+1 on this. Class I looked forward to the most was the least palatable. However it was the last class to be put forward I think, so I am optimistic about the next playtest batch.
Fighter and rogue trapped in a cave in. Rogue panics and starts going through his belongings searching for a way out. He starts showing them to the fighter. "Do you think a ladder will help?", "No", "How about a 10 foot pole?", "No", "Well do you think this Abacus will save us?", fighter gives him a steely glare "Don't count on it.".
Maybe add the Favored target bonus again on confirmation rolls? I'm just digging for ways to add the flavour of an assassin type. One that:
A) Goes after a single target in a really scary way
B) Uses sneak attack some how in a way that is alarming.
Not really about making those super optimized routes, just functional. Mostly because we really haven't seen something with sneak attack that can go after one target and really shred it that is sneak attack based. I like the idea that a slayer is terrifying one-on-one but a group would knock one around really fast. Glass-canon style. Rogues don't fulfill this because they can't really threaten people on the second round of combat by themselves reliably.
Shrug I'm just throwing stuff at the wall in case I'm the millionth monkey and the designers hit upon something inspired by my meandering scribbling
Favored Target:At 1st level, once per day, the slayer can focus on a single enemy within line of sight as a swift action. The slayer then gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack rolls against it. All critical threats on the favored target are automatically confirmed. These bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or the slayer studies a new target. At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the slayer’s bonuses against a studied target increase by +1.
At 4th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the slayer can use this ability one additional time per day.
Perforate Artery: At 3rd level all critical hits scored by the slayer also add the slayers sneak attack dice to the damage result.
Favored Target: At 1st level, once per day, the slayer can focus on a single enemy within line of sight as a swift action. The slayer then gains a bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, Survival checks and attack rolls against that opponent equal to the slayers intelligence bonus (if any). The slayer treats the Favored Target as flat-footed for the purposes of the slayers sneak attack class feature.
At 4th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the slayer can use this ability one additional time per day.
Maybe a Guide style targeting system?
If flat-footed is too powerful for ranged slayers, you could switch it to the flanked condition.
Lord Snow wrote:
where three riders, the other two are dead, so you'd have to have them contacted before they died, and have made a long journey on foot to Atrosa. Maybe they run into the hut just outside Artrosa and feel a rush that the are on the right track. Make sure the new PC's are much more Baba Yaga based, as these would be people trusted by the previous riders to investigate goings-on, not just people that where randomly run into by the dying black rider.
3.5 had a feat I always found neat in Telling Blow. Whenever you confirmed a critical, you also got to add your sneak attack dice. I always wanted to see this feat return to Pathfinder. If we could get it made into a feat for this book so the classes with sneak attack could ALL benefit that would be great, but if not adding it as some sort of talent or class ability for the Slayer would be most excellent.
Ok I'm going to take a run at this.
Strip the class down to d10, full bab
First, remove rage song, just give straight up rage.
Give rage powers at 3rd, 6th, 9th etc. Maybe at Barb level -3
Give Bardic Knowledge and Loremaster.
Add the following:
Rage Song: As a (standard/move/swift/free whatever) action, a Skald can use his rage to motivate his allies. While raging a Skald can spend an additional round of rage to affect those around him. Skalds may use the following songs at (whatever) levels:
Kenning: At 7th level Skald may spend 2 additional rounds of rage as a free action while maintaining a rage song to add the effects of a second rage song. at 13th he may spend an additional 2 (for a total of 4 extra rounds) to add the effects of a 3rd rage song.
Finally add something buffy in there:
Bolster: As an immediate action, a Skald may target one ally and make a Perform check. That ally may use the Skald's perform check in place of any d20 roll that they make before the beginning of their next turn.
How bout something like this:
Spell Theft: An Arcanist who succeeds a spellcraft check to identify a spell as it is being cast may add that spell to the Arcanists' list of prepared spells for a number of hours equal to the Arcanists caster level. The spell must be one on the sorcerer/wizard spell list, and the Arcanist must be of high enough level to cast the stolen spell.
Gives the arcanist a new way of adding spells not seen yet, and gives them ability to be a potentially very strong dispelling class (now you know the spell they're using and have it available to use to counter with). If a Arcanist hurries up they can even take a stab at adding the spell to their spellbook if they're not busy.
Patrick Renie wrote:
That's pretty neat.
Knowing Grin: When a Slayer selects only one Favored Target, his target finds it particularly unnerving. If a Slayer chooses to focus on one (and only one) Favored Target, that Favored Target is considered flanked to the Slayer. Creatures that are immune to flanking are immune to this effect. Ranged attacks do not gain this bonus.
There, give this ability somewhere in the early levels, perhaps when they get their second bonus to skills, and you have a single target assassin character in melee.
First impression: this class is way too much bard and too little barbarian for it to be a hybrid. Compared to a Bard the only real change is how the song works. If you where to present this as a bar archetype, no one would notice.
Light and medium armor, more weapon proficiencies (if not just full blown martial)
Remove rage song, give actual rage, and rage powers (letting this class use all the barbarian rage powers already printed, but just for him/herself).
Tie their song to their rage, so it can only be done whilst raging. Give allies half benefit rage (+2 str/con -2 ac at 1st, +3 at 11th, +4 at 18th). Remove the when you leave 30 feet you are fatigued part. As someone who has tried sympathetic rage feat, this part is incredibly hard and clunky to deal with.
Add in some bard and barbarian class features to taste, maybe some uncanny dodge and some bardic knowledge. Some additional bard songs might be nice as well.
I know I was expecting the full blown melee/spell-less bard I had been waiting for for quite some time. Even examining this without that bent, its just too close to bard and too far from barbarian.
Weapon and Torch
You have mastered a style of fighting that uses a melee weapon and a torch to devastating effect. You can dazzle and burn your opponent with the open flame.
While fighting with a one-handed melee weapon and holding a lit torch in the other hand, you can make a special attack as a full-round action. Attack once with your melee weapon. If the attack hits, you also sweep your torch across your foe's eyes, dealing ld6 points of fire damage and dazzling him for 1d4 rounds. You can also use this feat while wielding a lit lantern, a sunrod, or an everburning torch in your off hand, although items that do not give off heat do not deal fire damage.
Not going to throw out spoilers, but we had an inquisitor in our party use Prayer Beads (+4 caster level) and spam greater dispel on the last boss in kingmaker, pretty much the only way it was defeated, as it lowered its AC by 14 and took off all kinds of other things. There's all kinds of things hankering for a dispellin' in KM.
I was hoping one of the last classes might be a Dreadnaught: Fighter(or Barbarian)/Paladin hybrid with more martial slant, able to be the alignment of his or her god. Smite abilities, extra feats, some sort of divine resistance. Maybe introduce crusader style strikes from tome of battle. "3 +1/2 character level + charisma the Dreadnaught make make a divine strike" then add a bunch of powers he could select from like learning rage powers or mercies that would let him heal himself or others when he hits things, add smite type damage, banish outsiders, all kinds of fun things.
That said, the last two reveals are two of the concepts I fool around with the most when tooling around on my computer trying to make characters. Can't wait for the 19th.
Make it intelligent or a minor artifact with an evil alignment, its purpose is to kill vampires that betray the emperor. Now you can just make up rules willy-nilly for what it does. Won't ever betray the emperor, can be as powerful as all heck and won't have a real value. Make it silver to double up on the vampire hate.
I look for: Strong save 1:1.25 of level, weak saves, minimum 1:0.75 of level (with hopefully much higher); for example my level 16 fighter has 22/14/13 for saves, which always make me cringe. I don't like rolling into a fight with something that casts DC 27 hold monster with +13 will. If you can get 1:1.5 and 1:1 ratio you're doing alright in my books.
Also, which save it is dramatically changes how I feel about it, as most reflex saves can be defeated with another number, hitpoints. High hitpoints and reflex doesn't matter as much, low and it becomes more important. Fort and Will are always important saves, no matter the fight situation.
And to top it all off, level matters as well, if you're level 7 + you have to start being more aware of saves than lower level, as nastier things like hold and phantasmal killer are going to start creeping in. Level 15+ they better be a priority.
Using that, I'd peg a 10th level sorcerer saves at +8/8/12, with hopefully +10/10/15, and I'd weigh fort heavier for hopefully a +12. Your DM makes a difference as well, as a lot of older or more experienced DM's running casters are less likely to throw will save spells at casters expecting you to have a good will save (which for wizards and sorcerers isn't always the case, as they often neglect that particular save and find out later that it has ended up quite low). Sorcerers and wizards tend to have low wisdom and stay away from iron will, making them surprisingly soft targets for will saves sometimes.