I have not been able to locate much discussion on this topic and all the news I can find is bad. Here is the issue in a nutshell. The Zen Archer Monk gives up the Still Mind ability for Point Blank Master. I believe it's generally understood that this would prevent a Zen Archer Monk from taking Vows as well as taking the Champion of Irori/Enlightened prestige class as they both also require a substitute for Still Mind.
Does anyone know of any published material that provides a way around this issue including 3rd party material. I've heard a rumor of a trait that addresses it as well as the possibility that Unchained Monk Archetypes may allow for swapping of abilities, but I have been unable to locate anything. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
Some say Rage Powers are as good if not better than feats and I agree that some of them are. You get those at even Barbarian levels, so that could help with some of the melee stuff. Boon Companion only works up to your current level, so you'd have to take it at level 5 or later to get the full effect from it.
Following along the Barbarian Spell Sunder rage power line of thought, there is a 3pp variant called Serene Barbarian that functions exactly the same as a standard barbarian only instead of boosting STR and CON, it boosts DEX and WIS when it enters into Serenity (Rage). This would work very well with an Inquisitor. I dipped into it for my Zen Archer Monk. This route would not grant you a familiar though. It sounds to me like you need a gestalt PC to get everything you want.
With all high stats like that, I always think of Champion of Enlightened/Irori. Some sort of monk would gestalt well with the Inquisitor. Zen Archer or the Psionic Marksman would also be very good. You might also take a level of Empyreal Sorcerer and go Dragon Disciple for a little bit of Arcane support and some serious thumping if you are sure about the melee route. Use your spells for self buffing.
I have to say though, that I am currently running a level 8 ZAM with several dips and I can still keep up with the pure Fighter for DPR as long as I can roll the dice well.
As for race, look no further than your favorite flavor of Aasimar.
GM Gristle wrote:
This will do a better job.
Inquisitor 5 gives you Bane on anything you declare as well as Judgments that can give bonuses to hit and damage, but I guess those aren't technically weapon augmentations.
The psionic class Aegis has armor customizations that specifically enhance the weapon like Crystallized Weapon which adds 2d6 and Enhanced Weapon which treats it as a size larger.
If your PC can be mythic, you can select Legendary Weapon and your weapon can eventually become a Greater Artifact gaining new powers at each mythic tier.
There is a new feat in Paths of War called Deadly Agility which gives you DEX to Damage. It's a short cut from Dervish line and some say it's over powered, but I don't think so since it's not 1.5 times for two-handed weapons. It's better for two-weapon fighting, but your DEX bonus is already more than 1.5 times your STR anyway.
It's too bad you dumped WIS, though I don't blame you. There is a Barbarian archetype called Serene Barbarian that boosts DEX and WIS rather than STR and CON.
If you want to increase your DPR I think you're going to have to look for class dips with abilities that will add damage like Smite or Sneak damage while taking advantage of your high CHA. I'd consider either Paladin or Ninja.
Check out the Abberant archetype for the Aegis (psionic class) if it's allowed. They can grow tentacles, eye stalks (which can look around corners), and a bunch of other weird things.
Skinwalker races might be an interesting option. If you'd rather an uber-good PC, check out chart of alternate physical features for the Aasimar.
Personally, I think the best archer is the Zen Archer Monk, but since you can't do that with those stats, and you got what you needed from Paladin, Fighter seems like the best option for the feats and BAB. I might be nice to find something to take advantage of that CHA though. I suppose you could go Bard, but you'd lose out on a lot of feats and your archery would suffer.
I haven't studied the Slayer, but I'd say the biggest loss would be the quick pace for feats.
There is another thread going right now with a very similar build concept. The difference is that the PC is gestalt. The majority consensus is Investigator/Wizard. I thought that Sage Sorcerer might also be good. You could take the Sleuth archetype since the spell casting might eliminate the need for alchemy. Archeologist Bard was another popular choice. Half-elf seems like a no-brainer.
You need to decide what kind of game you want to play. With a gestalt character you can either diversify (two dissimilar classes) and run into action economy issues during combat, or specialize (two similar classes) and do one thing really well. Specializing in skill monkey could be good, but what would you do in combat?
Your healer is going to be engaged in melee, your buffer is going to be blasting, and the other caster is going to be in melee as well. It seems that you might need to diversify to help your party best. If you go skill monkey on one side and controller/debuffer on the other, you won't have to worry about action economy in combat because you'll have one job. Out of combat you are trap finding, puzzle solving and maybe even facing a little with the Bard.
I'd say your best bet is whatever flavor of skill monkey on one side (and I wouldn't rule out Ninja either) and either Wizard or Sage Sorcerer on the other. Either option also give you a familiar that can help you in both roles.
I had a couple of ideas more for flavor than optimization perhaps.
Investigator and Archeologist are popular suggestions, what about combining those?
There is also an Investigator archetype for Rogue. That could be a very interesting combination with the Investigator class and get you extra skills per level.
If you are interested in spell casting, there is also the Sage Sorcerer as an INT casting option as an alternative to the Wizard.
If you haven't seen it yet, google the Pathfinder X to Y document for ideas and switching around ability modifiers for all sorts of powers.
What classes are the rest of the party?
If you are interested in Archeologist, but don't want to loose Bardic Performance, take Evangelist Cleric as your other class. Pump WIS and CHA. Once you do maybe you could see if your DM will give you Zen Archery as a feat and you can be effective in combat without getting into melee.
@wraithstrike - It is point buy. The low WIS is partially for flavor and partially to boost my CON as high as possible. I have been wanting to make a high CON/HP build, but this is as close as I could bring myself to do it. He's kind of a dumb brute. I know my Will Save will suffer for it, but I'm also trying to combat spell effects with the Spell Sunder power (which is also the reason for the Improved Sunder).
@ Avoron/Rhorik - Yes, Raging Hulk lets my levels from both classes count for both. The complete description is in the spoiler. After looking at it some more, because of Raging Hulk, I'm actually thinking about taking more levels of Aegis for the increased customization points. I know I want to get to Barbarian 11 for Greater Rage, but I don't think I need to go beyond that since Rage Powers and DR stack. Although, Indomitable Will seems like it might be a significant loss. I'm not sure if the last Fighter level is worth it just for Weapon Training.
My son has asked me to build a character for him. He had specific instructions. He wanted to fight with two swords and have a bear (aaand a tiger, oh, and a wolf) for a pet. So at first I thought about the TWF Ranger which seemed pretty easy, but then with the added menagerie of animals, I started looking at Pack Master Hunter. It seems like Boon Companion is going to be my friend for this build, but what I'm most curious about is what levels to build the ACs at. For those with experience in this, is it better to have all the ACs at an equal levels, or to have one more powerful than the rest?
Are you allowed 3pp? If you are interested in going the Finesse route, there is a new feat from Paths of War called Deadly Agility that adds DEX to damage instead of STR. The main difference being that damage does not increase by 1/2 for two-handed weapons, but it also does not decrease by 1/2 for off-hand weapons. All the better for TWF.
I have looked around and don't see this addressed anywhere else. If you have a race with Powerful Build (say half-giant) and you take the Two-weapon Fighting feat, what size does the weapon in your off hand have to be? Does it get the benefit of increased size as well allowing it to be medium, or does it still have to be light?
We are running Jacob's Tower and I decided to go with a meat shield. I've built a half-giant Invulnerable Rager with planned dips in Aegis and Fighter. The fighter dips are mostly for the feats, but I'm debating the 3rd level of Weapon Master as I'm not sure if it would be better than another level of either Aegis or Barbarian. Since half-giant is a Psionic race, I decided to check out the Psionic classes and like Aegis. I think it compliments this build fairly well, especially with the feats I've chosen for it. Anyway, hear is the build. The feat at level 19 was a head-scratcher. I figured a lump sum of 19HP wasn't a bad thing. He just reached level 3 so it is definitely not set in stone. Your gentle critique would be greatly appreciated.
For your reference, if you're unfamiliar. From Psionics Augmented.
Raging Hulk: Your rage infuses your astral suit, turning you into a hulking monstrosity.
Prerequisites: Rage power class feature, astral suit class feature
Benefit: For the purpose of level requirements for rage powers or astral suit customizations, add your levels of barbarian and aegis together. Damage reduction from either class stacks. In addition, any time you enter a rage, you can activate augment suit as a free action.
Student of the Astral Suit:Your studies in other areas has not hindered your skill with astral suits.
Half-Giant Invulnerable Rager Barbarian
I recently included my 6-year-old son into my gaming group. I'm not the DM, but we play at my house, so I guess I had a little more sway. I did ask how the others felt about it and they were OK, though I'm sure one guy would rather he didn't play. I know his limitations and he asked me several times if he could make a character and play. He really just wants to be included and I always feel badly having to send him off to find something else to do. Now, he can't sit through a whole session, so since I basically run his character for him anyway. He likes to roll the dice and I ask his input on lots of things. I take it over fully when he loses interest or starts to get antsy. He's actually had a couple of really good ideas and understands more than I thought he would.
That being said, you have to know, and be honest about, your child's limitations. It's possible that the people in your group who are opposed to him joining might be a little more honest about them than you are. On the other hand, it's possible that they are just being selfish and/or don't like children to start with.
My advice is to make a deal with everyone. Your son should have certain expectations placed on him for participating. Paying attention, not speaking too much out of turn, not arguing, being willing to listen to the advice of the other players, and generally not being a nuisance; things like that. You might even keep it light-hearted by saying that he has to fetch drinks for the group or something silly. As for the other players, get their input on the criteria and ask them to be willing to give it a trial run (or as Wil Wheaton might say, "Don't be a d*@%!) Communication with them is probably best done via email so your son doesn't overhear again. If your son has a hard time living up to the expectations, give him another year.
As for hard feelings on both sides, it's a teachable moment for your son, and for the adults it's time to put on your big-boy pants. These have potential to be great memories for your son. If no deal can be made, well, at the end of the day, he is your priority.
I have two questions and two disclaimers. Disclaimers first... I saw no guidelines or rules for asking questions, so please forgive me if I'm unwittingly breaking any. Second, being that I don't have time to wade through 50K posts, please also forgive questions you may have already answered a few (or a hundred) times.
Without further adieu.
1. Boon Companion - I plan to take three Animal Companions with my Packmaster Hunter. If I take Boon Companion three times (5th, 7th, and 9th levels, once for each animal), does that give me three level 5 ACs at 9th level, or would I have to be 15th level to have three level 5s?
2. Assuming you can answer Mythic questions, does the Mythic Champion path ability Precision apply to all iterations of a monks Flurry of Blows? For example: at level 17 (normally +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5/+0) would that be +15/+15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5, or +15/+15/+15/+15/+10/+10/+5?
I'm in the process of building a Barbarian/Aegis and I have a question about how Nimble works with the Astral Suit. My intention is to primarily use the Astral Armor which states that it provides the same mechanical attributes as Masterwork Chainmail. Chainmail has a max DEX bonus of +2. What happens if your PC has a DEX of 16 or higher, or adding the Nimble customization takes you to 16 or higher? Does that mean that Nimble will not function?
Obscure, explainable combos, not cheesy or optimized... Not too long ago, I started a build for a Zen Archer that was primarily a WIS/CHA build. Now, I know you said you wanted to focus more on DEX and not so much on WIS, but this concept intrigued me because it's traditionally a build based heavily on physical stats that I was able to flip the script on.
As I'm sure you're aware, Zen Archers use WIS to shoot bows rather than DEX, but they don't get that ability until level 3 (which can be a bummer for this build). DEX is therefore not a factor for archery, but still important for AC, reflex, CMD, initiative, and some skills, probably most importantly Acrobatics and Stealth. That's where Lore Oracle comes in. The Side Step Secret revelation allows you to swap out DEX for your CHA for AC and reflex. The Wisdom in the Flesh trait will allow you to change one STR or DEX based skill to WIS, so pick whichever one you think you need more. I'd go Acrobatics since I think (and maybe am assuming a little) that Stealth buffing items are a little more readily available. This leaves you with initiative and CMD for DEX. While it won't be fun to be grappled, you might have to worry about this a little less being a ranged attacker than you would as a meat shield. Also, the way I like to play archers, you don't really care about going first. In fact, I like to go later in the round so I can pick the wounded guys to shoot at. With several attacks (flurry), you might even take out a few in one round if they are low on HP.
I actually made DEX my dump stat for this PC. How many times can anyone say that? I even took the Oracle curse Lame to go along with the dump and wrote it all into my backstory how he had to learn ways to overcome his disability (Side Step Secret).
My intention was actually to take 2 levels of Divine Hunter Paladin in this build at early levels as well (free archery feat, Divine Grace, some healing), so in truth, it would probably really suck until it hit level 6. That was kinda part of the plan though, to overcome his limitations and become a hero. I didn't ever get a chance to play him, so I can't tell you if he would live very long.
The generous stats you anticipate always lead me to think of very MAD Monk builds. Champion of the Enlightened/Irori is usually the first one that comes to mind. I would love to have a go at a ZAM Champion build, but unfortunately Still Mind is a prereq and ZAM trades it out for Point Blank Master.
I really enjoy the PC I'm currently playing which is an experiment in finding as much synergy as I can while multiclassing. Again, primarily a ZAM, he has 2 levels of Serene Barbarian, and 1 level of Tattooed Empyreal Sorcerer. My 20 level build plan (if he every makes it) includes a level of Inquisitor, 3 levels of Weapon Master Fighter, and 5 levels of Ninja while topping the ZAM out at 8. He also happens to be mythic. He has some neat tricks, but I wouldn't call him optimized as I've invested a lot into climbing, jumping, and speed. I like the idea of him moving like the characters in those new Chinese films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. He has lots of self-buffing options and is a pretty heavy hitter. Having not actually played at level 8 yet, it's not uncommon for his DPR to be in the 30-40 range and though I haven't done it yet, he can hit 80 while getting my naked AC over 30.
My intention is to build this PC to be able to solo. I've said a few times on here that the best PCs are like Indiana Jones, he can do it all. My 1 level of Inquisitor is intended help a lot in the skill area. Keeping my INT at 14 has helped a lot with skills. Inq will bring some utility and allow him to face. I had to dump CHA for this build though. If you didn't have to, he might be able to carry the group a lot better, sooner.
Aasimar (and it's many variants) is my favorite race for optimized builds and if you're allowed to use it, I highly recommend it.
We are getting ready to run Jacob's Tower. I have been trying very hard to keep from reading it, so NO SPOILERS please! Since they've only published 11 levels so far, I don't think this will be a 20 level build, but anyway...
I'm trying to build a big tank. I'm going primarily Invulnerable Rager, but am looking at dips of Fighter 2 (maybe 3 if Weapon Master) and Aegis 1 for the suit. I'm torn between Human, Half-Orc, and Half-Giant. I'm not really all that interested in any other races, though I know there might be some that are also good (I'm looking at you Ragebred Skinwalker). If I really had my druthers, I'd choose Goliath, but, sadly, it is out of reach. Half-Giant sorta fills that niche and fits best with Aegis, Human gets all the good stuff, and Half-Orc is the classic Barbarian.
Is it worth two levels of Fighter for the feats, or should I go straight Barbarian? Is the suit (and power points) worth a level of Aegis?
I have often thought of doing this. It actually makes a lot more sense to me to have peers adventuring together. The most likely combination of an adventuring party is people you know and have trained with.
A Bard band sounds like a great idea.
Sylvan elf guards or hunters like they encountered in LotR. All Rangers.
A group from a monastery. Could also be a mix of Clerics, Paladins, Inquisitors, and Monks.
A band of Ninjas.
These are generic suggestions, but I could list archetypes all day that would probably work.
Thanks for the input. I agree, if I do go with Weapon Master 3, the Gloves of Dueling are a must. I missed that last sentence in the description somehow the last time I read it.
My purpose for taking Monkey moves is to max my climbing skill to get as close as I can to that DC 40 to climb a smooth surface. I admit that there is limited utility in it, but it's more for flavor than anything. I'm going for the Crouching Tiger type of monk/ninja/warrior. That's partly why I've focused on Acrobatics (Jumping), Climbing, and Speed.
Also, part of this PC's backstory is his being a freed slave. Thus, the Drawback, Faction, and primary interest in Inquisitor for flavor. I picture him being a slave rescuer with the ninja like capabilities assisting in that endeavor.
You mentioned Scent... the rage power I chose at Bar 2 is Scent. I combine it with Pheromone arrows for +2/+2 on marked targets. I've also tried to encourage my party members to get it somehow as well.
As for skills, I'm trying to build this PC as much like a solo adventurer as I can. I see him teaming up out of convenience or even for hire rather than out of necessity. When he needs to strike out on his own, he can and he can travel light. For that reason, I haven't dumped INT and by the time I take my first level of Inquisitor (assuming I do) I'll have nine skills either based on WIS or with WIS as a bonus (and for some, potentially even a double bonus) plus all my monster Knowledge checks.
I haven't looked at Arcane Archer for some time. Someone homebrewed and posted a relatively direct divine conversion called Sacred Arrow. If I do go Inquisitor, that might be interesting as well.
I'm currently playing a ZAM and am really enjoying the character. He is really an experiment in multiclassing with as much synergy as possible. Here is where I am so far:
ZAM 5/Serene Barbarian 2/Tattooed Empyreal Sorcerer 1. He is also at Mythic Tier 2. Andoran Faction, while we are not playing strictly PFS legal stuff, obviously, but we have been using factions to a limited degree.
Aasimar - Archon-Blooded (Scion of Humanity)
Progression & Feats :
My question is, at what point do I bail from ZAM and start hitting some of the other dips I'm interested in? I've heard decent arguments for both level 6 and level 8. I'm leaning heavily toward level 8 for that extra attack, and AC and unarmed damage bumps.
It looks like that will take me to level 11 which would leave me nine levels of other stuff to consider. Here is what I've considered so far:
Inquisitor: For all the usual reasons. Probably going Conversion Inquisition for the social skill buffs. I have toyed with the idea of the Infiltrator archetype for the double dip to several of those social buffs, but don't know if it's worth losing Monster Lore. The big question for me is how many levels of this do I take? It seems that two is the minimum and 5 is the max.
Fighter (Weapon Master): No brainer really, +3 BAB, +1/+1 for bows, 2 feats, CMD bump, and a couple of extra HP.
If I do go with Inq 5, than this leaves me with one more level. I'm interested in Ninja, but would rather take at least 5 levels of it if I take any. Sneak attack would be very nice to have and extra Ki is a bonus. Would there be a good reason to advance my Barbarian or Sorcerer classes? What other classes would be interesting and provide good synergy?
At any rate, I need to come up with feats at 13, 15, 17, and 19.
Remaining mythic feats will be Precise Shot, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization.
My bow is an artifact that keeps "unlocking" new abilities as I progress in mythic tiers (it granted my mythic ascension). As of right now it is a +1 Adaptive Impervious Greenwood Composite Greatbow. I get Improved Critical from my Bracers of Falcon's Aim. I'm pretty sure I'd pay to buff them before I'd get rid of them for something else.
What am I missing? Thanks in advance for your help.
Nobody mentioned Divine Hunter Paladin. You get Precise Shot for free at first level as well as better HD, a Smite a day, Detect Evil, and Armor if you want it. Although, if you dip Paladin, I say it's better to take 2 levels for Divine Grace as long as you don't plan to dump CHA (which would also be good for the Sleuth Investigator archetype).
I'm building a similar character and have taken one level of Empyreal Sorcerer and two levels of Serene Barbarian (3rd party, very cool for a Zen Archer, especially the Scent Rage Power and Pheromone arrows). The three level Weapon Master dip looks intriguing.
Here are some of the feats I'm considering (besides the ones you've already mentioned). I've got Monkey Style as well and plan to take Monkey Moves for the climbing boost. My character is mythic as well and has Climbing Master from the Champion Path too.
Hammer the Gap might be good since you'll have several shots in one round. If you do get a spell casting class, you should check out Ki Infusion. Some simple feat choices might be Greater Weapon Focus and Specialization since you got the first ones for free.
Do you have Improved Crit from anything? If not, skip the feat and get the Bracers of Falcon's Aim.
I'm thinking either a monk with lots of grappling, or something with an animal companion like a two-weapon fighting ranger with a wolf AC. Make sure he takes Boon Companion to raise the level of the wolf. Now you've got two bodies standing in front of you and the wolf trips.
Also, you could buy an Ultimate Adventuring Kit. It comes with an ox trained for war. Google it or look up Ashiel's Adventuring Guidebook.