Revised Swashbuckler Discussion


Class Discussion

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Spend a grand to buy the party wizard or cleric a pearl of power and have them memorize an ant haul for you.

I'd rather not depend on a spell just to carry my essential gear. And that spell slot could be put to better use. Pearls of Power only lets the caster recall a spell he already cast.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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The swashbuckler adds her Charisma modifier to her Strength score for the purposes of determining her encumbrance.


Lemmy wrote:

On a separate note... Swashbuckler Finesse.

Why give SBs a different and "wordy" version of Weapon Finesse? I assume the designed team included the "all light and one-handed piercing weapons" bit to include rapiers and sword canes... But rapiers and sword canes can already be used with Weapon Finesse per weapon description.

Wouldn't it be much simpler to just give SBs the Weapon Finesse feat at 1st level? Isn't it generally better to avoid creating new game mechanics when an old one will do?

I assume it was because not everyone wants to go full optomised with A PC due to flavor reasons and they wanted to allow people to use scizore and short spears since agile mobile fighting with these weapons has at least as long of a tradition then the rapier. There are probably a few others too but the option to finesse with a weapon that isn't light or an angry knitting needle with a basket hilt gives more diversity to an already painfully limited and shoehorned class.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Spend a grand to buy the party wizard or cleric a pearl of power and have them memorize an ant haul for you.

Wand of ant haul

Darkleaf cloth studded leather (which you need anyway if you want to send your dex into the stratosphere), mithral buckler, etc can lighten the load considerably.

Tripled carrying capacity on a 10-13 strength isn't going to do all that much when you need to stay in your light load.

And doesn't help at all with the other feats of Strength the party front-line is usually looked to for.

Contributor

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SmiloDan wrote:
The swashbuckler adds her Charisma modifier to her Strength score for the purposes of determining her encumbrance.

Because having a forceful personality allows you to carry more?

Seriously folks, the swashbuckler does not need to add Charisma to everything in order to be a strong class. There should always be consequences for dumping an ability score.


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I can just imagine the conversations.

Fighter: "Hey Swashy, how do you carry all that stuff?"

Swashbuckler: "Well it's simple, really. I'm so FABULOOOOOOUUSSSS the universe can't bear to deny me! Universe, carry my bags for me, mmkay? Thanks hon."


VargrBoartusk wrote:
I assume it was because not everyone wants to go full optomised with A PC due to flavor reasons and they wanted to allow people to use scizore and short spears since agile mobile fighting with these weapons has at least as long of a tradition then the rapier. There are probably a few others too but the option to finesse with a weapon that isn't light or an angry knitting needle with a basket hilt gives more diversity to an already painfully limited and shoehorned class.

What is fully optimized about using rapiers or sword canes? Rapiers are mediocre weapons, and sword canes are horrible.

I'm not sure it gives more character options either. Many finesse weapons deal damage other than piercing, so SBs lose at least as much as they get... Including iconic weapons such as whips.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
The swashbuckler adds her Charisma modifier to her Strength score for the purposes of determining her encumbrance.

Because having a forceful personality allows you to carry more?

Seriously folks, the swashbuckler does not need to add Charisma to everything in order to be a strong class. There should always be consequences for dumping an ability score.

From reading the thread, apparently Swashbuckler should add charisma to initiative, AC, number of AoOs, all saves (and replace WIS with CHA on will saves, so CHA twice I guess), attack and damage rolls, weight limit, move speed, starting gold, character level, number of feats you get, number of weapons you can wield at once...


After reading and participating in several of the other threads, I'm really hoping the Devs/Designers can find a way to extend their timetable (as unlikely as it may be), to allow for another wave of public testing.

Encumbrance aside we still have Save issues, action economy problems, and mobility Issues. Am I forgetting any of the major ones?

---
Google did point out something interesting which was when you use a 15-20 crit weapon you should be getting a decent amount of panache back.

I second the "remove the crit tax" on precise strike. It negates the panache point earned by criting, and hurts action economy. Granted, as-is it does allow you to apply x2 Precise Strike on non crits as well--which might be kind of neat at levels 5-10...but I'm not sure that's worth it given the potential problems.

Shadow Lodge

The only update to the class after this playthrough in my mind would be the action bottleneck.

Devs are giving us dex to damage via a feat(hopefully it stays on schedule)

they gave us a way to get a slashing weapon instead of piercing
they helped with saves due to adding charisma x times/day.
kip up and other abilities help TONS with mobility
free imp crit and finesse

IMO some people should stop asking for everything under the sun. the class is really balanced right now and adding much more of anything strength wise would mean we need another nerf somewhere.

the only thing I can see as an exception is changing 1-2 abilities to a free action 1/round instead of a swift action or immediate. It will still limit the use of the ability to once per round, but won't bottleneck ALL the other abilities on our massive list.


Where exactly is this tons of mobility? Saving 5-10 feet of movement when you tumble is their only movement ability.

Liberty's Edge

We still need to be able to charge swashbucklery, some action economy help on some deeds, and a good fort save. I think it's workable after that, though I'm sure it can always be tweaked more.

Liberty's Edge

BigNorseWolf wrote:

Where exactly is this tons of mobility? Saving 5-10 feet of movement when you tumble is their only movement ability.

I would love to see a panther style-esque ability in here, I think that would make for great theatrics. As it is, nimble and acrobatic steps are in my build, and I'm trying to work in dragon style for the mobility and charging aspects.


Dragon Style is a great bonus for Strongbucklers.
Charge through allies and dangerous terrain?
And get a bonus to saves vs sleep, paralysis, and stunning effects?

Yes please!


Throne wrote:

Dragon Style is a great bonus for Strongbucklers.

Charge through allies and dangerous terrain?
And get a bonus to saves vs sleep, paralysis, and stunning effects?

Yes please!

Shame about the 15 STR and Improved Unarmed Strike requirements. One more reason to dip Master of Many Styles, I guess.

Liberty's Edge

Yep. I want to do it all full swash, but everything swashy needs a MoMS dip...


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Fortunately, the Unarmed Strike won't be an issue, as any swash I'll play will have a MoMS dip for Crane and a bit of a saves boost. Evasion at a sensible level is just a bonus.
But, I suppose MoMS 1, pick up Crane and Dragon (assuming human for Dodge as a racial bonus feat, take Dragon as the MoMS bonus feat so you can ignore the Strength prereq), then take lvl 6 as 2nd monk level, since you'll qualify for Crane Wing and can ignore the requirements for the Crane Riposte...


Starfox wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Even though this class is a Fighter/Gunslinger hybrid, is the Paladin (with all the expansion books) a better "bar" to set any full BAB class' power level?

The paladin gets compensated for it's strict code by being generally overpowered. Not hugely so, but enough that it is not a good bar. Strangely, the best bar for the swashbuckler would seem to be the barbarian - about as good defenses.

@Googleshng
You are overstating the problems of Strength damage. In Pathfinder, Strength damage doesn't actually affect your encumbrance limits.

Quote:
Ability Damage: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The Ability Damage penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense. See Ability Score Damage below.
Also, isn't there a rule that normal clothing does not count against encumbrance, or was that 3.5?

There was a crazy rules forum debate a while ago where someone was insisting that spells that increase or decrease your strength don't really increase your strength, and that the only effects they have are bonuses/penalties specifically laid out as examples, as a crazy swarm of independent modifiers. After a weird amount of debate, including direct developer quotes to the contrary, eventually an FAQ post was written specifically to address this. Temporary str scores do, in fact, change how much you can carry. The list of things in the book they modify are just a quick list of reminders for when you're in a hurry and don't want to miss a bonus when it comes up mid-combat.

Weightless clothing I'm pretty sure was just a 3.5 thing. If I'm wrong though, that's a huge boost for this class.

Also, I should make it clear that I am not at all trying to say swashbucklers are held back and crippled by encumbrance. It is very much a solvable problem. Personally, I actually have fun budgeting out gear by how much it weighs. The catch though is that most of the workarounds require significant financial investments. Spring for a mithral buckler? That's 1000 GP down the hole for no benefit at all beyond saving you 2.5 lbs. 500 and 2 lbs. to do it to your rapier to save 1 lb. and not be silver or adamantine or whatever. A mithral chain shirt is 1000, darkleaf whatever is 750. You can't sell armor for what you paid for it, so any time you make one of these upgrades you're losing half what you invested originally, and if you're really min/maxing, pumping dex as high as you can at the expense of str, you eventually hit the max dex singularity and are better off with bracers of armor.

I broke down the harsh realities of bags of holding back here, but the practical upshot is, a bag of holding cannot hold itself, your weapon, your armor, your shield, or any of your magic gear. You still have to deal with the weight of all that, plus the bag, and it doesn't fly without double digit str. At least not until you're pushing 30 dex and giving up armor. Totally doable if you just start the game at level 11 with all these weight savers in place, but in real play, you just need to bite the bullet and keep str around 13. On the plus side, doing so gives you power attack and everything chained off it.

Trout wrote:
Throne wrote:

I think I can probably just stop posting, and favourite everything Google says instead.

Best posts throughout the playtest.

Seconded.

Nice of you to say, but getting some more voices behind the three big outstanding issues- fort save needing to be good (at reflex's expense if need be), the fact that the no-crits thing makes precise strike a total joke option next to two-weapon fighting, and the huge number of totally worthless deeds that could really stand to be replaced with flavorful mobility-based options would seriously help. All the str vs. dex stuff has distracted people for the whole length of this playtest, but there's some other serious issues that need examination and feedback, and I think there's only what? Through sunday to give it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Googleshng wrote:


There was a crazy rules forum debate a while ago where someone was insisting that spells that increase or decrease your strength don't really increase your strength, and that the only effects they have are bonuses/penalties specifically laid out as examples, as a crazy swarm of independent modifiers. After a weird amount of debate, including direct developer quotes to the contrary, eventually an FAQ post was written specifically to address this. Temporary str scores do, in fact, change how much you can carry. The list of things in the book they modify are just a quick list of reminders for when you're in a hurry and don't want to miss a bonus when it comes up mid-combat.

Note that Ability Damage is not Ability Drain. Your strength score is not actually reduced by damage, and so your carrying capacity is probably not affected. At least that is my understanding.

Ability Drain would be just as terrible as you are suggesting.


This might have been pointed out at some point during the swarm of posts that I didn't manage to get through... but I noted something with Slashing Grace...

if you take a onehanded slashing weapon, say a longsword and use slashing grace, it is still a onehanded sword, not a light weapon. Thus, you could still power attack with it, am I correct? thus gaining both precise strike and power attack?


If there's a rule that says you can't power attack with a light weapon, this is the first I've heard of it.

Shadow Lodge

You can still use power attack with a light weapon unless I have been misinformed.

EDIT: upon review of both Light Weapons and Power Attack there is nothing against using power attack with a light weapon in one hand. The only penalties you would take would be if you used the weapon in your off hand.


Shadar Aman wrote:


Note that Ability Damage is not Ability Drain. Your strength score is not actually reduced by damage, and so your carrying capacity is probably not affected. At least that is my understanding.

Ability Drain would be just as terrible as you are suggesting.

That seems to be untrue if this FAQ can work in reverse (Which I believe is the intent).

Here.

Silver Crusade

In 3rd ed Power Attack didn't increase the damage from a light weapon. This is no longer the case in PF: light weapons get the increase to damage from Power Attack, so any swashbuckler3 can use both Power Attack and Precise Strike on any weapon compatible with the latter.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rynjin wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:


Note that Ability Damage is not Ability Drain. Your strength score is not actually reduced by damage, and so your carrying capacity is probably not affected. At least that is my understanding.

Ability Drain would be just as terrible as you are suggesting.

That seems to be untrue if this FAQ can work in reverse (Which I believe is the intent).

Here.

Why would you check a FAQ on a related subject before checking the rules on the actual subject?

Core Rulebook; Glossary; Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain wrote:

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

That's pretty explicit.


Well, I am not sure what else can be said Googleshng.

Frontline fighters need a strong fort save. Period. There really isn't a discussion that follows that... it is just a simple fact of the game.

It was seemingly built that way from the ground up and every melee rogue feels that pain. There are a few workarounds, but sadly, none of them are particularly thematic (dwarves with steel soul, dipping monk or barbarian)

I don't really understand how a class made from two classes with strong fort saves can end up without one, but it is a huge deficit. Charmed Life could possibly be fixed to address the issue, but it would require a serious re-write.

Firstly, the immediate action part needs to go. Secondly, it needs to be useable more often at higher levels.... but then it is getting a bit too close to divine grace and that is a bad side-effect.

The best answer here would be to do one of the following:

1. Charmed Life: Add Charisma to Fort saves only, but the bonus is static.

2. Lose charmed life entirely in lieu of a strong fort save.

The low will save issue is one that most frontline fighters need to deal with, so that can't be held against the class. The fort save issue is going to make this class practically useless without serious side-investment at higher levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:


Note that Ability Damage is not Ability Drain. Your strength score is not actually reduced by damage, and so your carrying capacity is probably not affected. At least that is my understanding.

Ability Drain would be just as terrible as you are suggesting.

That seems to be untrue if this FAQ can work in reverse (Which I believe is the intent).

Here.

I think that's the same FAQ that Googleshng linked. That is still describing an actual increase to your ability score, whereas Ability Damage is explicitly defined as not changing the associated score.

I admit I'm not totally confident in my interpretation, but the way I read it, ability damage wouldn't reduce carrying capacity.


Jiggy wrote:


Why would you check a FAQ on a related subject before checking the rules on the actual subject?
Core Rulebook; Glossary; Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain wrote:

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

That's pretty explicit.

Because the FAQ is clearing up pretty much the same wording, except for bonuses instead of damage. Carrying Capacity isn't explicitly stated to increase with temporary Str bonuses, like Rage, nor is it stated to decrease with damage (it just exchanges the word bonus for penalty and then has the same examples).

Quote:

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Strength score give you a bonus on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The bonus also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

...

Ability Damage: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The Ability Damage penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense. See Ability Score Damage below.

I figure the FAQ clears that up all around, since "statistics" is a bit ambiguous/open-ended.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Jiggy wrote:


Why would you check a FAQ on a related subject before checking the rules on the actual subject?
Core Rulebook; Glossary; Ability Score Damage, Penalty, and Drain wrote:

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores. This damage does not actually reduce an ability, but it does apply a penalty to the skills and statistics that are based on that ability.

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability.

That's pretty explicit.

Because the FAQ is clearing up pretty much the same wording, except for bonuses instead of damage. Carrying Capacity isn't explicitly stated to increase with temporary Str bonuses, like Rage, nor is it stated to decrease with damage (it just exchanges the word bonus for penalty and then has the same examples).

Quote:

Temporary Bonuses: Temporary increases to your Strength score give you a bonus on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The bonus also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and to your Combat Maneuver Defense.

...

Ability Damage: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The Ability Damage penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense. See Ability Score Damage below.

I figure the FAQ clears that up all around, since "statistics" is a bit ambiguous/open-ended.

If "statistics" includes carrying capacity, then you would lose 1 carrying capacity for every 2 points of damage, which doesn't make a lot of sense. If you want to apply the wording of the FAQ in reverse, that would mean that temporary decreases to your Strength score would affect all statistics associated with Strength. This is exactly what happens, but Strength damage isn't a decrease to your Strength score.

But this discussion probably doesn't belong in this thread....


Googleshng wrote:

The worst issue though is the same problem every swashbuckler has to face, saving throws. Let's look at a ghoul. They're CR1, so you can expect to find them quite early, and with the playtest I ran a swashbuckler through, they were swarming all over at level 5. Let's fight one with this character at level 1 first-

You can probably go first, probably hit it. A max damage crit from you isn't enough to kill it, it's definitely getting some attacks in against you. It gets three attacks once its in full attack range (dodging panache may let you avoid 2 of those on certain rounds). You can parry the whole string if you're coming in with full panache. They hit on a 14, your parry attempt is a +6 to their +3 so that comes out to what? Around a 15% chance of getting a hit in, roughly? The ghoul gets 3 attempts at it per round, you need a few rounds to take it down if the rest of the party is occupied, odds are pretty good you're going to take a hit or two this fight.

Take one hit, you need a fort save. Two if it's from the bite and your GM doesn't wait on disease checks. If you riposted before this hit, you can't use charmed life on this. Same problem if it lands 2 hits in the same round, which isn't at all out of the question if you're the only one throwing damage on this thing, panache runs out quick with all this parrying. A DC13 fort save is a coinflip without charmed life, fail and you seriously out of commission. Paralysis is not a dex build's friend. Ghoul fever's pretty nasty with that con.

Alternatively, let's look at this at level 5. A few ghouls attack you, swarming whoever's out front as ghouls are wont to do. Your AC is better, your fort save is 2 higher because you bought a cloak, but +4 is the baseline for anyone else in your position at this level, before adding stats. Plus your parry attempts beat their attacks by 8 even if they're flanking, and do enough damage to potentially drop one in a single hit. That said, your parries are limited by your unchanged panache, you only get one riposte. My math says if four manage surround you and one dies on its first attempt to attack, you're still looking at 2 or 3 hits getting though, and a 60% shot at passing the saves. Pass on the riposte, you still only get charmed life (which only brings you to the save of a fighter with your con and cloak) on the first. Paralysis is looking likely. Throw a ghast in the mix and it's even worse. You're hit with a fort save as soon as you're in combat range, saves are up to 15, if it flanks it's back to hitting on a 14, and you need a crit to take it down in one go. This issue only gets more pronounced at higher levels where (sometimes) adding cha to fort saves is less and less of an effective bandaid.

This is exactly what happened in my play test!


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So, since I think it needs to be done, I have one more playtest character I need to whip up to prove a point. This is D.D. "Double Daggers" Debug. She is to be using a two-weapon fighting style, rather than a rapier and buckler, and while she's at it, she's going to be dumping str. for more dex and a slightly better fort save. "But Google!" You've typed up all these pages and pages about how it's a terrible idea to try and dump str! Why would she do such a crazy thing? Well, hypothetical reader, the answer is threefold. 1- A rapier and buckler weigh 7 lbs. while a pair of kukris only weigh 2, and she can hold off on one of them. 2- D.D. has no interest in taking power attack. 3- Bringing her dex up to an 18 (could even do 20 but I'm trying to mirror Diva's stats as much as possible) restores the AC lost to lighter starting armor.

Compared directly to Diva, D.D. has +1 to her fort saves, +1 to hit, and -2 AC at level 1 (no ACP vs. -2 if you care). She also has no camping gear, and lighter clothes (an entertainer's outfit). Interestingly enough, her damage is actually marginally better. 16 Dex with a rapier gives her 1d6+3 (average 6.5, min 4), while 18 and a kukri gives her 1d4+4 (average 6.5 min 5). How is that better? Well, monsters with 1 HD, commonly fought at level 1, tend to have 4 HP. On a bad roll, Diva can get counter attacked before something with 0 HP drops. Not Diva though. Feats are about the same. This mystery dex to damage feat applied to kukris instead of rapiers (assuming that's how it works), piranha strike in place of power attack. Same deal.

D.D. plays just like Diva at levels 1 and 2. Slightly more likely to take a hit, but she parries a tad more often. Slightly less likely to get stunned by a monk's fist or messed up by a vargouille, or these other various fort save issues. Works out pretty well over all.

"But wait! She's not using a piercing weapon! She can't use parry/riposte!" Yes she can. The only deeds that require a piercing weapon are Menacing Swordplay, Targeted Strike, Dizzying Defense, Perfect Thrust, Deadly/Stunning Stab, Bleeding Wound, and Precise Strike (which also requires an open hand). Bleeding Wound is the only one on the list she really cares about. At some point, she's going to want to grab slashing grace to get that, which she can do at level 3 if any of the rest of these hold some appeal. I think two-weapon fighting is the better bet though at first, save slashing grace for the following level.

Twin kukris isn't necessarily THE way to go here by the way. That's just D.D. being greedy. A pair of short swords have the same weight, bring damage back up to a d6, and still score more crits than a single rapier does, even at level 5 when you're looking at 2 17+ weapons vs. a single 15+ and more crits are what it's all about. Really, you're probably better off doing that, because working up her feats, things do get pretty tight in there.

Fun switch-hitter tricks! (AKA Bull-Fighter Build)

I lied. D.D. actually does care about precise strike. While she mostly gets way more benefit just fighting with two weapons, getting her proper full benefit from crits, and racking up panache for parrying constantly (for even more panache no less), there are times when precise strike is the better bet. When those times come up though, all she has to do is not pull one blade. Take Quick Draw (which lets you do that fancy init roll draw too), approach enemies with just one weapon in hand, get a nice free stab for which precise strike is really just acting as pure bonus damage. Keep it for your parry. Start of your next turn, out comes the extra blade for free, and tada. Something has DR? Free action to drop one, you're hitting just as hard as the rapier-and-buckler swash (unless you're delaying weapon specialization but that's pretty minor).

Even more fun when you hit level 12. Impaling critical isn't especially appealing when you only have one weapon, but here? Leave a short sword in someone's gut for extra damage and rather than going to no damage, you go to using precise strike. Keep it for the parry/riposte, then use some of the carrying capacity you have at this level to carry some spares. Quick draw one at the start of next turn and keep it going.

It's a feat intensive build, but with the bonus feats you're getting at 4 8 and 12, it doesn't really hurt you too much. You have to put off either agile maneuvers (really, if you're maining dex, you should probably just take escape artist come to think of it) or weapon specialization, but that's not a huge deal. Already, you can see how this is a really nice way to get a build going, with lots of raw damage, constant parrying, and once you hit level 11, bleeding crits all over the place. Personally, I'd be really tempted to go with this instead of rapier and buckler just for the panache flow.

Now do you all see how the rapier and buckler build giving up crit damage is penalizing it to the point of uselessness?

Oh hey, even better- When you go with this quick draw build, you can keep the buckler equipped the whole time and get the AC any time you end your turn with just the one short sword.


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Just wanted to bring up some comments Google made which I largely agreed with wholeheartedly. Mostly that it's in this section I feel the class needs a large amount of work.

Googleshng wrote:

Derring-do: Not worth paying for the way panache works. I'd be fine dropping it, it'd be neat if it was always on with a panache in reserve.

I agree, I'd basically never use it. The only situation I can see coming up is if I needed to use Escape Artist to get out of some kind of grapple wherein my CMB wouldn't cut it. Panache is currently too important for my damage for me to waste out of combat on skills. I like the idea of exploding dice however.

Googleshng wrote:
Dodging Panache: It's incredibly rare that you can find a use for it, but it is good when it comes up... at very low levels when you have nothing better to do with your panache. Upgrade the movement to 10' at level 7, or just in general even, and it's worth keeping.

Agree with the bold section. It allows her to occasionally avoid full attacks, (of course not if the monster has reach, or step-up type feats). Even if it didn't interrupt full attacks, by being more than a simple 5' step it still provides possible respite for next turn's potential full attack.

And we've also just added to her mobility in combat.

Googleshng wrote:

Parry/Riposte: Needs to come later because it's too much dip-bait as is, and I still think you should only be able to do it on something that will hit you. As is it's a no brainer to blow every point of free panache you get on it. If you couldn't do so basically every round, it'd be risky to horde for it and you'd look around.

I like this move a lot. Perhaps level 3 is a more appropriate time to get it. I agree that it should only be usable if something is indeed going to hit you. That makes sense to me fluff-wise and mechanically.

This is the primary use of Panache, and Immediate Actions (the Riposte).

Googleshng wrote:

Kip-Up: Perfect as it is and where it is.

Adds mobility, and combat usefulness... a static benefit and at a cost a better one. Sounds good.

Googleshng wrote:

Menacing Swordplay: Does it really need to be a swift? Can we just have it once a round, after dealing damage? It's a minor and obscure enough mechanic to be easily forgotten even then, and with all the demand on swifts, it becomes real hard to remember you can do it on rounds you aren't spending panache. I could also see just dropping it, if you want to do this, there's a feat.

I've never personally cared about demoralizing my foes in combat. I'm definitely not spending a swift action on it (which could be instead free damage with a riposte, or enhanced Precise Strike). Like he mentioned, there's a series of feats for this. Why waste class design space?

Googleshng wrote:

Precise Strike: Enough with the weird half-measure approach. Stick it at level 1, drop the panache spending, let it crit normally. Just don't call it precision damage and tada. As written it is a very hard to detect trap which effectively locks you out of every other deed with no real benefit.

I like Precise Strike's first paragraph. In a nutshell I agree.

Googleshng wrote:

Swashbuckler's Initiative: Drop it and free up a slot for something good. Gunslingers benefit because they get to make a ranged full attack against an AC of 10 in round 1 if they go first. Swashbucklers just get to... move out of range of the wizard casting haste on everyone.

I understand why it's here. I'm not against it from a flavor standpoint, but in practical applications it isn't terribly useful. What if this just became an increase to base move speed?

Googleshng wrote:

Superior Feint: Drop it. It's basically a mandatory teamwork feat that wastes your turn.

It's potential utility which I'm not entirely against. I'd only want to use this in very specific occasions however. Maybe if I could just sacrifice a single attack out of a full attack action to do this.

Googleshng wrote:

Targeted Strike: Drop it. The gunslinger version's good for cinematic stuff when someone's way across the room or on a balcony or something. Swashbucklers can just use maneuvers and not waste their whole turn.

I'm not as against this as Google is. I hold staggering, confusing or knocking prone an enemy with no save in very high regard. And it's a shout out to the class' gunslinger routes.

Googleshng wrote:

Bleeding Wound: Perfect, don't change a thing... I'd suggest maybe moving it to 15, but around there it's hard to find things that bleed.

I like it. It's worthy of the Panache point spending, and doesn't gum up our action economy.

Googleshng wrote:

Evasive: Good, but maybe break it up? Seems weird to skip directly to improved Evasion.

Not sure what Google means about "skipping to improved evasion"

Googleshng wrote:

Dizzing Defense: Drop it or maybe give it out at a low level. Really low. It'd be pretty neat at 1 or 3.

I'm still confused about this ability.

Googleshng wrote:

Perfect Thrust: Drop it. This isn't even a case of the gunslinger version working because you have ranged touch attacks. This is nerfing the gunslinger equivalent to the point there is no sane reason you'd ever consider it.

The practical applications of this are very limited. I'd vote to drop it.

Googleshng wrote:

Swashbuckler's Edge: Move it to level 1? Maybe 3? It's neat, but pointless this high up. At level 1, I'd require a panache point to use it though, probably.

I agree that it feels useless at this level. By level 15 the skills that matter to you probably get a bigger bonus than you could roll on the d20.

Googleshng wrote:

Stunning Stab: Redundant, might be OK many levels earlier.

I'd love to see this around levels 7-12.


Quote:
Not sure what Google means about "skipping to improved evasion"

Google is referring to splitting up what you gain and spreading it out.

Rogues get evasion. Eventually they get improved evasion.

Swashbucklers very suddenly get improved evasion.

I'm inclined to agree. It is a very large defensive boost out of nowhere.

I'd rather Swashbucklers (and Gunslingers for that matter) get Evasion at, say, 5th level, then Improved Evasion at the level they get the whole shebang now for instance.


Holy playtest, batman!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Quick question, has slashing grace been rewritten so that it can only be used for slashing weapons or is it still open to be used with any weapon? As written the only prereqs are Dex 13, Weapon Prof, and proficiency with the chosen weapon which means I could theoretically use it to build myself a mwangi stick fighter with a club right now.


Cheapy wrote:
Holy playtest, batman!

I don't think a Lyrakien Swashbuckler13/Master of Many Styles 1 with the equipment budget of a level 16 PC is a particularly useful data point. This one is actually a real play example if we're fishing. Like a lot of classes, a high level swashbuckler geared up and at full power to fight a single enemy tends to be really good at it, but that's not what happens when you actually play the game.

Also I'm curious now if anyone can come up with a way to build a 15-point-buy swashbuckler who is capable of surviving the second chapter of Rise of the Runelords while still contributing in some fashion.


Quote:

Superior Feint (Ex): At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least 1 panache point can spend a standard action to purposely miss a creature that she could normally hit with a light or one-handed weapon melee attack. When she does, that creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC

until the start of her next turn.

What does it mean by "normally hit?"

If I read it as "This creature is within range of my melee attack, I could hit this." then the Superior Feint doesn't sound that bad. It doesn't require a roll to hit of any sort, you just say "As a standard action, I miss."

So it wouldn't work against incorporeal creatures unless you had a ghost touch sword?


Googleshng wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Holy playtest, batman!

I don't think a Lyrakien Swashbuckler13/Master of Many Styles 1 with the equipment budget of a level 16 PC is a particularly useful data point. This one is actually a real play example if we're fishing. Like a lot of classes, a high level swashbuckler geared up and at full power to fight a single enemy tends to be really good at it, but that's not what happens when you actually play the game.

Also I'm curious now if anyone can come up with a way to build a 15-point-buy swashbuckler who is capable of surviving the second chapter of Rise of the Runelords while still contributing in some fashion.

I think being a lyrakien using a starknife is a significant nerf compared to just being a higher level character with 3 more PC levels instead of 3 outsider hit dice. If you really don't like lyrakiens, it would be easy to change the outsider levels into PC class levels and make a much more powerful version of the character. I was mostly going for the Desnan theme, since Desna seems like an awesome deity for a Swashbuckler (alogn with Cayden).

Anyway, it's pretty clear to me (when I made this idea, I thought the Swash would win over the course of a long battle, I was startled by my own damage rate)--the Swashbuckler class as written is extraordinarily powerful at higher levels. I agree with everybody that it's pretty weak at low levels.


Googleshng wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Holy playtest, batman!

I don't think a Lyrakien Swashbuckler13/Master of Many Styles 1 with the equipment budget of a level 16 PC is a particularly useful data point. This one is actually a real play example if we're fishing. Like a lot of classes, a high level swashbuckler geared up and at full power to fight a single enemy tends to be really good at it, but that's not what happens when you actually play the game.

Also I'm curious now if anyone can come up with a way to build a 15-point-buy swashbuckler who is capable of surviving the second chapter of Rise of the Runelords while still contributing in some fashion.

Nah, the racial hit die are just holding the swash back. It is a bit of a strange playtest, I totally agree, but the sheer magnitude of difference in levels and CRs is quite telling. Someone without powerful magics has no right to kill a CR 25 creature solo, when they are basically level 14, with 3 (by now mostly useless) HD from race.

Can't wait to read the thread you linked though!

Is book 2 of RotRL known to be particularly deadly?


Googleshng wrote:
"But wait! She's not using a piercing weapon! She can't use parry/riposte!" Yes she can. The only deeds that...

Not being able to regain panache will presumably still cause some issues though, no?


Cheapy wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
Cheapy wrote:
Holy playtest, batman!

I don't think a Lyrakien Swashbuckler13/Master of Many Styles 1 with the equipment budget of a level 16 PC is a particularly useful data point. This one is actually a real play example if we're fishing. Like a lot of classes, a high level swashbuckler geared up and at full power to fight a single enemy tends to be really good at it, but that's not what happens when you actually play the game.

Also I'm curious now if anyone can come up with a way to build a 15-point-buy swashbuckler who is capable of surviving the second chapter of Rise of the Runelords while still contributing in some fashion.

Nah, the racial hit die are just holding the swash back. It is a bit of a strange playtest, I totally agree, but the sheer magnitude of difference in levels and CRs is quite telling. Someone without powerful magics has no right to kill a CR 25 creature solo, when they are basically level 14, with 3 (by now mostly useless) HD from race.

Can't wait to read the thread you linked though!

Is book 2 of RotRL known to be particularly deadly?

It can be deadly. Spoiler alert--the swash in the playtest built with 10 Con. I tell my own players that if they build with 10 Con, they are asking to die. Double or triply so for a front-liner.


Quadruply for one who already has a poor Fort save.

Hope you never get Disinetgrated, Polymorphed, Poisoned, contract a Disease, or fall victim to any one of most likely literally hundreds of ways a poor Fort save can screw you over royally.


Rynjin wrote:

Quadruply for one who already has a poor Fort save.

Hope you never get Disinetgrated, Polymorphed, Poisoned, contract a Disease, or fall victim to any one of most likely literally hundreds of ways a poor Fort save can screw you over royally.

Yes, he got paralyzed like every time despite lowish DCs. But that's not too shocking given a 10 Con. By the way, he was able to have 10 Con because the GM gave them all max hit points at all levels as a house rule (which certainly WOULD disincentivize Con, but it makes the whole thing a poor platform for a playtest since that's a major houserule).


Rynjin wrote:

Quadruply for one who already has a poor Fort save.

Hope you never get Disinetgrated, Polymorphed, Poisoned, contract a Disease, or fall victim to any one of most likely literally hundreds of ways a poor Fort save can screw you over royally.

Seems like that's an argument against anyone having Fort as a Poor Save!


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I'd like to see some more dev comments on this, it seems we're just going round in circles now.


Cheapy wrote:
Rynjin wrote:

Quadruply for one who already has a poor Fort save.

Hope you never get Disinetgrated, Polymorphed, Poisoned, contract a Disease, or fall victim to any one of most likely literally hundreds of ways a poor Fort save can screw you over royally.

Seems like that's an argument against any front liner having Fort as a Poor Save!

Fixed it for you.

Yes, it's an argument against any front-liner having a poor Fort save. A good one, actually. They need it more than any other class.

Having Reflex as your only good save is a death sentence.

Silver Crusade

Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Anyway, it's pretty clear to me (when I made this idea, I thought the Swash would win over the course of a long battle, I was startled by my own damage rate)--the Swashbuckler class as written is extraordinarily powerful at higher levels. I agree with everybody that it's pretty weak at low levels.

The reason it does so poorly at low levels and so well at high levels is the flat level to damage from Precise Strike, doubled with 1 Panache. That's +0 at the first two levels to +40 at 20th.

I would totally scrap the 'spend 1 Panache to double Precise Strike', stop calling it 'precision' damage so that it can work like other skill-based damage bonuses (Specialisation, Weapon Training) and multiply on a crit and affect elementals etc., and have the damage scale like (2H) Power Attack: +3 per 4 swashbuckler levels starting at +3 at level 1.

This would mean that armed with a single rapier with the Dex-to-damage feat and 18 Dex:-

Rapier +5, 1d6+7(18-20/x2)

Compared to a Fighter1 with Weapon Focus, Power Attack, 18 Str and a greatsword:-

Greatsword +5, 2d6+9(19-20/x2).

Still behind the fighter, but fully capable of fighting in the front line (given good fort saves!).

Meanwhile, the 12th level SB is getting +12 damage multiplied on a crit, versus the current playtest version that gets +12 not multiplied, or +24 for 1 Panache.

At 20th, +18 multiplied versus +20/+40 not multiplied.

If +3 per 4 levels is too high, try +2 per four levels (like 1H PowerAttack), which would be better expressed as +1 per 2 levels.


Hmm, I wonder how much 'balance points' you would have to spend if you gave a frontliner a poor fort save. Sort of like how a druid without wildshape ... well you can do just about anything you want to replace it.

Eeenteresting. Must read book 2 of RotRL later.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Anyway, it's pretty clear to me (when I made this idea, I thought the Swash would win over the course of a long battle, I was startled by my own damage rate)--the Swashbuckler class as written is extraordinarily powerful at higher levels. I agree with everybody that it's pretty weak at low levels.

The reason it does so poorly at low levels and so well at high levels is the flat level to damage from Precise Strike, doubled with 1 Panache. That's +0 at the first two levels to +40 at 20th.

I would totally scrap the 'spend 1 Panache to double Precise Strike', stop calling it 'precision' damage so that it can work like other skill-based damage bonuses (Specialisation, Weapon Training) and multiply on a crit and affect elementals etc., and have the damage scale like (2H) Power Attack: +3 per 4 swashbuckler levels starting at +3 at level 1.

This would mean that armed with a single rapier with the Dex-to-damage feat and 18 Dex:-

Rapier +5, 1d6+7(18-20/x2)

Compared to a Fighter1 with Weapon Focus, Power Attack, 18 Str and a greatsword:-

Greatsword +5, 2d6+9(19-20/x2).

Still behind the fighter, but fully capable of fighting in the front line (given good fort saves!).

Meanwhile, the 12th level SB is getting +12 damage multiplied on a crit, versus the current playtest version that gets +12 not multiplied, or +24 for 1 Panache.

At 20th, +18 multiplied versus +20/+40 not multiplied.

If +3 per 4 levels is too high, try +2 per four levels (like 1H PowerAttack), which would be better expressed as +1 per 2 levels.

+3 per 4 levels would result in Tyali getting +9 instead of +13. She had 8 hits and spent panache to double once, for 117 damage. She had two crits for x3 due to starknife, so all told your proposal would have given her 108 damage instead of 117. It's probably even better for a Swash that actually gets an 18-20/x2 weapon.


Rogue Eidolon wrote:
Anyway, it's pretty clear to me (when I made this idea, I thought the Swash would win over the course of a long battle, I was startled by my own damage rate)--the Swashbuckler class as written is extraordinarily powerful at higher levels. I agree with everybody that it's pretty weak at low levels.

They do end up pretty freaking nice towards the back end of things yes. However...

1) Good luck living to see it with that fort save.

2) The class has a lot of in-built weaknesses which you can easily buy your way out of when you have a ton of money at high levels, but they're not the sort of things you can just suffer through before then, so if you were to actually start at one, you wouldn't likely start off with these stats, and you'd burn through a lot of cash on alternate equipment setups before hitting this point.

3) Crazy swashbuckler performance has a really narrow niche. I'm going to need you to walk me through how this character here does any damage at range, because I know precise strike is melee only, and I'm 99.9% sure this new dex-to-damage feat is not going to apply to ranged attacks of any sort. We're limited to flightless enemies that properly bleed and take critical hits, with no way of consistently staying outside of a 5' reach. In my experience, around the time swashbucklers mature into a real serious threat, you're generally fighting large creatures with perfect flight, ranged attacks, the ability to summon elementals... lots of things that really hamper the swashbuckler's ability to go do her thing. Seems to me to generally fit the whole narrower circumstances, bigger edge notion behind most melee classes. Plus, even if the fort save gets fixed, find a way to deny dex to a swashbuckler and they have a Very Bad Day. They're surprisingly vulnerable to grappling too. Plenty of things with grab on them.

Cheapy wrote:
Is book 2 of RotRL known to be particularly deadly?

I'm about to run it for my regular group which should give me a better handle on that but based on a read-through, it really shouldn't be, no.

Spoiler:
It's actually relatively low on combat. A big hunk of it is just exploring this haunted house, where various haunts have fort and will saves which can drive you into suicidal behavior. Not necessarily deadly in and of themselves, but they have the potential, particularly the fort-based ones, and they are definitely going to chew through all of a swashbuckler's charmed life uses. Past that it's just a big ol' pile of CR1 and 2 ghouls and ghasts, which paralyze on what for anyone else is going to be a real easy fort save, but the sheer volume of saves involved is going to murder you if it isn't a good save for you. Then there's an upjumped superghast at the end which can largely be avoided but one lucky hit and hello paralysis. Then towards the end there's a couple save-or-suck based wizards which I don't THINK are really going to ruin anyone's day but one has SR and a once a day petrify that again, takes out a swashbuckler but not any other melee character.

Plus seriously, ghouls are far from the only creature that forces a ton of fort saves. Flip through a bestiary and look under special abilities. I just ran this same group through Jade Regent, they were pretty untouchable, but there were soooooo many poison blowgun darts they were all shrugging off...

Throne wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
"But wait! She's not using a piercing weapon! She can't use parry/riposte!" Yes she can. The only deeds that...
Not being able to regain panache will presumably still cause some issues though, no?

Oh! Good catch. So yeah, you'd need to take it at 1 and put off piranha strike to 3. Or just do the short sword thing.

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