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Pathfinder Society Member. 244 posts. 1 review. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Pathfinder Society characters.


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So when I built my Bladebound Kensai I was tired of all the Dervish Dance builds, so I went for a Strength-based character. It was a little fragile at first level, but wound up being highly effective.

Human: Str 17, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 7.
1: Nemesis, Arcane Strike, Weapon Focus (Katana)
3: Power Attack
5: Furious Focus, Intensified Spell

That foundation nets you high damage at all levels, and the damage will just keep scaling up. The Nemesis story feat will allow you to pick up both an Extra HP and a 1/4 or an Arcane Point each level. It can also potentially net you another +2 to Strength at some point in the story.

2-Handed Arcane Strike Power Attacks will be quite powerful when you can deliver them and by level 5 you'll be able to add Keen to your sword for free, allowing for a good number of crits.

The first couple of levels will be rough due to your low AC. I recommend buying either potions of Mage Armor or a 10 charge wand of Mage Armor. Picking up Mage Armor through an Arcana at level 6 is recommended.

Early gear purchases should be level 1 Pearls of Power and you should plan on grabbing some level 2 Pearls at higher levels. This gives you quite a lot of spells to cast each day.


Cape of Free Will - Similar to Cloaks of Resistance, but the Will Save is doubled while the item price is increased by about 50%.

Headband of Wisdom +4 - Totals a +2 Will save.

Potion of Heroism - Temporary bonus, but possibly useful in a fight.


A Bladebound Kensai will work just fine with a Strength build and a Katana. I'm playing one right now and it does a great job at dealing damage, while being fragile enough that my GM doesn't complain about me being too powerful.

You're going to have a low AC at first, so some means of gaining Mage Armor is really required. Picking up the spell at level 6 with an arcana is a great idea.

The Dervish Dance Scimitar build is the most optimized build btw, giving you good AC and adequate damage. It's just so common that I find it rather boring.


This is actually the group's second Zelda campaign, and it's been a blast. We've had several dungeon crawls even with the party just at level 4, and just wrapped up a major battle outside of a fort. An army of Darknuts and Stalfos makes for a tough fight.

I'll get the piece ordered (probably 2 of him so I can swap a foot) and see how he turns out. Thanks guys!


Thanks for the suggestions guys, these are pretty good. Ivan's is about the closest to what I'd imagine for the character and a foot replacement should be easy.

I'm really glad I'm not the only person with this idea.


So I'm playing in a Legends of Zelda inspired game, and I over-optimized a bit on my first character. I've swapped him out for a new character who is much more fun and fits the level of optimization of the party better, but I'm really having trouble find a good miniature to even use as a foundation for a mod job.

So, anybody have suggestions for a Gorron Monk, themed after Hulk Hogan? =D

Keep in mind, Gorrons are large, sumo wrestler sized guys that kinda look like they are made out of stone. They also have no females, so they call everybody they meet "Brother". I'm trying to find a bug bulky guy with a face that would be easy to add Hogan's mustache on to.


Excellent. Thanks Ravingdork! I didn't have my book handy when I looked up the feature =).


That's the sentence I would assume should be removed as well, but following the instructions provided skips past that one.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

So the Errata states: "Page 51—In the Pistolero archetype, in the Deeds class feature, in the Up Close and Deadly deed, delete the
third sentence."

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that be "This is precision damage and is not multiplied if the attack is a critical hit."

If so this would be a really odd change. The very next sentence specifically refers to "This precision damage" as does the one after that.


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Cheating among players should be unacceptable. You're playing a cooperative game and should be able to handle the fact that sometimes you'll fail. If you're not mature enough to handle that fact, then honestly I would suggest playing a different game.

Now I do hold GMs to a slightly different standard. GMs should be rolling behind a screen and should the choice of occasionally fudging their die rolls. Sometimes you're rolling consistently bad and the big boss fight requires that you fake your numbers just to make sure the fight is fun for your players. Sometimes you roll insanely well, but don't want to kill off a character a player is really invested in due to a lucky crit with a Power Attacking Scythe.


The feat is "best" used for giving some blasting options to non-blaster casters, such as the Summoner or Bard. Even then, those classes usually have better options.

For a Sorcerer, you're better of just using your normal blasting spells as their damage will scale higher. This is especially true if you use a Bloodline that boosts your damage further.


SlimGauge's answer is correct. You should attack as you normally would attack an enemy.


I honestly wouldn't focus on combat much at all if you're stuck with those rolls and can't finagle an Agile weapon. Two levels of Paladin would help you with saves and heavier armor, but I wouldn't pick up any more unless your GM decides to allow Archetypes. The Oradin build assumes they'll be available. That being said, definitely go with 4 levels of Oracle to start out with, you'll be much more effective that way.

Feats:
1) Fey Foundling
3) Selective Channel
5) Weapon Finesse OR Extra Channel

If you go with Weapon Finesse you'll have to pick up a decent Agile weapon. Note that as a Kitsune you could have profficiency with an Elven Curve Blade at level 4, which is a pretty nice combat option.

You may be better off using spell slots for those occasional times you need to do something offensive though. Up to you.

Healing is going to involve putting Life Link on the entire party and healing damage you take personally. A Wand of Cure Light Wounds is a must buy with your starting cash, you'll burn through it most likely. Drop Life Link and use Channel Energy when your HP gets low.


Personally, I would rather opt for using Disarm against players rather than try to Sunder their weapons. You get the same kind of intent, but without permanent loss of a martial character's main investment.

If you are going to use Sunder, provide a means for eventual restoration or replacement of the destroyed items that doesn't have an impact on WBL.


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How about using a coin, that looks like a common silver or gold piece. This would allow the intelligent item to be passed around, until it makes its way into the hands of somebody it wants to dominate. It's a common enough item that nobody is going to think twice about it, and is easy to hide (the party finds a stash of silver coins worth yadda yadda yadda).


I have a few questions before I get started.

1) Are you using a 20 point buy and would you be willing to switch up the stat block? A Str: 13 Dex: 16 Con: 13 Int: 12 Wis: 8 Cha: 16 would work out a bit better, with the your level 4 boost going into Con. An Oradin build really wants more HP to power the Life Link ability, 14 Con is really the minimum.

2) Could you convince your GM to give you a +1 Agile weapon instead? If so, an Agile weapon along with Power Attack would give you decent damage as you level up with only 1 feat invested in offence.

3) Is the no archetype ruling a personal preference or a GM ruling? The Oradin build can really benefit from using archetypes in your Paladin levels.


Are you thinking magic or mundane?

On the mundane front, Gunslingers are always a good option.


Arcane Strike bonuses increase with your character level, not caster level.


I think the only really problematic questions on the survey where the ones asking you to compare the classes to other classes. The idea of rating power & effectiveness of one class to all others. It's just really hard to compare something like the swashbuckler to both a Wizard and a Fighter at the same time. The rest of the questions were pretty easy to answer.

The amount of time the developers spent on the forums, actually responding to everybody, was pretty impressive. It's very rare to see that level of interaction from any game company, and it was pretty similar to the kind of interaction I expect out of Blizzard. Well done overall.

I think many of us would have liked additional time to play test the second document. I've got a 5 class play test I'm still working on (Investigator, Warpriest, Shaman, Arcanist and Hunter) but I just didn't have time to get everything typed up and participate in the forum conversations. It might be beneficial to maintain a forum specifically for playtest posts (no discussion, just post your on-going playtests).

I'd like to second Oceanshieldwolf's desire to see more than one developer in each thread. I'm guessing y'all divided up the work a fair bit, but I do think that some of the combativeness that cropped up in some threads could have been lessened with more voices in the discussion. Keeping in mind of course that this is the internet, so somebody is always going to be unhappy.

On the whole though, it was fun and I'm looking forward to buying the book in August. And hey, this'll be one where I actually buy the hardcover ;).


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Psyren wrote:

The reason I don't want them to be Cha-based is because it shafts Dwarves, who would be far and away the most likely to take this class. In fact, the iconic Warpriest (PrC) from 3.5 was a Dwarf.

They don't need to be charismatic leaders. They are divine weapons - if they inspire others, it should be through their deeds, not their words. That, and it provides a more compelling counterpart to the charismatic Paladin.

Let them be gruff, brutal and effective.

+1 on this comment.

Besides, if the issue is allowing a Warpriest to effectively use Diplomacy then that could easily be handled with a trait similar to Bruising Intellect.


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Since this is the last opportunity, I'd like to repeat my comments.

1) I really like the core mechanics for the class. Spirits feel like they're similar to parent class features but are different enough to be something new and interesting.
2) The hexes have swings in actual utility and don't feel like Witch Hexes at all. These need more work, and some of the traditional Witch options should be integrated into various Spirits.
3) The elemental spirits are kinda dull, and I could really see a single elemental spirit sufficing for this role (similar to the Draconic bloodline). I'd really like to see some Witch Patrons as spirits, and some of these could combine easily with Oracle Mysteries. Ancestors, for instance, springs to mind.
4) I understand the reasons why printing new spell lists would be problematic, but I honestly feel that the Shaman needs one more than the Bloodrager does.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Javaed wrote:
Hey Stephen, want to drop any hints on what the Iconic character will be like? =)
Investigatory ;)

Good one! I've updated all my surveys but I just want to say I absolutely can't wait to play an Investigator. I think this is one of the better built classes at the moment and really just needs some additional polish. August can't come soon enough.


Hey Stephen, want to drop any hints on what the Iconic character will be like? =)


Phosphorus wrote:
Khazadune wrote:
I think we should all post our agreement that the class is spread too thin on attributes and is quite MAD, so fervor should be changed to being focused on Wisdom. Everyone who agrees please post something to say so and we will show how much we agree before this playtest closes and they make their final decisions regarding the class.

Currently, one of the balancing aspects of the class is the MADness. Take it away, and the Warpriest will have to lose something.

Also I see enough characters with 7 charisma, and I wouldn't like the Warpriest to go the same way.

I don't really buy the idea of balancing a class with MADness. That was attempted with the Monk class back in 3.5 and it rendered the class largely ineffective. The base game mechanics just don't treat a class that has to spread points out so much well. The class needs a dump stat, and since it is designed as a martial class that really only leaves us with Wisdom or Charisma as options.

You see Charisma as the most common dump stat largely because it is a relatively "weak" stat on its own. If the "min 1" rule applies to fervor per day, I already see many Warpriests dumping Cha and ignoring their Channel Energy ability anyway.


Tels wrote:
graywulfe wrote:
Lord_Malkov wrote:

Dexterity Investigator

Staff Investigator
Martial Artist Investigator
Heavy Investigator

Meanwhile the Dextrous Investigator, you offer, is getting hit less often.

Dexterity is not a trap. Dexterity done right means you get hit less. Sure you do less damage. But by not getting hit you survive longer to do damage.

Lord_Malkov, something to note is that all of your builds were level 12. At level 12, the average High Attack and Low Attack from CR 9 to CR 15 threats is 21/15

Dexterity has an AC of 30
Staff has an AC of 24
Martial Artist has an AC of 22
Heavy has an AC of 25

The average HP for the CR 9 - CR 15 range is 164 with a low of 115 and a high of 220. Out of the above builds, only the Heavy investigator could probably drop something in a single round. Meanwhile, they are getting full attacked in return.

The Martial Artist is screwed when it comes to melee, just about everything is going to hit him pretty easily. The High attack misses only on a 1, while the low attack needs a 7 to hit.

The Staff is hit by the High attack on a 3 and hit by a low attack on a 9.

Heavy is hit by the high attack on a 4 and hit by the low attack on a 10.

Dexterity is hit by the high attack on a 9, and hit by the low attack on a 15. This is the only guy who is likely to withstand more than a couple rounds of combat at this range. Sure, he may not be dropping a monster in two rounds, but he's not being dropped in 2 rounds either.

Mr. Dexterity also has the best saves (in all categories) of the 4 builds you listed. With him having higher AC (meaning he gets hit less) and better saves, he is less likely to be brought down from any of the riders on the hits the other guys will fall too.

I know you're participating in the Swashbuckler thread, so you're aware of how much saves can influence a game. Out of all the builds you posted, I, personally, would take the Dexterity guy.

I understand the party and/or the Investigator could apply...

These are very valid points. Low HP coupled with a d8 hit die is actually the biggest weakness of the class when engaged in melee and isn't something to take likely.

I ran a bunch of level 9 builds with full WBL, and while the Str builds do more damage (particularly the Kirin Strike build), the Dex builds aren't terribly far behind so long as you can get Dex to damage. Really either build is viable and the one should use comes down to party makeup and personal preference.


So I promised some Lvl 1 builds, here you go:

Maneuver Focus:

Race: Human
Str: 16 Dex: 14 Con: 14 Int: 15 Wis: 10 Cha: 8
HP: 11 AC: 17
Traits: Bruising Intellect, Threatening Defender
Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved Trip
Suggested Extracts: Shield, Enlarge Person
Gear: Longspear, Lamellar (Leather) Armor

Melee: +3 1d8+4 x3, +5 CMB on Trips

Tactics: Hang back with your reach weapon for easier flanking and trip enemies whenever possible. Use Shield Exracts to boost your AC to 21 or Enlarge Humanoid to make sure your trip attempts land.

AM INVESTIGATOR:

Race: Half Elf
Alternate Racial Trait: Ancestral Arms (Greatsword)
Str: 16 Dex: 14 Con: 14 Int: 15 Wis: 10 Cha: 8
HP: 11 AC: 16
Traits: Reactionary, Failed Apprentice
Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike
Suggested Extracts: Shield, Cure Light Wounds
Gear: Greatsword, Lamellar (Leather) Armor

Melee: +3 2d6+4 19-20 x2

Tactics: Drink the Shield Extract ASAP and just charge in with your +5 attack bonus and an 18 AC.

Dex Build:

Race: Elf
Str: 14 Dex: 18 Con: 12 Int: 14 Wis: 12 Cha: 7
HP: 10 AC: 18
Traits: Reactionary, Bruising Intellect
Feats: Weapon Finesse
Suggested Extracts: Shock Shield
Gear: Rapier, Chain Shirt

Melee: +4 1d6+2 18-20 x2

Tactics: You'll be dealing less damage than a Strength build, by you've got a better chance to hit and crit along with a very nice AC bonus. I like using Shock Shield with this build as a way to deliver some AOE damage.

Either of these three builds will work in combat at first level and you won't be terrible. Like most 3/4 BAB classes you'll want a flanking partner and you can't expect to be doing the same damage as a Fighter or a Barbarian. And to be honest, you'll probably be a little bit behind the Rogue at levels 1 and 2.

Starting at level 3 though, you can start abusing Mutagens and shouldn't be lagging behind anybody. At level 4 you'll have 2 Extracts a day to boost your Dex or Str along with that Mutagen and with Studied Strike will have the attack bonuses of a full BAB class.

Considering the other class features that you gain, I think the class on the whole works well. My primary gripes are that the class is rather feat starved, particularly so at the early levels.


bartgroks wrote:
Javaed wrote:

I have done a lot of testing with a ton of builds, and I haven't had any serious problems with the Inquisitor at levels 1-3. The class winds up with similar stat allocations as a Magus, with the same options. You can go with a Strength build and contribute adequate to good damage for 3 levels or go with a Dex build where your damage will be reduced until level 3, but your defenses will be higher. From level 4 and on you have no problems.

Yes it could be a little better, and probably should be if this class was intended for a pure combat role. However, the core concept of the class is actually as a support role with a strong focus on out of combat utility. The fact that the class can perform adequately in combat while stealing the show outside of it makes this a pretty strong class in my opinion.

Could you post some of the builds here or elsewhere on the forums? I had no problem with builds until sneak attack was removed but since then I'm struggling as many others seem to be. Would love to see what you came up with. How are you getting decent damage from a dx build at level 3? Piranha strike?

I described a bunch several pages back, but sure I'll post some details tonight. As a quick overview though here's how the two I focused on:

Two-Handed Fighting: Go for 16 Str and distribute your other stats how you wish. Fight with a two-handed weapon for +3 attack bonus and weapon dice +4 at first level. Base AC in the 15-16 range, use Shield Extracts to boost it. At level 2 you'll want a Masterwork weapon, you have have a +5 attack bonus.

Dervish Dancing: At least a 13 Str for Power Attack and as much Dex as you can afford. Damage is low during early levels but your AC is much higher and your equipment costs are cheaper. At level 3 you're in good shape even without extracts or a mutagen. A Dex boosting mutagen is great at this point though.


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I have done a lot of testing with a ton of builds, and I haven't had any serious problems with the Inquisitor at levels 1-3. The class winds up with similar stat allocations as a Magus, with the same options. You can go with a Strength build and contribute adequate to good damage for 3 levels or go with a Dex build where your damage will be reduced until level 3, but your defenses will be higher. From level 4 and on you have no problems.

Yes it could be a little better, and probably should be if this class was intended for a pure combat role. However, the core concept of the class is actually as a support role with a strong focus on out of combat utility. The fact that the class can perform adequately in combat while stealing the show outside of it makes this a pretty strong class in my opinion.


Excaliburproxy wrote:

Anyways. Proposed Noir archetype:

Replace the normal weapon and armor proficiencies with ONLY leather armor, simple weapons, unarmed strikes (fisticuffs!), saps, and firearms.

The Noir investigator loses one extract of every level (only having extracts from high intelligence when this reduces the number of extracts to zero).

However, she does gain a battered pistol as a level 1 Gunslinger and the point-blank shot feat.

lv 2: replace poison lore with Amateur Gunslinger (with grit going to a maximum of the Noir Investigator's Intelligence instead of wisdom)

Replace poison resistance with "extra grit". At level 2, the investigator starts with two grit points a day (instead of the normal 1 from amateur gunslinger) up to a maximum of her intelligence modifier. Every 2 levels thereafter, the Noir detective increases her starting grit per day by 1 (still up to a maximum of her intelligence modifier though).

At level 4: she gains studied combat and studied strike as normal except they only functions with unarmed strikes and saps.

The precision damage from studied combat AND studied strike applies to firearms as well, but not the accuracy bonus. HOWEVER, she can only maintain a steady enough hand for this when she indulges a vice. A vice can be anything (smoking a pipe, drinking alcohol, or gambling), but must cost the Noir investigator at least 1 gp that day. If she has not indulged her vice that day, then the precision damage still only applies to saps and unarmed strikes.

The Investigator loses Swift alchemy and instead gains the gunsmith feat. If she already has this feat she may choose a grit feat instead.

As an inspiration, the investigator may choose rapid reload or a grit feat.

I actually rather like this idea. My main comments would be that the archetype should grant proficiency with Armored Coats (Combat Trench Coat) and that an extra Grit point every 2nd level would be way more Grit than most Grit-based classes get naturally.


So for the first 3 levels, sure a Vivisectionist is stronger than an Investigator. I'm just saying the Investigator isn't absolutely hopeless. Frankly, I think it works better for the first couple of levels than a Dex-based Swashbuckler currently does =P.

Also Excaliburproxy, you should have at least 2 first level extracts per day at first level, and gain an additional extract at levels 2 and 3. If you want to use those in combat plan on using 1 per fight and they can stretch out the day. You also can get a mutagen at third level which can last for multiple fights. That's significantly more than just one combat a day and you should be pretty dominant during the out of combat stuff.

The class does have some early level issues, I just don't think they're absolutely crippling. Now, a few pages back I did make some suggestions that I think should be applied to class that help out those early levels.

1) Start talent progression at level 2

2) Allow selection of the Rogue talents that grant combat oriented feats. This change would also give us some viable options other than Mutagen for our first Talent.

3) Move Studied Combat to level 1 while leaving Studied Strike and the bonus precision damage at level 4. I've recently become ok with this suggested change, mostly because I like the idea of players getting used to the mechanics of Studied Combat at an earlier level.


Heladriell wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

I am operating on this version:

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Okay,

So studied combat and studied strike have been weigh on my mind a lot lately. People like the flavor and there seems a general condenses that it does not do enough damage, or at least consistent damage.

Here are my current thoughts on how to change the ability.

Studies strike stays the same (sort of, see below).

Studied combat becomes a move action to activate (with the quick study bumping it down to a swift). You then gain a half your investigator level bonus to melee attack rolls (as it is now) and as precision damage to the target (not multiplied on critical hits). You gain that precision damage even when you make studied strike. In other words there will be some wording that needs to be changed in studied strike to make that clear, because its time does not.

Thoughts?

emboldening is my own

I see, but this is not an official update, it does make it slightly better, while still not making the class viable until level 4.

Studied combat should be 1st level with the damage bonus and whthout the 24h limitation (and still would be missing the "wow!" element).

With smart extract use you're perfectly viable at first level. You need a 16 and your to-hit stat and a flanking buddy for those first two levels is all. That's the same place Bards, Rogues, Clerics and other 3/4 fighters find themselves in. At level 3 you can grab your mutagen for those tough fights. Not as great as a full BAB class at pure melee combat, but you bring a lot more to the table.


cuatroespada wrote:
Javaed wrote:
The Strength build can really climb ahead with Kirin Style, but you want to activate it on round 2 instead of round 1. This may not be the strongest style to use though, as in practice you're only likely to get to use it every 3rd round, usually coupled with your Sudden Strike. A Hasted Full-Attack isn't worth giving up, so you've got multiple options competing for that swift action.
what else is regularly competing for that swift action? i feel like i'm missing something...

Studied Combat as a swift action, but it'll last 2-4 rounds.

Kirin Style is a swift action to make a Knowledge check and "identify" the target. This grants you a +2 AC bonus against the target.
Kirin Strike is a swift action to add double your Intelligence bonus as extra damage. It requires that you first identify the target.

So the way the combat style works out, you spend 2 rounds worth of swift actions to gain bonuses in combat against them. On the third round the target should be close to death, so you use your swift action to Kirin Strike at the same time you make your Studied Strike and finish off the target.

On round 4 of combat you pick a new target and repeat the process. Against a really tough critter you can use Kirin Strike on consecutive rounds, saving your Studied Strike for the final round.


I've been playing around with various war priest builds, and I really think the class could benefit from not being tied to Charisma. This class is more MAD than the monk currently, and I keep feeling like I'm being restricted when trying to decide what ability scores to choose.

I would suggest tying Fervor to Wisdom as a good starting point, especially since I don't see myself bothering to channel all that often. In fact, I could live with losing the ability to channel energy.


Heladriell wrote:
Lord_Malkov wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Trout wrote:
Heladriell wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Wait, I thought there was ALREADY a Talent to reduce Inspiration for attack rolls to a single use instead of two?
There is. I believe the argument is to get rid of that talent or modify it and to make that talent's inspiration cost for attack rolls the default.

Why don't we do this:

Inspired Strike(Ex): When the Investigator hits a target with a melee attack he may spend an inspiration point. If he does so, he adds 1d6 extra damage. This damage increases to 2d6 at 3rd level and adds another d6 every two levels after. If the investigator is attacking with a weapon he's proficient, he may also add his INT bonus.

This would make a damage source balanced with the alchemist's, and give the investigator better usefulness in combat.

I like that!

(I assume the INT bonus doesn't multiply on a crit) I'd like it even more if the extra damage was classified as an insight bonus.
Its not actually that balanced. You'll burn inspiration like crazy and you probably won't be like the alchemist who gets it for free on every attack that qualifies. Not a big fan of putting a limit on a basic and necessary combat function either, especially not with a shared pool for your other abilities that are supposed to allow you to shine.

Also, lets just avoid any more classes that can nova at will during important encounters... this sort of burst attack might be cool for the slayer (who consequently has less sneak attack dice) but Studied Combat is already excellent right where it is.

It is worse than sneak attack overall, particularly when you consider things like Sap Master, Scout Archetype, and High initiative ranged rogues etc... But it fits the class very well, the accuracy bonus helps to deal with the MAD issues, and the static damage is very fair.

You have to remember that Studied Combat is not even remotely as

...

I'm ok with Studied Strike being worse overall damage than Sneak Attack, as the Studied Combat mechanic more than makes up for it. The melee attack bonuses are significant and you're already getting some static damage bonuses. Once the ability becomes a swift action you'll always have these bonuses on your current target and can deal bonus damage every 2-3 turns. That's about as often as most Rogues get to sneak attack in my experience, though Rogues can easily dual-wield for extra attacks and they deal more damage when doing so.

On the whole, I think the abilities are about on par.


cuatroespada wrote:
Javaed wrote:
well clearly you've already assumed the STR build's second attack will always miss, so i see no reason not to do the same for the DEX build. also, if you give the DEX build arcane strike, why wouldn't you give the STR build another feat to add damage? it's like you're being intentionally misleading...

Not so. I probably should have included my feat selection, with the Str build I took Furious Focus but not with the Dex build. The Str build's second attack was at a -7 compared to the first, and honestly it probably had a fair chance of hitting. What was really hurting the Str build was some poor planning on gear selection coupled with not using Kirin Strike correctly. I blame that on trying to think this all out at 2am =P

I've adjusted the gear on both builds so they have the same total on their offensive stats are are able to use the same round 1 buff. The Strength build comes ahead offensively in this situation, but is a bit behind defensively when compared to the Dexterity build.

The Strength build has a bit more flexibility in feat selection, especially during early levels. If you pick up Kirin style you can expect a 3 round sequence on any enemy: 1)Activate Studied Combat, 2)Study your target with Kirin Style and 3)Finish the target with a Studied Kirin Strike combo.

The Dex build has a slower start offensively buy has significantly higher AC. The soonest you'll pick up Power Attack is level 5 and most builds will have trouble using a Style Feat line. You could opt for an Agile weapon instead, but you'll want to use strength extracts and mutagens up till level 7 and then make the switch. This isn't a bad idea, as you wind up with a more survivable character at cost of damage.

Neither build is bad, which I really like. The hardest build to put together is actually a Two-Weapon Fighting build due to the lack of feats. A Rogue is able to manage these builds using talents that grant feats, but none of those are available to the Investigator.


MrSin wrote:
Javaed wrote:
Good point on using a reach weapon for some distance. So I crunched some numbers on two builds. First a Strength build using a Greatsword and Kirin Style and second a Dexterity build using a Scimitar and Dervish Dance. I built the characters out to level 9 and assumed, both characters took Power Attack and both buffed up before combat with only a Mutagen. Both builds have the Accelerated Drinker trait and walk around with their round one buff extract in hand.

Heads up, but accelerated drinker does nothing to extracts. It does work with potions you brew yourself though.

FAQS wrote:

Alchemist: Does the Accelerated Drinker feat from Cheliax, Empire of Devils allow a character to drink an alchemist extract as a move action?

No.

—Sean K Reynolds, 10/08/10

Well that sucks then =P. The action action sequence can still work out about the same though, and after thinking about things this morning I found that the actual problem with the Strength build was trying to activate Kirin Style too soon.

Assuming that both bulids have a +4 Belt, and prebuff with their Mutagent the both wind up with either a 27 for their offensive attribute. If you pop a Haste Extract, spend a swift action to start Studied combat and then move towards your target both will be ready to unload 3 attacks on round 2.

The Strength build will do more damage, but the Dex build can afford an extra weapon enchant or some utility magic items as the Str build has to buy items to shore up a rather weak AC.

The Strength build can really climb ahead with Kirin Style, but you want to activate it on round 2 instead of round 1. This may not be the strongest style to use though, as in practice you're only likely to get to use it every 3rd round, usually coupled with your Sudden Strike. A Hasted Full-Attack isn't worth giving up, so you've got multiple options competing for that swift action.


TarkXT wrote:

1 round of non use versus 30 minutes of a constant +2 attack and damage with natural armor to boot.

If you go dex focused instead it doesn't affect your studied combat at all and you can grab an agile weapon for the exact same effect.

For the record I'd never touch the longsword when a longspear will do just nicely.

Good point on using a reach weapon for some distance. So I crunched some numbers on two builds. First a Strength build using a Greatsword and Kirin Style and second a Dexterity build using a Scimitar and Dervish Dance. I built the characters out to level 9 and assumed, both characters took Power Attack and both buffed up before combat with only a Mutagen. Both builds have the Accelerated Drinker trait and walk around with their round one buff extract in hand.

The Dex build was able to afford a +4 Dex belt while the Str Build had to spend that cash on stronger AC items. This means that on the first round of combat the Dex build can drink his extract (Haste), move towards the enemy and activate Studied Combat. The Str build has to drink a Bull's Strength Extract instead, has to activate Studied Combat as a move action and then use Kirin Style as a swift action to.

On round 2 the Dex build got to make 3 attacks while the Str build makes only one solid attack. This is where the Dex build starts to jump ahead.

If we assume the Dex builds third attack always misses, then the builds do about the same damage. If you give the Dex build Arcane Strike then it comes a little ahead of the Strength build. If the third attack hits every other time, then the Dex build does about 25% more damage, or even more with Arcane Strike.

So with a higher crit chance weapon and better first round action economy, the Dex build edges out the Str build on damage when fighting solo. Now if you can get an ally to provide some of these buffs, freeing up your actions on that first round then things get better for a Strength build. The Strength build also has the option of opting for a good reach weapon and going for a combat maneuver build early on, while the Dervish build has its first 3 feats spoken for.


So I saw some comments regarding the class not having a reason to go with a Str build and would like to address those. A Strength build can actually work rather well starting right at first level so long as you make proper use of your ability to quaff extracts.

With a 16 Strength and a Longsword you'll have a +3 on attack rolls, but will deal 1d8+4 damage. Prepare two Shield Extracts and you can have a 20 AC with Lamellar (Leather) armor and a 14 Dex. Really you just need an ally to flank with or to cast an attack boosting spell on you and you're in good shape for combat.

At level 2 pick up a Masterwork sword and your chance to hit goes up to +5 and unless you've got some handy spell casters you may as well keep prepping Shield Extracts.

At level 3 you'll pick up your first Talent, I'd suggest grabbing the ability to make a Strength Mutagen. That way at least once a day you can go up to 20 Strength and gain +2 AC for a combat, dealing 1d8+7 damage with +8 chance to hit. I pick up Power Attack now.

At level 4 you boost up a stat, with my build I started at 15 Int so I pump it 16. I've spent my gold on some AC boosting items by now and should have an 18 AC before buffs. I can now make two Bull's Strength Extracts and a Strength Mutagen, so my Str should be 20 in at least 3 fights today. I'll also be using Studied Combat on targets, so with power attack and holding the Longsword in both hands I deal 1d8+12 damage with a +9 attack bonus.

That's not bad early damage at all, and it'll keep scaling up nicely as I level.


Throne wrote:
30' may not be melee, but it's generally not what most groups would consider a ranged combat, either.

Well, unless you're a gunslinger =P.


Psyren wrote:

My take:

- Precise Companion should really do something extra if you pick up Precise Shot. Most Hunters will go after PS anyway just because there will likely be other members of the party in melee besides their companion. I think that if they get Precise Shot, Precise Companion should give them +2 to hit instead, as the companion instinctively reveals gaps in the foe's defense or maneuvers the foe better into your line of fire.

- Spontaneous casting, with the ability to learn spells from both the Druid and Ranger lists, is absolutely fantastic.

- A shapeshifting, melee-focused archetype where you get to flank with your animal buddy. This could either be full-on Wildshape, or simply animal "aspects" similar to the natural weapon style hunter.

I really hope Precise Companion gets a little something extra, like Psyren suggests. As it stands this would be the first ability I'd be looking to trade out with an Archetype, as I see any ranged Hunter builds picking up Precise Shot anyway.


I like the theme of an Investigator having followers, but I don't really think they need a talent for it. Especially at early levels such a talent could be pretty powerful, and we already have available feats to help out.

Squire - picked up at level 3 with a dip into another class. Fighter (Lore Warden) would be really tempting.

Leadership - grab it at level 7 like anybody else

Dynasty Founder - the perfect way to start off with your Baker Stree Irregulars.

Really what I would support would be a talent that lets you use Intelligence instead of Charisma when calculating your Leadership Score, or simply one that gives you some bonuses to Leadership.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So, question for the crowd concerning Sacred Weapon and crits...

A. All sacred weapons have a standard crit range and multiplier (19-20/x2 or maybe 20/x3)?

B. Whenever a sacred weapon scores a crit, all of the additional damage is based off the original weapon damage?

C. It works as is (weapon damage scales, crit stats are drawn from the weapon, which means some will crit more often, but only for x2, others rarely but for x3)

So....

1. Which is easiest to use?
2. Which is the most balanced?
3. Which is the most fun?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

1. A is definitely the easiest to use. You have one standard set of (scaling) stats vs the default weapon stats. Up to you to choose which to use.

2. Option A is probably the most balanced too. I'll be honest and admit that I'm tempted to play a Scimitar build just to see how 1d6 18-20 x2 works with the weapon dice increasing every few levels.

3. I find option C the most fun. The idea of giant dice and maximum crit chance is very appealing. I understand why some people don't like the idea though.


Xaratherus wrote:
Well, she already sort of gets that with Inspiration - spend two points, add a d6 to an attack roll. That's a limited pool at low levels but it can be enough to turn a miss into a hit - and turning into a miss into a hit at that level can mean the difference between living and dying.

And at level 9 you can reduce the cost to 1 point of Inspiration, which winds up being a pretty effective way of ensuring that your Studied Strikes land. A bonus of 4+1d6 on your chance to hit is really nice!


So I started building out a Warpriest for play testing last night and I thought I'd share my initial reactions. Please keep in mind that I usually play in homebrew settings, so I'm working with a different list of deities.

1) I like how the Sacred Weapon works. It really shores up some of the weaker favored weapons but you still have flexibility in your build. In my case, I'm going with the favored weapon (Repeating Crossbow) as the party lacks ranged support.

2) Planning out my attributes is really challenging. I need to plan out a mix of Dex, Strength and Con and can't really dump any of them below 10. I need Wisdom for spell casting and Charisma for Fervor/Channeling. And my character is serving a Goddess with a strong emphasis on Knowledge, so I kinda want some Int too. To be fair though, melee Clerics can face many of these same issues and the buffing spells should help shore up the problems.

3) With some exceptions, I found the minor blessings to be a pretty good mix of options and I actually like them better than most domains. The major blessings could use some more work though, and I'll post details in the Blessings thread later.

On the whole, the class seems pretty solid. I'm slightly worried about having to spread out my attribute points so much. I would suggest to the dev team that some extra testing time with various combat builds would be warranted. I can see dex to damage builds being overly popular with this class. The Guided weapon property might come into the mix too (though that's even more fringe than Agile).


Starfox wrote:
One use of the new rather hefty attack enhancement is to make combat maneuvers. Which is totally appropriate - only there is a scarcity of feats for it.

The way most of my builds work out you basically have to choose between strong offensive boosts or combat maneuvers with your builds. Human Investigators can at least pick up an Improved Maneuver at first level if the want to, but other races will have to decide on either Power Attack at level 3 or an Improved Maneuver.

Either option isn't terrible though, and the fighter-type classes are supposed to have faster progression on Maneuvers anyway.


Throne wrote:

@ Flamdring

@ Javaed
It still ends up worse than building for Strength, Dervish Dance, or Agile weapons, so people will still build for strength, Dervish Dance, or Agile weapons.
Arguments about Dervish Dance and Agile not being 'Core' are irrelevant, as has been explained time and time again.
All making you choose between +stat or precision damage is give you a worthless class feature.

Fortunately, making melee damage independant of any ability score carries enough complications and side-issues that it shouldn't be seriously considered, and so hopefully isn't being.

I wouldn't say arguments about Dervish Dance & Agile not being Core are irrelevant. My current GMs only allow material from hard-cover PF books. The nearest PFS lodge is an hour drive and they only have weekend sessions I could possibly attend about four times a year. This isn't an unusual situation for players to find themselves in.

Choosing +Stat or +Precision allows you play either an offensive strength-based Swashbuckler or a more defensive dexterity-based one, without either option being terrible. It also eliminates the potential of the class simply being used as a dip-class. It also helps out with some of the issues with this class being so MAD if you can play a Dex-based build and not be terrible.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Javaed wrote:
Will the levels when bonus die are gained be delayed to every third level, or are they staying at every second level after level 4?
It would stay at the current progression.

In this case I think the Investigator class works out rather well. While I would still like a ranged option, I understand from previous posts that you'd like the Slayer to have a bit more of a focus on that combat style.

I'll try to get a play test post up later on with detailed encounters, I've been wanting to run these new classes through a fairly challenging home brew campaign I ran for my group last year. The first encounter had them stuck on a ship while poisoned fog rolled across the deck, fighting off waves of enemies(25 total) =P.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Okay,

So studied combat and studied strike have been weigh on my mind a lot lately. People like the flavor and there seems a general condenses that it does not do enough damage, or at least consistent damage.

Here are my current thoughts on how to change the ability.

Studies strike stays the same (sort of, see below).

Studied combat becomes a move action to activate (with the quick study bumping it down to a swift). You then gain a half your investigator level bonus to melee attack rolls (as it is now) and as precision damage to the target (not multiplied on critical hits). You gain that precision damage even when you make studied strike. In other words there will be some wording that needs to be changed in studied strike to make that clear, because its time does not.

Thoughts?

Will the levels when bonus die are gained be delayed to every third level, or are they staying at every second level after level 4?

On the whole, I really like this ability and the extra damage winds up making the class a very solid damage dealer. My 16 Strength, Rapier Wielding Elf winds up dealing 1d6 + 5 (Strength) +2 (Power Attack) + 2 (Precision) damage at fourth level, after one round of buffing. He'll get two attacks in with a +9 attack bonus (+3 BAB, +5 Str, +2 Studied Combat, -1 Power Attack), and that second attack will end be a Studied Strike for an extra 1d6 damage. Solid.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Danbala wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


As for the your idea of stacking, to be honest it may be too much bookkeeping, and it doesn't give the investigator the flexibility that it needs.

Could the extra damage effect be reliant on a successful knowledge check? Perhaps the amount of damage could be based on your degree of success?

You know, we did think about that, but decided against it because another roll in combat is well, slow and clunky.

That what I was thinking last night too, but just to play Devil's advocate, what if the knowledge check happened at the same step as a Concentration Check roll or a Critical Confirmation roll? You're only adding a single extra D20 (and possibly a D6/D8) and was part of your Studied Strike mechanic. That's only one extra roll every 2-4 rounds, and would wind up being fewer extra rolls than my Magus makes already.


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cuatroespada wrote:
Javaed wrote:
while the offered weapons are good thematic choices, you're somewhat limited in good options.
how exactly are these thematic choices? the quintessential investigator doesn't have a particular weapon (other than maybe hand-to-hand combat because you always have your body on you)... also, agility and dexterity are two different things (the former is essentially strength since it's gross motor), but both could be used to fight smarter rather than harder. in fact, since you're so smart, you should know you're probably going to be more combat effective by using PA and a two-hander... like a twinkie rogue... like a twinkie rogue... (edit: sorry, sometimes i accidentally channel morgan freeman.)

You will be more deadly with a 2-Hander, but you won't be terrible with a one handed weapon or dual wielding. As for how the current weapon options are thematic?

I've read a ton of P.I. fiction, and really the only weapons missing from the list are guns, baked in hand-to-hand combat and the occasional use of a longer sword. Holmes tended to use a lot of guns, and I think he made use of a sap or truncheon. Garret (from Glen Cook's book series) makes use of a sap or club most often, but occasionally pulls out a crossbow or a sword. Bunches of "Steam Punk" novels bring out cane-swords or rapiers, along with crossbows and guns. Oh, and the combat parasol. Might want to add that as a new exotic weapon Paizo devs.

If we go to the more magical end of things we've got Constantine, Dresden and even Sandman-Slim. They tend to make a greater use of magic obviously, but when they mix it up we see hand-to-hand combat, saps, improvised weapons and a ton of guns.

Really what the class needs to round itself out are a gun using archetype and an unarmed fighting archetype along with the ability to use ranged weapons and studied combat. I'd like a couple more weapons added from the get go just to add some variety to class during the early levels.

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