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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Does the new material allow you to use them together? Like Leadership perks that enhance your ability to Antagonize/Demopralize/Feint an opponent?
Off the top of my head, I don't think there are any perks that specifically makes you better at Psychological Maneuvers. That said, there are TONS of perks that can give you bonuses to Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Bluff under certain circumstances, which translates over into bonuses to psychological maneuvers.
Which, again, makes sense. Your leadership ability shouldn't make you any better at antagonizing creatures that have no conception of what your leadership score actually means. (Aka Handle Animal checks.)
Interjection Games wrote:
How does this fit in with your last stab at Leadership?
Ultimate Charisma is a compilation and expansion of Pyschological Combat and the Leadership Handbook. It takes all of the material from those two products, cleans them up where necessary, and expands both rules systems with over 20 pages of all-nee material.
I was originally going to do an expansion project called Leadership Expansion 1. That
Coming soon to the Paizo Webstore!
Command, Conquer, Control!
Raise armies, expand your reputation, and secure victory over your foes using Ultimate Charisma, by Everyman Gaming, LLC. Designed for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Ultimate Charisma gives GMs and players all the tools they need to put their charisma to the test as they recruit a legion of followers, exercise their leadership skills, master a variety of psychological maneuvers, and build lasting reputations and relationships to last a lifetime.
Ultimate Charisma includes:
With Everyman Gaming, innovation is never more than a page away!
Its even worse when you decide to scrub off the deific flavor and instead use it to replicate the Chaotic Evil Kraken worshipers over in the Elder Kraken-ruled nation in Tien Xia....
Eric B. Ives wrote:
Just to echo some of the praise given above, this is a really interesting book with a lot of potential to make the game better as a whole. I am really excited about Dirty Fighting, as it will decrease the need to dip into Lore Warden or Brawler as often, and will give melee builds with fewer feats, like Cavalier, a chance to do something besides hit.
I like Dirty Fighting because its actually a pretty strong alternative to both lore warden and brawler, like you said. Lore warden has a choice between it and Improved Unarmed Strike, which the archetype is fairly ambient towards because it gets Combat Expertise for free and promotes having a decent Intelligence as-is. Brawler ignores the Intelligence prerequisite entirely and gets Improved Unarmed Strike for free.
So yeah, Dirty Fighting is almost like a third route towards being a combat maneuver specialist, and its one that's available to all characters, regardless of class.
The archetypes, while quite specific, are really flavorful and make me want to jump in and play the characters. As do the new race-specific options.
Rather than just throwing racial-themed stuff on the pages, I tried to sit down and think about what members of each race would actually gravitate towards, given their racial abilities, quirks, and overall design space in the game. For example, the Among Humans racial trait was a direct result of my discovering that there are less than one handful of traits that grant Disguise as a class skill, and I felt that being able to disguise yourself as a human effectively was an important quality for kitsune to have. Same with the jungle-stalking catfolk options and the ratfolk baubles-and-swarm-fighting options. (Though I do admit that the tiefling class option was merely a result of my desire to be able to create Ursala the Sea Witch in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. ;-P)
Generally speaking, I LOVE non-human races because I find it fascinating to conteplate what an entire group of people would act like both on an individual and a societal level if they all had a particular way of thinking or quirk. For example, I find gnomish society to be utterly fascinating. An entire civilization completely and utterly devoted to experiencing new things lest they come down with a fatal illness? That would be like humans getting brain cancer if they didn't take sufficient means to broaden their horizons. I imagine that's why gnomes are so affable; they don't have the luxury that humans have of being able to live inside their own, personal bubble (so to speak). It would be a race without comfort zones because to stay within one's comforts could ultimately prove fatal.
As always, if you (or anyone else reading this) want to see more of anything new that we freelancers tried in this Player Companion, such as prestige class support, multiclassing support, or racial options for non-humans, you need to speak up about it. Almost all of the Paizo staff, including the people who outline, assign, and develop Paizo's products, read the forums. All of the freelancers are forum-goers and/or community members. When people want something and its A) something that's a genuine need for the game and B) people are polite about it, designers, all of the people who make the products you love take notice and take note. ;-)
For this product alone, Andrew Marlowe is the husband of last year's RPG Superstar and works closely with Owen K.C. Stephens on Rogue Genius Games products, Luis Loza is an active reader and poster on the forums, and Anthony and I are podcast hosts for the Know Direction Network and avid Pathfinder Society players. Anthony in particular is a Venture Lieutenant.
Now I'm looking forwards to hearing Alex's complete breakdown of it on the Know Direction Podcast.
I typically don't review products on Guidance anymore. (I have to take my professionalism into consideration now, and abstinence is often the best cure where the Internet is involved.) That said, if you want me to actually come on Know Direction and talk about freelancing in general, you'd have to put in a request to Perram and Ryan about it; that's completely outside of my department. (Though not willingness to do so. I actually spoke a teeny tiny bit about it for literally a minute when they pulled me on Know Direction to talk about the ACG Errata on the show.)
Saw a couple people commenting on the change to the terrain mastery rogue talent. I think its worth mentioning that the change effectively makes the terrain master talent from Ultimate Combat the same as the version found in Pathfinder Unchained, which was likely the intention.
Yes, it hurts horizon walker rogues, but it does promote internal synergy within the rules system.
I specifically called out archetypes like that because in my mind, the oracle curse is swapping out your mystery's bonus spells. If an archetype also swaps out a mystery bonus spell for a new bonus spell, then the new bonus spell belongs to the archetype, not the mystery, so it wouldn't be a valid swap anyway. Sort of like how the qinggong monk archetype can't allow a qinggong monk to gain an ability back that he traded for another archetype ability. In short, its specifically laying out a ruling that would have otherwise been implied. :D
Also, are any of these new spells antipaladin or mesmerist spells?
I'm not looking at my copy at the moment, but Occult Adventures wasn't out when we (the freelancers) wrote Dirty Tactics Toolbox. That isn't to say that there aren't any psychic-equivalent spells in the book since Owen (the all-seeing master of crunch that he is) might have very well added compatibility during development.
Originally, however, this book was slated to come out during the same month as Occult Adventures, so I wouldn't get too hopeful about psychic / occult support.
I can say with 100% certainty that if I had seen Occult Adventures when I wrote the Trickster Races section, the kitsune oracle curse would have specifically granted the oracle possession (and probably greater possession at 15th level) instead of magic jar, since I personally find the possession spells to better worded and more in-line with what Japanese folklore said that the kitsune could do. At the same time, the flavor of using a kitsune star jewel as a soul reciprocal is pretty awesome too, so talk with your GM about it!
This one feat turns a ton of Arcane Trickster builds on it's head.
I was SO happy to see that Luis took my suggestion and wrote up the arcane trickster-helping feat and the multiclass rogue-helping feat for the sneak attack section of the book. :D
And now I know exactly how I'm going to rebuild my Kitsune Vigilante for PFS, assuming that the contents of this book go PFS legal.
The nice thing about Luis's style feat is that unlike my oracle curse, its available to non-kitsune.
What Luthorne said. You can expect to see the digital version of Ultimate Charisma on sale before next Thursday, and I'm currently in-process of getting the print copies finalized. (I submitted a proof to Lightning Source for their approval yesterday.) The PDF version will be on sale before the print version is available and there will be a bundle option.
Ultimate Charisma is HUGE, and has tons of new content. For reference, simply combining the Leadership Handbook and Psychological Combat as-written would have been about 40 pages of content. Ultimate Charisma has closer to 64.
The base kineticist is designed around bringing both all-day damage and consistent, caster-like utility. Are they as good as martials? No. Do they have as much utility as casters? Again, no. But in both cases, they shouldn't. Balance-wise, the kineticist is a work of art.
Now, if you want to be Captain DR, the elemental annihilator archetype is for you. If you want more utility, consider the kinetic chirgureon.
Remember that post of Mark's that you vivisected? The one where he posted that he invariably reads something sad on the forums that makes him retreat from them for a while? Congratulations on being the end of one of next week's forum perusing!
Gah, throwing my cash and credit card at the screen doesn't work for some reason.
The feels you're feeling? Its worse when you have a pretty good idea of what's in the product, but you have to wait just a teeny bit longer before the surge of excitement that comes with seeing all of the players read what insane things you managed to stuff into said product.
Just a few ... more ... days/weeks!
If someone says to you, "you must be retarded to have opinion X," then a complaint of tone is legitimate.
The flip side of the tone "fallacy," as someone earlier in the thread stated is that calling a complaint directed at your tone a fallacy is also a fallacy, because you're using a fallacy to dismiss a complaint against how you are communicating with another person. The fact of the matter is that tone is extremely important; as the Wikipedia page that was provided states, people are more likely to filter your ideas if they are overly rude. Because tone has nothing to do with negativity and everything to do with common courtesy. Take the following example:
The Divine Protection change was too harsh; it went from being too powerful to an option that few players would find attractive. The design team needs to reconsider the errata for this feat.
The Divine Protection change was retarded; it was overly nerfed from being too strong to being worthless. Someone on the design team needs to be fired over this.
The first statement is negative, but it is polite and to the point. As a result, it's tone is neutral even though it is offering criticism. The second statement has a very negative tone in addition to being negative. It is insulting to the designers, and the moral of tone is that one can express displeasure and call for change without being a jerk about it.
(Note: both examples are paraphrases of various comments that I have seen following the latest ACG errata.)
Overheard at Paizo's GenCon Booth
Me: John! Sign my d20, thereby imbuing it with your power!
Me: Vic! Sign my d20!
Me: Logan! Sign my d20!
Wes: Who signed the natural 1?
So, Alex, should we start expecting builds for Aang, Korra and all of their friends on Guidance?
The kineticist can't really do the Avatar all that well since you have to be a crazy high level in order to get most (but not all) of the elements. It's more likely that you'll see me tackle concepts like Zuko, Toph, Mako, and Bolin.
I need to remember to chat with Mark about the merits of an Avatar archetype for the kineticist. (It could also use some "commune with Etheral Plane" and other, similar Avatar-style talents.
If I were designing the archetype, I would actually do it by creating a Medium spirit (code name Raava for now) that granted a kinetic blast to the medium, or elemental talents from a different element to a kineticist, and then devise a kineticist archetype that could gain access to that spirit. It's a concept that I suppose I could do on my own through Everyman Gaming, but I'd much rather write it for Paizo. (HINT HINT MARK AND OWEN)
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Aw, shucks! Thanks guys. :D
The Base Class
Class Skills: The most common response that I heard about the vigilante was, "What?! X isn't a class skill for you?!" The reason is that the vigilante is trying to evoke the Super Hero trope currently, but there are a LOT of different Super Heroes with different tropes. For example, I wanted to play an action man as my warlock (meaning I could climb up stuff and case people and the like), but none of those skills were class skills for me.
Social Talents: These are cool; an excellent Round 2 addition to the class overall. With that said, based on designer commentary I think these abilities might be too heavily valued by the designers (most are extremely situational based on the fact that they're all out of combat abilities and most only apply in the social identity). Of all of them, social grace is by far the most powerful social talent, and I don't think that its likely that anyone will pass up on it. A +4 bonus is likely too good at low levels and might need to be dialed back to +2 in order to be on-par with other, similar abilities.
X Appearance: See my comments about the base class. These abilities are all cool, but the limited opportunity keeps them from being overtly powerful. (You can't spam conditions like a swashbuckler can, for instance.) Furthermore, these abilities are hurt in their usefulness by the lack of a strong definition for what it means to be "unaware." Currently, the GM decides if the vigilante is aware or not, and what eventually happens is that the GM is damned if he gives the vigilante his special bonus too easily (they are all VERY powerful) and damned if he is more restrictive. This ability is poised to cause many arguments at the table and if not addressed, there will likely be an FAQ with a few hundred up votes within a month of Ultimate Intrigue's release.
Vengeance Strike: I love this ability, but not as a capstone. The entire "study my enemy" mechanic is very vigilante, especially Batman. This is a capstone that deserves to be a class feature, and with a little bit of elbow grease it could very easily become that "unifying mechanic" that the vigilante needs in order to become a unified class. But as a capstone, it is unused potential.
Class Skills: Drop class skills from the specialization list; we've seen that mechanic time and again and it infringes upon the vast, "personal choice" concept that the vigilante has going for it. Instead, give all vigilantes a small number of skills baseline and then allow them to pick their own list of class skills from there, like an expert. The current vigilante has 16 class skills baseline, so if you give them Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth plus 10 skills of the vigilante's choice, you end up with the same number of class skills, save a few lines from each of the specializations, allow people to make the vigilante that perfectly matches their imagination (which is part of the Super Hero vantasy), and actually trim back the number of class skills that the class has overall.
Vengeance Strike & [X] Appearance: This is an awesome ability and it should be available at 1st level, scaled and split apart the vigilante's carrier in a manner similar to favored enemy. (1 round of study at 1st, 2 at 5th, 3 at 10th, and so on). Furthermore, the appearance abilities could be tied to round(s) of vengeance strike, which would give the entire chain of abilities an interesting dynamic, especially of applying an appearance ability cost a number of rounds of study. It would give vengeance strike a tactical dynamic that would allow the vigilante to react differently in different situations.
General Specializations: These (particularly the base abilities) need to be balanced against other base classes in addition to one another. Currently, all of the specializations are balanced with the expectations that you're worse then your counterpart classes at low levels and "catch up" at higher levels. (You don't really ever catch up as a warlock or zealot, however.)
Avenger: The hit point discrepancy needs adjusting, at least somewhat. At Level 1, the avenger is undeniably behind every other d10 Hit Die class, in part because Pathfinder ties the d10 Hit Die to full base attack bonus. In addition, the avenger needs options that don't amount to, "I'm a fighter with skills!" and it could use options that don't restrict themselves to, "Make it rain bonus feats." Signature weapon would be better off as a general vigilante talent, because just about EVERY Super Hero has a signature weapon. That signature weapon is a large part of how they inspire fear into their enemies. (For example, you know you're screwed if you see Cap's shield, Batman's batarangs, Static Shock's lightning blasts, and so on.)
Stalker: A good number of the stalker talents need to be made into general vigilante options; the big ones are the Disguise and Stealth-based rogue talents. As a whole, however, the stalker is almost surgically comparable to other skillful 3/4 BAB characters (namely the rogue and ninja). In my opinion, this is the specialization that the others need to be held to.
Warlock: The warlock needs to have something cool and unique to do at Level 1; something that defines how the specialization is supposed to play, such as how summon monster sets the niche of the summoner or spell combat for the magus. I would suggest making mystic bolt baseline; it is unique enough to be a draw of the class (which is what we saw during the playtest) without being too powerful. And yes, mystic bolt is not exceptionally powerful; people flocked to it becasie it fills a conceptual niche that has been absent thus far from the game. (The character who can make magical attacks as he would a weapon at will, all day, without limit.) If the rest of the warlock's talents focused on altering or improving mystic bolt or making it interact with spells, then we'd have the foundations of a very cool, unique spellcaster.
Zealot: The divine power mechanic is cool, but ultimately it is bound to eat up a lot of the zealot's page count. What's worse, the current mechanic uses new mechanics to do existing things. (I.e. abyssal claws again). Personally, I think that allowing the zealot to pick a cleric domain at 1st level, then adding that domain's spells up to 6th level to his spells known would make a plenty cool mechanic; no other Charisma-based divine class gets a domain baseline and no 6th-level spellcasting class gets domain spells. Furthermore, you could include the option to use the hunter spell list of the zealot chooses the animal domain, the plain domain, or a druid animal/terrain domain.
Looking forward to seeing the final class as well as a formal, "This is what we got from the playtest," thread in the future. Great job on a successful playtest, gentlemen!
I'm aware of Mark's answer, considering that he's quoting a question that I originally poised. (This very question, as a matter of fact.)
There are a couple of reasons that I chose to make this thread any way, despite getting a designer's feedback. They are as follows:
1) I wanted to be able to further extrapolate on the rule, but didn't want to clutter the Advanced Class Guide errata thread with said extrapolations (or the subsequent conversations that were bound to follow).
2) The character in question is my 8th-level PFS flying blade swashbuckler, and regardless of whether the question is ruled in my favor or not, I'd like to see an official answer through official channels. Even if Mark ruled with me, I would have done this because I don't want to have to deal with table variance on my PFS character.
3) I believe that game design is not a democracy, but minds can change when presented with solid, rational thoughts and ideas. We've seen this happen on several other FAQs made throughout the year, so I decided to make this thread, present my case, and see what happened.
James Risner wrote:
A thrown weapon is not a melee one-handed weapon, yes. But here's some more info:
1) You can pick Weapon Focus (dagger) and use it to satisfy the requirements of the post-errata Slashing Grace. The dagger is categorized as a light slashing melee weapon.
2) When you throw a dagger as a ranged attack, it doesn't stop qualifying for Weapon Focus and it doesn't stop satisfying the prerequisites of Slashing Grace. A dagger doesn't stop being a dagger because you're throwing it.
3) When you throw a dagger, you're still wielding it in one -hand as a one-handed weapon. Ranged weapons make this distinction too, such as the fact that a pistol needs one hand to shoot or a bow needs two hands.
4) Slashing Grace's Dex to Damage benefit doesn't have any wordage that implies that it cares whether the the damage roll is a melee damage roll or a ranged damage roll. Feats exist that do care, and Slashing Grace does not.
5) Slashing Grace also doesn't state that you need to make a melee attack with the chosen weapon. It specifically states that only melee weapons can be selected, but the dagger is a melee weapon with the ability to be used as a ranged weapon.
I'm sort of surprised that this never came up sooner considering that the rules question that I'm about to ask is a valid question pre-ACG Errata, but I'd like an answer on this for my flying blade swashbuckler.
The question is simple: "If I have Slashing Grace with a light or one-handed melee weapon, can I substitute my Dexterity modifier for my Strength modifier when making thrown weapon attacks with my chosen weapon?
Quoted for relevance, with the post-errata modifications:
Slashing Grace wrote:
Some relevant points:1) When I throw a melee weapon as a ranged attack, I'm still wielding it in one-hand. If I wasn't, then Two-Weapon Fighting wouldn't work with said thrown weapons. Additionally, the Two-Handed Thrower feat (from Ultimate Combat) notes that thrown weapons can be thrown with one or two hands normally. (You just don't get any bonuses to Strength when throwing a weapon with two hands without the feat.)
2) Slashing Grace does not specify the type of damage rolls that it affects, only that it substitutes Dexterity for Strength. There is precedent for feats that function with melee damage rolls and ranged damage rolls, respectively, the most famous of which being the Power Attack and Deadly Aim feats. Slashing Grace does not specify either, so it should function whenever I would normally add my Strength modifier to my damage roll with my chosen weapon.
Another note worth considering is that allowing Slashing Grace to apply to thrown weapon damage rolls does not make Slashing Grace any more powerful than the current king of Dex-to-Ranged-Damage, the gunslinger. The gunslinger easily targets touch AC, has a generally better range with her attacks than most thrown weapons do without serious class option and feat investment, and the gunslinger isn't barred from Two-Weapon Fighting with her pistols (should she choose them with gun training), meaning that she has anywhere from 1 to 6 extra attacks on the swashbuckler. (Six is assuming that she is using the double-barreled pistol as her weapon.)
I do severely doubt it, though. It seems far too coincidental that Occult is being pushed out before Gen Con similarly to ACG last year. I know they're probably paying extra attention to it to make sure there's not a repeat debacle, but there's only so much staff, and new books make more money than errata, so my bet's all the attention is on that.
You realize that Paizo ALWAYS has a new release for GenCon, right? Nothing's ever been "pushed out," the Q3 book is literally scheduled every year to be released during GenCon, going back all the way to the Playtest Document for the Core Rulebook, which premiered at GenCon.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Vic's forum avatar is Abadar; who else would manage the vault? Lisa's too busy running an entire NATION on Pathfinder Online. ;-)
Having looked at the Vigilante class, it seems to me that it lacks something special, the gimmick that defines the class (like Magus's Spell Strike and spell combat, warpriests fervour, barbarians rage, etc.). Don't know what it could be, but it seems to me that the whole class is about striking from the shadows, so perhaps a nice bonus against any opponent that is flatfooted? This would encourage ambushes from the shadows, and perhaps other talents could enhance that.
I've been saying that it should be the capstone, vengeance strike. Something like this:
Vengeance Strike (Ex): wrote:
As a bonus, here are some ideas for universal vigilante talents to go along with this mechanic:
Vigilante Talent Ideas wrote:
The basic idea for this modified vengeance strike (as well as as the talents) is the opening scene of the Batman Animated Series. You know that Batman has been studied those two thugs since they started running, and he uses his vengeance strike to effortlessly knock them down. Having a mechanic like this for the class would open a LOT of doors for the universal vigilante talents, such as:
There is a LOT of cool stuff that could be done with this mechanic, and as written it is too awesome (and too niche-defining) to be allowed to sit as the capstone.
Logan Bonner wrote:
Yeah, possibly. One thing I've been looking for in the playtest is whether anyone does an interesting build that finds a use for those spells while building the rest of the class without taking more spells (like picking a set of combat buff spells and using those). I don't think that's happened, though.
Obviously I'm not in every single warlock playtester's heads, but here are a few thoughts:
1) The arcanist spellcasting mechanic doesn't lend itself to a small set of combat buff spells. It lends itself to versatility by virtue of the whole "casts spontaneously, but prepares spells known" mechanic. Because of this, grabbing more spells (and by extension, more spell levels) feels like the correct way to play the class.
2) Aside from mystic bolt and bombs, the warlock has no talents that really promote a combat style of gameplay. Defensive talents like elemental battle armor, bond of blood, or educated defense are no more effective for the warlock vigilante then they are the spellcasting vigilante. Because mystic bolt damage is low and the current arcane striker mechanic doesn't stack energy damage for the purpose of overcoming resistances, mystic bolt isn't reliable enough to be considered the warlock's primary strategy in combat.
3) The vigilante lacks a mechanic to make self-buffing worthwhile. (Example: the warpriest has the fervor mechanic that allows him to self-buff a limited number of times per day without eating up all of the vigilante's actions.) Generally speaking, the sorcerer/wizard/arcanist buffs by using high impact spells that benefit many allies rather than just herself. (Example: haste.)
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Yes, you do. Especially since I did NOT write what is strongly appearing to be a kitsune combat style for this book.
I'm just as excited as everyone else to see what that looks like!
Sucks for Cthulhu. In the awesome Esoteric Planes chapter, black holes are gateways to the Negative Energy Plane.
I think that the Divine Power ability could be simplified a lot if instead of outsider races, the vigilante was imbued with a domain, and different talents required different domains (or subdomains based upon their domain). That would leave them a lot more flexible and making adding new talents less of a nightmare. (As written, if you wanted to add a Div divine power, you'd need an entire set of all-new zealot talents to go with it.)
For example, say a powerful demon lord wants to sponsor a vigilante. He chooses one of his domains and that domain becomes the source of the vigilante's power. The vigilante adds that domain's domain spells (up to 6th level) to his list of domain spells known and gains that domain's domain powers. In the long run, that would likely save a LOT of wordage for the zealot class and would make the addition of new domain powers easier.
In addition, you could add the choice of allowing a vigilante to choose an animal or terrain domain instead of a cleric domain (as a druid), and if the vigilante chooses Animal, Plant, or an animal or terrain domain, they can use the hunter spell list (druid + ranger) instead of the inquisitor spell list to determine their spells known. That way you could have a guardian animal spirit or a spirit of nature or something as the source of your divine power. (CAPTAIN PLANET VIGILANTES!!!!) End it by saying that any animal domain counts as the Animal Domain for talent prerequisites and any terrain domain counts as the Plant Domain for terrain prerequisites.
In this manner, the vigilante still gets something unique and cool (Charisma-based spellcasting that is backed by a specific deity, plus getting to be the only 6th-level spellcaster that adds domain spells to her list of spells known), but its also something that's a lot easier to expand from a freelancer standpoint and also doesn't give an entirely new submechanic to one specialization.
Milo v3 wrote:
I have been trying to write an elegantly worded thread for the past three hours that basically says the same thing as Milo. Warlocks and zealots are taxed heavily for their ability to cast spells.
There seems to be this romanticized idea that the vigilante doesn't need to pick up additional spellcasting talents if it doesn't want to, but that ignores the fact that every other 6-level spellcasting class in the game gets additional bonuses (no matter how small) at the same time that they receive their next spell level. The only example that I could find to the contrary is the bard.
Another part of the problem comes form social talents. Don't get me wrong, I love them. Great idea and will ultimately be better as new talents are added to the list. But that said, all of the social talents effectively comprise of those "weak abilities" that other 6th-level spellcasters gain as they level up. The ability to gain a +4 bonus on Diplomacy or Intimidate checks in a specific city is cool, but it is not a strong ability. It is not something that makes up for loosing out on vigilante talents.
As written, the stalker has a significantly more powerful base ability than all of the other specializations, especially with its buff. At 1st level, +1 to hit, 1st level spells, and +2.5 damage to attacks (average of d4) are fairly well balanced. But at Level 4, that paradigm shifts to +1 to hit (BAB +4 compared to +3), 1st-level spells, and +5 damage. Then at level 8, it further shifts to +2 to hit, 1st level spells, and +10 damage. This gap keeps getting wider as the vigilantes level up. Here are some more things to consider:
— Most 6th-level spellcasters gain 3rd-level spell slots at 7th level. The vigilante can't take the talent to unlock those spells until 8th level.
— Most 6th-level spellcasters gain 5th level spell slots at 13th level. The vigilante can't take the talent to unlock those spells until 10th level.
So ultimately, a warlock or zealot's talent selection looks like this:
Level 2: Any
In the course of 16 levels, a warlock or zealot who wants to be good at casting spells gets THREE vigilante talents. In your PFS career, you get THREE talents. If you go mystic bolt, then you get arcane striker (to make up for the damage nerf) and mystic bolt, then you get nothing for 8 levels. This is why the whole "I can take the talent multiple times to pick more energy types," point is a moot one; where do you have the talent budget to pick multiple mystic bolt talents?
The worst point of all is the one that the vigilante doesn't HAVE to take spellcasting. That's like saying that an archer fighter doesn't have to take Precise Shot or Manyshot; you pretty much have to. All of the warlock and vigilante talents are fun and cool, but there is nothing in either specialization that can keep you viable as a party member if you choose to ignore spellcasting. This is a talent tax, pure and simple. And its a tax that the vigilante class already pays as a whole because at every odd level, it gains a social talent, which is a non-power based ability. Those talents are essentially the "extra use of judgment" per day or the "increase to bardic knowledge" of the vigilante class.
To put it into perspective, the current design would be like giving the stalker d4 hidden strike and then making them spend 5 of their 10 talents scaling that abilit to full 10d4.
Ah! You gave the warlock's familiar a social identity! Someone read my feedback! :D
You gentlemen really outdid yourself on the social talents. They're all very cool and helpful. I think the vigilante could make due with some more talents that didn't lean so heavily on the renown social talent, but overall great stuff. I like that the vigilante can actually make for a more effective social character early on.
I like the zealot's divine power sources from a quick read, although there definitely need to be more in the final cut; its looking like this might be the divine equivalent to the bloodrager, which is exciting. You might want to consider a "clandestine" divine power or something, however, for players who are still looking for that "secret cultist" feel.
Warlock still looks pretty empty in regards to how many talents it has available to it and I suspect that zealot is in a similar boat as a result of most of its old talents getting scrapped for specialization-specific options. This could be problematic for the class's post-Ultimate Intrigue design. For example, if Owen decides that he REALLY wants to see a Daemonic Divine Power (because who WOULDN'T want to be empowered by the Four Horsemen). In addition to having to create a new divine power, he'd also have to create a slew of new zealot-specific talents to compliment the Daemonic Divine Power because it wouldn't be able to choose any of the Abyssal or Infernal zealot talents because those all have specific, divine power prerequisites.
Its also weird that the fey divine power alters the spell list, but not the spells known. Even if you have a different set of powers, the fey zealot is behind one spell per level when compared to the other three divine powers. A simple solution would be to tie the zealot spell list to the divine power for all divine powers. Maybe celestial could be cleric + paladin, abyssal and infernal could be cleric + antipaladin, fey could be druid + ranger, then that "clandestine" one that I mentioned could be inquisitor. Overall, that concept of varying spell lists is super cool and could help GMs make it even MORE difficult for PCs to guess what, exactly, they're fighting when they go head-to-head with a zealot.
Also, it would be nice for some of those other class features to come back. Zealots with warpriest blessings make too much sense to me, personally.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Thanks, I'll pass this along to Justin! He'll be pleased; the Chivalric Harbinger is his baby. He slaved over that archetype for several days before he was happy enough with it to move onto the next one.
There was a 3.5 Book called the Draconomicon that had a ton of things you could craft from Draconic remains. I am not sure if the content is open game but I highly suggest it for anyone who plans on doing a lot with dragons. It is an excellent book and I still use it as most of it translates easily over to Pathfinder.
That's an awesome book. Justin uses it ALL the time; instead of finding things like random sacks of gold coins, we'll fine dragon bones and teeth scattered all around. Players get excited for them because in the Draconomicon, you can actually make some pretty wicked stuff out of dragon teeth.
After having theorycrafted the specialization that I ultimately played and then playing in a game with two vigilantes, I have some feedback on the mechanical design of the class.
A vigilante's class skills are Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Perform (Cha), and Sleight of Hand (Dex). In addition, a vigilante also adds 10 additional skills to her list of class skills. She must select all Knowledge skills individually.
This way, you get the flexible class the ability to be flexible with its skills while also maintaining the design goal: the character who is a polite, working-class member of society "by day." But what she is by night is completely determined by which skills she chooses to be proficient in.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Personally, I think that the vigilante SHOULD have some ability to cast arcane spells in armor; specifically light armor, similar to a bard. To that end, I think that Medium Armor Proficiency should be removed from the vigilante and a note about how the vigilante can cast spells in light armor should be added to the class baseline; that way, if you choose to do other arcane spellcasting specializations that ability doesn't need to be reprinted over and over again.
For the avenger, medium armor proficiency should be added back as a base ability to the specialization. Let the avenger be the exception.
But scrying magic is different; it is typically done miles, if not hundreds of miles, away. If an enemy fails to scry on you, you don't necessarily know that your ability did anything. Despite how cool the concept is, this ability isn't powerful enough to warrant the significance that its given at Level One. Dual Identity is not smite evil; it is not rage and it is not inspiration or bardic performance. If you wanted to make an Amateur Vigilante feat, it would be TOTALLY balanced, because Dual Identity is definitely worth a feat at most.
This ability also doesn't really capture the whole point of having a secret identity. This ability treats the vigilante as sort of an alternate identity; a heroic mask that you point on. But psychologically, vigilantes are very much the opposite. Dexter Morgan wakes up in the morning a serial killer and he spends several minutes, "Putting his civilian face on," so to speak. Batman does the same thing; Bruce has all of Batman's martial training and abilities at the drop of a dime, but he's often got to center himself to act NORMAL. Another great example is when, at the end of Iron Man, Tony Stark is asked what he knows about Iron Man? He doesn't say, "I become Iron Man." He says, "I am Iron Man." To this regard, instead of having two separate alignments, your "true" alignment should be your vigilante alignment while your "civilian" alignment should be something that is socially acceptable for whatever social situation you're in. Your civilian alignment should mask your vigilante alignment.
Finally, dual identity takes too long to activate. A rogue with the Quick Disguise rogue talent can assume a disguise that requires, "minor details," as a full-round action as early as Level 2. That's fair for the vigilante as well. If you want the vigilante to need time to "change," then "taking off the social identity," should be a full-round action if you're wearing your costume under your clothes (which maybe others can detect with Perception as if your costume were a concealed item) while putting your costume on if its stashed somewhere else takes 1 minute. Meanwhile "putting on the social identity" should take a five minutes, as written. It is harder to mentally balance yourself then it is to descend into the vigilante persona.
Defend the Ward has had the following update:
"Defend the Ward: As a move action, you switch places with one ally within 30 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity. If you target an ally that is being grappled, you become grappled instead. This ability is a teleportation effect. After using this ability, it becomes expended for 5 rounds."
So basically, you teleport right into another creature's hands. (Or stomach, if its being swallowed whole.)
Background generation has existed since Pact Magic Unbound: Volume 2, and is still in the Grimoire of Lost Soul's playtest. Alexander Augunas has already said he doesn't intend to include mythic support since relatively few people utilize mythic in the first place, and he doesn't like mythic much much in the first place.
I don't care much for mythic at the moment, true, but I certainly want to provide the option for mythic pact magic for people who do use the system. Despite my preferences, I feel that it is more important for a new system like Pact Magic to fit completely within the realm of what Paizo publishes to make it feel more inclusive to Pathfinder as a whole.
That's why you have spirits like Catha of Codex in the Grimoire, who play with the words of power rules. I don't use those rules in my games (and would likely trade that ability for her Vestigial Companion every time I bound her as a result), but I still like that the option is available within Pact Magic for people who don't share my opinion.
Hope that clears things up a bit.
the xiao wrote:
We did that in Volume 2, so it'll be returning in the Grimoire.
-simple class template for monsters in Monster Codex
This will not be included; we're saving it for the Weird Bestiary. In my opinion, it makes more sense to be in a monster book then in this book.
-variant multiclassing from Pathfinder Unchained
This will not be in the Grimoire of Lost Souls, but on July 15th I'm releasing an Everyman Gaming, LLC product called Everyman Unchained: Skills and Options. Everyman Unchained: Skills and Options will include Variant Multiclasses for the Technician (Age of Electrotech), the Mystic (Amora Game's LIC), and the Occultist (Grimoire version, but Volume 1 should be enough to use it).
In short, you will be able to have this before the Grimoire itself is released.
-some Mythic support
This will be in the Pact Magic book that we do after the Grimoire. I don't have a name for it yet, but it is going to focus heavily on alternate pact magic systems, including animism, possession pacts, and mythic rules for pact magic. Mythic was originally going to be in the Grimoire, but there simply wasn't enough room to do it justice here.
Which almost makes it sound like the vigilante should be judged based upon his vigilante identity rather than his social identity.
Since this class is supposed to be Batman, I'll go ahead and say it: I don't like the idea that Bruce Wayne suddenly looses his 20+ years of martial combat experience just because he's not wearing the bat suit and "isn't in the right mentality" for it or whatever.
Simplifying the mechanic down to you having two identities that are independent from each other for the purpose of scrying and the like would be more than enough, in my opinion.
How PFS handles firearms is a house rule. (You need the gunsmithing feature to purchase a firearm.)
The Day Job mechanic is a house rule. (it is assumed core for PFS, but the closest that it has ever come to being printed in the Pathfinder RPG core rules is as a gp-only version of the capital system in Ultimate Campaign.)
Fame and Prestige (specifically the ability tying purchasing power to it) is a house rule. (One that partially got lifted for Ultimate Campaign, but it still counts.)
The lack of crafting (and the alchemist, investigator, and gunslinger's subsequent breaking of that rule) are both house rules.
You can call them Organized Play rules if you like, but they're still variations of the core Pathfinder RPG rules, which makes them house rules. It just so happens that PFS's house spans the entire globe. ;-)
Great question, because its really quite subtle. This is from mind blank. "n the case of scrying that scans an area the creature is in, such as arcane eye, the spell works but the creature simply isn't detected. Scrying attempts that are targeted specifically at the subject do not work at all."
"Any attempts to scry or otherwise locate the vigilante work only if the vigilante is currently in an identity known to the creature attempting to locate him. If he is in an identity unknown to the creature, the spell or effect has no effect, revealing nothing but darkness as if the target was invalid or did not exist."
The biggest difference isn't a mechanical one; it is something much more subtle. A motivational difference.
For instance, if Bruce Wayne ran around with a permanent mind blank spell, people might be suspicious. What's he got to hide? Why is he always mind blanked? A permanent mind blank effect isn't cheap, after all. Maybe Bruce WANTS the Joker to scry on him every once and a while when he's feeling suspicious. Dual Identity effectively only allows you to protect what matters (your identity) all the time. Not to mention Dual Identity can't be dispelled, suppressed, and requires absolutely no magical skill whatsoever.