PFS Goliath Druid / Dragoon Fighter


Advice

Scarab Sages

Ok, I'm trying to sort out a potential PFS character build. I've been wanting to try out a Goliath Druid for a while, and I've never actually made a character with an animal companion. I have a Spiritualist, and I have some familiars, but no animal companions. I was considering dipping Hunter for 3 levels instead for Hunter's Tactics, Animal Bond, and access to lead blades, but the need for so many feats has me thinking a single level of Dragoon will be best.

Also, I'm building a concept partially around a boon item. I won't say where the boon came from. Name of item is in the spoiler tag.

Boon Item:
I will have access to a butchering axe somewhere around 5th or 6th level.

Goliath Druid 10/Dragoon 1:

N Half-orc

STR 20 [+2 race, +1 4th, +1 8th] DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10

Traits: Mammoth Master*, Magical Knack
* Not sure if I need this or if I can boost Handle Animal enough without it.

Feats:

Dragoon1B) Mounted Combat
1B) Skill Focus (Ride)
1) Undersized Mount
Druid2 3) Power Attack
D4 5) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Boon Weapon)
D6 7) Ride by Attack
D8 9) Vital Strike
D10 11) Spirited Charge
D12 13) Improved Vital Strike

Deinotherium Animal Companion:

Feat selection:
1) Toughness
2) Power Attack
5) Armor Proficiency (Light)
8) Extra Item Slot (Saddle)
10) Improved Natural Attack (Gore)

Deinotheriums get Sweep:

Sweep (Ex) wrote:


A deinotherium can sweep a target with its downward-curving tusks and knock the victim to the ground. As part of a charge, a deinotherium can move up to twice its base speed in a straight line and make a gore attack at any point during its movement. If this attack is successful, the target is knocked prone and the deinotherium can deal damage with its trample attack before continuing its movement.

Starting at 8th when the Deino is large (or 7th if I enlarge person it), the idea would be to charge using Sweep and Ride by Attack. Deino sweeps the target, knocking it prone. I attack (not sure if I get the prone bonus or not on the initial charge). Deino tramples the target. Deino continues on to be 10 feet away on the other side. Wait for the target to stand and we both take attacks of opportunity.

Issues with this build:

- I lose 1 level of the animal companion, and I don't have a feat to spare on Boon Companion.
- I lose a level of spell casting.
- I don't gain access to lead blades. Though I can probably use a vibrant purple ioun stone to do so once a session. UMD is probably not going to happen for this character.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Grand Lodge

1) I have a bunch of PFS animal companions and I have skipped boon companion on a dip without any issue. To help with survivability use share spell and defending bone or resinous skin.

2) I have 2 druids with one level dip and the have both been fine over many levels.

3) Impact is an option but it's bad. The ioun stone is a good idea. wand key ring, masterwork tool, 800 gp ioun stone if you do want to UMD.

4) Even with low cha you wont need it there are lots of mundane tools for animal handling, 800gp ioun stone, +4 from being a druid then take ten should have you covered.

Deino wont have reach until it is huge which makes charging hard. Air walk will help this immensely. I find in the sky there are almost always charge lanes.

If you drop vital strike you could retrain your fighter level to Mammoth Rider.

In that vein I would suggest build for charging or vital strike not both. It will free up feats. If you want to double down on Deino you could give it dirty trick and trip feats. Once it has improved trip you will get an Aoo (this is pretty late for your build). If you both take tandem trip it make this even more powerful.

Scarab Sages

Charge came into the build late, when I settled on the Deino. The original thought was to go with Vital Strike and just have the Mount move up instead of charging. I figure it will still be useful when there’s no room for the mount, so that’s why I kept it.

I forgot the Deino won’t have reach as large. So I’d have to attack before the Deino for sure on a Charge.

Impact won’t be an option until well into Seeker levels. The boon item is upgradable, but it comes with +2 equivalent enhancements on it. So Inpact would mean paying for a +4 equivalent weapon.

I was thinking Mammoth Rider at one point. Huge animals can be problematic for PFS, but it was really losing the Druid casting levels that made me move away from it, but retraining does help that. If I do retrain Fighter to Mammoth Rider, I can retrain Undersized Mount to Mounted Combat instead of Vital Strike. At that point the mount will be larger than me for the first time.


or... Just not ride the animal? Dinosaurs make great combat pets and you make a great character so there's no need to try and put them together. Thus freeing up most of your feats and making it so you don't need to dip.

Scarab Sages

That’s an option. Riding the animal started as much for consolidating space as anything. Fitting one large creature into a dungeon with 5 other characters is bad enough. Fitting two gets to be ridiculous. It also lets me do things like have the Mount full move and the character Vital Strike at the end of the Move, when charging isn’t an option.

Grand Lodge

I see the thought process. once you have iteratives and or haste not vital striking for full attacking is rarely a bad idea. Especially considering you will have a bit of a problem getting a virtual size increase. It is fun and works well with the size increase of the build.

You are correct about the size issue I tend to keep my spirited charge builds on a medium mount that fly when possible.

I have a druid and a sorcerer that ride their mounts to save space and don't use any of the feats mounted combat feats. It works well for metamagic casting (sorcerer) positioning (druid trample + menacing amulet) is a buff for the whole team. +1 to attack from higher ground helps when it comes up.

You lose the double damage on the charge but you will have a cleaner build over all and like chess said not need to dip if you drop the mounted feats.

I would skip armor proficiency and just go masterwork studded leather mithral chain is much more expensive than it used to be, if I'm remembering correctly. Take Iron will or extra item slot neck for a cloak.

The build will work as is but will be more manageable if made a little simpler.

Scarab Sages

I might drop the Mounted feats. It’s not really about getting Spirited Charge. I went ahead and put that in the build since I had the prereqs. It’s more about being able to attack after the Deino uses Sweep. Without Ride by Attack, I can’t attack in the middle of a Charge. Which means the Deino has to stop and can’t trample. With Ride by Attack, I can attack and it can trample and we can end up on the other side of the target.


Ferious Thune wrote:
I might drop the Mounted feats. It’s not really about getting Spirited Charge. I went ahead and put that in the build since I had the prereqs. It’s more about being able to attack after the Deino uses Sweep. Without Ride by Attack, I can’t attack in the middle of a Charge. Which means the Deino has to stop and can’t trample. With Ride by Attack, I can attack and it can trample and we can end up on the other side of the target.

I don't think this works, trample is a full action and charge is a full action and to mounted charge both need to take the charge action.

Scarab Sages

It’s from the Sweep special ability of the mount.

Sweep wrote:
A deinotherium can sweep a target with its downward-curving tusks and knock the victim to the ground. As part of a charge, a deinotherium can move up to twice its base speed in a straight line and make a gore attack at any point during its movement. If this attack is successful, the target is knocked prone and the deinotherium can deal damage with its trample attack before continuing its movement.

So we charge. As part of the Charge, the Deino can Sweep, and if it hits with the gore, the target goes prone. The Deino can then deal trample damage and continue its charge.

The question I had was when during that sequence I could attack, and the answer seems to be that without Ride by Attack, I can’t, because I’d have to both attack from the nearest square and at the end of the charge. But the charge will end past the target. With ride by, I should be able to attack when the Deino makes its gore attack (issues of 5’ reach vs 10’ reach aside). Then it continues its Sweep ability to trample/move past.

EDIT: Cleaned up some typos. Man autocorrect got me.

Scarab Sages

Grandlounge - The stat block I see for the Deinotherium lists it with 15-foot reach at size Huge. So wouldn't it have 10-foot reach at Large?


Ferious Thune wrote:
Grandlounge - The stat block I see for the Deinotherium lists it with 15-foot reach at size Huge. So wouldn't it have 10-foot reach at Large?

Unfortunately we don't have a rule that allows animal stat blocks to influence animal companion stat blocks. And so we don't have anything that says it can have 10ft reach at large.

Grand Lodge

I think you might be right.

Scarab Sages

Chess Pwn wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Grandlounge - The stat block I see for the Deinotherium lists it with 15-foot reach at size Huge. So wouldn't it have 10-foot reach at Large?
Unfortunately we don't have a rule that allows animal stat blocks to influence animal companion stat blocks. And so we don't have anything that says it can have 10ft reach at large.

The end result of that line of thinking is that no animal companion has reach, as none of them list it in their stat block. At least not on a quick search through the Archives of Nethys Animal Companion page.

Whenever it's come up at the table, it's always either been comparing it to its apparent type (large tall or large long) or to the stat block of the base creature. I'm pretty sure at least locally that's how my GMs would rule. The base creature has reach=space, so that should be consistent for smaller sizes.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:
Grandlounge - The stat block I see for the Deinotherium lists it with 15-foot reach at size Huge. So wouldn't it have 10-foot reach at Large?
Unfortunately we don't have a rule that allows animal stat blocks to influence animal companion stat blocks. And so we don't have anything that says it can have 10ft reach at large.

The end result of that line of thinking is that no animal companion has reach, as none of them list it in their stat block. At least not on a quick search through the Archives of Nethys Animal Companion page.

Whenever it's come up at the table, it's always either been comparing it to its apparent type (large tall or large long) or to the stat block of the base creature. I'm pretty sure at least locally that's how my GMs would rule. The base creature has reach=space, so that should be consistent for smaller sizes.

right, no animal companion has reach unless clarified.

If you feel okay with how your area rules and what happens when you meet a gm that thinks otherwise then enjoy


Why Dragoon Fighter? Can I suggest Titan Fighter as an alternative Fighter archetype? With that archetype, you can take a bigger penalty to attacks, but wield a 2-handed weapon one size category larger than you're supposed to. Base 3d6 @ medium can bump way up... 4d6 Large which you can now wield, 6d6 Huge with Impact weapon, 8d6 and 12d6 for Gargantuan and Colossal from Wild Shaping size bumps. Those are a lot of dice to run around Vital Striking within PFS levels. At the very least, you're dropping a 16d6 Vital Strike relatively easily and can be doing that from level 7 onward.


Greg.Everham wrote:
Why Dragoon Fighter? Can I suggest Titan Fighter as an alternative Fighter archetype? With that archetype, you can take a bigger penalty to attacks, but wield a 2-handed weapon one size category larger than you're supposed to. Base 3d6 @ medium can bump way up... 4d6 Large which you can now wield, 6d6 Huge with Impact weapon, 8d6 and 12d6 for Gargantuan and Colossal from Wild Shaping size bumps. Those are a lot of dice to run around Vital Striking within PFS levels. At the very least, you're dropping a 16d6 Vital Strike relatively easily and can be doing that from level 7 onward.

Counter point to that:

This build is massive damage and it can, and will, make other players at your table feel small. It might well be a better theorycraft than it is a playable character.

Scarab Sages

It looks like the reach question has already been brought to the PFS team's attention as part of their attempt to clarify animal companions in PFS, so I'll hope for an answer sometime in the future. It's not a huge deal if a GM rules the creature doesn't have reach. Unlike a lance build, the druid doesn't actually have a reach weapon, just natural reach, so can attack adjacent as well.

Ok, lots of good stuff to think about so far in this thread. I'm open to going with either Spiritual Charge or Vital Strike, but not both. They come online so late in the build, that I'll have time to feel out how the character works before then.

Because he's so feat starved, I'm considering going Human, which would let me move Power Attack to 1st level and Ride by Attack to 3rd. I can't move the EWP as it's not legal for me to take until I have the weapon (and pointless to take before then). Which also means I can't use Martial Tradition to pick it up.

That will free up a feat at 7th to either go ahead and take Spiritual Charge, or to take Improved Spell Sharing in anticipation of the animal taking Extra Item Slot (saddle) and hopefully being able to afford a Horsemaster's Saddle. That might then result in taking a second Teamwork feat at 11th.

Masterwork Studded Leather makes sense and will be a huge money saver. I could go with one of the suggestions for feats or move Improved Natural Attack up. I don't think I need to lock that choice in yet. I'll just see how it plays.

If I don't take the Mammoth Master trait, what would the suggestions be?

I'm unsure if I should even go with Magical Knack, since I'm only dipping 1 level. Focused Mind to help with casting while mounted?

If I could figure out something useful to do with a Move action on rounds I don't have to move, it would help make using Vital Strike an easier choice. Aggressive thundercloud or flame sphere would work except for the standard action to cast them in the first place.

There's a Human alternate racial trait Giant Ancestry, which fits thematically with the character. Mechanically it's not the greatest choice, as it trades Skilled for a +1 CMB/CMD and -2 Stealth. I'm not really using any maneuvers, so the CMB bonus wouldn't come into play often. It would be a neat twist to the character, but giving up a skill point a level would leave me with 2 at level 1 and 4/level after that. Since I need to invest in Ride and Handle Animal up to a point, the extra skill point would really help.

Scarab Sages

Greg.Everham wrote:
Why Dragoon Fighter? Can I suggest Titan Fighter as an alternative Fighter archetype? With that archetype, you can take a bigger penalty to attacks, but wield a 2-handed weapon one size category larger than you're supposed to. Base 3d6 @ medium can bump way up... 4d6 Large which you can now wield, 6d6 Huge with Impact weapon, 8d6 and 12d6 for Gargantuan and Colossal from Wild Shaping size bumps. Those are a lot of dice to run around Vital Striking within PFS levels. At the very least, you're dropping a 16d6 Vital Strike relatively easily and can be doing that from level 7 onward.

That's not a bad idea in general. As you note, it would greatly bump the damage. In this specific instance, the weapon I plan to eventually purchase isn't available to purchase as a large weapon (at least not as I understand the boon/the normal rules of PFS).

Dragoon was for Mounted Combat and Skill Focus (Ride) as bonus feats at level 1, instead of just a single feat. Basically if I'm going to dip Fighter to get Mounted Combat as a bonus feat, I may as well get Skill Focus (Ride) for free. With a 10 DEX that will go to 8 when I wild shape, I can use it.

I won't have +6 BAB for Vital Strike until 8th level. In theory I could retrain something to take it then, but I'll likely just wait until 9th. I could take a second level of Fighter at 8th to pick it up with a bonus feat, but then I put my animal's growth to Large off until 9th level, and I'll have two levels where I'm too big to ride the animal instead of just one.

At any rate, Vital Strike will put me at 12D6 if I have some version of Impact/lead blades, which is high enough for me before stacking on other effects.

EDIT: Corrected the damage dice. 4d6 goes to 6d6, not 5d6, when it goes up a size. 5d6 isn't even on the chart. Not sure where I got that.

Grand Lodge

Ferious Thune wrote:

...

Ok, lots of good stuff to think about so far in this thread. I'm open to going with either Spiritual Charge or Vital Strike, but not both. They come online so late in the build, that I'll have time to feel out how the character works before then.

This is a good thought I would drop the mounted stuff I don't think it does much for you.

Quote:
Because he's so feat starved, I'm considering going Human, which would let me move Power Attack to 1st level and Ride by Attack to 3rd.

I'm sure you know this but it's easy to forget power attack has a bab req of 1.

Quote:
I can't move the EWP as it's not legal for me to take until I have the weapon (and pointless to take before then). Which also means I can't use Martial Tradition to pick it up.
Quote:
That will free up a feat at 7th to either go ahead and take Spiritual Charge, or to take Improved Spell Sharing in anticipation of the animal taking Extra Item Slot (saddle) and hopefully being able to afford a Horsemaster's Saddle. That might then result in taking a second Teamwork feat at 11th.

Improved spell sharing is great for conserving spells and helping action economy. I like it with spell sponge.

Quote:
Masterwork Studded Leather makes sense and will be a huge money saver. I could go with one of the suggestions for feats or move Improved Natural Attack up. I don't think I need to lock that choice in yet. I'll just see how it plays.

I don't like INA as it's a minor bump and does not stack with strong jaw. If you want to charge and are flying/airwalking a lot I like death from above but there are other options.

Quote:


If I don't take the Mammoth Master trait, what would the suggestions be?

Boring stuff like boosting ref, applying meta magic, reactionary, getting a new class skill, magical knack is not a bad choice small boost multiple times a day.

Quote:
I'm unsure if I should even go with Magical Knack, since I'm only dipping 1 level. Focused Mind to help with casting while mounted?

Case before or after moving also the mounted concentration checks are not too hard.

Quote:
If I could figure out something useful to do with a Move action on rounds I don't have to move, it would help make using Vital Strike an easier choice. Aggressive thundercloud or flame sphere would work except for the standard action to cast them in the first place.

These are decent options along with aqueous orb, but it might not be the characters style. There is combat advice which I guess you could use on yourself. "You can do this. The power comes from you feet."

Quote:


There's a Human alternate racial trait Giant Ancestry, which fits...

I have used it even on a druid but your not going combat maneuvers so I would say there are better options. If you like the flavor you get a bit of defense out of it.

Some other options ranger dip with shape shifting hunter (might be the best option for what you want). Now you get lead blades from a wand. Or a level of freebooter will give a small move action buff save a feat.

Scarab Sages

I’m not dropping Mounted entirely. At least not yet. Ride by Attack is still necessary to combine with the mount’s Sweep ability, which is something I’d like to make use of. I would just skip taking Spirited Charge later in the build to free up a feat for something else.

At this point level 1 would still be Dragoon or a different dip, so I’ll have BAB +1 to take Power Attack. I can put Power Attack at 3 and Ride by Attack at 1 if needed.

Casting while moving... casting before moving might be an option, but it’s my understanding that if the mount full moves, then I have to make the concentration check regardless of whether the spell fires off at the end of the move or not. I’m still not quite clear on the mounted combat rules, though. The DC is easier than casting defensively, but still 15+Spell Level. My Wisdom is not particularly high, so at low levels the check will be tough. I’m only +3 at first level. But Magical knack is really strong, and it leaves open the option to take a second level of the dip if I need it later. I’ll probably stick with that.

I’ll put some more thought into what I could do with a move action. Combat Advice is a good suggestion. It’s just so hard to fit more feats in.

I’ll probably stick with the skill point. The build needs it.

Acquisitives

Have you considered using a cracked Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun stone for the proficiency? It would free up a feat slot.

Grand Lodge

This will help answer your question.

"If you have your mount move both before and after you cast a spell, then you’re casting the spell while the mount is moving, and you have to make a concentration check due to the vigorous motion (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell. If the mount is running (quadruple speed), you can cast a spell when your mount has moved up to twice its speed, but your concentration check is more difficult due to the violent motion (DC 15 + spell level)."

Grand Lodge

The goal is to maximize mobility to get to the far side of an enemy?

Ride by gets you to the right or left past the enemy. Trample can get you right through the enemy's square though the pc may take an aoo. And charge let's you use sweep independent of ride by. You want these option available correct? Or, are you wanting to ride by each turn to repeatedly knock prone.

Side note.
A little bonus, you are using one of the few animals that have access to manufactured weapon tusk blades.

Scarab Sages

Ok, so it's an easier concentration check. That helps. I'll stick with Magical Knack.

Re: the Ioun Stone for familiarity... I'm not sure if it's a legal item to purchase in PFS. The weapon is only legal to purchase because of a boon, and the boon provides a method for taking Exotic Weapon Proficiency in the weapon. Normally the feat is not legal to take, as the weapon is not legal. I've asked in the appropriate place for clarification if the boon opens up other methods for getting proficiency, and if that answer is yes, then the Ioun Stone is a good option.

Scarab Sages

Someone pointed out the Shaping Focus feat to me, which I wasn't aware of before. That makes it a lot easier to take enough Hunter levels to get Hunter's Tactics. Which also means dropping Dragoon. I think I can still get most of what I had, plus easier access to shared teamwork feats, lead blades, and Animal Focus.

Hunter 3/Goliath Druid 7/Dragoon Fighter 1:
N Human
STR 20 [+2 race, +1 4th, +1 8th] DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10

Traits: Beast Bond*, Magical Knack (Druid)
* looking for alternatives. Ride skill will be low, but it's only giving a +1 since it's already a class skill. Even with this, it'll only be at +3 at 2nd level (wearing a Dragonhide Breastplate).

Feats:

H1 1) Mounted Combat->Retrain to Power Attack at 8
H1 1H) Undersized Mount
H2 2B) Outflank
H3 3) Ride by Attack
H3 3B) Improved Spell Sharing
D2 5) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Boon Weapon)
D4 7) Shaping Focus
F1 8B) Mounted Combat
F1 8B) Skill Focus (Ride)
D5 9) Vital Strike
D7 11) Spirited Charge

Deinotherium:
Feat selection:
1) Extra Item Slot (Shoulders)
2) Toughness
2B) Outflank
3B)Improved Spell Sharing
5) Power Attack
8) Narrow Frame
10) Vital Strike

Scarab Sages

I realized that Deinotheriums don’t get Sweep until they are large at 7th Level, so I would swap Power Attack to 3rd level, and retrain Mounted Combat to Ride-by Attack at 8th.

Also, is it worth going Primal Companion Hunter? I’d give up Animal Focus to be able to temporarily give my Deino evolutions. I know there is some table variation on reach and large animal companions, so I could give it reach and increase its damage die, for example. Or just bump strength like I would with animal focus anyway. I’d only get 3 mins/day, and the character wouldn’t get any bonus, but it seems like it would help with table variation to make sure both are getting to attack at the same reach.

Grand Lodge

How do you plan on using outflank with mounted combat? I think the build is missing pack flanking.

Primal is a good choice for these build specifically for table variation.

The damage on this character is going to be really low. No power attack until level 8 on the pc and no spirited charge until 11. I would me feats around.

It may not be worth it to invest in the ride enough for it to be useful for mounted combat.

Scarab Sages

I realized just a little bit ago that I don't need Mounted Combat until I get Ride-by Attack. I was thinking it was a prerequisite for Undersized Mount as well, but it is not.

Outflank is granted by Hunter. I wouldn't be able to use it, but my only other choice is Precise Shot. I'd like to fit Pack Flanking in. I'm having trouble doing so, because of the 13 INT requirement. I could take Lore Warden for 2 levels instead of Dragoon, which would get me around needing Combat Expertise, but I'd still need 13 INT. The only way I know of around that is to dip Brawler, but then I'm definitely losing too many levels of Druid.

Since I don't need Mounted Combat at 1, I can put Power Attack there. (EDIT: Nevermind. Hunter is 3/4 BAB. Adjusting build again) I agree that it will greatly help with the damage. Keep in mind, too, that at 5th level I'll be doing 3D6 base damage, 4D6 with enlarge person, 6D6 with lead blades. At 7th, both my mount, and my character, will be large most of the time (7 hours/day for the character).

I found the Armored Rider trait in Armor Master's Handbook. I think that will get me t a point with Ride where I'll be ok. It eliminates the armor check penalty and gives me a +1, so that will put my level 2 Ride skill (where the character is now) at +6. So automatic to guide the mount with my legs. Not quite automatic to both attack in the same round.I can buy a cheap cracked ioun stone to make that +7, so I would need to roll a 3. I can live with that for a level or 2.

Updated build:

Hunter 3/Goliath Druid 7/Dragoon Fighter 1:
N Human
STR 20 [+2 race, +1 4th, +1 8th] DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10

Traits: Armored Rider, Magical Knack (Druid)

Feats:

H1 1) Toughness->Retrain at 5th to Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Boon Weapon)
H1 1H) Undersized Mount
H2 2B) Outflank
H3 3) Power Attack
H3 3B) Improved Spell Sharing
D2 5) Shake it Off -> Retrain at 8 to Ride-by Attack
D4 7) Shaping Focus
F1 8B) Mounted Combat
F1 8B) Skill Focus (Ride)
D5 9) Vital Strike
D7 11) Spirited Charge

Deinotherium:
Deinotherium Feat selection:
1) Extra Item Slot (Shoulders)
2) Toughness
2B) Outflank
3B) Improved Spell Sharing
5) Power Attack
5B) Shake it Off (Lose it at Character level 8)
8) Narrow Frame
10) Vital Strike

I'd love to find a way to get Pack Flanking while keeping Mounted Combat/Ride-by Attack at around 8th level. Ride-by Attack seems necessary for me to be able to attack when the Deino does a Sweep, which is the fun part of the build. The old Lore Warden would have worked, because with 2 levels I would have gotten 2 bonus feats and Combat Expertise (though I would still ned a 13 INT for Pack Flanking).

Grand Lodge

Armour rider is a great trait. I don't think you can get pack flanking without narrowing the focused of the build a bit.

I don't like to count on lead blades. If you keep it in your back pocket for punching through DR or pre combat it is great.

4d6 + 6str + 6 power attack is 26 damage per attack.

6d6 + 6str + 6 power attack is 33 damage per attack.

One attack per round 26*3 = 78
Two attacks per round hasted is 158
If the first round only has 1 attack the damage is 136.

Lead blades in battle 33*2 = 66
Two attacks per round hasted = 132

What spells do you want improved spell sharing for? If you go straight druid you will have more spells thus a decreased need to share them especially if they are long term buffs (barkskin, magic fang greater). Just something to think about.

Grand Lodge

You don't to take any of this but this is how I would build this if I wanted a ton of feats.

Fight dragoon human 1-2 - Undersized mount, mounted combat, Ride by, skill focus ride. Level 2 Spirited Charge

Goliath druid 3-12
3 - boon companion
5 - EWP butchering axe
7 - power attack (swappable with spirited charge)

This keeps everything pretty tight you get wild shape humanoids at 8 and a large mount at 7. Again enlarge is not as reliable as I like I what that all day size increase of wild shape.

The other first 2 levels I would consider are

Sohei you can get the same house feats that you need for the build.

To be even more ruthless with efficiency I would suffer that lost of 1 level of my animal companion, take only one level of fighter, drop boon companion and take spirited charge at level 3.

This gets wild shape humanoid and a large mount at the same level.

Scarab Sages

I'm not certain I follow your damage calculations. Is that 3 rounds of damage? Meaning you're saying spending a round to cast lead blades doesn't give enough extra damage compared to just attacking instead? I can see that. I likely wouldn't spend a round in combat casting it, but it's pretty easy sometimes to predict fights in PFS within a minute or two. Lead blades has a 3 minute duration for the Hunter build. Worst case, I cast it and it doesn't get used. But a lot of times, I'll be able to precast it. Or, in a situation where my mount has to full move to get to the enemy and can't charge, I can cast it on the way there. I wouldn't count on it in all the fights. It's still nice to have.

The feat list you posted is pretty close to where I ended up with the Dragoon build earlier in the thread. With the exception of bringing Spirited Charge up to the early levels. My thought on a 2 level Dragoon dip is that the only reason to take a second level is to get a bonus feat, but if I then have to turn around and spend a feat on Boon Companion, then I'm not gaining a lot from a second level of Dragoon. The 1 level dip version looks good, though. It's just a matter of choice in whether or not I want Spirited Charge early or Power Attack.

The main draws of going Hunter, in no particular order, are:

1) Access to spells on the Ranger list (lead blades, hunter's howl, a few odd other ones)
2) Levels stack with Druid for Animal Companion.
3) Primal Companion Hunter adds versatility to AC.
4) Share Teamwork Feats/Bonus Teamwork Feats

#4 is the real draw. The issue is not having enough feats to take advantage of it. But keep in mind that a Hunter can swap out their Bonus Teamwork Feat as a standard action. So if I don't think I'm going to need Improved Spell Sharing, I can trade it for Escape Route, or whatever else, before the combat starts (up to WIS bonus times per day). So I can use Improved Spell Sharing when casting my longterm buffs, and swap to something more combat oriented if needed.

A big questions seems to be what spells would I use Improved Spell Sharing on. I'm not completely sure what all of the options would be, so I worked on a list of potential options.

Spells for Improved Spell Sharing:

air bubble
ant haul
feather step
longstrider
magic fang (When I'm a troll, I'll have a bite attack)
monkey fish
touch of the sea

barkskin
bull's strength
resist energy
spider climb

magic fang, greater
protection from energy
resinous skin
water breathing

air walk
earth glide
echolocation
freedom of movement
strong jaw

Those are ones that I can see a pretty good probability of using at some point, though obviously some will be standard, and others highly situational. Pretty much any long duration buff (10 mins/level or hours/level) I can split between us and still have enough duration for a lot of scenarios. Especially with an extend rod. So instead of casting Barkskin twice, I could cast Barkskin and Resist Energy, for example.

I think that's pretty valuable. Though I obviously would have more spell slots with more levels of Druid, and I would get 5th level spells in regular PFS play. So there are tradeoffs. Which is why if I can make more use of the shared teamwork feats, it would make the Hunter build more appealing.

Grand Lodge

The calc was for three rounds of combat. It just good to know, even in pfs, whether a spell is worth casting in combat. I see a lot of wasted actions gming for pfs that have lead to character death.

As for spell sharing druids can cast most of the spells listed on there animal companion with share spell they just can not split the duration.

For spells like long strider, barkskin, greater magic fang, or resinous skin, by having more druid levels you will have the extra spells to cast normally, so you can just cast them on you and your AC. Water breathing can be split by default, resist energy can be cast on an AC or you will get communal sooner by staying druid. Long strider is a great wand. Even something like air walk or spider climb you can just cast on the AC and just ride it.

I find that improved spell sharing is best for in combat spells that are harder pre cast. Strong jaw, divine favor (not for this build obvioisly), are good examples. If you find yourself short on spell slots improved spell sharing is a good idea. My experience with melee druids is if you're just using spells for buff you tend to have a excess. I tend to play pretty lose with my spells but you may cast more than I do.

Some of your higher level spells are good examples of spells that can be used for improved spell sharing but with three levels of hunter you are not getting air walk or freedom of movement until level 10. For me that is pretty late. I would rather have the spell on just the PC or AC at level 8 rather than wait until 10 bit that's me.

The hunter dip will work and that build will be fine. I like to find what I want to do with a build and start doing it asap that way I get the most time using the build the way I want. I see the build as big person, with a big weapon, riding a big animal, hitting hard and being scary as hell. So that's what my advice is aimed at. As usual feel free to take or disregard as much or as little of my advice as is necessary for you to have fun with the character.

Scarab Sages

10th level Druid gets 1 more 2nd and 3rd 2 more 4th and 2 5th level spells over a 7th level Druid. 5th level spells are a big deal, but the earlier slots are easily made up for with Improved Spell Sharing and pearls of power. Plus I'll have 4 Hunter slots (CL3). It's a question of prioritizing Druid casting or melee effectiveness.

You are correct about getting to the character's Schick as soon as possible. I don't see charging as his schtick until I can sweep with the mount, so that's why I pushed Spirited charge back. I might swap it with Vital Strike. It depends on how things gas go in play.

Yet another option... Wild Child Brawler instead of Dragoon and Mammoth Rider. This would be going heavily martial focused

Primal Companion Hunter 3/Wild Child Brawler 1/Goliath Druid 5/Mammoth Rider 2:

N Human
STR 20 [+2 race, +1 4th, +1 8th] DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10
Traits: Armored Rider, Magical Knack (Druid)

Feats:

B1 1) Mounted Combat
B1 1H) Undersized Mount
B1 1B) Martial Flexibility
H2 3B) Outflank
H2 3) Combat Expertise
H3 4B) Improved Spell Sharing/Pack Flanking (Swap as needed)
D1 5) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Boon Weapon)
D3 7) Shaping Focus *Retrained at 8
D5 9) Ride-by Attack
MR2 11) Spirited Charge

What I like about this is that I can Martial Flexibility into combat teamwork feats or once I have +6 BAB, Vital Strike. It delays being able to be large until 8th level, which hurts. And it delays Ride-by Attack until 9th technically I could Martial Flexibility into that, but as a move action it would preclude charging. So not really practical. But big bonus is that I get Pack Flanking at 4th level. And I also get full animal companion progression.

Obviously this hits spellcasting pretty hard, only getting 3rd level spells. But if I'm going to go for a Mammoth mount I should really go for it, right?

Scarab Sages

I forgot Power Attack. Will figure out how to fit that. Assume it’s at 1st for now. I’ll fit Mounted Combat somehow.

Grand Lodge

A few questions.

Don't you need 6 levels of druid to turn into large humanoids if not why druid at all?

What do you want from this build? What do you expect the build to do to help the group? This will help me give advice that is actually relevant to what you want to do.

Wildchild brawler/hunters is a great build on its own. Being able to get vital strike, ghostslayer, dedicated adversary is quite helpful for the build. Ignoring int prereqs is awesome. If you want to enlarge with this build there is always living monolith, but the feat tax can be heavy.

With regard to spells you're likely missing bonus spell, an extra highest level spell but that is a small thing overall. Pearls can be purchased for first level spells, but if you want to use more 2nd or 3rd level spells echoing rod is the best option for either build.

I strongly dislike huge ACs especially if you want to charge. I see plenty of players struggle with large mounts in PFS.

A good portion of the effectiveness of the build as I see it comes from charging sweeping then the PC hitting prone AC followed by an AOO. This becomes a lot harder with huge AC. Atavism, Greater magic fang, aspect of the wolf all help to make the AC more effective.

Thematically mammoth rider is great but tactically I have a hard time recommending it.

Scarab Sages

Shaping Focus does for Wild Shape what Boon Companion does for Animal Companions. You can count up to 4 levels in another class toward your Wild Shape progression. So in the Hunter 3/Druid 8 build, When I take Shaping Focus at 7th level, I count as a 7th level Druid for Wild Shape and can become large the same time my AC does. In the Brawler/Hunter/Druid build, that would happen at 8th level, because you need to actually have Wild Shape before you can take the feat.

Goals for the character:

1. Make use of the Butchering Axe.
2. Make use of Goliath Druid ability to be large all day.
3. Make use of the Deinotherium's Sweep ability.
4. Getting shared teamwork feats is a really nice bonus.

Those are really the four things that are fun and different about the character. My spell casting would be primarily for longterm buffs or short term combat buffs. I might prep a couple of utility spells, but for the most part I'd be boosting my melee ability. That's why getting 5th level spells isn't as big of a deal to me. 4th level has Strong Jaw, so not getting to there is a bit of a hit, but one I can live with. I'm also planning a different, caster focused Druid, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on that aspect here.

I don't really see Spirited Charge as necessary in the build. It's a nice bonus, but not something I feel the need to get early on. From my experience, Spirited Charge is overkill at lower levels. It would be nice to get it at 9th, but I'm ok if it's a capstone for my normal PFS career.

Grandlounge" wrote:
A good portion of the effectiveness of the build as I see it comes from charging sweeping then the PC hitting prone AC followed by an AOO. This becomes a lot harder with huge AC. Atavism, Greater magic fang, aspect of the wolf all help to make the AC more effective.

I'm not sure that I understand why having a Huge mount makes this more difficult. My reach starts from any corner of the mount's space, so we'd have the same reach/threatened area. Or do you just mean pulling off a charge becomes more difficult with a Huge companion, because of things getting in the way? I know I'll have to pick and choose scenarios for things that look like we'll be outside more. I'm ok with that. I can also cast reduce animal if needed to bring it back down to Large (or Medium before 10th level).

Here are some changes to accommodate Power Attack.

Wild Child Brawler 1/Primal Companion Hunter 3/Goliath Druid 5/Dragoon 1/Mammoth Rider 1:
N Human
STR 20 [+2 race, +1 4th, +1 8th] DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10
Traits: Armored Rider, Magical Knack (Druid)
Feats:

B1 1) Power Attack
B1 1H) Undersized Mount
B1 1B) Martial Flexibility
H2 3B) Outflank
H2 3) Combat Expertise
H3 4B) Improved Spell Sharing/Pack Flanking (Swap as needed)
D1 5) Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Boon Weapon)
D3 7) Shaping Focus *Retrained at 8
F1 9B) Mounted Combat
F1 9B) Skill Focus (Ride)
F1 9) Ride-by Attack
MR1 10) Huge Mount
D5 11) Spirited Charge


I don't seem to be able to shake that Dragoon dip. If I can get confirmation that the boon makes it legal to purchase a Cracked Opalescent White Pyramid keyed to the Butchering Axe, then I could do that at 5th and use my 5th level feat on Mounted Combat. That would let me skip Dragoon and take either a 6th level of Druid or a 2nd level of Mammoth Rider.

Grand Lodge

Sorry I miss shaping focus in there.

1. Make use of the Butchering Axe.

We have this on any build that that's a good start!

2. Make use of Goliath Druid ability to be large all day.

I think this is covered on every build now that I see Shaping focus in there.

3. Make use of the Deinotherium's Sweep ability.

Sweep is only on a charge. Charging with a huge animal is really hard. If you push and get dragon style you can make it a little easier but small rooms, teammates, other enemies etc. can make this really hard. That is my concern with huge and sweep.

4. Getting shared teamwork feats is a really nice bonus.

This is a great bonus especially with wildchild and pack flanking. Druids are on the lower side for accuracy compared to other melee oriented 3/4 bab class so outflank will be great.

Magical knack keeps that duration of spells long enough to warrant improved spell sharing. Get some anointing oils for the extra little bump to caster level on those buff.

Looks like your build will do most of what you want it to do. Sweep seems difficult to use to me. Because sweep needs to be on a charge, I had assumed you wanted to focus on charging/sweeping/trampling more than you seem to.

Once you have played it a while I would love an update on how effective charging with a large/huge mount is. I have a sorcerer that gets away with a large mount charging by casting overland fight, and a lance wield halfling that uses a medium flying mount.

Scarab Sages

I might be able to pull off Dragon Style. I think I can start taking Feat a outside the companion list once its INT is 3. If that’s the case, I could skip Toughness on the mount, then go Power Attack at 2, Improved Unarmed Strike at 5, Dragon Style at 8. Something to think about.

Part of the reason I’m not prioritizing charging is because of the issues pulling it off. Up until 10th Level, though, I can be medium on a medium Mount if I need to, using reduce animal. If I find that I’m doing that often, I can skip Mammoth Rider.

Evolutions give me access to wings for the mount when I need them, so that will also help. I’ll have to start investing skill points in fly for it at some point.

Grand Lodge

Wings are helpful but they require fly and function worse with each size increase. You're going to want griffon mane and maybe Sable Company elite saddle. Though at that point airwalk is the way to go.

Good luck.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, looking at it again, trying to fly with the wings as a huge creature is probably not a great idea. They'll work ok while it's medium, but even large it'll get tough to make the checks.

Even getting the saddle, it would still be tough. Plus until/unless they clarify that animals can use magic saddles without taking extra item slot, it means another feat on the AC in order to do it. That saddle was an option to get around Hunter in the build, though. Since it grants teamwork feats to the mount.

I'll pick up a scroll of air walk when the companion turns large. Sadly, I won't have access to prep the spell in regular PFS play if I go with only 5 or 6 levels of Druid. But I'll make do.

Scarab Sages

Thanks for all of the feedback. It helps to have a sounding board. Popular opinion over on the PFS board seems to be that the Ioun Stone is legal to buy, so here's one last version of the build. When I get to 10th level, I can decide if I want to throw Mammoth Rider in the mix. Otherwise, I could still pull off 7 levels of Druid.

Wild Child Brawler 1/Primal Companion Hunter 3/Goliath Druid 7:
N Human
STR 20 [+2 race, +1 4th, +1 8th] DEX 10 CON 14 INT 10 WIS 14 CHA 10
Traits: Armored Rider, Magical Knack (Druid)
Feats:
B1 1) Power Attack
B1 1H) Undersized Mount
B1 1B) Martial Flexibility
H2 3B) Outflank
H2 3) Combat Expertise
H3 4B) Improved Spell Sharing/Pack Flanking (Swap as needed as a standard action)
D1 5) Mounted Combat (Purchase Cracked Opalescent Pyramid Ioun Stone for Boon Weapon)
D3 7) Ride-by Attack->Shaping Focus *Retrained into at 8th
D5 9) Ride-by Attack
D7 11) Spirited Charge

That simplifies things considerably, and I still have the option to be Medium riding a Medium Mount (via reduce animal), if I happen to end up in a dungeon crawl. I could even retrain back out of Shaping Focus when I hit 10th, since I'd then have enough Druid levels without it. But it may be worth keeping so I can get Wild Shape boosts at Seeker levels.

I think this one is the winner.

Grand Lodge

Happy to help. I like to see how other people build characters. Build looks solid to me. If you wanted to dump cha you could. I have found it pretty easy to use item to make the training checks easy. But you may not like dump stats or you may not want to play another low cha druid.

Even at a -2 you have 4 link + 3 class skill + 1 rank + 2 Training Harness + 2 Magenta Prism cracked (I buy it on most characters). That's 10 you can take 10 on the check, unless it has changed. Even if you need to replace your animal you bonus tricks come trained and you can comabt train your AC with one check.

Scarab Sages

Thanks. I might drop it to 8 so I can bump Dex to 12, which will help a little with Ride and AC. It's going to be a while before I get Barkskin going.

I'm starting at 2nd level. I played Emerald Spire 1 with a variation on the Dragoon level. Rebuilding now before I lock him in and play again sometime in the next two weeks.

I'll probably go with the cheaper +1 Ioun stone. With everything else I'm buying, the Magenta Prism would be all of my remaining gold. I'll buy a +1 Ioun Stone for CHA (Handle Animal) and one for DEX (Ride), which is still only 400 gold total. That gets me to +11 Handle Animal for the mount, and +7 Ride.

Now to figure out the animal. I'm wondering if it's worth starting him with any of the Skimisher tricks. And if I can get away without taking Guard. So maybe:

Deinotherium:

Level 2
Str 14, Dex 10, Con 15, Int 2 Wis 13, Cha 3
+1 INT at 4th, +1 CON at 9th

HP: 16 (3HD) AC: 17 (+3 armor, +4 nat armor)

Tricks: Attack, Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Heel, and Vengeance Strike 2/day (Skirmisher Trick)
At 3rd add Exclusive, 4th: Serve, Subdue (If it's legal by then), Chamelion Step (Skirmisher)

Skills: Climb +6, Swim +6, Fly +4

gore +4 (1d8 19-20/x2), slam +4 (1d6 x2)

Feats:
1) Power Attack
2) Toughness
2B) Outflank

Planned:
4B) Improved Spell Sharing/Pack Flanking
5) Extra Item Slot (Shoulders)
8) Narrow Frame
10) Vital Strike

Gear: Mwk Studded Leather Barding, Training Harness, Exotic Military Saddle, Tusk Blades

With ant haul, it can carry me and my equipment at medium encumbrance. At 5th, I'll buy a mule back cords for it. That's also when I'll get enlarge person through Druid, and when we're both large, it will need the muleback cords and ant haul to carry me. Likely still at medium encumbrance.

Grand Lodge

I have found a few tricks work well.

Bolster companion is a nice way to keep them alive.

Heel to stop an aoo if you don't want to use escape route.

Surprising shift. If the enemy 5 foots away. You can swift action 5 foot back and then charge. It rather useful on a charging mount build.

There are a number that give an extra attack. Though good I don't feel you get enough of them to weren't taking them.

Scarab Sages

Cool. I hadn't thought about that use for Surprising Shift.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / PFS Goliath Druid / Dragoon Fighter All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.