I'm going to touch on this next bit only very briefly: Guns are NOT terrible. They look bad with just a quick skim, but in practice they have no downsides. If guns really did have those reloading problems and whatnot, I'd agree. There is very little stopping you from full-attacking all of the time a few levels in, either with musket master or that cheesy weapon cord dual pistols approach (that is a LOT of attacks on touch AC). The fact that you are hitting touch AC the entire time means you almost never miss. The gold costs are certainly there, but 6gp a shot isn't that bad by the time you get iterative attacks, and with nearly every attack hitting so consistently you very rarely feel like you're wasting money. I've seen what a non-optimized, no archetype gunslinger can do in a campaign--I can only imagine what an optimized build would be capable of.
Unless you're a Gunslinger (or Trench Fighter), firearms are the worst weapons in the whole game.
- Requires EWP
You need a whole class (and a bunch of feat taxes) devoted to firearms just to make them a viable choice.
I've GMed for a TWF Pistolero Gunslinger... It does deal a lot of damage. And that's it. It's surprisingly easy to deal with them. Not every problem can be solved with bullets and not every enemy stays in a 20ft radius around the Gunslinger (and the ones who do, will often stay in melee and take lots of AoO).
Back on topic:
This may sound harsh, but seeing how this update did so little to address the issues with the class and how we only have 1 week left of playtest, I'm afraid SB is a lost cause...
I think I'll stick with Urban Barbarians, Rangers, Dawnflower Dervish Bards and Kensai Magus. They still are much better swashbucklers than the SB.
I honestly don't see the problem with dipping a Dex-based martial class to become a better Dex-based combatant.
It's seems completely logical that dipping Gunslinger should make you better at using guns, dipping Paladins should make you better at fighting evil, dipping monk should make you better at fighting unarmed, dipping fighter should make you better at fighting and dipping SB should make you a better Dex-based class.
What makes a player stick with a class is having cool stuff at higher levels, not having poor abilities at low levels. People dip Fighter and Monk because those classes don't get a lot of cool/useful stuff compared to what they lose.
If the designers want the SB to be more than a dip class, they should give fun/useful/interesting mid and high level abilities instead of giving them a bunch of poor and mediocre low level class features.
Give them a reward for sticking with SB instead of punishing those who only take a few levels.
proftobe: There is a vast difference between dex to damage for every weapon and dex to damage with one underpowered fighting style.
That's true. And I hope the design team realizes this. Dervish Dance has been around for quite a while now, and it doesn't come even close to obsoleting Str builds, despite the fact that scimitars are the best 1-handed weapon in the game. The only combat style that is less powerful than dueling (maybe) is TWF with 2 different weapons.
- Add Dex-to-damage but limit it to dueling (and maybe TWF) and only while using light or no armor and no shield (other than buckler) and it'll will still be balanced.
- Dueling is a incredibly weak combat style. Dex to damage merely makes it a viable (although still underpowered) choice. It'd also be much more flavorful than yet another static number.
- Same goes for Swashbuckler Initiative. It should add Cha to Initiative instead of an static +2. Static numbers are boring, but if the Swashbuckler adds Cha, it feels like he's making such a grand entrance that everyone hesitates to look at him.
- Remove Charmed Life. Give the Swashbuckler a good Fort save and the ability to replace Wisdom with Cha for will saves at 7th level or so. That gives the character a fighting chance and is high level enough to avoid dippers.
And I still don't understand why not simply give the class Weapon Finesse at 1st level, especially now that it counts as WF for the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites. Rapiers can be used with Weapon Finesse, so what's the problem? And how come SBs are not proficient with whips?
It's rather frustrating how Paizo seems so eager to buff the Arcanist (a freaking arcane full caster) and so hesitant to give the SB a good save and Dex to damage because it'd be "unbalanced".
The whole point of the class is being a Dex-based warrior! Just go ahead and make it a Dex-based warrior!
Nice, but it still heavily stomps on the Barbarian's toes. I really like this class, it's is, IMHO, the best designed class in the play test, but it really doesn't need 2 capstone abilities, the Barbarian's and a bloodline one.
Considering how powerful bloodlines are, and the fact that BRs have spell, Bloodrage really doesn't need to be as powerful as Rage. BRs also don't UC and DR. Even Tireless Bloodrage is unnecessary, since BRs don't have "once per Bloodrage" abilities.
Really, the only Barbarian that can compete with a BR is a highly optimized Pouncing Spell-sundering Barbarian with CaGM.
I really like the direction this class is going... Unfortunately, it's not enough.
- Swashbuckler Finesse at 1st level. Cool.
- Evasive is still "all or nothing" and still requires Panache. Why? Give the SB Uncanny Dodge at 3rd, Evasion at 7th and Improved UC at 11th. Remove the Panache prerequisite too. There, a fun ability that scales with level instead of taking forever to come into play.
- It's saves are still awful. Charmed Life won't help much. Why not create a feat or class feature that allows the character to Add Cha instead of Wis to their Will save? What's the problem with that? Why not simply give it a good Fort save?! Both Fighters and Gunslingers have good Fort save! I'll say it again having Reflex as their only good save will make this class pretty much unplayable at levels 11 and higher.
It's considerably better than the original, but still underwhelming...
But they still added Brawler Strike. So why try to remove one of the very few options that make unarmed combat viable?
It's like complaining your job doesn't pay you enough and then refusing a raise.
I'm thinking... Why are so many abilities restricted to "as long as you have 1 point of Panache"? Does that limit make anything more balanced or interesting? I don't think so. In practice, all it does is reduce your Panache pool by one, since spending it all makes the Swashbuckler pretty much useless.
This class needs some serious mechanical revision.
You're probably right... I'm just very frustrated with the current state of Swashbucklers. It's the class I was looking forward to the most, but it has so many problems. Mainly the fact it's not really any more dexterous or mobile than a Fighter with Weapon Finesse. Cha being a dump stat doesn't help either.
I don't want yet another flavorful class that I'll never use because its mechanics are extremely weak and equally limited. I don't care about having the highest DPR or AC, but I do want my martial class to have good enough damage output and survivability to be a front liner.
Flavor won't matter if the Swashbuckler's class features are so weak that I feel like I'm being punished for playing the class. And right now, I'd be much better off building a Barbarian or Gunslinger and giving him Weapon Finesse and Dervish Dance.
I really want Swashbucklers to work, but I'm afraid they won't... Or they'll fall into the same trap as Monks, where you have to build a character completely different from the class' supposed flavor just to make it mediocre.
Right now, the best bet for a Swashbuckler is to be a Str-based combatant with mediocre Dex and very low Charisma who stands still all the time and focuses on DPR and AC instead of mobility, charm, cunning and guile.
Swashbucklers have zero incentive to act like swashbucklers.
Well-constructed Math & Opinion
I o understand that Precise Strike does little more than compensate for the dueling combat style (which is quite possibly the weakest combat style in the game... Maybe only ahead of TWF with 2 different weapons).
But then again... I don't really care that much about damage. I'd rather have Dex to damage than Precise Strike because it's simpler, more flavorful and more reliable.
I don't want my full-BAB martial class suddenly losing pretty much all their damage because the enemy is immune to precision damage. I don't want the extra work of subtracting class level before calculating critical hit damage. Despite being basic math and incredibly easy, doing it time and time again is boring and annoying.
I don't need Weapon Training and access to Weapon Specialization. If I wanted to be a DPR King, I'd play a 2-handed Fighter, not a Swashbucklers. If I'm playing a Swashbuckler I want a dexterous character with good mobility. I don't care if my damage is that of a Ranger. It'll be enough.
(BTW, it's not difficult to create a Fighter that out-DPRs even a Smiting Paladin)
My problem with the Swashbuckler is that it fails to deliver what was promised. It's not any more agile than any character with Weapon Finesse, it has no more mobility than any martial class (Derring-Do is a joke), it's not a good combatant (horrible, horrible saves and MADness really hurt, but at least his AC is pretty good), it doesn't have any cool tricks that are not very limited and/or incredibly situational, it's not any more skilled than a Druid or Monk either, so it's not a particularly clever character either... And of course, it's pretty much incapable of actually getting the maneuvers that one would expect from a Swashbuckler such as disarm, trip, dirty trick and feint.
It's an Dex/Cha based character that is better off favoring Str and dumping Cha. Panache is so scarce, it's very likely that character will go whole gaming sessions without ever using it out of fear of losing Precise Strike.
Swashbuckler is not really a swashbuckler right now... It's a Fighter with less feats, more skills, awful saves and the ability to pull off a cool trick or two once or twice a day...
Panache scarceness, lack of mobility, no access to combat maneuvers, awful saves, precision damage, way-too-limited weapon selection, focus on Dex/Cha in fluff only...
Those are my concerns.
Not DPR or AC. I'm okay with Swashbucklers dealing less damage than other martial classes, as long as their damage is reliable and good enough to be a front liner. Unfortunately, it's not.
A Ranger, Gunslinger or Barbarian with Weapon Finesse is better at swashbuckling than a Swashbuckler. Hell, I'd not be surprised if a 2-handed Swashbuckler with Cha 5 who completely ignores Precise strike turns out to be a better front liner than a Finesse Swashbuckler.
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
3. Concerning the overall power balance of this class as compared to the sorcerer and wizard. I think I am much happier with the balance than I was before. The spells per day is starting to feel "right" to me when taking into account the other features of the class. I am not saying it is locked in 100%, but I think I am more interested in tuning the exploits to balance the rest of the class. I understand the arguments here about the value of its versatility, but I think the reduced overall number of slots and delayed acquisition of higher level slots more than pays for it. As usual, I am interested in further discussion.
Okay then, it's official now. Sorcerers are dead.
I give up.
Craft Cheese wrote:
Am I the only one who thinks the basic concept of the Hunter is pretty well covered by the Summoner?
Don't forget Druid, Ranger, Inquisitor and Cavalier either.
In their current design, Hunters are much worse than any of those classes... Except, maybe, Cavaliers.
The only other thought is to keep him out of the game, and explain to my parents about what my brother's behavior has been like. He has already, accidentally, ruined my Star Wars D6 game
This is probably your best bet. Talk to your brother, if he once again refuses to stop, talk to your parents, explain to them that your brother is repeatedly and purposely ruining your games by being a jerk.
It always suck having to pull the parent card, but this is one case where it seems like the most appropriate course of action. Hopefully, it works and your brother starts being more friendly in-game.
Dan Rope wrote:
Just remember that "Why are you hitting yourself?" is an Extraordinary Ability that can be used at will by older bothers vs unruly little brothers.
Hah... Not always, and not permanently. I grew up to be about a whole foot taller than my brother. Nowadays, not only I always make my saving throw against "Why are you hitting yourself?", I automatically reflect it back to the original attacker.
tony gent wrote:
Isn't it a joyful day when both brothers realize the younger one can fight back? lol.
Like the flavor, any broken builds yet?
Arcanists are full casters. What makes full-casters broken is their spell lists, not feats or even class features. Those are just gravy most of the time. Whatever spells make Wizards broken will also make Arcanists broken.
That said, Arcanist Exploits are so freaking powerful, they just make this class even more unbalanced... Teleport as a move action, boost spell DC and CL by +2, instant spontaneous dispel, suppressing spells or making them last longer. No Sorcerer bloodline comes even close, and other than a couple exceptions, no Arcane School either.
And of course, Arcanists can recover arcane points and possibly reach a huge amount of them. No other class gets to have that many points of whatever limited resource they use (usually limited to 3+attribute modifier or 1/2 level + attribute modifier) and very few can recover their resource pool without resting. The ones who can do it are not full casters and have a vastly inferior resource pool.
Let's see if I can build a decent Arcanist... I did it in about 10min, so I'm sure it could be improved.
Zeh The Arcanist:
Male Whatever Arcanist 8
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +7; Senses Perception +8
AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +1 Dex, +1 natural, +1 deflection)
hp 70 (8d6+40)
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +9
Speed 30 ft.
Arcanist Spells Prepared (CL 8th; concentration +17):
4th (3/day)—black tentacles(DC 21)
3rd (5/day)—haste, fly
2nd (6/day)—invisibility, alter self, glitterdust (DC 19)
1st (6/day)—liberating command, silent image (DC 18), mage armor, enlarge person (DC 18), grease (DC 18)
0 (at will)—mage hand, message, detect magic, read magic, ghost sound (DC 17), dancing lights, detect poison, prestidigitation (DC 17)
Str 7, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 24, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; CMB +2; CMD 18
Feats Defensive Combat Training, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Scribe Scroll, Toughness
Traits focused mind, reactionary
Skills Fly +12, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +18, Knowledge (nature) +18, Knowledge (planes) +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Linguistics +18, Perception +8, Spellcraft +18
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Common, Daemonic, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Ignan, Infernal, Sylvan, Terran, Undercommon
Other Gear Amulet of natural armor +1, Belt of mighty constitution +2, Cloak of resistance +3, Headband of vast intelligence +2 (Fly), Ring of protection +1, Ring of sustenance, Spell component pouch (2), Spellbook, 9475 GP
Arcane Reservoir (up to 24) (Su) You get 5 arcane points when you prepares your spells and get up to 24 arcane points throughout the day.
Arcanist Exploit - Counterspell (Su): By expending one point from her arcane reservoir to attempt to counterspell a spell as it is being cast. The arcanist must identify the spell being cast as normal. If the check is successful, the arcanist can then use an immediate action and expend an available arcanist spell slot of a level equal to or higher than the level of the spell being cast. To counterspell the spell, the arcanist must make dispel check as if using dispel magic. If the spell being countered is one that the arcanist has prepared, she receives a +5 bonus on the dispel check.
Arcanist Exploit - Dimensional Slide (Su): The arcanist can expend one point from her arcane reservoir to create a dimensional crack that she can step through to reach another location. This ability is used as part of a move action, allowing her to move up to 10 feet per arcanist level to any location she can see; this is in place of 5 feet of movement. She can only use this ability once per round. She does not provoke an attack of opportunity for the movement caused by this ability, but any other movement provokes as normal.
Arcanist Exploit - Potent Magic (Su): Whenever the arcanist expends one use of her arcane reservoir to increase the caster level of a spell, the caster level is increased by 2 instead of 1. Whenever she expends one point from her arcane reservoir to increase the DC of a spell, the DC is increased by 2 instead of 1.
Arcanist Exploit - Spell Tinkerer (Su): The arcanist can alter an existing spell effect by expending one point from her arcane reservoir. She must be adjacent to the spell effect (or the effect’s target) and be aware of the effect to use this ability. She can choose to increase or decrease the remaining duration of the spell by 50% (adding or subtracting 50% from the remaining duration). Alternatively, she can suppress a spell effect for a number of rounds equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 1). If the spell affects multiple creatures, this ability only suppresses the spell for one creature. At the end of this duration, the spell resumes and the suppressed rounds do not count against its total duration. This ability can be used on unwilling targets, but the arcanist must succeed at a melee touch attack, and the target may attempt a Will saving throw to negate the effect. This ability has no effect on spells that are instantaneous or have a duration of permanent.
Focused Mind +2 to Concentration checks
Ring of sustenance Immune to hunger and thirst, and only sleep two hours a night.
Arcanists don't even need Cha. At all. Sure, it helps, but it's hardly necessary. If the arcane pool were based on Cha rather than character level, it would be slightly less broken. This guy could use all of his exploits even if he had Cha 7.
He still has over 9000gp left (I had originally bought a Headband of Int +4, but since that might not be available at 8th level, I replaced it with one of Int +2, bought a Ring of Sustenance and didn't bother to spend the leftover money). And of course, let's keep in mind that he's a human with no bonus feat or extra skill points. His only racial trait is a +2 to Int.
Apparently, Panache is too good to increase with level (or even get a +3), but Arcane Pool, a much more powerful resource of a much more powerful class, scaling with level is okay.
Oh, well... C'est la vie. I already accepted the fact that Paizo doesn't care at all if the ACG is balanced or not, much less the Arcanist.
Human Sorcerers are also quite good. I like comparing best tricks to other best tricks because it lets us test the waters of pure power. The game is built on making choices that aren't necessarily great but cool and thematic. So if we test for balance, we should be testing the very echelons of power between the classes.
You don't balance one class to the most broken exploit in the game and then say it's balanced because it's not that broken. In pretty much every other situation, Arcanists are flat-out superior to Sorcerers in every way that matters.
A good Sorcerer preps spells that are very versatile in application. Conjuration spells and maybe a few buffs for his lower level spells.
And yet never nearly as versatile as Arcanists. Human Socerers with their FCB won't be overshadowed as badly, but they will still being overshadowed. And again, if a class has to use its best tricks and builds just to be on par with another one, then they are not balanced at all, that's one class struggling to keep up (and probably failing).
And it depends on the Campaign you run. If its a very freeform game with downtime, obviously Wizards and Arcanists are gonna rock since they have time to study and purchase new spells whereas if your constantly assaulted a Sorcerer will outlast both of them.
Hardly. Increasing spell slots is so much cheaper and easier than increasing spells known and prepared casters can make much better use of feats such as Inscribe Scroll and craft Wondrous Items, which gives them even more spells per day. Arcanists are spontaneous casting Wizard, how can anyone pretend that's not absurdly powerful?
But you know what? I'm tired of this argument. Paizo doesn't care if this class is freaking broken or not. I'll just ban it in my games and try to keep a modicum of balance... I gotta admit I didn't expect the ACG to be the very first book to convince me ban a whole class. That's some serious ground-breaking.
Aren't full casters always the folks breaking and making loopholes in the universe?
So your point is "class X is balanced with class Y, despite being completely superior to Y 99.99% of the time because class Y's best possible trick ever, which also happens to be the most broken rule exploit in the game, is still better than class X"?
That's not a good argument.
So Arcanists are balanced because they are not as good as what may be the most broken loophole in the rules?
I somehow doubt that Mr. "I Get +10 To Initiative" Wizard is going to be feeling obsolete from this.
I wouldn't be surprised. Unless the Wizard is particularly clever incredibly insightful, at 1st, 19th and every even-numbered level, the Arcanist's advantage and flexibility are far more valuable, IMHO. It's not like you need Initiative +40 to go first. A +15 is usually good enough. Besides, if you really need to compare it to what is probably the best school power there is, that just shows how strong Arcanists are in comparison.
At odd-numbered levels, Wizards have the advantage of being 1 spell level ahead.
Sorcerers, OTOH, simply can't compete with Arcanists. Their extra 1~2 spell slots per spell level are not nearly as powerful as having access to your whole spell list and being able to cast them spontaneously.
The fact that Arcanists have many more skill points and much better class features doesn't help either... Especially since they don't really need Cha.
I'll playtest this class again this weekend, just out of fairness, but I doubt it will prove to be any thing other than extremely powerful.
Yup. Having separate spell slots for spontaneous casting and prepared caster could work rather well, but this bizarre fusion of both spell casting styles is a huge middle finger to Sorcerers, Wizards and game balance.
When a class manages to complete obsolete one (possibly two) of the most powerful classes in the game, it's a rather obvious sign that balance wasn't even close to being a concern.
Arcanist did become very flavorful class, I truly congratulate the designers' ability to make it so interesting... But I'm still banning it from every game I GM.
Balance may not be the number 1 priority, but I'd rather not throw it out of the window either. Full-casters are already powerful enough.
2.) Don't compare them to Arcane Schools and Bloodlines. Compare them to things like Discoveries (or Arcane Discoveries) and the like, because that's closer to what they are. Your only criteria for them being better seems to be "well you can pick and choose".
Gotta disagree with this one. They are full arcane casters. They don't even need class features to be the most powerful class ever, but since they do get class features anyway (and that's great, otherwise the class would be very bland) they should be compared to other full arcane casters (having the most powerful best spell list and the best casting system ever already makes this class far more powerful than Sorcerers)
Arcanists are a serious contender for the newest "Top-God-class" of PF. They completely overshadow Sorcerers (and Wizards, during 12 out 20 levels, while still rivaling them at the other 8 levels).
Their casting alone makes them absurdly powerful. Their class features are really cool, but they do make the class even more unbalanced. Not that it really matters... The Arcanist's design completely ignores any semblance of balance anyway, so might as well add more cool stuff, I suppose.
Mobility is a thorny issue, game design wise. So much of the combat system is designed around the notion of one character approaching and kicking things off with a single attack and the other getting to counter with a huge pile of attacks, that it's really understandable not to want to mess with that. Pounce is the holy grail of a lot of weird munchkin build attempts I've seen, because hey, give a high level melee character or two a way to full attack that big bad chapter ending AP boss on the first round and it's going to die without taking a turn. Introduce swift runner's shirts to a melee heavy party if you want to see a live demonstration.
Pounce is not even that great. Martial character are desperate for it not because Pounce is broken, but because those characters have such pathetic mobility (Thanks to 3.0 awful full attack mechanics) that anything that can actually help with it is seen as a huge boon!
And yet I don't see any of those classes as a dip class (other than Fighter, that is) because they get so much cool stuff at later levels. I'd even say that Bard is usually a pretty bad dip except for very specific builds. Paladin comes with strings attached, so unless you want to play Paladin who just happens to belong to another class (e.g.: I love my Gunslinger Paladin build!), it's usually not a great idea. Barbarians get a lot of stuff, but they get so many cool features later that no one looks at them as dip class in the same manner they look at Fighters.
And more than that, it akes sense to me that a character who wants to be a better fighter would take levels in Fighter or Barbarian. I don't see anything wrong with that. Just like I see no problem at someone dippin g levels of Monk to be a best unarmed combatant. The problem is when those classes get nothing interesting or useful at higher levels, so losing class levels doesn't matter.
I'd have no problem with people taking levels in Swashbucklers to be better Dex-based combatants. Just give the class enough rewards for sticking with it and players will do it.
BTW, no smart martial character would dump their Str below 11~12 or so, since that's the minimum necessary to carry your own (light) armor, weapons and magical gear.
I know Dex is a powerful attribute, but dueling is a very weak combat style, so it's not a problem. Dervish Dance makes Dueling a viable option, but it's not even close to competing with 2-handers. It's usually taken only by those who are forced into dueling anyway (e.g.: Magus) and even then, they have great incentive for going the Str route (Power Attack, 2-handed attacks after moving, carrying stuff, CMB, 2 extra feats, etc)
Precise Strike is not super complicated, but it is more complicated than necessary. While subtracting an Character level and then multiplying is an easy step, it's equally unnecessary, boring and annoying.
Only mention of the weakest suggestions for mobility (if stand up as a free action and charging in a non-linear path is the best the Swashbuckler can do instead of minor additional perks, then the class has no hope of getting any actual mobility), nothing addressing weapon restrictions, saves or skills, nothing about Dex-to-damage (you know, like Gunslingers) instead of the unnecessarily complicated Precise Strike...
Not gonna lie... That doesn't sound promising. I'll give Paizo the benefit of doubt, but I'm already more or less resigned to the fact that Swashbucklers will be really weak (mostly because of this irrational fear of a Dex-based class being actually Dex-based).
Additionally, the sentence "We are investigating ways for the class to get Weapon Finesse at an appropriate level" is hilarious.
I know the post is supposed to sound like they are not simply making changes that are either too obvious or completely unnecessary, but really? "Investigating ways for the class to get Weapon Finesse at an appropriate level".
Here is a hint... GIVE IT WEAPON FINESSE AT 1st LEVEL. Problem solved.
Nathanael Love wrote:
I'm pretty sure when I tell you I ran a campaign where something happened I am aware what it takes for that to happen. . . you telling me that its extra work wasn't clever or called for, it was obvious.
I said it wasn't a good solution and then gave my reasoning for thinking so. Simply say "this is not true" doesn't add much.
Nathanael Love wrote:
If the difference is that big, (e.g.: between "use one standard action to reveal the enemy's position" and "spend lots of rounds trying to pinpoint the enemy and then even more rounds dealing with 50% miss chance. Pray the invisible enemy doesn't have ranged weapons") it does mean there is an unbalance.
Nathanael Love wrote:
Killing things is easier with Fighter than without him.
Only if you don't have anything to replace the Fighter.
Another problem is that it costs a standard action, so no full attack. It size limit is also very restrictive at such high levels. Large and bigger creatures become very common at 6th level and are the norm at levels 12+.
I'd like to see a capstone that does something cool instead of simply increasing DPR. At 20th level a full attack will kill pretty much anything anyway.
Maybe give them the ability to use standard-action maneuvers as a swift action. Or give them something similar to Oracles of Battle, who can use a full-round action to move up to their base speed and make a full attack.
Yeah, that -4 is will really limit the usefulness of Riposte. Large and bigger creature are very common past 6th level. There is no need for such penalty. The ability already costs 2 points of panache and/or your swift action.
Jessie Scott wrote:
Heh. Thanks... Now I feel like a helpful dumbass. ^^
Giving Swashbucklers the ability to add Dex modifier to damage and removing Precise Strike and maybe even the free Improved Critical would make for a much simpler class.
Weapon Finesse at 1st level is necessary if the class truly wants to be a Dex-based melee warrior. I don't see the problem with that.
If the purpose of the class is being a Dex-based melee warrior, then just make it a Dex-based warrior! There is no point in advertising this class as a Dex-centric and then refusing to give it anything related to Dex out of fear of it being too powerful.
Worrying about it being a dip class for those who want a dex-based warrior makes as much sense as worrying about Gunslingers being a dip class for people who want to use guns or Monk being a dip class for people who want to fight unarmed.
Give Swashbucklers effective and flavorful class features at higher levels and players will have enough incentive to stick with the class. Making it weak at low levels just punishes Swashbucklers even more.
Oh, well... Nevermind. I saddens me to say it, but I'm just giving up on this class 'til someone from Paizo announces some more changes to its design. Dervish Dance remains the only way to make dueling a viable combat style.
The black raven wrote:
That's why I added "Viable" in there. Rogues really don't have as many real options as it seems.
yes, but not every player or DM wants to have the blood of dwarven heroes in their lineage (namely most elves, half-orcs, and some humans.)
I know... It's just an odd fact that I wanted to point out. And I mostly ignore the official fluff in favor of creating my own, anyway.
Hrothgar The Spirit Caller" wrote:
Um no. The paladin has better attack rolls than the fighter, better AC than the fighter, better Saves than the monk, better damage than the barbarian, and just enough magic to let him deal with most casters. His ONLY weakness is bad skills, which his magics and a VERY small amount of gold can fix. Paladin is OP, its designed to BE op. In fact its SO OP that they have to add a CODE OF CONDUCT to try and reign him back in...
He only has better attack/damage/AC than those classes when he's using Smite Evil, a limited resource that affects 1 enemy at a time and doesn't work against all opponents. And if that's the case. He should be the best around! Fighting Evil is what the class is all about! Being effective at what they do is not "OP" it's exactly how they are supposed to work!
The Code of Conduct is there just for flavor. Not Balance. Clerics, Druids, Summoners and Wizards are far more powerful than Paladins and have a much laxer code or none at all.
But yeah, back to Arcanist.
I have actually seen a Swashbuckler at levels 1, 3 and 6. I GMed for it. At no point it ceased to struggle.
The player was rather frustrated at 1st level because he couldn't hit the broad side of a mountain. Then he was even more frustrated when he realized he had to grab Weapon Finesse anyway so he could use Piranha Strike.
His solution? Retrain his feats and grab Power Attack instead. He already needed a Str 12 to simply be able to carry his gear without suffering from encumbrance, so pushing it 1 point higher was no problem.
Even use 2 traits and 1 alternate racial trait, his saves were still really bad at all levels. The guy was terrified anytime he faced a caster or creature with supernatural ability. Bravery doesn't help. At all. Let's not pretend it does.
In fact, Bravery sucks so much, that reaching levels 6, 10, 14 and 18 is incredibly boring.
He tried to grab some maneuver feats, but the steep prerequisites and the fact that they Swashbuckler have zero dump stats make it all but impossible to qualify for Combat Expertise and Improved Disarm/Trip/Dirty Trick.
Can't dump Str because he needs to be able to carry armor (and qualify for Power Attack).
I still don't see anything that makes Swashbucklers more mobile than any other class. Given the scarceness of Panache points and the unreliable dice mechanics, Derring-do is not even close to being useful.
The limited weapon selection is pretty bad too. When facing skeletons, the Swashbuckler had no means to deal any real damage. And because its limited to light or one-handed piercing weapons, the player barely considered using any other weapon. The Weapon Restriction needlessly hurts character variety.
Also, Swashbucklers really should be proficient with whips!
Daring-do is really weak. It costs panache to get a minor bonus than can get as low as +1. Swashbucklers still have no real mobility-related class feature whatsoever.
Opportune Parry costs too much and will easily fail against non-humanoids thanks to the -4 per size category. Guess what becomes really common at level 6 and beyond? Large enemies. More than once the player wasted his very limited Panache on attacks that wouldn't have hit anyway. Why not simply make it work like Snake Style but base it on Bluff instead?
Riposte: Again, you need at least 2 Panache points for this to work, so the player rarely used it, since he needs at least one Panache point to use Precise Strike.
Swashbuckler Initiative is boring. Instead of giving an static number, let Swashbuckler add Cha to Initiative.
The player regretted having raised Cha so much when he realized how limited and costly most deeds are.
Note: I used HeroLab to create the following stat block. I did it by using a Gunslinger's build and making the appropriate changes, so I may have forgotten to change a few words. The numbers are directly copied from the player's character sheet.
Male Half-Elf Swashbuckler 6
CG Medium humanoid (elf, human)
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +11
AC 24, touch 17, flat-footed 18 (+5 armor, +2 shield, +4 Dex, +1 deflection, +2 dodge)
hp 43 (6d10+6)
Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +7; +2 vs. enchantments; +2 vs fear
Immune magic sleep; Resist elven immunities
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 silversheen rapier +13/+7 (1d6+8/18-20) and
. . masterwork cold iron rapier +13/+7 (1d6+7/18-20)
Ranged masterwork composite longbow +11/+6 (1d8+1/x3)
Str 13, Dex 21, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 24
Feats Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Step Up, Weapon Focus (rapier)
Traits indomitable faith, resilient
Skills Acrobatics +14, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Intimidate +11, Perception +11; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common, Elven
SQ deed: Precise Strike, deed: Swashbuckler Initiative, deed: Derring-do, deed: Opportune Parry, deed: Riposte, deed: Recovery, deed: Menacins Swordplay, elf blood, panache (2), gun training
Other Gear +1 Chain shirt, +1 Buckler, +1 Silversheen Rapier, Masterwork Cold Iron Rapier, Masterwork Longbow, Belt of incredible dexterity +2, Cloak of resistance +2, Ring of protection +1, 110 GP
Bravery (+2): Get a bonus on saving throws made against fear.
Combat Reflexes (6 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Elf Blood You are counted as both elven and human for any effect relating to race.
Elven Immunities +2 save bonus vs Enchantments.
Elven Immunities - Sleep You are immune to magic sleep effects.
Panache (Ex) (2) Gain a pool of points that are spent to fuel deeds, regained on crit/killing blow.
Swash Buckler Weapon Training +1: Add +1 to attack and damage rolls made with one-handed piercing weapons.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Step Up When a foe makes a 5 ft step away from you, you can move 5 ft to follow them.
I'll try to GM a 10th level adventure for the same group this weekend, to see if things get better for the class, which I sadly don't expect to happen.
At least up to 6th level, IME, Swashbucklers have:
- Limited weapon selection. (Heavens forbid you need bludgeoning damage)
All in all... It's pretty much impossible to keep the class' flavor and make an effective character without being really frustrated by its mechanics.
I'm sadly disappointed with this class.
Its Fighter side is seriously holding it back. Bravery is completely worthless and is all that is given to the character at quite a few levels. Weapon Training stops it from getting more flavorful abilities because the designers seem to be afraid a Dex-based class will out damage Fighters.
I still maintain that a Cha-based Gunslinger/Monk hybrid with full-BAB would better reflect the character concept. Most ACG classes could use a little revision, and this playtest definitely needs a 2nd round, but I fear Paizo won't do that.
Couldn't have said it better.
Acknowledging something is flawed or simply mechanically inferior to other similar options is not hate, just realism.I like the concept behind the Rogue class, but it doesn't change the fact that they are a weak class.
Just like the fact that I love junk food doesn't change the fact that it's really bad for my health. That fact might not stop me from eating junk food, but it doesn't make it any healthier either.
Allowing Cha to replace Int for the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites for Combat Feats and Prestige Classes with no spell cast progression would go a long way to make Cha more useful and give Swashbuckler an incentive to grab those maneuvers that we all associate with the Class, such as Disarm, Feint, Trip and Dirty Trick.
Adding Cha to initiative would be cool too, to give the sense that the Swashbuckler makes such a grand entrance that his opponents are taken aghast by his flair.
Another ideas would be adding Cha to attack rolls made to confirm critical.
- Increase speed to 40ft, maybe. Probably steps on the Barbarian's toes.
Possible uses for Panache:
- Move unimpeded through difficult terrain
Sadly, I think Swashbucklers would be better off being a Gunslinger/Monk hybrid than a Gunslinger/Fighter one. Even being just a Gunslinger archetype would be more fitting.
Fighters don't really add anything Swashbuckler-ish to the class. They have very few skill points, weak skill list, no synergy with Cha, bad reflex saves, no mobility option... In fact, all Fighters have to offer is extra damage, which really shouldn't be the main focus of Swashbucklers.
That said, a few Fighter archetypes do fit the Swashbuckler theme very well.
I GMed for a Swashbuckler earlier today at levels 1, 3 and 6 (2 short adventures for each level). Here are a few things I noticed:
1- At 1st level Dex-based Swashbucklers are terrible. The player was very frustrated when he realized he didn't get to use Dex to attack rolls yet, so he was forced to use ranged weapons all the time. He was even more frustrated when he realized he had to grab the Weapon Finesse feat anyway because the class doesn't get the feat, just its benefits. So he had to grab a feat for absolutely zero benefit just so he could play the character archetype the class is supposed to be based on.
2- Precise Strike doesn't help much before 5th~6th level or so. Especially since it doesn't benefit from high critical threat range such as those from rapiers and scimitars.
3- Charisma is a dump stat. Panache is not very useful because many deeds are really weak and/or too situational, and the attribute doesn't do anything else for the class.
4-There not any extra mobility worth a note: Swashbucklers are barely more mobile than any other martial class. They don't nearly as nimble as you'd expect from a class trying to reflect the likes of Zorro and Robin Hood.
5-Those saves are a death sentence: By 6th level or so, Fort and Will saves become far more important than Reflex save. Having both of them as bad saves made the player tremble in fear whenever the party fought a caster or any creature with supernatural abilities. If they are not given a 2nd good save, I fear Swashbucklers will rarely last more than 7~8 levels unless the GM is really holding back.
Bigger Club wrote:
That being said is it bad form? No not really, but you really need to know what you are doing before going down that route. In most parties I have played, if the fighter's sword gets sundered that is a group expense, cause it got sundered while doing their job, same way that cleric does not buy wands of CLW. So party will remain in balance wealth wise after the next loot sharing.
Yup. Getting the Fighter a new magic sword should be a group investment. Sometimes sharing treasure equally is not the best idea. Did the group find a +3 Flaming sword? Instead of selling it, let the frontliner have it for himself and sell his old +2 sword instead. Sure, that might mean some players don't get loot this time, but the party will be much better for it.
Last campaign I played a Sorcerer, I had no problem getting less loot so that the Barbarian could afford a better Cloak of Resistance. Raising his Will save is more likely win encounters than upgrading my Ring of Protection +2.
The GM should give enough treasure to keep the PCs capable of fighting appropriate challenges. That's why I said you don't have to worry too mcuh about losing gear. The character will get a replacement sooner or later and, at least in my games, "sooner" is more likely than later (maybe even in the same encounter you lost your weapon, depending on what the enemy had). And "later" shouldn't be "next level", but maybe "next trip to town", "next big encounter" or "next quest reward".
Meanwhile, you'll deal a little less damage and need a little more support from your friends. Just like when you face elementals and the Rogue can't use Sneak Attack. Is it in bad form to throw elementals against Rogues and Ninjas? Nope, unless you do it all the time, then the player will be rightfully frustrated. But you know elementals exist, so you should have a few tactics against it and not depend solely on Sneak Attack.
Black Testicles? Is that some sort of Necromancer's STD?
Lemmy, I mean no disrespect, but your argument has been stated and the game designer has responded to it. Unless you have something new to add to why you think so many people (including the design team) are wrong about the power level, could you maybe hold off on saying the same things over and over and wait to see what they do to the class. It isn't constructive and we are needing to try the class out, not make theorycrafting decisions.
Anyway, I won't repeat myself again. As I said, I'll wait for more information on the revised version and my own playtest game to comment more on this class.
They do when your stance on them being broken is comparing them to Synthesist Summoners, TWF gunslingers, and God Wizards.
I never said those things are well-balanced. All I meant is that they are less broken than spontaneous-casting Wizards.
TWF Gunslingers are quite easy to deal with, actually... Not every challenge involves shooting stuff, and not every enemy is in a 30ft radius.
This class is no more powerful than the wizard, it's slightly more versatile in the fact that if it turns out the player doesn't need to cast 'Knock' in your dungeon, then it isn't a waste of a spell slot for him to memorize it and he can instead use that slot on an extra 'Scorching Ray' in combat.
Thus completely invalidating both Wizards and Sorcerers. Arcanists get the best of both worlds and only a few minor drawbacks.
It is less broken than things that already exist in the game, and it really won't cause as many problems as you think.
Perhaps, but they are not less broken than any other class.
Anyway, I won't repeat myself again. As I said, I'll wait for more information on the revised version and my own playtest game to comment more on this class.
Ah, indeed... An Int-based full-casting spontaneous Wizard with anti-caster abilities. I'm sure that won't be completely broken... ¬¬'
I'm honestly worried that the Arcanist will kick the ass of any semblance of balance in the game.
For the first time since I started playing Pathfinder, I'll ban a whole class in my games.
I GMed for Master Summoners, TWF Gunslingers, God Wizards/Clerics, spell-sundering Barbarians, Slumber-spamming Witches and all other stuff that people so often say is broken in this forum.
Never before had I thought "This is so broken it makes me I wish they hadn't created this" so I suppose I should congratulate the Arcanist for breaking new ground.
I've seen quite a few Arcanist builds now, and I still can't see any situation where it doesn't completely outclasses Sorcerers.
Having access to their whole spell list and being able to cast it spontaneously is still much better than anything any Bloodline can do.
And of course, Int based casting also give them skills and much better Knowledge/Spellcraft checks, while Sorcerer have huge Charisma but not enough skill points to make a decent party face.
I guess Sorcerers will soon join Rogues on the support group for classes who were made completely obsolete by another class.
Ah, the flavor is actually interesting now. It was rather dull before, IMHO.
But to be honest, it's the class spell casting style that made me worry about it obsoleting Sorcerers and Wizards, not its class features (mechanically speaking, those are just gravy for full casters).
I still like the idea behind the class (mixing two different casting styles) and I'm still worried about its impact on game balance, but these news give me hope that the new Arcanist will have more unique mechanics and be a better balanced class.
I'm excited to see how it turns out.
How about this...
- Same armor and weapon proficiency as Gunslingers (plus whips and bucklers, of course, for a real Swashbuckler feel)
IMHO, Swashbucklers shouldn't get Weapon Training, as that is one of the main selling points of Fighters, but Armor Training makes sense for a Dex-based warrior. Bravery is so terrible it doesn't make any difference.
It looks more like a Gunslinger/Rogue hybrid than a Gunslinger/Fighter one, though. Mostly because Fighters don't make good Swashbucklers...
How kind of you to purposely not include the next sentence I added:
You'll have too many of them anyway, and they are unlikely to be actually useful in most encounters.
Doesn't really matter if you have 60 or 600 low level spells (or if you want to compare Arcanists and Sorcerers, 5 or 6). You're unlikely to use all of them anyway. Even the ones that remain powerful through the upper levels are not likely to be cast more than once or twice in an encounter.
The bulk of an arcane caster's power is in their top 3 spell levels. The lower level spells are still useful, of course, but having 1~2 extra casting of them doesn't even compare to being able to pick your spell list every day and then cast your spells in any combination you want.
Is it more versatile than existing casters? Yes, but in ways that increase fun and usefulness. Is it more powerful? Not really, because you still have similar numbers of spells known and cast. You just have slightly more flexibility with them.
How is being able to change your spell list every day and then cast them in any combination you want just "slightly more versatility"
It's a HUGE increase in versatility. One beyond anything any other caster can do.