[DSP] Path of War (including Expanded) assistance please. GM here.

Advice and Rules Questions

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was a big fan of nice things for martials (i.e. Book of Nine Swords in 3.5x).

When I had some folks request Path of War I gave a provisional ok for tier 4 classes and below. (Martials with at most 4th level spellcasting).

Now that said, I am not familiar with PoW or the expansion and it is literally several hundred pages of content.

Please is there a PoW & PoW Exp Guide I could reference?

So far as a GM I am most concerned about:
Combos that break action economy. (e.g. in 3.5x it was the infamous White Raven Tactics.)
Builds/archetypes/etc that make you say OMG (and why?)
Or any other pitfalls to watch out for?
Also any sample builds that are decent and easy for new players?

This will be for a level 1-17+ campaign
Thanks in advance!

EDIT: found a guide on gitp, I'll start there. Still if anyone has some suggestions please add here :)

I have made a few PoW character and NPCs in the past. swift and immediate actions will likely get used far more than in most other classes as your players use boost maneuvers and counters. remember that in any one round they can't make both a swift action and an immediate action! this easily forgotten rule will make so many headaches go away.

On the DM side, recall that in path of war expanded there is a trait that gives you a single maneuver (not a stance). so tougher monsterous enemies and some bosses I will generally give this trait to them (even if monsters don't generally get traits) and give them a counter or boost or some ability that can throw players for a loop if they know the bestiary just a bit too well.

the problem disciplines are broken blade and thrashing dragon, and part 2 of the Path of War errata should be fixing that.

Why are those two problems? What is wrong with them...

Thank you.... thinking of using those two and worried now.

Yrtalien wrote:

Why are those two problems? What is wrong with them...

Thank you.... thinking of using those two and worried now.

The designers have indicated in the past that those two are somewhat overtuned for damage, and Steel Serpent undertuned, from where they want the numbers to be.

Regarding the biggest offender to the action economy... Raven Hourglass has a stance that gives you a bonus standard action and a boost that gives you one more standard action (at the cost of your swift action). A cleric 4/Initiator class 1/battle Templar 10 for example channels as a 14th level character and with martial tradition granting him access to the Raven Hourglass can in a single round:

Use his swift to gain extra 1 standard (Beat the Clock maneuver)
Gain one extra 1 standard action from his stance (God of the Hourglass).
Use the first extra standard to initiate the Steel Flurry Strike maneuver which grants him the ability to cast a touch spell on himself or an ally as a move action while also making 3 full BAB-2 attacks for 3d6 extra damage. (Reach of the Divine ability, Steel Flurry Strike maneuver).
Cast a buff on himself with his normal move action.
Use the second extra standard to channel energy (recovering the Beat the Clock boost).
Use his normal standard action to channel energy one more time (recovering the Steel Flurry Strike Maneuver).

Repeat each of the following turns while he still have channel energy uses to spare.

3 full BAB attacks with extra damage, 1 spell, 2 channels is impressive, but hardly breaks the system.

At the same time (and at the same level) a Zealot 11/Mystic 4 archer with a round of prep time is capable of encounter nova round consisting of 7 longbow attacks at his BAB-2, followed by 2 irrelative attacks at BAB-7 and BAB-12 all of them scoring 1d8+9d6+Cha+Cha+Str+4 irresistible fire damage that goes right through fire immunity as well.

Both examples are pretty much top of the line optimization wise and require quite a few levels to get ugly. Other than that - I am not aware of any infinite loops and that is still a few tiers lower than what 3.5 optimization was able to achieve with or without ToB.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well if it isn't Mike! :O

Path of War is amaaaaaazinngggg! You'll notice your melee initiators doing some pretty incredible damage between levels 1-5. These are the levels that melees normally always shine though, except the martials will definitely blow the classic Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, and Ranger classes away.

Levels above 5, however, the PoW classes will start to slink behind your typical 4th levels spells. Being able to summon a Tiger or Satyr with Summon Nature's Ally 4 is pretty hard to beat.

So yeah, your melees will be doing lots more damage and have lots more options at their disposal. Game breaking? Hardly.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Third-Party Pathfinder RPG Products / Advice and Rules Questions / [DSP] Path of War (including Expanded) assistance please. GM here. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Advice and Rules Questions