3.5 PrC The Fencer [Critic Please]

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EDIT : Thanks to the great posts I have received, I am going change this into a full 20 level Base class. It can be found here.

I wanted to make a class that revolved around counter attacks for 3.5. Partly insired from Fiora from LoL. This is what I have come up with.

Orignally, I was going to make it a main class but could not come up with up enough stuff for 20 levels.

I know it could be better and would like to make sure this is, for the most, part balanced.

For instance, I know that multiclassing ruins PrC requirements of suppose to be level 5-6 before being accessable.

What do you think of this class?

The Fencer



Requirements
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Sense Motive: +6
Combat Reflexes
Weapon Finesse


Class Skills

Balance (Dex), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nobilty and royalty) (Int), Perform(Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex)

Skill Points at each level: 4+INT

Hit Dice: d8

     BAB     Fort     Ref     Will     Abilities
1.   +1       +0      +2      +0       Counter -4    Always Ready +1      
2.   +2       +0      +3      +0       Insightful Strike           
3.   +3       +1      +3      +1       Always Ready +2            
4.   +4       +1      +4      +1       Counter -2            
5.   +5       +1      +4      +1       Always Ready +3            
6.   +6       +2      +5      +2       Defensive Roll 1/day            
7.   +7       +2      +5      +2       Counter +0             
8.   +8       +3      +6      +3       Evasion           
9.   +9       +3      +6      +3       Always Ready +4              
10. +10     +3      +7      +3       Counter +2                

Weapon Proficiencies: The Fencer gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Counter: A Fencer is so intune with combat that she can both see attacks coming and strike back.
     You start a counter with a sense motive check agaist the attacker's Attack role.  The amount you exceed the attacker's role allows for different levels of effencity with your counter.

     Exceed by +5 allows you to make an attack of opportunity against the attacker. You still recieve the damage from their attack. The damage from your attack and the attacker's resolve at the same time.

     Exceed by +10: you get the attack of opportunity and if your attack breaks the attacker's AC you reduce the damage you recieve by half.

     Exceed by +15: your attack breaks the attacker's AC you reduce the damage you recive by half and stop any attacks made beyond the first one.

     Exceed by +20: your attack breaks the attacker's AC you negate the attacker's attack.

     Exceed by +30: You can negate the attack without attacking.

     A Fencer can only make a number of counter attacks equal to half your fencer level per round. Counters count towards your attack of opportunity limit per round.

     Due to being new to counters the Fencer recives a -4 on sense motive and attack roles for the purpose of counter attacks. This decreases by 2 every 3 levels and gains a +2 at 10.

     Due to the flexability requried, counter attacks can not be made while flat-footed. Normal attacks of opportunity are not effected by the counter abilty.

     The shear randomness of critical failures make you unable to counter critical failures. (not 1s, Critical Falures)


Always Ready: A Fencer is always ready to launch a counter attack. Accordinly, the fencer gets a +1 competence bonus on initiative checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 3rd level, +3 at 5th level, +4 at 9th level. (taken from the Streetfighter in CA pg. 79)

Insightful Strike: as Swashbuckler in the CW (pg 12)

Defensive Roll 1/day: as Rogue in PHB (pg 51)

Evasion: as Rogue in PHB (pg 50)

Thank You for any advise you may provide.

Edit1: added Rapier exception
Edit2: Removed Weapon Focus requirement
I should look at it more but I see one obvious issue: You can't use a Rapier to get in as it is NOT a light weapon.
Yeah, I don't know why I didn't already have that exception in there. =/
A) What about Elven Courtblade and Spiked Chain? They're 2H weapons that also qualify for Weapon Finesse. I'm not saying you should or should not add them; just wanted to make sure you considered them.
B) The Counter wording for reducing damage is clunky. You need to specify that it is incoming damage - ie, damage the Fencer would take.
C) I like the fact that you didn't limit its abilities to only usable in certain types of armor, or none.
D) "Light one handed" is not a type of weapon. There are "Light" weapons, "One handed weapons", and "Two handed weapons". If you decide to add the EC & SC, an easier way to word it is just "any weapon usable with Weapon Finesse". If you don't, then it would be "any Light weapon or rapier".
Two... Ah ah ah! Three.. Ah ah ah! Four... Ah ah ah! Six... Ah ah ah!!
88534793 wrote:
Punctuation exists for a reason, and your neglect of the shift key is to the point where Social Services should be involved.

I wouldn't make weapon focus a prerequisite. Nothing about being skilled with light-weight weapons requires specializing in one specific light-weight weapon.


Instead of having a penalty/bonus that changes by level, I'd have the capabilities of the ability change with level.


If you're going to work in an intelligence focus and an initiative bonus, you could give a bonus to initiative equal to your int modifier.


Uncanny dodge seems a much better fit than evasion.


One rout you could go is improving combat expertise. For example, you could give damage reduction against melee attacks when using combat expertise.


I think parrying should be a more fundamental aspect of the class than counterattacking. Being able to make an opposed attack roll to negate a melee attack would be a good representation of parrying.


Gaining an attack of opportunity when an opponent misses you seems appropriate. Eventually, gaining an attack of opportunity when an opponent you threaten makes a melee attack against someone other than you would be good.

Looks interesting.

How is this class different from the Swashbuckler with some chosen feats:

The swashbuckler has the acrobatic "parrying" fencing style translated with reactionary AC bonuses and REF saves in addition to going defensive with Combat Expertise.
Riposte or counter strikes can be said by having the Karmic Strike feat (gain an AoO if hit).


 
A guest player at my table had a character with a feat (? class skill?) called "Agile Riposte". I have no reference to it now, nor am I in contact with that player, but if you can find it, it might fit your build, I seem to recall it being flamboyant enough for your idea here.
Sorry my respose has taken so long. I am slow at composing my thoughts into coherent understanable thoughts. And you all have such helpful advise.

A guest player at my table had a character with a feat (? class skill?) called "Agile Riposte". I have no reference to it now, nor am I in contact with that player, but if you can find it, it might fit your build, I seem to recall it being flamboyant enough for your idea here.


That feat is a D20 Modern Feat. Works Almost exactly like what I have, but far more limiting. Will help me gauge the power of my class feature. Thank you.

A) What about Elven Courtblade and Spiked Chain? They're 2H weapons that also qualify for Weapon Finesse. I'm not saying you should or should not add them; just wanted to make sure you considered them. B) The Counter wording for reducing damage is clunky. You need to specify that it is incoming damage - ie, damage the Fencer would take. C) I like the fact that you didn't limit its abilities to only usable in certain types of armor, or none. D) "Light one handed" is not a type of weapon. There are "Light" weapons, "One handed weapons", and "Two handed weapons". If you decide to add the EC & SC, an easier way to word it is just "any weapon usable with Weapon Finesse". If you don't, then it would be "any Light weapon or rapier".


Agreed. 

As for the weapon focus requiment for this as a PrC, I must agree with Maat_Mons on just removing it. As it does not make any sense to require specialization in a single weapon to be good at counters.

As I have said just at the start of this post, I am bad at words. I will try to make the wording clearer in the future.  Thank you for your advice.

Looks interesting.

How is this class different from the Swashbuckler with some chosen feats:

The swashbuckler has the acrobatic "parrying" fencing style translated with reactionary AC bonuses and REF saves in addition to going defensive with Combat Expertise.
Riposte or counter strikes can be said by having the Karmic Strike feat (gain an AoO if hit).


I am going to say flavor mostly. But since I have provide(clearly) too little information in that regard it is easy to see that very little is different.  And since a swashbuckler has the easiest time getting into this class it makes that aborhantly clear. =/  Thank you for this input. It has shown me that I clearly need to to provide more flavor text and better explainations so people who don't have my picture of the class can see it as I do.



I wouldn't make weapon focus a prerequisite. Nothing about being skilled with light-weight weapons requires specializing in one specific light-weight weapon.


Instead of having a penalty/bonus that changes by level, I'd have the capabilities of the ability change with level.



Argeed on the weapon focus, has been dropped.



I agree half way with you on the penalty/bonus/capabilities. The penalty is there to prevent someone from just taking a signal level dip and gaining the full power of counters, assuming I don't space out the capabilities.



Spacing the capabilities out would work to do the prevention, perhaps even better, but that would make the sense motive check more of a formality than an integral part of the class skill.



If you're going to work in an intelligence focus and an initiative bonus, you could give a bonus to initiative equal to your int modifier.

Uncanny dodge seems a much better fit than evasion.



The problem I have with just using the equal to int mod is that: it is a static bonus and I prefer using scaling bonuses. Hence, the +1 into +2 and excetra.



While I do agree that uncanny dodge would fit flavor wise far better, I felt that mechanically evasion was a far stronger choice. Reason being that by time you got to level 8 Fencer you would be around 14 character level and AoE things would be needed far more.



One rout you could go is improving combat expertise. For example, you could give damage reduction against melee attacks when using combat expertise.

I think parrying should be a more fundamental aspect of the class than counterattacking. Being able to make an opposed attack roll to negate a melee attack would be a good representation of parrying.


Gaining an attack of opportunity when an opponent misses you seems appropriate. Eventually, gaining an attack of opportunity when an opponent you threaten makes a melee attack against someone other than you would be good.



I kind of already do the combat expertise thing, not quite, but in a far less limiting manner.( Which I may need to limit it due to being op but this is still in developent and I like to start op and bring it back.)

The problem with parrying is that, mechanically speaking, parrying already exsists in the base rules of 3.5 DnD, in the form of deflection AC bonuses.  Though, you bringing that up has given me the idea to add a level scaling deflection bonus to the class. Plus, in later levels the +attack bonus on monsters gets so obsurd that it would make, non power gamed versions of Fencer, usless. Not only that but the way I am pictureing the way counter(flavor speaking, something I should have added long ago) is less of a brute force, striking away the attack, and a more graceful low powered side step with a glancing blow using the oppenent's force to create an opening for the attack.  Which is why at the lower end of the scaling I still have you taking damage from the attacks. Because you did not sense well enough to either use enough power or not step correctly enough to deflect the attack.

I started having the same idea as you have about the AoO's too. Going to implement that in the changes I am going to make. Your advise has been helpful at pointing out new ideas I could use and bring up potental problems I may run into in the future. Thank you.


Overall I would have to say, thanks to all of the advise I received from this thread I can now make this into a 20 level base class as I had wanted to from the start. I am going to make a rough draft of the 20 levels, with when the abilities are learned and upgraded. Then, assuming I can't edit the title of the Thread, post the new 20 level base class with more flavor text and better fleshed out details on the way Counter works.

Things I have already decided to change:(commits would be appreciated)
- Add uncanny dodge to the class abilities
- Add Weapon finesse as level 1 bonus feat
- Modifying Counter to be scaled both by penanlties/bonuses and capiblities by class level
- Add a scaling deflection bonus
- Use a different means of Modifying damage than Insightful strike(a more scaling modifier)
- Add in a means to use sense motive to add to AC as well as allow counters/parries.
- Modify the wording on Counter to make it more understanable
- Add to counter a way to attack enemies that target nearby allies
- Possiblly add in more bonus feats
- Adjust curent abilities to scale with 20 levels instead of the current 10
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