PFS Dwarven War-shield build


Advice

Scarab Sages

Ok, I've been wanting to use a few different options for a while, so I just combined them on one build.

Dwarven Weapon Master Fighter 11:

STR 16 DEX 15 CON 15 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 8

Wielding 2 Dwarven War-shields.

1) Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash
2) Weapon Focus (Dwarven War-shield)
3) Weapon Finesse
4) Advanced Weapon Training: Trained Grace, Weapon Training +1, +1 DEX
5) Weapon Specialization (Dwarven War-shield)
6) Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
7) Double Slice, Weapon Training +2
8) Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon (Dwarven War-shield), +1 CON
9) Greater Weapon Focus (Dwarven War-shield)
10) Shield Slam, Weapon Training +3
11) Shield Master
12) Two-Weapon Rend, +1 DEX?

I wish there were more room to make use of Advanced Weapon Training options, but two is pretty good. Obvious weaknesses are Will saves and Skills. Hardy from Dwarf helps some with the saves. I'm bummed Weapon Master gives up Bravery, as Armed Bravery is really nice.

Anything fun I'm missing?

At 8th level, the shields will be doing 1d8. At 10th that'll be 1d10, on par with wielding two Dwarven Waraxes, but without the extra penalties for TWF. At 11th, I'll take no penalty for TWF.

Scarab Sages

Aha! I realized I can throw two levels of Brawler in without affecting too much. It pushes Weapon Training progression back a little, but gains me Martial Flexibility, Improved Unarmed Strike, and lets me swap Two-Weapon Fighting (since I count as having it when I flurry) for something else. It also means I get full strength damage while flurrying, so I don't need Double Slice. That means no Two-weapon Rend at 12, but I'm ok with that. I won't be playing the character much past that point, anyway.

I can Martial Flexibility to pick up teamwork feats to use with Fighter's Tactics.

I can also Martial Flexibility to pick up Advanced Weapon Training: Item Mastery to get an Item Mastery feat when I need it. Someone mentioned doing that recently, and I thought it was a cool idea.

Dwarven Weapon Master Fighter 9/Brawler 2[/spoiler:

STR 16 DEX 15 CON 15 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 8

Wielding 2 Dwarven War-shields.

1) Improved Shield Bash, B) Two-Weapon Fighting->Retrain to Advanced Weapon Training: Fighter's Tactics at 6th
2) Weapon Focus (Dwarven War-shield)
3) Weapon Finesse
4) Advanced Weapon Training: Trained Grace, Weapon Training +1, +1 DEX
5 B1) Martial Flexibility 4/day, Weapon Specialization (Dwarven War-shield)
6 B2) Brawler's Flurry (Counts as TWF), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
7) Outflank
8) Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon (Dwarven War-shield), +1 CON
9) Shield Slam, Weapon Training +2
10) Greater Weapon Focus (Dwarven Warshield),
11) Shield Master
12) , Weapon Training +3, +1 DEX?

I think I like this version. Thoughts?

I have to use retraining to swap Two-Weapon Fighting. I couldn't figure out a way to time it so that I can swap it as a Fighter Combat feat at 4th and still get all of the Advanced Weapon Training options I need when I need them. I guess the alternative is to go Brawler at 1 and 2 and just wait until 6th for Weapon Training/Trained Grace. This gets Trained Grace online the fastest.


* The feat Steal Soul and the trait Glory of Old will bump most dwarven saving saves by +3 (assuming you have the resources featuring them for PFS).

* Why are you taking Weapon Finesse?

* It's costing you 4pts out of your 20 to keep Cha at 8 rather than sacking it.

Scarab Sages

I wanted to try making Trained Grace work. Trained Grace doubles the Weapon Training damage bonus when you use dex to-hit and str to damage. Since TWF builds suffer more from the power attack penalties than most, and they don't get 1 1/2x STR, this gives something close to an equivalent. I need a 17 DEX anyway, for Improved Two-Weapon Fighting.

By around 6th, I'll have 18 STR/18 DEX from a +2/+2 belt and stat bump. Or I could have maybe a 20 STR (since I don't get a STR bonus from dwarf) if I focus more on that.

STR build
Hit = +6 BAB +5 STR +1 enhancement +1 WF +1 WT -2 PA -2 TWF/flurry = +11
Damage = 1d6+5STR+1enh+2WS+1WT+4PA = 1d6+13 / 1d6+11

DEX/STR build
Hit = +6 BAB +4 DEX +1 enhancement +1 WF +1 WT -2 TWF/flurry = +12
Damage = 1d6+4STR+1enh+2WS+2WT = 1d6+10 both hands

Jump to 9th level, and assume Gloves of Dueling:

STR build
Hit = +9 BAB +5 STR +1 enhancement +1 WF +4 WT -3 PA -2 TWF/flurry = +15
Damage = 1d6+5STR+1enh+2WS+3WT+6PA = 1d6+17 / 1d6+14

DEX/STR build
Hit = +9 BAB +4 DEX +1 enhancement +1 WF +4 WT -2 TWF/flurry = +17
Damage = 1d6+4STR+1enh+2WS+8WT = 1d6+15 both hands

So damage takes a little bit of a hit, but I end up more accurate.

For CHA, I might dump it farther, but I have to put ranks in UMD to use Item Mastery options, so I figured I'd keep it at 8 and take a trait for UMD as a class skill.

I'll try to figure out working the dwarf feats into the build. It's pretty feat heavy already, but they are good. EDIT: I guess if my accuracy is good, I could take Steel Soul at 9, Shield Slam at 10, and just forget about Greater Weapon Focus.


Quote:
For CHA, I might dump it farther, but I have to put ranks in UMD to use Item Mastery options, so I figured I'd keep it at 8 and take a trait for UMD as a class skill.
The nice thing about Item Mastery is that, while ranks in UMD are requirements, you don't actually seem to need to use the skill while triggering the benefits of whatever feat you took.
Quote:
I'll try to figure out working the dwarf feats into the build. It's pretty feat heavy already, but they are good. EDIT: I guess if my accuracy is good, I could take Steel Soul at 9, Shield Slam at 10, and just forget about Greater Weapon Focus.

I'm thinking you could save a feat and a trait, and pick up a lot of other goodies, by rolling in two levels of rogue:

Str: 14
Dex: 15 (all bumps)
Con+ 16 (dwarf 20pt, 15,14,14,14,12,7 array)
Int: 12
Wis+ 16
Cha- 05

* Since the character is point-buy, don't overpay for Strength if you're only using it for damage. At higher level with magic weapons, and feats and abilities taking on numeric damage, an extra 1pt per swat is not worth 25% of your character build points jacking a starting 14's 5pt cost to a 16's 10pt cost.

traits: Defender of the Society, Glory of Old
01 fighter1 [Weapon Master], Steel Soul
02 uRogue1 [Weapon Finesse][Diplomacy, Perception, UMD, etc. class skills]
03 fighter2 [Improved Shield Bash], Two Weapon Fighting

* As a frontline "blocker", expect your defenses to get pounded a lot more often than you're going to dish it out. The above is most (~90%) saves F+4/R+5/W+5, +1HP/level, +1 skill/level, Perception +5, Sense Motive +5, and is AC+1 over the OP build.

04 fighter3 [Weapon Training +1], Dex>16
05 fighter4 [Weapon Focus], Weapon Specialization (or ASA or AWT:TG)
06 uRogue2 [Evasion][Talent:Combat Trick:AWT(Trained Grace)]
07 [ClassNth] Accomplished Sneak Attacker (or WSpec or Fighter’s Tactics)
...etc.

* +12 skill points (on top of the +1/level due to higher Int)
* Trained Grace delayed until Gloves of Dueling financing and fame requirements met in PFS.
* If you're going to do the Outflank thing, you might as well pick up a little bonus sneak-attack damage.
* Get a Commander's Helm (Outflank) and save having to take the feat you intend to share with Fighter's Tactics.

Scarab Sages

Would the Rogue levels replace the Brawler levels?

One of the tricks with the Brawler build is using Martial Flexibility to take the Advanced Weapon Training Feat in order to pick up an Item Mastery Feat temporarily, since most Item Mastery Feats aren’t Combat Feats, but AWT: Item Mastery is. In order to do that, all of the actual Advanced Weapon Training Feats that I take have to be Fighter Bonus Feats, so that I can ignore the once per 5 levels restriction. Either that, or I have to wait until 10th Level to pull the Item Mastery Trick. Taking Advanced Weapon Training as a Combat Trick means I can’t select it with Martial Flexibility until 10th Level.

I figure if I’m putting at least 6 of my very limited skill ranks into UMD, I may as well get a decent bonus out of it so I can use it for other things.

As for defenses, Defender of the Society is a great trait, and it would be my next choice if I don’t take the UMD trait. A nice thing about the war-shield is that you get the shield bonus of one of the shields plus and additional 1 if you are wielding two war-shields. With Improved Shield Bash, you don’t lose that even if you Attack with both shields. So I would prioritize upgrading the Attack bonus on one shield and the Shield bonus on the other shield. The shield that is prioritizing defense would just be +1 as a weapon with probably Menacing, which adds another +2 when flanking.

I get what you’re saying about sneak attack. It just feels like if I’m adding rogue into the build, I would just go Unchained rogue 3 and be completely Dex based. Since the shields are light weapons and work with Finesse Rogue. For now I’d rather try to make Trained Grace work.

Commander’s Helm is a neat item. I might pick that up even if I do take Outflank as an actual feat. I could hand out Phalanx Fighter or something.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Would the Rogue levels replace the Brawler levels?

If you also want Brawler, take it. (Note that Brawler's Flurry won't work with Dwarven War-Shields (they're not [i]light[/i ] shields, and hence aren't part of the "Close" fighter group). I.e you need the real TWF.)

Scarab Sages

They are in the Close weapon group in Adventurer's Armory 2

Adventurer's Armory 2 pg 10 wrote:

FIGHTER WEAPON GROUPS

The new weapons fall into the following weapon groups.
Axes: Boarding axe, butchering axe.
Blades, Heavy: Cutlass, sickle-sword, switchscythe.
Blades, Light: Drow razor, dueling dagger, sanpkhang,
spiral rapier.
Bows: Orc hornbow.
Close: Dwarven war-shield, tri-bladed katar, waveblade.
Double: Boarding gaff, chain-hammer, gnome battle ladder.
Flails: Cat-o’-nine-tails, dwarven dorn-dergar, flying talon.
Hammers: Chain-hammer, gnome piston maul, lantern staff.
Monk: Sanpkhang.
Polearms: Boarding gaff, fauchard, gnome ripsaw glaive.
Spears: Stormshaft javelin.
Thrown: Chain-hammer, dueling dagger, flask thrower,
stormshaft javelin.

So URogue saves me from taking Weapon Finesse, but I'd still have to take Two-Weapon Fighting. Brawler lets me retrain Two-Weapon Fighting. Both save a feat. Rogue adds sneak attack, Brawler adds Martial Flexibility. I can see some builds preferring the sneak attack, but here I think I'd rather have MF.

EDIT: Brawler also saves me from having to take Double Slice, so that's 2 feats.
I'm even wondering if it's worth taking Extra Martial Flexibility to have 7 uses. I generally don't find myself using more than 1 a fight, so 4 is plenty for a PFS scenario if I'm never going to be able to use 2 at once. But with Item Mastery it might be helpful to have some extra uses. Probably not worth a feat, though.

I'll rework the order to get Steel Soul in there. I could probably take it when I'm taking Outflank. Trying to go the Fighter's Tactics route might end up being too much for the build. Martial Flexibility will almost always be better spent on Dedicated Adversary than on a teamwork feet.

Scarab Sages

Dwarven Brawler 2/Weapon Master 10:

STR 16 DEX 15 CON 15 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 8

Wielding 2 Dwarven War-shields.

1 B1) Martial Flexibility 4/day, Brawler's Cunning, Steel Soul
2 B2) Brawler's Flurry (Counts as TWF), Improved Shield Bash
3 F1) Weapon Focus (Dwarven War-shield), B) Shield Focus->Swap at 6 to Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
4 F2) Outslug Style, +1 DEX
5 F3) Weapon Finesse
6 F4) Advanced Weapon Training: Trained Grace, Weapon Training +1
7 F5) Weapon Specialization (Dwarven War-shield)
8 F6) Advanced Weapon Training: Focused Weapon (Dwarven War-shield), +1 CON
9 F7) Shield Slam, Weapon Training +2
10 F8) Greater Weapon Focus (Dwarven Warshield),
11 F9) Shield Master
12 F10) Improved Critical (Dwarven War-shield), Weapon Training +3, +1 DEX?

EDIT: Traits: Glory of Old, Dangerously Curious (For now. Might change. Can't take Defender of the Society with Brawler at 1)

Ok, now I think we're getting somewhere. Swapping Brawler to 1st and 2nd avoids retraining. Trained Grace doesn't come online until 6, but Outslug Style makes up for it. Shield Focus is just a temp feat until I can put Improved Two-Weapon Fighting there with a fee Fighter Bonus Feat swap at 6th (Fighter 4).

I realized PFS has a restriction on Item Mastery feats. You only get to count the base fort save from a single class, So most of the good ones I can't use until Figher 8 anyway.

EDIT 2: Oh, he's likely going to be a Torag worshipper. Maybe Defensive Strategist would be a better choice than Dangerously Curious. I can put off most of the UMD ranks until later levels.


You're paying 9 build points to have an 8 cha instead of a 5, and a 16 str instead of a 14, and buying a feat (Weapon Finesse) and a trait (Dangerously) all to be +1 dmg and +2 UMD vs the rogue dip with class UMD. The poorer saves (because Con and Wis are lower) are one thing, but the poor dwarf has little OoC application (aside from being deliberately brusque, which doesn't normally work to your benefit in PFS). --IMO it's generally not a good idea to raise a race's dump stat while refraining from emphasizing their buff stats. And raise Dex exclusively if Weapon Finesse/Trained Grace is the place (you'll need the attack bonus, especially when TWF'ing with a modest starting attribute score).

Defender of the Society is one of the best traits in the game for martials; if you're a fighter, you take it, either at 1st, or later via Additional Traits (and don't take a Combat trait at creation if that's the case). It's even better than Dodge, because that shuts off when you're flat-footed (as you will be when the stealth-monster ambushes the party with sky-high INIT). Your musing with Defensive Strategist indicates some interest in avoiding being flat-footed. And retraining out Shield Focus will diminish AC.

I was wrong earlier; heavy shields are in the close weapon group.


Quote:
...With Improved Shield Bash, you don’t lose that even if you Attack with both shields. So I would prioritize upgrading the Attack bonus on one shield and the Shield bonus on the other shield. The shield that is prioritizing defense would just be +1 as a weapon with probably Menacing, which adds another +2 when flanking.

If you could get Shield Master earlier, you could avoid spending any money at all enchanting shields for attack.

Hmm.... Slayer6 for sneak-attack 2d6, Studied Target x2, and three Talents put into ranger combat style Weapon and Shield for Improved Shield Bash (2nd) and Shield Mastery (6th), with the middle one picking a rogue talent for Weapon Focus, then Fighter4. Interleave leveling to taste. Prior to Slayer6, fight with ordinary weapon & shield combo. --Trades early Weapon Training (and AWT feats) for Shield Mastery at 6th. Is it worth it? ...well, a +3 shield and +2 armor combined are cheaper than Gloves of Dueling. You don't need Shield Slam (normally prereq for Shield Master). Avoids spending a feat slot on Weapon Finesse until you actually do own the gloves (and they're typically delayed until 7th or 8th in PFS). Forfeits Focused Weapon and Outslug Style. But you get Shield Mastery sans prerequisites. Slayers also gets 6 skills/level.

Scarab Sages

I'm still considering the stat array. On the rogue build, dropping strength makes sense. On the brawler build not as much, since I won't be using finesse to hit until at least 5th. A 14 STR means enduring 4 levels with my stat bonus to-hit not even being greater than the flurry/TWF penalty. That's really rough. I'm worse than most core rogues at that point.

I'm confused about why you mentioned heavy shields. The Dwarven War-shield is neither a light nor a heavy shield. It's a Dwarven War-shield. It gives the same bonus as a light shield. It's a light weapon, because that's how it's defined. It's in the close weapon group, because that's the group it's stated to be in.

I think it would help if I list a few priorities for the build:

1. I would like the main parts of the build to come online no later than 6th or maybe 7th level.
2. I'd like to use Dex to-hit and Str to damage and get some kind of additional bonus for doing so.
3. I'd like to TWF with Dwarven War-shields
4. I'd like to find other seldom used options and make use of them.

The Slayer idea is a good one in general, and I've seen Slayer builds for the DWS. It's a powerful class, and getting Shield Master early is a huge benefit. It doesn't meet my first and second priorities. While it is TWFing by 6th, it's not doing the Dex to-hit Str to damage until 10th level. At least, not getting any extra benefit out of doing that In that situation, I'm not really sure what the point is. Also considering Slayer can just go Strength-based and ignore the prereqs for TWF and ITWF, that seems like it would be the better path for a Slayer. Similarly, for URogue, I see no reason not to just be Dex-based, even if only taking 3 levels of Rogue.

The other class that has an ability similar to Trained Grace is the Vigilante, and I could see going that route.

Dwarven Avenger Vigilante 11:
Dwarven Vigilante 11

STR 16 DEX 15 CON 15 INT 10 WIS 12 CHA 8

Wielding 2 Dwarven Waraxes

1) Two-Weapon Fighting->Retrain to Improved Two Weapon Fighting at 6th
2) VT: Shield of Fury (Improved Shield Bash)
3) Weapon Focus (DWS)->Swap free to Double Slice at 6th
4) VT: Lethal Grace (Weapon Finesse, +1/2 level to damage), +1 DEX
5) Steel Soul
6) VT: Signature Weapon (Weapon Focus (DWS)), Shield of Fury now grants TWF, Retrain TWF to Improved TWF
7) Shield Focus (Just a placeholder feat for now)
8) VT: Shadow's Speed +10', Signature Weapon grants Weapon Specialization (DWS)
9) Shield Bash
10) VT: Strike the Unseen (Blind-fight, Improved Blind-fight), Shadows Speed +20'
11) Shield Master
12) VT: Mad Rush

So TWF from level 1. Weapon Finesse and the bonus to damage are built into the same Vigilante Talent. Improved Shield Bash and Two-Weapon Fighting are eventually built into a single Vigilante Talent as well. As are Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. That frees up a lot of feats/Vigilante Talents. I have to take Double Slice, but I can fit Steel Soul, and I've got an open feat at 7th. I'm not crazy about the Vigilante Talents at 8th and 10, though +20 speed for a Dwarf is nice, and Blind-fight and Improved Blind-fight are both great when you need them. I could swap the 10th level talent for a Combat Feat, if I find something worth it. The Lethal Grace bonus to damage is less than my Weapon Training/Trained Grace bonus would be, and my accuracy is worse since no Weapon Training or Greater Weapon Focus.


Ferious Thune wrote:

1. I would like the main parts of the build to come online no later than 6th or maybe 7th level.

2. I'd like to use Dex to-hit and Str to damage and get some kind of additional bonus for doing so.
3. I'd like to TWF with Dwarven War-shields
4. I'd like to find other seldom used options and make use of them.

(Using same stat array listed previously....)

traits: Defender of the Society, Glory of Old
01 fighter1 [Weapon Master:Dwarven War-Shield][Two Weapon Fighting], Steel Soul
02 uRogue1 [Weapon Finesse]
03 fighter2 [Improved Shield Bash], Piranha Strike
04 fighter3 [Weapon Training +1], Dex>16
05 fighter4 [Weapon Focus], AWT (Focused Weapon)
06 uRogue2 [Evasion][Talent:Combat Trick:Weapon Specialization]
07 fighter5 Two Weapon Fighting [retrain F1 combat feat: AWT(Trained Grace)]
08 fighter6 [Shield Slam or ITWF], Dex>17
09 fighter7 [Weapon Training +2], FEAT(g)

This, IMO, is about as dense as you can pack it without having crap for saves, skills, and OoC utility. Trained Grace should be delayed until Gloves of Dueling acquisition (likely 7th in PFS); Focused Weapon (light shield slam d3 > d6) and Weapon Specialization both provide bigger gains before then.

* Don't use war-shields at 1st and 2nd; fight with either a heavy shield & d10+2 waraxe, or no shield & two-hand a longhammer for 2d6+3 and AoOs here and there. (To be honest, the war-shields are going to flat suck until 4th or 5th with some money sunk into them and feats coming on-line; before then, a halfling uRogue TWFing ordinary daggers with the River Rat trait is doing crazy damage by comparison).

* With a move of only 20, I wouldn't try to make flanking work. If you get a few sneaks from time to time, enjoy them but don't expect it often. Buy wands of Longstrider (2pp) and roast 'em dry w/UMD. Friendly Switch is a feat you may wish to consider at some point.

* Don't take Double Slice unless you're min-maxed either Str or Dex (uRogue or Agile), or at least until later in the build after other stuff is squared away and you have a lot of money for tertiary belt upgrades after buying the gloves and upgrading the shields. Avoid MAD; keep Str no higher than 14 in point-buy if Dex is your primary stat (and keep advancing that as well as prioritizing belt upgrades) -- you'll be making skill checks and saves all day long in PFS, and shouldn't sack the stats providing them. +1 dmg is never worth 25% of your build points.

* Piranha Strike is your Power Attack alternative, and it's more important than ITWF. (An ITWF attack will be your fourth attack in a full-attack sequence, and oftentimes your opponent has already dropped by then.)

Quote:
Also considering Slayer can just go Strength-based and ignore the prereqs for TWF and ITWF, that seems like it would be the better path for a Slayer.
Or just being an Enlarged 2hPA skullsmasher with a 20' reach weapon.
Quote:
Similarly, for URogue, I see no reason not to just be Dex-based, even if only taking 3 levels of Rogue.

If all you take is two levels of rogue, you're getting the two feats you want (Weapon Finesse, and any other combat feat acquired via the Rogue2 Talent) faster than you can with fighter (which provides a feat every other level after 2nd). Use Magic Device being class avoids spending a trait for Dangerously Curious. Suffering -1 BAB and -2hp is worth it to gain occasional sneak damage, Evasion, +12 skill points (relative to fighter), Perception as class, and a greatly expanded OoC capacity.

* BTW, you need to be an 11th-level fighter (not 10th, as listed in the OP) for Weapon Training +3 in the Weapon Master archetype. Arguably the class isn't worth staying in after 7th or 8th in PFS, when you might get more bang for the buck jumping to a third class. Mirror Move at 9th is 100% worthless, and the archetype provides nothing else prior to your probable retirement in PFS. Taking four more levels of fighter (8th-11th) provides +1 attack (WT+3), and +3 damage (Trained Grace and Focused Weapon getting bumps). Uhm...that sucks. I'd take F8 just to unlock GWF, and then move on. Two more levels in rogue for more relative +6/level skill-points, and acquiring Debilitating Injury, Uncanny Dodge, and another Talent (probably for Training [Weapon Focus], freeing up the Fighter4 combat feat slot for retraining). --And there's always my favorite barbarian archetype that some are tired of seeing me spam.

Scarab Sages

This has some possibilities.

I'm going to link the Dwarven War-shield, though, because it still doesn't seem like you know the weapon. It's a 1d6 weapon, so Focused Weapon at Fighter 4 doesn't do anything for it. It's basically got the Bashing enhancement built in, as it's the equivalent of a light shield for defense, but two categories higher for damage, and grants an extra +1 shield bonus if TWF with two war-shields.

Dwarven War-shield

Weapon Specialization is a bigger boost than Trained Grace at 4, and if I'm not going Brawler, then it's not as important that I take Trained Grace with a bonus feat.

I'm not a huge fan of Piranha Strike. It's ok, like Power Attack is ok when you're not using a THW, but it's an even trade at -1/+2 and a bad trade at -1/+1 for the off-hand. On a TWF build that may already have accuracy issues, reducing accuracy and not getting full bonus on the off-hand doesn't seem like a good idea. I prefer ITWF.

math:

7th level (Leaving out Trained Grace and Focused Weapon, but including Weapon Specialization)

Base attack: +6 BAB +3 DEX +1 WT +1 WF +1 enhancement -2 TWF = +10

Base damage: 1d6 + 2STR + 1WT + 2WS + 1enhance = 1d6+6

With Piranha Strike:

+8/+8/+3 (1d6+10, 1d6+7 off-hand)

With ITWF:

+10/+10/+5/+5 (1d6+6, 1d6+5)

Against a CR 8 opponent AC21 HP100 I need a 13 to hit on my main attack. That's really bad. 11 isn't great, but it's better.

Piranha Strike and no ITWF
(.4 x 13.5) + (.4 x 10.5) + (.15 x 13.5) = 11.625 avg damage against something with 100 hit points. 48 max damage

ITWF and no Piranha Strike
(.5 x 9.5) + (.5 x 8.5) + (.25 x 9.5) + (.25 x 8.5) = 12.75 avg damage, 50 max

There's a slight edge to ITWF, due to the loss in accuracy from Piranha Strike. Even going with both feats, Piranha Strike + ITWF does average damage. It's still less than ITWF without Piranha Strike. Basically, when accuracy is low, Piranha Strike is a bad idea. Things do swing back in favor of Piranha Strike on a single attack... 6.75 to 5.7.

The Brawler, still assuming 14 STR, and assuming Dedicated Adversary, at 7th would be:

(.65 x 11.5) + (.65 x 11.5) + (.4 x 11.5) + (.4 x 11.5) = 24.15 avg damage. The Brawler's -5 iteratives have the same chance to-hit as the Piranha Striking Rogue's main attacks. So maybe you understand why I lean that direction? Without Dedicated Adversary, it's 16.15 avg damage.

That's all ignoring crits, but the ITWF build is going to crit more often than the non-ITWF Piranha Strike build.

The Rogue build needs Sneak attack to even start to catch up, putting Piranha Strike w/flank at 19.75 average damage and ITWF w/flank at 23.75. Brawler w/ ITWF and flank is 28.75.

I actually think Defensive Strategist is a more valuable trait than Defender of the Society. +1 AC is really good. Never being flat-footed is amazing from a trait, especially on a build that's boosting DEX.

You're correct that Weapon Training +3 triggers at 11. Mixed that up in the original post.

I'd rework what you have as:

Spoiler:
traits: Defensive Strategist, Glory of Old
01 fighter1 [Weapon Master:Dwarven War-Shield][Two Weapon Fighting], Steel Soul
02 uRogue1 [Weapon Finesse]
03 fighter2 [Improved Shield Bash], Weapon Focus (DWS)
04 fighter3 [Weapon Training +1], Dex>16
05 fighter4 [Weapon Specialization (DWS)],
06 uRogue2 [Evasion][Talent:Combat Trick:AWT(Trained Grace)]
07 fighter5 Improved Two Weapon Fighting
08 fighter6 [AWT (Focused Weapon)], Dex>17
09 fighter7 [Weapon Training +2], Shield Slam
10 fighter8 [Greater Weapon Focus]
11 fighter9 ???

There are some good things and a couple of things I don't like.

This build doesn't reach +11 BAB until 12th, which means never getting Shield Master in regular PFS play. That was a nice capstone for 11th level. I doubt I'd ever play the character above that. I have several at 12+, so I'll have played a lot of that content by the time he gets there. And PFS for PF1.0 won't have any new content after season 10.

Being 1 BAB lower means pushing ITWF to 7th. Not the end of the world.

So the benefits here over taking Brawler for 2 levels are:

UMD as class skill
Trapfinding (if I don't take an archetype that trades it)
8 skill points (4/level extra as Brawler is 4/level)
Evasion
Sneak Attack +1d6

Weapon Finesse is evened out by Brawler granting TWF. Combat Trick is evened out by the Brawler bonus feat at 2nd. Reflex saves will be the same.

The benefits of Brawler are:
Martial Flexibility 4/day
Better Fort save
Brawler's Cunning means I can take Outslug Style
Brawler's Flurry means I don't need Double Slice.
Does more damage (see math above)

All of this is assuming your adjusted stat array. Since I don't think I'll get to play at 12+, that's part of the reason I prefer starting with two odd stats. You see it as I'm wasting build points boosting STR. I see it as you're wasting the level 8 stat bump. With 2 odd stats, I see a boost in actual bonuses at 4th and 8th level, instead of just 4th. I could start 15 15 16 (14+2) 10 16 (14+2) 5 (7-2). I might prefer that to your array, even though it's 1 less skill point.

Maybe it's just that I really like Martial Flexibility, but I still think I lean towards the Brawler build. It's fewer skill points, but I've managed low skill point characters in PFS and feel like I can still contribute out of combat with such a character. I also think I still prefer my original stat array for that build. It's about how it plays at each level more than where the total ends up. I sacrifice a little in Will saves overall, and Fort saves and HPs for 7 levels, but I'm more accurate for levels 1-4, deal slightly more damage the rest of the time, and I won't feel like I should have just tanked either STR or DEX and gone all out with the other one. Will saves against things that Hardy doesn't apply to will be terrible for 4 levels but things aren't going to be dominating me at levels 1-4. Talismans of Pentacle and Freedom help even things out at higher levels.

This thread has been useful, though. Steel Soul is something I never remember (don't make enough Dwarves). I'll likely forget about UMD, and might forget about trying the Item Mastery trick at all. It's a neat trick, but the changes in PFS mean the useful stuff doesn't come online until level 10. Keeping CHA at 8, though, means I can at least aid another diplomacy and bluff occasionally, and I may throw points into Intimidate. Intimidating Prowess is a Combat Feat, so you can pick it up with Martial Flexibility. Meaning if I max Intimidate, I can actually be pretty good at it when I need to, even with a -1 from CHA. I'll have a few extra points to play with from the Brawler levels. I'll have to look over potential Martial Flexibility feats to see what they require. Overall, I think it'll turn out ok.


Other bits: Brawler limited-to-dip-levels means Martial Flexibility always requires a move action. ...annoying, since it generally only happens when combat has already broken out. Given short legs and short weapons, those move actions are usually earmarked (and especially if Additional Traits for Accelerated Drinker interests you at some point). For that reason, I don't think ITWF will come into play often...at least not before incorporating Lunge.

Quote:
This thread has been useful, though.
One thing is clear: You can either enjoy Shield Master early or Trained Grace early, but not both. --I'm inclined to go for Shield Master early because it saves a lot of money (because you never enchant shields for attack). The major annoyance is that all of the builds in the thread so far are de rigueur slow-moving, 5' weapon martials that intelligent opponents with any speed at all can easily avoid. Frankly, I have my doubts that the war-shield TWF gimmick is that viable; needing a move-action to free up a hand will probably bite ya at some point. (...speaking of other kinds of move-actions that may get in the way of deploying Martial Flexibility)
Quote:
Steel Soul is something I never remember (don't make enough Dwarves). I'll likely forget about UMD, and might forget about trying the Item Mastery trick at all. It's a neat trick, but the changes in PFS mean the useful stuff doesn't come online until level 10. Keeping CHA at 8, though, means I can at least aid another diplomacy and bluff occasionally, and I may throw points into Intimidate. Intimidating Prowess is a Combat Feat, so you can pick it up with Martial Flexibility. Meaning if I max Intimidate

I don't think Intimidate pulls its weight unless you have a gimmick to get it off as a swift action or a free action (see the Rake archetype for rogue) and are pursuing an "Intimimancy" build.

--Imagine you were a halfling* instead of a dwarf, and just bought an Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun stone for martial proficiency in dwarven war-shield. You'd have a racial bonus to both Dex and Cha, as well as enjoying AC+1 and +1 attack. On top of that, you have Fleet of Foot alternative racial trait for Move:30.

(*This highlights the problem with some poorly-conceived racial weapons: here we have a shield that the poor dwarf cannot use as effectively as another race!)

Str- 10
Dex+ 17 (halfling TWF crit-fisher)
Con: 14
Int: 7
Wis: 14
Cha+ 16

Perfect chassis for a murderous little uRogue squirt with Dirty Fighting and some Swashbuckler panache thrown into the mix. Can even fold in paladin smite and saving throws if he's not too naughty.

~ ~ ~

Dwarf martial pursuing synergies....

Str: 15 (all bumps)
Dex: 14
Con+ 16 (dwarf reach-weapon 2hPA skull-smasher)
Int: 12
Wis+ 16
Cha- 5

1. (SavTech and/or DrunkenBrute) + Extra Rage (or Steel Soul)
2. cleric (Travel/Community domain)
3. Fighter1 [core][Combat Reflexes], Raging Vitality (if not SavTech) or Steel Soul
4. Fighter2 [Power Attack]

This guy has hitpoints for days (or great AC & +2 AoOs/rnd), sky-high saves, especially while raging, six daily Fatigue/Shaken/Sickened alleviations + minor healing, six daily ignore difficult terrains, Move40 (50 w/Longstrider), and swings a 20' reach +1 Longhammer for 3d6+14 2hPA while Enlarged. Your basic mobile AoE zone daring any bad guy to be in it.

~ ~ ~

Dwarf angry monk (same stats as above):

1. bloodrager [Blood Conduit:Improved Trip:Martyred bloodline], Steel Soul
2. monk1 (chained), [Dodge]
3. monk2 [Mobility], Raging Vitality
4, monk3 STR>16, belt to 18, rage to 22
5. monk4 [ki pool], Power Attack

Full-attack at 5th: Flurry+Ki: 3x 2hPA +1 temple sword, d8+13.

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