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Arclord of Nex

The Speaker in Dreams's page

1,026 posts. No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists.




Hey there!

So ... the Favored Enemy is damn weak as it stands and SO circumstantial (APG has a really good option for it, though). So I'm less than satisfied.

Instead, I'm thinking I'll run it like a parallel to Weapon Training in that the Weapon Training just keeps getting better, right?

Now, WT is also weapon and not enemy dependent, so to account for that my thought is to keep the increasing bonuses as consistent across the board (like weapon training 1 just keeps getting better - follow?), and instead have each new Favored Enemy just go into the rangers pool of 'studied foes' (for lack of a better term on the fly).

So ... the bonus #'s continuously increase from +1 to +5.

Favored Enemies will begin with 1 and then end with 5 different types, ALL of which, when encountered, get the bonus #'s applied in play.

Does this sound horrible or off-kilter somewhere?

My thought is that it just makes FA more reliable of a boon for rangers overall while still leaving the targets highly selective and situational.


Ok, so here's the pitch: I'm talking about doing the whole Keen and Improved Critical stacking thing.

That's the premise - not a fan, don't bring up old issues.

Here's my new take, though - forget about the mechanics of exactly what form the stacking will take for now (I'll solidify that later): what if Keen was not a minimal enhancement?

Now ... think about this in more game effects and descriptive effects. Descriptively, "Keen" weapons are supposed to be super-sharp and specially enchanted to "cut better" than other weapons, no? Mechanically, it's represented by increasing the critical range (ie: your skill and battle luck still matter in landing a strike, BUT your chances of landing pretty devastating strikes goes up).

One of the primary counter points of "don't stack" revolves around the big range weapons going from say 12-20 or something (worst case scenario, no?).

The criticism is that "critical" loses it's special quality if you are landing crits darn near all the time for a measly little +1 enchantment and 1 feat investment (it is one, right? firing from memory at the moment)

My counter here is that what if "keen" wasn't a "measly" little enchantment? What if it *is* a significant enchantment? I mean, descriptively, doesn't a super-sharp sword specifically enchanted to cut at an atomic level *sound* a hell of a lot more powerful and dangerous than just a +1?

Wouldn't that, if stack-capable, be worthy of *at least* a +3 enchantment cost?

I think the problem with crit-stacking isn't the # range that lands crits - that's actually supported by the descriptive text. What *I'm* looking at is the cheap cost of Keen currently that makes this a very cheap item.

As a low-level spell, however, it *does* sort of make sense ... provided it's a short duration (Keen Weapon pretty much is a short duration as well). It doesn't mean that the low level spell required to make permanent on an item is likewise a *minimal* effort to take hold.

So ... the thought here is to change the cost of Keen into something more significant, BUT in doing so allow it to stack with the Improved Critical feat.

Thoughts?


So I was looking at this yesterday, really closely, and I was probably THE most excited about this one concept of all. Finally, a 1 weapon in 1 hand was validated!! Yes!!!!

Or was it?

On closer inspection, I've decided that it stinks. And ... I mean it, it's entirely underwhelming. There is only 1 good option there to work with the concept. Every other one ... just is lacking.

To wit: here's my analysis of the archetype and why the option fails to impress me/do credit to the archetype.

Deceptive Strike (replaces Bravery @ 2nd) - ok, so ... it's a bit *more* useful than bravery as that's so highly situational, and entirely defensive (ie: IF fear isn't happening much, THEN you're boned out of a class feature). On this front, it's an upgrade. Mechanically speaking, it's solid - it increases over time and grants a bonus on disarm and feint attempts, and it works when trying to make a diversion to hide (odd that last bit, but ok). Now, a +5 mechanically is a darn good edge to have - so this one actually is a *win* feature in my book. Of course, this is on a few of the maneuvers in the first place, so ... :shrugs: it's nice, but only a maneuver enhancer. Still, it's a *great* maneuver enhancer, so it's a solid win.

Elusive (replaces Armor Trining at all points) - well, starting at 3rd level you get a +1 dodge bonus to AC and it grows by an additional +1 every 4 levels thereafter. Thing is ... it completely trades in Armor Training. In other words, *all* armor-anything features of the class disappear entirely. You can't get a higher Max Dex or anything, so that's gone, too. On the surface, this is great! A +5 to AC as a dodge bonus ... but in play it's worse than armor training. If this guy goes w/even a mythril chain shirt, he's limited by dex to get a +6 max from dex to couple with his +5 to AC w/the dodge ==> +15 total counting the Chain Shirt value itself and adding it all together. So, compare vs. a regular fighter w/out this archetype option in play - his dex max bonus would/could be, after 4 levels of Armor Training up to a +10, so assuming the build *is* all about light armor and weapons and going finesse over strength, his AC would be ==> 10 + 4 = 14, flat. It's close, but this guy is actually able to mine and utilize his dex score a bit more than the free-hand fighter. This is ... just odd. I'm out to lunch on this one, as, it seems a wash really. The feature is nice, but grants NO significant advantage near as I can tell ... there's *maybe* a 1 point AC edge, but that's not until level 19 (LONG wait).

Singleton (replaces WpnTrain 1) - ok, so a +1 to hit and +1 to damage when 1 weapon in 1 hand and nothing in the other ... how is this different from regular WT? Oh ... yes. It's LESS useful, actually. It limits your weapon selection AND prohibits any shield use. It's not even an option here ... the offense is now PRESCRIBING how it interacts w/defense (vs. the straight core class fighter). I'm calling this one a net-loss here. It's a more limited version of WT ... nothing more to say.

Timely Tip (replaces WT 2) - ok, so where a normal fighter would be a +2/+2 and picking up a new weapon at +1/+1 (a feature NOT to be emulated by any other class mind you) ... this archetype is ... using his free hand to use a move-action to negate the effects of a shield's AC on a target. There is SO much wrong with this option it is just ridiculous. (1) Disarm is an attack action normally, no? So, you *could* disarm someone just with *any* attack, but now, it's increased in action cost!?!?!?! Seriously!?!?!?! (2) You've traded the 1, good thing Fighters do better than every other melee in PF - he's traded in damage superiority. (3) There is a feat in 3.5 from Complete Warrior that does something very similar for 2-wpn weilders. Essentially the 2-wpn guy forgoes his off hand attacks for the round in order to negate the target's AC bonus ... with a minor tweak, there's a "free hand" feat option to pull off the SAME mechanical effect. (4) No second "weapon of expertise" group is added to the fighter's weapon list. So, here we're trading defining Fighter class only features ... for what boils down to a mundane "Feat" choice, and one that INCREASES action economy at that ... this is HORRIBLE!!

Interference (replaces WT 3) - use a move action to disarm or trip a target and cause them to become flat footed. Again ... so much wrong here. This time I'll list them, though: Disarm as a move vs. attack action; trip as a move vs. attack action; AoO is likely better than "flat footed"; Duration of "flat footed" is only until the character NEXT takes damage (ie: good for ONE hit, and ONE HIT only). Again, on the grounds of action activation and now duration of the effect, this is HORRIBLE!! In trade is the +3/+3 ; +2/+2; and now a +1/+1 to a new weapon type of expertise. I can never see this being worth the investment. If you want someone flat-footed, and want to use a move action to do it, Improved Feint will *already* to this ... THIS feature is a HORRIBLE mechanic.

Reversal (replaces Armor Mastery) - if you're about to be hit in melee, you can make an immediate Disarm check vs some different target that you threaten in melee range, and if successful the attacker hits the target you just made the disarm check on (unclear if you're actually *disarming* it or just using the disarm check as a measure of successfully redirecting the attack). So, what you have is a 1/round ability (if you've not used any other immediate actions) to negate a hit IF there are at least 2 people attacking you that you threaten when this hit is about to take place. It's kind of involved, but you can't deny the utility of this thing. Imagine doing it when someone/thing rolls a crit on you! Certainly nice, BUT it's a heavily circumstantial boon. IF there's no one around you, and IF you fail that Disarm check, you're boned. Now, by the time you hit this level, you've got a +5 class feature boon to Disarms, so presumably you've invested in Imp and Grtr Disarm as feats, so a +9 is a solid edge in favor to have (ie: this is *almost* a guarantee to work, but there's always the chance of a 1 at least). The trade-in, though is a solid guarantee and *always* pretty useful. Having a DR 5/- is great! -5 points from any/all incoming hits is a very, very nice thing! Having a situational "trump" move is also very nice (ie: I'd rather avoid damage entirely rather than negate a small bit of it). This is, honestly, a toss up for me as it's a pretty good concept and an ok, if slightly obtuse mechanic.

That's my analysis, and what gets me going is that if you take an archetype you "must" take all of the rest of the features that go along with it. This is NOT a good thing for the majority of the options presented above. Of the 6 options, 2 are equal/a wash; 1 is an improvement, and 3 are actually WORSE options by far for the existing Fighter Class features. Why would you trade in *any* of this when 3 options are clearly worse and 2 are about equal?? There's only 1 improvement feature, and that's only with a plan on using some maneuvers with a regular degree of thought.

Nah ... I'm not going to use these things for long. In fact, I'm going to make *all* archetype class features like an "al-a-carte" menu for my players. Pick what you want, trade in the appropriate feature, and leave the rest where it is.


Well ... been doing some thinking and reading, and I'm not really sure *where* to drop this thread as I'm not house-ruling or anything. I'm more interested in what kind of impact a change to ranger's *may* have in the long run.

Ok, so "favored enemy" ... well, it kind of sucks. Mechanically-speaking. It's kind of terrible. The concept itself is solid (ie: hunt X critter VERY well), but the mechanics just fall short of pretty much EVERY other similar class feature.

They get what, 5 "favored enemy" selections and they are spread out amongst various races (as an option) to grant a negligible bonus, or heaped upon the SAME enemy for a "reasonable" bonus by end game (ie: 20th level or so).

I've read a few things about ways to tweak and I think the best I've come across are as follows:
1) Cumulative "grouping" or rather, the bonus stacks in the same way as the usual "one enemy" stack would work, BUT it's applied to a different/new type of enemy at each point (ie: get to use full bonus against say 5 different types of specific targets by end-game).

2) Leave a static "to hit" bonus that increases, and change the damage die adjustment to +1d6 over something static for each level of Favored Enemy. (possibly combined with the previous boost as well).

3) Leave a static "to hit" bonus that increases, and change the damage adjustment to +1/2 Ranger level (max of 10) again - can combo w/option #1 as well.

SO ... here's my question, HOW/WHERE/WHY would either of the changes above impact the game?

To *me* it's the kind of thing Rangers kind of need, especially given the PF update.

So ... what am I missing/not seeing?


Ok, it's taken *me* a while to get all of this in place, but I *think* I've finally found the perfect set of classes to get the best synergy to create the bane of all existence, "the magical fighty-type" of character. I'm using both PF and 3.5 sources to do this, and it's a mix and match sort of thing, BUT I've figured out exactly how to do it. Any 3.5 classes would be "pathfinderized" to be used w/the PF standards, though (mostly just HD tied to bab, etc).

Fighter - 2, Swashbuckler - 3, Transmuter - 1, Abjurant Champion - 5, Bladesinger - 4, Elderich Knight - 5
Total bab = +19
Total HD = 19d10 + 1d6
Max Spell Level = 7th {13 caster levels in this build}
Total caster level = 19th {martial arcanist class feature where caster level = bab for 1 class [transmuter in this case] via Abjurant Champion}
Fort Save = +12 / Ref Save = +8 / Will Save = +12

I'm not getting into feats much, but I will say that 3.5's Arcane Strike is preferable for this build.

This is no kit/gear involved, just pure class selection, and not even messing with feats - it's pretty rock-solid for the concept.

Fighter and EK levels can bring some feats to get wpn specialization and melee weapon mastery (assuming a melee build). (+3 to hit and +4 to damage respectively)

3.5's Arcane Strike can burn a 7th level slot as a free action to get a +7 to hit and +7d4 damage for 7 rounds.

Abj. Champions Arcane Boost quality can use a swift action to burn a spell slot to gain x2 of that spell level in damage. So, burn a 5th slot to pick up an additional +10 to damage.

Key abilities to the build: Dexterity, and Intelligence, probably followed by Con.

This may have already been kit-bashed on some other 3.x boards, but I've never seen it, and I figured it's always fun to share a fun build w/people, so yeah ... there you go. Best possible end result w/classes from all versions to try and make the best possible fit for the build/concept of the "martial arcane fighter" or whatever. Trading 1 point of BAB and 2 spell level accesses to gain a +19 caster level is pretty potent, IMO.


Note: This is a re-post from the suggestions/homebrew as it didn't really seem to fit right there, but I've NO idea on how to move a thread or ask for such a thing. So, apologies for the double-post to the mods and community at large for this.

Ok, so ... I'm about to start messing around with the existing combat feats, etc and create at least 4 distinctive "combat styles" for lack of a better term.

It's not polished or anything, but the basics are all there. So ... thoughts and reactions to the premise below are kind of what I'm looking at. This is also taking into account PF's changes to combat styles (where sword and board became major-bad-ass btw).

Ok, so goals/premise:
1) Creation of distinct styles that cover *most* combat options and styles of play, etc.

2) To balance each style *reasonably* against the others options and choices. (ie: some styles WILL be nerfed - sword and board from PF, I'm lookin' DIRECTLY at you!)

3) To have about 4-6 feats deep for each style - more or less. This is not perfect, but more a matter of showing a "progression" in each style so to speak (ie: the more dedicated types to a particular style gain more benefits from said style basically). In some cases, there's VERY little I'm adjusting (ie: TWF - it's ALREADY the most feat-intensive tree/progression/whatever).

Now, that all stated in brief, here's my rough style modifications (NOT codified to feats or any d20-ese specific lingo, mind you).

Sword & Board Style: Primary advantage ==> gaining the AC and cheap enhancement bonuses of the shield. Primarily a good, good defensive option already.
*Adjustment ==> limiting the extra hits to 1 single additional hit PERIOD in any given round. It's NOT a weapon ... it's a shield. PF got this as wrong as possible, IMO, and 3.x laid that groundwork for 'em. Shield should NOT stomp all over the TWFer's territory. Instead, the "boon" rests on AC and other defensive options of the shield itself (ie: actually being able to use the shield as cover even if not a Tower, etc is junk along the lines of feats I'm lookin' at to replace the TWFing combo w/shields). So, you *can* sheild bash, and those feats will still be available, but they will ONLY be allowed 1/round attempts PERIOD! They will also use full str (seriously - back it w/a shoulder rush and planted feet - does anyone really think they *can't* get the benefit of full str behind a shot like that? It's a freakin' quarter-back rush move, man! It's GONNA hurt and knock people on their butts if it hits right - and it SHOULD do exactly that).
**Bottom Line ==> defensive focus with limited and precise offensive capabilities.

2-Wpn Style: Primary advantage ==> greater # of attacks possible at a trade off for hit %. Potential to deliver a good deal of damage vs. non-2wpn types.
*Adjustment ==> lowering dex req's, allowing for same size weapon use of large weapons in both hands, *possibly* losing the Greater and Improved TWF feats given all of the others in the chain and modifying the initial to just grant/allow iteratives w/a second wpn *as normal* following the bab progression of the character. Lower dex is to make it something more accessible to others that want to try the style vs. making it dex-monkey's only. It's more a matter of training than talent, and that should reflect itself in pre-reqs'. Same size weapons *really* is a minor thing that *should* be available as a benefit of advanced training. It was in 2e, and I think it'll work fine being re-introduced in 3.x/pf as well. Dropping 2 feats out of the like 7+ present for twf-ers in PF is kind of nice and makes it have a *little* more even footing w/most other styles. It's my lowest priority change, though.
**Bottom Line ==> making it more accessible and more versatile is the goal here given the CRAZY amount of feats it takes to "master" this style, it's terribly burdened at the moment, IMO.

2-Handed Style: Primary advantage ==> highest damage dealing potential.
*Adjustments ==> adding a few feats for versatility and to try to emulate some advantages of 2-handed use of weapons in general over 1-handed, and adding feats that ENSURE they WILL be the kings of damage-dealing overall (like not making it overly possible to "catch up" in other styles at all). Honestly, with all of the beefing I've seen of the other styles out there, I can't sit by and just let 2-handers get *nothing* for thier investment, yet at the same time there isn't that much that's specifically designed FOR them either. I plan to rectify the feat selections to add variety to them, and then add some more to keep their place as highest damage output as the trade-off for not having that shield up and running.
**Bottom Line ==> 2-handers need some love, too, and they need to keep that HIGHEST DAMAGE potential in general.

1-Wpn Style: Primary advantage ==> this is for the one weapon in one hand style-types. Currently, there is *nothing* at all for this style ... I want there to be something in place to make it a valid choice supported by useful/viable feat choices specifically FOR this sort of a build in character design.
*Adjustments ==> none. I'll be building this from scratch and working/refining from there.
**Bottom Line ==> not really sure yet, BUT my intent is to make it a viable build with worth-while advantages unique to THIS style and not easily emulated through others. I'm looking just about anywhere for inspiration on this, though.

So ... that's about it. Any thoughts on this so far in the "brain storm" stage?


Ok, so ... I'm about to start messing around with the existing combat feats, etc and create at least 4 distinctive "combat styles" for lack of a better term.

It's not polished or anything, but the basics are all there. So ... thoughts and reactions to the premise below are kind of what I'm looking at. This is also taking into account PF's changes to combat styles (where sword and board became major-bad-ass btw).

Ok, so goals/premise:
1) Creation of distinct styles that cover *most* combat options and styles of play, etc.

2) To balance each style *reasonably* against the others options and choices. (ie: some styles WILL be nerfed - sword and board from PF, I'm lookin' DIRECTLY at you!)

3) To have about 4-6 feats deep for each style - more or less. This is not perfect, but more a matter of showing a "progression" in each style so to speak (ie: the more dedicated types to a particular style gain more benefits from said style basically). In some cases, there's VERY little I'm adjusting (ie: TWF - it's ALREADY the most feat-intensive tree/progression/whatever).

Now, that all stated in brief, here's my rough style modifications (NOT codified to feats or any d20-ese specific lingo, mind you).

Sword & Board Style: Primary advantage ==> gaining the AC and cheap enhancement bonuses of the shield. Primarily a good, good defensive option already.
*Adjustment ==> limiting the extra hits to 1 single additional hit PERIOD in any given round. It's NOT a weapon ... it's a shield. PF got this as wrong as possible, IMO, and 3.x laid that groundwork for 'em. Shield should NOT stomp all over the TWFer's territory. Instead, the "boon" rests on AC and other defensive options of the shield itself (ie: actually being able to use the shield as cover even if not a Tower, etc is junk along the lines of feats I'm lookin' at to replace the TWFing combo w/shields). So, you *can* sheild bash, and those feats will still be available, but they will ONLY be allowed 1/round attempts PERIOD! They will also use full str (seriously - back it w/a shoulder rush and planted feet - does anyone really think they *can't* get the benefit of full str behind a shot like that? It's a freakin' quarter-back rush move, man! It's GONNA hurt and knock people on their butts if it hits right - and it SHOULD do exactly that).
**Bottom Line ==> defensive focus with limited and precise offensive capabilities.

2-Wpn Style: Primary advantage ==> greater # of attacks possible at a trade off for hit %. Potential to deliver a good deal of damage vs. non-2wpn types.
*Adjustment ==> lowering dex req's, allowing for same size weapon use of large weapons in both hands, *possibly* losing the Greater and Improved TWF feats given all of the others in the chain and modifying the initial to just grant/allow iteratives w/a second wpn *as normal* following the bab progression of the character. Lower dex is to make it something more accessible to others that want to try the style vs. making it dex-monkey's only. It's more a matter of training than talent, and that should reflect itself in pre-reqs'. Same size weapons *really* is a minor thing that *should* be available as a benefit of advanced training. It was in 2e, and I think it'll work fine being re-introduced in 3.x/pf as well. Dropping 2 feats out of the like 7+ present for twf-ers in PF is kind of nice and makes it have a *little* more even footing w/most other styles. It's my lowest priority change, though.
**Bottom Line ==> making it more accessible and more versatile is the goal here given the CRAZY amount of feats it takes to "master" this style, it's terribly burdened at the moment, IMO.

2-Handed Style: Primary advantage ==> highest damage dealing potential.
*Adjustments ==> adding a few feats for versatility and to try to emulate some advantages of 2-handed use of weapons in general over 1-handed, and adding feats that ENSURE they WILL be the kings of damage-dealing overall (like not making it overly possible to "catch up" in other styles at all). Honestly, with all of the beefing I've seen of the other styles out there, I can't sit by and just let 2-handers get *nothing* for thier investment, yet at the same time there isn't that much that's specifically designed FOR them either. I plan to rectify the feat selections to add variety to them, and then add some more to keep their place as highest damage output as the trade-off for not having that shield up and running.
**Bottom Line ==> 2-handers need some love, too, and they need to keep that HIGHEST DAMAGE potential in general.

1-Wpn Style: Primary advantage ==> this is for the one weapon in one hand style-types. Currently, there is *nothing* at all for this style ... I want there to be something in place to make it a valid choice supported by useful/viable feat choices specifically FOR this sort of a build in character design.
*Adjustments ==> none. I'll be building this from scratch and working/refining from there.
**Bottom Line ==> not really sure yet, BUT my intent is to make it a viable build with worth-while advantages unique to THIS style and not easily emulated through others. I'm looking just about anywhere for inspiration on this, though.

So ... that's about it. Any thoughts on this so far in the "brain storm" stage?


The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Whether or not triplock is too powerful is mostly irrelevant. I personally believe it is too good if the "in combat" cost is an AoO, but probably ok if it burns and action to pull off. Fortunately for my opinion, the rules support this as well, and have done so since the 3.5 ruling on this same issue.

Moving along folks.. keep it civil. I'll check back in later.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I'm with you on the ruling, but you do have a really interesting focal point too - emphasized above by me.

Hmmm ... *maybe* a solution would revolve around changing HOW the benefit of the trip attack is made by the tripper then?

So, instead of getting an AoO to attack the target of YOUR trip attempt, instead you get to use a *swift* action to deliver an attack as well? This would limit it to 1 use, PERIOD, and charge a cost of the tripper to use it then. I'd say that even the baseline Trip feat *should* include this, and then maybe have the AoO-provoking work sort of like the Bull Rush works now - you (bull-rusher) don't get the AoO, BUT any allies who's threatened spaces you move the target through provoke AoO's.

It can read something like, "Make a swift action in order to make a single attack at your highest BAB on the tripped target." Or something to this effect (ie: similar TO an AoO, but NOT via AoO mechanics).

I think that could work out nicely, honestly - and will make the trip a kindred spirit to bull rush in 'team friendly' application and mechanics.

I think this may become a new house rule for my games - I'll have to bounce it off my players, though.

Hi all!

Taken from a different thread and placed here for appropriateness.

This is *kind* of revolving around Trip-locking, though - clearly - it doesn't allow for trip locking. If anything, it kind of restricts tripping a bit more. So ... thoughts on this change above?

Comments?

Missed mechanics overlap somewhere?


Well ... I was reading someone lament the lack of options on grapple once you get going, and honestly - I think I kind of agree.

Suggestions were put forth like "bull rush" and *describe* it as "throw/body slam/etc" but, IMO, that's kind of a kludge and lame.

So ... I got to thinking, what *exactly* could be made of such feats? I think the idea is worth discussion, and so I'm tossing this thread up to see what we can get.

Off hand, I know in Cw there was that Eagle Claw something or other that added +1d12 to grapple damage inflicted ... it's a start I'd suppose.

But I'm wondering more about what kinds of "grappple" moves people would even want to see ... ? I mean, we talkin' WWF/E's "backbreaker" vs. a "scorpion leg lock" kinds of junk here? "Bulldog" or "body slam" or "suplex" or something?

Any/all of the above, IMO, *could* be more generalized into granting just a higher base damage rating on any grapple-damage attack. Like ... "Grapple Slam" or something and have it change "unarmed" damage from 1d3 (or whatever) to 2d6 baseline for the added momentum and such. Maybe you could even combo-this with Vital Strike?

Just tossing out a few ideas for starters ...


A while back I posted on a few boards to get some feedback (this amongst them) to changing the default of how the 'feint' maneuver works.

IRL, it's KING of combat - seriously. If you can fake out your opponent, and commit them to a false defense, you can blow past their defenses entirely and really punish them for it.

The current "feint" only affects targets with any sort of doge/dex types of bonuses and only helps in those situations (ie: you CAN NOT "fake out" anyone other than high dex/dodgy types of characters).

This solution comes with a final suggestion by Dabbler of these boards (thanks) in helping to hash out the final version I'm likely going to adopt in my games from here forward.

Basically, it's a wording change from working on dex/dodge loss only to include the following statement, more or less:

"[dex/dodge loss existing text], OR impose a flat -5 penalty to the target for the duration of the round. Whichever is worse for the target is what will be used."

So, if you get a dex/dodge monstrosity - it'll negate those boons (still leaving things flat) IF it's greater than a net +5 they gain from those types of boons. If it's less than a -5 to AC, then they take the -5 to AC.

Duration, IMO, should last like normal and as dictated by the Feint feat lines.


Well ... been pondering some things and Feint for non-SA possessing types seems to be a full on USELESS maneuver and that's completely at odds w/reality. It's one of THE most successful combat options to "fake out" your opponent and simply open them up to counter attack through maneuvering, footwork, etc.

So ... what if a change was made to Feint to make it a more universally functional option regardless of SA using status or not?

I'm thinking of something along the lines of CMB vs. CMD checks w/relevant weapons being used (attacker's boons for weapon choice applied, and likewise the defender using his/hers/whatever).

If you can't match it - fine. Defender goes on, and you're still stuck at only a "standard" action left (assuming you have Improved Feint here).

If, however, you *win*, then how about granting "flat footed" status, or some line that simply allows SA damage to be added here, AND tack on the following (or something similar):

"For every point by which you succeed on this feint maneuver, you lower the target's AC by a similar amount for the duration of this round against your attacks."

Now, even Fighter's have a reason to pick this up and use it - it'll let you make a REALLY hard target easier to strike, IF you can beat the CMD/whatever check. It doesn't take anything away from the SA-types either - they still get to use their SA damage IF they beat their target's number as well.

Thoughts?

In a similar manner, what about having the Improved version grant this benefit to even other group/party members for the duration of the round?


Well ... title's pretty evident, no? Str really has pretty *small* roles in the game: a few skills, to hit and damage, weight capacity ... but what if you were to add str's bonus HP calculations? Or 1/2 str's bonus?

I mean ... *staying alive* is just a good idea anyway. I can't think of anyone more than big Str, big Con guys that *should* do this, but then it kind of makes sense that a big Str guy is going to be a bit harder to kill. If nothing else, then think of the muscles like layers of padding - lots of muscle=lots of padding to cut/get through. Not so much muscle = easy to cut/get through.

So ... yeah. Random thought, but how *bad* could this be if allowed?

I guess the net effect would be longer lasting PC's ... in general. Melee-heavies would also get a bit of a boost from this sort of a change.

Big-honkin' monsters would, IMO, reclaim that status and title by *right* rather than label (as mostly the big honkin' monsters aren't all that durable by a level appropriate challenges).

All of those, at first glance, seem to be good things to me ...


Well, thread title is pretty self evident. What do you think?

I'll add a bit more: as it stands I see various of the following things all apply to 2-handed weapons simply in their design/construction:

*higher damage die
*higher crit range
*higher crit damage multiplier
*special maneuver benefits (disarms, bracing, etc)
*reach

This is all stuff that 2-handed weapons just get ... apparently because they're 2-handed. My point being that the weapons themselves already offer quite a lot in terms of what is brought to the table in sacrifice of the shield. So ... why stack even MORE on top of that for free with that 1.5x damage rule?

AD&D did grant damage bonuses, but that was through style specialization (ie: the only benefits you got was through the weapon itself, unless dedicating resources elsewhere).

I'm NOT against the idea of granting that x1.5 ... just getting it *for free* since Feats do exist.

So, the full thought is to re-introduce this with a few other feats to harken back to the AD&D "2-handed style specialization" benefits.

Feats to make up for the loss/add to 2-handed specialists overall:

"Fast Swing" - add a +2 initiative bonus, and a +1 to damage inflicted for 2-handed weapon users when using a 2-handed weapon, or a one handed weapon wielded in 1 hand (excludes "light" weapons). This does stack with Improved Initiative if also present.
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus with a 2-handed weapon.

"Leveraged Strike" - add 1.5 x str to damage inflicted with a 2-handed weapon, or a 1 handed weapon wielded in one hand (excludes "light" weapons).
Prerequisite: str 13+

"Greater Leveraged Strike" - add 2x str to damage inflicted with a 2-handed weapon, or a 1 handed weapon wielded in one hand (excludes "light" weapons).
Prerequisites: Leveraged strike, BAB +12


Hi there.

Just some ideas I have about making some feats for 1 weapon w/NO shield or anything else in the "off" hand at all.

The attempt is to bring back some of the AD&D "Fighting Styles" back to PF to add some variety and mechanical boon for using the styles.

"Narrow Profile" - a feat designed (maybe even ripped from some other source?) to add AC bonus to the 1-wpn user. It's like fencing in principal - present the most difficult target possible. +1 Dodge Bonus to AC when fighting w/one weapon in one hand and nothing in the other.
Prerequisites: Dodge, Dex 13+

"Improved Narrow Profile" - same deal as the first, but another +1 (+2 total, +3 if you factor Dodge in as a pre-req to Narrow Profile).
Prerequisites: Dodge, Narrow Profile, Dex 15+

"Improved Lunge" - a feat allowing a lunge w/out the -2 to AC problems. It also reduced the extra reach from a standard action to an "attack action", but is usable against only 1 target on any given round (ie: part of a full attack if you need/want to use it this way).
Prerequisites: Narrow Profile, Lunge, BAB +8

"Off-hand Balance" - gain a bonus on any acrobatics checks to perform any maneuvers around the battle field when holding a one handed weapon in only one hand, and not wearing heavy armor. +2 bonus when applicable. Also grants the ability to use the climb or swim skills with no penalty for carrying a weapon in one hand, and nothing in the other.
Prerequisites: Dex 13+

Suggested Disarm rule change/addition/whatever = if making a disarm w/one "free" hand and only a weapon in the other, you can instead of flinging the weapon away, choose to grasp the weapon/item/whatever in the "free" hand instead, taking possession of the item instead.

So ... thoughts?


Ok, so if you pick up the Extra Rage, or Extra Ki feats, you get a few more uses/day of these things, but they really touch nothing else at all and are a constantly static boon (ie: any character that picks them up currently receives X and only X amount, period).

This ... just strikes me as odd for some reason. It feels like 3.x's old Toughness feat, really (yes, more mileage, but design principal here people - not the absolute mechanic). The Toughness feat of PF is FAR superior and it makes the feat worthy of the investment because it continues to give back over the life of the character (ie: +1 hp/level always). Maybe you shrug at it, but that's like getting a +2 Con bonus for the price of one feat (sure - only HP's, but still).

Now, here's my thought, why not just make this small adjustment to the Extra X feats of adding the X value + the relevant ability bonus as well for each purchase? I mean, for rage it would be 6+con bonus each time the feat was taken (making this a very solid pick for any barbarian even once - 6 is already actually pretty good anyway, so maybe moderate it down a bit? 4+ Con mod?). Seems a smaller change to me, but still very useful. Ki is even worse granting only a single Ki point at every other level is harsh. Devoting a feat to this grants you ... all of 2 ki points, and that just sucks (ie: back to 3.x's original draft on Toughness). If that was moderated with 2+ Wis mod, certainly more of an investment right there.

As it stands, there's not that much to differentiate the classes that use these features amongst themselves beyond the 1st level, 1-time application of the ability bonuses ... I'd like to see those stats continue to have some meaning somewhere/somehow.

So ... how bad would/could this mess things up?


Well ... I was just toying with the idea of creating some sort of "Noble" feats when it struck me that I could just post up a few thoughts and see how others handle the idea in their games.

Is it even all that common?

Do you allow PC's to be "noble"?

If "noble" how do the NPC's react differently to them?

I do this stuff all the time myself (thus considering Feats of some sort), so I figured it would be interesting to see other people's take on the matter.


HI all!

I've been playing the game for quite some time and for whatever reason, my groups and I have always stayed away from grapples in general - yet I see it tossed around quite a bit as some sort of game-ending maneuver. How is this? From 3.x to PF, I've yet to see any real significance to it, or only highly circumstantial benefits, so ... please explain it and handle the things I and my groups have sort of latched onto as common knowledge regarding it.

From what I've seen, unless you're an unarmed expert, it's kind of a waste. Why?

*Loss of iterative attacks - unclear, but this is at least how it seems to us. If you're grappling, it says you can use small weapons (and 3.x had a feat specifically for this to take off penalties - another that added a lot to the base inflicted damage). In any case, the implication seems to be a LOT of rolls to start a grapple (simplified greatly by PF's changes, though) - once you're in you can either pin, attack (once - see next point), or let go. If you attack, you have to maintain it - an active action, and leaves you with only 1 "hit" period, and at that not w/your primary weapon as they're too large (unless daggers or unarmed) to use in a grapple.
*taking hits unless trained in it - AoO's suck. Once trained, you get a +4 bonus to maneuver-type stuff (assuming best PF combo there vs. 3.x's 1 feat), but you're still not able to open up any new options - at all.
*It's almost like a self-inflicted disarm (ie: unable to use your weapons while doing it), so damage, to hit, all of the combat stuff goes way down.

There may be one or two other things escaping me at the moment, but you get the point - in my gaming experience, it's been a weak combat option, SO ... what am I (and my gaming groups for several years) missing?

NOTE: the above is not flame-bait, or intended to be offensive. I'm genuinely trying to figure this maneuver out and the mystique people throw behind it as being like the "One Ring" or something in combat.


Hey all!

I was recently wondering about how to improve weapon focus. In and of itself, it's kind of weak - just a flat +1 to hit. It doesn't really do much.

Back in AD&D it was weapon specialization if you added the second proficiency and got +1/+2 (hit/dmg), so it was certainly more of an impact.

I'm not talking about changing it to grant "to hit" damage (although that could work just as easily), but I'm wondering about making it a more functional feat overall - like so: rather than grant a flat +1 "to hit" have it grant a +1 to BAB with whatever the weapon in question is. Same thing with Greater WF as well.

So, thoughts? How much would/could this muck with other game dynamics?

IMO, it'll grant the same bonus with a *small* bump in allowing iterative attacks to progress a *tiny* bit faster, but only for people that put in the effort to learn the weapon well (ie: use a feat for it).


If this has been covered, direct me and I'll read it up there, BUT ... in a review of skills recently, I noticed that Barbarians are the ONLY class that does not have Profession as a class skill ... why is that?

It really sticks out (once you notice it) as something just *wrong* in the design - like it slipped through the cracks or something.

Seriously - why are they the ONLY class lacking this skill? (or on the reverse, why does every other class have it, but it's forbidden/non-class to Barbarians?)

Is this just some random little fluke?

The idea of profession seems to be "job" you do - why would a barbarian not be able to have a job?

**confused**


Hey there! I know that evocation-types became less than popular or even optimal in the 3.x evolution (and PF inherited this), however, they shouldn't HAVE to be, IMO. It's been long enough, the flaws have been pointed out, and adjustments are very well within reach.

What kind? How could blasting EVER possibly be a "good" design path again?

I'll posit the following: New Feats!

Now, I'm not sure how to rate these - "meta-magic" seems more about modifying spell levels and such, but this idea isn't exactly along those lines. If anything, it's closer to Weapon Specialization in feel/tone rather than meta-magic, but whatever - read it, and help me to shape this.

Ok, so, why not make a Feat that says something to the effect of "When casting damage dealing spells of X school (or something) you increase the damage die value by 1 size category."

So magic missile does 1d4+X, right? If you cast it and have this feat in place, it would up to 1d6+x. Fireballs? They step up to 1d8/level of damage. Basically, all of the damage-dealing spells just step up with this.

AND ... I'd suggest adding a second version of the same feat (following patterns that exist, call it "Improved X") and allow it to once again step up damage by 1 progression. That magic missile? Up to 1d8+x/missile now. Fireballs - up to 2d6/level, and so on with other spells.

So ... in any case. How would you all rate something like this? Is it a "metamagic" feat? Or more like a "reserve" feat (or something similar)?

Would it go far enough towards making the "blasters" a viable design type?


Well, this little idea has popped into my head, but everyone cries foul at over-powered full casting classes. Everyone goes with the "nothing is worth a caster level" mantra (ok, not everyone, but I'm engaging in hyperbole for effect here - don't get caught up on the phrasing!)!!

And yet, these classes are far and away MUCH more powerful than the melee guys.

Now, wouldn't it stand to reason that a simple increase in activation times of a LARGE amount of spells would, you know, move them towards "balance" compared to those poor, non-casting classes?

I'm not talking about hitting every spell like this, but really, the big, heavy effect ones - big areas, or big effects, etc. I mean, feather fall should work as it does already - quickly cast, and there are others of a similar nature (expeditious retreat, true strike, shield, armor - just going off of things that IMO seem "small" in effect and low level's what's coming easy this way). But things that cover a large area and can affect multiple die of damage (say Fireball) should take a bit longer to cast, no?

What would bumping these sorts of things to "full round" actions cost? I mean, melee guys don't get their best use of features unless they can full attack, and that's only a full round action. Why can casters get the best of their effects off at 100% every round AND move (vast majority of spells == standard action), and the poor, already weaker classes, get screwed out of maximizing their starring role in melee?

This just seems an odd design that can easily be house-ruled. Now, back in AD&D, if you hit a caster AT ALL the spell went poof! However, casters now have "caster checks" in order to still cast even if they get hit, so they've got that to back them. However, they ALSO have reduced action time and can cast really fast and still pull off movements, etc ... this is really too much, IMO. If a melee-guy can't manage to take a few steps and swing as he goes (ie: AD&D defaults vs. feats like Spring Attack required in feat chains to get the same/lesser effect), why can a magic-using guy harness the power of the freakin' cosmos and manage to rip out with spells that defy the laws of nature faster than some mook with a sword can swing the damn thing?

This ... is really and odd idea in game design the more I thought about it recently, and so - I toss it up here for discussion.

I think that "balance" can take a serious step towards helping out melee-types just by taking away action options from the caster so that say the majority of spells are full round actions, and a smaller (say 20%) that remain standard, with the rest (call it 5%) being those minor/very quick actions (feather fall, etc).

Honestly, I think about 1/2 of the problem stems from that. Looking back in the 2e days, there really wasn't such a problem w/caster/non-caster on account of the attacks getting to casters to burn the spell with no effect. I'm totally down with mechanics for concentration checks, BUT the magic end needs to give some things up, too. They can't just get nothing but benefit after benefit, IMO, for being a caster. PF even upped that a bit with the increased HD from d4's to d6's (clerics are still bad-asses, though).


Original Feature from PF core
1) Bravery = functions exactly as described in the standard entry.
{Thought here is to simply remove this as a “given” bonus, and add it into the mix as a *possible* bonus – one of many to help define the fighter a bit more. I’m not totally sold on this, but it seems to fit in general to make this more an option. At the same time, it’s not like they got many bonuses in the first place, so taking it away *could* be a weakening of the class, or a balance point – depending on how you see it. For me, I’m going with “balancing point” right now.}

Swashbuckler/Smart Fighting Features
2) Agile Fighter = add reflex save bonus as a Dodge bonus to AC. Max added value = ½ current Fighter class level. This dodge bonus is usable only while the character is unencumbered, wearing no more than light armor, and not using a shield larger than a buckler.
{Thought here = to enable a lightly armored fighter to compete with the armor-based nature of D&D in that you need higher/heavier Armor to get your AC higher. This allows the lightly armored warrior concept to function just by using the fighter base class.}

3) Exploit Weakness = use a swift action to "study" your target and make a Combat Value check with Int modifier added to nml value. DC = target's CMB value. If the check meets or exceeds target value, you gain a bonus to hit your opponent equal to 1+ 1/6 fighter levels + Int bonus (if any) {minimum value of +1 to hit if successful}.
{Thought here = to allow a *smart* fighter build to be worthwhile, and allow his intelligence to factor into his combat as well. At highest level, the base bonus will amount to a +4 addition to hit [before factoring in Int bonus]. Bonus type is up in the air, maybe a whole new bonus called “style bonus” or something, or a “circumstance” bonus? It’s not morale, nor designed to replace it. It is something unique and only fighters can bring it to the table, IMO.}

4) Style Analysis = same as Exploit Weakness, but the bonus is applied to AC vs. To Hit value.
{Thought here = as exploit weakness. In this case it revolves around boosting your own defenses through use of your intellect, study, and experience. +4 is also the most amount of base bonus AC granted before Int bonus is factored. This bonus type can fall either under this new “style bonus” or be a “dodge bonus” either case works just fine, I think.}

5) Anatomical Precision = same as Exploit Weakness, but the bonus is applied to Dmg of any successful attack. Any bonus damage is precision-based in nature.
{Thought here = as exploit weakness, but the bonus is applied to damage-dealing. It is precision-based damage in this case. Again, max base bonus here is +4 before Int bonus is factored in.}

6) Talented = fighter gains more sp/level than normally indicated. Increase the sp from 2+ Int modifier/level to 4+Int modifier/level. In addition, this grants any 3 skills to be added to the fighter’s class skill list.
{Thought here = a way to encourage the *smart fighter* again, and show it through skill selection and points. It automatically scales with level, and is immediately useful. I think this should be a level 1 ONLY thing to be selected at character creation, as if it comes into play after, it makes a mess of the class build.}

Leader of Men Features
7) Plan of Action = Make a full round action to grant a “style” or “circumstance” bonus to hit, damage and AC for everyone in the party (including the fighter himself) based on the fighter's class level at a rate of + 1 per 5 fighter levels (minimum 1). This bonus lasts for a number of rounds = to 1/4 the current Fighter level of the character (minimum of 1) + Cha modifier (if any). This can only be used 1+1/6 fighter class levels the character has.
{Thought here = this is the Captain America feature. It’s the one that lets the fighter be a good leader – he can make a plan for his team, and grant them all bonuses. It’s not a morale bonus like a bard, but it’s a tactical bonus, granted by the fighter’s ability to coordinate the group’s efforts. It lets a fighter contribute to everyone for a change, and act like a powerful buffer if he uses one round to “prep” his team, so to speak. This can grant a max bonus of +6 by level 20, and last for 6 rounds as a base before Cha is factored. He can also only use it 4 times per day by max level}

8) Gift of Gab = All Cha-based skills (except Use Magic Device) become class skills for the Fighter.
{Thought here = to allow more sociability to enter into the class. He can now act, reasonably, as the party “face” if so desired.}


Hey ... so, something just caught my eye recently and it's been really bugging me.

The skill adder's mention "skill ranks" as the requisite to hit the next bonus level. What's the point of that??

Wouldn't this make more sense if it were keyed to "character level" instead? At least this way, you could free up some skill points and use the feat to "stay competent" in your chosen skill areas. As it stands, you have to max out the freakin' skill anyway ... pointless!

So ... yeah. I'm frustrated, I don't like it, and I'm 99% likely to instantly house-rule this to read as "character level" instead.

I'd like to hear opinions and anything "official" regarding this. To me, it looks like a FAQ-fixable situation as in something that was totally overlooked or something and fell through the cracks. I'd rather see that than it be the result of intentional design.

If it *is* intentional ... anyone think they can explain it?

As an aside, I also think that the skill adders, while improved from 3.x, could use a bit of a stronger progression. My likely house rule will be to increase it from +2 to +4 into a 3 level progression. From 1-6 = +2, from 7-12 = +4, and from level 13+ it would up to +6 for the 2-feat adders. For the single adder, the levels would be the same, but the bonus would go +3/+6/+9.

I hate to see things like this passed over because of lack of utility (or perception of it), so giving it a solid progression based on character level (not ranks) I'd think would make these feat-types much more appealing.


Hi there! I’m firmly in the camp that believes there are problems with the existing barbarian as presented by PF. It didn’t go far enough and it’s weak for the effort. This is an attempt to correct that. It’s a work in progress and this is the third draft, so all criticisms are welcome.

Design Philosophy going in:

1) Barbarians are all about their rage ability – it defines them and carries them though. This must become even MORE significant itself (vs. rage powers).
2) PF dropped the ball on the Barbarian upgrades. It got nerfed HARD after Beta, and it’s reeling in recovery. I’m going to attempt to put it back where it *should* have been and/or to scale with the other melee classes.
3) Barbarian key identification qualities are: tough/durable, outrageous strength and damage dealing capacity, and fast reactions – in that order.
4) More can be added to make the class “fun” vs. worrisome. Bonus HP will disappear. Yes, this is part of the long-standing barbarian thing, but as rage gets better and more hp creep in, more damage tends to be taken and the barbarian will get hosed when coming out of his rage. {by hosed I mean killed}. It’s, quite frankly, NOT fun to have that sort of worry with a key and defining class feature in play. There are ways to fix it, and I will – no more sacred cow.
5) Speaking of sacred cows – say good bye to the idea of a barbarian with a sixth sense for danger. It’s an old artifact and really does nothing to highlight features of the class and what it’s capable of, so, “Good bye, Trap Sense – you’ll not be missed!”

I’ll be messing around w/rage powers too, but that’ll be a different post after this first one, or maybe a different thread. I agree with the idea of why the rage points disappeared – to keep things simple, but in the drive for simplicity, rage powers got screwed hard. So … I’ll just do a few things to try and add utility to them, completely do away with others entirely (given the boosts to the class structure proper from this), and the like as I go.

Without further ado, here’s my third attempt to play with things and fine-tune the barbarian to bring it back to where it should have been from the outset in the upgrade. I’m just going to present it with no frills or formatting, because it’s hard to do that stuff for me on a web-board. I’m not savvy enough for it, so I’m side-stepping it in a more direct format.

Barbarian
Hit Die: d12
BAB: Full
Saves: Fort save is the only Good progression
Skill List: Unchanged
Skill Points: Unchanged

Level Progression
1 = Rage, Fast Movement: +10’
2 = Rage Power, Uncanny Dodge
3 = DR 1/--
4 = Unfazeable
5 = Improved Rage; Rage Power
6 = Indefatigueable Stamina
7 = DR 2/--
8 = Rage Power, Preternatural Reflexes
9 = Fast Recovery {could use a new name}, Fast Movement: +20’
10 = Great Rage, Mettle
11 = DR 3/--, Rage Power
12 = Improved Uncanny Dodge
13 = Inexhaustible Endurance
14 = Indomitable Will; Rage Power
15 = Mighty Rage, DR 4/--
16 = Fueled by Fury
17 = Rage Power, Fast Movement: +30’
18 = Tireless Rage
19 = DR 5/--
20 = Supreme Rage; Rage Power

NOTE: things were shifted around here mostly to spread out the abilities more evenly, so keep that in mind.

Explanation of Changes (that need explaining)

Rage: Rage is a +2 bonus to str, and a +1 to Will and Fort saves. No more con bonus, or bonus HP’s for entering a rage. Instead, barbarians gain DR X/-- where X = the ability modifier increase of the rage type granted. So for Rage, it’s DR 1, etc. In addition, this DR is stackable with similar DR of any kind present on the barbarian (like it’s class-based DR/-- that is always on).

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: Major change here as the power curve is something to be more evenly distributed across 5 degrees of rage. The above statistics are the flat increase to the rage for each of the step progressions here. Most of the other rage progressions will add a little something onto the above framework, but the above framework is a constant that results in a +10 to Str gain. It’s pretty fair, even if it takes a *small* bit of fluff away in the lower levels, there is a more consistent, uniform, and fair gain in abilities moving forward with each rage type. I think this also provides a nice effect of getting more than just the static stat gains … each level actually unlocks some newer and more powerful abilities that accompany the rage whole-sale. It’s nice, I think.
--Revision #2: ok, so I’m thinking that the 15 DR originally proposed *might* be a bit much. I’m not 100% convinced, but I think there are still ways for a barbarian to get up to that 15 in ways that other character classes really can’t, SO it’s still there as an option {rage powers and feats basically} for anyone that wants to reach that high with it. I’ve got no problem dialing down the base rage DR to match the save progression (and really, every progression granted by rage essentially).

Rage Damage: This is a new bonus just added to all melee damage a barbarian inflicts while in his rage state. It’s not huge and averages about a +3 boost/die, BUT this is something to help the barbarian reclaim position as damage dealer extreme – which they should be. It’s a way to boost damage (and damage only) in a semi-reliable way.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: It’s something that gets added on pretty high up in the rage-progression (ie: only the most powerful barbarians of single-class will benefit most). This is a change to delay the power and provide a better balance vs. the first version. It’s also restricted to the upper levels where fighters start to out-shine the barbarians in that regard, so it’s a way to address that.
—Revision #2: I like the way this works as a damage boosting mechanic. It’s no where near as powerful as say a Sneak Attack, but it does add a bit more of a boost beyond just pumping Str. So, this can ramp up damage a bit w/out playing into other mechanics of the game like stat-inflation does. I also like that it’s not going to explode into even more damage with critical hits and the like – it’s limited to a flat addition, and that’s *reasonable* IMO. {Keep in mind that I also have many little tweaks that I’m adding to the Fighter class as well, and that ultimately the goal of this is to both amp up the abilities of melee-types to match against magic-types – not fully, mind you, but just give ‘em a little *oompf* for competition’s sake, and to then match these two up against each other as well.}

Fast Movement: This increases 2 times in progression in order to let a barbarian take advantage of speed and maneuverability a bit more than they can at present. It’s not on the level of a monk, but it’s still significant.

DR x/--: I’ve adjusted the DR placement in the progression because … I just needed to redistribute things throughout the 20 levels more evenly. One effect is that this now makes the first DR come into play at level 3. Honestly, it’s 1 point, so very minor, IMO, and easy to just let go. The progression moves at +1 DR/4 levels from that point, so by level 19, it’s still 5 anyway. Really, it was *just* a move that allowed a more even distribution of abilities all around. The *only* different piece is that the DR comes in at a pretty low level compared to previous versions.

Mettle: works like the Hex-Blade ability. It is evasion for Fort and Will save effects.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: This is a new idea suggested by another poster and I think it really does fit will for the “tough” motif I’m striving to achieve with them. It would make the Barbarian class into one with a pretty unique save feature (especially w/Evasion later in levels) of being the only class w/all saves capable of avoiding effects of spells entirely. That, in itself, is significant progress towards “tough” and as such, I’ve dropped the added feats from the first version of Lightning Reflexes and the Improved version. There are other things in play that are very effective without putting in feats as well.
—Revision #2: I’ve kept it in the progression as an ability, but I’ve put it high up in the progression, and I’ve also dropped the Evasion ability. On the one hand, taking 3 features from a Rogue, I felt, was too much. They get the Uncanny Dodge and an improvement {again, delayed for class protection a bit}, so Evasion wasn’t necessary. On the other hand, granting a class that eventually gets almost paladin-like save boosting {w/my changes by 20th level or so … exaggeration, but still} when raging an additional boon of “if you miss the save, it’s only ½ effect” seems crazy. EVERY SAVE could potentially be a win for them in my last revision. In retrospect, that’s certainly too much. The save-boosting is significant and expanded already, so Mettle works out as the better addition – no other class has it, so it’s unique status comes into play and makes the barbarians different by far. This is a good thing – moderation of power boon, and fitting, as well as unique, class feature.

Unfazeable: Immunity to non-lethal damage and stun effects while raging. {I’ve finally settled on a name for this ability! Yea!!!}The idea here is that they’re so amped up so as to fully ignore anything less than truly life-threatening effects, or crippling effects (ie: strike blind, etc). It’s an “only in rage” thing, but it’s a guaranteed thing vs. “rage power” as a way to enhance reliably the rage feature of the barbarian overall. This does NOT grant them any protection from non-lethal damage from environmental effects or conditions, etc.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: One other note: subdual can still be recorded as normal, however, and if, when the character ends the rage the subdual/non-lethal total is more than his current HP total, he will come out of his rage and fall immediately unconscious. In this respect, it is more of a delay-effect for that. Immunity to stunning effects, however, is complete and non-delayed.

Improved Rage: Increase Str boost to +4, and save bonus to +2. DR increases to 2/-- . In addition, at this point, when in a rage, the barbarian will gain Fast Healing: 1 for the duration of his rage-state.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: ok, taken from another poster’s suggestion of having fast healing of 0 (wtf would that even mean??), but the idea of lessening or marginalizing the ability when first gained is what I really took away from it. I think it works, so thanks!
—Revision #2: keep in mind the stacking feature of the DR’s here. At this level, when raging, the DR final would be 3/-- to account for the DR1/- of level 3

Fast Healing: this is added as a feature while raging to the upper tier rage types and improves with each in order to give the barbarian additional “staying power” inside combat. It is a neat effect and functions well with this concept, IMO. Again, this is NOT relegated to rage power in favor of making it a guaranteed effect of the rage in progression and power vs. a *maybe* option of rage power.

Under the Hood:
—Revision #2: I’ve decided to maintain the top level of fast healing at 10, but lower the combined DR to 10 vs. 15. With DR acting “per hit” vs. the Fast Healing working “per round” I think it’s maybe a little better balanced.

Indefatigueable Stamina: while in a rage state, a barbarian becomes fully immune to any fatigue-based effects or states.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: Another idea suggested by a poster, and I really like it. It is more general than spell-specific immunities, and fitting in theme. Overall, this is just a much cleaner mechanic – thanks!

Preternatural Reflexes: in a rage state (ONLY) they gain the same bonus to Fort and Will saves added to their Ref saves as well. Again – guaranteed to increase the power and position of the rage vs. “rage power” of some sort.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: nothing new here except placement in progression. I put it ahead of “Evasion” in progression to grant a bonus on the save first, and then progress in upper levels towards the improved benefit of ignoring effects entirely (thus making it the one class in the game that can “evade” all save effects).

Fast Recovery: This is there to act as a mid-way ability to the Tireless Rage feature. Currently, when in rage you have to be out of it for 2 rounds for every 1 round you used it. This speeds up fatigue recovery in general to about ½ that, so it turns out to be 1:1 in recovery instead of 2:1 recovery time before being able to rage again.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: Still looking for a better name for this … any help?
—Revision #2: still looking … ???

Great Rage: Increase Str bonus to +6 and a +3 bonus on all saves (now w/Preternatural Reflexes unlocked). DR steps up to 3 in rage at this level, Fast Healing also increases to 2, and there is +1d6 “rage damage” added to any damage he inflicts. This is NOT added to base damage or multiplied on a critical hit.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: I added some clear verbage about the limitation of the damage die, and have delayed it’s progression significantly. You will not get any bonus damage die until 10 full levels in-class have been taken. I also made clear that this is not precision damage, but is also not added on a critical strike of any kind. It should apply to any successful hit of a barbarian in combat while in rage.
—Revision #2: DR when in rage here is 5, and the fast healing is at 2.

Inexhaustible Endurance: The barbarian becomes immune to the effects of exhaustion from any source while in his rage state.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: Same idea suggested by the same poster, only I’ve staggered out the “fatigue” and “exhausted” conditions to different levels rather than the different spells. Still a very clean mechanic and excellent idea!

Mighty Rage: this now grants a +8 to str and a +4 to saves. It also grants a DR of 4, but adds to the existing DR of 4 for a total DR of 8/-- when raging. Fast Healing improves to 5, and the rage damage increases to +2d6.

Under the Hood:
—Revision #2: adjusted to reflect the lesser DR values, but still match with the existing “always on” DR and stack with the “in rage” DR granted.

Fueled by Fury: When raging the barbarian gains immunity to Ability Damage and Drains. This is just one more way to emphasize the degree of toughness that accompanies the rage. It’s at 19th level, so it should have a pretty potent potential. Ability damage and drains don’t come up that often, so it’s kind of marginal, BUT it’s also limited to only in rage as a guaranteed thing (again vs. rage power limitations) for emphasis on the innate power of the rage itself by that level.

Under the Hood:
--Revision #1: this is to clarify the thought process here. Think of almost comic-book HULK for inspiration. “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!” Of course it’s not comics, and the mechanic is FAR from granting additional strength, but you get the point. So … drains and what have you, just can’t cut it on “taking the fury” out of a barbarian anymore – they’re beyond that and sustained by their insane level of rage and fury.
--Revision #2: I left this in to, again, enhance the durability factor of the rage. I also moved it to a lower position in progression to just balance where the empty levels fell {no empty level design}. It was between that and/or moving Tireless Rage, but I decided to keep Tireless Rage higher up as, IMO, it’s a stronger, and more frequently useful class feature.

Supreme Rage: There are now 5 tiers in the rage progression for added emphasis on the importance of the ability, and a smoother/lesser progression in stats, etc. Str bonus is now a +10 with a +5 to all saves. Fast Healing ups to 10, and the rage damage goes up to +3d6. Final DR here is 10/-- {with an option of using more rage powers to increase that amount if desired by individual PC’s}

Right, so – there it is. Version 3.0! Thoughts? Comments and Criticisms?

Please post away and help me refine this little project of mine.

Thanks,
-The Speaker in Dreams

A word of thanks to the contributions made by all posters for comments, etc. to help me refine it to this point so far:
Abraham Spalding (my constant idea-bouncing buddy),
Xum (expressing strong opinons of dissatisfaction),
Ellington (for starting me on this path w/the thread about high level barbarians in the first place, and the dearth of abilities to look forward to on Barbarians),
Fergie (pointing out the ability distribution of version 2.0),
Parka (bringing up the Mettle thing),
raidiou (for suggesting to eliminating the feats outright and design philosophies, etc).

I’m sure there are others in there, but these stand out most to me at the moment. I’m not trying to slight anyone, though – just dropping a note of appreciation for everyone that has been helping with this.
-The Speaker in Dreams


Hi there! Second version ready to post and critique, to fire away!! It’s a work in progress and this is the second draft, so all criticisms are welcome.

Just for clarification - I'll always re-post my design philosophy and then follow with the adjustments and such, then explain and add notations below that.

Design Philosophy going in:

1) Barbarians are all about their rage ability – it defines them and carries them though. This must become even MORE significant itself (vs. rage powers).
2) PF dropped the ball on the Barbarian upgrades. It got nerfed HARD after Beta, and it’s reeling in recovery. I’m going to attempt to put it back where it *should* have been and/or to scale with the other melee classes.
3) Barbarian key identification qualities are: tough/durable, outrageous strength and damage dealing capacity, and fast reactions – in that order.
4) More can be added to make the class “fun” vs. worrisome. Bonus HP will disappear. Yes, this is part of the long-standing barbarian thing, but as rage gets better and more hp creep in, more damage tends to be taken and the barbarian will get hosed when coming out of his rage. {by hosed I mean killed}. It’s, quite frankly, NOT fun to have that sort of worry with a key and defining class feature in play. There are ways to fix it, and I will – no more sacred cow.
5) Speaking of sacred cows – say good bye to the idea of a barbarian with a sixth sense for danger. It’s an old artifact and really does nothing to highlight features of the class and what it’s capable of, so, “Good bye, Trap Sense – you’ll not be missed!”

I’ll be messing around w/rage powers too, but that’ll be a different post after this first one, or maybe a different thread. I agree with the idea of why the rage points disappeared – to keep things simple, but in the drive for simplicity, rage powers got screwed hard. So … I’ll just do a few things to try and add utility to them, completely do away with others entirely (given the boosts to the class structure proper from this), and the like as I go.

Without further ado, here’s my second attempt to play with things and fine-tune the barbarian to bring it back to where it should have been from the outset in the upgrade. I’m just going to present it with no frills or formatting, because it’s hard to do that stuff for me on a web-board. I’m not savvy enough for it, so I’m side-stepping it in a more direct format.

Barbarian
Hit Die: d12
BAB: Full
Saves: Fort save is the only Good progression
Skill List: Unchanged
Skill Points: Unchanged

Level Progression
1 = Rage, Fast Movement: +10’
2 = Rage Power, Uncanny Dodge
3 = Mettle
4 = Rage Power, Unphaseable
5 = Improved Rage; Improved Uncanny Dodge
6 = Rage Power, Indefatigueable Stamina
7 = DR 1/--
8 = Rage Power, Preternatural Reflexes
9 = Fast Recovery {could use a new name}, Fast Movement: +20’
10 = DR 2/-- , Rage Power, Great Rage
11 = Evasion
12 = Rage Power, Inexhaustible Endurance
13 = DR 3/--
14 = Indomitable Will; Rage Power
15 = Mighty Rage
16 = DR 4/-- , Rage Power
17 = Tireless Rage
18 = Rage Power; Fast Movement: +30’
19 = DR 5/-- , Fueled by Fury
20 = Supreme Rage; Rage Power

Explanation of Changes (that need explaining – some are just feats)

Rage: Rage is a +2 bonus to str, and a +1 to Will and Fort saves. No more con bonus, or bonus HP’s for entering a rage. Instead, barbarians gain DR X/-- where X = the ability increase of the rage type granted. So for Rage, it’s DR 2, etc. In addition, this DR is stackable with similar DR of any kind present on the barbarian (like it’s class-based DR/-- that is always on).
--Revision #1: Major change here as the power curve is something to be more evenly distributed across 5 degrees of rage. The above statistics are the flat increase to the rage for each of the step progressions here. Most of the other rage progressions will add a little something onto the above framework, but the above framework is a constant that results in a +10 to Str gain. It’s pretty fair, even if it takes a *small* bit of fluff away in the lower levels, there is a more consistent, uniform, and fair gain in abilities moving forward with each rage type. I think this also provides a nice effect of getting more than just the static stat gains … each level actually unlocks some newer and more powerful abilities that accompany the rage whole-sale. It’s nice, I think.

Rage Damage: This is a new bonus just added to all melee damage a barbarian inflicts while in his rage state. It’s not huge and averages about a +3 boost/die, BUT this is something to help the barbarian reclaim position as damage dealer extreme – which they should be. It’s a way to boost damage (and damage only) in a semi-reliable way.
--Revision #1: It’s something that gets added on pretty high up in the rage-progression (ie: only the most powerful barbarians of single-class will benefit most). This is a change to delay the power and provide a better balance vs. the first version. It’s also restricted to the upper levels where fighters start to out-shine the barbarians in that regard, so it’s a way to address that.

Fast Movement: This increases 2 times in progression in order to let a barbarian take advantage of speed and maneuverability a bit more than they can at present. It’s not on the level of a monk, but it’s still significant.

Mettle: works like the Hex-Blade ability. It is evasion for Fort and Will save effects.
--Revision #1: This is a new idea suggested by another poster and I think it really does fit will for the “tough” motif I’m striving to achieve with them. It would make the Barbarian class into one with a pretty unique save feature (especially w/Evasion later in levels) of being the only class w/all saves capable of avoiding effects of spells entirely. That, in itself, is significant progress towards “tough” and as such, I’ve dropped the added feats from the first version of Lightning Reflexes and the Improved version. There are other things in play that are very effective without putting in feats as well.

Unphaseable: Immunity to non-lethal damage and stun effects while raging. {I’ve finally settled on a name for this ability! Yea!!!}The idea here is that they’re so amped up so as to fully ignore anything less than truly life-threatening effects, or crippling effects (ie: strike blind, etc). It’s an “only in rage” thing, but it’s a guaranteed thing vs. “rage power” as a way to enhance reliably the rage feature of the barbarian overall. This does NOT grant them any protection from non-lethal damage from environmental effects or conditions, etc.
--Revision #1: One other note: subdual can still be recorded as normal, however, and if, when the character ends the rage the subdual/non-lethal total is more than his current HP total, he will come out of his rage and fall immediately unconscious. In this respect, it is more of a delay-effect for that. Immunity to stunning effects, however, is complete and non-delayed.

Improved Rage: Increase Str boost to +4, and save bonus to +2. DR increases to 4/--. In addition, at this point, when in a rage, the barbarian will gain Fast Healing: 1 for the duration of his rage-state.
--Revision #1: ok, taken from another poster’s suggestion of having fast healing of 0 (wtf would that even mean??), but the idea of lessening or marginalizing the ability when first gained is what I really took away from it. I think it works, so thanks!

Fast Healing: this is added as a feature while raging to the upper tier rage types and improves with each in order to give the barbarian additional “staying power” inside combat. It is a neat effect and functions well with this concept, IMO. Again, this is NOT relegated to rage power in favor of making it a guaranteed effect of the rage in progression and power vs. a *maybe* option of rage power.

Indefatigueable Stamina: while in a rage state, a barbarian becomes fully immune to any fatigue-based effects or states.
--Revision #1: Another idea suggested by a poster, and I really like it. It is more general than spell-specific immunities, and fitting in theme. Overall, this is just a much cleaner mechanic – thanks!

Preternatural Reflexes: in a rage state (ONLY) they gain the same bonus to Fort and Will saves added to their Ref saves as well. Again – guaranteed to increase the power and position of the rage vs. “rage power” of some sort.
--Revision #1: nothing new here except placement in progression. I put it ahead of “Evasion” in progression to grant a bonus on the save first, and then progress in upper levels towards the improved benefit of ignoring effects entirely (thus making it the one class in the game that can “evade” all save effects).

Fast Recovery: This is there to act as a mid-way ability to the Tireless Rage feature. Currently, when in rage you have to be out of it for 2 rounds for every 1 round you used it. This speeds up fatigue recovery in general to about ½ that, so it turns out to be 1:1 in recovery instead of 2:1 recovery time before being able to rage again.
--Revision #1: Still looking for a better name for this … any help?

Great Rage: Increase Str bonus to +6 and a +3 bonus on all saves (now w/Preternatural Reflexes unlocked). The DR of 2 gained at this level that is “always on” for a barbarian is stackable to the bonus 6 granted from a rage of this level, so while raging the barbarian actually gets DR 8/-. Fast Healing also increases to 2, and there is +1d6 “rage damage” added to any damage he inflicts. This is NOT added to base damage or multiplied on a critical hit.
--Revision #1: I added some clear verbage about the limitation of the damage die, and have delayed it’s progression significantly. You will not get any bonus damage die until 10 full levels in-class have been taken. I also

Inexhaustible Endurance: The barbarian becomes immune to the effects of exhaustion from any source while in his rage state.
--Revision #1: Same idea suggested by the same poster, only I’ve staggered out the “fatigue” and “exhausted” conditions to different levels rather than the different spells. Still a very clean mechanic and excellent idea!

Mighty Rage: this now grants a +8 to str and a +4 to saves. It also grants a DR of 8, but adds to the existing DR of 3 for a total DR of 11/-- when raging. Fast Healing improves to 5, and the rage damage increases to +2d6.

Fueled by Fury: When raging the barbarian gains immunity to Ability Damage and Drains. This is just one more way to emphasize the degree of toughness that accompanies the rage. It’s at 19th level, so it should have a pretty potent potential. Ability damage and drains don’t come up that often, so it’s kind of marginal, BUT it’s also limited to only in rage as a guaranteed thing (again vs. rage power limitations) for emphasis on the innate power of the rage itself by that level.
--Revision #1: this is to clarify the thought process here. Think of almost comic-book HULK for inspiration. “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets!” Of course it’s not comics, and the mechanic is FAR from granting additional strength, but you get the point. So … drains and what have you, just can’t cut it on “taking the fury” out of a barbarian anymore – they’re beyond that and sustained by their insane level of rage and fury.

Supreme Rage: There are now 5 tiers in the rage progression for added emphasis on the importance of the ability, and a smoother/lesser progression in stats, etc. Str bonus is now a +10 with a +5 to all saves. Fast Healing ups to 10, and the rage damage goes up to +3d6. Final DR here is 15/-- {with an option of using more rage powers to increase that amount if desired by individual PC’s}

Right, so – there it is. Version 2.0! Thoughts? Comments and Criticisms?

Please post away and help me refine this little project of mine.

Thanks,
-The Speaker in Dreams

As a final note: I also intend to adjust Fighters a bit as well, but in a different manner entirely. That'll get it's own post soon ... so the fighter *I* have in mind is slightly better off than the PF one, and more able to compete against this rebuild {and both are better able to compete against all the other classes for it}


Hi! I was looking over the Monk and thinking how the Perfect Self is kind of weak on it's DR properties. It's DR 10/Magic. What, at 20th level will not have magic weapons??? Might as well be a worthless feature, no?

So ... how would it affect things to give the monk DR 10/Chaos instead?

Not much of a change, but at least it's less likely to encounter and more in-line with the nature of the monk, no?


Hi there! I’m firmly in the camp that believes there are problems with the existing barbarian as presented by PF. It didn’t go far enough and it’s weak for the effort. This is an attempt to correct that. Any not of the opinion – do not spew your vitriol in here, please. It’s a work in progress and this is the first draft, so all criticisms are welcome – just not into spewing garbage for the sake of it.

Design Philosophy going in:

1) Barbarians are all about their rage ability – it defines them and carries them though. This must become even MORE significant itself (vs. rage powers).
2) PF dropped the ball on the Barbarian upgrades. It got nerfed HARD after Beta, and it’s reeling in recovery. I’m going to attempt to put it back where it *should* have been and/or to scale with the other melee classes.
3) Barbarian key identification qualities are: tough/durable, outrageous strength and damage dealing capacity, and fast reactions – in that order.
4) More can be added to make the class “fun” vs. worrisome. Bonus HP will disappear. Yes, this is part of the long-standing barbarian thing, but as rage gets better and more hp creep in, more damage tends to be taken and the barbarian will get hosed when coming out of his rage. {by hosed I mean killed}. It’s, quite frankly, NOT fun to have that sort of worry with a key and defining class feature in play. There are ways to fix it, and I will – no more sacred cow.
5) Speaking of sacred cows – say good bye to the idea of a barbarian with a sixth sense for danger. It’s an old artifact and really does nothing to highlight features of the class and what it’s capable of, so, “Good bye, Trap Sense – you’ll not be missed!”

I’ll be messing around w/rage powers too, but that’ll be a different post after this first one, or maybe a different thread. I agree with the idea of why the rage points disappeared – to keep things simple, but in the drive for simplicity, rage powers got screwed hard. So … I’ll just do a few things to try and add utility to them, completely do away with others entirely (given the boosts to the class structure proper from this), and the like as I go.

Without further ado, here’s my attempt to play with things and fine-tune the barbarian to bring it back to where it should have been from the outset in the upgrade. I’m just going to present it with no frills or formatting, because it’s hard to do that stuff for me on a web-board. I’m not savvy enough for it, so I’m side-stepping it in a more direct format.

Barbarian
Hit Die: d12
BAB: Full
Saves: Fort save is the only Good progression
Skill List: Unchanged
Skill Points: Unchanged

Level Progression
1 = Rage, Fast Movement: +10’, +1d6 Rage Damage
2 = Rage Power, Uncanny Dodge
3 = Lightning Reflexes
4 = Rage Power, Evasion
5 = Improved Uncanny Dodge
6 = Rage Power, Immunity to Non-Lethal damage and Stun effects while in rage state {needs a name}
7 = DR 1/-- , Great Rage, Fast Healing 2 {in rage state only}, +2d6 Rage Damage
8 = Rage Power, Immune to “Ray of Exhaustion” spell {only in rage state – needs a name}
9 = Fast Recovery {could use a new name}, Fast Movement: +20’
10 = DR 2/-- , Rage Power
11 = Preternatural Reflexes, Immunity to Waves of Fatigue spell {only in rage state – needs a name}
12 = Rage Power,
13 = DR 3/-- , Mighty Rage, Fast Healing 5 {in rage state only}, +3d6 Rage Damage
14 = Indomitable Will; Rage Power
15 = Improved Lightning Reflexes, Immunity to Waves of Exhaustion spell {only in rage state – needs a name}
16 = DR 4/-- , Rage Power
17 = Tireless Rage
18 = Rage Power; Fast Movement: +30’
19 = DR 5/-- , Immunity to Ability Damage and Drains {only in rage state – needs a name}
20 = Supreme Rage; Rage Power, Fast Healing 10, +4d6 Rage Damage

Explanation of Changes (that need explaining – some are just feats)

Rage: Rage is a +4 bonus to str, and a +2 to Will and Fort saves. No more con bonus, or bonus HP’s for entering a rage. Instead, barbarians gain DR X/-- where X = the ability mod of the rage type granted. So for Rage, it’s DR 2, etc. In addition, this DR is stackable with similar DR of any kind present on the barbarian.

Rage Damage: This is a new bonus just added to all melee damage a barbarian inflicts while in his rage state. It’s not huge and averages about a +3 boost/die, BUT this is something to help the barbarian reclaim position as damage dealer extreme – which they should be. It’s a way to boost damage (and damage only) in a semi-reliable way. It increases by 1d6 with each tier of the rage ability.

Fast Movement: This increases 2 times in progression in order to let a barbarian take advantage of speed and maneuverability a bit more than they can at present. It’s not on the level of a monk, but it’s still significant.

Immunity to non-lethal damage and stun effects while raging: this really, REALLY needs a name, but the idea being that they’re so amped up so as to fully ignore anything less than truly life-threatening effects, or crippling effects (ie: strike blind, etc). It’s an “only in rage” thing, but it’s a guaranteed thing vs. “rage power” as a way to enhance reliably the rage feature of the barbarian overall.

Great Rage: Increased from +6 to a +8 stat bonus and a +4 bonus on will and fort saves, etc. The DR of 1 gained at this level that is “always on” for a barbarian is stackable to the bonus 4 granted from a rage of this level, so while raging the barbarian actually gets DR 5/-.

Fast Healing: this is added as a feature while raging to the upper tier rage types and improves with each in order to give the barbarian additional “staying power” inside combat. It is a neat effect and functions well with this concept, IMO. Again, this is NOT relegated to rage power in favor of making it a guaranteed effect of the rage in progression and power vs. a *maybe* option of rage power.

Immunity to “spell called X”: this is there because those three spells I’ve singled out (maybe there’s more) are complete and TOTAL class killers for the barbarian. It defeats the rage and prevents it entirely for a duration of X minutes/level. Given barbarians only have “rounds” of rage, this is completely unfair. Adding in the lack of saving throws, or even partial saving throws STILL resulting in a fatigue state for a LONG time … and the best way to protect the whole class is through specific spell immunity. I granted the immunity on barbarians a few levels after casters *could* have access to those spells, though – leaves a few levels of being hit hard with it, but eventually they fully are immune to those types of effects once raging. On the balancing side of things, these immunities are ONLY granted once in a rage-state, so if a barbarian it hit before raging, he’s as boned as anyone else. It’s a fair trade, IMO. The idea being that once they’re raging, they become that much harder to stop.

Fast Recovery: This is there to act as a mid-way ability to the Tireless Rage feature. Currently, when in rage you have to be out of it for 2 rounds for every 1 round you used it. This speeds up fatigue recovery in general to about ½ that, so it turns out to be 1:1 in recovery instead of 2:1 recovery time before being able to rage again.

Preternatural Reflexes: in a rage state (ONLY) they gain the same bonus to Fort and Will saves added to their Ref saves as well. Again – guaranteed to increase the power and position of the rage vs. “rage power” of some sort.

Mighty Rage: this now grants a +12 bonus to str and a +6 bonus to will, fort and ref saves when raging. Fast healing increases to 5 and rage damage increases to +3d6.

Immunity to Ability Damage and Drains: only in a rage state, but just one more way to emphasize the degree of toughness that accompanies the rage. It’s at 19th level, so it should have a pretty potent potential. Ability damage and drains don’t come up that often, so it’s kind of marginal, BUT it’s also limited to only in rage as a guaranteed thing (again vs. rage power limitations) for emphasis on the innate power of the rage itself by that level.

Supreme Rage: I added a 4th tier to the rage progression for added emphasis on the importance of the ability. Str bonus is now a +16 with a +8 to fort, will and ref saves. Fast Healing ups to 10, and the rage damage goes up to +4d6.

Right, so – there it is. Thoughts? Comments and Criticisms?

Please post away and help me refine this little project of mine.

Thanks,
-The Speaker in Dreams


Hi all! Just dropping a class build I made a while back - I've since attempted to give it a "pathfinder" treatment, so all feedback and comments are welcome. Take a look and hit me with the criticisms.

Swashbuckler
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills
The swashbuckler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics(Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Swashbuckler
Level__BAB__Fort Save__Ref Save__Will Save__AC Bonus____Special

1st_____+1______+0________+2_________+2________+1_______Weapon Finesse, Impressive Stunt (1/day)
2nd_____+2______+0________+3_________+3________+1_______Combat Style
3rd_____+3______+1________+3_________+3________+1_______Insightful Strike
4th_____+4______+1________+4_________+4________+1_______Impressive Stunt (2/day)
5th_____+5______+1________+4_________+4________+2_______Scoundrel's Favor (+2)
6th_____+6______+2________+5_________+5________+2_______Improved Combat Style
7th_____+7______+2________+5_________+5________+2_______Trademark Ability
8th_____+8______+2________+6_________+6________+2_______Impressive Stunt (3/day)
9th_____+9______+3________+6_________+6________+2_______Acrobatic Skill Mastery
10th____+10_____+3________+7_________+7________+3_______Trademark Ability
11th____+11_____+3________+7_________+7________+3_______Combat Style Mastery
12th____+12_____+4________+8_________+8________+3_______Impressive Stunt (4/day)
13th____+13_____+4________+8_________+8________+3_______Trademark Ability
14th____+14_____+4________+9_________+9________+3_______Cat's Grace
15th____+15_____+5________+9_________+9________+4_______Combat Style Tactical Feat
16th____+16_____+5________+10________+10_______+4_______Trademark Abilty; Impressive Stunt (5/day)
17th____+17_____+5________+10________+10_______+4_______Crippling Critical
18th____+18_____+6________+11________+11_______+4_______Scoundrel's Favor (+4)
19th____+19_____+6________+11________+11_______+4_______Trademark Ability
20th____+20_____+6________+12________+12_______+5_______Impressive Stunt (6/day)

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the swashbuckler.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A swashbuckler is proficient with all light melee weapons, all crossbows, rapiers, whips, bucklers, and with light armor. Exotic weapon types are not included in the previously mentioned selections. Some of the swashbuckler’s class features, as noted below, rely on her being no more than lightly armored and unencumbered.
Note: If blackpowder weapons are in use in the campaign, it is suggested that they be proficient in the use of such weapons as well.
Weapon Finesse (Ex): A swashbuckler gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat at 1st level even if she does not qualify for the feat.
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored, or wearing no more than light armor and unencumbered, the swashbuckler gains a +1 dodge bonus to her AC. In addition, the swashbuckler’s bonus increases by +1 for every 5 levels the swashbuckler has attained (+2 at 5th, +3 at 10th, +4 at 15th, and +5 at 20th level). It does stack with any other dodge bonuses the character may possess from feats, or class abilities.
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks, but not when the swashbuckler is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears medium or heavy armor, or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Combat Style (Ex): Once a swashbuckler reaches second level she must choose one of four possible combat styles to master. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Once a swashbuckler selects a style, that choice will determine future advancements. The swashbuckler only gains the benefits if her fighting style when wearing only light armor, wielding a light weapon, and unencumbered. This choice affects the character’s class features but does not restrict his selection of feats or special abilities in any way. The styles and their progressions are as follows: The Combat Dancer, The Blade Master, The Trickster, and Dual Weapon Master.
•____The Combat Dancer: is treated as if she has the Dodge feat at 2nd level, the Spring Attack feat at 6th level, and the Bounding Assault feat at 9th level.
•____The Blade Master: is treated as if she has the Weapon Focus feat at 2nd level, the Improved Disarm feat at 6th level, and the Improved Critical feat at 9th level.
•____The Trickster: is treated as if she has the Combat Expertise feat at 2nd level, the Improved Disarm feat at 6th level, the Elusive Target feat at 9th level.
•____The Dual Weapon Master: is treated as if she has the Two Weapon Fighting feat at 2nd level, the Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat at 6th level, the Two Weapon Rend feat at 9th level.
Any of the feats in these progressions can be replaced with another combat feat if the character already has the feat selected from a previous class, or as a character level feat.
Insightful Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, a swashbuckler becomes able to place her finesse attacks where they deal greater damage. She applier her Intelligence bonus (if any) as a bonus on damage rolls (in addition to any Strength bonus she may have) with any light weapon, as well as any other weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse, such as a rapier, whip, or spiked chain. Targets immune to sneak attacks or critical hits are immune to the swashbuckler’s insightful strike. A swashbuckler cannot use this ability when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Scoundrel’s Favor (Su): Having proven herself to be a daring and dashing figure, the gods of fortune look down with favor upon the swashbuckler. At 5th level, a swashbuckler gains a +2 bonus to all of her saving throws.
Impressive Stunt (Ex): A swashbuckler always manages to outshine his competition. Once for every five levels in swashbuckler the character has attained she may add her Charisma bonus (if any) to an attack action, or skill check. The only requirement is that the action taken must be difficult to accomplish (ie: tumbling across a series of tables in an attempt to charge, running partially up a wall to circumvent a floor trap or pressure plate, diving through a pile of enemies to pursue the leader who’s told them to hold off the swashbuckler, swinging from the top floor using a rope to kick the villain and pick up the damsel, etc). If the action involves several rolls, then the bonus is applied to all of them until the completion (or failure) of the action is resolved.
Trademark Abilities (Ex): All swashbucklers develop unique and impressive fighting styles. Beginning at 7th level and every 3 levels there after, swashbucklers choose one ability from the list below to add to their personal repertoires.
*_____Acrobatic Charge (Ex): A swashbuckler is able to charge under conditions that others normally would not be able to. She may charge according to normal charge rules with the following exceptions: (1) she may tumble through friendly or unfriendly threat areas without loosing speed for the charge according to normal tumbling rules. (2) She may also charge over obstacles in her path by making a successful jump check according to jumping rules. In addition, the swashbuckler may elect to make a leaping charge. A leaping charge exchanges the +2 to hit bonus of a charge for a +2 bonus to damage inflicted due to added momentum. The DC of a leaping charge is 20. If the check result is 30 or more, then the damage bonus is raised to +4. All other charge effects work as normal upon the swashbuckler.
*_____Defense Mastery (Ex): The swashbuckler has mastered defensive combat and maneuvers of all kinds. Any kind of defensive maneuver in combat is doubled when used by the swashbuckler. This bonus applies to such things as fighting defensively, all out defense, and combat expertise. In order to qualify for this ability, the swashbuckler must have the Combat Expertise feat.
*_____Dramatic Entrance (Ex): The swashbuckler has mastered the ability to take command of a room and ride the high of attention generated by an outstanding entrance. Anytime she just arrives and joins into a scene (as determined by the GM), she gains a temporary circumstance bonus equal to her Charisma modifier (if any). This bonus is applied to all skill checks, attack rolls (but not damage), and saving throws, but lasts for only the first round of actions. At the start of a new initiative round, these bonuses disappear as the entrance has already been made.
*_____Evasion (Ex): A swashbuckler can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the swashbuckler is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless swashbuckler does not gain the benefit of evasion.
If a swashbuckler already has evasion from a different class she automatically gains improved evasion instead.
*_____Extrordinary Luck (Ex): A swashbuckler is often quite lucky in ways that other warriors can barely dream to hope of. Once per day, a swashbuckler may reroll any failed attack roll, skill check, ability check, or saving throw. The character must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll. This ability may be taken multiple times, each one granting an additional use per day.
*_____Fearless (Ex): The swashbuckler has become so daring that she is completely unaffected by fear effects, mundane, magical, or otherwise.
*_____Gift of Gab (Ex): Few characters are as striking as the swashbuckler. A swashbuckler who selects this ability has learned to not only be physically impressive, but to also use words to great effect as well. She gains a circumstantial bonus to any Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, and Perform checks she makes. The bonus is equal to ½ of the swashbuckler’s level, and is dependant on the listeners being able to understand the language that the swashbuckler is using when performing the check.
*_____Initiative Mastery (Ex): The swashbuckler’s quickness is legendary, and she is rarely out maneuvered. She gains a +4 to initiative whenever initiative checks are made. This bonus does stack with the Improved Initiative feat if the character also has that feat. If someone does surpass her in initiative, then by sacrificing her move action for that round, the swashbuckler can seize the initiative over the opponent that is one place in the initiative order ahead of her.
*_____Intimidating Mark (Ex): The swashbuckler is so quick, and so accurate with her attack that she is capable of carving an initial onto clothing, an object, or even an opponent’s flesh! A swashbuckler can use this ability against any opponent engaged in melee with her. The maneuver is initiated by a successful strike against the target’s AC. Damage is rolled as normal, and it leaves a mark upon the target’s body or clothing (as indicated by the swashbuckler). The target, upon receiving this mark, must make a Will save against a base of 10 plus ½ the swashbuckler’s level plus Cha bonus (if any). The results of the save vary depending on the target’s level compared to the swashbuckler’s. A successful save negates the effects.
__________If the target’s level is greater than or, up to 2 below the swashbuckler’s level, then a failure results in the target being shaken for the duration of the encounter.
__________If the target’s level is 3-5 levels lower than the swashbuckler, then a failure results in the target being frightened.
__________If the target’s level is 6 or more levels lower than the swashbuckler, then a failure results in the target being panicked.
*_____Maneuver Mastery (Ex): The swashbuckler has dedicated his flair and skill to the pursuit of some combat maneuver and gains a +4 bonus to attempts to make this type of maneuver. This bonus stacks with any existing bonuses from other feats or class abilities. This can be taken multiple times, but each time, it applies to a different maneuver. {disarm, feint, etc}
*_____Opportunistic Strike (Ex): The precision of the swashbuckler is such that she is capable of capitalizing on any mistakes that an opponent makes in combat. She inflicts 1d6 additional damage on any successful Attack of Opportunity that is made on an opponent.
*_____Precise Strike (Ex): The swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, gaining an extra 1d6 damage added to her normal damage roll.
When making a precise strike, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield. A swashbuckler’s precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike.
*_____Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A swashbuckler can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
If a swashbuckler already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.
*_____Cat’s Grace (Ex): The swashbuckler has become so certain of her actions that she is no longer denied her dexterity bonus to armor class when engaged in difficult activities. She is perfectly able to hold combat while hanging from a rope, walking a high wire, or fighting on ladders. She is no longer considered to be flat footed when using the balance, or climb skills.
*_____Acrobatic Skill Mastery (Ex): The swashbuckler becomes so certain in the use of acrobatic skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making a Balance, Climb, Jump, or Tumble check, the swashbuckler may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.
Acrobatic Skill Mastery (Ex): The swashbuckler becomes so certain in the use of acrobatic skills that she can use them reliably even under adverse conditions. When making a Balance, Climb, Jump, or Tumble check, the swashbuckler may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent her from doing so.
Cat’s Grace (Ex): The swashbuckler has become so certain of her actions that she is no longer denied her dexterity bonus to armor class when engaged in difficult activities. She is perfectly able to hold combat while hanging from a rope, walking a high wire, or fighting on ladders. She is no longer considered to be flat footed when making balance, or climb checks.
Combat Style Tactical Feat (Ex): The swashbuckler has learned to add multiple options into her combat style that helps to make her more versatile in her combat options in a way that compliments her chosen style. The Tactical Feat gained depends upon the swashbuckler’s personal Combat Style choice.
Combat Dancer: gain the Elusive Target tactical feat (CW)
The Blade Master: gain the Einhander tactical feat (PHBII)
The Trickster: gain the Combat Panache tactical feat (PHBII)
The Dual Weapon Master: gain the Dual Weapon Expert tactical feat (see below)
Crippling Critical (Ex): The swashbuckler is so precise and deadly with the use of her weapons that when she scores a successful critical hit, she inflicts special debilitating conditions on her target. In addition to the regular critical hit damage inflicted, the swashbuckler can choose to apply one of the following effects upon her target:
•_____reduce all of the target’s speeds by 10 feet (minimum 5 feet)
•_____1d4 points of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution damage
•_____–4 penalty on all saving throws
•_____–4 penalty to Armor Class,
•_____2d6 points of bleed damage.
These penalties last for 1 minute, except for ability damage (which must be healed normally) and bleed
damage (which continues until the target receives magic healing or a DC 15 Heal skill check).

New Feat
Dual Weapon Expert (General/Tactical)

You are highly skilled in the use of two weapon fighting (actual two weapons, or a single double-weapon). By a combination of weapon movement, personal positioning, and paying close attention to your opponents, you can bring your weapons to bear with unusual swiftness and catch your opponents off guard and in unexpected ways. Additionally, this feat allows you to take away certain combat advantages from your opponent in the middle of the fight.
Prerequisite: Dex 17, Int 13, Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Base Attack Bonus +6
Benefit: The users of this feat have learned to perform amazing maneuvers with the use of their two blades. While maintaining a constant flurry of weapons, many unique and devastating combat maneuvers are open to them. The character must be actively wielding two weapons in order to utilize them.
Negate Critical Hit: to use this maneuver, the character must designate one enemy that is threatening attack. Once chosen, if that enemy should score a successful critical hit, the character can instantly sacrifice all off-hand weapon attacks for that round in order to negate the effects of a critical hit result. This can not, however, negate the effects of weapons with special abilities that only trigger with critical hits (vorpal, etc). When the character opts to drop the off hand attacks, her main weapon attacks still operate with the dual weapon penalty for that round.
Deadly Follow Through: if you score a critical hit while wielding two weapons, and it is confirmed, you roll damage like normal. In addition, you gain an additional attack by the same weapon and at the same base attack bonus as the strike that made the successful hit. For example, a character with a +6 attack and dual wielding scores a critical hit with his off hand at the +6 modifier. He immediately gets one additional attack at +6 to be resolved as normal.
No Openings: when wielding two weapons (or a single double-weapon), you have learned to erect a sort of protective shield of obscuring and furious blows. They work to keep your opponent on the defensive and confused when trying to read your body language. In effect, you gain a +2 Shield bonus to your AC while wielding two weapons. If you have any other shield-bonus feats (Two Weapon Defense, etc), this bonus stacks with the effects of those bonuses.


Hi there!

Big, BIG fan of Pathfinder overall and I'm finally leaving the core classes to look at the PrC's and ... the Eldrich Knight looks weak, weak, weak by comparison to the other PrC's.

So ... what happened? I mean, it REALLY stands out as odd and/or wrong in design compared to the other PrC's that are magic-based.

I mean ... they get 3 feats, 1 interesting class feature, and 1 that is dependent upon critical hits only ... what gives? The rest is all empty class levels. Wasn't this a focus and stated design element?

Nearly every other caster-PrC gets some really unique and potent abilities. The Mystic theurge gets a LOT of abilities that compliment each other nicely and are very powerful vs. the average feat. Maybe they don't get the d10 hd, but still ... they're potent.

Even more, the Dragon Disciple gets d12 hd (even more) and does trade off 3 levels of caster, but look at what they get: good amount of natural armor, good amount of str boosting, flight, claws and breath attacks ... totally worth the 3 caster levels and they get amazing abilities AND have better saves and HD than the EK .... so ... what am I missing?

Honestly, it just looks like a serious oversight to me ... is there an errata or something that addresses this? Thanks.


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