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Planned feat looking less appealing


Advice

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

So my Eldritch-Knight-to-be hit level 3, where I was planning on taking Arcane Strike for a little extra damage and DR bypassing. But I'm not sure I want it like I planned. Any alternative suggestions? Please note that this is a PFS character.

Here's the build, for reference:

Spoiler:

Jiao-long, Human (Tien) Fighter1/Wizard2

STR 17
DEX 16
CON 12
INT 14
WIS 10
CHA 07

Human Bonus Feat: Toughness
Traits: Reactionary (+2 Init), Indomitable Faith (+1 Will)

01:Fighter1:[Bonus feat: Dodge], Improved Initiative
02:Wizard1:[School:Foresight][Forewarned +1][Prescience 5/day][Bonus feat:Spell Focus:Conjuration]
03:Wizard2: FEAT (Was going to be Arcane Strike.)

4th level stat bump goes to STR, and at 5th I take Arcane Armor Training.

Gear:
Mwk Longsword: +6, 1d8+3 (19-20)
Mithral Chain Shirt (10% ASF)

HP 26
AC 18 (though I carry a wand of shield, and also have some unspent gold)
Initiative +10

So should I stick with Arcane Strike, or take something else? Maybe Weapon Focus?

Cheliax

Arcane strike can be a nice bit of extra damage but your +hit is going to be atrocious for awhile.
Take Weapon focus, it'll benefit you a LOT more in the long run.


I second Weapon Focus. Always a great feat to have.


Or Mobility. You already have dodge. Flanking will give you +2 to hit instead of +1 from Weapon Focus, and mobility makes getting into flanks relatively easy at your level.

You then set yourself up for Spring Attack, which is perfect for a low bab class like yourself who wants to stand toe to toe.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I don't really have room for follow-up feats, I'm afraid.

As for Mobility, that still depends on me having a flanking buddy. With this being PFS, there are no such guarantees. I might be the only caster one week, and the only frontliner the next.


The only front-liner? Then you are in trouble sir.

Andoran

Weapon focus is a really good suggestion. Extra traits wouldn't be a poor option either to get your caster level back up.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Iced2k wrote:
The only front-liner? Then you are in trouble sir.

Keep in mind that I always get to act in the surprise round, even if I don't know there are bad guys around. (Diviner/Foresight school ability FTW.) And I have a wand of shield in a spring-loaded wrist sheath (get it out as a swift action without provoking) and have a +10 initiative, so I can sometimes ramp up my AC before the ambushers have a chance to act. :D


Very good sir.

Weapon Focus then for sure.


I'll be boring and add a vote for Power Attack.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
I'll be boring and add a vote for Power Attack.

Given that I'm essentially half-BAB for most of my career - and use a one-handed weapon - PA is probably worse than AS.


Just to be different(I'd probably take weapon focus) I'd either suggest combat reflexes or mobility just to set up for whirlwind attack. whirlwind is awesome for an EK with a reach weapon.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Interesting idea, but I don't really have the feats to spare for that.

Shadow Lodge

i wouldn't waste the feat on weapon focus, i would take ... wait what the heck do you want to do with your character? i can suggest atleat 5 things better then weapon focus, but i don't know what you want to do with your character. did you want to be better at casting? increase you caster level? screw casting and focus on damage?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Versatility is important in PFS. He can switch back and forth between filling the "caster" role or being up in front.

Not trying to out-DPR AM BARBARIAN. Not trying to out-DC a focused wizard. Just trying to be able to fill in wherever the table needs me, and be at least mildly relevant.

So mostly, I'll be either casting or slashing.

Andoran

I would probably suggest power attack over weapon focus, but PCs are generally subjected to more attacks than they dish out, so maybe something like toughness or dodge is in order - especially if you're the only front-liner.

The power attack over weapon focus argument is a pretty simple one: Weapon focus only helps you 5% of the time. Power Attack only hurts you 5% of the time until level 4, when it only hurts you 10% of the time. Assuming you hit on a 10 with power attack (not unreasonable), then it helps you 55% of the time.

**edit**

I had forgotten about arcane strike. I'd recommend either that or Power Attack over weapon focus. One interesting thing is that power attack actually hurts you less often because of your lower BAB. It also won't take up actions if you feel like casting quickened spells or using swift actions for something later on.


Jiggy wrote:
hogarth wrote:
I'll be boring and add a vote for Power Attack.
Given that I'm essentially half-BAB for most of my career - and use a one-handed weapon - PA is probably worse than AS.

I think Weapon Focus and Power Attack are about equally mediocre, in your position. Arcane Strike is worse (IMO) because it takes a swift action.

As you're seeing, there aren't a whole bunch of awesome, low-level melee feats that aren't part of a chain.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Axebeard wrote:

I would probably suggest power attack over weapon focus, but PCs are generally subjected to more attacks than they dish out, so maybe something like toughness or dodge is in order - especially if you're the only front-liner.

The power attack over weapon focus argument is a pretty simple one: Weapon focus only helps you 5% of the time. Power Attack only hurts you 5% of the time until level 4, when it only hurts you 10% of the time. Assuming you hit on a 10 with power attack (not unreasonable), then it helps you 55% of the time.

Uh, it might help if you read the build first.

1. I already have Dodge AND Toughness.

2. I'm half-BAB. Power Attack at 3rd means a +5 to hit instead of +7 (if I took Weapon Focus) for 1d8+5 instead of 1d8+3. And it doesn't scale up until BAB4, which will be 7th level.


Jiggy wrote:
2. I'm half-BAB. Power Attack at 3rd means a +5 to hit instead of +7 (if I took Weapon Focus) for 1d8+5 instead of 1d8+3. And it doesn't scale up until BAB4, which will be 7th level.

I'm not sure why you're not using your longsword two-handed, by the bye. (At least when you're not casting.)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
hogarth wrote:
I'll be boring and add a vote for Power Attack.
Given that I'm essentially half-BAB for most of my career - and use a one-handed weapon - PA is probably worse than AS.

I think Weapon Focus and Power Attack are about equally mediocre, in your position. Arcane Strike is worse (IMO) because it takes a swift action.

As you're seeing, there aren't a whole bunch of awesome, low-level melee feats that aren't part of a chain.

Arcane Strike costs a swift action, but nothing else in my build uses swift actions, so it's essentially free damage (hence why I originally considered it).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
2. I'm half-BAB. Power Attack at 3rd means a +5 to hit instead of +7 (if I took Weapon Focus) for 1d8+5 instead of 1d8+3. And it doesn't scale up until BAB4, which will be 7th level.
I'm not sure why you're not using your longsword two-handed, by the bye. (At least when you're not casting.)

Ha, I keep forgetting that this is my first character not to have a buckler... :/

Just like I forgot to use Prescience for the whole session last time.


Jiggy wrote:
Arcane Strike costs a swift action, but nothing else in my build uses swift actions, so it's essentially free damage (hence why I originally considered it).

(Well, there's Arcane Armor Training, but most of the time you wouldn't be casting and attacking in the same round.)


Take Combat Reflexes, start using a reach weapon.

Sword in one hand and dick in the other is a terrible fighting style from a rules standpoint. You do piddly damage and have a very low number of attacks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Rasmus Wagner wrote:

Take Combat Reflexes, start using a reach weapon.

Sword in one hand and dick in the other is a terrible fighting style from a rules standpoint. You do piddly damage and have a very low number of attacks.

Except a magus can't spell combat with a two-handed weapon.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

And that makes two people who didn't read the build. At all.


Jiggy wrote:
And that makes two people who didn't read the build. At all.

You know, I would get lingering performance, it is nice to keep your performances up, especially after casting Saving Finale. The buff from inspire courage should easily offset Weapon Focus.

:P

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

/faceplam

Andoran

Jiggy wrote:
/faceplam

I think someone missed the joke.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

No, I got the joke. That was my response to it. Or rather, my response to realizing I walked right into it. ;)


I had a moment to think, so in all seriousness

It really comes down to how easily your character is connecting in melee with opponents. There is nothing worse than missing and if that is what is happening then go for Weapon Focus, it doesn't matter how much damage die you add if you can't stick them with the pointy end in the first place.

Now if you aren't having issues with connecting, because of the self-buffs you are getting through casting and what have you, then I would look at the gamble that is power attack with your build. Those self buffs might be able to offset the penalties to hit and it is damage all day long.

Arcane strike just eats at your pool of spells, I would just consider it if you are running into things that have a lot of damage reduction.

(I don't play PFS, so I am unfamiliar with the scenarios.)


Jiggy wrote:

Versatility is important in PFS. He can switch back and forth between filling the "caster" role or being up in front.

Not trying to out-DPR AM BARBARIAN. Not trying to out-DC a focused wizard. Just trying to be able to fill in wherever the table needs me, and be at least mildly relevant.

So mostly, I'll be either casting or slashing.

then i would suggest combat expertise. you said you want to fill any role right? well with a 4 dex and a 4 int, easily attainable by an elf, you could have an ac in the high 20s with combat expertise. hitting is not a difficult task for a wizard, so not gitting hit at low levels is a winner in my book. hitting an ac 17-20 creature should not be an issue

+2 bab, dex, master work, and reduce person yes i said it <--- awesome spell for tanking and hitting.

*edit*
oh booo you're doing a strength build. if you dont care about optimization then i would suggest a reach weapon + combat expetise then improved trip later on. the reason why i say reach +trip is because you can keep people from closing in on you while you try to cast spells. and if you reduce person and have a reach weapon you still have a ten foot reach.

one more thing, if you would have taken the "unbreakable" archetype for fighter you could have had toughness and endurence, then taken your human feat as improved initive

Andoran

Jiggy wrote:
So my Eldritch-Knight-to-be hit level 3, where I was planning on taking Arcane Strike for a little extra damage and DR bypassing. But I'm not sure I want it like I planned. Any alternative suggestions?

What are you unsatisfied with so far?

(Have you actually been able to play him much, or is he still a "GM credit-baby"?)


Additional Traits feat? To get Magical Knack to cover your 1 lost (eventually 2 lost) caster levels and something else shiny. What deity does the character worship? A lot of the religion traits are uber good...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Guy Kilmore wrote:
It really comes down to how easily your character is connecting in melee with opponents.

I've only gotten to play him once, actually (the scenario that took him to 3rd). He did pretty well all around, so not much data for where his weak points are.

Guy Kilmore wrote:
Arcane strike just eats at your pool of spells, I would just consider it if you are running into things that have a lot of damage reduction.

Uh, have you read Arcane Strike? It doesn't cost spells. You must be confusing it with something else.

truesidekick wrote:
oh booo you're doing a strength build. if you dont care about optimization then i would suggest a reach weapon + combat expetise then improved trip later on. the reason why i say reach +trip is because you can keep people from closing in on you while you try to cast spells. and if you reduce person and have a reach weapon you still have a ten foot reach.

The tripping idea is too many feats. Also, maneuvers aren't very viable with such low BAB.

Mike Schneider wrote:

What are you unsatisfied with so far?

(Have you actually been able to play him much, or is he still a "GM credit-baby"?)

Played him once (Devil We Know Part II: Cassomir's Locker), which means his stats up to this point are set. Just a matter of picking the feat. I originally thought the "free" extra damage from Arcane Strike would be nice, but now I'm not so sure it's worthwhile compared to Weapon Focus (at least right now - I might pick it up later on).

StreamoftheSky wrote:
Additional Traits feat? To get Magical Knack to cover your 1 lost (eventually 2 lost) caster levels and something else shiny. What deity does the character worship? A lot of the religion traits are uber good...

Magical Knack would be perfect, but is (for some reason) banned in PFS. I haven't picked a deity really... I'm not familiar enough with that aspect of Tian Xia yet. But I took Indomitable Faith already.


What about Dodge or Toughness?

Normally pretty standard when playing a Barbarian...


Have you considered fly by attack? To me it seems perfect for your build.


Weables wrote:
Have you considered fly by attack? To me it seems perfect for your build.

I hadn't spotted that! Great thinking!

Now if we can just find a way to boost his primary natural attacks we might have a pretty optimized build!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Rocks fall. Everyone dies.


Jiggy wrote:
Rocks fall. Everyone dies.

Haha!


Jiggy wrote:
Guy Kilmore wrote:
It really comes down to how easily your character is connecting in melee with opponents.

I've only gotten to play him once, actually (the scenario that took him to 3rd). He did pretty well all around, so not much data for where his weak points are.

Guy Kilmore wrote:
Arcane strike just eats at your pool of spells, I would just consider it if you are running into things that have a lot of damage reduction.

Uh, have you read Arcane Strike? It doesn't cost spells. You must be confusing it with something else.

I had a player in one of my games who has a knack for finding reasons NOT to do something even when they don't exist. That was the reason he gave me for not taking Arcane Strike as a feat. Everytime I took him at his word and just moved on, I have found him to be wrong. You would think I would've have learned by now...

Sorry for the bad advice, but stand by either choosing Weapon Focus or Power Attack, Arcane Strike eats up a Swift Action which conflicts with the option to cast a quickened spell (if that is something you are interested in). Upon reflection, it is not as big of a deal with Arcane Armor Training, because you would be activating that if you are casting a spell and would, ergo, not be making a melee attack.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Guy Kilmore wrote:
Sorry for the bad advice, but stand by either choosing Weapon Focus or Power Attack, Arcane Strike eats up a Swift Action which conflicts with the option to cast a quickened spell (if that is something you are interested in). Upon reflection, it is not as big of a deal with Arcane Armor Training, because you would be activating that if you are casting a spell and would, ergo, not be making a melee attack.

Even if I wanted to cast Quickened Spells, I'd not be doing so until CL 7 (so 9th level) at minimum. So 3 levels before retirement I could quicken 1st level spells. Doesn't sound appealing.

Thus, the swift action cost really is essentially free. I'll never be using my swifts for anything else except casting, which as you noted won't happen in the same turn.

So AS versus PA is minor free damage versus slightly more damage with a penalty to hit. Being so low on BAB, AS is the clear winner.

So it's really just down to AS versus WF.

Or I could take Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration.


Jiggy wrote:
Guy Kilmore wrote:
Sorry for the bad advice, but stand by either choosing Weapon Focus or Power Attack, Arcane Strike eats up a Swift Action which conflicts with the option to cast a quickened spell (if that is something you are interested in). Upon reflection, it is not as big of a deal with Arcane Armor Training, because you would be activating that if you are casting a spell and would, ergo, not be making a melee attack.

Even if I wanted to cast Quickened Spells, I'd not be doing so until CL 7 (so 9th level) at minimum. So 3 levels before retirement I could quicken 1st level spells. Doesn't sound appealing.

Thus, the swift action cost really is essentially free. I'll never be using my swifts for anything else except casting, which as you noted won't happen in the same turn.

So AS versus PA is minor free damage versus slightly more damage with a penalty to hit. Being so low on BAB, AS is the clear winner.

So it's really just down to AS versus WF.

Or I could take Greater Spell Focus: Conjuration.

After typing the above post and reflecting while doing work, that I really don't want to do, I started to come to the same conclusion and I agree with you.

It also feels like you are really concerned with the low BAB of the character, then based upon aforementioned feelings I would go Weapon Focus over AS

I guess the question I have is what spells are you looking at casting with Conjuration?


Jiggy wrote:
Thus, the swift action cost really is essentially free. I'll never be using my swifts for anything else except casting, which as you noted won't happen in the same turn.

Now watch as the Advanced Equipment Guide comes out with a dozen awesome magic items, all of which require a swift action to activate. ;-)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Guy Kilmore wrote:

I guess the question I have is what spells are you looking at casting with Conjuration?

Grease

Create Pit
Glitterdust
Web
Aqueous Orb
Spiked Pit
Stinking Cloud
Acid Pit
Black Tentacles
Cloudkill
Etc, etc, etc.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Thus, the swift action cost really is essentially free. I'll never be using my swifts for anything else except casting, which as you noted won't happen in the same turn.
Now watch as the Advanced Equipment Guide comes out with a dozen awesome magic items, all of which require a swift action to activate. ;-)

-_-'


Jiggy wrote:
Guy Kilmore wrote:

I guess the question I have is what spells are you looking at casting with Conjuration?

Grease

Create Pit
Glitterdust
Web
Aqueous Orb
Spiked Pit
Stinking Cloud
Acid Pit
Black Tentacles
Cloudkill
Etc, etc, etc.

I would go with Spell Focus: Conjuration if that is not on your build list already. Anyone of those spells would give you bonuses that would outweight +1 to hit or a +1 to damage either by ending the fight or locking people down. You might be able to take a Feat that you planned to take a later level now and replace it with that Feat. (I say that because your Caster Level may not support big gains on taking Spell Focus now, but it would later.)

I would second guess this if you were planning on taking more levels of Fighter in your EHK build, but I don't think you are.

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