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The Armjack - Bard Archetype


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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Dismissed by many warriors as mere hobbyists, armjacks are bards that share a genuine enthusiasm for weapons. To them, weapons of all kinds tell the stories of cultures and give stimulating insights on how they can be implemented in war. Rarely do they master a single type of weapon. But seasoned armjacks eventually learn to wield any weapon with ease.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Armjacks are proficient with all martial weapons in addition to those of normal bards.

Fighter Training

Armjacks may treat half their armjack level as fighter for purposes of gaining feats. This replaces Bardic Knowledge.

Arm Master (Ex)

At 5th level, the armjack becomes a master of weapon theory and with uncanny luck can quickly learn to use any exotic weapon when needed. As a swift action the armjack can use an exotic weapon without penalty for a number of rounds equal to his Cha modifier. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level. If an armjack stops using one type of exotic weapon and switches to a new one he must expend a new use of this ability. This replaces Lore Master.

Jack of All Weapons (Ex)

At 10th level, the armjack can apply the Weapon Focus Feat to any weapon he wields, if he has the feat. At 16th level, the armjack can take ten on any attack roll once per day. At 19th level, the armjack is proficient with any weapon that is sized for him. This replaces Jack of All Trades.


Nothing?


certainly something i would want to play, nice. did you put this on your webpage? it's easier to copy/paste from that:)


I get the concept, but I think anyone looking to be a bard wouldn't want to sacrifice essential bard abilities for the ones you written up.

The name is a little too steam-punky, but if that's what you are going for thats fine. I would lean toward something like Weapon Savant or Story Blade.

I really like the concept that every weapon has a story. Maybe you should focus more on the information the bard can get from weapons rather than them being decent at wielding them. Bardic Knowledge is a big deal so you want to replace with something comparable. Maybe by holding a weapon they can perform a Diplomacy check to Gather Information which ties into the concept that every weapon has a story. Plus, enhances what a bards are already good at.

The Arm Master ability has a comic appeal to me. I keep seeing moments in movies where a guy twirls a weapon around in an amazing display only to hit himself or the weapon going flying off in the wrong direction. I like it, but it needs some tweaking and shouldn't take the place of Lore Master. This could actually be a decent replacement for a bardic performance if done correctly and helps the whole party. The ability to give the whole party exotic weapon proficiency for a limited amount of time has a lot of fun possiblities.

I wouldn't replace Lore Master.

You have a lot of room to make new Bardic Performances. I would focus on working on those. Like in place of Fascinate, an ability that makes the affected creature take damage as though the bard is wielding a particular weapon to overcome damage reduction, but the performance is broken when the bard misses his attack or attacks a different target. I don't know..

You have an idea with a lot of potential and you should definitely keep working on it.


Arm Master isn't that good. Being able to use an exotic weapon for such a limited duration (and at such limited uses) just isn't that helpful. Maybe instead, grant bonus proficiencies each level. Maybe something like "At first level you gain proficiencies in certain weapons of your choosing, equal to your charisma modifier. Each level after you gain proficiency in one more weapon".

For Jack of All Weapons, I'd say let it apply to (Improved) Weapon Specialization as well as Improved Weapon Focus. Taking 10 on an attack roll once per day is also a bit underwhelming as it is once per day and at 16th, perhaps make it equal to cha mod?.

Maybe go for bonus feats like Arcane Duelist does; maybe the Dazzling Display line of feats?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice one Arcane! I guess I have an alternate view to that of Bim Mirak - I would likely choose this bard archetype because these are the features I'd like in this kind of bard - I see a rugged, leather jerkin'd but still somewhat handsome ponytailed and charismatic fighter-type who is charming and excels at times with odd weapons. I get Sean Connery in the first Highlander movie - especially the grin and earrings - for some reason. Armjack is a great name - I definitely agree it's a niche term, but I love it!

I think there is some great feedback above - I would look at what seems important to your theme and adjust accordingly.

Personally, I don't really see an iterated swap for the improved weapon proficiencies right out of the gate, but if the other powers aren't quite equal to what they are replacing, I guess it's fine.

Otherwise what you have is neat and simple - I think Bim Mirak's ideas are quite interestig but still cleaving too close to the vanilla bard's essence of knowledge, information and lore, whereas the armjack seems like a weapons expert and dabbler in combat training/styles - less interested in legends and history.

Bim's point about new performances is spot on - there is lots of room here for some creativity!

Chaoseffect's feedback is great - good suggestions there. My only suggestion for Arm Master is to look at the second paragraph of the Inquisitor's Teamwork Feat for inspiration - the option to change out one feat for another as a standard action, with a limited number of uses per day. You could group weapons together...


Thank you for your feedback, everyone! I will explore my options!


I've given it some thought and I am going with my gut. I really like the suggestions. But what I was going for was a more combat effecient bard as opposed to a skilled one. And so, I will simply make it a bit more powerful.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Armjacks are proficient with all martial weapons in addition to those of normal bards.

Fight Savvy

Armjacks may treat their armjack level as fighter for purposes of gaining feats. This replaces Bardic Knowledge.

Arm Master (Ex)

At 5th level, the armjack becomes a master of weapon theory and with uncanny luck can quickly learn to use almost any technique when needed. As a swift action the armjack can perform any combat feat he qualifies for for a number of rounds equal to his Cha modifier. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level. If an armjack stops using one feat and switches to a new one he must expend a new use of this ability. This replaces Lore Master.

Jack of All Weapons (Ex)

At 10th level, the armjack can apply the Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization Feats to any weapon he wields, if he has the feats. At 16th level, the armjack can take ten on any attack roll once per day. At 19th level, the armjack is proficient with any weapon that is sized for him, even exotic weapons. This replaces Jack of All Trades.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wow! I applaud the direction. I'm sure folk will be unhappy with Fight Savvy, but I like it.

Arm master is cool, doesn't seem OP to me. Yet. ;)

My only grope is that Jack of All Weapons comes in at 10th level. I mean it makes sense mechanically and tradewise, but I guess I would like to have seen it a little more broken up, perhaps a small measure at 5th level. Considering all the other bard stuff going on the Armjack has, its probably fine as is.

I really like that you kept to the original idea, which I loved from the start. Martial bards FTW!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would rather have him decrease the penalty for weapon nonproficiency overall by 1. That would be helpful for a bard that wanted to focus on disarming opponents and going with the flow of battle.

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