Dirty Trick or Feint for a stalker vigilante?


Advice

Liberty's Edge

I'm looking for some advice for my tengu natural-attack stalker vigilante. I want a way to get sneak attack in situations where flank is impractical, but I'm able to full-attack.

I was considering a Dirty Trick build, using one vigilante talent for the rogue talent:

Underhanded Trick:
A rogue who selects this talent gains Improved Dirty Trick as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. At 6th level, she is treated as if she meets all the prerequisites for Greater Dirty Trick (although she must take the feat as normal). If she succeeds in giving her target the blinded condition, the target cannot remove the condition during the first round of blindness.
Followed by a Greater Dirty Trick feat and another vigilante talent:
Deceitful Trick:
The vigilante can perform a dirty
trick combat maneuver in place of his first attack
during a full attack. He can take a –4 penalty on his check
in order to inf lict two different conditions on his foe if
he succeeds at his check. If the vigilante is successful, the
target can remove both conditions as a standard action. A
vigilante must have Greater Dirty Trick and Improved
Dirty Trick in order to select this vigilante talent.
That seems like a fantastic combo, blinding for multiple rounds with one attack, and possibly inflicting additional conditions on softer targets. I could even take Expose Weakness to decrease enemy DR.

My concern is that, as a 3/4 BAB class and a character that is not super-optimized for combat, I will have trouble beating enemy CMDs at level 8+.

The alternative is to invest a single vigilante talent into:

Cunning Feint:
The vigilante can feint as a move action or in place of his first attack during a full attack. At 8th level, when the vigilante successfully feints, the opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC against all attacks until the vigilante’s next turn.

Flat-footed is a far less debilitating condition than blind, but even with the -4 penalty for humanoids and -8 for animal intelligence, I think this DC would be much easier to beat.

Which would you recommend, and why?


Tough call... you can make some damn scary things happen with Dirty Trick if you build it right, but you're right about Feint being much easier to pull off consistently. If you have room to spare in your build, I'd actually suggest getting both and using whichever one's more advantageous for the situation.

Of course, I'm also the kind of guy who jumps at the chance to use Up Close and Personal...


Well you have litterally no class ability that boosts CMB (or even to-hit), so I'd say: as nice as it sounds, Dirty Trick won't get you far.

Feinting on the other hand is easily improvable, first of all by Social Grace. I'd personally go that route. It's less feat intensive as well.

Liberty's Edge

Diachronos wrote:
Of course, I'm also the kind of guy who jumps at the chance to use Up Close and Personal...

Interesting - I looked at that talent, and I like the idea of getting off a d8 hidden strike once a round, and d4's even on a failure, but was worried about getting smacked in the face by AoOs as those CMD+5's get scary high. Acrobatics is easier to boost than CMB, but even so... ability drain, grab, yikes.

How has it worked out for you in practice?


Pretty well, honestly. Not accounting for the fact that half the time I can't roll above a 5, at least; if it weren't for that I'd be pulling it off regularly.

I'd recommend a belt of tumbling, and seeing if the DM will let you use a different item slot for your Belt of Dex. Like Boots/Gloves of Dex, maybe.

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