A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 198
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Masters of the sublime way, these highly controversial classes from tome of battle bring some more complex tactics into standard melee. There's a heavy emphasis on straightforward combat here, if more varied than is typical, but the classes have varying degrees of out of combat utility too. The critical question of these classes, especially the crusader and warblade, is how far you can get by hitting enemies in the face with a sword.

    Crusader (ToB, 8): Between its healing and tanking capabilities, this class is most common in form to the paladin, especially given the light alignment restriction. The random maneuver recovery mechanic is a weird one, but it's also quite powerful, lacking in the action costs that the other two have.

    Swordsage (ToB, 15): This is the ToB class most oriented around non-combat stuff, with an above average number of utility maneuvers running around. It's also the most supernatural of the three, making it somewhat modeled after the monk. The recovery mechanic is the worst of the three though, which is a bit of a downside for the class in a combat context.

    Warblade (ToB, 20): If your aim is stabbing folks, this is the way to go. Like the fighter, the warblade is largely oriented around the goal of hitting enemies with a sword in a variety of creative ways, and like the fighter, it does so through fully mundane means. The warblade's recovery mechanic is perhaps the most straightforwardly powerful, allowing you to recover and hit enemies at the same time, and do so while choosing the maneuvers in question.



    What are the tiers?

    The simple answer here is that tier one is the best, the home of things on the approximate problem solving scale of wizards, and tier six is the worst, land of commoners. And problem solving capacity is what's being measured here. Considering the massive range of challenges a character is liable to be presented with across the levels, how much and how often does that character's class contribute to the defeat of those challenges? This value should be considered as a rough averaging across all levels, the center of the level range somewhat more than really low and really high level characters, and across all optimization levels (considering DM restrictiveness as a plausible downward acting factor on how optimized a character is), prioritizing moderate optimization somewhat more than low or high.

    A big issue with the original tier system is that, if anything, it was too specific, generating inflexible definitions for allowance into a tier which did not cover the broad spectrum of ways a class can operate. When an increase in versatility would seem to represent a decrease in tier, because tier two is supposed to be low versatility, it's obvious that we've become mired in something that'd be pointless to anyone trying to glean information from the tier system. Thus, I will be uncharacteristically word light here. The original tier system's tier descriptions are still good guidelines here, but they shouldn't be assumed to be the end all and be all for how classes get ranked.

    Consistent throughout these tiers is the notion of problems and the solving thereof. For the purposes of this tier system, the problem space can be said to be inclusive of combat, social interaction, and exploration, with the heaviest emphasis placed on combat. A problem could theoretically fall outside of that space, but things inside that space are definitely problems. Another way to view the idea of problem solving is through the lens of the niche ranking system. A niche filled tends to imply the capacity to solve a type of problem, whether it's a status condition in the case of healing, or an enemy that just has too many hit points in the case of melee combat. It's not a perfect measure, both because some niches have a lot of overlap in the kinds of problems they can solve and because, again, the niches aren't necessarily all inclusive, but they can act as a good tool for class evaluation.

    Tier one: Incredibly good at solving nearly all problems. This is the realm of clerics, druids, and wizards, classes that open up with strong combat spells backed up by utility, and then get massively stronger from there. If you're not keeping up with that core trio of tier one casters, then you probably don't belong here.

    Tier two: We're just a step below tier one here, in the land of classes around the sorcerer level of power. Generally speaking, this means relaxing one of the two tier one assumptions, either getting us to very good at solving nearly all problems, or incredibly good at solving most problems. But, as will continue to be the case as these tiers go on, there aren't necessarily these two simple categories for this tier. You gotta lose something compared to the tier one casters, but what you lose doesn't have to be in some really specific proportions.

    Tier three: Again, we gotta sacrifice something compared to tier two, here taking us to around the level of a swordsage. The usual outcome is that you are very good at solving a couple of problems and competent at solving a few more. Of course, there are other possibilities, for example that you might instead be competent at solving nearly all problems.

    Tier four: Here we're in ranger/barbarian territory (though the ranger should be considered largely absent of ACF's and stuff to hit this tier, as will be talked about later). Starting from that standard tier three position, the usual sweet spots here are very good at solving a few problems, or alright at solving many problems.

    Tier five
    : We're heading close to the dregs here. Tier five is the tier of monks, classes that are as bad as you can be without being an aristocrat or a commoner. Classes here are sometimes very good at solving nearly no problems, or alright at solving a few, or some other function thereof. It's weak, is the point.

    Tier six: And here we have commoner tier. Or, the bottom is commoner. The top is approximately aristocrat. You don't necessarily have nothing in this tier, but you have close enough to it.


    The Threads

    Tier System Home Base


    The Fixed List Casters: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, and Warmage


    The Obvious Tier One Classes: Archivist, Artificer, Cleric, Druid, Sha'ir, and Wizard



    The Mundane Beat Sticks (part one): Barbarian, Fighter, Samurai (CW), and Samurai (OA)


    The Roguelikes: Ninja, Rogue, and Scout



    The Pseudo-Druids: Spirit Shaman, Spontaneous Druid, Urban Druid, and Wild Shape Ranger


    The Jacks of All Trades: Bard, Factotum, Jester, and Savant


    The Tome of Battlers: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade



    The NPCs: Adept, Aristocrat, Commoner, Expert, Magewright, and Warrior


    The Vaguely Supernatural Melee Folk: Battle Dancer, Monk, Mountebank, and Soulknife



    The Miscellaneous Full Casters: Death Master, Shaman, Shugenja, Sorcerer, and Wu Jen



    The Wacky Magicists: Binder, Dragonfire Adept, Shadowcaster, Truenamer, and Warlock

    The Rankings

    Crusader: Tier three

    Swordsage: Tier three

    Warblade: Tier three

    And here's a link to the spreadsheet.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2018-06-10 at 09:26 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Idiot Crusader with White Raven Tactics: T2 or not?
    Last edited by Bucky; 2017-03-16 at 12:29 PM.
    The gnomes once had many mines, but now they have gnome ore.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    You're already well aware of my methods Eggy. All 3 tier 3. Clearly better than rogue, clearly worse than sorcerer. Both by wide margins in all three cases. Or perhaps you need me to elaborate?
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
    Yes I know it's sarcasm. It's a joke. Pale green is for snarking
    Thread wins: 2

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    By your vaguer tiers, I suppose all three would rightly wind up in Tier 3, as they're flatly superior to something like a Barbarian and inferior to a Sorcerer. I don't think the Warblade or Crusader really get enough noncombat stuff to meaningfully contribute outside of a fight, though, and they lack the Warmage or Duskblade's ability to easily expand their abilities.
    Hill Giant Games
    I make indie gaming books for you!
    Spoiler
    Show

    STaRS: A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system.
    Grod's Guide to Greatness, 2e: A big book of player options for 5e.
    Grod's Grimoire of the Grotesque: An even bigger book of variant and expanded rules for 5e.
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    Idiot Crusader with White Raven Tactics: T2 or not?
    Not sure it matters overmuch, being a really specific and high op build.
    Quote Originally Posted by ryu View Post
    You're already well aware of my methods Eggy. All 3 tier 3. Clearly better than rogue, clearly worse than sorcerer. Both by wide margins in all three cases. Or perhaps you need me to elaborate?
    Seems fair, at least for now. Might be worth arguing if/when things get crazy and controversy filled.

    Anyway, I'ma third the three tier threes vote. The warblade and crusader strike me as rather similar to the warmage. Really heavily combat oriented with the occasional non-combat thing going on. The key difference, to my mind, is that warmage has the better ceiling, while the ToB classes quite likely have the better floor. The warmage floor is admittedly pretty good though, as is traditional for the fixed list casters. Warmage is likely better, but that class seems reasonably high in the tier anyway, once you account for feats and such. Swordsage seems even more clearly a three, cause you have the really solid versatile combat element, alongside some really interesting and useful maneuvers.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Three sets of three that are all threes and with the added bonus of that being three kinds of three. Look at the synergy. LOOK AT IT!
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
    Yes I know it's sarcasm. It's a joke. Pale green is for snarking
    Thread wins: 2

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Troacctid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Yeah, I believe I made the Warmage comparison in a previous discussion. I stand by it. Putting Warblade and Crusader below T3 doesn't make sense—they're easily better than any T4 class, and quite a few T3 classes to boot.

    All three sit comfortably in Tier 3.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Hmm. Conventional wisdom puts all three classes squarely in T3, and I have to admit that it's hard to break away from that mindset.

    In combat, all three classes are about the gold standard for "useful martials who aren't playing rocket tag." They aren't typically an AC-based save-or-die the way a focused charger can be, but they also have useful and varied abilities that are harder to render useless than those of most traditional martial folks. They famously have a very high floor, so much so that they have a reputation for looking overpowered when compared to unoptimized PHB martials (but still at equivalent levels of optimization).

    Also, from a player perspective, ToB classes are interesting, which tends to make me look more favorably on them than I do on, say, a Barbarian. Even if a Barbarian is about equal to a ToB class at the specific task of "make attack rolls against something until it stops being a problem," I'm inclined to rate the ToB class as being "better" than the Barb, if for no other reason than because I think it's more interesting to use a suite of maneuvers than to just make a bunch of raw attack rolls. This doesn't mean that the ToB classes automatically belong in a higher tier, though. Fun is subjective, and tiers are more about measuring power, versatility, and problem-solving ability than about "does the voter personally enjoy this class."

    That said, being honest, just how good are the initiators at solving out-of-combat problems? They have more skills than a Fighter does, and they tend to have reasonably decent skill lists, but they also sometimes (not always, but sometimes) have to invest skill points in skills that their disciplines use but that have relatively limited uses outside of those disciplines. (Concentration is the worst offender, since a non-casting character will almost never need Concentration outside of using Diamond Mind maneuvers, but it's not the only time this sort of thing comes up.) I'm not sure that their skill access alone is enough to give them credit for being especially useful out of combat—for contrast, I consider an ACFless Ranger to be low T4 or high T5, and they arguably have more robust skill access than a Warblade or Crusader, plus or minus Diplomacy. The Swordsage is obviously much better at skills than the two others are, of course, even if they do have a few weird gaps in their list.

    So if skills aren't enough to give them a leg up out of combat, what else do they have? Maneuvers, mostly. How useful are maneuvers out of combat? I think we need to look at the three classes individually for that. In most cases, though, getting non-combat utility from maneuvers is mostly a function of creative application rather than native function.

    First, the Crusader. They have access to the Stone Dragon Lockpick (though their maneuver regeneration process means that it's a little more awkward than for the other two, though not so much so as to make it useless). It can be argued that Martial Spirit (though not Crusader's Strike or similar strikes) can be used for out-of-combat healing, though there's some justification for that being not RAI. Aura of Perfect Order can potentially make you better (or at least more reliable) at skill checks, so long as you don't need to make more than one per round. Strike of Righteous Vitality is an edge case; it can only be used in combat, but it can make it so that a problem incurred in combat might not remain a problem after combat, since Heal can help with more problems than just HP damage, but that's still kind of marginal. Other Stone Dragon and White Raven maneuvers don't really contribute out of combat. I think the Crusader's maneuvers offer the least utility out of combat if you don't allow Martial Spirit shenanigans, but even with them, they're mostly combat monsters.

    The Swordsage has the widest variety of maneuvers, so it stands to reason that they have access to the most utility-based ones. Several of their stances (Step of the Dancing Moth, Rising Phoenix, Balance on the Sky, Dance of the Spider) allow different movement modes, which is nice. Stone Dragon Lockpick, of course. The Shadow Hand teleportation maneuvers are always excellent to have on hand. A highly permissive reading of Leaping Dragon Stance can make you much better at high jumping, though there are reasons to question the validity of that reading. Hearing the Air is blindsense; whether that's useful out of combat is kind of an open question, but at least it makes guard duty easier. Cloak of Deception provides super-short-duration invisibility; it's not good for long-term scouting, but it can be useful to get from one cover point to another. There's some good options, though most of them are stances, and stances are sometimes a bit more precious than general maneuvers. So it's not really fair to say that most Swordsages will have a whole ton of out-of-combat maneuvers, but they'll probably have more than the other two initiators will.

    Finally, the Warblade. Stone Dragon Lockpick is a given, and we can make the same (shaky) argument for Leaping Dragon Stance that we made with the Swordsage. Same with Hearing the Air. Other than that, we're pretty much down to Iron Heart Surge, and I don't want to get into whether that's useful out of combat, because that's a major can of worms.

    Overall, I'm having a hard time seeing a whole ton of out-of-combat utility for the Crusader and the Warblade. Those two classes might have Diplomacy and/or Intimidate trained, but their other skills are likely to be combat-focused or niche. Their maneuvers provide more out-of-combat utility than you'll get from your average Fighter, but not so much that they're likely to be your primary problem-solvers. They're mostly really good at hitting things, and they're good at hitting things in interesting ways. That puts them in a pretty similar boat to the Barbarian, and I voted for the Barb being T4. The Swordsage seems like an easy T3, though, since they've got decent utility, good skills, and good flexibility.

    That leaves the Warblade and Crusader around T4. Is that accurate, though? We have to look at their combat abilities a little deeper. As I said, I'm biased towards maneuvers in combat, since they're more fun to me than just making normal attacks (even big normal attacks). Even trying to be unbiased, though, I think that there's something to be said for maneuvers as your primary combat contribution.

    First, if you pick a robust base of maneuvers, it's relatively difficult to force an initiator into a position where they can't do anything useful. They don't usually need to make full attacks, and while there are exceptions, most maneuvers require less perfect battlefield setup than other classes might require. (It's possible that your absolute best maneuver for the moment might be exhausted or unavailable, but it's likely that you have SOMETHING to use that's more useful than a basic attack.) I nudged the Rogue out of T3 (despite having strong damage potential and excellent skill utility) because it's easy to shut down their combat potential. There's a strong part of me that wants to nudge the Crusader and Warblade up into T3 for the inverse reason—it's hard to shut down their maneuvers entirely. (They're vulnerable to save-or-sucks like any other fightin'-man class, plus or minus Diamond Mind and similar shrug-it-off maneuvers, but there aren't entire classes of enemies who ignore maneuvers outright, and environmental conditions rarely directly affect how useful a maneuver is.)

    Also, maneuvers have a lot of combat utility. There are plenty of raw damage maneuvers for when that's your game, but there's also plenty of tactical maneuvers (especially, though not only, in White Raven) that alter how the battlefield works. You can shut down enemy AoOs, you can force saving throws against disadvantageous conditions, you can facilitate allied movement, and so on. HP damage is, as we all know, pretty much binary—your last HP is the only one that really counts, so doing a lot of damage to something doesn't change its fighting ability until you kill it. There are plenty of tactical maneuvers that both apply damage and change the target's fighting capabilities, so that's some combat utility that's a little bit more elegant than just hitting something hard.

    There's some issues with the classes, of course. Crusader stance progression is borked. It's weird that Swordsages and Warblades don't get martial ranged weapons. It's a little annoying how few choices a super-low-level Crusader gets when picking maneuvers. Steely Resolve, while useful early on, is a bit of a headache to keep track of. We all know about the editing issues in the book (Swordsage starting skills, the infamous half-errata, IHS, etc.). And so on. But overall, I think they're designed pretty well as a whole.

    I think the Swordsage is fairly clearly T3, and I think the Warblade and the Crusader are at the bottom of T3. They don't have as much out-of-combat utility as I'd really like, but they have solid combat ability that plays well with others and that doesn't crumple under pressure, and I think that counts for a lot. I'd be willing to listen to arguments that the Crusader and the Warblade belong in T4, though.
    Last edited by Zaq; 2017-03-16 at 01:38 PM.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently judging for round 38. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

    ~ Gay all day, queer all year ~

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Well, Swordsage is the easiest to tier. Between the combat power of maneuvers, access to maneuvers useful outside of combat, and skills, they're a pretty clear Tier 3.
    Crusader and Warblade are a bit harder. They're substantially better than T4, but often lack in noncombat situations. That said, they're still Tier 3, if a bit lower in the tier.

    It's also worth noting that these classes are generally going to be in the same tier regardless of optimization. Just choosing maneuvers on the basis of what sounds cool will still give you a strong selection, unlike with spells. The flipside is that there isn't much upward mobility, barring TO shenanigans like an Idiot d2 Crusader with White Raven Tactics (henceforth known as the White Peregrine).
    Quote Originally Posted by AmberVael View Post
    Seriously though. I just don't want to see another setting with the same uninspiring oatmeal polytheism blend.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Crusader: Tier 4
    Warblade: Tier 4
    Swordsage: High Tier 4(Low 3 if generous)

    Pretty much the same general reason for all of them, being pretty good in combat is not enough to justify the higher tier in my opinion. As has been noted, they aren't quite as good as a high end barbarian at making things dead. On the other hand, they have a greater variety of ways to make things dead. So what? If a barbarian charger is a sledgehammer, the TOB classes are a box of various smaller hammers. That's great that you have a bunch of different hammers... I mean that one has a claw on it for pulling nails and that's pretty cool... But they're all just hammers and they do the same thing.

    I'll give swordsage a little credit for having more skills, though they suffer on in combat survivability as recompense, but they're still just right on the line. ToB classes are cool and balanced and everyone likes them... But they aren't actually that strong.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    lord_khaine's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Crusader: Tier 3
    Warblade: Tier 3
    Swordsage: Tier 3

    Justification, they are all excellent combatants with at least a little added utility. Swordsage and Warblade both get a lot of defence from more exotic attacks in the Iron Heart and Diamond mind schools. Looking at Wall of blades and Iron. Heart. SURGE! here in particular. Or in the crusaders case got Song of the white raven buffing.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Banned
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    I think having only combat options is basically fine if those options are good. Outside combat you can contribute by doing things that are completely unrelated to anything on your sheet like "being genre savvy" or "being good at planning" (for example: Sokka in Avatar TLA). Those probably get you farther than the utility of most things that aren't full casters, particularly if you also have good skills. On that basis, the Crusader and Warblade seem fine.

    My concern with these classes is that high level maneuvers are pretty meh. The 9th level Stone Dragon maneuver does 2d6 CON damage. That's pretty terrible, and worse than the Barbarian's plan of "charge things really hard and kill them instantly". Obviously ToB characters can do that, but it really hurts the Swordsage because it makes the best plan "use your maneuvers to support being a traditional Ubercharger", and the Swordsage is bad at that by virtue of being stuck with a refresh scheme (1/encounter) that's really bad for that.

    So what does the contribution of the Warblade, Crusader, or Swordsage look like in a 15th level fight?

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    I'd list all 3 as T3. T4s, like Barbarian or Archer, can be good at combat, but not necessarily at combats that don't fit their specialties. They can be shut out of combat by multiple methods. Martial adepts don't need full attacks, they can access alternate movement modes, shoot ranged attacks, generate disabling conditions, etc. For that reason, they are highly gear independent, so while the barbarian is struggling to overcome their combat holes, the crusader or warblade can spend a higher portion of WBL on utility. Their level range is frontloaded, stronger in the first 5 levels than the last 5, but since the first 5 levels are weighted more heavily than the last 5, that shouldn't hurt them much.

    They also have probably the most forgiving multiclass mechanic in 3.5. While the caster never wants to lose CL, and the muggles are driven to multiclass wildly because they have few high level abilities worth the investment, ToB classes mesh great with each other or with lower tier muggles. Or steal one another's tricks via feats.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2017-03-16 at 03:08 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    I guess I'll be the first one being controversial here, I can't say I expected that.

    I easily see a swordsage's abilities brings it into or close to tier 3. They have a lot of save or suck, x6 skillpoints, access to various forms of teleportation and other movement types. Basically, if they're against something that requires something else than major trauma, they can usually contribute.

    Don't get me wrong, crusaders and warblades are great fighter types. They have strong defenses and offensive abilities to match.

    But does combat ability alone make you tier 3? Because I would argue that a barbarian is just as good at combat than either a crusader or a warblade and barbarians are just tier 4 (really good at 1 thing AKA combat)

    What exactly can a warblade or a crusader do outside combat? I'm reserving the right to change my vote if someone can spell it out for me but , from what I can see, both are tier 4.


    So my vote for now

    Swordsage : tier 3
    Warblade: tier 4
    Crusader : tier 3 (edited due to Aura of perfect order)
    Last edited by Soranar; 2017-03-16 at 06:55 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    I guess I'll be the first one being controversial here, I can't say I expected that.

    I easily see a swordsage's abilities brings it into or close to tier 3. They have a lot of save or suck, x6 skillpoints, access to various forms of teleportation and other movement types. Basically, if they're against something that requires something else than major trauma, they can usually contribute.

    Don't get me wrong, crusaders and warblades are great fighter types. They have strong defenses and offensive abilities to match.

    But does combat ability alone make you tier 3? Because I would argue that a barbarian is just as good at combat than either a crusader or a warblade and barbarians are just tier 4 (really good at 1 thing AKA combat)

    What exactly can a warblade or a crusader do outside combat? I'm reserving the right to change my vote if someone can spell it out for me but , from what I can see, both are tier 4.


    So my vote for now

    Swordsage : tier 3
    Warblade: tier 4
    Crusader : tier 4
    Neither the first nor the heaviest controversy so far. We've got an all 4s vote.
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
    Yes I know it's sarcasm. It's a joke. Pale green is for snarking
    Thread wins: 2

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    I think having only combat options is basically fine if those options are good. Outside combat you can contribute by doing things that are completely unrelated to anything on your sheet like "being genre savvy" or "being good at planning" (for example: Sokka in Avatar TLA). Those probably get you farther than the utility of most things that aren't full casters, particularly if you also have good skills. On that basis, the Crusader and Warblade seem fine.

    My concern with these classes is that high level maneuvers are pretty meh. The 9th level Stone Dragon maneuver does 2d6 CON damage. That's pretty terrible, and worse than the Barbarian's plan of "charge things really hard and kill them instantly". Obviously ToB characters can do that, but it really hurts the Swordsage because it makes the best plan "use your maneuvers to support being a traditional Ubercharger", and the Swordsage is bad at that by virtue of being stuck with a refresh scheme (1/encounter) that's really bad for that.

    So what does the contribution of the Warblade, Crusader, or Swordsage look like in a 15th level fight?
    2d6 Con is actually a lot of damage. With an average damage of 7 that will do 4xHD damage (if Con is even) or 3xHD damage (if Con is odd) for a single no fuss hit and the damage is harder to shut down that a charge. The only 9th level maneuver that leaves me feeling meh is Desert Wind's.
    Going down:
    Desert Wind: 100 damage fireball. The fact that there are so many ways to mitigate the damage, requires you to have a huge number of maneuvers from a subpar school, it is supernatural so easier to stop, and the fact you cannot even aim the thing (which requires a full round action to activate) makes this one feel bleh.
    Devoted Spirit: Spammable Heal is nice, especially since it works in situations where magic may not. The prerequisite to learn it is also lower and Devoted Spirit has some solid choices. SAdly in combat only, but cannot have everything.
    Diamond Mind: Good at trying to cut through a lot of mooks, since the average build will have 6 or 8 attack with this. Also great for crit fishing. Not amazing, but cool. Just be aware of DR.
    Iron Heart: No fuss pile of damage. Certainly useful and synergizes nicely with Finishing Blow against most foes.
    Setting Sun: Back to the painful prerequisites. Great at mook clearing, but literally useless against larger foes. Can get your trip check to insane numbers if you have a good movespeed though.
    Shadow Hand: What is it with swordsage and painful reqs? This maneuver is supernatural again (ow) and unreliable. Being able to maul a caster's Concentration by 6 is cool, but have so many requirements. If you get lucky you can temporarily do hot damage (15d6 + 2d6 Con) but it wears off quickly.
    Stone Dragon: No prerequisites, which is cool, semi-reliable damage. If it weren't for the stupid "both feet must be on the ground" clause this would be really solid. As is try to get reach and hope enemies swoop low (or fight in a dungeon with a low ceiling).
    Tiger Claw: A death effect with a strength based save is cool. The fact anyone immune to crits is immune to it not. The jump is not too bad if you really want to use this maneuver.
    White Raven: If your entire party wants to charge this gets crazy quickly and can drop stuns (no save) and let allies move as an immediate action. It is really inconsistent, but amazing when you can get it off.

    Edit: Put me down for all 3's. They are solid and reliable in combat and have some options beyond "hit with stick and hope for best". Their expanded skill lists are cool but it will be unreliable as to whether or not they will really be useful.
    Last edited by ZamielVanWeber; 2017-03-16 at 03:15 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by ryu View Post
    Neither the first nor the heaviest controversy so far. We've got an all 4s vote.
    I thought I'd be the first one to say tier 4 and when my post when up so did yours, I was just surprised to be alone in with that opinion at the time.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Banned
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    2d6 Con is actually a lot of damage. With an average damage of 7 that will do 4xHD damage (if Con is even) or 3xHD damage (if Con is odd) for a single no fuss hit and the damage is harder to shut down that a charge. The only 9th level maneuver that leaves me feeling meh is Desert Wind's.
    But their HP is scaling by more than that amount. It can't kill anyone with more than 12 CON (and only averages killing people with 7 CON), and those people would mostly just die to being stabbed. Generally, you spend your action to hit a dude really hard.

    Devoted Spirit: Spammable Heal is nice, especially since it works in situations where magic may not. The prerequisite to learn it is also lower and Devoted Spirit has some solid choices. SAdly in combat only, but cannot have everything.
    Combat healing is not super good. Particularly when it can't really be spammed barring Idiot Crusader cheese, Martial Study, or items.

    Diamond Mind: Good at trying to cut through a lot of mooks, since the average build will have 6 or 8 attack with this. Also great for crit fishing. Not amazing, but cool. Just be aware of DR.
    How is this good at cutting through mooks? You have to be in (or close to) melee range with a bunch of opponents who are probably able to fly, teleport, or both.

    Iron Heart: No fuss pile of damage. Certainly useful and synergizes nicely with Finishing Blow against most foes.
    That's probably less damage than you get from your PA multipliers. Good

    Setting Sun: Back to the painful prerequisites. Great at mook clearing, but literally useless against larger foes. Can get your trip check to insane numbers if you have a good movespeed though.
    Most high level foes are large or larger. I think every CR 17 opponent is Large or larger, and many are Huge or more.

    Tiger Claw: A death effect with a strength based save is cool. The fact anyone immune to crits is immune to it not. The jump is not too bad if you really want to use this maneuver.
    Weren't casters throwing around single target death effects at melee range at 9th level (with slay living). Obviously not a one-to-one comparison, but it's hard for me to get excited over an ability that people have had for 8 levels already -- a horde of Clerics who can cast slay living is not an encounter you are supposed to get XP for at 17th level.

    White Raven: If your entire party wants to charge this gets crazy quickly and can drop stuns (no save) and let allies move as an immediate action. It is really inconsistent, but amazing when you can get it off.
    Your entire party almost certainly does not want to charge. What's the threshold where you see this becoming good? Two other chargers? Three?

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    I don't personally think that warblade and crusader make it out of T4, as their disciplines just don't have enough utility. Swordsage does make it to T3, I think.

    I also think that uberchargers are a TO exercise, and not a useful benchmark for damage expecations.
    Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-męnu!

    My Homebrew:
    Spoiler
    Show

    The Clanhold Warden - Dwarf Racial Archetype for Dreamscarred Press' Warder
    Glorious Thunder - The God's own wrath as a Paladin's ranged option.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    remetagross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Paris
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post

    But does combat ability alone make you tier 3? Because I would argue that a barbarian is just as good at combat than either a crusader or a warblade and barbarians are just tier 4 (really good at 1 thing AKA combat)
    That seems debatable to me. After all, can't the Crusader and the Warblade be almost as good as ubercharging as the Barbarian? The only thing he has and they don't is Pounce, since they can both get flat damage and to-hit increases, or additional attacks. But the Warblade does get Pounce at level 9 with Pouncing Charge, and the Crusader is a couple Martial Studies away from it as well.
    And besides, they can do much more than ubercharging.
    VC XV, The horsemen are drawing nearer: The Alien and the Omen (part 1 and part 2).
    VC XVI, Burn baby burn:Nero
    VC XVIII, This is Heresy! Torquemada
    VC XX, Elder Evil: Henry Bowyer

    And a repository of deliciously absurd sentences produced by maddened optimisers in my extended signature

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    But their HP is scaling by more than that amount. It can't kill anyone with more than 12 CON (and only averages killing people with 7 CON), and those people would mostly just die to being stabbed. Generally, you spend your action to hit a dude really hard.
    That is exactly what most melee builds do and the damage is solid without spending any other build resources into it, which is where it shines.

    Combat healing is not super good. Particularly when it can't really be spammed barring Idiot Crusader cheese, Martial Study, or items.
    It will come up, at worst, every 3rd round with a feat. Also Heal is a great use of an action in combat: it easily out heals most monsters damage and purges a laundry list of statuses

    How is this good at cutting through mooks? You have to be in (or close to) melee range with a bunch of opponents who are probably able to fly, teleport, or both.
    Yes, because mooks are going to enjoy 17th+ level PC wealth. Also cannot you fly or teleport with that massive wealth? You love charging, which is shut down by marbles, but seem critical of these. Which is it: do mooks carry around gear reliably to stop every strategy or not?

    That's probably less damage than you get from your PA multipliers. Good
    Only if you manage power attack at X4 with a BAB of 26 plus or are ubercharging without being stopped. Also, I can totally combine PA and this maneuver for damage and the fact that a nice chunk of damage comes from here means enemies with extremely high ACs won't rip my damage to shreds. (In a 2-man one shot at ECL 14 there was a boss with 60+ AC. Power attack that without massive levels of optimization).

    Most high level foes are large or larger. I think every CR 17 opponent is Large or larger, and many are Huge or more.
    So? You can trip larges and it is insanely easy with this maneuver. Also things with PC levels can be CR 17+ without being large. I also said this one was not great.

    Weren't casters throwing around single target death effects at melee range at 9th level (with slay living). Obviously not a one-to-one comparison, but it's hard for me to get excited over an ability that people have had for 8 levels already -- a horde of Clerics who can cast slay living is not an encounter you are supposed to get XP for at 17th level.
    You missed the part where this is not a death effect. Slay Living is blocked by a list of things but this does not have the death descriptor.

    Your entire party almost certainly does not want to charge. What's the threshold where you see this becoming good? Two other chargers? Three?
    Are you sure? I mean, if my party is Crusader, Barbarian and CoDzilla (and Druidzilla's companion) I could certainly see them all charging. You also are discounting the joys of handing your melees immediate action movement. Two is when I see it becoming good but the more the merrier.

    Edit: Cleaned it up a bit.
    Last edited by ZamielVanWeber; 2017-03-16 at 03:52 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    I thought I'd be the first one to say tier 4 and when my post when up so did yours, I was just surprised to be alone in with that opinion at the time.
    Ah. Fair enough.
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
    Yes I know it's sarcasm. It's a joke. Pale green is for snarking
    Thread wins: 2

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Zancloufer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Canada

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    I would say that they are all Tier 3.

    They have quite a bit of utility IMHO. Even the 8th and 9th level manoeuvres are solid.

    Heal is one of the few spells that might be worth using in combat and having access to an Ex version of it WHILE you attack is amazing. Time Stands still lets you attack twice as much as you should.

    White Raven's super charge can be stupid if anyone is a minonmancer or has leadership. I mean seriously Leadership/Undead Horde + White Raven Tactics = Broken. You can pack something stupid like 50 minions in a 30ft sphere easily and any enemy within 60ft of you is going to eat YES damage.

    Feral Death Strike is a lot nastier than you give it credit for. It is an EX Death Effect with a DC of 19+Str and the only true protection is 100% Fortification (Unlike all other death effects which things like AMFs, SR, Death Ward, or Type Immunities protect against). Lesser Fortification doesn't protect you and you can get past type critical immunity if you really want (Ie: Death Strike Bracers). Just Pimp out Jump + Str and you wreck faces and even if you fail they still take +20d6 damage. Ex Insta death with high DC almost impossible to protect against and deals good damage even on save.

    The 7-8th level ones are nice to. Things like extra movement actions, deflecting attacks, having more swift actions, list goes on. What I am saying is that the ToB classes are only really good at wrecking faces in a mundane way. They are however without peer in this possessing a wide array of useful abilities that are pretty much impossible to 100% shut down. They are not so much the Tier 3 that is good at one thing, but okay at 2-3 others, but the tier 3 that can solve 1 problem 5 ways and has like 1-2 passable backup ****cks.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    What exactly can a warblade or a crusader do outside combat? I'm reserving the right to change my vote if someone can spell it out for me but , from what I can see, both are tier 4.
    Well, outside of combat, not much. You get a few skills, and beyond that it's mainly creative use of maneuvers. But let's back up a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    But does combat ability alone make you tier 3? Because I would argue that a barbarian is just as good at combat than either a crusader or a warblade and barbarians are just tier 4 (really good at 1 thing AKA combat)
    This is where I would disagree. Barbarians aren't as good at combat as the ToB classes, due to things like reliance on full attacks, and the fact that maneuvers can replace things the Barbarian can only get through magic items. Warblades and Crusaders have more options in combat than just straightforward damage, and they are harder to shut down. This, combined with the higher optimization floor of ToB classes, is what bumps them into Tier 3. They're at the bottom of the tier, but I think they still squeeze in.
    Quote Originally Posted by AmberVael View Post
    Seriously though. I just don't want to see another setting with the same uninspiring oatmeal polytheism blend.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Banned
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Sayt View Post
    I also think that uberchargers are a TO exercise, and not a useful benchmark for damage expecations.
    It depends. I think the Uberchargers that do damage expressed in SI notation are TO, but the ones that just do enough to kill things on hit are probably not.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZamielVanWeber View Post
    That is exactly what most melee builds do and the damage is solid without spending any other build resources into it, which is where it shines.
    Solid damage isn't really good enough. At 17th level, you're averaging three or more uses of this maneuver to kill a caster type like the Aboleth Mage or Formian Queen. It alternates well with regular attacks, but so do more regular attacks, and it doesn't benefit from whatever damage you happen to be doing.

    It will come up, at worst, every 3rd round with a feat. Also Heal is a great use of an action in combat: it easily out heals most monsters damage. and purges a laundry list of statuses
    It's 150 HP every 3 rounds (heal caps, the maneuver really should just say "150" because you can't get it before then). Assuming you average every other round, that's 75 HP. A CR 17 Marilith probably deals more than that every round, and it gets worse if you're getting beaten down by a group instead. Also, lots of monsters will just fling save-or-dies or other spells. You might plausibly fight three Trumpet Archons, which are 14th level Clerics that are also celestials.

    Yes, because mooks are going to enjoy 17th+ level PC wealth. Also cannot you fly or teleport with that massive wealth? You love charging, which is shut down by marbles, but seem critical of these. Which is it: do mooks carry around gear reliably to stop every strategy or not?
    At 17th level "mooks" could plausibly mean CR 11 monsters like Barbed Devils (at-will teleport), Young Adult Blue Dragons (150ft fly speed), or Hezrous (at-will teleport). Even the mooks that are basically big piles of stats are Huge (Cloud Giants, Elder Elementals) or larger (Vermin), and won't be positioned for you to be in melee range of several at once. Also, whatever movement you do has to fit into your full round action attack.

    Only if you manage power attack at X4 with a BAB of 26 plus or are ubercharging without being stopped. Also, I can totally combine PA and this maneuver for damage and the fact that a nice chunk of damage comes from here means enemies with extremely high ACs won't rip my damage to shreds. (In a 2-man one shot at ECL 14 there was a boss with 60+ AC. Power attack that without massive levels of optimization).
    You obviously have Shock Trooper if you're charging, so you don't take to-hit penalties. Even then, more damage is not the problem martials have.

    You missed the part where this is not a death effect. Slay Living is blocked by a list of things but this does not have the death descriptor.
    You know what else isn't a [Death] effect? Ubercharging. Also, yes, this is somewhat better than something Clerics got eight levels ago. That is not sufficient to sway me. Maybe 4th level spell phantasmal killer is a better case? Sure, it requires two saves, but this requires a Jump check and a save.

    Are you sure? I mean, if my party is Crusader, Barbarian and CoDzilla (and Druidzilla's companion) I could certainly see them all charging. You also are discounting the joys of handing your melees immediate action movement. Two is when I see it becoming good but the more the merrier.
    But if your party is Beguiler, Warlock, and Binder, it's possible none of them want to charge. Looking at the standard party, you can expect that maybe the Cleric or the Rogue wants to charge, but neither is a sure thing (even among martial Clerics, the iconic build is the Cleric Archer), so you average one. For every party of four melee types, you can expect at least as many parties where all your friends are squishies.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosi View Post
    It depends. I think the Uberchargers that do damage expressed in SI notation are TO, but the ones that just do enough to kill things on hit are probably not.
    But are still easily shut down if the DM really wants.

    Solid damage isn't really good enough. At 17th level, you're averaging three or more uses of this maneuver to kill a caster type like the Aboleth Mage or Formian Queen. It alternates well with regular attacks, but so do more regular attacks, and it doesn't benefit from whatever damage you happen to be doing.
    I have other maneuvers as well and doing a ton of damage that is difficult to manage is nice. It also costs waaay less than all the build resources you dedicate to ubercharging.

    It's 150 HP every 3 rounds (heal caps, the maneuver really should just say "150" because you can't get it before then). Assuming you average every other round, that's 75 HP. A CR 17 Marilith probably deals more than that every round, and it gets worse if you're getting beaten down by a group instead. Also, lots of monsters will just fling save-or-dies or other spells. You might plausibly fight three Trumpet Archons, which are 14th level Clerics that are also celestials.
    A marilith who never misses averages 137 damage a round. Honestly, being able to face tank a marilith while my party members work it over is valuable. Monsters also fling Save-or-sucks and heal cuts through those.

    [quote]At 17th level "mooks" could plausibly mean CR 11 monsters like Barbed Devils (at-will teleport), Young Adult Blue Dragons (150ft fly speed), or Hezrous (at-will teleport). Even the mooks that are basically big piles of stats are Huge (Cloud Giants, Elder Elementals) or larger (Vermin), and won't be positioned for you to be in melee range of several at once. Also, whatever movement you do has to fit into your full round action attack.
    Then you can just smash one into oblivion with your 8 full attacks. Power attack a little bit and watch your damage explode! If they move just use your pounce maneuver instead. Either way: damage.

    You obviously have Shock Trooper if you're charging, so you don't take to-hit penalties. Even then, more damage is not the problem martials have.
    So your argument is that by having a narrower and more resources intensive build I am better in general? I mean: shut down charging and your an angry dude with a stick and no real options. Maneuvers are more resilient to being stopped.

    You know what else isn't a [Death] effect? Ubercharging. Also, yes, this is somewhat better than something Clerics got eight levels ago. That is not sufficient to sway me. Maybe 4th level spell phantasmal killer is a better case? Sure, it requires two saves, but this requires a Jump check and a save.
    Do you know is easily stopped? Ubercharging. And since you are doing TO ubercharging it is more likely that they will fail to kill somthing and have to figure out how to charge again, while I can just smack them with another maneuver. Also that jump check is trivial. If that jump check cannot be made than an ubercharger will probably not hit with any attack.

    But if your party is Beguiler, Warlock, and Binder, it's possible none of them want to charge. Looking at the standard party, you can expect that maybe the Cleric or the Rogue wants to charge, but neither is a sure thing (even among martial Clerics, the iconic build is the Cleric Archer), so you average one. For every party of four melee types, you can expect at least as many parties where all your friends are squishies.
    Then don't take that maneuver? I mean, it's not like you don't know your party composition and, no matter how much you protest, there are good options for both warblade and crusader at 9ths.
    Last edited by ZamielVanWeber; 2017-03-16 at 04:21 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Canada

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    I would agree that an ubercharger can reach TO levels of optimization

    But even with ordinary optimization a barbarian can easily reach 150+ damage per round.

    Since an initiator gets his best stuff at level 17, what can a level 17 barb do?

    Say he was a human, with 18 STR

    +4 to STR from level increases
    +6 from a magic item
    (I'll ignore tomes for now)
    another +6 from raging

    so 34 STR wiedling a two handed greataxe

    1d12 (weapon) + 18 (STR 1.5x) + 51 (power attack x3 leap attack)

    so about 75 damage per hit and all he's using is

    -power attack
    -leap attack
    - improved bull rush
    - shock trooper

    a human can pull this off by level 6

    if he gets pounce from the barbarian ACF then we can assume he can hit at least twice during his attack routine to deliver 150 damage but honestly I'd be surprised if he couldn't hit 3 times for 225 damage. Especially with a haste effect.

    and this build doesn't use battle jump,headlong rush or a valorous weapon

    and sure difficult terrain can stop your charge but you're jumping
    jump is a class skill
    you get +12 to it from your raging STR (without any magic items, I'd be surprised if you can't fly somehow) and you're running

    even a basic mounted charger can reach that kind of damage while mounted with a lance and spirited charge (and flying mounts are easy enough to find)

    honestly the tome of battle's damage output is just ordinary

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    At a certain point it doesn't really matter how many magic items, fears, or build resources it takes for a given class to do well in combat. A well built barbarian contributes meaningfully in combat in almost all situations. I feel like we can all agree on that. It's irrelevant whether he needs more magic items then a warblade, because it's well within his capacity.

    A warblade can contribute meaningfully in almost all combat situations, although it's acknowledged that he can't generally outdamage the barbarian unless the barbarians tactics are being hampered in pretty specific ways that pretty much require direct DM intent. The warblade does require less resources to hit that generic level of "meaningful contribution".

    The question becomes: Can the warblade realistically levy those extra resources (build, feat, money) to be able to meaningfully contribute outside of combat? How much weight should that contribute? At what point does it become a Schrodinger's situation in which you're just positing arbitrary items the warblade could have?

    Overall, I don't think the warblade can get sufficient value out of those remaining resources that they allegedly have over the barbarian, especially not when compared to their lower damage threshold overall. They are still just a combat monster.

    The same applies generally to all the TOB classes, though the Swordsage does have slightly more variety. I don't really care if you can Trip, Self Heal, and so jumping con damage. That's still just combat. It's not intrinsically more valuable then the guy who just one shots every enemy you put in front of him who's not immune to HP damage.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Sounds like most people here are of the opinion that swordsage is the stronger of the three classes. I don't disagree but I want to offer that I think swordsage probably has a lower floor, even if it has a higher ceiling. I'm DMing a campaign with all three of these classes in the party, and all three of the players are new-ish. While I of course offered my assistance, the three players chose what they chose, all of them a bit suboptimal in one way or another. The swordsage player feels pretty outclassed most of the time. Mostly to do with maneuver selection; having selected hatchling's flame, for example, he's finding it's not as useful practically as it originally appeared. (Yeah, I know, none of us would have picked that maneuver, but what I'm saying is this is a real thing that a real player did and low-but-not-sabotaging-myself-op is part of the discussion.)

    Also, from my own experience playing one, even doing your best to pick good maneuvers, it can feel pretty tough to contribute at low levels. Especially on feat-starved races where you either delay Adaptive Style or delay your accuracy/damage boosting feats.

    For out of combat stuff, you get good skills and points for a combat character but intelligence isn't a priority usually. The sense magic feature is mildly useful... when it isn't being obsoleted by an artificer's monocle.

    Don't get me wrong, I think swordsage is tier three and will vote that way (first vote woo!), but the floor is something to consider here.

    Votes:
    All 3s.
    Excel sheet for 3.5 -- Native support for stacking rules and multiple forms; as lightweight as possible otherwise. (links currently broken, if you want a copy LMK)

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    remetagross's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Paris
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade

    Quote Originally Posted by Soranar View Post
    I would agree that an ubercharger can reach TO levels of optimization

    But even with ordinary optimization a barbarian can easily reach 150+ damage per round.

    Since an initiator gets his best stuff at level 17, what can a level 17 barb do?

    Say he was a human, with 18 STR

    +4 to STR from level increases
    +6 from a magic item
    (I'll ignore tomes for now)
    another +6 from raging

    so 34 STR wiedling a two handed greataxe

    1d12 (weapon) + 18 (STR 1.5x) + 51 (power attack x3 leap attack)

    so about 75 damage per hit and all he's using is

    -power attack
    -leap attack
    - improved bull rush
    - shock trooper

    a human can pull this off by level 6
    That is true, but actually, a Warblade can pull this off at level 5, since he gets a bonus feat at level 5.

    Or, all that thing that a Barbarian can do, a Tier 6 Warrior can do as well! You just have to remove the Str bonus from Rage, so that the damage per hit goes from 75 to 69. To me, the difference is far from being meaningful.

    In both cases, my point is that, yes, Barbarians are powerful uberchargers, but actually, they are only slightly more good at it than every other full BAB class out there. Until Pounce gets involved, granted, but you example above specifically did not use Pounce. And Warblades do get Pounce as a maneuver at level 9 anyway.

    I think we are forgetting that ubercharging is far from being a Barbarian-only trick; at the same time, maneuvers of level 6 or more (when Martial Study can't get you those) are a martial adept-only trick. So that a Warblade can be an ubercharger and in addition to that, an action economy abuser, a tank, a debuffer, etc. At least, that's how things look like from a theoretical point of view, I have never played either class.

    How about you folks that have played both?
    VC XV, The horsemen are drawing nearer: The Alien and the Omen (part 1 and part 2).
    VC XVI, Burn baby burn:Nero
    VC XVIII, This is Heresy! Torquemada
    VC XX, Elder Evil: Henry Bowyer

    And a repository of deliciously absurd sentences produced by maddened optimisers in my extended signature

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •