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For reference, Rime Spell on Ray of Frost with Magical Lineage doesnt' do anything.
It only entangles for a number of rounds equal to the spell level, which in that combo, is 0. So they never entangle at all. It's a built in limiter.
The thunderstriker seems to be more based around using a 1 handed weapon with 2 hands on attack, and still having the buckler for defense and TWF which is normally not available as you can't shield bash with one. It says as written, when wielding a weapon in 2 hands not wielding a 2 handed weapon. Whether that is an editing choice and not the author's intent is a good question.
Now, in response to the OP, no, you don't get AoO's provoked even with a reach weapon from your own bullrush, only allies get them, as was quoted above.
If you changed your trigger to "When the enemy hits me/or an ally" I would let you have the 20% chance instead.
Because for them to hit, that is the situation that had to have happened in that instant.
Other than that, I can't see timing it right when it is random without using something that gave you insight into their state in that exact moment.
If they flicker in and out on the half second, and it typically takes a person between 1 and 2 seconds to process a change to their environment and react to it, then even the "readied actions happen right before the action that triggered them" means that right before you could see them, they were phased out. Since your trigger is them phasing in, and readied actions happen prior to that occurring, you would actually be arguing that you go from a 50% chance to hit to a 100% chance to miss as they are explicitly ethereal at that moment.
Druid is one of the few classes that can be a generalist and still be better than average at everything.
Stats are ok. If you make sure you don't use spells that have a save, or spells that still work on a save (such as stone call/entangle/etc) so that you can do some battlefield control, you have a plenty high enough wisdom.
+2 would maybe go into Str. I would actually recommend starting with an odd Str and Wis to try and get that Con up to a 14 if you plan on taking some frontline Wildshape combat duties.
Try Str 16 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 15 Cha 8. 20 pt buy still, but a little more health and another +1 hit and damage at level 1. at level 4 put another +1 into wis, and you are good on casting stat until level 13.
You would be better off with Str 17/wis 15 or Str 15/wis 17 and have a Cha of 7, depending on whether you want to be more caster or more combat. (I don't know your feelings on low stats). Boost one at 4, the other at 8, and if you happen to see level 12+, pick anything.
The difference between a 7 and an 8 is minimal, you aren't going to have many face skills anyways, and the only skill you need Cha for (Handle Animal) you get a +4 bonus on so by 3rd level even with the -2 you only fail a trick its trained for on a 1, and by 4 you don't fail at all. Give it the Defend and Guard tricks, so that even if you can't tell it to do something it defaults to protecting you or someone you have previously designated.
If you are going with a domain instead of a companion, then Cha 7 is no penalty mechanically.
Skirmisher (Ex): At 8th level, whenever a scout moves more than 10 feet in a round and makes an attack action, the attack deals sneak attack damage as if the target was flat-footed. If the scout makes more than one attack this turn, this ability only applies to the first attack. Foes with uncanny dodge are immune to this ability. This ability replaces improved uncanny dodge.
This is a meaningless argument. The Skirmisher ability calls out when you move more than 10 feet and take the attack action, which is a standard action on it's own. It has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with a charge or a pounce, since it specifically calls out the ATTACK ACTION, and both a charge and the pounce mechanic which runs off a charge are Full round actions and thus need not apply. Skirmisher just lets you move and take a single swing which gets sneak attack. It is giving you more options on the 4th level ability, by removing the charge (straight line, full round, etc) from the equation, and just letting you move around anyway you like and still get the benefits of sneak attack.
Yeah, but if you are planning on using a shield (subpar weapon to choose in the first place as a mindblade) at all, you are -most likely- choosing it to gain the defense as well.
I know it's not required, but choosing a 20x2 low damage weapon is not only suboptimal, but downright self-destructive in effectiveness without it.
If that becomes the official stance on it, then they will be relegated to a waste of ink.
There are no masterpieces that trump performance in combat, and since using performance in combat ends the long term ones that would otherwise be useful, this will be a very bad clarification.
Being able to have a performance up and a masterpiece up at the cost of double rounds, and feats/spells known, is a fairly balanced ability.
Triple time ending every time you actually get into combat (where it is needed most) would mean the rounds spent to activate it before would be useless.
The movement ones ending anytime a Dervish actually wanted to get into combat is also pointless.
This is the result of OMG NERF! Faqratta.
What everyone forgets with the replacement of Favored Enemy, is that you get TWO +2 bonuses to different creature types every 5 levels, so giving them one at 5th, then another at 6th, actually meant they were a level behind the power of the ability they were replacing.
At 20th level, a Ranger has 9 separate +2 attack/damage/etc. to be allotted to 5 different types of creatures (+2 at 1st, another 2 +2s to allot at 5th, again at 10th, 15th, and 20th).
The old Wild Stalker got powers at 5, 6, 10, 11, 15, 16, and 20. So, 7 powers/favored terrain/skill/etc choices compared to 5 different creature types of combos between +2 and +10 hit and damage (usually one maxed for Instant Enemy shenanigans, and the others scattered between +2 and +4).
Yeah... this has come up multiple times. It's in the same boat as "use an AoO to do X" but not "Take an AoO to do X.
Also spending rounds of rage to do X, but not raging, or uses of channel, but not channeling, or spending any number of other resource pools to do something else with it with a feat or special ability.
Expect Table Variation, but JJ said they were different uses of the same pool and would be usable at the same time in his "Not A Rules Guy" thread.
You can also use the Shield as your main weapon, and take one of the Combat Styles (with slayer, as opposed to ranger I think is better unless you can count on a single favored enemy more than 50% of the time).
Shield Slam and Shield Master by 6th... make a spiked shield a great weapon, and now your AC enchants add to hit and damage.
Studied Target also gives a scaling bonus to hit/damage, and a smart fighter should be flanking so you will get sneak attack damage as well.
The Brawler Fighter Archetype gets a slightly higher weapon training with close weapons (shield/spiked shield being in that group).
There is a trait that makes a Heavy Shield a light weapon for TWF purposes.
He also gets bonuses on bull rush/drag/reposition maneuvers, and a lockdown ability at higher levels.
My PFS Dwarf is a Fighter (Brawler)/Slayer, to get Shield Slam without TWF. We kinda refer to him as a pinball machine, with the free bull rush on any shield slam, and if they hit a wall they go prone (no roll, no save). It's really fun.
That combo is sick with the Skulking Slayer rogue for a h-orc.
Dirty Trick on the first attack and blind them, then just keep hitting them and they never regain their full round attack again, unless they do it blind.
Unchained Rogue 3 Flying Blade Swashbuckler rest is a fun deal. Dex-y and flank with all the meatheads for damage early, then start dex to damage and level-3 to damage later.
If you are in a home game, and not PFS, you can do an Unchained Ninja with Shuriken. That would be pretty sick actually.
(Either Ninja is a rogue archetype or it is it's own class. You can't have it both ways)
EDIT: yeah.. I had missed that bit on Melee only. hmmm.
Why would it do that? You get the Demoralize free with any power attack. No other restrictions, just a power attack that hits. If it happens to be your first attack, then you can trigger Felling Smash afterwards, and have a damaged, prone, demoralized enemy.
There is no order of Standard Swift and Free that says you have to choose one before the other, free and swift actions can be taken between attacks in a full attack, even if the free action is a 5ft step to bring a new target into range.
I have a Lore Warden 5/Skulking Slayer-Scout 6 (pre-unchaind).
I didn't have access to Hurtful (2 year old PFS character) but I took Felling Smash, Gr Trip, and Gr Dirty Trick. They end up damaged, prone, and blind at the end of my turn, with a Standard and Move required to get up and become unblind.
I barely had room for the feats in there, but Cornugon Smash and Hurtful would have made the build monstrously worse... I might even spend the 10 prestige to retrain them if I ever get the chance to play him at 12+.
As a matter of fact, with the Intimidate Skill Unlock for the rogue, I think I will end up at least taking Cornugon Smash the next time I play him.
Yes, you can choose which feat you want to use as a swift action, after finding out if you hit on the first swing.
(provided you move no more than a 5ft step, or not at all)
Step 1: You make a single attack at your highest BAB, with the power attack penalty.
1A: You hit. You then get the Free action Intimidate Check. (do this first, since you get it as a free action).
1Aa: You succeed on demoralize, now you can choose to trip (Felling Smash) or another attack (Hurtful) as a swift action. If you choose to trip, your attack ends, you still have a move action left. If you choose to make a Hurtful attack, you may either move, or continue your full attack if you have BAB 6+, or TWF+, as it does not specify the attack action, just any power attack.
1Ab: You fail to Demoralize, you may -Still- take the Felling Smash swift action trip attempt, or if you have more attacks from BAB or TWF etc, you may choose to take a full attack and hope those hit, you succeed on another attempt to demoralize (with a +5 DC for a failed attempt already) and trigger your Hurtful attack that way.
1B: You miss, you may make any other attacks you have from BAB or TWF, Felling Smash is locked out as a choice (since it specifies a Attack Action which gives only one swing), but if you hit on any following attacks you still get to Demoralize, and if successful, take the Hurtful swift attack.
@Nefreet... it's not that the option was out of balance with the rest, it was 3 feats to get dex to damage with something other than a scimitar... when getting dex to damage with a scimitar was 2 feats (and 3 skill ranks... but whatever)
The explosion was more attributable to the fact that there was finally a way to play a dex fighting character with something other than a scimitar for the first time in ... 6+ years.
Give it another 2 years, and see where it balances after it has been out a while. Here too, there were a lot of characters created in the last year, but the total % of Dex builds vs Str builds in the south Texas region didn't actually waver much.
They just had more weapon choices for the first time since PF was released.
It was a bad "fix" to an imaginary problem to a slap on patch to a finally available style, which has been clamored for in every incarnation of this game since the beginning.
The reason I ask for the Arcane Deed thing, is that based on that errata, the following deeds no longer work.
Most of Them, 12:
Kip-Up (Ex): At 3rd level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she can kip-up from prone as a move action without provoking an attack of opportunity. She can kip-up as a swift action instead by spending 1 panache point.
Menacing Swordplay (Ex): At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, when a swashbuckler hits an opponent with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon, she can choose to use Intimidate to demoralize that opponent as a swift action instead of a standard action.
Precise Strike (Ex): At 3rd level, while she has at least 1 panache point, a swashbuckler gains the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon (though not natural weapon attacks), adding her swashbuckler level to the damage dealt. To use this deed, a swashbuckler cannot attack with a weapon in her other hand or use a shield other than a buckler. She can even use this ability with thrown light or one-handed piercing melee weapons, so long as the target is within 30 feet of her. Any creature that is immune to sneak attacks is immune to the additional damage granted by precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from the additional damage of a precise strike. This additional damage is precision damage, and isn't multiplied on a critical hit.
Swashbuckler Initiative (Ex): At 3rd level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks. In addition, if she has the Quick Draw feat, her hands are free and unrestrained, and she has any single light or one-handed piercing melee weapon that isn't hidden, she can draw that weapon as part of the initiative check.
Swashbuckler's Grace (Ex): At 7th level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she takes no penalty for moving at full speed when she uses Acrobatics to attempt to move through a threatened area or an enemy's space.
Superior Feint (Ex): At 7th level, a swashbuckler with at least 1 panache point can, as a standard action, purposefully miss a creature she could make a melee attack against with a wielded light or one-handed piercing weapon. When she does, the creature is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC until the start of the swashbuckler's next turn.
Evasive (Ex): At 11th level, while a swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she gains the benefits of the evasion, uncanny dodge, and improved uncanny dodge rogue class features. She uses her swashbuckler level as her rogue level for improved uncanny dodge.
Subtle Blade (Ex): At 11th level, while a swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she is immune to disarm, steal, and sunder combat maneuvers made against a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon she is wielding.
Perfect Thrust (Ex): At 15th level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she can as a full-round action make a perfect thrust, pooling all of her attack potential into a single melee attack made with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon. When she does, she makes the attack against the target's touch AC, and ignores all damage reduction.
Swashbuckler's Edge (Ex): At 15th level, while the swashbuckler has at least 1 panache point, she can take 10 on any Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, or Swim check, even while distracted or in immediate danger. She can use this ability in conjunction with the derring-do deed.
Deadly Stab (Ex): At 19th level, when the swashbuckler confirms a critical hit with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon, in addition to the normal damage, she can spend 1 panache point to inflict a deadly stab. The target must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw or die. The DC of this save is 10 + 1/2 the swashbuckler's level + the swashbuckler's Dexterity modifier. This is a death attack. Performing this deed does not grant the swashbuckler a panache point.
Stunning Stab (Ex): At 19th level, when a swashbuckler hits a creature with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon, she can spend 2 panache points to stun the creature for 1 round. The creature must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + 1/2 the swashbuckler's level + the swashbuckler's Dexterity modifier) or be stunned for 1 round. Creatures that are immune to critical hits are also immune to this effect.
And these do:
Dodging Panache (Ex): At 1st level, when an opponent attempts a melee attack against the swashbuckler, the swashbuckler can as an immediate action spend 1 panache point to move 5 feet; doing so grants the swashbuckler a dodge bonus to AC equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum 0) against the triggering attack. This movement doesn't negate the attack, which is still resolved as if the swashbuckler had not moved from the original square. This movement is not a 5-foot step; it provokes attacks of opportunity from creatures other than the one who triggered this deed. The swashbuckler can only perform this deed while wearing light or no armor, and while carrying no heavier than a light load.
Targeted Strike (Ex): At 7th level, as a full-round action the swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to make an attack with a single light or one-handed piercing melee weapon that cripples part of a foe's body. The swashbuckler chooses a part of the body to target. If the attack succeeds, in addition to the attack's normal damage, the target suffers one of the following effects based on the part of the body targeted. If a creature doesn't have one of the listed body locations, that body part cannot be targeted. Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to targeted strikes. Items or abilities that protect a creature from critical hits also protect a creature from targeted strikes.
Bleeding Wound (Ex): At 11th level, when the swashbuckler hits a living creature with a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon attack, as a free action she can spend 1 panache point to have that attack deal additional bleed damage. The amount of bleed damage dealt is equal to the swashbuckler's Dexterity modifier (minimum 1). Alternatively, the swashbuckler can spend 2 panache points to deal 1 point of Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution bleed damage instead (swashbuckler's choice). Creatures that are immune to sneak attacks are also immune to these types of bleed damage.
Dizzying Defense (Ex): At 15th level, while wielding a light or one-handed piercing melee weapon in one hand, the swashbuckler can spend 1 panache point to take the fighting defensively action as a swift action instead of a standard action. When fighting defensively in this manner, the dodge bonus to AC gained from that action increases to +4, and the penalty to attack rolls is reduced to –2.
Cheat Death (Ex): At 19th level, whenever the swashbuckler is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer, she can spend all of her remaining panache to instead be reduced to 1 hit point. She must have at least 1 panache point to spend. Effects that kill the swashbuckler outright without dealing hit point damage are not affected by this ability.
Technically, the 2 19th level ones still work, but since they are Fort Saves based on 10+ 1/2 level (0) + Dex mod, they are only useful on a natural 1, so taking something that costs 1-2 points with a 5% success rate is a waste of ink. And, you don't get an arcana after 18, so that means a feat to do it at all.
What exactly were they afraid of? I mean, with this restriction, I might... MIGHT... spend an arcana on Targeted Strike. The rest of them I can get the same effects from a feat, (or item) and certainly are not worth 2 Arcana. Printing bad options happens, I know, but on this scale it seems that that text space could have been used for something that will actually see use instead.
So, Mark. Why the Hit to Slashing Grace no TWF, no shield even? The iconic posted did that... I thought at least.
And the one to Arcane Deed that says you still have a Swashbuckler Level of 0?
And... removing Parry/Riposte from pretty much all the archetypes, and Amateur Swashbuckler?
This is yet another place where a knee-jerk ruling to prevent some corner case combo completely skewed things not even considered by the ruling at the time.
Unless you are playing PFS, it's safer (and often less headaches) to just ignore most of the FAQs that alter rules that are in print.
Items that give you extra spells known were (I think) the original cause of this. Those should have to explicitly add it to your spell list.
Feats, FCBs, class abilities, racial abilities, should all consider them to add to both even if not explicitly stated.
10 Str was for a finesse/slashing grace dex build.
I had the point buy wrong, I usually default to 20pt since that is PFS standard and my primary play source.
I would start with Base Stats of Str 10 Dex 15 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 13 Cha 10. Depending on race, adjust those a little to get to at least Dex 16+ Con 14 Wis 14+ to start, preferably with 2 odd stats (best use of point buy as at low levels the +1 isn't crucial, and stat increases come about the time you need the next tier of spells anyways).
You don't have the points for "fluff" stats in this build, so Int 10 Cha 10 are average, so DM shouldn't penalize you for thinking of normal things as a character.
Str is the only thing, if you get a race with 2 stats you need you could bump up to Str 12 just for armor and encumbrance, but that's it.
@ calagnar: Slashing Grace doesn't require a single weapon, just wielded in one hand. It also has been suggested by devs that it should have been light and 1-handed weapons not just one handed.
Going to have to bite the bullet and ask the GM if you can use the (suggested, and should be out shortly) errata for Slashing Grace to make a dex to damage build. It is expected to apply to light as well as one handed weapons in the errata.
That cuts you down to 3 real scores, so long as you don't dump Str you should be fine in medium armor and upgrade to mithral later.
Str 10 Dex 17 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 12 would be easy with human/h-orc/h-elf. With other races you might even get better if you have better stats. (Garuda Blooded Aasimar are dex/wis, and also get See Invis as an SLA so great for this build)
If you read the description, the physical tusks of the helm are what provide the gore attack.
It has nothing to do with transmutation really, it's a physical thing, regardless of the spells used to create the item.
You only provoke if they are within reach of you when you shoot, which also means you were provoking for firing in the first place (until safe shot).
So far as dropping your weapon, if you fail by 10 or more, then indeed, I would expect you to drop the arrow, which is the only part of the weapon making the attempt.
That seems to be the way everyone reads it, because that is what they expect it to do.
The actual text does what you originally thought, per RAW.
However, with the atrocious editing, proofing, and all around bad writing of the ACG, it's just another case of what they wrote not adding up to what they (we guess) meant, as the actual RAW would be extremely potent for a FCB.
Stand Still is a trap feat for reach users. It only works if they are adjacent, not just in your threatened area.
Trip is a good maneuver for reach lockdown, as long as they aren't flying. If they are prone, they have to stop the move and use another move to stand up.
You could take 2 levels of Brawler, that would negate the Int requirement, and get you a bonus feat, and another that you could use as needed 4 minutes per day.
One combo if you have the stats and feats available is to take Vital Strike and Felling Smash.
Vital Strike uses the attack action.
Felling Smash says "If you use the attack action to make a single melee attack at your highest base attack bonus while using Power Attack and you hit an opponent, you can spend a swift action to attempt a trip combat maneuver against that opponent."
So, Vital Strike with Power Attack qualifies to trigger Felling Smash, which lets you trip non-flyers in addition to the Flyby Vital Strike damage as a swift action.
I pretty much play PFS, where most enemies are medium or large humanoid types, depending on you campaign it could vary.
I have Felling Smash and Gr Trip/Gr Dirty Trick on my PFS Lore Warden/Skulking Slayer.
Charge in, Power Attack, Felling Smash, and Gr Dirty Trick from the Gr Trip AoO. I have done damage, and the enemy is now prone and blind. good times.
You could do it with a Slayer to level 6. This gets you Shield Slam and Shield Master (with no pre-reqs). Then, Brawler or Shielded Fighter the rest of the way for feats. You lose 1 feat net, but get to skip pre-reqs (which puts you even) and get shield master 5 levels early.
At 2, you get a free bull rush on any shield bash (which doesn't provoke from the feat, so no need for Imp Bullrush since weapon bonuses are easier to get than CMB bonuses anyways), at 6, shield enhancements count as weapon enhancements. You also have a +2/+2 from Studied target that you can drop on to anyone as a move, or in the surprise round when you sneak or flank (2d6) as a immediate.
It negates the need for the ramming enchantment at all, since all shield bashes grant a FREE ACTION bull rush instead of a swift, and automatically add the shield bonus and charging +2 in, since the bull rush check is the total of the attack roll instead.
Pick up Spiked Armor and Spiked Destroyer feat, for a swift armor spike attack on a successful bull rush 1/round.
If you were to use Brawler Fighter, they get a +1/+3 version of weapon training at level 3, then strap on some Gloves of Dueling for +3/+5. They also get some bonuses to maneuvers, and later some lockdown ability in their threatened area.
Human: Str 17, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8 (20pt buy)
You have 51 skill points (instead of 27) a good reflex save (meh). Still have full BAB and d10 HD. Should be able to get into flanking for the extra 2d6 damage regularly.
Assuming same money spent on shield (+3 shield with +2 weapon is 17k), got you a +1 Bashing shield that added +1 to ac from defending armor. Damage: d8+1, with +4 AC. Same cost (16k) +3 Bashing Shield does d8+3 with +5 AC.
For the cost of one feat: Shield Focus, (and 2W defense, which I don't think stacks when shields are already the weapon) I have made up the AC difference, and added it to hit and damage as well.
I have also provided an AoE intimidate to demoralize as a swift on a kill.
You can still take Weapon Focus and Spec, which I don't have in there, but already have made up (1 more damage actually) with the brawler training instead.
Studied target makes another +2/+2 you can do it as immediate if you sneak attack, so flank often. 15k gold Gloves of Dueling another +2/+2 (Shielded Fighter can't use them because of the wording of Weapon Training replacement ability, Brawler can since it gets the Close Weapon Group as it's replacement).
I'm playing this guy as a Dwarf in PFS already, and he's a BLAST. (I actually went slayer 2 fighter 3 slayer rest, so shield master at 9)
Enhancement is used in the context of +1 through +5. Special Abilities that cost "enhancements = to the + cost" are part of the +10 cap, not the +5 described in the text. (at least that is how everyone who has ever made a designer comment or ruling has shown it, to my knowledge)
@ Sagotel: That is what I said, you can add up to +5 worth of enhancements, but only up to a +5 Enhancement Bonus total, the rest have to be spent on special abilities not extra +'s .
Also, it does indeed bypass material/alignment/adamantine DRs with the arcane pool.
The maximum of +5 means that you can't make a +7 Keen Flaming Burst weapon by having a +5 weapon and adding +2 Keen Flaming Burst to it.
Not that it is intended to only ever get you to a total of +5 including added abilities.
Warpriest of Folca (Travel and Trickery Blessings) gets free net prof, which is a great debuff.
Warpriest of Calistria (Trickery and Luck Blessings) gets whip prof, so you can do some stuff at range.
Warpriest of Achaekek (Trickery and either Death or War Blessing) gets Sawtooth Saber prof, so 2WF with longswords as light weapons with good bonuses.
Depending on Stat generation method, Str based I would go Folca: Net and Sword style. Net as first attack for a great Debuff, then swing with the sword for the rest.
Fate's Favored trait for the +1 to Divine Favor later, and one to get Perception as a class skill.
If he is evil, make sure he has the CHA to use selective channel to avoid killing allies, or take a feat for the variant channeling stuff.
Prep Divine Favor, Magic Weapon, Shield of Faith early on.
Arcane Duelist and Dervish Dancer are still bards. They still mostly do enchantments/illusions/buffs, not a lot of damage spells. They can be combat frontliners, but nowhere near the damage of a Warpriest, Magus, or Slayer.
The thing about a TWF Warpriest is that even daggers get to be 2d6 weapons eventually. Warpriest are tankier, and they do a lot of buffing and swinging with less blasty flashy magic.
Magus are all damage, not a lot of buffs, no control to speak of. They do one thing really, which is kill things with sword+spell damage. They are usually squishier, and take until level 13 to get to cast in heavy armor. They rely on Mirror Image and Blur/Displacement to avoid getting hit.
Duelist is a waste of print now that the Swashbuckler is out in the ACG. Swashbuckler is a 20 level version of what the Duelist wanted to grow up to be, IMO. Flavor is good, but just call the swashbuckler class a duelist in play, and do much more with it.
Inquisitor is fine, although Bane will cost a feat to use 2 weapons.
Warpriest is good, the scaling damage means even light weapons end up hitting like greatswords, and they get combat feats as if fighter level, good armor, and spells that they can swift cast.
Magus is a 1 handed weapon fighter. TWF is possible with a couple archetypes, but it really means you can't cast and TWF in the same round easily.
Bard is fine, if that isn't manly enough for him, pick Skald (ACG) which is a barbarian bard that rages his teammates as a song.
Assassin prestige isn't really any good. If he likes that feel though, the Stygian Slayer Archetype gets Invisibility at 4th and access to some basic magic for stealth and killing from wands and scrolls. As a Slayer gets TWF without having the Dex by picking the ranger style feats. I would really recommend this for him if he wants just a couple spells, he can also take the rogue talent for magic and get a cantrip he can sneak attack with and vanish, which is the best stealthy assassin spell out there.
If he wants to be Dex based, 3 levels of Unchained Rogue then Slayer would be his best mix, as he would be able to pick a different combat style and ignore Str requirements instead, which is really nice.
The Cracked purple Ioun stone and a wand of Shield idea is the cheapest by far. 2000g for the stone, 750 for the wand, for 50 fights basically.
I will assume you have an arcane caster with it on the list to charge the stone or one with enough UMD to do it between fights.
You could ready the attack when they pass that square. However, you can only take the 5ft step if you didn't move at all on your normal turn (you can use a move action equiv, just not actual movement). The safer action to ready is "If an enemy comes within 10 feet of me", so that it won't matter who he charges and also allows for anyone else who moves before/after him in case he gets shot/spelled from range before he charges.
Also, after you step over and hit him, it is the GM's call if he has to still continue his charge and provoke again.
There are several debates on what happens when a readied action changes the conditions of your stated actions so that it is no longer possible/safe to continue them.
Your best bet, if it's a home game, is to just ask the GM if he will allow a Divine version of the Arcane Archer, with a straight trade of divine casting for arcane with everything else identical.
Then, take an archery based Hunter. (best mix of druid/ranger spells, so most nature for a 6 level caster)
If you want Wild Shape, take the Feral Hunter. If you prefer the Companion, then take the regular Hunter.
I don't see this as being remotely overpowered, and would allow it easily for that setting and race. (I love Eberron though).
That is the point.
A wolf alone can keep alive on sheep, but a pack can take down a much larger animal.
Same thing for evil characters.
Played in an evil campaign for a while, one of my favorites.
The Necromancer wanted to rule, the (3.5) Anti-paladin of Tyranny (NE) wanted to command the army that conquered the world, but not necessarily take the throne, and the Dirge Bard just wanted to control an undead boy-band to cheer them on to victory. It was a great team, and the goal was to rule a continent, which we couldn't do alone even once we conquered it.
Stand Still is a trap feat. It's usually grabbed by people with a reach concept, but it says adjacent not in reach.
Step up chain is likewise mis-leading, Following Step gives you 10 ft to follow, but still only when they 5ft step, and they still have to be adjacent.