Parry vs Buckler feats redundant?


Swashbuckler Playtest


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At second level, the swashbuckler has two sets of feats that I feel are somewhat redundant: Buckler Expertise and Dizzying Parry, two feats which increase the AC bonus from Parry weapon and bucklers respectively to +2, bringing them to parity with 'full' shields.

Then at 12th level, each style gets a feat granting them stances guaranteeing uptime on this defense, Buckler Dance and Storm of Parries (which are both great names!)

Each tier of these feats have the same level at which they become avaliable, the same mechanical effect and similar themes in off-handed defence.

Wouldn't it be economical to reduce these feat pairs to two, one for the AC bump, one for the stance? These four feats very much seem to be two ways to achieve the same goal. Maybe include duelling cloaks as well!

Merging them would save page space (I am not in layout I'll admit, but I think you'd save space on headers and formatting), allow for a more diversified feat selection, and allow characters to switch between bucklers and main-gauche/clan dagger etc as gear is acquired and lost, or as the situation demands (perhaps you're fighting a Rakshasa and your Buckler has a shield boss and not spikes).

In terms of comparative advantages between Parry weapons and bucklers:
Bucklers: Shield bashes are neither finesse nor agile, but you can hold wands in the same hand and have a higher damage die with bosses and spikes, and at very high level the reflecting shield is quite nice, and theoretically you can block some damage but bucklers are the most fragile of shields.
Parry weapons: tend to have versatile damage types, can use Dex to hit, can deliver precise strike damage

Silver Crusade

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*tilts head back and forth*

Eh, I'm fine with them being separate, since they're two completely different ways, both mechanics and aesthetics, to buff your defense.


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I'm not sure how such a change would promote build diversity. No one is going to take both of them anyway, so combining them doesn't open up anything new.


Coldermoss wrote:
I'm not sure how such a change would promote build diversity. No one is going to take both of them anyway, so combining them doesn't open up anything new.

I didn't mean diversity within builds, but between builds. If you can compact these two Paizo can maybe fit in another feat at the level that let's you play swashbuckler a little differently. I probably should've made that clearer :)

Rysky wrote:

*tilts head back and forth*

Eh, I'm fine with them being separate, since they're two completely different ways, both mechanics and aesthetics, to buff your defense.

Aesthetically, absolutely there is adufference, yeah.

But mechanically? With both you spend an action to get +2 AC, one is called 'interact' and the other is called 'raise a shield', but I honestly don't see the meaningful mechanical differentiation?

Silver Crusade

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There are big mechanical differences between "interact" and "raise a shield".

Like provoking.


Huh, so it does. That seems.....really dang bad, huh.

Guess I'd assumed that readying to Parry didn't open you up to getting smacked.


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Essentially, the feats let you be a dual-wielding swashbuckler (since the main weapons with the parrying trait, the main gauche and the dwarven clan dagger, are also agile) or a sword'n'board buckler.


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Rysky wrote:

There are big mechanical differences between "interact" and "raise a shield".

Like provoking.

Now, THAT'S what I call counter-intuitive. You're increasing your defenses and in the process you open your defenses? WTF.

Silver Crusade

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Lightning Raven wrote:
Rysky wrote:

There are big mechanical differences between "interact" and "raise a shield".

Like provoking.

Now, THAT'S what I call counter-intuitive. You're increasing your defenses and in the process you open your defenses? WTF.

With the Riposte class feature this makes more sense.


Rysky wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Rysky wrote:

There are big mechanical differences between "interact" and "raise a shield".

Like provoking.

Now, THAT'S what I call counter-intuitive. You're increasing your defenses and in the process you open your defenses? WTF.
With the Riposte class feature this makes more sense.

You're still going to get wacked in the face if you're trying to protect yourself while opening yourself. I think the biggest difference between Parrying and Raise shield should be the shield block reaction.

It's a huge gamble to use Parry if it allows a possible attack of opportunity and you can riposte only on a critical failure. If it were on a normal failure, I could make the gamble, but it's not like you're going to be a god of AC with a Swashbuckler in order to make this actually beneficial.

Maybe you're supposed to be moving more and using this interact action while out of reach. But I just wish the class had more options to move around without being punished, for example: Longer steps, more than two steps using one action. Attacking and Step with a single action.

When they said the swashbucklers would be mobile I wasn't expecting just a couple of feats that mention it and give a little more move-speed. I expected efficient actions or ways to move freely despite reactions.


I hope they release the dueling dagger to fit the TWF swashbuckler.

Regarding the feats I agree that they are too similar even if the actual method is different.

1 possible solution that I can see is to give Dizzying Parry a bonus to reposte while Buckler Expert gives a bonus to feinting. Which would also add more interactions between feats.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lightning Raven wrote:
Maybe you're supposed to be moving more and using this interact action while out of reach.

That too.


Temperans wrote:
I hope they release the dueling dagger to fit the TWF swashbuckler.

You mean the main-gauche? It exists.

Scarab Sages

Lightning Raven wrote:


It's a huge gamble to use Parry if it allows a possible attack of opportunity and you can riposte only on a critical failure. If it were on a normal failure, I could make the gamble, but it's not like you're going to be a god of AC with a Swashbuckler in order to make this actually beneficial.

Maybe you're supposed to be moving more and using this interact action while out of reach. But I just wish the class had more options to move around without being punished, for example: Longer steps, more than two steps using one action. Attacking and Step with a single action.

When they said the swashbucklers would be mobile I wasn't expecting just a couple of feats that mention it and give a little more move-speed. I expected efficient actions or ways to move freely despite reactions.

It seems like there are a ton of things to do with movement with the swashbuckler.

Gain panache if you rolled Acrobatics( or athletics for gymnast) initiative.
Panache increases movement speed by 5 and increases at 3rd and every 4 levels thereafter.
Feats enhancing movement abilities:
Tumble Behind
Flamboyant Athlete
Continuous Speed
Vexing Tumble
Nimble Roll
Derring-Do(situational)
Mobile Finisher
Panache Paragon(situational)

You could 8 out of your 11-12 class feats as movement enhancing.


I'm wondering if the idea with the swashbuckler is a single attack routine... for example, feint for panache, use a finisher, Stride away. Precise Strike hits hard for sure but I'm not sure if it hits THAT hard.


Arachnofiend wrote:
I'm wondering if the idea with the swashbuckler is a single attack routine... for example, feint for panache, use a finisher, Stride away. Precise Strike hits hard for sure but I'm not sure if it hits THAT hard.

I'd say 2 attack routines should be more common.

There are plenty of ways within the Swash that generate or spend panache combined with movement.

So something like tumble, attack (with bonuses from panache), finisher. Or Feint, attack, Finisher with movement.

A few ways to get panache as a reaction with stuff like You're next as well, and etc.


Well I didnt know it was called that neat, and thx.

Also, yes they appear to be pushing a lot to using finishers but not necessarily as single action. Mainly because of Combination Finisher that -6 on the final attacks looks amazing. It also combines well with Twin Finisher for 2 attacks at -3 when surround.

A flurry finisher (for the fast strike rapier fantasy) would kind of be broken, 1 attack at full and 2 at -3. So that's probably why they didnt add it, even though its sad to not see.


Bhrymm wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:


It's a huge gamble to use Parry if it allows a possible attack of opportunity and you can riposte only on a critical failure. If it were on a normal failure, I could make the gamble, but it's not like you're going to be a god of AC with a Swashbuckler in order to make this actually beneficial.

Maybe you're supposed to be moving more and using this interact action while out of reach. But I just wish the class had more options to move around without being punished, for example: Longer steps, more than two steps using one action. Attacking and Step with a single action.

When they said the swashbucklers would be mobile I wasn't expecting just a couple of feats that mention it and give a little more move-speed. I expected efficient actions or ways to move freely despite reactions.

It seems like there are a ton of things to do with movement with the swashbuckler.

Gain panache if you rolled Acrobatics( or athletics for gymnast) initiative.
Panache increases movement speed by 5 and increases at 3rd and every 4 levels thereafter.
Feats enhancing movement abilities:
Tumble Behind
Flamboyant Athlete
Continuous Speed
Vexing Tumble
Nimble Roll
Derring-Do(situational)
Mobile Finisher
Panache Paragon(situational)

You could 8 out of your 11-12 class feats as movement enhancing.

Out of these only Vexing Tumble and Mobile Finisher cover what I'm talking about. Everything else is either some carry on bonus hinged on success or math enhancers. I'm not saying they're bad by any means, they're interesting in their way as well. I was just expecting the implementation to be different, that's all.


Adding the weapon rune bonus to disarms is the only advantage I can see to using the Main Gauche, which can be done from the Rapier (tho I've altered the Rapier in my house rules)

I am not seeing much point to Parrying weapons...

Hell if you build a Fighter with Dueling Parry and wield a Buckler, you can also perform all the maneuvers that require a hand free, gain a safe +1 AC and a less safe +2

In the case of a Swashbuckler, you can just have the same AC, safely, and have access to all the maneuvers.


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The advantage of the main-gauche is that it's a weapon, which means you can do TWF things with it in addition to acting as a buckler. There's not much for that right now, just a TWF finisher that comes mid-career but that doesn't mean there can't be more in the future.


Arachnofiend wrote:
I'm wondering if the idea with the swashbuckler is a single attack routine... for example, feint for panache, use a finisher, Stride away. Precise Strike hits hard for sure but I'm not sure if it hits THAT hard.

Can you feint someone twice in a round? I've thought about "feint, for flat-footed, finisher, overextending feint to increase the chance they crit-fail when attacking you so you can retort" as a progression.


Well if you are applying different effects I dont see why you couldn't feint twice.

I still feel that those feats should give more than just +1 to AC and include some type of situational but useful ability.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
The advantage of the main-gauche is that it's a weapon, which means you can do TWF things with it in addition to acting as a buckler. There's not much for that right now, just a TWF finisher that comes mid-career but that doesn't mean there can't be more in the future.

My understanding is bucklers and shields are also weapons in PF2e and thus can be used with TWF. This doesn't seem like a real advantage.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:
With the Riposte class feature this makes more sense.

Why? The Riposte class feature has nothing to do with parrying. You can do it with your parry weapon not prepared. You can do it with weapon that doesn’t have the parry trait. You can do it with your buckler.

Silver Crusade

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Luke Styer wrote:
Rysky wrote:
With the Riposte class feature this makes more sense.
Why? The Riposte class feature has nothing to do with parrying. You can do it with your parry weapon not prepared. You can do it with weapon that doesn’t have the parry trait. You can do it with your buckler.

Higher AC means attacks are more likely to fail, intentionally provoking AoOs is a gamble this can play a part in, either for a chance at Riposte or to burn up their Reaction if they have one.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

+1 AC is hardly worth an AoO. I think you are stretching to justify how silly it is. Also you don't need to adjust your grip to parry (I used to fence thats not how that works), it really should have an interact action its part of normal melee fighting.

Provoking an attack to get a defensive bonus is a cognitive disconnect. I want to be hit less not provide more opportunities to get hit. Parrying is not more 'provoking' than raising a shield is.


Even if Riposte would trigger on a fail rather than critical fail only (why is this even a thing? It should be base-line fail), the parry granting attack opportunity would still be counter-intuitive and a steep cost, but at least it would be more attractive.

Liberty's Edge

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Rysky wrote:
Higher AC means attacks are more likely to fail, intentionally provoking AoOs is a gamble this can play a part in, either for a chance at Riposte or to burn up their Reaction if they have one.

Or you can use a buckler and still get a higher AC without risking an AoO.

Or you can use a “regular” shield, get a higher AC without risking an AoO or spending a feat to bring your AC into parity with other shield users.

And in either case, the PC doesn’t provoke AoO, which is, in all bur niche situations, an advantage. It’s not as if it’s difficult to come up with useful ways to trigger opponents’ AoO. Weapons with the parry trait aren’t some sort of master key finally unlocks that hidden tactic. If you find yourself in some weird niche situation where you want to try to provoke an AoO, you have plenty of options.

Edit to add: If you’re talking about activating parry with the intent of drawing an AoO in hopes that it misses so that you can then Riposte, I don’t think know if it’s even clear that the Parry bonus applies to that AoO. What’s the order of operations there?

Also, parry is an interact, which means it’s a manipulate, which means that the AoO can disrupt it. Not only do you then not get to Riposte, you don’t get the AC bonus going forward.


the only benefit of a parry weapon over a buckler is that it is an agile finesse weapon.

that helps with landing finishers when they aren't your first attack (which should be most of the time), and you don't want to miss your finishers. Also opens up twin finisher which is nifty, although more circumstantial than the rest of them.

The benefits of a buckler over a parry weapon is that it doesn't provoke to raise it, and that it leaves a free hand open for maneuvers.

Shield is not worth it imo. I like to think that shield over buckler in shash is more like "free hand over 1 level 2 feat", and i would certainly burn a feat to have a free hand in most cases, plus, at 12 i find the stance feats for either parry or buckler actually worth it, it basically becomes a free +2 to ac by then.


Cyder wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
The advantage of the main-gauche is that it's a weapon, which means you can do TWF things with it in addition to acting as a buckler. There's not much for that right now, just a TWF finisher that comes mid-career but that doesn't mean there can't be more in the future.
My understanding is bucklers and shields are also weapons in PF2e and thus can be used with TWF. This doesn't seem like a real advantage.

The shield boss/spikes are neither agile nor finesse, which makes them poor weapon options for... anyone that isn't using Everstand Stance, really.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Luke Styer wrote:
Edit to add: If you’re talking about activating parry with the intent of drawing an AoO in hopes that it misses so that you can then Riposte,
That has been what I've been talking about. Not dismissing the dangers of the AoO, but intentionally provoking either for Riposte or eating so your allies don't have to worry about it.
Quote:

I don’t think know if it’s even clear that the Parry bonus applies to that AoO. What’s the order of operations there?

Also, parry is an interact, which means it’s a manipulate, which means that the AoO can disrupt it. Not only do you then not get to Riposte, you don’t get the AC bonus going forward.

These are valid questions/concerns on the subject though.


The buckler can use the shield block reaction, which is good for preventing damage. It can also be spiked or bossed, for 1d4-- as good as a main gauche. What the main gauche has that bucker does not is the finesse and agile traits, so many swashbuckers attacks with a main gauche will be more accurate, and they will be able to do precise strike damage. I think they are two different options for two different character types. Mechanically, the buckler is better for athelete swashbucklers, and the parry weapon for the other types.

That being said, myself, I kind of like the I33 HEMA short sword and buckler style, but mostly for gnome and halfling swashbucklers.


I would prefer a choice of one of the other both improved slightly and no advantage to taking both... Except maybe just the option of using one or the other.

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