Scallywag (Cavalier)


Round 2: Design an archetype

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RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Haha, I'll see what I can do. Maybe I could makes some sort of Cavalier/Summoner alternate class which has a customizable vehicle in place of an Eidolon. It'll have to be supplement-sized. :)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

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Okie dokie folkies (...),

I'll have some free time this weekend, so I'm FINALLY going to rewrite this thing. I'm thinking I'll just post it here and message people that expressed interest. Thanks for waiting for so long! :p

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Ugh, I suck. Sorry everybody. On a positive note, I now have an awesome, time-consuming job that I love! Her name is Eunice! (Oh, and I also work at a great university as a student advisor. :p)

But this has been tugging at my mind... like a boat that tugs things.

I went over the comments to refresh my memory, and these are my new goals as I work. SPAKE YE NOW ER FOREVER BE HOLDIN' YOURN TONGUE.

1) I am keeping the core idea of a boat AND the name.
Given how polarizing the archetype was, I want to focus on pleasing the people that liked it and wanted to use it, rather than trying to find a compromise (which would make NO ONE like it). Detractors may steer clear.

2) Fix cognitive dissonance issue.
- People wanted something that fit the name better, so I will try to make something that allows for more "dirty tricks" and vagrancy. Perhaps some new orders will do the trick.
- Consider making this an alternate class (or simply its own class, period) instead of an archetype.

3) Fix "Hoist the Colors"
Constant AoE fear = bad. This was a huge mistake that I will remedy. I still like the idea of a fear effect, but it will require an action. Maybe change the name to "Jolly Roger".

4) Revamp the skiff.
- Specify an ability to tether the ship to other ships or objects if dismounting (such as with a harpoon, gaff, or net).
- Reinstate scaling of skiff's stats through regular increases and/or a selection of boat upgrades available at different level benchmarks (akin to rogue talents)
- Add an upgrade to increase the size and capacity of the ship or switch it out for a new one. Perhaps something like Skiff -> Dinghy -> Sailing Ship?

5) Increase utility within the environment it is designed for.
- Create an ability that allows the character to attack enemies on larger ships, such as a further throwing range and/or a "jump" ability for the skiff.
- Create an ability that allows the character to seriously damage large sea vessels and water-borne creatures (explosives? ramming?)
- Consider adding bonuses to piloting and ship combat that can be used on other ships; ability involving boarding other vessels
- Consider the ability to swim in heavy armor. (No, that's dumb. I take it back.)

6) Ignore all word limits.
To blazes with 'em!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Howdy. I've finished the skills and proficiencies. Do feel free to comment!

Class Skills: The scallywag’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Scallywags are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are also proficient with boarding gaffs, grappling hooks, harpoons, lassos, nets, and snag nets, any of which they can use to securely tether their vessel to another object as a full-round action. They are proficient with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Currently working on the Skiff, which has been renamed to "Vessel". You should see it this weekend.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

"Vessel" is coming along. It's a lot of work to fully consider all of the ramifications of mounted and ship combat, but I think it will look nice. I can see now just how much of a can of worms this really was now.

I think my hardest challenge will be making this viable for both regular 5x5-foot grids and 30x30-foot naval combat grids.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

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Alright. I think it's coming along well. Ship rules are a bit complicated, so I may make a full-fledged ship rules one and a simpler "easy to play" one.

It seems no one's noticed I'm working on this yet, so I'll message people that seemed interested. That way you actually get a say on the final product.

Here's what I have so far. Subject to change, open to suggestions!

—~:-:~—

Scallywag (Cavalier Alternate Class)

Class Skills:
The scallywag’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Scallywags are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are also proficient with boarding gaffs, grappling hooks, harpoons, nets, and snag nets, any of which they can use to securely tether a ship to another ship or object within the weapon’s range as a full-round action. Scallywags are proficient with light and medium armor, but not with shields.

Veteran Sailor (Ex):
A scallywag gains a bonus equal to his scallywag level when making any sailing check or Craft (ships) check.

Order (Ex):
At 1st level, a scallywag must pledge himself to a specific order. The order grants the scallywag a number of bonuses, class skills, and special abilities. In addition, each order includes a number of edicts that the scallywag must follow. If he violates any of these edicts, he loses the benefits from his order's challenge ability for 24 hours. The violation of an edict is subject to GM interpretation.

A scallywag cannot change his order without undertaking a lengthy process to dedicate himself to a new cause. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his old order. He must then follow the edicts of his new order for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that order. Once accomplished, he gains all of the bonuses from his new order. Note that the names of these orders might vary depending upon the campaign setting or GM's preference. ((Note from Chris: This is RAW for cavaliers, but if you think the “must gain a level” requirement is too restrictive, go ahead and houserule it to something less harsh.))

(Scallywag Orders):
Coming soon! ;)

Vessel (Ex):
All scallywags possess an agile sailing vessel which they continuously remodel in order to achieve better and better performance. As a result, a scallywag is intimately familiar with his own vessel and gains an additional +5 bonus to his sailing checks when piloting it, while all other would-be pilots suffer a -5 penalty.

A scallywag’s relationship with his own vessel is deeply personal, akin to a cavalier’s bond with his mount. For scallywags, his vessel counts as a mount for charging and mounted combat feats (except for Trample, Horse Master, and Calvary Formation), and is considered combat-trained. It uses the scallywag’s skills and saving throws for all purposes if the scallywag is at the helm and able to pilot it. A scallywag can pilot the vessel one-handed, wielding a weapon in his other hand and threatening spaces around him normally.

Should his vessel be lost or destroyed, a scallywag requires 1d4 weeks to obtain a replacement through his order. A scallywag who lacks patience or connections may opt for alternate means of procurement (such as buying, building, or stealing). Regardless of how he obtains his new vessel, it takes one week of calibration before he gains his +5 bonus to sailing checks with it.

At first level, the vessel is a relatively small sailing skiff.

(Skiff):

Large ship ((Note from Chris: You can treat it as a construct for most purposes.))
Squares 1 (5 ft. by 10 ft.) Cost 100 gp
Helm Location (rearmost 5 ft. square)

DEFENSE
AC 9; Hardness 5
hp 60 (each oar 10)
Base Save +1

OFFENSE
Maximum Speed 90 ft. (wind), 30 ft. (muscle); Acceleration 30 ft.
CMB +1; CMD 11
Ramming Damage 1d8

STATISTICS
Propulsion wind, muscle or current (the water must be at least 5 feet deep for it to move)
Sailing Check Ride or Profession (sailor)
Control Device steering wheel (when using wind) or oars (when using muscle or current)
Means of Propulsion 2 oars, 2 squares of sails (one mast)
Crew 1 (the sails and oars cannot be used at the same time)
Decks 1
Cargo/Passengers up to 250 additional pounds or one additional medium creature

(General Notes on Sailing Checks):

Excerpted from the Skull & Shackles Players Guide – Free to Download on Paizo.com!

To control a ship in combat, a pilot must make a sailing check to determine the maneuverability and speed of the ship that round. The ship’s propulsion determines what skill is used for the sailing check (see Propulsion and Sailing Skills on this page). If a ship is using two means of propulsion at the same time, such as wind and muscle, the pilot chooses which skill to use, and takes a –5 penalty on all sailing checks. A pilot can always make a Wisdom check in place of a sailing check. Outside of combat, the base DC for all sailing checks is DC 5. In combat, the base DC for all sailing checks is DC 20. A ship without a full crew complement, but with at least half its crew, takes a –10 penalty on all sailing checks.

Aid Another: Just as with other skills, a character can spend a standard action to use the aid another action. This represents an extra pair of eyes observing the enemy, giving orders to the crew, or simply helpful advice. The helping character makes a sailing check as well. If the result is 10 or higher, the pilot gains a +2 bonus on her sailing check. Only one character can use the aid another action to help a pilot on a single sailing check.

Controlling a Ship Outside of Combat: Since piloting a ship outside of combat is easily accomplished by taking 10 on the skill check, sailing checks are not normally needed. Almost every character can do it with relative ease; the DCs are given only to adjudicate special situations that may come up in your game.

Controlling a Ship without the Proper Skill: If a pilot lacks the proper skill to control a ship, the pilot can always make a Wisdom ability check instead of the appropriate sailing check. A pilot can even take 10 (when outside of combat) or gain the benefits of the aid another action when using Wisdom instead of the ship’s normal sailing skill.

(How to Pilot Your Scallywag's Vessel in Particular):

At the start of his turn, the scallywag may make a sailing check (base DC 20 in combat; base DC 5 outside of combat) as a movement action in order to steer his vessel with one of the options below. In addition, he may perform one or more steering tricks as a part of his move action, adding to the base sailing DC. If the scallywag delays his turn, readies an action, falls off, or otherwise does not pilot the vessel, it takes the “uncontrolled” action automatically on his initiative. At any point during the vessel’s movement, the scallywag may take a standard action (or a full action if he did not use his movement to steer). The steering option and tricks must be chosen before making the sailing check.

Steering Options
Full Ahead: With a successful sailing check, the scallywag increases his vessel’s current speed by its acceleration (or less, if desired), but cannot increase it higher than its maximum speed. The vessel can move forward or diagonally forward (any of its three forward-facing squares), allowing it to swerve as it moves. On a failed sailing check, it does not accelerate and cannot move diagonally.

Hard to Port or Starboard: The scallywag can turn the ship while it moves forward at its current speed. With a successful sailing check, the scallywag can change the vessel’s forward facing either left or right by 90 degrees at any point during the vessel’s movement, pivoting the vessel’s rearmost square into the last location of its foremost square. If a ship’s current speed is twice its acceleration, the sailing DC is increased by 5. If three times, the DC is increased by 10. If four times or more, the DC is increased by 20. On a failed check, the ship does not turn, but can be moved forward diagonally during its movement. If using sails, turning into the wind causes the vessel to take the uncontrolled action until the scallywag turns it to face another direction.

Heave To: With a successful sailing check, the vessel’s current speed decreases by its acceleration (or less, if desired). On a failed check, the vessel does not decelerate. Either way, the vessel can move forward on its current facing and can move forward diagonally. If deceleration reduces the vessel’s speed to 0, some amount of inertia will continue to move the vessel forward. The vessel continues moving forward (either directly forward or forward diagonally) by 5 feet per round for 1d4 rounds. Having the Expert Driver feat (Ultimate Combat 100) reduces the number of rounds by 1.

Make Way: With a successful sailing check, a scallywag can make a tricky or difficult maneuver that forces an enemy pilot to react. The result of this sailing check then becomes the DC of the enemy pilot’s next sailing check. On a failed check, the scallywag’s speed remains constant, but it cannot move forward diagonally, and the enemy pilot makes his next sailing check at the normal DC.((Note from Chris: I'm not sure what Rob McCreary meant by a "tricky or difficult maneuver" when he wrote the Skull and Shackles Guide. Use your imagination.))

Stay the Course: With a successful sailing check, a scallywag can move his vessel forward on its current facing at its current speed, and it can move directly or diagonally forward. Failing the check keeps the speed constant, but the vessel can only move directly forward, not forward diagonally.

Full Astern: With a successful sailing check, the scallywag can move the vessel backward at a speed up to its acceleration, moving either directly backward (the reverse of its forward facing) or backward diagonally. On a failed check, it does not move backward. A vessel may only be moved in reverse if its current speed is 0.

Uncontrolled: When the scallywag does not steer the vessel, the vessel is “uncontrolled.” An uncontrolled vessel does nothing except take the uncontrolled action until it stops or someone pilots it. An uncontrolled vessel moves forward only (not forward diagonally) and automatically decelerates by its acceleration. Even if a vessel does nothing, it can still perform ramming maneuvers (see Ramming, below).

Steering Tricks
No Hands (+5 sailing DC): You can guide your vessel’s steering wheel with body parts other than your hands in order to use them both in combat. If you fail your sailing check, you can use only one hand this round because you need to use the other to control your vessel. This does not take an action.

Stay Aboard (+5 sailing DC): You react instantly to avoid falling when you are in danger of falling off of your vessel. This does not take an action, but increases your sailing DC for the next round. If you fail that sailing check, you fall from your vessel before it moves and it is uncontrolled.

Cover (+10 sailing DC): You can react instantly to drop down and hang alongside your vessel or somewhere on-deck, using it as cover. You can't attack or cast spells while using your vessel as cover. If you fail your sailing check, you don't get the cover benefit. Using this option is an immediate action, but recovering from this position is a move action and your next sailing DC is increased.

Leap (+15 sailing DC): Catching the wind with your sails in just the right way, you can get your vessel to leap over obstacles as part of its movement. If the sailing check to make the leap succeeds, make another check using your sailing skill to see how high or far you can make it jump (see Acrobatics). For every 30 feet of the vessel's current speed beyond 30, it gains a +5 bonus to its jump check. It cannot leap if it is going slower than 30 feet. If you fail your sailing check, you fall off the vessel at the peak of its jump and take the appropriate falling damage (at least 1d6 damage if the water is less than 10 feet deep; falling into water at least 10 feet deep negates the first 20 feet of falling damage). Using Stay Aboard will prevent you from falling off, but you take full falling damage and fall prone as you are slammed onto the solid surface of your vessel.

Push Vessel (+15 sailing DC): You can push your vessel towards even greater speed. A successful sailing check increases the vessel’s speed by its acceleration in addition to the normal steering option but deals 1d6 points of damage to the ship. If you fail your sailing check, the ship does not accelerate, but still takes damage. This ability can increase the ship’s speed beyond its maximum, but the ship will return to its maximum speed the next round unless this ability is used again. This ability can also be used to increase the deceleration of Heave To. You can use this ability every round.

Fast Embark or Disembark (+15 DC): You can attempt to embark or disembark from any ship of up to one size category larger than yourself (usually large) as a free action, provided that you still have a move action available that round. If you attempt a sailing check the same round and fail, embarking or disembarking is a move action. ((Note from Chris: This means that if you used your Standard before embarking, you may not get the ship to move that turn at all. Likewise, if you fail your sailing check, then you have to use a standard action or get off the vessel, but can't do both.)) You can't use fast embark or disembark on a vessel more than one size category larger than yourself.

—~:-:~—

Next Up: Clever Boatwright is making a comeback! I'm going to use it to allow the scallywag to apply the Skulls and Shackles ship modifications (as well as some custom ones) to his vessel without gp cost as he levels up. More powerful upgrades will be available at higher levels.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka Wolfwaker

I still like this archetype. The weapons are a nice thematic choice and I think harpoon proficiency would be really handy when trying to fight a flying creature.

Can he row one-handed? Seems pretty unrealistic if so.

You might add a pole (like a Venetian gondolier) to the propulsion options in shallow water.

If you think of the boat like a canoe or something (with a sail) 5' seems like more water than necessary, I'd think one or two feet.

I haven't gone over the sailing skill checks in detail but it seems like a fairly steep learning curve. I guess that's a decision you have to make on how much realism you want. I kind of liked the idea of a small agile boat that you can pilot about at will (almost like a windsurfing board). In other words, I'd be interested in the more "easy to play" version. It would be nice if the maneuvering rules were the same as (or close to) the ones for riding a mount.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Hey Clay! Thanks for the compliments and the help.

Good catch on the one-handed rowing. I wonder if there's any elegant way around that. The pole idea might help (it's crossed my mind too), but then what to do with deep water...

Edit: Hmm, maybe something like this? ("single-oar sculling")

The way I figure it, this thing probably has a rudder (Edit: or that stern-mounted oar) that might go deep-ish, and maybe a bit more heft and depth than a canoe. Also, Pathfinder/D&D breaks the world up into 5' cubic chunks, so I feel like it would be more intuitive for most to not subdivide that any further.

Yes, a windsurfing board was exactly the original image I had when I first made this, and having it "move like a horse" is pretty much just what I had in mind for the rules-lite version as well. Once I've made the whole thing, it'll definitely be "too much", but then I'll just keep massaging the ideas until they smooth out into something simple and balanced. Maybe.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Update 7/13/14:
- Enough is different that I am making scallywag a full alternate class.

- Tactician, Challenge, and Order remain largely unchanged.

- I have read up on existing orders a bit more, and a most of them are compatible. Reading them, I wonder what people were going on about with cavaliers being all honorable. One's goal is greed and self-advancement, another's is pure destruction. :p

- Vessel has been re-renamed skiff. I want to keep it small. Did some editing on the ability name and the basic skiff stats.

- I'm in the process of rewriting skulls and shackles players' guide ship modifications to suit the class, and adding some of my own. (They aren't all compatible, so some will be cut.)

- Again thinking of replacing the cavalier's charges with boat ramming attacks. Seems doable.

- A little quick and dirty photoshopping has resulted in picture of a dude on a small sailing skiff wielding a harpoon in all his sepia-toned glory. It will adorn the top of the pdf.


Hey, I visited the forums again and saw your message! Glad to see this is getting an update.

I'm looking forward to the "easy to play" version, since I don't have much interest in tracking acceleration and diagonals and so on.

To make the Steering Tricks more parse-able and let you make some cool ones, what about handing them out like rogue talents and dividing them into Simple and Advanced Steering Tricks?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Hey Prizrak!

Didn't get much done this past week. I'm running a certain adventure for my group. I think it was called the "Lost Money of Panhandler", or something. ;)

But yeah, thanks for the input!

I'm thinking for my own sanity and general appeal, I'm going to make the simple version. I think that there should just be a list of tricks already present and accessible, like the riding tricks listed under the Ride skill. I was going to do something like Simple and Advanced ship modifications though (which might allow new steering tricks anyway)!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

Okay, one last push. Let's see if I can push this bad boy out and be done with it before this year's competition.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

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Alright! Here's a new draft. I am very pleased with this one. It is a bit of a power boost from the cavalier, but based on most people's opinion of the class, I don't think that will be an issue.

Without further ado, here is the Scallywag (Cavalier Alternate Class) BETA version 1.0!

Future changes:

  • Considering a slight name change to "Scalawag"?
  • General tightening, cleaning, and tweaking.
  • An appendix with guidelines to make the class work with previous mount and vehicle rules, orders, feats, and maneuvers.
  • An appendix containing brand new orders, feats, and maneuvers!
  • An appendix containing ship modifications.

    Let me know what you think!

  • RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 aka Wolfwaker

    Looks great. Nothing jumps out as a huge flaw.

    I would probably personally choose not to allow Ride to pilot it, but maybe to do some of the things in the Ride skill (like Cover).

    RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Hodge Podge

    I think I've actually removed all reference for using ride as the sailing skill in the PDF. In fact, they don't need to make sailing checks at all if just moving around. :D

    EDIT: Ah, I see, over in the Skiff description. Yeah, I do want to remove that.

    EDIT 2: Missed a few "cavaliers" in there, among other issues. They will be removed. Also, I got a suggestion to start up a thread over in Homebrew. Will do!


    This is awesome! DId you ever get around to writing those ship modifications? I love this archetype so much.

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