Dreamscarred Press introduces the Path of War


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Hey, Chris. Loving the new PrC's. Umbral Blade particularly. Well done.

One question. Am I to understand that none of the prestige classes get to swap out old maneuvers for new ones? That seems harsh. As far as I can tell, none of them are getting abilities so mind blowing as to justify losing on normal class abilities, and losing on ALL replacement maneuvers.

Perhaps they might get replacements at 3, 6, and 9?

Scarab Sages

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I think I might create a couple different stat blocks for the Bladecaster NPCs in my game. It looks like this Prestige Class could work really well with Magus or full progression casters, but in completely different ways, which is interesting.

Looks like the earliest it's possible to take this class would be as the 8th character level with Wizard 5/Warlord or Warder 2, or Wizard or Sorc 6/Warlord or Warder 1, or Magus or Bard 7 with the Martial Training. Magus 7/Warlord or Warder 1 is the runner up and probably provides the most return in the long run because of the ability to Battlecaster's Strike and Spellstrike at the same time, which basically means being able to "Spell Combat" and Spellstrike with maneuvers and touch spells.

Still, I can see a few different optimal ways to take Battlecaster. There could be a buffer Magus build that cares more about stances and boosts and using Spell Combat from the Magus class, and then there could also be a burst-damage Magus who wants Battlecaster's strike in order to be able to Maneuver and Spellstrike in the same action. I want to try them all! ( : So I think I will with NPCs in the next session of my campaign. That's tomorrow night, I will post with my results. This looks exciting though.

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Also, the 9th level enhancement to Shadow Consuption doesn't say the action required to become incorporeal. I assume standard, but it might be useful to say.


Face_P0lluti0n wrote:

Sweet!

The PCs in my game are about to face off against a bunch of angry, ancient Warforged battle-mages in Xen'drik (they killed the leader because he was plotting to declare war on non-constructs). After the last fight, they're expecting many of the Warforged to have the Magus class or be straight Wizards, but I think instead I will have them find an ancient tome called "The Path of War" detailing ancient martial styles which will foreshadow their encounter with a group of Bladecasters seeking revenge for the death of their master and using martial maneuvers long forgotten...

Can't wait to give it a shot!

Eberron's one of my favorite pregen worlds, absolutely dripping with style, class, and things to do. I adore the whole "deepest, darkest Africa" vibe that Xen'drink gets, coupled with the ruins of the ancient giants... fantastic. I love your idea!

Orthos wrote:

OH MAAAN

Also I love the Boomerang Drow and Ancient War Machines concepts.

I could geek out all day with you over those alone.

YuenglingDragon wrote:

Hey, Chris. Loving the new PrC's. Umbral Blade particularly. Well done.

One question. Am I to understand that none of the prestige classes get to swap out old maneuvers for new ones? That seems harsh. As far as I can tell, none of them are getting abilities so mind blowing as to justify losing on normal class abilities, and losing on ALL replacement maneuvers.

Perhaps they might get replacements at 3, 6, and 9?

That's an oversight. I'll fix that.

YuenglingDragon wrote:
Also, the 9th level enhancement to Shadow Consuption doesn't say the action required to become incorporeal. I assume standard, but it might be useful to say.

Yup, missed that. I'll fix it.

-X

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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ErrantX wrote:

Prestige classes updated! Get em here!

-X

I see somebody liked a couple of my name suggestions...... :)

I'm also glad everyone liked the idea of my drow Archer Lords wielding xendrik boomerangs. I'll admit, that was absolutely one of my favorite encounters to design and I kept the character sheets for future use (and possible use as full-fledged PC(s) )


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Ssalarn wrote:
ErrantX wrote:

Prestige classes updated! Get em here!

-X

I see somebody liked a couple of my name suggestions...... :)

I'm also glad everyone liked the idea of my drow Archer Lords wielding xendrik boomerangs. I'll admit, that was absolutely one of my favorite encounters to design and I kept the character sheets for future use (and possible use as full-fledged PC(s) )

Lol, they were good!

-X

Scarab Sages

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ErrantX wrote:
Eberron's one of my favorite pregen worlds, absolutely dripping with style, class, and things to do. I adore the whole "deepest, darkest Africa" vibe that Xen'drink gets, coupled with the ruins of the ancient giants... fantastic. I love your idea!

Total agreement here. I run all of my home games exclusively in Eberron or Planescape. Eberron has more hooks than a bait shop (did I really just say that?) and IMO does a very good job of justifying or simply cooperating with all of the mechanics and tropes of d20 that become head-scratchers or game-breakers in a lot of other settings.

That is to say, Wealth-by-level is justified by the existence of magic shops as a core component of the setting, and Xen'drik takes the idea that "murderhobo" is a day job for thousands and causes it to make perfect sense because the continent is packed to the brim with enough mystery and danger to last professional adventurers for centuries. PCs are demigods and game balance fails once levels are in the mid-teens? Okay, that's the new epic level. Your new opponents are Cthulhu's neighbors.

And then it's also a dark and gritty world of dungeon-noir where good and evil are no longer absolute. I couldn't be happier. I've run Eberron campaigns where people optimized their builds for politics or infiltration instead of combat because they knew how many layers of intrigue existed in the game world.

Eberron is half of why I didn't quit d20 and the ToB is the other half, so thank you for bringing more martial maneuver goodness to Pathfinder!


Honestly, I couldn't agree with your assessment of Eberron more. I know there's some out there that hated it, but I can't imagine why. Eberron, Dark Sun, and Planescape for real.

I'm glad that PoW is able to find a place in your game!

-X

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Just wanted to jump in and note that Eberron is my all-time favorite campaign setting. I can add whatever material I want and there's generally a place for it, it accomodates a huge variety of playstyles... And shifters for the win.

Also, Warforged Initiators as ancient death machines is priceless. A Warforged Warder with Adamantine Body just sounds deliciously indestructible.


Tretch wrote:

I took a look at the Umbral Blade for Stalker... for a Core Class that seems to be maneuver and Ki based I'm a little confused on where to go with the Umbral Blade...

You shouldn't head into the class before level 12 Stalker because you miss out on a ton of Manuevers Known/Readied, and a Few Stances...

The ability to charge your blade is interesting, but it's use is limited when compared to Deadly Strike with Ki Pool and Stalker Arts.

Have you thought about making this a 5 level PrC.. that way a Stalker would have to decide on some impressive stealth buffs or the top tier Stalker abilities?

This came up on DSP's forum. Whatcha think?

-X

Scarab Sages

Had some down time at work today so I statted up a few Warforged Bladecaster builds for tomorrow night.

Magus wants Scarlet Throne style very badly - even before Bladecaster abilities kick in there's a lot of stance/boost synergy and Scarlet Throne plays nice with the one-hand-free style of Magus, but going into it from Warlord is pretty MAD (you can dump either Str or Dex but not any other stats) and going in from Warder requires being lawful and committing to a knight/samurai-esque code.

The loyalty code is just fine for my Warforged, who follow an ancient Warforged Wizard who led the others to freedom from the giants 25k years ago. They've all sworn loyalty to him, and the PCs just killed him over a Draconic-prophecy related argument and a threat on his part to send his army of double-digit level soldiers (what happens when you have 25k years in isolation to train for war) against the "soft and fleshy" races.

So they're pretty ticked off. Honor-bound to avenge their master, actually.

I made a Magus 7/Bladecaster 5 who got Scarlet Throne maneuvers from Martial Training I & II, and a Magus 7/Warder 1/Bladecaster 4 who is specialized in Scarlet Throne and Primal Fury maneuvers. Then I made a leader for their forces by adding two levels of Bladecaster onto the Warder build.

The two builds actually feel very, very different, which is pretty cool. The Magus/Bladecaster really focuses on the boosts and stances from Scarlet Throne to augment mainly Magus things, and the Warder build really likes to mix it up with significantly more maneuvers.

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ErrantX wrote:


This came up on DSP's forum. Whatcha think?

-X

That poster isn't completely wrong. But he is kind of wrong.

You don't really miss out on maneuvers known or readied, just delay them a little. I statted one up and ended at level 20 with the same number of maneuvers and only one less stance (made up for with the PrC's stance).

It does suck to lose your Deadly Strike and Ki Pool progression, along with additional Arts, uses of Dual Strike, and Combat Insights. For that you get, some extra cold damage, the ability to finesse a few extra weapons (an ability that may not be used much since it doesn't help TWF very much), and some sneakiness. Embrace the Shadows and Shadow Consumption are certainly stronger than a normal stance, though limited in rounds per encounter.

That's my breakdown but I'm not actually sure what any of it means, yet. I'm still pondering.

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I pondered.

So, there are a few things. First, the PrC doesn't mesh well with standard Stalker mechanics in a lot of ways. Most PrC's allow you access around 6 or 7 which makes their capstone attainable in a standard AP. While this is also true of the Umbral Blade, in reality you can't start it until 9th at best because missing out on the 8th level Combat Insight sucks. You still lose out on critical recovery and dual strike that way, though. In my build I didn't start it until 11th level and that was only because I knew we'd get to level 20 in the campaign it's planned for. I might skip the PrC in another AP because I'd never get the really juicy stuff in the last 2 levels.

In a lot of ways this feels more like an archetype than a prestige class. There isn't a huge amount of synergy with the basic Stalker.

Not sure I'd want it as a five level PrC, though. I really like a lot of the abilities (especially Embrace the Shadows, Shadow Consumption, and One with the Dark) and you'd never be able to pack them all in a 5 level PrC.


YuenglingDragon wrote:

I pondered.

So, there are a few things. First, the PrC doesn't mesh well with standard Stalker mechanics in a lot of ways. Most PrC's allow you access around 6 or 7 which makes their capstone attainable in a standard AP. While this is also true of the Umbral Blade, in reality you can't start it until 9th at best because missing out on the 8th level Combat Insight sucks. You still lose out on critical recovery and dual strike that way, though. In my build I didn't start it until 11th level and that was only because I knew we'd get to level 20 in the campaign it's planned for. I might skip the PrC in another AP because I'd never get the really juicy stuff in the last 2 levels.

In a lot of ways this feels more like an archetype than a prestige class. There isn't a huge amount of synergy with the basic Stalker.

Not sure I'd want it as a five level PrC, though. I really like a lot of the abilities (especially Embrace the Shadows, Shadow Consumption, and One with the Dark) and you'd never be able to pack them all in a 5 level PrC.

End result, it needs more stalker synergy, at the end of the day.

Okay, I can do that. I don't like it as an archetype because I also want other classes to be able to access it, both in future supplements as well as from core classes with Veiled Moon training (rogues and monks would do good in this class, for example) and it's too focused for an archetype, me thinks.

But more stalker synergy, yeah, that I can work with.

-X

Scarab Sages

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So I ran my game last night, and my 15th level/Mythic Rank 1 PCs tangled with a CR "16 and change" encounter made up of angry Warforged. I had three in the encounter that used Path of War material - specifically, one Magus 7/Bladecaster 5 who used Martial Training I & II to qualify for Bladecaster, another Magus who picked up one level of Warder for a total of Magus 7/Warder 1/Bladecaster 4, and finally a 14th level leader who had Magus 7/Warder 1/Bladecaster 6.

This was in addition to a Warforged Crusader/Warblade/Fighter, an Alchemist, and a Wizard.

The Magi/Bladecasters had time to buff but couldn't surprise the party because the Wizard had to cast passwall in order to make it possible to attack. The two Magi who dipped Warder to get Bladecaster ruled the combat. Having access to a second discipline (Primal Fury in this case) and a larger selection of maneuvers known gave them significantly more power and more versatility than the Magus who just dipped into maneuvering with feats.

The Bladecasters outperformed the Crusader/Warblade by a good amount. The main assistance that he provided was giving free turns by leapfrogging delay actions and then using White Raven Tactics to basically grant extra turns to the Magi for the low, low cost of dropping by 2 initiative points each turn. His maneuvers and boosts did not stand up to the burst damage factor that the Magi/Warders were capable of.

The synergy between Magus and Scarlet Throne turned out to be everything that it promised to be, though it ended up being very heavy on burst damage. Both Magi/Warders managed to get a single round in which they performed a Hasted full-attack with Spell Combat & Spellstrike while using their swift action to boost with Noble Blade while delivering Intensified Shocking Grasps through their melee attacks. This took each unlucky recipient of such an attack from triple-digit HP all the way down to single-digit and they only survived because of immediate action abilities.

It was highly impressive, even more so because they could have kept blending Shocking Grasps into maneuver attacks for a few more rounds with the Bladecaster class abilities, but at that point the PCs were feeling like participants in a game of rocket tag so they started burning the nitro fuel to end the encounter ASAP.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I have a Community Hero Lab Package just released that has the Warlord, Feats, skills, stances and maneuvers from the final pdf. As it took so much time to get the Maneuvers to select right (I built a whole new frame work) most of the class abilities and feats are NOT scripted. This means why you can activate a stance on the "In-Play" tab it will NOT adjust/change your character. But you can at least keep track of the Maneuvers you have readied and Stances activated.

For full info and how to download see THIS post over at the Hero Lab forums.

This is initial release v1.0 and later versions will add more scripting, classes, and maneuvers.


When will the Warden be released?


No one knows when the Warden will be released?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

They've been working on it for a while now, I imagine it'll be soon. I could have sworn Chris said it was heading to layout a week or two ago.....


Anyone mind pointing me to where I should post to get some build critique on a warlord I want to try in an upcoming campaign? Is there a spot on Paizo that would generate some feedback well or would it be better served on Dreamscarred's website?


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I imagine after the holidays are over we'll see something to do with the Warder. Beyond that, I don't know the time table anymore than yourselves.

Jeremy is a busy bee trying to finish up Ultimate Psionics too, remember! :)

-X

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Aleron wrote:
Anyone mind pointing me to where I should post to get some build critique on a warlord I want to try in an upcoming campaign? Is there a spot on Paizo that would generate some feedback well or would it be better served on Dreamscarred's website?

Post it up here man, you've got a lot of people with a lot of experience playtesting and working with the class following this thread, and we don't have a lot of other things to talk about until the next release :)


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Oh look, the nightmare before Christmas is here.

Looking forward to feedback on the Harbinger, my very first initiating base class!

Shadow Lodge

ErrantX wrote:

I imagine after the holidays are over we'll see something to do with the Warder. Beyond that, I don't know the time table anymore than yourselves.

Jeremy is a busy bee trying to finish up Ultimate Psionics too, remember! :)

-X

No rush dude! I won't have money to burn til after Xmas anyway =)


Ssalarn wrote:
Post it up here man, you've got a lot of people with a lot of experience playtesting and working with the class following this thread, and we don't have a lot of other things to talk about until the next release :)

Thanks, will do.

Quote:

Basic Campaign Info:

The campaign is a one shot in a homebrew world. We may gain one level we've been told but that's not a definite. The little we have been told indicates we're part of a neutral/goodish orc tribe that needs to find a cure for its chieftain. We believe the cure to be in a settlement of elves. Uncertain whether this will be a raid/attack/or what considering the alignment of the orcs as mentioned so far.

Level: 4
Allowed Races: Orc, Half-Orc, Aasimar, Tiefling (The later two still assume an orc appearance, just with some mixed outsider blood)
Point Buy: 20
Starting Gold: Regular for 4th level
Traits: 2
Free Feats: Heighten Spell, Weapon Finesse, Agile Maneuvers

I elected to go a bit against the grain with the character and took half-orc and warlord. Dashing fellow with a rapier sort. Aiming for a Duelist vibe that encourages his companions while also able to hold his own fairly well in combat. I have not selected his traits yet.

Here's his sheet: Duprés Von Toothgnasher

The maneuvers known/readied/stances are all in the spell section further down. I still have about 1.5k gold left and leaning toward some more potions and splash weapons.

Let me know if I have anything wrong and critique it hard. This is my first time building with the Path of War ruleset and any mistakes or whatnot are a learning experience for me.

PS: The other members of the party I believe so far are a wilder and a bloodrager. We'll likely have a fourth too, but no clue on them so far. DM is in the midst of recruiting.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Prince of Knives wrote:

Oh look, the nightmare before Christmas is here.

Looking forward to feedback on the Harbinger, my very first initiating base class!

Any base class inspired by Freddy Kreuger has a home in my campaigns :)

Maybe not as a hero, but.....

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Aleron wrote:


The campaign is a one shot in a homebrew world. We may gain one level we've been told but that's not a definite. The little we have been told indicates we're part of a neutral/goodish orc tribe that needs to find a cure for its chieftain. We believe the cure to be in a settlement of elves. Uncertain whether this will be a raid/attack/or what considering the alignment of the orcs as mentioned so far.

Level: 4
Allowed Races: Orc, Half-Orc, Aasimar, Tiefling (The later two still assume an orc appearance, just with some mixed outsider blood)
Point Buy: 20
Starting Gold: Regular for 4th level
Traits: 2
Free Feats: Heighten Spell, Weapon Finesse, Agile Maneuvers

I elected to go a bit against the grain with the character and took half-orc and warlord. Dashing fellow with a rapier sort. Aiming for a Duelist vibe that encourages his companions while also able to hold his own fairly well in combat. I have not selected his traits yet.

Here's his sheet: Duprés Von Toothgnasher

The maneuvers known/readied/stances are all in the spell section further down. I still have about 1.5k gold left and leaning toward some more potions and splash weapons.

Let me know if I have anything wrong and critique it hard. This is my first time building with the Path of War ruleset and any mistakes or whatnot are a learning experience for me.

PS: The other members of the party I believe so far are a wilder and a bloodrager. We'll likely have a fourth too, but no clue on them so far. DM is in the midst of recruiting.

It seems pretty solid, although I might have moved Weapon Finesse up a bit earlier to avoid any "swinginess" in longer combats. You've got about the right mix of strikes, boosts, and debuffs in there for your level... Looks like a pretty solid build at a glance, but I'll give you a more thorough review when I've got time to sit down and really take it apart.


We get weapon finesse as a free feat at first level. I have it marked down there as a reminder but every character gets it. Did you mean deadly agility instead?


Do be warned that Harbinger is still a live document; edits may happen while you're reading it in response to feedback or wording fix suggestions.

Hell, some of it's happened already.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Aleron wrote:
We get weapon finesse as a free feat at first level. I have it marked down there as a reminder but every character gets it. Did you mean deadly agility instead?

Ah, I've gotchya. I was thinking those were "feats to take" for some reason. I now see the note that those are free bonus feats for all characters in your campaign. Carry on!


how do i order a hard copy of this book?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Today or tomorrow I will be finishing Ultimate Psionics.

Once that is done and out the door, I start on layout for the warder.


Jeremy Smith wrote:

Today or tomorrow I will be finishing Ultimate Psionics.

Once that is done and out the door, I start on layout for the warder.

is there going to ba a big book which includes warlord, stalker, and warder, plus all the maneuvers and stances, printed in hard copy version?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
rainzax wrote:
is there going to ba a big book which includes warlord, stalker, and warder, plus all the maneuvers and stances, printed in hard copy version?

Yes.

http://paizo.com/products/btpy92ti?Path-of-War-Work-in-Progress

"Path of War is a series of releases focused on a maneuver-based combat system, including several new base classes, feats, archetypes, and much more. All releases will eventually be compiled into a single printed book."


can i pre-order the book? if so, when is it's expected completion and shipping date?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
rainzax wrote:
can i pre-order the book? if so, when is it's expected completion and shipping date?

No. But if you buy the WIP you'll evidently get a discount on the eventual printed book.

http://dreamscarredpress.com/dragonfly/Core/article/sid=129.html

At the rate they've been going, I'd expect writing completion in the next couple/few months. Then printing, then shipping. So not exactly soon per se, but also not forever and a day from now.

Y'know, the WIP is perfectly usable, yeah?


Warlord sounds cool, dunno how I feel on the name "Warden" yet, but I don't like the name "Stalker". Has a negative connotation and it's just plain...weird sounding.

"What is your profession?"

"I am a stalker."

*immediately thrown in prison*

Are there alternative names Stalkers are known by? Just like Rogue is a blanket term for an assortment of types (spy, thief, thug, smuggler) what would it be for Stalker?


Barachiel Shina wrote:

Warlord sounds cool, dunno how I feel on the name "Warden" yet, but I don't like the name "Stalker". Has a negative connotation and it's just plain...weird sounding.

"What is your profession?"

"I am a stalker."

*immediately thrown in prison*

Are there alternative names Stalkers are known by? Just like Rogue is a blanket term for an assortment of types (spy, thief, thug, smuggler) what would it be for Stalker?

Depends on if you treat classes as in-game concepts or not. Personally, I'd never do that and I'll slap any player at my table that tries. That being said, think of what a Stalker's skill set might be used for. Is your Stalker more monk-like? Maybe that's what they call themselves, tapping into their maneuvers through enlightened training and willpower. Does your Stalker engage in wetwork? They're a hit man, assassin, or kick artist. Maybe they're a thug, made man, or metal man. A Stalker specializing in crit-fishing might call himself a berserker or a Mantis Tribe Warrior. Possibilities are endless.

Dark Archive

Stance of Aggression seems pretty weak compared to Scarlet Zweihander or Power Attack.

Dark Archive

Ssalarn, I just responded to your PMs. Sorry it took me two weeks to notice they were there. Anyone know if there is a way to get the site to send me an email when I have a new PM?

Knives, I'm looking over the Harbinger now. I'd first say that I think the Umbral Blade could stand to have an alignment description more like this and lose the alignment requirement. I really like the line about staring into the abyss until the abyss averts its gaze. Great turn of phrase.

Dark Archive

Accursed Will: At first level, 2+ class level is a modifier of 3 (equivalent to a score of 16) not a score of 13, right?

Grim News: Awesome. Omenwalk could use a little more description, though. If not using line of sight/effect, does she need to know her destination? What happens if she misjudges distance and end her move inside a solid object?

Massacre: 4th level might be a little early for an ability this strong. It's almost like a 1/encounter dual strike. I'd consider swapping it for Ill Intentions and maybe having Ill Intentions start at a -1 penalty and increase to -2 at level 8+.

Fading Hope: How does this work with a strike that has a duration of both instand and 1 round. Look at Essence Shattering Strike, for example. What about Disturbing Blow? It has a duration of special because it effects the next d20 roll. Would it affect EVERY d20 roll for Int mod rounds?

---

On another note, I just notices that the description for Adamantine Fang in the Stalker Book has a duration of "instant, 3 rounds" instead of instant, 1 round.

Next post will have maneuver feedback for Shattered Mirror.

Dark Archive

Breaking Glass Strike: Dazed is a pretty harsh condition to hit someone with at level 1.

Copycat Cut: What if he threatens a crit? How would this interact with Fading Hope?

Reflected Blade Style: needs a comma after boost in the second sentence.

Infinity Mirror Stance: Not happy with the power level here. It seems like you could refresh your images with a swift action and be pretty hard to hit for eternity. At this level you need a more limited number of images and wording about when and how they come back. Maybe only at the end of the encounter.

Fetch's Wrath: seems more powerful than Flicker Strike at the same level. You teleport farther, and deal bonus damage. If done right, you'd also get the flat-footed effect of Flicker Strike since you'll be coming out of nowhere from like a half mile away.

Blazing Mirror Strike: The duration should be instantaneous and 1 round/level unless you intend for the weapon to stay lightsaber-y for 1 round per level in which case, overpowered.

Carnival Swap: Does the attack still deal damage?

Hollow Frame: I might change the name to Empty Frame to continue the mirror name theme. A mirror could still be held within a hollow frame.

Copycat's Cunning: superflous "may use" in the 3rd sentence. Also, the example doesn't make sense. It would have to be a +2 distance longbow for the result to be the enhancement bonus of the greatsword increasing by 1. Also, the enhancement is called "distance" not "distant."

Mirror Demon's Waltz is a little underpowered.


I like the harbinger. I may be wrong, but it looks like the first save or suck melee class with accursed will.


Trogdar wrote:
I may be wrong, but it looks like the first save or suck melee class with accursed will.

I think the Malefactor or the Hellion take that cake.


Cheapy wrote:
Trogdar wrote:
I may be wrong, but it looks like the first save or suck melee class with accursed will.
I think the Malefactor or the Hellion take that cake.

I was referring to the stat consolidation. If those classes can both cast and improve hit chance in one stat, then I agree cheapy.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

YuenglingDragon wrote:

Accursed Will: At first level, 2+ class level is a modifier of 3 (equivalent to a score of 16) not a score of 13, right?

That's right. I'll actually take a lot of the blame for this one. I pushed Knives pretty hard in early reviews of the class to not make Accursed Will so super dippable for other classes, and suggested he look to the Duelist's Canny Defense as an idea for existing material that allows you to shift stat priority without loading way too much power into a 1st level ability. And I stand by that (whether or not Prince ultimately decides too, lol!).

YuenglingDragon wrote:


Ssalarn, I just responded to your PMs. Sorry it took me two weeks to notice they were there

No worries! I'm not sure if there's a way to set up an e-mail alert to notify you of pending PMs. Let me know too if you find out!


Trogdar wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Trogdar wrote:
I may be wrong, but it looks like the first save or suck melee class with accursed will.
I think the Malefactor or the Hellion take that cake.
I was referring to the stat consolidation. If those classes can both cast and improve hit chance in one stat, then I agree cheapy.

Well, the malefactor gets to add their Wisdom mod to-hit and eventually damage, but that's only on a standard action attack, not a full attack. The hellion can choose an option that'll nearly mimic full BAB, but nothing to add their casting stats to attacks and damage. Full on stat consolidation tends to be overpowered, so most such classes find other ways give to-hit boosts to martial casters.


I can see where you are coming from Cheapy. I do think maneuver classes act a lot more like casters than traditional martial characters though, given their propensity for standard action combat, which may make such claims less likely. I trust that Prince of Knives has considered the relative strength of the class with this in mind.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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It's an interesting conundrum. Martials are inherently more MAD than casters, just by the nature of them being what they are and doing what they do. Normally they don't have the additional baggage of also needing to manage ability DCs, so some stat consolidation makes sense. Parsing that out over the early levels of play makes sense, as you give a gradual consolidation that lowers the stat requirements required without making you completely SAD.

That being said, initiator classes have a lot of advantages, especially at low levels, that other classes don't. Their maneuvers and stances give them boosts to hit and damage that are fairly potent, these resources renew between encounters giving them an endurance edge over other classes that use combat buffs to maintain effectiveness, and they utilize basically the same action economy as true caster, giving them an edge in mobility and combat effectiveness.

This is a very delicate balancing act and Prince is doing an admirable job of trying to bring all of these factors together in a way that makes the Harbinger work and appease everyone.

I actually told him he should add +1 modifier from his total bonus per class level up to total INT bonus, but he shifted it to the 2+INT after some fairly vociferous feedback from some individuals who felt like that wasn't enough. I still kind of disagree since the mobility and access to stances, etc. give him at least as good a chance to hit level appropriate challenges as most non-initiator martial classes (and the game is designed for a character with a +3 to-hit to be perfectly effective at level 1) but I can see the other side as well. Prince's big drive in his class design has been to create classes that don't have trap options, where if something sounds cool, than it really is. That's not a bad design philosophy to have.

Ultimately, the Harbinger isn't going to be any more OP at low levels than a THF Fighter or Barbarian (probably less so), and he's still going to require at least 3 stats to effectively do what he does. As long as the proper controls are in place to ensure that the Harbinger can do what it's supposed to do without throwing other materials out of balance, it should be a solid addition to the game.


The fact that some maneuvers have save DC's that use the same scaling as spells basically requires that the to hit ability score contributes to that DC. The other direction to go is the special ability mechanic which is designed around tertiary ability scores, but I think maneuvers are really the whole deal for these classes so they should have a good chance of success with them.

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