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Hello fellow forumites, I have been considering building a gnome barbarian or bloodrager, but I do not want to feel too weak - I somehow both like playing relatively nontraditional picks and dislike feeling like dead weight in a party. I noticed that halflings have some interesting options for being better in melee, in particular via risky striker. Is there something like that for gnomes?
I say bloodrager is better than barbarian for halflings since they're good with charisma. And there's not that much magic in them. Go arcane for a ton of buffs upon raging, celestial for a minor smite, a reroll, and flight, or aberrant for GLORIOUS REACH TACT...wait, you're small. er...well it's not bad for you but you won't get the full benefit out of that one.
Wait, small races have the same reach as medium ones, or are you already calculating the enlarge person for large size reach?
Edit - could not edit my previous post to put it there.
Well, looks like your party is short on cunning, handy folk, so I would try to fit this role first.
I would actually consider the following:
- Ranger - overall useful folk with decent presence in a fight. The charisma is not needed, but hey, you can tank it and get the points for that. The favored class bonus is great imo - especially when you get the spell that instantly makes someone your favored enemy. A halfling archer can work great. Melee is a bit trickier, but still doable.
- Slayer - it is a more martial rogue with a bit of ranger. If you do not care for spells or pet, it is great, both for archery and for melee.
- Cavalier/daring champion - essentially a different sort of swashbuckler.Your speed is a bit of an issue unless you take the racial trait, but you can get good use of your dexterity (dex to damage at level 3 via dervish dance, fencing grace or slashing grace). Your charisma can be handy, and in a party with so many warriors, sharing your teamwork feat can be nice.
- Vigilante (avenger or otherwise, I prefer avenger) - appearing harmless and having an alternative identity works great for halfings imo. Vigilanes get a lot of skills and tricks and, depending on the speialization, possibly some magic.
- Barbarian/Bloodrager - look at the urban archetype for both so you can boost your dexterity. Doable, but not really my first choice.
Paladin is a powerful class, and fighters can be decent as well, but I would want something with at least 4+int skill points from the get-go. Ideally 6, if the party does not use the extra background skills optional rule.
If you are melee, try to get either piranha strike or power attack (the latter is better, but the strength requirement can be a problem) and risky striker. The latter feat is a way for halflings to get surprising amount of damage on their attacks, and between the good dexterity and the size bonus halfling warriors are usually not lacking in AC. To be honest, though, you already have 2/3 combat classes (3 if we count the warpriest), and I expect at least two are going melee. It may get cluttered out on the frontline.
If you do not mind something a bit less combat-oriented, bard would be great. A lot of archetypes can work, overall I would look for something that keeps versatile performance and the standard inspire courage (a lot of your team will love the bonuses). For more sneaky types,the detective, archeologist and the sandman are all great. I actually think the unchained rogue is decent, even if it isn't the greatest.
I would say there are several possible ways to build fighters. There are still some sore points about the class, but you can probably make a serviceable version. Style-wise, you can probably make two-handed weapons, ranged weapons and multiple weapons/sword and shield all work for you, though the first one will probably require the least investment to be effective.
Lore wardens and mutation warriors offer you serviceable abilities for armor training. Lore wardens are the maneuver specialists and work quite well as swashbucklery types, while mutation warriors are really handy for their temporary mutagen buffs. Advanced armor training does offer some good things, but both of those archetypes give you good trades imo. I would call it about even. However,there are almost no archetypes that give you a worthwhile trade for weapon training and its advanced options. Maybe viking and free-style fighter. MAYBE. In fact,for many weapon specialist archetypes the biggest question is "does my version of weapon training count for advanced weapon training." Attributes that cost you neither weapon nor armor training and give you something useful - like the Eldritch guardian - are definitely worth looking into.
A new and imo very big thing is the variant multiclassing from unchained. Basically, you give up half your regular bonus feats (level 3,7, 11, etc) for features from one other class.Well, guess what class has feats to spare... Some of the options aren't great, but some are pretty handy. For example, VMC-ing into a barbarian gives you rage and some of the barbarian defenses and rage powers for a berserker, VMCing into a bard gives you bardic knowledge and music for an inspirational leader (and is really handy for a lore warden), rogue eventually gets you sneak attack,etc. Unless you are into a really feat intensive style, it is definitely worth it checking what you can trade your most abundant resource for.
While "Pathfinder Unchained" sadly did not give the class the kind of serious update that the monk and the rogue got, the VMC and the combat stamina rules are really nice for fighters.I strongly recommend having them if you plan to play one.
Hmm, the way you are describing it it would make sense for it to be a universal effect based on remaining HP, rather than a fighter only mechanic (not like the pain is much less when you are being blindsided by an assassin or mauled by an owlbear). Unchained had rules about debuffs tied to HP thresholds, but I do not remember if casting was affected. I would say that it should, so perhaps build on that.
By the way, the whole way 3.x and PF treats actions and turns gave casters a huge buff in that now turns are taken separately and in order. It is very difficult to interrupt casting, even if it takes several seconds, since you need to dedicate your turn in advance to do just that. One thing I was considering as a (potentially) fighter-only mechanic was allowing the fighter to spend a lot of stamina to mimic hero point effects a few times per day, which would include on the spot "prepared actions".
Yeah, this has been an issue for a while. There was even a joke that the designers were clearly prejudiced agaisnt bears :P . So far the only way to get a riding bear is through a beast rider cavalier.
I find it ridiculous that you need to jump through hoops to ride a bear when a wolf or a lion mount is pretty easy to get, tbh. The bestiary has plenty of large bears, you just cannot get them as animal companions. This may make sense for rocs, but for bears... eh, right now we are just forced to homebrew or adapt other animals.
Salt cartridges are your nonlethal ammo, they are specifically only designed for blunderbusses or the like. Eventually, you can just have a merciful gun. Alternatively, go for a gun mage that can essentially channel spells through the gun.
The problem with having many weapons in Pathfinder is that enchanting all of them costs a fortune. It is doable, but difficult. You can cheat by using a soulbolt soulknife and fluffling your bolts as pistols, I guess.
Would it be okay to just have two (eventually more if you can afford it) pepperboxes instead? If not that, I would check if your DM allows automatic bonus progression from Unchained and ask to have all your pistols enhanced with the same bonus and using either the base pistol or the smaller coat pistol stats.
1. Bard - jack of all trades done (mostly) right. You can be almost anything with a bard, and you can help other people do better too!
2. Alchemist - another versatile caster, this time with a whiff of pseudoscience. I like the extracts, I like the mutagen, and I can choose between bombs and being able to precisely dismember an enemy. Sweet. I am also particularly fond of the Master Chymist, which helps.
3. Ranger - I have had a soft spot for this class for a while, and it works pretty well in Pathfinder
Honorary mentions: Inquisitor, Oracle.
You don´t have to have rogue levels to call yourself (and be called) a rogue, just like you do not need to have a level in fighter to call yourself one. Ranger suits dwarves decently, and there are some ranger archetypes that get trapfinding (mind you, you can detect and disarm most traps without this ability in PF, it just gives you bonuses and lets you disarm magical traps). A dwarven alchemist are good with locks and the like as well, and trust me, they make stuff go boom REAL nice.
Daniel Yeatman wrote:
I don't know, I've only ever played in one campaign where there was a Fighter and he did just fine, all the way up to level 16. I do always find it funny that so much effort is focused on one class, though. Imagine if there was this much debate about the Medium, or the Cavalier, hah.
The medium and even to a point the cavalier are generalists with wider areas of expertise. The medium is basically choose you own class every day (DM permission needed), and the generic cavalier is a sort of spellless paladin with a mount, pseudo-smite and team buffs. The fighter can just fight, and s/he isn't that great at it. You can be "decent" compared to barbarians, rangers, paladins or slayers, most of whom bring a heckof a lot more else. You do not even outclass them significantly at the one thing you do.
I really, really wish Unchained had put the fighter there instead of the barbarian or even the summoner.
I am thinking about changing the Magical Child specialization to Bard (from unchained summoner) and giving it access to some of the bardic music abilities (inspire courage, competence, heroism - basically the "positive" stuff) as special vigilante talents, essentially making it a familiar-assisted buffer rather than a sort-of summoner. Do you think this would work?
Alternatively, I would just ditch the familiar for the music,but I do not want to make it too similar to the bard.
Passable, but I may be tempted to squeeze an extra point in strength for power attack later on (level 3 or so) - if you plan on using your rapier more, it is a good buff. Granted, this works better with judgements where you have an easier access to attack, but a monster tactician can easily set up flanks to manage. Otherwise, I think this looks okay, although 18 dexterity, reactionary and improved initiative strikes me as a bit of an overkill. This is just my opinion, of course.
As for your friend, hmm, net and trident/harpoon is a style that takes a while to set up. Lore warden is certainly not a bad option, but pseudo-warrior classes like ranger or slayer are definitely not bad either. There are a couple of feats that cater to that style (net and trident, net adept, etc), but I do not have any personal experience with them. Overall, with such niche styles it might be a good idea to have an alternative schtick in combat.
@ Kyudoka - well, as a cleric you can always sacrifice a spell slot for a cure wounds if you HAVE to, so any cleric (or oracle) can get the job done. I am not sure if it is worth it taking Crusader, though - do the extra feats make a big difference compared to the regular one? I would actually consider going Holy Vindicator for a pseudo-warpriest and don't mind having fewer feats, but it doesn't seem all that popular.
That had less to do with evil and more to do with what Pharasma is a deity of - birth and fate. An intentional abortion means that you, mortal humanoid № 18771280871, overrule what she as the deity in charge of births and by association pregnancy decided is going to happen. You disregarded her position and dogma, thus insulting her. I would have gone for "anathema" rather than "abomination," to be honest, but at any rate, it isn't about abortions being objectively evil, it is about the goddess of pregnancy and birth being pissed by mortals messing around with pregnancies and births. You can also argue that you are messing around with the fate of the unborn, which is also her portfolio. Even keeping contemporary politics and morality out of it, it makes perfect sense that she would be against it.
Ironically, I think a big part of why she is against undead might come from a similar mindset. She is the being in charge of death, and deciding that, you know, **** the system, you are going to do your own thing and stay around won't sit well with her. She allows resurrection under some limits, but undeath is an affront to what she represents.
Edit: I can agree with Pharasma not being all that good, but I see her as quite LN in how she operates. Her Osiriani counterpart, Anubis, is LN without having a markedly more lawful bent (as far as I am aware).
As much as I would love for that to be true, Abadarites being Abadarities she was probably an awesome cosplayer they hired for good publicity.
Hey, nothing prevents an awesome cowgirl cosplayer from being into a gaudy dressing style, crossbows and sound and fair business practices. Abadarian paladins are quite atypical as far as paladins go, but I can see it happen now and then.
I know midwives and expectant mothers pray to Her for healthy childbirths but is that actually in her portfolio?
Births and fate, definitely.
In the case of Pharasma, a paladin may have a somewhat harder time being a priest, but s/he can be a lay worshipper or even a warrior for the faith in certain situations. Yes, s/he does not agree with parts of the dogma, but I´m pretty sure a NG, CN and NE priests of Pharasma have their disagreements too. Sure, you could say that Pharasma´s stress on fate means a paladin is not allowed to help the suffering because it was fate, but how is that any more valid for a LG paladin than for a NG cleric? Pharasma is mostly focused on a few key issues, other than that as I understand it clerics have a fair amount of choice as far as She is concerned (the church organization itself is another story).
If paladins are not required to serve a god for their powers, I see no trouble with a paladin who venerates deities without being completely devoted to the dogma, i.e. praying to Pharasma often and participating in church rites. In a pantheistic setting, imo **not** paying at least some respect to several gods would be an exception, not the norm. Why wouldn´t you, for example, pray to Erastil for a good harvest, to Shelyn for love in your marriage, to Pharasma to help you with childbirth, to Gorum in war and, hell, to Cayden when stoppering the wine barrel? Acknowledging these powerful beings and propitiating them to gain their favor should be a good idea at any rate.
To be honest, a lot of the Pharasmin dogma makes perfect sense for a LN deity. She is an impartial judge of the dead and is extremely serious about enforcing the laws of the universe that she is tied to. I have a hard time imagining a CN pharasmin priest.
In the case of Pharasma, the dogma/code may be the trickier part. AFAIK on Golarion the deity-specific codes take precedence and the one in the core book was given as a setting-agnostic one. I do not think it works all that well for a pharasmin paladin. Then again, the paladin may venerate Pharasma without drawing power from her.
To be honest, I would probably go with Sarenrae anyway, unless I was making a character who specifically fits the Pharasmin dogma.
Aww, but how can you be a pirate without an animal sidekick? Granted, most of those work better as familiars, but having some animals on board is a time-honored tradition. Next you will be telling me you will NOT be getting a hook hand and a peg leg?
Anyway, yeah, in a big party it can be a pain in the ass. Mind you, if you are not using an animal companion and don´t care much for spells, a Slayer may be just as good (if not more so) as a ranger. Check it out, if you have not done so already.
I am generally a fan of bards for such pursuits, although I admit, investigators and inquisitors (for the divinely adherent) are definitely capable as well. I am a bit surprised that you did not include rangers and slayers among your options - they are quite capable when it comes to getting into - and out of - tricky places, and while not usually tied to the past,some of their skill choices are a good fit for an adventurer of the type you are interested in. Mediums can also be an interesting match for the concept (and quite popular in Ustalav), both the standard type and the relic channeler, which has a similar flavor to an occultist (but works differently).
Looks okayish, but I do not see the point of getting weapon specialist. Its purpose is to allow you to use feats for a specific weapon for every weapon in this category. At level 9, you do not have any such feats - unless exotic weapon proficiency counts - so this weapon training option does not help you much. BTW, tripping strike works better if you get improved critical earlier (and that weapon specialist can help you with).
Also, I am not a fan of endurance, but it can be good in some campaigns.
I think you can stack enhancements on one item, like having a belt of the weasel + belt of physical perfection. It makes them costlier, though.
Outflank and teamwork feats in general can actually be good with the fighter tactics advanced weapon training, and there is no harm checking with party members (like the rogue). Yes, you can only take so many AWTs, but if you go for several teamwork feats, fighter´s tactics is definitely worth it.
Mutation warrior stacks with Eldritch guardian, and both are good archetypes, although the loss of 2 early feats is a problem for a ranged fighter imo.
Can your monkey actually use a bow? Some DMs will balk at this. Personally, I would rather choose a ranged familiar like a hawk or owl to increase your "reach", and with the Erastil trait they do not provide cover when you shoot someone.
For me, a big design issue with fighter design - and one that tends to impact archetypes - is that it has no new features between levels 5 and 19. Yes, some of the core ones progress, but unlike,say, the monk or rogue it has fairly few things it can trade, and Paizo has by and large shied away from archetypes just costing bonus feats (with a few exceptions like the eldritch guardian). One of the base features - bravery - is pretty underwhelming as stated (a trait gives you the equivalent of bravery on level 9 - can you say the same for,say, stern gaze), so in trades it is not worth much.
I have toyed with ideas about "improving" the fighter as the default weaponmaster/maneuver specialist, just ouf ot curiosity. However, until it gets a serious remake it is likely to continue to have issues. Yes, there have been a few stealth fixes, but there is a problem with the core chassis .
Try to convince him to allow stamina, it was intended as a stealth fix for warriors (fighters in particular) and it helps you do a lot of things.
As for the weapon training options, hmm, Weapon specialist is nice if you intend to use several weapons from the same group, which tbh is not bad for polearms as there are polearms for different reach and damage types. I am not a great fan, though. Focused weapon is actually not so good imo. By the time it outpaces the normal damage for a two-handed weapon, you are so far into the campaign the extra 1-2 damage on average is pointless.
Alternatively, check out the talent that lets you use your BAB as your ranks for several skills. Fighters are quite poor in skill points, and now and then it helps to have something to do while you are not bashing heads. With polearms, you select among 4 pretty decent skills (bluff, intimidate, diplomacy, sense motive), so it isn't bad at all.
Personally, I am not a great fan of using an exotic weapon unless I am going for a theme or playing a half-elf (so I get it for free), but if you have to, do it. However, I find greater weapon focus to be sorely lacking for a feat at the level you get it. Consider getting Iron Will instead of it or even at level 5 (delaying weapon focus): as a warrior you do NOT want someone to get in your head and tell you what a great idea it is to kill your partners. Yes, even with armed bravery iron will can still be worthwhile.
Ok, here are a few ideas I have regarding fighters. My overall presumption is that they lack some defensive abilities and utility at first, but at middle and high levels they start being too reliant on their teammates for the necessary buffs and setup. Also, they have too few features - between levels 4 and 19, fighter get zilch except bonus feats and improvements to what they already have. Compare that with most new classes,who get new trick almost every level. So, overall:
4+int skill points = about the same as barbarians and cavaliers. Not great, but better than now.
Indomitable (replaces bravery): 1/2 the class level to saves vs fear, resisting intimidate and combat stamina pools. My idea is that there are various other abilities adding 1/2 class level to something, and combat stamina offers a good mechanics the fighter can specialize in - I did not want to make fighters outright immune to fear, but bravery needs to no longer be a joke compared to anything else that gives bonuses vs fear.
Soldier on:As an immediate action, can spend stamina points up to the bravery bonus for an equal bonus to any save. Cannot be done while the fighte is flat-footed. Either a part of bravery or a feature given soon after that, to me this approximates the good saves fighters had in 2E (basically spending a moment to prepare againt an incoming attack).
Armor training: additional armor training features (repeated armor focus, extra AC vs criticals, adding armor enhancement to gauntlet/armor spike attacks). To be honest armor training is a feature I had the least ideas about.
Weapon Training: gives its full bonus to CMD when using this weapon and as an insight bonus to AC against such weapons. Weapon damage bonus doubled. This starts low, but gets better at higher levels - where the extra damage can be handy against monsters that are huge HP sponges. The defensive bonus is niche, but to me part of being a master of a weapon is knowing how to defend yourself against that weapon.
Heroic stamina - level 6 - 2-6 times per day can spend 10 stamina points to duplicate the effects of a hero point. This can serve for both mobility and utility and I consider making it an optional combat stamina feat keyed off BAB for other warrior classes as well.
Armsmaster: level 8 or so - nonproficiency penalties for weapons reduced to -2 if the fighter can spend 1 hour practicing with that weapon. No longer provokes attacks of opportunity for any combat maneuvers. At level 16, the nonproficiency penalties are removed instead.
Shake it off - level 10 or so, spend stamina to temporarily ignore the effects of poisons, diseases or mind-affecting abilities (5 stamina points for 1 round, move action)
Rampage- level 12 or so, confirming a critical hit or defeating an opponent with at least 1/2 the fighter's HD recovers stamina points (1/2/3 depending on the weapon's critical modifier) and gives an extra attack against another threatened enemy.
This presumes all full BAB classes get combat stamina and barbarians/cavaliers get some extra tricks for it too (i.e barbarians get extra stamina per round when raging and cavaliers get it during and when completing a challenge). Overall, my idea is to make the fighter a better warrior while also giving it more defensive options and a few other tricks.
I am not the OP, but this is an argument I hear fairly often and one I think is somewhat misleading.
Combat should be the fighter's main schtick, and it is what the class name and concept suggest. I do think the fighter's out-of combat utility can be increased somewhat, but the Weapon/armor master handbook did a fair bit at that. I would not go further for the fighter, because at that point the other non-magical martials - barbarians, cavaliers, etc - start feeling left behind. The rules could benefit from more special high-level options for skills, letting them do the sort of things that you now need some spells for.
On the other hand, the fighter having more combat options and efficiency at higher levels is imo a good idea. See, the fighter is okay at fighting. However, when that is its sole specialty, "okay" doesn't quite cut it imo. The ranger is okay at fighting, and has a lot of other tricks up his sleeve. So do the paladin, slayer, and the avenger vigilante, to name a few. This is why I think fighters and to a point barbarians should have an added edge to represent their focus.
My current idea about the fighter do involve more defensive abilities and a pinch of extra utility (4+int skill points and limited use of the hero point system), but I think when your main job is to fight, you should be the gold standard at it.
It is almost never a good idea to make people wander what the designers were doing, though, especially when the crunch of the books is already available online (so people do not need to buy the books to know what the new items are). If faith in the testing of the product decreases enough, many people will just shift to other games.
Hmm, you definitely need the core book, the APG (rules on guns) and I would say ultimate combat is a good idea. However, almost all "crunch" - the rules and data you need to run a game - is available online. The bestiaries are cool,but again, all of that is online - I would get the first one for the basics and maybe one that has more weird monsters that you want for your games, but only if you have the budget for it.
Now, your ideas about a game will narrow the setting quite a bit. There are very few low magic places in the setting, the one that immediately comes to mind is Alkenstar - a small city state near Nex and Geb that was in a particularly magic-poor region and thus had to develop technology, eventually becoming the world´s main producer of firearms. There is a big on-and-off regional war, and considering the region around the city is known as the Mana Wastes due to all the magical fallout, it is fairly poor when it comes to several resources - it has to import most of its food, for example. Overall, an adventure in or around Alkenstar seems very close to what you want. There aren't many adventures or other books describing the region, though. According to the Paizo website, there are just Wardens of the Reborn Forge and The Twisted Circle.
The other place that you might be interested in is Numeria, which is essentially a barbarian country with an old spaceship wreck and a bunch of technophile wizards running things behind the scenes. It has more eldritch horrors, but is less resource poor and more suited to wilderness adventures - it has a few cities, but apart from the capital they aren't really prominent. The Iron Gods AP is based in Numeria and has an interesting mix of low and high technology.You could use it as an inspiration (or just, you know, as a campaign).
Other than that, I think Numeria is detailed in People of the North, but I cannot remember a book specifically detailing the Alkenstar region. The campaign setting book is generally a good idea if you want to use the default setting, though, and Paizo keeps setting information off the other sites so you have to get the books.
tl/dr: getting the campaign setting book can be a good idea. Alkenstar is an industrial, low-magical city in a wasteland region, while Numeria is a savage land with barbarians, techno-wizards and scattered remains of a huge crashed spaceship.
I think you could slightly reflavor Carrion Crown to fit this angle. Many of the adventures have to do with the antagonists trying to get their hands on various relics they plan to abuse. You could definitely play up this angle, with the late professor being a part of the organization. Mummy´s mask is already mentioned, and, well, the plot can very easily fit that description as well. I perfonally find the default hooks for the game a bit weak, but if the PCs are agents of such an organization, they automatically get a good motivation to pursue the leads.
I have asked that question in other threads, but I would rather do it again here for a somewhat more official statement.
Are kineticists intended to be able to benefit from the to-hit bonus from combat stamina on their kinetic blasts (presuming the feat is allowed and they took it)? How about for the kinetic fist and kinetic blade infusions?
Also, how would you price items giving enhancements to kinetic blast - i.e. bane, vicious, un/holy, etc - and what items do you think work best thematically? I am thinking rods, scepters, staves, orbs and the like.