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Two levels of Urban Barbarian is great for a fighter. You get:
3 extra hit points
In return, the fighter gives up one bonus feat.
In PFS, you might consider joining the Taldor faction and taking the Expert Duelist campaign trait.
I mainly do this because I like the role-playing potential of the class skills.
Finesse fighters don’t do well at the higher levels of adventure paths compared to fighters who rely on Power Attack.
I built a finesse fighter for PFS: Fighter 5 Aldori Swordlord PrC 2 Duelist 2 Fighter 3. My character was a human Freehand Fighter, who had a very high AC. Improvements are possible.
Weapon Master or Lore Warden might be better archetypes. If you take Lore Warden, you should take four levels of Aldori Swordlord to get the synergy with Weapon Expertise.
I’ve considered taking Urban Barbarian at levels 1 and 3. In such a case, I would drop Aldori Swordlord and take Dervish Dance.
At higher levels, finesse fighters hit a lot but do not do quite enough damage. Taking 12 levels of fighter allows you to take Greater Weapon Specialization.
edit: missing word
I suggest that the fighter take one or (preferably) two levels of Urban Barbarian.
Urban Barbarians have great skills and class features. I use them in PFS to make sure that I have a character that can do something other than kill.
Barbarians can use Furious weapons. Adding Furious costs +1. Furious weapons give no adds except when the owner rages, when they add +2. So, a +3 Furious weapon costs the same as a +4 weapon but acts as a +5 weapon when raging.
PFS Guide 5.0 p. 10 wrote:
Your character’s choice of faction opens up additional trait choices presented in Chapter 4 of this guide. These faction traits count as campaign traits—in effect, they are the campaign traits for Pathfinder Society Organized Play. No other campaign traits from any source are legal for characters to choose. In order to select a faction trait, your character must belong to the associated faction.
I think I chose STR 15 CHA 16 because I wanted to really improve my saves when I got Divine Grace at level 2.
Finding Haleen is a campaign trait for Legacy of Fire. AP campaign traits are not allowed in PFS.
I have a level 9 Paladin in PFS. Let me share my experience.
I took Oath of Vengeance but I've only ever used the extra smite once. On the other hand, I not sure that channeling would be better.
I've also never taken Extra Lay on Hands.
I think you should begin with STR 15 and CHA 16.
My Paladin of Torag took Defensive Strategist. He should have taken Magical Knack instead of Watching Taldor.
Because Pathfinder favors offense over defense, I like to start my fighters with a level of Urban Barbarian (to be followed by a second level later).
One nice thing about being able to rage is the Furious weapon quality. A +3 Furious weapon functions as a +5 weapon when raging. That's a saving of 18,000 GPs.
I think your Build 1 only gets one fourth level spell. The fighter and both the first levels of AA and EK do not add spells. With INT 18, you would get a second spell.
Going the SLA route does not improve your spellcasting progression. It does increase your BAB and HP, while giving you three levels of AA. For people in PFS, this is the way to go.
What level do you hope to reach with this character?
In PFS, I had a fighter that went Fighter 5 Aldori PRC 2 Duelist 2 Fighter 3. I was using the Freehand Fighter archetype. His AC was 36. He never took any style feats. He wore a Mithral breastplate and boosted it with the trait: Defender of the Society.
If I was building this character again, I’d be more likely to take Weapon Master rather than Freehand Fighter.
You could save two feats by dropping the Aldori PRC in favor of Dervish Dance. If so, I’d suggest starting with two levels of Urban Barbarian.
Finesse fighters are good in PFS but at higher levels their damage output is low.
I moderately like the Swashbuckler and will probably build and play one.
That said, as a PFS player, I find that Evasive comes too late. Uncanny Dodge should be available at Level 3 and Evasion at Level 7.
Why not give the Deeds that don't require spending a Panache Point as class features? You could balance this by making a Swashbuckler who is out of Panache Points take the Fatigued condition.
Filling up the class features table with Bravery makes me feel that I've been shortchanged.
I would like to spend a Panache Point to stand up without any Attacks of Opportunity.
I think you need DEX to damage. Otherwise, undead become a real problem. Alternately, you could remove “living” from Precise Strike (and for the Duelist too, please!).
As an aside, I tend to take Monkey Style rather than Crane Style. Pathfinder rewards offense over defense and there is always healing.
You could take a fighter because Eldritch Knight levels stack with fighter levels for fighter bonus feats.
I would even suggest a CAD for first level. You'll get some interesting class skills and you were never going to wear medium armor.
Even so, an Urban Barbarian might be good. So might the Freebooter Archetype of the Ranger.
So, your Half-Elf will do 10 levels of (mostly) Urban Barbarian followed by 10 levels of Duelist.
What are your ability scores and what is your point build? Where will you put your Ability Score increases? Will you use magic items to boost your ability scores? Also, I see you are using a Campaign Trait from the Kingmaker AP.
Experience suggests that a Fighter with a WIS below 12 is as much danger to his friends as his enemies.
I’m not sure that Power Attack goes with the concept of Duelist.
You should take two levels of Aldori Sword Lord PRC. First, this improves your saves. Second, it gives a big boost to Dazzling Display. And, third, it gives you one more feat before you reach Duelist. (If you were starting off as a Lore Warden, you would want to take 4 levels of Sword Lord.)
You should take the first two levels of Duelist as soon as you can.
In PFS, I had a very successful Free Hand Fighter 8/Aldori Sword Lord PRC 2/Duelist 2. (He would have been better as a Weapon Master.) When he reached Level 13, he took Duelist and will probably continue on that path.
Dervish of Dawn, a fighter archetype, might be good.
If you don’t mind giving up 1 point of BAB, four levels of Ninja or Rogue with the Scout archetype is good. A Scout’s foe is always flatfooted when she charges. For your point of BAB you get 2d6 of sneak attack damage and an opponent that is denied its DEX bonus to AC.
When a third-level Dervish of Dawn charges, the charge penalty to AC is reduced by one.
There are Ninja Tricks that give you Improved Unarmed Combat and a Style Feat. Janni Style reduces your AC penalty on a charge by one and flanking opponents only get +1 against you rather than +2. Admittedly, most Ninja players would be reluctant to not take Vanishing Trick as one of their Ninja Tricks.
This is a bit of a stretch, but you might want to take one level of Urban Barbarian. Crowd Control gives +1 to attack and +1 to AC when adjacent to two or more opponents. (If you were playing PFS, the Taldor faction has the Expert Duelist trait: +1 AC versus a solitary foe.)
Edit: It's Dawnflower Dervish not Dervish of Dawn, which is what d20pfsrd.com calls it because it isn't allowed to use names from Golarion.
First, make sure the rest of the party is trying to keep you alive. It they are not helping out, withdraw.
Second, go first. Take Improved Initiative and the Reactionary trait. Wizards have moderately good DEX.
Third, worship Torag. The Religious trait Defensive Strategist means you are not flat footed at the start.
Fourth, beef up. Take Toughness to give you an extra HP per level. Always take your favorite class HP. Your starting CON should be at least 12 or 13.
You may need to use the Extra Traits feat. Being Human gives you an extra feat.
The players' choices strike me as reversed.
For a Dervish Dance fighter, a Free Hand Fighter going into Duelist would be good. (My Free Hand Fighter went into Aldori Sword Lord PrC and Duelist.)
Meanwhile, the 2H fighter guide (in the Advice Guide section) recommends Mobile Fighters take Greatswords.)
In PFS, I had a Free Hand Fighter 8, Aldori Sword Lord PrC 2, Duelist 2. With a +4 Mithral Breastplate and a +3 Ring of Protection, he had a 36 AC. I never felt unhappy about not having Crane Style but I would have liked Monkey Style.
With a +5 sword, he added 25 to his attack roll, before buffs, and did d8+15 damage.
If I did this sort of character again, I would probably use Weapon Master instead of Free Hand Fighter. Going into Duelist via a Dervish Dance Weapon Master is also a possibility.
Another possibility I considered was going into the Aldori Sword Lord PrC by taking a Huntmaster Cavalier 3, Unarmed Fighter 2. After reading this thread, I will look at using a Samurai rather than a Cavalier.
Mithral medium armor is treated as light armor. The Armor Check Penalty for this armor is -1. If the character is not proficient with medium armor, there is, therefore, a -1 penalty to attack rolls. If you take either of the Armor Expert or Sargavan Guard traits, the penalty is reduced by 1 to zero.
The alternative is to take one level of a class proficient in medium armor.
EDIT: And proficient in heavy armor too.
Of course, there are ideas that turn out to not work. A Living Monolith requires both Endurance and Iron Will. Rangers get Endurance and the Infiltrator archetype can pick up Iron Will. Unfortunately, she only gets it for ten minutes per level. So this is a class feature that is different from the feat, which would always be on.
If you see any potential pitfalls in trying to meet the requirements of a Prestige Class, share your thoughts with us all, please.
I would recommend Masterwork Studded leather for 200 GP. The armor has an Armor Check Penalty of 1 but making it Masterwork lowers the penalty to zero. Otherwise, there would always be a penalty of 1 on attack rolls.
If you really want a Chain shirt, buy a Mithral one for 1200 GP.
Is your wolf Large yet?
Edited Huge to read Large!
No, this is not a thread about using SLAs to more quickly become Eldritch Knights or Mystic Theurges.
Instead I want to put some variety into taking PrCs, when meeting the requirements.
Eldritch Knight: you can meet the martial arms requirement by taking a Sohei Monk. I’m not sure I would do it but it might catch someone’s fancy.
Living Monolith: if you want to be a Half-Orc, take the alternate racial trait, Shaman’s Apprentice, to get the Endurance feat you need. I have a PFS character that is taking this route.
Aldori Sword Lord: a Half-Elf can take the needed Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Ancestral Arms) in place of adaptability racial trait, which I’m pretty sure everybody knows. However, I suggest taking two levels of Cavalier. The Cockatrice Order grants the required Dazzling Display as a bonus feat.
Since I prefer full-BAB classes, these are the examples I have stumbled upon. I hope people will add others to this thread. Perhaps it will become useful enough to be listed on the Class Guides thread.
There are several free books that you can download from Paizo. The first is the PFS Guide 4.3 and the second is the Shattered Star AP Player's Guide.
Shattered Star has the Pathfinder Society traits from Seekers of Secrets.
The Field Guide was meant to replace Seekers of Secrets as a required book for PFS.
You have to look at 16th level. Assume their best ability score is 20. Both use a d8 weapon. We’ll ignore magical pluses since they should be the same.
I would go Weapon Master 4 Urban Barbarian 1 Aldori Swordlord PrC 1 Duelist 10.
The Duelist’s damage would be d8 plus Duelist (10), Dexterity (5), Rage (2), Weapon Specialization (2) and Weapon Training (1) for d8 + 20. Note that the 10 points of Duelist damage would not apply to anything immune to critical hits.
The Sword and Board Fighter would get d8 plus Power Attack (10), Strength (5), Greater/Weapon Specialization (4), and Weapon Training (3) for d8 + 22. Compared to a Duelist, you lose 5 points of BAB to Power Attack but get 2 back from Weapon Training and 1 from Greater Weapon Focus. You could drop one level of fighter to take Urban Barbarian. Raging would give you an extra +2/+2.
I would like to play a Duelist in Kingmaker. The closest I have come to this build is Free Hand Fighter 8, Aldori Swordlord PrC 1, and Duelist 2, in PFS.
A Duelist is fun to play. A great weakness for them is being feinted. The fighter has a much better flat-footed AC.
I did this off the top of my head, so there may be errors and omissions.