Slayer Discussion


Class Discussion

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The Slayer seems like it's very aptly named. It slays things. I would definitely like to see trapfinding appear in more contexts, but I don't think Slayer necessarily demands it, or 6+ skill points. Yes, his parent classes have those things, but he's trading those things in for the combat power he possesses. Give him 6+ and trapfinding, and I'd be hardpressed to come up with a reason to play Rogue again. Not that, you know, I wasn't before.

What irks me about the class mechanically is basically as follows:
-the talent list is both short and weak. At least let us have 2 combat trick/feat talents. 1 probably isn't enough given how lackluster the list is. At this point, I feel like feats are better than talents, and that's a funny feeling to have. Or just give us access to better native talents, or even limited access to rogue talents.
-The way the class is set up lends itself very well to archery. Archery lends itself terribly to sneak attacking. Slayer class features have the opposite of synergy, basically. How about a balanced option for gaining semi-reliable ranged sneak attack somewhere in there? Or else make Favored Target swift from the start and give it some other balancing drawback. A knowledge check, uses/day, whatever. Just let me do it swift.

I support the choice of Int as an ability stat, because high int will give more skill points, which will fix some of what people perceive to be a problem. Wis...stops him from being dominated and killing his party. I just see Slayers as more intellectual killers, and less holy assassins.

I think the class does great as a tracker/assassin. I don't think it needs built-in nature flavor as suggested by free terrain mastery, etc.

Some native invisibility mechanism would rule.

That's all I got for now.


havoc xiii wrote:

The slayer can at 10 level activate favored target as a swift action.

Playtest wrote:

At 10th level, the slayer can study an opponent as a

move or swift action.

That's not a very good compromise though. Bards have to wait a while to get their handy bonus up as a swift, but that's a bonus to the entire party against everything in the fight. This is a (very modest compared to say, smite) bonus granted only to the user, which only applies to a single target at a time (until higher levels), so I don't really see when it would ever be worth giving up half your turn for from levels 6-9. From 1-5 a move action isn't such a big deal, but still, long wait for effective utility.

Plus when you hit level 10, the whole thematic "study your opponent" angle falls out as it stands. With those alternate qualification methods, you'd keep it, and with the knowledge check one in particular, you'd consistently auto-pass around that level anyway.


I'm loving this class. I feel like I've tried to make this character many times where it never quite worked, so bravo.

I will say, I'm glad it only has 4 skill points. One of the biggest dangers is how much potential this has to invalidate the Rogue. The Rogue already lost out big time in Pathfinder thanks to the skill system no longer being so byzantine. With no cross-class ranks and everyone able to deal with traps, the Rogue lost a ton of it's niche from 3.5. So other than it's skill points and trap finding expertise, what does it have? Sneak Attack, Talents, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge.

So the Slayer gets the first two in some capacity, and the second two aren't huge (you get them at around 2nd-4th level in other classes). The point being that the Slayer has a very real chance at just stepping all over the Rogue's toes. It's designed to be better in melee, but thanks to the forgiving skill system, any class can do its speciality if the designers aren't to careful.

I also love the subtle design choice in prioritizing Intelligence as a potential secondary stat. It fits the flavor perfectly and I've always longed for a melee class that cared about Int. With the class skill list and starting at 4, it open the door to builds that have good intelligence allowing for a particularly skillful combatant, as well as synergizing with the assassinate talent and the Capstone.

One nitpick, getting a bonus on Bluff from Favored Target but not having it be a class skill is weird and unintuitive.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like Uncanny Dodge would be a more useful feature than Trap Finding, representing that at a certain point in it's career, a Slayer learns to expect things to rush him at any time.


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I am curious why this class would bother with a medium armor proficiency.
Sure, the ranger gets it, but the slayer is all about range, sneak attacks, stealth, and all the other rogue like goodies.

Just a personal nitpick, I just think it goes against the fluff of the class that a sneaky sniper type would be wearing something like breastplate.


Considering the background behind the class it seems strange the class has only limited knowledge skills to help it identify weakness's of certain creatures, surely it should have access to any knowledge skill that can help it identify its quarry's weakness's and abilities?


Initial (non-playtested) thoughts:

With the slayer and the investigator as real classes, Paizo please don't feel like you need to keep any rogue class themes/abilities sacrosanct. I'd be more than happy to coup de grâce the rogue class and loot all its stuff. (Slayer Merisiel would be very scary.)

  • Please let the slayer have access to all the rogue talents and add trapfinding & trap sense as "new" rogue talents; it would also allow rogues that gave them up for an archetype to get them back. It also eliminates the headache of trying to keep separate slayer and rogue lists.

  • While we're at it, please let them pick from a select number of thematic feats as slayer talents, similar to the list from the Spell-less Ranger.

  • +1ing the bump the skill points to 6 per level and please add back in Bluff & Disable Device.

  • Maybe replace track without something like:
    Quote:
    Dangerous Game* (Ex): The slayer is trained in tracking and capturing thinking prey. She adds half her slayer level to Knowledge checks to identify her favored target's abilities and weaknesses, and Diplomacy checks to gather information about her prey's whereabouts. She also adds this bonus to Survival checks to follow her prey in urban and dungeon terrain. (inspired by Thief-Taker ability in More Rogue Talents)
  • Please give some consideration to replacing sneak attack (highly situational, high damage) with a lesser form (say half the circumstance bonus) of the excellent Opportunities Aplenty ability (more frequent, less but still decent damage) from the Vicious Opportunist archetype.

  • I think the slayer (like the barbarian) could greatly benefit from Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge. Maybe offer them at 4th and 8th level as slayer talents? Maybe drop the slayer's medium armor proficiency to help balance it out?

This class is my favorite of all the new classes, followed by the bloodrager and investigator, and then the swashbuckler.


It does seem odd that a hybrid between ranger and rogue would have less skill points than either of the two parent classes, doesn't it?


Hmmm... not too sure about that one... First, they listed Sneak attack twice XD. Second, how about a talent, or regular feature for the sneak attack, that would make it deal double damage to its favored target? 6d6 looks pretty weak IMO.


If we remove the first Sneak Attack paragraph, then that also removes the "If a slayer gets sneak attack from another source, the bonuses on damage stack" sentence.

Should that be added back in when removing the first paragraph?

Shadow Lodge

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Slayer talents are... Scarce. I would definitely appreciate more of them, especially since a few would be banned in Society play (firearm/grit)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
vuron wrote:
Slayer capstone is garbage due to the general unlikelihood of a high CR opponent actually failing a Fort save effect vs a typical Slayer. I understand that's the standard Save DC formula but Fort is like the worst possible save to target and there really aren't a large number of ways to boost save DC on a martial character

One, calling something "garbage" isn't productive. Like it says in the very first post in this thread, "Keep it civil and polite folks."

Two, the slayer capstone ability is essentially the same as the ranger's capstone ability, and we can give any of these classes a capstone that's clearly better than any of the existing capstone abilities.

vuron wrote:
and Int isn't exactly going to be the primary stat for the slayer.
True. Perhaps Wis would be a better stat for that.

Personally I think it would be a good idea to have this class's abilities based on Int due to it only having +4 skill per level. Also trap finding would be nice and flavorful.

Ill be playtesting in pfs and coming back with more feedback.

Silver Crusade

Something to think about Favored Target and Studying, increase the bonuses Studying gives you, but when choosing to study multiple targets have the bonuses be split between them, showcasing the Slayer focusing its entire attention on one creature or having to split its focus between multiple targets.


Was hoping for some kind of skirmishing with this class, like the scout.

I like the theme though, I'm not fussed about the skill points, but extra talents would be good (doesn't over power any particular character, just increases options).


Generally liking this a lot.

The lack of trapfinding stuff makes me sad; but I'm not worried about it, because it's a prime candidate for an archetype. Maybe something like:

Gain trapfinding at level 1; lose track.
Gain uncanny dodge at level 4; lose swift tracker.
Gain improved uncanny dodge at level 8; lose slayer's advance.

Silver Crusade

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i don't think the slayer needs trapfinding. I don't think it fits it's theme at all

Dark Archive

Does the Slayer make for a better shooter than the Gunslinger now?


Captain K. wrote:
Does the Slayer make for a better shooter than the Gunslinger now?

I dunno. Gunslingers have gun training and the ability to target touch ac so they have that going for them.


+1 to trapfinding and disable device.

Please get rid of sneak attack. Let that be the rogues thing. Instead, give it some damage boost or status infliction that is unique to the slayer and can work well with ranged attacks.

Shadow Lodge

I think the slayer either needs the ability to poach off the rogue's talent list, or needs some more abilities to do stuff to sneak attack. Because he has one. At least give him the bleed one!


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rpewin01 wrote:

+1 to trapfinding and disable device.

Please get rid of sneak attack. Let that be the rogues thing. Instead, give it some damage boost or status infliction that is unique to the slayer and can work well with ranged attacks.

-1 to trapfinding and disable device.

My take on this class is a non-evil assassin type. He is out for the kill. Doesn't need the trapfinding, etc. But the sneak attack is just fine.

-- david


I suppose a way around disabling traps is to stalk and stake out your prey, waiting for them to leave their domicile and sneak attacking them when they come out.

As someone who likes playing rangers, I have thought through this a lot.


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The underlying concept of the Slayer (at least, as it seems to me) is that the "target" will, more often than not, be sentient. And that makes the Slayer a very distinctive and interesting type compared to the beast- and ooze-fighting ranger.

With that in mind, I would like to see the Slayer have optional access to trapfinding as one of its talents. Getting into your target's hideout when they know you're coming and have set up defenses fits very well with the manhunter theme, but making it one talent choice out of many means the Slayer isn't always/automatically an assassin.

In a similar vein, if the Slayer is supposed to have infiltration capability as his access to Disguise suggests, I think he should have Bluff as a class skill too. It doesn't help to dress like a guard or servant if you can't pass as a guard or servant.


I agree that the low skill points in a Rogue/Ranger hybrid seem out of place. Otherwise than that, the class looks really well done.


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Please do NOT add disable device to this class! But bluff SHOULD be added to the skill list. I think basing the Slayer's abilities off of Intelligence and giving him some ability to make monster checks untrained would make up for having less skill ranks. It would be cool if the Slayer had to identify his target's weaknesses as a swift action in order to utilize his favored target ability, also like the idea of having to split the bonuses between targets later on.


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We don't need another Wisdom based class like the ranger, inquisitor, or hunter, Intelligence will help the Slayer stand out and bolster his assassin likeness.


Snakey wrote:

We don't need another Wisdom based class like the ranger, inquisitor, or hunter, Intelligence will help the Slayer stand out and bolster his assassin likeness.

Pick Int or Wis when you get there (this might help with customization)?


You know, I have to say I like the comparisons with Investigator, being as how they're half brothers. What I don't like are the suggestions for Sneak Attack to become something else. Let's take a ranger and see how he compares to the slayer:

-Loses casting entirely
-loses skill points
-loses half of FE and its limitations, but gain the move action requirement until level 10
-loses combat styles
-loses animal companion
+gain ~2/3rds Sneak Attack progression (60% by level 20)
+gain slayer talents

As someone else mentioned in either this or the Investigator thread, the devs seem to highly value Sneak Attack. So when I ask myself, "Why would I play this over a Ranger?" the answer is pretty much always "sneak attack. I guess", unless I'm just feeling tingly over single-minded killers.

Basically, if you take away or diminish SA further while compensating with more skills or talents, you have either a bad Ranger or a bad Investigator, depending on whether you favor martial stats or skills and SA for your hybrid. There's already an argument you can make that the Slayer is a bad Investigator.

Consider that going from Slayer to Investigator:
-loses one step on his HD
-loses a quarter BAB
-loses medium armor
-loses favored target
+gains trapfinding
+gains class skills and ranks/level
+gains full alchemist casting
+gains inspiration
+gains a more robust talent list

The trouble with Slayer, as I see it at the moment, is martial classes are usually made out of a few things: good HD, full BAB, miscellaneous class perks, and bonus feats. A Slayer can eke out 2 bonus feats by level 10, and no more.

If you're trying to make an archer Slayer, consider throwing in ways to get one or two more bonus feats (even if it's just Combat Trick 2) and maybe a way to get Improved Precise Shot at all.

If you want the Slayer to be more melee focused, I still think it needs something to be competitive with a Vivisectionist with mutagens besides PFS legality. Bonus feats, swift targeting from level 1, I don't know. I just don't think the armor prof, full BAB, superior HD, and Target outweigh full alchemist casting, full discoveries, full SA, and mutagens. Vivisectionist Hyde is a scary beast in combat, yes, but that's kind of what the Slayer has to compete with.

+1 for adding Bluff or he just doesn't work as an infiltrator at all.


Quick question on this: is the Slayer's Sneak Attack meant to not have the remaining weaknesses of Sneak Attack? I mean to say, does it still work on creatures normally immune to precision damage due to the mix with ranger or does it work like normal?

I can deal with the currently diminished Sneak Attack damage if it's totally consistent in stopping threats. That justifies the 2/3 progression beyond having full BAB. If I'm playing a Slayer who chooses constructs as a favored enemy, I'd kinda like to know that I understand the weakest points in their construction.


I believe the intent, based on my reading, is for Favored Target to not be precision based damage but generally applicable like Favored Enemy, but for their Sneak Attack to be "as the rogue ability", and thus you can't SA anything a rogue can't.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Does anyone have a hard time comparing the ability of the slayer to the freebooter archetype ranger that can do basically the same thing but everyone in the group gets the bonuses just not the slayer?


No? That sounds a bit flippant, but Freebooter's Bane never becomes swift. I can easily see Favored Target being superior in a caster heavy group. I can also see Freebooters still well-liked in their martial heavy groups.

Also, bear in mind that Bane is a straight up trade for FE (mandatorily paired with trading Bond for the Freebooter Bond), where trading Ranger for Slayer is a huge, complex package deal.


Last night I played a Level 1 Elven Slayer with a 15 point buy.
Dex was good, str, int and wis were ok, and con and cha were poor.

We completed a 6 room dungeon in the city's sewers facing ratfolk, dire rats, and ratfolk zombies.

I liked the favoures target ability.
It was more versatile than the rangers FE as I was able to utalise it against a variety of foes.

The hit to the action economy didn't bother me too much as I simply switched to range. With anything that required melee I just waited till the second round to activate it.

Next week I'll take the slayer to lvl 7 and try out the more advanced abilities

Liberty's Edge

Agreed on Bluff. Must have been a simple oversight. Seriously, so far, this may end up being not my favourite new class, but my favorite, period.


My initial thoughts on the class are pretty similar to the general consensus: Really low skill points for a Ranger/Rogue mix. I'll agree that Bluff is an absolute must, but Disable Device less so.

When I'm thinking the flavor of this class, my mind immediately conjures up the Wetboy as presented in the Night Angels. A methodical killer who isn't an assassin, someone who plans out an execution and leaves little evidence. Assassins leave ancillary casualties when they try to escape.

That being said, I think expanding the list of talents available to the Slayer (especially including Ninja Tricks or Rogue Talents as Advanced Talents) would be a solid way to go, after bumping skill points up to at least match the Ranger.

Of all the hybrids I've gotten a chance to look at, this is one of two that I'm actually jonesing to play.

Shadow Lodge

One thing that annoyed me was the fact that there is only one talent that modifies sneak attack.


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Love love love this class.

Only thing I can add right now is that if the skills stay at 4+int mod per level, then maybe keeping the capstone fed with int wouldn't be so bad, since it'd make int useful for a couple things, and thereby given a second look at character creation.

Liberty's Edge

Just wondering... it's a move action to set up a favored target...drawing a weapon, as a few other select move actions can be combined with actual movement. What about favored target, and if not...why not?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Initial $0.02: I'd like to see the Slayer get 6 skill points a level, too. I'd also like to see Uncanny Dodge as a talent.

On the other hand, I don't think Trapfinding is necessary for a base slayer; they are killers, not looters. However, a trapmaking & disabling slayer archetype would be awesome. It might be doable as a set of talents, but the traps would probably have to be pretty weak. I think a full-out archetype could be interesting, focusing on laying traps and ambushes rather than killing in simple fights.


I made a Slayer last night for our Playtest and wanted to share my impressions.

-We used 15 point buy. I went with Elf, and wanted to make her an assassin that only targets those who have violated her personal laws. I made her Lawful Neutral with a very dark bend to her.

-First and foremost, I wanted more skills. I actually chose skills based on 6+Int, assuming that it would be that at a minimum given it was based on Rogue and Ranger. I think 6+Int would be sufficient, but less was rough.

-Very glad to hear about the hit die clarification. I was worried about my fragile little glass cannon.

-I really liked Favored Target. I imagined her raising her head as she eyed her target before disappearing into a crowd to set up her perfect shot. I could imagine it being a little bit slow in combat, but I actually think it fits - and solves the issue of Favored Enemies not coming up, or rare in a campaign. I'm excited to try it out in actual combat to see how slow I feel.

-I didn't feel like there was a lot more to it than just a combination of the two classes abilities, but I think it worked pretty well. I think as I level her up, I might want to see more unique abilities, but for now I didn't have many complaints.


I really like the idea behind the Slayer.

Favored Target it great, but I agree with the suggestion of adding Combat Style. I'd also really like to see the Slayer get some unique talents.


Jaunt wrote:


If you're trying to make an archer Slayer, consider throwing in ways to get one or two more bonus feats (even if it's just Combat Trick 2) and maybe a way to get Improved Precise Shot at all.

If you want the Slayer to be more melee focused, I still think it needs something to be competitive with a Vivisectionist with mutagens besides PFS legality. Bonus feats, swift targeting from level 1, I don't...

May I plug my earlier post?

Davick wrote:


Suggestion: New Slayer Talent: Slayer Combat Style Talent. Can be taken multiple times to gain a feat from a chosen ranger combat style.

Must have to select Improved Combat Style Talent which would open up the 6th level feats.

Must have at least one of each to get Advanced talent: Greater Combat Style Talent which would open up the 11th level combat style feats.


Again, I just want to throw out that Sneak Attack is being way over-valued in these class builds. It is really really not that good.

Its a problem for the rogue, its a problem for the Slayer

Vivisectionist trades bombs for SA, and as a rogue (ad paarticularly as an investigator) I would gladly trade the opposite way for a lot of builds.

Without a serious feat investment sneak attack is useless.

You very much have to wrap your whole playstyle around sneak attack or it becomes a non-feature. And that is a problem. It can be good if you DO wrap your character around it, but it is very limiting.


I’m not being snarky here but there are three classes I feel are a bit problematic.

One of them is the Slayer.

Here are my thoughts/questions.

  • What is the purpose with this class?
  • What is its role? With S/A it really isn't a good Archer. Medium armor but no spells (such as Barkskin) so not really good as a Tank. No trap finding, so it really isn't good as a scout and trap expert.
  • What can this class to that the Guide (Ranger Archetype) can’t do?
    - The Guide can use wand and spells. That certainly adds to versatility. And a core ranger can use Instant Enemy to target any foe as a “Slayer”.

    Some thoughts for food:

    Before the ACG we had the following roles covered:

  • 3 Full arcane casters
  • 3 Full divine casters
  • 6 Full BAB classes (4 of them with heavy armor)
  • +5 skill monkey classes (At least 6 skills per level: Rogue, Ranger, Ninja, Bard, Investor + classes that rely on Int: Alchemist, Magus, Witch, Wizard)
  • 5 hybrid classes with 6/9 casting (Bard, Magus, Inquisitor, Alchemist, Summoner)
  • Only 1 trap expert class (The rogue)

    Now if a party needs a full Arcane casters, a full divine castes, a full BAB class with heavy armor and a trap expert, all roles except the trap expert could be filled by at least 3 different classes.

    If our GM tells us: You need one Arcane caster and one Divine casters. At least one has to be a full caster, the other can be a 6/9 caster. You also need a tank/full BAB class and a Scou/trap expert and you need someone that can be a party face and a skill monkey.

    The combination of classes are endless except for the trap Expert. We just have the rogue. True, there are archetypes such as The Urban ranger, the archaeologist, etc that can deal with magical traps, but if we look at the vanilla classes there is only one class. One choice only. All other roles can be covered by at least 3 different options.

    With a new full arcane class and a new Divine full caster all roles, except the Trap Expert, can be filled by at least 4 classes.

    Please give players more options and don’t let a role that needs to be covered force them to play the rogue. True we now get the wonderful Investigator that can fill the role of the Trap Expert, but that isn’t enough.

    You can make some changes to the class, but my wish is that there should be at least 4 classes that get trapfinding. Rogue, Investigator and Slayer. I wouldn’t mind if the Swashbuckler got it to. (Even if Swashbuckler is a cool class it is a bit like the Monk. What role is supposed to fill?).

  • Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

    If you give the swashbuckler trapfinding and disable device you should give in an extra ability like using his weapon to disable the device, just for more ... panache.


    I'd say the purpose of a slayer is to be a skirmisher and scout. The abilities combine the best aspects of both classes to make the slayer good at those roles. For scouting you have a rangers tracking plus rouge talents that lend to sneaking such as fast stealth and camouflage. For skirmishing you get favored enemy, sneak attack, d10 hit die, and full BAB.

    I like to take advantage of SA by taking skill focus (bluff), combat expertise, and improved feint.

    Silver Crusade

    Taenia wrote:
    If you give the swashbuckler trapfinding and disable device you should give in an extra ability like using his weapon to disable the device, just for more ... panache.

    I think you might be in the wrong thread :3


    AnCapBrony wrote:

    I'd say the purpose of a slayer is to be a skirmisher and scout. The abilities combine the best aspects of both classes to make the slayer good at those roles. For scouting you have a rangers tracking plus rouge talents that lend to sneaking such as fast stealth and camouflage. For skirmishing you get favored enemy, sneak attack, d10 hit die, and full BAB.

    I like to take advantage of SA by taking skill focus (bluff), combat expertise, and improved feint.

    - improved feint has a feat tax and is move action. One attack per round? Wellcome to suck land.

    - skirmishing? Sounds cool, bit also suck to make one attack per round when you could have made 3 or 4 per round.

    - Scouting without trapfinding is not impossible, but kind of suck if you have to get a trap expert in the party anyway.

    Anything the Slayer can do can be done by a ranger, Guide or a Ninja. Slayer isn’t versatile enough or unique enough. Sure, it is a more powerful damage dealer than the rogue, but so are most classes, if not all classes.


    Zark wrote:
    AnCapBrony wrote:

    I'd say the purpose of a slayer is to be a skirmisher and scout. The abilities combine the best aspects of both classes to make the slayer good at those roles. For scouting you have a rangers tracking plus rouge talents that lend to sneaking such as fast stealth and camouflage. For skirmishing you get favored enemy, sneak attack, d10 hit die, and full BAB.

    I like to take advantage of SA by taking skill focus (bluff), combat expertise, and improved feint.

    - improved feint has a feat tax and is move action. One attack per round? Wellcome to suck land.

    - skirmishing? Sounds cool, bit also suck to make one attack per round when you could have made 3 or 4 per round.

    - Scouting without trapfinding is not impossible, but kind of suck if you have to get a trap expert in the party anyway.

    Anything the Slayer can do can be done by a ranger, Guide or a Ninja. Slayer isn’t versatile enough or unique enough. Sure, it is a more powerful damage dealer than the rogue, but so are most classes, if not all classes.

    You can also take the vital strike feats. While this does take up a lot of feats, its somewhat alleviated by the combat trick talent.

    And there are other ways around traps without getting a trap expert if your creative enough (i.e. the bardic knock spell).

    A ranger, guide, and ninja may still be better, but the thing I really like most about the slayer is its flavor. A certain class may work better mechanically but some players may just want to play something different.

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