Taunt is Bad


Guardian Class Discussion

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I think Taunt should just draw attention to you and if the target ignores you, he would suffer -2 to attack anyone else. Something similar to Bom Mot, but the way I mentioned it. I know it may seem "easy": "Ah, damn it, I'm going to ignore that crazy face with full plate and I'm going to beat up this weak wizard!" So maybe with some error, forcing the target to attack the Guardian... I just think that Paizo overcomplicated something that could have been simple.
As Lord Hunungus would say: "I am very disappointed."


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I would prefer for the guardian's class features to function independent of its ability to effect enemies. Taunt could be an excellent feat chain, but I'd prefer the core of the class to work by sheer presence and position. If the guardian is a shield, it should not need to attack before it can block.


When I read the Playtest document my immediate reaction to Taunt was "There must be some mistake here", it just seems like a really bad class feature. With that said, has anyone tried playtesting the Guardian without using Taunt at all? Call me crazy, but I feel like frequently using Taunt makes the Guardian worse, not better. I was wondering if anyone put that theory to the test.


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HeHateMe wrote:
When I read the Playtest document my immediate reaction to Taunt was "There must be some mistake here", it just seems like a really bad class feature. With that said, has anyone tried playtesting the Guardian without using Taunt at all? Call me crazy, but I feel like frequently using Taunt makes the Guardian worse, not better. I was wondering if anyone put that theory to the test.

I briefly tried a Bodyguard-centric Guardian who did nothing but Intercept Strikes and almost never Taunted. It was sort of okay, but also was just about one of the most boring and reductive playstyles I've experienced. Most of my actions boiled down to Striding towards whichever ally was taking the most heat, and spending the rest of my actions making Athletics maneuvers or Striking with a ranged weapon, depending on the enemy. At higher levels, you do get some feats that help with this, like Intercept Energy, but the whole way through I just felt like little more than a health battery, attaching myself to other people without doing all that much myself. My Strikes were mediocre, and Unkind Shove didn't feel like enough, not so much because the feat is weak (it's actually fairly decent), but because at that point it felt like I was Shoving only because I had nothing better to do, and sometimes it backfired by making enemies attack someone else instead.

A lot of this was also done also with enemies who weren't assumed to be too smart, and who were mostly melee, which I think was the best-case scenario for the Guardian. Against the few ranged enemies I used, the Guardian couldn't really do much except make ranged Strikes or Taunt if they wanted to stay in Intercept Strike range, and I imagine a smart enemy would be able to observe what's going on and just target someone else in the party. I did attempt a "Diver Down" kind of situation where the party all gathered around the Guardian so that the latter could Intercept Strikes for everyone, but that just locked everyone in the same place and would've been catastrophic if the enemy had a fireball (though Area Cover technically provides an option against that). Intercept Foe ended up feeling much more generally effective due to its mobility, even if it didn't automatically soak hits, and when its AC bonus caused an attack to miss, it just felt that much better than Intercept Strike too.

For these reasons, I don't think Intercept Strike is all that good, and I don't think it really can be the crux of a Guardian's playstyle in its current state. If it offered a bit of mobility from the get-go, I think it would already be much more interesting, but as it stands, the playstyle it encourages to make the most out of it is extremely passive, and so on a class that already generally feels very passive and not very good at moving a fight forward.


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I was thinking. Any suggestion wasn't really solving the main problem of Taunt IMO that's it isn't a real Taunt and due high AC of Guardian no enemy really have to attack you once that even when debuffed by Taunt it still better to attack the Guardian allies instead.

So if we change the Taunt to works like a Sanctuary spell to your allies? So here my suggestion:

Quote:

Taunt [free-action]

--
Frequency Once per round
DurationUp to beginning of your next turn
--
With an attention-getting gesture, a cutting remark, or a threatening shout, you get an enemy to focus their ire on you. Even mindless creatures are drawn to your taunts. Choose a creature within 30 feet, who must attempts a Will save against your class DC. Regardless of the result, it is immune to your Taunt until the beginning of your next turn. If you gesture, this action gains the visual trait. If you speak or otherwise make noise, this action gains the auditory trait. Your Taunt must have one of those two traits.
--
Critical Success The creature is unaffected.
Success Every time that the creature tries a hostile action that's not includes you it need to make a Will check if critically fails the action has no effects and it wastes the action.
Failure As success but the creature but the creature looses its actions if fails its Will check too.
Critical Failure As failure but the creature but the creature looses its actions even if it succeds its Will check.

This way both main problems of Taunt are solved. It's tax sensation is diminished with the change from 1-action to a free-action limited to once per round and it no longer excessively punishes the guardian (IMO the +2 vs the guardian was a way the designer choose to avoid not force a -4 to the creature) while really punishes the target if it chooses to use an hostile action that not includes you.


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YuriP wrote:

I was thinking. Any suggestion wasn't really solving the main problem of Taunt IMO that's it isn't a real Taunt and due high AC of Guardian no enemy really have to attack you once that even when debuffed by Taunt it still better to attack the Guardian allies instead.

So if we change the Taunt to works like a Sanctuary spell to your allies? So here my suggestion:

Your rolling double saves.

Taunt
Take a Step towards an enemy, daring then to take you on. When the target attempt to take a hostile action that does not include you, they must make a Will save. If you move further away from the enemy, the Taunt ends.
Success: Taunt ends.
Failure: they waste the action and Taunt ends.
Crucial Failure: they waste the action.


Yes you right double save may make the game a slower without need. Thanks to make a better suggestion. I would just make an improvement and a bit stronger:

Quote:

Taunt [free-action]

--
Frequency Once per round
DurationUp to beginning of your next turn
--
With an attention-getting gesture, a cutting remark, or a threatening shout, you get an enemy to focus their ire on you. Even mindless creatures are drawn to your taunts. Choose a creature within 30 feet, every time that the creature tries a hostile action that's not includes you it must attempts a Will save against your class DC. If you gesture, this action gains the visual trait. If you speak or otherwise make noise, this action gains the auditory trait. Your Taunt must have one of those two traits.
--
Critical Success The creature can act normally and Taunt ends.
Success The action or activity has no effects and it wastes it and Taunt ends.
Failure The action or activity has no effects and it wastes it.

This way the Taunt have a better chance to work. Once that the taunt doesn't really debuffs the target there no problem to it works more frequently.


I think there is an issue with any version of a 1-turn Taunt. Making that penalty more or less severe is not a solution. The foe retains the option to wait out the effect while doing other actions.

A 1-turn duration Taunt also means that it will be something that likely ought to be spammed every turn.

Free Actions also inject a "use it or waste it" ethos into the ability. It's like getting an extra Reaction for one specific thing each round.

A Free Action version could be a good idea, but I need to be honest about this presented iteration. There's 0 chance Paizo would give the Guardian a free action ability that can steal foe actions like that. It's absurdly overpowered. Like, waaaaay more than a spellcaster that had infinite Slow spells.

That specific possibility aside:

----------

Unless Taunt adds a mechanical benefit that is triggered by hitting the G, the issue of waiting out the Taunt will remain. Contextually making the G a more appealing target is not the same thing, especially when the foe need only fill 1 turn with other actions.

My suggestion is to tie the imposed ally-penalty effect duration into hitting the G. If the Taunt penalty only ends when the foe hits the G, that is a mechanical hook with real teeth. The foe *could* choose to endure the effect for potentially the rest of the fight, but a potentially all-fight duration properly fits the concept, IMO.

And by splitting out the defense down effect onto the G, you can incentivize the G's "Taunt active" behavior by inflicting/removing that foe exposure defense penalty without compromising the ally-protection half.

While I'm using the default "-2 defenses until you hit them" here, by splitting that off from the ally-protection, the G's side of the Taunt could change substantially. Even from a penalty into a boon; a bonus dmg on hit until the foe removes their Taunt by hitting you.

.

To be honest, I think any form of "run away penalty/trigger" for the G is going to be too fiddly. I think it might actually be a better idea to have the G get explicitly only martial melee (and thrown) proficiency by default. It would not delete the "ranged G" idea completely thanks to dedications like Archer, but that extra barrier would be more than enough cost in my book. Letting players attempt unconventional builds is fine, and IMO pre-nerfing something that substantially is not a good idea.

Penalizing normal Gs by breaking Taunt if the foe chases an ally beyond 30 / X feet is, imo, not ideal.

Altering the weapon proficiency like that is just about the most "won't harm normal Gs, but will add an extra barrier for range Taunt 'abuse'" as it gets.

Pasting the "Lasts until hit" version of Taunt so it's on this page:

Taunt that lasts until hit wrote:

With a self-sabotaging and confident remark or gesture, you lower your guard to draw the violent attention of foes. You choose if the Taunt has either the visual or the auditory trait. When you perform this action, you gain a -2 circumstance penalty to all defenses and saves against your target(s). This persists until you perform a successful skill check or attack roll against that foe, until they fail a save against your hostility, or until encounter mode ends.

You may direct your taunt to goad a single foe within 60 feet, or attempt to aggravate a group, invoking a Will save against all foes in a 5 ft burst within 30ft.

Repeated Taunts against the same target within the same turn have no effect. The outcome of the single target version is always the fail effect.
This effects lingers upon each foe until they perform a successful skill check or attack roll against you, until you fail a hostile save from them, or until encounter mode ends.

Critical Success: The creature is unaffected.
Success: For any hostile action or attack roll, the creature is considered to have a -1 circumstance penalty to the result against any of your allies.
Failure: As success, but the penalty is -2.
Critical Failure: As success, but the penalty is -3


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Teridax wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
When I read the Playtest document my immediate reaction to Taunt was "There must be some mistake here", it just seems like a really bad class feature. With that said, has anyone tried playtesting the Guardian without using Taunt at all? Call me crazy, but I feel like frequently using Taunt makes the Guardian worse, not better. I was wondering if anyone put that theory to the test.

I briefly tried a Bodyguard-centric Guardian who did nothing but Intercept Strikes and almost never Taunted. It was sort of okay, but also was just about one of the most boring and reductive playstyles I've experienced. Most of my actions boiled down to Striding towards whichever ally was taking the most heat, and spending the rest of my actions making Athletics maneuvers or Striking with a ranged weapon, depending on the enemy. At higher levels, you do get some feats that help with this, like Intercept Energy, but the whole way through I just felt like little more than a health battery, attaching myself to other people without doing all that much myself. My Strikes were mediocre, and Unkind Shove didn't feel like enough, not so much because the feat is weak (it's actually fairly decent), but because at that point it felt like I was Shoving only because I had nothing better to do, and sometimes it backfired by making enemies attack someone else instead.

A lot of this was also done also with enemies who weren't assumed to be too smart, and who were mostly melee, which I think was the best-case scenario for the Guardian. Against the few ranged enemies I used, the Guardian couldn't really do much except make ranged Strikes or Taunt if they wanted to stay in Intercept Strike range, and I imagine a smart enemy would be able to observe what's going on and just target someone else in the party. I did attempt a "Diver Down" kind of situation where the party all gathered around the Guardian so that the latter could Intercept Strikes for everyone, but that...

Thank you, I was curious about that.


Trip.H wrote:

I think there is an issue with any version of a 1-turn Taunt. Making that penalty more or less sever is not, the foe has the option to wait out the effect while doing other actions. It also makes the Taunt something that will have reason to spam every turn. Free Actions do mean a "use it or waste it" ethos is injected. It's like getting an extra Reaction for one specific thing each round.

A Free Action version could be a good idea, but I need to be honest about this presented iteration. There's 0 chance Paizo would give the Guardian a free action ability that can steal foe actions like that. It's absurdly overpowered. Like, waaaaay more than a spellcaster that had infinite Slow spells.

I used free-action to keep the action economy free but I'm not against it be a 1-action + compressed Strike, Stride, Step or Rise a Shield if free-action fells too much. But need to put it inside the own Taunt action. Put it as a feat like Shielding Taunt turns it into a must have feat.

Trip.H wrote:
Taunt that lasts until hit wrote:

With a self-sabotaging and confident remark or gesture, you lower your guard to draw the violent attention of foes. You choose if the Taunt has either the visual or the auditory trait. When you perform this action, you gain a -2 circumstance penalty to all defenses and saves against your target(s). This persists until you perform a successful skill check or attack roll against that foe, until they fail a save against your hostility, or until encounter mode ends.

You may direct your taunt to goad a single foe within 60 feet, or attempt to aggravate a group, invoking a Will save against all foes in a 5 ft burst within 30ft.
Repeated Taunts against the same target within the same turn have no effect. The outcome of the single target version is always the fail effect.
This effects lingers upon each foe until they perform a successful skill check or attack roll against you, until you fail a hostile save from them, or until encounter mode ends.
Critical Success: The creature is unaffected.
Success: For any hostile action or attack roll, the creature is considered to have a -1 circumstance penalty to the result against any of your allies.
Failure: As success, but the penalty is -2.
Critical Failure: As success, but the penalty is -3

The problem of these suggestion is that they keep the same problem of the current Taunt. Due the fact that a Guardian can easily have 5 or more AC than its allies there's no real reason to the enemy creature to attack you unless the GM want. Basically it ends working like a -2 to attack debuff than really working like a taunt. To this mechanic works as expected the debuffs needs to be -4 or more in normal failure what would create many more other problems like guardians Tauting and running or make the ability to have several exceptions turning it too big, too complex and subject to exploits similar to the "Teleport while Grabing problem".


YuriP wrote:
The problem of these suggestion is that they keep the same problem of the current Taunt. Due the fact that a Guardian can easily have 5 or more AC than its allies there's no real reason to the enemy creature to attack you unless the GM want. Basically it ends working like a -2 to attack debuff than really working like a taunt. To this mechanic works as expected the debuffs needs to be -4 or more in normal failure what would create many more other problems like guardians Tauting and running or make the ability to have several exceptions turning it too big, too complex and subject to exploits similar to the "Teleport while Grabing problem".

Any version of this concept can only ever provide an incentive / mechanical reward for the foe to hit the G. Forcing foe behavior is antithetical to pf2e's design.

Try to put the number/power consideration into a separate bucket from the mechanical implementation of it.

If you think that -1, -2, -3 outght be bumped up 1 or even 2, that's fine.

Hell, it would bend verisimilitude of what a "Taunt" can do, but you can swap out a to hit minus for whatever, such as a dmg resistance for the allies. What goes into those effect boxes is not the important bit right now.

It's more important to have the mechanical framework hashed out first than to quibble over the effect.

Though, I do think it's worth mentioning how powerful an effect Paizo considers a +-2 to hit to be. That's worth holding and spending an Action to Raise a Shield. or Take Cover.

This "until hit" version allows the G to put a -2 on a foe with no save nor expiry time. I honestly think that's about as powerful as Paizo would allow such an ability to be. (and I think that quick and simple no-save option would be a huge boon for said class to be smooth and fun to play)

---------------

Quote:
there's no real reason to the enemy creature to attack you unless the GM want.

Hard disagree. The duration is infinite until the foe hits the G. Ending the penalty is a good way to keep the ability simple while putting real weight behind the "must hit the G or else" coercion.

In theory, a 2nd different thing could happen each hit, such as doing bonus damage to the G, every hit does ___ to the G, ect.

The entire core of this "until hit" version is to give the foe a proper reason to actually swing at the G, not just to grumble at the penalty to hitting the allies.

If I were to juice up the ally to hit minus to make it more severe, some other thing would need to be nerfed.

My best "new balance lever" for that purpose would be phrasing that provides a foe short-term immunity to the Taunt effect, something like:
"When a foe becomes no longer Taunted, it becomes immune to your Taunt until the end of its next turn."

That way you keep the downside simple, make the G do other stuff besides Taunt, put more weight upon the decision of *when* to Taunt. It also gives the foe a full turn after they land the hit of immunity to then attack the allies, instead of being stuck in a "forever Taunted" loop.

Complicating things always has a cost to fun, so adding that bit of immunity would need to be worth it.


The Taunt duration doesn't matter. While the guardian have more AC and Shield Hardness than your ally still better to attack your ally no matter if this will hit your ally or you indirectly via Intercept Strike. It still the best option to attack the ally. Even if you end the Taunt effect it will probably re-enabled next turn.

It's the same situation of redeemer, doens't mater if you got "enfeebled 2 until the end of its next turn" still more easier to hit the Redeemer ally than try to hit it with your full attack modifier. The Redeemer just doesn't cara about it because they know that they are protecting their allies anyway and still keep their full defensive power to protect them from direct attack. But even with this 90% of the champions are paladins because Strike back with the reaction makes then way more dangerous and call the attention to them.

The guardian is like a redeemer in a way more stranger situation. The taunt doesn't really good enougth to call the atention and it's better to use Intercept Strike to indirect damage the guardian and force it to use a reaction while you have a better hit chane than try to direct attack it.

Grand Archive

Maybe viscous vengeance and mitigate harm could be expanded upon or improved to make taunt more worthwhile. I'd like viscous vengeance to apply as soon as you use the action and only stop once you're targeted. Makes the threat much more apparent. Mitigate harm should probably give a smaller amount of general resistance.


YuriP wrote:

Try to think about the actual play experience at a table.

In play, it is very common for foes to swing at the member of a party with higher AC.

There's a million reasons why that's the case, but you are stuck in an all or nothing bit of thinking; if your thought process was used in a real game, it would mean that the casters would be running like hell the whole time while the Fighters never get swung at because they have 2-3 more AC. That's not real. Moreover, if the G gets extra dmg resistance from intercepting strikes, that's more reason to swing at the G.

The Guardian having an ability that makes the AC/defense gap shorter/larger will 100% significantly influence foe behavior, but not control it.

-------------

In general, imposed or "just deal with it" effects like those inflicted by Guardian Reactions have less influence over enemy behavior than something that a foe can interact with, such as by ending a debuff if they hit the Guardian.

An example of this is the rare, but predicable example of a foe choosing to stay Prone while they attack/crawl/ect first. There's a huge penalty to being prone, but it's up to the foe to interact with the effect condition; Prone is not simply applied by the PC and then expires over time.

Same thing with Sickened. It's an extremely potent effect due to it having an infinite duration, but I've seen all sorts of foe behavior in reaction to the effect, from "retch first always" to "they'll just do it again, never retch" thinking.

That's the kind of variance I think Taunt could benefit from, via ending when the G's hit, to put even more mechanical reason to (attempt to) hit the G.


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Powers128 wrote:
Maybe viscous vengeance and mitigate harm could be expanded upon or improved to make taunt more worthwhile. I'd like viscous vengeance to apply as soon as you use the action and only stop once you're targeted. Makes the threat much more apparent. Mitigate harm should probably give a smaller amount of general resistance.

Could replace Vengeance with "Boastful Power"

"When you Taunt a foe, gain +__ status bonus damage against them. This lasts until you fail a save against that foe, or they succeed a hostile action against your defenses."


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think the name taunt and the expectation of that name is part of the problem.
The ability making it harder for allies to get hit even if the enemy still attacks them is good. The guardian as is doesn't really want to be attacked as much as they want allies to be attacked so they can use intercept of one kind or another. They get more damage reduction when they intercept strike than when they get attacked.
Their d10 hp and situational DR from armor spec isn't making them much better at taking damage so they need shield if they want attention. But when an ally is the target they can make a difference.


Trip.H wrote:
YuriP wrote:

Try to think about the actual play experience at a table.

In play, it is very common for foes to swing at the member of a party with higher AC.

There's a million reasons why that's the case, but you are stuck in an all or nothing bit of thinking; if your thought process was used in a real game, it would mean that the casters would be running like hell the whole time while the Fighters never get swung at because they have 2-3 more AC. That's not real. Moreover, if the G gets extra dmg resistance from intercepting strikes, that's more reason to swing at the G.

That's why I mentioned "unless the GM wants" 2 replys ago. If we thing in a roleplay aspect the enemy is being provoked and this probably is reason enough to loose its mind and focus into the guardian when it fails even if it doesn't worth. But not all GMs will play like this. Many of the will see the Taunt and just ignore it because there's no real mechanical punishment enough to them change their targets. That's why I still defend that all suggestions that just change the numbers or details of Taunt aren't enough. Taunt is in a point where it needs to be completely rewritten or abandoned.

I prefer just abandon it but once that this thread is about it at last I made suggestions that rewrite it in a form that it works like a Taunt really needs to work both mechanically and in roleplay.

Bluemagetim wrote:

I think the name taunt and the expectation of that name is part of the problem.

The ability making it harder for allies to get hit even if the enemy still attacks them is good. The guardian as is doesn't really want to be attacked as much as they want allies to be attacked so they can use intercept of one kind or another. They get more damage reduction when they intercept strike than when they get attacked.
Their d10 hp and situational DR from armor spec isn't making them much better at taking damage so they need shield if they want attention. But when an ally is the target they can make a difference.

That's the concept behind the champion. Champions are not sacrificing themselves to protect their allies even if their class concept as "Tenets of Good" in roleplay stimulate the altruism and the sacrifice in order to protect the others. Instead they are there protecting their allies while keeps protecting themselves.

But guardians no. For an unnamed reason their mechanics makes them to sacrifice thenselves to protect their allies. They are provoking their enemies open their guards, completely defending thenselves taking damage for them and being excessively penalised for their own actions what can move away many players from them specially those who just wants to have a high endurance character.


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Powers128 wrote:
Maybe viscous vengeance and mitigate harm could be expanded upon or improved to make taunt more worthwhile. I'd like viscous vengeance to apply as soon as you use the action and only stop once you're targeted. Makes the threat much more apparent. Mitigate harm should probably give a smaller amount of general resistance.

I know it's likely a typo or autocorrecting flub, but I really like the name "Viscous Vengeance." It makes me imagine some kind of guardian slime.


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Taunt is pretty bad imo, but I think there's a bigger issue with Guardian that Taunt is attempting to cover for: the Guardian is a complete non-entity offensively. It poses basically no threat so it can be safely ignored by the enemy. If the Guardian could hit hard and do damage, I don't think a gimmick like Taunt would even be needed.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A guardian could absolutely work with a complete lack of offensive power.
Imagine a theoretical Guardian who could take every single attack instead of their allies. That would effectively be equipping every team member with legendary scaling heavy armor and a raised shield, which I think would be well worth the party slot. Drop it to them only forcing two or three full MAP enemy attacks a round onto them and their AC, sprinkle in Trips and Grapples, add better mobility, and make sure their damage reduction is more reliable and you could easily have a super valuable tank that does zero damage.

The thing is you don't need a Taunt ability to achieve any of that.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Taunt is still doing something. its just not doing what the name suggests or what everyone here wants out of it.
It is the guardians built in ranged ability to protect allies. It lowers a foes accuracy unless they change up thier plans for the turn and attack the Guardian, as it is that foe is rewarded for changing their plans which is why the feat incentivizes staying at range from whatever you taunt to put a cost to changing those plans. But when the enemy attacks whoever they intended anyway they do so with less accuracy.

For one action is -1 to -3 to accuracy at up to 30 ft away that stacks with status affects like sicken and fear doing something worth while?

i think it is. It doesnt matter if the enemy chooses to stay on their original target, they do so with a penalty. When intercept foe comes online you can make the choice to stay on target a poorer one by raising your allies AC another 2 points. With the improved version you can make it so that foe cant even attack that ally anymore without moving around you.
The problem I think comes in when the enemy actually does turn their attention to the guardian.


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YuriP wrote:

Yes you right double save may make the game a slower without need. Thanks to make a better suggestion. I would just make an improvement and a bit stronger:

Quote:

Taunt [free-action]

--
Frequency Once per round
DurationUp to beginning of your next turn
--
With an attention-getting gesture, a cutting remark, or a threatening shout, you get an enemy to focus their ire on you. Even mindless creatures are drawn to your taunts. Choose a creature within 30 feet, every time that the creature tries a hostile action that's not includes you it must attempts a Will save against your class DC. If you gesture, this action gains the visual trait. If you speak or otherwise make noise, this action gains the auditory trait. Your Taunt must have one of those two traits.
--
Critical Success The creature can act normally and Taunt ends.
Success The action or activity has no effects and it wastes it and Taunt ends.
Failure The action or activity has no effects and it wastes it.
This way the Taunt have a better chance to work. Once that the taunt doesn't really debuffs the target there no problem to it works more frequently.

I would still add

"If you move away from the target the Taunt ends."
Or maybe "if the creature can't target you the Taunt ends."
Or similar.


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What I find funny is that The Guardian gets an incredibly powerful feature to provoke aggro and protect their friends that blows their class features out of the water and its a second level feat.

9 times out of ten moving up to a melee enemy or several melee enemies that aren't engaged with you friends and hampering sweep locking them in place next to you will do more to ensure they don't target your allies and target you instead than taunt or intercept strike.

Its a weird feature that gives you all the stickiness of epic tier 4e fighter and its a second level feat. The very best thing in your arsenal the way you actually live up to your class concept and its a 2nd level feat that will probably be poachable by a champion.


siegfriedliner wrote:

What I find funny is that The Guardian gets an incredibly powerful feature to provoke aggro and protect their friends that blows their class features out of the water and its a second level feat.

9 times out of ten moving up to a melee enemy or several melee enemies that aren't engaged with you friends and hampering sweep locking them in place next to you will do more to ensure they don't target your allies and target you instead than taunt or intercept strike.

Its a weird feature that gives you all the stickiness of epic tier 4e fighter and its a second level feat. The very best thing in your arsenal the way you actually live up to your class concept and its a 2nd level feat that will probably be poachable by a champion.

Maybe this should go in it’s own thread regarding Hampering Sweep? It isn’t exactly speaking to “Taunt is Bad”.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TheSageOfHours wrote:
You could frame it as an Honorable Challenge right?

One might even call it a Compelled Duel.


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So, after giving it some thought, I really feel Taunt would work well as a trained Performance skill action that the Guardian was particularly good at, rather than an exclusive class feature. Here's a proof of concept for what I mean, including skill feats, altered Guardian class features, and Guardian class feats:

Taunt (Single Action)

Taunt:
Taunt
concentrate, emotion, mental

With an attention-getting gesture, a cutting remark, or a threatening shout, you get an enemy to focus their ire on you. Choose a creature within 30 feet of you who you’re aware of. Attempt a Performance check against that target’s Will DC. Regardless of your result, the target is temporarily immune to your attempts to Taunt it for 10 minutes. If you gesture, this action gains the visual trait. If you speak or otherwise make noise, this action gains the auditory trait. Your Taunt must have one of those two traits.

The target then takes a circumstance penalty to attack rolls and DCs when taking a hostile action that doesn’t include you as a target, based on your result. The effect ends after the creature takes a hostile action that includes you as a target, after 1 round of the creature being unable to sense you, or if the creature begins its turn more than 30 feet away from you.

Critical Success The circumstance penalty is -4.
Success The circumstance penalty is -2.
Failure The creature is unaffected, though you can voluntarily incur Taunt’s critical failure effect instead.
Critical Failure Your feeble attempt only emboldens your enemy. Instead of a circumstance penalty, the creature gains a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls and DCs when taking a hostile action that includes you as a target, though the bonus applies only against you.

Skill Feats

What They Said!: Join in another creature's taunts:
What They Said! (Feat 1)
general, skill
Prerequisites Trained in Performance

You readily join in on your allies’ provocations, emphasizing their gestures and sounds. You’re always prepared to Aid a willing ally’s attempts to Taunt a creature without needing to use an action first, and can always use Performance for the check to Aid those attempts.

Lionize Ally: Redirect your Taunts to a willing ally:
Lionize Ally (Feat 2)
general, skill
Prerequisites Expert in Performance

You can cleverly redirect attention away from you and towards one of your allies, such as by gesturing to them, boasting of their importance, or making a show of their apparent vulnerability. When you affect a creature with a Taunt, you can have the creature be affected as if the Taunt had originated from a willing ally within 30 feet of you, rather than yourself.

Distract: Briefly Taunt a creature as they're about to attack someone else:
Distract (Reaction, Feat 7)
general, skill
Prerequisites Master in Performance
Trigger Another creature is the target of an attack roll.

You attempt to throw off an attacker with a well-timed whistle or eye-catching gesture, potentially goading them into attacking you instead. Attempt to Taunt the attacker, who can then choose to attack you instead of its original target as part of the same attack. Your Taunt’s effects, if any, end after the attack is made, even if it didn’t target you.

Flyting Master: Shift your focus to another creature when Taunted:
Flyting Master (Reaction, Feat 7)
general, skill
Prerequisites Master in Performance
Trigger A creature affects you with a Taunt.

You recognize the game of insults at hand, and know the true focus of your attention lies elsewhere. Attempt to counteract the creature’s Taunt, with a counteract rank equal to half your level rounded up and a Performance check as your counteract check. On a success, you don’t end the effect, but instead choose one of the triggering creature’s allies that you’re observing. You’re affected by the triggering Taunt as if it had originated from the creature’s ally you chose instead.

Group Taunt: Taunt many creatures at once:
Group Taunt (Single Action, Feat 15)
general, skill
Prerequisites Legendary in Performance

Standing out among the crowd, you draw the attention of multiple creatures at once. Attempt to Taunt any number of creatures within 30 feet. Regardless of the results of your checks, each creature is then temporarily immune to Group Taunt for 1 minute.

Guardian Changes
Under this paradigm, you'd gain the following benefits as a Guardian at 1st level:

  • You're trained in Performance as well as Athletics, and your number of additional trained skills is reduced to 2 + your Intelligence modifier.
  • When you Taunt a creature, you can have the action lose the emotion and mental traits.
  • The target becomes temporarily immune to your attempts to Taunt it only while affected by your Taunt, rather than for 10 minutes.
  • You gain the Distract skill feat, even if you don't meet its prerequisites.
  • Because Taunt would be less punishing, you wouldn't have a threat technique, though the Beatdown feat listed below grants benefits similar to Ferocious Vengeance.

    Class Feats
    Shielding Taunt could stay as-is, with the requirement of being trained in Performance, and it could also fit on a Champion or Fighter.

    Beatdown: Deal more damage to Taunted enemies:
    Beatdown (Feat 1)
    guardian
    Prerequisites Trained in Performance

    Adding injury to insult, you violently punish those rattled by your jibes. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your Strike damage rolls against creatures affected by your Taunts. This circumstance bonus increases to +4 if you have weapon specialization, and +6 if you have greater weapon specialization.

    Throw the Gauntlet: Taunt a creature with a punch or slap:
    Throw the Gauntlet (Single Action, Feat 1)
    champion, fighter, flourish, guardian, swashbuckler
    Prerequisites Trained in Performance
    Requirements You have a hand free.

    You make things personal with a particularly insulting punch or slap. Make a fist Strike, then attempt to Taunt the target of your attack, applying the same degree of success for the Taunt as for the Strike.

    Quick Vengeance: Become quickened to Taunt and move towards your foes:
    Quick Vengeance (Feat 20)
    guardian

    You’re quick to act against anyone who would strike at your allies. You’re permanently quickened. You can use your extra action only to Taunt or Stride towards an enemy. You can Burrow, Climb, Fly, or Swim instead of Stride if you have the corresponding movement type.

    With this, you could have a world in which more creatures could access Taunt, and Taunt would also be both more reliable and generally less dangerous to the creature Taunting, with the Guardian still being the undeniable master of Taunting. With the above, most Swashbucklers could become effective Taunt users, especially Battledancers, and Bards could also get in on Taunting with skill feats that would let them Aid others easily and redirect their own Taunts towards their allies. If people were to multiclass into a Guardian, unlimited Taunts (and against mindless enemies too) could be one of the late-level benefits.


  • WatersLethe wrote:

    A guardian could absolutely work with a complete lack of offensive power.

    Imagine a theoretical Guardian who could take every single attack instead of their allies. That would effectively be equipping every team member with legendary scaling heavy armor and a raised shield, which I think would be well worth the party slot. Drop it to them only forcing two or three full MAP enemy attacks a round onto them and their AC, sprinkle in Trips and Grapples, add better mobility, and make sure their damage reduction is more reliable and you could easily have a super valuable tank that does zero damage.

    The thing is you don't need a Taunt ability to achieve any of that.

    I think this is the most flawed thinking when thinking of this class.

    "Oh, we can just make a pure support martial class! There's pure support casters, so this should work, right?"

    And the answer is... absolutely not, because a pure support caster is still levelling up their offensive capability by levelling up their support skills.

    By picking Reach Spells with your Cleric to be better at long distance healing, you are still also improving your ability to go offensive when needed.
    Even Healing Hands helps you kill undead.

    And this is the flaw in the Guardian design: the class NEEDS forward progress to be baked in somehow.

    Maybe Taunt is taking up budget that should be used for a "Challenge" style feature that forces enemies to focus you out of SHEER THREAT of damaging them.

    Something like:

    [i]Taunt - 1 action
    Challenge an enemy within X feet (usual auditory and visual clauses here) intensely focusing on them.
    You get a -1 AC penalty against all attacks made by any other creature except the target of your challenge. If the target of your challenge takes any action that doesn't target you, they provoke a Reactive Strike from you if they are within your reach.


    Teridax wrote:

    Complicating things increases the chance of something being problematic and/or some design snag being overlooked. And complexity homogenizes the player builds by making it easier to "build the character wrong." Which also means the skill floor (build floor?) in order to have a decently powered PC is higher.

    Something like using a CHA skill like Performance, if done at all, needs to be done *very* carefully. To be clear, based on prior outcomes in pf2e, it is a bad idea that is technically doable.

    As an Alch, I can say that the class suffers from being expected to spend 1/3 of my skill advancement on Crafting.

    And as it looks like only the base Trained is baked in (and you even reduced the trainings they get), that would be even worse for Guardians. You are adding an entire dimension to the class that competes for its limited resources.

    And Guardian is supposed to be the super simple version of tank.

    Under no circumstances should a core class ability be tied to a skill that is not baked into the Class's progression, especially without anything to address the Performance:Charisma mismatch with G's KAS of Strength.

    The game's numbers peg a default expected success chance against the maximally invested PC. Performance-based Taunt would punish every Guardian for each *missing* point in CHA and lagging Performance training. You have ALREADY put them in a spot where they have to choose between being -2 in Athletics or their Taunt for many levels. That is not okay.

    .

    Even with all the text dedicated to giving the Chiurgeon the ability to use Medicine via Crafting, the feature is not enough as-is. Right now, it makes all Medicine-boosting items/features worthless to a Chiurgeon, leaving them better off just going Assurance.

    - - - - - - - - -

    The entire point of having a Class DC is to use it in places where you seem to want Performance to go. It's the number value of the expertise in the PC's ability to perform actions core to their class, without the baggage of a skill umbrella.

    You absolutely could include a Feat line, subclass, ect based around Performance if you wanted to make a "showboat Guardian".

    It is even possible to have Taunt key off Class DC at baseline, then offer means for Performance to boost Taunt's efficacy.

    The "absolutely not" part of my objection is to causing Performance maximization to become an expectation of the G class by means of making Taunt into a general CHA action.

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    That's like making Trip a core component of the Wizard class. A bad idea. And trying to flex design chops to smooth out all the problems a bad idea causes is always an inferior prospect compared to making a good idea better.

    The Guardian would need some very careful language to fully remove the burdens/problems associated with having the class depend on a (off stat!) skill check like that, in away I don't think Paizo have ever really managed to implement yet (Bards seem to auto-succeed their "combat performance" via assurance, and I've not played w/ an Inventor before).

    And the best case scenario after that would be inventing a new CHA skill action that mostly benefits the PCs who are already Performance maxed, while the Guardian's version will only be marginally better with class investment.

    In other words, you buffed Bards a whole lot, the CHA classes a significant amount, non-CHA classes a tiny bit, and idk how to compare the 2 Guardians.


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    Trip.H wrote:

    And as it looks like only the base Trained is baked in (and you even reduced the trainings they get), that would be even worse for Guardians. You are adding an entire dimension to the class that competes for its limited resources.

    And Guardian is supposed to be the super simple version of tank.

    To be clear, I do think that under this paradigm the Guardian would also have to get auto-scaling proficiency in Performance, and from my own playtesting experience I found myself gravitating towards Charisma as a fourth attribute anyway, because I got far better returns out of it than Dexterity or Intelligence. Thus, I do believe the above implementation would not only work on the Guardian, but in fact make the class even easier to put to good use, particularly at level 1. Just because your own pet class didn't get auto-scaling to its core skill does not mean we should be barring the feature on other classes out of spite, particularly since classes like the Inventor and Thaumaturge have already set a precedent for auto-scaling skills.

    Trip.H wrote:
    The Guardian would need some very careful language to fully remove the burdens/problems associated with having the class depend on a (off stat!) skill check like that, in away I don't think Paizo have ever really managed to implement yet (Bards seem to auto-succeed their "combat performance" via assurance, and I've not played w/ an Inventor before).

    As you may have noticed, the version of Taunt I proposed is 100% reliable at its intended effect, in that no matter your result, you can always make it more desirable for an enemy to attack you instead of anyone else. Even if you dumped Charisma but were still very tanky (like the Guardian), you would therefore still be able to get some use out of this action. If you have any specific problems or complications to list with my version of Taunt, I'd be happy to hear them, but presently your essay reads like a whole lot of fearmongering without much in the way of concrete edge cases that would spring up.

    Trip.H wrote:
    In other words, you buffed Bards a whole lot, the CHA classes a significant amount, non-CHA classes a tiny bit, and idk how to compare the 2 Guardians.

    I don't consider it a terribly smart or constructive strategy to deliberately keep one skill weak or withhold a mechanic that would genuinely benefit a whole range of classes on the grounds that one class who'd use it well is already strong, and if that's the mentality we're going with then we might as well take out Demoralize, Feint, and Bon Mot too.


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    Teridax wrote:

    It's great that you had fun with a Guardian that built CHA.

    That said, it's no reason to make a STR class' core ability based on a CHA skill.

    When a class incorporates a skill, that skill always aligns with the KAS.

    Bards cast with CHA, Inventors use INT, Thaums use CHA, ect.

    The idea of breaking that rule and tying Guardian into needing Performance really is like making Trip a core Wizard Feature.

    - - - - - - - -

    If you want to add a separate homebrew Performance based combat action, don't mix the Guardian up in that.

    Have one be named Taunt, and another Goad or some such. The G's feature can even invoke the general skill action in its text to define how it is different, but under no circumstances is it a good idea to make a STR class rely upon their Performance.

    Investigator is already an example of how strangulating it can be to need to max two different stats for their attack (INT + ___) and thankfully Paizo seem to have learned not to make those mistakes as often these days.

    Again, the whole point of Class DC as a mechanic is for situations like Taunt. Just leave that part of the equation alone.


    Trip.H wrote:
    When a class incorporates a skill, that skill always aligns with the KAS.

    Clearly, you've never played a Gunslinger or a Swashbuckler, then. Your premise is false, and classes make use of a fourth ability score all the time. Casters are known for this, as are most Int- and Charisma-based martial classes for their Strikes. Not only is pushing a class towards a spread of four scores normal in this game, the above implementation genuinely would make the Guardian far better at Taunting, and give them more things to do with their Taunts as well. It's perhaps not as brutally overpowered as your proposed burst-fire, 60-foot range Taunt with a guaranteed failed save, but then few things in this thread would be.

    Trip.H wrote:
    Again, the whole point of Class DC as a mechanic is for situations like Taunt. Just leave that part of the equation alone.

    Okay, this conversation is in dire need of facts, so I'll just list a few here: for starters, my experience with Taunt in playtesting is that enemies succeeded on the save, a lot. This is because imposing saves with up-to-master proficiency is not actually that terribly accurate. By contrast, and all else held equal, switching to a check is like imposing a saving throw with a +2 to your save DC, so already that helps with accuracy. Add in the fact that your proficiency in a skill would be going to legendary, and so at 15th level, and you'd need as little as +3 Charisma to match your best possible save DC, making you therefore more accurate with just +4 Charisma. Add in the fact that checks can be Aided and can benefit from bonuses far more easily (a Guardian affected by heroism would be able to Taunt with a +3 status bonus under this paradigm), and the net result is that you'd be able to do generally a lot better with a skill check, even one that doesn't use your key attribute, than a class DC-based save.


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    Sorry but Swashbuckler isn't a good reference. One of the main problems of swashbucklers is that all Styles are non-kas so you depends from a mechanic that uses this to make the class work or have to use Tumble Through all the time triggering eventual reactions. Usually the people doesn't like to being forced to MAD. Currently in PC1 the designers made moves to get way from it (Clerics don't need to invest in Cha anymore, most cantrips that get bonuses from atributes have their bonuses changes to dices).

    Gunslingers for other side can use it way more as an option you are not forced to get Warning Shot or Way of the Pistolero and more important its just a once way more reload action compression between many others and not a main class mechanic that you needs to use frenquenly in order to make the class to be effective.

    In general I don't like the idea to force another class to MAD again and we don't need to do this.


    YuriP wrote:
    Sorry but Swashbuckler isn't a good reference. One of the main problems of swashbucklers is that all Styles are non-kas so you depends from a mechanic that uses this to make the class work or have to use Tumble Through all the time triggering eventual reactions.

    But that's not the actual problem with Swashbucklers either; the problem with the class is that the skills they depend on don't auto-scale, so they're stuck spending most of their skill increases on the same skills. With auto-scaling skills, that aspect of the Swash would be completely fine, and the central theme of a martial class that's both extremely agile and very charismatic is something players do find genuinely appealing.

    YuriP wrote:
    Usually the people doesn't like to being forced to MAD.

    The threshold for MADness in PF2e is reliance on five ability scores, a threshold few characters cross (the pre-remaster Warpriest was one of them, however). Reliance on four ability scores, which you can boost at every attribute boost level, is pretty standard in 2e by contrast, as pointed out already.

    YuriP wrote:
    Gunslingers for other side can use it way more as an option you are not forced to get Warning Shot or Way of the Pistolero and more important its just a once way more reload action compression between many others and not a main class mechanic that you needs to use frenquenly in order to make the class to be effective.

    "You don't have to pick this subclass" I think is perhaps the dumbest way of trying to dismiss the fact that one of a class's core options explicitly encourage you to go for a fourth attribute (the Vanguard does this too, by the way). Not only that, but the Pistolero is generally recognized as the strongest Gunslinger way, despite their skill proficiency not auto-scaling either. It is both precedented and valid for classes to be made to use an attribute that isn't their key attribute, and I think there's plenty more room for that in-game.

    YuriP wrote:
    In general I don't like the idea to force another class to MAD again and we don't need to do this.

    That's understandable, given that what you want is for Taunt to impose a -4 circumstance penalty on a regular failure, and goodness knows how much on a crit fail. I get that we all think Taunt is bad right now, but even on the internet, where nuance goes to die, this mentality of "I'll settle for nothing less than a Taunt that guarantees auto-fails and imposes a -4 penalty at minimum" strikes me as a touch ridiculous. If that is the standard you are setting, you are setting yourselves up for disappointment, because Taunt is never going to be as overpowered as you want it to be. That is why I proposed a much more moderate version of Taunt that, while not the overtuned monstrosity you'd prefer, would in my opinion address many of the problems I experienced with its use in playtesting, as well as generally make it a more fun tool to use overall.


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    Teridax wrote:
    "You don't have to pick this subclass" I think is perhaps the dumbest way of trying to dismiss the fact that one of a class's core options explicitly encourage you to go for a fourth attribute (the Vanguard does this too, by the way). Not only that, but the Pistolero is generally recognized as the strongest Gunslinger way, despite their skill proficiency not auto-scaling either. It is both precedented and valid for classes to be made to use an attribute that isn't their key attribute, and I think there's plenty more room for that in-game.

    No, it absolutely is not a dumb way to challenge the presented Performance Guardian.

    Subclasses must be read and either chosen or not chosen in a direct comparison to the other subclasses. There is no way to pick a subclass without dismissing another, it's a equal baseline option.

    As I think I mentioned, an optional subclass for a more specific fantasy is where it *can* work to bring in another stat dependency.

    I have seen many posts from people complaining / regretting Pisolero Gunslinger specifically because their Way Reload seems to fail so often.

    Which happens because their Deception & Intimidation checks will have a lower chance to succeed than a CHA KAS character that has no class mechanical tie to the skill.

    Because, like that Guardian/Taunt variant as written, there is 0 support within the Pistolero aside from a single proficiency rank at L1.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Moreover, I never said split stat / skill options didn't exist, I said that Paizo have never done one without problems.

    That's because once they do it properly, it's no longer off-stat. Thaumaturge is the prime example; they use the baseline Recall Knowledge inside Esoteric Lore + Exploit Vulnerability, but have it all rigged up so the base class features only scale with the KAS of Charisma. And Esoteric Lore as a skill auto scales with 0 budget cost to the Thaum.

    That's required for the class to have Esoteric Lore be considered a part of the foundation of the class itself and not an optional variant that can be invested in.

    Same reason why Rogues get to pick their KAS to match their subclass. Because every +1 matters. And setting up a class to struggle with a lower chance to succeed on top of being unable rely upon their key attribute is "bad" design.

    - - - - - - - - -

    I don't think you've ever stated a reason why it is a *good* idea for the G to use a CHA based performance check over a Class DC one.

    You only spoke on the benefits to other classes, which does nothing to help the Guardian.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Teridax wrote:
    YuriP wrote:
    Sorry but Swashbuckler isn't a good reference. One of the main problems of swashbucklers is that all Styles are non-kas so you depends from a mechanic that uses this to make the class work or have to use Tumble Through all the time triggering eventual reactions.

    But that's not the actual problem with Swashbucklers either; the problem with the class is that the skills they depend on don't auto-scale, so they're stuck spending most of their skill increases on the same skills. With auto-scaling skills, that aspect of the Swash would be completely fine, and the central theme of a martial class that's both extremely agile and very charismatic is something players do find genuinely appealing.

    YuriP wrote:
    Usually the people doesn't like to being forced to MAD.

    The threshold for MADness in PF2e is reliance on five ability scores, a threshold few characters cross (the pre-remaster Warpriest was one of them, however). Reliance on four ability scores, which you can boost at every attribute boost level, is pretty standard in 2e by contrast, as pointed out already.

    YuriP wrote:
    Gunslingers for other side can use it way more as an option you are not forced to get Warning Shot or Way of the Pistolero and more important its just a once way more reload action compression between many others and not a main class mechanic that you needs to use frenquenly in order to make the class to be effective.
    "You don't have to pick this subclass" I think is perhaps the dumbest way of trying to dismiss the fact that one of a class's core options explicitly encourage you to go for a fourth attribute (the Vanguard does this too, by the way). Not only that, but the Pistolero is generally recognized as the strongest Gunslinger way, despite their skill proficiency not auto-scaling either. It is both precedented and valid for...

    The point I'm saying about force MAD even with currently attribute distribution is that it ends badly.

    For example a normal and common attribute distribution is:

  • +4 (KAS + Ancestry + Background + Free)
  • +3 (Ancestry + Background + Free)
  • +1 (Free)
  • +1 (Free)

    We can have some variations depending from what ancestry you get giving 2 fixed attributes bonus (one physical and one mental) or someone may not want to invest in KAS but won't go too different from this.

    The problem when you add Cha as the way to Taunt is that now you need to get Cha as your secondary attribute what means that you will need to sacrifice another attribute to get it. In the Guardian example I can expect 2 builds currently:

  • The classic Str build putting everything in your KAS and Con as secondary higher modifier to increase your HP and Fortitude.
  • The ranged Taunt exploit build, investing the +3 into Dex sacrificing your Con or even your Str.

    If we add Taunt using Cha we end having to put the +3 into Cha to keep it efficient, sacrificing your Con or even your Str.

    So unless the guardian changes its KAS to Cha (and changing all its mechanics to become Cha based) make Taunt work using Cha is a bad idea and also goes against the concept of heavy armored char focused into defend itself and its allies to become a heavy armored swashbucker.


  • I would be open for a Performance option but not as the way to build all Guardians. In fact I think most people would prefer a Demoralizing Guardian if they were going for CHA.

    But I’d also rather have that domain be the Remaster Braggart Swashbuckler’s thing. Sounds more their flavor.

    Somewhat unrelated but as someone who saw pretty much every Gunslinger class in play for an extensive period of time Pistolero is the best. They don’t have to get in melee and are less repetitive in their game structure than a Sniper.


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    Another idea

    Taunt, 1 action
    The first time the target takes a hostile action before the start of your next turn, and it does not include you, you gain 2+your level temporary hit points and can Stride as a free action toward the target of the hostile action.
    You can then use Intercept Strike or other Guadian reaction with the same trigger.


    Trip.H wrote:

    No, it absolutely is not a dumb way to challenge the presented Performance Guardian.

    Subclasses must be read and either chosen or not chosen in a direct comparison to the other subclasses. There is no way to pick a subclass without dismissing another, it's a equal baseline option.

    Yes, and those subclasses remain a valid part of the core class. As demonstrated, some of these subclasses that require a fourth attribute are in fact the most popular subclass, so pretending that it's a dealbreaker for a class to scale off of a fourth attribute is to deliberately break from the reality of how PF2e works in practice.

    Trip.H wrote:

    Because, like that Guardian/Taunt variant as written, there is 0 support within the Pistolero aside from a single proficiency rank at L1.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Moreover, I never said split stat / skill options didn't exist, I said that Paizo have never done one without problems.

    So once again, this is false: not only do Warning Shot, Pistolero's Challenge, and Come at Me! all cater directly to the Pistolero and support their Intimidation proficiency, other feats like Pistol Twirl, Ostentatious Reload, and Showstopper all build off of Charisma too. I do not know where you pulled your claim from, but it stands to reason that you are not speaking from experience here. Even if it were true that the Pistolero had literally zero feat support, that would in fact only lend further support to what I'm saying, as the Pistolero remains the most popular subclass. The Pistolero does not have "problems" from using a fourth ability score, so that claim is also made up.

    Trip.H wrote:

    I don't think you've ever stated a reason why it is a *good* idea for the G to use a CHA based performance check over a Class DC one.

    You only spoke on the benefits to other classes, which does nothing to help the Guardian.

    This is a straight-up lie, given how I explicitly listed the accuracy benefits of making Taunt into a skill check:

    Teridax wrote:
    all else held equal, switching to a check is like imposing a saving throw with a +2 to your save DC, so already that helps with accuracy. Add in the fact that your proficiency in a skill would be going to legendary, and so at 15th level, and you'd need as little as +3 Charisma to match your best possible save DC, making you therefore more accurate with just +4 Charisma. Add in the fact that checks can be Aided and can benefit from bonuses far more easily (a Guardian affected by heroism would be able to Taunt with a +3 status bonus under this paradigm), and the net result is that you'd be able to do generally a lot better with a skill check, even one that doesn't use your key attribute, than a class DC-based save.

    I will, however, be happy to lay out more of the benefits explicitly:

  • To reiterate my reply to you above, turning a save into a skill check benefits your accuracy, lets you benefit from status and circumstances bonuses far more easily, and would allow you to Taunt more accurately even with Charisma as a non-main attribute.
  • From my playtesting experience, Charisma was by far the better attribute to pick anyway over Dexterity or Intelligence. Making the incentive to boost Charisma clearer would make it easier to do well with a Guardian, whereas the current state of affairs could lead to a Guardian boosting an attribute that would give them far lesser returns.
  • Making Taunt into a skill would enable support from multiple angles, letting a Guardian do even better with Taunt stuff by picking skill feats instead of class feats.

    What I'm proposing would therefore be to the Guardian's significant advantage, far more than for any other class.

    YuriP wrote:
    The point I'm saying about force MAD even with currently attribute distribution is that it ends badly.

    Play a Pistolero and tell me that using Charisma ends badly for them.

    YuriP wrote:

    If we add Taunt using Cha we end having to put the +3 into Cha to keep it efficient, sacrificing your Con or even your Str.

    So unless the guardian changes its KAS to Cha (and changing all its mechanics to become Cha based) make Taunt work using Cha is a bad idea and also goes against the concept of heavy armored char focused into defend itself and its allies to become a heavy armored swashbucker.

    At this point, I feel we're reaching this realm of fractal wrongness where in this conversation, having multiple valid build choices in a game about choices is somehow a bad thing. For sure, you could put all of your remaining level 1 boosts into Charisma if you wanted your Taunt to succeed even more than now (and that's not a bad thing), but my point is that you don't need to do this to benefit from Taunt under the above model either:

  • To reiterate, switching from a save to a check is the equivalent of getting a +2 to your check. Let's bear this in mind as we continue.
  • With nothing but a +1 to your Charisma, you would therefore start at a +3 on top of your proficiency bonus. At this point you might exclaim that this is a comparative -1 to a save with a starting +4 modifier, but that brings us to the first aspect of the above Taunt, which is that it is by design far more forgiving than the playtest version. You only grant the enemy a bonus against you if you critically fail, and if you fail, you can choose whether to incur that bonus against you or do nothing. If you succeed, you impose a pure penalty, which is doubled on a crit success. On top of that, my proposal also includes letting the Guardian output a mini-version of this as a reaction against a single attack that could be redirected to them. Already, the Guardian would be able to make far better use of Taunt that they would now, and Taunt wouldn't be punishing to use.
  • Let's now get to level 3, where under my proposal you get an auto-increase to your Performance. Compared to the vanilla Guardian, you are already operating at a +1 to your accuracy here. This gap only widens as you increase this to a +2 at 5th level with your attribute boosts, and then a +4 at 7th level with your next auto-increase.
  • At 9th level, your first increase to your class DC would reduce this gap to "only" a +2, which I'm sure you'll agree is significant. The gap then jumps to a whopping +5 at 15th level as you get both an auto-skill increase and an attribute boost.
  • The gap then progressively reduces to +4 at 17th level (apex boost), +2 at 19th level, and +1 at 20th level. This means that out of all the game's levels, you spend 2 levels slightly behind in accuracy, and then literally the entire rest of the game ahead, often significantly so. This is without factoring in any circumstance or status bonuses you may be benefiting from, which you'd be able to use with a skill check but not so much with a save DC.

    So once again: just by boosting your Charisma once at every attribute boost level from 1 to 15, you would land Taunts far more accurately on average. Even on the couple of levels where your accuracy would be less, the above changes to Taunt's design would make it far more reliable, forgiving, and sticky, thereby addressing the core issues with the action that are especially present at early levels (or, at least, the issues I perceived in my tests). This is why I think we need to temper our requests and comments with a degree of fact-checking, math, and ideally some playtesting as well, because going into histrionics about demanding nothing less than guaranteed auto-fails to our save effects and a -4 penalty at bare minimum I think achieves little besides convince people you're not to be taken seriously.

  • Grand Lodge

    How about something similar to Intimidating Prowess, but, use Strength instead of Cha.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Teridax wrote:
    So once again, this is false: not only do Warning Shot, Pistolero's Challenge, and Come at Me! all cater directly to the Pistolero and support their Intimidation proficiency, other feats like Pistol Twirl, Ostentatious Reload, and Showstopper all build off of Charisma too. I do not know where you pulled your claim from, but it stands to reason that you are not speaking from experience here. Even if it were true that the Pistolero had literally zero feat support, [...]

    None of those options help the Pistolero improve their skill training nor odds of success, which is what I was talking about. You have repeatedly ignored what I am trying to say to instead attack points I have not made, digging into "nuh-uhs" that I'm not claiming to begin with.

    My entire point I've been repeating this whole time is that once you introduce another set of core dependencies to a class, the game and math expect the player to maximize the attribute and skills behind them.

    Rephrasing once more: It introduces a skill / attribute dependency, without providing the advancement to keep the utilizing abilities up to par. It depends on the player to use their limited budget that could otherwise be spent elsewhere. Limiting player choice (and dooming the abilities to never have on-par accuracy).

    - - - - - -

    When a class is designed around a single attribute, that setup allows for maximal flexibility, either through Dedications, subclasses, etc. It enables players to do what they want. There would be the exact same room for CHA Guardians who want some Intimidation, ect, in their PC.

    But, even a single class skill "requirement" baked into the class means that every PC of that class is stuck not only with 2/3 remaining skills to pick, but now they have to pick which skills are going to lag by -2. Especially considering how many skill actions are based on opposing foe saves, this really does hurt. And when it's both behind on skill training AND keying off a non-primary attribute, that typically puts those actions outside the realm of reliability in combat.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Paizo learned from their previous releases, and were able to thread the needle with the Thaum. It wants the flavor/mechanics of Recall Knowledge, but wanted it to be CHA.

    So they took their time, used a lot of words, and implemented it via Esoteric Lore --> Exploit Vulnerability.

    That sort of design would work fine for Guardian and some theoretical general Performance Goad --> "Powerful Presence" --> Guardian Taunt.

    - - -

    And again, the whole point is keeping the core of the class using Class DC, and NOT an off KAS attribute.

    Paizo could have done that for the Thaum. They could have made it use CHA as its KAS and still have the Recall Knowledge skill core to the Exploit Vulnerability mechanic. Leaving every Thaum to really want to build CHA/INT and maxing the RK skills first. But they knew better, and used a better design foundation for the class.

    To repeat the old mistakes for Guardian by punishing every G that does not spend their budget maximizing Performance and CHA alongside STR would be exactly that, repeating old mistakes.

    - - - - -

    Just because you found CHA to be a good pick for your Guardian, does NOT mean it is a good idea to tie their Taunt ability to Performance for the entire class. To impose your personal preference for a Guardian build as a baked-in class dependency is frankly, absurdly egocentric.
    Because yes, every +1 matters. And every missing 1 in this system is a penalty due to how the scaling operates. There's no debating that. Taunt either keys off the STR and Class DC, or it is going to lag behind the Class DC. Period.


    Trip.H wrote:
    None of those options help the Pistolero improve their skill training nor odds of success, which is what I was talking about. You have repeatedly ignored what I am trying to say to instead attack points I have not made, digging into "nuh-uhs" that I'm not claiming to begin with.

    Why do these class feats need to offer accuracy boosts or skill increases to count as valid feat support? What even is this 1e mentality doing in this discussion of 2e classes? Please, by all means, list me all the class feats you're actually talking about, because at this point it's becoming abundantly clear that you're shifting the goalposts as your claims are being found to be baseless.

    Trip.H wrote:
    My entire point I've been repeating this whole time is that once you introduce another set of core dependencies to a class, the game and math expect the player to maximize the attribute and skills behind them.

    Sure, and as the math in the comment you're replying to demonstrates, and which you've clearly ignored, that still works out for the Guardian just fine. It also works for the Pistolero just fine, even though they don't get any auto-scaling to their Deception or Intimidation. It also works just fine on a host of other classes that rely on four attributes, including the Thaumaturge but also every Int and Charisma caster in the game. The standard you are operating on does not exist in Pathfinder 2e.

    Trip.H wrote:
    To repeat the old mistakes for Guardian by punishing every G that does not spend their budget maximizing Performance and CHA alongside STR would be exactly that, repeating old mistakes.

    This is further evidence that at this stage you are deliberately choosing to argue in bad faith and simply make stuff up, even when proven otherwise. Putting aside the fact that the Thaumaturge and many remastered classes do in fact rely on four ability scores, debunking your entire spiel, one of my replies to you explicitly says I'd want to give the Guardian auto-scaling skill proficiency for this, and the very post you are replying to mathematically demonstrates that my version of Taunt would be more reliable than the current version, often quite significantly, without requiring any more commitment to Charisma than what the game already allows via your four-at-a-time attribute boosts. You accuse me of ignoring what you're saying, but the reality is that you have been ignoring every fact presented to you on this subject and that of your own Taunt proposal, repeating yourself even when your claims have been debunked, and straight-up lying on increasingly more occasions. If this is what you have to resort to in order to appear in the right, I think that says a lot about the validity of the point you're trying to make.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I don’t want Guardian to have a charisma dependency frankly. Champion already has that for their divine smites and whatnot and I would rather that not all big knight defender classes in the game need it.


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    Teridax wrote:
    Why do these class feats need to offer accuracy boosts or skill increases to count as valid feat support? What even is this 1e mentality doing in this discussion of 2e classes? Please, by all means, list me all the class feats you're actually talking about, because at this point it's becoming abundantly clear that you're shifting the goalposts as your claims are being found to be baseless.

    I have only taken objection to making Taunt a Performance skill action. I have stayed rock solid on that.

    You ranting that I list off Feats has nothing to do with my point. It is an example you digging in to imagined gotchas that I have no interest in entertaining.

    -

    Teridax wrote:
    Sure, and as the math in the comment you're replying to demonstrates, and which you've clearly ignored, that still works out for the Guardian just fine. It also works for the Pistolero just fine, even though they don't get any auto-scaling to their Deception or Intimidation.

    Everything is comparative. The game sets odds of success around the maximally invested PC. This means that CHA skill actions will have the best odds of success when performed by CHA classes advancing said skill ASAP.

    In order for those maximal PCs to have a balanced experience with potential to fail the skill actions against foes, that is where the bar is set.

    Everyone else is behind.

    For any PC with a lagging skill advancement, or lagging attribute, they will be at a significantly lower chance of success than those maximal PCs.

    That is my issue with going outside the KAS, and the use of a skill action (that's not baked in like Thaum).

    - - -

    Yes, you have been flexing your design chops via things like roller's advantage and other quirks to buff your Taunt number compared to a Class DC.

    But no, you have not "fixed the problem." All you are doing with all that extra work is raising "default" baseline Taunt level across the board, which is what my "you have just buffed Bards, ect" comment is talking about. The Guardian is still a STR class, and still either needs a Performance sublimation a la the Thaum or they are behind the other CHA PCs.

    You cannot add a universal action and *not* balance it universally.

    The easier it appears to be to buff a skill/action, the MORE of a problem falling behind is. Because, again, the game must balance for the maximally invested PC.

    If that Bard has Performance enhancing item bonuses the Guardian lacks, that Guardian's Taunt is now even MORE behind.

    Meanwhile, Class DC, by being the hardest thing to enhance/affect, becomes the most stable and least demanding way to implement mechanics like that.

    Because, yes, the devs account for the actual expected number, with a certain amount of buffs included. It's not just about trying to get the number higher on paper.


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    Teridax wrote:
    Another big problem with Taunt that I'm seeing right now is that it looks like the best way to use it is actually to just take Long-Distance Taunt, get as far away from the enemy as possible, and spam Taunt from there. You'd get all of the benefits of Taunt (the enemy would suck against anyone but you), but none of the nasty business of getting hit. Of course, this strategy wouldn't work in most official AP encounters, because they tend to not let characters create all that much distance, but when you can get away with it, looks like the most effective way of playing a Guardian is to be a coward.

    This was definitely my first impression.

    However after playing it - I don't think Taunt is strong enough for this to be a reasonable default tactic. It is just not strong enough to justify hiding your character away. Your character still needs to contribute defensively by positioning and offensively by doing at least a basic Strike. You need to get value from your two other actions that turn.

    For sure Taunt an enemy that will have difficulty getting to you is a still a reasonable tactic and is a safer tactic. It is just not all you should be doing. Running and hiding most of the time is just a waste of your turn.


    Gortle wrote:

    This was definitely my first impression.

    However after playing it - I don't think Taunt is strong enough for this to be a reasonable default tactic. It is just not strong enough to justify hiding your character away. Your character still needs to contribute defensively by positioning and offensively by doing at least a basic Strike. You need to get value from your two other actions that turn.

    For sure Taunt an enemy that will have difficulty getting to you is a still a reasonable tactic and is a safer tactic. It is just not all you should be doing. Running and hiding most of the time is just a waste of your turn.

    I'm actually in complete agreement with this, and in my own playtests I did notice that the tactic wasn't particularly strong -- which is all the more why I'd want to remove that feat. For starters, GMing against that particular tactic was infuriating: I could certainly analyze the Guardian's performance and objectively determine that they would have been more effective overall if they were contributing their body, actions, and reactions more to engaging the monsters directly, but the simple fact that the Guardian was staying far behind the back line and spamming debuffs with seeming impunity grated all the same. It's not like they were the ones directly paying the price for their cheesy tactic either, because it was their allies taking the heat, which felt all the more inappropriate for the class. There is very little I see that feat achieving besides enabling that kind of strategy, and so I don't think that feat ought to exist in the Guardian's release version.

    Trip.H wrote:
    I have only taken objection to making Taunt a Performance skill action. I've stayed rock solid on that.

    This is a bare-faced lie, as evidenced by your immediate previous response:

    Trip.H wrote:
    None of those options help the Pistolero improve their skill training nor odds of success, which is what I was talking about.
    Trip.H wrote:
    To repeat the old mistakes for Guardian by punishing every G that does not spend their budget maximizing Performance and CHA alongside STR would be exactly that, repeating old mistakes.
    Trip.H wrote:
    And again, the whole point is keeping the core of the class using Class DC, and NOT an off KAS attribute.

    Clearly, your issue isn't simply that I'm proposing to make Taunt a Performance skill action, you visibly take issue with the mere idea of a class keying off of a fourth attribute, because you genuinely believe that making classes SAD is a design objective Paizo have set for themselves in 2e, or should be. You've accused my version of Taunt of being less reliable when I have proven that your chances of success would be higher at nearly all levels, and have claimed that classes dependent on four attributes don't work in this game, which is laughable and easy to disprove. I once again reiterate my statement: if you have to lie to this extent in order to further your point, what does this say about the validity of your stance?

    Trip.H wrote:
    You ranting that I list off Feats has nothing to do with my point. It is an example you digging in to imagined gotchas that I have no interest in entertaining.

    Asking you to substantiate your claims even a little is not "digging in to imagined gotchas", and that you would frame basic due diligence in this manner underlines the bad faith in which you're arguing. You have constantly either ignored contrary evidence or shifted the goalposts when what you were saying was shown to be untrue, and you are continuing to do this now.

    Trip.H wrote:
    Everything is comparative. The game sets odds of success around the maximally invested PC. This means that CHA skill actions will have the best odds of success when performed by CHA classes advancing said skill ASAP.

    So let's note a couple of things here:

  • One, you're trying to shift the goalposts here as well. Notice how up until this point the comparison was between Taunt as a class DC-based save and Taunt as a skill check, and now that it's been mathematically demonstrated that the skill check would be far more accurate, you're trying to shift the comparison to Taunt on the Guardian versus Taunt on another class. This is whataboutism, plain and simple.
  • You're now presently insisting that Charisma classes would make better use of Taunt... and by doing so, you've shown just how completely you've forgotten what Taunt is even meant to achieve. Pray tell, which Charisma-centric class will want to focus an enemy's attacks on themselves? Because a Psychic or Sorcerer certainly wouldn't, nor would the Bard, Oracle, Summoner, or Thaumaturge. This is in fact why I suggested low-level feats that would instead allow those classes to Aid other people's Taunts really well, or redirect whichever Taunts they make to someone else, both of which would benefit the Guardian. You've tunnel-visioned so hard on pure comparative success chances here that you've completely missed the forest for the trees.

    Trip.H wrote:
    That is my issue with going outside the KAS, and the use of a skill action (that's not baked in like Thaum).

    So, putting aside how you've obviously forgotten that being good at Taunting requires being able to actually tank hostile actions, and not just good Charisma under the above model, this notion doesn't even hold outside of this situation, as many classes do amazingly well with skills despite them not tying into their key attribute. Barbarians and Fighters can be absolutely amazing at Intimidation, and have feats that support that. Pistoleros, once more, do amazing things with Charisma despite Charisma-based classes being statistically more likely to succeed on those same Charisma checks. On a much more basic note, literally every character is going to have skills that key off of something other than their key attribute, and they're going to be expected to put those skills to use even if they're not the best at them. Your view of how skills and attributes work is so black-and-white that it does not at all accurately reflect the function they actually serve in-game.

    Trip.H wrote:

    Yes, you have been flexing your design chops via things like roller's advantage and other quirks to buff your Taunt number compared to a Class DC.

    But no, you have not "fixed the problem." All you are doing with all that extra work is raising "default" baseline Taunt level across the board, which is what my "you have just buffed Bards, ect" comment is talking about. The Guardian is still a STR class, and still either needs a Performance sublimation a la the Thaum or they are behind the other CHA PCs.

    I will once again refer you to the response I gave you prior to this exact same kind of comment:

    Teridax wrote:
    I don't consider it a terribly smart or constructive strategy to deliberately keep one skill weak or withhold a mechanic that would genuinely benefit a whole range of classes on the grounds that one class who'd use it well is already strong, and if that's the mentality we're going with then we might as well take out Demoralize, Feint, and Bon Mot too.

    So, to reiterate once more, I ask you to reexamine your stance here, which is clearly motivated more by spite than a constructive desire to produce any sort of genuine improvement. So blinded are you by this destructive mentality, and this obsession with Charisma classes potentially succeeding on Taunt rolls more often, that you have utterly failed to notice that no Charisma class that currently exists would be able to make the same use of Taunting than a Guardian, and it's not even close. This is before even including the other buffs I proposed to the Guardian that would guarantee that they'd use Taunt far, far better than anyone else, such as by being able to spam what would otherwise be a once-per-enemy button on every other character, use it on mindless enemies when others wouldn't, and gain access to Taunt-as-a-reaction from level 1 when others would have to wait far longer to access that ability in far more limited quantities. Again, you've missed the forest for the trees here.

    Trip.H wrote:

    Meanwhile, Class DC, by being the hardest thing to enhance/affect, becomes the most stable and least demanding way to implement mechanics like that.

    Because, yes, the devs account for the actual expected number, with a certain amount of buffs included. It's not just about trying to get the number higher on paper.

    This is perhaps the most unintentionally revealing part of your entire post. On its face, it's just a mix of denial (the DC-based version is objectively less reliable than mine regardless of what the devs "account for"), and projection (you are clearly the one to have focused too hard on paper numbers instead of the comprehensive effects of what I've put forth), but behind this, and the rant it follows, is also a deeper implication: for all your complaints about Taunt, for all your desire to overbuff it in utterly ridiculous and broken ways, you would sooner deliberately leave it worse off than allow any other character to succeed on even one roll with the ability. I urge you to give some more thought to the mentality that is driving your responses here, as I don't think this is ever going to lead you anywhere productive.


  • Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Gortle wrote:


    This was definitely my first impression.

    However after playing it - I don't think Taunt is strong enough for this to be a reasonable default tactic. It is just not strong enough to justify hiding your character away. Your character still needs to contribute defensively by positioning and offensively by doing at least a basic Strike. You need to get value from your two other actions that turn.

    For sure Taunt an enemy that will have difficulty getting to you is a still a reasonable tactic and is a safer tactic. It is just not all you should be doing. Running and hiding most of the time is just a waste of your turn.

    I agree. I think part of the reason for “why no dexterity guardian” is that taunt would be a bit too good on a player who could contribute effectively from a safe distance.

    I also think that taunt is kind of optional. I’ve been doing some solo playtests, and my guardian did pretty well without touching it in most combats, but wrapping taunt up in a class feature keeps something like a sniper gunslinger from poaching it and spamming strike/taunt/covered reload from 120 feet.


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    Teridax wrote:

    Holy crap dude.

    I opposed the use of Performance *because* it will comparatively lag due to being a mis-match with Guardian as a STR class. Hence the repeated approval of how Thaum did it's off-class feature, and disapproval of others like Pistolero (and noting that there's other Gunslinger options that don't add another attribute dependency).

    If you can't connect those dots, and instead spin my words and squint *that* hard to try to see mal intent that's not there, I strongly suggest you step away and reset.


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    Pistolero doesn’t lag that bad. It really isn’t a big deal to have a secondary stat for a subclass. Needing Cha is the least of a swashbuckler’s concerns.

    Skills especially scale incredibly fast and become way more accurate than Strikes or DCs.


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    TheWayofPie wrote:

    Pistolero doesn’t lag that bad. It really isn’t a big deal to have a secondary stat for a subclass. Needing Cha is the least of a swashbuckler’s concerns.

    Skills especially scale incredibly fast and become way more accurate than Strikes or DCs.

    Yup, their numbers can be higher. And consequently, the benefits/reward are balanced with the consideration of that higher number.

    When players have the ability to opt-in to a subclass with an extra attribute or skill catch, that's great.

    It's not great if that were to be the baseline required by the class.


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    I think the problem with Taunt is that you are only politely asking the enemy to hit you. Make Taunt only a -2 penalty, no saves. But if the enemy does not attack you, you get a reactive strike against it.

    At the table there is a big difference between "please hit me" and "I dare you to hit the wizard". The enemy now has a dilemma, attack the guardian with very high AC or attack the low AC wizard and eat a reactive strike.

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