Path of Iron Update: Saboteur Changes

As the Kickstarter closes on the first week, I've been working on the play test for Path of Iron. Recently I've been getting the saboteur finished up, and there's been some big changes to the class since it was announced a few weeks ago.

If you read the initial post, you know that the saboteur had both trap creation and spell casting of level 1-4 spells. When I posted that, the feedback was mostly positive, but there were some that voiced a disdain for having normal spellcasting on top of traps. After working on the class more, I started agreeing with the sentiment, but didn't want to just outright get rid of spells. Without that, the saboteur had only 40 or so trap types (at the time), which meant removing spells was a significant blow to the class's overall power. Traps used to add to spellcasting, but without it there wasn't enough variety in tools available to the saboteur. So a solution was needed.

Now, the saboteur's spells are the traps.

Rather than having a separate mechanic for traps while also having levels 1-4 spellcasting, the saboteur's traps now function as spells of level 1-6. Instead of placing a generic "1d6/2 levels bludgeoning damage" trap, you can now place a burning hands trap, confusion trap, chain lightning trap and more. Think of it similar to an alchemist's extracts: where the alchemist only has self-use spells to drink as an extract, the saboteur only has area-based and offensive spells to create as traps.

Of course, this does leave the issue that low-level blasting spells become less useful in comparison to high-level blasting spells; most casters start using their lower-level slots for utility-based effects as they grow in skill. To aid this, the saboteur has a new ability called Combined Arms where she can give up multiple lower-level trap slots to create a stronger trap. For example, she can give up four levels worth of trap slots to create a 3rd level trap; this can be four 1st level trap slots, two 2nd level trap slots, and so on. This helps keep her lower-level slots still useful into the higher levels, if indirectly.

Also, to make up for the loss of 1-4 utility spells, the saboteur's tricks have been expanded to cover some of the key abilities lost. In her original design she received eight total tricks; now she gets eleven, and they cover more magical talent than they originally did.

I'll continue posting updates as the Kickstarter progresses; if all goes well, the play test should be out ahead of schedule, which should be fun for all of us! In the mean time, here's a couple of the tricks the saboteur will have access to. Stay tuned!

Ambush (Ex): During a surprise round, opponents are always considered flat-footed against the saboteur, even if they have already acted. If the saboteur strikes an opponent during the surprise round, the target remains flat-footed during the first round of combat (though it can act), and its place in the initiative order is reduced by the saboteur’s Intelligence bonus (minimum 0).

Charming Words (Sp): The saboteur’s words are incredibly compelling. By spending 1 minute conversing with the target of her charlatan’s mark, the saboteur can affect the creature as by a charm monster or suggestion spell. The saboteur chooses which effect to apply at the end of the conversation. The DC of the charm monster or suggestion spell is equal to her saboteur trick save DC, instead of their normal DC. The target must understand the saboteur’s language to be affected by this ability. Once a creature has been affected by this ability (whether it saves or not), it cannot be affected again for 24 hours. The saboteur must be at least 10th level before selecting this trick.

Glamered Arms (Su): All weapons and armor the saboteur wields or carries are shrouded in illusion, allowing her to change their appearance as if they had the glamered special weapon or armor property. The saboteur must be at least 6th level before selecting this trick.

Nowhere to Hide (Su): So long as a saboteur with this trick has marked a target with her informant’s mark, she gains the benefit of locate creature against that target, using her saboteur level as her caster level. She also gains blindsight out to 20 feet against the target of her informant’s mark. The saboteur must be at least 8th level before selecting this trick.

Trapsmith (Ex): The saboteur gains a bonus on Craft (Trap) checks equal to half her saboteur level. The time it takes for her to create or set mechanical traps is reduced by half.

Unreadable (Sp): The saboteur is an enigma to outside divination. She is treated as though under the effect of a mind blank spell, using her saboteur level as her caster level. She can suspend or resume this ability as a standard action; if it’s dispelled she cannot resume it for 1 minute. The saboteur must be at least 16th level before selecting this trick.