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Exguardi's Pathfinder Doorbreaker Guide


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Hello Pathfinder people! I have been working on a guide to the most important part of most campaigns for quite some time now: defeating the humble door. It's been nearing release for awhile, but Paizo has made a habit of releasing excellent content on a near-continual basis, forcing endless revisions. I've thrown my hands in the air and decided "Enough!", so here it is, mostly complete.

The Guide Introduction wrote:

This guide was inspired by an offhand comment made to a friend, and many Pathfinder sessions stymied by the adventurer’s true greatest foe: the humble door. Adventurers may or may not face a decent amount of kobolds, ogres, demons, and monsters of all descriptions over the course of their adventuring career, but one obstacle is certain: doors.

The goal of this guide is to examine various techniques in which adventurers can overcome doors, gates, walls, and portals of all descriptors. The guide will cover not only ways to unlock or batter down these obstacles, but also methodologies for hunting down elusive “secret” doors and dispelling magical wards and entryways. As a bonus option, at the end of the guide we’ll go over some ways to lock, bar, and create barriers for your foes.

Check it out!

Comments are enabled and welcome. Obviously, please do not post anything dirty or otherwise undesirable.

If any more experienced guidesters have any formatting suggestions (it is quite long at present juncture), I'd be happy to hear them.

Happy doorbreaking!

Lantern Lodge

Very, very, interesting...

And thanks for putting in the effort for us all.

No mention of the Grand Marshal? They can open doors as a swift action!

Oh gods! I forgot! I hadn't added a Prestige Classes section yet. I will add said section right now if just to bring this class the attention it deserves.

Edit: Added! It is a Shieldmarshal, watch out for d20pfsrd's lack of ability to show setting-specific names.

Dark Archive

Wow, This guide is soooooo goood, Exguardi I adoor you

Added the Brawler, Hunter, and Slayer ACG classes to the guide. I'm interested if anyone has any suggestions for the Occult Adventures playtest classes; most of my experience has been with the Spiritualist and Occultist, so my other entries are somewhat lacking.

For the martial gatecrasher, larger creatures get a size bonus on Strength checks to break open doors: Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12. At lv 12 a druid can wildshape into a a huge size elemental gaining +8 strength. The powerful shape feat should increase your effective size to gargantuan (counts as a size based special attack action).

A cheap magic item that adds to strength is the Blood Reservoir of Physical Prowess (Ultimate Equipment).

Half-orc druid lv 12 in powerful huge elemental form (+16) with 18 starting str (+4,) gatecrasher(+2), favored muscle of society(+2), smash(+5), good hope (+2), a stone of good luck/ fate's favored (+2), a pale green ioun stone (+1), blood reservoir (+4), +6 str belt (+3), bracers of might (Mythic Adventures)(+4), and a crowbar (+2) has a total of +47 to break a door.

For the mage gatecrasher, there is the spell "Battering Blast" (Dungeons of Golarion) that uses balls of force to batter down obstacles.

For gatecrashers, you can't forget the mammoth rider prestige class!

Or rather, should I say, you can't forget the mammoth rider's mount.

O_O How did I miss this bonus from size?! Is there a ranking above purple I can assign to druids?

I will revise things accordingly following this revelation, thank you trednis.

Also, I should investigate how capable a Gargantuan-sized (Mammoth Rider with Animal Growth) animal is at doorbreaking... I suspect "very."

Exguardi wrote:
Added the Brawler, Hunter, and Slayer ACG classes to the guide. I'm interested if anyone has any suggestions for the Occult Adventures playtest classes; most of my experience has been with the Spiritualist and Occultist, so my other entries are somewhat lacking.

A 10th level Geokineticist can just Earth Glide through the wall/floor and not bother with the door. Wood buildings are your enemy, of course. Never trust a man with a log cabin.

You seem to have left out The Fast-Talker path. These tend to be bards, skalds, or swashbucklers, who bypass a door by knocking on it, and using a combination of Bluff and Diplomacy to talk their way past whoever comes to answer. True masters of the art have been known to pose as door-to-door salesmen, presenting a spare bottle of lantern oil as a fast-acting beauty cream or other such nonsense, even going so far as to allow the door guard to try on a very generously-portioned "free sample" (typically much to the amusement of the party's pyromaniac blaster).

Especially usefull when the one answering is the door itself.

I may have to quote you on that, Arachnofiend.

Also, while the majority of the guide focuses on overcoming inanimate obstacles, I could throw a few thoughts toward fast-talking for enterprising thieves. My sample Shadowdancer does have a respectable bluff score.

What do people think about the sample characters and/or PFS conversions, incidentally? Would it be worth covering different level ranges and/or classes?

Liberty's Edge

ex, you forgot to disable editing, best to do that pretty soon before someone trolololos your hard work.

WHY do people always forget that? Its not like its that difficult to check your work!

From what I understand any "edit" is actually reported to me as a comment, and I can approve or reject it. This way people can add helpful things and I can approve or reject their additions.

But as you say, there have been few helpful edit "comments" since I've enabled that feature so I will turn it off unless people like it and think it would be helpful in the future.

In the mean-time if you have any comments please make them in this thread. I realized I still have some classes plain not-filled-out yesterday so I'm going to be taking another pass at this soon.

EDIT: Added Nagaji racial descriptions, working on completing the other missing races presently.

Wildblooded Fey Sorcerer can be a dungeon crasher with their animal companion: There's always worse options for breaking down doors than an angry armadillo tiger (plus you can always share spells reduce person if it's too big to fit through something).

Bard and Skald always have verbal components on their spells

False Focus feat can bypass Heart of The Metal's costly component.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You missed:

Breaker and Numerian Liberator Barbarian.

Also, the Vandal trait, from Heroes of the Wild.

Silver Crusade

Ha, my guide was loosely based off Treantmonk's style, although I'd like to think I took a few liberties with it that make it better, although I can see you put a lot of work into this. Thanks for the shout out, I'm looking through the guide now, I'll try to give some feedback when I can, but with such a different scope, it'll be hard to give feedback in the traditional fashion.

It looks solid for formatting goes from what I've seen, nothing's super obtrusive and it's all super easy to find what I'm looking for, which is aces.

No martial artist monks?

There has been a wealth of new material printed since the last time I updated this and a number of options that have been mentioned that I never got around to incorporating. Look for updates soon (and feel free to shout out choice picks from said new material). Thanks! :)

Just stumbled across this while perusing the Advice forum. What a coincidence that I've been contemplating building a Minotaur with a focus on breaking things with a huge Maul :)

Great looking guide. Glanced through it really quickly, and there's a lot of helpful looking stuff in there. Thanks for putting this together for everyones edification.

Thanks, RaizielDragon!

Recent Changelog:

- Removed some options related to SLAs-as-prereqs that no longer work
- Added the Vandal combat trait
- Adjusted bard ratings due to all spells having verbal components
- Added a link to trednis' druid doorbreaking shenanigans
- Updated Ranger with Shapeshifter and Wild Stalker archetypes
- Updated Brawler with Steel-Breaker archetype
- Added Battering Blast to spells
- Added Blood Reservoir of Physical Prowess to items

Keep any suggestions coming, particularly with newer material I might not have gotten a handle on as of yet!

Love the guide. Thanks for doing this, seriously. I love the Grate Crasher kinds of characters, and long to play in a Mythic game.

Which reminds me, are you going to tackle mythic? Namely because of:

Juggernaut (EX):

Little can stand in your way when you charge forth into battle—even solid doors and walls don't stand a chance. While charging, you may attempt a free Strength check to break through a single door or wall in your path. You can expend one use of mythic power while performing this charge to gain a +10 circumstance bonus on your Strength check to break the object. If you destroy the object, you can continue your charge as though it were never there. If you fail to destroy the object, your movement ends in the square before that object. Note that destroying integral parts of a structure may trigger a collapse (treat as a cave-in) at the GM's discretion. This ability can be combined with other path abilities and effects that modify charge attacks, such as the burst through path ability. You can select this ability up to three times. Each additional time you select it, you may break through one more wall or door during your charge, and the circumstance bonus on your Strength check increases by 10 (to a maximum of a +30 circumstance bonus).

I long to play a Dwarf with an Adamantine Boulder Helmet and these two abilities...

Hell, I just really want to play a Dwarf (or perhaps a Half-Orc with Racial Heritage: Dwarf for S&Gs) with an Adamantine Boulder Helmet and lots of sunder/Kool-aid Man moments in general.

Seeker Sorcerer still needs a mention, also RATFOLK and their ability to burrow plus stat bonuses deserve an honorary mention. Great guide.

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