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Bravo's guide to a Knife Master Scout.


Advice


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

Here is the discussion thread to "Bravo's guide to a Knife Master Scout".
Please make any comments you like as well as submit your own variation builds, experiences, suggestions and improvements.
This guide is not definitive, rather it is a base for everyone to share ideas on how to best build a Knife Master Scout.

View the PDF here in Google Docs.

Updated to use the Heirloom trait.


The Adopted trait does not allow you to select a racial trait from the race descriptions. Instead, it gives you access to a trait (in the sense that Adopted is a trait) which could only be selected by a certain race.
This renders your strategy for getting proficiency with the kukri invalid.

The guide also lacks advice on feats and strategy advice.


Cheers , I will redo it then.

KutuluKultist wrote:

The Adopted trait does not allow you to select a racial trait from the race descriptions. Instead, it gives you access to a trait (in the sense that Adopted is a trait) which could only be selected by a certain race.

This renders your strategy for getting proficiency with the kukri invalid.

The guide also lacks advice on feats and strategy advice.


I have changed Adopted to Heirloom weapon.
Also the builds detail the use of feats.
That is the advice on feats.
There are one or two lines on tactics for each build on how to get the best sneak.

KutuluKultist wrote:

The Adopted trait does not allow you to select a racial trait from the race descriptions. Instead, it gives you access to a trait (in the sense that Adopted is a trait) which could only be selected by a certain race.

This renders your strategy for getting proficiency with the kukri invalid.

The guide also lacks advice on feats and strategy advice.


Have you considered the Thug Rogue Enforcer -> Dazzling Display -> Shatter Defences + Sap Adept + Sap Master combination? Quite nicely ups your damage and ability to get a sneak attack.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have, it's an awesome build, but this is a guide to Knifemaster Scouts.

GM Arkwright wrote:
Have you considered the Thug Rogue Enforcer -> Dazzling Display -> Shatter Defences + Sap Adept + Sap Master combination? Quite nicely ups your damage and ability to get a sneak attack.


Doesn't require thug, but fair point.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

You mentioned: 'Varisian Tattoo' gives you proficiency in the star knife.
I think you do refer towards 'Tattooed Mystic', which is also good against charms and compulsions.


If you can, please add a quick 1-12 sample build and Ill add it to the guide.

GM Arkwright wrote:
Doesn't require thug, but fair point.


Yes you are right.
The link is here:
Tattooed Mystic.

Oliver Volland wrote:

You mentioned: 'Varisian Tattoo' gives you proficiency in the star knife.

I think you do refer towards 'Tattooed Mystic', which is also good against charms and compulsions.


I'm unsure if this entirely correct, but if I remember reading right, you only get proficiency with that specific Kukri using the Heirloom weapon trait. So, you would have proficiency with the one kukri but not the other, meaning if somehow you lose your kukri and pick up another, you are not efficient with it.. If this is true, one may need to pick up the proficiency feat for a kukri at early levels or even dip into fighter. Hopefully someone can chime in on if this correct though.


I guess if that's the case you could always ask the DM to allow you the inherit a pair!!

Third Mind wrote:
I'm unsure if this entirely correct, but if I remember reading right, you only get proficiency with that specific Kukri using the Heirloom weapon trait. So, you would have proficiency with the one kukri but not the other, meaning if somehow you lose your kukri and pick up another, you are not efficient with it.. If this is true, one may need to pick up the proficiency feat for a kukri at early levels or even dip into fighter. Hopefully someone can chime in on if this correct though.


I have deleted the previous guides in this thread and added a new updated "Bravo's guide to a Knife Master Scout".

It now includes a guide to The Intimidator, with a one level dip as a fighter to get the Kukri and Starknife proficiencies.

View the PDF here in Google Docs.

Mata Vaha wrote:

Here is the discussion thread to "Bravo's guide to a Knife Master Scout".

Please make any comments you like as well as submit your own variation builds, experiences, suggestions and improvements.
This guide is not definitive, rather it is a base for everyone to share ideas on how to best build a Knife Master Scout.

View the PDF here in Google Docs.

Updated to use the Heirloom trait.


I'm not sure if scout is actually you're best bet as a Knife Master. If focusing on a single hit it makes a lot of sense but as a TWF build it seems sort of subpar. You should also look into the bandit Archetype. The ability to pull of a SA full attack in the surprise round is pretty vicious, with a spring loaded sheath and the watching Taldor trait you can actually pull this off without investing in Quickdraw.


On the Intimidator you want the Unnatural Presence trait so you can intimidate more creatures.


It's not focused on a single hit.
You can get SA from:
1. Charging for SA at +2
2. Throwing for SA
3. Charging ten feet then throwing for SA using the feat Charging Hurler
4. Moving 15ft then throwing for SA
5. Moving 15ft then melee attacking for SA
6. Leaping over someone and moving 15ft using acrobatics to SA with +2 to hit using disorienting maneuvers.
7. Winning initiative and full round SA by throwing two Starknives
8. Vanishing then getting full round SA
9. Removing dexterity using Shatter Defense feat to get full round SA next round
10. Throwing for SA then charging for SA at +6 to hit using Opening Volley
11. Getting full round SA in flank

Not to mention hitting criticals to max out damage, removing dexterity or strength every round, bleeding them, intimidating etc.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've enjoyed your knife master scout guide, but I have a question. For the Intimidator build, you suggest using the bonus human feat to acquire kukri. But since the kukri is a light martial weapon, wouldn't that be a waste of a feat? I used the bonus human feat in my version of the build to gain Double Slice instead, as my rogue has a Strength of 14. Incidentally, that level of fighter also nabs proficiency with the starknife as it too is a light martial weapon.

Edit: I see Third Mind has already suggested this. Apparently I have an earlier version of the pdf.

The Exchange

Would the feat Trident and Net (no, it's NOT about Tridents, just nets) work for some of this? I'm trying to figure out how to work in the net. Plus Ghost Wash Oil it handles incorporeal. To sneak attack two weapon net then stab

Silver Crusade

I hate to tell you, but any rogue build that decides to TWF is going to be subpar compared to one that uses a single weapon, whether one-handed or two-handed.


I have updated the Intimidator:

The Intimidator
Bow down and fear my blade. Think Jason, Crocodile Dundee and Rambo.
Traits
Bully +1 to intimidate
Unnatural Presence You can use your Intimidate skill to demoralize animals and vermin.

Weapons of choice:
Keen Kukri - critical (15-20)
Cruel Daggers

Feats and Talents:
Fighter 1. Feat: Two weapon fighting
Fighter 1. Human bonus feat: Fearless curiosity
Fighter 1. Bonus fighter Feat: Weapon focus (Kukri)
3. Rogue talent: Finesse rogue
3. Feat: Dazzling display
5. Rogue talent: *Offensive defense
5. Scout: Charge and SA
5. Feat: Intimidating confidence (intimidate on a critical)
7. Rogue talent: *Slow reactions
7. Bonus talent: Combat trick: Shatter defenses
7. Feat: Improved two weapon fighting
9. Rogue talent: *Powerful sneak
9. Scout: Move 10ft and SA
9. Feat: Skill focus intimidate
11. Advanced talent: *Entanglement of blades
11. Feat: Critical focus
13. Feat: Dastardly finish
13. Advanced talent: Hunters quarry
13. Bonus advanced talent: *Crippling strike


I think there's a problem with your Shanker build. You're taking Improved TWF at 6th level, but you need BAB +6 for Improved TWF. Also, I believe you can't take feats with Rogue Talents, only Advanced Rogue Talents.

I'd suggest reserving your Combat Trick for 8th level so you can pick up ITWF as soon as you get BAB +6. Then you can take Improved TW Feint with your feat at 9th.


Rolling a 1 on any skill check is no longer an automatic fail. That was a 3.5 rule, and no longer exists in pathfinder. You should reflect this in your "Rogue Wands" section.


Also why are you so adamant about putting keen on kukris as a dex rogue? landing a crit isn't that great unless you're adding something meaningful to it aside from weapon enhancement damage. If you made them Keen Agile Kukris, it would make more sense, since then you'd be getting your DEX to damage, then doubling it each time you landed a crit, but other than that, and you're fishing for sub-par crits.


Did this thread get forgotten or something? Bump.


I had some success with a Lore Warden/Rogue who used two light picks - when I did critical the damage was quite something. Possible alternative to the kukri, yes I know the maths means they are sub-optimal but a x4 crit multiplier + sneak attack means occasional spectacular damage.


Mata Vaha wrote:

Here is the discussion thread to "Bravo's guide to a Knife Master Scout".

Please make any comments you like as well as submit your own variation builds, experiences, suggestions and improvements.
This guide is not definitive, rather it is a base for everyone to share ideas on how to best build a Knife Master Scout.

View the PDF here in Google Docs.

Updated to use the Heirloom trait.

level 6 shanker : you wrote : feat -- improve 2 weapon fighting - you cant... you need BAB 6


but other than that amazing guide


i am unsure if knofe master is worth it .
it's 1more damage per sneak die.
alternative are: (with scout)
1) thug for superb debuff and potential sap mastery
2) ninja for free vanish tricks


Catfolk for 2 claw attacks and d8 sneak attack damage rogue trick. Plus other goodies. Wow. Simply the best race for rogues - even better than humans because of the feats they have to spend to match them.


The focus on getting critical doesn't make much sense to me. Especially if you're not a 2hd weapon build. Let's say your strength is at most a 14 -- that means with a Kukri or you're looking at 4.5 extra damage on a crit. With say a 4d8 sneak attack you've got 20% bonus damage on a critical. Not worth it at all when you're burning feats and traits to get Kukri proficiency and improved critical. And that's on your main hand - on your off hand you're doing one less damage, if your str is only 12 (very possible) you've lost another point of damage.

Sczarni

Why do you love the Kukri so much? You're reccomending a DEX build so from a purely damage perspective you are better of using Daggers and taking the regional trait: River Rat.

The +1 damage from River Rat puts the Dagger ahead of the Kukri in damage until your static bonus (I.e. Not Sneak Attack) that are multiplied on a critical hit get to like +15 or so; which is a number the DEX based Rogue will likely never see.

Daggers can also be thrown, making them a far better choice than the Kukri for this particular type of build. Obviously a STR based Ranger w/Power Attack or Pirhana Strike should choose a Kukri, but not the DEX based Rogue.

P.s.: in the event you address thus later in the guide I apologize - I haven't finished it!
But so far I like it.


Kukuris have better scaling with enchatments (agile and keen on a pair of weapons is expensive but it's a very potent combination), open up crit-fishing builds (Outflank and Butterfly Sting is a scary combo) and at least half-elves can gain proficiency without a cross-class dip (and access to the Moonlight Stalker line). It's the build I used on my most recent rogue and it performed well. I still kept a brace of daggers on hand for throwing attacks.

River Rat is good but it doesn't scale and I'd rather use my traits to patch up will saves. It's certainly very viable to take River Rat, ignore critical abilities altogether and just focus on delivery sneak attacks through movement and concealment. The raw advantage of the straight-dagger build is it arrives sooner due to not having to buy keen enchants or critical feats (although Outflank is great even for non-crit builds). Both are going to invest in largerly the same collection of feats and both aren't really going to come online until you hit level 10 and gain Skill Mastery (any rogue's single best ability).

Sczarni

Pyralissa wrote:

Kukuris have better scaling with enchatments (agile and keen on a pair of weapons is expensive but it's a very potent combination), open up crit-fishing builds (Outflank and Butterfly Sting is a scary combo) and at least half-elves can gain proficiency without a cross-class dip (and access to the Moonlight Stalker line). It's the build I used on my most recent rogue and it performed well. I still kept a brace of daggers on hand for throwing attacks.

River Rat is good but it doesn't scale and I'd rather use my traits to patch up will saves. It's certainly very viable to take River Rat, ignore critical abilities altogether and just focus on delivery sneak attacks through movement and concealment. The raw advantage of the straight-dagger build is it arrives sooner due to not having to buy keen enchants or critical feats (although Outflank is great even for non-crit builds). Both are going to invest in largerly the same collection of feats and both aren't really going to come online until you hit level 10 and gain Skill Mastery (any rogue's single best ability).

Agile & Keen are perfectly good abilities to put on a Dagger. But you're still going to have trouble hitting a static damage of +15, especially with your off-hand. Crit fishing for damage is just way better on a STR build with Full BAB (a TWF Rogue is probably better off not using Power Attack or Piranha Strike; two great ways to boost your static damage).

Crit fishing for debuffing with conditions is arguably better left for the full BAB classes as well, especially in PFS, where the Rogue will never qualify for any of the Critical feats.

I like the idea of Butterfly Sting, but if I was building around that I think a Kukri & Pick would be a sweet combo (but probably no point in going Knifemaster at that point, or Rogue for that matter).

Outflank is a great feat for Rogues in general; especially if you can convince the BFS to take it as well.

The truth is the allure of the expanded threat range weapons is mostly lost on the Rogue; whose primary source of additional damage does not get multiplied on a critical hit. If you're going for flavour, fine. But if you're going for added benefit it offers diminishing returns right out of the gate - especially if you have to spend a limited resource (like a feat, talent, or trait/alt. racial trait) to get it.

If the point of the guide is to offer good advice it's at least worth taking a good long look at River Rat... A flat +1 to damage that applies equally to your off-hand weapon and stacks with everything else (except other trait damage sources, obviously) is golden. Especially at low levels when things like Agile (x2) are levels away.

Sczarni

To the OP: a keen Dagger has a threat range of 17-20, not 18-20 as you state in your guide.

I like the guide overall - I really like all of the images you included. A nice touch!


Just gonna note, Deific obedience for Pharasma also nets you another +2 to hit with daggers. Throwing daggers is also not something to be underestimated.


Krodjin wrote:
Agile & Keen are perfectly good abilities to put on a Dagger. But you're still going to have trouble hitting a static damage of +15, especially with your off-hand. Crit fishing for damage is just way better on a STR build with Full BAB (a TWF Rogue is probably better off not using Power Attack or Piranha Strike; two great ways to boost your static damage).

Fair points, well explained. I agree, for a generalist guide it's likely beter to drill down on daggers.


I've been playing with a knife master build and decided I wanted a couple levels of Kensai/magus.

This gives me -
Fake TWF in spell combat and spell strike.

A couple of enhancement points (arcane pool from magus) to enhance a weapon.

My choice of a weapon & weapon focus.

Buffs the weak rogue saves.

Limited access to 1st level spells and can trips.

What I loose -
+1 BAB. Make up with this from the Kensai arcane pool enhancement.

Bunch of skill ranks.

A D8 in sneak attack damage. Made up with access to spells.

Don't get the level 20 capstone if you play that high.


Just found this guide and has given me some good ideas on how to build a knife master.

Thou I have found an issue with "The backstabber" build, to take the Disorienting Maneuver it requires a the dodge feat as a pre-requisite. Have I got this wrong?


I'm currently building a knife master scout rogue, but instead of human, I'm a tiefling. I'm coming into the campaign a little late so I get to start at lvl 12. This character likes to disguise as human has 30,000 gp to buy with. The Shanker and The Backstabber are basically what I'm looking for. Thoughts on the racial parts of the build?


MalekQuickfingers wrote:

Just found this guide and has given me some good ideas on how to build a knife master.

Thou I have found an issue with "The backstabber" build, to take the Disorienting Maneuver it requires a the dodge feat as a pre-requisite. Have I got this wrong?

Seems as though you're right. Would probably take Dodge instead of Disorienting maneuver at lvl 5. Then would remove Acrobatic and shift the feats up to fill the gap.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Although this is a Knife Master build, consider that a catfolk with claw blades gets the d8 sneak attack dice as well. This can open up a number of options for a rogue who doesn't want to have to invest his archetype choice in knife master.


DocShock wrote:

Although this is a Knife Master build, consider that a catfolk with claw blades gets the d8 sneak attack dice as well. This can open up a number of options for a rogue who doesn't want to have to invest his archetype choice in knife master.

So I'm assuming you have the cat's claws racial ability, which causes you to lose a +2 to Perception, Stealth, and Survival checks (2 of those being core to rogues). Then you would have to take the Catfolk Exemplar feat and the Improved Natural Attacks to bring up a Catfolk to 1d8 with claws. So losing nice skill modifiers and two feats to create the same 1d8.


Surprised not to see the Twirler using Perfect Style - Unfolding Wind to charge and shoot a full round worth of starknives.


The Knife Master Scout is pretty interesting!
THANK YOU for your advice AND great guide!

I created the .tos file version for this archetype combination, and posted it on the community forum, for TOS+ subscribers.

The class file can be found HERE.

Happy gaming!

TheOnlySheet.com


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

@fmflyingmonkey

When I said:

DocShock wrote:


a catfolk with claw blades gets the d8 sneak attack dice as well

I was talking about sneak attack dice, not weapon damage dice. Taking the vicious claws talent lets you roll with d8s on sneak attacks made with claws or claw blades. While this does indeed take up your starting racial trait and a talent, it frees up your archetype, which can be used to pick up a number of other bonuses. It's also quite convenient if paired with a ring of rat fangs, letting you make 3 natural attacks at full BAB (although only the claws will roll with d8s). Then you can skip the TWF feats entirely, opening up 2 feats.


And let's not forget about Feral Combat Training and Pummeling Charge.


DocShock wrote:

@fmflyingmonkey

When I said:

DocShock wrote:


a catfolk with claw blades gets the d8 sneak attack dice as well
I was talking about sneak attack dice, not weapon damage dice. Taking the vicious claws talent lets you roll with d8s on sneak attacks made with claws or claw blades. While this does indeed take up your starting racial trait and a talent, it frees up your archetype, which can be used to pick up a number of other bonuses. It's also quite convenient if paired with a ring of rat fangs, letting you make 3 natural attacks at full BAB (although only the claws will roll with d8s). Then you can skip the TWF feats entirely, opening up 2 feats.

Ratfolk with claws feat (two attks), ring of rat-fangs (plus one) plus tail-blade (plus one secondary attk) = four attks a round. Played one and it was devastating.


Typo detected in your document:

Quote:

Starknives

From a central metal ring, four tapering metal blades extend like points on a compass rose. A wielder can stab with the Star knife or throw it. It has a thrown range of 20ft, whereas a dagger has 10 ft. Combined with the trait strong arm subtle wrist you can be throwing them for 30ft and getting SA damage at level 4 when you are a Scout.

Should be:

Strong Arm, Supple Wrist

Reference here

TheOnlySheet.com

Grand Lodge

How much better did this style of rogue become with Unchained? Can it now compete with the big boys?

edit: and is it now better or atleast equal to a beastmorph vivicionst alchemist?


London Duke wrote:

How much better did this style of rogue become with Unchained? Can it now compete with the big boys?

edit: and is it now better or atleast equal to a beastmorph vivicionst alchemist?

I don't know how good a beastmorph vivisectionist is, but it did get quite a power boost. Knife Master was already great, and one of my PCs has switched to it from Alchemist which he was originally going to do.

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