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Need advice for building a character for a friend in PFS


Advice

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A friend of mine -- we'll call him "Chuck" -- is a relative neophyte when it comes to building characters. I've gamed with him long enough to know what he likes when it comes to playing, but when it comes to building, I need some advice on making a character that would match his likes.

A few things to note:

1) He and I both play in Pathfinder Society. So any character build has to be PFS-legal. Also, don't expect that magic items or special materials will be available at any given moment. Purchasing anything more than normal equipment in PFS is dependent on getting Fame points with your chosen Faction, and it takes 27 points of Fame to get to the point of affording items costing 8,000 gp. With the way Chuck plays, that'll be around 9th level, so don't start saying 'pick up mithril heavy armor early' -- no, expect the earliest we'll be able to get it at 9th level.

2) Again, this is going to be a Pathfinder Society character. Skills are important -- no, let me rephrase that. Skills are MANDATORY. Any build needs at least 4 skill points per level, including points from class, race and favored class bonus.

3) "Chuck characters" (what Chuck likes to play) are NEVER SPELLCASTERS. Don't even suggest a spellcaster. Don't care how powerful it is; don't care how effective; I won't be able to get him to play a spellcaster. Any suggestions must be martial characters ONLY.

4) "Chuck characters" come in two flavors:

a) You have the damage dealer in which the primary focus is damage damage damage damage damage damage, all the live long day. Weapons wielded MUST do d10 damage MINIMUM. Falchion is right out. (Don't worry about crit range; I've never seen -anyone- roll more natural 20s than Chuck. He'll get them two in a row. He'll roll them for saves and turn around and roll a confirmed crit on his gunslinger. Don't feel you need to suggest a Falchion build; Chuck can get the same number of crits using a Greatsword.) (It's the gunslinger that prompted this query. He plays the character like a sniper. Walk in, start firing. Grit? What's that? He rolls crits and takes out things like mad and never even considers using Grit. There's gotta be a better way of doing this, thinks I.)

b) You have the tank. The tank's main focus is You Can't Hit Me, Therefore You Can't Hurt Me. AC must be as high as humanly possible, if not higher. This must be AC at all times, spells and temporary increases are nice but it's better to have a high AC all the time and not worry about spell durations. (Again, Chuck Does Not Play Spellcasters.) Weapon will invariably be a Bastard Sword. (Again, don't worry about crit range. Chuck rolls crits like the rest of us poor $%&^%%^s roll 1s.) The tank's second focus in You Can't Hit Me, So Now I Can Crush You. After maximizing armor and defenses, we must now maximize damage potential. The tank's third priority is You Might Have Hurt Me, But I Didn't Feel It. Maximize hit points. (Unfortunately skill points are necessary. Int cannot be a dump stat. Cha can.)

The problems:

a) Chuck ignores most classes' special abilities. He plays a Barbarian as a Tank, but doesn't understand that most of the Barbar's special abilities require light armor. (It's been suggested that he go for the Armored Hulk AT.)

b) Chuck ignores skills. If it's not mobility-oriented -- that is, enabling him to get into combat so he can Crush The Enemy, then he really doesn't care so much about it. Stealth? Not relevant. Survival? Bah. (He's learning that if he doesn't have at least some social skill capability, he's going to miss out on Faction missions and the Prestige/Fame awards that come from that.)

These two problems are why I'm thinking if Fighter isn't a better way to get Chuck to be what he wants to be. I know the Barbar gets Rage, but the Fighter gets the heavy armor, he learns how to deal with it better, and can start outputting some major major damage. Same with the Gunslinger -- one of the main points of the class is Grit and Deeds, and Chuck completely ignores that facet of the class.

What I'd like are suggestions towards classes and builds which might support Chuck's playstyle better. That way I can take those suggestions to him and see if he'd be willing to follow that advice. Right now Chuck plays a 7th level Barbar and a 4th level Gunslinger (and uses the playtest rules, NOT UC -- our Venture-Captain said it was all right, so whatever). I know he'll need skills -- Climb, Swim, Acrobatics (for jumping, he likes to jump), Intimidate, maybe Perception. (No, I am not giving him UMD, and I am not giving him Stealth -- Chuck doesn't do Stealth. Stealth to Chuck means not using the Fireball spells as we storm the gates in the direct assault.)


Does Chuck know the base damage of a weapon is not nearly as important as the crit multiplier, and even better yet, the threat range for a crit. If he knows, but just does not care then ignore that sentence. :)

If I understand this correctly chuck only cares about skills that help him in combat, and her prefers to have 4 skill points per level? Is this new character starting at level 1 or is this advice for the already existing characters?

Sczarni

1st your venture captain is wrong about the gunslinger.

Honestly I would suggest making the Invulnerable rager archetype or a 2handed paladin.


wraithstrike wrote:
Does Chuck know the base damage of a weapon is not nearly as important as the crit multiplier, and even better yet, the threat range for a crit. If he knows, but just does not care then ignore that sentence. :)

It's not that he doesn't know, it's that he doesn't care. He sees 2d4 with a x3 crit multiplier, he shrugs and keeps looking. He sees 1d12, he says "Gotta have that!!!"

I'm serious.

Quote:
If I understand this correctly chuck only cares about skills that help him in combat, and her prefers to have 4 skill points per level? Is this new character starting at level 1 or is this advice for the already existing characters?

No, I am insisting on 4 skill points per level. Chuck ignores skills and it's coming around to stab him in the back. I'm trying to help him see that skills are really needed.

And yes, this character will be starting at level 1.

lantzkev wrote:

1st your venture captain is wrong about the gunslinger.

Honestly I would suggest making the Invulnerable rager archetype or a 2handed paladin.

If the Venture-Captain wants to let Chuck use the playtest rules then I am not going to tell him he can't do that. Our Venture-Captain just stepped down today and our Venture-Lieutenant is stepping up, so this ruling may change.

Chuck won't play a paladin, right off, and that should be another Chuck Stipulation:

c) This character must be Chaotic (or True Neutral) and a member of the Cheliax faction. Chuck doesn't believe he does lawful or good very well. He dislikes paladins immensely. He is a great fan of 'Kill The Conquered Enemies So They Don't Come Back To Haunt Us Later'. The fact that we defeated them in combat and they're helpless? Not a factor. They still might come back. (Oh, wait, this is Chuck I'm talking about. The enemies are ALREADY dead. Chuck don't like dinking with subdual.)

Invulnerable Rager AT. See, that's why I asked for advice. I still have no idea what ATs are out there. Oh, wait, I know about the Maneuver Master Monk. That's about it...

...um, what book is that in?

Never mind, the SRD is my friend.

Sczarni

Barbarian in APG

It's pretty straight forward, and you do not care about armor and you end up being a tank for everything but the big bad evil guy (BBEG)

When he hits lvl 7 and can start taking even more invulnerable rage powers, he will quickly start ignoring almost all the damage from attacks.

I'd also give him dragon style. Adds more strength, and lets you ignore difficult terrain when you charge or withdraw, and lets you charge through allies spaces.

If he wants armor, just ignore the invulnerable rager and go with with the armored hulk version and pick up shield of swings. more from ultimate combat


Chuck should grab a greatsword. Going Invurnable barbarian should also help.
I would use dwarf as a race and take steel soul.

For skills I would suggest perception. Of course Chuck might want to learn to actually stop charging headlong into battle, or it won't help him. Survival is also not a bad skill. Swim and Climb would also be nice.

Sczarni

Quote:

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat

The playtest versions of the gunslinger, ninja, and samurai are no longer legal for play as of 8/4/11. Anyone playing the playtest version must have updated his or her character as of 8/4/11. Updating your character means adjusting only the things that have changed, but not rebuilding the character.

source

PFS is a special beast, and you don't get to make house rulings like that.

Sczarni

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also chuck should put a rank or two into acrobatics, in addition to the one point into climb/swim.

Personally I like to use the heavy pick two handed, because x4 crits gets super groovy on my dwarf, and seems a bit dwarfey.


Hm. After playing with the Javascript Pathfinder Character Creator, it occurs to me that I don't actually know what Chuck's barbar is built like. I'll have to find out. I seemed to be able to put together a pretty awesome character, though I'm wondering if Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike are cool feats or there's better.

And I suppose I should just work with Chuck to see about his Gunslinger. Again, I've never actually played around with the character sheet, so I dunno exactly what the character's capable of.


One thing I feel the need to say is that your friend seems a tad... closeminded, or simply doesn't care to actually read the system. Then again that's only the impression I get from your rules on his rather specific tastes, and I'm pretty sure he's a swell guy regardless (I also commend his pragmatic approach towards possibly recurring enemies).

as for suggestions, I'd say:

barbarian (either invulnerable rager or armored hulk, as suggested by others),
fighter (any number of ATs would be good),
cavalier/samurai (the former particularly, various ATs would be fitting if he's not into mounts, order of the cockatrice, and a simple direction: challenge, charge, and murder),
possibly even antipaladin (I'm pretty sure he could play a milder version of CE fairly comfortably).

If he doesn't like juggling/remembering lots of class features, aim for stuff that grants passive bonuses to stuff he already does (like power attack, furious focus, and if cavalier, spirited charge).

If you wanna get him to expand his horizons a little, show him the ranger or inquisitor classes (they're light casties, and are completely feasible to play without using said magics).

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

1) +1 weapons and armor, including special materials except dragonhide, are always available. If by some miracle you wind up with the cash for it before you can afford prestige for it, you can buy a +1 adamantium greatsword and mithril full plate regardless of your prestige. (the adamantium will however delay your ability to buy the +2)

2) I would have chuck go into your faction if its at all possible. That way you can worry about the prestige points. You get 1 prestige for completing the mission, and 1 for completing the faction mission.. whoever does it. So if your suave debonaire Taldan swashbuckler makes the diplomacy roll to sweet talk the duchess out of her jewels while chuck is standing in the corner picking his nose.. chuck gets the prestige. That would take off one of your requirements.

3) Fighter has the most "always on, put the number on paper and leave me alone" abilities.

Human

STR: 18 DEX: 14 CON: 14 INT: 12 WIS: 12 CHA: 7

4 skill points per level (2 +1 int +1 +1 human) Reccomended: Perception climb swim Acrobatics

Feats (1 human, 1 st level, 1 fighter 1st) :

Weapon Focus: Nodachi (its a giant katana) 18-20 x2 cri, 1d10 damage.

Iron will. Boring, but mandatory. Paralyze/charm/freeze the big dumb fighters is MO of half the big bads

Toughness: Boring but practical.

You could also go Weapon focus, Power attack and furious focus, essentially 2 free extra damage until level 6. If he ignores class abilities I will assume he ignores power attack.


Antipaladin is illegal in PFS play, isn't it? Can't play an evil character.

And Chuck isn't about to use a two-handed sword, no matter how much sense it would make for the character. Maximize AC, remember? A shield WILL be used by the tank. I've told him he should use a two-handed weapon -- he's seen how much damage my 2H paladin does -- and he's vehemently refused. Defense is far more important to him than damage. The rule is, You Can't Hit Me Therefore You Can't Hurt Me.

Chuck (and I) are both 3.5E players, and it's probably Chuck's desire to have a 3.5E version of the tank, when it was possible to have an AC in the low 50's at 12th level. So, AC must be maximized. Chuck won't give up his shield.

And I was told, again by our Venture Captain at the time (yesterday), that the Prestige/Fame limit is for total cost of an item. If he wants to buy mithril full plate, he has to not only be able to afford the 1500g for the full plate and the 7000g for the mithril, but he has to have the fame to be able to buy 8500g or so of item value. And when what the rules say and what our venture-captain says differ, we take the Venture-Captain's words as he's the final arbiter. You can argue with him. Well, no, actually you can't; he stepped down today and Mike Lindner is now our Venture-Captain. Don't know what Mike will say, haven't had a chance to ask him yet.

I could in fact be completely wrong and I admit this; it was my understanding that this was the case.


Evil characters are not banned AFAIK, but there PVP is still not allowed.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

evil characters are banhammered (evil acts however...)

John-Andre wrote:
And Chuck isn't about to use a two-handed sword, no matter how much sense it would make for the character

Then he never does flavor B. If you want a 1 handed weapon that does 1d10 the bastard sword is about the only game in town.

Feats: Exotic weapon proficiency bastard sword, Dodge (+1 to ac), Shield focus (+1 bonus to the shield)

Traits: Defender of the society (+1 ac when wearing medium or heavy armor). Reactionary (+1 initiative)

Scale mail+tower shield and you're looking at an ac of (10+5armor +4 shield +1 dodge +1 Defender +1 shield expert +2 dex) 24 at first level.

There are three ways to get something in pathfinder society.

1) Prestige points and limits. The total value of the item matters here.

2) Its on a chronicle sheet.

3) Its on the always available list.

Always Available Items

Spoiler:
You may always purchase the following items or equipment so long as you’re in an appropriately sized settlement (see above).
• All basic armor, gear, items, and weapons from Chapter 6 of the Core Rulebook, including Small items. This does not include equipment made from dragonhide, but it does include equipment made from the other special materials, such as alchemical silver and cold iron (see the Special Materials section on page 154 of the Core Rulebook). All mundane (completely nonmagical) weapons, armor, equipment, and alchemical gear found in any other source that is legal for play are considered always available.
• +1 weapons (2,000 gp + 300 for the masterwork weapon cost + item cost)
• +1 armor (1,000 gp + 150 for the masterwork armor cost + item cost)
• +1 shields (1,000 gp + 150 for the masterwork armor cost + item cost)
• Potions and oils of 0- or 1st-level spells at caster level 1st (50 gp or less)
• Scrolls of 0- or 1st-level spells at caster level 1st (50 gp or less)
• Wayfinder (50% discount—250 gp; see page 299 of The
Inner Sea World Guide)

So you can buy a +1 tower shield. You can buy a darkwood tower shield. You can buy a +1 darkwood tower shield. But when you try to buy a +2 shield, you have to have the prestige to pay for the full +2 darkwood shield.


wraithstrike wrote:
Does Chuck know the base damage of a weapon is not nearly as important as the crit multiplier, and even better yet, the threat range for a crit. If he knows, but just does not care then ignore that sentence. :)

I've done some number crunching which shows that threat range is not what makes for better weapon damage. The biggest thing to add damage is to add damage through strength. The weapons are balanced really well in each grouping, and in fact the Falchion comes in 6th of the 2H weapons, but that is only about 1 point of damage behind the Greatsword or Greataxe. The crit multipliers balance out the threat range really well. [Referring to CRB only. I get the impression that the falcatta doesn't fit the rules.]

Spreadsheet here.

Sczarni

Tower shield master fighter, dwarf with heavy pick. Take the improved critical feat eventually and it'll have nice spike damage and very high AC. Endurance feat so you can always sleep in your mithral full plate armor at later levels.

I'd go with a int of 14, str 16, and con 14. rest just leave where ever. that'll get your 4 ranks of skills each level as well as qualify you for combat expertise.

1st lvl dwarf would look like

str 15
dex 15
con 15
int 13
cha 8
wisdom 9

You could set it up that way, and use each level advance to raise str/dex/con up once to 16. take favored class to get the skill ranks you wanted.

start off with power attack and combat expertise, or if we're going the forgetful route...

Shield mastery and Weapon focus (pick or whatever you decide on)

Assuming there was the money for it, at lvl 3 it'd be easy to see 27ac, and it'd be equally easy within a lvl or two to break 30.

Or you could get the armor master that would with adamantium full plate, grant him a dr 6/- at lvl 5.

-edit- can't believe I didn't mention/include dodge!


OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Does Chuck know the base damage of a weapon is not nearly as important as the crit multiplier, and even better yet, the threat range for a crit. If he knows, but just does not care then ignore that sentence. :)
I've done some number crunching which shows that threat range is not what makes for better weapon damage. The biggest thing to add damage is to add damage through strength. The weapons are balanced really well in each grouping, and in fact the Falchion comes in 6th of the 2H weapons, but that is only about 1 point of damage behind the Greatsword or Greataxe. The crit multipliers balance out the threat range really well. [Referring to CRB only. I get the impression that the falcatta doesn't fit the rules.]

I know that, but I am saying that threat range is more important than base damage. The best TWF'ing weapon is the kukri. The falchion is not in 6th place, assuming core weapons only. IIRC the greatsword starts out ahead, but at later level the falchion surpasses it. In any even the greatsword, greataxe, and falchion are in the top 3.


wraithstrike, I disagree. Check out my Spreadsheet here. This is probably a discussion for another thread.


Yeah, Chuck won't do TWF, I don't think. In fact, if I suggested that he take TWF and Improved Shield Bash, he'd probably look at me strangely. Then again, he might like the idea of smacking the enemy with the shield without losing the shield bonus.

Chuck definitely won't play a dwarf. The dwarf could have +20 to all statistics. Chuck has to be TALL. (In LFR, he's not happy unless he's playing the tallest character at the table. His Dragonborns are all seven feet tall, and his Goliaths are eight.)


OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike, I disagree. Check out my Spreadsheet here. This is probably a discussion for another thread.

I was assuming keen or improved crit would come into play. :)


This guy has a lot of restrictions that impact effectiveness. It seems that he just wants to have fun since he is ignoring skills and seems to want to bash doors in, and ignore better weapons just due to base damage. There is nothing wrong with that, but the limitations do make it more difficult to help him.


wraithstrike wrote:
OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike, I disagree. Check out my Spreadsheet here. This is probably a discussion for another thread.

I was assuming keen or improved crit would come into play. :)

It is even more effective to use Keen or Improved Critical on the Greatsword, or any of the weapons that is ahead of the Falchion. Falchion is still not the best option.

Sczarni

even if he won't be a dwarf, the build would remain the same, just add whatever race he wants!

I'm assuming he's starting at lvl 1? PFS and all that jazz since you can't recreate past lvl 1.


OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike, I disagree. Check out my Spreadsheet here. This is probably a discussion for another thread.

I was assuming keen or improved crit would come into play. :)

It is even more effective to use Keen or Improved Critical on the Greatsword, or any of the weapons that is ahead of the Falchion. Falchion is still not the best option.

But it is not 6th either. ;)

edit:Check the DPR olympics thread, the level 10 one.


wraithstrike wrote:
OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike, I disagree. Check out my Spreadsheet here. This is probably a discussion for another thread.

I was assuming keen or improved crit would come into play. :)

It is even more effective to use Keen or Improved Critical on the Greatsword, or any of the weapons that is ahead of the Falchion. Falchion is still not the best option.

But it is not 6th either. ;)

edit:Check the DPR olympics thread, the level 10 one.

Yes, you're right, it comes in 3rd in my spreadsheet too. I had remembered it incorrectly. I've added a sheet for 2H weapons with Improved Critical/Keen./

I'm not aware of that thread. I'll go a-hunting.


wraithstrike wrote:
This guy has a lot of restrictions that impact effectiveness. It seems that he just wants to have fun since he is ignoring skills and seems to want to bash doors in, and ignore better weapons just due to base damage. There is nothing wrong with that, but the limitations do make it more difficult to help him.

Yes, you have just nailed Chuck in one sentence. He does not play to number-crunch. He plays to have fun. I just want to help him understand what options are out there (and how he can be a better help in the non-combat parts of the adventures).


Does he care about the non combat parts of the game? I ask because when I was new I just wanted to kill things.


OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
OberonViking wrote:
wraithstrike, I disagree. Check out my Spreadsheet here. This is probably a discussion for another thread.

I was assuming keen or improved crit would come into play. :)

It is even more effective to use Keen or Improved Critical on the Greatsword, or any of the weapons that is ahead of the Falchion. Falchion is still not the best option.

But it is not 6th either. ;)

edit:Check the DPR olympics thread, the level 10 one.

Yes, you're right, it comes in 3rd in my spreadsheet too. I had remembered it incorrectly. I've added a sheet for 2H weapons with Improved Critical/Keen./

I'm not aware of that thread. I'll go a-hunting.

Here you go.


John-Andre wrote:
Chuck definitely won't play a dwarf. The dwarf could have +20 to all statistics. Chuck has to be TALL. (In LFR, he's not happy unless he's playing the tallest character at the table. His Dragonborns are all seven feet tall, and his Goliaths are eight.)

Playing a half orc would let him be 6'10" (the most of any non-boon PFS race).


Well, if he Crits as often as you say, and he prefers to only use a 1H weapon, then Battleaxe or Warhammer seem the go.
Be aware of the Max Dex that goes with heavy armour and build to that.
Int 14 is a good idea for the Skill Ranks, but so is the Favoured Class Bonus of +1 Skill Rank.
I would be thinking about Str>Con>Dex=Int=Wis>Cha,
perhaps, just to get the debates happening:
Str 19 (with the racial bonus),
Con 14
Dex 12
Int 12
Wis 10
Cha 8.

Sczarni

if you're wanting to go to max AC, making sure you can keep up with the max ac of armor is a good idea. With the tower shield master, your armor mastery will increase max dex by +3 at lvl 12.. so to optimize the AC, your dex bonus should be at least 22 by then, if not higher to match mithral full plate which would have a max dex of +6. which means with a +4 belt of whatever you'd need a base 18 by then.

An insane str is not really necessary for the fighter (although it might be for him). I find myself often making fighters just as spread out as monks for attributes. Except for pure one stat casters, I find little reason to ever put a 16 or greater in any stat.


I'm thinking Human, STR 18 (16 +2), DEX 12, CON 16, INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 7. His only social skill will be Intimidation, and I can take Intimidating Prowess to help with that.

Wondering whether he'd get more mileage out of straight Fighter, straight Barbar (with either Invuln Rager or Armored Hulk), or a mixture of Fighter/Barbar for more feats along the way (plus, armor training and weapon specialization). Barbar gives him better skills and HP; Fighter, I have to use Favored Class bonus for skills. Mix, he primaries in Barbar.

Feats will be EWP (Bastard Sword) and Power Attack. If he goes Fighter his extra feat will be WF (Bastard Sword). It's not that he ignores Power Attack -- I think he just keeps it 'on' all the time.

Traits -- that Defender of the Realm one was good. I personally don't like Reactionary (it's too overused IMO), but Chuck will love it.

Now, about the Gunslinger... I know he already plays one at 4th level, I'm wondering if an Archer/Bowman AT Fighter would be something he'd consider playing.


I suggest he simply plays the good ol' Human Invulnerable Rager Barbarian with a Falchion.

5 skill points/ level (maybe 6, with favored class bonus, but I think it's better to use it to increase the bonus from Superstition). Has Acrobatics, Intimidate, Knowledge (Nature) and, most importantly, Perception as class skills. Plenty of stuff for him to do.

Awesome damage, awesome HP, great mobility and saves (with Superstition) and acceptable AC (plus DR). Has access to Pounce and Spell Sunder and requires very few feats to work (only must-have is Power Attack, and maybe some Critical feats. Raging Vitality is a nice choice too)

Probably the best melee martial class in the game. With Paladins as a very close second, IMO.

Str 18 (16 +2 Racial) Dex 14 Con 15 (increase to 16 at 4th level) Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 7. Feel free to switch Dex and Con.

Does PFS allow traits? If so, I suggest one that boosts Will saves and one that increases Initiative.


Lemmy wrote:
I suggest he simply plays the good ol' Human Invulnerable Rager Barbarian with a Falchion.

What part of 'He will not use a two-handed weapon' did you not understand?

/ignored


John-Andre wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I suggest he simply plays the good ol' Human Invulnerable Rager Barbarian with a Falchion.

What part of 'He will not use a two-handed weapon' did you not understand?

/ignored

My bad. I skimmed over the posts.

TWF Dawnflower Dervish Fighter then? It's a Mobile Fighter, but better in every way! Not sure if PFS legal, though, as I don't play PFS.

Or a TWF Ranger.

TWFing takes a lot of feats to work. So Fighter and Ranger are probably the best choices.


Won't do TWF. Has to be sword-and-board. He won't play anything else.

I'm sorry, Lemmy, I'm sure you were trying to suggest good advice. It's late, I'm tired, I need sleep.


John-Andre wrote:

Won't do TWF. Has to be sword-and-board. He won't play anything else.

I'm sorry, Lemmy, I'm sure you were trying to suggest good advice. It's late, I'm tired, I need sleep.

Oh, but TWF does not exclude Sword-and-Board! Au contraire (is that written correctly?), They go together like cheese and wine!

I actually think that's the best possible TWF route, and the most fun too! You don't even need ITWF or GTWF (although they could be useful once you have the feats to spare)

Dawnflower Dervish Fighter can do it just as well! And there is even a sword-and-board Ranger fighting style.

My friend is playing a half-elf sword-and-board ranger in one of our games right now. So far, it's been very effecive.


on barbarian: with lemmy's idea above you can also tack on the 'flesh wound' and 'guarded life' set of rage powers later for even more durability, regardless of weapon choice. raging vitality's worth a look if he wants to be beefier.

also: he wants to be a sword-and-board character (and no alternatives), but wont consider TWF. Please direct me to your friend, I wish to taunt him.

I'll throw together some cav/sam builds (mounted and mountless, to save time) shortly. you can throw them by him and see if he's interested.


He might actually like the Cavalier. He played a knight in 3.5E (though it was mainly because he could turtle up and swing a two-handed sword in his monkey grip).


John-Andre wrote:
He might actually like the Cavalier. He played a knight in 3.5E (though it was mainly because he could turtle up and swing a two-handed sword in his monkey grip).

Let's see then:

we'll go with human cavalier, stat spread (20pb) might look like:
str 16 (+2 racial for 18), dex 14, con 14, int 10, wis 10, cha 10 (if he has NAA like myself)
str 16 (+2 racial for 18), dex 14, con 15 (increase to 16 at 4th), int 8, wis 10, cha 10 otherwise

order of the cockatrice or dragon (if he actually decides to use their features) are both good choices, with the former helping himself and the latter being useful to the whole party.

If he wants to play "simple" all he has to do is challenge the big guy, charge him on his mount and power attack him with a pointy/sharp object.

he gets a mount equal to his cav level (and scary damage on charges), and free teamwork feats that I have a hunch that he will never, ever use.
if he doesn't want a mount and likes guns, make him a musketeer. if he doesn't want a mount and doesn't like guns, make him a fighter or samurai instead.

samurai handles similarly (naturally), with the added bonus of being incredibly hard to kill at later levels, provided he uses the class features (see how I keep pointing that out?).
if he doesn't want a mount as a samurai, make him a sword saint (have him use a buckler if he's gonna use iaijutsu strike).

both classes can use the same orders, have d10 HP, 4 skill points per level, heavy armor and shield proficiency, and he can easily pick up power attack/EWP (bastard sword)/whatever else he wants. If he keeps the mount, get him the necessary mounted combat feats and spirited charge. if not, you get him TWF (just the one is fine) and improved shield slam and if he complains, you slap him.

.

also, if he's interested, you could make him a tiefling with the oversized limbs trait and wield large stuff with no penalty. and if you really wanna fickle his tancy, grab him a Sun Blade. note that because of the shortsword handedness he could wield a large sun blade with no penalty one-handed, and a huge one with no penalty one-handed with the oversized limbs trait (which you could pick up as a human with racial heritage (tiefling)), iirc.

Dark Archive

Oversized limbs are not PFS legal unfortunately... this looks like an optimizer's worst nightmare :S


Not... sure that will work. I've seen so rare opportunities for mounts in PFS. So many modules take place in cramped dungeons that mounts are useless.


I know you said no spellcasters but I'd see if you can tempt him with a bastard sword weilding Magus - a martial spellcaster. Maybe with the Bladebound and/or Kensai archetypes so his sword is super special. See if he will go a little out of his comfort zone. Hell if he likes being big and strong he can self enlarge person and bull strength. If you already talked with him about it then don't worry about it but it might be something you haven't considered. With these archetypes Int will give AC and later a bonus to inititive.

With a 20 point buy you could get stats that look like -

17 Str
14 Dex
13 Con
16 Int (with +2 human bonus)
8 Wis
7 Cha

Otherwise just stick with a standard Bastard-Sword wielding sword and board fighter without a dumped int stat - just need 12 int and be human. It seems to be what he likes anyway and there isn't really anything wrong with that.


Hawktitan wrote:
I know you said no spellcasters but I'd see if you can tempt him with a bastard sword weilding Magus - a martial spellcaster.

Nope. Chuck just doesn't 'get' spellcasters in Pathfinder. He's better with them in LFR, where he doesn't have to worry about resource control. That's also why I wouldn't make him a paladin, ranger or any other class that has the potential for spellcasting. Me, I love Smite Evil (once I figured out it lasted all battle).

Chuck needs things that either have toggle special abilities (like Power Attack or Rage), or no special abilities (like the BSF fighter). This, I think, is why he has a problem with Grit with his Gunslinger. It's a special resource that has to be managed, and he doesn't like that.

Sczarni

Things off hand that I can think of that are "always on" just about everything fighter you could want, Anything Barbarian, specifically no rage powers that require x per day junk, the ranger archetype that ditches spells and just has x traps per day.

Let's try a different tact, what weapon and armor does he want and race, and from there it'll be easier to come up with a dummy char that is easy to manage and effective.

Sczarni

I would honestly build a barbarian for him and I'd do it as follows
Str 16
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 10

Feat would be weapon focus (I'd go with Nodachi, 1d10, crits 18-20x2 2handed martial weapon)

Invulnerable rager (Probably go with fire for the resist)
and rage powers could be anything, but I'd look at world serpent totem so get alignment based DR attacks while raging, and then also I like things like raging leaper swimmer etc. Many will advocate superstitious though for added saves, and they would be better to listen to for strict power impact on the game.

Depending on the race adjust the stats, human isn't a bad choice, but personally I'd probably want to go Angel kin Aasimar myself and use feats as I level to get angelic blood, angelic flesh, and then angelic wings eventually. Steel Anglic Flesh for the +1ac. +2 to saving throws vs anything evil, and +2 to stabilize.

Put the favored class bonus into hp.

Armor would be a medium armor.


How about going with a human Phalanx Soldier:

Str 16, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 08 (Add racial bonus to whatever you think is most important.)
Feats Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes (or maybe power attack at level 1) Maybe bump Dex up and go for the Whirlwind Attack chain of feats, I bet he would enjoy wearing full plate, a tower shield, and getting a 1d12 or trip attack in on everyone in the room.

Gives you 4 skill points/level (2 fighter, 1 human, 1 int)

Play with a polearm, trip anyone before they get to you and then pound on them with their -4 to AC. Combat reflexes lets you trip a couple people a round, though with your low dex (because you won't get armor training) you might want to trade that for something else.

If you want to max AC, go sword and shield at level 1 and 2 then move up to a Lucern Hammer and shield or something with reach at level 3. But with reach and trip, they can't even get to you to swing at you a lot of the time.

I second the suggestion to take the same faction as he does to help him complete his missions. As long as someone at the table completes the faction mission, everyone in that faction gets credit. (Funny story: We had 5 people with the same faction at the table once, and while we were all distracted interrogating a prisoner, the odd man out completed our mission for us accidentally by asking the right questions of the right hostage.)

Also, if your VC requires you to have enough fame to buy even things on the always available list, how can you buy anything before level 2 when you finally have enough fame to buy 500gp or lower value items?


I would not suggest the barbarian since you said he never will use the special abilities associated with any class.

I believe both ranger and paladin have archtypes that do not cast spells. But you said he doesn't like those types of classes anyway.

So really you (or he) have really limited it to the fighter and it's arch types.

Sounds like he should take half-orc, the heaviest armor, waraxe or b-swd, tower shield, then mostly always on feats. Max str, dex and int 12, (since you want some skills, cha 7, wis 10, con what's left.

weapon focus, weapon spec, iron will, power attack, cleave, improved crit, dodge, mobility, lunge, etc...


Here's my invulnerable rager build. It's complete beast-mode.

Human Barbarian, Invulnerable Rager
Heart of the Fields

Level 1: Power Attack, Improved Sunder
Level 2: Lesser Beast Totem
Level 3: Extra Rage Power: Superstition
Level 4: Reckless Abandon:
Level 5: Extra Rage Power: Witch Hunter
Level 6: Spell Sunder
Level 7: Extra Rage Power: Beast Totem
Level 8: Strength Surge
Level 9: Combat Reflexes
Level 10: Greater Beast Totem
Level 11: Dazing Assault
Level 12: Come and Get Me

You wield: Whatever weapon you @#$%ing want. Get +1, +1 Furious, +2 Furious, +2 Furious, Courageous when you can.
Your armor: Standard stuff. Afford what you can - you'll have a chunk of DR. You'll be best served by spreading out your armor-related purchases to have a lot of small, cheap things.
Your stat boosts: Only weird thing is that this build works out better if you get +2 to all physical stat items, instead of + to strength items. You can make solid use out of the dex and con.

Offensively: You will do a truckload of damage. You will do _more_ truckloads of damage vs. anything with spells.

Defensively: Your AC will not be awful. Superstition + Human favored class bonus will give you OUTRAGEOUS saves.

And you will have 2 supremely useful tricks:

Once per combat, you can auto-dispel a spell (Spell Sunder + Strength Surge). Once per day, you can rage-cycle to do this twice per combat using heart of the field.

Likewise, you can pretty much auto-succeed on a sunder check. Which Chuck might find fun.

By 12, you get Dazing assault and Come And Get Me and Combat Reflexes, which means that you have a really good chance to negate opponents' attacks any time they attack you. So that's nice.

-Cross


Oh, he uses Rage. He just never uses Grit, on his Gunslinger. But then I haven't seen his Gunslinger's stats and it could very well be possible that Chuck dumped his Wisdom for 'something more important' (to Chuck) like Strength... you know, in case his character ever gets into hand-to-hand combat.

Chuck's problem is a fairly common one when it comes to resource control: How do I know if this is the big fight? A lot of players want to save their big spells, their big abilities, for the big fight, the boss monster, the climactic battle scene. Chuck is so afraid that he'll get caught without being able to pull the big numbers that he'll refuse to use special abilities until the very end.

And Chuck loves power attack, so I wouldn't say that he doesn't use feats. But power attack is a toggle, not a special resource. It's either on and he does lots of damage, or it's off and he hits better.

To all the people suggesting big weapons: You didn't read the thread. Defense is primary in all of Chuck's characters. Chuck will buy magic armor before he buys magic weapons. He feels that if the opposition can't hit him, then they can't hurt him, and this is the best key to character survival. He's not going to listen to me when I tell him to get a nodachi, a greatsword, a greataxe, a heavy pick or any other kind of two-handed weapon unless that two-handed weapon also lets him pick up a shield and use it as a shield. Chuck will take being the invulnerable turtle over doing damage. (I know that in Pathfinder, that tends to mean that enemies quickly learn to ignore him in search of easier prey. Our GMs don't run that way. If Chuck and the other tanks can get in the way, the monsters tend to deal with them first.)

One further problem: Neither Chuck nor I have access to UC. (The SRD does not count.) Chuck has playtest materials for his Gunslinger that our VC has allowed him to use. (We've gone into this. If the VC says he can use it, our club rules he can use it.) So, I can't advise Chuck to use weapons or ATs from UC. (I am disabled and on welfare; Chuck's finances are *extremely* tight, that he cannot afford books.)

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