Heroes from the Fringe - in depth Warrior Poet discussion


Pathfinder Society

Dark Archive

This is my attempt to inform and inspire the legalization of the Samurai archetype Warrior Poet for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play. It may seem as if I'm downing the archetype at times, but I'm trying to show that the archetype isn't nearly as "powerful" as I've seen some mention on the forums. IMHO, the archetype isn't weak, but it isn't a must have level 1 dip anymore than Gunslinger(Firearms, Gunsmithng, Grit, Deeds), Swashbuckler(Weapon Finesse, Panache, Deeds), or Far Strike Monk(Wisdom to AC, Improved Unarmed Strike, Quick Draw, Free ranged feat-usually Precise Shot) is. I think the archetype has just the right amount of power.

Thank you to those that come up with archetypes for these Player Companions, especially Isabelle Lee. She is the writer of this wonderful archetype.

-For all, I hope you can read through this with an open mind. If you have points to make either for or against, please share them.
-For Paizo staff members, if you are set on keeping the Warrior Poet from Society play, then so be it but please consider the points brought up here. If you have plans on bringing access to the archetype through an alternate method, then by all means continue with the plan.

Paizo released one of their Pathfinder Player Companion's called Heroes from the Fringe(HotF) in August 2018.

Delve into the many non-human societies found outside of the Inner Sea region! From elves to gnomes to halflings to dwarves, Pathfinder Player Companion: Heroes from the Fringe offers new options to expand upon non-human characters who come from lesser-known civilizations and backgrounds. Find the right archetype, feats, alternate racial traits, and equipment to reflect your character's heritage, whether she's a graceful elven samurai from Jinin or one of the festive gnomes and halflings of Segada!

This book offered a collection of options for players wishing to explore the non-human races of Golarian. Different cultures of Elves, Half-Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings, and Half-Orcs are featured in HotF. The races that are basically human, but not really. The topic of this book was much needed for these races since we've had books about the "Planetouched" races like Aasimar & Tieflings and the "Geniekin" like Ifrits & Sylphs.

One of my favorite things about the Golarian setting is the cultures that you find in it. Cultures that are unlike anything seen here on Earth and ones inspired by real life. I personally love being able to learn and research a culture's customs, history, and language within the Golarian setting and their inspiritations in the real world. I know that Paizo and the Pathfinder Society staff enjoy and appreciate their game's cultures as well. In PFS, I have a Zenj(Nigerian) Inquisitor of Achaekek, a Tian-Min(Japanese) Phantom Blade Spiritualist, a Qadiran(Persian or Iranian) Courser Swashbuckler, and a Mahwek(Kanien'kehá:ka or Mohawk) Forester Hunter. I do make characters within completely fictional cultures like my Dark Folk/Elven Shadow Walker Rogue.

I also love how Pathfinder has so many moving parts to character creation. I've been able to figure out how to make so many different characters in Pathfinder. I have PFS characters that are either heavily inspired by OR literally are Wolverine, Psylocke, Superman, Monkey D. Luffy, Jotaro Kujo, Robin Hood, and the Prince of Persia.

The cultures featured in this book are just superb. My favorite ones would be the Pahmet Dwarves of Osirion, the Ekujae Elves of the Mwangi Expanse, the Jininese Elves of Tian Xia, and the Frostkin Half-Orcs of the Crown of the World. Many of these cultures have archetypes made with them in mind, but my favorite amongst these is the Warrior Poet. I've wanted to see a Dexterity focused Samurai archetype for years now, but what I actually love about this archetype is the culture and flavor attached to it. I love Shelyn. My Muse-Touched Aasimar Paladin of Shelyn from my Rise of the Runelords is still one of my favorite characters. This archetype is great for rewarding investment in not just Dexterity, but Charisma as well. The idea of having a Samurai that thoroughly enjoys practicing Iaijutsu, Calligraphy, Poetry, Acting, Music, or Dance. Many of the archetype's features benefit from Dexterity & Charisma, but it isn't just a Swashbuckler copy. It has a unique identity.

---------------------------The following is an in-depth view of the archetype-----------------------------------------------------------

Warrior poets often study calligraphy, flower arrangement, poetry, and other courtly arts, but when called to battle, they treat combat as its own art form, fighting with beauty and grace. While these traditions first arose among the Jininese elves and are still extremely common in Jinin, the warrior poet’s art has spread to different nations and peoples in Tian Xia over centuries.
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The archetype's flavor text does a great job giving you the essence of what it does and what kind of Samurai it makes you.

Dancer’s Grace (Ex): When wearing no armor and not using a shield, the warrior poet gains a bonus to Armor Class equal to her Charisma bonus (to a maximum of her samurai level). A warrior poet loses this bonus while flatfooted or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus.
This replaces the samurai’s proficiency with medium armor, heavy armor, and shields.
-^-
This is basically a Charisma-based version of the Duelist PRC's Canny Defense feature, but with the Monk's equipment restrictions. Dancer's Grace doesn't really do much for the archetype until later levels and with a significant investment into Charisma. I do like that the Warrior Poet gets some help with AC in the few situations were they can't or don't wear armor.

For most of a Warrior Poet's career, it is better served by just wearing Light Armor. Losing access to Medium & Heavy Armor and Shields is rough, but not too rough for an character theme for high Dexterity. Many of the Warrior Poet's class features also require light or no armor. Mithral medium armor can be costly and you must beware of Armor Check penalties. This feature isn't really giving the Samurai a lot, but it definitely takes away options for equipment.

Flourish (Ex): The warrior poet is skilled at performing elegant moves in battle. At 1st level, the warrior poet gains a flourish of her choice from the list below. She gains another flourish at 3rd, 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th, and 20th levels.

Chrysanthemum’s Blooming: The warrior poet gains Vital Strike as a bonus feat and can apply its benefit when using Spring Attack. If the warrior poet is at least 16th level and has Improved Vital Strike, she can apply that feat’s benefit instead. The warrior poet must be at least 11th level to select this flourish.
-^-
The level restriction is pretty serious. In PFS, you'd get one whole level to use this before reaching Seeker level.

Exodus of Jinin: As long as the warrior poet is wearing light or no armor and carrying no more than a light load, her land speed increases by 10 feet. A warrior poet can select this flourish up to three times.
-^-
This fits for a speed & grace focused archetype. Its incredibly useful sisnce the speed bonus isn't an enhancement bonus. This is good, but not game breaking. Its just more speed.

Harmony of the Tranquil Garden: The warrior poet can focus her senses as a move action to gain blindsense out to 5 feet for 1 round. For every 5 samurai levels she has, the range of this blindsense increases by 5 feet.
-^-
No where near game-breaking. Useful in the right situations, which I woudn't expect it to happen often. The action cost also prevents full attacking or full round(Spring Attack) actions. Not likely to be chosen until you nearly have no other options.

Jininsiel’s Guidance: The warrior poet gains the rogue’s uncanny dodge class feature. This flourish can be selected up to twice; selecting it a second time grants the warrior poet the rogue’s improved uncanny dodge class feature. The warrior poet must be at least 4th level to select this flourish the first time and at least 8th level to select this flourish the second time.
-^-
This is another choice that just makes sense for a Dexterous warrior type. You have to be a minimum of the same level that a Rogue would get this features, but thats actually not even true since you don't receive Flourishes at 4th & 8th level. You won't be able to take this until your 5th & 9th levels.

Kitsune’s Mystique: The warrior poet gains Improved Feint as a bonus feat, ignoring its prerequisites. When the warrior poet uses Spring Attack or takes a move action to move, she can attempt to feint against one creature she threatens during her movement as part of her movement.
-^-
The action economy improvement for this over just the Improved Feint feat is great. Not a must have, but definitely great. It is slightly level restrictive since the archetype doesn't grant the Spring Attack feat until 6th level.

Petals on the Wind: Whenever a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from the warrior poet, she can move 5 feet before making the attack of opportunity. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If the warrior poet takes an action to move during her next turn, she subtracts 5 feet from her total movement for each time she has used this ability since her last turn.
-^-
Good option, but really requires Combat Reflexes to get the most out of it. Fits for a mobile class concept.

Wrath of the Heavens: The warrior poet gains Shot on the Run as a bonus feat, ignoring its prerequisites.
-^-
The possibility of getting Shot on the Run at 1st level is pretty amazing, but as with any ranged build, it needs Precise Shot after the first round of combat. The usual goal with ranged combat is the launch as many attacks as possible in a round, but this pushes you into the archetype's Spring Attack style of combat.
This replaces mount, weapon expertise, banner, and greater banner.
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The Flourishes are pretty impressive, but mostly on par with many Rogue Talents, Ninja Tricks, and Slayer Talents. You get access to really good abilities, but not the flexibility given in Rogue Talents like Combat Trick.

The loss of Mount is huge, whether you like mounts or not. Mount gives you an animal companion on par with the Druid's. A class feature that gives you a 2nd character is pretty big. Mount is more restrictive than Natures Bond, but its still a 2nd creature, mount, and battle and flanking partner. You may not always be able to take it with you into dungeons and small spaces, but the Druid can run into the same problem.

I actually really like Weapon Expertise and I was a little saddened the archetype gets rid of it. Quick Draw is great in the right situations. Counting Samurai levels as Fighter levels means access to Weapon Expertise and Greater Weapon Focus.

Graceful Warrior (Ex): The warrior poet gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat and can apply its benefits to glaives, katanas, and naginatas as if they were light weapons. This does not alter the weapons’ properties for the purposes of any other effects.
-^-
I love this part of this archetype. But when it comes down to it, isn't much better than Swashbuckler's Finesse. Its great, don't get me wrong, but again, not game-breaking. This gives you the Weapon Finesse feat and 3 more weapons that wouldn't normally be finessable. Two of these weapons are reach weapons, but anyone can use Weapon Finesse with the Elven Branched Spear. An Elven Samurai can treat an Elven Branched Spear as a martial weapon. A Human Samurai can just take Exotic Weapon Proficiency or the Military Tradition racial trait. I still say that if being able to finesse all three is a problem for Organized Play, you can either restrict the benefit for the naginata & glaive OR make the Warrior Poet choose one of the three weapons to be able to finesse.

Swashbuckler's Finesse gives you the benefits of Weapon Finesse and the ability to use it with any one-handed piercing weapon. That means being able to finesse the Morningstar, Shortspear, Heavy Pick, Trident, Doru, Tongi, etc. That's already more then 3 weapons.

The feature is also well written with "This does not alter the weapons’ properties for the purposes of any other effects" to prevent any real abuse.

Skirmisher’s Challenge (Ex): The warrior poet adds her samurai level to her damage rolls only on her first successful attack against a challenged target each round.
This modifies challenge.
-^-
This is a huge nerf to the Challenge features damage output and also adds to the Dexterous & mobile Spring Attack style of combat. Definitely not abusable.

Graceful Strike (Ex): At 4th level, when the warrior poet uses Weapon Finesse to make a melee attack that adds her Dexterity bonus to attack rolls and her Strength bonus to damage rolls, she also adds half her samurai level to damage rolls.
This replaces mounted archer and demanding challenge.
-^-
I find this and the Vigilante's Lethal Grace to be great alternatives to many of the other methods of boosting damage on Weapon Finesse combatants. It helps but doesn't step on the toes of the Swashbuckler's Precise Strike. It also helps to counter the loss of damage in Challenge.

Battle Dance (Ex): At 6th level, the warrior poet gains Spring Attack as a bonus feat. At 12th level, she gains Improved Spring Attack as a bonus feat, and at 18th level, she gains Greater Spring Attack as a bonus feat. The warrior poet does not need to meet the prerequisites for these feats.
This replaces the samurai’s bonus combat feats.
-^-
Getting Spring Attack and some of its related feats for free is good, but losing straight bonus feats is pretty rough. Now you don't need to meet the prereq's of Spring Attack, but those preq's also do help you to be better at Spring Attack-ing. You aren't getting Improved Spring Attack until Seeker levels.

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I would like to say even after taking this objective view into the archetype, I would still be excited to be able to play this archetype. I've seen several people here on the forums mention their love for the archetype and its been a bit frustrating seeing the archetype get the "hammer". I was just shocked to see the Warrior Poet not make it through to legality. I was honestly a little worried when I saw that the archetype can finesse Glaives & Naginatas(I remember the Bladed Brush ban), but as I've mentioned earlier, nothing about that is amazing or game-breaking(Elven Branched Spear). Bladed Brush allowed Swashbucklers and others to use Slashing Grace with Glaives. The archetype has a great alternative to using Slashing Grace anyways.

The archetype isn't very flexible as far as builds go and you'll never get as much damage with Spring Attack as with full attack actions. If you want a quick, confident, and mobile Samurai warrior, this is the archetype for you. And the Order of the Songbird in the same book. This Order is awesome. You can get Versatile Performance like a Bard and good luck to anyone a Songbird Order Warrior Poet challenges to be able to hit back. Its literally made for Shelyn worshippers.

The archetype is perfect for a myriad of Samurai tropes. The image of the unarmored, yukata-clad Samurai like those seen in Kurosawa films, many Anime & Manga series, and Video Games. Sanjuro in Yojimbo, Haohmaru or Ukyo in Samurai Spirits, Himura Kenshin in Rurouni Kenshin, or Manji in Blade of the Immortal. With the "Harmony of the Tranquil Garden" Flourish and the Blind-Fight feats, you can even make Zatoichi.

To John and the rest of the PFS staff, I thank you for your time and consideration. Best of wishes to you and yours and have a Happy New Year.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

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For me the archetype has the very big problem of being dippable: For a 1 level dip you get:
->Dancers Grace for +1 AC if you are unarmored (possibly the least important for a dip)
-> Graceful Warrior (Weapon finesse as a Bonus feat and access to 3 new weapons to use it with, two of which have reach, one of them is by far the best x4 crit weapon to finesse and the katana is a straight upgrade to the rapier which is one of the premiere finesse options.) This alone makes this archetype highly problematic as it opens up options for Dex-based martials that are not that welcome in the campaign (see the bladed brush discussions).
->Skirmishers Challenge (Like challenge but a strict downgrade as it is worse if you fullattack, which is not that big of a deal in a dip but if you fully commit to the class it is a fair downside.)
->Order: The benefit of this is variable depending on the order and not limited to the archetype.
->Martial Weapon Proficiency + some exotic weapons, which are also boosted by the archetype.
-> 1 Flourish: This is the big elephant in the room:
Exodus of Jinin: No problem here, comparable abilities are easily available.
Harmony of the Tranquil Garden: Blindsense is not an ablility that should be freely available to 1st level characters.
Kitsune’s Mystique: This gives a useful feat and also boosts it with additional utility. This also messes a lot with action economy and can be used to (for example) set up sneak attack in places where it previously was not possible.
Petals on the Wind: NO, just NO. This has quite a bit of abuse potential if you have Combat reflexes, which is not that weird considering the kind of build this archetype encourages. This not only does you allow to take multiple non provoking “5ft-steps” out of your turn, this also can be used to ignore the penalty of reach weapons to have a “blind spot” area. (On a class that is highly encouraged to abuse reach weapons). If this would be made legal I would retrain at least one of my AoO based characters just to be able to use this ability. (It is a bloodrager who most of the time has around 15-25ft reach, which would make him massively mobile if this would be added.)
Additionally the interaction of this ability and difficult terrain/flying as well as the prevention of the triggering action itself (especially charges in areas with corners) is highly unclear.
Wrath of the Heavens: A level 4 feat with 3 prerequisites (2 of which are a feat tax) available at level 1 is wrong. If you are an archer and want this feat most of the time dipping the warrior poet is easier than taking the feats to qualify.

So the Archetype might be fine if taken single classed (But I still think Petals on the wind should be banned and Graceful Warrior should not unlock the additional weapons for finessability) it is too problematic if it is dipped, as the level 1 flourishes have some options that are too strong for some other classes to use.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

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I'm fine with the archetype not being allowed for a number of reasons. While the background of it sounds great, mechanically it amounts to the same obscenity as Virtuous Bravo was as a mix between paladin and swashbuckler, and not wanting to see Bladed Brush allowed either (the rogue having dex-based 1,5x damage is already too much), no to Graceful Warrior.

If I don't comment on something, it will be because the features are OK enough, not broken so it will count as a positive. I will mostly focus on why it should stay banned.

- Chrysanthemium's Blooming : While the use of it is clearly limited in the scope of the regular campaign, the prospect of allowing Vital Strike to be used with something else already using the attack slot is not something I want to see generalized. There's already Gorum's Fighting Style, that's enough.

- Exodus of Jinin : If it was only selecteable once, no comments but having a natural 60ft. move speed (or more), this is borderline.

- Harmony of the Tranquil Garden : Action economy somewhat limits the usefulness, but still it is Blindsense accessed easily, when it is something that should only be given after lots of expenditure given its strength. (Comparison with the Master of Many Styles with the Blinded Blade Style tree feat)

- Kitsune's Mystique : nothing to add to the previous comment as I would repeat the same thing.

- Wrath of the Heavens : not that strong, but ignoring the prerequisites and getting it too early is a no.

- Graceful Strike : a no-tax damage output similar to a str-based frontliner, seriously ?

- Petals of the Wind : same comments than the previous post.

Unless the archetype is nerfed for some features, I'm against it. The one-level possible dip is opening another Pandora's Box I don't want to see.

2/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree that the Graceful Warrior feature alone would seem to be reason not to allow this archetype in society play - free weapon finesse for a reach weapon! I can see all sorts of crazy builds using this as a one level dip.

I'm curious about the process of creating splatbooks such as Heroes of the Fringe. Is the organized play team at all consulted or involved during their creation, or is their involvement limited to incorporating the new material into the additional resources after publication? My sense is the later, but I've never been certain.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

The general Pathfinder Design Team and the Organized Play staff being two separate groups, it wouldn't be completely out of sorts to speculate on the latter

4/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Southcoast aka JDDyslexia

Alexander and Philippe do a great job running down all the reasons why this shouldn't be allowed in society play. It's far too powerful for a one-level dip, and I can see scores of Dex-based fighters making the dip or retraining just for the stack of level 1 abilities. Heck, I can think of at least 2-3 characters that I would be tempted to retrain one class level just to get in on this.

I don't see why you insist on comparing this archetype to other classes, such as Gunslinger or Swashbuckler. IMO, Warrior Poet opens up far too many OP options for a Dex-based character than either of these classes. I'd even say this is more OP than Inspired Blade, and I don't think that archetype ever should have been allowed in PFS. And as powerful as Inspired Blade is, it still limits you to exactly one specific weapon, and gives you Weapon Finesse with that weapon only. The second you dip into Swashbuckler for Inspired Blade, that one piercing weapon is all you get. The true power for Inspired Blade is getting it up to 5th level, and by then, you've committed to the class.

The Exchange 5/5

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Ok, this was disappointing...
I thought this thread was going to be about "Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan "... you know, the arab who was a poet before he became a warrior...

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

My initial reaction was that the archetype was a good dip for some builds (Eldritch Knight qualification was the first one that came to mind) which seemed to have finessing some powerful weapons as it's core attraction, but not too powerful since those weapons still had their normal properties. But when I dug into it further, I found that I agree with the posters above, the problem is the Flourishes.

Most of the Flourishes are "just like this other ability, but better!" I think the closest comparison would be to Vigilante Talents, which are often better than a feat. But the Vigilante Talents don't become better than a feat until you have a significant number of vigilante levels. A dip into Warrior Poet gets you the benefits from the beginning.

What's wrong/How I would balance them out:

Chrysanthemum’s Blooming: (fine as is, proper level scaling)

Exodus of Jinin: As long as the warrior poet is wearing light or no armor and carrying no more than a light load, her land speed increases by 10 feet. This counts as an enhancement bonus. A warrior poet can select this flourish up to three times. This ability stacks with itself but not with other enhancement bonuses to land speed.

Harmony of the Tranquil Garden: The warrior poet can focus her senses as a move standard action to gain blindsense out to 5 feet for 1 round. For every 5 samurai levels she has, the range of this blindsense increases by 5 feet.

Jininsiel’s Guidance: (fine as is, proper level scaling)

Kitsune’s Mystique: The warrior poet gains Improved Feint as a bonus feat, ignoring its prerequisites. When the warrior poet uses Spring Attack or takes a move action to move, she can attempt to feint against one creature she threatens during her movement as part of her movement.
(This is just too good, period. It's Improved Feint with no prereqs AND you can move and feint at the same time. Maybe just make this Improved Feint but you have to meet prereqs.)

Petals on the Wind: I don't actually see this as a problem. You can only take the move when the foe provokes, and need to end still threatening if you want to take the AoO. I'm not seeing how it would eliminate reach weapon blind spots.

Wrath of the Heavens: The warrior poet gains Shot on the Run as a bonus feat, ignoring its prerequisites. The warrior poet must be at least 10th level to select this flourish.
(Puts it on level with Ranger Combat Style choices.)

The other abilities of the class are mostly in proper scale. Most of them scale with level and/or are strictly weaker/more limited than the samurai abilities they replace. Graceful Warrior is obviously a bit better than just getting Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat, but not to a ridiculous amount.

Scarab Sages 4/5

I haven’t looked nearly close enough at the archetype to say whether I think it should be banned or not. A couple of things do stand out.

Much like the campaign seems to have decided all things scimitar and dex should be allowed, they also seem to have decided all things glaive and dex should not be allowed. Now, bladed brush has other issues that make it a bad idea to include, so this is probably not the only reason here, either.

Here’s the text of the Snakebite Striker’s 3rd level ability, for comparison to Kitsune’s Mystique:

Quote:

Snake Feint (Ex)

At 3rd level, a snakebite striker who uses a standard action to move can combine that move with a feint. If she is able to feint as a move action (such as from having the Improved Feint feat), she can combine a move action to move with her feint. At 11th level, once per round she can declare her square and one adjacent square as the origin of her attacks until her next turn (allowing her to use one or both squares to determine whether she or allies are flanking an opponent). At 15th level, she counts an additional adjacent square for this purpose.

This ability replaces maneuver training gained at 3rd and 7th levels.

Different classes can certainly get things at different levels. Kitsune’s Mystique does feel arguably better and at a lower level. Snake Feint becomes potentially better at higher levels.

3/5 Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro aka MadScientistWorking

Quote:


- Graceful Strike : a no-tax damage output similar to a str-based frontliner, seriously ?

You mean the PFS approved ability that is strictly more powerful is overpowered....

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I think it's a cool archetype, but I do see a couple of problems that would need to be solved to make it PFS-safe;

* Kitsune's Mystique is extremely dippable for rogues. Circumvent Int 13 and Combat Expertise as prerequisites to get a useful feat with significantly improved action economy. Dipping into full-BAB d10 HD samurai isn't too painful for a rogue. At low levels, it allows you to feint while closing in on enemies without necessarily having to travel through threatened spaces. At higher levels, you'll probably use Spring Attack. I think it's all in all a lot cheaper than going through Gang Up, and less dependent on having enough other frontliners in the party. Then again, not all creatures can be feinted. Proposed solution: restrict this flourish to Warrior Poet level 3+.

* Petals on the Wind is the most problematic flourish. First off, it would need explanation/reminder text on whether an adjacent enemy would provoke AoOs while you're wielding a Reach weapon. Can you (are you supposed to) step back and whack the offender with your naginata?

* Petals on the Wind again: I don't think that it's good to have easy options to move away from an enemy as an AoO. You'll get shenanigans like waiting at 30ft from enemies, then when they close in to melee, expecting to eat one AoO, but instead the player takes the AoO and moves out of range, wasting the enemy's turn. You'll also get questions about stepping sideways to try to invalidate charges; a charge has to be in a straight line at the target, but what if the target moves? Also, builds involving large PCs with reach weapons are not that uncommon, entry is as cheap as 50gp for a potion of Enlarge Person. Proposed solution: ban this flourish. It's got so many unpredictable ramifications, it can't be salvaged.

* Harmony of the Tranquil Garden I'm not convinced this is such a big deal. 5ft blindsense as a move action for 1 round is not more powerful than Scent [which is available in a variety of ways]; it basically allows pinpointing adjacent enemies if you know you need to.

* Graceful Warrior: does this allow Slashing Grace with a katana? The last sentence of Graceful Warrior casts doubt on it. Proposed solution: clarify that it really cannot be combined with Slashing Grace. The Graceful Strike ability makes it clear this archetype is intended for a Dex > Str build that still wants a positive strength modifier.

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On the whole I think this archetype is a cool idea, and fixes several of the problems that kept Bladed Brush from legality.

* It's an archetype, not a feat, and requires at least 4 levels to really get "graceful" polearm combat working. And to keep it growing, you have to stay in-class. This prevents a lot of the "not intended for that other class" builds possible for Bladed Brush.

* Specifically, it can't be combined with Daring Champion. That was a concern because it would have allowed full attacks with precise strike (= add your whole cavalier level) and challenge (= add your whole level another time, and crittable). This archetype adds only half your level, and doesn't add challenge on iterative attacks. That's a very significant decrease.

* It does't allow freely dumping Strength. The Warrior Poet is a bit on the MAD side. You might not really be able to afford using Dancer's Grace because you already need Str, Dex and Con, can you really get more Cha to AC than you could get from armor? I doubt it. My obvious build would be starting at Dex 18, Str 14, Con 14. You'll be getting 1.5x Strength to damage with polearms, but there's only a very marginal gain in pushing Strength beyond 14. Spare ability points should probably be spent to shore up a weak Will save instead.

* Using Furious Focus/Power Attack in Spring Attack is nice but it has to work hard to make up for not using full attacks. Vital Strike comes to help out eventually but it takes quite long to do so.

* It's not "a feat that does three feat-worthy things for the price of one". The class feature trades are fairly reasonable.

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

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I do love your analyses, Lau. I do think that with tweaking on the flourishes, the warrior poet could be an acceptable archetype for society play. I'd like to see it make it... The bard in me is just itching for the poetic flavor of this archetype.

Hmm

Scarab Sages 4/5

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Dancer’s Grace and Graceful Strike both seem fine. Both scale with level instead of just granting something big to a dip.

Dancer’s Grace is a more restricted version of Canny Defense, that’s CHA based instead of INT. There are plenty of other dips that would grant full CHA to AC instead of just a +1.

Graceful Strike is more or less what the compromise for dex to hit but not to damage has become. It’s the same calculation as Lethal Grace for Vigilante, and I think that same formula shows up in at least one other archetype somewhere.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Quote:
a charge has to be in a straight line at the target

There's technically no requirement to charge in a straight line at your opponent. There is a requirement to always head towards them, which results in a straight line at a stationary target.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

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I'm just not seeing all the issues with Petals on the Wind that other people are. It looks pretty clear to me. When an enemy provokes you can move 5' then you take the attack of opportunity. Which means both the starting and ending positions have to be threatening the same square (the one where the provoking enemy is).

I do see the potential for "invalidating a charge" now that Lau points it out and I'm wondering how disruptive it would be in practice. I'm trying think of any other options that include a method of moving when a foe charges you; I'm fairly certain some exist. Mouser is the only one that comes to mind.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
a charge has to be in a straight line at the target
There's technically no requirement to charge in a straight line at your opponent. There is a requirement to always head towards them, which results in a straight line at a stationary target.

That's an interesting argument. I wonder if there's any designer commentary on the interaction between a charge and "ready an action to move away if he charges me" (assuming the charger still has enough movement to reach the target).

I can see the reading of the rules that you can continue the charge even if your target moves as long as you continue to move straight for him (and meet the other requirements for a charge). But I'm not sure if it's the intention.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Kevin Willis wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
a charge has to be in a straight line at the target
There's technically no requirement to charge in a straight line at your opponent. There is a requirement to always head towards them, which results in a straight line at a stationary target.

That's an interesting argument. I wonder if there's any designer commentary on the interaction between a charge and "ready an action to move away if he charges me" (assuming the charger still has enough movement to reach the target).

I can see the reading of the rules that you can continue the charge even if your target moves as long as you continue to move straight for him (and meet the other requirements for a charge). But I'm not sure if it's the intention.

For a lot of reasons, the ready action breaks a lot of the game, so i don't think there's any intent on the timey whimey ball that it causes.

Scarab Sages 4/5

For Petals on the Wind, if you threaten 5’ and 10’ (say, improved unarmed strike and the glaive), when someone provokes from your unarmed strike, can you 5-foot back and attack with the glaive for your AoO?


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Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Graceful Warrior: does this allow Slashing Grace with a katana? The last sentence of Graceful Warrior casts doubt on it.

Remember that Slashing Grace always works with a katana, so the last part of graceful warrior doesn't apply. Doing so generally results in katana attacks getting Str to hit and Dex to damage. This ability will fill in the other half, allowing Dex to hit and damage. However, the same is true of almost any swashbuckler dip. (And those come with opportune parry and riposte!)

The last sentence of graceful warrior does, however, ensure that the warrior poet can't be combined with (for example) three levels of unchained rogue to get Dex x1.5 to damage with katanas, naginatas, or glaives. Having seen the issues with Bladed Brush, I did my darnedest to make sure it was as combo-proof as possible. ^_^


Ferious Thune wrote:
Dancer’s Grace and Graceful Strike both seem fine. Both scale with level instead of just granting something big to a dip.

This was the intention - I've seen how dippable swashbuckler can be, and wanted to make sure the archetype served either purpose. ^_^

Ferious Thune wrote:
Dancer’s Grace is a more restricted version of Canny Defense, that’s CHA based instead of INT. There are plenty of other dips that would grant full CHA to AC instead of just a +1.

Indeed. In addition, the warrior poet specifically grants a Charisma modifier to AC, and doesn't stack with easy dips like scaled fist as a result.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Graceful Strike is more or less what the compromise for dex to hit but not to damage has become. It’s the same calculation as Lethal Grace for Vigilante, and I think that same formula shows up in at least one other archetype somewhere.

This was indeed the idea. The other one you may be thinking of is the fighter's advanced weapon training option Trained Grace (I think?), which doubles the fighter's weapon training bonus to damage when using Dex to hit and Str to damage.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Isabelle Lee wrote:
The last sentence of graceful warrior does, however, ensure that the warrior poet can't be combined with (for example) three levels of unchained rogue to get Dex x1.5 to damage with katanas, naginatas, or glaives. Having seen the issues with Bladed Brush, I did my darnedest to make sure it was as combo-proof as possible. ^_^

I think part of the issue here is that most interpretations of the unchained rogue’s ability are that it is not dependent on the weapon, but rather whether or not the specific rogue can use weapon finesse with the weapon. I’m not saying whether that is correct or not, only that it is common. To truly avoid table variation or players attempting the build, Graceful Warrior would need to directly say that it does not work for Finesse Training (in a similar way to how Slashing Grace now says it doesn’t work for flurry). If that’s the intent, then Campaign Clarifications should state that if it is ever made legal.

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