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Hmm, that would enable the Sap Master feat to interact with the Bounty Hunter's dirty trick, as it does damage, but would also delay the scout 's skirmish ability considerably, I'm not sure if that tradeoff is worth it. The idea with mocking dance was to move 5' out with the swift action, and take a 5ft step back in.
Alright, so I've been working on making a detective character for an upcoming Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign to be run by my wife. As the groups resident PC-optimizer I'm looking not to overshadow the rest of the party in building this character, so I've been looking at the rogue class to keep me from going crazy and making it too powerful. My goals in doing so were to see if I could make a more nonlethal-based, dirty-fighting build to fit with the character's personality as a streetwise detective and policeman. Well, I am here to tell you that after scouring the SRD, I have not been disappointed. Be prepared, wall of text ahead.
Now, the rogue as a class suffers from a myriad of problems, but among them are the following:
1. high potential damage per hit from sneak attack, but not enough BaB and no other steroid to help them hit with such attacks
2. situational applicability of sneak attack and resulting huge variance in performance as a combatant
3. generally dependent on TWF to maximize SA output while also not really being able to afford the huge feat tax involved or the cost of enchanting two weapons.
4. generally low AC due to light armor + no room for shields
Now, the biggest problem with the rogue to-hit to me seems to be that they are meant to rely on opponents being denied dexterity bonuses, which is a condition that is only rarely met and which the rogue has few if any tools to bring about. The rogue's damage and attacks are both therefore incredibly dependent on getting foes flat-footed (or effectively flat-footed), which is a difficult prospect indeed for a rogue. Feinting is an old way of achieving for this, but unfortunately suffers from the rogue's poor BaB and lack of steroid. What the rogue needs is a way to do some sort of combat maneuver or similar that will make an opponent vulnerable and actually has a chance of success. Well, there's one other combat maneuver that can cause an opponent to lose their Dex bonus, and that's Dirty Trick. Now this too suffers from the same issue that Feint does on a rogue, namely that they simply don't have any way of making it hit often at all...or do they?
Enter the Skulking Slayer. This is a half-orc archetype for rogues that provides the rogue with a very interesting mechanic, namely the ability to sacrifice their sneak attack damage to instead gain a bonus on steal maneuvers equal to 1&1/2 their SA dice or on, you guessed it, Dirty Trick equal to their SA dice. So there we have a steroid! Of ten at level 20, hmm, not really so great anymore. But wait, there's more! The feat Surprise Maneuver from the Advanced Class Guide lets us add our sneak attack dice as well, and what's more the two stack, as Sneaky Maneuvers lets us add our dice as a bonus whether or not we actually make a sneak attack or roll our dice as part of the attack. So now we have a +20 to Dirty Trick or a +25 to Steal at level 20 or a +10/+12 at level 10, not bad. If we combine this with the Scout Archetype, we could be charging into people and blinding them reliably throughout our leveling.
Alright, so this rogue can now blind people halfway effectively, but he still has the problem of damage. First of all, if this guy is charging people to get his dirty trick bonuses off, then he has no iterative attacks on the charge , and wont get any in any case until level 8 if he's not investing all his feats in two weapon fighting, right? Here to help us solve that issue (and help a bit with the AC) is the Snakebite Striker Brawler. A two level dip in this class will net us another sneak attack die, brawler's flurry, a bonus feat, IUS, and +2 BaB. IUS doesn't seem particularly important here though, as after all as a skulking slayer we will be always wielding a two-hander to take advantage of those d8 sneak attack rolls, right? Well, that's an option, to occupy both hands for some extra strength damage and 1 bonus damage per SA die, orrrrrrrrr we could put something else in that off-hand, like say a Burglar's Buckler, which adds to our low AC and to our dirty tricks. Now in our main hand we equip brass knuckles. Why, you ask? For nonlethal shenanigans, of course! We will get to that later, however, right now we still have the problem of having to move at least ten feet per round before getting our free sneak attacks/dirty tricks, and we need to be full-attacking to really get our damage going post-blind.
There are two ways that I've been able to find to sidestep this problem. The first of these is Jaunt Boots, which lets us move 15ft in a 5ft step 3/day. Not bad, but not great either. What we really want is an unassuming little Combat Performance feat called Mocking Dance, which lets us move an extra five feet as part of a swift action performance check (or our full speed if we want to provoke AoOs), letting us use a swift action each round to activate our scout sneak attack, and if we want to do some further feat investment we can pair it with dramatic display and masterful display for a +2 to all our attacks to boot or heroic display for a free intimidate check.
Now to the reason why we got unarmed strike: nonlethal damage without having to spend another feat, and some AC bonuses to boot! First off, we have brawler's flurry now, so we can use our offhand for a shield, beefing ourselves up a bit. I'm sure that by now everyone knows the value of the sap adept and master feats in really ramping up SA damage, but there are some interesting synergies that Sap Master has in particular with other aspects of the rogue. Now, what Sap Master does is double sneak attack dice when sneak attacking and dealing nonlethal damage. Unfortunately by RAW this doesn't stack with Underhanded Maneuvers or Surprise Manuevers. However, there happens to be a particular two rogue talents that benefit from this: Offensive Defense and Harrow Strike. That's right, you could at level 10 be getting +10 dodge AC for a successful sneak attack, or do 10 random ability damage instead of SA damage. Since we are unarmed, we can also throw knockout artist on top of the sap feats for another +1 damage per SA dice (doubled by sap master), and can also take enforcer for some free intimidate checks that would work well with performance combat feats or the Shatter Defenses feat. In fact, with shatter defenses and a successful intimidate check, we wouldn't even need to dirty trick to get the flat footed condition.
So, after all of this, we will have a rogue who can do the following, provided feat allowance and assuming liberal use of rogue talents to take said feats:
2d6+6 nonlethal SA per 2 levels
Does it make the rogue suddenly the best class ever? Eh, not quite. I like this build though, and look forward to being able to contribute to my party without being overbearing, and while also feeding my inner minmaxer.
Here's a Sample Feat/talent build at level 10:
Detective James Greene
Human Skulking Slayer Scout 8/Snakebite Striker 2
starting stats (20pt buy):
Rogue 1: Racial Heritage: Half-Orc 1d6 SA, Combat Expertise, underhanded maneuvers, Pass for Human
Alright, so I've been looking around at style feats lately, and have come upon a potentially interesting combo, at least if it works the way I am interpreting it to work.
So, the basis for this is the feat False Opening, along with either Snake or Panther Style feats and the Medusa's wrath feat. The Idea qould be that a monk would step into a threatened square, and FoB an adjacent enemy with a combination of shuriken and unarmed strikes, using False Opening to intentionally provoke an attack of opportunity. If a given opponent takes said attack, this would trigger Snake Fang or Panther Style, giving the monk 1-2 retaliatory unarmed strikes depending on said monk's feats. These retaliatory strikes in combination with the dex-depriving of False Opening would in turn trigger Medusa's Wrath, allowing a further two attacks for a total of your full attack combo + 3-4 extra at highest BaB. Heavy feat requirements but a neat combo, imo, and one that would get even crazier if combined with the ninja class for SA damage and flurry of stars. Such would give a total of two bonus shuriken attacks and between 3 and 4 bonus unarmed attacks in a turn, all at highest BaB, targeting flat footed AC, and applying sneak attack damage.
Entirely dependent on the DM not being a jerk and having monsters just "happen" to not take said attack of opportunity, of course. So, is there any rule minutae that I am missing that would prevent this from actually working?
Im wondering if you folks have considered a druid 4/ranger x as an alternative to this? You could use Shapeshifting Hunter to get full wildshape progression, and select the natural weapons combat style while also swapping out ranger class features for stuff like warpriest blessings, animal focus, or barbarian rage, all with a 19 BAB. With a feat like Boon Companion you could also have a full progression AC. Alternatively to the Natural Attack style, you could go two-weapon fighting for an AoMF unarmed/NA build with more attacks than a flurrying monk would get. On top of all of this, the ranger can make much more use of a high wisdom score than a brawler could, and would be on par with a monk as far as stat synergy. You'd be giving up a lot of spell levels, to be sure, but would get +4 BAB, a slew of bonus feats, and favored enemy/terrain/animal focus/rage/ranger shapeshifting in return.
As a third option, druid 4/monk 1/ranger 13 might be another good choice.
I was thinking it'd be STR=INT>CON>WIS>DEX>CHA. They do in fact use dex for ranged to hit, so it would suffer a bit in that regard.
Kensai does indeed work well for this too, given their eventual Int bonus to practically everything. It's not quite the buff it could be on a Kensai though, given that you'd lose Arcane Strike.
Who on earth with an int-focused build by level 9 only has 16 Int? Personally I'd want at elast 20 by that point, prefferably 24, for a bonus damage of 30 or 42. The damage will fo course be sub-par at lwo intelligence levels and isnt really worth it if you only have 14 int, but scales incredibly well with the attribute and if you break 26 Int will be adding very large chunks of damage to a charge. It's true that there is quite a feat tax, but the benefits are far more than mere damage, being knowledge of monster weaknesses, save bonuses, and positioning bonuses, all quite important to a mounted martial. The Student of War is a Prestige class that can, among other abilities, replace Dex with Int for AC and make a knowledge check as a move action to get bonuses to attack/damage.
I've seen throughout these past few months a few assorted threads on this forum about the kirin style feat chain and its uses, and beyond a Focused Shot Alchemist who throws one bomb for 4x his Intelligence per round or the Duelist who gets slightly more damage sometimes nobody seems to have been able to come up with much. I've been thinking how to optimise these feats however, and may have come up with an excellent application: The Charger.
More specifically, I am referring to the mounted lance-charger, be it a ranger, fighter, or cavalier (though fighter would definitely be easiest given the heavy feat requirements) in combination with the Combat Style Master feat. The problems with the Kirin feats are as follows: two swift actions to start up, kirin strike only works on one attack, and kirin path is only useful if you want to keep distance. I am of the opinion that a lance-charging mounted combatant with the Combat Style Master feat is able to sidestep these problems rather elegantly.
First, the CSM feat allows us to start any combat with kirin style already activated. While this doesnt negate the second swift action requirement, we can at least do something useful in that time by getting into position for a charge, firing off some shots with a bow, or making other identify checks with the lore warden or student of war class features. While the action tax isn't entirely eliminated, it is cut in half, and we can activate another feat such as janni style to help us a bit more with the upcoming charge.
Second, the issue with the restriction of Kirin Strike to one attack. Well, when lance charging we only really have one anyway. And look at that, Kirin Strike is added after the hit as a flat bonus to damage, which if I am correct means that it is applied to the damage doubling/tripling from the lance. This means that a lancer with spirited charge could be adding 6x his intelligence to his charges, which is no small modifier, and an even better bonus than he gets from strength.
Third, Kirin Path. One of the most unfortunate things that can happen to a lancer in my experience is being backed into a corner by an enemy or group of enemies. Kirin Path allows us to avoid this problem, moving behind any enemy that tries to box us in, ensuring that no matter how they advance we will always end up on the side of our enemy that allows us the most room to move our mount and set up further charges.
These facts together on top of the nice save bonuses that kirin style provides already make me believe that, at least in this case of a mounted combatant with enough of a feat progression, kirin style can be far better than its mediocre reputation, and may in fact when combined with such things as the Student of War prestige class make an intelligence-focused fighter not only possible, but a quite effective combatant, and I for one am quite looking forward to playing a scholar-knight in a campaign I'll be starting next week, assuming of course that this doesnt get the crane-style nerfbat because "style feats arent allowed to be good on non-monks" or "intelligence isnt allowed on martials" or something.
So im looking to make a character for an upcoming Pathfinder campaign, and have up to this point generally played LG or LN nobility types. I'd like to mix this up a bit and make a bit of an antithesis to these.
Enter the character concept: A yeoman farmer and war veteran of Brevoy who has struggled under the bullying and domineering of nearby lords and knights, and has gotten ahold of some books of Galtian philosophy. Now having stirred his resentment into outright hatred of all aristocracy, he desires to overthrow feudal structures and exterminate nobility both as people and as an insitution. The planned alignment is CN, as he's very against the prevailing political order of the land, resents the law, and while he has lofty ideals of equality lets his hatred of nobles rule him too much to be good. So, my question is, how do I mechanically construct this guy in a way to fit the concept as well as possible?
The most obvious choices are of course fighter or ranger, but these seem to lack the sort of rabble-rousing leadership/symbol capabilities that im looking for, at least so far as given class features. Therefore, I'm looking to go for a cavalier, and am particularly interested in the Order of the Land.
My question, then, is what sort of archetype would fit both thematically and be effective in combat, or if another class would be better suited in general. Right now im waffling between a ranged-focused luring cavalier and a vanilla or huntmaster cavalier focused on the improvised weapon ablities of order of the land with either a pitchfork or a combat scabbard, depending on DM ruling regarding enchanting improvised weapons. It should be noted that I don't want to be a "knight in shining armor" type, so i'd prefer not to focus on charging and whatnot. Additionally, relevant feats and traits that would strengthen this build/concept would be welcome.
You might want to read further, for this pretense is first never fully followed as he murders only those imprisoned (but for one exception), acting for the good of no-one but his own ego, and then abandons such motives entirely and attempts to set himself up as shadow-dictator of the world.
I'll give the whole thing points for trying to portray the dilemma of a utilitarian approach to morality, but it tipped its hand far too early and corrupted the main vessel of it's own ethical experiment incredibly quickly.
Funky Badger wrote:
This is a flawed example, for it assumes that the happiness of a person is equal in value to the life of another in the eyes of a utilitarian. you must remember that different factors possess different values as deigned by the utilitarian making judgement, and it would be nigh-impossible to justify equating making one person, or even hundreds of people, happy with utterly ending the life of another. This is why most utilitarians, when questioned, would proclaim the Khmer Rouge to be evil, as well as any similar historical examples of regimes/dictators exterminating minorities to enrich/"purify"/etc. the remainder.
I do agree with others in this thread however, that it is vitally important to at least have a rough sketch of the hierarchy of said individual's value system, and any "trump" values that they may have.
Wind Chime wrote:
I was going with the arbitrary labels and D&D absolutist morality where certain evil acts are evil regardless of context. Take the example of stopping infections spreading by killing or ghettoizing plague victims, those victims are innocent and therefor in D&D morality killing them is wrong even if does stop the spread of plague. Similarly assassinating warmongering leaders or corrupt officials that are legally selected will always be chaotic.
Ah, i see. Probably starting LN then, given the inflexible nature of mechanical ethics in pathfinder, and probably undergoing numerous alignment changes to any of the possible alignments over the course of a campaign, as he/she acts for the greater good and gets slapped with various good/evil/chaotic/lawful labels on each act.
I am now imagining a utilitarian BBEG rebelling against the gods for creating and enforcing an absolutist system of moral judgement that declares him to be evil simply because he is too consequentialist for them.
I am flabbergasted at the prevailing attitude in this thread that a utilitarian approach to ethics is by nature impossible to be good. The ethical debate between teleology and deontology is by no means finished, and to presume that a consequentialist approach to morality and ethics is by its nature incapable of being righteous or good is both arrogant and narrow-minded.
OP, it could run the gamut, though it depends on how faithfully the character in question follows this approach. If he/she is willing to do whatever is best for the most in every situation regardless of the effect to themselves then I'd say likely NG, possibly LG. If his approach is clouded or corrupted by bias or imperfect application, or if he uses it simply as an excuse rather than a motive force, then the other alignments are all possible.
Honorable Goblin wrote:
He is certainly altruistic in his approach; he gives himself no more value than anyone else, and is willing to do what he believes to benefit the world the most regardless of his own reputation, image, or well-being, nor that of any individual that he may have affection for. He does what he feels is best, denying himself the luxuries of acting on sympathy or emotion, and in doing so arguably sacrifices far more for the sake of his moral code than anyone who simply lets benevolent whimsy direct their actions.
He didn't like laws because they applied constrictions that interfered with the greatest benefit to the most people and he was neutral because he was not motivated by good or evil, but instead by pragmatism.
But he WAS motivated by good, that is the entire point, that he worked toward the good of the world. What is "good" and what is "nice" are not and have never been synonymous, just as "terrible" actions and "evil" actions are likewise not synonyms.
Now such a character would likely commit evil acts he would also likely commit good acts.
How exactly would be operating for the good of everyone be an evil act, unless we are speaking of such things as the arbitrary "always evil" labels on stuff like raising undead?
The knockout sniper:
Goblin Sniper Rogue 10
20 Point Buy:
Relevant skills: 10 in stealth for a +42 standard bonus (10 ranks + 3 class skill + 4 goblin + 4 small + 5 cloak + 9 dex + 3 focus + 4 stealthy)
Alternate favored class option: +1 to first sneak attack/level
Equipment: Shortbow +2, Sniper Goggles, Dex gloves +4, blunted arrows, cloak of elvenkind
Basically here we use our bludgeoner feat to give our arrows nonlethal damage, and use the sap tree to steroid that single attack. Sap Adept adds 2 to each sneak attack dice, sap mastery doubles the number of dice, and sniper goggles add a further 2 to each.
A snipe attack at 30 ft. with this build will be at +20 to hit, doing 1d3+10d6+20(goggles)+20(adept)+10(favored)+2(enhc)+1+10(bleed) for a total of 1d3+10d6+53+10(bleed) nonlethal damage on a single arrow. This is a min of 64 and max of 116, plus 10 per round of lethal bleed. At level 10, this lets us 1-shot most mooks and some minibosses into unconsciousness, who then bleed out over the next few rounds. Our goblin then makes a stealth check at a +32 (-10 for sniping) to remain stealthed.
If we want to go full-attack with rapid shot, it becomes +18/+18/+13 for 3d4+30d6+159+10bleed, a 189 min and 348 max if all hit, enough to toast any level-appropriate BBEG that can take nonlethal damage.
Do we want religion to be dumbed down to the point of "pray, get buffs"? I feel it would be more true to the setting to have rewards from gods based upon player actions that fit within their portfolio and are done in their names. Helping farmers with goblin raids near one's home in the name of Erastil, for example, may get rewards from the diety, either temporary or permanent. Otherwise, deities and religious devotion may be reduced to a chore that folks do before hard dungeons.
Seems a mite pay-2-win, that. Though, then again the whole thing would be if there aren't enough alternate means of attaining in-game power beyond level alone.
If I can be a powerful character in some sense (wealth, influence, etc.)without paying, and acquire such power at a low level, then it's fine by me. If not, what's the point of giving free players PC classes at all? 's not like they'd be able to do anything your above-average commoner NPC couldn't.
Dunno about all you gents, but I am not a wealthy man, only being able to afford the oh-so-small kickstarter donation of $5. It would be neat if I were able to fully enjoy this game without destroying my wallet, or watching the more financially endowed surpass me with no means of catching up.
This is an excellent point, and would create a more realistic economy within the game, as opposed to the max-quality-only economy that exists in most MMOs, where no blacksmith will create simple gear. Maintenance should be a realistically proportional cost of fielding an army, while manpower, training, and equipment should not be lumped into the same value.
You could just tie currency to an actual commodity value and stop giving it out from random drops. This would require non-infinite natural resources. Give it value only from its use in commerce as a substitute for the goods it represents and fix or keep the supply within a certain value/player.
Or one could not make a fixed currency and allow it to develop organically from player-run banks/nations.
I feel that if one wishes to field NPC armies, they must be directly drawn from an NPC population, and that losses in manpower will not be easily recuperated. If warfare does not carry great risk of depopulation and ruin to a ruler, there will not be enough weight to one's decisions int he same and armies will be thrown away to quickly. This would additionally make population bases into valuable resources, to be fought over, traded, and rented out. (making possible such entities as mercenary companies) Additionally, players will be encouraged to guard these assets of soldiers, as a tool to be used rather than as a currency to be spent.
These together would lend weight and realistic stability to warfare, making it a thing to carefully prepare for and keeps its nature as a massive wealth-destroyer. A nation which enacts war unsuccessfully numerous times should not have anywhere near the economic strength or population of its more peaceful neighbors afterward.
Well, I'm actually looking for a very specific character RP-wise here. Specifically, the idea was for him to be a dominican-monk-like devotee of Erastil (or another neutral/lawful good diety, probably not erastil now that i think about it given his decentralized religion, so whichever good diety has a highly structured hierarchy in their church.) who was rejected as a potential cleric early in his life for political reasons. Not being trained as a divine caster or channeler of divine power, he nonetheless devoted his life to study of Erastil's book as well as general scholasticism, community service, and seeking to perfect himself according tot he doctrine of Erastil. Thus, he isn't a divine spellcaster, but rather gains power from his own self-discipline and meditation on divine doctrine, while being incredibly knowledgable and a source of wisdom and advice for others. Additionally, he wouldnt wear armor, believing his faith in Erastil sufficient to protect him. He's basically an old, wise ascetic who doesnt directly wield divine power, but is a fount of wisdom, is incredibly disciplined, and does what he can to embody the doctrines of his god. I felt that operating within the monk class while taking these three archetypes fit that character image the best. He may end up taking cleric levels as he progresses, if the DM chooses for the Church to offer him a "second chance", but I don't want him being a spellcaster off the bat.
I realize that the "monk" class refers specifically to the shaolin-style unarmed fighter, but I'm not actually seeing any better way to fit mechanics to my specific character image. I know that mehcanics to fit the character's existance as an RP entity aren't really neccesary, but I like them to fit as well as possible.
And Marus, the Sensei archetype gives all knowledge skills as class skills, so I think I've already got that.
Alright, so I've been looking at the monk class for awhile, and have really wanted to play a monastic character lately. Unfortunately, the Pathfinder monk class only really works, mechanically, for the eastern shaolin variety of monk. With the advanced player's guide and ultimate combat, however, I think that I may have come up with a passable non-martial-art based monk build, who focuses his ability scores in mental stats rather than physical and is much more conducive to a pacifistic monk of a western tradition. My only question now is whether or not I will be useful to a party with said build, and with this I require your sage advice. I'm not aiming to have the greatest build in the world, just to be a character that will actually contribute to a party in a standard campaign. So, here goes:
My DM is likely to go for a 20-point buy score system, and im not sure if he would let me start at middle age. If he does, my statline for a human monk should be 10 12 12 14 18 14 at level 1. If he does not, it will be 10 10 10 14 18 14.
I will be taking the Ki Mystic, Sensei, and Monk of the Lotus archetypes. These three will sacrifice most of my offensive unarmed strike power, while giving me bardic performance, knowledge and skill check bonuses, the ability to let other party members reroll their actions, a larger ki pool, and a more pacifistic replacement for stunning fist as compensation. Additionally, I will take the vows of celibacy, cleanliness, fasting, and peace, as they fit with the intended western-style monastic character and further increase my ki pool. I would take poverty, but fear that such would be a headache for my DM, who would be less able to balance my character via loot drops.
So, at level 4 i will be a monk with a +7 to hit and 1d8 unarmed damage, 12 ki, 16 AC, +1 Inspire Courage, +2 to knowledge checks, +4 to skill check ki power, 28 skill points, no flurry of blows, a no-damage stunning fist that prevents moving or attacking at a higher DC, and 4d8+4 HP. Decent enough as a support/skill-monkey to not be a liability?
The goal is really to be a support/tank with some decent melee capabilities able to keep my teammates alive if they get over their heads, and from what i've been able to tell being a high-hp character who is able to take damage for others and heal is a good way to do that. I was thinking of taking the Battle Mystery, but the options there just don't seem nearly as useful as being able to life link and channel.
Oh, and it was supposed to be a 3 barb/3oracle/xRP, my bad.
So, I'm going to be a PC in a campaign soon with a bunch of folks who are just getting into pathfinder, starting at level 4, and am thinking that I'd like to try out a rage prophet, both to see how it plays (in-combat and RP-wise) and to avoid being the dominating party member due to my experience advantage. Our party is already going to have a dedicated healer/protection cleric, so I was thinking that I would tool my prophet to make her job even easier.
The plan is to go Vanilla Barb 2/Life Oracle 3/Rage Prophet X, grabbing the channel energy and life link mysteries, as well as the extra rage and channel feats. This will allow me to concentrate damage taken by the party onto myself, making it easier for the cleric with her empowered cure spells to keep up with enemy damage output by focusing on a single healing recipient. Meanwhile, I'll be able to heal a bit myself if things get hairy, take some hits with the high HD I get, and do some ok melee damage. The statline I've rolled up is 18,14,18,13,12,14, and im gonna be putting my next two points into Charisma.
So, good idea? Terrible idea?