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I Am Vengeance, I am the Night: FedoraFerret's Guide to the Vigilante


Advice

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am a watchful guardian over my city...

As the request at the end of the guide says, I want any and all feedback you can give me. Ideas for things to include, criticism of my analysis, salt because of something in the vig you don't like (I don't expect to incorporate it into the guide but I'm running low and making pasta tomorrow night). Throw as much at me as you like.

Liberty's Edge

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Per posted errata, Knowledge (Nobility) is a Vigilante Class Skill, so you should probably list it with the others.

I'd also argue that with a good Will Save, raising Wis isn't really a high priority, though dumping it isn't the best plan most times.

Oh, and the AC penalty from Mad Rush is on top of the -2 for charging. So -6 total. Still amazing, though.

I think you're not giving Leave an Opening nearly enough credit. It's effectively an extra attack a turn a lot of the time. I'd peg it as Green, personally.

Rating spellcasting as Red is pretty much always wrong. Even 4-level casting is always gonna be better than that. The Magical Child archetype doesn't have great spellcasting, but it's 6-level casting from a decent (though not great) list. That's Orange at a minimum.

I think you're being slightly too hard on Ursine Wildsoul, too. The Manbearpig build can get Lethal Grace on 6 Full BAB Attacks, and even a human one can make good use of 3 at-will Full BAB attacks. And the Natural Armor bonus scales, so it's not just a +1. I'd call Ursine Orange, with the Natural Armor likewise Orange.

Other than that, I pretty much agree with you on most stuff.


I'm interested to see damage calculations for lethal grace and whether it makes an elven curve blade worth it or if it's better to just go two weapons.

Liberty's Edge

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Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
I'm interested to see damage calculations for lethal grace and whether it makes an elven curve blade worth it or if it's better to just go two weapons.

Grabbing an 8th level snapshot as an Avenger with Dex 22, Str 14, and a +2 weapon (or two +1 weapons), and Signature Weapon:

Curveblade version has +14/+9 for 1d10+20 with Power Attack

Dual Kukri version has +14/+14/+9/+9 for 1d4+9 (+8 with the off-hand).

An unarmed combatant can have +14/+14/+9/+9 for 1d3+13 (+12 with the off-hand), but much worse crit chances, and the Curveblade's damage keeps going up a bit quicker than that of the unarmed damage post level 10.

So the Avenger is better off with the Curveblade than the kukris...but it's a bit iffier whether the unarmed stuff is better.

The Stalker, by contrast, is much better off with the kukris. Or the unarmed combat, since the damage from Power Attack is less and the benefits of multiple attacks much greater.

So...it sorta depends.


Also, maybe I'm missing it but I can't seem to find a rating for the "shield of fury" vigilante talent.


Power attack not worth it for the kukri version?

Liberty's Edge

Woodoodoo wrote:
Power attack not worth it for the kukri version?

Power Attack only gives +1 damage per -1 to hit on off-hand attacks and is thus basically never worth it when doing TWF.


I would normally agree, but the vigilante power attack talent gives you a shield bonus when you use it so it might compensate a little.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice guide!

One comment: I think you might want to revisit the Silent Dispatch talent. Based on the discussions elsewhere (and the descriptive text in the corresponding feat, Quiet Death), I believe what the talent does it this:

--Without this talent, if you attack someone (even if they're unaware of you, and you drop them in a single round, or even with a single blow), the DC for anyone hearing is -10. Not (Stealth check-10), but -10 period, regardless of how many ranks of Stealth you have.

--With this talent, if you attack someone who is unaware of your presence, the DC for hearing your attack is (Stealth check-5). (Unfortunately, it only works for sound; it does nothing to help hide your attack from someone who could see the attack take place.)

That makes Silent Dispatch pretty good (green?), since without it (or the Quiet Death feat, which is only available to 10th level rogues), it's impossible to quietly take out a guard or watchman without anyone nearby noticing (without using magic).

That said, I suspect a number of people will be unhappy with the implicit ruling encoded in the associated descriptive text, since it makes the stealthy elimination of targets (without magic) impossible for anyone who doesn't have at least 2 levels of vigilante or 10 levels of rogue. This includes monsters: want a vampire with a 7 levels of aristocrat and a base Stealth bonus of +25 stealthily take out the guards in the citadel the PCs are guarding? According to the implicit ruling here, that's impossible! Want a spectre to manifest and quietly eliminate those on watch? According to the implicit ruling here, can't be done!

Those irritated by this are likely to ignore these rules, and stick with something more sensible, like (say) allowing anyone with the Stealth to quietly attack someone, and to make the DC for hearing your attack be (Stealth check-10). And for those who adopt a house rule like that, Silent Dispatch will just amount to a +5 bonus on Stealth checks in a particular, very limited circumstance. And that would make it pretty bad (red?).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
An unarmed combatant can have +14/+14/+9/+9 for 1d3+13 (+12 with the off-hand), but much worse crit chances, and the Curveblade's damage keeps going up a bit quicker than that of the unarmed damage post level 10.

What about an unarmed combatant with Shield Gauntlet Style?

Liberty's Edge

Cass_Ponderovian wrote:
I would normally agree, but the vigilante power attack talent gives you a shield bonus when you use it so it might compensate a little.

That only works if you're using Str to attack, in which case you can't benefit from Lethal Grace. And are MAD as hell given the Dex requirements on TWF. You can skip those prerequisites as a Vigilante only by using a shield...which makes gaining a shield bonus redundant and suboptimal.

So...no, that doesn't change the equation in this specific regard.

Ventnor wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
An unarmed combatant can have +14/+14/+9/+9 for 1d3+13 (+12 with the off-hand), but much worse crit chances, and the Curveblade's damage keeps going up a bit quicker than that of the unarmed damage post level 10.
What about an unarmed combatant with Shield Gauntlet Style?

I don't have the Armor Master's Handbook, so I couldn't possibly say.

Silver Crusade

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Huh, nice to see someone else making a guide for this. Won't stop me from doing it later once I get some more free time, but it seems pretty solid. I'll read through it more later and give my thoughts, although I'd probably avoid cursing too much in a guide, since you want it to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and cursing can give a less than professional look to something like this.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Per posted errata, Knowledge (Nobility) is a Vigilante Class Skill, so you should probably list it with the others.

I hadn't seen this errata, so I'll be sure to update when I get the chance.

Quote:
Rating spellcasting as Red is pretty much always wrong. Even 4-level casting is always gonna be better than that. The Magical Child archetype doesn't have great spellcasting, but it's 6-level casting from a decent (though not great) list. That's Orange at a minimum.

I can respect that perspective, but it's not the perspective I took into the rating. I based it on three metrics: one, the value of the spells being offered; two, the value of talents overall; and three, the value of the archetype feature compared to similar features. The spells being offered are, in all honesty, decent at best. When you look at what you're trading away, talents that are comparable in value to feats, it becomes a harder sell. When you then compare to the other three spellcaster specializations, you're trading the same amount, you're basically saying that gaining the unchained summmoner spell list is equivalent in value to gaining the wizard/sorcerer spell list, which is a ludicrous suggestion at best. Witch is arguable, except that the cabalist then goes out of its way to augment your casting, and inquisitor is already designed to compliment a melee combatant/skill monkey.

All that being said, you're probably right. I'm of the opinion that while the summoner's spell list needed to be nerfed, that it was overnerfed, and that likely informed my decision. On my next update I'll change it to an orange rating.

Quote:
I think you're being slightly too hard on Ursine Wildsoul, too. The Manbearpig build can get Lethal Grace on 6 Full BAB Attacks, and even a human one can make good use of 3 at-will Full BAB attacks. And the Natural Armor bonus scales, so it's not just a +1. I'd call Ursine Orange, with the Natural Armor likewise Orange

And here's where I can't agree with you, for one simple reason: everything you gain from Ursine Wildsoul, you can get exponentially faster with a two level dip into alchemist and the Feral Mutagen. Functionally, the only things lost are one social talent, two levels of your vigilante level scaling, one natural armor from level 18 to level 20, and access to vengeance strike (which, as a rule, I never use "you won't get your capstone" as a reason not to multiclass). In exchange, you get three more talents than Ursine does, a better bite, better claws, and a +4 strength bonus, and more natural armor for most of the career, not to mention you get that all at level 2 rather than having to wait for most of your adventuring career to slowly unlock. So no, I can't in good conscience rate an archetype that gives you a set of bonuses over 18 levels that a different class can give you all of in only 2 higher than a red.

Cass_ponderovian wrote:
Also, maybe I'm missing it but I can't seem to find a rating for the "shield of fury" vigilante talent.

*grumbles about missing things and proofreaders also missing things* Shield of Fury will be added in my next update.

Porridge wrote:
One comment: I think you might want to revisit the Silent Dispatch talent. Based on the discussions elsewhere (and the descriptive text in the corresponding feat, Quiet Death), I believe what the talent does it this:

An interesting point. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. In this case you're absolutely right, it definitely brings Silent Dispatch up to a solid green/blue (green as a situational, blue if going for a full assassin like my sample build). Your house rule scenario being very likely (and honestly, the assumption I was going under when I wrote this, hence the original rating) will probably change that to green/blue/yellow (or red, I flipflopped on that multiple times because I do think the Stalker should find every advantage for stealth they can get with their dependence on going unseen).

N. Jolly wrote:
Huh, nice to see someone else making a guide for this. Won't stop me from doing it later once I get some more free time, but it seems pretty solid. I'll read through it more later and give my thoughts, although I'd probably avoid cursing too much in a guide, since you want it to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, and cursing can give a less than professional look to something like this.

Thank you, I appreciate that. I enjoyed your Kineticist guide, so I look forward to seeing your crack at it and the differences in our analysis. I respect the feedback, and you're probably right about not seeming professional, but if I'm being completely honest I was going for less professional and more personal and comfortable. The audience thing was also a consideration, but considering that my venue is the internet I decided not to take that route. I realize you're probably not trying to lecture or criticize, btw, just giving my own thought process.


Psychometrist can gain fly too using the transmutation power.


I think you are probably wrong about the no will save on Mockingbird. The spells do have a will save listed... I think making it not an illusion doesn't change that.

...actually I'm not sure it's not an illusion. Ex means it is not a spell... but... It still is kinda an illusion...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Guide wrote:

Halfling: I’m sorry, I can’t take this seriously. Halflings do make great vigilantes, of course, having bonuses to two very good ability scores, the all important size bonuses, better saves, good racial skill bonuses, and a pretty decent favored class bonus (more social talents, always good), but I can’t get the concept of “The Hobbit of Justice” out of my head and it makes me giggle too hard whenever I think of it.

"Masked hobbit of justice" may seem silly...but think of how good a Bellflower tiller (the in-world role, not the prestige class) a vigilante would make.... A good social guise, maybe as a performer, could get their foot in the door anywhere, and then it's a simple matter of changing identities and getting their charges the hell out of there, or arranging with others to.... I'd never thought of it before, and now it's all I want. :/

Hell's Rebels mini-spoiler:
Also, now I might be rebuilding Laria Longroad from Hell's Rebels. Vigilante'd be perfect for her.

Shadow Lodge

Added to the Guide to the Guides


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
The Mortonator wrote:

I think you are probably wrong about the no will save on Mockingbird. The spells do have a will save listed... I think making it not an illusion doesn't change that.

...actually I'm not sure it's not an illusion. Ex means it is not a spell... but... It still is kinda an illusion...

Well, it is technically an illusion, but not a magical one. You also aren't actually using those spells as an exceptional ability, but rather it "functions similarly to" those spells, meaning all the same rules wouldn't apply.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
An unarmed combatant can have +14/+14/+9/+9 for 1d3+13 (+12 with the off-hand), but much worse crit chances, and the Curveblade's damage keeps going up a bit quicker than that of the unarmed damage post level 10.
What about an unarmed combatant with Shield Gauntlet Style?
I don't have the Armor Master's Handbook, so I couldn't possibly say.

It's pretty awesome. It's a 3 feat style chain that lets you up a giant let's damage die as if you were a Warpriest (-4 levels), you can treat your guantlet like a buckler as long as you have a free hand, and you can add it's enhancement bonus to your AC.


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Extraordinary abilities can have saves associated with them (see: Frightful Presence), and since the ability specifically calls out the spells that it functions similarly to, and it does not say that it doesn't require a save, then we should default to the general rule that abilities from class have a save DC = 10 + 1/2 level + relevant modifier (in this case CHA). That said, it probably merits an FAQ for clarification.

Fist of the Avenger caps out at +5, not +10.

I found some silly combos with Returning Weapon once it peaks with a Warlock. You can basically max out on a single throwing weapon with all the enchants you like (specifically including Conductive), and Returning weapon let's you treat all of your thrown weapons as having the same enchantments, meaning you can throw all your daggers/knives/whatever and get your bonuses on all of them, including Mystic Bolts for some very sick damage. VMC magus is beyond good on that archetype for this purpose, since you get Arcane Pool, Spellstrike, and Magus Arcana (Arcane Accuracy woot). TWF and Rapid Shot can also be taken in conjunction with Mystic Bolts allowing you to get 3 bolts off in a turn, by 5th level (when you can actually have all the relevant feats) that's some significant damage. It is unclear whether or not Deadly Aim works with them since they are not primarily touch attacks. Most of that probably also works on Cabalists. Ultimately, Returning Weapon is a lot better than you seem to give it credit for, and imo deserves to be mixed green and yellow. (Blue for warlocks and cabalists)

Shield of Blades needs to be purple, it's great. An avenger focusing on a THW can get up to a +6 shield bonus, which is the equivalent of someone else carrying a +4 heavy shield. By the time you are 4th level it has the same shield bonus as a regular heavy shield.

I'm not of the opinion that Captain America is a vigilante, even though he is referred to as such in the new movie. He doesn't have multiple identities and the like. Really you have to compare the vigilante specializations as two different incarnations of Batman (compare the super resourceful intelligent Animated Batmans to the physically imposing beatstick Batmans in the films for the dichotomy of which I am describing). That part probably doesn't matter. [joke]Something about Ben Affleck.[/joke]

Your evaluation of the Zealot seems to imply that it's good. It isn't. Also, Azrael.

I recommend looking into the VMC options and seeing how they mix, you may find some gems.

Also: something about feminism, why isn't Black Widow mentioned once in the guide, something... idk. Someone is gonna say it eventually.


Quote:
TWF and Rapid Shot can also be taken in conjunction with Mystic Bolts allowing you to get 3 bolts off in a turn, by 5th level (when you can actually have all the relevant feats) that's some significant damage.

You deal 1d6+3 damage with +0+dex/+0+dex/+0+dex attack boni against touch AC 12. Thats not that much.

Quote:
I'm not of the opinion that Captain America is a vigilante, even though he is referred to as such in the new movie. He doesn't have multiple identities and the like.

The vigilante doesnt need to be have different identities, you pretty much only lose srying resistance if everybody knows that you have both a social and vigilante identity. I think Iron Man/Tony Stark is already a common example of how such a vigilante would function. The same can be said about Captain America.


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Just gonna drop this here...


Raylol wrote:
Quote:
TWF and Rapid Shot can also be taken in conjunction with Mystic Bolts allowing you to get 3 bolts off in a turn, by 5th level (when you can actually have all the relevant feats) that's some significant damage.

You deal 1d6+3 damage with +0+dex/+0+dex/+0+dex attack boni against touch AC 12. Thats not that much.

Quote:
I'm not of the opinion that Captain America is a vigilante, even though he is referred to as such in the new movie. He doesn't have multiple identities and the like.
The vigilante doesnt need to be have different identities, you pretty much only lose srying resistance if everybody knows that you have both a social and vigilante identity. I think Iron Man/Tony Stark is already a common example of how such a vigilante would function. The same can be said about Captain America.

3d6+9 at 5th level isn't bad damage, since you get three attacks vs. touch. I'd like to see a ray specialization feat or something that let's you up the static damage.

Also, again it is unclear on how Deadly Aim works with them.

I was under the impression that the Shield Champion Brawler was the Pathfinder version of Captain America, I suppose either would work really, since I can't really see Returning Weapon mattering for most other heroes. It's not really a Batarang thing.


Quote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Is pretty clear, especially because Power Attack has the same phrasing and is excluded. I dont know how Deadly Aim could possibly work

And its actually +1+dex/+1+dex/+1+dex with 1d6+4 with point blank shot.

But its still relatively low (~15,2 dmg per round) compared to an archer bard or archer inquisitor, and classes like magus or fighter can dish out even more damage at that level.

Liberty's Edge

FedoraFerret wrote:
I hadn't seen this errata, so I'll be sure to update when I get the chance.

Cool. :)

FedoraFerret wrote:
All that being said, you're probably right. I'm of the opinion that while the summoner's spell list needed to be nerfed, that it was overnerfed, and that likely informed my decision. On my next update I'll change it to an orange rating.

Cool. :)

FedoraFerret wrote:
And here's where I can't agree with you, for one simple reason: everything you gain from Ursine Wildsoul, you can get exponentially faster with a two level dip into alchemist and the Feral Mutagen. Functionally, the only things lost are one social talent, two levels of your vigilante level scaling, one natural armor from level 18 to level 20, and access to vengeance strike (which, as a rule, I never use "you won't get your capstone" as a reason not to multiclass). In exchange, you get three more talents than Ursine does, a better bite, better claws, and a +4 strength bonus, and more natural armor for most of the career, not to mention you get that all at level 2 rather than having to wait for most of your adventuring career to slowly unlock. So no, I can't in good conscience rate an archetype that gives you a set of bonuses over 18 levels that a different class can give you all of in only 2 higher than a red.

The issue with that plan is that Mutagen lasts for 20 minutes at 2nd and takes an hour to brew. That's...enough to be a boost in one or two fights, but not nearly sufficient for a full day's usage. The Natural Attacks from Ursine Wildsoul are available at-will forever, and thus sufficient to actually make a build around them.

I'm not saying it's a great archetype. It isn't, it's only okay, but it's not readily duplicatable in the way you're saying.


It might be worth noting that for certain builds Celestial Full Plate does the same thing as the heavy training talent (in essence).


Raylol wrote:
Quote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Is pretty clear, especially because Power Attack has the same phrasing and is excluded. I dont know how Deadly Aim could possibly work

And its actually +1+dex/+1+dex/+1+dex with 1d6+4 with point blank shot.

But its still relatively low (~15,2 dmg per round) compared to an archer bard or archer inquisitor, and classes like magus or fighter can dish out even more damage at that level.

"At 5th level, the

warlock can treat all of her mystic bolts as touch attacks."

This sentence makes it clear that it's optional, so in theory one could deadly aim with the bolts if desired.

The logical conclusion is that choosing one way or the other turns on/off deadly aim.

Totally forgot the +1 damage from PBS, 3d6+12 isn't bad damage, considering it's all energy damage and could theoretically bypass whatever DR the other guys are dealing with.

Are there any spells I'm missing that could also help this out?


master_marshmallow wrote:
Raylol wrote:
Quote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Is pretty clear, especially because Power Attack has the same phrasing and is excluded. I dont know how Deadly Aim could possibly work

And its actually +1+dex/+1+dex/+1+dex with 1d6+4 with point blank shot.

But its still relatively low (~15,2 dmg per round) compared to an archer bard or archer inquisitor, and classes like magus or fighter can dish out even more damage at that level.

"At 5th level, the

warlock can treat all of her mystic bolts as touch attacks."

This sentence makes it clear that it's optional, so in theory one could deadly aim with the bolts if desired.

The logical conclusion is that choosing one way or the other turns on/off deadly aim.

Totally forgot the +1 damage from PBS, 3d6+12 isn't bad damage, considering it's all energy damage and could theoretically bypass whatever DR the other guys are dealing with.

Are there any spells I'm missing that could also help this out?

That's 3d6+12 coming from three attacks at dex+1. If you hit 2/3 then it's only 2d6+8 damage. coming from 2 attacks, while the fighter has been doing that much in one attack from lv1. If you miss 2 of them you just did 1d6+4.

So while the max damage isn't bad, the likelihood of getting all three hits should be factored in.


I'm not a system master, but has anybody considered the use of Jaguar Style, Close the Gap, and Up Close and Personal? Great battlefield mobility, able to retaliate against any AoOs you provoke, and a crapton of damage. Is there something I'm missing?


You can't really build Batman as whole, because PCs are generally good at some things. Batman is amazing at everything.


Using deadly aim instead of rouch attack is even worse, because you dont hit *anything*.

@Chess: Usually, you include the hit chance in damage calculations. At level 6, you hit a bit more than 2 times per round on average. A fighter will hit less, but deal much more damage per attack.

Liberty's Edge

The Doomkitten wrote:
I'm not a system master, but has anybody considered the use of Jaguar Style, Close the Gap, and Up Close and Personal? Great battlefield mobility, able to retaliate against any AoOs you provoke, and a crapton of damage. Is there something I'm missing?

Well, I'm going to assume you mean panther style, and the answer is yes, however with a d8 hit die, you're probably going to want to something to mitigate the damage you're taking in turn. Trading attacks works for a barbarian because of huge con scores and a d12 hit dice, you're likely going to want something like mobility to make this work. And there are a couple other problems, like provoking from large or larger creatures where you're not in range to make an attack to pull off panther style/parry. As for up close and personal and mad dash, they don't combo. Up close and personal only works on a move action, mad dash on a full round action (charge), so they don't work together.

Overall I kind of gave up on using panther style to boost an unarmed vigilante. Snake style seems like a better style, giving you piercing as well as bludgeoning, able to use sense motive instead of your touch AC once a round and is better able to focus fire on a single opponent. It does come online a bit later and take more investment to perform though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dot.

Liberty's Edge

Raylol wrote:

Using deadly aim instead of rouch attack is even worse, because you dont hit *anything*.

@Chess: Usually, you include the hit chance in damage calculations. At level 6, you hit a bit more than 2 times per round on average. A fighter will hit less, but deal much more damage per attack.

The average damage of 2d6+8 (what happens if he hits twice) is around 15.

The average damage of a 5th level Fighter with a Greatsword is 2d6+16, but only hits 2/3 of the time himself, making his average damage around 16.

Now, the fighter probably criticals more, but still, that's pretty competitive damage and scales pretty decently.

An archer Fighter might do a bit more (I'd need to pull out math), but it's not an order of magnitude better or anything. Touch Attacks are good, and get notably better as levels go up.


I will post a larger analysis of different levels later.

Archers in general will deal more damage. And you need to look at other lvels too, warlock is trong at level 6 and 16 when boni and TWF kick in, but on other levels, even those favourable to it, like level 12, 3 and 8, look much weaker.

I would again suggest comparing it against an bard or inquisitor archer.


Wandering Messanger wrote:
You can't really build Batman as whole, because PCs are generally good at some things. Batman is amazing at everything.

Batman has high stats all around and is both an avenger and a stalker. Why? Because he's BATMAN.

Spoiler:
No really, he clearly has a lot of the exclusive talents from each. Mad rush and heavy training make me lean towards a very stealthy avenger. Strength has always been shown to be one of Batman's top attributes. He is clearly not using weapon finese with his techniques. But also he has high enough dex to dodge and weave about like crazy while being heavily armored.


The Mortonator wrote:
Wandering Messanger wrote:
You can't really build Batman as whole, because PCs are generally good at some things. Batman is amazing at everything.

Batman has high stats all around and is both an avenger and a stalker. Why? Because he's BATMAN.

** spoiler omitted **

Different Batmans have different builds.

Ben Affleck is clearly an Avenger.

Christian Bale is clearly an Avenger.

In all of their fight scenes we see brutal martial arts displays, and probably will for most of the movies because Hollywood.

The cartoon versions have a lot more variety. Animation is expensive so it's naturally a lot easier to have Batman take his enemy down in one hit.

You have to dude which Batman you're playing.

Back to the mystic bolts discussion: I was writing under the presumption that the build I was talking about included Arcane Accuracy as well, really the build isn't done until 7th level. At that point you also have Haste, BAB 5, plus both DEX and INT, plus feats (PBS, WF) gives a decent enough bonus to target touch ACs of pretty much anything in the Bestiary. You're looking somewhere in the books of +17/13/13/13 for 4d6+20. That's about 40 damage. Pretty close to what a regular caster that's blasting does.

But, that's a full round. Are there magic items which enhance the bolts?


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
master_marshmallow wrote:
Extraordinary abilities can have saves associated with them (see: Frightful Presence), and since the ability specifically calls out the spells that it functions similarly to, and it does not say that it doesn't require a save, then we should default to the general rule that abilities from class have a save DC = 10 + 1/2 level + relevant modifier (in this case CHA). That said, it probably merits an FAQ for clarification.

I'm mainly stuck on the words "similar to," and the fact that you're not creating an illusion. There's no reason one's willpower should tell them whether those completely real sounds are coming from what they sound like they're coming from and where. You're right, it needs FAQ clarification, but until then I'm inclined to lean towards no save. A perception check, probably, because otherwise it's probably broken.

Quote:
Fist of the Avenger caps out at +5, not +10.

Fixed earlier this morning from a comment on Reddit, but thank you for pointing it out regardless.

Quote:
I found some silly combos with Returning Weapon once it peaks with a Warlock. You can basically max out on a single throwing weapon with all the enchants you like (specifically including Conductive), and Returning weapon let's you treat all of your thrown weapons as having the same enchantments, meaning you can throw all your daggers/knives/whatever and get your bonuses on all of them, including Mystic Bolts for some very sick damage. VMC magus is beyond good on that archetype for this purpose, since you get Arcane Pool, Spellstrike, and Magus Arcana (Arcane Accuracy woot). TWF and Rapid Shot can also be taken in conjunction with Mystic Bolts allowing you to get 3 bolts off in a turn, by 5th level (when you can actually have all the relevant feats) that's some significant damage. It is unclear whether or not Deadly Aim works with them since they are not primarily touch attacks. Most of that probably also works on Cabalists. Ultimately, Returning Weapon is a lot better than you seem to give it credit for, and imo deserves to be mixed green and yellow. (Blue for warlocks and cabalists)

So, I do hear what you're saying about using it to replicate Conductive, that's some pretty nifty cheese. It doesn't really affect my rating because I with enough cheddar you can make just about anything work really well, given the sheer number of options. One particular nifty trick isn't enough in my mind to bring it up to a green rating, although I may add this as a note and label that usage green separately. I also definitely agree that Warlock with VMC magus is a silly good combination, I'll be adding a multiclassing section later on with a subsection just for VMCs. All that being said... did you honestly just suggest trying to do a thrown weapon build, one of the most feat intensive martial builds that can be managed, with VMC, 3/4 BAB, and all of one relevant bonus feat available for you (Quick Draw via unexpected strike). Because that just sounds like suffering.

Oh, but thank you for reminding me that Conductive is a thing. You'd think I'd already know considering I built an entire kineticist/gunslinger around it.

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Shield of Blades needs to be purple, it's great. An avenger focusing on a THW can get up to a +6 shield bonus, which is the equivalent of someone else carrying a +4 heavy shield. By the time you are 4th level it has the same shield bonus as a regular heavy shield.

I honestly had the fact that vigilantes are 3/4 bab in my mind when I gave it the blue rating. Still really, really good, but only really useful for strength builds since it doesn't exempt you from prerequisites. For Avenger and Brute though it's a whole other ball game, since they're full bab and get that shield bonus scaling even faster. I'll make a note of it later, thanks.

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I'm not of the opinion that Captain America is a vigilante, even though he is referred to as such in the new movie. He doesn't have multiple identities and the like. Really you have to compare the vigilante specializations as two different incarnations of Batman (compare the super resourceful intelligent Animated Batmans to the physically imposing beatstick Batmans in the films for the dichotomy of which I am describing). That part probably doesn't matter. [joke]Something about Ben Affleck.[/joke]

I mean it wasn't entirely dependent on "which characters are vigilantes" and more "which superhero does this specialization best fit." I went with Cap for Avenger partly because he's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of an up close and personal, full BAB, martial superhero. Also because the first Captain America movie was titled "The First Avenger" and it seemed clever at the time.

But yes, we all know Cap's a Shield Champion brawler.

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Your evaluation of the Zealot seems to imply that it's good. It isn't.

Would you care to elaborate on that? I saw Zealot as more of a variant inquisitor than anything else, so unless you're about to tell me that the inquisitor is also bad and just rock my entire world I'm curious to see what you mean.

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Also: something about feminism, why isn't Black Widow mentioned once in the guide, something... idk. Someone is gonna say it eventually.

... okay in my defense that's less my lack of feminism and more Marvel's since they won't make a g&% d$@ned Black Widow movie, so she's never in the forefront of my mind when I think of superheroes.


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I was writing under the presumption that the build I was talking about included Arcane Accuracy as well

Uhm, what ?

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Would you care to elaborate on that? I saw Zealot as more of a variant inquisitor than anything else, so unless you're about to tell me that the inquisitor is also bad and just rock my entire world I'm curious to see what you mean.

The Zealot lacks many things from the inquisitor, most notably Judgements and Bane. So its not comparable at all.

They do get Smite. But thats pretty much all they have. I dont know if its really enough to keep up with the Inquisitor/Warpriest. Probably not.


Raylol wrote:
Quote:
I was writing under the presumption that the build I was talking about included Arcane Accuracy as well

Uhm, what ?

Quote:
Would you care to elaborate on that? I saw Zealot as more of a variant inquisitor than anything else, so unless you're about to tell me that the inquisitor is also bad and just rock my entire world I'm curious to see what you mean.

The Zealot lacks many things from the inquisitor, most notably Judgements and Bane. So its not comparable at all.

They do get Smite. But thats pretty much all they have. I dont know if its really enough to keep up with the Inquisitor/Warpriest. Probably not.

I've been looking at making an Inquisitor without the Judgments. Mainly the one that trades them in for better stuff from the Slayer. So claiming that losing Judgments is a deal breaker is a bit disingenuous. Bane, I can reasonably concede the point.

The real issue with the Zealot comes from it's extremely MAD array requirements. Strength or Dex for attacking, Con for survival, Wisdom for casting, and Charisma for the smiting and face time. Now I think we'd be singing a different tune if the spellcasting was set up so it worked off of Charisma, or the Smite off of Wisdom. As it stands, it has more similarities to the 3.5 Paladin. It doesn't help since you might be wishing for a domain rather than the inquisitions you can choose between.


Trading in Judgents for something as good/better is obviously ok. But I dont see that from the Zealot. Judgement+Bane is probably better than Smite too, you already noted how MAD the char is.

Additionally, everything is locked behind the talents. A WP/Inquisitor gets all the stuff directly from the class. So having awesome vigilante talents doesnt even matter because you need to spend it on Zealot stuff.


First and foremost, the guide is a great resource thus far. Thank you for it.

I think the comments on the Zealot seem correct. The MAD nature of the Zealot makes it difficult to really make it competitive, when the same (or substantially close to) character concept can be mechanically expressed by the Inquisitor or the Warpriest.

I'm wanting to make an "undercover" enforcer of Pharasma. He'd maintain a public persona of polite pillar of the communuity, while spending his nights hunting down necromancers and the undead. Black robes, mask in the shape of either a gargoyle or skull, dagger as weapon of choice (given Pharasma's "Deific Obedience," the "Weapon of the Chosen" feat tree, and just for the sake of style).

Yet, while this sounds like Vigilante should be the class best suited to supporting the concept, I keep having to consider an Exorcist Inquisitor or (less likely) a Cult Leader Warpriest. Each can support the concept in ways as robust as the Zealot Vigilante, while in some key areas offering even more diverse options.

I really want to like the Zealot. I think the archetype has immense potential. Really, keying "Zealot Smite" to Wisdom would be a big step. As it is, do others agree that it seems somewhat lackluster in its current form, especially given the niche it seems intended to fill (presumably over against the Inquisitor and Warpriest)?


Nice guide!

But in some places you have "Exceptional Ability" where you need "Extraordinary Ability". (A few spots in Paizo material have the same typo, although I can't remember where they are off the top of my head.)


In the play test, the Zealot had casting based off CHA, and had different divine sources for his powers. It was a unique class, not a s*@# half inquisitor knock off with social talents.

The archetype is garbage and it needs to be dark red.


So, is there consensus regarding my concerns for the Zealot listed above?

If so, is there any route around those concerns? Is there a way of building a Zealot to play to its strengths?

For instance, is Smite necessary? Are the other talents solid enough to provide a mechanical base, should a character concept still fit a Vigilante Zealot best (over against the Inquisitor or Warpriest)?


you don't need a super high cha or wis to take advantage of the zealot.
Wis you just need high enough to cast your spells. So starting at a 14 is fine. Cha is just used for channeling and for your bonus accuracy and AC while smiting. So a 12-14 in cha gives you a little boost, but to me the big draw is the level to damage that can crit and DR bypassing.


I just wanted to say I like this guide a lot. It taught me Magical Child allows you to combine Imp. Familiar with Mauler, which is all I've ever wanted to do in my whole life ever. This guide, it's the first one I've read cover to cover, even though there are so many other well-written PF guides out there.

Problem with all the other ones?

Not enough cussin'. Not nearly enough cussin', cousin.

Cheers,
- Gears


I've been looking for a good vigilante guide, mainly because i love the psychometrist. So this is of definite interest to me.

Regarding magical child, did they ever confirm that they could get familiar archetypes on their pseudo-improved familiars? I abandoned the character concept for my magical child when I was told its highly unlikely you could. I'd love to be able to, however... can anyone link me to something conclusive on the matter?


Finally, I've been eagerly waiting for a decent vigilante guide...


I was eagerly waiting for an indecent one myself, but I'm weird.

@SillyString: ...don't take my dream away, man. This has to be real!

Are there any citations regarding Magical Child + Fam-Fam Archies?

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