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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default A little confused about the swordsage.

    Whenever the swordsage comes up in a thread, I see seemingly dozens of responses that suggest it is potentially the strongest of the three martial adept classes. (This is often disputed, though blessedly without flames, by supporters of the crusader.) Whenever I look at it, though, I just can't get past that 3/4 BAB. What am I missing?

    I'm mostly interested in specific maneuvers/disciplines/feats, though if people want to provide builds that's fine too. I just need someone to explain the tactics that make the swordsage shine, since they just aren't revealing themselves to me...

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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shisumo View Post
    Whenever the swordsage comes up in a thread, I see seemingly dozens of responses that suggest it is potentially the strongest of the three martial adept classes. (This is often disputed, though blessedly without flames, by supporters of the crusader.) Whenever I look at it, though, I just can't get past that 3/4 BAB. What am I missing?

    I'm mostly interested in specific maneuvers/disciplines/feats, though if people want to provide builds that's fine too. I just need someone to explain the tactics that make the swordsage shine, since they just aren't revealing themselves to me...
    It has access to the most disciplines. Options/versatility are very useful.
    It has decent AC: Light + Wisdom Bonus.
    But I've never personally played one yet.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    It's not the strongest if you're measuring combat capability, though even there it's not weak. However it is the most versatile, has access to the widest variety of abilities (compared to crusader and warblade), and is - potentially - the most fun. After all, there's more to most games than combat. :)
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    The swordsage is considered one of the best because many of the maneuvers they get are pretty awesome, specifically those of the shadow hand school which has stances and abilities which can make things significantly easier. Being able to spider climb means nothing is outside their reach, assuming its not floating, and they can paralyze flat footed opponents and follow up with a coup de grace. Setting sun lets them throw enemies around, into each other, into the air, etc giving them a degree of battlefield control.

    While they lack the raw survivability of a crusader they are definitely the one of the more diverse and adaptable classes in ToB.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Okay, so the Swordsage's BAB isn't the highest.

    Consider this for a moment: The Wizard doesn't have the highest amount of spells per day. Does that make Wizards inferior to Sorcerers?
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Druids and Clerics have 3/4 BAB progression as well (though of course they have buffs to make up for it). The Swordsage is very versatile. It has a ton of maneuvers and has access to a lot of the disciplines. Although I honestly like it the least among the three Martial Adept classes, I can see how people can say it's strong.


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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Example: at level 4, a Swordsage with Weapon Finesse, TWF, and Shadow Blade moves in with Wolf Fang Strike and the Burning Blade boost. Move, two attacks, +DEX and WIS to damage (Discipline Focus - Insightful Strike (Tiger Claw)) plus 1d6+4 fire damage on top of that. Then when the enemy counterattacks, he uses Fire Riposte.

    At level 10, that Swordsage has ITWF, and the Pouncing Charge, Searing Blade, and Dancing Mongoose maneuvers. He opens combat with a Pouncing Charge and Dancing Mongoose, getting +DEX and WIS to damage on each of six attacks. His AC and saves are very good, and he has maneuvers to help them out. Oh, and he's in Child of Shadow form so he has 20% miss chance after that charge.

    Mix in aPsychic Warrior level or two and it gets better. PW or Fighter 1/Warblade 1/Sws 8 is hardcore.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    Example: at level 4, a Swordsage with Weapon Finesse, TWF, and Shadow Blade moves in with Wolf Fang Strike and the Burning Blade boost. Move, two attacks, +DEX and WIS to damage (Discipline Focus - Insightful Strike (Tiger Claw)) plus 1d6+4 fire damage on top of that. Then when the enemy counterattacks, he uses Fire Riposte.

    At level 10, that Swordsage has ITWF, and the Pouncing Charge, Searing Blade, and Dancing Mongoose maneuvers. He opens combat with a Pouncing Charge and Dancing Mongoose, getting +DEX and WIS to damage on each of six attacks. His AC and saves are very good, and he has maneuvers to help them out. Oh, and he's in Child of Shadow form so he has 20% miss chance after that charge.

    Mix in aPsychic Warrior level or two and it gets better. PW or Fighter 1/Warblade 1/Sws 8 is hardcore.
    Minor nitpick: you can't use a counter in the same round you used a Boost, both draw off your Swift/Immediate action. But yeah, they can do that kind of stuff.


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    It's just a matter of perspective. Swordsages are great for some styles of character. I think the different ToB base classes all have their strengths, and I'm looking forward to playing a Crusader in an upcoming game.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Behold_the_Void View Post
    Minor nitpick: you can't use a counter in the same round you used a Boost, both draw off your Swift/Immediate action. But yeah, they can do that kind of stuff.
    If you use an immediate action when it's not your turn, it uses up your NEXT immediate action, not the swift action from the turn you just *had*. So yes, you can use a counter in the same round you used a boost. You just won't be able to use a boost next turn.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shisumo View Post
    Whenever the swordsage comes up in a thread, I see seemingly dozens of responses that suggest it is potentially the strongest of the three martial adept classes. (This is often disputed, though blessedly without flames, by supporters of the crusader.) Whenever I look at it, though, I just can't get past that 3/4 BAB. What am I missing?
    SwordSages have access to the most disciplines and they gain new maneuvers the fastest. Yes, the lower BAB can be tough to swallow, but they get access to some of the nastiest combos much quicker than the other Martial Adepts. They have much more flexibility and versatility than a Crusader or Warblade, but if you're not absolutely clear with what you want to do with that flexability and versatility... if you're just playing them "out of the box", then they may come across as much weaker. They require a lot more research, forethought, and resource management to really pull off an effective build. But once you finally get something to click... then yes, they can be much stronger than the other Martial Adepts.

    * They have the easiest access to Desert Wind, which allows you to focus on a direct-damage or area-control build.
    * Shadow Blade, Assassin's Stance, Tiger Claw maneuvers, and BloodClaw Master makes them extremely effective at TWF.
    * Easy access to the Shadow Jaunt/Stride/Blink for Shadow Pounce builds.
    * Lower BAB than a Crusader/Warblade, but a SwordSage is going to have more defensive and offensive maneuvers available... anything a Crusader/Warblade can do, a SwordSage can do just as well on top of a lot of other things the Crusader/Warblade didn't have room to take.

    The Crusader is a pick-up truck: not fancy but tough and dependable.
    The Warblade is a sports car: optimized for speed, sleek curves, but something you can still drive around town and pick up your girlfriend in.
    The SwordSage is a Formula-1 race car: fine-tuned for high-performance, but a wreck waiting to happen in the wrong hands.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Well, remember that the Swordsage doesn't get access to the Devoted Spirit, Iron Heart, or White Raven schools. This isn't like "zomg those r teh best skools! nerf!" but it merits mentioning that not quite everything a crusader/warblade can do a swordsage can do better. Iron Heart? I can take it or leave it mostly, but Devoted Spirit and White Raven are two schools that really add to a party, I feel. I do agree that Swordsages have the most versatility, but that can also be a limiting factor, as spreading your school choices too thin can get frustrating if you aren't careful.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    It's not even neccessarily the power of the Swordsage:

    More Maneuvers/Disciplines=More concepts a class can portray.

    This means it's going to come up often when a player requests a class to portray a mental image of a character.
    Last edited by Temp; 2007-11-11 at 12:17 AM.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temp View Post
    It's not even neccessarily the power of the Swordsage:

    More Maneuvers/Disciplines=More concepts a class can portray.

    This means it's going to come up often when a player requests a class to portray a mental image of a character.
    Exactly. Most of the threads I see are people asking for concepts, not uber builds (not that it prevents Godwin's Law for D&D from coming up), and the swordsage is the best at adapting to fit a variety of different concepts. In comparison, the crusader is fairly limited to idealistic or devoted warriors. The warblade isn't brought up as much as I think it could be, but that shouldn't imply that it's a bad class, although perhaps it doesn't look as fancy at first glance.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A little confused about the swordsage.

    Far as I can tell, the only way in which the warblade is enticing is that it's the "Bob McWarrior" class. Which is to say, any time you want to make a man whose sole/primary passion and purpose is to beat the snot out of people, warblade is the best choice.

    This makes it my favorite class.

    But yeah, swordsages just have so many options that anything that isn't "fighter who doesn't suck" or "a better paladin" will be most easily captured by swordsage.

    And as one person told me. Even if the 3/4 BAB means only your first attack in a round can reliably hit, it's ok because your best moves are when you make only one attack and it's got a huge bonus effect riding on it.

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