Bloodrager, Brawler, Skald, and Shaman playtest

Playtest Feedback

Tonight we had the chance to run a one off adventure using the new classes. This was a very non-optimized party since we ran.. We Be Goblins Too.

Goblins are obviously not ideal races to build a playtest around but it's what my players wanted. The characters were very flavorful and everyone had fun role playing (not something they're good at or do that often).

We actually ran 6 players so I modified all the encounters slightly to account for the increased players. We had a Cleric and Sorcerer plus the Bloodrager, Skald, Brawler, and Shaman all at level 3.

The Bloodrager was basically a barbarian at this level. He chose the elemental bloodline (fire) for his character. With no spells there wasn't much of anything to distinguish him from a regular barbarian. I thought blood sanctuary would come into play with all the shenanigans that came with playing Goblins but it unfortunately never came up. There was also a question on whether at later levels why a fire based elemental bloodline would be able to take the form of a water elemental and whether that was an oversight or not.

I start off by saying I think the Brawler was hurt by being unable to obtain a high strength do to being a Goblin and not having access to Rage. Many of the problems stemmed from this issue alone. The Brawler had serious problems inflicting any reasonable amount of damage. The upside, Martial maneuvers is cool but it would have been nice to be able to use it more than once a day. Twice/day would have been nice given the amount of combats involved.

The Shaman was one of the more useful party members alongside the Cleric and Sorcerer. I'm not one to go on about caster non-caster disparity but they felt stronger. The Shaman wasn't as useful as the Cleric in melee Combat and without wildshape or an animal companion it felt kind of like a Druid without it's key Abilities. The Hex's didn't bring much to the table (flame spirit) but she did make use of Touch of Flame. Also having a Pig familiar wreathed in flame was good Goblin fun. Not really a complaint but it felt weird having a Shaman wearing breastplate.

So this may have been the most disappointing class of all. It was played by someone who normally runs barbarians and he went through feeling very unimportant throughout the whole night. He opted not to use his Rage Song much because he wanted to save it when it was important. When we finally faced the owlbear he activated his Raging song and everyone but the Brawler declined to accept it. Even with the bonus the difference it made with the reduced bonuses was slight. The declines were repeated again during the final encounter vs Pa. In other fights he struggled to be a relevant combatant compared to even the Cleric and relied on casting Bard Spells. His big moment of the night cane when he successfully cast Hideous laughter on Pa but it wasn't enough for my player to feel as if he contributed. Plus it was a Bard Spell.. Not a unique ability to the Skald. That I think is the big takeway. None if these classes felt like they brought anything really unique to the table.

Overall it was an enjoyable night but we all walked away feeling a little let down by the classes. The Bloodrager is fun in the sane way a barbarian is fun. But it really needs a better way to distinguish itself. I'm not pushing for early casting but it needs something less.. barbaric.

The Brawler might actually be okay if a higher strength could have been obtained. Maybe a little more use out of Martial maneuvers.

The Shaman was fine power wise. Not too powerful not too weak. But it's missing something. Not sure what really.

The Skald probably has one of the most flavorful Abilities of all. But with the drop in bonuses at early levels he seems subpar in Combat still even with the Martial proficiencies.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Thanks for posting your playtest feedback! :)

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Advanced Class Guide Playtest / Playtest Feedback / Bloodrager, Brawler, Skald, and Shaman playtest All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Playtest Feedback