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Carl
2013-03-28, 01:18 AM
Alright the inspiration first.

Whilst there are countless variations on the concept of super skilled wielders of a specific weapon. The specific inspiration I chose was the Swordsmasters from Kristen Britanís Green Rider series. I ignoring the Weapons as much as possible despite hem being the primary Swordsmasters, simply because they are a tiny bit insane in terms of capabilities. Nonetheless there was plenty of good inspirational Material there. One quote that sums up much of what theyíre about Nicely is as Follows: ďThey settled into a level of Swordsmanship bordering on Mastery in which more was achieved-more power, more finesse, more sustained action. It was the stealth and stillness of hunting cats that placed Swordsmasters above all othersĒ. Other sections speak about ďEconomy of MovementĒ and ďPrecisionĒ. Training techniques involve various methods of limiting mobility of certain body parts and a strong emphasis on precision. A Swordsmaster knows how to achieve the required amount of speed or power with the bare minimum of movement. This allows them to sustain a given speed and power for longer whilst wasting less energy per blow on extraneous movements. They can generally through physical training and the same methodology achieve a speed and power nearly unmatchable by an opponent if the wish. Whilst possessing sufficient knowledge of various weapon techniques to recognise and correctly counter them, and in turn know how to throw combinations of blows their opponent will have little hope of stopping. The fact that they are as quick and ready to get out of the way as directly meet a blow doesnít help. As such you canít really hope to beat them with a few fancy techniques, or raw strength or speed, because they can use and/or counter all 3. At the same time the emphasise not making mistakes, so you canít really hope to land a blow without forcing a mistake.

What does that all mean tough in game terms? Well at the core I wanted to create a class that mixed speed, strength and precision equally. SO I focused on emphasising Dex and Strength as stats whilst adjusting BAB mechanics to emphasise fewer precision blows over lots of sloppy ones.







Class Skills
Balance, Intimidate, Listen, Spot

Skills Points at 1st Level: (2 + int)*4

Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

Hit Dice: d8

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

1st|+0|+0|+2|+0|Greater Quick Draw, Improved Parrying, Greater Feint
2nd|+1|+0|+3|+0|Precise Attacks
3rd|+1|+1|+3|+1|Uncanny Dodge
4th|+2|+1|+4|+1|Evashion
5th|+2|+1|+4|+1|Lashing Strike
6th|+3|+2|+5|+2|Improved Defensive Fighting
7th|+3|+2|+5|+2|Improved Uncanny Dodge
8th|+4|+2|+6|+2|Improved Evasion
9th|+4|+3|+6|+3|Arrow Cutting
10th|+5|+3|+7|+3|Improved Precise Attacks
11th|+5|+3|+7|+3|Fatal Strike, Stunning Blow, Counterattack
12th|+6/+1|+4|+8|+4|Spell Cutting
13th|+6/+1|+4|+8|+4|Follow-Up
14th|+7/+2|+4|+9|+4|Deflection
15th|+7/+2|+5|+9|+5|Improved Attacks of Opportunity
16th|+8/+3|+5|+10|+5|Slashing Strikes, Weakening Blow, Perfect Blow
17th|+8/+3|+5|+10|+5|
18th|+9/+4|+6|+11|+6|
19th|+9/4|+6|+11|+6|Greater Improved Attacks of Opportunity
20th|+10/+5|+6|+12|+6|
[/table]

Weapon & Armor Proficiencies: Armsmasters have proficiency in Light, Medium, and Heavy Amour. They also have proficiency in one weapon, (see below under class features, Armsmaster Weapon).

Class Features:

Armsmater Weapon (Ex, Level 1): Armsmaters are proficient in one and only one weapon type. Choose one weapon to be your Armsmaster Weapon. This must be either a one handed, or a two handed melee weapon, but can be from the simple, martial or exotic lists. An armsmaster ignore's racial proficiencies entirely. See the section on multi-classing below for the details of multi-classing on this rule.

Greater Feint (Ex, Level 1): Whilst using your Amsmaster Weapon you may execute a Feint as a free action, and may add your Armsmaster level to your Bluff skill. When an opponent attempts to Feint against you, you may add your Armsmaster level to your Sense Motive Skill.

Improved Parrying (Ex, Level 1): So long as you are wielding only your Armsmaster Weapon in your hand/s you add strength modifier to your AC as a dodge bonus. Note that an Armsmaster wielding two or more weapons still benefits from this ability, but only if all weapons are his/her Armsmaster Weapon type.

Greater Quick Draw (Ex, Level 1): You may sheathe or unsheathe your Armsmaster Weapon/s as an immediate action.

Precise Attacks (Ex, Level 2):: If youíre total Attack roll exceeds the targets AC score when rolling to hit whilst wielding your Armsmaster Weapon you may add the amount by which you exceed the required score to your damage. If wielding a weapon in 2 hands, (but only if using one end for double weapons), you may double this amount. On a critical add the amount by which both rolls exceeded the required score.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex, Level 3): As Rouge et al.

Evasion (Ex, Level 4): As Rouge et al.

Improved Defensive Fighting (Ex, Level 6): So long as you do not utilize your special attacks, (see below), you no longer suffer the usual attack roll penalties for fighting defensively, or for the use of the combat expertise feat.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex, Level 7): As Rouge et al.

Improved Evasion (Ex, Level 8): As Rouge et al.

Arrow Cutting (Ex, Level 9): This function as per the Arrow Deflection feat except that an Armsmaster may only do it with their Armsmaster Weapon instead of with their bare hands.

Improved Precise Attacks (Ex, Level 10): You may add your dexterity modifier to both your attack modifier and your damage when wielding your Armsmaster Weapon. This is in addition to the normal strength modifier. When wielding a weapon in two hands the normal 1.5 times multiplier applies to the damage modifier, and when wielding a weapon in your off hand the normal 0.5 multiplier applies. This replaces Precise Attacks.

Spell Cutting (Ex, Level 12): An Armsmaster may now use their Arrow cutting Ability against a Spell instead of an Arrow. A deflected Spell is negated entirely.

Follow-Up (Ex, Level 13): If an enemy moves out of an Armsmasters threatened square/s, the Armsmaster may immediately take a free move action of his own after the enemy has finished their own movement but before they perform any other actions. He must use this move action to place the enemy back in a threatened square. If they are unable to do so then they may instead make a move action that places them as close as physically possible to said enemy. In addition the Amrsmasters base movement is increased by 10ft.

Deflection (Ex, Level 14): Whilst wielding his Armsmaster Weapon an Armsmaster may declare that he is using this ability against a single melee attack, (after damage has been rolled if applicable). The attack is completely negated and has no effect of any kind. This ability is separate to Arrow Cutting/Spell Cutting. However it also increase the number of Arrows/Spells you may deflect from 1 to 2. Remember however that this is a shared pool, (i.e. 1 arrow and 1 spell, or 2 arrows, or 2 spells. NOT 2 spells and 2 arrows)

Improved Attacks of Opportunity (Ex, Level 15): Feats and abilities, (e.g. defensive casting), that would normally deny an attack of opportunity for an action no longer do so vs the Armsmasters attacks.

Greater Improved Attacks of Opportunity (Ex, Level 19): You may now use a single special attack, (see below), instead of an attack of opportunity. There is no limit on how many attacks of opportunity can benefit from this rule but the number of attacks of opportunity you may make are limited as per normal.

Armsmasters and Special Attacks: Armsmasters May utilize any one of the following the place of a standard Attack. They may Utilize 2 as a Full Round action. All are resolved at a full BAB and gain a modifier to the attack roll equal to the characters Armsmaster level.

Lashing Blow (Ex, Level 5): A Lashing Blow is resolved as a single normal attack. However your reach is doubled with a normal weapon and quadrupled with a reach weapon, (so normally 10 and 20 feet respectively).

Fatal Strike (Ex, Level 11): A Fatal Strike is resolved as a normal attack, however if it causes any damage at all the target must make a fortitude save at a DC of 5+half your Armsmaster level or die.

Stunning Blow (Ex, Level 11): A Stunning Blow is resolved as a normal attack, however if it hits the target must make a Fortitude save at 10+half your Armsmaster level or be stunned for a number of rounds equal to half your Armsmaster level.

Counterattack (Ex, Level 11): Conterattack grants you a +8 Dodge Bonus to your AC class until the start of your next round. For every attack attempted by any opponent in melee combat before then that is a miss you may make a single normal attack at your full base attack bonus against that target. This skill replaces the Total Defence Action for the Armsmaster class once acquired.

Slashing Strikes (Ex, Level 16): Resolve 2 attacks at your full base attack modifier and damage against each target within your reach, (no upper limit on the number).

Weakening Blow (Ex, Level 16): Resolve a single attack at your full base attack modifier. If it causes damage the target suffers a -1 modifier to all saves and attack rolls, as well as a -1 modifier to their total AC. They also suffer a -1 modifier to all skill and ability checks. This effect lasts till the end of the encounter and multiple Weakening Blows are cumulative.

Perfect Blow (Ex, Level 16): A Perfect Blow never misses, so do not roll to hit. It also bypasses all forms of Damage Reduction, as well as any other defensive measures that would normally prevent a hit or prevent damage. For the purposes of Greater Precise Attacks, treat it as having exceeded the required score by an amount equal to your Armsmaster Level.



Multi-classing and Armsmasters:

Armsmaster may either use their Armsmaster BAB modifier, (with normal improvements from other classes), with access to the Armsmaster special attacks, (as appropriate for their Armsmaster level), but with no Bonus attacks due to high BAB. Or they may use their combined non Armsmaster BAB with said BAB gaining a +1 modifier for each Armsmaster level. If they do this they may not use their Armsmaster special attacks, but they do gain bonus attacks for high BAB.

A Character multi-classing into Armsmaster must pick a weapon they are already proficient with to be their Armsmaster Weapon.


Now for a summary of each capability and how I see it all fitting together.

The save progression is pretty standard however the BAB progression is very weird. The latter however is offset by how Armsmasters interact vis a vis bonus attacks. Skills are fairly limited. Situational awareness and a couple of other skills that make sense for someone with the level of skill and focus on dexterity as well as strength that an Armsmaster has. Intimidate is kind of obvious why. Skill points are low but thatís fine for a class focused on combat so heavily. Class Ability wise the initial Master Weapon gives them a nice littlie boost to attack and damage whilst making the choice between 2-hander, Dual Wield, or Sword & Board much less dependent on feat expenditures. Greater Feint also helps emphasise the skill side of things by solidly integrating Feint into the Swordsmasters Repertoire. Improved Parrying helps ensure later changes donít de-emphasise strength too much whilst providing a strong AC boost. At 2nd Level Precise Attacks throws a nice dual use ability at you that can make hitting much easier or let you hit for more damage whilst working the Dex score in as more integral to the overall class. 3Rd and 4th level continue the Dex focusing a bit further whilst improving survival and AC in a verity of situations. 5th levels bring in Greater Quick Draw to let you get your weapon in hand even in surprise situations and the like. The real benefits here though are the Special Atacks. Lashing low is a basic range extending utility attack. Flurry of Blows lets you pick between single powerful strikes, or several weaker oneís, depending on the situation, itís primarily meant for extreme AC opponents and multiple targets. Overwhelming Blow is your basic, do more damage attack. The main point is it needs to be better across several level ranges, so that as Flurry gets more attacks it doesnít overshadow it. Definitely an area I need advice in on balance. 6th level brings another powerful defensive boost, albeit you need a feat for full advantage and it limits your ability to use your best attacks. 7th, 8th, and 9th levels bring graded but still nice improvements to several areaís. 10th is where you see the next big jump. Improved Precise attacks means you can get a damage and an attack roll boost at the same time. Which given likely magic item boosting of stats is quite powerful at this point. 11th brings in a nice ranged defence and 3 new special attacks. Counterattack is basically an improved Total Defence since it not only buffs AC by more, but it also makes the enemy not want to attack you in the first place as much, great for those occasions when you need to be really hard to hurt. Stunning Blow is a passable debuff excellent at letting you get some ďfreeĒ damage in, however it isnít that hard to save against. Fatal Strike is fairly limited against on level targets, but itís perfect for dealing with lower level stuff that might not be one shotted by normal attacks so easily. 12th level emphasises the defences again. 13th brings in the first affect that isnít a direct damage or attack roll, or AC buff. What it does in simple terms is make escaping from an Armsmaster that much harder, you canít deal with getting wailed on by running away after the fact so easy. Itís either avoid melee to start with or come in equipped to handle it, (or defeat the Armsmaster before he closes). 14th opens up a defence vs spells, albeit a limited one. 15th is probably the first jaw dropper of the upper levels. Given the numerous attack roll bonuses and high BAB at this point a Armsmaster is able to pick up huge amounts of bonus damage rather easily if the target doesnít have too excessive an AC. 16th brings in yet more reasons to fear the Armsmaster in melee thanks to numerous actions provoking AoO now doing so despite feats or class features. It also brings some new attacks. Slashing strikes is your pure AoE now, it does step on Flurry of Blows a fair bit, but a fair tradeoff at this point IMHO. Weakening Blow is great for those opponents that can worry and threaten you since you can wear them down now over a number of rounds until their weak enough to finish of in some way. And Perfect Blow is a simple answer to all the varied, (mostly spell based), options for going ďno you canít hurt me actuallyĒ. Itís not any more powerful than a normal attack per blow. But it gives you a lot more options against unusually well protected targets. 17th level is a bit of a break form the existing power curve, but itís still handy if a bit overshadowed by this point. 18th brings in a an improvement for the ranged/spell defence and adds a nice powerful melee defence to the mix as well. 19th builds on prior ideaís by making AoO something to live in terror of, you now really donít want to tackle an Armsmaster head on without being able to directly deal with them. 20th brings in some real punch improvement at the expense of utilising improved defensive fighting, (but you can go counterattack + whatever you want for that now if you've got a full round action available).

Thatís said all this capability does produce some concerns. Specifically the interaction between Overwhelming Blow and Greater Precise Attacks and how that then interacts with Greater Improved Attacks of Opportunity. Between them that opens some painful amounts of damage output. On the other hand magic users can throw some real AoE and non-direct damage spells out of enormous power. But Iím not sure trying to match them is ideal. I basically want advice on how to revise Flurry of Blows and Overwhelming blow to perform their low level function, without scaling out of control at upper levels, and yet both remaining useful.

EDIT: Update:

Okay made a bunch of changes since my last post. At the request of one poster Iíve added level numbers to each ability and re-worked BAB vs special attacks a fair bit. I also dropped Overwhelming Blow and Flurry because I felt they got a bit redundant. Flurry became meaningless with Slashing Strikes and Overwhelming low and Greater Precise Attacks where filling the same purpose. So I dropped 2 attacks and replaced Precise attacks with the old Greater version. I also threw Master Weapon out as unnecessary at this point. This open up more places to fit things in so a number of abilities moved to new often lower level slots, making them available a littlie earlier.

Some problems have arisen though. Iím now lacking 2 special attacks, I could do with some level appropriate ideaís tbh. Iím also now possessed of insufficient skills to fill out the top third of the class levels, thatís a lot of dead levels tbh.

Still internally debating what to do with skills.

Misery Esquire
2013-03-28, 11:09 AM
Quick comments before even getting on with the class features ;
First ; Holy early PrC entry, Batman!
Secondly ; By Microsoft Clippy, that end spoiler needs formatting.

Onward to the class features!

Weapon Master
It's... There. It's a small bonus to your numbers. It occasionally gets a level to itself. Not sure why the first Weapon Master gives Two Weapon fighting, while the rest have no progression of it.

Precise Attacks
Only makes a small gain in damage, until you hit Greater Precise Attacks, when you're gaining variable amounts dependent on your BAB/Target's AC - then it's hard to say what's gained.

Greater Uncanny Dodge
The text states that he never loses his Dodge Bonus except for immobilization ; this is already included in the ordinary Uncanny Dodge.

Flurry of Blows
Isn't good on the Monk, and isn't particularly better, here.

Fatal Strike
At maximum DC of 15 with 20 levels of Armsmaster this is... Unimpressive. Terminally so.

Stunning Blow
DC 20 maximum. Better, but still poor.

Greater Perfect Blow
Excellent. Better than the capstone Improved Special Attacks. Gained too late to do much to the Mages that it cuts through the defenses of. But that's more of a word on the hilarious amount of power a Wizard brings than a detriment on the ability.

Improved Special Attacks
Allow the Armsmaster to combine Special Attacks with a Full Attack instead, and I'm feeling much better about this.


Overall ;
This makes a Fighter that's better against other Mundanes, aside from the admittedly classy Spell Cutting that helps against targeted spells. Provides more options, the ones of which I believe need work I commented on. I think this work would benefit from having some of it's abilities consolidated downward level-wise, and a few new ones tagged in higher up.

Carl
2013-03-28, 12:36 PM
Quick comments before even getting on with the class features ;
First ; Holy early PrC entry, Batman!
Secondly ; By Microsoft Clippy, that end spoiler needs formatting.

Onward to the class features!

Weapon Master
It's... There. It's a small bonus to your numbers. It occasionally gets a level to itself. Not sure why the first Weapon Master gives Two Weapon fighting, while the rest have no progression of it.

Precise Attacks
Only makes a small gain in damage, until you hit Greater Precise Attacks, when you're gaining variable amounts dependent on your BAB/Target's AC - then it's hard to say what's gained.

Greater Uncanny Dodge
The text states that he never loses his Dodge Bonus except for immobilization ; this is already included in the ordinary Uncanny Dodge.

Flurry of Blows
Isn't good on the Monk, and isn't particularly better, here.

Fatal Strike
At maximum DC of 15 with 20 levels of Armsmaster this is... Unimpressive. Terminally so.

Stunning Blow
DC 20 maximum. Better, but still poor.

Greater Perfect Blow
Excellent. Better than the capstone Improved Special Attacks. Gained too late to do much to the Mages that it cuts through the defenses of. But that's more of a word on the hilarious amount of power a Wizard brings than a detriment on the ability.

Improved Special Attacks
Allow the Armsmaster to combine Special Attacks with a Full Attack instead, and I'm feeling much better about this.


Overall ;
This makes a Fighter that's better against other Mundanes, aside from the admittedly classy Spell Cutting that helps against targeted spells. Provides more options, the ones of which I believe need work I commented on. I think this work would benefit from having some of it's abilities consolidated downward level-wise, and a few new ones tagged in higher up.


It's not meant to be early PrC access. Rather an armsmaster focuses on skill over lots of waving, so they gain better BAB progression but no extra attacks from BAB. It's a tradeoff.

Second. I'm not sure what else i could do with that pharagraph. Most levels are half a line to a couple of lines, too short for individual pharagraphs.



To address specific points.

1. Master weapon and it's line where devised before many other class features and have lagged a bit, though their small but helpful as you note. There's no advancement of the TWF line because there's no point. No bonus attacks remember, so ITWF and GTWF do't give you anything.

2.True but it's there and you've got overwhelming blow in any case from level 5 for bonus damage till then. It was intended as an extra boost. That said bear in mind average AC (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?PHPSESSID=mqg1bdtli1fa5772tt1v9v4i62&topic=11336.msg388252#msg388252) for a given CR. Most targets by the time you get it are going to have an AC less than your attack modifier so there's a lot of bonus damage coming in that way.

3. Uncanny dodge says it allows you to retain your dex modifier in situations that would normally deny you it. It does not say that such situations cease to count as situations that would normally deny you the bonus. The dodge modifier says it is denied in any situation that would deny you your dex bonus. Nowhere does any of that allow uncanny dodge to give you dodge modifiers back. It affects dex modifiers only, at least there's nothing in how it's written on the SRD that says that.


4. It's meant as a low to mid level AoE, or a single target skill for the rare target that can boost it's AC high enough that a single attack may not be reliable.

5. I'm explicitly not attempting to create a T1 here. SoD effects should be effective against noticeably lower CR targets only given current mechanics. Now i agree there's some wiggle room on that DC, (i wrote them before i got that earlier link), but i am not trying to create an ability that's a credible threat against the majority of equal CR targets.

6. This i'm happy to improve so long as the duration isn't too OTT.

7.Glad you like it. It seemed the best way to open options.

8. It's real benefit is letting you use special attacks whilst moving around. Using a full attack to make 2 special's is powerful as hell, (perhaps too powerful with overwhelming blow), but limits you in other ways if you need to move afterwards. still glad you like it.

Lord_Gareth
2013-03-28, 03:39 PM
- Why is that skill list so pathetically short on skills actual weapon masters use and practice every day? Sense Motive, Tumble, and Jump are unforgivable omissions, as are things like Knowledge (History) and Craft (what sort of weapons master doesn't hand-craft his own blade?)

- There...is so much else wrong with this entire thing on the conceptual level but I suppose I can wrap up the entire package by saying this: your class is inelegant. The BAB thing is sloppy work; if you want to focus on single strikes give him something to DO with them, don't clumsily hack apart the BAB rules for no reason. The abilities, likewise, are clunky and in some cases misspelled. Not trying to dump on ya bro, but your work could use some serious refinement.

Metool
2013-03-28, 03:49 PM
A note on BAB: You're going double what 3/4 BAB is at each level, instead of going 6/4 (or 3/2) BAB. It should go +1, +3, +4, +6, +7, +9, +10, +12 and so on, if you want to do that right. Further, having arcane (in the 'why would you do that' sense) BAB restrictions is not as elegant and graspable as granting, say, 1/2 BAB (or 1/4, even) with a bonus to attack rolls equal to class level. Such a solution would also serve to prevent early entry shenanigans.

Additionally, the class skill list is woefully incomplete. It should probably have, let's say, 4 more, with Craft somewhere in there.

Misery Esquire
2013-03-28, 06:41 PM
3. Uncanny dodge says it allows you to retain your dex modifier in situations that would normally deny you it. It does not say that such situations cease to count as situations that would normally deny you the bonus. The dodge modifier says it is denied in any situation that would deny you your dex bonus. Nowhere does any of that allow uncanny dodge to give you dodge modifiers back. It affects dex modifiers only, at least there's nothing in how it's written on the SRD that says that.



Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

If a rogue already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

From here. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/rogue.htm)

Always Getting Dex-to-AC is the purpose of Uncanny Dodge. There may be some confusion with the ordinary Dodge Feat (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#dodge)?

On Save DCs ; I'm not really up to snuff on the appropriate save DCs but a DC15 will... Never hit at level 16-20. DC20 has slim chances - especially since the majority of targets hit will have the full fortitude ; looking into it, plenty of CRs in the low teens have a near-or-greater than Fort 14+. Or in a few cases, such as the Vrock, CR 9 has a Fort 14.

Greenish
2013-03-28, 08:41 PM
3. Uncanny dodge says it allows you to retain your dex modifier in situations that would normally deny you it. It does not say that such situations cease to count as situations that would normally deny you the bonus. The dodge modifier says it is denied in any situation that would deny you your dex bonus. Nowhere does any of that allow uncanny dodge to give you dodge modifiers back. It affects dex modifiers only, at least there's nothing in how it's written on the SRD that says that.Dodge bonuses (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#dodgeBonus) and features like sneak attack (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/rogue.htm#sneakAttack) only care whether you're actually denied Dex to AC, not whether you hypothetically would be.

Carl
2013-03-28, 11:11 PM
@Gereenish: I'll bow to collective expertise here my reading of the SRD led me to believe that it worked the opposite way to what you described.

@Kinslayer: Like i said i wrote the DC's before i got that link, i was hedging my bets at the time.

@Metool: I wanted to avoid any-more class abilities, I'm also not sure how much it would change, (i'll do that math on 1/2 BAB + level and 1/4 BAB + level after i finish writing this and see what changes ok). They have enough as it is plus i was going for a round number. I wasn't basing it off Class level * X. I simply re-used the progression of rouge's etal and doubled the value at each level.

For Skills, see my reply below to Lord_Gareth.

@Lord_Gareth:

1. Because that's representative of the skills that are innate to the source material, (it also matches a second source I have on hand, Simon .R. Green's Down Amongst the Dead Men). They're taught the many methods of attack and defence with their weapon, they're taught how to move their body to maximise the amount of force and speed they can place into blows and parries for the least expenditure of energy. They're taught how to read their opponents actions in a swordfight and use that against them. They're not taught anything but the most basic maintenance stuff, (i.e. how to stop a blade rusting or how to sharpen it), They're not taught how to be acrobats (Tumble or Jump), or to read someone out of combat or anything like that. The list i gave is the specific skills I can say the source material gives them that would apply both in and out of combat. Certainly they jump over blades if they can or dodge out of the way if necessary. But that doesn't mean their good at jumping as the jump skill represents or that they can make fancy rolls to tumble around. Sense Motive is certainly something they use in it's in combat application, (something i've already represented), but they're not in any way trained in it's out of combat applications.

That's not to say many don't have a multitude of other skills. but these vary wildly by the individual depending on their background. Their not something they're taught as part of their training but something they already had.

2. I did do something, it's called special attacks. The whole mechanic regarding BAB is to represent one thing. They are never sloppy. Weather it's their first, their second, their fourth, their tenth, their hundredth blow. It's just as precise, powerful and skilled. At the same time their level of precision, skill and power places their blows on a level equalling or exceeding their best contemporaries. That's hard to represent with the default bonus attacks system because it makes them weaker. You could include a rule like, (all attacks are made at Full Base BAB), but if you keep the BAB high enough to represent their per blow skill as well, (i.e. 20 or more), that's 4 attacks at an attack roll high enough to see serious Power attack boosting. The damage potential starts to scale off the chart for anyone using Power attack, (or later Greater Precise Attacks). Not to mention the multi-class abuses.

The whole point about the special attacks system was to move away from such insane damage totals. That's mostly why Overwhelming Blow and Flurry are there. It gives you options that stop the other classes pulling too far ahead before you get Greater Precise attacks, whilst throttling your damage overall. Greater Precise attacks lets you keep up in overall damage without letting you go off the charts. The whole Overwhelming Blow
+ Greater Precise attacks is an issue though.

3. Also what misspellings. Word says their accurate.

EDIT: I've cut out Greater Uncanny Dodge and upped the DC's of Fatal and Stunning.

bobthe6th
2013-03-28, 11:21 PM
Why not full BAB, and give a +1/2 level bonus to hit as a good version of weapon focus...

Though I have to agree with the general view of ineligence.

Carl
2013-03-29, 04:07 AM
Though I have to agree with the general view of ineligence.

I'm not really sure i understand why it's inelligant though. People keep saying this but apart from not liking the BAB progression, (fair enough), i'm not sure why they see it as this. I don;t feel like people are being clear about why this is.

Let me try an summarise my design goals.

1. The class should make equal use of both dexterity and strength within it's build. They should be stats that the rules emphasise as good to have.

2. It should be making attacks at the same or better attack modifier as another full BAB martial class.

3. It should never be making any attack at less than it's full modifier.

4. It should focus on only one weapon.

5. It should be balanced.

I'll admit a bit of introspection has made me decide that Flurry and Overwhelming where a mistake. I should probably re-organise differently and drop those two because they're a bad idea. Greater Precise attacks is enough to counterbalance the lack of bonus attacks if it's moved to an earlier slot, and Overwhelming and Flurry don't really fit into the unique utility option theme i have with the rest of the special attacks.

bobthe6th
2013-03-29, 04:22 AM
mostly the BAB, but besides that 85% of the class features are basically feats... and you told out of combat to go **** itself. Not a great combo for a class honestly.

Notice every point design goal revolves around combat, and at that making an attack. This is not a good thing for a base class.

Carl
2013-03-29, 06:22 AM
Thanks for the clarification.

Honestly much of the out of combat is dictated by the base class. I did consider a PRC, but i'd either have to set class skill limits that would exclude the hell out of a bunch of martial classes, (which one's depending on how i did it), to fit in elements i see as kind of vital to the emphasise dexterity side of things or i'd have top be giving out a whole bunch of abilities at each level. Neitheris especially brilliant.

I do get the feat point. What with Master Weapon, Greater Feint, Greater Quick Draw, Arrow Cutting, Evasion, and Uncanny Dodge and their progressions. To break those down and the thought process behind it:

As i said Master weapon was an early thought when that and precise attacks where the defining elements. Special Attacks and everything else came much later and made this a bit overshadowed. It's filler now tbh.

Greater Feint was put in just to make them good at feinting and resistant to it without making the relevant skills class skills, (which doesn't fit the underlying theme).

Greater Quick Draw was just there so their various defensive boost that are specific to their weapon can be used even in a surprise round.

Arrow Cutting was a way to add in some marginal ranged defence. I saw no reason to write custom rules for the job when something already existed that just needed a modification to it's usability parameters. The progression brought in some spell protection and cemented the melee superiority.

Evasion was a means of emphasising that reflex save and dexterity. Again why re-invent the wheel. I will admit it's one of the more droppable elements though.

Uncanny Dodge was more focused that some of the above, whilst it was thematic in choice, it fitted a very specific element. That in a normal situation an Armsmaster shouldn't feel shy about tackling several targets at once dealing with flanking and lost dodge bonuses was key to this so Improved and Greater (i know my mistake), went in for that, and the basic because it's realistically a pre-requisite.


You've probably notice a theme, i prefer to re-use existing mechanics in new ways or in normally unavailable combinations over all new mechanics. Exiting mechanics have known interactions, new ones are much more abusable due to a greater degree of unknown with the new variables. Not that i'm against all new mechanics. Just i prefer to use them where they're the only way of accomplishing a goal.


I also do understand the point about out of combat. But that as a concious decision. The main examples i know of are either larger than life characters not representable outside of epic levels or there examples like the ones i used which either revive very limited training outside of their weaponry related stuff, or are totally inept at the basic necessities of life.

I admit i was tempted to draw more on the Weapons, but they have a class skill list that's kind of insane, (to wit; Balance, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (All), Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival, probably with major Class bonuses to most of them and the track feat thrown in for good measure), and their skilled with any melee weapon, or even their bare hands. Their's even an unconfirmed implication they're as good with ranged weapons. That's one hell of an upgrade and seriously stepping on some toes skill wise IMO. Not to mention having a class that can pop out of thin air to attack you for a 100 or so damage per swing at higher levels is kind of stretching the balance.

That said i appreciate the feedback, and if this lot throws any more idea's at you feel free to throw whatever back at me. I'm innately stubborn and cautious. I took improved feats in them around the same time Shojo took Improved Paranoia:smallbiggrin:.

Lord_Gareth
2013-03-29, 10:02 AM
5. It should be balanced.

An admirable design goal, but what's your balance point? Most folks around here assume T3 - which you've fallen well and truly short of. This class is T5, maybe even T6. It'd be wretchedly unfun to play even during combat.

Metool
2013-03-29, 10:18 AM
Another thought on BAB and attack bonuses: Why not, instead of denying bonus attacks for high BAB, just have low BAB, and encourage special class-granted attacks by giving them a bonus to hit equal to your class level, on top of their usual effects?

Carl
2013-03-29, 11:22 AM
An admirable design goal, but what's your balance point? Most folks around here assume T3 - which you've fallen well and truly short of. This class is T5, maybe even T6. It'd be wretchedly unfun to play even during combat.

Er care to explain how a class that can (just to pick an example) take 2 on level CR17 threats is in any way T5 or T6,. That's dangerously close to T2 in my understanding. A level 20 is even nastier.

Seriously let me put into perspective. A level 20 with a +8 dex and +8 strength modifier would have an attack roll before buff spells with a generic +5 greatsword of 54+1D20. and AC of 42, (35 with special attacks) standard, 31, (24 with specials), touch and flat footed, and against an average CR20 target, (AC36), a standard attack average damage of 100. That's extremely insane. It can move around at normal moment speeds delivering way more damage than most classes. Sure a spellcaster with SoD or similar can do more but that's way above the potential of most blasty wizards, (an example oft quoted of T3). Never mind the combat utility capabilities it packs. I'd have a very hard time under my understanding of the tiering of justifying a rating less than T3 because frankly it's utterly dominant in combat, maybe not to the degree of a high level caster, but i was aiming for T3 anyway so i wouldn't want that.



Another thought on BAB and attack bonuses: Why not, instead of denying bonus attacks for high BAB, just have low BAB, and encourage special class-granted attacks by giving them a bonus to hit equal to your class level, on top of their usual effects?

The problem is their full round actions by defualt, i could change that i guess but as is a lot of the time you couldn't use them so then you'd have issues with lack of mobility. There's also multi-classing to worry about. Having low BAB progression is great till someone uses a multiclass to raise BAB enough to make multiple attacks better. Barring them is a guarantee against people finding ways round the class design ethos that break balance tbh. Still that is an interesting idea and i like :). I'll think on it though bed time soon, so bhe 24 hours most likely before any changes are made now.

Greenish
2013-03-29, 11:43 AM
Er care to explain how a class that can (just to pick an example) take 2 on level CR17 threats is in any way T5 or T6,. That's dangerously close to T2 in my understanding. A level 20 is even nastier.Because tiers measure flexibility, options, solutions. Someone who can kill anything with a single sword strike is still tier 4, because while their one trick is good at what it does, they can't do anything else.


The problem is their full round actions by defualt, i could change that i guess but as is a lot of the time you couldn't use them so then you'd have issues with lack of mobility. There's also multi-classing to worry about. Having low BAB progression is great till someone uses a multiclass to raise BAB enough to make multiple attacks better.Make the special Armsmaster attacks standard actions, then, silly. :smalltongue:

Carl
2013-03-29, 12:02 PM
Because tiers measure flexibility, options, solutions. Someone who can kill anything with a single sword strike is still tier 4, because while their one trick is good at what it does, they can't do anything else.

You don't consider all the capabilities of all those different special attacks, or the arrow cutting line, or follow up extra capabilities?

Seriously it sounds like your saying anything without a long skills list and the skill points to use them or a nice list of good spells is automatically not T3.



Make the special Armsmaster attacks standard actions, then, silly.

That's what i meant when i said i could change it. Doesn't do anything about the abuse potential.

Greenish
2013-03-29, 12:15 PM
That's what i meant when i said i could change it. Doesn't do anything about the abuse potential.Of course it does. :smallannoyed:

Make them scale by Armsmaster level, and what with being standard actions, they couldn't be mixed with bonus attacks even if you got those from somewhere.

Carl
2013-03-29, 12:27 PM
My point is they're not as powerful as a full round of 3 or 4 attacks if they can get their BAB high enough to get that many. Multi-classing would allow that with only a few levels. 12 Armsmaster 8 full BAB would give you 3 attacks at 14 BAB. With the precise attacks line a full attack is still likely to be better than any special attack. Epic levels would eventually allow 4 as ell though i see that as less of an issue, (as most people look down on epics as far as i can tell).

I certainly like the idea but i don't want to leave loopholes hanging.

p.s. appreciate all the feedback :smallcool:.

Greenish
2013-03-29, 12:32 PM
My point is they're not as powerful as a full round of 3 or 4 attacks if they can get their BAB high enough to get that many. Multi-classing would allow that with only a few levels. 12 Armsmaster 8 full BAB would give you 3 attacks at 14 BAB. With the precise attacks line a full attack is still likely to be better than any special attack. Epic levels would eventually allow 4 as ell though i see that as less of an issue, (as most people look down on epics as far as i can tell).

I certainlly like the idea but i don't want to leave loopholes hanging.What are you babbling about? This is for the fix where you give the class a 1/2 BAB instead of silly, illogical, rules-changing mess you currently have!

[Edit]:
p.s. appreciate all the feedback :smallcool:.Great. :smallamused:

Metool
2013-03-29, 12:50 PM
Don't mind Greenish, he's off his medication today.

Carl
2013-03-29, 12:50 PM
What are you babbling about? This is for the fix where you give the class a 1/2 BAB instead of silly, illogical, rules-changing mess you currently have!

The point i'm making is even with half BAB and then class level to special attacks (with them as standard actions), once you get more than 11 BAB you WILL be more destructive and dangerous by just taking a full attack with the bonus attacks. Something the whole idea behind going over to half BAB + Bonus is supposed to stop.

Most of their damage comes from their precise attacks chain. Only around a third of the attack roll would come from the class level bonus. That means as long as they can get enough of a BAB to get their second attacks hitting reliably they can gladly start pulling a lot of damage.

I'm being a Numpty aren't i. Jut let them make 2 specials as full round from the start :smallfurious:. Me = Dumb for missing that.


Great.

I know i'm being a cautious maniac, i wanted you to know i do appreciate it despite how frustrated you must feel.


Don't mind Greenish, he's off his medication today.

Bless him, he's not being that bad, his last line gave me a good chuckle :smalltongue:.

Metool
2013-03-29, 01:00 PM
[...] even with half BAB and then class level to special attacks (with them as standard actions), once you get more than 11 BAB you WILL be more destructive and dangerous by just taking a full attack with the bonus attacks.

Sometimes, you need to make a single attack as a standard action, because sometimes, things try to run and hide.

Greenish
2013-03-29, 01:03 PM
The point i'm making is even with half BAB and then class level to special attacks (with them as standard actions), once you get more than 11 BAB you WILL be more destructive and dangerous by just taking a full attack with the bonus attacks.Then boost the standard action. I mean, sure, you could have a dozen levels in Armsmaster and some in full BAB to get 11+ BAB, but the levels in Armsmaster wouldn't give you any benefit.


Most of their damage comes from their precise attacks chain.That's why you'd key the Precise Attacks, and everything else, to this standard action attack.


Look, I'm obviously not getting through, so let me spell this out for you with an example:

Masterstroke (Ex): At first level, the Armsmaster learns to perform a single powerful strike. As a standard action, the Armsmaster makes a single attack against one target within his reach. This attack gains a bonus of +2 per class level on the attack roll.
Then you just add the line "This only applies to the Armsmaster's Masterstroke" to Precise Attacks, Fatal Strike, whathaveyou.

Then you can juggle numbers to make the attack worthwhile in comparison with a full attack.

Now no one has any incentive to just dip Armsmaster for attack bonus or whatever you imagined people might be doing with it.

Carl
2013-03-29, 02:13 PM
Now no one has any incentive to just dip Armsmaster for attack bonus or whatever you imagined people might be doing with it.

The main benefits i see are the precise attacks line, free evasion/uncanny dodge with minimal unwanted class features for pure melee'rs, and the benefits of Improved Parrying and Improved Defences for AC as the main reasons. BAB would be secondary.

Also in case it had passed over you, i'd decided to drop Overwhelming and Flurry and bring in the Greater Precise Effect at low level whilst dropping the standard precise entirely, (leaving Improved unchanged at it's current level). So there would be real abuse options there since 14 BAB would with +5 weapon high Strength and a another modifier be able to hit a number of on level targets reliably with commensurable excess attack roll to spare.

Also in case i wrote the rules unclearly. The dex effect of Precise/Improved Precise is cumulative with the normal strength bonus, it doesn't replace. And if your attack roll is 36+1D20 and you score an 10, but only need a total roll of 36, that's beating the score by 10 points. A critical could easily see a 22 or more bonus. With a 2-handers thats crud ton of extra damage between them.

Anyway bed now i hope.

eftexar
2013-03-29, 03:23 PM
May I suggest bolding the class features and listing their levels? I can't really gauge balance at each level without being able to compare it to nearby levels and scrolling up and down seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

Please return BaB to the normal 20 progression. While I understand what you are trying to accomplish I keep two points in mind when I purposefully break away from normal game mechanics: Am a I accomplishing something that couldn't be better accomplished without breaking the norm and is what I'm accomplishing worth the change in mechanics?
For example, instead of just amping up BaB a better method mechanically would be something like this:

Weapon Mastery (Ex)
The Armsmaster adds half his level as a bonus to attack rolls when making an attack with any weapon he is proficient with.
Additionally, for every +5 this ability grants to his attack rolls, he may make an additional attack, at his highest base attack bonus, with any weapon that qualifies for this bonus.
Here we have an ability that grants your boost, but has a condition that has to be met and without a wacky progression. Maybe with a bit of tweaking, and some fluff, and it would work perfectly.

And why no skills or skill points, I mean, at all? I understand you saying that their training was mostly in those skills, but you are thinking too literally. When compiling a list of skills there are three types you should add: what would they use in real life, what roles besides warrior might they fill and what do those roles need as skills, and, most importantly of all, rule of cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool).

And, I'm sorry for nitpicking, but the word 'Improved' plastered everywhere is kind of repetitive. Coupled with the BaB, ugh... I suggest a thesaurus. The presentation of a class is just as important as it's mechanics.

You have to remember that we are theoretically posting our homebrew not just for review, or even just for other's on the boards, but possibly for other players who aren't as advanced as many of us homebrewers and will be turned away by wonky mechanics.

Sorry if I was particularly blunt, I feel bad when I have to respond this way, but I don't feel like anyone was getting their point across to you because I think they were cringing too much and you probably felt like you were being attacked.

edit/

I also agree that it's bad most of the class abilities mimic feats. Even if you reword and refluff them it works better.
There have to be have a dozen ways to mimic sneak attack without even referencing AC or flanking. Or, for an example, look at how the Monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike.

Once you salvage the class and make use of some of everyone's suggestions I'll come back and take a look at the mechanics of the actual abilities and balance from level to level.

Carl
2013-03-30, 12:38 AM
Update up.

I'm using italics btw because bold's already in use for section headers. Could swap it or something though i guess.