorcery.

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The Creepy Two Gun Build:

Would the tiefling alternate racial tail prehensile tail allow reloading two pistols? It's even sort of thematic.

Prehensile Tail Many tieflings have tails, but some have long, flexible tails that can be used to carry items. While they cannot wield weapons with their tails, they can use them to retrieve small, stowed objects carried on their persons as a swift action. This racial trait replaces fiendish sorcery.

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