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I've dramatically changed Book Two of Rise of the Runelords; the party is six strong (seven with the DMNPC I was running before we had the last two players join and I'm writing them out of the story at the end of book 2) confronting a cult of Norgorber inside the Magnimar Sewers. The cult thought they had lured the party in and knew their strategy; but the party decided at the last minute to just kick the door down.

The party is now in a combat against 121 cultists of levels between 3-12. They have killed 27 CR2 Faceless Stalker variants, 2 regular Faceless Stalkers, and 1 level 12 Inquisitor VMC Rogue with PC wealth. They also managed to get some poison gas piped into the room to knock out a large number of the cultists.

They have taken 9 points of damage. Luck has played a significant role, but I have been doing some behind the scenes tuning to make sure the other 90 enemies pose a threat. Well, whatever of those that are conscious.


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I have no really kept up with this thread, so pardon me if I'm repeating points or not entirely relevant.

As far as a Reach Magus goes its uh...difficult to say the least. You can get there eventually with improved Whip Mastery but thats level 9 at the earliest. The Flying Talon is a 1h reach weapon but it doesn't threaten, so you don't get AoOs ever.

Long Arm seems like the best option, so you wield whatever one handed weapon you want. Turn 1 you can Long Arm and move up to position, turn 2 you can spell-combat Frostbite and start smacking people with frost bite AoOs (I believe this works). Another option to Long Arm is Enlarge Person (but you can't spell combat Enlarge Person due to its casting time AND it lowers your Dex so fewer AoOs)

Sure you're eating 2 spells each combat this way, but you'll hit Spell Recall by level 4 (at level 4 you're looking at 2+Int Arcane Points) and you'll have 4 first level spells each day. You can burn an arcane point to recover your spent resources. Assuming you have 5 arcane points, that gives you exactly 3 fights during the day at "full power" at level 4:

Fight 1: Arcane Pool Enhance (1), First Level Spells (2)
Fight 2: Arcane Pool Enhance (2), First Level Spells (4)
In-between Fights: Arcane Pool Spell Recall (4)
Fight 3: Arcane Pool Enhance (5), First Level Spells (6)

And that still leaves you with both your 2nd level spells for the day in case things don't go as planned.

This all works with either strength or dexterity, so you can go Level 1: Weapon Finesse, Level 3 (or 1 if Human): Combat Reflexes. That leaves you with a lot of resources, every feat from level 5+ to do your thing. Once you've got 4th level spells in your pocket you can start using Monstrous Physique 2 instead to get up to Large Size as part of Spell Combat. Plus at that level you'll have Lunge so you'll have 15ft of reach during your turn, 10ft of reach otherwise meaning you can force enemies into your reach. Foes with more reach than you will still be an issue, but unless you're constantly fighting huge "tall" creatures you'll not be seeing too many things with 15ft of reach.


Dual-Cursed Oracle and Cyclopean Seer Oracle both tinker a bit with dice rolls. You could also play as a Samsaran in order to add a few extra dice manipulation spells to the list, like Hermean potential.

You'd have to manually limit yourself to the spells, but seeing briefly into the future and taking advantage of it sounds like dice manipulation to me far more than it sounds like focusing on a single school of magic.


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ShroudedInLight wrote:
Group's working our way through Rise of the Runelords Book 2...I am gonna have them fight a Black Dragon (Fungal Creature) instead

The party handily beat down the Fungal Dragon (Fungal Creature Black Dragon with a mix of the Juvenile and Young Adult stat lines) and has reached level 7. They will soon be off to Magnimar, which means I have a lot of prep-work to do. Probably a whole new google doc of references, but thats the GM's life. The story is mostly the same, but the Mayor's Daughter has been kidnapped by the cult to force him into marrying Xanesha. We'll see what direction the party goes once they get to the city and I'll adapt as I go. Instead of a confrontation at the Shadow Clock, I plan for a heck of a wedding.


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ShroudedInLight wrote:
Group's working our way through Rise of the Runelords, I've been doing some pretty serious rewrites as we've gone to flesh out the world and keep things interesting. Currently they are about half way through book 2, about to head off to Magnimar. Before they go though, I've made a stat block for Vorel and they're going to confront him. Should be in a week or two.

The party discovered Ghost Powder and so I've had to rework the Vorel fight, again. Originally he was going to possess the Skinsaw man during that confrontation and show up as a Lich but they ganked TSM during one of his murder attempts so thats out of the window. Looking at all my options, I've decided to let them invalidate the fight with Vorel's ghost and have taken some inspiration from Monster Hunter World (Iceborn) and am gonna have them fight a Black Dragon (Fungal Creature) instead...maybe with a few adjustments if the stats don't line up right.


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Group's working our way through Rise of the Runelords, I've been doing some pretty serious rewrites as we've gone to flesh out the world and keep things interesting. Currently they are about half way through book 2, about to head off to Magnimar. Before they go though, I've made a stat block for Vorel and they're going to confront him. Should be in a week or two.


I refer you to the following which I also agree with.

Mightypion wrote:


Also, stop treating fighters as a class for beginners. They are one of the hardest things to build properly, selecting the correct feats requires a considerable degree of system mastery.

Its cool that people enjoy the current Fighter and that you can even build them to be effective. But simple does not mean easy, or good.


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Mightypion wrote:


--I have rage as a mechanic that gives me more decisions. I like making decisions.

I concur with everything in this post. But especially with this line in particular. If your class doesn't let you say "I use/cast/activate X" with a class feature its not a good class. Phrases like "I rage", "I sneak attack", "I flurry of blows", "I smite evil", "I cast fireball" are all iconic player moments that feel really good. They're decision points and making decisions is fun. The core fighter does not have a single class feature that you as the player interact with on a moment to moment basis. Its all static numeric increases.

WMH and AMH both helped out with this a little bit, but without advanced weapon/armor training (and even with most of them, honestly nearly all of them are just more numeric bonuses) you don't ever decide to use a class feature as a fighter. They're just all on all the time. Sure big numbers are fun, but you can get bigger numbers by raging or smiting or sneak attacking. So all core Fighter has going for it is extremely consistent above average statistics which is...not especially exciting.

Active/Reactive class abilities >>>>>> Passive Numeric Bonuses

PS: Yeah, Bloodrager is a great martial class, especially for beginners. Rage + Bloodline + Spells + Actual Class Skills is a wonderful combination to make your player feel impactful.


Temperans wrote:
I understand the idea behind a good portion of it. But all of it together is the equivalent of just giving fighters everything and the kitchen sink. Not even casters can do absolutely everything.

Yeah, casters can only: turn their skin to stone, heal wounds, create clouds of gas that are literal war crimes, call upon divine entities to answer the questions or fight for them, travel fast distances in mere moments, pull information from thin air, read people's thoughts, mind control people, call down fire and lightning from the sky, create images that aren't there, imitate other spells with shadows, overload people's senses with flashing lights, raise the dead, transform lead into gold, and become giant terrible monsters through polymorph.

Magic is useful both inside of combat, during travel, during exploration, and is capable of massively boosting skill checks to the point where someone with magic will do better than someone without magic at whatever they are attempting to accomplish. Yes, magic has limits. Prepared spellcasters need to know what is going on ahead of time (mostly) and spontaneous spellcasters are limited because they need to select general spells rather than specific ones; and both are limited by their spell slots. However, its not like every caster has opposition schools either. Wizards have to pick two schools to be worse at, but Arcanists, Witches, Shamans, Druids, and Clerics are all 9th level prepared spellcasters who can literally do absolutely everything. Shaman's whole class identity is "jack of all trades". Spontaneous spellcasters need to focus a little bit more, but can freely pick from their tool box as the day goes by and aren't punished for grabbing spells outside their area of focus. The battlefield controller Sorcerer can still pick up Fly, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Stoneskin, and their black tentacles and dazing fireballs don't become less potent as a result.

So I don't personally mind when my players without spellcasting get to do cool things despite their lack of magic. Because whatever cool stuff I give them is still less likely to matter than the Stinking Cloud that gets thrown on turn 1 of the fight and results in failed saving throws. So, call it free stuff if you like, I call it class features. Classes get more of those when they can't snap their fingers and violate all the laws of thermodynamics at the same time.

That first paragraph was a little petty of me, but I hope it gets the point across. Having 6-9 levels of spell slots is dramatically more powerful than anything a martial character can hope to accomplish. The ideal solution to martial/caster disparity would be to give martial classes some manner of magical-like actions of their own but the whole point of martial classes in these fantasy type games is that some people don't want to be casting fireballs and raising the dead. Some people just want to be a soldier, so might as well let them be a cool soldier.

And, to restate, this needs playtested and probably nerfed several times. My Gunslinger rework is in the middle of playtesting and I've already learned a few painful lessons from that.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Sounds nice, but where should I be looking for Effortless Training (must be another Fighter Unchained addition)?

Yeah, its a work in progress. I have chassis done pending testing but I haven't developed the talents yet. Its kinda hard to think up cool things that are fighter specific that don't lean into all the stuff more associated with Rangers, Barbarians, Knights (Cav/Samurai), Rogues, Monks, Paladins, and the like. So I ended up thinking of a more "Career Soldier" kind of fellow. I'm sure at least something here could be wildly broken, but its not like everything Paizo has released as a 1st party thing has been perfectly balanced. So yeah, much testing required and I need to write out like 30 talents when I get the time and creative energy.

We're Kinda Getting into Homebrew here but what the heck, this is the most interaction my stuff has gotten:
Effortless Training (Ex):
Starting at 2nd level, a Fighter’s talent for rapidly learning new abilities grants them intuitive understanding of any advanced ability they could learn. Whenever a Fighter gains a Fighter Level and meets all the qualifications for certain feats, they learn them automatically without needing to select those feats manually. Mark these feats as Effortless Feats on their character sheet. The Fighter must meet all prerequisites for the feat to learn it in this manner without the assistance of spells or abilities, only permanent magical items with a constant effect (such as a Belt of Strength) may assist a Fighter in meeting these qualifications.

The Feats the Fighter may learn through Effortless Training include all combat feats with “Improved” and “Greater” in their names. This means Fighters automatically gain Improved Initiative and Improved Unarmed Strike as bonus feats at level 2.

Armor Training (Ex):
Starting at 2rd level, a fighter learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –5 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +5 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed.

In addition, a fighter can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 6th level, a fighter can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.

FIghter’s Techniques (Ex):
As a Fighter gains experience, they perfect a series of advanced techniques to represent their experience and mastery of combat feats. Starting at 2nd level, a Fighter gains one Fighter Technique. They gain an additional Fighter Technique for every 2 levels of Fighter attained after 2nd level. Fighters may only select techniques for which they meet all the prerequisites. A Fighter cannot select an individual technique more than once unless otherwise specified. The saving throws of Fighter talents are 10 + ½ their Fighter level + Constitution Modifier.

Fighter’s Stamina (Ex):
At 3th level a Fighter knows how to push themselves beyond their physical limits. As long as the Fighter got 8 hours of sleep (or the equivalent amount of rest from magical sources) they can spend a swift action to remove the Fatigued condition from themselves. Additionally, as long as the Fighter could use Fighter’s Stamina they no longer take non-lethal damage from Hustling or Forced Marches.

Weapon Training (Ex):
Starting at 4th level, a fighter can select one group of weapons, as noted below. Whenever he attacks with a weapon from this group, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. A fighter also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with weapons from this group. This bonus also applies to the fighter's Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts made against weapons from this group.

Every four levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th), the bonuses granted by previous weapon groups increase by +1 each.

Additionally whenever the Fighter gains a feat that requires selecting a single weapon, and they choose a weapon from within their chosen weapon group, then the Fighter is treated as having the selected feats for all the weapons in the associated weapon group that are legal choices for those feats. The fighter is also considered to have those feats with these weapons for the purpose of meeting prerequisites.

Relentless Assault
At 5th level, a Fighter learns to go the extra ten percent above and beyond their foes. As a free action a Fighter can take an additional standard action during their turn. When they take this additional standard action the Fighter becomes staggered at the beginning of their next turn for 1 round. If the Fighter is already staggered, they become dazed instead for 1 round. The Fighter cannot use Relentless Assault two turns in a row.

Unlike a normal standard action, there are restrictions on the types of actions a Fighter can take with the standard action granted by this ability. The Fighter may not use this additional standard action to cast spells, activate the class abilities of other classes, or attempt skill checks unless the skill in question is a Fighter Class Skill that takes a standard action to complete. Fighters with racial spell-like abilities may still cast those spells with the additional standard action. Additionally, the fighter may not combine this additional standard action with their normal move action or with Adrenaline Rush in order to take a full round/one round action.

Enhanced Stamina (Ex):
At 7th level a Fighter’s physical limits are only a matter of their determination. As long as the Fighter got 8 hours of sleep (or the equivalent amount of rest from magical sources) and are not at exactly 0 HP they can spend a swift action to remove the Staggered condition from themselves. Additionally, as long as the Fighter could use Enhanced Stamina they are immune to disease and the sickened condition.

The Secrets of Steel
At 9th level a Fighter has learned how to channel a magical weapon or armor’s potential into different aspects. Each day while spending an hour in meditative training, the Fighter can freely redistribute the enhancements and properties of any magical weapon, armor, shield, or piece of ammunition they possess for 24 hours. For example, a Fighter could alter the properties of a +2 Shocking Keen Scimitar into a +4 Scimitar, or a +2 Flaming Fey Bane Scimitar. The magical item must retain at least +1 to its Enhancement bonus and a Fighter cannot ever move Enhancements from one item to another. The Fighter may meditate on both Intensive Training and The Secrets of Steel at the same time. Any item modified by The Secrets of Steel only retains its new properties while wielded by the Fighter. If the Fighter is disarmed or otherwise drops the weapon it reverts to its original enhancements and properties; but, it regains the newly selected ones from The Secrets of Steel if the Fighter picks it back up.

Bonafide Veteran
At 11th level a Fighter has seen it all, and then some. The Fighter becomes immune to fear effects and can spend a swift action rallying their allies. This grants them the same benefits as if the Fighter had cast “Remove Fear” on all allied characters within 30 ft using their Fighter level as their caster level.

Exploit Weakness
At 13th level a Fighter understands how to exploit the strange way time seems to stretch during combat. Whenever a Fighter uses Go For the Eyes they can spend a standard action to extend the benefits to all attacks they make until the beginning of their next turn. When they do this, they become fatigued for 2 rounds at the beginning of their next turn. If the Fighter is already fatigued they become Exhausted instead for 2 rounds. If the Fighter used Adrenaline Surge in the same round as Exploit Weakness they automatically become Exhausted at the beginning of their next turn for 2 rounds.

Endless Stamina (Ex):
At 15th level, a Fighter can push themselves even further beyond mortal limits. As long as the Fighter got 8 hours of sleep (or the equivalent amount of rest from magical sources) they can spend a swift action to remove the Exhausted condition from themselves. The Fighter becomes immune to nonlethal damage from environmental or magical sources and additionally, as long as they are wearing armor, becomes immune to nonlethal damage from weapon attacks.

Invoke the Deeper Secrets
At 17th level any number of times during a day the Fighter can spend a full round action to redistribute the properties and enhancements on any number of magical weapons, armor, shields, or ammunition they possess as if they had spent an hour using The Secrets of Steel.

No Time to Bleed
At 19th level a Fighter can throw their body completely into the fight response to stave off their bodily responses. A Fighter becomes immune to bleed damage (including Ability Bleed) and the nauseated condition. Additionally they can spend a standard action rallying their allies, this grants them the same benefits as if the Fighter had cast “Remove Sickness” on all allied characters within 30 ft using their Fighter level as their caster level.

Storm of Fire and Steel (Ex):
At 20th level, a Fighter may combine both Relentless Assault and Adrenaline Surge together in order to destroy their foes in a flurry of impossibly fast strikes. While using both Relentless Assault and Adrenaline Surge in the same turn, the Fighter may choose to combine the move action granted by Relentless Assault and the Standard granted by Adrenaline Surge to take any full round or one round action as a free action during their turn (except to cast spells, activate the class abilities of other classes, or attempt skill checks unless the skill in question is a Fighter Class Skill that takes a full round or one round action to complete). Fighters with racial spell-like abilities may still cast those spells with the additional full round action. The Fighter still suffers the usual side effects for using Relentless Assault and Adrenaline Surge.


Just to keep the conversation moving, this is the level 1 abilities that I grant to Fighters in my personal "unchained" remake of the class.

Cool Fighter Stuff:
Intensive Training (Ex):
At first level, every day the Fighter can spend one hour in meditative training. When they do so they can choose to learn a new combat feat in place of a combat feat he has already learned. In effect, the fighter loses the combat feat in exchange for the new one. The old feat cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. Additionally, the old feat cannot be an Effortless Feat (one that the Fighter obtained from their Effortless Training Class Feature). A fighter can only change one feat each day in this manner.

Adrenaline Surge (Ex):
At 1st level, a Fighter learns that movement is life upon a battlefield. As a free action a Fighter can take an additional move action during their turn. When they take this additional move action the Fighter becomes fatigued at the beginning of their next turn for 2 rounds. If the Fighter is already fatigued, they become Exhausted instead for 2 rounds. An Exhausted fighter may not use Adrenaline Surge, and a Fighter may not use Adrenaline Surge two rounds in a row.

The Fighter may not use Adrenaline Surge to attempt a skill check unless the skill is a Fighter Class Skill and would only take a move action to complete. The fighter may not combine the additional move action from this ability with their normal standard action in order to take a full round/one round action.

Go For the Eyes (Ex):
At 1st level the Fighter can spend a move action to steady their aim and pick out an exposed soft location, armored seem, or joint that they can strike. The next attack the fighter attempts until the end of their next turn targets touch AC. When using this ability with a Ranged attack the target must be within the first range increment.


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I’ve toyed with a homebrew class inspired by the Red Mage from final fantasy, the idea would be that they’re a 4th level spellcaster but they get a ton of spells per day and scaling cantrips. Their main gimmick was going to be doublecast, where instead of gaining access to 5th, 6th, and etc spell slots they could instead cast two spells with a total level up to 5th as a full round action. So even with increased spells per day you could nova through your spellcasts if you weren’t careful.


Ranger gaining bonuses from knowledge checks could be a fun mechanic, for sure. Maybe give them the inquisitor treatment where they can use Wis for knowledge checks instead of Int.


I have a fighter rework nearly done and ready for testing. The chassis is complete, but I need to find the time or energy to come up with 30 odd deeds/powers/talents for them to get every few levels. This is always the hard part of writing up new classes. Especially when Fighter is just so...generic. It took a lot of time to make them feel in any way shape or form unique, and I'm not sure how to give them talents without carving into other classes identities. At the same time, the fighter needs a series of talents because only have access to feats is a terrible way of creating an identity and requires an entire additional level of system mastery to properly enjoy.


Even the int-based classes I homebrew up to 4+Int per level, and I give them 2 free skillpoints on top of that based on their backstory. Its a lot easier to get my players into the role part of the role playing when they feel they can do things in social situations and can spend points on the things they need for adventuring without feeling like they have to spend points on specific skills because of their backstory.


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Any class that doesn't let you make meaningful decisions or have impactful class features. So...

Bard: Just to make Masterpieces cooler and built into the class without having to sacrifice feats or spells.

Brawler: Needs talents/powers like a Rogue/Barbarian.

Cavalier: Throw out Orders, add in talents, make their horse better. Its the only pet class that doesn't have spell slots to keep their Pet up to snuff.

Fighter: Give them actual class features: feats don't count. Also talents.

Gunslinger: So like, Wizard Schools/Cleric Domains are kinda the least adaptable thing that I accept as something similar to a Talent. Deeds are somehow even worse than Domains or Schools because you always get the same deeds. Also, guns in Pathfinder in general are badly written and should be reworked.

Ninja: Should have been its own class, like Monk meets Rogue. Lots of fun you could do here.

Ranger: Favored Enemy/Favored Terrain is a holdover from 3.5 and is bad because its too narrow for most campaigns.

Rogue (Unchained): Honestly still needs full BAB progression and maybe something else cool, like Sneak Attack working on Vital Strike or something. No idea how this is still the only .75 BAB class without spell slots.

Samurai: Should be merged into the cavalier rework, there isn't as much potential here as there is for Ninja.

Shifter: Everything about this class is bad. It doesn't just need an unchained version it needs to be unmade and reborn as something entirely different.

Swashbuckler: Deeds again, they're bad. If you've played one swashbuckler you've played every swashbuckler.

Vigilante: Just make him full BAB you cowards (exception is for the archetypes that grant spellcasting, those should remain .75 BAB).

Since we got four Unchained classes from the original Unchained book, there is room here for at least 3 whole books of Unchained content! Or just one if you don't release additional rules (aside from an update on Firearms because the rules for them are terrible). Anyway, for all of these I suggest buffing the class or making the class smoother and easier to play like the Monk, Rogue, or Barbarian Unchained. None of the classes need the nerf-bat like Summoner Unchained.


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Hey Folks, I've been working on doing a rework for the Gunslinger. I've never liked playing classes that did not let you select abilities or spells every few levels, so I ditched the deed system entirely and came up with a new core mechanic other than just "can shoot gun". I have one of my players testing it now, but I'm interested in more feedback.

As Gunslingers are precise and daring fighters, I gave them a real risk vs reward theme. They gamble their HP by provoking additional attacks in order to increase their DPR, and can risk Grit when making saving throws, combat maneuver checks, or skill/ability checks in order to recover it. Lastly they get to craft a special pool of ammunition they can use each day much like Alchemist Bombs.

The following document is a complete redesign of the Gunslinger. It also optionally includes a new set of rules for firearms and ranged weapons in order to make Guns more balanced and Crossbows more useful: giving each a specific role to play as compared to bows. You can probably run the Gunslinger without these new rules, or by only grabbing a select handful of them. If you do not want to use all of the new rules, I highly suggest allowing for Paizo Guns and Crossbows to be made "Heavy Frame" aka Composite.

Gunslinger Reloaded.

Any feedback is appreciated, though constructive feedback more so!


Gunslinger - Testing a Rework
Cavalier/Samurai - Testing a Rework
Fighter - Designing a Rework - but stalled at talents

Ranger, Swashbuckler, Shifter, Brawler, and Ninja are also on the chopping block but I'm not sure I'll ever get around to them so they're legal for the moment. Just highly suggested to avoid.

If a class doesn't get to pick fun new things to do every other level its a bad class. Spellcasters get spells, martials should get something fun too. If you can't even bother to give me Rogue Talents/Rage Powers to sort through I'm gonna try and fix it.

Gunslinger's rework is actually quite fun though I'm unsure how the math will work out. Hopefully my RotRL campaign will help figure out what I've gotten fluey. Wish one of my players was testing the Cavalier but I'm throwing one at them every now and then to see how they work.


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Hunter and Barbarian is probably one of my favorite Gestalts. You grab Combat Expertise at level 1, Ferocious Mount as your Level 2 Rage Power, and for level 3 you grab Amplified Rage and Pack Flanking at the same time.

At this point both you and your Mount are raging for +8 Strength and +8 Constitution and anything both of you are threatening suffers from being flanked with another +4 bonus to your attack rolls. As soon as you can get yourself Power Attack you are ready to swing like a damn monster.

Hunter and Rogue can kinda do something similar with just Pack Flanking and Sneak Attacks to deliver hefty hits while gaining permanent flanking from being mounted.

I am also quite fond of Sorcerer/Scaled Fist Unchained Monk into Dragon Disciple/Scaled Fist.


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I have a house rule where the minimum a character can roll on HP is Con Mod +1. So if you have 14 Con you’re getting at least a 3 on your HP roll.

This applies to monsters and doesn’t give a damn about the dice cap. If the monster has a 30 Con but only D6 on their HD they’re still “rolling” a 10. This helps late game monsters not get one shot.

Does mean if you’re a Con based class you will be huge: and that’s okay.


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I wanna nominate the Elven Branch Spear. Out of the box its a martial weapon for Elves and Half Elves, it is a finessable reach weapon that requires zero feat investment [Unlike Whip or Spiked Chain], and has a +2 to AoOs based on movement (you know, the whole reason you use a reach weapon?). Sure its only got a 3x crit mod and only does 1d8 which is sub-par for most Martial Weapons (basically a Lance without the mounted bonus) but like; its a finesseable reach weapon with zero feat investment for elves. Thats literally unique in Pathfinder.

Love it on Unchained Rogues, Dex to damage on a reach weapon by level three. Beautiful.


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Just because you can tell a meaningful story with your players only have 14 as their highest stat doesn't mean the game system was DESIGNED to accommodate that. The lower average stats a character has the more hyper-focused they need to be to be effective. Its why there are a hundred or more threads here in GD and Advice about "My highest Stat is a 12 what should I play" and the answer always comes back to pet-classes and spellcasters. I personally have more fun when my players come to me and go "So I wanna be a monk who fights with a Broom" and I can go "Sure, sounds good" instead of "Well, you don't really have the stat points to be a monk. How about a Spiritualist?"


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I personally level my players up at narratively important points rather than track XP. Right now I’m running a Rise of the Runelords game and I have the points where people will level up pre-planned. Doesn’t matter what extra fights they pick or avoid: levels happen when they happen. This both encourages them to follow the story and prevents the weird mid-dungeon level up that might force extra rests.

That does force me to occasionally shuffle loot around to keep them on track for wealth by level, which can lead to enemies having more or less loot than “they should” per CR. Most enemies can be brought in line with a few minor stat changes, +2 strength is a fine alternative to a +1 weapon and etc.

Of course, my game group has largely done away with the filler fights. So I have fewer things to adjust numerically. No sense going to initiative and dragging the game to a halt because some bandits showed up alongside the road. Just narrate how you handle them and track the resources spent in narrative time.


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Senko wrote:


Only issue with this for me is you need to put the stat in a racial + if you want 10 human average. Personally I'd prefer to drop one of the 14's to 12 and raise the 8 to another 10. Still to each their own.

I like my PCs to have at least one low stat both for balance and for roleplaying. My group is excellent in this regard, so its not a party of Charisma dumped goons or min-maxed god wizards. But I totally get what you're saying and you could even the mix out a little bit, this is just the one I've found works for my group. It also encourages people to not be human, there are way too many humans and half-elves in the modules and campaigns I run so I like my party to be looking through all the other fun races with multiple +2s.

As far as tracking ammunition and carry weight: I don't actively but I will audit people as necessary if I think something is up. The only thing you're cheating is yourself after all, again my group is amazing. I can trust them to keep track of their own ammunition and everyone quickly buys haversacks to let them ignore most mundane carrying issues.

As far as making a 15-point buy work, its doable. Casters are stronger, summons are stronger, and for sure pet classes are stronger. You'll have a hard time going for most physical classes unless the class is single attribute dependent.


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I always give stat spreads. Rolled dice are too random and I got sick of players min-maxing point buys.

Everyone gets 16, 14, 14, 13, 10, 8 and can assign them wherever. Sure, its like a 21 point buy or w/e but it also gives people clear strengths and weaknesses. I like player characters to have at least one stat with a 10 or lower, makes for more interesting RP. Players can get to 18 in a stat if its really necessary, or have three different 16s if they wanna go MAD.


Fumbles are amusing but mathematically problematic that I decided against using them in my own personal games. Its like misfires on firearms. If you swing a weapon as your primary form of participating in combat you'll roll low at some point and I'd rather not punish people whose plan is to go into combat swinging a weapon. They have things hard enough.

Now if spells could fumble we'd be in business.


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Incredibly Minor Rise of the Runelords Book 1 Spoilers:
The party was exploring Thistlestop and found a large gold and bronze helmet, one of them is a Telekineticist with Telekinetic Haul so I let them lift it up.

When the giant crab poked its head out I then allowed them to throw it out into the ocean despite not having Foe Throw. The party felt very smart for removing the threat, the Crab and its helm are now happily living on the bottom of the ocean instead of the tidal pool at the bottom of Thistletop.

I've also just ruled that my party's Mesmerist can trigger painful stare off the Burning Gaze spell. I can't wait to see what they can pull off with this.


There will be a talent (ie: advanced training except it’s now just a Fighter talent, they get them on even levels) that adds some of the basic archery feats to the list. I’m going to be careful about what I give for free, the idea behind the current version of the ability is that the Fighter will need to buy their way into the stronger options out there and then get given the better versions as long as they meet the prerequisites. This keeps Brawlers identity as the class that can on demand get feats and Ranger/Slayer as the class that skips prerequisites for feats

But we’re getting off track, I’ll be happy to post the full thing when it’s done. For now I need more feat chains that are too cost prohibitive to justify grabbing normally. Moonlight Striker, that sort of thing.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Snip

Good news is I have you mostly covered there. Exact details are largely irreverent to the current topic but Fighters get access to “advanced training” much earlier.

The big one though, and the one I will post in detail is what I’m doing to ease off feat taxes. Fighters don’t gain a feat on even levels, instead they have this:

Effortless Training:
“Effortless Training (Ex):
Starting at 2nd level, a Fighter’s talent for rapidly learning new abilities grants them intuitive understanding of any advanced ability they could learn. Whenever a Fighter gains a Fighter Level and meets all the qualifications for certain feats, they learn them automatically without needing to select those feats manually. Mark these feats as Effortless Feats on your character sheet. The Fighter must meet all prerequisites for the feat to learn it in this manner without the assistance of spells or abilities, only permanent magical items with a constant effect (such as a Belt of Strength) may assist a Fighter in meeting these qualifications.

The Feats the Fighter may learn through Effortless Training include all feats with “Improved” and “Greater” in their names. This means Fighters automatically gain Improved Initiative and Improved Unarmed Strike as bonus feats at level 2.”

Some new advanced training options add additional feats to this list, like selecting a style feat and adding the style feat and any feat that lists that style feat as a prerequisite to the list of feats you learn when leveling up.

Basically, I’m looking for fear chains to add as new advanced trainings. Stuff like Nightmare Weaver or other fear chains where Improved and Greater won’t cover it.


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I’m working on some Fighter changes for my campaign, the exact details are in flux but I’d be happy to share them in Homebrew when I’m done. Meanwhile, I’d like to tap on the communities collective consciousness to find feat chains that just take too long to fire off, or when they do fire off they end up being extremely lack luster. I know about stuff like Cleave, Vital Strike, anything to do with the Aldori Dueling Sword, and that there are a few style feats that are just silly. There are however a lot of feats out there, and so I’d welcome being pointed in the right direction.


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So this is tricky because you have to tell your story to appeal to your audience, which first means learning about your audience and to whom you are catering.

Some people like having unambiguous evil to target, it makes their lives simple. They hate when things get complicated or morally grey. Its easy to fight something whose only goal is to harm others.

Other people like the ambiguity of the situation. Two rival kingdoms at war, a misguided father trying to bring their child back to life through eldritch ritual, and etc. The idea of a relatable or tragic villain appeals to some groups because it gives them opportunities to be introspective about their own path through life, or a chance to turn the misguided villain back towards the light.

Personally, I attempt to write my villains as characters. They have motivations and desires, and the PCs can investigate (or not) the villains to the degree of their choice before confronting them. Enough investigation could allow them to turn foes into friends, or at least persuade someone towards a less destructive path.

However there are forces within the classical pathfinder/dnd world which are not easily disuaded from their path. Or forces whose paths are darker or violent because of their nature, like extraplanar evil creatures or abberations who have entirely different views on morality. Once again I try to write these enemies as characters, however understanding their desires (and how to subvert them) is a much larger challenge for the player characters. Can you convince a Vampire that it is in their best interest to protect their flock from other threats and to trade that protection for tribute in blood rather than simply ravaging the country side? Depends on the GM and the players, their expectations and desires.


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I really like Aura Flare feat but I'm deeply upset it is once per day and not like once per combat/once per hour or something. High level cleric being able to stagger everything within 30ft for doing their big cleric thing is good and fun.


I believe a Master of Many Styles could take the improved versions without meeting the prerequisites for the style.


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I mean, I'd be fine with my player benefitting from Blinded Blade Style all the time and then just ruling that their first Swift Action of every combat is spent on Blinded Blade Style.

Like, this person is role playing being a blind person and not just using this to see in darkness or w/e. That seems like a reasonable concession.


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If we're making sneak attack easier to perform, there are two methods I've thought about:

1: Adding additional conditions - For example allowing Sneak Attacks to be performed against creatures that are Shaken or Dazzled

2: Changing Flat Footed to be any AC penalty - This adds the Prone condition alongside other methods of triggering sneak attack, including the Rogue's built in debilitating injury.

But even then, what fixes the Rogue is giving them +5 over their career to hit through some manner. Improvements to Flanking bonuses, the ability to flank with their own shadow or some such, some kind of conditional attack bonus against enemies suffering from certain conditions, etc etc etc


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Boomerang Nebula wrote:


If you close all those gaps you don’t have a rogue anymore you have a fighter/wizard hybrid. The solution is to give rogue abilities that are thematically consistent with being a rogue and that other classes don’t have.

So it seems folks are misreading that sentence, its not a laundry list of the things Rogues need to be a functional class. It's a list of flaws that other "skillful" classes have that the Rogue does not. Bard has the Rogue's skill points and spellcasting. Alchemist has the Rogue's skill points and spellcasting. Investigator is the king of skill checks and has spellcasting. Slayer has full BAB, sneak attack, and solid skill points. Swashbuckler is the king of finesse and has full BAB (though Swashbuckler has its own problems I won't get into here).

While I agree that a full rework of the Rogue, giving it some kind of fun new class feature would be advantageous. I also fully think that any kind of Rogue rework should either keep the current stats and give it spellcasting of some sort OR make it a full BAB class. Its actively absurd that the Rogue (and by extension Ninja and Vigilante) doesn't have one of those two features.

Mr. Charisma wrote:


You don't "make up for that", making up for that would just make them a Fighter, that's the point. Rogues aren't meant to be as good at combat as a Fighter. If you want a class that plays like a Fighter, play a Fighter (in fact I think for about half the people who have a problem with the Rogue this is the actual problem).

(and just because I feel like being pedantic, Fighters only have 1 good save, and they also can't cast spells.)

If your argument for the Rogue having decent stats is that would make them a fighter, its pretty clear then Fighters are A: a better class. Which is insane because B: Fighters suck too. I've gone into the ways that the Fighter lacks any kind of unique identity in other topics, so I won't get into that. Instead I'll talk about about the things the Fighter gets that would still differentiate them from a Full BAB Rogue.

Namely: Not being locked into Finesse fighting. The Ability to wear non-light armor. Ranged combat that can take advantage of the Fighter's limited class features. +5 to Hit through Greater Weapon Focus and Weapon Training. Advanced Weapon Training that allows for: improved saving throws, ANOTHER +5 to his attack rolls with Warrior Spirit, the ability to dual wield one handed weapons, teamwork feat abuse, more skill points (up to a value of +4 total which is 6 skill points a level effectively), and he can stack up all of the Advanced Weapon Training Bonuses he wants because he can take it a total of 7 times.

I could go on, but I won't. But I could.

Nudging the Rogue's numbers up enough doesn't remove his limited selection of proficient weapons. It doesn't make him able to use heavier armor. It doesn't let him sneak attack from ranged (one of the hardest things to do in the entire game past the surprise round) so he's still stuck in melee. It doesn't make him able to one man army his way through a fight the way a Fighter could. He still would be reliant on sneak attack and his allies to position themselves intelligently.

I honestly don't understand why some people are so vehemently opposed to this change. Giving the Rogue full BAB doesn't make it a fighter any more than the Fighter having full BAB makes it a Paladin. Multiple classes have this chassis and they differentiate themselves by way of their actual class features and gameplay.

Look, I'll be honest in my games a lot of classes are house ruled to be better. Rogue is one of them, Fighter is another. Every class has 2 good saves and one bad save. Rogue's have full BAB progression and d10 HP. Sneak Attack is multiplied on Vital Strike. It all feels really good to play, especially because this applies across the board. So all the Rogues in APs also get these buffs. They go from jokes to actual threats.


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Boomerang Nebula wrote:
I would rather make rogues better at what they are supposed to excel in rather than make them more like fighters.

And how does one make up for -10 to attack rolls over the career, only 1 good saving throw, low maximum HP, a complete lack of spellcasting, and 1 fewer attack each turn?

Like the Rogue can't afford to spend their resources on doing Rogue things because every ounce of energy needs to be directed into "Not being an Expert NPC" in combat. It is entirely possible to play the Rogue and succeed at combat, you can build nearly anything to be effective with enough game knowledge.

Would +5 to attack rolls, +1 HP per level on average, an extra attack late game, and a better saving throw really be harmful to the fantasy of playing the rogue? I argue not. With those kind of buffs the Rogue could spend some talents on things that aren't a desperate attempt to keep up with everyone else.

Right now the Shifter is a better put together class than the Rogue and it makes me very grumpy.


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So like, the Fighter's got a couple of problems. As Andostre mentions, they don't really have a useful unique mechanic. They get access to more feats, but so do all the martial classes. They get higher attack and damage rolls under certain conditions, but so do other classes.

The only really unique thing they had going for them are the Fighter only feats (which are okay but aren't really interesting until the book that adds the Advanced Weapon and Advanced Armor training) and faster movement in medium and heavy armor. Its only "recently" in PF1 terms anyway that Fighter got unique selectable mechanics in the advanced training options and most of the Fighter archetypes don't let you play with them because they swap out Weapon or Armor training.

So thats on the mechanics side. On the flavor side, the Fighter is in a whole other jam.

Wanna be a master of a specific fighting style? Ranger or Slayer.
Wanna be a knight in shining armor? Cavalier or Paladin
Wanna be a knight in black armor? Cavalier or Anti-paladin
Wanna be a close range ball of death? Monk or Brawler
Wanna be a finesse master? Swashbuckler or Unchained Rogue
Wanna hit things really hard? Barbarian or Bloodrager

It doesn't fulfill any of those fantasies better than the other options you have available.

Back over to mechanics, the Fighter is a generalist who will do a decent job at whatever you design it to do. However, at the end of the day, it still needs to focus down a single path. The Fighter doesn't have any class features that allow it to be an actual generalist.

Honestly, what I would want to see out of a Fighter rework is if the Fighter could pick up any weapon and know how to use it. Give the Fighter free feats based on the weapon they're currently wielding, just the basics at first and then talents that expand on those.

For instance, a Fighter should be able to pick up any exotic weapon and just wield it. A Fighter should be able to grab a bow and shoot into melee without worrying about spending two feats on making Bows viable, then swap over to a Greatsword or a Sword and Shield when needed. Give them free Two Weapon Fighting when they wield two weapons, or Combat Reflexes when they have a polearm.

Stuff like that.


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So, my complaints with those classes (and the Shifter) aren't all that complicated and are more about overall Design philosophy than about how good they are/are not at their job.

Design Talk:

So, I feel like all classes should have some modular element about them. I want to be able to play the same class over the course of five-ten different campaigns and still feel like I'm doing something new each time. I also want my players to be able to field multiple of the same class without feeling like they're all mechanically identical.

For some classes their spellcasting does this for them. You can play 8 different Wizards each specialized around making the most of their specific school and not feel like you've played the same character each time. Sure you'll want to default to the "best" spells in each case, but its entirely doable to focus down on specific schools of magic.

For classes with more restrictive Spellcasting, you end up needing more modular class features. Stuff like Oracle Mysteries, Witch Hexes/Patrons, Arcanist Exploits, Evolution Points for Eidolons, and etc that allow for replay/differentiation.

The most interesting Martial Classes also have this modular nature to their abilities, Barbarian Rage Powers. Vigilante Talents. Fighter's long, long, long overdue Advanced Weapon/Armor Training Options. There are even a few interesting Rogue Talents thanks to Unchained, though most are still hot garbage. The classes I mention are guilty of being too similar to each other when played either sequentially or together in a group, or too narrow in some manner.

Its not about whether or not its possible to do something fun or overpowered with the class. Its really about ensuring that you have enough options to make the character unique and interesting.

Ranger: Favored Enemy and Terrain are ass unless you get the GM to give you prior knowledge to what you're facing, the Slayer does this so much better. Its also awkward because the Hunter exists and largely does the nature-y aspect of the Ranger so much better. It suffers from being a 3.5 conversion, 2e does a better job but I don't know the math there yet so I'm still running 1e.

Fighter isn't bad, but is exceptionally boring. Advanced Weapon and Armor Training come too late to the party to really make the Fighter stand out as different or unique. It needs to follow a chassis more similar to the Slayer or Monk with talents at even levels instead of Feats. Again, this suffers from the 3.5e conversion.

Ninja is okay but it suffers from its nature as a throw away class designed to be an alternate to the Rogue. That gives it two problems, one of them being a lack of material and the other being that it was tied to Core Rogue, yuck. I do have ideas on how I'm going to homebrew this. I'm taking aspects from Monk, Alchemist, and Rogue and mixing them all together, make it something other than just Eastern Themed Rogue TM.

Cavalier and Samurai are my current project, I just have to design 30 odd talents and they'll be good to go. Design wise the lack of talents and the reliance upon the extremely limited stuff they get from their Order is just silly in comparison to over classes who get to pick fun things every level. Plus they're a class without spellcasting who has an animal companion, when animal companions are largely balanced around the idea that they have a buddy casting spells on them. Extremely silly.

Swashbuckler has no modular abilities at all, Deeds are exceptionally stupid and make every swashbuckler feel identical. Gunslinger is like swashbuckler but even worse because it is tied to the awful rules associated with Guns. So glad I've finished my homebrew on these folks, playtesting is currently on going and nothing seems to have broken yet.

Shifter needs to actually be able to shift, make its Wild Shape just dramatically better than the Druids and hopefully expand the options for transformations. Shifters should be going Dragon Shape 3 at late game, again, with actual choices throughout the class in the form of talents on even levels.

Brawler honestly is another dishonorable mention, Martial Flexibility does a lot to save them from my general ire at the lack of modular talents. However, they really don't have much else going for them. They're also in a weird spot between Fighter and Monk without the advantage of Ki Powers and Style Strikes to really make themselves stand out.

In terms of the remaining classes that don't have modular talents of some kind: Paladin/Antipaladin could have a bunch of class features turned into talents and then allow them to pick those up as they level up. Same goes for Warpriest, Bard, Inquisitor, Druid, Summoner, Spiritualist and Hunter. These folks just have spellcasting to fall back on and usually at least some modularity to their chassis.

Basically, strip off some abilities from the chassis of any of the above classes and give these folks a modular ability on even levels and a much larger modular ability every 5-7 levels and I'd be happy. It'll take me forever to homebrew everything, but that's the plan.


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Oh, yeah, literally forgot about it because Shifter is so bad.

Its at the bottom of my personal homebrew rework list because I have no idea how to fix it.

Absolutely bogus that they made a martial class that was worse than the druid at shifting.


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Faceless Stalker.

These guys are a favorite of mine, easily boosted with any amount of armor, weapons, or feat choices. A group of faceless stalkers are quite hard to track down among a populace while able to go about whatever plan they have unhindered.

Add class levels for extra spice, you don't even need to give them the class advancement stat adjustment (4, 4, 2, 2, 0, -2) though you can if you want.

They make excellent Vigilantes, Mesmerists, Ninjas, or even Kineticists. Round up their Wisdom and Dexterity for extra fun and options.


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Unchained Ranger
Unchained Fighter
Unchained Ninja
Unchained Cavalier/Samurai
Unchained Swashbuckler
Unchained Gunslinger

Fix the underperforming classes. One last big gift to martial classes.


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The Eldritch Heritage line, aka, we have Obedience at home.


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Pack Flanking is, in my opinion, a class feature of the Hunter. Between Pack Flanking and Outflank, the Hunter is effectively a 19 BAB class.

But yeah, most of the Teamwork feats are terrible.


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Uh, the spell ends when you use Shadow Gambit. So even if the Illusion were permanent, you only get one "shot" per illusion and each shot is a standard action.

The main spell that your plan would even work with is Permanent Image, which is a 6th level spell. Each image requires a separate move action to command into position and the target needs to be adjacent to an Image to activate. Additionally, you need line of sight.

This is basically an NPC only tactic that is vaguely useful for defending a location/setting an ambush. Its...fine, but I really dislike that it provides rules for something that could have been left to GM discretion.


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I've played a reach using Abyssal Bloodrager at a high enough level to auto-cast an additional bloodrager spell.

Its glorious. Anything that isn't flying is screwed.


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Your foes not getting within your reach (Or not gambling that you have the Reflexes and moving around your reach) is still not zero value. Having a larger zone of control is quite strong and can protect your allies.

Sure, a GM can get around that too, but a GM being a dick can make any feat suck. Thats part of why having a good GM is worth irl gold.

Anyway, I'd like to nominate Shadow Gambit as another feat that just blows massive chunks. You can end your Illusion spells early to deal damage and provide a save/attack roll as normal. However, the damage is only 1d6 per SPELL LEVEL, so you can at most spend 2 rounds to set up a 9th level illusion and then end it early with a bonus saving throw for 9d6 points of damage.

It also pretty much prevents any really creative "Well, Major Images can create thermal illusions so I have my dragon breath fire for damage" as you now have rules for doing something like that, but it costs a feat and sucks both in the action economy and damage department.


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Yes, as a house rule Vital Strike multiplies sneak by a similar amount to the rest of the rolled damage. You still lose out on total damage dealt compared to a full attack, because the static damage from Enhancement/Ability Modifier isn't multiplied, but it ends up being a worthwhile action and eases up on the "Get Pounce or Fall X Tiers" problem martials have.

To be clear though, UnRogues in my campaigns are also d10 full BAB characters with "good" growth on Will saves. So they're better off than normal already. PC Classes without spellcasting should have full BAB growth, its absurd that some don't.

I had some plans to rework Swashbuckler entirely and make them especially adept at Vital Striking, but they're stalled behind Cavalier and Ninja who are next on my rework list after I recently finished Gunslinger.


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Mudfoot wrote:


I double that too. It's not going to make a huge difference, after all: typically 10% extra. Or 30% for a keen scimitar, I guess. But I double precision damage like Sneak Attack too; martials are entitled to nice things as well.

This is one of my house rules as well, Vital Strike is multiplied on crits and works with Sneak Attack. Additionally, Un-Rogues get Vital Strike at level 6 for free without needing to meet the pre-reqs, and the upgrades at the appropriate level as well.

Sneak Attack doesn't multiply on crit because that would be a bit much, especially with the number of Rogues that show up in adventure paths, but Rogues being able to acrobatics into position for a flank and still get off their big stab feels really good.


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I don't feel like doing links right now but:

1: The Flying Talon
This thing is basically a whip without all the fuss. Sure you can't ever threaten with the weapon but it doesn't take 9 feats to be usable and its a light reach weapon for the Magus' out there.

2: Waveblade
You gain proficiency with this as a monk and it crits on an 18-20. Nearly every monk I've ever made tries to grab a Keen Waveblade asap. We make all these extra attacks per turn, might as well use them to fish for crits!

3: The Blade Boot
This is an awful weapon, it has nearly no redeeming qualities. I still love it to pieces, its just so flavorful. That this isn't a Monk weapon is criminal.

4: Elven Branched Spear
Its a finessable reach weapon that doesn't require worshipping Shelyn. Whoo! It also gives bonuses on AoOs because its just a damn good weapon. If you're a finesse character and don't need a free hand or a shield you should buy into this whenever you can afford the Ioun Stone (Elves get it for free!)

5: Switchscythe
Who even thought of this thing? Its a scythe that folds? Why, what purpose does this serve, other than being awesome?

6: Orc Hornbow
Ever thought, "you know, archery isn't strong enough" in Pathfinder? Well, what about a dice step over the regular Composite Bow. Sure thats only a little extra damage by default but if we use Gravity Bow suddenly we are throwing 3d6 arrows instead of 2d6 arrows and thats worth 3.5 damage. Hehehehehe

7: Traveling Kettle
There is something about beating people up with kitchen equipment that is extremely satisfying. This is one of those moments.

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