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Armsman, a fighter archetype


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


hey guys this is a thought experiment me and a friend have come up with, to try and make a fighter archetype who can pick up any weapon and be deadly with it, while also being balanced with fighters who choose to specialize.

im just curious on what the community thinks of it? if its worth playing or not, and what not. eager to see what responses it gets, thanks in advance!

:
ARMSMAN (FIGHTER ARCHETYPE)
"Many fighters train in the perfection of a single weapon, the armsman is the antithesis of these. he trains in the use of many weapons beleiving one must use the right tool for the right job every time."

"Armory: a first level armsman gains quick draw, and weapon focus at first level. weapon focus functions with any weapon he is proficient with, but he cannot select greater weapon focus or greater weapon specialization.
this replaces the fighter first level bonus feat

"Weapons expert: at fourth level an armsman gains combat expertise and weapon specialization as bonus feats. as weapon focus, specialization affects all weapons with which he is proficient, but he cannot take greater weapon specialization.
this replaces the fighter fourth level bonus feat

"Skilled with all, master of none: Starting at 5th level, an armsman gains weapon training with all weapon groups, but he does not advance his weapon training past 5th level.
this replaces weapons training 1

"Deadly with everything: starting at 9th level there is no such thing as an improvised weapon to an armsman, he treats any improvised weapon as a weapon he is proficient with
this replaces weapon training 2

"Battle insight: starting at 13th level an armsman gains a dodge bonus to ac equal to his INT modifier (minimum +0)
this replaces weapon training 3

"Battlefield mobility: at 17th level an armsman becomes so keen on manuevering around a battlefield he benefits from freedom of movement per the spell. this only applies while the armsman is conscious, and not flatfooted
this replaces weapon training 4

"Weapon perfection: at 20th level the armsmen gains a +4 bonus to confirm critical hits, and can never be disarmed of any weapon he wields. weapons he weild can also never be sundered while in his hands.
this replaces weapon mastery


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vinja89 wrote:

hey guys this is a thought experiment me and a friend have come up with, to try and make a fighter archetype who can pick up any weapon and be deadly with it, while also being balanced with fighters who choose to specialize.

im just curious on what the community thinks of it? if its worth playing or not, and what not. eager to see what responses it gets, thanks in advance!

** spoiler omitted **...

Looks pretty good, but where did the int to AC come from? Doesn't seem to fit with your concept.


Eric Tillemans wrote:


Looks pretty good, but where did the int to AC come from? Doesn't seem to fit with your concept.

well personally i see a character like this with a decent int, some skills in knowledge to find out what tool and tactics are best used to defeat the monster at hand. that could just be me but thats why i put in combat expertise as a bonus and the int to ac.

and seeing as bonus to knowledge to identify monsters and such is a class ability of the inquisitor i went this way.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I like it, versatile and viable without being better than specialization.

One thing though - it doesn't make much sense to me that he can "never" gain greater weapon focus or greater weapon specialization. It just feels odd to me to have a class feature that turns off feat options -- say, when you multiclass. How about saying the armsman's level doesn't count toward qualifying for greater weapon focus or greater weapon specialization? That achieves basically what you're looking for, while still letting a kensai or samurai pick up those feats for their favored weapons. (Not sure why they would multiclass into this, but compatibility is a good thing, right?)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Armory: Not balanced at all. You get Quick Draw and over 30 Weapon Focus feats for the loss on one bonus feat and the ability to no longer be able to select Greater Weapon Focus.

Weapons Expert: Same problem as above.

Skilled With All, Master of None: Not unbalanced considering what is lost, but the fighter loses out in the long run, less chance to hit lowers overall damage output.

Battlefield Mobility How does one move about if unconscious? Don't forget to italicize spells.

Weapon Perfection Losing the autoconfirm in exchange for a single unsunderable weapon is not bad, but the fact any weapons he wields gains this ability is unbalanced.


Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Armory: Not balanced at all. You get Quick Draw and over 30 Weapon Focus feats for the loss on one bonus feat and the ability to no longer be able to select Greater Weapon Focus.

i think of it like he can only use one at a time (well i suppose two if he is dual wielding) and this is his schtick, versatility. not being able to hit the higher to hit of the specialist fighters past level 8 balances it out IMO

Weapons Expert: Same problem as above.

again same thing, past level 9 hell be constantly doing less damage then the specialist and the gap just raises. he might start off strong but is weaker in the long run.

Skilled With All, Master of None: Not unbalanced considering what is lost, but the fighter loses out in the long run, less chance to hit lowers overall damage output.

the armsman will be doing +2 hit / +3 damage from 5th level to the end of time, the specialist will be getting +4 to hit / +5 damage at ninth and pull ahead from there, in my opinion this is the limiting factor.

Battlefield Mobility How does one move about if unconscious? Don't forget to italicize spells.

yes forgot about italiscizing my bad, and i just wanted to specify just to make sure...

Weapon Perfection Losing the autoconfirm in exchange for a single unsunderable weapon is not bad, but the fact any weapons he wields gains this ability is unbalanced.

would you suggest i dorp the +4 and keep it unsunderable and undisarmable? i had a hard time coming up with a capstone that wasnt weaksauce but also didnt overshadow weapon mastery.

thanks for the reply! counterpoints in quotes

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

FWIW I don't really agree with Thomas's analyses of balance here. In fact, I'd swing more in the other direction. Jack of all trades, master of none. Wielding any weapon and having it be unsunderable is 'cool' ... but if you can't dish out damage with any of them, the ability is only "unbalanced" insofar as it doesn't close the gap between this archetype and other fighters.

Andoran

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vinja89 wrote:

ARMSMAN (FIGHTER ARCHETYPE)

"Armory: a first level armsman gains quick draw, and weapon focus at first level. weapon focus functions with any weapon he is proficient with, but he cannot select greater weapon focus or greater weapon specialization.
this replaces the fighter first level bonus feat

By theming the archetype's replacement features around versatility and non-specialization, you're already making a fighter that is at least slightly less effective than a specialist. I think also restricting a fighter's bonus feat choices down the line is a bit of an unnecessary handcuff.

Vinja89 wrote:

"Weapons expert: at fourth level an armsman gains combat expertise and weapon specialization as bonus feats. as weapon focus, specialization affects all weapons with which he is proficient, but he cannot take greater weapon specialization.

this replaces the fighter fourth level bonus feat

Again, choosing a fighter's feats for him might not be the best way to go. And granting expertise for free is, well, a bit cheap (lets you dump Int). Dumping Int might still be a bad idea when taking this archetype due to losing out on the Battle Insight perk, but more on that later.

Vinja89 wrote:

"Skilled with all, master of none: Starting at 5th level, an armsman gains weapon training with all weapon groups, but he does not advance his weapon training past 5th level.

this replaces weapons training 1

I like this.

Vinja89 wrote:

"Deadly with everything: starting at 9th level there is no such thing as an improvised weapon to an armsman, he treats any improvised weapon as a weapon he is proficient with

this replaces weapon training 2

Nice. Combined catch-off guard and throw anything is nice given how taxing it would be to actually spend precious feats on them normally. Fits really well with the flavor. Might be nice to add improvised weapons to the list of weapons that weapon training affects.

Vinja89 wrote:

"Battle insight: starting at 13th level an armsman gains a dodge bonus to ac equal to his INT modifier (minimum +0)

this replaces weapon training 3

So an armsman makes a better tank AC-wise than a vanilla fighter. Why? If the mechanical theme of the archetype revolves around opening up options to use more weapons, why should it also have an edge in AC unless you're restricting armor choice? If you really want to keep this in, I recommend having it replace a level of armor training.

Vinja89 wrote:

"Battlefield mobility: at 17th level an armsman becomes so keen on manuevering around a battlefield he benefits from freedom of movement per the spell. this only applies while the armsman is conscious, and not flatfooted

this replaces weapon training 4

Seems like a candidate for an armor training swap-out if anything. As above, I'm not sure how increased mobility gets at the core of what this archetype is trying to do. If the replacement feature isn't about reducing dependency on having to use a single weapon throughout the campaign, the focus is muddied.

Vinja89 wrote:

"Weapon perfection: at 20th level the armsmen gains a +4 bonus to confirm critical hits, and can never be disarmed of any weapon he wields. weapons he weild can also never be sundered while in his hands.

this replaces weapon mastery

Not sure this is a good trade. Unsunderable weapons is a nice little perk, but as a capstone? This seems like something a single-weapon specialist would want more than a generalist anyway. I'd recommend just upping the critical multiplier as normal, but applying that to any weapon.

As a side note, what about including the ability to deal lethal or nonlethal damage with any weapon at half the normal penalty, or allowing the fighter to use his myriad weapons in unexpected ways, like selecting the damage type of his weapon attacks, so you could, for example, stab with a longsword (piercing), slash with it (slashing) or smack someone with the flat (bludgeoning). If you really want to broaden the scope of an armsman's versatility, you could also add the ability to use any exotic weapons he is not proficient in at only half the regular penalty; stuff like that.

Cool concept, hope some of that was useful.


Flak wrote:
FWIW I don't really agree with Thomas's analyses of balance here. In fact, I'd swing more in the other direction. Jack of all trades, master of none. Wielding any weapon and having it be unsunderable is 'cool' ... but if you can't dish out damage with any of them, the ability is only "unbalanced" insofar as it doesn't close the gap between this archetype and other fighters.

thanks alot glad you liked it, and i apologize for not seeing your earlier post. the reason i chose to block off the greater variants completely was simply to stop from a 5 level dip and get the better variants with the improved classes that function. its more of a flavor thing also because that was the original idea that inspired the class.


redmage forgive me but i dont know how to quote like you did, boy that would be convenient. so i shall name the ability and say my peace on them, hopefully it doesnt get to jumbled.

armory and expert: that was the best way i could think of getting the early effects i thought would fit without going with a flat +1 to all proficient weapons, +2 dmg with all proficient weapons, etc. if you have any advice on how to make it less restricting while still keeping the same flavor i would appreciate it :)

deadly with everything: hmmm ok i actually meant for that but i see the disconnect, change weapon training in all weapon groups to all weapons he is proficient with. nice catch!

deadly insight and battlefield mobility: yes i see where your going i thought insight worked due to him being flavored around using knowledge skills to see what monsters are and having a repertoire of weapons that best suit his needs. also against humanoids with weapons, being skilled with all weapons he would know how to defend himself against all weapons, thus the int dodge bonus to ac. that was just my reasoning for it.
battlefield mobility....... yeah i just couldnt think of another ability at the time and i thought it fit in with the concept.

alternate idea though "starting at 13th level the armsman can add any of the following properties to any weapon he wields, diarm, trip, nonlethal. at 17th level he can add two at a time. it takes a full round action to switch between properties."

how is that?

for the capstone i kind of agree and that was actually my frst idea, but after talking with my friend he said it might be a tad unbalanced raising every weapons multiplier by 1.

really appreciate your comments brother!

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