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How to build a Scythe wielding melee character?


Advice


Looking at starting the Hell's Vengeance AP with a new group. I would like to use a scythe wielding melee class. Urgathoa worship is a given.

My first thoughts are either warpriest or antipaladin. Can either of those classes take the Urgathoa's Hunger divine fighting technique?

How exactly would you guys build a scythe wielding melee class in this AP? The GM said all paizo content is good, no third party and we get a 25 point buy in at character creation.

Appreciate any advise and builds. I can honestly say I have never played a scythe wielding anything and it seems like a really fun challenge to make an effective melee class that uses one.

Sovereign Court

It's really quite straightforward, just like any 2H weapon build. Grab a scythe, Power Attack, Furious Focus and you're good to go.

Since you have a weapon with a huge crit multiplier, confirming is important. A Pendant of the Blood Scarab will come in handy.


The only real problem with a scythe is that it has a high crit multiplier instead of a better crit range. Which isn't really a deal breaker, but more of a personal preference issue.

Power attack, and weapon focus are about the most you need besides a big strength score. Furious focus is okay, but I don't care for it once I get iterative attacks.

Personally, I would recommend you look into a secondary trick because wielding a scythe is pretty much just having power attack and you're done.

For my Hell's Vengeance Antipaladin I worked into Cornugon Smash, Hurtful, Cruel weapon enhancement and some other abilities to really debuff my opponents.


Grond wrote:
My first thoughts are either warpriest or antipaladin. Can either of those classes take the Urgathoa's Hunger divine fighting technique?

Any class can take a divine fighting technique, you just have to worship the relevant deity. Well, and meet whatever prereqs the particular technique may impose; Urgathoa's Hunger has none for its initial benefit and the feat itself, Heal 10 ranks, BAB +7 for the advanced benefit.

However, the warpriest has the advantage of being able to get the initial and advanced benefits by trading in their minor and major blessings (respectively) if they don't want to take the feat or meet the other prereqs.


To get much mileage out of Urgathoa's Hunger, you need a class with at least some reason to grab WIS. Antipaladin is out as far as thats concerned (though otherwise its a flavor win). Warpriest works out OK, but I find that you have a lot to use your swift actions on when playing Warpriest between fervor and blessings. As a result you don't have them available after you attack to trigger Urgathoa's Hunger.

Though obviously less thematic, I kinda like Ranger for using the feat. It has reasons to grab WIS, full BAB, and doesn't normally use that many swift actions.

Otherwise using a scythe wielder is not much different than using any other 2 hand wielder. Except... If you have an ally that has a large crit range, you might want to convince them to pick up Butterfly's Sting to improve your crit-fishing potential.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

A really interesting build would be an unchained monk x/crusader cleric 1 build using crusaders flurry. You would have a reason to buy up wisdom, 1.5 str flurries of scythes, and the ability to add in some great flavor. As an urgotha worshipper, be sure to pick up potion glutton.


getting anything to flank with you and giving it butterfly critical so whenever it crits you crit and whenever you crit you crit is a good idea.

Personally I vote for a Samsaran spiritualist pick the anger phantom for more damage or Greed for higher chance of crit. Pick up some spells from the cleric list with that Samsaran thingy to get divine favor/power you also get heroism from spiritualist list. Could even go fractured mind be CHA based and skin it as one of your passed incarnations as a Samsaran haunting you.

tones of fun.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Although a desna worshiping butterfly sting user really doesn't fit in with a hells vengeance party.


Does butterfly sting require Desna worship? I don't see that anywhere.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Does butterfly sting require Desna worship? I don't see that anywhere.

It does in my copy of inner sea gods, and it does on Archives of Nethys.


Welp learn something new. It doesn't on d20psfrd.


d20PFSRD has to exclude mention of deities and such because they are protected intellectual property.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Welp learn something new. It doesn't on d20psfrd.

D20pfsrd can't talk about Golarion material for legal reasons. Sometimes they generalize (replace "Saranrae" with "Sun deity"), sometimes they just omit. Always they are silent about what they're doing.


There is another way to build scythes, but it is rather involved. I did a short summary of it here. Just keep in mind that greatswords and scythes are in the same weapon group and it should make sense.


Welp thats annoying.

Hey find out if your DM uses D20 might not need any deity based prerequisites ever again lol xD

I joke. But still it might be fun making a desna worshipper in hells rebels, I'm sure there is a way to make that fun.


Warpriest going greater weapon of the chosen feat line and vital strike line works pretty well. Due to the mechanics involved I think I remember hearing that it gives you the best chance to crit on a hit, not sure if best chances in a round.

But it works well because you get early access vital strike compared to your BAB and WoTC line works really well with vital strike. Plus wouldn't vital strike work well with the divine fighting technique due to being a bigger hit?


That's kinda what I was thinking, either the warpriest or antipaladin for flavor/mechanics to make a scythe build work. The divine technique is nice to have on top of it but not required.


Inquisitor is another strong choice for any divine warrior and is wis focused if you want something with some skills to it.


Inquisitor would actually be set, since most of there bonuses to damage multiply on a crit it can get pretty nasty. Same with a melee medium, especially if they go halfling and take the risky striker feat (essentially doubled power attack) and the medium favored class bonus. That's something like a +25 flat damage by level 10, not even counting weapon enchantments and other stuff.


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I have a CORE character in Society play who just reached 10th on Monday (along with a second death) and she is the character I enjoy playing the most.

Half-Elf
Fighter/2
Cleric of Urgathoa/3 (formerly Pharasma)
Shadowdancer/3
Barbarian/2

She wields a +1 Keen Adamantine Scythe and wears +1 Light Fortification Shadow Chain Mail

Skill Focus (Stealth)
Dodge
Mobility
Combat Reflexes
Combat Expertise
Spring Attack
Whirlwind Attack
Lunge
Lightning Reflexes

Boots of Striding and Springing
BoPM +2 (STR/CON)
CoR +2
RoP +1
AoNA +1

She races across the battlefield at 50ft-100ft/round and reaps all she can reach with Death & Magic. While not great if she is the only frontliner (like in her latest game) she makes for amazing backup. The Strength damage from her mother is a godsend. Flank buddy is jut amazing. Her casting is mediocre but she does have a Magical Knack. +20 Stealth, +16 Perception, +11 Bluff, and a rank in each Knowledge. Her stats are 18/14/14/14/14/11

Looking at this, Serenity shouldn't work nearly as well as she does, but she's a blast to play and I always get a kick out of putting enemies through the blender with a crit (8d4+28[+36 during Rage]) I just wish I could get a Pallid Crystal in CORE...

I wonder if I tell enough people about Serenity, opinions on multiclassing will change? Probably not, though I've seen a 10th level character with at least 9 classes before...Ridiculously high AC and ludicrously high saves...


for an item id advice getting
cyclops helm so you get to lend that nasty crit when u most need it.

warpriest can go GREAT if using a 2 handed weapon and power attack...if your taking the forgepriest archtype. you wouldn't belive how that shield in a spell list is aowsome. combined with ironskin spell and the heavy armor you can use meaning you can go with +1 dex and hit top tier ac easy. the fact you can craft your own weapon and armor for half prce also help.
beside the weapon focus. sacred weapon buffs and other combat feats you gain later on.

i had a Kasatha warpriest quadwuidling 2X double chained kamas. he was also N.Evil but warshiped Szuriel the Angel of Desolation (horseman of war) and had 2 levels in souldrinker.
made each kama a +1, condactive weapon (named the 4 kama haeds war,famine,pestilance and death) this was before the errata that you can only use condactive once a round or that giving negetive levles only stack the temp hp you gain once. point is the soul pool kept my 1st and 2nd level spells refreshed all day -
with fravor usaly started with a divine favor, then if needed extra ac dropped a shield and if needed even more ac dropepd iron skin but that was rare.


Just tossing this idea of a warpriest of Urgathoa wielding the scythe which is the favored weapon. This is up to level 12. I am torn on using the Arsenal Chaplain archetype as I frankly find channeling next to useless on warpriests and this character build is all about massive scythe melee. I will most likely go Arsenal Chaplain to get the free Quicken Blessing feat at level 7.

Warpriest: Weapon Focus (Scythe)
Human: Weapon of the Chosen
1) Improved Weapon of the Chosen
3) Greater Weapon of the Chosen
3 Bonus) Power Attack
5) Furious Focus
6 Bonus Feat) Vital Strike
6 Bonus Feat (FCB x6)) Improved Vital Strike
7) Potion Glutton or Divine Fighting Technique (Urgathoa's Hunger)
9) Improved Critical
9 Bonus) Furious Focus
11) Cornugon Smash
12 Bonus) Critical Focus
12 Bonus (FCB x6)) Impaling Critical

OR

Warpriest: Weapon focus (Scythe)
Race: Half Orc take Sacred Tattoo, Fate's Favored and Ancestral Weapon
1) Weapon of the Chosen
3) Improved Weapon of Chosen
3 Bonus) Power Attack
5) Greater Weapon of the Chosen
6 Bonus Feat) Vital Strike
6 Bonus Feat) FCB X 6 = Improved Vital Strike
7) Furious Focus
9) Potion Glutton or Divine Fighting Technique (Urgathoa's Hunger)
9 Bonus) Improved Critical
11) Cornugon Smash
12 Bonus) Critical Focus
12 Bonus) (FXB x 6) Impaling Critical

Thoughts?


Since you need wis for that feat a class that uses wisdom is best. So Ranger, Druid, Cleric, Hunter, Spiritualist, Shaman, Inquisitor, Warpriest all work.

Ranger and druid (with nature fang) can get an animal companion and ranger bonus combat feats. That way you can go mounted combat with spirited charge for double damage.

Spiritualist with Phantom Blade can get spellstrike with Ghoul touch to paralyze for coup de grace.

For races human, oread, and oni-spawn tiefling all get +str +wis.


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I came across this Scythe video, I know it is not helpful to the OP question, but I thought you would find it entertaining.

Scarab Sages

Reposting this here from the Warpriest guide thread, because this is a better place to continue the discussion.

You have some issues with meeting the BAB requirements where you're taking some feats. In that thread you mentioned that Divine Favor was allowing you to take Improved Vital Strike early? If that's what you meant, that doesn't work. Divine Favor does not improve your BAB.

Divine Favor the spell? That doesn't do anything to affect your BAB.

For your Warpriest Bonus Feats, you can treat your BAB as your level, but not for other feats. That should mean the earliest you can take Improved Vital Strike is 12th level.

Also, you have to use your bonus feat at 9th for Improved Critical, because you don't qualify for the +8 BAB requirement on your regular feat. That's a little problematic for also taking Devastating Strike.

My suggestions would be to take Weapon Specialization where you have Improved Vital Strike now (assuming the FCB feat qualifies you to take fighter feats).

Take Divine Fighting Technique Cornugon Smash at 7. EDIT: I missed the BAB +7 and the 10 ranks in Heal requirement on the Urgathoa Divine Fighting Technique, so you need to swap that to 11 and put Cornugon Smash here. It means losing Devastating Strike or taking it instead of Improved Critical at 12, because you don't have enough feats at the BAB you need.

Take Cornugon Smash Potion Glutton at 9. There might be something better here. Potion Glutton is neat, but it's still awkward taking potions out in the middle of a fight, and you've already got swift buffs from Favor.

Take Devastating Strike Divine Fighting Technique at 11.

Take Improved Vital Strike at 12 instead of Impailing Critical.

Note: Your current build doesn't qualify for Impailing Critical, because you don't have Weapon Specialization.


Ferious Thune wrote:

Reposting this here from the Warpriest guide thread, because this is a better place to continue the discussion.

You have some issues with meeting the BAB requirements where you're taking some feats. In that thread you mentioned that Divine Favor was allowing you to take Improved Vital Strike early? If that's what you meant, that doesn't work. Divine Favor does not improve your BAB.

Divine Favor the spell? That doesn't do anything to affect your BAB.

For your Warpriest Bonus Feats, you can treat your BAB as your level, but not for other feats. That should mean the earliest you can take Improved Vital Strike is 12th level.

Also, you have to use your bonus feat at 9th for Improved Critical, because you don't qualify for the +8 BAB requirement on your regular feat. That's a little problematic for also taking Devastating Strike.

My suggestions would be to take Weapon Specialization where you have Improved Vital Strike now (assuming the FCB feat qualifies you to take fighter feats).

Take Divine Fighting Technique Cornugon Smash at 7. EDIT: I missed the BAB +7 and the 10 ranks in Heal requirement on the Urgathoa Divine Fighting Technique, so you need to swap that to 11 and put Cornugon Smash here. It means losing Devastating Strike or taking it instead of Improved Critical at 12, because you don't have enough feats at the BAB you need.

Take Cornugon Smash Potion Glutton at 9. There might be something better here. Potion Glutton is neat, but it's still awkward taking potions out in the middle of a fight, and you've already got swift buffs from Favor.

Take Devastating Strike Divine Fighting Technique at 11.

Take Improved Vital Strike at 12 instead of Impailing Critical.

Note: Your current build doesn't qualify for Impailing Critical, because you don't have Weapon Specialization.

As someone else already said earlier in the thread:

Any class can take a divine fighting technique, you just have to worship the relevant deity. Well, and meet whatever prereqs the particular technique may impose; Urgathoa's Hunger has none for its initial benefit and the feat itself, Heal 10 ranks, BAB +7 for the advanced benefit.

However, the warpriest has the advantage of being able to get the initial and advanced benefits by trading in their minor and major blessings (respectively) if they don't want to take the feat or meet the other prereqs

Also, if you take the Arsenal archetype you get weapon training at level 5 which should give you weapon expertise.

Edit: I do appreciate the help trying to keep all the feats on the correct level path. I have never tried to build a Vital strike character before so all the tips are more than useful. :O)

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Dr Styx wrote:
I came across this Scythe video, I know it is not helpful to the OP question, but I thought you would find it entertaining.

I'll thank you to keep your reality out of my fantasy. Besides, mideval peasants didn't have goddesses of undeath, disease, and gluttony that preferred her followers use a weapon in that shape.

Scarab Sages

Re: Divine Fighting technique... ok, I see. That's why I missed the prereqs the first time... because they aren't actually prereqs for the feat. They unlock additional abilities. That's interesting.

So that would then make my recommended feat order:

Spoiler:
Warpriest: Weapon Focus (Scythe)
Human: Weapon of the Chosen
1) Improved Weapon of the Chosen
3) Greater Weapon of the Chosen
3 Bonus) Power Attack
5) Furious Focus
6 Bonus Feat) Vital Strike (Requires BAB +6)
6 Bonus Feat (FCB x6)) Weapon Specialization (Scythe) (Requires Fighter 4)
7) Divine Fighting Technique (Urgathoa's Hunger)
9) Cornugon Smash
9 Bonus) Improved Critical (Requires BAB +8)
11) Devastating Strike (Requires BAB +8)
12 Bonus) Critical Focus (Requires BAB +9)
12 Bonus (FCB x6)) Improved Vital Strike (Requires BAB +11)

Another option... if your GM believes Arsenal Chaplain's Weapon Training qualifies you for the Advanced Weapon Training Feat you could take Critical Focus at 11th level and Advanced Weapon Training for something like Warrior Spirit at 12. That gives you an expanded version of Sacred Weapon's ability to add an enhancement bonus. It means spending a standard action to enhance your weapon, but you can add any +1 weapon ability. Which means Bane (whatever you need to at the time). And it lasts for 1 minute, not 1 round.

But that's dependent on your GM a) allowing an Arsenal Champion to take the Advanced Weapon Training Feat (currently ambiguous in a setting like PFS), and b) allowing the Warrior Spirit option (currently not legal in PFS). So it depends on your GM and what limitations they've set.

EDIT: You could actually do that as early as 6th level, in place of Weapon Specialization. It's just a question of whether the static +2 damage always on effect of Weapon Specialization is preferable to the versatility of Warrior Spirit. At 6th level, you'd only have 1 use/day of Warrior Spirit. At least until you get Gloves of Dueling.


My wife is playing a Phantom Blade spiritualist in our Strange Aeon's game.

The Urgathoa Divine fighting style along with spell striking various spiritualist bad touch spells have her doing both tons of damage and being incredibly tanky at the same time. (which is good cause she is a Dhampir and no one else can heal her in the party)

Ghoul Touch + Coup de Grace (with Vampiric Touch) + Power Attack+ Vital Strike + Divine Fighting = All the temp HP


If you go with Urgathoa's Hunger, you won't be able to play an Anitpaladin, just fyi. Divine Fighting Technique requires you to be the same alignment as your deity, and Urgathoa's NE whereas the Antipaladin can only be CE or LE with the Tyrant archetype, so far as I know. Regarding scythes, I'm playing a Battlehost Occultist that uses a scythe as his focus right now and I'm having a pretty good time so far. I took Transmutation and Evocation as my two schools (currently level 7) though Evocation could easily be swapped out for Abjuration or maybe Necromancy if you want to go with the whole reaper aesthetic. The reason I like it so much so far is that the Transmutation offers so many goodies, like Legacy Weapon, which I use to add Bane to my weapon for one minute as a standard action allowing me to tailor it to whomever I happen to be fighting.


Captain Battletoad wrote:
If you go with Urgathoa's Hunger, you won't be able to play an Anitpaladin, just fyi. Divine Fighting Technique requires you to be the same alignment as your deity, and Urgathoa's NE whereas the Antipaladin can only be CE or LE with the Tyrant archetype

There are two different versions of DFT, urgathoa's is from the one that requires you to worship her, not have the same alignment.

I believe I saw a post saying that the divine anthology DFT options require worship only, whereas the original options require alignment only.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cantriped wrote:
d20PFSRD has to exclude mention of deities and such because they are protected intellectual property.

Er, how does Archives of Nethys get away with it?


Ravingdork wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
d20PFSRD has to exclude mention of deities and such because they are protected intellectual property.
Er, how does Archives of Nethys get away with it?

Very carefully.

Scarab Sages

The rules are covered by the OGL. The Golarion specific stuff is covered by the Community Use license. Something about the ads/way d20pfsrd makes money causes the site to not qualify for the Community Use license.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ferious Thune wrote:
The rules are covered by the OGL. The Golarion specific stuff is covered by the Community Use license. Something about the ads/way d20pfsrd makes money causes the site to not qualify for the Community Use license.

Ah, that makes more sense!


Ferious Thune wrote:

Re: Divine Fighting technique... ok, I see. That's why I missed the prereqs the first time... because they aren't actually prereqs for the feat. They unlock additional abilities. That's interesting.

So that would then make my recommended feat order:

** spoiler omitted **

Another option... if your GM believes Arsenal Chaplain's Weapon Training qualifies you for the Advanced Weapon Training Feat you could take Critical Focus at 11th level and Advanced Weapon Training for something like Warrior Spirit at 12. That gives you an expanded version of Sacred Weapon's ability to add an enhancement bonus. It means spending a standard action to enhance your weapon, but you can add any +1 weapon ability. Which means Bane (whatever you need to at the time). And it lasts for 1 minute, not 1 round.

But that's dependent on your GM a) allowing an Arsenal Champion to take the Advanced Weapon Training Feat (currently ambiguous in a setting like PFS), and b) allowing the Warrior Spirit option (currently not legal in PFS). So it depends on your GM and what limitations they've set.

EDIT: You could actually do that as early as 6th level, in place of Weapon Specialization. It's just a question of whether the static +2 damage always on effect of Weapon Specialization is preferable to the versatility of Warrior Spirit. At 6th level, you'd only have 1 use/day of Warrior Spirit. At least until you get Gloves of Dueling.

That is a good build, thank you for helping me sort it out not just for myself but for any others who may want to play an Urgathoan or scythe wielding warpriest in the future.

I only went up to level 12, we are going to play Hell's Vengenance AP and not as PFS, anything paizo published is fair game with a 25 point build. I could still get impaling critical...I have to freely admit the mental image of impaling someone with a scythe and keeping them wriggling on it is just too much to pass up on...at say level 15 I think since I would have the prereqs at that point.

Scarab Sages

I just meant PFS as an example to show how Advanced Weapon Training interacts with Arsenal Chamion's Weapon Training is a point of debate. If your GM is good with it, and isn't setting any limitations, then I think it's a potentially good option for you. Ghost Touch is another great use for it. And since it sounds like everything Paizo is allowed, the Training weapon ability from Inner Sea Intrigue lets you pick up any combat feat, so it can function as Martial Flexibility as well.

Yes, without retraining, level 15 looks like the earliest you could take Impaling Critical, unless you're willing to wait on Improved Vital Strike instead. But as heavily as you'd be invested in Vital Strike, I'd stick with that at 11.

If you settle on this instead of one of the other suggestions, I hope you have fun with it.

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