Duelist Class

On a whim I decided to try and make a duelist class for ACKS heavily inspired by the old NPC class from Dragon Magazine. Please let me know what you think of it. The link to the PDF is below.


The layout is very nice - what tool did you use? Any tricks?

The attack throw progression is too far outside the usual range for me; fighters advance at 2/3, and personally I wouldn’t go faster than that.
You’ve got Carousing requiring Hear Noise, but no particular skill at hearing noise?
Probably better to express Quiet Step as a +1 surprise bonus instead of a “3 or less”?

How well does this build match the Player’s Companion? Understanding how you think the class will play would be easier if you told us your process. I’m guessing it’s something like:
HD 1 / Fighter 2 / Thievery 1
Restrictions: Narrow armor (+2), Broad weapons (+1), no shields (+1)
… which leaves you with 7 powers, and it looks like you’ve spent 6.

…and now I see you’ve already answered the layout question on another thread. Time for me to throw together a LaTeX style, I think.

Hey there Tom, thanks for taking a look over it. :slight_smile:

I did use the Players Companion as the basis for the class’s creation. In the combat charts you can spend 3 out of 4 of the build points on the Monster attack chart where you advance one per level, that is what I used for it. I used the remaining point to boost the HD/level up to d6.

Restrictions to gain special maneuvers were as follows:
Armor from Unrestricted to Narrow = 2 (This is technically unrestricted to broad for 1, then broad to Narrow thus allowing Leather Only)
Weapons from Unrestricted to Narrow = 2 (The two categories chosen were ‘Swords & Daggers’ and ‘Any 3’ (the three chosen were Battle Axe, Hand Axe, and Quarterstaff))
Reduced Fighting Style = 1 (Dropped the Weapon and Shield Style)
Limiting Damage Bonus = 1 (only applies to melee weapons, if he throws or uses any ranged attack the bonus goes away)

This gave room for 6 custom powers.

They included the following:
+1 Initiative Bonus
Alertness Feat
+1 to Attacks against other melee weapon using opponents (this is where the Sage Ability comes from but is limited to swords)
The Swashbuckling Equivalent Ability
The Parry Ability

You are right on the Carousing aspect. I was working that on the Alertness Feat and effectively goring for the Listen At Doors option applied this way at the moment from the looks of it.

I realize the better than a fighter melee combat can be offsetting for some, but he maintains balance there in my opinion by the diminished HD combined with poor armor choice.

Yours is a workable variant for it definitely and also a great alternative option.

And yeah, in this case the formatting was just word since it is a very limited and basic document, but I am always willing to answer any questions about that sort of thing.

I like them, though I’m not sure where I sit on the monster to-hit thing. I suppose they could easily be called specialists, or weapon masters…trading defense for offense.

I do think they shouldn’t get the +1 to initiative…that’s only good as written if they also cast spells. If the bonus only applies to HtH(which for them it would) they should get the Combat Reflexes version which adds to init and avoiding surprise.

Defensive Stance-you might want to specify that this is instead of their attack. As written, it merely has to happen before they attack but doesn’t specify they cannot then follow up and attack (or maybe that’s intentional? A riposte?). I’m also not sure about it. Since one of their trade-offs is less durability, this ability then sneaks that durability back in through a back door. Since HP are abstract and already represent parrying and defensive fighting, this mechanic seems to fiddle with that.

Anyway, other than, I like the class. I may well use a modified version of it!

To comment more on the Defensive Stance thing… I guess my feeling is that if you have it in the game as a mechanic, anyone at Fighter combat build or better should have access to it. Add it as a new mechanic like Cleave to make Fighters and Assassins tougher. Make it a global house rule, or limit it to specific weapons/shields. But don’t link it to a specific class.

Thanks for pointing that out on Defensive Stance. I meant for it to replace the character’s attack for the round, not be an addition to it. While I really like the idea of the riposte attack I think that goes against the one attack per round that ACKS strives for, and getting to both block and then attack would be too powerful. So I will need to go back in and clarify that the defensive stance would replace the character’s attack for the round.

I had also considered it as a house rule option but decided to go with it as a special ability unique to a class. In part just to see how it worked in play. Sadly though I will not find out because while a player hired a 2nd level Duelist as a henchman to test them out in the game, the character only had 4hp at 2nd level (victim of rolls) and got caught in a blast that killed him outright - no parrying an explosion I guess, LOL.

I had considered going with Combat Reflexes but when I was looking through the bonuses and custom class features in the Players’ Companion they were talking about the Initiative Bonus being a nice boon all on its own so I went with just that to help not make it look so overpowered. But, I will have to think about maybe shifting that over.

Sucks to lose your new playtest NPC! Worse is to put one there for the party to hire and have them ignore them in favor of 0-level henchmen! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In the section in the player’s guide at the end of the custom classes it says this about initiative based abilities:

Initiative: A universal bonus of +1 to initiative counts as 1 custom power. If the power provides a bonus to initiative only in specific circumstances, it can have a secondary benefit. For instance, Battle Magic only provides an initiative bonus when casting spells, so it offers secondary benefits against spell resistance. An explorer’s Animal Reflexes does not provide an initiative bonus for spellcasting, so it offers a secondary benefit on surprise rolls. A bladedancer’s Initiative bonus applies in all circumstances, so it has no secondary benefits.

Anyway I still think it’s a cool class and if you have any luck getting one tested, I’d love to hear how it plays.