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Beginner looking into Multiclass Theory


Advice

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So here's the drill. I used to play D&D. A long, LONG time ago. And not very often. That's about the extent of my "practical experience". I've been mucking about on the D20PFSRD because an associate recently invited me to a Pathfinder campaign, starting from first level.

I'm playing (at first level), a Chaotic Good Catfolk Paladin of Cayden Cailean due to a house rule of randomized backgrounds, which includes an alignment determination feature. Because of this, Paladins are allowed to be any alignment (yes, even Chaotic Evil) but their god has to MATCH their alignment instead of being within one step.

Stats were run using a 4d6 drop lowest, where I got...incredibly average scores. Nothing particularly high or low, where others in the party got to be more specialized.

At first level, my stats look like this:

STR - 14
DEX - 14+2
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 12-2
CHA - 15+2

Traits and Feats from Race and Background Generation are as follows:

-Cat's Luck (Ex)
-Clever Cat
-Nimble Faller
-Scent

-Talented (parents were performers as a profession)
-Indomitable Faith (repeated encounters with a particular sentient undead background event)
-Hedonistic (drawback)
-Arisen ("you died" childhood event. very traumatic)
-Acolyte (Village background profession, I put it into diplomacy and linguistics)
-Future access to Glimpse Beyond (also from the undead event)

so with that as context for everything to come, as it's pretty much set in stone, we get to the point - multiclassing. i've heard a LOT about multiclassing, and a lot of the higher end stuff as a paladin isn't as attractive anyway, so i figured i'd get in on it (immunities aren't that big a deal when you have sky-high saves, and 5/10 dr doesnt seem like much by the time you get to that level.

my intent for now is to play a bow paladin in light armor, since i already have passable dex, and i'd rather not need to worry about about needing a bunch of different stats (like str for carry weight) and just keep it simple. i can use the paladin spell to use a bow like a cudgel or staff if i need to mix it up in melee. i can also use that as a workaround to the divine bond limitation on Divine Hunter if need be (ran it past GM, said it still counts as a Ranged Weapon for the purposes of divine bond).

now here's the thing. im not sure how far i want to take it. i could stop at paladin 4 for the spell access, since ill have enough charisma for a 4th level bonus spell with just one more point into it (either from levels or gear) i wont need to go past that.

but ive heard that paladin 2/cleric 1 is better for having a small handful of useful spells than paladin 4. but cleric needs wisdom, and my wisdom is abysmal, so i don't know if that would hold true or not.

then theres Zen Archer monk for Flurry of Blows with a bow, and free bow bonus feats, and rogue for sneak attack and evasion (reflex saves, which are sky high from paladin 2, can negate aoe damage instead of cutting it in half), and perhaps the trapfinding bonus could be of use. both seem like valuable potential avenues of increasing damage. sneak attack isnt super honorable, but im a chaos paladin so who cares.

and for ways to leverage a high charisma...ive read so far of the noble scion of war feat for CHA to Initiative and the Whispers of Nature Revalation for Oracle 1 Nature Mystery (I can easily take Covetous as a curse and it would fit my background due to Hedonistic) for CHA to AC and CMD, but those replace dexterity instead of supplementing it and my dexterity isn't bad, so i don't know if either of them is worth bothering with. i DO plan on emphasizing charisma for stat growth opportunities since im in charge of diplomacy, but i'll take what i can get in terms of equipment, and more dexterity is certainly not something i'd complain about.

plus there's bard and sorcerer for arcane charisma casting abilities, with bards even being decent with a bow IIRC. (dervish dancer for example doesn't specify melee for getting its extra attacks in), and supposedly theres a class that will let me use a bow to extend the range of spells.

so thats everything that ive been thinking about while crawling through various forums and the D20PFSRD. theres a LOT of things i can potentially do, which was why i chose a paladin in the first place, so i could specialize to fill any gaps in party composition be it tank, ranged, caster, melee, or support/healer, and naturally the further into the campaign we go the more limited viable options will become just by virtue of having already made certain decisions.

what do you guys think?

also paladin 2 is basically a gimme. +CHA to all saves? yes please.


Your game is allowing you to take six traits? Normally, you're only allowed two.


Ah, no. The first four are my selected Catfolk racials, Talented and Indomitable Faith are my two traits, Hedonistic is a drawback to start with a Story Feat, and Acolyte is a bonus for background profession.

"Acolytes are neophytes of a particular temple. In civilized lands, they live in dormitories and spend their days performing various mundane duties for their superiors. In more primitive or rural societies, they may be a single student of a mid or high level cleric.

Alignment: As appropriate

Skills: Choose 2 of the following skills as class skills. If a skill you select is already a class skill, you receive a +1 competence bonus on checks using that skill.

Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Linguistics, Profession, Spellcraft

Starting Money: 2d4 x 10 gp"

the money is on top of the starting money for my class. between that and being a paladin i rolled a nice round 150gp. not too bad.


A few quick questions:

1) Has the GM a history of leading campaigns to level 14+? If not, don't worry, straight paladin improves steadily until level 12 or 13.

2) How much does the GM challenge their players and how ambitious are the other players, when it comes to character building? If everyone else is laid back, an overly powerful character does more harm than good to the table's fun.

3) Why do you consider multiclassing? Is it about getting an edge for character power? Is it about the thought exercise? Is it about a concept you can only realize with combining multiple classes?


1) i honestly don't know

2) in addition to me we have one true first-timer, a regular unknown to me, and one person who is...not very laid back at all. he's going hardcore with a tiefling inquisitor/alchemist, and already has 20 wis and 17 int at first level.

3) its...a combination of factors. i enjoy the thought experiment, especially as it relates to staying in-character, but all that is meaningless if im shooting myself in the foot so to speak. does that make any sense?


I would advice against multiclassing. Paladins are great on their own: swift action self healing, great saves and smite evil. Plus they get limited casting so you get to see how everything works. But multiclassing without something very specific in mind can be shortsighted, and can gimp your character when you delay getting certain class abilities or certain powers are less relevant because they scale off of level.
For a first time character just stay the course. Get a big 2 handed weapon, fey foundling at 1st and then power attack and you’re set.

Silver Crusade

As skulky says, most likely you'll gimp your character by multiclassing.


i have no intentions of using anything beyond light armor as it's too restrictive and i DO worship a god of freedom and liberation. elven/mithral should be fine when i can afford it as its less encumbering but still has a good amount of defense. as for the two-handed weapon, ill just use my longbow as a quarterstaff, that wont be an issue. frankly i intended to have that as an option to fall back on if it became necessary to begin with. like i said, i know WHAT im trying to do, im just not sure how best to DO it: dealing damage with a bow while leveraging my high charisma for everything its worth (within the realms of relative practicality of course) and having enough survival that i can taunt and start bludgeoning if it becomes unavoidable.

fey foundling seems pretty amazing with deep investment on lay on hands, and could set a paladin up to make a solid healer, but sadly doesn't work very well with a background involving a stable biological family unit of two parents and one younger sibling.

----------------------

none of this really helps with the theory aspect though. to rephrase my initial post to be more clear, how do i weigh benefits against scenarios i may not have total control over like random or semi-random initial conditions (stats, traits, funds, and so on)? that way i can decide for myself if dipping into a certain class or rushing the prerequisites for a certain feat early are more beneficial than waiting or not doing so at all, or what piece of magic equipment is superior at any given point in my development, in a relatively educated fashion instead of just guessing or going with what looks fancy.

so i suppose im less asking what i should do as how to more appropriately weigh my options for not just this character right now, but also this character down the line, and any other characters i may generate.

Grand Lodge

Make each of the builds.

Look at:

Dpr
Saves
Ac
Skill

Then:

Class features
Spells
Buffed or burst damage

And see if your better for most combats on normal days. See if you are better with skills and out of combat stuff, utility casting, heal etc. Most multiclassing is done to boost the top 4 though some don't when you run the numbers and you lose out on the bottom though many build lose in many categories.


Well if you’re going ranged Paladin then your feat progression is pretty much set until like level10 at the earliest.
1 point blank shot
3 precise shot
5 rapid shot
7 many shot
9 deadly aim
I recommend that order for Paladin, dr is less of concern with smite. And with smite getting more shots is more important. So at level 7 if you enchant your bow with an energy damage (acid or electricity would be best) you’re basically getting 4 attacks, so 4x 1d8+7+1d6+strength bonus and weapon enchantment.

With ranged you gotta be all in, paladins come on a little slower with the lack of bonus feats, but with smite evil are just nasty at higher level.

Is there something specific you’re wanting your character to do? Do you want more advice for an archer in general or just Paladin?
Are you playing a home brew game or an AP?


If you want some flavor of another class the high Cha may make Eldritch Heritage attractive (though it will cost you two feats).

If you want to go the no armor route then a dip into Unchained Monk (Scaled Fist Archetype) for Cha to AC & flurry might be worth it.

Since your chaotic you could get a level of barbarian (urban archetype) so that you can enter a righteous fury to pump your dex when you see someone violating another's freedom.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I agree with others that multiclassing a Paladin generally doesn’t help.

The way to figure out if multiclassing is ‘worth it’ is to look at what you are giving up versus what you are gaining. Unfortunately that can be quite complex and not everyone agrees on how useful something is. The easy things to measure are Attack bonus and saving throw.

As you noted, Cleric/Paladin mix doesn’t work well. Have you looked at the Oracle? That class works quite well with Paladin since it gets spells based on Charisma. That particular combination can be very effective, especially if you go Life Oracle for the Life Link revelation. It would allow you to take on the wounds of others in the party and then swift action heal yourself with Lay On Hands.

You mentioned wanting to stay in light armor. Do you know that Mithral Breastplate has most of the features people look for when they want light armor?

Hope you have fun!


looking up the standard breastplate, and the effects of mithral...very nice. might splurge and get it in the agile variant to save carry weight. strength is looking like its going to be fairly average at most, so minimizing weight as best as possible seems smart.

taking some of the advice so far, especially the priority list, i decided i rather like the Divine Hunter archetype, and it stops being different at level 14. the vanilla paladin material past that point doesn't really excite me. i mean i guess banishment at level 20 is okay, but its probably not make-or-break.

so with that in mind, i decided i have exactly 6 levels to play with. i could use 2 of them on Zen Archer monk archetype and get Rapid Shot for free via base level Flurry of Blows, Weapon Focus and Perfect Strike as bonus feats along with 2 of Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Far Shot, and Point-Blank Shot also as bonus feats. Precise Shot and Rapid shot are also on that list but Flurry is identical to Rapid Shot and Precise shot is a free 1st level Divine Hunter feat in exchange for losing heavy armor proficiency...which i dont need anyway.

so 5 bonus feats for 2 levels, but really no other interesting features. wis bonus to ac in less than heavy armor is a thing, but my wis is garbage so i doubt that will be terribly relevant. on the other hand one of those nifty +int/wis/cha circlets would be doubly useful if one shows up or i can afford to have one made.

does that seem worthwhile?

i'm also considering a quick jaunt into oracle for either nature or life mystery. nature would let me replace dex with cha for AC and CMD, while life would give me life link as bret1 said. now i know that that doesn't increase my damage or provide any additional feats, and that healing should mostly be handled out of combat and lay on hands specifically should mostly be reserved for self healing, but since i'm building for ranged, i don't beleive i'll need as much self-healing and it seemed like an interesting enough utility to at least CONSIDER, whether or not i actually do it.

UPDATE:

i may have figured out a build that works for a nice bit of what i want. how viable do you think this is over the course of a 1-20 (and potentially beyond) lifespan?

(in no particular order) Divine Hunter Paladin 14 / Zen Archer Monk 2 / Spirit Guide Oracle 4 (Nature Mystery, Covetous Curse, Life Spirit) ?


UPDATE

i found something REALLY nice.

The Evangelist

Downside is, smaller hit die than paladin. but just barely. upside is, it progresses class features NORMALLY for any one selected class. and it has WAY better skills growth.

downside is, first level is basically a dead void. which means i have to give up a feature from somewhere, where my previous post built around certain interesting breakpoints, like oracle 4 getting 2nd level spells and access to the wandering spirit's spells, monk 2's perfect strike and free bonus feat (which looks to be pretty potent in tandem with smite and flurry of blows), or paladin 14's good aligned ranged attacks aura.

...actually i could probably live with effective paladin 13. divine bond can apply holy if its absolutely necessary, and i only lose 1 1st level and 1 4th level spell slot. 13 is enough to get 4th level slots off charisma since it has "0" instead of "-"


Zen Archer doesn't look like it's bringing much to the table.

Straight fighter looks like a better option for a dip

(But, I've never thought Zen Archer was that great)


I like your enthusiasm, just think you have a bit of a kid in a candy store kind of thing going, I say that having been the same way. I don’t think any of the combos you are proposing are an improvement over straight Paladin. Also I really wouldn’t worry about level 20 abilities or planning out 14+. Most games do not get to level 20 play.
You mentioned oracle, which has some synergy with Paladin, look up oradin, which uses fey foundling that I mentioned before and life link of the life oracle and is a crazy combo. You also said getting 2nd level spells from oracle, but paladins already get spells. One thing you might be overlooking is ranger and Paladin spell lists account for the fact that they get spells so much later in the game than a full caster, and often get early access to spells. There are spells a cleric/oracle get as level 2 spells that a Paladin gets as level 1, such as ghost bane dirge. So 4 levels of oracle to get access to 2nd level spells might not be as beneficial as you think.
If you’re looking for a more complex from a game mechanic character maybe go full caster such as cleric or oracle, managing a full caster spell list for a new player is a lot of work. End of the day it’s all about having fun, and I’d be happy to have a new player with so much enthusiasm at my table.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Since you are so focused on archery and want to Multiclass, have you looked at Arrowsong Minstrel? Bards use Charisma for their casting stat, so there is some synergy there. At second level, you would pick up Precise Strike and the ability of all allies ignoring cover from other allies.

Pick up Gravity Bow as a spell to improve your damage.

Although it doesn't give as many feats as the Zen Archer, it does have more synergy with the Paladin class than the Zen Archer monk. Since you will have already gotten medium armor proficiency from the Paladin, you would be able to wear Mithral Agile Breastplate and still cast your spells -- the armor counts as light.

Sovereign Court

One thing to consider... a large part of Divine Hunter's usefulness comes into play when you have -other- ranged people at the table. If you are (generally) the only person ranged attacking... it's a downgrade from straight paladin taking bow feats.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Paladin is one class (of many) that doesn’t multiclass very well. It’s not the new abilities that are key but the improvements that you get to existing abilities every level. Smite gets stronger and gives more uses based on level. Same with lay on hands and healing.


Breti's suggestion of the bard archetype is...interesting. id never get to use 2nd level spells, and id only have 1+cha 1st level slots, because of how it slows spell progression compared to normal making s 'll 2nd level basically mandatory even thought it's features kind of overlap with divine hunter precise shot and aura of care. The loss of bardic knowledge is a shame too...but since it's a spontaneous caster from known pool, and gets to draw from wizards and sorcerers i am intrigued.

It's less martially frontloaded compared to monk, but between cantrips, orisons, and 13-14th level paladin divine casting it would give me a lot of versatility to cast quickly while shooting.

Plus bard just fits the character better than monk.

Color me interested.

As for divine hunter being a downgrade, it seems less clear cut than that to me. Yes it benefits greatly from keeping other ranged attackers nearby, but just for personal use I actually prefer the divine hunter auras over the regular ones. With as much charisma as I'm going to shoot for I shouldn't need the immunities personally and I won't be close enough to the frontlines to benefit them. If immunities become absolutely crucial I can always get an accessory made for it.


It's a downgrade because paladin is a full BAB class and evangelist is not. Sentinel is a much better choice for paladins. There are some nice boon abilities - specifically Iomedae and Shelyn.


I will echo that Barbarian dips are pretty handy for martial builds.

The rage (if you pick up Extra rage as well) will make up for most of what you lose. It boosts attack, damage, and HP. (Kind of).

One trick is to use an adaptive longbow, and then dip into the Savage Technologist Archetype. This lets you increase STR and DEX, so you can boost both your attack rolls and damage.

Personally, I consider this a great trade off although opinions may vary. To use rage, extra rage is necessary, so it does cost a feat.


He was talking about divine hunter archetype not evangelist prestige I thought. I actually do like the look of sentinel, and it has better joins from cayden than evangelist, but since it doesn't run normal paladin features I don't think I can invest in that with this build. Maybe a future one where I spend more time in melee. Or if the character by some miracle survives long enough to reach Epic levels.

As for evangelist, the lower hit dice and dead first level are a shame, the level really regardless of what class you link to it. But it's individual features are kind of interesting and gained in addition to the linked class so that's a little cool at least.


I missed magehunters post earlier, sorry.

savage technologist 1 and arrowsong minstrel 1 is actually completely doable, i misread how arrowsong minstrel's reduced spellcasting worked. its just 1 less spell per spell level per day, and if its reduced to 0 charisma still leans bonus spells.

needing a feat to get better use of rage is kind of irksome since im stretched a bit thin for those as it is without fighter or monk bonus feats, but it is a very powerful buff, and i could kind of make it work with characterization even though this paladin is kind of a wide-eyed idealist. when push comes to shove, they always tell you to beware the nice ones. they're the ones most likely to snap.

So currently I'm looking at the merits of the following class sets.

Divine Hunter x / Spirit Guide 4 / Zen Archer 2

vs

Divine Hunter x / Spirit Guide 4 / Arrowsong Minstrel 1 / Savage Technologist 1

and whether or not to splice a few levels of Evangelist onto Divine Hunter for some skill points and extra features at the cost of the level 14 feature (good-aligned ranged attacks for self and others within 10m) and a bit of potential health.

i looked up this adaptive longbow, turns out its a modification, that can only be put on composite bows. do composites still count as longbows/shortbows for the purposes of feats and spells? because i have a few that rely on using a shortbow or longbow specifically.


Note that as written, a barbarian's rage and paladin class features require incompatible alignments from one another. Barbarian requires non-lawful, Paladin requires Lawful Good.

Composite bows can use all feats that apply to their non-composite counterparts:

PRD wrote:

For purposes of Weapon Proficiency and similar feats, a composite longbow is treated as if it were a longbow.

For purposes of Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus, and similar feats, a composite shortbow is treated as if it were a shortbow


Is your wisdom 10 (12 -2 racial) or 12, already counting in racial?

If you only have 10 wisdom, you can not cast any cleric spell until you get more wisdom. If it is 12, you can not cast above 2nd level magic.


Obscure citations wrote:
Note that as written, a barbarian's rage and paladin class features require incompatible alignments from one another. Barbarian requires non-lawful, Paladin requires Lawful Good.

It's a homebrew chaotic paladin, so that shouldn't be a problem.


SorrySleeping wrote:

Is your wisdom 10 (12 -2 racial) or 12, already counting in racial?

If you only have 10 wisdom, you can not cast any cleric spell until you get more wisdom. If it is 12, you can not cast above 2nd level magic.

12 -2 racial.

it's not really an issue, we've pretty much ruled out going into any form of wisdom based spellcasting. divine and arcane alike, if its magical, its running off charisma here.

i have to say im actually kind of intrigued by the potential of competent physical damage blended with easy if not terribly powerful group healing, passable survivability for a back liner, and access to some low-end divine and arcane utilities (even at high levels, paladins can't cast beyond 4th level spells :/)

kind of a jack of most trades (not especially good in melee, but able to defend itself a bit) master of none, but in a way thats actually pretty cool.

as long as you can bring some value to a group, you don't need to be the cutting edge maximum of any one thing, eh?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Right. Ideally, each member of the party complements the rest of the party. There's a reason the classic D&D party is cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, not cleric, druid, oracle, and shaman, or arcanist, sorcerer, witch, and wizard, or bard, inquisitor, ranger, and rogue, or barbarian, cavalier, fighter, and swashbuckler.

Usually, each party member has their own specialty, and hopefully at least one secondary ability, so each can contribute in their own way and also not step on each other's toes.


So any advice on levelling order, at least early on?

I'm thinking paladin 2 (boost saves) -> oracle 3 (get some spells) -> barbarian 1 (rage for something resembling actual damage) or bard 1 (gravity bow - which is actually a really nice spell, thanks for turning me on to that - for something resembling actual damage) -> paladin 5 (channeling, some pally spells, divine bond for even more damage) -> whichever of bard or barbarian wasn't taken earlier -> oracle 4 (more spells known from wandering spirit) -> paladin all the way down.


Double post, sorry but it seems it won't let me edit past a certain amount of time.

I've been looking at ways to set up my Spirit Guide since its able to be so flexible.

I know I want Life Link, that's a gimme, but I can either use it as one of my two revalations from a Life Mystery, OR I can use it as my daily chosen hex from a Life Wandering Spirit.

It's the Wandering Spirit that makes this so variable - it really opens up an amazing amount of options.

So obviously since I'm heavily favoring Charisma since it affects pretty much all of my ability to cast, I could focus on dumping the need for dexterity with the nature mystery, but since its already 16 and you never know what kind of magic equipment will show up, and i'll be running with a dex-boosting rage in my pocket to boot, that's looking more and more to be not worth it.

so that circles back to the main issue - i get one revelation, and one hex. do i go with a particularly useful revelation or the spell list (up to 2nd caster level) of a non-life mystery due to otherwise difficult to come by and/or useful magics, or do i go with life mystery and use the different spells and hexes of the spirit companions?

what mysteries or spirits do you recommend? WHY?

ill admit, i am leaning toward life spirit just so i know what i have at all times instead of needing to look up spirit abilities every day, but flexibility is a power in its own right and this build doesnt have a lot of spell slots/spells known to work with.

------------------

as a secondary issue, are there any workarounds to the paladin/barbarian issue in more official settings? if not, what would you suggest subbing in? fighter?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Paladin/bloodrager? It's a Charisma-based battle caster.


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Priyd wrote:

So any advice on levelling order, at least early on?

I'm thinking paladin 2 (boost saves) -> oracle 3 (get some spells) -> barbarian 1 (rage for something resembling actual damage) or bard 1 (gravity bow - which is actually a really nice spell, thanks for turning me on to that - for something resembling actual damage) -> paladin 5 (channeling, some pally spells, divine bond for even more damage) -> whichever of bard or barbarian wasn't taken earlier -> oracle 4 (more spells known from wandering spirit) -> paladin all the way down.

barb 1, paladin x or paladin x is my recommendation of order for being a good archer.

all your other dips won't really actually work out to help you do what you want, at best you'd be sacrificing your primary plan to boost up a tertiary plan aka a side role. If you want specific reasons why all these dips will cause you to be worse off let me know.


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Priyd wrote:

I'm playing (at first level), a Chaotic Good Catfolk Paladin of Cayden Cailean due to a house rule of randomized backgrounds, which includes an alignment determination feature. Because of this, Paladins are allowed to be any alignment....

...my intent for now is to play a bow paladin in light armor, since i already have passable dex, and i'd rather not need to worry about about needing a bunch of different stats (like str for carry weight) and just keep it simple. i can use...

A single level of Barbarian[Savage Technologist] + Extra Rage is, mechanically, the most concentrated accelerant to any martial concept present in the game system, particularly one which can easily heal its owies (and thereby doesn't need a Con bonus that much).

Perception is a class skill, and as a free action you hit the nitrous for:
* +4 strength
* +4 dexterity
* +2 will save
* no rage penalty to AC (so raging AC is +4 over most other ragers)

...the archetype doesn't even forfeit +10 move. -- It's just balls out amazing. (Savage Technologist stacks with Drunken Brute, if you'd like to trade the free move for the ability to swig drinks as a move action, and that would be thematically appropriate for a Cayden Cailean boozehound.)

Grab an Adaptable bow, and you're all set (use javelins and slings for now). Take the trait Dangerously Curious and buy a dufflebag full of scrolls for low-level pre- and post-combat magic. Take Quick Draw as another feat and also get a slashing polearm and a bludgeoning 5' melee weapon to cover all the bases.


Slim Jim wrote:
Priyd wrote:

I'm playing (at first level), a Chaotic Good Catfolk Paladin of Cayden Cailean due to a house rule of randomized backgrounds, which includes an alignment determination feature. Because of this, Paladins are allowed to be any alignment....

...my intent for now is to play a bow paladin in light armor, since i already have passable dex, and i'd rather not need to worry about about needing a bunch of different stats (like str for carry weight) and just keep it simple. i can use...

A single level of Barbarian[Savage Technologist] + Extra Rage is, mechanically, the most concentrated accelerant to any martial concept present in the game system, particularly one which can easily heal its owies (and thereby doesn't need a Con bonus that much).

Perception is a class skill, and as a free action you hit the nitrous for:
* +4 strength
* +4 dexterity
* +2 will save
* no rage penalty to AC (so raging AC is +4 over most other ragers)

...the archetype doesn't even forfeit +10 move. -- It's just balls out amazing. (Savage Technologist stacks with Drunken Brute, if you'd like to trade the free move for the ability to swig drinks as a move action, and that would be thematically appropriate for a Cayden Cailean boozehound.)

Grab an Adaptable bow, and you're all set (use javelins and slings for now). Take the trait Dangerously Curious and buy a dufflebag full of scrolls for low-level pre- and post-combat magic. Take Quick Draw as another feat and also get a slashing polearm and a bludgeoning 5' melee weapon to cover all the bases.

yeah, i was suitably impressed by savage technologist 1. i was less than thrilled by literally the entire rest of it. you make an excellent point though, so i'll probably pick it up at level 3 where i can get extra rage as well. drunken brute is amazing and i'm going to need to use and abuse the create water->create alcohol combo JUST FOR THIS. nausea is pretty brutal though. at least it's probably post-combat. how do you fix it when restricted to only move actions? and is there a way to cut the speed of the drinking action from move to swift?

sadly, trait choices were restricted to 2 chosen from background access so i cant get dangerously curious.

as to the scrolls, are there any you would particularly recommend early on? im pretty sure i remember reading someone saying that you should keep at least 2 cleanse poisons on hand. anything else?

to summarize, based on comments so far, this is the progression i'm envisioning at this point. obviously this is extremely long term, but i like the writeup of the character i have so far (still working on it) so im hoping to be able to preserve it across multiple campaigns.

1) Paladin 1 [Divine Hunter] (Scion of War or Fey Foundling, if I can convince the GM that my background rolls allow for one of them) -> 2) Paladin 2 -> 3) Barbarian 1 [Savage Technologist/Drunken Brute] (Extra Rage) -> 4) Oracle 1 [Spirit Guide] -> 5) Oracle 2 (Extra Revelation) -> 6) Oracle 3 -> 7) Oracle 4 (Selective Channeling) -> 8) Bard [Arrowsong Minstrel] -> 9+) Paladin Forever [Potentially with levels as an Evangelist]


Chess Pwn wrote:
Priyd wrote:

So any advice on levelling order, at least early on?

I'm thinking paladin 2 (boost saves) -> oracle 3 (get some spells) -> barbarian 1 (rage for something resembling actual damage) or bard 1 (gravity bow - which is actually a really nice spell, thanks for turning me on to that - for something resembling actual damage) -> paladin 5 (channeling, some pally spells, divine bond for even more damage) -> whichever of bard or barbarian wasn't taken earlier -> oracle 4 (more spells known from wandering spirit) -> paladin all the way down.

barb 1, paladin x or paladin x is my recommendation of order for being a good archer.

all your other dips won't really actually work out to help you do what you want, at best you'd be sacrificing your primary plan to boost up a tertiary plan aka a side role. If you want specific reasons why all these dips will cause you to be worse off let me know.

i would definitely like to hear your thoughts in detail, but im not really trying to be the big damage dealer of the party. i'd just like to be able to inflict SOME damage while still supporting the group. i'm basically making an oradin. i didn't know what that was until recently, but i like it. and since Divine Hunter stops providing anything that interests me at 14 and oracle's best jumping off point is at 4 (so as not to lose another BAB and you just get access to wandering spirit spells), that gives me 2 levels to play with.

i think that the bard and barbarian dips sounded pretty nice, and the logic behind why they were suggested struck me as sound and also thematic of the character. if you have some kind of refute, i'd love to hear it. i AM still learning, and the SRD is mind-bogglingly huge so i've barely scratched the surface of everything there is to know


paladins don't really support well. But an oradin I'd say 2 oracle levels for your build, that'd let you life link 2 other aka your frontline more oracle levels don't give you enough to warrant taking them.
Barb would be a decent dip with extra rage feat. 1 level of bard isn't giving you anything worth taking the bard level, losing bab and the scaling of your abilities isn't worth it.
The higher levels of play have HUGE chances of not being reached. I'd say plan your character to like 10-12 and then IF and WHEN he gets close to those levels look to see where you might want to take him.

Now if you wanted to be primarily some other class that does support well and have archery as a backup then there are other builds. But paladin doesn't have enough support abilities to make that a focus.


Priyd wrote:
yeah, i was suitably impressed by savage technologist 1. i was less than thrilled by literally the entire rest of it

Oh god yes, it's a lackluster archetype if you take more than one level of it.

But that first level? Holy cow.... Best dip in the game for a martial.

Quote:
sadly, trait choices were restricted to 2 chosen from background access so i cant get dangerously curious.
Pick it up with Additional Traits.
Quote:
as to the scrolls, are there any you would particularly recommend early on?

Mostly utility stuff, as well as pre-combat buffs (enlarge, bless, etc), etc.

Don't forget your Circlet of Persuasion.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Priyd wrote:


1) Paladin 1 [Divine Hunter] (Scion of War or Fey Foundling, if I can convince the GM that my background rolls allow for one of them) -> 2) Paladin 2 -> 3) Barbarian 1 [Savage Technologist/Drunken Brute] (Extra Rage) -> 4) Oracle 1 [Spirit Guide] -> 5) Oracle 2 (Extra Revelation) -> 6) Oracle 3 -> 7) Oracle 4 (Selective Channeling) -> 8) Bard [Arrowsong Minstrel] -> 9+) Paladin Forever [Potentially with levels as an Evangelist]

I recently went and looked at your archetype Divine Hunter. I have to admit, looking at it I’m not sure that the Arrowsong Minstrel is worth it. You lose a BAB in exchange for some minor spellcasting including Gravity Bow.

If your Paladin Archetype didn’t already give you Precise Shot it would be a better dip, but I think there is too much overlap between it and the Divine Hunter to be worthwhile.

Yeah, I know that I’m the one who originally suggested it. That was before I looked up the Divine Hunter archetype.


BretI wrote:
Priyd wrote:


1) Paladin 1 [Divine Hunter] (Scion of War or Fey Foundling, if I can convince the GM that my background rolls allow for one of them) -> 2) Paladin 2 -> 3) Barbarian 1 [Savage Technologist/Drunken Brute] (Extra Rage) -> 4) Oracle 1 [Spirit Guide] -> 5) Oracle 2 (Extra Revelation) -> 6) Oracle 3 -> 7) Oracle 4 (Selective Channeling) -> 8) Bard [Arrowsong Minstrel] -> 9+) Paladin Forever [Potentially with levels as an Evangelist]

I recently went and looked at your archetype Divine Hunter. I have to admit, looking at it I’m not sure that the Arrowsong Minstrel is worth it. You lose a BAB in exchange for some minor spellcasting including Gravity Bow.

If your Paladin Archetype didn’t already give you Precise Shot it would be a better dip, but I think there is too much overlap between it and the Divine Hunter to be worthwhile.

Yeah, I know that I’m the one who originally suggested it. That was before I looked up the Divine Hunter archetype.

Plus gravity bow is quite overrated in my opinion, especially if you're needing to cast it in combat. It adds 2.5 damage per arrow in place of a full attack R1. Even assuming 5 arrows a round at lv6-lv10 with haste that's 12.5 damage. A full attack at those levels should be at least like 1d8+8 meaning with this magic every attack hits it'll do 62.5, so it'll take 6 rounds of combat to equal the damage you'd have done without gravity bow and 7 rounds of combat for gravity bow to be worth more DPR. Like sure the math changes some in real play, but it's still like 4 or 5 rounds of combat for gravity bow to be useful at all, which for me is far to long to be worth doing.


with only one level arrowsong minstrel doesn't go into precise shot at all, it just nets arcane cantrips, the arcane archery feature, and all that that entails. it does replace bardic knowledge though, which is a crying shame.

how would attacks be dealing d8 without gravity bow when longbows are d6? this seems like something i should be jumping on.

now im not saying im set on the idea of minstrel, or that there's not something better i can do with one level, just that it does bring some measure of value in its low end (and infinite) arcane utilities.

if you have a better idea by all means i'm open to it. especially if you can explain why, in as much detail but as simply as possible. i need to soak up all the knowledge and information i possibly can. after all, the tip about savage technologist was really great, and drunken brute an excellent and thematic companion to it, so i'm definitely open to other ideas. i just don't want to sound like i'm being argumentative when i'm trying to fish for details.

--------------------------

as a secondary observation, ive been poking around the paladin archetypes and it seems to me like Divine Hunter's feature changes are JUST RIGHT to prevent being combined with ANY other archetype or oath. call me selfish, but i think it would be very nice to be able to lay on hands at range with divine hunter and also channel energy without burning lays via hospitaler.


Priyd wrote:

with only one level arrowsong minstrel doesn't go into precise shot at all, it just nets arcane cantrips, the arcane archery feature, and all that that entails. it does replace bardic knowledge though, which is a crying shame.

how would attacks be dealing d8 without gravity bow when longbows are d6? this seems like something i should be jumping on.

um... catfolk are medium sized. That means longbows do 1d8 base. 1d6 is for small people, and if that was the case then lead blades just jumps to 1d8 for only 1 point of damage increase making it laughably bad.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Priyd wrote:
how would attacks be dealing d8 without gravity bow when longbows are d6? this seems like something i should be jumping on.

Longbows are d8 for medium, d6 for small characters. Are you perhaps looking in the wrong column on the Weapons table, pg. 143?

Priyd wrote:

now im not saying im set on the idea of minstrel, or that there's not something better i can do with one level, just that it does bring some measure of value in its low end (and infinite) arcane utilities.

if you have a better idea by all means i'm open to it. especially if you can explain why, in as much detail but as simply as possible. i need to soak up all the knowledge and information i possibly can. after all, the tip about savage technologist was really great, and drunken brute an excellent and thematic companion to it, so i'm definitely open to other ideas. i just don't want to sound like i'm being argumentative when i'm trying to fish for details.

You are losing a BAB. That is a big deal. You are also losing Paladin levels, which would be giving you more smite and other goodies.

The main thing you are getting over a normal Bard that may be valuable is the ability to cast spells that have somatic components while using a bow. My archer bards just hold the bow with one hand while casting, then switch grips to holding it properly after the spell is cast.

The Arrowsong Minstrel can be a very effective archer bard, but I feel there is too much duplication between it and Divine Hunter to make that particular archetype worthwhile here. Drop the archetype or choose a different archetype.

You could look at the Spell Warrior archetype of Skald, since then you would be getting more buffs for the whole group off a single level dip. Although I don't like this archetype for going straight Skald (it gives away spell kenning), it works well as a dip. I have a Bloodrager/Skald with this archetype that changed a whole battle by making all the magical weapons in the group Ghost Touch.

You still have all the problems with losing a BAB, but at least here you could give all the magical weapons in the group a magical ability from a limited list. Flaming often stops regeneration, ghost touch allows you to do full damage to incorporeal, and there are times that frost or shock could be worthwhile. Note that even using Divine Bonded weapons a Paladin can't get frost or shock.


Multi classing is way more niche in Pathfinder than in other flavours of D&D. Many optimal builds are single class with appropriate archetype.

Oradins are a legit multiclass but frankly having played one I'd just go full paladin next time. The lifeline bookkeeping is annoying and it can get you killed if you're using shield other at the same time. Full paladin particularly archer or 2h does not lack damage! In an evil heavy campaign an oath of vengeance archer (with all archery feats) is destruction incarnate.


If you are a rager or a paladin (let alone a multiclass of both), you can sweat a -1 to BAB to pick up a crap-ton of external utility and "flavor" (depending on a well-chosen secondary class, of course). Well worth it, IMO. Rogue(unchained), monk(sohei), warpriest, hunter, and cleric are frequent additions. You will not have any trouble hitting by early mid-level.

Example (and this is a many years old PFS character):

str:15
dex:12
con+16 (15,14,12,12,12,12 20pt array)
int:12
wis+14
cha-10

traits: Accelerated Drinker, Berserker of the Society
1. barbarian1 (core), Raging Vitality
2. cleric1 (Community/Travel)
3. barbarian2 [Reckless Abandon+1], Steel Soul
4. fighter1 [Power Attack]

Bennies and gimmicks:

* move double to triple that of a regular dwarf via Travel
* Community heal + no fatigue 2/day
* use any divine trigger item
* front-load extra will and fort save
* Cast Bless or ProtE in buff round
* drink Enlarge potions as a move-action
* actually have good Perception and Diplomacy scores
* don't spook GMs glancing at stats on my character sheet

He was my first Pathfinder polearm guy (after my 3rd Edition Outcast Champion glaive-wielder).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Slim Jim wrote:
If you are a rager or a paladin (let alone a multiclass of both), you can sweat a -1 to BAB to pick up a crap-ton of external utility and "flavor" (depending on a well-chosen secondary class, of course). Well worth it, IMO. Rogue(unchained), monk(sohei), warpriest, hunter, and cleric are frequent additions. You will not have any trouble hitting by early mid-level.

He was looking at losing two BAB, one for Oracle and one for Bard. That alone probably is not a problem, but you do need to start being careful.

Your example multiclassed four different classes, but only one of those caused you to lose any BAB.


the difference between paladin 14 and paladin 15 is pretty negligible looking at it imo. +1 reflex, +1 bab, +1 mercy compared to paladin 14. doesnt even get me an extra smite or LoH die.

while divine hunter does trade away 1 mercy in exchange for ranged LoH, leading to an effective loss of 2 mercies by not going paladin 15 and being a divine hunter, i don't know that that's such a tragedy.

the lack of compatibility with other archetypes does kind of bother me, though. i do like its emphasis on ranged attacks, but i might look into if other archetypes might serve better while still being in character. im not saying im definitely not going with it, im just going to be doing some research while keeping my options open as long as it's not a large deviation from the characterization developed based on stats, deity, and background rolls.

Background Rolls:

Rolled on the human table:

-Raised in a Town or Village
-Both parents alive, Entertainers (Talented Trait)
-1 Sibling, younger, female
-Lower-class birth (Poverty-Stricken Trait)

-Died as a Major Event (Arisen Feat)
-Zealous Devotion as a Paladin (Indomitable Faith Trait)
-The Dead One as an Influential Associate (Glimpse Beyond Feat) [Also kind of ironic for a little paladin-to-be]

-Murdered a Soldier or Warrior as a Conflict with Love as the Motivation. No regrets. [Resolution to Conflict is manually selected rather than random.] (11 Conflict Points for determining alignment. Placed 8 along Law/Chaos and 3 on Good/Evil to result in Chaotic Good.)

-Follower of Cayden Cailean [Deity is manually selected and mandatory for a Paladin. Must MATCH Alignment to compensate for freedom from Alignment Restrictions on Classes.] (Access to Cayden Cailean Religion Traits)

-Several inconsequential relationships

-Met the Inquisitor on a Pilgrimage, Caravan, or Journey.
-Know the Rogue and vice versa by reputation.
-Last member hasn't developed character to this stage yet.

-Pleasure as a Character Flaw (Access to Hedonistic Drawback, take to gain a 3rd Trait or start with a Story Feat)

-Was a Village Acolyte before becoming a Paladin. (choose 2 skills from a list to become a class skill or gain a +1 competence bonus if it's already a class skill, roll for a bit of extra money)


Priyd, you're going to have HP and swift-touch-healing out the butt as a paladin. Why do you want to hang back and plink with archery when you're built to tank? (Some deities might even consider permitting your friends to die in melee while your armor remains spotless to be an act of cowardice. YMMV.)

"Ser Reginald!? Get your *candyass* over here and help us out! We're gettin' *wrecked*!"

You're not going to have the feat load to afford full-bore archery without forfeiting exactly 100% of everything else you might be interested in, and archetypes like Divine Hunter IMO sucker you into an underpowered archetype which trades powerful core-class party buffers like Aura of Courage, Aura of Resolve, and Aura of Justice for archetype abilities that are objectively worse).

Standing in the middle of "fireball formation" with a polearm while granting your buddies a +4 save versus fear and charms all day long just by being a paladin, and without expending any actions is some of the best damned cheese out there. -- It's great when the party's BSF doesn't drop his sword and jump overboard into the arms of a mermaid while wearing his heavy armor. Yes: it is a good thing when that does not happen.

- - -
OP stats (Catfolk):
STR - 14
DEX - 14+2
CON - 14
INT - 14
WIS - 12-2
CHA - 15+2 <-- the highest stat, therefore it will be flogged like rented mule
- - -

paladin/ninja/mutt sample build

1. paladin1 (core) Fey Foundling
2. ninja1 [SA+1d6]
3. bloodrager1 [urban][celestial bloodline], Extra Rage
4. ninja2 [Ki pool: Cha][trick:combat:Quick Draw], Cha>18
5. paladin2 [Divine Grace], FEAT(g, Extra Ninja Trick??)
6. (all paladin from here)

-- By 5th level, we're stroking charisma six different ways:
* Face of the party with only an enchanter-type being better at diplomacy.
* Ki pool with plenty of uses fueled by Cha bonus
* Cha-based Bloodrager spells (and arcane trigger use)
* UMD (Cha skill) is class for anything else
* Cha bonus to Smite
* Cha bonus to all saves

Equipment:
* Cha headband
* Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone (cracked: fauchard)
* +1/Furious Fauchard
* MW kukri
* MW morningstar
* several javelins
* bow (not purchased until a +1/Adaptable can be bought straight-up)

Tactics: Quick Draw as need-be. Ki generates additional attacks. For example, hit something adjacent with a melee weapon, and if it drops, whip out a javelin and chuck it with a point of Ki. (Buy a box of meditation crystals at 100gp a pop.)

Feats saved: (the entire amalgamated mass of archery junk, the elimination of which frees up all of your slots)

Result: an all-around flexible character with Str 18 on-demand for those versus-non-evil fights, novas vs evil w/celestial, tons of skills, sneaky scout, versatile dabbler caster, and isn't tied to (and therefore pigeonholed into) any one weapon or damage delivery style.

Compare to straight paladin5 who has his bonded weapon or animal now and a second smite per day with a better damage (but not attack) bonus, but no ki, no skills, tiny divine spells, no UMD (unless trait), no rage acceleration, and probably won't have Fey Foundling or Greater Mercy if he sacrificed the slots for archery feats -- and he has only three slots total at 5th. If archery feats, he'll have Rapid Shot, but won't have the extra attacks in melee that Ki grants the switch-hitter concept.

~ ~ ~

Switch-hitters rock.


I could do that.

Or...I could do exactly none of that. No offense, but even if I am re-evaluating the value of the specific archetype selected, the basic skeleton of what this character wants to be is established: a face and supporter that can still contribute to the fight - from relative safety. That, and I'm rather fond of the Oracle 4 / Barbarian 1 setup we all worked so hard to develop.

I do find it kind of funny that you propose shooting things in the face from x feet away is not sufficiently valorous for a paladin and in the same breath suggest going into a SNEAK ATTACK class though. Good way to turn convention on its head. I admit I considered 2 levels in rogue for a time myself for Evasion since Divine Grace provides such good saves. Why take half damage from spells when you can take none? But ultimately that was discarded with the revelation of the Savage Technologist/Drunken Brute Barbarian 1. Not enough levels to still get evasion, as Paladin 14 is far more important than Paladin 15.

I have no regrets about it though, I'm happy with the current results. It's just a question of if its possible to do anything meaningful with the last remaining level, and if a different archetype might be best while remaining in-character. With that in mind, I'll take a look at this Bloodrager class, see if it might not be compatible. It sounds mildly interesting on the face of it. Barbarian prestige?


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Slim Jim wrote:
Priyd, you're going to have HP and swift-touch-healing out the butt as a paladin. Why do you want to hang back and plink with archery when you're built to tank? (Some deities might even consider permitting your friends to die in melee while your armor remains spotless to be an act of cowardice. YMMV.)

referral to the department of half-formed characters

"That's not how I was taught to leverage my powers in an adventuring situation. What you're describing works fine for a Crusade where you stand alongside others of the faithful. In an errantry setting, you as a paladin are likely to be the only member of your squad with both military training and divine aid. This means, when everything goes off the rails, you will need to be capable of assessing the situation and providing aid. Focusing on the use of the bow provides several advantages to the healer and captain a paladin should aspire to.

  • You need to be able to assist any members of your group that need it. Not leaving yourself vulnerable to an enemy's claws while moving can rarely be accomplished with anything but distance.
  • As likely the most knowledgeable about tactics, a wider view of the situation provides you with more opportunity to reevaluate your strategy.
  • You are the best equipped to defeat the likes of demons. With a bow, you can waste no time between their appearance and the effects of your smite, leaving less time for their magical abilities to undermine you or your team.
  • It's much easier to lay on hands with one hand empty than manoeuvring past your own shield.

Mechanically, Paladins are great at static damage boni. Archery has a tendency to produce many attacks to take advantage of them. Support to both frontline and backline is also in play

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