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I played a Halfling dex-based fighter in a Legacy of Fire campaign. He eventually dual-wielded kukris with the agile property to give Dex to damage.
The build started off very low in DPR but eventually (level 8+) it increased substatially. It ended up being similar to what a Strength based 2H fighter could do for damage.
There are 2 drawbacks to a Dex based fighter: 1) low damage at early levels. 2) who is going to carry the treasure? There needs to be someone in an adventuring party with the capacity to carry significant weight without getting heavily encumbered. If it isn't the fighter, who is it?
Fighter class skills don't align well with high dexterity, low strength.
I've noticed a general lack of skill points for a lot of character classes. In my opinion this limits role playing participation, as well as not making sense when you think of your character's lifetime before they became an adventurer.
My proposal: Each new character starts with 10 skill points, to be spent however they desire. Maximum 5 ranks in any skill, and class skills cost 1/2.
This will give skill-capable characters without being overpowering in any one skill.
Spellcasters need to have a strategy to deal with high SR opponents. Summon Monster plus a few other spells that don't allow SR can help. Another option they have is to buff the melee in their party with something like Haste.
Well-played rogues that I've seen can regularly get one Sneak Attack in a round, but not several.
Vanish is one way they can get into position for a stealthed full attack, I'm not sure what other options there are.
Full attack from a flanking position means either the opponent didn't move out of its flanked position, or the rogue had some well-timed help from someone else in their party.
Without sneak attack on a full attack, rogue damage is not that impressive compared to other martial classes.
Call it the Rocky Balboa feat.
Having played a blaster wizard in an adventure path, I found that for some encounters I did very little beyond the first round of combat. I was there to tilt things in favour of my party, then can stand back and let the martials clean up.
Wizards have a lot of utility to contribute to the party. I love Phantom Chariot.
The LG guy will hire the beggar to perform some trivial task, giving food as payment. The NG guy will just give the beggar some food.
Close the door and hold it closed until the BBEG's buffs/summons wear off? Plenty of BBEGs are just sitting in a room in a basement with no other exit, waiting for the PCs to come for them like they got nothing better to do.
Close the door, layer on some walls of stone, then come back a few months later.
I played a Witch character with the Sleep hex plus having a high initiative. When several encounters became walk-overs, I stopped using the hex. Strangely enough I was the first person to complain about it, not the GM or other players.
The problem with using dice fudging to rein in the power of dazing metamagic is that the fudging would have to be systematic.
I see dice fudging as more intended for one time situations where changing the result would enhance the fun of the encounter. Even then, purists would disagree and let the dice fall as they may.
Sage Sorcerer. She can get help with spell selection, and you can give her some leeway to change spells if she isn't satisfied with them.
At level 1 an Elf sorcerer could use a longbow if they want something with more potential damage than a cantrip. If she tries both she may find cantrips hit more often since they are ranged touch attacks.
It seems this would open up some good role-playing possibilities. I would allow it, but have some short term repercussions (the god who lost a cleric to another god wouldn't be happy about it).
One possibility is that the new faith cleric has 30 percent spell failure, which decreases by 10 percent per some pre defined time interval.
Hate Bards and Wizards for being know it alls.
Hate Paladins for being holier than thou.
Hate Fighters for always getting dominated and beating up their own party. Hate Fighter archers even worse.
Hate Rogues who steal from the party in the name of role-playing.
Hate Druids for being furry tree-huggers.
The list is endless.
A dispelling bow would be useful against Fickle Winds or even Mirror Image. Eventually you can shoot from melee range without giving an AoO, so that might be a solution to natural wind.
Improved Precise Shot bypasses displacement, unless I'm missing something.
Consider getting durable arrows, plus special types (blunt, adamantium).
In my opinion:
Fighter Archer - highest "always on" damage.
Zen Archer - high damage when ki is used. Good Reflex and Will saves. You really don't want an archer getting dominated.
Ranger - high to hit/damage vs Favored Enemy / Instant Enemy. Some spell casting. Far more skill points than Fighter or Monk.
I just finished a ROTRL campaign, using your option #2. If your GM allows it, tattooed cross-blooded solves the -1 CL, though your spell progression will still be one level slower. The extra efficiency of the spells more than makes up for it.
I suggest metamagic and spell penetration feats.