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I've been playing Pathfinder via PFS for over a year now, and I've tried several types of characters. I've played a maneuver-focused fighter with high AC, I've played an Eldritch Knight, I've played a cleric... But one thing these PCs all have in common is that simply attacking for lots of damage is not in their repertoire. They're all generalists of different sorts, rather than focusing on killing things fast.
I like that, but in the interest of acquiring broader experience, I'd like to also try a PC whose main schtick is DPR.
Now, some caveats:
Suggestions? A couple that have come to mind are Inquisitor archer and Musket Master, but I'm curious what other damage builds are out there.
Oh, and I don't need a full build breakdown, just ideas and general guidelines and such. Thanks, all!
Well, this is probably a done to death build in PFS, but my first stab at a character is a human ranger archer style. Gave up companion for granting 1/2 favored enemy bonus vs target to allies, so no pet, either.
Once you're level 4, you get spells, and entangle finally enables you to contribute to control.
Last night, with both gravity bow and aspect of falcon up, using dual shot and deadly aim (now at -2/+4), vs a human (my 2nd favored enemy so +2/+2), +1 composite longbow of strength +2, at point blank range, in my first round of attack, crit confirmed on the first shot and hit on the 2nd, my one round damage total was 47, and that was with poor damage rolls, could have easily been over 50. My base to hit with rapid shot, deadly aim, and point blank is +8/+8, not bad.
And I regularly do 30+ damage in a round. And at 6th level I get to add a 3rd shot to the mix.
Precise shot as well, of course. And weapon focus longbow.
Had to tweak a bit to get Diplomacy up (mainly Ease of Faith trait), but I've got great stealth, perception, survival, solid swim and climb, plus pretty great knowledge nature and geography.
+6 on initiative, not great but not bad, with reactionary trait adding to my base +4.
I'm absolutely lethal vs undead, my first favored enemy (now +4/+4).
Being an archer means some degree of battlefield control, since I can pick my targets much more strategically than melee guys.
And until 8th level arrives and I bump DEX to 19, going for 20 at 12th, nothing is above 18 to start. Currently:
also took infiltrator archetype over favored terrains, my 1st adaptation from undead is iron will, so my saves are pretty good, too, +6 Fort, +9 reflex, +7 Will (with iron will up.)
Yeah, I was going to suggest a switch-hitter Ranger, but that probably qualifies as done-to-death.
A Zen Archer is pretty awesome at doing damage, and still has some skills and out-of-combat abilities. The one I made was fluffed as a traveling adventurer who sought perfection of mind and body, to become one with his bow, as it were. It was a lot of fun to play.
So are you looking for a melee build, then?
Hmmm... maybe a Barbarian, then? They're pretty damn good at doing lots of damage, and with decent Survival and a handful of other skills, they should still have things to do outside of combat.
Oh! An Inquisitor could be a lot of fun, too. They get lots of skills, are good at melee combat, have nifty fluff and abilities, and get 6 levels of spellcasting on top of all that.
Temerith here is looking like he'll be a lot of fun in the Kingmaker PbP I got him in to!
Half orc Barbarian/Rogue(skulking slayer racial archetype)
You have the high damage and fast movement of a barbarian, combined with sneak attack damage when you flank/charge/cleave. Plus massive skill points from rogue, and half orcs can be pretty fun to roleplay.
Probably start with 1-2 levels of barbarian for hitpoints when you need them the most, then switch over to rogue. The second level of barbarian is questionable, but getting improved uncanny dodge at level 6 is pretty good.
Low HP is the main weakness of this build, so a good con score is needed. Maybe shooting for str 18 con 16 dex 14 after racial. Mental stats are your preference, though low will saves can hurt the build.
Weapon choice is up to you, though I'm partial to the sound a greatclub makes when you hit things with it.
Victor Zajic wrote:
Urban Barbarian + Skulking Slayer/Bandit was a character I had intentions of rolling up, and it sounds like it could be a lot of fun, too.
Hadn't gotten that far yet. I just know I've heard that they can be killer archers, and I figured the "feel" would be different enough from rangers/fighters/zen monks.
Gotta admit, though, my fancy at the moment is leaning more toward the Musket Master... Maybe Andoren with kind of an American Revolutionary vibe. Though that might be too cliche'.
hmm, yeah, figured about the ranger archer...
have you considered something like an evoker wizard for DPR? not sure how good they are long term, but wanted to break the notion that DPR has to be melee/weapon oriented.
You are playing Assassins Creed aren't you :)
The great thing about the inquisitor is the flexibility, particularly once you get bane. If your wife already has an archer, I am wondering why you are going ranged? I ask because there are a number of domains that can enhance melee attacks.
If you aren't looking pure DPR and want to stay ranged, you could also go travel domain for the extra movement and get dimensional hop at 8th level. Very tactically useful.
Either way works, but they have a somewhat limited weapon selection, so the proficiency with the gods favored weapon is a big question, and then what domains that leaves you.
It's very similar to building a cleric that way.
Heres some ideas for for a Dervish Dancer Bard.
Versatile Human ARG(gives +2 to two stats of your choice)
Starting Feat Toughness
Put your stat increases into strenght and take Hit Points as Favoured Class Bonus.Then grab a reach Weapon maybe exotic weapon proficiency Fauchard,Power attack,Arcane Strike,Lunge.At level 6 you get Haste as performance.At Level 10 with a Strenght Belt,Heroism all day, and a +2keen Fauchard your Attack routine would look like this:
Not Gamebreaking but good.
Seems to me that you have a done a lot of melee. Try something ranged.
For the pure cheese effect of DPR you could go Urban Barbarian 2 / Weapon Master 10 and plug enemies with arrows. The concept is very strong with DPR and has a serious case of I hit on my last iterative.
I play with someone who combined the inquisitor with the gunslinger. He got a large number of attacks at touch AC and they all had BANE. Not sure of the specifics of the concept but it did very well DPR wise.
You could also go for a ranged Paladin and get your smite on. A whole lot of PFS falls in the smitable range and Paladins can outperform just about anything DPR wise when they smite. Plus you can grab some mercies, be the social guy, etc etc.
You are playing Assassins Creed aren't you :)
My most modern game system is a Nintendo 64 that I never play. I mostly play SNES, and occasionally bust out the TurboGrafx 16.
So no. Heck, I don't even know what reference you're making about it, I just know I've heard the title before.
@rangerjeff: "Primary caster" is another standard category I'm meaning to get to, eventually. But for this thread, I'm going with weapon attacks. (Though being able to cast spells is not out of the question.)
For Melee, Inquisitor of Gorum could start you with a greatsword. Two-handed is the way to go for melee with the lack of feats. Plus you have your choice of Chaos, Destruction, Glory, Strength, and War domains. You could also go half-orc for the Falchion and then pick whatever domain you want, but I personally don't like the downsides socially of playing half-orcs (YMMV)
Dwarves have nice synergy with Con and Wisdom, so that would also work. I once played a Dwarven Inquisitor of Desna (backstory was he spent most of his life underground, but when he saw the night sky for the first time he fell in love. To gruff to be a cleric, he became an inquisitor. Fun little character to play, he had butterfly shaped Axe. But I digress...
TWF builds get bad ass pretty quick without a feat investment. It is a bit annoying to not be able to get power attack until third, but you will be able to deal some damage.
For ranged, you already start off with longbow, so you are good to go with whatever flavor strikes your interest for a God.
As to being useful out of combat, 6 skill per level and Monster lore is awesome. In combat, everyone talks about judgements and bane, but don't forget about cunning initiative.
Great class to play, lots of fun.
They just came out with Assassins Creed 3, set in Revolutionary America. So I've been hearing all about musket wielding assassins from my gaming friends lately. :)
High Dex...lots of Dex...pump the Dex.
Put Distance enhancement on the gun and use a double barrel rifle.
Make sure you get Clustered Shots the second you can. Don't forget you get Rapid Reload free with your class. You don't need a ton of Grit. You will get Grit faster than you think and its not something you use a ton of. Focus on that Dex and get it as high as you can because that is obviously your damage booster.
Inquisitor of Gorum, Rage Subdomain.
You get Proficiency Greatsword
Destructive Smite (Su): You gain the destructive smite power: the supernatural ability to make a single melee attack with a morale bonus on damage rolls equal to 1/2 your cleric level (minimum 1). You must declare the destructive smite before making the attack. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.
At 8th level you get
Rage (Su): At 8th level, you can enter a fearsome rage, like a barbarian, for a number of rounds per day equal to your cleric level. At 12th and 16th level, you can select one rage power. You cannot select any rage power that possesses a level requirement, but otherwise your barbarian level is equal to 1/2 your cleric level. These rounds of rage stack with any rounds of rage you might have from levels of barbarian.
Not interested in greatsword-type stuff. That falls in the "done to death" category, as far as I'm concerned.
If you are going DPR, given the feat limitations you are going Two Handed. And given the limited weapon choices for the class...
Ranged Inquisitor going for pure damage is a fairly narrow path. You need almost all of your feats for the ranged attack chains. Judgements and bane give you your boosts, but particularly for bane you want as many attacks as possible. But that seems like it would just be stepping on the rangers toes, as you are basically filling the same role. It's fun, but you said your wife is already doing that.
Anyway, good luck. Sounds like you are going musket at this point.
Anyway, good luck. Sounds like you are going musket at this point.
Yeah, it's just really tickling my fancy for some reason.
I'd also like a little spellcasting for versatility... Should I dip a class or two, or go for UMD?
At least 3 levels of Musket Master are my first priority, for the reloading speed.
Musket master switch-hitter? :D
Gunslinger (musket master) 4/Fighter (weaponmaster) 8
Str 17, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 7
Gun = Gunslinger, Fig = Fighter
Gun 1 Gunsmithing, Power Attack, Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Reload (musket)
At low levels you fire your musket then run in with Opening Volley helping out your attack roll. When that's no longer necessary, it's conveniently traded for Improved Critical. All of the fighter feats and weapon trainings are designed to help both your melee and ranged capabilities at the same time. Downsides include poor Will save and less than a happy number of skill points.
Interesting idea, I personally would go that Musket master 5 /weapon master 7 withStr 16, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 7.
Would also work; you'd trade +1 to hit at melee and range for dexterity to damage at range. Since this build never really has a massive dexterity, I didn't think it was worth it.
Anyway, the timing for the first several levels is very important, but after that it gets a lot easier and you can play around with it more. :)
There is the Inquisitor Gun Black Inquisition that replaces the domain in UC. Maybe best of both worlds?
Black Powder Inquisition
Granted Powers: You gain Exotic Weapon Proficiency (firearms) and Gunsmithing as bonus feats. When you hit an arcane spellcaster or a creature that uses spell-like abilities with a firearm attack, that creature must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw. If the spellcaster fails, he takes a –4 penalty on concentration checks for 1 round.
So, what goes good in a Musket Master? Do I bother with Precise Shot? Is Rapid Shot too expensive gold-wise (since I have to use cartridges to reload as a free action)? What makes a good dip/multiclass? Inquisitor? Archaeologist? Flowing monk? Sorcerer? Oracle? Ninja? Samurai? Just stay straight gunslinger?
rapid shot is very good-- not too expensive, but dont take this until 3rd level as you wont be able to take advantage of it until you get fast musket.
if you are going to multi-class, at least get to 5th level so you can add dex to damage.
and get a double-barreled musket whenever you have enough fame to afford (usually in 3rd level at some point). it is a -4 to hit, and adds a misfire, but doubles the damage. try to get a +1 on that asap as well, if not when you buy it-- if a non-magic gun explodes you're out the gold, but a magic weapon you can "make whole" for 60gp..
one question I have, is rapid reload and the issue of it being for a gun type (like muskets) or a specific gun (like either musket or double barreled musket). discussion on the boards seem to be that they are for specific guns. though in musket master archetype it mentions you get a bonus feat lvl1 rapid reload (muskets), plural, implying it is for all muskets. this makes sense to me as it is just two musket barrels, but with pfs it seems prudent to be very conservative... does anyone have any thoughts on this? has there been an official ruling?
If you read the general Firearm Rules in UC, under the subheading "Firearm Proficiency", you'll see that it specifies that Rapid Reload (and other weapon-specific feats) must choose an individual type of firearm. As examples, it lists both "musket" and "axe musket" as needing separate feats, so clearly you can't have Rapid Reload for every variation of musket with a single feat.
There's no "official ruling" needed.
yeah, and the double musket would be 1-4, with the possibility of an explosion, which wont happen with a normal musket.
one trick to do, once you have 3rd lvl, and reloading with alchemical shots is a free action, reload your weapon at the beginning of your turn. this way when the combat/encounter is over you can reload with a normal shot/gunpowder, this saves money and also helps with the misfire range on the next shot you make.
If you go the Dangerously Curious route don't forget to pick up a Masterwork tool for it. Last I remember they aren't banned in PFS.
As far as your feats go...Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Clustered Shots, and then pepper in flavor as needed. These are all you need to be successful as a Gunslinger. Don't worry about bullets (even paper cartridges)...from a cost stand point it isn't like you are shooting gold coins or anything. You will easily be a welcomed member of ANY party due to your insane output so getting help in the potion and wand department will help in your bullet department. My advice on misfires? Buy a wand of Make Whole the first chance you get.
(If you want to spend feats on Deeds there are a few you can pick up...I don't use em often enough to rave about em but I am sure someone will chime in)
How vital is Precise Shot, really? I mean, obviously it's required for archers, but since I'm aiming at Touch AC from 40ft away, how bad would it hurt to skip it? I'm just seeing all these feats and wondering how I can get any sort of reasonable Plan B going. Is it feasible to make a switch-hitter Musket Master?