Are People Just Not Reading the Vigilante?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Things...

Well, most classes are going to have slightly incomparable options. Like where's the vigilante build that gets DR 20/-? To my knowledge it doesn't exist. Or the option for 2x str damage while two handing. And there are some options like this for the vigilante, where you're not going to have a good 1 for 1 comparison. But shield of blades is fairly comparable. It's a shield bonus to AC. Similar results can be achieved with unhindering shield, or the shield spell with bloodragers, or just UMD and a wand. Vigilante does sit in the higher AC camp of martials, by virtue of easy access to heavy armor and shield of blades. But it doesn't really sit atop the heap. Usually that position is filled by monks. Paladins, cavaliers, fighters, swashbucklers and avengers all kind of occupy the same general level of AC, with brawlers, rangers and slayers just slightly behind, and the bloodrager and barbarians left wondering if they even care about AC. Personally, I didn't think it was particularly noteworthy in the comparisons, but they do generally have decent AC.

As for the party buffing, well, the thing I was trying to get at is that flat footed isn't always great. Like I said, you could run into an enemy with high Dex, but 1 or 2 dex bonus seems to be more common. The extra couple points from surprise strike doesn't help your allies. It's also only against one enemy, so unless you're fighting single enemy fights against enemies who's only defense is AC, it's not a particularly useful buff. The bard's miles ahead with it's consistent bonus to attack against all enemies, plus damage on top. This is a lot closer to an aid another action. This can still be quite good with rogue or stalker in the party, because it allows for additional damage, but doesn't really do much a quick dirty trick can't do.


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I liked the Vigilante in it's development stage, because it sounded like it might finally be the build your own style class I'd be interested in seeing. Discussion at the time suggested they'd have talents that would grant spellcasting or other distinct abilities, which would provide a solid framework for valuation of such abilities.

I also like the published Vigilante, but for an entirely different reason: I plan to use the combat talents to improve the Fighter. Effective and scaling combat boosts are what the Fighter should have begun with, in my estimation.


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Scythia wrote:

I liked the Vigilante in it's development stage, because it sounded like it might finally be the build your own style class I'd be interested in seeing. Discussion at the time suggested they'd have talents that would grant spellcasting or other distinct abilities, which would provide a solid framework for valuation of such abilities.

I also like the published Vigilante, but for an entirely different reason: I plan to use the combat talents to improve the Fighter. Effective and scaling combat boosts are what the Fighter should have begun with, in my estimation.

Vigilante style talents are what feats should have been

Grand Lodge

I mean this question completely seriously and without judgement. Folks that don't like being stuck with dual identity but want to play a superhero why not play a gun slinger and call him the Punisher or a brawler and call him Captain Andoran (once his identity has been revealed)?

Every class is a super hero simulator, so what is attractive about the vigilante if you don't want the dual identity that you cannot get another class?


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Grandlounge wrote:
I mean this question completely seriously and without judgement. Folks that don't like being stuck with dual identity but want to play a superhero why not play a gun slinger and call him the Punisher or a brawler and call him Captain Andoran (once his identity has been revealed)?

Being able to do those concepts + being good outside of combat at the same time, thus allowing you to better represent the concept.


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Grandlounge wrote:

I mean this question completely seriously and without judgement. Folks that don't like being stuck with dual identity but want to play a superhero why not play a gun slinger and call him the Punisher or a brawler and call him Captain Andoran (once his identity has been revealed)?

Every class is a super hero simulator, so what is attractive about the vigilante if you don't want the dual identity that you cannot get another class?

It's mildly annoying that the vigilante figured out that martial abilities need to scale with level because otherwise they became a resource sink... but left the resource sink in place for the signature ability of the vigilante.

Silver Crusade

I've been playing a stalker vigilante for 11 levels now in PFS and I strongly agree with Mark on this, it doesn't feel like I'm playing a half a class that has a ton of resources tied up in useless stuff, it feels like I'm playing a very capable rogue archetype that traded away trap finding for some really powerful intimidation stuff AND I can also switch hit into being a diplomancer, while with the talent picks I get effectively as many attacks in a round as a fighter at my level, albeit at a lower BaB, BUT they're all rolled as my primary attack.

Plus being able to inflict non lethal damage and fear on every enemy in 30 ft is just cool.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
I mean this question completely seriously and without judgement. Folks that don't like being stuck with dual identity but want to play a superhero why not play a gun slinger and call him the Punisher or a brawler and call him Captain Andoran (once his identity has been revealed)?
Being able to do those concepts + being good outside of combat at the same time, thus allowing you to better represent the concept.

There is like, barely any penalty to exposing your identity, just be in social identity and use your vigilante talents freely. "oh no, you can be scryed and only have one alignment, just like everyone else"


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Being able to do those concepts + being good outside of combat at the same time, thus allowing you to better represent the concept.
There is like, barely any penalty to exposing your identity, just be in social identity and use your vigilante talents freely. "oh no, you can be scryed and only have one alignment, just like everyone else"

Yes?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:

I mean this question completely seriously and without judgement. Folks that don't like being stuck with dual identity but want to play a superhero why not play a gun slinger and call him the Punisher or a brawler and call him Captain Andoran (once his identity has been revealed)?

Every class is a super hero simulator, so what is attractive about the vigilante if you don't want the dual identity that you cannot get another class?

It's mildly annoying that the vigilante figured out that martial abilities need to scale with level because otherwise they became a resource sink... but left the resource sink in place for the signature ability of the vigilante.

There's not a resource sink though.


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You aren't "stuck" with dual identity, there's no evidence that its existence cost some other form of design space, its an option you can take advantage of with some minor intrigue based benefits, or not as you choose. Having an exposed vigilante identity doesn't really effect your "being good outside of combat" at all shy of DM fiat which is a wildcard that's just this side of pointless to discuss without a specific occurrences.

People getting hung up on it are pretty much the ones the title of this thread references.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Rysky wrote:
thistledown wrote:
Someone mentioned it in passing earlier, but for a social talent that ANYONE can get good use out of, Companion to the Lonely is great. Helps alleviate the feeling that the social side is a "waste", especially if you're just doing a 2 level dip.
It's my favourite Social Talent.
We're all shocked by this, I'm sure.

Someone gonna get a paddlin with cheeky responses like this :3

Liberty's Edge

Deighton Thrane wrote:
Well, most classes are going to have slightly incomparable options. Like where's the vigilante build that gets DR 20/-? To my knowledge it doesn't exist. Or the option for 2x str damage while two handing. And there are some options like this for the vigilante, where you're not going to have a good 1 for 1 comparison. But shield of blades is fairly comparable. It's a shield bonus to AC. Similar results can be achieved with unhindering shield, or the shield spell with bloodragers, or just UMD and a wand. Vigilante does sit in the higher AC camp of martials, by virtue of easy access to heavy armor and shield of blades. But it doesn't really sit atop the heap. Usually that position is filled by monks. Paladins, cavaliers, fighters, swashbucklers and avengers all kind of occupy the same general level of AC, with brawlers, rangers and slayers just slightly behind, and the bloodrager and barbarians left wondering if they even care about AC. Personally, I didn't think it was particularly noteworthy in the comparisons, but they do generally have decent AC.

Fair enough, though that was only a single example, and they can get that level of AC with far less resource expenditure than most of the examples you list, which all take either Feats or actions to do.

Besides, that was just one example.

Deighton Thrane wrote:
As for the party buffing, well, the thing I was trying to get at is that flat footed isn't always great. Like I said, you could run into an enemy with high Dex, but 1 or 2 dex bonus seems to be more common. The extra couple points from surprise strike doesn't help your allies. It's also only against one enemy, so unless you're fighting single enemy fights against enemies who's only defense is AC, it's not a particularly useful buff. The bard's miles ahead with it's consistent bonus to attack against all enemies, plus damage on top. This is a lot closer to an aid another action. This can still be quite good with rogue or stalker in the party, because it allows for additional damage, but doesn't really do much a quick dirty trick can't do.

Well, it does that on top of its own bonus, which is sorta where I was going with that. I'm not saying it's an utterly amazing party buff, but the fact that it is one, on top of it increasing their own accuracy quite a bit, is relevant. It's also way less investment than Quick Dirty Trick.

As for the multiple foes thing, you're obviously correct...but generally the PCs who use weapons are gonna want to focus fire and it's quite useful for that specifically.

But actually, I think I see where our philosophies on this are clashing: You clearly value being the absolute best at Trick X, and don't think the Vigilante qualifies at any particular trick. I actually don't disagree with that, but I strongly value economy in opportunity costs, which is an area Vigilante does very well in.

Yes, there are other people who can manage something like Cunning Feint, but it tends to take three or four Feats while a vigilante can do it with one Talent. Yeah, other people can get shield bonuses to AC, but a two-handed Vigilante gets it almost for free (since they were already gonna grab Power Attack).

Having that kind of economy frees up resources for other things, allowing them to stack a few different things like this (not these two specifically since that combo is terrible, but other things) and still have some room for extras. It's potentially very nice.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I wonder if there would have been this much objection if they had called the class "Unchained Ninja." Thematically it occupies the same space and skill function typically ascribed to a ninja. Hell, historically many ninja were even upper class folk when not on the job.


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My personal preferred solution to "why am I a vigilante with a second identity when I'm in a party of adventurers" in case the campaign is one where "being the Scarlet Pimpernel" is not well-suited, is to simply read this as an opportunity to write some secret into your backstory that your character is not generally inclined to tell people (But you might end up eventually telling trusted friends about.)

Something like:
- You're the scion of a noble family who said "no thanks" to the marriage arranged for you and left.
- You're one of the last surviving members of a persecuted ethnic minority thought to be wiped out.
- You were brought up by an elder mythos cult that wanted to use you as a vessel/sacrifice for some terrible outsider, so you escaped.
- You were an infamous criminal (possibly a political prisoner) who escaped from captivity and took a 2nd identity to avoid going back.
etc.

The advantage of any of these characters being a Vigilante is that the dual identity does provide protection against all sorts of scryting that nobles, cultists, and the law might use to track you down that "being a slayer with the same backstory" does not.

Sure, it's conceivable that the past you're escaping from won't come up in the course of a campaign, but it's also possible that a Ranger's choices for favored enemy/terrain won't come up much. I personally like to throw out hooks for the GM to latch on to, even if it makes life more difficult for my character, and if they don't bother then it's really no loss.

Grand Lodge

Milo v3 wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
I mean this question completely seriously and without judgement. Folks that don't like being stuck with dual identity but want to play a superhero why not play a gun slinger and call him the Punisher or a brawler and call him Captain Andoran (once his identity has been revealed)?
Being able to do those concepts + being good outside of combat at the same time, thus allowing you to better represent the concept.

Let me start with, thanks for responding. I'm still trying to nail down the problem. When other martial classes, even if they make better versions of the superhero, are disliked as an option because the vigilante has better out of combat abilities. But, those are tied to its social identity and many of the heroes being emulated don't have a second identity.

So throwing shield exemplar brawler is worse Steve Rogers not because of combat prowess but because of the classes better class skills, social grace, and increased skill points. This deficiency so still a problem even if the brawler uses the normal tricks of human (skills or skill focus), traits, cunning feat, or dipping to try and close the gap.

Feel free to correct me if I'm misrepresenting or misunderstanding.


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I looked at building a Vigilante in PFS a little while ago, and here were my thoughts:

The Vigilante talents are all really exciting. This is basically the unchained fighter we've always wanted.

The social talents are really really narrowly focused around renown. There are several neat ones, like Social graces and Companion to the lonely, but there is not much support for other non-combat types of vigilantes.

For example, there is little support for, say, a blacksmith that moonlights as the Hammer of Justice! There is one talent in the renown chain that helps with craft but that's it.

There is nothing for disarming traps, or being a wild hermit, or a bookish scholar. Fortunately, this can be fixed with splat-book support.

My main problem with the class is that it doesn't really have anything unique it can do in combat until level 2. Most other martial classes get their class defining feature at level 1. Consider flurry, rage, favored enemy, slayer's focus, smite, mount, martial flexibility, etc. Building a level 1 vigilante, when you don't much care for dual identity feels like your only class feature is a skill focus feat...


Getting the key ability at level 1 has lead to a lot of biscotti builds: dip dip dip dip.

I suppose a lot of classes could have a clause "If (class) if your first level you gain this ability at level 1 otherwise you gain it at level 3"

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Getting the key ability at level 1 has lead to a lot of biscotti builds: dip dip dip dip.

I suppose a lot of classes could have a clause "If (class) if your first level you gain this ability at level 1 otherwise you gain it at level 3"

... you don't get your first Vigilante Talent till 2nd level though.


Rysky wrote:


... you don't get your first Vigilante Talent till 2nd level though.

I know. I was saying that it might be an anti dipping measure, and musing on an idea for a new one.


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Grandlounge wrote:
But, those are tied to its social identity and many of the heroes being emulated don't have a second identity.

If you don't have a second identity or your second identity is blown with the vigilante, then you just stay in social all the time, since you can use vigilante-mode stuff in social the only thing limiting it is "If you do so, then people might realise your the same person" which isn't a worry since everyone already knows.

Not having a second identity with the vigilante increases the power of the class if anything because it means you don't have to worry about hiding your abilities and get to use all your class features whenever you want.


I feel like people on these boards have a tendency not to look at the negatives of a class. The Vigilante class itself warns that it may feel out of place in a game with limited social interaction.

Look at it this way, if you where to take a role with the Vigilante class how good would you be compared to the parent class.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Milo v3 wrote:
Grandlounge wrote:
But, those are tied to its social identity and many of the heroes being emulated don't have a second identity.

If you don't have a second identity or your second identity is blown with the vigilante, then you just stay in social all the time, since you can use vigilante-mode stuff in social the only thing limiting it is "If you do so, then people might realise your the same person" which isn't a worry since everyone already knows.

Not having a second identity with the vigilante increases the power of the class if anything because it means you don't have to worry about hiding your abilities and get to use all your class features whenever you want.

I'd also note that I still haven't seen a reference to a vigilante-type character who doesn't have a secret identity. As noted earlier, tons of guys without masks still have two different identities they work under, including characters like Vash the Stampede and the Punisher. They don't really go out of their way to hide the connection between their two identities, but they don't tend to actively advertise them when they're outside of the suits either. In fact, there's a ton of scenes in Punisher comics where Frank is chilling in a diner being a totally normal dude, and then when someone holds up the cashier or takes a hostage he kicks their ass and everyone goes "OMG, that's him! That's the Punisher!" That's Dual Identity mechanics to a "T".


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Ssalarn wrote:
I'd also note that I still haven't seen a reference to a vigilante-type character who doesn't have a secret identity. As noted earlier, tons of guys without masks still have two different identities they work under, including characters like Vash the Stampede and the Punisher. They don't really go out of their way to hide the connection between their two identities, but they don't tend to actively advertise them when they're outside of the suits either. In fact, there's a ton of scenes in Punisher comics where Frank is chilling in a diner being a totally normal dude, and then when someone holds up the cashier or takes a hostage he kicks their ass and everyone goes "OMG, that's him! That's the Punisher!" That's Dual Identity mechanics to a "T".

Admittedly he did give the example of Captain America who as far as I'm aware "generally" has no secret identity (though he did for a few arcs with the identity of Nomad iirc).

But yeah, I mean, when I read the section in vigilante about how changing identities involves changing your mindset rather than just being a disguise, my first thought was characters like Punisher.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

NoTongue wrote:

I feel like people on these boards have a tendency not to look at the negatives of a class. The Vigilante class itself warns that it may feel out of place in a game with limited social interaction.

Look at it this way, if you where to take a role with the Vigilante class how good would you be compared to the parent class.

Generally as good as or on par depending on the class. I'll take a vigilante pretending to be a Rogue over an actual Rogue most days, and when I want to play a cunning Fighter I go straight to Vigilante. Vigilante is a competitive combatant in the Avenger spec, able to perform alongside most other full BAB types while pulling down a huge amount of utility as well. Even stalker is remarkably proficient as a kind of technical fighting Rogue, with a few cool abilities like non-magical AoE attacks that are unique to the class. So far I've seen a lot more of people making up weaknesses based on perception rather than on any actual mechanical deficiencies within the class chassis.

Milo v3 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I'd also note that I still haven't seen a reference to a vigilante-type character who doesn't have a secret identity. As noted earlier, tons of guys without masks still have two different identities they work under, including characters like Vash the Stampede and the Punisher. They don't really go out of their way to hide the connection between their two identities, but they don't tend to actively advertise them when they're outside of the suits either. In fact, there's a ton of scenes in Punisher comics where Frank is chilling in a diner being a totally normal dude, and then when someone holds up the cashier or takes a hostage he kicks their ass and everyone goes "OMG, that's him! That's the Punisher!" That's Dual Identity mechanics to a "T".

Admittedly he did give the example of Captain America who as far as I'm aware "generally" has no secret identity (though he did for a few arcs with the identity of Nomad iirc).

But yeah, I mean, when I read the section in vigilante about how changing identities involves changing your mindset rather than just being a disguise, my first thought was characters like Punisher.

Steve Rogers has a Dual Identity called Captain America. The fact that most people know he's Captain America doesn't change that. In fact, in the comics when he decides that the American government has become corrupt and he can't follow their orders anymore, he stops using the Captain America identity and continues on as just Steve Rogers, which is essentially a perfect example of how you'd play it once it's not really worth maintaining your vigilante identity anymore. He always still has the option of wearing, or not wearing, the suit as appropriate. Maybe he's somewhere they've never heard of Steve Rogers but they'll recognize the costume. Maybe he's somewhere where the costume has a bad rap but nobody knows anything about the guy who wears it beyond a vague description. Having a dual identity does not mean you have a secret identity that know one can ever know about ever, it means that you possess a persona so vivid and real it can take on a life of its own when you adopt it.

There seems to be this idea that having a dual identity means "I have a secret identity that no one can ever know about ever or my whole class sucks!!!" which is absolutely not the case. No one says your dual identity needs to be a secret, but it can be if you want it to. Maybe it will help to simply gain you access to somewhere you couldn't get, or maybe someone will react better to you with the mask (or without) based on who they are and where they're from. Real life example- luchadors.

There were a lot of people back in the day who knew who the Blue Demon was, and probably even knew he was Alejandro Munoz Moreno, but the number of people who actually recognized Alejandro without his mask on? Very, very few. If he whipped out a hurricanrana on a mugger, someone might put two and two together, but generally the mask protected his personal life while making his ring persona even more fearsome. Same thing with the Vigilante and characters like Steve Rogers or Frank Castle- just because it's not a big secret that the two are one and the same, there are going to be times where having that degree of separation turns out to be a good thing, like when you want to go out for a bite to eat. Sure, if the BBEG knows that your mild-mannered halfling Ferrink Escabalde is really El Estrangulos, strangler of evil, then he'll be able to track you down. But his hired thugs looking for either a masked halfling or a blonde-haired blue-eyed paragon of halfling manliness might still be easily fooled by some eye drops and a bowler hat since they've never actually seen Ferrink out of costume.

Liberty's Edge

Deadmanwalking wrote:

But actually, I think I see where our philosophies on this are clashing: You clearly value being the absolute best at Trick X, and don't think the Vigilante qualifies at any particular trick. I actually don't disagree with that, but I strongly value economy in opportunity costs, which is an area Vigilante does very well in.

Yes, there are other people who can manage something like Cunning Feint, but it tends to take three or four Feats while a vigilante can do it with one Talent. Yeah, other people can get shield bonuses to AC, but a two-handed Vigilante gets it almost for free (since they were already gonna grab Power Attack).

Having that kind of economy frees up resources for other things, allowing them to stack a few different things like this (not these two specifically since that combo is terrible, but other things) and still have some room for extras. It's potentially very nice.

I just wanted to point out this is actually pretty fair assessment of how I feel about the class. I tend to enjoy characters who are excellent at X, while also good at Y and Z, instead of character who are good at VWXY&Z. While many of the vigilante's talents are excellent on their own, they don't seem to synergize with other options. Take for example the lethal grace, shield of swings and shield of fury talents, which are all great talents unless you try and use one with another. Lethal grace and shield of fury can't be used together at all, shield of fury and lethal grace basically means skipping Dex as a prereq is useless, and both shield abilities together are redundant because they both provide shield bonuses. Not every combination is going to combine as poorly as this, but I don't seem to find them working together great either. And while getting 2 feats for a talent can be quite good, it also removes the opportunity to take said feats in addition to class features. So while it's very easy for a vigilante to have weapon focus/specialization, a fighter who also has them has weapon training on top of it.

On the other hand, it's near impossible to keep up with the number of options a vigilante can be good at. So your whole feeling on the class might come down to, are who the sort of person who wants to be good at a number of things or great at a smaller number of things. I still think they're perfectly serviceable as combatants, so I guess I can see the appeal, it's just not what I usually want to play. One thing I have learned though is that they can actually be pretty decent at dealing nonlethal damage, provided you're not playing PFS that is.


Ssalarn wrote:
NoTongue wrote:

I feel like people on these boards have a tendency not to look at the negatives of a class. The Vigilante class itself warns that it may feel out of place in a game with limited social interaction.

Look at it this way, if you where to take a role with the Vigilante class how good would you be compared to the parent class.

Generally as good as or on par depending on the class. I'll take a vigilante pretending to be a Rogue over an actual Rogue most days, and when I want to play a cunning Fighter I go straight to Vigilante. Vigilante is a competitive combatant in the Avenger spec, able to perform alongside most other full BAB types while pulling down a huge amount of utility as well. Even stalker is remarkably proficient as a kind of technical fighting Rogue, with a few cool abilities like non-magical AoE attacks that are unique to the class. So far I've seen a lot more of people making up weaknesses based on perception rather than on any actual mechanical deficiencies within the class chassis.

It's not a good defense to go for the 2 of the most mechanically weakest classes in the game. But can it really be said that a Vigilante will keep up with an "Unchained" Rogue, an archetype fighter, archetype Monk, Paladin, Barbarian, Unchained Monk. Holding there own often means doing damage but being outshown.

The Vigilante offers mechanical roleplaying abilities, you must pay for those, here is an example to hammer that point, there is a Vigilante archetype that essentially becomes the Ninja and it's banned. I think they should have kept it as an Unchained Ninja, no one plays it anyway.


Ssalarn wrote:
NoTongue wrote:

I feel like people on these boards have a tendency not to look at the negatives of a class. The Vigilante class itself warns that it may feel out of place in a game with limited social interaction.

Look at it this way, if you where to take a role with the Vigilante class how good would you be compared to the parent class.

Generally as good as or on par depending on the class. I'll take a vigilante pretending to be a Rogue over an actual Rogue most days, and when I want to play a cunning Fighter I go straight to Vigilante. Vigilante is a competitive combatant in the Avenger spec, able to perform alongside most other full BAB types while pulling down a huge amount of utility as well. Even stalker is remarkably proficient as a kind of technical fighting Rogue, with a few cool abilities like non-magical AoE attacks that are unique to the class. So far I've seen a lot more of people making up weaknesses based on perception rather than on any actual mechanical deficiencies within the class chassis.

Milo v3 wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
I'd also note that I still haven't seen a reference to a vigilante-type character who doesn't have a secret identity. As noted earlier, tons of guys without masks still have two different identities they work under, including characters like Vash the Stampede and the Punisher. They don't really go out of their way to hide the connection between their two identities, but they don't tend to actively advertise them when they're outside of the suits either. In fact, there's a ton of scenes in Punisher comics where Frank is chilling in a diner being a totally normal dude, and then when someone holds up the cashier or takes a hostage he kicks their ass and everyone goes "OMG, that's him! That's the Punisher!" That's Dual Identity mechanics to a "T".

Admittedly he did give the example of Captain America who as far as I'm aware "generally" has no secret identity (though he did for a few arcs with the identity of Nomad iirc).

But yeah,

...

In contrast, what about Tony Stark? More than willing to show up to Stark Industries press conferences in the suit, I'm sure Iron Man also enjoys the +4 Knowledge (engineering) that being in social identity 24/7 grants.


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Again... If you don't have a second identify as a vigilante, then you get the benefits of both social and vigilante at the same time.

Liberty's Edge

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NoTongue wrote:
It's not a good defense to go for the 2 of the most mechanically weakest classes in the game. But can it really be said that a Vigilante will keep up with an "Unchained" Rogue, an archetype fighter, archetype Monk, Paladin, Barbarian, Unchained Monk. Holding there own often means doing damage but being outshown.

You can be pretty competitive with a properly made Vigilante. It's admittedly harder in PFS, but even there you can manage pretty solid DPR.

You can absolutely keep up with Unchained Rogue or Unchained Monk (and most Archetyped Monks) DPR. Or at least damn close. Outside PFS, the comparison gets a lot better than that.

NoTongue wrote:
The Vigilante offers mechanical roleplaying abilities, you must pay for those, here is an example to hammer that point, there is a Vigilante archetype that essentially becomes the Ninja and it's banned. I think they should have kept it as an Unchained Ninja, no one plays it anyway.

The fact that PFS bans things means very little either way in terms of power level, IMO.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Deadmanwalking wrote:
NoTongue wrote:
It's not a good defense to go for the 2 of the most mechanically weakest classes in the game. But can it really be said that a Vigilante will keep up with an "Unchained" Rogue, an archetype fighter, archetype Monk, Paladin, Barbarian, Unchained Monk. Holding there own often means doing damage but being outshown.

You can be pretty competitive with a properly made Vigilante. It's admittedly harder in PFS, but even there you can manage pretty solid DPR.

You can absolutely keep up with Unchained Rogue or Unchained Monk (and most Archetyped Monks) DPR. Or at least damn close. Outside PFS, the comparison gets a lot better than that.

Absolutely. Vigilante also can outpace most Fighters, including archetyped fighters, once Mad Rush comes online, outside of the small handfuls of Fighters who get a pounce-type mechanic that allows them to move and full attack. And prior to weapon training coming online the Fighter has very few advantages over the vigilante, a fact that becomes even more apparent when you look at full-fledged encounters instead of white room numbers. Take a young black dragon (one of my all time favorite examples of the difference between real play and lopsided numbers theory). As a level appropriate challenge for a 4th or 5th level party, the young black dragon doesn't seem all that impressive numbers-wise, until you account for its ecology of warm marshes. Have you looked up what navigating a marsh involves recently? Survival checks to avoid quicksand (a skill the vigilante can boost with Social Grace), boosted DCs for Acrobatics and Stealth, Swim checks to not drown, and reduced ranges on Perception checks. This pushes the vigilante, who can manage all of those skills, often with significant bonuses, while the Fighter will have to pick just a couple, into a position where he's more likely to act in surprise rounds, avoid dangerous obstacles, and just generally perform better in and out of combat. In fact, the moment you actually account for the rules for literally any kind of terrain, including urban and dungeon, or assume things like traps or spellcasters might be an obstacle, the vigilante starts shooting ahead by leaps and bounds based solely on their ability to not lose as many rounds failing Will or Reflex saves, biffing skill checks, etc. and that's before you really start crunching numbers and looking at the fact that the avenger has more bonus combat feats with better bonuses available than the Fighter does.

The vigilante is undeniably a more well-rounded character. Totally aside from the fact that he's actually a top-end combatant, the moment you start looking at things like how often one class is failing saving throws, falling in pits, getting dominated, losing full attacks to move + standard action turns, failing relevant skill checks, etc. it becomes quickly apparent that the vigilante is going to get to participate in more total rounds of combat than a Fighter, and won't need to resort to stat dumping and splatbook crawling just to keep up with the group's baseline. Put a vigilante in a party with another melee combatant, such as a common addition like a reach cleric, and then factor in the increased damage Cunning Feint is providing to the whole party and you'll see the pendulum swings even farther towards the vigilante.


Ssalarn wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
NoTongue wrote:
It's not a good defense to go for the 2 of the most mechanically weakest classes in the game. But can it really be said that a Vigilante will keep up with an "Unchained" Rogue, an archetype fighter, archetype Monk, Paladin, Barbarian, Unchained Monk. Holding there own often means doing damage but being outshown.

You can be pretty competitive with a properly made Vigilante. It's admittedly harder in PFS, but even there you can manage pretty solid DPR.

You can absolutely keep up with Unchained Rogue or Unchained Monk (and most Archetyped Monks) DPR. Or at least damn close. Outside PFS, the comparison gets a lot better than that.

Absolutely. Vigilante also can outpace most Fighters, including archetyped fighters, once Mad Rush comes online, outside of the small handfuls of Fighters who get a pounce-type mechanic that allows them to move and full attack. And prior to weapon training coming online the Fighter has very few advantages over the vigilante, a fact that becomes even more apparent when you look at full-fledged encounters instead of white room numbers. Take a young black dragon (one of my all time favorite examples of the difference between real play and lopsided numbers theory). As a level appropriate challenge for a 4th or 5th level party, the young black dragon doesn't seem all that impressive numbers-wise, until you account for its ecology of warm marshes. Have you looked up what navigating a marsh involves recently? Survival checks to avoid quicksand (a skill the vigilante can boost with Social Grace), boosted DCs for Acrobatics and Stealth, Swim checks to not drown, and reduced ranges on Perception checks. This pushes the vigilante, who can manage all of those skills, often with significant bonuses, while the Fighter will have to pick just a couple, into a...

That's still not a good argument if it's the vigilante can take this ability that a fighter can also take. Except the fighter equivalents are superior, move + full attack, not limited to charges.

Also still comparing it with the fighter, a fighter that suffers 2 skill points because of grandfathering, not a Barbarian, Monk, Ranger, Brawler, Bloodrager, Gunslinger or Cavalier. All given 4+ skill points

What does that say about how you think of the class when you only compare it with the bottom to try and make a point.


My whole group suffers from Vigilante misconceptions I think. But for War for the Crown, one is getting created. But for a class that was perceived as possibly weak, the player doubled down and then chose a perceived weak Archetype (Cabalist) because there was a really cool background idea/concept. Then they petitioned to have a freebie added to the class, which I agreed too simply because of all that perceived weakness. Hopefully the character doesn't end up way overpowered, because it all sounds cool on paper, assuming the AP supports the class well enough.

Very enlightening thread though, and glad there are those around analyzing stuff and pointing out things that don't jump out at some of us who don't analyze the mechanics to great degree.

Liberty's Edge

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NoTongue wrote:
That's still not a good argument if it's the vigilante can take this ability that a fighter can also take. Except the fighter equivalents are superior, move + full attack, not limited to charges.

Who gets that other than the Dawnflower Dervish and Mobile Warrior? And they both loses an attack (actually, their highest attack) to do it (until 15th level for the Dervish, the Mobile Warrior forever).

NoTongue wrote:
Also still comparing it with the fighter, a fighter that suffers 2 skill points because of grandfathering, not a Barbarian, Monk, Ranger, Brawler, Bloodrager, Gunslinger or Cavalier. All given 4+ skill points

It's less having enough skills than it is actually being good with them. A Vigilante who chooses to focus on a particular subset of skills is actively better at them. And 6+Int skills is a fair bit better than 4+Int.

And Vigilante will do very well in DPR compared to a Brawler, Monk, or Ranger, IMO. A Barbarian or Bloodrager will probably pull ahead, as will a Cavalier when Challenging...but that's not exactly a damning indictment, y'know? And Vigilante definitely has better Saves than a Cavalier or most Bloodragers, and better skills than any of those.

Gunslinger is a weird case, and does huge and disproportionate DPR vs. anything resembling a dragon as compared to just about anyone. A Warlock Vigilante would do the same and have spellcasting to boot, though.

NoTongue wrote:
What does that say about how you think of the class when you only compare it with the bottom to try and make a point.

Fighter's both simple and good at combat and thus an easy comparison in that area.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Fighter may bottom when it comes to versatility but when it comes to straight up murdering s$!%? They're a bit higher on the list.

Liberty's Edge

Ssalarn wrote:
...a fact that becomes even more apparent when you look at full-fledged encounters instead of white room numbers. Take a young black dragon (one of my all time favorite examples of the difference between real play and lopsided numbers theory). As a level appropriate challenge for a 4th or 5th level party, the young black dragon doesn't seem all that impressive numbers-wise, until you account for its ecology of warm marshes. Have you looked up what navigating a marsh involves recently? Survival checks to avoid quicksand (a skill the vigilante can boost with Social Grace), boosted DCs for Acrobatics and Stealth, Swim checks to not drown, and reduced ranges on Perception checks. This pushes the vigilante, who can manage all of those skills, often with significant bonuses, while the Fighter will have to pick just a couple, into a position where he's more likely to act in surprise rounds, avoid dangerous obstacles, and just generally perform better in and out of combat. In fact, the moment you actually account for the rules for literally any kind of terrain, including urban and dungeon, or assume things like traps or spellcasters might be an obstacle, the vigilante starts shooting ahead by leaps and bounds based solely on their ability to not lose as many rounds failing Will or Reflex saves, biffing skill checks, etc. and that's before you really start crunching numbers and looking at the fact that the avenger has more bonus combat feats with better bonuses available than the Fighter does.

But isn't this just a situation designed to favor the vigilante. I've only fought black dragons twice, and neither time was actually in a marsh. I also don't see how it's strictly advantageous to the Vigilante either, a bog prevents the vigilante from charging, and charging through quicksand means you don't get a save to notice it before falling in. The DC 15 check to notice it is also well within the realm of possibility for a fighter who's put a single rank into the survival skill. I also don't see too many vigilantes taking survival with social grace before that DC 15 becomes trivial, and swimming is solved by use of magic. If you're looking for a situation that really favors the vigilante, I might look to chases, as they (unfortunately) seem to be more common.

Also, a vigilante might not have as many rounds lost to will saves as a fighter, but what about spells like Ear-Piercing Scream, Boneshaker, Blindness/Deafness, Stinking Cloud or Baleful Polymorph? I've seen all of these come up in play, some fairly frequently. Fighter also has some great options to bolster will saves, while I guess a stalker could take twist away. Staggers you, but still better than being blinded or turned into a rabbit.


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Just want to pop in and say that the sort of deep analysis and vibrant debate that is taking place in this thread is one of my favorite things about this site. :)

[Popping back out.]


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Comments on Vigilante

1. I believe the class to be strong, but possessing inordinate amounts of fluff.
2. This fluff makes it fairly difficult and time consuming to analyze the permutations. Not fun for beginners to do; and not fun when they see significant power variances with power gamers.
3. Vigilante suffers from two defects:
All players should be able to be famous. And while homebrew gms can do this, the biggest campaign PFS really does not. So vigilante has a class feature that all players want/should have.

Double tapped, because all players should be able to be vigilantes. And the struggle to maintain secret ID's should be role played - not handled mechanically.
4. Much of the biggest campaign (PFS) is handled in pre chunked 4-6 hour time slots, which lends itself to roll-play vs role-play. And being so good out of combat, with so many skills encourages the vigilante to shine excessively (inequitably).
5. The vigilante egregiously draws from a comic book genre; a lot of people prefer their fantasy 'pure'. And while you can argue mechanically its true to the fantasy genre...Imagine you're sitting down at a con. Party introductions:

I'm Ezildor-Arcanist of the third Golden Circle.
Me Grok. Me smash.
Ah, yes, my good associates. Pleasure to meet all of you. Borris the Bard - at your service.
I'm Batman. Vigilante.

One of these things is not like the other - and even by just a title has sort of spoiled the immersion.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

All player characters can be famous by their adventuring deeds, Vigilante's class features let them be famous by way of being nobles, social celebrities, and business owners, something not normally associated with adventures outside of GM machinations.

Anyone can have a secret identity, but to a Vigilante it is not just a secret or a costume, but an actual separate identity with its own Alignment and mindset, which is why mechanics are involved.

In regards to 5, that's a problem with them, not the Vigilante. Golarion has guns and spaceships and robots and psychics so whatever definition you're using for "pure" is wrong right out of the gate.

As for your example, that has to do with using an existing well known character rather than the class. It'd be no different than someone sitting down with a Barbarian and introducing themselves as Hercules or a Wizard as Merlin or a Ranger as Aragorn.


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Perfect Tommy wrote:
I'm Batman. Vigilante.

Alternatively:

"I'm Ezildor-Arcanist of the third Golden Circle."
"Me Grok. Me smash."
"Ah, yes, my good associates. Pleasure to meet all of you. Borris the Bard - at your service."
"My name is unimportant. The corrupted denizens of the underworld know me only as The Bloody Knife."

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
I'm Batman. Vigilante.

Alternatively:

"I'm Ezildor-Arcanist of the third Golden Circle.2
"Me Grok. Me smash."
"Ah, yes, my good associates. Pleasure to meet all of you. Borris the Bard - at your service."
"My name is unimportant. The corrupted denizens of the underworld know me only as The Bloody Knife."

"... but you use an axe."

"I didn't pick the name. It's just what they call me."


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Rysky wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
I'm Batman. Vigilante.

Alternatively:

"I'm Ezildor-Arcanist of the third Golden Circle.2
"Me Grok. Me smash."
"Ah, yes, my good associates. Pleasure to meet all of you. Borris the Bard - at your service."
"My name is unimportant. The corrupted denizens of the underworld know me only as The Bloody Knife."

"... but you use an axe."

"I didn't pick the name. It's just what they call me."

"I guess they can't tell apart different slash marks."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Sideromancer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
I'm Batman. Vigilante.

Alternatively:

"I'm Ezildor-Arcanist of the third Golden Circle.2
"Me Grok. Me smash."
"Ah, yes, my good associates. Pleasure to meet all of you. Borris the Bard - at your service."
"My name is unimportant. The corrupted denizens of the underworld know me only as The Bloody Knife."

"... but you use an axe."

"I didn't pick the name. It's just what they call me."
"I guess they can't tell apart different slash marks."

*shrugs*

Grand Lodge

This is now getting right back to my original question but has helped me clarify it. If you have a superhero and you don't need a magically different persona why not play any other class that has suitable mechanics and use rp.

I still understand that the vigilante has better social skill but there high cha swash buckler builds, at least 2 social slayer archetypes, Chevalier can give some extra class skills to most martial classes, Cavalier have decent class skills and make good honour bound heroes.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Grandlounge wrote:
This is now getting right back to my original question but has helped me clarify it. If you have a superhero and you don't need a magically different persona why not play any other class that has suitable mechanics and use rp.

There is no reason not to.


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Rysky wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
I'm Batman. Vigilante.

Alternatively:

"I'm Ezildor-Arcanist of the third Golden Circle.2
"Me Grok. Me smash."
"Ah, yes, my good associates. Pleasure to meet all of you. Borris the Bard - at your service."
"My name is unimportant. The corrupted denizens of the underworld know me only as The Bloody Knife."

"... but you use an axe."

"I didn't pick the name. It's just what they call me."
"I guess they can't tell apart different slash marks."
*shrugs*

"You can hide a knife. You fear what you cannot see."

"Who said that?"

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Deighton Thrane wrote:
But isn't this just a situation designed to favor the vigilante. I've only fought black dragons twice, and neither time was actually in a marsh.

Then your GM is literally soft-balling the encounter to you. This isn't meant to impugn your GM, it's just a statement of fact. Black dragons abilities and CR assume their environment; if you are fighting a young black dragon somewhere other than a marsh, you're not actually involved in a CR 7 fight, because the swim speed, swamp stride, water breathing, dragon senses, and water subtype that all contribute to the dragon's CR are not being fully utilized; instead of a CR 7 fight you're getting a CR 4 or 5 fight.

Quote:


I also don't see how it's strictly advantageous to the Vigilante either, a bog prevents the vigilante from charging, and charging through quicksand means you don't get a save to notice...

Who said anything about charging in that quote? I didn't. I said that the encounter involves a wide range of skills that the Fighter can't manage, which is perfectly true. As to it being tailored to the vigilante, as I noted, the same logic applies to almost any terrain, including dungeons, forests, marshes, hills, mountains, deserts, plains, aquatic, and urban. Basically anywhere that's not a 10x10 room or a paved gladiatoral ring. Realistically, if you want to talk about a class that's only suitable for certain kinds of campaigns, it's the Fighter. Most of his fixes don't come online until most people are already halfway through their games, and the types of encounters that he can meaningfully contribute in without significant outside assistance are actually quite small.

Related, look at the classes from a teamwork perspective, given that Pathfinder is team oriented. In a swamp/sewer/mountain pass/dungeon corridor the Fighter will either have to go first and eat all the hazards, hoping they can power through, or they need to stand back while the rogue scouts and then try to dash up to help if/when things take a turn for the worse. An avenger vigilante can use aid another to assist the rogue's checks, help them scout, even help them disarm, and when the fight starts they're right there with them. Once combat kicks off the fighter wades in and with a little luck can provide a flank for the rogue to boost the rogue's damage. The vigilante can make the target flat-footed against all attacks for an entire round, boosting the entire group's damage against that target, and allowing the rogue their sneak attack from whatever position is most advantageous, not just a flank. More than that, if the fight is against some mid-range CR=APL type enemies, the avenger can actually feint a different target than the one they're attacking, dropping their own opponent while helping the rogue and/or other party members drop theirs, and they do all that while spending significantly less character resource.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
NoTongue wrote:
That's still not a good argument if it's the vigilante can take this ability that a fighter can also take. Except the fighter equivalents are superior, move + full attack, not limited to charges.

Who gets that other than the Dawnflower Dervish and Mobile Warrior? And they both loses an attack (actually, their highest attack) to do it (until 15th level for the Dervish, the Mobile Warrior forever).

NoTongue wrote:
Also still comparing it with the fighter, a fighter that suffers 2 skill points because of grandfathering, not a Barbarian, Monk, Ranger, Brawler, Bloodrager, Gunslinger or Cavalier. All given 4+ skill points

It's less having enough skills than it is actually being good with them. A Vigilante who chooses to focus on a particular subset of skills is actively better at them. And 6+Int skills is a fair bit better than 4+Int.

And Vigilante will do very well in DPR compared to a Brawler, Monk, or Ranger, IMO. A Barbarian or Bloodrager will probably pull ahead, as will a Cavalier when Challenging...but that's not exactly a damning indictment, y'know? And Vigilante definitely has better Saves than a Cavalier or most Bloodragers, and better skills than any of those.

Gunslinger is a weird case, and does huge and disproportionate DPR vs. anything resembling a dragon as compared to just about anyone. A Warlock Vigilante would do the same and have spellcasting to boot, though.

NoTongue wrote:
What does that say about how you think of the class when you only compare it with the bottom to try and make a point.
Fighter's both simple and good at combat and thus an easy comparison in that area.

Well clearly 6 is better than 4 but the poster I was replying to was comparing it it to the fighters 2 and tried to use situational terrain and skill use as to why the Vigilante is worth playing in a non social game.

The fighters version is a move, the Vigilante's is standard pounce,the former comes up far more often and often multiple times in the same fight

I would easily take the bet on those classes pulling ahead in DPR, excluding the Ranger a class who is extremely dependent on campaign.

If you pick the Warlock it's no longer an argument about full BAB classes but a comparison between 2/3rd casters.

You are not that poster and that was not the argument. The entire argument revolves around the idea of the Vigilante being competitive, they picked the fighter and Rogue to compare damage, it was not about simplicity.


Rysky wrote:

All player characters can be famous by their adventuring deeds, Vigilante's class features let them be famous by way of being nobles, social celebrities, and business owners, something not normally associated with adventures outside of GM machinations.

Anyone can have a secret identity, but to a Vigilante it is not just a secret or a costume, but an actual separate identity with its own Alignment and mindset, which is why mechanics are involved.

The first is something player characters can have, just like the Vigilante that's a backstory or character choices. If a Vigilante

A character can have a secret identity if they want, the only unique thing here is the alignment change.


NoTongue wrote:
A character can have a secret identity if they want, the only unique thing here is the alignment change.

Also the immunity to scrying the identity you're not currently in. If someone of a different class wants to have a secret identity, all someone with the capacity to scry you needs to do is scry your secret identity when you're out shopping for groceries and your cover is blown. The Vigilante never has this problem.

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