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I was poking through the Martial Arts Handbook, and a particular interaction of feats and abilities popped into my head. Specifically, the Shikigami Style chain and the Barbarian Rage Power "Body Bludgeon". Shikigami Style increases the damage you deal with improvised weapons by a total of 3 size categories for the chain, and Body Bludgeon treats the foe you're hitting someone else with as an improvised weapon. A Small sized foe would both take and deal 4d6 damage when used as a weapon, with a Medium enemy taking and dealing 4d8 damage.

My question is, what class would best build towards this? There's several classes that gain access to rage powers. Bloodrager has easy access to things like Enlarge Person, and had Bloody Knuckled Rowdy to help ease the feat burden. Barbarian has a number of other rage powers to help a grapple stick. Fighter (Viking) has the benefit of lots of feats to help the chain. Skald has things like Magic Warrior to make your wielded foe also a magic weapon. Ranger (Wild Stalker) doesn't offer much. There's also Spiritualist (Exciter), but I'm not familiar enough with the class to know what else it can offer besides spellcasting.


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The shifter class makes mention of a "natural form" as a prerequisite for gaining claws, presumably to restrict the ability to add claws to various Wild Shape forms.

The Skinwalker race has a Change Shape supernatural ability to assume a more bestial form. This is not a spell, nor does it mimic one (as Wild Shape does), and as a function of the race it is a "natural form", though it is possibly still considered a polymorph effect.

Can a Skinwalker Shifter in their bestial form sprout Shifter claws?

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My partner has heard me ramble about Pathfinder enough that they're willing to push past their usual dislike for high fantasy games and give the system a whirl. I figure a good way to do that while giving them a range of story and theme options is to run them through an Adventure Path. The problem is, it's just one player.

Which of the AP's is best suited towards solo play, and what are some general tips or tweaks that can be made to make it flow easier? I'm thinking something like giving them an extra level or two to start out with, and maybe beefing up some of the NPCs to help cover some bases.

Based on my experience with a handful of the APs, something like Skull and Shackles or Jade Regent seem like they'd be solo friendly, but I haven't been very far into either of them or played a good half or more of the APs.

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I might be getting into a Carrion Crown game, and figured I'd take a closer look at the occult classes as they fit the horror theme. While doing so, I noticed the Phantom Blade archetype for the Spiritualist, which goes well with my general like of classes that can create their own cool weapon. I also noticed it had the option to store the weapon inside yourself and gain the weapon bonuses on unarmed strikes instead, which made me also remember the existence of the Possessed Hand feat.

Thematically, especially if you never actually manifest the weapon, the spirit possessing the hand could be the same one as Phantom Blade. Mechanically, adding on a +1 to hit and damage on top of the Phantom Blade abilities seems pretty solid, and helps compensate for the lack of damage dice from using a real weapon.

I was thinking a dwarf would be a good choice for this, with the option to use the Barrow Warden racial option, on top of the Corpse Hunter religion trait and Subject of Study campaign trait, for a total of +2 hit, +1 damage, and +1 AC vs undead.

My question is, with this concept, what's the best way to build? Getting bonus feats helps, but I don't really know where to go besides "punch things with zombie hand".

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So poking around the forums I found out that, like clerics, paladins don't have to follow a specific deity and can simply be divine agents of a given ethos.

Can a paladin be such a godless sort in terms of his power source, and still count as "worshipping" an actual deity (with less alignment restrictions) and qualify for, say, a Divine Fighting Technique (which is normally locked to a follower of that deity, and paladins as far as I know can't serve CG deities).

This is something that could be easily justified in-character, too. For instance, a paladin could align himself with the divine concept of travel, luck, goodness, or liberation (none of which is inherently chaotic) and still revere Desna despite not directly serving as her agent.

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I just started a Kingmaker campaign and decided to make a Kitsune Unchained Rogue with the Vexing Dodger archetype, with the idea being to do a lot of fighting in fox shape, with a focus on dirty tricks.

The build so far is this

1. Unchained Rogue (Dirty Fighting, Fox Shape, Finesse)
2. Unchained Rogue (Improved Dirty Trick)
3. Swashbuckler (Mouser) (Kitsune Style)
4. Unchained Rogue (Finesse Training)
5. Unchained Rogue (Kitsune Tricks)

And that's about as far as I've gotten. I'm considering trying for Cloak and Dagger Style as well, but that takes an investment to be able to use both at once.

The biggest problem I'm running into, though, is that my fox shape has all of one attack, and that my actual damage will probably lag pretty far behind other rogues with TWF and iteratives. The solution would be to get more natural attacks, but that's proven harder than I expected because of the fact Fox Shape is a polymorph effect that is incompatible with a number of the normal ways to get things like claws.

The legit ways to get claws that work with Fox Shape that I've found so far:
-Bloodrager (Draconic, Abyssal)
-Sorcerer (Draconic, Abyssal, Ghoul)
-Beast Totem, Draconic Blood, Abyssal Blood rage powers
-Eldritch Heritage->Raging Blood
-Alchemist (Feral Mutagen)
-Oracle (Lunar, Dragon)
-Hunter (Totem-Bonded) with dead pet
-Amulet of the Blooded (Abyssal)
-Shadow Claws spell
-Totemic Initiate/Disciple/Master
-Animal Totem Tattoo

Things I'm unsure of
-Talons of Leng
-Warpriest (Feral Champion)
-Shifter (Shifter Claws)
-Monk (Menhir Guardian)
-Vigilante (Wildsoul - Ursine)

Is there anything I'm missing? I've seen things like Helm of the Mammoth Lord for gore attacks, but I'm largely interested in things like claws, or maybe slams, so I don't look like a mutant fox.

The Virtuous Bravo archetype for Paladins replaces the Mercy class feature with the Nimble feature from Swashbucklers. The magic item Merciful Baldric allows a paladin to choose three extra mercies they don't already know and add them to the list of mercies they can use for the day.

My question is: does the baldric allow a paladin who has given up mercy to gain access to mercies? Is it "the list of mercies they can use is empty", or "they can't use mercy at all"? Would UMD change the answer at all?

Can Hex Strike or Revelation Strike be used in conjunction with Ascetic Style to channel hexes/revelations through a melee weapon? If so, it seems like it might be a decent option for the right sort of character, especially since quarterstaff is on the list of weapons that can be used with Ascetic Style. Maybe a Wood Oracle (Spirit Guide) taking advantage of Wood Bond, or a Magus (Hexcrafter/Staff Magus).

My question is a simple one. Can a Skinwalker keep their Change Shape abilities while polymorphed with the Shifting Rage ability of the Mooncursed Barbarian archetype? I'm relatively certain that it's a no on the first part that emulates Beast Shape, since it's more or less a short-duration Wild Shape. But at level 5 they get Hybrid Rage, which shifts them into a hybrid form rather than entirely into an animal. Would the Skinwalker abilities be able to apply then?

I suspect probably not, but the idea of, say, a Witchwolf Mooncursed Barbarian is just too cool, and I want to find some way to make it work.

So I have an opportunity to play in an evil game, so I wanted to go full on for a nasty sort of character and draw from some of the evil material in a few of the splat books (like Horror Adventures and Champions of Corruption). To that end, I've got an idea for a barbarian, but I'm not quite sure the best way to pull it off.

The idea revolves around bite attacks, Throat Slicer, and a number of particular rage powers. Specifically, Animal Fury, Raging Grappler, and Savage Jaw. Another one I definitely want to utilize is Feasting Bite, though that one requires being a half-orc. The idea is to grapple and pin someone, then use Throat Slicer to CDG with my bite attack, to go full bloodthirsty throat ripper.

There are a few archetypes that might help with such a build, namely Mooncursed, Raging Cannibal, or Brutal Pugilist.

An example build could maybe look like

Half-Orc Barbarian (Raging Cannibal)
Level 1: Improved Unarmed Strike
Level 2: -Animal Fury
Level 3: Improved Grapple
Level 4: -Raging Grappler
Level 5: Throat Slicer
Level 6: -Savage Jaw
Level 7: Greater Grapple
Level 8: -Bloody Bite
Level 9: Rapid Grappler
Level 10: -Feasting Bite

This build would (assuming I understand grapple rules right) let me once per rage gain Grab with my bite and deal damage a second time with it through Raging Grappler. The next round, I could then use a move action to maintain the grapple, a swift action to pin, and a standard action to CDG. Since CDG is a critical, this would trigger the healing from Feasting Bite as well as the temp HP from Raging Cannibal. If I killed the target, I would also then regain rage rounds.

A similar build could involve a dhampir rather than a half-orc, and utilize the Blood Drinker/Blood Feaster feats. I'd lose out on the healing from Feasting Bite (unless a half-orc qualifies for Racial Heritage: Dhampir?), but my bites would deal Con damage. The temp HP from the feat wouldn't stack with the Raging Cannibal HP, so I could utilize Mooncursed or Brutal Pugilist instead. Dhampir also have the race trait Final Embrace, netting a not-too-shabby +2 to pinning.


Are the various hybrid classes considered to be their own unique classes for purposes of meeting requirements for things like magic items, or are they considered to be their parent classes?

The specific example I'm thinking on is the magic item Molvënn (which I'm not sure if I'm allowed link since it's not on the SRD). The item gains additional abilities in the hands of a Barbarian (much like how a Holy Avenger gains abilities in the hands of a Paladin). If a Bloodrager wielded such an item, would he be considered a Barbarian and thus gain the extra abilities, or is Bloodrager a distinct class that would have no special interaction with the item?

So, it's an established combo that Courageous (and Furious) weapons play well with barbarian Rage. I'm curious, though, about it's interaction with the Imperious sorcerer bloodline's Heroic Echo ability.

For reference, Courageous reads "This special ability can only be added to a melee weapon. A courageous weapon fortifies the wielder’s courage and morale in battle. The wielder gains a morale bonus on saving throws against fear equal to the weapon’s enhancement bonus. In addition, any morale bonus the wielder gains from any other source is increased by half the weapon’s enhancement bonus (minimum 1)."

Furious reads "This special ability can only be placed on melee weapons. A furious weapon serves as a focus for its wielder’s anger. When the wielder is raging or under the effect of a rage spell, the weapon’s enhancement bonus is +2 better than normal. If the wielder has a rage power that gives a skill bonus while raging (such as raging climber, raging leaper, or raging swimmer), the wielder gains an enhancement bonus to that skill whenever the weapon is wielded or held in her hand, even when she is not raging. This bonus is equal to the enhancement bonus of the weapon (and also includes the +2 if the wielder is raging)."

And Heroic Echo reads "At 3rd level, when you receive a morale bonus from any spell, spell-like ability, or magic item, including those you cast on yourself, that bonus increases by +1. At 9th level, this ability also applies to competence bonuses. If you receive a morale effect (or a competence effect at 9th level) that affects an area or multiple targets, as an immediate action you can share your increased bonus with all other recipients. This increase to other participants lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma bonus. You can use this ability once per day, plus one time per three levels after 3rd."

What I'm already aware of is that a barbarian wielding, say, a +2 Furious Courageous weapon would bump it up to a +4 while raging, and Courageous would bump the morale bonus of the rage up by 2 (half the enhancement bonus of the weapon)

What I'm unsure of is how that interacts with Heroic Echo. Normally, Heroic Echo only applies to bonuses granted by spells, spell-like abilities, and magic items. The barbarian rage ability is supernatural, so no interaction with Heroic Echo there.

But does the improvement on the rage from Courageous count as originating from a magic item, and thus interact with Heroic Echo? Would the raging character with the +2 Furious Courageous weapon and the Heroic Echo ability gain a +3 to Strength (+2 from Courageous, bumped up by 1 more from Heroic Echo)?

Not that +1 Strength really means a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, I'm just not sure if it works.

So, I'm going to be playing into a very high-level, high-powered game with a gestalt character and possibly including Mythic stuff, with the end goal of the campaign being that our heroes are actively working to ascend to godhood.

The character I've decided to play is a half-orc gestalt Bloodrager (Celestial)/Paladin (Chosen One), whose all about the glory of battle and stuff.

Things that are set in stone about the character: Race, classes, Paladin archetype, Bloodrager bloodline. Everything else is fair game.

It's a 30 point buy. Starting level is 18. 685,000 gp starting gold. Two traits. All current Pathfinder material is allowed, including the DSP psionics and most other third-party stuff (pending DM approval, but since the scope of this game is sort of intended to be OP, there's a fair bit of leniency).

Current design thoughts; I was thinking of using Primalist to ditch the 8th and 16th level bloodline powers to pick up the Celestial Totem rage powers and Come And Get Me. I know Celestial Totem isn't mechanically all that great, but combined with the abilities of the bloodline, I'm really a fan of the thematic idea of going from half-orc warrior to blazing angel of vengeance, complete with wings and a halo, whenever I rage. The increased healing aspect of the first Celestial Totem power also plays well with Lay On Hands.

I'm not sure whether I should be using the standard big heavy 2-handed weapon, or whether to take advantage of stacking Rage+Smite and go with TWF, either with weapons or sword and board. Either way, my goal is as much about durability (through DR, AC, saves, resistances, self-healing, etc.) as it is about damage output. I want to be a badass tank.

Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

So I recently got into a Hell's Rebels game, and it seems the perfect chance to try out a Vigilante. I really like the Warlock archetype thematically, as I've always been a fan of classes that create their own weapons or have infinite magic blasts (like Soulknife and the 3.x Warlock). Unfortunately, the general consensus seems to be that the Warlock is kinda weak.

That said, I think I've managed to come up with a sort of short-range switch hitter Warlock that, while not necessarily 'optimized', isn't entirely awful.

Human (25 point buy)
Str 12, Dex 16+2, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 10
1: Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting (Human Bonus)
2: Lethal Grace talent, retrain WF into Point Blank Shot
3: Rapid Shot
5: Weapon Focus (Starknife)
6: Returning Weapon talent
7: Martial Focus (Starknife)
9: Quick Draw
11: Ricochet Toss, retrain Returning talent for Unexpected Strike talent, retrain redundant Quick Draw for Deadly Aim
12: Arcane Striker talent
13: Ranged Feint
15: ??
17: ??
18: Cunning Feint talent
19: ??
20: ??

The idea here is in the early levels to TWF with a starknife in one hand and a bolt in the other. Lethal Grace means I won't be total garbage in the inevitable melee range. Eventually I'll be able to fling multiple bolts or a starknife plus bolts. Get a Conductive starknife so I can channel my bolt through it. Eventually I'll get Ricochet Toss, letting me get full iteratives with bolt-channeled starknife attacks, which qualify for Deadly Aim. The next level I get Arcane Striker, the same level its improvement kicks in to add specific properties to my weapon.

I basically utilize the bolts as a secondary weapon in the early levels, then turn it into a solid damage boost by channeling it through my real weapon in later levels. The multiple retrains are a bit obnoxious, but somewhat necessary given that I'll actually have to play the character through these levels.

I'm sort of grasping at what to do after that, and the only thing I could think of is the combination of Ranged Feint, Cunning Feint, and the Expose Vitals spell means you're adding a pile of Sneak Attack damage to your souped-up magical starknife thrown attacks.

Thoughts on it overall? It seems like a decent, thematic ranged option, and given that I'll also have partial Wizard casting to fall back on, it's not necessary to have the most competitive damage, just to not suck at it entirely.

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I'm designing a character for a very high level campaign (level 18) and running into some problems with skills. Namely, at what point I stop investing in one and branch out to others. Is there a practical upward limit for various given skills? Like, once I reach a given bonus is it better to invest in something else? Or should my 2+int skill points character just be REALLY good at two things and relatively terrible at everything else?

So I'm starting up a Serpent's Skull campaign for a group of 5-6 players who are entirely new not just to Pathfinder but also to tabletop RPGs. A few of them have some scattered experience with video game RPGs, but for the most part this is all new territory.

As such, I've been having a pretty major role in their character creation. Problem is, I've been playing d20 in some incarnation or another for 15 years, so my sense of what's easy to learn and play is pretty skewed. I'm trying to help them all design characters that are effective and relatively easy to play. Their build constraints are basically open material, 25 point buy, and a pretty liberal hand with house rules and minor freebies, since they're not going to be the cheesemonger players I'd normally have to limit more.

So far, we've built a half-elf ranger that's set up to progress along a generic Treantmonk switch-hitter build. It's piloted by the player with the most gaming experience, so there should be no problems there.

We've also got a halfling bard, with no archetypes. I couldn't think of much to do with her, so I had her take the Warslinger trait and Point Blank Shot and gave her proficiency with a halfling sling staff so she could at least contribute some ranged damage.

The third character built so far is an aasimar (garuda-blooded) druid. Again, no archetypes. Her first level feat is currently Celestial Servant, because she really liked the idea of a celestial panther pet. Given the racial Dex bonus, I'm tempted to also help her become a ranged fighter, but the druids lack of decent ranged weapon proficiencies limits that. I'm tempted to basically make a custom starting trait that gives her at least shortbow proficiency, given the archer nature of her celestial heritage.

The rest of the players are as of yet undecided. I'd like to nudge them towards one more martial melee character (possibly with healing ability), a primary arcane caster, and something skill-based like a rogue. Making a BSF for someone is pretty simple, but arcane casters are notoriously complex and rogueish types aren't much better.

So I'm looking for suggestions for particular class builds that are mechanically effective while being relatively simple to play. Some improvements or tweaks on the three already built characters would be nice, too.

My thoughts are maybe a paladin or melee cleric, a sorcerer (because smaller spell list means less complex gameplay), and maybe an Unchained rogue or some other class that gets trapfinding. Thoughts?

So, I'm about to start a Wrath of the Righteous campaign, and I came up with a concept that I think is both full of flavor and a potential interesting challenge for me as a player to play.

The character is a half-orc Paladin of Sarenrae, with the Redeemer and Chosen One archetypes (GM is allowing them to stack, as Chosen One just delays Smite rather than actually changes it).

The basic idea is that he was a half-orc from a nomadic tribe in Numeria, and as a youth was set upon by a demon who'd escaped the Worldwound. The demon nearly killed him, but somehow he miraculously recovered. When he awoke, he discovered that during his recovery he'd been accompanied by a small, fiery-colored bird. The bird began speaking to him, sending him thoughts of healing and redemption, and encouraging him to travel to the temple of Sarenrae in Kenabres. (This ties everything together with the campaign trait Touched By Awfulness).

So, onto the mechanics. Given the nature of the archetype and the deity, I'm trying to come up with a build that's focused more heavily on diplomacy and conflict resolution rather than outright damage. To that end, this is the basic framework I've come up with. Open to official Paizo sources, 20 point buy.

Half-orc Paladin of Sarenrae (Redeemer, Chosen One)
Str 18 (16+2 racial)
Dex 12
Con 13
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 14

Alternate racial traits: Sacred Tattoo, Burning Assurance
Character traits: Touched by Awfulness, Illuminator

Class abilities: Divine Emissary (Thrush Familiar), Religious Mentor, Monstrous Rapport

Now this is where I'm having problems deciding. As it stands, at first level I have a solid +13 Diplomacy, going up to +15 vs monstrous foes. This has tons of RP potential, though primarily limited to out of combat usefulness. I want a fluffy paladin for the fun roleplaying, but I don't want to be a complete drag in combat.

My thoughts on how to make this character more effective:

Rearrange my racial/character traits to lower my Diplomacy a bit but boost my Intimidate, then take Enforcer to let me demoralize when I do nonlethal (like when I smite enemies that aren't evil outsiders/dragons/undead)

Drop Illuminator for Blade of Mercy, so that I can always opt for nonlethal, combining it with Enforcer.

Build towards Hurtful, letting me get a swift action attack against a foe I've demoralized.

Pick up Antagonize to use either Diplomacy or Intimidate to pull enemies towards me.

Get Cornugon Smash so I can still demoralize enemies that I'm dealing lethal to.

Get the Shatter Defenses line.

I know that paladins get a super shiny magic sword in this AP, which will turn into a scimitar in my hand (though I'm going to try and see if my GM will let me make it a falchion and just say that a falchion is essentially an oversized scimitar). Since my damage output in and of itself with the weapon won't be that great, I'm probably going to lean towards some more support/utility abilities. To that end, the Marshal Mythic Path has a bunch of strong abilities that key off of Diplomacy and Intimidate, like Commanding Entrance, Menacing Presence, Persuasive Countenance, and Castigate. (I know I took the Guardian campaign trait, but it was a lot easier to tie into the concept).

I also have a familiar that can deliver my Lay On Hands to other people, and at 7th level gets the ability to shift into an Improved Familiar form. Unfortunately, my options for familiar is a bit limited for being LG. Cassissian, Silvanshee, Harbinger, Pseudodragon, or just adding the Celestial template to my thrush seem like my best options.

Thoughts and advice are welcome. :)

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So I was poking through some of the ACG feats and hit on an idea for a potentially awesome (and probably evil) slayer build based around Killing Flourish and Violent Display. So, here it is.

Human Slayer 15/Rogue (Thug) 5 (25 PB)
Str 18
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 10

(1)S1: Weapon Focus (Kukri), Dazzling Display
(2)S2: Two-Weapon Fighting (Combat Style Talent)
(3)R1: Intimidating Prowess
(4)S3: Fearsome Finish (Combat Trick talent)
(5)S4: Killing Flourish
(7)S6. Imp TWF (Combat Style Talent), Violent Display
(8)R2: Disheartening Display (Combat Trick Talent)
(9)R3: Improved Critical (Kukri)
(10)R4: Bleeding Attack Talent
(11)R5: Dastardly Finish
(13)S8: Powerful Sneak Talent, Merciless Butchery
(15)S10: Critical Focus, Assassinate Talent
(17)S12: Gruesome Slaughter, Deadly Sneak Talent
(19)S14: Not sure
(20)S15: Not sure

The idea here is to basically be as brutal and bloody as possible. You kill someone (maybe with assassinate), you demoralize them through Killing Flourish. They become shaken (and eventually also sickened).

Thug lets you bump that to frightened.

Because you used Sneak Attack or scored a critical, Violent Display triggers, letting you also use Dazzling Display.

Because you have Disheartening Display, the fear is bumped to Cowering.

Because you have Dastardly Finish/Merciless Butchery, you can now coup-de-grace the cowering targets. Potentially even as a swift action, meaning you could theoretically kill two or three in a round, each one triggering more instances of the first combination if you need it.

I think it's a fun, thematic, and potentially mechanically effective build. Thoughts?

So I'm playing a half-orc brawler in a Skull and Shackles game and trying to plan out my build. I've decided that going for a trip build is a pretty solid option, and that I really like Pummeling Style.

Which brings me to the Pummeling Bully feat. While I really like the fact that Pummeling Bully gets me a free action trip or reposition attempt at the end of my full attack, it still feels too feat intensive for an already feat-heavy character build. Chances are I'll never really want to reposition someone, but I still have to take Improved Reposition to qualify for Pummeling Bully.

As it sits, my build plan looks something like this.

1: IUS, Power Attack
2: Pummeling Style
3: Combat Expertise
5. Improved Trip, Improved Reposition
7. Pummeling Bully
8. Pummeling Charge
9. Greater Trip
11. Combat Reflexes, Vicious Stomp
13. Horn of the Criosphinx
14. Ki Throw
15. Improved Bull Rush
17. Improved Ki Throw, Improved Dirty Trick
19. Quick Dirty Trick
20. Greater Dirty Trick

This build basically doesn't really come together at any reasonable level. I mean, Martial Flexibility means I can grab a lot of these on the fly, but it's still very feat intensive. If I dropped Improved Reposition and Pummeling Bully, I'd be able to get Combat Reflexes and Greater Trip that much earlier. But then I wouldn't actually be able to trip in the same round I used Pummeling Style, which pretty much defeats the point of the build.

I'm not really sure what to do, and I'm starting to think I'm going to have to end up sacrificing part of the character idea/thematic because it just won't work out mechanically.

So I'm getting into a Skull and Shackles game in about a week, and decided I'd like to play a half-orc brawler. Problem is, I'm not really sure how to build him. I've never played an unarmed combatant before, and the ACG stuff is still pretty new in my head, so I'm not sure what the optimal direction to go for him is.

My build limitations are: Starting stat spread of 18 16 14 14 12 12, two traits (one of which must be a campaign trait), max starting gold. There's a possibility of Mythic coming in down the line, but for now I'll assume standard stuff. Allowed materials are anything official Paizo.

What I've got so far is

Jarn, half-orc Brawler 1
Str 20
Dex 16
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 12

Traits: Fate's Favored, Besmara's Blessing
Racial tweaks: Sacred Tattoo, City Raised

Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack

The race and traits are locked at this point, but everything else can be changed around. Also, I'd like to stick with a straight Brawler, none of the 2 level MoMS dip that seems to be so popular around here.

At first level, I'll probably grab a weapon like a longsword or something simple and two hand it for damage, since the motivation for unarmed combat doesn't really kick in until Flurry at level 2. From there, the build progression I had in mind is:

1. Power Attack, Improved Unarmed Strike (Bonus)
2. Pummeling Style (Bonus)
3. Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike)
5. Combat Expertise, Weapon Specialization (Unarmed Strike) (Bonus)
7. Pummeling Bully
8. Pummeling Charge (Bonus)
9. Improved Critical (Unarmed Strike)
11. Greater Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike), Combat Reflexes (Bonus)
13. Greater Weapon Specialization
14. Critical Focus (Unarmed Strike) (Bonus)
15. Martial Versatility (Unarmed Strike)
16. Martial Mastery (Unarmed Strike)
17. Counterpunch, Dazing Assault (Bonus)
19. No idea
20. No idea

My thought process with this build is to grab a lot of the basic damage and accuracy boosting feats, as well as the first feats of most major feat chains, and use Martial Flexibility to grab specific things I might need. Getting Martial Mastery later on means that those feats will then also apply to other Close weapons I use, which also get their damage boosted by Close Weapon Mastery, meaning fighting with a weapon becomes an option, even a late one.

I'm not super sure about this build, though. It seems a bit too generalized, and I might suffer from not being focused enough in a build to do much, and overly rely on Martial Flexibility. Any feedback?

So I've been running a Wrath of the Righteous game for about 4-5 sessions now, and one thing that keeps tripping me up is treasure. A lot of the encounters have loot lists, which is fine, but more and more of them are simply referencing Bestiary entries who just have "standard" or whatever listed as their treasure.

I don't have a lot of time outside of games to write up loot lists for every encounter, especially since we'll easily blow through 10-15 encounters in a session. I've tried a few "treasure generator" things online, but then I end up with odd treasure that doesn't make sense for the setting/encounter and I end up having to figure out something else anyways, which is time consuming.

Does anyone have any particular website/apps/techniques that they've found helpful for generating treasure that they could recommend? Thanks!

I was looking through feats and feat chains that might be good for Brawlers, and I came across a feat I don't see mentioned often that strikes me as particularly effective for usage with Pummeling Style.

Medusa's Wrath (Combat)
You can take advantage of your opponent's confusion, delivering multiple blows.

Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Gorgon's Fist, Scorpion Style, base attack bonus +11.

Benefit: Whenever you use the full-attack action and make at least one unarmed strike, you can make two additional unarmed strikes at your highest base attack bonus. These bonus attacks must be made against a dazed, flat-footed, paralyzed, staggered, stunned, or unconscious foe.

With Pummeling Style being all about pooling a high number of attacks into a single strike and hoping for a crit, this struck me as a potentially powerful damage boost on top of the number of attacks already available through BAB/Flurry/Haste.

But the fact the enemy needs to be debuffed got me thinking about ways you could potentially provide those debuffs yourself and ensure the extra damage.

Obviously, the previous feats in the chain help with that, but they all involve using standard actions to do so, which doesn't seem like a good action usage. So what other ways could you get those debuffs? Here's what I came up with:

Dazed: Dazing Assault: The attack penalty is a bit steep, and because Pummeling Style is all about one big hit, it'll be tricky to get in the first round, though obviously good for followups.

Flat-footed: The obvious one here is just to win in initiative and hit them with Pummeling Charge.

Paralyzed: Nothing off the top of my head.

Staggered: Staggering Critical is all I could think of, and chances are if you're a Pummeler who's crit an enemy, they're already dead.

Stunned: This one is possibly a bit easier, since Brawler can pick up Stunning Fist (though much later than monk) and get the level/uses per day. But the DC is still Wisdom based, and Brawlers aren't as motivated to stack Wisdom as monks are.

Unconscious: Brawlers actually have that covered in class abilities with Knockout, but more options wouldn't be bad. Though by the time an enemy is unconscious, you're probably not too worried about beating the crap out of them.

Any other ideas? Is this build even worth pursuing?

So I'm about to start a Skull and Shackles game with a small group (just me and one other player) that the GM is willing to make Mythic, and provide NPC crewmembers to fill out the missing party roles somewhere down the line. As all of us just got our hands on the ACG, I got really interested in the Brawler, and the other player is really interested in making a Swashbuckler.

My problem is...I have no idea how to build a Brawler. I've played plenty of martial characters, but they've always been switch-hitter Rangers or two-handed weapon fighting Fighters, Paladins, and Barbarians. I'm not really sure what direction to go, especially with the anticipation of Mythic somewhere down the line.

The build constraints are: 25 point buy, 2 traits (one of which must be campaign), open to any Paizo stuff. The GM has requested I avoid too much cheese (like everyone's favorite 2 level MoMS dip), and that I try to avoid any particularly exotic races, so I'm going to try to keep it straight brawler with core races.

My first decision I need to make is on race. Human, half-orc, and fighter all appeal to me. Half-elf is also viable, but I'm personally less interested in a half-elf pirate. Those three races have some pro's and con's I'm trying to weigh out.

Human pros: Bonus feat, +2 stat, can take either the skill points or Heart of the Sea. Access to Martial Mastery and Critical Versatility feats.
Human cons: Lack of vision enhancements

Dwarf pros: Racial stat mods and Hardy great for survivability, darkvision, Relentless and Saltbeard seem good for the campaign. Access to Steel Soul and Ironhide.
Dwarf cons: Slow without the bonus movement from a monk, no Strength boost

Half-orc pros: +2 stat, darkvision, can drop ferocity for Sacred Tattoo or Gatecrasher (maybe good for Steel-Breaker). Access to Smash and Ironhide, as well as human feats.
Half-orc cons: None I can think of

From there, I need to figure out feat choices. Pummeling Style is really strong and likely a given, especially when combined with stuff like Horn of the Criosphinx and Mythic shenanigans. But...what else?

If human, I can start off with Power Attack, Combat Expertise, and Improved Unarmed Strike at level 1, which means I have the prereqs to grab a whole lot of options with Martial Versatility. Dwarf or half-orc would likely just have power attack. But I'm not really sure where to go from there. Do I grab some combat maneuver feats? Do I grab the Weapon Focus/Specialization chain for more damage and accuracy? Do I grab Toughness and the like to boost my survivability?

It's almost embarrassing how confused I am about how to play a brawler. But I've never played any monk-like character ever, so I don't know how they actually play out in combat in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks for any advice!

So, I'm really liking the feel of the brawler class. One of the better feats for the class that also came with the ACG is the Pummeling Style chain, especially with the pseudo-pounce of Pummeling Charge.

Now, from as far as I can tell, Pummeling Style doesn't actually require you to use unarmed attacks, meaning it could potentially open up some other weapon options. The focus on charging attacks brings to mind the feat Horn of the Criosphinx, which lets you add 2x your Strength bonus to damage at the end of a charge as long as you're two-handing a two-handed weapon.

I would really like to figure out the best way to combine these. Brawler's Flurry necessitates the use of unarmed strikes, close weapons, or monk weapons. Of those, the only ones I can think of that are specifically two-handed are the quarterstaff, bayonet, seven-branched sword, monk's spade, kusarigama, kyoketsu shoge, double-chained kama, and bo staff. Most of these the brawler doesn't get proficiency with, and I'd say the seven-branched sword is the only one that might be worth spending a feat on.

The quarterstaff is a sort of iconic monk weapon. While the damage is unimpressive, it does bring the advantages/disadvantages of a double weapon, and some of the fun flavor feats, like Quarterstaff Master and Tripping Twirl.

The bayonet is sort of an awkward one, but it's the only two-handed weapon in the close group, which means it eventually becomes a candidate for Close Weapon Mastery, allowing it to gain a higher weapon dice than the quarterstaff, since it can do unarmed damage at level-4.

The seven-branched sword deals a pretty decent 1d10, and with the number of attacks that go with a full flurry, the x3 crit could potentially be pretty juicy, since you only need one confirmed crit with Pummeling Style to make the whole attack crit. It does require a feat to gain proficiency, but it's overall a solid option.

I want to build a character around one of these weapons and these feats, but I'm not sure which is best, or if I've missed something. Any thoughts?

So I know the ACG hasn't been out long, but I'm curious if people have come up with ways to optimize the Inspired Blade swashbuckler archetype. I've got a player in an upcoming Skull and Shackles campaign that really likes the idea of playing a character who's specialized in the rapier (as he's an SCA fencer IRL), but I haven't familiarized myself with the new material enough yet to really make any recommendations.

I know a lot of people are annoyed at Slashing Grace, and if I'm reading it right it doesn't really accomplish anything for a rapier-wielder, so I'm unsure how to keep damage relatively competitive. Especially since the archetype would need Str, Dex, Int, AND Cha to really optimize the class features, which is a tough stretch.

Any general suggestions or rough builds to consider?

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So I was recently in a game that started at 12th level, and allowed any material on the PFSRD, including the psionic stuff, so I figured I'd see what I could come up with. Basic rules were: 25 point buy, open race choices, standard WBL. And I ended up coming up with a Zen Archer build that I found to be frankly ridiculously overpowered in its SADness.

Race: Aasimar (Plumekith)
Class: Monk 3 (Zen Archer)/Soulknife (Soulbolt) 3/Soul Archer 6

Starting stats
Str 12
Dex 18
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 18
Cha 8

Final stats
Str 12
Dex 18
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 27
Cha 8

AC 28 (higher with MV/MA)(+10 fighting defensively)
Saves 11/16/19
BAB +11/+5/+1

(1)SK 1 : Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Wild Talent
(2)Monk 1: Improved Unarmed Strike, Perfect Strike, Rapid Shot
(3)Monk 2: Psionic Shot, Far Shot, Weapon Focus (Mindbolt)
(4)Monk 3: Point Blank Master, (Zen Archery)
(5)SK 2 : Deadly Aim, (Focused Offense blade skill)
(6)SK 3 : (Psychic Strike, Enhanced Mind Blade)
(7)SA 1 : Intuitive Shot, Fighter's Blade, (Focused Defense blade skill)
(8)SA 2 : Manyshot
(9)SA 3 : Greater Intuitive Shot, (Freezing Bolt bladeskill)
(10)SA 4 :
(11)SA 5 : Hawkeye, (Mind Shield bladeskill)
(12)SA 6 : (Reflexive Shot)

The beauty of this build is that you're using Wisdom for attack and damage with your mindbolts, and Greater Intuitive Shot lets you expend your focus to add Wisdom to your damage rolls a second time when full attacking. At level 12, you'd have a BAB of 11/6/1, plus the iterative attacks from Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and any Haste effects, allowing you to pump out 6 shots in a round, each doing 1d8+Wis+DA+enhancements+1 in damage.

Wisdom also adds to the other obvious things, like AC, Perception, Will saves, and even your AC a second time should you need to be fighting defensively. You also threaten in melee with both your unarmed attacks (which use Wisdom for attack and damage while focused) and your ranged attacks, and don't provoke for firing in melee, letting you get really close to the action.

WBL for level 12 is 108k. Invest in a Crystal Bow +2 (44.8k), Headband of Wisdom +6 (36k), Cloak of Resistance +3 (9k), Amulet of Natural Armor +2 (8k), Ring of Protection +2 (8k), and a Handy Haversack. By this level, you should be able to bum a Magic Vestment or a Mage Armor from party members. If you want to downgrade the Crystal Bow to only a +1, you get another 33.6k to play around with, to possibly upgrade your other defensive items, maybe grab some Bracers of Armor or Bracers of Archery.

Fighter's Blade means the monk levels and the first level of Soul Archer won't count against your Enhanced Mind Bolt progression, so you'll have a free +5 weapon. I recommend Seeking and Holy for some of your enhancements. Linked Striking is also the best option for tearing apart a single target. The boost from the Crystal Bow means you could have a +1 (or +2) Seeking Holy Linked Striking Mindbolt

This means that a Hasted full attack action, at a single evil target, expending your focus for Intuitive shot and Psychic Strike, would be at: +18 (2d8+2d8+4d6+42)/+20 (1d8+4d6+27)/+20 (1d8+4d6+27)/+15 (1d8+4d6+27)/+10 (1d8+4d6+27). That's a lot of damn dice.

And this isn't one of those builds that's only good at higher levels. Starting from level 1, you're a perfectly solid archer with infinite ammo and a free weapon, and you only get better, especially once you hit level 7 and start adding Wisdom to damage rolls.

The build as a whole is also kinda thematic, as monks and psionics can share similar themes, and using Wisdom to guide your mindbolts into hitting harder and more accurately is pretty awesome. Thoughts?

So I've been GMing a Wrath of the Righteous game for a couple sessions now, and one of my players is getting consistently frustrated in combat. He's playing a gnome blue dragon blooded sorcerer, and likes to fill his spell list with the core 'blaster' spells (Burning Hands, Shocking Grasp, etc).

Problem is, a lot of the enemies in the AP are demons, which are generally resistant to acid, cold, and fire, and flat out immune to electricity (the type associated with his bloodline). So in most combats, he's just sort of resorted to grumpily plinking away at enemies with his crossbow while the greatweapon wielding paladin has a merry time smiting things.

I've tried to nudge him to maybe consider summoning other monsters, or grabbing some other conjuration spells for battlefield control rather than blasting, but he really seems to want to sling some damaging spells, as flashy damage spells was a big part of the draw for the player (who's new to Pathfinder).

Do I just flat out remove the elemental resistances from the demons? Considering that's part of their CR, would I have to buff them in other ways to compensate? Should I come up with a way to let him change damage types of his spells? I'm sort of lost on how to handle it, I just hate seeing how disappointed he looks when he sees we're fighting more demons, when that's supposed to be the highlight of the campaign.

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

My question is; does the Gunslinger's Gun Training class feature stack with the Trench Fighter archetypes Trench Warfare? Specifically, the +Dex to damage.

d20pfsrd wrote:

Gun Training (Ex)

Starting at 5th level, a gunslinger can select one specific type of firearm (such as an axe musket, blunderbuss, musket, or pistol). She gains a bonus equal to her Dexterity modifier on damage rolls when firing that type of firearm. Furthermore, when she misfires with that type of firearm, the misfire value of that firearm increases by 2 instead of 4. Every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), the gunslinger picks up another type of firearm, gaining these bonuses for those types as well.

d20pfsrd wrote:

Trench Warfare (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, a trench fighter can select one specific type of firearm (such as a machine gun, revolver, or rifle). He gains a bonus equal to his Dexterity modifier on damage rolls when firing that type of firearm. Every 4 levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), the trench fighter picks up another type of firearm, gaining these bonuses for those types as well. Furthermore, when behind partial, normal, or improved cover, a trench fighter gains an additional +2 AC bonus from the cover.

This ability replaces armor training 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The abilities are worded very similarly, but have different names and are thus different abilities. Would a Gunslinger 5/Trench Fighter 3 who'd chosen pistols as his weapon of choice get 2x Dex to damage rolls with pistols?

So, I'm about to start a Council of Thieves game and have elected to play a fetchling ninja, as there is some interesting mechanical and flavor aspects to such. I figure him to be a sort of 'shadow assassin', doing the dirty work of the rebellion.

My problem is, I can't really figure out how I want to build him. Ostensibly, the same way you'd build a normal rogue, but that seems a bit boring. I'd like to play up his shadow ties, but I'm not necessarily sure how to go about it. Moonlight Stalker chain? Gloom Strike? Though feat intensive builds aren't a rogues best friend.

25 point buy, two traits, all available Paizo material (no third party). Here's what I was thinking. I might be able to convince my GM to allow some of the more thematically appropriate traits available to tieflings (like Shadow Stabber).

Str 13
Dex 16+2
Con 12
Int 13
Wis 12-2
Cha 14+2

Traits: Shadow Stabber, Conspiracy Hunter

Level 1: Weapon Finesse
Level 2: Vanishing Trick
Level 3: Blind-Fight
Level 4: Combat Trick: Combat Expertise
Level 5: Moonlight Stalker
Level 6: Pressure Points
Level 7: Moonlight Stalker Feint
Level 8: Shadow Clone
Level 9: Moonlight Stalker Master
Level 10: Assassinate

This character is set up to do solo work. The idea being to get the drop on opponents in total darkness (likely through a magic item if needed) and assassinate them. With low-light vision, darkvision, Stealth, the Shadow Walk SLA, and Vanishing Trick, I should be able to get anywhere to take out a target.

Any thoughts?

So I was poking around the ARG and came across something potentially interesting in the Aasimar racial feats.

Celestial Servant
Rather than being a normal animal or beast, your
companion or familiar hails from the heavenly realms.
Prerequisites: Aasimar, animal companion, familiar,
or mount class feature.
Benefit: Your animal companion, familiar, or mount
gains the celestial template and becomes a magical beast,
though you may still treat it as an animal when using
Handle Animal, wild empathy, or any other spells or
class abilities that specifically affect animals

How, exactly, does that improve your companion? Well, according to the Bestiary, the Magical Beast type grants:
d10 hit dice
Full BAB progression
Low-Light vision
Good Fort and Reflex saves.

On top of that, the Celestial template adds:
Smite Evil 1/day
Resist Cold, Acid, Electricity 5 (scaling up at 5, 11 HD)
Spell resistance
DR/evil starting at 5 hit dice.

That's a pretty hefty bonus over a standard animal companion with just one feat.

Now, humans have another interesting racial feat.


You are an expert trainer of horses, hounds, falcons, or hunting cats.

Prerequisites: Handle Animal 1 rank; either the animal companion, divine bond (mount), or mount class feature; human.

Benefit: If you have the animal companion class feature, pick one of the following types of animal companions that this feat affects: bird, dog, small cat, or horse. If you have the divine bond (mount) or mount class feature, this feat always affects horses. You gain a +2 bonus on Handle Animal and Knowledge (nature) checks with creatures of that type of animal. Furthermore, you are treated as one level higher when determining the abilities of your animal companion or mount, as long as it is of the chosen type.

Aasimar can take the Scion of Humanity racial trait and qualify for this feat.

Now who can take advantage of this?

Given the whole divine theme of the Aasimar race, my thought jumped to Oracle. The Agathion-blooded Aasimar seems the perfect fit, with +2 Con, +2 Charisma, Handle Animal and Survival racial skill bonuses, and Summon Nature's Ally II as an SLA. They're a great fit for a Nature oracle. Aasimar also have the favored class option to increase their effective level for a specific revelation by 1/2.

So, at level 4, an Aasimar nature oracle with the Bonded Mount revelation, the Huntmaster and Celestial Servant feats, and the racial favored class option applied to Bonded Mount will have an effective druid level of 7 for their magical horse, with its d10 hit dice and full BAB progression. It's like a rideable fighter at that point.

Is this worth playing, or just a silly build?

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My question is exactly that. Specifically, the interaction between Throw Anything and the Alchemical Weapon ability of the Grenadier archetype.

Throw Anything
All alchemists gain the Throw Anything feat as a bonus feat at 1st level. An alchemist adds his Intelligence modifier to damage done with splash weapons, including the splash damage if any. This bonus damage is already included in the bomb class feature.

Alchemical Weapon
At 2nd level, a grenadier can infuse a weapon or piece of ammunition with a single harmful alchemical liquid or powder, such as alchemist’s fire or sneezing powder, as a move action. This action consumes the alchemical item, but transfers its effect to the weapon in question.

The alchemical item takes full effect on the next creature struck by the weapon, but does not splash, spread, or otherwise affect additional targets. Any extra damage added is treated like bonus dice of damage, and is not doubled on a critical hit. The alchemical treatment causes no harm to the weapon treated, and wears off 1 minute after application if no blow is struck.

So if I were to infuse, say, an acid flask (a splash weapon) into my arrow and fire it, would it gain the +Intelligence damage modifier from Throw Anything, despite the fact it no longer splashes? The fact that Throw Anything says 'if any' in regards to the splash damage makes me think it works with splash weapons that don't splash.

So, I've got a chance to play a 13th level character in a new campaign, and decided I wanted to play a halfling rogue.

My goal was a competent two-weapon fighter who is capable of consistently gaining flanking, can put out significant damage, and is still able to do all the things expected of the party rogue. This is what I came up with.

(20 point buy, 140,000g starting gold)

Strength : 10 (+0) 12 point buy - 2 racial + 0 level + 0 misc
Dexterity : 26 (+8) 17 point buy + 2 racial + 3 level + 4 misc
Constitution : 12 (+1) 12 point buy + 0 racial + 0 level + 0 misc
Intelligence : 13 (+1) 13 point buy + 0 racial + 0 level + 0 misc
Wisdom : 10 (+0) 10 point buy + 0 racial + 0 level + 0 misc
Charisma : 12 (+1) 10 point buy + 2 racial + 0 level + 0 misc

Racial Abilities and Features
Keen Senses
Halfling Luck
Fleet of Foot

Improved Evasion
Improved Uncanny Dodge
Sneak Attack +7d6
Trap Sense +4
Rogue Talents
Finesse Rogue
Combat Trick (Improved Two-Weapon Feint)
Trap Spotter
Advanced Rogue Talents
Crippling Strike
Unwitting Ally

Trait #1 : Dirty Fighter
Trait #2 : Fast Talker

Level 1 Feat : Two-Weapon Fighting
Bonus Feat : Weapon Finesse
Level 3 Feat : Weapon Focus (Short Sword)
Level 5 Feat : Combat Expertise
Level 7 Feat : Gang Up
Level 9 Feat : Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Bonus Feat : Improved Two-Weapon Feint
Level 11 Feat: Extra Rogue Talent (Unwitting Ally)
Level 13 Feat: Combat Reflexes

Armor : Shadowed Celestial Armor
Belt : Belt of Incredible Dexterity +4
Body :
Chest :
Eyes : Eyes of the Eagle
Feet : Boots of Elvenkind
Hands : Trapspringer's Gloves
Head :
Headband : Circlet of Persuasion
Neck : Amulet of Natural Armor +2
Ring #1 : Ring of Protection +2
Ring #2 :
Shield :
Shoulders : Cloak of Resistance +2
Wrists :

Weapon : Menacing Adamantine Sword of Subtlety +1 (+20/+15, 1d4+1)
Weapon : Mimetic Mithril Sword of Subtlety +1 (+20/+15, 1d4+1)
Weapon : Masterwork Shortbow (+19, 1d4)

When flanking, attack routine is: +28/+28/+23/+23, 1d4+7d6+6

With this build, I have high accuracy, solid damage, decent AC, decent saves, consistent ways of flanking (particularly if the GM lets me use Gang Up + Unwitting Ally for positional shenanigans), and a decent chance at feinting for those times that I can't get flanking. I also excel at the expected rogue skills (+35 to Disable Device, +31 to Stealth, +23 Perception that goes up to +29 vs traps).

Anything I'm missing?

So, I have the opportunity to play a high level character, and I ended up choosing to play a cleric. Mulling through concepts, I settled on a battle cleric of Gorum.

My problem is, I'm not entirely sure how to make one. I've got some of the basics figured out, but I'm torn on where to go with certain directions. I've read through a couple guides, but I'm still not sure.

The build rules are level 15, 28 point buy, two traits, any official Pathfinder material. 240,000 gold, but if I have an item creation feat I can save 30k gold for that type of item. My character concept is pretty much settled on a human born to crusaders in Mendev, so he grew up fighting demons from the Worldwound.

For the mechanical stuff, I know that Power Attack is important, heavy armor is a good thing and fitting for a Gorumite, and that maxing Strength and my hit is important.

But I'm not quite sure of stuff like domains, ideal stat spreads, any other feat chains to pursue, etc. I'm pretty much the only divine character in the group (beyond the multiclassed rogue/paladin), so being able to heal in a pinch is nice.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

So, after flipping through Orcs of Golarion and Ultimate Combat, a character concept came to me.

Basically, it's a half-orc alchemist of the Steel Eaters tribe. As his tribe owns and runs ancient dwarven forges, he specializes in the production and development of new weaponry.

From a mechanical standpoint, I'm thinking of ranged alchemist, focusing on his bombs. It will really start to come together at level 4 when I can pick up the Explosive Rocket discovery and fire the bombs with a crossbow or firearm.

The general mental image that's inspiring this build is a somewhat modern-looking half-orc, decked out with bandoliers of grenades, multiple guns/rocket launchers, possible usage of chemical warfare, a fondness for high explosives, things along those lines.

Think a bit along the lines of a Warhammer 40k Ork, or the orcs from the book Grunts for any of you who may have read it.

To keep things simple, assume standard 20 point buy, open to all official Pathfinder material. 2 traits, max hp, max money at 1st level. I don't necessarily need a full 20 level build, but at least 5-6 levels and some guidelines for progression would be excellent.

Thanks for any ideas you may come up with :)

So after looking over the Called Shots stuff in UC, I had an idea for an archery build. Unlike most others, this one isn't about optimizing damage, but about doing cool things with his arrows. A basic build to level 12, 20 point buy.

Trickshot McGee, Human Fighter 12 (Archery archetype)

Str 14
Dex 18
Con 12
Int 13
Wis 12
Cha 8

1st: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot
2nd: Agile Maneuvers
3rd: Combat Expertise
4th: Improved Called Shot
5th: Weapon Focus (Longbow)
6th: Manyshot
7th: Greater Called Shot
8th: Clustered Shots
9th: Greater Weapon Focus (Longbow)
10th: Snap Shot
11th: Combat Reflexes
12th: Improved Snap Shot

This is without magic items or anything, but the basic concept is that rather than just pump arrows of death into things, he focuses on called shots and combat maneuvers, to debuff and control enemies. So he can do things like shoot the sword out of an enemies hand, then stick an arrow through his neck.

Magic items would focus more on accuracy than damage, since they increase the chances to land maneuvers and called shots. So pumping Dex as quickly as possible, giving the weapon a straight enhancement bonus(instead of fiery or anything), and picking up Bracers of Archery asap.

Any thoughts/suggestions? Note that I'm not really looking to optimize damage. I accept that the damage will be mediocre at best.

I'm contemplating making a cavalier, and I'm wondering if there's anything in the new Ultimate Combat feats that would be interesting choices for animal companions. Assume that the companion has an Intelligence of 3+, so any feats are fair game.

There's one of the style feats that lets you use unarmed strike abilities with natural attacks, but beyond that I'm not sure if there's any interesting combinations.

Any ideas?

So, I had a concept for a scimitar-wielding Monk follower of Sarenrae (going with a Dervish Dancer build). But the problem is, the scimitar is not a monk weapon, so I wouldn't be able to flurry with it. Is there any way to let me add a weapon to the list of flurry-able weapons? Feats, traits, archetypes, magic items, whatever, I'm just curious if there's options out there to expand my weapon options.

Exactly that. Can I use the Combat Maneuver aspect of Telekinesis to Bull Rush myself? Or the object lifting aspect to lift myself? Or the fling aspect to fling myself?

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

So, I was building myself a Lore Oracle, and a question popped into my head involving the interaction between the Lore Keeper revelation and the Circlet of Persuasion

Lore Keeper (Ex): Instead of encyclopedic knowledge, you learn most of your information through tales, songs, and poems. You may use your Charisma modifier instead of your Intelligence modifier on all Knowledge checks.


Circlet of Persuasion
This silver headband grants a +3 competence bonus on the wearer's Charisma-based checks.

Does Lore Keeper essentially modify Knowledge skills to be Charisma-based for the Oracle, and thus able to benefit from the Circlet of Persuasion?

So the rules for the usage of Handle Animal on animal companions with a 2 Intelligence are pretty straightforward, and many people bump up their companions Intelligence to 3, but what about exceptionally intelligent companions?

For example, a 9th level Human Paladin with a bonded mount and the Eye for Talent alternate racial trait. If he applied the racial trait to the companion's Intelligence (which is base 6 for paladin mounts), then applied both ability score increases to Intelligence, you'd have a mount with an Intelligence of 10, more intelligent than a good number of fighters out there. You could add a headband and get even higher.

By that point, the creature has pretty much unarguably reached the level of sentience. Would you still need to use Handle Animal to 'push' your companion into something he didn't want to do, or would Diplomacy become the way to deal with social interactions with your companion?

My question is about exactly what it says in the subject. Magical Lineage allows you to treat one spell as 1 level lower for purposes of metamagic. Merciful Spell has a 0 level adjustment, meaning a 1st level Merciful spell for which you had Magical Lineage would become a 0-level spell, thus becoming usable at-will.

While that would be pretty straightforward for something like, say, Magic Missile, my question has to do with Cure/Inflict Light Wounds.

Since either of them could be considered damage dealing spells, depending on the target, would they be viable candidates for Merciful Spell? And if they were, how would it affect them? The damage types would remain the same, so they'd still be Positive/Negative energy, and thus affect their respective targets the same way. But is there a rule or precedent for saying a metamagic feat can't be applied to a spell if it's used in a certain way, or that it has no effect if used in a certain way?

Barring anybody pointing out any rules I may have missed, it seems one way to gain unlimited healing/damage, depending on your target.

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So, after seeing the Gift of Tongues and Magical Linguist alternate racial traits for gnomes, I got myself an idea for a gnome sorcerer who focuses almost entirely on either glyph and/or language dependent spells. Alternately, it could be an Oracle of Lore.

The problem is, on at least a cursory examination of the wizard/sorcerer and cleric spell lists, there are surprisingly few spells with the Language Dependent descriptor.

The ones I was able to find:


Forbid Action



Lesser Geas

Greater Command
Greater Forbid Action





That's it. Looking across two of the largest spell lists, for a grand total of 7 spells with the language-dependent descriptor? Am I missing something?

So, around here we tend to see a number of optimization guides, the large majority of them focusing on how much DPR a character can pump out.

However, there are some mechanical aspects of the game that often tend to be merely an afterthought in guides like that, skills being one of them. So, in light of this, I decided to create a challenge. Instead of optimizing DPR, I want you to optimize skills.

Now, given the number of skills in the game, it would be impossible for a character to be awesome at all of them. So, each build presented should focus on a primary skill or a subset of skills. Ideally, each build should also be a viable (if not entirely optimized) character capable of being more than dead weight in a party when their skill isn't involved. Being PFS legal is always a plus.

So, here's the general rules.
Level 12. 20 point buy. 2 traits. No non-Core races. Open source to all official Pathfinder splat books. Standard wealth by level for a level 12 (108,000g). No more than 1/3 of your wealth spent on a single item. Magic items with limited uses per day as well as spells are allowed, but no abuse of purchased consumables (though they can be noted if you so wish).

Please, break down your various modifiers to a given skill, and list any conditional bonuses seperately from static bonuses.

Let's see what you've got :)

So I was thinking up an alchemist, when a question occurred to me; if I use a polymorph spell (like Beast Shape), do I keep my vestigial arm discovery?

Polymorph says that you lose any abilities of your old form, but calls out as exceptions things that allow you add abilities, like a sorcerer growing claws. Is vestigial arm, being an addition based on a class feature rather than a function of your race, one of those exceptions?

So while working out a druid build, I stumbled across something that might be quite potent. Basically, the interaction between the Animal Growth and Strong Jaw spells with the Improved Natural Attack feat.

In this example, say I have a Large tiger companion. He has a bite attack that does 1d8 damage. Improved Natural Attack would bump that up to 2d6, as if he were Huge. I now cast Animal Growth on him, he is now actually Huge, meaning his attack does 2d8 damage, as if he were Gargantuan. Now I cast Strong Jaw on him, which increases his damage by two size categories, with the extra effect that if he is already Gargantuan or Colossal, his natural attack damage is DOUBLED. Since his natural attacks are the equivalent to that of a Gargantuan creature, and Strong Jaw would push his attacks an effective size category above Colossal, is his natural attack damage doubled?

So I was flipping through UM and noticed the Theologian cleric archetype. Its focus on a single domain seemed interesting, and the spontaneous domain casting and free metamagic's on a certain spell of choice (from a list of metamagic) seemed potentially useful. But the list of free metamagics seems somewhat lackluster, and off the top of my head I can't think of any specific domains that would really make this archetype powerful, or domain spells that would benefit greatly from being always Stilled, Silent, Ectoplasmic, Extended, Intensified, Focused, Enlarged, Disruptive, or Bouncing.

The only domain I can think of where a higher effective cleric level would be most potent is the Animal domain, for the ability to have a companion at effective druid level +2.

Any other powerful or interesting combinations?

For an upcoming game, I decided to play a Magus going into Arcane Archer. So, here's the build I came up with to level 20.

21 point buy, open to all Pathfinder material, 2 traits.

Edriel Calirian, Elf Magus 10/Arcane Archer 10

Str 20 (Base 14, Belt +6)
Dex 34 (Base 16 +2 Racial + 5 level + 5 tome + 6 belt)
Con 18 (Base 14 -2 Racial +6 Belt)
Int 26 (Base 14 + 2 racial + 6 headband + 4 tome)
Wis 10
Cha 7

Traits: Heirloom Weapon, Magical Knack
1: Point Blank Shot
3: Precise Shot
5: Rapid Shot, Deadly Aim
7: Weapon Focus (Longbow)
9: Manyshot
11: Weapon Specialization (Longbow)
13: Improved Precise Shot
15: Improved Familiar (Mephit)
17: Arcane Strike
19: Extra Arcana (Wand Mastery)

Arcana: Arcane Accuracy, Familiar, Spell Blending (Gravity Bow, Arrow Eruption)

The defensive and stat boost items would be pretty standard, so what I'll focus on here is offensive output. The base weapon would be a +1 Seeking Axiomatic Anarchic Corrosive Burst Flaming Burst Composite Longbow (+5 Strength rated)

Greater Magic Weapon would make it a +6 weapon. Arcane Pool would add Thundering and Shocking Burst. Arcane Archer would add Distance, Icy Burst, and Holy to each arrow.

You would have a BAB of 17/12/7/2. With Rapid Shot, Manyshot, and Haste you would fire off 7 shots in a round.

Each shot would do: 1d10 + 6 (enhancement) + 10 (Deadly Aim) + 5 (Arcane Strike) + 2 (Weapon specialization) + 5 (strength)+ 1 (Greater Bracers of Archery) +1d6 frost + 1d6 acid +1d6 electricity + 2d6 fire (flaming burst, Fire Arrow). Against, say, a chaotic evil enemy you would deal an extra 4d6 from alignment damage.

Average damage per shot: 61, assuming no resistance. Average damage on a critical goes up to 166, from an x3 crit weapon and all the Burst qualities.

Other fun tactics include having your familiar use UMD to cast the spell into an arrow to use Imbue Arrow, letting you fire the imbued arrow as part of a full attack.

Now, what about accuracy? Your attack bonus would be: 17 (base) + 12 (Dexterity) + 6 (Magic) + 1 (WF) +1 (Haste) + 2 Bracers of Archery - 2 (Rapid Shot) - 5 (Deadly Aim) = an attack routine of +36/+36/+36/+31/+26/+21. If fighting a tough to hit enemy, you can use your swift action for Arcane Accuracy instead of Arcane Strike, for a +9 to hit for each shot.

So an average full-round attack would be... 427 damage (assuming no resistances, no crits, and an evil-aligned enemy).

You also have the other spell options of a 17th level Magus, with a caster level of 20.

So, thoughts? I'm not sure how such a build would compare to other builds at level 20, but it seems pretty solid. And being able to get a weapon with an effective enhancement bonust of +20 is downright absurd.

It could also be made as Human, and the extra feat would allow you to use Rapid Shot by level 3 (which is quite nice)

So I was looking over the Arcane Archer PrC when I noticed that the spell progression simply states "+1 level of existing class." It does not specify that it has to be an arcane class, unlike Dragon Disciple which explicitly states arcane spell progression.

So, does that mean that you could advance divine spellcasting with AA? An Oracle, Cleric, or Inquisitor could easily take a 1 level dip in Bard or Magus to meet the arcane spellcasting requirements to enter the class, then just continue with their divine spellcasting while raining arrows of death. That might also open up some interesting Imbue Arrow options unavailable to arcane casters.

Is this legit?

I came up with a challenge I want to put out to you optimizers out there.

The general premise is this: There are 18 different base classes. The 11 Core classes, plus Alchemist, Antipaladin, Cavalier, Inquisitor, Magus, Oracle, Summoner, and Witch.

I want to see how well you can optimize a character who takes only one level of every single base class. To fill in the level gap, mix in two PrCs, but only a level of each one.

For the sake of simplicity, a few rules to this challenge. First, ignore favored class bonuses entirely. Second, ignore any alignment restrictions for the class.

Level 20, 25 point buy, open to all Pathfinder material. Standard wealth for a level 20 character (880,000g)

I look forward to seeing what you can come up with :)

I've recently started a new campaign, and I'm likely going to play a Magus going for Arcane Archer (a sort of arcane switch hitter). My GM has allowed a few limited bits of 3.5 stuff, and one of the questions I had involved the interaction of the Elvencraft weapon modification from Races of the Wild and the Staff Magus archetypes Quarterstaff Defense ability.

The Elvencraft ability allows me to treat my longbow as a quarterstaff, allowing me to attack with it in melee, and even attack interchangeably with melee and ranged attacks during a full attack. It does state specifically that the item must be enchanted as a weapon separately from the bow enhancements, but as a magus I have access to an arcane pool, which makes that not a huge issue.

So what I'm wondering is, would I get the shield bonus from my bow, since it's considered both a quarterstaff and a longbow? The only contention I can think of is that using it as a longbow means I'm not technically 'wielding' it as a quarterstaff, but wouldn't it only be a free action to shift my grip on the weapon?

Another possibly interesting usage of an Elvencraft bow would involve making it into a magic staff (such as a Staff of Fire). Since the two aspects of the weapon are enchanted separately, it seems like it would work.


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