Can we talk about how the Cavalier is just better than the Fighter?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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With warrior spirit, the fighter can get to a DPR level far above a cavalier. DPR doesn't mean much to me, though, that's why I prefer spell casters who can't do as much damage over both classes, but have other options.


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Fighter who really wants a mount and party buff:
1. Nature Soul, Power Attack
2. Mounted Combat
3. Advanced Armor Training (Master Armorer)
4. Spirited Charge
5. Animal Ally
6. Advanced Weapon Training (Versatile Training)
7. Monstrous Mount, AAT (Armored Juggernaut)
8. Advanced Armor Training (Armor Specialization)
9. Monstrous Mount Mastery, AWT (Versatile Training)
10. Improved Bravery
11. Advanced Weapon Training (Fighter's Reflexes), AAT (Armored Sacrifice)
12. Inspiring Bravery
13. Trick Riding, AWT (Item Mastery?)
14. Mounted Skirmisher
15. Boon Companion, AAT (Adaptable Training?)
16. Combat Reflexes
17. Stand Still, AWT (Warrior Spirit?)
18. Iron Will?
19. Dazing Assault?
20. ????

Look, I'll be honest, it's not great (and I mostly just copied feats from the Cavalier build). That being said, it has the exact same mount as the cavalier, at least 6+Int skill ranks a level (4 are Ride, Handle Animal, Bluff, and Intimidate), maybe 7+Int. Gives everyone within 30 feet a +5 to Will saves vs mind-affecting (which covers all fear, charm, and compulsion?) and can be bumped to +6 with a cheap (4k) chest slot magic item. DR 11/-. Ability to sacrifice a shield to take a fatal hit for an ally. Saves are better than the Cavalier, AC is better, skills are better, attack is the same or better (I think? +6 for WT vs +8 charge/+5 order/+0 neither), damage under ideal circumstances is probably lower (again, I don't have actual numbers).

In return for the lower damage, as loathe as I am to say this, the Fighter gets to do his thing all day. The Cavalier (at least, your Cavalier) has a limited number of challenges. Also, you can't challenge and use tactician in the same round, unless I've missed something, so your Cavalier will always have to choose between better saves or doing actual damage. Any round in which you do not benefit from challenge the Fighter is just better.

And this is just a skeleton. There's no race or actual stat scores associated with it. Only requirements are 13 Str at level 1 and 13 Cha by level 10. I might have missed something (this is pretty half-baked) so feel free to point out any problems. But I'm sure this is a much better character than your Cavalier.


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Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
I'm just saying it seems disingenuous to pick the strictly worse options in the name of "combat versatility" then claim your favorite class outperforms in those opportunities you chose to pass on in order to be better at fightan.

No its disingenuous to list a half a dozen select-able options and pretend they are baseline fighter abilities while still not offering any builds that show how you manage it.

The builds that attempt what you go on and on about end up still worse at skills, decent downtime, tanky-er, but worse damage and combat utility.

The advance armor/weapon training just aren't that good compared to getting real class features.

"worse damage'

Is it ENOUGH damage is all that matters, you don't need to explode things with 40 points of overkill. At that point you're wasting resources.

And the reason I'm not throwing builds at you and instead examples of options is this:

1. Planning a build well is annoying and takes a lot of time and by page 2 I didn't really think itd change your mind.

2. Fighter builds and access to these options are highly situational. I'm not going to waste feats on maxing Bluff and Diplomacy if i find that one of my party members is a Bard, for example. Pathfinder isn't a solo game. If the bard dies, the option exists to become a party face whenever you can spare a feat for it.

3. The advanced armor/weapon training options actually ARE "real" class features. Fighters tactics is the inquisitors solo tactics, Focused weapon is the warpriests sacred weapon. Armored Juggernaut is the invulnerable ragers's DR with a negligible equipment requirement. Armor specialization is Nimble from gunslinger/swashbuckler, again with a negligible equipment requirement. Warrior Spirit is the magus ability to enhance a weapon with a few restrictions on action type and uses per day but NO restrictions on what enhancements you can add + a magic item available that empowers it, fair given that its not on a 3/4 bab class. Versatile training is literally versatile performance.

Liberty's Edge

Cavall wrote:
Your narrow frame feet is vastly more a bandaid as it specifically was made for a class that needed movement. Was not part of base class

But narrow frame doesn't do anything for movement. It removes the penalties to attack and AC for squeezing, but that's about it.


Rhedyn you never responded to my latest post.

Shadow Lodge

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Rhedyn's cavalier example was 20th-level straight-class, with the Shield order granting a +5 moral bonus on attack. Basically novas for att+5/dmg+20 Challenge times a day, and will of course utterly slaughter anything hit on a charge (or at least leave something grievously wounded for the pounce-monster mount to finish off).

At 20th, his lance is a 19-20/x4 weapon on a Spirited Charge, 19-20/x3 on a non-spirited charge, and an ordinary 20/x2 lance (prior to layered magic) for all other situations including AoOs. Mighty Charge's threat-range increase does not stack with either Keen or Improved Critical.

Problem is myeh AC after an initial Challenge-charge leaves him AC-4 (and much worse than that relative to the fighter enjoying Armor Mastery). On foot, all of the cavalier's lance-charge grooviness evaporates, and his armor-check penalties suddenly re-manifest (potentially leading to life-threatening problems should Acrobatics, Climb, Swim, or Escape Artist checks be subsequently called for).

~ ~ ~

A 20th level fighter will, given an 18-20/x2 base weapon and Improved Critical, see that jacked by his Weapon Mastery capstone to 15-20/x3 & crits autoconfirm, and it'll be that way full-time.

Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Weapon Training, and Gloves of Dueling are expected, for a potential att+8/dmg+10 if all jacked into the same weapon.

Assume either a Leadership-granted caster cohort, or potions of Heroism (among other available choices) bought by the 24-pack and consumed via Accelerated Drinker, granting a Morale+4 attack bonus in any situation that is not of being-surprised. (In order words, the cavalier's Order of the Shield morale advantage is at best +1 over the fighter since his own received morale bonuses from other sources won't stack.)

-- The fighter is 49% to realize a confirmed-crit every round he makes at least two attacks with his primary weapon. He has a much higher attack bonus with his 2nd iterative than the cavalier does with his main (in fact his 2nd is equal to the cavalier's main on a charge), and his 3rd iterative is only -1 worse than the cavalier's main. With Two Weapon Fighting, his 2nd iterative is still +2 over the cavalier's main. The fighter, Power Attacking full-time, still has a higher attack bonus than the cavalier not Power Attacking, and will be straight even when Power Attacking and TWFing.

Keeping things CRB (aside from the gloves), let's have him Greater TWF with the humble kukri (15-20/x3 auto-confirm): He has seven attacks, or probably more than the charging cavalier on his pounce-monster.

Basically, anything subject to crits...dies extremely fast. (In a full GTWF, the fighter is 92% to score a crit at least once a round every round he gets all his swings. Since they auto-confirm, he has no reason not to Power Attack full-time as well as lard on every possible numeric bonus to damage, and watch it all triple.)

~ ~ ~

If the cavalier protests, "Well, I can take three levels of fighter[Weapon Master archetype] to pick up Weapon Training (and then buy those sweet gloves), and just use Improved Critical or Keen instead of my comparatively crummy capstone!"

...to which the fighter responds, "Oh; I didn't know we were multiclassing. Well, in that case...."

The Exchange

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J4RH34D wrote:
Rhedyn you never responded to my latest post.

He cherry picks so he doesn't have to do anything but claim his one build wins.

I asked him three times now to show me two more builds for new campaigns after he'd finished the first campaign with his "uber Cavalier"

He's chosen to ignore it every time, because that's not the "point he's trying to make"

I'm nearly 100% confident all three builds are going to be so close to identical that they'd be boring for many players after campaign one.

The Exchange

Thug logic, your crib understanding is wrong.

A threatnrange of 15-20 still needs to beat the AC of the target. The only number that auto hits is a 20.

So if something has an AC of 9000 as you suggest, the Cavalier and the fighter are hitting exactly the same number of times. About 1 in 20 attacks.

Auto confirm only means you don't need to make the second d20 after hitting a target in your threat range.

Eg. Fighter rolls a 15 on the dice, scores a 32 to hit. AC is 34. Fighter misses, so can't apply any crit.

Eg2 fighter rolls a twenty on dice. Scores a 37 to hit, but AC is 42. Natural twenty means it hits any way, now auto confirm means he also scores a crit.

Shadow Lodge

We don't need full build examples (although they are nice) when just looking at numerical bonuses will suffice:

* The 20th-level cavalier has 7 challenges a day in which he receives +20 damage versus a challenged target.

* The 20th-level fighter with de rigueur GWS/Training/Gloves receives +10 damage every single swing of his main weapon all day long, and autoconfirms crits 30% (15-20/x3 assuming largest threat-range choices) each thwack. With GWF, he's +8 to attack over the cavalier, and will almost always be Power Attacking even if TWF'ing.

-- That's without even cracking the Weapon and Armor books out now.

Shadow Lodge

Wrath wrote:
Eg. Fighter rolls a 15 on the dice, scores a 32 to hit. AC is 34. Fighter misses, so can't apply any crit.

A 20th-level fighter rolling a 15 scores a 35 to hit with a blown kiss. With a +5 weapon and GWF/Training/gloves at 20th, he'll be +48 to hit rolling a 15. Toss in some stones and spells, and he'd easily be over 50.


Sir Thugsalot wrote:

We don't need full build examples (although they are nice) when just looking at numerical bonuses will suffice:

* The 20th-level cavalier has 7 challenges a day in which he receives +20 damage versus a challenged target.

* The 20th-level fighter with de rigueur GWS/Training/Gloves receives +10 damage every single swing of his main weapon all day long, and autoconfirms crits 30% (15-20/x3 assuming largest threat-range choices) each thwack. With GWF, he's +8 to attack over the cavalier, and will almost always be Power Attacking even if TWF'ing.

-- That's without even cracking the Weapon and Armor books out now.

This is another one of those places where an avg ac/hp value by CR would be really useful.


Why I struggle to understand why my archer does less damage:

With a +1 adaptive longbow and gloves of dueling only my full attack routine is:

21/21/16/11
1d8+19 (+ 1d8+19 on the first attack)

I can easily add more damage mods. I know there are ways to push that higher.

I also only take DR into account once

Spending a bit more money I have (+5 adaptive bow, gloves, greater bracers of archery, and I still have 48 600 gp. This is all at lvl 13 mind, as I couldnt be bother to take the build to 20 as I feel I fill all criteria at 13)

28/28/23/18
1d8+24


Here is a table with hit chances of various attack mods vs avg AC by cr

Shadow Lodge

Ryan Freire wrote:
This is another one of those places where an avg ac/hp value by CR would be really useful.

Why? I'm directly comparing the two 20th-level classes with their capstones to each other. The fighter has a MUCH higher attack bonus. Hitpoints are the same: both are d10 classes who don't rage.

Shadow Lodge

J4RH34D wrote:

Why I struggle to understand why my archer does less damage:

With a +1 adaptive longbow and gloves of dueling only my full attack routine is:

21/21/16/11
1d8+19 (+ 1d8+19 on the first attack)

I can easily add more damage mods. I know there are ways to push that higher.

I also only take DR into account once

Spending a bit more money I have (+5 adaptive bow, gloves, greater bracers of archery, and I still have 48 600 gp. This is all at lvl 13 mind, as I couldnt be bother to take the build to 20 as I feel I fill all criteria at 13)

28/28/23/18
1d8+24

Dip barbarian[urban archetype] and apply the Furious enhancement to your bow (unless it's maxed out already at high level). Instant +2 attack bonus, and +2 more if Furious is the first weapon enhancement taken after the initial +1. May need to take Extra Rage to keep it fueled. Great in PFS, less so in forever-and-a-day slogs.


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Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
This is another one of those places where an avg ac/hp value by CR would be really useful.
Why? I'm directly comparing the two 20th-level classes with their capstones to each other. The fighter has a MUCH higher attack bonus. Hitpoints are the same: both are d10 classes who don't rage.

No i mean hp of the target. Dumping tons of resources into overkill on either to hit or damage is counterproductive.

Neither a decently built cavalier nor fighter usually have complaints about not doing enough damage.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
The Mad Comrade wrote:
Monstrous carnivores that generally are going to view people as self-propelled meat snacks are not going to just be casually available to purchase for a few sacks of gold coin and a day trip.

I almost cried laughing at this. Self-propelled meat snacks, too much!

Shadow Lodge

Ryan Freire wrote:
Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
This is another one of those places where an avg ac/hp value by CR would be really useful.
Why? I'm directly comparing the two 20th-level classes with their capstones to each other. The fighter has a MUCH higher attack bonus. Hitpoints are the same: both are d10 classes who don't rage.
No i mean hp of the target. Dumping tons of resources into overkill on either to hit or damage is counterproductive.

Ohhh... I see how this game is played: If the cavalier has higher numbers, then he's "just better", but if the fighter has higher numbers, then he's counterproductively committing "overkill".

Heads-you-win, tails-I-lose.

Got it.

Quote:
Neither a decently built cavalier nor fighter usually have complaints about not doing enough damage.

The fighter almost never has complaints about not doing enough damage (unless the player haplessly selected an archetype that forfeited WT). The cavalier will when whenever he's not on his mount (and that'll happen just as soon as he's grabbed and swallowed by his APL20-appropriate opponent).

The Exchange

Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Wrath wrote:
Eg. Fighter rolls a 15 on the dice, scores a 32 to hit. AC is 34. Fighter misses, so can't apply any crit.
A 20th-level fighter rolling a 15 scores a 35 to hit with a blown kiss. With a +5 weapon and GWF/Training/gloves at 20th, he'll be +48 to hit rolling a 15. Toss in some stones and spells, and he'd easily be over 50.

You have completely missed the point, so I will try again.

Monster has AC 9000
Fighter has crit range of 15 - 20 (as you suggested)

Fighter rolls a 15. It's inside his crit range, but can't beat the AC so doesn't even hit. No damage.

Fighter rolls a 20. It's inside his hit range but doesn't beat the AC (9000 is very high). Still hits as a Nat 20 auto hits. What's more, the fighters auto crit confirm now means he's critted as well.

In your original post you were stating that the crit range of 15+ counts as auto hit on numbers that aren't natural 20s


Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
This is another one of those places where an avg ac/hp value by CR would be really useful.
Why? I'm directly comparing the two 20th-level classes with their capstones to each other. The fighter has a MUCH higher attack bonus. Hitpoints are the same: both are d10 classes who don't rage.
No i mean hp of the target. Dumping tons of resources into overkill on either to hit or damage is counterproductive.

Ohhh... I see how this game is played: If the cavalier has higher numbers, then he's "just better", but if the fighter has higher numbers, then he's counterproductively committing "overkill".

Heads-you-win, tails-I-lose.

Got it.

Quote:
Neither a decently built cavalier nor fighter usually have complaints about not doing enough damage.
The fighter almost never has complaints about not doing enough damage (unless the player haplessly selected an archetype that forfeited WT). The cavalier will when whenever he's not on his mount (and that'll happen just as soon as he's grabbed and swallowed by his APL20-appropriate opponent).

You are misunderstanding my position. I don't want to dump resources into overkill when i build a char. I want to do "enough" damage, and also do stuff in downtime, and have some skills to crash during investigation/social points of the adventure. About the only overkill I like is survivability overkill. Frankly, due to that versatility i view the fighter as "just better for just about anything but being a mounted combatant" You'd know if youd read any of my posts prior to this.

And for nonmounted cavaliers I mean Order of the flame daring champion does a butt ton of damage on every hit and on foot. So i mean, yeah you can build a cavalier to not need its mount.

Edit: Jarhead gets it, its about the most efficient use of build resources to make a character that has the fewest situations possible where they feel like they have nothing they can do.

The Exchange

Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
This is another one of those places where an avg ac/hp value by CR would be really useful.
Why? I'm directly comparing the two 20th-level classes with their capstones to each other. The fighter has a MUCH higher attack bonus. Hitpoints are the same: both are d10 classes who don't rage.
No i mean hp of the target. Dumping tons of resources into overkill on either to hit or damage is counterproductive.

Ohhh... I see how this game is played: If the cavalier has higher numbers, then he's "just better", but if the fighter has higher numbers, then he's counterproductively committing "overkill".

Heads-you-win, tails-I-lose.

Got it.

Quote:
Neither a decently built cavalier nor fighter usually have complaints about not doing enough damage.
The fighter almost never has complaints about not doing enough damage (unless the player haplessly selected an archetype that forfeited WT). The cavalier will when whenever he's not on his mount (and that'll happen just as soon as he's grabbed and swallowed by his APL20-appropriate opponent).

And again, you have missed the point.


The other reasons having HP and AC values is useful is so you can compare how much damage you should be doing with what to hit bonuses in order to meet criteria you want to meet.

Using average stats to benchmark your character

The Exchange

Ryan, on the note for AC and HP etc, it's worth noting that using average is a waste of time on its own,

Average for a category is probably better.

Eg category might be Caster (humanoid), tank critter, DPS critter etc.

Also, the PRD has the rules for monster building and it has a table with recommended stats by CR. you could use that.

In that table, a CR 20 high damage, tank like target has

AC 36, 370 hp, does an average of 120 damage a round, and has a to hit of 30

You can assume that a caster is likely to,have less AC and HP but likely includes miss chances and probably does more damage or just save or suck spell DCs. The DC for those spells are 27 according to the table, for a primary stat caster.

The Exchange

So, according to my previous post in order to be "useful" at level 20 in terms of these kinds of build discussions, you guys are expecting a character to be able to -
Beat AC 36 consistently (including as many iterative attacks as possible),
- deal 370 hp in a round,
- take at least 120 damage,
- have an AC high enough to ignore +30 to hit,
- and a will save to beat 27DC spell or be taken from the fight (assumption most save or suck spells are will save based. I suspect there's at least one for each save though).

How do the builds compare now (including the fact the mount has to absorb the damage and pass the spell too or be dead as hell and useless)

Shadow Lodge

Ryan Freire wrote:
You are misunderstanding my position. I don't want to dump resources into overkill when i build a char. I want to do "enough" damage, and also do stuff in downtime, and have some skills to crash during investigation/social points of the adventure.

* Fighters have a lot more leeway to drop extraneous feats on acquiring skills and jacking them (e.g., Extra Traits to make a few class with a +1 bonus, then Skill Focus to pump them), Or, since the human's extra feat is so much less of a percentage gain for him, he can start as another race without feeling unduly hobbled.

* There's no such as "overkill" when we're talking about attack-bonus in the context of iteratives. (The cavalier took Monstrous Mount obviously for a pounce-beast, and I didn't see you complaining about that, let along about Challenge's +20 damage in the first place).

The cavalier, with his big lance charges, is far more likely to massively overkill any particular target. The fighter is much better dishing out steady damage to everything and gets more attacks, so less of it wasted (the various feats chains that let you move between attacks or auto-dog retreating opponents are very nice here).

Quote:
About the only overkill I like is survivability overkill. Frankly, due to that versatility i view the fighter as "just better for just about anything but being a mounted combatant" You'd know if youd read any of my posts prior to this.

I ran a samurai (the "much better" version of cavalier) in PFS. I smuggled my horse into the most ridiculous of mounts-shouldn't-get-in-there situations (even to the point of Reducing and Greasing when necessary to squeeze it through a small hole whose only apparent purpose in the mod was to deny the entry of large animal companions; even had a block & tackle to winch it).

I think I got off about one, maybe two mounted charges per level. It comes down to encounter parameters and the GM competently running the adversaries.

Quote:
And for nonmounted cavaliers I mean Order of the flame daring champion does a butt ton of damage on every hit and on foot. So i mean, yeah you can build a cavalier to not need its mount.

Ok, so now he's not an Order of the Shield getting his free +5 morale bonus (and I doubt his attack-bonus and damage on foot doing whatever are going to approach a fighter's att+8/dmg+10 from GWF/GWS/WT/gloves).

No matter how you move the goalpost, the fighter can just point to that +8/+10 that he gets all day long on every swat.

Shadow Lodge

Wrath wrote:
So, according to my previous post in order to be "useful" at level 20 in terms of these kinds of build discussions, you guys are expecting a character to be able to...

Here's my 20th-level martial criteria, which is horrible/mean-spirited/unfair/RappanAthuk because it's 20th level:

* ...be able to beat that 370hp (oh, heck, let's make it an even 500hp) monster while inside it after it's ambush/grab/swallowed you and dove down to the bottom of the lake. Solo. No buffs.

Cavalier is getting digested or drowns. Fighter GTWF with dual lights? No sweat. He ginsus it into pink purée, then, thanks to Adaptable Training, swims right up like he was made out of cork.

The Exchange

You're fighting the wrong guy here Thugsalot.

I've never said fighters are worse. I think both classes have their place.

I just think fighters have more places than Cavaliers.

Shadow Lodge

<nod>

The Exchange

Wait, I also need to add
- have at least one social skill or knowledge skill hit a DC of 30 consistently so out of combat is still useful

That probably needs to be in the criteria I listed earlier.


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Wrath wrote:

You're fighting the wrong guy here Thugsalot.

I've never said fighters are worse. I think both classes have their place.

I just think fighters have more places than Cavaliers.

You know its funny I was reading your posts and was like wait weren't you on his side? what did I miss? Now it is clear.


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Random thought, but isn't a thrown weapon Fighter capable of a stupid level of static bonuses that can rival challenge? Weapon Training (With those sexy gloves) + Trained Throw is a +12, the Startoss feats give a +6, and Specializations a +4. I think Halflings with a sling can add a plus one. Distance Thrower and Far shot triple your penalty free range increment as well. It probably doesn't make up for spirited charge and power attack, but that's a lot of damage for the range you're capable of. It gives Archery a run for it's money.

If you really wanna get stupid, a Learned Duelist (On the Prd. It's called something else in the book) with throw anything can take Trained Thorw and Quadruple your Weapon Training bonus to a 24 (if you're in light armor or naked, to be fair). It keeps armor training, but only has one Weapon Training (Less AWT).


Regarding the 3 different types of builds from cavalier. The one mentioned above that is charge lance pounce.(so Melee mounted,) Then someone with a mount and invests in archery, then daring champion for on foot melee. There done. No I am not going to post full builds because that is more than enough to demonstrate that there are minimum of 3 mechanically distinct cavalier types.


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Wrath wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:
Rhedyn you never responded to my latest post.
He cherry picks so he doesn't have to do anything but claim his one build wins.

I'm still waiting for response to my initial post on page 1...

But it doesn't matter since we're dealing with Schrodinger's Cavalier.
Rhedyn wrote:
The Goal is either out damaging a Cavalier while challenging without his mount or a Cavalier with his mount.

All the time in between these situations are apparently null and void (you know, the majority of most games).

I should just start a thread called "Can we just talk about how Pyrokinesist is just better than Cavalier" and demand a build that can out-damage them when they go full nova on creatures with weakness to fire.


Rub-Eta wrote:
I should just start a thread called "Can we just talk about how Pyrokinesist is just better than Cavalier" and demand a build that can out-damage them when they go full nova on creatures with weakness to fire.

Well, the Pyrokineticist just looks cooler, what with being constantly wreathed with flames...


After just reading through this thread, it seems kind of bizarre to me how many arguments against the Cavalier essentially boil down to "The class is bad if the GM shuts you down."

Is there any class that's not bad if the GM goes out of their way to house rule away items they want to buy and constantly try to invalidate their class features?


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Squiggit wrote:

After just reading through this thread, it seems kind of bizarre to me how many arguments against the Cavalier essentially boil down to "The class is bad if the GM shuts you down."

Is there any class that's not bad if the GM goes out of their way to house rule away items they want to buy and constantly try to invalidate their class features?

I think the difference is that there a plenty of legitimate reasons for an adventure to take place where a mount can't go. It's not the same class of decision as only throwing neutral creatures/NPCs at a Paladin, or never attacking a Ranger with a favored enemy, etc.

"I can't take my big class feature into a dungeon or buildings in a city" is not a small handicap that makes the GM a bastard if he doesn't tailor the entire campaign around it.


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Squiggit wrote:
After just reading through this thread, it seems kind of bizarre to me how many arguments against the Cavalier essentially boil down to "The class is bad if the GM shuts you down."

I think it's more that a lot of things that are going to come up incidentally are going to be a problem if you're relying on being mounted.

Like if the premise of the adventure is "you're going to a fancy party and you are going to try to sneak off and break into the vault" you're not going to bring your horse/griffin when you're sneaking around. If you're trying to get into the crypt underneath a library, even if a fight breaks out in the library, the rows and rows of bookshelves are going to make charge lanes difficult. If you're on a ship, a horse doesn't do a whole lot. A swordfight on a spiral staircase is not a good place for a horse. The PCs walking into an ambush where their opponents are attacking from range shielded by difficult terrain is a hard place to charge. And so on.

Some of these problems will be resolved by having a flying mount, but you're going to be spending some levels before it's a reasonable expenditure where you're stuck with a normal horse and you're sometimes unable to do your thing. You're putting the GM into a position where they have to consider "do I have to rework this entire scenario to accommodate the player that decided to specialize in mounted combat?"

So sure, a GM can shut down any class, but the Cavalier is going to be more affected by "things that come up because the GM thinks they're cool or interesting" than most classes. It should be fairly clear that there are some cases where it's not reasonable to have an medium-sized or larger animal with you, whether it's due to circumstances or propriety; this is not an issue unique to the Cavalier. FWIW, this is why my favorite Cavalier is the Ghost Rider archetype, which is rad.


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While it is perfectly fine to compare options within a class; I think it is disengenious to give any any class a + rating over another class simply due to the, sometimes overwhelming, variety of options available to each class. In any context, two opposing arguing sides can out-build/splat/itemize/archetype each other over and over again. Nothing is gained from these sorts of discussion except for increasingly min-maxed numbers without any personality or character behind them.

That said, I think people were underestimating the cavaliers versatility. While the base class is built around mounted charging, it does not mean that you need to charge. The same way that proficiency in heby armor doesn't mean you are barred from using light armor. A number of archetypes replace those features, however even if the cavalier keeps access to their charge abilities it remains only a single tool in their tool box. There is nothing forcing cavaliers to all build the same way. Now, Cavaliers do lack 7 feats compared to the fighter so fighters have more room to gain combat or general feats. However, a number of classes that can be built multiple ways have 0 bonus feats so I do not think that only have 3 bonus feats limits the cavaliers builds.

Now I understand why folks focused on the charge line of feats, as that was pertinent to the TCs claims about the cavalier being better than the fighter. However, in my opinion they are largely a trap because charging is a trap due to a number of reasons already expressed within the topic. Basically, when I run a cavalier I carry around a lightly enchanted silver and/or cold iron lance Just in case a charge lane ever opens up. However it is never the focus of my build.

Lastly, in regards to the bulk of an animal companion. Since we have discussed magic items I would like to point out that a wand of carry companion will likely last you the entire campaign for a mere 4.5k

Anyway, between archetypes, orders, and magic items a cavalier is quite versatile. Whether or not they are more or less versatile than a fighter is pointless to discuss, since it will always devolve into the build arguments that have taken up most of the thread.


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I don’t think anyone is saying the cavalier is not good. Most of us are just disagreeing with the OP that the cavalier is superior to the fighter. The cavalier does have some options but for the most part they tend to focus on a specific style of combat. Even when not on a mount they usually go for a stand and deliver approach to combat. To be honest so do many fighters, but a fighter can be built to use almost any style of combat.

In all honesty I think what it really comes down to is the player not the class. This is true for practically all classes. If I build a character and someone who does not know the system builds a character more than likely my character will be more powerful even if they are using a class that is arguably better than mine. All the additional books and resources make this worse, but even when limited to the same material the character of an experienced player will usually be more powerful.

I will agree that a fighter is actually more complex to build than a cavalier. That does not make the cavalier better, just different.


Xenocrat wrote:
"I can't take my big class feature into a dungeon or buildings in a city" is not a small handicap that makes the GM a bastard if he doesn't tailor the entire campaign around it.

I disagree. If a GM designs a campaign where a player can't use one of their core features 70% of the time (to pull a number from earlier in this thread) and doesn't say anything about it so the character can build around it, that's pretty s!%#ty.

Likewise if a GM goes out of his way to consistently target the cavalier's mount and/or houserules away his ability to replace it, that's also pretty s#$@ty.

All three of those were things I've read upthread as reasons why the Cavalier is bad and specifically what I was questioning.

Yeah, sure there are scenarios where the Cavalier's class features aren't always going to work great, but a lot suggestions simply amount to the GM being harder on a Cavalier than they are on other players and you can't really use that as a knock against them anymore than you should argue that Wizards are bad because you can just take away their spellbooks.

Liberty's Edge

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That's the thing though, it doesn't need to be a GM actively working against the cavalier. It can just be a case of using a written adventure and not wanting to re-write the plot, and re-draw the entire map. Difficult terrain is a thing in adventures, 5 foot hallways are a thing. Oddly, dinner parties seem to happen a lot in Paizo's adventures. All of these adversely affect the mounted cavalier.

And targeting the mount is just good tactics. Especially with a flying mount. Doing it with creatures having animal level intelligence, or not allowing them to replace their mount are particularly bad form for a GM though.


Well, this is a failure of a thread. Starts with the invitation of "Can we talk about how the Cavalier is just better than the Fighter?" and it's met with 6 pages of disagreement and the OP saying "nuh-uh."

Grand Lodge

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Yup, abandon hope all ye who enter here.

Seriously though, we should just abandon the thread. The OP has been met with suggestions and even full builds that counter his premise on all counts and yet he still just says "no, I'm right". There is nothing left here as rational argument is being ignored.

The Exchange

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Squiggit wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
"I can't take my big class feature into a dungeon or buildings in a city" is not a small handicap that makes the GM a bastard if he doesn't tailor the entire campaign around it.

I disagree. If a GM designs a campaign where a player can't use one of their core features 70% of the time (to pull a number from earlier in this thread) and doesn't say anything about it so the character can build around it, that's pretty s~!+ty.

Likewise if a GM goes out of his way to consistently target the cavalier's mount and/or houserules away his ability to replace it, that's also pretty s@*%ty.

All three of those were things I've read upthread as reasons why the Cavalier is bad and specifically what I was questioning.

Yeah, sure there are scenarios where the Cavalier's class features aren't always going to work great, but a lot suggestions simply amount to the GM being harder on a Cavalier than they are on other players and you can't really use that as a knock against them anymore than you should argue that Wizards are bad because you can just take away their spellbooks.

Go look at the adventure paths published by Paizo. I don't need to design games that handicap mounts. The company that designs and publishes the adventures does that for me.

Also, at higher levels, where it's claimed these guys shine, it gets even harder to keep a mount alive, let alone useful. The same way animal companions and familiars can get killed so damn easy at those levels. And again, that's not even trying to target them specifically.


Deighton Thrane wrote:
Difficult terrain is a thing in adventures, 5 foot hallways are a thing. Oddly, dinner parties seem to happen a lot in Paizo's adventures. All of these adversely affect the mounted cavalier.

Well, for these three in particular, difficult terrain is going to be obnoxious for any melee. 5-foot hallways don't really bother small cavaliers and only moderately inconvenience medium cavaliers (since narrow frame isn't that hard to snag). If anything the fighter is probably going to be just as annoyed at not being able to enlarge.

I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find charging lanes at a dinner party either.

Quote:
And targeting the mount is just good tactics.

So is stealing the Wizard's spellbook or sundering/disarming/stealing the fighter's weapon. They're still generally considered dickish things to do.

The Exchange

Wultram wrote:

Regarding the 3 different types of builds from cavalier. The one mentioned above that is charge lance pounce.(so Melee mounted,) Then someone with a mount and invests in archery, then daring champion for on foot melee. There done. No I am not going to post full builds because that is more than enough to demonstrate that there are minimum of 3 mechanically distinct cavalier types.

Thanks, those are three different builds that would indeed make the class feel,unique over three campaigns.

I suspect the archer build is going to suffer at its archery due to the investment in mount stuff, however it'll probably still be enough for an average campaign.

I'm happy to,concede versatility in the class. At least on par with the fighter in terms of effectiveness.

And you're fully correct, there's no need for builds to make the point.


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Squiggit wrote:
Quote:
And targeting the mount is just good tactics.
So is stealing the Wizard's spellbook or sundering/disarming/stealing the fighter's weapon. They're still generally considered dickish things to do.

If the mount is just that a mount, I won't go out of my way as a GM to target it but it will be targeted in area spells , creatures that cannot reach the rider, things that look for food instead of targeting the party. If the mount is an attacking pouncing beast, it's fair game for everyone.

EDIT: of course I announce that during character creation.


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Squiggit wrote:


Quote:
And targeting the mount is just good tactics.
So is stealing the Wizard's spellbook or sundering/disarming/stealing the fighter's weapon. They're still generally considered dickish things to do.

Stealing a Wizard's spellbook is terrible tactics in a fight. Sundering/disarming/stealing a fighter's weapon in a fight is sometimes going to be better than hitting him to kill, but not often. Killing a mount is often going to be a smart thing to do.

The Exchange

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Squiggit wrote:
Deighton Thrane wrote:
Difficult terrain is a thing in adventures, 5 foot hallways are a thing. Oddly, dinner parties seem to happen a lot in Paizo's adventures. All of these adversely affect the mounted cavalier.

Well, for these three in particular, difficult terrain is going to be obnoxious for any melee. 5-foot hallways don't really bother small cavaliers and only moderately inconvenience medium cavaliers (since narrow frame isn't that hard to snag). If anything the fighter is probably going to be just as annoyed at not being able to enlarge.

I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find charging lanes at a dinner party either.

Quote:
And targeting the mount is just good tactics.
So is stealing the Wizard's spellbook or sundering/disarming/stealing the fighter's weapon. They're still generally considered dickish things to do.

Yeah, destroying a spell book is considered poor form, because it renders the class unplayable at low levels. At high levels it's not so bad if they prepare for it. Some DMs refuse to target that stuff for that reason. Which is another reason why l laugh at some of the caster martial threads. It's such a glaringly obvious flaw in that class.

You can do the same with sundering spell pouches, disarming or sundering holy symbols too. I've done both of those and stolen spell books. But those are easily overcome and used sparingly. I've done the weapon and armour thing to fighters too. That one is actually a tactic suggested in quite a few published adventures. You come across enemies where their tactic is sundering gear.

All of those are the reason why experienced players carry spare weapons, spare component pouches, spare holy symbols and go to great efforts to protect their spell books. Pouches and symbols are cheap.

As for targeting mounts, that's something that everyone does. It's the same as killing animal companions, trying to kill familiars, targeting co horts etc. I personally won't go out of my way to specificallyntarget those things, but I've never flinched from killing them. It's a dangerous world and battles are seriously dangerous at mid to high levels. Those things are really underpowered compared to the characters themselves and I find they tend to get killed so easily.

But then, whenits happend the party has usually spent the resources to raise them from the dead. I suspect that would be true for the cavaliers mount as well.

Liberty's Edge

Squiggit wrote:
Deighton Thrane wrote:
Difficult terrain is a thing in adventures, 5 foot hallways are a thing. Oddly, dinner parties seem to happen a lot in Paizo's adventures. All of these adversely affect the mounted cavalier.

Well, for these three in particular, difficult terrain is going to be obnoxious for any melee. 5-foot hallways don't really bother small cavaliers and only moderately inconvenience medium cavaliers (since narrow frame isn't that hard to snag). If anything the fighter is probably going to be just as annoyed at not being able to enlarge.

I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find charging lanes at a dinner party either.

I'm not trying to say that these things are insurmountable, but that still affect the mounted cavalier more than your standard martial. 5 foot hallway means either taking a small character, or taking a feat like undersized mount or maybe narrow frame. They also make maneuvering for a charge pretty much impossible, except for the initial turn the cavalier gets. Difficult terrain definitely is annoying for most martials, but not everyone gets most of their turn to turn damage from charging. As for dinner parties, well most of the ones I've played in have had tables that make charging in a straight line pretty hard. Add in that first turn you're likely getting your mount out from your armor or returning it to normal form from carry companion, so you're likely a turn behind everybody else in the party.

Squiggit wrote:
Deighton Thrane wrote:
And targeting the mount is just good tactics.
So is stealing the Wizard's spellbook or sundering/disarming/stealing the fighter's weapon. They're still generally considered dickish things to do.

Stealing the wizards spellbook is generally a terrible tactic mid combat, while stealing from PCs outside of combat is a dick move. But I would equate that more to kidnapping the cavaliers mount while it's being stabled than targeting it in combat. Disarming/sundering the fighters weapon is an okay tactic, except that you're targeting one of the fighters better defenses. Meanwhile, of the two, the mount is going to have worse defenses than the rider in almost all cases.

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