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Would one level dip in Brawler be enough


Advice


I am looking at making a sword lord, my problem is that the dex to damage comes so late in the build (level 6)...I would like it by level 2...

Gives me 3 options

I COULD do a human Bravado, slashing grace, and weapon focus: I dislike this idea, as I am "stuck with" Slashing Grace after it is not needed (We do not use the retraining rules, just the swapping some classes allow)

I could do a Bravado (any race) and a dip into fighter at level 2 to take slashing grace. 3 levels more of Fighter and I could swap out Grace (Earliest would be level 8). Dislike the idea as it is 4 levels of fighter

Was thinking of a level of Bravado, then a dip into Brawler, using Martial Flex for the Grace...We normally run adventure paths, so I question if 4 minutes a day would be enough "grace" to get me by until level 6...


Have you asked your GM if you can use Deadly Agility ? I think it does well and is very balanced. It is 3pp but usually if you ask nicely enough and trying to not have to do a crazy amount of dipping to accomplish a simple thing like Dex to damage. A lot of the community likes the Path of War book.


No third party allowed (a lot of first party is not allowed)

Scarab Sages

Brawler is an amazing 1 level dip for a lot of reasons. You'd also pick up Improved Unarmed Strike, which could help you take a style feat down the line (or Martial Flexibility into one). You get Brawler's Cunning, so if you were thinking about taking any feats the need 13 Int, you don't need it anymore (EDIT: More of a general comment, since Swashbuckler would get to use CHA anyway). If you ever have room for a second level, you get a bonus feat. So that is certainly an option. Once you have Dex-to-Damage, you can use Martial Flexibility for lots of fun things. Stay one step ahead in whatever feat chain you're trying to build for, or just use Dedicated Adversary to pick up a floating +2 hit/+2 damage against whatever you are fighting.

An alternative, if you're going to have a decent INT score, would be Occultist. Occultist doesn't get a bonus feat, but Transmutation Occultist gets Legacy Weapon, which you can use to put Agile on your sword. If your GM allows the Training Weapon Enhancement from Inner Sea Intrigue, then it can essentially work as Martial Flexibility as well. And, once you've got Dex-to-Damage, you can use Legacy Weapon to pick up Bane for a +2 +2d6 against whatever you happen to be fighting. It's a standard action instead of a move with Brawler, but ultimately more powerful. Also, Transmutation gets you a +2 enhancement to one physical stat, which you can change when you buy a belt, assuming you have at least a 14 INT to get 3 points of Mental Focus. You do take a hit to BAB, but you get a boost to your two poor saves. Also, as someone pointed out to me recently, Silksworn Occultist gets to add CHA to their Mental Focus Pool, and the flavor seems appropriate for a Bravo/Swordlord.You would have to deal with Arcane Spell Failure, though. But I doubt you would be casting that often, anyway.


My question to the point, would be is Martial Flexibility enough to get me to level 6?


Jason Wedel wrote:
My question to the point, would be is Martial Flexibility enough to get me to level 6?

I think so. It's what that class uses, and it's not like if you're minus a couple points of damage that your dude is completely useless.. right?

I think this is a good effective use of class traits to ensure you can do what you want, at a cost that's reasonable.

But consider this: that's 4 combats a day, 10 rounds each; and you're still almost as useful when it's not active. I wouldn't worry about it, Brawler seems to be more than enough.


I will actually be taking a BIG hit on efficiency. I am looking at probably a difference of 3-4 on to hit and damage (Str will be 8-12, while Dex will be 18ish)

Scarab Sages

I see. Because the dueling sword is a slashing weapon, swashbuckler’s Finesse doesn’t work with it without Slashing Grace. And Bravo doesn’t change that.

Won’t you always need Slashing Grace, then?

EDIT: That seems like a pretty big oversight in the archetype.


Ferious Thune wrote:

I see. Because the dueling sword is a slashing weapon, swashbuckler’s Finesse doesn’t work with it without Slashing Grace. And Bravo doesn’t change that.

Won’t you always need Slashing Grace, then?

EDIT: That seems like a pretty big oversight in the archetype.

Nope.level 6 going to take Swordlord. Between that and mastery got it covered...it is about getting to six

Scarab Sages

But Deft Strike only lets you add Dex to damage. Swashbucklers Finesse still won’t work with the dueling sword without Slashing Grace, because the dueling sword is a slashing weapon.

EDIT: Meaning you won’t have Dex to hit without Slashing Grace, even after you get Swordlord levels.

EDIT EDIT: Ok, so you mean the Aldori Dueling Mastery feat to treat it as piercing... Does that work? Here’s what the feat says:

“Aldori Dueling Mastery” wrote:
Although the dueling sword inflicts slashing damage, you treat it as if it were also a piercing weapon when determining the effects of weapons used by a duelist.

“Used by a duelist.” Is that referring to the Duelist prestige class? Has something clarified that works for Swashbucklers?

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Ok, yes. It looks like Adventurer’s Guide updated the feat to work with swashbucklers.

Scarab Sages

Sorry for all that. Took me a few minutes to follow the path to the right version of the feat.

So with a better grasp on everything, if you’re starting Aldori Swordlord level’s at 6th, In the long run you may be better off sticking with single class Bravo. Dipping anything means you won’t get Swashbuckler’s Weapon Training. Also, your Precise Strike will do 1 less damage. So you’re giving up +1 to hit, +2 to damage, and Improved Critical.

So I’d say just don’t dump strength and stay single class. You’ll have a rough time for 4 levels, but it’s managable. Maybe even start with a 13 STR if you can. That leaves open the possibility of taking Power Attack down the line.


Down the road, it might be nice to pick up crane style. It works very nicely with the prestige class.


Going STR-dumped is lame anyhow. An extremely agile and medium-strong warrior is cool. An extremely agile and "someone get that kid a sandwich/ can someone carry my stuff?/ this armor is really heavy!" scrawny little warrior is... not.

Swordlord grants dex-to-damage while two-handing, so not taking Power Attack is a terrible loss of potential.

Liberty's Edge

My investigator has a one level dip in Brawler, is currently level 5, and the 4 uses a day of Martial Flex are plenty for me.


@badbird: I am tired of the "Have to take Power Attack" mindset I have seen at my table to many times...I know it is a good feat, but want to have something different...


Jason Wedel wrote:
@badbird: I am tired of the "Have to take Power Attack" mindset I have seen at my table to many times...I know it is a good feat, but want to have something different...

Sadly it is a much-needed feat to anyone doing melee damage. I give my players PA if they have a +1 BaB. I feel like it really is a feat tax and martials can use the freebie. That way they can start building towards other things early and the late game they have plenty of feat chains to play with.

I do not agree with all the Feat tax stuff. But Free power attack helps everyone...even the wizard who uses Form of the Dragon later game it gives them melee options.

But trust me You are not alone on the feeling like power attack is mandatory.

But not all tables play this way but it might be interesting to pitch the Idea at your next home game. You might find out that your group agrees with you but just never spoke up about it.


I can understand that. I however want to see if I can make an efficient Martial W/O it. I am almost tempted to just do a strait Swashbuckler, but feel I would be disadvantaged on the number of feats...it is a balancing act however...The greatness of the swash is diminished with each dip, I right now am thinking of 4 dips (2 fighter, 1 Brawler, 1 ASL)...

This would allow for about 4 extra feats on the Swashbuckler chasee at -1 to hit and -4 damage...

I am ALOMOST ready to give up on this idea, and just make a crit fighting Fencer instead..


keerawa wrote:
My investigator has a one level dip in Brawler, is currently level 5, and the 4 uses a day of Martial Flex are plenty for me.

Thank you, I appreciate the simple answer :)


Jason Wedel wrote:
I can understand that. I however want to see if I can make an efficient Martial W/O it. I am almost tempted to just do a strait Swashbuckler, but feel I would be disadvantaged on the number of feats...it is a balancing act however...The greatness of the swash is diminished with each dip, I right now am thinking of 4 dips (2 fighter, 1 Brawler, 1 ASL)...

Really, even a Swashbuckler is probably better-off using Power Attack.

But anyways, if you're looking to make a sword build that doesn't use Power Attack, I'd consider Daring Champion Cavalier. They're naturally huge on damage and lower on attack bonus, so they're the most natural fit for not using Power Attack. They can also do some cool things with Orders. Using Ready Action on the Order of the Dragon's Strategy ability is playing chess vs. the enemy's checkers. "When that monster charges someone, I'm granting everyone on the team an immediate move action. Target: step away from monster. Melee: position a full attack. Wait for it...!"


So my plan right now

1) swashbucler bravado with weapon focus
2) brawler
3-5) Swashbucler with weapon spec, quick draw and dueling master
6) swordlord with combat expertise

Long term will use flex for improved feats

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