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Pathfinder 2E Looking for feedback on a Homebrew Class: the Puppet Master

Plutancatty

Explorer
Here's the link: PF2e Scribe

Basically this class wants to be an always-on buffer for the whole party, and offensively it takes control of enemies (or willing allies) and uses them to strike in its place.

I'd love to hear feedback especially on any broken wording that doesn't interact as should be intended with general rules and super game breaking things (I'm particularly worried about the feat that buffs the party's initiative).

Anything is appreciated, thanks! :)
 

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tearnImale

First Post
What I am about to say is only my perspective- it can be flawed, and any recommendations I give that you don't like you don't have to take. Additionally, I do not know your class as well as you do- something as simple as a misread sentence or missed feat can lead to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of power and/or use; on the contrary, this also means that I don't know the exact thing that each ability is trying to achieve. That being said...

First off, I recommend removing "Puppet Master attack proficiency," as it is something no other class has and can be confusing- from my first reading, it seems that only Tether Strike uses it. What I think you mean is something similar to spell attack, which is something this class doesn't get, as it cannot cast spells.
For Tether Strike, I'd recommend that you use the creature's bonus to attack instead- this gets around the aforementioned Puppet Master attack proficiency, and I think it feels more flavorful for what you are doing- you are manipulating a creature to make an attack, not making one yourself. Additionally, I'd recommend clearing up the damage portion of this- if the attack really gives only the creature's strength, it's not worth your time to use the action to attack.
For Puppet Manipulation, I would make this on willing creatures only- being able to affect any creature with this hit huge- 25 feet of movement and an attack? Attack the ground and then jump off a nearby cliff. If you are dead set on making it able to affect any creature, then I recommend you change how the ability functions- it seems this is meant to be something to use offensively, but it is quite similar to Tether Strike already. I should also mention that a "Basic Will Save" is for damaging attacks, not status spells- you'll have to make specific situations for each pass/fail state.
For Spectacles, Finger Puppets is the blatantly best option- it's too good. Low level skills should not allow more than trained, even if it's just performance, and you should say "choice of skill X or skill Y." Instead of saying "subtract 2 from will," say they "take a -2 status penalty on their will save."
5 foot step does not exist in 2E- while there is an action that does that (the Step action), it is not free, requiring a single action to do. Instead, I'd say "each ally that starts their turn within 30 feet of you may take a single Step action [5 ft step] as a free action. If they do not use this free action, they lose it at the end of their turn."
For Coordinated Troupe, I'd recommend making it a Reaction to use instead- just a flat "remove flat footed" is really good- too good as just a class ability, I say. I'd also add a prerequisite on the Reaction of "You must aware of the attacking creature not be flat footed against them."
Any time your increase offensive proficiencies, don't forget weapons- you're not going to be within 30 of an ally every time, and if you need to make an attack yourself, your odds will be bad.
Eye in the Crowd looks like a good ability to me, although I think it should be given at a higher level, maybe ~15th.
Play to your strengths makes Tether Strike viable, but you're 15th level- it should not take this long for a schtick to become usable.
Tough stuff should make a success become a crit success.
Effortless coordinator is too good for the same reason Finger Puppets it too good.
For Seamless Performance, you've got to spell out what exact conditions it applies on, not to mention how it's worded is a bit poor. The only situation condition that I can think that it works against is flat footed, and level 19 is effectively supposed to be a capstone- ignoring flat-footed is not, in my opinion, good enough.
Anytime you have a penalty or bonus, make sure it is either circumstance or status (item too, though this is most likely not going to be generated by a class). It may such that there's only two that you can choose from, but this is how the game is made.

As a last mention, I'd remove anything that qualifies as "meme speech" - Things like "gotcha bitch!" and "Why are you hitting yourself?" are good examples.

Overall, I think it has a great concept, so keep working- just remember that if you would never use it as a player or would hate it as a DM, it's most likely not a good thing to include.
 

Plutancatty

Explorer
What I am about to say is only my perspective- it can be flawed, and any recommendations I give that you don't like you don't have to take. Additionally, I do not know your class as well as you do- something as simple as a misread sentence or missed feat can lead to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of power and/or use; on the contrary, this also means that I don't know the exact thing that each ability is trying to achieve. That being said...

First off, I recommend removing "Puppet Master attack proficiency," as it is something no other class has and can be confusing- from my first reading, it seems that only Tether Strike uses it. What I think you mean is something similar to spell attack, which is something this class doesn't get, as it cannot cast spells.
For Tether Strike, I'd recommend that you use the creature's bonus to attack instead- this gets around the aforementioned Puppet Master attack proficiency, and I think it feels more flavorful for what you are doing- you are manipulating a creature to make an attack, not making one yourself. Additionally, I'd recommend clearing up the damage portion of this- if the attack really gives only the creature's strength, it's not worth your time to use the action to attack.
For Puppet Manipulation, I would make this on willing creatures only- being able to affect any creature with this hit huge- 25 feet of movement and an attack? Attack the ground and then jump off a nearby cliff. If you are dead set on making it able to affect any creature, then I recommend you change how the ability functions- it seems this is meant to be something to use offensively, but it is quite similar to Tether Strike already. I should also mention that a "Basic Will Save" is for damaging attacks, not status spells- you'll have to make specific situations for each pass/fail state.
For Spectacles, Finger Puppets is the blatantly best option- it's too good. Low level skills should not allow more than trained, even if it's just performance, and you should say "choice of skill X or skill Y." Instead of saying "subtract 2 from will," say they "take a -2 status penalty on their will save."
5 foot step does not exist in 2E- while there is an action that does that (the Step action), it is not free, requiring a single action to do. Instead, I'd say "each ally that starts their turn within 30 feet of you may take a single Step action [5 ft step] as a free action. If they do not use this free action, they lose it at the end of their turn."
For Coordinated Troupe, I'd recommend making it a Reaction to use instead- just a flat "remove flat footed" is really good- too good as just a class ability, I say. I'd also add a prerequisite on the Reaction of "You must aware of the attacking creature not be flat footed against them."
Any time your increase offensive proficiencies, don't forget weapons- you're not going to be within 30 of an ally every time, and if you need to make an attack yourself, your odds will be bad.
Eye in the Crowd looks like a good ability to me, although I think it should be given at a higher level, maybe ~15th.
Play to your strengths makes Tether Strike viable, but you're 15th level- it should not take this long for a schtick to become usable.
Tough stuff should make a success become a crit success.
Effortless coordinator is too good for the same reason Finger Puppets it too good.
For Seamless Performance, you've got to spell out what exact conditions it applies on, not to mention how it's worded is a bit poor. The only situation condition that I can think that it works against is flat footed, and level 19 is effectively supposed to be a capstone- ignoring flat-footed is not, in my opinion, good enough.
Anytime you have a penalty or bonus, make sure it is either circumstance or status (item too, though this is most likely not going to be generated by a class). It may such that there's only two that you can choose from, but this is how the game is made.

As a last mention, I'd remove anything that qualifies as "meme speech" - Things like "gotcha bitch!" and "Why are you hitting yourself?" are good examples.

Overall, I think it has a great concept, so keep working- just remember that if you would never use it as a player or would hate it as a DM, it's most likely not a good thing to include.
All right, first off, thanks for answering and sorry for the late response (I kind of gave up hoping for feedback after the first day or so).

I changed some things according to your advice:
-Puppet manipulation now specifically states the target has to avoid hazards when moving.
-A lot of feats that were Finger Puppet locked aren't any more (they were over represented in there compared to the other 2)
-Seamless performing has been replaced with Smooth Improvisation (an extra reaction for allies within 30 ft)
-Cleared up some wording on saves and such.
-Effortless Coordinator limited to Int mod/day

To answer some of your other points
-Tether Strike deals no additional damage because it scales a bunch with feats and it didn't quite make sense in my head that you could use extra damage from a creature's class features when you're the one using them to attack (hence you wouldn't know how to replicate those specific moves)
-Tough stuff brings your Fort save to expert and I believe to success->crit succ is gained when a save goes to Master.
-You are correct in believing Puppet Master attacks are basically a reskin of spell attacks. They have a unique mechanic and don't cast spells, so I had to make up a name for it.
-Pretty sure I removed all meme names.
-Coordinated troupe is now a reaction.
-Finger Puppets may be the mechanically superior choice, but some might not like the flavor. Also, there are other ways to get multiple creatures to attack, so you'd be losing one attack out of maybe 5 at higher levels.
-The weapon proficiency is intentionally terrible so the player relies on his allies and/or enemies to deal damage, even when alone. The buffs given to the group more than make up for this imo.

Again, thanks for checking this out and taking the time to give feedback :)
 

Alexander3192

First Post
If I understand correctly, Tether Strike seems absurdly overpowered. Let's say I'm at 6th level and have Gift of Detachment, Wrist Flick, Large Cast with Finger Puppet spectacle. That means that I can:

  • give three of my allies a free half-move plus strike,
  • and also give them +2 AC for a turn

That's probably about six actions worth of stuff (an strike is an action, and then the rest is a weaker stride plus a weaker raise shield, so let's say those are worth an action combined, and multiply those 2 actions by 3 targets). And I can do that with only costing me ONE action. Every single turn.

I know the Puppet Master doesn't really have any good attacks itself, but that's not really a big deal because:

  • Even if the above were a three-action activity, and was the only thing I was doing on my turn, it would still probably be too good.
  • You also have another ability to use the other two actions with that's also really good. Puppet Master is probably comparable to a Command spell (it's weaker since it doesn't use up the target's action, but stronger since it allows making the target attack someone else) and it doesn't take up spell slots.
  • Trying to balance out "one overpowered action per turn" with "you don't have much to do with your other two actions" isn't very good balancing, because you can take things like wizard dedication to give you something good to do with your other two actions.
 

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