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Being rather bored last night I decided to make a new character, with the intention of playing it in PFS at some future time (I think I may have a problem with extra characters...). Since most of the characters I have made have been fairly combat oriented, I decided to make more of a party face type character this time, and the concept of a character that regularly lies through his teeth to get what he wants seemed especially interesting.
And so, I set out to build a liar. I'm posting this here in hopes that I can get advice (both general, and specific questions at the end), preferably specific to PFS if possible, about how viable this will actually be, if I'll be a serious detriment to my group, and if I'll really have many opportunities to exploit my focused skill set since my experience with PFS so far is somewhat limited.
After hearing about the Heretic Archetype a few weeks ago on these boards the idea for a bluff focused character has been bouncing around in my head. However, I already have a full Inquisitor (level 2, but I have plans for his progression through the normal Inquisitor levels), so I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to start with a 1 level dip into Inquisitor for all the bluff buffing goodies, then move on to Sorceror (Crossblooded Empyreal and either Arcane, Sylvan or Rhakshasa, more on that later).
Class: Heretic Inquisitor 1
Domain: Conversion Inquisition
I opted to seriously dump STR and CHA to get a huge boost to my WIS since it is the primary stat for both classes and it counts double for my Bluff (and is added to Stealth). I almost want to drop my CON to 13 to boost my INT up to 13 and pick up an extra skill point per level, but I'm not sure that's wise since my HP will already be hurting. Since this build is not terribly feat dependent, I could probably afford to take Toughness at 3rd or 5th level depending on my bloodline selection.
Feats: Skill Focus: Bluff, Deceitful
Traits: Fast-Talker, Bad Reputation
Alternate Race: Wary
Sense Motive: +11
Bluff: +21 (Conversion Inquisition +5, Heretic +5, Skill Focus +3, Deceitful +2, Fast-Talker +1, Wary +1, 1 Rank +1, Class Skill +3)
I'll pretty much have to have my copy of Advanced Player's Guide at the table (instead of in my car) when I play this character since the numbers seem a bit ridiculous.
Daze, Create Water, Sift, Guidance (More bluff??!), Bless and Shield of Faith.
With these stats I'll be able to Bless 3 times a day which isn't too bad.
That's pretty much it for 1st level. I'll be spending my first Scenario's PP on a Wand of Cure Light Wounds, then possibly a Wand of True Strike and use my Whip to disarm or trip from 15' away with a +18 bonus. When not doing that I'll most likely be using Daze, Bless, Intimidate and occasionally a crossbow.
Starting at 2nd level and beyond I'll be taking Sorceror levels as my "primary" class. I'll be taking a hit to BAB so I plan on focusing on spells that don't require ranged attacks, or use a True Strike wand if it really matters. As a Crossblooded Sorceror my spell selection will be extremely limited, but I can get some interesting powers. I'll be taking the Empyreal bloodline for the use of Wisdom as my casting stat obviously, and my second bloodline will dictate my tactics and feat selection.
Current choices (open to other ideas, these are just what I've picked out so far):
Arcane: Primarily for the Arcane Bond (Viper, naturally). If I chose this bloodline I would likely pick up things like Spell Focus: Enchantment or Necromancy and focus on Save or Suck or Debuff/Buffing spells. Not sure how things like Animate Dead play into PFS (I'm guessing not super well), but if I went that route, I do have the ability to cast Desecrate (from a wand or scroll) and I'll get a weak version of Channel Energy at level 10 from the Empyreal Bloodline. Overall, this option is my least favorite.
Sylvan: Solely for the option of having an animal companion, this selection would include me picking up Boon Companion as my 3rd level feat. If I went this route I would use my spells to place buffing spells on my companion (probably Tiger) such as Enlarge Person (yay for Share Spells) and other such silly things. The option to have a heavily buffed animal tearing apart my enemies seems pretty cool and gives my character a bit more (and probably needed) combat utility.
Rakshasa: This option continues the theme of the silver-tongued super spy. The nice things I'd pick up here would be the Silver Tongue power (+5 to Bluff 8 times per day) and Mind Reader at level 4. I imagine being able to read someone's thoughts and then have a +~30 Bluff check could help things go quite smoothly. Unfortunately, while this option is full of delicious flavor and fits my theme very well, it doesn't really help fix up any of my character's weaknesses.
Finally, the wrap up. While all advice and comments are welcome, the specific questions I had relating to my build thus far are:
1. Is it worth it/safe enough to reduce my CON to 13 to bump INT up to 13 and get an extra skill point per level? This would allow me to get 4 skill points per level once I start taking levels in Sorceror. Regardless of this choice, Toughness is something I'll be looking at closely, but it's even more attractive if I do drop the CON.
2. Spell selection. Any alternate suggestions for Inquisitor spells that will remain useful? While they'll last only 1 minute, I figured throwing up a Bless and/or Shield of Faith right before a combat could be useful throughout the life of the character, but my experience so far is limited to low level play only. I also thought about Protection from Evil, but I think I may want to take that as one of my Sorceror spells instead. For that matter, any advice or suggestions for my limited Sorceror spell list?
3. Bloodline selection. I'd have to say I'm currently leaning towards Sylvan simply to round out my character a bit but would welcome any comments or suggestions as far as my bloodline selection.
That's it for mechanical talk. If anyone is interested, here's the rough outline of my character's history:
Locutus grew up under the tutelage of the priestesses of Calistria in a temple not far from Absalom. While he knows little of his parentage, he has strong suspicions that he may be the son of one of the temple's most sacred prostitutes, due partly to the fact that her eyes have striking flecks of yellow in them, and his are a full and flashing gold. Aside from his eyes, he seems like any other misbegotten half-elf. As he got older, he found he had a certain talent for... "bending the truth" in such a way that he managed to always stay on the right side of trouble.
As a young adult, the temple employed him to travel to nearby towns to spread word of various events the temple was hosting. While out on one such venture, a pair of jealous acolytes plotted against Locutus. Upon his arrival, the plot unfolded exactly as the acolytes had planned, and Locutus found himself in his room, covered in the blood of the corpse on his bed. Naturally, he was joined by priestesses mere moments later, while the shock of the discovery still left him dumb. For the first time in all his life, he found himself unable to speak. As the guards were called in and everyone stared at him as if he were a monster, a sudden confidence filled him and words began to spill from his mouth. The story of his discovery of this man attempting to fight off a pair of imps as they tore at his stomach, chest and face. The story of Locutus's bravery in attacking the imps with the only weapons he had, his quick wit and his sack of traveling supplies. How after knocking one imp unconscious by battering it's head against the wall, the other imp yelled something vile sounding, grabbed it's companion's hand and promptly vanished into thin air.
To his surprise, the gathered crowd seemed to eat it up. While he was known for certain embelishments, this story was certainly pushing the boundaries of plausibility even before you add the apparent evidence against him. Yet everyone seemed to believe it... except two acolytes glowering at him from the back of the crowd.
After paying the two acolytes a visit that left them clawing at the walls of their room (with slightly less fingers no less), speaking to the head priestess and giving a mostly honest account of what really happened, and heading back to his room, Locutus was assaulted by a sudden overpowering presence. After it left him, he felt a feeling of gratitude, coupled with a strong urge to seek out a new path in his life. As he gathered his things to leave his home, he found one more pleasant surprise when he looked in the mirror: a nimbus of light swirled around him for a moment like a shield, and a whip appeared comfortably on his belt. He knew that no matter where he ended up, he would always keep something from his time with Calistria.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat:Inquisitor: Inquisitions from Ultimate Combat are not legal for play
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic:
Archetypes: broodmaster summoner, clone master alchemist, gravewalker witch, pack lord druid, master summoner, reincarnated druid, synthesist summoner, undead lord cleric, vivisectionist alchemist archetypes are not legal for play.
The following function differently than written in the sourcebook:
An ex-Inquisitor may not replace existing class abilities with those granted by the Heretic inquisitor.
The Conversion Inquisition is from Ultimate Magic. Ultimate Combat has things like Black Powder Inquisition.
True enough. I've missed one so far, due to rolling a 2 on an Intimidate check that was one and done. My character actually had good intimidate, but not much you can do with a 2...
There's no real rush for the wands. So far I've pretty much gone with the "buy CLW, then save up just in case you need a Raise Dead". For this character I'll probably spend a scenario or two worth of PP on picking up an extra utility wand, whether that's after 2 or 4 scenarios.
It looks like it is legal, but I'm not sure it would be very useful. I couldn't take any levels in it until level 8, so I could get a maximum of level 5. As far as combat utility, those 5 levels would gain me 2 levels of sneak attack. It would help boost my bluff ability to truly ridiculous levels, but I think the cost might just be too high.
Looks like Master Spy could be useful in a RP heavy campaign focused on deception and intrigue, but I have a feeling that it wouldn't go very well with PFS.
Good suggestion though :D
Total side note: a 21 Bluff mod is more than you need at level 1. I'm playing a +14 Diplomacy Paladin and I'm routinely getting 2-3 stages of attitude improvement (yay Silvertongue!). Most GMs basically let me Diplomacy an entire combat away with this. A 21 is just overkill, even reasonably allowing to tell the impossible lies at level 1.
However you want to approach that is totally reasonable, but I'd probably drop Deceitful in favor of something...combat-ish.
True enough I suppose. I just found it rather amusing to be able to get a character to be such a smooth talker that the impossible seems probable.
I once tried convincing an enemy that I was actually a spy sent by the big bad enemy and that I was working on a way to sneak away with a certain artifact my group had acquired. It was going really well until I botched a roll and it came down to a sleight of hand draw of a poisoned dagger to tip the intimidate scales. Being able to convince the enemy of outlandish tales with any kind of success could be... fun.
My experience with PFS scenarios so far has shown that there isn't usually enough time to really benefit from the rumors the rumormonger would add. Most scenarios seem to take place over one day or involve multiple days of travel so that you've left the city that you started the rumor in.