Help needed to build a warrior / barbarian.


Advice


Hi everyone, and thank you for taking the time of Reading this issue.

Well, my problem here is this one: I'm starting a new campaign as a player, "way of the wicked" wich is not official of paizo, i know, but i still need help.

The thing is, i've the fighter role in the group, and by fighter, i mean that i'm in the frontlane with a monk. Behind me, a wizard and a rogue expect me to do my job and stop our enemys.

My doubts goes around the question...What would you recommend to me? i dont know if monks have a high damage output since they have two atacks, and i dont know what can deal more damage, if it is barbarian or warrior.

Also, i would like to protect my fellows, and i'm not sure if i should build something up like a "battlefield master", a combat manouver expert that allows the monk to deal more damage or what. Also, a shield/sword warrior is going around my mind.

Could you help me to build a warrior/barbarian that deals a huge amount of damage, or telling me your opinion about what would you do in this case? i wont like to build a damage warrior and being outplayed by a monk in the game, i want to do usefull things in the team u know.

I like Vikings style, but thats just to let you know how the character is going to look, for some inspiration.


Ok, a few things for you. First off some questions:

1) How experienced with Pathfinder are you? It seems that you are fairly new, so I will limit my advice to some more simple suggestions and avoid more complex optimization.

2) How experienced are the people you are playing with? We don't want to completely leave them in the dust either ;)

3) What books are allowed or prohibited? I will assume all Paizo books that are on the PRD - I don't have access to the D20PFSRD at work, so I won't use some of the newer options in there.

4) Anything else we should know about the campaign you are playing in? Typical fantasy? Homebrew or published campaign? Race limitations? Rolled stats or point buy? Etc

5) How much work are you willing to put in? Reading guides / figuring out game mechanics (grapple can be confusing at best) / etc.

Now on to my advice.

1) It looks like your team needs some heals. I would suggest looking into building a cleric, oracle, or Warpriest (Best option for you IMO) that is very combat oriented. Look up builds for a "reach cleric." Basic idea is that you have medium Wisdom, good strength, decent dex/con/charisma, low intelligence. Grab a reach weapon (longspear is the typical go-to), stand at the front lines and use attacks of opportunity as your primary damage dealing technique and spend your actual turn getting into position / buffing.

2) If that looks too complex, then my next suggestion of Lore-Warden fighter will also be complex. This guy sacrifices a bit of damage and defense in order to have more skills (read - ability to do things other than kill people) and control the battlefield using combat manuevers such as trip and disarm.

3) A bit more simple - play as a 2H ranger with archery as your combat style for the free feats. This allows you to switch-hit - start with a bow and when things get close pull out your 2-handed weapon and go to town. 2H fighting really only needs Power attack, which you can pick up at lvl 1 and be happy for the rest of your adventure.

4) Alternatively, play as a two-weapon fighting Ranger and use your sword and shield combo. This is a bit more complex as you need to delve into the twf rules. But it is not nearly as complex as combat manuevers.

5) Finally, the easiest option is to go unchained barbarian with a big two-handed sword. Use power attack, and choose feats / rage powers that sound interesting to you. There are some optimal choices, but a barbarian with a big weapon is pretty simple to do big damage with a Viking theme.

6) Some key feats for your consideration: Power Attack, Furious Focus, Combat Reflexes, Selective Channel (for the cleric concept), Weapon Focus


First: Remember that there is no aggro mechanic in Pathfinder. The best way to make an enemy attack you is by doing too much damage to be ignored (and, as always, Dead Dudes Don't Do Damage™). Combat maneuvers like trip, grappling, or dirty trick can also prevent enemies from attacking.

Graelsis wrote:
i dont know if monks have a high damage output since they have two atacks, and i dont know what can deal more damage, if it is barbarian or warrior.

Depends. A well build unchained Monk should outdamage almost every Fighter (I presume with "warrior" you mean Fighter, Warrior is a NPC class), and even most Barbarians. A core Monk without a good archetype, possibly even unarmed, will likely have a very low damage output.

Graelsis wrote:
Also, a shield/sword warrior is going around my mind.

In Pathfinder, shields are only really useful in very special builds, or if you don't give up much by using one. On a damage dealer, you normally want a two-handed weapon.

A run-of-the-mill Barbarian with a two-handed weapon, Power Attack, and Greater Beast Totem is pretty good at doing damage, and since the concept of the berserker rage comes form vikings, should fit your concept pretty well. There is a Viking archetype for Fighter, but Barbarian is normally preferable.

Toirin wrote:
1) It looks like your team needs some heals.

Only if the GM doesn't allow wands of Infernal Healing.


Your group needs divine spellcasting, full stop. Not a fully optimized caster, but having full divine spellcasting is useful to counteract enemies using debilitating effects on you, of which there are surprisingly many. Several of these divine spellcasters can also be decent frontliners too.

Cleric and Oracle can pull this off nicely. Druid can as well if you don't mind the unorthodox spell list. Maybe Shaman too, since they have hexes as well.


Wow, first of all, i'm leaving this comment here just to say thank you to you all. I didn't expect this much help. This said, i'm gonna answer you one by one.

TOIRIN:

1- Yeah, i'm not an experienced player in terms of building/optimizing and that kind of stuff, i'm well experienced in pathfinder, but just in the DM side, or wizards...never in Barbarians or similar stuff.

2- We are all just the same level of experienced in terms of optimizing, i dont think my teammates are going to try hard to take out the best of their classes.

3- I think we can work with almost all the books, but just in terms of feats, my DM only allows me to use basic clases or advanced player guide classes.

4- There are no race limitations, although, anything out from the basic will be harder to play. I was thinking in orc, since i really like the chance to play one. The campaign is evil, so we are all evil characters. We have 25 creation points to let our imagination fly. Also, we obtain a free feat (the one that gives u +1 in atack rolls with a weapon of your choice) and 2 skill points extra per level.

5- what can we consider "normal" work? i dont mind to do a bit of Reading, but i dont think i would like to spend hours and hours of guide Reading.

6- Problem with the clerics is that we are evil, so i cant cast healing áreas. Also, the wizard of the team is multiclassing wizard/cleric because he wants to raise undead and that necro-things he really like.

Thank you very much in advance!

DERKLORD:

1- i really liked what you said about the agrro and the damage, it encourages me even more to make some kind of meat ripping machine.

2- the other player is not going to optimize the monk to deal more damage, i think he's planning something like "hit where hurts" or a scorpion style monk, not really sure of it.

3- Could we think in a two weapon barbarian? or does it need too much feats to be usefull?

Thank you, thank you!!

DARKSOL THE PAINBRINGER:

1- Yeah, we need spells, we are only 4 and the wizard/cleric is supposed to take all the job, i dont think this is something i can change already, and knowing my mates, the player wont like me to be a cleric because i would be "stepping into his role" too much.

2- Liked the idea of a druid, but we are at the same point, i'm suposed to be the unbreakable frontlike.

Thanks a lot!!!


Clerics have a role completely different from Wizards.

Druid frontline is still crazy strong. I'll post a sample build later on. Remember, even if you aren't a super powerful frontliner, you do have utility options to make the monk and rogue suck less, which doesn't require a whole lot of Wisdom to do, so you'll still be focusing on being a strong melee guy, but also have the contingent "just in case" options you'll need in that AP.


Graelsis wrote:
6- Problem with the clerics is that we are evil, so i cant cast healing áreas.

All clerics can cast healing spells. But in Pathfinder, "healing" is mostly done out of combat and is more about condition removal. HP healing is mostly done with wands.

Graelsis wrote:
Also, the wizard of the team is multiclassing wizard/cleric because he wants to raise undead and that necro-things he really like.

Very bad idea. I also don't see why - Animate Dead and Create Undead are on the Wizard list as well.

Graelsis wrote:
"hit where hurts" or a scorpion style monk, not really sure of it.

this scorpion style? That's one of the worst feats in the game. I really hope he doesn't really want to focus on that.

What is "hit where hurts" supposed to mean?

Graelsis wrote:
3- Could we think in a two weapon barbarian? or does it need too much feats to be usefull?

Possible yes, but doesn't really make sense - apart from some rare cases on classes that support it, two weapon fighting is really bad in Pathfinder. It needs more feats, needs high dexterity (which means lower other stats), higher weapon cost, and completely sucks when you have to move. TWF would be more suited for a Ranger (or Slayer or Vigilante, but those are from other books).

My suggestion: Barbarian, if allowed Invulnerable Rager archetype (from Advanced Player's Guide). Equipment: Greataxe or Greatsword and Breastplate. Rage Powers: Superstition, Beast Totem line. Feats: Power Attack, Raging Vitality (important because if you drop below 0 HP while raging, your rage ends and you lose the bonus constitution, often instantly killing you).

That's pretty much the basis - good damage, good defense (against both physical and magical dangers), and lots of room to expand in whatever direction you desire. The Extra Rage Power feat can help out if you want more rage powers.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Druid frontline is still crazy strong.

I second that. If you're looking for melee damage, wildshape Druid is definitely a good place to look at.

Graelsis wrote:
Thank you, thank you!!

What can I say except you're welcome... starts to sing


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Clerics have a role completely different from Wizards.

Druid frontline is still crazy strong. I'll post a sample build later on. Remember, even if you aren't a super powerful frontliner, you do have utility options to make the monk and rogue suck less, which doesn't require a whole lot of Wisdom to do, so you'll still be focusing on being a strong melee guy, but also have the contingent "just in case" options you'll need in that AP.

I'll be waiting for that build with hype and bro's love


DERKLORD.

I'm answering you here, because i dont know how to copy and reply the parts of your text just as you did with mine.

1- yeah, we thought about wands and stuff, i think we will go on...or we will try

2- I dont know either, i think its because some prestige class that goes up level of both of that classes. Mystic theurge i think, or something like that. I think he's all about controling more HD's

3- i think he's planning about improving his fists in some way. There's a feat for that in the cheliax book that he dont want to reveal. All he said was: "my enemys are going to die".

3- thats a lot of usefull info right there, i'm copying it all and using it if i finally decide to go barbarian.

4- Ok, now you got my attention with that frontline druid, i've allways liked druids, and if i can cover the frontline role and do it good, it can be awsome blossom.

5- For the tides, the sun, the sky...


Derklord's basic barbarian outline would really be the easiest / best route for you. Basically the AM BARBARIAN build.

I also third the point about cleric/wizard being a tough role. Mystic Theurges are awesome, but have a very tough first 7-9 levels. But if he is determined to do it, more power to him!

Evil or Good, all clerics have access to the greatly important remove status effect spells that can cripple a party who does not bring access to those spells.

If you really want TWF, go with Ranger. Lvl 1 go Power Attack and Weapon Focus (your free one). 2nd lvl on, start following the ranger combat style feats for TWF. You get them without the pre-reqs at lvls 2, 6, 10, etc, so you don't need much Dex and can focus on str for dishing out damage.


Toirin wrote:

Derklord's basic barbarian outline would really be the easiest / best route for you. Basically the AM BARBARIAN build.

I also third the point about cleric/wizard being a tough role. Mystic Theurges are awesome, but have a very tough first 7-9 levels. But if he is determined to do it, more power to him!

Evil or Good, all clerics have access to the greatly important remove status effect spells that can cripple a party who does not bring access to those spells.

If you really want TWF, go with Ranger. Lvl 1 go Power Attack and Weapon Focus (your free one). 2nd lvl on, start following the ranger combat style feats for TWF. You get them without the pre-reqs at lvls 2, 6, 10, etc, so you don't need much Dex and can focus on str for dishing out damage.

This is pretty interesting too, i didnt think in the ranger, but he has plenty of skills that will come very handy, and also as you said the free feats can allow me to do some nasty damage.


Graelsis wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Clerics have a role completely different from Wizards.

Druid frontline is still crazy strong. I'll post a sample build later on. Remember, even if you aren't a super powerful frontliner, you do have utility options to make the monk and rogue suck less, which doesn't require a whole lot of Wisdom to do, so you'll still be focusing on being a strong melee guy, but also have the contingent "just in case" options you'll need in that AP.

I'll be waiting for that build with hype and bro's love

The big thing with a front liner Druid is that they don't need many feats. Aside from Power Attack, Natural Spell, and maybe Multiattack, their feats aren't really all that special. As such, I sincerely suggest you consider VMC Barbarian for that added "Oomph" factor. Bonus points if the GM permits VMC Unchained Barbarian, since you won't have to spend a feat on Raging Vitality to not die when you fall unconscious.

Let's go with a basic Human Druid, and assume 20 point buy (like the AP says you should have, or even 25 point buy). Be sure to pick up Dimdweller, sacrificing the skill point for Darkvision. While some wild shape forms may grant you this, you'll appreciate the ability to see in a lot of the areas you explore while not wild shaped. The extra feat can be taken or left for another racial trait of your choice, though if Retraining rules are an option, being able to make that extra feat into something like Raging Vitality or Multiattack without having to wait 4 levels is a nice boon, and well worth the cost.

If you take the Animal Companion, I doubt the GM will let you start with one, given how the adventure path starts, but using Domains will be pointless for what you'll want out of all this, so taking the Animal Companion for future applications will be imperative for maintaining your DPR.

Stats are as follows.

Strength 18 (16 + 2)
Dexterity 14
Constitution 12
Intelligence 12
Wisdom 14
Charisma 7

You can switch the Dexterity and Constitution around if you take VMC Barbarian, putting the level 8 point into Constitution, and picking up Raging Vitality by 9th, or I'd even dump to have a 16 Wisdom to ensure the ability to cast all of your spells later down the road, but this ultimately depends on how much you value your buff/utility spells over your personal combat prowess. I'll let you be the judge on that one.

You'll be starting practically naked, so your AC won't be the greatest, but everyone else will probably be in the same boat. But if you eventually acquire a basic sickle (which I believe you can find somewhere in the original area you start at), a wooden shield, and some leather armor, you'll have passable AC.

By 3rd level, getting the option to Rage is huge, since this gives you added Strength and HP, although at the cost of your already compromised AC. When you hit 4th level, transforming into a Deinonychus (Dire Tiger by 6th level), Raging, and Pouncing with Power Attack will shred most any level-appropriate enemy to pieces. Until then, two-handing with a Scythe will grant damage equivalent to a Barbarian, although it's not as accurate.

For spells, consider things like Longstrider (combat mobility is very nice to have), Barkskin (or Iron Skin for self-buffing to AC, nice to have since you'll want an Amulet of Mighty Fists), Vine Strike (I believe they nerfed this, but I forget what was nerfed about it), Resist Energy (there are numerous fights where you will want this), and several others in the higher levels. The biggest things to focus on are utility (such as condition removers like Remove Disease/Poison, Lesser Restoration, and so on) and buffing (like I've described above). Spells that use Save DCs or Wisdom Modifier for scaling aren't ideal, and will run out of usefulness in the higher levels.

Skills would be basic stuff like Handle Animal (which is meh since you already have an Animal Companion, but it's there if you need it), Perception (obvious reasons), Knowledge [Nature] (Again, obvious reasons), Survival (You'd think a Druid should know how to survive in most every environment), and Fly (Great to make sure that you have the ability to participate in airborne combat). You'll have one or two more skill ranks per level to use however you wish, but the stuff I listed are the ones you should obviously take.


Reach builds with a nice polearm tend to work well for this role.

#1- spears and other assorted 'pointy things on a stick' weapons are all 2 handed weapons. So they have nice, meaty attacks that can be used for things like barbarians if you feel like it. This goes with the 'you cannot be ignored' category, since you hit hard.

#2- they allow you to have a CIRCLE OF PAIN that is 25' across (10' to your left, 10' to your right, and you are in the middle with a 5' square). Any enemies that tries to run past you to get at the squishy wizard can get smacked in the head with your pointy stick. Again refer to #1 for what getting hit means. So you are a living obstacle that either has to be taken down or avoided- that makes you hard to ignore.

#3- there are various simple tactics you can do with reach. Trip builds are an option (since you can trip people that try to get past you), but I tend to just like the ones that allow you to hit well. Grab Lunge, and you can attack even further out (up to 20' away if you use a 5' step)- this is a pseudo pounce. Lunge also lets you hit enemies far enough away so they aren't close enough to slip in after you attack.

There are various other ways to make a reach build better (particular classes, spells, weapon enhancements, feats, etc), but a simple combo of power attack+combat reflexes+lunge works well enough for someone that just wants to cut down enemies/innocents (this is an evil campaign). It doesn't need high system mastery, but you can still be rather effective with just some common sense placement.


I'll just pop in here to suggest a Half-Orc Druid with the Nature Fang archetype. See if the DM also allows Druid of Gorum so you can snag the Rage (sub)domain for all your raging needs. If not, the crocodile domain is good for familiar (protector) and sneak attack. Slayer talents and character feats can help you specialize in whatever combat style you want (i.e., you can pick up ranger fighting styles). Dip 4 levels into Rogue (Scout) for sneak attack on a charge, and enjoy that.

Divine fighting technique (greatsword) Is fun when you can vital strike and sneak attack at the end of a charge.


DARKSOL THE PAINBRINGER:

Just amazing. I've never seen a frontliner druid in my team, and i'm thinking that mine will be the first one. I'm borrowing all your information and i'll make the character today, just to see how does it looks like.

I will talk to my party members too, just to tell them my plans and see if they agree (we said that we should talk about our ideas in order to make a good team). I will tell you what they say tonight, or tomorrow.

Thank you very much for the big help.

IEMERES:

i had a reach build in mind, easy and temptative just as you said. Geez, i've too many things in my head right now, i like it all and i dont know what should i pick, making a warrior/frontliner is not that easy.

DEADHLESSONE:

I'll look to that half orc druid u mentioned. I really like orcs, so that one can be close enough, didnt know about natural fang and gorum druids, now i want to read more and more.

Thank you all for your advice and information guys, i really needed it!!!!

Silver Crusade

A druid will be nice, your team lack at nature people, lack at divine people...

I think you can take serpent or fire domain and be a druid diabolic for asmodeus (nice to the AP)

I think a pure druid or maybe nature fang Will work


DeathlessOne wrote:

I'll just pop in here to suggest a Half-Orc Druid with the Nature Fang archetype. See if the DM also allows Druid of Gorum so you can snag the Rage (sub)domain for all your raging needs. If not, the crocodile domain is good for familiar (protector) and sneak attack. Slayer talents and character feats can help you specialize in whatever combat style you want (i.e., you can pick up ranger fighting styles). Dip 4 levels into Rogue (Scout) for sneak attack on a charge, and enjoy that.

Divine fighting technique (greatsword) Is fun when you can vital strike and sneak attack at the end of a charge.

Druids cannot freely select domains. Unless their archetype changes the domains they can take, they are limited to a set of domains listed in their core writeup, of which Rage isn't listed as. Believe me, I considered that sort of thing, but if he takes VMC Barbarian he'll be better off with an Animal Companion.

That being said, Nature Fang replaces the #1 damage source for the frontline Druid, Wild Shape, so I would not recommend it.


Graelsis wrote:
I'm answering you here, because i dont know how to copy and reply the parts of your text just as you did with mine.

There's a "How to format your text [show]" thing under the new post window. Alternatively, press reply next to a post to quote the entire post, which also let's you see what code the quotee used.

The code for quote is [q­uote=name]text[/qu­ote].

Graelsis wrote:
yeah, we thought about wands and stuff, i think we will go on...or we will try

A good GM can make most groups work. I don't know about your campaign, so I'm gonna use personal experience. When my current campaign had no one to cast Remove Curse, we hired spellcasting services in the nearby town. A good GM might also let you find a scroll (presuming the Rogue has UMD*) in a nearby loot.

*) I'd put such a scroll in a nearby loot even if the Rogue does not have UMD; mostly to show him that he should.

Graelsis wrote:
i think he's planning about improving his fists in some way. There's a feat for that in the cheliax book that he dont want to reveal. All he said was: "my enemys are going to die".

Yeah, I highly doubt that. Sounds like either Belier's Bite (pretty weak) or Cornugon Smash (pretty good, but more debuffing then killing). I'd expect you to outdamage him practically all the time. core Monk needs one of few good archetypes to be good, and unarmed needs good feat selection to boot.

Graelsis wrote:
Ok, now you got my attention with that frontline druid, i've allways liked druids, and if i can cover the frontline role and do it good, it can be awsome blossom.

A wildshape druid is pretty awesome - high damage (comparable with Barbarian), high mobility starting at 6th level (that's 4 levels before the Barb get's it), an Animal Companion that can body block and do some damage (plus provide flanking, very important for the Rogue), and spells (simply the most powerful class feature in the game, even though the Druid spell list isn't exactly the strongest one).

WS Druid basically has three downsides: 1) It takes a while (6th level) to become really good, although it's hardly crap before that.**
2) For optimal performance, you'll want to use a large form at 6th+7th level, and a huge form afterwards; you'll also want an animal companion that becomes large at 7th level. At higher levels, you'll also further enlarge your animal companion, and have a up to two huge treants. These large sizes don't fit in every dungeon, so if you're constantly fighting in 5' corridors, you won't be able to use your full potential. If the large sizes aren't a problem, they're a boon, though, as they help protect your backline.
3) Your armor will be pretty low (even with Mage Armor from the Wizard, which he really should cast on you). Spells, animal companion (enemies attacking your pet don't attack you), and high damage (the thing about Dead Dudes) help in that regard, but you're not exactly a walking tank.

**) Compared to an core Rogue and an unarmed core Monk (I presume), you will probably be the best damage dealer at any level, with any size of base form, though, so 1+2 are probably both irrelevant.

For the record, the best forms are Deinonychus for medium, Dire Tiger for large, and Allosaurus for huge. Others are doable as well, but you'll want multiple attacks and pounce, which for some reason only cats and dinosaurs have.

@Darksol: I'd get that wisdom to 15, so you can grab Mutated Shape from UW with a +4 Headband.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Druids cannot freely select domains. Unless their archetype changes the domains they can take, they are limited to a set of domains listed in their core writeup, of which Rage isn't listed as. Believe me, I considered that sort of thing, but if he takes VMC Barbarian he'll be better off with an Animal Companion.

I am aware of the domain restrictions. I meant to say "See if the GM allows Druids of Gorum to select the Rage (sub)domain" but something got lost in translation. My own table house rules that Druids can select from a single Cleric domain, so long as they worship a deity.

Quote:
That being said, Nature Fang replaces the #1 damage source for the frontline Druid, Wild Shape, so I would not recommend it.

Wildshape is great, I freely admit that, but sometime people don't want to wildshape. For myself, I prefer well rounded characters that are good at a good many things, never hyper specialized. A Nature Fang can fit nearly every party niche depending on how they are built. I'd wager that a well built Nature Fang Druid could hold his own when compared with a Wildshape Druid, overall.


If the rage domain is not an option what about the anger inquisition?


Bertious wrote:
If the rage domain is not an option what about the anger inquisition?

No... Just, no. Merely the loss of the bonus spells renders inquisitions a completely waste of time, outside of some rare niche case.


I know inquisitions in most cases are really bad but a druid barbarian with wis + druid level -4 bonus rage rounds seems like a good enough bonus on a strong build.

I have been out of the build game for a while now so I am likely wrong however. :D


Bertious wrote:
If the rage domain is not an option what about the anger inquisition?

Inquisitions are meh. Very few of them are worth taking over domains, even for Inquisitors, whom Inquisitions were specifically made for.

Even so, the Druid can VMC Barbarian, take the Extra Rage feat, and have an Animal Companion, while maintaining all of the good Barbarian stufd. I believe there is even a Teamwork Feat they can both take (assuming proper intelligence) that makes both creatures rage, and for even better effects.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Druids cannot freely select domains. Unless their archetype changes the domains they can take, they are limited to a set of domains listed in their core writeup, of which Rage isn't listed as. Believe me, I considered that sort of thing, but if he takes VMC Barbarian he'll be better off with an Animal Companion.

I am aware of the domain restrictions. I meant to say "See if the GM allows Druids of Gorum to select the Rage (sub)domain" but something got lost in translation. My own table house rules that Druids can select from a single Cleric domain, so long as they worship a deity.

Quote:
That being said, Nature Fang replaces the #1 damage source for the frontline Druid, Wild Shape, so I would not recommend it.
Wildshape is great, I freely admit that, but sometime people don't want to wildshape. For myself, I prefer well rounded characters that are good at a good many things, never hyper specialized. A Nature Fang can fit nearly every party niche depending on how they are built. I'd wager that a well built Nature Fang Druid could hold his own when compared with a Wildshape Druid, overall.

Okay, but houserules are houserules.

I disagree. I don't see the value of a Nature Fang Druid, primarily because a lot of what they can do, an optimal archetypeless Druid can do just as well.

Fun fact, he can take Halcyon Druid despite being Evil and have a bunch of Good effects and abilities at his disposal, and doesn't give up too much in exchange.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I disagree. I don't see the value of a Nature Fang Druid, primarily because a lot of what they can do, an optimal archetypeless Druid can do just as well.

Well, yes, Druids are a very well rounded class that can fit nearly any role. As far as disagreeing, you are free to do so. That happens because we have different play styles and, apparently, value different aspect of the Druid differently.

If VMC Barbarian is available for the OP's game, I would suggest it. Any combat oriented feats you would need can be picked up through the Slayer Talents of the Nature Fang archetype, even earlier than a wildshaping druid could get access to them (namely Vital Strike and Improved Vital Strike).

I have a character build sitting around here @ level 8 that does some pretty decent damage using a greatsword. Assuming you spend enough gold to get a +1 Furious Greatsword (effectively +2), and have enlarge person, you can swing 6d6+23 (+2d6 sneak) on a charging attack. 3d6+23 (+2d6) on normal attack (2/rd due to BAB)

I can post more about it if their is interest.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Quote:
That being said, Nature Fang replaces the #1 damage source for the frontline Druid, Wild Shape, so I would not recommend it.
Wildshape is great, I freely admit that, but sometime people don't want to wildshape. For myself, I prefer well rounded characters that are good at a good many things, never hyper specialized.

I'm sorry, but what the hell are you talking about? Wildshape Druid needs only one single feat to function (natural spell). Not even Power Attack is really essential. In what universe is one single feat "hyper specialized"?

And how exactly does Nature Fang help the Druid be more "well rounded"? By selecting a ranger combat style that forces you to specialize?

DeathlessOne wrote:
we have different play styles and, apparently, value different aspect of the Druid differently.

Please tell us what aspect of the Druid you value that Wildshape loses. Seriously, I have absolutely no idea.


Derklord wrote:
I'm sorry, but what the hell are you talking about? Wildshape Druid needs only one single feat to function (natural spell). Not even Power Attack is really essential. In what universe is one single feat "hyper specialized"?

I was speaking (writing) in general, not specifically speaking towards Druids, with that statement. I was merely commenting of preferences. However, if we want to speak specifically towards Druids, the massive damage that is often thrown around comes (usually) from the Vital strike chain which is delayed due to the 3/4 BAB. Wildshape also typically relies on buffing spells, or heavy investment of wealth to offset the AC issue.

Quote:
And how exactly does Nature Fang help the Druid be more "well rounded"? By selecting a ranger combat style that forces you to specialize?

Nature Fang allows for more options for the Druid to pick from. Those options are not just limited to Ranger Fighting style feats. Trapfinding, weapon finesse, firearms (& grit), rogue/ninja Ki abilities, evasion, etc, are all niches the Nature Fang Druid can CHOOSE to focus more into, adapting his abilities to his current party. Wildshaping can be duplicated with simple beastshape spells, if not other similar spells, although for shorter durations.

Quote:
Please tell us what aspect of the Druid you value that Wildshape loses. Seriously, I have absolutely no idea.

I pretty much covered that above. I don't see trading away Wildshape as a loss for the Nature Fang. More of a lateral shift in power. A Druid does not have to be a shifting avatar of nature in order to fulfill its role.


DeathlessOne wrote:

I was speaking (writing) in general, not specifically speaking towards Druids, with that statement. I was merely commenting of preferences. However, if we want to speak specifically towards Druids, the massive damage that is often thrown around comes (usually) from the Vital strike chain which is delayed due to the 3/4 BAB. Wildshape also typically relies on buffing spells, or heavy investment of wealth to offset the AC issue.

Nature Fang allows for more options for the Druid to pick from. Those options are not just limited to Ranger Fighting style feats. Trapfinding, weapon finesse, firearms (& grit), rogue/ninja Ki abilities, evasion, etc, are all niches the Nature Fang Druid can CHOOSE to focus more into, adapting his abilities to his current party. Wildshaping can be duplicated with simple beastshape spells, if not other similar spells, although for shorter durations.

I pretty much covered that above. I don't see trading away Wildshape as a loss for the Nature Fang. More of a lateral shift in power. A Druid does not have to be a shifting avatar of nature in order to fulfill its role.

That's objectively false. I've played a melee druid in a campaign and I did the most damage in our group on a given fight, every round. That's even factoring in a TWF Ninja, a UCMonk, an Alchemist, and a Magus; the former two of which had easy access to Dex to Damage options, the Alchemist who had powerful bombs, and the Magus whose nova capabilities are practically unmatched. This was using a Vanara Druid with zero stat dumps, with only 14 Strength as a base, Power Attack, Rage, Pounce, and a +2 Belt rolling (he had a 20 Wisdom otherwise, since he was actually built to be a "jack-of-all-trades" character). If I had properly optimized for melee combat, the gap would've widened a whole lot more.

The only time I can see Vital Strike being good is if you have a T-Rex companion, and they are junk too since a Deinonychus or Tiger companion would be a lot more powerful in the grand scheme of things. And while you are correct that Vital Strike requires BAB, which the Druid and his companion lack, that only reinforces the ideal that Vital Strike is a bad option for them simply due to delayed progression and lack of Greater Vital Strike, as well as simply being inferior to full attacks in general.

AC can be solved several ways depending on how you build, or what options you want to explore. If I took a level in UCMonk (which I did in the above comparison, delaying spellcasting, Domain, and class feature progression), I now add my Wisdom to AC even during Wild Shape, which can be better than most armors (and stacks with Armor Bonuses), I now have a decent Unarmed Strike for when I don't want to Wild Shape (making me not completely defenseless), a bonus feat from a select list that can surprise most any foe ("What the hell; since when can Tigers Deflect Arrows?!"), and on top of that, a Stunning Fist option that Caster Druids can make great use of if they're in a pinch.

The other, is, as you say, to buff. And to be honest, it's a good idea in comparison. Iron Skin is a strong solo buff that scales better than Barkskin does; everyone else is probably going to have Amulets of Natural Armor, but not you, because Natural Weapons. The party Wizard would be more than happy to expend a 1st level slot on Mage Armor for you, provided you lend him a Pearl of Power level 1 for it, which gives another 4 AC. You could also use Wild Armor if you're sick of having to rely on buffs, but that's very expensive, and honestly not worth it in comparison to the Monk dip if your Wisdom is high enough (if it's 16+, it's certainly a viable option). Otherwise, you just need to have strong Natural Armor and have a ton of hit points.

Approximately 90% of those suggestions you gave are not things a Druid would want or invest in. Trapfinding is for expendable people; the OP wants to be the ultimate frontliner, so that's not going to happen. Weapon Finesse defeats the purpose of having a high Strength. Suggesting Druids use Firearms is like suggesting Paladins use Drugs on their enemies and not Poisons. The Ki abilities might be decent, but I'm almost positive none of them will scale or be useful for the Druid. Evasion is meh since your Reflex Saves won't be that good, but it's certainly nice for those moments that it actually works. Improved Evasion would be a better thing to have, but it's not something they can take until much later, in which case they have bigger things to worry about.

But let me ask you: Do any of those talents grant Pouncing, the biggest game-changer for martials the world over? What about flight against enemies when using a bow would probably do jack-all? Do they let you change size, give you additional full BAB attacks and special abilities, or provide a substantial increase to your attributes, all at the same time? A quick review of those talents suggest a resounding "No" in a large amount of them, and the rest of them being "Maybe, but I doubt it's worth what I lose in exchange."

I mean, there are very few good Druid archetypes, and I don't think Nature Fang is a good one simply because Wild Shape is such a powerful feature that getting a small selection of talents from a very limited list of options isn't a very fair trade for a feature that, when combined with full spellcasting, creates one of the most versatile and powerful classes in the game.


You can claim what I said is objectively false, but that isn't really proven without comparing builds, and even then numbers in a vacuum only get you so far. As for your dismissal of the abilities the Nature fang can acquire can merely be summed up as different preferences and play styles. Rogues are not expendable, you can get Dex to damage too, Druids are not prohibited from using firearms, and Paladin have a strict code of conduct. It is subjective, at best. And, as I stated, my opinion on this does fall into the realm of preference.

Quote:
But let me ask you: Do any of those talents grant Pouncing, the biggest game-changer for martials the world over? What about flight against enemies when using a bow would probably do jack-all? Do they let you change size, give you additional full BAB attacks and special abilities, or provide a substantial increase to your attributes, all at the same time? A quick review of those talents suggest a resounding "No" in a large amount of them, and the rest of them being "Maybe, but I doubt it's worth what I lose in exchange."

I never stated, nor even hinted, that Slayer talents were a perfect replacement for Wildshape. However, most of those "short falls" can be made up with the right spell specifically chosen to fill in those gaps, just like a normal Druid would use. You CAN get pounce through shape shifting spells (which Wildshape mimics, just for hours per level instead) or through race/feat choices. Studied Target DOES make up for the lower BAB and allows higher DCs for your abilities.

Really, arguing about it really proves nothing. There is so many different ways to build a Druid (especially if we consider multiclass, prestige class, VMC, and archetypes) that pinning this down to "oh this is definitively better" will be like catching smoke with your bare hands. some options in multiclass will be superior, either at all times, for different situations, or just a few levels. Your example with dipping UnMonk, for example.


Hi guys, sorry for beign late in answering (also, excuse me about my writing, i'm from Spain and i may commit a lot of mistakes).

DERKLORD:

I'll take everything you said about size and feats, maybe i can build something pretty awsome.

The only weak point i can see in here is the time i need to be "awsome". I want to use another Word, so lets say "work propperly". As my teammates are pretty weak in the beginning, in dont know if i can afford a carácter that needs some time to be the real deal in punishing. Maybe i'll left the frontlane druid in the PC'S box just to take it when i can use it. But i'm building it, no doubt about it.

DARKSOL THE PAINBRINGER:

Man, i've learned a lot from your posts, i really didnt meant to make you start a discussion with DEATHLESSONE who is, i believe, a really good player too, i just need to see his point of view to understand he likes variety, and thats pretty awsome!, even if its not optimizing. Also, i can take a lot of info from your answers, you are pretty much an expert in building PC's.

DEATHLESSONE:

Thank you so much for point of view, i really like thinking out of the box too, even if that leads me to a not optimized version of what i'm trying to play. In this case however, if i'm playing a frontlaner druid, i'm afraid i will need to optimize if i dont want to die in the first round...and i'm not sure that i'm finally playing it due to my team composition.

That beign said, i've read your comments, and you gave me some pretty good character ideas, also i didnt know about furious blades...geez, i've so much to learn.

BERTIOUS:

I dont forget about you. Thanks for the idea of the inquisitor, but that class is not my cup of tea, i dont really like it for almost anything...Of course you didnt know it, so in other case that idea could be something awsome blossom, but for me inquisitors are just clerics with bad humour.


I think a Come and Get Me Barbarian would do nicely for this role as well.


Graelsis wrote:
The only weak point i can see in here is the time i need to be "awsome". I want to use another Word, so lets say "work propperly". As my teammates are pretty weak in the beginning, in dont know if i can afford a carácter that needs some time to be the real deal in punishing.

Before you decide, I'd suggest talking to the GM. Your parts sounds rather weak to be honest (Rogue and cMonk are weak, the Wizard could be very strong at low levels, but only with the right spells), so your GM should make sure not to overwhelm it. You "carrying" the entire group might also put off the other players. Maybe ask your GM how difficult the early levels are going to be?

A low level Druid is far from useless (you'd simply attack with a scythe, adding Power Attack at 3rd level), but a Barbarian would do something like 50% more damage (raging, compared to you+your pet) during the first three levels. At 4th and 5th levels, the druid does more damage, but only when he's full attacking (so you'll know how the Monk's and possibly Rogue's players feel ;-) ). Starting at 6th level, while not necessarily better on a regular full attack, the Druid does way more damage when he has to move, provided he can charge. Barbarian get's pounce at 10th level, at which point they're pretty similar when it comes to damage.

When in doubt, play what you feel more like. If cats and dinosaurs are to un-viking for you*, or if ontrolling two seperate characters worries you, or if you simply want to play it save defense wise, go with Barbarian.

*) Although you could play a Summoner with an Eidolon based on for instance Fenrir or Níðhöggr.


DeathlessOne wrote:

You can claim what I said is objectively false, but that isn't really proven without comparing builds, and even then numbers in a vacuum only get you so far. As for your dismissal of the abilities the Nature fang can acquire can merely be summed up as different preferences and play styles. Rogues are not expendable, you can get Dex to damage too, Druids are not prohibited from using firearms, and Paladin have a strict code of conduct. It is subjective, at best. And, as I stated, my opinion on this does fall into the realm of preference.

Quote:
But let me ask you: Do any of those talents grant Pouncing, the biggest game-changer for martials the world over? What about flight against enemies when using a bow would probably do jack-all? Do they let you change size, give you additional full BAB attacks and special abilities, or provide a substantial increase to your attributes, all at the same time? A quick review of those talents suggest a resounding "No" in a large amount of them, and the rest of them being "Maybe, but I doubt it's worth what I lose in exchange."

I never stated, nor even hinted, that Slayer talents were a perfect replacement for Wildshape. However, most of those "short falls" can be made up with the right spell specifically chosen to fill in those gaps, just like a normal Druid would use. You CAN get pounce through shape shifting spells (which Wildshape mimics, just for hours per level instead) or through race/feat choices. Studied Target DOES make up for the lower BAB and allows higher DCs for your abilities.

Really, arguing about it really proves nothing. There is so many different ways to build a Druid (especially if we consider multiclass, prestige class, VMC, and archetypes) that pinning this down to "oh this is definitively better" will be like catching smoke with your bare hands. some options in multiclass will be superior, either at all times, for different situations, or just a few levels. Your example with dipping UnMonk, for example.

I'd normally say that I disagree due to what Wild Shape gives you for effects, and by 6th level you can be in your preferred form practically all day. But with actual in-game experience with this sort of thing, only some of the most optimal DPR builds could outmatch the Druid I had designed, and I really only had melee as a secondary option (though VMC Barbarian and +2 Strength belt really helped put me on the map). Even a Magus, whose truly strong nova capabilities could outpace me if he critically hits with his Shocking Grasp Spellstrikes while using Spell Combat, and casting a second Shocking Grasp during his action, which only happened once or twice.

Yes, they aren't "prohibited", but I can assure you that it's not exactly welcome with open arms, either, and they will be extremely detrimented by using Firearms because they aren't a class with mechanics to support Firearm usage, unlike Gunslingers or several other Gunslinger-like archetypes across several classes.

It's not about Slayer Talents being a perfect replacement, it's that what you gain from the talents aren't comparable to the gamechangers that Wild Shape has to offer. None of the talents grant Pounce or Flight (hell, Druids don't even actually get a Fly spell at the normal levels; how about that?), two of the biggest machinations for melee effectiveness. Yes, you can get feats, but a Wild Shape Druid only needs two or three feats, tops, and you have everything you need to succeed at your job. And Studied Target honestly sounds more helpful for a Save/Suck Caster Druid than it is for a melee Druid, since making damn sure a BBEG fails his saving throws on spells by upping the Save DC against him, is pretty powerful. Sure, the to-hit/damage bonuses are nice, but objectively, compared to DPR from a Pouncing Wild Shape Druid, it will fall short by simply lacking the number of attacks, and Studied Target being the band-aid to the bullet wound discrepancy.


DeathlessOne wrote:
if we want to speak specifically towards Druids, the massive damage that is often thrown around comes (usually) from the Vital strike chain which is delayed due to the 3/4 BAB.

No, it normally comes from pouncing with a bunch of natural attacks. My current group's Druid does an average of 93 damage on a pounce against an average CR 8 monster (who has 98 HP). That's with a +2 belt, Haste (from my Summoner), Greater Magic Fang, Power Attack; plus Toughness, Barkskin, Mage Armor (Summoner), and Natural Spell.

Seriously, that's not a lot of investment, most of that stuff a Nature Fang would want just as much. Her other feats are actually Spell Focus (Conjuration) and Augment Summoning, exactly because the wildshape route doesn't need more stuff.

DeathlessOne wrote:
Nature Fang allows for more options for the Druid to pick from. Those options are not just limited to Ranger Fighting style feats. Trapfinding, weapon finesse, firearms (& grit), rogue/ninja Ki abilities, evasion, etc, are all niches the Nature Fang Druid can CHOOSE to focus more into, adapting his abilities to his current party.

Ah, now I finally understand what you're talking about. Most of these options are not for the type of playstyle the OP want. We're not saying Nature Fang is a bad suggestion for every Druid character possible, only that it's a bad suggestion for what the OP wants. Sure, if I'd ever feel compelled to create a firearm Druid, I'd probably pick that archetype - but the OP doesn't want a firearm user, so the archetype's ability to grab firearm feats as bonus feats is utterly irrelevant for this topic.

Once you have it in actual play, a Nature Fang character seems way more specialized and less flexible than a WS Druid.

DeathlessOne wrote:
Wildshaping can be duplicated with simple beastshape spells, if not other similar spells, although for shorter durations.

Not on a Druid (before 17th level, at least). Also, using spells and actions to polymorph some combats is vastly different form being in polymorph form all day long.

­

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I've played a melee druid in a campaign and I did the most damage in our group on a given fight, every round. That's even factoring in a TWF Ninja, a UCMonk, an Alchemist, and a Magus; the former two of which had easy access to Dex to Damage options, the Alchemist who had powerful bombs, and the Magus whose nova capabilities are practically unmatched.

Be glad you didn't have my Summoner in your party :-p

Our party's druid also usually outdamages the Magus and the Gunslinger.

I think an Alchemist nova's harder than a Magus, at least more reliable. Magus needs spell crits to really do a lot of damage.


I guess for a frontline druid a goliath druid should work. This archetype has access to the Rage subdomain if you want that rather than an animal companion (since this has been brought up as a solid strategy earlier). They also can get dinosaurs, which seem like very strong offensive options as an AC.

The ability to wild shape into a giant will allow the character to use the normal armor class boosting items, so their AC should be higher than that of most other druids in wildshape, although I would imagine that their offense would be less, without pouncing.


Derklord wrote:
No, it normally comes from pouncing with a bunch of natural attacks. My current group's Druid does an average of 93 damage on a pounce against an average CR 8 monster (who has 98 HP). That's with a +2 belt, Haste (from my Summoner), Greater Magic Fang, Power Attack; plus Toughness, Barkskin, Mage Armor (Summoner), and Natural Spell.

Pouncing is another option. It has it strengths and weaknesses. DR can play havoc with it. Question, is that damage including damage from an animal companion or just the druid's attacks?

Quote:
Ah, now I finally understand what you're talking about. Most of these options are not for the type of playstyle the OP want. We're not saying Nature Fang is a bad suggestion for every Druid character possible, only that it's a bad suggestion for what the OP wants. Sure, if I'd ever feel compelled to create a firearm Druid, I'd probably pick that archetype - but the OP doesn't want a firearm user, so the archetype's ability to grab firearm feats as bonus feats is utterly irrelevant for this topic.

The OP wants to be a front liner, but he doesn't want to completely overshadow his group. I was merely offering options along those lines. You don't need Wildshape to make that happen with a Druid.

Quote:
Not on a Druid (before 17th level, at least). Also, using spells and actions to polymorph some combats is vastly different form being in polymorph form all day long.

Sure you can. Animal Shapes is available at 15th level for hour/level 'Wildshape' mimicry, or 13th level if you have the right domain. You can also get beast shape as early as 5th level with the right domain.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Derklord wrote:
Not on a Druid (before 17th level, at least). Also, using spells and actions to polymorph some combats is vastly different form being in polymorph form all day long.
Sure you can. Animal Shapes is available at 15th level for hour/level 'Wildshape' mimicry, or 13th level if you have the right domain. You can also get beast shape as early as 5th level with the right domain.

Don't forget about fey form!

At 5th level, when a wild shape druid is still turning into into a deinonychus for a couple of talons and a bite, a nature fang druid could instead polymorph into a rabisu for flight, scent, +2 Str and Con, and five primary natural weapons, all while keeping their armor and gear and retaining their spellcasting ability. Or maybe, if allowed, into a rusalka for a swim speed and four 2d6 tress attacks with a 15-ft. reach. Or hey, maybe even a muse for a 60-ft. speed and five ranged touch attacks that each deal 4d6 sonic damage.

At 9th level, the druid can start using fey form II for +4 Str and Con and a bit of DR. They can turn into an ankou for blindsense and a 60-ft. flight speed and five natural weapons that can dish out 2d6 bleed damage on a hit. Or an escorite for flight and see in darkness and four tentacle attacks with reach and automatic Con damage. Or a whisperer for flight and see in darkness and resistance to poison and mind-affecting and six tendril touch attacks with a 20-ft. reach and 3d10 base damage.

At 11th level, they can use fey form III to turn into a tunche for +6 Str and Con, more DR, darkvision, scent, a climb speed, a swim speed, a 50-ft. land speed, and five primary natural weapons with loads of damage, a 15-ft. reach, rend, and a devastating poison that causes Con damage, Wis damage, and nausea with a DC boosted by your studied target.


With the need of a striking/defending/fighter and divine character in the party you'll have need of:
- The ability to trip incoming enemies (best done with Reach two-handed weapons, Strength as most important stat and access to a way to grow in size.) (Druid/potion of enlargement or some ability of the sort).
- The ability to cast divine spells preferably (only possible with the wisdom stat and charisma stat).

Here are some fitting concepts I fleshed out: I recommend one of the classes with more skill ranks if you want to avoid overshadowing your party members, such as the Hunter, Scald or Inquisitor!

Ranger Shapeshifter with Form of the dragon

Mountain Druid or Lion Druid

Cleric with the Growth Sub-Domain or Light Subdomain

Invulnerable Rager Barbarian - Very durable.

Oracle Divine Caster that can be capable by using the spell Divine Favor and other means.

Inquisitor - diverse and thematic

Bloodrager, Archetypes: Blood Conduit &/or Primalist.

Hunter, Divine Hunter

Warpriest, Divine Commander

Skald, Spell Warrior

Enjoy


So, I put together a lvl 12 build of what I would think of as a good front liner for a martial oriented Druid (Nature Fang). Level 12 was chosen simply because this level is before the character gets access to the Animal Shapes spell, and then would nearly completely duplicate the abilities of Wildshape (including the hour/level duration), minus the elemental forms of course. Animal companion build not included, though something that gets pounce is preferred.

Race/Feat selection:
Human
Alt racial traits: Draconic Heritage, Focused study
Ability Scores (15 Pts) (levels boost +1 Dex, +2 STR)
STR: 15, Dex: 13, Con: 12, Int: 10, Wis: 14+2 (16), CHA: 8

Druid Domain: Feather (Perception bonus, Animal Companion)

Feats:
1-FS) Skill Focus Perception
1) Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum)
3) Rage (VMC)
4) ST: Ranger Combat Style (Gorum) [Power Attack]
5) Eldritch Heritage (Draconic) [Bloodline Familiar: Protector, Mongoose +2 Ref)
6) ST: Ranger Combat Style (Gorum) [Vital Strike]
7) Ucanny Dodge (VMC)
8) ST: YOUR CHOICE (Combat Trick: Combat Reflexes or Outflank)?
8-FS) Skill Focus Use Magic Device
9) Boon Companion (Animal Companion)
10) ST: Ranger Combat Style (Gorum) [Improved Vital Strike]
11) Rage Power: Superstition (VMC)
12) ST: Opportunist

Stat Block:
This assumes only ONE buff spell, Ironskin. Enlarge person is from a command word activated magic item. All other bonuses are from permanent effects/rage/feats. Also, no spells prepared because those can change daily, and are otherwise unimportant for the moment. Beast shape III is our 5th level domain spell, so it is available as early as level 9. No traits selected, so customize as you will.

(Nature Fang)
Human druid (nature fang) 12 / VMC barbarian
CN Large humanoid (human)
Init +2 (+4 during surprise rounds); Senses darkvision 10 ft., low-light vision; Perception +35
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Defense
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AC 26, touch 11, flat-footed 24 (+9 armor, +2 deflection, +2 Dex, +6 natural, -2 rage, -1 size)
hp 156 (12d8+60)
Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +18; +5 morale bonus vs. spells, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities but must resist all spells, even allies'
Defensive Abilities ferocity, uncanny dodge
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Offense
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Speed 30 ft.
Melee
[normal] +1 fortuitous furious greatsword +21/+16 (3d6+16/19-20 plus 1d6 sneak attack)
[power attack] +1 fortuitous furious greatsword +18/+13 (3d6+25/19-20 plus 1d6 sneak attack)
[vital strike, imp] +1 fortuitous furious greatsword +21 (9d6+16/19-20 plus 1d6 sneak attack) (+2 Atk/Dmg with charge)
[vital strike, power attack] +1 fortuitous furious greatsword +18 (9d6+25/19-20 plus 1d6 sneak attack (+2 Atk/Dmg with charge)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks rage (14 rounds/day), sneak attack +1d6, studied target +3 (1st, swift action)
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Statistics
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Str 25, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 8
Base Atk +9; CMB +17; CMD 33
Feats Boon Companion[UW], Divine Fighting Technique (gorum's Swordsmanship), Eldritch Heritage[UM], Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +2 (-2 to jump), Bluff +2, Climb +11, Fly +10, Heal +10, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +35, Sense Motive +8, Spellcraft +13, Survival +12, Swim +11, Use Magic Device +15; Racial Modifiers +6 Perception
Languages Common, Druidic
SQ able defender, animal companion, combat style (Gorum), draconic heritage, dragon's flight, eyes of the hawk, loyal bodyguard, nature bond (Feather domain[APG]), rage power (superstition +5), shield master, slayer talents ( opportunist, ranger combat style[ACG], ranger combat style[ACG], ranger combat style[ACG]), trackless step
Combat Gear juggernaut's pauldrons[UE]; Other Gear +3 comfort ironwood mountain pattern armor[UC], +1 fortuitous furious greatsword, belt of physical perfection +2, headband of inspired wisdom +4, ring of eloquence[ACG], ring of protection +2, ring of resistance +3
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Special Abilities
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Able Defender (Ex) Familiar gains In Harm's Way feat.
Animal Companion (Ex) Gain an animal companion.
Animal Companion Link (Ex) Handle or push Animal Companion faster, +4 to checks vs. them.
Boon Companion (Animal Companion) Companion or familiar abilities are treated as if you were a higher level.
Darkvision (10 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Divine Fighting Technique (Gorum's Swordsmanship) You may apply Vital Strike to greatsword at end of a charge, or 1 additional damage if you lack Vital Strike.
Draconic Heritage (Ex) Ignore Cha pre-reqs of Eldritch heritage chain of feats.
Dragon's Flight (30 ft, average, 5 minutes/day) (Ex) Familiar can sprout draconic wings.
Druid (Nature Fang) Domain (Feather) Add Fly to your list of class skills. In addition, whenever you cast a spell that grants you a fly speed, your maneuverability increases by one step (up to perfect).
Empathic Link with Familiar (Su) You have an empathic link with your Arcane Familiar.
Eyes of the Hawk (+6 Perception/+2 Init.) (Su) +2 Initiative during a surprise round.
Familiar Bonus: +2 to Reflex saves You gain the Alertness feat while your familiar is within arm's reach.
Ferocity (Ex) Fight without penalty even while disabled or dying.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in dim light, distinguishing color and detail.
Loyal Bodyguard (Ex) Familiar can use Bodyguard to protect master, even if not threatening attacker.
Opportunist (1/round) (Ex) A foe who takes a melee hit from another provokes an AoO from you.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Rage (14 rounds/day) (Ex) +4 Str, +4 Con, +2 to Will saves, -2 to AC when enraged.
Share Spells with Familiar Can cast spells with a target of "You" on the familiar with a range of touch.
Shield Master (Su) Familiar can take half damage done to you, as shield other
Sneak Attack +1d6 Attacks deal extra dam if flank foe or if foe is flat-footed.
Speak with Familiar (Ex) You can communicate verbally with your familiar.
Studied Target +3 (swift action, 1 at a time) (Ex) Study foe as a Swift action, gain +3 to att/dam & some skills vs. them.
Superstition +5 (Ex) While raging, gain bonus to save vs. magic, but must resist all spells, even allies'.
Trackless Step (Ex) You do not leave a trail as you move through natural surroundings.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Retain DEX bonus to AC when flat-footed.
Vital Strike Standard action: x2 weapon damage dice.


General Thoughts:
The character has a form of psuedo-pounce with Vital Strike thanks to his divine fighting style and Opportunist. His first AoO after vital striking is a Vital strike. Fortuitous helps get a extra swing in when Opportunist activates. This works best when the Druid charges in and his animal companion comes in after him, thus triggering Opportunist. Assuming both primary hit and it's AoO hit, that's an average of 90 Dmg + 35 average for the secondary hit from fortuitous. Without charge/vital strike, you are looking at 140 Dmg average (two from BAB, two from opportunist/fortuitous). Haste widens this number even more.

As far as tanking goes, your AC is not amazing but that can change depending on what you choose to spend you wealth on. I chose a well rounded path. What does help is that you have a protector familiar with an EQUAL number of hit points to you (when it gains In Harm's Way), and takes half of your damage, effectively doubling your Hp.

Aside from all of these things, the character is still a Druid and can do typical Druid things: Heal, spell cast, battlefield control, buff, summon, etc. No Wildshape, but between vermin shape, fey form, and the beast shape spells (added to his list by domain), he can mimic it for shorter durations, Sadly, no natural spell, but we don't plan on being shapeshifter for hours on end, usually.

So, a typical tactic for this character is to Charge in, hit with Vital Strike. Companion charges in, pounces. Triggers vital strike AoO from Druid, and then a second normal AoO. So, if the creatures survives the 135 average damage + the damage from the companion, the next round will be worse. If different tactics are needed, resort to spells chosen for this particularly instance. Beast shape into something, or buff yourself further, or whatever you need.


Oops, meant to send this earlier...

DeathlessOne wrote:
Question, is that damage including damage from an animal companion or just the druid's attacks?

Just the druid, although with Rake, of course.

DeathlessOne wrote:
The OP wants to be a front liner, but he doesn't want to completely overshadow his group. I was merely offering options along those lines. You don't need Wildshape to make that happen with a Druid.

That's fair, but you shouldn't act like wildshape was "hyper specialized" while Nature Fang was the incarnation of "well rounded characters that are good at a good many things".


Derklord wrote:
That's fair, but you shouldn't act like wildshape was "hyper specialized" while Nature Fang was the incarnation of "well rounded characters that are good at a good many things".

I never meant to give the impression the Druid was hyper specialized or that the Nature Fang was an 'incarnation' of well rounded characters. When I spoke of hyper specialized and well rounded (which I clarified earlier), I meant characters in general that I prefer to play, and that others like to play as well, a preference in play. Some people don't want to play a shape shifting Druid. The Nature Fang can fit that choice for those players, without sacrificing much (if any) actual power, considering it can mimic the abilities of Wildshape for short durations.


Quote:
Could you help me to build a warrior/barbarian that deals a huge amount of damage

Without addressing the healing concerns that the others have already covered....

[Drunken Brute/Savage Technologist] stacked archetype barbarian, one-level dip, plus Extra Rage feat and Combat Reflexes. Also a one-level dip into Cleric [Community/Travel domains] (even assuming you have no interest in casting/healing, what you get is worth the -1 BAB).

Carry a polearm for massive power and a sickening number of AoOs when Enlarged via move-action potion consumption.

The rest of your martial build can be literally anything else.


Hi again guys!

I'm here again just to say i'm very impressed with this community. I really didnt expect so much help from you all, god, i've even recieved full builds! Thank you so much, DEATHLESSONE.

I've learned a lot, i know i've said this like four times right now, but i'm not accostumed to this kind of respond, i was expecting something more like one or two answers telling me about a few feats...

You all have helped me to learn more about the game, also, after this much Reading, i think i was stuck in a "this is the only way" mode, probably blinded by the security of the melee classes, but hey, i've discovered how much i can do with a bit of imagination and tons of knowledge about the game.

Special thanks to DARKSOl, DERKLOLRD and DEATHLESSONE, since they have been here from the beggining and the level of implication has been amazing.

I want you all to know that i've read all your comments, and every single one of them have been usefull for me. Sadly i cant answer you all! ^^, but please, dont think that your time here has been a waste.

I hope to see you all the next time i need some help!

Have a great day!


Anytime, Graelsis. I am more than willing to share my knowledge of the game with you and help you generate interesting concepts. Especially if you to try to do something that goes against the accepted norms. Phenomenal cosmic power (TM) is great and all, but it really unnecessary in most styles of game play. I love thinking outside the box and fitting together concepts that normally seem counter to each other, and then finding ways to make them work.

I am less familiar with the Occult classes (and I do not use, or even acknowledge 3rd party sources), but have a good working knowledge of the rest of the classes, should any of those peak your interest. Otherwise, I pretty well rounded on the other classes.


DeathlessOne wrote:

Anytime, Graelsis. I am more than willing to share my knowledge of the game with you and help you generate interesting concepts. Especially if you to try to do something that goes against the accepted norms. Phenomenal cosmic power (TM) is great and all, but it really unnecessary in most styles of game play. I love thinking outside the box and fitting together concepts that normally seem counter to each other, and then finding ways to make them work.

I am less familiar with the Occult classes (and I do not use, or even acknowledge 3rd party sources), but have a good working knowledge of the rest of the classes, should any of those peak your interest. Otherwise, I pretty well rounded on the other classes.

We will meet again for sure then!!! just cant wait to build something awsome like we all just did!

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