Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Fox Shape Build


Advice


Grin ... I've been playing this since level 1, and about to hit level 4 (when I get to do damage) ... Looking for feedback on this build

Shippo:

Race: Kitsune, using the alternate racial trait to get fox shape at level 1. I spend virtually all my time in fox shape and I am the party tank.

1: Mouser Swashbuckler
Underfoot deed... combat style is to annoy the enemy, disarm, steal, dirty trips, grapple.
Weapon Finesse-lite (works on bite attack only)
2: Scaled Fist monk
Charisma to AC
3: Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer
Claw attack, ability to cast mage armor and shield while not in fox-form.
4: Cavalier (Flame Order)
Tactician ... rawr!!
5: Urban Bloodrager
Valet Thrush Familiar (diminutive, sits on me), +10 move
6: Snakebiter Brawler
Sneak attack
7: Relic Channeler Medium
Ability to add 1d6 to any ally's (including me) failed d20 roll, +2 damage.
8: Cavalier
Ability to move during the initiative check!!! This lets me get into the enemies square to harass them.
9: Unchained Rogue
Sneak attack, retraining feat.
10: Unchained Rogue
Evasion
11: Unchained Rogue
Sneak attack

Feats:
Racial: Fox Shape
1: Weapon Finesse (retrain to Practiced Tactician at level 9)
Monk1: Dragon Style
3: Arcane Strike
5: Step Up
Cavalier: Paired Opportunist
7: Outflank
Rogue 1: Weapon Finesse
9: Accomplished Sneak Attack
Rogue 2 Talent: Open
11: Open

Tactics:
Level 1-3. I did 1 point of nonlethal per hit, as 1d3-4 is nothing. I contribute to the party by soaking AoOs, performing combat maneuvers (grapple, steal, disarm, dirty tricks, etc) and provide flanking buddies to team members.
Level 4+ I have the fame to purchase the amulet of mighty fists: agile. So, I now do damage. 1d3+10 at level 4 with a single bite, or 1d3+7 for claw/claw/bite ... Starting at this level, for boss fights ... I can use tactician to give allies the ability to take AoOs from things like the boss provoking to get away from me (underfoot).
Level 5: Enemies can no longer escape me by 5' stepping from me to perform their actions. I now have a thrust familiar which has my teamwork feats ... so, I am always getting a bonus to hit for AoOs.
Level 7: My familiar is now giving me another +2 to hit from outflank. Note: this attack bonus also translates into bonuses to CMB checks.
Level 9-11: Numbers just get bigger.

Stats in Fox Shape at level 11
Str: 3
Int: 7
Wis: 7
Dex: 32
Con: 14
Char: 22
AC: 33 unbuffed, 37 with mage armor, 41 with shield as well.
Touch AC: 33
HP: 85
Fort: 16
Ref: 24
Will: 9 (+11 vs mind affecting)
Attack: bite+25 (1d3+14+3d6 SA), Clawx2+25(1d2+14+3d6 SA), Gore+25 (1d2+14+3d6 SA), Sting+25 (1d2+14+3d6 SA)
Init +17
movement: 50', can charge through allies / difficult terrain.
Scent

Equipment
Amulet of Mighty Fist: Agile
Belt of dex +6
Ring of Protection +3
Cloak of Protection +3
Headband of Charisma +4
Helm of Mammoth Lord
Fleshwarped Scorpion's Tail
Cracked ioun stone (+1 to hit)
Cracked ioun stone (+1 to saves)
Cracked ioun stone (+1 to init)

Skills:
Stealth: +25
Acrobatics: 20
Climb: 15
Diplomacy: +23
Perception: +2
Survival: +7
Disable Device: +18
Sleight of Hand: +25

I'm looking for advice for levels 4+, if you see a glaring issue or if there is a better way to do something ...


A few things.

1: Do you have a flanking buddy for the Sneak attack damage?

2: What are the Rogue Levels actually bringing you if you are using a Agile AoMF? I feel the bad saves, D8 hd, and lower BaB is hamstringing you for your last 3 levels as a Frontliner "Tank". If it is just for the Sneak attack and this is not PFS maybe look into Vivisectionist Alchemist for a +4 mutatgen, +2 Natural armor, Skills, Sneak attack, Extracts, Brew Potions. The package ends up being better for 3 levels than the rogue. Evasion is good but you can get that with 1 more level of monk and skip the snakebite Brawler.


My flanking buddy is my thrust familiar ... he occupies my square and just sits there ... underfoot from mouser says that any adjacent allies provide flanking -- rules state that adjacent is anything 5' or closer (i.e. including the same square).

This is for PFS so no vivisectionist Alchemist ... plus since I am in fox shape almost 24x7, taking the standard to drink the mutagen is actually upwards of three rounds (standard to switch to kitsune form, standard to drink, standard to return to fox shape). You are correct that technically I would have extracts, but with my low casting stat, I would be unable to use them.

The casting of mage armor lasts 3 hours (trait gave +2 CL for sorcerer), so that's basically all day (3 rounds every 3 hours is fine).

The three levels of rogue were mainly for the Sneak Attack damage (+2d6 damage per hit, for 5 attacks) ... the evasion is ok ... the extra combat feat (rogue talent) isn't bad ... but the higher level plan I'm not so sure of ... initially I was looking at rogue from level 5 onwards ... but the more I looked at it, and the more I played it, the less inclined I was to go rogue.

Snakebite brawler was initially to get Sneak Attack while not losing another point of BAB, so that I could get my next teamwork feat (prereq of +4 BAB) as well as accomplished sneak attacker ... but having seen the enemies 5' step away from me while I am in their square, I chose step-up instead ...

Great suggestions though ...

I'm half tempted to take a second level of medium to give my allies the séance bonus ... or either two levels of Paladin (grace / lay on hands) or three levels of holy tactician paladin (easier teamwork feat stuff)


meyerwilliam wrote:

My flanking buddy is my thrust familiar ... he occupies my square and just sits there ... underfoot from mouser says that any adjacent allies provide flanking -- rules state that adjacent is anything 5' or closer (i.e. including the same square).

This is for PFS so no vivisectionist Alchemist ... plus since I am in fox shape almost 24x7, taking the standard to drink the mutagen is actually upwards of three rounds (standard to switch to kitsune form, standard to drink, standard to return to fox shape). You are correct that technically I would have extracts, but with my low casting stat, I would be unable to use them.

The casting of mage armor lasts 3 hours (trait gave +2 CL for sorcerer), so that's basically all day (3 rounds every 3 hours is fine).

The three levels of rogue were mainly for the Sneak Attack damage (+2d6 damage per hit, for 5 attacks) ... the evasion is ok ... the extra combat feat (rogue talent) isn't bad ... but the higher level plan I'm not so sure of ... initially I was looking at rogue from level 5 onwards ... but the more I looked at it, and the more I played it, the less inclined I was to go rogue.

Snakebite brawler was initially to get Sneak Attack while not losing another point of BAB, so that I could get my next teamwork feat (prereq of +4 BAB) as well as accomplished sneak attacker ... but having seen the enemies 5' step away from me while I am in their square, I chose step-up instead ...

Great suggestions though ...

I'm half tempted to take a second level of medium to give my allies the séance bonus ... or either two levels of Paladin (grace / lay on hands) or three levels of holy tactician paladin (easier teamwork feat stuff)

Well the drinking mutagen is not too terrible since it lasts 10 min/Level. But since it is PFS then that is a no go.

3 Levels of Mutagen fighter can work too since changing from Fox and back you can do. Once you know you're in a dungeon drink it and go back to Fox. The extra feats can provide you with the feats you need to improve.

Is arcane strike worth it for +1 damage? Your CL is 3 so it will not scale up unless I am missing something.

There is another dirty thing you can do. Go Freebooter Ranger 2 for a team buff AND power attack bypassing the Str required for the feat.


Your familiar can not provide flanking. He can not treaten outside of his square, therefore can not flank even with Mouser Swashbuckler.

You have to be Small in order to threaten outside your square, in which case you can no longer occupy the same square.


Arcane strike is more than +1 damage, it makes my natural attacks count as magic ... which is amazing to bypass Dr/Magic until/unless I upgrade my amulet of might fists: agile to agile+1 (level 5 or 6 due to fame)

3 levels Mutagen Fighter vs Rogue:
2d6 SA, evasion, 8 skills/level, rogue talent (feat) +2 BAB, +1 fort/will, +3 Ref, +18 skill points vs
Mutagen (+2 damage, +2 Natural AC), two feats, +3 BAB, +1 will/ref, +3 Fort, +3 skill points, +3 hps

I'm not seeing the awesomeness of the mutagenic fighter ...

Hmmm .. ranger, there's an idea. Is power attack better than piranha strike?


SorrySleeping ... help me out here to understand what you are saying:

A fox (Tiny) has reach 0, just like a thrush (diminutive). With 0' reach, we need to be in the enemies square.

My familiar is in the same square as me (i.e. in the same square as the enemy) ... can you explain why I can attack the enemy, but the thrush cannot? If the thrush can attack the enemy (even if it doesn't) then it threatens them, which means flanking, right?

With the pathfinder definition of adjacent meaning 5' or closer, the familiar and I are adjacent.

Can you point out what I am missing?


meyerwilliam wrote:

Arcane strike is more than +1 damage, it makes my natural attacks count as magic ... which is amazing to bypass Dr/Magic until/unless I upgrade my amulet of might fists: agile to agile+1 (level 5 or 6 due to fame)

3 levels Mutagen Fighter vs Rogue:
2d6 SA, evasion, 8 skills/level, rogue talent (feat) +2 BAB, +1 fort/will, +3 Ref, +18 skill points vs
Mutagen (+2 damage, +2 Natural AC), two feats, +3 BAB, +1 will/ref, +3 Fort, +3 skill points, +3 hps

I'm not seeing the awesomeness of the mutagenic fighter ...

Hmmm .. ranger, there's an idea. Is power attack better than piranha strike?

I consider Fort better than Reflex for a frontliner. Think of how many things tag on poison or disease. You need to make your saves and with your outrageous dex, you can pass Reflex saves. To me, that is what really pushes it ahead. As for skills that have never been a selling point for me as a player. Since you're a fox you have no way to Diplo or Bluff (unless you can talk), You can not pass along knowledge info(unless you can talk), and at higher levels, cheap potions can easily help you crush skill checks. Many skills become redundant because why climb when you can fly?

A Ring of Eloquence can help you speak while in fox form. 3,500gp is not much.


I 100% agree that the +2 fort that the warrior gives is better than the +2 ref that the rogue gives ... poison though, I disregard -- the spell delay poison is such a good spell to be cast on front-liners, that I consider it a staple. But +2d6 sneak attack vs the +2 to hit/Damage/Ref, +4 AC seems bigger somehow.

My biggest concern is via role-playing, to have to switch to kitsune form to drink the mutagen just feels wrong. Don't get me wrong, I have a couple toons which mix-up rage and mutagen and have a blast. This guy though, is all about static-persistent bonuses, instead of temporary ones (mage armor (3 hours = basically all day) or the occasional shield spell is different)

You can actually diplomacy as a fox ... grin ... the way I do it, is to make puppy dog eyes at the NPCs ... might be a bit of a penalty due to lack of common language, but still :)

And yes, skills are not as important in higher levels -- I will never make the knowledge checks (knowledge is not a class skill, negative int bonus, lack of skill ranks) to identify monsters. My perception is low

Re: ring of eloquence: that should be a needed item, but the way I'm playing it, the fox tries never to talk (this is difficult for me as a player, as I usually like to be up-front-and-talking) ...

What do you think of the hunter animal focus? Is there any ones that look good? Alternately, the style feats ... I'm trying to see if I can dirty trick instead of making an attack, but it looks to take quite a large amount of feats ... I also looked into the vexing dodger archetype for the rogue, but losing my dex while climbing seemed insane. Now, level 5 rogue for the skill unlock would fix that, but that's way too many levels.


Dirty Fighting is a thing. But since you are dex you will need agile manuevers. If you go this Route FIghter is still the better way to go for the Feats to do it and the BaB also works on COmbat maneuvers.

Optimizers all agree the more you Increase your chances to hit the more damage you do. That +2 to attack and +2 to damage far outweighs the Lower BaB and Sneak attack. Sneak attack has some enemies you can not use it on and as someone else pointed out your familiar can not flank for you like you were wanting. Thus you NEED a flanking partner for that ability to work.

As for Delay Poison. I play a ton of support and that is not a spell I think is a staple and must be cast on front-liners. If you can't pass a Fort save on a regular then don't be on the frontlines. I will prepare a Remove/neutralize Poison later in my free slot if you fail but I will not waste a spell slot on it if I do not have too. In PFS this is doubly so especially when you do not know who you will be partying with.

As for Diplomacy.

Diplomacy Skill wrote:
You cannot use Diplomacy against a creature that does not understand you

I would not allow someone who can not talk use the skill. Gathering Information requires talking, Changing someone's attitude requires talking, and making a request requires verbalizing the request.

A talking Fox seems cool to me. You don't need to speak much but as a GM I would require it for a Diplomacy as the skill states you can not use it if the creature can not understand you. The sad looking eyes conveys very little. Not sure why PFS allows this unless the person running it does not know the ins and out of the skill.

Lastly, you can not use Unchained rogue for Vexing Dodger because Vexing replaces trap sense and Unchained has danger sense. So the Skill unlock would need to be a feat which you are kind of low on.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would take those Rogue levels much earlier, probably after your first level each of Mouser Swashbuckler, Scaled Fist Unchained Monk and Snake Striker Brawler. Dex to Damage and Debilitating Injury is just so nice, even if you have to take Fox Shape a little later due to the decreased base attack bonus. An Amulet will give your natural attacks Magic, so you don't need arcane strike. You could instead take Sap Adept and Sap Master, since they work with Unarmed Strikes and you have Improved Unarmed Strike with Brawler. That'll make your sneak attack dice actually higher than a rogue who didn't multi-class (at level 11). If you still really want Arcane Strike, you can also take Combat Feat as your rogue talent.

Catching people flat-footed at least during the first round of combat won't be that difficult: your bonuses to stealth are really high!

You can also go dual bloodline (Psychic) to be able to cast spells in Fox Form.


Louise Bishop wrote:
Dirty Fighting is a thing. But since you are dex you will need agile manuevers.

As a tiny creature, per rules on CMB, I already use Dex instead of STR.

Louise Bishop wrote:
Optimizers all agree the more you Increase your chances to hit the more damage you do. That +2 to attack and +2 to damage far outweighs the Lower BaB and Sneak attack. Sneak attack has some enemies you can not use it on and as someone else pointed out your familiar can not flank for you like you were wanting. Thus you NEED a flanking partner for that ability to work.

Optimizing past a certain point is not feasible (once you hit on a 2, there is nothing to optimize) ... I'll run the numbers.

And no, the person pointing out that my familiar couldn't be a flank buddy was incorrect as I posted.

To recap: Tiny creatures (0 reach) must be in the square of the person they are attacking ... both my familiar and I are ... Underfoot says that any adjacent allies are considered flanking (as am I) ... adjacent is defined as no more than 5' away. Hence, flanking with my familiar.

Louise Bishop wrote:

I would not allow someone who can not talk use the skill. Gathering Information requires talking, Changing someone's attitude requires talking, and making a request requires verbalizing the request.

A talking Fox seems cool to me. You don't need to speak much but as a GM I would require it for a Diplomacy as the skill states you can not use it if the creature can not understand you. The sad looking eyes conveys very little. Not sure why PFS allows this unless the person running it does not know the ins and out of the skill.

It could be ... it only happened once, and I am unsure if it was me aid-another'ing or whatnot. -- Either way, I now know this doesn't work.

Louise Bishop wrote:
Lastly, you can not use Unchained rogue for Vexing Dodger because Vexing replaces trap sense and Unchained has danger sense. So the Skill unlock would need to be a feat which you are kind of low on.

Per Unchained Rogue Danger Sense:

This ability counts as trap sense for the purpose of any feat or class prerequisite, and can be replaced by any archetype class feature that replaces trap sense.

So although I could use Vexing dodger, it doesn't seem to give me anything I would want.

And unfortunately, if I remember, the skill unlocks feat is not currently allowed in PFS ...


KitsuneWarlock wrote:

I would take those Rogue levels much earlier, probably after your first level each of Mouser Swashbuckler, Scaled Fist Unchained Monk and Snake Striker Brawler. Dex to Damage and Debilitating Injury is just so nice, even if you have to take Fox Shape a little later due to the decreased base attack bonus. An Amulet will give your natural attacks Magic, so you don't need arcane strike. You could instead take Sap Adept and Sap Master, since they work with Unarmed Strikes and you have Improved Unarmed Strike with Brawler. That'll make your sneak attack dice actually higher than a rogue who didn't multi-class (at level 11). If you still really want Arcane Strike, you can also take Combat Feat as your rogue talent.

Catching people flat-footed at least during the first round of combat won't be that difficult: your bonuses to stealth are really high!

You can also go dual bloodline (Psychic) to be able to cast spells in Fox Form.

Fox shape is gotten at level one due to the alternate racial abilities (bypassing BAB requirements)

re: first round of combat ... not just the stealth, but also the init bonus!!!

I am already getting Dex to Damage at level character level 4 from my Agility amulet ... the unchained rogue ability only affects one weapon (not the claw/claw/bite/gore/sting) combo I am using -- and it would come online later than the amulet did.

Yes ... amulet can make my attacks magic. Once I can afford it (I just turned level 4, and haven't played yet), I can look into retraining Arcane Strike. In the meantime though, it'll be 1-2 levels more before I can afford the +1 agile amulet.

As far as unarmed strikes are concerned ... there is considerable debate as to whether a fox or other non-humanoid can use improved unarmed strike. I am bypassing that discussion by not doing that. I agree that Sap Adept / Master is a great combo, my first rogue went that approach.

My original thought for this character was just taking rogue starting at level 4 onwards ... but then I looked at all the juice dips available, and the more I looked, the further rogue was pushed out. See Louise's conversation and mine ... I'm on the fence of just getting rid of the rogue levels.

I love the idea of cross blooded psychic Thank you!! This lets me use Arcane Mark by pushing my nose against things to "mark" them and lets me sniff out magic (detect magic)!

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Fox Shape Build All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.