Martial Artist 2 / 4 / 6 Archetype


General Discussion


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Does this seem overpowered, underpowered, or reasonable? Any conflicts people can see with existing rules?

Martial Artist Archetype
Alternate Class Features
The martial artist grants alternate class features at 2nd, 4th, and 6th levels.

Flurry of Blows (2nd Level): The Martial Artist automatically gains Improved Unarmed Strike and Multiweapon Fighting as Feats. If the character already has either Feat, the Full Attack penalty is reduced by an additional point when fighting unarmed.

Fists of Fury (EX) (4th Level): The Martial Artist's unarmed strikes are no longer counted as archaic weapons.

Powerful Strike (EX) (6th Level): The Martial Artist's damage die increases from d6 to d8.


What, no "counts as an operative weapon"? :-)


You would have to change the wording for Multiple weapon fighting. It doesn't say it covers unarmed strikes.

Liberty's Edge

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Well, let's examine how this would work:

At 6th level, a Soldier Martial Artist can be attacking at +10 (or +7/+7) for 1d8+12 damage.

A non Martial Artist could instead be attacking for 1d12 or 2d8+12...but would only be getting +6/+6 on a Full Attack, and that would cost them money, money that the Martial Artist could use on armor if they liked.

At 12th level, the Martial Artist is doing 3d8+22 damage or so per attack, while the non-Martial Artist can be doing 5d8+22...but again, the Martial Artist has +1 to hit and is saving money.

Looking at it, those damage numbers seem a little low, the excess wealth rapidly starts going to waste, and the inability to add Infusions is weird and results in weirdness.

Personally, I'd note the easy solution as having the level 6 ability instead replace damage progression with the Solarian damage progression and allow Weapon Crystals to add their damage to unarmed attacks. That gets a bit more mystical and steps on the Solarian's toes, but it's at least functional.

Another option would be to allow them to count as Operative weapons. Their damage is right-ish for those, though Infusions would still need to be accounted for somehow.

EDIT:

JetSetRadio wrote:
You would have to change the wording for Multiple weapon fighting. It doesn't say it covers unarmed strikes.

If doing this, toning down my above suggestions would likely be necessary. At least somewhat.


What you could do is just change the rules of the Solarian weapon to form around your fists. Grab the quick draw feat and attach the solar weapon to your limbs while you punch and kick. It's more of a story telling element since you aren't getting extra attacks. You wouldn't have to go through these extra steps.

Or if you want to make a soldier with cyber fists you just get cybernetic arms and attach battlegloves to them so they do that extra damage. Anyone say Doomfist!?


I don't think unarmed damage needs to be competitive with weapons of your level. The main draw is always being armed and being able to make opportunity attacks while wielding guns.

That being said, it could still stand to be a little more useful. An archetype sounds like the right way to go... I think this is a good start.


JetSetRadio wrote:
You would have to change the wording for Multiple weapon fighting. It doesn't say it covers unarmed strikes.

Thanks. I'd just assumed that. I'll just add similar wording to this ability and leave the Feat out of it entirely.


Distant Scholar wrote:
What, no "counts as an operative weapon"? :-)

I'd considered that, but I didn't want to overdo it.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Looking at it, those damage numbers seem a little low, the excess wealth rapidly starts going to waste, and the inability to add Infusions is weird and results in weirdness.

Personally, I'd note the easy solution as having the level 6 ability instead replace damage progression with the Solarian damage progression and allow Weapon Crystals to add their damage to unarmed attacks. That gets a bit more mystical and steps on the Solarian's toes, but it's at least functional.

Another option would be to allow them to count as Operative weapons. Their damage is right-ish for those, though Infusions would still need to be accounted for somehow.
EDIT:

JetSetRadio wrote:
You would have to change the wording for Multiple weapon fighting. It doesn't say it covers unarmed strikes.
If doing this, toning down my above suggestions would likely be necessary. At least somewhat.

Thanks for the advice. I'll look at those.


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rando1000 wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
What, no "counts as an operative weapon"? :-)
I'd considered that, but I didn't want to overdo it.

I would second that. One thing you don't want to do with universal archetypes is give them goodies that only a very limited subset of possible characters can benefit from.


Its still a good idea to add it, otherwise the operative has no reason to use the archetype.


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Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Its still a good idea to add it, otherwise the operative has no reason to use the archetype.

That looks more like a candidate for a class-specific option for the Operative -- or perhaps a feat if you want to help out Dex based non-Operatives.


Attempt #2:

Martial Artist Archtype
Alternate Class Features
The martial artist grants alternate class features at 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th levels.

Flurry of Blows (2nd Level): The Martial Artist automatically gains Improved Unarmed Strike Feat; additionally, a Full Attack consisting of only unarmed strikes has the Full Attack penalty reduced by 2. Operatives may treat these attacks as operative weapons for all relevant purposes.

Fists of Fury (EX) (4th Level): The Martial Artist's unarmed strikes are no longer counted as archaic weapons.

Powerful Strike (EX) (6th and 8th Levels): The Martial Artist's damage die increases from d6 to d8. At 8th level, this damage die is increased to 1d10.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, now it's definitely too powerful...for the Operative specifically. And too weak for everyone else.

Right now, a 20th level melee Operative maxes out at 8d6+14 or so per attack (42 damage average, 168 on a full attack).

A 20th level Operative with that Archetype maxes out at 7d10+14 (for an average damage of 53.5, 214 on a full attack) and has a significantly better to-hit to boot. A 20% damage hike combined with a 10% accuracy boost is way too good. Especially when it also saves you huge amounts of money.

On the other hand, for a Soldier, he loses 5d10 damage per attack (-28.5 damage per attack, -85.5 total on a Full Attack), which means he's trading something like -25% or -30% damage for +10% accuracy. That's a bad trade, and not worth the cost. Other classes are effected similarly.

Either tone the damage back down (if you want to keep this an Operative only option/reasonable backup for Dex based characters) or skip the Operative property and jack damage up somehow (if you want to make it a good choice for everyone else).


David knott 242 wrote:
rando1000 wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
What, no "counts as an operative weapon"? :-)
I'd considered that, but I didn't want to overdo it.

I would second that. One thing you don't want to do with universal archetypes is give them goodies that only a very limited subset of possible characters can benefit from.

Operative weapons add Dex bonus, not Str bonus, to melee attack rolls. And that works for everybody, not just operatives.

Scarab Sages

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Operative weapons give the option of using dex to attack, but it doesn't force you to. However, a bigger issue with making it an operative weapon is that operative weapons only receive .5 x level to damage for weapon specialization instead of 1 x level. You're lowering the potential damage output by making the weapon an operative weapon.


Also there's the interaction with solarian flashing strikes. Now you're looking at a -1/-1 for a full attack and when you get the third attack -3/-3. And even if you give the choice to make it an operative weapon you're looking at a -2/-2/-2/-2 for a high level operative. That definitely makes this a choice that's better for specific classes than the universal cool stuff it looks like you're wanting.

Scarab Sages

I'm not seeing the benefit of the Unarmed damage die increase when improved Unarmed strike already has better scaling.

Liberty's Edge

Imbicatus wrote:
I'm not seeing the benefit of the Unarmed damage die increase when improved Unarmed strike already has better scaling.

Yeah, but it increases in d6s. I think the intent is for the upgrade to apply to all of them.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Yeah, but it increases in d6s. I think the intent is for the upgrade to apply to all of them.

Yes. The damage DIE is increasing. When you have 2d6, you instead have 2d8, etc.

It's minor, but weak damage was pointed out as a flaw in my initial design, so I was trying to up it.

I'm going to remove the treating it like operative weapons line and just use it incidentally for specific characters if requested. It seems too difficult to try to make it a balanced option for all classes, but there are cases where it makes unarmed combat significantly better.


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Another comment: 8th level is not a level at which you should be able to get an archetype feature. 9th level is the closest level so designated.


Ooops. Thanks. Didn't look at the book when I wrote that.


I was thinking of doing something like this for my home game but making the archetype more centered on combat maneuvers than straight unarmed damage. So I'd keep the unarmed damage where it is in the feat but give them monks stunning fist and a selection of abilities that are CMB based.


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If you want to make it available to both Operatives and non-Operatives perhaps let them pick from a few 'Styles'.

So you could have a Hard style that is higher damage and a Soft Style that is lower damage but an operative weapon. Maybe a couple of odd damage styles (Some fire djinni taught martial arts that gives you crit burn or even fire damage base for example.)


Good ideas. I'll consider them in future versions. Thanks for the input.

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