Want to make a woodsman who swings a battle axe in two hands. He needs to be woodsy and a survivalist, and needs to have enough skill points to make that happen. I see him as a bit superstitious, always wearing/carrying a charm wrapped around his hand. I could also see him going into a rage type focus/frenzy on occasion.
1.) Ranger/Barbarian... Mostly Ranger, dash of Barbarian.
Any ideas, suggestions, or guidance on this would be nice...
MC Templar wrote:
I think that is a fair way to sum it up. I have an easy time with chaotic or neutral clerics, but for lawful ones... it is more difficult in my mind to find a less tradition role/occupation.
I suppose that is why Clerics have some leniency with alignment... to help allow for different roles in their service.
But my point is that they also probably have them function in a church hierarchy in a more religious capacity. Like a priest.
I'll give you traits, but not everyone has access to archetypes. Im pretty lax about it, but I know GM's who require you have the book if you want to play something out of it. I personally only own core as a hard copy.
Regardless, my point still stands that no matter your day job, you have magic powers from somewhere, and you are actively praying for them.
MC Templar suggested to flavor it as a gods "favor"... which is fine, but I imagine many gods would still want you in some sort of church hierarchy. I bet Abadar and Asmodeus would be into that.
to be a pickpocket, having Sleight of Hand as a class skill might help. Hunting or scouting kind of requires Stealth and Perception. Those aren't Cleric class skills.
So... there's support.
in any case, my point is that no matter the occupation, (soldier, hunter, barrister, doctor, etc) at the end of the day SOMETHING is granting these people divine power, and they must realize it to cast spells, and to pray for said spells.
They are actively worshiping some kind of power, and probably telling people they know about it, or people are noticing.
they are pulling off some pretty miraculous stuff that i am pretty sure is outside the scope of being a mere lawyer or hunter.
but if their power comes from the gods... why do the gods grant such power if the character never uses it to further the gods goal?
IN the above example, why would Desna grant powers to a character if all that person does is scout for an army? IF the cleric doesn't act like a cleric or give credit to the god (where admittedly, credit is due) what is the point?
on the other hand...
Clerics make for poor pickpockets and burglars, so what of thief gods? Their clerics venerate them, but are unable to imitate.
I imagine Erastil's Clerics make poor hunters too.
It seems like Clerics get pretty well shoehorned into being priests, no matter their occupation.
I hear often "don't let the name of the class define what your character is".
I hear this often in reference to how a Ranger, Bard, or Alchemist makes a better rogue than a rogue.
One of my players is trying to use this logic on a Cleric, and I am finding myself unable to help him.
What can describe a Cleric beyond priest, sacred servant, holy warrior? Sure, you can worship an ideal, but many Gm's recoil and such cherrypicking of domains.
How can a Cleric of Gorum be anything but a Cleric of Gorum? I can see mercenary.. of Gorum.
the problem with kensai (magus in general)is that you lose all important caster levels. even Superior Reflexes can't be had until level 11, which you probably won't get until level 20, if you are actually interested in playing a Shadowdancer.
Eight levels of Cleric has the same issue... Its a massive investment for little gain, at the expense of more powerful options.
A ranger, rogue, fighter, even paladin can get something pertinent out of shadowdancer. They lose damage for increased stealth and some unique tricks.
Casters lose damage and spells, which are far better and more versatile than the "unique tricks" a Shadowdancer gets. Ergo, There is no real point for any caster to have more than a level or two of Shadowdancer... and even that is questionable advice.
I agree the greatsword should not be undervalued, I merely feel it is being overvalued.
I think you might want to make it clear (concerning the ECB) that Finesse builds are generally inferior, especially when you are making a single attack a round.
To be clear, I also am not advocating a defender/AoO build. It is merely another way to make up for the damage you lose by generally giving up your secondary attack, and it further discourages enemies from trying to corner you or chase you.
Good guide, I agree with most things, I especially like the Ranger/Shadowdancer take, its something i have been enjoying for years.
I am not sure why you think that the greatsword is the best martial weapon.
No-Dachi is superior after considering crit ranges, and especially once you enter crit feats into the equation.
For half elf, you suggest picking up Elven Curve Blade... I say Fuachard. same damage and crit, plus reach and trip.
which brings me to my next point...
Why are polearms not blue?
Combat Reflexes is a required feat, polearms make the most of it. It could be of course argued that enemies should not often get close enough to use it... but reach helps with that.
Between a casting of Longstrider, a weapon with reach, few enemies should ever be able to reach you for even a standard action attack. Add in Lunge, a Barbarian or travel Cleric dip, and your base speed should be 50 ft, with 15ft reach.
Basically nothing should be able to make a retaliatory strike. IF they should, combat reflexes and a polearm should discourage them a bit.
I just don't see what a greatsword gives you thats better.
You also pretty much need the Fast Stealth as a Rogue Talent ASAP, it helps with your stealth massively. Pretty much required for the HiPS, Spring Attack shenanigans to work.
For Critical feats, also look at Staggering Critical. Its a great way to ensure a pissed off enemy doesn't come charging after you.
I always take:
Surprise Attack (always get sneak attack in surprise round)
For Rogues... I pretty much ALWAYS multiclass. Either into a more martial class (ranger, fighter, etc) or into a spellcasting class. Never fail UMD checks for nearly half of all spells...
Wizard: Great spells, versatile, familiar can be great (shore up FORT or WILL even more, or add to initiative, whatever). Arcane Bond can be okay too, no one ever hates on an extra spell/day. Arcane Spell Failure sucks when you REALLY need what few spells you have.
Cleric: Lots of support spells, Med. Armor, Domain powers can be pretty damn sweet, more so for a rogue even. Definitely potential for a bit of a combat boost. Not as versatile as a wizard when it comes to spells, wands, and scrolls, but med. armor, boost to WILL, and domain power makes it a wash in my opinion.
Either way, i recommend Weapon Focus to make up for loss of BAB, get flat + bonuses to your weapon, and spend most of your money on scrolls and wands. I would still snag Iron Will. remember, certain Domains get access to otherwise non divine spells, so take a good look at the spells, not just the powers.
I have never really dipped Oracle or Witch, but I imagine its similar.
I HIGHLY recommend you dip a spellcasting class at some point, IMHO. Especially as a rogue...
I think of a hook; some plot device to draw them in.
After that, I think of how the rest of the world fits around that/them. Most recently, I am running a campaign that centers around the party's reaction to a large nations army which is heavily supported by magic... thus making it superior to most other local armies.
After that, i created a world around this juggernaut of an empire that is coming to a local town.
I used many names and places from the Golarion world (amongst others) but changed many of the political dynamics and interactions. This saves me MUCH work. The basic motivations etc. of each nation/kingdom is largely the same, but of course altered to fit my world.
I don't need as many nations and places, so I cut out what i don't need.
I require a backstory from my players, and I either help fit their background story into my story, or alter my world to fit them. Sometimes i create whole new nations or angles of intrigue just to fit them in.
Develop her with interaction with the PC, and non important interaction with the NPC's. What class is she?
It helps if the class is capable of supporting the other PC's in some way, either healing or buffing, or... just some gap in the PC groups abilities.
I just add a few mooks to "kill" (since rolling for a GMPC slows things down) while the rest of the PC's do the real stuff. IF they need my help, the GMPC will roll in to prevent a TPK, since i prefer a story based campaign. Its not a guarantee of survival, but it might help them.
Also, you can't two-hand your scimitar while Dervish Dancing. Just a note.
No, but you don't have to. Nothing in power attack or the ranger combat style says you must actually use the scimitar two handed to use power attack with it.
It's just a neat trick to get power attack with a scimitar while still using DEX and dumping STR.
Yeah... Not two weapon fighting, but two handed style. Can't use two weapon fighting with Dervish Dance anyway... Not without what most would consider minor cheese or rule bending/favourable interpretations.
Other builds will get you a bit more damage, maybe an extra trick in combat or two... But I think this is the most well rounded build: skill points, spell trigger/completion items, all while still maintaining great combat performance.
To avoid confusion, I am advocating a two handed (power attack) style Freebooter ranger with dervish dance and a scimitar, going into duelist ASAP.
my favorite for Duelist is...
Ranger (freebooter) with the two handed combat style.
This gets you Power Attack without meeting prerequisites, like that pesky STR 13 for a DEX build. Get Finesse (required for Duelist) and Dervish Dance. This allows for DEX to damage with a scimitar instead of STR (leave at 10 or 12).
You dont depend on items, everything runs off of DEX, you can use Ranger wands and scrolls, Freebooter archetype at level 6 allows a +2 to hit and damage as a move action, until the enemy is dead or you designate a new one... Very thematic for a duelist. If you dont like spells, pick up the Skirmisher archetype as well.
I like to reflavor the scimitar as a saber (western flavor) or a dao (chinese curved broadsword, eastern flavor).
I would be human for the extra feat... Gotta wait til level 3 for Dervish Dance, but you got to get those prereqs out of the way anyhow.
Im sure you could get a bit more damage out of a fighter, but not much more by the time you hit Duelist, and that would be largely dependent on items (gloves of Dueling, mainly).
I have starting thinking about a cleric of nethys... Apparently he asks nothing of his followers except to use magic to further your goals... I'm wondering if destruction and protection might be good domains, considering the characters end goal is to carve out a kingdom for himself, to protect it, and expand it.
Abadar isn't a bad idea, but it seems too... Ordered.
My party is in sore need if some divine magic. At this point we are somewhat of a mercenary group, though our GM is slowly roping us in to greater things.
Anyway, I'm looking to make a neutral cleric. Problem is I don't know what god or archetype to take. GM seems pretty firm on clerics needing a god.
Any help on what god (and therefore domains) would be good, as well as any good archetypes if necessary.
Thanks in advance!
Yeah, i have access to faiths of purity... I was actually more excited about the "extra" spells in gods and magic... they specify certain spells that clerics and paladins of a given god can cast (Erastil, if I recall, allowed animal messenger and goodberry, for example). And whatever that touch attack shocking arrow spell under Erastils entry is, thats pretty nifty as well.
I was thinking of a sort of rustic protector, a local sheriff drawn into bigger problems. You know, he hunted the occasional threatening monster or brigand, maybe rare local murderer. Nothing big.
The only reason I am going with Erastil is that rustic, small community feel, and the archery bit that goes with it.
IF there was another god that fit the bill as well, but maybe promoted travel more.
EDIT: I like a lot of the ideas posted above, I'm going to have a good think about this, thanks everyone!
I am aware Paladins need not be preachy, i refuse to play them unless i have come up with a very convincing, thorough, and unique story that MUST include a lack of preachiness. I have seen too many poorly played paladins, I won't fall into that trap.
I don't like Divine Hunter. So... I was planning on core Paladin.
I am going to end up being a healer I think, I was planning on Extra Lay on Hands. Helps me or them, as the situation demands.
As for Forbidden Knowledge, I do love that feat. However, do you not need access to a domain?
EDIT: Unsanctioned Knowledge, right? right, just Paladin spells, Im not sure where i got the idea you needed a Domain...
Hm... Not bad. I was leaning towards a proactive "protection" that brings the fight away from home.
We have an ongoing joke in my group about family/villages being killed/pillaged/burned. We had a guy whose backstory was always this, and then seeking revenge or being mentored/taken in and be trained. No matter his class, or whether taken in by a thieves guild or church, it was the same, and the character hated x creature/organisation.
It kind of spoiled the basic revenge backstory for the rest of us.
1.) why would a paladin of Erastil go adventuring if Erastil I'd all about helping your community and raising a family?
The campaign doesn't involve a local town, but rather large scale wars and intrigue, perhaps culminating in an interplanar war. Erastil is appealing though for his simple beliefs and lack of preachy messages that may annoy the party. I've also been wanting a dexterous knight character for awhile as well.
2.) would a dip into ranger be mechanically viable?
It makes sense from the perspective that the character is from a small town/ hamlet village thing, and was a hunter and militia man before becoming a paladin. A one or two level dip seems quite effective, but perhaps straight paladin is better?
3.) what feats are good beyond the usual archery feats, for a paladin?
Any help is appreciated!
I personally like Ranger/Shadowdancer.
Also, Ive noticed going heavier on STR and lighter on DEX (perhaps 17 and 14 respectively) helps a lot. Get a polearm, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Combat Reflexes and Power Attack. Armor spikes and spiked gauntlet as back up, of course.
Use a wand of longstrider to zip around, Cure Light wounds on yourself, Barksin on whoever you want, Howl, Instant Enemy, etc... all the fun ranger spells/wands/scrolls at your fingertips.
With your increased speed and reach, no melee opponent will be likely to ever catch up with your spring attacking shenanigans, and you can still hit quite hard.
IF for some reason you cannot HiPS spring attacky-ness, you can still do well as a second line melee character: much better than a rogue/shadowdancer by far.
Just got a short notice invite to a game... and I would like to play a class combo I have never tried. The GM mentioned it would be in an urban setting, with social, trap, and combat elements.
In short, i would like to play a Barbarian Rogue. Has anyone got any advice or builds up their sleeve? I haven't had time to work a build out yet.
Thanks in advance!
But you have completely ignored the prerequisites for Shadowdancer: Combat Reflexes, (works well with a reach weapon, btw) Dodge, and Mobility... So a switch hitter only works if you go pure ranger, you can't pull it iff until MUCH higher levels if you plan on going into Shadwodancer.
TWF for a shadowdancer is a bit useless... it runs counter to the whole point of HiPS in combat.
I would shoot for Power Attack and either a glaive or some such (plus combat reflexes, lunge, other good polearm feats) or a less feat intensive weapon, like a great sword.
Furious Focus and Power Attack is great for a STR based Shadowdancer who uses Spring Attack and HiPS. Using a reach weapon and possibly lunge makes you that much harder to run down, so I recommend it highly.
Look... half and half (fighter/sorcerer) is bad. you have a few options here.
Eldritch Knight: Fighter 1/ Sorcerer 6? Ek X. Most powerful in endgame, takes a long time to develop, as you have already noted. They basically play like a beefy wizard with high BAB near high levels... very effective, but takes some time getting to. a great, versatile build that matures around level 9-12.
Dragon Disciple: Interesting, but I haven't much advice on them... They are definitely decent if built right... I just never liked the flavor.
Arcane Archer: Fighter (or ranger, barbarian, paladin) 4/Sorcerer 4... OR Fighter (or whatever) 5/Sorcerer 2 OR Fighter (or whatever)6/Sorcerer 1. The build variations are many here, and with different strengths: some emphasize caster level over BAB or feats. the basic idea here is a martial character with a dabbling of magic. Many people will tell you how bad an Arcane Archer is, etc. the reality, is, an arcane archer is better off than an equivalent level martial archer. Spells add A LOT of versatility that a martial character will just never match. Arcane Archers still clock in around tier 4 (or very low 3, possibly the lowest tier 3 class combo) if you care about such things.
it sounds like you want an Arcane Archer. Don't let people telling you had bad they are discourage you, they are more viable than people will lead you to believe.
I would do (core only, right??):
Fighter 5 gets you 3 feats and Weapon training: With Gloves of Dueling, you can milk another 2 att./damage out of it. IF Gloves of Dueling aren't available, I would go fighter 4/Sorcerer 4. Gets you a feat, and access to weapon specialization... But still gives you a semi-decent caster level and slightly higher spells.
At this point i would try to convince you to use wizard to get an extra spell level out of the build, and more access to scrolls and spells known... but thats up to you.
Use spells for utility: Act like an assassin. use spells that get you into places, spells that give you an edge over martial types. Dont try to blast things. Its counter intuitive to the Imbue Arrow ability, I know. Keep a couple area spells for mooks if things get hairy, but focus on more useful, more difficult to replicate abilities:
Let your primary caster deal damage and save or dies. You deal in utility.
I doubt you will need more than 14 CHA or INT, depending on whether you go Sorcerer or Wizard. More is better, sure, but don't start with more than a 14 in your casting stat, and don't add any more into it. If you get an item that boosts it, fine, but it won't make or break your build. Use your stat boosts for STR or DEX.
Get the usual feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim, Manyshot, Weapon Focus: longbow (required) Weapon Specialization (since you might as well, being forced to get the requirement, and its one of the perks of being a fighter), Clustered Shots (or use different types of arrows: cold iron, silver, etc). Arcane Strike will be a good idea at some point. You are probably not going to wear armor: casting spells is better than eating the spell failure chance, and the feats for Arcane Armor training etc. is better spent. Stay in the back if possible ,and not use armor. If the action gets too close, use a spell, wand, or scroll of mage armor and/or shield, Mirror Image, Blur, etc. If you REALLY want to wear armor... Wear Studded Leather Darkleaf armor. 5% spell failure isn't too bad, and may be worth the gamble.
Remember, Having a spellcasting class means you can use wands and scrolls from your spell list without UMD. This lends a lot of versatility to your character if you use it properly. Even during low levels when you can barely cast spells... you can still contribute via wands and scrolls.
Most of all, be creative, think outside of the box. Its a pen and paper game, you are permitted to think, its not real time. Just a bit of creativity and thought can make even low level spells shockingly useful. Your niche is utility, not blasting.
There is no reason you can be a skill monkey/scout, but be horrible at combat. You can be good at both.
Scouting is the single most dangerous thing a single party member can take up on their own. Sucking at combat while doing so is going to get you murdered in short order. Being good enough at combat to survive until the rest of the party can rescue you is a NECESSITY.
Because one day, just because of the way Stealth and Perception work, you are going to mess up, and get caught. Running and hiding is great, it should be your first reaction after telling your party of the threat. However, because of the way speed and Stealth work, you aren't going to be able outrun them every time, and you can't hide in plain sight. Even if you do, they will be searching around for you, and eventually, you will fail your roll, or they will succeed at theirs.
My point here, is that after figuring out how to scout well, a good scout in this game needs to figure out how to survive a fight alone for however long it takes for support to turn up.
actually, just because you are using a pistol doesn't mean you can use a shield: Without a free hand, how would you reload?
So, you use a buckler, which specifically states that using a bow, crossbow, or two handed firearm does NOT incur a penalty while using it.
So, everyone should have a buckler anyway, not just pistol users.
meh, ninjas! cop out...
Fighter 4/Rogue 8. STR build with a two handed weapon (I'd go longsword because they are common and you can use them 1 handed, if necessary). Get Power Attack, Intimidating Prowess (via Strong Impression rogue talent), Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses, Curnugon Smash, maybe Furious Focus. You'll still be stealthy and all, but able to hold your own in a fight. Just be a less subtle... "mercenary". (not assassin).
Ranger 2/Rogue 10 OR 6/6. Typical Finesse build. gives you access to cure light wounds and various other useful wands, bumps up your BAB, HP, and FORT saves. Ranger gets you free feats at levels 2 and 6, so those are good break away points. You also get Favored Enemies, which helps counter act the penalties for TWF. A tracker, bounty hunter, mercenary type commando character.
Rogue 11/Cleric 1. Be a cleric of a death god. You get good Will save, med. armor, and your gods weapon. you lose a point of BAB, BUT... you get complete access to clerics spell list via wands and scrolls, no UMD necessary. Since you are cleric of a death god (or sneaky, theivery, secretive, whatever god) you are EXPECTED to murder- I mean, carefully kill the appropriate foes. Yes. not the children. No.
Do the same with Wizard/Sorcerer: you lose hp, and have issues casting spells in armor. However, you can now use a wand/scroll of Improved Invisibility without any hassle. you can wantonly sneak attack to your hearts desire. Oh, you also get a familiar. nice. Did I mention you can sneak attack with a touch spell? like Shocking grasp... so, you dont even need a weapon. or look threatening at all. Pick up False Casting from Inner Sea Magic, and suddenly everyone thinks you are the best wizard they know: laugh at the real wizard who stares in shock as you cast spells he cant even learn yet... for the mere price of a wand/scroll. Since you are lying anyway, tell everyone you are a magical assassin... you have the rogue skills to prove it, and False Casting works in such a way that they would never find out otherwise.
Have your back-story about being a reformed assassin.
You know. Either or.
I would go with a higher STR than DEX rogue... you are burning a feat on Finesse.
Fighter 4/Rogue 12
STR 15 (17)
1 Weapon Focus
DO a fighter level every other level until you have fighter 4/Rogue 3, then go pure rogue.
This will allow you to:
b.)deal decent damage via STR focus, even when Sneak Attack isn't viable/doesn't work on a given opponent.
c.)Increase your defenses via Iron Will and Med. Armor. (mithril breastplate is my go to, its a good blend of defense and low check penalty.)
you will still be very stealthy, but you will also be able to hold your own in combat, whether full attack or a standard action.
I never see gunslingers using a blunderbuss, always muskets or pistols.
However, in my next campaign the GM has mentioned it will be quite urban/dungeon based: he specifically said close quarters.
Maybe in the tight spaces and corners of such an environment, a blunderbuss gunslinger can shine.
Any good feats, archetypes ,etc I should look out for? Any tips or tricks?
I've done this before. IT was quite fun. I used it as a chance to play classes that really benefit from multiple large stat boosts. I played a Vampire Fighter, power attacker with a longsword. It was great, Vampires get special abilities that help in and out of combat (spiderclimb, etc.) and bonuses to STR and DEX. The CHA bonus would be good as well in Pathfinder, via the Eldritch Heritage feats.
A vampire rogue specialized in UMD could be fun, as well as a melee bard, melee alchemist, your usual martial classes (fighter, barbarian, cavalier)...
ah yes. My wording was poor. You are quite right. I just always feel quite vulnerable in that hour when i don't have a Mutagen on me.
Is there a way to have more than one? I know there is Infuse Mutagen, but it is quite expensive for what it does.
I would like to make an alchemist that is a bit of a mercenary/assassin. I would most likely use the Vivisectionist archetype. He uses his intelligence and knowledge of alchemy and poison to supplement his otherwise mediocre swordsmanship.
I would like to use a weapon in two hands (probably a longsword) in conjunction with Power Attack and the STR mutagen. I also might dip fighter for a level for medium, armor proficiency, or just pay for it as usual.
I have a few questions:
1.) how can I get more than one mutagen use a day? one seems a bit low. Should i just supplement with extracts of Bull's Strength?
2.) What discoveries should I select? (barring extra limb and feral mutagen: Neither if them seem in flavor with this character.)
3.) What feats would be best, besides Power Attack?