|Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber||
Tonight we playtested:
Dwarf Battle Priest
Valeros and Merisiel (PFS pregens).
Characters were level 7, 20 point buy with average APL for their level.
Encounter 1: Drow on the Giant Steps
A group of 6 Drow stepped out and threw boomerangs at the PCs while they tried to climb the stairs. The Battle Cleric and the Swashbuckler headed up the normal steps, while the Fighter and Rogue used their Climb Skills to climb the giant's steps.
The Slayer moved around the side of the temple in an attempt to use a rope and grappling hook to climb up and surprise the Drow from the side.
Merisiel was the first to draw blood, between her high stealth roll and a great sneak attack killing a Drow. The Drow, now aware of the rogue focused their attacks on her (but rolled poorly).
This is when the Bullette showed up. It used its leap ability and damn near killed the Slayer. The Battle Priest jumped off the side of the temple to try and draw its attention. No luck, the Slayer was slain the next round.
During this fight the Swashbuckler took down a Drow every turn alongside Merisiel and Valeros. In situations with single attacks (and PCs unable to get a full-round thanks to the mobile drow) the Swashbuckler shined. Didn't use a single Panache though.
Encounter 2: Ettins
The PCs heard some Ettins arguing, so they headed to their room and picked a fight with them. They found the Slayer's twin sister slowly roasting over an open flame. Merisiel rescued this new Slayer who immediately set Ettin killing.
The Battle Cleric's AC was near untouchable at 29 for most monsters. Stuck in a cramped room Valeros' two-weapon fighting easily outshone the Swashbuckler, and the Swashbuckler still hadn't spent any Panache (starting the day with only 3 caused the player to hoard them somewhat).
The Slayer ended the fight with two well placed arrows.
Encounter 3: Drider and Barghest
This fight was brutal and frustrating. The Drider's ability to scale walls meant that it could cast lightning bolt with impunity and the narrow corridor granted that at least half the party would be struck by lightning. Swashbuckler was reduced to -8 due to a failed Reflex save and a high damage roll.
The Battle Cleric once again shone thanks to his amazing AC. The Slayer rarely missed (other than through blink and deeper darkness) thanks to her study ability and high BaB.
This is where we had to end it.
Battle Cleric: Right now the Battle Cleric feels like a cleric with Heavy Armour proficiency, the added feats don't completely mitigate the loss of spell-casting. A fun tank, but lacks an interesting hook the way a Paladin's smite evil is an interesting hook.
Slayer Despite a poor showing against a Bullette, the Slayer works fairly well once the studied target is set, it doesn't take long for a Slayer to get slaying. The player felt that there needed to be more choice as levelling the character to seven he felt he was already stretched for interesting Slayer talents.
Swashbuckler She enjoyed the concept, but didn't feel competitive with the other PCs. Her AC was about on par with Valeros', but Opportune Parry/Riposte got ignored entirely to preserve points for doing cool things on her turn. Interestingly a Swashbuckler is better off being sent on "mook sweeping", killing off opponents of CR 3 less than the party's APL, in order to restore Panache. Players might also leave the killing blow for the Swashbuckler so she can restore Panache. There needs to be a different method for its regeneration.
Valeros and Merisiel These players didn't feel outshined by the other PCs and had their own moments in the sun.
Slayer is good, but dull to build.
Swashbuckler feels pigeonholed and the Swashbuckler's finesse needs to count as Weapon Finesse.
Battle Priest is still second fiddle to a cleric who takes Heavy Armor Proficiency.
Thank you for your time,