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Let's build Reachy McReacher!


Advice


As the title.

I want to build a character that has as much reach as possible because I think the current reach rules are stupidly broken and I want to demonstrate how bad they can be to my GM so he actually has a reason to houserule it differently. (Yes, you can call this an arms race, but everybody else at my table has stated how stupid it is, so giving the GM a taste of his own medicine might call for a "rules reversal" on current reach rules.)

The idea I was thinking of was an Aberrant Bloodrager. The plan is to utilize Enlarge Person, Longarm, Lunge, plus my 4th level bloodline power. By 6th level, I'm looking at ~35 feet of reach, even including the FAQ that states the bonuses to reach are applied after calculating size.

However, I feel like this isn't enough reach (I want to be able to reach over 10+ foot walls and attack creatures behind it, just for an example), and it doesn't cover my dead zone as much as I'd need it to. There's also the question as to how I would distribute my attributes, or if I can get away with being mostly Dex-based (and going Urban Bloodrager as a result).

So, here are my main concerns:

1. Is a Dex-based build viable? If so, how would you build it? If not, how should I allocate my attributes to properly balance Dexterity for AoOs and Strength for damage (assuming a 15 point buy)?

2. What kind of Reach weapon should I use? I'd prefer not to spend a feat on proficiency if I can help it, even if it's a solid weapon (*cough*Fauchard*cough*), but other than that, what kind of reach weapon would be best to use?

3. What other effects can I use to increase my reach? I know I have a game plan for 6th level, but how can I raise that in the higher levels, where I'm dealing with creatures who have 30 feet reach as a natural occurrence?

4. How would you shore up your "dead zone" (AKA the areas adjacent to you where you cannot reach)? Armor Spikes or Unarmed Strikes would work in the lower levels, but unless I increase their enhancement bonuses (which costs money) or find some way to make my reach weapon work adjacent as well, I'll be buried in debt trying to make two weapons function with no cash to spare on defenses or other Big 6 items. Suggestions?


I am not an expert on how reach gets treated myself. How are you gettin 35'?

Is it (10' enlarged natural x2 for reach weapon) +5' long arm +5'aberrant +5' lunge? If so, then that seems about right.

Anyway, on to the parts of the questions I want to talk about

2. Well, the bardiche is 19-20/x2. It is also a big ax type thing, which could be cool. You could also go with lucerne/bec de corbin for bludgeoning (the 'safe' damage type).

4. Well, a bite is slightly better (since you can get 1.5x damage if it is your only natural attack; you would have to give up beast totem... but do you need that with 35' reach? Your problem is attack up close, not far away).

Otherwise.... honestly, I would just avoid having the doughnut in the first place. I am sure you can do perfectly well with 'only' 25' of reach (10' reach weapon +5' long arm +5' aberrant +5' reach). Once you add in 5' step, you are full attacking at a distance that dwarves can't get to even after spending a full move action...


Polearm trick and spear dancer style basically kill the dead zone dont they?

Also there's being a halfelf with that alternate racial ancestral arms, you could do fauchard like that or elven branched spear for more accurate AOO.

You could be an aboleth manipulated half-sea elf.


Yes, that's the math I'm getting following the recent FAQ regarding reach stacking. If the FAQ said the opposite, it'd be 50 feet range, which is about what I'm wanting to threaten.

Bardiche and Lucerne Hammer seem solid enough choices. I considered Elven Branched Spear and going Half Elf, but I'd only do that for a Dex build, and I don't see anything that nets me Dex to Damage with that outside of Agile or UCRogue (which doesn't get proficiency with that weapon).

I don't know how I'd get a bite attack as a PC while maintaining it being a primary natural weapon. Most Bite attacks that a PC gets are secondary natural weapons by default.

I also wouldn't get access to Beast Totem unless I took Primalist, which means I wouldn't get access to Pouncing (which isn't really a smart idea with a reach build) until 12th level, forgoing my 8th and 12th level bloodline powers. Which, being immune to Sickened/Nauseated and getting Moderate Fortification, is pretty hard to turn down.

The only difference between the "doughnut" from being enlarged versus not being enlarged is the size of the doughnut. One's 5 feet long. The other is 10 feet long. Eliminating the doughnut entirely requires me not using a reach weapon, which kind of defeats the point of Reachy McReacher.


Plus i mean, bodyguard or mauler tumor familiars.

Edit: plus i mean yeah finesse with the branched spear is great but honestly you don't NEED it, its still a perfectly useable weapon without it. With that much reach +2 to AOO's provoked by movement seems like itl come into play pretty regularly.


Thinking about it, bardiche is probably the better choice, since it can give you fairly reliable crits. This is important, since aberrant is one of the bloodlines with a 'good' first level power. When you crit, the enemy must save or be staggered.

...since it doesn't take an action to activate that, couldn't it be applied to reach attacks? .... wouldn't enemies getting staggered while they are doing a move action basically waste their turn? That seems fairly powerful for the 'living obstacle' aspect of reach.

I am not sure about most PC options for bites, but I know that tieflings get a decent bite. They can also grab a bit of natural armor, which can make your barbarian fairly tanky (note- even if you don't grab greater beast totem, it could be worth it to grab lesser and regular beast totem at level 8; that would give you more natural armor while raging).

And yes- there is a qualitative difference between the doughnut of a medium creature and a large creature- it is the 5' step. As a medium creature, you can still deal wtih an adjacent opponent by take a 5' step back. This means you can still work perfectly well as a regular 2 hander for just smacking things.

I tend for distance control- keeping a firm control over where I can hit and not in order to allow the greatest ease of attack. I acknowledge taht this is a trick build based on stupid amounts of reach.

Scarab Sages

Don't you mean "Reachy McReachface?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Don't you mean "Reachy McReachface?"

Well, he can probably reach your face from the other side of the room.


The language of reach weapons in the rules isn't parsed according to the Size rules so there are some ambiguities about creatures weilding inappropriately sized reach weapons. The best way of describing Reach weapons I have ever seen is that they Threaten at a range equal to twice the normal reach of the creature size they are made for.
Medium creatures with medium longspears threaten at 10' (5' natural reach + 5 foot weapon reach).
A large creature wielding a large longspears threaten at 20' (10' natural reach + 10' weapon reach).
A medium creature wielding a large longspear would threaten at 15' (5' natural reach + 10 weapon reach).

So, if we are theory-crafting, a Large sized Spine Flail with Effortless Lace is the weapon you want. It's 15 feet of reach which threatens all squares within that reach. You'd need serious GM fiat to allow a character to have this weapon, since the odds of running into a Large sized Dullahan is basically zero. In theory you could craft one, or have one crafted for you, but that's still GM fiat territory.

From there you can add Lunge, Swordmaster's Flare, Longarm Bracers, Enlarge Person, and whatever else you want to increase your reach further.


I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Don't you mean "Reachy McReachface?"

That name implies that I can stretch my face out 35 feet from my body, not that I can reach out that far altogether. Unfortunately, I don't know of any mechanic that can do that. Maybe tumor familiar, but I'd rather not go down that horrible path...

@ Ryan Freire: How do I go about getting those? Are they Bloodline Mutations or something?

In regards to Spear Dancing, it requires Two-Weapon Fighting, which is kind of pointless for me to take. I'll need to research an appropriate solution for my dead zone, but I can do that later.

Problem then becomes proficiency. Half-elf grants it (since I'm considered Elf and Human) through Martial proficiency, but even without finesse, what's an acceptable Strength/Dexterity ratio starting out?

@ Doomed Hero: Not too worried about using inappropriately sized weapons. If I was gonna go this route, I'd rather go two small sized weapons and TWF at reach, or use two whips. Problem is, that's so feat intensive that not even a Fighter would be able to reliably fulfill it, and they get the most feats.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
@ Doomed Hero: Not too worried about using inappropriately sized weapons. If I was gonna go this route, I'd rather go two small sized weapons and TWF at reach, or use two whips. Problem is, that's so feat intensive that not even a Fighter would be able to reliably fulfill it, and they get the most feats.

There are no feats required in my suggestion.


You want reach? Here's reach. Here's even more.


Doomed Hero wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
@ Doomed Hero: Not too worried about using inappropriately sized weapons. If I was gonna go this route, I'd rather go two small sized weapons and TWF at reach, or use two whips. Problem is, that's so feat intensive that not even a Fighter would be able to reliably fulfill it, and they get the most feats.
There are no feats required in my suggestion.

Was talking about TWF Whips. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.


Suggestion: There is a bloodrager archetype that allows you to choose two bloodlines and pick between their powers. Go Aberrant like you planned, but mix in Abyssal. Abyssal gives you free growth during rage, meaning you only need to cast Longarm (part of raging at level 11) and you can also invest in claws if you need to hit the dead zone.


Druid 12(or 8 and Shaping focus) , take the shape of quickwood, 60 feet natural reach. Then pile up aberrant reach, lunge etc.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Same plan, only get a Huge Earth elemental shape and a Gargantuan dorn-dergar. It has 15 ft reach at Medium size. Add in Stalwart Defender levels to shut down moving with a hit. Goblin cleaver is good, clean fun too. If you want to bug out even worse, take the domain that gives you deeper darkness. You can still pinpoint anyone in contact with the ground.


Note: You can't use 2 handed weapons from the next size category up, you have to have a feat to make the dorn-dergar a one handed weapon but that feat is dwarf specific


If you want to go the AoO route, Combat Patrol increases the reach by 5' for every full 5 BAB you have, and allows you to move between Attacks of Opportunity to bring more enemies within your threatened range.

Or, another silly idea is to go with a Dwarf to get access to the Dwarf chain of Cleave feats. Use something like a Boulder Helmet for attacks inside your regular weapon's reach. Then, against hordes of mooks, play whack-a-mole with all of them within a 75'across circle on your turn.


Right. The druid should absolutely be a dwarf. At minimum, that is 30 ft reach base (tall Huge = 15, Medium weapon = 15). However, it seems like a bigger weapon should get a bit more reach, no? This is an area where the rules are extremely unclear.


ShroudedInLight wrote:
Suggestion: There is a bloodrager archetype that allows you to choose two bloodlines and pick between their powers. Go Aberrant like you planned, but mix in Abyssal. Abyssal gives you free growth during rage, meaning you only need to cast Longarm (part of raging at level 11) and you can also invest in claws if you need to hit the dead zone.

It's a suggestion to consider, but I'd rather not lower my Will Saves on a class that already has bad Will Saves for a convenient effect. The claws I can get with Primalist going Beast Totem and function during Rage; but even then, using claws means I'm not threatening with my weapon, which is central to the build, and they do reduced damage as a result, so I'd need another natural weapon (i.e. a bite), or some other way to switch grips on my weapon.

Or heck, alternative methods to keep bad guys in my "kill zone" and out of my "dead zone" would be appreciated.


Suppose you don't go with a bloodrager at all. It's not as kind to the action economy, but an alchemist can shapeshift pretty well with their extracts. An alchemist with the grenadier archetype can add a tanglefoot bag to their weapon to immobilise the person hit. Or if they're using the reach weapon just for AoOs an alchemist can throw bombs which can immobilise people in any of several different ways.

The boarding pike of repelling I linked to above is even a simple weapon so alchemists have proficiency, or a grenadier alchemist can use their martial weapon for armor spikes (filling in part of the doughnut hole).


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Don't you mean "Reachy McReachface?"

That name implies that I can stretch my face out 35 feet from my body, not that I can reach out that far altogether. Unfortunately, I don't know of any mechanic that can do that. Maybe tumor familiar, but I'd rather not go down that horrible path...

reach (10 (large)+5(abberant 1)+5(long"arm"))*2 (combat partol)=40

Bite or Gore at over 10 meters. seems pretty reachface to me.


avr wrote:

Suppose you don't go with a bloodrager at all. It's not as kind to the action economy, but an alchemist can shapeshift pretty well with their extracts. An alchemist with the grenadier archetype can add a tanglefoot bag to their weapon to immobilise the person hit. Or if they're using the reach weapon just for AoOs an alchemist can throw bombs which can immobilise people in any of several different ways.

The boarding pike of repelling I linked to above is even a simple weapon so alchemists have proficiency, or a grenadier alchemist can use their martial weapon for armor spikes (filling in part of the doughnut hole).

I feel like Aberrant bloodrager does it the best though.

Half elf, swap skill focus for proficiency Fauchard

Fauchard high crit synergizes with the level 1 aberrant power Which also helps crush the opponent's action economy. Move up and not even attack.

Level 4 you have 15 foot reach at medium.

Pick up a protector hedgehog tumor for + will saves and effective 50% bonus hp at level 5 + aid another AC boost

Around level 6 take lunge for a 20 foot reach at medium size.

By level 10 you are immune to nauseated so you can stand in your own stinking cloud.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I don't know how I'd get a bite attack as a PC while maintaining it being a primary natural weapon. Most Bite attacks that a PC gets are secondary natural weapons by default.

All single natural attacks are primary. "If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature's full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls." Designating a natural attack as secondary only has meaning if/when the creature gains 2+ attacks.


graystone wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I don't know how I'd get a bite attack as a PC while maintaining it being a primary natural weapon. Most Bite attacks that a PC gets are secondary natural weapons by default.
All single natural attacks are primary. "If a creature has only one natural attack, it is always made using the creature's full base attack bonus and adds 1-1/2 the creature's Strength bonus on damage rolls." Designating a natural attack as secondary only has meaning if/when the creature gains 2+ attacks.

However, if the character attacks with both a manufactured weapon and a natural attack in the same round, all natural attacks are treated as secondary:

"Creatures with natural attacks and attacks made with weapons can use both as part of a full attack action (although often a creature must forgo one natural attack for each weapon clutched in that limb, be it a claw, tentacle, or slam). Such creatures attack with their weapons normally but treat all of their natural attacks as secondary attacks during that attack, regardless of the attack's original type."

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Or heck, alternative methods to keep bad guys in my "kill zone" and out of my "dead zone" would be appreciated.

Again, going with the whole Dwarf thing, there's the Boulder Helmet. It's an exotic weapon, but Dwarves automatically get proficiency. It's a weapon on your head, so can work with your hands being occupied by a weapon. {See the FAQ on what has been called "virtual hands" to know that you can't TWF with a two-hand weapon and this helmet.}

Couple the helmet with Pushing Assault. If an enemy gets within your reach, combine the 5' Step with a Pushing Assault headbutt to put them back into your main weapon's threatened range. Heck, keep using Pushing Assault with your main weapon attacks to force the enemy even farther back, forcing them to provoke one or more AoO if they want to get into range to melee with you.

Also, this could bring us back to Combat Patrol. This feat allows you to move before making an AoO. Target moves towards you, proving an AoO from your huge threatened area. You take a step back as far as you can and keep them within your threatened area, then swing. It's possible you could move far enough away that the enemy can no longer move into melee range with you.


Alternatively you could take Stand Still to attempt to lock them down at a 35' range, although you sacrifice damage for it. Or both just to be safe.

Then again this seems like it wouldn't be a problem if you had a whip and could trip with your op attacks by default


Ridiculon wrote:

Alternatively you could take Stand Still to attempt to lock them down at a 35' range, although you sacrifice damage for it. Or both just to be safe.

Then again this seems like it wouldn't be a problem if you had a whip and could trip with your op attacks by default

No, they thought of that when they made stand still (well, they at least thought of huge sized creatures). So stand still only affects 'adjacent squares'.

Grand Lodge

Or use pushing assault with armor spikes and then hit them with you reachweapon


Ryan Freire wrote:
avr wrote:

Suppose you don't go with a bloodrager at all. It's not as kind to the action economy, but an alchemist can shapeshift pretty well with their extracts. An alchemist with the grenadier archetype can add a tanglefoot bag to their weapon to immobilise the person hit. Or if they're using the reach weapon just for AoOs an alchemist can throw bombs which can immobilise people in any of several different ways.

The boarding pike of repelling I linked to above is even a simple weapon so alchemists have proficiency, or a grenadier alchemist can use their martial weapon for armor spikes (filling in part of the doughnut hole).

I feel like Aberrant bloodrager does it the best though.

Half elf, swap skill focus for proficiency Fauchard

Fauchard high crit synergizes with the level 1 aberrant power Which also helps crush the opponent's action economy. Move up and not even attack.

Level 4 you have 15 foot reach at medium.

Pick up a protector hedgehog tumor for + will saves and effective 50% bonus hp at level 5 + aid another AC boost

Around level 6 take lunge for a 20 foot reach at medium size.

By level 10 you are immune to nauseated so you can stand in your own stinking cloud.

I know my guide to the bloodrager was completely rejected but I did cover a Aberrant build with great reach and 13 immunities by the end of the build...and it was a half elf and included everything you just mentioned.

Reach Bloodrager:

Archetype: Primalist and (Optional) Steel Blooded

Race: Half Elf
Alternative Racial: Dual Minded

Point Buy:
Str: 19, Dex: 12, Con: 15, Int: 7, Wis: 10, Cha: 12 (+1 to Con @ 4 and rest +1 STR)

Traits:
Community Minded
Dangerously Curious or Transmuter with Cat's Grace

Bloodline:
Aberrant

Feats:
1 HD: Power Attack
3 HD: Raging Vitality (Optional)
5 HD: Aberrant Tumor
6 HD (Bloodline): Combat Reflexes
7 HD: Lunge
9 HD: Improved Critical
9 HD (Bloodline): Iron Will
11 HD: Toughness (Pretty open feat)
12 HD (Bloodline): Improved Initiative
13 HD: Raging Brutality

Bloodline Powers:
1: Staggering Strike
4: Abnormal Reach
8: Rage Powers Internal Fortitude & (Pick one)
12: Rage Powers Fearless Rage & Come and Get Me
16: Aberrant Resistance
20: Aberrant Form

Built in Immunities By level 20: (13 Total) Magical sleep, Ghoul Paralysis, sickened, nauseated, disease, exhaustion, fatigue, poison, shaken, frightened, staggered, critical hits, and sneak attacks.


lemeres wrote:
Ridiculon wrote:

Alternatively you could take Stand Still to attempt to lock them down at a 35' range, although you sacrifice damage for it. Or both just to be safe.

Then again this seems like it wouldn't be a problem if you had a whip and could trip with your op attacks by default

No, they thought of that when they made stand still (well, they at least thought of huge sized creatures). So stand still only affects 'adjacent squares'.

Ah! so they did, missed it


If it wasn't said before, DEX with reach can work with either a Swordmaster's Flair: Blue Scarf or an Elven Branched Spear. Though DEX runs into difficulties with many size-boost things.

Two levels of Brawler makes using Spear Dancing Style pretty painless, and makes Spear Dancing Reach irrelevant since you can wield the polearm in two hands to make all Brawler's Flurry attacks instead of wielding it as a double weapon and losing reach. You can also take Improved Two-Weapon Fighting off of Brawler's Flurry even if you only have two levels of Brawler.


I have a Kensai Magus Whip wielder that attacks out to 30 feet most of the time. I've use a scroll of monstrous physique 3 to grow huge and attack out to 45 feet a scenario or two ago. Unfortunately that build only threatens at natural reach +5.

Still might be the best reach character I've seen in actual play.

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