Revised Swashbuckler Discussion


Class Discussion

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RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

Excellent. Glad to hear you're considering the options.

Do you think this will help address the issue of dex-based Swashbucklers struggling to keep up with the damage of other full BAB melee classes at early levels, or are there other plans in place for that?


CathalFM wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

I

LOVE

YOU GUYS!!!!

Praise be to the heavens above! *Sticks needle into arm, doesn't mind being called a junkie*


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Galahad0430 wrote:
There are already several ways to get DEX to damage. The class ,as is, is fine with the only real weakness being the lack of a good Fort save. The STR build is definitely not better. I will gladly pit a DEX build vs a STR build anytime. As far as tweaking goes, besides the Fort save issue, I really like Throne's idea for CHA abilities as a level tiered effect.

Which are?

Dervish restricts you to scimitar and results in cookie cutter characters who all use the same weapon.

Agile weapon quality is not an option at levels below 7 or so.

Personally (and I doubt I am alone) I would very very much like to have the option to Dex to damage with any weapon finesse weapon (even if the feat makes you specify a single weapon only) This will lead to a better variety of characters imo and also finally let's the theme of a Dex fighter work.

EDIT: Sorry that sounds more snide than I intended. The question of "which are" is a genuine question. I was just adding my own thoughts about the only two option I knew of.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

That is, a feat tax?


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

Yay, more feat tax!

Sovereign Court

Actually, I was looking at the obvious PrC for a swashbuckler besides Duelist, which is Aldori Swordlord. The PrC abilities mesh almost perfectly with SB and the PrC gives DEX to damage at 1st level. In addition the PrC has a lot of Intimidate abilities which are boosted by the CHA part of SB.


yeti1069 wrote:
Shouldn't the Swashbuckler get Uncanny Dodge?

It does. Level 11, evasive deed.

Galahad0430 wrote:
There are already several ways to get DEX to damage. The class ,as is, is fine with the only real weakness being the lack of a good Fort save. The STR build is definitely not better. I will gladly pit a DEX build vs a STR build anytime. As far as tweaking goes, besides the Fort save issue, I really like Throne's idea for CHA abilities as a level tiered effect.

Well, I wouldn't say it's fine beyond the saves issue. It's still really anemic in terms of interesting/useful class features and has no wiggle room at all to customize things. It's getting closer though.

ubiquitous wrote:
Do you think this will help address the issue of dex-based Swashbucklers struggling to keep up with the damage of other full BAB melee classes at early levels, or are there other plans in place for that?

I don't think it's particularly an issue. Two weapon style, you're a feat short if you aren't a human. Open hand style, you're down a bit until level 3 (although really, switching precise strike and parry/riposte seems like a thing that needs doing), but it's not a big enough gap to get really upset about, and the panache to double damage thing precise strike has going on makes it a terrible option now that there's actually another deed worth regularly spending panache on.


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Throne wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.
Yay, more feat tax!

If you are getting Dex to atk for free then I am accepting of having to pay feat tax for that extra step of Dex to damage. And tbf its a significant step on the part of the devs to at least try to implement this. So fair play to them.


Galahad0430 wrote:
There are already several ways to get DEX to damage. The class ,as is, is fine with the only real weakness being the lack of a good Fort save. The STR build is definitely not better. I will gladly pit a DEX build vs a STR build anytime. As far as tweaking goes, besides the Fort save issue, I really like Throne's idea for CHA abilities as a level tiered effect.

There's two ways to get DEX to damage that I know of, and only one of them is core - use a scimitar (not core), or go mythic. This is hardly several, and the method that isn't mythic only lets you use one weapon for that purpose, and only if you're in Golarion.

That said, doing it as feats is actually fine with me - it means that other classes get access to them as well.

Shadow Lodge

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

So...will you guys then be redesigning mythic finesse if this feat is available to all weapons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
CathalFM wrote:
Throne wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.
Yay, more feat tax!
If you are getting Dex to atk for free then I am accepting of having to pay feat tax for that extra step of Dex to damage. And tbf its a significant step on the part of the devs to at least try to implement this. So fair play to them.

Yeah, seriously. Every build has a "feat tax" if you want to get technical about it. I'll take what I can get. Plus, if it is feats, you don't have to worry about putting it deep into the class so you get it earlier.

Although it is possible that Stephen is only saying this to shut us up and make us go back to attacking the swift/immediate action pile up...

Nah, he is too nice to do that. Right?

On to Charmed Life! Make it a free action I can use when it isn't my turn, or otherwise remove the limit per day. I prefer the first one. If I only get so many charms I'd like more freedom to decide when I get to use them.

Oooh! Swinging chandelier charges! Still need those! Get rid of some of those level 15 deeds and put this in.


Galahad0430 wrote:
Actually, I was looking at the obvious PrC for a swashbuckler besides Duelist, which is Aldori Swordlord. The PrC abilities mesh almost perfectly with SB and the PrC gives DEX to damage at 1st level. In addition the PrC has a lot of Intimidate abilities which are boosted by the CHA part of SB.

Interesting, though I know a lot of people who prefer to play without the prestige classes, and this hardly makes a "lot" of ways to get dex to damage (imo).


CathalFM wrote:
If you are getting Dex to atk for free then I am accepting of having to pay feat tax for that extra step of Dex to damage. And tbf its a significant step on the part of the devs to at least try to implement this. So fair play to them.

It is, at least, progress.

Though I don't think it's too out of line to feel that the class that's supposed to be the dex-based meleeist should get dex to attack and damage without being taxed on it. Feats are going to be tight as it is.

I'm hoping we get to see what they have in mind before the end of the playtest so we can throw some builds together.

Designer

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Whos_That wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.
So...will you guys then be redesigning mythic finesse if this feat is available to all weapons?

It will not be open to all weapons. Basically it will not be Weapon Finesse (Mythic). It will be more like Dervish Dance. You get it for this weapon.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

If you come up with something soon, will you release it for playtesting, or will we have to wait for the book?


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

Perfect compromise! Again, thank you Stephen and the PDT!

Designer

Knick wrote:

Although it is possible that Stephen is only saying this to shut us up and make us go back to attacking the swift/immediate action pile up...

Nah, he is too nice to do that. Right?

Yeah...nice. That's it. ;)


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Presumably the class will receive a nerf to damage to make up for that huge buff?

It's already pretty high up there damage-wise, even without that, it would seem.

Designer

Shadar Aman wrote:
If you come up with something soon, will you release it for playtesting, or will we have to wait for the book?

My guess is looking at our work schedule, you will have to wait for the book. This is our last push on the playtest and we have to finish this and other projects.


Cheapy wrote:

Presumably the class will receive a nerf to damage to make up for that huge buff?

It's already pretty high up there damage-wise, even without that, it would seem.

Have ya /looked/ at Sneak Attack, Power Attack, or, I dunno, blasting spells lately? Swash damage is in no danger of eclipsing the game.

Sovereign Court

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

You sound so resigned. That must have been one hell of a meeting.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:
If you come up with something soon, will you release it for playtesting, or will we have to wait for the book?
My guess is looking at our work schedule, you will have to wait for the book. This is our last push on the playtest and we have to finish this and other projects.

That's disappointing, but totally understandable. I admit that I'm mostly asking because I was hoping to try it out on some other classes. Do you expect this feat to be broadly available, or Swashbuckler only?


Cheapy wrote:

Presumably the class will receive a nerf to damage to make up for that huge buff?

It's already pretty high up there damage-wise, even without that, it would seem.

Hopefully it won't, because it's not needed.

And if it gets an unnecessary nerf to account for a feat, that just makes the feat even more mandatory a purchase and even more unpleasant a feat tax.


Cheapy wrote:

Presumably the class will receive a nerf to damage to make up for that huge buff?

It's already pretty high up there damage-wise, even without that, it would seem.

Not much of a buff considering that they can already take dervish dance with a feat at 3rd level. If all it takes is one feat to get DEX to damage, and another feat to get any one handed slashing weapon to work with finesse, then I'm all for it. Swashbucklers have their niche filled, even if its by feat tax.

Let's not forget about feats like power attack and natural spell that are basically considered class abilities.


So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Knick wrote:

Although it is possible that Stephen is only saying this to shut us up and make us go back to attacking the swift/immediate action pile up...

Nah, he is too nice to do that. Right?

Yeah...nice. That's it. ;)

So sayeth the man with the Antipaladin avatar.

I'm keeping my eye on youuuu

Designer

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Shadar Aman wrote:
That's disappointing, but totally understandable. I admit that I'm mostly asking because I was hoping to try it out on some other classes. Do you expect this feat to be broadly available, or Swashbuckler only?

Not entirely sure yet. Still hammering out the details. If I were a betting man I would say it it will be as open as Dervish Dance is...so other classes would be able to use it as well, but it will have more utility for the swashbuckler.

Designer

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Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?

If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As long as it applies to a single weapon of the player's choice. So you could choose Dagger OR rapier OR whip etc.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

Prince of Knives wrote:
Cheapy wrote:

Presumably the class will receive a nerf to damage to make up for that huge buff?

It's already pretty high up there damage-wise, even without that, it would seem.

Have ya /looked/ at Sneak Attack, Power Attack, or, I dunno, blasting spells lately? Swash damage is in no danger of eclipsing the game.

You know you can take Power Attack as a Swashbuckler, right?

Anyways, Swashbuckler damage is more than okay at higher levels (10+), it's the ramping up to that point which is quite poorly, especially the first few levels before Precise Strike kicks in/manages to help out.

Look at any of Rogue Eidolon's examples if you want to see.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:
That's disappointing, but totally understandable. I admit that I'm mostly asking because I was hoping to try it out on some other classes. Do you expect this feat to be broadly available, or Swashbuckler only?

Not entirely sure yet. Still hammering out the details. If I were a betting man I would say it it will be as open as Dervish Dance is...so other classes would be able to use it as well, but it will have more utility for the swashbuckler.

In that case, I only have one remaining question (for now):

Can I buy you a drink sometime?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

Do you think that the current options the Swashbuckler possesses constitutes enough mobility for the class, or do you think that there's more that can be done?

When you think of the class's role in combat, what do you see them doing the majority of the time? Standing still and full attacking/holding off foes with their parrying?

EDIT: Do you think something like the Mobile Fighter archetype's Rapid Attack ability is appropriate for the Swashbuckler?

Rapid Attack (Ex)

At 11th level, a mobile fighter can combine a full-attack action with a single move. He must forgo the attack at his highest bonus but may take the remaining attacks at any point during his movement. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

Spring Attack is a very handy ability that is sadly nowhere near the cost it takes to get it. However, that's not what I'm talking about.

What does melee want to move for? Melee moves to engage the enemy, to change the section of the battlefield they have control over (threaten), to shield weaker party members or to target weak enemies. Quite aside from all the swinging-from-ropes and moving sword duels etc, Swashbuckler, thematically, wants to be engaging the enemy, threatening new parts of the battlefield, and targeting weak enemies.

There's quite a few ways they could do that! Being able to charge in non-straight lines. Gaining extra five-foot steps or straight-up swift action movements. Being able to make more than one attack as part of a standard action. Gaining a bonus or inflicting a penalty as part of movement. They key bit here is to make movement an active, interesting part of the character rather than a passive event that impedes you doing your job.


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Here I thought getting your full level to damage was meant to make it so you didn't need to have Dex to damage.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

Not entirely sure yet. Still hammering out the details. If I were a betting man I would say it it will be as open as Dervish Dance is...so other classes would be able to use it as well, but it will have more utility for the swashbuckler.

So, say we wanted to play around with the idea a little.

What would you say is the most reasonable idea to work from?
Is your gut feeling that it would/should require 3rd level as Dervish Dance does, or would 1st level purchase be reasonable?

Choose a light or one handed piercing weapon (or weapon you are able to treat as such). When wielding your chosen weapon one handed, you may apply your Dexterity modifier to damage instead of your Strength Modifier.
This is halved for a weapon in your off-hand.

Feasible?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

I'm more thinking about abilities similar to the Buccaneer archetype for Gunslinger.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber

On another note, did a little playtesting and it turns out I'm not as upset about the Opportune Parry/Riposte change as I thought I would be. It is still worth it to get the extra swing every time, and my swash didn't burn through panache as quickly. I also like that the change gave me Dodging Panache at level 1 (not that I played at level 1, but in theory I like this).

SO it turns out I was wrong to be sad about the Riposte change, and that it really is better by being usable out of the gate without a feat tax, even though I still like taking Combat Reflexes for Parry. I must tip my (not nearly as fancy and evil-looking) hat to Stephen and the rest of the team on that one.

Still not enthused about immediate action Charmed Life, however.


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Cheapy wrote:
Here I thought getting your full level to damage was meant to make it so you didn't need to have Dex to damage.

Well, that explains where you've been going wrong then.

Precise Strike is meant to make up for using only a single 1-handed weapon instead of two-hander/twf.

Hope that clarifies things for ya!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
Here I thought getting your full level to damage was meant to make it so you didn't need to have Dex to damage.

In my experience, it is more to make up for using a single one-handed weapon.

EDIT: ninja'd


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Cheapy wrote:

Presumably the class will receive a nerf to damage to make up for that huge buff?

It's already pretty high up there damage-wise, even without that, it would seem.

Cheapy: do you have a build with a swashy thats using dex to do obscene damage? I mean it might be a problem at level 15-20 but i don't see it doing anything more insane than the cookie cutter barbarian before then.

Quote:
Here I thought getting your full level to damage was meant to make it so you didn't need to have Dex to damage

1d6+ 3 damage at level 3 is... beyond bad

1d6+10 damage at level 10 is first level damage.

Just level isn't going to cut it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Prince of Knives wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.
There's quite a few ways they could do that! Being able to charge in non-straight lines.

Not just in non-straight lines, but using other forms of movement, like the aforementioned swinging from ropes!


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

Something like the Mobile Fighter's 11th-level class feature would do the trick.

And I greatly appreciate that the developers have come around on Dex to Damage. It should make everyone more optimistic that other necessary changes will go through.


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Shadar Aman wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.
There's quite a few ways they could do that! Being able to charge in non-straight lines.
Not just in non-straight lines, but using other forms of movement, like the aforementioned swinging from ropes!

Heck, even just 'ignores difficult terrain during a charge' can simulate fancy footwork/swinging from ropes/etc, since you can already move using Acrobatics & Climb. Admittedly you move REALLY BADLY but...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.
Something like the Mobile Fighter's 11th-level class feature would do the trick.

Here's a link to that archetype, for anyone else who is curious. Actually, several of those abilities would be appropriate, I think.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Okay...for all you Dex damage junkies, we are looking into options that allow you to do it, but they will probably be more like Dervish Dance -- that is options that you feat into.

TBH, a core option that had less flavor limitations than Dervish Dance, even as a feat, even with prerequisites like Weapon Finesse, Combat Expertise, BAB +X etc, would be 100% fine.

The only issue I really take with dervish dance is the absolute specificity to both Sarenrae and Scimitars.... its easy enough to reflavor and just say that it works for other things (like a rapier), but being outside of Core makes it one of those options that takes some extra goading to get the GM to sign off on it.

I understand why Dex to Damage can be seen as powerful, since dex does other things and strength... well okay strength ALSO does other things, but those other things either don't have a need to scale (carrying capacity, climb, swim... these are more like minimums needed) or are not as common in use (break doors, burst bonds).

But if you have to pay a feat or two to get it to work, it really isn't bad. I have a much bigger problem with the Agile weapon enchantment.

As a thought, though, to keep things well in line. I would consider making whatever feat does arise a Fighter-Only feat. That way it can be a little bit less restrictive and it only really affects a limited number of classes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

Well, so far I think the "charging down a handrail" and "swinging from chandeliers" aspect of swashbuckling has been neglected somewhat.

Acrobatic Charge (from the Duelist and other older PrC's) would solve a lot of that problem. I'd be happy to lose the no-save confusion/stagger deed for that. :)


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Prince of Knives wrote:
So...can we talk about the bit where Swashbuckler could use some meaningful mobility to feel like its tropes?
If by meaningful mobility, you mean something like free Spring Attack, then no. But I have been listening to the conversations about mobility and appreciate the input.

Mechanically, I'm hoping along the lines of Derring-Do get something like this when they spend a panache point. "Suffers no penalties to movement speed for the associated skills. Ex. Moving full speed when making a climb check or really hauling it through the water."

I'd also like to gain a luck bonus to the check equal to the Swashbuckler level.

Or even a form of acrobatic charge would be really appreciated.


Athaleon wrote:

Something like the Mobile Fighter's 11th-level class feature would do the trick.

And I greatly appreciate that the developers have come around on Dex to Damage. It should make everyone more optimistic that other necessary changes will go through.

First, I second the kudoes to the PDT!

On the mobility part, I think the Fighter Dawnflower Dervish archetype has a better set of mobility abilities!


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Not entirely sure yet. Still hammering out the details. If I were a betting man I would say it it will be as open as Dervish Dance is...so other classes would be able to use it as well, but it will have more utility for the swashbuckler.

Please say it will only work with the Heavy Pick, and is part of a fighting style known only to ancient Charda warriors from the land of black blood.


On a completely unrelated note... what are the odds that we can get a swashbuckler archtype that refills his panache pool by drinking alcohol?

Sort of the Cayden Cailean style of drunken swashbuckler?

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