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Dr Berry
10-12-2009, 12:22 AM
I was flipping through some of the new Pathfinder feats, and a couple of them seemed wildly overpowered. I am uneasy about three in particular:

Shield Slam: This feat has a cool flavor, but just picture what a character with this feat could be capable of by 6th level. If every foe he strikes is subject to a bull rush, not only could he knock foes around with every bop from his shield, but he would also have to make an extra roll for every attack he made with it--too powerful and slowing down play at once.

Shield Master: Maybe I am reading this one wrong, but I'm pretty sure it means that you suffer absolutely no 2-weapon penalties for using a shield as an off-hand weapon. With all these shield bashing feats, it would be a wonder if anyone continued to fight with two actual weapons. All 2-weapon attacks should incur at least a small penalty, and should not give one weapon special privileges. Also, since magic shields are way cheaper than magic weapons, the discount makes fighting with a sword and shield the obvious choice for any 2-weapon fighter, and leaving anything else a disadvantage.

Catch Off Guard: Now this one just seems ridiculous. It says that all strikes made with the weapon count as if the opponent were flat-footed. So that means that a rogue can fight better with a broken bottle than a rapier, dealing unconditional sneak attack damage with every swing?


Now, I know most of these problems could be fixed by some house rules, but I would think that Paizo would have put a little more thought into these feats before considering the balance of the game. Any thoughts? How best would you alter these feats to make them a little more playable?

WhiteTiger
10-12-2009, 08:32 AM
Catch off guard only works if the opponent doesn't have a weapon or is otherwise considered unarmed. This won't work against a monk since he is considered armed, even a wizard wouldn't suffer from it as long as he had a staff in his hands. The primary benefit is that you don't suffer the -4 penalty for using it but it deals so little damage that it could hardly be considered useful. Only the rogue can use it and the rogue still has to flank in most cases.

The shield feats are extra trick feats to help fix the fighter. No one else would spend the prerequisite feats. Shield master requires 4 prerequisite feats. The fighter was woefully underpowered and this is an attempt at giving the fighter more options. The barbarian could do it but I can't see a reason why you would, nor can I see the paladin or the ranger taking those feats.

Dytrrnikl
10-12-2009, 09:52 AM
The whole fighter being underpowered thing could be settled by allowing the following:

Weapon Mastery...prereq: Fighter 7, Weapon Focus in mastered weapon, Weapon Specialization in mastered weapon
Description: The fighter is truly deadly, having mastered a single weapon for which he is already specialized.
Benefit: Anytime the fighter rolls damage with a single weapon with which he has mastered, he deals an additional die of damage. This damage is included anytime the fighter would roll and confirm a critical hit. Example, a long sword would deal 2d8 or 4d8x2 on a crit. this feat may be taken multiple times, for a different weapon each time, provided prereq's are met for the new weapon mastered.

Superior Weapon Master...prereq: Fighter 12, weapon focus, improved weapon focus, weapon specialization, improved critical, weapon master
description: You've taken your level of mastery with a sing;e weapon to nearly unheard of levels
Benefit: Gain another die when determining damage. This extra die stacks with die gained from weapon master, thus a Superior weapon mastered long sword would deal 3d8 normal and 6d8x2 on a crit. This feat may only be selected once, regardless of whether or not prereq's are met fir more than one weapon.

Master without Peer...prereq: Fighter 16, wpn fcs, imp wpn fcs, wpn spec, imp wpn spec, imp crit, wpn mstr, sup wpn mstr
Description: Your skill with the mastered weapon is legendary, almost mythological
Benefit: The damage dealt with the Superior Mastered Weapon increases to the next higher die. Additionally anytime you roll a critcal hit, you are immediately allowed a free attack at the same TAB as the critical hit.

Dr Berry
10-12-2009, 11:24 AM
Oh right I didn't notice the part about the opponent being unarmed. That makes sense.

upidstay
10-18-2009, 07:59 AM
Sorry, but i totally disagree that the the 3.5 fighter was woefully underpowered. I have a few fighter characters that are at the ridiculously powerful stage. Several magic items, throw in a house rule or three, and you have a combination food processor/Abrams tank. I looked over the Pathfinder rulebooks, and my first thought was "And I thought I was a power gamer!"

WhiteTiger
10-19-2009, 07:57 AM
Sorry, but i totally disagree that the the 3.5 fighter was woefully underpowered. I have a few fighter characters that are at the ridiculously powerful stage. Several magic items, throw in a house rule or three, and you have a combination food processor/Abrams tank. I looked over the Pathfinder rulebooks, and my first thought was "And I thought I was a power gamer!"


So what was the Damage output of your fighter characters and what were your house-rules? just curious.

agoraderek
10-20-2009, 04:18 AM
throw in a house rule or three

Yep. Without houseruling, and using strict WBL, fighters were weaksauce at high levels in 3x, RAW.

As to the shield feats, the consensus while the playtest was being conducted was that a lot of Paizo board posters really REALLY wanted "sword and board" to be a viable build for the first time since AD&D 2e.

Quite a bit of what you see in the final rules came about because of the open playtest. Basically, consider Pathfinder 3.5 with houserules turned to 11.