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33 posts. Organized Play character for Golo.

So in building a melee character for either the adventure path or Starfinder society the max level is 12. So I would like to focus on the playable levels 3-12. Having an awesome AC or other defenses at level 15 or 20 does not help this character.

I'm defining a tank build as a pc that can stand in melee a long time without help and keep the npcs off the ranged party members as much as possible. Its more of a defensive build than a dps build. There is enough dps in the party already.

Build goals
1 Bad guys on average need to roll 15+ to hit
2 High Stamina/ HP
3 high DR or Resistances.
4 Enough melee damage to not be ignored. This is not a max melee damage build.

Class ideally soldier, solarion or exo-cortex mechanic but I'm open if there is a better option. I'm open to light, heavy or powered armor.

Due to party composition and flavor it would be ideal if is a Vesk or Ysoki but I'm open to any of the non-AA races as our GM isn't allowing any AA races at this time. However if there is an awesome AA option I may be able to swing it.

Its possible that High AC is not really possible or achievable. In that case I would rather have High DR/Resistance and Stamina to last through the fight.

I understand that many saving throws are going to be failed and accept that as likely so don't be too concerned about saving throws this is more about melee toughness and tankiness. If there is room I'm totally down for taking iron will etc but I'm more focused right now on the tankiness aspect of it.

Please cancel my pathfinder roleplaying game subscription.
Thank you.

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Part One

We play tested Sanctum of a Lost Age. Our Party consisted of five level 7 characters. We used 20 pt builds PFS rules and 23,500gp

First off if you have not played Sanctum of a lost age it was pretty cool. I liked the module/dungeon crawl. It was well written and enjoyable.

In our party we had two front liners a Swashbuckler and a Slayer. The Swashbuckler used an Agile Rapier, and the Slayer used an adamantine Greatsword. We had two archers an inquisitor and a shaman and another Shaman who was more of a blaster.

I will invite the team and DM to add in their thoughts as well. I will share my observations focusing mostly on the Shaman as that is what I played.

Half-Orc Swashbuckler – At this level he did extremely well he seemed to hit very hard and very reliably on his first hit. He was very optimized and it showed. However early on he had a bad string with no crits and no kills so that his panache was not re-filling. However, that changed after the first few fights and his rolls warmed up. This seemed like a very strong class. To me it seemed crazy that they got improved crit for free at 5th level.

Half-Orc Slayer – Our slayer did an all around build. He had no bad stats, power attack and deadly aim so he could switch hit. At this level he had no magic weapons which was problematic in one encounter. However, usually he did enough damage that it didn’t matter too much. He and the Swashbuckler did some good team work to keep things in flank. When he could sneak attack his damage was on par with the swashbuckler. He invested quite a bit in skills and I think if the class had 6 skill points it would have been easier for him to spend less points on his int and charisma. Overall this seems like quite a capable class, as long as they can get the sneak attack in they can do great damage.

Half-Elf Investigator – This class is crazy knowledgeable. Our investigator started with 18 int and spent all her inspirations talents on increasing her skill abilities. She knew everything. She used all her feats for Archery and was an ok archer. We talked a lot about sneak attack and were conflicted if it really worked well as a mechanic for the feel of Investigator. We really felt that she should be using this knowledge to help herself and even others hit harder, more accurately and with precision. It does need something about as damaging as sneak attack but that could come from some kind of monster lore like ability. After identifying a creature you get level to damage and int to attack that creature or type of creature. Make it a move action and then later a swift or free action, something using their highly deductive mind to strike with precision to disable creatures quickly.

Elf Shaman – Lore and Fire the “Blaster” Shaman. This was a pretty effective blaster. He had access to good “hexes” the Mind probe was fun and worked well. As a Druid he also had quite a few battle field control spells. He had very low physical scores but all of his mental scores were quite high. Lore seems really potent for abilities and extremely situational spells. I think it was a pretty successful caster at 7th level.

Human Shaman – Battle and Life the “Archer/healer”. I took battle and life because of their spirit abilities and my role was “healer”. While I didn’t let anyone die I found that cure moderate as a 3rd level spell is awful. So I relied on cure light my 4 channels and archery. What I found is I was stretched too thin ability wise. I wanted to hit with my bow and have some channeling and healing/buffing. It turns out that other than Barkskin there are not a lot of buff spells for druids for other people at low level. No Bless, No Prayer, no Blessing of Fervor. Our whole team missed these kind of spells terribly. I like playing “support casters” and found that I was not enjoying the druid spell list for this role. I also found that now that I had the druid spell list a lot of the Spirit magic spell slots for the more blasty spirits looked more redundant. The only battle spell I used was Wall of fire, while I ended up using all of the life ones at some point including restoration after the fight with the ghost tiger. I was a pretty poor archer even with 18 dex and a +1 bow (+1 str). I really did not like most of the Hexes available and one of them was duplicated between Life and Battle. With not being able to spontaneously cast heal spells I had to pre pare them which after playing clerics and oracles seemed painful. There should be a healing hex that allows you to spontaneously cast some heals as a cleric. In general I felt that the hexes were weaker than a witches and because my primary casting is wisdom that charisma to uses or number of times per day was not as strong as revelations. During the Behir fight and the Necromancer/dire lion fight I was having a problem keeping people alive and ran out of healing spell prepared and channels, the only reason we lived was the battle healing lesser spirit ability or I would have lost the slayer twice. As it is we nearly burned a wand of cure light wounds out of combat for this module I think we used 38 charges. Aqueous Orb from the other shaman saved our life in the necromancer and the flesh golem fight.

At this point in the play test I would really like to see the cleric list re-instated. While I love the battlefield control and damage abilities of the Druid more than the cleric’s list I felt the lack of buff spells and heal spells very keenly. I think however, our blaster/control shaman may disagree as he performed his role a lot better than I did mine. However, this could be fixed with better life spirit abilities and Hexes. Let the greater spirit ability be spontaneously cast cure spells and then I think I would not feel so bad. Also if there were abilities like the lore’s ability to add sorcerer/wizards spells to their list. To add some cleric/wizard something group buffing in that would be good. The druid is awesome at buffing animals and animal companions but we don’t have those. So there is a good portion of the druid spell list that really does not fit us thematically.

Also I did not like that hex uses were based on charisma, the witches are unlimited use (other than once per person). The life spirit channel ability should be 3+ cha or 1+ Wisdom. I felt too MAD to successfully be a “Battle” shaman. I don't think I used a life or battle hex the entire module as I always had better options with spells or shooting my bow.

The group I play with is starting Rise of the Rune Lords anniversary edition campaign and I am planning on playing a bard. Our party consists of an Ancient Lorekeeper Oracle of Time, Evoker Admixture Wizard, Two-handed Fighter, Melee Inquisitor and myself a bard. We expect to get to about 18th level by the end of the adventure path. I'm Focusing on Super Buffing ... am I missing anything good?

I plan on going with a human bard with the following stats with human bonus in Charisma.
Str 14, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16

As I level up I will put my bonus stats in Charisma. I will take the alternate race feature Focused Study for the skill focus feats at 1, 8 and 16. I'm going to take the human favored class bonus of extra spells known.

I plan on using a long spear and fighting from behind the Inquisitor and fighter. I also want a reach weapon because I plan to have the Flagbearer feat and get or make a Banner of the Ancient Kings.

I am going to take the Pitax: Academy of Grand Arts and Sound Striker archetypes. With the plans to take eldritch heritage Imperious Bloodline which gives two great abilities for a bard.

Imperious Bloodline Gives


Heroic Echo (Su): 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.


Heroic Legends (Su): At 15th level, you may inspire greatness or inspire heroics as a bard of your sorcerer level by sacrificing a spell slot as a swift or move action. The effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the sacrificed spell's level; this duration is doubled for human recipients.

So the build will look like the following

Human Bard 18 - Sound Striker and "Focused Performer"
Traits Reactionary, Eager Performer (campaign trait)
1) Bard – Flagbearer +1, Skill focus (Perform Oratory) Inspire Courage +1
2) Bard – Extra Performance (Oratory)
3) Bard – Word Strike, Arcane Strike
4) Bard –
5) Bard – Master Performer – Inspire courage +3
6) Bard – Weird Words
7) Bard – Eldritch Heritage (Imperious) – "Student of Humanity"
8) Bard – Skill Focus (Diplomacy) – Extra Perform Oratory
9) Bard – Grand Master Performer Inspire Courage +4
10) Bard – Masterpiece Life Budding in Salted Earth (3rd level spell known)
11) Bard – Improved Eldritch Heritage (Imperious) "Heroic Echo" Inspire courage +6 Flagbearer +2
12) Bard
13) Bard – Discordant Voice
14) Bard – Extra Perform Oratory
15) Bard – Craft Wondrous Items banner of the ancient Kings Inspire courage +7 Flagbearer +3
16) Bard – Masterpiece Clamor of the Heavens (5th level spell Known), Skill Focus (Bluff)
17) Bard – Greater Eldritch Heritage "Heroic Legends"
18) Bard

Tactics for Higher level.


Once I can cast Virtuoso performance I will be using that to have inspire courage and Weird words going each round. Then When I can cast Shadow Bard I will also have that doing the Masterpiece Life Budding in Salted Earth for extra healing. So I will have 3 bardic performances going at the same time. Then with either a swift or a move (at level 17) I will also be adding in Inspire heroics with spell slots (from the Heroic Legends Power). Since most or all of my companions count as human it is usually extended, and master/grandmaster performer increases the bonus by 2 it is +6 ac and saves. So basically 4 bardic songs going plus flagbearer at +3.

This should be some crazy buffs and pretty good damage with weird words.

Are there feats I'm not taking or other ways to have additional songs going at one time? Are there better buffs to be using?


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

The Cleric favored class bonus for Damphir is that they gain +1 caster level for channeling feats that affect undead.

There are no Channeling feats that are affected by caster level.

Can anyone make sense of this?

Sovereign Court

I looked at the how to upgrade items and how to upgraded a bonded item FAQ and I get it for the most part, until you get to a Signifier's Mask.

The Mask itself is not a magic item. So it is not covered by named magic item. Also the Hellknight signifier class says it stacks with the class that gives you the bonded item to figure out what it can be upgraded into it. so obviously it is intended to be upgraded in some fashion.

Now if it was a Ring... it could be "upgraded" to function as a ring of protection or as a ring of freedom of movement or any other type of magic ring. But it is still your original bonded ring.

As a Mask which takes up the helm slot; Can it then be upgraded to function as a helm slot item? Such as a circlet of persuasion? Does it work just like the ring, amulet, wand or staff would but as a Helm slot?


5 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

So I am interested in Mounted combat clarifications. I have searched the archives and come up with several different answers from different posts most of them contradicting each other and none of them seem to be by anyone official. Also there are a lot of posts on the topic so it seems many other people have asked the same questions even if the answers they get vary greatly. I’m hoping that this could get FAQ’d or get a nice Paizo employees attention to clarify the issue. Even though I’m look at this as a cavalier it also could impact Summoners, Druids, Rangers, Paladins or anyone with an animal companion/mount. So I will use mount generically for any animal companion or eidolon that can be used as a mount.

Because I will be using this character in pathfinder society I can’t really use a house rule.

Using Trample or overrun on a mount in general.
Whose CMB do you use? The Mount or the Rider? – In the archives I have seen both answered by different posts, usually favoring the mounts.

Lets say you want to have improved overrun, Greater over Run and Charge through… Does the mount or rider take those feats? – There doesn’t seem to be a consensus but more think it should be the mount.

When you manage to trample with the trample feat it allows you to make a hoof attack with the mount on the creature trampled. Is this feat basically useless if you are not riding a pony or horse? If I’m a small character riding a dog or boar as a mount I don’t have hoof attacks. Does this mean they can bite or gore instead or do I just need to have greater overrun so they get an attack.


Is it possible to make a gnome that does good consistent melee damage for the majority of its life from levels 1-12?

So 20pt build for Pathfinder Society. Since I will be playing from 1 to 12 (maybe more if they do higher level content) I will need to be decently effective at all levels or at least survive.

A group of friends wants to do a whole group of Gnomes. Which will either be fun or a complete catastrophe. There are casters abounding and one ranged character. However, someone needs to stand in front or in back and take the damage and deal the damage when they run out of spells (or it can't be enchanted). Since these are kind of naughty little gnomes so it pretty much rules out paladin.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for a melee gnome build?

I have been thinking along the lines of dervish dance and duelist, two-weapon fighting rogue/ninja and cavalier.

Any option that is particularly suited to small characters would be good.

Sovereign Court

Okay so I need some help in making a character concept work and not completely suck. A dwarven Witch that will wear armor and use a shield.

My Friends and I are building a party of dwarves. We are going to be from the Five Kings Mountains in Golarion and are all part of a dwarven military unit. The Shield Wall (teamwork) feat is virtually mandatory for all of us ideally at first level. We intend to play them like legionnaires and will attempt to fit in as many teamwork like feats as we can. However, my conundrum is that I am playing the “Cadre Mage” and therefore I am not proficient in Armor and Shields by default.

My dwarf (yet to be named if anyone has a good one let me know) is from a very conservative family of dwarven warriors. All the dwarves in the family for generations have served in the dwarven militia. He himself is rather a misfit nerd and unlike the rest of his physically intimidating clan. So his father decides to send him to military school to make him into a real dwarf. His father is fond of such phrases as “A dwarf without armor is a dead dwarf!”, “Real dwarves wield hammers and drink by the keg ”, “Books are for elves, if it’s not carved in stone it’s not worth reading” Etc… He is afraid is son is too wimpy and wants to “man” him up so others don’t think of him undwarvish like. While my dwarf is not very warlike at heart and wants to explore the world of magic.

20pt build to keep it simple Pathfinder Society rules. No more than 1 non-witch level I don’t want to be a magus wanabe I want to be a witch. Here are the stats I was considering.
Str 10 Dex 12 Con 16 Int 18 Wis 12 Cha 5

One option is that I could wear all the gear but not be proficient and just suck up the arcane penalty until I grow out from under my father’s influence and switch to mage armor


Take a level in a class that is proficient in armor and shields and then qualify for the Shield wall feat and possibly other teamwork feats like shielded caster or others.

Hexes have no arcane spell failure since they are supernatural abilities.

Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?