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[WIP] Nightbringer's Guide to the Fighter


Advice

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Hello everybody,

A couple of weekends ago I began work on a comprehensive guide to the Fighter as it has been quite awhile since the last one was written. While Rogue Eidolon's insights are quite good (Paizo did hire him after all) his guide sadly is Core only and the additional guides are pretty specific to particular builds. So, I've undertaken the mammoth task of working through everything available to the fighter.

One thing to note, I'm combining the sections on Combat Tricks and Combat Feats for the sake of efficiency. I try to make sure I describe what each Combat Trick does along with the descriptions of their corresponding feats and provide some evaluation for them as well. This is going to take awhile to complete so for now consider all evaluations preliminary.

I appreciate all feedback but as I'm actively working on the document I have disabled comments for now.

Click Here for the Google Doc

Status:
I currently have all archetypes save the race-specific ones evaluated. Additionally I have provided thoughts on Alternate Weapon Training options (they're mostly awesome) and am working through every combat feat, though I'll probably miss a few here or there.


Looks great boss. I'd mention Dual Talent Humans with +2 STR/DEX for TWF builds.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Looks great boss. I'd mention Dual Talent Humans with +2 STR/DEX for TWF builds.

Not completely necessary on a good point buy (20), but certainly worth discussing.

You can work things out on a good point buy by getting a race that gives a +2 to just one of the two (which includes most races; technically, it is also possible for +con races, but harder and likely with dumps). You just need to spread the points 16/14/14, switching str and con as needed depending on the race. Just put the +2 into the lower stat, and you are good.

Obviously, this needs slightly more to get the 'good' TWF feats. Putting your 4th level ability score adjustment into dex brings it up to 17. And that is it- all you need to get Improved TWF. Cause Greater TWF is the only one that needs 19, and it is an attack at BAB-12; not worth it.

There are several reasons to go with str based TWF-
1. str is easier to work with (don't have to look for feats, dips, equipment to do dex to damage)
2. often easier to buff (enlarge person, a dip into barbarian for rage, etc.);
3. It works with double weapons (they can do TWF or 2 handed at will- 2 handing for standard action attacks, TWF for full attacks; it is also possible to pull this off with a 1 handed weapon and a glove type weapon, but that is a mixture of weapon types, which fighters aren't too fond of, particularly with AWT discouraging multiple weapon groups)


Quote:
3. It works with double weapons (they can do TWF or 2 handed at will- 2 handing for standard action attacks, TWF for full attacks; it is also possible to pull this off with a 1 handed weapon and a glove type weapon, but that is a mixture of weapon types, which fighters aren't too fond of, particularly with AWT discouraging multiple weapon groups)

Except Scizore + Cestus. Don't ask me for the specifics, but mechanics says it works.

Quote:

You can work things out on a good point buy by getting a race that gives a +2 to just one of the two (which includes most races; technically, it is also possible for +con races, but harder and likely with dumps). You just need to spread the points 16/14/14, switching str and con as needed depending on the race. Just put the +2 into the lower stat, and you are good.

Obviously, this needs slightly more to get the 'good' TWF feats. Putting your 4th level ability score adjustment into dex brings it up to 17. And that is it- all you need to get Improved TWF. Cause Greater TWF is the only one that needs 19, and it is an attack at BAB-12; not worth it.

"Dump CHA to 8 and have go 16/15+2/14 to stat with 17, get to 18 at 4th and then finish off with all even attributes by level 12th" master race reporting.


A quick note, under lore warden you say: "the newer Dirty Fighting feat is strictly superior [to Combat Expertise]." While it's generally superior, I wouldn't use the word "strictly" here as Dirty Fighting does not substitute for Combat Expertise as a prerequisite for all feats, simply maneuver feats and things that have maneuver feats as prerequisites.

Dirty Fighting, therefore, does not allow you to qualify for Archon Style, Improved Feint, Blinding Flash, Gang Up, Improved Parry, etc whereas Combat Expertise does.

That alone should be enough to justify the deletion of the word "strictly". Plus sometimes you might actually want to use combat expertise. A lot of people seem to have the misapprehension that Dirty Fighting completely replaces Combat Expertise as a prerequisite, but it only does for maneuver feats. While the Lore Warden is primarily going to be interested in Maneuvering, you're a fighter so you'll have enough feats to take the improved versions of whichever maneuvers plus whatever other fun combat feats you like.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Plus sometimes you might actually want to use combat expertise.

You forgot to put a sarcasm tag.


Secret Wizard wrote:
"Dump CHA to 8 and have go 16/15+2/14 to stat with 17, get to 18 at 4th and then finish off with all even attributes by level 12th" master race reporting.

...I usually apply the cha dump to wis.

Not sure if I would care to get more than 17 dex. AWT has somewhat outmoded it- everything that dex gives you, an AWT can do- AC, reflex, initiative. Only thing missing is a bonus to skills...and that is still shaky for fighters anyway. I am content to just go with making the 4th ability score adjustment a prereq thing as long as the rest of my stuff doesn't get touched.


Marking for interest -- definitely high time for an updated Fighter guide, although let me give fair warning that it is probably going to have to be updated again when the Armor Master's Handbook comes out.

Also, grammar warning since it is about the title: "Fighter's" should be "Fighters" in the title, since you want the plural (non-possessive noun) rather than the singular (possessive adjective).

DominusMegadeus wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Plus sometimes you might actually want to use combat expertise.
You forgot to put a sarcasm tag.

Not necessarily -- if you manage to get under an effect like Blade Tutor's Spirit, Combat Expertise could become genuinely useful in its own right. Blade Tutor's Spirit in particular is a Personal-range spell, so as a Fighter you would need a magic item to get under its effect, but other similar effects may exist that could be obtained through feats (and even the bonus from Weapon Training itself might be good enough in some cases).


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Javaed wrote:

Hello everybody,

A couple of weekends ago I began work on a comprehensive guide to the Fighter as it has been quite awhile since the last one was written. While Rogue Eidolon's insights are quite good (Paizo did hire him after all) his guide sadly is Core only and the additional guides are pretty specific to particular builds. So, I've undertaken the mammoth task of working through everything available to the fighter.

One thing to note, I'm combining the sections on Combat Tricks and Combat Feats for the sake of efficiency. I try to make sure I describe what each Combat Trick does along with the descriptions of their corresponding feats and provide some evaluation for them as well. This is going to take awhile to complete so for now consider all evaluations preliminary.

I appreciate all feedback but as I'm actively working on the document I have disabled comments for now.

Click Here for the Google Doc

Status:
I currently have all archetypes save the race-specific ones evaluated. Additionally I have provided thoughts on Alternate Weapon Training options (they're mostly awesome) and am working through every combat feat, though I'll probably miss a few here or there.

I'd like to note that Combat Compentence sounds like a load of ass but if you combine it with gloves of dueling which ups the bonus of your weapon training by +2, it makes it something that you can use a lot earlier. Especially since you still receive your weapon training bonuses.

For example, if you've got a +3 weapon training (+1 base, +2 gloves of dueling) then you reduce the hit penalty of your weapon by 3 (to a -1) and then add +3/+3 from Weapon Training, more or less erasing the penalty ('cause you were probably going to use those gloves anyway).

Not saying it's a good ability but it's something to keep in mind.


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In fact, most anything that keys off your weapon training bonus benefits from those crazy gloves making a lot of the green and blue options even more attractive.


I also think the Sensate write-up should reflect this FAQ: FAQ/Errata

Quote:

Sensate Fighter: The Sensate Fighter doesn’t mention trading out Weapon Training 1, but it gains an extremely similar ability at 5th level, the same level as Weapon Training 1. Should it also trade out Weapon Training 1?

Yes. This will be reflected in the next errata.

As written in OA (with weapon training 1) it's a vastly superior archetype to the errata'd version.


Only read part way through so far, but pleast tell me that rating of Crossbowman as Blue is some kind of early April Fool's joke . . . .

Scarab Sages

Fighter's what doesn't suck? Or did you mean "fighters don't suck"? :)


Sorry guys. As a Fighter I haven't bothered training Linguistics. =)

That one was pretty obvious but I haven't done an editing pass yet. There are going to be MANY spelling and grammar mistakes, but these will be corrected eventually. Currently I'm working on the combat feats starting with "C".

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Great start, but you have an error in your rating of trained throw.

Quote:
Trained Throw (Ex): If you are dealing strength damage with thrown weapons you double the damage bonus from weapon training. You have to pick the Thrown weapon group unless you have Throw Anything as a feat. Combine this with feats that increase your strength damage with thrown weapons and possibly the Viking archetype for related Rage Powers.

You suggest combining it with the Viking archetype, but the Viking gives up weapon training and cannot qualify for AWT.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Also, The Dragoon's rating should be higher. Spear Training counts as weapon training, so while you can't take AWt in place of a group, you can take the AWT feat.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:

Only read part way through so far, but pleast tell me that rating of Crossbowman as Blue is some kind of early April Fool's joke . . . .

It's actually quite powerful with Overwatch Style, assuming you have free action reloads via crossbow mastery.


I believe you have a misconception regarding Martial Focus, as it only counts as weapon training for the purposes of Weapon Mastery feats.

It's a great start.

I want to see something written on Combat Stamina, and I want it written into the class features. It gives the fighter an edge at earlier levels as it is your bonus to hit that other classes get, but yours actually recharges.

My FAQ-fu is weak right now, but I'm fairly certain that [named weapon type] Training counts as weapon training for things like Gloves of Dueling, which means they oughta also count for AWT.

And I 100% disagree on your evaluation of the Child of Acavna and Amaznen. You mention the VMC magus options, but you gotta realize that the archetype (along with the eldritch scoundrel) is something that essentially creates a new class, but doesn't let you VMC with the fighter. While I understand the AWT options are great, I feel the guide is really biased towards them being the only options worth considering and the archetype aforementioned is actually not that weak considering that combining Arcane Accuracy and Arcane Strike (plus the options with Combat Stamina) effectively replace the dpr boost you would have been getting from Weapon Training, and it's an actual way to use Arcane Strike effectively on a build that isn't a bloodrager.

Your guide is great, but I'm scared that it's premature and you may have to re-write all of it once Armor Master's Handbook comes out.

Also don't forget to include a section on Magic Items, Magic Item Mastery feats, and sample builds using your advice.


So, regarding the Armor Master's Handbook... ya I'll probably have to redo every archetype if the impact is as significant as Weapon Master's Handbook. That's quite alright though, that book is still over two months away. I'm planning another pass on the archetypes anyway as I still need to do research on various FAQs and I'm sure I've overlooked quite a bit. For those of you worried that I'm over or under valuing something in particular please leave your feedback! I find it to be very helpful.

@PossibleCabbage
I was perhaps to efuseive in my praise of Dirty Fighting I've toned down the language somewhat. It still isn't a feat I would ever prioritize however as there are more effective ways to get those AC bonuses if you're going for a defensive build.

As for the Sensate, I believe I'm working off of the post-eratta version. That's part of why I'm not fond of the archetype.

@Ashiel
Thanks for the reminder on Combat Competence. I've given you credit in the guide. I'm still not fond of that option, but it is ok if you're starting at higher level than normal.

@Imbiactus
Thanks for the catch on Trained Throw. I had a completely different thought in my head when I wrote that, but had been reviewing the Viking just before.

I have improved the rating on Spear Training and will double check the various weapon training alternatives to make sure I haven't made similar mistakes eslewhere. I still have reservations regarding the archetype as a whole however, what about it appeals to you?

@UnArcaneElection
The blue rating on the Crossbowman is entirely due to Overwatch Style, but I am considering dropping it to green. This is still a very effective build, it just lacks freedom in feat selection due to the effective builds being fairly limited.

@master_marshmallow
You were quite right regarding my misread on Martial Focus. I've gone back an corrected several sections of my guide. Great catch!

If there is a FAQ regarding [named weapon type] training please link it. Paizo's FAQs are a bit of a mess and I have not dived into them to mine for Fighter specific stuff yet. For now I'm dealing with my hard covers, PDFs and errata, which is quite a bit to cover. Rule changes that almost nobody knows about are at the bottom of my list of priorities. =P

Regarding Child of AA, I'm waffling on this one. My first instinct was "yay casting on the Fighter" and that spell casting is an automatic blue rating. However, your actual spell progression is quite slow. I'm not a huge fan of the Bloodrager spell list either, though a few of them are rather nice. As for Arcane Strike, would you explain your thoughts better? I still see the old problem of having better uses for your swift actions.


Will you add the racial archetypes like Foehammer for dwarves? Also stuff like racial combat styles and religion combat feats should be included as they can be pretty great with the right build.


Eventually I'll get to that stuff. Foehammer in particular has been requested several time. Right now I want to focus on the general stuff, but you'll note that I'm handling most of the racial feats in the Combat Feat section. Feats are taking forever though, so please be patient!


Javaed wrote:
Eventually I'll get to that stuff. Foehammer in particular has been requested several time. Right now I want to focus on the general stuff, but you'll note that I'm handling most of the racial feats in the Combat Feat section. Feats are taking forever though, so please be patient!

Sure. I just weren't sure if you were still working on the guide or not. I'll try to give you some more in depth comments later on.


Dotting because I love Fighters. So red. So versatile.

Also, you might want to look at Cleaving Finish again. I assume you rated it red since you think it only activates during Cleave, but no, it's whenever you fell a foe. No matter the level or situation, if you have two enemies in reach, it's likely to be a free attack if you are using a two-handed weapon (Which if you're cleaving, you probably are) and doing good damamge, especialy against mooks. It works in full-round attacks and everything.

Also, a suggestion, maybe have a different section for racial feats. I dunno. There are a LOT (Some become build defining actually), and maybe stick to the ones that matter for a Fighter. I say this because Cleaving Finish got me thinking about a cleaving Dwarf that's been bouncing around in my head, and it has feats that make cleaving ridiculous in a crowd.

Edit: Spelling. Straightening out my thoughts.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Javaed wrote:

@Imbiactus
Thanks for the catch on Trained Throw. I had a completely different thought in my head when I wrote that, but had been reviewing the Viking just before.

I have improved the rating on Spear Training and will double check the various weapon training alternatives to make sure I haven't made similar mistakes eslewhere. I still have reservations regarding the archetype as a whole however, what about it appeals to you?

It's the premier archetype for a spear user. While the fluff of the class is focused on the lance, spear training applies on the entire spear group. And since spear training counts as weapon training you can take trained throw to double your already doubled weapon training damage. Use a spear, trident, javelin, or sibat with gloves of dueling, and you have +6 to hit and +20 to damage from weapon training at 17.

Spinning lance is also one of the best class features in the game, because unlike all other abilities to treat a reach weapon as a double weapon, you explicitly use the lances enchantment bonus for both ends.


Imbicatus wrote:

It's the premier archetype for a spear user. While the fluff of the class is focused on the lance, spear training applies on the entire spear group. And since spear training counts as weapon training you can take trained throw to double your already doubled weapon training damage. Use a spear, trident, javelin, or sibat with gloves of dueling, and you have +6 to hit and +20 to damage from weapon training at 17.

Spinning lance is also one of the best class features in the game, because unlike all other abilities to treat a reach weapon as a double weapon, you explicitly use the lances enchantment bonus for both ends.

A few things:

Trained Throw (Ex) When the fighter makes a ranged attack with a thrown weapon and applies his Dexterity modifier on attack rolls and his Strength modifier on damage rolls, he doubles his weapon training bonus on damage rolls. Unless he has the Throw Anything feat, the fighter can choose only the thrown fighter weapon group with this option. If he has Throw Anything, the fighter can choose any fighter weapon group with this option and apply this option's benefits to any weapon from that group that he throws.

First, you have to throw the spear for that damage. Which is A) Awesome, and B) Hilarious, but sadly not what you want to do with a Dragoon too often. Now if you have ricochet toss, then you can do this with impunity and have some stupid fun, but you'd still be using dex to hit. You have to.

Second, you need to select Thrown Weapons for your weapon training for the damage, and the Dragoon cannot, but this AWT does apply with Throw Anything, but even then, to make this worth it, you would still need Ricochet Toss.

Now with all that said, since as a Two-handed reach build you won't be feat starved, this makes for a HILAROUS switch-hitter.

Hell, for a ridiculous high concept character, take weapon finesse and use an elven-branch spear till you can get Fighter's Finesse for pinpoint spear-throwing accuracy.


That's overcomplicated. I'd rather just balance my STR/DEX.


Secret Wizard wrote:
That's overcomplicated. I'd rather just balance my STR/DEX.

You right, lol. I was just spit-balling dumb ideas.

But, on the topic of ridiculous builds (Such as switch-hitting by way of finesseable polearms and throwing them for more full-round attacks), I actually think Javaed should take this into consideration when writing the guide. With the advent of every book since core, and most notably Weapon Master's Handbook (and soon Armor Master's Handbook), you can make a lot of weird and ridiculous (Read clunky and terrible) builds work and stay relevant in combat. Just look at all the discussion of thrown weapon builds lately.


Oh, yeah, Switch-Hitting is amazing. I'd avoid Dragoon though - Weapon Training (Thrown) has amazing Versatile Training options (Acrobatics, Perception).


Javaed wrote:

@master_marshmallow

You were quite right regarding my misread on Martial Focus. I've gone back an corrected several sections of my guide. Great catch!

If there is a FAQ regarding [named weapon type]...

FAQ wrote:

Archetype: If an archetype replaces a class ability with a more specific version of that ability (or one that works similarly to the replaced ability), does the archetype's ability count as the original ability for the purpose of rules that improve the original ability?

It depends on how the archetype's ability is worded. If the archetype ability says it works like the standard ability, it counts as that ability. If the archetype's ability requires you to make a specific choice for the standard ability, it counts as that ability. Otherwise, the archetype ability doesn't count as the standard ability. (It doesn't matter if the archetype's ability name is different than the standard class ability it is replacing; it is the description and game mechanics of the archetype ability that matter.)
Example: The dragoon (fighter) archetype (Ultimate Combat) has an ability called "spear training," which requires the dragoon to select "spears" as his weapon training group, and refers to his weapon training bonus (even though this bonus follows a slightly different progression than standard weapon training). Therefore, this ability counts as weapon training for abilities that improve weapon training, such as gloves of dueling (Advanced Player's Guide), which increase the wearer's weapon training bonus.
Example: The archer (fighter) archetype gets several abilities (such as "expert archer") which replace weapon training and do not otherwise refer to the weapon training ability. Therefore, this ability does not count as weapon training for abilities that improve weapon training (such as gloves of dueling). This is the case even for the "expert archer," ability which has a bonus that improves every 4 fighter levels, exactly like weapon training.

Additionally, with regards to the Child of A&A, don't forget that the fighter gets stuff like Combat Stamina, meaning you can burn a few stamina points to extend the duration on Arcane Strike, much in the same way that a bloodrager can take Blooded Arcane Strike to extend the duration of arcane strike based on his rage. You can also use stamina to make Arcane Armor Training a free action meaning you really don't lose out on more than one swift action.

Additionally, Spell Blending is a magus arcana that works wonderfully on the archetype for picking up utility spells off the wizard list, but it does require you to take the VMC magus options (which is actually optimal and better than the feats imo) and since you still get five bonus feats, you still end up on top build-wise. It just isn't a fighter, it's some other class that plays as a full BAB magus/paladin/ranger, but uses the fighter chassis in the same sense that the bloodrager uses the barbarian chassis.

Additionally, I fully expect to see the archetype turned into a full class at some point.

EDIT: I say "Additionally" a lot.....


Javaed wrote:

@Ashiel

Thanks for the reminder on Combat Competence. I've given you credit in the guide. I'm still not fond of that option, but it is ok if you're starting at higher level than normal.

Yeah it's still not the best option but if you find a nice weapon group with a lot of sweet exotic weapons it can make them more or less usable without much trouble, but th big thing is how much synergy the gloves have with all the weapon master options. :)


It does strike me as odd that the dragoon is from Ultimate Combat (2011) and uses the "must choose spears" language and the Archer and Crossbowman archetypes are from the APG (2010) and don't (though they otherwise replicate weapon training with bows and crossbows respectively.) This distinction didn't really matter at all until Ultimate Equipment (2012) gave us the gloves of dueling, but in 2015 advanced weapon training made the distinction really important.

It's probably a reasonable houserule (and something that might get changed in errata, I mean the MoMS was errata'd 4 years after its book came out, so these things are possible) that to change things like "Crossbow expert" and "Expert Archer" to use the spear training language of "must choose crossbows/bows" instead of how they were originally worded.


As a fun, if way crazy tip, Humans with the Comprehensive Education racial ability make fantastic Lore Warden Fighters(and anything else that get's all the Knowledges as class skills).


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Looking at brawler- you list no escape as green. The thing with that is that it is part of the point of the archetype.

With stand stillg etting a large bonus, no escape prevent things from escaping since most types of movements out of your threatened area draw an AoO, which stand still can then stop.

There might be other ways to get similar results (a few levels later), if memory serves, but it is the general idea of the archetype. Lockdown. Casters have trouble since you can smack their jazz hands, and they can't get out. And the bonus to stand still means even beefier enemies might get trapped, allowing you to keep your squishies safe.

So it might be worth mentioning that since the devs went so far as to suggest "hey, you might want stand still with this. And don't sweat it if you grab it early- we'll just give you another feat slot to make up for that".

Other archetypes:
Druman Blackjacket- it is clunky, but the amateur ability is more useful than it seems. It takes 1 minute to get started, and lasts for at least 8 minutes when you get it. If you are willing to waste 1/9 of your time, you can give the entire party a teamwork feat. Mostly attractive because of coordinated charge (ie- one guy charges, and everyone else gets pseudo pounce with an extra attack, since you move out of your turn, and you ar elikely next to the enemy you just attacked during your next turn). Really, it is probably the main reason to grab the archetype at all. Not saying it is particularly good, just the main appeal there.

On a different note- coordinated charge is SWEET with eldritch guardian. Cause your mauler familiar probably isn't doing much better than a charge anyway, so you can just use him to get in a free pounce. That and dirty tricks, since it generally doubles your action economy. There are a few feats that break since they assumed you would never have two people using them (disheartening display can be hilarious).


It's got some steep prereqs(for most 'optimized' fighters), but Evolved Familiar can get quadruped familiars Pounce, making them nice chargers.


Azten wrote:
It's got some steep prereqs, but Evolved Familiar can get quadruped familiars Pounce, making them nice chargers.

YOU STOP WITH YOUR SHENANIGANS!


By the way, I neglected to say it before, but this guide is VERY MUCH APPRECIATED because it is very much needed (although like I said above, it will need major adjustment after the Armor Master's Handbook comes out).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

So going through the feats, it looks like you missed the Boar Style FAQ/Errata.

The initial 2d6 is no longer bleed damage, it's just bonus damage as a rend. This actually makes it stronger, because you apply the damage to everything, including creatures immune to bleed. Only the 1d6 granted by boar shred is bleed.


Oh, I love this idea. Fighters are definitely my favorite class to stat up and create weird builds for, even when they don't hold up in actual games. I think you've made incredible headway so far (covering all the combat stamina options is insane).

Starting from the top, here are some comments from my perspective:
- Bravery should probably be red. The AWT option that makes bravery good is what deserves a good rating, the base feature is unchanged and is (as most people know at this point) pretty terrible.

- Armor Training should probably be orange. Sure, many archetypes get great things by trading away armor training, but this doesn't make the base feature particularly good. The benefits are almost entirely overshadowed by the benefits of mithril armor for many builds.

- AWT: Abundant Tactics has a few more synergies that I haven't seen mentioned. A few weeks ago I dove into d20pfsrd for combat feats with limited uses. Sure you can get stunning fist and elemental fist and so on, but fighters don't have great synergy with those options. Instead, take a look at Barroom Brawler and Telekinetic Mastery. Barroom Brawler goes from 1/day to ~5/day at level 10 with the gloves, letting you potentially pick up feat chains or customize a feat loadout before a big fight. Telekinetic Mastery also goes from 1-2 times per day to 5-6/day, letting you shoot your favorite melee weapons around like a pseudo-magical machinegun (it helps that it uses your BAB and CON in place of casting stat, making the fighter more accurate with this ability than an equally leveled wizard).

- AWT: Combat Maneuver Defense is a waste of a precious AWT feat. There are regular feats that have similar benefits, and defending against combat maneuvers can be pretty situational. This one is orange for me.

- AWT: Dazzling Intimidation is just not that great in comparison to other, easier ways to make intimidate awesome (see cornugon smash/enforcer for single targets and the array of dazzling display feats). This is also orange for me.

- AWT: Fighters Finesse feels like its probably a trap option, though I haven't gone through the motions of trying to build a character that uses it effectively. You still need to try to get dex-to-damage with the weapon you choose, and at the end of the day all these extra feats will probably still leave you behind the plain strength option. It does let you do some weird builds though :>

- AWT: Weapon Sacrifice is probably blue for me. With quickdraw, you can end any turn with a disposable damage sponge in hand (you draw a non-masterwork one-handed weapon from your weapon training group), giving a lot of insurance for you and adjacent allies. The fact that it prevents ALL incoming damage from one attack and makes no provisions for excess damage is what really makes it shine. Unfortunately, the immediate action cost means it doesn't hold up in "death by a thousand cuts" scenarios (as opposed to DR/-)

I haven't read through all your write ups on the archetypes but:

- Crossbowman is almost definitely not blue. Overwatch style brings this archetype from terrible to decent, but requires heavy feat investment, first to bring crossbows to a usable level (Rapid Reload/Crossbow mastery), then get the standard feats for ranged combat (Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim), and THEN you still want to get Overwatch style feats to allow your archetype features to function reasonably well. Its ~5 feats more than a comparable bow build, and pigeonholes you into doing a lot of readied actions (may not always go off, subject to DM metagaming, etc). You're behind by one attack vs. the standard bow build, and your # of readied attacks doesn't go up again after level 11. After saying all that, I'm still interested in trying this out myself (maybe with Hindering Shot?)

- Eldritch Guardian is a great archetype for adding versatility and power to your fighter guild for a pretty negligible cost. It also enables some of the cheesiest fighter builds out there (Coordinated charge is just the tip of the iceberg). If anything should receive a "higher than blue" rating, its this.

- Mutation Warrior is also head and shoulders above base fighter and most archetypes (at least until Armor Master's Handbook). Trades the underwhelming armor training for more power and a basket of goodies. Pairs well with a lot of other archetypes.

- Savage Warrior is nothing great, but it can be taken with Mutation Warrior (getting feral mutagen at level 7) to remove the need to dip into another class for natural attacks. Unfortunately, it has no clear path to gaining pounce and it locks itself out of Advanced Weapon Training options.

- I think someone already mentioned Sensate errata.

- Under Ustalavic Duelist, Lepidstadt Thrust should be red. You are pidgeonholed into weapons with no better than 1d6 damage in this archetype due to duelist training. Vital Striking for 1d6 bonus damage + INT is a terrible idea. That's 3.5(avg. roll) + 3 (assuming 16 int at most) = 6.5 damage, vs the average 7 damage of vital striking with a greatsword. You are MUCH better off with another AWT feat than this feature. And that's before even considering the fact that vital striking is a mediocre option overall.

That's as far as I've gotten for now. Really enjoying this expanded look at fighter options :>

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

@Cellion: Lepidstadt Thrust on its own is bad, but it gets much better when you combine it with Focused Weapon, and size shenanigans. Especially when you get a crit and do maximum damage.


This is more a speculation ramble than anything in particular, but I figure it belongs here since it's about the possibilities and viability of a fighter build...

Aight, so I've been cultivating an idea of a kobold eldritch guardian/mutation warrior who uses a mauler familiar and relies on natural attacks. I intend for him to take on the tail terror feat, gliding wings racial trait, and potentially dragonmaw racial trait (although I also intend on taking feral mutagen at 7th, making dragonmaw a little less useful at that point; I could easily take prehensile tail or stick with armor instead). Gliding wings is there for me to later take the powerful wings feat earlier (and potentially hover as well) to grant me some wing buffet attacks; since I can take the wings discovery at 11th that's also not necessary, but I can see myself dumping crafty more easily than armor, and that gives me room for a different discovery. To further this I will probably also shoot for coordinated charge so when my familiar charges, I get to charge in as well as an immediate action, which then puts me in range to use a full-attack (since I see no way to grant myself pounce aside from using a magic item that transforms me into a creature with pounce or using a 3pp feat that requires me to be a skinwalker).

Anyway, since I'm going to nab tail terror and powerful wings, and my familiar benefits from my combat feats due to the eldritch guardian archetype, I would ideally be using a familiar with decent Str as well as wings and a longish tail (at least long enough to use for a tail slap with tail terror). However, I can't see too many options that fit that description. Wings are more important than tail since I can take evolved familiar to give my familiar a tail, but from what I've seen everything in the basic selection of familiars that has wings has pitiful Str. The best I could find was a penguin (9 Str, would be up to 13 in Battle Mode without accounting for Str gains from levels or other sources), and even then, although it does technically have wings, some may not define them as such since they're designed for swimming rather than flight. I think the highest on a creature whose wings are 100% defined as wings (as in, capable of flight) are hawks with 6 Str (12 in Battle Mode) and they don't typically use it anyway since they have weapon finesse, and their Str wouldn't match their Dex for a good while.

So where am I going with this? Improved familiars, that's where. While it burns up an additional feat slot, there's a few in there that actually could benefit from both of those attack-granting feats. The ultimate goals here would be a faerie dragon, imp, isitoq, quasit, shadow drake, skvader, voidworm protean, or wolpertinger. What's further holding me back here, though, is that all of these require a caster level to take. Easiest way to do this would be to take a level as a witch, make it a plague patron familiar, and grab practiced spellcaster (witch) or improved caster level to allow my witch caster level to go up to 5th (the former feat would require the DM to allow 3.5 feats though, while the latter requires him to allow 3pp).

There is one way around this: magical knack. It's a trait, and gives you a +2 trait bonus to a single casting class's caster level (so long as it doesn't exceed character level). While it drops the chance of nearly every improved familiar listed above, there are still a few improved familiars that one can take as a 3rd level caster, one of them being skvader, so that's our goal. It's not such a problem if our game starts at 3rd or higher; we could just take improved familiar right from the start, pick a skvader as our familiar, and say that the familiar we got as a 1st level fighter left us or died early on, allowing us to pick up and bond with the skvader. If it starts below, however, we'd need to find a means to give our original familiar the boot when we hit 3rd, which might be a little harder for those on the LG side of the grid (though not so much so for someone leaning toward CE).

Soooo... yeah. I guess if I have any questions here they'd be:

- Would it be worth dropping a level of fighter (thus losing weapon mastery and a bonus feat) to allow myself to take a skvader?
- Would it be worth dropping a level of fighter (whether I take a skvader or not) to get a plague patron familiar?
- If I choose to just go fighter 20, is there any way I could grant my familiar wings if it doesn't have them in its standard form?


Added note to above: taking a dip into shaman instead of witch seems somewhat viable as well. It won't allow an improved familiar since it's a divine casting class, but it does grant you a spirit ability and gives your familiar an added bonus (as well as allowing you to get it back after 24 hours rather than a week and not makin you lose all your magic in the meantime). Battle and mammoth are the standout spirits, but slums and stone both seem pretty decent as well.


It strikes me that Calistrian Hunter is great for a 1-level dip if you don't care about heavy armour. What you get is better than what you lose. The same applies to some extent to a lot of archetypes. But you may not be concerned about dips anyway.


Cellion wrote:

Oh, I love this idea. Fighters are definitely my favorite class to stat up and create weird builds for, even when they don't hold up in actual games. I think you've made incredible headway so far (covering all the combat stamina options is insane).

Starting from the top, here are some comments from my perspective:
- Bravery should probably be red. The AWT option that makes bravery good is what deserves a good rating, the base feature is unchanged and is (as most people know at this point) pretty terrible.

- Armor Training should probably be orange. Sure, many archetypes get great things by trading away armor training, but this doesn't make the base feature particularly good. The benefits are almost entirely overshadowed by the benefits of mithril armor for many builds.
{. . .}

I would put Bravery at Orange rather than Red -- even without considering Armed Bravery, it isn't totally useless, and a few archetypes (Siege Breaker, I'm looking at you) trade it out for something less useful.

I wouldn't get too ready to drop Armor Training down to Orange until we see what the upcoming Armor Master's Handbook has to offer. If it is like the Weapon Master's Handbook, it will have some awesome options that depend upon Armor Training, and even the Armor Training itself has some use (although it seems from a quick glance that in a lot of cases more than 2 ranks would be superfluous if not used by an Advanced Armor Training option -- high Dex builds being an obvious exception).


I'm with UnArcaneElection on Bravery. It isn't completely useless it just isn't great. That's why I rated it orange, though I gave it some thought. Thanks to everybody who's been pointing out FAQs and errata that I've missed.

I've made some updates throughout the guide and have the Combat, Teamwork and Style feats through the letter "C" completed. Working on "D" now.


Okay

Abundant Tactics - You can gain Poor-Man's Martial Flexibility with this and Bar Room Brawler

Combat Competence - This is something you use for Monk Weapon group really. And yes, Gloves to actually have it at sometime today.

You should also have a Weapon group section in the book.

Monk Provides you with the largest variety of weapons. Where other weapons kinda stick to being melee or range, and repeating the same tricks over and over, Monk by and by, is capable of doing everything except really long distance fighting.

Pirate is another weapon group. Can only be gotten through an archtype, and it gives you the ability to do melee and ranged (Though be it, with a crossbow)

Unarmed Fighter - Actually no you don't lose Weapon training entirely. You can still pick up advance weapon training, because the pre-req was a class feature called "Weapon Training" which you have.

Magic Items
Band of the Stalwart Warrior, Sash of the War Champion

These two wonderous items increase your Bravery by +4 levels. (essentially giving you +2 with both of them.) and Sash increases your armor training by another point.

It also might be wanted to be a CG Calandra worshiping fighter. After taking a drink of alcohol..

Courage in a Bottle gives you +2 to Bravery and if you get +6 bravery you're immune to fear.
Drunken Brawler* gives you +2 Fort and Will, but -2 reflex

And both of these are made possible easily with the Tankard and Sword style, where you could replace your shield prof to use a tankard as a weapon, and in place of attacking with it.. Drink from it! (Or Splash it on the person your fighting to do a dirty trick maneuver)


Darche Schneider wrote:
(Or Splash it on the person your fighting to do a dirty trick maneuver)

That is an excellent way to get kicked out of the faith. Wasting alcohol...


miscdebris wrote:
Darche Schneider wrote:
(Or Splash it on the person your fighting to do a dirty trick maneuver)
That is an excellent way to get kicked out of the faith. Wasting alcohol...

You're not wasting it though, your using it to take on the foe, just like your god was famous for. And besides, it the fighting style of the faith. Also the faith isn't really something you get kicked out that easily. Cause first off, his religion is more of a set of guidelines than actual rules.


Status Update:
I took a break from feats to write up a section on Variant Multiclassing. There are a lot of good options specifically for the Fighter, so this was a fun section to write.

I've also made some adjustments to how I rated various archetypes and feats. Thank you for the feedback everybody!


Okay, here's some feedback on the latest additions:

VMC Options:

General: Note that VMC does slightly interfere with your ability to get the Advanced Weapon Training feat as often as possible: level 5 is okay; level 10 is okay; but your level 15 character feat gets consumed, and if you use your level 16 bonus feat, your next Advanced Weapon Training feat is delayed to level 21.

Druid: Typo fix needed: Companion cannot be boosted by any abilities other than Improved by Companion.

Paladin: I wouldn't call a Warpriest a more martial Paladin -- rather, the opposite.

Sorcerer: I would agree, except that the Eldritch Heritage feat chain requires increasing amounts of Charisma, which you might not be able to afford, so even though it is better overall, you might get stuck with using the VC -- I'd bump it half a step to Orange/Green (delays in when you get the Bloodline Powers relative to the Eldritch Heritage chain keep me from rating it a solid Green).

Feats:

Demonic Nemesis: Cheliax doesn't have all that much Demonic infestation, instead being under the heel and lash of Devils and their collaborators -- maybe you were thinking of the Worldwound and its surroundings?


VMC will delay the level 15 Advanced Weapon Training feat, but you still qualify for one at level 20 as normal. The feat says it can be taken every 5 levels after level 5, not every 5 levels after the last time you took the feat.

Druid typo - Thanks for the catch! I've fixed it.

Paladin typo - Yep, I was thinking of the Cleric.

Sorcerer - Added a line about the charisma investment

Demonic Nemesis - I forgot they were Devils in Cheliax, not Demons. Thanks for the reminder!

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