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    Default Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    This round is for those mundane classes that didn't fit anywhere else. Because of their mundane nature, I don't expect them to get high tiers but we've had worse. Don't know what to say about these guys as a group, so let's see our contenders.

    Knight: One of the few "Tank" classes in D&D. The "tanking" concept doesn't usually work because, unlike in a video-game, enemies will usually ignore the guy with 50 AC that deals 0 damage. But this class is one of the few in D&D that can actually force enemies into focusing you, either directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, the class pretty much locks you in a Sword & Board fighting style, which we all know is not optimal for damage, so the Knight can't smash face as well as its Fighter or Barbarian counterpart. Overall, they can do 1 thing and 1 thing only, tanking, and even then they don't do it so well. Tier 5.

    Noble: I've never seen this class in an actual game and I think there are two pretty good reasons for it. Number 1, it's from Dragonlance Campaign Setting which is not exactly a popular book, and number 2, it appears to suck hard, especially for PCs. Your main schtick is asking NPCs for favors, but they are explicitly under DM's purview, and DM's even get a word of warning to not let nobles break the game with Favors. Favors aside, they get a decent skill list, and can inspire allies in a worse way than the Bard. Because this class is so DM dependant, I honestly can't think a good tier for it. A lenient DM might make it Tier 3, but a restrictive one would make it Tier 5, as a decent skill list alone isn't enough for Tier 4. I'm averaging both and saying the Noble is Tier 4.

    Swashbuckler: I think this class was trying pretty hard to emulate Inigo Montoya, a swordsman who has actually studied fencing and can use his intellect to help in combat. Problem is, that's all they do. I've never seen anyone take more than 3 levels in this class. They come, get Insightful Strike, and leave. 4+Int skill points and Int focus would make them great secondary skill monkeys, if only they had better class skills. The Arcane Stunt ACF is really good compared to Grace and, overall, they can do more than smash stab face, but not much more. I'm reluctant to give this class a Tier 5 rating, but it's not a full on Tier 4. My oficial vote is Tier 4.8, which, as usual, I'm rounding here to Tier 5

    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 Icarnum Classes: Incarnate, Soulborn, Totemist

    The Auraists (Re-Done): Divine Mind, Dragon Shaman, Marshal

    Completing the Psionics: Ardent, Erudite, Lurk, Psychic Rogue

    The Rankings


    Knight: Tier 5

    Noble: Tier 4

    Swashbuckler: Tier 5
    Last edited by heavyfuel; 2018-10-08 at 08:05 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    You put Swashbuckler at 4? That's a really aggressive rating. And what does sneak attack have to do with it? They don't get sneak attack.

    Swashbuckler is frankly just straight-up bad. I actually think it will very often wind up behind Warrior, because the optimal way to play it is really to just ignore your class features and two-hand a greatsword with Strength as your primary stat. Because if you're trying to use Dex to attack and Int for damage, all you're doing is using more stats to do less damage than a Strength-based character. And that's your whole class right there. Not only is it a 5, it's one of the lowest 5s. I put it at 5.4.

    Knight is also a solid 5. They're just not great at the thing they're trying to do. They're pretty bad. Worse than Fighter for sure, reasonably close to Soulborn or Dragon Shaman.

    I'll come back to Noble.

    *muttering to self* Swashbuckler at 4? Really? *shakes head*
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-08 at 01:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    I'm not rating Noble, I don't have the book nor do I know much about it.

    Swashbuckler is probably a 5.2, not a 4. Arcane Stunt can be useful, but is extremely limited. Grace itself sucks: the designers of CW were afraid a martial class with two good saves and sparse class features would be too much for some reason. The class is fairly MAD, but I don't think I've weighed that in any of my few previous rankings: the way I see it, if you have the stats to run the Swashbuckler, it's not the worst Tier 5 class. Though with this class, I have to wonder if some of the designers in 3.X thought not having magic was somehow an advantage.

    Knight is a 5.2. They have restrictions that make them worse in combat and unlike the paladin these have real and specified drawbacks. It's a lose-lose code, where following it makes you worse off at what you're supposed to do and breaking it means you get to do less with your class. What class abilities they do have aren't great, not because the ideas are bad but because they either give limited bonuses (Wow, +4 to attack and damage at 20th level vs a single opponent!) or are way too specific (Increase the DC of enemy Tumble checks when they attempt to avoid AoO from moving through an area you threaten. Dwarven Defender eat your heart out). Most of their cool abilities come at much later levels.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    You put Swashbuckler at 4? That's a really aggressive rating. And what does sneak attack have to do with it? They don't get sneak attack.

    *muttering to self* Swashbuckler at 4? Really? *shakes head*
    It's not a 4, it's a 4.5 and I don't think they deserve worse than 5. They have decent skills, decent class features, above average chassis, can deal pretty good damage with an Elven Courtblade (finesse, 2h power attack, insightful strike, great crit range which multiplies both sources of extra damage).

    Note that when I say "decent" I mean just that, not "great", but "hey, it's cool that I can do that now" . That's enough for better than Tier 5.

    As for Sneak Attack, you're right that I shouldn't have considered it. Re-reading the Home Base OP, it tells us to ignore other classes, even if the Daring Outlaw build is famous, so I'm scratching it off this thread's OP and lowering the Swashbuckler to Tier 4.8 as my official vote

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    It's not a 4, it's a 4.5 and I don't think they deserve worse than 5. They have decent skills, decent class features, above average chassis, can deal pretty good damage with an Elven Courtblade (finesse, 2h power attack, insightful strike, great crit range which multiplies both sources of extra damage).

    Note that when I say "decent" I mean just that, not "great", but "hey, it's cool that I can do that now" . That's enough for better than Tier 5.

    As for Sneak Attack, you're right that I shouldn't have considered it. Re-reading the Home Base OP, it tells us to ignore other classes, even if the Daring Outlaw build is famous, so I'm scratching it off this thread's OP and lowering the Swashbuckler to Tier 4.8 as my official vote
    I am not sure if you should be ignoring 'other classes' in this case, since the standard way to use swashbuckler is dipping rogue taking Daring Outlaw and twf sneak attack. In this case Daring Outlaw adds a dramatic amount of strength to the class and shield of blades; even better if your dm allows you to still use arcane stunt with it. I am not arguing that swashbuckler should be a true tier 4 much less tier 3 but Daring Outlaw + shield of blades + rogue dip+ arcane stunt makes the traditional melee rogue build work. In this case a large amount of the class' power comes from Daring Outlaw and it seems wrong to discount especially since it is the standard way most people will be using the class. I will go with 4.5 (tier 5)

    Knight 5.4 at the highest, this thing is horrible even if it is ok at 'pulling' that is all it can do and their are better ways to do its job such as any bfc period. Plus it is loosing the ability to do damage because of its specialty, that is a major issue. Heck the longer I think about the more I think this is a tier 6 class, its class features make a warrior better melee than knight and that is an issue.

    Noble, I have actually never heard of this class and will now go read up on it and see what I think. However, from the description it appears to purely be a diplomancer which has always struck me as tier 5 at the highest since it is so dm dependent on functionality...

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Oh, the Swashbuckler, how much I want to like you. Fine for low-OP gish builds, I guess, except a 3-level dip is a bit on the deep end. If you're not multiclassing though, they're okay-ish for early play? Then they rapidly fall behind on the whole melee combat thing, which is supposed to be their whole deal, until high levels when their weakening/wounding can make crit-fishing somewhat more rewarding. I'd say their saving grace is slightly more skill points on a class that already cares about Int, allowing them to be a backup face or what have you. The fact that they have any out-of-combat utility baked in makes them better than fighters in some ways, although their main shtick is still stabbing and they aren't that good at it at mid-level play. My vote is Tier 4.8.

    The Knight is easier. It's worse at its job than a similarly-focused Fighter at most levels, and more MAD to boot. The d12 hit dice and (meager) class abilities still keep it in the "technically a PC class" category, but given that the optimal Fighter isn't sword and board anyways... low-ish Tier 5, let's say Tier 5.6.

    The funny thing about the Noble is that they take an NPC class (Aristocrat) and try to turn it into a PC class. The expert gets turned into the rogue, the adept into the cleric. The warrior turns into the fighter, and honestly that's about the same differential that we have here. Granted, in some campaigns you might have either (a) a lenient DM when it comes to favors, or (b) a DM who heavily emphasizes the importance of feudal rank, in which case the mere act of being a Noble makes you a better diplomancer than an optimized (peasant) Bard. Still, those aren't really mechanics considerations, and as such the Noble comes off as a Bard with no spells, fewer skills, and worse inspiration. In return it gets martial weapons and one more hit point a level, plus a favor mechanic, the class text for which explicitly advises DMs to make it as weak as possible. I think that if not for RP considerations, I'd often end up playing an Expert if forced to choose between the two. So congrats, you tried to turn Aristocrat into a PC class, but my vote is still for Tier 6, but maybe near the top of that tier (for whatever that's worth).

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    So the thing I will say about Noble is that it's clearly worse than Marshal by a significant amount. Now, I actually had Marshal in the 4 range, but I know a lot of people put it as a 5. Well, either way, Noble should be ranked lower. In fact, it's probably also worse than Dragon Shaman, honestly.

    I put Noble at 5.3.

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    It's not a 4, it's a 4.5 and I don't think they deserve worse than 5. They have decent skills, decent class features, above average chassis, can deal pretty good damage with an Elven Courtblade (finesse, 2h power attack, insightful strike, great crit range which multiplies both sources of extra damage).

    Note that when I say "decent" I mean just that, not "great", but "hey, it's cool that I can do that now" . That's enough for better than Tier 5.

    As for Sneak Attack, you're right that I shouldn't have considered it. Re-reading the Home Base OP, it tells us to ignore other classes, even if the Daring Outlaw build is famous, so I'm scratching it off this thread's OP and lowering the Swashbuckler to Tier 4.8 as my official vote
    You just described a Thug variant fighter that takes Weapon Specialization as their only bonus feat and then forgets to write the rest down on their character sheet.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    I am not sure if you should be ignoring 'other classes' in this case, since the standard way to use swashbuckler is dipping rogue taking Daring Outlaw and twf sneak attack. In this case Daring Outlaw adds a dramatic amount of strength to the class and shield of blades; even better if your dm allows you to still use arcane stunt with it. I am not arguing that swashbuckler should be a true tier 4 much less tier 3 but Daring Outlaw + shield of blades + rogue dip+ arcane stunt makes the traditional melee rogue build work. In this case a large amount of the class' power comes from Daring Outlaw and it seems wrong to discount especially since it is the standard way most people will be using the class. I will go with 4.5 (tier 5)
    This project is tiering classes, not builds. If you could multiclass anything with a couple levels of Crusader and count it in that class's rankings, there probably wouldn't be any classes below Tier 3. So assuming Daring Outlaw is off the table, what's your ranking for a single-class Swashbuckler?
    Last edited by Troacctid; 2018-10-08 at 02:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler is 5. Even the better PF swashbuckler is probably still 5. Itís a small dip in other builds. Like the Samurai, it has a few interesting features, but itís a fighter that forces you into suboptimal weapon/Armor/feat choices. A trap that leads to more traps.

    Knight is 5. It MIGHT hit 4 without the stupid code of conduct. Itís bad at what it is supposed to do. And it tempts newbies into sword and board. So, again, a trap option leading thematically to other trap options.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Well, since I asked for Noble in the main thread, may as well tier it.

    I can't see Noble being any higher than Tier 5. You know how there are NPC classes? Noble strikes me as a DMPC class. It's got a middle of the road chassis (d8, 3/4 BAB, 2 good saves, 4 + int skills, martial weapon prof). It has zero active abilities that would let it outshine other party members. Its signature ability is "ask the DM." It gets a couple minor party buff abilities that are inferior to what a Marshall and Dragon Shaman get, as pointed out by Troacctid. It can get any one skill as a class skill, but if you really want to grab an obscure class skill you would just play a Factotum.

    Obviously, Favor has the potential to do more than most Tier 5's could do. Favor can get results that I can't imagine a Swashbuckler or Knight being able to get with their mechanical abilities. But even though it's a codified class mechanic, it still boils down to "ask the DM nicely and roll a d20."

    On the other hand, Favor seems like a great way for DM's to introduce new characters and plot hooks. I think that a well-played Noble that coordinates well with the DM would be great for world building. I also think the Noble player would be bored out of his mind in everything that isn't an RP situation using Favor/facilitated by a use of Favor, especially since at low levels you're talking about only being able to use Favor a few times a week.

    Knight is Tier 5 but I disagree that it's bad at its job. Knight is undoubtedly one of the best base classes for the Tank role. It just so happens that the Tank archetype doesn't really work in 3.5. But it has high HP, the mechanical ability to draw aggro, can take hits for teammates, do some minor BFC by imposing difficult terrain...to the extent that tanking exists at all in 3.5, Knight gets the tools to attempt it out of the box. I've always said that Knight is a good example of a class that is well-designed but not powerful. I'd say one big problem with Knight is that a lot of its class features clearly incentivize planting your feet into the ground with allies adjacent (Bulwark of Defense, Shield Ally) but the only Knight builds I've seen that do anything resembling decent damage are mounted combat builds.
    Last edited by zfs; 2018-10-09 at 10:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    I have always thought the Marshal and the Knight should be combined into one class. It would be much more attractive and useful but still relatively niche.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Yeah, much as I love Knight itís only t5 ... but itís not because itís bad at what it does, but rather because the intented playstyle is rather at odds with the system at large.
    Last edited by Sian; 2018-10-09 at 11:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    I think that the Knight is being sold a bit short. For me, I've never considered the Knight a damage dealer, unless they're a mounted combat focused Knight, which can be pretty solid in terms of damage, if only an inefficient way of getting there. When I have played Knights in the past, I've only had a 10 strength (maybe 12 if I've got the points or rolled well) and I use a Small race, such as halfling or, my preference, Gnome. With a d12 HD, they can take a hit and keep trucking, and they posess the class abilities to protect themselves a little better than something like a barbarian. So, same HD but better defensive measures. Even with a defensive-focused Knight, you can still deal a pretty acceptable amount of damage via Mounted Combat, without giving up your shield/defensive bonuses. With the strength at 10 or 12, you can usually afford to sink more points in to Constitution and Charisma leading to better outcomes from your Knight's Challenge class feature, and incresing the amount of beating you can take. I think the biggest downside to the Knight is the utter and total lack of any and all alternate class feature and splat support. If the Knight got even 1/4 of the love that the Barbarian got, with it's multitude of totem and spirit totem lines, i feel it would absolutely hold up much better. As it is though, I don't think it's all that bad at what it's designed to do which is 1) defend, 2) take damage, and 3) mounted combat. Because it can do all 3 of those, plust it comes with some additional features that allow it to support allies (vs fear) or attempt to make every creature within 100 feet of you shaken as a swift action which are pretty neat, if not a little late to the party. All in all, I think that it's been sold short and can contend with a barbarian decently well, at least well enough to be in the same tier, and I would say that it gets a 4.8.

    Largely I agree with the sentiment of Swashbuckler... If only it was more... Swashbuckly... oh well. I agree with the 4.8 assessment in the OP.

    Noble sounds like an NPC class... and I've never seen it in play so I can't give any assessment on it.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Assuming that we're ignoring Daring Outlaw, Swashbuckler is one of the better T5 classes. I'm not sure what it would be with Daring Outlaw, maybe a high T4.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    This project is tiering classes, not builds. If you could multiclass anything with a couple levels of Crusader and count it in that class's rankings, there probably wouldn't be any classes below Tier 3. So assuming Daring Outlaw is off the table, what's your ranking for a single-class Swashbuckler?
    After milling this over I agree with you but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is like saying judge a druid without nature spell for me. Sure you can make a druid without nature spell and it would still be functional but nature spell might as well be a class feature of the druid. I have similar feelings about melodic casting though not as many people seem to know about that one.

    But as a whole I agree that the play style you are forced into with a swashbuckler doesn't yield itself well to being successful since power attack is such a great source of bonus damage. The best build I can think of for a single classed swashbuckler would be a crit fisher though even that is hindered by what the class features try and push you into. As a whole I think arcane stunt does boost the class up quite a bit compared to other tier 5s and if you are going two weapon fighting shield of blades also helps quite a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Felhammer
    I have always thought the Marshal and the Knight should be combined into one class. It would be much more attractive and useful but still relatively niche.
    That is a really cool idea, I think I will start looking at how to combine them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sian
    Yeah, much as I love Knight itís only t5 ... but itís not because itís bad at what it does, but rather because the intented playstyle is rather at odds with the system at large.
    tank+drawing agro is a form of battle field control, my argument is and has been it is the worst form of bfc in the 3.5 play style and therefore the knight is bad at their job. A properly built tripper is hands down better at bfc than a knight and does more damage to boot.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Knight 5.4 at the highest, this thing is horrible even if it is ok at 'pulling' that is all it can do and their are better ways to do its job such as any bfc period. Plus it is loosing the ability to do damage because of its specialty, that is a major issue. Heck the longer I think about the more I think this is a tier 6 class, its class features make a warrior better melee than knight and that is an issue.
    How exactly do you figure for the underlined portion?
    D12 HD vs D8 HD. Knight
    Full BAB vs Full BAB. Tie
    Class Ability to Increase Attack vs No class abilities. Knight
    Bonus Feats vs No Bonus Feats. Knight
    Increased Defensive Capabilities vs Nothing. Knight
    Code of Conduct that doesn't actually remove any form of combat function vs nothing. Tie

    The code of conduct prevents you from receiveing a +2 to hit and from attacking flat footed opponents. That's really not all that cumbersome. As for not inflicting lethal damage to helpless opponents, so what? The knight doesn't fall when the rogue does it, not does the knight class care at all.

    What's more for the Knight, there's no reason they can't ignore their Knight's Challenge class feature and focus on a 2-handed weapon, then later apply their shield bonus to an Animated Shield. Or they can get the bonus from a buckler (it doesn't state that you can't in the class feature after all).

    That's just my opinion, but I am interested in yours Liquidformat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    tank+drawing agro is a form of battle field control, my argument is and has been it is the worst form of bfc in the 3.5 play style and therefore the knight is bad at their job. A properly built tripper is hands down better at bfc than a knight and does more damage to boot.
    Why can't a Knight also be a tripper? Ultimately all that's needed is Combat Reflexes, a reach weapon, and Improved Trip (unless I'm mistaken, that is the core of the trip build). That can be accomplished by level 3 with a human or with flaws. It's no worse a tripper than a fighter, possibly even better because it can cause enemies to enter AAO range if they try to melee attack and they don't have reach weapons. Sure, it's MAD, but hardly incompatable with Tripping.
    Last edited by AnimeTheCat; 2018-10-09 at 12:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    How exactly do you figure for the underlined portion?
    D12 HD vs D8 HD. Knight
    Full BAB vs Full BAB. Tie
    Class Ability to Increase Attack vs No class abilities. Knight
    Bonus Feats vs No Bonus Feats. Knight
    Increased Defensive Capabilities vs Nothing. Knight
    Code of Conduct that doesn't actually remove any form of combat function vs nothing. Tie

    The code of conduct prevents you from receiveing a +2 to hit and from attacking flat footed opponents. That's really not all that cumbersome. As for not inflicting lethal damage to helpless opponents, so what? The knight doesn't fall when the rogue does it, not does the knight class care at all.

    What's more for the Knight, there's no reason they can't ignore their Knight's Challenge class feature and focus on a 2-handed weapon, then later apply their shield bonus to an Animated Shield. Or they can get the bonus from a buckler (it doesn't state that you can't in the class feature after all).

    That's just my opinion, but I am interested in yours Liquidformat.
    Code of Conduct has no plus side only negative so code of conduct vs no code of conduct isn't a tie it is a win for the warrior.
    I forgot about the bonus feats as I haven't looked at the class in a while, so ya that in and of itself gives them an advantage and so does d12 vs d8 compared to the warrior. However, if you have to drop 90% of your class features until you can get an animated shield or start adding in extra feats to make the class functional that is a sign there is an issue. In the end you are right the knight does come out on top over the warrior, though it takes thought to make them work right.

    Its not that Knights were designed to be mounted it is that their abilities happen to not conflict with it, which is an important distinction. It is the one way to make them functional in melee without loosing or needing over coming their class features. So in that way yes they are a good choice for mounted combat since it synergies with their abilities.

    Finally passive defense isn't a winning strategy in 3.5 the only reason this is strictly better than a defensive focused monk is because you can draw agro as long as you focus on pumping knight's challenge. So sure the barbarian isn't as tanky as the knight but the barbarian also can actually kill things and far out classes the knight in bfc so it doesn't need to be tanky as much as the knight does. I agree with you that the knights got no love or splats to help boost them but the same is true for other classes like duskblade and they are a solid tier 3 and from the same book.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Code of Conduct has no plus side only negative so code of conduct vs no code of conduct isn't a tie it is a win for the warrior.
    I forgot about the bonus feats as I haven't looked at the class in a while, so ya that in and of itself gives them an advantage and so does d12 vs d8 compared to the warrior. However, if you have to drop 90% of your class features until you can get an animated shield or start adding in extra feats to make the class functional that is a sign there is an issue. In the end you are right the knight does come out on top over the warrior, though it takes thought to make them work right.

    Its not that Knights were designed to be mounted it is that their abilities happen to not conflict with it, which is an important distinction. It is the one way to make them functional in melee without loosing or needing over coming their class features. So in that way yes they are a good choice for mounted combat since it synergies with their abilities.

    Finally passive defense isn't a winning strategy in 3.5 the only reason this is strictly better than a defensive focused monk is because you can draw agro as long as you focus on pumping knight's challenge. So sure the barbarian isn't as tanky as the knight but the barbarian also can actually kill things and far out classes the knight in bfc so it doesn't need to be tanky as much as the knight does. I agree with you that the knights got no love or splats to help boost them but the same is true for other classes like duskblade and they are a solid tier 3 and from the same book.
    On the topic/note of duskblades, it's a commonly accepted fact that in the argument of no magic vs magic (even limited magic), magic wins. Isn't the adept considered a T3 or something strange like that?

    With the Code of Conduct, it's still not really a negative though. You're not having to take penalties to anything because of it is what I'm getting at. From my experience, a Kinght typically will have a lower Dex, and thus a lower initiative. As such, they usually go later in the order anyway. On top of that, a Knight doesn't HAVE to attack if they go before an opponent. They can use the action for something else or delay until they can attack a non-flat footed foe. What's more, against heavily armored opponents, that flat-footed bit isn't helping or hindering, it's just a thing. The last part, about not being able to target helpless foes with lethal damage, isn't an issue either as it doesn't negatively impact combat. An incapacitated or helpless foe isn't a threat anyway, and if it is then a boot kick or other form of non-lethal attack will suffice too. It's just not impactful, positive or negative. I agree, however, that codes of conduct in general are just no fun and force players to play a certain way.

    What is the standard Trip build? If it can be accomplished as a Knight, how is the Knight any less effective than a Fighter if it can do all the Fighter things AND pull creatures to it to provoke MORE AAOs and thereby trip more. Test of Mettle is a Swift Action, so it's hardly worthless to just try it regularly. Damage Denial is absolutely a valid form of combat as well. Ultimately, that's what a Trip build is focusing on is Damage and Action denial. By having that High passive defense and being able to draw opponents in as well as tripping them innately will serve to be better at damage denial and action denial.

    Again, this is just my opinion shaped by what i've experienced so it is, without a doubt, biased.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    So most basic tripper build is fighter 6 (combat expertise, improved trip,knock-down,quick draw, ewp(spiked chain), Power attack, combat reflexes) fill in race with whatever str is most important con is next followed closely by dex due to combat reflexes, you need to hit 13 int for combat expertise, wis for saves and cha is dump, enlarge perm'ed. 20' trip range, str is probably 22+ by lvl 6 including gear so sitting at trip mod of: +6 st +4 imp trip +4 size+6bab= +20 or so

    then barbarian (wolf totem) 2/fighter 4 ( Power attack, wolf berserker, Improved trip(bonus), knock-down, quick draw, ewp(spiked chain), combat reflexes, open feat) now human so you qualify for wolf berserker, str is most important con is next followed closely by dex due to combat reflexes, , wis for saves and cha/int are dump stats, enlarge perm'ed. probably grab endurance+ steadfast determination to de-emphasize wis and other rage feats. 20' trip range, after rage and gear looking at 26+ str so sitting at trip mod of +8 str + 4 wolf bers +4 imp trip +4 size +6 bab= +26 or so.

    in either case you can start tripping from level 1 or 2 and be fully up and running by six, there are other more powerful more complicated versions but these are pretty basic setups for tripper. Just comparing fighter to knight there are some issues with getting a pure knight to be an up and running tripper. First off as we talked about before you have to overcome knight's class features to be two handed so either imp buckler or animated shield. So feat tax or money tax to overcome that hurdle. Second, though knight does have bonus feats even for a mounted knight they are all garbage after level 5 and the only that will be useful is quick draw, so you are looking at around level 9-12 before you have enough feats to really start tripping. Finally, you are making knight as mad as can be. You are making str con and dex just about equally important, you need min 13 int, cha is your focus ability score, and wis is your closest thing to a dump due to ok will saves. Knights are just not there to be good trippers unless you are starting high leveled with good point buy even then I would question it.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    The Knight's Code may not be the worst thing imaginable, but it only makes you worse on a class that already isn't that great. It's worth considering in their rating since it has a real mechanical effect. It's still better than a Warrior though.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    After milling this over I agree with you but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is like saying judge a druid without nature spell for me. Sure you can make a druid without nature spell and it would still be functional but nature spell might as well be a class feature of the druid. I have similar feelings about melodic casting though not as many people seem to know about that one.

    But as a whole I agree that the play style you are forced into with a swashbuckler doesn't yield itself well to being successful since power attack is such a great source of bonus damage. The best build I can think of for a single classed swashbuckler would be a crit fisher though even that is hindered by what the class features try and push you into. As a whole I think arcane stunt does boost the class up quite a bit compared to other tier 5s and if you are going two weapon fighting shield of blades also helps quite a bit.
    What would your revised rating be, then? Just a 5?

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    What would your revised rating be, then? Just a 5?
    Hmm, the more I think about it the more I am not sure, I think hexblade is probably at the top of the 5 (not sure why magewright is listed at tier 5) and things like soulknife are at the bottom. Swashbuckler even with arcane trick isn't up to snuff with things at the top like hexblade but isn't as dysfunctional as the bottom of the bucket soulknife either. I guess after looking everything over I am good with the 4.8 (tier 5) score.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Let me try and make a case for the knight:
    Bulwark of Defense & Armor Mastery. They also qualify easily for the Mage Slayer feat. In combination, this means that any caster that gets into melee range of them (not hard if you're not slowed by armor at all) is effectively screwed: They cannot cast defensively nor can they use 5-foot steps to move away from you. Were you smart and picked up tumble somehow? Too bad; I have Vigilant Defender.
    They are, basically, a hard counter to a good number of low to mid-op caster builds. Does this lift them a tier? Probably not. Does this put them near the top of their tier? Most certainly.
    Last edited by weckar; 2018-10-10 at 11:31 AM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    They are, basically, a hard counter to a good number of low to mid-op caster builds. Does this lift them a tier? Probably not. Does this put them near the top of their tier? Most certainly.
    😂.

    I eat your AOO and your damage after stoneskin doesnít prevent me from casting. No.
    Iím flying. No.
    Iím invisible. No.
    Quickened anything that moves me or stops you. No.
    I have wands. No.
    Abrupt Jaunt. Blink. Darkness. Minions to block you from walking next to me. No. No. No.

    A mid op knight (and you are at least mid op, since your martial is dumpster diving for feats in complete arcane) isnít remotely a counter for a mid op wizard. Any wizard for whom this is a problem is easier dealt with by a charger who can just murder them with damage.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    😂.

    I eat your AOO and your damage after stoneskin doesnít prevent me from casting. No.
    Iím flying. No.
    Iím invisible. No.
    Quickened anything that moves me or stops you. No.
    I have wands. No.
    Abrupt Jaunt. Blink. Darkness. Minions to block you from walking next to me. No. No. No.

    A mid op knight (and you are at least mid op, since your martial is dumpster diving for feats in complete arcane) isnít remotely a counter for a mid op wizard. Any wizard for whom this is a problem is easier dealt with by a charger who can just murder them with damage.
    How do quickened, wands, or AJ help? They still provoke, as far as I know.
    I'll accept your miss chances or simply being out of reach, but actually having those up before combat is joined is... well, from my experience not to be assumed.
    Last edited by weckar; 2018-10-10 at 01:21 PM.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by weckar View Post
    How do quickened, wands, or AJ help? They still provoke, as far as I know.
    I'll accept your miss chances or simply being out of reach, but actually having those up before combat is joined is... well, from my experience not to be assumed.
    Swift and immediate actions don't provoke, nor do spell trigger items. Always-on flight becomes common around level 9 or 10 when overland flight comes online, but if they're gonna cast fly during combat, they'll probably do so on the first round, which will more likely than not be before you close into melee.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    Swift and immediate actions don't provoke, nor do spell trigger items. Always-on flight becomes common around level 9 or 10 when overland flight comes online, but if they're gonna cast fly during combat, they'll probably do so on the first round, which will more likely than not be before you close into melee.
    especially since dex is probably 10-14 for the average knight and improved initiative is more or less useless for them. Also any caster that is going into melee range of the knight is either a melee gish or is someone that doesn't know what they are doing... In the former case the knight is probably SOL and in the later they probably aren't much of a threat anyways and pretty much any other melee build will take them down quicker.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Even if Knights were particularly good at killing spellcasters, most spellcasting enemies aren't going to be wizards. They're going to be strong mobs with a bunch of spell-likes (Ogre Mage, Balor, any mid-level outsider really). These kinds of monsters also often have wings or other means of flight. I don't really think "is moderately good at annoying crappy spellcaster humanoids" is worth much of a tier adjustment.
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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    Even if Knights were particularly good at killing spellcasters, most spellcasting enemies aren't going to be wizards. They're going to be strong mobs with a bunch of spell-likes (Ogre Mage, Balor, any mid-level outsider really). These kinds of monsters also often have wings or other means of flight. I don't really think "is moderately good at annoying crappy spellcaster humanoids" is worth much of a tier adjustment.
    It wouldn't be a tier adjustment anyway because I think it's already well acknowledged that Knights can do decent BFC especially for a mundane. What's keeping them in Tier 5 is their inability to contribute in any other niche besides tank/meat shield and melee attacker.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by zfs View Post
    It wouldn't be a tier adjustment anyway because I think it's already well acknowledged that Knights can do decent BFC especially for a mundane. What's keeping them in Tier 5 is their inability to contribute in any other niche besides tank/meat shield and melee attacker.
    I mean... if that's what's keeping Knight in T5, why is the barbarian T4? Near as I can tell they hit thing. Albeit hard, but what else do they do? Heck, knights can even use their Knights Challenges to assist the party as well by providing fear save bonuses which directly helps the party in a way Barbarians can't.

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    Default Re: Retiering the Classes: Knight, Noble, Swashbuckler

    Quote Originally Posted by AnimeTheCat View Post
    I mean... if that's what's keeping Knight in T5, why is the barbarian T4? Near as I can tell they hit thing. Albeit hard, but what else do they do? Heck, knights can even use their Knights Challenges to assist the party as well by providing fear save bonuses which directly helps the party in a way Barbarians can't.
    Well, barbarians are actually decent at their job, whereas knights are just okay. Barbarians also have more skills, so they can contribute better out of combat, and lots of splat support, which gives them a higher ceiling and a correspondingly higher average.

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