|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Small races can be plenty good in melee. They might be slightly less optimal than the same tactics on a larger character, but the difference is slight and is compensated for by other racial abilities.
Gnome Paladin: slow (if in medium or heavy armour, which you will be), but does 1d10 base melee damage with a small greatsword or small lucerne hammer, plus 1.5xSTR bonus, plus smite evil. Gets full benefit from power attack. Can get a divine mount, which removes the downside of the slow speed and will normally be medium sized so you are highly mobile. Does more smite damage and has better saves than some larger races because of CHA bonus. Gets gnome magic. (If you want be really gross, be a gnome Champion of Irori with Bewildering Koan).
Halfling Barbarian: (my wife plays one in PFS). Same speed as larger races when using halfling alternative racial trait. Does decent melee damage when raging. My wife's PC uses a greatclub, doing 1d8+7 when raging, 1d8+10 with power attack and rage, which is more than sufficient at her level. 2d6+12 for a raging power attacking human barbarian with a greatsword is overkill a lot of the time. Advantages over larger races: better saves and AC, and halflings get some amazing racial feats (risky striker and lucky halfling for example).
Sneak attack, by the way, doesn't have to come from rogue levels alone. Slayer and Snakebite Striker Brawler both get sneak attack, and they are both full base attack classes. I have a single-classed inquisitor build that gets 5d6 sneak attack at level 11 with no shenanigans involved (just two stacking archetypes).
What inquisitor build her sneak attack?