Reach Fighter Feats


Advice


I'd like input on a Human reach fighter build regarding the feats. If I'm missing some good ones. I don't want to go trip build so I'm leaving that all out as well as 'mobility', 'combat patrol' builds.

The dungeon crawl for me starts at level 7. I'm joining a group in progress.

FEATS:

L1(H): Power Attack
L1(F): Fauchard - exotic weapon proficiency
L1: Combat Reflexes
L2: Cleave
L3: Cleaving Finish
L4: Weapon Focus
L5: Weapon Specialization
L6: Lunge
L7: Iron Will

Later Feats:
Level 8: Improved Critical
Level 9: Critical Focus
Level 10: Improved Ironwill
Level 11: Greater Weapon Focus
Level 12: Greater Weapon Specialization

Thoughts? I'm also buying a bunch of enlarge scrolls for the extra reach.

One last thought, I'm planning on taking the Polearm Master archetype as this adventure is basically a very tough dungeon crawl called 'Rappan Athuk' and my back might be up against a wall so I'd like to still be able to use my polearm/fauchard vs enemies adjacent to me.


Rappan Athuck! Ah, good memories. I played my second through fifth characters in that dungeon. None of them made it past level five ...

Are you using the combat stamina rules from Unchained?


I don't know how much enemies bunch up in Rappan Athuk, but cleaving might be rather situational. A more common choice of feat is pushing assault, which lets you knock people back.


Oh they bunch up in Rappan Athuk. Cleave will be more useful there than many dungeons. Pushing Assault is good though.


I don't believe we are using combat any stamina rules. We are using something called darkness points which are similar to hero points.

Pushing Assault may be interesting. For knocking them backward do I still do damage but not my power attack damage? Not sure what feat to take out if I took this feat. Maybe ironwill. I really like cleaving finish with a reach weapon + enlarged and/or lunge.


That is correct. No extra damage from power attack but you move them back.

I'm not sure if that stops their movement, but I'm pretty sure it does. You can also chose before you roll the damage whether or not you want to push them back.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like Phalanx Formation on a reach build if you have room for it.


Don't take exotic weapon proficiency on a human. Take the military tradition alternate racial trait to that gives up the bonus feat for two exotic proficiencies. That way you can also get dwarven boulder or armour spikes.


The DM said we couldn't take any traits.


confusingly enough, pathfinder has two things called traits. What wicky is referring to is an alternate human racial ability, replacing your bonus feat while what your DM is referring to is the trait system; basically half feats which are mostly used to patch class skill holes or shore up poor saves, which you often get two of as a starting character.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kobold Commando wrote:
confusingly enough, pathfinder has two things called traits. What wicky is referring to is an alternate human racial ability, replacing your bonus feat while what your DM is referring to is the trait system; basically half feats which are mostly used to patch class skill holes or shore up poor saves, which you often get two of as a starting character.

My brawler/brawler multiclass is wearing brawling armor. I think later, I will multiclass into barbarian and pick up the brawler powers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Barroom brawler - in place of one of the conditional feats like cleave or lunge.
You can pick up cleave if it's useful or another situational feat as the need arises.


I'd grab Pin Down if you want to make your melee zone really sticky and unpleasant to move through. Probably use Weapon Specialist to get your greater focus/spec and save a couple feats.

Consider grabbing pliant gloves. I think there's also a set of bracers that has a similar effect, but I can't recall. At high level, if you can, look into Juggernaut Pauldrons.


Thanks for the advice guys.

I was looking into the weapon specialist. http://www.archivesofnethys.com/AdvWeaponTrainingDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Weap on%20Specialist

Never seen it before, how exactly does it work? How do I take this and get the benefits of both weapon focus and weapon specialization?

Will this work if I am taking the polearm master archetype?


Oh hey, I've been totally reading that ability wrong and I just now realised it. Only works for feats you already have. My bad.


I would take shield brace so you can use a polearm with a shield. I also second phalanx formation.


I didn't know about the penalties for soft cover with a reach weapon.

So if the enemy is directly on other side of one of my allies he gets soft cover +4 AC?

What if your ally is only partially in the way of you and the enemy?

Sounds like its similar to a bow and the cover that happens there. If thats the case it sounds like I need to get phalanx formation feat.

Our team consists of 2 front liners + summons so I doubt I'll get a free line of sight on enemy w/o one of my frontliners in the way.


nicholas storm wrote:
I would take shield brace so you can use a polearm with a shield. I also second phalanx formation.

Check your GMs ruling on shield brace, if they follow the PFS interpretation you will no longer deal 1.5 str damage when using this feat. Unhindering shield works though.


Isn't phalanx formation basically a MUST if you are using a reach fighter build in a dungeon type setting without tons of open space rooms?

Especially with a group that has 2-3 frontliners in the group?

If you are attacking an enemy and one of your front liners is in the way, but off to 1 side a bit so half of your ally is in your way and the enemy is only half open for you. Would this be partial cover or full soft cover? And with the phalanx formation basically not allowing the enemies to get any sort of cover?

My knowledge of cover is improving but I'm still unsure of some scenarios.

The Exchange

No 2 handed whip build? I mean, seems like this would be easier and better (for doing a little damage to everyone, anyway). Combine with longarm, lunge... and then you have a 25 foot circle of whippity whoop.

Grand Lodge

Whip was errata'd so you can no longer use it two handed.


Give the character background several siblings.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Crexis wrote:

Isn't phalanx formation basically a MUST if you are using a reach fighter build in a dungeon type setting without tons of open space rooms?

Especially with a group that has 2-3 frontliners in the group?

If you are attacking an enemy and one of your front liners is in the way, but off to 1 side a bit so half of your ally is in your way and the enemy is only half open for you. Would this be partial cover or full soft cover? And with the phalanx formation basically not allowing the enemies to get any sort of cover?

My knowledge of cover is improving but I'm still unsure of some scenarios.

+1. Phalanx Formation is not optional.

Grand Lodge

Here are the tricky reach scenarios.

In five or ten foot hallway where you are behind other melee PCs.
No reach means not attacking at all, reach means contributing and phalanx formation means being fully functional. Reach is still better than non-reach in this situation. Phalanx is just bonus.

Room/Hall so small you can't use reach.
You should have non-reach back-up weapons regardless. They are your solution (nodatchi is a great non-reach polearm). Phalanx does nothing for this situation.

Normal fight where your teammates don't know how to position themselves.

There is a simple way to make sure you don't screw things up for reach and range characters.
■□■-------□■□
□□□ Not ■□■
■□■-------□■□

Stand at the corners, not in a '+' shape. It's basic simple and effective. In a room that is confined, there is no reason any attack other than you first attack will have cover. Even that should be infrequent if you are working as a team.

Pushing assault is amazing because when combined with 5ft step or lunge you force your enemy to take a move action to get to you and take an AOO. That's a net gain of two or more attacks.


I am using polearm master as my archetype so I can just take a small penalty and still use my fauchard weapon if enemies are adjacent to me.

Looking at your diagram, I think I understand what you are saying.

stand at X and O is open space

XOX
OOO
XOX

-------

How bout when enemy is at E

OEO
XOX
OOO
XOX

Doesn't the enemy get partial cover if my reach fighter is at one of the back X spaces?

That's the one I don't understand. Thanks for the help!


Don't bother with Critical Focus. It's rubbish. The only reason to take it is as a prereq for the other Critical feats (eg Staggering Critical) and many of them are meh. So take it later, if at all.


Nope, E does not have cover from either of the back spaces. Cover for reach weapons is worked out same as for ranged weapons. One corner of your square to every corner of theirs.

For example, if the bottom left X chooses the top right corner of their square (the *), no line to any corner of E's square passes through the squares of the two leading X's.

OEO
XOX
OOO
X*OX


But if I chose the top left corner of the bottom left X, that in a straight line hits the E's top left corner (which means it goes through my top left ally.

So just having 1 of the 4 corners hit w/o touching your allies works? Don't need it for all lines, just 1? Hope that made sense.

Scarab Sages

The attacker picks 1 corner of their square. Straight lines from that corner must be uninterrupted to all 4 corners of the target. So in dragonhunterq’s example, the target would not have cover.

That being said, I still encourage taking Phalanx Formation. When you are stuck in a 5 foot hallway, being able to have two people attacking without cover is better than one. It depends on your group, though. If you’re going to be the main melee, and always be out front, then it doesn’t really matter. If someone else is always going to be charging in ahead of you, not having to worry about whether or not they provide cover will help.


Crexis wrote:

But if I chose the top left corner of the bottom left X, that in a straight line hits the E's top left corner (which means it goes through my top left ally.

So just having 1 of the 4 corners hit w/o touching your allies works? Don't need it for all lines, just 1? Hope that made sense.

That line runs alongside your allies square, at no point does it go through the square or cross the border - therefore no cover.


Only my top right and bottom right corner will not go through any of my allies spaces. If I chose my 2 left corners they would go through my allies space. So I guess as long as just 1 corner (out of 4) goes to all 4 of my enemies corners they don't get cover.

Does partial cover only relate to 'larger creatures' or also against same size (medium) enemies?

Thanks for the clarification! Guess it's same thing with ranged weapon archer from that spot.

Grand Lodge

Note: if you get grappled/entangled then you can't use two hands to attack. It's situational, but carry around an alchemical silver mace/hammer and a cold iron short/long sword. Cold Iron is double weapon cost, so it's cheap. Alchemical silver adds 90gp to the weapon cost, so take that in later. These weapons will also help you get past Damage resistance in many cases.


Are you allowed to have a cold iron + silver longsword?

Grand Lodge

No one special material per weapon. For Dr you want access to bps damage types and adamantin, cold iron, silver (I like silversheen) because it does not take the damage penalty and it's immune to rust.


L1(H): Power Attack
L1(F): Fauchard - exotic weapon proficiency
L1: Combat Reflexes
L2: Cleave
L3: Cleaving Finish
L4: Weapon Focus
L5: Weapon Specialization
L6: Lunge
L7: Iron Will


I'd drop Cleave and Cleaving Finish and go with Phalanx Formation and Pushing Assault instead.

As mentioned, Phalanx Formation is basically mandatory for dungeon crawling and fighting in narrow corridors with a reach weapon, unless you're the only melee fighter in your group.

Pushing Assault is nice with a reach weapon. When an enemy tries to approach you with a Move action, you get an Attack of Opportunity due to your reach. If the enemy is your size or smaller and you use Pushing Assault, you can then push them back with this AoO. They then try to approach again, which triggers another AoO. Rinse and repeat. The end result is multiple AoOs anytime anyone tries to close with you. You can also use it to push enemies at your 10' reach back to 15', preventing them from 5' stepping in to avoid AoOs and attack you on their turn. Basically, Pushing Assault means that similarly-sized melee attackers rarely get the opportunity to get close enough to attack you, unless they have Reach themselves, you run out of AoOs in a round (which is entirely likely), or they have high Acrobatics or some other spell/trick to avoid AoOs. It works nicely with Enlarge Person as well, since that increases your size category, allowing you not only extra damage and extra reach but the ability to use Pushing Assault against Large enemies too.

Cornugan Smash is another good feat to consider, if you can spare the feat. It allows a free Intimidate check to Demoralize your opponent any time you hit with a Power Attack, which should be nearly all your attacks. If you max out Intimidate, that means an easy debuff against the majority of enemies you hit. (Demoralize causes the Shaken condition for 1 or more rounds, which gives a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks.)

If you want something a bit more defensive, you can go with something like Shield Brace or the Phalanx Fighter archetype, both of which allow you to wield a shield along with your reach weapon, albeit by sacrificing your 1.5x two-handed damage bonus from both your Strength and Power Attack. (Not a good trade, IMO... Unless you're really hurting for AC.)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Reach Fighter Feats All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.