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Are People Just Not Reading the Vigilante?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

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I've noticed a lot of hate for the vigilante lately and I'm wondering if it's because people just haven't actually read the class through. One of the most common refrains I hear is that the Vigilante just doesn't work unless you're in a city setting, but that's obviously not true if you take even a moment to look at the class. For example, the Social Grace talent does not rely on renown and gives you a +4 bonus on Appraise, Bluff, Craft, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (any), Linguistics, Perform, Profession, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, or Survival, and you get to pick an additional one of those skills at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter. That's an extremely useful class feature that isn't bound to renown at all. Other options like Many Guises and Everyman are also extremely useful and don't care about where you are.

Beyond that, the vigilante is no slouch in combat. Avenger vigilantes can easily end up with more feats and effective feats than a fighter within their respective combat styles. A Captain America vigilante can take Shield of Fury for Improved Shield Bash and Two-Weapon Fighting while also getting the ability to skip DEX prereqs on TWF feats, so that's 2+ feats, Signature Weapon for Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, another two feats, and Cunning Feint for the benefits of Improved Feint, Greater Feint, and Two-Weapon Feint (without even needing to use an off-hand weapon if you need the accuracy boost) all at once. Combat Skill and Favored Maneuver can be used to fill in any holes in the build at the same exchange rate as the fighter, but the vigilante will get an extra +2 bonus on any maneuvers he picks up.

So when the vigilante can get 7 feats to the fighter's 4 and picks up extra riders unique to their class at the same time, all while having the rogue's skill list, 6+Int skills, and an extra track of skill and social abilities that don't force it to choose between spending resources on combat or non-combat abilities but instead allow it to have both, what's with this running meme that vigilantes are only good in certain types of campaigns?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dot.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, I dunno what's up with the Vigilante hate. Vigilantes are cool.

They do tend to shine best in games with some social stuff...but isn't that most games?

Scarab Sages

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, I dunno what's up with the Vigilante hate. Vigilantes are cool.

They do tend to shine best in games with some social stuff...but isn't that most games?

I see it a lot where people say "Vigilantes are only good in city games", but when your response is to show them a vigilante who excels in the wilderness and can fight with the best full BAB classes, the response is usually that whoever made the claim repeats it regardless of the evidence presented, or leaves the conversation and continues making the claims elsewhere. Is there something political about it? Is it cool to hate on the vigilante or something? I've thought it was Paizo's best made class in basically ever and just don't get the hate.


I have vigilante idea that I would love to play.

I think the class is great in and out of combat.

Scarab Sages

Lemartes wrote:

I have vigilante idea that I would love to play.

I think the class is great in and out of combat.

Far and away my favorite thing about it is that it doesn't make you pick and choose. You've got two separate tracks of abilities for in and out of combat and they're both great, full of abilities and options.


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I don't get the hate either. Vigs are probably the most rock solid martial chassis paizo has put out. Worst to worst with the dual identity thing is you can just utterly disregard it and play straight. Not like Vigs sacrifice a lot for that feature in the grand scheme of things.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I love the Vigilante class. It is very well done and is probably the best class Paizo has put out.

I'm playing one now in Curse of the Crimson Throne. Any issues I have with the class directly relate to the group and in no way reflect on the design of the class.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Lemartes wrote:

I have vigilante idea that I would love to play.

I think the class is great in and out of combat.

Far and away my favorite thing about it is that it doesn't make you pick and choose. You've got two separate tracks of abilities for in and out of combat and they're both great, full of abilities and options.

Yeah it basically solves the whole fighters suck outside of combat problem.


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Vigilantes can be perfectly OK out of the city.
^-^ The trick is having your enemies be ubiquitous.
My only problems is people playing Vigilantes who have no causes/enemies/...
Vigilantes are perfectly effective in and out of combat.

Now, if you are running a monster of the week game, not only is the vigilante thematically inappropriate, it also has a whole rack of abilities you probably don't need for your game.

Remember Ssalarn, there are gamers who believe that any time not spent doing damage is a horrible waste. "If there is one guy talking, there is 5 guys not stabbing."


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I quite like the class, though I haven't had the chance to play one yet. I've got a pretty spiffy idea for one based on one of the archetypes I wrote, though. ^_^

Shadow Lodge

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I haven't heard about complaining about vigilantes, but then, I haven't looked through General Discussion much lately.

I really want to play one, who actually would work better in a frontier setting, like in Darkmoon Vale. I also want to try an adventure that features setups from the GM Guide and Ultimate Intrigue: a less-fighty adventure with more of a focus on planning, contacts, and maybe even a social duel in it.

My only issue with the vigilante is that the other players and the GM have to go along with it, more so than other character concepts. My dread is a situation like,

(Oblivious Ally): "Hey [Healer]! [Social Identity] needs healing!"
(Secret Identity Vigilante): *Loud swearing from between clenched teeth*

I've already been in a couple of adventures where my character has tried to adopt an assumed identity for whatever reason, and at least one team-mate blurted out their real name in a crowded public place. If I want to bring a vigilante along, I'd start by trying to pitch "all-vigilante team!" to everyone else, in the hopes that everyone would be on board with the idea.

Liberty's Edge

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So, where are people badmouthing the vigilante, cause I don't think I've ever seen a thread where the consensus was that vigilantes are a bad class. In fact I usually see the opposite, like this thread where everyone seems to love it. That's the thing I don't get though, cause I'm not really sold on it. I don't think it's a bad class, but like the medium, I can't see myself building one instead of some other class. I'll admit I haven't really given it much of a look since Ultimate intrigue came out, so if some new options really changes what the vigilante can do I'd love for someone to point them out.

So, as for the problem with social talents, well there's a bunch of caveats that crop up. As for the vigilantes are only good in a city, well, a vigilante has 22 social talents in UI, 12 of which are seriously affected by renown, or sticking to one location. 2 of them affect crafting, and not every campaign is going to cater to crafting. 3 of them are used to have other identities, which is good if you're being watched with divination magic, but if not you might as well just use the disguise skill. 2 more are simply to change from one identity to another more quickly. That leaves 3 which I would consider unique standalone abilities: Case the Joint, Mockingbird, and Social Grace. Case the Joint and Mockingbird are okay, but nothing special. Social Grace is the real stand out, but even that has the limit that it can only be used in social identity, so assuming you're not always fighting in your social identity, that means no bonus to feinting, directing animals in combat, stabilizing dying allies, demoralizing enemies, identifying enemies, or identifying spells as they're being cast. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's near the best of the bunch, but it's not as good as a straight bonus to those skills like other classes might get.

As for the vigilante talents, well I don't think there's much arguing that some of them are much better than bonus feats, but most arguments I've seen don't include the fact that most other classes get combat affecting class features beyond bonus feats. Take the comparison between avenger vigilante and the fighter. Fighter gets both armor training and weapon training, plus bravery I guess, but it's nothing to write home about without the expanded options. But that's the thing, with expanded options each armor or weapon training traded for advanced training can be worth 2 or 3 feats. A high level fighter could be looking at the equivalent of 10 bonus feats just from advanced training, to say nothing of the extra 2 AC/-2 ACP they probably took from armor training and +6 to attack and damage from weapon training and gloves of dueling (sure that's a 15k investment, but it's an investment the vigilante can't match).

Aside from that, fighter can more easily dump ability scores for the stats they want. A fighter can dump int to 7 while still having effectively 6 skill points per level and similar HP to an Avenger who takes favored class bonus into hit points. They also have little reason for charisma unless they plan on using charisma based skills, meanwhile a vigilante has the charisma based skills baked into the class, and class abilities whose DCs are based off of charisma.

The biggest two things for me though is the numbers game and the number of abilities that are circumstantially useful. Compared to most other mundane combat classes, accuracy doesn't keep up. It's missing the bonus to attack and damage that other classes have, either through weapon training, studied target, rage, or the like. Sure, the vigilante has options like cunning feint and surprise strike, but by mid-levels you've used 2 talents as well as forfeiting an attack for similar accuracy to the other classes. Sure sometimes you might get lucky by fighting air elementals, gaining a massive bonuses to accuracy, but you could just as easily encounter an earth elemental, or a barbarian, and gain none. There's also the fact that a number of abilities key off of the enemy being unaware of your presence, such as the various presences abilities, which basically means an ambush, which likely means sneaking. Great if you can get the party to work with you, not so great if the party cleric has a stealth of -4. That's to say nothing of the party blowing your cover in social identity, by being the exact same 4 guys who also hang out with your vigilante identity.

So that's kind of my feelings on the class. Similar to core rogues (because UnRogue is a solid class on it's own) the vigilante could really shine in the right circumstances, especially given the chance to operate on it's own, or with teammates who operate similarly to their build, like an entire team of vigilantes. Or like almost everyone mentions, campaigns that take place in a single city, with a lot of political intrigue going on. But for your standard adventure, I'm stuck looking at the things you have to deal with like options that only work in one identity. Talents that, while good, lock you into substandard fighting styles, or working in a single neighborhood. Meanwhile, I could just play a slayer, and not have to worry about all that, still be good at skills. Really the only answer I would have might be a campaign where the PCs are constantly being scryed upon, and that's only ever happened in one campaign I've played in. It wasn't even our enemies that was doing it either.

EDIT - Just wanted to say the rogue comment wasn't to say the vigilante is as bad as the core rogue, just that they both have niche abilities that aren't always catered to.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The one time I played an Avenger Vigilante everyone thought I was playing a Barbarian. I really didn't have a problem hitting and beating the s+$@ out of stuff :3


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Ssalarn wrote:
One of the most common refrains I hear is that the Vigilante just doesn't work unless you're in a city setting, but that's obviously not true if you take even a moment to look at the class.

Perhaps they mean it doesn't work thematically. The concept of secret identities and vigilantism is meaningless if your party spends all their time slaughtering monsters in dungeons.

Liberty's Edge

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Deighton Thrane wrote:
So, where are people badmouthing the vigilante, cause I don't think I've ever seen a thread where the consensus was that vigilantes are a bad class. In fact I usually see the opposite, like this thread where everyone seems to love it. That's the thing I don't get though, cause I'm not really sold on it. I don't think it's a bad class, but like the medium, I can't see myself building one instead of some other class. I'll admit I haven't really given it much of a look since Ultimate intrigue came out, so if some new options really changes what the vigilante can do I'd love for someone to point them out.

Well, firstly, I think you're undervaluing Vigilante as depicted in UI. But secondly, there have been several additional things, yeah. I'll go into them as appropriate as I continue.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
So, as for the problem with social talents, well there's a bunch of caveats that crop up. As for the vigilantes are only good in a city, well, a vigilante has 22 social talents in UI, 12 of which are seriously affected by renown, or sticking to one location. 2 of them affect crafting, and not every campaign is going to cater to crafting. 3 of them are used to have other identities, which is good if you're being watched with divination magic, but if not you might as well just use the disguise skill. 2 more are simply to change from one identity to another more quickly. That leaves 3 which I would consider unique standalone abilities: Case the Joint, Mockingbird, and Social Grace. Case the Joint and Mockingbird are okay, but nothing special. Social Grace is the real stand out, but even that has the limit that it can only be used in social identity, so assuming you're not always fighting in your social identity, that means no bonus to feinting, directing animals in combat, stabilizing dying allies, demoralizing enemies, identifying enemies, or identifying spells as they're being cast. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's near the best of the bunch, but it's not as good as a straight bonus to those skills like other classes might get.

Well, since UI, there've been 13 additional Talents published, only 3 of which have to do with Renown. Some of them are a bit niche (the one for pretending to be undead, or the one for undead pretending to be alive, or the ones that are Skinwalker or other shapechanger only), but one can be taken multiple times and gives you any one Feat from a list of social/intrigue Feats. So there's that.

That combines with being an Avenger to more Feats than any other character in the game, Fighters included. A lot of the ones granted by the Social Talent (called Intrigue Feats) are only okay, but some are quite nice indeed.

And there are several other cool ones, too. Companion To The Lonely requires you to have sex with someone to use it, but grants either your or their Charisma (your choice) in rerolled Will Saves (or Charisma-based checks) during the next day. That's pretty great. It's an immediate action, but Vigilante doesn't have a lot of Swift Action necessities hanging around.

Or there's Bellflower Innuendo, which lets you deliver secret messages as fast as you normally talk and makes magic users have to make a CL chek to intercept or understand them magically.

Or several other options. And the Disguise Talents are great even if you aren't opposing magic because they give you a +20 on your Disguise check. That's...not a small bonus.

And you can fight in your social identity all the time if you want.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
As for the vigilante talents, well I don't think there's much arguing that some of them are much better than bonus feats, but most arguments I've seen don't include the fact that most other classes get combat affecting class features beyond bonus feats. Take the comparison between avenger vigilante and the fighter. Fighter gets both armor training and weapon training, plus bravery I guess, but it's nothing to write home about without the expanded options. But that's the thing, with expanded options each armor or weapon training traded for advanced training can be worth 2 or 3 feats. A high level fighter could be looking at the equivalent of 10 bonus feats just from advanced training, to say nothing of the extra 2 AC/-2 ACP they probably took from armor training and +6 to attack and damage from weapon training and gloves of dueling (sure that's a 15k investment, but it's an investment the vigilante can't match).

If all they did was give you bonus Feats you'd be right. But they don't. Shield of Blades grants a pretty high bonus to AC, for example, on top of giving you Power Attack.

Some of them are indeed on par with Advanced Weapon Training options...but gaining the equivalent of an Advanced Weapon Training option every two levels is very nice.

But y'know what? We've actually had this discussion before and I gave an example then.

And I think it stands. It compares Vigilante to Slayer rather than Fighter, but unless you're saying you'd never play a Slayer, that shouldn't matter for these purposes.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Aside from that, fighter can more easily dump ability scores for the stats they want. A fighter can dump int to 7 while still having effectively 6 skill points per level and similar HP to an Avenger who takes favored class bonus into hit points. They also have little reason for charisma unless they plan on using charisma based skills, meanwhile a vigilante has the charisma based skills baked into the class, and class abilities whose DCs are based off of charisma.

A Fighter can indeed dump more easily. But the earliest they hit the number of Class skills a Vigilante has if doing this is 6th level, and they never get bonuses to them. That's a pretty serious skill disadvantage, and it's usually worse since you don't want to be using Advanced Weapon Training and Advanced Armor Training, and Feats to get both on skills all the damn time.

Yeah, a Vigilante might not dump as much, but that's sorta only a disadvantage if you were planning on dumping heavily anyway.

And an Avenger can go Dex 12 and never need to raise it (except by belt), which isn't dumping per se, but sure does save them some serious Ability points over the Fighter. They can even do this while TWF via Shield of Fury if they want.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
The biggest two things for me though is the numbers game and the number of abilities that are circumstantially useful. Compared to most other mundane combat classes, accuracy doesn't keep up. It's missing the bonus to attack and damage that other classes have, either through weapon training, studied target, rage, or the like. Sure, the vigilante has options like cunning feint and surprise strike, but by mid-levels you've used 2 talents as well as forfeiting an attack for similar accuracy to the other classes. Sure sometimes you might get lucky by fighting air elementals, gaining a massive bonuses to accuracy, but you could just as easily encounter an earth elemental, or a barbarian, and gain none. There's also the fact that a number of abilities key off of the enemy being unaware of your presence, such as the various presences abilities, which basically means an ambush, which likely means sneaking. Great if you can get the party to work with you, not so great if the party cleric has a stealth of -4. That's to say nothing of the party blowing your cover in social identity, by being the exact same 4 guys who also hang out with your vigilante identity.

Only Stalker really keys off people being unaware. And Stalker's tricky to use. Potentially powerful, but very tricky.

As for accuracy, let's be honest here: Full BAB classes don't really need a lot in the way of accuracy enhancers. Full BAB and a maxed attack stat tend to hit things all on their own most of the time. Not having one is inconvenient, but hardly the end of the world on something like Avenger. Also, there's the Take Em Alive Talent, which gives a better bonus to hit than Weapon Training...when dealing nonlethal damage. And ignores the normal penalty to do that and adds bonus damage. Your accuracy and damage are now on par with a Fighter when dealing nonlethal. Throw on the Enforcer Feat and you're cooking with serious gas. And you still have Full BAB vs. undead and golems and the like, just not extra on top of that.

Stalker, like I said, is trickier...but have several options. Including Take Em Alive noted above. That and Surprise Strike and Clever Feint plus a TWF build with Lethal Grace and your accuracy is scarily high all things considered and you pile on the damage too.

I mean, at 9th level, that's a +5 Accuracy from Class Abilities alone, and on people who are denied their Dex to AC. Ouch.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
So that's kind of my feelings on the class. Similar to core rogues (because UnRogue is a solid class on it's own) the vigilante could really shine in the right circumstances, especially given the chance to operate on it's own, or with teammates who operate similarly to their build, like an entire team of vigilantes. Or like almost everyone mentions, campaigns that take place in a single city, with a lot of political intrigue going on. But for your standard adventure, I'm stuck looking at the things you have to deal with like options that only work in one identity. Talents that, while good, lock you into substandard fighting styles, or working in a single neighborhood. Meanwhile, I could just play a slayer, and not have to worry about all that, still be good at skills. Really the only answer I would have might be a campaign where the PCs are constantly being scryed upon, and that's only ever happened in one campaign I've played in. It wasn't even our enemies that was doing it either.

Everything except the Intimidate bonus from Renown works in your Social Identity. It just runs the risk of giving away that your Social and Vigilante identities are the same. If you don't care about that (and why would you in a game like you describe?), just don't worry about the identity thing. It's easily enough done. Besides, how many people are gonna survive seeing you doing stuff in your social identity out in the wilderness?

Deighton Thrane wrote:
EDIT - Just wanted to say the rogue comment wasn't to say the vigilante is as bad as the core rogue, just that they both have niche abilities that aren't always catered to.

Noted.

Liberty's Edge

Huh, I remember having that discussion with you DMW, don't remember that Ssalarn was part of that conversation though. So companion to the lonely is pretty cool, and take em alive is pretty good too, especially the not having to use a nonlethal weapon to use it, so you can always switch to lethal when nonlethal isn't an option. And now looking back at it, I don't know why you wouldn't fight in your social identity, the cost to benefit ratio doesn't really seem worth it unless you need to go after someone in secret, and even then you could still just use disguise.

Couple things I did want to point out though. Even the avenger vigilante is going to get the startling, frightening and stunning appearance abilities, which all require that the enemies be unaware of the vigilantes presence. A stalker has a lot more abilities that key of these, but even the avenger is affected by poor/no stealth. As for the accuracy thing, it absolutely matters in the same way AC matters in the high levels. It's not really there to affect the highest iteratives, it's there so that your lower iterative attacks will hit. Take for example a couple melee PCs at 11th level, making 4 attacks a round (with haste) a character with +5 to hit is going to average one more hit a round than the other PC (provided he's not over the hitting on a 2 line). Or, the PC with +5 to hit could be using Dazing Assault to possibly daze opponents with every hit at the same accuracy as the less potent ally. There are some PCs who are unaffected by this, like mounted chargers or natural weapon users, but the closest the vigilante is likely to have is the reach AoO build.

Am kind of curious about the 12 dex comment too. What would you typically stat a str build vigilante if going with 12 dex? 13 cha? Cause you probably wouldn't want to short Con, or dump Int or Wis for that matter. Although with good will saves and companion to the lonely a wis dump might work, would just hurt perception and sense motive a bit.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Deighton Thrane wrote:
but even the avenger is affected by poor/no stealth.

... my sneaky Barbarian with d8s would have words with this.

Also most melee classes won't get to enjoy their Full Attacks all the time, sans a Beast Totem Barbarian, whereas Avenger Vigilantes get Mad Rush. An Avenger might not have as many boosters as other classes but it's not crippled by not having them.

Liberty's Edge

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Huh, I remember having that discussion with you DMW, don't remember that Ssalarn was part of that conversation though. So companion to the lonely is pretty cool, and take em alive is pretty good too, especially the not having to use a nonlethal weapon to use it, so you can always switch to lethal when nonlethal isn't an option. And now looking back at it, I don't know why you wouldn't fight in your social identity, the cost to benefit ratio doesn't really seem worth it unless you need to go after someone in secret, and even then you could still just use disguise.

Yeah, the only benefit of having separate identities is, well, having separate identities. If you don't care about that, staying in your social identity all the time is a very solid call.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Couple things I did want to point out though. Even the avenger vigilante is going to get the startling, frightening and stunning appearance abilities, which all require that the enemies be unaware of the vigilantes presence.

True, but those are hardly absolutely necessary to be effective. They're nice, and you probably want to buy Stealth and try for them, but if you fail it's not a huge deal.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
A stalker has a lot more abilities that key of these, but even the avenger is affected by poor/no stealth. As for the accuracy thing, it absolutely matters in the same way AC matters in the high levels. It's not really there to affect the highest iteratives, it's there so that your lower iterative attacks will hit. Take for example a couple melee PCs at 11th level, making 4 attacks a round (with haste) a character with +5 to hit is going to average one more hit a round than the other PC (provided he's not over the hitting on a 2 line). Or, the PC with +5 to hit could be using Dazing Assault to possibly daze opponents with every hit at the same accuracy as the less potent ally. There are some PCs who are unaffected by this, like mounted chargers or natural weapon users, but the closest the vigilante is likely to have is the reach AoO build.

You can do a natural weapon Vigilante really easy with the Agathiel Archetype, actually. But yeah, accuracy matters. The question is how much, and how much accuracy can you get. And there are several ways to do that as a Vigilante, mostly situational, but no less cool for all that.

There are also several ways to get additional attacks, which increase DPR if not accuracy. Mad Rush is notable, as is Leave An Opening, which is a free extra attack per round for a Stalker a lot of the time.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Am kind of curious about the 12 dex comment too. What would you typically stat a str build vigilante if going with 12 dex? 13 cha? Cause you probably wouldn't want to short Con, or dump Int or Wis for that matter. Although with good will saves and companion to the lonely a wis dump might work, would just hurt perception and sense motive a bit.

In 20 point-buy? As a human I'd probably go something like this:

Str 18 Dex 12 Con 14 Int 12 Wis 7 Cha 14

Actually, I'd probably go Con 12, Int 14, but the above is more optimal. Then I'd grab Iron Will to make up for the Wis dump on everything but skills and I'd make sure to pick Sense Motive as a skill with Social Grace, probably right then at 1st. That leaves Perception, which winds up adequate since it's a Class Skill. Not great, but adequate.

My other Feat would be Heavy Armor Proficiency and I'd grab Shield of Blades as my 2nd level Talent. Things are pretty much off and running at that point.

Another very real possibility would be Half Orc, skipping Iron Will for Sacred Tattoo and Fate's Favored. That could be fun.


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Vigilante is a very strong martial class in combat. Out of combat it has things it can do, even if it isn't the best.

The only things I really don't like about the Vigilante are the "things which make it iconic" which is the dual identity stuff and the lack of consequences for people finding out. I understand the point of it, it just isn't implemented as well as I would have liked.

Though to be honest I'm not sure exactly what I would have wanted either.

In any event, the majority of the mechanics of the class are great for both in and out of combat stuff.

I'm playing in a game as a Tyrant Antipaladin right now and my friend is playing a Vigilante. If I'm not smiting something he completely out classes me in virtually everything.


Honestly I think the whole dual identity thing is a bit forced and should of been something saved for dm and player to figure out. That said I like the vigilante none the less. Some of the archetypes could be better but the core of it seems fine.


Deighton Thrane wrote:
... Aside from that, fighter can more easily dump ability scores for the stats they want. A fighter can dump int to 7 while still having effectively 6 skill points per level ...
Deadmanwalking wrote:
... A Fighter can indeed dump more easily. But the earliest they hit the number of Class skills a Vigilante has if doing this is 6th level, and they never get bonuses to them. That's a pretty serious skill disadvantage, and it's usually worse since you don't want to be using Advanced Weapon Training and Advanced Armor Training, and Feats to get both on skills all the damn time. ...

Could either of you please take a moment to explain how the fighter could effectively get 6 skill points per level? I'm missing something.

Thanks.

Sovereign Court

Advanced armor training: adaptable training let's you treat your ranks in 1 skill as equal to your BAB, from a set list of skills. You can pick it more than once.
Advanced weapon training: versatile training let's you treat your ranks in 2 skills based on your weapon group as equal to your BAB.

Pretty sure there is a feat that gives you 1 skill rank per level, like toughness does for hp. Favored class bonus, human, 12 Int = 9 ranks per level.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Cunning from Villian Codex is the Feat.


Firebug wrote:

Advanced armor training: adaptable training let's you treat your ranks in 1 skill as equal to your BAB, from a set list of skills. You can pick it more than once.

Advanced weapon training: versatile training let's you treat your ranks in 2 skills based on your weapon group as equal to your BAB.

Pretty sure there is a feat that gives you 1 skill rank per level, like toughness does for hp. Favored class bonus, human, 12 Int = 9 ranks per level.

Adaptable training can be taken up to four times. Versatile training can be taken twice. By 10th level you can have 10 + Int in skill points per level, although 8 of them have to be specific skills.

So, for example from versatile training - Heavy blades you get diplomacy and ride, versatile training - crossbows you get perception and stealth, while from adaptable training you pick up acrobatics, disguise, escape artist and say climb. That's 8 skills, plus your regular 2 + int.

It does cost your 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th level feats, your 7th level armor training and you have to take weapon training for heavy blades and crossbows at 5th and 9th, but you CAN do it.

(You can also add 1 skill point/level from the Cunning feat and 1 skill point/level from favorite class bonus, but since anyone can do that, I didn't include them.)


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While these are ok options they don't come together as well as one might want.

There are 2 strong weapons for versatile training bows and polearms. Most of the other have skill that is much less valuable than the other. Adaptable training has 2 decent skills knowledge engineering and intimdate, which you may pick up from versatile training anyway.

You don't get any new class skills, you don't have the ability scores to support the rolls. You lack any static bonus class features like inspiration, trap finding or bardic knowldge to boost the skills.

But the worst part is that when you take these you put off getting good advanced training options like abundant tactics, armed bravery (must have imo), fighter tactics, focused weapon.


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I'll offer this as a thought. Maybe the problem the Vigilante has to overcome is partially created by the Iconic Vigilante. He's at first glance Batman for fantasy, even the costume echos the Batman Family look he could easily be the next Red Robin.

Now I personally found that amusing and read on, but I can imagine differing types of people who would be put off, annoyed or even outraged by that concept and never really move beyond it to discover there is much more in the class to discover.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

My Avenger used this as their Vigilante "costume".


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I like that, very 13th Warrior if you've seen that movie. Okay it's the bad guys who use the animal style masks in that but it's still cool!

Scarab Sages

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Deighton Thrane wrote:
So, where are people badmouthing the vigilante, cause I don't think I've ever seen a thread where the consensus was that vigilantes are a bad class. In fact I usually see the opposite, like this thread where everyone seems to love it.

It's very common to see misconceptions about the vigilante all over the place (several reviews on the product page show knee-jerk reactions and little understanding of what's being discussed). Most commonly I see it from people on the Facebook page and similar places where people can dump the convos whenever someone asks them to explain their dislike of the vigilante. That's part of why I was curious if there was some reason outside of the class itself that people seemed to have an issue with it.

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I still think it's near the best of the bunch, but it's not as good as a straight bonus to those skills like other classes might get.

Specific example?

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As for the vigilante talents, well I don't think there's much arguing that some of them are much better than bonus feats, but most arguments I've seen don't include the fact that most other classes get combat affecting class features beyond bonus feats. Take the comparison between avenger vigilante and the fighter. Fighter gets both armor training and weapon training, plus bravery I guess, but it's nothing to write home about without the expanded options. But that's the thing, with expanded options each armor or weapon training traded for advanced training can be worth 2 or 3 feats. A high level fighter could be looking at the equivalent of 10 bonus feats just from advanced training, to say nothing of the extra 2 AC/-2 ACP they probably took from armor training and +6 to attack and damage from weapon training and gloves of dueling (sure that's a 15k investment, but it's an investment the vigilante can't match).

Except the vigilante does have ways to boost their accuracy, they're just not all flat bonuses (though some of them are). Being able to get all the best benefits of the Feint line feats, including Two-Weapon Feint without needing to actually use two weapons, is a huge deal that also improves party performance against the enemy, and it costs one talent. The vigilante also gets abilities like Mad Rush which let him do things the fighter isn't capable of without archetyping, like move and full attack, which is a significant benefit; when you go from making full attacks 50% of the time to 75%, the damage increase is beyond phenomenal.

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The biggest two things for me though is the numbers game and the number of abilities that are circumstantially useful. Compared to most other mundane combat classes, accuracy doesn't keep up.

I don't think that's really proven, or true. Maybe for the stalker vigilante, but certainly not for the avenger. Aside from full BAB you've got Cunning Feint, Signature Weapon, and Surprise Strike, just on the main chassis.

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It's missing the bonus to attack and damage that other classes have, either through weapon training, studied target, rage, or the like. Sure, the vigilante has options like cunning feint and surprise strike, but by mid-levels you've used 2 talents as well as forfeiting an attack for similar accuracy to the other classes.

Those abilities do more than that though. Studied Target eats into action economy while all of the vigilante's abilities tie into his normal action without imposing outside costs. More than that, by 8th level Cunning Feint is an accuracy booster for the entire party, not just the vigilante themselves. Multiplicative buffs are almost always going to be more beneficial than single target / single character benefit buffs, and unlike all the other full BABs other than the Fighter and Slayer, the Vigilante has no limits on how many times he can use his abilities. There's also the ranger-esque benefit of abilities like Shield of Fury, which allows you to TWF without pumping your DEX, so you can go STR heavy for higher damage/accuracy. Dex-free TWF is ridiculously powerful in Pathfinder, especially when combined with a class that can move and full attack.

Related, I'd also point to the above as a challenge to the assertion that the Fighter is easier to dump stat with. Ignoring the fact that the 7 Int 6 skills per level Fighter involves being entirely useless both out of combat, and in any combat that involves using skills for the first quarter of a 1-20 game (and the first half of the average game), Fighters still need to boost WIS for not being a liability, DEX if they're actually going to leverage their Armor Training for an advantage and have any expectation of making a Reflex saving throw, and CON because they're still going to biff more Reflex saves than most other classes. The vigilante wants a reasonable CON, good STR, and everything else is negotiable depending on specific build. They can also flip and go Dex over Str with Lethal Grace, though that actually rewards a high investment in DEX coupled with a moderate investment in STR.

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That's to say nothing of the party blowing your cover in social identity, by being the exact same 4 guys who also hang out with your vigilante identity.

Which is virtually a non-issue. You lose very little by Tony Stark-ing it, and it's not uncommon IME to see vigilantes who are actually kind of local celebrities who save their secret identities for a narrow number of specific types of missions. There's no reason you can't generally walk around being a ridiculously awesome social fighty person who only throws on the mask when heading into areas where they'd prefer to be more low-key.

Related to which, the "mask" can be anything as well, not just a literal mask. Your vigilante identity could be as simple as "Hey guys, people around here aren't as guarded and informed as elsewhere so they might let things slip to the wrong people, and since I haven't bathed or shaved in a week I'm just going to add a little charcoal to deepen my eyes and you can call me 'Strider' instead of Aragorn." Are the ring wraiths going to put that one together? Sooner or later, yeah, but probably not until you're well on your way to Rivendell. Situational tools are still tools, and the vigilante has a deep toolbox to draw from that covers a large number of situations.


I think the reason some dislike the class is that they see a lot of dead space in the class for them. While you can work around the multiple identities and site based abilities, some dislike unused/useless/unneeded abilities sitting around on their sheet. Then they look at social abilities and see 3 or 4 actually useful ones out of 3 dozen and see a lot MORE dead space.

I wish they had made the multiple id's/site based abilities 1 option and allowed for an option to instead have a set of abilities for a vigilante that isn't tied to a mask. If you want to play 'the punisher', not having a mask means a bunch of abilities I can't use and that's very annoying to some.

Scarab Sages

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graystone wrote:

I think the reason some dislike the class is that they see a lot of dead space in the class for them. While you can work around the multiple identities and site based abilities, some dislike unused/useless/unneeded abilities sitting around on their sheet. Then they look at social abilities and see 3 or 4 actually useful ones out of 3 dozen and see a lot MORE dead space.

I wish they had made the multiple id's/site based abilities 1 option and allowed for an option to instead have a set of abilities for a vigilante that isn't tied to a mask. If you want to play 'the punisher', not having a mask means a bunch of abilities I can't use and that's very annoying to some.

In what way is that true though? Playing the Punisher is just as viable as playing Batman (or the Scarlet Pimpernel), and in some ways has added benefits since you can freely leverage your social and vigilante bonuses while reserving your vigilante identity for when you need to blend in somewhere people don't you except by reputation. With abilities like Any Guise and Everyman the vigilante's ability to be whoever he wants expands even further.

Frank Castle would be easy to build with the vigilante, and social talents like Any Guise, Case the Joint, Everyman, Gossip Collector, Immediate Change, Many Guises, Mockingbird, Quick Change, and Social Grace are all easy picks, even before you account for the fact that the Punisher probably actually does have Renown, Loyal Aid, and Safehouse.


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

My number one dislike of the class (and I don't hate it) has more to do with it's existence then with how it works on its own merits.

In my opinion, any character class should be able to be 'a vigilante' and I would have much rather seen a feat or feat tree that any character could take to get some of the 'social identity' aspects of the vigilante than to have those mechanics baked into a single class (and a few archetypes for others).

Which leads my to my second dislike. I think in order for a vigilante to be played to it's potential and to its themes, pretty much an entire party has to be vigilantes. I don't disagree that a vigilante can be mechanically viable in a typical campaign, but to be what it was designed to be, it really does have to be a 'vigilante' campaign, and I think that limits it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was part of a game where we all did a gestalt between vigilante and our other class of choice. The game didn't last very long, but it was fun. I didn't get the impression that it was a class I'll use often, because it feels like the adventure needs to be written towards vigilantes.


Dave Justus wrote:

My number one dislike of the class (and I don't hate it) has more to do with it's existence then with how it works on its own merits.

In my opinion, any character class should be able to be 'a vigilante' and I would have much rather seen a feat or feat tree that any character could take to get some of the 'social identity' aspects of the vigilante than to have those mechanics baked into a single class (and a few archetypes for others).

Which leads my to my second dislike. I think in order for a vigilante to be played to it's potential and to its themes, pretty much an entire party has to be vigilantes. I don't disagree that a vigilante can be mechanically viable in a typical campaign, but to be what it was designed to be, it really does have to be a 'vigilante' campaign, and I think that limits it.

I think this is pretty fair criticism. Kind of like how there was a Thief class before someone said...hey wait anyone can steal s!!+! ;)

So I see your point. However, it doesn't bother me too much. The whole vigilante party is less immersion breaking than a lone vigilante in a party. I suppose if the other pc's were good at disguise it could work too. So non-vigilante vigilantes...which sort of leads to your first point. ;)


Dave Justus wrote:
In my opinion, any character class should be able to be 'a vigilante' and I would have much rather seen a feat or feat tree that any character could take to get some of the 'social identity' aspects of the vigilante than to have those mechanics baked into a single class (and a few archetypes for others).

You can get renown (and later greater renown) without vigilante levels, via the Masked Renown feat. Beyond that, there is only (?) True Deception, allowing rogues and ninjas to gain any guise at level 17.

Scarab Sages

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Dave Justus wrote:

[...]

Which leads my to my second dislike. I think in order for a vigilante to be played to it's potential and to its themes, pretty much an entire party has to be vigilantes. I don't disagree that a vigilante can be mechanically viable in a typical campaign, but to be what it was designed to be, it really does have to be a 'vigilante' campaign, and I think that limits it.

Having talked to Mark Seifter about the class at some length, I think the assertion that the vigilante was designed to "be" something specific is more a projection of expectations than a fair assessment of the classes design. Mark straight up told me that the dual identity was designed to be a tool you could use as much or as little as you wanted, running the gamut from a Scarlet Pimpernel, Batman, or Zorro type to the Punisher, or even just a soldier or other member of the military for whom assuming their vigilante identity involves putting on their uniform and adopting the mindset that goes with it. To pull some more modern examples, Odd Thomas from the Dean Koontz books (especially the later entries in the series like Deeply Odd), Vash the Stampede from Trigun, and Dominic Toretto from the Fast and Furious franchise are all characters that can be accurately emulated on the Vigilante chassis, and none of them are characters that wear actual physical masks.


On a side note Deadmanwalking gave me an idea:

I'll spare everyone the character background but part of the mechanics seem like they would work.

Facey McFacePuncher

Fist of the Advenger

Lethal Grace

Take em alive

At 10th level wielding a gauntlet would that not give me +15 to damage? ...all non-lethal of course. ;)

I'm pretty sure there are some feats that up your non-lethal damage too.


Lemartes wrote:

On a side note Deadmanwalking gave me an idea:

I'll spare everyone the character background but part of the mechanics seem like they would work.

Facey McFacePuncher

Fist of the Advenger

Lethal Grace

Take em alive

At 10th level wielding a gauntlet would that not give me +15 to damage? ...all non-lethal of course. ;)

I'm pretty sure there are some feats that up your non-lethal damage too.

Don't forget to grab the Shield Gauntlet Style feats!


I'll look into those thanks. :)


Ssalarn wrote:

In what way is that true though? Playing the Punisher is just as viable as playing Batman (or the Scarlet Pimpernel), and in some ways has added benefits since you can freely leverage your social and vigilante bonuses while reserving your vigilante identity for when you need to blend in somewhere people don't you except by reputation. With abilities like Any Guise and Everyman the vigilante's ability to be whoever he wants expands even further.

Frank Castle would be easy to build with the vigilante, and social talents like Any Guise, Case the Joint, Everyman, Gossip Collector, Immediate Change, Many Guises, Mockingbird, Quick Change, and Social Grace are all easy picks, even before you account for the fact that the Punisher probably actually does have Renown, Loyal Aid, and Safehouse.

You totally 100% missed my point... If I play the punisher I am FORCED to take abilities/talents I can't/will never use. That is a fact. He is NEVER out of his vigilante ID. He's not subtle and most likely hide/stealth than Any Guise/Everyman. Even if he WOULD want to use either one, at least 1/2 his possible levels have already gone before you can pick them up meaning he's not used that ability for 10+ levels...

I'm not saying you couldn't make the punisher as a vigilante, and he might even be a good one at that, I saying that he is FORCED to have abilities he isn't going to use...

Dave Justus: You illustrate what I'm talking about. Some people want a vigilante with just ONE ID but the game forces another one on you.

PS: I should say I don't mind the class too much but I see it as more of a multiclass/gestalt class than one I'd stick with. If there are any kind of viable option to replace secondary ID with another option, I'd be more inclined to stay in it: as it is, it's a handy class for full BAB, a good will save, decent skill points and some nifty vigilante talents.

That said, a kitsune vigilante with Seemless Shapechanger is about the closest to being able to ditch the second ID and still use the ability. Seemless Shapechanger + Social Grace + Double Time + Entrepreneur + In Vogue + vigilante FCB + change shape + Duplicitous + Realistic Likeness = +41 + skill ranks + 1/2 level to disguise and you can make downtime cash with it.

PPS: Guise of Unlife is a hidden gem for social skills. If the enemy thinks you're undead and used traditional ways to fight you [holy water, healing spells/channels, ect] it's win for you. "Oh no, whatever you do don't heal me!!!"

Lemartes: I'd be careful to take ANYTHING related to gauntlets. The dev's have said that there is a FAQ in the works about them. It seems they aren't actually weapons...

Liberty's Edge

Uh...the Punisher isn't 'never out of his Vigilante identity' he's never in it. Not mechanically speaking. Or at least he never has to be. That's the secret to a one identity Vigilante. Almost nothing actually requires Vigilante identity, you just risk revealing yourself if you use some of it in social identity...which the one identity Vigilante cares nothing about.

And that makes all the Talents you're talking about useful again.

Lemartes wrote:

On a side note Deadmanwalking gave me an idea:

I'll spare everyone the character background but part of the mechanics seem like they would work.

Facey McFacePuncher

Fist of the Advenger

Lethal Grace

Take em alive

At 10th level wielding a gauntlet would that not give me +15 to damage? ...all non-lethal of course. ;)

I'm pretty sure there are some feats that up your non-lethal damage too.

It's actually only +13 damage (Take Em Alive is +3 to hit, +3 damage at that point). Add Signature Weapon for the full +15.

Shadow Lodge

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The vigilantees signature ability is the dual identity bit.

The vigilantee CLASS works fine... IF you ignore the signature ability and use it to make a skilled versatile fighter or a rogue with actual talents.

Since that kind of makes a vigilante not a vigilante people think it's busted.

The secret id thing should have scaled up the way most of its other abilities do. As it is you need to keep pouring abilities into it to get it to work, which doesn't leave you much of an adventurer or crime fighter.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
It's actually only +13 damage (Take Em Alive is +3 to hit, +3 damage at that point). Add Signature Weapon for the full +15.

Ah yeah I was thinking it was all +half level to damage. I did forget about the +3 to hit which more than makes up for two lost damage.

Enforcer feat and away I go. Thanks. :)

Scarab Sages

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graystone wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:

In what way is that true though? Playing the Punisher is just as viable as playing Batman (or the Scarlet Pimpernel), and in some ways has added benefits since you can freely leverage your social and vigilante bonuses while reserving your vigilante identity for when you need to blend in somewhere people don't you except by reputation. With abilities like Any Guise and Everyman the vigilante's ability to be whoever he wants expands even further.

Frank Castle would be easy to build with the vigilante, and social talents like Any Guise, Case the Joint, Everyman, Gossip Collector, Immediate Change, Many Guises, Mockingbird, Quick Change, and Social Grace are all easy picks, even before you account for the fact that the Punisher probably actually does have Renown, Loyal Aid, and Safehouse.

You totally 100% missed my point... If I play the punisher I am FORCED to take abilities/talents I can't/will never use. That is a fact. He is NEVER out of his vigilante ID.

I didn't miss your point, I'm challenging your assertion. It is not a fact that you will be forced to take abilities you will never use. Frank Castle still dons a costume and identity when he puts on the Punisher suit, regardless of whether or not he wears a mask. Frank also goes disguised frequently, whether simply rolling down the street to get a cup of coffee using the premise "the best place to hide is right out in the open", disguising himself as a drug dealer or enforcer to infiltrate an organization, etc. If the class has abilities you're not using, it's because you're willfully ignoring them in favor of an overly narrow and not intended reading of how the abilities are "supposed" to work. When I picked that list of social talents, I wasn't just picking talents I knew didn't require renown, I was picking ones that Frank has actually used in a comic, show or movie. That's also why I mentioned things like Safehouse and Loyal Aid, which Punisher almost always has available unless it's one of the story arcs that starts with his safehouse being compromised and his loyal aid being killed or coerced into betrayal.

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He's not subtle and most likely hide/stealth than Any Guise/Everyman. Even if he WOULD want to use either one, at least 1/2 his possible levels have already gone before you can pick them up meaning he's not used that ability for 10+ levels...

He uses equivalent abilities to both of those all the time in the comic books. And in the Netflix series. And he gets better at them as time goes on, very reflective of the progression from Many Guises (5th level) to Everyman (11th level) to Any Guise (17th level), as he goes from "just another dude on the street, totally not that notorious mass murderer you've heard about" to increasingly complex identities that allow him to infiltrate drug rings, mobs, and other criminal organizations.

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I'm not saying you couldn't make the punisher as a vigilante, and he might even be a good one at that, I saying that he is FORCED to have abilities he isn't going to use...

And I'm saying that if he isn't using the abilities he has available, it's because you're choosing not use them, not because they're inconsistent with the class or character

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Dave Justus: You illustrate what I'm talking about. Some people want a vigilante with just ONE ID but the game forces another one on you.

You're overthinking the ability because of semantics. Dual identity has more to do with mindset than appearance, as explained right in the class feature. When an Army ranger, Marine recon scout, or Navy SEAL puts on their camo paint and goes from "cool neighbor Joe who likes to barbecue" to "killface sniper who's going to put bullets in people he doesn't know because he has orders that it's for the good of the country" in real life, that is just as well expressed mechanically by Dual Identities as Bruce Wayne pulling on the cowl and becoming Batman. It's a tool that expresses mindset and is as useful as you choose to make it and what you choose to use it for.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

The vigilantees signature ability is the dual identity bit.

The vigilantee CLASS works fine... IF you ignore the signature ability and use it to make a skilled versatile fighter or a rogue with actual talents.

Since that kind of makes a vigilante not a vigilante people think it's busted.

Well in something like Hell's Rebels or CotCT, the actual dual identity is actually very solid. It's not like Vigilante has to actively not use their dual identity to be good, it's that they don't need to use it to be good.

Shadow Lodge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Well in something like Hell's Rebels or CotCT, the actual dual identity is actually very solid. It's not like Vigilante has to actively not use their dual identity to be good, it's that they don't need to use it to be good.

So why not just dip vigilante?

Liberty's Edge

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Well in something like Hell's Rebels or CotCT, the actual dual identity is actually very solid. It's not like Vigilante has to actively not use their dual identity to be good, it's that they don't need to use it to be good.
So why not just dip vigilante?

*blinks* Because we just got done discussing how it's actually good even ignoring Dual Identity?

I mean, yeah, if all it had going for it was Dual Identity dipping would be the way to go, but it's really and profoundly not.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

The vigilantees signature ability is the dual identity bit.

The vigilantee CLASS works fine... IF you ignore the signature ability and use it to make a skilled versatile fighter or a rogue with actual talents.

Since that kind of makes a vigilante not a vigilante people think it's busted.

For me 'busted' is too strong a word, but in general I think that is exactly correct.

And to a degree, the problem goes both ways. In a team game, some things have to be shared by the team to be effective. The dual identity ability to hide from divination is really cool, but if I'm part of a team of crime fighters, but the rest of my group is just relying on more mundane disguises it probably isn't going to do me any good. My foes may not be able to divine where our secret lair is by looking at me, but if they look for any of the rest of me team they can.

If dual identity or at least certain aspects of it was a feat that anyone could take and vigilante's got it as a bonus feat (or perhaps even as on of a choice of bonus feats for 'non-secret identity' campaigns I would be a lot happier with the design.

Silver Crusade

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... you can let your friends hang out in your safehouse too.

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