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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Okay, there's ONE loophole, mister snarky pants. :P
Alright, I'm gonna clarify this really quickly. Sneak attack requires an attack roll to work. This has been clarified by the dev.s several times. That's why sneak attack works with something like Scorching Ray, but not Magic Missile UNLESS you have the Arcane Trickster ability.
A Paladin's smite evil, however, simply adds to damage rolls, and this is one of those times where individual instances of damage in a spell are actually REALLY important. Magic Missile fires individual missiles, which means that each missile would gain the bonus smite damage, since they are resolved individually from each other, just like each ray from a Scorching Ray would gain the damage. As written, you could apply smite damage to an area spell, but only smote targets would take the bonus damage.
How you would get the two (Magic Missile and Smite Evil) CONSISTENTLY, with decent power behind each, is a bit of an issue, as going into the Chevalier prestige class SERIOUSLY hurts your spellcasting, but it's an interesting idea.
Ooo! You could be a Samsaran, though. One of the few ways I can think of to do it.
If you are willing you can be a Half-Elf and pull it off. They're a good race, can get free exotic weapon proficiency for a cool weapon, and there's a trait that gives you a 0th level spell-like ability with caster level based on your character level. Full arcane strike progression. As a human, you don't really have any decent options in that regard.
Which is fine, unless you're playing an archetype like Thundercaller, Street Performer, Magician, or Sound Striker, all of which have abilities beside their spellcasting that can GREATLY aid allies at the cost of using Bardic Performance, which you get more rounds of, and increase the DC's of, with a higher Charisma score. Heck, a Wand of Fireball is just an "Okay" choice to anyone except a Magician.
Now, I'm not saying that you ALWAYS want sky-high charisma as a bard, and more often than not having 14 or so is fine. But if you want to use some really awesome abilities to their best, you want a massive Charisma score, and Thundercaller, with a ranged, AoE stun (and the ability to grant allies bonus sonic damage with the Discordant Voice feat) that you can use many, MANY times at higher levels, I think it's fair, and even beneficial, to trade something like ranged or melee combat for it. It's archetypes like these that ALLOW you to really abuse having a high Charisma score... plus your enchantment and illusion spells are tougher to resist, which is nice too.
Well, being a combat buffer/utility guy can be done, but it takes a bit of work on an Inquisitor. If you can gain access to the Madness sub-domain, you get one of the best bad-touch abilities IN THE GAME, even if you don't get the domain spells. Other than that, there are other useful things you can do, like the Steal, Disarm, and Dirty Trick combat maneuvers. Solo teamwork feats mean you can take something like Coordinated Maneuvers for an additional +2 bonus to all combat maneuvers, and a timely disarm or dirty trick can REALLY hamper your foe.
Even if you're not planning on doing much fighting, you might consider having at least a one-handed weapon available. You can get the Menacing enchantment to give flanking allies an extra +2 bonus to attack rolls while doing your bad touches (heck, a gauntlet would count as a weapon if you want to truly seem "unarmed"). I would also recommend the Branded for Retribution feat. You can make a melee touch attack by expending bane rounds to give your allies that bane bonus against the enemy. It's a pretty sick additional +2 to attack, +2d6+2 damage. You could also take the Spell Bane feat to make your spells harder to resist while using your Bane class feature. The Extended Bane feat would also go a long way towards maintaining your uses as efficiently as possible. Shared Judgment also goes a long way towards having some stacking buffing potential that's specific to your situation.
IN ADDITION, the Preacher archetype, while causing you to lose your Teamwork feat fun, gives you the ability to further buff or debuff. You don't get many uses of the ability, but the effects are AWESOME.
Anyways, that's all I can think of at the moment. With a focus on high Wisdom, decent Charisma/Intelligence, and a passable Strength score with which to make touch attacks, you should be pretty combat capable. Something like a:
14 - 10 - 12 - 12 - 16 - 11
Should work. Put your attribute bonus into Wisdom, first stat point goes to Charisma, the rest in Wisdom. But yeah, there ya go.
I'll tell you what, OP.
Make this character. Play this character. THEN you can come and complain about it being OP. Until you've used a concept like this in practice, and seen how enemies and the DM react to it, you can't really make judgements like that.
It reminds me of people who complain about rogues being underpowered.
I'm just gonna chime in for the Cavaliers, because I actually really love the class.
Cavaliers can do a LOT of cool things that most other pure martials can't. They get a mount, which is... meh. If you take the Beast Rider archetype, that gets you access to some cool mounts that can really clean house without you, which is really what you want.
The big thing, though, is the order abilities. Some of them may seem lackluster at first, but think about it:
A cavalier of the Order of the Lion can grant allies a +Cha to damage and +2x Cha to attack rolls for one round, every combat of every day, and they keep +Cha to attack rolls for several more rounds. If you pump Charisma up (and with this build, you should), you can easily give your allies HUGE bonuses to attack and damage, on top of your Banner.
Order of the Dragon gets you the highest Aid Other action bonus in the game, and if you can find a way to make Gloves of Arcane Striking work for you, you can toss out HUGE buffs constantly. You also have the Strategy ability, one of the best team Full Attack setups ever.
Then, you have Order of the Star cavaliers, which are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. These guys function best with a 2 level dip in paladin or a 1 level dip into Cleric, because they get channeling/lay on hands progression! This, in my opinion, is the BEST way to perform the any-alignment paladin-esque character. You even get other bonuses for having a great Charisma score, aside from the obvious ones of being able to use LoH or Channel more frequently. Sure, it's only at half progression, but the abilities you get that are also charisma-based definitely make up for it. Oh, and Smite Evil/Challenge is the bee's knees.
And let's not forget Order of the Staff, which is a simply BEAUTIFUL combination with a party spellcaster. Lowers enemy DC's? Check. Bonus attacks against enemies affected by a spell? Check. Gaining bonus HP when your allies buff you? Check. That's awesome. Plus, who else can make a Knowledge (Nature) check to identify divine spells???
Oh, and remember all those awesome teamwork feats that no one wants to take but that EVERYONE wants? Guess who just became awesome.
You did, mister Cavalier.
There are two big ways to sneak attack relatively consistently: 1) A rogue with the Scout archetype gains automatic sneak attack damage at 4th level on a charge, and automatic sneak attack damage at 8th level whenever he moves at least 10'. This increases the number of situations in which sneak attack can be applied, which is awesome, and it means that feats like Furious Focus and Power Attack mean you can actually do pretty solid 1-hit damage, and 2) An alchemist with the Beastmorph and Vivisectionist archetypes eventually gives the alchemist the Pounce ability, and alchemists already get a large number of natural attacks if built for it. Vivisectionist gives them sneak attack damage instead of bombs, and of course, the two stack.
One of my favorite characters ever was a Kobold Barbarian. I was playing in an all-monstrous party, and I really wanted to focus on his draconic nature, so I picked up beast totem and elemental rage, with the idea being that his scales would change color depending on the chromatic dragon element he was channeling. He was a lot of fun.
Yeah, seems like a Suli Monk of the Four Winds/Quinggong Monk is the way to go. You get the elemental damage from suli, lots of Elemental fist uses, and quinggong monk gets you access to some cool spells, including Cold Ice Strike, a swift action ice elemental spell, which is just AWESOME if your goal is elemental damage.
I feel like I should mention it: Natural attacks are REALLY nice at low levels, or for using unarmed strikes as a non-monk character, or if you have a lot of them. The main benefit of having lots of unarmed attacks is that they don't receive a scaling miss chance with more attacks, which makes them very, VERY consistent. A character with a bite, two claws, and a tertiary attack can get 4 attacks in the same round, all made at full BAB. Kobolds are actually REALLY good at this, and is one of their few redeeming qualities (and one of my favorite ones). Apologies if someone already mentioned this.
Ranger makes an AWESOME tanky character. If you take the sword/shield fighting style, you even get early access to bashing finish, which gives you free shield bashes on crits for nice bonus damage. The spells are what give it that nature-esque feel, and if you take the Woodland Skirmisher archetype you can even get some druidic spells added to your list without needing to worry about an animal companion (though you're stuck with crap favored enemies, but that's nothing Instant Enemy can't fix).
I would say that the Throwing ability works as normal. Remember, any part of the body is considered being armed for an unarmed strike. You could "throw" body part, just remember that it's connected to the rest of your body.
I have a really funny image in my head of a monk ragdolling through the air to body slam his opponent now.
To be fair, I would TOTALLY allow this as a means of allowing a character to flurry from range, with the caveate that a missed attack has to account for landing in a space adjacent to the foe.
It really depends on what you wanna do. Holy Vindicator has some cool, unique things it can do that make it special. Plus, the ability to enchant your shield with a unique, high-powered, stacking bonus is pretty sick. Combat-wise, it does pretty well while maintaining some cool flavor.
Scion would be good for an entirely spellcasting-focused cleric. I think it has some cool flavor and different aspects to it, but for the most part it's kinda "meh", imo.
Base Cleric is the more well rounded, while Vindicator is more combat oriented, and Scion more spellcasting. It really just depends on what you wanna focus on.
Well, you need medium armor proficiency, which is going to eat up feats. My suggestion for this path would be to take a level or 2 of Ranger for the proficiencies and attack bonuses, plus the extra skills will help you qualify for the class as well. You could actually take Evil Outsider as your favored enemy type to help you with your qualification. If you take 2 levels, you can also get Shield Focus as a bonus feat and pick up a Darkwood or Mithril Buckler ASAP (shield bonus to AC that doesn't take up a hand for casting or hexing).
If you're thinking of STRAIGHT into Hell Knight, I wouldn't recommend it, but to each his own. Your spellcasting doesn't suffer, so you end up as a lightly armored witch without any hexes after you enter the prestige class, which SUCKS. I say, if you're going to go into a gish-prestige class, do it properly and pick up those ranger levels I mentioned. You'll be better armored without wasting feats, have better saves (+2/+3 to Fort AND Ref), and favored enemy Evil Outsiders is NEVER a bad thing.
That's why Scout is the best rogue.
I know you're asking for advice, but you seem to really be attracted to the idea of Arcane Trickster. I say go for it. You don't see enough tricksters around nowadays. Also, don't forget that you can get sneak attack damage on touch attacks, which means that spells like scorching ray can actually contribute a fair bit of damage as well.
That's... sort of correct. The problem with that comes when you extrapolate characters from a party situation which, again, is what the game is designed around. And an on level CR not being difficult is entirely the point, and the basis around which (I believe) the designers of balanced class viability.
This... this is bafflingly aggressive. I'm not quite sure why, seeing as how I popped into the discussion just to add a bit to it. I think you need to look at what combat viable means in the context of the design of this game, and you'll see that what most people think of as "viable" is actually really, REALLY powerful compared to what the game expects of its players. Remember, the CR system is designed so that a party of characters can tackle a CR of roughly equal level to the full party. Being viable in this scenario is EXTREMELY easy. It isn't difficult to optimize a combat-oriented character to SOLO CR equivalent encounters. That doesn't make them the standard, though: it makes them way above standard. If a rogue is doing his best to flank enemies and rack up attack bonuses (by doing things like tripping and making opponents flat-footed, charging as his first action in combat, taking a high strength score, etc.), then he will contribute his fair share to the fight, especially between levels 1-9. He also has lots of skills. Will he be the best at what he does? No. Will he be able to hold is own and fulfill the character concept of a Rogue? Yup. Now, he may fall behind other party members in certain activities on occasions where magic is involved, but the class fulfills the concept it presents.
Also, I added the Extra Credits video as a way to add to the discussion, not end it. Again... I don't really understand the aggressiveness. >_>
I think it's funny that people say that rogue isn't a combat oriented class, but per the game rules, almost ANYONE can be a decent combatant. Remember, the point is not to be amazing; it's to be viable, and combat viability is an absurdly easy goal. It only requires one thing: Power Attack. If you take Power Attack, you can be combat viable: Period.
Now, can you make builds that are ideal combatants? Absolutely. Can you make builds that are ideal non-combatants? Sure. I think, however, most of us have forgotten something fundamental to play: creating a concept. If I want to play a non-magically oriented scoundrel, what's the best class for me to play? Ranger could work, but it has a lot of naturally-oriented abilities and favored enemy stuff which doesn't make sense with every concept... and that's really about it. The rogue does what it's supposed to do: be a non-magical skill-focused guy that helps out the group in interesting ways that don't have limits beyond basic necessities and his own natural skill.
Also, I'll leave this extra credits video here to add to the balance conversation. Perfect Imbalance
So why are you paying for expansions if you already payed for them? How much does server maintenance cost? What's the cost of a debugging/balance team?
I can tell you this: It isn't $15 per month per account. Plus a cash shop.
Don't get me wrong, ESO looks kind of fun... ish. I'm not a fan of the style and mechanical changes from the ES series, but w/e. But charging a sub fee in this day and age is just insulting, and putting in a cash shop anyways is icing on the cake.
You do know that ESO has a hybrid model, right?