The easy way to fix this would be to take away Tiger Claw, but create a new feat:Yeah, I was afraid of making it too strong, but those four disciplines are just so fitting. I suppose if I were to cut one out, it would be Tiger Strike, but the jumping and two-weapon maneuvers all seem to fit too well, if you refluff them away from the "predator" standpoint.
Fencing Dagger Style
Prerequisites: Swashbuckler level 1; DEX 15; Two-Weapon Fighting; Jump 6 ranks
Benefits: You may now select Tiger Claw maneuvers and stances with your Swashbuckler maneuver progression.
While you wield a weapon in your off-hand, gain a +2 shield bonus to AC. You lose this bonus in any round in which you make an attack with your off-hand. Unlike the usual stacking rules for shield bonuses, this bonus stacks with any bonuses granted by the Two-Weapon Defense feats.Meh, feels safer to me to just keep the number of readied maneuvers the same, and disallow Extra Granted Maneuver. Increasing the number of readied maneuvers is both good and bad.Hmm, that is a possibility. I had written it in there that you can take Extra Granted Maneuver, but it might be a good idea from a balance perspective to avoid allowing that.
What about increasing the number of readied maneuvers instead? Just increasing readied maneuvers by 1 while leaving granted maneuvers the same? You'd have to rely more on luck to get what you want, so Extra Granted Maneuver might not be so bad.
Yeah, I noticed when reading over your other classes that we don't really see eye-to-eye on MAD. I'm of the school of thought that MAD is actually good design for a class. (Note that while MAD is often cited as the source of the Monk's weakness, that the Swordsage is just as MAD and yet still powerful.)I avoided Int abilities since I wanted to avoid MAD. You already need three attributes (Dex, Con, Cha), and Int is still necessary for skill points. I can add some Int focus, but I'm just not sure what to add. Insightful Strike isn't so necessary when you can use maneuvers like, well, Insightful Strike.
Another consequence I'm not sure you've considered about removing Insightful Strike, though: I'm not sure you'll still preserve the light weapon tradition of the Swashbuckler. I could actually imagine Swashbucklers, using your version, who ignore their free Weapon Finesse feat, take Power Attack, and go around mauling things with a Greatsword. I mean, it's not as if Power Attack + greatsword + Emerald Razor isn't a good combo.
I'm not sure how to fix that, because I agree with you that the Swashbuckler doesn't really need an extra damage source so much anymore when he has Diamond Mind maneuvers. Make Grace bonuses only apply when the Swashbuckler has a free hand? Give a free Einhander bonus feat? (Both of these options kind of poke the TWF-Swashbuckler in the eye.)
Yeah, fun idea, but I can't say INT-to-Fort makes any sense.I see your point. I originally wanted good Reflex save, but having two good saves seemed a little strong, and Fortitude was more important. Now that I think about it though, you do have Diamond Mind so weak saves can be made up for (if you're a little lucky with granted maneuvers). This could make for some Int synergy though, if I can think of some reason for Int to Fortitude.
A couple other issues that have come up as I've thought more about this:
- This class is dangerously good for dipping. If that doesn't bother you, fine. But it could stand to have some of its Level 1 features pushed back a couple levels.
- I'm glad you delayed the 4th stance until 8th-level stances are accessible
- I guess I don't share your hatred of dead levels so much, at least not on classes that get things like maneuvers or spells at every level. Some of the class features you've put into these classes feel like they're not important or flavorful enough to be worth the bookkeeping; they're literally just there to fill in dead levels. Ick. The Swashbuckler isn't actually the worst offender here; it's a problem I have with several of your classes. (For a concrete example -- Rather than the Instinctive Cartographer ability, I'd rather just have Lay of the Land be on the Ranger spell list.)