Advanced Class Guide Preview: Slayer

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Into every generation, a slayer is born. The slayer is a hunter, a stalker, and a killer, with enough power to fight fairly and win, but the inclination to fight unfairly and win by an even wider margin. The slayer combines the stalking and combat styles of the rogue and the ranger with none of the ranger's nature focus. Basically, the slayer is Ezio from the Assassin's Creed series, the quintessential assassin and the last person you want to see leaping out at you from the shadows.

The slayer is a full BAB class with a slower sneak attack progression than the rogue, talents at even levels, and its own prime feature, favored target (which is now called studied target). Studied target is the slayer's spin on favored enemy. Instead of hating a particular type of creature, the slayer studies any target he wants (hey, no wonder it's called studied target!), gaining bonuses against that target until he switches targets. Since this bonus also applies to Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival (and later Disguise, Intimidate, and Stealth), clever slayers can also gain a substantial boon from this feature in a variety of non-combat situations as well by studying NPCs during social encounters too. Favored target has unlimited daily uses, and who knows—if the old lady suddenly starts attacking, then you're even ready to fight back right away!


Illustration by Ramon Puasa Jr

In the original version, there were 16 choices for slayer talents with 8 additional advanced talents available at level 10. Playtesters had trouble finding enough talents that they wanted to take for their builds, so for the second playtest, this increased to 24 talents and 10 advanced talents, including the powerful combat style talent that could be taken three times, essentially granting the ranger's combat style feats to the slayer, and allowing the slayer the potential to amass a small army of feats at his disposal. Additionally, playtests had shown that the slayer's 4+Int bonus skill points were insufficient to pick up all the sorts of skills he needed to successfully slay, so he bumped up to 6+Int skill points.

The final version of the slayer as it appears in the Advanced Class Guide is quite similar to the second playtest version, so pull up your playtest document (or download it now) for an excellent preview of the class. The most exciting change is in the action economy of studied target—at low levels (before 7th when you can study as a swift action), melee slayers were finding the move action to study a target was really cramping their ambushes. So now, starting from level 1, if you hit and deal sneak attack damage, you can apply your studied target as an immediate action, and it even applies the favored target bonus to damage for that same attack. That way, you can ambush all you like and get right to the slaying!

The slayer screams out for archetypes that capture all the different facets of the iconic image of the slayer. The slayer archetypes in this book are really nice in that they give you what you're looking for with a relatively light touch, generally switching out a few of your talents for thematic abilities and losing very little else. The bounty hunter is your Boba Fett, bringing back criminals and debtors alive with combat maneuvers and an incapacitating death attack. The cleaner is the guy you send in to make sure those darned investigators don't figure out what happened, with a special ability to force any would-be detectives to beat the cleaner's Disguise or Stealth in order to find clues. The cutthroat is even more like Ezio, losing outdoorsy skills for city-based powers and skill bonuses that will help you leap off buildings instead of out of the shadows. The grave warden goes back to my intro quote with a kickass undead slayer, gaining an at-will self-only death ward at level 7 (it does cost 4 holy waters) and the ability to death attack an undead. But I'm sure you've been wondering "Mark, when are you going to get to that glowy purply shadow guy. He looks awesome!" That, my friends, is the stygian slayer, a killer imbued with the darkest shadows. He can cast invisibility, use wands and scrolls of a few thematic spells without a Use Magic Device Check, and turn into an inky black cloud that obscures vision. And that's just 5 of the 8 slayer archetypes in the final book! But wait—people have been asking for a thrown weapon ranger combat style for a while, right? Yeah, we have that too!

So you've got the rogue. You've got the ranger. Why should you be excited about the slayer class? Because those other classes serve a few masters when it comes to their design, but the slayer unashamedly serves only one—he wants to be the best at slaying, eliminating a chosen foe or foes. And he serves his master well. Even a fighter's offense can't keep up with the slayer, so if you prefer a style that emphasizes guile, stealth, and strong offense over defense, the slayer is the class for you.

As I'm typing this last paragraph, I've noticed that the slayer has some kind of a curved dagger to my throat, and he's made a few demands, so I want you to know, completely not under duress, that the slayer is my personal hero and is the best at all things. In fact, we're going to put out an entire book dedicated only to slayer options, and—aaaaaargh.

Mark Seifter
Designer

Editor's Note: After shooing the raptors away from the scene, we found this blog on a USB drive clutched in the hand of the remains of designer Mark Seifter. After a resurrection spell, he's fine now and back at work on Pathfinder Unchained, but he's still jumpy any time anyone mentions the slayer class. He defies anyone who claims that if he was dying, he wouldn't have bothered to have typed "Aaaaargh", he'd just say it.

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If you guys ever make a musket or rifle using Slayer archetype I can finally make Thane Krios


Blackvial wrote:
If you guys ever make a musket or rifle using Slayer archetype I can finally make Thane Krios

Musket Master Gunslinger 5/Slayer 15. Or Trench Fighter 4/Slayer 16.

;)


Tom Phillips wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
... I know some people will recreate an adorably psychotic Cleaner from a certain series.
Yep, he was one of the inspirations for the cleaner archetype. Also, I think the iconic should look exactly like Harvey Keitel, but that's just me. ;-)

Okay, I don't know who you were referring to. I was referring to a minor character from Black Lagoon. Sawyer the Cleaner. Short, female, wields a chainsaw, uses an Ultravoice to talk, gets upset when said device is separated from her. Also happens to be a professional cleaner within a criminal underworld.

This is what I figured some people would have recreated if that image from one of the Iron Gods stuff was indeed a chainsaw sword. Though I could see other serrated weapons used instead.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Secane wrote:

Humm... I feel I should clarify my original question as I have played and played with good fighter and rogue characters.

By relevant, I mean it in a why would players still want to play these core classes? When there are much better and similar themed options out there?

This is not a new problem. There's already really no reason to play a Rogue rather than an Urban Ranger, Archaeologist Bard, or Trapbreaker Vivisectionist Alchemist, for example.

Secane wrote:

It is not as if the core classes are flawed or are unusable options.

The Fighter and Rogue can work fine in a game, but it seems like the advanced Classes can do it much BETTER.

So can a Ranger, Paladin, or Barbarian. Or the ones I list above. Every objective analysis people do says that Slayer is slightly worse than Ranger, mechanically speaking...how much worse would it need to be for you to feel it wasn't overshadowing things?

Secane wrote:
Shouldn't the newer classes be made to complement the core classes? And not over-shadow them?

"Less powerful than a Ranger" seems to fall very thoroughly into this description actually. Trying not to overshadow Fighter and Rogue results in classes that are no good to basically anyone.

Secane wrote:

Really? I always thought that the fighter works fine... the rogue could be a little weak at times, but I have seen some scary fighters.

Like a pure crit fighter that was downing the entire room of mons. (The scary part was that is was build with just the CRB, only his weapon was from UE.)

Or the Fighter Archer, which could be mainly due to how powerful archery is and fighter gives it all the extra feats it needs to be scary.

Fighter does damage pretty effectively. Its issue is that, unlike every other class there is, it does absolutely nothing else (with the exception of decent AC, I guess). Even Barbarians can manage good saves and a decent skill selection, plus Spell Sunder and Pounce...Fighters just deal damage. They have no saves, no utility options, no nothing. Unlike every other Class that can pretty much equal them in damage, they have nothing else.

Great post Deadmanwalking.

Some of the posts in this thread make me sad. What frustrate me are the constant complaints every time Paizo is releases something new.

During the playtest people raised there worry that the main problem with the rogue was is that it unfortunately brought the new classes down. The investigator and slayer was the two big concerns, but also Swashbuckler was a problem.

People loudly, and rightly so, pointed out that the new classes wasn’t the problem. The problem was the rogue (and to some extent the fighter).

Now when the Devs seems to have listened to us, people complain that the slayer is too good.

First of all, we haven’t seen the new classes nor do we know if the old classes get some new cool abilities or/and feats, but second, …….
….here it is: the slayer isn’t too good. Nor are any of the other new martial classes or the Investigator too good, it is the rogue, and to some extent the fighter, that are too weak

Seriously, would we have been happy if they had nerfed the Slayer or the investigator because they would have been more powerful than the rouge. Me, I’m extremely happy that they didn’t use the rogue as their benchmark.

BTW, and the ranger? The ranger is still very much a valid class.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyle '88 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I can't risk that misfire chance. Only Stephen, as the designer of gunslingers, has the proper proficiencies to load one without the increased misfire rate, and he was out sick today.

I guess it would be a little much to expect a 10-foot pole to have taken levels in Gunslinger, huh?
How about a swing trap that hits people coming thru the door with a 10 foot pole?
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.

You could build an over-sized longbow from the ropes that fires sharpened ten foot poles!


Lemmy wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
If you guys ever make a musket or rifle using Slayer archetype I can finally make Thane Krios

Musket Master Gunslinger 5/Slayer 15. Or Trench Fighter 4/Slayer 16.

;)

while those are really good ideas that i might try, but i see the slayer as a class where from a story point of view you stick with until the end

Paizo Employee Designer

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Christopher Van Horn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyle '88 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I can't risk that misfire chance. Only Stephen, as the designer of gunslingers, has the proper proficiencies to load one without the increased misfire rate, and he was out sick today.

I guess it would be a little much to expect a 10-foot pole to have taken levels in Gunslinger, huh?
How about a swing trap that hits people coming thru the door with a 10 foot pole?
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.
You could build an over-sized longbow from the ropes that fires sharpened ten foot poles!

I knew I should have majored in MechE instead of EECS. That would likely be beyond my ability. It's more likely to wind up like a javelin trap than the hybrid ballista/longbow you describe. Maybe if the javelin was poisoned?


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Zark wrote:

Great post Deadmanwalking.

Some of the posts in this thread make me sad. What frustrate me are the constant complaints every time Paizo is releases something new.

During the playtest people raised there worry that the main problem with the rogue was is that it unfortunately brought the new classes down. The investigator and slayer was the two big concerns, but also Swashbuckler was a problem.

People loudly, and rightly so, pointed out that the new classes wasn’t the problem. The problem was the rogue (and to some extent the fighter).

Now when the Devs seems to have listened to us, people complain that the slayer is too good.

First of all, we haven’t seen the new classes nor do we know if the old classes get some new cool abilities or/and feats, but second, …….
….here it is: the slayer isn’t too good. Nor are any of the other new martial classes or the Investigator too good, it is the rogue, and to some extent the fighter, that are too weak

Seriously, would we have been happy if they had nerfed the Slayer or the investigator because they would have been more powerful than the rouge. Me, I’m extremely happy that they didn’t use the rogue as their benchmark.

BTW, and the ranger? The ranger is still very much a valid class.

I think the people saying that the Slayer was badly designed because it is stronger than the Rogue and Fighter are different than the people who were concerned that the Rogue and Fighter would drag down the Slayer.

I, for one, welcome our new Slayer overlords. It's a very good and well-built base class with complimentary features that do a wonderful job of making a powerful, fully Ex warrior. If someone comes up to me and tells me that they want to play a badass mundane hero who succeeds purely off of her grit and strength I can tell them with confidence to play a Slayer without feeling like I'm leading them into a trap. That's good design.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Christopher Van Horn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyle '88 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I can't risk that misfire chance. Only Stephen, as the designer of gunslingers, has the proper proficiencies to load one without the increased misfire rate, and he was out sick today.

I guess it would be a little much to expect a 10-foot pole to have taken levels in Gunslinger, huh?
How about a swing trap that hits people coming thru the door with a 10 foot pole?
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.
You could build an over-sized longbow from the ropes that fires sharpened ten foot poles!
I knew I should have majored in MechE instead of EECS. That would likely be beyond my ability. It's more likely to wind up like a javelin trap than the hybrid ballista/longbow you describe. Maybe if the javelin was poisoned?

what you need is a shark cage that was converted to protect you from raptors and allow you to continue working

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
Christopher Van Horn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyle '88 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I can't risk that misfire chance. Only Stephen, as the designer of gunslingers, has the proper proficiencies to load one without the increased misfire rate, and he was out sick today.

Was he really out sick, or is the slayer on the prowl? ;)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.

Since you are a rogue eidolon, can you dismiss yourself?

Paizo Employee Designer

Alanya wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Christopher Van Horn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kyle '88 wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


I can't risk that misfire chance. Only Stephen, as the designer of gunslingers, has the proper proficiencies to load one without the increased misfire rate, and he was out sick today.

Was he really out sick, or is the slayer on the prowl? ;)

Well he's in today, so I think we're in the clear on that one. Whew!


Dennis Baker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.
Since you are a rogue eidolon, can you dismiss yourself?

i thought that without a summoner a rogue eidolon would be stuck on what ever plain they where summoned to?

Paizo Employee Designer

Blackvial wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.
Since you are a rogue eidolon, can you dismiss yourself?
i thought that without a summoner a rogue eidolon would be stuck on what ever plain they where summoned to?

I just trying unsummoning myself and it didn't work, so I checked my Bestiary 3. I think Blackvial is right on that one.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I just trying unsummoning myself and it didn't work, so I checked my Bestiary 3. I think Blackvial is right on that one.

Couldn't you take levels in Summoner and summon/unsummon yourself?


Mark Seifter wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.
Since you are a rogue eidolon, can you dismiss yourself?
i thought that without a summoner a rogue eidolon would be stuck on what ever plain they where summoned to?
I just trying unsummoning myself and it didn't work, so I checked my Bestiary 3. I think Blackvial is right on that one.

have you tried a Dismissal or Gate?

edited for spelling


Wait... can Eidolons take levels in Summoner? And if they could, could they then summon the summoner that they're bound to?

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Mark Seifter wrote:


I just trying unsummoning myself and it didn't work, so I checked my Bestiary 3. I think Blackvial is right on that one.

Were you summoned or called? If you were summoned, the slayer only sends you back to your native plane. If you were called it could be trouble.


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If I was his summoner then I could call him.

Thant would be neat. Very useful when you have rules question.

As my pet I would call him Al, or perhaps I call him Betty and he calls me Al. ;-)


As cool as the changes to Slayer sound... it does make me sad that the Investigator doesn't get the same bonuses in a social setting to studying a target that a slayer does. An investigator has a different way to boost skills, of course (inspiration), but it feels like it would be equally appropriate for an investigator to be able to study a specific target to get bonuses against them in a social setting.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Kalvit wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
... I know some people will recreate an adorably psychotic Cleaner from a certain series.
Yep, he was one of the inspirations for the cleaner archetype. Also, I think the iconic should look exactly like Harvey Keitel, but that's just me. ;-)
Okay, I don't know who you were referring to.

I thought you were referring to Dexter! He's adorably psychotic ... but yeah, no chainsaws. :-/

The cleaner falls somewhere between Leon, from The Professional, and Dexter (from the Showtime series), with a few nods to Harvey Keitel's great cleaner characters (from Point of No Return and Pulp Fiction).


Mark Seifter wrote:
Blackvial wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I considered that, but then I've knocked him prone, but he's still blocking the exit to the office, and presumably he's still holding onto his weapons. I'd have to move through his square to get out, since the door isn't high enough to leap one square up and over him (plus even if it was, I wouldn't trust myself to make a DC 20 Acrobatics check), and so that would require a pretty tough Acrobatics check to pull off. Now if it swung and knocked him into a pit trap, that would be different, but I don't think I'm going to get permission to dig a pit in there.
Since you are a rogue eidolon, can you dismiss yourself?
i thought that without a summoner a rogue eidolon would be stuck on what ever plain they where summoned to?
I just trying unsummoning myself and it didn't work, so I checked my Bestiary 3. I think Blackvial is right on that one.

Make sure you check which plane you are native to - would be terrible to find out you were from the plane of raptors or the (soon to be released) plane of slayers ;)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Slayer Iconic is coming.......


: rubs hands together in anticipation :

: refreshes page for millionth time :


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalvit wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
... I know some people will recreate an adorably psychotic Cleaner from a certain series.
Yep, he was one of the inspirations for the cleaner archetype. Also, I think the iconic should look exactly like Harvey Keitel, but that's just me. ;-)

Okay, I don't know who you were referring to. I was referring to a minor character from Black Lagoon. Sawyer the Cleaner. Short, female, wields a chainsaw, uses an Ultravoice to talk, gets upset when said device is separated from her. Also happens to be a professional cleaner within a criminal underworld.

This is what I figured some people would have recreated if that image from one of the Iron Gods stuff was indeed a chainsaw sword. Though I could see other serrated weapons used instead.

There's actually a weapon called a 'ripsaw glaive' from Gnomes of Golarion that's pretty much a chainsaw glaive...

Gnomes of Golarion wrote:
The blade of this glaive is serrated and mounted on an axle. A heavy cord is wrapped around the axle; when pulled (a move action), the blade spins rapidly for a number of rounds equal to your Strength bonus. While the blade is spinning, it deals +2 damage; otherwise, treat this weapon as a glaive. Re-wrapping the cord around the spinning mechanism is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.


K177Y C47 wrote:
Ok.. htis is actually pretty awesome... poor fighter though...

Fighter is still my go to class for tanking up. Nothing come close. Tried the Armored Hulk barbarian and it just didn't match up. I still the find the fighter suffers too few skill points and poor saves though.


voska66 wrote:
K177Y C47 wrote:
Ok.. htis is actually pretty awesome... poor fighter though...

Fighter is still my go to class for tanking up. Nothing come close. Tried the Armored Hulk barbarian and it just didn't match up. I still the find the fighter suffers too few skill points and poor saves though.

Wouldn't that mean he's not exactly good for tanking up then? I've played Armored Hulks and I've never seen one without a better AC unless they took Reckless Abandon. Beast Totem is a great scaling AC bonus.


I have a Character Ranger Guide/Red Mantis Assasin. The concept was bounty hunter that was more about bring he prey in dead for the fee. He was approached by the Red Mantis assassins with offer to work for them due to cold hearted efficiency. The Ranger Guide fit ok but now that I see the Slayer that's the class he should be. When the book come out I'm going rebuild him as Slayer RMA. Can't wait!


Luthorne wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
... I know some people will recreate an adorably psychotic Cleaner from a certain series.
Yep, he was one of the inspirations for the cleaner archetype. Also, I think the iconic should look exactly like Harvey Keitel, but that's just me. ;-)

Okay, I don't know who you were referring to. I was referring to a minor character from Black Lagoon. Sawyer the Cleaner. Short, female, wields a chainsaw, uses an Ultravoice to talk, gets upset when said device is separated from her. Also happens to be a professional cleaner within a criminal underworld.

This is what I figured some people would have recreated if that image from one of the Iron Gods stuff was indeed a chainsaw sword. Though I could see other serrated weapons used instead.

There's actually a weapon called a 'ripsaw glaive' from Gnomes of Golarion that's pretty much a chainsaw glaive...

Gnomes of Golarion wrote:
The blade of this glaive is serrated and mounted on an axle. A heavy cord is wrapped around the axle; when pulled (a move action), the blade spins rapidly for a number of rounds equal to your Strength bonus. While the blade is spinning, it deals +2 damage; otherwise, treat this weapon as a glaive. Re-wrapping the cord around the spinning mechanism is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

if that was one handed it would be perfect for my next Barbarian or Bloodrager


Do we get Slayer Iconic today?


Luthorne wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Kalvit wrote:
... I know some people will recreate an adorably psychotic Cleaner from a certain series.
Yep, he was one of the inspirations for the cleaner archetype. Also, I think the iconic should look exactly like Harvey Keitel, but that's just me. ;-)
Okay, I don't know who you were referring to. I was referring to a minor character from Black Lagoon. Sawyer the Cleaner. Short, female, wields a chainsaw, uses an Ultravoice to talk, gets upset when said device is separated from her. Also happens to be a professional cleaner within a criminal underworld.

don't forget she dresses like a Gothic chick


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So after this, I decided to start working on a build to mimic Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. I think Slayer works great for him, between studied target and sneak attack, he'll deal a lot of damage. Plus, with Vital Strike/Devastating Strike, Quick Draw and Improved Feint, he can sheathe his sword, then move action Feint, and Standard Action Vital Strike to add Vital Strike, Devastating Strike, Sneak Attack and Studied Strike into one glorious blow.

Kenshin Build:
Point Buy:
15-pt buy: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 8
20-pt buy: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 10
25-pt buy: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 10

Levels:
1) Monk: Weapon Finesse, (Dodge – Human), (Crane Style – Monk)
2) Slayer:
3) Slayer: Ranger Combat Style (Two-Handed) – Power Attack, Dervish Dance
4) Monk: Crane Riposte
5) Slayer: Combat Reflexes
6) Slayer: Combat Trick – Combat Expertise
7) Slayer: Vital Strike
8) Slayer: Ranger Combat Style (Two-Handed) – Great Cleave
9) Slayer: Quick Draw
10) Slayer:
11) Slayer: Devastating Strike
12) Slayer: Feat – Improved Feint
13) Slayer: Improved Vital Strike
14)
15)
16)
17)
18)
19) Greater Vital Strike
20)

Still a work in progress, but I'm liking where it's going.


How do you overcome the penalties for dealing non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, though? Assuming you're playing Kenshin and not the Battousai, that is.


Wasted wrote:
How do you overcome the penalties for dealing non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, though? Assuming you're playing Kenshin and not the Battousai, that is.

Kenshin's katana has a blunt edge, so its as blunt as a wooden sword(Except that it is made of metal) and if I am not mistaken there is a feat that lets you ignore the penalties of using a blunt weapon to deal non-lethal damage.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wasted wrote:
How do you overcome the penalties for dealing non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, though? Assuming you're playing Kenshin and not the Battousai, that is.

There are a couple ways, the most obvious being the Merciful weapon property that he can use. Another is the Blade of Mercy trait, and would kind of fit in with his theme of trying to redeem himself for the evils he did during the war (Blade of Mercy being a Saranrae trait if I recall).

I know there are a host of other ways, but I can't recall them at the moment. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Blade of Mercy Trait for him.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tels wrote:
Wasted wrote:
How do you overcome the penalties for dealing non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, though? Assuming you're playing Kenshin and not the Battousai, that is.

There are a couple ways, the most obvious being the Merciful weapon property that he can use. Another is the Blade of Mercy trait, and would kind of fit in with his theme of trying to redeem himself for the evils he did during the war (Blade of Mercy being a Saranrae trait if I recall).

I know there are a host of other ways, but I can't recall them at the moment. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Blade of Mercy Trait for him.

STOP STEALING MAH JOB, DARRELL!


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Tels wrote:
Wasted wrote:
How do you overcome the penalties for dealing non-lethal damage with a lethal weapon, though? Assuming you're playing Kenshin and not the Battousai, that is.

There are a couple ways, the most obvious being the Merciful weapon property that he can use. Another is the Blade of Mercy trait, and would kind of fit in with his theme of trying to redeem himself for the evils he did during the war (Blade of Mercy being a Saranrae trait if I recall).

I know there are a host of other ways, but I can't recall them at the moment. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Blade of Mercy Trait for him.

STOP STEALING MAH JOB, DARRELL!

Did you have a similar idea to mine or something? o.0

[Edit] I guess I probably shouldn't bring up the Catfolk Invulnerable Rager I built inspired by Aisha Klan-Klan from Outlaw Star, or the Catfolk MoMS, Nimble Guardian, Qinggong Monk inspired by Cheetara as depicted in the 'new' Thundercats either?

Silver Crusade

Mark,
Is the overshadowing of the fighter class something that the design team is at all concerned about? Celestial armor makes HAP and Armor Training 2-4 worthless, and now the Slayer gets basically equal bonus feats and better damage? With far more skills and various other abilities?

New archetypes or an Unchained version won't do any good for existing fighter PCs. New fighter-only feats, or feats that require fighter class features, could do that, working within the system. Feats that are substantially more powerful than existing feats, perhaps.

A new feat requiring Bravery could give immunity to fear. A new feat requiring Armor Training could let armor bonuses add to certain saves. A new category of feats requiring Weapon Training could create benefits while using weapons of that group. A feat requiring Ftr10 could enable bypassing all ability requirements for combat feats, or give the Inquisitor "Stalwart" ability, or any of many other fixes suggested in the various threads on the topic.

Is this overshadowing an actual area of concern?


A Drow Cavern Sniper 1/Stygian Slayer X sounds like a pretty neat take on an Arcane Archer-type character whose more focused on shadowy assassinations.


Hmmm... Overshadow sounds like it would be a cool Slayer archetype.


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Sir Hendric the Vigilant wrote:

Mark,

Is the overshadowing of the fighter class something that the design team is at all concerned about? Celestial armor makes HAP and Armor Training 2-4 worthless, and now the Slayer gets basically equal bonus feats and better damage? With far more skills and various other abilities?

New archetypes or an Unchained version won't do any good for existing fighter PCs. New fighter-only feats, or feats that require fighter class features, could do that, working within the system. Feats that are substantially more powerful than existing feats, perhaps.

A new feat requiring Bravery could give immunity to fear. A new feat requiring Armor Training could let armor bonuses add to certain saves. A new category of feats requiring Weapon Training could create benefits while using weapons of that group. A feat requiring Ftr10 could enable bypassing all ability requirements for combat feats, or give the Inquisitor "Stalwart" ability, or any of many other fixes suggested in the various threads on the topic.

Is this overshadowing an actual area of concern?

While not taking fighter archetypes into the mix, all the classes both old and new, save for the rogue and monk, overshadow the fighter, this is a question that has been asked before, and it seems that paizo's answer has been archetypes, and if we are all lucky a 2nd pathfinder unchained book that reworks feats or the fighter class will be released in response to this concern.

I see no wisdom in nerfing a new class just because its better than the fighter, if we are going to go by that mentality then all of the classes save for the monk and rogue should be nerfed, but instead of doing that Paizo is just going to buff the monk and the rogue, and as aforementioned in my post if we are lucky, at some point the fighter. Till then if I find my self creating a character that needs access to a tremendous amount of feats, I'll pick the fighter with an appropriate archetype.


I feel for the rogue class. It just got...outclassed...again.

In all seriousness, I liked the playtest version. The final version will be even better with studied target as an immediate unless there's abilities in there that use swift actions. Time will tell.


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Cuurrssee yoouuuu!!!

Now I'm going to have to rebuild my Dhampir Inquisitor of Pharasma into the Pharasmin Slayer. Death Attacking the Undead.....

I thought I'd retired that guy....

*grumble grumble*


I hope there's a half-orc version of this class akin to Skulking Slayer for the Rogue. That would be awesome!


Uh just pointing out something weird I noticed.

The Deadly Range sniper archetype feature is written wrong or poorly. Since it gives you a option worst then what is already available from a talent tat can be taken multible times and stacks (also has the same name amusingly).

Its a trap feature that is weaker then the options already granted by the class...so yeh, kinda a disappointing typo and or design.


Also another thing of note it sounds like in the blurb here the skill bonuses from studied target are intended to increase with level but in the text it only specifically calls out base attack, damage and DCs is this a mistake or just a very unnecessary and poor change.


That is weird. The wording from the playtest was simply "... the slayer's bonuses against a studied target increase by +1," which I believe is the intent even in the final version. I'm not sure why they changed the wording, but you're right, it doesn't sound quite right.


Okay good I'm not crazy, or I'm not the only crazy one heh. Hopefully we will get some official feedback on this.

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