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Impaler (Fighter)


Round 2 - Top 32: Create an archetype

1 to 50 of 52 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Impaler (Fighter)

Originating from Cheliax, the Empire of Devils, the impaler uses a fighting style that emulates that of the barbed devil. Bristling with spikes, an impaler is a master of close combat, skewering foes against his armor and only relinquishing his grasp once there is nothing left but bloody meat.

Spike Expert (Ex): At 5th level, an impaler gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with spiked armor and spiked gauntlets. This bonus also applies to CMB and CMD for grappling. This bonus increases by +1 per four levels after 5th. This ability replaces weapon training 1.

Vicious Spines (Ex): At 9th level, when a creature ends its turn grappling with the impaler, that creature takes damage as though struck by the impaler’s armor spikes. This ability replaces weapon training 2.

Retaliatory Strike (Ex): At 13th level, when an impaler is hit by a melee weapon without reach, an unarmed strike, or a natural attack, he can make an attack with his spiked armor against his attacker as an immediate action. This ability replaces weapon training 3.

Grasping Barbs (Ex): At 17th level, whenever an impaler wearing spiked armor is hit by an unarmed strike or a natural attack, the attacker must make a Reflex save or automatically become grappled by the impaler. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the impaler’s level + the impaler’s Strength modifier. This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Meat Shield (Ex): At 19th level, an impaler gains DR 5/- whenever he is in a grapple. The damage prevented is instead dealt to another creature, of the impaler’s choice, that is engaged in a grapple with the impaler. This ability replaces armor mastery.

Impale (Ex): At 20th level, when an impaler has a creature pinned, he can choose to impale that creature with a successful grapple check. An impaled creature takes damage from the impaler's armor spikes and must make a Fortitude save or die. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the impaler's level + the impaler's Strength modifier. Once a creature has been a target of an impale attempt, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that impaler's impale for 24 hours. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are also immune to this ability. This ability replaces weapon mastery.

Paizo Employee Developer

Very cool flavor and sound mechanics. You picked a theme and really explored it to the fullest and I have to say, you not only left few stones unturned, but turned the ones you did very well.

Your design decisions regarded what to replace with what were well-founded, especially sticking to weapon training in almost all cases save the final two powers. A fighter with this archetype would thus improve his effectiveness in heavy (spiked) armor, but would not gain extra bonuses to attacks other than those gained through his focus on spiked attacks and grapples. He never fully "masters" the armor but gains another neat ability instead.

This fits well into Cheliax's flavor and I could totally see Hellknights who don't actually take the Hellknight PrC going this route (or even choosing this archetype and then PrCing later).

All around solid work. I fully RECOMMEND this archetype for advancement. Best of luck in the voting.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

You know, I started out thinking I wasn't going to like this one. The theme of barbed devil fighting just felt a little...odd...for a specialized archetype. But, the tie-in to Cheliax...the obvious Hellknight connection with them learning and mimicking certain combat-styles of devils...and the absolute thoroughness with which you defined trade-out abilities that fit with your theme...all won me over. This is a polished design. Not my favorite core idea. But an idea truly rendered very, very well.

As such, I RECOMMEND this archetype design to advance. You're two for two in my book with the bag of holes and now the impaler archetype. And I'm already looking forward to seeing what else you come up with in future rounds. Best of luck in the voting.

CEO, Goblinworks

Total Points: 3.5
Recommendation: Recommended for advancement

Comments In Detail

Name & Theme (1 point)
The mechanics match the name and there's even a bit of backstory if you need further justification.

Mechanics (.5 point)
OK, lots of issues.

First, although its not obvious from all the abilities, you have to have spiked armor and gauntlets for many of these things to work. Since a lot of gear adventurers wear is acquired as loot, a player may get real frustrated by not having the ability to match their archetype features with their gear and end up wearing substandard gear and using their abilities, or using the best gear they have and having traded for fighter class features that would have been more useful.

Second, you've given an untyped bonus to damage which increases with class level. You have to be careful about this because you're giving a bonus to base damage, which will be in turn multiplied by a critical hit. If you built a character around fighting with spiked gauntlets you could get a huge lifetime benefit from that bonus.

Third, I don't get Meat Shield. How does damage get redirected? That seems more like Judo than Road Warrior.

Fourth, the last ability Impale should be a Supernatural ability. You're using a death attack and in all but very specific cases (coup de grace) death attacks should be supernatural.

I'm giving you a half point for mechanics because you did come up with some interesting stuff but I think it's half-baked.

Awesomeness (.5 point)
I'm on the fence. This doesn't seem awesome to me, but I know there's a lot of folks for whom it would so I'm giving you the benefit the doubt.

Template (1 point)
Used the template really well.

Context (.5 point)
Grappling is one of those parts of the game that is a black hole of suck. It seems that no matter how much effort goes into the rules, they still end up being hard to use, verbose to the point of obfuscated, and they require people to read through them almost every time they're used.

You've built an archetype around the concept that the character will actively try to grapple anything and everything in sight. Maybe in a lengthy home campaign everyone would eventually get all the rules memorized, but in a 1-shot adventure, a convention game, or a short-duration home game, this character is going to soak up a lot of time.

I'm not going to knock you to 0 for that, but I am going to ding you a half point - Superstar design shouldn't lead to situations where the game gets hurt.

Contributor

Expert: This is basically weapon training 1 for "close" weapons, except to grapple instead of disarm and sunder.

Vicious Spines: Interesting. This'll be one of those abilities the player will have to remember that the ability kicks in, as the GM has enough going on when it's the monster's turn.

Retaliatory Strike: This is pretty cool.

Grasping Barbs: This is pretty cool, too.

Meat Shield: This is also cool. :)

Impale: I think this is a bit too good, especially as grappling is this character's MO and they're going to crank up this DC as much as possible. Something closer to the autoconfirm ability of the standard fighter is much more appropriate, and it's easy to switch this to something like that.

This is neat. And it's a cool theme. And (with the exception of the last ability) has solid mechanics. Well done!

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

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

Trevor,

First, nicely done on choosing a spiked armor archetype. I use a spiked armor-wearing order in my home campaign very similar to the Hellknights so it'll be interesting to see what you've done here.

impaler wrote:
Spike Expert (Ex): At 5th level, an impaler gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with spiked armor and spiked gauntlets. This bonus also applies to CMB and CMD for grappling. This bonus increases by +1 per four levels after 5th. This ability replaces weapon training 1.

since you're never getting better (through weapon training) at any weapon besides spiked stuff, I think it's a fine choice to have grapple CMB checks in here. Less so on grapple CMD. These guys want to get grappled, it doesn't make much sense to help them resist it.

impaler wrote:
Vicious Spines (Ex): At 9th level, when a creature ends its turn grappling with the impaler, that creature takes damage as though struck by the impaler’s armor spikes. This ability replaces weapon training 2.

I like the theme of this ability, although it's straying a bit from feeling balanced. Spiked armor isn't exacly optimal weaponry, so I'm still with you, but this seems a bit out of whack compared to the damage potential of the weapon training class ability.

impaler wrote:
Retaliatory Strike (Ex): At 13th level, when an impaler is hit by a melee weapon without reach, an unarmed strike, or a natural attack, he can make an attack with his spiked armor against his attacker as an immediate action. This ability replaces weapon training 3.

Still skewing toward out-of-balance with what you are giving up, but certainly tons of fun. I think one of these is probably worth 2 instances of weapon training.

impaler wrote:
Grasping Barbs (Ex): At 17th level, whenever an impaler wearing spiked armor is hit by an unarmed strike or a natural attack, the attacker must make a Reflex save or automatically become grappled by the impaler. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the impaler’s level + the impaler’s Strength modifier. This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Great image, but I'm not a fan of how you get there mechanically. You're already taking an attack on a creature that attacks you with a natural weapon. Why not just start a grapple as a free action if that attack hits? This feels too cumbersome, and can slow the game down too much in the case of multiple attacks/attackers against the fighter.

impaler wrote:
Meat Shield (Ex): At 19th level, an impaler gains DR 5/- whenever he is in a grapple. The damage prevented is instead dealt to another creature, of the impaler’s choice, that is engaged in a grapple with the impaler. This ability replaces armor mastery.

Best ability of them all. I like this a lot. It's balanced with armor mastery and it's a great evocative image of what these guys can do if they grapple you.

impaler wrote:
Impale (Ex): At 20th level, when an impaler has a creature pinned, he can choose to impale that creature with a successful grapple check. An impaled creature takes damage from the impaler's armor spikes and must make a Fortitude save or die. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the impaler's level + the impaler's Strength modifier. Once a creature has been a target of an impale attempt, regardless of whether or not the save is made, that creature is immune to that impaler's impale for 24 hours. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are also immune to this ability. This ability replaces weapon mastery.

And a nice thematic finish to the class. Trevor, this entry is thematically beautiful. It's a solidly built archetype. In my opinion, it's not giving up enough for what you get, so my gut feeling is that it's so hyper-specialized as to be unbalanced. And while Grasping Barbs isn't my cup of tea, maybe it works for other people.

As I'm still just starting through these, I don't have a whole lot to compare it to. Balance issues drag on it a little but this is definitely a memorable and solid piece of work. Nice job!


Trevor Merback wrote:

Impaler (Fighter)

Originating from Cheliax, the Empire of Devils, the impaler uses a fighting style that emulates that of the barbed devil. Bristling with spikes, an impaler is a master of close combat, skewering foes against his armor and only relinquishing his grasp once there is nothing left but bloody meat.

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?
To be frank, no, I would not like to have someone who thinks it's fun to dress up as a hamatula sitting next to me at a dinner table. Actually, let me qualify that: I would like to have this person sitting next to me at a dinner table if the hostess didn't mind too much if he left on a stretcher after a little something extra found its way into his soup dish.

How effective a flower-picker does this person seem likely to be?
He plays dressing up as a hamatula. He has no romance in his soul whatsoever.

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?
Well, to give this sort of fellow his due, he has all the qualities which would make him a very good punch-bag for a succubus at the end of a frustrating day illuminating scrolls. Generally, you don't so much hire punch-bags though. More do society a favour by abducting them off the streets and chaining them in a dungeon.

Other comments?
A bloody little thug sadly representative of all too many of his kind that exist in modern Cheliax.

Desirability:
On a par with conjurors.

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.

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

A spikey fighter! Nice idea! Your round 1 design - although pretty solid - wasn't terribly exciting, but I think your archetype is one of the better ones. I hope you'll advance to round 3! :)

Shadow Lodge

Meat Shield wins. Hands down, the most awesomeness I've seen yet in our 2011 Superstar.


Good stuff. I like everything about it.
I don't know if it was your inspiration, but it's basically one of R.A. Salvatore's battlerager dwarves.


I like this one. I really shouldn't -- I feel guilty for doing so but just reading it puts a smile on my face. It isn't perfect but it is fun and fun is good, as is the solid design and feel for what an archetype should do (in my opinion) as such you have my vote.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man, you had me at:

Originating from Cheliax, the Empire of Devils, the impaler...

That said, I don't like everything about this. Why not keep Armor Training and drop Weapon Training? Sounds like this guy is running around, all day, in spiked armor... Surely he'd have trained in it some?

For me, this is one of the bigger "design flops" here, but not enough for me to pass this up.

Let's see what you can do next round. ;)

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

1. Is it balanced?
No, retaliatory strike should have a usage limit. And meat shield gains as well.
2. RPability?
No change
3. Combatiness?
More up close combat, which is nifty.
4. Would I play it?
Yes, dwarf for sure


I wasn't completely in love with this when I first read it this afternoon -- I'm kind of over the whole "I fight like devils do" schtick.

But, the more I thought about it, the more this felt like one of the best entries to me. It's good, it's unique (the spiked armor fighting angle more than the devil part), and it's mechanically interesting.

I also like that it's one of the only fighter archetypes I've seen that doesn't toss armor training. Which, totally appropriate, but still unique. On that note:

Jason Sonia wrote:


Why not keep Armor Training and drop Weapon Training?

He did; he just replaced Armor Mastery.

Trevor, you have my vote for this one.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Name and concept: Heh heh. I'm not sure how I will feel about evil-slanted concepts after reading through all the entries, but for now I like this idea. I think I'd like to see more than armour spikes addressed.
Archetype mechanics, expression of the concept: I'm not sure if the second sentence in Spike Expert was intended as a bonus to all grapple checks, which is .. OK, I suppose. edit: missed a sentence
Vicious Spines gives double benefit of the spikes without an attack roll. No doubt it's situational and depends on the impaler maintaining the grapple.
I wonder if the impaler can decide not to use Grasping Barbs.
Impale could be quite a bit better than a coup de grace with the same weapon, which seems strong, but it's a capstone ("+ 1/2 impaler's level" was probably unnecessary unless looking to epic levels).
These don't seem out of line with weapon training or grappling generally.
Wider relationships: It's a narrow niche idea, but one that might fit with any number of settings and backgrounds.

Definitely worth a second look.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Yea, pretty sweet. Like some of the judges I started out unimpressed (spiked armor grappler.. eh), but liked it more the more I read. Grasping Barbs and Meat Shield are really cool and I'm kind of sad that they come so late, but they look so powerful that that's probably the best move (meat shield, by the way, is a really excellent twist on Armor Mastery).

Balance wise this is quite interesting... The biggest problem is that you treat Spike Expert as replacing Weapons Training 1, but it still gets better just as though you were getting Weapon Training 2, 3 and 4. On one hand he loses the ability to take bows or axes as his secondary weapon group, and with that loses a lot of versatility. On the other hand, he's really good at what he does, with several ways to score free damage rolls, still gets the full helping of fighter bonus feats, and still adds a quarter of his level to most of his attack/damage/CMB checks.

My gut says that such great gains in power are not balanced by secondary loses in versatility. Even if he never fights anyone that he can grapple, and spends most of his time punching things, he's still pretty well off; other TWF fighters will be using spiked shields and enjoying hefty AC boosts, but the Impaler will be making a free attack almost every round.

In any event this is still a great archetype. Not to pre-empt the Fat Lady, but as great as your R1 offering was you should probably be feeling pretty good right now. :)


I like a lot about this, but I'm with LeBlanc on Retaliatory Strike. Seems too good at unlimited use.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Tim4488 wrote:
I like a lot about this, but I'm with LeBlanc on Retaliatory Strike. Seems too good at unlimited use.

Yea, I think that's where a lot of the extra power comes from, though to be fair it's not until 13th level, it probably employs a secondary (less expensive) weapon, and it consumes his swift actions.

Contributing to the existing praise for a second, balance aside, Retaliatory Strike strikes me as very intelligent game design. At high levels, the worst problem a grappler faces is that too many of his foes are fourty feet tall and have strength scores above 30. Fortunately a lot if not most of those monstrous foes use natural weapons, so something like this really helps him out there (plus it makes sense!).


This is a very good, tightly themed archetype.

I like the name Impaler, but I don't feel like it fits here. I get the idea of impaling an opponent on the armor spikes, but that doesn't feel as powerful an impaling as what would typically pop into my head when I read the word impale.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Yea, impale first made me think lance, but I'm personally fine with it now.


You made the keep folder.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Late bloomer. Need to wait until 5th level until the archetype abilities come into play.

Vicious Spines are underwhelming. You get grabbed, strangled or swallowed, and the best you can do is to inflict round by round small time damage. Oh and you lose staple Fighter ability.

Retaliatory Strike. How one does strike back with the armor? Didn't you mean gauntlets? Not specific enough.

Grasping Barbs. Barring hilarious looks (the fighter probably resembles a porcupine), larger size creatures and beings with higher CM bonus would like to submit a protest.

Verdict: Great concept. Seriously flawed execution. Not recommended.

Regards,
Ruemere

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dire Mongoose wrote:
He did; he just replaced Armor Mastery.

That's what I get for being on Paizo's boards at 4:30 in the morning...

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

ruemere wrote:

Vicious Spines are underwhelming. You get grabbed, strangled or swallowed, and the best you can do is to inflict round by round small time damage. Oh and you lose staple Fighter ability.

Retaliatory Strike. How one does strike back with the armor? Didn't you mean gauntlets? Not specific enough.

Grasping Barbs. Barring hilarious looks (the fighter probably resembles a porcupine), larger size creatures and beings with higher CM bonus would like to submit a protest.

Spiked armor is a weapon. It has an entry on the "weapons" table and has since 3.0 (edit: Woops, okay, since 3.5. I coulda sworn...). Anyway, I don't see how he could have been more specific.

As for grasping barbs, the spikes just give you traction; I don't think that's any more ridiculous than smaller-creatures-winning-grapples-against-larger-ones in general, but to each their own.


I really like this one. The design flows well and keeps me interested throughout the description. This class would be awesome to run and the level 20 ability,Impale, rocks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hi Trevor.

You have my vote.

Anything that encourages players to get away from the traditional tested weapon combinations is a winner in my book--and this is one of those. Your various new abilities fit tightly together in concept and in execution, and while I think the capstone ability might be a little too good, everything else makes sense and I can easily see how players would enjoy playing this archetype. Nice job.

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


I love this build. There is a black hole in the grappling rules, but that is Paizo's design, not the contestants. It is well thought out, and executed to near perfection.

I have a few characters grappled to death, and would love to have the upper hand for one. Additionally with his armor as his weapon his hands are still free. There are just so many options, I want want to try with this build.

Has my vote, and hope to see you in the top 16, good luck Trevor.

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

1. Is it balanced?

No, retaliatory strike should have a usage limit. And meat shield gains as well.

Retaliatory strike states that it is a free action, you only get one of those in a round unless I missed my action count.

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

If only This guy had levels in this class...

A couple gaffs don't detract from the idea. You get the last vote.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nicolas Quimby wrote:
ruemere wrote:

Vicious Spines are underwhelming. You get grabbed, strangled or swallowed, and the best you can do is to inflict round by round small time damage. Oh and you lose staple Fighter ability.

Retaliatory Strike. How one does strike back with the armor? Didn't you mean gauntlets? Not specific enough.

Grasping Barbs. Barring hilarious looks (the fighter probably resembles a porcupine), larger size creatures and beings with higher CM bonus would like to submit a protest.

Spiked armor is a weapon. It has an entry on the "weapons" table and has since 3.0 (edit: Woops, okay, since 3.5. I coulda sworn...). Anyway, I don't see how he could have been more specific.

As for grasping barbs, the spikes just give you traction; I don't think that's any more ridiculous than smaller-creatures-winning-grapples-against-larger-ones in general, but to each their own.

Gauntlets and shield (spiked) also may fit into this category... I agree that there is only one item with precisely this name, but come on... even Barbed Devils get different mechanic for retaliatory damage. When I read "immediate action" I've immediately picture of crazed man-porcupine diving headfirst into opponent. And then I told myself, that I must have the wrong idea.

*sigh* Now I realize that it may hold _some_ appeal.

Since we're talking about achieving impossible, you're heartily recommended to watch several youtube movies from God of War game. You get there grappling successes by smaller creature all right. Warning: seriously NSFW.

Sincerely Unconvinced,
Ruemere


I can really dig it. I just can't stop thinking of playing this character in combat and having a heavy metal soundtrack in the background the entire time.

I like that you made sure to qualify 'hit' in all of your paragraphs; 'takes damage' would allow for rules loopholes.

Can you still dual-wield a weapon and spiked armor in Pathfinder? Because that's really the only way I can think to make this a mathematically viable PC fighter (and to let armor spikes on full plate count as a one-handed weapon). Otherwise, this is definitely an archetype for large or larger humanoids only.

Very neat.


A really cool way to make use of an often overlooked combat option.
You have my vote.

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

I was expecting a wooden stake fighter from the name, but this is better. I like most of the archetype. I do think a few parts have serious balance issues - especially grapple attempts on every incoming attack - but these can be fixed relatively easily. I'd probably turn the reactive grapple into an improvement on retaliatory strike. Takes an immediate action, grapple check with bonus, on success opponent is grappled and takes barb damage.

The balance problems aren't enough to take away from this being one of the best archetypes I've read out of the 9 so far, so you're in the keeper stack right now, with a little "plus" if I wind up with more than 8.


this is very cool and different, plus I think my younger bro will love it, so extra bonus there.

Also just to point out to whomever it was that Impale's death effect should be Supernatural, neither Master Hunter or Master Strike, nor Death Attack are SU, instead being Extraordinary abilities.

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

I like it. You've nicely balanced the powers you get with the powers you give up. You have a theme and you stuck to it, and the powers fit the theme. You tied it into Golarion lore but didn't make it Golarion-only with crazy specificity.

It's a fun niche that isn't really covered in the rules already and it's a style with enough "cool" that I could legitimately see someone wanting to give it a go. The impaler ability is really good... but it's 20th level, so why not have it be awesome? Given the generally substandard attack options that are armor spikes and spiked gauntlet (1d6 or 1d4 with 20/x2 crit? Please.) vs. the falchions and elven curve blades and scythes and whatever else that all the cool kids are dishing death with compared to you, I don't have a problem giving you a thematic kickback for sticking it out for 20 levels with the impaler.

This is the first archetype that I can give an unreserved "yes sir, good work, go get 'em tiger" review. Nicely done.

Congrats on making it to round 2, and best of luck!

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

The bag of holes is one of the better items in the top 32, and so it's good to see decent presentation and a character concept people will want to paly in this round.

I agree with Mr. Dancey's comments about some of the abilities being half-baked. In the first palce, must every single ability be a new way to put your shoulder spikes through someone? There is a lot of room for interesting mechanics to be explored here in ways that will really impress voters. Maybe you can grapple a creature with reach, or grapple a Huge or larger creature in its own squares. Imagine being pinned to a shoggoth, dealing damage while it tries to shake you off.

Or maybe you can deal your close weapon damage to creatures that succeed in breaking the grapple against you, as they pull themselves off your bladed gauntlet or whatnot. Something that isn't another version of "I pull the wizard onto my spikes in a new way".

Having said that, you make some impressive choices - making the retaliatory strike an immediate action instead of provoking an AoO. I do think the death attack is too much. Can you really kill someone with a single grapple? Cause I can get that DC pretty high pretty quickly. The death attack would make for a nice capstone, but needs to be harder. The impaler's wizard buddy will struggle to kill single people as easily, I think.

Anyoo, good initial idea that I think could use some versatility. Congrats on making the top 32, and at this rate a shoe-in for my vote.


Ryan Dancey wrote:


Second, you've given an untyped bonus to damage which increases with class level. You have to be careful about this because you're giving a bonus to base damage, which will be in turn multiplied by a critical hit. If you built a character around fighting with spiked gauntlets you could get a huge lifetime benefit from that bonus.

This might not be the place for this, but I'd like to call you out on this criticism, Ryan, which is something you've mentioned in regards to most of the Fighter archetypes.

The reason it's mentioned in most of the Fighter archetypes is because it's a core fighter ability. Weapon training gives an untyped bonus to attack and damage.

It seems very unfair to "ding" a submission for adhering to the precedent set by the core rules themselves.

More on topic: Great archetype. Puts me instantly in mind of Thibbledorf Pwent from the Drizzt books; considering he is one of my favorite characters, I'm pretty sure you're getting me vote. :)

Only thing I'm a little shaky on is the damage redirecting from Meat Shield - it's an awesome thematic idea, but its on shaky mechanical ground, and sometimes doesn't make sense (like when the damage is coming from the person you are grappling).

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

This is one of the few archetypes from this contest that I would consider playing because it is interesting and brings in new and useful abilities that are balanced pretty well.

In addition your writing is crisp, there is no doubt about the abilities. Your introduction sets the mood of this archetype and the abilities follow through.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

I really like this. I'm a big fan of spiked-grappler to begin with, and making it chelaxian and devil oriented makes it all the sweeter.

It seems a little over powered to me though. Getting an immediate attack against foes hitting you is huge, and getting free grapple against them, only to deal armour damage at the end of their turn is huge to. I attack you, and you get to hit me for free. Then I have to make a reflex save or end my turn grappled by you, and you get to hit me again, for free. On your turn you get to hit me a third time. This means that you deal damage to me three times (two of which are free) in a round where I am trying to hit you. It's a little broken I'm afraid to say. Such a shame because your concept is beautiful.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

Nick Bolhuis wrote:

I really like this. I'm a big fan of spiked-grappler to begin with, and making it chelaxian and devil oriented makes it all the sweeter.

It seems a little over powered to me though. Getting an immediate attack against foes hitting you is huge, and getting free grapple against them, only to deal armour damage at the end of their turn is huge to. I attack you, and you get to hit me for free. Then I have to make a reflex save or end my turn grappled by you, and you get to hit me again, for free. On your turn you get to hit me a third time. This means that you deal damage to me three times (two of which are free) in a round where I am trying to hit you. It's a little broken I'm afraid to say. Such a shame because your concept is beautiful.

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

If the retaliatory strike were explicitly limited to 1/round, or used an attack of opportunity, this would be perfect. As such, it's merely really cool. I've always thought that spiked armor isn't interesting enough, and this class gives it that bit of punch it deserves.

This archetype will be getting one of my votes.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

Thank you everyone for your comments, support, and/or criticism. The feedback is appreciated and I will try to answer any questions after voting is finished.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Nick Bolhuis wrote:
I attack you, and you get to hit me for free. Then I have to make a reflex save or end my turn grappled by you, and you get to hit me again, for free. On your turn you get to hit me a third time. This means that you deal damage to me three times (two of which are free) in a round where I am trying to hit you. It's a little broken I'm afraid to say. Such a shame because your concept is beautiful.

Grasping Barbs looks very good, but it only works on unarmed or natural attacks. A monk can just use a staff, and anything with a natural attack around CR 17 will have a pretty daunting CMB/CMD. Personally I'm impressed by the design-fu here.

I do still think he overvalued what he was replacing, however (in this case, your fourth weapon group at +1/+1; not much of a loss), so I share your general concerns about the power of this.

Demiurge 1138 wrote:
If the retaliatory strike were explicitly limited to 1/round, or used an attack of opportunity, this would be perfect.

Is there a way to get more than one immediate action in PF?


This will probably get my last vote. I like most of what you did here. I agree that Impale is too powerful, but you don't get that ability until 20th level, and most campaigns never make it that far.

My other nitpick is about Grasping Barbs. I can think of a whole bunch of creatures that would WANT to grapple you (Black Pudding, Balor Deamon, Gelatinous Cube, etc.), and you don't give the impaler the choice over the use of this ability. It's automatic if the attacker fails the save. This "benefit" could end up killing the impaler.

Still, over all, I thik you did well. Congrats, and good luck in the rest of the contest.

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

This archetype has a certain something that grows on you. Trevor, if you can get past Sean on the game mechanics, then you have done well. Even if people disagree on the exact mechanics, they are balanced and the ideas behind them are very cool.

If someone had asked me yesterday if Pathfinder needed a spiked armor fighter archetype, I would have probably said no. You have changed that no to a yes. Well done. Good luck in the competition.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Jason Rice wrote:


My other nitpick is about Grasping Barbs. I can think of a whole bunch of creatures that would WANT to grapple you (Black Pudding, Balor Deamon, Gelatinous Cube, etc.), and you don't give the impaler the choice over the use of this ability. It's automatic if the attacker fails the save. This "benefit" could end up killing the impaler.

Good point.


Trevor Merback wrote:

Impaler (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): 4, Grapplers with armor spikes are a cool niche to explore and the barbed devils and Cheliax are a neat fit. Now I really want to play one.

Mechanical Mojo (MM): 4, retaliatory strike, catching attackers , flesh shields and outright impaling? This just oozes flavor .

Mechanical Execution (ME): 3, Cool and balanced, trading offensives for offensives and all. Some issues tough: The auto grapple is weird with a reflex save, I would have liked this better as provoking an AOO that can only be used for grappling. And the Soft-cover DR is weird if the creature soaking the damage for you isn't actually harmed.

Final note: A great archetype. Your bag of holes was my favorite and this has good chances too. Great job. Consider me a “Fan” :)

Total Score: 6.403


Meatshield has the distinction of being the only ability that actually made me laugh maniacally when browsing through the entries. While there are a lot of good stuff going around, you have just become my favorite contestant. Good luck!

Cheliax

This is one of the 5 archetypes I voted for in this round, and it is the most brutal out of the ones that I think should advance. The Gutbuster Brigade would be proud of you.

Hope to see you in Round 3!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I like it. I like it so much, I'll just go ahead and vote for it.

I personally wouldn't care to run one as a player, but I could see players that would. And as a villain, oh what a fun villain this could be.

Meat Shield. Heh.

Taldor

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Mechanics (.5 point)

OK, lots of issues.

Fourth, the last ability Impale should be a Supernatural ability. You're using a death attack and in all but very specific cases (coup de grace) death attacks should be supernatural.

I disagree with this statement. I don't see this as a supernatural ability at all. The closest thing in D&D to this is coup de grace, really, which uses a DC X + damage fort save (which is more nasty than the impaler's DC X + 1/2 level + stat)

As a 20th level ability, I don't see the point of that "immune for 24 hours" statement either. If you're being grappled by a 20th-level impaler, you *should* be making a bloody save every round and not once a day. Mind you, the opponent must be *pinned* for it to work, so for me, that's enough mitigating circumstances. If you're a 20th-level foe being grappled by a 20th-level impaler, you have tons of non-conventional ways to get out of grapples already (you're immune to grapples with a simple "freedom of movement" spell for crying out loud... if you're a mage, you can d-door away... etc.)

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