First Impressions Thread


Vanguard


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For me, The Vanuguard seem like the opposite to the Solarians and I hope the fluff reflects this. They deal with the movement of matter from one state to another, they're more aggressive. I see them as being a true "star knight" and perfect for that archetype.


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I like the concept of it, pretty interesting and hasn't really been done before to my knowledge. I think we needed a defensive class like this as well.

I personally feel there's a long way to go with balancing. Getting entropy looks pretty hard to do with the exception of each aspects once every 10 minutes embodiment and agent of change, the level 19 class feature. Spending entropy should be more rewarding, almost all ways you can spend it can only happen once per combat or day, and the effects don't seem too powerful. I personally feel the limitations on amount of times you can use abilities per day/10 minute rest should be limited to abilities that grant entropy to prevent abuse.

On the other hand, some of the passives seem extremely strong. Attracting shield, shimmer guard (particularly insane), friendly fire, and a few others that take simple actions seem a little too strong. Though shields themselves don't stack with cover, so we'll have to see how that develops.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While I do think that 6 skill points per level for a vanguard is a bit much considering their combat counter parts get 4. I really like the abilities so far. I plan to see how they play.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Kind of an odd name for the class, but it is pretty interesting and unique. I am enjoying what I see of it on an initial read through (although the descriptions of the aspects feel a bit too technical for the non-physicist).


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For the first time, Paizo remembered to give classes without a need for int bonus skill points to compensate for that!

Thats the best design decision so far for me.


The lack of extra attacks doesn't do this class any favor...


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JiCi wrote:
The lack of extra attacks doesn't do this class any favor...

It doesn't really hurt it either. The class has a lot going for it that extra attacks would make it a straight up better choice than its other full BAB counterparts.


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My first thought on reading this class was: what happens if enemies aren't hitting me? Either because my AC is high or because they're attacking my allies. All of a sudden I'm starved on EP, getting maybe 1/fight via aspect embodiment, and maybe 1-2 more if I have spare RP and I'm desperate. With little or no EP, half my powers are unavailable and I'm reduced to a tough to kill Soldier with no relevant ranged attack.

An intelligent enemy that knows you're a masochist Vanguard will never want to attack you if they can avoid it, knowing that you get stronger the more you're punched. And with a class design that is melee-mandatory, with good but not exceptional damage (some quick maths led me to about 75% of a melee Soldier's DPR), no bonus to move speed and no way to combine full attacks with movement until 15th level... you don't have enough presence that the enemies can't prioritize the rest of your team first.

On the flip side, when you are getting hit each round you're a total wrecking machine (especially at level 13+, where your entropic weapon has more reach than any other melee weapon and you have multiple bonus reactions to take advantage of it!).


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I think this class wins the psychology game by being a large race, or by getting large power armor. One of the frequent complaints of people playing large characters is that they get shot a lot. Well...getting shot just makes vanguards happier.


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My first impression is a starting 18 con, 16 dex space goblin in power armor. Hitting people with entropic strikes in melee and shooting them with a minigun at range.

In other words, a good first impression.


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I feel like it's serving up the "I'm a tank!" fantasy pretty heavy-handedly.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have the option to play a super tough character, since some of the other classes get beat up a hair too fast, but the masochism is off-putting.

A class shouldn't only function when taking hits, and class features that tend to only work when you have a friendly target nearby are not really cool.

Here are some examples:

"Interfere: Adjacent ally gets +2 AC against specific foe." Why do they have to be adjacent? If you're sending "waves of unstable reactions" why can't you do that from across the room? Why can't you apply it to yourself?

"Intervene: You take half the damage of an enemy's attack for an adjacent ally" Shouldn't this just be in a feat tree after Bodyguard? Doesn't seem Vanguard specific.

"Jump on a Grenade: Forgo saves to take the full effects of a grenade for your allies" Shouldn't this be a built in option? Why should a class have to spend features to be able to do this?


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I don't know what it is but I love it.


I really enjoy the "take damage to do cool things" effect. It gives the impression that my job is primarily tanking and area control and that damage is a secondary concern.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
WatersLethe wrote:

"Jump on a Grenade: Forgo saves to take the full effects of a grenade for your allies" Shouldn't this be a built in option? Why should a class have to spend features to be able to do this?

I'd absolutely allow any character the option to do this, but it would be at a much higher cost and give less benefit to those nearby. Probably something like, "As a reaction, you can fall prone when a grenade lands within 5 ft of you. You forgo your Reflex save and take double damage (along with any other effects from the grenade) in order to grant all others in the explosion radius improved cover against this effect."


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Full disclosure, I feel that video-game style tanks aren't a good fit for TTRPG in the vast majority of cases. It's kind of immersion breaking for me when characters go around expecting to take lots of damage over and over.

I mean, for fun, imagine the job interview for the party.

Party: "So, what would you say that you bring to the team?"

Vanguard: "Well, I can take a beating, and if I get hurt enough, I can do lots of things to reduce the damage myself and you all might take later on."

Party: "Okay, what else?"

Vanguard: "... like I said, when I get hurt I can make weird things happen that can protect you all."

Party: "Let's say no one is hurt. What are your specialties?"

Vanguard, sweating: "...I could maybe stab myself in the leg and-"

Party: "I think we're done here."


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I don't know what it is but I love it.

Literally my first thoughts. I saw it and I had no idea how a "melee" class would work in a game with guns and lasers but damned if I didn't enjoy the ride.


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WatersLethe wrote:

Full disclosure, I feel that video-game style tanks aren't a good fit for TTRPG in the vast majority of cases. It's kind of immersion breaking for me when characters go around expecting to take lots of damage over and over.

I mean, for fun, imagine the job interview for the party.

Party: "So, what would you say that you bring to the team?"

Vanguard: "Well, I can take a beating, and if I get hurt enough, I can do lots of things to reduce the damage myself and you all might take later on."

Party: "Okay, what else?"

Vanguard: "... like I said, when I get hurt I can make weird things happen that can protect you all."

Party: "Let's say no one is hurt. What are your specialties?"

Vanguard, sweating: "...I could maybe stab myself in the leg and-"

Party: "I think we're done here."

I see you stopped reading the class description at "Reactive".

The Exchange

I wonder if Vanguards would have very scary reputations. Like people expect a Solarian but then notice they keep running down attackers and hazards laughing. The general reaction being "Oh sh** a Vanguard" run!


TheLoneCleric wrote:
I wonder if Vanguards would have very scary reputations. Like people expect a Solarian but then notice they keep running down attackers and hazards laughing. The general reaction being "Oh sh** a Vanguard" run!

I imagine that is highly dependent upon the species of said Vanguard. Muscle-clad Vesk or nihilistic Draelik, sure, but say disembodied nose Bantrids or potbellied Brakim, not so muck.

Scarab Sages

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I know it is no longer 2012, but when I made the connection I couldn't stop myself.

I present:
The overly manly Vanguard

Those are my thoughts on the class. DON'T JUDGE ME!


WatersLethe wrote:

Full disclosure, I feel that video-game style tanks aren't a good fit for TTRPG in the vast majority of cases. It's kind of immersion breaking for me when characters go around expecting to take lots of damage over and over.

I mean, for fun, imagine the job interview for the party.

Party: "So, what would you say that you bring to the team?"

Vanguard: "Well, I can take a beating, and if I get hurt enough, I can do lots of things to reduce the damage myself and you all might take later on."

Party: "Okay, what else?"

Vanguard: "... like I said, when I get hurt I can make weird things happen that can protect you all."

Party: "Let's say no one is hurt. What are your specialties?"

Vanguard, sweating: "...I could maybe stab myself in the leg and-"

Party: "I think we're done here."

You can see a good example of this in the anime KonoSuba with the character called Darkness. She's a high level tank-type character that doesn't hit anything and is a masochist.


My first impression was "Awesome! A melee tank type that gets better when it gets hit, with unique mechanics different from Melee Soldiers and isn't as MAD as Solarian." I like how Con is the key stat for their Entropic Strike and how being able to pump up Dex, while using some nice power armor, will allow me to deal moderate damage, while being hard to hit and still being good in ranged combat and starship gunnery. I like shields. I like the versatility on Entropic Strike. I like 6 sp per level.

Then I read more and I realized that the better I get at tanking, the worse I get at accruing entropy points unless I start blowing through resolve points. Several of my abilities are extremely limited in use, require getting crit (so fairly small chance), or cost a lot of EP to use, and are limited to once per combat/day/require 10 min rest period. It just seems the class idea (to be a tank who can take a lot of punishment and negate a lot of it, through high AC, heavy/power armor, mitigate, etc) clashes a bit with the rest of the concept.

Vanguard Aspects seem nice, but they're like more limited versions of Solarian Revelations, but I can see some nice combos with the Disciplines.

But I'll be replacing my Solarian with a Vanguard in our Starfinder/Mass Effect game and see how it plays out compared to the former. There's a lot of good stuff here, but I need to see how it plays in actual combat.


Can any character voluntarily get hit? Lile drop their dex to ac? If so i think this might solve a problem or two


Garrett Larghi wrote:
Can any character voluntarily get hit? Lile drop their dex to ac? If so i think this might solve a problem or two

Yes, though it'd probably make the enemy suspicious or pretty much think you're insane... And give your healer a heart attack. Seeing someone face tank an explosive blast without even trying to avoid it could be nice for intimidation tactics. You really have to avoid taking any damage resistance feats, though, or you may not even take enough damage to trigger an EP. Then you just got yourself hurt for no reason.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Garrett Larghi wrote:
Can any character voluntarily get hit? Lile drop their dex to ac? If so i think this might solve a problem or two

Biohacker does ranged attacks against allies as flat-footed, and melee as auto-hit, IIRC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Garrett Larghi wrote:
Can any character voluntarily get hit? Lile drop their dex to ac? If so i think this might solve a problem or two
Biohacker does ranged attacks against allies as flat-footed, and melee as auto-hit, IIRC.

Got a rules quote or source for that?

I've been wondering about that for some time.


Ravingdork wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Garrett Larghi wrote:
Can any character voluntarily get hit? Lile drop their dex to ac? If so i think this might solve a problem or two
Biohacker does ranged attacks against allies as flat-footed, and melee as auto-hit, IIRC.

Got a rules quote or source for that?

I've been wondering about that for some time.

It is in the ability description for and specific to injections.

Injections (Ex), pg. 3 wrote:
An injection can be injected into a willing or unconscious creature (or yourself) as a standard action, as long as the target is within your reach. An injection can also be loaded into a weapon with the injection weapon special property as a move action, and you can deliver the injection with a normal attack with that weapon. When you attack an ally with an injection loaded into a weapon that has the injection weapon special property, that ally is considered flat-footed against your attack.


Wait, the bodyguard feat.


Vangaurd seems like a defensive monk type. If I were to multi-class with it I would pair it off with something highly offensive or something that could counter the damage it would be taking. Sounds kinda perfect for my PC actually since I tend to put myself in the line of fire all the time and could use some survivability.... I will, have to reread the class again since I just typed that. Energy force fields, physical shields, negation of damage, kill blasts and a bunch of save your buddy/ies abilities.
I kinda really like the road hazard ability paired with the arrest ability. Makes chases fun again. Oh we are being followed here let me jump out of the car and block their way with my body. And tie them down so my allies can coup de get them while they are trapped and reeling from the wreck. It could mess your day up but hell it closes down that encounter. If your team is used to your suicide tendencies and know to back your crazy ass up.

Crazy ass space monks or space Paladino depending on how you build them.

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