Originally Posted by PId6
Okay, ranger, dragon shaman, and swashbuckler have all been edited based on suggestions. New thoughts?
- I still think restricting Extra Granted Maneuver is a wise move balance-wise (and flavorful too), for now, but I could easily imagine that playtesting could prove me wrong and necessitate adding it back in.
- Medium BAB: I don't like it. I like to think of the Swashbuckler being exceedingly accurate with his attacks. But I have to admit, it makes sense mechanically as a way to discourage Power Attacking and a balance to the two good saves the class now gets. So I don't like it, but I don't have a better suggestion for now.
- Good Fort/Ref saves: Yeah, ok. I still think a poor Fortitude save, backed up by the Mind Over Body maneuver, could be very flavorful, but I understand that the Swashbuckler's random recovery method makes that a very risky tactic. Unless you wanted to homebrew a feat -- in place of Extra Granted Maneuver? -- that lets certain Maneuvers always be Granted.
- But if Reflex save is Good, Grace shouldn't give a bonus to it anymore. Grace being a bonus to AC and Initiative should still be powerful enough, IMHO.
- INT to Will saves seems very fitting. Again, though, kind of discourages the Swashbuckler from using Diamond Mind save-replacing Maneuvers as much as he could.
- Dashing Strike is rather powerful on a per-encounter basis, for a class that already gets full maneuver progression. But maybe it's ok, with its restrictions ... I guess I wouldn't take it out without playtesting first. Is there any reason not to restrict it to one-handed (or light) weapons?
- This class is still a ridiculously good one-level dip for many builds. Like, any Rogue.
So, the original Dragon Shaman class, weak as it was, was IMHO very much designed to be a Healer/Support class (or "Leader" in the 4e lexicon). A class that could theoretically fill the Cleric's role. With the way you've given it full BAB, Martial Weapon Proficiency, and taken away all Charisma dependence, I can only assume that you're trying to shift its focus towards being a true Tank/Melee type class (or "Defender" in 4e terms).
If that's so, then you might as well be decisive about it. Take away the Touch of Vitality, and re-evaluate which Auras are still really appropriate. Auras in general are very Leader-like, IMHO, in spite of precedents set by WoW Paladins.
Personally, I'd rather see the Dragon Shaman class keep its focus on the Leader role, but actually do it without sucking.
Thanks for listening to feedback about making the class less "cluttered" with minor abilities.
Overall I'm concerned that the new class is rather overpowered, if it has access to spells from Spell Compendium. A Spell-Compendium-wielding Ranger was already considered "just barely underpowered," and you've gone and improved the spellcasting progression, improved the Animal Companion, improved Favored Enemy, and improved Bonus Feat selection.
I definitely approve of consolidating the list of Favored Enemies down to a reasonable selection. The Humanoid classification still needs work, yeah, but the system is already a big improvement.
I didn't read all of the Favored Enemy type-specific effects carefully, I just skimmed; but I liked what I saw in general. Listing all of these effects sure makes the class long
and complex, though; I don't suppose it would work to turn these special Favored Enemy effects into balanced Feats instead? Of course they would be added to the available Bonus Feat list.
Natural Instinct (Blindsight) is ... wow. Blindsight is a very powerful effect, and doesn't feel very Ranger-y to me. I think I'd like Blindsense
much better. Weaker, yes, but still quite powerful really.
Natural Instinct (Foresight) as a capstone.