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Gnome Slayer Build advice


Advice

Dark Archive

Okay, I'm planning out a character for PFS, and I'd like some feedback.

Up front, yes, I know Gnome is not the best choice for a melee Slayer, and yes, I know my array is not ideal.

That said, mostly I'd like to make this character as good as it can be, within the constraints of using this array, race, and class. So, mostly I'm looking for feedback on my feat and talent choices, and if a small (1-2 level) dip into another class might improve the character.
The array (20 pt) before racial adjustments was 16,14,13,12,12,8

STR 6
DEX 16
CON 15
INT 14
WIS 12
CHA 14

1 --Weapon Finesse
2 --Rogue Talent (Weapon Training [Kukri])
3 --Slashing Grace (Kukri)
4 --Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed Weapon [Power Attack])
5 --Combat Reflexes
6 --Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed Weapon [Great Cleave]), Rogue Talent (Bleeding Attack)
7 --Extra Slayer Talent (Rogue Talent [Surprise Attack])
8 --Rogue Talent (Combat Trick [Improved Critical {kukri}])
9 --Critical Focus
10 --Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed Weapon [Dreadful Carnage])
11 --Bleeding Critical
12 --Rogue Adv Talent(Hunter's Surprise), Rogue Adv Talent (Opportunist)

I'm considering a 1 lvl dip into Rogue with the Knife Master Archetype, but I'm not sure it's worth it.

Anyway, thoughts?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

sorry i came to this thread by accident thought it would be about a build for someone who wants to slay gnomes


Mixing 2-handed and dipping into knife master is probably going to make you too weak in either to be effective. I would focus either two handed or sneak attacking. Also the Accomplished Sneak Attacker feat can be used to increase your sneak attack damage as a slayer if you want to focus that. Its one of the few times that feat is useful. Natural Weapon is actually a really good Ranger Combat Style to supplement a sneaky slayer. It gives you Aspect of the Beast and Vital Strike.

Dark Archive

So, he's not actually using a two-handed weapon.

The Ranger Two-Handed weapon fighting style just give access to certain feats (Power Attack, Great Cleave, Dreadful Carnage) without needing to have the prerequisites.

Nothing in it actually requires me to use a two-handed weapon...

But this absurd feature abuse allows me to to use Power Attack with only 6 strength with my Kukri using dex to hit and dex to damage.


TiwazBlackhand wrote:
But this absurd feature abuse allows me to to use Power Attack with only 6 strength with my Kukri using dex to hit and dex to damage.

Doesn't Piranha Strike do exactly that? It's like power attack but for Dex characters.

Dark Archive

Yes, but A>I can do it using a Slayer Talent instead of Feat, and B> since it's for PFS it saves me from buying an $8 PDF for one feat.


My personal advice is that your low STR will bite you in the ass. CMD matters, and sometimes encumbrance matters, depending on the GM.

INT is not important at all, CHA could be lower.

Why not use a Rapier instead of a kukri and go with fencing grace?


Your guy is going to do 1d3-2 damage. I wouldn't want to play that character.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Bleeding isn't usually that effective a damage buff. That's especially true of the bleeding attack rogue talent when you've got a slayer's sneak attack progression. Slow reactions is a better debuff to add on to your sneak attack IMO. I'm not sure that the critical feat is a lot better given that you're getting it at level 11.

Dreadful carnage suggests you're getting into intimidate. If that's so you might want another feat to make use of it - dazzling display or cornugon smash, and if the former you might like shatter defenses too. Surprise attack, and/or critical focus, bleeding critical might bite the dust to make room. Or combat reflexes - you don't seem to be building on that at all.

Edit: one attack for 1d3+3 damage base (1d3+4 with studied target) @level 3 is pretty poor. With power attack at 4 it's getting a bit better but it doesn't ever get good. Are you sure about this?

Sczarni

This build could benefit from theButterfly's Sting feat, allowing you to pass on your crits to that greataxe wielding teammate for juicy multipliers.

If you are dipping at all, take a dip in swashbuckler for weapon finesse, parry & riposte and a panache pool.

Liberty's Edge

So for level dips, start with unchained rogue, then go slayer.
You'll have an intensely similar feel, except you get weapon finesse and dex to damage for free at levels 1 and 3, more sneak attack, more skills.

Dark Archive

I picked Kukri because I'd been thinking about a rogue Knife Master dip (d8 sneak attack), but I could just as easily do the current build with Battle Axe, Long Sword, or Scimitar.

This would improve the damage from 1d3 to 1d4 or 1d6, So I guess the question is which is the best choice, 1d4 18-20, 1d6 19-20, or 1d6 x3?

Alternately, would I be better served by going Ranged weapon, use the Ranger Archery or Crossbow styles, Sniper slayer Archetype?

Dark Archive

Alternate Ranged build.
Sniper Slayer, same stats.

Feat and Talent Progression.
1 F-Point Blank Shot
2 T-Ranger Combat Style (Crossbow [Rapid Reload {Heavy Crossbow}])
3 F-Rapid Shot
4 T-Rogue Talent (Combat Trick[Crossbow Mastery])
5 F-Precise Shot
6 T-Ranger Combat Style (Crossbow [Improved Precise Shot]), T-Rogue Talent(Weapon Training [Heavy Crossbow])
7 F-Deadly Aim
8 T-Deadly Range
9 F-Improved Critical(Heavy Crossbow)
10 T-Ranger Combat Style (Crossbow [Pinpoint Targeting])
11 F-Extra Slayer Talent(Rogue Talent [Sniper's Eye])
12 T-Adv Rogue Talent (Sneaky Sniper), T-Rogue Talent(Snap Shot)


Secret Wizard wrote:
sorry i came to this thread by accident thought it would be about a build for someone who wants to slay gnomes

+1


1d6 vs. 1d3 adds 1.5 damage on average, less counting the better crit range on a kukri. It helps but it's not really enough.

An archer is a definite improvement. It makes multiple attacks easier (studied target wants multiple attacks), it makes your slow movement less relevant, and since it doesn't look like you'll have great AC/CMD (probably light armor, no magic or class features giving a bonus) a bit of range will help there too.

With a bow you're looking at something like point blank shot, precise shot, deadly aim, rapid shot, weapon focus, improved precise shot, manyshot, sniper's eye, clustered shots & point blank master to level 10. With a light crossbow the 3rd level feat becomes rapid reload, 5th becomes deadly aim, 7th weapon focus, 10th/last ranger combat style maybe pinpoint targeting or shot on the run. The crossbow is better early on (levels 1-6), the bow later. Maybe it's possible to retrain about level 6 or so?

Edit: similar to yours but if you're using a light crossbow you can skip crossbow mastery. Also I missed the additional slayer talents from the FCB which would help.

Liberty's Edge

OTOH you don't get any stat to damage, and base damage is a 1d6.
Why are you taking rapid shot with a heavy crossbow? You can't use it because reloading is still a move action.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
blashimov wrote:

OTOH you don't get any stat to damage, and base damage is a 1d6.

Why are you taking rapid shot with a heavy crossbow? You can't use it because reloading is still a move action.

It is a useless feat at 3rd, but at 4th with crossbow mastery it will work just fine.

Dark Archive

And it's a prereq for Crossbow Mastery.


You still going with a 6 Strength?

There's no way I can see you being any type of melee character and not be encumbered. You're max weight is just 15 LBs (for small size). Any type of armor and weapon will max that out real quick.
If you decide to stay with the 6 STR be sure you have a breakdown of your gears weight you can show the GM.

If you're planning on using the Crossbow, I've heard that 5 levels of Gunslinger Archetype that uses crossbows can make them very deadly.


The OP build belongs in the general discussion post "Most frustratingly weak characters you've ever experienced".


You gave me a warm fuzzy feeling.

Liberty's Edge

nicholas storm wrote:

The OP build belongs in the general discussion post "Most frustratingly weak characters you've ever experienced".

So does the crossbow one sadly.

TiwazBlackhand I'll go through math if you want but I think you do the same damage as a 1st - 2nd level character around level 9.

Dark Archive

I mean, if I wanted to make a super optimal character, I'd make a Half-Orc Two-Handed weapon fighter with an 18 boosted to 20 in strength and dump int/cha.

The goal here was never "Build the Best Character"
The goal was "Here's a S!+%ty Concept, make it the best possible."

Which, incidentally, my math indicates that the best option is 1 level of Knife Master Rogue followed by going Kukri melee slayer.


There's a big difference between a highly optimized 20 STR guy and someone that stabs people with a kukri for 1 damage.


I always feel your character should be viable from the level you start playing it. If you don't have GM credit to start at level 3, you show up at the table doing 1 point of damage per attack.

Dark Archive

Str 6 small character, Medium load 16-30 lbs.
Breastplate (small) - 15 lb
Kukri (small) - 1 lb
Buckler (small) - 2.5 lb
Total - 18.5 lb

Medium load penalties are lesser than BP alone, therefore do not apply.

Other gear - Nah.

:P

First two levels are weak, level 3 (when we add Slashing Grace) come up to par with a 16 strength fighter using a great sword (thanks to 1d8 sneak attack), by level 10 (thanks to Studied Target and d8 sneak attack) we're ahead of the fighter (even counting Weapon Specialization) by about 6 damage per attack.
The biggest drawback is, that by taking a level of rogue, we fall behind 1 bab and therefore get our iterative attacks one level later.
So, if my 6 Str kukri slayer gnome is getting the same number of attacks, it's ahead in damage, if we're at lvl 6/11/16, I MAY be behind.

Dark Archive

1d3-2 + 1d8


Good luck always counting on sneak attack with a 15' move.

Dark Archive

Just for funzies, Pick 3 levels, and give me an 'ideal' fighter stat array, 20 point buy, with an 18 for strength so we can build him with a starting 20 str. I'll do some maths tomorrow after work.


At 6th level with studied target, a +2 dex belt & a +1 weapon the heavy crossbow guy is looking at +13/+13/+8 for 1d8+3 damage. My bow variant, adding deadly aim as well gets +11/+11/+6 for 1d4+5. The light crossbow added up to +10/+10/+5 for 1d6+5. Add one slayer talent to each of mine (I forgot the FCB) if you like but it won't change much. Point blank shot, sneak attack & any buffs are on top of that; precise & improved precise shot ensure that the attack bonus won't go any lower.

A bolt ace compared to Tiwaz' heavy crossbow guy would have 4 higher damage from the crossbow training, 2 less attack/damage from not having studied target, three less feats/talents & some deeds at the same point. I don't think it'd be a big difference.

Liberty's Edge

TiwazBlackhand wrote:

I mean, if I wanted to make a super optimal character, I'd make a Half-Orc Two-Handed weapon fighter with an 18 boosted to 20 in strength and dump int/cha.

The goal here was never "Build the Best Character"
The goal was "Here's a S!+*ty Concept, make it the best possible."

Which, incidentally, my math indicates that the best option is 1 level of Knife Master Rogue followed by going Kukri melee slayer.

Ok but like, in that case I think you have the best possible crossbow using gnome slayer.

Are we talking about the melee build or the crossbow build with the other commentary?

So for the crossbow build, that first shot is nice at 9th level,
1d8+3d6+9+6+2+1 so that's like 32, which is pretty good. Your regular attacks for the rest of the fight though, or if ambushed, is at
1d8+7. You deal 23 damage if both primary attacks hit.
A level 1 barbarian does 21. A level 2 slayer with a mighty bow does like
1d8+6 on each attack...see what I mean? 9th level is the level your damage exceeds a level 1 - 2 character, outside the first shot.

Liberty's Edge

TiwazBlackhand wrote:

Str 6 small character, Medium load 16-30 lbs.

Breastplate (small) - 15 lb
Kukri (small) - 1 lb
Buckler (small) - 2.5 lb
Total - 18.5 lb

Medium load penalties are lesser than BP alone, therefore do not apply.

Other gear - Nah.

:P

First two levels are weak, level 3 (when we add Slashing Grace) come up to par with a 16 strength fighter using a great sword (thanks to 1d8 sneak attack), by level 10 (thanks to Studied Target and d8 sneak attack) we're ahead of the fighter (even counting Weapon Specialization) by about 6 damage per attack.
The biggest drawback is, that by taking a level of rogue, we fall behind 1 bab and therefore get our iterative attacks one level later.
So, if my 6 Str kukri slayer gnome is getting the same number of attacks, it's ahead in damage, if we're at lvl 6/11/16, I MAY be behind.

But...you don't have d8 sneak attack at level 3, or are you saying you take 2 slayer 1 knife rogue?

Because that's, like, +7 to hit and d3+d8+3 to damage, *if* you get sneak attack.
A rando fighter with a greatsword and 18 str is already at
+8 and 2d6+9...that's 16 damage vs 10...*if* you get sneak attack...And the fighter gets, you know, other fighter things...
edit: I see you assumed 16 str, ok, that's still +7 and 2d6+7 for 14 vs 10...

Liberty's Edge

It gets worse from there.
How are you going to great cleave and get sneak attack? What is combat reflexes doing for you? Why bleed people for 3 points of damage at 9th level, when an average monster has 115 hp? etc. (bleed damage doesn't usually stack, so bleeding critical and bleeding sneak attack don't work well together...)

Liberty's Edge

Ok so your original post was how can it be improved within stat / race / class constraints, and there my answer is just drop everything level 5+ and pick other fun stuff. Get the slayer talent for social skills. Take pirhana strike and use your talents for things. Take two weapon fighting. Etc.

Dark Archive

Some maths.

I've built two characters to level 12, I'm gonna show some attack/damage math at four levels.

We've got two characters, Hubert, a Human two-handed weapon Fighter, and Gnitwit, a Gnome Slayer with a 1 level dip into Knife Master Rogue.

I'll look at 4 levels, 6 & 7 and 11 & 12. These levels because this is where Gnitwit first falls behind one attack per round, then catches up the next level.
Using wealth by level, at 6/7, 16,000gp at level 6, both characters get a +2 stat belt and a +1 Flaming weapon.
At 11/12, 82,000gp both instead have a +6 stat belt and a +2 Flaming Burst weapon.

Hubert is pure Fighter Two-Handed Weapon archetype, using a Great Sword.
Stats
Str 20 (18 + 2 racial)
Dex 10
Con 16
Int 7
Wis 11
Cha 7

All stat increases go into Strength.

Gnitwit is a Slayer with 1 level in Knife Master Rogue. 1st level Rogue, all subsequent levels Slayer.
Stats
Str 6 (8 – 2 racial)
Dex 16
Con 15 (13 + 2 racial)
Int 14
Wis 12
Cha 14 (12 +2 racial)

All stat increases go into Dexterity.

Hubert build (1 empty feat, not sure what to put there)
1 wep focus (Great Sword)/power attack/cleave
2 furious focus
3
4 weapon spec (Great Sword)
5 great cleave
6 vital strike
7 hammer the gap
8 grtr wep focus (Great Sword)
9 crit focus
10 imp crit (Great Sword)
11 improved vital strike
12 grtr wep spec (Great Sword)

Gnitwit build (extra slayer talent at 7 from favored class bonus)
1- Feat-Weapon Finesse
3- Talent-Rogue Talent (Weapon Training [Kukri]), Feat-Slashing Grace (Kukri)
5- Talent-Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed Weapon [Power Attack]), Feat-Combat Reflexes
7- Talent 1-Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed Weapon [Great Cleave]), Talent 2-Slowing Strike, Feat-Stand Still
9- Talent-Rogue Talent (Combat Trick [Improved Critical {kukri}]), Feat-Extra Slayer Talent (Rogue Talent [Surprise Attack])
11- Talent -Ranger Combat Style (Two-handed Weapon [Dreadful Carnage]), Feat-Critical Focus

Key assumption, Enemy AC is for CR matching character level.
Level 6 - 19
Level 7 - 20
Level 11 - 25
Level 12 - 27

Gnitwit Total DPR no power attack
Level 6 - 15.26
Level 7 - 30.245
Level 11 - 59.4125
Level 12 - 69.3

Hubert Total DPR no power attack
Level 6 - 34.32
Level 7 - 34.32
Level 11 - 85.575
Level 12 – 84.75

Gnitwit DPR with Power Attack
Level 6 - 15.47
Level 7 - 29.715
Level 11 - 57.2625
Level 12 - 60.4125

Hubert DPR with Power Attack
Level 6 - 35.5
Level 7 - 35.5
Level 11 - 87.525
Level 12 – 84.075

DPR Calculations are made by figuring the attack damage (including backswing on Huberts 2nd and 3rd attacks) then multiplying by the % chance of actually hitting with each attack, and multiplying the average crit damage by the odds of critting multiplied by the odds of confirming (including Crit Focus at levels 11 & 12)

So we learn some important things here (power attack aint helpin Gnitwit at least against a CR==Level monster) but mostly we learn the following.

Gnitwit falls behind Hubert in DPR, to the following amounts.
At Level 6, when Gnitwit has one attack and Hubert has two, 20.24
At Level 7, when it's two all, 5.255
At Level 11, when Gnitwit has two and Hubert has three, 28.1125
And at Level 12, when it's three all, 14.775

Note, Kukri average damage is 2, Greatsword is 7, and Gnitwit is 4 stat points (2 mod) behind and Hubert gets stat mod * 1.5 or sometimes * 2.
So, we would expect Gnitwit to be behind by 8-9 damage points per HIT behind. But d8 sneak attack makes up a lot of that, and Studied Target helps as well.


Think my biggest worry when I see someone with a low stat score is ability damage. Having a 6 or lower in any ability means you can be knocked down to zero and out of combat with just one hit. 7 through 10 usually requires at least 2 hits.

Also think if you're determined to go with that stat array, you'd probably do better with the Mouser - Swashbuckler archetype.

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