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Exalted Armsman (Cleric)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Evil Space Mantis

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Exalted Armsman (Cleric)
Some clerics, especially of more militant gods, choose to make their deity’s favored weapon the focus of their power instead of their deity's holy symbol. These exalted armsmen sacrifice their ability to channel energy throughout an area and instead focus their deity’s might into spectacularly devastating blows.

Empowered Strike(Su): As a swift action, an exalted armsman may fill their melee weapon with raw divine energy with which to strike down their adversaries. The exalted armsman may only use this ability to enhance the strikes of a melee weapon they are wielding if it is their deity’s favored weapon. On the next melee attack the exalted armsman makes before the beginning of his next turn, he deals an amount of bonus untyped damage equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every four cleric levels beyond 1st(2d6 untyped damage at 5th level, 3d6 at 9th level, and so on) to a maximum of 5d6 extra damage at 17th level.

At 11th level, the target of the exalted armsman’s empowered strike must make a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the exalted armsman’s level + the exalted armsman’s Charisma modifier or be shaken for a number of rounds equal to the exalted armsman’s Charisma modifier. This ability cannot stack with itself or other shaken effects in order to cause an opponent to move from shaken to frightened, or from frightened to panicked.

At 15th level, an exalted armsman may elect to expend an additional use of his empowered strike ability as a free action and cause the target of his next empowered strike this round to be fatigued instead of shaken on a failed Will save.

At 19th level, an exalted armsman may elect to spend an additional use of his empowered strike ability as a free action and cause the target of his next empowered strike this round to be staggered instead of shaken on a failed Will save.

Starting at 1st level, an exalted armsman may use empowered strike a total of 3 + his Charisma modifier times per day.

This ability replaces channel energy and spontaneous casting.

Weapon Focus: At 1st level, an exalted armsman gains the feat Weapon Focus with their deity’s favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites.

Extra Strikes: At 3rd level, and every four cleric levels beyond 3rd, an exalted armsman gains an additional use of his empowered strike ability per day.

Weapon Specialization: At 7th level, an exalted armsman gains Weapon Specialization with his deity’s favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Interesting. I had to come back re-read this one a couple of times to really form an opinion on it. At first, it came off feeling overpowered. But you're giving up the ability to channel energy (and thereby harm undead and heal your allies) as well as spontaneous casting (which also means you've got to prepare healing spells if you want to support your allies). In exchange, you get access to a fighter's Weapon Specialization with your deity's favored weapon.

And, most importantly, you get the ability to make these Empowered Strikes...which are a slightly watered down version of a Channel Smite for a cleric who can channel positive energy. You've given the ability the same number of uses as a cleric's usual channeling ability, only you've increased it slightly with the Extra Strikes ability. Taken as a whole, that's mostly balanced. Plus, you've tipped the scales a little more by giving the variable effects for higher level clerics on their Empowered Strikes to make the victim shaken, fatigued, or staggered...much like the Critical Focus feats.

So, I kind of like where you're playing around here. As a designer, I think you've given some substantial weight and consideration for game balance. This is a very specific holy warrior archetype, but you've kept it more cleric-focused than paladin-esque. Flavor-wise, it holds up. These are the defenders of temples that don't have active paladins, per se. They could also adopt more of an inquisitor role if you wanted to pair the archetype with a multiclass build.

Given all these considerations, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and RECOMMEND this archetype design advance to the next round. Your eye of the void wondrous item had this same mix of flavor, dependable work and insight on mechanics, and valid/professional presentation. I'd be interested in seeing what you can bring in future rounds.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 4 Points
Recommendation: Recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (.5 point)
The name sucks but the theme is good.

Mechanics (.5 point)
This is one big chunk of text that basically replaces all sorts of Cleric features. Gamble, but I think it pays off.

I wonder why you want to limit the ability to not advance the condition. That seems like a needless limitation and a rules wrinkle that will often be forgotten (or purposefully not mentioned by certain types of players).

Empowered Strike says "Starting at 1st level..." but then nothing changes as you go up in levels. Did you forget something here? I have to take it as written, and it's written badly.

Awesomeness (1 point)
Oh hell yeah, I get this and it's awesome. I would play this archetype.

Template (1 point)
Good use of the template.

Context (1 point)
This is a great example of introducing almost a variant class not just an archetype. The Githyanki called, btw, and say thanks for the power-up!

Paizo Employee Developer

Interesting choice, Ethan. I'm not sold on the archetype's name, as I don't think it really captures what you're trying to do with this, but it's not outright bad and could certainly be worse, so I can overlook it.

I was initially put off by the huge single ability swap that occupies most of the archetype, but after rereading it, I see that it's actually fairly well thought-out. I'd prefer the damage have a type instead of specifically called out as being untyped. While I understand that you were trying to get away from the positive/negative energy duality involved in channeled energy and spontaneous casting, I feel like even a sacred/profane bonus would have been better than untyped. Some war gods are also very good (or very evil) and I don't think the divinity of the source of this extra damage should be completely ignored.

I'd almost like to see the empowered strikes feature split up into smaller abilities staggered over more levels, as it would improve readability. You already have extra strikes, which just gives a bonus to the 3 + Cha limit already granted by the ability, so why not split the rest up and give more easy to decode powers rather than one big, confusing one?

There are also a few instances here where you switch mid-paragraph from using "he" to "their" as the pronoun of choice. Stick with one, preferably not plural unless you've set the anticedent as a plural entity. I know it's considered acceptable to use "their" for a gender neutral pronoun in common speech, but we try not to use it in published material, so it's a habit to be aware of.

Despite the minor quibbles above, and a few easily remedied stylistic elements, I think this is a fairly strong archetype and one that I RECOMMEND for advancement to the next round. Let's see what the voters think. Best of luck!

Contributor

Empowered Strike: What sort of action is it to use the basic version of this ability? Free? Swift? It doesn't say. Later levels say what kind of action to add other effects, but not the basic one.

I don't know what "untyped damage" is. I assume you mean "the same type of damage as what the weapon normally does." But a tricksy player could argue, "it doesn't say it's weapon damage, so this should bypass DC and other defenses."

Then this ability starts adding effects similar to the critical feats, except you don't need to crit to activate them. But for most of them you have to expend additional uses of your smite. Hmm. Hard to say if that's an appropriate trade or not.

Weapon Specialization: I really don't like giving away Weapon Spec to non-fighters; it's one of the few unique things the fighter class gets.

I don't know. This archetype takes away the cleric's main healing class abilities (channel and spontaneous casting) and makes the class into a one trick pony about dealing melee damage. We added spontaneous healing in 3E and channel energy in PF so clerics wouldn't basically be forced to prepare healing spells instead of other cool spells, and this archetype kills both of those. I think that's going to hurt this sort of character in the long run--unless he's really vigilant about not being "the cleric who can heal," he's going to get pressure and resentment from other characters (especially whoever else ends up being the healing character) because he's more like a fighter.

I think you're on shaky mechanical, thematic, and party-happiness ground, here.

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

Dedicated Voter 2013

I like this archetype, it avoids being samey to all of the many other takes on a warrior cleric. I think the crux of this is due to the empowered strike mechanic and the focus on the dieties favored weapon. It's an archetype that takes the idea of focusing on a favored weapon as a gods gift, rather than healing magic, and I like that.

Also very nice to see a cleric archetype.

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

Pretty good. Though it's nothing really novel, it's a nicely balanced design that remains faithful to its theme. :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Evil Space Mantis

Thank you for your support and please vote for my archetype! If you have questions, I'll be happy to answer them once voting for this round is closed.

Andoran

Speaking from my personal experiences playing Pathfinder I really like this archetype. I tend to stick to classes that would primarily be the party physicaler and have only recently began to play spell caster classes as I have found the sheer amount of spell choices quite daunting.
A class like this appears to be a good bridge between the two extremes. While clerics are already both spell casters and physical, I think that the extra push towards the physical side of things is just what the game needs as a medium for people who, like myself, would like to be eased into the jungle that is spell casting.

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

I'm on the fence. I was put off by an initial reading that made me think you'd left out what the archetype gives up, but when I went back to the introduction, I puzzled it out. There's actually another way to do that. Make it what you give up the first power, and condition the other abilities off that one ability. See how the bard's performance abilities are handled in that class and some of its archetypes.

I'd drop weapon specialization out of it altogether, along with untyped damage. The first I like to see left to fighters (though there's certainly precedent), the second just confuses the reader.

I agree with the instinct to not let shaken stack, but I think it'd be fine if it could stack with other abilities (it absolutely should not stack with itself). Dazzling Display comes to mind as one way to make it a bit powerful, but you're still dealing with limited uses of your clerical ability to make things shaken. Other optimizers may be able to find better reasons to make it unstackable :)

I like the image of the butt-kicking cleric, though, and given what you give up for it, it doesn't seem out of bounds. Seems like a niche that'd see some play.

This entry passed my first round of cuts.


Interesting. Definitely a Holy Warrior. I'm not quite sure I understand all the upgrades in the shaken to fatigued to staggered. If I was using this with the empowered strike, I would be hurting people, to hell with the staggering stuff. I mean, if I'm fighting for my god, imbuing my weapon with holy power, I don't think I'm going to waste my time with staggering people.

Other than that, I agree, it's a one trick pony, but not bad. If you want to be a holy WARRIOR/super temple guard, then this would work.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is a well balanced archetype, but I think it's lacking on flavour. Sure it hits hard, and consistently, but this seems to be all it does.


A bit bland, but rules-sexy. I like what you've done with Empowered Strike. This is a warpriest build I would consider playing - and I don't normally go for clerics at all as a player.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I love clerics. I luuuurrrve clerics. But this just ain't doin' it for me.

This treads way too close to the paladin (especially), inquisitor, and Order of the Star cavalier for my taste. The holy warrior trope is well covered already.

I'm also with Sean on Weapon Specialization. Leave the fighter's stuff alone. They don't have much to call their own.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Empowered Strike: What sort of action is it to use the basic version of this ability? Free? Swift? It doesn't say. Later levels say what kind of action to add other effects, but not the basic one.
Ethan Day-Jones wrote:
Empowered Strike(Su): As a swift action, an exalted armsman may fill their melee weapon with raw divine energy with which to strike down their adversaries.

Just wanted to clarify what Ethan couldn't. :-)


I think it could use more work, but I like the general idea. You have made the keep folder.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cleric with a smite. Steps on Fighter's toes, too.
Yet another CoDzilla variant.

Verdict: No, no, and no.

Regards,
Ruemere


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi Ethan.

You have my vote.

Yours was the last of the eight I voted for to make it in. For me, you placed above the First World Druid and Goldfever Alchemist because your archetype was the most consistent of the three. It's clear to me what you're going for, and that counts for a lot in my book.

Plus, it's a cleric archetype. And it works. You get extra points just for achieving that. Nicely done.

Good luck for the remainder of the contest! I hope to see you in Round 3.

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

Tight on concept, if a bit bland as a result. "Cleric SMASH Puny Infidel!"

This bit confused me: "choose to make their deity’s favored weapon the focus of their power instead of their deity's holy symbol" I was hoping to see somewhere that they could use a masterwork weapon of their deity to cast instead of a holy symbol.

On the Fence here. It's mechanically strong, but blah otherwise. I don't see it as a 'CoDzila' build since the character will have to tie up spells in healing

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Hi Ethan,

I hadn't had time to read all the entries yesterday, but I noticed yours this morning (and even last night) and finally read it today. I like it very much, I can think of a few of my regular players that might consider this cleric archetype.

I understand the concern some have for this archetype getting Weapon Specialization, but I feel it really fits with the theme (and it is after all only with the deity's favored weapon). It's not like he gets this at 7th level and then at say 11th level decides to pick Weapon Specialization again for some other weapon... he only get the feat for his deity's favored weapon. And I think that's great.

I like the name too... although admittedly with "armsman" I did visualize a holy gunslinger at first. (And that wasn't a bad thing either... at least not in my opinion).

I've done a "round" of voting already... but I'm definitely adding yours to a new round of votes... before the polls close. :)

Good Luck in future rounds. Eager to see what your villain might be.

~Dean

Star Voter 2013

So, in exchange for channeling energy they get a few dice of damage a few times per day? It's just not worth it. For an evil cleric, for instance, they're basically giving up N dice of damage to everyone nearby for about half as much damage on ONE attack. One attack that might not even hit.

I really don't like this ability. It turns the cleric into a nerfed version of the paladin. Or actually, a fighter with divine casting. I can see it might have been interesting - especially if it hadn't totally overwritten the channeling energy.

Actually, what would have been cool is if this ability had used the channel energy charges to power it's uses, and sacrificed only spontaneous casting to get it. And then, maybe if it did something that couldn't be handled with feats too.

This is just weak, in both flavor and power.


I like the theme and abilities, and they are implemented well.

I think the second sentence in the introductory text should be reduced to

These exalted armsmen focus their deity’s might into spectacularly devastating blows.

I don't think there is any need to explain that the channel power is sacriced in the opening text. That is explained in the description.


I think you tried to avoid calling it warpriest, and ended up with a bad name for the archetype. Aside from that, I really liked it, and the fact that it 'takes away the cleric's main healing class abilities' just make it even more interesting to me.
You have my vote.

Andoran

How do you not vote for this? Ok, it's not unreasonably strong - not sure that's a bad thing - but it didn't make me do a spit-take on first sight as some of these have done. It doesn't look at all out-of-place if you put it in a theoretical APG2 or UM, for example.

Voted.


This is a great submission, I would definitely play this archetype.

Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The rules for this are very cool. The archetype is generic, but its also quite flexible. There are a lot of different clerical characters one could create using this archetype. Holy star-knife fighters...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This archetype got one of my votes, I like it and think it is simple, I think it fits fine as a holy warrior sort of archetype but maybe that niche is already a little filled. None of the abilities really amazed me but it is mechanically sound (even if you did give up my favorite cleric ability). Hopefully I see you in the next rounds.

Good luck.


Ethan Day-Jones wrote:

Exalted Armsman (Cleric)

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, Many people want to play warrior-priest types, so nothing new, but basing it on using channel to enhance your attacks is a nice touch.
Mechanical Mojo (MM): 1, the main feature is very akin to a channel smite that can hurt everybody, but deals less damage and stacks some effects on later levels. Bleh.
Mechanical Execution (ME): 2. Taking away channel and spontaneous casting is either a big blow, because he must now prepare all healing, or nothing at all, if he was planned as a distinct non healer from the beginning, and wont spend resources on it. And the extra feats come out of nowhere. And the smiting can't keep up with Smite or judgments and bane.

Final note: An inquisitor or paladin is a better choice for this type of character. And this is somewhat lacking creativity.

Total Score: 3.741

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

This isn't treading on any real warrior's toes. The cleric is a primary spellcaster first and foremost; channel energy is a secondary power, and this trades it for a different secondary power. Given the pathfinder nerf to self-buffs you're never going to beat a fighter or paladin in his own element, which is just fine because there is a ton of other stuff you can do.

And personally, I like to play healers, but if you don't then you just shouldn't. No one will hate you for it. Find a wand of CLW, hire a cleric sidekick, go on shorter adventures, use variant HP rules, steal healing surges from 4e, whatever; pressuring someone into playing the healer is dumb and I like to think most gamers have gotten past it.


Ethan Day-Jones wrote:
Exalted Armsman (Cleric)

My two cents:

It's a cool idea that has some execution problems.

First, I DO really like the one big trade off concept. I was surprised you replaced BOTH Channel Energy and Spontaneous Casting. I don't think that was a smart move, because inevitably a cleric wants at least one of those two abilities.

I do think it's balanced.

I think you should have "typed" the damage. That seems important to me, even if it varies by deity.

Does the energy get discharged even if he misses?
I think the increased effects with more uses of the power is cool, though I wonder if it would use up the ability too quickly for what amounts to an action that requirs: 1) a succesful hit, 2) Damage inflicted, 3) Saving throw failed. I think you could have just increased the effect without the additional use of the ability.

Weapon specialization? Not even the Paladin gets that. I think you're opening this class up to abuse (able to take feats normally limited to fighters).

Over all it strikes me as less powerful than the Paladin in Melee, but more powerful than the Cleric. So, I like it.

However, my big beaf with it is formatting. It's all over the place in the description. Many lines are confusing and out of logical order.

I'm on the fence on this one.

Ken

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

This one is simple, but I like it. Trades both spontaneous spellcasting and channel energy for big booms in terms of damage. That may actually be a little underpowered, which would certainly be novel in this contest. My one question is this--what if your god has a ranged weapon? Those certainly exist in Golarion--Erastil with his longbow, for example.

I think I'm going to vote for this one. I still have a lot of entries to get through, but we also get a lot of votes.


Ethan Day-Jones wrote:

Exalted Armsman (Cleric)

Some clerics, especially of more militant gods, choose to make their deity’s favored weapon the focus of their power instead of their deity's holy symbol. These exalted armsmen sacrifice their ability to channel energy throughout an area and instead focus their deity’s might into spectacularly devastating blows.

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?
Clerics are as diverse as the range of deities whom they serve. That said, the defining quality of this clerical variant is that they're much more interested in walloping their enemies with lumps of metal or bits of wood than in blasting out waves of holy (or unholy) power.
However they choose to pop away in the name of their deity though, it comes down to which deity do they serve as to whether you'd want one sitting next to you or not? It's always nice to be sitting next to a cleric of Asmodeus at a dinner party (well at least adjacent to a low-ranking cleric of the faith) so that you can slip something in his coffee and/or stalk him after he leaves to make sure he doesn't 'return to the fold' in one piece...

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
They're clerics. With the exception of arts inclined deities such as Shelyn, they Do Not Pick Flowers. They have Much More Important Things To Do such as polish their thuribles and count the collection takings from the latest service.

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?
I am somewhat doubtful that you could. Sneaky, furtive, roguish types are generally better at dealing massive damage with one hit, and a good old man or woman of the sword trained in the arts of martial combat (or a paladin!) is going to be generally more competent than an exalted armsman. I would recommend you only hire this sort of person if for some reason it's neither convenient nor appropriate to hire a regular professional schooled in the arts of combat.

Other comments?
Clerics should stick to what they're good at and not try to tread on the toes of dashing, hard-working, types who have to make their living by the sword. Except for clerics of Gorum (whose faith exalts the hitting of people with shaped lumps of metal or their attempted toasting with magic) and clerics of Asmodeus and Lamashtu (whom it's always hilarious to see being torn apart when an attempt to engage in melee goes totally wrong).

Desirability:
Varies by deity from 'No Interest' to 'Snack' to 'Kill with extreme prejudice at the first opportunity'.

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.


I like it. It is fresh, it works, its balanced nicely and it is a new element to Cleric that has been needed for a long time! It'd get my vote!

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

I want a bad-booty fighting cleric (without the reliance of buff magic) as much (meaning more) than the next guy, but I have some quibbles.

First, the writing and styles is lacking. I know that's more important to some people than others, but I am in the 'Superstars do it all' paradigm. Concepts and execution being equal I will vote for the one whose presentation could be moved right to the book without more editing.

Second, you use design vernacular kind of by habit, to make sure you sound like a designer. The specific phrases that you see in game rules are there intentionally. When they don't need to be there, don't add them. For example, don't say untyped damage unless your prevous damage has a type. Usually, that will mean a feat allows you to deal some non-fire damage with your fire spell or whatnot. If my favored weapon is longsword, all the damage I deal with it is slashing damage, barring a different descriptor like shocking burst. Another example, you don't need to say starting at first level, because you are replacing first level cleric abilities. By not using phrases you don't have to, you minimize confusion and free up space to write something more compelling. Another opportunity for this is your intro statement. Don't talk about how the class doesn't channel energy - we'll get that later.

I would find a way to mention that the ability is useful (3+Cha) times, plus the extra five times, in the same description and place another ability in the extra strikes slot.

In fact, what I see is you add one new class features and then run out of ideas. So we add two feats and extra uses of the above ability. So..will you run out of compelling ideas in your adventure when you get that far? Or will you stop when you think you have a pretty strong one?

Finally, a big balance issue. Your extra damage and applied conditions are better than Channel Smite, because Channel Smite only affects undead if you're positive, and only affects living creatures if you're negative (and I fully support the bad guys getting one over there). Your ability, when invoked, affects all targets, and doesn't even describe itself as precision-based damage. So I guess I want to worship Urgathoa (and who doesn't?) so I can crit for 8d4+20d6+thousands. Shaken AND stirred.

I'd take Sean's advice and go one better. Not only preserve Weapon Spec for fighters, but also just deal some extra damage based on your Cha bonus or something. The abiltiy doesn't qualify you for any feats in the future, and it's not tied to your spellcasting stat. You're giving the class extra damage, but to really break it, they have to have a pretty good Strength, Wisdom AND Charisma score.

Or, like I said, worship Urgathoa.

Finally, I thought about a fighting cleric, but then I remembered the battle oracle. Do you think this class is better then, or unique from, that one?

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

I don't think this guy gets remotely into CoDzilla territory, nor is its main schtick anywhere near as boss as a paladin's smite. No bonus to hit. No bonus to AC. Damage bonus is dice, so it doesn't multiply on a crit. And, oh yes, it only affects *ONE* attack, which you have to make before your next turn or it's wasted.

It's not even better than Channel Smite (negative); once you get past 1st level, you're only doing a little more than half the damage (so you do get a little more if the target saves vs. CS), for which you eventually get to trade for mild status effects (setting aside fairly common immunity to fear and less common immunity to fatigue). Yes, your ability affects "all creatures" whereas CS (negative) only affects "all living creatures" - but that excludes precisely two categories: undead and constructs. Everything else is the same.

Yes, it's better than CS (positive), but that ain't saying much. In either case, taking CS of either kind is a feat which gives you the OPTION of whacking someone with your channel energy. You still have the option to do it the normal way. With Empowered Strike, that's it, you are nailed into this is now the ONLY way you can use this ability.

While a decent mechanic, it's substantially less good than what he gives up, though I think conceptually it's a good trade-off - all of your healbot stuff for a new suite of offensive goodness.

Overall, the design is all right, the name is so-so, but overall it's not knocking my socks off. Okay, but not spectacular.

Congrats on making round 2, and best of luck!

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

I think I just learned something. Off to find the sentence that says bonus dice aren't multiplied on a crit.

EDIT: nope. That's just extra dice from special weapon qualities (such as flaming). The archetype would still need to say it doesn't multiply on a crit, right?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not usually one to be too critical about names, but this one I don't like I'm sorry to say. The writing style would not fit in well among the other archetypes. It seems an attempt by yet another gamer with no love of language.

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

Steven T. Helt wrote:

I think I just learned something. Off to find the sentence that says bonus dice aren't multiplied on a crit.

EDIT: nope. That's just extra dice from special weapon qualities (such as flaming). The archetype would still need to say it doesn't multiply on a crit, right?

Interesting quirk.

The critical hit rule only explicitly calls out bonus dice from precision-based damage (like sneak attack) and weapon special qualities (like flaming).

I've played more or less constantly with WotC and later Paizo staffers since not long after 3rd Ed came out, and perhaps in 3.0 or 3.5 there was a specific stipulation that "constant numbers multiply on crits, variable dice don't," but if so I don't see that as a universal rule in the PF Core Rulebook (p. 184) or in the paizo.com/prd.

I'm flagging this for the FAQ. You should too.

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

The question has been duly FAQ'ed here. I'd encourage others to FAQ it as well.

Qadira

Despite that I liked this, I voted for it and I hope you can do even better.

Cheers

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

While conceptually the "battle priest" archetypes are strong I cannot refrain myself from comparing this to the Oracle of Battle.

While there are a few reasons to play this archetype over an oracle based on spell selection, the oracle is simply better at what it does: it provides a good close combat priest that can dish out the pain AND heal well in melee situations.

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

Ethan, your Eye of the Void was well-received for its Lovecraftian weirdness. This round you bring us a martial cleric archetype, someone who plays offense instead of hanging back to heal the party. Definitely a niche that's been explored from time to time. Let's see how you've done with it.

exalted armsman wrote:
Empowered Strike(Su): As a swift action, an exalted armsman ... deals an amount of bonus untyped damage equal to 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points of damage for every four cleric levels beyond 1st(2d6 untyped damage at 5th level, 3d6 at 9th level, and so on) to a maximum of 5d6 extra damage at 17th level.

Used as a swift action, so never more than once per round. Reasonable damage scale for those levels. It's like Channeled Smite but without a save.

exalted armsman wrote:
At 11th level, the target of the exalted armsman’s empowered strike must make a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the exalted armsman’s level + the exalted armsman’s Charisma modifier or be shaken for a number of rounds equal to the exalted armsman’s Charisma modifier. This ability cannot stack with itself or other shaken effects in order to cause an opponent to move from shaken to frightened, or from frightened to panicked.

Escalating effects seem to be one of those areas of the rules in need of re-examining. More effects are exceptions to the escalating rule than follow it. But adding effects on top of the empowered strike seems a very useful thing to do. It's interesting that you did not elect to make use of the Antipaladin's Cruelties in coming up with status effects to add to this attack. When voting is over, could you speak to this a little? Did you turn down using a mercy/cruelty approach for a specific reason?

exalted armsman wrote:

At 15th level, an exalted armsman may elect to expend an additional use of his empowered strike ability as a free action and cause the target of his next empowered strike this round to be fatigued instead of shaken on a failed Will save.

At 19th level, an exalted armsman may elect to spend an additional use of his empowered strike ability as a free action and cause the target of his next empowered strike this round to be staggered instead of shaken on a failed Will save.

Fatigue and Staggered seem like they should be a Fortitude effects. You're also expending an extra use per day, why not let these conditions stack and just use separate saves?

exalted armsman wrote:

Weapon Focus: At 1st level, an exalted armsman gains the feat Weapon Focus with their deity’s favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites.

Weapon Specialization: At 7th level, an exalted armsman gains Weapon Specialization with his deity’s favored weapon as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites.

Good choices for a cleric whose weapon is of holy importance.

exalted armsman wrote:
Extra Strikes: At 3rd level, and every four cleric levels beyond 3rd, an exalted armsman gains an additional use of his empowered strike ability per day.

This is a good addition to the class because obviously you won't be able to take Extra Channel to help you out.

Ethan, this seems a pretty balanced and thoughtful execution of your theme. I don't see any glaring problems with it and it does enough unique stuff to avoid sliding into Paladin territory. You've done fine work here and I'm sure we'll be seeing you next round.

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

Jason Nelson wrote:
The question has been duly FAQ'ed here. I'd encourage others to FAQ it as well.

I hope it gets ruled as is. I think damage dice in weird cases ought to double. If you had the 3.5 Dirty Player feat, you dealt 1d4 extra damage with one attack as a standard action. If you crit, your hamstring or kidney shot SHOULD double to 2d4. You paid some kind of penalty for that damage, and we already have the rule that precision damage and damage of a different type does not double. What's the extra 1d4 compared to Power Attack and smite evil?

This also impacts Channel Smite and similar abilties. But I think they should double. Keeps things moving fast and makes palyers happy.

AHEM! I mean...who cares if players are happy. They should be happy their characters aren't dead yet. That's what I meant.

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

Steven T. Helt wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
The question has been duly FAQ'ed here. I'd encourage others to FAQ it as well.

I hope it gets ruled as is. I think damage dice in weird cases ought to double. If you had the 3.5 Dirty Player feat, you dealt 1d4 extra damage with one attack as a standard action. If you crit, your hamstring or kidney shot SHOULD double to 2d4. You paid some kind of penalty for that damage, and we already have the rule that precision damage and damage of a different type does not double. What's the extra 1d4 compared to Power Attack and smite evil?

This also impacts Channel Smite and similar abilties. But I think they should double. Keeps things moving fast and makes palyers happy.

AHEM! I mean...who cares if players are happy. They should be happy their characters aren't dead yet. That's what I meant.

Howie23 has answered the question over in the Rules Questions thread linked above. To wit:

Howie23 wrote:

There is a universal statement that extra dice are never multiplied in the Pathfinder rules. It is on page 179. The text is: "Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon's normal damage are never multiplied."

Edit: The crit rules on p. 184 provide the detailed short list you refer to, but the general rule on damage (which includes the exception quoted above), still apply. I would agree that calling them out in detail and separately in the crit section can lead to seeing only part of the picture.

Turns out the rule is there. The restatement of the rule on p. 184 gives more specific examples, but not exclusive examples. The rule on p. 179 covers ALL multiplication of damage dice.

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

Your flavor text is ok, but could do more than hint at the game mechanics of the archetype’s abilities. I get that it is a beating stick cleric, but the flavor should sell me on it.

Overall the ability trade off seems reasonable, yes you probably should have found something else other than Weapon Specialization to give, for me this is more about that it is just more damage rather than anything else, but I can get over that.

I’m really not a big fan of the untyped damage, it could be sacred/profane damage, it could just be called damage, but by saying untyped, it means that it doesn’t even have piercing/slashing/bludgeoning on it, which makes it different to most other extra dice based damage and it doesn’t work well with damage reduction.

The judges and posters have already pointed out the other things I noticed about your archetype. The comments seem positive about it, and like many others I found the Exalted Armsman a good archetype. Good luck.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: The name calls to mind a couple of controversial precedents, to say the least, though it doesn't seem to have much in common with White Wolf or WotC's offerings.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: Empowered Strike resembles Channel Smite and holy smite, except that it only seems to have a favoured weapon restriction (which in itself is a significant limit) rather than any specificity against the usual enemies of clerics. This broad application and the conditions applied at higher levels are very much needed to balance what it gives up - a trade that seems to reduce the options of good and neutral clerics much more than evil ones, who already use channel energy and spontaneous casting mostly for attack. I wonder if Extra Channel or any other channelling feats apply, or if equivalents would accompany a published version of this archetype.
I'm a bit concerned by the higher-level abilities referring throughout to the "target" of his attack. It's not at all clear to me whether the armsman has to hit with the attack to apply these conditions. It's not necessarily wrong if he doesn't, but the rule simply doesn't tell me one way or the other.
Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialisation: These seem to be still running on the credit of the initial loss of two abilities. This is risky, but I tend to agree that Empowered Strike on its own is not enough to make up the value of the exchange.
Wider relationships: Both the paladin and monk sit close to this concept, perhaps uncomfortably so. Besides the products with similar names, this might have a taste of 4th edition as well.

I've dinged another semi-divine-empowered entry hard for flavourless abilities and stepping on the territory of another class. This one is much more elegant, but in fairness I'll have to put it low on my list to revisit.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Nice Ethan, Choosing to archetype a cleric with so little things to give up is a complicated task. Task accomplished however. I think most importantly this comes out balanced because you declare the special ability which is wasted if you miss. Clerics will not hit as often as fighters and palis. The miss chance (for appropriate CRs) means some of those declared uses will not pan out. So for balancing a cleric archetype and your attention to mechanics I think you mastered teh round.

Osirion

1. Terrible name. This is one of the last ones I am reading because the name didn't catch me. If I had found 8 people to vote for by now, I wouldn't have even read it.

2. untyped should be divine, in my opinion.

3. Don't take away spontaneous casting. This really hurts this character because they are already losing channel energy, which is very useful for a party.

I liked Eye of the Void's effects, and this might push me to vote for you.

Osirion Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I miss something that immediatly sparks my interest in creating this character, but I guess it's a very solid martial cleric. Since I love your "Eye of the Void" I really want to see what you'll be doing next, though.
Voted.


I'm reading this for a second time as I have six more votes to cast. Given the strength / appeal that I had for your wondrous item and that if I wanted to play a warpriest or non-paladin templar (which I still rue the decision by Paizo to discard that class completely when they submitted the APG), I would definitely consider this as an archetype option if I were playing a cleric.

You'll be getting my vote!

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