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Paladin DPR Tank build


Advice

Andoran

Hello, I'm semi new to this game (I have one fighter at level 3) and I'm trying to build a "Masochist Tank". I was wondering if I could get a little input to see I'm understanding how to build a decently optimized pc (player character).
Any input would be appreciated, but I'm mostly worried about my spell/weapon bond choices, and the loss of saves and AC (as in, I think that I might have too little AC & saves).

If you're wondering what I mean by "Masochist Tank", I mean someone who deals enough damage to attract attention and then takes the damage (while healing himself) for the party.

Side Note: sorry for the lengthy post, lol.

I've read Thalin's and Cryptic's guides already.

Also, I should mention that this guy is for the Pathfinder's society and therefor uses the rules therein. (Example: 20 point buy)

So here's my build:
Human Paladin level 1

STR=19 (17+2 human bonus). DEX=10. CON=14. INT=7. WIS=7. CHA=16.

His HP is 13.

Feats are: Power attack and Weapon Focus Falchion.

I have a Falchion [Attack=6], scale mail [AC=15], and a holy symbol (silver).

My saves are: Fort=4, Reflex=1, Will=1. Even though I know that they'll get a +3 boost next level, I'm not sure that these are good enough.

My traits are Deft Dodger (Reflex+1) and Indomitable Faith (Will+1).

Skills that have been given a rank are: Diplomacy 7, Sense Motive 2, and either Handle Animal 7 or Heal 2 (see below).

I have also been debating on his Divine Bond (yes, I know that's at level 5) in that I'd either get a "mount" bond like a Boar to help me flank and do damage (not sure how handling an animal works mechanically ie attacking on the same turn as my pc), or I'd get the weapon bond to add Keen to my already crazy crit range. I'm also assuming that by level 5 that I'd have a +1 weapon.

And lastly, the spells that that I was thinking about were mostly (as I see it) tank spells ie Knight's calling, Challenge Evil.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Have checked out the paladin archetypes?

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You should be "good" on saves; you're better than most. The nice part of being a pally is a headband of charisma acts as yet another cheap means to boost your saves. You should be +8/+3/+1 @ 2nd, which is on par with most others.

In this day, I recommend Oath of Vengence pally if you take no other archetypes. Channel heal is a waste of lay on hands; but being able to smite 5 times / day @ 3rd is worth its weight in gold.

Now that Oath is around, you can lower your Str a little in the beginning and use oath to bump back up your damage. Consider this:

Str: 17 int: 7 Wis: 10 Dex: 12 Con: 14 Chr: 16

Your saves go from +8/+3/+1 @ 2nd to +8/+4/+3. -1 to hit/-2 damage will hurt early, but later it won't make as much of a difference as the edge on saves you get. And again, smite will make up the majority of your damage issues.

@4 you should be Str 18 (20) with a masterwork falchion and be +9 to hit for 2d4+13 which is not far off from +10 for 2d4+15. And smite is +3/+3, and you'll be able to do it at least 4 times / day (figure you'll actually lay on hands 3 tines). It is probably worth the trade in the long run

Andoran

Thank you so much! :)
I've made the changes that you have suggested and (at level 2+) he looks great.

About the "bond" though, which should I go for? Weapon or Mount?
Also, if I did go with the mount (likely the boar) how do I get him to attack? Do I just roll a Handle Animal check or is there an action such as a swift action involved?

Cheliax

Mounts that are treated as Druid animal companions (which a Paladins is) can be handled as a free action. If it has an intelligence over 3 you do not need handle animal as it can understand a language.

That being said the decision is sometimes based on the adventure... is a mount going to be useful in the game in general? A lot of dungeon crawls? Ocean time? so forth... If most of the game is where you cannot use your mount best take weapon bond. That being said Mounts can become very powerful over levels and have their own attacks + with feats you can do amazing things together.

Mounted Feats

:
Mounted Combat (Combat)
You are adept at guiding your mount through combat.

Prerequisite: Ride 1 rank.

Benefit: Once per round when your mount is hit in combat, you may attempt a Ride check (as an immediate action) to negate the hit. The hit is negated if your Ride check result is greater than the opponent's attack roll.

Indomitable Mount (Combat, Local)
Your skill at riding helps your mount avoid attacks.

Prerequisites: Mounted Combat, Handle Animal 5 ranks, Ride 5 ranks, Lastwall affinity.

Benefit: Once per round when your mount must make a saving throw, you can make a Ride check as an immediate action. Your mount makes its save if your Ride check result is greater than the DC of the opponent’s attack.

Mounted Shield (Combat)
Your defensive tactics defend both you and your mount.

Prerequisites: Mounted Combat, Shield Focus.

Benefit: You may add your base shield bonus (including the bonus from Shield Focus but not including enhancement bonuses) to your mount’s AC. In addition, you may add this bonus when making a Ride check to negate a hit against your mount using the Mounted Combat feat.

and that just a few...

Paladin bonded mount
The second type of bond allows a paladin to gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal steed to serve her in her crusade against evil. This mount is usually a heavy horse (for a Medium paladin) or a pony (for a Small paladin), although more exotic mounts, such as a boar, camel, or dog are also suitable. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the paladin's level as her effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence of at least 6.

Druids animal companion

Andoran

Thanks. :) That's really helpful, especially the "free action" part. (can you say, free attacks?)

But this does lead me to another question: is the mount limited by your actions? For example, lets say I choose a boar (I'm not riding him as I'm human and therefore too big) and now lets say that we see an enemy. Can I, (as two free actions) tell him to move over to where the enemy is and then tell him to attack, followed by my moving up there and attacking?

I'm also assuming here that the mount goes on the same turn as my pc due to the nature of the order system.

To put it another way; are these commands consistent? ie would I have to keep telling him to attack or would he just know that I want him to attack until I say stop? Which leads me to the thought; if I go unconscious, will he still fight for me?

If I do choose to take the mount instead of the weapon buff then I'd use a sort of armored boar that would work a a semi-tank and ok damage-dealer. (ac 26 after armor feats and item) But, there again if I went the other way I'd use one of the +1 enhancements to turn it into a keen weapon thus making so that (with my falchion) I'd threat on a 15-20, meaning I'd be criting really often.

I guess what I'm getting at here is, which would be better? Another, separate form of damage (and possible meatshield/flanker) or buffing my own damage with the closest baddie focusing on me alone?

Also, sorry for the super long posts. I just wanna learn things with clarity. There's nothing worse than putting time and effort into a build only to find out a few levels down the road that you've erred.


That's where the "gray area" of tricks, as well as GM fiat, comes in. As a "Druid" animal companion, he gets some tricks free, and the combat set costs 3 tricks, includes both all attack commands and heel, and gives him armor proficiency. So while they are still too stupid to flank and such (most GMs rule), if you tell your boar "Charge that guy" he'll charge it. Now he won't go tracking or anything, but at least he's a good companion; something I'd personally place at much higher importance than a 5 min / day weapon mod.

The 3 int piece is a house ruling that Treatmonk listed, but isn't a guideline; so if your GM rules differently take it with a grain of salt. Most GMs give you full control, but you will find some sticklers that will say you need Animal Handling to get it to do anything outside of its tricks; in which case you may need to take a trait and put a few points into handle animal (either your non-diplomacy skill or favored class bonus).

If it all seems too complicated, around level 11 the weapon IS the better nod (a flexible +3 add for 11 mins / day is stellar). So if the campaign is going long you can build for the long-term and go that route to keep it simple.

Cheliax

Errr, that was me; accidentally clicked anonymous.

Shadow Lodge

Gonn wrote:
For example, lets say I choose a boar (I'm not riding him as I'm human and therefore too big)

You cannot choose a boar, a boar is only available to small characters

Quote:
To put it another way; are these commands consistent? ie would I have to keep telling him to attack or would he just know that I want him to attack until I say stop?

free action to command it to attack, just make sure you can auto succeed in a Handle Animal 12 (so get it to 11)

Quote:
Which leads me to the thought; if I go unconscious, will he still fight for me?

If i were GMing i'd take control over your mount at this stage and have it use the defend trick on you

Andoran

Once again, super thanks for all of the help guys. :)

Thalin wrote:
So while they are still too stupid to flank and such (most GMs rule),

Too stupid? lol, I'd argue that as the Paladin's mount always have an INT of at least 6, and that's only 1 lower than my character. :)

Skerek wrote:
You cannot choose a boar, a boar is only available to small characters

Really? I thought that it was just small characters that could ride him, not that he was limited in such a way. Can you post where it says that please? (ie book & page location or wiki-link) I'd like to read that exact ruling. I also ask this as in Hero Lab (the officially sponsored pc maker) It gives me no warning about creating a human paladin with a boar as his bonded mount. I can't ride it, but I can have one. (in Hero Lab)

EDIT: I just read the mounting rules on the Cavalier class and was wondering if there was some confusion (yours or mine) with it and Paladins. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/cavalier#TOC-Mount-Ex-

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just curious. (sorry)

I'm also thinking that if that weapon buff gets really good at level 11 that it may not be of too much use as this will be a PFS character as they only go up to level 12.

Shadow Lodge

Gonn wrote:
Thalin wrote:
So while they are still too stupid to flank and such (most GMs rule),

Too stupid? lol, I'd argue that as the Paladin's mount always have an INT of at least 6, and that's only 1 lower than my character. :)

yeah I'd agree, a paladin's mount would probably work out that a 5ft into the flank is a good idea, although any more tactics beyond that probably beyond it's grasp...

Quote:
Skerek wrote:
You cannot choose a boar, a boar is only available to small characters

Really? I thought that it was just small characters that could ride him, not that he was limited in such a way. Can you post where it says that please? (ie book & page location or wiki-link) I'd like to read that exact ruling. I also ask this as in Hero Lab (the officially sponsored pc maker) It gives me no warning about creating a human paladin with a boar as his bonded mount. I can't ride it, but I can have one. (in Hero Lab)

EDIT: I just read the mounting rules on the Cavalier class and was wondering if there was some confusion (yours or mine) with it and Paladins. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/cavalier#TOC-Mount-Ex-

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just curious. (sorry)

Don't worry about sounding like a jerk, but it's here in the FAQ. Took some searching but i knew that rule existed. You might get away with it in a home game, but not PFS.

Cheliax

It's not a big deal; the War horse is actually a great combatant, even unridden, and especially now that you can have it get Dragon Strike as a feat and trample people down pretty hardcore. They make for better allies than boars; though boar may be more in flavor for you. They are fast, and hey, in the event you need it you can actually ride him / let an NPC you are protecting ride him.

Andoran

Skerek wrote:
yeah I'd agree, a paladin's mount would probably work out that a 5ft into the flank is a good idea, although any more tactics beyond that probably beyond it's grasp...

Agreed. :)

Skerek wrote:


Don't worry about sounding like a jerk, but it's here in the FAQ. Took some searching but i knew that rule existed. You might get away with it in a home game, but not PFS.

Ahhhh, that sucks... I was looking forward to a dumb pali with a boar called pork chop. :) Thanks for finding that though, I gave a huge look and never even thought to look in the FAQ.

After listening to what Thalin said about war horses (I'm guessing that it's the same as a heavy horse), I'm starting to think that maybe that'd be the way to go.

This does bring me to another question though, I was looking and I can't find a Dragon Strike feat, did you mean dragon style? Or am I just looking in the wrong places? (lol, possible)

In any event, how/why will it help my horse be a killin' machine?

Andoran

....I guess that was too many questions, sorry.


I believe that it is Dragon Style that was intended.

At any rate, if you're looking for anything more, I'd recommend my guide as an alternative perspective, particularly if you're looking into Paladin spells. You can find it here.

Andoran

Bodhizen wrote:

I believe that it is Dragon Style that was intended.

At any rate, if you're looking for anything more, I'd recommend my guide as an alternative perspective, particularly if you're looking into Paladin spells. You can find it here.

Tyvm. :)

I enjoyed reading your guide, but I noticed a small flaw. The Castigator paladin type describes itself as viable for having a mount used as a companion, but doesn't elaborate as per how. Any info (or even a separate guide if you know of someone who has made a decent one already) on that would be fantastic. :)

You're right about the spells though, it was very informative in terms of them.


Gonn wrote:
Bodhizen wrote:

I believe that it is Dragon Style that was intended.

At any rate, if you're looking for anything more, I'd recommend my guide as an alternative perspective, particularly if you're looking into Paladin spells. You can find it here.

Tyvm. :)

I enjoyed reading your guide, but I noticed a small flaw. The Castigator paladin type describes itself as viable for having a mount used as a companion, but doesn't elaborate as per how. Any info (or even a separate guide if you know of someone who has made a decent one already) on that would be fantastic. :)

You're right about the spells though, it was very informative in terms of them.

I'm very glad you liked the guide. I'm working on crafting a .pdf version of it in Adobe Indesign. I just wish I had some backgrounds to go with the pages. Oh well...

Bodhi's Guide to the Optimal Paladin & Antipaladin wrote:
You can supplement your powers with an Animal Bond giving you less of a mount and more of a fighting companion.

Is this what you were looking for?

Andoran

Bodhizen wrote:


Bodhi's Guide to the Optimal Paladin & Antipaladin wrote:
You can supplement your powers with an Animal Bond giving you less of a mount and more of a fighting companion.
Is this what you were looking for?

Sort of. I was trying to figure the HOW in terms of making a badass pet, but there isn't a guide on that subject at all. Or rather, not an optimize one.

Andoran

Gonn wrote:
Hello, I'm semi new to this game (I have one fighter at level 3) and I'm trying to build a "Masochist Tank".

Well that's easy enough to do: your armor-spikes point inward.

Andoran

Mike Schneider wrote:
Gonn wrote:
Hello, I'm semi new to this game (I have one fighter at level 3) and I'm trying to build a "Masochist Tank".
Well that's easy enough to do: your armor-spikes point inward.

Oh, you mean like an Iron Maiden? I dunno man, sounds too "metal".

*puts on sunglasses* YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

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