Updated the intro text, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a really unique fifth example. Any ideas?
Seems to me that this class would work well to model something like a Spiral Warrior from Gurren Lagann (perhaps even complete with mech, using mounted combat rules and a Personal Lieutenant!). How about, "A hot-blooded warrior whose fiery passions ignite a latent reality-warping ability to transcend ordinary mortal limits"?
Added to the PDF. I also hollywood'd up DW's originals some.
(BTW, a spellcheck note on one of the other examples: Monks are usually "ascetics", not "aesthetics". Unless you meant a monk devoted to the study and contemplation of beauty...)
Fixed in the PDF.
The "no casters allowed" prereq still bugs me, since it doesn't seem necessary with Inner Empowerment restricting spells granted from being used by any other casting method, and purely thematic prereqs on an expert class are kind of contrary to the general philosophy of the system. But I could probably accept it if it were "0 ranks in Spellcasting" rather than "Caster Level 0". Mainly I just think it's silly to lock Crusaders and Priests out of the class.
Also, it occurs to me that this class should actually grant Caster Level progression to allow the spells to function properly, which could cause some confusion since it would technically invalidate its own prereq.
Since DW said:
I like the idea of letting some Path people take it. I'll have to see if that breaks things.
...I changed it in the PDF to Spellcasting 0 ranks.
Also, I'm going to plug my suggestion for a changed core ability again. To reiterate my earlier arguments: Giving Covert feat crossover for Combat Focus uses just plain doesn't fit (considering that outside of Mobility B/M/S the class really doesn't particularly care about the Covert tree at all), and giving a feat tree crossover only for the purposes of a single feat's calculations (even if it is a feat that's pretty important for the class) is probably too weak for a core ability based on comparison to what other classes get. Hence, something like this would probably fit better:
Surging Empowerment: Your Chance feats count as Basic Combat feats for fulfilling prerequisites and requirements or determining the effects of any ability. Also, at Level 1 and for each Class Level thereafter, you gain 1 additional skill point that must be spent on Acrobatics or Resolve.
I don't think expanding the feat tree crossover would really break anything. There aren't actually that many things that key off Basic Combat in the first place; the only ones I can find in official material aside from Combat Focus are the Captain's PL, the Damned if You Do/n't tricks, and the Pick on the Big/Little Guy tricks. The only one of these that seems like it might be potentially broken is the Captain/Unbound setup, but really the only difference there is that it gives you some flexibility to take a few Chance feats; the same class setup without Chance feats counting for the PL could still hit almost the same (only difference coming from the Living on the Edge feat given at level 7) XP budget if they focused on Basic Combat feats.
Feat tree crossover mechanics were discussed at length several time over the years, and it boiled down to Chance and Basic Combat are potential problems. The primary culprits are Fortunate and Right Hand Man. So I fully support the focused on enhancing the Combat Focus feat style that this shoots for. It even fits into Morg's Jedi mechanics pretty well. As for Covert being in the mix, it supports the fact that you're required to have a Covert feat in the build... and your archetype can be stealth assassin type if you want. Melinda May from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a solid possibility with this little enhancer/reminder in the core.
Finally, I remain a bit leery of splitting the B slot and, to a lesser extent, D slot into more or less unconnected benefits. I don't think the effects are off-balance or anything, just that it doesn't seem right to me to simply break up a recurring slot to instead give a few separate one-off effects. I've always sort of had the impression that the connectedness of the recurring class ability slots is part of how the class design skeleton helps to enforce a degree of parity in powerlevel between different classes, providing a safety rail against both scattershot design that's too unfocused to do anything well and against cafeteria-style design that cherrypicks a suite of abilities for optimal power. I like the effects you're giving (especially the synergy between the Edge-based regeneration and the cast-from-vitality gamebreaker), and I don't think it's broken at all, but it does seem to me that it sort of sets a bad precedent if nothing else.
In the PDF I reworked Unfettered/Weightless into a single ability like it should be. The others two are similar in structure (named feat and a sweet sweetener) - so I don't see a real problem. I've always been more bugged by the Paladin and Beastmaster Gamebreaker designs... I find this less jarring than those.
If I could get some thoughts from others (particularly those with more of an "insider perspective", like Morgenstern) on how accurate that impression I have is, and whether this sort of slot-splitting is kosher or not, I'd really appreciate it.
Not an insider, but those are my views.
New (perhaps even final) version of the PDF: http://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=6677.msg118698#msg118698