Eagle Knight of Andoran

Phoebus Alexandros's page

405 posts. Alias of Kalthanan.

For the purposes of this scenario, the Magus in question has selected Natural Spell Combat twice. Using Beast Shape II, he takes on the form of a Dire Lion, gaining its Pounce ability.

If the Magus has the Runic Charge feat and charges, does he:

1. Gain the ability cast a touch spell as part of his charge and deliver it through Spellstrike
2. Gain the ability cast a touch spell as part of his charge and deliver it through a Spellstrike attack AND use Spell Combat as part of the Full Attack that Pounce grants as part of the charge, thereby getting to cast a second spell and deliver it via a second Spellstrike attack

Or are there other considerations I’m missing?

Has anyone played with the Cunning Killer feat? How well does it play out in latter levels? By 12th level, you’re able to affect creatures with an Intelligence of 8 (and eventually you get those with scores of 10 and 12), but it feels like average Intelligence scores around those levels generally outstrip this feat.

Blade Bravado - Race
Fencer - Basic (Combat)

1. Combat Expertise (Character), Combat Reflexes (Human)
3. Improved Called Shot
4. Improved Dirty Trick
5. Cat and Mouse
7. Greater Called Shot
8. Vital Strike
9. Cloak and Dagger Style
11. Cloak and Dagger Subterfuge
12. Fencing Grace
13. Greater Dirty Trick
15. Pin Down
16. Cloak and Dagger Tactics
17. Dirty Trick Master
19. Dastardly Trick
20. I'll try to convince my GM to accept the Inspired Blade's Rapier Training as suitable for Advanced Weapon Training (Focused Weapon)

What I envision is a fencer who cedes the initiative and focuses on parrying away and acrobatically evading attacks. He will use a combination of Vital Strike and attacks of opportunity at his highest BAB to both deal damage and, eventually, inflict Dirty Tricks with every single attack.

Between 1st and 6th level, this character will progress from one attack and a riposte attack to dealing a Called Shot or a Dirty Trick and then a riposte (or vice-versa).

From 7th level, the default mode for this character will be to use Vital Strike, but the real impact will come from Superior Feint paired with Dodging Dance. He'll use Cat and Mouse as able to build up bonuses to Dodge and Improved Trick combat maneuvers, and by 11th level each of the attacks of opportunity he hits with will be followed by a free action Dirty Trick. All attacks will be Called Shots, purely for the purpose of de-buffing by way of crit-fishing. Individually, none of those effects are that great, but collectively they can hamper movement, sicken, and inflict attack penalties for a minimum of a round even without crits.

By 16th level, practically every attack -- Vital Strike, attacks of opportunity -- will be followed by a free action Dirty Trick.

I foresee three main combat-centric challenges for this character, not including magic:

1. Total Defense opponents (Crane, Misdirection Style, etc.), who will essentially play my own game against my character, though with fewer attacks of opportunity. I don't foresee too many of these.

2. Reach opponents. I think I should be fine with these, for the same reason that I'm fine giving up initiative. I want them to attack me, so I can parry them and stack up Dodge bonuses and unnamed bonuses to my combat maneuvers. The worst-case scenario here is that they only have a single attack of opportunity to expend against me when I move through their threatened squares, meaning I'll only be able to get on attack of opportunity (and free dirty trick) against them.

3. Ranged opponents. I toyed around with picking up Martial Focus and Cut from the Air... but I want to save my attacks of opportunity for parries and damaging others. I'm not sure I can address this without trying to get a dedicated magic item (e.g., Cloak of Displacement) or not be a specialist.

I would love to have some way to consistently get my opponents to use attacks of opportunity on me. I know this character will be fine on a "regular" Full Attack (especially with Called Shot effects), but the idea of every attack using his full BAB is delicious. I love Seize Advantage, but it's an every-other-round feat. I equally love Redirect Attack, but it comes with a feat tax and its tactical requirements feel situational to me.

I wonder if I'm reaching too far with the Called Shots. Would I be better off ditching those feats and taking Focused Study, instead? That way, I'm strengthening my Acrobatics for Dodging Dance and giving my character the resources needed to demoralize as a swift action with Menacing Swordplay with some hope for success.

The 20th level feat is there as a placeholder. If my GM does let me go for that, I will grab it at 12th or 13th level. I'd love to have it at 9th-11th level, right as the damage die goes up to 1d10 (and thus worth the feat), but I don't want to delay Cloak and Dagger Subterfuge (which takes this character to the next level).

What else am I missing? What have I got wrong?

Crane Riposte allows a character to make an attack of opportunity against an attacker whose attack missed due to it being deflect by Crane Wing. This is an exception to the normal rule, which states that you can’t make attacks of opportunity while using total defense.

But what if that attack of opportunity in turn unlocks other attacks of opportunity?

Can a character who Crane Riposte, Greater Trip, and Improved Disarm, use Total Defense, then deflect an attack using Crane Wing, then trip the attacker using the AOO provided by Crane Riposte, then disarm the same attacker using the AOO provided by Greater Trip? Or is that character limited to the single AOO of Crane Riposte and then locked back into the limitations of Total Defense?

Advanced Class Guide said wrote:
A bloodrager can end his bloodrage as a free action. When the bloodrage ends, he’s fatigued for a number of rounds equal to twice the number of rounds spent in the bloodrage. A bloodrager cannot enter a new bloodrage while fatigued or exhausted, but can otherwise enter bloodrage multiple times during a single encounter or combat.
Advanced Class Guide said wrote:
In addition, upon entering a bloodrage, the bloodrager can apply the effects a bloodrager spell he knows of 2nd level or lower to himself. The spell must have a range of touch or personal. If the spell’s duration is greater than 1 round, it instead lasts for the duration of the bloodrage. This use consumes a bloodrager spell slot, as if he had cast the spell; he must have the spell slot available to take advantage of this effect.

As someone unfamiliar with this class, I’m curious about whether the first paragraph directly informs the second one or not. Is the first paragraph simply referencing exceptions to the rule, in which a bloodrager might end their bloodrage without being fatigued? Or is it effectively saying that at 11th level my bloodrager can “enter” bloodrage as a free action every round, effectively gaining a poor man’s spell combat—albeit limited to 1st-2nd level spells with a range of touch or personal?

Is there any means by which to either make the Weapon Shift feats available for classes without the Wild Shape class feature or to replicate what said feats provide?

I’m aiming for a character who will focus on the spear as his sole weapon. Rather than a shield, he’ll be relying on mobility and feats for defense. Through Focused Study, he’ll be demoralizing the opposition, getting up close and personal with the opposition and upending them, and—eventually—will use flying to close down distances.

Human (Focused Study)
Traits: Crowd Dodger, Serpent Runner

This character will be fighting with a vanilla spear. I’m eschewing more complex weapons in the Spears group so I can eventually have a Tactically Adapted spear (as a martial weapon) with the Trip quality (so I can use my Weapon Training, etc., on trip attempts). My character’s style (see feats below) will preclude a reach weapon, so no longspear, etc.

1. Combat Expertise (Fighter bonus feat), Dodge (Archetype bonus feat), Power Attack (1st level bonus feat), Skill Focus: Intimidate (Focused Study bonus feat)

2. Pushing Assault

3. Mobility

4. Spring Attack

5. Weapon Training: Spears; Whirlwind Attack

The first few levels are nothing special. Pushing Assault is there to provide some localized battlefield control. Spring Attack is a short-term safety net and a stepping stone to Whirlwind Attack, which will be the real safety net (however situational).

6. Cornugon Smash

7. Hurtful

8. Canny Tumble (Fighter bonus feat), Skill Focus: Acrobatics (Focused Study bonus feat)

9. Weapon Training: Advanced Weapon Training: Warrior Spirit; Improved Trip

10. Tumbling Upset

11. Greater Trip

12. Sliding Dash

The first question here is whether Pushing Assault is worthwhile enough to keep, or if I’m ultimately better off retraining it to Hurtful at 4th level—since Spring Attack makes it kind of redundant. That would also give my character an extra attack at my highest BAB at 6th level, and also brings the Canny Tumble/Tumbling Upset/Sliding Dash trifecta online a level earlier.

Alternately, I could retrain Pushing Assault to Hurtful, but instead of moving the Acrobatics-focused feats up, I can take Intimidating Prowess with the 7th level feat slot—giving me a very healthy bonus to demoralize.

On the other hand, since my character won’t be using a reach weapon, Pushing Assault in conjunction with Whirlwind Attack and a 5-foot step could prevent an encirclement. Or am I better off just tripping those opponents anytime, regardless?

The second question is whether I should prioritize a different Advanced Weapon Training for 9th level. I like the idea of having starting a couple of battles each day with the appropriate Bane setting on my character’s spear, and the next feat needed in the build—courtesy of the Training magic weapon quality.

13. Weapon Training: Advanced Weapon Training: Combat Maneuver Defense; Combat Reflexes

14. Tangled Limbs

15. Advanced Weapon Training: Item Mastery: Flight Mastery

16. Barroom Brawler, Skill Focus: Fly (Focused Study bonus feat)

I would qualify at this point that while not rare, procuring magic items is not as simple as going to the nearest community and visiting Ye Olde Magick Shoppe. It’s very much a case of local spellcasters being able to produce items that make sense culturally and racially, and according to the spells they’re likely to have available. So given that Boots of Flying may not be randomly pop up, does it make sense to switch Flight Master and Combat Maneuver Defense?

Combat Reflexes also comes too late for my tastes (especially if my character is ahead on initiative count of the enemy he’s tripping, which means potentially losing out on an AOO).

17. Weapon Training: Advanced Weapon Training: Abundant Tactics; Cut from the Air

18. Smash from the Air

19. Spellcut

20. Weapon Training: Advanced Weapon Training: Fighter’s Reflexes; Weapon Mastery (Tactically Adapted Spear)

Abundant Tactics is obviously there to maximize Barroom Brawler, but I’m hoping that it will also work on Flight Mastery—since it’s technically gained through a Combat Feat.

The humble spear is no crit-fishing weapon, and it feels like there’s a dearth of higher level Combat Feats. Penetrating Strike and Greater Penetrating Strike are tempting, but then I recall that a high enough enchantment bonus will overcome almost all DR. Stunning Blows doesn’t feel worthwhile given the high Fort saves at this level. On the other hand, Cut/Smash from the Air and Spellcut feel like they’ll provide really good utility against almost all missile attacks and many spells, as well.


Have developers ever weighed in with limitations on what constitutes an "appropriate thrown weapon for the Ricochet Toss feat?

I'm specifically looking at a spear, as a means of providing an easy, short-range distance option for a Spear Fighter build.

Much of the concept I’m working on is driven by themes rather than mechanics. That is to say, I’m interested in the character making sense mechanically as well as stylistically, but optimization is not a priority. I think I’m somewhere around the 90 percent solution, but would welcome recommendations, especially regarding feat selection for later levels—for reasons that will become apparent very quickly.

Race: Human
Racial Traits: Fey Magic, Fey Thoughts, and Low-Light Vision in place of Skilled
Character Traits: Artist of Battle in All Forms (Trip), Signature Moves

1. Dirty Fighting (human), Improved Initiative (level)

At the start, my survival plan primarily involves going first and using Daze, Blade Lash, and True Strike to get through encounters. Dirty Fighting is a stepping stone toward the maneuvers this character will focus on.



I've seen a lot of topics on the changes to this Arcana, but more often than not the focus has been on the magus's effective swashbuckler level for determining the gained deed's effect being 0. I completely get that the intent for this was to disqualify Precise Strike as a deed for the magus. Fair enough.

What I haven't seen discussed as often is this bit:

The magus can use that deed by using points from his arcane pool as the panache points required for that deed. Even if he gains a panache pool through another means, the magus is not considered to have at least 1 point in his panache pool for the purpose of deeds selected with arcane deed, ...

And I'm wondering if there's ever been any clarification from developers on this board that I've missed in my searches, or elsewhere.

The assumption seems to be that the magus does not get to pick a deed that requires you to "have at least 1 point in his panache pool," but this has always read to me as disqualifying level dipping and the amateur swashbuckler feat as a means to always keep the gained deed running--not preventing you from picking the deed itself. You're essentially being asked to, e.g., always have an arcana point available in order to "kip-up from prone as a move action without provoking an attack of opportunity," and to actually spend an arcana point to "kip-up as a swift action." And if you think about it, asking a magus--who cannot regain arcana by confirming a critical or defeating an enemy--to hold on to an arcana point at all times is more easily said than done, especially at low levels.

I appreciate that this is nothing but an RAI read on my part, and that not everyone will agree. Again, I'm genuinely curious to see if any of the design team offered any definitive words on the matter.

Thanks in advance!

At 3rd level, Variant Multiclass Cavalier grants your character the ability to issue a challenge as a cavalier of his character level –2 once per day. He adds the appropriate order adjustment to his challenge based on the order he selected.

Does this count as the Challenge class feature for the purposes of the Chain Challenge feat?

That is to say, does Chain Challenge allow you to extend your 1/day instance of this ability to another enemy as long as they’re within 30 feet of the enemy you just killed or knocked unconscious?


I find it very interesting that the only other prerequisite this feat has is “character level 7th.” I read that as specifically allowing a character who is in some way multiclassing into cavalier to get more than one challenge per day.


I just clued into the fact that this feat was published under the Hobgoblin section of the Monster Codex… but does not include Hobgoblin as a prerequisite.


On the other hand, the same publication does qualify that “Many of these options are restricted specifically to a given race, but some can be taken by any characters who meet the requirements to do so.”

So the feat is legal. The question is simply whether it works for a VMC character.


I’m brainstorming an elf fighter whose gimmick is going to be—as the title points out—using the total defense action as his “default mode” and dealing nonlethal damage by way of attacks of opportunity that opponents provoke from him.

The obvious hurdle to this is that the Total Defense rule itself states:

“You can’t make attacks of opportunity while using total defense.”

Nonetheless, there always seem to be exceptions to the rule, and in this case the three most obvious ones are Crane Riposte, Elven Battle Torrent, and Misdirection Attack.

What other such feats can you think of?

Second question:

Crane Wing and Crane Riposte require you to fight “with at least one hand free.” The attack of opportunity Crane Riposte provides makes no mention of it being made with an unarmed strike (as, e.g., Snake Fang does). I’m assuming the AOO in question can be made with a weapon held in your other hand?

A question came up at our gaming table…

Does this item provide a continuous effect? If not, is activating it a standard action or not an action at all?

The rules in question:

Use Activated: This type of item simply has to be used in order to activate it. A character has to drink a potion, swing a sword, interpose a shield to def lect a blow in combat, look through a lens, sprinkle dust, wear a ring, or don a hat. Use activation is generally straightforward and self-explanatory.

Many use-activated items are objects that a character wears. Continually functioning items are practically always items that one wears. A few must simply be in the character’s possession (meaning on his person). However, some items made for wearing must still be activated. Although this activation sometimes requires a command word (see above), usually it means mentally willing the activation to happen. The description of an item states whether a command word is needed in such a case.

Unless stated otherwise, activating a use-activated magic item is either a standard action or not an action at all and does not provoke attacks of opportunity, unless the use involves performing an action that provokes an attack of opportunity in itself. If the use of the item takes time before a magical effect occurs, then use activation is a standard action. If the item’s activation is subsumed in its use and takes no extra time use, activation is not an action at all.”

The Sword Scion trait grants you a +1 trait bonus on all attacks and combat maneuvers made longswords and Aldori dueling swords.

The Ancestral Weapon trait grants you a +1 trait bonus on attack rolls with weapons made of cold iron or silver.

Could the two traits stack if the character in question was using a silver longsword? Does the fact that the trait bonus to attack rolls points to different things? Or does the fact that they’re both trait bonuses to attack rolls trump that?

The Daring Champion I’m working on is a fey-blooded human trickster of a fencer who belongs to (our campaign setting’s version) of the Order of the Blossom. Point of fact, he also has the Circuit Judge Archetype, but re-flavored. He will be a front-line combatant that relies on agility, defense, darting attacks, and called shots. Personal taste, Daring Champion mechanics, and campaign specifics mean that I won’t dip into other classes or take up the Duelist prestige class. Additionally, I won’t be able to count on magic items to address the challenges I’ll outline below.

The build I envision comes down to marrying the Circling Mongoose feat to the Sneak Attack gained by Order of the Blossom and enhanced by the Knave Standard. The character will be fighting with a rapier, both for the sake of the improved crit range and to avoid investing feats into Slashing Grace or weapon proficiency.

The challenge I’m facing is maximizing the AC of a character who will be wearing light armor, but won’t necessarily have access to the optimal light armor.

The Knave Standard itself gives a nice dodge bonus against the attacks of opportunity Circling Mongoose’s movement would provoke. The human Favored Class Bonus to the Cavalier will increase that dodge bonus every four levels. Fighting Defensively is the most obvious means to further improve my AC, but its attack penalty has to be mitigated: the flanking bonus from Circling Mongoose and the Knave Standard will offsets the penalties from my Called Shots, but not another -4 to hit.

In a perfect world, by 11th level I would utilize both the Dizzying Defense Deed and Osyluth Guile for a substantial bump to AC. My understanding, however, is that the Daring Champion does not qualify for the Signature Deed feat; while he gains the Panache class feature, his levels do not count as Gunslinger levels in the way the Swashbuckler’s do. Absent the Extra Panache feat (and I don’t have that many feats for this), it’s unlikely he’ll have more than 3-6 Panache by 11th level. Even taking into account a good critical range, Dizzying Defense isn’t a whole-battle solution.

The next obvious option for me was going the Crane Style route, which would lower attack penalties and (through Crane Wing) raise my AC even higher. The problem I run into there, though, is that Circling Mongoose is a full-round action… so it can’t be used in conjunction with Fighting Defensively.

Panther Style is interesting, but until I get Panther Parry it’s a reactive measure that doesn’t improve my defense, relies on my opponent(s) having more than one AOO, and utilizes unarmed strikes… which I’m (A) not good at and (B) would then probably disqualify use of Precise Strike for that round.

So what am I missing? In terms of feats, what can I start picking up from around 9th level (GCS can bumped further down) to improve my AC in melee combat?

1) Dodge, Mobility
3) Spring Attack
5) Combat Expertise
6) Improved Called Shot
7) Circling Mongoose
9) Greater Called Shot

I'm trying to determine whether I've arrived at a RAW-legal concept or not:

The character I'm thinking of is a Fighter who combines swordplay with grappling--not unlike 15th-16th century fencers from Italian and German fight-books. The following feats are pertinent to him:

1st Power Attack
6th Weapon Trick
7th Grabbing Style
8th Greater Grapple
9th Pinning Rend
10th Cornugon Smash
11th Hurtful
12th Dazzling Display
13th Shatter Defenses
14th Deadly Stroke

Round 1: With his a Swift action, the Fighter initiates the Grabbing Style feat. With his Standard action, he uses the Grab and Stab weapon trick, which allows him to initiate a grapple with his free hand (with no penalty for not having two hands free, thanks to Grabbing Style) and then follow up with an attack using his light or one-handed weapon in conjunction with Power Attack. If he damages his grappled target, he can make an immediate Intimidate check against his target as a Free action (Cornugon Smash). If this check is successful, his target will be Flat-Footed to his attacks until the end of his next turn (Shatter Defenses).

Round 2: With his Move action, the Fighter maintains his grapple AND Pins his opponent (Greater Grapple). The Fighter could make "two grapple checks each round (to move, harm, or pin your opponent)," but is not required to do so. Because the Fighter has a free hand (Grabbing Style), and because he has only used his Move action (Greater Grapple), he can use Deadly Stroke in conjunction with his light or one-handed weapon and Power Attack against his Flat-Footed grappled target, as a Standard action. If he damages his grappled target, he can make another Intimidate check as a Free action, and if this check is successful he can make another melee attack against it as a Swift action (Hurtful).

Round 3: With his Move action, the Fighter maintains his pin AND inflicts damage to his target equal to his light or one-handed weapon, PLUS bleed damage equal to his weapon damage dice. Because the target is still Flat-Footed, the Fighter can continue to employ Deadly Stroke, Cornugon Smash, Shatter Defenses, and Hurtful.

This cycle can continue until the opponent escapes the grapple or succeeds against the Fighter's Intimidation.

What am I missing here? Again, my concern is with legality. I hold no illusions about this being the most efficient concept. I'm sure there are things this Fighter won't be well-equipped to deal with.

I’m almost positive I know the answer to this already, but would the Smite Evil Magic feat provoke an Attack of Opportunity from the creature it’s being used on if the character using it didn’t also have the Improved Sunder feat?

Thanks in advance!

Does anything preclude a Paladin from using his Divine Bond ability on a weapon he conjured — e.g., using the Bard spell Instant Weapon (by way of the Unsanctioned Knowledge feat)?

Defensive Weapon Training states:

“The fighter gains a +1 shield bonus to his Armor Class. The fighter adds half his weapon’s enhancement bonus (if any) to this shield bonus.”

Defending melee weapon quality states:

“A defending weapon allows the wielder to transfer some or all of the weapon’s enhancement bonus to his AC as a bonus that stacks with all others.”

If I understand Defensive Weapon Training correctly, a fighter that applies this Advanced Weapon Training feature to a weapon group he possesses — in this case, heavy blades — gains a shield bonus despite not actually using (or even holding) a shield. If that same fighter was wielding a +2 longsword, his shield bonus would be +2.

What if that same fighter was wielding a +2 Defending longsword? Would he be able to utilize a +2 shield bonus (courtesy of Defensive Weapon Training) and a +2 bonus to his AC (courtesy of the Defending melee weapon quality)?

Essentially, can RAW allow you to use one enhancement bonus twice, at the same time?

My GM and I have been working on converting his campaign to Pathfinder for some time now (we're geographically separated, so it's been an ongoing, long-term labor of love).

One of the projects I've tried to tackle for some time deals with creating a fighter-arcane spellcaster hybrid base class. This class reflected an in-game evolution of a "faction" that was fairly prominent in the campaign. We started with 2nd edition, and that faction's charaters and NPCs were represented through multiclassing and a kit. Then we moved to 3rd edition and 3.5, and we decided these individuals were best represented through a prestige class.

Now, however, that faction is evolving in a different way. Previously, the prestige class represented individuals who were exprerienced adventurers and received specialized training. The reason for the base class was to indicate individuals who are "home grown" within this faction's system.

When Ultimate Combat came out, the Magus immediately caught my eye: its Spell Combat and Spellstrike mechanic closely mirrored something we had been doing for some time already. Unfortunately, while the Magus comes very close to replicating what I want, it falls short in some key factors.

Most of those factors are easily addressed. Certain abilities, for instance, will be replaced with others (e.g., Spell Recall, Counterstrike).

Where I run into problems is with the Base Attack Bonus. I understand the reason for the Magus getting a reduced Base Attack Bonus - he has, after all, a 20-level spellcasting progression. Unfortunately, that's a deal-breaker where our particular concept is concerned.

So that's the thrust of this post. What would you remove from the Magus to accomodate full BAB?

Getting rid of the ability to use the Arcane Pool to enhance a weapon is already a given. So is getting rid of medium and heavy armor. Diminished spellcasting is a given. Knowledge Pool and Greater Spell Acess are also on the chopping block, as they don't match the proposed class's theme.

Any suggestions? Or is this a fool's errand?

I'm not trying to be inflammatory about this topic.

A lot of discussions take place about the various classes characters can choose from in this game, and a lot of them invariably deal with the balance between Martial classes and Spellcasting ones. Personally, I think it would be folly to make a class centered around mastery of (e.g.) combat equal to a class centered around mastery of arcane magic.

Don't get me wrong. Every class should have features that are compelling and interesting. I firmly believe that if a class doesn't have a valid (that is, engaging and fun) role to play in the game, then it's not worth having it. I can't reconcile that with the opinion that every class should "punch at the same weight class", though.

The Wizard class's description nicely sums up how I feel about a dedicated arcane spellcaster's power level:

prd wrote:
Beyond the veil of the mundane hide the secrets of absolute power. The works of beings beyond mortals, the legends of realms where gods and spirits tread, the lore of creations both wondrous and terrible—such mysteries call to those with the ambition and the intellect to rise above the common folk to grasp true might. Such is the path of the wizard. These shrewd magic-users seek, collect, and covet esoteric knowledge, drawing on cultic arts to work wonders beyond the abilities of mere mortals.

I think a 20th-level Fighter should be truly spectacular. I think their abilities should reflect sublime skill and absolutely heroic prowess. Even that 20th-level Fighter's abilities should be within the realm of the mortal and the "mundane", though (as in, untouched by the divine and the arcane). A 20th-level Fighter that is balanced against a 20th-level Wizard begs the question: how does his non-magic skill transcend what is humanly possible, and, if it does, how is it not magic?

I think the Mythic ruleset and the old 3.5 Epic rules should absolutely allow a "mundane" class to do stuff that a "magic" one can, because they are less about (e.g.) King Arthur (who happened to have a great sword and a powerful mentor) than they are about someone like Sir Gawaine (whose strength grew to superhuman levels from dawn until noon, at which point it gradually went back down to his normally heroic level).

Again, I'm not trying to start a fight and I'm certainly not trying to convince anyone that their class has to suck. Nor am I advocating that classes like the Fighter, the Rogue, etc., can't be improved.