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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
On the other hand, the SRD offers very weak transparency on what comes from where, usually due to setting copyright problems—a lot of GMs, myself included, like to know where a spell option comes from. Some, like the Summon Monster variant that allows you to summon tigers, are decidedly overpowered without the original context.
Let the forum-dead lie in peace, you heartless monster!
As long as I want being until I get alchohol poisoning. Effects that require you to drink every round tend to be p. dang risky in sustained fights.
The mutagen may be a good idea, as it takes nothing away from this build really.
So, im playing a fighter of Cayden Cailean in an upcoming campaign, and was hoping to get some advice on good feats/tools to play up the "drunken bravado" shtick.
The stuff I have already found is as follows:
Blade and Tankard Style, as the core of the build.
So here's the build im thinking:
Half-orc, 20 pt buy, Shaman's Apprentice and Sacred Tattoo alternate racial traits
1 Fighter: Endurance (Shamans Apprentice), Two-Weapon Fighting, Blade and Tankard Style (replaces shield prof.), Power Attack
At this point i'm unsure whether to go for an intimidation focus with Undaunted Bravery and Cornudgeon Smash, or go more for straight damage and AC. Saves should be pretty dang high across the board, with reflex as the lowest. Damage output should be decent, so long as I can get some buffing potions or infusions to chug. I'd really like to get some of the barbarian rage powers that give bonuses for drinking, but the only in-class means is viking which replaces bravery, and VMC Barbarian would both reduce my available feats and not solve the issue till level 11. I also cant really afford the early Strength investment or Racial Heritage feat required for Raging Brute.
So I guess what I want to know is this: are there other alchohol and/or bravery themed options that would be useful, and am I pouring to much into these two to have a functional fighter?
Im pretty sure the rogue can throw bombs even if he can't sneak attack. I think the idea is to have a switch hitter who can throw bombs (with occasional bonus SA damage and debuffs from rogue 4), or get into melee with a pumped up dexterity and sneak attack. So they get all the best parts of a rogue (the first four levels) with most of the alchemist's.
I don't see a need, however, to give up the basic alchemist bombs just to gain some extra sneak attack die, however. Plain Alchemist or Fire Bomber would make more sense to me. You're already getting sneak attack from your rogue, right?
Going vivisectionist/underground chemist with the bomb rogue talent would let him have full progression on both sneak attack and bomb damage, while dropping either archetype would mean sacrificing most of either bomb damage or sneak attack.
Malefic, you may also want to look into the Grenadier archetype, might help boost your damage and/or switch hitting ability if you are OK with sacrificing the alchemists poison features
Gonna keep it short and sweet. Would a Vox Mesmerist's Wounding Words ability be able to be used in conjunction with vital strike? Relevant text to follow:
At 3rd level, a vox can focus the power of his voice to magnify the force of his blows in melee. As a standard action, a vox can make a melee touch attack that deals 1d6 points of sonic damage plus 1 point per mesmerist level. Alternatively, he can make a single attack with a melee weapon as a standard action, adding the listed sonic damage to the damage dealt by his weapon on a successful attack. He can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.
It seems to me that this would indeed work, as vital strike modifies a standard action attack, allowing a vox mesmerist to pile on pain strike, vital strike, and wounding words into a single attack for a reasonable if not overly-impressive big-hit build. Am I missing something?
So for as long as the rules subsection of the Pathfinder forums has existed, threads have perennially popped up with folks trying to combine vital strike, spring attack, and charging in some combination. Throughout the years, folks have told them "no, those don't stack", and everyone has left saddened and/or frustrated.
So let's have another one of those, 'cause I think I may have finally found a RAW solution to this age-old problem, and while I'm sure there's some nuance im missing, it looks solid to me.
EXHIBIT A: Divine Fighting Technique in the Weapon Masters Handbook entitled Gorum's Swordsmanship. Relevant text reads as follows:
EXHIBIT B, YOUR HONOR: A feat from the Advanced Race Guide entitled Martial Versatility. Reads as follows:
Benefit: Choose one combat feat you know that applies to a specific weapon (e.g., Weapon Focus). You can use that feat with any weapon within the same weapon group.
This feat will be used with Gorum's Sowrdsmanship, which applies to the greatsword as a weapon, opening the feat up to all heavy blades.
EXHIBIT C IF IT PLEASE THE COURT: The Horselord Archetype of the Cavalier, relevant abilities read as follows, bolded for emphasis:
At 6th level, a horselord gains the benefits of the Mobility feat so long as she is mounted. Additionally, the horselord deals double damage while using a one-handed slashing weapon from the back of a charging mount, as though using a lance. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 6th level.
At 9th level, a horselord gains the benefits of the Spring Attack feat so long as she remains mounted. The horselord uses her mount's movement for this action and neither the horselord nor her mount provoke attacks of opportunity from the target. When making a single attack with a one-handed slashing weapon while using the Spring Attack feat, the horselord treats her mount as charging. This ability can be used to qualify for other feats that treat Spring Attack as a prerequisite; however, the cavalier can benefit from those feats only while mounted.
So, we combine these three things (in a level 4 titan fighter/6 horselord cavalier worshiping gorum) with a mount and spirited charge and we get:
A charging spring attack with a bastard sword applying vital strike damage, which is tripled from the horselord ability and spirited charge.
Is this an actually functional combination of these three oddities, or am I missing something? I'm a little worried that the horselord text might be a bit weird re: spring attack, but i'm pretty confident about the other stuff enabling a vital strike triple-damage bastard sword charge.
Manly-man teapot wrote:
"You count as your own ally unless otherwise stated or if doing so would make no sense or be impossible."
Is the contention that this would fall under the "makes no sense" bit? I'm not sure how.
One, the point was mostly an exercise in theorycrafting. Two, you always count as your own ally in Pathfinder.
The solution would really be that this setup allows you to be mostly item-independent for very high defenses, so one could focus a lot more on offense with items, (bracers of the avenging knight, silver smite bracelet, and champion's banner come to mind), and on top of this each further cavalier level (and the chain challenge feat) is gonna add another 2 static damage to your attacks, making you a more effective damage dealer as a game progresses, though with the lack of pounce that plagues daring champions in general.
So, as many of you may or may not know one of the features of the recent Occult Adventures book was the innocuous little gem that is the Eastern Star Cavalier order. On the surface, this order seems to make the cavlaier a little more defensively focused, giving significant AC and saves, as well as a smidge of DR, to the cavalier class provided that the character in question generally favor defensive fighting and/or combat expertise. After not seeing it used for much since, however, I've decided to do what I can to take this defensive cavalier chassis and dial it up to eleven.
"But Sumutherguy," you ask, "what can you do with this? Don't you know that defensive-focused martials are rather silly and ineffective, and that monk-paladins are already the best at AC and save pumping?"
"Aha", I reply, waggling my eyebrows knowingly, "watch and be surprised my skeptical friend, as I work arithmetic wonders"*
*"arithmetic wonders" here being defined as "i looked up stuff in a book and plugged it into a calculator aren't I so brilliant"
So here goes:
LEVEL ONE!: MoMS Monk. Feats: Imp. Unarmed (duh), Crane Style (bonus feat), Toughness, Stunning Fist
"Aha!" you think, "So it is just another monk build!"
First of all, shut up, i needed quick access to crane style. Second of all, also shut up.
Level 2: 1 Daring Champion Order of the Eastern Star Cavalier, some teamwork feat, challenge, etc.
Level 3: monk 1/cavalier 2: cautious fighter, Order, Guarded
Alright, so here's our first milestone. At level 3 with Guarded active we have saves of Fort 9, Ref 8, Will 5. A bit lacking in our will save, but strong overall. More importantly, entering into defensive fighting now gives us 2(base)+1(trait)+2(cautious fighter)+1(crane style)+1(acrobatics = 7 bonus AC when fighting defensively for a -2 to attack. Not bad for level 3, eh? With a chain shirt and buckler that brings our AC to 27, or 28 against challenged foes.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE
Level 4: monk 1/cavalier 2/paladin 1: smite, aura, detect evil. +1 CON
"OHHHHHH" You are screaming in your mind, "It's another monkadin, big deaaallll."
Why must you always be so negative?
Level 5: Monk 1/cavalier 2/paladin 2: DIVINE GRACE BABY. Also, Lay On Hands and Draconic Defender.
Now, divine grace adds your CHA to your saves and Draconic Defender gives an ally (you count as your own) a natural armor bonus equal to your dodge bonus from defensive fighting. Which, right now is 7.
So this brings our defenses to Fort 15, Ref 11, Will 11 and 34/35 AC. Pretty dang good, but we can GO HIGHER.
Level 6: Monk 1/cavalier 3/paladin 2: Nimble! +1 AC!
Level 7: Monk 2/cavalier 3/paladin 2: Crane Wing (bonus), Blundering Defense
Now, crane wing is a bit of a controversial feat. It gives you an additional +4 dodge bonus when fighting defensively, but that bonus goes away if an attack misses by 4 or less. Normally, that would be a pretty big problem, but we ahve other feats that serve as a force multiplier here.
So, with crane wing our dodge bonus to defensive fighting is now 11, with a -2 to attacks. Pretty hefty. This means that our Draconic Defender bonus is now also 11 while crane wing is up, and that on top of this we have the new Blundering Defense luck bonus to AC which is equal to half of our dodge bonus, so 6 if we include fortune's favored. The Crane Wing +4 therefore actually gives us a net +11 AC, more than a sufficient cushion to keep it up consistently.
Our last level is Cavalier 4/Monk 2/Paladin 2, for deeds, 1 dex, and a +1 to our order bonus.
With this our defenses while fighting defensively end up as follows:
Saves: Fort 19 (3 attribute + 10 base + 3 grace + 1 halfling +2 guarded), Ref 13 (4 base + 3 attribute + 3 grace +1 halfling +2 guarded), Will 13 (7 base + 3 grace +1 halfling +2 guarded)
AC: 10 + 4 (armor) +3 (dex) +1 (buckler) +1 (Size) + 11 (dodge) + 11 (NA) + 6 (luck) +1 (nimble) = 48
Those are some pretty ridiculous figures, and this is without any magic items! At Level 9 with lower-than average WBL and average HP rolls our Halfling multiclassed monstrosity could also have:
Rod of Balance
For the following array:
Feats: Imp. Unarmed, Crane Style, Toughness, Stunning Fist, Cautious Fighter, Draconic Defender, Crane Wing, Blundering Defense
Against the target of a challenge, saves and AC all go up by 2. Against a smite target, AC goes up by 4. Also, Evasion, for what that's worth.
Attacks: Rapier +11/+6 for 1d4+8 damage. 1d4+12 in a challenge, +15/10 and 1d4+14 in both a challenge and smite. Not incredible, but not as horrible as some defensively-focused builds. The Cavalier combo of challenge and precise strike really save our bacon here.
"But you never really solved the problem of a defensive martial being generally ignorable and ineffective. Anyone can stack Daring Champion damage bonuses." You beam into my brain with your mind-lasers.
There's just no pleasing you, is there?
Your build might be helped by the Surprise Manuever feat, which adds bonuses to those dirty tricks, and either the Skulking Slayer Rogue Archetype or Bounty Hunter Slayer which both do the same. (and end up with 2x your number of SA dice to dirty tricks when combined with that feat)
Thing is, once you buff up your dirty tricks enough to be reliable, you might as well keep going and make yourself into a dedicated debuffer. With the previously mentioned tools and/or Debilitating Injury and dirty trick style feats you can make your rogue able to incapacitate without even having to deal damage. Sap Master looks great on paper, but is really only usable consistently in sniper or enforcer-intimidate builds.
So, you're planning on making poison a source of healing? You're a mad dwarf, I'll tell you that. I'm guessing that a Vivisectionist would go best with the Barbarian? Don't think bombs will do you much good anyway. I haven't taken a look at the newer Archetypes yet, maybe there's another one better fitted these days?
Metamorph might actually be good for a 1-2 level dip. Trades out alchemy for 1 hour/level per day alter self.
As nobody's brought it up thus far, I'm gonna suggest you look at the Evangelist PRC, as it might help your archer build considerably.
Biggest pros of it will be 9/10 progression in all cleric class features, +2 AC, +Wis to hit/damage with longbows, the ability to copy an animal companion, some spell-like abilities, and a pretty nifty customizable PRC capstone at level 16.
You'd give up only one effective cleric level for all that.
PRC here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/e-h/evangelist
Erastil boons here: http://archivesofnethys.com/DeityDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Erastil
adding Dex+Wis to attacks and Str+Wis to damage on a longbow should be especially effective for a cleric, and doubling your animal companion (assuming you took animal domain) is never a bad thing.
Barachiel Shina wrote:
I can assure you that powergamers in this game are not overly concerned with check penalties and max dex bonuses on armor.
Draco Bahamut wrote:
Only partially. The "knowledge to combat effectiveness" talent they get is very limited, and they utilize intelligence in a clearly magical way that goes beyond "martial scholar" into "magician-scholar" territory. I'm thinking something more like the Student of War PrC.
Oh, excellent! I've been wanting to make a smarty-pants spear fighter for awhile.
That might work as a magus x/spell slinger wizard 1, though you will need rapid reload on top of other ranged feats. You get higher DCs on your spells too, so that's neat.
Alex Mack wrote:
Pure Daring Champions are feat starved, yes. The brawler dip nets you three feats for two levels though, and while it does retard the progression of challenge/precise strike, they will still mean a combined +20 to damage by level 12, as opposed to the +12 that a non-DC cavalier would get.
If your goal is to be a high-ac high-save puncher cavalier, I feel that a Halfling Daring Champion/Order of the Eastern Star might be a better bang for your buck. You don't start out with IUS, true, but two levels of brawler can solve that while giving you another bonus feat and a form of TWF with a single weapon, great for doubling your precise strike deed damage and enabling you to take a buckler in your offhand. Halflings also get several great feats for defensive fighting, as an added bonus. The -2 STR might mean that you suffer damage-wise in the early levels, but once the precise strike deed comes online that should be more than made up for. Having a high CHA isntead of INT (and using CHA for INT feats) means that you can also get some good use from the feat Osyluth Guile in later levels
you need it for the Treat Deadly Wounds standard skill unlocks.
I think that an item which alters the effect of rest does just that. Whether or not it is intended as a "reward" for anything is both unknowable and irrelevant, as it's effect is to alter the result of a rest, and therefore things which are tied to and duplicate the effects of rest.
The only definition of natural rate of healing which I have found in the rules shows up in the Attuned to the Wild feat here. In this feat, it is defined as "the amount of hit points and ability damage you heal from a full night's rest." They are, therefore, tied inexorably together. Things which alter one's natural rate of healing then also alter the effects of rest, and vice versa. This would mean that both Comfort's Cloak and the Periapt of Wound Closure function to alter natural rate of healing, the effects of rest, and subsequently the effects of functions which emulate rest/natural healing.
except that the skill unlocks specify that the treat deadly wounds use grants the same benefits as such rest and have the same effect. If something modifies the effect of the rest therefore, it also modifies the effect of the emulation of such rest which is explicitly stated to mimic it. In this case, the actual time taken is irrelevant, as the effect is treated as if it were indeed a 24 hour rest anyway.
I don't think so. Were that the case, the "doesn't require a healer's kit" part would be utterly meaningless, as you technically dont' have to use a healer's kit to treat deadly wounds anyway. In any case, not requiring a healer's kit does not mean that you can't use one.
Ill grant you the second point here, didn't read that the first time. So this is once per day. Your first point here I have addressed in my first post.
using the heal skill unlock and assuming patient is of equal level:
Levels 1-4: base amount healed by deadly wounds is equal to 1/level+WIS (4-9, assuming 16 Wisdom)
Levels 5-9: amount healed is as if target rested for full day, or 2/level (10-18)
Levels 10-14: amount healed is as if target rested for full day with long term care, or 2/level (base full day rest) *2 (long term care effect) for 4/level (40-56)
Levels 15-19: target heals as if resting for three full days, or 2/level (base full day rest) * 3 (# of days rested) for 6/level (90-114)
The disagreement here appears to be over whether the words "recovers hit points as if it had rested for..." under the skill unlocks for the heal skill. Now, if this only meant base healing rate under any/all circumstances, as you are claiming, then why even tie it to resting at all? why no just say that it's 2/lvl, 4/lvl, 6/lvl, and 12/lvl instead? instead, the use of the ability has been explicitly tied to the effects of another rule-set, namely the effects of resting. The healing done is not stated to be equal to the "base" amount of resting healing or the "unmodified" amount, but instead occurs "as if" resting had occurred, implicitly including all effects upon resting healing given no further qualifiers. Were such not the case, then the "as if" clause is entirely useless by RAW in any/all instances. "as if", as a clause, implies both the base function and any relevant modifiers or restrictions, and therefore encompasses modifiers attached to the emulated effect/action. The closest rules analogue I can think of for this is the Mighty Fist of Earth spell, which does damage "as if" a target had been hit with an unarmed strike. Modifiers to said unarmed strike damage are included there, so why not modifiers to rest healing here?
TLDR: "as if", so far as I understand it, emulates the specified effects (here, healing) of another action completely and therefore includes any relevant modifiers/restrictions.
Periapt of Wound Closure, Bandages of Rapid Recovery, and Reviving Rest I can give you, granted that the wording on each is rather ambiguous ("natural rate of healing", "when receiving bed rest""complete bed rest".) Comfort's Cloak, however, I consider to be more clear-cut in its effects, which is simply to increase the healing granted by the rest actions with none of these other riders. Given my interpretation of the "as if" clause above, I'm p. sure this applies.
Anyone care to evaluate a best case scenario for the numbers?
the best case scenario numbers according to your interpretation are 1-4+WIS, 10-18, 40-56, 90-114, and 240 respectively for each tier of the skill unlock.
PS. I have never actually seen a ruling on the exact mechanics of action/effect emulation in pathfinder, so I'm going of of what makes the most logical sense to me here. If the default form of emulation is base/unmodified emulation only then I of course concede this case under protest that such is no fun at all.
Doomed Hero wrote:
I'm playing a ratfolk alchemist in Giantslayer who's getting Psychic Sensitivity for the skill unlocks anyway and am my group's only healer, so I will certainly be doing this for the party's fighter/meatshield.
Sounds like another fun ability is going to be nerfed into nonexistence due to optimization.
This combo requires two feats and two 15kish magical items (three feats if you aren't a rogue), has some pretty glaring weaknesses (time and uses/day, particularly), and scales rather reasonably with level from what I can tell (1.2k hp at level 20 < the shenanigans that wizards can still do), so I don't think its particularly overpowered, especially considering that by the time it hits peak effectiveness most spell-casters can laugh heartily at the notion that mere hit points will save anyone from them.
It is accessible to martials though, so that may mean that it is indeed doomed.
Alright, so I've recently been looking into the treat deadly wounds bit of the heal skill in combination with skill unlocks to see if there's any way to make this thing useful. Unfortunately, it seems that this action has a hard limit on the one-hour duration that it takes to apply such care. The skill unlocks, however, make the healing provided useful, if not ideal, come late levels, enabling healing for 240 hp each use by level 20 (natural rate of 2/level/day, three effective days, x2 for long term care effect). This healing still presents a problem, however: it can only be done after someone has been hurt, and the time required means that it must be away from any fighting where a character could just heal naturally anyway.
Enter the preemptive surgeon. Have you ever been elbow-deep in some yahoo who got himself cut up, thinking "boy, tending to dying people is a hassle. I wish there was some way that I could fix them before they get themselves all messy." Well, dream no longer, because with occult powers there is a way!
For this advanced and new technique of surgery we need the following:
This last one is the real cornerstone of this combination. The Psychic Healer feat, you see, allows you to make a Treat Deadly Wounds check, and add an additional number of temporary hit points to your Meatbag equal to the amount healed. This seems a little underwhelming at first, given that you still have to take an hour to do this, but these temporary hit points last for a further hour, plenty of time to find mortal danger! Know you are going into a fight soon? Lay your Meatbag onto a table and sew him up, before the injuries even happen!
The temporary hit points gained will be as follows at each skill unlock tier, assuming that you beat the DC by at least 5:
Levels 1-4: 1/level+WIS (4-9, assuming 16 Wisdom)
That's a pretty respectable chunk of temporary hit points for your lucky Meatbag! But wait, there's more!
Let's say that your Meatbag is level 10. Said Meatbag buys an otherwise rather unassuming item called Comfort's Cloak. This cloak does many things, but we only care about one effect here: "When taking a full 24 hours of rest, the character regains 5 times his Hit Dice in hit points instead of twice his Hit Dice in hit points." This means that when your Meatbag "recovers hit points and ability damage as if it had rested for a full day" it is multiplied by this effect!
This means that if your Meatbag gets a booboo, your level 10 heal check on said Meatbag will heal them for 10 times their hd, giving them 100 temporary hit points to run around with for the next hour. We can add Bandages of Rapid Recovery to this to make it 140 instead.
Now, 140 temporary hit points for an hour sounds pretty powerful at level ten, but why stop there? Your Meatbag can purchase a Periapt of Wound Closure at the very next level and double that healing rate, bumping the total heal and the total temp. hp to 300! At level 20 this would cap out at a whopping 1200 temporary hp, no small benefit for two feats! Even at level 5 some simple Bandages of Rapid recovery will give them 18 temp hit points to soften up the first blows that they take, or 27 if they are a werebear-kin with the Reviving Rest trait. Treating others not enough? Be a tiefling with the Friendless trait! Want to do this multiple times a day? take the Battlefield Surgeon trait and pump your Meatbag up an additional time!
Healing wounded companions is a practice for a more primitive time, be a modern medical practitioner and heal your patients for wounds they will receive in the future! Unlock the potential of Psychic Surgery™ and leave those silly divine healers in the dust! Remember, their cries of "abomination!", "monster!" and "unethical!" are just envy of your intellect and medical prowess.
PS: I realize that some among those who may read this may say "wait a minute, you can only get as much temporary hp as was missing from your Meatbag in the first place!" To that I say that from my reading of RAW, excess healing may be lost but the healing still technically occurs (just normally without effect) and therefore permits the gain of temporary hit points beyond what missing hit points were regained in the healing process.
PPS: even if that's not the case, just poke your Meatbag with a scalpel for awhile (I hear those Zon-Kuthon types are into that sort of thing), and give him/her/it extra temporary hp equal to their total hp-1.
You are correct. I shall leave in shame.
You could also instead of all of that nonsense either
and then use the Scaled Disciple feat to use a divine spontaneous spellcasting class to qualify for Dragon Disciple!
So you can be a Paladin 4/Oracle 1/DD X or a Paladin 2/Oracle 3/DD X and run around casting divine spells in armor with no worries. Also, if you take the Lore or Nature mysteries you can use your Charisma instead of your Dex for AC. Also, you Oracle's Curse will scale at half rate even when you aren't leveling up as an oracle. You can also still take Eldritch Heritage and a Robe of Arcane Heritage to get some sorcerer bloodline powers or better progression in the Dragon Disciple's bloodline.
PS: you can also qualify as an inquisitor, but they are much more dependent on Wisdom.
It's p. dang great for a rogue archetype if you mix in monkey shine and a level of mouser.
How about the Ectochymist? Trade out all of the Alchemist's bombs for a weapon blanch! Seem a little less than pwoerful? Don't worry, at level six it upgrades to a swift action that still only lasts for int modifier attacks, leaving it still strictly inferior to just getting a ghost touch weapon! Truly genius.
if you get double pistols, a vestigial arm, and a hybridization funnel you could be hitting for a maximum of 14d6 gun+14d6 fire+14d4 acid+28x int in a full attack by level 16 before adding any item effects.
Also, the conductive property is a great choice it lets you add a bomb to every hit for 2 uses of the ability.
Flurrying normally always applies 1x strength no matter how many hands are being used. This feat, however, is a specific exception, so a monk with pounce of some kind could indeed two-handed flurry with a 2x strength bonus. The Unarmed Strikes also get 2x strength, as this is an exception made specifically for the monk in this feat.
1. the highest dpr builds for sap master are alchemists, not rogues. That's not even scratching the highest dpr an alchemist can get (see: level 15 ratfolk grenadier dual-wielding double pistols with kirin strike, conductive weapon ability and alchemical weapon. Up to 14d4+36d6+48xint damage before any magical equipment mods). Heck, you can get MoMS monks swinging in the range of 40ishd8 base weapon damage all the time.
2. 764 damage is only ever achievable in a sap master build if every single attack hits, a very unlikely event for a rogue. Further, those dont really qualify as actual dpr builds as they only function anywhere close to reliably in a complete vacuum of ideal conditions.
3. All of these direct damage builds are still inherently weaker than any half-decent wizard who has access to 5+ level spells. single target damage is neat, but can never match bending reality for defining the terms and results of both combat and narrative. Said wizard can also cast three or four transmutation spells that he learned in his spare time and rival said builds for straight single target dpr if he wishes. he won't though, because direct damage is a weak form of power projection compared to the shenanigans he can pull. He has spells that literally say "you make the save or you are dead" and they aren't even the most powerful ones available.
So no, 764 nonlethal damage in very specific conditions at level 20 is not game breaking, not when by that point wizards don't even have to care that their enemies have hit points. 764 damage is a lot of burst when it happens, yes. But it is comparable to lightly optimized dpr builds for most any class given that the accuracy that it would be hitting at is going to drop it down by at least half, and is pushed out of the running entirely by the sheer unreliability of the bonus damage. Even in ideal conditions, it cant keep up with the highest martial damage outputs, what with fighter (arguably the worst optimization potential among full BaB martial) builds that can do over 900 average damage with a much higher to-hit.
The question then, is this: why is it cool and fine that 9th level spell-casters can rewrite reality and make or break nations daily, or hourly if they choose? Conversely, why is a 20th level rogue, who has based his entire concept and build on being able to kill one dude at a time who he catches unawares and hits perfectly dead to the point of completely neglecting all other important aspects of combat (mobility, defense), utterly unacceptable?
what world do you live in where sneak attack is a powerful martial class feature, even doubled? There's nothing special that a sap master rogue can do (high dpr against 1 target in the first round that doesnt work against anything that notices him first or has uncanny dodge because it only works against flat-footed opponents) that a bomb alchemist, any magus, Rage-Cycling barbarian, cavalier, instant-enemy ranger, warpriest, inquisitor with bane, paladin with smite and/or litany of righteousness, zen archer, gunslinger, blaster caster, anyone with pummeling charge, wizard who decides to be relatively ineffective and turn into a dragon, druid in wild shape, slayer, investigator, or two-handed fighter cant do just as well/better with more consistency. The rogue is weakest in protracted engagements almost categorically, and you want to punish a player for trying to build so that he can occasionally end a fight before his weaknesses show?
If I want to make a street-smart watch detective who fights dirty and takes people alive, and wants to in uncommon, specific situations be able to take a guy out without drawing attention or killing him, it is not your job as a DM to ruin me because you arbitrarily smell a "munchkin". If a player wants to grab the feat because it can net them a decent nova round once every few encounters and it doesn't clash with their character concept, then it is not your job to punish them for building to be good at combat, and even if it were the sap master rogue should be at the back of the line behind every single 9th and 6th level caster in the game.
Power-gaming exists. Power-gamers do not play rogues unless they are very bad at power-gaming.
also re:power attack, the reckless abandon/beast totem barbarian gets -0/+9 at level 9 from power attack on every single attack they make with a two-hander. That is a considerably better bonus than sap master due to its far superior applicability.
Actually, the reach weapon is there because our group is really melee heavy. With my two animal companions, our barbarian, goliath druid, and melee oracle, it's almost TOO melee heavy. To be fair, most of us have ranged options, but the reach weapon is there so that I don't have to be adjacent to my enemies to attack or support attacks against them. It means I can hide behind our beefy guys and companions and still do stuff.
I'll be doing the same thing with a battle herald ill be playing starting next week. The plan is to grab a long spear, stand behind the other fighter, and turn him into a blender.
Well, I didn't want it to encompass the entirety of the conversation, but I did it because I took the Packmaster Archetype AND the Huntmaster Cavalier archetype. Lots of bonus teamwork feats, and it lets me do some really creative things with my Bird and Dog companions, especially things that will let me land multiple combat maneuvers per round at later levels. He's not just a group aid: He's a 3-man dream team.
gotcha. Could switch out cavalier with a Falconer Ranger from thsi point on and take the Horse Master and Boon Companion feats for a 4-man dream team as well.
Well, the Swift Aid feat can bring it down to a swift action and Bodyguard allows you to use an AoO to improve AC, so that should help your action economy. The Golden Legionnaire Prestige class also increases aid another bonuses at levels 4 and 9, while getting some of the aforementioned feats as bonus feats and giving bard-like competence bonuses to those who follow your orders. Also, if your GM lets you take extra traits, you can take Battlefield Disciple and Protective Faith for another +1 to each type of combat aid. There's also the non-halfling version of helpful, though I'm not sure if it'd stack.
Between swift aid, Harrying Partners, Combat Reflexes, and Bodyguard though, you could be quite the potent group-buffer. As far as Arcane Strike Goes, one level of Arcane Duelist Bard will get you the feat and help you qualify for Battle Herald, which can apply the bardic performance bonuses to aid another.
Pathfinder Chronicler also gives a +2 aid another bonus at level 3.
Actually, if you take Combat Style Master (which allows you to start combat in kirin style), you can do the new effect on the first round, as it only requires you to have made the knowledge check and doesn't need a second action.