Comparing Samurai: Ultimate Combat vs. Paths of Power


Samurai Discussion: Round 1

Liberty's Edge

Just wanted to know if anyone's compared the different versions of the Samurai from the Ultimate Combat Playtest files and the 4Winds sourcebook Paths of Power. At first glance, the two classes do look and feel very different, but I can't really say if one looks better then the other.


I haven't looked at any of the Ultimate Combat Samurai playtesting and haven't even looked at the class download beta. I'd be interested in seeing what people decide, though.

Sean
4WFG

Liberty's Edge

Well, I decided to do it myself as a little experiment. So I built a version of both Samurai, as level 1 Humans with identical ability scores, to compare them fairly.

First off, the Paths of Power version:

Name: Ichida
Level: Samurai 1
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 13 +1
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 11 +0
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 10
Initiative: +1 Speed: 20ft
AC: 16 (+5 Scale Plate, +1 Dex)
Touch: 11 Flat-Footed: 15

Fort: +2
Ref: +1
Will: +1

BAB: +1
CMB: +2
CMD: 13

Skills:
Diplomacy +1
Knowledge (nobility) +1
Perception +1
Ride +1

Languages: Common

Feats:
Power Attack
Weapon Focus (Katana)

Special Abilities:
Meditation (complete recovery from the fatigued condition in just two hours of meditation, the ability to move from the exhausted condition to the fatigued condition in just 30 minutes, and the equivalent of a full night’s sleep in only 6 hours)

Weapon:
Katana (Attack +3) 1d10, 18-20/x2 crit, 6 lbs S
Wakazashi (attack +2), 1d8, 18-20/x2 crit, 4 lbs S

AC Items:
Scale Mail +5

Money: 80 gold

Second, the Ultimate Combat version:

Name: Nichako
Level: Samurai 1
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 13 +1
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 11 +0
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 10
Initiative: +1 Speed: 20ft

AC: 16 (+5 Scale Mail, +1 dex)
Touch: 15 Flat-Footed: 11

Fort: +2
Ref: +1
Will: +1

BAB: +1
CMB: +2
CMD: 13

Skills:
Diplomacy +1
Intimidate +1
Knowledge (nobility) +1
Perception +1
Ride +1

Languages: Common

Feats:
Power Attack
Weapon Focus

Special Abilities:
Challenge 1/day (DR1/- vs target)
Mount
Order of the Warrior
Resolve

Weapon:
Katana (Bastard Sword) 1d10 19-20/x2 Crit, 6 lbs
Wakizashi (Short Sword) 1d6, 19-20/x2 Crit, 2 lbs

AC Items:
Scale Mail +5

Money: 80 gp

As we can see, starting off the bat, the Ultimate Combat Samurai has more level one abilities, based off the Cavalier as it is. Also, while the UC Samurai starts with the Cavalier's budget, the PoP Samurai starts with randomly generated equipment and money. I still managed to give them both similar equipment, although the PoP Samurai's Daisho (katana and wakizashi) are from the Paths of Power sourcebook, which gives them slightly different stats.

In a one-on-one fight, Nishako would have the advantage thanks to his Challenge and Resolve abilities.

Well, I'll come back on this with levelled up versions of Ishida and Nishako.


lonewolf23k wrote:


Name: Ichida
Fort: +2
Ref: +3
Will: +3

Fixed Bolded for you. Also I think its an error in the katana weapon entry as its stated in the samurai class section that the katana has a Critical Threat of 19-20; and I asume its stats are the same as the core rulebooks' bastard sword...just saying...

=

Though there are plenty of typos and errors in both the one in POP (Paths of Power) is superior to one in UC (Ultimate Combat), or perhaps to be fair overpowered (though in retrospect the UC one is based on the Cavalier, so go figure -_-)

In terms of concept the POP one allows more diversity into what kind of samurai you are playing, backed by the Style selection that includes Iaijutsu (the fast draw), Kenjutsu (which includes two-weapon fighting), Sojutsu (spear fighting) and Kyujutsu (archery); in comparison the UC one is mostly a mounted combatant with a few offensive tricks that don’t amount to much.

In terms of offensive power the POP samurai is hands-down better, the UC samurai’s only offensive abilities are Challenge (that’s not all that stellar and the option to chose some Fighter-only feats at level 6 and every 6 levels thereafter.

In terms of defensive abilities the Resolve and Last stand abilities make the UC ones harder to take down, though the POP one has all good saves and a few bonuses against fear effects.

In terms of skills the UC one is better in most ways, they get 4 skill points per level versus POP’s 2. The POP samurai does get some free Skill Focus feats in a few select skills, but having more skill points seems to be the better deal, in my own opinion.

Also until the full book is made the 4 Winds Path of Power has feats that expand their samurais abilities...the same cannot yet be said about Ultimate Combat one.

Liberty's Edge

Well, I was only comparing level 1 versions here. I realize that the PoP Samurai does get more powerful as it develops over multiple levels, and I was going to showcase that.


I didn’t mean to be rude, if I came off that way I’m sorry.

I was just giving a broad run-down of their differences, little more than that…oh, and that you forgot that the 4 Winds version has all Good saving throws. Though its strange you didn’t just use standard array, the characters aren’t ‘technically’ playable since their highest modifier is +1, and even when rolled you can freely re-roll if you got stats like that (though to me 14 across the board is perfect for any character YMMV).

So please do continue to illustrate so the OP can get a clearer picture.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Magus Black wrote:

I didn’t mean to be rude, if I came off that way I’m sorry.

I was just giving a broad run-down of their differences, little more than that…oh, and that you forgot that the 4 Winds version has all Good saving throws. Though its strange you didn’t just use standard array, the characters aren’t ‘technically’ playable since their highest modifier is +1, and even when rolled you can freely re-roll if you got stats like that (though to me 14 across the board is perfect for any character YMMV).

So please do continue to illustrate so the OP can get a clearer picture.

I am very interested to continue seeing the comparisons and thoughts.

Robert
4WFG publisher

Liberty's Edge

And now, here are Ishida and Nishako at level 5. For balance purposes, I kept their Ability Scores, HP and equipment as similar as possible.

Name: Ichida
Level: Samurai 5
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 14 +2
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 11 +0
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 34
Initiative: +1 Speed: 20ft
AC: 18 (+7 Scale Plate, +1 Dex)
Touch: 11 Flat-Footed: 17

Fort: +4
Ref: +5
Will: +5

BAB: +5
CMB: +7
CMD: 18

Skills:
Diplomacy +4
Intimidate +4
Knowledge (nobility) +4
Perception +4
Ride +4

Languages:

Feats:
Cleave
Dazzling Display
Power Attack
Sitting Draw (no penalties for drawing and attacking when sitting or kneeling)
Weapon Focus (Katana)

Special Abilities:
Meditation (complete recovery from the fatigued condition in just two hours of meditation, the ability to move from the exhausted condition to the fatigued condition in just 30 minutes, and the equivalent of a full night’s sleep in only 6 hours)
Combat Style - Iaijutsu
Zanshin (Samurai is never flat-footed or helpless when meditating)

Weapon:
Katana +2 (Attack +8) 1d10, 18-20/x2 crit, 6 lbs S
Wakazashi +1 (attack +6), 1d8, 18-20/x2 crit, 4 lbs S

AC Items:
O-Yoroi (heavy armor, AC +7, max dex+2, penalty -6, spell failure 45% 20ft)

Name: Nichako
Level: Samurai 5
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 14 +2
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 11 +0
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 34
Initiative: +1 Speed: 20ft

AC: 18 (+7 Field Plate, +1 dex)
Touch: 17 Flat-Footed: 11

Fort: +5
Ref: +2
Will: +2

BAB: +5
CMB: +6
CMD: 14

Skills:
Diplomacy +5
Intimidate +5
Knowledge (nobility) +5
Perception +5
Ride +5

Languages:

Feats:
Cleave
Dazzling Display
Power Attack
Weapon Focus

Special Abilities:
Banner
Challenge 2/day (DR1/- vs target)
Honor in All Things 1/day (+4 morale bonus with skill checks or saving throws)
Mount
Mounted Archery
Order of the Warrior
Resolve
Weapon Expertise (Katana; Quick Draw with Katana, +2 on critical confirmation rolls)

Weapon:
Katana +2 (Bastard Sword) 1d10 19-20/x2 Crit, 6 lbs Attack +9
Wakizashi +1 (Short Sword) 1d6, 19-20/x2 Crit, 2 lbs Attack +8

AC Items:
Field Plate (AC +7, Max Dex +1, -5 penalty, spell failure 35%, 20 ft)

Four Levels later, Ishida still has better saves and more feats, although Nishako has more Class Abilities.

Liberty's Edge

And here is the next phase in the experiment: Level 10!

Quote:

Name: Ichida

Level: Samurai 10
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 14 +2
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 12 +1
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 66
Initiative: +4 Speed: 20ft
AC: 18 (+7 Scale Plate, +1 Dex)
Touch: 11 Flat-Footed: 17

Fort: +8
Ref: +8
Will: +8

BAB: +10/+5
CMB: +12
CMD: 23

Skills:
Craft (calligraphy) +7
Diplomacy +7
Intimidate +7
Knowledge (nobility) +4
Perception +7
Ride +7

Languages: Common

Feats:
Blind Fight
Cleave
Critical Focus
Dazzling Display
Mounted Combat
Power Attack
Sitting Draw (no penalties for drawing and attacking when sitting or kneeling)
Skill Focus (Craft: Calligraphy)
Weapon Focus (Katana)

Special Abilities:
Meditation (complete recovery from the fatigued condition in just two hours of meditation, the ability to move from the exhausted condition to the fatigued condition in just 30 minutes, and the equivalent of a full night’s sleep in only 6 hours)
Munen Muso (When subjected to an attack of opportunity, the samurai may counter attack immediately using his full Base Attack Bonus, as an extra attack.)
Combat Style - Iaijutsu
Zanshin (Samurai is never flat-footed or helpless when meditating)

Weapon:
Katana+2, Keen (Attack +3) 1d10, 18-20/x2 crit, 6 lbs S
Wakazashi (attack +2), 1d8, 18-20/x2 crit, 4 lbs S

Masterwork Longbow, 1d8, x3, 100ft range,

AC Items:
O-Yoroi (heavy armor, AC +7, max dex+2, penalty -6, spell failure 45% 20ft)

Money: 80 gold

Gear: Warhorse

Quote:

Name: Nichako

Level: Samurai 10
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 14 +2
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 12 +1
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 66
Initiative: +1 Speed: 20ft

AC: 18 (+7 Field Plate, +1 dex)
Touch: 17 Flat-Footed: 11

Fort: +8
Ref: +4
Will: +4

BAB: +10/+5
CMB: +16
CMD: 27

Skills:
Craft (calligraphy) +5
Diplomacy +9
Intimidate +9
Knowledge (nobility) +9
Perception +9
Ride +9

Languages:

Feats:
Blind Fight
Cleave
Critical Focus
Dazzling Display
Mounted Combat
Power Attack
Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword)

Special Abilities:
Banner
Challenge 3/day (DR1/- vs target)
Honor in All Things 1/day (+4 morale bonus with skill checks or saving throws)
Mount (no armor check penalties when riding)
Mounted Archery
Order of the Warrior
Resolve
Greater Resolve (cancel reciveved Critical Hit with Resolve point)
Way of the Samurai (after standard action to Focus can choose to roll an attack
roll, skill check, or saving throw three times and take the best result; expends one daily use of resolve)
Weapon Expertise (Katana; Quick Draw with Katana, +2 on critical confirmation rolls)

Weapon:
Katana, Keen +2 (Bastard Sword) 1d10 19-20/x2 Crit, 6 lbs Attack +9
Wakizashi +1 (Short Sword) 1d6, 19-20/x2 Crit, 2 lbs Attack +8

Masterwork Longbow, 1d8, x3, 100ft range,

AC Items:
Field Plate (AC +7, Max Dex +1, -5 penalty, spell failure 35%, 20 ft)

Gear: Warhorse

Money: 80 gp

Now things get interesting, and the real differences between the two shine through. Ishida has higher initiative and better saves, while Nishako has different abilities. In Mounted combat, however, Nishako would have a slight advantage on horseback, especially if the two Samurai fire bows at each other before reaching melee range.


Quote:

Name: Ichida

Level: Samurai 10
Race: Human Size: Medium
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Str: 14 +2
Dex: 12 +1
Con: 12 +1
Int: 12 +1
Wis: 13 +1
Cha: 12 +1

HP: 66
Initiative: +4 Speed: 20ft
AC: 18 (+7 Scale Plate, +1 Dex)
Touch: 11 Flat-Footed: 17

Fort: +8
Ref: +8
Will: +8

BAB: +10/+5
CMB: +12
CMD: 23

Skills:
Craft (calligraphy) +7
Diplomacy +7
Intimidate +7
Knowledge (nobility) +4
Perception +7
Ride +7

Languages: Common

Feats:
Blind Fight
Cleave
Critical Focus
Dazzling Display
Mounted Combat
Power Attack
Sitting Draw (no penalties for drawing and attacking when sitting or kneeling)
Skill Focus (Craft: Calligraphy)
Weapon Focus (Katana)

Special Abilities:
Meditation (complete recovery from the fatigued condition in just two hours of meditation, the ability to move from the exhausted condition to the fatigued condition in just 30 minutes, and the equivalent of a full night’s sleep in only 6 hours)
Munen Muso (When subjected to an attack of opportunity, the samurai may counter attack immediately using his full Base Attack Bonus, as an extra attack.)
Combat Style - Iaijutsu
Zanshin (Samurai is never flat-footed or helpless when meditating)

Weapon:
Katana+2, Keen (Attack +3) 1d10, 18-20/x2 crit, 6 lbs S
Wakazashi (attack +2), 1d8, 18-20/x2 crit, 4 lbs S

Masterwork Longbow, 1d8, x3, 100ft range,

AC Items:
O-Yoroi (heavy armor, AC +7, max dex+2, penalty -6, spell failure 45% 20ft)

Money: 80 gold

Gear: Warhorse

I think there are some issues with your build here. At 10th level, using the 4WFG Samurai class, using Iaijutsu, you should have weapon focus (katana), +3 to initiative, +1 to attack and +1 to damage, 2 Iaijutsu combat feats, 1 skill focus, and 3 bonus feats. So you look like you're missing an Iaijutsu feat.

Iaijutsu feats include Reverse Draw, Sitting Draw, Turning Draw, Tameshigiri, Kabuto Wari, Raijuken-giri, Senbongiri, and Swallow-tail Cut. You have Sitting Draw, so you can also choose from Raijuken-giri, Reverse Draw, Tameshigiri, and Turning Draw. Tameshigiri (the practice of cutting rolled up bamboo mats) gives you a +2 to damage, that increases to +4 when your BAB is +10 and higher. Let's go with that:

So "Katana+2, Keen (Attack +3) 1d10, 18-20/x2 crit, 6 lbs S" should be "Katana+2, Keen (Attack +4 - +2 magic, +1 weapon focus, +1 combat style progression) 1d10+7 (+ 2 magic, +1 combat style progression, +4 Tameshigiri), 18-20/x2 crit, 6 lbs S"

And actually, you just pointed out an error - the wakazashi should be 1d6, the stats in the book for the wakazashi are supposed to be for the ko-dachi.

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