Non Magical Support / Buffer Character


Advice


I am looking to build a support/Buff character for a low magic campaign. While the GM hasn't outright banned casters but he has banned 9th level casters and the summoner (chained), Occult classes. So it is a safe bet that most characters will be Gishes or full martial.

In the spirit of the campaign I want to play a character with no spells at all, but I would like it to be a support character/secondary fighter.

The obvious choice is Cavalier, but I'm curious if anyone has any alternative classes/builds/archetypes they know of as I'm not sure I want to be bound by the order edict and the mounted theme

The Exchange

Bards are good buffers. You have everything that you'd want for buffs. If you want to be more tanky sort, go arcane duelist, otherwise vanilla is fine.


Just a Mort wrote:
Bards are good buffers. You have everything that you'd want for buffs. If you want to be more tanky sort, go arcane duelist, otherwise vanilla is fine.

Thanks for the suggestion, however as stated in the OP, I don't want to play as a spellcasting class.


I like Drill Sergeant fighter. It gets Tactician and keeps Armor Training and Weapon Training, so it can get other support abilities like Armored Sacrifice. The Tactician archetype gets the Tactician ability later, but gets more skill points.

Iomedae's Inspiring Sword is a fantastic buffing ability. Anybody can take this, though you have to be LG.

Exemplar Brawler is another non-magical buffer, getting Bardic Performance.

The Seasoned Commander fighter archetype gets both Tactician and Bardic Performance, though it gives up Weapon Training (it keeps one level of Armor Training).


An alchemist with the infusion discovery could buff allies by giving them extracts. I think that the alchemy isn't really magic, it only acts like magic is many ways.

Grand Lodge

One that I'm quite partial to is guided blade swashbuckler 1 and freebooter ranger.

  • Can share teamwork feats

  • Give attack and damage bonues that stack with almost anything.

  • Give up spells for skirmisher tricks.

  • Build for melee with bodyguard or intimdate (guardian or menacing combat styles) are both great support.

    The build works well with Dex or strength and is maintains soils buffing action economy which is key to these types of builds.


  • the exemplar brawler gets bardic performance and no spells. There are 2 paladin archetypes that get bardic performance and there are archetypes that get rid of their spells.
    These all would be non-magic support providing characters that can fight.


    Grandlounge wrote:

    One that I'm quite partial to is guided blade swashbuckler 1 and freebooter ranger.

  • Can share teamwork feats

  • Give attack and damage bonues that stack with almost anything.

  • Give up spells for skirmisher tricks.

  • Build for melee with bodyguard or intimdate (guardian or menacing combat styles) are both great support.

    The build works well with Dex or strength and is maintains soils buffing action economy which is key to these types of builds.

  • This seems like a pretty interesting build. I'll have to look into it.

    Thanks for the suggestions, nice to know there are range of options.


    If your table accepts quality third-party content, Spheres of Might is a great choice for this. The Commander class is particularly good at buffing and helping a group (with decent offense as well). Alternatively, the Blacksmith works with gear and can provide ongoing support for the team.


    Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    VMC Bard would be a good option were it not for the fact that it doesn't get Bardic Performance until 7th level.


    One I use as the default in my low magic campaign is the Paladin: Tempered Champion. They loose spell casting but still get divine blessings such as mercy and lay on hands, in return they gain fighter feats. Pretty well balanced. Sorta reminds me of the WarPriest with how it plays.


    Paladin (warrior of holy light) trades away spellcasting for extra lay on hands and AOE buffs that increase with level.

    Combine with VMC witch for the ward, fortune, and eventually retribution hexes for extra buff goodness (albeit at latter levels).


    Halflings can get a lot of bonuses to their Aid Another abilities.


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    Its funny you should mention this. I've been likewise rolling the same idea around in my head of a non-magic martial buffer. There are quite a few ways to create it, I haven't played one yet so this is mostly my rambling finds.

    Sharing Teamwork Feats:
    There are several classes and feats that allow you to share teamwork feats with teammates without them needing the pre-reqs. Most notably the Cavalier but also several archetypes; Drill Seargent (Fighter), Seasoned Commander (Fighter), Exemplar (Brawler), Majordomo (Investigator), Holy Tactician (Paladin), and Vanguard (Slayer) as examples. There are partly magical ways of doing it also like the Bardic Masterpiece Battlesong of the People's Revolt (Masterpiece). Also, recently added is the feat intensive Sisterhood Style feat chain. Which allows nearly any class through the use of the combat style to share teamwork feats.

    Aiding Another:
    A lesser used way of buffing another that pairs well with sharing teamwork feats is Aid Another. If you give the
    Harrying Partners teamwork feat your aid lasts a round rather than the normal next action. That means if you buff it either through Traits, Class Abilities, or Some Magic
    Items you can get upwards of a +8 to an ally for all attacks or to their AC for a round. Normally Aid is a standard action but
    Swift Aid (Feat),
    Effortless Aid (Investigator Talent), and Team Up (Feat) are all examples of ways to modify how you can change that.
    Also this direction of build makes Bodyguard a must have.

    Granting Competence:
    Getting competence bonuses to allies is a Bard staple, but we don't have to always have magic to do that, Seasoned Commander and Exemplar mentioned above both grant bardic performance like effects. The Sister-in-Arms Cavalier archetype give you access to Order of the Lion and Order of the Dragon in exchange for losing the Mount and a lessened Challenge class feature. Having both adds some versatility to your buffing options. I'd recommend looking at the Banner of the Scarlet Rose if that archetype looks appealing.
    Alternatively you could give up half your non-class specific feats and become a 1/3 bard with Variant Multiclassing (Bard). It would give you Bardic knowledge and Bardic Performance at your character level -4. Depending on your build it could be worthwhile.

    Granting Luck:
    There's a lot of love for the blundering halfling builds. I haven't dug too much but the basic piece is this feat and it builds off of that and the halfling racial traits.

    Granting Sacred:
    The Divine Fighting Technique has several options in it, but the one for buffing is 'Iomedae's Inspiring Sword' listed in the PFSRD as 'inspiring sword'. If you go a full BAB, +2 to basically everything for a minute, doesn't sound to bad to me.

    Saving Throws:
    One piece I was excited to find was Scarlet Rose Devotion which allows you to make an immediate action as a martial to buff someone's save. A +2 on an important role is nothing to sneeze at and the image of yelling to warn someone of danger is very cinematic in my mind.

    Prestige Classes:
    Other fun options include both the Golden Legionnaire has a great well rounded toolkit for buffing and the Battle Herald is spoken of often in forums, though I personally don't like the look of it as much.

    3rd Party:
    Basically the biggest winner of this lottery of abilities is the Inspiring Commander (Cavalier) if 3rd party is allowed at your table reading up on this it looks crazy powerful. Maybe too powerful, but YMMV.

    This wound up being longer than I thought it would, I hope they're helpful.

    Grand Lodge

    Mal_content check out guiding blade swashbuckler it get way more uses of teamwork feat sharing per day than most archtypes. It make a great one level dip.


    Grandlounge wrote:
    Mal_content check out guiding blade swashbuckler it get way more uses of teamwork feat sharing per day than most archtypes. It make a great one level dip.

    That's a really fun twist on the swashbuckler. Thanks


    I actually ended up building an Invigorator Paladin with a Wolf for divine bond (my GM let me swap the horse out).

    Picked up standard bearer, swapped the mercy for inspiring blade.

    Sadly tempered champion didn't stack with invigorator, and warrior of the holy lights buffss are pretty minor until higher levels (this campaign is going to end around 10).

    But the paladin has so little spells I'm going to work with it.

    The current plan is Round 1: Activate DR, use inspiring blade (which it amuses me that I can buff someones knowledge history check with my awesome sword play).

    Wolf goes in with the frontliners and trips enemies. Then uses bodyguard to buff acs and in harms way to take hits as needed (depending on what level).

    The from second round on I will be fighting as well, healing where needed or maybe taking damage for a squishier guy with shield other and healing myself.

    Not 100% optimized but I think it should be decent compared to the other characters level of optimization.

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