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Varisian Carver (Fighter)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Varisian Carver (Fighter)
Varisian carvers have taken the common knife fight and elevated it to a deadly art form. Originating in Riddleport’s back alleys, the fighting style has spread throughout Varisia. Today, Korvosa, Magnimar, and Riddleport have schools and coteries that teach this brutal technique, though many of these groups are little more than organized gangs of well-trained hooligans. Most Varisian carvers are boastful scoundrels, who shamelessly employ trickery and misdirection to overcome their foes. A Varisian carver’s fighting school benefits only apply when she wears light armor and wields a single dagger.

Class Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), Profession, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand. These replace the standard fighter class skills.

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Varisian carvers are proficient with light armor and simple weapons. They are not proficient with shields.

Slashing Knife (Ex): At 2nd level, a Varisian carver can add her Dexterity modifier (instead of Strength) to attack rolls with a dagger. She can also deal piercing or slashing damage. This ability replaces bravery.

Dagger Virtuoso (Ex): At 3rd level, a Varisian carver gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with a dagger. This bonus improves by +1 for every 4 levels beyond 3rd. This ability replaces armor training 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Perforate and Sever (Ex): At 5th level, when a Varisian carver hits an opponent with a dagger, the opponent takes bleed damage equal to the Varisian carver’s Dexterity modifier (minimum of 1) each turn on his turn, in addition to the damage dealt by the hit. The bleed damage increases by +2 for every 4 levels beyond 5th. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 2.

Dastardly Feint (Ex): At 13th level, a Varisian carver gains the Greater Feint feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites. When she hits an opponent suffering the effects of her feint with her dagger, the opponent becomes stunned for 1 round. This ability replaces weapon training 3.

Knavish Strike (Ex): At 17th level, a Varisian carver gains the Greater Dirty Trick feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites. When she hits an opponent suffering the effects of her dirty trick with her dagger, the opponent suffers a critical threat. This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Crippling Thrust (Ex): At 19th level, when a Varisian carver confirms a critical hit with her dagger, the target must make a Fortitude save or gain the disabled condition. The DC of the save is 5 + ½ the Varisian carver’s level + the Varisian carver’s Dexterity modifier. This ability replaces armor mastery.

Weapon Mastery (Ex): A Varisian carver must choose a dagger.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

This is the second of two knife fighter archetypes submitted this round. And this one's not my favorite. That said, it's a good idea to carve out (yes, I pun!) a niche for an archetype such as this...so your design sense is on target. I would have much preferred that you didn't make this Varisia-specific. Knife fighters generally develop all over the world and I'd prefer to see plenty of fighting schools and back alleyways develop this style.

I'm also not as keen on the bleed damage enhancement, though...or the higher level auto-feats you've included, particularly the "stunned" effect with Dastardly Feint...which is going to cause your opponent to drop everything held along with becoming flat-footed and losing all actions. A high-level knife fighter with iterative attacks and some rogue levels could absoultely wreak havoc with that ability. Likewise with the automatic critical threat on successful dirty tricks due to the Knavish Strike...and the disabled condition imposed by a successful Crippling Thrust, which borders on an assassin's ability to deal a death attack or a rogue's master strike ability at 20th level.

So, some of these design choices and the (admittedly unfair) comparison to another knife fighter archetype I enjoyed more, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this archetype design to advance this round. But, perhaps the voters save you by looking back on your wondrous item design and the insight you showed in selecting this type of archetype.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 2.5 points
Recommendation: Not recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (0 points)
I didn't like the name "Carver". Can you really see that happening? It sounds like something a ham-handed butcher would do, not an elite, finesse based school of duelists.

Mechanics (.5 point)
Why change the number of skill points per level?

Until 5th level, this archetype is weaker than the equivalent base fighter, who could have replicated the archetype and had even more weapon & armor options.

That makes the bleed ability gained at 5th level the key to the whole archetype (the next benefit doesn't come until 13th level). Does this bleed ability "make" this archetype work? I assume a high DEX modifier and one that will go up over time with buffs and gear. It's going to be pretty nasty by the mid-levels. Here's the thing - the ability says "when the [Carver] hits an opponent with a dagger", the bleed starts. This makes the character into a mook/vermin Terminator. Between attacks of opportunity, full attack, etc. this character is going to be able to "tag" a lot of low-level opponents with bleed damage that will probably take them down within the scope of a combat encounter.

Still there's a huge tradeoff being made - you can only fight with 1 dagger, and that brings the whole thing back to balance for me. (May even be underpowered, playtesting would show one way or the other).

I'm giving you a half point because I doubt the value of this archetype vs. a basic fighter but recognize the bleed concept as interesting.

Awesomeness (.5 point)
Could be awesome in the right campaign but in many it would be a net negative.

Template (1 point)
Followed the template well.

Context (.5 point)
A very specialized archetype. In a city campaign this might be really cool but in a classic dungeon-centric campaign it wouldn't be great. Can't dock it a full point, but can't award it a full point either.

Paizo Employee Developer

This is among the most Golarion-centric archetypes to appear this round, and appreciate the effort to tie the archetype to the setting. Let's dig in, Tom!

I'm not sure how keen I am on upping the fighter's skill ranks per level. Doing this should come at some cost, and I don't think limiting weapon and armor proficiencies is it. I'm warily proceeding on...

Slashing knife is really just a limited Weapon Finesse bonus feat. A fighter already gets tons of feats, so do they need this weapon specific version of one they would likely already take if they're a Dex-based fighter? Also, daggers are already both slashing and piercing. This ability is pretty redundant.

With dagger virtuoso, you're really hampering the fighter's defenses in exchange for a potentially overpowered offensive boost. An untyped bonus with daggers is going to stack with Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization as well as greater versions of both in addition to stacking with enhancement bonuses. That sort of stacking should be avoided; this bonus needs a type at the very least. Add onto that the fact that you're restricting the few bonuses this fighter can get on his already weak, light armor, and you may be tipping the scales too far from a balanced fighter. Let's see if something later makes up for it.

Perforate and sever seems an additional skew toward the offensive, but at least it's replacing the offensive weapon training class features. That said, delivering Dex modifier in bleed on every dagger hit is just crazy! A 5th-level rogue with the bleeding strike rogue talent deals 3 bleed damage (based on 3d6 sneak attack) and then only on a successful sneak attack.

The higher level abilities are similarly overpowered, and lead me to the fall pretty firmly and decidedly on the side of NOT RECOMMENDING this archetype for advancement. I think your concept was well-intentioned, but the design wasn't as subtle as a dextrous knife fighter deserved. Best of luck.

Contributor

Slashing Knife (Ex): Strange that you would do this, when you can just take Weapon Finesse.

Dagger Virtuoso: I assume this would stack with weapon training....

Perforate and Sever: ... except you took away weapon training 1. Weird. Why not let the fighter use weapon training as normal, and swap out armor training for this ability? Anyway, the parallel is the rogue's bleeding attack talent, which only works on sneak attacks and only 1 per die of the rogue's sneak attack. If you have this archetype, you're going to max your Dex, which means you probably have an 18 by the time you hit this ability, that's 4 bleed, which a rogue wouldn't get until level 7 (4d6 sneak attack, 4d6 bleed). True, the rogue eventually outpaces the character with this archetype because sneak attack improves faster than abilities scores, but this is stealing a key trick from the rogue and making it more powerful than what the rogue would have at this level.

Dastardly Feint: You're swapping out weapon trainings the character probably won't use for yet another bump. And you're getting this before you could get Stunning Critical (BAB 17, with two feats as prerequisites). And there's no save. Argh.

I could go on, but this is way too good.

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

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Slashing Knife (Ex): Strange that you would do this, when you can just take Weapon Finesse.

Dagger Virtuoso: I assume this would stack with weapon training....

Perforate and Sever: ... except you took away weapon training 1. Weird.

Tom is basically emulating the Weapon Master archetype, which does the same thing - essentially gets weapon training, in their one specialized weapon, at the armor training level increments, and then gets different abilities at the weapon training levels.

Not necessarily a knock in my book, especially given that dagger isn't the bestest weapon around (though it's not bad).

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I could go on, but this is way too good.

Alas, I'm with Sean. The bleed damage is out of sight, and on EVERY hit, and an easy auto-stun condition. Ouch.

It's too much for what you give up.

The flavor is good, and tying it to Golarion and Riddleport in particular is a neat touch. I don't think the flavor makes up for the mechanics here, but the voters will decide.

Congratulations on making the contest, and best of luck!


Tom Phillips wrote:

Varisian Carver (Fighter)

Varisian carvers have taken the common knife fight and elevated it to a deadly art form. Originating in Riddleport’s back alleys, the fighting style has spread throughout Varisia. Today, Korvosa, Magnimar, and Riddleport have schools and coteries that teach this brutal technique, though many of these groups are little more than organized gangs of well-trained hooligans. Most Varisian carvers are boastful scoundrels, who shamelessly employ trickery and misdirection to overcome their foes.

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?
'Well-trained hooligans'. No thank-you.

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
I once asked a knife-wielding Katapeshi thug to pop down to the market and find me some water-lilies, please? He came back three hours later and told me, beaming with pride, that lilies are flowers.
I said, yes, I know that, but where were the flowers I asked for?
He looked dumbfounded for a moment and then said he thought I'd asked to go down to the market and find out 'What are lilies?'
There are probably several morals in that story, somewhere.
No. I really don't think it would be a good idea to ask someone who rejoices in being called a 'Varisian Carver' to go and pick flowers.

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?
Oh yes. For a straightforward, no-stealth-involved, walk-up-to-someone-and-stab-them-to-death-errand, this cretin is probably in a league of his or her own.

Other comments?
Personally I think that calling anything which trains these thugs a 'school' is probably overdoing it a bit...

Desirability:
Hireable (but keep at arm's length, and don't give him or her anything requiring intelligence to do unless you're happy to risk it being bungled).

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.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Ryan Dancey wrote:


Until 5th level, this archetype is weaker than the equivalent base fighter, who could have replicated the archetype and had even more weapon & armor options.

He replaced Bravery with something much better at 2nd level. Also, as you just noted, the skills are better (which I think is a fitting change).

I personally dislike that 2nd level power. As a lightly armored knife-fighter, I'm going to want to take Weapon Finesse at 1st level. If I'm starting the game at 2nd it's less of an issue, but if I'm starting at first (or multiclassing into fighter from elsewhere) this is going to annoy the crap out of me. Either I have to waste my Dex bonus for at least one level or I have to waste a feat.

I agree with Ryan, just the same, that the huge bleed damage is the crux of this class. And I love it. It is totally sweet but staggeringly powerful, which to me says that it should have gotten a lot more attention, with lesser versions coming earlier and the "full dex mod, every hit" being something you build up to.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

Tom, your Iron Collar was well received; I certainly thought it had some great potential. Your Varisian Carver starts off with some good Varisian flavor, probably a little too much of it, but not one of my biggest concerns. I kind of envision a class modeled on the Daniel Day-Lewis character from Gangs of New York.

varisian carver wrote:
Slashing Knife (Ex): At 2nd level, a Varisian carver can add her Dexterity modifier (instead of Strength) to attack rolls with a dagger. She can also deal piercing or slashing damage. This ability replaces bravery.

The damage type is the real meat of this ability. Any fighter-type with a higher dexterity than strength is going to take Weapon Finesse anyway, so this aspect of the ability is not particularly appealing.

varisian carver wrote:
Dagger Virtuoso (Ex): At 3rd level, a Varisian carver gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with a dagger. This bonus improves by +1 for every 4 levels beyond 3rd. This ability replaces armor training 1, 2, 3, and 4.

So by 19th level you will get a +5 to hit and damage with daggers, one more than you would get if you maxed out daggers on standard weapon training. Since you're limited to light armor, armor training is not going to do much for you anyway, so this is a reasonable trade. This is one of those workhorse abilities... not very interesting but needs to be there for the mechanical foundation of your theme.

varisian carver wrote:
Perforate and Sever (Ex): At 5th level, when a Varisian carver hits an opponent with a dagger, the opponent takes bleed damage equal to the Varisian carver’s Dexterity modifier (minimum of 1) each turn on his turn, in addition to the damage dealt by the hit. The bleed damage increases by +2 for every 4 levels beyond 5th. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 2.

Well, here's where the damage really is. This is really the bloody heart of the archetype. A fighter with this archetype is going to try to max out his dexterity, so what we are really talking about is about 4 points of bleed damage at 5th level for an 18 dex, 6 if you throw on a Cat's Grace. Higher levels will see this rise by 2-4 more points. Compare to Bleeding Critical, which does an average of 7, or the Bleeding Attack rogue talent, which does 1 point per sneak attack die. I think tying the amount of bleed to dexterity is probably about the right amount.

I question whether this should take effect on any dagger strike, or whether there should be an action cost to it. My gut says this should probably be a type of standard attack. Regardless, this is my favorite ability of your archetype.

varisian carver wrote:
Dastardly Feint (Ex): At 13th level, a Varisian carver gains the Greater Feint feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites. When she hits an opponent suffering the effects of her feint with her dagger, the opponent becomes stunned for 1 round. This ability replaces weapon training 3.

This ability is adding both a feat and a rider effect to a class ability. It's interesting because this archetype has given up an awful lot on the front-end, you sort of want some powerful stuff later on. But I think there are a couple problems here. First, a class ability exchanged for a feat is not particularly elegant design.

Second, the effects of a feint are to deny that opponent its dex bonus to AC, relative to you. I can't think of another ability that specifically works off of a feint, that doesn't also work in other circumstances where the target's dexterity is denied. This wording seems jarring because of this.

Last, adding a stun effect with no save does not balance against other stunning effects available at higher levels than this (stunning fist, stunning critical, stunning assault, etc). This either needs a save or needs to be a staggered effect.

varisian carver wrote:
Knavish Strike (Ex): At 17th level, a Varisian carver gains the Greater Dirty Trick feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites. When she hits an opponent suffering the effects of her dirty trick with her dagger, the opponent suffers a critical threat. This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Another bonus feat with extra effects. Despite not being a huge fan of the bonus feat swap, I really find myself liking the mechanic of a critical threat while your opponent is dealing with your dirty trick. If this were a x3 weapon, I'd like it less... but it's a dagger after all, and you'll probably not manage to get an unbalancing amount of damage out of this.

varisian carver wrote:
Crippling Thrust (Ex): At 19th level, when a Varisian carver confirms a critical hit with her dagger, the target must make a Fortitude save or gain the disabled condition. The DC of the save is 5 + ½ the Varisian carver’s level + the Varisian carver’s Dexterity modifier. This ability replaces armor mastery.

I wouldn't know how to easily adjudicate this. Disabled is a condition that happens when you are at 0 hit points or fewer. I'm unclear whether you intend this attack to drop the character to 0 hit points on a critical hit, or if you want this to be a staggered condition in which the target loses a hit point if he performs a standard action. The DC is also not standard; I don't think a DC of 5 plus 1/2 level is precedented.

varisian carver wrote:
Weapon Mastery (Ex): A Varisian carver must choose a dagger.

No problems here, this is handled as other Fighter archetypes in the APG have done.

Tom, I'm about 50/50 on the Varisian Carver. I like your theme and the Perforate ability, but I'm having a difficult time with some of the later mechanics. For a master knife-artist, I feel like this archetype meanders a bit trying to make specific feats do more, rather than offer new, completely self-contained dagger tricks. I'll give this one another glance after I've read through all of them, but I suspect the Carver has not won me over.


I'm a little iffy on the exact mechanics of it, but I have to say that bleed damage as the main attraction is exactly the way I would have created a dagger-fighting archetype. So that's cool in my book.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: "Carver" isn't intuitive, but could easily fit as a local name for the style.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: This has game mechanics in the descriptive text, which I believe the template advised against. I'll take the "light armour and single dagger" comment, then, as description only and see if the actual mechanics support it. No, nothing here about a single dagger. The written rules start slipping away from the designer's intention here.
Slashing Knife for Bravery: I think they probably should keep Bravery.
Dagger Virtuoso for Armour Training: Defence traded for offence again. I'm starting to wonder if the author just had to trade away too much to make this concept viable. Dagger Virtuoso is weapon training, so I wonder why later swaps exchange the latter option for different abilities.
Dastardly Feint: If the carver multiclasses for a few rogue levels - and he'd be silly not to, making me wonder if the archetype has any use for 19th and 20th level abilities - this seems quite a bit stronger than what it gives up. I wonder if there's a trace here of an earlier abandoned fighter/rogue concept?
Knavish Strike: Uses an APG rule, which is interesting to see. This follows very much the same pattern as the previous ability. Again, it synergises pretty strongly with any sneak attacks going and might be too much on that basis.
Crippling Thrust is not that compelling compared to the dirty tricks he already has. As mentioned, I wonder if a carver will ever see Weapon Mastery.
Wider relationships: It's interesting to see more than one knife fighter entry and it's an idea I'd like to see done well.

Lots of people liked the Iron Collar. To be honest, I thought it had the same problem of taking a commendable, well-researched idea about the game and resolving it in a heavy-handed and unattractive way. This bends the rules a long way - too far, I think, for my vote.

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

Nothing particularly exciting about this archetype. Most of the abilities are just feats or the equivalent of a feat. (Weapon Finesse?)

At any rate, I wish you the best of luck in the contest!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So you want to play 20th level back-alley slasher, who wants to take a stab at Pit Fiend?

This might be a good for 3-level prestige class, but it is not really suited to heroic characters.

Verdict: NOT recommended.

Regards,
Ruemere

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

Part of my issue is running into the other knife archtype, and feeling it's better, sorry.

Other quibbles:

  • Class skills/Skill points/Weapon proficency. Looks balanced with the 3.5 Thug, and worse han the fighting school fighter.
  • Slashing knife: um, my core Rulebook already has daggers as P or S though the dex damage is nice.
  • Crippling strike: Um, does this mean you drop them to zero HP? I'm not clear on what imposing the 'disabled condition' on them means.

    Sorry Tom, but the Carver doesn't make the cut for me.


  • ruemere wrote:

    So you want to play 20th level back-alley slasher, who wants to take a stab at Pit Fiend?

    This might be a good for 3-level prestige class, but it is not really suited to heroic characters.

    I don't see why a high-level fighter can't be a dagger specialist.

    It wouldn't be a bad thing if more different kinds of fighter were viable, and I think bleed-tastic dude isn't a bad angle on it.

    Star Voter 2013

    my biggest concern is the same as one of sean's points. Why on earth would you replace armor training with an ability that functions almost exactly like weapon training, and then replace weapon training with other different abilities. You should have replaced armor training with the new abilities, and simply limited weapon training to daggers. That's a bad design decision and a waste of word-count even before you look at the balance of the class.


    I like the theme and I think it's a decent implementation.

    The bleed effect seems too powerful.

    I don't like the introductory paragraph.

    RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

    I like the theme here too, though I do wish it were a little less location specific. There's nothing wrong with tying the archetype to the setting, but this seems to limit it to an area rather than give it a point of origin. And the bleed damage on every hit it brutal, it's way too much. This fighter will turn foes who can bleed to hamburger, but they seem terribly ill-suited against foes who can't. Also the loss of heavier weapons means that you'll have a hell of a time punching though DR unless you've got the right qualities, and the loss of decent armour means you'll get crushed when dealing with opponents who prevent or are immune to your abilities.

    Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013 aka raidou

    The way I read it, the victim will only take bleed damage equal to the Carver's dex bonus per round, no matter how many hits the Carver gets on his target. This is because bleed damage of the same type doesn't stack. So it doesn't seem quite overpowered to me. If this bleed damage were stacking, then absolutely that would be an overpowering ability.

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

    I wanted to like this archetype. I really did. The other knife-fighter seemed to me to be way over-the-top powerful, and I was alright with this one. The 2nd level ability is completely redundant, sadly, but swapping out armor and shields for more skill points works for me. Actually, the first time I'd read it, I thought it had said that the carver can add Dex to damage, which would be powerful, but more interesting The bleed is nasty, but since bleed from the same source doesn't stack, there's an inherent limitation.

    But the high level abilities, oy the high level abilities. They're ridiculously hard. They're like the critical feats, only accessible earlier and more often. At least give them saves! And what does "disabled" mean in terms of the 19th level ability? Was this supposed to be "staggered"? Or do you actually mean they have to make a save or drop to 0 hp?

    I do not think I'll be voting for this entry.


    Eric Bailey wrote:

    The way I read it, the victim will only take bleed damage equal to the Carver's dex bonus per round, no matter how many hits the Carver gets on his target. This is because bleed damage of the same type doesn't stack. So it doesn't seem quite overpowered to me. If this bleed damage were stacking, then absolutely that would be an overpowering ability.

    Good point.

    The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

    All the auto abilities are too much for me - I'm thinking of this being used against me as a PC, and I'd be horrified at things like getting stunned because of a Bluff check. I also would have liked to see abilities that made this class a bit more Varisian.

    Finally, staggered is a much better condition to apply than disabled, since disabled has odd implications like losing a hit point if you act.

    Not much else to say that has not been said.

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

    Other people have mentioned the issues with Slashing Knife.

    Perforate and Sever: The big problem with your bleed damage, isn’t the amount, it is the fact that it doesn’t specifically say “this ability does not stack with itself”. I know some people assume it, but other bleed abilities spell it out, you need to as well.

    Dastardly Feint: A stun without a saving throw, even after a successful feint is really too strong.

    I actually like this knife fighter just as much as the other archetype. It has problems with balance as well (both over and under powered at various levels) but at least it is clearly defined as a single weapon knife fighting guy in light armor. I don’t like the too specific world flavor, but that could be removed, mostly by changing the name.

    Tom, you have done some really nice ideas both this year and last. You are well up against it, Eric’s knife fighter is really going to split your voting pool. I hope people consider your entire body of work when voting, I hope you get in. Good luck.


    Tom Phillips wrote:

    Varisian Carver (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): 2, Dagger-style archetype is pretty standard and the varisian stuff seems a bit tacked on.

    Mechanical Mojo (MM): 2, Skills and Proficiencies go a bit far and move this too far to a rogue or ranger.

    Mechanical Execution (ME): 1, played pretty safe, but some issues: Automatically stunning is very potent. Autocrit on dirty drick also, especially if you disable with crits. Auto bleed with every attack and the list goes on

    Final note: Meh on all counts. Simply fails to impress me. Plus mechanical issues.

    Total Score: 3


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Dire Mongoose wrote:
    ruemere wrote:

    So you want to play 20th level back-alley slasher, who wants to take a stab at Pit Fiend?

    This might be a good for 3-level prestige class, but it is not really suited to heroic characters.

    I don't see why a high-level fighter can't be a dagger specialist.

    It wouldn't be a bad thing if more different kinds of fighter were viable, and I think bleed-tastic dude isn't a bad angle on it.

    The problem with static things is that they remain static. The Fighter is already very limited in the ways it can be played - you whack things with things, you show off your muscles and sometimes feel bad about lack of skills, spells or weak Will save.

    This archetype brings you a Fighter with the same package, just this time in addition to previous limitation, you get to agree to use only a single type of weapon.

    Would you really like to live 20 years of your life in exactly the same way?
    Would you really like to live 20 years of your life in exactly the same way, and always eat the same food every day?

    This is a Fighter limited to a single weapon type throughout its career.

    To me, at least. YMMV.

    Regards,
    Ruemere

    PS. Wondrous items are known as "wondrous" for imaginative way of bringing something new into the game. Why the archetype could not be "wondrous"?

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

    Stabby McStabberson is certainly a popular concept to explore. This appears to use the framework of the Weapon Master, which is probably a reasonable way to go about it.

    Like some others, I'm not sure about the disabled condition from crippling thrust. Did you really want the opponent's hp to go to 0, or is staggered more appropriate here?

    Still not sure about this one.

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

    The bleed damage is too much, and giving away feats for a class that gets more feats than anyone else is unimaginitive. If you're going to design archetypes in the future, read the APG and explore what they look like. Some slight variation for flavor in a couple of abilties, and then something really clever that exploits the class in a new way. A great example is the polearm master. He gets his bonuses with polearms, but he's also designed to maximize his reach/AoO potential. He can flank creatures he threatens, and gets to choose for each target where he flanks from. That is design. Extra feats for a class that gets 11 bonus feats is not design.

    THe prohibition against wielding two daggers seems like a forced balance issue. Try to avoid those. Sometimes you just ave to rule to balance a factor, but it's always better to have the rules make sense in theme and balance themselves in a less vulgar way. Now, if your archetype is carefully balanced to match up so someone can be a carver and an einhander - that might be a little different. My point is, don't use a ham-handed balancing mechanic. Instead, use fluff and rules to create a flavor that is not interrupted, and disguise yourbalance within those.

    And aside, but for the bleeder, two daggers wouldn't be so bad.

    Again, an archetype that seeks to fill a niche players would want, but that fails to translate from original thought to paper rules in a compelling way.


    This is tough for Urizen, Tom Qadim. If it were by the merit of archetype alone, Urizen would not vote for Tom Qadim because Urizen feels that Eric Hindley's Knife Fighter is the superior archetype to this one.

    That said, Urizen is a fan of Tom Qadim's gruesome wondrous item. Moreover, Urizen is a fan of a lot of Tom Qadim's entries from the previous year's Superstar. Urizen recognizes that Tom Qadim delights in licking the gore soaked boots of Sir Pett and Sir Logue. Thus, Urizen is curious to see what villain will be spawned in Round Three.

    Do not disappoint Urizen. Or Urizen will make an offer Mr. Fishy can't refuse.


    A lot of mechanics was quoted here and I have to say that this is just a little to niche character for me.

    I would not play this class.

    Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

    Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to read through my archetype and offer feedback and comments. And many thanks to those of you that saw fit to toss a vote my way. It's been a painfully enlightening experience. ;-)


    Tom Phillips wrote:
    Varisian Carver (Fighter)

    Ok, why "Varisian"? I mean, that immediately requires this to be campaign specific. Just "Carver" is good enough for me.

    I like most of the abilities, though I wonder why you didn't just Slashing Knife into Weapon Finesse. I also would have liked to see the use of Dex for damage rather than strength.

    Otherwise a pretty good job.

    Ken


    Disclaimer:
    Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus; and in the language of the Abyss ‘sorry’ is what you make others after you’ve had a bad day, ‘commiserations’ is the concept whereby if you’ve had a miserable day you go out and make others at least as unhappy as you are, and ‘sympathy’ is military jargon for a popular model of half a mile high siege-tower with spiked wheels, ballistae and fireball hurling catapults. (By way of explanation for the latter it’s a demonic joke: ‘See, we have sympathy for your situation’.)

    Obligatory End of Round 2 Results Post:

    Spoiler:
    In the ever-shifting chaos of Abyssal hierarchies and social-networks, Good Manners are naturally essential. One never knows when a powerful demon whom one once jostled at a dinner party and whom one never actually made sufficient reparations to for the inconvenience is going to be the new landlady of your own part of the Abyss and looking for some demons to make Very Sorry having just had a bad day herself.
    Consequently a multitude of books of etiquette are in circulation with examples of ‘appropriate’ phrases to use in various situations. I shall take the liberty of quoting a few:
    “Abyssal etiquette, Demon Lords” wrote:
    …Greetings, your most puissant highness…
    “Abyssal etiquette, Apparent Mortal Who Is Prospective Dinner” wrote:
    …Why sirrah, it is a pleasure to meet you. May one inquire, is that an enchanted cold-iron dagger of demon-slaying in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?...
    “Abyssal etiquette, Guests Whom There Is No Longer Any Room To Accommodate And Who Are About To Depart Through A Trapdoor Into A (Possibly) Snake Filled Pit” wrote:
    …Goodbye Mr. Bond…

    (The author of the work from which I derive the latter quote is incidentally a fiend with a curious affectation for monocles and white cats who happens to be a servant of Andirifkhu.)

    See you around another year, perhaps. Or maybe sooner if you feel like sticking around to post for the duration of this year’s contest... ;)


    Not only did you get a vote from me, Tom, I'm printing your archetype off and presenting it to a player in my just-started campaign. See you next year!

    Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

    That Old Guy wrote:
    Not only did you get a vote from me, Tom, I'm printing your archetype off and presenting it to a player in my just-started campaign. See you next year!

    Much appreciated! Let me know how it play-tests.

    Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2011 / Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype / Varisian Carver (Fighter) All Messageboards

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