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View Full Version : The Fencer (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)



Othesemo
2011-10-18, 10:42 PM
This is my first serious attempt at a base class. I appreciate all critiques.

That said, here's the Fencer.

Fencer-

Fencers are armed monks. They regard swordplay as an art, and often devote their lives to perfecting it. To them, every nuance and flourish in a battle is a symphony, and it is their job to perfect the work. As a rule, they despise inefficiency in their art, and fight with an economy that no fighter can match.

Adventures- Fencers often take up adventuring in an attempt to test their prowess. They typically care little for the rewards and excitement that adventuring may bring, and see it as a single test which they must strive to complete.
Alignment- Any. Although most famous fencers are lawful in alignment, any person can learn to fence.
Religion- Fencers rarely worship a single god, though they may give occasional homage to gods of strength, wit or knowledge.
Background- Rare is the self taught fencer. Most fencers learn their art from a master over the course of many years, in return for essentially being his slave. They only leave his service when they feel that they need what he cannot provide.
Fencers see each other as walking tests. It is common for two fencers to make each otherís acquaintance by dueling.
Races- Elves are most commonly fencers. Their long lives allow them to perfect and learn about their art to a greater degree than any other race. Humans and half-elves are occasionally fencers, though their comparatively short life-times makes it difficult for them to achieve mastery in fencing before the effects of old-age catch up to them.
Among other races, fencers are almost unheard of.
Other Classes- Fencers deal with individuals free of bias, for the most part. They typically monitor their relationships in regard to who they seem useful. If a fencer believes that another person is hampering his art, he will sever the relationship without a second thought.

{table=head]
Level | BAB | Ref | Will | Fort | Special

1 | +1 | +2 | +0 | +0 | Canny Defense, Weapon Finesse, Called Blow, Precise Strike +1d6
2 | +2 | +3 | +0 | +0 | Defensive Stance
3 | +3 | +3 | +1 | +1 | Insightful Strike, Duel
4 | +4 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Precise Strike +2d6, Keen Eyes
5 | +5 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Combat Expertise
6 | +6 | +5 | +2 | +2 | Evasive Reflexes, Called Shot (Hand and Foot)
7 | +7 | +5 | +2 | +2 | Precise Strike +3d6, Circular Parry
8 | +8 | +6 | +2 | +2 | Improved Dueling, Fleche
9 | +9 | +6 | +3 | +3 | Explosion of Blows, Insightful Feint
10 | +10 | +7 | +3 | +3 | Masterful Parry, Precise Strike +4d6
11 | +11 | +7 | +3 | +3 | Called Shot (Body Center)
12 | +12 | +8 | +4 | +4 | Aggressive Feint
13 | +13 | +8 | +4 | +4 | Precise Strike +5d6
14 | +14 | +9 | +4 | +4 | Masterful Dueling
15 | +15 | +9 | +5 | +5 | Displacement
16 | +16 | +10 | +5 | +5 | Precise Strike +6d6
17 | +17 | +10 | +5 | +5 | Upset Rhythm
18 | +18 | +11 | +6 | +6 | Called Shot (Head)
19 | +19 | +11 | +6 | +6 | Precise Strike +7d6
20 | +20 | +12 | +6 | +6 | Critical Mastery
[/table]

Game Rule Information-
Fencers have the following game statistics.
Abilities- Dexterity and Intelligence determine the AC of the fencer, as well as his chance to hit. Constitution is necessary for greater hit points as well as an improved fortitude save.
Alignment- Any
Hit Die- d10
Class skills of the fencer are as follows- Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Any) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Any) (Wis), Search (int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex).
Skill points at first level- (6+Int modifier)*4
Skill Points at each additional level- 6+Int Modifier

Weapon and Armor Proficiency- The Fencer is proficient all simple and martial weapons. A fencer gains no proficiency with armor.

Canny Defense- When not wearing armor or using a shield, a fencer adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per fencer class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a fencer is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.

Weapon Finesse- As the feat

Called Blow- A fencer may chose any attack to be a called blow. If he does, he will deal damage normally but cannot reduce an opponents health to below 0.

Precise Strike- At 1st level, and every three levels after, a fencer gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, dealing an extra 1d6 damage + 1d6 per three levels after first. Note that this is not extra damage- it is an increase to the base damage dealt, and thus is multiplied on critical hits.

When making a precise strike, a fencer cannot use a shield. A fencerís precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike.

Defensive Stance- As a full-round action, the fencer may focus his attention against one target. Should the target attempt to attack the fencer in melee, he and the fencer make opposed attack rolls. Should the target succeed, the attack is carried out as normal, but with a +2 bonus to attack and damage. Should the fencer succeed, the attack is diverted and the fencer may make an immediate attack of opportunity against the target. This attack of opportunity counts against the fencer's Attacks of Opportunity per round, but does not prevent the fencer from making another attack of opportunity against the target. This ability only functions while the fencer is armed.

Insightful Strike- Starting at third level, the fencer adds his intelligence bonus (if any) to damage.

Duel- If, in a given round, the fencer attacks only one target and is attacked by only that target, he may chose to enter a duel with that target. While in a duel, the fencer gains a +4 dodge bonus to AC against his target, but a -2 penalty to AC against all other combatants. In addition, he gains an +4 insight bonus to bluff and intimidate checks used to feint and demoralize that target, as well as a +2 Insight bonus to attack. Should his target flee (in game terms, take an entire round without taking any offensive or defensive action against the fencer), the duel is ended and the fencer gains a +2 Morale Bonus to attack, damage, saves, skills and initiative for a number of rounds equal to his fencer class level. A duel may be entered by the fencer 3+Int Modifier times per day.

If another combatant succeeds in hitting the fencer, the fencer must make a DC 25 Concentration check or the duel ends. Should the duel end in this fashion, the fencer gains no morale bonuses.

The duel can be ended as a free action, should the fencer will it.

At 8th level, the fencer no longer takes a penalty to AC vs. attacks from creatures other than his target. At fourteenth level, he may enter a duel any number of times per day.

Keen Eyes (Su) Starting at 4th level, the fencer's becomes so perceptive that he can strike those that he may otherwise have missed. Whenever he suffers a miss chance on his attack roll, the fencer rolls twice and takes the better result. Starting at 12th level, the fencer ignores cover (but not total cover) and suffers no miss chance from concealment or total concealment on his attack roll. He must still target the correct square when attacking an opponent he cannot see.

Combat Expertise- as per the feat. If the fencer already has expertise, he may select any feat which has it as a prerequisite, provided that he meets the prerequisites.

Called Shot- Starting at sixth level, the fencer gains the ability to make called shots. As a standard action, the fencer may make a single attack at his full base attack bonus, with a penalty depending on where he's aiming for. This attack will produce a unique effect based on where the fencer hits, according to the following.

Hand- When using this ability, the fencer deals 1d6 extra precise strike damage. In addition, the fencer may chose to immediately make a disarm check against his target which does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Using this called shot bestows a -2 penalty to attack.

Foot- The target must succeed a Reflex save (DC 10+1/2 Fencer's Level+Dex Modifier) or be caught flat-footed by this attack. If they fail their save, the fencer may deal half again the normal precise strike damage, rounded down. Their speed is then reduced by 10 ft. for 1 round/fencer class level. This called shot bestows a -2 to attack,

Body Center- Upon a successful hit, the target must succeed a Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 Fencer's Class Level+Fencer's Dex Mod) or be stunned for one round. Should they fail this save, the fencer may take an immediate attack of opportunity against them. This called shot bestows a -4 to attack,

Head- The target must succeed a Reflex Save, DC 10+1/2 Fencer's Level+Fencer's Dex modifier, or take double damage from the attack and be blinded for rounds equal to the fencer's dex mod. Should they fail this save by more than 10, they are instead blinded for days equal to the fencer's dex mod, and permanently lose one eye of the fencer's choosing. This called shot bestows a -8 to attack.

Evasive Reflexes- The fencer may, once per round, take a five foot as an immediate action. However, he is treated as having taken a move action in his next turn, as if he had moved his base movement speed. Should the fencer use this ability in reaction to attack, the attack automatically misses.

Circular Parry- At 7th level, the fencer gains the ability to make a circular parry. By expending one of his attacks of opportunity for the round, he may attempt to deflect any ranged attack targeted at him. The fencer must make an opposed attack roll against the projectile. On a success, he deflects the attack, preventing it from hitting him. This ability can also be used to deflect a magic missile or similar spells. The fencer must attempt an attack roll against a caster level check of the caster. On a success, the attack is diverted away from the fencer. This ability can be used validly on any spell which requires a ranged attack, such as lightning bolt or disintegrate, but not on area spells like fireball. Additionally, it can affect magic missile.

This ability must be used after the action has been declared, but before attacks have been rolled.

Fleche As a full-round action, the fencer may attempt to fleche against any target within his base land speed-10 ft. Firstly, he charges his target. This movement provokes no attacks of opportunity. He may then make a single attack against his opponent at his full base attack bonus, with the +2 from charging. The opponent must succeed a DC 10+Fencer Level reflex save or be caught flat footed by this attack. If the target fails his save, he is shaken for one round. After the attack is resolved, the fencer continues to move 10 ft. in a straight line past the target.

Explosion of Blows- As a full-round action, a fencer of 9th level or higher may make an explosion of blows. In order to use this ability, he must first make a full-round action studying his opponent. For the duration of his next turn, the fencer may, as a swift action, take a full attack against any one opponent within his reach. His target is considered flat-footed against all of these attacks.

Insightful Feint- The fencer gains the Improved Feint feat as a bonus feat. If he already has this feat, he may instead chose any feat for which he meets the prerequisites. Should the fencer succeed in feinting against a target, his next attack deals double damage. Note that this benefit is provided only after the fencer feints. The fencer still deals damage as normal against creatures who are flat-footed for other reasons.

Masterful Parry- Starting at tenth level, when the fencer fights defensively he may take a -2 to attack and double the dodge bonus provided by fighting defensively.

Aggressive Feint- Starting at eleventh level, the fencer can manipulate his opponents into falling for his feints more easily. If any creature was dealt damage by the fencer, they gain a penalty to sense motive checks to not fall for his feints equal to half his fencer level. This penalty does not stack with itself, and lasts for five rounds.

Displacement Starting at 15th level, the fencer's steps allow him to glide over the ground. He gains a permanent +10 ft. untyped bonus to his base land speed. In addition, any time where he would normally be permitted to take a five foot step, he may instead move ten feet. This movement need not be in a line, provided that he does not end in the square he originally occupied.

Upset Rhythm- In battle, an opponent can only retreat at a certain rate. The fencer may take advantage of this by following his opponent at a slightly faster rate, upsetting his movement and gaining a free attack in the process. Leaving a square threatened by a fencer, even when withdrawing or making a five foot step, provokes an attack of opportunity from the fencer. It is still possible to tumble, but DCs are increased by the fencer's level. If the attack of opportunity hits, the fencer may, as an immediate action, move into the target's square. The target must then make a reflex save (DC 10+Fencer Level) or fall prone. On a success, the target is instead shunted aside to a square adjacent to the fencer.

Critical Mastery- Starting at 20th level, when wielding a weapon with which he can precise strike, the fencer may chose to either double the critical threat range of the weapon, or to improve the damage dealt by one step. For example, while wielding a rapier, he may opt to either have a 15-20 x2 critical or a 18-20 x3 critical. Although this ability stacks with keen or improved critical, it cannot increase a weapon's threat range beyond 15-20 and cannot increase the multiplier beyond x4.

bobthe6th
2011-10-18, 11:27 PM
looks like a re skinned swash buckler, with less focus on acrobatics and more on damage. an interesting variant.

Othesemo
2011-10-19, 07:17 AM
looks like a re skinned swash buckler, with less focus on acrobatics and more on damage. an interesting variant.

More or less, yes. Weapon finesse and insightful strike, in particular, seemed apt for a fencer. I also borrowed a few abilities from the Duelist (for obvious reasons), and added several of my own.

Qwertystop
2011-10-19, 07:53 AM
You need to make a table...

absolmorph
2011-10-19, 11:40 AM
Here's a table you can use.
Fencer
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+0|Canny Defense, Weapon Finesse, Called Blow

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+0|
+0|Prime

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+1|Insightful Strike

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+1|Precise Strike +1d6

5th|
+5|
+4|
+1|
+1|Expertise, Seconde

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+2|

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+2|Tierce

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+2|
+2|

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+3|Precise Strike +2d6

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+3|Masterful Parry, Quatre

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+3|
+3|

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+4|Insightful Feint, Quinte

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+4|

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+4|
+4|Precise Strike +3d6

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+5|Sixte

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+5|

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+5|Septime

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+6|

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+6|Precise Strike +4d6

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+6|Masterful Lunge, Octave[/table]

Alright, first: How do called blows work? I don't recall any rules in the DMG, and you don't give any here.

Second: What do "Prime", "Seconde", "Tierce" and so on indicate? There's no ability written out which corresponds with their progression.

Third, what tier (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1002.0) did you want this to end up in? It looks to me to be about a tier 4 or 5.

Fourth, it currently lacks any sort of weapon or armor proficiencies.

Fifth, a couple formatting tips: place the table after the fluff, with the Game Rule Information section either immediately above or below it. Also, bold the ability names; the standard for ease of reading would be like this:
Canny Defense: When not wearing armor or using a shield, a fencer adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per fencer class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a fencer is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.
Keeping an empty line between abilities also makes them easier to read.

Siosilvar
2011-10-19, 02:17 PM
Second: What do "Prime", "Seconde", "Tierce" and so on indicate? There's no ability written out which corresponds with their progression.

Those would be the lines of attack (actually, the common parries - I'm not sure you can actually attack in Prime/Seconde, since they're the same lines as Quatre/Sixte respectively), which is only obvious to people who actually know some of the terminology used in fencing, which is a subset of a subset of the population, and so should be made more clear.

As for called blows...
A fencer may chose any attack to be a called blow. If he does, he will deal damage normally but cannot reduce an opponents health to below 0. Not sure how helpful it is outside of a duel, because you can't actually defeat your opponent with it.

The class really needs some abilities that let it actually do things. As it stands, all it gets is small number boosts, which makes it about as effective as an NPC warrior (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/npcClasses/warrior.htm). Don't be afraid to take all of Duelist and all of Swashbuckler, mix them together, and then throw in some more useful things.

Othesemo
2011-10-19, 04:46 PM
Alright, I've fixed the ability formatting and clarified a few of the abilities. I have two questions, though.

Firstly, how do I copy the table from absolmorph's post? Sorry, I'm usually pretty good with computers, but I'm new to the forum.

Secondly, I'd like the class to be Tier 3, and glancing over it I realize that it really isn't fitting that description too well. Unfortunately, I'm having a bit of a mind blank on ideas for new abilities that would be thematically appropriate. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Oh, also, called blow is mostly intended for flavor. It's not intended to be the highlight of the class- it's simply meant to reflect that most fencers, NPCs and PCs alike, would spend a fair amount of time in duels or other non-lethal situations. They're still able to fight normally if the situation calls for it.

Kenneth
2011-10-19, 06:40 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=205677


is the tutorial on how to do tables.. It took me about 8 hours to do my first one so.. don't feel bad if it takes a bit to get the hang of it.

bobthe6th
2011-10-19, 09:20 PM
bump precise strike to hlaf level like rogue? would make it really fill in a striker gap... give it a knights challenge like ability, that allows it to challenge a foe of equal or greater ECL to single combat? all other foes need to make a save if they want to assist the foe, the same goes for allies helping you? something like 10+fencer level+charisma mod(go three muskitieres on a hundred orcs)... allow the fencer to take a minus to ac to increase reach for one attack? like a real lunge, let him stab a foe ten feat away... let him add his inteligenc mod to ac? another five foot step? many more five foot steps? evasion? mettle?

thats just a few ideas

Othesemo
2011-10-19, 09:37 PM
bump precise strike to hlaf level like rogue? would make it really fill in a striker gap... give it a knights challenge like ability, that allows it to challenge a foe of equal or greater ECL to single combat? all other foes need to make a save if they want to assist the foe, the same goes for allies helping you? something like 10+fencer level+charisma mod(go three muskitieres on a hundred orcs)... allow the fencer to take a minus to ac to increase reach for one attack? like a real lunge, let him stab a foe ten feat away... let him add his inteligenc mod to ac? another five foot step? many more five foot steps? evasion? mettle?

thats just a few ideas

I'd prefer to not increase precise strike over much, since it, unlike SA, doesn't require specific circumstances to activate (beyond using a weapon). Still, I think that you're right about it needing an increase in gain rate.

The knight's challenge idea isn't bad either. Some sort of challenge, at least. I'll see what I can come up with.

The - to AC and gain in reach is already covered in the Lunge feat (-2 AC, +5 ft. Reach for 1 round), which I might add as a bonus feat (probably not, though).

The Fencer already gets int to AC.

Here's an idea- once per round, the fencer may, as an immediate action take a five foot step. However, if he does so, he is counted as having already used his move action for the next round. Thoughts?

And, as always, suggestions are appreciated. I'll start working on the table now.

bobthe6th
2011-10-19, 09:51 PM
actually it does... it stops him from using a big honking great sword or a spiked chain. also it trades the ability to add a shield/buckler, which weakens it a little. also, a lot of stuff is immune to sneak attacks/criticals so it has a minus there. so at level 20 dealing +4d6 is not that good... perhaps one every three levels? would make it 6d6 at 18th, which would add a ice kick to the rapier. also letting it multiply on a crit would make it work with this class. most weapons it's using have a high crit rate but a low crit multiplier. doubling 6d6 is just 12d6, nice but not that impressive.

Othesemo
2011-10-19, 09:56 PM
actually it does... it stops him from using a big honking great sword or a spiked chain. also it trades the ability to add a shield/buckler, which weakens it a little. also, a lot of stuff is immune to sneak attacks/criticals so it has a minus there. so at level 20 dealing +4d6 is not that good... perhaps one every three levels? would make it 6d6 at 18th, which would add a ice kick to the rapier. also letting it multiply on a crit would make it work with this class. most weapons it's using have a high crit rate but a low crit multiplier. doubling 6d6 is just 12d6, nice but not that impressive.

Fair enough. I think that I'll go with 1 every three levels, and can be used on a crit. Also, I've added the table now. I'm fairly certain that I got everything right...

bobthe6th
2011-10-19, 10:07 PM
still some empty levels... perhaps some fluff abilities? like acrobatic charge, quick draw, a bonus in a combat over a damsel in distress...

Othesemo
2011-10-19, 10:40 PM
Alright, I have a few ideas. Critiques welcome, as always.

Evasive Reflexes: The fencer may, once per round, take a five foot as an immediate action. However, the next round he's counted as having taken a move action.

Combat Study- Starting at 6th level, the Fencer may, as a full-round action, study a single opponent. The fencer gains an insight bonus to attack and damage against that opponent equal to half his fencer level, rounded down. He gains a similar bonus to all saves to resist the spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities of the target. This benefit lasts for a number of rounds equal to the fencer's level/3, rounded down.

At 11th level, this ability takes a standard action to use.

At 16th level, this ability becomes a move action to use.

Duel- If, in a given round, the fencer attacks only one target and is attacked by only that target, he has entered a duel with that target. While in a duel, the fencer gains a +4 dodge bonus to AC against his target, but a -2 penalty to AC against all other combatants. In addition, he gains an +4 insight bonus to bluff and intimidate checks used to feint and demoralize that target, as well as a +2 Insight bonus to attack. Should his target flee (in game terms, take an entire round without taking any offensive or defensive action against the fencer), the duel is ended and the fencer gains a +2 Morale Bonus to attack, damage, saves, skills and initiative for a number of rounds equal to his fencer class level.

If another combatant succeeds in attacking the fencer, the fencer must make a DC 25 Concentration check or the duel ends. Should the duel end in this fashion, the fencer gains no morale bonuses.

The duel can be ended as a free action, should the fencer will it.

Thoughts?

lothofkalroth
2011-10-19, 10:41 PM
I would say that to really make it feel monk-ey (no pun intended) you should include some sort of flurry of blows, though with a light weapon. Just a thought. Pretty interesting otherwise though.

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 04:41 PM
I would say that to really make it feel monk-ey (no pun intended) you should include some sort of flurry of blows, though with a light weapon. Just a thought. Pretty interesting otherwise though.

Although I originally thought that that didn't fit with the theme very well, I'm beginning to reconsider. I'm watching videos of Olympic fencing, and I'm noticing that, after a long period of study and testing, the fencers seem to simply explode into action. In D&D terms, I'm counting what looks like about twenty attacks each round. However, these seem to be one-time spurts, and fencers don't use them back-to-back. Here, what does this look like?

Explosion of Blows- As a full-round action, a fencer of 11th level or higher may make an explosion of blows. When using the ability, the fencer takes a number of attacks against a target equal to his fencer class level. These attacks are at his full BAB, -1 per each previous attack.

The target has two options. He may accept the blow, in which case it automatically hits, dealing damage as normal (rolls should still be made for miss chance, and critical threats). Alternatively, the target may chose to attempt to block, dodge, or otherwise evade a given attack. Should he chose to do this, he may add a +4 dodge bonus to his AC against that specific attack. This bonus stacks with other dodge bonuses to AC that the target might have.

For each attack he attempts to block, the target gets a -1 penalty to attack, AC, saves and skills for the following round, to a maximum of -10, as well as a cumulative -5 ft. penalty to all movement speeds. A successful Fortitude Save (DC Fencer's Level+Fencer's Dex Mod+5) halves this penalty. Note that a creature's speed cannot be reduced to below 5 ft. per round.

A fencer has no limit on the number of times per day that he may use this ability. However, upon using this ability, he is afterwards fatigued for 1d4 Minutes. Should he use this ability while fatigued, he is instead exhausted for the same amount of time. While exhausted, he may not use this ability.

What do you think?

bobthe6th
2011-10-20, 05:15 PM
Would allow for some brokeness when combind with soul eater (you now have 20 negitive levels)... also true strike totaly breakes this... and a cleric with a fatigue retorer breaks this...

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 05:23 PM
Would allow for some brokeness when combind with soul eater (you now have 20 negitive levels)... also true strike totaly breakes this... and a cleric with a fatigue retorer breaks this...

True strike applies only to your next attack role, not to all attack rolls in a given round. It would break this no more than it can 'break' any melee attack.

I don't know the soul eater class. What book is it from?

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by fatigue retorer. I assume that its some means of negating the fatigued condition? Anyways, I suppose that that is a problem. Perhaps a cooldown period in which it cannot be used?

bobthe6th
2011-10-20, 07:13 PM
BoVD, it adds a negitive level to each strike... perhaps a round of study?

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 07:30 PM
BoVD, it adds a negitive level to each strike... perhaps a round of study?

Hmm... that could work. It does seem like the sort of thing that one would NOT open an encounter with.

Yeah, I think I'll go with that. Any other suggestions, or should I just pop it into the class?

nhbdy
2011-10-20, 07:42 PM
to go with the study theme, perhaps you could add something to the effect of:

Study:
a fencer may, as a move action, study an opponent, if he does he gets a +1 to attack and +1 to AC against said opponent, this bonus lasts until the fencer studies another opponent.

since they are untyped the fencer could continue to study his opponent and gain further advantage over him, thoughts?

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 07:54 PM
to go with the study theme, perhaps you could add something to the effect of:

Study:
a fencer may, as a move action, study an opponent, if he does he gets a +1 to attack and +1 to AC against said opponent, this bonus lasts until the fencer studies another opponent.

since they are untyped the fencer could continue to study his opponent and gain further advantage over him, thoughts?

I like it. Of course, there'd need to be a cap (I study the sleeping target for 1,200 rounds, then attack). Still, it has nice flavor and is well balanced (for a low level ability).

Incidentally, are you suggesting that that replace Combat Study, or is it meant to be a different ability?

Eldest
2011-10-20, 07:58 PM
Ok, I probably should be doing chem, but I like fencing, so...


Canny Defense- When not wearing armor or using a shield, a fencer adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per fencer class level to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon. If a fencer is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.
Why not just give him Int. to AC? Much simpler.


Line of attack- Starting at second level, the fencer starts gaining lines of attack, referred to as Prime, Seconde, Tierce, Etcetera. At maximum, there are eight lines. For each line that the fencer has access to, he gain a +1 bonus to AC when fighting defensively or using combat expertise and a +1 bonus to attack while fighting defensively or using combat expertise.
Put in the table "Prime (+1)", "Seconde(+2)", etc. Also, you realize that this makes (at 20th level) the penalties for fighting defensively for -8 vanish?
I approve! :smallbiggrin: I always thought that combat expertise needed more use.


Insightful Strike- Starting at third level, the fencer adds his intelligence bonus (if any) to attack and damage.
Simple. It works.


Precise Strike- At 1st level, and every three levels after, a fencer gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, dealing an extra 1d6 damage + 1d6 per three levels after first. Note that this is not extra damage- it is an increase to the base damage dealt, and thus is multiplied on critical hits.

When making a precise strike, a fencer cannot attack with a weapon in his other hand or use a shield. A fencerís precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike.
Ok, firstly- up this to 1/2 level. Really, this guy can't use power attack, added damage is one of the few other ways to make melee work. Also, you can argue that the fencer should have better added damage- in epee, at least, the target you almost always want to hit is the back of the opponent's hand, behind the bell guard (for non-fencers, that means you want to hit the other guy's hand that's holding the sword, around the guard. Not easy.).
Secondly, this is a small rambling by Jiriku about the problem with precision damage, and why making it be blocked by imunity to critical hits, etc, is a bad idea.

Sneak attack. It defines the 3.5 rogue, but is also his Achilles heel: half of the monsters he'll face are immune to it, and all sorts of precision damage, sidelining the rogue far too often for the class to be playable. the daring oultaw assumes a major change in the operating rules of the game: only oozes and swarms are immune to critical hits and precision damage; all other creature types have weaknesses to exploit, even if they're different than the weaknesses of most living, flesh-and-blood creatures. Embrace this change, and precision-based strikers will prosper. Cling to the old way, and precision damage is subpar.
But make your own decision.
Also, this should be with the rest of the level 1 abilities in the text, instead of after a level 2 and 3 ability.

Expertise- as per the feat. If the fencer already has expertise, he may select any feat which has it as a prerequisite, provided that he meets the prerequisites.
There is no feat called expertise. Combat expertise, perhaps?

Masterful Parry- Starting at tenth level, when the fencer fights defensively he may add 1 point to his AC per two fencer levels.
Ok, now, if I was a fencer at level 20 and I fought defensively for 8 points of AC... he gets +18 to AC plus his Int and Dex?
Although he has no armor. So I could see why all this is necessarily. As long as you realize how big of a bonus that is...

Insightful Feint- the fencer may use a feint as a swift action. If he already possesses this ability, he instead gains the ability to feint as a free action.
Good idea, but I'm not sure what having people grant combat advantage gives to the fencer...
Also, you may wish to let any Fencer with the feat Improved Feint lose it in exchange for any other feat they meet the prerequisites for, since Improved Feint would then be useless.

Masterful Lunge- Starting at 20th level, the fencer may once per day make an attack at his highest base attack bonus. This attack ignores armor, shield and dexterity bonuses to AC. This may only be used in instances when the fencer can use precise strike.
Just axe this. Give them something like
Once every five rounds, you may gain the effects of the spell True Strike as a swift action. This is a extraordinary ability.
and maybe
When attacking a single target, as a standard action, the fencer gains the ability to ignore armor, shield, deflection, and natural armor bonuses to AC, as well as ignoring any miss chance.


Now then, what else to add to the class...
One of the big things that make a class fun is having options. This class has few. You want to have one or two options available to the fencer at all times. Hopefully that made sense, if not I'll keep trying to explain.

nhbdy
2011-10-20, 08:04 PM
I like it. Of course, there'd need to be a cap (I study the sleeping target for 1,200 rounds, then attack). Still, it has nice flavor and is well balanced (for a low level ability).

Incidentally, are you suggesting that that replace Combat Study, or is it meant to be a different ability?

suggested as a stand alone ability that seemed to mesh with what you were making, oh and a sleeping target would be trivial to kill with just a coup-de-grace anyway, but a cap based on the opponent's level might be interesting, as you can't study what skill they don't have ;)

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 08:12 PM
suggested as a stand alone ability that seemed to mesh with what you were making, oh and a sleeping target would be trivial to kill with just a coup-de-grace anyway, but a cap based on the opponent's level might be interesting, as you can't study what skill they don't have ;)

I think that I'll set the cap at the Fencer's level, but other than that I like it. I'll add it at second level.

nhbdy
2011-10-20, 08:18 PM
hmm... the class does still feel limited, perhaps adding in more options and stuff for the player to do would be appropriate? Alternate fighting styles (some folks at my fencing club dual wield rapier and dagger, or will fight with weapons of opposing styles, such as sabre vs small sword)

EDIT: it's also very tanky, and the goal of a fencer (as I was taught it) is to end the fight as quickly as you can while making sure you don't die, the class is extremely defensive, and you can feel free to ignore any of my advice you want, but comparing it to a rogue (the posterboy for t3), we see the rogue is versatile, able to be sneaky, a diplomat, do sneak attack damage, fake being a spell caster. In all the class can vary quite a bit between class members, you get dumb thugs that do lots of sneak attack damage but not much else, you get agile thieves, you get sneaky one-shotters, you get con artists, and so much more, the fencer on the other hand appears to be a replacement tank and only that as far as I can see, is this the intended role you had in mind?

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 08:25 PM
-snip-

I appreciate the suggestions, and I've made most of the changes you offered, although I've refrained form making one. Specifically,

I'm keeping precise strike where it is. This is for two reasons- the first is that it, unlike sneak attack, is not quite so limited in application. It can be used in a one-on-one duel, when surrounded by monsters, or after being caught in the surprise round. The second is that it, unlike sneak attack, can be multiplied on criticals. With a keen rapier (15-20 x2) and possibly power critical, that increases the amount of damage which it can deal.

Eldest
2011-10-20, 08:29 PM
Ok, fair enough with the extra damage. This is different than the situations where I could imagine it being messed up, too, so that works.
Did the mini-rant about options make sense?

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 08:37 PM
@nhbdy The class is definitely intended to fill the tank role. However, I do agree that it's a bit too limited outside of smacking things (however gracefully) with a rapier. I'd appreciate suggestions for changing this, preferably fitting in line with the fencer archetype.

@Eldest Yes, although going about implementing it is proving to be slightly more difficult than I at first anticipated.

Eldest
2011-10-20, 08:47 PM
Ideas, then:
A parry mechanic, and possibly at higher levels a riposte/counter-riposte (riposte for attacks and counter-riposte for attacks of opportunity).
Some sort of color ability for allowing them to show off their swordsmanship, possibly distracting opponents (now that I think about that it's basically feigning).
Lunges: the ability to extend your reach by five feet (or more at higher levels), but only by attacking as a standard action (so not in a full attack).
Need more?

nhbdy
2011-10-20, 08:56 PM
@nhbdy The class is definitely intended to fill the tank role. However, I do agree that it's a bit too limited outside of smacking things (however gracefully) with a rapier. I'd appreciate suggestions for changing this, preferably fitting in line with the fencer archetype.

@Eldest Yes, although going about implementing it is proving to be slightly more difficult than I at first anticipated.

hmm.... well I'm thinking hard and the term fencing simply refers to a fighting style, now the only other classes to use similar terms are ranger and fighter, fighter through a chain of feats culminating in a fighting style feat (which was fairly weak and lack-luster for what it cost) and the ranger got class features that emulated feats) thus I am thinking if you want more diverse fencers, why not make them ACF's (for varying classes, like fighter, rogue, or even monk (I have seen a few of my club instructors fencing unarmed, and it was something to see) or make them a feat tree now if you really want this to be a class, perhaps make it more rogueish with more skill points, or make it more diverse with fighting styles, like sabre specialist who would get slashing moves like severing the opponent's wrist, or a epeeist who can feign without equal (and get relevant bonus damage for doing so), you could even make a magical archtype that resembles a bard in that they try to take advantage of their aptitude for magic (high int) and lack of armor to gain an advantage (but they would only gets spells or SLA's like true strike and haste and other relevant effects to the style they use) and these archetypes could be like the ranger's combat style, where you pick one early on and gain features as you go but if you do follow this, do not make foil a specialty as it historically is only a practice weapon and was never intended for the battlefield.

I know this advice deviates a lot from what has been done, but I am having immense trouble thinking of justifiable (flavor wise) ways to make a class called fencer about more than just hitting things.

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 09:07 PM
I appreciate the suggestions. However, they're all mostly covered by feats. The lunge feat allows you to extend your reach by 5 ft., but you take a -2 to AC. As you said, the flourish ability is more or less simply feinting. In addition, I believe that a feat called 'counterattack' already exists, though I don't remember the exact mechanics.

It occurred to me that the fencer's most glaring weakness is the inability to deal with ranged threats. Perhaps an ability to deal with this? Here's a basic idea.

Compelling Gaze- as a standard action, the fencer may target any sentient creature within 25' per fencer level. This creature must succeed on a will save (DC 20+Fencer's Int Mod) or be compelled to enter a duel with the fencer. It cannot take any movement which would move it further away from the fencer. In addition, it is required to move at least its base speed directly towards the fencer each round, circumventing obstacles as best as the target is able, until it is within at least 30' of the fencer. In addition, it must make a will save (DC 15+the Fencer's Int Mod) to attack any creature other than the fencer. The target is entitled to a new will save each round after it is affected by the compelling gaze. However, it takes a cumulative -1 penalty to said save for each round since he was affected by the ability. Only one creature can be affected by a fencer's compelling gaze at a time. This is a supernatural ability.

Thoughts? It seemed like a good way to give it at least some ranged capability without breaking the archetype.

Ziegander
2011-10-20, 09:07 PM
By the beard of Zeus, how many bonuses to attack rolls do you need?

By 20th level, while using Combat Expertise, Dueling, Studying, and Combat Studying an opponent you get +19 to attack rolls (the bonus from Duel doesn't stack with the exceedingly larger bonus from Combat Study). In fact, the bulk of your Fencer's class features are nothing more than stacks of bonuses to attack and damage rolls.

nhbdy
2011-10-20, 09:15 PM
Compelling Gaze- as a standard action, the fencer may target any sentient creature within 25' per fencer level. This creature must succeed on a will save (DC 20+Fencer's Int Mod) or be compelled to enter a duel with the fencer. It cannot take any movement which would move it further away from the fencer. In addition, it is required to move at least its base speed directly towards the fencer each round, circumventing obstacles as best as the target is able, until it is within at least 30' of the fencer. In addition, it must make a will save (DC 15+the Fencer's Int Mod) to attack any creature other than the fencer. The target is entitled to a new will save each round after it is affected by the compelling gaze. However, it takes a cumulative -1 penalty to said save for each round since he was affected by the ability. Only one creature can be affected by a fencer's compelling gaze at a time. This is a supernatural ability.


Mechanically it's ok, seems to work just fine, but how does a fencer staring at someone make them rush toward you, a fencer isn't by virtue of being a fencer magical in most fantasy settings, though the archetypes match up well enough, I do not think that all fencers should be getting magical and supernatural abilities, if you like it go ahead and use it, and now that I look at it Ziegander does have a point... the class does stack up a metric crapton of bonuses to attack and AC.

Ziegander
2011-10-20, 09:23 PM
That's true. I forgot Int to attack rolls and to AC. At 20th level you're looking at a total attack bonus of somewhere near +60/+55/+50/+45 (with a +5 weapon) and an AC of around 60 (with a Ring of Protection or Bracers of Armor). And that's all your class does. :smallannoyed:

EDIT: And that's without Masterful Lunge taken into consideration... *facepalm*

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 09:25 PM
Mechanically it's ok, seems to work just fine, but how does a fencer staring at someone make them rush toward you, a fencer isn't by virtue of being a fencer magical in most fantasy settings, though the archetypes match up well enough, I do not think that all fencers should be getting magical and supernatural abilities, if you like it go ahead and use it, and now that I look at it Ziegander does have a point... the class does stack up a metric crapton of bonuses to attack and AC.

In much the same way that the knight's Test of Mettle class feature works, despite the knight having no magical features to speak of. it basically functions as you challenging the other person to a duel. By virtue of being so experienced, the challenge is difficult to refuse. Although perhaps it shouldn't be supernatural, the ability at least makes sense (at least as far as most D&D abilities go).

nhbdy
2011-10-20, 09:29 PM
In much the same way that the knight's Test of Mettle class feature works, despite the knight having no magical features to speak of. it basically functions as you challenging the other person to a duel. By virtue of being so experienced, the challenge is difficult to refuse. Although perhaps it shouldn't be supernatural, the ability at least makes sense (at least as far as most D&D abilities go).

Blech! Wizards of the Coast isn't perfect, they make mistakes, they probably tried to make 3.5 balanced, and we all know it isn't, just because they did something that makes little sense doesn't make it any more applicable in my mind, still against the ability in general as it makes little sense.

On a more constructive note, why not add some other form of CC to the class, such as called shots, to the leg for instance forcing the target to limp or to the arm, which can limit attack bonus by the enemy and work as a better disarm?

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 09:31 PM
Called shots (of the critical effects variety) isn't a bad idea. Also, upon examining the class, Z does have a very good point. I'll probably trim off a few of those bonuses.

Anyways, I'll be going to bed 'bout now. Perhaps I'll have more ideas in the morning.

Othesemo
2011-10-20, 09:50 PM
That's true. I forgot Int to attack rolls and to AC. At 20th level you're looking at a total attack bonus of somewhere near +60/+55/+50/+45 (with a +5 weapon) and an AC of around 60 (with a Ring of Protection or Bracers of Armor). And that's all your class does. :smallannoyed:

EDIT: And that's without Masterful Lunge taken into consideration... *facepalm*

Your point is made. I've removed Combat Study, and I'm going to nerf masterful parry.

Eldest
2011-10-23, 08:09 PM
The ability to Fleche! You might want to add that in.

Othesemo
2011-11-09, 10:24 PM
Alright, I've changed the capstone ability to 'Broken Time,' changed the level of Insightful Feint, Removed 'Study' and added several new abilities (Aggressive Feint, Fleche, Defensive Stance, Keen Eyes and Displacement) in an effort to make the class more flavorful and less of a 'bonus to attack and AC boat.' I appreciate any and all critiques and suggestions.

Eldest
2011-11-09, 11:29 PM
I will look over it! ...tomorrow.

Othesemo
2011-11-10, 07:41 PM
<bump>

Anybody?

jiriku
2011-11-11, 12:14 AM
Nicely conceived. I like that it references actual fencing techniques and moves.

Overall Impression:
I really like what you've got going here, and it's really very impressive for your first serious class-building attempt. In particular, you've done a great job of getting out of the "melee can't have nice things" mindset that traps many people, and you've built a genuinely strong and interesting class. Nice work.

Where this class struggles is that it's altogether too brutally efficient at doing what it does best (carving up melee opponents who rely on attack rolls for their offensive power), and altogether too weak at doing anything other than its main schtick (such as fighting opponents at range, fighting opponents with immunities to its main tricks, or dealing with battlefield control and debuff). It's also a bit light on class skills and skill points.

If you bring the AC and attack bonuses down about 10-15 points, add some features that expand its options, and buff up the class skill list, you should be in pretty good shape.

Looking at versatility:
I'd agree with you that the fencer is hurting for a way to deal with non-melee opponents. A taunt of some kind is a great start, but as a mind-affecting compulsion, it will only take you so far. Plus, dueling a swarm of rats will make you look silly. I'd suggest you expand your concept somewhat to allow more varied abilities. For example, you grant the ability to strike ethereal creatures and glide over terrain obstructions - that's got potential. You could lean into that, add a spiritual or mystical dimension to the fluff, and justify a series of "ghost blade" features that might allow you walk through walls, briefly go ethereal, make melee attacks at range, resist negative energy attacks, and more.

For more versatility, I'd also suggest 6 skill points per level, and add Concentration, Craft (any), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Martial Lore, Profession (any), Use Magic Device, and Use Rope to the skill list.

Looking at the math:
Total bonuses:
+8 to hit (line of attack)
+Int to hit
+2 insight to hit (vs. dueling target)
+2 morale bonus to hit (after winning a duel)
ignore Dex to AC (insightful feint, aggressive feint, broken time)
ignore dodge to AC (insightful feint, aggressive feint, broken time)
ignore cover (keen eyes)
ignore concealment (keen eyes)
ignore total concealment (keen eyes)
ignore etherealness (keen eyes)
+7d6 damage (precise strike)
+Int to damage (insightful strike)
+2 morale bonus to damage (after winning a duel)
+8 AC (line of attack)
+4 dodge bonus to AC (vs. dueling target)
+3 dodge bonus to AC (masterful parry bonus)
+Int to AC
an average of 10 attacks per round, using explosion of blows every other round (it's easy to become immune to fatigue)

Example duel: level 20 fencer with 24 Dex and 24 Int and gear of +5 rapier, bracers of armor+8, ring of protection +5, amulet of natural armor +5 is fighting defensively while dueling a balor (CR 20), his AC would be AC 60. The balor hits him only on a natural 20. If the fencer adopts defensive stance, every attack the balor makes is 95% likely to miss and provoke an attack of opportunity, which is in turn 95% likely to hit the balor. If the fencer uses explosion of blows instead, his total attack/defense sequence would be:
round 1: no attacks (studying opponent)
round 2: 20 attacks at +47/+46/+45/+44/+43/+42/+41/+40/+39/+38/+37/+36/+35/+34/+33/+32/+31/+30/+29/+28, dealing about 35 damage per strike. The fencer ignores his opponent's cover, concealment, total concealment, Dex to AC, and dodge to AC. The balor may opt to gain +4 dodge bonus to AC vs. attacks, but the bonus is worthless since the fencer automatically renders him flat-footed simply by moving 10 feet with his 5-foot step. The fencer will, statistically speaking, hit 19 times, miss once due to rolling a natural 1, score three critical threats, and usually confirm all three. Average damage will be approximately 770, less any damage reduction.

This is dramatically out of balance. The fencer accumulates AC and attack roll bonuses that are 10-15 points higher than the upper limit of what is reasonable for a non-epic character, while denying the opponent almost any sort of defensive benefit that might reduce the odds of getting hit. To correct this, I'd suggest you cut either the lines of attack or insightful strike+canny defense, and additionally cut both masterful feint and broken time. Removing these features will also create plenty of room in the build for adding the versatility that you were wanting to inject.

Looking at the features:
In general, you have some issues with your word choice where I think what you wrote is not exactly what you meant to say. Some of these features could use some mechanical tweaks as well. For all abilities, you need to indicate whether the ability is extraordinary (ex), supernatural (su), or spell-like (sp). The vast majority of these look (ex) to me, although keen eyes should be (su) since it allows you to attack creatures on another plane of existence.

Defensive Stance - This ability is overly strong for the level at which it is gained, since it can potentially be used to gain as many bonus attacks per round as all of your opponents make. For example, a 2nd-level fencer who is attacked by three badgers stands to gain up to 9 bonus attacks (in addition to the benefit of using the better of his AC or his attack roll against the attacks). I'd suggest you require the fencer to expend an attack of opportunity for each attack he attempts to divert in a defensive stance.

Duel - It's not clear at what point the fencer can consider himself "in a duel". I'd suggest you check for "in a duel" status at the beginning of each round after the first while in combat. The bonuses to Bluff, Intimidate, and attack rolls would be more appropriately marked as competence bonuses than insight bonuses.

"If another combatant succeeds in attacking the fencer" is a bit confusing. I think you meant "If another combatant successfully hits the fencer". Given the need for a Concentration check here, I'd suggest providing Concentration as a class skill.

Keen eyes - The phrasing is a little confusing. I'd suggest the following revised wording:

Keen Eyes (Su) Starting at 4th level, the fencer's becomes so perceptive that he can strike those that he may otherwise have missed. Whenever he suffers a miss chance on his attack roll, the fencer rolls twice and takes the better result. Starting at 12th level, the fencer ignores cover (but not total cover) and suffers no miss chance from concealment or total concealment on his attack roll. He must still target the correct square when attacking an opponent he cannot see.

Also, this is a very broad spectrum of defenses to ignore, especially considering the ease with which the fencer can make opponents flat-footed. I'd recommend phasing these abilities in much more slowly.

Called Shot - The static DCs for most of these abilities makes them quickly lose their usefulness as the fencer advances in level. Also, it doesn't make sense why the called shots are resisted in such varied ways. I'd recommend that you make them all Fort saves and give them all a DC of 10 + fencer level + Dex modifier. Also, because the attacks require a standard action to use, they become less and less optimal as the fencer's base attack bonus grants him more and more iterative attacks. I'd suggest that when the fencer learns his body center and head shots, all his called shots should deal double or triple damage, respectively, if the victim fails its save.

Evasive Reflexes - This is an excellent defensive option, but a little vaguely worded. Does the fencer actually lose his next round's move action, or does he merely count as having moved, meaning he can't take a 5-foot step on his next turn? Also, it's very contentious among some folks as to whether moving out of your square as an immediate action in response to an attack causes the attack to miss automatically. Some folks say yes, some say no, some say only if you move out of the attacker's reach/range. You'd best give your intepretation just to prevent any debates.

Explosion of Blows - This is mechanically a very unwieldy ability. At 20th level, an explosion of blows can easily require 200+ dice to fully resolve. That's several minutes of everyone just sitting and waiting while the fencer's player furiously rolls dice and adds numbers. The mechanic is also unnecessarily complicated, with lots of decisions to make on a roll-by-roll basis. Some of those decisions are ultimately fairly pointless as well. for example, an opponent can choose to gain a dodge bonus, but rendering opponents flat-footed is trivial for a high-level fencer, so the dodge bonus is all for naught. Too, the massive penalty to everything, and the save against it, is ultimately rather pointless since a single EoB deals several combat's worth of damage in a single round, and will one-shot any opponent who isn't hiding behind impregnable damage reduction.

Since a single EoB kills almost anything in the game and even includes an observation period, I'd suggest you just convert it into a death attack of some sort. Much faster that way. Also, note that the fatigue restriction is a very weak limitation, since it's very, very easy to become immune to fatigue (for example, by playing a warforged or necropolitan).

Insightful Feint - Insightful Feint as a free action forces a lot of extra rolls, and can also be used to retry infinitely until the opponent fails. Instead, If the fencer already possesses the ability, allow him to feint as a swift action but apply the benefit to all attacks until the beginning of his next turn, rather than only his next attack.

Aggressive Feint - It is not necessary to nullify aggressive feint against mindless creatures, because mindless creatures are already immune to feinting. I'd suggest removing the gradual decay feature and the damage-based penalty, since that creates unnecessary bookkeepping and can easily be made ridiculously large. Instead, set the penalty equal to the fencer's class level. Or perhaps only half his class level, since you're already granting class features that can provide up to a +6 bonus on Bluff checks to feint and a -12 penalty on the target's Sense Motive check to resist.

Displacement - At this level, it's VERY likely that the fencer may already have an item, spell, or class feature on him granting an enhancement bonus to speed. Make this bonus untyped to be sure it will stack. Otherwise an excellent and useful ability.

legomaster00156
2011-11-11, 12:35 AM
Broken Time- Starting at 20th level, the fencer masters the art of confusing his enemies with his footwork. In any round where the fencer has moved at least 10 ft., all opponents that he strikes in melee are considered flat-footed.

This is a really, really pitiful capstone. You should be able to achieve a similar effect with just a feat or two if you look hard enough. I suggest that this merely be a level 15 feature or so. How about, instead...

Armor-Piercing Strike: Once per day, the Fencer may make a melee touch attack with his weapon against an opponent. If the attack hits, the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 Fencer level+INT mod) or die instantly. If he succeeds his saving throw, he is instead dazed for 1d4 rounds. If the attack roll is a critical hit, the DC to avoid death is increased by 5, and on a successful save, he is dazed for 2d4 rounds.

A death attack. Something more in line with what a MONK gets a few levels earlier. :smallamused:

Othesemo
2011-11-11, 01:43 PM
@jiriku Alright, I've made most of the changes you suggested. I've opted to remove the lines of attack (since they're not particularly flavorful and a tad superfluous), which has freed up a bit of space. Rather that altogether sacking Insightful feint and Explosion of blows, I've redone their effect. They have similar flavor now, but a more balanced actual effect. I've also increased the class skill list and skills per level, and added the Circular Parry class feature (for the sake of at least being able to deal with ranged attacks and some spells). I'm debating with myself about whether or not to add UMD.

As to Defensive Stance. I tried to deal with that by specifying that the fencer may only use it against one target at a time. For example, when attacked by three badgers, he could get up to three attacks of opportunity against that one badger, but the other two would attack him as normal with impunity. However, I have altered it to specify that it takes up an attack of opportunity, though it can still be used against one target multiple times.

I'm considering further adding this ability-

Engagement The fencer has grown so masterful in his art that he may deny his opponents their normal defenses. Casting a spell within the reach of the fencer provokes an opportunity, even if the caster attempts to cast defensively. The caster may still cast defensively to avoid attacks of opportunity from other creatures who threaten his square, and is entitled to a concentration check if the fencer succeeds in hitting him (rather than losing the spell automatically as normal).

Any other ideas for dealing with ranged attackers is appreciated.

absolmorph
2011-11-11, 03:50 PM
... Free action full-attack?
That makes Explosion of Blows worse than it was before. Now there's no chance of the damage not being enough. Everything within the fencer's reach dies. Or one creature within the fencer's reach dies. It depends on how you read it.
However, there's no limit on free actions in the rules, so perhaps a swift action?

I'm not sure how high Time Stands Still rates compared to the other level 9 ToB maneuvers, but this has at least as good of an effect and is 8 levels earlier.

Othesemo
2011-11-11, 04:46 PM
... Free action full-attack?
That makes Explosion of Blows worse than it was before. Now there's no chance of the damage not being enough. Everything within the fencer's reach dies. Or one creature within the fencer's reach dies. It depends on how you read it.
However, there's no limit on free actions in the rules, so perhaps a swift action?

I'm not sure how high Time Stands Still rates compared to the other level 9 ToB maneuvers, but this has at least as good of an effect and is 8 levels earlier.

Sorry about that, I meant a swift action. Edited. Also, Time Stands Still does not require that you spend a full round doing nothing before using it, making it substantially more powerful than this.

Othesemo
2011-11-12, 08:57 PM
My priorities right now seem to be A) Making the fencer a bit more capable of dealing with out of range characters, and B) Filling the dead level at 17. For the latter purpose, I've created this ability.

Upset Rhythm- In battle, an opponent can only retreat at a certain rate. The fencer may take advantage of this by following his opponent at a slightly faster rate, upsetting his movement and gaining a free attack in the process. Leaving a square threatened by a fencer, even when tumbling, withdrawing or making a five foot step, provokes an attack of opportunity from the fencer. If the attack of opportunity hits, the fencer may, as an immediate action, move into the target's square. The target must then make a reflex save (DC 10+Fencer Level) or fall prone. On a success, the target is instead shunted aside to a square adjacent to the fencer.

Thoughts?

bobthe6th
2011-11-13, 11:37 PM
seems fun, would but the cabosh on a tripper build... but a point, rather than make tumbling impossible perhaps raise the dc by like 20... then the super speed halfling rogue that optimized its tumble out the wazoo can still retreat, but the bard that happened to pick up the skill is skewered.

might add a clause that a fencer is immune to smiler affects from other fencers. then fencing could be accomplished, allowing for lightning lunges and retreats.

Lyesmith
2011-11-14, 03:13 AM
Something like a stop-hit might be good, as well? If an enemy charges the fencer, they can jump back 5ft whilst making an attack, based on a skill-roll (possibly) - if it succeeds, they don't suffer the effects of the charge and the opponent takes damage.

Or "Continous remise" as a flurry-of-blows style ability?
I don't play D&D, so not 100% sure on the mechanics, knowing only from what I've picked up on the forums, but I do fence.

boomwolf
2011-11-14, 07:45 AM
Well, its overall nice and all but I think the Precise Strike might be an issue..

I suggest that you either ramp it down, as it triggers at every attack and may even critical, or on the contrary ramp it up but put a limitation (such as "on critical threats" or something...)

Also dead level 17 is a pain, I suggest you put at least some generic ability at it, however if you do edit the scaling of the Precise Strike then dead levels might move around, so I suggest you first think of if you wish to edit Precise Strike's progression, and if so how-then redistribute your class abilities to fill any blanks that might occur...

As-is I would not let it see play, too much Precise Strike damage for an attack without limitations in my tastes...but other then that it's fine...


May I also suggest some sort of flurry-like attack granted at some point? (probably advancing with levels), as it is a well known style of the "super-fast-rapier-stabbing", to a trope level even...

Othesemo
2011-11-14, 05:15 PM
Well, its overall nice and all but I think the Precise Strike might be an issue..

I suggest that you either ramp it down, as it triggers at every attack and may even critical, or on the contrary ramp it up but put a limitation (such as "on critical threats" or something...)

Also dead level 17 is a pain, I suggest you put at least some generic ability at it, however if you do edit the scaling of the Precise Strike then dead levels might move around, so I suggest you first think of if you wish to edit Precise Strike's progression, and if so how-then redistribute your class abilities to fill any blanks that might occur...

As-is I would not let it see play, too much Precise Strike damage for an attack without limitations in my tastes...but other then that it's fine...

That's more or less why I toned it down to 1d6 per every three levels (rather than the rogue's SA progression). If you think about it, even at twentieth level that's just 24 extra damage each hit, assuming that your target is even vulnerable to it. A typical CR 20 dragon, for example, has a bit over 450 health and an AC around 40. Supposing that the fencer engages in melee with the dragon and hits twice (which is pretty generous), that's about fifty extra damage (not counting DR).

Heck, just about anything above CR 6-7 can survive falling from a five-hundred foot cliff. 1-7d6 extra damage isn't all that powerful.


May I also suggest some sort of flurry-like attack granted at some point? (probably advancing with levels), as it is a well known style of the "super-fast-rapier-stabbing", to a trope level even...

That was more or less the idea behind Explosion of Blows. Although fencers do, fairly regularly, attack very, very quickly, they don't do so very often (understandably so, since it's really tiring). I don't want fencers in melee to be attacking once every second for a minute-long battle, simply because that stretches suspension of disbelief and because it's thematically inappropriate. However, in honor of the trope, I did grant them the ability to occasionally attack very quickly (through EoB).

Othesemo
2011-11-14, 05:17 PM
seems fun, would but the cabosh on a tripper build... but a point, rather than make tumbling impossible perhaps raise the dc by like 20... then the super speed halfling rogue that optimized its tumble out the wazoo can still retreat, but the bard that happened to pick up the skill is skewered.

might add a clause that a fencer is immune to smiler affects from other fencers. then fencing could be accomplished, allowing for lightning lunges and retreats.

Not a bad idea. I think that I'll just say that the tumble DC is increased by the fencer's level+dex or something. What level do you think would be appropriate for the ability?

industrious
2011-11-14, 05:27 PM
Looks good to me.

That being said, I think they should get proficiency with light armor. Padded at the very least, for obvious reasons.

DeAnno
2011-11-14, 06:43 PM
Are you aware that saves (for base class abilities) normally scale at 10 + 1/2 level + ability mod? The saves on the Called Shot ability will be pretty hard to beat, though it's melee so maybe that isn't really a problem. For example comparing a Wizard 20 with Int 30 and a Fencer 20 with Dex 30, the Wizard's 9th level spells have a save DC of 29 and the Fencer's Called Shots have save DC 40.

Othesemo
2011-11-14, 08:19 PM
Are you aware that saves (for base class abilities) normally scale at 10 + 1/2 level + ability mod? The saves on the Called Shot ability will be pretty hard to beat, though it's melee so maybe that isn't really a problem. For example comparing a Wizard 20 with Int 30 and a Fencer 20 with Dex 30, the Wizard's 9th level spells have a save DC of 29 and the Fencer's Called Shots have save DC 40.

Eh... I kinda want to pretend that I knew that. But no, I didn't. Yeah, I can imagine that being a problem (especially for the head one). Edited.

boomwolf
2011-11-15, 08:50 AM
That's more or less why I toned it down to 1d6 per every three levels (rather than the rogue's SA progression). If you think about it, even at twentieth level that's just 24 extra damage each hit, assuming that your target is even vulnerable to it. A typical CR 20 dragon, for example, has a bit over 450 health and an AC around 40. Supposing that the fencer engages in melee with the dragon and hits twice (which is pretty generous), that's about fifty extra damage (not counting DR).

Heck, just about anything above CR 6-7 can survive falling from a five-hundred foot cliff. 1-7d6 extra damage isn't all that powerful.


Yes, except that this is influenced by criticals and this class improves upon them, and also urges for the weapon best used for them from the firstplace, making this potentionaly much, much more powerful.

If it did NOT multiply by critical strike however, it would have been balanced (hench "toned down")

DeAnno-while the saves ARE high, they do require a melee hit with a penaly before you even trigger the save, so thats not that much of an issue. a melee "stab" is much easier to deny then a ranged-touch spell...