If one is going to go the knowledge skill route, I would suggest that the something like the following:
Modus Operandi (available at 1st level): As a swift action you make suss out the modus operandi of a single opponent. Make a 10 + CR of the opponent knowledge check, appropriate to the type (Local vs. Humanoids, Nature vs. Animals, etc.). If you are successful, you get +2 to hit and damage vs. that individual opponent for the next minute. In additional you receive +2 AC, and +2 CMD vs. that opponent, and get a +2 save vs. all of that individual opponents special attacks, spells and the like. This bonus increases to +4 at level 5, +6 at level 10, +8 at level 15, and +10 at level 20.
Any thing that they get to help their combat abilities should be available at level 1. There is no reason to make the life of a 1st level character any more limited and difficult.
I actually like sneak attack better then the 'inspired strike' 'studied strike' idea, because:
1. Sneak attack is fun. Its tactically interesting to try to get the drop on people, and to set up flanks.
2. There are already a host of rogue talents that modify and augment sneak attack. Investigators get access to those if they have sneak attack.
3. It is something an investigator can always try to do, even when there other resources are spent.
4. It fits in with the concept of investigators as rogue/alchemist hybrids.
Hunter: Falconer (has a flying animal companion, good at working with it to fight flying things), Packmaster (trades their animal aspect ability for additional animal companions, gets one extra at 4th at -2 levels, 6th at -4 levels, 8th at -6 levels, etc. They must select an wolf, dog, or other predatory, pack forming animal), Mounted Hunter (uses their animal companion as a mount, gains mounted combat feats in addition to teamwork feats), Lord of the Apes (gains leadership feat but must take apes, including advanced apes, in place of NPC followers)
Slayer: Mageslayer (can take the disruptive, spell breaker, etc. feat chain, can impose a penalty to concentration checks for a few rounds by sacrificing a few sneak attack dice)
Swashbuckler: many of the fighter archetypes should have swashbuckling versions, including the two weapon fighter, the cad, the mobile fighter, the brawler. There should also missile weapon using versions (crossbow, gun, bow).
Brew Potion, as a bonus feat, should be an investigator talent. They have the option of selecting the alchemical discoveries related to potions after all. And technically, without this, there is not a way for them to brew potions (it is my understanding that, officially, the item creation feats don't work with alchemical elixirs).
I think that the rogue might be a full BAB class what with their reliance of martial prowess, their single good save, and the fact that they have other limitations that make less good at going toe to toe than a fighter (weapon limitations, armor limitations, no weapon specialization). It actually fits the image of the rogue in fantasy literature fairly well too.
moon glum wrote:
Nah, I take it back. It would be better just to give them the 1/4/7/10/13/16/19 sneak attack progression, and forget the inspiration based damage bonus, at least as a talent available at 1st level.
The cool thing about sneak attack is that it requires a bit of tactics to use. As a player, it is fun to try to figure out a way to sneak attack an opponent. So, adding an inspiration based bonus to damage at level 1 (that is 1d6 per 4 levels) and sneak attack at level 1 (and then incrementing 1d per 4 levels (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 10th, etc.) would be cool too.
I don't see any reason to delay the sneak attack die till level 2 though. I think that there might be one character in a hundred that dips a level in investigator to get a sneak attack die.
Your idea is good. I would develop it further by allowing a 1st level use of inspiration 'attack weakpoints', that cost 2 inspiration points, and gave you +1d6 per 2 levels precision damage against a single opponent. It would last for a limited time. There could be an investigator talent that lowered the cost to 1 inspiration point.
That would give an investigator cool combat abilities at 1st level, and would be different from sneak attack.
Making the class more interesting and fun for the first 3 levels is *way* more important than trying to discourage 1 level dips in investigator. I play 4 different pathfinder campaigns, and I have not yet seen any sort of level dipping to be a problem. I think that making a class that is fun to run during each and every game (including the 9-12 one plays at levels 1-3) is more important.
In fact, the real way to discourage level dipping is to create a lot of higher level, cool powers. If you level dip, it will take longer to get the high level cool powers. Also, because of favored classes, level dipping always costs you a hit point or skill point. Not horrible, but still.
Lowering the investigator's sneak attack dice is a way to balance them with rogue. Investigators at high levels have other advantages in combat-- better to hit via inspiration, concentrated poison, enhanced potions, elixers (displacement, improved invisibility, haste, shield, enlarge, liquid body...), a mutagen (+4 dex, +2 AC). They don't really need the rogues attack dice.
Also note with my proposed sneak attack dice progression the investigator will usually have only 1-2 dice fewer than the rogue, which is the same as with the current progression. At very high levels, the investigators dice will start to fall behind by an extra die. By this time, they will have a plethora of other abilities that will make up for that.
After Wednesday nights game where the first level swashbuckler was armed with a trident, I think that the class would be better served if it focused on light blades, and weapons that benefit from the weapon finesse feat. This would also save folks the headache of having to deal with a version of the weapon finesse feat that is not actually weapon finesse.
Another suggestion: model it a little more closely on the gunslinger. Do not have the class get weapon finesse as a feat at all (gunslinger's don't get rapid reload or point blank attack, after all, they just all take those feats). At 2nd level, they could get an ability ('nimble blade') that gave them +4 CMD vs. sunder and disarm attacks against a weapon that they wield, but not weapon finesse.
Along the lines of modeling the swashbuckler more along the lines of the gunslinger, if swashbucklers just got their dexterity bonus to damage at 3rd level, and then an ability that gives them some bonus precision damage if they spend a panache point (this is more like the pistolero gunslinger archetype), then they would all take weapon finesse at first level anyway. And, since they got their dex bonus to damage anyway, then not every swashbuckler would take dervish dance and wield a scimitar. Their could be an archetype that let you finesse a scimitar.
Hard Boiled: a tough investigator that gains a knockout greater rogue talent, a bonus to hit points and fortitude saves, and can use firearms, but loses the alchemy ability of elixers.
Panopticon: an investigator that uses divination magic to solve cases. They would gain access to additional divination spells as extracts but would probably lose a few sneak attack dice.
Gadfly: a small swashbuckler that gets access to close fighting abilities that allow it to literally walk all over larger foe, pocking it apart.
N N 959 wrote:
I don't think its necessary. The sneak attack dice progression I suggested gives investigators fewer dice than they are currently have, and they already have fewer skill points per level than a rogue (base, not counting Int bonuses-- but note that having a high Int comes at a combat effectiveness cost as you will have a lower Dex, Str, and Con). All the change does is to make the class more fun to play at 1st through 3rd level.
With regards to the alchemical discovery talent, there are a number of discoveries that would be thematically appropriate, and would allow for some interesting, dramatic scenarios:
* The various simulacrum discoveries, so that the investigator could make a copy of themselves so as to appear to be in two places at once, or so that they can make a fake murder victim as part of a sting.
* Cognatogen, which seems much more thematically appropriate than mutagen. One might consider removing mutagen, useful as it is, and replacing it with the complete series of Cognatogen discoveries (Greater, etc.)
* Nauseating Flesh, because it just seems that a jack of all trades investigator would be able get things set up so that the monster spits
In writing up a 1st level rat-folk investigator, I note that one is not really able to do much in combat. It would be better, and perhaps more balanced when compared with the rogue, to instead give them their sneak attack dice at 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, and 19th. That's 7d6 vs the rogue's 10d6, and it lets them have a combat schtick at 1st level (flank and sneak attack).
A rogue is close to what we old school 1st edition gamers used to think of as the fighter/thief. I think that, to really capture the quintessential fighter/thief, a character like the gray mouser, or moonglum, that the rogue should just get a full BAB. Then you would have a fighter/thief.
It looks as though swift feint has need of a re-write:
Swift Feint (Ex): At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least
My guess is that the intent was that if a swashbuckler hits an opponent, then as a swift action they can instead miss that opponent and cause them to be denied their dexterity bonus to AC until the start of their next turn.
An alternative would be that they can spend a panache point to use the improved feint combat maneuver.
There doesn't seem to be any straight forward way that a swashbuckler could both hit an opponent, *and* then spend a standard action to instead miss that opponent...
Even as a teleportation specialist, d-door is nice because it lets you take other people with you, and you can travel a long distance.
Note that it is likely that you will have 4 slots at 8th level, and most likely you'll have a couple of summon monster IV spells, and 2 other spells like black tentacles and, say, wall of fire. You want d-door in your spell book not because you will take it every day, but because it can provide a solution to a problem that can be solved after resting and regaining your spells.
D-door can get your whole part onto a tower, back into a dungeon that you had to fight your way out of, or, taken twice, into and out of a secret treasure chamber (whose precise location as been determined by a stolen map/seduced guard/tortured minion).
So I vote for d-door, and either wall of fire, or wall of ice.
Heavy armor is good if you are in a medieval style battle, such as being mounted on a warhorse and charging a bunch of giants.
Heavy armor and shield start becoming truly obsolete as touch attacks become more common. If there are alchemists, firearms, and creatures with touch attacks, then any small advantage that heavy armor had is negated. And many of the touch attacks turn out to be things, like disintegration beams, incorporeal life energy drains, or harm spells, that you really want to avoid.
The skill penalties are not such a big deal, because most characters are no good at stealth or acrobatics anyway.
On the ocean, heavy armor is just dumb.
I have been following the play test packets. Sadly for DnD Next, it is not more compelling to me than pathfinder. But they do have a few great innovations that are lacking in pathfinder, and that would be, if the rest of the system was excellent, cool enough to get me to switch my campaign over to DnD Next. Here they are:
1. reletavily flat powering up across levels. A CR 1 monster has a chance to hit a CR 20 fighter. A horde of orcs could kill a high level fighter just because that fighter's AC will proabably not be obscene.
2. The new spell system, where mages get 1 spell per spell level, and then multiple slots, but only 1 slot at 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th. This makes high level spells quite special, and feels Vancian in the original sense.
3. Magic item rarity is awesome.
4. Crafting is made more time consuming and difficult, though a mage can maintain 1 pre-completed magic item that, due to its unfinished nature, is only available to the creator.
There is a pure rogue halfling in my current campaign that does great. Part of the awesomeness of being a halfling rogue is that you do not usually end up being the primary target for enemy attacks. If you can hide and/or turn invisible, so much the better. Keep mobile, find an opportunity, and then let loose a full attack dual wield 'Sneak Attack!!!' You will kick some boot-ey.
The disadvantage is that you are quite vulnerable to grappling/swallowing/snatching and being flown high aloft with before being dropped. Escape artist (or eventually a ring of free action) are good countermeasures.
For feats I would take improved initiative. As a skill monkey, be sure to optimize escape artist and acrobatics, in addition to the obvious skills. As a skill monkey, use magic device can give you a lot of useful combat options such as wands of magic missile, wands of scorching ray and/or acid arrow (both of which you can sneak attack with), and various utility wands like cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, shield, disguise self (each utility wand costs 750 gp and is quite useful).
There are a number of monsters that have a saving throw DC listed next to their ability drain. How is this save handled? Is it a save to recover the lost point(s) after resting, or is it a save to negate the initial drain?
Here is an example (the dread wraith):
Melee incorporeal touch +20 (3d6 negative energy plus 1d8 Con drain [Fort DC 23])
Do victims get a DC 23 save to negate the con drain?
I like the suggestion of Arioch, obviously (given my username), but I am not sure that it is super appropriate for a deity of death and/or magic. Arioch would probably have a porfolio of something like: swords, destruction, dooms, and chaos.
Whatever you choose, my experience in playing clerics is that its a lot more fun if you really grok what your diety is about.
Here are a few other suggestions:
Hecate, from Greek mythology definitely a deity with the domains of death and magic, she is also associated with witchcraft, poisons, hell hounds, the moon, and spheres of annihilation (as per 1st edition deities and demigods).
Vecna (everyone knows Vecna) is a god of secrets and magic, and being a lich as a death aspect to him, or at least a necromancy aspect.
I.like this character idea a lot. Selective channeling is a good feat at first level. It lets you heal when there are living enemies around. To take it, swap con or dex for char. I would do dex, bexause it more fun to be a charismatic cleric than a dexterous one, even if you are very slightly less effective at combat. Besides, this cleric is about being able to carouse, gamble, and drink. You don't need dex for those things.
Having a lot of wands can be very useful. Craft wands therefore can be good. Wand of haste, wand of empowered magic missile at 9th level, wand of empowered scorching ray is a great weapon at 11th level (72.points of fire damage if all 3 rays hit), wand of detect secret doors, wand of invisibility, wand of shield, etc.
I once created a race o fierce reptilian humanoids called lizard mongers. Which would be silly enough, implying that they sold lizards, but then the players started calling the, lizard bongers. I was trying for a name that implied barbaric Mongol types along with hybrid mongrels.
Stick with Mage armor. You can put it on a scroll, cast it on friends, etc. burning hands is not as good as grease. Get rid of resistance, in favor of something like Mage hand, ( you don't have to take an abjuration cantrip)
Cool stats. None the less one could still have mighty crossbows.
I don't have data on the medieval stuff, but for modern crossbows vs. modern compound bows, crossbows have more kinetic energy.
There is a lot of debate as to the longbow (not a mighty compound bow, but still) vs. the cross bow. One interesting argument is that the kinetic energy can't be greater than the stroke that pulled the bow (NSTAAFL). The arguments would certainly make for a good mythbusters/deadliest warrior episode...
It does not make sense that crossbows can't also be mighty and provide a strength bonus to damage. In real life, you can have crossbows with an extremely high draw weight, such that it would take a strong person to load them in the normal manner. Of course, you could also have tools like the prod goats foot that would let anyone load a mighty crossbow, but it would take longer-- say 2 full rounds.
Unleash the might of the crossbow!
You want abjurations for dispel magic, greater dispel magic, shield, prismatic sphere, disjunction, mind blank, etc. there really is no substitute. Illusion is mostly about invisibility, and you can use a wand for that, but illusions in general are good, flexible spells.
So, we're running through Crown of the Kobold King with some "special" characters. One PC is a CN Kobold Rogue who left his tribe for several reasons. In the first dungeon room with kids, one of the Baddy Kobolds stabbed Kimi Eavewalker for 2 points of damage then ran. At that point, the kobold PC SLIT HER THROAT. Evil act? (He seems to think, "Not so much...")
It's an evil act, but it shouldn't make the kobold evil right away. Its a chaotic neutral kobold. It will take several evil acts and no countervailing good acts, for the kobold to become evil.
If specialized in conjuration or evocation, then necromancy and enchantment is a good opposition school combo. Those schools provide mostly good debuff, or control spells, and you have got that covered. You don't want o lose illusions (invisibility), or abjurations (resist energy, protection from evil, etc), or transmutations (fly)
You only get the +1. Receiving a +2 instead is a good house rule, but if that is not in place, just select a different trait. Note that technically you can have any number of traits, but you only get the benefits from 2 of them. Traits are great ways to develop the background of a character. I would suggest using that trait just for character background and then picking a trait that is more useful.
I read in a "lesser known rules" thread that creatures that are immune to fire are automatically also vulnerable to cold and visa versa. I can't find a reference for this in the actual rules, however. Does anyone know where in the rules this comes from? It's not under universal monster rules, nor is it under special abilities. Is it even really a rule? It seems dumb to me and impossible to me. If it where a rule, there would be exceptions to it, but I have never seen a monster that was written with "immune fire, cold affects normally"
At the mid point of a long jump you reach a height 1/4 of the distance jumped. So if they wanted to clear a 5 foot high fence, the mount would need to make a DC 20 long jump.
The rules for ride say that you need to make a DC 15 ride check to leap. If you make that check, you can then take the lower of your ride skill, or your mounts jump modifier and try that long jump.
Note that if you fail the DC 15 ride check to leap, you fall off the mount as it leaps and take 1d6 damage. The mount still tries,to jump, and you are lying on the ground watching as it leaves you behind.
Now note that even if the mount clears someone who is 6 feet in height with a DC 24 check, ifnthenperson is hostile, they get an attack of opportunity. A rider with mounted combat could attempt to negate the hit. Of course that attack of opportunity might well be directed at the rider instead.
Also note that you could not jump over someone during a charge. The obstacle interferes with the charge.
Also note that you don't normally need to jump over allies, who are presumed to get out of your way willingly, but those allies would still interfere with your charge.
There are no rules for tumbling through an opponents space on a mount. You can't normally do it, war trained, tumbling pack apes aside.
There is a great book by Steven Presfield. called 'Amazon'. It deals with amazons as Presfield imagines would have been like in ancient Greece. (Prefielda also wrote the excellent book Gates of Fire, about Sparta vs the Perrsian empire at the battle of thermopylae .)