Swashbuckler Discussion


Class Discussion

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Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?

Because its the only thing that works with a dex fighter, so its the only kind of character they'll see.

Silver Crusade

Because Dervish Dance pigeon-holes Dex builds on wielding a Scimitar. Because the sheer existence of this feat means you need to balance a dex-based melee class arount the fact people will obviously want to use the feat, but because there are so many cool options you'll want you cannot reduce the class's feat list or it will be starved ; which means you either have to nerf the class itself to counterbalance the feat (effectively admitting the only real choice is the Scimitar and screwing all other builds, I'm looking at you Magus).

OR you can do as we suggest, and just find a way to make it unrequired at all for swashbucklers - it will remain awesome for all other class builds ever anyway.

No issue with the agile property actually, but Math-crunching says a crit-able Precision deed would be balanced without it, thus it would be broken with it.


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Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?

I think it's a combination of trying to avoid cookie-cutter builds that pull from non-Core sources, the fact that builds that don't take advantage of either of those options are a hell of a lot weaker than the ones that do, and the mistaken opinion that as it currently stands the swashbuckler out raw-DPRs a two-handed fighter.

Or something. I don't get why blocking Agile and Dervish seems to be a goal for some people either. I'd think making other options as good is the better alternative than arbitrary pre-emptive nerfing.

Lantern Lodge

Throne wrote:
I'd think making other options as good is the better alternative than arbitrary pre-emptive nerfing.

Yes.

Yes, yes, yes.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?

I am not. I like both of those options.

Here is the issue.

Those options are great and I actually allow dervish dance for rapiers and any light weapons in my home games. However, the point of agile and dervish dance are to empower characters that are using dexterity as their primary stat in melee. Dervish dance specifically has the significant drawback of requiring a hand free.

For the swashbuckler the dervish dance drawback is void and they only have light armor proficiency/ This means swashbucklers with dervish dance are much more powerful than those without it. This means swashbuckler is either too strong with dervish dance or too weak without it. Considering the rule books assume that Golarion books are not used because some pathfinder games are not in Golarion, the class therefore cannot be balanced.

This is also true for agile weapons but to a lesser extent. Dervish dance is more of an issue.

Making precise strike replace strength automatically stops this problem from occurring, and makes dervish dance (and the use of scimitars) not a requirement for swashbuckler. However, especially if the free finesse feat counts, getting dervish dance if you want to be a dervish swashbuckler is still a great option because it does not require 1 panache, multiplies on crits, and works on all enemies.

(This change also makes strength based swashbucklers weaker which are currently the optimal build path)

Silver Crusade

It's not "preemptive nerfing" if the actual class feature you receive as a swashbuckler is good enough to approach a fighter's DPR without requiring all swashbucklers ever to pick this feat to compare.

An equally leveled unarmed fighter will deal as much damage as a monk despite hitting at 1d3 against 2d6 : not granting the fighter improved unarmed damage isn't preemptive nerfing but balancing out with other abilities so you don't need to have a specific thing to remain viable.


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It's not the class' fault if some non-Core option breaks it. It's the fault of the thing that broke the class.


Maxximilius wrote:

It's not "preemptive nerfing" if the actual class feature you receive as a swashbuckler is good enough to approach a fighter's DPR without requiring all swashbucklers ever to pick this feat to compare.

An equally leveled unarmed fighter will deal as much damage as a monk despite hitting at 1d3 against 2d6 : not granting the fighter improved unarmed damage isn't preemptive nerfing but balancing out with other abilities so you don't need to have a specific thing to remain viable.

No, he's right, it is preemptive nerfing. It just isn't arbitrary ;)

Designer

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Avon Rekaes wrote:
Why is this different for the Swashbuckler?

Because in the current draft we decided to make it precision damage. And (despite what your intuition might tell you) class are designed, not hatched entirely out of prestige classes. To be honest, precise strike should be precision damage also (and one could argue is, since the description you site above does not provide and exhaustive list), but the point is moot.

Precision damage might be a poorly defined term in the game, but the ability is clear and purposeful. Though the discernible anatomy line is going to be removed, for sure. And the final class will allow you to use a buckler and still use your precise strike.


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This might be a good place to have a sidebar explaining precision damage, because right now it's a rule that doesn't really exist anywhere explicitly. You can figure it out by piecing all the rules elements together, but...sidebars are fun!


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Avon Rekaes wrote:
Why is this different for the Swashbuckler?

Because in the current draft we decided to make it precision damage. And (despite what your intuition might tell you) class are designed, not hatched entirely out of prestige classes. To be honest, precise strike should be precision damage also (and one could argue is, since the description you site above does not provide and exhaustive list), but the point is moot.

Precision damage might be a poorly defined term in the game, but the ability is clear and purposeful. Though the discernible anatomy line is going to be removed, for sure. And the final class will allow you to use a buckler and still use your precise strike.

So Stephen, are you telling us we should give the swashes bucklers in all our future playtests and also have them deal their Precise Strike damage against all creatures? That sounds like something that should go in the first post of this thread because it will make a huge difference. Being able to wield a buckler is only 1 AC less than being able to use a heavy shield after all, so it should give a large boost to AC, and right now the inability to hit certain creatures is huge against those creatures.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:
It's not the class' fault if some non-Core option breaks it. It's the fault of the thing that broke the class.

Though to be fair, that's much more a possibility to design a class that doesn't require the feat than to see anything happen to the feat itself.

I'm actually quite in love with the idea. It feels much like using firearms, with a damage modifier not based on your ability score ; except Gunslingers get Touch AC + Dex, and you get Normal AC + Level.

Designer

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
So Stephen, are you telling us we should give the swashes bucklers in all our future playtests and also have them deal their Precise Strike damage against all creatures? That sounds like something that should go in the first post of this thread because it will make a huge difference. Being able to wield a buckler is only 1 AC less than being able to use a heavy shield after all, so it should give a large boost to AC, and right now the inability to hit certain creatures is huge against those creatures.

And it will, when they fix the problem with my moderator privileges, or I can get Sean or Jason to fix it.

But I was responding to a post, so I thought I would mention it.


Cheapy wrote:
It's not the class' fault if some non-Core option breaks it. It's the fault of the thing that broke the class.

Dervish dance is not what's breaking the class, its the duct tape holding the entire thing together.

A swash buckler is thematically a dex and charisma based fighter: agile, light on their feet, fast and nimble. Like the rogue or the monk though it operates best in combat mechanically by being a hulking brute... unless you have dervish dance. The problem isn't that dervish dance makes the class, its that its the only way to make the class.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
It's not the class' fault if some non-Core option breaks it. It's the fault of the thing that broke the class.

Well, agile and dervish dance are as close to core as you can get.

And I think dervish dance and agile are fair usually.

The issue is that agile and dervish dance are purposefully strong to compensate for a fighting style that is mechanically weak.

Swashbuckler as a class is only needed because it is meant to be purposefully more powerful than a straight fighter to compensate for the same suboptimal fighting style so it is about equal to a fighter using a better fighting style (like two-handing).

Also, making the precise strike damage in lieu of strength also is a good idea to make dexterity swashbuckler a stronger option. I personally don't want a dexterity swashbuckler to be weaker because a swashbuckler maxing strength like a regular fighter is doing too much. I have no problem with a strength based swashbuckler character but I think the the class as a whole should favor dexterity.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
So Stephen, are you telling us we should give the swashes bucklers in all our future playtests and also have them deal their Precise Strike damage against all creatures? That sounds like something that should go in the first post of this thread because it will make a huge difference. Being able to wield a buckler is only 1 AC less than being able to use a heavy shield after all, so it should give a large boost to AC, and right now the inability to hit certain creatures is huge against those creatures.

And it will, when they fix the problem with my moderator privileges, or I can get Sean or Jason to fix it.

But I was responding to a post, so I thought I would mention it.

Thanks SRM. You rock! I will say with some certainty that with the ability to hit all monsters added back in (and I agree it was needed), the math looks like it might need to scale down.

Silver Crusade

A Str-based Swash using Cha instead of Dex for AC (as per that Oracle revelation) would make a fine archetype. More average damage (stacking on Precise ?), less deeds maybe...


Friends of freedom! If you're using Sally for anything, please now give her a +1 buckler (putting her money expenditure to equal Fred's). This puts her at 24 AC, just 1 behind Fred.


They've talked earlier in this thread about how grit and panache are the same thing, and may have a sidebar pointing out the two are same for feats and such...

Question:
What happens to DPR if you signature deed Precise Strike with that logic? So you can do the double bonus on the first attack every turn?


Maxximilius wrote:

It's not "preemptive nerfing" if the actual class feature you receive as a swashbuckler is good enough to approach a fighter's DPR without requiring all swashbucklers ever to pick this feat to compare.

An equally leveled unarmed fighter will deal as much damage as a monk despite hitting at 1d3 against 2d6 : not granting the fighter improved unarmed damage isn't preemptive nerfing but balancing out with other abilities so you don't need to have a specific thing to remain viable.

The tests and discussions I've seen so far are using deliberately lowered fighter damage output, so the jury's still out on that one.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cybit wrote:

They've talked earlier in this thread about how grit and panache are the same thing, and may have a sidebar pointing out the two are same for feats and such...

Question:
What happens to DPR if you signature deed Precise Strike with that logic? So you can do the double bonus on the first attack every turn?

Then you're paying a permanent resource to be able to do something that is normally a limited resource. Same as the Gunslinger. Not seeing a problem. It bumps up the DPR, but also takes something else away, which will either affect DPR negatively, or AC negatively, or versatility negatively.


Cybit wrote:

They've talked earlier in this thread about how grit and panache are the same thing, and may have a sidebar pointing out the two are same for feats and such...

Question:
What happens to DPR if you signature deed Precise Strike with that logic? So you can do the double bonus on the first attack every turn?

Excellent question! In fact one of the panache deeds even said you can't signature it, so this seems even more certain you can do it. If you signature Precise Strike, then you can even replace that for speculative Extra Panache in the higher level 8 Cha Sally build. However, then you get lots of X factors of how many times you get a full attack or not, so it could be very powerful if you usualyl have to move a lot or weaker if not (since at high levels, you usually get a panache every round or two anyway). It actually makes Spring Attacking a somewhat interesting proposition (though still probably too weak) since you double the Precise Strike damage on it every time.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Cybit wrote:

They've talked earlier in this thread about how grit and panache are the same thing, and may have a sidebar pointing out the two are same for feats and such...

Question:
What happens to DPR if you signature deed Precise Strike with that logic? So you can do the double bonus on the first attack every turn?

Excellent question! In fact one of the panache deeds even said you can't signature it, so this seems even more certain you can do it. If you signature Precise Strike, then you can even replace that for speculative Extra Panache in the higher level 8 Cha Sally build. However, then you get lots of X factors of how many times you get a full attack or not, so it could be very powerful if you usualyl have to move a lot or weaker if not (since at high levels, you usually get a panache every round or two anyway). It actually makes Spring Attacking a somewhat interesting proposition (though still probably too weak) since you double the Precise Strike damage on it every time.

If only Vital Strike could be spring-attacked...


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?
Because its the only thing that works with a dex fighter, so its the only kind of character they'll see.

¨

Ah, but the DPR comparison is made using a Str based Swashbuckler.

A dex based Swashbuckler without dervish dance or agile weapon would suck, especially vs. to incorporeals, oozes, elementals, undeads, Swarms, warms, Aeons, constructs and objects.

And we all know it, don’t we?

BTW, Neither dervish dance nor agile weapon are part of the core rules. If they were I’m not even sure we had a Swashbuckler class.

Silver Crusade

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Updating the list of remarks :

Spoiler:

Negative : "The class is too Dex-based."
Counterargument : Being Dex-based is the class's whole concept, the same way a Wizard is too Intelligence-based or a Barbarian too focused on damage and awesomeness.
Origin : Swashbucklers typically dump Str for points in sheer awesomeness and agility, aka the Dex/Cha combo.

Negative : "The choice of weapons is too limited."
Origin : The weapon selection is currently odd and missing iconic choices.
Suggestions :
- Grant more weapon proficiencies (especially blade/sword-like weapons)
- Create a "Dueling Weapons" group.
- Grant to the Swash the ability to finesse more weapons than usual.

Negative : "The choice of weapons is effectively pigeonholed."
Origin : The weapon selection is effectively limited by Panache recovered by critical hits AND Dervish Dancing, making Rapier and Scimitar basically the only weapons you'll ever want.
Suggestions :
- Grant the ability to change the base crit-range of x2 weapons you wield to 18-20, stacking with Improved Critical, effectively making all 19-20/20x2 weapons viable choices (at the expense of having at least 1 panache or accuracy/damage or having a bonus for the rapier to counterbalance)
- Grant the ability to recover Panache with another method.

Negative : "The class is highly limited in builds" AKA "I can't survive 1st level" AKA "I can't pick thematic feats because of the prerequisites" AKA "I can't use my class features without feat taxes"
Origin : You NEED the Weapon Finesse and Combat Reflexes feats to use most of your base class abilities, or be efficient. This means even a human will suffer, even more other races. 2nd level is too late for finesse if you have to survive a sucky uslessness at 1st level...
Positive : Swashbuckler's finesse allows for cool, original weapons like tridents !
Suggestions :
- Grant the ability to change the base crit-range of x2 weapons you wield to 18-20, stacking with Improved Critical, effectively making all 19-20/20x2 weapons viable choices (at the expense of having at least 1 panache or accuracy/damage or having a bonus for the rapier to counterbalance)
- Grant the ability to recover Panache with another method for such weapons (explosive dice ?)
- Give Weapon Finesse at 1st level (eventually, lose this feat if you multiclass too early in order to avoid dipping)
- Grant to the Swash the ability to ignore the "13 Int" and "Combat Expertise" prerequisites for feats so it can take thematic abilities
- Grant a list of bonus feats like a monk in which they must pick without meeting the prerequisites

-SOLVED-
Negative : "Precise Strike does not work on too many creatures to be effective in the long run."
Origin : Outdated limitations to this kind of precision damage.
Suggestions :
- Adopt the rogue's 3.P precision damage
- Don't allow this damage and Str/Dex bonuses to damage to stack ; in which case the Swift Action double damage may have half this total damage multipliable on a crit
SOLUTION : The Swash will be able to Precise Strike almost all creatures
-SOLVED-

-SOLVED-
Negative : "Precise Strike does not work when wielding a buckler or another weapon."
Origin : Self-explained.
Suggestions :
- Make the bonus damage work only for the main weapon or reduce its effectiveness if wielding another item. You should be able to wield both a rapier and a main gauche without getting neutered especially considering the feat investment for such build. Come on dudes, it's the Swashbuckler, not the Swashhandfree.
SOLUTION : The Swash will be able to Precise Strike with a buckler in the other hand
-SOLVED-

Negative : "The class doesn't receive Dex/Cha-to-damage."
Counterargument : Precise Strike already grants a more fleshy, quite potent damage boost scaling with level. Also, subjective, but this may be felt as boring and unoriginal.
Origin : Self-explanatory.
Suggestions :
- Grant the class the equivalent of the Gunslinger's damage boost, if possible early, so it also denies the need for Dervish Dance

Negative : "The Swash only has one good saving throw, and not the best to survive melee and be just as awesome and daring as he should be."
Origin : Reflexes is much less deadly than other saving throws, and since you'll likely need to go melee AND dump other mental stats, you'll have abysmal survival chances against poison/domination/charm while Dexterity will already boost Ref to stratosphere.
Suggestions :
- Cha modifier to Will saves (substitution ; maybe this ability would not work against characters you may sexually get attracted to so this sexy sorceress can charm your sorry seducer ass easily ?)
- Two good saves (Fort/Ref or Will/Ref)
- Two or all "average saves", an unique, original middle ground between good and bad saves so you get a jack-of-all-trades all-daring character

Negative : "Bravery sucks."
Counterargument : It fits the class's fluff perfectly.
Origin : We all know Bravery's only purpose is to get replaced by archetypes. A +1 bonus every hundred levels against a highly-limited in actual gameplay effect ?
Suggestions :
- Changing it for another cool option instead. Bonus Panache ? Immunity to fear effects like a paladin ? Cha to Will saves like suggested in the previous point ?

Negative : "Opportune Parry and Counterattack cost too much."
Origin : 1 point of panache + 1 AoO + 1 point of panache + 1 AoO = mandatory "Combat Reflexes + minimum 16 Cha" build just to use your class abilities once a day without being left defenseless/offenseless until 6th level.
Suggestions :
- Making the two deeds a single one, costing 1 panache and 1 AoO

Negative : "Small swashbucklers are screwed."
Origin : The cumulative -4 penalty to Opportune Parry makes it hard to do what it says on the can about small swashbucklers punishing big brutes.
Suggestions :
- Reducing/removing/rebalancing the penalty/advantages for small-sized characters, and/or writing an archetype better fit for fighting against enemies one size category larger or more.

NEW ADDITION:
Negative : "The swashbuckler has not enough mobility."
Counterargument : The Precise Strike panache-boost is a cool and cheap way to optimize charges and mobile strikes.
Origin : Reliance on full-attacks ; the whole concept of Swash involves acrobatics shenanigans on stairs, cords and chandeliers !
Suggestions :
- Grant a deed to treat surrounding items as flanking material
- Grant a deed to move a small distance as a swift action (acrobatics ?)
- Some way to attack while moving


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Zark wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?
Because its the only thing that works with a dex fighter, so its the only kind of character they'll see.

¨

Ah, but the DPR comparison is made using a Str based Swashbuckler.

A dex based Swashbuckler without dervish dance or agile weapon would suck, especially vs. to incorporeals, oozes, elementals, undeads, Swarms, warms, Aeons, constructs and objects.

And we all know it, don’t we?

BTW, Neither dervish dance nor agile weapon are part of the core rules. If they were I’m not even sure we had a Swashbuckler class.

I'd think that the 'optimal build' swashbuckler currently relying so heavily on Str at the expense of Dex and Cha (which are clearly intended to be key abilities for the class) just proves the need for something akin to Dervish Dance for the class. It's clearly not working as intended.

It would be nice not to pay the feat tax or enchantment tax though.


Zark wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?
Because its the only thing that works with a dex fighter, so its the only kind of character they'll see.

¨

Ah, but the DPR comparison is made using a Str based Swashbuckler.

A dex based Swashbuckler without dervish dance or agile weapon would suck, especially vs. to incorporeals, oozes, elementals, undeads, Swarms, warms, Aeons, constructs and objects.

And we all know it, don’t we?

BTW, Neither dervish dance nor agile weapon are part of the core rules. If they were I’m not even sure we had a Swashbuckler class.

Now swashes do full damage to all those creature types. Rejoice!


Did I miss something?


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Throne wrote:
Zark wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?
Because its the only thing that works with a dex fighter, so its the only kind of character they'll see.

¨

Ah, but the DPR comparison is made using a Str based Swashbuckler.

A dex based Swashbuckler without dervish dance or agile weapon would suck, especially vs. to incorporeals, oozes, elementals, undeads, Swarms, warms, Aeons, constructs and objects.

And we all know it, don’t we?

BTW, Neither dervish dance nor agile weapon are part of the core rules. If they were I’m not even sure we had a Swashbuckler class.

I'd think that the 'optimal build' swashbuckler currently relying so heavily on Str at the expense of Dex and Cha (which are clearly intended to be key abilities for the class) just proves the need for something akin to Dervish Dance for the class. It's clearly not working as intended.

It would be nice not to pay the feat tax or enchantment tax though.

If we realy do want to go that route, one way to do it is to replace the +level to damage with +Dex to damage (maybe capped at level) at level 3. Heck, allow both Str and Dex to discourage 7 Str. Let it all double on a crit. swift action 1 panache still adds +level to damage which doesn't multiply on a crit. That could work, and requiring level 3 (and capping at level) makes it less dippable for the dex to damage.


Zark wrote:
Did I miss something?

Yep, look up-page on this page. SRM confirms it. They also get to use bucklers, so they get even more AC now.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
It's not the class' fault if some non-Core option breaks it. It's the fault of the thing that broke the class.

Dervish dance is not what's breaking the class, its the duct tape holding the entire thing together.

A swash buckler is thematically a dex and charisma based fighter: agile, light on their feet, fast and nimble. Like the rogue or the monk though it operates best in combat mechanically by being a hulking brute... unless you have dervish dance. The problem isn't that dervish dance makes the class, its that its the only way to make the class.

If only there were a way to give them bonus damage so they could be whatever type of swashbuckler they wanted, rather than being pigeonholed into a Dexterity guy.

Maybe some sort of...bonus damage equal to your level? What an intriguing idea. That way the swashbuckler could have multiple possible build paths without having useless class features. That way the swashbuckler could choose to be faster and with better defenses or able to deal more damage.

Rather than getting both at once.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Throne wrote:
Zark wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Tels wrote:
Why are so many people butt-hurt over dervish dance and agile weapons?
Because its the only thing that works with a dex fighter, so its the only kind of character they'll see.

¨

Ah, but the DPR comparison is made using a Str based Swashbuckler.

A dex based Swashbuckler without dervish dance or agile weapon would suck, especially vs. to incorporeals, oozes, elementals, undeads, Swarms, warms, Aeons, constructs and objects.

And we all know it, don’t we?

BTW, Neither dervish dance nor agile weapon are part of the core rules. If they were I’m not even sure we had a Swashbuckler class.

I'd think that the 'optimal build' swashbuckler currently relying so heavily on Str at the expense of Dex and Cha (which are clearly intended to be key abilities for the class) just proves the need for something akin to Dervish Dance for the class. It's clearly not working as intended.

It would be nice not to pay the feat tax or enchantment tax though.

If we realy do want to go that route, one way to do it is to replace the +level to damage with +Dex to damage (maybe capped at level) at level 3. Heck, allow both Str and Dex to discourage 7 Str. Let it all double on a crit. swift action 1 panache still adds +level to damage which doesn't multiply on a crit. That could work, and requiring level 3 makes it less dippable for the dex to damage.

The dexterity to damage as well as strength instead of level to damage also works but that would make this class the most MAD of probably any other base class, which could make the power of swashbuckler very swingy depending upon point buy used in game and WBL.


Only works on living creatures. You have any idea how common undeads are in any AP?


Zark wrote:
Only works on living creatures. You have any idea how common undeads are in any AP?

Zark, as mentioned above, that's changing once SRM gets moderator privileges. It may have even already changed (check the first post of this thread).


Rogue Eidolon wrote:


If we realy do want to go that route, one way to do it is to replace the +level to damage with +Dex to damage (maybe capped at level) at level 3. Heck, allow both Str and Dex to discourage 7 Str. Let it all double on a crit. swift action 1 panache still adds +level to damage which doesn't multiply on a crit. That could work, and requiring level 3 (and capping at level) makes it less dippable for the dex to damage.

I think if you're going to have Dex-to-damage replace Precise Strike, it needs to be in addition to Str. Even the optimised Str build is behind an up-to-date optimised Fighter. Swapping one ability mod for another and ditching the level-to-damage will drop it way back.

Dex to damage replacing Str to damage at lvl 3 sounds the best option to me, as that's when you would be picking up Dervish anyway.


cooooooollll

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zark wrote:
Only works on living creatures. You have any idea how common undeads are in any AP?

Also gone.

Also, the addition of buckler access means that Dervish Dance loses a bit of effectiveness vs rapiers.


edit:
@ Shisumo: Explain this to me. I reread Dervish Dance and There is nothing preventing you from using a buckler. Or is there?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
Zark wrote:
Only works on living creatures. You have any idea how common undeads are in any AP?

Also gone.

Also, the addition of buckler access means that Dervish Dance loses a bit of effectiveness vs rapiers.

This is true, but it is still definitely the best choice.

And don't forget, that as of now, if you aren't dervish dancing you should probably be maxing strength, which I am not too thrilled about either.

Silver Crusade

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Blind Swordsman swashbuckler archetype :

- Based on Blind Fighting and "feeling" enemies with deeds
- Panache based off Wisdom
- Can play off Str for Power Attack/Adventuring or Dex for AC/Acrobatics
- Bonus damage equal to level

Oh the possibilities.


Cheapy wrote:


If only there were a way to give them bonus damage so they could be whatever type of swashbuckler they wanted, rather than being pigeonholed into a Dexterity guy.

Maybe some sort of...bonus damage equal to your level? What an intriguing idea. That way the swashbuckler could have multiple possible build paths without having useless class features. That way the swashbuckler could choose to be faster and with better defenses or able to deal more damage.

Rather than getting both at once.

Except it doesn't pull its weight without an attribute backing it up, making the dex-based option on what's clearly intended to be a dex-focused class grossly inferior.

So your build paths are what? Less damage than a fighter and worse defences, or still less damage than a fighter and worse defenses, but with slightly worse damage and better defenses than that first guy?

And isn't there some rule around here about not being a jerk?
I'm sure I saw it someplace...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zark wrote:

edit:

@ Shisumo: Explain this to me. I reread Dervish Dance and There is nothing preventing you from using a buckler. Or is there?

Last sentence: "You cannot use this feat if you are carrying a weapon or shield in your off hand."


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well I am still a fan of precise strike replacing the strength (or dex with dervish/agile) to damage. You can give other goodies to keep swashbuckler strong.

I would rather swashbuckler do a little less damage than a fighter anyway but also debuff a little bit with its attacks or do something a little different anyway.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Temeryn wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Zark wrote:
Only works on living creatures. You have any idea how common undeads are in any AP?

Also gone.

Also, the addition of buckler access means that Dervish Dance loses a bit of effectiveness vs rapiers.

This is true, but it is still definitely the best choice.

And don't forget, that as of now, if you aren't dervish dancing you should probably be maxing strength, which I am not too thrilled about either.

A Dex/Cha-based swashbuckler can make far better use of parry/riposte options to improve DPR in ways that DPR calculations can't easily handle. I'm not sure you should write off the "classic" build just yet. I'm planning to try that direction with my build when I playtest next week.


Shisumo wrote:
Zark wrote:

edit:

@ Shisumo: Explain this to me. I reread Dervish Dance and There is nothing preventing you from using a buckler. Or is there?
Last sentence: "You cannot use this feat if you are carrying a weapon or shield in your off hand."

Ah, thanks for the info. :D


Temeryn wrote:

Well I am still a fan of precise strike replacing the strength (or dex with dervish/agile) to damage. You can give other goodies to keep swashbuckler strong.

I would rather swashbuckler do a little less damage than a fighter anyway but also debuff a little bit with its attacks or do something a little different anyway.

It actually currently can make a free intimidate any round it didn't get panache to activate Precise Strike for double. Granted once you have Signature Deed, that will be never.


Shisumo wrote:


A Dex/Cha-based swashbuckler can make far better use of parry/riposte options to improve DPR in ways that DPR calculations can't easily handle. I'm not sure you should write off the "classic" build just yet. I'm planning to try that direction with my build when I playtest next week.

My gut says that needing to beat their attack roll on the parry, having to hit with the riposte, and having to pay 2 panache and 2 AoOs for each riposte.... you're not going to get near to the damage you drop by not just hulking up and hitting hard. There's too much cost, and too many opportunities to do nothing.


My thoughts on the balance of precise strike in theory-mode were given at the top of the thread- You're stuck using a one-handed weapon, and you have a lot of stat dependencies, so you start off doing way less damage than a fighter, and that 1.5x bonus to their strength and power attack damage keeps widening the gulf. Having a flat +level to damage is pretty well on par with that. You lag behind for a few levels, then you catch up, then you reach a point where, if you ignoring critical hits, you consistently do a couple points more damage against most things, but do a lot less against certain enemy types, and if an ooze shows up you're just going to have to let someone else handle it. This seems totally in keeping with how fighters are never the best damage dealers, just the most consistent about it. Paladins hit harder when they can smite, rangers when it's their favored enemy, swashbucklers against 2/3s of what comes up at high levels after lagging behind up to then. Works for me.

That though is assuming you have power attack, and this is the only full BAB melee class where that's actually something you really have to go out of your way to pick up. Without it, they do way less damage.

Anyway, back to Debbie Debug. There's no build choices for her at level 2 really. She just picks up bravery (so her will's only a -1 against fear effects), and she gets swashbuckler finesse, which makes her very very very happy, because her attack bonus just skyrocketed from 0 to 6 and she can stop being this dart throwing weirdo. She also has 1000 GP to work with, of course, since she can't really hold anything new she buys with it unless she drops something, so she's going to be boring and just masterwork all her gear. Maybe get some muleback cords to support the weight of a potion or something. Maybe drop a couple darts if the party finds some cheap magical item that only weighs a pound. The masterwork rapier brings that to a +7 to hit. At this point she may as well actually use combat expertise instead of just treating it as an unwelcome tax feat.

Fights still take a while to resolve here. Can't count on a couple lucky hits to drop things like the earlier goblins, and against, say, a sinspawn, you don't necessarily want to be in full attack range whittling things down over the course of 8 rounds (well, probably 7, odds are good of getting a crit in at some point). Actually playing that fight out... yeah, that took forever. Even with her AC cranked to 19, a couple hits are going to get through, with rolls too high to parry. Her pokes only do 2.5 damage on average. Odds are someone else in the party will kill it while she's just dancing around ineffectually but hey! Having to deal with full attacks, she has incentive to play with recovery! She has to think ahead to use it, taking a 5' step back after each attack so the sinspawn can't 5' up midway through its attacks, which also means she can't help flank, and it won't worry about an AOO if it wanders off to hit someone squishier, and she can only do it twice without getting a crit, but there's potential for a wandering duel through the room and that's cool. Also worth noting, if one of the lucky hit the sinspawn gets is with the bite attack, she has worse than a 50/50 shot of saving, and things quickly go south from there.

This level sucked for Dawn. She already had weapon finesse for a feat requirement in place of butterfly's sting, so she's less useful to the party now than Debbie, but wasn't complete dead weight at level 1. So hey.

Here's Debbie at level 3. (Do I have the HP right here? 6+con if you're taking the average of 1d10?)

OK! This is starting to flesh out now! Debbie just got access to three fantastic deeds that don't require her to spend panache, one of which brings her damage to an impressive 1d6+2. OK... 1d6+2 is not actually all that impressive... especially not next to a falchion fighter with similar stats doing 2d4+6 (+9 on a power attack... maybe even 7/10, it's easy to start with 20 str when you can totally dump cha and don't necessarily need dex or int at all). It's pretty sad next to Dawn too, who now qualifies for the whole dervish thing and has an almost-as-good-as-a-fighter 1d6+6. And she's doing slashing no less! Debbie hits harder than the average bard now at least, that's something. Debbie also basically gets a free intimidate on every attack now, and she's pretty good at it, so the rest of the party should appreciate that (while the GM groans about having to actually look up the rules).

Debbie grabs step up, so now she can do the 5' step dance on both offense and defense. Speaking of, she's still riding the razor's edge with weight, so let's just magic up the rapier and the buckler... wait, are you not allowed to use a buckler with precise strike? If you can't, that's a waste of money so I guess we are going with a chain shirt and open hand. Same AC either way for now (20, 21 with expertise running. Not too shabby!). This is also about 500 GP over budget, but close enough I say. At this point, Debbie's still really underperforming next to a fighter, but I'm starting to feel the flavor, especially if I take this floating panache point and put it towards some daring-do. Oh, and I might as well not even have parry and riposte anymore. Using them would kill half my class features, and one of those class features lets me just spend half the panache to basically double damage. Easier AND cheaper to use for a similar effect. The extra base attack damage from the successful riposte just becomes less and less important at higher levels.

Continuing along with battles pulled from Rise of the Runelords, there aren't a lot of curveballs here. There's a few things with a lot of HP which, once again, turn into long, drawn out, kind of dull fights for her. Might be a couple rough spots where her massive weaknesses get exploited too:

Spoiler:
She needs a 19 or 20 on the will save if the barghest at the end smacks her with charm monster, and she's a lot worse on friendly casters getting up in their face to interrupt spells than she is as a damage source to monsters. There's also some shadows hiding out in this last dungeon in chapter 1. True, she has a nice touch AC at 15 (16 with combat expertise), but a shadow only needs to hit her once and she is completely screwed. 1d6 damage is a nasty annoyance to any other frontline melee character. Debbie's at her light weight limit though, and I can't really see any build for the class which isn't at least close. Even with minimum damage on the roll, a single hit is going to push her into a medium load, which drops her AC like a rock, and her currently far more relevant touch AC to 10. 2 hits from a shadow will probably kill her, 3 will on average. Meanwhile, that shiny new precision bonus doesn't apply, so she's back to doing a flat 1d6 against them, divided by 2, assuming she has a +1 rapier. And just to add insult to injury, as they are undead, I don't believe she can use menacing swordplay to add insults to their injuries.

At this point, I'm definitely in the camp that would prefer to trade bravery for a (presumably renamed) divine grace. As earlier stated, the fact that you can make a perfectly serviceable swashbuckler with single digit charisma (even without an extra panache feat, all the best abilities function off just a single point), so they could really use more benefit from the stat anyway, and they are dependent on so many stats, with only one good save, that you're always going to have a massive achilles heal somewhere.

Adding dex to damage in place of strength at this level would put the class just a little behind a fighter on that front (mostly just the smaller die for a weapon), with a decent chunk disappearing against certain enemies, and the fighter having extra feats to play with.


What I'd like to know is why there isn't a possible build for a swashbuckler with TWF. After all, many swashbucklers are "not left handed".


Throne wrote:
Shisumo wrote:


A Dex/Cha-based swashbuckler can make far better use of parry/riposte options to improve DPR in ways that DPR calculations can't easily handle. I'm not sure you should write off the "classic" build just yet. I'm planning to try that direction with my build when I playtest next week.
My gut says that needing to beat their attack roll on the parry, having to hit with the riposte, and having to pay 2 panache and 2 AoOs for each riposte.... you're not going to get near to the damage you drop by not just hulking up and hitting hard. There's too much cost, and too many opportunities to do nothing.

My gut is with you here Throne, but I'm definitely open to having my mind changed if Shisumo has compelling playtest results.

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