Mivon Suitor (Fighter)

Round 2: Design an archetype

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka BobROE

Mivon Suitor (Fighter)
The people of Mivon have retained their ancestors love of dueling, building their society around the results of public duels. The List of Suitors, a monthly publication of successes and failures, determines ones place in society; it drives the fortunes, power, and position of the duelists. The Mivon suitor’s life is dedicated to crafting the perfect insult to challenge those above him and to punishing those who dare challenge him. As the rules of Mivoni dueling dictate that the challenged gets their choice of weapon, suitors have learned to quickly adopt an opponent’s style, granting the suitor equal skill with an opponent’s favored weapon. Years of challenges have lead the Mivon suitor to develop the ability to strike hard even when defending himself and to use his wit to throw off the shackles of fear and strike at an opponent’s heart.
Class Skills: A Mivon suitor gains Bluff and Diplomacy as class skills.
Bonus Feats: A Mivon suitor may choose to take Antagonize or Taunt, in addition to combat feats, as bonus feats.
Well Crafted Insult (Ex): At 2nd level, a Mivon suitor gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks. These bonuses increase by +1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd. This ability replaces bravery.
Mirror Talent (Ex): At 5th level, a Mivon suitor can copy a single target’s skill with weapons. As a full round action the suitor can study a target within 30 feet to temporarily gain all Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization feats the target has. If the target has the weapon training ability the Mivon suitor gains the target’s bonus in the weapon group of target’s current weapon. The gained feats and ability last until the target is incapacitated or yields, or until the suitor selects a new target.

At 13th level all Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, and Improved Critical feats are gained as well. This ability replaces weapon training 1 and 3.
The Last Laugh (Ex): At 9th level, when a Mivon suitor fails a saving throw against a fear effect or is demoralized with Intimidate the suitor may immediately make a Bluff or Diplomacy check. If the check exceeds the DC of the fear effect or the opponent’s Intimidate check, the suitor resists the effect and can make an attack of opportunity against the attacking creature. The attacking creature must be within the suitor’s reach and is considered flat-footed against the attack of opportunity. This ability replaces weapon training 2.
Defensive Surprise (Ex): At 17th level, the Mivon suitor gains a +4 bonus on any attack made while using the Combat Expertise feat or when fighting defensively. This ability replaces weapon training 4.

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

Adam, congrats on reaching the Top 32! And you made a good choice picking the fighter, there's only one other archetype submitted for this class.

That said: the Mirror Talent with observation to gain Weapons Focus and Specialization feats... It's messy. It requires a full-round action within 30 feet, but then apparently lasts for days or even weeks, until the suitor decides to switch it out. If I can just observe someone and get up to 5 bonus feats until I decide not to? Well, some players are going to abuse the heck out of that.

The theme here is one I'm inclined to enjoy, but ... I don't know. The design is reactive and its social, without the sense that we're doing more than picking up some bonuses, extra skills, and feats. Those are fine things, mechanically, and an archetype's design doesn't have to go beyond them to be perfectly fun and playable. But this is RPG Superstar, and I was hoping for a little more.

NOT recommended for advancement.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial Impression: Hmmm, the courtly duelist. Not sure that is the best fit in the River Kingdoms, but ok. Yeah, it has its place but its pretty narrow. That said, way to give some love to the good, solid fighter. Archetypes don't only have to be for inquisitors and funky classes!

You probably won't like my main criticism. This was competently done, but boring. I'm not feeling the superstar mojo here. I don't think you had a big idea. I just don't think this is up to snuff. That said, this is still very well done.

However, I DO NOT recommend this archetype for advancement.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Bonus Feats: Pretty gutsy choosing Antagonize when for the longest time it was a very annoying, poorly-written feat. Both of these feats should have the book name in parentheticals because they're not from the Core Rulebook.

Mirror Talent: The Weapon Focus/Weapon Spec ability isn't that good, as you'd have to carry around a bunch of different weapons to get the benefit vs. various opponents. Weapon training is useful, though... but I'm wary because you could use this to copy a higher-level opponent's ability. And all you're giving up is weapon training 1 and 3 (see archetype advice #10)... yes, the other abilities swap out the remaining pieces of weapon training, but the point is to replace ALL of a scaling ability with something similar, not to parse out its swaps in pieces to make multiple abilities.

The Last Laugh: The weird thing about this is you took away bravery, so it makes the character more likely to fail a fear save, and therefore get a free AOO.

Defensive Surprise: When you get this ability, your BAB is +17, which means Combat Expertise gives –5 to attack and +5 to dodge, so this ability is mostly negating that penalty—so you're getting +5 to dodge bonus for just a -1 penalty, which you can use all the time. And you're just giving up weapon training 4.

I have mechanics issues with most of these abilities.

I do NOT recommend this archetype for advancement.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

This archetype does not thrill me upon first reading, and it gives a sense of brokenness upon subsequent readings.

Well Crafted Insult: You replace a bonus to Will saves (up to +5) with a bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate (up to +5). It's not quite the same scale-wise, when each of those skills can be used offensively or defensively. Especially for this kind of archetype that will rely so heavily on these skills, it is not an even trade.

Mirror Talent: This is the biggest broken feeling part of the archetype. The core idea is fun but it is poorly executed. It almost feels like it was added or edited at the last minute. There needs to be a set time limit along with the restrictions already in place. I'd prefer something in rounds but even 24 hours would have been more appropriate than leaving a hole that lasts potentially for days. Plus, unless you're a very rich dwarven fighter, you'll never be able to afford/carry all the different weapons necessary to really take advantage of this ability. Perhaps if you had another ability for disarming or stealing the weapon this would be better.

The Last Laugh: This is trying to plug up the sacrifice to the only thing that was keeping the Fighter from getting Will dominated...and it does it in a way that turns it into a power. The suitor has already lost his bonus to Will saves, and is already a weak save for him, so the suitor is almost guaranteed to get to use this ability. Generating an AoO as an immediate action. Essentially, this is negating some of the ability a caster will have or anything with a fear aura. How will the suitor take his AoO if the fear effect is out of range? What will happen then...does he just re-roll and then resists minus the AoO? Or does he not get to use the ability at all?

Defensive Surprise: It was very blah for me. A straight +4 bonus when using a Feat or fighting defensively. This just wasn't Superstar mojo.

Overall, I don't see when I would choose this archetype. The only time would be if I were in a game relying heavily on duel scenarios. I don't see them being as effective as the core class in a straight fight and really only marginally more effective in a duel.

I do NOT recommend advancement.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

My humble opinions as a player:

Class skills: is always good to have more class skills. I like this

Bonus feats: I dislike antagonize, it is a mechanic I would like have never been printed. Does the fighter have to meet thre prerequsites for taunt? - i do not like this.

Well Crafted Insult: it is really good to see something that helps fighters with social interaction - I like this.

mirror talent: I think this ability is retty bad. To have to spend a full round action is not good, and it is really situational. - very bad ability.

The last laugh: A weird mechacnis. This make the mivon suitor really dificult to scare since the bluff/diplomacy is probably way highger than his will save. The AoO is very situational so maybe that balance the ability. - On the fence.

Defensive surprise: Just say the guy gain a +5 dodge bonus to Ac. - i do not like this.

from 1 to 10 I would give this archetype a 4.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8 aka nate lange

well written and good use of template.

unfortunately, i strongly agree with the aforementioned balance issues: a fighter with this archetype could spend all their feats on useful things not tied to a specific weapon but still chose to focus on the best magic weapon he has access to by simply mirroring free feats/weapon training from an ally or indifferent fighter skilled in that weapon (whom he will not defeat at any point...). it was an interesting idea but it is far too easily abused.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Many of my concerns with this archetype have already been voiced. That said I do like the idea of a more social fighter I'm just not sure that this scratches that itch. Congratulations on making the top 32 and good luck on this round.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm torn. I really like the writing on this one (minus one missing apostrophe). I think a lot of people went maybe a bit too much toward generic river/water aspects or the Six Freedoms, while this really embraces the challenge and gives us an archetype that fits smack dab into a specific spot in the setting (and not in Outsea or Uringen whose idiosyncrasies maybe make the choices a little more obvious). That said, it's not so much so that I couldn't use it in a different setting either.

But like others, I'm not crazy about the mechanics. Sean brings up a good point about Mirror Talent, but I also find it's one of those frustrating things since I have no way of KNOWING whether my opponent has any of those feats or abilities. Am I going to waste a full-round action for no benefit? I've got no way of knowing. A skill check to determine at least if my foe has/is using one of the feats could mitigate that, but there's no mechanism for doing so to my knowledge.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

I have to say that this was pretty 'meh' to me. Social tweaks to fighters have been done a lot (maybe not in the current set of archetypes, but the general theme has been around a while) and the mechanics don't really add a lot - more social skills and feats, a feat taunting things...there's nothing that really grabs my interest and shows a new mechanic.

On top of that, while the mirror talent could be abusable, most of the time, it's not really going to do much of anything. Most of the time, a fighter is already going to have weapon training in his weapon of choice, as well as the weapon focus/specialization, etc. feats. Being able to mirror these for another weapon is ONLY going to come up during a duel when the opponent picks the weapons, or something like that. While this might be somewhat common in Mivon for dueling, for most adventuring fighters, it's pretty rare. Having to spend a full round action while your enemy beats on you isn't going to help you gain the advantage either.

Well crafted insult is far more powerful than bravery - fear effects come up some, but not TOO often in most games, while social skills can come up a lot more frequently, and bluff can be used to feint as well in combat, making this bonus happen far more often than feat saving throws.

Combined with everything else mentioned, this just doesn't bring the Superstar either thematically or mechanically, even if it does fit the River Kingdoms.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

My plan is to comment on all 32 archetypes. We'll see if I make it!

I will give general impressions, but with 3 areas of particular focus that suit my personal interests. Class and feat names: do they show flare? How closely tied to the River Kingdom is the archetype? And last but certainly not least, do I want to play this archetype?

Class and feat names: So-so. Accurate and descriptive. Class name ties to RK. Nice use of "suitor". But nothing with real flare.

River Kingdoms tie: Pretty strong. Would probably fit in a number of other cities, but clearly derives from a particular setting

Desire to play: I would like to play a courtly duelist, but I'm not sure this is the one.

There's a lot of balance concerns, as has been noted. Although... The Mirror Talent says it expires when you defeat the opponent or pick another target. So it only works against the person you learned it from. That limits its abusability considerably. There's still some possible issues there, but it's not a wild flaw running rampant or anything.

But beyond balance, I wish there was more duely requirements for the character. Nothing in here says I have to duel.

In the end, desire to play is kinda low.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I think its a cute idea, I don't like the execution and probably won't vote for it to advance.

Sovereign Court Star Voter Season 6

I loved how you started the Mivoni Suitor. The published lists of who was who in society, though I would have liked that it bought Honour to the families of the Suitor as well as the individual themselves.

Unfortunately, from there it wasn't great (as mentioned by most above).

I also think it sounds a bit too much like an Aldori Duelist tweak, for the high society of the River Kingdoms.

I would happily introduce the published lists in my campaign (something for my own players' fighters to discover as a hook to introduce them into the River Kingdoms society, but I couldn't see them wanted to drop their existing class abilities to take any you have introduced here.

Thematically excellent, mechanically "meh" as Joel Flank so succinctly put it.

Congrats on making the Super 32 Adam and good luck with the vote.

Star Voter Season 6

Not sure I understand the problems people are having with an aldori duelist flavor archtype. Its pulled straight from the source material. Heck, one of my biggest complaint is that it isn't more aldori-sword focused, since Mivon was founded by the swordlords who left Restov and claims to have its own swordschools. I picture all of the duelests in the kingdom being aldori sword wielders, which is where my flavor problems with this class come in. If they are mostly wannabe swordlords, why are they chosing other weapons to fight with?

From an ability perspective, Mirror Tallent is hard to deal with mechanically and should include rules like the inquisitor judgements to only last the durration of the fight. You would probably have been better off modifying the Cavalier challenges, giving a flat bonus against an opponent wielding the same weapon but a penalty to those who aren't your dedicated opponent.

I really like Last Laugh. Not sure why others have an issue with it. Even if it made you immune to fear effects, lots of other classes have permanent abilities by this point that can do similar or better.

I feel like Defensive Suprise should be an earlier ability that scales. I have no problem for -1 hit for +5 AC. You can do better with Crane Stance and fighting defensively.

Flavor-wise, for duelists I would have gotten rid of heavy armor profficiency and later armor training, probably using Defensive Suprise to replace armor training 2.

I feel like this archtype has some interesting ideas that fit the flavor its going for, but mechanically has issues and doesn't feel like its been thought through.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Good: I love duelist type characters truly I am a sucker for anything with that musketeer swashbucking vibe. You took on the fighter which was risky and I generally approve of risks.
Bad: Powers and general changes nothing here gets me jazzed to play or particularly excited.
Ugly: Feat boosting mechanic is broken and in need of serious tweaking.
Overall: I want to love this, I love the idea but the execution just fell down for me.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

I see what you are going for and I think it all works together you just didn't get your idea across that well. Good luck

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

In the Guide to the River Kingdoms, Mivoni Swordlords are described as having a similar style to their Aldori brethren, but with more of a defensive/counterattack flair. Since we know that the Aldori Swordlord archetype already uses Combat Expertise and Fighting Defensively, I would build on that particular base.

I do like that you have their penchant for well-crafted insults in there; I actually like the Last Laugh ability a lot.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase

Clouds Without Water wrote:

There's a lot of balance concerns, as has been noted. Although... The Mirror Talent says it expires when you defeat the opponent or pick another target. So it only works against the person you learned it from. That limits its abusability considerably. There's still some possible issues there, but it's not a wild flaw running rampant or anything.

The abusability comes from the power not saying specifically that it the bonus is only against the studied target. Also, if you run away and don't select a new target then you would still get the bonus as written. Same if you just study one of your allies. Same if YOU yield, but don't select a new target. It lasts until the studied target is incapacitated or yields, OR until a new target is selected.

I like what it's trying to do -- I don't think it's anywhere near 100% yet, but it's good enough that I would be willing to look at more by this person.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Adam, as much as I love the flavor of this class, your execution is pretty lackluster. I don't have to make any mechanical comments - they've already been made for me - so I'll leave it at this.

You found a great niche to fill, but you missed the mark. Better luck next round, if you make it through.

Dedicated Voter Season 7

I'm not really feeling these abilities, flavor-wise.

With Well-Crafted Insult, you replace a situational bonus to fear with a flat bonus to three different skills. I think you gave the Mivon Suitor enough opportunity to raise his social skills by adding them to his class skills. Moreso, a flat bonus to all social skills doesn't feel like "well-crafted insult," so much as "all-around good talker." Most class-related boosts like this either improve a specific feature of a class skill, or add new options. This could have been a good jumping point for introducing the Mivon insult as a game action.

The Last Laugh also struck me as odd. I understand the intent of the ability again, but "stabbing someone when you would otherwise be feared" doesn't quite feel like a "last laugh," especially when you could be exposed to fear effects multiple times during an encounter. The last laugh is the game-ender, the last of a series of actions shared between two rivals in kind. An attack of opportunity is not a finishing move, nor does it bespeak of returning due punishment.

And Defensive Surprise is similarly unsurprising, since it's a constant effect.

Perhaps it's strange of me to focus on this sort of quibble, but the names of a class's abilities are as important as the name of the class itself--it's the first thing a person reads for an ability, and it sets expectations that the text has to follow through with.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 9

I like the idea of the archetype but, like others, I think the execution just wasn't there. Most of the concerns for the abilities have been voiced, so I'll just mention:

Mirror Talent: I don't like how messy it is, Sean pointed out most of the trouble. I will point out that when he mentions it doesn't really help the typical adventurer if you don't have an opponent's same weapon when you use it, I understand that this is a duelist and as such if an opponent chooses the weapons of the duel then you most likely will have them available. After all, most opponents would certainly choose a weapon that they are better with than the person they are challenging.

This certainly is a talent a duelist would have to address such an occurrence, so I can see a version of this working well. Also, it doesn't give all an opponent's feats, so a truly focused opponent would still have an advantage. You might get his Weapon Focus (hand crossbow), but not his Point Blank Shot (assuming that exists in Pathfinder), thus not arbitrarily negating every opponent being dueled.

My main problem is that is applies to every weapon skill he has, whether you can see it or not and that just doesn't believably convey a full-round of studying an opponent. If he has Weapon Focus (Dagger) and he's standing across a courtyard holding a rapier as you study him before the duel starts, I just don't see how you suddenly know his dagger-fighting style if he Quick Draws it out during the fight (regardless of whether that's allowed by the terms of the duel). Probably should be limited to weapons they have out when you perform the action (no help for them being unarmed if they have appropriate feats with unarmed or natural attacks though.)

Last Laugh: I don't have a problem with resisting fear effects; many classes and abilities grant that. I do have trouble with an ability that makes it more attractive to fail saving throws and checks against fear and intimidation in order to give immunity to what you want to fail against and an additional attack on top of it.

I'm not sure how intimidate works exactly in Pathfinder, but some races might get penalties against intimidation, maybe for being smaller or weaker maybe up to a -4 or worse depending on size differences (even a halfling's bonuses to fear and all saves won't counter that, nevermind a gnome). Now that makes it way more powerful and viable for such a character to not only avoid being immune or resistant to fear and intimidate, but they'll actively try and be more likely to fail (yes, a low Will save can be more universally dangerous, but the other direction is an ability that doesn't get used because you don't fail the checks.)

So now you're not trying to be immune to something, so that you can ultimately be immune to it... so you can then also get a free Attack of Opportunity... which they also lose their Dex bonuses and Dodge bonuses against... and allowing possible additional damage for such circumstances.

I like the idea, but even just focusing on a character made for the situations described and not even 'normal' adventuring, it wasn't there for me. Just my honest critique.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Evil Paul

My problem is that Paizo have already published an Aldori Swordlord prestige class, and an Aldori Swordlord archetype, both of which are fighters with a dueling theme.

So essentially, you are in existing design space, irrespective of the fact that the abilities here are a bit different.

That's not to say you couldn't have gone to Mivon for your theme, but for me it had to be something new over the "deulist" concept.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

This is a bit much. At this stage, it needed to knock off one of the better competitors to get my vote and I'm not inclined to look too deeply into what seems like a series of power gains.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka BobROE

Shockingly I didn't advance.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, it's quite obvious what I had in my head didn't A) Get onto the page well and B) work very well.

Hopefully I'll be able to give this all a shot again in the future.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Adam, don't hang your head. Though I didn't recommend this archetype, it wasn't because it was BAD, it was because I felt others were better. In fact, this archetype is really good and you did a number of really great things. Don't be overly concerned with the critiques posted here. They always seem unduly harsh when you are the author. I think you did a good job and hope you try again next year. Hey, making the Top 32 is an accomplishment most people here would give anything to have achieved. Don't let not advancing take the bloom off that rose.


RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka BobROE

Oh, I'm well aware that game design can be a harsh business... I'm just usually the one giving out the harsh advice not the one recieving it.

I take nothing personally, especially when everything that was said was right. :)

Thanks for the support though.

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