New Paths #4: The Expanded Battle Scion (PFRPG) PDF

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Lethal with Blade and Blast!

For years, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game fans have lamented the absence of an 'arcane paladin' type of class—one with full base attack bonus, limited spell access (to arcane spells instead of divine) and a small set of interesting, flavorful special abilities.

Lament no longer! The Expanded Battle Scion is just such a class!

Designer Marc Radle builds on his battle scion class to create the combat caster you’ve been craving. The Expanded Battle Scion includes:

  • Force Blaster and Bonded Scion archetypes
  • 5 new feats including Awakened Arcane Bond, which imbues your arcane bond object with intelligence and will
  • A Prepared Spell Tracking Sheet, usable by any prepared spell caster
  • New rules for legendary magic items, and 3 new items: the legendary shield, sword and armor of the first battle scion
If you dream of scattering your enemies with a powerful force attack before finishing them off with lethal bladework, New Paths #4: The Expanded Battle Scion is for you!

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An RPG Resource Review

5/5

This variant base class describes what might be thought of as an 'arcane paladin' - someone who has combat and spell-casting skills but who wields arcane rather than divine power. One particular neat ability they have is to loose a 'force blast' - a bolt of pure arcane power - at their foes. Acting a bit like a magic missile, the strength of the blast increases as the Battle Scion rises in level, although the number of times a day he can fire one remains constant.

Full details are provided to enable you to create and play a Battle Scion character. There is also a couple of archetypes - the Force Blaster (who specialises in using his force blast to effect) and the Bonded Scion (who bases his abilities on his link with a bonded weapon) - and some new feats and new magic items with which to equip your Battle Scion. Of particular interest are three items said to have belonged to a legendary Battle Scion, one Gax (who is the hero of the bit of flavour fiction at the beginning of this work) - his armour, shield and sword are there awaiting a new hero.

Finally there's a Prepared Spell Tracking Sheet to help you keep your spells in order, another neat idea. (I used to use index cards, one per spell, which I'd lay out on my table when I chose spells, but that was a long time ago...)

This is a rather nice base class which provides a good role for someone who wants to mix powerful fighting skills with appropriate battle magic, but who doesn't want to be lawful good or committed to the service of a specific deity. Well worth a look...


An Arcane Paladin with a Force Smite... Revised and Awesome!

5/5

As mentioned in pretty much every review so far, Kobold Press's Battle Scion opens its description with the phrase "arcane paladin" as an apt and accurate description of the class presented herein. So, the following review will take pains to compare the class with its divine counterpart. The similarity toward 3.5's attempt at a full-BAB arcane caster class, the Hexblade, is also too prevalent to ignore, so I'll be examining how this measures up against what was considered one of the least effective caster classes of the 3.5 era.

At the basics, there's very little visible difference. The Battle Scion is a d10, full-BAB class with two good saves (Fortitude and Will, same as Paladin), access to all armors, all non-tower shields, and simple and martial weapons, which puts it squarely on par with Paladin and well ahead of the light-armor-only Hexblade. For obvious reasons it lacks the latters' alignment requirements and has no prerequisites to play. It has a broad array of available class skills, but in turn only 2+INT skill points per level, an unfortunate choice in my opinion that's slightly mitigated by the fact that, unlike both the Paladin and the Hexblade, the Battle Scion is an INT-based caster class, and thus will probably have little issue with the shortage of skill points. (Being a skill junkie, however, I still stand beside my dislike of 2+INT classes on principle.) ;)

Now we get into the meat of the class - the signature abilities. There's really three that make up the core of the class: the force blast, the dweomered weapon, and spell tactician. Force Blast is the first and most noticeable of these abilities, a scaling damage attack starting at 2d4 force damage a few times per day based on the INT of the Scion. This is clearly the class's most notable ability and the best thing to compare it to in its two counterparts would be the Paladin's Smite Evil and the Hexblade's Curse. Frankly, it blows the latter out of the water and gives the former a good run for its money. The recent revision to the class has changed the automatic successful hit, as per magic missile, to instead a ray with a ranged touch attack roll, both allowing for the opportunity to miss (as unlikely as it may be, as a touch attack on a class with Full BAB) as well as inflict a critical hit. As a force effect it's fully effective on incorporeal enemies, and it's available a large amount of times per day - 3+INT, meaning possibly as much as six or seven with a moderately high point buy or a sufficiently stat-focused character. While this doesn't sound like much at first, it's well above the 1/day of both the signature abilities of the other two counterparts: a Paladin doesn't reach seven smites per day until level 19! For drawbacks, the damage is about on par, if a little higher than Smite at low levels and a little lower at high. In addition, Force Blast is an (SP) ability, meaning it will still need to content with Spell Resistance should it arise. Still, compared to the prior auto-hit mechanism, this is a grand improvement.

Enough on the Force Blast for now though. Dweomer Weapon is the next trick the Scion has up its sleeve, and it's a fun one. The Hexblade had nothing that compares to this, but the Paladin has his Bonded Weapon option and the similarities to the Magus's abilities are visible enough not to ignore. Simply put, this is the same style of trick: the Scion gains a free +1 to their weapon's enhancement, which scales up by level, and a selection of weapon bonuses that they can place in exchange for a portion of that enhancement cost. Other than one really notable typo - the parenthetical explaining enhancement costs for the extra abilities mistakenly says "in the Pathfinder RPG" and leaves the sentence hanging, where I believe it's supposed to say "in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook" - this section is pretty much verbatim from the Paladin and Magus abilities of the same style, with a few alterations to the list of available enhancements, and the ability is clean, simple, and effective. As the Scion levels, he gains the ability to apply dweomered bonuses more quickly, topping out at 15th level as a swift action. A nice little bonus for those last-second "oh I need THIS against the X!" moments.

Last but certainly not least is Spell Tactician. The ability starts off sounding boring, merely adding first +2 then +4 to the Scion's bonus Combat Casting feat. While perhaps boring, it's immensely practical - Concentration checks can be a beast in Pathfinder, especially with the Scion's reduced Caster Level (class level -3, no different than its two counterparts or the Ranger), and the extra boost will be considered quite helpful to a class designed to cast in melee. However, at 9th level, it ceases to be boring. It first grants the ability to, 3+INT per day, cast a personal spell as a swift action. True strike, anyone? That's where my mind went at first. I'll compare this one to the Paladin's Lay on Hands - which, when applied to the self, is likewise a swift effect - and say it pretty much comes out even.

At 11th, the Scion adds his INT to his DEX for attack rolls with rays and other ranged touch attacks, likewise 3+INT/day. While not especially necessary - touch attacks at that level are almost always a given - it's a nice little ability and might come in handy a time or two when the roll is low or the enemy's evasive capabilities unusually high. And since the Scion is likely running about in plate, his DEX is probably not too impressive. At 13th, once per day the Scion gets a free Metamagic without affecting the spell's level - a nice bonus, especially for Metamagics that would push the spell above the Scion's 4th-level cap, enough to make actually taking Metamagic Feats in this class even considered. (Until I saw this ability, I'd just assumed they wouldn't be worth it - have YOU ever seen a Paladin with a Metamagic feat?) This gains a few more uses as he levels, topping out at 4/day at level 19.

The class is rounded out with the Arcane Aura - which started as a scaling Deflection bonus that really does very little except free up a hand from a ring of deflection +X, but with the latest revision now also grants a scaling bonus to hit with the Force Blast. Not really necessary, but cool to have, and it makes the Arcane Aura feel less like it simply exists to free up an item slot. As well, the Scion gains handful of bonus feats, fighter training, Armor Training (as per Fighter), and a capstone that pulls his caster level and Fighter Training up to 20th automatically and gives the ability to expend a spell as a free action on a critical hit. This is a correction from my previous review, which specified "melee critical hit", but neither the old nor new versions of the Scion document specified melee. Meaning that a crit with the Force Blast or even another spell could indeed trigger this capstone ability. Awesome.

That sums up the class itself in a rather long-winded nutshell... but the game's not up yet. There's two archetypes conveniently included: the Force Blaster, which focuses on amping up the Force Blast to 11, and the Bonded Scion, who turns his weapon of choice into a bonded item as per wizard and gains some expanded uses of the item. The Bonded Scion is interesting, exchanging a few of the class abilities for some more focus on their weapon and a few extra abilities on top of Dweomer Weapon. The Force Blaster, though, takes the singular balance issue I have with this class - the basic Force Blast - and shoots for the sky with it. The Force Blaster can use their Force Blast more often, deal more damage with it, throw two blasts at once, and reduce the use time to move then eventually swift action. With the revisions to the Force Blast, this is still a powerful damage-dealing archetype - on par with a well-built Evoker, if more limited in resources - but less viciously broken.

The last of the document provides a selection of feats that, while obviously available for Scion use, has a couple with the above-and-beyond benefit of being useful, available, and interesting for non-Scion classes. Granted all of them are caster-friendly, you won't be getting anything for your Fighter in here, but I can see a Magus or a Wizard getting some use out of one or two of these things just as well as a Scion.

The PDF closes with a trio of scaling magical items belonging to the character Gax, who I guess is our de-facto Iconic Battle Scion. The items' prerequisites pretty much demand they be used for an arcane warrior type class, but none of them are so limiting that you couldn't pick them up with a Magus or Eldritch Knight, and they're not bad low- to mid-level items even without the scaling bonuses so even a party who doesn't have a character who meets the items' desires could still make use of their basic, if uninteresting, abilities until they find a worthy buyer or new party member.

All in all, it's an interesting, efficient class that, thanks to the latest revision, has ceased to be beyond the expected curve of power for its intent. Turning Force Blast into a ranged touch attack goes a long way toward balancing it, just on its own - the opportunity to miss, even if low, would reduce the sheer improbability of the class's core ability being all but infallible. And it makes a nice synch with later abilities by allowing Spell Tactician to function with it, since it does specify it works on spell-like abilities, along with the change to Arcane Aura. The class has been just what a lot of people are looking for: a heavily armored arcane caster with a small array of spells (chosen at will or scribed from scrolls from the sorcerer/wizard list and cast by memorization from a spellbook, but only up to 4th level, and a very limited amount per day - no different from Paladin/Ranger) who mixes it up in melee but isn't as much of a glass cannon as the Magus or as slacking behind in interesting, useful class abilities as the Hexblade (which, if you really want a curse-slinging spell-swordsman, check out the Hexcrafter Magus archetype - it's right up your alley). The Battle Scion is a worthy inheritor to this desire; the class is solid overall.

A definite recommend, and I'll be making sure use of this in the future.

Thanks again to Kobold Press for the review opportunity, and especially for your willingness to work with your fans and their feedback and make revisions based on their recommendations. Five stars.


Interesting take on the fighter mage concept

5/5

There have been quite a few 3rd party attempts at a fighter/caster combination in pathfinder. Not many have made me think they would do the job better or as well as the Magus. The battle scion definately makes me consider it.

It is a full bab d10 HD, 4th level spell max caster that is very similar in style and performance to the paladin. It is a prepared caster that primarily relies on martial abilities with a few defensive buffs, and a couple strong burst damage/attack abilities. Where the paladin has smite evil and divine bond, the Battle Scion has Force blast and deowmer weapon. Deowmer weapon functions almost identically to the weapon version of divine bond, with different potential enhancements. Force blast, is, well exactly what it sounds like. A blast of force spell like ability that the battle scion can use 3+int times per day that scales as you level.

2d4 damage (which does up as you level) isnt really impressive then you realize the battle scion could easily be swining a great sword for 2d6+6 + power attack and weapon specialization (since they count as fighters at level-3 for qualifying for feats) but since it works like a magic missile it makes for a versatile tool. Battle Scions are intelligent, and consequently can be selective about their targets. This makes them fairly dangerous enemies to use as npcs.

Minor Rise of the Runelords Spoilter:

I used a goblin Force Blaster Battle Scion to lead the attack on the swallow tail festival in the opening of the Rise of the Runelords campaign I ran this past weekend.

Blast was an interesting contrast with the comical and mostly crazy behavior of the normal goblins. He was smart, and was selective about his targets, putting some real fear into my party's cocky conjuration wizard when he was hit with a couple force blasts. 2d4 doesnt seam like all that much unless you are a 1st level wizard with a d6 hit die.

It worked out quite well and I think using the Battle Scion added something to the encounter that might not have been there otherwise. It was interesting to see the assumptions my players made as the 'mage' was both throwing bolts of force, and going after people with a horse chopper.

Overall I really like the class, and I think it does something that is different then those that have come before. I particularly like the Force blaster archetype, which focuses even more on the force blast ability then the normal battle scion.

I think the only thing I'd change is a persona preference thing, where I would make it charisma based and alter the skills some, but that is just my own pet peeve about the lack of charisma based character classes in the game, and not a failing of the battle scion itself. If you want a good Fighter/magic user (big F little mu) the battle scion is a good choice.


An Endzeitgeist.com review of the revised edition

4/5

This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So. Another gish-class. I can't say I'm too excited by the prospect, but author Marc Radle has already created the revised Vanguard, which ranks among my favorite takes on the concept, so let's take a look: The Battle Scion gets d10, full BAB-progression, good fort-and will-saves, 2+Int skills per level, proficiency in light, medium and heavy armor, shields and simple and martial weapons AND may cast spells while in armor from the very first level without arcane spell-failure chance - thankfully still specifying regular spell failure chances for spells granted by other classes. Starting at 4th level, Battle Scions get access to arcane spells of up to 4th level, which they cast as a prepared caster via Int at caster level battle scion level-3. Furthermore, starting at 4th level, they also count as fighter of battle scion level -3 for the purpose of qualifying for fighter-only feats. They are very much advertised, and correctly so, as a kind of arcane paladin-style class.

Thankfully, though, the class also gets some signature tricks to pull off - namely a deflection aura (that now also nets an additional scaling bonus to hit with force blasts) and more notably, the power to throw so-called forceblasts: Usable 3+Int times per day, these are essentially big singular magic missiles that automatically hit for 2d4 damage, scaling up to 8d4 at 19th level, making this essentially a warlock-style, force-damage slinging class. And here, the revision sets in, fixing the broken fact that force blasts were once automatic hits - they now require touch attacks - still powerful, but not overpowered. Two thumbs up!

Of course enhancing one's weapon via an array of magical qualities as a standard action is also part of the deal and makes for melee versatility as one would expect from an arcane/fighter-class.

The pdf also comes with an archetype called Force Blaster, which enhances said blasts - for once, the archetype delivers +2 uses via a bonus feat and also allows the blaster to do unique things with the blasts: First of all, the class may use move actions instead of standard actions to fie these blasts and at higher levels, fire two of the blasts simultaneously and even fire them as swift actions at level 11 and above. Finally, the force-blaster can deliver push and trip combat maneuvers via their blasts - and while now the force blasts have been nerfed to the point where I'd allow this archetype, ranged combat maneuvers still leave a slightly sour taste in my mouth. Still, the payoff is there and I hereby renounce my complaints about the archetype.

The second archetype is the bonded scion, who makes his weapon an arcane bonded item and may enhance his bonded weapon, later even using his blasts to enhance his weapon to make it especially lethal against incorporeal foes. Where the blaster feels a bit on the strong side, the bonded scion feels a bit weak - especially the weapon-enhancement could have used some added versatility in my opinion.

We also get 5 new feats that range from extra blasts to enhancing arcane strike, the arcane aura and the arcane bond and make it even possible to awaken arcane bonds. The two rather complex feats that scale and add to the arcane bonded item's prowess are nice indeed and after that, we get what I consider a great additional offering: Legendary items, i.e. magical items that get stronger over the levels: The regalia of Gax the Great ( an homage to Gary Gygax?), the first Battle Scion: His armor, shield and longsword are depicted and allow the owner to e.g. expend spells for additional melee damage, dispel foes when striking them etc. - I'm a big fan of legendary items and the inclusion of them is, at least for me, a great benefit and should make this particular section also relevant for characters of other gish-classes.

The pdf closes with a handy prepared spell tracking sheet, though honestly, I don't consider said sheet to be too useful - a column for range, targets etc. would have gone a long way there.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, since the only glitches I found have since been ironed out. Layout adheres to a 2-column, full-color standard with original artworks (which are nice to look at, though not mind-boggling) and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

So...is this pdf worth its asking price? It ultimately depends. The battle scion is the third prepared gish-class I've read and its design-goal of delivering an arcane paladin can be considered accomplished. Though whether that's enough depends on the person you'll ask. The magus is essentially more on the casting-side than the martial side, whereas the battle-scion is the other way round - a fighting class with an array of arcane spells. And honestly, that's where I'm not 100% sold. To me the magus is a kind of paper-tiger - deadly, but also relatively fragile in melee, whereas the battle scion is much sturdier - and the battle scion may learn ALL spells from the sorceror/wizard-list. Only up to 4th level, granted, but still, that's quite a bit of flexibility when compared to non-gish martial classes. The closest analogue would probably be that the magus is a razor, the battle-scion (especially the blaster!) being more of a sledge-hammer.

The Battle Scion is intended as an arcane paladin and since the force blasts still are powerful, but no longer guaranteed damage with their required touch attacks, I consider this particular mission of the class accomplished. So yeah - great job by designer Marc Radle - and worth 1.5 stars, since the class no longer breaks the game at low levels, resulting in a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform since for the 5, I feel the class could have used some unique powers akin to mercies or do something more imaginative with its aura - that's complaining at a high level, though - this is the arcane paladin class of choice.

Endzeitgeist out.


The Battle Scion

4/5

I recently got my hands on this material and poured over it several times. It is a fantastic class with supporting archetypes, feats, and equipment.

The class itself, the Battle Scion, is a hybrid class in the same vein as the paladin and ranger, but the class focuses on arcane casting. The signature ability of the class is its force blast, which starts as basically a 2d4 magic missile and increases to 8d4. I was a bit underwhelmed by the damage at first, but it is an automatic force damage application. The class ends up getting access to fighter feats, abilities that improved the use of its spells and spell like mechanics, and caps with the character having an effective fighter and wizard level of 17.

The two archetypes that are presented focus around increasing the power and versatility of the force blast (the Force Blaster), or a much improved upon arcane bonded weapon (the Bonded Scion). Both add a very interesting twist to the base class and allow the character to focus on a role more in line with a blaster or melee powerhouse, respectively.

The feats section adds some interesting options for specializing in certain aspects of the class, and while they don't seem too overtly powerful, they certainly help refine the potential of this powerful class. The legendary weapons and armor of the Battle Scion are very flavorful and scale in power with level progression, adding just that more to what could be an epic player experience.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the read, and the way the class is put together, but must warn potential players and DMs that this class may be a bit powerful in the grand scene of gameplay with other core and base classes. But don't let that scare you! I highly recommend giving it a try! Great job Kobold Press and Marc Radle!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TriMarkC wrote:

I've been playing with a bonded magus for a little while now, and as some martialists have noted previously ... they can be complex to play.

So I'm intrigued by the expanded Battle Scion, especially the Force Blaster.

Is this playable for PFS society play??

Thanks!

No, its a 3rd party product, it wouldnt be available for organized play, only at home games where the dm is willing to allow it.


TriMarkC wrote:

I've been playing with a bonded magus for a little while now, and as some martialists have noted previously ... they can be complex to play.

So I'm intrigued by the expanded Battle Scion, especially the Force Blaster.

Is this playable for PFS society play??

Thanks!

Unfortunately not. This is by the company Kobold Press, and Paizo doesn't really allow non-Paizo material in PFS.

Liberty's Edge

TriMarkC wrote:

I've been playing with a bonded magus for a little while now, and as some martialists have noted previously ... they can be complex to play.

So I'm intrigued by the expanded Battle Scion, especially the Force Blaster.

Is this playable for PFS society play??

Thanks!

Hey there TriMarkC!

I'd say the class is definitely less complex to play than the magus, yet still plenty interesting and versatile:)

Unfortunately, no material from Third Party Publishers (no matter how well-known or popular) is legal for PFS play. Hopefully you also have some non PFS games you play in so you can give the battle scion a try! Oh, and if you do, reviews are always welcomed :)


Thanks to Kolokotroni, Cheapy & Marc Radle for your answers! I'm in two non-PFS games, so hopefully I can try this out next opportunity for a new character.

Liberty's Edge

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Yes, it seems to be finding real favor with players. Me, I'm going to make one a villain.

Cool! I can't wait to see what kind of battle scion villian you come up with! :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Marc, what do you think about an archetype that makes the battle scion spontaneous, and charisma based instead of int based? If one where to make such an archetype would it be reasonable to change their skills to 4+int instead of 2?


Spontaneous casters always get more 'stuff' than their prepared counterparts, so you'd have to have fun and make some new class abilities :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Spontaneous casters always get more 'stuff' than their prepared counterparts, so you'd have to have fun and make some new class abilities :)

At the full caster level sure, but even at 6 level casters things are apparently considered more even. The bard, alchemist, magus, inquisitor and summoner all use the same spell chart. And it wouldnt be an easy thing to differentiate who gets more 'stuff' the inquisitor or an alchemist for instance. For sorcerors and wizards its obvious, less so for the other casting classes.

Liberty's Edge

That's an interesting idea ... it might take it a bit too far away from the core concept of the battle scion class BUT it still is a really interesting idea!

If there is ever a print compilation of all the New Paths classes (and wouldn't that be an awesome thing, by the way? :) maybe we could add an archetype like this.

Heck, if I can find some spare time (ha!) I might work on such an archetype to post on the Kobold Press web site ...

Liberty's Edge

Expanded Battle Scion in the Top Ten Most Downloaded list again this past week - big woo hoo!!!

Liberty's Edge

By the way, Kolokotroni - still waiting on that review :)

Liberty's Edge

I'm stoked to say the Expanded Battle Scion is again in the Top Ten Most Downloaded list again this past week. By my count, this makes the 5th or 6th week in a row. :)


Sounds like you have a pretty good winner there, Marc! I bet you're kicking yourself you didn't get it published here first :)

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Cheapy! The response overall to the Battle Scion has been really positive :)

If by "I bet you're kicking yourself you didn't get it published here first :)" you mean instead of first publishing the base class in Wayfinder, then ... nope, not at all :)

I was quite pleased to have it appear in Wayfinder a few years ago first - I wouldn't change that fact even if I could! :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:


I was quite pleased to have it appear in Wayfinder a few years ago first - I wouldn't change that fact even if I could! :)

If anything it probably helped more then it hurt. I think paizo fans have demonstrated the fact that if you give them something for free, they will then turn around and pay you lots of money for that thing and a little bit more (see rpg line and the prd). I feel like some kind of consumer study needs to be done here...

By the way, my review is up. I very much enjoyed using the battle scion this weekend.


Has anyone else noticed that this is one of several Kobold Press products that are not available on their site?

I don't have a problem giving my funds to Paizo, but I thought to give it directly to Kobold Press instead of going through Paizo.

I am not advocating not buying through Paizo. I want that understood from jump street. I am presuming that Paizo keeps a certain percentage of what 3PP products sell for through them. I do not need to know that either.

It was just curious to me that Kobold Press products had stopped being offered on their website.

@Wolfgang,

Thanks for clearing that up.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Yep. The loss of Shelly Baur as the customer support rep means we are leaning more and more on Paizo and DriveThru for customer service and support.

Right now, the Kobold Store is focussed on print titles.

@Kolokotroni, thank you for the review!

Liberty's Edge

Kolokotroni, thanks SO MUCH for the 5-star review!

Really glad you liked the class - it sounds like that Rise of the Runelords encounter was a blast (ha, get it?!?! :)


Just purchased this. I look forward to reading through it. I liked the Spell-Less Ranger, but haven't convinced any of my GM's to allow them in. I will find someone to let me play one eventually. I mean goodness I live in a gaming mecca, it is called Houston, TX.

Liberty's Edge

silverhair2008 wrote:
Just purchased this. I look forward to reading through it. I liked the Spell-Less Ranger, but haven't convinced any of my GM's to allow them in. I will find someone to let me play one eventually. I mean goodness I live in a gaming mecca, it is called Houston, TX.

Thanks so much silverhair2008! Hope the Battle Scion lives up to the Spell-less Ranger :)


Strangely enough a very good friend had sent me her copy of an Arcane Paladin. I have told her about the Battle Scion and will let her look over a copy of your interpretation.

Shadow Lodge

This is a fun looking class! I'm going to house rule the Force Blast into a touch attack for some testing and see if that lessens some of the over-the-topness of the ability, but even then (my games tend to be pretty high caliber, to borrow EZG's words) it definitely looks like a good option for those of us looking for an armored arcanist.

Thumbs up and four stars =) Keep up the good work, Kobolds.

Liberty's Edge

Thanks so much for taking the time to do your very well thought out review Orthos! I'm very happy you liked the class!

Hmmm, I must say, I'm still not sure if I'm quite sold on the idea yet BUT making Force Blast a ranged touch attack is certainly a very interesting idea ... hmmm ....


I wouldn't have objected to the ability if it were a touch attack - personally, that's how I'm running the Battle Scion...


Marc Radle wrote:

Hey there Jack Rift!

Not sure I understand, well ... either of your posts :(

Hey, sorry for the delay responding. I though my phone had made pocket posts. The first was I also would second a charisma version of this class. Or just change it to straight charisma. From my reading of this product and the fluff of the Gax character force of will (spontaneous caster) seemed to fit the character better to me. This class feels a lot like a more melee focused Warlock from 3.5, which was charisma based as well. I would also agree with making the blast range touch. And I also agree with one of the reviews that casting in all armor at lvl 1 is a bit much, maybe up to medium and then gets heavy casting and proficiency around lvl 5 or so. This is to help deal with the I can do the magus/fighter's job only better issues that I can see being an issue. But that is my 2 copper. Over all I like the class idea over all, the awesome weapons, and love the art. I would give it about 4 stars, with balance being biggest concern. Lov

Liberty's Edge

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Endzeitgeist wrote:
I wouldn't have objected to the ability if it were a touch attack - personally, that's how I'm running the Battle Scion...

OK, so, I'm pretty stubborn but ... let's just say there is ... something very cool on the horizon and, in my list of notes for the aforementioned ...something ... I've typed 'seriously consider changing forceblast to a ranged touch attack'

Shadow Lodge

Huzzah!!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for the review, Orthos!

Liberty's Edge

Orthos wrote:
Huzzah!!

Indeed! :)


And updated my review on my site, submitted it to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted it here and on OBS. Cheers!

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Thank you for the review, EZG!

Liberty's Edge

Seconded - thanks for updating your review End!

Although I personally still like the idea of the force blast automatically hitting as magic missile I saw the wisdom in changing it to a ranged touch attack.

A nice side benefit of that change was it allowed me to add a nice little bonus to the battle scion's Arcane Aura class feature, so I'll call it a win-win! :)


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I make it my policy to always update my reviews if bugs get fixed/files improved - for publishers/authors tat do so should be rewarded for the additional work/increased value - and I'm glad to say that the 3pp-community is mostly rather good in that regard. Btw.: More Kobold Press-pdfs coming up - Draft 2 of MA4 and NP6 are already done- :)

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Ugh, the editorial glitches in MA4. I ran into them at PaizoCon and they are on a fix-it list that just won't get addressed until after Gen Con.

Ah well. Fire away!


Good to know that they'll be fixed! Since revising reviews (and reposting them everywhere) takes more time than is feasible, I'll postpone posting that one until after Gencon and instead get some of the other reviews released - I have one long one waiting in the pipeline as well and KP has had quite an output recently!

Shadow Lodge

Review revised here as well, and bumped up from four to five stars. =)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

How come force blast is a spell-like ability? By having it as a spell-like ability and linked to magic missile, you make it useless against both the shield spell and lesser glove of invulnerability, is that the intention?

Shadow Lodge

Those were one of the few restricting effects on it in the previous incarnation, and barely only kept it as "a bit too overpowered" instead of "a lot too overpowered" which it would have been as an Su ability.

THAT SAID, it wasn't an SLA of magic missile, so shield would not have stopped it before (and will not now) - mm was just used as a comparison point for its (now-removed) ability to hit automatically without an attack roll. It was not, nor now is, magic missile itself, and thus would not be stopped by shield. (LGoI on the other hand will still stop it, and I'm personally 100% okay with that.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I see. I think it's my dislike of "things-that-resemble-spells-but-are-not" as SLAs. That and the fact that Lesser Glove of Invulnerability really screws with the Battle Scion.

Shadow Lodge

How so? It doesn't stop him from walking (or flying, if need be) over and hitting the guy with his sword. He is after all a full-BAB, martial-weapon-toting class.

And it's not as if he's going to be the only person in his party most of the time, so his caster friend(s) could just use spells that bypass the globe.

One class shouldn't be good against everything. I'm okay with there being something it can't beat alone and that will require teamwork with the rest of the party to surpass.

Liberty's Edge

Orthos wrote:

How so? It doesn't stop him from walking (or flying, if need be) over and hitting the guy with his sword. He is after all a full-BAB, martial-weapon-toting class.

And it's not as if he's going to be the only person in his party most of the time, so his caster friend(s) could just use spells that bypass the globe.

One class shouldn't be good against everything. I'm okay with there being something it can't beat alone and that will require teamwork with the rest of the party to surpass.

Very nicely put!

Liberty's Edge

Announcing the New Paths Compendium from Kobold Press!

New Paths Compendium includes:

  • 28 new archetypes for monks, ninjas, gunslingers, barbarians, fighters, clerics, and 7 Compendium classes
  • 7 tracking sheets for animal companions, favored enemies, prepared spells, summoned monsters and more
  • 20 new spells for druids, rangers, shaman, and more
  • Almost 100 new feats for new and existing classes

The seven Compendium classes each bring something new to your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game:

  • The spell-less ranger, a skilled warrior of the wilderness
  • The shaman, with otherworldly new abilities and an animal spirit guide
  • The battle scion, a master of sword and spell
  • The white necromancer, wielding death magic for the side of Good
  • The elven archer, deadly ranged fighter capable of astonishing feats of marksmanship
  • The savant, master of all trades (if only for an instant)
  • The all-new theurge class, combining arcane and divine power!

You can check out the NPC's product page right here on Paizo.com as well:
New Paths Compendium

Liberty's Edge

Woo hoo! Thanks so much for the new 5-star review!!!


Here's a question for ya. I'm rolling up a Battle Scion as an NPC adversary in an upcoming game. I'm going to make him a Force Blaster Archetype. Does his extra force blasts per round have to follow his diminishing iterative attacks, or do they each strike at his highest touch attack bonus?

Liberty's Edge

Hey, sounds very cool!

My apologies, but I'm not sure if I understand your question :(

The Battle Scion can fire his Force Blast once per round. (iterative attacks at higher level don't apply to Force Blast.)

Force Blast (Sp): The battle scion can unleash a single blast of arcane force as a ranged touch attack.

Does that help, or did I misunderstand your question?


I just reread the feat Extra Blasts and the mistake was mine. Sorry for the confusion!!

Liberty's Edge

No problem!

Liberty's Edge

No problem!

Liberty's Edge

Hmmm ... just noticed my response got posted twice ... strange!

Anyway, glad you are having fun with the class! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:

I really like the force blaster archetype. I have a couple questions though:

1. With the powerful blast ability: Can it be modified by feats or abilities that modify trip or bullrush combat maneuvers?

2. With Multiple blasts, it says 'At 10th level, the blaster may fire
two bolts per force blast instead of one each round.'

But the Rapid Blast Ability already allows you to fire a force blast as a move action, which presumably means you could already fire 2 blasts per round. Was there something other then it normally being a standard action preventing you from using more then one force blast per round?

3. Given 13 of the 20 levels of the force blaster's ability chart are occupied by something related to force blast, do you think 3+int is sufficient in terms of blasts per day? Its certainly seems like the focus of the class becomes those force blasts, and even with the extra blast at 6th level making it 5+int, that isnt a whole lot of blasts unless the force blaster takes extra force blast with all or most of his feats.

4, Does the bonus to hit granted by Improved Arcane Strike scale with caster level like the bonus to damage from arcane strike?

Hey Kolokotroni - good questions!

1. I would say it's up the the GM if the powerful blast ability can be modified by feats or abilities that modify trip or bullrush combat maneuvers. Personally, though, as long as the GM is OK with it and the player is willing to invest the feats ... sure, I don't see any reason why not.

2. Multiple blasts basically allows a 10th level blaster battle scion to fire two bolts from his hand every time he uses his Force Blast ability, instead instead of only one.

As you point out, Rapid Blast allows the blaster battle scion to fire his force blasts as move actions, so if he wanted to use two move actions in a round and fire a Force Blast for each move action, he would get a total of 4 bolts (2 per blast)

The 'instead of one each round' is a bit misleading and probably...

One other question with the Force Blaster and that being when the character reaches 11th level and gains swift blast at that point can he/she shoot 6 blasts off in one round.

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