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Best solo character...


Advice


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Let's say you wanted to play through a campaign solo - what character build could you come up with that would be fun to play, but would be the most capable of dealing with the variety of challenges and threats he or she may face?

I'm looking for playability at all levels, not a specific moment in time when the character is particularly effective. Please be as detailed as you like, but at the very least tell me your race, class and why...


Bard, Druid, or Summoner. They all can be decent or better in melee, and have utility options.

Race does not really matter that much.

Bard-all around everything.

Summoner-It can fight, and it has spells which can be use for other things if the player is creative. The summoner also has a decent skill set.

Druid-It can fight, has decent spells, not bad skills, and the wild shape ability is useful for more than just combat. It would probably be my first choice.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Paladin, without a doubt.

You need strong melee from the start if you are solo.
Best standard saves in the game with the Cha bonus.
Lots and lots of healing, condition removal, and immunities for survivability.
Spellcasting.
Cha using build for diplomacy and UMD for what magic you don't have.
Favored class energy resistance option.

Grab the trait that makes UMD a class skill and you'll be able to access those spells you need, like a teleport 1/day at higher levels.

==Aelryinth

Andoran

+1 Druid.

Lots of feasible builds. Very workable.

If the campaign is against evil, paladin would be damn hard to beat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I'd go Druid if there's no undead involved. Druids tend to be pretty weak against undead.

Note that if you do Druid, there's nothing wrong with a decent cleric, either. Clerics can nova very nicely, and also have a very powerful spell list and healing options.

==Aelryinth


I generally agree with the above:

Druid, Paladin, or Summoner, especially Master Summoner would be my picks.

Druid is a full caster and a full beatstick with animal forms, plus the pet gives him another body for action economy and he can summon fairly well.

Paladins are just hands down the hardest characters to kill in the game with the Charisma to UMD what they can't do alread, though they might have trouble finishing bad guys if the solo campaign is against constructs or devotees of neutrality or something weird like that.

Summoner's come with their own tank, and get many elements of a 9 level spellcaster's list condensed into a 6 level caster framework--it's pretty impressive. If the character were allowed to start at a higher level, say maybe somewhere in the 8-12 area, I'd throw in Wizard/Sorcerer, but they'd have a rough time (not impossible, mind you, just rough) surviving the very beginning of the game alone.

Andoran

mplindustries wrote:

I generally agree with the above:

Druid, Paladin, or Summoner, especially Master Summoner would be my picks.

Druid is a full caster and a full beatstick with animal forms, plus the pet gives him another body for action economy and he can summon fairly well.

Paladins are just hands down the hardest characters to kill in the game with the Charisma to UMD what they can't do alread, though they might have trouble finishing bad guys if the solo campaign is against constructs or devotees of neutrality or something weird like that.

Summoner's come with their own tank, and get many elements of a 9 level spellcaster's list condensed into a 6 level caster framework--it's pretty impressive. If the character were allowed to start at a higher level, say maybe somewhere in the 8-12 area, I'd throw in Wizard/Sorcerer, but they'd have a rough time (not impossible, mind you, just rough) surviving the very beginning of the game alone.

Yeah, that wizard/sorc would be insanely cool to play at higher levels...but if there's a worse option for the first 3-4 levels, I'd be hard pressed to figure it out. :p

A magus could work...but 'best'? Unlikely. Cleric is definitely up there...optimized clerics are steamrollers...with healing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

I'm looking at a lot of ideas and wanted to get everyone's thoughts/experiences.

This is the character I'm currently leaning towards:

Kitsune 1st level Oracle (Nature) / 19th level Sorcerer (Fey-Sylvan Bloodline)
Oracle level comes at 2nd)

Attributes: (20 point buy)
STR - 10 (-2 racial mod)
DEX - 12 (+2 racial mod)
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 8
CHA - 16 (+2 racial mod, +1 at 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th)

Traits:
Keeper of the Veil
Reactionary

Oracle Mystery:
Nature - Friend to the Animals
Curse - Haunted

Feats:
1st - Eschew Materials
1st - Boon Companion (Animal Companion undecided - Bear, Allosaurus or Ankylosaurus probably)
3rd - Realistic Likeness
5th - Spell Focus: Enchantment
7th - Greater spell Focus: Enchantment
8th - Improved Initiative
9th - Silent Spell
11th - Spell Penetration
13th - Still Spell
14th - Quicken Spell
15th - Spell Perfection: Hold Monster
17th - Greater Spell Penetration
19th - Persistent Spell
20th - Lightning Reflexes

Skills:
Bluff (1/odd level)
Diplomacy (1/even level)
Disguise (1/level)
Perception (1/level)
Stealth (1/level)
Survival (1 @ 2nd)
Knowledge: Nature (1 @ 2nd)

With an animal companion right off the bat, she should be very survivable in the early going against level-appropriate threats. Obscenely potent enchantments should help in combat encounters and should help her surround herself with allies/minions when facing foes who are immune to such effects. High social skills, excellent stealth ability and the ability to assume pretty much any human form at will all combine to give her a lot of different options when it comes to dealing with potential threats.

I'm also considering a variation of her feat selections that ditch the Spell Penetration feats and shuffle things around to give her the Eldritch Heritage feats for the Arcane Bloodline (including a Familiar). Not sure yet.

Oracle Spells known will be:
0 level - Create Water, Light, Mending, Spark
1st level - Cure Light Wounds, Obscuring Mist, Summon Nature's Ally I

Obviously any critiques are welcome, but please keep the ideas coming.

Shadow Lodge

my vote would be a rage prophet barbarian, more hp then a paladin, hits harder, heals better, better mitigation and last but not least better spell list.

i havent ever played a character as strong as a come and get me rage prophet with a vital strike build.

life oracle/invulnerible rager (or armored hulk) vital strike with furious finish and potions of enlarge person... s!!& gets crazy fast.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dervish of dawn/ sound striker bard, archeologist bard, or inquisitor.

Paladin/ ninja if gestalt.


TheSideKick wrote:

my vote would be a rage prophet barbarian, more hp then a paladin, hits harder, heals better, better mitigation and last but not least better spell list.

i havent ever played a character as strong as a come and get me rage prophet with a vital strike build.

life oracle/invulnerible rager (or armored hulk) vital strike with furious finish and potions of enlarge person... s$*# gets crazy fast.

No, sorry. You do not get more HP, because Oracle drags your HP down. The ideal mix would probably be Barbarian 2/Oracle 4/Rage Prophet 10, which actually puts you 1 average HP behind the Paladin. Now, you will have more HP when raging, of course, but not as many as you may think.

You do not hit harder, because you lose BAB and Rage doesn't buff your Strength high enough to compensate. This is not just an issue of accuracy, either, since you get less from Power Attack with less BAB, too. And there's no way you can compete with Smite.

The idea that you can heal better is absurd. A Paladin can Lay on Hands as a swift action. My Tiefling Hospitaler Paladin (with a Phylactery of Positive Energy Channeling, Fey Foundling, Quick Channel, and Greater Mercy) could self-heal for 15d6+46 in one round at level 8. Or self heal for 10d6+28 and still make an attack. Or self heal for 5d6+18 and still full attack. Oh, and I don't have to cast anything, defensively or otherwise. Rage Prophets can't come close to that.

I don't see the better mitigation at all. I would assume very comparable ACs. Barbarians are the one class that can actually rival a Paladin in saves, but to do so, you have to get Superstition, which forces you to save against your own healing spells. Nobody gets more immunities than paladin, though. Fear, disease, charm, compulsion. With mercies, Paladins can self-cure even unusual things like Curses, the Staggered condition, and either Nausea or Exhaustion.

You do get a better spell list, though, and ultimately more spells, I'll admit that. But at say, Barbarian 2/Oracle 4/Rage Prophet 10, you're only a level 11 Oracle for casting purposes, which is level 5 spells, only one better than the Paladin casting 4ths, except the Paladin has a lot of spells earlier than usual to make up for their shorter list, so it's still pretty comparable.

I also want to warn people away from the Vital Strike thing. Vital Strike is not worth it, even with Furious Finish, when compared to full attacking. It's just not possible when you actually do the math. It might feel more impressive, but it's actually less effective.


Druid 4 (spells, wild shape and possibility of 4 to 6 natural attacks at full BAB and pounce) with shaping focus feat.
Monk 2 (monk AC, flurry when necessary, 2 bonus feats and evasion)
Rogue 2 (sneak attack, evasion which gets boosted to Improved Evasion if my memory is correct, and a rogue talent. Can be subbed for Ninja, but must take Evasion NT or forgotten trick and be willing to spend extra Ki to activate as needed)
Inquisitor 12 (judgements, domain, more spells, stern gaze, solo tactics, bane, and stalwart @ lvl 11)

Samsaran race with mystic past lives (+2 Int, +2 Wis, -2 Con, pick your spells)

Boost Wis and Dex for AC, spells, and saves and feel free to take Weapon finesse which should work with almost all natural attacks.

For fun, use the spell frostbite (lvl 1) to deal extra (albeghit nonlethal) damage & stagger your enemies. Take the Enforcer feat to Shaken them. Take the feat tree to Shatter defenses so they are always flat-footed. & top it off with Power Attack and the Greater Sunder feats tree to de-buff them. (Not like you were going to use their armor anyways.)

You could also trade in one lvl of Inquisitor for one more of monk and take monastic legacy, but that hurts your judgements that advance on a 1/3 lvl basis.


Vital Strike for Medium characters is generally underwhelming. Where it starts coming into its own is with 2d6+ big honking weapons. Big stacks of dice being thrown for a single attack is unsettling for some reason... ;)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wiggz wrote:

Let's say you wanted to play through a campaign solo - what character build could you come up with that would be fun to play, but would be the most capable of dealing with the variety of challenges and threats he or she may face?

I'm looking for playability at all levels, not a specific moment in time when the character is particularly effective. Please be as detailed as you like, but at the very least tell me your race, class and why...

Well you have three regions in which the character can be measured: Combat, Skills, and Magic (including healing). This is assuming you are playing a 'standard' campaign intended for four characters, so the solo character will have to be 2-3 levels up on where the party would be to tackle the same threat. I would assume that traits will be used to acquire class skills Disable Device and Use Magic Device, as these will be fairly important.

Top tier, the best all-rounders:

1) Druid - Top magic, decent combat ability, decent skills. The druid has some weaknesses, but he also has an animal companion that makes him way better as a solo adventurer.

2) Magus - decent magic, decent skills (once you factor in intelligence), good combat ability. The magus is an excellent all-rounder.

3) Bard - decent magic, excellent skills, moderate combat ability. The bard can self-buff, but is a little weak in direct damage and is best in a party when all is said and done.

4) Ranger - good combat ability, excellent skills, some magic. If the adventure is a themed one against a single type of foe, the ranger can be awesome. Even without that, he can do pretty well.

Second Tier, or "Two out of three ain't bad":

Summoner - lacks in skills, but who cares about a party because he IS a party.

Alchemist - again, a nice choice with a lot of options.

Paladin - skills-weak, but otherwise they kick butt.

Monk - I know what you are thinking, no magic and monks are not noted for being awesome, but monks perform OK against lower CRs than their level which is a given in a solo game, it avoids the foes (higher CRs) that they are weakest against. They are also defensively very good which counts for a lot, and a qinggong monk is almost as good as a caster in many ways, especially if you can grab UMD to make up the difference.

Barbarian - lack of magic is his biggest weakness, otherwise he's tough and fast and able to deal terrible damage.

Cleric - lack of skills is the cleric's biggest weakness, but in some campaigns they are still very, very strong.

Wizard (and Witch) - lack of combat power leaves the wizard in second tier, and if his enemy closes with him he WILL have problems.

Third Tier, the "One Trick Ponies":

Fighter - he hits things better than anyone, but you need a smart fighter to make any headway with skills and magic is lacking.

Rogue - the rogue can make up a lot of ground with stealth and Use Magic Device, but ultimately he's still only good with skills.

Sorcerer - magic can make up for a lot, but the sorcerer's limited spells mean he's not likely to make up for both his lack of magic and his lack of combat ability.

Out of all of these, you need to also isolate some things every solo character is going to need to get by in a campaign: Good saves, because one failed save at the wrong moment can leave you struggling, and good Perception because so much hinges on it. My choices would be (in order): Druid, Magus, Ranger, Paladin, or Monk. Of course, what I would more likely do is pick a concept, then a class, then try and make it work solo rather than pick my class and concept to suit playing solo...


Master_Crafter wrote:

Druid 4 (spells, wild shape and possibility of 4 to 6 natural attacks at full BAB and pounce) with shaping focus feat.

Monk 2 (monk AC, flurry when necessary, 2 bonus feats and evasion)
Rogue 2 (sneak attack, evasion which gets boosted to Improved Evasion if my memory is correct, and a rogue talent. Can be subbed for Ninja, but must take Evasion NT or forgotten trick and be willing to spend extra Ki to activate as needed)
Inquisitor 12 (judgements, domain, more spells, stern gaze, solo tactics, bane, and stalwart @ lvl 11)

Samsaran race with mystic past lives (+2 Int, +2 Wis, -2 Con, pick your spells)

Boost Wis and Dex for AC, spells, and saves and feel free to take Weapon finesse which should work with almost all natural attacks.

For fun, use the spell frostbite (lvl 1) to deal extra (albeghit nonlethal) damage & stagger your enemies. Take the Enforcer feat to Shaken them. Take the feat tree to Shatter defenses so they are always flat-footed. & top it off with Power Attack and the Greater Sunder feats tree to de-buff them. (Not like you were going to use their armor anyways.)

You could also trade in one lvl of Inquisitor for one more of monk and take monastic legacy, but that hurts your judgements that advance on a 1/3 lvl basis.

Uncanny dodge stacks. Evasion does not. As for sunder it depends on the nature of the campaign. I would not take it as a general feat.


Surprised by the lack of Inquisitor reference. I would think Inquisitor as one of the best solo classes. Has great skills, and decent magic and combat possibilities.


I've seen some inquisitor builds that would do pretty well solo. No crowd control, but enough defenses and high saves to get around that most of the time.


My top five solo classes:

1)Master Summoner
2)Melee focused druid with natural spell feat
3)Paladin w/ maxed out healing abilities (See mpl's post above)
4)Inquisitor
5)Archaeologist Bard

Shadow Lodge

Wiggz wrote:

This is the character I'm currently leaning towards:

Kitsune 1st level Oracle (Nature) / 19th level Sorcerer (Fey-Sylvan Bloodline)
Oracle level comes at 2nd)

The animal companion helps a lot with the sorcerer's combat ability, but I'd still be worried about lack of healing, and enchantment is a bit of a gamble in that you need to have valid targets. Surrounding yourself with friends and allies is a great idea, but you're depending on your GM to put the necessary allies in your path - is that something you can safely do? Your skills are also very slanted towards social encounters, which is fine if you know you're going to be in a game that is very slanted towards social encounters, but it leaves you some serious weak points. First, no way of dealing with traps should you encounter them. Second, barely any ability to identify monsters. Third, no UMD, which is a significant way for both oracles and sorcerers to make up for their limited spell list.

Unless you know that your GM is mostly going to play to your strengths, I feel like it would be safer to play this concept with most of your levels in Oracle and a few in sorcerer. You'd get more HP, two extra skills/level, and better healing. You can grab a few wands with sorc spells on them and use a Staff of Charming to cast charm spells with high DC. You could also try a Mystic Theurge. Ordinarily they're considered underpowered, but for a solo character the versatility of two spell progressions might outweigh the loss of high-powered spells. You'd need an Oracle 4 / Sorc 4 / Theurge X. Your AC would suffer either way - though your GM might let you stack the sylvan companion with the Nature Oracle's mount (not RAW, but common house rule).

This would be a good character to get Leadership for, which is a good idea for any solo since it lets you cover the one or two inevitable weak spots for your character. If you go mostly Sorc, I'd suggest a cleric or Inquisitor cohort depending on whether you need healing or skills more badly. If you go mostly Oracle you'll probably want a rogue or bard since skills will be your biggest concern.

Alaryth wrote:
Surprised by the lack of Inquisitor reference. I would think Inquisitor as one of the best solo classes. Has great skills, and decent magic and combat possibilities.

Yeah, Inquisitor is probably better as a solo character than a bard. Comparable skills, at least as good in combat (bard archetype makes a difference), and better magic. Bards have a lot of group buffs and mind-affecting effects which don't work on a good chunk of opponents, while Inquisitors get access to Lesser Restoration, Restoration, and Heal.

To expand Dabbler's list with the classes he missed:

Top tier, the best all-rounders:

5) Inquisitor - decent magic (including healing), very good skills, good combat ability.

Second Tier, or "Two out of three ain't bad":

Oracle - similar to the cleric, they have good magic and can be strong combatants depending on build. They have two more skill points than the cleric, but limited spells known hurts your versatility a bit and you have only one good save.

Third Tier, the "One Trick Ponies":

Gunslinger - These guys have comparable damage potential and skills to the barbarian, but they aren't as tough, are tied to close-range ranged combat, which is tricky for a solo, and take a few levels to hit their stride, which is dangerous for a solo.

Cavalier - good in combat, but no magic and only slightly better than the fighter at skills. The mount can be a liability in some situations.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Removed a post and reply quoting it. Personal insults do not help the conversation.


I agree with the posters who suggested that a Paladin is probably the safest solo class; they're damned hard to kill. A Half-Orc Redeemer who takes ferocious resolve even more so. So go out into the world, offer evildoers one chance to repent, and then strike them down in Iomedae's name.

Thug 1 / Sword Saint Samurai (Cockatrice) 2 / Redeemer 14 / Inheritor's Crusader 3

Start off as just another half orc thug, bullying your way through the world. Until you meet a noble warrior who sees the potential in you. Learn from him, go back out into the world. Make sure that enemies know who taught you to fight. Pledge yourself to Iomedae and deliver justice or redemption in her name.

Basically be an unstoppable holy terror. If starting the fight by telling everyone in the room exactly who you are and why they should surrender peacefully (Braggart) doesn't send them screaming in terror, then their inability to kill you or charm you will.


If this isn't absolutly pure pathfinder - the Gestalt rules from 3.5 really help solo play. The charcter is more powerful but has a lot more options. I play in solo games all the time, and that is how we handle it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Weirdo wrote:

Top tier, the best all-rounders:

5) Inquisitor - decent magic (including healing), very good skills, good combat ability.

Second Tier, or "Two out of three ain't bad":

Oracle - similar to the cleric, they have good magic and can be strong combatants depending on build. They have two more skill points than the cleric, but limited spells known hurts your versatility a bit and you have only one good save.

Third Tier, the "One Trick Ponies":

Gunslinger - These guys have comparable damage potential and skills to the barbarian, but they aren't as tough, are tied to close-range ranged combat, which is tricky for a solo, and take a few levels to hit their stride, which is dangerous for a solo.

Cavalier - good in combat, but no magic and only slightly better than the fighter at skills. The mount can be a liability in some situations.

Good additions, thanks Weirdo! I agree the inquisitor is a great choice, he really covers all the bases. Oracle is there with the cleric. Not sure if I would up the cavelier to 2nd tier - he has an animal companion (which needn't always be a mount), and better skills than the fighter, and that helps a lot. However he's not as versatile as the paladin (who has spells) so he's at the bottom of tier 2 if he's there at all.

Lord Mhoram wrote:
If this isn't absolutly pure pathfinder - the Gestalt rules from 3.5 really help solo play. The charcter is more powerful but has a lot more options. I play in solo games all the time, and that is how we handle it.

I agree, there's a lot of potential there for some great combos. My favourite to try would be a monk-paladin gestalt: a little light on magic but oh the saves and immunities...and the offensive capacity has divine bond offsetting the unarmed strike's limitations combined with smite evil...


Wizard with lots of time to prepare. ;-)


Hmm, well, a zen archer monk/synthesist summoner is highly survivable with an answer to everything. He is hard to hit, both touch and AC are really good. Plus the ability to combine a permanent fly to abundant step plus eidolon skill focus to stealth is also not to be underestimated. Also is a top tier in saves as well. It might seem seriously MAD, but it really isn't.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Wizard with lots of time to prepare. ;-)

Or a half-elf sorcerer with the paragon surge spell (for the expanded arcana feat). :)

Also, Rogar, how, exactly, is that build not MAD? It needs every score! I suppose the Eidelon could cover some of it, but as I'm not up on the summoner, I can't say how well this works.

I'm not actually challenging, I'm just curious: are you really just relying on the Eidelon fuse to make that work? Would it?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Tacticslion wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Wizard with lots of time to prepare. ;-)

Or a half-elf sorcerer with the paragon surge spell (for the expanded arcana feat). :)

Also, Rogar, how, exactly, is that build not MAD? It needs every score! I suppose the Eidelon could cover some of it, but as I'm not up on the summoner, I can't say how well this works.

I'm not actually challenging, I'm just curious: are you really just relying on the Eidelon fuse to make that work? Would it?

Probably pulling that Strength 7, Dexterity 7, Constitution 7 cheese.

My two favorite characters are my mounted Summoner and my Master Summoner but I would never, ever play a synthesist. Certainly not the version I've seen on the boards so many times as 'teh uber'.

No offense, Rogar, its just that I could never lay that build in front of my group and still be able to look them in the eye.


I have a level 14 zen archer/ 6 synthesist Dwarf. He started with 10 Str 16 Dex 14 Con 8 Int and a 6 Chr. I suppose that is MAD, but honestly The important stats are the Dex and the Wis. And I got all of my zen archer levels first. And then when I had a great belt to pump my str, con, and dex I started the Eidolon. He cannot cast any spells, however, his eidolon points are spent very wisely. He is a defensive powerhouse, and can deal out quite a bit of damage with his flurry of arrows.


Wiggz wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Wizard with lots of time to prepare. ;-)

Or a half-elf sorcerer with the paragon surge spell (for the expanded arcana feat). :)

Also, Rogar, how, exactly, is that build not MAD? It needs every score! I suppose the Eidelon could cover some of it, but as I'm not up on the summoner, I can't say how well this works.

I'm not actually challenging, I'm just curious: are you really just relying on the Eidelon fuse to make that work? Would it?

Probably pulling that Strength 7, Dexterity 7, Constitution 7 cheese.

My two favorite characters are my mounted Summoner and my Master Summoner but I would never, ever play a synthesist. Certainly not the version I've seen on the boards so many times as 'teh uber'.

No offense, Rogar, its just that I could never lay that build in front of my group and still be able to look them in the eye.

None taken, I just understood what kind of campaign we are in,(demons, demons, and balor lords.) and optimized with the eidolon points with that in mind. Fire immunity, flight, Super high stealth, 62 AC, 45 touch AC, always has concealment or total concealment.


Rogar Stonebow wrote:
...62 AC,45 touch AC...

Er, what? Explain?


Well, it is done with a very helpful Cleric and wizard. 10 NA eidolon plus 5 from barkskin (umd scroll) total 15 NA
Monk level Plus Monk Robes +4

Belt of physical Perfection +6 added to 20 dex for a 26 dex +8
Headband of inspired wisdom +6 added to Wis 19 plus wish +1 = 26 Wisdom +8

Shield of Faith +5 Deflection
Mage armor +4

Dodge +1

Dodge +6 Feat Shadow dodge 60 feet of movement

Dodge +3 fighting defensively

Dodge +1 Spell - Haste

Base 10
Dodge total 11
Wisdom total 8
Dex total 8
Monk total 4
Natural Armor 15
Mage Armor 4
Deflection 5

Grand total 65 or 62 when not fighting defensively.

46 or 43 Touch AC when not fighting Defensively. Subtracting NA and Mage Armor

It could be higher with a shield bonus, but that is too much time casting spells to buff.


turtle paladin. if you are alone and have high AC and decent ways to get resistances and healing fights might take longer but they can hardly hit you. and if they do you can stil swift heal yourself!


As far as making a tier list, I think you'd see a fair bit of variance based not only on allowed material (setting books ect) but also on dm strictness. Sounds silly to mention when discussing optimization, but if you are allowed any downtime, a full caster (wizard, cleric, possibly druid and witch) is going to outperform the others by a fair margin. Consider the following:

Roll up a wizard
Rich parent trait for 900g starting wealth
Combat trained bison: 75g

The bison alone should get you to level 2 or 3. Yes of course you can still be hit while mounted. You are a wizard with prep time. Scribe some scrolls of vanish. Invisible wizard on mount shenanigans. There's other tricks, that ones just funny.

At that point you should already be at a much higher wbl, assuming the dm is running something intended for 4 players.

This is all with just a few days for scribing 1st level scrolls for use while mounted. Imagine the shenanigans with other crafting feats- check the full rules for craft construct. Factor in things like repeating spell traps for those buffs you like. Look at your build, now back at mine: it's got contingencies for permanency/blood money cheese. Look again, the build is now simulacrums! Anything is possible with wizard!... I got carried away, sorry.

Compare to the other tier 1s in the list: stronger spell list, easily circumvented weakness on the front line (bison, mercenaries, constructs, simulacrum), tons of skill points, and not feat dependent.

@Darkflame, turtling sounds nice until you consider you still get hit on a crit, and to keep an ac near unhittable you have to invest almost all of your wealth (and build) into it, and with the action economy now skewed in the monsters favor, you are taking more rolls/ more chances to be hit. Unless you go synthesist instead.

@Byrdology, if gestalt is allowed, wizard 20//paladin 2/synthesist 18. All your martial needs with all the wizard utility. With paladin saves.

Again, I think solo play tier placement is much more influenced by prep time and materials allowed. My votes for wizard tier 1 in strict rules readings.

Grand Lodge

the ultimate Solo Character

is a OraMonkadin Charisma Defender.

Aasimar
Oracle (Lore)1 Monk 12 Paladin 2 Mystery cultist of Arshea 6.

basically you max out your charisma. and get every ability that gives you a bonus based on charisma

calculated maximum charisma (starting at 20) = 40 +6 Headband +4(mystery cultist) +5 Book +5 level.

so that is +15 to AC 4 times (Sidestep secret, Smite, Arshea 2nd Boon, Osyluth Guile) with this combo you can get to AC 90+ (assuming you have +5 items) and the crane style feats (touch AC 50+ Flat footed 45+)
your saves will be out of the ballpark with all of them getting +15 on top of the other bonuses

your CMD will be over 50 so they cannot get any

Initiative bonus +15 with the noble scion of war feat.

if you go drunken master and master of many styles archetype for monk you will have unlimited Ki and be able to make many attacks with panther style or snake style

flowing monk will make you AC higher and give you some really awesome abilities

just make sure you give yourself enough strength to cause damage.

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