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[Super Genius] The Genius Guide to the Vanguard Now Up!


Compatible Products from Other Publishers

Minister of Propaganda, Super Genius Games

You can find it here:

The Genius Guide to the Vanguard

Hyrum.
Super Genius Games
"We err on the side of awesome."

Andoran

.


Ahah, now you are just getting sneaky hyrum.

Like I said in the product discussion thread, this is a great class. It is exactly what I needed at the right moment, and hopefully I'll be playing one next week in a friend's game. So hopefully i can provide some in play feedback soon.

Minister of Propaganda, Super Genius Games

Kolokotroni wrote:

Ahah, now you are just getting sneaky hyrum.

Like I said in the product discussion thread, this is a great class. It is exactly what I needed at the right moment, and hopefully I'll be playing one next week in a friend's game. So hopefully i can provide some in play feedback soon.

Thanks! I can't wait to hear what you have to say. :)

Hyrum.
Super Genius Games
"We err on the side of awesome."


I just noticed something I have a question about

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A
vanguard is proficient with all simple and
martial weapons. Vanguards are also proficient
with light armor and shields (except tower
shields). A vanguard can cast spells while
wearing light armor without incurring the
normal arcane spell failure chance. Like any
other arcane spellcaster, a vanguard wearing
medium or heavy armor incurs a chance of
arcane spell failure if the spell in question has a
somatic component. A multiclass vanguard still
incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance
for arcane spells received from other classes.

It doesnt mention if a vangaurd does or doesnt incure spell failure from shields. Do they still have the arcane spell failure chance if using a shield?

Andoran

Kolokotroni wrote:

I just noticed something I have a question about

It doesnt mention if a vangaurd does or doesnt incure spell failure from shields. Do they still have the arcane spell failure chance if using a shield?

Good catch!

Vanguards can definitely cast arcane spells while using shields. Looks like I omitted it from my original version - It probably should read:

A vanguard can cast arcane spells while wearing light armor and use a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.

I'll see if Owen can get that fixed :)

Andoran

Marc Radle wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

I just noticed something I have a question about

It doesnt mention if a vangaurd does or doesnt incure spell failure from shields. Do they still have the arcane spell failure chance if using a shield?

Good catch!

Vanguards can definitely cast arcane spells while using shields. Looks like I omitted it from my original version - It probably should read:

A vanguard can cast arcane spells while wearing light armor and use a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.

I'll see if Owen can get that fixed :)

Quick update on this ...

HERE :)

Andoran

Hey everyone

There was one final item in my original turnover of the Vanguard class that did not make it into the final PDF. This magic armor is obviously perfect for a mid to high level Vanguard, but it certainly could also be used by a number of other classes.

I think it’s a pretty cool item so I figured I would just offer it up here as a freebie! Hope you like it!

New Magic Item

BATTLECASTER ARMOR
Aura strong abjuration, faint divination; CL 15th
Slot armor; Price 32,400 gp; Weight 20 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
This extremely light +3 chainmail is made of fine mithral links and is treated in all ways like light armor, including when determining proficiency. It has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +8, an armor check penalty of –2, and an arcane spell failure chance of 15%. The wearer may use true strike on command (as the spell) three times per day. The armor also grants the wearer spell resistance 13.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, spell resistance, true strike; Cost 16,200 gp

Andoran

Marc Radle wrote:

Hey everyone

There was one final item in my original turnover of the Vanguard class that did not make it into the final PDF. This magic armor is obviously perfect for a mid to high level Vanguard, but it certainly could also be used by a number of other classes.

I think it’s a pretty cool item so I figured I would just offer it up here as a freebie! Hope you like it!

New Magic Item

BATTLECASTER ARMOR
Aura strong abjuration, faint divination; CL 15th
Slot armor; Price 32,400 gp; Weight 20 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
This extremely light +3 chainmail is made of fine mithral links and is treated in all ways like light armor, including when determining proficiency. It has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +8, an armor check penalty of –2, and an arcane spell failure chance of 15%. The wearer may use true strike on command (as the spell) three times per day. The armor also grants the wearer spell resistance 13.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, spell resistance, true strike; Cost 16,200 gp

Andoran

Hey all – wanted to let you know I was able to play my vanguard character again this past weekend. He just hit 12th level and, being as unbiased as I possibly can, I gotta say I’m having a blast with him! :)

We ended up fighting a pretty powerful ghost – during the battle, she killed one party member, almost killed a second and took control of the shadow dancer’s shadow companion and had it attacking us (that was just wonderful). It was a pretty epic battle.

Anyway, since no one had a ghost touch weapon, we were having plenty of trouble doing big damage to the ghost (we WERE hurting it – just not enough, it seemed). At a rather climactic point, with one party member dead, our paladin down and about to be killed, I had my vanguard enhance his arcane bond weapon (a magical long sword) in order to give it the ghost touch ability and then I used my last 4th level spell to fuel an Arcane Smite, giving me an extra 4d6 damage to my next hit.

Next round I cast true strike as a swift action and then attacked the ghost. I hit (thank you true strike !) and, just like in the movies, did enough damage with my dramatic hit to take the ghost out!

I was such a cool fight, and such a cool, quintessentially “vanguard” moment.

Good times :)

Sczarni

Very nice
Also I wanted to add that last weekend I used a 10th level Vanguard NPC against my players (so he ended up loosing), but using it was massively rewarding. I felt that his resources were completely at hand to manipulate as I wanted, mostly due to having taken Extra Swift Spell a bunch of times and arcane smite being able to be charged as a move action. It feels pretty much like using my favorite (well maybe not favorite anymore) 3/4 BAB 6th lvl "spells" class of all times, the psychic warrior.

Really it surpassed my expectations.

Osirion Contributor

Frerezar wrote:
Really it surpassed my expectations.

That's among the most satisfying things a game company can ever hear. Thanks for the feedback!

Andoran

Frerezar wrote:

Very nice

Also I wanted to add that last weekend I used a 10th level Vanguard NPC against my players (so he ended up loosing), but using it was massively rewarding. I felt that his resources were completely at hand to manipulate as I wanted, mostly due to having taken Extra Swift Spell a bunch of times and arcane smite being able to be charged as a move action. It feels pretty much like using my favorite (well maybe not favorite anymore) 3/4 BAB 6th lvl "spells" class of all times, the psychic warrior.

Really it surpassed my expectations.

I echo what Owen said - that's awesome to hear!

I like your use of the vanguard as a big villain or advesary to the party - I think the class is kind of perfect for that kind of role. Always cool to hear examples of things from actual play.

Sczarni

Well I'll be using a bunch of Vanguard Lapiths this weekend as the fabled "manhunters" of an unexplored forest in a patagonia-like area. I'll be glad to let you know how it works. It's the least I can do.

Andoran

Frerezar wrote:
Well I'll be using a bunch of Vanguard Lapiths this weekend as the fabled "manhunters" of an unexplored forest in a patagonia-like area. I'll be glad to let you know how it works. It's the least I can do.

Sounds wild! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Andoran

Frerezar wrote:
Well I'll be using a bunch of Vanguard Lapiths this weekend as the fabled "manhunters" of an unexplored forest in a patagonia-like area. I'll be glad to let you know how it works. It's the least I can do.

Hey Frerezar

How did those Vanguard Lapiths end up working out?

Sczarni

I decided to give them one of the martial archetypes, the Weapon Champion. It was great. They got a couple crits using a fauchard while casting shocking grasp, knocking down a fighter and a rogue. If it wasn't for the dwarf cleric it would have gone badly. It was very very cool, thou my players are a bit scared of the manhunters now and decided to make a deal with them instead of fighting hehe.


Frerezar wrote:

I decided to give them one of the martial archetypes, the Weapon Champion. It was great. They got a couple crits using a fauchard while casting shocking grasp, knocking down a fighter and a rogue. If it wasn't for the dwarf cleric it would have gone badly. It was very very cool, thou my players are a bit scared of the manhunters now and decided to make a deal with them instead of fighting hehe.

Lapith vanguard weapon champions?

#1. As the author of some of those, I think it's really cool how much Genius you bring to your table!

#2. Now *I'm* scared and want to make a deal with them.

Andoran

Yeah, that sounds like it was fun to run and play - I wish I coulda been there!


Marc Radle wrote:
Yeah, that sounds like it was fun to run and play - I wish I coulda been there!

One of the big upsides of professionally designing game material is that you know you've been part of a vast number of games you would otherwise have no impact on, and contributed in a small way to the fun of other gamers. One of the downsides is you learn of a bunch of games you wish you could be at thew table for, swilling Mountain Dew, chomping down Doritos, cheering crits and moaning over fumbles with everyone else, but there's no way to get to them all.

It is, in my experience, a fair trade. :)

Sczarni

The least I can do then is let you know how much use the SGG products are getting at my table at least. Considering that most of my players know the PF rules fairly well by now, using fresh SGG material basically every week allows me to always have a way to surprise them. Which works perfectly for the "exploring an uncharted land" style game I am running right now.

And even thou we might not normally eat mountain dew and doritos, you are more than welcome to share some inka cola and tamales with us if you ever find yourself down in Peru haha.

Andoran

OWEN STEPHENS wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Yeah, that sounds like it was fun to run and play - I wish I coulda been there!

One of the big upsides of professionally designing game material is that you know you've been part of a vast number of games you would otherwise have no impact on, and contributed in a small way to the fun of other gamers. One of the downsides is you learn of a bunch of games you wish you could be at thew table for, swilling Mountain Dew, chomping down Doritos, cheering crits and moaning over fumbles with everyone else, but there's no way to get to them all.

It is, in my experience, a fair trade. :)

Ever the poet! I could not have said that better myself (well, other than the Mountain Dew part ... I would have replaced it with Gatoraid, but other than that ... :)


OWEN STEPHENS wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Yeah, that sounds like it was fun to run and play - I wish I coulda been there!

One of the big upsides of professionally designing game material is that you know you've been part of a vast number of games you would otherwise have no impact on, and contributed in a small way to the fun of other gamers. One of the downsides is you learn of a bunch of games you wish you could be at thew table for, swilling Mountain Dew, chomping down Doritos, cheering crits and moaning over fumbles with everyone else, but there's no way to get to them all.

It is, in my experience, a fair trade. :)

Well if you are ever in New York you are welcome at my table.

It must be interesting to see and hear about how people play with the stuff you write. Its a different medium then other kinds of writing. Because there is so much more room for interpretation then say a character in a novel.


Kolokotroni wrote:
Well if you are ever in New York you are welcome at my table.

Someday, I *may* undertake the Coast to Coast Mountain Dew Tasting Tour, which would including guest spots at fan games across the country. Not this year... but maybe someday.

Kolokotroni wrote:
It must be interesting to see and hear about how people play with the stuff you write. Its a different medium then other kinds of writing. Because there is so much more room for interpretation then say a character in a novel.

It is *fascinating* to hear how people use stuff I create. Both because I just love a good gaming story, and because it *is* a very different kind of writing. I often call RPG writing "creative technical writing," because of the weird demands it fit a very well-defined wet of rules, and spark the imagination of anyone who reads it.

Andoran

Coast to Coast Mountain Dew Tasting Tour, with guest spots at fan games across the country ... come on, Owen, let's do it - road trip! I'll play a vanguard and you can play a dragon rider!


I used a simple 6th level vanguard with a reach weapon in plate armor against my group of PCs recently. The shooting of a hand crossbow wittling down the PCs until they approach and essentially tripping and slaughtering them down while his massive hit points keep him alive for a long long time made them hate this guy with a passion. I showed them the picture of the cover and said "Here she is gentlemen".

Needless to say they wanted access to where the heck I came up with this maddened creation and how they could play one.

I was greatly impressed by the product and enjoyed the simplicity that this class brings. It's meant to be a support class, not a front line fighter. It's role is to keep people alive, safe, and secure. It's tough, but not impossible to kill. Ideal NPC class to guard your BBEG.


Leopold wrote:

I showed them the picture of the cover and said "Here she is gentlemen".

Needless to say they wanted access to where the heck I came up with this maddened creation and how they could play one.

Thanks for the in-play report! Glad to hear it sparked some imaginations!

Andoran

OWEN STEPHENS wrote:
Leopold wrote:

I showed them the picture of the cover and said "Here she is gentlemen".

Needless to say they wanted access to where the heck I came up with this maddened creation and how they could play one.

Thanks for the in-play report! Glad to hear it sparked some imaginations!

Indeed - let's hear reports from some others! I'm home sick with a cold/flu/plague and need something cool to pass the time reading :)


So, I FINALLY got to play my vanguard in a friend's kingmaker game. It seemed the fates, holiday seasons and much else all conspired to keep this game from happening.

Unfortunately, my experience was not overwhelmingly positive. The session progressed between levels 2 and 3, and it would seem that at low levels the vanguard really struggles to shine. It lacks any low level resource for when it doesnt want or cant use its few 1st level spells per day.

It's primary competitors in pathfinder, the Arcane duelist bard and the Magus in it's current playtest form seem to considerable advantages over it. As I was playing it, it seemed the low level abilities were overly conservative. I found that alot of the time i was just swinging a sword at 3/4 bab and a lower strength score (since i was i only had 3 1st level spells per day). Where as an arcane duelist bard would have bardic performances, and the magus has his arcana pool.

The big advantage the vanguard has is being able to use any weapon style (2handed, 2weapon, sword and board) due to it's modified version of arcane bond (allowing the weapon to provide somatic components). This is something it's competitors dont allow, and it allows full access to the whole wizard/sorc spell list, which obviously has it's advantages.

I feel like at higher levels it will be alot more interesting to play. But given my group's propensity for low level games, classes that start interesting have a bigger payoff for me.

In the end vanguard is definately more of what i want in terms of flavor for my character, but i find myself wishing for the mechanics of either the arcane duelist bard or the magus.

Andoran

Hi Kolokotroni - glad you were finally able to playtest the vanguard!

Thanks for posting your thoughts. Sorry your low level experience was not overwhelmingly positive. The comments you bring up are certainly interesting although I must say it is the first time I've heard such experiences singled out regarding the vanguard. I know we playtested the vanguard at a number of levels, including low (levels 1 -4) and did not really find such an issue. That of course does not in any way diminish your experiences though!

I know I sometimes have similar feelings when playing a low level cleric (you basically just get to attack with a weapon at 3/4 BAB once you run out of your few spells for the day)

I would encourage you to stick with the class a few more levels. As you suggest, advantages the vanguard has, such as being able to use any weapon style (2handed, 2weapon, sword and board) due to it's uniques, modified version of arcane bond (allowing the weapon to provide somatic components) AND full access to the wizard/sorc spell list make the vanguard an interesting class that can hold its own with other clases.

Perhaps, as a houserule, you could add something like this at first level:

Vanguard Blast (Sp): As a standard action, the vanguard can unleash a single blast of arcane force that automatically strikes a foe, as magic missile. The vanguard blast deals 2d4 points of damage at 1st level plus an additional 1d4 points of damage for every three vanguard levels beyond 1st (3d4 at 4th, 4d4 at 7th, and so on). This is a force effect. A vanguard can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.


Marc Radle wrote:

Hi Kolokotroni - glad you were finally able to playtest the vanguard!

Thanks for posting your thoughts. Sorry your low level experience was not overwhelmingly positive. The comments you bring up are certainly interesting although I must say it is the first time I've heard such experiences singled out regarding the vanguard. I know we playtested the vanguard at a number of levels, including low (levels 1 -4) and did not really find such an issue. That of course does not in any way diminish your experiences though!

I know I sometimes have similar feelings when playing a low level cleric (you basically just get to attack with a weapon at 3/4 BAB once you run out of your few spells for the day)

I would encourage you to stick with the class a few more levels. As you suggest, advantages the vanguard has, such as being able to use any weapon style (2handed, 2weapon, sword and board) due to it's uniques, modified version of arcane bond (allowing the weapon to provide somatic components) AND full access to the wizard/sorc spell list make the vanguard an interesting class that can hold its own with other clases.

Perhaps, as a houserule, you could add something like this at first level:

Vanguard Blast (Sp): As a standard action, the vanguard can unleash a single blast of arcane force that automatically strikes a foe, as magic missile. The vanguard blast deals 2d4 points of damage at 1st level plus an additional 1d4 points of damage for every three vanguard levels beyond 1st (3d4 at 4th, 4d4 at 7th, and so on). This is a force effect. A vanguard can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

The blast is a good idea, i'll add it to the vangaurd entry in my big binder o super genius. I have to consider it. I have to make the choice before the next game session as the general rule in my group is you have a session, maybe two to sort out your character but then need to stick with what you have. That and the character is starting to get a little bit unraveled in my head in terms of personality as I tend to draw heavily from the mechanics when I roleplay. So I definately need to stop changing him.

The front runner for the character is now the magus playtest version as it has alot of interesting ideas, and I have been itching to play one (I have used one as an npc and dmed for player using it)

Like I said this class really doesnt seem to gell as a fighter magic user until mid levels. Looking at levels 1-6, only weapon channel actually mixes fighting and casting. I think I am probably going to save the vangaurd for a campaign that is going to start higher (or at least has a chance of progressing faster then this one will).

Andoran

Hey everyone - just wanted to make a quick shout - the Vanguard has been updated and expanded!

It now has errata from more than 18 months of feedback incorporated. The class is also expanded with new customizable options to increase its flexibility and utility!

Hero Lab file now included as well!

Revised and Expanded Vanguard

Andoran

Couple new reviews of the revised vanguard - check out the link above if you'd like to give 'em an eyeball :)


I finally got a chance to have a detailed look at the new version of this product, and I have to say that I agree about it being an improvement over the original.

I really like the spell manuevers and the customization it adds to the class. The old version felt very much like a 3.5 class made to use pathfinder rules. This one is more in line with the design philosophy of pathfinder.

I also like the idea of the vangaurd blast, and it makes a cool scaling ability but there was a HUGE miss here in terms of an oportunity to give the class a signature move/ability. The vanguard blast should work with weapon channel, or at least there should be a spell manuever or feat that allows it. Having it's own resource for channeling attacks other then spells would give it some differentiation from some of the existing fighter mage classes, specifically the magus, which is it's principle competition for play at the table.

Still the biggest differentiating point this class has over the magus, or archon is that it though it's unique arcane bond allows the use of any of the different combat styles (where as the other classes have to worry about keeping a hand free to cast spells).

I still feel like the class needs a little bit more to be considered over the magus or even the archon. I think being able to channel the vanguard blast would at least put it up for consideration. With that it could keep more of it's spell casting for utility or buffs, instead of the magus' constant shocking grasps (and metamagiced shocking grasp).

But overall I would be happy to have this at my table, and the fact that it is spontaneous and charisma base puts it back on my 'to play' list. Possibly with a houserule to allow the blast ability to work with weapon channel.

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