View Full Version : Pathfinder The BFS User

2016-07-19, 07:38 PM
This is my first attempt at a Homebrew class and it's based on using a really big sword. It combines swift strikes, no armor, leaping around, and upgrading your weapon using an essence system that you garner charges of by slaying an enemy. I would love all the feedback I can get.

This is the class-

This is the essence system-

2016-07-21, 12:33 PM
I'm gonna bump this because I still really want some feedback.

2016-07-22, 12:32 PM
Generally, it's bad practice to bump your own threads, lol.

It's a decent melee class. It also fits your typical 2-handed sword Beserker class you'll see in MMOs.

So, a few critiques - what does Caster do? It gives the sword spell resistance and indestructibility, right? It's the kind of thing that's either completely necessary or 100% required, depending on the DM.

If, however, you wanted to build in a class ability to allow the player to block things with the flat of the BFS (at the cost of the sword taking damage, obviously), then it would make more sense.

The only real "issue" I see here is that your class falls off just about where every other D&D melee class does. At high levels, casters are going to be sitting in the air, shooting down fireballs, and there'll be a hidden archer that's completely undetectable sniping from the ground. The BFS doesn't have much utility to counter that.

That's generally why I try to avoid making "ME SMASH THING!" classes now, because it's rare that they'll see real play.

2016-07-22, 02:46 PM
Well, the Essences are supposed to help offset that late game deficit of the melee classes. Blocking with the flat of the blade is something that I'd really love to look into but I can't seem to find something that works really well for me. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear it.

2016-08-04, 06:10 PM
Modified a bunch of essences and created an ability to block melee attacks.

2016-08-05, 06:10 PM
Okay, let's have a look-see.

From the BFS feature

if he is not wielding this sword at any given time he loses access to all of his class features until he picks it back up. This means that at the moment, a BFS User loses proficiency with any weapons and armor while not carrying their weapon, in addition to any class features.

Evasion and Improved Evasion are not feats, they're a class feature. Copying and pasting the relevant section from the rogue or another evasion using class is what I've always done, just mind that you change the text to accomodate your class instead of referring to the rogue.

Two-handed Fighting,

While unarmored and wielding his specialized weapon the BFS User gains a dodge bonus to AC.
Does the BFS User retain their dodge bonus while flatfooted or otherwise denied dex bonus to AC?

He may also use the flat of his blade to attempt to mitigate damage from an incoming physical attack. 3x/Day when a BFS User is attacked he may make an opposing attack roll, if his attack roll exceeds that of his attacker he may guard against the attack with the damage being dealt to his weapon’s hardness.
The 3 times a day restriction is fairly harsh. A weapon's hardness doesn't take damage, a weapon has hit points like any other object. Damaging an object is a matter of getting around the hardness of the weapon (much like damaging an enemy with DR involves overcoming that reduction. You might be able to suggest this as a straight no sell on the order of deflect arrows, but the number of uses should scale with your level if you want this to remain relevant.

Regarding both oversized weapon proficiency and oversized weapon mastery, it might be better to tie these directly into the BFS skill, since they are apparently lost if not holding the BFS.

Regarding the BFS itself, what happens if the BFS is destroyed, how does a BFS User replace a lost weapon? What if the BFS User wants to construct the weapon out of a special material? Without a price, this is not possible. If the BFS User is of a Small race, what do the stats for a medium BFS look like?

Leap Strike

You may use this ability a number of times equal to ˝ his current level + his dexterity modifier.
Little bit of a gramatical disagreement from the start to the end, but more importantly the way this presently reads, RAW suggests that a BFS user may use Leap Strike in his entire career a total of 2 times, assuming a dex mod of +0. I assume there should be a per encounter or per day note after this.

The essence system itself seems unfinished. Do different creatures create different types of essence, or does a BFS User or other essence crafting classes create an essence cube of a given type of essence from a single pool regardless of the source?

While it might seem like needless copy-pasting, filling in the worth column for each type of essence cube would be a quality of life improvement for anyone referencing the essence system.

The class itself is going to suffer outside of combat, because its 2+Int mod skill points and the fact that the essence system is eating at least one of those points, possibly two. You need acrobatics in order for leap strike to work, but CMD scales fairly quickly and at fifth level you could easily be staring a DC of 40 or so in order to successfully deal an extra 1d8 damage, which doesn't scale as you level, meaning it's not going to work frequently when you get it, and as your ranks in acrobatics increase, it's going to be remarkably lackluster. I recommend making this work off of the combat maneuver bonus.

The class also suffers in combat, from what I'm looking at. What seems to have happened is you've managed to combine the fighter with the monk, an unenviable position altogether. A lot of your class features are bound to full-round actions, which actually lock the BFS user in place, preventing movement which was supposed to be an advantage here.

While you have evasion and improved evasion, the class will still likely eat touch attacks, and you're forced into spending resources on magic items to improve your AC, many of which will still be useless against touch attacks.

You might consider encorporating some of the features of the Two-Handed Fighter (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/fighter/archetypes/paizo---fighter-archetypes/two-handed-fighter) archetype, since they seem up the alley of someone using a massive sword, and as it stands this is still falling short of reaching the sweet spot for a melee character.

So to summarize, you have a class which is largely restricted to full-attacks for its class features. This class wears no armor, and benefits from a dodge bonus. Many of the class features are sharply restricted by uses per day, and it depends heavily on criticals, which some creatures are flat immune to.

The essence system is interesting, but as it stands it feels cumbersome and a drain on a character's resources, as well as providing additional bookkeeping for player and DM alike. The language used doesn't match the rules standards, which also makes it difficult to comprehend what you mean. Temporary Shields I assume means temporary hit points, rooted I believe means entangled. Not to mention that at 10 slots by level 20, filling each of those with a Major Magnitude cube would give me a skyscraper sized sword with a reach of... 50 ft. But if the bonus is permanent, I could just drop the same cube in and out and continue to extend the sword forever, or cycle a series of major cubes and achieve the same result.

This class doesn't have a lot to contribute outside of combat, since essence can't be used by party members or to bolster party members and it doesn't have a strong reason to have an intelligence modifier to boost the paltry number of skill points, not to mention the skill list isn't exactly exhaustive.

On top of this, the class feels like it wants to fall onto the MAD side of things. Its primary damage dealing requires a high strength, the lack of armor neccessitates a high dexterity and a few abilities key off of the constitution modifier. As a d8, you want that constitution modifier to back up your lackluster AC.

Pathfinder's cleave feat is a far cry from what 3.5's cleave was. I've got a rewritten combination of both cleave and great cleave that alleviates how terrible the feats themselves are.

Prerequisite: BAB +1
On your turn as a standard action you may attempt to strike an enemy at your highest attack bonus, forgoing any other attacks you may have. If this attack lands, you may attempt to strike another enemy adjacent to you at your highest attack bonus -2 (min 0). When using cleave, you take a -2 penalty to AC for the rest of the turn.

Great Cleave:
Prerequisite: Cleave, BAB +5
On your turn as a standard action you may attempt to strike an enemy at your highest attack bonus, forgoing any other attacks you may have. If your attack hits, you deal damage normally and may attempt to strike another enemy adjacent to you, at your highest attack bonus, you may attempt to strike other adjacent enemies at your highest attack bonus for each successful hit. You may not strike the same enemy more than once during this attack action.

The other thing that might be particularly useful to this build would be adding the hexblade's mettle, which functions as evasion for effects that allow partial saves on will and fortitude. I'm unsure of how many of these there are (though effects that create fatigue or fear conditions tend to allow partial saves).

2016-08-05, 11:02 PM
I want to thank you so much for that amazing feed back. I will be looking to amend a lot of what you said and this will help me so much in future projects. Im in the mobile right now so i cant respond properly to the criticism in depth but i want you to know you are an amazing person

2016-08-07, 10:16 PM
I look forward to seeing how you solve things!
Sorry if the commentary came across as harsh.

2016-08-08, 11:02 AM
Ok, I think I've done a lot to address the criticisms you've put forward and I'd love to see what you think now!

The BFS User will now retain his armor and weapon proficiency even without holding his weapon.

THF has been replaced by combat tactics, something that functions more similarly to the monk armor bonus but bases itself off of intelligence. I've also changed the number of times per day you can block the blade and given the blade hit points.

I've stipulated what happens when you break the BFS and what it takes to reforge it.

I've changed the wording on leap strike but kept it a full round action as it does let you move. I've amended the wording and increased the number of skill points a BFS User gets to mitigate the high DC check on leap strike and allowed you to add your CMB.

I've amended some of the language in the Essence system and I may do more to improve it but I really didn't want to lock DMs into having to put specific creatures forward to get specific essences their players may want. I've left it up to their digression. Also I don't know if you noticed it but in the description of major essences it does say they cannot be stacked on top of themselves. Only one per essence line.

So tell me what you think!

2016-08-09, 07:23 PM
Okay, quick reply here. This turned out to be not-so-quick.

The adjustments to loss of class features is good. If you're dead set on that, there's only one thing I'd recommend, which is adjusting the language because it RAW suggests that in situations where a BFS user isn't actively holding their weapon (it's stored in a glove of storing or another extradimensional space) they don't have access to evasion or their bonus to AC. You can see where this might be a bad thing. Suprise rounds happen.

As far as crafting the BFS, Pathfinder doesn't use XP as a crafting material or requirement, so I suggest dropping that.

And I hate to harp on the Leap Strike again, but I think a little math demonstration might be in order.

So, we're going to take a fifth level BFS user, using an elite array, and assuming that they've been putting points into acrobatics every level.
So that gives us

(15+1 at lvl 4)






So that gives us an acrobatics check of +11(5 ranks+4 class skill+2 Dex bonus), and a CMB of 8(5 BAB+3 Str Bonus). That gives us a +19 to the Leap Strike attempt.

An identical BFS user has a CMD of +22 [10(Base CMD)+5(BAB)+3(Str)+2(Dex)+1(Int)+1(Combat Tactics)]
So this has a DC of 32 (22+10) for the first BFS user to hit.

32-19=13. At 5th level, that's the minimum you have to roll to hit, and deal an extra 1d8 damage. Now, there's a bit of math we've just done up there to work this out, and yes you could in theory spend resources on feats and items that would improve acrobatics or CMB.

Or we could make it function as a combat maneuver, in which case this is a flat CMB vs CMD. So with a bonus of 8, against a CMD of 22, we need to roll a 14. That's literally only one off from the other result.

The other issue here is the damage. Comparing this to charge, there's no benefit to this complex maneuver other than jumping over potentially difficult terrain, and dealing an extra d8 of damage. Assuming someone using a large BFS, this means the minimum damage is (using our NPC BFS from earlier) 7 (1+1+1+4), the maximum damage is 28 (8+8+8+4). Comparing this to a similar feature, a rogue's sneak attack, we have specific conditions that need to be met to do the damage here, but the sneak attack does two important things. It scales and it doesn't have a cap on its use.

And I can see where you're coming from trying to make this work with acrobatics and fussing with DCs and so on, but the combat maneuver system is already there and easier for a player/DM to work with. It's actually really easy then to restructure the rules of leap strike to work like a variation of charge, with all the benefits that can bring.

So for example:

Leap Strike: As a full-round action, you may make a leaping strike, descending upon your target with brutal force. When you make a leap strike you may move up to your move speed, but a minimum of 10 feet is required, ignoring difficult terrain and obstacles as approriate as you leap through the air. You deal twice your strength modifier as additional damage on a successful attack, this is not doubled on a critical hit. This otherwise functions as a charge, and any feats or skills that affect charge also affect a BFS user's leap strike.

So what I've done here is four things:

I've removed a superfluous skill check. Acrobatics was needlessly complicating things and inflating the DCs for leap strike. This simplifies the action by having it mimic one that already works in game terms and having it work as an exception to the rules (normally difficult terrain impedes charging) which is the way a lot of class features and feats work.
I've removed the flat bonus to damage (1d8, even though it produces a random result because it's a dice roll) doesn't scale and doesn't do a lot. It might as well be a flat +4 to damage when you average it out) and replaced it with something that can scale easily. A character's strength score can be temporarily boosted easily and provides a slow but obvious way for this damage to be increased as the BFS user levels, because strength is an ability of primary concern here.
By removing the cap on use per day you aren't really losing control of the ability. It's a full-round action, which means that you're giving up all of your iteratives for a single more powerful strike, and that any condition that would prevent you from making a full charge (being staggered, stunned, entangled) prevents you from using Leap Strike. Likewise, the hard cap on the distance means that a charge is sometimes more valuable.
Fourth, by treating it as a charge, you could allow further combos. Imagine hitting the target with a bull rush or overrun attempt in addition to smacking them around with your BFS (totally in character for the kind of moves you see BFS-wielding characters make). With a little adjustment to the wording above, that becomes a viable strategy.

On to Essence then. It wasn't so much a question of if different creatures dropped specific types of essence as if specfic individual essence points need to be tracked. In either case a creature drops let's say Fear essence, which means I, the BFS user, now have to keep track of how much of that I've got.
Another way to model this would be to have BFS user simply acquire essence. Full stop. Have more valuable/powerful essence cubes cost more.

As far as the major cube issue from before, I'd recommend reducing the number of slots and not permitting cubes of any type to stack. As it is, there's a little too much potential for cube effects to counter each other as the guardian and hellion types could. This also prevents me again from outpacing the results of a major essence by loading my BFS with minor essence. In this case, the culprit is once again magnitude! Swinging around a skyscraper sized sword is entirely possible! But also mortality. Stacking 6 minor essence cubes creates an effect guaranteed to be better than the major cube because a guaranteed six health drained (one per minor cube) is better than the average of 3 one gets from rolling a d6.

Reducing the number of slots also increases their value. With 10 slots, I could have two thirds of the types of essence available in them, the differences in primordial cubes not withstanding. With five, I have to be a little more careful about what I pick going into a fight. Sure, I could swap out a slot (theoretically, I could do so in combat and I recommend preventing this from happening) but then it becomes a question of what I remove, and what I replace it with.

2016-08-09, 07:49 PM
I have reduced the number of slots and specified that Essences are generic but can be morphed into essences of particular kinds for the purpose of crafting. I may switch up their pricing or DC checks to keep them in line but for now I think that'll suffice in cutting down on the book keeping.

I've altered leap strike to what you specified, RIP Acrobatics Check that I tried so hard for :smallbiggrin:

and I've amended it so you retain Combat Tactics without your weapon.