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Battle Herald PrC Stacking issues


Rules Questions

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Staff response: no reply required. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

James suggested I post this as a FAQ candidate in his "Ask James" thread:

The Battle Herald PrC doesn't seem to play well with itself.

*Inspiring Command is basically Inspire Courage with additional benefits.
*Inspire Courage gives a Morale bonus to fear saves and a Competence bonus to attack and damage rolls.
*Banner also gives a Morale bonus to fear saves.
*The following Inspiring Command options also give Competence bonuses to attack and/or damage: Inspired Tactics (for crit confirms), Pincer Maneuver (when flanking), Sound the Charge (when charging), and Teamwork (when aiding another's attack).
*Under most cases, you will have your banner out when you would use Inspire Courage.
*Any time you give an Inspiring Command, you are automatically also giving Inspire Courage.

So the Banner and Inspire Courage compete for Morale bonus to fear saves and some Inspiring Command options compete with Inspire Courage for attack and damage bonuses. Is this poorly worded? Are these an exception to the rule where Morale and Competence bonuses would stack? If not, this PrC might need some errata'ing.

Sovereign Court

Since it appears the FAQ process is a popularity contest, it would be nice if a couple more people put their weight behind this request.

To lend a bit more validity to it, I am linking what James said.

Designer

{*Inspiring Command is basically Inspire Courage with additional benefits.}

Additional options. You don't get more than one effect at the same time, so I wouldn't call them "additional benefits."

{*Inspire Courage gives a Morale bonus to fear saves and a Competence bonus to attack and damage rolls.}

Yes.

{*Banner also gives a Morale bonus to fear saves.}

Yes.

{*The following Inspiring Command options also give Competence bonuses to attack and/or damage: Inspired Tactics (for crit confirms), Pincer Maneuver (when flanking), Sound the Charge (when charging), and Teamwork (when aiding another's attack).}

Yes.

{*Under most cases, you will have your banner out when you would use Inspire Courage.}

Yes.

{*Any time you give an Inspiring Command, you are automatically also giving Inspire Courage.}

No. The battle herald class explicitly says, "The battle herald cannot have more than one command in effect at a time." So in the same way that a bard can only be using one type of performance at a time, the battle herald can only be issuing one command at a time. So the battle herald has to choose to do inspire courage OR some other effect like inspired tactics.

(Also, note that the battle herald allows you to use bardic performance rounds to issue inspiring commands, so once you have inspiring commands, you'll probably never use inspire courage again; you'll just use your performance rounds for other bard abilities or for other uses of inspiring command.)

{So the Banner and Inspire Courage compete for Morale bonus to fear saves}

No.

Bless and good hope give similar bonuses, but that doesn't mean they're that the two spells are "competing" with each other. Likewise, bless and inspire courage have similar bonuses, but that doesn't mean they're competing with each other. If you're the bard and the cleric casts bless, you probably don't want to use inspire courage, and vice versa.

If your banner is out, don't use inspire courage, because the effects mostly overlap (though the banner's "on a charge" and the performance's "always" aren't the same thing...).

{and some Inspiring Command options compete with Inspire Courage for attack and damage bonuses. Is this poorly worded?}

No.

Related to my above comment about only using one type of command at a time, the battle herald class says "The battle herald cannot maintain an inspiring command and a bardic performance at the same time. So you can't have inspire courage and and inspiring command at the same time.

So you're picking one effect or the other, you can't stack them because you can't use them at the same time, so it's okay that the various commands you list use the same bonus types because you'll never have this stacking issue. And if you take a feat or archetype that does allow you to use two at a time, well, that was a poor choice... like a wizard taking an intended-for-sorcerers feat to add to his spells known.

{Are these an exception to the rule where Morale and Competence bonuses would stack?}

No.

{If not, this PrC might need some errata'ing.}

No.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

{*Any time you give an Inspiring Command, you are automatically also giving Inspire Courage.}

No. The battle herald class explicitly says, "The battle herald cannot have more than one command in effect at a time." So in the same way that a bard can only be using one type of performance at a time, the battle herald can only be issuing one command at a time. So the battle herald has to choose to do inspire courage OR some other effect like inspired tactics.

(Also, note that the battle herald allows you to use bardic performance rounds to issue inspiring commands, so once you have inspiring commands, you'll probably never use inspire courage again; you'll just use your performance rounds for other bard abilities or for other uses of inspiring command.)

It appears I misunderstood this. I saw the Inspiring commands as upgrades or add-ons that you could choose to use to further augment Inspire Courage. This changes things.

It would seem you could use Lingering Performance to have both an Inspiring Command and Inspire Courage (or other bard performance) running at the same time in two round increments (costing 3 rounds of performance). You would use your Standard to use Bardic Performance for Inspire Courage, stop performing which triggers 2 rounds of lingering, then use your Move to give an Inspiring Command. The sentence syntax is a bit funky in the line about Lingering Performance, but if it applies to Inspiring Command too, then you could have a performance and a command running in 2 round increments, for the cost of two rounds of performance, and have all of your actions in the intervening round (between "perform" rounds). Yes/No?

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

{So the Banner and Inspire Courage compete for Morale bonus to fear saves}

No.

Bless and good hope give similar bonuses, but that doesn't mean they're that the two spells are "competing" with each other. Likewise, bless and inspire courage have similar bonuses, but that doesn't mean they're competing with each other. If you're the bard and the cleric casts bless, you probably don't want to use inspire courage, and vice versa.

If your banner is out, don't use inspire courage,...

The key difference here is that your example is of two different classes, played by two different players, making informed decisions about not competing for bonuses. The Battle Herald is a Cavalier and a Bard by design. Inspire Courage and Banner are both features that the Battle Herald augments. I just don't understand why a PrC would meld two classes (Bard and Cavalier), continue their ability to use two of their class features (Inspire Courage and Banner), and then make those class features conflict, especially since the action economy makes it very easy to use both features at the same time.

Designer

RtrnofdMax wrote:
It would seem you could use Lingering Performance to... Yes/No?

There are ways to get around the limitation, but that just means you're opening up the door to having to deal with more effects that use the same type of bonuses.

RtrnofdMax wrote:
The key difference here is that your example is of two different classes, played by two different players, making informed decisions about not competing for bonuses.

The cleric class has bull's strength on its spell list. The Strength domain has bull's strength as a domain spell. The Strength domain's "strength surge" domain power is an enhancement bonus to Strength, as is the "might of the gods" domain power, as is the bull's strength spell.

Clerics can cast bless and aid, and aid is just a one-person bless with some temporary hit points.

There are weapons in multiple groups of the fighter's weapon training ability, and it says you only get the highest bonus if it's on two groups (such as a throwing axe being in the "throwing" and "axes" groups).

Rangers who have favored enemy (evil outsider) and favored enemy (chaotic outside) don't add both of their bonuses together when fighting a chaotic evil outsider.

Abjurer wizards get a school power that provides a deflection bonus. Protection from evil is an abjuration spell (which means it's likely an abjurer is going to prepare it with his bonus 1st-level spell slot).

My point is there are many, many, many examples of abilities in the game where you can select two abilities within your class that don't work well together. That's your choice.

RtrnofdMax wrote:
The Battle Herald is a Cavalier and a Bard by design. Inspire Courage and Banner are both features that the Battle Herald augments. I just don't understand why a PrC would meld two classes (Bard and Cavalier), continue their ability to use two of their class features (Inspire Courage and Banner), and then make those class features conflict, especially since the action economy makes it very easy to use both features at the same time.

As I said, once you have banner, you'd stop using inspire courage because (1) the banner covers almost all of what inspire courage can do, and (2) you have so many other things you can do with your rounds of performance and command that not having those two powers overlap isn't a big deal. And if for some reason you aren't able to use your banner, you're still able to use inspire courage. Those abilities aren't "conflicting," they're just redundant. And I'd much rather have a redundant ability than introduce an exception to the "similar bonuses don't stack rule."

And to put it another way, if you multiclassed bard/cavalier without the prestige class, you'd be worse off than if you did have the prestige class—the banner ability mostly invalidates inspire courage, but at least the prestige class gives you many other things you can do with your performance rounds that don't conflict with it.

It's not like you don't have enough choices on your turn for a bard/cavalier/battle herald; pick two that don't have the same bonus type.

Sovereign Court

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

Marathon Voter 2013

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

Personally, I'd keep on using inspire courage over the banner. The banner is just adding attack rolls on charges. Inspire Courage is adding to all attacks, and is also doing damage. :) Banner is a nice fall back though, especially if I need to use my rounds for something else.

Sovereign Court

Agreed. If you take your first level as a Cavalier (Standardbearer) and then 4 levels of bard, the banner will give you better fear saves for levels 1-5, and IC will give better attack and damage from 2+. After 5, IC will always be better and even more so if you count bonuses from Aasimar favored class and Banner of the Ancient Kings.

I am a little bummed that my build concept isn't quite as powerful as I thought, but Sean is right, it's not like I won't still be throwing some serious bonuses out there.


Cheapy wrote:
Personally, I'd keep on using inspire courage over the banner. The banner is just adding attack rolls on charges. Inspire Courage is adding to all attacks, and is also doing damage. :) Banner is a nice fall back though, especially if I need to use my rounds for something else.

What do you mean instead of? Banner doesn't use any actions and the bonus on charges doesn't overlap with inspire courage. You just have to paint your breastplate or heavy shield with heraldry, both are going to be small objects for a medium character.

Sovereign Court

Banners are a bit of a grey area as written for Cavaliers, but there are some specific banners that shed a bit more light on mechanics. The banner I mentioned above says it needs to be mounted to a spear or pole at least 8ft tall. Some of the other banner items mention them being 2ftx4ft pieces of cloth. I don't think your painted on heraldry really fits as a banner. Despite that though, there is no reason you can't just have the pole strapped to your back, samurai style and ignore the "Carrying" restrictions.


There is no mundane banner in the CRB or APG. Unless you expect us to believe that a level 5 ability is reliant on a magic item that costs a minimum of just under half of a characters WBL we must admit that the people who write classes and the people who write magic items are not the same people. The sole restriction on the Banner ability is that it be Small and displayed. Not a thing is said about how it must be displayed.

The specific trumps the general and there is nothing more specific than a specific wondrous item. You can't take that specific item and use its restriction to limit the general case.

Marathon Voter 2013

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

I think I was just confused. I didn't read the abilities before posting that, and was going from memory.

Sovereign Court

Atarlost wrote:

There is no mundane banner in the CRB or APG. Unless you expect us to believe that a level 5 ability is reliant on a magic item that costs a minimum of just under half of a characters WBL we must admit that the people who write classes and the people who write magic items are not the same people. The sole restriction on the Banner ability is that it be Small and displayed. Not a thing is said about how it must be displayed.

The specific trumps the general and there is nothing more specific than a specific wondrous item. You can't take that specific item and use its restriction to limit the general case.

No sir, I was definitely not saying we had to buy a magic item for the banner to work. I am merely saying that heraldry painted on your chest or shield fits absolutely no definition I know of for banner. And, there are examples of what constitutes a banner elsewhere. Does a banner have to be 2x4 and carried on an 8ft pole, no probably not. But it should fit the definition of a banner.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

@SKR: What about Tactician and the Teamwork feat that is given at 6th level of BH. The way it is written, you can use your BH Teamwork feat as a move, but the teamwork feat you got from your first Cavalier level is still a Standard. Is this supposed to work this way? Wouldn't it make more sense that your levels in Cavalier stacked with BH levels and you could use both feats as a move (or swift with Greater Tactician)?

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