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I only counted 4, since Combat Style + Combat Trick are the only ones that aren't locked into a specific Feat.
I also count Weapon Focus (since all Fighters basically have to have it anyway), and maybe Weapon Finesse (since it's something you want on all finesse builds). Hence, 5-6.
Gun Training is really niche, so I probably wouldn't count it.
Well, per James Jacobs the Evil is at least in large part cultural, and IMO should not inherently prevent a Black Dragon from becoming Good...at least in theory.
The basic character definitely still works, though. Not everyone raised by a Good person is Good.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
True, though I would say that the martial/caster disparity is the single biggest balance issue currently in the game, if only because a lot of the game's other issues ultimately rest there.
That's probably fair, in general.
Though I do feel like the 6-level casters aren't generally too badly overpowered compared to the good martial classes like Barbarian, Slayer, or spell-less Paladin (well, barring Summoner...which is a 9 level caster that just won't admit what it is). It's the 9 level casters that really tend make with the absurdity.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
The rogue certainly wouldn't look as pathetic if there weren't so many ways to out-rogue the rogue using spells.
Yes it would. Or close enough to make no difference. You can tell by how pathetic it looks compared to Slayer.
Chengar Qordath wrote:
That comment was specifically about caster/martial disparity, not imbalance in general. The two are somewhat different (though definitely related).
Also, I suspect it was not intended entirely seriously (though it certainly does reflect one of James Jacobs' views with which I personally disagree).
the bruising intellect trait lets you intimidate off of int, if memory serves.
Indeed, but then they can't take Student of Philosophy and thus can't use Bluff or most stuff involving Diplomacy with Int.
Yep. Investigators are similarly blessed with the ability to enhance everything for free via Inspiration and a couple of Talents.
The Fighter gets 11 Bonus Feats vs a Slayer's 4, but that's the only real benefit.
Slayers get 5, maybe 6 actually...and they get them over the first 10-12 levels, so in a game capping at 15, the Fighter gets 8 to the Slayer's 5-6.
And Archer Fighter has some unique capabilities. I'd still argue Slayer is better, but it has areas it's superior at.
i trying to make a reay cool archer thats deals good damage and be able to do cool things in not just shooting endless streams of arrows im trying to make him have a high cool factor like hawkeye or deadshot but not suffer in damage is that possible?
If that's your primary goal, Fighter (Archer) probably is the way to go...though your out-of-combat capabilities are gonna kinda suck.
Dipping Slayer for skills might be worth it, but Studied Target almost certainly isn't.
Yeah...Slayer is, in many ways, Fighter Plus. I don't see a lot of point unless there's saome very specific Fighter Class Feature you simply must have.
An Alchemist dip is a lot more viable, though dipping in general is usually not the best move possible in Pathfinder...it can be a lot of fun, though.
i took slayer mostly for studied target i plan to take two lvls of slayer and rest fighter
Why not continue going Slayer for the rest? It's better in almost every way.
I need help finding a CR 3 monster to refluff, or make a homebrew CR3 monster; the shriek from Dragon Age Origins
That's exactly how it's written, though. It affects spells, spell-like abilities, using magic items, etc. It's meant to have far-reaching affects.
Right. But not very severe ones, as the low concentration check DC indicates. Again, the primary use is making all other Concentration checks notably harder.
Depends on what you mean by 'Chosen One'.
A Chosen One who is notably more powerful or effective than the other PCs is generally a bad idea, as is one who treats the other PCs badly or as somehow lesser (rather than just acting like they're the one in charge, which can be okay).
On the other hand the whole 'lost heir' thing, or some other arrangement where one PC is of higher status than the others and in charge of them, can work great if arranged properly.
I've actually played that character successfully [he was a Drow Bard nobleman, (not using the Drow Noble race, for the record) in an Evil game where the other players were his fiancee (a Tiefling) and their retinue]. It was actually quite a lot of fun, and just about everyone thought so...to the point where people still remember that game fondly to this day several years later. We wound up with an empire. :-)
Having done this, I feel like there are several things that really help make this kind of thing workable:
1. Don't try this with a new group who are unfamiliar with each other. This is not casual to pull off, you need a group used to working together to manage it.
2. Does your group have a player who's usually the leader? Make them the 'chosen one'. If everyone's already used to them being in charge to some degree, they won't be nearly as upset by the idea.
3. As the player of the 'Chosen One'...be a good boss. Make sure the other characters are receiving the things they desire, don't let NPCs talk down to them, generally support and be friendly with them.
4. Again, as the 'Chosen One', play a support character. This one's tricky, and perhaps not 100% necessary, but very useful. Play a character who's not the star of the show mechanically. Someone who heals and supports the other PCs rather than being an offensive spell-caster or primary damage dealer. You should probably be the party face, but you shouldn't generally take the spotlight aside from that. Bard and Oracle of Life leap immediately to mind as good classes to facilitate this.
5. Speaking of being the star of the show...the GM should, as always, make a real effort to divide the spotlight time equally between the players. This can be done, even with one being the 'lead character'...though that does make it a bit harder. Arrange specific subplots for the other players, tailor encounters to favor their abilities a bit more, all that kind of thing.
6. As others note, have a replacement ready in case of the death of the current person. Nobody's actually immortal in Pathfinder without a whole bunch of Mythic Tiers.
Milo v3 wrote:
Why do Occultists get binding circles? They are the combat psychic class, I cannot figure out why it's an occultist class feature aside from the fact that d20 Modern's occultist (which seems like it was a giant influence on the class) had the ability to bind creatures.
Because John Constantine, Harry Dresden, and the other thematic antecedents of the Class make extensive use of such circles. It's designed to reflect a very particular fictional archetype, as well as for mechanical viability.
And I thought Medium and Kineticist were the psychic combat classes.
You can literally have it be 'Pick any one skill, get a +1 trait bonus to it and it is considered a Class skill.' and it will still be balanced.
So...don't feel limited to 6 skills. Just let people take what they like as long as it's appropriate.
My own list would be Bluff, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Local, Planes, or Religion), Perception, Sense Motive, Stealth, or Survival.
Depends. If you know where they are, sure, Scrying probably works. If it's someplace you've never seen before and you don't even know what country they're in, I'd be inclined to disagree. Teleport says you need "...some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination."
Scrying provides the second (layout), but not necessarily the first (location).
And then of course there's Teleport Trap, which isn't gonna be universal, but should be a serious risk on a main villain's safehose by the time PCs are casting 5th level spells.
What spells are you worried about? Few are actually that hard for a clever murderer to circumvent or avoid. I mean, a ring of Mind Shielding takes things like Discern Lies off the table. What else are you worried about?
Speak with Dead? They wore a mask, so the corpse knows nothing except that someone in a mask killed them.
Scrying? Requires you to know who you're looking for, and teleporting to them after scrying is iffy rules-wise, since you don't necessarily know where they are.
Contact Other Plane? Unreliable and fallible information source.
Legend Lore? Needs 2d6 weeks and gives incomplete information unless you already know quite a bit.
Commune? This is probably the biggest worry, but it remains extremely limited in this sort of situation.
Basically, all of these are very good for figuring out who didn't do it, but unless you've already got a really good suspect (and happen to be correct), they don't tell you who did do it.
All your mastermind needs to do is be careful.
So, my own summary of the Martial Classes is here:
Fighter: As others have noted, Fighter can be used to build any concept you like...as long as that concept involves hyper focus on a particular weapon, no out-of-combat skills, and terrible Saves. There are several Archetypes that make one or both of the first two problems a bit better, but none that help the third, and all tend to be pretty specific.
Paladin: Awesome defenses. Really, probably the best in the game with high AC, self-healing, and ridiculous saves. Solid offense that ups to absurd when Smiting. Good skill list despite the crappy number of skill points.
Ranger: A bit weak offensively sans Favored Enemy but the second best of these Classes in terms of out-of-combat utility, and better offenses than a Fighter when their Favored Enemy does apply...which is potentially a whole lot of the time at 10th level plus due to Instant Enemy. So...at that point they become better in bursts but worse the rest of the time, much lie a Paladin in some ways. Defensively, actually pretty decent with fairly good Saves and decent, if not stellar, AC.
Barbarian: Ridiculous offense. No, seriously, ridiculous. Very solid defenses via Invulnerable Rager and Superstition, too, and potentially a lot of in-combat utility via Rage Powers if you set it up right. Adequate out of combat utility, but no more.
Monk: Good saves, mediocre AC at best, mediocre out-of combat utility. Offense, by default, is pretty bad...but with the right Archetypes and Feats you can ramp it up to the level of the more respected martial classes, or even beyond, and Qinggong can really help with AC and utility (especially in-combat utility).
Cavalier: Very good burst damage via Challenge and their Animal Companion. Mediocre out-of-combat stuff with skills, decent combat buffs via Teamwork Feats. Pretty solid AC but bad Saves (though not truly abysmal). Certain Orders can help a lot with some of these issues, though.
Gunslinger: Very good offense in its own way, probably on par with the Barbarian (better if really abusing the system, but don't do that). Decent defenses, though nothing compared to something like Paladin or Barbarian. Decent skill points but nothing special outside of combat.
Bloodrager: Much like Barbarian in many ways. Better utility via Bloodlines, and especially spells, but weaker defenses than a Superstition/Invulnerable Rager build (though Destined Bloodline does get some pretty good defenses in its own right).
Brawler: Solid offense if built properly, decent defenses, mediocre out-of-combat utility, and by far the most in-combat utility of any non-caster in the game. Sapping in combat feats at will is amazing, and provides for a lot of really cool combinations and advantages.
Slayer: Consistent, excellent, offense via Studied Target plus burst-y damage with Sneak Attack, plus being the best skill character on this list. Decent Saves, too. The only real weakness is AC, and with decent Dex even that's not a problem. Gets almost as many Feats as a Fighter over the first 10-12 levels, too.
Swashbuckler: Swashbuckler is a very solid damage dealer with good defenses, especially against melee attacks, and mediocre out-of-combat and in-combat utility. All hamstrung by some really terrible saves inadequately patched with Charmed Life.
The cavalier is a less holier version of the paladin; his challenge is useful but gains him no bonus to hit (the only martial to lack one completely, save the monk). He has some more useful skills as being officially a member of the nobility, and an animal companion from first level is not to be sneezed at. He effectively gets one combat style, and while he's good at it, it's not really a universally useful one.
Eh, he can do other combat styles if he likes. And several Orders provide bonuses to hit on a Challenge. Heck, Order of the dragon provides it to the whole party.
The brawler...well, what can I say? You can already build an unarmed fighter archetype that can out-fight a monk, so the only point of this class seems to be to say to monk-players: "hey, here's a real dedicated unarmed fighting class - just to rub your nose in the fact you suck."
They are coming out with a new version of the Monk soon...Brawler's also got a very different them from Monk that many people were demanding.
The slayer is...well...look you could already do this with rangers and rogues. I just don't get why this class was even invented. I'm not saying it's bad, it just seems hyper-specialised in a way that doesn't seem to be demanded.
Uh...what? People's demand for a good spell-less Ranger and/or a Rogue that's actually good at combat have been ongoing for a really long time. Slayer does both.
Also, Slayer is usable to build literally any mundane character concept that doesn't involve Heavy Armor or an Animal Companion. It's a fix to Fighter and Rogue in one sublime package...and that makes a lot of people pretty happy.
My brief summary of all the martial classes coming up next.
Technically, one of your 6 or 8 level Talents should be Combat Trick, not Ranger Combat Style...not that it matters, since you have Point Blank Shot, but the listing is technically wrong.
Also, looking at it, Poison Use probably isn't gonna be that useful, though thematic, I'd grab Evasion instead (since that seems similarly in-theme and better mechanically).
Other than that, looks good.
How many people do you know of, even at the turn of the 20th century that lived until 70?
My grandpa died something like 10-15 years ago in his late 90s. Since you ask. My grandma on the same side was also in her 90s when she died a few years after that. My mother's family admittedly died somewhat younger, but living that long isn't impossible or even absurdly rare, just a bit unusual. I can think of a few more if given time...
My father was the first male in our family to make it to 70 and died very shortly after his 70th B-day. While some of those males died in ww2 and vietnam, the vast majority kicked the bucket right around 55, for various diseases/health conditions… which wasn't all that uncommon for men born in the earlier 1900s.
Not uncommon, no. But not universal either. You'll note that I listed 70 as the high end. In fact, my specific statement was '50-70' for average age of death among those who reach adulthood in the first place...which includes the 'right around 55' number you cite.
But you were saying that 'most people' died a decade or more before the age of 50...so at 35-40. Not 55. And that is possibly technically true due to infant mortality, but certainly not true of people who made it through the childhood illnesses.
VERY few people made it even close to 70 back then…. although it's semi common now a days… you'd actually be pretty surprised how many people don't make it to 70, even now. Even though child mortality was common back then, birth rates were higher than they are now, by quite a bit, so your concept of the "averages" isn't nearly as skewed as you are imagining they are.
Yes it is. It doesn't matter what the birth rate was. It's purely about the number of people who died at what age. That's how statistics work (for mean and median death averages anyway, and possibly mode, too, depending on how you're measuring and the precise numbers we're talking about).
Now, I'm not saying 70 was actually the standard for how long people lived back then, but it was probably closer to that than it was to 40.
People with lots of time on their hands, and degrees on the subject spent a lot of time studying this topic, and teach it in universities, which is where I learned it (went to school for anthropology/sociology) so Im pretty sure their take on things was pretty well researched before they bother to teach it.
Funny, that's the kind of place where I learned what I'm saying, too. Plus, y'know, research methods and statistics classes.
statistically (and this is kind of ironic) violent deaths (which include things like car accidents) are more common now, than they were in those days. We think of those times as sword swinging and wars, but it was more about suffering/enduring than swashbuckling.
Like I said, I don't actually disagree with your main point, just your specific numbers on what age people died at.
This is all valid, and I agree with it regarding reading large numbers of specific monster entries. But the original question was mostly about the Monster Creation section which is just some generic 'expect this by this level' stuff and not in the same category at all.
Looking at that or a few individual monster entries also doesn't seem like a huge deal. Especially the common ones.
Cap. Darling wrote:
Technically, yes (it's a Racial Trait like Skilled, not a Trait in the usual sense). But there's a Trait called Tusked that is a Trait in the usual sense and does exactly the same thing.
My bad, I meant Human Kensai, not Human or Kensai. Kensai get Weapon Focus free, which combined with Human makes it work.
Secret Wizard wrote:
I don't think you'll ever pull a successful Assassinate. If it were based on DEX or STR, maybe, but based on INT against Fortitude saves? You trippin.
The 25 point-buy version seems likely to get Int 22 with item eventually (and Int 18 even when he gets it). That's not too shabby. Especially targeting the physically frail, like Wizards.
No. I'm not. Buffs like shield and minutes/level buffs are almost never available to me as such you have AC 16 not 20. This means you have barbarian AC without barbarian HP.
Well...as mentioned, getting Armor Proficiency solves that problem rather neatly.
You talk about enlarge/bull str/other buffs that are min/level. All of those buffs aren't really available in most fights.
They aren't? Why not? You're an Investigator, max your Stealth, grab some Invisibility if necessary and scout. Then it's available.
This obviously works less well in heavier armor, but then, heavier armor makes it less necessary.
With 18 str, power attack, a +1 weapon and mutagen (Which is 10/level so it's fine) you're at 1d8+13 or +14 with a belt at 5th this goes up by 2 with studied strike. I tried to make it dex based for defensive abilities but it didn't work well.
Yep, that's what I was basing my calculations on (well, sans Belt).
Again this doesn't solve the major issue of "I'm squishy squish mc squishy" but a long spear does appear to solve the problem of damage which I didn't think of since I was thinking dex based. Combat reflexes might help defensive abilities though since you can trip.
Combat Reflexes is definitely a possibility, but like I said, you can also wear Full Plate if you like. In which case you're likely getting better AC than most Fighters due to Mutagen.
While I agree it's also a glass cannon unless you go dexterity which has less burst and requires level 3 to actually start working. I am worried about the squishy part of the magus not it's exemplary damage.
Eh, 15-16 AC at 1st isn't so bad. Especially since you can use Spell Combat to cast Shield (or later Mirror Image) and attack in the same turn. It's not the biggest attack ever, but it you went Str, it's likely decent, damage-wise.
Oh, and Human or Kensai Dex Magi are now online as damage dealers at level 1 due to Fencing Grace.
I'd definitely advise grabbing more save-or-suck spells. Your combat's mediocre due to your stats, but your Save DCs are pretty high due to 18 Cha, and can be raised higher with Spell Focus if you like (probably in Enchantment).
I'd particularly recommend Glitterdust. It's a hilariously awesome and useful spell at this level, and will potentially win whole encounters.
I think this is why I've never build a magus or investigator. It takes weird measures like this to make them useful and they still can't do as well as others =\. Admittedly he's great out of combat but the problem is that I play with people on both ends of the optimization spectrum (from Archer barbarians to a power attacking 2 hander is maximum optimization) and with the lower end group this isn't really capable of surviving if it's a hard adventure.
Uh...you're kidding, right?
Magus is probably the best burst-damage character in the game, and Investigator is vicious from level 3-5 onward. Both have absurd offense if built with any skill at all, and high AC when they want it from the Shield spell, with high enough AC even sans spells at higher levels. They're slightly fragile at low levels...but make up for it in other ways...and in the Investigator's case that can be helped a lot with Feats if you so desire.
Let's take a look at, say, a Human Str-build Investigator with a Longspear. We'll assume 20 point-buy.
Str 17 (+2 Human) Dex 14 Con 12 Int 16 Wis 10 Cha 7
Feat: Whatever you like. And you've got 2 of them.
At 1st level, you attack for +3 for 1d8+4 damage, which is admittedly mediocre...but you can make that 2d6+6 with Enlarge Person. Your AC is 16, which is respectable, or 20 with Shield (which is very good), or 18 with Shield and Enlarge Person (which is a once per day thing, but nice while it lasts).
That's pretty decent, if not spectacular.
However, Investigator ramps up really quick, so let's look at level 5. You take Power Attack as your Feat at 3 (and whatever you like at 5), add to Str with level, and grab Mutagen and Quick Study as Talents. We'll assume a Masterwork weapon and +1 armor.
Your attack is now, with Mutagen, a +11 for 1d8+14 damage. Enlarge Person makes that 2d6+15 damage if you like. Bull's Strength would make it +13 for 1d8+17. Your AC has gone up less to a mere 19, 23 with Shield, but there are other possible enhancements and that's very respectable. And those offense numbers go up quite a bit at level 6, actually (+1 to hit and +4 damage total).
In both cases, you can also use Inspiration to succeed at a few rolls a day you'd otherwise fail.
Just for comparison, a level 5 Barbarian with Str 18 and Dex 14 (when not raging), Power Attack, and a Masterwork Greatsword, at level 5 is gonna have +10 to hit for 2d6+15 damage, and have an AC of 19, 17 while raging. He'll have a lot more HP and a better Fort Save than the Investigator, and will get an AC boost at 6th from Beast Totem (a whole +2 while raging), but still...that's not a large difference in the Barb's favor, and the Investigator's a caster who wins at skills to boot.
Going with Medium or Heavy Armor ups those Investigator AC numbers by a bit (+2 to +4), and lets you start with Str 18 and Dex 12 in the case of Heavy Armor, but it's hardly necessary.
Magus is much less my favorite Class, so I don't have those numbers quite as memorized...but their burst damage is very good indeed starting at level 3 or so, and before that, they're basically a Wizard who can hit people with a sword when they aren't using Color Spray.
The Stygian archetype loses the 4th and tength level talents, and the multiples were from the human favored class bonus that I took up to 18 as specified at the top of the build.
Ah, gotcha. That makes sense.
I didn't catch the rule of combat style feats.
Slayer Class wrote:
Ranger Combat Style (Ex): The slayer selects a ranger combat style (such as archery or two-weapon combat) and gains a combat feat from the first feat list of that style. He can choose feats from his selected combat style, even if he does not have the normal prerequisites. At 6th level, he may select this talent again and add the 6th-level ranger combat feats from his chosen style to the list. At 10th level, he may select this talent again and add the 10th-level ranger combat feats from his chosen style to the list.
It explicitly limits you to taking it once, then once more at 6th, then once more at 10th. The levels probably don't need to be precise, but you sure can't do more than the three.
I'll check on it and of it's true, use Gene's advice about the armor proficiency to buy PBS the good old fashioned way :) good catch on power attack. I'll have to alter that slightly if that's how he chooses to run it. Though I doubt it will be.
Those sound like solid calls. :)
Still not metagaming, though.
Also, it's pretty much a terrible idea. Those numbers are averages, with many creatures having higher in some for lower in others, so calibrating your character to be 'optimal' specifically against the average is unwise, as that will, frankly, only rarely come up.
So cheese? Nah, not really.
I would say that armor and shields should stay, partially due to the preexisting balance issues. Casters have to abandon their hands slot if they want AC enhancement. Similarly, 2 handers do not usually enjoy shield enhancement.
My system actually handles this pretty well, IMO. You only gain the Enhancement bonuses to armor or shields if you have and are using armor or a shield. Well, except for Monks, because they need a bit of a boost.
EDIT- another issue with removing the enhancements from weapons and armor- sundering. They are more resistant to sundering due to that mechanic. And if the enhancement is no longer in the weapon itself...then the only loot they provide is a ton of masterwork stuff. That means the typical argument against sunder- you lose the big shiny flaming loot, is gone. So your players would be extremely encouraged to use sunder constantly after low levels.
And again, my system involves magic weapons. They just don't have enhancement bonuses, only special weapon properties like Flaming or Courageous.
That does make them easier to sunder (though you could just grab adamantine and make that harder again), but still costs you a cool item if you do it too much.
You can't take Ranger Combat Style more than three times total. You can take Combat Trick and get one of them that way, but that'd necessitate using a normal Feat to pick up Point Blank Shot so as to meet the prerequisites.
Also...you have no Talents listed at levels 4 or 10, but two listed at 6th, 12th, and 18th. This leaves you one Talent over your limit (one of the ones at 18th level).
Your 15 point buy build also lacks Str 13 for Power Attack.
I don't normally see people do a "total skillmonkey", because it's a really suboptimal build. The most-used skills are spread across Dex (Disable Device, Stealth), Int (Knowledges, Spellcraft) and Cha (Diplomacy, UMD, Bluff/Intimidate). Trying to be good at all of them will make you pretty MAD.
Investigators can make most of those Int based with Empiricist and Student of Philosophy (everything but Stealth and Intimidate), Inquisitors can make many of them at least partially Wis based with conversion Inquisition and Monster Lore, and Bards can make many of them Cha based (or get arbitrarily high bonuses to them, or both).
This is, in large part, why these classes make good skill monkeys. Investigators and Bards better than Inquisitors because they get other bonuses on top of that. All three can also be very good combatants or spell casters on top of that, actually.
I came up with a version of this a long while back.
These days I'd probably replace the 'Trick' levels with a +2 Enhancement Bonus to one stat at 5th, two more at 9th (stacking with the 5th level bonus), three more at 13th (also stacking), and four more at 17th (again, with stacking), though I'd cap the bonus to any individual stat at +6. Call it 'Prowess' or 'Aptitude' or something else like that.
But yeah, this seems like a workable thing.
I actually agree with the rest of your post for the most part, but I'd like to note that this bit is actually based on a profound misconception regarding medieval mortality rates. When statistics state the average lifespan as 35, that doesn't mean people actually usually died around that age. It includes infant mortality, which was often as high as 30-50%. So...if one third or half of people die before the age of 5, that makes an 'average lifespan' of 35 years more like 50-70.
That's still less than it is now, even including things like diabetes, so the point stands, but the actual numbers are quite wrong and misleading.
Bastion Girl wrote:
You misunderstand. For the Sorcerer class, they take the Draconic Bloodline. They then spend the Feat to get Eldritch Heritage, which allows them to get Bloodline Powers from another Bloodline, in this case Arcane.
So...yeah, that works.
That does help but it still leaves the issue of "My AC is a joke" which str based magus/investigator would both have =\. Which is unfortunate since both of those fit the bill.
There's an easy way around that for Investigators. Just grab Medium Armor Proficiency. There's not a lot of competition for level 1 Feats (there is thereafter, but not at level 1), after all. Heck, as a Human you could start with Heavy Armor Proficiency. It's not like they have spell failure chances.
Then you grab Power Attack at level 3 and probably Extra Investigator Talent thereafter (because it's great). This build probably isn't quite optimal in the long term, but it's solid, and an excellent skill-monkey on non-physical skills.
Additionally, Shield really helps with AC issues, though admittedly not really reliably. Mutagen also helps a bit, as do various other Extracts as you level.
I'd also like to note that due to Inspired Weapons, you very much want to use a starting investigator weapon. Longspear is solid enough for a Str build.
^Whoa, that's a pretty good scaling Combat Feat -- almost like having a chain of 5 Weapon Specialization feats for the price of 1, but you don't have to stay in Fighter to get the full benefit, just in full BAB, and it works with all of your weapons (and presumably Unarmed Strike as well, so Monk would be not bad despite being 3/4 BAB).
As others note, there is the size limitation. Plus the necessity of being a Halfling. Still, it's very much one of the reasons Halfling melee characters are viable.
And Monks count as full BAB for stuff like this while flurrying.
Well, let's see, assuming a +2 bow and a +2 Belt of Dex, plus Bracers of the Falcon...yeah, that's a +4 right there from gear. Gear matters.
As for what you can do, sans items, as others note Heroism, Greater Magic Weapon, and Cat's Grace add +6 to hit right there. And Haste makes it +7, for a +17/+17/+17/+17/+12 routine. Which isn't too shabby.
This is particularly true given that it's successor Feat Pummeling charge has the prerequisites of:
Improved Unarmed Strike, Pummeling Style; base attack bonus +12, brawler level 8th, or monk level 8th.
Which make vastly more sense if you read the last three as 'you need any one of the following', at least to most.