It seems like there could be something done to bring styles a bit closer in effectiveness/use:
Fencing is the stand-out since it's only weak vs Mindless and has no MAP, size restriction, or 10-minute immunity. You can basically Panache cycle with this all day long as long as you steer clear of mindless things. No feat tax, it just works from level 1 on.
Braggart is pretty limited w/ 1/target and weak vs Constructs/Mindless/special training (whatever that means.) The language-dependency makes Intimidating Glare/Prowess a must.
Fix?: Allow re-use of the Intimidate skill to "harry" an opponent w/o out the Frightened condition? Or limit it to Frightened 1 only on a crit after the 1st Demoralize?
Gymnast has quite a few options but all of them are MAP based and size restricted. Titan Wrestler is an obvious choice to minimize the size restriction. I get that Gymnasts can target a specific save as needed but I think -5 (-4 w/ Agile) on your Attack after gaining Panache is a bit steep.
Fix?: Allow a non-MAP use of Athletics or reduce MAP?
Anyone have any other ideas/thoughts?
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Someone can flip this entire list around on usefulness of the actions though:
Fencing would be the worst since Feint is just flat footed for one attack, which is the easiest condition to apply
Braggard would be an OK debuff that after level 9 you can keep it up
Gymnast has the most impactful control options.
Overall I find all 3 styles pretty on par.
I wouldn't want for them to be a copy paste of each other.
Now they are distinct and each has its pros and cons.
|S. J. Digriz|
Gymnasts are mechanically the best, because strength both boosts their panache skill and gives them a boost to damage. Fencers are good if you have a rogue in that party, since they will be creating lots of flat footed targets for the rogue. Braggarts are the most fun, because every gaming table can use more smack talk.
I would definitely go braggart, despite their being the weakest of the styles, because I could then put the phrases on my Shakespeare's Insults coffee mug to good use.
I'd say Braggart is really good because Demoralize is a ridiculous debuff that helps the whole party, while Flat Footed can be done as easily with flanking as feinting.
Gymnast is very good, too, mind you, but their Panache acquiring actions are attacks, which, as mentioned in the OP, can be an issue.
Feint is easily the least impactful, flat footed for just one attack.
I mean, even the 1st level feat that gives the enemy flat footed when you tumble seems better.
Intimidation is imo the easiest to apply, since there are quite a few feats and abilities that allow you to do so without even impacting your action economy.
Maneuvers are the most impactful, but the MAP hit hurts their damage.
Furthermore, the level 9 upgrade seems terrible for Fencer while it seems quite good for both Gymnast and Braggard.
Derring-do is also insane (imo) for both braggard and gymnast, giving you free "true strike" on your maneuvers and intimidation most of the time.
I would say:
Gymnast with buckler and bleeding finisher, relying more on controlling the fight and defense, and relying on less, but steady damage.
Braggard with two weapons, relying on bursting down debuffed targets.
Fencer... I think needs help.
|S. J. Digriz|