How about a reach weapon for one of the various 2 handed users suggested? This would allow you battlefield control along with your large damage. Just have a decent DEX (maybe around 14) and grab combat reflexes, and you will be generally good to go. Smack anything that would dare try to get around you!
I personally like the idea of using a dwarf and grabbing a dwarven long hammer. It is basically a greatsword that hits from 10' away. What is not to love? They also make great barbarians since their slow speed is solved with the speed bonus, and they have a racial bonus to CON and WIS (always good to help with the will save).
Dabbler, is DR/alignment that much of a problem? I do not mean to underestimate DR, but rather advocate the various ways to get around it. I mean, what do character do before they are swinging around +5 weapons or have a weapon with the appropriate alignment? They often turn towards potions and wands.
Bless weapon is a level 1 paladin spell, so it would not be too hard to buy as a consumable item. I realize that it might be a bit silly to rely on them so much, but in a world with so many fiendish threats... well I'd imagine it would be made rather widely available. Heck, rp-wise, I would imagine that a retired paladin might make a nice little business and feel like he is doing good by mass producing such items. So the only major loss would be time spent to buff yourself.
I also realize that there are other alignments needed to cut through DR, but monks' unarmed strikes can count as lawful naturally, and really, how often do you see DR/Chaotic or DR/Evil when playing a lawful character?
EDIT: weird thought-with the mention of how much he relies upon his AoMF, why doesn't he get low quality spares? His build has 401k worth of items, so an amulet with only the guided property would not even cost 1% of that. Sure, he would have no enhancement bonus, but there are other ways to get those through buffing. Although...this plan again relies on the idea that you would take up the casters' time with buffing you when they could be casting battlefield control. Anyway, just getting the guided property on a spare would prevent him from being completely useless.
Basically, that racial feature does completely nullify the penalty for the standard tiefling for the purposes of magic. So it works as well as any race without a penalty in CHA.
But that is the standard tiefling. Their are other variants, which each have their own set of racial stat modifiers. Demon-spawn, Div-Spawn, and Rakshasa-Spawn all have bonuses to CHA. The only problem I have found with this option is that it is iffy whether you have to use your first level feat for this. Originally in Bastards of Erebus, you needed the fiendish heritage feat to become a variant, but a later book, Blood of Fiends, extensively covered the variants but did not mention the feat at all (which could imply that it might not be necessary for character creation). The book that lacks the feat is the PFS legal one, so I would go with that one as a source. Another bit of supporting evidence is that aasimir also have variant heritages, but do not need a feat to take them (although they have always been a bit unfairly favored...bloody lack of a racial penalty)
This path opens an interesting opportunity. You do not lose the fiendish sorcery trait if you become a variant heritage. So this feature which was intended to simply cancel out a penalty actually can allow you to have a +4 racial modifier for your casting. Even if your GM forces you to take the feat, you still might want to use a variant with this nice little bonus.
It doesn't look like this has been mentioned yet, but I'll throw it in: Brother of the Seal. This is a prestige class built to give a monk a bit of rogue like utility and some extra little bonuses. It continues your offensive monk class features such as your unarmed strike damage, stunning fist, and flurry of blows. Unfortunately, you lose out on your scaling AC bonus, but that should not be much of a problem if you plan on getting the monk's robes. Just a loss of 2 AC. You might also miss out on some ki. The only qualification that you do not have with one level of a vanilla monk is the 5 ranks in knowledge(arcane).
The fun part of the class is this: You can hit like you were one size larger with unarmed strikes, and thus it would be rather simple at later levels to hit like you were a huge monk. I cannot even find a reliable table for telling how many dice this involves, but it may well be 6d8. Per hit (4d8 'medium'... but enlarge person is a level 1 spell, no reason not to find a way to use it every battle towards level 20. Basic buffing when you consider that it adds 5 average damage per hit, plus +5' reach). That is enough to make the debate between static and random damage a bit moot. It would require four of the damage dice to roll up ones, and the other two rolling 2 or below, for DR to cancel it out. The only real problem I find with all this is that you might want to discuss just taking average damage per strike when doing flurry of blows. You'd be tossing enough dice to have a sample size that would come out to average anyway.
Edit: Another interesting way to boost up the damage dice: strong jaw. This spell boosts you up another two sizes. On an enlarged monk...that might be 12d8? Again, hard to tell since the numbers are getting into cheese territory. You will need a druid 7th level or above to do cast it for you though.
The Beast totem rage powers are a fairly standard choice which would work well with what you want. Most take it simply for the level 10 power, greater beast totem, in order to obtain pounce, but the second power is still great since it gives you a scaling natural armor bonus. Unfortunately, you cannot get either of those for another couple of levels. Lesser beast totem, which just gives you large sized claws, is rather nice too though, if only thematically. Sadly, it will likely serve as more of just a power tax.
Another set of common rage powers are the superstition ones. The first gives scaling bonuses while raging against spells (which helps with your will and reflex saves; it doesn't help if the tank is a smoldering pile of ashes or trying to kill everyone, no?), witch hunter gives scaling bonus damage against anything with magic (which becomes...like everything later on), and spell sunder can suppress or even dispel magic. Over all, it might be work looking into taking a couple of these too. The first two listed have no level limit, so you could take them at your level.
The Invulnerable rager archetype is another nice option, since it provides half your level in DR. That is always nice for beefing up your defense.
You might be able to deal with some damage issues if you use crane style to get an extra attack through crane riposte. This works well with dervish dance since both require the user to have a hand free. A high dex build combined with those style feats and fighting defensively would definitely be hard to hit, so I would not worry to much about being in the front line.
My favorite way to get the crane style feats is through the Master of many styles, since they can get all of the feats by level 2 if you play a human and take first feat through your first level feats. If you move into fighter at level 3, you could use your 3rd level feat and bonus feat to become a dervish dancer in a single level. You would be par for course for most using the feat, but you would have the advantage of the crane style feats.
Maybe just have him down a potion of enlarge person. A half-giant still counts as humanoid, right? It should work.
Thematically, you can even put that into his characterization: her feels like he is a 'runt' and wants to make up for it with the most overcompensating and Freudian weapons he can get his hands on...
You could also have him cast it himself if you provide 3 sorcerer levels with the boreal bloodline. I suggest this since it has some associations with giants, so you can just write it off as an effect of his blood. Thinking about it...knowing the level might help us better tailor our suggestions.
Rather than a +1 amulet of mighty fists, how about just an agile amulet of mighty fists? That item can take special properties like that without the +1 enhancement bonus that most weapons would need.
A favorite discovery for me is spontaneous healing. It gives you 1 round of fast healing 5 per 2 alchemist levels, which is much like an additional 2.5 hp per level. It also means you can cure bleed damage and it activates when you fall unconscious due to your HP going below 0, which should stabilize you. The healing touch discovery at level six would allow you to share these rounds of fast healing with others as a standard action... but I always prefer to use because it boosts the amount of fast healing per day to 5 per level. Hoarding all those sweet HP's makes you very durable.
Hmmm... might work for an E6 campaign. I say this since once you start getting high enough in level, you are dealing in sums of cash that are worth more than entire villages. and the only reliable stores of that much value would be very high level magical items. Keeping it low level would allow real trade goods to become profitable: wheat, spices, ore, etc.
I could see a game based around the players owning and transporting a small caravan of goods between regions. It would require a lot of flexibility and problem solving. If you were transporting food, for example, than goblins armed with flaming arrows suddenly become a major threat. In contrast, if you were transporting ore, then you would only be out a wagon (which might be salvaged with a mending spell, perhaps). Simple mundane spells like Create Water suddenly would become vital tools the players relied upon.
Natural attacks and unarmed strikes are light weapons, and thus can be weapon finessed. Admittedly, you really should not be using your familiar to attack with its natural weapons. Maybe with alchemist's fire or something, but only a couple of the improved familiars should really ever consider melee. So yeah, the whole trade in thing with those familiar feats sound good.
If you want to dip for style feat, then Unarmed Fighter is a better choice.
I meant for all three style feats. Crane style, Crane wing, and Crane riposte. Only the Master of Many styles can ignore the many of the prereqs for the latter two. Unarmed fight might be good for getting Crane style though. It needs less dancing around with feats to get it. After that, you can move into the monk archetype.
That is kind of why I'd advice birds as a focus for this. They tend to be small, inconspicuous, and really...what kind of creatures are you facing that have time to kill each and every bird they see? With the racial trait, it will serve well as a scout since it can describe what it saw, and it doesn't matter if its stealth check fails. The bird isn't magical, so there should be little reason for them to target it.
Just tell it to fly off when the fight actually begins, and you will be fine unless someone gets off a fireball in the surprise round.
Typically, this is so. You really need a definite plan of action before multiclassing. That said, I have found myself plugging the use of 2 levels of the monk archetype, Master of Many Styles, in order to pick up all of the crane style feats. I think this might be appropriate since your race seems geared towards natural attacks, and thus you will always have a hand free to use crane style. Do not worry about the whole high wisdom, unarmored style associated with monks. This archetype trades off flurry of blows, and your dip will not last long enough to get any good benefits from going unarmored. This archetype allows for a very un'monk'-like monk.
The advantages of picking up the three feats this way are thus: by spending the same over all lose of attack bonus as TWF (one lost for going into a 3/4 BAB class, -1 penalty for fighting defensively when using the feats), you can deflect one melee attack per round, having it do absolutely no damage to you. Furthermore, you can do an Attack of Opportunity on the opponent that tried to hit you. You AC will also go up by 3-4 (+2 for fighting defensively, +1 crane style, +1 for 3 ranks acrobatics), which is all dodge bonuses (they stack with anything). Not bad overall.
To pull this off though, you will need to use two feats through leveling: dodge, taken prior to the monk dip, and crane style, which you can take with your monk dip if you take it at an odd level. Otherwise, you would also need improved unarmed strike. After that, just use the Master of Many style's bonus feats to get crane wing and crane riposte.
Note that it seems that only your attack damage is based off of hit, not your attack bonus (like the prehensile hair hex). This is not too much of a problem since you can just take weapon finesse and rip off a dervish dancing magus' stats. The extra bit of feat tax might help your GM look at the hair more favorably.
Note that you get 1.5x INT on the natural attack if it is your only one. This might seem like a problem as you begin to get iteratives, but hey, you can easily get two or three attacks per round with that natural attack using spell strike and maybe haste. The grappling is also nice, since you do not become grappled yourself. Feel free to caste a spell and smash your helpless foe.
Well, a garrote comes immediately to mind. Mix it with sneak and he could easily take out random commoners with it. You could also just make a grapple build, which could allow him some utility without taking any thunder from the PC's.
Normally one would go monk and tetori if they wanted to be a grappler ...but since we are talking about a serial killer, it might be hard to make him lawful. Unarmed fighter might be a nice choice, since it is like a monk without any such restrictions. Since they can also take beginning style feats, snapping turtle style could be advantageous. The second feat in that style allows you to make an immediate grapple attempt when someone misses you (you can have this with a BAB of +3, and you only need improved grapple and turtle style)
I prefer brawler myself. It gives you its version of weapon training at an earlier level and gives more static damage per hit (+3 to damage at level 3). That basically covers any lack of damage from using a high dex build necessary for TWF prereqs. It also lets you debuff your opponents' attack bonus when you are next to them, which is always nice. It helps to make up for the lack of armor training to some extent. You can also eventually prevent opponents from taking a 5 foot step out of your threatened area through a combo of two of its abilities.
Your choice in weapons are a bit limited though. Unarmed strikes, particularly from a monk dip, are always popular since they basically has double slice built in. Shield also works since they can serve as AC. My personal favorite though is the cestus, since it has similar stats to a dagger, and you can still hold things in your hand.
The Two-weapon warrior is more accurate though, since the penalties eventually get waived, so they can more easily use feats that sacrifice aim for more static damage such as power attack. The ability to hit twice on a standard attack has already been mentioned too.
Also, just a comment on the ninja/bard: Can you use your performance through ghost sound? Maybe start some oratory with a standard action, use vanish as a swift action, and continue the performance as a free action while using your standard action to cast ghost sound? It would allow you to perform and mess with the opponent's heads while you stealth around.
While it might not be the most effective strategy, it would be cool enough to try at least once.
Hexcrafter Magus/Whitehaired witch. This has several advantages. While the white haired witch's natural attack does not appear to get INT to hit, it does get it to damage. You could easily just rip off a dervish dance build's stats and grab weapon finesse without any worries. The hair can grapple on a successful hit (and uses INT instead of strength), while you do not gain the grappled condition, which leaves you free to use normal touch attacks. The hair also can reach out to 30 feet- with spell strike, your 'touch' attacks no longer need you anywhere near the enemy.
You still retain all of the witch's spells and familiar, but you can get your hexes through the magus. You also can use armor, although the witch spells would suffer. Just fill up the witch's spell slots with utility spells you can take your armor off for, while the magus spells can handle all of the blasting, debuffing, and battlefield control.
Whoops poor wording, I suppose. Your summoning gets all those templates (young, advanced, giant) this means that the summons you are used to can be used longer, and you can get a weakened form of a more powerful summon sooner. This makes them very appealing for a quick mount since you have all those options with movement and attack. You do not get it as a standard action until level 5 though. This and the bonus to level for wildshaping are the main reasons to play a saurian shaman. Do not limit your options right after you get them.
Also, soupturtle, are you sure that you can't use crane wing as a dinosaur? I am mostly thinking of the bipedal varieties, such as allosaurus. Would that not count as having arms? ....part of me also wants to see you do it with a T-rex...because deflecting attacks with those tiny arms would be hilariousness.
That would hurt your ability to turn into all the DINOSAURS!!!1111oneone!
The advantage of the saurian shaman is that it can 1.) summon a wide variety of dinosaurs using a standard action and 2.) it can turn into larger dinosaurs at an earlier level. While this might seem restricting, the templates that the archetype lets you put onto your choices actually means that you have quick access to over 51 options across all levels which can cover land, air, and sea and many of them have sweet abilities such as scent and pounce (many dinosaurs have 3-5 attacks, which makes this very appealing). You also get all these boosts with reptiles in general, so snakes and giant lizards are options too.
Remember, you want will want to wild shape. It lasts for hours per level, which means you can spend a quarter of the day as a beasty from the get go. You will want to take the feat that lets you do spells in wild form at level 5 though. Multiclassing would not only weaken and delay your wildshaping, but also delay your additional uses per day. Your choices will end up rather limited when you can only transform twice per day.
I will admit though, if you can squeeze in all of the crane style with a two level dip with MoMS...well...dinosaurs rarely have anything in their hands other than the cold corpses of their prey. I do like the image of a dinosaur that knows kung-fu. Mechanically, it is a rather sizable defensive boost for only -1 to attack when you have all three feats.
Well the thing with handle animal/diplomacy is why the alternate racial feature specifically referenced 'speak with animals.' I think that he might be able to interact with them like they were intelligent creatures, and thus he can give them (simple) instructions to follow without needing a 'trick.' I think the easiest way is the way he originally read it: use diplomacy like it was handle animal for 'pushing' them for specific actions.
Still, they will just be normal animals, so I think you would have to restrict your requests to either their natural behaviors (asking a dog to track someone) or fairly obvious actions (fetch this, attack that). Keep that in mind and they will work well as servants for certain menial tasks. I would not use them as combatants anymore than I would a level 1 commoner though. So treat them the same like somewhere between a familiar and a hireling.
Interestingly, it appears that you can get all of crane style by dipping two levels in Master of Many Styles monk. Just get crane style through a level feat, and use the class bonus feats to get crane wing and riposte. This means that you could make yourself near untouchable in melee at level 1-2. Maybe take a couple levels of fight in order to get decent armor/weapon (MoMS, especially a dip, has few monk elements which would restrict you into the 'normal' no armor/high WIS build) and grab a few of the necessary feats: dodge, weapon finesse, and combat reflexes. then just grab the monk dip at levels 3-4 and you will be golden.
This might work better on a duelist build since you would end up delaying your spells on a magus. While going for a 3/4 BAB class prior to duelist would delay your entry into the prestige class, you would already be using its play style anyway, so it is no major problem.
Of course, another option might be just to stick with the MoMS/fighter, using the crane style feats to get the general feel you want. Since they provide such a tight defense, you could easily make a build focused on damage by getting a high strength.
Hmmm...so clerics are allowed, but they will not be very powerful? Have you considered the Razmiran Priest archetype for sorcerer? The entire point of the class is that you are an arcane caster trying to pass themselves as a divine caster.
While it might seem to be trying to weasel out of your GM's fiats, it might work well in the setting. Such individuals have legitimate reasons to hide if they do not want to work for the state. A sorcerer also has the advantage that they do not need years of training to gain their powers, but merely flukes of chance and blood. That would provide plenty of reason for an individual to want to hide themselves instead of being whisked away to some government internment camp to work on enhancing weapons or something all day.
A witch may have a similar position, but they might have never had the option of becoming a state servant. Thus they would have strong incentive not to reveal their powers lightly. How you would actually accomplish that might be harder than the tailored archetype for sorcerers though. My general point is that you might be able to pull off a full caster if you make the fallout an integral part of its conception and execution.
What is the focus of the fighter? Is he just going to go for damage (typical two hander or archer), or does he have plans on battlefield control? I bring this up since the party's battlefield control might be limited with only one full caster. If you cannot get a witch or magus, you might want to consider a build focused on such an effort.
Reach is often a popular method to maintain attack power while shaping the battlefield. You could also go as Kazumetsa mentioned, and focus on various combat maneuvers.
Hmmm... another option could be to go with Inquisitor. They are somewhat similar to bards, but they have a vastly different flavor. If divine casters are losing their power, having a dogmatic worshiper of a god would provide you an excellent hook to become involved with the plot since they would be seriously concerned about the matter. While they might end up losing their spell casting, you will likely be able to keep your judgments (hey, the paladin still has his smite, no?), so you will be able to maintain your role as a melee character quite easily. Maybe use all the skill points you will have to cover the four key knowledges (which you get your WIS bonus on). That would cover an important role that the party face might not have room for.
Secondary natural attacks never really affect any other type of attacks (primary natural attacks or attacks with an actual weapon). They are always extra. That is why they start out as -5 to attack and half strength damage, since they are 'extra.' Multiattack simply lowers the penalty to -2, so that it is more like a TWF strike with an off hand attack. This feat basically helps improve his proficiency for attacking with 'multiple attacks.'
Also note that all natural attacks are treated as secondary if the creature is also using a manufactured weapon (or an unarmed strike, such as the monk's). Thus they also fall under multiattack's benefits.
While I love the brawler, the urban barbarian might be a better option. When that archetype rages, it can boost either strength or dexterity (con is an option too, but not important for this discussion)
Only one ability score gets boosted, but you can still use all of your skills and you do not lose AC. You can choose to boost two ability scores, but you must split your morale bonus between them.
This might be good thematically too. Soldiers that act like a fantasy barbarian in modern warfare tend to have short military careers.
Ah, I was reminded of another prestige class that can raise ability scores:The Pain Taster.
On the first level, it allows you to set up a one hour/day training routine that can raise any single ability score of your choice by +2 (enhancement bonus). There is a 2,000 go fee when you first do it, and again if you want to change the ability score, but after that it is free. The prestige class's capstone (at 5th level) is that you get another +2 to throw around as you choose (two ability scores by +2 or one by +4)
There are also other....more colorful class features: +1 to attack and damage if you had lethal damage last round (even if you did it), damage reduction, sneak attack dice that only apply to slashing weapons and whips (and it always applies to whips, even if you couldn't get normal sneak attack...)
Well, it does have an intelligence of 6. That is the same as a starting familiar, so it should be much easier to handle than a regular animal companion. If you somehow get knocked out while riding it, the animal should be able to make intelligent choices that could save your a raise dead.
The main reason people might suggest against the mount is because there can be problems with mounted combat at times. Overall, a horse is still a rather decent animal companion that is mostly limited by the fact it relies on mutliple natural attacks (which can be troublesome with DR). It can't follow you into cramped quarters, but dungeons will eventually be made for large and larger sized monsters as you level anyway, so it should not be impossible to take along with you.
While a cavalier with beast rider might be able to get a more powerful animal, a horse is a nice, standard mount that will not cause any complications going into town. The only real problem I can find with it is the '30 day wait if it dies' bit.
Dip into oracle? Well, that might not be the best suggestion, since that carries a lot of weight that needs a lot of dedication. Especially the best way to get rerolls: Dual-cursed.
That has two different revelations related to rerolls, one of which acts like a hex (in that it only limits how many times per day you can use it on one person, not total) that forces a reroll one per day. It could be useful if one of your party members simply bombs a save.
Thinking about it, taking the MoMS as any race any time after you get Crane style is good too. It gets a similar result. I just plugged my suggestion in since I love how easily you can make an untouchable character from level 1 that way.
Even after iteratives start coming around, deflecting the first hit is basically the same as having +5 AC. The fact that crane style and acrobatics both add a +1 onto fighting defensively's +2 (making it +4), just means that you are even more untouchable. Just watch out for creatures with multiple natural attacks or TWF.
You can get crane style, crane wing, and crane riposte all by second level if you play a human monk of many styles. Using first level feats, you can take dodge and crane style, and then use the class bonus feats to get crane wing and riposte. This would allow you to fight defensively with only a -1 to hit, but you get to also deflect and even counter attack one hit a round. Even before you get armor, it would be easy to have decent AC and defense at little cost.
The fun thing about dipping this archetype is that you are not obligated to play it like a monk at all. You do not have flurry of blows, so you can use any weapon you please and the advantages of actual armor can far outstrip the AC boosts from monk. This also means you do not need to focus on wisdom, which helps to relieve the typical MAD nature of the class.
Unfortunately, you would really need to invest your first level of feats to accomplish this. If you want to use weapon finesse, it might take until level 3 to get it. Also, your choice in weapons might be restricted to short swords until that time (they are on the monk's proficiencies, but often ignored)
Other advice: definitely get Acrobatics. It grants another +1 AC at 3 ranks for fighting defensively.
A creature can also add any circumstance, deflection, dodge, insight, luck, morale, profane, and sacred bonuses to AC to its CMD. Any penalties to a creature's AC also apply to its CMD. A flat-footed creature does not add its Dexterity bonus to its CMD.
The Pain Taster prestige class might also be interesting. It gets damage reduction every other level, so it might mess well with an invulnerable barbarian, and you get various unique bonuses to damage. If you got lethal damage in the last round (even if you were the one to do it) then you get a +1 to attack and damage rolls. You also get sneak attack dice that only applies to slashing weapons and whips. Oddly...the whips always get that extra damage, even if you would not get sneak attack....
There is also a class feature where you spend an hour a day on a training routine that gives you a +2 to any stat. There is a 2,000 gp fee the first time you raise that stat, and again if you decide to switch which stat to boost, but after that it is completely free. You get another +2 to throw around with the level 5 capstone.
Over all, this class is... dark and twisted. But its advantages might be considered worth it for the type of build you want. The only requirements (besides being nongood) are a set of feats you might want anyway: Diehard, endurance, and greater fortitude.
Admittedly, the requirement did not really say you had to be any good at casting arcane spells without preparation. a dip into a spontaneous class would suffice. Maybe do a cross blooded sorcerer to get some nice bloodline arcanas. This will take you a bit further than you would like from wizard, I know, but you might end up the stronger for it.
The dragon disciple prestige class has various stat increases as one of its main selling points. the ability directly compares it with level up increases, so it should stack with everything.
Alchemists can boost their strength through their mutagen. Not exactly what you seem to be looking for, but it is a consistent class feature that can eventually use used all day at later levels.
Just tossing in another random thing I found while going through the wondrous items: Armbands of the brawler. It gives a +1 competence bonus to grapple checks, and it only costs 500 gp. Not sure if that is entirely the item slot (especially at the point where you can by it as an afterthought), but I just thought I'd throw it out there.
Even in a relatively low magic campaign, I assume there might be some divine influence. If there was a shadow apocalypse, then Good outsiders would show up in a fashion similar to the national guard. This is especially true since there are so few individuals capable of handling such a threat if it grew large.
Still, you have immunity to fire and flight. That carries over a long time. Only one race has flight naturally without using any effort. A few have flight through feats, but it is either only for limited time (such as tengu) or it is a feat that can only be taken at later levels (aasimir wings). Over all, this is a major asset that typically you would have to plan the entire race around to balance it out. Unlimited flight is a rather big deal, especially for free at first level.
Immunity to fire, which can be gained from magic, does still mean that you do not have to worry about a fireball during the surprise round. Ever. Heck, I think you could technically walk into a pit directly into lava and only be convinced by the climb back up. Immunity is worth roughly half to a third of the RP value of most races.
No matter the level, you are overpowered with these two features.
A good general rule for these types of damage increases is that the dice double every two steps.
Beside their massive damage, Brothers of the Seal are focused on magic and dungeons. They not only have skills for traversing dungeons (such as the ability to expend stunning fist for a dispel magic on magical traps), but they have either hold portal or arcane lock as a spell like ability, which would allow them to make dungeons. Since they can ignore up to 10 points of hardness, I think they could actually carve out a dungeon from sheer rockface with their bare hands.... Interesting thoughts for a character background, no?
I think it might depend somewhat on the animal. Many might just wander off eventually, but for highly social animals, they might stick with the party since they are its 'pack.' I am mostly going to go with the wolf here, since they have the most predictable behavior out of most typically used AC's. If the PC gave it the defend command to follow another party member, it should generally try to continue the command.
Should they lose all of their abilities? i wouldn't think so. While there is some degree of mystical bond between them and their PC, I think it is largely just that they are particularly well trained. Obviously it would not level past this, and for balance's sake it should wander off if the party doesn't try to immediately ressurrect the PC, but why give the party two blows at once?
Yeah...no table. I usually just work off of the table for improved natural weapon, since it is pretty comprehensive. Unfortunately, level 20 monks uses 2d10, which is actually a unique damage dice to the monk it seems. Most other weapons go from 1d10 to a number of d8's. So the whole thing was a bit funny.
With its huge damage dice, you might also want to consider a vital strike build. The Brother of the Seal actually lets you use Awesome Blow as either a part of a flurry of blows or as part of a move such as vital strike. We are guessing that you will be doing 6d10 damage per hit while enlarged yes? Even the lowest level feat of vital strike would make that 12d10. If you really wanted to test your Gm's patience, then you could take improved vital strike and get 18d10. Sadly, your BAB would never get high enough to actually use greater vital strike for 24d10. Thinking about it, how many people even own that many d10's? If you do become a Brother of the Seal, I advise you to use prudence or you will be facing the most powerful enemy in the game: falling rocks.
Just be aware that some might question if impalement might be the best option for an Order that "must be merciful to wrongdoers and show unfettered fairness whenever he passes judgment." Technically, the rules make little difference damagewise between simply punching him with your weapon and impaling him with it.
Just call it 'tough love.' It sounds funny enough to make an interesting character.
Hmmmm.... Hamatula strike. This is a feat that allows you a free grapple roll when you successfully hit with a piercing weapon (such as a cestus perhaps?) If successful, you IMPALE the target with your weapon and you both gain the grappled condition. From what I can tell, the only difference from a regular grapple is that there are rules for using two handed weapons and such for damage during the grapple. So this could be easily used to both cause damage and quickly transition into your grapples.
....What? Ok, maybe it is not perfect for the whole 'bringing them in alive' thing for your order if you punch through your prisoners. I can't think of everything.
If damage dice are that much of a problem, then go into Brother of the Seal Prestige class. It basically mixes monk and rogue together, and it perfectly continues your monk abilities such as flurry, unarmed strike damage, stunning fist, etc. It is a prestige class designed to flow seemlessly from the standard monk. The requirements simply need 1 level of vanilla monk and 5 ranks in Knowledge (arcana), so you do not even go out of your way for anything.
The real draw is that its 7th level ability lets you hit like you were a size higher than normal. You also get the Awesome blow monster feat as a bonus feat at level 5. Antithetical to the normal style of staying close and using flurry of blows, but it is EXTREMELY CINEMATIC to knock your opponent halfway across the room with a punch. You can just smack people around, and you even get your Wisdom modifier on the CMB. The 9th level ability actually lets you smack enemies into other enemies using this move.
I think that there might be some AC bonus loss since it was not mentioned as a continued feature from monk, but you are playing level 20. Just grab a monk's robe to get it treated as 15 levels of monk, and you will be fine with AC. Still, since you never get to level 20 in the actual monk class, you could still use Enlarge person and hit like you were huge sized. That is what? 6d10 per hit? With your Flurry unaffected by the switch in class? I'm having legitimate trouble even finding damage dice that high in the table, and you can use it 7 times per flurry of blows. I pity the table having to sit through all those rolls though. Ask for some type of averaging option if you do go this path instead of rolling. You are doing it enough that there would be little difference in damage each round.
Are you worried about MAD? Well, if you are going as a Master of Many styles with Crane style as a focus, you can easily have 14 dex and 10 wis, no armor, and still come out with a respectable 16 AC. If you also get Crane Wing at level 1, you could also ignore one melee attack per round. The idea is that as a human monk, you could easily take dodge and crane style with your 1st level feat, and crane wing with your class bonus feat. Combining dodge (+1), crane (+1), the suggested dex (+2), and fighting defensively (+2), you get decent AC at the cost of -2 to hit. Pump up your strength (18?) and it will not be too bad. Better if you wisely use your deflection from crane wing.
As you level, your character gets drastically better. If you get Crane riposte at level 2, you would only have a -1 penalty to attack plus the AoO when using crane wing. If you also took the Monk of the sacred Mountain archetype, you would also get +1 natural armor and the toughness feat. At level 3, 3 ranks of Acrobatics would give you a +1 AC when fighting defensively. Furthermore, you are under little obligation to go armorless, so you could don armor and boost all this further with a multiclass. You could easily have 22-24 AC by level 3.
You can make a monk very unlike the usual monk and still remain a serious threat with this type of build. With a 15-20 point buy, I could easily just dump the points in physical stats and never have to lower the mental stats.
Do they become harder to resurrect? The last line seems to
In realistic terms: how many games even get to level 20? Even then, how long will the game continue after that?
For actual analysis? No, it is not really worth it. There are other ways of getting DR, and the fact that it is reduced by chaotic attack. I doubt it would be hard to find level 20 challenges that can get through alignment. You gain a small advantage since you cannot be targeted by 'person' spells, but so does a level 1 tiefling.
Just comparing it to replacements from monk archetypes, you can see that it is not that great. Martial artists replace it along with other features for immunity to fatigue at level 5 (when it can actually prove useful). Others tend to just make another 'cool capstone' power, though. Weapon adepts get stat increases, Ironskin monks get greater fortification basically, Master of Many styles gets more styles at once and change as a swift action (which is useless since who would have more than 5 styles?), etc. Interestingly, Monks of the 4 winds get immortality and reincarnation while Monks of the healing hand can do true resurrection while wiping themselves from existence and memory. Overall, Perfect self is just a bit of flavor to congratulate you for getting to level 20/
Edit: got ninja'd a bit. So it is totally worth using Qinggong. Also, DR takes away from each and every hit. That is the entire reason why monks' unarmed strikes begin to count as special materials as you level up, since they can never be anything other than flesh (without Amulet of Mighty Fists at least). Still, I feel like there are better uses of the ability slot.
Turin the Mad wrote:
I am happy with this though. If I could IMMEDIATELY summon meat bombs, I would abuse it immediately and ruin the fun. After the first dozen times, it is just another type of damage roll. But if you have to actively work to make it happen, running stealth checks and hoping their perception checks do not cut you off, you start to build up anticipation. Once you actually pull off the drop, that anticipation makes it GLORIOUS!