Vigilante Doomed to Obscurity?


Ultimate Intrigue Playtest General Discussion

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Well as it stands right now... the Vigilante looks to be doomed to obscurity unless HUGE changes happen...

The Avenger and Stalker are just... not that great compared to their competition (Ranger, Slayer, Fighter, Brawler, Rogue, ect.) and there is just no real incentive to play one...

The Zealot is literally a weak Inquisitor... the only thing the Zealot has that the Inquisitor does not is the Breath of life ability...

The warlock is decent but currently is being bogged down by being balanced to the stalker/rogue...

And this seems to a crux of a problem... the class is being knee capped by being balanced to one of the worst classes in all of Pathfinder... the fact that they don't want the rogue to be outshone AGAIN (as if the Investigator, the bard, the alchemist, the inquisitor, the slayer, the sorcerer, and the ninja didn't already do that as it is), the Avenger is pretty much being forced into mediocrity and he is bringing his fellows down with him.

I know they also said they are gonna release even more Talents and Social Persona talents but that still fails to solve another major issue. The classes are talent starved. The Vigicasters have it the worse since they literally only have 5 talents to work with if they want to even be mediocre at casting. It is almost like they are PUNISHING people for picking ANY spell casting. Add in the fact that they seem to be rather against making a "Extra Talent" type feat for them because "their abilities are stronger than feats" (as if Magus Arcana/Witch's Hexes/Oracle Revelations/Barbarian Rage Powers/Alchemist Discoveries/Arcanist Exploits/ect are not already more powerful than feats?) and apparently have said that "well they messed up before but that is then, this is now"... Without a extra talent feat, unless the powers are VERY POWERFUL, they will be talent starved for no reason what so ever (and current powers are BELOW the power of a feat honestly...)

So what do you guys think? Is the class doomed to "who cares" if drastic changes don't happen?


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Yee.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think it's too early to panic.


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Well the problem is that there needs to be HUGE changes and all indications show that, while Paizo is addressing some things (like the timing issue for persona changes), the deeper issues are being ignored (like the Talent Starved nature of the caster types for really no justifiable reason, i mean the Zealot is literally a worse caster than a Inquisitor with no benefit...).

I am just worried this class is gonna suffer. And it sucks because I really WANT to like this class. I WANT to love the warlock for the flavor and awesomeness (I would totally rock a Sword Cane :P) but the mechanics are just not there and I really hate punished for wanting to be a caster...


The class does seem to be lacking. It's rather starved in general, admittedly it's missing some of it's Intrigue mechanics, but if a class is that tied to these mechanics which might not be even used by groups (I mean, who uses performance combat, I imagine many of the subsystems in UI will be similar), that's worrying.


I hope they give the Vigilante a seperate pool of talents for social talents (i.e. not wasting their every other level talent on either Social OR combat), because other wise, it won't be a help at all... The Vigilante is Talent Starved (since they need to waste talents to get what other classes get for free), and with the lack of a Extra Talent feat, it will be VERY hard to justify burning a talent on "+4 to bluff"...


Milo v3 wrote:
The class does seem to be lacking. It's rather starved in general, admittedly it's missing some of it's Intrigue mechanics, but if a class is that tied to these mechanics which might not be even used by groups (I mean, who uses performance combat, I imagine many of the subsystems in UI will be similar), that's worrying.

If it's ONLY going to appeal to a small niche group of players, that's a huge issue of it's own. What game is 100% intrigue? It's like having a skill character that can't do anything in combat...


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The sky is falling!


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I made a list of ways to make it better and more widely-appealing

This is hardly an in-depth analysis with exact abilities, but personally I think it's a step in the right direction.


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Personally I love the idea of an Alchemy focused Vigilante. It is very flavorful (Guys! I made BANE!), unique (honestly the only alchemy uses for the most part are Alchemists and Investigators), and allows you to make Walter White (lives as a Chemistry teacher, moonlights as a Drug Dealer/cooker :P)


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PIXIE DUST wrote:
Personally I love the idea of an Alchemy focused Vigilante. It is very flavorful (Guys! I made BANE!), unique (honestly the only alchemy uses for the most part are Alchemists and Investigators), and allows you to make Walter White (lives as a Chemistry teacher, moonlights as a Drug Dealer/cooker :P)

A Talent of that Specialization should be that you get Knock as a spell-like ability.


graystone wrote:
If it's ONLY going to appeal to a small niche group of players, that's a huge issue of it's own. What game is 100% intrigue? It's like having a skill character that can't do anything in combat...

Well, it's never portrayed itself as for 100% intrigue so I doubt that's an issue. But there is the issue that so much of sounds like it will be tied to optional rules like social combat.

Sovereign Court

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There are classes out there performing better in combat.......so what?

If we judge every new class by min-max potential, the power creep will go on and on and on.

The vigilante is a great class in my eyes. Why? Because of the RP options you have. Wanna play Batman? Do it! Spider Man? Here you go! Zorro? Yes, sir!


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Maggus wrote:
There are classes out there performing better in combat.......so what?

Because no one wants to be pathetic at everything all the time while playing.

Quote:
If we judge every new class by min-max potential, the power creep will go on and on and on.

Power has been lowering since core, not increasing.

Quote:
The vigilante is a great class in my eyes. Why? Because of the RP options you have. Wanna play Batman? Do it! Spider Man? Here you go! Zorro? Yes, sir!

The issue is that all the concepts you can do with this class, you can currently do with other classes that are more useful in general. The unique things it has are changing alignment and being able to cause fear on about 1 attack per adventure if you put a good amount of ranks in stealth.


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It's less about combat performance or DPR and more about:

* lack of related meta-mechanics to judge the class by (Intrigue campaigns and greater effects of Renown)
* ability for other classes to cover the themes you presented making this class "schtick" (Dual Identity) feel lacking
* emulation of other classes in specialisations like the Zealot (inquisitor)

And more...


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Maggus wrote:
The vigilante is a great class in my eyes. Why? Because of the RP options you have. Wanna play Batman? Do it! Spider Man? Here you go! Zorro? Yes, sir!

What makes you think you can't roleplay these character concepts without using the vigilante?

Balance discussions and criticism is far more often started and continued by people who genuinelly want a class to be cool and balanced than by "minmaxers trying to 'win' the game".


Maggus wrote:
The vigilante is a great class in my eyes. Why? Because of the RP options you have. Wanna play Batman? Do it! Spider Man? Here you go! Zorro? Yes, sir!

There have been many threads on these forums to that effect already. People have already been posting "Hey, let's make Batman!" or "Spidey in Pathfinder" and the like. Already, with existing material. The RP is not an advantage for the Vigilante since we can use practically anything else in this game and call ourselves a Vigilante.

Might the upcoming book feature new social combat rules? Sure. Will it have a section on what all a proper Vigilante (whether he has levels in the class or not) needs to do to maintain his secret? I hope so. But I'm under no impression that the content of this book will be utilizable by Vigilantes alone, and while that is the case, I have no incentive to use the Vigilante class to realize a concept when I have the rest of the game that can do just as good a job.

Maybe that's what this class needs. A sidebar to the effect of "Hey, players! So you're scratching your head and wondering why this class even exists, why you need this class to make your Vigilante character as opposed to using anything else and just calling yourself a Vigilante. Well, wonder no more because [BLANK]."

Right now, we don't know [BLANK], and I think it's a major part of what's tripping us up.


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Isn't obscurity exactly what the Vigilante wants?

Scarab Sages

Matthew Downie wrote:
Isn't obscurity exactly what the Vigilante wants?

For the social persona, yes. For the vigilante identity, infamy is the desired result.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Isn't obscurity exactly what the Vigilante wants?

Tell that to Renown.


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Imbicatus wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Isn't obscurity exactly what the Vigilante wants?
For the social persona, yes. For the vigilante identity, infamy is the desired result.

Yes, tens of people fear your vengeance... :P


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I do question the wisdom of supposedly releasing these Playtest options in a purposely powered down form. If you can't get people excited enough about a class to playtest it, then how are you going to get back enough playtest data?

Scarab Sages

graystone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Isn't obscurity exactly what the Vigilante wants?
For the social persona, yes. For the vigilante identity, infamy is the desired result.
Yes, tens of people fear your vengeance... :P

Tens of people want to help your social persona. Everyone in a 1 mile/level radius of those tens of people fear your vengeance.

That does make it slightly more usable. Although low-level pathfinders will need to set the community to something like the Absalom Chapter House or the Blakros Museum.


Melkiador wrote:
I do question the wisdom of supposedly releasing these Playtest options in a purposely powered down form. If you can't get people excited enough about a class to playtest it, then how are you going to get back enough playtest data?

On the other hand, if you start super strong, or too strong, its pretty hard to walk that power back without people claiming you nerfed the class into uselessness. People have different balance points and game design philosophy, and at least buffing a weak class is going to make people overall at least somewhat happier than what they were with the original.


Imbicatus wrote:
graystone wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Isn't obscurity exactly what the Vigilante wants?
For the social persona, yes. For the vigilante identity, infamy is the desired result.
Yes, tens of people fear your vengeance... :P

Tens of people want to help your social persona. Everyone in a 1 mile/level radius of those tens of people fear your vengeance.

That does make it slightly more usable. Although low-level pathfinders will need to set the community to something like the Absalom Chapter House or the Blakros Museum.

200 is a ridiculously small amount of people for levels 1-8. You can get this block to help/fear you. Whoop Dee Doo... :P

Not sure where you're adding 1 mile per level as I'm seeing "Inside his area of renown" and "200 people". What feature are you thinking of?

EDIT: Ok, I found it under renown. That's SLIGHTLY better then but it doesn't alter my opinion of the needed size of the of people going up. In urban areas, 200 can be quite small.


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People for miles fear you. People in a small area love you.


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I keep seeing the same names in bad threads


1. Combine Avenger and Stalker
2. Give Warlock a tiny bit more to bring it up to the number of things the new Stalkvenger has for options. More Alchemic abilites, for example perhaps, to go with the bombs?
3. Delete Zealot
4. Either fix the 5 minute change time, or at least give it to the new Warlock+ as a full round action. The Warlock+ would get it due to Magical Girl Transformation Sequence, or Alchemy Rage Transformation
5. Make renown functional.

The rest of the Social Side can be criticized, but it's harder to give valuable feedback on it, as most of it is likely unrevealed at the moment due to Ultimate Intrigue being what it is.

Well, these are my fixes, anyway. Seem pretty simple ones.

Wait, I got one more.

6. Give it a real capstone ability, not glorified studied strike.

Scarab Sages

Renown wrote:

Once he has gained renown in a

community, whenever he is in his vigilante identity, he
gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Intimidate skill checks.
This bonus applies only while he is within a number of
miles equal to his vigilante level from the community in
which he has gained renown.

The size of the community is very small, limited to 200 individuals. You gain the social benefits with just the members of this community. For the intimidation benefit, it affects everyone within the mile/level distance from that community.


I think people are focusing way too much on making 1/2 the character (the vigilante persona) equal to a full character (martial, spellcaster, etc.).

The focus of this class is the dual-identities. The vigilante specialization, by itself, should NOT equal another full character's abilities.

There has been mention made of additional subsystems that will be part of the full book. I think the playtest is hampered by not having those, but at the same time the playtest can't include the entire content of the book. So that's what we have to work with.

I think more of the focus should be on what the social persona can do. Features and abilities that interact with the social side of the game would be helpful in making the overall Vigilante more effective. Perhaps something using the Capital materials from Ultimate Campaign.. a pool of Influence, Gold, Labor, Goods, or Magic that the social personal can employ? I think this was a missed opportunity in Green Ronin's Noble class for Freeport (both the Pathfinder converted version and the updated one in the new book); the original 3.x version of the class had an Influence ability that could be used to affect some skill checks, and a pool of resources for obtaining material aid... something along those lines might help shift focus back toward the "dual-identity character".


Urath DM wrote:

I think people are focusing way too much on making 1/2 the character (the vigilante persona) equal to a full character (martial, spellcaster, etc.).

The focus of this class is the dual-identities. The vigilante specialization, by itself, should NOT equal another full character's abilities.

There has been mention made of additional subsystems that will be part of the full book. I think the playtest is hampered by not having those, but at the same time the playtest can't include the entire content of the book. So that's what we have to work with.

I think more of the focus should be on what the social persona can do. Features and abilities that interact with the social side of the game would be helpful in making the overall Vigilante more effective. Perhaps something using the Capital materials from Ultimate Campaign.. a pool of Influence, Gold, Labor, Goods, or Magic that the social personal can employ? I think this was a missed opportunity in Green Ronin's Noble class for Freeport (both the Pathfinder converted version and the updated one in the new book); the original 3.x version of the class had an Influence ability that could be used to affect some skill checks, and a pool of resources for obtaining material aid... something along those lines might help shift focus back toward the "dual-identity character".

The thing is we have the complete "combat version" since we have the vigilante. And if the vigilante has such a low impact on combat then it's a problem.


That's fine, but when the dual-identity thing can be pulled off almost as well with several other classes, in addition to everything else they get, the vigilante has problems.

With what I've seen so far, it needs some work.

And as for tying the class to the Ultimate Campaign rules?
What about those groups that don't even own a copy of the book, and have no interest in using the rules?
Does adding features that are supposed to help the vigilante become relevant that requires buying an entirely new book and learning a new ruleset solve the problem?


Urath DM, how can we focus on the part that isn't in the playtest? Add to that that the class should be functional outside that part AND inside that part. As is, there are huge flaws like 5 min change times where you are a NPC class if combat breaks out. On the 'additional subsystems', I'll be more than happy to comment them when we actually see them. Before then, it's impossible to factor them in.


bigrig107 wrote:

That's fine, but when the dual-identity thing can be pulled off almost as well with several other classes, in addition to everything else they get, the vigilante has problems.

With what I've seen so far, it needs some work.

If other classes can do this class' key feature "almost as well" somewhat coincidentally (not something I necessarily agree with), then it does indeed need to work to make it more effective and distinctive.

bigrig107 wrote:

And as for tying the class to the Ultimate Campaign rules?

What about those groups that don't even own a copy of the book, and have no interest in using the rules?
Does adding features that are supposed to help the vigilante become relevant that requires buying an entirely new book and learning a new ruleset solve the problem?

It is one suggestion... and the rules are on the PRD for anyone to use. A sidebar in Ultimate Intrigue could provide enough pared-down information for the Vigilante to make use of some systems while referring the reader to the PRD or to Ultimate Campaign for more details if desired. Such has been done before without bringing about the downfall of civilization as we know it :)

The alternative suggestions.. subsystems that allow the social persona more "juice" in the campaign setting.. may already be part of the plan for the final book. It would be beneficial (I think) for them to at least dovetail with related systems in Ultimate Campaign, but they do not have to be complete replicas.


graystone wrote:
Urath DM, how can we focus on the part that isn't in the playtest? Add to that that the class should be functional outside that part AND inside that part. As is, there are huge flaws like 5 min change times where you are a NPC class if combat breaks out. On the 'additional subsystems', I'll be more than happy to comment them when we actually see them. Before then, it's impossible to factor them in.

Well, that's why I said

Quote:
There has been mention made of additional subsystems that will be part of the full book. I think the playtest is hampered by not having those, but at the same time the playtest can't include the entire content of the book. So that's what we have to work with.

We don't have those to work with, so we can't really test them. But my point stands, I think, that focusing on making the "vigilante persona" alone equivalent to other classes seems misguided to me.

Scarab Sages

Urath DM wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

That's fine, but when the dual-identity thing can be pulled off almost as well with several other classes, in addition to everything else they get, the vigilante has problems.

With what I've seen so far, it needs some work.

If other classes can do this class' key feature "almost as well" somewhat coincidentally (not something I necessarily agree with), then it does indeed need to work to make it more effective and distinctive.

Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler has a secret identity that defeats scrying and gives bonuses to disguise.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Imbicatus wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

That's fine, but when the dual-identity thing can be pulled off almost as well with several other classes, in addition to everything else they get, the vigilante has problems.

With what I've seen so far, it needs some work.

If other classes can do this class' key feature "almost as well" somewhat coincidentally (not something I necessarily agree with), then it does indeed need to work to make it more effective and distinctive.

Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler has a secret identity that defeats scrying and gives bonuses to disguise.

Although to be fair, the bonuses it provides are significantly weaker than those the vigilante offers.


Imbicatus wrote:
Urath DM wrote:
bigrig107 wrote:

That's fine, but when the dual-identity thing can be pulled off almost as well with several other classes, in addition to everything else they get, the vigilante has problems.

With what I've seen so far, it needs some work.

If other classes can do this class' key feature "almost as well" somewhat coincidentally (not something I necessarily agree with), then it does indeed need to work to make it more effective and distinctive.

Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler has a secret identity that defeats scrying and gives bonuses to disguise.

Master Spy hides alignment extremely well, hides thoughts, etc.

Lv5 Rogues can put on a Disguise in 1-3 Minutes.

Rogues with 10 Ranks in Disguise can do it in 1-3 ROUNDS.

A lv6 Rogue with Major Magic (Disguise Person) can do it as a Standard Action 3/day for 30 Minutes at a time.

---

A lv7 Rogue / Lv4 Master Spy has the same BAB as a lv11 Stalker Vigilante, can adopt a disguise faster than a Stalker Vigilante, has better Talents than a Stalker Vigilante, gets Dex to Damage which the Stalker Vigilante doesn't, gets a much-better Sneak Attack than a Stalker Vigilante does with the same number of damage dice, gets a bonus against Truth-detecting Magic, can mask its Alignment, can hide the magical aura of a Magic Item, can make Untrained Knowledge and Profession Checks; and depending on whether it goes the Major Magic route or the Rogue's Edge route, the Master Spy can either take Vanish (if it chooses Disguise Rogue's Edge), or choose any other Rogue's Edge (if it chooses Major Magic (Disguise Self)).

Yeah, I really fail see ANY reason to play a Stalker Vigilante over a Rogue/Master Spy, or even just a straight Rogue. And this is a VANILLA Rogue - this isn't even adding in Archetypes to the equation.

I have a very sneaking suspicion that this is also the case for taking either a Stalker/Master Spy or a Mysterious Avenger Swashbuckler/Master Spy in place of an Avenger Vigilante.

Magus/Master Spy and Inquisitor/Master Spy may or may not be worse than the Warlock & Zealot Vigilante, simply because they lose several levels of spellcasting; that being said, it might just be better to play a straight Magus or straight Inquisitor.

---

If the Avenger and Stalker were combined, and the Social Persona were actually given plenty of useful tricks based on things like espionage, I could totally see playing the Vigilante over a Rogue/Master Spy or a Slayer/Master Spy.


MMCJawa wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I do question the wisdom of supposedly releasing these Playtest options in a purposely powered down form. If you can't get people excited enough about a class to playtest it, then how are you going to get back enough playtest data?
On the other hand, if you start super strong, or too strong, its pretty hard to walk that power back without people claiming you nerfed the class into uselessness. People have different balance points and game design philosophy, and at least buffing a weak class is going to make people overall at least somewhat happier than what they were with the original.

That's assuming that a large portion of the player base even looks at these playtest versions. In my experience, player's don't know or don't care about the playtest versions.


The problem is as the ACG showed me in IMO, is when you have new classes that struggle to fill a niche there is a tendency to throw special abilities at them in order to somehow give them some life and make people interested in them...... then everyone goes "Ohhhh wow thats better!"... but all you get is an over the top class full of highly thematically dubious abilities that probably should have been handled by an archetype in the 1st place... just my 2 cents


Melkiador wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
I do question the wisdom of supposedly releasing these Playtest options in a purposely powered down form. If you can't get people excited enough about a class to playtest it, then how are you going to get back enough playtest data?
On the other hand, if you start super strong, or too strong, its pretty hard to walk that power back without people claiming you nerfed the class into uselessness. People have different balance points and game design philosophy, and at least buffing a weak class is going to make people overall at least somewhat happier than what they were with the original.
That's assuming that a large portion of the player base even looks at these playtest versions. In my experience, player's don't know or don't care about the playtest versions.

Most players of Pathfinder really DON'T know about Playtests.

For that matter, most players of Pathfinder don't even know about releases until they see them in their local book/gamestore, or their friends tell them about it.

Even players who frequent places like GITP and Reddit may have no idea of when Playtests occur and for what - they usually only know about what's coming up because people on these forums share info from announcements on there.


yes, although implicit in my comment is the assumption that people who care/follow the playtest.


MMCJawa wrote:

yes, although implicit in my comment is the assumption that people who care/follow the playtest.

Depends on your meaning. People who use the playtest, will obviously care about the playtest. But people who care about Pathfinder in general? Most of them don't care about the playtest.

In addition, from a marketing standpoint it would be better to go in with a more powerful playtest version to raise excitement about purchasing the book, especially pre-orders. As the vigilante now stands, it doesn't sound like much of anyone is interested in buying its book as soon as it comes out?

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

Hey there folks,

Although I appreciate everyone's concern for the class, and I understand the worry that the class does not quite meet certain presumed standards as of yet, I am not convinced that we need an entire thread just to talk about the issue, absent any real concrete suggestions or playtest feedback.

This thread is on thin ice folks...

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Melkiador wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

yes, although implicit in my comment is the assumption that people who care/follow the playtest.

In addition, from a marketing standpoint it would be better to go in with a more powerful playtest version to raise excitement about purchasing the book, especially pre-orders. As the vigilante now stands it doesn't sound like much of anyone is interested in buying its book as soon as it comes out?

Well, see, there's the funny thing.

People are going BONKERS over having a new Ultimate book that's focused on Skills - something a lot of people apparently feel should have come out years ago when Ultimate Combat and Ultimate Magic came out, as Skills.

People want to use more Skills in Combat, they want new uses for Skills and tricks for them in campaigns, especially in dungeons, etc.

They want the ability to use Skills heavily in campaigns for things like espionage, etc. They are foaming at the mouth at the prospects of "Social Combat".

They want a REASON to be a Skill Monkey, in the same way that they're rewarded for being a dedicated Caster or dedicated combat-monster.

So people will buy the book regardless.

But a LOT of people may also be turned away if the Vigilante proves to be horribly designed, or not able to as easily be added to any campaign in the same way that the Gunslinger and Magus were.


We could hope that we finally get a skill version of the Toughness feat.

Shadow Lodge

My prevailing <jaded> theory is that the Vigilante is entirely meant to be a NPC class, but I have a secondary <jaded> theory that Paizo went out of their way to write the initial Playtest so poorly/underwhelming that all later iterations of it look like pure platinum piled over a stack of gold.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that any special Ultimate Intrigue rules not included are just going to make the class that much worse. Paizo has a pretty iconic notoriety of making half finished subsystems that are then never supported or fleshed out. No reason to think this would be any different and writing it into a class(+) is going to make it even worse.

Hope for the best, prep for the worst. :(

Dark Archive

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Oh boy, here we go again.

I built an Avenger and a stalker and I can already tell you these are the two specializations most ready for play. The avenger looks boring, yes, but their talents almost always grant a bonus feat and another benefit or 2+ bonus feats. The Avenger can have more feats than a fighter without trying too hard. What they lack in armor and Weapon training (and bravery I guess) they make up for with skills and versatility out of combat that the fighter simply cannot match, in addition to some very useful techniques for ambushing targets (startling appearance is great, why doesn't anyone mention it?) Avenger really just needs more engaging talents so it doesn't look so boring, but it certainly isn't as weak as everyone is making it out to be.

Stalker is in a similar boat - the low attack bonus hurts and there aren't many ways to increase it, but take a look at the talents and you'll see why I like the specialization. Leave an Opening is, for melee stalkers, an extra attack whenever you land a Hidden Strike. I can count the number of times an enemy wasn't threatened when their turn started by the PC that hit them in melee last turn on one hand. Up Close and Personal gives you another attack that automatically deals Hidden Strike damage to an enemy you tumble through using acrobatics, and if you invest in acrobatics you can usually hit that check. That's two talents that give bonus attacks, and you can easily get both by level 4. Factor in Perfect Strike, which gives you a free Hidden Strike against every enemy once a day, and Hide in Plain Sight, and you have a stealthy character who is quite competent in combat and lands Hidden Strike much more often than a rogue lands sneak attack.Startling Appearance is a full round of Hidden Strikes whenever you ambush! It even works with ranged attacks! IMO everyone is paying so much attention to the slightly (and I do mean slightly) nerfed sneak attack damage vs aware enemies to notice all the great things the Specialization has to offer.

Warlocks have problems. You have low attack bonuses with stunted spellcasting progression and a very low number of spells per day, while you are expected to trade fun new class features like Mystic Bolts, Tattoo Chamber, and Educated Defense to make sure your spellcasting isn't worse than it already is. However, these talents are really cool, and nearly make up for the stunted Casting power.

The worst of the lot is the Zealot, though, who get access to such fun and interesting new talents like Channel, Domains, Track, Stern Gaze, and Stalwart in addition to their poor wilted spell progression. I hope you have fun playing an inquisitor with no judgement or bane and an inferior spell progression, because that's almost all they have right now. Penance Gaze is okay, but otherwise their talents are largely underwhelming.

Long story short, Avenger and Zealot are no spellcasters, but they have enough power to be usable and even good in the right hands. Warlock is held back by spellcasting issues, but their diverse selection of flavorful and powerful talents nearly makes up for it. The Zealot personifies everything wrong with the Vigilante class, having bad spellcasting progression and very few unique abilities that make the class look sloppy. Despite this, the Vigilante is very interesting in concept and many of the new abilities are so cool that I'm left wanting more.

Scarab Sages

So I had the pleasure of building an Avenger for Pathfinder Society and I absolutely love it. Full BAB, two identities, made him a human for Weapon Focus and Dazzling Display; it's almost too perfect for role playing. However, I do not like the rest of this class. With the options to cast, it adds flavor and what not, but the casting almost isn't worth it. It seems like this class could have potential if the casting and other options were beefed up so it could stay on par with, let's say, a wizard or even an oracle.

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