Archetypes that damn near bolt a second class onto the Vigilante aside though, the Vigilante is really not that good. They're like a Fighter minus or Rogue minus for the most part. The Avenger (Fighter) build at least feels like a Fighter with better skills, if worse combat capabilities. Their social talents
are largely bland as well, although the Skill Familiarity talent at 9th level has some potential by giving a bonus and allowing the Vigilante to always take 10 on any 4 skills of his choosing, such as UMD, Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, Bluff, Sleight of Hand, Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Climb, Swim, Fly, Ride, and Handle Animal. The first two are pretty much must-haves (although the Wiscrani Ear
social trait already lets you take 10 on Perception). If you use a social talent to gain Orator
, Linguistics is also an option. UMD with the Always Prepared talent (which gives an upgraded Brilliant Planner
feat) and Pragmatic Activator
magic trait is not bad either, as you can just take 1 minute to retrieve any scroll or wand you want. May as well add the Kalistocrat's Acumen social talent (which I generally regard as a joke, as at higher levels you can just Teleport, Shadow Walk, or Plane Shift to a proper shopping destination) just to upgrade Brilliant Planner further. Actually if you do this WBLmancer path with the ability to pull items of your choosing out of your hat, you are probably T3 or higher, but I generally consider that sort of thing to be more WBLmancy than a class build and WBLmancy is really a high optimization stunt (which raises tiers anyway). But, turns out with the right social talents you can make a pretty solid WBLmancer as a Vigilante. Hmm...
Ironically the Barbarian, which I have as T4, is a flat-out T6 the moment he runs out of rage. The only reason he's in T4 despite his limited rage rounds courtesy of PF is because PF is rocket tag edition and in level 1 (possibly also 2) you will be one-shotting most enemies even without rage and the rage rounds situation improves quickly in a few levels, not to mention that there is the Berserker of the Society
combat trait and the +1 extra rage round favored class bonus for dwarves, half-orcs, orcs, and strix even before getting into stuff like Drunken Rager
archetype or a potion/casting of Rage
or Barbarian Chew
, so it's not hard to get a head start on the rage rounds issue, which even if you don't do anything
typically solves itself around level 7 anyway. If you do a lot of combats per day though, the PF Barbarian will
fall off in tiers without investment into more rage, but PF seems to enforce the limited encounters per day model more tightly due to the sheer amount of class features that will run out of gas (not just spellcasting) if you do that and the plethora of options that exist to let the party rest just about anywhere in any state instead of needing to set up camp and sleep for 8 unimpeded hours.
Honestly though, the rounds/day mechanic added to PF Barbarians was a mistake, and one that immediately shot all those rage powers that give skill bonuses in the foot. The entire Barbarian class runs off of its rage class feature and is blatantly intended to never be fighting without it, so presenting rage as a limited resource with limited rounds is just stupid. It really just strongly encourages rocket tag and limited encounters per day playstyles further, makes the game mechanics even more combat-focused than they already are, and it is frankly absurd that a level 5 Barbarian, if he has a whopping 16 constitution, is only capable of raging for one and a half minutes in an entire day unless a Wizard or Bard decides to cast Rage on him and concentrates for a whole day. Bards also had the rounds/day accounting shift made and it was a bad mechanic for them too. Not only did Lingering Performance
become a necessary feat tax for all Bards, but it also just killed the ability of Bards to use non-combat performances, like Inspire Competence, Fascinate, or even using Inspire Courage to inspire battlefields, defenders in a siege, etc. unless the Bard uses a Tuned Bowstring
and never stops shooting so he can drag out his performance endlessly. Both
of these classes also saw that there was no longer any resource cost for ending and restarting a new performance each round (what is referred to as "cycling"). As such, Barbarians are now in the habit of rage-cycling every round (sometimes multiple times in a single round) in order to keep using once per rage rage powers and Bards will cycle Inspire Greatness on the party for fresh temporary HD each round. Probably the class to suffer the worst from rounds per day resource pools is the Stalwart Defender
. It has no way of obtaining extra defensive stance rounds (short of obtaining more levels through another prestige class) and it's a class which is obviously supposed to be used for defensive playstyles (which drag out combats) except it runs out of defensive stance rounds with a quickness if you actually take the slow and sure route by playing defense instead of going full rocket tag.