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Thanks for the list! For Energy Mastery you could also use a magic weapon with one of the elemental damage enchantments, which a Fighter may actually make some use out of.
The Gloves of Dueling are great! A Fighter is going to want one anyway and the Flight feat is probably the best of the bunch. Telekinesis isn't bad either, especially since you can get extra uses via Abundant Tactics.
I'm going to have to take another look at Tower Shield Specialist as you do retain your normal Armor Training advantages. I think it'll remain a 2/5 option overall as you trade away a ton of offensive power when you lose Weapon Training.
Relic Master is up. I really don't like the archetype, but if I'm missing some trick that makes it amazing let me know. Also, has anybody done the leg work of determining useful items for activating the various Item Master feats. Overall I'm not all that impressed by them. Even a Kineticist isn't going to make much use of them since you only have a 3/4 BAB.
I think the (pretty cool) stamina trick for Armor Material Mastery is missing?
Thanks for the catch! It is a really good option. With AMM you'll have 4 uses per day baseline, Abundant Tactics gives you up to an additional 6 uses. With 10 per day I'd probably spend my Stamina on the ability to pick from any of the available options. Getting Frost or Flaming for free every combat while still having other defensive options open is pretty nice.
Mark Seifter wrote:
And I'm glad that 3pp are putting out creative ideas for the kineticist! It's probably never going to receive enough pagecount from Paizo books to give it the kind of focused products that 3rd party can give it, since there's so many other classes out there that it's hard even for those of us who love the kineticist to justify that many pages, even with the relatively-high sales of 3pp kineticist products.
That's a shame as it really is holding the Kineticist back. I rather like the Burn mechanics myself and am playing my 2nd Kineticst, but I can't help but feel a bit limited at this point.
Update: Combat Feats through the letter "I" are complete, though I don't have feats from some of the latest books in there. Weapon Mastery feats added, I'm starting on Armor Mastery feats now.
I'm reevaluating all archetypes in light of the advanced armor training options, but frankly these aren't quite as game changing as many of the advanced weapon training options were. Additionally, the majority of archetypes trade away armor training so on the whole my rankings of the individual archetypes probably won't change much. What does change is that the general wisdom that a Fighter should always take an archetype or two is no longer valid. With AAT and AWT a "normal" Fighter will wind up being quite strong and versatile.
I'm adding a new note on each archetype, detailing which levels of Armor Training and Weapon Training get traded away. I figure that'll be helpful for everybody reading the guide.
Regarding the several notes on VMC Barbarian, I'm still not a huge fan. The benefits are quite front loaded, and if you want to make effective use of Rage you'll need to invest in Extra Rage feats as well. My major complaint though is that you don't get a Rage Power until level 11, and then you can only pick one that would be available to a level 5 Barbarian. Overall I rated it yellow (2 starts) as this option might work for certain builds or situations but it doesn't provide the Fighter with anything new or unique and will require additional feat investments to fully utilize.
I agree with Armor Specialization getting bumped up, the initial 2 star was on my gut reaction that you don't invest heavily in AC, but for the degree of boost that you gain it winds up being a pretty cheap investment. Full Plate is suddenly quite attractive, as it's now a +14 AC item. Make it Adamantine use Armored Juggernaut as well as Armor Material Mastery for scaling DR and a twice per day ability to convert half of the lethal damage you suffer from an attack into nonlethal.
Btw, Sash of the War Champion is quite good. I thought Bravery and Armor Training had caps on how high the bonuses could go, but after double checking I see that they don't. Technically you could gain a bonus AAT option through the item, and at an early level, though you'll have to talk to your GM about whether this option is locked after you pick it or not. The potential +1 to Will saves is just icing.
I'm assuming you pick up Craft Wondrous Item with a normal feat. Master Craftsman just lets you qualify for it. I'll clarify the statement though.
I'll take a second look at Armor Specialization. The AAT options all need further theory crafting.
Combat feats through the letter D are done. I've added the Pack Mule and Varisian Free-hand Fighter archetypes. Various features have been reevaluated and I now use N Jolly's rating system.
The Shaman wrote:
Quickdraw is useful for both switch hitting and thrown weapon builds, but for a switch hitter I would only pick AWT via a feat until after level 9 as you'll want your weapon training on both weapons. Trained Grace at level 5 makes this build much more viable than it used to be.
Aside from the racial archetipes, in the guide ar missing the Pack Mule from Black Markets and oddly enough the Relic Master as it's from the Weapon Master Handbook along with a lot of stuff already rated by the guide
I used the PFSRD and Archives of Nethys as my reference points and figured I'd miss some things because of that. Thanks for pointing out those two archetypes, I'll get them in soon!
Viking will never get Greater Rage or Mighty Rage as those are separate abilities of the Barbarian Class. As you say though, the Rage Powers are as good as AWT effects, especially if you use Unchained Barbarian. You're basically trading away some damage and attack bonuses for additional bonuses on Will saves and the chance to reach into class features not normally granted to you. This is why I'm not fond of the Barbarian VMC, it really only grants you some extra damage and you already had plenty of that.
Spear builds are definitely on my list of builds to cover. I'm playing with various options right now to see which builds I like the best. If you have specific builds in mind please post them!
Ok, so for the Viking vs Barbarian VMC issue I want to list out my thoughts and get some more feedback from y'all.
Technically, you can stack these but you probably shouldn't as the rules are very unclear on how that would actually work. My interpretation is that you'd wind up with two separate versions of Rage, one being mechanically weaker than the other. To keep things simple for yourself and your GM I would recommend picking one or the other.
Let's assume a 14 Con Fighter for this discussion.
The way I see it, the Viking archetype wins out due to having more rounds of Rage as well as quicker and easier access to Rage Powers. With the VMC you're going to have to spend some feats on Extra Rage Power and Extra Rage and at best you'll count as a 10th level Barbarian when you pick those. Its the huge delay on getting access to the Rage Powers that are the deal breaker for me, as mechanically Rage winds up being about an even trade for Weapon Training.
I think a purple rating is going to have to be added. There's a lot more nuance among all these options than I originally thought. That's a lot of work that I'm not looking forward to, but this is a chance for me to add star ratings as well for color blind support.
I'm going to add notes regarding weapon training and armor training to the archetypes, as both of those are going to be pretty big deals.
Y'all are starting to sell me on the Unbreakable, especially now that I've been reviewing the various feats that are involved with it. I'm putting down a "To Do" regarding a reevaluation of that archetype.
My current plans with feats are to continue listing them alphabetically for now. This helps me track my progress as I work through them all. Eventually I'm going to take that entire section and make a more general guide out of it, where I organize the feats in various ways. I expect that it will take me a couple of months to complete this however. Part of the difficulty with grouping feats is that there are many feats which could be grouped in several sections. It might be easier for me to demonstrate the good feat combinations in the section on specific combat builds.
Cornugon Smash was green b/c an Intimidate build isn't something that every Fighter should consider. Adding a Purple rank will let me bump this up to blue.
It gets close to Armed Bravery, but not quite there. While you don't get doubled save bonuses against fear effects you do gain double the bonus to your DC to be intimidated. Niche, but a little add on.
@The Shaman: The Extra Challenges feat is third party and clearly outside of Paizo's normal design space (in terms of the kind of feats they want to add to the game). Yes, if your GM allows for that feat then the Cavalier VMC is much better but my guide assumes Paizo-only material.
@Backlash3906: That's a good idea, but I mention the mauler already. When I need a break from feats (SOOO MANY FEATS) I might right a Familiar mini-guide and link out to that.
@Frosty Ace: I think I mentioned Animal Ally and when I start writing up the General Feats I'm going to include that one. My General Feats section will only cover ones I rate green or blue and maybe a few trap options if I find any that aren't obvious.
@Mythraine: The advanced weapon training option "Armed Bravery" gives you your Bravery bonus to all will saves and doubles the bonus against fear. You can pick this up via the Advance Weapon Training feat (confusing, I know) at level 5. Because of this fact I've lowered the rating on most abilities that replace Bravery.
As for the Marial Flexibility section, you are correct. I was misreading the Martial Focus feat.
VMC will delay the level 15 Advanced Weapon Training feat, but you still qualify for one at level 20 as normal. The feat says it can be taken every 5 levels after level 5, not every 5 levels after the last time you took the feat.
Druid typo - Thanks for the catch! I've fixed it.
Paladin typo - Yep, I was thinking of the Cleric.
Sorcerer - Added a line about the charisma investment
Demonic Nemesis - I forgot they were Devils in Cheliax, not Demons. Thanks for the reminder!
I've also made some adjustments to how I rated various archetypes and feats. Thank you for the feedback everybody!
Thanks for the complement Lanitril. I'll consider it "done" after the Armor Master's book comes out as it is quite possible that I'll have to reevaluate all the archetypes at that point. For now I'm writing out every combat feat with the intention of evaluating them and their related Combat Tricks.
I'm with UnArcaneElection on Bravery. It isn't completely useless it just isn't great. That's why I rated it orange, though I gave it some thought. Thanks to everybody who's been pointing out FAQs and errata that I've missed.
I've made some updates throughout the guide and have the Combat, Teamwork and Style feats through the letter "C" completed. Working on "D" now.
Eventually I'll get to that stuff. Foehammer in particular has been requested several time. Right now I want to focus on the general stuff, but you'll note that I'm handling most of the racial feats in the Combat Feat section. Feats are taking forever though, so please be patient!
So, regarding the Armor Master's Handbook... ya I'll probably have to redo every archetype if the impact is as significant as Weapon Master's Handbook. That's quite alright though, that book is still over two months away. I'm planning another pass on the archetypes anyway as I still need to do research on various FAQs and I'm sure I've overlooked quite a bit. For those of you worried that I'm over or under valuing something in particular please leave your feedback! I find it to be very helpful.
As for the Sensate, I believe I'm working off of the post-eratta version. That's part of why I'm not fond of the archetype.
I have improved the rating on Spear Training and will double check the various weapon training alternatives to make sure I haven't made similar mistakes eslewhere. I still have reservations regarding the archetype as a whole however, what about it appeals to you?
If there is a FAQ regarding [named weapon type] training please link it. Paizo's FAQs are a bit of a mess and I have not dived into them to mine for Fighter specific stuff yet. For now I'm dealing with my hard covers, PDFs and errata, which is quite a bit to cover. Rule changes that almost nobody knows about are at the bottom of my list of priorities. =P
Regarding Child of AA, I'm waffling on this one. My first instinct was "yay casting on the Fighter" and that spell casting is an automatic blue rating. However, your actual spell progression is quite slow. I'm not a huge fan of the Bloodrager spell list either, though a few of them are rather nice. As for Arcane Strike, would you explain your thoughts better? I still see the old problem of having better uses for your swift actions.
Sorry guys. As a Fighter I haven't bothered training Linguistics. =)
That one was pretty obvious but I haven't done an editing pass yet. There are going to be MANY spelling and grammar mistakes, but these will be corrected eventually. Currently I'm working on the combat feats starting with "C".
A couple of weekends ago I began work on a comprehensive guide to the Fighter as it has been quite awhile since the last one was written. While Rogue Eidolon's insights are quite good (Paizo did hire him after all) his guide sadly is Core only and the additional guides are pretty specific to particular builds. So, I've undertaken the mammoth task of working through everything available to the fighter.
One thing to note, I'm combining the sections on Combat Tricks and Combat Feats for the sake of efficiency. I try to make sure I describe what each Combat Trick does along with the descriptions of their corresponding feats and provide some evaluation for them as well. This is going to take awhile to complete so for now consider all evaluations preliminary.
I appreciate all feedback but as I'm actively working on the document I have disabled comments for now.
I'm loving the archetype and will probably be playing a Psychic Detective soon. Consider that you can grab Color Spray right at first level to boost your combat capabilities and then trade it away at level 5 for a utility spell.
I personally recommend going with an Elf for this build. If you choose to use Strength for damage, you've got Longsword proficiency. For a Dex to Damage build you can use a Rapier from your class proficiencies, so drop Elven Weapon Familiarity to pick up Fey Thoughts and regain those class skills you lost.
So my plan would be Elf with Str: 10, Dex: 17, Con: 12, Int: 18, Wis: 12, Cha: 7. I'd swap EWP for Fey Thoughts, picking up Arcobatics and Climb as class skills. Weapon Finesse > Weapon Focus > Fencing Grace for my first three feats, retraining them around level 6 or 7 if I can get an Agile Rapier.
Note: At level 7 it would cost 1050 gp and 15 days to follow this plan, doable if the campaign allows that much down time. I also get to trade these out for either Expanded Phrenic Pool or Extra Investigator Talent feats, so that's money and time well spent in my book.
Damage output will be low at early levels, but Color Spray with an 18 Int should get me past the levels 1-3 hump that most Investigators have to deal with. At level 4 I'll have Studied Combat online, and Dex to damage at level 5. That's not too bad overall for melee options.
The fact that my spells don't have obvious verbal and somatic components makes me a very sneaky character. With Trap Finding and Mage Hand I'm awfully close to being an Arcane Trickster. I've also got 10 skill points per level and can boost my skill rolls with additional dice.
As a final thought, were I to Gestalt this I'd probably roll with my old Bladebound Kensai build. That would provide a huge boost to damage potential, give me two forms of spell casting keyed on Int and would let me go with a Str build instead of a Dex build (since you get Mage Armor from the Psychic spells at level 1).
I'm about to start running The Wormwood Mutiny in a few weeks for a six person party and would. As I'm working through my organization now I would like some advice from people who have already run the game. My party consists of the following:
Wizard - Focusing on Shadow, Light and Illusion spells. I'm allowing spell research and select third party spells as the concept is very interesting.
I have two big concerns out of the box. The first is the lack of healing, which I can handle via treasure rewards. The second is that they'll have a lot of abilities that let them engage in effective combat without much gear. I'm a bit worried about the party trying to mutiny too early.
Any advice for somebody who's never run the campaign before?
Chess Pwn wrote:
Oh shoot. I should have read that better. I'll update the post.
In that case, a Wyroot Dan Bong (1d3 19-20x2) that you deal nonlethal damage with to your team-mates would be the cheapest way of restoring Ki.
Does wyrwood work if you are performing a coup de grace on a rat or some other innocuous vermine? If so, it could be a cheap source of power for a maleficent monk.
The rules only state that when you confirm a critical hit you absorb some of the life energy from the creature hit. The creature is unharmed, but you absorb the life point.
So... pick up the Blade of Mercy trait and buy yourself a critter to act as a punching bag? Evil players could just deal continuous non-lethal damage to refill their Kit after every fight... This could actually make for a pretty fun set of NPC monks to pit players against.
So you're going to want a +1 Keen Wyroot weapon, probably one that stores 2 Life Points. That'll cost you about $10,500 and leave you with a 17-20 crit range (assuming you start with a 19-20 weapon). Assuming you spend a Ki point for an extra attack on a Flurry, that nets you a 48.8% chance to crit.
This combination is purchasable by level 10, but you're investing in 0 defensive items with this plan. Beg one of your party members to craft at least one of these items.
Never mind, the ring reduces the cost of a Ki power to a minimum of 1.
You can also reduce your expenses by picking up a Magus VMC if you can afford the loss of feats in your build. This gives you Arcane Pool class feature at level 3, with your Magus Levels counting as Monk Levels -2. You can now buy an unenchanted Wyroot weapon and by Level 7 use your Arcane Pool to make it a +1 Keen weapon. The synergy here is nice, as you can refresh both your Ki and your Arcane points with your weapon.
Question: Is there any way we could Spell Strike with a Ki Power?
That's probably how I'm going to go about things.
The only downside I can see is how Improved Damage / Improved Bite stack. Since the T-Rex has a higher than normal base die on its Bite, you could stack both of those for a 3d6 attack at first level. I'll encourage the player to have a bit more fun with the options instead and that should keep things a bit more balanced.
I'm about to GM a game where one of my players will have a Primal Companion Hunter with a T-Rex. That's a pretty powerful baseline, but I want to clarify just how his evolution choices will interact with the base-line abilities of his animal companion.
My current question is, do the features that an Animal Companion has naturally qualify it for evolutions which rely on specific features?
As an example, the T-Rex has a pretty big tail already, does this qualify it for Tail Slap? Or would you have to pick up the Tail Evolution first, growing a second tail and then only get Tail Slap with that one?
I'm inclined to rule that each Animal Companion has a reasonable number of evolutions already, based on the physical form of the animal. I'm just curious if there is any official clarification on how this should work.
@williamoak - Anybody with those kind of problems handling fantasy shouldn't be immersing themselves in role playing, imo. That would just generally be dangerous.
@OP - Coming from a Southern Baptist background, with a GM who is quite devout I can understand that some players will have a problem with polytheistic faiths and especially playing characters that are devoted to such deities. Since we don't have specifics from your group and you want to respect their privacy I'll share some ways people I know have dealt with these issues. I would be curious to know how they plan to deal with all the magic and violence in the game however.
First, just avoiding a few specific classes can work pretty well. Clerics and Warpriests in particular can be a problem, but an Oracle or a Paladin could easily receive their powers from a vague "divine being" or "force of good" and don't have to have aspects of worship worked in.
Second, create a custom setting. My devout GM created his own campaign world with a generic fantasy analog of Catholicism. Instead of picking a deity you pick a branch of the church each granting access to domains and selected weapons from Fighter weapon groups. You could also move to a fictional setting that is more acceptable, such as Narnia (for Christians) or even set the game in the real world.
Finally, you may want to try an entirely different game system. Polytheism and wars between gods is a pretty standard trope in fantasy settings and Pathfinder is very much designed with fantasy in mind. You might have more fun in a modern-day or sci-fi setting, Shadow Run games can be a blast for instance.
I just put together a level 7 Mesmerist for a playtest I'm going to run so here's my feedback.
The class as a whole is going to be very limited against creatures that are immune to mind affecting effects. Unless you know going in that you won't be facing many of those creatures, Psychic Inception becomes pretty mandatory. I almost feel that that ability should be baked into the class.
The list of spells that can be used are nice. I like having a mix of all the Bard, Inquisitor & Witch spells.
Hypnotic Stare could probably stand to have slightly better numeric progression and definitely needs more options. Still, the fact that you can use this ability at will and that there is no save does make it a nice minor debuff to constantly play around with.
Tricks I'm not terribly impressed with. Some of the tricks are decent buffs, but I have to wonder why I have 3 separate ways to let a Rogue get sneak attack damage in? I have to be in melee range to reapply those buffs mid-combat, so why wouldn't I just flank? I feel like I should be able to apply these buffs at range some how.
I also think there should be some tricks I could actively use against the enemy. This class isn't going to be a Combat Manuever powerhouse, but how about some tricks with similar effects that bypass the CMB checks?
Mark, while you're here, how does Weapon Focus (and similar feats) work with Kinetic Blade?
Do I have to pick WF: Kinetic Blade, WF: Kinetic Blast or WF: Kinetic Whip separately? Or could I just grab WF: Kinetic Blast and the bonus transfers over to the blade attack?
So I was looking at the Kinetist in general and Burn specifically, and I was wondering how burn would interact with damage reduction, specifically an invulnerable rager's damage reduction which gives non-lethal DR.
"A kineticist incapable of suffering nonlethal damage cannot accept burn"
Well, I was thinking more along the lines of Minecraft / Yoggscast. The Move Earth talent letting you move literal cubes of the world around kinda inspired the character.
I mean, who the hell do you think I am?
And as a final edit I leave you with this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFL7sn4dy-4
1 Nonlethal / Level per Burn
Total Burn = Con Mod + 3
I've decided to give a dedicated melee build a try just to see how this works out. It looks like damage recistances are the biggest obstacle this buld would face, so I'll be going with a "Metal" build down the road to combat this. I present you with:
Simon the Diggy Diggy Geokinetic
Element: Earth (Earth Blast)
Talents / Class Features:
HP: 33 (30 Effective)
HP: 53 (48 Effective)
So for the first 5 levels I'm basiclly playing a switch-hitting Fighter or Ranger. I benefit from only having to worry about 2 Attribute Scores and could min-max to a greater extent if I wwant to. I am finding the lack of utility options kind of dull though. This will get a bit better as I level, and infact I'm planning on grabbing Move Earth at level 6 to keep the Minecraft theme going on. With that ability and the right Craft skill I don't see why I couldn't be building a really nice fortress for my party in fact.
Feedback wise, I really want 4 skills per level baseline. I'm also finding the list of Talents to choose during the first few levels to be a bit dull. I'd like to see 1-2 utility options per element and a couple of universal talents to choose from. I think there's plenty of 0th or 1st level spells we could mine for basic options.
I have a rules question to ask, as it'll affect all Kinetic Blade builds. Do feats / abilties / ect that affect Kinetic Blast transfer to Kinetic Blade? For example, would I need to pick up Weapon Focus: Kinetic Blast or Weapon Focus: Kinetic Blade at level 5 with this build?
Btw, I'm going to plan out some party based test scenarios this weekend with Simon here. I'm thinking a party consiting of an Investigator, an Oradin and a Bard might be fun to play with.
I'm assuming feats like Slashing/Fencing Grace, Dervish Dance or Piranha Strike will work with with Kinetic Blade. Will Kinetic Fist receive some support through a monk-like archetype? That'd be really awesome.
Could we clarify that Kinetic Blade/Fist/Whip are free actions made a part of an attack action?
I'm assuming that Kinetic Fist attacks would benefit from an Amulet of Might Fists. With that in mind, how about a custom Kineticist item with the some cost progression that lets you boost your offensive abilities?
Finally, I'd really like to see the 'Other Wild Talents' section expanded on. The class has plenty of offensive options but could use a few more utility abilities. Something that would be really cool would be a Prestidigitation equivalent for Kineticists.
I'd go with an alchemist of some kind. This nets you buff & utility Extracts, Mutagens to stack with your Rage, additional skill utility and a better Reflex save. You also have the choice of running with bombs or sneak attack dice.
Overall a nice offensive boost and it nets you additional utility options.
Boon companion is 3 levels. It makes you count as a 4th level druid if you take with at 4th level as Ranger which you can't as you don't get a feat a 4th level. I think that's why people think it gives you 4 levels, they forget that 4th level is 1 druid level when they grab the feat at 5th level.
Um... that's not how the feat works. It makes the abilities of your companion/familiar count as if you were 4 levels higher, to a maximum effective Druid level equal to your Character level. The boost can vary from 1-4, depending on how many Druid levels you lack.
You're starting at level 3, so use your Magus Arcana to pick up a Familiar. That lets you free up your class choices quite well.
Swashbuckler (Inspired Blade) - You gain Weapon Finesse and Weapon Focus with a Rapier, use Int and Cha for calculating your Panache Pool and can pick up the Fencing Grace feat for Dex to Damage right at level 1. Full BAB, lots of bonus damage and a large number of situational abilities you'll actually have a large enough Panache pool to use. This is a very strong option. Oh, at level 11 you can spend a Panache point to add your Int as an Insight bonus on an attack roll.
Alchemist - Bombs if you want to switch hit, Vivisectionist if you just want to deal tons of damage. The Mutagen & Extracts can be used for buffs, letting you use your spells purely for damage.
Investigator - Less extra damage than an Alchemist, but you'll rule those skill checks. The damage options available to an Alchemist are still rather nice. Empiricist grants you some nice resistance to Illusion magic.
Slayer - Full BAB, some sneak attack and tons of bonus damage sources. Decent Int synergy too.
I've been playing a combat focused in a home-brew game and it has worked out really well. The general role you'll play is striker, but with Extracts and Mutagens you'll wind up being quite tough at higher levels.
I highly recommend races which grant additional weapon proficiencies. Both Elf and Half Elf are great choices, though I prefer Half-Elf with a Strength build.
Getting Kirin Strike by level 9 is a great way to boost your damage significantly, and is also quite thematic. Note that his requires Improved Unarmed Strike by level 5 and then Kirin Style at level 7. Taking round 1 of combat to drink a buff, activate your Studied Combat and then make your Kirin Style roll will suddenly turn you into a powerhouse.
I prefer Strength builds over Dexterity builds as you don't have to pay a feat tax. Strength builds will have higher damage, but will be a bit more fragile. Dexterity builds can wind up with rather nice AC scores early on along with nice Acrobatics checks if you're going to move in combat a lot.
If you do go with a Dexterity build, a 1 level dip into Swashbuckler can get you Dex to Damage at first level. Humans Swashbuclkers can pick up Weapon Focus and Slashing Grace at first level. Alternatively, the Inspired Blade archetype grants you Weapon Finesse (Rapier) and Weapon Focus (Rapier) right at first level, allowing you to pick up Fencing Grace at first level for your Dex to Damage.
Actually, that might make me rethink my Strength preference. The Inspired Blade gets a Panache pool made up of his Cha Mod (minimum 1) and his Int Mod (Minimum 1). This means you could dump your Charisma to 7 and still wind up with a nice sized Panache pool. This build delays Studied Combat until level 5 for a huge boost in combat potential...
Well I'm glad I still have a level 1 Tiefling who's only seen one session of play. That means I can rebuild him if I ever want to use him in the future.
Personally, I'd love to play my Kitsune Dawnflower Dervish bard that focuses on using the Realistic Likeness feat. The home brew game I was running her in was canceled due to scheduling conflicts but the character was great.
The Grenadier Alchemist can get off one shot that adds bomb damage to the attack. This gives bonus elemental damage, Int damage and possibly some status debuffs. You also get some splash damage on additional enemies. Probably still less damage than optimized Longbow builds, but it isn't a bad build overall.
Look into playing a race that gets bonus bomb damage as a favored class bonus (Half-Orc being the easiest option). Popping a Targeted Bomb Admixture will double the Int damage on single target fights. Since you only need Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot and Deadly Aim from the ranged feats you can also go down the Improved Unarmed Damage > Kirin Style > Kirin Strike damage for another x2 Int damage. Pop on Bracers of Falcon's Aim and you'll have a 19-20 x3 crit range.
I believe the Distance property only doubles the base range. Distance + Long Shot nets you a 50ft range, not a 60ft Range. Some of those archetype bonuses actually increase the base range though, so a doubled pistol would be 60ft with one of those.
A dip into Spellslinger would get you Distance at early levels, though with the Alchemist being a fairly tough class I think you may be over emphasizing staying far back. Just remember that it's 1 min per spell slot, so you'll want to pick up some Pearls of Power to feed this.
Siege Gunner for a few uses of Gunslinger's Dodge is ok but not great. Personally, I'd go Gun Scavenger.
So Explosive Missile is poorly written and really needs an Eratta, but note that it specifies "one-handed firearm bullet". There is no such thing as separate bullets for one-handed or two-handed firearms in PF, so you could probably RAW your way into using a Musket with the ability. RAI, you're stuck with pistol of some sort.
LessPopMoreFizz, the first thing you should do is establish how common guns are (according to the rules scale) as that will determine your course of action. For instance, under the Common Place Guns rules firearms are Martial weapons and you could be proficient with one using the Martial Weapon Proficiency you gain at your first level of Grenadier. I'm going to assume you're working under Emerging Guns rules as that seems to be the most commonly used rule set.
In this case, I highly recommend a single level of gunslinger followed by pure Alchemist. This nets you a bit of bonus HP, a boost to your saves, a boost to your BAB and the ability to use guns with relative ease. You'll gain Explosive Missile at level 5.
You are restricted to a one-handed gun, so start off with a Pistol. Plan to craft a Revolver as soon as you can (2 day process, 2k gold cost) as you'll resolve touch attacks within 100 feet at that point.
Range Increments can be increased as follows:
Since you don't want to play a Gnome, I suggest you go Half-Orc with your first level in Gun Scavenger. Unless you have a generous Point Buy I wouldn't bother with a high Wisdom score. Instead plan on having just 1 Grit point until you reach level 5-7 at which point the Extra Grit feat is a decent option.
Gun Scavenger can be pretty fun, as you have the option of swapping between your Pistol having extra range or having the Scatter property. That can be pretty nice at early levels.
There are very few abilities and very few builds that provide traditional MMO tanking mechanics. What you need to look for are ways to be the biggest threat, attracting the notice of enemies.
The first step is make sure you do a large amount of damage. The idea is that you're the most threatening target so the enemies will focus on you first. As others have suggested, spells that increase your physical size are a good idea too (both for the damage boost and the intimidation factor).
I would also suggest looking at the Sacred Shield archetype. This replaces Smite Evil with an ability that halves the damage nearby allies take from big targets. Not only are you actually protecting allies, you're making yourself the most appealing target to your enemy.