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Help with Catfolk Ninja Build


Advice

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So building a Catfolk Ninja and was looking at going with natural claws instead of taking a weapon. Am I gimping myself with this?
Basic setup I have going so far

STR: 12
DEX: 20
CON: 14
INT: 12
WIS: 8
CHA: 19

Took the Cats Claws (gives 2 natural weapon attacks at a d4 each) and Scent Racials

Feats wise

1: Weapon Finesse

2: Vicious Claws (makes sneak damage d8 instead of d6 if I use cats claws)

3: Cat Exemplar Sharp Claws (makes them a d6 instead of d4s)

4: Vanishing Trick

Thats what I have so far. Should I change those? Should I use Wakizashi instead of Natural Claws? What should my feat advancement be from here?

I was thinking of taking Nimble Striker (no -2 when cleave, lunge or charge) at 5 in prep for Claw Pounce (full claw attacks when charging) at 14. Is that too early to take Nimble Striker?


bueller...bueller...bueller...


No one at all?


It looks like a good build, which isn't hard as the class/race combo practically builds itself. As for gimping yourself on the natural weapons, it really depends on what level you're going to get too. At mid to high levels your going to loose out on attacks, but the d8 sneaks mostly make up for it, atleast for the mid levels. That and the lack of minuses for getting multiple attacks.

I'm not sure sharp claws is worth it though. It only adds up 1 point on average, so not really worth the feat. I'd take something like weapon focus instead.


What if I took Focus at lvl 5?


or switched and took Focus at 3 and sharp claws at 5?


Personally I wouldn't take sharp claws at all. I don't think it's worth a feat. And focus was just an off the top of my head suggestion, and you could probably come up with a better choice if you really put some thought in to it.

I do like nimble striker in to claw pounce. Vanishing trick then pounce is a nasty combo, so I'd keep it.

Here's a list of class guides. Just use the ninja one for suggestions. They ARE optimization guides, so they'll be very min-max heavy.


cool thanks!


The thing is the guides dont say anything about Natural Weapon feats, so I'm at a loss on those. Haven't done them before.


Don't bother with Sharp Claws, 1 more damage isn't worth a feat. Equip 1 set or 2 of Claw Blades (Advanced Race Guide, pag 93) or you'll be gimped in medium/high levels. Claw Blades allow you to make iterative attacks as if you're using normal weapons and not natural ones. I think they can be enchanted too.


Awesome. Will look into them!
Thanks.

So improved natural attack should be ignored as well?

Are feats like twf and uas necessary? No right?

What chain should I focus on?

Weapon Focus?


sorry, what's uas?

I'd go TWF, it's a solid choice for any sneak attack build and it is made doable by the Claw Blades usage :)
The problem with Improved Natural Attack (and Sharp Claws) is that your claws base damage is only 1d4. It's following steps would be 1d6 and 1d8 (or 2d4...i'm not checking :p ) so it would be an average of +1 damage for each talent, not something i'd take.
Weapon focus could be ok if your to hit rate is somewhat low.
I'd strongly consider Improved Initiative or thoughness if your con is not so high

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

TWF is only good for flanking and with medium BAB you have problems to hit. There are plenty of threads on this...

I would go with the claw blades as soon as possible and enchant them.
As a ninja you can´t take the follow up feats for weapon focus.
Better build up for survivability and versatility. With 8 WIS your will saves looks bad. Some defensive feats could be good, iron will, toughness, dodge, etc. You will see it how it plays out.
Else more racial feats might be a good bet, llike black cat.

You could also keep natural hunter and start with the claws later. +2 for 3 skills you have a weak stat for is pretty good.


BerserkerRed wrote:
So improved natural attack should be ignored as well?

Probably.

BerserkerRed wrote:
Are feats like twf and uas necessary? No right?

Yes.

BerserkerRed wrote:
What chain should I focus on?

Maximizing the number of sneak attacks that you can do.

BerserkerRed wrote:
Weapon Focus?

Probably. Non-full BAB usually enjoy +1 to hit if you have the feat.

The goal of sneak attackers (ninja) is maximizing your sneak attacks. So TWF is great, but your claws are effectively the same thing. So Pounce is great, if your enemy is denied his dex or flanked. You sneak damage is growing at 1d6 (3.5) per 3 levels, so that's why +1 damage for a feat is meh.

Vanish is great, because it puts you invisible and able to sneak attack.

At higher levels, you are going to need to bypass DR, like magic, which is why you were advised about claw blades.

Smokesticks and Shadow strike feat are a good combination, too

good hunting

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Oh and i would replace sprinter with climber. That saves you a ninja trick and is really useful i think, since you gain a climb speed.
And don´t forget you can take extra rogue talent feat to get more ninja tricks or rogue talents.


If you go all the way in TWF tree, i'd take Crippling Strike advanced rogue ability at lv 10


That's more what I was concerned with. If I had claws how useful is twf?
I know it's great most of the time. I just didn't know how effective it was for natural attacks.
I was under the impression they were virtually the same.

I'll work on the claw blades for sure!! I'll skip sharp claws and imp nat attack too.

I'll definitely work on the will save its pretty terrible. Iron will was one I was looking at.

I'll also look into smokesticks and shadow strike!

Also, I was using uas as an abbreviation for unarmed strike Nymor.

I was also looking at the feat that lets me poison my claws (deadly claws I think) how viable are poisons?


Thank you guys!!

If I get rid of Sprinter I wouldn't be able to get Nimble Striker which lets me get Pounce.
That's why I was keeping it. It's a prereq for Nimble Striker, which is a prereq for Pounce

Silver Crusade

Use smoke pellets instead of smoke sticks. If you're in flanking position the smoke sticks could be detrimental to a teammate attacking your target. The smoke pellets will just obscure the square you are in. I think.


I'll check out both and make sure.

Also, Crippling Strike was definitely on my to do list.


So

1. Weapon Finesse

2. Vicious Claws

3. Weapon Focus

4. Vanishing Trick

5. TWF

Or should I take TWF before Focus?


Until you use only 1 set of claw blades, TWF will only give you -2(mainhand)/+3(offhand) to hit.
Take it only when you can afford a second enchanted Claw Blade AND you're hitting quite often your enemies

EDIT: Using only 1 claw blade, you can make a mainhand attack + an "offhand" Claw attack as secondary natural attack with -5 to hit (only to offhand)


A spin on the build I have worked on is taking one lvl of monk and feral combat feat.

Now you get 3 claw attacks a round. Since you already have the feat now you can use other things that normally work with unarmed strikes. Like boar style for extra bleed damage.

Then there is feats like rending claws and so on. The idea was to max what I could get out of the claws rather then try and get more attacks.


catfolk also have claw blades they can use

Claw Blades: These subtle blades can only be used by catfolk with the cat's claws racial trait. Bought in a set of five, they fit over the wearer's claws on one hand. The blades grant the wearer a +1 enhancement bonus on claw attack rolls with that hand and change the weapon type from a natural weapon to a light slashing weapon. Catfolk with the cat's claws racial trait are proficient with this weapon. The claw blades can be enhanced like a masterwork weapon for the normal costs. The listed cost of the item is for one set of five claws for one hand.

I dont know if they can be masterwork or enchanted tho but it would save you a feat.

Silver Crusade

Sometimes I have to wonder, just because you CAN do a character build-maybe you should ask IF you should do a character build. Catfolk Ninja? Really?

If your going to do a Catfolk oriental character build, it has to be Miaowara Tomokato....aka Samurai Cat


I dont see the issue in terms of fluff...there are cats in asia in the real world, why not cats in "asia: galorian" Actaully I would say that anthropomorphised animals have a distinct asian and egyptian flare over the traditional european bent of D&D in all its iterations. So something like a ninja or samurai is a solid way to go.

Beyond that mechanically Catfolk are built to be rogues from top to bottom, so Ninja essentially being a better rogue just makes a ton of sense.

I am actually a little jealous..lol My DM has banned the advanced races guide, and I loves me some exotic races. As long as you dont use it as a crutch it sets up a lot of interesting backstories and RP opportunites. You can only play so many farmboys and orphans and fallen nobles before more fertile creative ground becomes very appealing.


I don't understand why people are suggesting early TWF. For a natural attack focussed build it isn't necessary until very high levels. You start off with two claw attacks, and once you hit level 8 you equip a clawblade in one hand for two attacks and use the second claw at -5. At higher levels you could start taking the TWF tree if you so wish, depending on your party role.

Improved natural attack etc. is never worth it. Similarly, don't bother getting an amulet of natural attacks because eventually you'll be doing most of your damage via claw blades. The only reason you're tacking on that extra natural attack is for a bit of extra sneak attack damage.

Silver Crusade

Lazurin Arborlon wrote:

I dont see the issue in terms of fluff...there are cats in asia in the real world, why not cats in "asia: galorian" Actaully I would say that anthropomorphised animals have a distinct asian and egyptian flare over the traditional european bent of D&D in all its iterations. So something like a ninja or samurai is a solid way to go.

Beyond that mechanically Catfolk are built to be rogues from top to bottom, so Ninja essentially being a better rogue just makes a ton of sense.

I am actually a little jealous..lol My DM has banned the advanced races guide, and I loves me some exotic races. As long as you dont use it as a crutch it sets up a lot of interesting backstories and RP opportunites. You can only play so many farmboys and orphans and fallen nobles before more fertile creative ground becomes very appealing.

There are too many ninjas running around the world of Galorian as it is, if I threw a stick into my local gaming store during POS night, I'd hit three or four at least (player's playing ninjas that is).

I think I would die of shock if I asked a player what he was playing, and he/she said human fighter.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Ahh one of these guys. One of you that think you should dictate what people get to play.

Its a game and people should play what they have fun with. How many Ninjas you think there should or should not be in a freaking fantasy game world means less then nothing.


Thank you for the clarification on TWF! That clarified a lot for me.

So what's the best way to get iterative attacks?


BerserkerRed wrote:
So what's the best way to get iterative attacks?

Leveling Up?

@Thalander: I play a Human Fighter.


Aza: Such sage advice lol

I meant is there a go to Feat chain for Natural attacks that does that.


BerserkerRed wrote:

Aza: Such sage advice lol

I meant is there a go to Feat chain for Natural attacks that does that.

From what I can think of off of the top of my head is that most feats are either racial or limited. A Ranger is the easiest to get them...


Hmm ok. I'll look into level dipping. Thanks though!


Well you would need 2 Levels of Ranger...


Hmm. I don't think you want to level dip.

In order to increase the number of natural attacks, you either need to increase your BAB to +6/+1, which would apply to both of them in a full attack.

OR go Monk with feral combat to get an extra one with the flurry as Stome suggested.


IIRC: B.A.B. doesn't apply to Natural Weapons/Attacks...


Hmm good to know.

Also, rereading Stome's suggestion, it makes a lot of sense.

So Rending is going to be necessary. What about Power Attack? Or Vital Strike?


Thalander, could you please ease up a little. This thread is not about organized play, nor is it about your game, nor is about anything other than Red...who seems to be a nice guy asking for some advice on his character. You dont know him..nor any of us, much less if his character meets your requirement for what consitutes a "good" backstory. Derailing his thread to be insulting is not called for and unwelcome.

Red, Dual Classing Ranger would get you some neat additions in terms of taking the natural attack combat styles and much like Rogue and Ranger, Ninja/Ranger make a nifty dual class. It's not expressly min/maxed but you can make a really nice and very fun character that way. A lot of the skills dove tail, You sacrifice sneak attack dice for a higher BAB and a favored enemy or two, and there are some nice archtypes that add some interesting option. Like making booby traps in place of spell casting etc...


If you plan to play that character until 20 (i know, unlikely, but can happen XD ) you want to go ninja 20 for the capstone, without dipping. If you stop at mid levels, you have more options


If you really want the Guide Archetype makes for a nice dip if you tend to fight one powerful foe surrounded by a lot of mooks & their Races vary.


Oh jeez. That's quite the choice. Capstone was one of reasons I went Ninja.

I guess I'll have to worry a little less about min/maxing lol.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:
IIRC: B.A.B. doesn't apply to Natural Weapons/Attacks...

Really? I've searched a couple things and couldn't find anything explicit. I would think extra BAB attacks would be treated like secondary attacks.

cheers


Is there any monster with Iterative B.A.B. Attacks on a Natural Attack/Weapon?


Jubal Breakbottle wrote:
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
IIRC: B.A.B. doesn't apply to Natural Weapons/Attacks...

Really? I've searched a couple things and couldn't find anything explicit. I would think extra BAB attacks would be treated like secondary attacks.

cheers

That's the conclusion I came too.

Aza: I have no idea tbh.


Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Is there any monster with Iterative B.A.B. Attacks on a Natural Attack/Weapon?

Lots of monsters have primary and secondary attacks. Not many monsters have character classes.

So when this cat ninja reaches +11 BAB, what is his full attack option?


Jubal Breakbottle wrote:
Azaelas Fayth wrote:
Is there any monster with Iterative B.A.B. Attacks on a Natural Attack/Weapon?

Lots of monsters have primary and secondary attacks. Not many monsters have character classes.

So when this cat ninja reaches +11 BAB, what is his full attack option?

That's my question. Optimally whats my best case scenario?


Plenty of Monsters have a B.A.B. to get Iterative Attacks.

Heck, I think dragons can have a Higher B.A.B. than a Level 20 Fighter.

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