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Darius Finch

LoreKeeper's page

Goblin Squad Member. RPG Superstar 2013 Dedicated Voter, 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 3,893 posts (8,592 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 20 aliases.


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heh. hehehe. bahahahahahaa!


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Just a moment's food for thought: all and any re-imagining of the rogue class (and classes in general) should try to not solve all the problems of the class. Building a level of weakness into the class (and perhaps compensating for it elsewhere in the class) helps to diversify the class.


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A suggestion: instead of having 40 point buy, start with 20 point buy - but at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 do not give a static +1 to a stat. Instead give +3, +4, +5, +6, +7 additional point buy. (Players can save points if they want, even from level 1 onwards.)

The +3 at level 4 is not enough for a SAD player to push his primary stat to 19 or 20, but it is enough for a MAD player to push a 13 to 14 as well as an 11 to 12. (Since it is additional point buy, you do not have to apply the extra points to the same stat.)

Note that the point buy still applies on the values without racials, so a 18 (16 + 2 racial) can be pushed to 19 (17 + 2) at 4th level with +3 point buy.


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I think a lot of this discussion is hogwash. "Hypersexualized" is a term that should be used to actual hypersexualized content. Attractive presentation is not hypersexualized presentation, no matter how much you want to point out all the girl images cleavage and model-like proportions. Hyperbole does not make the argument more sound (and xeose4 makes appropriate commentary and apology to that effect earlier in the thread).

There's 2 important distinctions in perceptions here that should be highlighted:


  • Fan service for males: the impression the discussion here gives is that every single female image is serving the (straight) male libido. The root of this premise is that the female images have breasts (a primary female sexual characteristic and thus unavoidable) and show skin. The fallacy here is that those 2 qualities make for sexy females. The truth: they do not. The vast(!) majority of female images are attractive, but also the vast majority of female images aren't sexy. And often the actually sexy images do not show skin or cleavage.

  • Fan service for females: the impression is that there's rarely much of interest for girl gamers (or for that matter gay guy gamers). On actual enquiry about specific examples of what are otherwise attractive male images: eyes are wrong, smile is wrong, wields an unattractive weapon, is described as unfriendly, doesn't follow acceptable deity, is evil-aligned, wouldn't want a long-term relationship, has a missing tooth, is sickly, is too old, is more-like-a-father, is part of the underground, is poor/unclean, etc. The truth: the majority of male images is attractive.

The bottom line here is that for females there is a large disparity of what constitutes attractive for the individual girl. Sample discussion from existing art has different girl gamers highlight entirely different samples and aren't interested in the other images. Tastes differ after all. But 90% of female image samples are "sexy" because they "got boobs". Well: 90% of female images are "not sexy" to me.

Is the base assumption here that "sexy" for guys is an image for a female that they'd have an imaginary one-night-stand with; while "sexy" for females is an image for a guy that they'd have as an imaginary husband?

...

Since the discussion started on Wrath of the Righteous, I decided to page through The Midnight Isles and give my sexy rating of the character art:

Potential WoR spoiler:

Ash giant thug (male, not sexy)
Mutasafen (male, sexy)
Yaniel (female, "handsome", not sexy; perhaps sexy to a lesbian)
Ursathella (female, average, sexy? to taste)
Nezirrius (n/a)
Gelderfang (male, ruggedly handsome, sexy? to taste)
Vellexia (female, sexy)
Nocticula (portrait only)
Kestoglyr Mantiel (male, not sexy)
Fulsome queen (female, not sexy)
Melaxmera (n/a)
Abyssal harvester (n/a)
Half-fiend mythic minotaur (male, sexy? to taste)
Galfrey (female, not sexy; gender invariant art)
Hepzamirah (female, sexy? to taste)
Minagho (female, sexy)
Shamira (female, sexy? to taste)
Cambion (male, sexy)
Nocticalu (female, sexy)

Note Vellexia as an example of a sexy female without the need to show breasts or excessive skin. I've given a couple of females that I'd personally classify as unsexy (Ursathella, Hepzamirah, Shamira) the benefit of the doubt and made them sexy "to taste".

Male sexy count: 2
Male sexy to taste count: 2
Male unsexy: 2

Female sexy count: 3
Female sexy to taste count: 3
Female unsexy: 3

In my opinion: a bit of an edge in favor of the male gamer, but adequate presentation for both genders. Given the male-dominated clientele, this is acceptable.

...now I grant that any number of female gamers won't classify the males that >I< classified as "sexy" as sexy themselves. But that doesn't change the fact that they're presented visually as sexualized as any of the sexualized female images.

Just because you don't like chocolate raisins doesn't mean its not a sweet.

...

Finally: xeose4 also points out that for him (though not for the discussion in general in this thread) the emphasis is on equal opportunity of game content. This is an argument that I can get behind to a certain extent; but by and large Paizo has handled sexuality reasonably well.

When designing an AP, the authors (by necessity) take certain baselines into consideration and work from there. The party consists of 4 PCs with a spread of 1 front-line, 1 divine, 1 arcane and 1 misc. The party is not min-maxed. Players "buy in" to the story and don't actively derail it. And as a quiet assumption: the players are male. The story is presented to (in general) appeal to the male.

What is the common thread to go from designed AP to reality? The GM. The GM needs to handle that his/her 7 players are all paladins. The GM has to engineer a return-to-plot after 2 PCs decide to petition the queen in Kyonin instead of saving the Worldwound. The GM also has to re-imagine a female love interest into a male love interest for his/her female gamer. On the whole going from a female love interest to a male love interest is - on average across all campaigns - less work than to design the love interest as male in the first place and converting to female as needed. Of course, that doesn't mean that all romantic options should be designed as female upfront. And here Paizo can perhaps improve the odds a bit for female gamers.

In my opinion, a bit of a shoot-your-own foot is happening here sometimes: as often a suitable position in the AP for a male romantic option is taken by a female, not to have a female romantic option available - but to have a powerful female in a position of prominence or authority. I.e. sometimes fighting gender inequity on a professional level can create gender inequity on a social/romantic level.


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I've got a couple of disrelated issues with regards to the topic, I'll go through them separately:

1. I like the discussion (and expect its fruit to show in upcoming Paizo products). But I would like to point out something that bugs me with SRS assertions:

SRS, opening post wrote:
Male beauty and female beauty are not really on the same continuum. Masculine women are not the most beautiful possibility of masculinity, at least if you're a gay male like I am.

I can appreciate that sentiment, but I find that pretty much all examples of beautiful men linked by SRS later on can be described as feminine looking guys; certainly all the ones labelled as "cute". Naturally it is possible to split hairs on this, but is that really far from the truth? For the art team it would be a lottery system to find an appropriately cute looking guy that has the right amount of gruff and the right amount of fluff.

(By the way: what is wrong with Nethys, visually speaking, in this regard? From the description and visualization I kept thinking he would be a shoo-in. Or is he okay visually but the sporadic madness is a problem?)

2. I think the spread for male eye-candy can - and should - be improved. There is definitely a lack of guys that look nice, while at the same time appearing desirable enough for the sack, or reliable enough to be marriage material. Or at least not averse to going out to dinner with.

3. But, I would like to point out that the abundance of sexualized female imagery is not really all that. Don't misunderstand - there is lots of it. But there is only a (very) small handful that actually hits the "sexy" strike zone. The kind that makes me nudge a buddy and go "dude! check this out!". (Almost invariably those reactions are reserved for awesome action scenes in Paizo products, for me.)


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My GM initially had me take a -4 penalty on attacks when using weapons as improvised weapons on the grounds that the archetype doesn't explicitly grant Catch Off Guard (which would negate the -4 penalty for improvised weapons). We consulted the Paizo staff on it (probably somewhere in Ask James Jacobs Anything), and they stated that Catch Off Guard and Throw Anything are implicitly granted to the monk of the empty hand - there is after all no point to an archetype that takes -4 penalty to fighting all the time. The inference here is that Catch Off Guard applies to improvised fighting with weapons.

I think you need to reconsider "improvised weapons" not being weapons. You are insistent that it is a definition thing, but then you're not looking at the complete list of definitions. Everything can be an improvised weapon.


  • The manufacture of an object to be used for the purpose of hitting someone makes that object a weapon.
  • The non-standard use of an object to hit someone makes that object an improvised weapon.

These are not mutually exclusive; they can readily overlap.

You base your reading of the rules text: "Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat—commonly bottles, chair legs, stray femurs, and that sort of thing". From just that it is reasonable to come to the conclusion that you have. On the other hand, I claim that the list of examples is incomplete; it could readily include "haft of an axe" without becoming inconsistent - however it would change your reading of the rules significantly.

Consider a bowstring. It certainly is designed to be a weapon (not an improvised weapon). In a bind somebody could use it as a garotte. But doing so is nowhere even close to the realm of intended use of the string; it's an improvised use.


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I believe blackbloodtroll specifically is suggesting the minimalist club, or baseball bat, i.e. he's saying that Weapon Versatility (baseball bat) is essentially meaningless. In contrast, a longsword can already be used as an improvised weapon to deal piercing or bludgeoning damage - without a feat (albeit with appropriate penalties unless you have Catch Off Guard).

Weapon Versatility (longsword)'s only advantage, then, is that you can wield it as a hammer without taking a -4 penalty. However, you could do that more generally with any weapon using Catch Off Guard (and without a prerequisite feat).

Essentially this would reduce Weapon Versatility to a trap feat. Not entirely without purpose; but the purpose can be met cheaper and easier with a different feat that happens to also apply more generally than the specific weapon allowed by Weapon Versatility.

However, a baseball bat cannot (reasonably) be used as an improvised slashing weapon. Even with Catch Off Guard (by the simple observation that the necessary cutting edge does not exist). Now, if you allow the literal RAW of Weapon Versatility, then suddenly the feat becomes meaningful in its own right: an improvised baseball bat cannot be used to slash - but a Weapon Versatility (baseball bat) can both slash and pierce. The investment is fair, the payout adequate (if a bit meek). You could say that Weapon Versatility is the cutting edge on the baseball bat.


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I agree with blackbloodtroll's argument that this is a very specific net result of a small feat chain. The benefit of the feat matters relatively rarely. Very few classes/builds outside a fighter can even justify spending a feat for this effect. So... mechanically I think the feat is balanced - if a little weak - and on those grounds I feel it is acceptable to allow the RAW to apply under all circumstances.

As a GM I'd have to go a little out of my way to describe it and make it "work" in the story telling; but that is okay too.

Garamont's eyes steel themselves as the lumbering hulk of the giant zombie cast an ominous shadow that slowly reach for him. With a shout that was half frustration and half determination he charges at the undead abomination to close the gap, heedless of the swipe of the massive broken-boned fist. The attack fails, not even ruffling Garamont's plumage. Cayden himself must be watching over the brave - if fool-hardy display - still Garamont persevers, his grip on the bowling ball changes ever so slightly; the heavy ball almost feels like it melds with him, becomes an extension to his will. His attack is literally over in a flash, impossibly fast, the frightened orphans will later talk of a pale blueish streak that follows the path of the bowling ball - the wave cuts through the huge zombie: old muscles and tendons split. For a few seconds the massive zombie stands still, then topples and thunders to the ground. Lifeless one more time. Garamont gasps, the bowling ball still outstretched. A thin wisp of smoke rises from it.


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Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

Without a feat or special ability that says otherwise (there are some which let you do it in limited ways), you can't use a weapon as an improvised weapon.

Quote:
Improvised Weapons: Sometimes objects not crafted to be weapons nonetheless see use in combat. Because such objects are not designed for this use...

The hilt, pommel, crossguard, etc of a weapon are all objects not designed to be a weapon (in many cases at least). They can be used as improvised weapons by that rule statement.

Quote:
Even if the rules allowed you to use, say, a longsword as an improvised weapon, then the most similar weapon to a longsword...is a longsword! So you would use those stats.

No. Using a longsword as an improvised warhammer (reverse grip) would mean the most similar weapon would be a warhammer or light hammer. It would only be similar to a longsword if you used the slicing end to do damage.

...

Weapon Versatility (Combat) is another way to solve the same problem. It has the advantage that it keeps the damage dice of your weapon (2d6 greatsword-cum-hammer!). But the disadvantage of being keyed to specific weapons, and costing a feat.

Using them as improvised weapons instead does not require a feat and can be done with all weapons, but takes a significant attack penalty and typically smaller damage dice. There are several feats that can remove the penalty and improve the damage dice though.


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As an improvised weapon. Unless you have some feat or ability in improvised weapons, you take -4 to attack. Additionally a light weapon will not deal more than 1d4 damage; a one-handed and a two-handed weapon not more than 1d6. Only crit on a natural 20, and only a x2 multiplier.

(Catch Off Guard feat will let you wield melee improvised weapons without penalty. Monk of the Empty Hand will also let you wield improvised weapons without penalty. Improvised Weapon Mastery increases the damage dice and crit threat range.)


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This. Is. AWESOME!


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Sothis... can we get a bigger more wallpaper-y version of that? It looks so good, but its so small.


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Tangent101 wrote:
More importantly, does this mean Disney is going to release a desert-themed animated movie (that isn't Aladdin) in the next year or two? I mean, we had Frozen follow RoW...

I think this post deserves more credit ^_^


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That is one useful guide. I like the extensive suggested archetype list - it brings to mind some things read but forgotten.


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Personally I'm perfectly okay with little gunslinger support. There are suitable systems/settings for gun totting hot shots. I'm happy that in Golarion it is limited to a minimum.


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Okay. We're in February now. 2 months to Inner Sea Combat. Isn't it time that a little more light is shone on here? I vote YES!


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All that said. I would also like to voice the opinion that Crane Wing is not the problem: Master of Many Styles is.


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Soooo... is there a possibility that we'll see a slight adjustment on either Crane Wing or Crane Riposte? Something as simple as:

"You receive a +4 dodge bonus to AC against that attack; if the attack misses, it is considered deflected."

That would be enough to make Crane Riposte relevant as a follow-up feat.


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Look, it's not that it is a PFS problem specifically; it is that the PFS feedback is the most reliable and consistent feedback of its nature that the developers have - and it covers a large sample space. The feedback from several hundred thousand scenarios is nothing to be sneezed at. If a balance issue is brought to light in such a statistically mature sample space, then it is right for developers to adjust the game appropriately.

Crane Wing was very good, now it is only good. But it is still good. It is not a crappy feat to take. Crane Riposte was very good, now it is only above average. The Crane Style feat chain as a whole is still a very viable choice for characters. Just because it went from very good to good doesn't break the game.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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Guys! Guys! Is it too late to submit?


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Perhaps Martial Maneuvers should be half-level + Con? That would make sense to me. Knockout might then also use Con as its stat.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:
Also disciplines that are "any combat feat, may be taken multiple times".

What do we gain by doing it your way instead of the current way? Nothing. And with the current way, other classes can grab appropriate feats if they fit their classes. For example, a brawler/rogue could take Sap Adept, which is a combat feat (which brawlers get extras of) which modifies sneak attack (which a brawler doesn't get, but a brawler/rogue would). You're basically saying, "rogues don't get bonus combat feats, so why should we have combat feats which modify sneak attack?" ... which ignores that there are zillions of ways that (1) any particular rogue might get a combat feat, and (2) that there is a benefit to labeling a feat as a combat feat, even if doing so doesn't help the class that feat is written for.

In other words, not arguing for a class mechanic that actually reduces the number of available options for characters.

What I am actually proposing is that the brawler can take all the combat feats that she could've taken previously. Then she also has unique brawler-specific choices.

As to what is gained:

  • greater diversity as more options are available to the brawler (both combat feats and "special" disciplines)
  • a natural vehicle to present class specific options to the brawler (as opposed to feats), consider the number of rage powers available and how such a big list is implausible to offer as feats. Additionally it is a natural vehicle to offer supernatural/magical upgrades to the class (e.g. Elemental Rage rage power)
  • rule locality, it is very easy to find rage power and rogue talents (etc) for their respective classes - they are all listed with their class; class-specific feats however aren't always as obvious to find

Brawler disciplines are not actually "new". It is a new name, but for a familiar class feature (rage powers, rogue talents, ninja tricks, oracle revelations, slayer talents, alchemist discoveries, magus arcana, arcanist exploit, investigator talent).

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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I'm sad to see the lack of archetype round. It is above and beyond my favorite of the rounds. :(


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@RJGrady:

If the brawler hits reliably (which isn't impossible, especially in a party that might feature a bard and somebody to flank with) then picking up the "Hammer the Gap" feat will also work to overcome DR. Perhaps not as much as Vital Strike in one hit, but over 4+ consecutive hits the bonuses add up.

The party aspect in the discussion is somewhat underplayed up to now - a brawler benefits a lot from buffs, generally more so than other classes. A single-weapon fighter might only get +1/+1 to 2 attacks at level 8; but the brawler would get +1/+1 to 4 attacks.

A lot of theoretical discussion focuses on CR-equal opponents (such as a CR 10 to fight a level 10 hero). The CR system is balanced around a party of 4; so instead an appropriate 1v1 fight for a level 10 PC is a CR 7 to 8 monster.


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Sean K Reynolds recommends I post this in the main brawler discussion thread. Please be gentle, but consider the ideas:

I am a big proponent of class diversity and flexibility; that is why I strongly support class designs that make use of abilities such as rogue talents, rage powers, arcane exploits, and so forth. I really think that the brawler would benefit from this as well, and along those lines consider the changes to the class suggested below.

Brawler

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A brawler is proficient with all simple weapons as well as all weapons in the close weapons group. She is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Martial Maneuvers (Ex): At 1st level, a brawler can spend a swift action to gain the benefit of a feat she doesn't possess for 1 minute. The feat must be a combat feat or a non-combat feat that the brawler could acquire through her brawler skills class ability. The brawler must otherwise meet all the feat’s prerequisites. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to her brawler level. If this ability is triggered before the duration expires, the brawler loses the previous combat feat and gains a new one in its place. If a feat has a daily use limitation (such as Stunning Fist), any uses of that feat while using this ability count toward that feat’s daily limit.
At 6th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of two feats at the same time. She may select one feat as a swift action or two feats as a move action. At 10th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of three combat feats at the same time. She may select one feat as a swift action, two feats as a move action, or three feats as a standard action. At 12th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of one feat as an immediate action.
When acquiring feats after the first using this ability, the brawler may add and remove a number of feats based on the activation action; for example, if she uses a move action to gain feats, she may remove up to two feats from the feats gained through martial maneuvers, and gain up to two feats. She may not have more feats than her maximum number of feats gained through martial maneuvers, and all feats must meet prerequisites (although feats gained through martial maneuvers may count as prerequisites for other feats gained through martial maneuvers). Each feat selected counts toward her daily uses of this ability.
Whenever this ability is activated, the duration on any feat gained through martial maneuvers is reset - in other words it isn't necessary to track the acquisition round of each feat separately.
Unarmed Strike: unchanged
Brawler Skills: detailed below
Maneuver Training: unchanged
Brawler's Flurry: unchanged
Brawler Strike (Su): unchanged
Awesome Blow (Ex): unchanged, after change by developers

Below are the details to the Brawler Skills class ability, this is intended as a sample of abilities available - a great number of additional options should be available for the complete class in the ACG.

Brawler Skills: Starting at 2nd level, a brawler gains one brawler skill. She gains an additional brawler skill for every 2 levels of brawler attained after 2nd level. Except where indicated, a brawler cannot select an individual skill more than once. Brawling skills marked with an asterisk cannot be used in rounds where the brawler makes use of her brawler's flurry class ability.

Acrobatic master: A brawler with this skill gains the Skill Focus (acrobatics) feat and may always Take 10 on acrobatic checks.

Brawling dodger: A brawler with this skill gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and CMD when she wears light armor, or +2 when she wear no armor. This bonus increases by +1 for every 5 levels of brawler she possesses. A brawler may pick this skill a second time, doing so increases the bonus by +1 for every 3 levels instead of every 5 levels. A brawler must be at least 6th level before picking this skill a second time.

Brutal: A brawler with this skill adds +2 to the DC of any ability gained through brawler skills (such as knockout and stun specialist).

Combat training: A brawler may chose a combat feat instead of a brawling skill, she must meet the prerequisites of that combat feat. A brawler may pick this skill any number of times. When chosing combat training, a brawler may change any feats gained previously with combat training; she must still meet all the prerequisites of feats chosen.

Enduring maneuvers: Feats gained through martial maneuvers last for 10 minutes. A brawler may pick this skill a second time, if she does so, then feats gained through martial maneuvers last for 1 hour.

Extra maneuver feat: A brawler with this skill increases the total number of feats that she may gain from martial maneuvers by 1 (thus at second level she could have up to 2 feats, at sixth level up to 3 feats, and at 10th level up to 4 feats).

Extra maneuvers: A brawler with this skill may use martial maneuvers a number of times per day equal to twice her class level.

Fast: A brawler with this skill gains a +10 bonus to her speed. A brawler may pick this skill once for every 4 brawler levels she possesses.

Finesse brawler: A brawler with this skill gains the Weapon Finesse feat.

Grappling specialist: A brawler with this skill deals an additional +1d6 damage when using grapples to inflict damage.

Great fortitude: A brawler with this skill gains the Great Fortitude feat.

Knockout (Su): A brawler with this skill can unleash a devastating attack that can instantly knock a target unconscious. She must announce this intent before making her attack roll. If the brawler strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the brawler’s level + the higher of the brawler’s Strength or Dexterity modifier) or fall unconscious for 1d6 rounds. A brawler may use this ability once a day for at level 16, and once more for every two levels above level 16. Creatures immune to critical hits or nonlethal damage are immune to this ability. A brawler must be level 16 before selecting this brawler skill.

Painful punches (Ex): A brawler with this skill may add +5 to the damage she deals with unarmed strikes, instead of bonus damage gained from Strength or Dexterity. A brawler must be at least 4th level before selecting this skill.

Professional: A brawler with this skill considers her brawler level as her fighter level + 2 for the purpose of qualifying for combat feats.

Stun specialist: A brawler with this skill gains the Stunning Fist feat. She considers her brawler level as her monk level for the purpose of determining how many times a day she can use the Stunning Fist feat. She need not meet the prerequisites of the feat, but she must be a 4th level brawler to select this brawler skill.

Style savant: A brawler with this skill may chose a single style feat, or feat that has a style feat as a prerequisite, without meeting that feats requirements.

Tough brawler: A brawler with this skill gains the Toughness feat, additionally she gains +1 natural armor bonus to AC.

Note that the changes to Martial Maneuvers make it very easy to determine what feats can be acquired: any combat feat, and any other feat that is available through the Brawler Skills class ability. Correspondingly, given the examples above, the brawler could get Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (acrobatics) and Toughness, in addition to all combat feats.


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I am a big proponent of class diversity and flexibility; that is why I strongly support class designs that make use of abilities such as rogue talents, rage powers, arcane exploits, and so forth. I really think that the brawler would benefit from this as well, and along those lines consider the changes to the class suggested below.

Brawler

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A brawler is proficient with all simple weapons as well as all weapons in the close weapons group. She is proficient with light armor, but not with shields.
Martial Maneuvers (Ex): At 1st level, a brawler can spend a swift action to gain the benefit of a feat she doesn't possess for 1 minute. The feat must be a combat feat or a non-combat feat that the brawler could acquire through her brawler skills class ability. The brawler must otherwise meet all the feat’s prerequisites. She may use this ability a number of times per day equal to her brawler level. If this ability is triggered before the duration expires, the brawler loses the previous combat feat and gains a new one in its place. If a feat has a daily use limitation (such as Stunning Fist), any uses of that feat while using this ability count toward that feat’s daily limit.
At 6th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of two feats at the same time. She may select one feat as a swift action or two feats as a move action. At 10th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of three combat feats at the same time. She may select one feat as a swift action, two feats as a move action, or three feats as a standard action. At 12th level, a brawler can use this ability to gain the benefit of one feat as an immediate action.
When acquiring feats after the first using this ability, the brawler may add and remove a number of feats based on the activation action; for example, if she uses a move action to gain feats, she may remove up to two feats from the feats gained through martial maneuvers, and gain up to two feats. She may not have more feats than her maximum number of feats gained through martial maneuvers, and all feats must meet prerequisites (although feats gained through martial maneuvers may count as prerequisites for other feats gained through martial maneuvers). Each feat selected counts toward her daily uses of this ability.
Whenever this ability is activated, the duration on any feat gained through martial maneuvers is reset - in other words it isn't necessary to track the acquisition round of each feat separately.
Unarmed Strike: unchanged
Brawler Skills: detailed below
Maneuver Training: unchanged
Brawler's Flurry: unchanged
Brawler Strike (Su): unchanged
Awesome Blow (Ex): unchanged, after change by developers

Below are the details to the Brawler Skills class ability, this is intended as a sample of abilities available - a great number of additional options should be available for the complete class in the ACG.

Brawler Skills: Starting at 2nd level, a brawler gains one brawler skill. She gains an additional brawler skill for every 2 levels of brawler attained after 2nd level. Except where indicated, a brawler cannot select an individual skill more than once. Brawling skills marked with an asterisk cannot be used in rounds where the brawler makes use of her brawler's flurry class ability.

Acrobatic master: A brawler with this skill gains the Skill Focus (acrobatics) feat and may always Take 10 on acrobatic checks.

Brawling dodger: A brawler with this skill gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and CMD when she wears light armor, or +2 when she wear no armor. This bonus increases by +1 for every 5 levels of brawler she possesses. A brawler may pick this skill a second time, doing so increases the bonus by +1 for every 3 levels instead of every 5 levels. A brawler must be at least 6th level before picking this skill a second time.

Brutal: A brawler with this skill adds +2 to the DC of any ability gained through brawler skills (such as knockout and stun specialist).

Combat training: A brawler may chose a combat feat instead of a brawling skill, she must meet the prerequisites of that combat feat. A brawler may pick this skill any number of times. When chosing combat training, a brawler may change any feats gained previously with combat training; she must still meet all the prerequisites of feats chosen.

Enduring maneuvers: Feats gained through martial maneuvers last for 10 minutes. A brawler may pick this skill a second time, if she does so, then feats gained through martial maneuvers last for 1 hour.

Extra maneuver feat: A brawler with this skill increases the total number of feats that she may gain from martial maneuvers by 1 (thus at second level she could have up to 2 feats, at sixth level up to 3 feats, and at 10th level up to 4 feats).

Extra maneuvers: A brawler with this skill may use martial maneuvers a number of times per day equal to twice her class level.

Fast: A brawler with this skill gains a +10 bonus to her speed. A brawler may pick this skill once for every 4 brawler levels she possesses.

Finesse brawler: A brawler with this skill gains the Weapon Finesse feat.

Grappling specialist: A brawler with this skill deals an additional +1d6 damage when using grapples to inflict damage.

Great fortitude: A brawler with this skill gains the Great Fortitude feat.

Knockout (Su): A brawler with this skill can unleash a devastating attack that can instantly knock a target unconscious. She must announce this intent before making her attack roll. If the brawler strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the brawler’s level + the higher of the brawler’s Strength or Dexterity modifier) or fall unconscious for 1d6 rounds. A brawler may use this ability once a day for at level 16, and once more for every two levels above level 16. Creatures immune to critical hits or nonlethal damage are immune to this ability. A brawler must be level 16 before selecting this brawler skill.

Painful punches (Ex): A brawler with this skill may add +5 to the damage she deals with unarmed strikes, instead of bonus damage gained from Strength or Dexterity. A brawler must be at least 4th level before selecting this skill.

Professional: A brawler with this skill considers her brawler level as her fighter level + 2 for the purpose of qualifying for combat feats.

Stun specialist: A brawler with this skill gains the Stunning Fist feat. She considers her brawler level as her monk level for the purpose of determining how many times a day she can use the Stunning Fist feat. She need not meet the prerequisites of the feat, but she must be a 4th level brawler to select this brawler skill.

Style savant: A brawler with this skill may chose a single style feat, or feat that has a style feat as a prerequisite, without meeting that feats requirements.

Tough brawler: A brawler with this skill gains the Toughness feat, additionally she gains +1 natural armor bonus to AC.

Note that the changes to Martial Maneuvers make it very easy to determine what feats can be acquired: any combat feat, and any other feat that is available through the Brawler Skills class ability. Correspondingly, given the examples above, the brawler could get Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (acrobatics) and Toughness, in addition to all combat feats.


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Ssalarn wrote:
TarkXT wrote:


I'm not so sure. If you work off the standard set of feats that it takes to get to medusa's wrath than yeah I can see that. But the list is quite big. Honestly all you need to do is get them flatfooted which you can have if you manage to blind them through the dirty trick combat maneuver.

Still, I think this class is deeper than mere damage numbers. There's a lot going on here underneath that with martial maneuvers and the sheer swathe of things you can martial maneuver into.

The brawler might very well become my favorite martial class.

Very much this. One of the first things I jumped to was how to create a feat path that would allow me to use Martial maneuvers to jump into whatever combat style or maneuver tree the situation most warranted. The Brawler has a lot of potential to be able to bring exactly the right techniques to the table at any given time.

That is what I did with Berkley "The Hammer" Naveel: large feat potential.

The problem is the low duration and low number of uses a day. At level 10 Berkley can do a "full" feat set once (taking 3 feats) and then still have 2 feats left for the rest of the day. It's just not feasible in practice to rely on Martial Maneuvers to do large scale adaption for combat in each encounter. You need to build to be able to not rely on it, and then can use Martial Maneuvers either to cherry-pick a single feat (toolbox style). Or build to work reliably without Martial Maneuvers, and then go into alpha mode only in extreme encounters.

Some comparison builds:

Berkley "The Hammer" Naveel large feat potential
Mikiko Konda Snake Style toolbox build
nVali Letoba ignores flurries entirely
Ruby Spring bleeds and shreds enemies


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Tels wrote:
mbauers wrote:

I think the problem with Combat Expertise is that, on its own, the 13 Int requirement makes sense. You're a smarter combatant and you know how to read your opponents and fight defensively to keep yourself alive. That makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is that Combat Expertise is a prerequisite to Improved Trip, Dirty Trick, etc. You shouldn't have to be smart to trip someone or poke them in the eye. I think the simplest fix (though I probably shouldn't discuss this in this thread) would be to keep Combat Expertise as it is as a stand alone feat. Then make a new feat (we'll call it Combat Maneuvers for lack of a better term) that has a prerequisite of BAB 1 (or perhaps higher)whose benefit is that it gives you a +2 to CMB. Make Combat Maneuvers the prereq to gain access to the improved maneuver feats.

A fix like this could only take place in a new edition. It would require re-writing TONS of monster entries to account for the feat changes, and it would open up a new line of possibilities that weren't available before. Like a wolf with Improved Trip. Wolves can't ever qualify for Improved Trip because animals are limited to Int 2 and therefore can never qualify for Combat Expertise, despite Improved Trip being a good feat choice for wolves.

Not exactly. They could have a variety of feats that could grant access to Combat Expertise feats, e.g.

Combat Intuition
You have a sense of picking just the right moment to act.
Prerequisites: Wis 13
Benefit: You gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity provoked from combat maneuvers. This includes both maneuvers initiated by yourself, as well as maneuvers inflicted on you.
Special: Combat Intuition counts as Combat Expertise for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites of feats and you may substitute your Wisdom score for your Intelligence score for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites of feats.

Combat Veteran
You have a sense of picking just the right moment to act.
Prerequisites: BAB 4
Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus to CMB and CMD.
Special: Combat Veteran counts as Combat Expertise for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites of feats and you may treat your Intelligence score as 10 + your BAB for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites of feats that have Combat Expertise as a prerequisite.


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Nicos wrote:
Tels wrote:
Brawler's already steal most of their features from the Monk, now you want to give him better versions of those features too?
THe monk is a bad class, that is bad enough. It would be terrible if the monk mere existence dragged down the new classes.

I disagree; it is not a bad class, it is a challenging class. Which is why I like it. The defensive powers of the monk are really good, of the best in the game.


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Ruby Spring, Mistress of Bloodshed
Female human brawler 11
CE medium humanoid
Init +9; Senses Perception -1

Me? Not have the inner peace to learn hamatulatsu? What? Have they seen what I can do? I was born for this! Those incompetent fools and their devils will learn to kneel before me in pools of blood! Their disrespect will be washed with tears and soothed by anguish!

-=DEFENSE=-
AC 29, touch 23, flat 19 (armor +6, deflection +2, dex +7, dodge +3, insight +1)
HP 136 (11d10 + 66)
Fort 13; Ref 16; Will 4

-=OFFENSE=-
Speed 30ft
Melee unarmed attack +22/+17/+12 (1d10+5 20/x2) Type: Bludgeon; Size: Medium; Wgt: - lbs
Melee brawler's flurry +20/+20/+15/+15/+10 (1d10+5 20/x2) Type: Bludgeon; Size: Medium; Wgt: - lbs
Special Attacks wounding, 2d6 boar style, 1d10 two-weapon rend, 1d6 boar shred bleed
+23 disarm, +22 dirty trick, +21 trip, +20 other finessable maneuvers, +13 other maneuvers

-=OTHER=-
Str 10, Dex 24, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 8 (20pt buy, racial bonus on Dexterity)
BAB +11; CMB +20 (finessable); CMD 34
Feats weapon finesse, toughness, weapon focus, boar style, dodge, weapon specialization, boar ferocity, greater wapon focus, boar shred, double-strike, two-weapon rend
Traits quain martial artist, reactionary
Favored class brawler
Favored bonus 11 hit points
Languages common, tien
Brawler abilities martial maneuvers 5/day; brawler's flurry (two-weapon fighting, improved two-weapon fighting); maneuver training (+3 disarm, +2 dirty trick, +1 trip); AC bonus +2; brawler strike (magic, cold iron, silver)
Skills Skills per level: 4 (4 + 1 human - 1 int); Armor check penalty: -
Trained acrobatics 20(10); climb 8(5); intimidate 12(10); 20(10) stealth; swim 8(5);
Untrained appraise 0; bluff 0; diplomacy 0; intimidate 0;

Equipment:

Wealth 1000ish gp

    * +2 brawling mithril chainshirt (10100)
    * +2 cloak of resistance (4000)
    * +4 belt of dexterity (16000)
    * +2 ring of protection (8000)
    * wounding amulet of mighty fists (16000)
    * dusty rose prism ioun stone (5000)
    * various consumables

Martial Maneuvers
Ruby Spring is not the brightest or gifted with common sense, but she has a brutal mean streak and a penchant for aggravating wounds. Even so, when she realizes that she's in for a desperate encounter, she enables the full Crane Style feat tree to give her an overwhelming defense from behind which she pick-off her foes.


  • Crane Style, Crane Wing, Crane Riposte when defense is the highest priority
  • Piranha Strike when facing easy to hit foes that need to be dealt with quickly, or when facing foes immune to bleed
  • Step Up, Following Step, Step-up and Strike when facing certain foes, she's sadistic like that
  • Blind-Fight, Improved Blind-Fight, [...] specialized circumstance

Comments
Expected DPR
Ruby Spring doesn't rely on brute or agile damage to kill, instead her foes are torn apart and bleed out; if she went with an agile amulet of mighty fists instead she would significantly increase her damage per round, at the cost of stacking bleed damage.
Basic flurry damage vs AC 25: 2 * 0.8 * 1.05 * 10.5 + 2 * 0.65 * 1.05 * 10.5 + 0.4 * 1.05 * 10.5 = 36.3825
Expected number of hits vs AC 25: 36.3825 / (10.5 * 1.05) = 3.3
Bonus damage from shred and rend: 12.5
Total expected direct damage 36.3825 + 12.5 = 49
Expected bleed damage after 1 round: 3.5 + 3 = 6.5
Expected bleed damage after 5 rounds: 18.5

Varying AC
Ruby Spring has good, albeit not amazing AC for her level. Coupled with a large hitpoint pool she has good staying power. In fights against dangerous enemies that can reliably hit her, she uses Crane Style to have a layered defense that penalizes her damage output, but keeps her safe from direct harm. If she finds a source of natural armor she can consider herself well-equipped to face a very dangerous foe (perhaps a potion of barkskin).

Gameplay Limitation
Similar to nVali, Ruby Spring is mostly self-sufficient with her feats, and typically uses martial maneuvers to solve particular problems (usually survivability).

Builds
Berkley "The Hammer" Naveel large feat potential
Mikiko Konda Snake Style toolbox build
nVali Letoba ignores flurries entirely
Ruby Spring bleeds and shreds enemies


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slayer_of_gellcor wrote:

Wanted to post my impressions from a playtest that happened tonight. We ran a party of four. 4th level. 25 point buy. Our party consisted of a Brawler, a Skald, a Bloodrager, and a Hunter. Thoughts on the Brawler:

-The Brawler seemed very powerful. I've played many Fighters and many Monks, and he blew them out of the water.
-The main defining trait of the Brawler was the Martial Maneuvers. This Brawler was designed with Maneuvers in mind, and it showed. Before the game, I printed out a list of potential feats that I could choose from, and, while not all of them were advisable (Weapon Finesse, given that I was a strength-based character) I had over 40 feats I could have chosen from. I liked the action economy of spending the move action, but it actually worked against Brawler's Flurry, as I only once performed a flurry. The rest of the time I was switching feats to something that was more useful.
-I think that having a smaller list of feats to choose from would bring it a bit more on par power level-wise, and still provide an interesting mechanic to play. Comparing this to the Hunter, who similarly could swap out Teamwork feats for himself and his animal companion: his didn't seem to cause him to be grossly overpowered: the Brawler did.
-The class was incredibly fun, and really had a good balance of flavor elements of fighter and monk without feeling too much like I was playing either.

Exactly how did you have encounters? At level 4 the brawler can use martial maneuvers twice a day. How did you end up with one round of flurrying and lots of rounds spent changing feats?


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Brawler - bodyguard/enforcer; improvised brawler


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Berkley "The Hammer" Naveel
Female human brawler 10
N medium humanoid
Init +4; Senses Perception +13

Berkley hails from the shady shingles in Korvosa. She spent the majority of her youth helping out in the stables and, when she was a bit older, lugging crates and cargo in the docks. She was bright, for a kid educated by the street, didn't get into too much trouble. No trouble with the hellknights at least. Nothing in the books. Still, there was always some trouble in the docks, and no way to stay out of all of it.

-=DEFENSE=-
AC 26, touch 20, flat 21 (armor +6, deflection +2, dex +2, dodge +3, insight +1, natural +2)
HP 104 (10d10 + 40)
Fort 12; Ref 13; Will 8

-=OFFENSE=-
Speed 30ft
Melee unarmed attack +20/+15 (1d10+9 20/x2) Type: Bludgeon; Size: Medium; Wgt: - lbs
Melee brawler's flurry +18/+18/+13/+13 (1d10+9 20/x2) Type: Bludgeon; Size: Medium; Wgt: - lbs
+20 to grapple, +18 to disarm, +16 on other maneuvers

-=OTHER=-
Str 22, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 10 (20pt buy, racial bonus on Strength)
BAB +10; CMB +16; CMD 31
Feats weapon focus (unarmed), toughness, combat expertise, power attack, combat reflexes, dodge, intimidating prowess, iron will, hammer the gap
Traits reactionary, threatening defender
Favored class brawler
Favored bonus 10 hit points
Languages common, varisian, shoanti
Brawler abilities martial maneuvers 5/day; brawler's flurry (two-weapon fighting, improved two-weapon fighting); maneuver training (+2 disarm / +1 grapple); AC bonus +2; brawler strike (magic, cold iron, silver)
Skills Skills per level: 6 (4 + 1 human + 1 int); Armor check penalty: -
Trained acrobatics 16(10); climb 14(5); escape artist 16(10); intimidate 19(10); perception 13(10); sense motive 13(10); swim 14(5)
Untrained bluff 0; diplomacy 0

Equipment:

Wealth 1000ish gp

    * +2 brawling mithril chainshirt (10100)
    * +3 cloak of resistance (9000)
    * +2 belt of physical perfection (16000)
    * +2 amulet of natural armor (8000)
    * +2 ring of protection (8000)
    * dusty rose prism ioun stone (5000)
    * armbands of the brawler (500)
    * various consumables

Martial Maneuvers
By far the funnest part of the brawler, the Martial Maneuver ability. The core feat selection on Berklyn (and to some extent the skill ranks) ensure a broad range of feats that can be acquired on the fly with martial maneuvers


  • complete style trees for Boar Style, Crane Style, Dragon Style, Snake Style, Snapping Turtle Style, and Tiger Style for many varied situations
  • Improved Trip, Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp when in need of putting some meaning behind your intimidate
  • Improved Sunder/Disarm/Steal/DirtyTrick/Drag/BullRush/etc, Greater [...], [...] because these come in handy
  • Cleave, Great Cleave, Cleaving Finish when hordes of goblins invade
  • Improved Grapple, Greater Grapple, Rapid Grappler when facing certain types of casters
  • Step Up, Following Step, Step-up and Strike when facing certain other types of casters
  • Catch Off Guard, Throw Anything, Improvised Weapon Mastery when in the fun type of barroom brawl
  • Blind-Fight, Improved Blind-Fight, [...] when an imp pulls a darkness prank

Comments
Expected DPR
The DPR when using Martial Maneuvers for increased damage output is respectable (exceeding 50 DPR), albeit this comes at a penalty to AC which isn't high to start with. The DPR can easily increase further when using an amulet of mighty fists instead of natural armor, but this goes hand-in-hand with even lower AC.
Using a brawler's flurry vs an AC 24 enemy: 2 * 0.75 * 1.05 * 14.5 + 2 * 0.5 * 1.05 * 14.5 = 38.0625
Using Dragon Style: 0.75 * 1.05 * 20.5 + 0.75 * 1.05 * 17.5 + 2 * 0.5 * 1.05 * 17.5 = 48.3
Using Tiger Style and Power Attack (-3 to AC): 2 * 0.75 * 1.05 * 20.5 + 2 * 0.5 * 1.05 * 20.5 = 53.8125
Using Combat Expertise and Crane Style (-3 to attack): 2 * 0.6 * 1.05 * 14.5 + 2 * 0.35 * 1.05 * 14.5 = 28.9275

Varying AC
AC is perhaps the hardest part to safeguard on a brawler. An unarmored brawler is almost untennable without some tricks. A brawler with light armor is still very vulnerable due to the lack of shields. A brawler of any type needs to think hard whether she uses an amulet of mighty fists or amulet of natural armor.
Using Combat Expertise (-2 attack, +3 dodge): AC 29, touch 23, flat 21
Using Crane Style: AC 31, touch 25, flat 21
Using Snapping Turtle Style: AC 28, touch 22, flat 23
Combining Combat Expertise and Crane Style (-3 attack, +8 dodge) will grant 34 AC; which is quite a lot for level 10; albeit at a big hit to damage output

Limitations
The Martial Maneuvers is a very fun mechanic that opens up the adaptability of the class in combat situations; however any serious use of the ability will have to be limited to around 2 encounters. A "serious" use of the ability at level 10 is using it to gain a full set of feats, for example the Crane Style feat tree to keep alive. Unfortunately that uses up 3 of the 5 uses that the brawler gets in a day (at level 10). A "minor" use, in comparison, is getting just Vital Strike to break through high DR, or just Improved Disarm to make sure the kid doesn't hurt himself.

The problem is not just in the limited number of uses, but also limited time. A 1 minute duration is likely enough for smaller encounters - but many serious or extended encounters can exceed the 1 minute duration. Especially intelligent foes that have no pressing need to engage the brawler immediately can simply wait a minute to have the brawler expend his energies. Stealthy enemies (ninjas!) likewise have no compelling reason reason to fight the brawler in her prime.

Closing Thoughts
There is a challenging interplay of restrictions that vie for attention on the brawler. It isn't easy to push the damage output of the brawler upwards, and its nearly impossible to do so without sacrificing AC. The AC of the brawler is barely middling, which is a problem for a front-line melee specialist. The problem is aggravated by the reduced avenues of acquiring better AC. From the fighter's side, the brawler loses medium/heavy armor as well as shields, from the monk's side the brawler loses Wisdom-based AC. She may or may not lose out the neck slot's amulet of natural armor, if she wants to use that slot for an amulet of mighty fists. She does gain an AC bonus, but it doesn't go very far to compensate the loss of AC sources. This poor AC can be alleviated with certain feat choices, such as the Crane Style feat tree, but this in turn limits the combat presence of the brawler.

The potential of Martial Maneuvers is incredible, it is a very fun mechanic that can allow the brawler to really shine in situations that require the character to adapt. It can temporarily eliminate most short-comings. Unfortunately the number of uses as well as the duration of the ability is very limited, which make the ability only relevant in one or perhaps two encounters a day.


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The examples given (Dodge, Toughness, Blind-Fight, Power Attack, maneuver feats) show quite well what is possible; and by that reckoning I think it is fair to think of feats as more inclusive than exclusive.

But...

What is really a challenge is determining when a feat is conditionally allowed to be selected with Martial Maneuvers. For example: Skill Focus (Sense Motive), I would typically say "no" - however in a Brawler that uses the Snake Style feat tree Skill Focus (Sense Motive) is in fact a very good defensive feat.

Similarly, at higher levels where you can take multiple feats at once: can you take feats that are obviously not defensive/offensive/maneuver-orientated if those feats are a prerequisite for other feats you are selecting that do qualify? (e.g. taking Fast Learner and Improvisation to qualify for Improved Improvisation, to reduce non-proficiency penalty with weapons).


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Firstly I would like to thank Paizo and its development team for integrating us so substantially into the design process. There are many things in the playtest that strike my fancy and I am looking forward to experimenting with a lot of it. That said, I wish to make a strong appeal to the developers to reconsider the current design on the Brawler class.

In my opinion some of the strongest design decisions that have emerged from Pathfinder are shown in classes such as the alchemist, rogue, barbarian and similar classes who possess abilities along the lines of discoveries, rogue talents and rage powers. Such class abilities go a long way in personalizing a class for a given character; and the design team does a sterling job of ensuring that all manner of strong class tropes are supported through these abilities. There is an additional benefit to such a design path: it is very easy for developers to add additional discoveries, talents and powers in supplements such as Player Companions. (In contrast, classes such as paladin, monk or fighter generally have to rely on feats or archetypes for new content, generally few and far between.)

Compare now such a diverse and personal class design with the brawler: the brawler is comparatively rigid with little flexibility for one brawler to distinguish herself from another.

I really enjoy the concept of Martial Maneuvers, it is exciting and filled with possibilities - easily the signature ability by which brawlers will come to be known by. A large portion of the remainder of class abilities can, I think, be encapsulated in player-chosen "brawling skills" (akin to discoveries, rogue talents and rage powers). See below a sample of how such a class could feel:

Brawler

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: unchanged
Martial Maneuvers (Ex): unchanged
Unarmed Strike: unchanged
Brawler Skills: detailed below
Maneuver Training: unchanged
Brawler's Flurry: At 4th level a brawler gains an additional move action in combat. She may use this move action to move at half her speed, or otherwise use it as a normal move action. At 8th level a brawler gains an additional standard action in combat. She may use this standard action to attack, total defense, use combat feats, or use any of her brawler class abilities. At 12th level a brawler gains an additional move action, and at 16th level a brawler gains an additional standard action, all prior restrictions apply. The move and standard actions gained cannot be combined into full-round actions.
Brawler Strike (Su): unchanged
Awesome Blow (Ex): unchanged

Brawler Skills: Starting at 2nd level, a brawler gains one brawler skill. She gains an additional brawler skill for every 2 levels of brawler attained after 2nd level. Except where indicated, a brawler cannot select an individual skill more than once. Brawling skills marked with an asterisk cannot be used in rounds where the brawler makes use of her brawler's flurry class ability.

Brawling dodger: A brawler with this skill gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and CMD when she wears light armor, or +2 when she wear no armor. This bonus increases by +1 for every 5 levels of brawler she possesses. A brawler may pick this skill a second time, doing so increases the bonus by +1 for every 3 levels instead of every 5 levels. A brawler must be at least 6th level before picking this skill a second time.

Combat training: A brawler may chose a combat feat instead of a brawling skill, she must meet the prerequisites of that combat feat. A brawler may pick this skill any number of times. When chosing combat training, a brawler may change any feats gained previously with combat training; she must still meet all the prerequisites of feats chosen.

Fast: A brawler with this skill gains a +10 bonus to her speed. A brawler may pick this skill once for every 4 brawler levels she possesses.

Flurry* (Ex): A brawler with this skill may, as a full-round action, perform a flurry. When doing so a brawler is treated as having the Two-Weapon Fighting feat when attacking with unarmed strikes or weapons with the “monk” special feature. She does not need to use two different weapons to use this ability. A brawler applies her full Strength bonus to her damage rolls for all successful attacks made with brawler’s flurry, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A brawler may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers for unarmed attacks as part of brawler’s flurry. A brawler with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of brawler’s flurry, nor can she make natural attacks in addition to her brawler’s flurry attacks. A brawler may pick this skill a second time, doing so grants her the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat at 8th level, and Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat at 15th level. She must be at least 8th level before selecting this skill a second time.

Knockout (Su): A brawler with this skill can unleash a devastating attack that can instantly knock a target unconscious. She must announce this intent before making her attack roll. If the brawler strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the brawler’s level + the higher of the brawler’s Strength or Dexterity modifier) or fall unconscious for 1d6 rounds. Using this ability more than once on a given day reduces the saving throw DC by 5 for each time previously used; once the DC is less than 1, the ability can no longer be used that day. Creatures immune to critical hits or nonlethal damage are immune to this ability. The DC for this ability resets once per day after the brawler is fully rested.

Painful Punches (Ex): A brawler with this skill may add +5 to the damage she deals with unarmed strikes, instead of bonus damage gained from Strength or Dexterity. A brawler must be at least 4th level before selecting this skill.

Professional: A brawler with this skill considers her brawler level as her fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for combat feats.

Stun Specialist: A brawler with this skill gains the Stunning Fist feat. She considers her brawler level as her monk level for the purpose of determining how many times a day she can use the Stunning Fist feat.

Style Savant: A brawler with this skill may chose a single style feat, or feat that has a style feat as a prerequisite, without meeting that feats requirements.


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All I want for Christmas is for the ACG playtest to start in the 2nd week of November. :D


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I wouldn't be averse to a revisit to Tian Xia (we've only really seen an Quain as a region in Master of Devils, and there's plenty more there to examine).

Alternatively, I think most of the "standard trope" classes have great representation in the Tales thus far, so I would enjoy seeing more "fringe" classes get spotlighted. Barbarian. Druid. Monk. Samurai.

A heavily out-of-comfort-zone traveler. The iconic Monk Sajan, for example, who is searching for his sister far away from his Vudran home. Or a samurai from Minkai who has to come to terms with the strange Osirion lands on a quest to redeem his honor. Or some such.

Heck, even a panther-raised wild druid that has to make it in the big city (Absalom) could be a hoot to read.


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I should also add, to the OP's actual question. There are basically 3 ways for this to play out:

1. GM doesn't allow it. This falls under the common sense sanity check that a GM should apply to all decisions.

2. An inexperienced GM allows it; the resulting carnage may make the mount seem imbalanced.

3. An experienced GM allows; the encounters, rewards, and risks balance out and the game is none the poorer for it.


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Damiancrr wrote:
As for Charm animal I still am not convinced. Charm Animal is a Close Ability. Which means either he uses his move action to get within range and cast the spell, thereby not being able to command the tiger once he gets it. Or try to make a concentration check while the tiger is on top of him(tiger moves 100ft on his charge). Neither of which seem likely. If he does infact move in then i simply use a handle animal move action to get him to attack his new "ally" on a move action. Then the enemy spellcaster must spend his move to tell it to stop and we are right back where we started. Most important part is that when a animal is charmed it keeps its initiative(which is the same as its owner). So if all else fails i simply use my move to tell him to heel. I am still his owner regardless of the spell so i decide how initiative goes on "our" turn.

It isn't easy to force the tiger to attack a creature that he doesn't want to attack. That isn't a simple DC 10 "use your trick", but a DC 25 "push". Not very likely to succeed at level 1.

If you're willing to devolve the tiger to a heel every round. That is fine. It spends your move action and keeps the tiger out of the fight. Exactly what your GM should want.


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Regardless of the combat-trained nature, the tiger still needs Handle Animal checks for mostly everything you do. Even tricks that the tiger know require a DC 10 Handle Animal check (as a move action no less), everything else is DC 25 as a full-round action.

Refer to the blog: Animals and Their Tricks

Note also that the Animal Archive has a really large set of tricks on top of those from the Core rules. If you want your tiger to be naturally good at sneaking and hunting, those are two more tricks it needs to learn. Flanking, aiding, menacing, getting help, even breaking out of restraints - all are additional tricks, and since your pet isn't an animal companion (nor are you a druid) the total number of tricks is limited to 6 - all of which are already occupied by Combat Training (attack, come, defend, down, guard, and heel).

Since you're character doesn't have a special bond with his tiger (its not an animal companion, just something he bought) a charm animal is a real threat. You're not his buddy. You're his owner, his master, something that a tiger can very well resent. However, a charmed tiger will actually really like the guy that cast the spell. There is a better than even chance the caster will effectively take control of the tiger.

...

All that said. As you've no doubt realized, a tiger is not a suitable encounter at level 1. Not for you, and not for your enemies. Typically a GM should not allow the purchase of such an out-of-depth creature at level 1. It's not about the money, it's about the game.

But, if he does allow it, it is not that hard for a GM to handle that (using bane weapons is not a good idea in this case). The tiger is a large creature with a very limited intelligence, there are many ways in which this is a drawback that he can capitalize on. He doesn't even need to in many cases, the narrow confines of many dungeons make a tiger unsuited for use there - so you'd likely have to leave him outside (or risk the tiger being more of a burden than an advantage). Other than the charm animal spell (which I pointed out is more dangerous than you expect), at level 1 you could very well encounter hold animal (a level 2 druid spell). Not to mention that it is no stretch of the imagination for your GM to simply have an opposing NPC buy his own tiger.


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Later that fateful night

Jemini looks up at the night sky. Inbetween scattered clouds a vast vista of stars shimmer silently. A fitting metaphor, she thinks, then out loud she continues the thought: "one can almost imagine that each star is a leaf in that time tree they spoke of. Maybe there are other us, up there, looking toward us right now. What do you think?" The last part is addressed at Nikolai, her only companion currently.

It wasn't really a question and she doesn't wait for an answer; it just takes her two brief seconds to continue. "I don't think our new arrivals were completely honest in their recounting of their day's events; at least in the sense that there is more truth then they were willing to part with. Perhaps in deference to 'us' - who played such a dominant role in those events. Or perhaps they didn't want to inadvertently trigger thoughts and actions that would lead to a future they've just escaped."

She sighs, in her head brief flashes of what she had heard from her perhaps-future battle with Nikolai keep turning. "I've hardly caught any of what came through to the present from our clash - the fight between the two of us." She smiles a little, ruefully, "From the sound of just those few scraps, it seems like a tale any number of bards would try to lay into epic song."

She looks Nikolai squarely in the face. Although in the mostly-dark around them not much of her own, or Nikolai's, face is clearly visible. "But, I clearly heard a few of my words from then - it seems that the Jemini then, much like I now, was prepared to take that knowledge to the grave; and it took something of such monumental nature to pry it from me. Her. It's a little confusing to speak in times." In the dark it isn't very clear, but Jemini smiles at herself at that last thought.

"We're not our future selves - and I think the events of today offer a clear message that nothing is set in stone; rather than destiny knocking, we cast the die and see how they fall. Even so, I think it is right for me to tell you now what I couldn't until then: I'm barren, I've not shed blood from my womb since the battle of Stagfall." She pauses again, a bit longer this time, as her words sink in with Nikolai. At length she continues, "I... I was confused about it at first, even blamed you in secret. But I have since had ample time to pray and seek advice of those knowledgeable in such matters. All investigations assure me that my womb is completely healed and functioning as it should - no magic makes me barren either. It is as if something else is holding back my blood. Perhaps the most obvious reason, then, is that this is an additional cost, a tithe to Pharasma, to remind me of the bond she created between us. I think, though, that it is deeper still: what spurred me on and brought me back was the knowledge of Choral's return. My very existence, now, rides on the desire to save my friends and family - this whole nation and those around it - from the Conqueror's grasp. Perhaps that is it. Perhaps, once all this is over and Choral is defeated, maybe then I can be a woman again."


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I clearly need to make a plan with respect to acquiring this game.


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I, for one, welcome our new petrifying cuddly overlords.


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My vote is for a monk/monk hybrid that takes some of the cool features of the monk, then adds a unique twist that makes an original.


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Jemini nods to Elsir. An expression of indeterminate pain on her face as she suffers through Verik's beating. After Nikolai's outburst abates a shining glow sweeps through the room as Jemini calls upon the channeled blessing of her own. The light mends and soothes, but it cannot hide the mournful nature of the manifestation. With a hacking cough Verik regains consciousness - and as bones and flesh mend a little the cough eases into a whimper.

"Nikolai, please. This is important." Jemini doesn't wait for a response, but fastens her eyes on Elsir again. "I will start now." The words barely escape her lips when the elf collapses to the floor, his hands grasp and claw at his head, his eyes are torn open wide in disbelief. Elsir feels, he knows, that Jemini is burrowing into his mind - and the nature of the intrusion is not subtle but rather akin to a mallet stirring inside his brain. To the shocked guards the process doesn't take very long - a few seconds - but in Elsir's head a small lifetime passes as memories and knowledge are violently drawn forth, grated and discarded.

Immediately after another wave of healing light washes through the room, then things go quiet and Jemini sits, her eyes closed. A tremendous strain is evident on her face, but her one hand is held up as a sign that she does not want to be disturbed. The hall becomes eerily quiet, the primary noise coming from Verik's whimpers and Elsir's rapid breathing as his adrenalin spiked body is reeling to recover from the trauma. Uncertainty is painted in the eyes of Willas and the guards, whereas the Cog and Nikolai stare at each other. Then - almost as suddenly as it began - half a minute later Jemini's eyes open again. "I understand."

Jemini stands up, "This is a time for truths and understanding; and perhaps a new tomorrow and a new yesterday. Elsir. Please accept my sincere apology, I know this was not an easy ordeal. You may rejoice, though, in the certainty that if you return with the knowledge you have gained here, then your fate may still be unwritten. But know, that before you can leave here, you must first help give this place a new growth."

Jemini gestures expansively, "Imagine a tree; a large, very large, tree. Imagine how its trunk grows upward and branches into ever finer branches, and these branches later divide into twigs upon which leafs grow. Now imagine that each of these leafs is in turn a tree, a trunk of its own that grows into splitting branches, twigs and more leafs. And these leafs again are trees, and so forth. We - that is to say this place, this reality - are one such a leaf. We are but one manifestation of many that are, and the start of many more that will be. When you return to your own leaf - a leaf that our current leaf came from - then you take with you the saplings that can give rise to new growth."

"Unfortunately, that cannot prevent this leaf. All leafs will grow. You can add possibilities, but you cannot prune them off. Elsir has died already, and he will so again. But Elsir will also live. All the branching possibilities will become real within themselves. Thus, when you return, you will be the soil from which fresh trees will grow alongside those that have already sprung forth. Some may lead to happier places, and some will lead here or more twisted."

"The same applies to us, now, too. Your presence here has already nurtured fresh seeds to split their shells. It is as if..." here Jemini smiles a genuine smile that evaporates misgivings in those who witness it, "as if the die have been recast."

To explain a bit, most of the mechanical actions for Jemini in this post (other than channeling) rely on the oracle of lore abilities "Brain Drain" and "Focused Trance". Depending on Jemini's exact oracle level, there is a real threat to Elsir's life (due to the Brain Drain) - but in my head I've settled on around oracle 6; which would have Elsir lose about 50% of his max life on average. The story component revolves around brain drain giving Jemini the basic knowledge of the theories in question - followed immediately by a Focused Trance for an additional +20 bonus to her understanding of the theories which should give her sufficient traction to make reliable statements.


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Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Someone objected to the word (and concept) of "brothel" appearing in our core rulebooks, so it was changed to "dance hall."

How does this someone feel about Calistria?


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@WillowX

I think one picture is a rather shallow approximation of the state of Golarion and the Inner Sea specifically. It is a vibrant and rich world that genuinely pays homage to our human roots - it doesn't exploit or belittle humanity's history and cultures, but draws genuine parallels while elaborating and weaving a complex setting. There is a tremendous amount of depth and material written on various parts of the setting - and a single poster map cannot do more than try to impress on the viewer the diversity of the world. One picture only draws a thousand words, where literally millions have been written.

To put your ethical concerns further to rest, consider that the Mwangi Expanse (Not-Africa) is indeed partially exploited by Not-European states - specifically Cheliax has significant colonial presence in the Mwangi. Now Cheliax, as you may not know, is a nation of devil-worshippers, the rulers have literally made a contract with the head devil himself - and their empire extends through various holdings and colonies throughout the Inner Sea; in a way you could argue that Cheliax embodies the negative traits that could be associated with the historic actions and philosophies of the West.

But, to turn the page, the Mwangi (Not-Africa) is not defined by its contact with the Not-European countries; it is deeper, has a far richer and more complex history - the colonial aspects just add a newest, not-even-most-significant layer. The Mwangi Expanse is considered the root of magic - almost unarguably the greatest magic-user to have walked the face of Golarion (Old Man Jatembe) taught how to control magic to humans in the Mwangi.

Various nations in the Mwangi Expanse portray many other facets of African history, while even others add wholly novel faces to the continent.


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Jemini is almost taken aback at Nikolai's speech to Red Eyes. If I hadn't been around him for the last months, would I have recognized this man except for his size? He's matured... grown almost regal, its hard to fathom now how much of this is nature, and how much is nurture. Irori's hand surely is on him.

She gets up after Nikolai finishes, and presents herself to Red Eyes next to Nikolai - positioning herself not in front or behind, but next to him, to indicate that she considers Nikolai a valued equal. "I must admit it was shallow of me to presume little more than base motives to you and your kind. Allow me to apologize for this." She bows her head a moment, then proceeds, "What Nikolai has explained regarding our motives is true - but it still isn't all: while our presence here and his words offer our immediate and intermediate goals, I feel it is important that potential allies know our ambitions and dangers. Ultimately, we are working here against an uncertain future - we believe that Choral, the Conqueror himself, is ultimately our adversary. To rise and become a bulwark that can save the whole of the Inner Sea against his second coming it our purpose."


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I've enjoyed Recettear tremendously when I played. Using it as inspiration for a campaign? Why not? :)


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You just know that there will be a group of 4 PCs that will play this scenario using the minimum legal level then proceed to play as if they were a full 6 player party - and they'll all agree to scale up as well.

We can call it the Platinum Pathfinder Challenge.

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