Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

The Duelist - Why can't we have nice things?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

1 to 50 of 160 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

So over the last several weeks my group has been going back and forth about how to make this class be combat effective. While much of their flair can be fully realized I find that it's borderline impossible to make them effective melee combatants with the severe limitations placed upon their class abilities. A fighter of equivalent level is near impossible to match, I understand that the fighter is SUPPOSED to be the best at what he does, but at the same time many other classes can find a niche in combat, where the duelist is forced to forego nearly all their offensive capability to be capable of using even their most basic class ability - Parry.

So I'd like to hear some thoughts on the current state of the class, have any of you had any success in overcoming their shortcomings, or perhaps I'm just missing some cog in the machine that makes them tick.

Qadira

Duelist is supposed to be an intelligent fighter, not a damage outputter.
You should be tripping and disarming, using precise strike damage to make up some of the bad damage output, the ability to use AoOs in situations that people usually can't, stacking initiative modifiers, intelligence mod to AC.....this guy is cool.
I submit that this class, if played badly, can be lacking in combat. I really don't see a problem with the PRC here. He has his Shtick and he handles it well-enough.


Fake Healer wrote:

Duelist is supposed to be an intelligent fighter, not a damage outputter.

You should be tripping and disarming, using precise strike damage to make up some of the bad damage output, the ability to use AoOs in situations that people usually can't, stacking initiative modifiers, intelligence mod to AC.....this guy is cool.
I submit that this class, if played badly, can be lacking in combat. I really don't see a problem with the PRC here. He has his Shtick and he handles it well-enough.

The issue here is that the fighter can do all that, tripping, disarming, better because his main stat is used for damaging and CMB. The duelist has to spend a feat to use his main offensive stat to add to his CMB, so he has to waste valuable resources. On top of this the duelist is only allowed light or one handed weapons, and only one of them at that. The precise strikes damage bonus is such a small amount because by the time you get your actual +10 you're already at about 15 or 16th level. Assuming a normal str of about 14 with maybe a few items you MIGHT have a +16 to damage.

At 16th level other players are so much ahead of you by this point that it just seems a joke.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pathfinder was designed with the goal that prestige classes and multiclassing would become less optimal choices than singleclassing. To make the Duelist meet your expectation is going to take a lot of optimization. If you find a way, please do post it up as I'm sure it will help others around here. But I'm afraid not many people are going to help you out here.


What Fake Healer said.

Further, the Duelist represents the mobile finesse fighter. He's not necessarily someone who does massive loads of damage, but moves across the battlefield with ease, keeps himself and others from getting hit. He harries, distracts, and disables the enemy and gets them in exactly the right position so his full-fighter buddy can plow in and deal the finishing blow.

Crippling Critical is also nice, and if you build your Duelist off a Fighter and add more Critical feats, you can do some nasty scary stuff.

Likewise it's a good class to make from a melee-based Rogue or Fighter-Rogue--Sneak Attack+Precise Strike is lots of fun, and many Rogue Talents dovetail with the Duelist's abilities nicely (add Sneak Attack based bleeding to the bleeding from Crippling Critical and... ow).

I would posit that the Duelist will shine the most in a urban adventure, where there are going to be a lot of humanoid opponents that will end up being weakest to the Duelist's tactics. I wouldn't necessarily take the Duelist on a mission to the mountains to fight Titans--but even then I'm sure he would find something to do.

The Duelist with Bluff and Sense Motive as class skills can also serve as a decent Party Face.

My only issue with the Duelist is that I'd like to see Diplomacy and Sleight of Hand added to the skill lists. The former, to add to the ability of the class to contribute as a social character and to help add the "honorable musketeer" to the class. The latter, as I think Duelists should have the option of being good at things like concealing weapons on their body. (OTOH, if you prestige in from Rogue, that's not a problem anyway.)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Pathfinder was designed with the goal that prestige classes and multiclassing would become less optimal choices than singleclassing. To make the Duelist meet your expectation is going to take a lot of optimization. If you find a way, please do post it up as I'm sure it will help others around here. But I'm afraid not many people are going to help you out here.

I think the goal was to make prestige classes worth taking, not an absolute must.

Taldor Contributor

May I suggest checking out Craig Shackleton's Art of the Duel, from Sinister Adventures if you haven't already?

It's cheap ($1.50), has rave reviews, should be easy to Pathfinderize, and will likely get you what you want.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
I think the goal was to make prestige classes worth taking, not an absolute must.

What part of my statement contradicts that Matthew?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I think the goal was to make prestige classes worth taking, not an absolute must.
What part of my statement contradicts that Matthew?

I got hung up on the "less optimal choices than singleclassing."

To paraphrase a quote about the Elocator from the XPH, "Feel that pain from choosing between single classing and prestiging, that's balance."

Logically the Duelist should be able to outdo the fighter one on one. The fighter should be able to take on multiple foes, immune to crits, etc better than the duelist.

The Eldrich knight should be able to outfight the wizard, outspell the fighter.

This was the issue with the Archmage. The only reason to not take Archmage was to take another prestige class.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I think the goal was to make prestige classes worth taking, not an absolute must.
What part of my statement contradicts that Matthew?
I got hung up on the "less optimal choices than singleclassing."

Yes, I kind of did that purposefully. :) Basically I was saying the same thing you are, that it was a design choice that prestige classes lose power for what they gave.

Andoran

I'd like to see what a build would look like for this view of the class. This does sound like it would be a fun concept.

DeathQuaker wrote:

What Fake Healer said.

Further, the Duelist represents the mobile finesse fighter. He's not necessarily someone who does massive loads of damage, but moves across the battlefield with ease, keeps himself and others from getting hit. He harries, distracts, and disables the enemy and gets them in exactly the right position so his full-fighter buddy can plow in and deal the finishing blow.

Crippling Critical is also nice, and if you build your Duelist off a Fighter and add more Critical feats, you can do some nasty scary stuff.

Likewise it's a good class to make from a melee-based Rogue or Fighter-Rogue--Sneak Attack+Precise Strike is lots of fun, and many Rogue Talents dovetail with the Duelist's abilities nicely (add Sneak Attack based bleeding to the bleeding from Crippling Critical and... ow).

I would posit that the Duelist will shine the most in a urban adventure, where there are going to be a lot of humanoid opponents that will end up being weakest to the Duelist's tactics. I wouldn't necessarily take the Duelist on a mission to the mountains to fight Titans--but even then I'm sure he would find something to do.

The Duelist with Bluff and Sense Motive as class skills can also serve as a decent Party Face.

My only issue with the Duelist is that I'd like to see Diplomacy and Sleight of Hand added to the skill lists. The former, to add to the ability of the class to contribute as a social character and to help add the "honorable musketeer" to the class. The latter, as I think Duelists should have the option of being good at things like concealing weapons on their body. (OTOH, if you prestige in from Rogue, that's not a problem anyway.)


A Build comparison would be good:

A duelist can still use Power Attack. If you build it from fighter then weapon traing 2 plus wpn fcs/gtr adds +4 to your attack , nearly eliminating the PA penalty.

So a BAB 20 fighter/duelist gets an attack with +24 damage (10 class bonus/10 pa/4 wpn train/spl)

How is it that damage really any worse than a 2H fighter whose damage bonus is only +19(15 pa/4 wpn train/2wpn spl)?

Duelist doesn't seem to have a damage issue...


It's not that I don't have an appreciation for very high mobility classes that do fancy things, but can't a rogue already do that? The rogue class with it's focus on dex and versatile skill choices can still outperform a duelist at most of what he wants to do. The issue I take is that while running around and harrying your opponent may be an interesting role, how does that help your party when you're only marginally helping? By using your parry class ability you have to stop hurting the opponents which is by far the most effective method of aid.
On the topic of issues I'll present one of my largest though:
Why should an opponent care about you and your parry? The fighter is much more dangerous and likely much easier to hit, not to mention you have that little stick you claim you'll poke me with? I'll stick with beating on him for now friend.
How can you meaningfully contribute to combat?

Edit: In response to poster above.

Consider this, to have a decent use of your duelist skills, you must have a good int.
In addition to this your dex must be high as to keep your AC and to hit high enough to be effective.
Meanwhile keeping these two stats high keeps your strength at mid to low.

A fighter will have boosted his strength to the moon, and with his 1 1/2 str to damage, greater weapon spec, multi critical feats and weapon training, he will hit hard and often, meanwhile you are wielding a one handed piercing weapon, only allowed to take mainhand attacks, and to parry, once again, you must sacrifice those precious few attacks.


A Fighter/Duelist with the Spring Attack line of feats and the Vital Strike line of feats works ok. You're more of a skirmishing fighter and you're still dealing 4 attacks worth of damage by running up then retreating back. Also if you do a Rogue/Duelist it works kind of nice (although you have to take 8 levels of Rogue before you can get into Duelist rather than 6 levels of Fighter), you focus more on precision damage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Shar Tahl -- a caveat: I am NOT an optimizer--I like to think I build characters who are effective in a typical campaign, but I tend to get distracted by "Oh, but it would be FUN to have that" and don't always make the best feat/skill selections for uber-combatness.

But I was just fiddling around with a Human fighter-based Duelist--6 levels of Fighter, 10 of Duelist.

Feat selection (including human bonus and fighter bonuses) was Weapon Finesse, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Combat Expertise, Weapon Focus: Rapier, Weapon Specialization: Rapier, Whirlwind Attack, Agile Maneuvers, Critical Focus, Improved Critical: Rapier, Tiring Critical, Exhausting Critical (or insert your favorite Critical Feats here)

Other possibilities/alternatives could include making a TWF build, or opting for some feats like Fleet, Lunge, Wind (and Lightning) Stance, Step Up, or Stand Still for more mobility and battlefield control. (Some of which could also be added to the above with the characters 4 final levels)

For skills -- max out Acrobatics and otherwise have fun with your concept or put points where your party needs--Duelist has Perception amongst other things. I put the required Perform ranks into Oratory -- essential for your "Hello, My Name Is Inigo Montoya" speech.

If you were to go Rogue, I would max Bluff and go for a Feint Build and/or build up Intimidate for a Dazzling Display build.

I do notice one further thing I would have liked to have seen that might have made the Duelist that much more flexible: the Duelist's levels should count as Fighter levels for the purposes of qualifying for Feats. A Duelist with Penetrating Strike should be really cool (and I like the idea of a Duelist piercing through all defenses with a thrust of the rapier) but can never have more than 10 levels of Fighter (unless you play into Epic levels) so will never qualify, which seems unfair somehow.

Ghostalker: The opponent will care when he can't get away from that guy with the "stick" who is using that stick to astonishingly easily crit-hit him for not only damage but also render him weakened and/or bleeding and/or what-have-you.


DeathQuaker wrote:


Other possibilities/alternatives could include making a TWF build, or opting for some feats like Fleet, Lunge, Wind (and Lightning) Stance, Step Up, or Stand Still for more mobility and battlefield control. (Some of which could also be added to the above with the characters 4 final levels)

Ghostalker: The opponent will care when he can't get away from that guy with the "stick" who is using that stick to...

The issue is that he's not running, and his choice to ignore you compared to the fighter is a very valid one. You just simply don't do enough damage to threaten him. Also from the SRD:

Precise Strike (Ex): A duelist gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, adding her duelist level to her damage roll.

When making a precise strike, a duelist cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield.

Duelists cannot TWF ever, which is what makes them do bad damage. Also hampers their parry attack availability.


Parry is a weak ability and Elaborate defense got nerfed, which is too bad. Overall the class is still ok, with a very nice capstone (especially condisering the rapier is a 18-20 wpn), especially if paired with the critical feats. Applying, say, 4d6 bleed (which I believe cannot be done throigh Critical mastery) per critical (1 or 2 per FRA) can easily start gimping that Titan.

It would be nice if Parry was better, though. Like declaring an opponent and attacks from that opponent can be parried using AoO attempts or something.


Ghostalker wrote:

Precise Strike (Ex): A duelist gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, adding her duelist level to her damage roll.

When making a precise strike, a duelist cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield.

Duelists cannot TWF ever, which is what makes them do bad damage. Also hampers their parry attack availability.

The quotation from the SRD doesn't support your conclusion: There's no point saying "when making a precise strike, a duelist cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand..." unless it's reasonable to presume that the duelist might have a weapon in her other hand.

I would read that excerpt to say that a duelist can use TWF, they simply cannot attack with the second weapon in the same round they do a precise strike.


Ghostalker wrote:

Also from the SRD:

Precise Strike (Ex): A duelist gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, adding her duelist level to her damage roll.

When making a precise strike, a duelist cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield.

Duelists cannot TWF ever, which is what makes them do bad damage. Also hampers their parry attack availability.

You can TWF with a Duelist build--you just have to choose between hitting with both weapons OR using Precise Strike.

In some cases, if you can full attack, you might want to TWF if you can reliably do more damage than the Precise Strike can do.

Precise Strike then becomes the thing to do when you've moved and thus can only make a Standard Attack, still dealing a fair amount of damage with just your one weapon in your main hand.

Note that the wording says that "cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand"--it does not say you cannot have a weapon in your other hand. You just can't use it on the turn you choose to make a Precise Strike.

(And ninjaed by Lemurion)

If it's damage that you're so concerned about, make a Rogue Duelist with a Feint build and have them TWF-sneak attack everything to death while dancing around the battlefield.


I suppose it would be interesting to rule that you could potentially parry with the offhand weapon. Could add alot of variety to the class.


Ghostalker wrote:
So over the last several weeks my group has been going back and forth about how to make this class be combat effective.

I look at the duelist and it screams to me 'Urban Warrior'. Many Lawful societies won't like people tromping around their cities in heavy armor lugging huge weapons around on their backs. The Duelist is built to fight in light to no armor with light weaponry - especially in crowds or urban terrain, where lots of AoO will occur or the terrain is heavily constricted.

A dungeon crawler/brawler it isn't. Now, the sad part of it is that by the time you're high enough level to get into the class and make use of its abilities...you should already outstrip the kinds of situations where you can employ its abilities. I mean, a 10th level character should mop up against a bunch of the town guards and/or mob tough guys anyways, right? Might have been better as an actual class rather than a PrC.

Anyways, the Duelist is a very defensive build. If you lack sufficient party healing to routinely soak up damage, all the Duelist special abilities help keep you alive. It's Dex-based Fighter Plus, I guess. In urban games, low-magic games, or just plain situations where you can't wear all your usual stuff (like weddings and other combat set-pieces :-), the Duelist prospers.

"What do you mean I can wear my Full Plate and Greatsword to the Coronation? What if trouble breaks out?"

"We have guards for that, Sir Smackdown. Bring a knife to cut your dinner with. And wear something nice."


Ghostalker wrote:
I suppose it would be interesting to rule that you could potentially parry with the offhand weapon. Could add alot of variety to the class.

I don't see why you couldn't. If you take a full attack action and opt not to attack with your off-hand, then sure, I'd say that actually could apply to a parry.

Come to think of it, that mimics "real" two-weapon duelling quite well, where the off-hand is intended to primarily be a defensive/parrying weapon.

I'd even say that if you saved all of your off hand attacks for parries, you could still do your precise strike damage with the on-hand attacks you make.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Ghostalker wrote:
I suppose it would be interesting to rule that you could potentially parry with the offhand weapon. Could add alot of variety to the class.

I don't see why you couldn't. If you take a full attack action and opt not to attack with your off-hand, then sure, I'd say that actually could apply to a parry.

Come to think of it, that mimics "real" two-weapon duelling quite well, where the off-hand is intended to primarily be a defensive/parrying weapon.

I'd even say that if you saved all of your off hand attacks for parries, you could still do your precise strike damage with the on-hand attacks you make.

Excellent point. That would make Parry actually useful and allow using Two-Weapon Defense.


I'm going to murder myself. I had a huge post all typed up with math on all three iterations of Duelist, and the forums ate it. This has happened twice. Someone kill me before I have to.

I think Fighter/Duelist is the best option and Rogue/Duelist does well damage until the Fighter/Duelist gets Improved Critical and Critical Focus. Then the Rogue/Duelist kind of wanes-- it's giving up a lot to pretend to be a fighter. Those are my opinions and rargghghrjekflfgh.


Ice Titan wrote:

I'm going to murder myself. I had a huge post all typed up with math on all three iterations of Duelist, and the forums ate it. This has happened twice. Someone kill me before I have to.

I copy-paste long posts into word or some other text program so if the forums eat the post, I just copy-paste back in.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:


I copy-paste long posts into word or some other text program so if the forums eat the post, I just copy-paste back in.

Everyone always says this whenever I do it. It raises my blood pressure.

Anyways, more about Duelist..

10th level fighter vs. 6fight/4duel. +2 weapons both. 22s in str or dex. 14s in str or dex secondary.

10th level greatsword fighter has something akin to +24/+19 to hit, and the duelist has +23/+18 to hit. Both should have power attack, and so PAing they attack at +21/+16 and +20/+15 respectively.

The fighter does 2d6+14 or 2d6+26. 18-20 critical, x2.

The duelist does 1d6+10 or 1d6+18. 15-20 critical, x2.

When you factor in critical focus, the duelist suddenly becomes a little more potent in that most of his crits start becoming confirmed. If he can hit on a 15, he can confirm on an 11, so he gains a lot of lee-way in that manner.

Then their ACs... the fighter would have 10+9+2 for a 21, while the duelist would have 10+4+6+4+1 for a 25. Or 27, if we're counting tankards here.

The fighter needs to upkeep both STR, DEX and CON items to stay competitive (which can get super expensive-- fast!) while a duelist can upkeep INT and DEX, which stays relatively cheap.

Overall I think the fighter has the most stable damage output while being the least mobile, and the duelist has sometimes shakey damage output while being the most mobile.

Quote:
Spoiler:
Explosive Runes

><


Ice Titan wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:


I copy-paste long posts into word or some other text program so if the forums eat the post, I just copy-paste back in.

Everyone always says this whenever I do it. It raises my blood pressure.

Then allow me to suggest a optimization guide:

Treantmonk's Guide to Fighting the Post-Monster

Link:
Explosive Runes

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

If only there was something beneficial the duelest could carry in his off hand...

Andoran

I can totally relate to this. lol Thats pretty much how it goes when I make characters. I like to be off the beaten path/fun but still effective.

DeathQuaker wrote:

Shar Tahl -- a caveat: I am NOT an optimizer--I like to think I build characters who are effective in a typical campaign, but I tend to get distracted by "Oh, but it would be FUN to have that" and don't always make the best feat/skill selections for uber-combatness.


Combine the good parts of the CW Swashbuckler with the good parts of the Duelist (if there are any...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mirror, Mirror wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Ghostalker wrote:
I suppose it would be interesting to rule that you could potentially parry with the offhand weapon. Could add alot of variety to the class.

I don't see why you couldn't. If you take a full attack action and opt not to attack with your off-hand, then sure, I'd say that actually could apply to a parry.

Come to think of it, that mimics "real" two-weapon duelling quite well, where the off-hand is intended to primarily be a defensive/parrying weapon.

I'd even say that if you saved all of your off hand attacks for parries, you could still do your precise strike damage with the on-hand attacks you make.

Excellent point. That would make Parry actually useful and allow using Two-Weapon Defense.

That's a great idea actually, if one of my players ever makes a Duelist I'm so going to let him use an off hand weapon for parrying. The description for Riposte it also says that the duelist simply gets an attack of opportunity whenever he successfully parries. That means that he could do the AoO with his main hand and get percise strike damage.

Suddenly, the class seems so much more worth it.


I think a multi-class duelist build ala Fighter 4/Rogue 3/Duelist X or Fighter 3/Rogue 4/Duelist X is probably the optimal way to go. I'd even be tempted to delay 1 more level and do a Fighter 4/Rogue 4/Duelist X.

The Fighter 4/ Rogue 3/Duelist X has one less BAB, but has more skills, has +2d6 sneak attack damage, evasion, trapfinding, and higher reflex save than the fighter/duelist. Bleeding strike would be an excellent choice for a rogue talent but combat feats would also be worthwhile.

I haven't looked at it closely but I also wonder if you could engineer a fighter 3/monk 4/duelist X temple sword build that uses flurry of blows in order to get around the no weapon in the hand restriction on the duelist's precise strike ability. Good saves and skills, speed boost, plus fighter bonus feats would make this a decent build. It's MAD as hell but I think in a 20 point buy it might be doable.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Tales Subscriber
vuron wrote:
I also wonder if you could engineer a fighter 3/monk 4/duelist X temple sword build ...

That's... that's sick!

I applaud you sir!

You could just use siangham's btw.


What the heck is a temple sword? I'm intrigued, as I've long wanted to make some sort of monk/sword build...


vuron wrote:
I also wonder if you could engineer a fighter 3/monk 4/duelist X temple sword build ...

I had an Eberron 3.5 duelist villan Monk/Duelist with Whirlwind Steel Strike for the sword. He fought very defensively at AC 52. The party monk's face was priceless.


Jasper Phillips wrote:
What the heck is a temple sword? I'm intrigued, as I've long wanted to make some sort of monk/sword build...

PFCS introduced the temple sword which is a d8 19-20/x2 one handed monk weapon. It pretty much rules the school when it comes to decent monk weapons unless you really need a trip weapon (kama is good then).


This place sure loves acronyms... What is PFCS? Private First Class Smith?


Jasper Phillips wrote:
This place sure loves acronyms... What is PFCS? Private First Class Smith?

Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

Note: PFCS is effectively a 3.5 book so some GMs might not let you use it in a Core only game but honestly monks need some love and the temple sword really isn't that overpowered.


Temple Swords don't sound like piercing weapons...

Qadira

Jasper Phillips wrote:
Temple Swords don't sound like piercing weapons...

They aren't, they are slashing so they won't work with Precise Strike.


Jasper Phillips wrote:
Temple Swords don't sound like piercing weapons...

Monk takes the feat that lets his unarmed strikes do piercing damage.

... Can he just say he punches the enemy over and over with one hand, and give up FoB attacks for parries?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think a duelist might work well as a mobile tank in a mobile party.

The front line is just the duelist. (Solves the "why not attack the fighter" problem by removing the fighter.)

The duelist makes a single attack and retreats. The rest of the party takes a standard action to attack at range or cast spells, and a move action to back up.

Enemy approaches, makes a single attack (since he had to move) and (hopefully) misses the duelist.

This probably works fairly well until the party is facing a spell caster who loves the idea of a tank who doesn't stay close enough to threaten him. :-( Any archers will also be upset that they can't make full attacks without being promoted to the front line. And the sorcerer better not like metamagic.

With this build, I would probably wield a rapier and a flail. I wouldn't attack with the flail normally, but if somebody tried to bypass me and provoked an AoO, I could use the flail to try to trip or disarm him. Eventually, I might pick up TWF (only the first one) and use the off-hand attack as a parry.

The details would look something like this.

Stats: Max Dex and Int. Decent Str and Con to start, but don't improve them after character creation.

Feats: Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse. Power Attack, Spring Attack, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip/Disarm, Agile Maneuvers, TWF, TWD, Improved Critical, Critical Focus, Weapon Focus, Weapon Spec.

That's 14 feats. Fighter 6 is seven feats, Duelist 10 is 5 feats, 4 more levels of fighter is 3 more feats, so you can complete this at level 20. It would take a while to get everything. OTOH, you could have power attack, spring attack, combat expertise, improved trip and agile maneuvers by level 8. That's the basic concept of the build. The rest just fills it out and makes it better.

Taldor Contributor

Mirror, Mirror wrote:

Parry is a weak ability and Elaborate defense got nerfed, which is too bad. Overall the class is still ok, with a very nice capstone (especially condisering the rapier is a 18-20 wpn), especially if paired with the critical feats. Applying, say, 4d6 bleed (which I believe cannot be done throigh Critical mastery) per critical (1 or 2 per FRA) can easily start gimping that Titan.

It would be nice if Parry was better, though. Like declaring an opponent and attacks from that opponent can be parried using AoO attempts or something.

See Art of the Duel, above. Really. It's cool.


One of my players is a duelist in a party with a fighter. He's got Spring Attack, Dodge, Mobility, Improved Mobility, good Int, great armor and Dex, and the best initiative modifier on the team (plus second best Perception).

The guy eats attacks of opportunity like they were candy.

He runs around everywhere soaking up AoOs to get other party members safe passage through the reach of enemies, to get them into or out of flanking or corners, and so on. It's really useful.

He also serves as the party face, has a whole bunch of skills, has the highest touch AC on the team, and has slightly better saves than the fighter due to higher Dex and Wis, and the Grace class feature. Deflect arrows is pretty neat as well.

He contributes a meaningful amount of damage while he does his thing, but definately doesn't compare to the fighter's damage-output-per-round. Without a doubt, though, he offers at least as much to the team as the fighter does. No room for argument there.

For the record, the party fighter is a solid, damage-optimized warforged, and he's dumb as a brick (Int 7).

Andoran

While I know fighters can get into this class two levels faster, I've seen more straight Bard and Rogues aim for this class than fighters. It seems more like a class meant to add some more combativeness to a skill based class and works best in a small party (for versatility) or a large party (since you'll likely have enough skills to go around and singular combat effectiveness isn't the end-all-be-all).


udalrich wrote:


With this build, I would probably wield a rapier and a flail. I wouldn't attack with the flail normally, but if somebody tried to bypass me and provoked an AoO, I could use the flail to try to trip or disarm him. Eventually, I might pick up TWF (only the first one) and use the off-hand attack as a parry. (snip for length)

If you're not planning to use it regularly for attacking, what about a whip in the off-hand instead? Granted, it requires an Exotic Weapon proficiency but that also gives you the ability to trip and disarm at reach distance. Plus it's a Light weapon so much easier to apply to TWF.

I don't see anything that would keep it from being usable for parries.
And if your GM let you use a whip-dagger it could still also be used as a lethal-damage-dealing weapon for riposting.

Qadira

DeathQuaker wrote:
udalrich wrote:


With this build, I would probably wield a rapier and a flail. I wouldn't attack with the flail normally, but if somebody tried to bypass me and provoked an AoO, I could use the flail to try to trip or disarm him. Eventually, I might pick up TWF (only the first one) and use the off-hand attack as a parry. (snip for length)

If you're not planning to use it regularly for attacking, what about a whip in the off-hand instead? Granted, it requires an Exotic Weapon proficiency but that also gives you the ability to trip and disarm at reach distance. Plus it's a Light weapon so much easier to apply to TWF.

I don't see anything that would keep it from being usable for parries.
And if your GM let you use a whip-dagger it could still also be used as a lethal-damage-dealing weapon for riposting.

You don't threaten with a whip. No AoOs with it.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Matthew Morris wrote:
To paraphrase a quote about the Elocator from the XPH, "Feel that pain from choosing between single classing and prestiging, that's balance."

See the point where PrCs are worse at everything than straight classes? That's imbalance.

The best way to make a rapier duelist is to not touch the duelist PrC at all. Parry is weak at the level you get it and scales into uselessness, and canny defense and precise strike make you even more MAD and don't outscale Weapon/Armor Training. Just make a normal fighter who wields a rapier and pumps dex; using a light shield or off-hand shortsword/dagger is more optimal but may not be to your taste. You'll be worse than a straight fighter more optimal weapons, but better by far than a duelist.


Like I said, combine the best features of the Swashbuckler with the best features of the Duelist and you will probably have a respectable class.


A Man In Black wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
To paraphrase a quote about the Elocator from the XPH, "Feel that pain from choosing between single classing and prestiging, that's balance."
See the point where PrCs are worse at everything than straight classes? That's imbalance.

So it was better when PrC's are the only way to go?

Or it's better to have to qualify for a specific class and get no more than that a base class could do?

You see, from my POV, PrC's are either better than base classes or not. If better, they become the end-all be-all of character advancement. If not, they need something unique that they bring.

All current Paizo PrC's offer unique combos or abilities. For that, they are not better than base classes. They may be just as good, depending on your qualifications (generally, no need to expound again on YOUR qualifications).

If we go back to 3.5, PrC's would both be unique AND better, which is imbalance.

1 to 50 of 160 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / The Duelist - Why can't we have nice things? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.