View Full Version : Pathfinder Initiator Balance Rule

2015-10-22, 01:41 AM
Initiator Balance Rule

All PCs earn the ability to use martial abilities according to their BAB, granted through the Martial Training and Discipline Style feats, as an extra bonus. This rule balances caster and martial classes, while making combat much more fun.

Once selected you may not change your discipline.
You must still meet the prerequisites to receive the benefits of the feat.
If you already have the feat, you may instead take the next untaken feat on the table.
The feats otherwise work as described.

Adjusted BAB

The adjusted BAB (aBAB) is determined by taking your BAB and subtracting the highest level of spells you are able to cast.

Note: Do not include classes that count as full initiator levels (such as Stalker, Warder, Warlord, Bladecaster, etc). These classes never count towards your aBAB.

aBAB = BAB - Highest Spell Level


Martial Training I

Martial Training II

Discipline Style I

Martial Training III

Martial Training IV

Discipline Style II

Martial Training V

Martial Training VI

Discipline Style III

Discipline List

A list of Style feats can be found here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1EPARqt5jpie03MIXStgFrNK_si6g218bjT4TFbcizPY/edit), at the end of the feat list.

Black Seraph (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/black-seraph-maneuvers) (Intimidate): “Not ones to blanch at the thought of fighting dirty, Black Seraph disciples are quite content to injure their foes in any way that they can to ensure their victory.”

Broken Blade (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/broken-blade-maneuvers) (Acrobatics): “Disheartened by his lack of weapons, he quickly realized that his years of training, exercise, and conditioning had made his body a weapon all on its own.”

Cursed Razor (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vupG0mfOE8yU3NwaddxfnRhZ4PiWsLz-ANVkQ8KJftA/edit?usp=sharing) (Spellcraft): “Tapping into the power of their own malevolence, these warrior-warlocks struck their opponents down with dark curses channeled through their weapons and developed techniques to project maleficent auras that sapped away at the bodies and minds of their enemies.”

Elemental Flux (https://docs.google.com/document/d/14BiQj1sEeeEH0Nbyiyf-o0Kg4N5uDM5XwwqeWOJ21dI/edit?usp=sharing) (Spellcraft): “Equal parts martial discipline and magical art form, the discipline of Elemental Flux is a martial art that is said to have roots in the bloodlines of genies and their mortal descendants.”

Eternal Guardian (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CiBEOAlfno9Ny6IOLQEKDjqyNdItkCdX2hSjJy1NV2E/edit?usp=sharing) (Intimidate): “A total devotion to a promise - usually either an oath to an ally that they will survive, no matter the cost to the disciple, or a curse on a foe that they will never escape.”

Golden Lion (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/golden-lion-maneuvers) (Diplomacy): “The discipline of Golden Lion is a practice passed between war leaders, chieftains, generals, and militia leaders over the generations, meant to bring a group of warriors together into one cohesive unit.”

Iron Tortoise (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/iron-tortoise-maneuvers) (Bluff): “Iron Tortoise disciples learn that their discipline requires their defensive stances to be perfect; they must not be budged from their spot unless they choose to move from them.”

Mithral Current (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dKCPPIpRoR9CZv0A35gLDnXl5itgRufjWTq83BIsMfs/edit?usp=sharing) (Perform): “Like the flashing rapids, thundering waterfalls and deep, silent depths of the ocean, Disciples of Mithral Current embody the many forms and ever changing nature of water.”

Piercing Thunder (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HcQQIp8ZPqmgMQjUWFvoI2qMFE0xdYFKcB0b30xmzFc/edit?usp=sharing) (Acrobatics): “The Piercing Thunder discipline finds its traditions rooted in one of the oldest weapons known to intelligent beings: the spear.”

Primal Fury (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/primal-fury-maneuvers) (Survival): “The way of the Primal Fury is a simple method of undeniable ferocity coupled with unstoppable aggression in the face of the enemy.” 

Riven Hourglass (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rmHuI_JcLiDJ2_g0jyrP0lQ1a8wyXh-yL4-3njLpnZk/edit) (Autohypnosis): “No one can deny this fact that time inexorably marches forward and brings all things to crumbling ruin, to death, and to dissolution.”

Scarlet Throne (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/scarlet-throne-maneuvers) (Sense Motive): “Combining their roots in the dueling arts dueling and subsequent training by masters of practical combat and leadership, the Scarlet Throne style was born.”

Silver Crane (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/silver-crane-maneuvers) (Perception): “Disciples of the Silver Crane are men and women for whom the power of the celestial and divine flow into the arts of their blade.”

Shattered Mirror (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1A5i_oxGQJUIhIolHf8IMQF9Q6BsuMtKOr6szdvJv5FY/edit?usp=sharing) (Craft): “The mirror’s powerful magics were pulled and warped by the flying spells and magical taint and the being it coughed forth came out wrong, unable to return to its home.”

Sleeping Goddess (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_fnZ9YJTKdoF1IrU_5op5U8rm7pomONnt4y0p9ZeqLU/edit?usp=sharing) (Autohypnosis): “Though some put their trust in a well-crafted sword or a solid shield, the greatest warriors know that a tempered mind is the sharpest weapon and the toughest armor.”

Solar Wind (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/solar-wind-maneuvers) (Perception): “Throwing weapons and archery are their tools, and they rarely miss.”

Steel Serpent (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/steel-serpent-maneuvers) (Heal): “Steel Serpent disciples practice the art of the silent kill, using stealth, trickery, and poison in addition to martial combat skill and knowledge of anatomy.”

Tempest Gale (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mmEGGV-7j6ZGZqPXblPeY8cPzYtTweDtggVA0kqyAmM/edit?usp=sharing) (Sleight of Hand): “Like the whipping winds of a great storm front, the arrows, slings, bullets and thrown weapons of a Tempest Gale Disciple reach out across the battlefield to find their target without error.”

Thrashing Dragon (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/thrashing-dragon-maneuvers) (Acrobatics): “Its disciples are primarily two-weapon fighters, skilled with weapons that are used for quick slashes and stabs.”

Veiled Moon (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/disciplines-and-maneuvers/veiled-moon-maneuvers) (Stealth): “Maneuvers include short distance astral teleportation, ethereal abilities to become incorporeal or use incorporeal touch attacks to strike foes easily, force damage strikes, and the ability to cause foes to become incorporeal themselves.”

Arcane Initiators

Certain classes, such as the Bladecaster, give existing spellcasting levels as well as full initiator levels. These spellcasting levels never count towards the highest spell level you are able to cast, because aBAB is never affected by initiator classes. Ignore any spellcasting increases granted by initiator classes.

Put simply: when calculating aBAB, ignore initiator classes.


An 8th level Magus has a BAB of +6 and can cast 3rd level spells.
aBAB = 6 - 3 = 3
Because his aBAB is below 4, he does not receive a bonus feat yet.

A 6th level Ranger has a BAB of +6 and can cast 1st level spells.
aBAB = 6 - 1 = 5
Because his aBAB is at least 4, he receives Martial Training I as a bonus feat.

A 6th level Bard has a BAB of +4 and can cast 2nd level spells.
aBAB = 4 - 2 = 2
If that same 6th level Bard takes his next 2 levels in Bladecaster, it allows him to cast 3rd level Bard spells. However, this extra spell level comes from Bladecaster, which is an initiator class (its levels count as full initiator levels). As initiator classes are ignored when calculating aBAB, the Bard's aBAB will not change regardless of how many Bladecaster levels he takes. If he later takes another level in Bard, his aBAB will be the same as a normal 7th level Bard.

2015-10-22, 01:45 AM
This is a forum version of the initiator balance rule, the main thread for which is found here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?418881-Initiator-Alternate-Rule-Balance-Fix).

Any discussion about it should take place there. This document will change to reflect the current version.