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truthfully, i'm not sure how useful the whip is gonna be... you'll either have to take -4 to hit for dealing non-lethal damage with a scorpion whip or you'll wield it as a normal whip in which case you cannot damage anyone with a +1 armor bonus or +3 natural armor bonus (so, basically everyone).
it sounds like it doesn't fit your concept as well, but mechanically you would be better off with heavy flail/bludgeoner...
maybe its in there and i'm missing it, but do you have any means of reliably dealing non-lethal damage or are you planning on taking the -4 to hit every time you want to use enforcer? i've seen full BAB classes get some extra mileage from that feat but i've never seen it used well on a 3/4 BAB chassis unless it was combined with bludgeoner and the sap adept feats (which can make for a pretty terrifying vivisectionist).
i don't know what you're looking at for the rest of the build, but you might want to consider bludgeoner at 3rd (and picking up a decent blunt weapon).
yeah- as the feats stand now you really do need to dip swashbuckler or daring champion to make this work (and swashbuckler is better for your build IMO).
if your group is open to 3PP content, i haven't published these feats (yet?) but i think they work a bit more smoothly (and make more sense) than the current paizo feats... feel free to use them:
slacker's build is pretty much what i was suggesting (though i didn't know if you'd be allowed the retraining rules).
boon companion (as i think someone already mentioned) is from Animal Archive, which is a useful book if you want to make use of pets (there are some companion archetypes and feats in there too, iirc).
and +1 to Skyler's suggestion- if you go into the evangelist PrC (specifically for erastil), you delay monk goodies by 1 level but add a bunch of stuff that would be really cool for a ZA.
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
Plus (at 6th level) if you fail the save, in addition to the minus four penalty to intelligence, you also take a minus four to will saves. That's every time you fail.
that's my favorite part... it makes the save to avoid confusion (from the wild rager archetype) more exciting :)
seriously though- the ragechemists saves aren't that bad... you have a good will save, if you have even a little Wis, and before long a resist cloak, you won't fail it very often. and barbarian (maybe instead of fighter) stacks really well with it both in terms of benefits and theme (and the bonus to will from rage will help too). i like wild rager/ragechemist combo because its devastatingly effective but everytime you fail a ragechemist save you take penalties to your wild rager saves, meaning that its only a matter of time before the confusion sets in, lol (if you do that, make sure one of your companions has some kind of sleep or hold person ready- you'll almost certainly fail the will save, lol)
eldritch scrapper is a mistake...
after reading your backstory and looking at your build idea i think you should really check out the Bloodrager from Paizo's new Advanced Class Guide... its an arcane casting barbarian that it sounds like would be perfect for your tribe. your stats would probably be fine as is, and the class can go 5 levels and straight into DD if you want (or you could take 1-2 levels of sorc for better casting benefits and slightly higher bloodline powers).
ranger is like custom built for this... the only drawbacks are waiting to 4th for your companion and having to blow your 5th level feat on boon companion instead of more archery yummies. you could always buy a trained animal to fill in until 4th.
mad dog barbarian is a fair option... full progression companion starting at 1st (with full druid selection, iirc) plus full BAB, but no bonus feats (which hurts)and if you want to benefit from rage at all you either have to get one of those transforming bows (to turn it into an appropriate Mighty bow) or be allowed to stack mad dog with urban to buff Dex. (that's actually a pretty solid set up for an archer but both archetypes modify rage... mad dog only postpones it so some GMs may allow both with controlled rage coming online at 4th).
zen archer is still tough to beat if you want a ranged power house... this would require more patience but if you invested in nature soul and animal ally (from faiths and philosophies) and boon companion you'd end up with a full progression pet on your ZA... it wouldn't come online until 7th i think so you'd have to rely on regular trained animals for a while, and it costs 3 feats (though ZA gets so many bonus feats), but it could be pretty sweet.
if you don't like any of those, inquisitor is a pretty good option too- judgements plus bane make them pretty good as switch hitters and there are a couple ways to get a pet.
i've personally played a dragon disciple, more than one eldritch knight, more than one mystic theurge, and a rage prophet. i've also played with or helped build (for a campaign i didn't have time to play in) an arcane archer, an evangelist, an outrageous mammoth rider in a gestalt campaign, at least one shadow dancer, a master chymist, a horizon walker, and a winter witch. i also built a pretty cool monk[sensei]/cavalier[musketeer]/battle herald but the campaign fell through and i never got to use him.
if you get into all the NPCs i've slapped together for various adventures the list would be much longer.
i'm a big fan of religious parties, and there's so many ways you can do it...
all just worship the same god, not necessarily casters but united by their worldview/attitude
all divine servants of the same god- tons of ways to combine pally, cleric, inquisitor, and warpriest to form a functional party... throw in PrCs like mystic theurge, evangelist, and sentinel and you could play this theme over and over without ever repeating a party (especially if you switched gods each time)
all pallies- the code doesn't cause party friction when everyone holds it, and being members of a religious/military unit gives ample reason to adventure together (and plenty of hooks); there's enough different ways to build that characters shouldn't be too similar (especially if you allow multi-classing and PrCs)
all clerics- instead of worshiping one god, choose an alignment everyone's god has to be within one step of (e.g. LG, so all gods must be LG, LN, or NG) and all make clerics charged by their god/church with working together to battle a diametrically opposed threat (e.g. a CE church or warlord); there are lots of solid cleric builds and having access to a cluster of gods gives more flexibility
all rejects- a twist on the theme... everyone was part of some kind of monastery or religious training institution but all were expelled and possibly excommunicated (either for some incident they were all involved in or separate individual reasons but they have all heard about each others expulsion); party bonds over experience and then must decide either to devote themselves to proving they are worthy of the god/church or to embrace bitterness and work to oppose their former faith.
i agree that these feats are problematic but i really don't understand why so many people feel it necessary to use such harsh rhetoric, especially directed at a staff that works hard to provide a game we all enjoy. if you've reached a point where you no longer enjoy it simply put down your books, log off the forum, and find a game you do enjoy; you'll feel better and it'll spare a lot of other people a lot of negativity.
i can understand the concerns for those who are in society play and thought they'd finally be able to play a build they've been wanting for a while but for everyone else, just house rule it. here are feats you could easily put into play:
1. thank you SKR for continuing to engage the fans with these glimpses behind the curtain.
2. i totally agree with John Spalding- 3PP materials are not Paizo's responsibility and any new product should include its own updates to class spell lists. Any GM who wants to house rule spells from 3.X or whatever other source into their campaigns can read through the guidelines he mentioned and make educated decisions on which spells would be appropriate for which classes in their campaign. and, honestly, if you're house ruling other spells into your campaign it shouldn't really matter what someone else thinks, if it fits with the feel you're trying to create for that class in your world then give it to them (just be mindful of game balance...)
i could see it potentially being useful... for a small number of builds...
is it the best archetype? no. but i could see it working out here and there.
i do think that for everything they lose it wouldn't be unreasonable to get the second domain power too, or maybe some SLAs based on the domain spells or something...
i think any of these can do pretty well from 11th or 12th on... transformation immediately fixes all your BAB issues, and if you can combine it with a contingent and/or quickened buff (or, even more so, if you get the drop on an enemy and have a round or two to buff) you're in really good shape.
i especially like the idea of the eldritch scrapper. when you use transformation you (obviously) lose spell access, but gaining martial flexibility means you'll still have some options for adapting in combat. stack transformation with a good monstrous physique, a haste or heroism, and 3 bonus combat feats and you should be able to hang with the melees pretty well (plus, you know, be a full caster again after combat).
i'm not sure about that... boon companion uses similar language ("animal companion class feature") but afaik you're allowed to take it with nature soul/animal ally. of course, believer's boon doesn't grant the whole domain, so maybe i'm comparing apples and pears...
i think a lot of the swashbuckler's mobility has to come from the player... most of us fall into this 'end combat as fast as possible' mindset, and that obviously favors standing firm and trading full attacks, but that's not always the best approach. a swashbuckler with a creative player could spring attack an opponent and move away to an unchargable spot. when the enemy moves and single attacks he can use OPaR to (potentially) block it and get off a second attack of his own. on his next turn he can single attack and tumble 10' away, repeating steps 2 and 3 until the enemy dies or gives up fighting that way. if an enemy focuses on someone else, then he can stand and full attack until it turns on him again. obviously, that won't really work against casters and people with ranged weapons, but usually those are the ones you want to stay close to anyways.
yeah- i agree with UaBS. divine hunter has never seemed very good to me (unless you're only dipping pally), although the bonus feat is tempting. and i definitely don't think you should take fey foundling... you can't afford the feat and as an archer you shouldn't be taking enough damage to need that extra healing.
i was never a big rogue fan, and can't even imagine playing one now. other than that i think the base classes hold up well. yeah the fighter's pretty straightforward but sometimes a guy who has devoted himself to mastering physical combat is exactly what you want. plus creative players have always (well, since APG, at least) had options for taking the base classes outside of their simplest form- traits let you add new class skills, extra Int (or race) can get you more skills, feats like eldritch heritage open up all kinds of flavorful options, and even without much Cha dangerously curious and skill focus [UMD] give any character some magical abilities.
i don't see anything in ACG that makes any of that obsolete. in fact, with feats that grant inspiration or panache i think the base classes have even more options now. (and did anyone else notice that the 2 new fighter archetypes are clearly stackable?)
ranged subdual damage is tricky...
the Rules wrote:
You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll. (emphasis added)
at 5th level you can use divine bond to put merciful on a bow (so don't take an archetype that trades that), but for the first 4 levels you don't even have the option to deal non-lethal damage with a ranged weapon (unless you can afford some kind of fancy arrows that probably exist in some supplement that do that).
what exactly do you mean by 'savage technologist'? are you looking for someone who uses technology savagely or 'a savage' (as in an unusually primitive person) who has embraced technology far beyond their native culture?
if the first (which seems less likely), i'd suggest a half-elf alchemist starting off with gunsmith (and ancestral arms for EWP[firearms]). add amateur gunslinger at 3rd and the explosive missile discovery at 4th.
if the second... that sounds to me like a multiclass character... start off with a level or two of something suitably primitive and then dive into gunslinger. or just make a gunslinger and say he grew up in a primitive tribe, maybe have him dress that way still or take a trait or feat to represent that heritage.
witch is a pretty good combo with kensai... you've already given up armor use so gaining the benefits of being a full caster come fairly cheap. you also get a lot of mileage out of Int so you can pump it high enough to really take advantage of your hexes. you also get a familiar from it, freeing up your arcana for arcane accuracy. finally, if you play to 6th level you can pick up the broad study arcana to gain magus action economy with your witch spells.
if that doesn't sound fightery enough for you, slayer is another good option. it gets you full BAB, d10 hp, all good saves, 6+ int skill points (with probably all the class skills you're looking for), and some Int/Dex synergy.
ok, having read your list of wants i think you should look at the inquisitor. they are only a 3/4 BAB class, but with judgements, bane, and the ability to buff themselves (and others) they can definitely handle p1. take the trap finder trait i linked above and p2 is covered. if you take the conversion inquisition your social skills are all Wis based which means you can be a face without investing in Cha, so s1 is good. you also get to add Wis to knowledge checks and can make them untrained to id monsters, so you're set for s2. stealth is a class skill, the heretic archetype lets you stack Dex and Wis to it, and Invisibility is on your spell list, so s3 is no problem. cure spells are also on your spell list so t1 is covered, and you're a 6:9 caster so there are a ton of useful wands you can use.
resource management will be a little tougher (judgement and bane are more limited than flurry), so if you're worried about that you could try making a ZA who dips inquisitor... they have good stat synergy and you would get a lot of the bonuses of an inquisitor by dipping 2 levels (even more, with no added BAB loss, if you did 4).
personally, i think a ZA/rogue is going to end up being lackluster as well... you'd most likely be better off staying straight classed ZA and spending traits (and/or feats) to make him more roguish. its a campaign trait, so you'd have to check with your GM, but trap finder is one trait that might give you everything you're looking for.
how are you with paperwork?
it looks like one thing that would really benefit your party would be a mystic theurge... there's is the danger there that people would rely on you to do everything, but you could potentially build a very versatile utility caster who can't (or, at least, doesn't/won't) do everything himself but always has the tools to bail the party out in a pinch.
since you're leaning towards a divine caster... you could pick any race with a 2nd level arcane spell-like ability (most Aasimars or Tieflings do, and several have +2 Wis; or a 1/2elf with the drow magic racial alternative, who can also put his +2 into Wis) and build a cleric of Nethys (the god of magic) start with 3 level of cleric, then take one of wizard... from 5th level to 14th take mystic theurge. you lose one cleric level (so you gain new spell levels at the same time as an oracle), but by 14th level you've gained 11 wizard levels! focus on a high Wis and keep your Int just high enough for new spell levels (only need a 16 total); any save based spells you want to use come from the cleric side and wizard spells are all buffs and utility. (you could reverse that, too and make a wiz with 11 cleric levels... you can PM me if you want more details on either build).
that would be a paperwork intensive build though because you'd end up with a lot of spells to keep track of (and choosing spells to prepare could be a bit of a chore).
yeah- the weapon bond will make you more effective in combat most of the time, but the mount can add more utility... if you're going to have a lot of fights in the open field a good mount plus some mounted combat feats could be pretty useful i suppose, but that is typically not the case.
i like oath of vengeance... it gives you a little more flexibility in your resource management (in that you can trade some swift healing for extra smites if you have a healer, or want to end combat faster and use wands or other OoC heals between fights), and wrath and blessing of fervor are both useful spells they get to add. (a sacred servant of ragathiel with the rage domain's 8th level power and the wrath spell can get a lot of mileage out of a furious/courageous weapon- it makes them dangerous against big bads who aren't evil, and absolutely devastating when they stack it with smite).
an alchemist could work well... and can be built a lot of ways. a vivisectionist would work well with a ninja (so you both get sneak attack damage when you flank), and mutagen is really useful in low point buys... you could even mix in barb levels- even a 14 base Str will hit 22 when you stack mutagen and rage!
if you're really looking to optimize, summoner is usually the answer. in low point buy/low money that's even more true. the GM is limiting your PC but not really the eidolon at all... and summoner PCs are basically companions for the eidolon anyways. build your summoner how ever you want, buy him what ever you feel like, take whatever feats/skills seem interesting, just make sure he knows the rejuvenate eidolon spells; build your eidolon as a quadruped with arms (centaur shape), the highest Str you can manage and (leg-claws, plus) enough tentacles to keep his natural attacks maxed out- spend a feat on greatsword proficiency and iterate with that in addition to your (now secondary) natural attacks. this kind of eidolon can compete with a fighter for damage output in a regular campaign, so he'll be insane in a low power/wealth game. the downside, of course, is that you have to figure out how to move your extraplanar monster around the city without being arrested or lynched, but at 4th you can pick up the summon eidolon spell and not really have to worry about it anymore.
+1 to inquisitor or empyreal/AA...
both have great Wis synergy and both add more tricks to your bag.
another great option would be a ranger...
both classes can do what you want to do, so one of the big questions you should ask is "do i want to play a pally?" personally i enjoy the roleplaying aspect of having to walk the straight and narrow when its usually a whole lot easier not to, but that's definitely not everyone's cup of tea. if you're intrigued by the challenge go for it, if not build yourself a kickass warpriest (or cleric, or inquisitor, or oracle- they can all be built as solid frontliners) and have fun with it.
if you pick an archetype you must take the whole thing (no mixing and matching). personally, i don't think divine archer is a very good option unless you're just dipping a couple levels of pally with some other main class. i'd probably take a base paladin (probably adding oath of vengeance). archery is soooo feat intensive that the archetype looks appealing but in the long run you give up more than you get.
but i suppose that doesn't really answer the question... if you're just playing a home game i don't see any reason why you couldn't allow him to take a mount- like i said, i think the archetype is inferior to a base pally so opening up the divine bond options back to the base level would probably only help (slightly) at correcting that imbalance.
we all know rogues usually aren't the greatest in combat. i myself have pointed out on more than one occasion the benefits of instead playing a ninja or vivisectionist, but is it possible that there is at least one decent combat build for rogues?
i have one possible idea, but i'm not sure how well it would really work out. it hinges on the gang-up feat. gang up makes you count as flanking regardless of your positioning (as long as two allies threaten the enemy)... flanking gives you +2 to hit on melee attacks, which is where things start to go down hill for the rogue, but what if you sacrifice that +2? if you attack at range the feat still (RAW, as far as i can tell) makes you count as flanking, so you miss out on the +2 to hit with melee attacks but astronomically increase your chance to be able to full attack with sneak attack damage! archery is (obviously) feat intensive but if you took the swashbuckler archetype you could add longbow proficiency and be able to take 'combat trick' twice (plus weapon training) to help with some of that.
the issue here is that you're still not able to address the rogue's attack bonus problems but if you're in a party where you can get a couple buffs fairly reliably it seems like it might be a pretty functional build, maybe? is there something i'm missing or would this possibly be a decent combat rogue build?
never be afraid to heal in combat- you're probably not going to match the fighter/barbarian/whatever-combat-monster in damage, so keeping him from dying is more damage output than you attacking and letting him drop... that said, situations where you need to play as (or even more so, build as) a devoted healer are rare. i've been playing with a group where there are several highly-optimized damage dealers and a controller, we regularly fought CRs that were APL+3 or more and we needed an optimized healer (it wasn't uncommon to face things that could drop a party member in 2 rounds, or cause truly crippling status effects with a very difficult DC), but that is an extreme case.
most of the time a cleric can play whatever build/style you prefer and just provide a little triage care when necessary in combat. the last game i played, i made a Wisdom based, negative energy channeling, melee cleric of Gorum (using the guided hand feat)- he had the DCs to use some save-or-suck spells and really good melee ability (drop a couple party buffs-- or just the quickened divine power that he took magic lineage and fate's favored for-- and then jump in stacking channel smite and the domain smites from ferocity and rage); i just memorized a handful of cure spells 'just in case' and made sure i had a cure wand for out of combat healing and he worked great. sometimes healing is necessary and there's no need to shy away from that, but sometimes a well-timed Command or Hold Person can be even more effective (and sometimes wrecking something with your great works out perfectly too, lol).
i agree with all those who have mentioned the importance of early entry... if your GM will allow alternative racial features from Advanced Race Guide i would definitely suggest something like:
half-elf [drow magic racial alternative]
that limits a lot of your option but you end up with only 1 casting stat, a serious will save, and you gain new spell levels in both classes at the same time (2nd @5th, 3rd @7th, etc).
depending on how high a level you think you'll reach, Bard might be a good option too... like a witch they can cover some of the important parts of both arcane and divine casting and at low levels their access to new spells is similar to MT (2nd @4th, 3rd @7th... MT passes them with 4th @9th instead of 10th...). MT will obviously have more spells at their disposal though (sorc known plus cleric list vs. just bard known).
i really like hexcrafter just for the resource management... one of the downsides to the magus is that they can nova hard but burn through resources quickly if they have a long adventuring day... hexes completely alleviate that issue.
there are builds that can nova harder (and depending on your party/campaign resource management might not be a big issue) but hexcrafters are more versatile and always have something they can contribute. throw in the pragmatic activator trait and UMD (which is a class skill) and you'll really have a trick for every occasion (even more so if you built as a samsaran- you could take mystic past life to add 4-5 wiz/sorc spells to your list).
if you want to buff and debuff i'd suggest the witch... you can get pretty decent buffs with your spells and probably the best debuffs in the game from a resource management perspective in hexes (since they can be used 1+/target), plus both class features work off Int so you're pretty SAD.
if you're okay with focusing on just buffing i'd suggest a bard- you could add some helpful ranged damage if you build as an archer, the bonuses from bardic performance and your buff spells will go a long way with 2 melee guys (and an archer), you'll bring a lot of skill support (including knowledges and UMD which both appear to be lacking), and you can even provide backup healing... the only real downside is that in a 15 point buy you won't be able to afford the Cha you need for debuffing.
strictly speaking the synthesist is inferior to other summoners because they lose the class' outrageous action economy (and all the extra skills/feats)- they could make for a great npc/villain though.
it seems like you want to build a melee sythesist. fighter is probably not the best option since you lose armor use and rely on the eidolon's physical stats (meaning a lot of the actual person's base stats will be redundant, or he'll be completely ill suited as a fighter without the eidolon). you could build a Wis based monk with 14 (to maybe 16 tops) Cha, and be alright in combat even without E but have crazy good AC and deal much more damage with it. d8 is not the best hit dice, but you'll get a ton of bonus hp from E, have all good saves from the monk, and where a fighter would have his BAB reduced to E's the monk can still use flurry of blows to effectively have a full BAB.
i don't have the animal archive, so i'm not sure about those feats but i know that Nature Soul and Animal Ally (both from Faiths and Philosophies, and both on the Archives of Nethys website) will get you an animal companion at level -3 (which Boon Companion will fix), but it does have to be off a greatly shortened list (wolf is definitely on that list, dog might be too...).
hope that helps. (and personally i really like the idea of combining the animal speaker archetype mentioned above with these feats)
yeah- witch has kind of a theurgy feel already with some traditionally divine spells on its list (especially for some of the patrons), but they're probably the worst option for MT... their hexes are one of or maybe even the best class features and you give up getting new ones and destroy the DCs of the ones you have.
you'd be much better off (IMO) just staying a witch and investing in scrolls/pearls of power/etc to cast a larger number of spells/day (and just use the witch's limited but fairly diverse spell list).
i wouldn't say there's a lot of hype... i guess it depends on where you look- some people believe it is completely inferior to a straight class caster, others are convinced its overpowered. personally, i think its interesting and can be built well if its something you want to do.
there are 2 basic approaches to building an effective MT, and they kind of depend on the level range of the campaign- you can build a balanced arcane/divine caster (which, i think, works best in campaigns that probably won't go past 13th level), or you can build an arcane or divine caster who also has some ability with the other style (which is more effective if you going to get into the upper levels).
for a balanced caster the whole build relies on using SLAs to qualify for MT... you pick a race with a 2nd level arcane SLA (most aasimars and tieflings work) and either make a cleric with the trickery domain (or fate inquisition) or a wood oracle with the Bend the Grain revelation (all of which grant a 2nd level divine SLA)- now the only requirement you need to meet is 3 ranks in knowledges, so you can pick arcane 2/divine 1 or divine 2/arcane 1 and level as MT from 4-13. this works pretty well at lower levels because you do have a ton of flexibility with spells and enough spells that you may not miss being a little behind on getting new spell levels. the biggest downside is that you lose a ton of flexibility in this build regarding choosing your race/domain/etc, and unless you go sorc/oracle (which will really hurt on when you gain new spell levels) or empyreal sorc/cleric (which is only marginally better) you'll have issues trying to keep both casting stats high enough; you also run into a problem after 13th because then you either have to split levels again or abandon one side of your casting progression.
for the mostly 1 class style the first thing to do is pick your primary caster class (wizard or cleric are the best options, just for gaining new spell levels asap)- take 3 (or 4 if necessary) levels of whatever version of that class you like, then 1 level of your secondary caster class; use the tricks listed above to qualify your secondary class with only one level and then level as MT from 5 (or 6) to 14 (or 15). in this build you'll only ever lose one caster level off your primary class (so a wiz or cl still gains new spell levels at the same time as a sorc or oracle would), but in exchange you gain up to 11 levels of casting in the second class. this approach gives you more flexibility in choosing race/domains/etc and also makes your 2nd casting stat less important (focus on the stat for your primary class and only use DC based spells from that class- use your secondary class for utility/buffs/heals/whatever). the only big drawback here is just that you miss out on class abilities from your base classes that scale with level.
hope that helps. if you have specific build questions feel free to post them or PM me.