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Talk:Dualist (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Dualism Edit

Just a quick comment to start (before I even read further). Dualism should give a bonus feat from a list and say that they must meet the prerequisites. That is much less wordy. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 02:48, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Yes, yes it should. Will do that.
DragoonWraith 03:06, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Feint Edit

What's the point of the ability that grants a somewhat improved feinting? Feinting doesn't really do anything for this class. I mean, being denied your dex bonus is useful, but the Dualist (I think you mean "Duelist" by the way, dualism is something a bit different) doesn't really get anything out of the deal. Surgo 02:54, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

I think he actually did mean "dualist". It is supposed to be a dual-weapon fighter. Whether or not that is the correct name, however... --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 02:56, September 10, 2009 (UTC)
So he does...I guess I should read the title. Heh. Surgo 02:59, September 10, 2009 (UTC)
The better feinting is because the class requires Bluff ranks, and because the class was originally rapier-specific, and feinting is something one does with rapiers. I hadn't really considered how well it still fits now that that's no longer the case.
DragoonWraith 03:06, September 10, 2009 (UTC)
Dualist is correct. The Dualist is a "dual-wielding duelist" - it's a pun on all the people who refer to "duel-wielding" or "dualing", both of which are quite common and annoy me greatly. It's just a play on words.
DragoonWraith 03:06, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Formatting Edit

One more thing, these pages should really be formatted like the rest of the class pages to look uniform. No worries though, I'll take care of that (I'll also upload the picture to the wiki, you shouldn't be subject to Photobucket's bandwidth limitations here). Surgo 02:58, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good, will investigate how other pages are formatted. This is literally ported directly from Fax's Wiki.
DragoonWraith 03:06, September 10, 2009 (UTC)
I'll reformat it for you -- if you want to see the changes for the future, just look at the diff when I'm finished (halfway there). Surgo 03:10, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

An Idea Edit

I still haven't read the whole thing (so feel free to yell at me) and I won't have time to finish tonight, but I have an idea to improve this class (noting Surgo's comment above about feinting). Give the class the ability that if a target is denied its dex bonus against the dualist, it provokes attacks of opportunity when it attacks the dualist. There you go. Instant synergy. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 03:00, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Good idea, though sort of unnecessary with Parry - someone who attacks you is supposed to be parried and countered - that's where this class gets the majority of its damage from. So I'm not sure how useful that would be.
DragoonWraith 03:06, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Reformatted Edit

I reformatted the class to look uniform with the rest of the stuff on the wiki. One thing I noticed as I was doing it was that a lot of your ability descriptions were really long. If you could condense each ability to about a paragraph in length, it would greatly help with the class's readability and usability. Surgo 03:29, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Errr... yeah. I didn't realize you were reformatting and I fixed a lot of that, but it got over-written. Will re-do that, though. But if you think this is bad, you should see my Puppet Master.
DragoonWraith 04:08, September 10, 2009 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for putting it back, I appreciate that.
I've tried to clean up some of the rest of it too - thoughts?
DragoonWraith 06:16, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

OMG Edit

Wow, not even three hours and you've already gotten 5 topics about this class on it's talk page...

Either you've made something relatively good, or, you've made something extremely eye-catching (Though, with that pic, this is pretty eye catching either way, did you draw that yourself?). Regardless, congratulations, and welcome to the wiki. → Rith (talk) 04:31, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Hehe, yeah, I'm thrilled, because I couldn't get enough feedback on GitP. This is awesome.
But no, I didn't draw the image. Originally I had picture credits at the bottom of the page; they must have been lost when Surgo reformatted it. I've re-added those - they're very important, I would not want to snub the artist's generosity in allowing me to use the image.
DragoonWraith 05:09, September 10, 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I see, the copyright stuff went on the Image's page. While that is a very good thing, I'd also like to keep it on the page itself; that was something I'd promised to the artist when I asked for permission, and I do not like to go back on my promises. Apologies if it's counter to the general formatting of the site, but that's important to me.
DragoonWraith 05:11, September 10, 2009 (UTC)

Review Edit

I was initially attracted to the picture; it is true. I think this PrC has a lot to offer, but it isn't quite there yet. Here are some thoughts as I read this class from start to finish:

  • Why the variable entry requirements? Having 8 ranks in tumble should probably be a must for any character of this class.
  • All of the class features are really wordy. The longer the word count, the longer it takes to read the class, which isn't fun. Here are some suggestions to reduce the word count:
    • Dualism: Just list the feats and say that they must meet the prerequisites. Don't bother forcing the ordering. I would also make this a separate ability called "Bonus Feat"
    • Dualism: The Weapon focus = light weapon should be a separate ability. It is just easier to read that way.
    • Dualism: As above, I suggest leaving the last bit in as the "Dualism" class feature.
    • Opportunistic Strike: No need to say that it is multiplied by critical hits.
    • Parry: No need to say that it can be used as often as desired. That is implied unless an exception is written.
    • Counter-attack: Who cares if the second weapon is finessable. If it is really a concern just have a statement at the start of the class saying something along the lines of "Dualist class features can only be used with weapons that the dualist can use weapon finesse with". Well, something like that, but possibly worded better. I'm tired :). In that way, the wording for this ability can be "When the dualist successfully parries an attack, he can mke an immediate attack of opportunity against his target with another weapon he is weilding". That is a lot shorter. We also know that AoO bonuses still apply -- it is implied.
    • Greater Feint is fine
    • En Garde: It is not so much that the wording is long, but it is awkward. I may have some suggestions later for this one.
    • Double Jeopardy: This one just has too many conditions. I wouldn't reduce the movement. That removes a whole paragraph. Also, there is no need to say that Cover Ground doesn't work. You can say that in Cover Ground. I would have it read: "Any time a 3rd level dualist successfully hits an enemy for damage with an Attack of Opportunity, she may immediately take another attack of opportunity at a -5 penalty to the attack roll. Each iterative attack of opportunity generated in this way increases the attack penalty by 5."
    • Dual Weapon Specialization: Make it a bonus feat list. Make the class feature called bonus feat. All the other ones are separate class features.
    • Parry Ally: Just let them parry it. Parry allows counterattack by default. The extra movement stuff just inflates it. They will have to be more tactical to position themselves well, which is not a bad thing.
    • Coup Lancé: I prefer the wording "if an enemy within reach takes an action that would take them out of your reach, you may spend two attacks of opportunity to make a single melee attack at his highest bonus against the target." Don't worry about the Knight's code. It is lame.
    • Cover Ground: Why can't it provoke double jeopardy? It is powerful enough as-is and one of the few ways this class has to trigger burning AoOs. Anyways, I would have it worded like this: "At 5th level, a dualist not only watches for opportunities to strike adjacent opponents, but those farther away, as well. Whenever an enemy takes an action that would provoke an attack of opportunity and they are within half the distance of the dualist's movement speed, the dualist can use two attacks of opportunity to move up to half her move speed and make a single attack of opportunity against that enemy. If she takes damage during this movement, however, she stops in the square where she was damaged, and loses her attacks of opportunity. Her parry roll against opponents other than the target she is moving towards takes a -6 penalty as well". Still long, but much shorter. I would ditch the synergy with Cover Ground. Trust me, it is useful enough already.
    • Disorienting Parry: Get rid of the knight's code stuff.
  • Time to talk about power. Is it overpowered? Well it certainly outclasses every single duelist type class I've seen. That is not necessarily a bad thing. However, by level 10, you are a huge threat to spellcasters. I would delay that threat level to level 15. For that reason, I would recommend bringing this class to 10 levels long and progress the Opportunistic Strike the whole way (to +15 at 9th level). I still think you should add an ability to actually force attacks of opportunities on you opponents. The idea I suggested before would work. Give it some thought.

I hope this gives some ideas for improvement. Let me know what you think. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 01:22, September 11, 2009 (UTC)

The variable entry is there because I want both Rogue-types and Fighter-types to qualify for the build. That was the only way I could achieve the hard level-6 minimum entry for both classes (since Rogues wouldn't have the BAB and Fighters couldn't make the skill ranks). I don't see anything horrendous with this choice.
Individual feature responses:
  • Dualism: The order is important only because I want to require Weapon Finesse. But that may not be necessary. If the feats are listed as a separate ability, then I assume the rest of your suggestion is that Dualism should just be the table? Sounds fine.
  • Opportunistic Strike: Fair enough.
  • Parry: Fair enough.
  • Counter-attack: Because it is intended to be a finesse build. But I suppose the heavy usage of AoOs might make it that no matter what you do.
  • Parry Ally: Yeah, that was written before I wrote Cover Ground. The movement isn't necessary.
  • Coup Lancé: Not sure I want it to be able to be done with Reach weapons. Though considering how many of the class's features don't work with Reach weapons, that might not be an issue. As for the Knight's Code, I have to worry about it because I am playing a Knight/Dualist at the moment... More importantly, because I feel that the two classes have very interesting synergy with Test of Mettle and all of the added ability to use AoOs.
  • En Garde: I agree that it is awkward. It's been rewritten about a dozen times, and it's still awkward. Suggestions welcome.
  • Dual Weapon Specialization: Fair enough.
  • Cover Ground: It doesn't provoke Double Jeopardy cuz that seemed too powerful? I don't really know. But uh... what synergy with Cover Ground? Or rather, how can it even have a synergy with itself?
  • Disorienting Parry: Again, as noted above.
I've yet to see a good duelist-type, so I'm not worried about out-classing those I have seen. As far as being a 10-level build, it was originally, but I mostly decided that I didn't feel like the class was getting enough over 10 levels. There are a large number of features, but the class is in danger of being highly ignorable, since generating attacks of opportunity may be quite difficult, and when not making an AoO the class doesn't really do much. It's also potentially extremely feat-intensive. Being able to move around the battle-field like that is very cool, but I don't know if it's truly overpowered by level 10. Though I just realized it would include any movement within the range, which was not intended. But threatening to spellcasters sounds like a good thing to me...
I'm not sure how targets denied their dexterity bonus to AC provoking AoOs by attacking you would help. You can already parry those, so it effectively does provoke AoOs. What do you mean?
DragoonWraith 01:54, September 11, 2009 (UTC)
It is looking a lot better now. Still wordy for my tastes and I'm sure I'll have more comments on that later on. With Coup Lancé, I wouldn't worry about reach weapons. There is only one that I can think of that is finessable and it is already cheesy (spiked chain).
With Cover Ground I meant the synergy with Parry Ally. It is a little overwhelming.
Even though it does out-class pretty much every other duelist, it is fine as long as you are going with a "wizard" level of balance. See: Dungeons and Dragons Wiki:Balance Points. The problem is, you are playing a Knight before going into this class. Knights are somewhere around the Fighter level of balance. That's fine, but your DM has to be ok with allowing top-tier powered stuff into his setting.
To answer why giving this class the ability to make AoOs against targets that have their dex denied to AC: it gives a reliable way to generate AoOs. Right now, it seems the standard tricks is to run around opponents and hope that they attack you, or parry their attack. Parry is perfectly fine, but sometimes your opponent will attack someone else instead. You aren't a very good defender in that case. In fact, this class basically makes your opponents want to exclusively attack everyone else first. Why bother with the guy that will just smack them back and take no damage? Even when you get Parry Ally, the opponent will probably take a single attack of opportunity to move away from you and attack someone else. At 5th level, you could instead pin someone down with the feint trick. They lose their dex bonus to ac against you and they move away (provoking an AoO) and then attack someone else (normally not provoking an AoO, but with cover ground + the abiltiy I propose, it does). Maybe not. The way I see it, this class really encourages the baddies to just steer clear of your character and focus on other dudes, which means his defensive abilities never really showcase themselves.
I hope that makes some sense. --Andrew Arnott (talk, email) 16:55, September 14, 2009 (UTC)
It does, and is also why I went with Knight entry - Test of Mettle means I can force enemies to attack me. Or try to, anyway. But you're absolutely right. That's why I have Parry Ally and Cover Ground interact - even if they do ignore him, that's an awful lot of ground where they effectively cannot act. That's pretty significant. If I were to remove the Cover Ground/Parry Ally synergy, how would I handle that? I still don't see how the Feinting mechanic helps here.
DragoonWraith 19:26, September 14, 2009 (UTC)

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