One Tribe (A Visit to the Buff-et: The Tactician)

GodHunter Blog SmallYesterday we discussed the zealot from Dreamscarred Press as a potential “fifth wheel” class for the “buff-er” or support role. A great support character can fill in for missing character roles or make the going much easier on a larger party. We’ll be looking at some of the more unusual offerings for this role over the next few days. And today we keep it in the tribe with another class from Dreamscarred Press, the tactician.

Buff-et Basics: 

Similar to the zealot, the tactician is another collective using psionic class, though this one has full power support and additional psionic abilities that might rival if not surpass its Dreamscarred kin in the buff-er class arena. With that in mind we will be comparing them to the Core Rulebook bard‘s abilities to benchmark:

  • Song of Steel: Our tactician’s mid BAB matches the bard, blow for blow. The weapon selection is better than bard gaining full proficiency with simple and martial weapons. It also gains up to medium armors and most shields.In their body of buffs, the Collective Defenses power is pretty amazing for boosting party ACs.
  • Song of Magic: Full power access through 9th. The tactician’s power set haze amazing team buffs including skill and feat sharing that increases the already formidible base support abilities through the roof. Don’t for get that with expanded knowledge they can add powers from other psionic classes.
  • Song of Lore: 4+Int isn’t great, but the class does have the ability to share skills between party members making sure the best ability to complete a task is available to the whole group, even (at higher levels) over great distances.
  • Song of Support: The tactician’s primary buffs are based around its collective and strategy abilities. Each member’s tactical efforts can be made to synch up in potent ways. Strategies are a limited use ability and scale similarly to bardic music. Possible buffs include:
    • Collective Defenses: The tactician is able to harness the
      sensory information available through his collective to
      bolster the defenses of members of his collective. For
      a number of rounds equal to the tactician’s Charisma
      modifier, the tactician and all members of his collective
      within line of sight of the tactician gain an insight bonus
      to Armor Class equal to the tactician’s Intelligence
      modifier (minimum 1).
      Coordinated Distraction: The tactician can direct
      a member of his collective to attack a single enemy,
      granting the directed member a +1 competence bonus
      on the attack roll for a number of rounds equal to the
      tactician’s Charisma modifier. If the directed member
      performs the attack, regardless of where the directed
      member is in relation to the tactician, the tactician treats
      the enemy as being flanked and the tactician may make
      a single melee attack against the targeted enemy as an
      immediate action. The tactician may only make one
      such attack per use of this strategy. Alternatively, the
      tactician may make the initial attack against the targeted
      enemy, gaining the +1 competence bonus instead of the
      directed member, and the directed member treats the
      target as being flanked, but using the strategy in this
      fashion makes it a full round action instead of a swift
      action. At 8th level and every four tactician levels
      thereafter, the competence bonus on the attack roll
      increases by 1.
      Coordinated Maneuvers: The tactician can sense when
      opponents have become vulnerable to different kinds
      of attack and direct his allies to capitalize on these
      weaknesses, granting members of his collective a +1
      insight bonus on one type of combat maneuver attempts,
      such as bull rushes or repositions, for a number of
      rounds equaling his Charisma modifier. The tactician
      chooses the kind of maneuver this benefit applies to
      when he activates this strategy. At 8th level and every
      four levels thereafter, the insight bonus increases by 1.
      Directed Assault: The tactician directs a member of his
      collective to attack a particular target, granting the ally a
      +1 competence bonus on the attack roll for a number of
      rounds equal to the tactician’s Charisma modifier. If the
      attack is made, the tactician may immediately make a
      single attack at any target within range as an immediate
      action. This attack does not count as an attack action,
      so does not qualify for abilities like Vital Strike. At 8th
      level and every four tactician levels thereafter, the
      competence bonus increases by 1.
      Disruptive Terrain: The tactician charges the terrain
      around him with psychokinetic energy. Any creature not
      in the tactician’s collective treats the terrain as difficult
      terrain for a number of rounds equal to the tactician’s
      Charisma modifier. The area of terrain affected is a
      burst effect centered on the tactician with a range of 5
      feet per three tactician levels. The affected area does not
      change if the tactician moves after using this strategy.
      Selecting this strategy requires the tactician to be at least
      10th level.
      Distracting Gaze: The tactician can target one enemy
      within 30 feet and make a ranged touch attack against
      that enemy. If the attack is successful, that enemy is
      treated as if the tactician was adjacent to him for the
      purposes of determining if he is flanked for a number
      of rounds equal to the tactician’s Charisma modifier.
      Treat the direction for flanking as the direction of the
      tactician. Selecting this strategy requires the tactician to
      be at least 7th level.
      Focus Attack: The tactician can direct a member of
      his collective to attack a single enemy. If the directed
      member performs the attack, all subsequent attacks on
      that target for the next round by anyone in the collective
      deal an additional 1d6 points of damage. An individual
      gains this additional damage on only one successful
      attack per round, even if they make multiple successful
      attacks on the targeted enemy. At 8th level and every
      four tactician levels thereafter, this damage increases by
      1d6.
      Guard Target: The tactician directs a member of his
      collective to guard a specific target (which may be the
      tactician, but not the directed member), granting the
      directed member a +1 competence bonus to attack rolls.
      In addition, the directed member can spend an attack
      of opportunity to redirect an attack made at the target
      as if it was made at him, even if the attack itself would
      not normally have provoked an attack of opportunity.
      Any time the directed member redirects an attack in
      this fashion, the tactician gains a cumulative +1 bonus
      to his next attack against the source of the redirected
      attack. This effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the
      tactician’s Charisma modifier, although the tactician’s
      bonus resets at the end of his turn. If the directed
      member would not normally be able to make an attack
      of opportunity, for example, if they already made one
      and do not possess the Combat Reflexes feat, they may
      not redirect attacks. At 8th level and every four tactician
      levels thereafter, the competence bonus on attack rolls
      increases by 1.
      Hold Position: The tactician can direct a member of
      his collective to hold their ground, granting the directed
      member a +1 dodge bonus to AC and a +1 competence
      bonus to attack rolls for a number of rounds equal to
      the tactician’s Charisma modifier. For each round the
      directed member does not move from the spot, the
      tactician may immediately take a free move action on
      the same round, but must move toward the directed
      member in as direct a manner as possible. The tactician
      gains a +1 dodge bonus to his AC during this move. At
      8th level and every four tactician levels thereafter, the
      dodge bonuses and the competence bonus to attack rolls
      increase by 1.
      Into the Fray: The tactician directs a member of his
      collective to charge a particular enemy, granting the ally
      a +1 competence bonus on the damage roll. If the charge
      is performed, the tactician may charge the same enemy
      as an immediate action, gaining a +1 competence bonus
      on the damage roll. At 8th level and every four tactician
      levels thereafter, the competence bonus increases by 1.
      Reposition: The tactician directs each ally in
      his collective to take a 5-foot step as a free action
      immediately. The tactician may also immediately take
      a 5-foot step. This does not count against the number of
      5-foot steps allowed in the tactician’s or each ally’s turn.
      If all directed allies take their 5-foot step, the tactician
      may immediately make a full attack against any target
      within range and gain a +1 competence bonus on the
      attack and damage rolls. Selecting this strategy requires
      the tactician to be at least a 13th level tactician. At 16th
      level and every four tactician levels thereafter, the
      competence bonus increases by 1.
      Telempathic Resistance: The tactician shares not only
      thoughts, but also resilience to members of his collective.
      For a number of rounds equal to the tactician’s Charisma
      modifier, all members of the tactician’s collective gain
      a +1 insight bonus to saving throws. At 8th level and
      every four tactician levels thereafter, the insight bonus
      increases by 1.

Compared to the bard, the tacticians psionic abilities are more direct in application and may just favor direct combat efforts as supported by the tacticians telepathic collective. The class replaces music and morale for militaristic insights. Players desiring a character with forceful battefileld presence may prefer the tactician. 

Not the right fit for you? Come back tomorrow for more “buff-et” eats.  Paramour is our support role claass or you can pre-order the Book of Beyond WIP subscription or see our other products at: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow.

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