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Rogue Elf

Face_P0lluti0n's page

440 posts. Alias of Andrew McMenemy.


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Da'ath wrote:
Face_P0lluti0n wrote:

I never looked at Words of Power before today, and not doing so was a mistake.

I really wish I had implemented them in my current campaign. I'm giving some strong considerations to implementing them in any new campaigns that I start.

I'm reading Words of Power now, and I see subtle fixes that appear to give casters a little extra utility while killing off a large number of abuses.

Thank you for pointing this out or I probably never would have looked at it.

As an example, the WoP equivalent of Arcane Eye is a level lower and doesn't take forever to cast, but the WoP Teleport is expressly restricted to places that the caster has *visited* before.

And there's no Quicken. It looks like some small buffs can be cast as immediate/swift actions, but that's it.

One man's trash is another's treasure. Unless Paizo suddenly takes interest in the system (unlikely) you don't have to worry about new exploitable words being added that you'll have to sort through. So in a way, Paizo not updating or supporting them has been a good thing.

3PP or homebrew is always an option, too. PC Wizards might be more invested in gaining academic credentials and lab space among arcane guilds if it allowed them to invent new effect words which the players could then run by me for GM approval.

IMO, there's a critical mass of player-facing crunch-support that becomes unfun and unhelpful and feeds into splatbook bloat/treadmill. I like tactical gameplay (I do think the G should stay in RPG), but I always felt like spellcasters were among the worst offenders of the "Magic:-the-Gathering-style builds outweigh in-game decisions and tactics" problem in 3.x.

But in addition to eliminating exploits, it also looks like core components were fixed to avoid scry-and-fry, buffstacking, obsoleting skills, breaking the action economy, and other things that are considered to be caster-caused fundamental problems of 3.x. No direct analogues of Divine Power and Righteous Might even closes the "CoDzilla" issue once and for all.

My current game has to run as it is, as it's on the verge of collapsing under splatbooks and rules anyway and I don't want to disturb the Jenga tower, but I really like some of the suggestions I've seen here - I'm really considering, for any future campaigns, implementing one of Words of Power, giving mythic tiers to martials, E6 (or E8, or E10), or removing generalist full caster classes in favor of 2/3rds casters and specialized full casters.


ShadowcatX wrote:
While it has been mentioned, words of power is a significant nerf to spellcasters.

I never looked at Words of Power before today, and not doing so was a mistake.

I really wish I had implemented them in my current campaign. I'm giving some strong considerations to implementing them in any new campaigns that I start.

I'm reading Words of Power now, and I see subtle fixes that appear to give casters a little extra utility while killing off a large number of abuses.

Thank you for pointing this out or I probably never would have looked at it.

As an example, the WoP equivalent of Arcane Eye is a level lower and doesn't take forever to cast, but the WoP Teleport is expressly restricted to places that the caster has *visited* before.

And there's no Quicken. It looks like some small buffs can be cast as immediate/swift actions, but that's it.


I'll probably do another big update after the Inner Sea Combat PDF is available to non-subscribers and I can take a peek to see if there's anything that looks interesting. Sounds like the Ustalavic Duelist archetype shows a bit of promise.

As far as some of the builds I haven't mentioned yet, there are a lot of them that I don't have experience with or knowledge of yet, but I'm trying to focus on the classes and builds where spending a feat slot on Weapon Finesse and pumping up Dexterity instead of Strength is a defensible choice to the hardcore optimization crowd, DPR olympics, etc., which means that builds that I'm rating green or blue and spending a lot of text on need to be able to compare favorably to "Falchion Fred" or AM BARBARIAN. My yardstick for "should this be blue?" is "Is this build at least 90% as good as Falchion Fred or AM BARBARIAN?" and green is generally "is this build good enough to not be completely outclassed by Falchion Fred and AM BARBARIAN?"

I've left off Paladin and Inquisitor so far for the same reason I've left off most Ranger and Cavalier stuff - there are some scary-good static bonuses that you can double up on with Two-Weapon Fighting, but a lot of them are restrictive enough that it would be hard to justify that as your main trick or default fighting style - Favored Enemy (or the x/day replacement ability that the Guide archtype gets), Smite, Bane & Judgment, Challenges, etc., seem to me like very good nova/burst choices that would leave a finesse warrior significantly behind the curve whenever they weren't nova-ing (or fighting their favored enemy in the case of Rangers).

It might be worth it to add different sections on various general groupings of strategies, but a lot of those, to me, look like they fall into the general category of "Win init, then nova", which means that they'll have to compare to blasters and Magi to make sure that the non-sustainable burst damage doesn't end up falling significantly behind a blaster-caster or Magus in damage potential or endurance.

Well, that, and I'm honestly still catching up on missing almost two years of Pathfinder while I was busy running campaigns in other games, and currently keeping up with my home group, who are playing PF with 3.5 books allowed and finesse-boositng house rules in a 15+ level campaign.


Cevah wrote:

In your guide, you say "Rogue: I would ask if World of Warcraft created this expectation that Rogues ought to be dual wielding damage maniacs, but I don’t want to start another TT vs. MMO flame war."

Well, I played a "dual wielding damage maniacs" rogue back in 1st edition, well before WoW. With a +5 shortsword in the main hand and a +2 Longtooth (dagger that acted as a shortsword for small characters like my halfling) in the off hand & dex high enough to cancel two weapon fighting penalties, he would sneak into position for +2 to hit from behind and 4x backstab on both weapons. DPS king of melee here.

There is a build with the Horizon Walker PrC (link) that had Domain Mastery and Extra Rogue Tricks to get incredible bonuses from it. I am talking attack and damage both at insane values. This makes any weapon insane.


I guess I just had different experiences. I didn't meet that many dual-wielding characters that weren't Rangers in 2e, but I've played more 3e than 2e by a wide margin. The first time I saw Rogue as "The DPS class" by default was in WoW. Before that I had always seen Rogue as the "Backstab/Sneak Attack and then find somewhere to hide" class since pre-3e backstab be enabled after a combat starts. I had assumed the tightly defined combat roles came from video games.

Either way, I can just cut that line in the next update.


For intelligent magic items that have the ability to cast spells, I can't find any indication of whether they can only cast self targeting spells on the item itself, or if they can cast self targeting spells on the wielder as though the wielder was the caster.

Many spells that would be highly useful to give to an item's user don't entirely make sense when applied to the weapon - Divine Favor, Mirror Image, Divine Power, Disguise Self, etc., which seem like very good spells to give to an intelligent weapon that you're going to pass out to your church's champion, a wizard's head bodyguard, or something similar.


agnelcow wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I actually really like the archetype, and not just because Ustalav is my favorite nation.

Sounds like it might be a strong contender for a very effective Weapon Finesse build.

I know we've got Swashbuckler now, but hearing about this archetype makes me want to buy this book. It sounds like the Ustalavic Duelist might cover the concept of "Intellectual fencer/swashbuckler" that I was hoping to see someday.

Now I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for 4/30 so I can get a PDF.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Elosandi wrote:

Use the specialist casters from 3.5 (warmage, beguiler, dread necromancer)

Use the martial adepts from DSP's path of war. (Warlord, Stalker, Warder)
Remove basic 9th level casters plus the summoner.

Magi, bards and inquisitors are now the generalist mages, and have an appropriately slowed rate of progression.

Mages who insist on the fast track to high level spells use a specialist class

Martial classes have options beyond hitting things.

Personally, I really like this option. I wish there were a couple more specialist type casters available, but c'est la vie.

Another option is to play E8 (or E6).

IMO, if using Tome of Battle and/or Path of War, E10 might even be possible, as the powerful spells still have some manner of limitation (range limits and "miss" chances on Teleport, Raise Dead requires a whole body, etc).

Some settings, like Eberron, assume a lower overall power level and would play nice with E6/E8/E10 rules. I did something similar in the earlier stages of my Eberron campaign, in which characters above level 10 existed, but they were limited to the most powerful NPCs in the setting, most of whom were the stuff of legends or had multiple lifetimes to accumulate experience and training. Vol was still 16th level in that game, but the implication was that it took thousands of years for her to gain all of those levels above 10 and for most PCs and NPCs, the zero-to-hero train ended around 10th level - after that it took a minimum of multiple decades of intense study and training to gain each level, and centuries to gain levels in the mid-teens.

It seems like the Mythic rules would play nice with an E6/8/10 approach - characters could advance to a level between 5 and 10 depending on the GM and players' tastes, and then instead of gaining levels, just begin gaining mythic tiers instead. This would let the players gain access to more power appropriate for battling the classic "endgame monsters" without actually accessing the game-breaker spells.

Which is likely how I will run my next game - characters will advance to 8 or 10 and then gain 10 mythic tiers, which will provide 18-20 "levels" of advancement inside of the level band that is generally held up as the most fun level of play.

Now that I think of it, it would even be possible to start a campaign at 6th or 8th level and have the character advancement be entirely measured by mythic tiers.

This would also explain the zero-to-hero climb, since mythic power comes from some sort of magical or divine source, so suddenly transforming from a skilled-but-mundane militia veteran into a dreadnought capable of slaying armies in the course of a few months would have a more solid in-game reasoning.


Lord Mhoram wrote:
Give all linear classes Mythic Ranks, but not the quadratics.

I've considered something like this. Especially since the Mythic spellcaster paths seem to make spellcasters even more quadratic.

In my 3.x/PF hyrbid game, running the rules as they are written, but allowing Tome of Battle/Path of War solved the problem until about level 12-14. The characters with Use Magic Device are still holding up at level 15, thanks to magic mart, but I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that once you get to those levels, even ToB/PoW characters need to become Gish/Warrior-Mage characters or have maxed out UMD checks so that they gain partial spellcasting ability in addition to having better melee and/or skill use than the full-casters.

Elosandi wrote:

Use the specialist casters from 3.5 (warmage, beguiler, dread necromancer)

Use the martial adepts from DSP's path of war. (Warlord, Stalker, Warder)
Remove basic 9th level casters plus the summoner.

Magi, bards and inquisitors are now the generalist mages, and have an appropriately slowed rate of progression.

Mages who insist on the fast track to high level spells use a specialist class

Martial classes have options beyond hitting things.

I'm tempted to try this in the next PF/3.x campaign I run that goes beyond the levels at which quadratic squishiness, limited spells per day, and skill rank deficiency are still balancing factors.

Especially since many of the specialized or 2/3 caster classes have ways of cherry-picking individual spells from any available sourcebook, but they can't just gain access to everything. That way nobody complains that I'm forcing them to throw away the Spell Compendium. It makes the idea of "spell research" cooler, too, because that one Bard, Magus, or Beguiler that figured out how to cast a single really broken Spell Compendium spell feels special without being absurdly unbalanced - they just have one really awesome trick that they're known for.

Another thing I've considered is introducing something like sanity or corruption rules, which only apply to spellcasters. Of course, this would only work in a horror game or a setting where magic is dangerous and kind of Lovecraftian, but it would motivate all characters, even the casters, to find ways of solving problems without magic, because spamming magic as a win-button for everything would end your adventuring career in short order.

My players would gut me if I tried something like that in my current game, though. Fortunately, it's set in Eberron, so magic-mart and easy access to magical training are givens. I just decided that once characters in my Eberron get into the double-digit levels, it dawns on them that they need magic somehow, so all high level NPCs, even the ones that started as martials, end up either getting maxed out UMD checks or multiclassing into prestige classes that give or advance spellcasting ability, so that they at least have level 4 or 5 spells by the time the full casters are tossing around level 7 and 8 spells. The Deneith mercenary captain may have started out as a Warblade or Fighter, but at the end of his career, he's now a Fighter X/Wizard 1/Abjurant Champion 5, and the peasant hero that started out as a Ranger is now a Ranger X/Divine Crusader X of Dol Arrah, Monks eventually pick up Divine Fist or Enlightened Fist or Psychic Warrior/Warmind, etc


Updated the classes and builds section a bit to add some info about the revised ACG playtest version of the Swashbuckler and Slayer.

If anyone would like to contribute analysis or specific build lists directly to the guide, I would be open to adding sections from other writers into the guide with credit to your forum name (or whatever name you would like to be credited as). I can't play or test everything, especially since right now I'm mostly GMing home games and generally don't get the opportunity to play PFS outside of convention games.


Cevah wrote:

Piranha Strike states "This bonus to damage is halved (-50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon.". That means the -1/+2 for one weapon becomes -1/+1 for both weapons on a TWF. It does not say "reduced only on off hand". That kills its usefulness for TWF and Natural Attack builds.


The way I've been reading it is that it was meant to match the wording of the Power Attack feat and the wording of the damage bonus for having a high Strength score.

The official text of Strength reads "Off-hand attacks receive only half the character's Strength bonus, while two-handed attacks receive 1–1/2 times the Strength bonus."

The official text of Power Attack reads "This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon."

Most of the rules and optimization discussion that I have seen assumes that only off-hand is reduced when adding Strength and Power Attack, and I had assumed that Pirhana Strike worked the same way. It does seem to be some murky ground - specifically, whether or not the slight change in the wording of PS was intentional or if it was intended to work in the same way that PA does.

I admit I could be wrong, but I have been inclined to assume it was intended to work the same as Power Attack. I'll add a disclaimer/warning about my possible misreading of the feat to the guide.

And if you (or anyone) can point me to official errata or game designer comments backing up either interpretation, that would be awesome, too.



Thanks for the example!

I swear I have not abandoned the guide again! : )

I always end up being busier than I thought I'd be but I'm hoping to get some time to update the guide soon.


XMorsX wrote:

You are welcome.

Urban Barbarians should probably be green at least, their ability to combine tons of Dexterity with great saves, spell sunder, strenght surge, come and get me and other great powers makes them very effective Dex-based characters.

Also, I think that you do not mention natural attacks at all. It is easy to get at least 3 of them and they are better than TWFing (full BAB and (almost) no feat investment, only downside the small crit threat range). With an agile AoMF you can make an effective natural attacker, especially if he has Pounce or a lockdown mechanism.

A properly build Beastmorph Vibisectionist alchemist with an agile AoMF (the Skinwalker race is best at this) is a prime example, qualifing alchemist as green at least too.

If you have any sample builds, or at least, build skeletons, I'd love to see them, as I don't yet know the ins and outs of these classes or the builds that would make them good finesse combatants. I will include them in the guide with credit to you and I'll be able to add the feats and abilities that enable the builds to work into the color-rated lists with some analysis.

On that subject, at some point I'm going to go through the thread and add the names of everyone who has suggested stuff to me onto a "credit goes to..." or "thanks to..." list, as a good deal of the guide has come from suggestions provided on these message boards.


XMorsX wrote:

For PCs that rely on fighting defensively, crane style is still useful and probably a must (like Duelist and Aldori Swordlord PrCs and the fighter archetype).

There is also a corner case for the rest two feats if you have feats to spare, as it has been ruled that if the attack that you used crane wing for is a miss, you can use crane riposte. So it is not utterly useless, just overnerfed.

Thanks for the info. I hadn't really given it enough thought yet to decide if there was still a place for it, or builds that still wanted it.

When I get a chance, I'll write a section on the pros and cons of the new Crane style. My old text is still crossed out because that was written based on the old Crane style chain.


It's been a busy week, but the guide now contains Brawler goodness and a clarification of how the Dex Magus compares to the Strength Magus.

I also crossed out all of the Crane Wing stuff for now. I never got to see exactly how powerful it was before the nerf, but it doesn't seem to be worth the feat slot post-nerf.

Also added some to-dos, including ACG classes, prestige classes, and base classes I hadn't yet considered or detailed.


FrodoOf9Fingers wrote:

Hey XmorsX

You seem to repeatedly mention how the Dervish Dance magus deals the same damage as a strength magus, but it's just a little off...

Whenever you don't use spell combat, a strength magus can use his weapon with two hands, while a dervish dance magus cannot (The feat specifically calls out "while wielding it in one hand"). So Str Magi can deal more weapon damage still, and even more damage with power attack.

EDIT: I didn't see any threads with your guide mentioned other than here, so I posted this here. Are you going to make a discussion thread for your guide?

I'm the author of the finesse guide - thank you for mentioning it and asking for it to be added to the guide lists.

I'll add in a mention of the Str-Magus's balancing factors. I haven't actually had the chance to compare them in-play or by running serious numbers yet, though for now I'm still behind the idea of the Dervish Dex-Magus being equally viable compared to the Str-Magus. At the middle levels, I would expect that the critical mass of spell slots combined with Spell Recall means that an average adventuring day (@4 encounters) with combats sticking to the average length (2-4 rounds) means a Magus will be spending most combat rounds casting and attacking. It's still worth mentioning though, as it does give the Str-Magus a better "buff and fight" option, where the Dex-Magus is a little bit more stuck in nova mode, and the Str-Magus can fight a little bit better when running on empty or conserving resources.


Imbicatus wrote:

If you do update it, there are some great things to add that are missing. Piranha Strike is a alternative to Power Attack for light weapons. It is inferior to power attack, but it doesn't require that 13 str wiich is good for point buy.

Also, there is no mention of the Brawler archetype for fighters, that is one of the most effective finesse builds possible.

The ACG Swashbuckler is designed for finesse and will be the go to class for finesse builds once the ACG is released. You should really look at the playtest document if you haven't.

Yeah, I planned to go into a lot of detail about the Swashbuckler. I followed the ACG playtest and the Swashbuckler forum discussions.

I thought I mentioned Piranha Strikes, but it's been over a year, so I could have imagined that. I'll add in Piranha Strikes.

Thank you for info about the Brawler. Those damage bonuses look like they're just the thing to make TWF do viable damage.

If there's anything else that I should add to the guide please let me know.

Master of the Dark Triad wrote:
Fix anything that is about crane wing being good, useful, or holy.

That's on the to-do list. Sad that Crane Wing apparently can't be anything other than OP or too-nerfed-to-be-useful.

Keep the suggestions coming, I will update as time permits.


The Horizon Walker's Terrain Dominance ability gives the character a favored enemy bonus against creatures that are native to any of the terrains chosen for Dominance. For most types of monsters this makes sense (Outsiders are native to their alignment or elemental plane, most aberrations are native to underground etc) but humanoids leave me wondering how to judge their native terrain.

My first impulse is to consider the "PC races" native to urban environments. But it's unclear in the ability description whether a creature's native terrain is the one that it's entire race is native to (in which case Elves and Gnomes should probably be native to "Forest") or if the native terrain is the one that the individual is native to. It also doesn't really clarify whether a creature can be native to two different terrains if they somehow overlap (Would Elves be native to "Forest" and "Urban" if they live in treetop cities? Halflings native to "Plains" and "Underground" if they live in hobbit-holes in a grasslands region?)

Terrain Dominance gives some hefty attack/damage bonuses, so it seems possible to pick something like "Urban" for a Horizon Walker who works as an assassin, bodyguard, or some other profession in which battling humanoids is a regular part of the job. I'm just not sure how wide the definition of those terrain bonuses can get, and I can't find any clarification in the FAQs.

Thanks in advance everyone!


I admit this is a pretty serious thread-necro, but I'm back to playing Pathfinder after spending a year running a campaign in a different system. My players and I finally started the last act of a campaign that I've been running since 2008 - started in 3.5, then adapted the PF beta rules, now playing a hybrid 3.5 + PF campaign - and two of the star PCs are finesse fighters.

I found my finesse guide while I was going through my optimization archives. I'm sure it's sorely out of date at this point, but if there's still interest, I'll resume work on the finesse guide, especially in anticipation of the finished Swashbuckler class and the promised "Dex-to-damage with weapon of choice" feat that was mentioned during the Swashbuckler playtest.

Thoughts and opinions? Will this help anyone if I bring the guide up to date?

I'm thinking about including an "Optional/Non-PFS" section that includes Dreamscarred Press stuff. Path of War especially supports finesse fighters in a serious way - a straight Dex-to-damage feat which is not dependent on the maneuvering/ToB-esque system. I ran that past my players and they all wanted that feat in my current campaign, as do I, and since you can buy the pdf with that feat for a pretty low price, I thought I might draw some attention to it for those who want finesse to be awesome in home games.

Plus, any build advice that applies to DSP's dex=damage feat will probably carry over to PFS-legal once the ACG drops and we have an official dex=damage feat.

The other thing that comes to mind for the "optional" section is Mythic Adventures, since Mythic Weapon Finesse also goes straight dex=damage.

I'd also be taking suggestions for more Core+ finesse builds that work in PFS or campaigns that use a similar books-allowed list.

TL;DR: I'm back after a looooooong hiatus, does anybody want me to bring the Finesse Guide up to date?

Current link: JFkg/edit?usp=sharing


Charm Person seems like a pretty good deal, considering that unless you work with animals a lot, humanoid is the most common creature type you will be encountering. I can't even keep track of the number of ways that "target person instantly likes you and considers you a good friend" could be used. The possibilities are endless.

Silent Image would be cool, though less so if I couldn't cast it with the Silent Spell feat.

Unseen Servant would make life very convenient. I'm afraid I might become very, very lazy.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
The easiest way would to create a magic item that generates a constant antimagic field. It will cost 132,000 GP so they will be rare.

Yeah, that would be the sort of thing monarchs have in their private quarters and that would be about it.


From a GMing perspective, Antimagic Field is a pretty scary way to turn off a large number of things. The only issue being duration and AoE - it seems like a combat buff, or possibly a means of securing important meetings against scrying, charm spells, and social-booster items.

However, if influential sorts with access to a lot of money and high-level hirelings/advisers/etc were worried about magical intrusion or attack on a space that needed to be permanently secure, I can't help but think that they would find a way to make permanent antimagic fields or similar zones, if such a means existed. The main problem being that Antimagic Field cannot be made permanent

Does anyone know of any rules, spells, abilities, etc, in Pathfinder (or 3.5) that allows for the creation of a permanent antimagic zone without any GM handwaving? (or, for that matter, hiring a Sorc/Wiz to stand in a room and use all of their 6th-level slots to keep the field up all day)



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To add to the confusion, the RAW descriptions of spell trigger/completion items make a lot of references to "casting spells from" that item.


For reference: "Amazing Initiative (Ex): At 2nd tier, you gain a bonus on initiative checks equal to your mythic tier. In addition, as a free action on your turn, you can expend one use of mythic power to take an additional standard action during that turn. This additional standard action can't be used to cast a spell. You can't gain an extra action in this way more than once per round."

During my most recent game, I had a PC try to cast a spell with their standard action, and then use Amazing Initiative to activate a wand with the extra action provided by this ability.

There was a disagreement at the table regarding whether wand or scroll use counted as casting a spell for the purposes of being prohibited by this ability. My assumption was that while rules-as-written says that using spell trigger or completion is magic item activation and not spellcasting, the intended use of this ability did not include adding additional spell use of any sort, and I felt the rules as written were a bit murky regarding this issue because spell trigger and completion create spell effects and require that the item user be a spellcaster who is capable of casting this spell, or good enough at UMD to fake it.

TL; DR: Does Amazing Initiative allow you to use a wand, staff, or scroll, or are those close enough to spellcasting that they are also not allowed as part of the extra action granted by this ability?


Also encounters took so much less time in previous editions. A complicated encounter in 3.x can take 4 hours, maybe longer. Just to play 4 or 5 rounds.

I've found in my own experience that this is a part of the breakdown that happens at higher levels in 3.X. I've rarely had issues resolving combats in a satisfying time frame at the low and even middle levels (it still might take an hour, but a lot of that ends up being fun tactical gameplay and a larger number of elapsed rounds, not math) but I just ran a combat in my 15th level game and found myself, as the GM, looking for excuses to end the combat after three hours.

Part of it is math, and part of it seemed to be an overload of fiddly bits and crunchy options on the players' part. We had most of our math done ahead of time in order to avoid dragging out the combats (the players even wrote down how their stats changed when they were under the effects of common buffs in various combinations to avoid doing buffstack math mid-combat) but there was a lot of rulebook-flipping during each player's turn - even the mundanes - and the back-and-forth of buff, debuff, and dispel made it necessary to keep a spreadsheet in order to keep track of what buffs were active on whom and how many rounds were left on them.

The iterative attacks didn't help, either, especially because many of the melees on both sides of the combat were twinked out to ensure that they had reliable accuracy down to their second or third iteratives.

I wonder if there's a way to get the best of both worlds.

It's my impression that this is what E6, E8, PFS being capped at 12, 10/12 + Mythic, etc, are meant to do - allow all of the crunch and customization of 3.X with some sort of hack to allow PCs to take on high-CR challenges without allowing them to reach the levels where the game starts to break down.

Personally, I think if I have the opportunity to run a high level 3.X game again, it's going to be capped at 12 and then go into Mythic. Mythic tiers are a nice fix in that they equate to +1/2 APL each, so stopping level progression at 10 or 12 and then adding mythic tiers up to 10 allows the party to take on the CR15-20 threats and challenges that we expect to be the epic "end bosses" of d20 games without dealing with all of the math and balance issues that come out of high level play.


Pendagast wrote:

Im sure people will rail at me and tell me im oh so wrong,

But AD&D had it right... which is why character levels only went so far (10-12 if I recall depending on class)

I think Gygax already knew the game broke down at too high of a level.

E6-E8 games are popular because they are fun, and the best blend of gyagaxian and 3.PF gaming (gygax character generation isnt and custom of current rules, gygax game play and monster power level is much better)

My table always gets bored to pieces around 13th+ level.

I'm in a similar boat. I prefer 3.5/PF mechanics, but I've started running my games with the assumption that a level somewhere between 12 and 14 is the level cap for mortals. I've started following the "Demographics of Herosim" as presented in "Adventurer, Conqueror, King" ( Generals and archmages and high priests and the like cap out at 12. So do PCs in most campaigns. 6th level spells are the highest level that most casters can ever expect to have access to. Sometimes, someone very, very remarkable comes along and makes it to level 13 or 14, but when they do, it is truly an event.

This matches up with Pathfinder Society's level spread as well. The retirement cap in PFS is 12. Anything past that is essentially PFS's "epic level". Anecdotally, most people who I have spoken to or read who express an opinion on what levels "work" in the d20 system always cap the "fun" levels at 12-14.

Personally, I think 12 is the safest number. My reasoning is that 13+ is where the mathematical cracks begin to show, and 13+ is when 7th level spells become available, which IMO is the moment where casters go from "squishy, but godly when conditions are right" to "godly pretty much all of the time".

There's also a point around the beginning of the double-digit levels when prepared casters gain the ability to all but respect themselves on a daily basis while the mundanes have to become overspecialized one-trick ponies in order to have anything on their resume that they do better than a caster. IME, that's also in the 12-14 range.

I'm GMing an Eberron game right now that I allowed to go to 15, and I very nearly regret it. I've only run a few combats at 15th level so far, but it's a feel-bad for the players - even highly optimized PCs can lose an init roll and die to the pounce-charger. Mundanes require xmas-tree magic item loadouts and buffstacks from the casters in order to have a chance of succeeding on mundane tasks, because without caster-countermeasures provided by other casters, they'll have all of their mundane utility taken way by enemy casters.

I know this is all anecdotal, but I suppose my TL;DR point is that I'm throwing in another vote for "the game is fun and balanced with usable math and a place for casters and mundanes to shine until levels above 12, and PFS capping out at 12 appears to be an implicit agreement from someone on the Pathfinder team"

Honestly, if someone told me that their PF game had a good chance of going above 12, I would play a character with at least 2/3 casting.

On the AD&D point, weren't the levels about 10-12 in older editions meant to transition the PCs out of the adventuring life and into a realm-management minigame in which the mundanes remained relevant by taking on leadership tasks that the casters didn't have time for because they were too busy with research/prayer/solving large-scale problems with world-shaking spells?


Found a hidden treasure while going over Ultimate Equipment.

A Divination-flavored Cloak of the Hedge Wizard will allow the wearer to cast Detect Magic at will. It usually won't work during combat, but a wary adventurer or elite bodyguard could continue to cast and concentrate, allowing them to detect any humanoid-shaped auras that don't appear to exist to normal vision. With a little spellcraft, it would even be possible to determine what school it's from.


"Lord_Malkov wrote:

From CRB:

"A creature can generally notice the presence of an active invisible creature within 30 feet with a DC 20 Perception check. The observer gains a hunch that “something's there” but can't see it or target it accurately with an attack."

Hmm, I missed that part. Thanks for pointing that out.


Invisible creatures leave tracks. They can be tracked normally. Footprints in sand, mud, or other soft surfaces can give enemies clues to an invisible creature's location.

An invisible creature in the water displaces water, revealing its location. The invisible creature, however, is still hard to see and benefits from concealment."

So, a Zen Garden setup in the opening rooms of a guarded area seem reasonable. Water and mud also work.

Paint traps, similar to dye packs on retail goods and stolen money in the real world, work very well here... but can be disabled.

I wonder how this interacts with Pass Without Trace? I would expect that the invisible creature still displaces sand/flour/water while standing in it, but leaves no tracks once it has moved from that spot, but that's my own interpretation, now RAW.

As far as the paint traps go, I imagine that a truly security-minded facility would still set them up, since they would provide more opportunities to punish unlucky, careless, or insufficiently skilled infiltrators.

Curtains, oddly enough, are pretty helpful. Beaded curtains make noise... attach a number of bells to them and they make lots of noise and show an invisible character's displacement.

Very yes. I thought about the beaded curtains, but the bells had not occurred to me.

Intentionally squeaky hinges on normal doors can do similar things.


In any case, once you have noticed an invisible creature, you can attempt to Pinpoint them with a Perception check. This is a rough check, but it can actually be made easier than it looks depending on the situation.

For example... even when invisible, you can't make a full-attack and stealth in the same round. So the pinpoint check starts at DC 40. But if the creature moves up to half speed, then check DC goes down by -5. If they move more than half speed it goes down by -10. If they are fighting or casting spells with verbal components, the check DC is -20.
If they charge or run it goes down by -10.

Again thank you for pointing out some things I had missed. This certainly makes Greater Invisibility somewhat less dangerous. Though a sneak-attacking Rogue could still get scary, certainly not an auto-lose, even by RAW.


Thalin wrote:
Spectral Shroud is the permanent solution; but is pricey (26K). Still, if you absolutely, positiviley want to be the invisible dector for the party, it's there for you.

Still awesome for high-level Martial characters.

Found in Ultimate Equipment:

Tremor Boots. 10k GP, gives you always-on Tremorsense out to 20 feet in every direction.

The expensive, high-level upgrade for the Smog Pellet would be Dust of Appearance, which has a 10 foot radius AoE and lasts for five minutes, but by the time it's affordable, maxing out UMD to use scrolls/wands of See Invisibility or Glitterdust ends up looking like a more attractive option.


Kaleb the Opportunist wrote:

Smoke pellet, smog

Source Dungeoneer's Handbook

The smoke from a smog pellet is oily, and creatures that are hit by a smog pellet or pass through the smoke are covered in thick residue. This residue makes invisible creatures visible for 1d4 rounds.

Price 40 gp; Weight —

Awesome. That's the perfect item for a non-spellcasting mid or high-level adventurer's kit.

ChaiGuy wrote:
There's also magical wards for UMD users like alarm, they have the advantage of having higher perception DC and requiring the trapfinding ability to spot. I guess some could say Detect Magic could find magic wards/traps, but I find that silly (hopefully not a derail).

Actually that brings up a good question - does Trapfinding allow you to find an Alarm spell by RAW or RAI?

Captain Wacky wrote:
It sounds like you've covered the majority of it. Also blind fighting feat works as well as long as you can pin point the square said invisble thing is in.

Yeah, Blind-Fight is very important. The main issue being the "narrowing it down to a square" part, which is more difficult. The bag of flour/chalk dust works if it is spread out on the floor or you take an action to do so (I'm assuming that would be a standard action to throw a bag of flour or chalk dust onto a few squares around you, but that's my interpretation) I've also considered carrying a few extra bottles of ink and splashing them on the floor so that an invisible character would leave inky footprints unless they took off their shoes/boots/greaves/etc. The Smoke Pellet also works.

UMD users do have a lot of options. Glitterdust and See Invisibility are 2nd level spells, good for scrolls and wands, and it seems like a UMD user would have a decent shot at having a reliable UMD mod and the extra cash on hand to afford 2nd level scrolls or wands by the time invisible combatants became a regular problem (which I assume is right about the time Greater Invisibility is available as a spell, since before that, a single attack renders a combatant visible, meaning mid-combat fixes are less important than stopping enemies from sneaking up on you).


I've re-started my long-running (2008-?) 3.5/PF hybrid Eberron game, and been catching up on the last couple of year's worth of books, optimization threads, etc.

I'm familiar with several ways in 3.5 for non-spellcasters to deal with invisible foes (either in combat or while standing guard against infiltrators) but I'm not up to speed on the most efficient ways to do so in Pathfinder, and I haven't really seen a consolidated guide or specific discussion thread about this.

Assuming that we're talking about people who know to expect invisibility (that is, PCs, or reasonably competent NPCs with PC class levels) and have access to level-appropriate mundane and magical gear, what are the best ways to mitigate Invisibility and/or Greater Invisibility without being a spellcaster? (assuming magic items, alchemy, and UMD-ing items is ok)

As far as mundane ways, I just finished reading Ashiel's thread of clever macguyver tricks, so chalk dust or flour is definitely on the table. NPCs guarding high-security locations in my world know well enough to cover the floor with sand or flour, make all of the doors noisy, and carry a pouch of flour or chalk dust to throw at enemies or on the ground in order to determine what square they are in.

Dogs or other animals with Scent works too, though the Negate Aroma spell, or a potion/oil of the same, defeats that method. Ditto for the Barbarian rage power that grants Scent during combat, or being a Half-Orc and taking the feat that gives Scent.

Carrying a scroll or wand of See Invisibility or Invisibility Purge would do the trick, but that would require being a spellcaster or having a reliable UMD, so it's an option, but not for everyone.

So I'm throwing this question into the ring for those who know more than I about Pathfinder-specific tactics, magic items, long-duration buffs that could be cast on non-spellcasters, etc

Thanks everyone!


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I'd probably restrict the classes to those in the Path of War series, as they seem much more interesting to play. It's actually my hope to replace monks with them.

They don't all quite fall into the same roles - Swordsage and Stalker cover similar ground, but I think there's actually room for the Warblade, Crusader, Warlord, and Warder to all be different things.

Specifically, they're kind of a mix-n-match of one another's tropes, stats, and function. The Warblade is an INT-based aggressive warrior, the Warlord does something similar but runs off of CHA rather than INT. The Crusader is a CHA-based, Paladin-esque lockdown/tank type class, the Warder, as I understand from the beta materials on DPS's site, is an INT-based lockdown/tank class that has more of a calculating, rational bodyguard flavor.

Personally I'm thinking about allowing all of those classes in my game, as I have a lot of NPCs in my world that were built with the specific flavor of a Knight-flavored, high Charisma defender/bodyguard type of character, as well as an important story NPC that is built around the calculating, tactical flavor of the Warblade combined with the disciplined dueling style of Diamond Mind.

Though that NPC really wants to add in some Scarlet Throne, too. ( :


The world-specific fluff supporting what Druidism means and where their power comes from could change things a lot.

Eberron does actually have a sect of Druids who worship the whole concept of culling the weak and survival of the fittest, etc. (The Children of Winter). If Child of Winter PC in my game wanted to become a Lich, I think they would still count as "revering nature" at least as far as the Children of Winter were concerned.

Then there's the Gatekeepers, who are technically Druids, but don't even care that much about protecting the fuzzy animals or stopping the march of progress so much as they hate Outsiders and Aberrations. I would be a little more wary of this one but I'm GMing for a Gatekeeper PC who definitely takes an "end justifies the means" approach to Gatekeeper-dom. It just so happens that he's more interested in achieving "immortality" by having Reincarnation cast on him each time he hits old age. I can't really argue with that, though, as he still reveres nature in as much as he believes in protecting the sanctity of the material plane against invasion by Outsiders.


Would Charmed Life be better or worse as a Deed that cost Panache instead of actions and its own resource pool?


I think two feat slots (only one if you're a Swashbuckler, since as Athaleon just pointed out, Swashbuckler already has finesse as a class feature from level 1) is a fair price to pay in order to make a single ability score determine the majority of your combat effectiveness numbers, as well as allowing you to have a decent AC without giving up movement speed or out-of-combat mobility in the levels before everyone can afford mithral armor.

If it's a feat, you can very nearly buy melee-SAD for two feat slots (not counting HP/CON, but everyone needs CON so that's not really a SAD/MAD issue). I'm 110% in favor of this because I absolutely LOVE finesse melee as a trope, but only at a price that actually makes it a somewhat difficult decision and retains its cool-ness and rarity.


Making this a feat introduces the possibility that it could be used by other single-class builds too. I think "Deadly Finesse" is a thematic trope the Swashbuckler shares with a lot of other character classes, such as graceful martial arts master Monks, many literary and media examples of Rogue characters, and many Magi, especially the elven "Graceful Battle-mage" variety.


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So I ran my game last night, and my 15th level/Mythic Rank 1 PCs tangled with a CR "16 and change" encounter made up of angry Warforged. I had three in the encounter that used Path of War material - specifically, one Magus 7/Bladecaster 5 who used Martial Training I & II to qualify for Bladecaster, another Magus who picked up one level of Warder for a total of Magus 7/Warder 1/Bladecaster 4, and finally a 14th level leader who had Magus 7/Warder 1/Bladecaster 6.

This was in addition to a Warforged Crusader/Warblade/Fighter, an Alchemist, and a Wizard.

The Magi/Bladecasters had time to buff but couldn't surprise the party because the Wizard had to cast passwall in order to make it possible to attack. The two Magi who dipped Warder to get Bladecaster ruled the combat. Having access to a second discipline (Primal Fury in this case) and a larger selection of maneuvers known gave them significantly more power and more versatility than the Magus who just dipped into maneuvering with feats.

The Bladecasters outperformed the Crusader/Warblade by a good amount. The main assistance that he provided was giving free turns by leapfrogging delay actions and then using White Raven Tactics to basically grant extra turns to the Magi for the low, low cost of dropping by 2 initiative points each turn. His maneuvers and boosts did not stand up to the burst damage factor that the Magi/Warders were capable of.

The synergy between Magus and Scarlet Throne turned out to be everything that it promised to be, though it ended up being very heavy on burst damage. Both Magi/Warders managed to get a single round in which they performed a Hasted full-attack with Spell Combat & Spellstrike while using their swift action to boost with Noble Blade while delivering Intensified Shocking Grasps through their melee attacks. This took each unlucky recipient of such an attack from triple-digit HP all the way down to single-digit and they only survived because of immediate action abilities.

It was highly impressive, even more so because they could have kept blending Shocking Grasps into maneuver attacks for a few more rounds with the Bladecaster class abilities, but at that point the PCs were feeling like participants in a game of rocket tag so they started burning the nitro fuel to end the encounter ASAP.


Honestly, I personally wish it were possible to make Dex-to-damage a thing, but also make Strength more versatile somehow to compensate.

Like in True20, where the DC to hit you could be modified by Strength, which represented blocking/parrying and only worked against melee, or by traditional Dex-to-AC, which represented dodging and worked against everything.

But that existed in a system where armor did not make you harder to hit, so that's a wash. Strength-to-AC might make Strength too good and make Sword-and-Boarders in platemail untouchable (except by touch attacks). The game's math doesn't support that specific fix.

But adding in feats to add Dex to damage and add Strength to [i]something[i] it's not normally used for would make it so that you could go all-in on a stat if you wanted to, but going all-in on Strength or Dex was feat-taxed enough that it would only be optimal if your class and build supported it, like Dex fighters who would pay the tax because of the Dex synergy with their out-of-combat skill use.


Dodging Panache plays nice with Lunge. Only costs one feat and makes combat against full attackers pretty nasty for them. Since it requires BAB +6, it comes online at the same time that full attacks become a thing for non-TWFers.


I wonder if it's possible that both sides of the Dex-to-damage argument are correct?

That is to say, Dex-to-damage is too strong because it makes Dex do too many things and makes it OK to dump-stat Strength as a melee, but no Dex-to-damage makes finesse too weak, the desirable outcome being a middle point that can't be reached by using either of the physical attributes as the main damage stat by themselves.

It feels to me like the Swashbuckler tries to correct that by giving an extremely powerful buff to combat stats that can only be used by traditional "finesse" styles. But it can't obsolete the heavy-armor-and-falchion style, or else the battlefield will be ruled by fencers rather than knights and berserkers and this will be 7th Sea instead of Pathfinder. The problem is triangulating "good enough to compete with heavy-weapons melee, not good enough to obsolete heavy combat style".

Because if the Dex fighter can match Falchion Fred's DPR and also get 4 skill points a level and have better class skills, why play a "BSF" sort of character at all?

Meaning Swashbuckler needs to either lag behind Falchion Fred in DPR to make up for having better out-of-combat utility, or Swashbuckler's role in combat needs to be unique - Swashbuckler can do things Falchion Fred can't, and Falchion Fred can do things Swashbuckler can't.

If only there was a way to average Dex and Strength and apply that modifier to damage rolls.

Or use a mental stat, and have it add to damage rather than replace Strength, so that you're still incentivized to not dump Strength because a negative mod will penalize your damage, but you can safely be a Swashbuckler who doesn't work out at the gym or wear a Belt of Giant's Strength.


Had some down time at work today so I statted up a few Warforged Bladecaster builds for tomorrow night.

Magus wants Scarlet Throne style very badly - even before Bladecaster abilities kick in there's a lot of stance/boost synergy and Scarlet Throne plays nice with the one-hand-free style of Magus, but going into it from Warlord is pretty MAD (you can dump either Str or Dex but not any other stats) and going in from Warder requires being lawful and committing to a knight/samurai-esque code.

The loyalty code is just fine for my Warforged, who follow an ancient Warforged Wizard who led the others to freedom from the giants 25k years ago. They've all sworn loyalty to him, and the PCs just killed him over a Draconic-prophecy related argument and a threat on his part to send his army of double-digit level soldiers (what happens when you have 25k years in isolation to train for war) against the "soft and fleshy" races.

So they're pretty ticked off. Honor-bound to avenge their master, actually.

I made a Magus 7/Bladecaster 5 who got Scarlet Throne maneuvers from Martial Training I & II, and a Magus 7/Warder 1/Bladecaster 4 who is specialized in Scarlet Throne and Primal Fury maneuvers. Then I made a leader for their forces by adding two levels of Bladecaster onto the Warder build.

The two builds actually feel very, very different, which is pretty cool. The Magus/Bladecaster really focuses on the boosts and stances from Scarlet Throne to augment mainly Magus things, and the Warder build really likes to mix it up with significantly more maneuvers.


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ErrantX wrote:
Eberron's one of my favorite pregen worlds, absolutely dripping with style, class, and things to do. I adore the whole "deepest, darkest Africa" vibe that Xen'drink gets, coupled with the ruins of the ancient giants... fantastic. I love your idea!

Total agreement here. I run all of my home games exclusively in Eberron or Planescape. Eberron has more hooks than a bait shop (did I really just say that?) and IMO does a very good job of justifying or simply cooperating with all of the mechanics and tropes of d20 that become head-scratchers or game-breakers in a lot of other settings.

That is to say, Wealth-by-level is justified by the existence of magic shops as a core component of the setting, and Xen'drik takes the idea that "murderhobo" is a day job for thousands and causes it to make perfect sense because the continent is packed to the brim with enough mystery and danger to last professional adventurers for centuries. PCs are demigods and game balance fails once levels are in the mid-teens? Okay, that's the new epic level. Your new opponents are Cthulhu's neighbors.

And then it's also a dark and gritty world of dungeon-noir where good and evil are no longer absolute. I couldn't be happier. I've run Eberron campaigns where people optimized their builds for politics or infiltration instead of combat because they knew how many layers of intrigue existed in the game world.

Eberron is half of why I didn't quit d20 and the ToB is the other half, so thank you for bringing more martial maneuver goodness to Pathfinder!


Huh, just noticed the throwing weapons bit in Precise Strike. Technically javelins are probably the better choice by one die step for 100% optimization, but I really like the support for the traditional ranged weapon of the Swashbucking hero - throwing knives!

Is it too meta of me to consider the possibility that the de-emphasis on strategic build options and the heavy emphasis on short-term, tactical choices is actually a deliberate decision based on the idea that most heroic Swashbucklers of film and literature would prefer to keep their options open and improvise rather than ponder and plan?

Edit: Designers, feel free to shoot this one down, and no accusation/insult/presumption intended towards anyone. Just a wacky conspiracy theorist thought that popped into my head, thought I'd share.

Reading this class makes me want to play one. A lot.


The Monk synergies are melting my brain a little. MAD thought it may be, I can't help but think that there's room in the world for a few Monk1/Swashbuckler X's.

Specifically, a Maneuver Master who picks up Improved Dirty Trick, Disarm, or Trip, and then goes "all in" to Swashbuckler. Every full attack includes a bonus maneuver, which is very in-theme.

Or for the Swashbuckler who doesn't mind using Monk weapons, there's always the option of picking up one or two levels of Monk and then going all Swashbuckler, in order to flurry with a light piercing Monk weapon.


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Chris Parker wrote:
So now a swashbuckler can use a javelin better than he can use most swords by default. Still, at least you can actually take a feat to let you use swords other than rapiers and short swords with this class (only counting core books). Parry is better, but until higher level it's still a waste of an attack of opportunity and a panache point - odds are your AC is high enough that you'll only rarely block an attack that wouldn't have missed anyway. Not to mention that most GM's roll while declaring the attack, leaving very little room to mention that you're parrying. I'd still suggest that for a panache point and an attack of opportunity, you should at least get to pick after knowing whether it'll hit you rather than before.

Avoiding the hit isn't the only bonus though. I can think of plenty of scenarios in which I would parry an attack that probably wouldn't hit me anyway, just to get the free Riposte.

Plus, it really punishes anyone who decides to try to send all of their iterative or TWF attacks at the Swashbuckler, which seems to me to be very theme-appropriate - some hulking Barbarian or Fighter sort tries to go toe-to-toe and full attack the Swashbuckler, they get one hit in, and then the Swash blocks the next attack and pokes them with Precise Strike.

Once you've got Combat Reflexes and Weapon Training, if you're using a high-crit weapon like Rapier or Scimitar, you could be generating a LOT of Panache - I can see mid or high-level Swashbucklers generating 1 Panache a round semi-consistently, which means that Parry/Riposte inches closer and closer to being an additional attack per round at your highest BAB with full Precise damage added in.


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I like all of the new the Charisma synergy, though I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a "Disciplined Duelist" archetype or somesuch that changes all of the CHA-based abilities to INT or WIS.

Specifically, in TVTropes language, for the finesse duelists who favor "The Technician" over "The Performer".


F5, F5, F5...

Hoping I will have time tonight to build a new Arcanist to unleash on my PCs tomorrow! Muahahahaha!


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I think I might create a couple different stat blocks for the Bladecaster NPCs in my game. It looks like this Prestige Class could work really well with Magus or full progression casters, but in completely different ways, which is interesting.

Looks like the earliest it's possible to take this class would be as the 8th character level with Wizard 5/Warlord or Warder 2, or Wizard or Sorc 6/Warlord or Warder 1, or Magus or Bard 7 with the Martial Training. Magus 7/Warlord or Warder 1 is the runner up and probably provides the most return in the long run because of the ability to Battlecaster's Strike and Spellstrike at the same time, which basically means being able to "Spell Combat" and Spellstrike with maneuvers and touch spells.

Still, I can see a few different optimal ways to take Battlecaster. There could be a buffer Magus build that cares more about stances and boosts and using Spell Combat from the Magus class, and then there could also be a burst-damage Magus who wants Battlecaster's strike in order to be able to Maneuver and Spellstrike in the same action. I want to try them all! ( : So I think I will with NPCs in the next session of my campaign. That's tomorrow night, I will post with my results. This looks exciting though.


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ErrantX wrote:

Prestige classes updated! Get em here!



The PCs in my game are about to face off against a bunch of angry, ancient Warforged battle-mages in Xen'drik (they killed the leader because he was plotting to declare war on non-constructs). After the last fight, they're expecting many of the Warforged to have the Magus class or be straight Wizards, but I think instead I will have them find an ancient tome called "The Path of War" detailing ancient martial styles which will foreshadow their encounter with a group of Bladecasters seeking revenge for the death of their master and using martial maneuvers long forgotten...

Can't wait to give it a shot!


I'm just hoping we have time to give good feedback on the revamped versions. They're pushing this out a mite late in the playtest.

I can't say for certain as I am not part of Paizo, but I imagine part of the motivation for a big revision is to get improved versions of the new classes into the hands of players who will be using these classes as their PFS characters or in their home games for the next several months until the full ACG comes out. I know if I have the chance to play any PFS this year, it's going to be with a Swashbuckler PC.

Well, that, and there's plenty of time to gather feedback informally once the playtest is over. I'm sure we'll all still be talking about the new classes on the boards.


Ssalarn wrote:
Face_P0lluti0n wrote:

My 3.5/PF game just had its first session after a multi-year hiatus a few nights ago so time's not on my side for this one. :p

However, I and my most system-competent player are both looking over the two completed classes from PoW with the intent of blending them into the campaign world, which already includes ToB, as "recently re-discovered ancient martial disciplines from the ruins of Xen'drik" (its an Eberron game). The PCs are already established, so the most I think I'm going to be dealing with on the PC side of things is a player with a ToB class asking to incorporate a single new style.

I'm going to create some antagonists that use the new styles and classes and see how it goes, and then try blending them as the newly discovered ancient arts get incorporated into society, and see gradually if doing so causes OP PCs or NPCs.

You should definitely consider introducing the Warder as well. The Archer Lord archetype (I'm blanking on what Chris changed the name to) was one I used to introduce super nasty drow warriors with Xendrik Boomerangs who just rocked my party's world (both in the "Holy crap that was awesome!" way and in the "OMG, what the hell was that and what did we do to deserve it?!!?" way).

Ok, that does sound cool. I'll take a look at the playtest version and see if I can work it into my game. Looking forward to the "official" version too, of course. This subscription is already worth the asking price and I haven't even read all of the disciplines yet. My group is full of ToB fans and the opportunity to more than double the size of my PF game's primary crunch for "martials" is the best new PF item I could have hoped for.

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