It'd be a late entry, but Myrmidarch 11/Arcane Archer 9 would be an effective combination. You'd have not only Imbue Arrow, but the ability to channel ranged touch spells through a full attack. The magus Arcane Pool abilities stack quite nicely with the extra AA arrow imbues, which also stack with the magic already on the item. Use Greater Magic Weapon to cover your enhancement bonuses and just load up on elemental damage. Full attacking while channeling Scorching Rays through your +5 Flaming Burst Shocking Burst Corrosive Burst Icy Burst Holy arrows just seems like loads of fun :)
I'd say learning a formula from a Wizard scroll would be perfectly acceptable. But an Alchemist can't just add spells to his formula list (this is true for every caster class, barring specific abilities), and even if he could a 7th level spell would be out of his reach entirely (as alchemist extracts only go up to level 6). A 7th level cleric spell wouldn't even be able to be used by a cleric until level 13 anyways.
A rogue that can't sneak attack isn't going to deal competitive damage to other classes, especially at low levels when Strength-based melee classes dominate. It's hard to beat the fighter swinging at a +6 for 2d6+11 at 2nd level. That's pretty much how it is.
From a raw damage perspective, ninja > rogue. Ninjas also get more abilities to allow them sneak attack.
You could go the Dervish Dance route. Talk the GM into allowing it to apply to a rapier for more rogue-appropriate thematic approach. It could be done by 2nd level if the Combat Trick rogue talent was used. It also doesn't really require any archetypes to work. A 2nd level rogue with an 18 Dex using Dervish Dance with a rapier would be hitting at a +5 for 1d6+4. Not amazing, but not terrible. High Dex also means she could still use a shortbow or throw daggers for some more versatility.
Alternately, Two-Weapon Fighting is a staple of rogues for those situations when you can get sneak attack. The pros are the fact that you get to add sneak attack on every hit, the cons being the TWF penalties can be rough on the already accuracy-challenged rogue and the fact you lose out when you can't full attack.
"Brute" type rogues can also be viable. Play a half-orc, max Strength, and use a falchion. Take the Thug archetype and work towards Cornugon Smash and Shatter Defenses. Take advantage of the racial Intimidate bonus and Intimidate enemies, which will eventually let you gain Sneak Attack on a full attack without assistance via Shatter Defenses. The Shaken debuff is also a useful one and can synergize well with other party members.
You mean like this?
A halfling paladin with a maxed out Charisma, dipping into Lore Oracle for Sidestep Secret, using the Osyluth's Guile feat and Smiting his Guile target could have a pretty damn high AC against a single target. If you took the Underfoot racial trait, you'd have a further AC bonus against targets larger than you. You'd be adding essentially triple your Charisma to AC. At level 20, the max I think you could get your Charisma to is 36 or so, for a +13 bonus.
Depending on your idea of 'using' a shield, an Animated shield could provide a nice chunk of hands-free AC. This is of course on top of your usual armor, enhancement, and natural armor bonuses.
Also consider non-AC defenses, like Displacement.
Not a build, per se, but Aberrant-blooded sorcerers gain extra duration on Polymorph spells. The 'Warped' wildblooded variant instead gains random extra abilities when they polymorph and gain a touch attack that lets them daze enemies.
On the wizard side of things, the Multimorph arcane discovery will let you change your forms in the middle of an ongoing polymorph spell by reducing the remaining duration.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the Beastmorph Alchemist, who'd be able to shapeshift while having a d8 hit dice and 3/4 BAB.
A tome for Charisma would be wasted, as it's a dump stat. But yes, you'll end up with a decent AC.
The biggest problem with Dervish Dance builds is the fact that they pretty much suck until level 3. Expect that and hope you level quickly. You'll probably be using a bow a lot for those first few levels. But you'll be decent at it. At 1st level, you can use Arcane Pool + Magic Weapon to get a +2 longbow. With an 18 Dex, you'll be shooting at a +6 for 1d8+2. That's not too bad.
A scimitar is a solid weapon, though. It's not like you're forced to use something crappy. It can be two-handed for extra damage and Power Attack goodness and it has the ever-important high crit range.
Being high Dex also means high AC and Reflex and the ability to use ranged weapons decently well in a pinch.
With a 10 Wisdom and wearing armor, there is no real reason to go into Monk. It's not worth a dip for any caster class. Magical knack would only counter the loss in caster level, not extra spells, and the improved spell progression is important.
Have you considered the Kensai archetype? You'd get free proficiency in the katana, and a number of other abilities in exchange for the loss of some spellcasting and proficiencies. Though admittedly Kensai tends to be better for Dervish Dance builds, since a high Dexterity offsets the lack of armor.
I played a dragonborn mongrelfolk fighter/warblade/dragon adept. I had a 36 Con and a magic item of +10 to concentration checks. My concentration modifier was roughly +60, and thanks to the cheese that was the Book of Nine Swords, I was using concentration checks for saving throws. I was also hitting for 10d6 despite using only a short sword, and through the right feats and gear my AC was somewhere in the 50's, and all of it was also my touch AC. I also had multiple breath weapons.
By far the most shamelessly cheesy character I've ever played.
Try running a 'training' one-off. Design some characters and/or encounters for them that showcase the basic rules and concepts. Saving throws, combat maneuvers, basic battlefield movement. Think of it as a sort of tutorial. You could even use that list of basic rules to highlight things as they come into play.
"Alright, so this orc is going to try and trip you. He rolled a 13. To know if he succeeded, you need to figure out your CMD. That's 'Combat Maneuver Defense'. See it here on your sheet? You have a CMD of 15, so he failed. Lucky for you! Also, because he doesn't have the right feat, you're going to get what's called an 'attack of opportunity' on him."
Stuff like that, round out the basics. Even if you think you're being too simplistic, sometimes simple is what's needed. But avoid being condescending, don't throw too much at them at once, and be sure to anticipate and answer questions. Even if you have to dedicate one of your weekly game sessions to rules training, the rest of your sessions will be much better off for it.
Heroism isn't a domain available to Gorum. Glory is, but not that particular subdomain.
I was contemplating Blood, particularly if I did decide to go with Holy Vindicator, since it fits for thematic reasons. Blood also gets Vampiric Touch as a domain spell, making it a good candidate for a spell storing weapon.
I wish Glory was better, but it's too...good themed and situational. Otherwise, I'd be all for saying that I have a 'cleric of Blood and Glory'. Touch of Glory is just crap.
Rage+Ferocity does equal a whole lot of smiting, which is nice. I might change around a few things and stop neglecting channeling so much, since it has the potential for a good bit of damage.
In a single hit, I could hit with the greatsword +8d6 channel +smite +discharge a Harm for a hell of a lot of damage if I need to nova something. And since they target Will, even with my mediocre Wisdom, I should be able to land it on most brutish enemies.
The downside to teamwork feats is that they require other people to take them, and from what I've seen of the builds of the other characters, they're fairly feat-strapped.
Alignment Channel and Leadership are decent, though. And UC has the improved Channel Smite. Coupled with a Grayflame weapon, I could turn my channeling into a good offensive tool.
I'd thought about Crusader, but Legion's Blessing is frankly crap, and losing the spellcasting might hurt.
Mendevian priest fits well enough from an RP standpoint, but is it worth losing a domain? So far the domains I've got in mind are Rage and Ferocity (for 14 smites a day). If I went with it, which one should I drop? The bonus feats are somewhat lacking, though I would save a feat on armor proficiency. The fact that Alignment Channel is on the list means I could use it as an easy way into HV if I decided to go with that.
I'm worried about losing spellcasting. Frightful Aspect is a fantastic 8th level spell, but one I wouldn't get if I dipped into HV.
The channel focus also requires an investment in Charisma, which is tricky considering I also have to invest in Strength, Con, Wisdom, and Dexterity in order to remain defensively viable rather than a glass cannon. Even with the relatively high point buy, being MAD can still be an issue.
The phylactery also takes up a headband slot, the same slot as the Headband of Wisdom, so I couldn't have both unless I spent actual build points on Wisdom, worsening the MAD significantly.
The bleed damage of the Stigmata worries me a tad, as it can add up to a lot of damage and I'm already working with a d8 hit dice, and leaving core cleric means I lose my favored class bonus. A PrC also doesn't advance domain powers :/
I'm trying to stick as much to core cleric as I can, to fill the parties divine needs while still being a competent front liner. Thank you for all your suggestions, though, and I'd still like to hear any more thoughts.
I was sort of imagining him as a juggernaut on the battlefield. Adamantine full plate and a really big sword can make for a durable foe. There's a feat from Faiths of Balance that allows me to deal damage with my armor spikes if I successfully bull rush or overrun somebody, so I was thinking of going along those lines.
To that end, perhaps taking the Rage subdomain for something like Strength Surge? I'd still get the Destructive Smite ability, which is nice. If I coupled it with Ferocity, I'd have even more options for smitey goodness.
Cornugon Smash is also a potentially effective route, slapping the shaken debuff on enemies as I smack them around, though without having a high Charisma I'm not sure how often it'd actually work.
Both my halfling Knife Master rogue and my human Archery fighter have used called shots to great effect. The rogue likes to do things like hamstring enemies, while the archer uses the Trick Shot ability and called shots quite well together, doing things like shooting them in the hand to give them a penalty to resist being disarmed, then disarming them. Shooting them in the legs then tripping them is also quite useful.
Crusader was tempting, but I was worried about gimping my spellcasting and losing a domain. Evangelist has nice buffs, but really doesn't fit my mental concept of the character. I'd contemplated either Holy Vindicator or Divine Scion, but I was worried about losing spellcasting for Vindicator or Channel Energy and some BAB for Scion.
As the sole divine caster, I'm trying to be sure I can provide for the parties divine needs, even if I'm not specialized in it. Though I'm not sure if there's any good divine spells that really matter that our wizard couldn't pull off equivalent results with.
The War domain seems perfectly fitting from a roleplaying perspective, and I had considered taking a few basic prerequisite feats (like Combat Expertise and Improved Unarmed Strike) to make the most of the domain power, but the fact that it's a standard action to use means it's almost never going to be worth it.
I was looking at Ferocity and Rage as potential domains for lots of smitey goodness, though I'm not sure what rage powers would be useful. Moment of Clarity, perhaps? The GM says I can use the domain to qualify for rage-based feats, which got me thinking about the one that lets me maximize vital strike damage, or the one that allows me to add my Con to damage rolls.
Can a monk wearing full-plate and a shield still flurry if he's under the effects of Freedom of Movement?
So, I have the opportunity to play a high level character, and I ended up choosing to play a cleric. Mulling through concepts, I settled on a battle cleric of Gorum.
My problem is, I'm not entirely sure how to make one. I've got some of the basics figured out, but I'm torn on where to go with certain directions. I've read through a couple guides, but I'm still not sure.
The build rules are level 15, 28 point buy, two traits, any official Pathfinder material. 240,000 gold, but if I have an item creation feat I can save 30k gold for that type of item. My character concept is pretty much settled on a human born to crusaders in Mendev, so he grew up fighting demons from the Worldwound.
For the mechanical stuff, I know that Power Attack is important, heavy armor is a good thing and fitting for a Gorumite, and that maxing Strength and my hit is important.
But I'm not quite sure of stuff like domains, ideal stat spreads, any other feat chains to pursue, etc. I'm pretty much the only divine character in the group (beyond the multiclassed rogue/paladin), so being able to heal in a pinch is nice.
Any thoughts or suggestions?
It's not nearly as powerful as you think. By the rules, you simply cannot wield a two-handed weapon larger than you. The archetype does nothing to change this. So at best, you're spending a feat on Bastard Sword proficiency and wielding a Large one two-handed, for 2d8 damage. That's pretty much as high as you're going to get.
You can eventually wield things like a Colossal dagger or whatever without penalty, but because of the way damage dice scales, you'll be no better off than if you had just used a normal sized greatsword.
Don't forget humans have the Heart of the Fields alternate racial trait that allows them to add 1/2 their level to a Profession. It lets them ignore fatigue 1/day, too. Because those farmers daughters (or sons, in some cases) really know their stuff, and they have endurance.
What domains would be best? Given the nature of the other powers, this PrC seems more oriented towards a 'blaster' sort of cleric, rather than a martial one, weapon specialization options notwithstanding.
So what domains have damaging domain spells that one would cast repeatedly? A Fire domain cleric might be interesting. Especially since a theologian could have Fireball automatically Intensified. 15d6+30 isn't bad for a 3rd level spell.
I actually find it synergizes well with Magus. You can apply the Arcane Pool bonuses to the bow, which stack with the free arrow properties, which stack with existing properties on your weapon. Combine them and you can end up with some absurdly magical arrows. It's also full BAB progression, which is nice.
Since the Divine Scion PrC is OGC, I'll post the relevant bits here. The full progression table is a bit big, but it uses d8 HD, 3/4 BAB and strong Will progression.
To qualify to become a divine scion, a character must
The divine scion’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Diplomacy (Cha), Fly (Dex), Knowledge (planes) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
The following are class features of the divine scion
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A divine scion gains no additional weapon or armor proficiencies. She can select Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, and Greater Weapon Specialization as feats once she qualifies for them normally (although she does not have to fulfill
Opposition Alignment (Ex): A divine scion must pick one of the following alignment subtypes as her opposition alignment: chaotic, evil, good, or law. The opposition alignment she chooses must be one that she does not possess as part of her own alignment. She gains a +1 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance of creatures with that alignment subtype.
Domain Specialization (Su): At 3rd level, a divine scion selects a domain granted by her deity—this domain becomes the divine scion’s chosen specialization in representing her deity. Although most divine scions pick domains that they’ve gained from other classes (such as
Air: fly 1/day; +4 on Fly checks
Divine Wrath (Su): At 4th level, a divine scion’s damaging spells deal +1 point of damage per die against creatures with an alignment subtype that matches the divine scion’s opposition alignment.
Deific Defense (Su): At 7th level, a divine scion gains DR 2, bypassed by attacks with the alignment subtype of her opposition alignment (so a divine scion with “evil” as her opposition alignment gains DR 2/evil).
Divine Awe (Su): At 8th level, a divine scion’s spells can stagger creatures that match the alignment subtypes of the divine scion’s opposition alignment. When such a creature is affected by a divine scion’s spell, it is staggered for 1 round if it fails its save against that spell. If the creature makes its save (or if the spell doesn’t allow a saving throw), this ability has no effect.
True Scion: At 10th level, a divine scion becomes a true scion of her deity. The amount of healing she gains from her domain specialization doubles. Her divine wrath ability now deals +2 points of damage per die against creatures of the appropriate alignment. The damage reduction granted by her deific defense increases to 5. Finally, she permanently increases her Wisdom or Charisma score (her choice) by +1.
Have you looked at the Divine Scion PrC from Inner Sea Magic?
The prereqs are Iron Will and Weapon Focus in your deities favored weapon, and 5 ranks in Knowledge (Religion and Planes) and 5 ranks in Spellcraft.
You gain: Bonuses to spell penetration and damage against an opposed alignment, full spellcasting progression, a domain specialization (you heal spell level x2, later x4, when you cast a domain spell, as well as some domain-related skill bonuses and SLA's), alignment-based DR, and the ability to stagger enemies of the opposed alignment who fail saves against your spells. You also gain the ability to take the Weapon Focus/Specialization line with your deities favored weapon.
You lose: Channel energy progression, lower Fort saves. That's pretty much it.
Overall I think it's an extremely strong PrC, particularly for damage-oriented clerics. A Cleric 5/Divine Scion 10 could drop a Flame Strike hitting for 15d6+30 against evil enemies, staggering those who fail their saves. And if it's a domain spell, they healed themselves for 20 HP doing it.
The only character I've ever had with the Leadership feat was my half-orc Barbarian/Oracle/Rage Prophet. I had a Bard as a cohort, and my followers were level 1 Orc Barbarians, with a few Rangers. I was essentially the leader of the tribe, with the Bard serving as a battle captain of sorts, leading the charge and boosting morale.
It was interesting from a roleplay point of view, because I was a legitimate power among other tribes and kingdoms, but it wasn't super overpowered, because there's only so much a couple dozen level 1 Barbarians can do.