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Tengu Blademaster (Fighter)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tengu Blademaster (Fighter)
All tengus train with swords from birth, but only a few truly dedicate themselves to mastering the art of swordplay. Tengu blademasters are gifted swordsmen, each combining his dangerous bite and racial affinity with swords into a unique, yet deadly fighting style. These fighting school benefits apply only to the tengu’s bite attack and sword-like weapons as defined by the tengu’s swordtrained racial trait.
Many Sword Style (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, if the tengu blademaster has a sword selected for the Weapon Focus feat, he may apply the benefit of the feat to any sword he wields. He may apply Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization in a similar fashion. The blademaster may only apply these benefits to a newly acquired sword after familiarizing himself with it, requiring 1 minute of practice, even if already familiar with another sword of the same type. A blademaster only need familiarize himself with any sword once. At 10th level, he only requires a full-round action to familiarize himself with a sword. This ability replaces bravery.
Blademaster’s Defense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when a blademaster makes a full attack including at least one sword and bite attack, he receives a +1 dodge bonus to AC against melee attacks. This bonus increases by 1 for every four levels after 3rd. This ability replaces armor training 1 and 3.
Tengu Weapon Training (Ex): At 5th level, the blademaster gains weapon training 1, but the bonuses only apply when wielding a sword or using a bite attack. At 17th level, the blademaster receives weapon training 2. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 4.
Iron Beak (Ex): At 7th level, the blademaster reduces the penalty to attack rolls when using his bite as a secondary weapon to -2. At 15th level, he adds his full strength modifier to damage dealt by a secondary bite attack. This ability replaces armor training 2 and 4.
Beak and Blade (Ex): At 9th level, as a standard action, a blademaster can make a single melee attack with a sword. If the attack hits, he may attempt a dirty trick or steal combat maneuver with his beak, using his full base attack bonus, as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. This ability replaces weapon training 2.
Powerful Beak (Ex): At 13th level, the blademaster is considered one size larger when determining the damage dealt by his bite attack and CMB when using his beak. This ability replaces weapon training 3.
Tengu Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, the blademaster gains weapon mastery as per the fighter class feature, but may only select a sword or his bite attack.

Paizo Employee Developer

Interesting choice, Jerall. I appreciate your attention to detail in the racial abilities and flavor of one of the game's most interesting 0-HD creatures.

That said, I'm not sure how I feel about an archetype so specific to one race-class combination. While it works well for someone who is playing a tengu fighter, it's such a small fraction of the overall spectrum of characters (even just the spectrum of fighters) that I'm not sure a whole archetype is justified.

My main design concern here is that you're replacing defensive abilities with offensive and vice-versa. While there's no specific rule prohibiting this decision, it doesn't sit right with me as I'm reading through it. You're also stripping a lot of the bonuses that were added for fighters to keep them viable at higher levels to increase their usefulness in heavy armor to bolster one specific attack (beak).

In the end, I think you've come up with some creative powers and certainly have a clear focus, but I think your focus may be too narrow for this to be a useful archetype for a PC to take. A single-appearance NPC or villain? Sure. But probably not a PC. You show a real creative spark here, but I'm not sure the mechanics and versatility of the archetype are enough to grow that spark into a burgeoning flame. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this archetype for advancement. Best of luck; maybe the voters will feel otherwise.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I agree with Mark on this one. I read the archetype once and skipped past it so I could think further on it before commenting. It feels like a prestige class or a handful of variant racial abilities from a sourcebook dealing with advanced Tengu more than an actual archetype that players and GMs would get excited about and use in their campaigns.

To borrow a philosophy from Ryan, one of the key elements for judging material like this is to determine its playability. Would it see use in a game? If a GM uses lots of Tengu in his campaign world, yes. If not, this is complete throwaway material taking up space in a book. Thus, it's not the smartest commercially creative design. It's too niche.

Also, I agree with Mark about the fighter abilities you swapped out to boost the beak-related attacks. You really jammed a lot into this...and came close to the word limit (at 449). So, clearly, you were putting a lot into it. I just think the core idea will have a hard time registering with the voters unless they all happen to be fans of the Tengu.

Unfortunately, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this design to advance. But best of luck in the voting.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 1.5 points
Recommendation: Not recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (0 points)
This is seriously an archetype for the bird-men?

Why? What do Tengu need with Blademasters? Why wouldn't you create a generic Blademaster class?

Mechanics (.5 point)
Lots of mechanics here. Most are repurposed from other sources and so I ignore them. The one that seems to be unique is the Mastery feature.

I'm confused. Weapon focus isn't linked to a specific single item. It's just linked to the type of weapon. If you take Weapon Focus (Long Sword), you get it for all long swords. Are you trying to say that it applies to any weapon with the word "sword" in the name of the type?

Awesomeness (0 points)
Not awesome

Template (1 point)
Followed the template well.

Context (0 point)
The RPG Superstar contest is a way for Paizo to get a look at prospective designers to work on commercial products. What you've given them is an extremely niche, likely home-campaign archetype with virtually no value.

You're auditioning here for a shot at writing a published adventure. What you've shown is that you're not ready for that level of assignment.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Many Sword Style: Hmm. This sort of thing is actually why Pathfinder has the weapon training class ability. And this stacks with weapon training. And they get it at 2nd level instead of 5th level. Ouch. Because if you have this ability, you're definitely going to grab the entire WF/WS chain (like most fighters do).

Blademaster’s Defense: This is better that armor training. One, AT only lowers ACP and max Dex, so it's not a guaranteed boost to your AC. This ability is a guaranteed AC bonus that stacks with everything. So this is better than what you're giving up.

Tengu Weapon Training: So this is mostly a wash, except you're applying the bonus to both of your primary weapons, so it's probably better than what you're giving up (only the guy who use TWF with two weapons of the same type normally gets his weapon training bonus on both his weapons). So this is better than what you're giving up (despite being a "limitation" in what you can select with this ability).

Beak and Blade: Do not allow creatures to take multiple attacks as a standard action. Ever.

Powerful Beak: You know the tengu is Medium, so you know this would just make the tengu's damage that of a Large creature. Or you could save the reader a step and just give them a flat damage bonus. Which would stack with Weapon Spec. This doesn't really need a damage bonus (the fighter already has plenty of ways to up the damage of his primary weapons).

Tengu Weapon Mastery: This isn't really a limitation, because if you have this archetype you're going to select one of those weapons anyway.

I like that it's about tengu. But it's way too good. You're trading abilities for better abilities across the board.

RECOMMENDATION: I do NOT recommend this archetype design for advancement in the competition.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
Beak and Blade: Do not allow creatures to take multiple attacks as a standard action. Ever.

In defense of Beak and Blade, everybody has access to "Cleave" which does exactly that. I think the ability is mimicked of "Piledriver" (Two-Handed Fighter archetype from APG) which has a very similar wording and effect.

I also disagree with the verdict that it is way too good. I would expect several of the other fighter archetypes to triumph over the Tengu blademaster in a 1-on-1.

...

It is true that the archetype probably would be best placed in a Tengus of Golarion companion, and as such is a bit niche. But on the other hand, I think it is great to see a contestant attempt something brave like this. It's rare and creative.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

LoreKeeper wrote:
In defense of Beak and Blade, everybody has access to "Cleave" which does exactly that.

True, I wasn't considering Cleave in that. However:

1) Cleave uses the exact same weapon you used on the first attack, not an entirely different weapon.
2) Cleave lets you perform another attack, whereas this ability lets you do a dirty trick or steal, both of which are standard actions on their own (not something you can do as part of an attack).

LoreKeeper wrote:
I think the ability is mimicked of "Piledriver" (Two-Handed Fighter archetype from APG) which has a very similar wording and effect.

True, piledriver is similar, though it is available at a higher level than beak and blade, and one of the piledriver options (trip) is Cleave-like in that it is something you can do in place of an attack.

I'm not as hesitant about B&B as I was before, but it still makes me itch a little, and I stand by my statement that most of what this gives you is better than the standard fighter ability it replaces.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

I simultaneously love that this is a tengu-specific archetype, and hate that this is a tengu-specific archetype. It is neat and fun and wholly in keeping conceptually with tengu... but that is an absolute dead-end for 98% of players.

I really like the concept of the weapon mastery ability, as there is nothing more annoying than seeing a party toss that neato-keen +3 suprafandabulous greatsword in the "sell for cash" pile because the fighter is specialized to the gills in elven curve blade, the barbarian in falchion, and the paladin in bastard sword. I think the game can really use a mechanic that allows broadening of bonuses to similar weapons - in most cases, you're only going to be using one weapon at a time, so the improvement is in versatility more than power. The greatest benefit would be for TWFers, but they have a heavy load of feats needed already, so I don't mind so much.

The problem is, you give out this ability way too early, and to way too small a category of characters. Of all the martial classes, fighters actually need an ability like this the LEAST; they get weapon training. Really, it's the paladins, rangers, barbarians, cavaliers, etc. that would really benefit from it.

Anyway, enough about that ability. The other abilities are fun, and I kind of like blade and beak, but in general they are substantially better than the things you are giving up.

Too limited of scope and too heavy on the power = not superstar.

Congrats on making it into the contest, and best of luck!


Ryan Dancey wrote:

Name & Theme (0 points)
This is seriously an archetype for the bird-men?

Why? What do Tengu need with Blademasters? Why wouldn't you create a generic Blademaster class?

The rest might be dodgy, but please don't fault Jerall on this point. The theme makes perfect sense from a mythological stand point.

Tengu are intimately linked to swordsmanship in Japanese myth. In the legends surrounding Minamoto no Yoshitsun, it was the Tengu who taught him sword craft. Tengu as skilled swords men and talented martial artists is a concept that has spread through out the folklore and popular culture of Japan.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

I have to agree with the judges on this one. This archetype seems way too niche and the game mechanics need a lot of work.

I do like that you had the guts to do something like this though. I think tengus are are pretty cool but I'm not terribly familiar with any folklore they are from.

Zombieneighbors wrote:
Tengu are intimately linked to swordsmanship in Japanese myth. In the legends surrounding Minamoto no Yoshitsun, it was the Tengu who taught him sword craft. Tengu as skilled swords men and talented martial artists is a concept that has spread through out the folklore and popular culture of Japan.

By sword craft do you mean swordplay? That is, the art of using a sword to kill people? Or do you mean crafting swords?

I can sort of see an archetype for a weaponsmith fighter who gets bonuses with weapons he makes himself or to the Master Craftsman feat when crafting weapons. If tengus were known for crafting weapons then a tengu swordcrafter might have been pretty cool.

By the by, is there any reference to tengu actually biting people in folklore? Just curious.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very flavorful archetype.
It is a little stronger than default Fighter class... but on the offense. It loses quite a lot on the defensive side - balance-wise, the Fighter becomes closer to Barbarian.

Beak and blade is, as Sean remarked, really problematic from design point of view.

Finally, although it pains me to say it, the archetype should not be restricted to Tengu.

Verdict: Not recommended.

Regards,
Ruemere


Trevor Merback wrote:

I have to agree with the judges on this one. This archetype seems way too niche and the game mechanics need a lot of work.

I do like that you had the guts to do something like this though. I think tengus are are pretty cool but I'm not terribly familiar with any folklore they are from.

Zombieneighbors wrote:
Tengu are intimately linked to swordsmanship in Japanese myth. In the legends surrounding Minamoto no Yoshitsun, it was the Tengu who taught him sword craft. Tengu as skilled swords men and talented martial artists is a concept that has spread through out the folklore and popular culture of Japan.

By sword craft do you mean swordplay? That is, the art of using a sword to kill people? Or do you mean crafting swords?

I can sort of see an archetype for a weaponsmith fighter who gets bonuses with weapons he makes himself or to the Master Craftsman feat when crafting weapons. If tengus were known for crafting weapons then a tengu swordcrafter might have been pretty cool.

By the by, is there any reference to tengu actually biting people in folklore? Just curious.

swordcraft

n
(Military / Arms & Armour (excluding Firearms)) the art of using a sword

I have not seen reference to Tengu biting people, but that does not mean that it isn't there in folklore. And it certainly make sense for the Pathfinder Tengu which while they share many aspects with their folklore counterparts, have a beak as big as your lower arm, rather than a nose of about the same size.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ruemere wrote:
Beak and blade is, as Sean remarked, really problematic from design point of view.

I've never really considered dirty trick and steal to be thaaat strong maneuvers. Though don't get me wrong, I like dirty trick. It's quirky and fun and sometimes limited only by imagination.

And as Sean admitted, it isn't as problematic as he initially thought after I pointed out similarities to existing feats/abilities. I think "Piledriver" specifically is considerably more frightening than beak and blade.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Serpent

Although I really like all things Japanese, the tengu blademaster just doesn't deliver. It has a homebrew-ey feel to it, it's as though you had designed it with a particular PC or player in mind.

Anyway, good luck in the contest!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Ugh, a racial specific archtype?

You lost me at Tengu.

Pass.

stuffs the Tengu blademaster in the recycle bin with the elven bladesinger, dwarven defender and elven arcane archer.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

You sure jammed a lot of stuff in there. The trade-off's like defense for offense, or vise-versa seem to be a was to me, it's not that big a deal. And really, if I'm going to sword specialize I'm going to take the whole feat tree anyways, and I'll probably have a favourite sword that I use all the time, so in that regard the expanded mastery is not a huge deal. In another light though, like having your awesome gear stolen and needing to swing a rusty old sword for a while, or using two different swords two-weapon style it's certainly abuseable. What irks me though is the racial limitation, it says to me that only a fraction of only one race in the whole game would ever consider using this, which makes it a touch thing to justify putting into print. I was a daring choice but I think it was the wrong one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LoreKeeper wrote:
ruemere wrote:
Beak and blade is, as Sean remarked, really problematic from design point of view.

I've never really considered dirty trick and steal to be thaaat strong maneuvers. Though don't get me wrong, I like dirty trick. It's quirky and fun and sometimes limited only by imagination.

And as Sean admitted, it isn't as problematic as he initially thought after I pointed out similarities to existing feats/abilities. I think "Piledriver" specifically is considerably more frightening than beak and blade.

Some APG items are not, well, on the par with others.

Since 3.5 it is also quite prudent to avoid building a mechanic which requires more than a single check. Here we have: attack roll, damage and then proceed to Combat Maneuver check.

The only relevant mechanic here would be "grab" monster ability (linking PFSRD site since it seems a bit faster today), however this particular ability ends at grappled stage on the first round, leaving exploiting the condition for the subsequent rounds.

If it worked like grab, I would be probably happy.

Regards,
Ruemere

Shadow Lodge

Bold move on going for a racial archetype, though I think sticking to the base races may have been wiser. Nonetheless, I enjoy this archetype (as someone who has played a Tengu and just learned that Kobold Quarterly had a write up on them!) and find it more offensive than other fighter archetypes, but I dont know about better

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

I kind of like the idea of racially specific archetypes. However, the vibe I get from this is that of the Complete Book of Elves - "look, tengu are better at this too!". I realize there's a historical case for tengu swordmasters, but I tend to dislike any prestige class that's based on the idea that [given race] is the most awesome at this combat role ever, and I have to extend that to archetypes.

The beak stuff's pretty neat. My favorite part of the archetype. And it does have a lot of flavor in it.

At this point, this one narrowly falls into my no vote pile, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing your next effort if you pass on. Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I'm going to have to come back to this one. I'm half tempted to say "It's based on tengu, this is great!" and at the same time "It's based on tengu, what where you thinking!" Hrm.


It's an interesting package, but I don't like the restriction to the Tengu race.


Russ Taylor wrote:

I kind of like the idea of racially specific archetypes. However, the vibe I get from this is that of the Complete Book of Elves - "look, tengu are better at this too!". I realize there's a historical case for tengu swordmasters, but I tend to dislike any prestige class that's based on the idea that [given race] is the most awesome at this combat role ever, and I have to extend that to archetypes.

The beak stuff's pretty neat. My favorite part of the archetype. And it does have a lot of flavor in it.

At this point, this one narrowly falls into my no vote pile, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing your next effort if you pass on. Good luck!

That said, "race x has a specific nearly unique style, and here is how it works..." could be a really interesting approach for a archetype. If anything I think that is exactly the kind of thing that archetypes should be trying to do.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Russ Taylor wrote:

I kind of like the idea of racially specific archetypes. However, the vibe I get from this is that of the Complete Book of Elves - "look, tengu are better at this too!". I realize there's a historical case for tengu swordmasters, but I tend to dislike any prestige class that's based on the idea that [given race] is the most awesome at this combat role ever, and I have to extend that to archetypes.

The beak stuff's pretty neat. My favorite part of the archetype. And it does have a lot of flavor in it.

At this point, this one narrowly falls into my no vote pile, but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing your next effort if you pass on. Good luck!

That said, "race x has a specific nearly unique style, and here is how it works..." could be a really interesting approach for a archetype. If anything I think that is exactly the kind of thing that archetypes should be trying to do.

+1

Although it is true that the Tengu blademaster has no place in the APG or even Ultimate Combat - he is perfect for a theoretical Tengus of Golarion. Nothing is cooler that reading about the secretive order of chop-stick monks and then getting the archetype associated - or that Tengus are fantastic swordsmen and get the relevant archetype.

That said, it would have been a nice touch (something that would happen during editing) to add "some individuals from other races attempt to mimic the ways of Tengu sword art - this is certainly possible but requires the individual to possess a bite attack".


Jerall Toi wrote:
Tengu Blademaster (Fighter)

I really liked this Jerall.

I agree with the judges in that it is too specific, being for a particular race, but for what it is, it is well done.

There are some mechanical issues, as the others pointed out, but I think when you look at it from an aesthetic point of view it is a very neat archetype and not overly powerful. Yes, some are just retoolings, but that's the case for some of the standard Archetypes too.

Interestingly, this made me WANT to play a Tengu.

Unfortunately, I think getting this specific is what hurt you. Because many won't have the option to play Tengu, I don't see this being a very popular archetype.

Good job for what it is, but I'm not sure it qualifies for RPG Superstar.

Ken

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I like tengu. And I like blademaster based classes. And I like new ways to play with natural weapons. So why do I feel sort of empty when it comes to this archetype? I think it's the Many Sword Style. Specifically, how it has to be "charged" to each individual sword. The feats already apply to all swords of the same type. It's kind of a little quibble. But I've got similar little quibbles about most of the abilities. What CMB rolls require the beak versus not? Why get weapon training and the ability to apply your Weapon feats to all swords?

I'm on the fence with this one. I might cast a vote in its direction; we'll see.


Demiurge 1138 wrote:
I think it's the Many Sword Style. Specifically, how it has to be "charged" to each individual sword. The feats already apply to all swords of the same type. It's kind of a little quibble.

I think you've got the wrong idea here; the intention of Many Sword Style is that it allows you to apply your one Weapon Focus feat (and specialization and greater focus and greater specialization) apply to all blade weapons. In other words, at level 2 you could take Weapon Focus (longsword), and you get the benefit of weapon focus for your longsword, as well as the shortsword you wield. And when you pick up a +1 rapier, the weapon focus applies to it too. And later when you get a +2 flaming falchion it applies to that too. In other words, for 1 feat you get all swordlike weapons covered. This is balanced against the natural progression of the fighter feat chain (focus, specialization, etc) - and by the regression of the "Weapon Training" which the Tengu Blademaster only gets 2 of. Essentially it makes the class more versatile.

Shadow Lodge

Panish Valimer wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
I think it's the Many Sword Style. Specifically, how it has to be "charged" to each individual sword. The feats already apply to all swords of the same type. It's kind of a little quibble.

I think you've got the wrong idea here; the intention of Many Sword Style is that it allows you to apply your one Weapon Focus feat (and specialization and greater focus and greater specialization) apply to all blade weapons. In other words, at level 2 you could take Weapon Focus (longsword), and you get the benefit of weapon focus for your longsword, as well as the shortsword you wield. And when you pick up a +1 rapier, the weapon focus applies to it too. And later when you get a +2 flaming falchion it applies to that too. In other words, for 1 feat you get all swordlike weapons covered. This is balanced against the natural progression of the fighter feat chain (focus, specialization, etc) - and by the regression of the "Weapon Training" which the Tengu Blademaster only gets 2 of. Essentially it makes the class more versatile.

+1

Ya know, the more I come back to this archetype, the more I like it. I think this is my second fav next to the Impaler archetype.


Jerall Toi wrote:

Tengu Blademaster (Fighter)

All tengus train with swords from birth, but only a few truly dedicate themselves to mastering the art of swordplay. Tengu blademasters are gifted swordsmen, each combining his dangerous bite and racial affinity with swords into a unique, yet deadly fighting style. These fighting school benefits apply only to the tengu’s bite attack and sword-like weapons as defined by the tengu’s swordtrained racial trait.

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you missed it the first time round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals rapidly losing it on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire a couple of hundred feet above a slowly rising pool of molten basalt try to do, and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank but if anyone other than a demon opens it the contents turn out to be a couple of dead moths and a three week old shopping list.
;)

Would you want this person sitting next to you as a guest at a formal evening dress dinner party?
Not unless it's a really strange dinner party. Everyone would be staring at it, its beak, and how it ate everything. It would be the focus of attention and quite disrupt the proceedings. (And besides which those unfortunate enough as to be sitting next to it would be quite invisible by comparison - although this would make it a good distraction if a succubus needed to get something underhanded done...)

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
Sending a vrock to get flowers is a bad idea. I assume the general principle carries over to anything else which has a beak in the middle of its face.

Could you hire one person like this to do a better job than one other trained mercenary and/or to do the jobs of two (or more) other trained mercenaries?
If it involves slashing and pecking a swathe of bloody destruction through a host of enemies (where a paladin would NOT be an appropriate solution), then almost certainly yes. That vicious beak thrusting and pecking and tossing aside enemy swords... Quite horrible if you're up against it, and quite delightful if you're not involved but watching.

Other comments?
As far as I understand it, a tengu blademaster sacrifices some skill and power with one or two weapons to gain skill and power across a broad swathe of bladed weapons related to sword and an increased proficiency with pecking away at enemies with their beak. And they can deliver a flurry of sword and beak attacks, where a regular fighting man (or woman) would be left occasionally swinging a sword.

Desirability:
Bodyguard (assuming it doesn't get ideas above its station).

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (with half an eye on Lord Orcus) would like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Thank You.


Jerall Toi wrote:

Tengu Blademaster (Fighter)

Disclaimer: My ranking scheme for this round consists of given marks form 0 to 4 in the following three categories:

1.Is the Archetype conceptually interesting?
2.Are the mechanics of the Archetype interesting?
3.Are the mechanics of the Archetype balanced and well executed?
But rather than simply adding up the marks for a final score I'm gonna interpret them as a point in 3-dimensional space and the final mark of your submission will be the length of the vector between the origin and this point.
Note that my ranking doesn't need to directly correspond with my votes, as other factors like: Strength of your item submission, mood, my horrorscope and other random stuff still factor in. Also note that this scheme is highly subjective and only mirrors my perception and opinion about your archetype submission.

Conceptual Mojo (CM): 3, A Tengu fighting style based archetype is really cool, but too niche at the same time.
Mechanical Mojo (MM): 4, All the abilities ooze flavor and some use new mechanics. I especially like the flavor of Beak and blade. Perfect fit.
Mechanical Execution (ME): 2. Almost all the abilities you give are better than their replacements. This is sad, as I really like the basic idea of all of them. Maybe you can find ways to depower them a bit. (dodge bonus to shield bonus, steal provokes unless you have the feat, ...)

Final note: Great idea and flavorful abilities. The only problems are that it sits in a tiny niche, and is too strong.

Total Score: 5.385

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

Jerall, I thought your gloves had a fantastic effect but buried the lead a little bit. Right away with this archetype I know I'm going to be getting a monstrous fighter. I'm intrigued.. This is going to appeal to a more limited crowd than most, as playing monstrous characters isn't everybody's cup of tea. Let's see what he's got going for him.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Many Sword Style (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, if the tengu blademaster has a sword selected for the Weapon Focus feat, he may apply the benefit of the feat to any sword he wields... A blademaster only need familiarize himself with any sword once. At 10th level, he only requires a full-round action to familiarize himself with a sword. This ability replaces bravery.

I think you spent too much time on the familiarity part of this. I can't think of any other area of the game where one must familiarize himself with a weapon. It's too clunky and there's not a lot of payoff. I don't think it's needed here. Just keep the "all swords are created equal" part and you'll be fine.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Blademaster’s Defense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when a blademaster makes a full attack including at least one sword and bite attack, he receives a +1 dodge bonus to AC against melee attacks. This bonus increases by 1 for every four levels after 3rd. This ability replaces armor training 1 and 3.

I'm wary of dodge bonuses like these. You haven't taken away any armor or shield proficiencies from this guy, so he's not necessarily losing any AC bonus by taking this archetype. So I don't think this dodge bonus balances well against the reduction in ACP and max dex increase. There are some ways to game the system here.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Tengu Weapon Training (Ex): At 5th level, the blademaster gains weapon training 1, but the bonuses only apply when wielding a sword or using a bite attack. At 17th level, the blademaster receives weapon training 2. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 4.

This seems fine to me. You end up with a +2 to hit and damage with swords and beak. Half the bonus of a maxed-out fighter, to two weapon types.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Iron Beak (Ex): At 7th level, the blademaster reduces the penalty to attack rolls when using his bite as a secondary weapon to -2. At 15th level, he adds his full strength modifier to damage dealt by a secondary bite attack. This ability replaces armor training 2 and 4.

How does multiattack interact with this? Full Strength damage is fine, as there's precedent set by the Double Slice feat.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Beak and Blade (Ex): At 9th level, as a standard action, a blademaster can make a single melee attack with a sword. If the attack hits, he may attempt a dirty trick or steal combat maneuver with his beak, using his full base attack bonus, as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. This ability replaces weapon training 2.

Great visual here. Takes place on a standard action and uses specific, fitting maneuvers to add to the attack. Definitely the best ability of your archetype.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Powerful Beak (Ex): At 13th level, the blademaster is considered one size larger when determining the damage dealt by his bite attack and CMB when using his beak. This ability replaces weapon training 3.

The best thing about this ability is that it takes CMB size modifier into account. That's Superstar thinking.

tengu blademaster wrote:
Tengu Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, the blademaster gains weapon mastery as per the fighter class feature, but may only select a sword or his bite attack.

Jerall, this archetype does some things very well. It goes off the beaten path to try to make a monstrous fighter. I think that's a great choice. While this wouldn't see print in something like the APG, if Paizo ever did a book on monstrous races, like Savage Species, this is the sort of thing that would fit right in.


How strange to me. In one of the general threads about the Archetype competition I see a Judge and many players saying they wanted more Golgarion (spelling sorry) specific Archetypes.

but really, how are nation specific archetypes any different that racial archetypes?

Nation archetypes will typically have to be of that nation's race or major races. and will be limited to games played in or around that nation.

Here we have someone that tried somethign similar and got dumped on by players and Judges alike. seems counter productive to damn someone for this. The message here is don't push the boundaries. you will fall off.

Likewise I saw a poster above state that this was not better than the base class. it should not be. an Archetype should be significantly different than the base class, but not better. if it was better you would always take it.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Panish Valimer wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
I think it's the Many Sword Style. Specifically, how it has to be "charged" to each individual sword. The feats already apply to all swords of the same type. It's kind of a little quibble.

I think you've got the wrong idea here; the intention of Many Sword Style is that it allows you to apply your one Weapon Focus feat (and specialization and greater focus and greater specialization) apply to all blade weapons. In other words, at level 2 you could take Weapon Focus (longsword), and you get the benefit of weapon focus for your longsword, as well as the shortsword you wield. And when you pick up a +1 rapier, the weapon focus applies to it too. And later when you get a +2 flaming falchion it applies to that too. In other words, for 1 feat you get all swordlike weapons covered. This is balanced against the natural progression of the fighter feat chain (focus, specialization, etc) - and by the regression of the "Weapon Training" which the Tengu Blademaster only gets 2 of. Essentially it makes the class more versatile.

No, I get that part. That's fine. I like the ability to share the feat benefits to partially make up for lost weapon training. But the text of the ability reads:

Tengu Blademaster wrote:
The blademaster may only apply these benefits to a newly acquired sword after familiarizing himself with it, requiring 1 minute of practice, even if already familiar with another sword of the same type.

So he does have to acclimate to every individual sword he picks up, even if it's the same type as the sword that he nominally took the feats for in the first place. I think that's kind of dumb.


I agree with Khelek. There are many of the archetypes that are proposed for this roung fit within a specific geographic region or specific associations of Goralion only.

Is limiting an archetype to a race that different than limiting it to devil associates that happen to be from Cheliax?

Congratulations to Jerall for coming up with a novel concept, (as someone who is already playing a Tengu, this is awesome).

In any case I'm looking forward to your entry for round3

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: Sword and beak combat sounds like an interesting interpretation. It certainly might limit the chance for other races to spread the technique around.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: Many Sword Style: It might not often come into play, but it's a nice increase in versatility to be able to apply different weapons against creatures with different defences or combat roles.
Blademaster's Defence looks good.
Tengu Weapon Training: I'm not sure whether this just restricts the tengu's choice of weapons, or gives him bonuses to both a sword and beak attack with one selection and increases to +2 at 17th level.
Iron Beak: Trades defence for offence, but probably not to his main attack. It's a minor tilt of the class's focus so far.
Beak and Blade sounds like lots of fun.
Powerful Beak and Weapon Mastery close off the blademaster's abilities in appropriate style.
Wider relationships: Probably the primary reason the West has ever heard of tengu was their legendary sword skills, so it's very good to see a Pathfinder treatment of it.

It's not too flashy, but seems like a well-considered fighting style treatment. edit: The judges' comments on Many Sword Style suggest the selected name is a bit more appropriate than I first thought.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Tengus only? I wouldn’t mind if the abilities didn’t force me to have to be a tengu. I, like Matthew Morris, wish that there weren’t race specific prestige classes and so on. I really wish that that arcane archer didn’t have a race requirement.

As Sean and others have said, your abilities seem a little more powerful than a normal fighter’s but I can get over the small increase in power. I do like the Many Swords style ability, it is similar to a 3.5 prestige class’s ability to be able to use Weapon Specialization with both long sword and short sword but different enough with the familiarization period for each individual weapon (although this part could have bookkeeping problems of remembering exactly which specific weapons you have practiced with).

While I’m still hopeful that you may make it through, I think that your super narrow focus is going to cost you, in spite of your high-quality writing and good previous work. Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

Thank you, everybody, for your support and comments, all of which are welcomed. Please vote for my archetype! If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them once voting for this round is closed.


Tengus are cool and the fluff on this one fits right in with Japanese legends of the Tengu. Particularily the older legends before the beak was replaced with the nose.

Just a thought to those who don't like the fact that this specific to Tengus only. What's stopping any other race being trained by the Tengu and adapting a gauntlet into a beak like weapon?

I think this archetype shows vision and creativity beyond just adapting something already seen before into an archetype structure. Hope you make it to the next round Jerall.


Khelek wrote:

How strange to me. In one of the general threads about the Archetype competition I see a Judge and many players saying they wanted more Golgarion (spelling sorry) specific Archetypes.

but really, how are nation specific archetypes any different that racial archetypes?

Nation archetypes will typically have to be of that nation's race or major races. and will be limited to games played in or around that nation.

Here we have someone that tried somethign similar and got dumped on by players and Judges alike. seems counter productive to damn someone for this. The message here is don't push the boundaries. you will fall off.

Likewise I saw a poster above state that this was not better than the base class. it should not be. an Archetype should be significantly different than the base class, but not better. if it was better you would always take it.

+1

Agreed

Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

I struggle with the idea of voting for an archetype only intended for a non-core PC class. If you had given me half-orc axemaster or something more appealing to a larger number of people, I could be more forgiving. Your class abiltites are somewhat rehashed, but then you kept mostly to template and you did a pretty good job (not great) with a very specific focus. I suppose one could argue that if you aren't going to be race specific about a weapan mastery class, you could just go with weapon master. For my part, I jsut think you don't need race-specific archetypes, and if you do present them, they should be for widely diverse races that people will play. An elven bladesinger archetype is more understandable. Course, we have that in the magus.

In this case, I think your entry is the opposite of many in this very weak round: a lot of competitors had a good idea and couldn't execute it. You executed fairly well, with some mis-steps, but then your idea was not well-considered.

If you make it to round three, remember that it's a realy big audience of players and GMs that know their stuff. You have to appeal to as many as possible.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka Benchak the Nightstalker

Well I for one am a huge Tengu fan, so I absolutely loved seeing a Tengu specific archetype.

It's hard for me to complain about your desing being too niche when I am that niche

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benjamin Bruck wrote:

Well I for one am a huge Tengu fan, so I absolutely loved seeing a Tengu specific archetype.

It's hard for me to complain about your desing being too niche when I am that niche

+1

It's not every campaign and group that allows non-core races to play (I know I'm quite strict about that) - but Tengus are of the most popular non-core races.


I personally am not a fan of racial archetypes, having said that I know I would be try find a way to use this in a campaign.

Gets my vote.


I want to like this one so much, but when you've restricted an archetype to a single race, then the chance this would be utilized would almost be to a point of 'nil' when you have a 0-HD race that is not a standard PC race.

Now if this were reworked where it was a fighting style based on the tengu, but can be done by other races -- and it could be pulled off with the right mojo -- then I would have been all over this.

Until they come out with Tengus of Golarion, I just can't see this happening for now. :(

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

As time allows, I'll be responding to comments and questions one ability at a time. For now, I'll start with the more general comments:

Why a racial archetype and why a tengu?

Short answer: I wanted to try something different, especially since I've seen scope for regional and/or faction-based archetypes. I chose tengus, because their unique anatomy (rather than culture) lend themselves well to a unique fighting style.

That said, my original drafts of this archetype were a good number of words over the limit, so a few things did get cut. Originally, this archetype focused on bite and sword attacks (rather than beak) and the original flavour text referenced half-orcs (with the toothy trait) and multi-classed barbarians stealing the fighting style from the tengus. In retrospect, I should have left that bit in and cut text elsewhere.

More later...

Shadow Lodge

Congrats, Jerall! You were the underdog I was rooting for. :)

Way to represent the Niche Market! I hope to see an equally wonderful niche villian.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

Varthanna wrote:

Congrats, Jerall! You were the underdog I was rooting for. :)

Way to represent the Niche Market! I hope to see an equally wonderful niche villian.

But there are no tengu portraits :)

Thanks to everybody that voted!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Jerall Toi wrote:
But there are no tengu portraits :)

Is that a hat of disguise I see?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

Since my villain submission is in, I have a bit of time again to focus on some of the comments about my archetype.

Jerall Toi wrote:
Many Sword Style (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, if the tengu blademaster has a sword selected for the Weapon Focus feat, he may apply the benefit of the feat to any sword he wields. He may apply Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization in a similar fashion. The blademaster may only apply these benefits to a newly acquired sword after familiarizing himself with it, requiring 1 minute of practice, even if already familiar with another sword of the same type. A blademaster only need familiarize himself with any sword once. At 10th level, he only requires a full-round action to familiarize himself with a sword. This ability replaces bravery.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Many Sword Style: Hmm. This sort of thing is actually why Pathfinder has the weapon training class ability. And this stacks with weapon training. And they get it at 2nd level instead of 5th level. Ouch. Because if you have this ability, you're definitely going to grab the entire WF/WS chain (like most fighters do).

This ability was designed to make a tengu more receptive to weapons as treasure. Weapon Focus at level 2, shared amongst any swordlike weapon seems to be a concern for Sean. I can kinda see where he’s coming from, especially when we add Weapon Specialisation in at level 4. An earlier draft of this spread out the benefit, applying WS only at level 6, GWF at level 14 and GWS at level 18. This is one of a few abilities that suffered from over-editing, I think. I'll discuss the stacking with Weapon Training when I get to that ability.

Demiurge 1138 wrote:
So he does have to acclimate to every individual sword he picks up, even if it's the same type as the sword that he nominally took the feats for in the first place. I think that's kind of dumb.

I didn't intend for the ability to work like this. I wanted the benefits from the feats to always be active - if the blademaster had WF (longsword), he would not need to familiarise himself with a new longsword to gain the benefit of the feat. The familiarising was meant only for non-longswords, in this example. In the future, if I aim to create mechanics like this, I have to learn to be more precise with my writing.

Eric Bailey wrote:
I think you spent too much time on the familiarity part of this. I can't think of any other area of the game where one must familiarize himself with a weapon. It's too clunky and there's not a lot of payoff. I don't think it's needed here. Just keep the "all swords are created equal" part and you'll be fine.

In my mind, I pictured a blademaster disarming an enemy, grabbing the weapon and saying something like: "Let me show you how it's done." For some reason, I added a built-in show off opportunity for the blademaster, without supporting it properly. I should have given a short-term bonus to intimidate, for example, rather than enforce a period of inactivity.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

Chris Mortika wrote:
Jerall Toi wrote:
But there are no tengu portraits :)
Is that a hat of disguise I see?

:)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Jatori

Jerall Toi wrote:
Blademaster’s Defense (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when a blademaster makes a full attack including at least one sword and bite attack, he receives a +1 dodge bonus to AC against melee attacks. This bonus increases by 1 for every four levels after 3rd. This ability replaces armor training 1 and 3.

Now where did I put that "only when wearing light or no armor" clause?

Jerall Toi wrote:
Tengu Weapon Training (Ex): At 5th level, the blademaster gains weapon training 1, but the bonuses only apply when wielding a sword or using a bite attack. At 17th level, the blademaster receives weapon training 2. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 4.

I found that some of the most interesting commentary was about weapon training. I based the tengu weapon training on the two-handed fighter's weapon training:

APG Two-handed Fighter wrote:
As the fighter class feature, but the bonuses only apply when wielding two-handed melee weapons.

As I understand the APG entry, at level 5 I could pick heavy blades. Then, I get +1 to hit and damage with scythes and greatswords, but not scimitars. At level 9, I could pick spears and gain +1 to hit and damage with longspears, but not with javelins, and a +2 to hit and damage with two-handed heavy blades.

I meant for tengu weapon mastery to work like this:

At level 5, I could pick heavy blades and get a +1 to hit and damage with greatswords and longswords, but not scythes. At level 17, I could pick natural and get a +1 to hit and damage with bites, and only bites, and +2 with greatswords and longswords.

So, if the blademaster used WF, WS, GWF and GWS with the many sword style, at level 17 I would expect to see: +4 to hit and +6 damage with one subset of swords (based on weapon training group) and +3 to hit and +5 to damage with another subset (+2/+4 if taking natural with one weapon training pick) and +2/+4 with all other swords.

A standard fighter would have +6 to hit and +8 to damage with his one chosen WF/WS weapon, +4 to hit and damage with all other weapons from his chosen weapon's group, +3 to hit and damage with another weapon group, +2 with another and +1 with yet another.

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