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I have no experience playing this class. Has anyone in this thread play tested a swashbuckler? Has anyone played one for more than a session or two? Actual playtest is better that theory based on numbers. This is not a computer game. It is a hobby with people who interact with one another as people. Theory and RP each their strength and weaknesses. It is important to understand that there are differences between each.
Ya know, the class might have been innovative in the wrong areas, and have not addresses the issues it claimed to.
If Druidic wild shape was more like an unrestricted polymorph, perhaps you would have to choose a creature type, such as ranger chooses favored enemies. However, I believe Druids are restricted to animals and elementals, so no need to pick as the list is already slim.
A wizard or whatnot has a range of spells allowing all manner of shape changing with no restrictions except what is on its spell list. As is, the rules fall to GM fiat, which I have no problem with, and personally feel is shrinking the longer forums like this one and formal gaming societies are around. But we're not looking to encourage fiat here, are we?
If this for some reason became a problem at my table, I would propose something resembling the following. Any spellcaster can cast spells in its natural form. When changing shape to a significantly different form (needs further explanation or -sigh- fiat), the caster may loose the ability to provide certain components, such as verbal or somatic. A feat would be created, available without prereqs, to allow a creature to choose a creature type (one or more?). When changing shape to that form, the creature type counts as a natural form for the creature. Perhaps the feat would also specify that the character is always proficient with its natural weapons, is trained in "always class skill" skills, can speak its native language, whatever, just so it has benefit to anyone, not just casters. Details to be worked out.
For example, humanoids can cast spells while in forms like monstrous humanoid and outsider forms without restriction, unless the form selected lacks hands or the ability to speak. A humanoid with the feat who chooses humanoid can cast spells while in any humanoid form even if it lacks hands or the ability to speak. Likewise, a humanoid that selects any other form can cast spells while in the form selected, even if it lacks an ability that its true natural form possesses.
Hope that makes sense.
Feat or rogue talent maybe? Both?
Since flurry of blows uses full BAB, if would be better to not reference that.
I think your feats are personal preference, and not necessarily better than existing rules. Before implementing them in a game, discuss them with your gaming group to find out their opinions.
The list that ranks the "speed" of each action makes sense to those of us who already understand it. For those who do not, your write up will require additional explanation.
In 1st edition, initiative was handled differently. More realistically... maybe? GG devoted a lot more brain power to working out this part of the game out than modern developers have. Your suggestion reminds me of old school weapon speeds and casting times, which I could never completely wrap my head around at that age. I don't neccessarily think it is wrong, just that PF is a different game, and that there are appropriate places for simplicity and complexity. It depends on our tastes and where we prefer gamism vs realism. I feel that standard PF initiative - and the built-in benefits of standardized turns - is a boon to the game.
I don't see a reliance on X/day, I see more and more point pools and rounds/day. Many of us like the complexity of managing points and rounds, using them in a variety of ways, being able to recharge, etc. However, X/day is a very simple mechanic, and I think the game still has plenty of room for simplicity.
The wordings a little funny. What about this? It uses as much of the original feint wording as I could keep.
1) jump is gone buddy! Acrobatics checks made to jump. Seems like this should a separate ability though.
2) IMHO turning worse fear conditions into shaken should require a use of the ability, especially since you have a built in way to regain points. I'm a big fan of scaling the pool size the way you have done.
3) Since having a way to regain points turns the ability from X/day into a spend a point ability, I would rewrite the "once per day" bit.
Side note thanks for the second 5 foot step wording, its much cleaner and more clear than what i thought of.
Needs to be fixed. Movement of any kind disallows the free 5 ft step.
As a swift action, she can move 5 ft without provoking attacks if opportunity. Unlike other movement, using this ability does not prohibit her from taking a 5 foot step as a free action.
I personally prefer the flat 1/2 level bonus over rolling twice simply because there are a number of rogue talents that already do the roll twice thing.
The two abilities accomplish very different things. Rolling again doesn't allow you to reach a DC you normally couldn't. It gives you a pretty good chance of avoiding rolling exceptionally low.
10 skill points seems overkill to me, as I don't think they suffer from any shortage of skill points with 8. Even without 10, your rogue will have no shortage of skill points because you have given incentive to boost Intelligence.
Expertise: I have considered something like this as well, but as a replacement for Trapfinding. Instead of utilizing Int though, I would be inclined to set the number at 2, possibly 3.
Agility: this is pretty vague. Just how many skill uses require a move action? Not many. I will assume that you don't mean skill that require no action and are used during movement. If I get Improved Feint and gain the ability to feint as a move action, can I now feint as a swift action?
Rapid Strike: I like it, but how many cases are there where this will be a benefit? The only one I can think of is Invisibility, where it is lost after the first attack.
Great Agility: Neat, I guess. I can load weapons, stand up, grab potions, control my horse, open unlocked doors... move heavy objects? Another nit-pick, what is the tie between Agility and Great Agility? One speeds up non-Dexterity skills, the other speeds up non-skill actions. I have tried to use the "2nd 5-ft step" thing before in homebrew, and the wording gets tricky if you want to write it our correctly. Simplify it by saying "As a swift action, she can move 5 feet without provoking an attack of opportunity."
I like both, situationally of course. Overall, I would say gritty with spontaneous humorous moments. Much of my enjoyment comes from the game, but without the role-playing there is nothing gratifying about the characters. They become forgettable. I have played some characters who made the other players laugh quite a bit, but it's important to me that the character takes himself seriously, since my own humor is usually dry. If it's s one-off though...
I have also sat down with a group that was all laughs and table talk, and no thank you.
9. MEME, herald of HALVAC (CN)
That was the quick 5 minute version and, as you noticed, intentionally similar to the ranger's FE progression. I like the first one better. But, while it addresses the weapon specialization theme of the fighter, it does not address or encompass the bravery theme, or the survivor theme that you have written about.
The survivor theme is one I have always wanted to be a part of my fighters. You know, where the hero rips the arrow out of his chest and catches his second wind, or he comes to after a moment of unconsciousness and we realize that he isn't dead after all. But, this doesn't exist in the numbers game that is the fighter's class features. I like what you have done. In addition to being a useful mechanic, it even looks like a fun one. However, I would figure out a way to simplify it. Considering that toughness is based on level and fortitude is (partially) based on level, the way you calculate hp seems a bit redundant.
Also, I don't know if I am reading it right, but it looks as though the condition removal is automatically successful. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Many but not all removal-type spells require a level check.
I'm having a hard time following how this works, but I think I have the basic idea. One character grants a bonus to his or her allies, and if the ally reciprocates then the bonus increases. Is that about right? I don't know if this is better or not. I left some things out.
Combination Strike [teamwork feat]
If you target an enemy that has already been targeted by an ally before the duration expires, the duration and bonus to attack and damage rolls increase by 1.
Seriously not trying to threadjack, R, but Aerlyinth provoked a though in my head related to the Bravery slot and what fighter should do with weapons, and this seems like the best place to post ideas interested in what to do with Bravery. For the record, I still consider the thematic intent of bravery to be important.
Weapon Master (Ex): At 2nd level, a fighter gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat.
At 6th level and every four levels thereafter (6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level), the fighter again gains Weapon Focus as a bonus feat. In addition, at each such interval, he gains Weapons Specialization with a weapon for which he has already Weapon Focus (including the weapon he just selected for Weapon Focus, if so desired).
Weapon Master (Ex): At 2nd level, a fighter chooses a weapon and gains +1 to attacks made with that weapon.
At 6th level and every four levels thereafter (6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level), the fighter again chooses a weapon and gains a +1 to attacks with it. In addition, at each such interval, he chooses a weapon he has already selected and gains a +2 to damage rolls with that weapon (including the weapon he just choose, if so desired).
I don't see a standard brute using feint much, due to the feat and Intelligence investment, although there is room for that. In the interest of teamwork, I hope I have left room for party members to help create these conditions as well.
What do you think of the improvised weapon abilities, and subsequent rock throwing?