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Advice on Spring / Trip / Vital Build


Yes, I found out recently that Spring Attack was errata'd to not work with Vital Strike. The combination is permitted in the game I'm doing this build for.

Okay, so I've got a character going, who has to be several things. He's the party rogue, so has to handle the traps and such, and be sneaky, and he's a melee single striker/tripper. He also needs to be the party Ranger, at least in terms of handling tracking via survival. Any advice or additions to the following build are welcome.

I do realize that a Greatsword is not the optimal trip weapon, however damage output is more important for this guy, I feel, and there will be many untrippable enemies.

Basically, he has to do everything except be a caster or face ;D


Mix of Rogue (Scout, Acrobat), Ranger (Trapper, Freebooter) & Fighter (Lore Warden)

Human, 20 pt. buy

Str 15>17
Dex 15
Con 14
Int 13
Wis 12
Cha 7

1- Ranger 1 : Track, Wild Empathy (useless), Freebooter's Bane (fun times), Trapfinding, Power Attack, Furious Focus

2- Fighter 1 : Dodge

3- Fighter 2 : Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Mobility

4- Fighter 3 : +2 CMD & CMB; 18 Strength

5- Rogue 1 : Spring Attack, +1d6 sneak attack, ignore armor check penalties for light armor

6- Rogue 2 : Talent (Offensive Defense), evasion

7- Rogue 3 : Vital Strike, +2d6 sneak attack, Second Chance 1/day (reroll acrobatics, climb or fly)

8- Rogue 4 : Talent (Felling Smash), do sneak attack damage on charge; 16 Dexterity

9- Fighter 4 : Greater Trip, Fury's Fall

10-Fighter 5 : Weapon Training (Large Swords) +1

11-Rogue 5 : +3d6 sneak attack, Combat Reflexes

12-Rogue 6 : Talent (Devastating Strike); 19 Strength

13-Rogue 7 : +4d6 sneak attack, Improved Vital Strike

14-Rogue 8 : Talent (Weapon Focus (Greatsword)), do sneak attack damage whenever move 10 ft. beforehand

15-Fighter 6 : Weapon Specialization (Greatsword)?, Iron Will?

16-Fighter 7 : +2 CMB & CMD, Know thy Enemy; 20 Strength

I'm not going past 16, because I don't anticipate the character going that far. Items in Bold are choices made, as opposed to specific things granted by class levels.

Skills wise, he'll max out Acrobatics, Disable Device, Perception, Stealth and Survival as much as possible, with some ranks in many other skills.

With the current build, he probably won't start tripping people until level 8 (when he can do it as a swift action after attacking) or 9 (when he gets a huge boost to his check)

Any input on changes in the order of things, feats that I've missed, crucial items, or other input is very, very welcome. :) I'm particularly uncertain as to what to take at level 15, though I'm not as concerned about the later levels.


that's a very weird character...
it look solid for what you are trying to do, but i will warn you that past 6th level tripping becomes very difficult to pull off. so if you wanted to wait until 8th level to trip people maybe change that aspect of your character for something like sunder, disarm, or ignore the maneuver completely and change over to a weapon master fighter?

also food for thought, if you really like vital strike, then i would suggest dipping into barbarian instead of ranger for furious finish.

**edit** and im not sure vital strike and felling smash will work as one attack just to toss that out if you were trying for that.

Tripping is really secondary here; it's only because of the Felling Smash feat that I worked it in at all. As far as I can tell, none of the other combat maneuvers have anything that will synergize so beautifully with Vital Strike... I'll consider the alternative of no maneuvers at all, though.

At level 9, assuming a +4 strength, +2 dex belt, he'll have +24 on his trip attempt (8BAB+6STR+4DEX+2LoreWarden+4Feats). This isn't optimized, no, but it's a swift action check after hitting the baddie anyway, and it's high enough that it will succeed a good portion of the time.

Another +1 (and the ability to trip a huge foe) if I'm enlarged, which I expect to be most the time at that point via a permitted custom item.

Another +1 if I've used my limitless Freebooter's Bane on them.

Another +2 if flanking which, given that I have a tank buddy and can move basically wherever I want, should be most of the time

+additional bonuses from party spells.

The only danger is in being tripped myself, but I just won't trigger the Felling Blow on huge enemies with 4 legs under most circumstances.

All that being said, the point is well taken about it perhaps not being worth the feat expenditure. I will likely go with Lore Warden even if I don't go the way of Combat Maneuvers, though; the +2 CMD is a big deal, and the extra skill points help me.

I can't do the Barbarian dip, sadly; the character concept is committed to being a Lawful type, probably LN, seeking the perfect, precise, flawless strike in combat.

They do work together, as far as I can tell:

which is what makes this combo work.

Thanks for the feedback! It's very appreciated.

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