Almost three weeks ago, the vigilantes of the world struck out from the shadows and began to carve their own niches in a new open playtest. After plenty of feedback and several playtests of the vigilante, the vigilante returned to his lair to recover from his wounds and prepare his toolbox for his next greatest challenge... and so, the vigilante returns, with more tricks than ever before!
For those of you familiar with the first playtest vigilante, there's some huge changes in the new versions. In my opinion, the biggest of all was the change to the social identity. The first round vigilante received set abilities in his social identities, but many playtesters pointed out that every vigilante has a slightly-different take on their social identity, so maybe they won't all have abilities befitting of Bruce Wayne. The new version of the vigilante allows each vigilante to choose from a list of social talents at odd levels, to complement his vigilante talents at even levels. This allows you to prioritize the social abilities that are perfect for your own vigilante's social identity. For instance, you can gain the ability to switch identities quickly at a lower level... speaking of which, however, leads me to the second and perhaps more important part of the change in how identities work. In the new version of the vigilante, it only takes 1 minute to change identities even at 1st level (down from 5 minutes). But beyond that, as many of you suggested in the discussion threads, vigilantes can now use all their vigilante abilities in their social identity; they just risk being exposed if they do!
The other huge change is to the zealot specialization. In the first round, playtesters pointed out that the zealot didn't have enough of its own identity as a specialization like the others did, and too many of the abilities were similar to those of previous classes. Following some very clever suggestions from the playtest forums, the revamped zealot, inspired by superheroes with divine origins, chooses one of four potential sources for his power and gains a special ability, new talent options, and some changes to his spells known based on his choice. Whether you play an abyssal zealot with claws (and the ability to gain rend!) or a fey zealot with the ability to turn invisible while moving, the choice is yours!
There are a number of other smaller changes within the talents and specializations as well. Together they add up. For instance, many playtests of the stalker indicated that its unique talents allowed it to play differently than the playtester first expected, and now, with a few new talents, the specific ability to do full hidden strike damage on every attack against a foe affected by startling appearance, and upgraded damage on a full hidden strike (d8s instead of d6s), the stalker continues its path of darkness. Meanwhile, the avenger has gained some upgrades and consolidation of key talents that grant him some powerful abilities. For instance, now if you take hard to kill, you don't just gain Die Hard; you gain other powers like the ability to wait a round before dying of hit point damage (during which you can heal it off). The warlock's biggest change is to the powerful mystic bolts option, which now allows you to use it in conjunction with way more other abilities and ignores spell resistance, in return for a decrease in damage that is more-or-less cancelled by the ability to use it with the arcane striker talent (which you previously couldn't) alone!
So whatever style of vigilante you might be, whatever secret hides within your fragmented heart, find the strength within yourself to go forth and right the wrongs you crave to right... or, you know, commit those wrongs; we don't discriminate against evil vigilantes!
Roleplaying Guild Vigilantes
As we announced in the last playtest blog this version of the vigilante is legal for play in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. The Chronicle sheet for the vigilante is now available for all participating in the playtest in organized play! Go ahead and grab it now!
Download the Chronicle sheet — 147kb zip/PDF
The official playtest period ends on July 20th, but we'd love for you to keep playing through August 17th; when you're through, you can post new discoveries and final thoughts (once per person) in a special thread. This allows us to continue to apply your most important ideas and latebreaking discoveries later into the design process than usual and makes them easy to find!
In honor of the new round of the playtest, I think I'm going to make a dedicated stalker thread to have some stalker chats with you guys. See you there!