All Hail Fencing Grace!


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

1 to 50 of 217 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.

For those of you who haven't wandered over to the Advanced Class Guide discussion, several pages are consumed with anger over the lack of dex-to-rapier for swashbucklers. Jason Bulmahm has provided us with the design team's answer to our worries.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I just wanted to drop in here and say thanks to the posters that put aside the lengthy discussion on Slashing Grace in favor of looking at some of the other cool things in this book. I know it is an issue of importance to many of you, so I am going to take a moment here to fill you in on what is going on (Lunch breaks are about the only time I have available these days).

That said, before I begin, I DO NOT want this to revive that discussion. If you want to continue discussing it, please start a new thread.

So, this feat originally had nothing to do with damage. It was just a way for the swashbuckler, and a few other classes, to use slashing weapons with some of their class features. Thats it. As the book was getting close to print, we were looking over it and felt that was just too weak. The damage component was added to make the feat more attractive. It was not until after it went to the printer that we realized the odd case we had created (that you cannot get Dex to damage on a rapier). Since this was obviously a vital part of the iconic character for that class, we saw it as a real problem and started looking for a solution.

Then came the Pathfinder Player Companion: Advanced Class Guide Origins.

We were in charge of developing that book and came up with a feat to resolve the problem. Since adding rapier alone to Slashing Grace was a poor patch, we came up with an entirely different feat to speak directly to rapiers.

Would you like to see it?

Normally I would not post something from a book that has not been released yet, but I am in a fine mood this week with Gencon approaching. Seeing how you all calmed down and got along, here it is.

Design Team wrote:

FENCING GRACE (COMBAT)

Your extreme style and fluid rapier forms allow you to use agility rather than brute force to fell your foes.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (rapier).
Benefit:When wielding a rapier one-handed, you can add your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier to that weapon’s damage. The rapier must be one appropriate for your size.
In addition, if you have the panache class feature, you gain a +2 bonus to CMD against attempts to disarm you of your rapier while you have at least 1 panache point.

Now, this has nothing to do with this book, so if you want to discuss it, please take that chat elsewhere (and feel free to copy this post over if you like).

Thanks again everybody. We've got a couple more issues with this book to resolve, but those will have to wait until another lunch break (or after Gencon). I gotta get back to proofing the Strategy Guide.

I hope that you all enjoy the book and the design team is hoping to see many of you at Gencon next week!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Let the celebrations begin!


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hooray!

I still wonder why other light/one-handed piercing weapons are not allowed to add dex-to-damage, if frikkin' sharks with laser beams attached to their heads bastard swords, katanas, falcatas and dwarven waraxes are. :p Oh, light slashing weapons are also left out in the cold, if I read the new Slashing Grace correctly.

Anyway, I can go to sleep now feeling quite better.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, in order to use this in PFS, I need to buy both the ACG and now another splat book? It's one thing to make an error when it comes to the way powers intertwine (perfectly understandable), but it annoys me when fixing these mistakes cost me more money...


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Why make it exclusive to rapier? What if my Swashbuckler wields a whip or dagger? Why require Weapon Focus? Do we really need yet another feat tax? Isn't spending two feats more than enough?

I'm disappointed... But not surprised. Swashbucklers have been nothing but disappointing.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Eirikrautha wrote:
So, in order to use this in PFS, I need to buy both the ACG and now another splat book? It's one thing to make an error when it comes to the way powers intertwine (perfectly understandable), but it annoys me when fixing these mistakes cost me more money...

This feat doesn't seem to require swashbuckler levels to take it, so you really only need one book to use it. :)

(Plus, when you buy books, you get a whole host of new options for PFS, so it's really a pretty good value :) )

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Lemmy wrote:

Why make it exclusive to rapier? What if my Swashbuckler wields a whip or dagger? Why require Weapon Focus? Do we really need yet another feat tax? Isn't spending two feats more than enough?

I'm disappointed.

A whip is a one-handed slashing weapon, so it already falls under the purview of Slashing Grace from the ACG.

As to dagger, I think it's fair to limit big-damage options for light weapons. Power Attack isn't as good for a dagger either, yaknow.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

A whip is a one-handed slashing weapon, so it already falls under the purview of Slashing Grace from the ACG.

As to dagger, I think it's fair to limit big-damage options for light weapons. Power Attack isn't as good for a dagger either, yaknow.

Considering this takes 3 feats and requires the weapon to be wielded 1-handed, this wasn't even close to making daggers the Kings of DPR.

Liberty's Edge

I predicted this, and am quite pleased with it. The required Weapon Focus is a bit less than optimal, but at least it buys some bonuses other than just Dex to damage.


Just out of curiosity, what IS Slashing Grace?


Eh. I am not even sure if a DEX based build is the best thing for a swash buckler. Their good reflex saves, bonus to AC in light armor, and ability to use bucklers meant they did not need DEX that much for neither saves nor AC.

Why shouldn't I save myself on the taxes? Am I misreading something/missed some update?

Lemmy wrote:
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

A whip is a one-handed slashing weapon, so it already falls under the purview of Slashing Grace from the ACG.

As to dagger, I think it's fair to limit big-damage options for light weapons. Power Attack isn't as good for a dagger either, yaknow.

Considering this takes 3 feats and requires the weapon to be wielded 1-handed, this wasn't even close to making daggers the Kings of DPR.

I think the fear with daggers though is that the language of the feat hardly says it has to be 'melee' attack. This would be good for ranged builds.... but they already have a fantastic boon in the fact that precise strike works with them up to 30 feat anyway.

If nothing else, I like the Swashbuckler for salvaging a few fighting styles which had been completely torn to shreds by these board- 1 handed/1 weapon, sword and board, and throwing builds.

And it is hard to argue about how the feat would be OP outside of the swashbuckler class when it is the obvious 'right' choice for all these fighting styles anyway.

EDIT: oh, and Secret wizard- slashing grace is a feat included immediately after swashbuckler in the ACG preview/playtest/whatever that PDF was called. It made it so you could use slashing weapons too. Not sure if the restrictions on allowed weapons is still there (I don't keep up with the ACG stuff, and I vaguely remember conflicting info; this sentence needs a grain of salt, but the previous one is true), but if it is then slashing grace is very important for opening up your options.


Do you mean Slashing Strike?


From what I've gathered it's called Slashing Strike on Hero Lab, but Slashing Grace on the ACG. In any case, I still have no clue what it does.


Secret Wizard wrote:
From what I've gathered it's called Slashing Strike on Hero Lab, but Slashing Grace on the ACG. In any case, I still have no clue what it does.

It lets you use a specific slashing weapon with Swashbuckler's Finesse. In addition, the final version also lets you add dexterity to damage instead of strength with that specific weapon.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Secret Wizard wrote:
From what I've gathered it's called Slashing Strike on Hero Lab, but Slashing Grace on the ACG. In any case, I still have no clue what it does.

It allows you to treat a one-handed slashing weapon as a piercing weapon, which combined with the Swashbuckler's Finesse class ability means you can use Weapon Finesse with one-handed slashing weapons (like longswords, or katanas).

Shortly before the ACG went to printer, they decided the feat needed some extra oomph, so they added the ability to use Dexterity for damage in place of Strength with said one-handed slashing weapon.

After it was too late to change things, they realized that this gave the swashbuckler a way to use Dex for damage with one-handed slashing weapons (some of which might be thematically inappropriate) but not with the rapier, arguably the swashbucklers most iconic weapon, so they added a feat to cover the rapier in an upcoming supplement (Fencing Grace, above)


What are the prereqs on Slashing Grace? Man I would love to have that on other classes...

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

FanaticRat wrote:
What are the prereqs on Slashing Grace? Man I would love to have that on other classes...

Same as Fencing Grace above--Dex 13, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (whatever weapon you want to use it with).

Mind you, it doesn't let you use weapon finesse with the weapon, it just lets you count it as piercing, so you can use it with the Swashbuckler's Finesse class feature (or the Duelist's Precise Strike).

Liberty's Edge

FanaticRat wrote:
What are the prereqs on Slashing Grace? Man I would love to have that on other classes...

Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus. And you can use it on other classes...but it doesn't inherently make the weapon finesse-able, making it only useful for Whips and Aldori Dueling Swords.

EDIT: Ninja'd! Ah, well.


So, basically... Non-Swashbucklers are limited to rapier and scimitar if they want Dex to damage?

Liberty's Edge

Lemmy wrote:
So, basically... Non-Swashbucklers are limited to rapier and scimitar if they want Dex to damage?

And the Whip and Aldori Dueling Sword. But yeah, those are the four weapons a non-Swashbuckler can do this with via their own capabilities.

I'm actually cool with that, those are a pretty thematic weapon selection, and if you want something else there's always the Agile weapon property. I'd probably make it more generally applicable were it me, but it'll work as-is.


Still disappointing, though... Could have a general Dex-to-Damage feat, allowing us to create Finesse warriors that use chakram, daggers, unarmed strike, gauntlets, bladed-boot.

I don't understand why they decided to be so pointlessly restrictive with this. It's been proved time and time again that Dex-to-Damage is not unbalanced or even more powerful than good ol' Str-to-Damage.

And this thing costs 3 feats... I guess Dervish Dance will go on being the best Dex-to-Damage alternative in the game.

Oh, Swashbuckler... You never fail to disappoint me...


Lemmy wrote:
So, basically... Non-Swashbucklers are limited to rapier and scimitar if they want Dex to damage?

Well, it works with the Aldori Dueling Sword well enough.

What about Light weapons though?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lemmy wrote:

Still disappointing, though... Could have a general Dex-to-Damage feat, allowing us to create Finesse warriors that use chakram, daggers, unarmed strike, gauntlets, bladed-boot.

I don't understand why they decided to be so pointlessly restrictive with this. It's been proved time and time again that Dex-to-Damage is not unbalanced or even more powerful than good ol' Str-to-Damage.

And this thing costs 3 feats... I guess Dervish Dance will go on being the best Dex-to-Damage alternative in the game.

Oh, Swashbuckler... You never fail to disappoint me...

Eh, the rapier one still lets you use shields. That is the main draw for swashbuckler for me- sword and board without that TWF silliness. (also talking about TWF silliness, that one TWF fighter archetype would love this, since it can eventualy dual wield 1 handed weapons without extra penalties; 2 rapiers?)

But yes, after the precise strike, the bonus damage from their weapon training feature, and maybe the occasional CHA to saves..... I am not enamored by much. Seeing a grit-like mechanic on a class that REALLY likes 18-20/x2 weapons might be slightly interesting, but few of the deeds stand out too much (nice to have, but nothing that grabs me like a good rage power)

Dark Archive

I gather the Inspired Blade Swashbuckler archetype adds Int to damage. That multiclassed with Kensai Magus and this feat must, MUST be a good idea.

I've never been a fan of katanas or scimitars, I did fencing as a sport. It's not a gaming thing, I know how to use a foil.

Inspired Blade Swashbuckler with this feat, and chuck in a few levels of Kensai (Blackblade?) Magus - yes please.

Yes, he's reliant on his awesome rapier to a crippling degree, but who cares? En Garde!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I predicted this, and am quite pleased with it. The required Weapon Focus is a bit less than optimal, but at least it buys some bonuses other than just Dex to damage.

Since swashbucklers count as fighters in terms of being able to take fighter combat feats, taking the Weapon Focus/Specialization feat chain is a viable option. So it isn't that big of a sacrifice.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lemmy wrote:
So, basically... Non-Swashbucklers are limited to rapier and scimitar if they want Dex to damage?

Yeah, but then again there is not much of a downside to taking one level of Swashbuckler. Well, for the non-caster classes at least.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I predicted this, and am quite pleased with it. The required Weapon Focus is a bit less than optimal, but at least it buys some bonuses other than just Dex to damage.
Since swashbucklers count as fighters in terms of being able to take fighter combat feats, taking the Weapon Focus/Specialization feat chain is a viable option. So it isn't that big of a sacrifice.

True. I was more thinking for non-Swashbucklers, since this is one of their only options for Dex-to-damage. It's thus a bit less cool for, say, Bards or similar people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Human Kensais can have Dexterity-to-damage right at level 1. So that's kind of neat.

Liberty's Edge

Ventnor wrote:
Human Kensais can have Dexterity-to-damage right at level 1. So that's kind of neat.

As can Human Swashbucklers. Or Human Fighters. Also very neat.

Human Rogues or Slayers can also manage it by level 2...I think most other people are stuck waiting for level 3.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Human warpriests too. My warpriest of Cayden Cailean is an elf, but is still ridiculously happy about Fencing Grace.

Liberty's Edge

14 people marked this as a favorite.

We all saw the ruckus raised by Dervish Dance because of its focus on a specific weapon (scimitar) and they plan to do it again with the rapier ?

Just make a single feat that covers all light weapons (with appropriate prerequisites and restrictions - i.e., no natural weapons -) and get done with this forever.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I don't mind the Rapier only feat. It's an odd child that needs love.

I'm still hoping/praying we see some Falcata love in the Campaign Setting companion to the ACG, but after the lack of Rolondero love in Inner Sea Combat, I'm not holding my breath.

Liberty's Edge

To feat is okay. Even if I share Lemmys concerns about it. I can understand the need for Dex to be high enough/ Even Weapon Finesse. Why the need for weapon focus. I would have added improved Critical rapier instead. Or all light weapons. I do wish the devs would listen. Fans disliked Dervish dance because of being tied to the Scimitar. Then they plan on doing it again a second time. I also wish the devs would get out of the conservative everything must be balanced thinking inside the box rut they seem to be stuck in. Not everything needs to have a feat tax.


memorax wrote:
To feat is okay. Even if I share Lemmys concerns about it. I can understand the need for Dex to be high enough/ Even Weapon Finesse. Why the need for weapon focus. I would have added improved Critical rapier instead. Or all light weapons. I do wish the devs would listen. Fans disliked Dervish dance because of being tied to the Scimitar. Then they plan on doing it again a second time. I also wish the devs would get out of the conservative everything must be balanced thinking inside the box rut they seem to be stuck in. Not everything needs to have a feat tax.

Especially since their idea of what is and isn't balanced is ... frequently subject to debate.

I don't think there's much of a reason not to allow any finessable weapon to use dex-for-damage. After all, in most cases the rapier and the scimitar are the two best finesse weapons anyway. Mechanically speaking, the only really powerful options left out are the Kukri/Wakazashi (Which only shine with Two-Weapon Fighting) and the Elven Curve Blade (Which only shines when trying to imitate a 2HW strength build).

Liberty's Edge

I think the devs at this point are imo experinced enough to have a good idea what is balanced or not. I don't mind feat taxes that much. It's when the feats don't make much sense. Weapon focus should be more for strength build. Not a dex build imo. Improved Critical makes more sense.

Grand Lodge

Still, weapon focus is a solid feat for most Charakters. Especially worth it to become SAD.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I dunno, I consider "Here, take this Feat to gain a +1 to hit with a single type of weapon" fairly underwhelming.


memorax wrote:
I think the devs at this point are imo experinced enough to have a good idea what is balanced or not. I don't mind feat taxes that much. It's when the feats don't make much sense. Weapon focus should be more for strength build. Not a dex build imo. Improved Critical makes more sense.

Speaking from personal experience, the creator is often one of the worst people when it comes to perceiving the flaws in their own work. They're naturally going to be attached preserving to the status quo and defending their original ideas. Generally speaking, the devs wouldn't put a feat in the book unless they thought it had some quality to it.

Not to mention the need to maintain company solidarity/image. I'm pretty sure marketing would not be happy if any of the devs admitted that there were flaws with the new book they really want people to buy so the company can make money and stay in business.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Not to mention the need to maintain company solidarity/image. I'm pretty sure marketing would not be happy if any of the devs admitted that there were flaws with the new book they really want people to buy so the company can make money and stay in business.

You mean like the admission of a mistake in the designer post that spawned this thread?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
Not to mention the need to maintain company solidarity/image. I'm pretty sure marketing would not be happy if any of the devs admitted that there were flaws with the new book they really want people to buy so the company can make money and stay in business.
You mean like the admission of a mistake in the designer post that spawned this thread?

I never said the devs are incapable of recognizing mistakes in their own work, just that there are factors in play that can make it hard for them to do so.

Though if I were feeling really cynical, I could point out that the admission was phrased as "Buy this other new product as well, and you can get the fix!"

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

But you did say you were "pretty sure marketing would not be happy" if they admitted a mistake.

They admitted a mistake.

Think marketing's unhappy with them?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nocte ex Mortis wrote:
I dunno, I consider "Here, take this Feat to gain a +1 to hit with a single type of weapon" fairly underwhelming.

It's not only underwhelming (Hit stuff 5% more often... With a single type of weapon... Yay?), but also incredibly boring.

The only reason to take this feat is if it's a prerequisite for something else... And that is a horrible reason to take a feat.


Jiggy wrote:

But you did say you were "pretty sure marketing would not be happy" if they admitted a mistake.

They admitted a mistake.

Think marketing's unhappy with them?

No idea, I don't have an inside line to anyone in Paizo marketing.


Lemmy wrote:
Nocte ex Mortis wrote:
I dunno, I consider "Here, take this Feat to gain a +1 to hit with a single type of weapon" fairly underwhelming.

It's not only underwhelming (Hit stuff 5% more often... With a single type of weapon... Yay?), but also incredibly boring.

The only reason to take this feat is if it's a prerequisite for something else... And that is a horrible reason to take a feat.

I almost never take Weapon Focus unless I have to. Homebrew-wise I've been thinking of non disruptive ways to merge it with another feat because locking yourself into one weapon has to have way more benefits than just a +1 bonus.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Celebrate? Why would I when a battleaxe gets dex to damage while daggers are still locked out?

The Knife Master continues to get no love.


Something like: if you take weapon focus, you also get the benefit of one other feat with the weapon, but only when using that weapon?

So Weapon Focus: rapier would net you +1 to hit and weapon finesse, or Improved critical, or whatever.

Hmm, I'd make it scaling even.

Quote:
Weapon focus: Select a weapon and a combat feat you qualify for. You may use the feat as long as you are wielding the selected weapon. When you reach 5 BAB and every 5 BAB after, you may select one additional feat

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The black raven wrote:

We all saw the ruckus raised by Dervish Dance because of its focus on a specific weapon (scimitar) and they plan to do it again with the rapier ?

Just make a single feat that covers all light weapons (with appropriate prerequisites and restrictions - i.e., no natural weapons -) and get done with this forever.

This. Seriously, this. I loathe the scimitar and its dominance for finesse combatants.


Scavion wrote:

Celebrate? Why would I when a battleaxe gets dex to damage while daggers are still locked out?

The Knife Master continues to get no love.

Neither does the sword cane. All fail failing fgrace!


LoneKnave wrote:

Something like: if you take weapon focus, you also get the benefit of one other feat with the weapon, but only when using that weapon?

So Weapon Focus: rapier would net you +1 to hit and weapon finesse, or Improved critical, or whatever.

Hmm, I'd make it scaling even.

Quote:
Weapon focus: Select a weapon and a combat feat you qualify for. You may use the feat as long as you are wielding the selected weapon. When you reach 5 BAB and every 5 BAB after, you may select one additional feat

So... Spend one feat to gain five feats? As much as I think Weapon Focus is a terrible feat that only exists as a tax, that seems a bit much... At least specify combat feats so wizards can't abuse it by holding a quarterstaff or something.


It does specify combat feats. Also, it kinda prevents you from switching weapons, buuut, it's also stupid because it doesn't even do anything before lvl5. So eh, forget it I guess.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

With all this discussion of a universal dex to damage feat, I think I want to consider why they released the ones already available with their restrictions. And looking at them, I find that outside of 1-2 classes and a couple of specific builds, they are actually rather poor choices in style.

There is a reason why 1 weapon/ 1 handed is not a commonly used style. It is rather weak. It does not have the 1.5 multiplier of 2 handing, nor the ability to abuse static bonuses seen with TWF.

Looking at Dervish dance, it was designed entirely around the idea that you can't get a offhand or 2 handed attacks. And while there were a lot of people excited about it... but I only saw one option that made it work without jumping through hoops- the magus.

Because the magus could TWF with spells, and required 1 handed/1weapon when doing this, it was well suited for dervish dance. And the swashbuckler will also join in the list of 'naturally suited' for such a style since its precision damage is meant to make up for that flaw. And if it is just something that works well for 1-2 classes, then that seems perfectly alright as far as balance goes, since its use outside of those is limited.

I have also seen a few things like monk builds that use crusader's flurry to turn the 1 weapon into a TWF style, or the use of unarmed strikes in the offhand... but such moves come with a lot of theorycraft and can be painful either due to how many feats were required, or due to cost (getting unarmed strikes enhanced AND getting a mainhand weapon is costly).

So in the end, Dervish Dance was not so much of a balance problem, but merely a 'oh, this again....' eyeroll. Now, with the introduction of fencing grace, I suppose it might easier to do a dex only TWF (you only need agile for your dagger), it is again a waste of resources (you need a bunch of stuff for your rapier just to make it so it can skip agile?). The fact that you can't dual wield rapiers effectively on anything other than a Two weapon Warrior archetype fighter pretty much limits it use by the mere fact that it is a 1 handed weapon.

But a universal dex to damage option for a light weapon, such as daggers or kukri, would end up being a problem if it wasn't restricted like dervish dance, since you could easily get it to work on any class without jumping trough hoops. And the designers feel uncomfortable with that idea, and instead only release DEX to damage in the most limited forms possible.

1 to 50 of 217 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / All Hail Fencing Grace! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.