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Saboteur (Ranger)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

1 to 50 of 69 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Saboteur (Ranger)
Saboteurs mercilessly hunt down their foes and cripple the enemy’s means to wage war. Saboteurs harass invading armies by leaving cleverly hidden traps for unwary scouts and sneaking into the very midst of their opponents’ camps to sabotage their fortifications and siege engines.

Class Skills: The saboteur’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disable Device (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str). These replace the standard ranger class skills.

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Tamper (Ex) : At 1st level, a saboteur gets a +2 competence bonus on her Disable Device skill check when attempting to sabotage a simple device. At 11th level, the bonus increases to +4. This ability replaces wild empathy.

Improved Sunder (Ex) : A 3rd level saboteur’s engineering knowledge grants her Improved Sunder as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. This ability replaces endurance.

Saboteur’s Cunning (Ex) : Starting at 4th level, a saboteur applies her favored enemy bonus to her Disable Device skill check to sabotage devices created by creatures of the selected type. Favored enemies suffer a negative penalty equal to the saboteur’s favored enemy bonus to their Perception and Disable Device skill checks to detect and disable a trap set by the saboteur. In addition, a saboteur applies her favored enemy bonus to her CMB when making a sunder attempt against a favored enemy. This ability replaces hunter’s bond.

Ingenuity (Ex) : When attempting to craft a trap, a 7th level saboteur can add ½ her Knowledge (engineering) skill bonus to the attempt. For every 5 that the saboteur beats the Craft (trap) DC, the saboteur raises both the Perception and the Disable Device skill check for the trap by 1. This ability replaces woodland stride.

Sabotage (Ex) : A saboteur of 9th level or higher can make a Disable Device skill check on more complex devices like siege engines. Disabling a siege engine requires a DC 25 Disable Device skill check. A success by 5 or more means that not only has the saboteur left no proof of sabotaging the device; she can modify the range of the device if it has one, such as a catapult. For every 5 that the saboteur beats the Disable Device DC, she can lower the minimum and maximum range of the device by 10 feet causing the device to undershoot when used. At 16th level, for every 5 that the saboteur beats the Disable Device DC, she can lower the minimum and maximum range of the device by 20 feet. This ability replaces evasion.

Paizo Employee Developer

You've got a very focused idea here, John, and made a few interesting choices that really grabbed me.

The first was that you chose to make this a ranger rather than a rogue archetype. For something as trap- and device-based, rogue seems like it would have been the natural choice. But by going with ranger, you enabled the innovative application of favored enemy bonus to traps and sundering, which I really like.

A saboteur ranger isn't likely to choose animals, plants, oozes, undead, dragons, aberrations, vermin, or magical beasts as its favored enemy, though, as those are unlikely to be making traps and siege engines and he's miss out on several of the archetype's key abilities. Taking anything but humanoid, monstrous humanoid, or outsider as a favored enemy for this archetype would be a bad choice, but I think of this as aiding someone already prone to that decision rather than hampering the choices of someone who would otherwise want to be an ooze hunter.

You've focused on two aspects of the game few groups use, those being using disable device to sabotage machinery and crafting new traps, and I like that you are exploring this existing design space to make it more appealing to players who might otherwise overlook it. It's a very small niche of character types who would ever take this archetype, but those who want it will find it to be exactly what they're looking for.

You took some risks here, but I think they panned out for you, by and large. Thus I RECOMMEND this archetype for advancement. Best of luck in the voting!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Initially, I had mixed feelings on this one. I was having trouble imagining a saboteur as anything other than a rogue archetype. But then, the more I dwelled on it, I could see the reasoning for basing it off the ranger. After all, a saboteur really has it out for a specific enemy. That profession isn't just like a trapsmith (which the rogue class already has as an archetype). Instead, their anger/rage/enmity is directed at some group they oppose and wish to bring down thru sabotage. And, rangers have that whole favored enemy schtick going for them which you can immediately apply to a saboteur's purpose in life.

So, I'm inclined to agree with Mark. This is a very innovative and perceptive choice to spin the saboteur as a ranger archetype. Well done.

From there, I like how you've kept the favored enemy class ability for the saboteur intact while shedding the more hunt-related class abilities instead. Then, you can continue to borrow from that favored enemy bonus to apply it to the saboteur's powers. That shows some smart decision-making in your design. You've thought this through.

Now, that said, I still have some minor quibbles with the mechanics of a couple of abilities. It seems to me that the Saboteur's Cunning ability has a little too much going on in it. Also, it appears that the Ingenuity increase to a trap's Perception and Disable Device DCs gets to stack with the bonus of Saboteur's Cunning when they set the trap somewhere. That kind of synergy can really ramp up traps further than maybe they should be. But I do like that you're playing around in this area. A saboteur should be a trap-crafter...and darn good and deadly at it.

So, in conclusion, I like what you've done here and I RECOMMEND this archetype design for advancement. Best of luck in the voting.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 2.5 Points
Recommendation: Not recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (.5 point)
The problem I had with this archetype is that the description and name imply someone who hurts the opposing force by breaking stuff, but the archetype features have many benefits for overcoming opposing traps. That's more like an engineer role than a saboteur.

I think making this a ranger archetype was a good idea. The obvious choice would be rogue, but what I think you're driving at is more of a lone wolf character who can survive in hostile territory while selectively damaging the opponent's force. That makes ranger a good starting point.

Mechanics (.5 point)
The first ability (Tamper) doesn't work for me. Since every saboteur will have this, shouldn't it be more actively connected to the theme? Poison Food Supply or Degrade Arms & Armor or something similar. Tamper means that unless there's something mechanical to mess with the character has nothing to do. A +2 bonus isn't all that meaningful either. Since the character will be trying to set up for a Take 20 (if they're playing smartly), you're offering a very small reward for taking this archetype.

The Sabotage ability is also too weak. One shot from a siege engine that's had its range adjusted and the person in charge will know it's been tampered with. A better result would have been some kind of catastrophic failure on use that could kill or injure the crew and destroy the device if undetected.

Awesomeness (0 points)
Just didn't feel this. The idea of a saboteur seems really generic and uninspired to me.

Template (1 point)
Good use of the template.

Context (.5 point)
It's so narrowly focused and almost totally dependent on the right scenario (an opposing organized force that can be impacted by clever sabotage) and likely a solo character operating alone (implies a 2 person DM/PC game), or an NPC (in which case no DM is going to let a dangerous opponent fail because of unseen die rolls on Disable Device checks...) that you've narrowed the practical use of this archetype down to a tiny corner case.

Contributor

You don't need to list an archetype's skill ranks per level if it doesn't change the original class's skill ranks per level. The archetype template in the rules specifically said this. Maybe you planned to change this from the default 6, but changed your mind.

Saboteur’s Cunning: This is clever, I like it. Ability should be reworded for clarity (like, "When attempting to sabotage a device created by a favored enemy, the saboteur adds his favored enemy bonus to his Disable Device check...").

Ingenuity: I like this, though trap-setting isn't usually done by PCs because of the expense. Of course, woodland stride doesn't come up that often, either, so that's a wash. :)

Sabotage: I like this idea, though I think changing the range in many cases won't have a significant effect (unless you're parked at the edge of your range, reducing the max range won't affect you). An attack penalty, radical miss effects, and Ryan's suggestion of dangerous misfires would have been cooler. Also... cue the Beastie Boys guitar riff!!!

I think you swapped out just enough abilities to make this work, and not so many that it hampers the ranger's ability to do other cool ranger stuff. Like the other judges, my initial thought was "why isn't this a rogue archetype," but you convinced me. Nice execution.

RECOMMENDATION: I DO recommend this archetype design for advancement in the competition.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Thank you judges for your critiques. I hope enough people enjoy this archetype to vote for it. Thank you!


I like the fact that this archetype addresses a little-used aspect of the game. In all my years of RPG-ing, I can't remember anyone ever trying to sabotage anything.

As for one of the earlier comments about this archetype being more of an engineer...there's nothing wrong with that!!! (though my opinion may be slightly biased). An engineer can use his skills to create or destroy, so I think it works.

I like that this is an intelligent archetype that is designed more for role playing than hacking and slashing. Yet the Improved Sunder feat still allows the character to be useful in a fight, in a unique way that fits with the core flavor of the saboteur.

I agree with some of the earlier comments about the Sabotage ability. It would be cooler if a sabotaged siege engine catastrophically failed, but the ability still allows the thing to be disabled, which could be quite useful. And I think that while the range adjustment wouldn't be used very often, it's a unique ability that is different than the obvious idea of just breaking stuff.

Overall, I could see myself playing this archetype, given the appropriate campaign.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I like this. It's a good execution of an idea that I can get behind, but there are times when it really does seem too narrow. For instance, it looks to my eyes like you might have paid too much attention to the range-modification option for siege engines. You say "more complex devices, like siege engines", but as you go on it becomes clear that you're talking not only about siege engines specifically, but about catapults specifically. Perhaps you should have just said that succeeding by enough lets you cause the device to backfire. For a catapult, yes, that would mean it doesn't throw far enough; for a siege tower or a giant ram (to say nothing of other "more complex devices" like mechanical gates or clocktowers or those absurd Mouse-Trap-murder-rooms you sometimes find in dungeons) it could mean something quite different.

Don't get me wrong, for the most part I think the narrowness makes this a better and tighter class (not every archetype need be appropriate for every game), but there IS such a thing as 'too narrow', especially when you're already dealing with a class as specialized as the ranger. As a DM, I'd like to recommend this for any game where I'm going to be using a lot of traps or other devices ("rise of the kobolds", for instance), not just a game where I'm using catapults. Okay, I might be harping on the catapult thing too much, but you committed more words to it than to any other ability, and if anyone gets the impression that your archetype is too narrow it will probably be from this. But I do still think this is pretty solid and you've probably scored one of my votes.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014

This class would fit into one of my campaigns easily, but maybe needs buffed a bit.

1. Is it balanced?
- I agree with earlier posts this archetype is too weak
2. RPability?
- Yes, but not for a larger group
3. Combatiness?
- Not as much as the base ranger
4. Would I play it?
- Yes, in a campaign with siege battles and large scale combat

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka Electric Monk

I like it! Fills a design niche well and the choice of ranger rather than rogue fits perfectly - especially since there's nothing to stop you taking the "Skirmisher" archetype as well and creating a class a bit closer to a rogue anyway.

Welll done - 1 vote for you!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I´m reading these archetypes in order and this is the first that impressed me. I like both the theme and the execution, and although I agree it´s a little narrow, I think this kind of character definetely has a place in the setting (actually, with a theme like this, I´m sure you had more ideas to add but was held back by the word count). I´m still ranking the archetypes, but it looks like you´ll get my vote (and well ranked, too).

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I hinted at this earlier, but most of the abilities really aren't THAT narrow; the first three could see use in a perfectly generic dungeon crawl, and even making traps isn't too terribly niche. I think low-level or multiclassed rangers would find this viable in a lot of games.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Thank you for everyone who has posted so far and offered their critique. So I don't say anything that DQs me, this will be my last post on this thread until voting is over. But I do appreciate getting feedback (and votes!). So thank you!


With Saboteur I expected something else, sneak in, destroy things, and sneak out (basically an L5R scorpion, if you know that game). As I read your entry, I got the image of Crocodile Dundee (if you know that movie! :)) . which is cool. But I feel that in the end this Archetype fell somewhere in the middle. This is one of the ones I would like to see again with work since I like the idea of someone out there picking your party off one at a time with traps. scary stuff.

best of luck!


Solid work on this Archetype.

My only gripes are probably with the functioning of Sabotage itself... I would have not required beating the DC by 5 to make the Sabotage un-noticeable (better just make it an opposed Perception or Disable Device check to anybody checking the device), and the wording on modifying range could have been tightened up: I get the idea of having Catapults screw up by shooting short and attacking their own troops, but it DOESN`T really directly make sense for shorter minimum/maximum rangers to actually do that - That wording could have been tighter. The fixed distance increments may seem very strange if you are dealing with Titan-sized Catapults with range incremetns in the 1000´s of feet.

Also, the ability seems to suggest that you are gaining the ability to use Disable Device on `siege engines` at 9th level. The core Disable Device skill doesn`t go into any detail, but it`s description DOES say it works agaisnt `catapults`, so I don`t think you`re actually granting a new ability there (besides the specific detail of monkeying with range increments). More generally, I don`t see why the character should need to wait until 9th level to start sabotaging this type of stuff (it`s probably LEAST interesting AFTER that level, when magic comes to the fore), and I think recognizing that would have allowed you to enliven that aspect of the class at lower levels.

But all in all, a very competent showing here. I probably would have thrown them another bone, like a bonus to Perception to NOTICE traps (so they can Disarm them, which is going to be their main schtick in a PC party most of the time), especially since Sabotage doesn`t really kick in until 9th level.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Quandary wrote:
My only gripes are probably with the functioning of Sabotage itself... I would have not required beating the DC by 5 to make the Sabotage un-noticeable (better just make it an opposed Perception or Disable Device check to anybody checking the device),

I think that this was intended to be an expansion of the Disable Device's skill description. Anyone can do this with simple devices (implied to be those that are DC 15 or less); what he did is let you extend it to some more complicated devices if you roll high enough.

Though, what the rules actually say is that the device can "work normally for a while and then fail", not that it's "unnoticeable". So I guess I'm not sure if he was trying to refer to that (i.e, just that the item isn't yet broken) or if he really did mean for the tampering to be undetectable, but my guess would be the former.


This one + your magic item idea means you make it to the keeper folder, good job.

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

For the most part, I really like it. The only things I don't like is that the saboteur "can add ½ her Knowledge (engineering) skill bonus to the attempt". That's a bit... unusual?

Also, the saboteur really should be a rogue archetype. That said, ranger is not a terrible choice, and it was a bold design choice which I appreciate.


Oddly enough, the idea of a saboteur as a ranger clicked the instant I saw this entry listed. Hence why it was the first one I read, and I think also my favorite (having now read them all). Sure, rogues are sneaky and trap-ie, but they aren't bad enough dudes to go behind enemy lines and be a royal headache. Rangers? That's their element.

The design is tight, focused, and the only real downfall I can see is that it's so niche. That said, I'd love to take part in an adventure - hell, a campaign - where this archetype would shine. And my group tends to ignore traps! As was mentioned above, I think the niche thing can be forgiven specifically because this replaces some of the miscellaneous abilities of the ranger rather than totally revamping any of his core abilities.

Sabotage and fiddling with the range of siege engines may not be all that useful, but it does seem like it might lead to the interesting scenario of a battery of catapults raining rocks down on its own troops.

I really wanna see where you go in the following rounds - you've got my vote.

EDIT: I just realized, this is the only Ranger archetype in the list. I'm glad my favorite class's representative is also my top pick.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Am I the only one whose mind screamed RAMBO when reading the flavor text? I love the choice of ranger for this over rogue, and can see all sorts of directions in which to take this. You, Sir, have inspired me greatly!

That said, I don't entirely agree with the application you chose, probably because you had a different stereotype in mind. I love the traps, but would have liked to see something along the lines of making use of stuff occuring naturally in the favored terrain to lower costs.

Sunder doesn't make sense to me, although I do see the destruction aspect. Why not an ability that allow him to bring the rest of the party in on the sneaky saboteur action?

As it stands, I'm not keen on this archetype, but see lots and lots of potential.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Finally a class focused on crafting traps. Pity that there are no abilities directly related to things like:
- poisoning water sources
- poisoning food supplies
- demoralizing the enemy

Otherwise, it's a solid thing.

Verdict: RECOMMENDED.

Regards,
Ruemere


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi John.

You have my vote.

I really like the concept behind this class. It's definitely a ranger archetype, no doubt about it. I think the focus on trapfinding and trap setting and trap disarming made this a little too narrowly focused, but at the same time your ideas speak loudly and I for one would like to see what else you can come up with.

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

An archtype ahead of its time.

This is the archtype used in a more military campaign. I can picture Mwangi sabotures making life hell for Taldorian troops, Andoran sabotures leaving 'surprizes' behind them for pursuing Cheliax slavers, etc.

Plus, but not removing the favoured enemy bonuses, you get a deep cover ranger, someone who moves/gets dropped behind enemy lines, sets traps, ruins supplies/siege engines, and still can take a surprise sniper shot on the general.

This one gets my vote.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really loved this one. It would work really well in Kingmaker. This is definitely somethign I could see apealling to crafty players and being really useful.


Yours is probably my favourite archetype of the 32.
You have my vote.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is well executed, and I really like it for ranger over rogue. I find it a little odd that you dropped knowledge (nature) as this ties heavily with survival and getting behind enemy lines. I also have a little concern about the stacking of improved sunder and favoured enemy to sunder. By focusing this excellent bonuses on something that can generally only be done in melee, you're inadvertently steering rangers to choose close combat weapon styles, when it seems that longer ranged sniping would be of greatest benefit.

In all these concerns are so minor as to be a non-issue, I think this is great. Well done!

Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of my favorites. Loved this concept and execution!


I think a couple of these abilities could use a little cleaning up, but overall I like this. Vote!


John Bennett wrote:

Saboteur (Ranger)

Saboteurs mercilessly hunt down their foes and cripple the enemy’s means to wage war. Saboteurs harass invading armies by leaving cleverly hidden traps for unwary scouts and sneaking into the very midst of their opponents’ camps to sabotage their fortifications and siege engines.

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?
People who spend a lot of time on their own sneaking around battlefields trying to avoid people don't get much practice to be good conversationalists - they might not even be allowed to talk about some of their work if it pertains to a currently ongoing struggle. Basically, apart from the occasional prankster who unwinds by making the dinner table collapse halfway through the main course, sitting next to any Saboteur through a thirteen course meal is going to be hard work.

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
He'll sneak out and locate the flowers, and bring them back. He'll possibly kill half a dozen guards, rig a bridge to collapse, and set a mangonel to catastrophically fail as well whilst he's at it out of force of habit, but yes, he'll get the job done.

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?
Basically you're looking at hiring a saboteur to do sneaky sabotage stuff. Now his main rival for that sort of work is going to be a roguish type, who's less good in an open and fair fight if he's caught but more likely to have a disguise or tricky story so he doesn't get into such a fracas. It depends on quite how you want the job done, who you'd hire.

Other comments?
Of course, Saboteurs not being allowed to talk about their current work at dinner parties doesn't necessarily stop a curious succubus from finding out. And the intensity and focus on a specific purpose that such men (and women) are capable of can make them interesting 'acquisitions' for a succubus for a short time.

Desirability:
Hireable.

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.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Overall I like this concept, the abilities feel like a reasonable trade off for what you lose out on.

Qwibbles:

  • What is a 'simple device'? (Don't answer that)
  • Devices and traps don't generally come labeled with a 'created by' label so there would be a fair amount of "Is this a human made lock?" "Didn't a kobold make this trap?"
  • You seem to have reincarnated the idea of skills synergy and I'm not sure I like it.

    I like this entry, it's not the everyday game ranger but I could see using it in an espionage campaign. Still 30 more archetypes before I make a decision though.

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

    One of the best I've read, and I'm halfway through. Sells the concept, interesting abilities, a very good heroic archetype for particular campaigns, and potentially a good villain for others. Making it ranger was a great design choice, for a rogue, I think it'd have come out boring.

    There's items that could stand improvement, but more in the line of "How about this?" than "you did it wrong". Like the exploding siege engine.

    You've almost assuredly got one one of my votes.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    This archetype got one of my votes and I put it in my top 3. My biggest issue is that these abilities are very specialized. This is not a huge issue for me, as I do let my players know what general things to expect in a campaign (because the game is more fun when you can play a character who actually uses their abilities). Now, I see why you went with a ranger but I can also see why rogue might have been a better choice. Overall though, I do really like it and hope you stick around for later rounds.

    Good luck!

    Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

    Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

    I, too, like it.

    While I would probably never choose such an archetype to play I am impressed by the elegance and nice balancing of your rules.

    Certainly one of the best in this round.

    Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4

    DM, "You want to want?"
    Saboteur Steve, "I'm going to make their own trap blow up in their face."
    DM, "Oh... okay, I'll make a note."

    An hour later, the PC's here a boom. Less bad guys show up to help the end boss.

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

    John, your Coccoon Cloak was an instant hit. This round, you've got a ranger who slips behind enemy lines and deconstructs all their wonderful toys. This is a good choice, and I feel that it fits a ranger quite well. Let's see how he plays out.

    saboteur wrote:
    Tamper (Ex) : At 1st level, a saboteur gets a +2 competence bonus on her Disable Device skill check when attempting to sabotage a simple device. At 11th level, the bonus increases to +4. This ability replaces wild empathy.

    Skill bonus to a specific use of one skill is comparable to to the very specific usage of wild empathy. So nicely done here.

    saboteur wrote:
    Improved Sunder (Ex) : A 3rd level saboteur’s engineering knowledge grants her Improved Sunder as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. This ability replaces endurance.

    This is a pretty decent exchange, and very fitting to the theme.

    saboteur wrote:
    Saboteur’s Cunning (Ex) : Starting at 4th level, a saboteur applies her favored enemy bonus to her Disable Device skill check to sabotage devices created by creatures of the selected type. Favored enemies suffer a negative penalty equal to the saboteur’s favored enemy bonus to their Perception and Disable Device skill checks to detect and disable a trap set by the saboteur. In addition, a saboteur applies her favored enemy bonus to her CMB when making a sunder attempt against a favored enemy. This ability replaces hunter’s bond.

    This is pretty innovative, and definitely my favorite ability you've presented. it ties the whole ranger archetype together for me. Without the sunder bonus, it wouldn't be balanced with losing Hunter's Bond, and clearly you saw that. Bravo!

    saboteur wrote:
    Ingenuity (Ex) : When attempting to craft a trap, a 7th level saboteur can add ½ her Knowledge (engineering) skill bonus to the attempt. For every 5 that the saboteur beats the Craft (trap) DC, the saboteur raises both the Perception and the Disable Device skill check for the trap by 1. This ability replaces woodland stride.

    This is a little strange for me, since both skills key off Intelligence. Your use of "skill bonus" is unclear to me. I assume you intend this to mean half your skill ranks, rather than the entire skill bonus (ranks plus class plus INT plus focus, plus whatever else you happen to have). If it's just ranks, this is fine. If you mean the whole skill, you're a bit over the top because you can pump both of those skills through the same stat bonus, and therefore achieve pretty ridiculous DCs on your craft check.

    saboteur wrote:
    Sabotage (Ex) : A saboteur of 9th level or higher can make a Disable Device skill check on more complex devices like siege engines. Disabling a siege engine requires a DC 25 Disable Device skill check. A success by 5 or more means that not only has the saboteur left no proof of sabotaging the device; she can modify the range of the device if it has one, such as a catapult. For every 5 that the saboteur beats the Disable Device DC, she can lower the minimum and maximum range of the device by 10 feet causing the device to undershoot when used. At 16th level, for every 5 that the saboteur beats the Disable Device DC, she can lower the minimum and maximum range of the device by 20 feet. This ability replaces evasion.

    Fascinating, but way, way more limited-use than evasion. In that ONE scene where you get to do this, you're a rock star. But the number of complex devices you're going to encounter seems pretty small compared to the number of things you need to evade. I would have LOVED to see a usage here in sabotaging constructs.

    John, this is a strong and well crafted archetype, and one that seems like a perfectly natural fit into the ranger class. I like most of what you've done and I see only one (maybe two) missteps along the way. All in all, I suspect you will get a vote from me. Nice work!

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

    I like this one a lot. I agree that more could have been done with the saboteur concept, re: constructs or demoralizing the enemy. And the added bonus to find and disable traps created by your favored enemy means that some favored enemy choices will be much more favored than others. But overall it's a great idea. The abilities seem properly balanced and flavorful, and it's gotten me thinking about adventure design possibilities I ordinarily wouldn't contemplate.

    This one has my vote.


    I thought I could offer a little bit more feedback here.

    Quote:
    Saboteur’s Cunning (Ex) : Starting at 4th level, a saboteur applies her favored enemy bonus to her Disable Device skill check to sabotage devices created by creatures of the selected type. Favored enemies suffer a negative penalty equal to the saboteur’s favored enemy bonus to their Perception and Disable Device skill checks to detect and disable a trap set by the saboteur. In addition, a saboteur applies her favored enemy bonus to her CMB when making a sunder attempt against a favored enemy. This ability replaces hunter’s bond.

    This was the main one. It's a cool and interesting ability, but I think it needs a little bit more work to really be well done. Largely, the issue is that it's a little too complicated.

    Quote:
    Ingenuity (Ex) : When attempting to craft a trap, a 7th level saboteur can add ½ her Knowledge (engineering) skill bonus to the attempt. For every 5 that the saboteur beats the Craft (trap) DC, the saboteur raises both the Perception and the Disable Device skill check for the trap by 1. This ability replaces woodland stride.

    The saboteur adds half her Knowledge skill bonus? So she double-dips on Int bonus and class skill bonus? I think it would be much better to just add half her skill rank.


    I'm new to these boards so bear with me. I figure if I'm going lurk around looking at people's entries like a voyeur, I should at least participate (especially if I plan to submit in subsequent competitions ;)).

    Anyway, I've looked over a good number of the submitted archetypes and this is the first one that really resonated with me. Not that I didn't enjoy the others - the First World Druid was an interesting concept, and the Hound master Cavalier was a cool spin on troop inspiration - but the Saboteur seems to me to be one of the most viable in a general setting.

    I admit that the abilities are a bit limiting; outside of the context of a large-scale battle or siege scenario, it loses a bit of flare, but the flavor and the abilities give the archetype a reasonable amount of use outside of such milieus. An improved sunder archetype? Yes, thank you. A trap maker and device handler that isn't bound by the conventions of the rogue class? Done. While the Ranger may be many's secondary class for this, it makes perfect sense. Hardcore Delta Force style behind-enemy-lines sabotage? Ranger all the way.

    The last ability could use some clarification and perhaps a bit of tweaking to make it a more viable and useful to a general game setting, but overall the archetype is flavorful, exciting, and interesting. I might actually play a Ranger for once.

    This one gets my vote.

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

    I like the idea of sabotage and think ranger is an excellent pick for the base class, maybe even better than rogue would be. The powers are nice, focused, a few better than what you trade, a few worse than what you trade, and that's perfectly okay in balancing. Archetypes are supposed to be taken en bloc, not a la carte, and that's exactly why. If you could cherry pick any ability you liked whenever you like, then every swap would have to be exactingly balanced for the specific ability it traded, which limits your design flexibility.

    A little clarification would help, as others have said, and the 9th level ability would be nice if it were a bit more dramatic in effect - evasion is a pretty good ability to be losing, so you really want the swap to be good as well, but the archetype's only real downside is that it's very niche. Crafting traps and sabotaging devices are pretty specialized applications. It's a plus to explore underused elements of the rules... but it's also a minus because those rules are typically underused for a reason, that being that they don't usually come into play.

    Overall, though, I think it's a nice job. In the right situation, this guy works.

    Congrats on making round 2, and best of luck!

    Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

    Name and concept: Just how viciously do you have to hunt down a bridge? The first sentence might be a little overwritten. It sounds like a fine idea, as long as the entry can stick to it.
    Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: Class skills mostly look smart. Could he not use Profession (siege engineer)? Skill Points are unchanged, thus not needed.
    Tamper: Looks OK. It might need a bit more to compete with rogues. What's a simple device? From the skill's first table (but not the text) possibly a lock is a simple device and a wagon wheel isn't, which seems odd - though that's probably not the author's fault.
    Improved Sunder - good idea
    The first ability granted by Saboteur's Cunning seems fiddly and the last might not fit the concept, though the trap-setting stuff is good.
    Ah, Craft (trap). Again, I can't really hold against the contestant any wackiness inherent in the published rules for this skill.
    Sabotage: The basic ability seems sound. Am I right to read this to say the saboteur can reduce a siege engine's range instead of disabling it?
    Wider relationships: The descriptive text seemed to veer towards making this archetype a general badass commando, which would have been a mistake, I think.

    After some questionable writing in the first paragraph, the mechanics seem solid.

    Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

    Sean K Reynolds wrote:
    Sabotage: I like this idea, though I think changing the range in many cases won't have a significant effect (unless you're parked at the edge of your range, reducing the max range won't affect you).

    Actually, I don't know about that. If the other side has siege engines too and starts up an artillery duel, they will be parked at the edge of maximum range, so reducing it could have a disproportionate influence on their effectiveness. If they're firing over the heads of peasants trying to fill in the moat, or worse, archers, whose lives the generals actually care about, a difference of 30 or 40 feet in the expected location of the shot could wreak havoc.

    I agree, though, making the engine come apart catastrophically when fired would be a lot more fun.


    John Bennett wrote:

    Saboteur (Ranger)

    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): 4, Very cool an thematically fitting idea. Now I want to play an underground fighter-ish ranger.

    Mechanical Mojo (MM): 3, Again pretty cool ideas, like using favored enemy to gain disable device bonuses. All are very fitting, but I have the feeling that there is still room at the top, to do something even more interesting with this concept.

    Mechanical Execution (ME): 3. Cool and very balanced. But your last 2 abilities are a bit wonky. (e.g. Skill bonus instead of skill ranks as bonus)

    Final note: Great stuff, cool execution, but doesn't use its full potential ( but only by a bit)

    Total Score: 5.831

    RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

    Good and well-executed. Not a character type that would be used very often, but this is as good an archetype as you'd want for that type.

    Probably vote-worthy.

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

    I’ll start with the blunt criticism: your archetype doesn’t get me excited and I can’t see a time where I’d use it as a player or GM. You haven’t made a broken or overpowered archetype and your writing on the abilities is fine, so really, you have done what was asked. Also I’d much rather a writer err on the side of ‘a tiny bit weak’ than ‘a tiny bit strong’. You archetype works well and matches the theme and I suspect you will get into the next round. If you make it, flash us some serious ‘mojo’, keep it focused of course, but give us something we can’t wait to steal for our own games.
    Good luck.

    Cheliax

    Out of 32 submissions for this round I could only find 5 that I thought should advance to the next round of the competition, and this is 1 of those 5 that I voted for.

    While it may not be something everyone would want to take, I think that this archetype is solid and a valid choice for someone wanting to further refine the scope of their character's abilities, which is something that many of the submissions this round somehow failed at.

    You also have a really awesome submission for Round 1 which isn't hurting your chances at advancement, so I really hope that you make it to Round 3!

    Star Voter 2013

    Well, this is an NPC class if I ever saw one. Useful, though, for a certain kind of campaign.


    In the correct campaign this has a chance to shine. It has my vote. Good luck.


    I like how you've implemented your theme. I'm just not sure that players will want to use this archetype since the situations to use these abilities may not come up very often in a campaign.

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

    I am not sure I could ever play this guy. But it is presented mostly liek the APG archetypes, it does experiment with some new ground, and it is quite a bit more unique than most of the round two entries. I think I'll end up voting for it, but I encourage bigger ideas with not so narrow a focus in round three. However, if you wow me with a villain that shows me your archetype isn't so limited in scope, I am willing to kep an open mind.

    Best of luck in round three.


    I like the idea here, but the archetype just doesn't really work for me as a ranger, I would have liked it better as an inquisitor. In addition, this would be a difficult class to play as a PC, as the rest of the party is unlikely to be patient while you set up a bunch of traps and attempt to lure your opponents over into them.

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