Slayer Discussion


Class Discussion

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Thanks Lord_Malkov for setting the record straight.

The Slayer is not to powerful and it may even need some more fluff and goodies.


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I'm afraid I didn't get my point across well in my last post. I'll reiterate the important things in the post you quoted which I failed to communicate (I was too wordy, so you missed it in there, or I said it too vaguely, sorry!):

1) I was urging caution on an action economy boost to Favored Target at level 1, suggesting that a hypothetical Slayer that received an action economy boost on the Favored Target was ahead or tied in accuracy from 1-12 except 9. This is still true.

2) I included Sneak Attack in calling Slayer ahead in damage. Years of playtest experience with groups that contain no rogues has shown me that flanks happen all the time. That may not be true in every group, but it's true for many groups, in PFS, across the country and at cons. As a 5 Star GM in PFS, I have run many tables with dozens of different players. Flanks happen all the time, even without anyone with sneak attack, even just for the +2. The game I played today there were flanks every fight despite no Sneak Attack classes. So I think a game where you don't get flanks without huge effort is a significant aberration, and it's probably better for players in those games to avoid classes with Sneak Attack or for the designers to design archetypes without Sneak Attack for those gamers to choose, rather than for the designers to just add in lots of Sneak Attack above and beyond a class that was already powerful at fighting, which won't matter in the games where nobody flanks and will make the class too strong in the games where flanks are common.


Sneak Attack is problematic. That is why there should be a way to Swift feint.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:

I'm afraid I didn't get my point across well in my last post. I'll reiterate the important things in the post you quoted which I failed to communicate (I was too wordy, so you missed it in there, or I said it too vaguely, sorry!):

1) I was urging caution on an action economy boost to Favored Target at level 1, suggesting that a hypothetical Slayer that received an action economy boost on the Favored Target was ahead or tied in accuracy from 1-10 except 9. This is still true.

2) I included Sneak Attack in calling Slayer ahead in damage. Years of playtest experience with groups that contain no rogues has shown me that flanks happen all the time. That may not be true in every group, but it's true for many groups, in PFS, across the country and at cons. As a 5 Star GM in PFS, I have run many tables with dozens of different players. Flanks happen all the time, even without anyone with sneak attack, even just for the +2. The game I played today there were flanks every fight despite no Sneak Attack classes. So I think a game where you don't get flanks without huge effort is a significant aberration, and it's probably better for players in those games to avoid classes with Sneak Attack or for the designers to design archetypes without Sneak Attack for those gamers to choose, rather than for the designers to just add in lots of Sneak Attack above and beyond a class that was already powerful at fighting, which won't matter in the games where nobody flanks and will make the class too strong in the games where flanks are common.

And therein lies the problem inherent to sneak attack. Its value as a class feature is incredibly mutable.

I am not saying that you won't get flanks, I am saying that for many groups, there are only 1 or 2 options for other player to flank with, and this usually requires movement.

At low levels, that isn't much of an issue, since you only have one attack anyway. At higher levels, this can become a huge problem. it is never really a problem for rogues, because they know that they live and die with sneak attack, and are pretty useless when they can't set it up. But that is a very different class that fills a very different role. Slayers are frontline fighters. They have minimal utility/versatility. Their job is combat. In some groups, the Slayer might work. If he has a rogue friend to flank with persistently, then he might come out looking good.

But we need to look at this class in comparison to a ranger. It loses 2 skill points, spell, companion, favored enemy, favored terrain, and spells. It gains Favored Target, which up until 10th is just about equal to Favored Enemy IMO. At 10th it is maybe better, but interestingly, this is the same level when a Ranger can start using Instant Enemy... so its a bit of a wash.

If we say Favored Target = Favored Enemy + Favored Terrain

Then a smattering of tricks and 6/10ths of sneak attack has to be worth Combat Style and Spells and Animal Companion and 2 skill points at a minimum.

And it just doesn't add up right now.

Assuming that you get sneak attack damage on 50% of all of your attacks, that is 6d6 spread across 18 levels. That means 21 damage per SA on half of your attacks divided by 18. This is equivalent to saying that the slayer gets 0.583 bonus damage per attack per level. For ease, lets call this +1 damage per 2 levels on average. Still looking dangerously overpowered?

We can't just look at the possible potential. We have to address the functional reality. Its easy to look at a class table and say "oh boy with TWF a level 15 rogue can hit 6 attacks with short swords for a total of 54d6 damage! That is 189 average damage before bonuses!!!!"

But the reality of that statement is very different than the fantasy of it. The Slayer needs to be seen in that sobering light.


I think Rogue can see the reality. He probably has a lot more experience in seeing how sneak attack works out, due to that whole 5 stars thing.


Lord Malkov--I like your shorthand. I'm willing to go with half of attacks getting Sneak Attack, rounded down to .5 per level for the sake of simplicity. From what I've seen it's usually higher, so I'll also include 1 per level, which I think as an overestimate (since it assumes 6 out of 7 attacks are Sneak Attacks), giving us a lower and upper bound.

Now we'll return to your Fighter chart, but with the Sneak Attack damage added in starting at level 3. We're again comparing to a hypothetical Slayer with an action economy bonus on Favored Target from levels 1-9:

level 1:
Fighter +0/+0
Slayer +1/+1

Level 3:
Fighter +0/+0
Slayer +1/+2.5 LOW or +1/+4 HIGH

Level 4:
Fighter +0/+2
Slayer +1/+3 LOW or +1/+5 HIGH

Level 5:
Fighter +1/+3
Slayer +2/+4.5 LOW or +2/+7 HIGH

Level 6:
Fighter +1/+3
Slayer +2/+5 LOW or +2/+8 HIGH

Level 7:
Fighter +1/+3
Slayer +2/+5.5 LOW or +2/+9 HIGH

Level 8:
Fighter +2/+3
Slayer +2/+6 LOW or +2/+10 HIGH

Level 9 (The only level I said the hypothetical Swift Action Slayer was behind in accuracy until 13):
Fighter +3/+4
Slayer +2/+6.5 LOW or +2/+11 HIGH

Level 10:
Fighter +3/+4
Slayer +3/+8 LOW or +3/+13 HIGH

Level 11:
Fighter +3/+4
Slayer +3/+8.5 LOW or +3/+14 HIGH

Level 12:
Fighter +3/+6
Slayer +3/+9 LOW or +3/+15 HIGH

Level 13:
Fighter +4/+7
Slayer +3/+9.5 LOW or +3/+16 HIGH

Level 14:
Fighter +4/+7
Slayer +3/+10 LOW or +3/+17 HIGH

Level 15:
Fighter 4/+7
Slayer +4/+11.5 LOW or +4/+18 HIGH

So I think the data clearly shows that even with the LOW Sneak Attack numbers, exactly as you proposed, the Slayer is ahead of the Fighter in pretty much all times. Even the few accuracy loss levels usually add enough damage that it would be a similar trade-off to getting an extra point into Power Attack (which I think most Fighters would take given the choice).


Again, this isn't about whether or not sneak attack can be good. It is about how to make it good for the Slayer.

Keep in mind that the Slayer ends up being very feat starved when compared to the fighter. The fighter also has better defenses just from proficiencies, and armor training is quite valuable in my experience.

So the issue is, how does a SLayer get sneak attack without a persistent flanking partner. I ran a few builds and found that Two-Weapon feint, which is the only way a slayer can feint without spending an action, is pointless. Against CR appropriate monsters, he is better off just making his high-BAB attack. They are actually pretty similar in damage, but the Two-Weapon feint Slayer needs a 13 int and has to put three feats into two-weapon feint.

Until 10th level, the slayer just struggles to find his way. This is especially true at levels 1-3.

So. Keeping sneak attack is fine, but the Slayer needs some actual support for it. Feinting is a bad option. Shatter Defenses isn't too bad, but its also something that requires serious setup. I don't think they should get SA at all times, but they need some help. The Scout archtype for the rogue has become hugely popular because it evens out some of the inconsistency granted by sneak attack.

So. Solutions.

1) Find Opening (Slayer Talent): The first time you attack an opponent that you have studied using Favored Target, you can deal sneak attack to that opponent as if it were flat-footed. Opponents with Uncanny Dodge are immune to this ability. Once you have used this ability on a target, you may not use it again against the same target for 24 hours.

2) Swift Feint (Slayer talent): Anytime you study an enemy using the Favored Target ability, you can make a bluff check to Feint that opponent as a free action.

3) Favored Sneak Attack (advanced slayer talent): When you deal sneak attack damage to your Favored Target, your sneak attack damage is increased by 1d6.

4) Intimidating Slayer (slayer talent): As the Strong Impression rogue talent.

5) Shattering Slayer (slayer talent): You gain Shatter Defenses as a bonus feat. You do not need to meet the prerequisites for this feat. A slayer must have the Intimidating Slayer talent before selecting this feat.

6) Revel in Carnage (Advanced Slayer Talent): Whenever you drop an opponent that is your Favored Target to 0 hit points or fewer, you may study a new Favored Target as a free action.

7) Favored Defense (Slayer Talent): Against your Favored Targets you also add twice your favored target bonus to your CMD.

8) Slayer's Momentum (Advanced Slayer Talent): Each time you hit an opponent that is your Favored Target with an attack that deals Sneak Attack damage, your favored target bonuses against the opponent increase by +1. The effects of this talent stack.

anyway, you get the idea. Things like this will really help open up builds and make the Slayer more attractive. As it stands, the class is stuck in limbo, investing feats to power sneak attack with far less payoff than a rogue and getting a wonky version of weapon training with none of the fighter's bonus feats.


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and because its a crime to have 9 pages without it...

"Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

I ran for a level one slayer tonight and one thing popped out right away that I had not really considered. The character played the slayer much like a switch hitter ranger, starting in range with a bow and moving in with a greatsword when the situation warranted. The fact that is favored target bonus applied to both was very useful and I think will come up more often as we see more builds in play.

The advantage over some of the other classes of this ability since abilities like Rage or Weapon Training only apply to either melee scores or one class of weapons, the ability, even with an action cost, to apply it to both makes for some interesting options.

One thing I would also note that with a decent dex and starting with a ranged weapon, a Slayer may be able to get off ranged sneak in the first round with a good initiative, then switch to melee once the opponents close to continue sneak attacks.


eh?

Rage applies fairly well to thrown weapons. Many barbarians carry around javelins to throw when they need to. There is also the set of 'hurler' rage powers built specifically for thrown weapons.

And weapon training applies to an entire weapon group. Each time you get it, it applies to another weapon group and the previous group goes up by +1. So a fighter with weapon training at +3 for his swords can also have weapon training at +2 for his bows.

Grand Lodge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

and because its a crime to have 9 pages without it...

"Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.

But I thought Buffy spread that ability out now...


Lord_Malkov wrote:
At higher levels, this can become a huge problem. it is never really a problem for rogues, because they know that they live and die with sneak attack, and are pretty useless when they can't set it up. But that is a very different class that fills a very different role. Slayers are frontline fighters. They have minimal utility/versatility. Their job is combat. In some groups, the Slayer might work. If he has a rogue friend to flank with persistently, then he might come out looking good.

I think this is kind of the wrong way to look at the Slayer class.

This class isn't a Fighter replacement. It won't be looking to get in something's face, because it doesn't have survivability tools like real front-line fighting classes have.

What it does is dps. It is the Combat Rogue on steroids. It will make sure it is positioned to do the most damage it can, because that's what it brings to the party.


Damage dealer is not a role.

A melee class that is going to get into the mix up close and doesn't bring any skills or special utility to the group must ALWAYS be compared to the fighter... because that is what a fighter does. Hence, a Slayer is a frontline fighter.

It isn't a spellcaster, and it surely isn't a skill class. So it is a straight up combat class and it needs to be looked at in this regard.

Sure, this is the combat rogue, and yes it is more offensive than defensive. That really doesn't change much. This class is going to take the same role in a group as a fighter or a barbarian would. Low utility, purely focused on combat.

And if the Slayer can't get up in something's face, then it is a massive failure, because it cannot make a decent contribution otherwise. Making a Slayer as a ranged build means all but abandoning sneak attack, and then you are really just a broken class that gets something similar to a fighter's weapon training, but falls short of every necessary benchmark.


Sure damage dealer is a role.

Color Spray doesn't end the fight. It just sets up someone else to end the fight easier.

Grand Lodge

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While I risk being pelted by a few peanuts in the Gallery, 4th Ed had a term for a warrior type that did damage but had somewhat a glass jaw... Striker. This term fits well for the Slayer. It hits hard (harder if it gets sneak attack) HOPEFULLY killing or disabling its enemy and then on to the next target... but if stuck in melee for too long, doesn't have the defense capabilities to stand up for too much punishment.


This ought to be a slayer talent:

Quote:


Scout’s Charge (Ex): At 4th level, whenever a scout makes a charge, her attack deals sneak attack damage as if the target were flat-footed. Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to this ability.

From Rogue (Scout) archetype.

Liberty's Edge

Cheapy wrote:

Hmm, looking over the playtest reports, it seems the move action-activation is a great deterrent to its use.

Perhaps a system where it's a move action to start, but then a swift to change for the encounter? I'm not sure.

Makes sense to me, although how are the power levels for damage looking in the report?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

With the problems around facing and such for sneak attack, maybe give them a kind of smite they can use x times per day instead? So if they need to go all out they can, if not, they don't.

Liberty's Edge

Kryzbyn wrote:
With the problems around facing and such for sneak attack, maybe give them a kind of smite they can use x times per day instead? So if they need to go all out they can, if not, they don't.

I showed upthread how they basically outdamage both the equal fighter and Barbarian...they don't need smite...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

In place of sneak attack, not in addition to.

Damage isn't the end-all-be-all.

Liberty's Edge

Kryzbyn wrote:

In place of sneak attack, not in addition to.

Damage isn't the end-all-be-all.

And they aren't a divine class. Who is giving them power to smite enemies?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

"kind of a smite" is what I said.
Similar mechanic, different fluff.

Liberty's Edge

Kryzbyn wrote:

"kind of a smite" is what I said.

Similar mechanic, different fluff.

From where is still the question.

Sneak attack makes sense. Weapon training makes sense. These are internal powers.

Where would this "smite" come from? Isn't that essentially the what they are getting for favored enemy? Bonuses against a single target?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

In a more broad sense, yes ( favored enemy)


ciretose wrote:

From where is still the question.

Sneak attack makes sense. Weapon training makes sense. These are internal powers.

Where would this "smite" come from? Isn't that essentially the what they are getting for favored enemy? Bonuses against a single target?

I would hazard a guess and say from the same place the cavalier gets it.

I prefer the mix of what it gets w/ sneak attack myself, I just don't like waiting until level 10 to get more than one swing with a blade/arrow shot in the round the power is activated. That, and somehow having less skill points than either class the slayer is drawn from.


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I was thinking of this last night, specifically Jiggy and Rogue Eidolon's conversation over in Jiggster's playtest thread. With d10 and medium armor, this guy is in a position where he doesn't need to wait to set up flanks. He can be the guy others flank with.

Maybe a Talent should be that allies flanking with him get bonuses to hit.


Cheapy wrote:

I was thinking of this last night, specifically Jiggy and Rogue Eidolon's conversation over in Jiggster's playtest thread. With d10 and medium armor, this guy is in a position where he doesn't need to wait to set up flanks. He can be the guy others flank with.

Maybe a Talent should be that allies flanking with him get bonuses to hit.

Yeah, I was assuming that many parties would have someone who would want to make a flank for the Slayer. Whether it was a secondary combat character, an animal companion, a tanky support cleric who is lousy at fighting but doesn't want to use a spell every round if the fight looks easy enough so uses flank + Aid Another (hi my first PFS character ever!) or even summoned monsters.

Menacing quality is a good choice for Slayer, and I think the nice little nation of Amanandar in Tian Xia will see many Slayers hail from its militia. When you throw in the ability to choose the Outflank feat if you have a stable party and a stable flank buddy, you can already get up to +7 flank bonus without the Slayer adding more. I'd be wary of adding more for the same reason that we've added too many different ways to improve Aid Another by now (though Benevolent weapon/armor are the most egregiously large boosts). If not for the worry of overloading, it's definitely a good thought. My support ninja is built around making others awesome at flanks.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I feel like Mobility as a bonus feat at 3rd or 4th could be good, as it makes it easier for the slayer to get into a flank, considering that most builds (i.e., anyone using the class's medium armor proficiency) won't be able to even attempt to tumble into place.


Another thought I had was that maybe a good build for this would be like a bard, where longsword/buckler really isn't that bad of an idea. You can get good defenses (for getting into flanks, if necessary) thanks to the buckler and the cheapness of enhancements, and you can two-hand if necessary, at the cost of just -1 to attack.

Which you can, as a full BAB, swallow quite easily.


Wow, summoning you two was even easier than I thought.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Cheapy wrote:

Another thought I had was that maybe a good build for this would be like a bard, where longsword/buckler really isn't that bad of an idea. You can get good defenses (for getting into flanks, if necessary) thanks to the buckler and the cheapness of enhancements, and you can two-hand if necessary, at the cost of just -1 to attack.

Which you can, as a full BAB, swallow quite easily.

My slayer actually took Quickdraw and a quickdraw shield for close to the same net effect: switching between two-hand and sword-and-board.

Of course, at 2nd level, it was just a 1 point AC difference, so I found myself usually just two-handing my katana instead.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I guess it's all how you envision the character.
If it's meant to be a flanker then sneak attack will work.
if it's meant to be an in your face slayer, then probably not.

That's why I thought maybe some kind of "Hey you!" mechanic, like smite, where he can designate a specific target x times per day and get in their face and slay them would be better than sneak attack.
It's true they get favored enemies...but I think something less rigid would work better for the concept.

Just throwin ideas out there.


I keep coming back in my mind to longbow Slayer with Surprise Attack. If I win initiative, I sure as hecky-heck am not going to spend a move action to choose a favored target. I'm going to open up with Rapid Attack and try to land as many sweet, sweet flat-footed shots as possible. I absolutely would not use favored target until the second round of combat unless I lost initiative or I didn't think I could hit my target for some reason. Most likely, favored target is going to come up when you can leisurely ambush someone. And against barbarians and rogues, I guess. I'm vastly preferring the idea of favored target being a swift action, or even a free one.


I am going to post my build in a bit, but there is no need to flank with this class and get sneak attack 90% of the time. the problem I found with it in my play test the other night was its low ac and it seems like it ability to do damage was not made up by sneak attack, sneak attack needs a boost of about 2d6 which I suggest could be add as an advanced talent. This class could use a few more feats also, if you want to get sneak attack 90% of time it heavy feat investment not leaving room for talents to be used for something else useful.

I did not think I would say this but my Fighter/Hell knight out shines this guy by a mile, and my hunter had slightly better scores then my hell knight. The problem is the fighter portion of my hell knight bonus feats freed up normal feats for increased efficiency in combat or other uses this class just can’t get. I feel like I got more flexibility out of my hell knight. this class needs more skill points and something else to it. I will get into that later when I post build and summary.

Liberty's Edge

@Kryzbyn - I envision it this way. If it sneaks up on you in the surprise round, sneak attack.

If while I'm there as a front line (because I am) my buddy comes in on the other side for the +2 and I get sneak attack again.

In addition to my other bonuses.

I think this was the class most ready to roll out of the gate.


ciretose wrote:

I showed upthread how they basically outdamage both the equal fighter and Barbarian...they don't need smite...

Did I miss this post? I saw a feature comparison between Weapon Training and Favored Target or two, but the only full-on build comparisons I saw were one between a ranger and slayer.

Additionally, is there a comprehensive resource out there for quantifying classes' DPR? I've seen the DPR olympics, and seen wildly varying levels of effort, optimization, legality, and variance between submissions in the same class. And that's only for comparing classes at one level with one full attack against one very specific target. Anyway, it's long been my empirical observation that the Fighter is bad, and if I am correct, that makes him an inappropriate benchmark, unless we are trying to guide the creation of another bad class. But rather than rely on my or your subjective table experiences and casual theorycrafting, it'd be nice to be able to say where exactly things fall damage-wise.

As for Barbarian comparisons, I don't think Slayer has any single trick up there that gets close to touching the power to eat magic.

Liberty's Edge

Jaunt wrote:
ciretose wrote:

I showed upthread how they basically outdamage both the equal fighter and Barbarian...they don't need smite...

Did I miss this post? I saw a feature comparison between Weapon Training and Favored Target or two, but the only full-on build comparisons I saw were one between a ranger and slayer.

Additionally, is there a comprehensive resource out there for quantifying classes' DPR? I've seen the DPR olympics, and seen wildly varying levels of effort, optimization, legality, and variance between submissions in the same class. And that's only for comparing classes at one level with one full attack against one very specific target. Anyway, it's long been my empirical observation that the Fighter is bad, and if I am correct, that makes him an inappropriate benchmark, unless we are trying to guide the creation of another bad class. But rather than rely on my or your subjective table experiences and casual theorycrafting, it'd be nice to be able to say where exactly things fall damage-wise.

As for Barbarian comparisons, I don't think Slayer has any single trick up there that gets close to touching the power to eat magic.

I think this is it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

@Kryzbyn - I envision it this way. If it sneaks up on you in the surprise round, sneak attack.

If while I'm there as a front line (because I am) my buddy comes in on the other side for the +2 and I get sneak attack again.

In addition to my other bonuses.

I think this was the class most ready to roll out of the gate.

Fair enough.


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The fighter is, by no means, bad. Any complaints about the fighter stem from its inability to solve problems or wield narrative power outside of "hit it with a big thing".

In combat, a fighter is excellent. The barbarian only gained an edge when it was given a bevy of new and incredibly powerful rage powers in UC.

There are people who will argue that the fighter is a bad class... but it is actually quite excellent when you compare it directly to the other full-BAB martial classes.

The idea that a Slayer categorically deals more damage than a fighter is neat, but difficult to substantiate. The fighter is ahead on everything that the slayer doesn't get sneak attack damage on. The fighter has better defenses. The fighter isn't slowed down by armor. The fighter gets a ton of bonus feats.

So, once again, sneak attack is the dividing line.... I posted some ideas for talents upthread that would let the slayer get a swift action feint once per target, shatter defenses without prereqs, the ability to apply SA to each favored target on his first attack against them etc.

I think that if sneak attack has to be the thing, then slightly easier access to sneak attacking is a must. Saying that a slayer will get a flanking partner to set him up on most rounds before he attacks is fairly shortsighted.

And tthe major difference here is that a Rogue usually doesn't mind moving to only take that one big attack. A slayer, just like any other full-BAB class, is going to cripple himself if he doesn't take full-attacks.

The unfortunate result of this is a deep loss of mobility, wherein it becomes harder as the Slayer gains iteratives, for him to keep moving around to get flanks. Or rather, at levels past 6th it isn't worth losing your second attack to move into a flank. So you need a flanking partner that beats your initiative to set you up.... not simple.

Again... not really a problem for the 3/4 BAB rogue. Not because 3/4 BAB is better, but because his tradeoff is far far less. Besides, the rogue is a skill monkey... anything he contributes to combat is just gravy.


Lord_Malkov wrote:

The fighter is, by no means, bad. Any complaints about the fighter stem from its inability to solve problems or wield narrative power outside of "hit it with a big thing".

In combat, a fighter is excellent. The barbarian only gained an edge when it was given a bevy of new and incredibly powerful rage powers in UC.

There are people who will argue that the fighter is a bad class... but it is actually quite excellent when you compare it directly to the other full-BAB martial classes.

The idea that a Slayer categorically deals more damage than a fighter is neat, but difficult to substantiate. The fighter is ahead on everything that the slayer doesn't get sneak attack damage on. The fighter has better defenses. The fighter isn't slowed down by armor. The fighter gets a ton of bonus feats.

So, once again, sneak attack is the dividing line.... I posted some ideas for talents upthread that would let the slayer get a swift action feint once per target, shatter defenses without prereqs, the ability to apply SA to each favored target on his first attack against them etc.

I think that if sneak attack has to be the thing, then slightly easier access to sneak attacking is a must. Saying that a slayer will get a flanking partner to set him up on most rounds before he attacks is fairly shortsighted.

And tthe major difference here is that a Rogue usually doesn't mind moving to only take that one big attack. A slayer, just like any other full-BAB class, is going to cripple himself if he doesn't take full-attacks.

The unfortunate result of this is a deep loss of mobility, wherein it becomes harder as the Slayer gains iteratives, for him to keep moving around to get flanks. Or rather, at levels past 6th it isn't worth losing your second attack to move into a flank. So you need a flanking partner that beats your initiative to set you up.... not simple.

Again... not really a problem for the 3/4 BAB rogue. Not because 3/4 BAB is better, but because his tradeoff is far far less. Besides, the rogue...

I kind of feel sorry for you if it is common experience not to be able to flank. I play a lot of front liners and besides for the first or sometimes 2nd round I routinely always have a flank with the guys I play with localy and even when I play in PFS and online roll 20 PFS. So I gottat think its the player fault for not working and encouraging others to set up flanks. I agree it is still situational, but if combats are 3-5 rounds with most being 4 then I'm getting SA on 50-75% of my attacks. Unelss the rest of the group is wizards, but in PFS I have been talking everone into getting spiked gauntlets. Still can't believe most don't see this as standard gear. Best 5gp you can spend to always be considered to be threatening.


I like the errata from Jason. A couple of observations/questions:

I agree that Disable Device should be a skill, as both base classes can work with devices (if the ranger chooses trap building)

I agree the talent list is short. The rules state only one sneak attack talent can be applied at a time, but I only see one such talent.

Is combat training (select one combat feat) really meant to be a one time selection? According to the description unless otherwise noted a talent can only be selected once, and combat training doesn't say otherwise.

The assassinate talent is a bit weak, but the same was true for the assassin. As an advanced feat it can't be selected till 10th level by a slayer. With an int of 14 that means a DC of 17 (10+5+2). However, a ranger/rogue/assassin can get the equivalent at 6th level (character not class), but at 10th level (character not class) will also only have a DC 17 (10+5+2).

I compared a 2 weapon fighting 17th level assassin (3 ranger/4 rogue/10 assassin) against a 17th level slayer and while the assassin had a slightly higher average damage potential per hit if the hit was not a critical due to an extra 2d6 sneak attack, the slayer had would due more damage over all due to the superior BAB bonus especially if Quarry is applied. The increased likelihood of crating and the fact that the target and quarry bonuses would be multiplied also increase the overall damage potential of the slayer over the assassin.

One more question, if someone built a slayer/assassin would the assassinate advanced talent and death attacks stack and if so how?

I need to try building a sniper build.


yeah Goblin Sniper level 1

20pt
Str 12
Dex 20
Con 12
Int 14
Wis 12
Cha 5

Short Bow +6 1d6+1
Favored +7 1d6+2

Feat: Skill Focus Stealth

Stealth +22 (1rank+3class+5Dex+4size+4goblin+3feat+1trait+1favored)
Sniping +2

Not horrible. get a cloak of elvenkind and focus on archery feats and it can be done. not optimal but could be fun to play/RP

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Phil Tobin wrote:
I like the errata from Jason.

Do you mean what's been put in the OP of this thread? Or was there something else that I missed?


Cuàn wrote:

All I have to say is please don't give it trapfinding. If you do it basically because Rogue 2.0 and we don't want that (or at least I don't and I get the idea the designers don't either). Trapfinding isn't versatility, it's a burden. The moment you give the class Trapfinding you basically say that every Slayer should take Disable Device to use it because they are the trap guy. The Slayer should not be the trap guy, he should be the kill guy.

Trapfinding as an option, sure. Make it an archetype or a talent but please don't make it baseline.

A thing I do find surprising though is the lack of a Hide in Plain Sight equivalent. He comes from two classes that both have it in some form and the small blurb at describing their role even says they specialise in getting in, killing, and then back out again. Why is it not one of the talents?

As for the poison use mentioned before, I agree that that should also be in, either baseline or as talent. Then again, baseline might be overdoing it a bit.

Trapfinding could be a talent. That way it is an option. :)

I do agree with hide in plain sight. That could be a major talent.


Insain Dragoon wrote:

How many adventure paths use traps? My friend said he went all the way through Kingmaker without anyone with Trapfinding and came out no worse for wear.

Then in Carrion Crown the only traps worth mentioning were easily found by the wonder 30 ft cone of detect magic the caster used every 30 feet.

Detect Magic only reveals magical auras. Not every magical aura is a trap.


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HiPS already exists as a Talent, but you have to take the favored terrain talent, and you can only use it in that favored terrain.

Slayer should probably have access to a much longer list of Rogue Talents. I agree with cutting out certain things like Minor/Major Magic, but most of them seem like they should apply here.


RJGrady wrote:
I keep coming back in my mind to longbow Slayer with Surprise Attack. If I win initiative, I sure as hecky-heck am not going to spend a move action to choose a favored target. I'm going to open up with Rapid Attack and try to land as many sweet, sweet flat-footed shots as possible. I absolutely would not use favored target until the second round of combat unless I lost initiative or I didn't think I could hit my target for some reason. Most likely, favored target is going to come up when you can leisurely ambush someone. And against barbarians and rogues, I guess. I'm vastly preferring the idea of favored target being a swift action, or even a free one.

I agree. It should be a swift action from level 1, and later become a free action. At the very least it should start as a swift action at a minimum.

Dark Archive

In view of the fact that the slayer is using his knowledge of anatomy and weaknesses etc etc to gain a combat advantage, I think that creating something like the 3.5 Knowledge Devotion feat as a class feature in place of SA would be a great fit (as was previously suggested). Perhaps leave the skill points at 4 but do a lore-warden-esque grant of 1 or 2 additional points per level that can only be spent on knowledge skills that are used to identify creatures. This would allow the slayer to fill the lone wolf bounty hunter role as he would not be dependent on others to get his damage boosted. It would also provide more impetus to keep INT up.


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AGAIN,

I am not suggesting that Sneak Attack is pure hogwash. I am suggesting that getting 6d6 sneak attack over 18 levels is not worth trading out Combat Styles, Spells and an Animal Companion. Frankly, its not worth trading out two of those things.

When a rogue puts feats and combat actions into Feinting or Intimidate+Shatter Defenses, his payoff is quite large. Particularly when you compare a rogue that is getting sneak attack against one that isn't.

On the whole, a rogue is better off moving to flank and getting one sneak attack than he is making a full-attack unless he can (as a part of that full attack, eg TW-Feint) get his sneak attacks on that full-attack. He is also better off taking the action needed to use improved feint.

For a rogue, with a higher sneak attack progression, and a pretty weak set of combat options otherwise, this is a decent set of choices. But with a much slower SA progression and no additional feats to help things along, the Slayer basically gets far less out of sneak attack. He also is not going to be well served (as a rogue is) by abandoning a full-attack to go get a single flanking sneak attack.

These are real issues, not just things I am making up. If you get a flank that allows you to full-attack 75% of the time, I would call that an aberration. Heck, just getting to full-attack 75% of the time as a melee class is an aberration unless you have pounce.

Now throw in the big monkey wrench that is having to spend a move action to study a target. Now it is even harder to get all of your class features working on a target. Move to flank or move action to study becomes a crappy choice that you have to make.

Dissecting the actual bonus from sneak attack... it is +21 avg damage across the class that does not get multiplied on a crit. This is akin to having a challenge ability (+1 dmg per class level). If you get sneak attack on 50% of all your attacks, then this is more like +1 dmg per two levels.

So, to make this class feature, which is replacing a LOT from the ranger's perspective, I think there need to be some changes that make sneak attack a bit easier to achieve on favored targets.

Swift feinting favored targets
mobility talents that help get you into flank position
easier access to shatter defenses on favored targets
scouts charge and/or skirmisher from the Scout archtype

whatever it is, the Slayer needs more. Right now this class does not stand up to the Ranger.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Cuàn wrote:

All I have to say is please don't give it trapfinding. If you do it basically because Rogue 2.0 and we don't want that (or at least I don't and I get the idea the designers don't either). Trapfinding isn't versatility, it's a burden. The moment you give the class Trapfinding you basically say that every Slayer should take Disable Device to use it because they are the trap guy. The Slayer should not be the trap guy, he should be the kill guy.

Trapfinding as an option, sure. Make it an archetype or a talent but please don't make it baseline.

A thing I do find surprising though is the lack of a Hide in Plain Sight equivalent. He comes from two classes that both have it in some form and the small blurb at describing their role even says they specialise in getting in, killing, and then back out again. Why is it not one of the talents?

As for the poison use mentioned before, I agree that that should also be in, either baseline or as talent. Then again, baseline might be overdoing it a bit.

Trapfinding could be a talent. That way it is an option. :)

I do agree with hide in plain sight. That could be a major talent.

My bold.

SKR has made a comment on that :D

edit:
From a play test thread:

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

Thanks for your playtest feedback! Specific comments:

• We're going to add more teamwork feats that are keyed to a hunter who uses ranged attacks with an animal companion.

• A ranged equivalent of shillelagh would be interesting.

• Trapfinding is an interesting option as a slayer talent.

• We weren't specifically aiming for hybrid classes being exactly down the middle of their two component classes. As we progress with this book, we'd like to see them stand out as something more unique (as the magus does) but still have elements of those two classes, so perhaps more 30% class A/30% class B/40% new class, or something similar.

:D

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