Dreamscarred Press introduces the Path of War


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Sczarni

I have already said this in the DSP forums; however, it seems worth saying it also here.

Regarding the recovery mechanic, it is the metagamey issues that kill it for me (as End said, it is worsened by the whole 'per encounter" thing). I want to advocate for a cooldown mechanic instead in which yo have to wait an increasingly longer period of time to perform a maneuver of a given level. So the deadlier the maneuver, the longer one must wait to use another one. Not only it would reflect better the mental and physical strain of performing such amazing feats of skill, but make resource administration more important (do i use my deadliest maneuver first or open with a weaker one to set up the big guns?)

Just my 2 cp

Liberty's Edge

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What power in Tome of Battle is once per encounter cause I haven't seen it? Maybe once every 6 seconds, but never once per encounter. I'm greatly curious.


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Frerezar wrote:

I want to advocate for a cooldown mechanic instead in which yo have to wait an increasingly longer period of time to perform a maneuver of a given level. So the deadlier the maneuver, the longer one must wait to use another one. Not only it would reflect better the mental and physical strain of performing such amazing feats of skill, but make resource administration more important (do i use my deadliest maneuver first or open with a weaker one to set up the big guns?)

Just my 2 cp

This would kill interest in the class/system for me. It would become yet another case of martials not being allowed to have nice things spellcasters already get. Fancy trick with a sword? Have to wait. Fancy trick with a spell? Can fire off the exact same spell again next round. Heck no.

My 2cp in turn.

Liberty's Edge

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Orthos wrote:

This would kill interest in the class/system for me. It would become yet another case of martials not being allowed to have nice things spellcasters already get. Fancy trick with a sword? Have to wait. Fancy trick with a spell? Can fire off the exact same spell again next round. Heck no.

My 2cp in turn.

Fully agreed. I'm not wanting a system that is designed to keep martials oppressed. Free the martials!


Could there be an archetype or prestige class that combines maneuvers with magus arcana? I see the potential for interesting synergies there.

Sczarni

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Orthos wrote:
Frerezar wrote:

I want to advocate for a cooldown mechanic instead in which yo have to wait an increasingly longer period of time to perform a maneuver of a given level. So the deadlier the maneuver, the longer one must wait to use another one. Not only it would reflect better the mental and physical strain of performing such amazing feats of skill, but make resource administration more important (do i use my deadliest maneuver first or open with a weaker one to set up the big guns?)

Just my 2 cp

This would kill interest in the class/system for me. It would become yet another case of martials not being allowed to have nice things spellcasters already get. Fancy trick with a sword? Have to wait. Fancy trick with a spell? Can fire off the exact same spell again next round. Heck no.

My 2cp in turn.

This is NOT a caster vs martials thing. It is just a matter of, first, immersion, and second, being on par with currentmartial classes.

If the goal of the proyect is reconstruct how martial classes work, then go for it (I personally would love it). However, the goal is to make a subsystem of classes that mesh properly with the current ones.

Right now the versatility of options given to the Warlord at least far outstrips any other martial class (on top of using a subsystem breaks believability for many.

Also worth mentioning that uses per day and concentration are two intrinsic limitations within the casting system that is in no way present for maneuvers. So please if you want to make a point go beyond saying "stop oppressing martials you caster lover"


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Could there be an archetype or prestige class that combines maneuvers with magus arcana? I see the potential for interesting synergies there.

Archetypes are definitely going to be touched on. No fear!

-X


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Frerezar wrote:

This is NOT a caster vs martials thing. It is just a matter of, first, immersion, and second, being on par with currentmartial classes.

If you can handle hit points and evasion ('The fireball hit me dead on and I didn't feel a thing') and a terminal velocity fall creating a light bruise at best on a lot of characters, then you can handle martial recharging.

Considering that the martial classes are WAY behind the spellcasters, and we know full well that they aren't going to nerf the casters to the level of the martials, elevating the martials is the only option for even iffy balance.


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Orthos wrote:
Frerezar wrote:

I want to advocate for a cooldown mechanic instead in which yo have to wait an increasingly longer period of time to perform a maneuver of a given level. So the deadlier the maneuver, the longer one must wait to use another one. Not only it would reflect better the mental and physical strain of performing such amazing feats of skill, but make resource administration more important (do i use my deadliest maneuver first or open with a weaker one to set up the big guns?)

Just my 2 cp

This would kill interest in the class/system for me. It would become yet another case of martials not being allowed to have nice things spellcasters already get. Fancy trick with a sword? Have to wait. Fancy trick with a spell? Can fire off the exact same spell again next round. Heck no.

My 2cp in turn.

Seconded (or thirded or whatnot).

I remember one of my first thoughts when the Mythic Playtest hit was, for those that had a huge caster/martial divide, make all martial Mythic automatically. The one path ability that negated iterative attack penalty is easily worth 6th or 7th level spells. :D


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Zhayne wrote:
Frerezar wrote:

This is NOT a caster vs martials thing. It is just a matter of, first, immersion, and second, being on par with currentmartial classes.

If you can handle hit points and evasion ('The fireball hit me dead on and I didn't feel a thing') and a terminal velocity fall creating a light bruise at best on a lot of characters, then you can handle martial recharging.

Considering that the martial classes are WAY behind the spellcasters, and we know full well that they aren't going to nerf the casters to the level of the martials, elevating the martials is the only option for even iffy balance.

This. Keeping these guys on par with the current status quo is the opposite of what I want out of this system.

Sczarni

Orthos wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Frerezar wrote:

This is NOT a caster vs martials thing. It is just a matter of, first, immersion, and second, being on par with currentmartial classes.

If you can handle hit points and evasion ('The fireball hit me dead on and I didn't feel a thing') and a terminal velocity fall creating a light bruise at best on a lot of characters, then you can handle martial recharging.

Considering that the martial classes are WAY behind the spellcasters, and we know full well that they aren't going to nerf the casters to the level of the martials, elevating the martials is the only option for even iffy balance.

This. Keeping these guys on par with the current status quo is the opposite of what I want out of this system.

If this is meant as a rework of the martial mechanics of the game, then I am all for it. However, this is being presented as a revival of the Bo9S, which introduced classes (and a little bit of options) that used their own supposedly "balanced" approach to martial combat.

Again, I believe there is a disparity, but making 3 or 4 classes that are just meant to make the core martials obsolete is not the route to go. You either make classes that use a subsystem that are on par with current martials, or (even better) create a subsystem that can be applied to any of the current martial classes to make them on par (or close to) casters. So either we all gt strong cool maneuvers or make maneuvers on par with current martial class abilities (which would be going back to the whole "martials can't have nice things" according to many)

Contributor

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As someone who was in charge of a 3.5 Rewrite (Pact Magic Unbound) I'm a little confused by the command to drastically change the system.

I mean, when I wrote the product I did make changes. I got rid of requirements, added the totem mechanic, changed up the constellation names and shuffled some spirits into different categories. But ultimately, I tweaked the system so that it ran smoother. I didn't tear it apart and rebuild it from the ground up.

When Jeremy wrote Psionics Unleashed, he made changes. He reworked how most of the "transform into creatures" powers worked. He added new powers and fixed ones that were broken. He cleaned up some of the game-breaking uses of certain feats and class features. But ultimately, he tweaked the system so it ran smoother. He didn't tear it apart and rebuild it from the ground up.

So why are people asking for that from a Tome of Battle rewrite? If Chris completely gets rid of the maneuver system, then its not Tome of Battle's system. People who are going to want this product want it because it updates, tweaks, and fixes the core Tome of Battle rules. It would be like replacing pact magic with a point-based system or psionics with vancian spell slots. Sure, you could do it, but then its not the system you set out to emulate and perfect.

Chris is going to do a lot of changes here, of that I'm certain. But you are sorely disappointed if you are expecting him to rebuild how the maneuver / stance system works. Because the moment he does, he's not paying homage to the Tome of Battle anymore. He'd be making his own system and slapping on beloved names like a cheap coat of pain.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Cross out "once power encounter", replace with 1/minute or once every 5 rounds, maybe.

That's never been my real issue with Tome of Battle. I just hope that this system is such that other combatant classes can make use of it, just not as well as those devoted to it.


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First of all, just like Psionics would never depart from a power point system (atleast not with us), the Path of War will not depart from the "per encounter" mechanic. This is for a number of reasons, but let me start with the basics.

When we wrote Psionics Unleashed, it was meant to allow people to convert their existing characters into Pathfinder as well as to take the chance to smooth out any small problems that existed and rejig internal balancing problems. Path of War is meant to allow people to convert their existing Tome of Battle characters into a system that works the same way, and take the chance to smooth out some problems.

Now, the big difference is that Psionics was almost 100% OGL and Tome of Battle wasn't. So that means no Warblades, Crusaders or Swordsages (atleast not fitting the same niche) or the exact same Disciplines. For those with ToB, this is a net win (keep the ToB classes and Disciplines, add scores more!) and for us this allows us to rethink how the classes were made. Yet, the one thing that does remain, is the system underneath.

For all of you who have a problem with immersion, have you ever trained in martial arts? Because when I was young I did ALOT of Karate, and "Kata" or "maneuvers combining individual punches, kicks and throws" were essential to that. Each Kata that we trained on for hours, allowed us certain options. From Kata 1, you could go into Kata 2 or 3, both of which allowed you to either circle back to 1 or either 4 or 5 (depending on which Kata and your momentum). I hear the same thing coming from practitioners of escrima, wing tsun and taekwando. Each set of moves puts you into position for something else, which very rarely is "the same thing again".

With that said, all feedback and all ideas are taken into account. We might not rejig the entire system to use "Focus/Stamina" or cooldowns, but that doesn't preclude that we create an archetype or something else where your ideas fit in.


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What Kvantum said +1000. My issue is not that martial characters get cool toys on par with spells - it never was. That's in fact what I LOVED about Bo9S. That's why I used it extensively. But in the long run, "Per Encounter"-abilities BREAK my immersion - the abilities are not defined by the characters, but by arbitrarily constructed frameworks like what constitutes an encounter and what not.

Plus, per encounter abilities CAN actually be weaker than cooldowns. Think about it: Once the combat is done, the per encounter abilities refresh - nice. But when a martial artist is fighting e.g. in war over an extended period of time, when using cooldown, s/he can use the maneuvers multiple times instead of having to retreat from battle, wait and rejoin. Another example that I find jarring about "per encounter" is the following:

PCs defeat foes xyz - and just as the last foe falls, more break through the door. Same encounter? New one? Casters could continue casting... The boundaries of what constitutes "encounters" range from short bouts to epic conflicts and thus, as a mechanic to define when any ability can be used, FAIL. And think about the poor character: So s/he can use his maneuvers as often as s/he likes if the battles are short, but as soon as one prolonged combat hits, they start running out of maneuvers, even though the combined duration of the short combats may exceed the one of the lengthy one? To me, this makes zero sense and should result in a lot of confusion in-game. And yes, I had that happen - and it was a frustrating experience both for the player in question and me and ultimately is the reason why I haven't allowed Bo9S in PFRPG - not due to the rules (I can handle conversions), but to the fact that even within a world where PCs can survive immersion in lava, the framework used to limit BO9S powers makes no sense.

By instead going for a cooldown ability (not one general one, but one for each maneuver), one would make martial artists CLOSER to casters while still keeping them different AND enforce PLANNING and STRATEGY on part of the martial characters - they have to manage their maneuver-resources. In my book, that's a GOOD thing.

And then there's the rule-aesthetic side: There are no per encounter abilities in PFRPG. None. That's one of the reasons I do not play 4th ed.

There are a plethora of cooldown abilities, most iconic a dragon's breath. Personally, I'd prefer a system that seamlessly integrates with the existing rules-canon to one that requires tacking on a new concept, especially one as problematic in its definition and in-character repercussions as "per encounter". If you think about it, even if you are an advocate of "per encounter", you'd probably have to concede that a cooldown mechanic would be less metagamey, as it is not based on an arbitrary boundary between combat and non-combat.

So yeah, that's my little manifesto in favor of cooldown.
Cheers!


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Kevin wrote:


From: WotC_RichBaker
Received: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 at 04:20pm

Hi, Kevin -- Sorry for the late reply. I don't have any copies of the old post either, so if it's gone, it's gone. The suggestions below look familiar to me as they pertain to a discussion about how to move the Tome of Battle into more compliance with 4e as it finally appeared. Check the website for the errata. www.wizards.com/defaul.../20040125a

General: No recharge mechanic. You use up all of your readied maneuvers in an encounter, that's it, you wait until next encounter. The recharge mechanic in retrospect seems like a clunky add on, and it undermines resource management.

Crusaders: Your readied maneuvers are no different than anyone else's. No "two maneuvers randomly chosen" to start. This was the "automatic recharge" mechanic for the crusader, and it turned out to make the class more complicated than it needs to be.

Warblade: Hit dice move back down to d10. These guys are suppose to be technique fighters, and while they are front line warriors, there is no need for them to be the damage sponges that barbarians and knights are, because its not really their purpose.

DM option. Cut out Weapon Aptitude as an ability. Not only does this not make much sense, but it intentionally steals the fighters only real exclusive ability, and then makes it better. If Warblades are suppose to replace fighters in your campaign, fine, but if they both exist, let the fighter have his moment in the sun and cut this out of the Warblade. Or... if both exist, give it to the fighter as well.

Time to put this in the proper context!

Lets assume the e-mail is legit. Some of these changes that were proposed by Richard when he was asked in a d&d podcast (You May Already Be Playing 4th Edition) how he would bring tob more in line with 4E. Not 3.5, on which Pathfinder is based! That's all this is! It's not unofficial/official changes the author wanted to see for tob. Now let's look at the individual assertions.

1. No recharge mechanic. Specifically mentioned in the podcast as a way to 4eify (if you will) tob. No thank you! I like my 3.5/pathfinder separate from 4E. Sadly, in the podcast Rich doesn't even properly recall how the recharge mechanics work for the tob classes. Later Mearls clarifies tob maneuvers aren't per encounter powers.

2. Recovery mechanics the same for the three classes. Mearl's answers Rich's question and basically says they didn't want it for 4E because it complicates and doesn't add anything (I disagree. It makes perfect sense when looking at the classes maneuver progression, with a few execptions.). Rich agrees using the Crusader Warblade analogy.

3. This is never mentioned! I believe it to be total B.S. All Rich mentions is the Warblade being a tank! On other boards some have mentioned that thematically the Warblade's d12 doesn't make sense. It does! Where as a barbarian's d12 comes from a wild toughened body the warblade's comes from being like a spartan, totally focused on chiseling his body to be the perfect fighting machine.

4. Also never mentioned. Ah ze B.S. When it rains, it pours! I've never seen this ability steal a fighter's thunder or be overly useful to a warblade!

Posting this here for those who care and to hopefully end these rumors.


Quote:
Again, I believe there is a disparity, but making 3 or 4 classes that are just meant to make the core martials obsolete is not the route to go.

Well, frankly, considering I already believe fighters (and rogues and monks; paladins and barbarians at least are not at all threatened by this system IMO, magi and rangers are on the fence) are effectively obsolete within PF for all intents and purposes, it's not like they have far to go. Let's be blunt - if you give Fighters an archetype that gives them access to maneuvers, what's the effective difference between that and an actual Warblade*? Bravery? Armor/Weapon Training? A couple extra bonus feats? d10 vs. d12 HD? What of those would be swapped out for the things added by the archetype, and thus further narrow the differences? Less maneuvers to choose from, or less available readied? If so, why play the archetyped fighter at all? It'll still lag behind the Warblade anyway. If it's on-par, the differences are yet again slimmed, and the separation between the two once more blurred.

*: I use Warblade as the example because I've tried to do this. I wanted to bring ToB classes into PF as homebrewed archetypes. I quit the project before bringing it to the forum because trying to adapt the Fighter to Warblade just ended up producing a d10-HD Warblade with few to no Fighter abilities, and at that point why bother having an archetype? Fighter has very little (some might say nothing) to keep that would tempt someone into using it with some maneuver abilities bolted on over the Warblade class itself. Which makes sense, since Warblade was pretty obviously designed to replace Fighter.

To be honest, I really don't have the desire to pursue this discussion further - you're not the first person I've encountered on these forums who has a diametrically-opposed desire from me as to what we each want out of a product. So I'm just gonna let this lie and wander off now, and just keep tabs on this thread until Path of War comes out and proves one of us right and one of us wrong. If it's you, then this probably isn't the product for me, and I wish DSP luck with their project even if it's not something I desire. And I hope you'll do the same if it turns out the opposite.

Or heck, maybe once it comes out it'll miraculously be something both of us like.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Orthos wrote:
Quote:
Again, I believe there is a disparity, but making 3 or 4 classes that are just meant to make the core martials obsolete is not the route to go.

Well, frankly, considering I already believe fighters (and rogues and monks; paladins and barbarians at least are not at all threatened by this system IMO, magi and rangers are on the fence) are effectively obsolete within PF for all intents and purposes, it's not like they have far to go. Let's be blunt - if you give Fighters an archetype that gives them access to maneuvers, what's the effective difference between that and an actual Warblade*? Bravery? Armor/Weapon Training? A couple extra bonus feats? d10 vs. d12 HD? What of those would be swapped out for the things added by the archetype, and thus further narrow the differences? Less maneuvers to choose from, or less available readied? If so, why play the archetyped fighter at all? It'll still lag behind the Warblade anyway. If it's on-par, the differences are yet again slimmed, and the separation between the two once more blurred.

*: I use Warblade as the example because I've tried to do this. I wanted to bring ToB classes into PF as homebrewed archetypes. I quit the project before bringing it to the forum because trying to adapt the Fighter to Warblade just ended up producing a d10-HD Warblade with few to no Fighter abilities, and at that point why bother having an archetype? Fighter has very little (some might say nothing) to keep that would tempt someone into using it with some maneuver abilities bolted on over the Warblade class itself. Which makes sense, since Warblade was pretty obviously designed to replace Fighter.

To be honest, I really don't have the desire to pursue this discussion further - you're not the first person I've encountered on these forums who has a diametrically-opposed desire from me as to what we each want out of a product. So I'm just gonna let this lie and wander off now, and just keep tabs on this thread until Path of War comes out and proves one of us...

Actually I had considered doing something similar but the archetype being for Magus and it replacing Magus Arcanas wit Stances and maneuvers. That being said: Keep up the good work Dreamscarred Press! You guys do good work and a ToB conversion to Pathfinder is exactly something I'd love to see! Keep it as close as possible I say!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Per encounter--with the ability to recharge within an encounter--is vastly MORE realistic than any per-day system will ever be. In original ToB, the only class that was unlikely to use the same maneuver multiple times in an encounter was the swordsage--and he had so many maneuvers that if he needed to refresh, it meant a marathon combat was happening. No martial class could do the same move twice in a row, but Warblades and Crusaders were almost guaranteed to get access to the same maneuver twice in a combat. They never lose access to their signature moves, as a Barbarian can do with their rage, a Bard their ability to perform, or a Cavalier his ability to focus on a singular opponent. They're just not going to be able to spam the same thing over and over, which generally doesn't happen in either real martial arts, and especially not the stories ToB is trying to emulate.

It is slightly odd from an immersion standpoint that an initiator doesn't always have immediate access to every move he knows, but at a certain point, disbelief does have to be suspended--and again, with one feat, you can change the loadout completely in the space of 6 seconds, or a few minutes otherwise--taking a pause to refocus, perform a kata, or otherwise ingrain the maneuvers into reflex.


Quote:
Actually I had considered doing something similar but the archetype being for Magus and it replacing Magus Arcanas wit Stances and maneuvers.

That actually interests me. Would he retain spells? I'm now kind of curious what a combined partial-spellcaster/partial-maneuver user would look like. If you ever do anything with it do let me know =)

Sczarni

Giving core classes maneuver archetypes is silly, as you would run into the same issue that i brought up before (a few archetypes that make the basics obsolete). So the only logical solution is to make maneuvers as they exist (not changing the core system they use) into a class feature intrinsic and parallel to the BAB progression of martials. Now you have a system wide patch to the disparity. With this done, you can make a few archetipes for whatever class you like that encompasses the flavor of the ToB classes (such as the leadership and daring of the Warlord that is being playtested right now).

Wouldn't that be a way to appeal to those who do not want the core martials to be made obsolete as wll as those who desperately want to keep the ToB system?


At 8:00 am this morning, serendipity called.


Revan wrote:


It is slightly odd from an immersion standpoint that an initiator doesn't always have immediate access to every move he knows, but at a certain point, disbelief does have to be suspended--

Why does it have to be the same point for everyone? And why are you the final arbitrator about the issue?


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ErrantX, are you planning support for the mythic ruleset for Path of War?


Regarding the per encounter question and that such a thing does not exist in Pathfinder...

Inquisitor Judgement. Sure, it uses the word "until the end of the combat" but that is as wide and open as "per encounter".

Now, that said - this book is meant to be an extension of the Tome of Battle, and while we might explain a bit more what should define an "encounter", we'll probably not deviate from that mechanic.


That's a pity, but I guess you can't cater to everyone's tastes. And no, I don't think Judgments count, but ok, that's nitpicking. ;)

All the best with the new system, even if it probably won't work for me and my group. I probably will still check it out and see whether I can cool-downify it. :D

Liberty's Edge

Endzeitgeist wrote:

All the best with the new system, even if it probably won't work for me and my group. I probably will still check it out and see whether I can cool-downify it. :D

Odd given that you used Tome of Battle excessively.


Yeah, i did - but it came crashing and burning down with regards to the internal consistency, as I've tried to elaborate a couple of posts before this:

Endzeitgeist wrote:

What Kvantum said +1000. My issue is not that martial characters get cool toys on par with spells - it never was. That's in fact what I LOVED about Bo9S. That's why I used it extensively. But in the long run, "Per Encounter"-abilities BREAK my immersion - the abilities are not defined by the characters, but by arbitrarily constructed frameworks like what constitutes an encounter and what not.

Plus, per encounter abilities CAN actually be weaker than cooldowns. Think about it: Once the combat is done, the per encounter abilities refresh - nice. But when a martial artist is fighting e.g. in war over an extended period of time, when using cooldown, s/he can use the maneuvers multiple times instead of having to retreat from battle, wait and rejoin. Another example that I find jarring about "per encounter" is the following:

PCs defeat foes xyz - and just as the last foe falls, more break through the door. Same encounter? New one? Casters could continue casting... The boundaries of what constitutes "encounters" range from short bouts to epic conflicts and thus, as a mechanic to define when any ability can be used, FAIL. And think about the poor character: So s/he can use his maneuvers as often as s/he likes if the battles are short, but as soon as one prolonged combat hits, they start running out of maneuvers, even though the combined duration of the short combats may exceed the one of the lengthy one? To me, this makes zero sense and should result in a lot of confusion in-game. And yes, I had that happen - and it was a frustrating experience both for the player in question and me and ultimately is the reason why I haven't allowed Bo9S in PFRPG - not due to the rules (I can handle conversions), but to the fact that even within a world where PCs can survive immersion in lava, the framework used to limit BO9S powers makes no sense.

By instead going for a cooldown ability (not one general one, but one for each maneuver), one would make martial artists CLOSER to casters while still keeping them different AND enforce PLANNING and STRATEGY on part of the martial characters - they have to manage their maneuver-resources. In my book, that's a GOOD thing.

And then there's the rule-aesthetic side: There are no per encounter abilities in PFRPG. None. That's one of the reasons I do not play 4th ed.

There are a plethora of cooldown abilities, most iconic a dragon's breath. Personally, I'd prefer a system that seamlessly integrates with the existing rules-canon to one that requires tacking on a new concept, especially one as problematic in its definition and in-character repercussions as "per encounter". If you think about it, even if you are an advocate of "per encounter", you'd probably have to concede that a cooldown mechanic would be less metagamey, as it is not based on an arbitrary boundary between combat and non-combat.

So yeah, that's my little manifesto in favor of cooldown.
Cheers!

Hope that clears up what I was getting at. Again, not tyring to bash anything, just stating my opinion - if you have a different one, that's fine by me - more power to you! My gripe lies not with Bo9S or any related concept - I just don't think per-encounter abilities make any sense.

Your mileage may vary, of course - and I wish this system all the best and may even review it on its own benefits without taking this pet-peeve of mine into account - for me as a private person, though, I'll have to modify it.

Hope that clarifies it! All the best to the DSP-crew and ErrantX for giving these a shot! I'm confident you'll create a balanced, fun system.


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Stormhierta wrote:
Regarding the per encounter question and that such a thing does not exist in Pathfinder...

My response to this question is 'so what'?

Just because it doesn't exist in the game NOW doesn't mean it can't ever or shouldn't ever be in the game. And your individual table is as free to ignore this book as it is to ignore anything, in any book, including the core materials.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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So, a note on the current Maneuver system and its playability, at least as regards the Warlord-

I had the opportunity to playtest the Warlord in our weekly game and I was really impressed by the balance of the class.

I made a ranged Warlord, focused almost exclusively on the Golden Lion and Solar Wind disciplines.

I focused largely on Boosts and Counters, with a few key Strikes for when the situation was right.

Much of the combat involved me holding my Stance of Piercing rays for bonus damage on normal ranged full attacks, while using abilities like Intercepting Shade and Warning Roar to negate attacks against our tank and caster during the off round.

I found that of my 6 readied maneuvers, the non-standard action ones actually tended to be the most valuable, and the ones I was most eager to replace. Few encounters actually required me to recharge my maneuvers, but during our last encounter (which was actually 3 encounters we inadvertently pulled together) the combat actually ran for over 12 rounds. I found myself going through a rotation where about every 3rd or 4th round I was using my Deadeye Gambit in a desperate flurry to try and recover as many maneuvers as I could. Fortunately, 3 chances to land a shot were fairly reasonable odds, even with the -6 to attack I was taking (-2 for Rapid Shot, -4 for trying to recover 3 maneuvers with the Gambit). I only ended up failing to recover my maneuvers once, and since I couldn't full attack the next round due to the Rake from Deadeye, I spent a full-round action the next round regaining my most powerful Strike (Solar Reflection), and used that the next round to ping the BBEG and drop a lesser ghoul.

Overall, I think I was a bit behind the party tank (TWF, sword-and-board Viking) in damage, but my counters helped a fair number of attacks allowing us to conserve our (very) meager healing supplies. The combination of Counters and utilizing my Warleader ability to share Enfilading Fire (allowing me to gain extra attacks off of our wizards ranged attacks) did a fantastic job of keeping me engaged throughout the entire extended combat, and I felt like I was always poised to do something. The desperation of using the Gambits to recover my powers was actually an awesome experience, as they really did feel like desperate gambits, hail mary attempts to pull my character back into full fighting efficiency.

All in all, I'm very impressed with the current result, and looking forward to playing this class some more :)


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Ssalarn, you seriously just made my day. Like, all fuzzy happy with joy to see this post. Thank you!

I'm not done with tweaks for gambits, I think that's where I need to focus on with the class for my immediate future. I'm also going through and finding just the dumb little mistakes I've made on my journey insofar as typos or word omissions, etc. Once I get a version of Warlord up that, while opinion may not 100% support, people can at least universally nod their head to and say, "yeah, that's pretty sharp." I will be able to move to the next playtest bundle and introduce some more new mechanics to you all.

As far as changing the overall rules of initiating maneuvers and how their working, you heard it from Stormhierta/Andreas right there, so at least for the foreseeable future we're going with what we know and not reinventing the wheel. In the future there might be variants or something, but we'll see when we get there.

Regards,
Chris / ErrantX
Lead Designer for Path of War
by Dreamscarred Press


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What about using a point system, like the Spellpoint system Super Genius Games put out a few months back? It allows the use of the same spells at increasing difficulties in some cases, and maneuvers could be done this way, for example. It's a versatile, flexible system and one that would work well with PoW, I think.

My 2 cents.


I hope dreamscarred does a better job the wotc on the feel of the book. I really think Mundane and magical schools need to be clearly separated. Also I hope the book does not come off as heavily Wuxa as the Bo9s


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The Wuxia feel is what I loved about it.


Yet it pigeon holed it hard and heavy. Itbecame known as an "Asian" magical fighting styles book. Does not matter if it was, it was how it became perceived. The art did not help the matter.


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The more I hear about TBo9S the more I want it!!!

Regardless of it's bygone ruleset, mechanical shortcomings it sounds full of great concepts and art.


Pathfinder LO Special Edition Subscriber

Wow. Definitely intrigued. Not sure how I kept missing this.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit biased against the To9S. That said, I did like the idea behind it and what it was trying to achieve. I didn't like that it basically made several classes superfulous and outright worse options in comparison to them.

My first and only real encounter with it was a single player using one class from it by DM permission, the rest of us using the regular 3.5 stuff and...well the net result was the rest of us might as well sat around playing cards while he mopped up combats. So I'm a little tenative when anyone compares something to it.

With all that said, how do you (ErrantX or whoever else that is a part of this that wants to chime in) see this fitting in with the existing Pathfinder classes and rules? Should these classes replace certain others? Or is the goal to add more options that can be played along what is already existing?

I want to see this succeed and will be wishing you all the best. Big fan of the psionic stuff Dreamscarred did so expect me to be watching this closely.


Aleron, we've found that the Pathfinder upgrades put most classes on par with ToB/Bo9S.

The major issues were; updating the skills, dealing with Concentration as a skill (we replaced it with Martial Lore), dealing with the few insta-kill maneuvers (not much of a problem since we rarely got high enough level to use them), and deciding just what Iron Heart Surge affected (nice ability, poor description).

I'd actually been considering converting the ToB/Bo9S classes to Mythic Paths once the Mythic rules were out.

Frankly, ErrantX, if you set up an option for Mythic Paths with the maneuvers, I'd buy it just for that. [I'm going to get it anyway, but still... ;)]


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Spiral_Ninja wrote:
dealing with Concentration as a skill (we replaced it with Martial Lore)

We use the Autohypnosis skill, from the psionic books. Thought it fit the same "theme" as Concentration, as well as giving someone other than psions a reason to put ranks in it.


Orthos wrote:
Spiral_Ninja wrote:
dealing with Concentration as a skill (we replaced it with Martial Lore)
We use the Autohypnosis skill, from the psionic books. Thought it fit the same "theme" as Concentration, as well as giving someone other than psions a reason to put ranks in it.

Oooo, I like that idea, too!


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
The Wuxia feel is what I loved about it.

I never got a Wire-Fu feel from the book at all.

Where the characters shouting out the names of the maneuvers or something? That's on them. If you don't shout 'Power Attack' or 'Bull Rush' normally, there's no reason to do so with a martial adept.


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Aleron wrote:

Wow. Definitely intrigued. Not sure how I kept missing this.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit biased against the To9S. That said, I did like the idea behind it and what it was trying to achieve. I didn't like that it basically made several classes superfulous and outright worse options in comparison to them.

Except this was already the case. The cleric, druid, and wizard made everybody else superfluous from day 1. Every other class was an outright worse option.

Sczarni

Zhayne wrote:
Aleron wrote:

Wow. Definitely intrigued. Not sure how I kept missing this.

I'll admit it, I'm a bit biased against the To9S. That said, I did like the idea behind it and what it was trying to achieve. I didn't like that it basically made several classes superfulous and outright worse options in comparison to them.

Except this was already the case. The cleric, druid, and wizard made everybody else superfluous from day 1. Every other class was an outright worse option.

This right here is he problem. As other people also mentioned before, for them, most martial classes are already obsolete and pointless. This means that for them initiators will only be good when they make every other martial class obsolete. Which is a bad design goal.

Right now as far as the first playtest document goes, the warlord is pretty damn powerful. It is far stronger and more versatile than most martials (except maybe pouncing barbarians or paladins of vengeance while facing evil outsiders). This could of course be corrected, except for the fact that such level of power is a design goal of the project.


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I agree, that's not good, but it's painfully clear that PF is not going to lay a nerf smackdown on the casters, no matter how much they need it. So the only ways to get the martials even within Tom Brady pass range of the casters is either:
1. A massive errata that would re-write the martial classes (and possibly half of the book in general) from the ground up, or
2. Creating new classes that effectively obsolete the old ones,or
3. A new edition.

Paizo Employee Design Manager

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Frerezar wrote:

This right here is he problem. As other people also mentioned before, for them, most martial classes are already obsolete and pointless. This means that for them initiators will only be good when they make every other martial class obsolete. Which is a bad design goal.

Right now as far as the first playtest document goes, the warlord is pretty damn powerful. It is far stronger and more versatile than most martials (except maybe pouncing barbarians or paladins of vengeance while facing evil outsiders). This could of course be corrected, except for the fact that such level of power is a design goal of the project.

Have you actually playtested the Warlord, or is this all theorycraft forged from an inherited dislike of the system?

I ask because I actually have been playtesting the Warlord in our RotRL campaign, and I've actually seen how it stacks up against other classes. Our party consists of a Fighter (Viking), a Rogue, a Cleric (Crusader), a Wizard (Elemental-Void), and a ranged Warlord utilizing the Golden Lion and Solar Wind schools. Thus far, the Warlord has yet to outdamage the half-orc Viking in an encounter, and even the Rogue usually manages to at least match the Warlord, often far outstripping him in scenarios where he can move in and get consistent sneak attacks. At 6th level, the Rogue's 3d6 sneak attack is worth more than the Warlord is able to bring to bear more than a couple of times per encounter, and about as consistent overall.
The Warlord does benefit from a certain increased action economy in that he can maintain a certain level of damage even when moving, but this is typically just enabling him to keep pace with the harder hitting characters. His big benefit is in his utility, being able to use his Counters to potentially negate attacks on his allies. Even these need to be regained after use by taking a full round to recover a single maneuver or utilizing risky Gambits to try and recharge them.
Typically these Gambits, lacking the extra oomph of Rage or Weapon Training, are noticeably less effective than the attacks being made by pure martial counterparts, and so not only do they mark a dip in the effectiveness and damage output of the Warlord, but sometimes they don't even work, imposing further penalties.

The Warlord is most comparable to the Cavalier, but again, it's his unique utility that makes the difference. With the Cavalier's large static bonuses in melee, Challenge damage, and the ability to full attack from ranged while moving right from level 1, If the Warlord didn't have unique tricks like boosts and counters, he'd be largely outclassed.

Eventually the Warlord gains some cool AOE effects that are similar to what a caster can accomplish, but he's definitely still both
a) a martial character
and
b) occupying a unique niche that can fill in but certainly not replace the core classes.

Liberty's Edge

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You can please some of the people all of the time, but you'll never get some of the people to not hate on a project because the project isn't being done the way they want it to be done.


Zhayne wrote:

I agree, that's not good, but it's painfully clear that PF is not going to lay a nerf smackdown on the casters, no matter how much they need it. So the only ways to get the martials even within Tom Brady pass range of the casters is either:

1. A massive errata that would re-write the martial classes (and possibly half of the book in general) from the ground up, or
2. Creating new classes that effectively obsolete the old ones,or
3. A new edition.

I think there is a 4th option. Provide a low cost entry point for all martial classes that brings them in line with the new classes, one that operates along side existing abilities. IE, make an option to simply add initiator levels to any class that doesnt have spellcasting that is behind the progression of something like the warlord, but still significant without having to trade out significant abilities of the old class. Then do an even more reduced version for the 4 level spell casters.

Liberty's Edge

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Kolokotroni wrote:
Zhayne wrote:

I agree, that's not good, but it's painfully clear that PF is not going to lay a nerf smackdown on the casters, no matter how much they need it. So the only ways to get the martials even within Tom Brady pass range of the casters is either:

1. A massive errata that would re-write the martial classes (and possibly half of the book in general) from the ground up, or
2. Creating new classes that effectively obsolete the old ones,or
3. A new edition.
I think there is a 4th option. Provide a low cost entry point for all martial classes that brings them in line with the new classes, one that operates along side existing abilities. IE, make an option to simply add initiator levels to any class that doesnt have spellcasting that is behind the progression of something like the warlord, but still significant without having to trade out significant abilities of the old class. Then do an even more reduced version for the 4 level spell casters.

How is that functionally different than a massive errata?

Paizo Employee Design Manager

Kolokotroni wrote:
I think there is a 4th option. Provide a low cost entry point for all martial classes that brings them in line with the new classes, one that operates along side existing abilities. IE, make an option to simply add initiator levels to any class that doesnt have spellcasting that is behind the progression of something like the warlord, but still significant without having to trade out significant abilities of the old class. Then do an even more reduced version for the 4 level spell casters.

That existed in Bo9S and appears that it will exist here as well. Martial levels typically count as 1/2 maneuver levels, and characters can spend feats on things like (not sure if they're calling it the same thing) Martial Training to gain limited access to Stances and feats. Frankly, I'm more concerned that giving the standard classes even limited access to martial maneuvers will push them well beyond the performace level of the normal initiators than I am that initiator classes will invalidate the current martial classes. People are reliving nightmares caused by issues that Pathfinder has long since solved. Bo9S came out at time where dead levels still existed, and Fighters didn't get weapon and armor training, and barbarians didn't have Rage powers. This is a new and very different world, and initiator classes can take a place here without stepping on the existing martial classes.


ShadowcatX wrote:
Kolokotroni wrote:
Zhayne wrote:

I agree, that's not good, but it's painfully clear that PF is not going to lay a nerf smackdown on the casters, no matter how much they need it. So the only ways to get the martials even within Tom Brady pass range of the casters is either:

1. A massive errata that would re-write the martial classes (and possibly half of the book in general) from the ground up, or
2. Creating new classes that effectively obsolete the old ones,or
3. A new edition.
I think there is a 4th option. Provide a low cost entry point for all martial classes that brings them in line with the new classes, one that operates along side existing abilities. IE, make an option to simply add initiator levels to any class that doesnt have spellcasting that is behind the progression of something like the warlord, but still significant without having to trade out significant abilities of the old class. Then do an even more reduced version for the 4 level spell casters.
How is that functionally different than a massive errata?

Because you are adding, not re-writing. You are not changing existing abilities, just adding to it so that they can hold there own in the world that includes the dedicated initiators and spellcasters.

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