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Should Kensai get an AC buff?

KsarfeksKsarfeks Member Posts: 8
I think Kensai kit should get an AC buff, preferably ability to wear some light armor. Here are my thoughts:

1) Kensai is a fighter class, but has THE WORST AC of all classes including thiefs and mages. There are some better robes and braces for mages and some armor for thiefs, monks get AC progression. Kensai must be in the middle of battle (otherwise useless) and has to deal with the worst AC. Given that hits depend on stats and not player's ability (to dodge, for example) it can make even simple encounters (bandit archer circle) extremely frustrating even on higher levels.

2) Kensai gets +1 to hit and damage every 3 levels. It grants +10 bonus on level 30, but it is only gonna be +6 at level 18 by the end of SoA. Given that pure Kensai can reach maximum 8th level in BG1, the whole bonus is +2 to hit and damage FOR THE WHOLE GAME sacrificing ability to wear armor and braces (full plate 10AC, gauntlets of specialization +1 to hit, +2 damage). In BG1 maxed out kensai only gets +1 to hit over fighter (with his gear) while sacrificing 10AC and ability to use ranged weapons! Plus, a thing about berserkers immunities!

3) Kai ability is trash. Average damage for Katana is 5,5. Max damage is 10. Kai give maximum damage output for 10 seconds (one round is 6 seconds). Assuming you have 4 attacks per round, you make ~6 attacks in 10 seconds, so average damage difference is 27, assuming every strike hits. Is it worth sacrificing armor and bows?

4) Kensai looks silly the whole game without armor running around without pants :)

5) Those who do not like the idea can restrict themselves or not download the mod (in case someone decides to implement it).

I would suggest giving them ability to wear everything up to studded leather. It makes sense it is the least restrictive armor type and it is unlikely to make them overpowered at any stage of the game. Plus, it will make them more feasible for soloing and keeping pure class till the end.

TL:DR: In BG1 maxed out kensai only gets +1 to hit over fighter (with his gear) while sacrificing 10AC and ability to use ranged weapons!

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Comments

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,395
    I don't think it would be a bad idea to give them increasing AC bonuses, like those a swashbuckler gets, BUT the trade-off should be removing the ability to dual-class. Devoting your career to training as a kensai should be a one-time choice.

    The real problem with the kit is that they are underpowered as a single-class, but way, way overpowered as a dual-class. This would fix both of those problems.

  • TJ_HookerTJ_Hooker Member Posts: 2,438
    Amulet of the Shield can go a long way in making up for their crappy AC. Using the amulet's ability, combined with the Kensai's +2 bonus to AC, gives them an effective AC that is only 1 worse than a fighter wearing full plate, for 5 minutes at a time.

    Oxford_GuyAHFMadhax
  • FafnirFafnir Member Posts: 232
    Only if you disallow dual-classing.

    In fact, that would fix many issues with several kits.

    [Deleted User]DinsdalePiranhaEudaemonium
  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    edited February 2013
    TJ_Hooker said:

    Amulet of the Shield can go a long way in making up for their crappy AC. Using the amulet's ability, combined with the Kensai's +2 bonus to AC, gives them an effective AC that is only 1 worse than a fighter wearing full plate, for 5 minutes at a time.

    Agree. No change. If you want to wear armor or use missile weapons, then don't use this kit. This kit is plenty powerful enough on its own.

    Use the shield amulet and then (later in the game) have your mages cast ghost armor if you want to go with a buffed AC. Potions of defense, invulnerability, etc. are also out there to use.

    It even makes sense from a RP perspective that the kensai would take more time to really achieve the benefits of the hyper-specialization that separate her from a regular fighter.

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Kensai's don't need armour, as others have pointed out, there are ways to manage this

  • MadhaxMadhax Member Posts: 1,416
    Removing their ability to dual-class would make these changes reasonable from a power-balance perspective, but a lot of people, myself among them, like dual-classing our Kensai. So, no thank you, I like my Sword Saint as he is.

    TJ_Hooker
  • StrayedMonkeyStrayedMonkey Member Posts: 146
  • StrayedMonkeyStrayedMonkey Member Posts: 146
    the class wasnt designed for BG1. sucks to suck.

  • FelspawnFelspawn Member Posts: 161
    Anyone who say Kensai "suck" has no idea what thy are talking about. While they were designed with BG2 in mind they are fine in BG1

    Oxford_Guy
  • FenghoangFenghoang Member Posts: 160
    I agree with the consensus, they don't need a buff.

    1. There's multiple ways to manage AC problems even if they don't DC. Mages can give them Spirit Armor, Rangers/Druids can give them Barkskin, or like @TJ_Hooker said, use Shield amulet.

    2. They may "suck" defensively, but they're an absolute powerhouse offensively. Nothing can compare to them when they get up to +13 to Dmg/To Hit. Forgoing that defense is a balance for the amazing offense they get.

    3. For dualclassing, they have amazing synergy with Mages and Thieves. Kai is pretty lackluster by itself, but like @Madhax stated, it's extremely powerful for backstabs. On average, Kai would yield backstabs (x5) that do 17.5 more dmg with a Scimitar, 22.5 more dmg with a Katana, and double those if you crit. Kensai/mages can wear robes that provide AC and Kensai/thieves can wear just about anything with UAI.

    4. Like @Madhax said, they're intended to be a "DPS" class, not a tank. They're basically like rogues in 3e. Their purpose is to let the proper "tanks" take the beating while they come in and do ridiculous damage.

    5. From a lore perspective, I'm pretty sure they were intended to be the equivalent of the "wandering swordsman" archetype Asian cultures venerate. These characters rely on skill, technique, and speed rather than wear anything that'd impede them (including leather armor).

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    The "proper" way to play a Kensai (and this is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt) is to start the game by putting as many points into Single Weapon Style as you can as early as possible; those two points to AC are crucial in the early game before you find the protective items.

    Once you reach the point where your AC isn't laughable, you can start focusing on other things like weapon mastery, two-weapon fighting, and mastering another weapon.

    If you do that, you should be okay for most of BG1. In BG2 the class really shines, but it's "designed" to work best with one-handed weapons.

    Eudaemonium
  • RhymeRhyme Member Posts: 190
    The OP made one very important point. Characters who run around in nothing but a tunic are huge eye-sores.

    The only buff I want to see for a Kensai is pants. Just give him pants. In fact, just give them all pants. It's not fair that Imoen gets to wear pants, but my male Kensai with 18(00) Strength is wearing an LBD from Donna Karen.

    Pants and no shirt would be acceptable as well. But pants. Please.

    KsarfeksmlneveseFafnir
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    I wouldn't mind if kensai where alowed to wear gloves and gauntlets. Bracers of Defense could remain prohibited.

  • DelvarianDelvarian Member Posts: 1,232
    Rhyme said:

    The OP made one very important point. Characters who run around in nothing but a tunic are huge eye-sores.

    The only buff I want to see for a Kensai is pants. Just give him pants. In fact, just give them all pants. It's not fair that Imoen gets to wear pants, but my male Kensai with 18(00) Strength is wearing an LBD from Donna Karen.

    Pants and no shirt would be acceptable as well. But pants. Please.

    This is why I never play Kensai.

  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    Fenghoang said:

    5. From a lore perspective, I'm pretty sure they were intended to be the equivalent of the "wandering swordsman" archetype Asian cultures venerate. These characters rely on skill, technique, and speed rather than wear anything that'd impede them (including leather armor).

    Are you talking about the "Xia" archetype?

    Monks are also in that archetype, aren't they?

  • AHFAHF Member Posts: 1,376
    edited February 2013
    Bhaaldog said:

    I... I do not remember playing a Kensai. I have tried. I have tried to recreate it, to spark it anew in my memory, but it is gone.. a hollow, dead thing. For years, I clung to the memory of it. Then the memory of the memory. And then nothing. I look at these beautiful elven female Kensai wearing nothing but their tunics and feel nothing. I remember nothing but these elves dual classing into kensai/mages and attempting to power play, along with all the others.

    Once my thirst for power playing was everything. And now I hunger only for revenge! And I *WILL* Have It!

    @Bhaaldog

    Did you happen to fight Drizzt with Werebears (super easy, by the way) when you met the dual classing elves?

  • brtl33brtl33 Member Posts: 17
    Rhyme said:

    The OP made one very important point. Characters who run around in nothing but a tunic are huge eye-sores.

    The only buff I want to see for a Kensai is pants. Just give him pants. In fact, just give them all pants. It's not fair that Imoen gets to wear pants, but my male Kensai with 18(00) Strength is wearing an LBD from Donna Karen.

    Pants and no shirt would be acceptable as well. But pants. Please.

    When I do a Kensai I usually switch the model to that of a monk. IMO, it's much more appropriate.

  • FenghoangFenghoang Member Posts: 160
    Nifft said:

    Fenghoang said:

    5. From a lore perspective, I'm pretty sure they were intended to be the equivalent of the "wandering swordsman" archetype Asian cultures venerate. These characters rely on skill, technique, and speed rather than wear anything that'd impede them (including leather armor).

    Are you talking about the "Xia" archetype?

    Monks are also in that archetype, aren't they?
    Yes, exactly. And ya monks fit too, but monks in D&D are obviously more focused on the unarmed aspect of the archetype.

    The kensai, on the other hand, are focused on the sword (well should have been anyway) hence the "ken" part of their class name. Kensai literally means "sword genius/talent".

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,395
    Rhyme said:

    The OP made one very important point.... The only buff I want to see for a Kensai is pants. Just give him pants.... Pants and no shirt would be acceptable as well. But pants. Please.

    To be fair, there is a pair of pant
    aloons
    available very early in the game. They should just give kensai the ability to wear those.

    MadhaxRnRClown
  • RhymeRhyme Member Posts: 190
    I never take the kit description too literally. To me, the big thing is the idea of focusing on offense at the expense of defense. If I take it a bit further, it always involves focusing on a single weapon (at least until it's fully mastered). But I don't take "Sword Saint" to mean it's exclusive to swords. I have a female kensai whose weapon of choice is a quarterstaff, and that's a weapon that I could see somebody mastering sans armor.

  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    Fenghoang said:

    Yes, exactly. And ya monks fit too, but monks in D&D are obviously more focused on the unarmed aspect of the archetype.

    The kensai, on the other hand, are focused on the sword (well should have been anyway) hence the "ken" part of their class name. Kensai literally means "sword genius/talent".

    Okay, cool.

    From what I recall, those types of guys tend to fight more "duelist" battles than full-on war. The big difference here is that in a "duelist" type battle, both opponents are lightly armored at most, while in full-on war your opponents have on as much metal as they could afford. Does this fit with your understanding of the archetype?

    In BGEE, all important opponents seem to be dressed for full-on war. As an analogy, it's a bit like a Renaissance pistol duelist going up against a guy in modern riot gear.

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Rhyme said:

    The OP made one very important point. Characters who run around in nothing but a tunic are huge eye-sores.

    The only buff I want to see for a Kensai is pants. Just give him pants. In fact, just give them all pants. It's not fair that Imoen gets to wear pants, but my male Kensai with 18(00) Strength is wearing an LBD from Donna Karen.

    Pants and no shirt would be acceptable as well. But pants. Please.

    You'd run around in just your pants? Really?

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Eudaemonium
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Eudaemonium
  • FenghoangFenghoang Member Posts: 160
    edited February 2013
    Nifft said:

    Fenghoang said:

    Yes, exactly. And ya monks fit too, but monks in D&D are obviously more focused on the unarmed aspect of the archetype.

    The kensai, on the other hand, are focused on the sword (well should have been anyway) hence the "ken" part of their class name. Kensai literally means "sword genius/talent".

    Okay, cool.

    From what I recall, those types of guys tend to fight more "duelist" battles than full-on war. The big difference here is that in a "duelist" type battle, both opponents are lightly armored at most, while in full-on war your opponents have on as much metal as they could afford. Does this fit with your understanding of the archetype?

    In BGEE, all important opponents seem to be dressed for full-on war. As an analogy, it's a bit like a Renaissance pistol duelist going up against a guy in modern riot gear.
    Well TBH, in the fiction (my exposure is mostly from movies), they have abilities that either border on the supernatural or are blatantly superhuman, so it's not a very fair comparison to real life (your Renaissance pistol vs modern riot gear comparison).

    For a more "western" and less supernatural comparison in fiction, if you've read ASOIAF, it would be kind of like Bronn vs Ser Vardis Egan (the knight of the Vale) in the first book. Actually, Syrio would probably be a more natural fit.

    In the context of BG, you don't really go into massive scale battles, but are confined to more small scale skirmishes. Also, as an adventurer (even in a fantasy setting), wandering around in full plate is silly. So I can imagine this class being a natural fit for an adventurer. A real life example would probably be any of those ronin in Japanese lore like Miyamoto Musashi.


    Anyway, I'm just saying that's what I imagined the kit was trying to emulate.

  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Bhaaldog said:

    You'd run around in just your pants? Really?

    How do you think the Nature's Beauty spell works for certain characters...
    image

    [Deleted User]SpaceInvaderEudaemonium
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    FenghoangOxford_GuyEudaemonium
  • Oxford_GuyOxford_Guy Member Posts: 3,729
    Bhaaldog said:

    Bhaaldog said:

    You'd run around in just your pants? Really?

    How do you think the Nature's Beauty spell works for certain characters...
    image
    My eyes they burn... They Burn!
    Well @Rhyme did say he liked his Kensai in pants...

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